High orbital defense station McKinley
"You certainly left a hell of a mess on Mars and MARATHON. We've had to take your suit and replace it with a new one." An Engineer told Carol as he looked at the parts of her old armorsuit.
"Optics, totally fried." he said, dumping the system on the table.
"Shield Generator's been penetrated with something hard more times than you." He grinned, earning him a laughing and a chuckle from the Frankenstein.
"Your repulsor couldn't focus into weaponized beams due to all the abuse they've taken." He sighed as he put down the system.
"Look, the Necrodermis just lets the metal flow back into place, we haven't managed to figure out how to make all the systems out of it, so the damage you took that the self repair couldn't handle? Sent the thing ten ways to hell." He said as he looked as the Beneficus A.I chip.
"At least this thing's working fine." He said, ogling the chip as she grabbed the helmet for her new model of armor.
"I'll remember to be more careful." She said with a smile beneath her helmet.
"Hah! You better be. Do you have any idea how expensive those systems are? Ah well, least we can recycle the material." He snorted as Sergeant Major Charles Cheval, part of the predecessor to the current Frankenstein program and another one of the few who survived the MARATHON conflict walked up.
"You finished with my girl here?" The mustached man said as he looked up her new armorsuit, somewhat sleeker, less boxy, with better secondary systems.
"Ah right, in any case your new suit's shields recharge much faster, and Bio-gel dispensing should help with your healing factor. The new scanner and sensor suite's also improved, so you've got better motion tracking now." He explained, gesticulating as she nodded, clenching her hands as she stepped out, placing the Beneficus chip into the back of her helmet.
"That all?" She asked before fully leaving the Room.
"Yeah it's kind of a gradual improvement, not a full mark up." He explained as she nodded.
"So how did you get out anyway Cheval?" He said as the two prepared to depart for the lift.
"Guess the Thoughtsin didn't like my taste, and those Hierarchy fighters? Easier to pilot than you'd think." Charles snorted as he dusted his Peacekeeper's armor off while the two headed down the bridge to meet Grand Admiral Jacques.
"Glad you could make it." Jacques said with a salute as the rest of killteam castle followed in suit.
"Thought Jannet killed most of these chumps..." Charles said, quirking an eyebrow.
"Manage to revive them after beating Jannet back into submission." Carol said, noting the Sonic raider's harsh glare through her helmet.
"Right, deep space scanners have detected Metaspace echoes and whispers. SETI planetside's thinks this is the Bee's Knees. But we're not sure...they're not human signals, that's for sure." The Admiral said, a frown forming on his face as the display screen showed the position of the signals.
"Our assets are on high alert, and we've bolstered the Sol defense fleet. We've got every battlefleet we can spare on standby, all they need is a word and they'll deploy." He said, the screen showing the planned entrance routes of the defense fleet while more Peacekeeper blips across the solar system than the human eye could follow roamed around the map.
"Admiral Guido reports a successful recovery of Death Harbinger. If worst comes to worst, we'll deploy him, and I'd like to thank the Admiral for her succesful recovery, your father would be proud." Jacques said, nodding to Julia, who followed her father into the Peacekeeper Fleet and after hearing of her father's fate, requested permission to be deployed into the Earth fleet.
"Sir we are detecting multiple objects translating in from metaspace...It's the Hierarchy sir." Beneficus reported, tapping into the sensor network from Carol's helmet.
Within moments, the station flared to life with red alarm lights and blared with Klaxons as the display screen lit up with red, Hierarchy signals.
But from a glance, Guido could tell something was amiss. "This fleet seems...way too small...a fleet meant to overwhelm Earth and it's defenses should be fifty times this size based on usual estimates." Guido said as the void began to crack, rupture and ripple with distortion waves and the bursts of light of ships leaving Metaspace.
"They shouldn't even know we're here...not after everything we did to hide Earth." Jacques said, furrowing his brow.
"Hmph...so much for that plan." Cheval snorted as he looked over the incoming signals and the oncoming forms of the Hierarchy ships.
"All ships and stations, fire at will! Get them into the killzone ASAP!" Jacques commanded as the station shuddered, letting loose a massive magnetically accelerated shell sent at relativistic velocities, followed by the rest of the Fleet's firepower as the Hierarchy vessels, seeming to be just as stupefied to find the enemy here as the Peacekeepers, and undoutably anyone with the right equipment to detect them on Earth were, started to fire off their own weapons and release waves of strike craft.
