5839/Who Defends the Defenders

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Who Defends the Defenders
Date of Scene: 10 May 2018
Location: Koprulu Sector <KS>
Synopsis: Pending
Cast of Characters: 6381, 6336, 1103, Kushiko, 632, Starbound Flotilla, Bahamut, 673, William Pauwel, Leyanne Mace

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Arriving through the warpgate at Nova's coordinates will reveal a perhaps surprising sight: Tarsonis city, a large ruined urban landscape, spread out far below. Indeed, the warpgate sits atop a tall skyscraper, or rather, a cluster of skyscrapers, all with their wide roof and large balcony sections connected by big walkways. There are numerous other skyscraper clusters in the abandoned city around them, but few as big as the one they are on. And the skyscraper at the center of the cluster is taller still. It is actually two sections side by side, small and large walkways suspended between them on multiple levels, up until the they join together near the top. While the very top floor is thoroughly trashed, the exterior of the building looks rather intact. All in all it's an impressive display of structural engineering.

    The rest of the city is no where near as lucky. And on closer inspection it would seem that the city is also not so abandoned after all. Countless Zerg of various strains wander about on the streets and in the air. Fleshy obtrusions have grown over numerous buildings and pulsate in a disturbing manner, as if they are like some kind of organ. The city's ground is completely covered by purple-coloured organic matter. But thankfully none of it is on the immediate rooftops where everyone is now. And the majority of the Zerg in the city seem uninterested in the invaders.

    More locally, the arrival point is in the middle of a small Terran base, most likely set up by Nova's forces. Several utility suits hover along on boosters, carrying bits of crystal from nearby deposits to a large structure with a complex set of communications equipment on the top. A squad of Marines in their trademark mechanical armour can be seen exiting another building, beginning their march. They are joined by a three-wheeled buggy, with a flamethrower on top, that rolls out of a factory structure. It speeds off towards the defense line, before skidding to a stop and then transforming into a large set of powered armour for the driver.

    Said defense line is made up of Bunkers and barricades, similar to Tyradore. However the Marines stationed in and around them are far more disciplined than the volunteers that the Defenders of Man were using. They're also supported by a couple of large tanks which are currently in a fixed artillery mode. Their presence is soon easily felt as one of them fires, the act shaking both the air and the roof for some distance around it. The resulting explosion on a distant roof suggests one or more approaching Zerg were just turned into soup.

    Speaking of the Zerg, their attacks are no where near as constant as they were on Tyradore. Occasionally small groups will wander into range, catching sight of the Terran defense line and charging out of instinct. But they're easily dispatched by the professional soldiers. Clearly Nova's forces know what they're doing and will be able to keep the feral Zerg occupied while the base assault is in progress.

    Nova herself is currently sitting atop one of the base's smaller buildings, some kind of storage shed, that is positioned just next to a walkway. Said walkway connects the roof everyone's currently on to the central skyscraper. Probably the assault team's destination. Nova's attention for the moment is focused on that building, her visor down over her eyes as she looks at it.

Zerrawn (6336) has posed:
    Emerging from the warp gate was a figure cloaked in black. He says nothing to anyone as he passes by, but gives off the aura of sheer malice and hatred. This was Zerrawn, the Emperor's Wrath. These soldiers wouldn't stand a chance against such a being. Looking forward, he too locks eyes on the Skyscraper, figuring that was going to be the target location.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    A young, unassuming seeming girl steps through the Warpgate. Nova would recognize her from the previous engagement, as would anyone else who was there. She's untransformed for now, but doesn't seem any less potent for it. Her hair flows in the breeze up this high, and her eyes, once spotting Nova's view direction, trace over the structure. "They will pay in blood for what they've done." she says mostly to herself, summoning her sword to her hand. She ties the scabbard to her belt, and pulls the deck of cards from their holder to shuffle them as she walks over to nearby the Ghost. "We have a plan, yes?" she asks idly, eyes never leaving the building that appears to be the target, her hands moving with a fluid, practiced ease as she shuffles her deck of cards... why would a combatant have cards?

Kushiko has posed:
Through the Warpgate is somewhat... relative? At least as far as the Tenno goes since in general her mode of transportation is more ship-based when it comes to getting inserted to where she needs to be. In either event, she would arrive /by/ the Warpgate, but it was more due to her ship, a Liset-class dropship from which the capsule-like underside revolved in order to allow the humanoid-looking Mesa Warframe of Kushiko's to leap out of from the underside before the ship itself would peel away, cloaking and getting somewhere safe. Relatively speaking.

<"Definitely a lot like the Infested."> she muses, her slightly disembodied voice stating as much, at least before the eyeless gunslinger levels her attention towards the target of interest. <"So that's it, is it?"> she wonders once she's closer to where the others are, and already having pulled free a pair of elegant looking machine pistols--truthfully, she has yet more weapons, but no need brandishing those there. <"Any particular play besides full annhilation?"> Like information grabbing.

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     There's something exceedingly cautious and hesitant in Septette's demeanor as she emerges from the gate and eyes her surroundings. Not for the mechanized warfare in the distance, nor the horrible fleshy cityscape- those are almost comforting in their familiarity to her, even filtered through the lens of a novel world. No, this is a fear at once more justified and more prosaic.

     It's not silly to be afraid of heights, is it? Of course not. Especially when falling through the floor is a real and tangible possibility.

     Fortunately, Terran engineering seems able to support her frame. The first few steps out of the gate are taken with a flinching nervousness, but the next several are progressively more confident. She still doesn't dare set foot on the walkway, but the emulated pensiveness visibly drains from her affect.

     "There must be some reason you wouldn't simply level it from orbit. I assume some nonzero amount of finesse is required," she half-asks. Acceptable collateral is always a good parameter to bear in mind, especially when multiple elites are involved.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    The Flotilla arrives from orbit, beaming down to the site using those coordinates, though others are free to have gotten a ride too. Septette was the one to invite the Flotilla to this; heading to the base, five of them spread out, well intending to make sure that the defensive lines are manned. The one who winds up linking up primarily with Nova herself, and readying to head out to the skyscraper that seems a lot like their objective, is George of all people. The human member of the Flotilla wears a futuristic combat EVA hardsuit that glows a gentle red at the flat faceplate, though he flicks it up to chat with Nova. "We waiting on someone, or we the ones you were waiting for?" He moves a heavy shotgun from his Matter Manipulator to a spot slung over his back, and works on lighting a cigarette that smells like a hospital.

    "How much do you want that place to still be standing when we're done? Just gotta see what's on my menu for making this work." He says, in a cheerful tone. "Love this kind of work, can't wait to give it a go. How many top dogs you think are working here particularly?" He finally seems to get it lit, and then considers that the sign to get a move on; unless Nova intends to tell him not to, he's gonna head towards that skyscraper over the walkway, just to sort of get a read on what's going on and to make progress on getting in there.

Bahamut has posed:
     The warpgate pulses and the large metal dragon who also assisted with the defense of Tyradore steps through. He stretches his colorful plumage and lets out a short roar before standing tall with his arms crossed over his chest. When he asks for directions he is no doubt directed to Nova, and he makes his way over via his wings rather than using the walkways. He doesn't like to take chances with bridges and things he isn't sure can hold his bulk. He lands near Nova and offers a slight bow of greeting. "It is good to see you again, Nova Terra. I am Bahamut, though I am sure you remember."

     He then looks out over the city below. "Quite the falcon's perch." he adds, leaning down and over to look straight down along the building. "I would imagine it is an excellent vantage point from which to snipe targets." He notices little Arcana (he thinks that is her name anyway) and offers a slight nod in greeting, and the same to Septette when she arrives. "Preserving infrastructure is always a priority, in my opinion." he adds after she speaks. "Both from sentimental and economic standpoints."

Rory White (673) has posed:
    Rory's transportation method is quite simple. Instead of flying around in her ship today... the air crackles and sizzles atop the rooftop Nova's currently occupying. A brilliant beam that lives for only one second strikes down from the heavens... depositing what appears to be a young woman with fair skin, long blue hair, sky-blue eyes, and dressed in...

    Well, it isn't that different from Nova's attire, all things considered. A sleek, grey-blue bodysuit that fits as snug as snug can be to her body. Its surface ripples with patterns that almost look like muscle fibers, and some mildly decorative glowing 'circuitry patterns' give it a distinctive look. There are circular points on the arms and shoulders that might be for mounting weapons or other gear, but they currently remain unused.

    "Strange that this city is so full of Zerg, and yet there are MORE invading... so they aren't a unified species?" Is the first thing she comments on after getting her bearings.

    Behind her as she steps forward, the teleportation system beams down a small set of drones. Some the size of insects, too tiny to take note of. Most, though, are saucers - silvery frisbees that wobble like UFOs up into the air and start scanning the area across the spectrum!

    "My name is Rory White. Argonaut representative to the Paladins. My specialties are robotics engineering, information security and scientific analysis. These Defenders of Man can be easily ousted if we can but credibly expose their lies. Then they will lose any support they have. But where to start?"

William Pauwel has posed:
You know, all things considered, a sci-fi cowboy wielding a heavy-duty plasma pistol and a pair of big old mismatched cybernetic arms doesn't look all too out of place amongst the assorted Terran personnel.

Sure, it looks like he's more suited to be a marshal out on some far-flung backwater at the very edge of the Koprulu sector than to be walking around with military types, but hey what can you do?

"Boy howdy look at all of those critters," Will whistles at the vast ecosystem of zerg swarming throughout Tarsonis city below. He looks on at them with equal parts disgust and interest and fascination, like a boy finding a brand new beetle and getting super into every nook and cranny of it. "Wow, where'd they all come from? That's crazy!"

He... doesn't understand yet.

That's only reasonable, given that he's only just come to visit for the first time.

Will hops off his vantage-boulder and heads over toward Nova with a grin on his face and a tilt in his hat. "Hey there! William Pauwel, gunslinger an explorer, at yer service miss! I hear y'all had a bit of a problem and came to check it out."

