The Battle Of The Geofront

[21:04] <Minaplo> ["So." Frederic spun in his chair.-
[21:04] <Minaplo> ["I knew you got nervous around pretty girls, Captain." Said Frederic smugly. "But I didn't think you'd panic -this- bad…"-
[21:05] <Minaplo> [The Command Centre of NERV was busily quiet, people going about their business. James Riel was surfing the internet on company time, but that was ok because he'd written a program to do his work for him; Gagnier was leaning against her console and watching Raphael and Frederic with great interest.]
[21:10] <Raphael> "I didn't -panic-." Raphael mutters from his own chair, not looking away from a series of security reports he has spread across the desk. "I'm here because the Colonel ordered me to be, that's all."
[21:11] <Minaplo> ["'Cuz you panicked."-
[21:12] <Minaplo> ["So what's she like~?" Asked Sophie, walting over and leaning on the back of Raphael's chair.]#
[21:19] * Raphael shoots Fred a poisonous look. "She's a perfectly nice young lady. Very well-spoken." Raphael says with carefully feigned disinterest, shuffling his papers. "Although she's somewhat aggressive about getting what she wants…"
[21:20] <Minaplo> ["Oh?" Sophie leans over, reaching out with an evil hand to playfully stroke the back of Raphael's knuckles. "I bet she'd love to have you for dessert…"]
[21:22] * Raphael lets out a very teenage harrumph and snatches his hand away. "Some of us -do- have work to do, Lieutenant."
[21:23] <Minaplo> ["… And a part of me thinks that perhaps you wouldn't mind being dessert. Perhaps a sundae, with a strawberry, or a cherry…?"]
[21:25] <Raphael> "My cherry is -taken-, thank you." Raphael snaps, "… W-which is to say-"
[21:26] <Minaplo> ["YOU OWE ME FIFTY FRANCS!" Screams Sophie, throwing her hands up in the air.-
[21:26] <Minaplo> ["Goddamnit!" Curses Frederic.]
[21:26] * Raphael rests his face in his hands.
[21:27] <Minaplo> ["Three lines, man, and you couldn't even hold out." Frederic opens his wallet. "Goddamnit."-
[21:28] <Minaplo> ["C'mon, guys." Said James. "Give the man a break. He's got enough on his plate without people givin' him crap about everything."]
[21:30] <Raphael> "-Thank you-, Lieutenant Riel." Raphael says with genuine gratitude, although the sound is rather muffled by the way his mouth is pressed up against his palms.
[21:32] <Minaplo> [James gets up from his console, walking over to Raphael's, leaning against the wall. "Any time. I've met President Linden myself, actually."]
[21:33] * Raphael looks up, eying James cautiously. "Is that so?"
[21:34] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. She's cute, but she's got this weird vibe." Said James. "Like, she's got this look in her eye that is like… 'I've ordered people #taken care of#', you know? Even if she weren't underage, that'd keep me away, because… Yeah. No thanks. I'm already missing enough limbs as is."]
[21:36] <Raphael> "… While I appreciate you're trying to be understanding, Lieutenant, I'm not sure this is helping."
[21:37] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I guess. Besides," James gives him a wink. "It'd take a lot for me to consider leaving Major Katsuragi. You won well there, bro."]
[21:42] * Raphael gives the Lieutenant a long look. "… Thank you, Lieutenant Riel."
[21:42] <Minaplo> ["No worries." Riel holds out his fist for Raphael to bump.]
[21:44] * Raphael looks genuinely uncertain as to how to reply to the gesture. For the third time in as many minutes he considers the utter uselessness of insubordination charges in the NERV command structure.
[21:44] <Minaplo> ["What, you don't dap?"]
[21:44] <Raphael> "… Dap?"
[21:45] <Minaplo> ["Nevermind. You get back to your work."-
[21:45] <Minaplo> ["Oh shit, Tobias is comin'. Don't mention cherryin' his daughter." Whispers Riel, fleeing the scene.]
[21:45] <Raphael> "-What-?!"
[21:46] <Minaplo> ["Is something the matter, Captain Guillory?" Asks Mr. Linden, mounting the stairs that lead to the upper bridge.]#
[21:52] <Raphael> "… Ah, no." Raphael says, taking a deep breath to compose himself before swivelling in his chair to face Linden. "Pardon me, Captain Linden. I was just trying to get the day's security rotations in order."
[21:52] <Minaplo> ["Oh, I see." Linden smiles. "Captain, you're the one with rank here. I'm merely 'Mr' Linden now."]
[21:58] * Raphael nods slowly, considering this. "Understood. I'll make an effort to remember in the future."
[22:00] <Minaplo> ["I appreciate-"-
[22:00] <Minaplo> [A sudden -screeching- sound cuts through the conversation. A klaxon is going mad throughout HQ. One of the walls turns into a display of glowing red hexagons, labelled with the word 'EMERGENCY'.-
[22:00] <Minaplo> ["What?!" Frederic turns around. "What's going on?! Status report!"-
[22:01] <Minaplo> ["Security alert! Hacking attempts at the local level!"]
[22:06] * Raphael is on his feet in an instant, both his conversation and his papers abandoned. "Lieutenant Riel, do we have countermeasures?"
[22:07] <Minaplo> ["The MAGI's got a Type 666 Firewall keeping it secure. This is something else." Said James. "Isolated security node, cards- someone's using security spikes on our elevators. And they're unsubtle."]
[22:12] * Raphael nods once and looks over at Fred. "Captain, while I believe you hold seniority, I'd recommend locking down this floor beyond the elevators while we marshall our security forces."
[22:12] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I agree. James, get me exterior camera views."-
[22:12] <Minaplo> ["Right on."-
[22:13] <Minaplo> [Frederic looks up at the holographic viewscreen.-
[22:13] <Minaplo> [The only thing seen is a flashing 'DEAD FEED' sign.-
[22:13] <Minaplo> ["… Send a message to the Battleship?"-
[22:13] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…"-
[22:14] <Minaplo> ["… Not getting through. There's a shroud blocking our communications."-
[22:15] <Minaplo> [Frederic went still. "What could even do that? I thought we had landlines to exterior towers."-
[22:15] <Minaplo> ["We -do-, sir."-
[22:16] <Minaplo> ["… So we can't talk to anyone. We can't see anything outside. Guillory's right." Said Frederic. "Guillory, get on the line, get S2 up here, get the Stormtroopers up here, get everyone up here. Consider this a Condition One situation."]
[22:32] * Raphael nods again, searching the nearest console for a moment before opening the PA line.-
[22:32] <Raphael> "Attention all NERV staff. This is Captain Raphael Guillory declaring Condition One within the Geofront on behalf of the acting Operations Director."-
[22:32] <Raphael> "This is not a drill. All security and essential personnel are to move to their assigned zones on the double. All remaining staff should follow standard NERV lockdown procedures. I repeat…"-
[22:32] <Raphael> He recites the message again for good measure before setting the headset down and looking over at the others.
[22:36] <Minaplo> ["We have about twenty minutes before the spikers can break the outer layer of security." Said James. "I can pinpoint where they'll come in, which gives us time to move to the defense and prepare for battle, but they -will- get in. We can't stop that."-
[22:36] <Minaplo> ["Right." Fred pointed to Raphael. "This is your sort of deal, right?"]
[22:44] * Raphael chews his lip, sizing Fred up for little more than a second before he nods. "I believe so, sir."
[22:45] <Minaplo> ["Right, you take command. You need someone in the field, that'll be me. James, Sophie, do your thing from here." Fred gets to his feet. "Linden, you know your way around a gun?"-
[22:45] <Minaplo> ["Naturally."-
[22:45] <Minaplo> ["Right. You need armour."-
[22:45] <Minaplo> ["I didn't think to bring any…"]
[22:50] <Raphael> "The SOS armoury will have a third set of power armour, if you're trained to use it. Otherwise we have extra sets of carapace." Raphael says. "Can you show him the way, Captain Gosselin?"
[22:51] <Minaplo> ["Sure, but… That's your set."]
[22:53] <Raphael> "… I have something else I can use. I'll have one of Macnair's team collect it."
[22:53] <Minaplo> ["Right. Off we go, Linden."-
[22:53] <Minaplo> ["Thank you, Captain." Says Tobias gratefully before heading off.]
[22:55] <Raphael> "Stay safe, you two." Raphael nods, watching the two of them go.-
[22:56] <Raphael> "Now." Raphael calls as he leans against the central command console. "Here's what I need…"
[23:04] <Minaplo> [Throughout NERV, the warning went out, across the PA, across the alarm systems.-
[23:05] <Minaplo> [Storm Troopers, some training, some sleeping, some eating or cleaning their equipment, looked up and answered the call to arms. A hundred men put on the same yellow ceramite cuirass, the same greaves and gauntlets. Their barracks armory saw the walls slide apart to show rack upon rack of pulse rifle, grabbed one by one by the troopers.-
[23:05] <Minaplo> ["Check your weapons, check your clips, make sure your comms are working!"-
[23:07] <Minaplo> [The S2 security force threw on flak jackets and helmets, goggles, grabbing masguns- "Come on, boys, let's show 'em that S2 still has a bit of iron left in it."-
[23:10] <Minaplo> [Isidor Rurikovich pulled onto his hand the gauntlet of his power armour. He stared at his men, a full squad wearing the same gear, wielding chainswords. He nodded, and wordlessly, he took off his hat and replaced it with the grim-faced visage of a Power helmet.-
[23:12] <Minaplo> [Blake Macnair slammed a sickle clip into his bolter, locking it in place. He turned to his men. "I guess they didn't get the memo that the Macnair Boys'd be here today."-
[23:19] <Minaplo> ["Home turf game, huh." Said Hugues Monette, drawing his sword, inspecting it, and slamming it into its sheath. "Oughta be fun."-
[23:20] <Minaplo> ["A lot of men are going to die today." Said Euphrasie bitterly.-
[23:20] <Minaplo> ["Yep." Said Marie, hoisting a grisly-looking heavy bolter up. "I know."-
[23:20] <Minaplo> ["Nervous?" Asked Blaise.-
[23:20] <Minaplo> ["Not as much as you." Said Mana, slipping past, buckling on her bolt pistols.-
[23:23] <Minaplo> [In the Psych ward, Bruce folded his arms. "Y-You're sure about this."-
[23:24] <Minaplo> [Eevi buckled a sword almost as long as she was over her back, which was, like the rest of the body, clad in a dull red armoured dress. With a little hop of AT energy she leapt onto the back of Felix the Tiger, who shook his magnificent head out gloriously.-
[23:24] <Minaplo> ["Yes."-
[23:26] <Minaplo> ["Thadda girl." Said Terence, hidden behind his black armour.-
[23:27] <Minaplo> [Dr. Clement looked up at the alarms. He didn't speak. He grabbed his doctor's bag and left.-
[23:27] <Minaplo> [Doctor Surov didn't speak either, but then he hadn't even listened to the warning. He hadn't had to.-#
[23:28] <Minaplo> [Robotic arms rose from the floor, fell from the roof, assembling around him as you would a building a shell of iron and steel and titanium, as hard as an Iron Guard's plate. Machines replaced the head of his mechadendrites with bolt pistols, and a harness was placed over his chest- attaching to his back a huge crane-like arm.-
[23:29] <Minaplo> [And down, down in the hangar, three serious, armoured men stepped in unison out towards their machines. Taller than a man, twice as tall, they were yellow, armed with huge guns and missiles. Their front parts had opened, revealing a seat and computers and controls.-
[23:30] <Minaplo> [They mounted their war machines and prepared for the coming battle.-
[23:30] <Minaplo> [Before long, the Command Centre was filled with armed men and women, running to and fro, assembling into squads, checking armour.]
[01:05] <Raphael> On the raised command deck stands a figure in gleaming armour that resembles nothing so much as a more refined set of medieval plate cast in bright silver metal that reflects the light far more brightly than should be expected. Only a handful of the people below had seen Raphael during the Dirac jaunt, and the armour had been set aside since then… but today his other options were rather
[01:05] <Raphael> limited.-
[01:06] <Raphael> "What's their progress, Lieutenant Riel?" He asks, watching as the forward teams finish their deployment in the corridors surrounding the elevators via the console monitors.
[01:08] <Minaplo> ["ETA two minutes, sir." Said Riel. "It looks like they've disabled some of the limiters on the elevators. They're not supposed to move at all like that, but they seem to be powering them some other way."-
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["The elevators have limiters because they use a magnetic rail system. With their weight and the system they're on, at max speed they could cause an impact at HQ similar to an Evangelion's heavy railgun."]
[01:13] * Raphael taps his gauntleted finger on the console, producing a quiet, clear sound. "Do we have any other way to slow them?"
