On Wings of Victory (Kujo)

GEAR

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#21
Aeolus passed the hangars as he flew - one, two, three - still no sign of his mount… and the enemy was getting closer with every moment, breathing down his neck.

In the meantime, the DEI Leo charged after him on a wave of incandescent particles, knocking aside everything in its path not unlike a rhinoceros. The Photon Rifle shot smashed into its chest armor, barely slowing its progress... But seemed to leave little more than surface level damage to the mass-produced Special. It raised a clawed paw, and thrust it forward in a leap - sending three cabled talons tearing through the burning air towards the Huckebein, aimed to pierce and ensnare the Personal Trooper by its legs.

At the moment it loosed the deadly projectiles however - he would have spotted something in the fourth hangar: A familiar silhouette, somehow left untouched, crouched among an array of monitoring equipment...

The Straybird.

The only question remaining was... Could he make it in time?
 

Kujo

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Nov 14, 2018
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#22
Time seemed to freeze as Aeolus spotted the great, black machine. The Leo loosed its claws; Aeolus ran what little information the Huckebein's systems could formulate to extrapolate an efficient response. Simply with his vision, Aeolus could tell the attack was going low; Whether that meant whoever was in the Leo was trying to capture his unit as well or was simply toying with him, Aeolus had no time to ponder. Aeolus kicked off from the ground, quickly launching the Huckebein up as the machine's momentum was halted; he made sure to lead with the Huckebein's intact leg. One of the Leo's claws sliced a chunk from what was left of the machine's left leg armor while the others sailed clean around it.

The Huckebein deftly did a back flip as it dodged, Aeolus firing a blast from both of his rifles as he rotated. After landing, Aeolus didn't let up; he threw one rifle at the Leo and shot it as it reached the target. The rifle exploded in a bright light followed by a smoldering black fog. His turn over, Aeolus made note of his position and transmitted it to the Pendragon with the short message, "It's here."; Aeolus continued retreating while firing off his head vulcans once more.

Penelope grew restless; she squirmed in Lafaye's lap. "I..." The little android began, "I wanna help." Lafaye frowned. She couldn't think of anything more that could be done for Aeolus but pray. Just then, the transmission came in from Aeolus; all Lafaye needed was those two words to know what to do next. "Here's some can do, Penelope." Lafaye picked up her child as she stood, setting her down and grabbing her by the hand once Lafaye was standing. She led Penelope out of the room as she took out a pad and started inputting commands to Nimue.

The pair at last came upon Penelope's chambers, a spartan room with the centerpiece being a large glass pod reaching from floor to ceiling. A synthetic voice came from a console attached to the pod, "Link routines on standby, Madame." The large tube sank into its base as a large plug came down from the top. "Will this help big brother?" Lafaye gently guided the girl into the pod base. "We don't have time to explain everything, Sweety. Once you're hooked up, Nimue will give you your instructions." Penelope nodded after a brief moment. Lafaye reached around Penelope's head and lifted up her hair; she pulled down a small tab to reveal a socket to match the plug hanging above the girl's head. The plug went in with a loud, solid click; Penelope's eyes lit up bright. Nimue's voice came into her head as the pod's cylinder rose up once more.

Power cable link established; commencing energy overcharge; chamber coolant levels nominal; administering coolant.

Miss Penelope, the recovery objective has been located; the course of action for this scenario has been dictated as follows: You will use your wireless interface module to link yourself with the Straybird and provide Sir Aeolus with support until it is feasible for Sir to enter the cockpit and interface. Using the interfacing from this range will take considerable power and cause stress to your system, so you have been put into your maintenance chamber and are now being fed energy directly from the Pendragon's supply. Please proceed with the mission.
 

GEAR

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#23
The Leo's claws retreacted with a mechanical whine, and its cycloptic head turned, preparing to eviscerate the offending target with its laser-vision... But the exploding rifle caught it off guard, the energy-charged magazine going critical right before its face. The faceguard clamped down in response - a fraction of a second too late. The resulting light could be seen for miles, and the monstrous machines stumbled back, lashing helplessly about it with its claws, black smoke pouring from its open "mouth".

Yet, Aeolus' wouldn't have had a moment to reflect, as another blast of energy slashed at him from behind, this one aiming to scythe off his machine's left arm. In the distance - yet, rapidly approaching, he could have made out the hooded, serpentine form of the other test machine he had seen earlier - the Anguis. Its stubby right forearm, hand replaced with the gleaming barrel of a particle gun, blazed as it rained down whistling, mortar like blasts about his person, attempting to further impede his progress as it closed the gap...
 

