Howl, Zankantou! (Shroud II - MK/Sess)

GEAR

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#1
Click, Click, Click.

Explosions boomed in the distance across the mountaintop, the blocky, angular shape of the Great Axion Class lit up by the fires breaking out across its decks as a Super Robot wielding a massive blade tumbled from its surface, pursued in short order by two others - a smaller machine in the shape of a goat, accompanied by...

What appeared to be, to their alarm, a DAMON.

Fascinating... The Aristarch would be most pleased with this development.

Five wing-like shapes glid near silently in the distance as they observed the battle unfolding before them. The Opus reconnaissance units had started to become a more common sight across the Directory - but, seeing as they had yet to actively engage any targets, their presence had mostly been ignored. It was just as well - their purpose was not to provoke a counterattack, though that Lunarian had managed to detect them, they had since opted to dial back surveillance of the Kingdom until such a time they could more accurately analyze the sensor ranges on their machines.

Data.

Data was everything, and at that exact moment, a non-inconsequential amount of conflict was going on that they couldn't afford to ignore. Their engines came to life as they came in lower - still lingering just out of sight, but barely visible on the horizon for any who happened to chance a glance away from the action, and out to sea...
 
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MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#2
One of his swords was stuck in the bridge and he was hanging right above the ship's cannon. Had it not been for that third unit leaving to deal with his 'boss' the Thrudgelmir might have actually been in mild danger.
But now- Now it was just one machine and a damon.

And then she had the bright idea to say 'shoo' causing Roman to burst out laughing in his seat. This was going to be great.
Most structural damage had been restored, just a few licks of paint and he'd be good as new.

"How about you and your puppy over there find yourself a playground and go make sandcastles instead?" he replied to Minerva as the white mech kicked itself off of the wall, the drills upon its back spinning as it took off and moved out of the way of Cuddles' tentacles.

"Otherwise-" The second shoulder cover removed itself from Thrudgelmir's form, another hilt extending out of it. "You're in for a nasty surprise. ZANKANTOU!"
With that the second liquid metal blade fully extended, the ship cleaving sword would cut sideways over the cannon of the Great Axion, aiming to destroy the weapon's barrel in one swoop. The firing mechanism was too far back to meddle with right now, but he could prevent them from firing it until they did exterior repairs.

With the slash complete the Thrud turned to look at the opposition, hovering in place as it put the second blade over its shoulder. He wanted to see what she would try.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#3
As the Thrudgelmir's blade pierced the barrel it began to glow with a malign light, preparing a second shot even as it was damaged. The inside of the bridge was flashing red, alerts everywhere going off from the Thrudgelmir's attacks. But Dylan seemed unpertubed - even excited.

"Fire it again. We've only got one shot left, let's make it count."

"Five..."

Katri's voice came over the radio once more - tinged with fear. He'd gone nuts - had to be crazy to even consider firing it now.

"You can't be serious - that could rip the ship in half!"

"Four..."

"On my mark! Everyone brace, I have no idea what this will do to the ship!"

He didn't let the compaints stop him, quickly disabling what few safety systems existed on the cannon. They weren't going to get a second attempt, and the blade would break through any second.

"Three..."

"Are you insa-"

"Mark."


It went off half-cocked, a beam of teal energy tearing its way out of the cannon - and hitting a very solid obstruction. The beam didn't just split when it hit the sword - it detonated. Shockwaves spiralled out from the epicentre, utterly ruining the cannon as smaller beams spiralled out across the battlefield - some burning small holes in the Axion, while others hit the Thrudgelmir or spiral off into space.
 

Hitura Rael

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#4
The Caper grabbed the hilt of the discarded sword and pulled it free of the ship's hull. The Caper returned to the battle field, floating a good distance away from the Thrudgelmir. Honestly, she didn't care about the damn canon. It would hurt Dylan's pride to lose the thing. Besides. From the chatter going on over the comm links they were about to do something VERY stupid.