[01:15] <Minaplo> ["If we had Evangelions, we could just end this right here. But the pilots are out and the Evangelions have been sunk into the Subterranean Vaults to stop mid-battle hijacks."]
[01:27] * Raphael nods. "Alright. The best we can hope for is to dig in and use the Geofront security systems to our advantage." He says, sweeping his eyes across the crowd below. The forces were more limited than he would prefer, and would be at a disadvantage in close quarters, but—
[01:28] <Raphael> And then his eyes fix on one figure in the crowd - or two, to be more specific - and for a moment his planning is forgotten.
[01:35] <Minaplo> [Eevi sits astride Felix the Tiger, sword across her back, looking completely at home. A gaggle of S2 agents are watching her apprehensively. She rides like a natural.]
[01:38] <Raphael> "Miss Nieminen!" He calls, leaning against the platform's railing.
[01:39] <Minaplo> [She looks up at him.]
[01:41] <Raphael> "You can't be here, Miss Nieminen!" He calls, giving her a stern look. He's -certain- he had that sword taken for safekeeping… "You need to head for one of the security bunkers, like you've been shown."
[01:42] <Minaplo> ["Condition One states that all battle-ready and capable personnel must marshal in preparation for combat." She repeats effortlessly.]
[01:44] <Raphael> "Condition One protocol was not written to account for nine year olds."
[01:45] <Minaplo> ["I do not see how this is my problem."]
[01:49] <Raphael> "Perhaps not, but it's certainly mine." He says evenly. "I can't have you here in good conscience, Eevi."
[01:50] <Minaplo> [Eevi lifts off from the tiger, floating over up to the tower, where she plants herself firmly on the edge. She stares down at him.-
[01:51] <Minaplo> [… A second later, the entire building shakes violently, causing people to momentarily trip or fall. Eevi remains perfectly balanced.-
[01:51] <Minaplo> ["Captain! The elevators have hit, we've got visual!"-
[01:51] <Minaplo> ["Camera one, camera three, and five!"-
[01:51] <Minaplo> [The three cameras show…-
[01:52] <Minaplo> [Enemies. Carrying bolters, katanas over their shoulders, wearing long open robes and hoods over solid armour. Already there were more of them than there were Stormtroopers.-
[01:53] <Minaplo> [But after them came a sight Raphael knew sadly too well- Annihilators, each twice the height of a man, taller even than an AC Suit.-
[01:54] <Minaplo> [But one camera showed something different. A humanoid Angelspawn, about seven foot tall, oddly Evangelion-like in its gait and walk. It had no visible eyes, was covered in sharp chitinous plates, had a long tail tipped with a barb curled up against its back, and two blades, emerging from its palms, folded against the back of its arms.-
[01:54] <Minaplo> [Eevi stared up at the cameras impassively.]
[02:01] <Raphael> "Forward units, prepare to engage hostiles. Enemy estimates being forwarded as we speak." Raphael speaks clearly into the comms headset curled over one ear, holding himself steady against the shaking via his grip on the railing. "All reserve units prepare to receive your orders."-
[02:02] * Raphael flicks the mic back off and looks up at Eevi steadily. "I don't have time to argue with you, Eevi. I just need you to do as I ask." He says gently. "Please."
[02:04] <Minaplo> ["You might as well let her go." Came a voice. Barzilai Surov- covered in heavy plates of ugly, but imposing armour- marched into the room, pointed at a squad and beckoned. "She'll survive much longer than most of these…"-
[02:04] <Minaplo> [Eevi turned back towards Raphael. "I listen to myself." She said, simply, and she turned, leaping across the chasm back onto the tiger.]
[02:08] * Raphael stares after her for a moment and sighs. Though the temptation is there to kick up more of a fuss, right now there is simply not enough time. "… I should probably be pleased for her." He mutters, striding closer to Surov. "But of all the times for her to embrace making her own decisions…" He shakes his head.-
[02:08] <Raphael> "Do you have the item I requested, Doctor?"
[02:14] <Minaplo> [He mounts the steps, and his servo-arm -its claw is the size of Raphael's torso, and could crush it easily- lifts and holds a long box out to him. "The recoil can break the arm of the untrained soldier. Several of the rounds would be illegal if they were mass-produced, and the compressed substance within the Magma Rounds can cause the human body to explode as the water content within the blood boils and becomes super hot, causing the person to rupture across literally every vein, artery and organ they possess."-
[02:14] <Minaplo> ["All in all, one of my finest works."]
[02:20] <Raphael> "Mmm." Raphael murmurs noncommittally, grunting slightly as he takes the weight that was being held so easily by the claw. "My thanks, Doctor. I'll put it to good use. You know where you're needed?"
[02:23] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Your narrow mind will be pleased to note that I have limited my talents here to -merely- defensive enhancement."]
[02:24] <Raphael> "… Good to know."
[02:25] <Minaplo> [Surov turns and is already walking off towards his squad.-
[02:26] <Minaplo> ["Here we go then." Says Riel. "This is going to be a long fight."]
[02:33] <Raphael> "It is." Raphael says, sliding back into the OD's chair and scanning the cameras one last time before he brings up the defensive controls. "The Dorian Lachapelle may still receive word somehow, given how little subtlety the attack is showing, but it's likely they've planned well enough to rule the biggest chances."
[02:37] <Minaplo> ["Honestly, the lack of word at all should be enough. The Lachapelle reports in every fifteen minutes. They should know something's wrong."]
[02:41] * Raphael nods. "If reinforcements arrive, so much the better. Until then we will have to suffice." He says, watching the intruders' advance. "Alright. Lieutenants, activate the defensive grid and prepare for battle."
[02:42] <Minaplo> ["Yes sir."_
[02:43] <Minaplo> ["Surveillance network: active."-
[02:43] <Minaplo> ["Blast door remote system: active."-
[02:43] <Minaplo> ["Autoturret subroutines: enabled."-
[02:44] <Minaplo> ["Bakelite cartridge limiters: disabled."-
[02:45] <Minaplo> ["Firebomb dispensers: Active."-
[02:45] <Minaplo> ["Electrified floor controls: On."-
[02:46] <Minaplo> ["Pacification gas: Ready!"-
[02:46] <Minaplo> ["Berserker Gas: ready!"-
[02:47] <Minaplo> ["NERV HQ Combat command system network: operational."]
[17:27] <Minaplo> [The battle began to play out- the horde of invaders breaking through their containment and opening fire with their deadly bolters. The Stormtroopers rapidly gave as good as they got.-
[17:28] <Minaplo> ["Taking losses in West section!" Shouted Sophie. "But the line is holding!"-
[17:28] <Minaplo> ["Northern line is holding, requesting reinforcements!"-
[17:28] <Minaplo> ["Southern line holding!"]
[21:52] <Minaplo> [The camera feeds would show events playing out.-
[21:54] <Minaplo> [To the west, an Annihilator stampeded out into a room- and into line of sight. Promptly a hundred pulse rounds were fired into its skin, followed by maser bolts, obscuring the air with the flash of energy and smoke.-
[22:03] <Minaplo> [The Annihilator didn't seem to feel it- nor did the creature that walked ahead of it. Tall, of roughly seven feet in height, covered in chitinous sharp plates that hid its eyes; greyish rubbery skin, a barbed tail folded against its back. Two long sabre-like claws emerging from its palm, folded against its arms. It walked slowly, calmly. A hail of gunfire greeted it.-
[22:07] <Minaplo> [Vrscika, the Blade of Weakening, held up its arms, an energy field deflecting the bolts away from its body. It stared out contemptuously as the gunline paused to reload-
[22:08] <Minaplo> [When a shape emerged from that gunline, a hulking humanoid, a statue of black metal wielding a sword. Its footsteps rang out like the thudding of cannons. Captain Terence Savage.-
[22:09] <Minaplo> ["Hold! You have not my leave to come here, Angel." He cried. "If you pass me it is in pieces and no other way!"-
[22:11] <Minaplo> [Vrscika roared in response, its blades unfurling, cutting the air with their speed and sharpness.-
[22:12] <Minaplo> [Savage reached into the crowd and grabbed the collar of someone- Bruce Savage. With a mighty "YAH!" He hurled the boy screaming ahead of him in a lovely parabolic arc. He then lowered his sword and charged.-
[22:14] <Minaplo> [Thud, thud, thud, went his footsteps- he passed the first two blast doors in mere seconds, lifting his sword above his head. A second later, Bruce landed with a roll, pushing himself up into a stance, throwing out his AT energies-
[22:15] <Minaplo> [And Terence ripped through, swinging his deadly sword at Vrscika's head. Vrscika's left arm-blade rose to meet it, the two struggling for superiority- before Vrscika pushed him back and swiped at him with deadly, loping blows, each threating to dismember a limb or a head. Terence ducked out of the way of them, keeping his distance for now.-
[22:29] <Minaplo> [Elsewhere- the northern line…-
[22:31] <Minaplo> [The annihilator's energy blast had burned the walls and scattered the squads, several men burning to bone. "Together! Bring it together!" Roared Tobias Linden.-
[22:32] <Minaplo> ["LINDEN!" Shouted Hugues. "SOMEONE NEEDS TO KEEP THAT THING DOWN!"-
[22:33] <Minaplo> ["Nimbus-1 is doing the best it can!" He replied. Behind him, the AC Suit's weapons were recalculating and reloading, unable to find a firing solution between the press of stormtroopers.-
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["No! Not like that!" Cried Hugues. He drew his sword.-
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["WHAT!" Linden shouted. "MONETTE, NO!"-
[22:37] <Minaplo> ["YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Hugues broke ranks, charging, sword out. At his side rode a tiger, and on its back, standing straight, was Eevi, her sword crackling with energy.-
[22:38] <Minaplo> Hugues's blow saw his sword draw blood from a thin, light wound- "Goddamnit, this thing-!"-
[22:39] <Minaplo> [Eevi's slash was more decisive, sending a small jet of blood across the wall. The Annihilator roared in anger, rearing up, balling its hands together.-
[01:48] <Minaplo> [On the southern front, however, Doctor Surov and a squad of Stormtroopers poured fire into an Annihilator at near point-blank range… Only for a dark, actinic smell to fill the air as, with a snap of pink light, three corrupted Iron Guards- wielding chainaxes- burst out of the void and, without stopping, threw themselves into the fray, cutting and hewing at the Stormtroopers with near impunity. Before long the air was full of their cries and near half the squad had been wiped out.-
[01:48] <Minaplo> [One berserk Guard threw itself at Surov.-
[01:48] <Minaplo> ["I created you." He said, sidestepping one furious axe-swing. The axe embedded itself in the floor. "From your genetics to your armour you are my design."-
[01:49] <Minaplo> [The Berserker ripped the axe out and swung it at Surov- who smacked the axe out of his hand with his servo arm. "I know your strengths."-
[01:50] <Minaplo> [The Berserker threw its entire strength and weight behind its fist, throwing it at Surov- who grabbed it, a foot from his face, with his own. Surov' armoured gauntlet was larger. He squeezed. There was a cracking sound. "And your weaknesses."-
[01:51] <Minaplo> [The Servo-arm moved with shocking speed for such a heavy object. It grabbed the Berserker around the throat and lifted it into the air. With one savage swing, it smashed the Berserker into a wall, then into the ground, and again- before flinging it back down the corridor.-
[01:53] <Minaplo> [This is what Mana saw hurting towards her as her squad returned to combat. The Berserker, despite Surov's fury, was still alive and would play merry hell in her squad- so she did the only thing she could do. Her bolt pistols came out and in a second she was firing- one shell whizzed through the air on deadly propellants and plunged into the Berserker's collarbone, detonating- ripping apart its ribcage and its lower neck completely. The armoured head hurtled through the air, spinning like a menacing football-
[01:53] <Minaplo> [One which Mana caught out of the air before it could slam into an unlucky Stormtrooper. She stared down at it and threw it aside angrily.-
[01:54] <Minaplo> ["Go." Said Surov irritably as another Berserk Guard came at him. This one slammed its axe into his helmet, and he bore it stoically as ablative plates sloughed off. "Stormtroopers, withdraw. I can handle these."-
[01:55] <Minaplo> [Surov's squad gladly broke, fleeing from the Guards, who now prepared to sink their blades into Surov…-
[01:55] <Minaplo> ["Group Three!" Shouted a voice. "Bayonets out! Charge!"-
[01:56] <Minaplo> [From an adjoining corridor came a rush of S2 agents, masguns sporting bayonets or sometimes simply wielding them in hand- led from the front by none other than Jean-Baptiste Vimes.-
[01:56] <Minaplo> [They leapt upon the superhumans, digging their bayonets into them, finding weakspots, trying to drag them down through sheer numbers. The Iron Guard reacted with bloodthirsty savagery, and before long one man in five lay dead at their axes.-
[01:57] <Minaplo> [The Annihilator had ploughed into the combat as well, a giant claw sweeping away a group of men and knocking Vimes to the ground. He looked up to see the terrifying, blood-drenched visage of a Berserker Guard, raising its axe…]
[07:15] <Minaplo> [… But Raphael's eye would be drawn to another camera. On it he'd see Hugues striking an Annihilator's arm away, allowing Eevi to jump into the air and onto its back. With one rapid thrust she shoved the blade into its arm, then out, and then into its head- once, crack!- twice, crack!-
[07:15] <Minaplo> [The creature reared back, and Tobias Linden raised his bolter. He aimed…-
[07:16] <Minaplo> [And the Lion struck true as the Annihilator's head disappeared in a gory explosion.-
[07:16] <Minaplo> ["Captain!" Shouted James. "The Cargo Elevator's moving!"-
[07:17] <Minaplo> [The cargo elevator had easy access to some of the rear elevators- it'd give whoever was in it the perfect avenue to hit HQ.]
