|This article, Antulas Argenta, was written by Lordofmonsterisland. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "I want many things, and in time I intend to get all of them"
Initially a fairly unknown individual, Antulas Argenta first became known around 2577, when he joined the Federation's Wild Seven Special Operations Division: hiding his past as much as possible from prying eyes, he quickly rose to be known as a great warrior and stunning tactician, gaining the attention of several Machina higher-ups, who recommended Antulas to Teka Kreigor III in 2584 when he formed his first team of warriors. Antulas accepted, and would serve in battle with Teka and his teammate Veloc Mako for years as the team changed from Destiny's Trio into the Fated Nine, gaining fame as their exploits continued.
However, Antulas was more than he appeared: in 2586, he “made contact” with the Necros, and led a delegation back to Kastella to offer alliance between the two factions; the offer was declined, and all evidence of the event was covered up zealously. In the years that followed, unrest began to build as rebel factions were reinvigorated and attacked with renewed strength, both from inside and outside the Alliance's members: none would guess that all this was the work of Antulas, a fulfillment of his true purpose as an advance agent of the Necros. When the second Necros delegation visited the Machina, Antulas became a major participant, abducting numerous Machina and taking them to the Necros starship, only to return to the Machina to breed more deceit after the battle's end.
When at last the Necros War began, Antulas' work had left the Alliance ripe for devastation, with large sums of resources having been spent on quelling insurrections and rebel factions throughout the AUR-Remnant War period. For several years yet, Antulas would continue to serve with the Fated Eight and sow more of his treachery, until he culminated his efforts by announcing his true allegiance as he killed Cylog Mako, and abducted both Atoni Jastenon and Wyna Benvora: from this point on, Antulas would side against the Alliance, working his machinations to bring about a speedier end to the war.
However, with time Antulas began to seek freedom from Lord Charon, and sought numerous ways to escape the Necros Lord's grasp: it was only after Antulas managed to devise a way to be die and transfer his consciousness to a new frame that he broke free, serving himself and his own desires freely at last. At last capable of exacting the vengeance he sought, Antulas began a campaign against those he viewed as foes, though they were on both sides of the conflict: against members of the Vengeful Twelve, he unleashed his many weapons of war, though they failed primarily, and to defeat Nogard he fed information to such entities as the Lance of Unrelenting Reparation and Riker-012, without care for the treasonous nature of his actions.
Created by the Necros Lord Charon, Antulas Argenta (originally termed Special Unit #R561 - "Virus") was to serve as a covert agent within the Machina - a race of beings discovered by the Necros via stealth operatives during a scout of new territory: these were quickly found to be, in fact, long-lost relations to the Necros - with the specific purpose to gather intelligence on this race. Created as one of the most advanced Necros warriors, Antulas was given a special "Covert Operations" mode that allowed him to both manipulate his frame's construction, coloration and weaponry to appear like a normal Machina being while at the same time being able to return to his normal, Necros-armed frame at almost a moment's notice.
Sent to the Alpha Centauri System aboard a stolen Machina freighter, he arrived on the planet Chiron where he quickly set up residence and began to learn about the Machina race and see if there were a way to bring the race under the Necros' control. Antulas spent nearly 40 years researching the Machina race, investigating every aspect of their society and species as much as he possibly could, as well as setting up various things that would help both himself and the Necros as a whole in years ahead when the invasion began at last. Antulas' research gave the Necros Swarm a complex understanding of the Machina frame and all it's inner workings, as well as statistics on all their weapons, vehicles, starcraft and other equipment, a veritable encyclopedia of all Machina technology.
In 2581, the Machina first came into contact with the Alliance of United Races: its' first contact was between a Machina merchant freighter and a Sangheili cruiser patrolling the outer territories for signs of the Covenant Remnants, the last great threat to the AUR's safety. Although initially the Sangheili were cautious of the freighter, thinking it to be a Remnant trick, they eventually discerned it was no trickery, and after reporting this find to the AUR they were invited to the nearest Machina planet, where they spent 7 standard days before returning to AUR space.
An official AUR delegation was sent shortly thereafter, and after a short four months of discussion the Machina Federation joined the Alliance as its' fourth member: shortly after this alliance was made, Machina began to leave for AUR space en mass to study and learn from these new races that they now knew were out there, and among this mass of sojourners was Antulas, with the purpose of learning all that he could about these other races and the interactions that would come of both their inter-racial actions and the Machina-AUR inter-racial actions.
Learning about the Machina had been an enormous task, taking Antulas three decades to complete and a decade further to begin to completely comprehend: even though he had yet to fully complete the task of understanding the Machina, Antulas set out to learn about these ten new races with the goal to gain a full understanding of them as well. Although this undertaking was far more vast and expansive than the already huge task of studying the Machina, Antulas found it to be, in one respect, less strenuous in that, while he was now studying ten additional races as well as tying up the remaining loose ends of his Machina research, these new races were all much more singular in their technology, culture and so forth, unlike the vastly differentiated Machina who had hundreds of sub-cultures within their culture.
Even though Antulas had discovered additional races for him to study, his primary objective still remained unchanged: to ensure the absorption of the Machina into the Necros. So, with this constantly in mind, he began to arrange for missions on the edge of AUR space, during which he would covertly slip into uncharted territory and make contact with his creator, Necros Lord Charon.
By 2586, the time had at last come: Antulas "made contact" with a mysterious craft in Machina border territories and "brought it back" to Machina space to "as per the inhabitants request". Here, Antulas called a meeting with a select few of the Lineage Elders, including the like of Tensor Gaust III and the leaders of the Wild Seven: this group of Machina officials were called upon to meet with the crew of the Necros vessel who were proposing an alliance to the Machina, on the basis that they were long-lost relatives of a sort; when pressed for the meaning of such a statement, however, the Necros refused to extrapolate. The Machina discussed the possibilities of this alliance, as well as the nature of the Necros, their shady personas, and the meaning of their mention of relations, for several days before they at last turned down the Necros delegation's offer: promptly, the Necros left Machina space, stating before they left that they would give them time to think the proposal over once again and that they hoped the Elders would change their minds.
