5826/Prospektor's Revolt-Finale

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Prospektor's Revolt-Finale
Date of Scene: 02 May 2018
Location: The Great Ocean
Synopsis: Pending
Cast of Characters: Priscilla, Kushiko, Starbound Flotilla, August Kohler, Yang Xiao Long, Iria, 6258, Staren, Captain Flint, William Pauwel


Priscilla has posed:
    Those people who had expected their last triumphant day on this island to be standing around a table full of arguing Prospekt, looking imposing and telling them what to think until they all eventually shake hands and swear to get along, is in for a disappointment. On the other hand, people pretty well sick and tired of holding Prospekt at gunpoint and making them swear to get along one by one by now are probably pretty happy that there is something more important to be doing than standing around that table.

    Since the cave-in caused by August before, the mines have been an incredible pain to wrangle. Further instabilities caused in the already unstable and haphazardly mined rock had caused no end of further collapses and hazardous explosions of magical ore, making getting the giant find out of the place an incredibly involved, dangerous, and laborious process. The men and women (and things) that work for a standard wage on Concord time quickly became insufficient around that point, and were largely relegated to support duty while actual Elites handled it.

    So, with all the real muscle of every Prospekt faction arranged around the near-opposite end of the island like mobsters at a trade-off, and negotiations underway that are largely prolonged and sidetracked by extensive contributions of food and amenities of the Bread and Circuses variety, the timetable calls for the giant machine/golem/thing to be removed right now.

    It's on schedule. A rather extensive, albeit narrow shaft insufficiently rigged for pedestrian mobility, has been bored into the earth directly above the fallen creation, into which it has just recently been loaded, and hauled to the surface on an exceptionally mighty elevator. From the insane magical radiation risk posed by the thing, the elevator itself is a stone platform raised by levitation spells, and instead of a team of helicopters or cargo planes waiting for it up top, a sufficiently large dragon has been enlisted for the task of hauling, circling high overhead while teams rig the massive humanoid construct up with wires, harnesses, lightening enchantments, and float crystals.

    Unearthed, the figure is clearly armoured head to toe, in a very stark and minimalist 'classical knight' way, and not only has the giant magitech rifle been recovered, but some kind of incredibly ornate sword as well, awaiting in adjoining cargo containers.

Kushiko has posed:
For what it's worth, Kushiko's expressed /some/ sense of indifference, because while she actually is sympathetic in some degree to the plight, the results of how they act and want to continue to act (especially Lodestone) has generally soured her as a whole. Couple that with August's actions, and well. She's expecting trouble to be here sooner than later, even as she worked to help excavate from time to time.

And her method of excavation has been careful applications of electromagnetic force and control--in cases where she couldn't /directly/ affect things, she either borrowed some tools for it, or basically lifted hunks of metal to lift and pull and generally give support at least to those more /explicitly/ suited for the tasks at hand.

After all, that was her secondary task, as she was here as Mag, the Orokin tech infused Warframe that Kushiko personally used and now she had shifted to escort duty, as it were. She was moving between points--sometimes riding the elevator up before riding it back down--effectively a patrol route. Keeping her proverbial 'eyes' open, such as they were. She was obviously armed, a massive greatsword on her back and holding what appeared to be some measure of sniper rifle in her hands.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    The STARBOUND FLOTILLA are here, in their standard Durasteel equipment! Moonfin, the fishman, is in elaborate full-body durasteel armor that looks like a powered cross between a diving suit and a samurai's armor, glowing cyan at the faceplate. Biteblade, the humanoid plant, is in durasteel plating with elaborately carved wood and bone ornaments over glowing powered components that glow an intense green. Pavo the bird-girl wears a divine-aesthetic set of mesoamerican-style armor, with yellow runes and inscriptions lighting up on stylishly gleaming golden armor and robes. Albert the monkey-man is wearing what looks like lab technician gear with extensive sets of tools and chemical protection, which integrates thin, resilient plates of durasteel, and lines of bright white. George (just plain human) wears a futuristic combat EVA hardsuit that glows a gentle red at the flat faceplate. Seft, the robotic Flotilla member, is wearing full-on medieval knight armor with a soft energized blue glow below the plates on her body, and especially around the eyes. Each has a heavy industrial-yellow two-pronged plasma-cutter-like tool strapped to their side, a Matter Manipulator.

    When it comes to mining and excavations, of course they'd be here. Not only are they fantastic at boring huge shafts into the depths of the earth and helping extract the massive construction, but they're also surprisingly adept at ensuring the mines are secure, making sure they're well-seeded with all manner of spike traps, lasers of both tripwire and burning variety, trick platforms, and other things one might expect when dealing with a platformer infiltration challenge. That's the less relevant part though. The more relevant part is that all of them can be found on patrol of sorts, keeping a perimeter and ready to keep anything away from the site. They're also trying to maintain little stations and backpacks where people can decontaminate, as rad-prevention is something in their repertoire.

"Hard to imagine you could tear yourself away from your little... Faux-leadership position, Biteblade. Surely you had some nonsense meeting you could have gone to and pretended to be some sort of Greenfinger, did you not?"
"Hmph. This assignment is higher priority."
"Floran isss gonna keep doing job. Why isss helping excavation bad for that?"
"It's not, he's being a git."
"Eh, doing a little bit of stuff /besides/ gestures of control is healthy."
"Amazed. The construct is almost like something the Cultivators made..."

August Kohler has posed:
It was time. The Concord was finally unearthing the giant figure, which August is pretty sure is a giant robot. The Prospekt were too distracted and far away to fight. And they were running out of time to derail it. So the only solution was to go there and screw everything up so that they couldn't get the giant robot out of there.

From nearby, August told the Watch to go in hard and go in fast, and strike the site. Take out any workers prepping the thing, and expect opposition. They absolutely could Not let this thing get out of here. The redhead was dressed for combat and climbing, but was partially obscured thanks to the cloak he was wearing, hood over his head, blue with odd symbols. The fireproofed outfit was the symbol of his position in the Watch, and he was wearing it to make a statement. When the Watch says they'll stop something, they'll stop something. There was a gun and knife at his side, and he was currently sprinting towards the site where teams were setting things up. Once in range, a mirrored bracelet on his wrist was lifted to eye level, and the German shouted out. "Persona!"

Leaping over a tripwire and onto a trick platform, trying to scramble over the platforming, a burst of fire went out towards the wiring and rigging, trying to screw up those working on the site and force them to halt their progress. "Alright, everyone on the ground and I don't set you ablaze. Do you hear me? On the ground!" August seems determined, as he shouts out to anyone who can hear him, his Persona in front of him as security. He doesn't expect the Elites to stand down, even if he can get part of the workers to do so.

"My name is August Kohler, and you're not getting this thing out of here. Whoever wants to stop me, be my guest!" August shouts out loud, trying to bait the Elites into confronting him. They will. He pissed them off last time, so this time, he can be an obstacle while their reinforcements deal with the robot. He goes on overwatch, waiting to shoot bullets from the Tin Soldier's gunleg at anyone who moves to attack him. "Let's go!"

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Overhead a Bullhead transport makes best possible speed. It doesn't appear to be slowing down to land though. Instead the side door opens, and the blonde brawler leaps out the side, tossing over her shoulder. "OKAY OCHRE! GET CLEAR! THAT DRAGON DOESN'T LOOK FRIENDLY!" as she starts to plummet. Aviator glasses on, she deploys her gauntlets, ratcheting the slides and aiming herself at the loading site.

