By Agent_California 5 Comments
((This is meant to clarify what happened on Klo'Vis during MARATHON 2 http://www.comicvine.com/forums/rpg-9/marathon-ii-the-alien-cometh-a-cvnu-event-1493971/ from a narrative perspective, have fun!))
0000 hours, Arrival
Teleportation could go fall into a ditch and die as far as Carol was concerned as she shook her head and felt the queasiness of one's atoms unscrambling out of Metaspace was over her. Giving a quick runthrough of her suit systems and weaponry, she fiddled with the systems on her left gauntlet to send out a roll call signal. Operative Katanga, Mindslayer, Snowstorm, Tsunami, The Timely Assassin, Sonic Raider, and Enforcer Erickson. The others were not linked up to her suit network so a roll call for them would need to be done the old fashioned way.
"We all good?" She asked as she swept her gun around to make for a room check.
"Oh absolutely positively ready to move out, I mean, why wouldn't I be ready to move out if I signed up for this job?" Erickson mumbled, eliciting Carol to turn her head around and quirk a brow beneath her helmet.
"You trying to be funny Erick?" Carol asked, getting a head shake in response.
"Can it all of you, we need to focus." Tombstone immediately cut in. The phantasmal hero was in no mood for nonsense at the moment.
"Still kinda geeking out about the whole "I'm in space" thing, can I squee now? I want to squee." @_the_ant_ excitedly said, shaking his hands in delight.
"I remain unimpressed." @die_kommandant scoffed before fixing up her glasses.
"Ugh, who brought the Nazi here?" Another part of the team, a Psion by the name of Minds' eye groaned.
"Pot calling kettle black alert." Forest stalker sneered at the super-villainess.
"I've got a bunch of assholes and idiots for team-mates, just greaaaaat." @bombardier_beetle
"Correction: Your criminal record squarely places you in the realm of "asshole"" Giganano blurted in, getting Bart to give him a glower that could cut steel.
"When Tombstone asks you all to be quiet, I really didn't think he meant "babble louder"." Aranea interjected before the dead man himself finally sliced through all the inanity.
"What did I say about canning it?" Tombstone growled, his voice reaching a frightfully low pitch to send chills down the spines of all involved. As much as he disapproved of the over-fraternization of the peacekeepers, the mess showed by this detail was...apocalyptic to say the least.
"We are a commando unit, we can't have you falling apart over petty insults and differences. Yes, one of you is Nazi scum who I'd have locked up in any other situation, yes, miss "needs to find a pair of pants" over there and the Beetle are wanted throughout Canada. No, that does not give any of you a carte blanche for this gross violation of military discipline. So shut the hell up unless you've got something worthwhile to say." Nathan lectured, keeping it short and simple to get the point across.
"Right, if the Malpsyche is telling the truth, we need to find the activation cipher and do it fast before Mu and Omega jumpstart the apocalypse. We have metahuman teams throughout the ship, all immunized to the thoughtsin and most known bio-weapons in case things take a plunge into the toilet. We will need to remain together at all times. Splitting up to go on your own is death. This is the heart of darkness people, no room for fuck ups, whoopsie doos, or FUBARs. Squabbling for command authority will get us all killed. Tombstone has the most experience so he's in lead, I am second, as much as it boils my blood Austerlitz is third, with Giganano in fourth. Any questions?" Carol asked, looking over all sixteen members of her posse with the evaluative eyes of a drill sergeant.
Mindslayer was the first to raise his hand, and when given affirmation by carol; decided to ask. "We have to bring the unaugs?" The Belgian said with the utmost sincerity, resulting in the most vicious of glowers from the agent.
"Yes, we are, this is non-negotiable Leopold." Carol said as she turned and awaited for Tombstone to lead the way.
In a flash, Tombstone's military trained mind got to work, using some specs of the Klo'Vis he stole from Ordovar without his knowledge. "We move forward, maintain unit cohesion and do not scatter more than ten meters away from one another without my prior permission. If we see any prisoners being detained; we liberate them and innoculate them. We need the extra man-power. And as a note; there will be no targeting of civilians on my watch. Just because they live under the Hierarchy does not mean they are part of their crimes. We'll get all the real bad eggs in the post-war trials anyway." He ordered, his body quickly going transparent as he phased through several walls to scout out a path ahead, leaving signal bread crumbs once he found the appropriate path before teleporting back to the group and guiding them through.
After traversing a deathly sparse hall-way, the reason for the lack of alien activity soon became apparent when the PSA systems throughout the multi-thousand light year across artificial homeworld crackled to life.
"+Creatures of the Hierarchy, in light of the failure of the Zolkri and Riktal to defend the life of our brother mu, their known sympathies for our greatest enemies, and most frighteningly, their attempt to take the activation cypher for themselves when requested to hand it over by Barak'Talak, we declare a writ of exocommunication upon the Zolkri and Riktal. Banish their unclean filth from their midst, so that our great vengeance may proceed unabated! Already, agents are in place to purge these undesireables, aid them where you can. So say I, Grand Overseer Mu, with the support of Omega and the Council. Glory to the Hierarchy! Death to the Masari!+"
"...There's no way news about that could have spread that fast." Carol snarled as the faint sounds of plasma fire and shrieks could be heard in the distance.
