@Steam
In the final moments of the battle against Beatrice and Dakova, Viper had unveiled their own superweapon: a frighteningly powerful Lava Cannon.
@Steam
There had fortunately not been any casualties, but a single blast from Earth had completely destroyed an orbiting colony.  One could only wonder what it would do to Earthside targets.
But ultimately, Project Unification and the ESUN as a whole doens't want to find out.
@Steam
Which leads you all to right now.  Between tracing the course of the shot, and also assistance from Doomstar, Viper's volcanic island base of operations was located, with forces mustered to lay siege to it before the cannon can fire again.
@Steam
The transport is moving in low, just one of many approaching the comparatively lightly defended beachhead of the island.  Viper had to cut down on gun emplacements there because of their frequent beach parties, it seems.
Cubey
Sielje: "That was hardly a weapon... more like a tool of mass destruction."
The Knight's Arm clutches its long pike tightly. All equipment is ready.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Yeah...And I wonder why VIPER keeps trying to take over the world. Their technology is amazing, they could manage a lot without fighting everybody."
Tengu
Daniel: "Just the kind of weapon VIPER wants, then."
Tengu
Daniel: "That's how some people roll. Crazy megalomaniacs."
Cubey
Sielje: "If you are not seen favorably as a person of justice and honor, the best you can do to make others serve you is to force them..."
Arach
Jen's testing Nemain's responses, carefully moving its arms back and forth. "Hm...looks like those last-minute modifications won't slow me up too much. Yeah, they could do all kinds of good, but...I guess they'd just rather do evil superscience."
@Steam
The shuttle rocks slightly from something
Shuttle pilot: "Well, the party's started already.  Everyone, hang on!"
Tengu
Daniel: "We're spotted...?"
Cubey
Sielje: "Ah, it begins!"
@Steam
The shuttle's doors open just as the shuttle's rocked again by light defensive fire.  But alarms are blaring, VIPER soldiers and machines rushing to defend their shores as other allied shuttles move into position too.
It's time for battle!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddyd8WxIOUY
Corel
Morte: "I am sure you all already know, but keep your guards up."
@Steam
(Enemies: VIPER Formorians x 30)
Corel
The Steed's voice speaks, but his body is nowhere to be seen. Only Fyra is there with the others.
Cubey
Sielje: "Yes..." Here we go. The doors are open.
@Steam
(Not the only ones present, just the ones currently in your path to the tunnels that lead into the base.)
Cubey
Calm yourself... and strike!
@Steam
(Lineup: Jen, Sielje, Kei, Fyra, Daniel)
(Jen and Sielje, go)
Tengu
Daniel: "I'm ready. Let's do this."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Look out everybody. I'll support you all like usual."
Cubey
*The Arm marches out of the shuttle, gaining speed with each step. "Prepare yourselves. I am knight Sielje, and I shall be your opponent!" Its pilot issues the challenge while slumped behind the shield, the cloak wrapped close to the Arm's body to create a layer of protection. The unit advances forward, straight into the fray - which is bound to grab the enemy's attention.&
@Steam
[Sielje] And indeed they do!  The Formorians don't rush to meet you, but instead move into the best firing positions they can manage, beams being sprayed in and around your general direction, seeming to herd you off and away from them!
(React/continue Sielje)
Arach
*Jen: "Alright..." Nemain takes out its beam spear, twirling it above its head as the weapon flares to life. "No time for holding back, now." Nemain crouches low before blasting off in a flash-then crashing into the enemy line, kicking off one Formorian to slow down, then running to attack the rest at a more normal speed.+
Cubey
Sielje: "Ghh... please hold..." *It begins. The enemies fire beams at her - but that's exactly what the beasthide cloak is there for. She doesn't falter, instead accelerating into a charge under its protection. "Hold!" And slams the shield into the foremost Formor while breaking into their ranks!+
@Steam
[Jen] You're off like a bullet, blazing across the sand and with explosions following after you!  Wait, no... those are landmines!  The Nemain blasts past them safely enough, but the explosions still rock your machine, so your footplant into the Formorian has a clumsy ending and you both crash to the ground!  But as you try to move to the others, the grunt you downed still grabs at your legs to leave you exposed to the others' fire!
(React: Jen)
Cubey
Sielje: "What is this?!"
Tengu
Daniel: "...Mines. Gotta be careful."
Daniel: "Watch your step."
@Steam
[Sielje] Indeed, across the battlefield some more Adeles and other allied machines are less fortunate as mines detonate underneath them.  But your way forward is still clear!  Your cloak withstands their assault, and a lead Formor gets smashed away courtesy of your shield!
(Kei, Fyra, and Daniel, go now)
Cubey
# Jen
@Steam
(And approved)
Cubey
Sielje glances aside, nervously. Opening up to the enemy would be very dangerous here.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Everybody who can fly, take to the skies. I'll try to locate the exact layout of the minefield." As long as they were standard mines, some of Purple-2's many sensors should be able to catch them. "We might be able to draw the VIPER units into them too."
Cubey
*But she does it regardless. Leaving the heavy shield behind, the Arm jumps to the side, its cloak fluttering in the wind as it spins its polearm while flying... and stabs it down on the foe holding Jen back!+
Arach
Jen: "-Oi, let go!"
Tengu
* Steel Wanderer moves forward, taking close aim at enemy formation. As soon as the mech reaches something that could serve as cover, Daniel makes his move! Near-instantly he draws the Gun of God and slams its hammer three times, firing armor-piercing Longinus bullets at the enemies - he tries to send them on such trajectories that each bullet punches through more than one enemy at
once! +
Cubey
Sielje: "If you follow our steps, I think there will not be any more traps there!"
Corel
*Fyra steps off the edge of the shuttle's ramp and slowly floats down, still on-foot. "..." Noting the presence of the mines, she follows behind Sielje's initial path since it seems she didn't trigger any. And then, she follows up by flourishing her scythe and slashing down on the shield-smacked Formor!+
@Steam
There's quite a bit of interference from the sand of all things -likely treated via nanomachines to hide these mines- but the scale and force of the battle makes it easier for Purple 2's sensors to identify the patterns in the mine placement!
It's probably not all of them, but now at least you have a sense of where they are.
Arach
*Nemain's nanobots slip out of its back, forming a single metallic tentacle. It stabs down into the arm holding onto Jen, trying to rip her free-and then Jen presses her attack, rushing the rest of VIPER's positions.+
@Steam
[Jen and Sielje] The persistent VIPER soldier's life gets cut short by polearm and tentacle alike, freeing Jen to turn the tables on those attacking mooks!  The Formors are forced to scatter and fall back, some still getting caught in the crossfire!
Julia_Dietrich
* "Pinging the mines for all of you, be careful not to step on them. Daniel lay down suppression fire at their left flank, forcing them to gather near the center of the formation. Fyra, there is an opening in their formation here where Jen and Sielje pushed them back, if you attack the group Daniel suppresses, they'll have little room to maneuver except on to the mines." +
Arach
Jen: "Herding them onto their own traps? Oh, I like the sound of that."