[07:31] * Raphael 's head snaps around, first to James and then to glance at the floor below, now empty of the last of the combat-ready reserve teams. If there were more enemies approaching, they could only hope the defenses would be able to hold them until there was more allied units to spare.-
[07:33] <Raphael> "Another security spike breach?" Raphael says tersely, snapping open the locks on Surov's rifle case and bringing the weapon up to one shoulder. "So be it. Start preparing the maglocks and bakelite floods, Lieutenant."
[07:35] <Minaplo> ["No, sir. These guys had security clearance."-
[07:36] <Minaplo> ["I'm picking up US Army comm frequencies." Said Sophie.-
[07:36] <Minaplo> [And even as she said it, the rear elevators crashed to the ground and disgorged a small crowd of tall men- armoured heavily, wearing flak coats over power armour, toting bolters and chainswords. One of the figures at the front was wielding a positron rifle, and seemed suspiciously small.-
[07:37] <Minaplo> [But there were five other figures there as well…]
[07:41] <Yanmei> Someone emerged from the southernmost elevator and tossed her hair, dusting off a blood-splattered set of dark armor to little avail before turning her head aside to regard the soldiers around her and her comrades. "Going on ahead," she announced. "Just as planned?"
[07:43] * Aline nodded from under her own armor, checking her weapon subtly, and seeming to be psyching herself up for a dash. "Yeah. We need to report in anyway, and the central position will let us access any direction we're needed in."
[07:45] <Minaplo> [Behind them came Isaiah, and Chiisana, and Shinji, all looking relatively healthy, if covered in excessive gore.-
[07:45] <Minaplo> ["North-2 elevator opening! Same security clearance!" Said Riel.-
[07:45] <Minaplo> [And there appeared another five shapes…]
[07:52] <Sept> "Asuka, William! We have to get to the center as soon as possible! Joe, Spectre, try to get Selene somewhere safe, but your priority is helping any friendlies on the way, alright? Alright. Let's go!"
[07:56] <Minaplo> ["That's the -what-?!" Cried Sophie.-
[07:58] <Minaplo> [But William and Asuka were already tearing after Sera, both sporting wounds and much gore; The Spectre, princess-carrying a pretty white-robed girl, tore after- despite the speed it moved the girl wasn't disturbed at all. An older-looking man wearing a bizarre mixture of Jesuit cassock and gunslinging accroutrement- including a neat hat- ran after, somewhat slowly, taking swigs from a
[07:58] <Minaplo> bottle of whiskey.]
[08:04] <Raphael> "…" Raphael looked rather disturbed by the Spectre's arrival, even in the midst of the chaos that had consumed the rest of the base. He mulls the images over in silence for a long second, before selecting a peculiar looking cartridge and loading it into the rifle. "It's with de Pteres. Hold the defenses for now, but keep the autoturrets trained on it. If it makes a move, we'll drown it in bakelite."
[08:11] <Minaplo> [There's a sudden cry of screams and pain from the view screens- the northern defense line is being broken as soldiers suddenly collapse for no reason, shrieking, ripping at their helmets. "No! No!" "Get it out! GET IT OUT!" "M-Mother-" "Noooooo…."]
[08:22] <Yanmei> Clamoring footsteps to the east, faint at first, but growing louder. It wasn't long at all before Yanmei burst in on Raphael's scene, along with her group of fellow pilots. "Sir Guillory!"
[08:24] * Aline was quick to follow her, though she looked back - it took a fair while for Shinji to catch up no doubt, so she kind of… seemed preoccupied. Though perhaps fortunately for Raphael's composure, 'Aline' was basically a tiny stormtrooper with a familiar voice. "We don't have too much time for formalities. Where are we needed?"
[08:26] <Sept> "Raphael!" Sera finally made it to the HQ as well. "They're trying to bomb the ship and the base from the inside!"
[08:31] * Raphael is standing at the central command, his armour glinting in the overhead lighting and his back turned to the door. The pilots would catch the last part of whatever he'd been saying as she arrived on the scene. "-unusual AT readings in the North-1 corridor, Lieutenant?" He asks urgently, before glancing over his shoulder to give the children a tense grimace.
[08:31] <Raphael> "… West-1, North-1 and the South halls all need reinforcement, but-" He's cut off by yet more shouting, turning to Sera sharply. "-Damn-. I'd been hoping they'd lack the manpower to hit both at once. Still, our comms have been shut down. There's no way of getting the word out."
[08:35] * Yanmei had cast Sera a startled glance at that, mouth quirking slightly. She hadn't expected to see his team here, nor had she expected him to steal the words from her mouth. Her eyes darted over to the monitors, and she hissed through her teeth, not really having enough time to find who she was looking for. "Gamelin's on the way here personally? With about 100 more soldiers and a big… thing." She strode over to place a battered, bloody radio on one of the command consoles, brushing away the chagrin that followed. -
[08:37] <Yanmei> "If we could spot him and take him out, maybe the rest of his plans would fall apart too?"
[08:38] * Aline waved a hand, already subtly moving towards the west. "Decapitation isn't as effective against fanatics. I suggest total destruction. /Though/. Getting rid of a big threat like that 'big thing' and a leader will slow them down."
[08:41] <Yanmei> "We can only hope. Any extra time at all would help?" She returned her gaze to Raphael. "Do they need reinforcements in the north?"
[08:43] * Raphael nods once, examining the radio even as one hand goes absently to the rifle. "… Yes." He says, clearly suppressing the urge to hold them back from direct combat. "Although the southern corridors need the most reinforcing. If you could take a handful of the pilots to assist Sergeant Kirishima and Doctor Surov we may be able to hold them, though."
[08:45] * Yanmei took on a slightly flatter facial expression at Surov's name, but she sighed, letting it go. "De Pteres, the north is yours. Isaiah, Himesama, let's go."
[08:47] * Aline turned to Shinji. "As already guessed, I'm going west, and I guess we'll go together." Another glance at Shinji. Seeing him at the same time as the man transformed into him was… trippy to say the least.
[08:48] <Raphael> "Before you go, Pilots." Raphael says turning back to examine the screen. "I take it that its presence here with you all means I'm right to be directing our units not to fire on the Spectre?"
[08:49] * Sept just looked towards Yanmei at that.
[08:51] <Yanmei> "The Spectre is here to help fight against the cultists? So please don't attack it."
[08:55] * Raphael nods once, glancing back over his shoulder. "I'll have to take your word on that for now, ma'am." He says mildly.
[08:56] <Minaplo> [The Spectre stands there, and walks over to him, staring him in the eye.-
[08:56] <Minaplo> [Then without ceremony it shoves the sleeping body into Raphael's hands- Yanmei would recognise Selene- before dashing off to the west.]
[08:57] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei took a deep breath. "Asuka, please back up those three in the west. William, take the southwest corridor for now. We'll meet up again further down?" She turned to go herself.
[08:58] * Raphael examines the sleeper for a moment before easing her into one of the empty chairs nearby, shaking his head. "Take care out there, all of you." He says grimly, before turning on his heel and hurrying over to James' workstation to check the MAGI status.
[09:01] <Sept> "…careful with her, Raphael. She may be a civilian, but I wouldn't take chances. Joe's got Anselme, I'll trust you with him, too."
[09:02] * Raphael glances back. "… She's a captive? I'd taken her for a civilian."
[09:06] <Minaplo> ["Hmph." Asuka rolled her eyes. "She's some loony schoolgirl." She runs off after Aline and Shinji, easily outpacing the latter. "Catch up, baka!"-
[09:06] <Minaplo> ["Y-You've got brains in your hair!"-
[09:06] <Minaplo> ["More than you've got in your head!"-
[09:07] <Minaplo> [William takes his orders with a nod and is off, loading his guns. Joe barely has time to enter the room before…-
[09:08] <Minaplo> ["Move it! Move!" Comes an accented English voice from the rear of the HQ- the American reinforcements, all of them sporting bolters and chainswords. They rush into the room, quickly securing it in a quick, professional fashion. The commanding officer heads towards Raphael.-
[09:09] <Minaplo> ["1st and 2nd US Heavy Rangers Company, reporting." The commander's helmet obscures his face and gives the voice a strange leaden tone.]
[09:20] <Raphael> "Ma'am." Raphael says, although even that feels like a gamble with the strangeness that headset produces. "I take it you're part of the President's contingent from the Battleship?"
[09:24] <Minaplo> ["No, Captain." With an ominous ~hiss~ the helmet's clasps release. In one elegant action the commander whips off her helmet, revealing for Raphael to see- lovely straight black hair, clear pale skin-
[09:25] <Minaplo> ["I'm your savior."-
[09:25] <Minaplo> [But then President Linden has him in her power-armoured paws. He can't escape before she kisses him straight on, to much whooping and cries from the Rangers.]
[09:32] * Sept , meanwhile, was getting to work on a platoon of cultists in the northern corridors, entering the fray under cover of the chaos from a melee a short ways off. He cut and slashed his way through the crowd, mouthing barely audible words as he did. And his pace showed no sign of slowing down.
[09:33] * Aline for her part was setting up for a longshot against that same damnable spawn from the sewers, though she cursed as her shot went wide!
[09:36] <Raphael> "Mmmm-rgh!" Raphael manages, remembering to struggle after a moment of mute shock, emerging from the kiss with a gasp for air, red faced and distinctly shellshocked.-
[09:37] <Raphael> He stares at Linden in silence for a moment, only to turn on his heel and make his way back towards the command console, silent and, judging from the way he's weaving, a little unsteady.
[09:47] <Yanmei> To the far south, Yanmei dashed against a thin flow of fleeing S2 agents until the hallway opened up… to reveal another oversized Annihilator towering over hooded troops, who were in turn crowded around… somthing or someone. She launched herself viciously into the crowds, taking full advantage of their distraction.
[10:04] <Minaplo> [Sera's wrath quickly saw his enemies waver, step back and run. Before long there was little but blood and corpses around him…-
[10:05] <Minaplo> [To his left, Frederic flying-kicked his way into a group of enemies, employing shockingly brutal tactics- he seemed to be able to casually leap a metre, punch a man in the face, before whirling about and smashing the ribs of another.-
[10:05] <Minaplo> [Before long the enemy line were as broken as Sera's heart; they fled in fear…-
[10:05] <Minaplo> [Only for Sera to glimpse what was behind. A line of considerably bulkier, heavier enemies. Principalities. They roared.-
[10:06] <Minaplo> ["MINAAAAAAA!" They charged, their shock mauls landing heavily, catching Sera many times, one near caving his chestplate in.]
[10:10] <Sept> Yet still he managed to stay in motion, weaving inside the flood of enemies, and find himself some space to catch his breath.
[10:19] <Minaplo> [It was then that a voice ran through the base. A voice that rang in the walls. In the air. In their minds and behind their eyes and in their souls.-
[10:19] <Minaplo> ["Defenders of the Black Moon! You have fought valiantly and bravely and I, Lord Mina, salute you."-
[10:20] <Minaplo> ["But the fight you wage is futile. Your lives are worth more than pointless displays of self-sacrifice. Come. I am not harsh, I am not your true enemy- surrender, lay down your arms and you will be treated fairly."-
[10:20] <Minaplo> ["But resist, and we will slaughter you to the last."]
[10:38] <Sept> "Threaten us as you wish, we've seen worse!"
[10:39] * Aline shook her head, and sighed, raised her gun and honestly considering whether or not she was useful elsewhere. "Mnn."