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Far, far above, as the Flotilla make their arrival, there's a figure in red in one of their airlocks. She waits for the right moment, before pulling the emergency release handle for the outer doors. "Here comes TINY!" She cackles into her comms as she's launched into space on a puff of frozen gas; beaming down is, apparently, for sissies. A few careful adjustments from a gas-powered jetpack and Leyanne's in the grip of Sir Isaac. Far above, there's a little glimmer of plasma flame, one that rapidly becomes what seems to be a meteorite - one that's headed straight for them - as the ablative coating on her suit, well, ablates.

Air rips at the mouse, feeling like it's pummeling her with a thousand hammers, even with the armour on. She shifts position to adjust her air resistance, giving fine control to the mouse's trajectory. The plasma flare fades as the mouse transitions from orbital velocity to merely hypersonic. A black dot becomes visible as she transitions to simply supersonic. And finally, as she gets within three kilometers of the ground, and details of her shape become apparent, subsonic. She hears her own sonic boom catch up with her, popping her parachute WAY, WAY lower than is sensible.

She lands, heavily, on the roof near the others, carrying way too much speed. Her landing isn't pretty; she rolls several times, although she does at least end up on her feet. She pulls off her helmet and replaces it with a beret, unclamping the M-134 minigun from her backpack as she looks over to Terra Nova. "So, uh, we got some lying fucknuggets to take out, right?"

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Nova turns her head as people begin to arrive. She slides her visor up onto the top of her head and jumps off her perch, "Hey." The greeting is given a number of people as they arrive. "I'm Nova, for those who I haven't met yet. A Ghost with the Dominion military." She then starts answering a couple of the questions. To George and also Bahamut's comment she says, "As long as you don't bring the building down while we're still in it, anything goes. This place is abandoned, no one's coming back." Bahamut's mention of sniping does get her to says, "Actually, from this height you'd be hard pressed to hit. Even for a sniper." Nova then pauses for a moment, eyes glancing aside as she says quietly, "Maybe I should try it some time..." No, bad idea.

    Nova nods in greeting to Rory, "Nice to meet you. These Zerg are feral, just like the ones on Tyradore. They're leftovers from the first great war. In fact, most Dominion worlds have some kind of feral Zerg presence left over from the wars."

    "Right!" That answers most of the questions. She collects her canister rifle from where it was leaning against the wall of the depot, then points towards the highest most walkway between the two sections of the main skyscraper, "The Defenders of Man are situated near the top. The plan is simple. We bust in and make our way to the command room, eliminating anyone trying to stop us. Once there, one of us needs to get into their computer system and grab everything they can. Any questions? No? Good. Let's go." Nova starts to make her way across the walkway towards the central skyscraper.

    A surprisingly short elevator ride later (it's a big elevator) and the group find themselves arriving on the appropriate floor. Chambering a round in her rifle Nova raises it as the doors open and quickly steps out.

    The first room they arrive in looks to be some kind of antechamber. There's a few smaller doors on each side, but the big double doors directly ahead are the most obvious. One thing people may notice is that the building's interior at this level is incredibly fancy. A little worn by lack of maintenance over the years, but you can tell the people that owned this build had money.

    Nova pauses for a moment, tilting her head to the side a little... She then whispers (out of habit more than anything), "Shit! They're using Psi-screens, I can't read them." Well, there goes that advantage. They're not stupid, having definitely prepared for Nova. As Nova begins to head for the double doors ahead she cautions to the others, "Stay alert."

Zerrawn (6336) has posed:
    Zerrawn follows with the group, and then looks over towards the doors. "Leave this to me..." He says, stepping up. He extends a hand towards the door, feeling it out. His hand moves towards the cylander on his belt, and takes in in his grip. After a moment, the infamous POP-HISS of his crimson lightsaber ignites, and he tries to both rip the doors off their hinges with the Force, and chuck it any anyone or thing behind it.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace is one of the first out through the door, simply because she's the one with the bullet-hose. She sweeps it across the corridor before waiting for the others to exit the elevator, providing cover for them, should it be needed. It doesn't seem to be, just yet. As Zerrawn makes for the doors, she sprints up to be in a position to 'roll' through them as soon as they're open.

"In position." she says, giving him a 'go' nod.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana nods, "Simple enough. Go in, kick ass, extract files from a secure server. Sounds like a typical LDF sortie into the untamed areas of the Diamond Drive." she says. Being a program she knows a thing or two about the 'why' but actually hacking a computer from outside is far outside her expertise. "If there is darkness in this world, I will destroy it." she says, following along while shuffling her deck of cards still. She doesn't stop until an enemy appears. "Psi? No, I'll ask later. Big Sis did think you had something special about you other than the fancy technology.... Struo and Conati would probably go nuts to have a look at the designs."

William Pauwel has posed:
Will-- does not look particularly enthused at the idea of shooting people in the head. For someone with such a gigantic gun at his hip, he sure seems un-keen at the thought of using it for anything a gun might typically be used for. "Y'all can probably leave the computer-y bits to me n' Rory," Will says when it comes time for the plan to be set into motion. "Don't y'all worry, I've had my own time around that kind of stuff. It'll be fine!"


As Will follows the others, he unlimbers his side-arm. The weapon's core surges with blue-white energies which fade rapidly into a coruscating, rippling, translucent violet. "Good to go whenever! Just point me in the right direction!"

Bahamut has posed:
     Bahamut nods at Nova's instructions, then takes up a position as rear guard. Makes the most sense to him, being the 15 foot monstrocity he is. They are unlikely to get surprised from the front, and he can shield them from anyone who manages to flank them. Plus, letting the shorter people off the lift first also makes sense. He is surprised that they have so much room to move in human-made hallways and is quite glad for it. He would have to be responsible for blocking things if there was trouble. He follows after the others, looking into each corner he can see and looking at each door for signs of use. "Any idea of their numbers within this building?" he asks Nova as they proceed. And Leyanne gets an appreciative look from the big dragon, as does William. No doubt thanks to their various enhancements and weapons.

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     Spires of magical ice materialize underneath the walkway on either side, and knit themselves into buttresses and supports to increase its weightbearing capacity. Sure, it's probably sturdy enough to hold them all... but, you know, just in case.

     Once inside, Septette insists on leading the party from the fore- if there are any booby traps, she's determined to be the one to step on them. Fortunately, their path is unobstructed, though that elevator makes her distinctly fidgety. She's braced for it to dramatically plummet to the bottom of the shaft at any moment!

     That moment never comes, and she emits a little hydraulic hiss-sigh of relief as they step out into the antechamber. Blades half-unfold and refold in flickery 'stretching' motions, checking for integrity and ease of movement. Nova gets at least as much of her attention as the coming battle: 'psi-screens'. If those aren't standard-issue on everyone, and Nova's abilities are broadly-applicable to be useful, that implies the folks up ahead are uncommonly well-equipped.

     In the second before Zerrawn tries to rip the door down, Septette takes a single step forward, pulls her right arm free of her shawl, and unfolds the uncanny assemblage of blades inside- the flat of each, angled to deflect fire away from a different member of the party from predicted vantage points. "Ready for breach!"

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Alright, if we're needin' a good networking, I bsetter link up with Rors." George says, snapping his fingers and poking at the resulting holoscreen. He's gonna make sure his armor's systems are linked with with Rory White's networking and fancy informorphic capacities. He also makes sure to queue up plenty of ammo, sounds like he might need it.

    As they head up, he whistles along with the elevator music. Obnoxious.

    Then, they're at the door. Zerrawn is a powerful force wielder, and George knows it, so he figures that he can handle the doors easy. George is more interested in popping every pin off of a bandolier full of cylindrical grenades, and when the doors crumple off, he calls out to his allies, "You'll wanna blink for this!" Those are brutally stunning electro-grenades! With intense flashes of light, blasts of sound, and waves of electricity, they're guaranteed to cause a sudden problem in all kinds of perception for anyone just past the door.

    Assuming that the Sith is able to breach, George will immediately move to surge through with uncanny speed, dashing with power-armor-enhanced motions to try to dive past any initial defensive perimeters, moving to try to get into a good place to disrupt the back lines.

Kushiko has posed:
Given what Mesa's general capability is--that is, anti-gun while being /all/ gun herself, the first thing she does is twofold--spinning her guns as energy spirals and mists out from the sides of her arms--the technorganic frame causing what looks /almost/ like a looping lasso of energy to start orbiting her--going in then out--and that very same one 'leaping' to each of the others in turn.

For those using actual guns, it'll feel like you could use them a whole lot better now. Plus it'll have another trick later but she doesn't need to explain *that* here. The other side of it, well, is the release of what appears to be crystalizing mist around her, making for a semi-tranluscent shell layering her form.

Frankly, she's going to move ahead herself--she's extremely agile besides, and in the 'buffed' state she is, she can do a whole lot of damage, setting herself up like a living turret, the machine pistols she was using are now stowed--the tonfa-looking barrels on her underarms now swing into position, locking with her fingertips as she levels the guns forward and into the breaching point.

<"Ready,"> she crisply remarks.

Rory White (673) has posed:
    With William appearing, Rory actually manages a small smile! He's proven to be unexpectedly reliable in situations like this, despite all appearances.

    Of course George and several others she's familiar with are here too, which is similarly heartening.

    Then there are others she totally doesn't have much experience with. Like the Warframe over there. A considerable amount of time's spent scanning and examining all of the unrecognized individuals. This does involve some staring here and there!

    But eventually she focuses on the merged-towers building in the distance.

    With more than just eyes. All of her sensors are turned to it. Even from her ship! But most of the effort's from the Saucers. She aggresively scans it across the entire spectrum using all of her AI-backed pattern analysis, hoping to reveal a fairly accurate floor plan map and where heat sources (IE: threats or hostages) are located!

    And this information - whatever she can figure out - is shared over wireless with anyone with technical affiliation. A narrowcast is aimed experimentally at the Ghost, the Warframe and William's gun!

    "You can likely leave the computer work to me."