Cuddles produced a loud roar, then began to back away from the opponent. That's right, head down, defensive stance... good Cuddles. Minerva smiled, tilting her head slightly. "Oh I'm far too old for sand castles and playgrounds." And he was the one in for the nasty surprise. "Impressive sword. Are we compensating for something?" She hoped the opponent was old enough to actually get that. It was hard to tell sometimes. Some adults could be so... stupidly innocent.

The Caper canted it's head slightly to the side, watching the Thrud turn back toward her. "If your entire goal was to disable the canon, you could have said so. The people in the ship though..." She made sure her broadcast link to the ship was still off before proceeding, "They're mine. And I'm no where near ready to let them go yet." She grinned as Cuddles abandoned ship, dropping to the ground below. The Caper began to drift backwards, away from the ship, the Thrud's sword held over it's shoulder. She waited until the mark was called to drift back away from the massive metal tomb. "Though I think they're ready to let go of you."
 

MKR

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#5
Whoever was commandeering the cannon, if not the whole ship, was a damned madman. They could very well have torn their vessel in half with that maneuver. The spray of light went everywhere, small beams piercing his unit but failing to do any permanent damage. The beam colliding with the blade was very, very, good for him. It meant the center of the machine was unharmed and as such the cockpit remained perfectly fine. Smoke arose from where the thousands of tiny lasers had bored through his limbs, had that weapon fully charged it would have been a different tale, but the Thrudgelmir was still more than ready to take on the remaining opponent.

The blade itself however, had splattered all over the surrounding area. But that was easily fixed.
As Minerva spoke the half melted blade reformed itself, restoring its shape and sharpness both.
"Compensating?" he couldn't help but laugh at the taunt, it was low hanging fruit but a classic. The words she followed up with however, caught his attention.

"So I'm stepping into your hunting ground? Is that it?" Oh he liked this girl already. She seemed the type to have ten ways planned to kill everyone she knew. And a teenager with a pet dog that could achieve those ten ways, well. Were it not for the innovations of science and giant robots no one could stop her.
"I'll cut you a deal then because I like your style, we scuffle for a bit, I'll do some more structural damage to the ship. I end up back with my sword and back off after. Everyone inside'll be all yours."

The Thrudgelmir rose upwards, its damaged and battered frame becoming clearer as it left the smoke coming from the main gun. The explosion from the laser had done a number on its front, which had only barely repaired itself from the journey towards the ship. Nevertheless, that damage, and the damage of the laser itself, was already being worked on by nano machines attempting to repair all of it and return it to its pristine form.

Once the super robot had leveled with the Caper it would point the blade it held towards Minerva, a stance indicating a challenge.
"So, that or an all out fight where I don't care about collateral. What is it?" Roman asked her.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#6
"...I warned you. You nearly killed us all, and for what?"

Katri's voice came out with a start over the in-ship radio after the blast, but she wasn't shouting any more. After every other incident... this didn't come close to the last straw, but she'd given up on trying to get angry at him. Asking questions seemed more likely to get a response. Maybe it make him feel something - Anything - about what he'd just done.

"How are you going to deal with that machine now? How are you going to explain to the Director-"

Dylan simply held up a hand to stop her, his face twisting into a curious smile as he stared at one of the many screens on the bridge.

"...We're being watched."

He pushed a couple of buttons, bringing up one of the cameras on the port side of the ship and zooming it in. Every Opus might have drifting at a range normally invisible to the sensors of Directory carriers, but the Great Axion was not a follower of Directory standards on anything. Their presence as data blips was easy to miss however, and it had only been chance that the scientist had spotted them.

But now that he had, his interest was piqued. There'd been plenty of rumours around the 'Opus' mobile weapons, but no clear results from trying to attack them yet. And frankly - a bit of chaos might be just the thing to swing the battle in his favour.

"Five machines on the port flank. Give them a hello with the point defense lasers, but don't wipe them all out."

As the Great Axion's weapon batteries lit up once more, Katri asked him one last question.

"...Why?"