    As she gets closer she fires, announcing her presence with the ring of shotgun shells discharging. The recoil adjusts her trajectory, and she slams into one of the support towers, rebounding off it and leaving a big dent, as she repeats the process, bleeding energy before rolling out in the middle of one of the loading yards, near the container for the rifle. "Fire Child, On site. Beginning operation Interference." Lilac eyes look around, and she starts heading towards some valuable looking equipment, cycling the cylinders for fresh cartridges.

Iria has posed:
While she's only had a brief role in this whole Prospekt matter, Iria nonetheless has opted to try to help out in this matter as much as she can. It's been going on for a while and while she's been in and out, Iria herself has made a return into this matter, and not a moment too soon it seems, as things seem to be getting truly out of control here.

Indeed, there were supposed to be shaking hands and negoiations, but instead it's gotten a bit hostile and there are no negotiations happening at all. While she wasn't there when it happened, Iria has heard about the cave-in caused by August, and given what's in there, it's only natural that it's causing a big headache for everyone. For Iria, she's heard enough and just wants everything to be over by now.

Now they've got to deal with this whole giant robot thing that the Concord is trying to unearth. Or maybe it's a mech or a golem. Who cares? All that Iria considers relevant is the fact that it's huge and that it's made out of metal... and it's definitely something that the Watch needs more than the Concord does! And is the Watch going to sit there and let the Concord take it? Of course not!

August gave the order to go in hard and go in fast, and when it comes to going in fast, no one does it as well as Iria does. Using her swift agility and nimble body, the bounty hunter rushes in fast with her assault rifle at the ready, skidding to a halt only when August begins his speech towards the workers who are trying to get the metal giant out of here does Iria skid to a halt, albeit with her rifle at the ready. She waits until August opens fire to open fire herself, although her intent is to try to get the workers out of here and avoid injuring them if possible.

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
    Today is a good day. It's been a royal pain to get this ancient golem back out of the ground, even with the full weight of the Concord behind the efforts, and now every part of it is exposed. Lemeza's hard at work himself, not so much doing any more of the excavation work, but rather running up and down the construct with his laptop out. He's busy taking scans with the laptop's webcam, analyzing its construction for the Concord's blueprint purposes... and translating any writing he didn't get to last time, for his own sake. The past couple hours have been fortuitously uneventful.

    That doesn't mean he's not on guard. Analysis software isn't the only kind of program he's got loaded up; a couple other windows are off to the corner of the screen, one of which has a list of the nearby Concord allies typed out in response to a prompt "Who would you like to buff?" He has not yet clicked the "apply buffs" button, leaving it for an actual showdown.

    He's barely scanned the upper torso in before that obnoxious bastard August broadcasts his arrival, drawing attention. CLICK. That's the sound of Lemeza firing off those buffs, granting every Concord member in the area enhanced offensive and defensive power as they briefly glow with that "you have been buffed" aura that would normally come from Arthur Lowell's antics. "Okay asshole, what the FUCK do you have against archaeology!" Lemeza bellows at August, quickly throwing his laptop into his pack and drawing his revolver to take aim at the interloper. Unfortunately, a couple other Watch members drop their attacks in the vicinity before Lemeza can get a shot off. He settles for securing stable ground... and noting that the reckless Watch are assaulting the construct itself. That looks like trouble.

Staren has posed:
    Staren doesn't exactly trust the Prospekt. He, personally, finds it far more likely that they'll fight over this robot, breaking the fragile peace everyone worked so hard to build. He's okay with sharing with them what they learn from the robot, though. After all, if this turns out to be the source of their magical ore, they should get /something/ in return for having it removed.

    When it comes to digging and excavating, he is for the most part following the Starbound Flotilla around offering an extra hand and matter manipulator. He can help move heavy things, to some degree, but the golem body isn't as super-strong as his combat robots.

    August appears! It was kind of expected, so instead of shouting 'Oh COME ON!' or the like, he simply growls in annoyance.

    August asks them to fight him, and frankly, Staren's had enough of the boy by now. So he opens up with the beam cannons, running back and forth evasively as he tries to manage evading, bringing the forcefield up to block bullets (which begin to pockmark it with little bullet-craters and cracks--those that make it through do similar to the armor plating), and dropping it so he can fire at August.

    It seems he's refitted the golem body for combat. It didn't have the beam cannons or forcefield when they saw it before.

    He's also keeping away from the shaft. It wouldn't do to fall in.

Captain Flint has posed:
     -Aboard the Walrus-

     "Make it convincing," says Flint, dabbing at his neck while Silver does the same. "And make sure the men do the same." On the desk in the captain's cabin, there sits a half-empty bottle of rum. Silver reaches for it, covering the mouth of the bottle with his palm, turning it over, and dabbing more of it on his face.

     "They'll just see it as a waste of good booze," says the quartermaster with a frown.

     "That's your problem," says the captain. "Destroying the golem was only a consideration before the blueprints were agreed to. If our scientists--"

     "/Our/ scientists?" Silver pauses in his efforts to give Flint an appraising look. A questioning look, eyebrows raised, arms crossed even as he leans upon his crutch.

     "If they can find a way to remove the single-user limitation, then the Prospekt can have a weapon of their own, independent of those hedonist scavengers, and without the potential for unrest."

     "And if they can't, or won't, then we're fucked. To say nothing of what happens if the Watch blows the fucking thing up."

     "I'll not let that happen," says Flint, looking Silver directly in the eye. If only saying something were enough to make it true. "Go ready the men. Make sure none of them stayed to sample our contribution to the Prospekt--I don't want any of them /actually/ drunk."

-The Dig Site-

     August's command is met with a series of barked orders from Captain Flint himself. Only... there's something about the way he's barking them. His usual diction seems blunted, somehow. Slurred. "Mr. Kohler!" He and his men file out from various positions behind the equipment and the workers. Some of them are revealed when the workers comply with August's orders. He raises a hand, shakily, and his men level their weapons--a hodgepodge of stolen weaponry from muskets to laser rifles to the ever-present Ak-47. A few laser guided assists mark August, too... but they seem to be shaking more than is permissible for a marksman. "I warned you." His hand lowers, and he nods towards the Persona user. "FIRE!" A curtain of projectiles explodes haphazardly forward from the piecemeal firing line, their only commonality being their vague, August-facing trajectories.

     A few of the men take fire from Yang's assault, and briefly turn to fire back, only for John Silver to order them to the contrary. "Focus Kohler! I've got this one." The cave ground is treacherous for him at first, but he manages, with determination, to quickly shuffle in Yang's direction. One hand keeps his crutch working, the other clutches a modern handgun, firing at her as he approaches. It's more to harry her than to strike her--the real attack comes when he closes the gap. Tossing the pistol aside, he draws a saber and brings it towards her in a lateral slash. He reeks of rum... but his movements, his eyes, are far too sober to keep up the charade.

William Pauwel has posed:
August put out the word. The Watch was to come in force. And so they have: guns blazing, fists pumping, and at least one person almost literally on fire. But what would the best of the Watch be in the absence of that plucky and irrepressively cheerful gunslinger, William Pauwel?

...

Probably a whole lot more professional as a whole.

...

BUT WHAT IS THIS!?

There, making his way to the edge of the forcefield with wide eyes and two giant mechanical arms, one of which is clutching an almost comically small- relatively speaking- handcannon. "Oh, wow!" Will breathes, his eyes sparkling. He might be drooling a bit. "It's a giant robot! It's not trying to kill me! Oh golly I knew August said so, but I can't believe it's true!"