    But very little of the violence. Because when the Elevator does open... Rory's in the rear, holding a small rifle that looks to be... optical? Or some sort of energy blaster. It's hard to say since she hasn't opened fire yet.

    "That suggests they knew you were coming and will have made more preparations!"

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Yeah, not a good time to be discussing the finer points of her abilities. Still, Nova gives Arcana a smile before she takes position. Serious once more, she nods to Zerrawn in understanding, gripping her rifle just a little tighter. At Bahamut's question, she responds, "We're not sure on exact numbers. But initial scans suggest a large number of troops." Hopefully it won't be too hard. Nova hates going in blind, but there's no option at this point. Nova can feel the unusual power from the Tenno rush over her... She has no idea what it is, but it's probably helpful. So Nova shows appreciation with a nod.

    Zerrawn's power rips the doors off their hinges easily. They're not exactly military grade. It reveals a rather large room, much of it probably wasted space when it was properly inhabited. Yet further indication as to the decadency of the people who lived in this part of the city.

    Responding to the door ripping is a group of Heavy Troopers. A couple dozen of the large mechanical-armoured soldiers are standing behind eight large turrets embedded in the floor. The turrets immediately spin to aim at the Force user but one is already sliced in half by a spinning lightsaber. A few of the other turrets are briefly disrupted by George's collection of grenades, along with some of the Heavy Troopers nearby who spasm as their mechanical suits briefly short out. The unaffected Heavy Troopers raise their weapons to aim and the apparent leader of the squad shouts, "Fire!" His visor slides shut. The Heavy Troopers pull their triggers, unleashing a large amount of rapid-fire metal spikes from their gauss rifles. The turrets follow suit, unleashing with their own machine gun fire. Initially focusing on those already in sight, the gun fire will spread out as more of the assault team rush into the room.

    Nova is already moving when the Heavy Troopers open fire, quickly diving behind a large piece of ceiling debris. Nova keeps her head down as the gunfire chips away at her thick concrete cover. She waits for a brief lull in the fire to rise up and fire a shot. The bullet streaks towards the center mass of one of the Heavy Troopers, but then curves upwards to pierce through his visor and blow out a hole in the back of his helmet. She ducks down again as the gun fire picks up once more.

Zerrawn (6336) has posed:
    Zerrawn grins lightly as he tears the doors off, and slices through the turret. He hears the turret going off, and in response uses the force to grab a trooper and pull it in front of him in order to eat the rounds, and then throws the poor soul into the turret.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace gives Rory a grin as she waits for the moment. Then she steps out of her cover almost as soon as the flashbangs go off. As she makes the step, she's already squeezing the forward grip of her minigun, the barrels spinning up to speed so that by the time she's brought the gun down into its ready position, she can just squeeze the main trigger and let the gun do its flatulent work. Tiny's not aiming for any one particular Heavy Trooper, just hosing down anything that looks vaguely hostile. Of course, when you're weilding a minigun, even just sweeping it back and forth across the room leads to one of the troopers getting hit with a substantial weight of firepower, and another turret explodes as its ammunition is detonated. "Supressing!"

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana watches as the door is torn from its hinges. She slides the card deck into its holder on her belt once more, now combat has been joined. She draws her blade, letting the metal ring from the special little spike set to cause the sound. Fletchette fire and machinegun rounds bounce off a blue shield that appears around the young girl, some of the shattered projectiles still making it through to score across her face and body, causing the outer layer of her texture palette to break and show a glowing red 'damage' as code is fragmented. The torn off bits looking like sprays of blood to the untrained eye.

    The Diamond Drive Core Controler Candidate steps forward, sets her feet, then ducks low and charges the line, holding her blade in a ready position to slash across the first target she meets.

    One of those turrets.

    She hacks the turret cap clean off its base, then with a twist, backkicks the cap into one of the troopers, using its as an impromptu projectile itself. "If you don't want to die. YOU HAD BETTER KILL ME FIRST!" she snarls at the troopers, now she's in melee range.

Kushiko has posed:
There's one reason why Mesa--why Kushiko--took the stance in position she did. She wanted, and hoped, she'd get some firepower her way. And when they did, something the others would immediately notice is telling--the Shatter Shield she put up on herself, that crystalized 'mist' on her body just completely dulled the impacts, down to the point they're actually reflected back--tiny shards, not enough to really /hurt/ anyone.

But that's /okay/, because the moment she has targets, Mesa is a gunslinging /blur/ of motion. Planting shots--multiple ones, typically going for the head, or center mass. Anyone she targets, /she is going to kill them/. She has no compunctions, no compulsions to be anything less than supremely efficient, and coupled with the Shooting Gallery buff that she put on herself and others like Nova, well.

STill, her foremost targets are the actual mobile targets like the troopers. Turrets? She'll leave inferior turrets to herself to the others.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Hup! Hahh!" George dashes past Septette, cutting his damage in half by making sure to keep her between him and any damage, then dives and tries to slide under the bulk of the fire, hopefully still having her as a fire-drawing influence; this room has too damn little cover! But he can at least move in towards that line of defense he disrupted, with the fire he's taking minimized as best he can. Kicking off the ground with rocket-boosts, he tries to launch directly onto one of the backs of the heavy troopers, using his lighter hardsuit armor to make sure the highly dangerous turrets don't get a lock on him, and blasting away with a pistol using his free hand. "Hey pal, mind if I get a lift? Looks like you're already gonna be going my way!"

    The hope is that Leyanne Mace's gunfire will drive the foes into cover, where George can follow them with his grapple. If Arcana's wrecking ball creates a broader gap, he can use that to surge in deeper into the backlines while Kushiko dives in and makes anything not in cover a shooting gallery. It's the turrets that are the biggest issue, but with Septette's massive signature, George is hoping they won't notice something a little less dangerous-looking slipping by. "Bones! Please be loud!" He shouts out, and leaps into action. He can't let them set up more defenses ahead! He's planning to surge towards the command center, with an aim to disrupt and harass any in-progress defenses with the heavy-duty space-age combat shotgun he unslings from his back.

William Pauwel has posed:
It's probably a good thing that Will was standing at the /back/ of the group, as there's very little way that the young space cowboy was going to be anything but turned into a fine bloody mist if he had been up front to receive that deadly barrage of impaler rounds.

But that's a problem for Alternate Antimatter William Pauwel to deal with. /This/ Will has found some modicum of cover.

Mesa's strange golden energies swirl around the gunslinger's mechanical right arm, the limb pulsing gently with void energies refined through the lens of a mighty Warframe. Arcs of power leap up into his handcannon, the ancient weapon surging suddenly as its light grows by leaps and bounds. Will nods as he peaks out of his makeshift barricade to level his weapon downrange. After a quick check to make sure that Rory (and other sundry mechanical friends) are nowhere downrange, he pulls the trigger.

What ensues is... Essentially a broad blast of electromagnetic chaos, designed to stun organics and play absolute havoc with anything that might operate on a computer. Like, say, a bunch of turrets! Or the various bits and bobs in those soldiers' mechanized arms and armor.

Bahamut has posed:
     Bahamut, as the last into the room and one without a gun, instead turns to one of his lesser known talents. He casts Wall over his comrades, a spell that reduces damage from pretty much any source, making even a non-armored combatant a bulwark to be reckoned with. He makes a few motions with his hands, then a golden light flows from his hands and saturates each of his allies before solidifying into a protective shell made of hexagonal energy panels of the same color. The shell also forms over himself, so his large stature and imposing presense might be enough to draw fire from those troopers who aren't already disabled or dead. "I suggest you all lay down your arms and surrender! It is unlikely you will be able to stop us, and you can see what kind of powers you are facing!"

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     Septette breaks into a sprint with a backscatter of shattered tiles, leaving behind a comical puff of dust. Her subjective perception of time slows to a crawl as the first bullets are fired. Material analysis and measured velocity indicates--

     One slug shatters on the lens of her eye, sending pieces of shrapnel skating through her hair as a comfortable smile blooms on her face. Little need for defense, then: with the defensive buffs in place, she can definitely take these. "Loud it is!"

     Ramping back up to a 1:1 timescale, she swings her sickle-like armblade down and plants it neatly through the helmet, skull, and brain of one of the troopers. That swiftly becomes her modus operandi: each trooper she reaches in turn receives either a direct strike to the head that destroys the central nervous system, or a single stunning or incapacitating blow that sets them up for the same. It's vaguely reminiscent of cattle being killed with a boltgun.

     There's a subtlety to the dance, though: something in her movements draws aggro from the turrets, while simultaneously interposing herself between George and the heaviest sources of fire. Maybe it's her outsized signature presence, or maybe she's already found some exploit in their targeting systems- but until William dumps the room full of electromagnetic disruption, several of the mechanical guns seem happy to ineffectually dump rounds into her skeletal frame.

Rory White (673) has posed:
    Networking with Rory is not hard - same endeavor as always, George!

    And it soon comes across. Through penetrative lidar, thermal imaging analysis, and other parts of the spectrum, Rory builds a fairly accurate map of the upper levels the crew are assaulting! It appears for anyone networked with her on their displays - if they have any.

    A grey, translucent map of the floor plan (of questionable accuracy - major fixtures like stairs are reliable, doors and flimsy walls perhaps not always found properly) and heat signatures and body shapes showing up as red signatures. Sometimes blobby and less distinct.

    As the Saucers outside the building continue to scan the building with their gear, the scan will fill in further and further with ever-increasing accuracy.

    Of course anything that's directly visible from windows is perfectly accurate, as is anything in party view!

    Huh. It works almost like a video game, doesn't it?

    Given warning about it, Rory simply dampens and filters her inputs instead of actually shutting them off, and emerges without incident to seek immediate cover!

    Instead of engaging, she works on analyzing the map data and scans, trying to narrow down the location of any server racks or other heavy computerized infrastructure!

    She also scans the floors for the presence of any wireless network signals she might be able to decipher and try to gain access to.

