Hana's Catastrophic Failure
WRITTEN BY: YajuShinki
COMMISSIONED BY: Thurosis
Tonight was quite a special and soon to be exciting night. Tora had finally put the finishing touches on his artificial Blade, Hana, more specifically, her newest and strongest form, Hana JD. After her upgrades, she most certainly looked all grown up, and now it was time to see whether or not her abilities had grown as well.
The two of them had left their home in Torigoth to search for a suitable training ground: one with a high concentration of monsters, preferably some more powerful monsters dotted around as well. After a few more moments of roaming around the landscape, they stopped and descended upon a stretch of land that seemed to be the perfect setting for a test of strength: the Plains of Evening Calm, with flat terrain with a few trees and bushes dotted around the landscape, clear skies, and a bridge in the near distance that could serve as an escape route should things go downhill.
While Hana surveyed the land, her optical sensors could make out a moving figure of sorts. Zooming in on the figure, she could see that it was a massive, towering, ape-like creature. As they got closer and closer, they could feel the ground trembling beneath them as the giant primate monster stomped about. Although they were determined, the two couldn’t help but feel somewhat nervous about this ‘test.’ What if they get knocked out in one hit? Would Rex and the others be able to get to them in time? Maybe playing dead would convince it to leave? Despite their doubts, they figured that it would be a waste to turn back now; the opportunity was right there in front of them! Besides, the plan was to head for the bridge as soon as things got too dicey.
They approached the beast cautiously. Examining it closely, it was a Territorial Rotbart, a Gogol beast known for its brute strength, yet also known for its relatively weak defense; it could only guard attacks from the front, so they could most likely unleash a sneak attack on it from behind.
Once they got close enough, Tora and Hana stopped for a moment, turned to face each other, and nodded in silent agreement, readying their weapons. Tora charged towards the Rotbart at full speed, and managed to get a clean direct hit on the beast’s neck, leaving a mark. He knew that he had only a few seconds before the beast would recover and begin to attack, so he used his time wisely, attacking as quickly as he could, slicing and jabbing at the Rotbart’s most vulnerable areas whenever the chance presented itself. Despite seeming somewhat childish, Tora was certainly quite well-trained.
Once the beast began to attack, however, it became clear that they had gotten much more than they bargained for. Given the beast’s large size, it was easy to determine its next move and prepare to evade it, but when its attacks DID land, they were surprisingly strong. The Rotbart slammed into Tora with such great force that he was almost flung to the ground and rendered immobile for a few seconds.
Now, it was time for Hana to attack while Tora was down. Her first move would be very similar to Tora’s: she had enough energy stored in her weapons systems to fire a shot from her Boom-Boom Laser, dealing a significant amount of damage and knocking the Rotbart back, sending it toppling and flipped upside-down. It struggled to get back on its feet, and Hana showed no mercy to the temporarily defenseless monster. In that short amount of time, she has unleashed a flurry of attacks at a blinding rate. The injuries that it sustained was akin to being lacerated by a storm of hundreds of razor blades raining down upon it.
The Rotbart clearly struggled to get back up after the unrelenting onslaught dealt by Hana. Hana turned back to face Tora, flashing a thumbs-up and a smile, confident that she had significantly weakened the beast and that the battle would soon be over. But alas, such was not the case. The monstrous primate let out a bloodcurdling, ear-piercing roar as it entered a state of rage, its fists waving about with even more heft and power than before as they pounded against its chest.
Hana and Tora both braced themselves for the imminent attack, but virtually nothing could prepare them for the Rotbart’s next attack: Wild Wave. Its body began to glow faintly as it was becoming charged with electrical power. So potent was its electrical field that the fur on Tora’s body began to frizz, and even Hana began to feel a bit ‘funny.’ Nonetheless, they approached on the offensive, aiming to hit the Rotbart with a Swooshing Slash attack. Unfortunately for them, the Rotbart had finished charging its attack while they were in the middle of theirs.