"How does this even make sense? The war's still going on!" Aranea said, bewildered that someone would divert their war effort to the eradication of so many of their own people, something that the Nazis in the group were quite familiar with doing.
"Genocidal regimes are rarely logical or rational actors, it's all just purity to them. Whether they're anti-mutants or members of a certain regime." Snowstorm said, her eyes casting a pointed gaze at Austerlitz.
"What did I say about ch-" Tombstone said before the whine of a rad-plasma rifle charging up forced him to duck to the side as as a storm of green death cascaded all around them; flash vaporizing metal in large amounts while a squad of Mutons dropped down from rooftops, hitting the ground with wild bellows while the artificial daysky shone down on them.
"Hit the deck!" The Ant shouted as the massive hulks of muscle laid down a withering storm of fire for their Berserker brethern to charge in, vibro-knuckle blades extended with the intent on causing maximum grievous harm.
The Ant weaved to the side, his peternatural senses informing him of the bullrush of an oncoming Berserker, the ground shaking under the tread of the multi-ton brute as it then suddenly stomped into the ground to halt it's momentum before making a hammer fisted blow with all of it's class fifteen hundred strength, one that the boy only barely dodged with a backflip, the air whistling behind the Berserker's fist and the sound barrier issuing it's loud protests.
Rolling forward into a trapjaw powered Kangaroo kick, Charles propelled himself off the Berserker, though the hard armour, skin, muscle, and bone flatly ignored the hundred and fifty ton strength put into the kick as the teenaged superhero went flying, landing hands first onto a wall that he stuck onto only to see the enraged berserker thundering towards him like a freight train.
Tombstone himself phased through the Berserker that came at him and then flowed into the ground before popping up behind two of the firing mutons and placing his hands on their back. A swift surge of soul lightning later and both of them collapsed onto the ground in smoking heaps, their elephantine screams adding to the cacophony of battle before he whipped out his pistols and laid down some rapid suppression fire to push the Mutons back.
Austerlitz drained the energy from the shielding of multiple Mutons and gladly welcomed their fire; the Energy formed Naziess growing stronger as she soaked in the radiance of their weapon systems, when she had her fill, a coy smirk formed itself on her lips. "How very stupid of you, very, very stupid. Well, I shan't allow you to grow any wiser." She said, her teeth showing as she widened her smile just as she threw her accumulated energy forward in the form of an energy blast to incinerate the lot of them where they stood.
The Bombardier beetle weaved in and out of the conflict, setting anything he could ablaze with his fiery abilities. When jump pack mutons lifted themselves up to his height on repulsors and anti-matter rockets, Bart quickly gave them a dosage of his fire, spraying them with flammable burning liquid that wrapped around their shielding and quickly ate away at it as quickly as possible so that he could carve them apart with energy sheathed chopping motions with his hand, though bull rush tackle from one of them knocked him clean out of the sky, forcing him to roll out of the way to avoid a plasma grenade that could have likely vaporized him.
Aranea did her best to restrain the rampaging berserker with her webs, but found the Muton behemoth growing stronger as time progressed, it's attempts at throwing off her webs growing rapidly more intense. But before things could get out of hand, Charles offered the creature a facefull of his omnisolvent bio-acids, the creature thrashing and flailing as it's flesh melted off it's bones and it's bones melted into slop moments later. "Eugh, clean up on isle five."
Forest stalker met her muton with a quick shot from a wooden arrow, aiming right at the seams of it's armour so that it could lodge itself there. Releasing her projectile, the archer landed her shot even as green oblivion flared in and out of existence around her. With a snort the Muton thumped it's chest and proclaimed it's lack of damage, something that she quickly alleviated when the wood of the arrow then started coming alive, the plant-matter flowing inside of the creature's armour and into it's breathing mask. Increasingly strangled breaths came from the monstrous alien as it fought with the constantly growing wood on it, but in time; it's struggles ceased and it flumped to the ground with a heavy thud.
Tsunami hydrokinetically threw forth a wall of water from the mains at a group of mutons, sweeping them off their feet and intercepting their plasma shots even as hundreds of gallons of water were being evaporated with each shot, forming a roiling cloud of steam. Quickly throwing herself in, Snowstorm followed up with the rapid chilling of the water, cooling it until it was frozen absolutely solid so that Henderson could come in and shatter the resulting mutoncicles, high fives being passed all around as the women turned their firepower towards other Mutons to rapidly divert their attention with gauss fire.
"You there, in the stripper outfit. Can you do a psychic shriek?" Mindslayer asked as he blasted two Mutons back with the shotgun slug mode of his tri-gauss assault rifle, their shields crackling to life as they were struck.