@Steam
[Fyra and Daniel] The initial Formor that Sielje struck was already poised to try to get back up, but your blade puts a quick end to him.  The Longinus bullets easily shred through their initial three targets as well, two of them managing to score an additional kill as well!
Cubey
Sielje: "We fell into their trap... but we bested it."
@Steam
(Fyra and Daniel can take their support actions, or alternatively combine them with their actions for next turn.)
(Jen, Sielje, and Kei can act again as well)
Tengu
(I'll do it now)
Cubey
Sielje: "Kei is right. We need to press this advantage."
Corel
Fyra: "Understood."
Morte: "The less time we spend here, the more we can dedicate to the lava cannon."
Tengu
*Daniel: "Understood. Let's round them up." He ejects the empty casings from the Gun of God and switches to a Lucia generator, rapidly firing a barrage of beam shots towards the enemies on the left flank in order to make them all gather in the center! +
Arach
*Jen pushes further into the VIPER positions, scything down at enemies with her spear-then letting Nemain's torso dip low, a hand keeping it off the ground while its back goes horizontal. This odd position braces her, and then that tentacle strikes-grabbing at one Formorian and throwing it bodily towards the minefield. With each successful attack, Jen pushes further into the enemy ranks, not much bothering for cover or careful
progression.+
Julia_Dietrich
* "Sielje, pin down the group opposite group to widen the gap, don't let them close it while Fyra is active. Based on the ground and mine placement, these three are the most likely to make the attempt. Jen, use the nanobots that are hard to block easily to snipe at the ones near the center of their formation who have more limited maneuverability." +
Corel
*Fyra is up right after- turning her scythe into its dual ended form and creating a black whirlwind that she sends forward to drive Daniel's targets back further!+
Cubey
Sielje: "Yes. Ahh, Jen!"
Charging forward like that is far too reckless!
Cubey
*But Sielje does as she's told. The Arm's step forward is a starting point for a short lunge, during which it swings the polearm widely to maximize the amount of enemies hit. And while she lands and the foes still recoil, Sielje arms the explosive head of her weapon - and stabs in the midst of Formor ranks, the blast causing even more chaos.+
(Combining with action)
@Steam
[Daniel, Fyra, and Sielje] The very visible flurry of beam shots and spinning whirlwind of death do their job admirably, forcing the various Formorian machines to try to huddle up and get into a tighter defensive formation.  But suddenly one by one their members get yanked free and loose, disrupting that group-
@Steam
[Sielje] Just in time for Sielje to lunge in.  The now-lead Formorians attempt to gun the Knight's Arm down in time, but the explosive polehead argues otherwise!
The Viper forces in your way are considerably lessened now though, yet they still fight with dogged determination all the same!
Arach
*Jen hears Sielje and Kei. She stops pressing so far ahead after one back of attacks, instead taking a moment to fall back and wait for help. Managing five limbs at once is no easy feat, so she pulls those nanobots back inside and switches to using her rifle on the kei-indicated targets like a good cover shooter protagonist. The bullets have her corossive rider attached-it'll deprive her of nanobots to work with, but it should
wreak holy hell on VIPER's machines. "-Right. Sorry. Got...caught up in things."+
@Steam
(Fyra can also take her action)
Corel
*Fyra launches part of her scythe at some of the remaining Formors - the weapon linked by a chain to help yank them to positions with mines.+
@Steam
[Jen] You take aim at the targeted Formors, their attempt at returning fire hindered by the chaos and destruction that Sielje and the others did to their formation.  The Nemain takes a few glancing, minor hits, but your own all strike home, the nanobots quickly corroding away at them, starting with their arms and torsos and working outwards.
@Steam
[Fyra] And what's left of VIPER's defensive line in this segment suddenly finds themselves being flung into the very mines they'd wanted to use on their enemies!  More explosions rock the beach on either side of you... but the way ahead into the base's tunnels is finally cleared!
@Steam
Several other groups are managing to punch through VIPER's forces too, but everyone has their own orders here today.
And yours are to keep pushing forward, doing as much damage as you can to whatever hardware is inside to make life easier for your allies, and if at all possible reach the central controls.
Cubey
Sielje: "It is over here, but."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Let's go." She kept an eye on her instruments to see if she could tease out anything that slipped through nanobots, rocks, radioactive interference from the magma and possible lead lining just in case
Cubey
Sielje: "Now it only just begins."
Corel
The Rider withdraws the chain-linked section of her weapon and lowers it with a twirl.
Arach
Jen reloads her rifle. "Alright. Let's make some noise."
Cubey
The Knight's Arm returns back for its shield, and switches the used up explosive for a new warhead.
Sielje: "Yes. Ah. I suppose..."
Tengu
Daniel: "Expect heavier resistance inside. Experimental weapons, maybe?" He reloads his revolver.
Daniel: "I don't suppose you were ever here before, huh Jen."
@Steam
VIPER's base is far better insulated against unwanted scans than their shores are, but you are at least able to get a sense of what is immediately ahead in the tunnels.
Corel
Fyra: "There is also the opponent she was striving to defeat."
@Steam
It's not much at the start where all you're able to continue picking up is yet more tunnels, but as you continue on condensation and humidity steadily rises.
Arach
Jen: "No, they hadn't even claimed the island yet...back then, they just had those subs. Sucked up energy off vents at the bottom of the ocean."
Cubey
The Knight's Arm looks around as it peeks into the tunnel. "..." Assaulting the heart of the enemy's headquarters feels familiar. And not in a good way.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Good question. There are a lot of tunnels and steam... Unless they cloak their units, I can probably give us a few seconds of warning.
Arach
Jen: "A proper volcano's got a lot more power to fuel their factories. This place'll probably let them churn out materiel at 10 times the rate they had before..."
Cubey
Sielje: "They are using power from within the Earth?"
@Steam
The tunnel continues on, slowly widening as its elevation dips below the sea level.
Arach
Jen: "Ah, it's not like life-force or anything. Just heat."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Maybe some kinetic energy from steam and the flow of magma too."
Cubey
"... Ah. I see." So it won't be like Ankaia all over again.
@Steam
And sure enough, as you continue vein-y circuits can be found lining the walls and ceilings, their heat turning the moisture in the air into a steamy sauna...
But the cavern finally opens up, exposing a massive, flooded chamber, a man-made underground harbor!
Tengu
Daniel: "Speaking of submarines..."
Corel
Morte: "They've been working hard."
Arach
Jen whistles.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "We really need to talk to the intelligence division. They keep missing massive construction projects."
@Steam
Alarms are blaring, personnel scrambling everywhere as the craft are being prepped and trying to be launched away!
A harbor master's voice booms over speaks throughout the chamber!
"The first transports are facing steep resistance to the north!  Transports two and three, divert your course around the ESUN forces!"
Arach
Jen: "...They aren't all zombies...?"
Tengu
Daniel: "We gotta stop'em."
@Steam
Needless to say, there are few targets in the base as invaluable to strike as this one.
(Everyone, you're not noticed just yet, so take a free turn and make it count)
Cubey
Sielje: "It would make things much easier for our allies. However..."
Sielje: "We are to destroy the weapon..."