He... walks right into the forcefield.

...

Then takes a step back and lifts his handcannon to the barrier. Terminal Judgment flashes, its internals flickering from blue to purple. "Stupid shield," Will mutters as a coruscating field of rippling, nearly-invisible energy builds within the gun's barrel. "Y'all ain't gettin' in my way so easy!"

He fires.

Terminal Judgment discharges a massive electromagnetic blast right into the barrier system.

This has a side effect of sending painful looking sparks all up one of Will's arms, but they're soaked into a matrix of wire that swiftly grounds it all into the earth below. It looks like he's come prepared!

And nothing, NOTHING is gonna keep him from THIS BIG BEAUTIFUL ROBOT.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    The Flotilla move into action immediately as their workers are driven off and out. Firearms come out. Formation tighten. Arguments shut up.

"Starbound Three, fire from two o'clock, shield intercept!"
"Urgent. Right away!"
"Starbound Four, Starbound Five! Open fire!"
"Aye, I'll smite 'em!"
"Floran gonna SSSTAB!!"
"Starbound Six, Starbound Two, close to engagement!"
"Still wanna call a recount on who has to be number six."
"I shall crash upon them as waves do."
"Least this means August won't have to deal with /you/, furball."
"Focus on stopping him, not on your stupid plans."

    Seft deploys a heavy tower shield, which unfolds out into a wider piece of cover, suffering straining overload damage as the incoming firearms fire batter her arm, taking the sprays from the Watch incursion site. Biteblade, Albert, and Pavo peek enough to open fire with bows, heavy rifles, and heavy impacts from swirling orbs of gold that threaten to pierce bodies and crush bones. Meanwhile Moonfin and George close in through a swift, darting flanking path that exploits their superior mine-shaft mobility experience, wielding a large glowing katana and a crackling stun baton respectively, trying to reach August and Iria.

    This puts the both of them in a perfect position for William to intercept them before they descend dangerously on the Watch members. If he can land a good shot or swing a good strike, he can hold back a dangerous flank; his holding back at the forcefield turns into an advantageous position!

Priscilla has posed:
    The work teams have two Elites training guns on them. This is not a situation to get heroic in unless there is actually no better option. This is /really/ not the case with so many of their own Elites on station, and so all they have to do is put their hands up and slowly get down, halfway abandoning their work, until all the bullets and lasers start flying. Obnoxiously, those directly behind the giant, who are not in the line of fire, don't stop at all. They rudely ignore August and double time it on their portion of the work.

    Having covered the giant as much as possible, Lemeza has found that the texts hidden under its plates repeat one for each major section --an arm, a leg, the head, etc.-- but otherwise are heavily extensive scrawls, easily enough to be a chapter out of a holy book. As far as names go, it doesn't seem to have been given a directly humanized name, like a ship, but seems to be self-referred to several times as the 'Kingmaker Reborn'. It'll have to do.

Kushiko has posed:
One never really *did* know where one might be coming from, which is why Kushiko-Mag's patrol had been where it was, but with alerts and the like going off (with August blatantly announcing himself in an oddly familiar way) it's going to be going back to the surface--and quickly as someone like the Tenno is capable of doing.

And surely enough: the totally not at all a Survival-esqe aspect of 'make noise while a lone Tenno operative etc etc' similarity she saw makes itself known. Violently. It's going to be down to the other Elites here while she'll be playing more 'guardian' for the Concord folk here. At least, until a certain figure makes its presence known with a flickering light that seems to be centered around her, prompting her to well. Take a high road /elsewhere/.

No need to have the others here get involved with her fight with the Shadow Stalker, after all.

Iria has posed:
There's something to be said about wearing a metallic bodysuit of armor. Namely in that the metal can act as a conductor for electricity. And that leaves Iria highly vulnerable to the electricity. And when George comes in with that electric baton, Iria's quick to react. Her eyes widen as she realizes what he's got, and that she knows that if that baton touches her, she'll be in for a real shocking surprise. Unfortunately, Iria's not going to let that happen that easily.

"Get that thing away from me!" Iria snaps angrily, kicking out at George's hand, intent on disarming the baton from him. "Didn't your parents ever teach you that it's dangerous to play with electricity?" She narrows her eyes and then turns to face Moonfin as well. "Don't try anything!" She yells, leveling her assault rifle at Moonfin.

William Pauwel has posed:
Clearly, Will's middle name is 'lucky.' It's not. His middle name is Aloysius. He has told nobody about this. It will go with him to his grave.

He's still lucky though. By being OUTSIDE THE BARRIER, at least until the point at which he pokes his way through, he's in perfect position to intercept a couple of no-good do-badders on their way to make his friends' lives significantly more difficult.

Which is about when the gunslinger clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth and issues a silent command for his weapon to reconfigure. Judgment seems to unfold, transforming from a simple handgun into a large cylindrical tool which hangs partway over one mechanical shoulder. The energies within turn from violet back to blue as he pulls the trigger.

...And fires a cluster of explosive, rocket-like blasts of superheated plasma downrange at George and Moonfin.

August Kohler has posed:
Some of the workers drop down, which pleases August, but the fact that several don't and outright ignore him is frustrating. He'd move up and fuck with them a bit...but the cavalry's arrived. As the revolver is pointed at August, he just stares at Lemeza. "I have absolutely nothing against archaeology. I do have something against the Concord getting this thing just because they called dibs. Sorry that this thing's going to have to get crushed to stop you, but actually, no, I'm not!" He's pretty clearly frustrated, especially as the beams impact with the Tin Soldier, burning into the metal and forcing it and August to stumble back, returning a hail of flames on Staren's shield and trying to burn through it. Flint comes through...and he's drunk, as expected. He shouldn't be too much of a problem, as August and the Tin Soldier start moving.

"Drank too much, captain?" August shouts at him, grinning, as the projectiles graze the Tin Soldier, a mimed roar as they're briefly delayed, allowing more to impact. The Tin Soldier retaliates with its own curtain of bullets in a trail, moving to try and hit the legs and arms of the workers where possible, as well as Flint. They're clearly shots aimed to not be lethal, unlike those at Staren (who has a shield, anyways). Even if they're injured badly...the Concord has medical for that, doesn't it?

The Flotilla's orbs, bows, and rifles fly forward, which August moves to use the terrain to shield against, preventing him from retaliating on them, as several impact with the Persona, causing more pained expressions. George and Moonfin come in...but Will intercepts, which gets a thumbs up from the redhead. Now to assist his own allies. The Tin Soldier's gun-leg is pointed into the air...

And clicks. Blue energy circles out of it, and Will, Iria, and Yang would all find themselves boosted, their combat abilities buffed. "Guys, give them hell!"

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang brings up her gauntlets, using the metal to guard against the pistol shots that stray too close to her head. The others ping off her Aura, sending ripples of yellow energy across her body where they bounce off. She watches the motion as she closes, then, as the saber slashes out, she throws her arms back and behind her, launching her up and over Silver, the blade of the Saber nicking her in the calf as she dodges out of the way, the sharp edge piercing enough through her barrier to draw blood and slice through the sock covering the flesh.

    She lands in a roll, turning and firing again to bring an overhead punch in at the back of Silver's head. "Drop the act pirate boy. I know you're faking it!" she snarls, planting her foot as she brings the fist around.

