Lifting a Veil of Shadows

Realm of Evil Invasion, second story, almost immediately after Back to the Shadows from Whence it Came.
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Debriefing
Part 1

Upon landing in Irvine, ▀etaMantis, in a quiet voice, bade his friends his thanks and temporary farewell, as he returned to the COTS command base.

After a brief debriefing with Magni, ▀etaMantis sits in Whyte's lab, conversing with him the detailed happenings in the former Siberia, now the Shadowlands, the first nation of Diablo's new Empire, led by Nighteye, the prophecised Hero of Darkness.

Whyte: You are telling me that this person like you was, in all respects, except for goals, you?

▀etaMantis: He was . . . the way he talked, the way he held himself, his voice, his physical appearance . . . *swallows* everything. You couldn't possibly believe how shocking that was. Had he goals similar to mine, he'd probably be exactly like me.

Whyte: That is a long shot you know.

▀etaMantis: Who said that was improbable? One thing I have learned here is that the weird is more often correct than I care to admit. Heck, for all I know, he could be some alternate me from some other plane of existance where you found the cure for this mutation, or it never happened! THAT is a long shot.

Whyte: You are right. But, like you said, long shots are sometimes the ones that land.

▀etaMantis: Ah, the Devil's Advocate, how long it has been since I heard thee.

Whyte, shaking his head: No matter the situation, always joking . . .

Whyte smirks as ▀etaMantis stands to his full height. He walks to a nearby several foot thick glass pane and notes the fish swimming by.

▀etaMantis, without turning around: Whyte, what do you know of my anatomy?

Whyte, sitting at a desk, preparing for a long talk: Little, unfortunately, why do you ask?

▀etaMantis: I was shot with some sort of energy weapon. It couldn't have been a laser, I saw it coming, too late, unfortunately. *rubs his upper left shoulder where a small scorch mark still takes up residence*

Whyte, somewhat concerned: And?

▀etaMantis, turning around: Before, when I was human, whenever I was physically taxed, usually ending in short breathing due to my, until a short time ago, incurable asthma. I would inhale the drug known as Ventolin to increase my heart rate, causing my bronchioles to enlarge, and the clogging mucus to be forced from my lungs and expelled . . .

Whyte: Please do get to the point. I have knowledge in medical science, you know.

▀etaMantis: Yes, well, I, instants after being shot by this weapon, took the medication I was so used to . . . it caused me to heal in under a minute. That should have killed me . . . I thought.

Whyte: So your healing rate is connected to your heart rate . . . adrenaline and ventolin cause your heart to beat faster. This may be of use to you. Why inform me?

▀etaMantis, sighing, finally resigning to tell Whyte his concerns: Do you think this has some conjunction with the mutation? Did Blizzard know this about me? I mean, they DID use the asthma medication as bait. Was it intentional? I was so naive back then . . . I just don't know what I do anymore.

Whyte, chuckling: Beta, do you ever stop dwelling? Sometimes answers must be sought in some manner other then brooding.

▀etaMantis: You are correct, as usual. I am more than aware that I think too much. But, I will think, nonetheless. My last question is the most important. I think he is in league with Diablo, and therefore, Nighteye. How else could he walk the Shadowlands alone and alive?

Whyte: Judging by your description, wherever he hails from, he is indeed fighting for the forces of Darkness. Anybody on the force of Light would not inhibit your attempt on the dispelling of the Shadowlands, however unsuccessful. And because he is fighting for evil, his goals are clear, whatever Diablo wishes.

▀etaMantis: As I thought. The question is, did he know it was doomed to fail from the start? His words seemed to suggest that.

Whyte: Either way, I think you should contact CE/UF and tell them of the failure . . . you may wish to probe for answers, as I know you will. BUT, leave the person's similarity to you concern out of it. They have no need to know that information.

▀etaMantis: Evidently.

Whyte: If you run into him again, like you think you will, try to detain him and get some answers straight from the source.

▀etaMantis, turning to leave: I was just thinking that. Thanks, Whyte.