After the Necros left the Federation's territories, all records of their existence and the encounters thereof were either completely either or put in files that were under the highest classification of top secret: all those that had been present were sworn to absolute secrecy under punishment of death, and that was the end of the matter for the Machina. When a few rumors of extraterrestrial contact among the Machina reached ONI in UNSC space through a few young and loose-lipped Machina politicians, the resulting Machina disappeared forever and ONI was promptly told that no such thing had happened, as such, they were assured, would've been reported to the AUR immediately.
- Necros Lord Charon: "Your task remains unchanged, Virus: make straight the crooked ways so that they may be worthy of the Lords and Ladies treading upon them"
- Antulas Argenta: "Of course, my master: before you arrive, I shall ensure that they fall into pieces and become ripe for the slaughter"
- ―Antulas and Lord Charon shortly after the first Machina-Necros contact
Despite the fact that the Federation had turned down the Necros' offer to ally with them, Antulas was ordered to move into the next phase of the Swarm's plan: the weakening of the AUR's structure to prepare for the arrival of invasion forces. And so, Antulas began his dark work among the species of the Alliance, beginning first with the Machina themselves and spreading outwards like the plague.
Within the Federation, Antulas secretly moved through the organic slums and underworlds, speaking out against the three laws of the Machina: Antulas, in disguise, managed to influence a young Machina by the name of Drakford Ko that he should lead a resistance against the Cyberization Law, manipulating Drakford Ko's view to think of it in the fashion that it restricted the choice of pure organics; all of this finally culminated into the creation of the Machina Resistance. Not only this, but in addition to causing the creation of the Resistance, Antulas also influenced Silvor "Silverframe" Mako to create his own faction of followers, the Silvor "Lineage": these Machina would go on to become a rogue group working towards Silvor's bid for power, leading to the Silvor Incident of 2588.
Among the other races, Antulas' work was even easier: playing on natural hatreds once again, Antulas' actions among the former Covenant races led to the rise of the Jiralhanae Raiders and the uparming of the National Sangheili Resistance. Inside the Vorenus Imperium, Antulas ensured that the Vorenus Freedom Alliance came into possession of extra supplies to take over the other dissenting clans and factions, while among the Plainsfierians his touch birthed the Avengers of Plainsfier, an anti-Sangheili group.
Not content with weakening just the major powers, Antulas at first tried to cause the destruction of even the Covenant Remnants and Kig-Yar Pirates, both setting up and then "aiding" the UNSC's move to assassinate Pirate Lord Kred Vek and then beginning a civil war within the Remnants: however, when the voids of power were quickly filled by Dekd Nok and the Prophet of Deliverance respectively, Antulas turned to manipulating them instead, using them to attack the AUR and lead to the distraction of the AUR-Remnants War.
Antulas' last touch in his sabotage would come over a decade later in 2611, when, having recently discovered the SPARTAN-IV Program during his constant monitoring of all manner of intelligence, he attempted to bring the program to a standstill by framing Miranda Talavera so as to make her seem to have leaked information on the project to the URF. The evidence seemed quite convincing, and Miranda was almost captured by the SPARTAN-IV commanders had it not been for the actions of Riker-012 and Laz-108 (the former acting on her behalf, the latter on Riker's): together, these three proved Miranda's innocence, even though they were unable to trace who framed her.
- "Whatever happens, do not leave with us: we need you on their side, to keep things moving like we want them even if this encounter goes wrong. I do not care if you must kill some of my men: we can always make more of them. Do you understand me, Virus?"
- ―Necros Lord Charon, shortly before the second Machina-Necros encounter
A decade after the first contact between the Necros and the Machina, the Necros had mostly faded from the minds of those that knew of them: however, with Antulas' handiwork beginning to truly blossom and begin to effect the AUR, the Necros thought that it was time to give their cousins one last chance at an alliance. Contacting the Federation in early April of 2596, they arrived at Kastella on the 22nd, and once again offered the same proposition, but with an added threat: if the Federation declined the Necros' offer of allegiance, they would be declared enemies and face enslavement. Despite the threats of war, the Lineage Elders decided upon a second decline of the Necros proposition: preparing an armed force to accompany them, they returned to the Necros delegates and denied their request for allegiance, and it was then that everything went wrong.
The Necros assaulted the Machina forces there, unleashing an army of cybernetic warriors that knew no fear and gave no quarter, killing Machina without remorse. For hours the Machina and Necros forces clashed, with vast casualties on both sides: at last, as the day neared its' end, the Necros retreated and withdrew from Kastella, leaving behind them a burnt and destroyed plain, Machina frames and Necros cyborgs lying in equal kind next to each all across it.
Yet, the most terrible revelation came after the battle took place: while many Machina were found strewn on the field of battle, killed by the Necros, many others were not found, despite all attempts to locate them: this was primarily the handiwork of Antulas, who had secretly captured many of the Machina's most powerful warriors - among them such prestigious individuals as Strifalex Benvora, Morvale Dun Geist II, Aleta Gaust, and Gorah Kreigor - and transported them to the Necros vessel, all without a single trace of evidence left to suggest that he was the culprit.
So it was that, with the idea of a Necros-Machina alliance finally and completely destroyed, that Antulas moved into the final stages of his sabotaging work, pushing the rebel factions further and further, attempting to weaken the galaxy to a point where it could in no way stand against the impending Necros invasion.
The Calm Before
Prior to any contact between the AUR and the Machina Federation, the UNSC corporation known as Phade Technology came into contact with a small starship, manned by a dozen cyborg entities: intrigued and curious as to the mechanics of these beings, Phade Technology captured them for study and transported them to a back-water planet on which they held several well-secured facilities. Little did they know at the time, but the vessel was a merchant ship of the Machina Federation, carrying within it a dozen Machina traders: the Federation would launch a search party after its' disappearance, but the effort was given up after two weeks without leads.
Years later, Phade Technology had not admitted to the act for fear of the negative effects on their corporation and its' image: of the original dozen Machina, only one remained – the remarkably hardy Mychal Benvora, still living without the Federation's knowledge. However, in 2610, due to a freak power loss that disabled the jamming systems of Phade Technology's facility, Mychal managed to send out a brief SOS signal to the Federation: picked up by Antulas Argenta's vast sensory network, the information of Mychal's existence was quickly used by Antulas to his advantage.