Kujo

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Nov 14, 2018
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#24
Aeolus was rocked by a close shot from the Anguis, narrowly avoided with some creative dodging. A second shot blew the left forearm of the Huckebein clean off, however. The "shells" closing his movement with each consecutive shot, Aeolus swerved hard to the side and boosted up onto an intact hangar and began jumping from roof to roof. The shots kept coming, each one tearing down one hangar after another. Eventually, the hangar holding the Straybird was demolished, leaving the tall, black machine sitting in the open amidst the rubble.

The Straybird's lifeless eyes lit up. It took its Crow gun, still in hand, and opened fire at the Anguis. Aeolus ceased his rooftop maneuvers and landed on the tarmac to see his savior. The Straybird slowly stood up, still firing. After a moment, the firing stopped and the Straybird's chest opened up. Penelope's electronic voice came out, "Get in, Aeolus!"

She hardly had to say anything, there wouldn't be much better of an opportunity than now. Aeolus willed the Huckebein's cockpit open as soon as he saw the Straybird rise on its own; he boosted his machine in a b-line for the Straybird. The Straybird knelt down to the level of the smaller machine. Aeolus grabbed his interface plug and yanked it out just after steering the Huckebein just to the side of the Straybird. Aeolus lept from the Huckebein's chest to the Straybird's; the Straybird's chest closing as he got in. Aeolus hooked himself up as Penelope controlled the machine to stand back up and fire away at the two targets before beginning to drift away into the air, the Straybird's wings opening up and beginning to glow white with dimensional power.

Lafaye was practically glued to her screens. Her children now had a chance, but they weren't out of the woods just yet. Who knew where the last enemy was hiding.
 
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GEAR

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#25
As the Straybird opened fire, the Anguis recoiled in a fashion befitting its serpentine appearance - and then, in a moment, appeared to crumble under the weapon's fire, limbs falling in every direction. Yet... moments later, bands of crackling dimensional energy snapped out between them, arranging the creature into a long, viper-like form as it raised itself up, stretching high into the air.

Power surged up the length of its frame as it sized up the Straybird, whatever malevolent artificial intelligence it had been assigned drawing a bead as it prepared the most devastating weapon in its arsenal. From the "mouth" of the serpent jutted a rectangular metal barrel, which glowed with an unearthly light. Not for nothing, it seemed, had DEI spent considerable sums of money developing the Chimera series...

But what would cause them to turn upon their masters so swiftly?

With a mechanical roar, a cyclone-like pillar of whipping energy lashed down from the Anguis' mouth at the dark Special - one that tore apart the very earth it stood upon, churning apart the surroundings as the vortex shredded the fringes of reality itself in attempt to rid itself of the obstacle...
 

Kujo

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Nov 14, 2018
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#26
Finally back in the Straybird, it was like Aeolus' mind could breathe again. Penelope had already analyzed the incoming attack, and Aeolus was running more information to her in order to generate a proper course of actions. The Anguis was firing some sort of dimensional twister, an attack that would take more than simple dodging to overcome; the effective range of the twister and its area of effect were still unknown.

Unable to wait any longer for more analysis, Aeolus put his trust in the Straybird. The machine spread its glowing wings and barreled straight for the Anguis. Aeolus pulled the Plover from a dimensional pocket as red silhouettes lept from the Straybird. The shadows split and split again several times more until a veritable squadron of Straybirds were assembled. Aeolus leveled the Plover at the target as warning chimes sounded for the Anguis' incoming attack; the clones did likewise.

The Straybirds all let loose a hail of fire at the serpentine machine. One by one, the clones began to drift into the dimensional twister's path as it came for them, the clones violently disappeared in red flashes. The two dimensional energy forces colliding seemed to have an impact on the twister: its contorting became less erratic and its speed lessened. By the time the twister reached its intended target, Aeolus needed only to brace against the remaining violent dimensional turbulence.

When the Straybird exited what remained of the Anguis' attack, Aeolus activated Imaginary Road and slipped through space to recharge from the maneuver. The Straybird emerged a fair distance behind the Anguis and aimed the Plover once more. Dimension clones appeared to surround the target, albeit far fewer than before. The Straybirds once more let loose waves of fire from their grenade cannons. Deeming his time to attack the current target up, Aeolus retreated into the air as the clones continued to fire before dissipating.

As the Leo seemed to be the biggest threat at the moment, Aeolus aimed to get over the water to avoid the land bound mobile weapon.
 