"Send out a priority call to all metahumans, I don't care what side they're on. If any accept, teleport them onto a station." Guido said as Kill Team Castle immediately started heading into battle formations as the first wave of Peacekeeper munitions detonated against the bubble like shields of the Hierarchy vessels.
Whereas the peacekeepers had a unified aesthetic to their fleet, the alien armada seemed to have multiple designers for their ships, though generally they leaned towards sleek, curved designs and lots of saucers.
"+This is Fleet Admiral Harper, we are engaging the enemy and detecting boarding pod launches.+" A radio voice crackled in as massive flashes of light started to bloom across space, many being clearly visible in the nightsky as the alien fleet, moving forward like a Trident, sought to impale humanity's defensive grid.
Tombstone looked at his readings within the Crypt with immense concern, his worst fears had come true. The alien enemy had found the planet Earth and was engaging the Peacekeepers, seeking to press forward before the rest of the fleet around the solar system or in nearby systems could drop in.
"+Aleksei...it's time...they're here.+" Graves said, empty eye sockets narrowing as he opened up a video link to the Bald Man's channel.
"+So soon? I expected us to have more time...+"
"+We all did. But after that signal was sent out it was a miracle we got this much time in the first place.+" He said, he would have frowned if he still had lips.
"+I'll get ready and join you when I've finished suiting up. Good luck Nathan.+" Aleksei said before his commlink blinked out as Tombstone wheeled around to another part of his computer systems.
"Gravemind?" He said, the A.I he made snapping it's attention to him.
"Yes Tombstone?" It asked in a friendly southern accent.
"Prepare anti-orbital cannons..." He said, making sure all his gear was in order before he received a priority peacekeeper call.
"+PRIORITY OMEGA PRIME; HIERARCHY HOSTILES HAVE ENTERED SOLAR SYSTEM, REQUEST IMMEDIATE METAHUMAN ASSISTANCE. ACCEPTANCE WILL LEAD TO TELEPORTATION.+" The signal said as he saw some Peacekeeper ships blossoming into fireballs as the withering barrage of alien firepower ripped them apart like tin cans, and with that, he was teleported onto an Orbital defense platform.
Back on the station.
"Alright, your orders are simple, keep the hierarchy off our stations, stop them from taking over or destroying them at any cost. Do I make myself clear?" Jacques said as he sought cover, a series of Hierarchy boarding pods making it past the point defense screen, glimmering bubble shields disappearing once they stopped taking hits before slamming into the station, troops gathering around entry points before entry was forced by the enemy.
A stream of green plasma fire issued out as Lost ones began to scurry out, fire smashing into their shielding as they retaliated with blasts from their rad-plasma guns. Following them in short order were grunts whose massive scattershot guns sprayed the area with death, skeletonizing troopers as they sought to cut their way through.
As more started coming out boarding pods, it seemed that just about every part of the Hierarchy was represented, though certainly Jiralhanae and Muton forces seemed to keep their distance from Zolkri and Riktal soldiers. But from the moment they stepped out, they were met with the fury of humanity, Earth Native or Peacekeeper, anyone who accepted the call into space was aware of the symbol of the enemey.
And there was only one logical thing to do when faced with anything bearing that hateful symbol. Fight or Die. For they would give no quarter and take any given by the strings to rip one's heart out. Their goals were nothing less than the extinction of humanity and all other species sharing their form. Already species such as the Novii, the Galgibo, Otorna, the N'kran, and Evirkali among quintillions of others had been wiped out.
Already worlds like Nov, Solthem, Kjirm, Gorgar, and Y'shal were left as nothing but burning cinders, and if the Peacekeepers were to be believed, if they had shown up at Earth's doorstep, that meant that they would do the same for the cradle of humanity. And after a half million years to be fed a doctrine of hatred, a religion of spite and malice, it didn't seem like they could be negotiated with.
Graves really, really hated Psions and enemies fond of flinging radiation everywhere. Which described the Zolkri perfectly. Had they only utilized conventional lightning and plasma weapons, he'd have little to worry about, he was immune to virtually all the key components of electrical and plasma based damage.
But nooo, they had theirs charged with massive amounts of radiation, and kinetic energy, meaning he couldn't stand up to their fire without both suffering disruption damage from the radiation and being sent flying like a bowling pin from the kinetic force.
Taking cover as lost ones scurried across the hall way, he deployed a fan field generator he had reverse engineered from the Peacekeepers, letting it form extra cover as the diminuitive and freakish aliens shrieked and chortled in their horrid language before speaking into their translators, chittering out
"-Kill for Alpha, honor to the Zolkri, glory to the hierarchy!-" They chittered before Tombstone threw a series of sonic grenades, letting them explode among their ranks, sending them collapsing onto the ground as the intense sonic shriek overloaded their senses before a pair of Grunts rushed forward, charging like bulls and firing off their scattershot blasters.