Whyte: Before you go, I was *takes out four leather-covered bracers from a drawer in the desk and places them atop* working on a couple pair for prototypes. I thought you would be an excellent person to test them. Since your explanation of the laser weapon, I realised you were unprotected. So you are not harmed as easily by those pesky energy weapons, touch the four together, and they fire on. They form energetic bands around your wrists, that are capable of deflecting energy blasts, the like of which are the lightsabres of the Jedi and Sith, the Psi blades of the Protoss Zealot and Xel'Naga, the Warp blades of the Protoss Dark Templar and the energy weapons of some humans. Guard them well, as they, and your reflexes, will be your only defense.

▀etaMantis, picking up the bracers and applying them to his hardened wrists: Thank you, Whyte, very much, for these, and your advise. I will talk to Adrien shortly to see what he knows of this little tirade. I have already spoke of most of this in my report.

Whyte, standing up from the desk: While speaking of reports, are you aware of the recent Irvine happenings in your absence?

▀etaMantis: No, but I am about to be.

Whyte, smiling a bit: Indeed. One of the Newbie Patrol, Se˝or Gato, was seen raving about a black scaled spider creature with red hair . . . climbing the Blizzard Headquarters Building, and crashed into a window, left and climbed back down.

▀etaMantis: A prospect?

Whyte: Maybe, although doubtful. Although the fact he seems intent on demolishing Blizzard, you never know. Also a Canadian nuclear missle silo has had Emperor Fron's PERSONAL inspection, recently. I contacted him, since that was a beyond rare occurance, and I was concerned what he needed to inspect it for, hopefully not a nuclear holocaust. He claims he wasn't there. As a matter of fact, he states he was in Castle Cattle Prod the entire day.

▀etaMantis: I am supposing he went to check it out?

Whyte: He has. What's more interesting is that Dragoneyes, Krath and Shriek have returned to CWAL. They plan a party for their return sometime soon, it may be tonight.

▀etaMantis: That's surprisingly good news. Maybe I should show up. Dragoneyes is one of the CWALers that I would like to meet.

Whyte: Ah, yes, but it appears Dragoneyes has failed in her mission to achieve full dragonhood.

▀etaMantis: Why does that make me suspicious all of a sudden? From my knowledge, although I have not met her, she is a very determined woman. I don't think she would have accepted failure.

Whyte, seats himself at the desk again: Precisely what I thought.

▀etaMantis: Now I really think I'll take a little stroll, then. Too many unusual things, even for CWAL, to casually set it aside.

Whyte, turns around to get back to work: Good. I'll tell Thunder and Magni. I will see you later then?

▀etaMantis, walking to the door: You will. And Whyte?

Whyte, looking back: Yes?

▀etaMantis: Thanks again.

▀etaMantis walks down the hall to his room, now refurnished to the standard COTS room, complete with small office, due to his duties as both a security officer/bodyguard to the command cell and a reconnaisance agent/scout. He sits down at his own desk to note a few reports from inner and perimeter patrols. Nothing unusual. He sighs, and sits silently for a moment, brooding.

Finally he decides he has to. He flips on his computer.

▀etaMantis: ▀etaMantis to Adrien.

Adrien's face shifts onto the computer screen.

Adrien: Adrien here. It appears your mission to the Shadowlands failed.

▀etaMantis: Hardly. The One Spring Of Power is a gas vented from the centre of Mount Despair.

Adrien is silent for a moment.

▀etaMantis: While doing so we were attacked by a lone human.

Adrien: What did he look like?

▀etaMantis: It doesn't matter, he was killed before my very eyes. Talk to McGravin, Taion or El Cazador, they were watching.

Adrien: I need no proof. Thank you for your services, you were a great help. Adrien out.

▀etaMantis, hesitantly: Wait, why did nothing happen?

Adrien: I GAVE you the Spring of Power, you threw into Mount Despair, nothing happened! My best explanation: False prophecy.

▀etaMantis, acting understanding: Right. ▀etaMantis out.

With that, he turned off his computer. He's not telling me the truth, I know it, he thinks. The insectoid officer stands and taps his four wrists together, and they are engulfed by a warm golden glow.

▀etaMantis: Hmmmmm, this is quite interesting, maybe even to be used as a weapon if need be . . .

He brings one band near the table. The energy passes right through it, causing no harm to the table.

