They emerged from the nearest station to the sun fortress. The fortress, closer to a small city than a fortress, was in the middle of the bean shaped Masuli. It was near the estuary of a large river. That estuary, much larger than it was 200 years ago, was punctuated by old building that pierced out of the water. Old towers from one of the biggest cities of the old world.
The fortress itself was surrounded by plains on all sides that weren't in the direction of the estuary. It was a collection of great, square, tall concrete towers. They had no flourishes in their architecture. The only decorations had been added afterward by the people living there. They had added hanging tentures in warm colors, wooden balconies, and countless plants and growths.
They arrived closer, and could see the busy occupation in the streets. Every street was a marketplace, with children running, and stands with vegetables, spices, cheese, game, all things that could be sold at a marketplace.
They approached the tallest tower. On it, a great tenture, the greatest one, with a large sun-like symbol. In its entrance, someone was waiting, a woman in a formal military uniform. "Welcome. I'm here to guide you to the general of this fortress, who wants to hold a strategic meeting before Ubu's attack."
They were led to the last floor. The inside of the towers was equally barren, the only flourishes having been added after their construction. Here, most of these flourishes were charts and maps. The woman stopped in front of a door. "Enter." she said.
They did. Inside was a barren room, walls covered in maps. In the middle, a large slab of concrete had been raised, to be used as a desk. On it, a world map was placed, covering all of it. Pins were placed on lake Sewi, the sun fortress, and another spot at the southwestern end of Masuli. Behind the desk, a figure in a blue-grey military coat was standing, their back turned. On the back of the coat, a great sun pattern had been embroidered, with the writing SOL under.
The figure turned, revealing an empty coat. "I am the sun general. I am the Ideal of war, one who fights for something." Three luminous orbs appeared around where the head of the figure would have been, like three small suns. "We know how Ubu will attack. It's important that you know how, since this mode of attack will be preventable.
"A few dozen years ago, Ubu tried to make an artificial angel. This angel was an attempt at making a great weapon, almost as powerful as Ubu itself. This artificial angel was named Metatron.
"With it, Ubu attacked the sun fortress. After great fighting and great sacrifices, we were able to seal the metatron away. The metatron was sealed in a certain mechanism. A machine that, with a certain cost, can remove from reality a certain object. As you can guess, that object was the Metatron.
"However, this process can be reversed. By returning that cost, it's possible to make the machine go back and bring back the item into reality. We are certain that Ubu will bring that cost, and reactivate the machine by giving it the same cost. This can be stopped.
"Bringing something back will take time, estimated one to two hours. If you destroy the machine before that time is up, the Metatron will not be brought back, and Ubu's attack will have been stopped.
"You will have to destroy the machine in 40 minutes. During that time, we will all be tasked with the evacuation of the fortress.
An alarm siren rang outside. Jhin and Melissa ran to the roof, and the general exited the office to start the evacuation. On the horizon, four wheel like angels were coming, in a square formation. On each of the thrones, a cherub was standing, with their metallic wings linked together. This was the Merkabah, a formation of angels known as the chariot of god, that was used to transport large quantities and as a stand-in for Ubu. And above the chariot...
A great mass. A large sphere, formed of countless things, lumped together. Upon looking closer, they saw that the sphere was made of countless people, writhing, screaming, pleading. This was the cost.
The woman from earlier rushed to the roof and burst through the door. "This is bad. Ubu wants to accelerate the machine, and this is how they're going to do it. This cost is much greater than it should be. It's estimated that the revival will only take twenty minutes. This is not enough for the evacuation. We are counting on you." She ran outside again.
Four powers appeared beside the chariot. They held out their spears in the cardinal directions, and then in a single, synchronized movement, they all thrusted it down to the plain below. At the moment the spears hit the ground, a great flash rang out, and a hole in the ground, square, its corners marked by the spears, appeared. And a gigantic mountain of metal, taller than the tower they were on, emerged.
The powers took their second spear, and the cherubs broke formation, and took long swords. They put themselves in formation around the sacrifice, and the thrones placed themselves underneath, as rings leading to the machine.
All in the same movement, the powers stabbed with their spears, and the cherubs sliced with their swords. And, in a single, disorderly motion, the sphere fell apart. Limbs fell, blood flowed, gut bled, and all fell into the rings, and into the machine. And with a great tremor, the machine came to life.
They only had twenty minutes. They didn't waste any. Using Deicide, Melissa launched a great rust construct onto the machine. Jhin focused, and waves cornered by cracks coursed toward it. And the machine withstood the attack. Fifteen minutes left. Deicide launched forward, and sliced into the machine. Jhin and Melissa focused, and launched an amalgam of rust and tears in reality. And again, the machine withstood the attack. Ten minutes left.
Deicide came back, and Jhin grabbed it. Lifted by the sword, he flew to the machine, and hacked it with the sword. Melissa shot toward them, and with the sword, Jhin reflected the bullets at point blank range in the structure. And yet it stood, unwavering. Five minutes left.
Melissa grabbed onto the sword, and together they sliced it into the machine. Then, they made the sword resonate with void and waves. thirty seconds left.
Jhin threw a rock surrounded by waves at the machine. Twenty seconds.
Melissa launched a greed construct. Ten seconds.
Deicide sliced. Five seconds.
And then a great light. They lost consciousness.