Staren has posed:
    August is shooting the task force members? Staren doesn't tell August off for it, though. They get hazard pay, and great medical care, up to Staren personally reviving them if it comes to that and is at all possible. He makes another annoyed grunt, though/

    The flames don't seem to be as effective as the bullets for taking down the field. It might cook Staren if he wasn't a golem, though. The constant spray of flame isn't giving Staren a chance to fire back, though... So he starts putting distanc between the two of them, trying to outrange August as the field glows brighter and flickers, one of the discs on his armor shorting out.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    George surges forward towards Iria, and Moonfin is undaunted in his approach; both are soon to strike out at Iria, lashing out with their respective melee tools, but with a deft kick, Iria manages to get some distance from George, enough to make sure she's not caught in... The blast! There's a sudden impact of rockets! Moonfin's blade is brought up, trying to deflect several of them before the fishman himself is even consciously aware of them using automate defense routines, but those routines are too clumsy to do more than cut down maybe one or two of the bombs.

    "Ghhhhhrk!" Moonfin cries out in pain as the explosion washes over his body and knocks him back, his flying form the only protection George has from the heat and pressure as well! Moonfin's blasted further back, to the other side of the mineshaft, down below. George goes over the edge on the nearer side... But holds on, just below, with a grappling hook!

"Gahh! Fuckin'-- It's that damned Pauwel kid again!"
"/That/ meddling little shit?!"
"Worried. Pavo! You don't need to hound him like this! He's just a boy!"
"Ghhh... Starbound Four! Recover Starbound Six and engage! I'm going to recover Starbound Two! Starbound Three, close in and cover!"
"Yeahyeah! Floran gonna take thossse armsss back!"
"Much a pleasure! Gonna show him what happens to a heretic!"
"Yeah, and the help back up would be great!"

    Pavo draws a cutlass, and huge wings of stone-like material unfold behind her, flapping dramatically; she leaps and surges quickly towards George, swooping low and then pulling him up swiftly in one clean motion, likely around when William makes it towards the inner mineshaft area itself! The pair land on either side -- George with a stun baton, Pavo with a cutlass, and move in to strike from both angles, while Biteblade starts rushing over the hard way, leaping between sections of the mineshaft and firing huge, heavy arrows from her bow.

    Albert's gone off to help make sure Moonfin's okay; who knows what'll happen about that weirdo.

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
"August, if you have nothing against archaeology, then CALL OFF YOUR ATTACK!" Yeah, Lemeza's pretty sure that's not going to work. "Or, if you'd prefer, I'll call it off for you!" With that rejoinder, he draws his revolver, then surveys the current battle... hoo boy. Yeah, gonna have to keep at range to deal with the eleventy billion projectiles BOTH sides are hurling. He hops off of the construct, deciding maybe being in the same place as the Watch's main objective isn't the best of options, and then starts methodically aiming several shots at various points on the excavation scaffolding. At first, that seems to be exactly the /opposite/ of Lemeza's declared objective, but a couple ricochets later and his intent becomes clear: his shots are headed straight for August, approaching at various angles to make it harder to dodge all of them.

Iria has posed:
Seems Moonfin and George have been dealt with for the time being. But there's always the risk that others might be nearby. Not to mention, Iria's got a suspicion that they're not truly dealt with for real. So reloading her rifle, Iria sweeps the area a little to ensure there are no other nearby threats immediately, before moving to where George went down.

She's been faked out many times before and is not about to risk being faked out again. She peers over the edge to see if George truly went down or if he's still waiting for her...

Captain Flint has posed:
     Today is a milestone in the career of one John Silver--his first direct combat with another Elite. Silver himself, with both legs, could have perhaps jumped a foot, maybe a foot and a half. When Yang easily clears his head, it serves to teach him just how much the deck is stacked against him. He is, for a moment, in awe at her display, remembering to turn around only after staring dumbly at her while she changes position.

     His hesitation leaves him wide open for Yang's incoming fist, which crashes into his face and sends him sprawling to the ground, his nose a bloody mess. He has no snappy quip for her, only a grunt and a rather honest observation. "Guh... I think you broke my nose." The younger of the two pirates, stunned, clumsily rolls onto his side, reaching for his crutch.

     Flint observes Silver's fight from afar with an annoyed grunt and a scowl. "Clearly some of us did," he shouts back at August as one of the boy's shots knocks his saber out of his hand. It clatters against the ground and rolls out of reach, causing Flint to have to take cover behind one of the golem's legs. He waits for a lull in the chaos around him, then darts out, his upper body kept as low as possible while his feet beat a hasty path across the uneven ground. "Protect the workers!" he shouts to his crew, who take up overwatch positions, lying prone against the ground and firing on anyone attempting to harass them.

     Flint, meanwhile, dives towards his sword, grabbing it and rolling towards Yang. The captain gets to his feet, the crunching of his boots against the mineral-strewn ground audible to the martial artist above the din of combat. Charging forward, he attempts to knock her off balance with a shoulder check, dropping into a low, defensive stance after.

William Pauwel has posed:
It sure is that damned Pauwel kid again! Look at him all smarmy and keen with his awesome transforming supergun that is quite possibly the key to an even more awesome supergun somewhere on a distant planet. What a jerk, shooting rockets at some honest, hardworking space mercenaries because they're going after his buddy-pals.

Will flashes a thumbs up at August as Moonfin goes flying into the pit. What a heel, smiling all cheery like that!

It's high time someone show him... THE BUSINESS.

For now, that seems to be Pavo and George and a particularly bitey plant lady.

Will yelps as he drives his synthetic arm up to parry Pavo's swing, which leaves him open for George to slam that stun baton right into his shoulder. The wire mesh grounding his limbs sparks and sizzles, filaments burning white then sublimating instantly to ash as the rod finally overloads their capacity to discharge current. Will doesn't go down even when he receives the remaining electricity, though.

He smells a little toasty from the convulsion, but this kid's plugged his soul into a planet before. It'll take more than a little shock baton to put him down permanent-like!

Kind of like an arrow to the... Not the knee. Thankfully. Will only has two good limbs left. Biteblade's arrow smashes into the same arm parrying Pavo, cratering the steel and sending its new owner skidding back several feet. "H-hey!" Will yells, "Watch the merchandise! They're new!"

AND ALSO STILL TECHNICALLY VALUABLE.

Will raises his weapon, Judgment having not yet folded back into a smaller form. What it /is/ doing is glowing dangerously bright. With his off-hand, he fires a grappling line into a nearby main support beam, giving him ample distance to point the rocket launcher at the ground and yell: "Y'ALL BETTER CLEAR IF YOU DON'T WANNA GET HURT!"

He pulls the trigger.

And fires... What is essentially a column of plasma that, on impact, resolves into a rapidly expanding dome of superheated gas that might just turn George, Pavo and the incoming Biteblade into fried spaceman if they're not careful

August Kohler has posed:
August is no longer worrying as much about the workers. He needs to hammer down his opposition. "Sorry, but I care more about my job than yours!" Lemeza's bullets come at him, and the Tin Soldier moves to intercept as they ricochet forward...but they don't go for the Tin Soldier, but for August. He manages to interpose his Persona in front of a few, but the rest pierce through his cloak at several parts, drawing blood and causing August to stagger out of his cover. At this time, Staren outranges August's fire blast, prevnting him from retaliating. He needs to reprioritize.

