Our Finest Hour (L4 Defense)

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#21
Part I of II: The Great Circle

"A-a-a-aliens!?"

On the bridge of the Shinryu, Captain Harris gawked, looking on in slack-jawed disbelief as the reality of Madin's proclamation began to set in. It was true! All the propaganda, all the late-night television and crank publications - true! There really were extraterrestrials!

She let out a strangled cry, a noise that almost defied the nature of print to define it, only barely describable as "Oaarghyagah!", and slammed the emergency contact cut.

"Hm."

Meanwhile, on the vast multi-tiered deck of the Tantra, Madin found himself staring at a blank screen, simply reading "TRANSMISSSION LOST". There was a pregnant pause... and then he turned expertly on his heel, clapping his hands together, giving those around him the full blast of an optimistic smile as he began striding purposefully back towards the elevator.

"I think that went well!"

The only sound that went up from the assembled Circle dignitaries was the low groan of the Strategist, as palm met face.




"Hey, you. Space man."

On the Tantra's launch deck... Elhirut's somber preparations didn't go unnoticed.

When did she get here?

In the intervening weeks before they had arrived, Decima had been taken under the Meyvens wing. In his presence, she was the perfect child - demure, precious, and so sweet that being in her presence caused one to suspect the imminent, spontaneous formation of cavities. Madin was thrilled to have an audience, and she to have someone who would see to it that her every need was answered, as a "V.I.P.".

But... Whenever the two were separated?

"You're not really gonna fly that twiggy looking thing are you?"

Decima plopped down gently behind Elhirut, a catlike smirk on her features as she addressed the young man, blonde tresses bobbed through the air. She didn't wear a spacesuit - no, rules it seemed, were for little people, and she had quickly crowned herself as Princess of the Tantra, pointing to the Org-Valu as if it were a toy among her collection.

Whenever she were out of earshot of the Meyven... the contrast in behavior was like night and day. She became capricious, cruel, calculating... and surprisingly adept at making her way into high security areas of the vessel. The Strategist had voiced his concern regarding the young girl's movements - but, for all his own patience and carefully reasoned arguments, they had fallen on deaf ears, leaving the two of them to share stories of her true nature in private.

"...It looks... frail. And weak." She said, her features scrunching up in disgust, before turning her gaze back on Elhirut himself. There was a strange, almost... reptilian gleam to those eyes, as if there were not quite... normal, as she continued gently:

"Kind of like... you."



The Tantra's laser batteries flared to life, sending rays of light arcing out into the void as the storm of Lamalice descended upon it. Hails of railgun-fire tore into the front ranks of the monstrosities, mowing them down in droves - but the tide of flesh was unending, and in mere seconds the beasts had fallen upon the frontal wave of Liege Geios, a gnashing, screeching tide of thrashing, grasping claws.

Three of the hulking, silver behemoths were swept away instantly, seized by the creatures and hurled bodily backwards into the teeming mass, their Bioroid pilots not even uttering a sound as they were shorn violently limb from limb. The remaining withdrew in rows, laying down waves of suppressing fire to keep the swarm from growing any closer. Beams of dark energy petered out pitifully against their armor plates, the Lamalice unable to outgun the Circle's finest fighting machines...

For now.


And... There was one other thing, as well.

The uninvited guests lingered, as they often did, at the fringes of the battlefield, their verdant, wing-like shapes cruising slowly along in a loose V formation, five total. The Lamalice posed little threat to them, the automatons barely registering on whatever malefic senses they used to perceive the world around them - and so, the Opus tagged along, recording, analyzing, compounding every scrap of data they could get their hands on. Mechanical lenses clicked in and out, oscillating gently as every possible angle was scrutinized at a level of detail that would have turned even the Tantra's engineers green with envy.

SCANNING...
MULTIPLE SAMPLES OF OF [INSTANCE 418] DETECTED.
NO DEVIATION FROM STANDARD BEHAVIOR PATTERNS.

CONTINUING OBSERVATION...
What, exactly, were they searching for?
 