▀etaMantis: So much for that idea, it does nothing against matter, only energy. Anyway, I must see if everything is alright. Too often is CWAL caught in the deadliest of traps. Fortunately, their ability to survive is unparalleled. *chuckles* If they only listened to Paranoid CWALer more often . . .

He taps all of them together again, and the glow disappears. He then wraps himself in his wings, holds them shut with his two lower arms and throws on a trenchcoat. He examines his own office and smiles at both the thought of his last statement and all the amazing things that have happened since the fateful day in January, the second day of his second term in post-secondary education.

▀etaMantis, sighing: Well, here goes nothing.

▀etaMantis turns and walks hurriedly out of his room, preparing mentally for a not-so typical night of reconnaisance at the Starbucks that is the Headquarters of Operation CWAL.
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Two's Company
Part 2, a few minutes later

As ▀etaMantis leapt rooftops with ease a couple of blocks away from CWAL Headquarters he noticed a glimmer a couple of rooves ahead. He immediately tapped his wrists together, bathing them in a golden glow. He brought them up to block whatever object as it came towards him.

Another red light beam. He just managed to deflect what would have been a highly painful event.

▀etaMantis, thinking: Whew, thank you Whyte.

After, he ran straight at the source and leapt, almost clearing the next building. He leapt again immediately, gasping as he saw the same visage that once haunted him before, holding a smaller pistol of some kind. Within instants, he saw himself pulling the trigger. Fortunately, with faster reflexes then his former form, ▀etaMantis leapt right at his own personal nightmare, grabbing him by the throat, both arms, and the mouth at the same time, the weight knocking him off his feet.

▀etaMantis: Now I want some answers. Who are you!?

Form: Why, I am you, and you are me, of course.

▀etaMantis: I don't think I would attempt to kill myself.

Form: Contemplating suicide, are we? *chuckles at his own joke*

▀etaMantis, smirking ever so slightly, then returning to seriousness: Your humour is as horrible as mine. Who sent you?

Form: Ah, the question of the day.

▀etaMantis, growling: No time for games, my similarity. I need to know these things, or I will be forced to take you into capture until you tell me.

Form, laughing: You think that threatens me! That's great! Let me see your base of operations, fool!

▀etaMantis: You are beginning to test my patience.

Form: That is the idea.

▀etaMantis: WHAT!? You were sent here to deter me from keeping an eye on CWAL, weren't you? Weren't you!? ANSWER ME!

Form: Ah, the insect finally thinks.

▀etaMantis, turning away, since he's not getting an answer: I don't have time for you, or your unending insults.

He picks up the gun and throws it off the building, and punches the human in the chest with both of his left fists, knocking the wind from him. The dimensional traveller that was once himself, gasping for air, begins to laugh evilly.

Form: Once the reciever of physical violence . . .

▀etaMantis: Whomever is sending you is beyond getting on my nerves. And getting on my nerves is more than difficult.

Form: . . . and now the deliverer. How you have deviated from your destined path, pitiful creature.

▀etaMantis: You know not my destiny, or any destiny. No one can know anyone's destiny. And even if you did, you could not avoid it. That is half the fun in life, seeing where the map and compass of your destined path leads you. I do not plan on having a philosophical debate with someone emulating me.

His antagonist continues to chuckle loudly. ▀etaMantis stands there, keeping a both awed and apalled eye on the creature attempting to coerce oxygen into his asthma-racked lungs, laugh maniacally and speak harsh and painful words to his ignorant extradimensional twin simulatenously. Finally, the wheezing sound common to all asthmatics is heard. ▀etaMantis focuses on his own natural form.

Form, rising to his feet, albeit slowly: Ha, still brooding on destiny, eh? I would expect it, since I AM indeed you, and AS you, I can anticipate you.

▀etaMantis: You are not me.

Form: I do not comprehend how you can tolerate that chitinous coccoon which you call your skin . . .

▀etaMantis: It is a lot more supple and powerful, defensively in combat, than your pale dermis.

Form: Indeed correct, BUT, as such, you are forever outcasted from human society, our friends and even our family. No one accepts you as you are, except that military organisation, *laughs* Circle Of The Shadows, who USE you for your abilities . . .