Relaying the information to the Elders, Antulas influenced and coerced them to launch an operation to bring Mychal home, bypassing and ignoring not only the normal bureaucratic system, but even a request for UNSC blessing: moving in a lightning quick move, a large portion of the Wild Seven detachment landed on the planet and proceeded to combat the Phade Technology guards and their armored supplements, beating them soundly as they descended into the facility. In the end, Mychal was rescued safely with few casualties, but Antulas' plans did not come to fruition: instead of mounting a sudden anti-Human movement as he had hoped, the UNSC apologized quickly and several punished Phade Technology for its' inhumane actions, negating almost all hard feelings between the races, thus failing Antulas' grand scheme.
Although the Federation had mostly left itself out of the AUR-Remnant War thus far, in 2612 the AUR called upon their aid to deal the devastating final blow of Operation: FIRE: sending a fleet to the Algol Beta system, the Machina Federation initiated Operation: WILDFIRE, intent on destroying the main concentration of the Remnant's shipyards, dry docks, and factories. To prepare for the assault, the Wild Seven Special Operations division sent in a large quantity of its forces to eliminate key targets prior to the main ground engagement. Alongside the rest of the Fated Eight, Antulas was deployed to the surface of Algol One where the team lead a quick yet devastating strike against the planetary defense headquarters, eliminating the few defensive platforms in place and ensuring the Federation fleet easy orbital dominance.
Once WILDFIRE was completed, the Machina fleet jumped to Pious Ascension where Operation: HELLFIRE had entered its final phase. Arriving in time to begin the final assault on the Remnants main fortress, Antulas would wreak havoc with his newly designed BLACK BREATH System, spreading confusion throughout attacking forces to allow easy passage for the Wild Seven strike force. The team would manage to eliminate a large amount of enemy forces before the battle ended with the deaths of Prophet of Deliverance, Cassius and the rest of the leading council dead. With this crushing blow, the Covenant Remnants were at last defeated, leading to Antulas calling to an end all his plans to weaken the Alliance, and last signaling his master that it was time to begin the invasion.
So It Begins
- "Surely the Elders must have known this was going to happen"
- ―Antulas as the Necros War starts
Treason To The Crown
Antulas is first and foremost a Necros creation, a servant of the Necros Lord Charon, whose purpose was to research and sabotage the Machina, and then the Alliance of United Races also, in any way, form or fashion possible. Sadistic and cruel, just like his master, he developed a personality all his own, as his brain-AI matrix combination was created to allow for truly expansive thought, by the standards of both Necros soldiers and other species: eventually, Antulas came to develop such a mind that he even tried to betray Charon - a decision capable due to his lack of loyalty inhibitors, deemed a necessary risk for his mission - making a bid to claim the power of the Precursors all his own; at this point Antulas began to look after his own good more than any others, and his already cruel mindset became even more so, going so far as to blame his mistakes on others and to sacrifice others for his own survival.
As a researcher, Antulas is very easily classified as a "mad scientist": sadistic, cruel, and completely disregarding all respect for life, he inwardly ignores the stature of everyone he comes into contact with, merely seeing them as either another thing to research and take strengths away from, or as another thing to become a pawn in his grand game of chess; indeed, when Antulas is given the chance to study a living subject, he tortures them as he does so, playing on their fears and weaknesses, both mental and physical. Although most of his research and study was passed on to Charon, which served the Necros well to prepare them for the invasion, Antulas' consciousness eventually evolved beyond base loyalties and he began to plot against his master, withholding information and using it for his own ends.
Just as when he researches on a living subject, Antulas will toy with his opponent in battle, not only toying with them purely with his own tactics and wit, but also using hallucinogenics specially modified by himself to bring out the victims worst fears and weaknesses, in addition to normal poisons, viruses, microbes and nanobots. Should he fail, Antulas sees it as a small setback: he instead looks upon it as a chance to better his fighting strategy and learn from the previous battles, incorporating it into his next assault on the victim. Antulas is very meticulous in his battle approach: he will attempt to study an opponent for as long as possible before attacking them, trying to notice their patterns and weaknesses so that he can exploit them.
Antulas sees himself as a "perfect being", for numerous factors - including his computer-like learning capabilities, his lack of fatigue or other "organic" troubles, etc. - but primarily for the reason that he saw himself as practically impossible to kill, and while he was usually quite capable of keeping himself alive through actual combat prowess, in addition Antulas is virtually impossible to kill due to his multiple back-up "brains", hard-drives that constantly receive all data that Antulas receives and store them, so that in the event that the primary one is destroyed the secondaries can serve as a back-up of Antulas' personality and memories for a recreated and "rebooted" body.
Of note, also, is the alternate personality created by Antulas to serve as his Covert Operations personality, which, while much like his true personality, was much more suppressed in nature. This personality barely hid his malevolent nature: he never played a hero, never did a good deed of his own accord, nor did he ever do something charitable for the rest of the Federation; he was plotting, slightly sadistic, and a constant researcher. However, much of Antulas's nature remained a mystery to most, as Antulas's false being was notoriously silent and enigmatic, speaking in either riddles or technical terms half of the times he did speak, and never revealing his past beyond when he joined the armed forces.
- Antulas Argenta: "What is this thing, master?"
- Nogard: "I am the Demon: cross me yet again, and I will reveal to you the mortal form of Hell"
- ―Antulas and Nogard upon meeting one another for the first time
Enemies to the furthest extent of the term, Antulas loathes Nogard without reason, simply detesting the beast as a horrid experiment that went wrong and was not properly disposed of. Since their first meeting, the two beings have been at odds with each other, attempting to both out-do each other and ensure the other's demise: the reasons behind this enmity appears to be the simple similarity between the two, as each seeks to kill, though for their own reasons.
To Antulas, Nogard is, as previously stated, an experiment, but more than this Antulas sees Nogard as an experiment that has attempted to believe itself to be its own master and worth more than it truly is. On the other side of the equation, Nogard sees Antulas as a haughty A.I. that should never have been brought online, much less trusted with missions of gravity.