Last edited:
Dec 18, 2018
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#22
Despite this, someone seemed to notice- Not out of any superhuman ability... But merely from observation of how light in the distance was playing around. Once again on her open channel, the nurse soon gave a vague response. "Hey, uh... There's something over there... No idea what it is, but there's something over there." As she pointed with her machine, communications officers at least seemed to bother to put some notice of it to the point that they would check later- After all, there were still the hordes of Lamalice to deal with. Unfortunately, she had just bumped into one of the aforementioned Lamalice... And it was starting to screech despite the airless void. As if her mind was being invaded in some capacity. Maybe it was her mind playing tricks given how she REALLY didn't want to be here. Maybe it was possible that she was actually hearing this, even if it might've been the machine she was in following some manner of obtuse programming. Still, as she began to stare at the oncoming singular Lamalice... Her survival instincts kicked in. Her machine was still holding onto the bladed pistol, and she began to do what came naturally... Jabbing it into the Lamalice. She was no pro- She could've told you this a thousand times before even imagining she was in a war machine like this. But she was still human at the end of the day, and violence is something that humanity needed in order to survive to some degree. And it was soon clear that this was going to be a gory display as the blade was jammed in every possible space that the Lamalice actually had and wriggled until there was little more than a lifeless corpse... And it was repeated, again and again and again. Still, it wasn't out of any malice- She merely had to survive, and she clearly wasn't enjoying it. At most, there was just hyperventilation coming from her feed. Still, this meant that she was a sitting duck that needed SOMEONE to get her out of the way...
 

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#23
Part 2

Valsione & Garmraid

The Directory forces protecting the Colonies from harm unloaded round after round into one of the 5 "limbs" of the sweeping, teeming swarm as it surged towards them, The protoype MTDM missiles screamed through the heavens, leaving jagged, ice-blue trails of energy before slamming into the swarm, each vanishing in a small explosion that pulverized Lamalice into little more than grape pureee. The Valsione itself charged the oncoming swarm heroically, Divine blade swinging left and right, each slice finding a target-

Yet, there were so many.

Despite losing approximately a fifth of its mass, the horde forced its way forward. The Valsione in particular, found itself in a desperate situation as the creatures began to swarm over her armor towards the troops she had left behind, claws ripping and tearing at its armor, the monstrosities attempting to - in a very literal sense - bury the Ultimate Robo's spawn with their numbers, a whirling avalanche of malevolent, pulsing flesh.

But then-

"Burning Breaker!"
An explosion of flame and light, as one of the "walls" suddenly caved, giving rise to the appearance of the mighty, crimson Garmraid. Terminus Energy - that violent, unstable, ethereal flame of the cosmos, barely bridled to service the hands of man, lashed out across the clouds of Lamalice, incinerating all it touched, sending the creatures scattering. Joe's timely rescue had given them a window - but the creatures were closing ranks, and if they held their ground, in moments they would be subsumed yet again - only this time... together.

The Lamalice horde rained down on the defenders of L5, peppering them with dozens of black rays of destruction. The horde was thinning, splintering - but there were only precious moments before they were fully upon their front lines, and those roving, shearing claws seemed all too eager to tear into their fleshy counterparts.

Lamalice Tendril 1: 72/100




Nick & Sayuri

At the heart of the Lamalice swarm, the Ultimate Robo approached. Much as they had at L2, frothing waves of Gravity pulsed out from its regal form, churning the space around it into a vortex. The Lamalice thrashed and screeched, pulled into the warped space - but such was their number, that not even the Valsion could contain them all. As the Ultimate Robo supernova'd, sending a cataclysmic explosion in all directions, the swarm reeled, over a third of its number lost in a single strike -

And then lunged.

The mauled "limb" of the swarm came crashing down on Nick with surprising speed, aiming to rend him, heart and soul - not even the annihilation of its fellows had stopped it. These creatures - they felt no fear. No pain. Nothing but absolute hatred for all living things, carved into every inch of their bodies - a thousand times the lost could fall, but not a single one would hesitate to throw itself into the firing line for a chance to sink their claws into the flesh of man. Not even the Ultimate Robo could survive such an onslaught - it would be dragged into the mass and shredded, not unlike the Liege Geios from before.

In a curious mirror to its distaff counterpart across the battlefield, however, Nick was unexpectedly spared.

Twin glittering stars lanced out into the void, and contacted the tide - and the resulting gleam so bright that it left spots scattering on the eyes, as if they had beheld a miniature sun. The twin Positron Cannons of the Vangray discharged into the heart of the swarm, concentrated particles ripping and tearing apart the abominations at a level that could only be described as molecular, carving two gaping holes out of the mass where the creatures would appear, to the uneducated observer, to have simply disintegrated.

The swam reeled in pain, its composite parts splitting apart even further, this part at least seeming now fully subjugated-

And yet... Suddenly halted, as if...

Listening.

"...Can your hear it, Nick Mallor?"

A second "limb" of the horde had suddenly changed direction, sweeping forward to reinforce its fellows. The "voice" Nick heard crackled over no radio, but seemed to reverberate within the confines of his own skull, as if it were being projected into his heart.

It sounded... familiar.