← Cubey has quit (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "We should destroy the submarines and help the entire operation. With the firepower we're bringing, it shouldn't take long and supporting our allies reduces the risk of reinforcements making the assault on the cannon itself impossible."
→ Tengusaur has joined
→ Cubey has joined
Arach
*Jen loads the grenade launcher on Nemain's rifle. "The cannon isn't going anywhere." She fires, explosive shots arcing towards the ships leaving the harbor If they can be sunk, it should blockade the rest...Or so Jen hopes. Nemain moves closer as she does so, jetting up into the cavern's air to get clearer shots. Another magazine of grenades is fired, until Jen's expended her whole stock of explosives.+
← Tengu has quit (Ping timeout: 246 seconds)
@Steam
[Jen] You're right, the cannon isn't going anywhere.  And neither are many of the subs.  Your explosives scorch the subs just on the verge of leading, even causing rubble to pour down and smash into one partly in the tunnel.  Another one sustains a breach below the surface, fast sinking.
And alarms begin blaring in response as the VIPER forces suddenly realize that you're here now too!
Corel
Morte: "That certainly got their attention."
@Steam
Some of the subs begin to try to escape through other tunnels, VIPER soldiers climbing to the decks to turn the guns of others on the Nemain!
(React: Jen)
Cubey
Sielje: "..."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "I'll stop them from leaving." He loads two bullets into the Gun of God, then fires them into water, where they expand into nets of sticky, surprisingly resilient goo, entangling the remaining submarines! This should stop them in their track, or at least slow them down! +
Cubey
"Get out of here!" *The Knight's Arm walks forward in exaggerated heavy steps, trying to look larger and more intimidating than it is. Its arms, wielding weapons, swing in the air, in the general direction of any on-foot personnel, armed or not, but without actually touching anyone.+
Corel
*Fyra directs a focused beam at one of the other tunnels, aiming to rapidly corrode the tunnel entrance structure and cause it to collapse before the vehicles escape, or on top of them!+
Arach
*Jen jets down, then dashes to the side-taking cover amongst the building of the harbor. No way she's gonna risk getting hit by ship guns.+
Cubey
Sielje: "You are nothing! Flee before I change my mind!"
@Steam
[Jen] The cannon shells blast by you deafeningly, smashing into the rocks behind where you'd once been.  A wise choice not to risk tanking those shots.
Julia_Dietrich
* As enemies started striking, Kei spun Purple-2's guns around targeting any actual mecha guarding the scene while ignoring sailors and foot soldiers. "Project Unification. Lay down your weapons and surrender. You can't fight back against mecha and we can't guarantee the stability of the volcano once fighting gets further underway." +
@Steam
[Daniel, Fyra, Sielje and Kei] A few unmanned Formorians are blown apart, depriving VIPER soldiers the chance to man them, and even more of the subs are either ensnared, sunk, or trapped in the harbor!  Before long some of the personnel begins to start taking Sielje and Kei's suggestions.
@Steam
Some choose to flee while some simply layed down their weapons and get away from anything that made for an enticing target. But needless to say, the loss of life was rather minimal...
The loss of *hardware* on the other hand though...
@Steam
... Is best counted by the number of smouldering wrecks, crashed or sunk subs, and blazing fires.
Cubey
Sielje: "Ah... it actually worked..." Her face is red from embarassment.
Corel
Fyra does not say anything, but gives the Knight's Arm a thumbs up.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "You managed to intimidate them."
Arach
Jen: "...Huh."
Cubey
Sielje: "I just... recalled the day when we met for the first time..."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Their footsoldiers aren't fanatics, fighting back would have been certain death."
@Steam
From other tunnels, Adeles, Gespensts, and other allied machines come pouring in, guns primed and at the ready...
Corel
Morte: "There was mention that most of them were supposed to be 'zombies'."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Whatever made their troops into tech-zombies... They don't have it anymore. I think."
Daniel: "Or maybe zombies make terrible technicians."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Or they restricted them for simpler roles and kept the professionals for their navy."
@Steam
... Only to see that the dirty work had already been taken care of.
Arach
Jen: "...Yeah, the zombies were always kind of...dumb."
@Steam
Adele captain: "... Well look at that.  You were supposed to just punch through and soften them up for us, not start and end the party all without us!"
Cubey
Sielje: "Wh-whatever the case, we need to continue forward!"
@Steam
There's a good natured laugh after that though, and his machine flashing a thumbs up in appreciation.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Doubt the party's over yet. This ain't the control system for their superweapon."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "A number of enemies surrendered, if you could take them into custody and escort them outside in case the volcano gets destabilized."
@Steam
Captain: "Right then.  Teams two and three, get everyone here cooperating back to the transports.  Everyone else, we've still got jobs to do!"
Allied pilots: "Right!"
Julia_Dietrich
Kei. "Understood. We'll press on to secure the control room."
Cubey
Sielje: "Be careful."
@Steam
The groups all fan out, some moving to herd the surrendered soldiers back to the beach, the rest charging down various tunnels after their respective goals-
Adele Captain: "Don't worry!"
The machine turns back to you as it leads a troupe down one tunnel.  "We've got this in the-"
But his voice suddenly stops.
As does his entire team.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gYhQ6pKjqo
And then they suddenly are all torn to pieces as a ninja-like machine appears behind them!
Apogee 13's!
Tengusaur
Daniel: "!"
Cubey
Sielje: "A... aah..."
@Steam
Pilot 2: "What the, who's tha-"
Cubey
Because this person didn't show up yet.
Arach
Jen: "...Oh...you again."
@Steam
More ESUN machines turn their attention to her, starting to open fire... only to be torn or shot apart respectively as new enemies arrive, emerging from the tunnels and ambushing them!
Cubey
Sielje: "No! Get out of here!"
@Steam
Julia: "... AHa!  Finally making up for all of those deaths!"
A Nemain Killer emerges, cleaving through another entire team with a massive axe!
Julia2: "And it's been way too long... way too long!"
A flurry of beam blasts catch another group, even as two other Nemain Killers hack through their own marks with a gigantic sword and spear respectively!
One lone Genoace somehow managed to avoid the sudden carnage and attempts to flee back towards you... but suddenly a silver drill bursts out of the ceiling!
No... that's a gigantic, silvery machine, that smashes right through the grunt and kicks the severed torso off and away from you!
The four Julias all call out together joyously!  "VIPER Commander!!!!!"
You can practically hear the swoon in their voices.
Cubey
The Knight's Arm takes a step back, in silence.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "..."
@Steam
But the new machine just points at you all intimidatingly with one of its lengthy arms, the image of a masked man appearing on your comms!
Arach
Jen: "That one's new."
@Steam
"I hope you enjoyed that little demonstration of what we're capable of... because a far more grisly fate will befall you... my personal collective nemesis!"
"Your crimes against me and my organization are many, each one weighing on my soul as I've waited for this very day!"
"You've taken my chief scientist... you scrapped my mobile factory... laid waste to my submarines... stole half of my money... and worst of all you murdered countless Julias!"
Tengusaur
Daniel: "How about your crimes against the world as a whole."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "The day your organization gets taken down and you at best manage to kill some enemies and run away?"