"Aww nuts." Tombstone said as he phased through the floor to avoid the incoming barrage of Rad-plasma, knowing his decision was a good one as the plasma proved so powerful it melted large amounts of the reinforced metal crates, vaporized some more, and had enough energy to send them flying until they slammed into the walls behind him.
Phasing back out behind them, Tombstone laid down electrical fire from his lightning pistols, somewhat glad that Grunts generally weren't created for their smarts as they turned to face him, smacking into each other accidentally and making them waste time as he hammered at their shielding with continued electrical fire. The first one's shields finally went down, shocking the thing down to the ground as he went in for the other one, noticing it was lifting up it's gun and forcing himself into a combat roll to get in close.
Feeling the blistering heat and radiation of the plasma orbs as they flew past him, he bent out of the way of a power claw slash as he saw the monster swinging it's claw arm backwards, missing the incoming matter disruption blade by inches as he brought himself close in, going in for a pair of jabs to the armored gut, slamming into the thing's shielding and making it take a step back.
When it tried to point it's scattershot weapon at him, he grabbed for the arm, adjusted for leverage to avoid getting into a contest of strength with the monster, using his momentum to his advantage before he forced it back just as the firing mechanisms of the weapon got started, forcing the thing to shoot itself in the face to weaken it's shielding enough for an amplified sonic clap to leave it exposed.
The Grunt's optics lit up before it fired a series of lasers arranged into a circle, the thin beams of light slamming into him. But luckily, he was immune to the thermal energy, and he kept on moving to ensure the lasers wouldn't burn a way for the light to start hurting him. Smacking it with a right cross in the head, he made it list to the side before putting the claw hand in an arm lock, elbowed down into the joint to make it snarl in more frustration than pain before slamming the now limp arm into the optic, bringing it down.
But a searing green-yellow rad-lance from a defiler tripod that had finished wiping out the Reservists supposed to be guarding his flanks that he barely managed to avoid getting caught by told him his job in containing the boarders from this pod was far from complete.
But Tombstone would soon find that he wasn't alone as aid finally came in the form of other heroes teleporting in, maybe now, he had a chance.
The Hierarchy's discovery of the cradle of man did not go unnoticed. For while the Hierarchy and Peacekeepers of Earth traded blows, there were systems, ancient systems in place to warn far older and mightier forces of the encroaching of their indomitable foes. In a not too distant star, hidden by powerful cloaking systems and guarded by a fleet of unmatched power in the universe, was the world of Chiron. A mere translation of it's actual name, but one that much of the universe had grown to fear and respect.
For it was the home of the Imperium of Man, and the beating heart of the coalition that opposed not only the Hierarchy, but all forms of great and powerful evil that threatened the whole of the universe and beyond. Founded by humans uplifted by the Masari a quarter million years prior, molded into the noble image of the Masari, the Imperium was the greatest creation of the old Ecumene. A vast dominion that could on it's own, give the Hierarchy a reckoning like no other.
But it was not alone, nations such as the Arcean Empire, the Novus, the Sangheili Seperatists, the Vhozon Grand Judiciary, the Droid Republic, and the Grand Red Guard stood at it's side, the Tau and Eldar were inexorably bound into it's dominion, and together they made a council of those who would fight for the good of the universe.
And this council had already come to an agreement, despite their pacts of non-interference with the affairs of Earth, to save the Earth, it was now time to step in to protect them, for the Peacekeepers had very clearly failed in that task.
Ships were gathering, soldiers were marshalling, vehicles being given their final preparations, heroes were mulling over their plans. It would be some time before the "rescue fleet" as it was called would be fully readied, but there was one part of the task that was more critical than all the others.
Clad in his Bronzed Teutonic Armor, High King Varitus Moloc looked over the assembling of the troops with such illustrious comrades as Field Marshall/President Alloy of the Droid Republic and the Founder of the Novus. "It would appear that the first grand act of the prophecies are underway..." Moloc said, looking down from the bridge of his mighty vessel.
"This is the time where we push that big ass button to signal the kids right? Or were you blowing my gasket when you were mumbling about this prophecy mumbo jumbo?" Alloy asked, gesturing to the signal device with a backwards pointing thumb.
"It is hardly Mumbo Jumbo Alloy, it is the blueprint of victory that will deliver us in the coming darkness." The Founder said, seeming to glare holes through Alloy's more retrostyled robot head.
