What constitutes life?
Is it a bio-chemical spark? Sentience of some kind? The ability to speak and to think?
At the Edge of Space, this is a question that is frequently pondered. On one specific day, not too long ago, a small contingent of Sincroids met on the ruined planet Katakaris. Updates were needed in the great quest for their lost leader, Exellis.
If there is one sound that every Sincroid knows and fears, it is the warp effect of a Pheyden. However, on that day, the sound that they heard was something familiar, yet very different.
A slow rumbling began, not in the ground but in the very air. The Sincroids looked on, summoning Phase Arms to prepare for the incoming arrival of...something.
"A Pheyden has found us." stated a red-skulled Sincroid. Two identical blue-skulled Sincroids nodded, and took aim at the disturbance in the air; if it was Pheyden, there would be no use trying to run from him.
But the sound...the sound was wrong. The arrival of a Pheyden is almost natural - this was like something tearing its way through the barriers of space and time, injuring infinity itself.
And then he stood before them.
It might be a Pheyden, underneath the armor and the chains - it certainly looked like a Pheyden. Smoke rose from the creature, part of its arrival. But the Sincroids immediately felt their emotional centers register fear and panic on a level unnatural. It stood before the Sincroids, its grey eyes rolling back and forth in its skull.
One of the Sincroids panicked - he unleashed a blast. The beam slapped into the being on a non-chain covered area, knocking him to one knee. The Sincroids felt relief - the fear began to fade. Certainly they could take this weak "Pheyden".
That is when it looked up at them, its eyes shifting color from grey to yellow. Its wrist moved, and a chain flew forward, wrapping around the closest Sincroid. It barely uttered a noise as the Pheyden moved, throwing the Sincroid through the upper atmosphere into space. With a speed that seemed impossible, the chains moved from his body, slicing through three Sincroids that had bunched together, cleaving them into component parts. Another Sincroid fired again, but Pheyden was ready - the blast hit his chains, absorbing the energy. A flash moved through the chain in a strange pattern, stopping on his chest plate. The Pheyden moved like an animal, tearing into the Sincroids...a growl coming from his mouth which now sprouted rows of razor-like teeth.
The red-skulled Sincroid dropped his Phase Arm and started to run; behind him, the final living Sincroid, a green-skull model, screamed his final moments of existance. The red Sincroid ran hard, trying to get back to the ships. Something smacked hard into his leg - the chain, no doubt - and red skull crumpled. The thing was close to him in a second; it had not teleported, but it moved through space and time as a runner would, leaving a wake in the air. The Sincroid tried to crawl backwards, but the Pheyden stomped on one of his hands, shattering it. Its yelllow eyes moved slowly, looking over the Sincroid. The chains constricted tighter on his body, sinking into parts of it, becoming part of his body. Pheyden leaned in to the Sincroid, his teeth gleaming in the pale light of Katakaris.
The sound that came from its mouth sounded older than the universe itself, accompanied by the jingle of chains moving on his body. It said only one word, or what might have been a word: "Grees....loch." The Sincroid whimpered. It asked again: "Grees...loch." One of its eyes moved independent of the other, looking up at the Sincroid ships.
The Sincroid blurted, "I don't know, I don't know!" Pheyden stood, looking down at the Sincroid. With massive force, he brought down his chain-covered hand, smashing the Sincroid to pieces.
The last moments of the Sincroid faded as he watched the chain creature walk over to his ship. He hoped that his lord Excellis would return and end the terror of the Pheydens...