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A King's Ransom
Author Leo
IC Date: 22 January 2219
RL Date: 22 January 2006
Story Arc Brand New Sky
Location Mars

The battles across Mars continued, slowing slightly as each side prepared to make their final actions across the face of the planet. Patriarch and his Robot Gentlemen continued to fight intermittently against each faction, perhaps working to size them up to determine the best way to finally sweep them all off the face of Mars. It would be merely a prelude to the invasion force yet to come.

Scott Wily, seeing a natural ally in Patriarch, formed a dark alliance to once again betray those who had put some degree of trust into him. The riches of Patriarch’s Martian expedition, and the seeming ease in which the Robot Gentlemen shook off the Sigma Virus, could give Scott the edge he needed to conquer the world. After all, how hard could it be to dominate the Gentlemen, who were little better than older versions of Doctor Wily’s Robot Masters?

Patriarch was well aware of Scott’s intentions. Only an idiot would not see that he was a conniving traitor just like his “father”. Yet, Scott’s abilities would be useful to him, both in making him new war machines and in potentially luring his former maker into a trap: a trap in which he could seal both of them and permanently remove the threat to himself and his Gentlemen.

Patriarch also had a silent partner in his villainy, a partner that Scott and his Overlords were not aware of. The intelligence sealed away behind the golden door, the intellect that gave Patriarch his Reaverbots and helped him integrate the mysterious systems found in the Omnidroids into himself, waited silently for its opportunity. Patriarch would free it, driven by greed, when he only found a way. Such a way would be found as the various factions fought over the bones of Mars. Inevitably, they would uncover something. It could wait.

Patriarch found ways of entertaining himself in the meantime. Magna Centipede was captured and made into bait for a particularly deadly trap. The Cydonia plateau, the so-called “face on Mars”, was just a lumpy plateau which had strange shadows across it from time to time. However, during the scourging, crystalline structures had formed within it that were useful for various minor applications, and were also dangerously explosive. Impaling the crippled Magna onto the crystals, Patriarch waited for the Maverick response.

A team of Mavericks led by Vile and the Goliath challenged Patriarch’s power, and attempted to rescue Magna Centipede. While they were able to retrieve their spy, the Mavericks were soundly defeated, and in the process most of the plateau was destroyed. The explosion was seen for hundreds of miles and felt across the entire planet, and could even be detected from Earth. However, while the Goliath succumbed, Patriarch remained, and continued his scheming.

Later in the week, Epsilon led an expedition to a temple hidden away on Mars, and showed his Irregulars and Prismatic Spider why he had come to the planet. It was not the Force Metal he was seeking, but the knowledge of the ancients: the proof of the equation which creates intelligence in robots -- and, seemingly, in all things. Such a thing was not useful to Patriarch, but might have broad implications on Earth. But what would it mean? Would it matter at all, or have all of Epsilon’s sacrifices been in vain?

2. Rhapsody - Steelgods of the Last Apocalypse – The Power of the Dragonflame