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    What follows is a frightening display of power. The Heavy Troopers with their large suits of armour and big weapons aren't weaklings. And yet arrayed against this group of elites, they are quite outmatched. Nova just ends up watching with surprise as the various powers are unleashed. Heavy Troopers and bits of turret flying about, others getting stunned by electromagnetic blasts, even more falling to blade and bullet. Many of them are calling out in confusion, "Who the hell are these guys!?" "They're not going down!" "MEDIC!" "BZZTEWEwewwww-clank."

    By the time the final Heavy Trooper falls and the last turret is rendered inoperable, Nova slowly stands up from her cover, "T-That went pretty well." And she thought she knew what Elites were capable of...

    A speaker in the corner of the room crackles to life and a male voice announces, "Attention. Initial preparations are complete. We are now executing the evacuation protocol. All personnel are to report to the nearest dropship. We estimate roughly ten minutes until this facility is overrun. Now move it!"

    Nova swears under her breath, then says, "We need to get to that command room ASAP!" She starts to dash off, knowing where to go thanks to Rory's information.

    The next room is situated on the corner of the building, the exterior wall consisting of a large, curved set of windows. In this room there are more Defenders of Man, even more than the previous. They appear to be carrying storage containers, probably as part of the evacuation. However, several of them are wearing even larger sets of armour than rest. These bulky suits don't even have hands, instead large weapons are built onto the end of the arms. Nova informs her comrades, "Marauders."

    One of the Marauder's shouts, "Hurry up! We don't have much time. We need to-Oh shit!" Through the window, a section of the nearby skyscraper can be seen falling towards this one. It strikes the building, part of it smashing into the room. The building shakes, a good section of the windows are shattered and a large cloud of dust and debris is kicked up inside.

    Nova coughs at the dust, trying to wave it off. However she pauses as there is a pained scream. Shortly afterwards, the Marauder from before shouts, "Open fire!" Weapons fire starts up, but it's not aimed at the Elites. The dust settles enough to see what's happening: A stream of Zerg are making their away across the makeshift bridge that has formed from the building debris. Zerglings charge at the head, but behind them are larger creatures that slither along without legs. While the Zerglings start chewing on the closest Heavy Troopers, the larger Zerg rise on their long tails. They then dip their heads, flaps on their upper carapace opening to reveal numerous large spines beneath. The spines are then released in bursts, streaking towards more of the Defenders of Man and piercing right through their armour.

    As the Defenders fight the Zerg, Nova calls out to her allies, "We can't afford to be delayed. Break through!" She starts running through the dust cloud. Some of the Defenders notice and turn to start firing on the assault group too. Including some Marauders, their large weapons unleashing grenades at the group.

Zerrawn (6336) has posed:
    Zerrawn leapt into the main battle, his saber slashing and thrashing at any dominion soldier around him. But as he hears of the retreat, a truely EVIL grin emerge on his fanged lips. Following the group, he waits to get sight on the ships.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana sheaths her blade after the last trooper falls, clicking it in to coincide with the thump of the trooper's body hitting the ground. She then follows the others into the next room, her eyes narrowing as the Maruauders turn to bring their weapons to bare... and then the Zerg come rushing in across a makeshift bridge made out of part of another skyscraper.

    The young DCC-C winces at the dust, but not really needing to 'breathe' like an organic, doesn't seem much bothered by it, save for not being able to see well. A grenade bounces at her feet, and she dives away, caught in the edge of the blast, which sends her rolling further. She pushes herself up, translating momentum from horizontal, to vertical with a slap of a palm into the floor, hiking herself over a Marauder's shoulder. She lands in a crouch, then with a kiai, draws her blade and slashes the Marauder across the back with a drawing slash. She then starts to running, following the others out of the room while sheathing the blade again.

William Pauwel has posed:

That's a problem.

Will watches aghast through the rising dust clouds as an entire goddamn building topples over in their direction. That's not what he's staring at, though. What he's staring at is a bunch of mutated monsters tearing through a bunch of hapless mooks like a rampaging bull elephant through papier mache.

Now, this wouldn't be a problem for those career soldiers amongst the group. The Zerg are a hell of a distraction; one large enough for the group to slip through largely unmolested.

The problem here is that Will is not at all a professional soldier.

"Damnit!" The gunslinger yells, his weapon suddenly shifting from rippling violet to angry, fiery vermilion. "Y'all go on ahead," he calls back. "I can't leave these folks here to die like this!" Tongues of sunfire leap from the barrel of his weapon, leaving a blazing trail in his wake as he leaps through the field of rocket fire and toxic spikes. He dodges a projectile, turning to aim and fire a bolt of brilliant flame at the aliens charging in from the collapsed building. It connects with a creature in mid-leap, turning it to ash before it can turn a marauder into a corpse.

"Hey, y'all tin men!" Will calls as his weapon seems to morph in his mechanical hands, transforming into what appears to be an enormous, multi-barreled machinegun. He holds down the trigger, unleashing a veritable firestorm into the fallen skyscraper and the aliens surging out from it. "Yer bosses just turned somethin' on to attract all these beasties, and if y'all don't want to get mulched, we're gonna have to do a fightin' retreat back to my friends over there! I can't keep 'em suppressed forever!"

...Even though a machinegun capable of laying down an apparently ceaseless onslaught of viscous plasma might just be enough to pull it off.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace cusses, about to move out to help the others when Will... well... Will does the good guy thing. He tries to help the people who'd kill him as soon as look at him.

And Leyanne can't leave a man to do something stupid on his own. Not when it's near-suicide to do so. She cusses, making a few calls over the radio before geteting confirmation. She breaks from the team, and in moments, she's at Will's side, adding the flatulent hail of Mathilda to his plasma fire. It may just be firing conventional bullets, but it's throwing them at over three thousand rounds per minute.

"Just so you know!" She shouts to him, over the gun's roar. "If we die here, I'm going to make your afterlife an unliving hell!"

Starbound Flotilla has posed:

    Chunks of the building are coming down, which at least gives George a little bit of cover, but in this case, he just really doesn't have that much ability to evage the explosions. Dashing as fast as he can to surge around this corner segment of the building and get to the command zone, he dodges a handful of these detonations, but as soon as one catches him off-guard, another and another mess him up badly. "AUGH! Hey!! Focus on what's eating you, not running vaguely near ya!" He shouts out, his armor sizzling as he clambers back to his feet.

    George focuses on what Nova shouted, get to the command center and don't slow down. Break through! He dashes forward, bringing out a grappling hook. This is a corner of the building, and now much of the outer stuff is ripped off. So George blasts his grappling hook into one of the upper corners above and outside, and slings wayyyyy around, fully outside the building! Easiest way to evade this fight is to circle around it, and try to crash back into the building, kicking through walls or windows alike, somewhere further ahead, closer to the command center!

    One hopes this can get him clear of the battle, but it's not like he isn't still wielding and blasting his heavy pistol, intent on going for the headshots through the helmets and angles through the armor joints. Looks like he's spent a fair bit of time dealing with heavy power armor. Gotta get to the command center, and can't deal with anyone between him and it!

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     One of the larger alien beasts' venomous quills catches Septette right through the hip as she sprints through the blinding dust. She falls flat on her face like a bike with a stick in the spokes, then snaps the quill with a sharp jerk of her leg- just in time to find one of the Marauders pointing a barrel directly at her face.

     Some comically awful scuffling noises come from the dust cloud- and then Septette emerges, dragging a much larger Marauder behind her with his helmet and guns crudely ripped right off of his armor. After reaching the walkway, she tosses him down just ahead of Nova, where he lands dazed yet apparently alive. "Quick! Does he know anything about the evac?"

     There's something vaguely comical about the matter-of-fact manner in which she's chucking a grown power-armored man around like a hot potato, but she doesn't seem particularly in the mood for levity.

Rory White (673) has posed:
    All of this violence is far from heartening. Rory would frown, but as always, she doesn't have the brainpower to spare making those 'muscles' consciously move!

    Instead, she focuses on leg servos, and rockets out of cover to take a few potshots with her plasma rifle, sending bolts of concentrated superheated gas sealed in magnetic fields at hyper speeds down the hallway at any targets of opportunity!

    Of course just as she's finishing that manuever... BAAAAAAAAAAM!

    And then it's a HECK OF A MESS. Again, Rory would frown but...


    Instead... "Calculating... damage is not critical. The structure should still be sound. Watch for sharp debris--"

    Oh god now what? With SCREAMS and the skittering noises... she now realizes exactly why the Defenders of Man have their ships ready to go. The evacuation is because of the Zerg!

    Of course with GRENADES being launched, she decides to go for broke and cranks her speed up to absolute maximum, easing safety limiters on her Synthmorph's locomotive functions for a few seconds! The synthetic musculature that operates her legs cranks up briefly beyond tolerances, and she sort of flail-dashes PAST the grenades and attempts to use one of the fallen Heavy Troopers as her new source of cover! It's a risky gambit though, given the approaching Zerg...

    Which she starts firing on, hoping to spot another opening for another mad dash!

Kushiko has posed:
On the one hand, one might think that the Defenders of Man here would deserve /exactly/ what might be coming to them thanks to the psi-emitters. Which given what she's been following along with, thaaaat is going to be exceptionally terrible to deal with really. For everyone here, at least.

Yet at the same time, she's going to unleash an absolutely /staggering/, obscene barrage of bullets that makes /her/ sound like a gods be good minigun, like /someone/ here was bringing. And then that's when she starts moving--slowly, at least, adjusting her position. Whatever she's doing to engage those Warframe-mounted guns apparently doesn't afford much maneuverability. Mercifully for what it's worth, it /does/ let her not get nearly as affected as others might by William's electromagnetic display. Nonetheless, she's actually good to see him take full advantage of it. Eventually, however, once she's done utilizing the full strength of literal gun-kata in this aspect, she disengages, because she doesn't A) care much for the troopers here and B) she's put down enough suppressive fire to let William play at the role he's hoping to play.