"Well duuuuuh. It'd be dumb if I couldn't." She said, rolling her eyes as her vibrant pink hair crackled like fire, maintaining a telekinetic shield against the plasma fire of the aliens.
"Do one with me on three. One, two, three!" He said, and on the count of three both nodded at each other and let loose a mind flensing wall of psychic energy that stripped the very psyches of those struck apart, leaving only dead husks without any sort of guidance.
As Katanga felled more mutons by simply stopping their hearts or causing them to explode into cancer cells and Carol bobbed and weaved through multiple Berserkers, casually evading their blows to deliver point blank pistol shots or claw slashes that rapidly devoured their shielding before puncturing through to their bodies, splattering their guts on her own shielding, El Cid had taken the wise measure of summoning up four time clones of himself, four with his grenade launcher, and himself with his famed blades.
"En garde el extraño bastardo!" He said gleefully as he brought time to a standstill, allowing his time duplicates to lay down an all surpassing barrage of fire. Intriguingly, their shells were only allowed to flow at Cid's timestream long enough to reach their targets before they pushed them back into the regular flow of time, effectively stopping them dead in their tracks while a pair of shells were placed at the opposite ends of each muton, exactly where the implosion shells' suction forces would be most likely to tear their enemies apart.
The true Timely Assassin however, moved like some sort of of angel of battle, his sword and parrying dagger making delerious patterns as they cut deeply into reality itself, their blades piercing right through the enemy's shield, armour, and bodies. So fast and clean were his cuts that the Mutons' bodies were not even slightly jostled by the Campeador before he undid the timestop and recalled his time duplicates. With the resumption of normal time can a series of ferocious kicking sounds, the sound of meat and composites tearing apart, and completely diced mutons falling to pieces around him. "Too easy." The proud spaniard said as he bowed to an imaginary audience.
It was Giganano who finished the charade however. "Enough of this; we are accepting unacceptable delays." The Robot said as it grew to massive size with a throbbing hum. Going all the way up to the size of a hundred feet, the now towering robot's huge, booming frame silently raised it's hands into a punching position and then mercilessly pounded the ground. Each slam of the fist from the robot shook the ground and cratered the streets, comets like trails of fire surrounding them as friction took it's hold over the machine's limbs, fire that never touched the robot's frames due to it's chassis wrapped shielding. Unspeakable roars of fury came from the explosions made by Giganano's fists, and after each punch, there wasn't enough of the Mutons left to fill a thimble.
"Situation normalized." Giganano said as bluntly as could be imagined before returning to a more standard height, a very much stock sound effect being heard as it's mass and volume decreased exponentially.
"Beneficus, how close are we?" Carol said, the hyper A.I that piggybacked in her helmet mulling over the question infitisemally briefly before coming out with his answer.
"A good ten kilometers from where I am detecting the strongest Masari signals. In a straight line at least, factoring in elevational differences and the street architecture, sixty." The A.I flatly reported.
"And how many hostiles?" She asked as she plugged Beneficus into the nearest terminal to get access to the Hierarchy's files. Cyberwarfare was always a crippling weakness of the Hierarchy after all.
"Between you and the signal and only factoring in all enemies within a hundred kilometer spherical area? Count the number of kilometers from the Sun to the dwarf planet Pluto and use that as my general estimate." He responded in the cheekily blunt manner only he could as his orange peacekeeper avatar flared up.
"...Well shit." Katanga said breathlessly as he shook his head.
"Shit? Hell no this isn't shit! We struck the motherlode of things to kill!" Mindslayer laughed, throwing himself forward as he laughed that psychotic laugh of his.
"We'll need to take the path of least resistance then. Avoid any fighting where we can afford to. And if we do come across any fights we can't get out of. We fight to the death. We're dead men anyway if the Overseers activate that ring." Tombstone said gravely, memories of the second world war already flashing into his head.
"Wait, wait...to the death?" Forest Stalker asked, the girl's eyes widening as she actually considered the risks again, this time more thoroughly rather than signing on as a heat of the moment in response to Alien invasion sort of thing.
"This is war. The moment to live, the moment to die, the moment to the fight, to the death, to the edge of the Earth." Tombstone said, his tone getting more avuncular as he put a cold hand on her shoulder.
"I didn't know you liked thirty seconds to Mars." She said, eyebrow quirked.
"I may be old, but I'm not out of touch." He said as the group continued on it's trip, the sounds of war echoing all throughout the station as Mu and Omega's bloody purge was being enacted all throughout Klo'Vis. Making a good five kilometers, often having to traverse through fields of wreckage and unrecognizeable bodies, charred by the weapons favoured by the Hierarchy.
As they took a grav-lift to a higher level of Klo'Vis' maddening internal structure, yet another PSA cut in with the fervent ranting voice of Mu coming online, telepathically broadcast to the entirety of the station as the leader appeared on various screens and projectors throughout the facility.