[10:40] <Minaplo> [But Aline wouldn't have time to move, or ponder- she'd see flame and fire drop from ahead of her, too far away to affect her, but the screams of dying men would fill her ears- right before the blast doors sealed.-
[10:40] <Minaplo> [Slots in the walls opened, and suddenly bakelite was -flooding- the room. Within seconds it was hardening around her, sealing her…!-
[10:42] <Minaplo> [Raphael would be able to see all of this, of course. Men dying. Electricity stunning another group to the south. The trap system had gone berserk.]
[10:47] * Raphael is watching. He catches a glimpse of Mana Kirishima's armoured joints locking as the floor beneath her arcs with electricity, but he's already on his feet as the alarms that signal another attack on the MAGI blare. "Lieutenant Riel! Get that thing -out- of the MAGI, I don't care what you have to do!" He roars, before bringing the microphone to his lips.-
[10:49] <Raphael> "Southern teams! Make an immediate tactical retreat and fall back to the next defensive position. We'll do our best to buy you time from here."
[10:52] * Yanmei was staring straight ahead, past the teaming hordes, to where Lord Mina had appeared. She had been about to raise the Excalibur replica in some sort of direct challenge… but she now just clenched the grip a bit harder, keeping the defensive stance she had adopted as the cultists had swung their weapons into her and Isaiah in retaliation. -
[10:55] <Yanmei> Fleeing wasn't a bad move… they were at a disadvantage, and there were no more troops around her to inspire, but it put her in a bitter mood nevertheless. "We're moving!" She clasped a wounded Isaiah by the shoulder, and doubled back down the hallway.
[10:57] <Minaplo> [Isaiah was indeed heavily wounded, breathing hard and fast, hand clasped over many injuries caused by monokatanas. Surov quickly joined them, smashing his way through a clump of enemies.-
[11:06] * Sept launched a counterattack on the group that had tried to prey on him, more cultist blood being spilled. "Fall back, men! Regroup!"
[11:26] <Minaplo> [And they did- leaving himself alone with Eevi and a lot of dangerous foes. A maul smashed against his head- he felt blood-
[11:27] <Minaplo> [Only for his assailant to be taken to the ground by a man-eating tiger, his throat ripped out by mighty jaws. Eevi was almost like a ballerina, dancing a dance of blood and guts.]
[11:27] <Minaplo> [But Yanmei, on the other hand, would find only momentary security behind the blast doors. Some incredible force smashed against them, leaving huge rents and dents within the metre-thick metal.]
[11:29] * Aline was eventually broken free, and while she got her breath back, she soon began to conserve it, with an unsteady "Let's hang on…" and a shouldering of her rifle to aim it a bit more precisely.
[11:30] <Sept> "Eevi, Felix, we have to… HAAUGH!" Sera impaled one of his assailants with a bladed hand, and turned to retreat himself. "Come on, we have to get out!"
[11:31] * Yanmei tried to slow her breathing. "Isaiah? Can you patch yourself up? I need you and Himesama to fall back a little more to give you room to do that?" Commotion in an adjacent hall. Even without the cultists breaking though the doors at the alarming speed they had, they were no where close to being off the front line.
[11:56] <Minaplo> [Isaiah groaned, leaning against a wall and tearing off his helmet. His face was grimy and sweaty as he applied biogel to his injuries.-
[11:57] <Minaplo> [But soon Yanmei's area was the hub of business as soldiers rallied to the point. Two teams of disciplined gunners brought heavy masguns to bear, followed by a gunline of Stormtroopers and shaky-looking S2 agents. Some of them Yanmei recognised, vaguely.-
[11:58] <Minaplo> [A hulking war machine followed after, standing easily three times Yanmei's height, carrying heavy weapons which it pointed at the door to the south.-
[11:58] <Minaplo> [In the north, Eevi was quick to grab Sera and pull him out of the fracas, doors closing rapidly as they went. Just in time to see…-
[11:59] <Minaplo> ["… So you came?" Asked Linden, tearing off his helmet to speak to Minerva, who nodded stoutly.-
[11:59] <Minaplo> ["I had to save you all. The moment I heard-"-
[11:59] <Minaplo> ["Yes. It's a lucky thing…"-
[12:00] <Minaplo> [… And Aline's predicament would soon be ended as the door to her west crashed open, sliced apart by chainsword and spear. Dr. Clement and Asuka were quick to break apart the bakelite…-
[12:00] <Minaplo> [Shinji gruffly grabbing Aline from the plastic gunk in what could charitably called a hug. Behind them came the heavy footsteps of US Heavy Rangers, toting bolters.]
[12:02] * Aline hugged him back, smiling unseen. "Thanks…" …But she would, after that brief moment, ready herself again, going towards the back ranks of a stormtrooper squad. "They'll be coming through soon enough. Then, all hell breaks loose."
[12:36] <Minaplo> [Indeed. Already the door was buckling…-
[12:38] <Minaplo> [Rhgggg. Rhggggg. Bits of the door burned away as lances of energy ripped through the metal surface as though it were butter. At the front of the line, Captain Savage readied himself. "Hold the line." He warned. "Whatever we face, we must stand our ground."]
[12:51] * Aline tilted her head for just a second at the Captain. "Damn straight." Then, right as one of those hated Annihilators emerged from the doorway… Aline inhaled, and at the exact same moment send a beam of streaming energy towards it, in a fantastically accurate spread.
[12:58] <Yanmei> Yanmei lost sight of Isaiah as more people filtered into the room… and he of her, more than likely. Many of those people were S2 agants, and many more were the armored Stormtroopers. She had little to fear from that latter, but the agents made her… anxious somehow. -
[12:59] <Yanmei> Finally, with a huff, she left the bulging door and went over to their formation. Better to sort it out than to let it stew. -
[13:01] <Yanmei> She started out with an apology. If there were any left out of the loop about what had happened during the past few days, they might have shot her some weird looks. It didn't end there, despite her intentions. -
[13:06] <Yanmei> "… in any case, this is -our- Geofront." Her voice was rising now in volume and intesity, catching more stray ears. "No! This is our -world-! And if those creepy cultists think they waltz in and wreck things, they've got another thing coming!" -
[13:12] <Yanmei> "We've all struggled, haven't we? And sacrificed and even killed. They want to come in and make all of that amount to nothing! Are we gonna let them?!"
[13:12] <Sept> With the aid of some surplus medical supplies from one of the other corridors, Sera's wounds started to seem more or less under control. "Fred. Make a bet with me."
[13:15] <Minaplo> [Behind Yanmei, Surov rolled his eyes, but the soldiers' replies were solid and united. "NO!"]
[13:15] <Minaplo> [Fred- mostly obscured by his power armour except for his handsome head- turned to Sera idly. "A bet, huh? The terms?"]
[13:19] * Sept stared forward at the massive doors, the pounding echoing from beyond. "Whoever goes first, has to apologise to Patrice for the both of us."
[13:21] <Yanmei> Yanmei seemed to swell without changing her actual shape, standing tall and drawing the Exacalibur replica. She hefted it into the air. "If they want to try, we'll drag them into hell with us! Cut through their throats, punch out their hearts! Remember what it is you're standing here for, and FIGHT!!"
[13:25] <Minaplo> ["'Punch their hearts out?'" Muttered Surov sarcastically, even as his words were drowned out by a chorus of battlecries and whoops. S2 agents shook their rifles in the air. Euphrasie gave Yanmei a wry smile, even as the Stormtroopers let out a synchronised 'Hurrah' and readied their guns, a battle line stiff and unyielding.-
[13:26] <Minaplo> ["…" Frederic went still, looking over at Sera. "I don't like that bet. Doesn't matter if I go first or last, I'm apologising anyway. I'll give you a better bet. Better odds, too."]
[13:29] <Sept> "Yeah? What are those?"
[13:32] <Minaplo> [Frederic picked up his bolter. "Whoever comes the closest to dying without actually dying has the right to ask the other to name their firstborn son after the winner."]
[13:36] <Sept> "I don't think that's fair for you. I've got a head start. But agreed."
[13:37] <Minaplo> ["Oh, and a caveat."]
[13:38] <Sept> "Yes?"
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["No clone bullshit. I mean it."]
[13:41] <Sept> "That was never up to me," he said, with a hint of sourness. "Don't worry."
[13:42] <Minaplo> ["Agreed, then." Frederic held out a gauntleted fist.]
[13:47] * Sept reached out with his clawless hand and confirmed the deal. "I can't change Alexandre's name, but you can have the next one. Agreed."
[06:49] <Minaplo> [But Aline would not have time for quiet discussions with comrades. The enemy has burst through, swarming over the ruins of the destroyed door and their fallen comrades. Heavy men wielding electrified hammer-like mauls burst in, bringing their weapons down with shocking force on the Stormtroopers, followed immediately by a wave of katana-wielding cultists.-
[06:49] <Minaplo> [Shinji nearly fell trying to escape the massive battering-ram like claw of an Annihilator, whilst nearby the Spectre nimbly dodged another's, smacking it with the butt of her spear.]
[07:22] * Aline fired off a shot - which missed - but called out. "We'll hold the line!"
[07:29] <Minaplo> ["We'll fucking have to!" Shouted Macnair, squeezing a bolt shot off that caused one of the Annihilators to reel back. Shinji flailed his chainsword against its side and found no purchase.-
[07:30] <Minaplo> [The Spectre turned to look at Terence, now, although both their faces were hidden by helmets; and they came to an understanding. The Spectre started it first. She whirled her lance around and slammed it into the arm, right through the elbow, pinning it to the ground.-
[07:31] <Minaplo> [Terence ripped his sword out of its scabbard and made a howling charge, bringing it down against the beast's shoulder, ripping it cleanly away.-
[07:31] <Minaplo> [The Spectre ripped her spear out of the flying limb just in time, hurling it into the beast's torso and impaling it to a wall.-
[07:32] <Minaplo> [This gave Terence exactly what he needed- a platform.-
[07:32] <Minaplo> [He grabbed the arm, threw it down and ran up onto it, jumping onto the lance- only for a split second- before slicing the Annihilator clean in half and landing in a perfect roll.-
[07:32] <Minaplo> [He then turned to the Spectre and said, in a perfectly clear tone:-
[07:32] <Minaplo> ["Consider that my marriage proposal."]
[07:41] <Yanmei> In the south, they waited, listening to the sounds of their enemies pounding at the steel doors separating them. Yanmei talked quietly with her fiance, slipping him a vial of biogel and kisses when she thought no one was looking. After a time she drew back again, and addressed the soldiers with another rallying cry. "Fire as soon as you see their hoods!"
[08:21] <Minaplo> [In the west, however, with a sudden burst of dark light a squad of lethal Iron Guard appeared, their armour blood-crusted and wielding murderous chain-axes…]
[08:24] * Aline stared briefly in shock, but… another deep breath inwards, then outwards. "Alright, pilots, focus your attacks on those Guards before they can fuck us up!" And with another breath, she pulsed a shot at its chest, even as the others were doubtless surging towards them!
