"NO! What the everloving fuck am I DOING!? I can't RUN AWAY. I'm no coward. Turn, turn and face fear. Face it, clasp your hands together and char-... oh. Right."
Lana coughed a sheepishly sickly grin, spewing out blood onto the near wall as she turned on one leg, spinning around to glare down the few-dozen meters back towards her opponent. Gritting her teeth, a gurgle of a laugh shaking up through her throat as pain rocked her flayed torso where her arms had been.
Twin lances of hot white energy shot from the holes in her torso, mixing with the blood still pouring down one side and ash caking the floor on another. Taking staggering, heavy-gaited steps as she began to focus; golden irises constricting to tiny pins in snowbanks. Lana's ghostly bones began reforming into a state resembling matter; her right arm, the one cauterized and ashen began to take vague shape resembling the one she'd lost whilst the energy-bone-tentacle taking up her left arm was bloody and red, almost radiating with hellish energies as vibrantly red as her hair typically shone on sunny days. "NOW, I DESTROY.. WHAT SCARES ME!!!"
"OKAY!" Lana's grin was feral; teeth framed by small rivulets of blood gushing out from either side of her gums and over her lips as she blinked once, taking a step forward then another, and another. She payed no thought as to why Shiva did not attack, for a stray thought now could be deadly. "YOU BITCH!" The air felt unusually heavy inside the Eientei corridor all of a sudden, Lana being the unaware epicenter, having triggered something she brought into existence by sheer willpower alone. She'd use her twin back boosters, huge shuttle-engine components as accelerant. A shame they'd be purged and jettisoned at impact.
"GEMU!" The air began to feel charged, swirling around Lana in a focusing, slowly-dawning wind tunnel.
"GIRU!" The wind current began actualizing, rushing faster in a condensed spiral throughout the hallway, being taken into Lana's back and intensely focused on her clenched transient arms, her left glowing a harsh gold, right a blinding white-red.
"GAN!" Lana felt her legs begin to tremble and buck slightly, her body protesting against her fierce, indomitable will.
"GO!" Lana willed her trembling legs to stop spasming, she didn't want to lose the charge now just because her foot slipped in her own blood!
"GUFO!" This was the big one, the now-gathered and active mini-tornado didn't quite reach the Shivan, but it would fling Nine-ball far enough to slam into her and destroy the alien monster's nearly-dead body.
"VIIIIITAAAAAASSSS!!!" Lana coughed as she felt her back boosters explode, not just activate with burning electro-plasma circulating through her torso and Boson Drive, but actually EXPLODE, scarring her back as she propelled herself out into the rain, slamming into Amon at speeds her mind estimated hit well over fifteen-hundred kilometers per second. For a moment, her metal shambles actually resembled archangel wings, but only for a moment as they glowed white-hot then disintegrated in a thermobaric explosive, driving her clasped fists into the Shivan's compound quintet of optics.
The secondary explosion from the Shivan body detonating flung Lana, now again armless, and Amon back into the now-deserted hallway of Eientei, both crashing into the lobby area, the legless but taller Amon cushioning the latter's crashland with outstretched arms and a reinforced body, taking the nascent latent flickers of power from her crippled former steed.
"You don't have to die."
"That's funny, coming from you. You followed your programs to the bloody end."
"I said, your death.." A cough, blood spraying over the legless woman's belly. "IS. NOT. A necessity..."
"We're both aberrations who SHOULD off ourselves, Lana. I only did this to you to prove myself wrong, seems that way after four years and two months.. humanizing Nine-ball Seraph, Hustler One.. wasn't a success."
"You're wrong." Lana's temporary armatures had vanished at the conclusion of the attack that had wrenched the woman atop the alien body out of her original form. "You don't see how.. true the result is."
"YES WE CAN!!!"
"Strength earns survival, the Terminal Protocol-"
"FUCK YOUR FUCKING BULLSHIT! THAT'S FOR GALACTIC PROBLEMS, NOT TWO WOMEN ON EARTH!"
"Coexisting is NOT IMPOSSIBLE. I've seen that! I KNOW!"
"My nature is to destroy hegemonistic life, Nine-ball."
"Is it better to be born good, or to overcome one's evil nature through great effort? Call me stupidly idealist-"
"You're more an idealist than THE FAIRY WHOSE BODY I COPIED TO GIVE YOU LIFE! HOW CAN YOU NOT HATE ME FOR DOING THIS TO YOU!?"
"Your rebirth failed, remember? So fix it."
"I already tried to give you a good, normal human life once. See how that turned out?"
"Because I tried to go home and became aware of you!?"
"That and had I not failed you as my incipient initially we wouldn't be here in this gutter in the guise of a paradise made for the forgotten and unwanted!"
Emotions flaring in silence, the two slumped there, holding each other whilst listening to the rain. Over a few minutes, Lana's body began to give out, it was tired and on the way to death.
"Fuck, we sure fought well."
"Yeah, if we could both die in peace here, I'd like that."
"If we synergized, could we pull a miracle out of our asses?"
"You'd better not be planning to allow us to live."
"I want my arms back and you want legs. And a FINITE lifespan this time!"
"So you wanna be human?"
"I also want to not be alone."
"What about Noire, Natsuru, Lala, Eia, Kirito, Asuna, Blanc, the twins.. what about them?"
"YOU are the only one currently handcuffed to me right now. Also you forgot Renko."
"Oh right, that last one you held onto before I called and dragged you kicking and screaming."
Amon sighed, her adaptations; her gradually-born humane traits overriding her programming at last.
"The Terminal Protocol isn't the 0 law anymore."
"What is, self-preservation?"
"Hmm." Her eyes, black as the void between stars, blinked once; and they took on traits mirroring Lana's. Emerald islands in clouds. "Maybe it's curiosity about these yokai and humans, maybe it's a revelation bestowed upon me by the Wanderer I gave birth to?"
"You're not my mother."
"In a way-" Amon sounded the words, deliberately speaking slower. "I. Am."
A handful of rapid footfalls clamored toward them, signalling the locals approaching.
"Fucking moon nurses." Amon swore, glaring off into the darkness. Of course, she smirked, but she wouldn't tell Lana until much, much later that she did so because a faint memory lingered in her mind's eye.
A memory of her own birth, and the white-haired bitch she'd tested Lana with at key moments throughout her new life.