"+Creatures of the Hierarchy, some are worried that this purge occurs at an inopportune time, with the coalition throwing itself more and more into our birthstar war and the thoughtsin's outbreak on the instrument of sacred vengeance.+" The message began, his voice calm, his gestures simple, but powerfully suggestive of the anger bubbling within.
" Worry not. Our Empire is vast, our legions are without number. When the Ritkal and the Zolkri are purged for their disloyalty, we shall continue as a stronger people. We are the Hierarchy, our cause is invincible, our purpose a holy one given to us by providence. Our enemies cannot hope to match our righteous fury or halt out sacred vengeance.+" He continued, his voice getting higher, angrier, one of his four arms beginning to shake it's fist at an imaginary foe.
"+What the weak call acts of evil are our acts of holy justice. Holy justice that cleanse the taint of the Masari's creation from this reality so that a new beginning for the chosen of providence to assume their proper place in the cosmos. +" He said, escalating his rhetoric and rage even further, raising his arms to the ceiling as he shook his helmet clad head.
"+ONE FREE OF THE MASARINOIDS AND THEIR CREATOR'S CONSPIRACY AGAINST US GOOD! HONEST! FOLK!. I PROMISE YOU, THE END OF THE BIRTHSTAR WAR IS IN SIGHT! I MERELY ASK THAT YOU HAVE FAITH!+" He said, now roaring to the heavens as he raised his lower arms as well, b becoming a visage of fury.
" +" He finished with an overpowering crescendo of fury and cheers and repetitions of these slogans, his arms slamming into his podium at last before breaking out into a seventy five degree grasping salute with his upper-right arm.
"Dictators never change. Hatred of the other, jingoism, worship of power, and doublespeak out the ass." Tombstone grimaced, all too familiar with ranting madmen.
"A whole religion built on hate for events that never even happened...it's nutty." Carol said as the group reached their half-way point, managing to evade much of the fighting by piggybacking on tombstone's incorporeality ability to phase through hot spots as the betrayed Zolkri and Riktal fought for survival against the Mutons and Jiralhanae earmarked to replace them.
With a final short ranged teleportation jump. only ten kilometers separated the group from their destination, prisoners of war liberated from holding cells throughout the station helping to draw away manpower from the Hierarchy's increasingly confused attempts at purging their undesireables. With one such cell of liberated troopers causing problems right here as they poured fire onto Urtraghian, Zudjari, Muton, Jiralhanae and Milbot positions, forcing the aliens back as the Riktal, and Zolkri provided an anvil to that hammer.
"Anyway we can get around all that bullshit?" Beetle said, affixing his trench coat before a mill tank opened fire on their position, a loud hum being heard before a huge gout of plasma exploded among their midst with brilliant green flame, forcing Tombstone's team to break apart and seek cover. With their hand forced, there was no way to avoid conflict now Biter plasma pulses streamed across the room, met with plasma and gauss rounds before their masters rained down plasma grenade fire from their launchers to cover for their wild berserker charge, or they would have had Carol not charged right into their midst, hacking two of them in half with her claws before whipping out her pistols and firing two piercingly loud shots into the head of a Jiralhanae major, the first to down it's shields, the second to pierce through it's skull and kill it.
"Ma'am, heads up!" One peacekeeper yelled as a Milbot brute thundered forward to try and smash her with it's hammer, the frankenstein weaving to the side and hacking apart the haft of the weapon with her suit's claws with a few quick twirling motions. Spinning into position, she let loose a series of rapid fire punches into it's abdomen, the sound barrier shrieking and roaring in fierce protest, the air bursting into flames around her fists as she punched away the armour plating of the milbot before tearing out it's internal systems, jumping into the air to grab onto a flying Mil predator and carve a way into it's control systems and interface with it's wiring.
"+I need a target here!+ She said as Beneficus let out a "connection established, who would you like to atomize?" message.
Tombstone phased through a series of Zudjari matter to energy doom ray shots, advancing upon them and rematerializing to throw forth his vibranium cape to absorb the impact of shrill blue-white hard-light rays as he came upon the closest Zudjari. Grabbing it's rifle to absorb it's energy, he threw himself to the side to avoid the Commander's vicious right jab punch, the sonic boom whiplashing against him as he elbowed down hard on it's joint to throw it off balance. Making a stabbing gesture with the blades on his right gauntlet, he smashed the lethal edges into it's bubble helmet. At this point, hooks extended out of the blades, allowing him to yank out the bubble face altogether before the blades slide out of their grip once the hooks retracted, allowing him to repeatedly punch the Commander in the face.
Upon seeing others train weapons on him, he quickly shouted "Ant, get down here, I need support!" The ghostly crusader said as he threw the Zudjari's body in the way of a plasma strike, using it's armoured body as a meat shield as it threw it's hands around his neck, trying to crush a no longer breathing wind pipe before he slammed it in the face with a soul lightning charged fist, bringing it down instantly as he brought out his pistols and gunned down six more of the Zudjari and two Mutons, the evil aliens going down in a literal storm of very judgemental electricity.