Thus, did the Mesa Warframe elect to press on, and follow the others. She might be able to call down something with her ship later, to stymie what the Defenders of Man are doing here. For now, she's going to head to the walkway--but not actually /use/ the walkway--if there's a way to actually exit the building via window, she's going to do that. If not? Damned if she's not going to literally ninja parkour her way through. And, with a few deft maneuvers, try to *kick* the grenades back not at the Defenders of Man...

...but maybe down towards the Zerg as the Tenno works to get and catchup with the others to provide further cover.

Bahamut has posed:
     Bahamut has been in the Multiverse a while, but he is still a bit surprised at the efficiency of his fellow combatants. When they reach the next room, Bahamut is ready to get his claws dirty...that is until the other building starts to fall toward them. He just watches, his wings spread, ready to leap through a window if this building collapses under the combined weight of the two buildings.

     What happens is arguably just as bad. Zerglings. As they are pressed for time and probably can't hold off a Zerg Rush, Bahamut holds his arms up to shield his face then stomps toward the opening where the other building hit this one. "Stand down, fools! Attacking us will do you no good if these creatures destroy everything!" he bellows to the Defenders of Man troops, sparks being struck from his armored hide by the attacks, along with a few slashes and punctures left by bullets and spines. The golden gyro on his back spins steadily faster as he takes damage, and energy starts to crackle along it and his back.

     "I suggest you all stand back." he growls to friend and foe alike. "And hold the line while I charge up." he adds before lowering to all fours right at the point the Zerg are rushing in. He growls as claws and spines slash at him, but does not waver. The energy crackling over his back starts to gather just in front of his open maw, then coalesces into a swirling orb of blue, grey, and white energy. It takes him a few moments to get fully charged, but when the orb is as tall as a man...Bahamut finally fires!

     He is careful to try and match his beam trajectory to the angle of the fallen building, and with a roar a beam as broad as Bahamut himself and of the same swirling colors as the orb lances out at high speed. It punches through floors as it goes, saturating anything it hits with pure energy to the point that it either spontaneously explodes or bursts into flame. It should reach quite far into t he building, obliterating most anything in its path.

     But that is not the end. When Bahamut finally stops firing after a few seconds, the entire area that was exposed to the beam expodes upward in a powerful swath of continuing destruction, likely blowing the top side out of the building in question and surely sending whatever Zerglings that were not caught in the beam flying out of the building.

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Several of the Heavy Troopers are sliced up by the Sith, falling to the ground with glowing scorch marks in their armor. The Marauder slashed by Arcana's sword finds his suit completely inoperable, falling forward. He's still alive, that's how thick and armoured those bulky suits are. He tries to struggle... Unfortunately it's useless as several Zerglings pounce on him, starting to tear him apart. A couple of Heavy Troopers find themselves with melted armour from Rory's plasma rifle while a Marauder finds his grenade sent flying at some Zerg, which explode into numerous pieces.

    The constant fire from Will and Leyanne help to thin out the Zerg charging across the makeshift bridge. Numerous Zerg corpses are falling off the edge, plummeting the long distance to the streets below. But for all the plasma bolts and bullets they have, there are more Zerg. Several of the Hydralisks score direct hits on the Heavy Troopers, while a number of Zerglings are harassing the Marauders with bites and claws. At this point the Defenders have all but forgotten about the elites, even those trying to help, as they do their best to stay alive.

    Bahamut will indeed come under considerable attack while he charges for his powerful blast. But his magic enhanced defenses are tough, allowing him to survive long enough to unleash his MEGA FLARE! The massive beam rips through the makeshift bridge, blowing numerous Zerg apart and off into the air. Finally the already damaged structure gives way, falling out beneath the swarming creatures. They all plummet towards the ground, disappearing into the growing cloud of dust caused by the building debris. After that, it doesn't take long for Will, Leyanne and Bahamut to clear away the remaining Zerg. But the Defenders of Man were hit hard, those few who are left are badly injured.

    The assault team breaks out into the large walkway that connects both building sections on this level. Including George, who comes swing around the building's outside to smash through the walkway's glass, which covers both wall and ceiling. It shows an impressive view of the city as well as several transports that can be seen flying away from the skyscraper and into the air. The retreating Defenders of Man.

    Nova comes to a sudden stop as a Marauder is unceremoniously dumped in front of her. She blinks for a moment, but then nods to Septette. She reaches down to grab the collar of the Marauder's armour, showing her own impressive strength as she lifts him up towards her. She concentrates, the Marauder beginning to struggle and cry out in pain. As she delves into his mind, she speaks, "Emergency evacuation... Secret coordinates, he doesn't know... Some kind of plan involving the Emperor, no specifics... The command room..." Nova blinks, "A Thor!? Are they insane!?" Another pause and then, "That's it." The Marauder cries out one more time before going limp, blood seeping out from his eyes, ears and nose. Nova drops the corpse again and then says, "Come on, we're almost there..."

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Reaching the other side of the walkway, Nova slows down and warns, "Careful, this probably won't be easy." Heading through the open doors the group comes out into a large room. It takes up almost all of this section's floor. Windows can be seen on the opposite side, showing the sky beyond. A large array of monitors are all set up around a single, complex looking computer console. Close to the console is a familiar looking (to some) device, a Psi Emitter, that is softly glowing and humming with energy. However, positioned within the center of the room is a large machine. Folded legs suggest it is some kind of mech.

    Speakers on the mech crackle to life, "Terra. She said you'd come. How could you refuse? This tower is named after you after all." The voice is familiar to those who were on Tyradore IX. But it's Nova who confirms it, saying the name with venom, "Redding." Nova appears to focus for a moment, but then asks, "Who are you working for?"

    Redding cackles from inside his machine, "Not so smug and all-knowing now, are you, teep? The Psi-screens were a precaution, but not my only one."

    Nova looks concerned for a moment, but then her eyes go wide and she whirls her head towards one of the side doors. They fly open. In the corridor within, a man can be seen. He's wearing a suit similar to Nova's, though his face is completely hidden by his helmet. Still, Nova asks hesitantly, "... Stone?"

    The Ghost responds coldly, "Agent X41822N. You are a traitor to the cause." The sword he's currently holding in his hand lights up, forming a blade of blue energy around it.

    Nova's eyes go a little wide, "I never believed in their cause. They manipulated me! And they're manipulating you too! Stop this, Stone. We're comrades, Ghosts of the Dominion. Our purpose is to protect it, not destroy it!"

    The Ghost called Stone seems unconvinced. He rushes forward, quickly clearing the distance between himself and Nova using a psi-boosted dash. He brings the glowing blade up, slashing at Nova's chest. Nova raises her canister rifle to try and block the weapon, but the glowing blade just slices through the firearm like it's not even there. Nova is obviously surprised, but reacts quickly. A blast of blue psionic energy is unleashed from her. It strikes Stone and sends him flying backwards. He smashes right through a support column, before hitting the ground and skidding to a stop. Dropping the two rifle parts, Nova looks to be in a little pain. But she ignores it, calling out to Stone, "Don't do this!"

    Stone stands up once more, looking no worse for wear after that blast and impact. The creeping blue energy of a cloaking field begins to climb up his legs as he starts to disappear. The same effect begins to rise up Nova's body as she slides her visor down over her eyes. But she calls out to Stone, "I will kill you if I have to!"

    Stone is quickly disappearing as he replies, "Public records say that November Annabella Terra died in this building ten years ago." Stone's cloaking finally engulfs his head and he is no longer visible. However he does finish with a disembodied whisper, "It's time that history be set right."

    Despite the jab at her history, the look on Nova's face is one of grim determination. As her own cloaking field renders her invisible, she responds, "So be it." Then there is silence...

    ... Until Redding's voice pipes up from his mech's speakers, "Well, that's one fight I wish I could watch. Ah well, I'll just have to settle for dealing with the rest of you." There's a mechanical whir of gears as the large machine rumbles to life. Rising up on its legs, the four large cannons on its back slide out of their housings and angle forward. Four subsequent blasts send the huge 250mm shells shooting towards the group of elites. Direct hit or not, the explosions are equally as dangerous, big enough to actually blow open a large hole into the floor below.

Zerrawn (6336) has posed:
    Zerrawn was still doing his thing, taking out dominion soldiers until that massive shell blew open the ground, and made the sith lord fall. But, that has a veeeery interesting result. It pisses Zerrawn off, and rage is his fuel. "I have had just about enough..." He growls out. A gust of wind catches his cloak, and as it billows behind him. He raises up both hands at the machine, and pours force energy at it, aiming to either crush it entirely, or at least it's weapons.

Bahamut has posed:
     It worked. Just as Bahamut had hoped. The Zerg are decimated and the makeshift bridge building collapses. But, he is pretty slow to stand up, and when he does manage to turn to face the others he looks much more like a porcupine than a dragon, with red flowing from the many deep punctures in his armored body. His wings too are much more like Swiss cheese now than feathered wings, and the spines from those snake-like creatures have practically coated his upper body and arms, and what wasn't hit by those is badly scratched and slashed and broken from teeth and claws of the smaller Zerglings.

     When asked about healing magic, despite his own wounds Bahamut does not heal himself. Instead, he trudges toward the injured, slashing any stray Zerg that come at him. When he reaches the wounded he reaches behind his back into a cleverly concealed backpack and pulls out a strange looking bottle. "Al Bhed healing potion." he explains, then he tosses it up in the air and a wave of healing energy flows over him and anyone else nearby, including the assault team members and the injured Defenders who are still living. Hopefully Will and Leyanne have secured the power armors. Bahamut doesn't look much better off after the potion, but the others should feel fairly refreshed as deep wounds knit somewhat and small wounds disappear completely. Then, the big dragon collapses to one knee, panting from the severity of his injuries. "Secure them." he says to whoever is still in the room with him.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana comes storming into the room, eyes locking on the Psi Emitter, but then turning onto the mechanical construct. The voice causes Arcana's eyes to narrow, and even while Nova and Stone go at it nearby, the Drive Core Controller Candidate remains fixated on the machine holding that man... no, that monster. "I should have used Faraday's Requium on you back then." she lifts one hand to partly cover her face, as if in pain. "I won't make the same mistake again. artillery fire comes in, engulfing Arcana in the blast. She comes flying out of the smoke, looking battered and damaged, red cracks covering her body, showing the raw code beneath.