On the word use, ▀etaMantis emits that unnatural high pitched shriek that was the first thing he ever did in this form, making it nearly impossible to hear the end of that soliloquoy.

▀etaMantis, eyes squinted, shouting: You DARE to insult the only people who understand me AND to presume that my family and friends do NOT accept me!?

His complete equal, yet his complete opposite at the same time, smiles, satisfied with this conversation. ▀etaMantis stands there, enraged internally, yet managing to maintain control for lashing out physically.

Form: Ah, I touched the raw nerve. Know this: THIS is your weakness. Anyone who knows this can stop you. I can see through you . . .

▀etaMantis: . . . then I can you. And I do know, seemingly historical figure of mine, that this is merely a diversion to prevent me from completing my task in my new life. Know THIS: Someday, I shall return to my former life, in my former, and your current, form. I merely do not wish to put my loved ones through this . . . unique . . . stage of my life. Being missing is far less anguishing to my parents then presenting them with this hideous countenance, O misunderstanding one. I have entertained you far enough. Hinder my passage, and pay the consequences.

The young man, whose form ▀etaMantis longs to attain, stands aside, evidently understanding that he can avoid needless harm, but smiling, also getting the information he wished.

▀etaMantis, walking to the edge of the building in the direction of his destination, without glancing over his shoulder: It's good to see people do their homework BEFORE impersonating me, and I am flattered that you are, and doing quite a good job of it. For this, I congratulate you. But, torture me not, adolescent, for I will exact retribution, on you and he who sends you.

After detecting no audible reaction, ▀etaMantis, not looking back a moment, leaps the building's edge, and continues on to the Starbucks that is CWAL Headquarters, shadowed by the massive Blizzard Entertainment Corporation building. The company that caused the greatest and most bizzare metamorphisis of his young life. He continues this quest for one official purpose: To be an ever-vigilant eye on the party that will be made in honour of the trio of returning members. He continues this quest for many personal.
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Infiltration
Part 3, moments later

Raindrops are seen impacting the pavement of the streets of Irvine, California, as a trenchcoated individual, remaining in the shadows of the alleys, approaches his destination.

He ducks underneath one of the many surveillance cameras monitoring the exterior of a building of the long-standing franchise known as Starbucks Coffee. This restaurant, however, had much more history than a typical building of the company, most, to nearly all of which, is not known to many beyond its walls. He was one of the ones who did.

He scales the brick of the wall, as the camera swings toward the other direction. Being able to support his lightweight nearly effortlessly allows his claws to leave only barely perceptible marks on any surface he climbs. So, by the time the camera returns to record the image of the end of the wall he arose, and the visual effect of the rain, there is no detectable trace of his recent presence.

Having ascended the wall, he squats on the roof, tosses his trenchcoat aside, underneath an aircraft on the helipad, giving him more room to move, revealing his insectoid body inside. Not like anyone is really watching the security cameras anyway, on a night like this, he reasons to himself.

He crouches over the roof, and peers into one of the many windows, it is void of life, even though it appears to be someone's bedroom. He then climbed down the side, trying to remember which room he wanted to see. After climbing the majority of the way down, and avoiding a couple possibilities of discovery by a person opening a window, or a camera happening to be in his general direction, he found the room.

Inside, a very diverse group of beings either stood around, slept on whatever could possibly serve that purpose, or were drinking some alcoholic, or caffienated beverage. Some were both. Many of the inhabitants were adolescent humans, but all were strange in their own ways. At least, that was the tame way to describe them.

The majority of a group of unsung heroes in their own right, mostly because many of them were outcasts of their own societies, yet plodded on for one reason, the intruder thinks.

To release video games from their developpers, before it was too late, for them, of course.

The figure watching them from outside still recalls how his life now revolves around this group, and how, not too long ago, he would be oblivious to the following truth.

Game companies were not upright, honest corporations devoted to making a living off of creating programs that entertained others. They were the tools of evil men, attempting to use these programs as methods of attaining power, and control over the human race.

At least, originally, anyway. Now it is much more. Much more than can be said in a few hundred sentences.

This group was referred to by one name, that many know, yet are unaware of what that name represents.

Operation Can't Wait Longer.