Arach
Jen: "My only regret is that I didn't steal more."
@Steam
VIPER Commander: "No...  this is the day that VIPER reigns supreme!  This annoying farce... ends now!"
The VIPER machine points towards you, the various Nemain killers charging in with Apogee 13 bringing up the rear!
(Enemies: VIPER machine (VIPER commander), Nemain Killers x 4 (sword, spear, axe, and rifle versions each piloted by a Julia), Ninjabot (Apogee 13)
(Jen, Sielje, and Kei, go)
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Don't think you'll just cut us down like that... It's on."
Corel
Morte: "Indeed. The challenge is accepted."
Cubey
Sielje: "... The leader shows up."
The Knight's Arm froze up where it stood.
Julia_Dietrich
* "There are some fault lines in the rock formation above them. If you corrode these spots, Jen, you should be able to cause a localized cave-in breaking up their formation. Daniel, when they start scrambling, snipe at the leader before he can recover to a defensive position." +
Cubey
It's just like before.
She thought she become stronger and promised to protect Earth and Ankaia both, but... it's the same as ten years ago.
@Steam
(Jen and Daniel can take their Kei actions)
Cubey
"Aaargh!" *The Knight's Arm meets against the charging Nemain Killers head on, its shield thrust forward to block the attack of the first one. Sielje ducks under this cover, drawing her sword and stabbing the next in row, carried by force of her momentum... and a sudden rush of recklessness.+
Corel
Fyra: "..."
Arach
* Jen: "Roger that." She opens fire on the cavern roof where indicated by Kei, more of that corrosive rider attached to her shots-then she jets up towards the ceiling, shooting down below her at the Nemain Killers Sielje charges (this time, with normal bullets). "Julia, as much as I hate you, I hate you more when you start harmonizing."+
@Steam
[Sielje] The spear-wielding Nemain Killer's attack is fortunately deflecting off of your shield, your blade biting into the side of the sword-wielding one!  "Agh... and I know you!"  says that particular Julia as she swings her own weapon at your blade, tearing it free and leaving a deep wound in it's side!  "You always seem to kill me too!  Well it's payback time!"
@Steam
[Jen] But the sudden falling rubble puts a delay on said payback time, and Sword-Julia's forced to defend as Jen follows up her attack, striking the Nemain Killer multiple times!  "And you're not going to stop me either!"
Tengusaur
Daniel: "I got you." He puts a single bullet into the Gun of God and aims towards the gigantic silver machine... And as soon as Jen starts cave-in, he fires! the bullet ricochets off several of the falling rocks and a wall, before heading straight towards the head of VIPER Machine! "Julian, go." +
@Steam
The blade's surface seems to ripple, elongating as nanomachines in the blade alter their properties, letting it lash at Jen!
(React: Jen)
@Steam
[Daniel] It seems now even the Julians are being drawn to the Commander!  Your bullet catches the VIPER unawares, staggering the machine!  "Gyeeeeeeeeh... not so hasty!"  And it lunges at you, its arm twisting into a spiral drill and plunging right at you!
(React, Daniel.  You can combine this with your action if you wish)
(Fyra can also act)
Arach
*Jen jets to the side to avoid the lash-and then down, expecting it to keep coming. She fires a few shots at the sword itself, aiming to break its enlogated form and disrupt the attack. "Uh huh. Bring it, then."+
Cubey
# Jen
@Steam
(Approved)
Cubey
Sielje: "..."
*Jen might find shooting at that sword much easier.
*Because the Knight's Arm uses its shield hand to grab it by the blade. And while it's holding it, Sielje wastes no time. She uses her unit's superior mass and size to stomp down on the sword with a mighty foot.+
Corel
*Fyra leaves a small crater in her wake as she takes off to assist Sielje and Jen against the Nemain Killers. She is surrounded by a pale green aura, not unlike Morte's, which is focused and fired as beams at the unengaged ones!+
@Steam
[Jen and Sielje] The elastic sword bites into the Arm's hand as it grabs it, but the momentum falters as it's suddenly stomped onto the ground, being stretched heavily out of proportion and then shot to pieces by Jen!  The blade/band *snaps* at an especially thin point, the Nemain Killer being thrown backwards by the force, now left holding a considerably smaller weapon!
Tengusaur
Daniel: "More melee... Gotta time this carefully!" He quickly jumps back, trying to avoid the strike, while simultaneously firing three shots - two of them miss their mark and hit the ground, but the third one heads straight for the VIPER leader, and it spreads into another sticky net upon impact! Also, as soon as Daniel clears the area, the first two shots explode around the boss unit!
+
(also my action)
Cubey
Sielje: "My apologies, I... lost my cool..."
Her heart is still pounding heavily.
@Steam
[Daniel] The VIPER sweves around your first two shots!  "Your aim's as wasted as your life's about to-" Only for him to suddenly get ensnared by the massive web!  The two ensuing blasts rock the machine, exposing some sort of exoskeleton underneath the silver sheen of its body for all of a few moments as it tries to recover.  "Nyah... a dirty trick!"
Arach
Jen: "It's alright. Just keep calm, we'll get them all."
@Steam
[Fyra] And in the meantime your own beams shoot out.  The spear and gun-wielding Killers make dives for cover, but the axe-wielding one tries to defend using her massive blade... only for holes to be punched right through it!  "W-what?!?"  The damaged machine slumps back a ways... but the gun-wielding one tries to return the favor, firing powerful blasts at you Fyra!
(React: Fyra)
Tengusaur
Daniel: "I'm not Sielje. Sorry."
@Steam
(Jen, Sielje, and Kei, go again)
Cubey
Sielje: "Yes... this is not how it was ten years ago."
Arach
*Jen glances around briefly, trying to see what Apogee's up to - but she keeps attacking the sword-wielder, firing long bursts of automatic fire at it. "-Ten years ago...? Ah, tell me later."+
Corel
*Fyra snaps in another direction as soon as she sees that gun aimed at her. She does whatever she can to throw off the shooter's aim, including flying behind wrecked structures!+
Julia_Dietrich
* "Pull back you two, before you get surrounded. If you move like this, you can get the rocks between you and most of the Julias and reach the commander before he can disentangle himself. I'm pinging the damages to his armor, use it to stab into them, Sielje." +
@Steam
[Jen] With a now ruined blade, the sword-wielding Julia is forced to try to evade as best she can... but the rubble and the damage already sustained to her machine makes it difficult.  And as your own guns rake over the machine, that Julia's words devolve into a bitter and pained angrish as it falls down, disabled and defeated!
As for Apogee...
... You see her only for a moment, ducking away back down a tunnel!
Cubey
Sielje: "I will make sure they do not interfere!" The Knight's Arm raises its shield between itself, the Nemain, and the remaining Killers.
Arach
Jen: "-Get back here, you!" She's too busy keeping up her assualt to pursue - at least for now.
@Steam
[Fyra] The Julia's attacks chew through the obstructions, but each shot wasted trying to clear the path to you is another one that doesn't actually hit you!
You escape cleanly!