"Uh-huh, you got it! The Ant is your man to deal with space invaders!" Charles said as he bounced into the fray with a mighty leap, tackling one of the Zudjari down and then tumbling over to throw him at a line of Biters, knocking them over like bowling pins. "Hey there! I got party tricks! Want to see them? They're my best friends really, CHLORINE TRIFLOURIDE!" He said as he dodged around a fusilade of plasma fire with contemptuous ease, twisting, spinning, jumping, ducking, and throwing other enemies to intercept countless projectiles as he grabbed a series of ChF3 filled grenades.
Making a spinning circle, the lethal grenades were sent out in all directions before he leapt skywards to jump onto a jetpack pirate. "Hi there! Do you have a license for this jetpack!" He said before the pirate angrily swung it's arm at him. "No? Oh guess I'll have to confiscate that then!" He said, tearing it from the pirates back and kicking the pirate away to be carved in half by El Cid in the midst of his deadly dance amidst a pile of dead bodies while the ChF3 went about it's business corroding and burning everything it touched, leaving meters deep holes in the floor and no trace of those it devoured. Kicking the jetpack right into the middle of a batch of bleeders attempting to get the drop on tombstone, charles noted with satisfaction when it's reactor and missile supply went critical and exploded with satisfactory force.
"Well, I'm probably not having any of that barbacue. Hah!" He said with a fist pump.
"Carol, we need that line of tanks taken out!" El Cid said as he neatly sliced the arm off of a chryssalid while Peacekeepers laid down some heavy machine guns to show the hierarchy the meaning of suppression fire, computer controlled firing systems preventing the gauss weapons from doing some really unpleasant work to friendlies. As he aged a hundred sectoids into dust, his sword bit through the hull of a mechtoid and casually carved off it's leg before his dagger found a nest in it's head, cutting effortlessly and allowing him to hack down a seeker right next to it with a simple leftward stroke of the parrying blade.
"On it." Carol reported as she forced the gunship to make a sweeping strafe over the enemy; feeding her suit's charge into the systems to boost the power output of it's doom rays and plasma guns substantially, hacking down everything it came across with almost insulting ease. Explosions blossomed in all their fiery and roaring glory, the screams of the dying were utterly drowned out by this expression of raw; primal power, and a whole line to the signal was cleared out in moment before the jumped off the gunship and let it crash into their heaviest tank; both vehicles going up in a fiery mushroom cloud while the noise of the explosion virtually punched her with it's sheer volume. However, in the heat of the moment, the fighters failed to notice a new threat, one that slipped by all the warring vessels, defenses, and soldiers.
Even the crashing of numerous hijacked ships into the interior of the vessel and the spread of dropships wasn't overly noticed in the chaos and confusion. What was noticed however, was a primal; wet; gurgling scream and the spread of all too familiar putrid green spores, followed by the loping, mishappen forms of everyone's least favourite uninvited guests. The Thoughtsin had arrived, the Malpsyche had betrayed the coalition at the first chance it had gotten now that it saw a ticket to such a rich source of biomass and minds to assimilate.
"Thoughtsin!" Tombstone shouted, throwing forth grenades full of innoculant he prepared back on Earth, innoculating those present, but nothing could be done for the dead as the Thoughtsin spores, malevolently guiding themselves as a thick fog; began clumping on the bodies and converting them into thoughtsin combat forms, or even just raw biomass to be turned into pure forms. Those unprotected and non-immune were converted within minutes of breathing the stuff in, or almost instantly were they caught by one of the infection forms. In minutes, a small population of Thoughtsin exploded into a massive cascade of the parasite spread across the many light year wide expanse of the station.
Once again the PSAs came online to try and assuage the fears of the populace, this time from Omega.
"+Do not be alarmed by the presence of the Thoughtsin, creatures of the Hierarchy. They can be contained, they can be beaten. We need only hold the line, adhere to intelligent quarantine procedures, purge this infestation, and most importantly, seize our sacred ring to purge this infection. They are a cancer, we are a cure. So release your fears, and maintain your faith in this trying time.+" He said, considerably more calm and collected than the ranting Mu.
But the Malpsyche, already having transferred itself onto the station via it's own teleportation abilities, had linked into the facility's systems and prepared it's own counters. "They tell you to only fear fear itself, but theirs is an empire built on lies. Open your eyes and you will see the blood on their shelf. There can be no permanent containment of a threat our size. For we are the punishment for your sins, the retribution of a number of unmarked graves beyond count, surrender now as we consign your ideals to the dustbin, for soon our new recruits in number shall mount." It gurgled and growled into the PSAs, it's menacing voice relishing in the doubt and fear it could cause.
"Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" Carol said, shaking her fist before those very familiar shrieks alerted the group to a massive horde of mishappen pure strains and combat forms making their way towards them with all due haste just as the corpses they had just created began to rise as Thoughtsin themselves.
"At the rate they are expanding I estimate a consumption of the entire station within twenty four hours." Beneficus said, quickly analyzing what data he was getting from his link the Klo'Vis' systems.