The second swarm rushed towards the two, pelting them with a rain of dark rays - yet, unlike its sister swarms, this one seemed more... orderly, as if each individual Lamalice were dancing on a hundred, ethereal threads. As it whipped and whirled, within the heart of it, Nick might have glimpsed... something. It was... sitting, it seemed, cross legged in thought, an island of calm surrounded by a maelstrom of chaos, a monstrous soul that he might have hoped to never see again in his lifetime..

zenadye.png

"...The dull, thudding pulse of the stars..."
Lamalice Swarm 2 & 3:
23/100
100/100
Zenadye
 

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#24
Part III

Brasta & Sevirus

The Shinryu and its accompany fleet's barrels turned in the direction of the oncoming Lamalice hordes - and flared. Missiles and beams punched out across the stars, dispersing the creatures, blunting their offense somewhat - and as a consequence, Luna found herself an opening. The newly-enhanced Brasta's bayonet found ample targets as the Lamalice floundered, skewering a row of the creatures on the radiant spear of energy, finding only scattered shots from the surrounding monstrosities in retaliation.

Backup came in the form the the Sevirus, the Nurse having effectively drifted in the direction of the Colonial fleet. Bullets of hardened light from its machinegun chewed apart the thin-skinned Lamalice with ease, and in only moments the two found themselves being further assisted by the Mobile Weapon crews of the three Peregrines, as well as Ed's Ganonia, the lattermost almost nothing more than a glimmering cerulean star in the distance as its Heavy Shock Shooter sent round after round into the scattered Lamalice.

Leonisis and Cosmolions formed in tight squads, flanking the Sevirus and Brasta both, pouring fire into the surrounding beasts, attempting to keep them from regaining their furious concentration, railgun rounds and electron-bolts splattering blobs of purple across the battlefield.

But, for how long could it last?

Meanwhile, in the Shinryu's hangar, Alan Cicero paused in his direction of the work crews, glancing down to remove a slim personal terminal from his pocket. This one was thin, black - and notably different from the one he normally carried. A small red light was illuminated on its side, and wordlessly, he reached up, holding it up as a projection was emitted, one not unlike what he had shown Luna before.

"There's a problem."

Click.

It was only a single line, and the man's features hardly seemed to change... but his thoughts were racing. A decision needed to be made - Immediately. Turning, he regarded the horned machine lurking at the back of the hangar - one he had not planned on bringing to this particular fight. Observing the Brasta's VX was his priority - but, he couldn't ignore this development. Kicking off from the catwalk, he began to drift towards it, smoothing back his hair as he called out:

"Chief Engineer. Get the Augar ready for launch."

Slipping into the cockpit of the colossal custom Ganonia, the Corporatist quietly regarded his own reflection as the airlock hissed closed. His features, as usual, betrayed no emotion - only the cool professionalism of his trade... but, he thought once more, it was a poor indicator of the tempest raging within.

"This timing..." He said aloud, thoughtfully as the machine hummed to life,

"It can't just be a coincidence."

One emerald-armored arm reached out, retrieving from over its shoulder the colossal scythe that served as its primary armament, cradling it carefully in both arms as it was guided to the Shinryu's catapult. Guiding lights turned from red to green, and the Colonist braced himself for the coming acceleration, monstrous as it would be.

"This is Cicero. Ganonia Augar, taking off."

Lamalice Swarm 4: 70/100
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#25
Nick grit his teeth as he realized his error in judgement, in the Valsion's most vulnerable position it would be easy pickings if not for the two shots fired by Sayuri which allowed it enough time to recover from the MGW. He braced himself for a second round with the swarm but the Lamalice stopped as a voice echoed within his mind. A voice he knew. One already well associated with Lamalice and the destruction they wrought, the self-proclaimed standing one 'Abremalin Zahed'. Or as Nick had dubbed him, a mere madman.

Though his voice may be as twisted as his mind now, the fact he seemed to be at the heart of a group of Lamalice was a notable feat. A morbid one, but notable nonetheless. The Valsion turned to face the fresh swarm and got out of reach of the one already damaged, getting a glimpse of the existence underneath. Something that most certainly wasn't the auto-warlock Nick had previously thrown into the black sun.

"Abremalin Zahed." Nick answered as the Valsion glared with contempt. He wouldn't honor the question with an answer, he already knew more than well enough that this man rambled madly and trying to reason with him would prove fruitless. But talking had served as quite the good distraction before, it allowed Nick to rocket the mad mage into the black sun for one.

"You're less dead than I hoped. It seems another one of your damned miracles saved you. So it seems my estimation is confirmed, you are the twisted one and it seems the world once again needs to be defended from your ilk." Nick sighed, raising the Valsion's arm as he spoke. He spoke with no fondness, no sympathy. Abremalin Zahed was a man in cahoots with the monstrous Lamalice that destroyed L5 the purple grape like beings merciless monsters themselves.