[09:09] * ZackSleep has joined #nervfrance
[09:22] <Minaplo> [Aline's bolt saw it shudder and jerk backwards, allowing others to exploit the weakness.-
[09:23] <Minaplo> [The Spectre leapt forward, clearing a wide space around itself with its spear, slicing across the armour of one of the Berserkers. Terence was quick to move at her side, fighting back-to-back as he cleanly beheaded one of his fallen brothers.-
[09:23] <Minaplo> [But the counter-attack was quick to come, and when it came it was brutal.-
[09:24] <Minaplo> ["BLOOOOOOD! BLOOOOOOD!" They roared, laughing, as they set upon the Spectre, surrounded on all sides by enemies. Vrscika leapt at her from above- the Annihilator slammed her to the ground with a back hand- and she wasn't able to recover in time. She stepped groggily to her feet, huge gashes in her armour showing bleeding pale skin-
[09:24] <Minaplo> [A chainaxe ripped through an arm, taking the Lance with it.-
[09:25] <Minaplo> [Another slash ripped open her belly, splitting the armour, which curled away like overextended elastic. Blood and other things gushed out.-
[09:25] <Minaplo> [A final blow- a heavy kick to the stomach and an axe to the head. The Spectre stumbled, half-running, almost, with the momentum, into the back wall, where she slid down it, the helmet cleaved in two, clearly dead.-
[09:26] <Minaplo> [Terence said nothing but let out an angry roar as he set himself into combat with greater fury.-
[09:27] <Minaplo> [But there were cries of horror and dismay as one lone Berserker showed the difference between an Iron Guard and just a man in armour. He waded into a group of Rangers, axe flashing. "BLOOD! MORE BLOOD! KILL KILL KILL! BLOOD FOR MY BLADE, BLOOD FOR MY METAL, BLOOD FOR MY SKIIIIIIIIIIIIN!"-
[09:28] <Minaplo> [And in amidst this were the heavy infantry of the Children of Adam- Dominions, clad head to toe in gleaming white, shield in their left, sword in their right, cutting through Rangers with ease.-
[09:28] <Minaplo> [Sera would find things no better at his end. The heavy storm of gunfire kept the enemy back for some minutes before the tide came through, some tripping over their comrades' corpses.-
[09:31] <Minaplo> [A horde of Dominions set against the Rangers around Sera, and amongst them, body coiling, serpent-like, skin gleaming with heat and fire, was Karkata, lunging at Sera with a flaming hand even as its words echoed through his soul.-
[09:35] <Minaplo> [But it was Yanmei who would see the worst sight. Her doors were slammed open, and the guns fired, and many enemy Principalities died beneath the bolt rounds and the pulse bolts.-
[09:38] <Minaplo> [But then she saw him. Gamelin- Lord Mina- covered in that robe, his face covered by his hood-
[09:38] <Minaplo> [But before anyone could shoot him, the robe fell!-
[09:39] <Minaplo> [Beneath his skin had gone reddish and his hair was beautiful and elegant and waist-long; but wings he had, eight terrible and lovely wings of fire and light, and a brilliant halo surrounded him as well.-
[09:40] <Minaplo> [And he did not open his mouth but yet he spoke, and the words hung in the air.-
[09:40] <Minaplo> [I am the light that comes ere the bloody dawn.-
[09:40] <Minaplo> [I am as constant as the stars in the sky and as ever-present as the flame on a candle.-
[09:41] <Minaplo> [I am the flame that consumes the dead, the heart of the sun that gives life to all.-
[09:42] <Minaplo> [I am the splendour of old and the creator of the new.-
[09:42] <Minaplo> [I am Mina, the Sword of Light, and I pass my Judgement upon the fallen Lilim people.-
[09:42] <Minaplo> [Return to dust!-
[09:43] <Minaplo> [The light crashed through the room, filling it with intense heat. Pain built up behind Yanmei's eyes…-
[09:44] <Minaplo> [But it was nothing compared to others, who burst into flame, one man ripped from within as his blood boiled and his skin split.-
[09:44] <Minaplo> [But by the time he hit the ground his body had vaporised into nothing but ash.-
[09:44] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei!" A voice screamed, distant. "Look out!"-
[09:45] <Minaplo> [But Isaac- her hated foe- was there, grinning with bloodlust, slashing his sword easily across her stomach, bringing it across her throat. It was lethal. She was already dead.]
[09:49] <Yanmei> Dead, dead, like the time on the stage in front of the UN assembly, Sensing Isaiah's presence through the whirlwind of agony that enveloped her… -
[09:54] <Yanmei> She went down on her knees, a futile hand going for her throat… and then the flow of blood between her fingers started to slow. She gasped, thinly, and the more visible wound across her stomach started to stem itself as well. "B-bastard…" she managed. -
[09:54] * ZackSleep is now known as ZackClass
[09:57] <Yanmei> She rose, hatred and fury working through the pain now, and she sprang forward, slicing at him, half blind with it all. "I"LL KILL YOU!"
[09:58] <Aline> In another part of the HQ, Aline was - as calmly as she could muster, a counterpoint to Yanmei's rage - pumping off another shot, even though calm was soon abandoning the area around her…
[10:03] * Sept was busy tearing his way through rows of Mina's heavy infantry, with the figure of that loathsome spawn looming somewhere ahead of him. He intended to prove it wrong right here.
[10:03] <Minaplo> ["No!" Isaac's eyes were wide and horrified as he barely kept her blade away. "Master! MASTER! Come to my aid!"-
[10:04] <Minaplo> [Isaac took a step back, a pulse of burning light ripping through his body as Chiisana lashed out. Isaac screamed.-
[10:04] <Minaplo> ["Master- Master please-!"-
[10:04] <Minaplo> [No.-
[10:04] <Minaplo> ["MASTER! MA-AAAAAAAAAAARGH!"-
[10:05] <Minaplo> [Isaiah's sword clove through Isaac's leg, sending the man screaming to the ground as the limb practically annihilated on impact.-
[10:06] <Minaplo> [Isaac held his stump, hyperventilating, his eyes filled with fear and tears and blood as he stared up at Yanmei.-
[10:06] <Minaplo> [Before long the light in his eyes was flickering away…]
[10:10] * Yanmei stared back at him, her fury only starting to ebb away when she realized that he was truly well dead. She took a low, shaky, pained breath, trying to get past her wounds.
[10:11] <Raphael> In the command centre Raphael's calm seemed to abandon him all at once as his eyes fixed on one of the many viewscreens on Sophie's console, his latest set of orders dying on his lips as he watched the Spectre fall. At any other time that may not have held any more than a passing pang of regret, not now, not with so many other dying all around it… but as she fell - as that armour split
[10:11] <Raphael> apart - he caught a glimpse of her true face.-
[10:11] <Raphael> And how familiar it was. He found himself shaking, feeling as though he'd been immersed in ice water as horror clutched at his heart like a vise. But his hands had found their way to the rifle, and, barely realizing it, he found himself striding towards the edge of the command deck.
[10:38] <Minaplo> [The Berserker was already moving on, heading towards Aline, axe held up. "AHAHAHA-"-
[10:38] <Minaplo> [The bolt struck him in the middle of the forehead. Such a wound would only slow him down…-
[10:39] <Minaplo> [But then something strange and horrifying happened. He stopped, his roar becoming a scream of agony. He collapsed to his knees, grabbing at his helmet frantically. He ripped it off.-
[10:40] <Minaplo> [Aline would see his face- a once-handsome face gone mad with the rabid plague- melting, the skin literally liquefying. His eyeballs expanded, the blood vessels popping- they erupted in a torrent of heat and steam and blood.-
[10:41] <Minaplo> [His head simply vanished, dissolving into liquids. His body fell forward with a clank.]
[10:43] * Aline blinked. Then briefly took a moment to look backwards, if only out of slightly disturbed curiosity as to what the hell just did that.
[10:48] <Raphael> In the far, far distance, past the enormous open blast dors that led to the command centre, Aline would catch a glimpse of a figure in bright silver armour shouldering his rifle and standing still for a moment before stalking back to the consoles and out of sight. The distance was too great to spot the faint shake in his shoulders, or the way his free hand was clenching and unclenching in
[10:48] <Raphael> an attempt to bring himself back under control.
[11:24] <Minaplo> [The Western corridors were thinning now as both sides depleted themselves. The surviving Annihilator broke through and brought its fist down on Aline- the first time missing- but then it swept across, catching her in the chest with claws that made little work of her armour.]
[11:26] <Minaplo> [Sera would find the tide turning for him as well as Karkata stared down at him disdainfully- and again the psychic wail rang through the air, sending near half their men screaming to the ground or down the hall, only for them to faint and collapse. Karkata was annihilating them.-
[11:26] <Minaplo> [And on the topic of annihilation- another Annihilator, in the South, set upon William, who dodged nimbly, the claw skewering a hapless S2 agent in the chest.-
[11:26] <Minaplo> [The area was thick with enemies, now, Yanmei could see, and the battle was rapidly turning into a bloodbath.]
[11:52] <Sept> "YOU!" Sera screamed at Karkata over the chaos. "You'll pay for those insults! TAKE HIS FIELD DOWN!" The field was unpopulated enough that he could turn and run straight at her, now.
[12:07] * Aline cried out when the Annihilator cut through her, but she stood up, murmuring. "Not going down yet…!" Then she looked at Shinji, and, despite the battle-rage he was building up into? She gave him a nod, then directed the nod towards Vrciska… and fired a shot at the Spawn. Even a miss, she reasoned…
[12:27] <Yanmei> The wound at her throat was just a thin line smeared with blood now, and Yanmei was more than well enough to chase Isaiah along the route he charged to the last hulking Annihilator in the area. She swung both blades as she went, parting the crowd of enemies in her way with sprays of blood.
[06:21] <Minaplo> [Eevi pushed forward, hand out, Karkata's field dissipating-
[06:27] <Minaplo> [But only for a second, as Karkata let out another scream of the soul, sending men running and collapsing to the ground.-
[06:34] <Minaplo> [And among the cacophony was the sound of a sword clattering to the ground. Eevi stared, her stoic mask slowly cracking as her eyes widened. She choked.-
[06:35] <Minaplo> [Her hands flew to her mouth as though to keep the sound inside, but it wasn't enough. She was shaking too much, and she couldn't see through the sudden flow of tears as she slipped from Felix's back, against the ground. She started to scream, scream as though she had been stabbed, like a rabbit in a bear trap.-
[06:36] <Minaplo> ["Äiti! Äiti!" She sobbed and sobbed, her body curling in against itself.-
[06:46] <Minaplo> ["Hold them off!" Shouted Frederic. "Linden! Get her to safety!" A chainsword lay at his feet, fallen from one of the fleeing Rangers. He hooks the hand-guard with his foot and throws it into the air, catching it, and immediately converts the catch into a swing that beheads a Dominion.-
[06:47] <Minaplo> [Minerva runs to pull Eevi to safety, Felix growling and smacking down a cultist trying to finish her off. Tobias opens fire as well. "Bring it down! Sera!"]
[06:47] <Sept> Yet the falling soldiers just left more space for Sera's screaming advance as he tore past the few still standing and, literally, into the invader.
[08:15] <Minaplo> [Karkata reeled from Sera's assault, writhing upon itself- its fluidic skin pouring into the wounds and suddenly sealing them shut as it threw its mental weight around. Behind Sera, Minerva let out a scream- although she was still standing.-
[08:19] <Minaplo> [Aline would see Vrscika move with demonic alacrity, its blades flashing deep into Shinji's chest- he squealed as he fell- before striking into Terence's leg.-
[08:20] <Minaplo> [Down the hall, a rush of fleeing cultists suddenly stopped, many of them falling to their knees. They started to shriek, holding onto their chests-
[08:20] <Minaplo> [… And then their bodies ripped open, flashes of LCL spilling into the air. Before the LCL could fly too far it began to solidify into…-
[08:20] <Minaplo> ["BANSHEES!" Roared Marie. "DOWN THE CORRIDOR!"-
[08:20] <Minaplo> [Raphael would see them. And worse, he would hear them.-
[08:22] <Minaplo> [And Yanmei would feel the air grow hot, her skin blistering lightly- a mighty beam of pure light near-blinding her as it slammed into the Lightning Suit, sending it reeling back into a wall. Around her, men began to burn to ash.]
[08:29] * Sept threw another flurry at Karkata, though the momentum from his charge was long gone. His lunges were sidestepped or completely failed to penetrate her deflective field. He took a step back, catching his breath even when he knew his body was running on adrenaline and nothing more. "I'll -never- surrender to you! We're going to make this right, and we're going to make -damn sure- we won't regret it when we meet again! -You're- the ones who're flailing around in the dark, thrall!"
[08:32] <Minaplo> [Karkata easily sideslithered, a positron bolt bursting against a wall.]
[08:44] * Aline stared, even as Asuka and Terence rushed in. "Come on… steady…" Inhale-exhale. "Steady…" Her hands twitched. Were her wounds getting to her? A brief glance at Shinji, and Aline swallowed air. "/Steady/…" Then came the last breath, the last pump of the trigger.
[08:55] <Minaplo> [It shouldn't have landed.-
[08:55] <Minaplo> [But Asuka's attack had made it land awkwardly, and Terry shouted a word of guidance…-
[08:56] <Minaplo> [The pulse bolt ripped right into its chest and out the other side. Vrscika tottered backward.-
[08:56] <Minaplo> [The wound was burning, and before long the fire was spreading like flame in a forest. Vrscika began to roar, and then scream as it burned from the inside out.-
[08:58] <Minaplo> [It bent back upon itself- and fell, its flesh charred.]
[08:59] <Raphael> A look of horror flashes across Raphael's face for a moment as he reaches over Sophie's shoulder and brings up the direct line to the comms in Marie's power armour.-
[08:59] <Raphael> "Sergeant Favager! Rally what's left of those units and put those things down before they reach your lines now that the big spawn's down. You know what those things can do!"
[09:00] * Aline stared in disbelief… Then let out a whoop. "Fuck yes! One spawn down!" She looked at Shinji, then patched her own comms. "Me and Ikari are going to pull out. We can't handle big numbers like that - and Shin-c… Shinji needs medical attention, if only just some biogel."
[09:01] <Minaplo> ["Come on." Said Clement grimly. "I can tend to him out here."]
