It is the Dawn of Winter in Metal City: how it all happened? – Season 7 Lore, Act 1
Full Metal Judge never meant to cause so much damage to the world…
“You know, Ray, when you said the trail’d gone cold, I didn’t think you meant literally,” Lenz said. The videographer fixed her scarf as her boots cracked the ice beneath them. “Good thing you brought the space blankets, Stargazer.”
“I didn’t want to spoil it, Lenz, or you might have backed out,” Stingray said. He stared out across the mountain range with his binoculars, looking for the Full Metal Judge. The transmissions they had intercepted had made it clear that the Sect was up to something in the mountains. They were trying to remove Windrider for good, for getting in their way too many times.
Fortunately for her, a thorn in the Sect’s side was a friend to the Underdogs.
“I see him!” Stingray said. “Mark the coordinates, Neon!” The little robot beeped as Stingray called out its name. “Send it to the others. We’re riding!”
The Underdogs strapped themselves into their machines and began to race up the icy North roads. Their wheels skidded as they clung to what traction they had. It was a long way up a dangerous road.
Full Metal Judge pulled his jacket close around his frost-covered clothes. Only the Metal Gods truly knew how long he had spent in the North. The ice had seeped into his very veins, yet the bounty hunter suffered in silence. He was here on Sect business after all. And a little bit of personal pride too.
The Sect had sent him North with the Frozen Horn of the Ice Giant, an artifact of great importance to the trucker tribes that hailed from these mountain roads. The savages did not know its true power. The heretical magics that it could unleash. Yet now, its heresy would serve the Sect of Metal.
It was here, in the Frozen Norths, that Judge would finish what he had started in another life. That was why he had been chosen, though truthfully, he would have done it willingly.
The Frozen Horn of the Ice Giant dragged behind his Machine, the frost-coated chains hardened and brittle from the cold. Judge had been waiting since before the sun had risen for his tail to arrive, the ghost that haunted his steps. He pulled the revolver from his jacket, counting the shots. Icy breath came out like a fog from his mask as his steely eyes kept watch on the road below.
A green light grew ever closer, riding up the windy, icy mountain pass.
Windrider grit her teeth as her engine roared with the fury of the thousand angry ghosts that coursed behind her like a herd of mustangs. Long had she ridden after the Red Blight, but at long last, she would have her vengeance. The ghostly figure glided across the icy trails, not seeming to lose control as she rode up the mountainside.
“The Red Blight became sloppy,” thought Windrider. “He always managed to stay one step ahead of me, even in the Arena, thanks to the help of his infernal allies. Now, he is alone, far from his home.” Once she’d put the butcher who massacred her tribe into the cold, rocky ground, her people would finally rest in peace.
Full Metal Judge readied the Horn, its wild magic activated after all those years inert. Soon, that relentless shadow of his would be no more. As he prepared the trap, the video screen in his machine crackled to life. The bounty hunter could hear that familiar irritating jingle of Free Metal TV playing through the speakers.
“Stingray.” Full Metal Judge growled. That hacker and his band of rebels were jamming the airwaves. It was no matter. The trap was already set. There was nothing the Underdogs could do at this point. Judge no longer needed to reach the Sect to do what must be done.
He could see the caravan of the rebel machines approaching, yet he turned his attention from them back to the green light. It was close. He could make out the figure riding inside the car. Windrider.
Judge ripped off his mask, his scarred and disfigured face being bared to the Metal Gods in this service to them. He pressed his lips onto the Frozen Horn of the Ice Giant and blew into it. The sound echoed through the mountain, shaking it as the snow began to tumble down. The spirits of the mountain stirred and rose from the raw magical power of the artifact.
The magic roared out like a cyclone of ice and wind, the blue-tinged demons and spirits kept bound now freed as they swirled around Windrider. The ghost raised a hand to shield herself, but there was no escape. The demons of the Horn clashed with her own spectral trail. They sought to tear her apart, yet there was no flesh to tear. As their ethereal claws passed through the green light, they took some of it with them, while Windrider’s aura began to chill.
When the storm had subsided, Judge turned his head back to what he hoped would be the remains of his hunter’s ride.
Yet the spirit was still there, but… different. Her very essence had grown cold and icy. She hovered above the ground, her eyes glowing white. Windrider let out a chilling howl that echoed down from the mountain, reverberating to the outskirts of Metal City itself as the skies darkened.
Ice began to fall from the sky as the sun’s light was extinguished. The frosty peaks of the mountains ran down in avalanches, burying all in their wake.
Judge fled back to his machine and started to drive. The chains clinked as they pulled the cart-carried horn behind them, moving quickly down the mountain. The rumbling of snow behind him made it clear that there was no safety to be had here as the avalanche chased him down.
He had failed. Windrider still lived. But she was not the same.