    The young program lands unceremoniously in a heap, slowly pushing herself up onto her knees, eyes closed. Her body streams smoke for a few moments. She grasps her blade, forcing herself back to her feet. "I will... damage its weapons array..." she transmits to her allies. Arcana draws the blade, and simultaneously lodges a Relay into the wall nearby. "I hoped I wouldn't have to use this... ACCESS!"

    Arcana transforms, but her sword, instead of remaining the same longsword as before, is now a fine, slightly curved blade of oriental affection. "I'll use everything I have!" She holds her blade before her, channeling magic into the blade itself, covering it with prismatic light. Her wing-like Processors spreading out, and she launches with floor cracking force, lifting up and around behind the mecha towards those cannon linkage points. She slashes at them with the empowered blade, while reciting her spell.

    Gathering storm, upon the grey mountain. Wind blowing through the darkened valley. Astral prose and mortal guise, rend asunder before the Righteous Blade... Ragnarok's End. After slicing at the armour and linkages, she backflips away. Skidding to a stop, she gathers a pair of orbs, one blue, the other red, and hurls them towards the back of the Mech... she then flourishes the blade, and hurls that so the three intersect in a burst of golden light, the blade exploding like a shaped charge as it strikes its target. "Do not think ill of me." Her eyes close, and with a snap of her fingers, the explosion intensifies, energy expanding out from the impact point and trying to rend metal and circuitry asunder.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    George gets to hear all of this, as far ahead as he is. The invisible psychic battle is one he'll have to hope he doesn't get caught in the blastwaves of; he doesn't trust Nova, but right now there's not a particular alternative he can really do. What he can do is focus on the bigger thing at hand. "Well hey!" He says to the big mecha. "I don't got psychic powers or anything, but I'm great at shows! Some real killer jokes. What don't you get outta that big ol' walk-o-matic and I'll give you some real gutbusters."

    Huge 250mm shells may not be a problem for some of them, but for George, just one of those is likely to blast him to bits. So when the first barrage rips through the group, he takes immediate cover behind Septette, and when the floor gives out from the blasts, he makes sure to swing below on his grapple-hook and reinforce the ground beneath her with a quick swipe of his matter manipulator! From there, he jams his magboots on and stomps his way as fast as he can to the underside of the warmachine, planting heavy explosives wherever he sees the dust falling from its heavy footsteps.

    And then, he detonates his charges! The intention is to send the war machine tumbling through the floor, ideally giving it a good smash, a solid stun, and throwing off its footing enough to let George jump aboard it without getting shot by automated defenses!

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace moves to the downed Marauders and relieves them of her weapons, pulling the power packs of their armour - and snapping off the catches. Once that's done, she looks over the K-12 she'd relieved them of. Ooh, that's a nice gun. She mag-locks her minigun to her pack and picks one up, ripping the ammunition loader from the suit with simple brute force. She grins after checking its heft, and then runs off to assist the others.

Upon arrival in the command centre, she looks around and assesses the situation. The big dude is distracted firing at everyone else, and has -no- idea she's there. Fantastic, it's not often the mouse in red gets to lay a surprise attack. But today, she's got just that opportunity. She raises the K-12, hits a button on the side (the one that changes it to fire a concussive shell, not that she knows that yet), takes aim, and squeezes the trigger.

Even Leyanne is knocked back by the recoil, staggered back a few steps by the kick. "Dayum...."

Kushiko has posed:
Thanks in large part to Rory White and certain others here obtaining useful information regarding the layout of this building, as Kushiko-Mesa was making her way to shore up the group that would be dealing with the mech, she catches bits and pieces of what they're talking about--something to ask Nova about later, certainly, if it doesn't outright get explained in turn.

But why thank Rory? Ah, that would be because of useful information regarding the ventilation systems here. And how someone like her, a general infiltration-specced sort, could take full advantage of that to disappear amidst the utter *bedlam* going on--some of which actually made her shields flicker and fritz from the concussive force even where she was at. A short, strangled sound comes from her--the impact of one shell and the force making the vent itself crush inward at a painful point.

But it's something she can live with, chance or no, pushing herself through and upwards, shimmying and moving until, well...


One of those vent covers, kicked out to land maybe just happenstance on the mech's sensors or cams. Maybe. Or more better still it lands somewhere annoyingly enough to be dismissed, before she herself pulls herself out and over and onto the mech itself. And directs the twinned Peacemaker pistols to either side--focusing fire on the guns themselves to maybe just /maybe/ try and melt them by sheer volume of firepower. Why, one might ask? Because the ammunition being used is very much corrosive, and anti-armor besides. Might be a good thing. Might be no different than just concentrated fire, but it might do something!

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     The Ghosts have their own war. Without being able to see her ally or her enemy, let alone tell them apart, interfering would likely be worse than useless. Septette steps forward instead, her shoulders squared and tall as the mechanical monstrosity levels its guns on them. Fear would be a rational response. Fear is not something her mind can contain.

     "You don't sound too great, Redding," she drawls in a voice seemingly designed to be as irritatingly droll as possible. "Still getting over that sore throat?" Those guns look horrifying- but that just means it's better they're aimed at her instead of anyone else!

     The first shell comes when George is still taking cover behind her- she can't afford to dodge! Instead, it strikes the flat of her raised armblade braced against her open hand. Her shoulders spark and shudder as the 'kick' of its impact travels down her arms, and her talons dig furrows into the ground as she skids backwards. The venerable exoskeletal plates hold fast, but smolder and strain at the impact point.

     The second shell aimed her way strikes the ground where she stood a fraction of a second earlier. The reinforced floor channels the explosion outwards rather than down, so she dashes forwards just enough to avoid direct impact and 'rides' the explosive shockwave right up to the Thor's feet! With flames still licking at her back, she raises her armblade high and tries to gouge it deep into the knee-joint of the colossus, aiming to rip out any vital components she can and either hobble its movement or bring it crashing down.

William Pauwel has posed:
It's a hard-fought victory. Far too much blood is shed. At least one of those damnable zerglings manages to get a claw into Will's shoulder, but that's much less terrible than the spikes shorn straight through several of the Marauders. Bahamut is a pincushion. The building is gone, though-- and for now, they have a breather.

Will rounds on the Marauders still standing and clears his throat, "Alright y'all! I think we can all agree that bein' torn apart by alien monsters ain't fun. I'mma go deal with somethin' quick, then we'll do our best to get y'all outta here in one piece. Just... Don't do anythin' reckless, kay? I'll be back! The big guy'll keep y'all company while we're gone." Will flashes a thumbs up in Bahamut's direction and a promise that he'll be back once... other business is dealt with.

And so, after lecturing a bunch of hardened soldiers (and possibly also a bunch of clueless volunteers, Will turns around and follows Leyanne towards the command center, where he finds...

...A giant frickin' robot.


Bahamut's potion patched up the Zerg-inflicted injuries, which is about all that lets him do what he needs to get done. With friendlies in the line of fire, Will opts to hang back and reshape his favorite gun into something very much resembling an anti-tank rifle, albeit one presently filled with crackling, coruscating electromagnetic madness.

If that giant robot there is anything like /his/ robots, then it definitely won't enjoy being blasted by the scifi equivalent of 15 mm rounds. Except instead of metal, they're made out of pure energy and, shortly after penetrating the thing's armor, would rapidly erupt as pulses of electronics-ravaging electromagnetism.

Sure, it might not break the likes of a Thor, but it'll sure play havoc with its internal electronics.

Rory White (673) has posed:
    Rory isn't stupid enough to enter the walkway without preparations. A panel on her suit opens up and she fires some kind of ROPE from it, which latches onto a wall through some odd means that aren't immedaitely obvious - it's as if it was covered in glue only where she wants it to be!

    In the wake of all that trouble though, she comes up behind the front team... and takes in the exchange between the two Ghosts.

    All up until Nova disappears. She's not sure WHAT Nova's plan is, but figures...

    That there really is no p oint guessing. She'll reveal herself again when ready.

    The bluenette turns her gaze on this giant mech... "This is your one and only chance to surrender. Some of this group's members are not inclined towards mercy or reason. And I have little time to spare subduing you with the Zerg closing in!"

    And... ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, as it usually does. And Rory does the first sensible thing that comes to mind - dives the heck out of the way and tries to find some cover again!

    But that's not ALL she does...

    Because as she hits the ground - behind proper cover or not - her body goes completely limp.

    What the heck?!

    And ten seconds later, one of the windows simply CRASHES inwards, as a silvery feline figure barrels into the hallway. It bears the same faux-circuit patterns as the bluenette's armor over there, but THIS is a robotic Lioness, covered in hardmount points and seems to be made of pure... metal? Yes, but much more flexible than any metal has a right to be. The robot's surface ripples almost fluidly with motion from thousands of tiny components. Its optics shine once...

    And then, the ingrated matter manipulator flares to life, and sizable railguns unfold from compressed space and lock into its shoulder hardpoints.

    "I should have started with this Morph to begin with!"

    And so, the robo-lioness OPENS FIRE!

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    The Heavy Troopers and Marauders still alive suddenly find their wounds partially healed. Enough that they're no longer in danger of dying. Relieved of their weapons, they have very few options to fight back. And while they were beginning to die for their cause when this started, they're extremely disheartened after everything they experienced and seeing their fellows die. So none of them look interested in fighting. However, they also don't look interested in Will's words. So the moment he leaves, they begin to help each other up, going down a corridor that probably heads towards one of the few evacuation transports still waiting.

    Not one of them says thank you to Bahamut as they pass him. Or even really acknowledges him. Rude.