(Remaining enemies: The VIPER (Viper Commander), Nemain Killers (spear, axe - damaged, and gun))
(Jen and Sielje can also do their Kei actions, or combine them with with their normal actions)
Cubey
Sielje: "She wants to lure you out into a place where she has advantage..." *The Arms backs off from the Nemain Killers, and when Sielje's far away enough to make sure she is not under threat of counterattack - she disengages, leaping towards the VIPER commander machine! The polearm stabs into the weak point, as provided by Kei.&
Arach
*Jen: "Yeah, probably. But if I have to, I think I can win a duel against her now." She falls back, taking cover as directed by Kei-and fires with wild abandon at those critical points in its liquid metal armor.+
@Steam
[Sielje] Your polearm stabs into the VIPER in what would appear to be a normal area of its body, but the silvery sheen of its frame seems to ripple and be broken!  But the spear-wielding Nemain Killer lunges at you from behind!  "You leave the Commander alone!"  she cries out, thrusting her spear at you!
(React: Sielje)
^React/continue
(Daniel and Fyra can take their actions now too)
Cubey
Sielje sweats. She saw something like this coming and prepared for it, but to execute it right now...
*Being unable to see but thrusting her fighter's experience, Sielje retreats her polearm - stabbing it backwards! And, Julia: guess what.
*There was a reason why the polearm didn't explode. Sielje struck the Commander with just the butt. The warhead is on the other end.
Sielje: "... As you wish."
*Bang+
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Need to reduce their numbers..." He fires two shots towards the axe-wielding Nemain Killer, with a brief pause between them. The first one is an electrifying bullet, hopefully one that will stop the enemy's systems for a second. The second one separates into ten shots mid-flight, which grow to full size and rain upon the enemy! +
Corel
*Zooming out from behind cover, Fyra tries to close the gap on the gun-wielding Nemain Killer. She sweeps in low, trying to deny it the use of its legs!+
@Steam
[Sielje and Jen] Jen's shots pelt the VIPER mercilessly, its liquid armor beginning to ripple and drip off.  But what really catches the Commander's surprise is as Sielje's warhead detonates!  The blast envelopes the Nemain Killer, blowing it away!
VIPER Commander: "No!  Julia....!!!!!!"
The VIPER backhands the Knight's Arm away, embracing the smoldering husk of a machine that was left from the warhead.
VIPER Commander: "Not again..."
Cubey
Sielje: "After killing so many mercilessly, you cry out when your own get a response..."
@Steam
"All I wanted was complete control of the world... and a loyal harem of clones!"
Cubey
"Ugh!" The Arm is thrown back. Attacking while talking, how dishonorable.
@Steam
[Fyra] Slipping in close to the gun-wielding Killer you slash through one of its legs!  The machine falls, having to clumsily try to smash you with its gun!
(React: Fyra)
Arach
Jen rushes to where Sielje's landed. "Are you alright? Don't push yourself..."
@Steam
[Daniel] And with gaping holes in her axe's blade, the remaining Julia gets violently shocked right before the rain of bullets pulverizes the machine!
VIPER Commander: "Aaaagh... at least wait until I'm done mourning the last one!"
Tengusaur
Daniel: "You're one messed-up guy."
@Steam
And then in a flash of... well *something*, the Commander hurls the ruined Nemain Killer right at the Steel Wanderer!
(React: Daniel)
(Jen, Sielje, and Kei can go)
Cubey
Sielje: "Y, yes. Do not be concerned, please."
The Knight's Arm standing back up.
Sielje: "I was afraid I would be useless... but I am certain now. We can do it, we can win."
Corel
*Fyra turns as the gun comes down on her, enlarging the scythe's blade to what it would be if Morte's mecha form was wielding it, and heaving the weapon upwards in a single stroke to cut through the weapon and its wielder!+
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Status, everyone? No serious damage?" Looked like Sielje was okay, at least
Cubey
Sielje: "I am alright." She glances backwards, the Knight's Arm pretty beaten up all things considered. However...
Arach
Jen: "Alright. And yeah, good here. Used up a bunch of the nanobots, I'm hovering at about 50% capacity..."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Think we got him mad... Watch out." Firing a few times at the incoming wreck to slow it down a little, he rushes to the side and breaks into a dodge roll, in order to get behind a rocky wall for cover! +
@Steam
[Fyra] And a gun butt, clumsily used... is no match for a scythe handled by an expert.  The blade cleaves through weapon, Nemain Killer, and its pilot all, the halves exploding in the wake.
[Daniel] Your gunshots cause the wrecked Nemain Killer to break up into parts, and the trashed frame as a whole just sails past you, clattering onto the ground past where you'd been.
Julia_Dietrich
* "Understood. Fyra, he's focused on Daniel for now. He's moving in a blur, but I think I can track him based on his speed and direction to get to that ruined unit. Going by that, he should be around here," a location a bit to the side, away from the rocks is pinged, "in five seconds. Intercept him." +
@Steam
(Go ahead Fyra)
Cubey
Sielje: "We need to strike together. Jen?"
Corel
*Fyra responds with a nod, and immediately takes off! Five seconds is not much room, but she uses her surroundings as best as possible - kicking off of surfaces to change directions before finally reaching the spot. Her scythes are split into two smaller ones that are swung simultaneously!+
Cubey
Sielje: "... I will make sure we both make it out of this. But, it is a selfish request, which will require your help as well..."
Arach
*Jen: "Hm? Oh, it's no problem...Hang on, this could help." She spreads more of Nemain's remaining nanomachines along Sielje's cloak, forming a silvery layer of metal armor on top of the beasthide. "Follow my lead." Jen twirls her spear and charges into melee, slicing down at the Commander's unit-but doesn't fully commit to her attack, expecting resistance...&
@Steam
[Fyra] Kei's predictions prove perfect.  Your blades leave two gashes across the VIPER's shoulders, lines of fire erupting as the Commander cries out in frustration!  "This... is not over yet!"
Cubey
Sielje: "There is no time. Here we go!"
Corel
Morte: "Yes, it is up to you now."
@Steam
[Jen] Your nanomachines reinforce the beasthide cloak, and sure enough VIPER Commander's resolve isn't wavering yet!  From underneath his armor a slew of lights begin to shine, the armor parting to reveal a number of beam cannons that fire on the Nemain!
(React/continue: Jen)
Cubey
Sielje: "... Now."
#/@ Jen (combining with action)
Arach
*Jen :"Whoa whoa whoa!" No sticking around for that! Nemain halts its attack early, stepping to the side and behind VIPER commander's machine. "-got it." With that, she flicks her blade up, raking into the mecha's back.+
@Steam
(Go ahead)
Cubey
*The Knight's Arm rushes forward, its arm raised dramatically and the cloak falling from it forming a protective barrier, put between the Nemain and the VIPER unit. All three are pretty close to each other, but the beasthide cloak was always made to resist beams. With nanomachines' help...&
@Steam
[Jen and Sielje] Nemain slips around the VIPER's side, made easier as the Knight's Arm stand resolute against the attacks!  The beams pour down on the cloak.... only to be deflected harmlessly away as the Nemain strikes the VIPER from behind!  The spears tear across its back, the cannons faltering for a moment... and giving Sielje the opening she needs!
