Dalahar glanced around. "The only reason we have a chance is the uneven hills ahead of us. That will give us the cover we need." He thought for a moment. Feeling like he'd reached some crux of destiny.
Inside the facility, locked in his room, Gilson waited and hoped. He needed the fighting to start before he could transmit his next signal.
Zevrisya began looking around, for any patches of shadow leading through the area.
The slash just barely grazed the chin, lips and nose of the beast, before it barreled into Candace, most likely knocking her flat on her back.
Lambda scanned around as Zev did.
Candace was indeed knocked flat, the gun leaving her grip as she hit they ground, though she wasn't terribly injured. She rolled onto her stomach, then stood up.
Seeing that Candace was fine, Dala did not step in.
Having knocked Candace down, the creature moved to bite her while she was vulnerable. Her rolling meant it would most likely only be able to get her shoulder, while she was mid-roll.
The creature did bite into Candace's shoulder, the shoulder of her gun arm. She slashed at the beast's face with her sword arm, though given the close proximity and odd angle she couldn't really get a good hit in.
Dala slowly stepped closer, not too worried yet.
The time of day provided some shade within the rise and fall of the landscape. It
Would be a case of ducking and moving between cover to avoid a fusillade of high caliber bullets and rail guns.
Candace's slash didn't do much, and the beast growled down at her. It moved position, attempting to drag her away, however when this happened Rinia flicked her fingers towards it. Its head immediately snapped up, jaw slack and body still. "Get back, now." Rinia ordered.
Candace did retreat a bit, but looked indignant. "Why should I? It has been an even fight thus far."
Dala looked at Rinia.
"What is it?
How can you just stop this beast?"
Sarah would stay behind Reinhardt's shield if he moved forwards.
Reinhardt did advance, but at a crawl, allowing the others time to get in formation behind him.
Dalahar himself advanced a few feet to one side of Reinhardt. Too big to be shielded, Dalahar was simply wondering why they hadn't been fired at yet.
As Reinhardt began advancing, Zev darted into the nearest patch of shadow and started moving up to the lab.
"Magic. But I can't hold it forever." Rinia replied.
Sarah tried to stay in the shadows as well, as the group advanced forwards.
"Ah. No connection to the beast or anything.
Do you think you needed to step in already? I thought if she would get hurt a bit she might finally give up."
Candace's retrieved her gear as the creature was held in place, examine its wounds.
Helena reclines in her chair. A single thought impulse across all Tombstone units. Open fire. Their methods of detection were advanced and they could easily pick up on Dalahars power pack alone. A
Torrent of machine gun fire begins as the immortals open up from their positions, a suppressing field of fire. The Ares walkers looming 20 feet tall waited for someone to break cover so their RX1 Godslayer rail gun could find a target.
Reinhardt ducked behind his shield, unsure how long it would hold under the hail of fire.
Dalahar isn't worried by the small arms fire. Instead watching for anti material rifles and the Ares walker. The first line of immortals, was close.
They didn't seem to ever need to reload as they continued to fire on fully automatic.
Sarah shot a green plasma laser from her glove to an immortal.
An immortals head is reduced to ash as he is struck by the plasma. As the suppression fire continues one of the Ares draws a bead on Sarah. The rail gun mounted began to whir as the magnetica charged to fire.
Lambda threw a few energy daggers at the Immortals firing at them, while Reinhardt hunkered down behind his cracking shield.
The immortals take some hits and fall back beneath the shadow of an Ares. Cast Away having remained rather passive for the most part, simply stood watch for now. Sarah would recieve a final encrypted message from Gilson.
Sarah tried to shoot another laser, as she got the message. She stopped, hunkering down behind Reinhardt, and tried to decrypt it.
Reinhardt moved a bit, to make sure he was in front of Sarah and would shield her when his barrier collapsed.
Not long after the two stepped out of the taxi, a shuttlecraft came down and, guided by Ory'hara, landed. It was only eight meters long, and Anik would find it cramped inside. Ory'hara seated her in the cargohold, in a simple seat normally folded into the wall. She then closed the hatch, and seated herself in the pilot's chair. "Right, normally I'd do some pre-flight checks but I think we've outstayed our welcome. Take-off in three, two, one..." -With that, the shuttle took off, and quickly soared skywards. The g-forces were immense as the shuttle shook violently. Over the deafening roar of the engines, Ory'hara shouted; "Don't worry! This is normal!"
After about eight minutes, though it could easily have been mistaken for longer, the engines stopped and the ship fell silent. After letting herself and Anik recover for a minute or two, Ory'hara spoke: "We've now left the planet. It's a shame you are blind, this view is..." She paused, "How is the weightlessness treating you? Lots of people need a vomit bag the first time they go into space. I've got a roll of those around here somewhere."