The hailstorm of black energy came upon the Valsion as it raised its shielded arm to block the volley, an unseen force stopping half of the assault dead in its tracks before they could even reach the Valsion and as soon as there was a pause in the firing line the Valsion put the shield horizontally towards the hundred Lamalice ball.

"Cross Smasher!" The iconic, and dreaded to some, beam shot out of the Valsion's arm aimed straight at the heart of the new swarm and trying to lay siege to the monster underneath and the monster it piloted. He would pierce as many Lamalice as he needed to get at the man behind the curtain and kill him for good this time.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#26
Kathryn's response to the swarm clearing around them was to... dive back in.

"This was a bad idea."

"Oh, shut up. I've got a plan!"

"That is highly unlikely. On an unrelated note, energy signatures matching the Mega Graviton Wave were just detected in another sector. I can now say with 90% certainty that a Valsion-type weapon is present. And appears to have a functioning plan."

"Damnit, that was my plan! Screw it. Purge time! Dump everything in the outer armour into the Psycoblaster, then purge the plates. It's time!"

Even as the Lamalice ripped into the Valsione's outer plating it was detonating and launching outwards, hopefully distracting or obstructing her while her Machine's true form was revealed to the world.


The Valsione was quite literally glowing white, its face moving in perfect sync with the girl piloting - who was still somehow cheerful, despite her precarious situation. She winked at Joe's Garmraid before turning the outer speaks on, continuing her usual attempts to draw as much attention as possible.

"Behold! The Valsione! You guys might have the classic, but this one's New and improved!"

As Kathryn made her speech the glow started to change, becoming a deep red and concentrating in both the Valsione's arms. She pirouetted, forcing the energy outwards and into twin balls of destructive force that circulated her machine. Said storm was ripping apart and detonating anything unfortunate or stupid enough to get close, and seemed to be growing as she charged through the tendril. leaving a funnel of destruction behind her.

"PSYCOBLASTER! COME GET SOME, YOU PURPLE FREAKS!"

When the Psycoblaster was about to die out she dived up and away from the swarm, hoping to emerge before her attack ran out and the swarm could dogpile her for the third time today.



"...Hey, Alex. Why don't I spin with the mech during that?"

"The possibility of dizziness and vomiting was considered too high. Vomiting in zero gravity is extremely hazardous, to say nothing of the resulting distraction in a combat situation."
 
Dec 18, 2018
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#27
The nurse was shocked to say the least. After some time spent panting and trying to get a hold of herself, she noticed the improved Valsione. "... O-Okay, what just happened...? And why do you have that thing under- Oh... One of those people... Well, I guess I can't say you don't have guts given what that thing requires from what those geeks at work tend to say, but... What the?!" Her machine was soon knocked aside thanks to the new arrival. Although to be fair, she was still trying to get a hang of controlling it, and she didn't exactly have the best viewpoint- At best, her machine seemed to be, in a sense, fresh out of the box, not really marking anything beyond the Lamalice as foes- Everything was just some vague dot... Except for warships which were thankfully more clear. Still, she was at least trying to not get in the way, and thankfully, some of her newly renewed shots were at least leaving some of the Lamalice open for others to either get away from a pinch, or apply some manner of finishing blow. After finally managing to get some manner of control and some space, she began to lean back and take stock of everything that was going on.

"Alright, Elizabeth... You're in some giant military weapon, you've been shanghai'd into pest control even though you're not really into all of this... And literally everyone can hear you right now... What has my life become?"
 
Jun 28, 2018
53
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#28
Sayuri's eyes gleamed with the reflected light of the kaleidoscope. The dozen panes strewn about her HUD, the hundreds of scattering Lamalice, and the milling colors of the explosions lancing through them all joined in visual cacophany. Her sensor arrays were already trying to sort through the fireworks ahead of the next volley. Individual movements were being tracked, progression waves computed, the order within anarchy groped for and wrestled into submission. In that moment her eye was that of a samurai watching a school of fish. Minding the ripples in the water, and waiting for the moment the pack were just heading into the densest configuration, that she might hit as many as she could with the next shot. All while her trusty steed carried her ever closer to their number.

But then the school reversed itself. Another swept in, and she found herself staring down iron lines in regimented formations. Ones who were quick to loose a volley toward Nick and herself. A smirk crossed her lips, the thrusters of the Utsuromaru flared, and shuttle and rider slid into trajectory behind the Valsion, letting it be their shield. In return, the corvette opened up its guns, pelting suppression fire just beyond the Ultimate Robo's flanks. Life coursed through the Jinrai barrels again, fresh coolant welling to the ready.

She watched closely for where Nick's Cross Smasher landed. And shortly after, lanced another pair of antimatter mortars into the throng to cover the gaps.