The gun-leg of the Persona fires a slew of bullets in Lemeza's direction, before August goes charging for the robot. He weaves in and out of cover, sliding over the tripwires and moving to set down fire hazards with a spray of the gun, before attempting to burn into the robot itself. His goal is to get close enough to the robot that shooting at him risks hitting it, forcing Staren and Lemeza to get into closer range. He's not sure if it'll work...but it's worth a try.

"You just had to have it all! Well, come see your precious machine get melted into slag, then!"

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang frowns down at Silver for a moment, then turns to resume her path... only to get checked by Flint.

    Yang's Aura flares to life, the shimmering screen showing wear from the impact, and little lightning flickers cross over her body after she lands, rolling back up to her feet. "So, big man come to back up his crony?" she asks, smirking while her eyes remain hidden behind her bangs. She stands, then lifts her head a little, revealing red irises where lilac once were.

    Yang stamps her left foot, smashing her fists together at the same time, causing her Aura to burst, sending debris flying away from her, "Lets get serious then, shall we?" She asks, ratcheting the slides on her gauntlets, then punching a pair of energy packets towards Flint. One tinged blue and trailing condensed water vapour, the other yellow and crackling with electricity.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Iria is going to be dealing with George coming right back up over! Pavo's lifted him up and back onto the platform at the edge of the mineshaft! But he's attacking William for a moment! She'll have plenty of opportunity here, it seems. Pavo has also joined the brawl, and found some success! Speaking of Pavo, she's shouting at William Pauwel in the brawl. "I know they're new, you little blaspheming /shit/." Pavo calls out, drawing a second cutlass and charging her armor's power systems with energy drawn out of Lemeza's major buffs! "Now why don't we /cash your waranty/?"

    Her speed has taken a MASSIVE boost and her wings unfold; the plasma colum impacts, but Pavo's so fast she seems to flicker out of the blast as it begins to burn her, suffering some burns but suddenly closing on William's fresh position fast. George goes loose and limp, limiting his suffered damage from the pressure and getting himself away from the heat that eats away at his armor. Pavo's trying to knock William away from the support beam with heavy, rage-filled slashes, and send him tumbling into the mineshaft, so that they can brawl and attack each other on the long fall down.

    Iria has likely already locked onto George with her advantageous position and readiness, not to mention the stun he suffered from being thrown by the blast that William unleashed; he lands on his feet, skidding hard, then crosses both armored arms over his head and simply charges her. He's trying to reduce the total time she has to fire bullets into him before she gets tackled! And then Biteblade, the smoking and plasma-damaged little plantgirl, rushes in from above to try to pounce on her and start stabbing, to give George some space to draw a heavy pistol and fire an aggressive barrage at William!

Priscilla has posed:
    Under fresh guard from the men of the Walrus, as bad as they smell, the Concord rank and file --as much as they actually are anyways-- begin double timing it on the load-bearing apparatus, especially at the front where the risk is highest, so they can move around to the sides. They aren't just walking around in slacks; someone anticipated the last leg of this operation could turn into a warzone, and it's already a dangerous construction site at that, so they're properly dressed to deal with a stray bullet, falling rock, or flash burn as would befit the awful mines. Their work is just about complete, or at least complete enough to have the thing hauled to a safe distance, if not quite a suitably massive Warpgate.

    Freshly dug out of the ground after who knows how many years of being slowly calcified in limestone, the automaton is not battle ready. When August dedicates his attention to flamethrowering it, he finds the armour covering it to actually be pretty brittle and old. As an alloy, only certain parts of its matrix remain strong, and the rest has degraded after settling over time, or been leeched away. Chunks of the outer casing on the legs burn away like so much wet wood, causing a minor shrapnel and fire hazard when they land.

    The layer underneath is more like hard stone, and so the fire doesn't do more than superficial damage, but considering all of the circuits and prayers are etched on the surface, that might be concerning enough anyways, as the fire blackens out the intricate inscriptions. The explosion of a main support beam causes the shaft to begin collapsing below the giant construct, wobbling dangerously on its magically levitated platform, and only staying upright due to the number of attachments and spells stapled to it and its harness to keep it bouyant. Fearing a collapse, someone calls for an emergency extraction, and the shape of the circling dragon winging overhead shortly banks around and begins a long, shallow diving approach.

Iria has posed:
She might be fast on her feet, but even the best of the best have slightly mistimed reflexes at times. And this is the case with Iria, who starts to yell out something, only to grunt as she's tackled by George, causing her to fall to the ground. She lands hard on her back and is about to roll backwards when suddenly Biteblade shows up, obviously intent on trying to stab Iria as well! Unfortunately, you can't have it both ways.

"Get off me," Iria yells, "Or I'll slice and dice you!" She attempts to try to throw Biteblade off of her as best as she can, but doesn't go after George just yet. Instead, Iria prefers to deal with the immediate threat, hoping to get Biteblade off of her case before going after George again.

Captain Flint has posed:
     Flint raises a hand to shield his face from the debris, assuming this to be Yang's primary attack. As a result, he's socked in the stomach by her water projectile, leaving a damp patch in his shirt for the electric attack to take advantage of. The captain is winded, coughing, leaning on his sword for support. It's a fine thing, his weapon--the blade bears a barely visible filigree and has been kept sharp with diligent care. The crossguard is a simple thing, a solid metal mesh, which is relevant because Flint sends it sailing towards Yang's chin in an uppercut motion. It's largely just an attempt to get some space between them, and whether the attack connects or not, he holds his sword outwards and attempts to advance, his stance suggesting a thrust.

     "Quartermaster," Silver corrects with almost meek politeness, and a thumb pressed against his forefinger. "Not crony." He's back on his feet now, evidently too stubborn to learn his lesson. The long haired pirate dips backwards in a feint, pretending to retreat. Planting his weight upon his crutch, he lifts his legs and clumsily kicks outwards, attempting to push her onto Flint's sword.

     Near the golem, the attempted excavation and increased pace hasn't made things less hectic. "Fire, you shits!" This bellow comes from a Mr. Turk, now sporting a bandage from his captain's disciplinary action. August's attempted vandalism isn't received kindly, and unlike before, there's none of that shakiness from before. Now actually aiming at him for real, the crew opens fire on the Persona itself, attempting to stymie August's work.

Staren has posed:
    Staren finally gets some breathing room... not that he needs to breathe, exactly. But he does get a chance to drop the forcefield and stop moving, focusing on aiming. Seeing what August's trying to do, initially he almost laughs, although the golem's faceplate is expressionless. He fires the dual beam cannons at August, once each. "If it could be destroyed so easily, it's no danger to the Prospekt after all!"

    Despite his words, though, he sees the damage August is doing, and switches up tactics after the initial shots.

    The robo-catman pulls what looks like an extremely large-bore rifle from his bag. Everyone's seen it enough times by now to not be surprised when it starts firing mini-missiles, the projectiles maybe a foot long and a couple inches wide veering off at an angle then turning around to fly at the Tin Soldier from the side, airbursting when they get close. Splash damage is minimal -- most of the explosive force is concentrated into linear jets of heavy plasma like energy lances aiming to skewer the Persona. Staren hopes he can keep August too busy to focus on that Dragon too...

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Sigh. Of course August wants to throw his tantrum and do things the hard way. Okay, time to deal with everything in order. First order of business, Lemeza reflexively lifts up his Angel Shield to block the stream of bullets from Tin Soldier -- and comes out of it with a numbed shield arm for his trouble, as well as a bleeding shoulder from one of the bullets that /didn't/ get blocked. That went well enough? Next, how to stop August from slagging the statue...