(Sielje, finish it!)
Cubey
Sielje: "..."
*Simultaneously with Jen's strike from behind, the knight strikes from the front. Aiming at the damaged weakpoint, she doesn't do fancy maneuvers. Just a straightforward thrust - but one stabbing as deep as possible, and then twisting while within the wound.+
@Steam
[Sielje] And your own sword plunges into one of the damaged sections as well, a furious scream of defeat ringing out from VIPER Commander as the blade twists... sparks erupting before increasing to a violent blast that knocks both you and the Nemain away!
VIPER Commander: "My dream... will never diiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee!"
Cubey
"Ughya..."
Arach
Jen lands in a rough heap. "-urgh. Glad that's over..."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "... What was his dream other than world domination?"
@Steam
But the ground beneath him does from the destructive force bleeding out from the VIPER, the machine falling into the water below.  A moment later and a massive eruption  leaves the entire harbor trembling, a burst of water spraying up in the air.
Corel
Fyra: "You did it."
@Steam
It was over... or rather... almost.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Let's not look into it too closely."
@Steam
A message comes in from Commander Huffman!
"Well now... I hope that everyone is okay... between some reports from groups that'd fallen behind and the radio silence we were getting many of us were starting to worry."
"Especially because we've detected that the Lava Cannon is starting to charge again!"
Tengusaur
Daniel: "...Apogee 9."
*13
@Steam
Indeed.
Cubey
Sielje: "The VIPER lies in ruin! For what purpose..."
Arach
Jen: "Ah, crap." Nemain picks itself up, sort of dusting itself off. "Let's hurry."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Private Kugimiya here, along with Sielje, Douglas, Daniel and Fyra. VIPER Commander is down and everybody is safe and can continue the operation."
Corel
Morte: "One more, then."
@Steam
Huffman: "Some of the personnel that have surrendered gave us intel regarding the interior of the facility.  We're sending you a straight path to the control room now!"
And sure enough, the route transmitted starts with the same tunnel Apogee herself took.
Cubey
Sielje: "There is no reason to use this weapon now other than pure spite. Your true nature reveals itself, Apogee 13!"
@Steam
The path itself is a very steep one, leading up and out of the harbor, with the temperature rising considerably as well.  More and more of those "lava" circuits line the floors, and the interior of the tunnel also rapidly grows more and more tech-heavy.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Or she was using VIPER for some other goal."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "It's not over yet... Let's go. Hope we'll arrive before she fires." He follows the route, Steel Wanderer breaking into a heavy run.
@Steam
Terminals and metal plates instead of volcanic rock, and before long... another massive room that if you hadn't known better would never have known it was in a volcano.
Computers were strewn across the entire area, but more tellingly and worryingly...
... Bodies.
Cubey
Sielje doesn't really know what belongs in a volcano and what doesn't. The Knight's Arm seems to be smoking a bit, and it moves slower than usual. But it carries on.
@Steam
Identical bodies.  Clones...
Cubey
"..."
Corel
Fyra: "..."
@Steam
Some of people you haven't recognized, but many of the VIPER officers you've seen.  And yet... every VIPER Commander, every Julia, even every Doomstar's body has a bullet put in theri head.
Arach
Jen: "...Okay..."
@Steam
The odd woman out of that... was the countless Apogee 13s.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "...Just what happened here?"
@Steam
Apogee 13: "Cleaning house, of course."
Her white Nemain stands on the opposite side of the chamber, one hand entering commands into a terminal.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "...Fuck." The uncharacteristic word came out softly, but seeing this whole thing was just too sicking to not react to
@Steam
Apogee 13: "I respected the Commander, or at the very least his ideal."
"But he was too impractical, too wasteful.  I mean... look at this.  He built an actual LAVA CANNON."
"I had no problem fighting for him, but dying?"  She shook her head.
"... No, I'd rather do things my own way.  A more sensible way."
Arach
Jen: "...It's over, Apogee. Come quietly, and you won't get hurt."
@Steam
Apogee laughed.  "The Commander's plans are over, yes..."
"But while he was squandering his resources, I was talking sense into anyone I could.  Follow him in name only..."
"... And work for me."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "The island is surrounded and most of its military forces have already been defeated."
@Steam
"I've a fraction of his resources to work with, but a good number of it was spent on clones of myself.  And in fact, kill all the ones I have here if you want... I've got dozens more."
"In small little bases I've got for myself, manned with loyal, actually THINKING subordinates all around the world."
"Oh I've lost today, and I might even die today."
"But now everyone else who could challenge my authority's dead."
Corel
Morte: "That saying of 'if you want to do it right', huh?"
Tengusaur
Daniel: "..."
@Steam
"You're pretty smart to see it that fast."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "...The cannon. Where is it aiming?"
@Steam
"Go ahead and kill all my clones here if you want and-"
"Oh that?  I don't know.  Somewhere with people.  Someplace that'd cause a tragedy this one time.  But just this once."
Another press of a button.
AI: "SELF DESTRUCT SYSTEM ACTIVATED!  SELF DESTRUCT SYSTEM ACTIVATED!"
Apogee: "But it's also my ticket out of here!"
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Stop- Damn."
@Steam
"Kill all my clones here if you want, but it won't matter!  Even if you kill me here too...sooner or later I'll be back.  Again and again and again and again and agai-"
???: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And roaring, and burning, from behind comes the VIPER -or rather what's left of it- smashing through the tunnel after all of you!
(Armorless VIPER: http://img14.deviantart.net/f1ef/i/2013/165/c/b/robot_mm42___benoit_godde_concept_artist_by_benoit_g...
^http://img14.deviantart.net/f1ef/i/2013/165/c/b/robot_mm42___benoit_godde_concept_artist_by_benoit_godde-d5tumdd.jpg
Julia_Dietrich
Kei. " Copy of you will be back. /Not/ you. A copy you've brainwashed into thinking is you and not its own person."
@Steam
(Everyone, react!)
Julia_Dietrich
*her own person
@Steam
Apogee: "Geh!  So he's still alive?!?  Well it doesn't matter!"
And the white Nemain makes a break for it, fleeing through a tunnel to the gigantic Lava Cannon itself, a door quickly lowering behind her!
Cubey
Sielje: "!!"
Julia_Dietrich
* Distracted by anger at Apogee's plan, Kei's survival instinct is a bit slow to fire at the sudden threat who was supposed to be dealt with charging in. When it does, she immediately spins out of the side and as far towards the roof of the cave as she can manage to try to get out of range of the grotesque remnant of a mecha charging them. +
Cubey
*The Knight's Arm tumbles out of harm's way. So much for trying to get into a better position, for now evading further damage is most important.+
Corel
Fyra: "Move." *Fyra gets out of the way of the incoming unit as fast as she can, terminating in a standard dodge-roll.+
Arach
*Jen has an idea. A stupid, preposterous idea. Crazy. Nuts. But it's what pops into her head, and so-she gives chase. The black Nemain hits that superspeed mode, racing after Apogee-and slides to slip under the door to the cannon.+
Cubey
Sielje: "This will not - Jen!"