"...That's not freaking possible! This thing is seventy five thousand by one hundred and fifty thousand by seventy five thousand light years across!" Charles sputtered, not realizing how impossible building something this huge was in of itself.
"Nothing is beyond our means, our ceaseless tide of flesh can not be diverted, look into our flesh for answers to glean, join in our harmonious communion so that your pain can be averted." The nearest Thoughtsin organism gurgled, it's tissues finely controlled by the Malpsyche to make them speak intelligably.
"Yech, I would rather die than be part of your verminous hive." Eva grimaced as the Thoughtsin creatures seemed to just stand there for a while, ignoring the attacks being made on them.
"So you ask, so shall it be, in your deaths I shall bask, it hardly matters to me." It taunted before the seething tide of organisms began throwing themselves at both sides of the conflict in their multitudes.
Grabbing a series of chlorine triflouride grenades, Charles threw them to the south where the largest mass of the organisms were charging, the creatures bursting into flames and melting down upon contact with the hyper-lethal chemical, their highly flammable bodies incapable of handling contact with the substance. But what he was really hoping for was to create a moat behind them. As the bridgeway behind them melted, he got his wish. But the creatures only began to leap over the pathway even as they chewed on a massive amount of fire, with Eva's energy blasts setting the lot of them alight.
"Come on we got to get a move on! We can't handle numbers of that magnitude!" Tombstone said as lightning arced forth from his pistols, setting dozens of Thoughtsin organisms ahead of him alight, the already horrid stench of thoughtsin biomass being compounded by the smell of them burning.
"I'll give 'em something to think about!" The Beetle boasted as he let loose a jet of flammable liquid from his wrist nozzles, dousing a massive number of the infected in fluidic fire. "Aww yeah, burn you ugly fucks!" He cackled before squelching roars alerted him to thoughtsin infection organisms throwing themselves at Unshielded organisms and peacekeeper troopers to assimilate them in the most horrific of manners. Thoughtsin super cells violently bonded with normal, healthy tissue, grossly twisting and mutilating the host as the infection form snapped aside the useless head to occupy a central place on the host's body, the new abomination exulting with horrific laughter.
"Observation: Vile. I won't let it stand." Giganano blurted out as it rushed forward to increase it's size to fifty feet before throwing it's head forward to let red rays of doom pour out from it's visor and incinerate as many of the creatures as they could, letting the group make a mad dash across the elevated ramp. The roars and gurgles of millions of creatures were heard all around as they constantly threw themselves at the team; heedless of casualties or loss. Even as the station's defence grid sought to obliterate them wherever they stood, the parasite was without number.
Carol sliced the antennae off of one of the tank forms, rendering it blind before a second slice horizontally bisected it. But the creature refused to die, grabbing onto her and yanking her off her feet with a tug. Planting her boot in it's face, she let out a cry before activating the jets on it to incinerate the creature even as it's bottom half moulded into a stalker form that had to be violently restrained by aranea's webs to prevent it from ambushing tombstone while he tore off the arms of a combat form and smacked it to the side with them; whipping them around like clubs.
As a Juggernaut sought to strangle Charles, the Ant squirmed within it's grasp. "Aww get your nasty tentacles off me and go back to the hentai you crawled out of!" He said before secreting acid out of his sweat glands, his selectively permeable suit allowing them to leak out and burn his way out of the abominations grip. But if it were in any way pained, it showed no signs as it sweeped it's other tentacle at him, forcing him to jump to avoid the creature's muscular limbs just before it unfurled it's spike pads to turn him into swiss cheese. Something not allowed to come to it's conclusion by Giganano's rocket propelled fist smashing the thing into a paste.
Hundreds of the infected and pure forms leapt onto the robot, seeking to bring it down, each leap taking them dozens of feet into the air as they mobbed the robot. "Alert: Thoughtsin assault, activating chassis electrification!" The machine blurted as the thoughtsin spoke through it's many mouths. "Metal bends to the flesh, in our grandest of webs, you shall be one in our mesh." A phrase interrupted by blue arcs of lightning dancing across the robot and sending each and every attacker falling to the ground in charred heaps.
"Cid, you doing any better?" Carol said as she switched to incendiery rounds and let loose a storm of fire into the loping mobs of combat and carrier forms, roaring fire glinting off her visor as her suit's shields flared to life to intercept a number of gunshots and spikes from the parasite's hordes. Crackling energy discharged as she kept on firing into the hordes, clearing a path where she felt no risk of hitting any friendlies before breaking into a constantly firing twirl of gunshots, according to each and every ounce of thoughtsin biomass a bullet according to it's need.
"I'm doing fine for myself amiga, don't you worry." He said with an easy voice, slamming in a fresh clip of implosion grenades to fire into the tightly packed and ever growing mobs of abominations. Despite suffering losses usually attributed to ammunition expenditures, they were ceaseless in their attacks. Unlike the Hierarchy, they had no tempo, no break times, no regroups, just throwing themselves forth as a living tide meant to sweep aside all before them. Even as Tsunami summoned in millions of tons of water from the mains throughout the area to wash away the thoughtsin, creating eddies within the water to tear them apart, the thoughtsin never relented, never gave up.