    The large machine, most likely the Thor that Nova mentioned earlier, shakes as the Force wraps around it. Heavy metal armour creaks under the force applied. A couple of the large cannons on its back twist and turn before finally being sheared free, dropping to the floor. Inside the cockpit, Redding grunts under the pressure, "Is that all you've got!?" Several ports on either side of the cockpit fold open to reveal missile launchers beneath. A swarm of missiles are unleashing, streaking out. The resulting explosions aren't as large as the cannons fired previously, however there is far more of them. This entire section of the building shakes, joined by the unnerving sound of twisting metal and shattering concrete.

    Arcana's blade is on target, the Thor hardly an agile machine. But the armour is heavy. But once she falls back and unleashes the explosive shot, it rips the two remaining 250mm cannons apart, sparks flying from the stubs. The entire machine briefly stumbles forward from the explosion. Of course, Arcana too will find herself within explosive range of the missiles that were launched.

    Kushiko lands on the top of the Thor, not far from the cockpit. Redding hears the landing and starts trying to shake the Mesa off. While the guns have been dealt with, Kushiko now has an equally appealing target: The launchers. The corrosive bullets melt into the weapons, a few of the missiles stored within being hit resulting in secondary explosions. The Thor is shaken by the blasts, Redding smashing his head against the side of his cockpit. An automated voice calmly alerts him, "Damage estimated at fifty percent. Recommend retreat." Redding ignores it as his vision begins to fill with red, blood trickling down his face from his head wound.

    Septette's blade slices through one of the Thor's legs, circuits sparking as they are seperated. The machine starts to become unstable, Redding trying to keep it upright even as the energy rounds from Will's rifle start to dig into the Thor's structure, cockpit screens starting to flicker. However, it's at that point that George's explosives go off. The Thor is briefly launched upwards as the floor beneath it bulges. It then goes crashing down amidst a rain of floor debris.

    The Thor impacts the next floor down, damaged leg crumbling under the weight and causing the machine to tip over onto its side. It tries to stand again, all the while under fire from railguns of a metal lioness that rip into armour and internal structure. But Redding finally gives up on standing, resorting to using the Thor's last weapons on its arms. The interiors of the two barrels on each arm begin to glow, the sound of energy charging fairly obvious. The particle accelerators finally fire, unleashing beams of red light across the room. The beams are strong, ripping up ceiling, walls and floor alike as they sweep across the entire room.

    Meanwhile, in one corner of the command room that is thankfully free of laser fire, there is a small flash of blue as one of the two Ghosts fighting takes a hit, their cloak briefly disrupted at the point of injury. But after a pause, the field is restored once more. Though several droplets of blood still fall to the floor from nowhere afterwards.

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    The grenades fired by Leyanne streak through the air, falling through the whole formed by George's explosives. They land atop the Thor, exploding on impact. The explosive shots scorch armour and blow off several panels. The force applied to the Thor's weight causes cracks in the floor below the large machine.

Bahamut has posed:
     Bahamut may have taken a moment to catch his breath and brace against the pain of his injuries, but he isn't about to let those cowards escape just because he saved them. As they make their way toward the hall he lets out a menacing growl before he stands. But, instead of stopping them he follows them right to their escape craft and once there he makes his way inside ahead of them and heads toward the cockpit. He smashes the door open if there is one then growls at the pilots. "You can surrender, or I can send this spacecraft crashing down into the Zerg infested ruins below." he says, then grins a bit menacingly. "It matters little to me." he says.

     Assuming the pilots comply, he directs the ship toward the building in which the rest of the party is fighting the Thor. They might need pick-up if things are as destructive as they sound.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "God, Jesus fuck!!" George calls out as, suddenly, the particle beams trace huge lines of massive damage. The shaking and shuddering of the entire thing is dangerous, threatening to throw him off at any moment where he could be stomped underfoot! But with some deft grapple-hook work, he evades the danger zone and keeps atop the Thor. "Hey, big guy, come on!! You gotta know when to fold 'em here, even if you make some chunky homestyle salsa out of fresh ingredients here you're still not gonna make it out of this-- Shit!" A chunk of ceiling slams onto his body, causing a wet crunching noise.

    "Fuckin'... Come on, one'a you guys oughta have way more grudge about this son of a bitch than he's got on /this/ life expectancy!" George calls out, trying to clamber to one of those wildly swinging arms with his deft experience in live space repairs, and rip out electronics as fast as he can before this thing brutalizes too much more! George knows at least enough, with his experience in mechanical engineering, to find bits and pieces that are meant to shield and contain particle physics processes; even if he doesn't really properly get what these dangerous weapons are based on, he can at least yank enough to blow a couple fuses, using his high-powered industrial gauntlets!

    He's roughly got the impression this is a guy they've encountered before, right? At that fight Septette was at? Someone's gotta have a grudge! And George knows above all else: A grudge is goddamn strong, so he's gonna try to give someone space to take theirs out on this guy.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana falls to a knee, covering her head as she pours Resource into her defense. That shield comes back, missiles slamming into it, the explosions tearing more of her body up, more damaged code appearing. The missile barrage ends, and she sees the Thor has fallen through to the next floor down. She sees that flash, noting where the Ghosts are apparently fighting. She responds to others over the radio, "I-I don't have much left, but I can, maybe, use my Shock-deck... I'll... I'll hit the entire... room..."

    But then there are lasers. Particle cannon fire, in red, slashes across her position, smashing through her shield and sending her flying away, smashing into the Psi Emitter's casing, her Processors sparking as their crystals explode. She falls out of the dent, slamming into the floor and slowly pushing herself up. "Ye Lords. Mask of Bits and Code. Flutter of wings, ye who bare the name of Program. Truth and Temperence, Strike upon this corrupted wall, and unleash the full measure of your fury. Way of Binding, number 53. Lightning Chains!"

    Arcana's spell draws cards from the deck at her belt. All the cards are Yellow and spread out to encompass the entire room, before they unleash a 'pulse' of electric force. The pulse 'curves' around her allies, but otherwise suffuses the entire room for a single moment.

Kushiko has posed:
Guns, missiles, both are extremely acceptable target to Kushiko utilizing Mesa. On the other hand, however, she doesn't get to ride the lightning for as long as she'd like. She rolls with the shaking, maintaining her field of fire but there's no way she can maintain her footing when the footing drops underneath the Thor itself.

Also there's the *tiny* problem with the potential friendly fire thanks to William, so she does the next best thing--use the Thor as a literal shield, rolling backwards so she's behind it and hanging onto it through her completely unfair Tenno-trained skills at mobility and wall-hugging. Except the wall in this case is part of a siege mech.

That said, once it actually lands, she uses the force of the impact to hurl herself away from it, finding yet another wall to cling to, mostly to stay out of the laser fire, and instead to throw herself towards one of those particle-accelerator equipped limbs. Pulling free what looks to be some kind of twin-bladed, elegantly curved polearm, she lands on the arm itself, and starts swinging--though only briefly. Enough to possibly compromise the section she's on, before switching back to her twinned guns and firing directly into the weakened portion to quite possibly cause an utterly cataclysmic degree of harm to the Thor's laser weaponry, and maybe to herself if it explodes before it gets off.

...ah. Bigger the risk, the bigger the prize, right?

William Pauwel has posed:
Will has no idea what Kushiko is talking about when she says 'Lanka.' What's a Lanka? Is it a dog? Some kind of amazing electromagnetic space ninja dog!? That'd be awesome!

Not awesome: a giant robot firing a giant fuck-off laser beam at you.

"Get down!" Will yells, grabbing Leyanne's shoulder and immediately dropping to his belly. A massive particle beam scythes across the nearby superstructure, sending rubble and building tumbling into the abyss all around them. Will grits his teeth and takes aim with a now much-smaller weapon. Terminal Judgment burns brilliant white-blue in its original, handcannon-like form before discharging a tremendous sphere of plasma...

Right into the still heated barrel of one of those particle beam launchers.

Is he hoping to melt the weapon right into slag? Probably!

Rory White (673) has posed:
    Rory is, as usual, disappointed that SOMEHOW a slugfest is in the way of her goal. She cannot risk sensitive hacking operations in the middle of a firefight! ... But with this much firepower on display, the AGI is fairly disconcerted. The sheer violence her comrades are capable of gives her about two seconds of pause.

    And then she resumes blasting the Thor, aiming for any joints or chinks in the armor plating that will further debilitate it!

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace grins a little as the grenades blow open the Thor... but then shit goes sideways. Will's hand never actually meets Leyanne's shoulder; rather, the hand chases the shoulder all the way down until both Leyanne and Will are prone. There's probably a comical moment of the two rolling apart as a particle beam slices between them, then rolling together again as another two go either side. Once she's judged the pattern of shots is moving away from her somewhat, she opens up with the K-12 again, this time letting out grenade after grenade. But then she finds a button on the side of the gun marked 'concussive shot'... ooh. Have to see what that's gonna do.

She braces herself as firmly as she can, using her tail as an extra leg. Then she hefts the launcher up to her shoulder, takes aim at a point on the Thor that's furthest from her comrades. Then she fires.

Even Leyanne ends up flat from the kick. It's a lot like watching an unprepared person fire a certain 76mm shoulderfired weapon; the kick doesn't so much blast her off her feet as push her past the point where, even with the tail, she simply cannot remain standing despite her best efforts. She ends up on her ass, rubbing the point where her cybernetic left shoulder meets organic flesh. "Woo..."

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     Whatever those horrible red beams are, Septette wisely decides not to test her defenses against them. She backs off from her uncomfortably-close position, choosing to leap over and slide under them now that she's got more room to maneuver. George, William, and Kushiko's disabling gambits give her just the opening she needs to dart back in- if not by annihilating the weapons, then certainly by distracting the pilot!

     As she races across the crumbling floor, an ice crystal materializes in her hand, then flash-boils away into a cloud of steam that momentarily obscures her from view. She emerges from the fogbank by leaping into the air in front of the Thor, in what would be a suicidally risky maneuver were her adversary any less occupied. For an instant at the apex of her jump, keen purple eyes stare down at Redding with some opaque mixture of loathing, glee, and hatred.