Fairly equal in strength and abilities, the two would not test their skills against each other until quite some time into the Necros War, and even then it would prove to be a draw: Antulas would continue to sent various obstacles in Nogard's way, but in the end the Precursor warrior would outlive not only Antulas' efforts but Antulas himself.
- "You and your friend's frames are most interesting . . . the pawn I will make from the both of you could possibly be my magnum opus. *picks up surgeon tools and waves them in front of Atoni's face* I'm going to enjoy this"
- ―Antulas as he begins his operation on Atoni and Wyna to create the "Hybrid" frame
Ever since the trio met, Antulas showed unnatural interest in the Atoni Jastenon and Wyna Benvora's specially bonded frames: through the efforts of the GEARS Project, the two had been given multiple systems that were capable of being used in conjunction to add even more effect and power to the systems, as well as numerous other features of the two frames that were either synchronized or linked in some fashion.
Antulas made note of this, and continually monitored the pair during his tenure with the Fated Nine: after his betrayal, one of his first moves was to capture Atoni and Wyna, intent on creating a powerful weapon from the two. He proceeded to combine both of their frames, creating an immensely powerful frame for Atoni, the “Hybrid” frame, with which he intended to control Atoni and use him as a weapon against his foes. He failed, and Atoni escaped, taking his technology with him.
Atoni and Antulas had a deadly vendetta against one another from this point, Antulas because Atoni had stolen his technology and defied his attempts to recreate him as a weapon, and Atoni for Antulas' attempts upon his life and his murder of his love Wyna.
Veloc Mako had known Antulas for his entire tenure with the Fated Nine, since it was first formed as Destiny's Trio with Veloc, Antulas and Teka Kreigor III: as such, he could tell that there was something that was off about Antulas, but he never could pin-point it, though he watched his teammate with all the care as he could. As such, when Antulas betrayed them, he blamed himself for not being to have prevented it somehow, and took it upon himself to destroy Antulas.
Veloc always saw Antulas as a being without honor, which Antulas was, and this fact detested Veloc due to his own honorable, if at times questionable, nature. As such, Veloc would never murder Antulas without a true fight, and he would not kill him unarmed, a fact that Antulas used to his advantage, as well as Veloc's need to ensure the safety of the innocent. In a vast irony, Antulas' death at the hands of Veloc and Atoni came when one of his attempts to toy with Veloc's sense of honor backfired, granting them an advantage over Antulas.
Antulas' operating systems stand out in that they are a complex and substantial, yet at the same time subtle, fusion of Necros and Machina technologies: this does, of course, makes perfect sense considering the requirements for his covert agent operations to be successful; however, even this secretive double-agent frame - the Covert Operations Mode - contained plenty enough in the way of firepower.
Antulas' frame looks, from the outside, like it is a rather standard Machina frame: on the larger side of the Machina spectrum, the frame features two rather standard legs, a near-skeletal midriff, a large chest and shoulders, mid-sized arms and a small head with small spikes on the back; the frame was a neutral gray color, and carried only a few advanced and powerful weapons, complemented by several handheld weapons.
However, beneath this visage was a far more ingenious hybridization of Necros and Machina technologies: underneath the distinctly Machinian metals that form a relatively thin outer layer of armor plating is a layer of Necros OBSIDIAN armor plating and beneath this layer is Necros-grown muscles bonded to a variant of the standard OBSIDIAN skeleton. In addition, what appears on the outer layer to be Machina-based audio and video sensors lead to Necros-derived technologies, attached directly to the well-defended computer matrix hidden deep within the frame's chest, which controls the frame's functions by transferring and interpreting the brain waves and thoughts given out by the organic brain carefully guarded nearby: as an added precaution, the computer core has four back-up drives located in other areas of Antulas' body, and all are constantly transferring data to carefully hidden "lairs" where Antulas stores back-up memories and frames. Located below the central computer and closer to the midriff are three more of the frame's Necros secrets: the Necros power core that powers the frame, the octaoxygen tank that feeds the organic musculature of the frame, and the repair and housing core of the on-board nanobots.
Perhaps one of Antulas' greatest tricks is his ability to swap between the Covert Operations Mode and the Standard Mode at will: using a variety of mechanisms, the Covert Operations Mode frame is capable of rearranging and "unfolding", so to speak, to transform into the Necros-based Standard Frame - the Covert Operation mode's shoulders and part of the chest maneuver to become the bulky Standard Frame arms, while most of the upper chest becomes the Standard Frame's shoulder spikes; the notorious spikes of the Standard Frame's helmet rise from their "resting" position on the back of the head and chest, and the color of the entire frame transforms; the lower portion of Antulas' frame remains relatively unchanged, with just slight changes in the hip structure and the extending of the talons on the feet.
Numerous and diverse, Antulas' systems cover a wide range of combat possibilities, allowing him to cope with various situations and target an array of weaknesses within his foes. Ranging from weapons such as the DARK SIDE Ordnance Launcher and the MORTALITY Sabers, to more subtle weapons such as BLACK BREATH Hallucinogenics, the COAGULATION System, and the CHAOS Nanites, even varying between Machina and Necros weaponry at times. Because of the high number of systems, only Antulas' major systems will be detailed extensively, with the others being mentioned briefly in the subsequent list.
DARK SIDE Ordnance Launcher
- Helidon Fondera: "What kind of ordnance that thing take?"
- Antulas Argenta: "My kinds."
- ―Helidon asking Antulas about his weaponry
Designed specifically by Antulas, the DARK SIDE Ordnance Launcher is a large gun, half the size of a Siege Gun, which fires a wide variety of ordnance that was developed primarily by Antulas himself. The gun carries seven shots each of up to ten forms of ordnance, with two in barrels at all times, totaling out at sixteen barrels. The extra ammunition is stored in large chambers behind the gun barrels, ready to be loaded into the barrels at the touch of a button. The gun is trigger activated and semi-automatic, alternating between barrels to keep up a quick rate of fire, though which barrels fire when can be programmed in as well.