[09:03] * Raphael nods. "You three pull back to central command and we'll redeploy you from here." Raphael says, eying the troop deployments. "Fine shooting, Pilot Blanc."
[09:10] <Yanmei> In the South, Yanmei's cry was lost among the sound of the rushing flames and dying soldiers. She kept herself from reeling, braced herself, and lashed out with her swords once more, finally cutting through to the other side of the last enemy group blocking the dreaded Mina from view. "There," she panted. "Go! GET HIM!" -
[09:12] <Yanmei> She coiled slightly as if she would follow her own orders as well, but a cool touch at her shoulder stopped her. Isaiah, with biogel…
[10:09] <Minaplo> ["Hold on. He'll be expecting this." Said Isaiah, smearing the gel across her neck. Instant relief flooded her body…-
[10:09] <Minaplo> [Even as she saw Isidor Rurikovich charge at the head of his remaining squad- only for them to be flung against a wall with an idle wave.-
[10:10] <Minaplo> [Mina reached down and picked Isidor up by the throat.-
[10:11] <Minaplo> [The Star of Swords deems you unworthy. Begone.-
[10:11] <Minaplo> [Blades ripped through Isidor's chest- blood splat out across his face. He was tossed carelessly into the side room.-
[10:12] <Minaplo> ["ISIDOR!" Euphrasie shrieked from the end of the corridor, and she unthinkingly started to run, even as S2 agents grabbed her arms.-
[10:12] <Minaplo> [But Yanmei would soon have other concerns as the bodies of her foes began to give grotesque birth to- banshees.]
[10:13] <Minaplo> [In the north, Karkata unleashed her full power. With a short, sharp scream Minerva collapsed.-
[10:14] <Minaplo> [Instantly Karkata threw out her hands and scoured the air with bolts of bio-lightning, scoring deep gouges into the ground. Sera was struck square in the chest…-
[10:14] <Minaplo> [Followed by a hail of telekinetic bolts that bounced the three men- Frederic, Sera, and Tobias- across the ground.-
[10:15] <Minaplo> [Meanwhile, Raphael would, in Command, receive two pieces of information. One good, one bad.-
[10:15] <Minaplo> ["This is Colonel Amatore-DeForest!"-
[10:16] <Minaplo> [The voice crackled over every headset. "The enemies on the battleship have been repulsed! Battleship Marines coming to relieve!"-
[10:16] <Minaplo> [But he'd also see the cameras to the west. He'd see what had just ripped through the elevator shaft.-
[10:16] <Minaplo> [Skin red as hell's depths, black wings with the span of a commercial airliner. A blood-soaked axe.-
[10:17] <Minaplo> [An Apocalypse Engine.-
[10:17] <Minaplo> [It made the pair of Reapers next to it look -tiny-.]
[10:21] * Raphael goes still for a second, that look of fright returning as he scrambles through the comms channels. "S2 003, get Sergeant Beringer back to central command immediately to prepare for incoming wounded. Drag her if you have to." Raphael says sharply, trying to ignore the look of horror on his friend's face in the camera feed.-
[10:22] <Raphael> "Pilot de Pteres, I'm ordering an immediate retreat so that we can get you some support. Grab whatever wounded you can carry and pull back. I'll seal the doors to buy you time."-
[10:24] * Raphael sighs shakily. "Colonel Amatore, I need whatever units you can spare back here immediately so that we can reinforce the western and northern battle lines. One's in bad shape, and the other might be about to be."
[10:24] * Sept was in bad shape, all but sprawled on the ground from the punishment his body had just taken. "EEVI..! I -need-…" Finally, he became aware of what was going on in the rest of the room, and screamed in frustration, at himself, at the Caines, at humanity. He didn't quite hear what was being said, but he knew what it was regardless. "FALL BACK!!"
[10:25] * Aline stared at the growing figure of the Apocalypse Engine, remembering that a fully-armed warplane was running from one of those things for dear life, and… Grabbed Shinji. "We're backing off too to get you patched up, then we'll…" Another glance. "…Get back to work."
[10:25] <Minaplo> ["God-damnit-" Frederic grabbed Eevi. "C'mon, Felix!"-
[10:26] <Minaplo> [Linden grabbed Minerva and -ran-.-
[10:27] <Minaplo> [The blast doors shut behind them, Frederic barely avoiding the last as he emerged. Raphael would see the three men appear- looking ragged, injured, worn, Linden holding Minerva in his arms, Frederic holding a sobbing Eevi, the little girl screaming- "Äiti! ÄITI!"-
[10:31] <Minaplo> ["NO! YOU-" Shinji struggled with Aline furiously, but Dr. Clement roughly head-locked him, tackled him to the ground and poured biogel onto his body.]
[10:48] <Yanmei> There was no time to dwell on the relief from her wounds or the little ripples of horror and hate that had gone through her at the short work Mina made of Isidor an his team. Banshees everywhere, replacing the curtain of men and armor that she had just worked so hard to cut through… Yanmei sheathed a weapon. She nudged her toe beneath a razor-sharp sword that had skittered toward her in the chaos, kicked it upward and caught it before gravity could take effect. -
[10:50] <Yanmei> And then threw herself among them, screaming her frustrations! Limbs, carapace bits, claws, teeth… she saw them detach and go flying in blurs all around her.
[11:07] * Raphael 's hands tighten around the edge of his console at the sound of the screaming, he straightens his shoulders in the moment it takes him to turn, forcing his expression into what the soldiers expected to see. "Doctor! Do we need to sedate her?"
[11:08] * Aline was, for what it was worth, not going near Shinji. Instead… "Once he's knitted up a little, just let go and that should do it."
[11:08] <Minaplo> ["She's an Iron Guard!" Said Clement. "No sedative I have will calm her down!" He turned to Aline and nodded curtly.-
[11:08] <Minaplo> ["She's c-crying for her mum." Whispered Sophie, horrified.-
[11:10] <Minaplo> [The sound of many boots hitting the ground behind Raphael as a company of Battleship Marines burst in, bearing a type of bolter he didn't recognise.-
[11:11] <Minaplo> [He did, however, recognise two power-armoured figures, who had removed their helmets. Archibald and… Lieutenant Peters? From Valletta?-
[11:11] <Minaplo> ["The 3rd Marine Company reporting in!" Said Archibald.]
[11:14] * Sept walked through the chaos with a sour look on his face (though somewhat obscured by the blood). He grabbed some medigel and began cavalierly smearing it across his wounds.
[11:20] * Raphael nods mutely at Sophie, his mouth set into a fine line. "Then I need you to find someone that can keep her calm for now, Doctor. I'm sorry, but…" He searches for whatever was supposed to come after that for a moment, but doesn't seem to have much success.-
[11:22] <Raphael> In the end he welcomes the distraction the the Marines bring. "Lieutenants." He says quickly, giving Peters a familiar, if surprised nod as he strides back towards the consoles. "I apologize for the lack of pleasantries, but I'll need you both deployed immediately. We have a strong spawn inbound from the north, and an Apocalypse Engine approaching the western battlelines."
[11:23] <Minaplo> ["A… What, sorry, sir?" Asked Peters, confused.-
[11:23] <Minaplo> ["Understood, sir." Said Archibald promptly. "And this is Captain Peters, sir." She stresses the rank slightly.-
[11:27] <Minaplo> [Meanwhile, Yanmei's carnage would see the banshees quickly slaughtered…-
[11:27] <Minaplo> [Leaving Blaise to step in. He was on one knee. "ISIDOR! MOVE!"-
[11:27] <Minaplo> [Isidor got to his feet, groggily, and saw Surov throw a grenade at his feet.-
[11:27] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[11:28] <Minaplo> [Isidor -ran- as the hallway was near vaporised… Leaving Mina and a handful of banshees left. Mina was unharmed.-
[11:28] <Minaplo> ["Suck on this, motherfucker." Murmured Blaise, pressing the button on his rocket launcher.-
[11:29] <Minaplo> [The missile slammed into Mina, sending him hurtling across the floor. When the smoke cleared…-
[11:29] <Minaplo> [Half of his face was missing, revealing nothing but bone and muscle. His wings were crumpled and battered. He was covered in smoke and grime…-
[11:30] <Minaplo> [You worthless lilim!-
[11:30] <Minaplo> [I am an emissary of the Silver-Clad Empress!-
[11:30] <Minaplo> [Light ripped through the room, vaporising a handful of Stormtroopers and setting Yanmei's skirt aflame briefly.-
[11:31] <Minaplo> [I have conquered worlds held by foes you cannot possibly imagine! And you dare to strike me?!-
[11:31] <Minaplo> [A storm of furious lightning ripped through the room, striking Blaise square in the chest. He bounced across the floor- only to stand up, unharmed.-
[11:31] <Minaplo> [I am as a god to you! I order you!-
[11:32] <Minaplo> [RETURN TO DUST!-
[11:33] <Minaplo> [A concentrated beam of energy struck Blaise square in the chest… And this time it was mortal. He -screamed-, his body burning, armour vaporised, batting wildly at his chest- before he went suddenly still.-
[11:33] <Minaplo> ["BLAISE!" Shouted Mana in abject horror. "You-!"]
[11:33] <Raphael> "Captain. Noted." Raphael says, a fraction distantly. He's too busy watching Blaise fall on one of the camera feeds. When he focuses on the officers again his face is pale and set, hands balled into fists.-
[11:34] <Raphael> "Apocalypse Engine… one of the largest spawn we've encountered." He says, his voice flat and steady. "It'll make short work of few regular forces we have left there, but with reinforcements we may be able to hold."
[11:35] <Minaplo> ["I'll do my best, sir." Said Peters, saluting and putting on his helmet. "I haven't forgotten what you did for me in Valletta. Good hunting!"-
[11:36] <Minaplo> [And like that he and his men were moving off towards the west, followed by the S2 Agents and a distraught Beringer.-
[11:37] <Minaplo> [In the west…-
[11:37] <Minaplo> ["Bruce! Get back! They'll need you back there!" Shouted Terry, firing at a reaper, watching as Marie damn near shred it.-
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["D-Dad, are you-?"-
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["GO! And take Mummy with you!"-
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["M… Mu-"-
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["THE SPECTRE! TAKE THE SPECTRE!"-
[11:40] <Minaplo> [And so Bruce grabbed the still-unconscious form of the Spectre and rushed her out.]
[12:05] <Yanmei> Yanmei, in the meantime… couldn't ignore the fact that her own men were dead or dying, especially with that last counterattack by Mina. She grit her teeth, booting one of the seemingly endless banshees away and running another through. -
[12:07] <Yanmei> "Don't yield! Don't give up!" she screamed, pushing on - and abruptly, her swords came to an abrupt halt against the claws of a particularly hardy spawn. It snarled! She snarled back, wordlessly! She heaved, but she couldn't dislodge him. -
[12:09] <Yanmei> And there were more of them, snarling, swarming shadows rising up fast at her sides and flank, cutting her off from Isaiah's frantic yelling.
[12:12] <Minaplo> [One Banshee grabbed her arm, was pulling it away…-
[12:12] <Minaplo> [When it -exploded-, a bolt shell ripping it to pieces. There was the whine of heavy weapons- and suddenly the horde was being ripped asunder!-
[12:13] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would soon see her saviour. A Lightning had approached from Mina's end of the hall.-
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["Hey! Yannie!" Cried the pilot- Lilly Norling!-
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["Glad I came to save your fat bacon yet?"]
[12:21] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared out beyond the splattering gore incredulously. One of those giant machines and… Norling?! She flushed angrily, the familiar sting of humiliation sinking in. "Goddamn it!" she hissed under her breath. But people were -watching-, and she had just -ugh- saved her. -
[12:23] <Yanmei> "Hello, Norling," she managed mildly.
[12:29] <Minaplo> ["Oooh, you're cute when you're angry~"-
[12:29] <Minaplo> [But there was no time for banter. The blinding light of Mina's wrath ripped through the room once again.-
[12:31] <Minaplo> [Isaiah's roars of fury turned to screams of pain, fires breaking out on his armour. And a second later, a bolt of energy picked him up and smashed him against the wall, his head jerking back.-
[12:31] <Minaplo> [ Give me the Key, Zhang.-
[12:31] <Minaplo> [ Give me the Key or by the Youthful King I will break every bone in his body and reduce him to ash. ]
[12:36] <Yanmei> "Key, is it?" Yanmei rasped, swaying slightly. A trickle of blood ran down the back of her neck, a second one coursing down her forehead into her face, slowing alongside the bridge of her nose. -
[12:38] <Yanmei> Beneath her armor, she could feel the agonizing and distressingly familiar sting of superficial burns. "So that's what it's for? Heh. Surely, such a great emissary would be able to -take- it, wouldn't he?"