A few minutes later, Ory'hara activated the engines once again. The ride to the Moon was much smoother, and only took twenty minutes or so. On the dark side of the Moon, a much larger ship awaited them, the CMS Greatsword. It had gone under many names in it's half-millennia long service, but inside it's aged hull was hidden all manners of exotic and advanced technologies. Some were even alive, gifts of the bio-engineers of Polaris.
After entering the lower hangar, down in the spire of the ship, Ory'hara went through an after-flight check. She then opened the hatch, saying; "Here we are. Welcome to my home. If you'll follow me up to the bridge, we'll be on our way to yours." Taking her hand, Ory'hara led Anik up through the ship. Two days later they stood on the bridge, looking down on a distant orb that was Anik's home. With another ride in the shuttle, the two landed in Brazil.
The message includdes codes to use against Cast Away to remove the Stockholm protocols that Tombstone use to control it.
With a sound like crashing lightening one of the Ares fired its rail gun at Reinhardt.
Reinhardt's shield collapsed, but the knight himself stood strong, grabbing Sarah and jumping to the side to try and avoid further railgun fire. Lambda summoned a rift in front of the Ares, a large energy sword coming out of it to cleave it in two.
Sarah tried to reprogram her suit with the codes, which took a bit of time, especially as she was grabbed by Reinhardt. Not sure if it would work, she then tried to send out a signal towards Cast Away.
The ares composite armour and large size protect it from damage, it steps backwards as the blade cuts shallow, re arming it's rail gun while the other ares prepares to fire. The retreating Immortals rally around Cast Away and open fire. Cast Away however seems locked in stasis
Reinhardt jetted back, rocket blazing, waiting for his shield to recharge. Lambda spammed energy darts at the one with the rail gun, trying to disrupt it before it fires again.
Anik - Epilogue
Anik was not too comfortable with the shuttle, but she did not complain, either. Having this part of her journey slightly unpleasant was something she was willing to deal with, if she finally got to go home. She covered her ears, and tried to shut out all noise, as the shuttle was soaring upwards, hoping this would soon be over.
She sighed louudly when the shuttle stopped. "This was horrible" she stated. "I don't like it. It's completely unnatural." She was not throwing up, despite feeling sick. But she smiled to Ory'Hara. "It's fine. I can still say I was in space. And there are other things you can not sense."
She was more calm on the ride to the moon, and let herself be led through the main ship, after they arrived. As Ory'Hara said: "Here we are. Welcome to my home. If you'll follow me up to the bridge, we'll be on our way to yours." Anik just smiled.
She smelled the weird technology, and listened to their echoes, finding how they were built very curious. It even led to her forgetting about being averse to similar things.
Slowly, her mind got to be at ease, as she was waiting and living on the ship with Ory'Hara. As they were staying on the bridge, Anik said: "This was a more pleasant journey than I had expected, especially after this beginning. I will keep you in my thoughts. Maybe I could even manage to visit you in my dreams. If you ever need my help - and are able to find me at the time - I am willing to help you." Then, she hugged her.
Additional thanks were spoken when they arrived in Brazil, and Anik said her goodbye to Ory'Hara. It was in a city she knew well, having arrived there the last time, and having visited it several times after. After asking Ory'Hara to bring her to a specific spot, the outer part of the favelas, she could navigate it by sound and smell alone. She waved, as she made her way down to the river.
It was easy to find the boat she wanted, as people recognized her, and were very friendly. Even some kids came to her and hugged her, happy that she was back. But she had to go further, to her real home. A long boat ride later, she arrived in the jungle. And after a long walk, she arrived in the village of dragons.
A few years later
After much experimenting with plants, which made her dream of different worlds, Anik finally dreamt of a giant, seven-headed, dragon on a rocky plateau in the mountains. The smell was familiar. She walked to the side of it, and touched it, then laid her head and her hands on it for a while, just liking the feel of the scales.
There is a jolt of electricity from Cast Away followed shortly by a cascade. The electrical energy disrupting the Tombstone sensors which relied on electro magnetic signals. The darts lambda fires embed themselves into the ares scanner array also, rendering it effectively blind. Cast Away falls to one knee as the Immortals in cover cease firing due to not being able to view any targets.
Lambda, seeing Cast Away fall, switched her focus to the Immortals instead and continued her dart storm.
As they were not attacking anymore, Sarah went up to an immortal and tried to remove its visore, to see what laid beneath.