OKAY FUCK THIS ASSHOLE. (It is right about here that August torched some of the writing on the construct.) Lemeza starts BOUNDING toward August full tilt, having witnessed the wanton destruction of the most valuable part of Kingmaker Reborn. "Do you REALLY want to test me?! I've bested an ancient /god/. What makes you think you even stand a chance against me?" Revolver: sheathed. Whip: drawn. Numbness in arm: ignored. Lemeza makes one strong leap toward August -- making every attempt to sidestep Tin Soldier in favor of the main target -- and sidearms a mighty CRACK of his whip aiming straight for August's chest.

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang backflips away from the uppercut, the cage grazing her chin. She brings her fists up, only get get blindsided by Silver's kick. She stumbles forwards, seeing the thrusting attack and turning, the blade slicing across her stomach and drawing blood as she grapples with Flint, using her momentum and transfering it into a clumsy throw, trying to knock the two pirates together.

    The brawler stumbles over, then rolls into a crouch, clutching at her stomach as the wound slowly seals, her Aura flickering like yellow electricity as it begins to fail. "Kinda busy Kohler!" she growls, grunting in pain as she pushes herself back up.

    Yang then turns to the construct, racking her slides and firing more of those energy packets. Yellow electric and red fire, aiming for the support structures to try and weaken them enough that the Dragon can't grab the thing and make off with it.

William Pauwel has posed:
    "If you know then why're you tryin' so hard to break 'em!?" Will squawks at the bird-woman as she comes at him with a sequence of heavy, crushing sword blows. The power imbued into her armor is enough that a single strike could hew clean through bone. Will struggles to keep parrying with that massive industrial off-hand, but by the end of her flurry, it's being used as little more than a makeshift buckler.

She only doesn't get to straight up murder him into a brawl because... Well, because ~something~ collapsed the support beam Will was latched onto. The gunslinger yelps as his grapple point suddenly transforms into a stage hazard, sending him tumbling downwards. While this means that Pavo does get her brawl-- and that's putting it lightly, Will does not do melee combat-- she doesn't get to enjoy it for long.

There's a bright, white light shining into her eyes from the business-end of what looks to be a double-barreled shotgun. Will pulls the trigger and disengages his grapple simultaneously as a twin blast of pure kinetic energy erupts from Terminal Judgment, launching him back towards the mineshaft wall. Bullets scream by his ears as he deploys his grappling hook again, launching himself back /up/ the digsite. "When'd I ever blaspheme you anyway, pardner!? Yer the one wreckin' halfway decent machinery 'fore I even have a chance to finish improvin' on 'em!"

Judgment has transformed again. This time it's gone right back to its base form, which Will uses to keep firing pinpoint-accurate bolts of raw force at his pursuers.

August Kohler has posed:
August is angry. He's very angry. This isn't going right, as easily as he'd hoped it'd been. His first idea as burning it doesn't seem to be possible is to climb it...but Yang's too busy to throw him. The dragon's coming to pick it up...focus on the dragon...

And then, the shots come at him. August isn't in position to really dodge. He does briefly realize the guys aren't really drunk, but it doesn't matter. Their shots flow into the Tin Soldier, staggering August back, causing him to hack out. The beam cannons blast into the Tin Soldier, burning into its metal and causing August to clutch his side. And then comes the mini-missiles and energy lances skewering into the Tin Soldier. August is throwing back into the railing, coughing heavily and barely walking. But it's Lemeza he focuses on. Something inside him stirs, angry. He's very angry. And usually, he'd keep it inside. Not vent it fully. But right now, fuck that.

The whip comes and slams straight into August's chest, dropping him to his knees as it hits hard, bruising him and forcing him to cough up blood. The redhead staggers a little back to his feet, trying to speak. When he looks back up to Lemeza, his eyes are burning full of rage. "What makes me think I stand a chance against you? What makes me think /that/? You know nothing about me! NOTHING! I've fought monsters for years solely to survive! Fought injustice and tyrants for others! I killed a goddamn stillborn universe because no one else would! Because people won't fight! Because people need someone to fight for them!" The gun-leg starts to heat up. It's similar to last time, before he was stopped, as August continues to spit and hiss. "This is what I do! I fight those who get in my way and think that they're always /right/! That they get whatever they want just because they're stronger! FUCK THAT! JUST BURN IN HELL, YOU BASTARDS!"

The fire starts to swirl around the gun-leg, until it points up and goes off. A massive fireball explodes around August's radius, threatening to both engulf and knock back anything in range, melt through the railing, burn the robot even more, possibly hit the dragon if it gets low enough, possibly hit allies, and severely burn August. While his cloak is fireproof, he's not, as he's sent reeling back, unsleeved part of his right arm on fire and burning badly, screaming through his pain. "I don't give a shit what you think about me! You're not who I /fight for/!"

Captain Flint has posed:
     Grabbed by the wrist, Flint's momentum is easily turned against him, sending him stumbling backwards into his quartermaster. Already off-balance from his attack, Silver crumples in his effort to catch the captain, his wooden leg knocked off by the impact with the ground. The complex lattice of crystals on the ground doesn't exactly make for a welcoming embrace, and the both of them suffer a few cuts during their respective efforts to get up. Silver is forced to fasten his leg again, adrenaline setting his hands to shaking.

     But Flint is a practised hand at this. With a growl of anger, the older pirate grabs a handful of dust and loose crystals knocked free by his fall, slipping them into his pocket. Still somewhat winded from the strike to his stomach, he leans upon his sword with one hand, and raises with the other a flintlock pistol. Taking aim at her shoulder, he fires--but not in time to stop her projectiles from reaching the supports.

     Meanwhile, things near the golem begin to quite literally heat up. Having never fought something so destructive so directly, Flint's men are unprepared for August's shockwave. Nearly all of them are bodily thrown backwards, and some even have the weapons in their hands melted to slag, causing a chorus of pained shouts and screams to erupt from the makeshift firing line. The Persona user's attack manages to buy him some time--at least, a momentary reprieve from the attacks by the Walrus crew.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Biteblade tumbles away, rolling and twisting onto her feet with a stylish flip that reuses her momentum. "Bounty friend'sss got ssstab?" She calls out, eyes gleaming with excitement. "C'mon! Show Floran! Floran wanna sssee bounty friend'sss SSSTABS!" Her second dagger comes out, and she moves to close in, pushing towards Iria with heavy thrusting jabs and wide slices with those heavy power daggers! "You're /hunter/ right? Like Floran! Show Floran GREAT HUUUUUNT!"

    Meanwhile, George is continuing to blast, moving now to pursue, trying to swing around the incoming pin-point blasts. He latches his grappling hook onto the platform and rappels down, swinging wide and chaotically, blasting with one hand as he goes! "You know, kid, I don't agree with Pavo on a whole lot, but I agree with her plenty on this. We're the kinda people who're great at starting from square one. So burning stuff down just to catch whoever fucks with us in the fire, that sorta thing isn't gonna be off the table. How about you /back off/?"

    Pavo blasts down, slamming into one of the lower platforms. Seft moves to assist her... Distastefully. "Annoyed. Do you really have to go after Will so hard?" She says, resentfully administering a stimulant and getting Pavo back into battle. It looks like Seft has more sympathy for William than Pavo here, who is rising once again to strike at William, surging up in stylish swirling grapple-assisted mid-air maneuvers towards William!