Or CWAL, for the very lazy, which would be just about everyone within this organisation.

The party within, for no better word describes it, seemed to be going normally. The three he seeks, not in sight. He growls, as a man in a fedora hat, with many wooden stakes around his waist and one of his legs, among his other differences looks in the direction of the window.

"The Slayer," the figure muses as he ducks out of the way of the window, "of course, even with the rain."

What about the apparition, Nighteye, Hero of Darkness, and the elven leader of Chaotic Element/Unnamed Faction who gave him the "One Spring of Power", which turned out to be a wild goose chase? How are these three events intertwined? The recent happenings in Irvine seem to suggest something incorrect is about.

He climbs down the couple of remaining floors, grabbing the sides of the wall with his six appendages in his descent, avoiding the few cameras there, and manages to land at the front door of the headquarters of CWAL.

He presses the button to the right of the door, and the sound of a doorbell can be faintly heard on the other side of the entrance.

A woman in a low-cut dress answers the door, dressed in silver and black, her belt buckle carrying the form of a spider.

Woman: Not YOU again! The giant bug with manners! Beta, was it?

▀etaMantis, laughing: Indeed it was . . . Shade. The name, is ▀etaMantis.

Shade, a little shocked that he knew her name: ▀etaMantis . . . and what do you think you're doing ringing our doorbell? I'd expect you to be climbing in our ducts!

▀etaMantis: Why is that not surprising that you would speak those words? Why is the Newbie Patrol answering the door?

Shade: You noticed.

▀etaMantis nods.

Shade: There is a party involving the vets upstairs. You know a lot more than what I'd thought for a . . . thing that works alone.

▀etaMantis: I will try to take that as a compliment, although I work alone only when the situation does not call for otherwise. Would it happen to invlove the return of retired CWALers?

Shade, surprised: It would. Where DO you get your information from?

▀etaMantis: I have my sources.

Shade, realising he is in the rain: Right. Come in, come in. Nothing beats a new person around, especially a newer newbie. *grinning*

▀etaMantis, raising a single index finger and shaking his wings, as he walks in: I am not here to join CWAL, Shade, at least, not today.

Shade: But I still DO have authority over you.

▀etaMantis, sighing: Seeing as I have no actual time within THIS organisation, you do have authority due to seniority. Remember, COTS is by rank, which is not necessarily decided by seniority. But since I am here, within CWAL, you do.

Shade, satisfied with that decision, sits down, and sighs, annoyed with door duty. ▀etaMantis moves to the back where a flight of stairs leads upward to the floor he intends to go.

Shade: ▀etaMantis, you can't go up there, vets only.

▀etaMantis, stopping and turning around: Really? Well, doesn't that just hamper my plans. . .

Shade: Why DO you want to go up there so badly?

▀etaMantis: I have to talk to a few specific beings.

Shade: And who would THAT be?

Up the stairs from the dungeon comes an elf, with an obsidian blade scabberded at his waist.

▀etaMantis: Ah, Adrien, one individual with whom I must speak.

Adrien: Who, me? Hey, it's the COTS newbie!

Shade: Yes, him. The bug we met at Blizzard before those other COTS guys showed up. You remember, don't you?

▀etaMantis, muttering as Shade speaks: Well, doesn't THAT just ice the cake . . .

Shade: What!?

▀etaMantis, feigning that that doesn't matter, even though it totally throws his ideas of the situation out the window: Nothing. Do you mind if I spend some time here until the party concludes?

Adrien, shrugging: No, but you'll have to talk to the vets afterwards. After that, they'll probably ask if we terrorised another private investigator, mail man, or pizza delivery guy again . . .

▀etaMantis: Again? Why does that not sound exciting?

▀etaMantis, thinking in the meantime: Why doesn't he recognise me for more than the "COTS newbie"? Hmmmmm, one of two things must be correct.

Shade: It wasn't us! It was the other newbies, no names.

▀etaMantis, continuing his reasoning, internally: Either he has amnesia, or there is a clone of HIM around too! The question is which is the clone?

Adrien: Cr . . .

Shade: Silence!

▀etaMantis, snapping out of his brooding: I beg your pardon?