[12:44] <Minaplo> [Your veneer of bravado does ill to you, Zhang.-
[12:44] <Minaplo> [Another bolt of lightning and Isaiah screamed, the cracking sound of armour ringing in the air.-
[12:45] <Minaplo> [You can give it, and I will be merciful, or you can refuse and I will destroy you. Not just vaporise you, but destroy you so utterly that when the time comes and your creator kneels before the Youthful King, you alone will be rejected.-
[12:45] <Minaplo> [Your soul will drift upon the currents of eternity, alone and formless, without power and without body, an endless meaningless existence, unable to be seen or affect anything around you.-
[12:46] <Minaplo> [ Now give me the Key, Zhang. I am capable of many cruelties. ]
[12:57] <Yanmei> Silent curses and a thin fog of worry. She still… wasn't perfect at manipulating the Libido link. Too much damage was still getting through. It bothered her more than the threats, and it took focus to even tear her eyes away from Isaiah after that. -
[13:01] <Yanmei> But when she did, something in her gaze changed, growing distant and then boomeranging back, hard. "You're not the only one capable of cruelty now, and I think you know that." She took a slow step forward. "Where's the bomb, Mina?"
[13:02] <Minaplo> [ Fool. I am the one asking questions. The bomb is kept safe. ]
[13:05] * Yanmei snorted. "All right? After I beat you, it won't matter either way." All she had to do was win. Another slow step forward. "The only way you're getting the key? Is by killing me."
[13:06] <Minaplo> [ Then you will die. ]
[07:03] <Minaplo> [Sera would now find himself properly reinforced- Marines from the battleship, as well as Lieutenant Archibald in light power armour. The blast doors trundled open…-
[07:04] <Minaplo> ["Open fire!"-
[07:05] <Minaplo> [The Marines' bolters ripped down the hall, laying low the few Dominators left. Linden tapped Sera's shoulder. "Let's go."]
[07:35] <Sept> "Yeah, I'm ready. That bastard regenerates way too fast. I might be able to deal with her myself, but you'll have to give me some support before dealing with anything else in there."
[07:36] * Aline knew now that she had to pare down the field of targets. As Shinji moved forwards, the troops moved forwards… She stayed back amidst what was now a small mass of S2 agents, and focused her fire. But… the Reaper she targeted was surprisingly fast to evade!
[07:37] <Yanmei> "We'll see about that!" Yanmei sprinted forward. "GO! Everyone! Hit him with your hardest!"
[08:19] <Minaplo> ["RAAAAAAARGH!" Isaiah was the first, slamming into Mina with his shoulder, smashing him into the wall. A second later he brought the sword down…-
[08:19] <Minaplo> [And cleaved off one of Mina's wings. Mina screamed, eyes wide-
[08:20] <Minaplo> [But he had no time to react. Surov was on top of him, banging his servo-arm against the AT Field. Chiisana stabbed him through the arm, pinning him to the wall…]
[08:21] <Yanmei> Yanmei was last, slicing her weapons against the AT Field, grunting in frustration as they failed to penetrate. "Keep at it!"
[08:21] <Minaplo> [Aline's shot went wide, but it opened a gap in the Reaper's defenses. Terry grabbed ahold of its jaw, swinging himself up onto its back, beheading it with one massive strike.-
[08:21] <Minaplo> [… But this left him open. The Engine roared, its voice shaking the entire room- it swung its axe, catching Terry in the shoulder, slamming and pinning him against the wall.-
[08:22] <Minaplo> [It struck again, and this time it was poor, brave Victor Clement who took the blow. The axe caught him square in the chest, crushing him into the ground with such force that the floor beneath him split in half- blood spurted through the air as his scream was cut short.-
[08:24] <Minaplo> [Sera's advance would falter as the corridor ahead of him burst into flames…!-
[08:24] <Minaplo> [And half a second later, bolts of telekinetic force ripped into their lines- Frederic let out a gasp of air as he was flung back down the corridor.-
[08:24] <Minaplo> ["FRED!" Screamed Sophie in abject horror, jumping out of her seat.-
[08:27] <Minaplo> [But it was Yanmei and her lot who had the most problems. The air around them seemed to explode as Mina leapt back into the air, his face a bloody furious mask of hate.-
[08:29] <Minaplo> [He gestured furiously at Chiisana, who was lifted into the air, suddenly unable to move as though bound by invisible tendrils.-
[08:30] <Minaplo> [He clapped his hands together, generating a massive shockwave of sound and force that sent Chiisana hurtling down the corridor, flying painfully into a wall in the Command Centre- where she lay still.-
[08:30] <Minaplo> [A dark bolt of energy struck Yanmei in the heart- and suddenly she felt faint, nauseous, weak. Her hand trembled…-
[08:32] <Sept> "Get Frederic back! I'll deal with this fucker! Bruce, keep his field down!" Sera separated from the Marines, clearing the wall of fire and leaping back into his postponed duel with Karkata.
[08:40] <Minaplo> [Bruce hurled himself through the fire, throwing his field at Karkata's. "A weapon! I need a weapon! Sera, your knife-!"]
[08:42] <Sept> "There's dead people everywhere, just take -something-, can't you see I'm..?!"
[08:43] <Minaplo> ["I need a positron weapon! C'mon!"]
[08:44] <Sept> "And -I- told you to concentrate on the field!"
[08:44] <Minaplo> ["I -am-!"]
[08:48] <Raphael> On the bridge Raphael's patience snaps, pulling his attention away from the distraught Sophie and his own quiet fear as he directs the medical teams towards Chiisana. "de Pteres! Consider it an order if you must!"
[08:52] * Sept growled in frustration and tossed the blade roughly in Bruce's direction. Caine weapons in the hands of a dirty doll, and one wearing Silas' face…
[08:53] <Minaplo> ["Captain!" Came the voice of Marianne Amatore-DeForest, the armoured figure flanked by a flood of marines. "I can take it from here."]
[09:07] * Raphael 's head snaps around at the sound of Marianne's voice, nodding once as he swaps his communications headset for a rifle. For a moment his attention seems to flicker past her shoulder, as if looking for someone else… but if there's a question in that look, he doesn't see fit to speak it aloud.-
[09:08] <Raphael> "Understood, ma'am." He barks, sprinting for the stairwell and vaulting a railing. "I'm moving to reinforce Zhang."
[09:08] <Minaplo> ["No. You need to head down West-1, that Engine is going to rip through the line like toilet paper." She says without hesitation as she runs up the stairs to the command tower.]
[09:10] <Raphael> "But-" It's a testament to the chaos that he even begins the argument. Another nod and then he's past her and down the stairs. "Yes, Colonel."
[09:11] <Minaplo> [Marianne looks at him for just a second as she turns back to the consoles. "Surov, get them out of there!"-
[09:11] <Minaplo> [Meanwhile, Eevi… Eevi wasn't crying anymore. But her mask of stoicism was forever gone. She stood back up, climbing back on Felix. She gripped the sword with both hands.-
[09:11] <Minaplo> ["K… Kill. Kill it. Kill it." She muttered to herself. "KILL IT, FELIX!"-
[09:12] <Minaplo> [The tiger roared, pelting down the corridor at full speed, vaulting through the flames, which swirled around Eevi and Felix, framing them against the smoke. They landed, Felix latching onto Karkata's arm. Karkata pulled back, startled.-
[09:13] <Minaplo> [Terence pulled himself out of the wall. He had been buried a full metre into it.-
[09:13] <Minaplo> ["IKARI! LANGLEY!" He roared, running back into the centre of the room.-
[09:14] <Minaplo> [Shinji roared, stabbing into the Engine's stomach.-
[09:15] <Minaplo> [The Marines shouted in fury, smashing their chainswords into its legs, even as Asuka embedded her own axe into its arm.-
[09:15] <Minaplo> [Aline was free…]
[09:16] <Aline> …to focus another shot into the beast. It would strike true, though…! "Not down yet." She muttered to herself, whilst a tiny beep alerted her to low ammo. "…Great."
[09:17] * Yanmei had dropped to one knee. The room was spinning around her, fast, and even the normally light Excalibur replica weighed down her hand. -
[09:20] <Yanmei> She could hear Surov and Isaiah still scuffling, but she couldn't quite make it to her feet to join them. A muttered, slurred curse, and she ran a hand along the side of the replica's blade. It left behind a trail of blood… her own blood. -
[09:22] <Yanmei> She then wedged it into the ground, and wobbled back onto her legs, both hands gripping the pommel. "…calibur," she muttered, and the blade pulsed, the tiniest of vibrations. She tried again, wrenching it free and holding it up. -
[09:24] <Yanmei> "EXCALIBUR!" Now there was an impossible dark light, one that inverted colors as it washed across the battlefield.
[09:25] <Minaplo> [The air seemed to stop. Time itself seemed to freeze.-
[09:25] <Minaplo> [The sword rose, hovering in the air, pulsing like a beating heart, sending waves of dark light out as it did so.-
[09:26] <Minaplo> [And then- it appeared. A long black arm with clever fingers, an impossibly tall, slender body, a face like a mask, marked only with eye sockets and a smile like a sword.-
[09:26] <Minaplo> [No one moved. Mina stared, eyes wide. Isaiah froze.-
[09:27] <Minaplo> [ The Ever-Slaying Sword of the Youthful King has been called. It said. And I answer. ]
[09:30] <Yanmei> "Thanks for the assistance," Yanmei muttered after a long pause. She eyed Mina, trying to stand taller. "Your last chance? Surrender or die."
[09:30] <Minaplo> [ I cannot. Said Mina, his voice deathly quiet.-
[09:31] <Minaplo> [ It is true. He cannot. The Marionette lashed out, grabbing Mina by the throat and slamming him against the wall. He cannot control his actions. He is only a weapon.]
[09:33] <Yanmei> "Then make it quick, please."
[09:53] <Minaplo> [Mina struggled, uselessly. The Marionette's grip was like stone.-
[09:53] <Minaplo> [The Apocalypse Engine lashed out, axe and whip ripping apart a whole group of men at once, sending limbs and blood everywhere. It -laughed- as it did so.-
[10:00] <Minaplo> [And Karkata…-
[10:00] <Minaplo> [Eevi leapt from her tiger, landing on Karkata's chest, flailing against its head with her sword. Tears streamed down her face in great rivers even as she yelled a litany of curses and words of hate.-
[10:02] <Minaplo> [Karkata reeled, swiping at Eevi- it missed- and Eevi chopped her way through the AT Field.-
[10:02] <Minaplo> [Karkata fell to the ground, curled her tail around Eevi and -crushed-. Eevi stayed firm, punching her fist into Karkata's face over and over and over-
[10:04] <Minaplo> [With a mighty heave, Karkata -threw- Eevi aside, letting out a horrendous scream of fury that sent men buckling down the hall. It threw a hand out at Eevi-
[10:04] <Minaplo> [Eevi stood-
[10:04] <Minaplo> [And took a step forward-
[10:05] <Minaplo> [Even as the blood vessels in her arm and legs started to burst, even as her face began to distintegrate before Sera's very eyes.-
[10:05] <Minaplo> [By the time Eevi died, she was on her knees- "K-kill…"-
[10:07] <Minaplo> [The body collapsed, her sword clattering to the ground.-
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["NO! YOU-"-
[10:08] <Minaplo> [Bruce screamed, clearly horrified, clearly wanting to run, but at some point the scream of terror turned into one of fury. He reversed the knife and leapt up onto Karkata's back-
[10:08] <Minaplo> [It tried to shake him off-
[10:08] <Minaplo> [And he stabbed it, straight down into the head, paralysing it. It let out an agonised scream…-
[10:08] <Minaplo> ["GET IT, SERA! GET IT!"]
[10:21] <Aline> Elsewhere, Aline was continuing to fire, focusing her efforts on another precise shot, this one striking it at chestlevel for… surprisingly sizable damage! "I don't know how long this thing will last, but we're doing quite some hurt!"
[10:35] <Sept> With the slightest glance toward the noise from Eevi's direction, Sera flipped a switch on the glove and took a step toward the distracted Karkata. His arm seemed a lot heavier as the claws began to hum. With great effort, Sera ran full tilt at the Spawn, heaving his clawed hand forward, screaming. "WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SHUT ALL OF YOU -UP-?!!"
[10:36] <Minaplo> [Karkata stared at him, unable to move its head even as Sera hurtled towards her. She couldn't move. She focused what remained of her AT Field, even as flames burst to life around her.]