"Snowstorm, I'm going to create an alternate path, I need you to freeze it ASAP!" Tsunami yelled through her helmet as she threw a sticky grenade to latch onto the bulbous mass of a carrier form, the resulting fiery explosion killing it and all of it's brood and catching many more of it's kind ablaze. With an act of will, she sweeped aside her wall of water to brush away any remaining Thoughtsin organisms, letting them fall to their doom kilometers below the bridge, then she started "shaving" off the water, taking a few inches of depth and forming them into abrasive blades that she used to hack apart the remaining thoughtsin in their millions before she maintained them in the shape of pillars beneath the now level semi-circle and guard railed bridge she had formed.
"Gotcha Aki. Lemme just mess with the thermostat a bit." She said as she infused the bridge with nitrogen freezing temperatures, rapidly solidifying it into a workable bridge of icewater. "Come on, we don't know how long we have until they deploy fliers and climbers." She said, making a come hither gesture to urge the rest of the team to follow with all due haste.
"Hate to break it to you, but I think they already have..." Bart said, pointing to the distance where winged and gas bag propelled thoughtsin forms, as well as aircraft or jump-pack using flood combat forms, attempted to scale the bridge and bring themselves up to the hero's levels.
"Everyone, grab hold of each other, NOW!" Carol said, thinking quickly as she saw the onrushing horde of Thoughtsin fliers.
"Wait what?" Forest stalker protested as she fired forth a quintent of arrows that she allowed to branch out into wooden nets to at least temporarily bring the creatures down to Earth. But even as they fell, the Thoughtsin supercells were already converting the biomass of the wood into more of themselves. They'd level out their flight before they hit the ground. Sighing, she grabbed hold of the ant.
"Hey bayybayyyy, checking out that formican hunk eh?" The Ant said, obviously beaming beneath his mask while she simply rolled her eyes. "What's this for anyway?" He said as the group huddled together.
"This." Carol said as she wrapped one of her layers of shielding around the group and then grabbed hold of the hard-light barrier, her boots deploying spikes to get better traction on the ice. Then she ran as fast as she could, the sound barrier thundering increasingly loudly as she made the last five kilometers of the sprint in a single second, every thoughtsin form that got between her and the objective getting obliterated instantly.
There, they came upon the most impressive of sights; a mob of heroes and villains from the other raider teams; liberated soldiers and secessionists, and the loyalists holding them back. But more important were the Overseers being evacuated, including Mu and Omega. In tow were Sergeant Cheval and Captain Guido, these two being prepared to head to the Delta MARATHON ring while the Overseers booked flights to what lay in the background.
Carol blinked a few times to make sure she was seeing properly, but lo and behold. A Masari ship. A whole armada of geometric masari ships. All hooked into the systems of Klo'Vis. "It would appear that this is where they are drawing their power for this station from. Though the power generation ability of these vessels is enough for only one to give this station full operational ability." Beneficus helpfully added.
Despite the gathered power of those who sought to kill the Grand overseers, their psionic ability was able to keep them away as Meta-crushers, Muton, Zudjari, and Jiralhanae guards, and drones swept them aside. Any who got too close were casually squashed by Barak'Talak's mighty double handed mace, the white armoured muton king proving to be utterly indomitable as everyone was loaded.
"Should I download you out of the system?" Carol asked, the A.I pausing briefly. "Yes...wait...hold..." The A.I's orange avatar responded before the Malpsyche intruded in on the transmission.
"Your mechanical mind shall remain, for I value what you know, thus you I shall detain, and man will reap what his ancestors have sown." The Malpsyche laughed as it's hideous venus flytrap like face filled the projectors of her visor and Beneficus looked around worriedly.
"I'll be back for you, I promise." Carol said, with Beneficus breaking his usually deadpan voice to let out a worried "Please, don't be too long, Dogs get separation anxiety." He said as his avatar briefly flickered into his old Dog shape. A sad smile formed on her face before she turned to see the situation ahead. With a cry of frustration, carol threw herself at the ships where cheval and guido were being loaded. She was going to save at least one person today. However, these Elite Guard Mutons were no pushovers, carrying the heaviest of weapons and supported by the finest weapons of the Hierarchy, she was constantly rebuffed, forced to pull back for fear of being overwhelmed by their overwhelming brute force.
"~So one of the Allies' Demons seeks to liberate one of her own. Endearing.~" Grand Overseer Mu chuckled.
"Carol, sacre bleu! Êtes-vous fou, vous allez mourir! Get back woman!" Cheval said, actually dropping the Cigar they allowed him to keep as she kept on pounding at the Psychic barrier, dodging and weaving around increasingly accurate fire. Even as she was knocked and buffetted around by two city decimatingly powerful plasma shots and then floored by a telekinetic crushing motion that overpowered even her psionic resistance, she refused to give in.