In a blinding flash, the electricity coursing through its body was released, and both Tora and Hana took the full brunt of the attack. They were flung backwards into the air, unable to move as the resulting shock temporarily paralyzed them, effectively acting as a supercharged taser. Tora let out a soft grunt as he fell to the floor with a thud, and looked over at Hana to see if she was alright.
“Uurrrgh… Hurt more than expected…” He muttered, still out of breath. “But, need to get up… Hana, what you think? Should keep fighting, or go home?”
Hana didn’t seem to respond at all… In fact, she made no effort to get up; her body was still on the floor, her face frozen in a blank expression as her body twitched and jerked. Tora could hear the servo motors in her joints whir and click with every jitter as she tried to speak, but all that could be heard was the occasional distorted murmur as her systems slowly came back online.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she got back up and turned to Tora, giving her response in an odd, stilted manner. “Can -click- can keep. -bzt- Keep fighting, maaaaasterpon,” she said. He could see some small wisps of smoke coming from her mouth as she spoke, as well as from some of the seams in her skin/armor panels.
Tora shook his head and sheathed his weapon. “No, no, Hana. Too much damage to keep going. We go home now,” he decided, but Hana insisted.
“No, masterpon!” A short pause, accompanied by an unnaturally quick twitch of the neck. “I-I. I -whr- can keep fighting, promise! Watch, I’ll show you!”
Hana turns to face their opponent once more and prepares to dodge, then attack. The Rotbart’s swiping attack narrowly misses Hana, allowing her to attack. However, her attacks are noticeably slower and less accurate than before, no doubt due to the massive electrical shock and subsequent system failure she’s suffered.
“Hana, what you thinking!?” Tora shouted. “Your systems too weak to fight! Need to repair you ASAP!”
Hana looked at Tora to give a reply, but seemed to freeze right before speaking. A few seconds later, she unfroze and simply said, in an oddly calm, emotionless voice, “Masterpon, I must continue executing commands.” There was an odd, metallic distortion to her voice, as though it was being run through a pitch-shift filter. There was a distant, glassy look in her eyes...
“What?? Hana, what you mean?” Tora asked, right before he realized the answer to his own question. The involuntary twitching, the distorted voice, and the fact that she was disobeying his current commands meant that the damage she sustained extended well beyond her chassis. Indeed, her processes were stuck in a seemingly infinite loop as her directives were overridden by her last-issued command: to fight the Territorial Rotbart. Simply put: she literally cannot accept any more commands until she either completes the current one, or is forcibly shut down trying.
“Enough! No more fight!” Tora yelled as he snatched the sword from her. He hoped that that would trigger something in her systems; it would be impossible to fight a monster of this caliber without any sort of weapon. However, not even the lack of a weapon would make her come to her senses; she was still focused solely on her target, as was the Rotbart on her. She went into a defensive stance, yet made no effort to move out of the way of its attack. The giant ape’s hand connected with Hana’s body with such force that a distinct metallic clang could be heard.
From then on, her condition only worsened. Every time Tora tried talking to her, her response was exactly the same every time she spoke. She never even seemed to notice the huge tear in one of the skin panels on her left arm leaking coolant fluid. It was bent inwards, with the metal armor layer making contact with an embedded circuit inside the arm. The short circuit caused blue sparks and electrical arcs to spill out of the gash, and her arm and fingers to spasm occasionally, with the servos and joints whirring loudly and clicking rapidly.
As she remained unresponsive, it was up to Tora to defend both himself and his Blade from the unrelenting behemoth that stood before them. However, as predicted, its attacks proved to be far too much for him alone to handle. Most of his efforts were focused on blocking its attacks and preventing further damage, but he could only block so many times before becoming fatigued. Whenever he needed to regain his stamina, he was forced to witness his creation being beaten into scrap metal.
Eventually, he had grown too tired to continue on and gave up as it had sunken in that he was fighting two losing battles: defeating the Rotbart, and protecting Hana. All that he could do now was let the battle run its course and clean up the mess that would follow.
The monster swung at Hana’s body once more, knocking her off-balance and causing her torso to bend and twist at an unusual angle and tear open, with the resulting hole in her body even bigger than the one in her arm. Through the dangling wires and metal and silicon shrapnel surrounding the tear, part of the gynoid Blade’s maintenance control panel was visible. A fireworks show consisting of rapidly blinking LEDs and a shower of sparks was now playing out inside her body.