The sorts of ordnance that can be launched by the DARK SIDE vary greatly: standard Machina explosive ordnances can be launched, as well as a number of others designed specially by Antulas, including poison bombs, smoke grenades, napalm shots; other, more unique concepts include a nanite-launching grenade, working in conjunction with the CHAOS Nanite System, and a hallucinogenic canister, filled with BLACK BREATH Hallucinogenics.
In addition to the standard ordnance launcher mode, the DARK SIDE also features three chainguns for added effect, each one capable of alternating between plasma or ballistic modes: due to this being a secondary feature of the gun, it is not often used, and the ammunition supply is less than standard Machina chainguns. However, one of the chainguns, mounted on the underside, is capable of being detached from the weapon and used in an assault rifle role.
- "Slag, there's nothing left of it!"
- ―Setic Benvora, viewing the crater of a Covenant Remnant Revenant that Antulas had fired on
The ELEMENT Cannons are two very powerful, shoulder-mounted weapons used by Antulas Argenta. The ELEMENT Cannons use two separate weapons systems, one for each of the shoulder-mounted weapons: the cannon on the right fires a powerful plasma beam, while the cannon on the left fires a super-freezing weapon. Although much more powerful, both of the ELEMENT Cannon's weapons systems can be compared to smaller, infantry-carried weapons of other factions: the right cannon's weapon system is fairly similar to the UNSC's MX4 LSW, while the left cannon's weapon can be compared to the USR's Zero Rifle. Powered by the same Necros micro-generator that the rest of the frame is run from, the ELEMENT Cannons drain Antulas' energy supplies very badly, forcing him to use the ELEMENT Cannons much more sparingly than his other systems.
The strength of the ELEMENT Cannons is debatable: considerably powerful, the ELEMENT Cannons appear to be more powerful than the SPARTAN Laser, but at times they have appeared to be less powerful as well. Antulas demonstrated numerous times that the ELEMENT Cannons were able to completely destroy tanks with a dual, freeze-and-melt assault; however, at other times, the cannons were incapable of badly damaging tanks. The theories behind these seeming failures vary, but due to evidence it appears that heavier armor plays a role in these failures, with energy shielding playing a much larger role in stopping the cannons from causing damage, as the weapons appear to role over energy shielding for the most part. In addition, other failures seem to stem from a lack of power on Antulas' part, leaving the cannons at a lower strength than normal.
Later, once Antulas returned to the Necros and reverted to his standard frame, the ELEMENT Cannons also reverted to their standard format: in addition to the pair of unique, juxtaposed main cannons, the system used several Violator Cannons, Web Cannons and Heavy Disrupter Cannons, the assaults of the various weapons mixing interchangeably for a devastating barrage of deadly firepower.
SPAWN OF DARKNESS Rocket Launchers
- Oden Benvora: "Odd name, 'specially since you never use any smoke-screen missiles or something like that."
- Antulas Argenta: "Oh, I wouldn't say it's such an odd name. It's a name I came up with from personal experience."
- ―Oden Benvora and Antulas discussing the SPAWN OF DARKNESS Rocket Launchers
The SPAWN OF DARKNESS Rocket Launchers are a pair of missile packs attached directly to the ELEMENT Cannons, though they operate as a separate system. Mostly loaded with regular missiles, the rocket launchers are also capable of using others rockets, a multi-purpose system just like most of Antulas' creations. Although the regular explosive rockets are Antulas' favorite choice for the SPAWN OF DARKNESS system, he also regularly uses rockets loaded with fast-spreading and deadly viruses, napalm rockets, and flak missiles designed to shower enemies in deadly shrapnel after a time-delay.
Each pack is armed with seven missiles each, with all missiles used by the system being equipped with homing systems as well. At times, Antulas will use the twin missile packs in a form of all-out assault, locking onto a target with the homing systems and firing all at once to create an extra powerful blast. Not disposed to use his rocket system as often as other Argentas – likely due to the fact that he is not truly an Argenta – Antulas generally reserves the SPAWN OF DARKNESS system for a long-range bombardment or last-resort attack role, saving both his ammunition and his time.
MORTALITY Sabers and COAGULATION System
- Antulas Argenta: "The MORTALITY blades are deadly enough on their own, but the COAGULATION Systems make them death to the touch."
- Veloc Mako: "How can you find honor in killing a foe so?"
- Antulas Argenta: "I don't."
- — Veloc and Antulas discussing the COAGULATION Systems and MORTALITY Sabers capabilities
The MORTALITY Sabers, coupled with the COAGULATION System, are Antulas' main close-combat weapons. Short swords, for a Machina, the MORTALITY Sabers are crafted from a combination of Machina and Necros metals, with the Necros metals forming the core of the blade, while the Machina metals cover the blade's core to make it appear Machina in origins. Rather simple weapons on their own, the MORTALITY Sabers do hold one trick besides the COAGULATION System: with the simple flip of a switch, the MORTALITY Sabers can activate vibro-cells in the edge of the blade, causing the serrated edges to begin to move back and forth. This creates a slight sawing effect that adds to the deadliness of the sabers to a surprising degree.
The COAGULATION System is the secret weapon of the MORTALITY Sabers: using hundreds of tiny needles on the edges of the sabers, the COAGULATION System uses a deadly neurotoxin devised by Antulas that is capable of completely disabling an opponent in a matter of minutes. The neurotoxin first begins to affect the vision of its' target, causing their eyesight to cloud and then begin to distort: shortly after, hearing becomes distorted, sounding like the opponent's head is in a bucket. The final phase of the neurotoxin is for paralysis to begin, slowly the reflexes and numbing the nerve endings until finally the opponent is unable to fight back. On average, opponents are only capable to survive the neurotoxin for three minutes and twenty-three seconds: however, Antulas would later face a dilemma during the Necros War when he found that the training of Vorenus Special Forces members aided in fighting off the poison for an additional two minutes and fourteen seconds, while Plainsfierians were capable of almost completely fighting off the effects through their advanced, shape-shifting antibodies, and the Calvaris were somehow immune to the substance altogether (believed to be somehow related to the symbiotic relationship they possess).