    "You damned boy, how many times have you /not/ been irreverent? You planning on stealing even more from a /god/!? Read your texts, boy; divinity's not got a single bit of hesitation for smiting anyone and anything, no matter how much of their own creation gets caught in the blast!" She caws viciously, swapping over to a pair of stylish magnetic control gauntlets that summon two sets of three spinning golden globes, which she begins to fire at Will! The spheres bounce around this area of the mineshaft dangerously and violently with her magnetic control making them especially dangerous to William!

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang doesn't get to see if her attack does anything. The shot from Flint is good, and the flare of Aura doesn't even stop the bullet. It hits the flesh, and punches through. Yang cries out, her arm falling limp while the other lifts to cover the wound, her Aura shattering like glass, fading away into motes of light that vanish within moments of leaving her.

    She grunts, muttering into her throat mic before turning to flee, clutching her arm as she tries to break contact and get out of the area.

Iria has posed:
Drive Iria off? Not likely. The bounty hunter's really angry now, and the fact that Biteblade has two daggers now makes Iria even more eager to fight with the plant-woman (or whatever she's supposed to be.) Oddly, Iria hasn't even drawn her weapons, instead opting to fight hand-to-hand with this creature. Not that it makes Iria any less dangerous. When Iria's angry, you'd better watch out!

"I'll show you, all right!" Iria yells, narrowing her eyes. "I'll make you regret messing with me!" The girl twists and spins, avoiding the jabs and slices, until one of them cuts into her exposed hand, causing her to yell in pain. "Unngh... dammit..." The cut is small, but still bleeding noticeably. Now Iria's really seeing red!

"All right, now you're gonna pay!" Iria rushes in and attempts to deliver a swift kick to the middle of Biteblade (stomach? torso? Whatever!)

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
The plan was, Lemeza would jump in midair to vault an expected close-range counterattack from August. The professor may be furious, but he's not lost sense of strategy. That strategy got thrown out the window when a fireball erupted from Tin Soldier's gun-leg, engulfing Lemeza and flinging him far away from his target. Both combatants landed their attacks squarely on each other, and both paid the price. For his efforts, Lemeza is now sporting burns over most of his body, with only a shield-shaped area on his chest remaining unburnt. The landing doesn't do him any favors, either -- his previously-shot shoulder lands /hard/ on the ground, causing him to yelp in pain. "SHIT!" This is not going well.

At least August's taken significant damage, so maybe that job's done? Regardless, Lemeza would be risking quite a bit to just charge back in again. He instead shifts to plan B, getting out his laptop and pulling up that buffing program. He starts typing like crazy, hammering the letters of "Kingmaker Reborn" and practically SLAMMING down on the mousepad to activate the buff. If it actually works, the Concord's robot would be significantly more resilient to the Watch's heartless destruction. That'll have to do for the time being.

But, something August said REALLY doesn't sit right. He's killed monsters. He's killed... he says tyrants, but Lemeza is sure that August's definition of 'tyrant' is the opposite of what is true. He killed a universe 'because no one else would'? Killed a UNIVERSE. Lemeza already had to put down his own world's creation goddess because she threatened existing life. On a single planet. But this madman is willing to delete entire planes of existence? This goes far beyond mere archaeology. Just like in La-Mulana, it's time for the explorer to play the hero. "So your true colors finally come out, fiend." He has stopped addressing August by name. "You destroy because you want to, dressing it up in things like 'justice'. You destroy, and destroy, and when there's nothing more you need to destroy you make up a reason to destroy something else. Your motives are absolutely disgusting. The least you could do is have a compelling reason for your actions." He's stopped yelling obscenities, but even the calmness in his voice seethes with raw vengeance. "If I were you, I'd start investing in trying to improve your lot in the afterlife."

Of course, considering the circumstances, Lemeza might have to wait until later to take action on that threat...

William Pauwel has posed:
    "What are you even talkin' about now y' damn pheasant!?" Will yelps as an orb nearly beans him in the temple and instead goes ricocheting off one of his metal limbs. "What, are y'all sayin' that /yer/ some kind of god? 'Cause let me tell you, I've seen a few gods, and y'all don't look anythin' like 'em!"

"Too few tentacles!" Will says, his weapon whirling in his hands. "And definitely way too squawky!"

Squawky?

Does Will have something against birds!?

"I've shot turkeys bigger an' more godlike than you," he yells as he fires, his weapon shimmering between projectile modes every time he fires. He launches bolts into the oncoming orbs, into George's shots, into everything and anything. Several stark white shots rebound off of Pavo's spheres, sending them tumbling off-target just in the nick of time while the kinetic bolts themselves swing back around to hem the bird-woman in. Rounds of electric chaos pound into her armor while shots of light-blue plasma and vermilion flame threaten to swallow George up in a veritable firestorm. "I mean, y'all know I didn't even ask 'em to go raidin' y'all, right!? I just took what I could get, and I'd say I'm puttin' these to better use than y'all were!"

"So go burn yer own beard, old man. I need these arms, an' I'm keepin' 'em!"

Priscilla has posed:
    With a sufficient number of support struts destroyed by long range bombardment, the shaft beneath the lifted automaton collapses entirely, filling in with thousands of tons of falling rubble and a strong enough quake to begin setting off secondary chain explosions beneath. The Concord workers scatter immediately, leaving their work completed as far as they were able when the ground begins swelling and splitting beneath them, shining out intense beams of light and magical radiation before blowing up in geysers of arcane fire. The whole battlefield starts turning into a minefield of erupting ore bursts, compounding the damage August had done to the armoured section of leg, and punching through its feet like nails driven with a hammer, fracturing and tilting the elevator to the point its cargo starts to slide off.

    August has just enough time to have the petty satisfaction of seeing a cockpit seam in the underside of the chest before going nuclear. The blast is far more directly powerful than the flamethrower, not only instantly melting the armour along the giant machine's left side, but cracking and deeply scoring the stone beneath, causing some of its fingers to split and fall off from the sheer heat pressure, exposing hollow spaces and rods of solid crystal inside. The left arm is probably so much scrap up to the shoulder, completely wiping whatever prayers and circuit patterns or any other mechanics that there might have been to study in it, and damaging the chest as well.

    The dragon is late enough to swoop over the explosion, though it has to weave back and forth between ground explosions that throw debris high enough to pelt it with jagged rocks. Its claws snag the harness webbing the robot, its rifle, and sword together, and it pounds its wings several more times to try and keep up its diving speed on the rise. The preparations were /mostly/ complete by this time, and so it gets off the ground by weighing about a quarter what it should, (a little less, when the blackened arm falls off completely below the elbow), but the gear is less secure than the automaton itself.

    he cabling breaks on the container securing the heavily and immaculately inscribed sword, sending it tumbling down, smashing right through the elevator, and into the exploding mineshaft where it will no doubt not be seen again in one piece. To clear the way through, it lets loose a massive, sweeping wall of fire from its roaring maw, combing it across the battlefield down the split the Concord personnel have cleared, and blasting every Watch member that can't find cover in time, before struggling off back into the air, lugging the broken archeological find and one of its attendant weapons out to sea.

Staren has posed:
    As August suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and then finally collapses, whipped, Staren holds further fire. He kind of feels bad for the boy, and seeing him like this, suddenly doesn't have the heart to go for the kill...