Shortly after, another swing and direct hit. This time, her right arm was partly ripped open, her legs bent at such an extreme angle that there were tears in the skin layer, and the left arm was torn off completely. Nothing was left of it except for loose sparking wires, torn and melted skin, plastic tubes ripped open and leaking coolant fluid, silicone rubber muscle padding, and shrapnel from the subdermal armor layer.
At this point, any human or Blade would be writhing and screaming in agony, but Hana had clearly lost the capacity to express or even process any emotion. Her speech was reduced to nothing but heavily distorted fragments of sentences interspersed with the occasional beep or buzz.
“Masterpon-pon-p-p-ppp -bzzt- Execuxexexecute. Commands. Must exe--bzzt- execute. Systems criti--bzzt- critical.”
Her head swiveled side to side unnaturally smoothly as she tried to speak. Her eyes remained unfocused and lifeless, and her lips weren’t properly synced to the words and noises coming from her mouth.
The Rotbart seemed to realize that the gynoid was now completely defenseless but still had some ‘life’ in her, and proceeded to finish her off in a particularly gruesome manner. With an iron grip, it grabbed hold of her right leg and began to pry it off of her torso, pulling at it and twisting it even more.
A cacophony of sounds filled the air as Hana’s body was being mutilated. The snapping of wires and cables, the whirring of servos, the glitched, distorted, unnaturally fast speech of the malfunctioning gynoid, buzzes and pops from her failing electrical systems, the groaning of metal as it was being bent, followed by whining as the armor panels broke apart into shrapnel and scrap. It was a literal symphony of destruction, one that continued for two more movements, one for each remaining limb.
By the end of it all, Hana had been reduced to a limbless torso and head, but even then the Rotbart remained unsatisfied. It let out one final ear-piercing roar, pounding on its chest as it prepared to pummel the poor, defenseless, disheveled mess of a gynoid that lay in front of it. In one final, fluid motion that took mere moments to execute but felt like an eternity to an emotionally wrecked Tora, its fists descended upon what was left of Hana, obliterating her torso and other limbs. All that remained was a heap of flattened and bent skin/armor panels, power cells, and several other components mangled beyond repair and recognition.
“HANAAAAA!!” Tora cried out, tears streaming down his eyes as he rushed over to her. Once he got to where she once was, it was clear that it was near-impossible to repair her; her body and systems were all but pulverized, and all of the debugging in the world could do nothing to restore her mind to a working state.
The only pieces left of Hana that were even remotely functional were her ether furnace and her head, although the term “functional” is applied very loosely in this case. Her speech was even more fragmented and distorted than before, often consisting of nothing but diagnostic babble, random syllables and what could only be described as a dial-up modem being electrocuted. Her eyes were rapidly moving about in random directions, and her eyelids and mouth moved and shifted around at random intervals and intensities.
Tora grabbed the ether furnace and held Hana’s head close to his chest, embracing it. “Hana… So sorry… When fix you up, please forgive me…” he whimpered, to which Hana replied by continuing her nonsensical chattering and spewing sparks from her mangled neck stump.
He knew he wouldn’t have much time to mourn here; the Rotbart was still very much alive and out for blood, a fact that he was very quickly reminded of by the shadow that the monster cast upon him as it looked down at its new prey. For a few seconds, the nopon was frozen with fear as he panicked, then realized that he needed to get the hell out of there at that very moment.
As soon as Tora broke eye contact with the Rotbart, he made a beeline for Hana’s remains, salvaging whatever he could out of the scrap heap. He stuffed his arms with whatever he could find and carry: some armor plating, power cells, circuit boards, servo motors, along with some more bits and bobs lying around. Once he couldn’t carry any more parts or dodge any more attacks, Tora bolted towards the bridge in the distance and panickedly scurried back to Torigoth with Hana’s head, furnace, and remains in tow. Hopefully, she can be rebuilt and restored sometime soon…