[10:38] <Minaplo> [Shinji rushed forward, Aline's heavy sword held tightly in his hands. He pulled it back and -swung- it as hard as he could into the beast's ankle- it near severed- before he stabbed up into its knee.-
[10:38] <Minaplo> [Asuka leapt upon his back, hissing and spitting in anger, hacking once, twice, three times- embedding her axe in its chest, the Engine reeling backwards, exposing its head fully…]
[10:41] <Raphael> On the western battlefront Raphael finishes up his mad dash, falling to one knee and bracing his rifle against the twisted chunk of steel that's all that's left from one of the fallen blast doors.-
[10:41] <Raphael> A deep breath and then the rifle fires again, kicking sharply against his shoulder as his shot screams through the air to drive through the giant Spawn's eye. A second later the beast's whole head is ablaze as its blood boils away.-
[10:41] <Raphael> "Captain Savage!" He roars, bringing his voice above the battle-din. "Bring it down!"
[10:42] <Yanmei> On the southern front, Yanmei approached with her weaker backup monokatanas and tried to finish it fast herself while the Marionette held on. She went for Mina's head, his throat, but it wasn't as clean as she had hoped. He was still alive, however tenuously…
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["Gladly!" The Spawn, thrashing about in misery and pain, slammed its axe into the ground and fell forward. Terence slashed brutally at its throat, a spray of hot, steaming blood gushing out. Its head fell forward- and he grabbed onto one of its horns as tightly as he could.-
[10:44] <Minaplo> [The Engine reared back, waving blindly at him, but it missed- he leapt up onto its head and one-! The sword was driven into its brain. Again! Deeper, into its throat. A final mighty thrust-
[10:45] <Minaplo> [The sword cut through head and jaw all. The Engine let out a final, mournful cry of pain before it fell forward with a heavy slam. Terence jumped off, just in time to turn around and stab it once more, into its last remaining eye.-
[10:45] <Minaplo> [It spasmed, twitched, and then lay still, the fire spreading across its body.]
[10:45] * Sept went clear through whatever semblance of AT deflection she had left, the claw embedding itself deep into Karkata even as the speed-magnified force of Sera's charge collided with her, sending them both a few more feet forward. "I will make you understand," he hissed. "You've accomplished nothing. You will -never- accomplish anything if you oppose us." The claw came out with a sickening sound as the two found the ground again, tumbling to a halt. "Everyone who died here, and who you've killed during your pathetic invasion has served to make her stronger. It's only a matter of time before she can be our God. Tell me, where is yours?"
[10:47] <Minaplo> [Bruce was sent hurtling away, the knife still embedded in Karkata's head. The sheer impact of Sera's strike had seen Karkata land with such force as to gouge the ground beneath. It coiled and uncoiled spasmodically as it reared up, lunging clumsily at Sera, sending gouts of fire at him, desperately, blindly…]
[10:49] <Minaplo> [Mina gasped, the blood pouring from his neck, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Brutally, the Marionette picked him up and slammed him into the ground- once, twice, again into the wall, before hurtling him six metres past Yanmei, where he landed hard… And did not move.]
[10:53] * Yanmei …did not quite exhale. It was over with that. It had to be. "Let's…" her eyes roved around the battlefield, taking in the sheer number of bodies for perhaps the first time. -
[10:55] <Yanmei> She swallowed. "Let's get ready to head back. Isaiah, William. Surov." She eyed the Marionette as if not quite sure to include it. Slowly, she moved past to the fallen Mina, just to make sure he was really gone.
[10:55] * Sept laughed, dancing around the attacks. "Pray for peace. We can always end this. I will not be a spawn much longer. And if a spawn did this to you…" He raised the claws above his head, arm shaking from the effort to keep them under control. "Your God can not touch us when I'm whole." The blades came down in one lightning-fast swoop, a loud screech signified the end of Karkata as the claws went right through her neck and embedded themselves in the ground.
[10:56] <Minaplo> [Karkata shuddered, its body writhing once, twice- and then lay still.-
[10:57] <Minaplo> ["Colonel!" Sophie turned and shouted. "The communications jamming is gone! We're back online!"-
[10:57] <Minaplo> ["What's the word?" Asked Marianne quickly.-
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["Major Katsuragi is reporting in from the Dorian Lachapelle. Uh… We're receiving priority one messages from Kenya, Boston- from all the branches. Kenya's letting out a Condition One. It's under attack."-
[10:59] <Minaplo> [Mina lay still, even as Yanmei stood over him- then he shuddered, just for a second. His eyes slid languidly open. He gazed up at Yanmei. He seemed… Diminished.-
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yanmei?" He mumbled, in his old voice.-
[11:01] <Minaplo> [Aline, meanwhile, would bear witness to the Marines swarm the corpse of the Engine, hacking into it with their swords, tearing it to pieces- only to see someone emerge from the melee. Shinji emerged, looking utterly exhausted, dragging his sword behind him, swaying side to side.]
[11:02] <Raphael> Breathing could come steadily with practice, even in a room so stinking with blood as this. Raphael inhales slowly and brings his radio up to his mouth.-
[11:02] <Raphael> "West-1 hallway clear, Colonel. Requesting further orders?" Just the faintest shake to his voice - That's all that gives away how tired he feels now, surrounded by the dead.
[11:02] * Aline decided to risk it. Shouldering her rifle on its strap, Aline ran over to him, and immediately hugged him, standing tall so he didn't have to.
[11:03] <Minaplo> ["We need you back at command, Raphael. We need to debrief you. There's a lot going on."-
[11:03] * Sept extricated his hand from the glove, stood up, breathed in and out once, twice. "Bruce. If that sword isn't… back where it belongs when I…" He swayed. "immakillyou," he said as he collapsed.
[11:03] <Minaplo> ["Major Katsuragi will want a word with you as well."-
[11:05] <Minaplo> [Shinji's sword clattered to the ground as he fell into Aline's arms, sobbing his heart out, clinging to her weakly, like a child.]
[11:06] <Yanmei> "…" She wanted to turn away. She didn't dare, though. Instead she crouched lower, slipping only one of the monokatanas away. It could still be a trick, but… "You're Charles Gamelin." Her voice had the barest hint of a question mark in it, as if seeking a confirmation.
[11:06] <Minaplo> ["I-I'm dying." Coughed Gamelin. "I-I'm dying, aren't I?"]
[11:09] * Yanmei didn't say anything. It -was- him. She just gazed down at him, distressed. How much of the past few weeks could he even remember? If Mina hadn't been able to control its own actions, then this guy… what about Gamelin?
[11:09] <Minaplo> [Bruce, meanwhile, stared flabbergasted at Sera- but even more so at the crowd of cultists and principalities who, having witnessed this, stared back at him, just as dumbfounded.-
[11:09] <Minaplo> [Bruce got to his feet. "Y-You better surrender, or-"-
[11:10] <Minaplo> [They all immediately dropped their weapons with a clatter.-
[11:10] <Minaplo> ["Please." Mumbled Gamelin. "I'm scared. I don't want to die."]
[11:12] <Yanmei> "I…" she reached out to grab his hand. "H-hey, Surov? Can't you…?"
[11:12] <Raphael> Raphael's shoulders sag. "R-right." He murmurs. The relief is obvious, but there's something more there… guilt, maybe? "Of course, Colonel. I'll be right there."
[11:13] <Minaplo> ["Could I what?" he asked. There was the sound of something clattering. The Marionette had vanished, Excalibur clattering to the ground. Isaiah sat against a wall, looking dazed as he lifted Excalibur up with childlike idle curiosity.-
[11:13] <Minaplo> [Surov stamped over, his heavy armour making a din. "A human infused with an Angelspawn by an Angel? He's of more use to me dead than alive." Said Surov coldly.]
[11:18] * Yanmei glared at him. Any patience she'd had for the man had grown brittle and blown away long ago, thanks to her exhaustion and the gravity of their situation. "If you're going to make remarks like that, then just go the hell away!" she snapped. "Isaiah? You have a spare kit on you, don't you? Listen, it'll be okay. We'll patch you up. I'm… sorry this happened, okay?"
[11:19] * Aline squeezed tighter, patting him on the shoulder. "It's done here…"
[11:23] <Minaplo> [Isaiah got unsteadily to his feet and crossed the distance. "We're… Saving him?"-
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["I don't know how. How it happened." Gamelin was shaking, going pale. "I was scared and frightened and suddenly she was in my head, whispering to me, wanting me to l-let her in, but I've done such horrible things, I couldn't stop… You don't know… Oh God, please forgive me…"]
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["C-Can we go somewhere?" Mumbled Shinji. "Somewhere… Else? Away from blood… N-No more blood…"]
[11:28] * Yanmei stayed quiet a minute, letting the ramble speak for itself. "He was one of us before this started," she said at last. "And…" she glanced around the hallway at the bodies of the many many fallen S2 agents and Stormtroopers. "Would you please?"
[11:30] <Minaplo> ["S-Sure." Said Isaiah, clearly jittery, but his hands immediately went calm as he applied antiseptic, tourniquets, bandages and other things to stop the bleeding.-
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["I can't… Even explain what it was like. There were times where it was… S-S-So peaceful, you d-didn't even have to think, just swim in… Bliss. Even as… A-As Mina used my body…"]
[11:31] * Aline nodded to Shinji. "Of course we can." …And she slowly, very slowly (so as not to trip on blood and guts) lead him towards the command center, looking for a quiet(er) spot.
[11:33] <Yanmei> "Be quiet and rest for a bit, okay?" Yanmei… didn't want to think about that. Possession by spawn or sentient weapons… "We're taking you into custody, so you can have lots of time to tell us about this stuff."
[11:35] <Minaplo> [The command centre had been turned into a triage- and there were many in need. Most dispiritedly, one of them was the man who should've been running it- Doctor Clement, his body s ripped and ravaged mess, barely alive- chances are he'd be dead within the hour unless a miracle happened. Euphrasie Beringer ran to and fro, helping as many as she can with what little biogel remained.-
[11:37] <Minaplo> [The Spectre's body lay on a stretcher, its armour having peeled off of its body- all except for a small red gem between her breasts. Her body was already starting to heal…-
[11:37] <Minaplo> [Chiisana had long since lapsed into unconsciousness, her arms and legs broken, as were many of her ribs.-
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["So much death." Mumbled Shinji. "What was it all for?"-
[11:38] <Minaplo> [Gamelin wondered similarly. "Yanmei… I… I messed up. I messed up a lot. People are dead… Oh god, so many… T-The bomb, Yanmei, the bomb…"]
[11:40] <Yanmei> "The bomb?!" She leaned forward. "Where is it? Where are -they-?" she corrected herself.
[11:40] <Minaplo> ["One was sent… T-to the battleship, but the Colonel disarmed it. Another was… Supposed to go here. Mina put it in a dirac sea, and… And I dunno where it is…"]
[11:45] <Yanmei> So the ship was safe. The Geofront, though… she was uncertain. "I think… that's no problem? And if it isn't, we'll take care of it."
[11:48] <Minaplo> ["I'm so sorry…"-
[11:49] <Minaplo> [Footsteps down the hall- Marines. "Prisoner, ma'am?" Asked one.]
[11:49] * Aline looked at Shinji, and shook her head. "…Broken dreams." Cryptic.
[11:51] <Yanmei> "Yeah." She straightened up. "Needs medical care, too? And please inform Captain Guillory or whoever's in charge of his status."
[11:52] <Minaplo> ["Can do." They firmly grabbed Gamelin and carried him away, leaving Yanmei and Isaiah alone.]
[11:55] <Yanmei> "Some adventure, huh?" She was grimly looking down at her blood-coated hand. Delicately, tried to wipe it off on her battle gear.
[11:56] <Minaplo> ["Some adventure." Said Isaiah quietly. "… We should go speak to Marianne. Debrief or whatever…]
[11:58] <Yanmei> "Yeah. There's a lot to go over." She slid her other monokatana into its sheath and reached to take the Excalibur replica with both hands before she went.
[12:00] <Minaplo> [And so they went, back, tired and sore and worn out, all of them- Yanmei, Aline, Shinji, Isaiah, Sera…-
[12:01] <Minaplo> [They didn't know yet what awaited them beyond the walls of the Geofront.-
[12:01] <Minaplo> [They didn't know that in a few hours they would have to fight again, thousands of miles away.-
[12:02] <Minaplo> [They were not able to see the millions upon millions of Angelspawn that ran through the streets of Lagos, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Algiers.-
[12:02] <Minaplo> [They were not able to see the fires that rose into the air as cities, as nations burned.-
[12:02] <Minaplo> [They did not know yet that already over a hundred million people were dead. They did not know that another four hundred million would follow.-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [They would find out soon enough, beneath Nairobi-2, where all was machine and steel. They would see what had happened. They would look upon the face of their greatest threat.-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [Metatron had come.]

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