    At least, until August's rant veers into hypocracy. "How are we any different from you?! You force your way on us because you believe you're--"

    And then everything explodes. Staren starts to turn and run. As far away as he is, he gets singed, armor blackened by the very edge of the fire, and the expanding air blowing past makes him stumble and fall.

    When he gets to his feet and turns around... the robot is breaking apart, apparently quite fragile after all, and one of its accompanying pieces drops down the shaft to probably shatter.

    "YOU IDIOT!" Staren shouts. "Now the Prospekt won't get the data either! YOU MORON! You just destroy everything and claim you're right! When will you learn to CREATE, instead?!"

    He resumes firing at August and any other Watch members who stick around. He's not /quite/ mad enough to give chase if they flee, but he's going to discourage them from chasing down the dragon to finish the job.

August Kohler has posed:
August is on fire. It burns, it burns, it burns. Right now, he can't really think rationally. "SHUT UP!" Is all he can manage to shout out to Staren, as he moves to start fleeing, the Tin Soldier covering him as he screams. He can't even enjoy the satisfaction of succeeding at all. If he wasn't in so much pain, he'd shout back to Staren, tell him that it never mattered if the Prospekt got it, but all he can do is have the Tin Soldier take the beams, adding more to his misfortune.

And then, August is gone, escaping with the others. He's going to need to rest, heal up, and is definitely going to have scars. His arm's going to be having some issues for a while.

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang isn't as fast as some when only using her muscles. She can't use her recoil assisted mobility with an arm out, and that dragon is starting to sound really close. She ducks around some of the explosions, then dives out of the way of the flame breath, ducking behind some falling debris.

    Once the flames end, she gets back out and starts running again. feet pounding as fast as she can go.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Iria goes in for hand-to-hand, and swiftly discovers that there really is no such thing as a clean klnife fight. But her sudden rush of a heavy strike slams into Biteblade, cracking the midsection of her power armor and sending her over the edge. "HURGHK!!" She lets out a pained, intense grunt. "No! Hey! Floran wantsss HUNT--!!" She cries out, scrabbling at the ledge, but the support struts below have suddenly given way, and the ledge she's grabbing onto gives out before she can pull herself up!

    She'll have one hell of a time climbing back up out of this one.

    Pavo's blasted over and over, and her grapple-assisted aerial maneuvers start to decay as the mineshaft collapses below her. George is struck badly by the huge plasma flame, forcing him into cover, and then to dig into one of the nearby walls and make a defensive underground chamber to keep from getting crushed. "Oh, what, and you think you know divinity?" Pavo says, her voice taking on a manic tone. Her gleaming gold armor and robes suddenly surge with light, and her wings overload, intending to rush into and smash William against one of the mineshaft walls, hoping to pin him there as everything falls apart, trying to get a cutlass against him.

    "I make miracles. I smite nonbelievers. I speak wisdom. I create. I destroy. What makes me any less than a god, /boy/? What makes me stuck at the same level you're so content to live at? Godhood is whatever power you can convince enough people is right to believe in. It's nothing special. Power is power. And I am powerful." Her face gets closer and closer, her expression more and more vicious. "So if you're planning on stealing from me, you'd better brush up on your prometheus myth." And she goes for a heavy strike!

    It's a vulnerable position for her though, with no backup from the Flotilla members that are trying to escape, or help the Concord staff escape. If he can just counterattack and slip out, surely he can get out of that mineshaft in time...

Iria has posed:
Iria deals with Biteblade as best as she can. She smiles a little. "You want to see my skills? Maybe next time!" She laughs, but then she realizes that things are going to hell fast. "OK, it's time to get the hell out of here!" Iria uses her acrobatic agility to get herself out of the area. Her nimbleness and speed help her to get clear quickly. She doesn't stop running until she knows for a fact she's safe.

Lemeza Kosugi (6258) has posed:
Either Lemeza's attempt to buff the robot failed, or it was the only thing that kept any part of it together. Either way, looks like the fiend August got what he wanted.

There wasn't time to think about that, though: between the mineshaft explosions, and the dragon breathing fire, and the other Elites also withdrawing, Lemeza decided to play it safe for now and book it as far away from the destruction as possible. He's got to get back to headquarters, heal up, and plan a counterattack against his newfound nemesis.

Captain Flint has posed:
     With Yang on the retreat, Flint's immediate concern is Silver. Sheathing his saber, he runs over to the quartermaster as the support structures begin to groan their discontent with the abuse they've suffered. Offering the younger pirate a hand, Flint pulls Silver to his feet and hands him the crutch.

     Over near the golem, pillars of fire erupt, some of which engulf those unfortunate members of the crew not quick enough to get back on their feet. Others still are pinned beneath falling debris, sending anguished cries out to mingle with the cacophony which fills the collapsing cavern. "Get to the surface," says Flint. "Have the skeleton crew make preparations for the Grand Dorado."

     Silver squints at the bedlam near the fleeing golem, wincing as the arm comes crashing down, spraying razor sharp debris. "What about the vanguard?"

     "I'll handle them. Go." Silver's performance today belies a need for training, and there's no better place to seek it than the Concord's own Shrine of Adversity. As the quartermaster makes his escape, Flint charges towards the golem, rouses those of his crew who aren't injured, and makes a coordinated effort to save as many as possible. Even with that effort, repeated, rhythmic commands of "HEAVE!" and good, old-fashioned muscle can only move so much magically reinforced rubble. That, coupled with the spectacular pyroclastic display from the explosions below takes a heavy toll on the crew, and as they make their bloodied escape, their number and spirits are significantly dampened.

     At least they got the robot. Some of it, anyway. Perhaps he might persuade some of the island's natives to make their living as men of fortune? It's a thought.

William Pauwel has posed:
If he can just counterattack and slip out, surely he can get out of that mineshaft in time...

...

Yeah. That probably would have been a good idea, wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, 'good ideas' are rarely things that pop into William Pauwel's head. "Y' damn fool," Will snarls as he struggles to hold back the cutlass, sparks flashing as steel grinds against steel. "Iff'n it was just power that made someone a god, then there ain't no reason my world'd be the way it is. And there ain't no reason--"

Will's weapon glows. Terminal Judgment shines with the light of the ancients who once upon a time reshaped the very planet at their whims. That's the punchline. Pavo has been accusing Will of having stolen something of the gods all this time, but...

She probably didn't realize that the Prometheus of this story had already stolen his divine flame.

"That I can't blast yer face in like all the rest! Now clench those teeth!"

There's a flash of light. An eruption of force. A shockwave thunders out of the depths as that sphere expands and shatters the very earth it consumes.

Yeah, maybe escaping would have been a good plan.

But maybe Will didn't count on a point blank blast knocking them /both/ deeper into the caves. And also possibly unconscious.

W...whoops?

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Will's blast surges the pair with shockwaves and impacts directly into and through the wall. His foe shrieks like a bird of pray, barely hooking her face around the weapon with clever beakwork. Pavo's armor crumples under the sheer proximity to a full-power blast and their own surge through melting rock and collapsing caverns. Both surge away from the huge mass of expanding heat and air, and crush through an already-collapsing wall.

    Pavo's signal disappears, as likely does Will's, though there's no flatline. Like many of the Concord workers, it's likely they'll have been buried, and stunned more than enough to disorient both for a long while before any chance of escape.

    We'll get to them later. For now, the rest of the Flotilla moves to escort the dragon via fighter craft, and Biteblade and Seft of all people stay behind to try to dig and search for Pavo, seemingly to no avail.