Later in the war, when Atoni Jastenon escaped from Antulas after being reconstructed with a more powerful frame, the MORTALITY Sabers were broken and then destroyed in the ensuing fight between the two. Because of this, Antulas was forced to form replacement weapons: taking two standard Necros Dire Blades, Antulas upgraded them to work with the COAGULATION System, then integrated the vibro-cells, along with several new features, including the ability to heat the blade to incredibly hot temperatures capable of melting some metals. Alongside these two Dire Blades, Antulas created four smaller swords, meant to serve as complements to the larger blades.
CHAOS Nanite System
One system that is often Antulas' deadliest weapon is the CHAOS Nanite System: swarms of easily replicated (and sometimes self-replicating) nanites, they are used for a plethora of different things ranging from simple tasks like reconnaissance and electronic warfare to far more devious deeds.
Among the more unique capabilities that Antulas uses his nanites for is when he injects them into the skull of an enemy being: these nanites, then, will begin a brainscan, transmitting the information gathered back to Antulas; in addition, they may be left in the skull to monitor further brain activity. The nanites defenses keep them quite safe from detection, being undetectable by thermal, x-ray, and other forms of detection. Unfortunately, due to the fragile nature of the nanites, magnetism in strong amounts can quite easily disable them. In addition, due to the guarded natures of the brains within Machina frames, intrusion into these are practically impossible.
Another use for the nanites is the controlling of Machina frames: upon injection into the frame, these nanites – exceptionally hardy for nanites – take control of the CPU and circuitry within a matter of minutes, overriding the frame owner's ability to control the frame, though the owner themselves is many times left fully aware of what is happening despite being unable to control anything save for, in some cases, the voice; this awareness and partial control is used by Antulas as a form of torture, both of the frame's owner and those that he must unwillingly fight.
The manner in which these nanites are injected into foes is relatively simple: stored in tubes within Antulas' forearms, the tubes can either be removed for a personal injection by Antulas, or shot similar to a bullet. In the latter manner, the tubes are fashioned to stab into the foe, and then inject the nanites after a split-second delay.
- HUNTER Grapple System – A pair of grappling hook-style attachments, mounted within both lower arms: Antulas can fire these for an array of purposes, whether it be in standard, grappling hook fashion, to pull foes closer to himself, or to pull far away objects down or towards himself.
- SILENT DIRGE Camouflage System – One of Antulas' favored systems, the SILENT DERGE is mostly a non-combat system, its camouflaging abilities coming in handy when stealth becomes the better part of valor. Capable of bending light to hide Antulas from normal sight, the system also inhibits other forms of discovery, such as infrared and x-ray emissions. Due to the fact that movement makes the system inefficient, Antulas uses it only in espionage and ambush instances. It should be noted that most of Antulas' Mini-Com drones are attached with a similar camouflage system.
- BLACK BREATH Hallucinogenics – Designed in a multiplicity of forms, the BLACK BREATH Hallucinogenics are capable of producing a variety of hallucinogenic effects, including delusions, hysteria, and a unique condition Antulas dubbed “Hyperactive Nerve-Reflex Disorder,” where the sensory input is sped up several times but the reflexes remain “slow”, causing a disorder that makes the victim's body appear paralyzed to themselves, and making them unable to coordinate in real time.
- ARCANE FORMULA Repair System – A combination of advanced nanites and a serum similar to the UNSC's Elixia, ARCANE FORMULA is able to keep both Antulas' frame and his organic components in suitable condition, repairing broken pieces of his frame and healing wounds. However, the system can only do so much, meaning multiple severe wounds or total limb detachment are difficult for the system to handle; in addition, when new wounds are made, both nanites and serum are lost through these in varying quantities.
- THE MAGICIAN System – An energy shield system, THE MAGICIAN System projects a curved, frontal energy shield capable of protecting against most forms of attack, though plasma weaponry is far more effective in breaking the shield than ballistics. In addition, the shield generator can be detached and used as a portable device.
- DARK MATTER Hologram Generator – Only seen to have been used in a few cases towards the end of Antulas' life, it is uncertain whether the DARK MATTER Hologram Generator is a built-in system on Antulas' frame or simply a device that he used. Quite robust for a hologram generator, the DARK MATTER device uses small orbs with built-in anti-gravity units to project perfect hard-light replicas of individuals or items, the true nature of the deception only discernible by moderate physical damage to the projection, causing system failure of the projector, or a time-out when projector ran out of power. Having full control of the holograms, Antulas used the system to create both copies of other individuals and replicas of himself to confuse his enemies.
- ZEPHYR System – Taken from Wyna Benvora after Antulas killed her and used her frame to construct Atoni Jastenon's Hybrid frame, the ZEPHYR System is an advanced system of booster jets capable of granting flight that Antulas integrated seamlessly into his own frame. It should be noted that Antulas' flight is not as skillful or as prolonged as Wyna's, due to Antulas' unfamiliarity with the system and his frame's added weight.
- DIABLO EYE System – The second system taken from Wyna after her demise, the DIABLO EYE uses a combination of radar, target locater's, and other sensors to create a 360 degree view of the surrounding area within the user's mind, allowing them to engage in combat in all directions.
- DAYBREAK System – Taken from Atoni Jastenon during the construction of the Hybrid frame, the DAYBREAK System uses solar energy to power an energy-based weapon system, capable of being fired from focal points as a laser weapon or discharged in a powerful, area-of-effect blast, with an additional EMP effect.
- FELLKING System – Often referred to as Antulas' “Hyper Mode,” the FELLKING System was developed after Antulas managed to gain a Forerunner crystal to power it: once activate, Antulas moves at an increased speed, is more agile, can use a teleportation system, and has access to four large energy blades connected to his arms, as well as a gravity-manipulating weapon system.
- PRIMEVAL DAWN System – Antulas' ultimate weapon, the PRIMEVAL DAWN was developed after Antulas managed to steal the Key from Akin Nion. Using the Key as both the power source and the main weapon, Antulas basically upgraded the FELLKING System, planning to use the system's additional ability to control other technology to turn entire fleet against his foes. However, due to the efforts of the Vengeful Twelve, this aspect of the system was never put into use beyond manipulation of the Twelve's own frames and weapons against each other, leaving the practical use en masse unknown.