     They should've done this back at the outpost. Deep down, Septette feels culpable for his survival- her hands were around his neck not a week ago, and she let him go. Now, she has a shot at setting things right. Her armblade raises above her head, blunt convex edge forwards, and hurtles down towards the cockpit glass with the full force of her weight as she descends.

     There's no other way to finish this properly. The weakest part of any machine is always the human behind it.

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    "Inertial stabilizers." "Check." "Fuel pressure." "Check." "Navigation." "Che-" SMASH. The sliding door is sheared from it rails and bent open. The two transport pilots look in on at shock at the sight of the angry dragon. They simply nod to his demands. Under Bahamut's careful gaze, they slowly take off from the platform and start to head around to the other side of the building.

    George starts rummaging around in the Thor's internal systems. Sparks fly and unhealthy mechanical whirs start to sound from within the machine. In cockpit, Redding grunts as his screens start dieing on him. He's having trouble thinking, red quickly obscuring his vision.

    The combined efforts from Kushiko, her polearm slashing into one accelerator barrel, and Will, his plasma shot hitting the other, causes an overload on that arm. Within moments, the entire arm explodes in a flash of light, shaking the building even more.

    The Thor attempts to raise its other arm to fire off another pair of particle beams, but Leyanne's concussion shot strikes it before it can aim, the forceful blow smashing the arm down into the floor. Rory's shots pepper the arm joint and with the sound of electrical shorts, the arm goes limp.

    Finally, Septette comes streaking out of the steam cloud, her blade smashing into the cockpit canopy. The tinted material shatters under the force, Redding now easily visible within the cockpit. Blood from his head wound is flowing down his face, pooling in his lap. His movements are sluggish as he looks out of the now open cockpit at the elites. He smirks, raising a remote trigger for them to see, his finger hovering over the button. It's safe to assume it's some kind of self-destruct.

    However, just as Redding is about to sacrifice himself to take them all out... Thus getting in one final victory for his cause... He pauses as there is a large CRACK. Followed by a long GROOOOOOAN. Then in a spectacular explosion of dust and debris, the floor beneath the wrecked Thor gives way. It falls, quickly impacting the floor of the next level. However that floor doesn't hold either, giving way to the Thor's weight as the large machine falls once more. It stops on the third floor though, the structure creaking but remaining intact.

    Looking down through the hole, everyone will be able to see Redding struggling to get out of his cockpit. The reason is soon clear as a swarm of Zerglings rush into view. They begin to bite down on and slash at the Thor, their razor sharp teeth and bony claws cutting into the armoured structure. One Zergling manages to clamber up to the Thor's cockpit, hissing as it eyes the helpless Redding. It then dives forward with its jaws open. Redding's screams echo up through the hole, though not for long.

    Back up in the control room, Arcana's spell washes out from her position. It covers much of the room until it finally finds its targets. Two figures appear, blue light flashing as they are hit by the electric force. Both are briefly stunned by the attack, however having expected it from the warning on the radio, Nova was able to brace for it and so recovers first. She kicks Stone's hand, the sword in it going flying into the air, energy blade deactivating. Stone starts to reach out to try and catch it, but the weapon doesn't follow the normal arc of an object in flight. Instead it changes course, quickly zipping over into Nova's hand. Quickly reigniting it, Nova drives the blade into Stone's chest. Right through his heart. Stone coughs up some blood, before falling to his knees. Nova pulls the blade out once more, letting Stone's lifeless body fall to the ground. She glances at it for a moment, then the sword in her hand. The blade of blue light vanishes and Nova brings the dormant sword up to her back, putting it away. A quick glance at the large hole tells her everything she needs to know about Redding's fate, "I should have killed him when I had the chance." Nova looks at the other elites and says fairly calmly, "Come on, we don't have much time."

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    As if to punctuate Nova's words, rumbling can be heard coming from the walkway the group previously crossed. Looking through the doors to it, the mass of Zerg charging across it can easily be seen. Nova moves to the room's entrance. She reaches her hands out, large pieces of ceiling debris floating up off the floor and towards her. They then stack against the entrance moments before the Zerg rush hits it.

    As Nova struggles to maintain the barricade, she calls out, "Get the data!" Meanwhile, the sound of engines can be heard. Looking out the windows of this floor, the Defenders transport that Bahamut has confiscated has moved down to hover just beyond the glass. Its large cargo bay door is open, waiting.

Theurgus (1103) has posed:
    Arcana tries to push herself to her feet... then collapses as her transformation finally gives out, a soft thump probably drowned out in the cochophony of the Zerg attacking Nova's impromptu barricade... she'll need help to evacuate.

Bahamut has posed:
     Bahamut is grinning as the ship floats down into place, and he motions for the others to join him in the transport. "Our work here is done, I take it? Let us depart, quickly!" He seems quite proud of his work and his timely appearance, and the remaining Defenders already inside are in no shape to stop them. He sees Arcana go down and growls. He would go and retrieve her, but he has no doubt the ship would be gone when he got back. "Who has little Arcana?" he asks urgently.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Woah woah woah WOAH WOAH WOAH!" George cries out, as the sudden downward lurge sends his stomach dropping. "Don't you start falling to your death while I'm still on you you son of bitch, you hold on just a second more!!" And then Geroge leaps up as high as he can, launching his grappling hook to the ceiling of the original room, dangling awkwardly above the falling, and soon fallen, Thor.

    "Boy, really bet you wish you hadn't turned that beacon on now, don'tcha." He says, then cries out in sudden pain as some of the strain of the battle hits him. He reels himself back up to the main room, and administers a rapid painkiller as he does, before swinging off his grappling line and heading for the command equipment. "Hey Rors! Hope your signal's still good!" He calls out, unreeling a series of data jacks from his suit and trying to find something to plug into somewhere in the command facility, something that can get his old ally some good access. And George, as well, because of course he wants to copy that data along the way.

    I mean, these guys are trying to mess with the Dominion, and George would love to see pretty much anything that could fuck with any government that has an emperor. But first thing's first, get the data they were after to Nova, at least.

Kushiko has posed:
Sadly, Mesa cannot grin. But Kushiko, far from here, certainly can, at the addtional force multiplication William and Leyanne and George provide, to say nothing of Septette's nigh perfect coup de grace. Nigh perfect, if it weren't for Redding having just enough piss and vinegar in him to stay alive long enough with his machine to try and take them all out.

Instinct alone serves to have Kushiko vault out of the way, her form spiralling upward in order to cling to part of the wall and hold on while the Thor descends. The gruesome sight earns no sympathy, only disdain instead as she pulls herself up, and performs a cursory check to see if the others are okay; particularly checking on George and to a lesser degree Septette. If only because Septette is bulky as hell, let's be honest. William... can probably handle himself, right? Yeah. Leyanne too.

Yet, they don't have much time here, do they? She signals for her own ship to come in, as she doesn't necessarily want to take up space-slash-weight that is better served for the others. It latches onto the side--well, sortof latches on, showing a shaped impression for a humanoid to get onto. <"We'll use ours, but nicely done!"> she calls out for Bahamut, her oddly disembodied voice ringing clarion clear despite the bedlam. She keeps her guns leveled on the barrier that Nova erected, but once everyone's aboard and they have the data?

She'll get right onto her 'ship' as it were, the half-capsule coffining her Warframe back and the ship falling away to get the deuce out of there.

Septette Arcubielle (632) has posed:
     "I've got-" Septette starts to say, but then looks down at her hands, dripping with Zerg blood and oil. She heats them red-hot, then quenches them with ice as a kind of arcane autoclave. There- all sparkly-clean! Now she can give Arcana a hand, sweeping her up in a fireman's carry, then carefully kicking out the glass before taking a running leap onto the ship.

     Arcana's deposited onto a seat on the shuttle, then Septette leans out the side and waves aboard any other laggards before settling in herself. "That's the kind of mission I like to see," she says to nobody in particular, smiling sweetly with her hands folded in her lap. "Nobody dies. Nobody we care about."

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace watches Redding fall, peering over the edge. She frowns, watching a moment. Nah. Not even he deserves a death like that. She scowls, slipping her revolver from its holster and putting a single round into his head before the screams really get too far. She hops up onto the rear ramp of the drop ship and unslings her minigun, handing the grenade launcher off to someone in the ship. "Hold that for me, yeah?" She comments, getting ready to cover Nova's retreat. "Nova! Hurry up yeah?"

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Nova continues to struggle, the Zergling flailing arms starting to chop bits and pieces off the concrete barricade. But Nova holds her ground, pain visible in her face. It's only once George and Rory finish grabbing the data and make their escape that Nova gives in.

    The barricade collapses, Zerglings beginning to clamber over the debris into the room. Hydralisks begin to follow soon after. But Nova is already running. She leaps over the hole created by George, landing on the other side in a skid just as a barrage of spines go flying over her. She reaches the edge like this, finally pushing herself up at the last moment and jumping.

    Soaring through the air, Nova quickly hits the lowered cargo bay door. Going into a roll, she comes up on her feet and shouts, "GO!" The transport pilots hit the throttle and the ship quickly accelerates away from the building. Standing and heading inside, Nova hits the button to start closing the bay door. But beyond the closing everyone can see swarms of Mutalisks already trying to follow. And beyond that, the skyscraper cluster they left behind is now crawling with Zerg. Fleshy matter is making its way up the side of the buildings, the process of infestation well on the way.

Rory White (673) has posed:
    Of course Rory's signal is still good! The Flexbot doesn't have quite the specialized data processing as the Synthmorph, but this problem is easily solved. Because the bluenette-in-armor body Rory evacuated to fight gets back up with strangely robotic movements, rising to its feet and deftly navigating to her side while adopting a very automated-looking sentry posture. It immediately sets about to evacuating, following the others.

    The Lioness, on the other hand, simply stays near the window it came through to start with.

    Rory's attention shifts to the Wifi Mesh, attempting to route through George's connection into the systems and begin a mass copy of everything while hunting for specific data.

    Not just on where else the Defenders are based out of and other crucial information, but on anything covering those Psi Emitters!