Shade, sighing: Adrien's not listening, that's all. Beta, follow me. Adrien, you're watching door for the next three hours. No breaks this time.

▀etaMantis nods again.

Adrien, protesting: But you got an hour break!

Shade: Yeah, and I've watched that door for a whole hour! You need to haul your weight around!

Adrien grumbles as Shade leads ▀etaMantis into the Newbie Patrol's HQ, more commonly known as CWAL's dungeon, despite the fact, among other things, that ▀etaMantis needs to establish that the Adrien here is indeed the real Adrien, and if he is, well, that at least makes one thing for certain . . .

He is more than certain something is at work now.
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Disposing of the Pleasantries
Part 4

Sitting in the presence of the . . . something positive . . . beings known as the Newbies of Operation CWAL, ▀etaMantis awaits the party to die down a bit to talk with one of the veterans. Dragoneyes, specifically, if possible.

▀etaMantis looks around, attempting not to look as bored as the majority of newbies around him are, after the excitement of a new addition died down, in less than forty-three seconds. Of the four who accompanied ▀etaMantis to the shadowlands, only one is visible. El Cazador.

▀etaMantis approaches the Panamanian slowly. El Cazador seems to be pleased that it isn't another veteran planning to exploit his naivity. Only a newbie.

El Cazador: Mr. Beta!

▀etaMantis: Yes, it is me. How are you doing?

El Cazador: Oh, fine . . . just getting annoyed with doing laps, jumping jacks, and all those other exercises this school is getting me to do.

▀etaMantis: Think of it this way, El Caz . . . it is to get you into shape for your next lesson, which shan't be too far away.

El Caz, happily: You think so? Anything but the Phys Ed. class Mr. Morpher teaches! Yours a couple of days ago was great. I am already halfway through the Fellowship of the Ring, thanks to you. You are a very talented English teacher.

Funny, my English teachers would shudder and revisit their last one and a half inexcreted meals at the thought of someone saying that and meaning it. They're probably still attempting to decipher my first essay I submitted to them. ▀etaMantis laughs inwardly at the irony, nodding his appreciation outwordly.

▀etaMantis: Well, thank you, El Cazador. A happy pupil makes a happy teacher. I am glad we are mutually happy.

El Caz: You bet.

▀etaMantis: I must ask you one thing: Have you noticed Adrien being a little abnormal lately?

El Caz: You mean more than usual?

A small bout of chuckling for a moment from the rest of the newbies at that quick jab at the absent Adrien. It was then that ▀etaMantis realised that everyone else was paying attention.

▀etaMantis: Of course I mean more than usual. How about anyone else?

Robo-Gerbil: Why?

▀etaMantis: Because, my cybernetic friend, I have reason to believe he is not himself.

Robo-Gerbil: Come with me, I need to talk to you, alone.

▀etaMantis obliges him, and follows him to his room, which is firmly shut, clamped, locked and sealed behind him.

Robo-Gerbil: So you've figured it out . . .

▀etaMantis: Define it.

Robo-Gerbil: I, being the second-in-command of CE/UF, have some knowledge of what has been transpiring.

▀etaMantis: Oh, really? Do explain yourself.

Robo-Gerbil: Not even a week ago, we had a brief blackout due to a heavy thunderstorm.

▀etaMantis nods, recalling the fury of that storm, and Whyte attempting to use the energy from it to power his next contraption to reverse the mutation on ▀etaMantis. That one literally blew up in both their faces.

Robo-Gerbil: None of the computer were functioning, since they "disposed" of the auxilary generator. So, Gunslinger started telling every CWALer a story. A story of parallel dimensions.

Something I myself have proposed to my teachers and friends, so many times, it probably causes physical pain.

Robo-Gerbil: Have you ever heard of the game known as Diablo?

▀etaMantis: Heard of it? Absolutely. Anyone who is a video gamer knows what Diablo is. The corporate and literal bastards accross the street wrote it!

Robo-Gerbil: I know that! Do you know the story behind it? How the Three Prime Evils . . .

▀etaMantis: Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, Baal, Lord of Destruction, and Diablo, Lord of Terror?

Robo-Gerbil: Yes, and how there was a Sin War going on all around them? Between the infernal gates of hell, and the high heavens themselves?