Despite the large amount of weapons systems that Antulas possesses, there are other items that he often uses to aid his machinations. The most common, non-frame piece of equipment that Antulas used was his personal datapad, which he dubbed the Book of Retribution, for unknown reasons: likely of Necros origins, the amount of storage the Book is capable of is astonishing, with some theorizing it to be beyond that of many advanced AI's; in addition, the high processing power of the Atlas allowed it to deal with many dozens, perhaps many hundreds, of tasks simultaneously. Within the Book, Antulas had created numerous sub-divisions, most notably being the Dissenter's Notes and the Atlas of Omens: the former section dealt with impossibly deep observations and analyses of the numerous opponents that Antulas possessed, every entry going into minute detail, while the latter section was a highly unique piece of work in that it was filled with hypotheses and other guesswork on Precursor subjects, making it unique as Antulas was rarely known to hypothesize on anything.
Another important piece of equipment that Antulas carried was the Devil's Whistle, which he used to control the Legion, a group of servants he made from dead members of other species with the aid of a Flood-derived organic control device: the Devil's Whistle was the main component of the plan, allowing him to exert control over all of the Legion. Whether the Devil's Whistle operate via electronics, pheromones or some other fashion is uncertain.
In addition to these instruments, Antulas also kept two vehicles: a rapid attack vehicle dubbed Despair, and a Necros warship, the Mysterious Abyss. The former vehicle was used by Antulas primarily for rapid extractions from disadvantageous positions, but it's armament of Dirge and Disruptor Cannons aided him in ground engagements against other vehicular forces. The Mysterious Abyss would serve as Antulas' personal ship once he returned to the Swarm, transporting him between battlegrounds and other locations, and housing a small portion of his laboratory and supplies; during the war, it's labs would serve Antulas as the location for Atoni and Wyna's reconstruction. The ship was destroyed in an orbital engagement shortly prior to the Antulas' own demise.
- Oden Benvora: "I still can't get used to those Mini-Coms"
- Antulas Argenta: "And why is that?"
- Wyna Benvora: "How do we know they've got a mind of their own and it's not simply you working through them?"
- Antulas Argenta: "All you can do is trust me my dear."
- —Antulas, Wyna and Oden having a discussion prior to Operation: WILDFIRE.
One of the minority of Machina that favors a heavy use of the Mini-Com Drones, Antulas falls within an even smaller category of individuals that use more than two or three, equipping himself with a total of eight drones that he can simultaneously control. Each drone is unique, designed with different specifications, designs, and purposes: each one possesses intelligence slightly less than a UNSC dumb A.I., though Antulas is capable of both remotely controlling or monitoring their actions, and each is named after one of the Spawns of Orochi. The different Mini-Com drones are as so:
- Varan – The commander of the drones, Varan is designed for espionage and assassinations, having the ability to cling to walls, a small jet system granting him limited flight, and poisonous weapons, both for melee and ranged combat.
- Baragon – Designed for ground combat and ambushes, Baragon is armed with large frontal claws, has a number of attachments that aid him in burrowing underground, and possesses highly sensitive auditory sensors.
- Manda – Antulas' sole water-based drone, Manda is designed similar to a sea serpent, built with Ratag-based systems that capable of operating underwater for highly extended periods of time with minimal wear on the systems.
- Barugaron – Barugaron is long-range attack drone, capable of using firepower from a distance to eliminate foes: his weapons systems are varied, with small-caliber ballistics, plasma, and napalm weaponry being available.
- Shiigan – Brutal and effective, Shiigan is built specifically for melee combat and close-quarters engagements: armed with a multiplicity of melee weaponry, Shiigan is also capable of charging his weapons with electricity for deadly effect
- Vagnosaurus – Capable of speed and far-reaching jumps, Vagnosaurus favors to either corner opponents and use poison weaponry to kill them, or lead them into a trap where other forces lie in wait.
- Balkzardan – A four-legged drone, Balkzardan is the fastest of all the drones, serving often in a reconnaissance position. He is armed with plasma-based weaponry, and is also a highly effective hacker thanks to the device built into her tail.
- Jyarumu – The primary warfare drone, Antulas designed Jyarumu for killing and for nothing else. The drone is remarkably strong, and is armed to the teeth with both explosive weaponry and melee devices.
In addition to their own unique capabilities, all the drones are armed with a smaller version of Antulas' own SILENT DERGE Camouflage System, and each one has a nanite system that allows Antulas to use their parts to repair himself if he so chooses.
Faux Machina Drones
A short lived attempt by Antulas to create his own personal and easy to control army, Faux Machina Drones were standardized Machina frames into which Antulas installed a rudimentary artificial intelligence, creating beings capable of carrying out orders and fighting in war, but with little to no creativity on their own part and no drive to break free. In theory, the Drones were the perfect army: efficient, cost-effective, dispensable, and numerous. However, in practice, the Drones proved incapable of defeating foes due to their lack of individual identity and creativity, what the UNSC often dubbed “the Human factor.”
First officially noted during the Battle of Kirin V, the Drones proved highly effective in overwhelming numbers, as most armies do: they would continue to appear alongside Antulas in numerous, subsequent battles, with their frames becoming more varied in function, and an elite faction, known as The Enlightened, appearing with expanded A.I. Capabilities.
It should be noted that there are several theories that believe the Faux Machina Drones were in operation prior to Antulas' betrayal, and perhaps even the Necros War itself: several isolated and seemingly unrelated incidents have been strung together by theorists to suggest that Antulas had created this army and put them to use prior to their first noted appearance; these theories are, for the most part, ignored.
The Legion is an army of organic lifeforms that Antulas used to fulfill his own ambitions. Formed entirely of organic lifeforms – ruling out the use of the Machina race – the Legion are created through the use of a Flood-derived parasite, which takes over the mind and causes the body to mutate in a fashion much like the Flood, but at a much slower pace. These creatures are then controlled by a device named the Devil's Whistle, though whether they are controlled through electronics, pheromones or another method is unknown.