Tengusaur
* Daniel makes Steel Wanderer tumble to the side, out of the way of the rushing VIPER Commander, the old mech's joints creaking with effort! +
@Steam
[Jen] With the VIPER coming in and not caring about structural integrity of this facility anymore, it's not just the door you're racing but falling machinery as well...!  But you still slip in past her just in time!
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Jen..."
Corel
Fyra glances at the departing Nemain.
@Steam
[Everyone else] On the other hand though, now you're stuck with the furious VIPER Commander!
Corel
Fyra: "That is her opponent."
Arach
Jen: "You're not getting away this time!"
Cubey
The Arm makes a run to the door as soon as it recovers from the combat roll.
Which is too slow...
@Steam
VIPER Commander: "Gah... Julia... all the Julias...!  And Doomstar!  And even Jen for a time... and now Apogee herself...!"
"They're... THEY'RE TEARING ME APART!"
"I'M FED UP WITH THIS WORLD!"
And apparently all of you still!
(Enemy in control center: VIPER Commander)
Cubey
Sielje: "You make people your slaves, and treat them as replacement bodies..."
@Steam
(Sielje, Kei, Daniel and Fyra, go)
Cubey
Sielje: "You... are a beast!"
@Steam
Meanwhile!
Jen!
Cubey
"Jen! Jen... if you can hear this..." The Arm is turned towards the Commander now, but its fist slams against the gate a few times.
"Please be safe." And it looks down on its own hand, replicating the movement of its controller.
Then, it draws the blade.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "If you've had enough, than die quietly. Don't drag the rest of us with you." Steel Wanderer gets up on its feet, its cape smoking from the heat. And then it flutters from the force as Daniel points forward and fires a single, powerful bullet! "Nicholas!" The bullet expands in mid-air into a large rocket fist, which spins around and flies on a circular trajectory, grinding
against the walls before striking at VIPER Commander from the side! =
+
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Would any of those clones have developed a mind or personality of their own if you hadn't implanted those of others in them?"
Corel
Morte: "You are fed up, you say."
Cubey
*The Arm rushes forward, leaping into a tumble halfway through its charge! "Kei... you know how machines work. Can you stop the weapon?!" Sielje rolls to the enemy's side and then slashes upwards, trying to stick her blade into one of its old wounds.+
@Steam
Jen, your pursuit of Apogee 13 leads you to yet another massive chamber, one even larger than a city block.  But at the center of it... her machine simply stops.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "I'll try. There's not much my guns can add or much advice I can give."
@Steam
Apogee: "Following right after me up to the end?"
Corel
*Fyra minds the bullet fired by Daniel, following its path and then launching her own chain linked scythe at it. She uses the rocket fist as a grappling point to slingshot toward the VIPER commander right after the fist hits - slicing into the target with her scythe!+
Julia_Dietrich
* Rather than attack, Kei tried seeing what Purple-2 could reveal about the lava cannon and potentially how to stop it. Override switches that could be blown, interfacing with the computer controls to shut them down, circuit breakers or something else. Anything to stop it before it shoots. +
@Steam
[Daniel and Sielje] The rocket punch crashes into the VIPER from the side.  WIthout its armor the machine is staggered, its frame cracking from the strike!  And Sielje's blade leaves a massive gaping scar on its front!  But with a furious berserker cry it strikes back, smacking an arm into the Ankaian Machine and knocking it away!
The damage isn't too severe, but it could've been worse if not for Fyra taking the attention off of you!
[Fyra] Another massive scar on the VIPER"s front... but the Commander responds with just a hateful cry as its laser cannons open fire once more to try to eradicate you!
(React: Fyra)
Arach
Jen comes to a stop as well. "...Yeah. I'm sick and tired of you running away to menace me another day...I want to beat you once and for all. And even if there's copies or backups of you...I'd bet they have the same flaw in their style, the same weakness that's gonna let me win today."
Cubey
Sielje: "Ugh!"
@Steam
[Kei] The controls are confusing to say the least, geothermal energy building up constantly and the targeting data already input, and then-
Apogee 13: "Well... if you want to fight... you best find something to hold onto."
Cubey
Once again thrown back, once again the battered Knight's Arm is trying to get back up, its own sword as support.
@Steam
-The cannon fires!
Cubey
Sielje: "... No."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "..."
Arach
Jen: "-Eh?" And then that happens.
@Steam
The ground underneath the Nemains suddenly comes rushing up, surging up and up into the air as a hatch opens up, both machines pinned to the surface by the overwhelming G-forces!
Apogee laughing all the while as well!
Corel
*A black, cloth-like substance emerges and wraps itself around Fyra in defense! Her scythe is also covered in black energy as she spins rapidly to dissolve the beam!+
@Steam
[Fyra] Scythe and cloth alike move to desperately protect you from the VIPER's destructive power, blowing you away all the same.  Though the beams that miss you wreak even more destruction on the chamber you're in... a good number of them destroying the Apogee 13 clones in their line of fire in an instant!
VIPER Commander: "Just die... just die... I'm going to die so just EVERYBODY DIE!"
(Sielje, Daniel, Kei, and Fyra, act again)
Cubey
Sielje: "There must be a way to control it! Why are Earth devices so complicated!"
@Steam
Jen, the g-forces lessen around you as the bullet you're on begins to slow... and begin to fall.
There's now not as much force pressing down on you... but that means-
Apogee: "So you want to end this!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUq0cVbgtU4
The White Nemain lunges in, two katanas drawn and slashing at you even as you're trying to get up!
(React; Jen)
Tengusaur
Daniel: "I'll try to stun him for a moment. Make an opening. Get ready."
Corel
Fyra: "We must dispatch this one soon."
Julia_Dietrich
* "I'm trying. They said they can control the lava once fired, I just need to figure out how." SHe kept trying look through the controls trying to find something, anything that could help turn the lava bullet away from whatever it was aimed at. Trusting Apogee to have been bluffing and just fired at Antarctica or Novaya Semlya seemed too optimistic. +
Tengusaur
Daniel opens the Gun of God and loads full 6 bullets, of varied kinds. "...Now." Steel Wanderer spins around its revolver and fires in a seemingly blind barrage! But all of the shots have a purpose - two of them go into the ceiling and explode there, in order to drop rubble on the enemy! Three are electric, stunning projectiles, to slow his movement! And the last one keeps bouncing
around, before heading straight for the back of VIPER Commander! +
Cubey
Sielje: "An opening, an opening... yes. Now!"
@Steam
[Kei] Apogee was indeed not bluffing.  As you shuffle through the terminals the target appears to be... Hong Kong!
Arach
*Jen pushes off the ground into a flip, soaring over the White Nemain-and then jetting itself back to the ground behind her. This is a melee fight-so Jen shifts her spear into its knife form, and quickly disintegrates her rifle, turning it into a small pistol. "-tch, close..."+
@Steam
But there's still a chance.  Controlling the shot from here now appears impossible because it's already been fired... but if someone were to interface with the bullet before it connected, via nanomachines... they could possibly alter the bullet's composition!