"As my comrade said...according to the writings of the ancients, the day the Hierarchy strikes Earth for the first time is when the first four Primalborn must be called. So yes, "push the button." If you would." Varitus said, eyes narrowing beneath his helmet as President Alloy drove his uniwheel propelled chassis over to the signal device, unsealed a message only now able to be opened, looked over the instructions, and input a series of commands before literally punching the activation button.
All over the universe
Now active, the signal beacon hummed and flashed with life, rings expanding out from it's centerpiece as it began to broadcast a signal keyed to the armor of the Primalborn. It carried a short, simple message that the four had long been waiting for in their adventures across reality up to this point.
The first to receive the message was John at a distant vessel who, upon receiving the message, fell on his face as it brought him out of an attempted meditative trance he was taught by Rose. The overbite bearing scion of the winds brought himself up and shook his head as he adjusted his glasses, "Oh snap, it's time already!?" He said to himself as he pressed a button on his glasses, his equipment flying at him as he relaxed himself, blue clad body releasing it's tension as plates of armor materialized around his body.
As the last bits of armor soldified in blue flashes of light, he reached out his hands, letting his hammer and shield come to him, the Hammer crackling with untold energies as he clenched his gauntleted hands around it while his shield snapped itself into his grip, exquisitely detailed face shimmering with power as it responded to his touch. "Wonder what it's like down there..." He said, looking up as he pondered before he spun his hammer up to obscene speeds before using it to launch himself across the void at impossible speeds.
Next up was Rose, a good bit further away, her command vessel hanging above her as she went through Arcane scrips, Viktor handing her some new magic tomes as she engrossed herself in her studies before Viktor started beeping and her head began ringing with the message she knew was coming this day. Her abilities as seer of light proved very useful in that manner. Turning to her robotic companion as her body began to flash with yellow light that swirled around her like flowing water around a rock.
Cycling around her faster and faster, finally her shining armor started to form as she, without turning, floated back into Viktor who opened up his shell, letting her into his command system and locking himself up, plating once again sliding into place, mechanics humming and activating as the two's thoughts were now open to one another. With a thought, she called forth her staff and quills, the weapons crossing the boundaries of time and space to answer their one and only master. "It's time to go, Viktor." She said with an easy smile. With runes appearing around her, she broke into energy that accelerated up to and beyond the speed of light, streaking across the cosmos.
Following Rose was her sibling, Dave. Already clad in his armor and standing amid a mountain of destroyed protectorate machines, Dave received the call, prompting him to look up as a fifty thousand ton Mechapede reared up to try and attack him. But without even turning to meet the mechanical monstrosity, he simply threw his hand back, sending the back of his hand crashing into the metallic titan and crumpling it up like an accordion through the transmitted shockwaves before hurtling it back like a small toy.
Summoning timesplitter from a titanic production walker's metallic corpse, the sword ripping itself free and flying into his waiting hand, Dave rose the blade into the air before making a powerful slash downward, cutting open the very fabric of reality to create a portal into metaspace before dashing across it, going across the vast gulf of the universe in an eyeblink. To a master of time, distance was less meaningful to him, especially with his speed, than it was to others.
Finally came Jade and her posse of space adventurers. When the message reached her, she hardened her expression. Her armor forming around her garbs as the witch of space in green fire and flame, she seemed to glow brighter than a sun for a brief moment before the flash finally died down, revealing the fully armored form of Jade beneath. Reaching for her weapon, nestled safely in the Entity's realm, she called forth the implement of war from outside the universe, the weapon appearing in her hand in a green flash.
"Oh man is it that day already?! Guys we gotta go now!" She said urgently as she started to focus. Forming a rectangle with her fingers and widening it, she created a door through space itself, bending and folding it as much as she pleased before having it go across herself and her friends, wrapping space around them before she fired them and herself out like stones from a slingshot, the elastic band of space snapping forth to launch them at impossible velocities, hurtling towards Chiron like a bullet through the universe itself.
Finally, all four were in sight of the Founder, who with his mastery of the Flow, opened up a bridge to that Nexus and brought them all inside the vessel, the four of them standing before the gathered commanders. "To see how you've grown. Your parents would be proud." The Founder said, it's digitized baritone almost paternal in it's mannerisms.
"Hope the Hierarchy's ready for the smackdown we're going to hand to their asses." Dave said to the nodding approval of the Founder.
"No, I do not think they will be." Varitus said as he looked over this gathering war effort.