The Legion was only used briefly by Antulas due to the ineffectiveness, but they were fairly flexible in their uses: early-stage infections allowed Antulas to execute stealth and espionage missions, as the Legion members could pass as normal members of their species; during the later stages, they were much more physically fit, and became capable warriors. The problems arose from the fragility of the Legion, as unlike the Flood, Legion members were not much hardier than their hosts were, making their lifespans rather short due to their lack of tactics.
Antulas' most ambitious creation, the Necros Shadow was an attempt to set the UNSC's SPARTAN-IV Program to fighting among its' own members: a clone of Miranda Talavera, Antulas not only managed to replicate the effects of Miranda's own Persian augmentations, but he surpassed them, granting the Shadow even more strength, speed and endurance. Due to Antulas' efforts, the clone is fiercely loyal to Antulas, and has been gifted with a devious creativity like Antulas' own: in addition, it cannot feel pain, and, due to the additional cybernetics that Antulas endowed the Shadow with, it does not need air or nutrients for extended periods of time.
Antulas had already attempted to frame Miranda as a traitor prior to the Necros War during what the SPARTAN's referred to as the High Treason incident, but now he attempted to turn her allies against her once again by causing general havoc among the SPARTAN-IV's. Briefly, the doppleganger succeeded in this endeavor, but Antulas' traitorous work was sniffed out much quicker this time, thanks once again to the efforts of Captain Laszlo-108. The Necros Shadow, sometimes referred to as the Anti-Miranda, would come to be a major antagonist for Miranda, and would serve to stand in the way of her efforts throughout its brief existence.
The one thing that Antulas had been unable to grant the Shadow was time: despite his best attempts, Antulas' creation was badly wounded during her first engagement with Miranda, causing her own internal reactor to become badly damaged, with the subsequent leak acting as a slow poison throughout her body, consuming her from the inside out. By the time of her demise, the Shadow was almost completely dead, little more than skeleton and sinew kept running by the last ounces of her internal reactor's power. She would die in battle with Miranda, after which her reactor would self-destruct, causing a quarter-mile wide explosion.
- Main article: Antulas Argenta/Logs
Though not one to reveal his plans or to make conversation with his fellow warriors, Antulas nevertheless had a large quantity of transmissions between himself and his creator and once-master, Necros Lord Charon. While these transmissions were often brief and their bulk given over mostly to the attached files, the wide array of topics the logs covered is remarkable: the earlier ones deal with Antulas' observations of Machina society, and his efforts to blend seamlessly into it, while latter ones begin to extrapolate upon his plans to sabotage the Machina and the Alliance, as well as the Federation's own battle plans that the Swarm would need to counter. The last transmission stands out particularly: a bold piece, in it Antulas proclaims to Charon his independence and his betrayal, and goads the Necros Lord by stating he will soon defeat the Dark Queen with the very powers she sought.
Against All Odds
- "The phoenix, often referred to as the immortal bird, is said to light a flame in the body of the elderly, from which it ignites the power of rebirth. Understand? Immortality. That is what it means to be perfect. Not the transcendence of death, but rather capturing one's life and death within the cycle of rebirth. That which is called "death" is not removed from my existence! I exist as a being without any interruption in the cycle of life and death! That which is called a "perfect existence"! To me, the phenomenon of death does not exist. Even if you kill me before I am completely rebuilt, I will be rebuilt. Realize this: you who are incapable of killing me will never achieve victory against me, Primonus Gaust."
- ―Antulas to Primonus Gaust after Antulas' betrayal and murder of Cylog Mako
- "Pity to be so ignorant. As you're only able to see the surface of things, I should not expect you to appreciate my true might."
- ―Antulas Argenta
- "Your existence is worth nothing!"
- ―Antulas Argenta
- "You don't look like you're half the hero the others were."
- ―Antulas Argenta
- "Then I shall make you see... that your hopes are nothing! Nothing but a mere illusion!"
- ―Antulas Argenta
- "You accept darkness, yet choose to live in the light. So why is it that you loathe us who teeter on the edge of nothing? We who were turned away by both light and dark - never given a choice?"
- ―Antulas Argenta
- Initially, Antulas was based very simply upon Tarantulas of Beast Wars, hence his name: he soon gained hints of Nom Anor from Star Wars, and then bits and pieces of characters from the anime Bleach. However, in time, Antulas has managed to evolve beyond all of these inspirations and become a character all his own.
- Antulas's moral alignment places him as Neutral Evil, with a few Chaotic Evil tendencies.
- Halo: Operation WILDFIRE
- Survival of the Fittest, Season 2 (Non-canon)
- Survival of the Fittest, Season 4 (Non-canon)
- ↑ A Star Wars quote by Nom Anor
- ↑ Antulas' words are a reference to a quote by Szayel Aporro Granz of Bleach
- ↑ An altered quote spoken by Zexion in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
- ↑ A combination of two quotes by Szayel Aporro Granz of Bleach, though slightly altered
- ↑ Another Star Wars quote by Nom Anor
- ↑ This is a quote said by Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts II
- ↑ Yet another Star Wars quote, now referring to Nom Anor
- ↑ 7 Reference
- ↑ HUNTER is a reference to Samus Aran of the Metroid series: she is often referred to as such, and she often uses a grapple in the games
- ↑ BLACK BREATH Hallucinogenics is a reference to the Lord of the Rings's Nazgûl, whose Black Breath would cause one to go unconscious
- ↑ Primeval Dawn is a reference to a Transformers comic series that featured Tarantulas, one of the initial inspirations for Antulas
- ↑ A concept created for the Godzilla Neo project by KajuSamurai
- ↑ This quote is by Mayuri Kurotsuchi of Bleach
- ↑ Altered version of a quote by Szayel Aporro Granz of Bleach
- ↑ Quote by Vexen in Kingdom Hearts
- ↑ Quote by Vexen in Kingdom Hearts
- ↑ Quote by Xigbar in Kingdom Hearts
- ↑ Quote by Zexion in Kingdom Hearts
- ↑ A quote spoken by Xemnas in the Kingdom Hearts series
- Fated Nine
- Vengeful Twelve
- Atoni Jastenon
- Wyna Benvora
- Veloc Mako
- Miranda Talavera