▀etaMantis: Wait, are you attempting to inform me that this parallel plane exists as though Diablo had won the Sin War!?

Robo-Gerbil: . . . Yes.

▀etaMantis: Wh . . . how!?

Robo-Gerbil: Surely you have heard that Brighteye and Nighteye are the Heroes of Light and Darkness, respectively?

▀etaMantis: And utter opposites? Yes.

Robo-Gerbil: CWAL decides to interfere and attack Nighteye's citadel, only to have Diablo himself send tens of thousands of demons from the depths of Hell itself to defend Nighteye. Then the heavens send down their own army of angels to do battle. Brighteye appears, having sensed it . . . and begins fighting alongside the angels and CWAL against Nighteye, the demons and Diablo.

▀etaMantis: And the duel for the planet Earth begins.

Robo-Gerbil: Due to injury in fighting before, Brighteye falls before Nighteye, and the unbelievable happens.

▀etaMantis: The entire world becomes similar to the damned country of Siberia . . . Heaven . . . ceases to exist, and the life as we know it is destroyed, because WE, the mortals of Operation CWAL, directly attack Hell.

Robo-Gerbil: . . . Exactly.

▀etaMantis, standing up enraged: So, CE/UF prepares to ATTACK Nighteye's citadel? Are you mad? You just don't take a hint when you see one, do you? Do you favour that outcome?

Robo-Gerbil: Whoa, simmer down.

▀etaMantis, breathing heavily due to the fact of the things that are being told to him: Why send me to Siberia, to dump some spring into a volcano?

Robo-Gerbil: What!?

▀etaMantis: You mean you do not have any inkling of my mission!?

Robo-Gerbil: Mission!?

▀etaMantis: My mission was that Adrien charged me to do to throw the spring he referred to as the One Spring of Power into Mount Despair!

Robo-Gerbil: He told me nothing of a diversionary mission involving a spring, a volcano and the Shadowlands!

Silence echoes through the room for a moment, as tensions and emotions start to drop a bit.

Robo-Gerbil: I also have not finished my story.

▀etaMantis: Sorry, please, do continue.

Robo-Gerbil: After that, nations fell one by one, lastly CWAL . . . to add insult to injury, Nighteye . . . he reanimated all the CWALers into undead ones . . .

▀etaMantis: THAT is why you looked alarmed when I said he was not himself . . . because he may not be.

Robo-Gerbil: After Gunslinger finished his story, he disappeared, sucked into another dimension. After that, I overheard Pez telling Iolaus that Gunslinger had an interdimensional beacon on him . . . one he was planning to make.

▀etaMantis: Are you suggesting . . .

Robo-Gerbil: Unfortunately, I am. Those undead CWALers are here.

I can't even think of a reaction to that . . .

Robo-Gerbil: Even one of you and I are in this dimension . . . Pez is adamant about that. Fortunately, most of the other CWALers and newbies don't know. Imagine Paranoid CWALer's reaction a hundred fold, Beta, that is the hysteria within us that would cause, let alone out in the general public.

▀etaMantis: Wouldn't Gaval go into the Slayer Rush if any of them came here?

Robo-Gerbil: That's why I fear for CE/UF. I think the elf who is leading CE/UF on several fronts against the Shadowlands is an undead one attempting to get CWAL to follow suit. Why he got you to go to the Shadowlands is beyond my understanding, but everything you have done has been orchaestrated.

▀etaMantis: But why?

Robo-Gerbil: To get COTS to come with you maybe? Seeing you as the sole newbie with any amount of power in the organisation is good enough reason, don't you think?

▀etaMantis: Possibly.

Robo-Gerbil: I know this is very weird, but this is the truth, understand that. These undead CWALers will wreak havoc if we don't stop them!

▀etaMantis: This is why all the peculiar stuff has been happening lately . . . we have an extradimensional invasion on our hands, attempting to bring about nothing short of the apocalypse! Robo-Gerbil, it is imperative that you stop the other Adrien!

Robo-Gerbil: What do you plan to do now?

▀etaMantis looks at Robo-Gerbil a moment, while standing to his two-toed feet.

Exactly what I have to.

This is continued in the Realm of Evil finale.