Corel
*After waiting for Daniel to attack, Fyra launches toward the Commander again- ascending, and then descending on the enemy behind the falling rubble!&
Cubey
*While bullets are flying, the Arm rushes forward in a low forward-heavy stance. The cloak is flying around it haphazardly, and Sielje tries to get as close to the enemy as possible - and then slashes upwards, an uppercut to sink her blade into the enemy's head!&
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Jen. Use your nanomachines to interface with the bullet and make them break it down. It's going to hit Hong Kong."
@Steam
[Daniel] Your shots partially bury the VIPER in rubble and shock it!  The Commander roars... laser cannons charging, but they sputter and seem to fade away for firing so soon after having previously done so!  And the shot to the back makes it stumble forward!
@Steam
[Jen] You flip over Apogee's machine, her katanas narrowly missing you!  The pull of gravity is beginning to grow stronger as the bullet begins falling closer and closer to Earth!
(Jen, go)
Arach
Jen: "...I'll get right on that, but I'm kinda up to my neck in my own problems for the moment." Inside Nemain's cockpit, she's sweating-and not from heat. "Okay. Just gotta kill the ninja and carve the bullet up, or hong kong's toast...no pressure."
@Steam
[Fyra and Sielje] The VIPER takes another swing at the Knight's Arm as it moves in close, but the Commander's too blinded by suicidal rage now to hit you again!  Your sword on the other hand plunges into its head... and for a moment the machine seems to stop moving.  But an earsplitting scream later the machine catches the Arm in a tight bearhug, trying to crush your far smaller mech even as Fyra comes surging down from above!
(Fyra and Sielje, continue)
Arach
*Jen takes a deep breath, calming her mind. She thinks back to that time outside the art museum, the feeling that came from seeing her family threatened...and the world slows down. Knife and gun in hand, she rushes at Apogee, prepared for another close range battle-another 100-odd blows exchanged in the span of a second.+
Cubey
Sielje: "This is going to..."
@Steam
[Jen] "This again?" Apogee says as she charges in again at the Nemain!  "You think it'll go any better for you this time?!?"
Cubey
*She is interrupted by the enemy rushing her own action. Since the VIPER Commander is trying to crush her, his own unit's body is close. And into its wounds, she quickly presses remaining warhead charges, hidden on the Knight's Arm under the cloak.+
Corel
*As Fyra descends, the black cloak around her expands and even covers her face, but only for a second. The part covering her head forms a hood, under which is a skeleton...
@Steam
Apogee's Nemain matches your own in both speed and intensity, blades clashing together again and again!  But-
Apogee: "Hpmh."
Cubey
*And while the explosions start - Sielje lets go of the sword, hoping to descend to safety.+
@Steam
One of her katanas slashes at your leg at the knee!  The entire limb breaks off, throwing off your machine's balance before one of your arms goes as well!
Apogee: "It's like you're not even trying!"
Corel
*As well, Fyra's scythe surges with black energy as it is brought down on the VIPER Commander, while avoiding Sielje in the process!+
@Steam
Your Nemain falls to the ground, crippled, Apogee holding up the severed arm up to her face to inspect it like a trophy.
"All this time, and you still fall so easily.  Well... whatever.  You were always a disappointment."
Almost casually, Apogee moves to stab you with the katana in her other hand!
(React, Jen!!!)
@Steam
[Fyra and Sielje] Without its armor, there's any number of open sores across the VIPER's body to throw the explosives into.  And at first nothing happens... but as they start exploding.
VIPER Commander: "Huuaoh? Hguiuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-?!?"
Arach
*Jen...can't help but smirk. "-Got you." A flash of thought, a signal sent to the arm Apogee now holds-and it explodes, blasting the White Nemain point-blank. Jen's Nemain pounces, thrusting with its beam knife straight at where she knows Apogee's cockpit to be.+
@Steam
Sudden blasts warp and bulge the machine, its arms lossening its grip on the Knight's Arm and letting you slip to safety just as Fyra slashes at it from behind, cutting it open and letting nothing but fiery death pour out like the machine's lifeblood, absolutely destroying it!
[Jen] And suddenly that arm held so close to Apogee's face erupts, making her Nemain stumble back in shock.  "What the-?!?"
... She doesn't finish.
Jen's beam knife shanks the white Apogee, and shanks it good.
Apogee: "... You..."
"... Bitch..."
Everyone still at the base, the self-destruct alarm is still blaring, but at the very least thanks to Daniel you have a means to get out quickly courtesy of the hole in the roof.
Best you take it.
Arach
"...You always fought like a martial arts master. You protected your limbs and body, avoiding all damage with expert technique...So, you'd never think to accept the loss of a limb as the price to attack." Jen's Nemain slumps back. "And that's why you lost."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "...We should get out of here soon. How's the cannon? How's Jen?"
Cubey
Sielje: "Yes... these are good questions!"
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "I think the bullet is still there, I have no idea how she's doing. But there's nothing we can do from here."
Arach
Jen: "Just cleared things up over here. Gonna work on getting that bullet steered into the ocean now." She picks herself up, and starts to interface and shape it as directed. "...Might be a while. This thing is pretty big."
@Steam
The bullet is fast approaching Hong Kong... and thanks to gravity speeding it along, the impact would no doubt prove worse than what happened to the Panopticon.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "Alright. Let's move. And... Jen. You're not gonna die, right?"
@Steam
The bullet slowly begins to change, its form warping to make its course list eastwards into the ocean.
Possibly.
Arach
Jen shapes it as hard as she can, pushing mass to one side and altering its aeordynamics-trying to make the bullet turn out to sea. "...Mmm. About that."
"...I don't think I'll be home in time for dinner."
"If it's too close, the shockwave will still destroy the city, so..."
Corel
Fyra: "No other options..."
Tengusaur
Daniel: "I see..."
Cubey
Sielje: "... Jen."
Cubey
Sielje: "I do not know how but... you are doing all you can to save those people. I am... proud..."
A loud sniff.
Julia_Dietrich
Kei was quiet. She'd expected that to be the result. No matter where it went, it'd either hit the heavily populated province of Guangdong or in the South China Sea and cause a tidal wave
Cubey
Sielje: "I... I do not want to lose you! Alright? Do everything you can to return safely! Please..."
Arach
Jen's breathing is coming over heavy and loud. "Um...I'll try. Definitely..." There's a wavering to it, the sound of someone trying not to cry. "Just...when I show up...no matter what I look like, please keep an open mind." a deep breath, and she flicks her radio off.
Tengusaur
Daniel: "...Good luck."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "If any calculations can help, I'll send them..."
@Steam
Too late.
The bullet makes contact with the Earth once more.
Striking nothing but empty ocean.
Cubey
The Knight's Arm remains silent.
@Steam
Moments later the VIPER base explodes, taking with it at least every trace of that organization still left there.
It might not feel like it but...
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
Corel
Fyra only stares at where the base was.
Fyra: "She said 'when'. We will wait for her."
Julia_Dietrich
Kei: "Right. At Sakihama." If she managed to get on land, local authorities would probably report along the chain and get it to them fast
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