GEAR

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#27
The Anguis watched, seemingly with no small degree of satisfaction, as the Straybird vanished into its vacuum, along with a not-insignificant chunk of the surrounding area. As the void ravage subsided, suspended rocks and particulate crashed to the floor, the massive serpent towering over the desolation as its glowing yellow eyes panned left and right, seeking any further foes.

Its sensors blared a warning, and the viper snapped back, mouth agape, fangs of pure energy leaping to life in its maw - but it was far, far too slow compared to the technological marvel that was the Straybird, and the Plover slammed directly between its fangs, blasting apart the barrel that was concealed in its throat. The entire serpentine body shuddered as the chunks of crystalized dimensional energy that made up its heart rattled... and shattered, sending waves of power cascading through its form. In a series of interconnected detonations, the entire Anguis blew apart, sending dark green shrapnel in all directions.

One down.

Yet, as Aeolus dove down towards the water, a series of whiplike cables stretched out towards him from the coast - the Leo lumbered towards him from the shoreline, throwing one arm forward in a lashing strike aimed to seize hold of his ankles - its vision impaired - but not gone, as it still retained more than enough primal instinct, it seemed, to hunt its prey.
 

Kujo

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Nov 14, 2018
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#28
Penelope's systems chirped at Aeolus about the Leo's attack; evidently he had spent too much time destroying the Anguis to escape the Leo's effective range. Aeolus noticed this situation was similar to their previous engagement, however he wasn't going to allow a grazing hit this time around.

Straybird spread its wings and swiftly tucked itself up and flipped around as the Leo's claws whiffed past. Coming out of the maneuver, the Straybird pulled its Pheasant Cutters out and launched the blades at the Leo. As one blade left its handle, another was pulled into its place from a dimensional pocket and launched as well. This went on for a moment before Aeolus activated Imaginary Road and slipped behind the Leo, appearing just after the last Pheasant Cutter reached its target.

The 4 Swallow Gun anchors lunged out from Straybird's torso aiming to hook into the Leo and shock its systems.
 

GEAR

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#29
The Leo seemed shocked as the Straybird disappeared, cables smashing into its armored hide - and finding purchase nestled amongst its muscular constitution. Now filled with the blades of its enemy, the beast rounded on Aeolus, as both machine strained against one another, in a chorus of grinding metal and screeching servo motors. As Aeolus watched, between the jaws of the machine, the eye had winked back to life, a glowing gem of crimson staring in insane hatred at him. A yellowed, putrid concoction oozed from the wounds inflicted prior, highlighted as the eye took on an unusual glow-

There was a short, sharp crack! of discharging plasma as the beast's mouth erupted in a blast of energy, aimed to punch clean through the Straybird's face - visiting the same harm it had done onto its foe earlier.

And... in the distance, there was something else, as well... A yelling, familiar voice.

"Assistance! Aidez moi!"

Darting hurriedly towards them came a smaller machine - vibrant lavender, the Selvius II's two pointed ears bobbing frantically back and forth as it weaved a path towards the Straybird like a drunken hornet. The reason for its strange movement was immediately clear, as a third imposing form made its presence known.

Gliding overhead on four shimmering wings, the demonic visage of the Caper was concealed with a smooth, almost oval shaped mask, its sensor laden rim winking devilishly in the twilight. Its arms worked back and forth, sending blasts of burning, incandescent flame to the earth below as it pursued Juliette's mobile weapon, pulverizing apart the concrete as the two rocketed forward on a collision course with Aeolus.
 
Nov 14, 2018
25
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#30
The Straybird's pilot pair had clearly miscalculated their actions. The Leo had managed to grapple the Straybird before its hooks could dig in. Despite it's larger size, the Straybird was unable to break free from its more brawny relative. As soon as Aeolus had determined that it was no use struggling out of the Leo's grasp, he had begun charging the Straybird's dimension converter to activate Imaginary Road.

As the Leo loosed the plasma from its maw, the bolt harmlessly sailed through the air. The Leo's arms were now distinctly lacking one Straybird.

Aeolus soared through the subspace gathering energy. Before slipping out, he had Penelope release the limiters on the dimension converter. Coming out some distance behind the Leo, the Straybird rocketed straight for its target. Its form was glowing bright red, charged with dimensional energy. The avian machine straightened out, bringing its wings flush with its body. Aiming to crash straight through the Leo, Aeolus switched on several collision safety systems. As he closed in, several warning alarms and signals sounded.

There was a distinctly unique screech of metal being simultaneously sliced and crushed as the Straybird impacted its target square in the back. The great black machine exited the target as quickly as it entered and continued on to charge at the crafts targeting the Selvius.

Aeolus pulled out the Crow as the Straybird's red glow dissipated.