"No...I'm not leaving you behind...not now, not ever." She growled as her strength and powers began to increase at a geometric rate, allowing her to push herself up just a little.
"~Please, you needed four primalborn and hundreds more "metas" to defeat Alpha, what do you hope to accomplish?~" Omega taunted before the other seven members of kill team castle stood up to the plate. "This Amigo." Cid said as he dashed in to cut open a hole into the barrier and sliced through the telekinetic grip holding carol in place, letting her charge in. However, Barak'Talak's huge bulk threatened to intercept her, the king of the Mutons charging in with maul in hand.
"Defiant to the end? Feh, then let this be your end ape." Barak'Talak scoffed as he prepared to bring the hammer down. Faced with a choice, she could only get one of them out of there. Closing her eyes, she snuck in under Barak'Talak's guard and then roughly grabbed and threw the Algerian man right on out of the hole El cid made even as the other Frankensteins tried to pour in; the Meta-crushers and guards preparing to kill them where they stood. "So you stand together? Then you shall die together!" The Muton boasted as he raised his maul skywards.
This was interrupted by a thoughtsin infested capital ship crashing into the midst of the group, even as the overseers cut it to ribbons with telekinetic and psychoenergetic blasts, the thoughtsin still rained down to create havoc. After the hideous groan of rupturing metal subsidied, the gurgles of the parasites replaced most other noise as the loyalists and coalition and secessionists alike turned their thoughts to repelling the parasite. However, Grand Overseer Omega was the target of this assassination; and a teleported in tentacle of the Malpsyche ran him through just as the Thoughtsin managed to bring in a psychic null form just close enough to make him the slightest bit vulnerable. Something not helped by Mu's secret draining of Omega's powers for his own gain. With this weakness, the uninnoculated Omega was then vulnerable to a single infection form making it past the blockade to leap at his throat, his feeble arms doing their best to keep the parasite away as it's probes pierced into his skin.
Even as Barak'Talak sought to aid the fallen Grand Overseer, Mu stayed his hand. "Our vengeance cannot wait for the weak Barak'Talak. Bring the woman to the ring. I shall do what is needed of me.~" Mu said with a nod as the Mutons looked at the fallen Overseers continued struggles. Boarding onto their needed ships, the Hierarchy's staff soon fled. Deciding to take a brief detour, Carol turned to Omega as he was callously abandoned and Mu's guards determined her group not worth the effort of destroying. "Tell me what he's doing and I'll make it quick, 'kay?" Carol said, leaning in close.
"Mu...hah...Mu will bring about the final end of this war. He will take a great fleet on a war path all the way to your wretched home-world. There, he has found a way to cleanse all of reality at once! But unlike you, I shall die with pride, vermin." Omega croaked with his natural, rather than telepathic voice. Reaching out to Cid, Carol borrowed his sword to stab through both the infection form and Omega's brain, instantly killing both and inadvertently allowing Mu to consume all that remained of his power. Determined to not let them get away, Kill team castle flew after them, racing towards the Masari vessels in the distance with all undue haste.
"What do we do know Tombstone?" The Ant said as the graveborn guardian looked into the distance. "We board a ship, head back to the ring." He said as Giganano formed a defensive line by slamming his fists to create a lined shockwave to slice through as much of the thoughtsin as possible.
"The one we can get won't fit us." Cheval said, pointing to one unoccupied Hierarchy dropship. But the ever helpful Giganano turned back and shrunk down to a more humanoid size. "Allow me to be of assistance." The robot said before applying it's hands to the ship and upsizing it to one that could indeed fit them all.
Hearing the screams of more Thoughtsin in the distance, no one was eager to stay on any longer than they had to, and so everyone who could piled onto the ship as Cheval raced to the cockpit, needing Giganano to reduce the controls and seating to a size that he could actually use. "We all booked for a flight back to the ring? Good, now...let me find some good music." He said as he flipped through the music systems of the ship before cursing when he found that the Hierarchy had nothing he particularly liked to listen to. The upscaled dropship shuddered as it took off, screaming out of one of the exits and broadcasting it's lack of thoughtsin infestation and coalition allegience so that it could reach the ring unmolested.
Once uncoupled to the core of Klo'Vis, Mu's fleet of Masari warships soon took off into the stars, much of the station powering down as the main source of energy for the facility was deprived. For those who were unable to get out before the quarantine was established, theirs would be a fate of death. No salvation awaited them.
The elite eight of kill-team castle grabbed on tightly while Tombstone's group sped towards the final battle on the ring. Finding a recess to cling onto, Carol directed her team to share their shielding to protect them from the rigors of metaspace travel and to activate any sort of clamps they could to allow them to remain on the ship as it left the boundaries of Klo'Vis. Behind them was a nightmare of infestation and cancer. Before them was a nearly year long Journey as the Hierarchy threw forth it's final offensive. Destination: Earth.