"For science, of course. Why else?"

On that note, the Axion fired. Three dozen laser beams aimed at the Opus units, some targeted at them directly while the rest scoured the terrain around them. Even if they didn't bother dodging only three would be directly hit. It was a provocation, not a broadside.
 

Hitura Rael

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#7
Minerva studied the man quietly for a moment. He seemed to get the idea quick enough. Though he overestimated the amount of prey within the ship. She liked most of the crew. Most. A few she would be very happy to feed to Cuddles, but the main targets... she was going to kill them slowly and painfully. Maybe find a way to convert the Damon control tech for humans and leave them completely conscious to be little puppets... She liked this man. He gave her such wonderful ideas.

The Axion's turrets humed to life, firing at something in the distance, Minerva didn't care to look at what they were shooting at. She rubbed the bridge of her nose and sighed, not bothering to hide that from the enemy pilot. "I'm pretty sure at this point you don't need to worry about causing more damage to the ship. Dylan's stupid enough to do it for you already."

The caper carefully bounced the sword over it's shoulder as Minnie thought, "How do I know I can trust you to keep your word?" She had trusted before, and she had been burned badly for it. Even so, the Caper charged at the Thrud, swinging it's own sword at the mech. It was a slow and heavy strike of someone not used to wielding such a weapon.
 

GEAR

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#8
The Opus wing dropped in altitude, photonic stabilizers whining as they scoped out the battlefield. The giant with the regenerating armor was of interest to them, as was the nature of the energy radiating from the Great Axion, and they drew just a little closer, attempting to get a better read-

A little too close.

Dylan's unprovoked volley scythed through the leadmost machine, DEI's potent laser battery tearing a blistering hole through its chassis before it detonated, sending emerald shrapnel in all directions. The remaining units banked hard, sensors reeling as green telltales across their surfaces turned to a bright red.

ALERT
RETALIATION DETECTED
REQUISITIONING REINFORCEMENT PHALANX
...
APPROVED
SPATIAL TRANSFER INITIATING

The space immediately behind the remaining Opus units began to contort, bending, warping in a fashion that would seem distinctly familiar to the scientists of the Dimensional Energy Institute - yet at the same time, so much more refined than what they had so far only managed to roughly reproduce. Sky and clouds disappeared into a blender of colors, which eventually knotted itself into vaguely humanoid shapes - so vast that they seemed to almost block out the sun.

A pair of hulking, colossal figures - easily over fifty meters tall each - dropped from the sky, their blocky features slamming into the earth below. Bright green visors gleamed to life, sloped armor plates grinding together as one rose to its feet, its companion floating up beside it on a pulse of glowing energy, skirt armor adjusting as its "leg" like landing gear folded into place. Their make was unlike anything ever seen before by any - neither the Directory, nor the Colonies, or even the Lunarians seemed to have any influence at all in their utilitarian, purpose-driven, almost golem-like features - yet their scale indicated they were meant for nothing less than complete and absolute destruction.

As the reinforcements came online, the Opus units were seemingly through with being regarded as target practice. The remaining four units opened fire on not only the Great Axion Class, but also Roman, Cuddles, and Minerva in a cascade of fire from their hull-mounted beam cannons, their side-mounted plasma guns spitting death as they accelerated, the ordinarily dormant observers now revealing their true colors:

Attack drones - but from where?

Neutral Reinforcements:
Reus
Stoma
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#9
Roman was ready to protect himself against his own weapon, but something caught both his and seemingly the girl's attention.
"You weren't kidding when you said he was stupid enough." Roman sighed as the hail of fire began. It also didn't seem like whoever were observing them prior cared much about who did and did not attack them.
"As for how you can trust me. Call it enemy of my enemy if you want, and I'll help you deal with the back up over there instead of simply abandoning your big metal lunch box over there. So I'll tackle the two big guys as long as you and the idiot commandeering that thing handle the small fry. Oh yeah, and throw that sword forwards. I'll catch it."

With that the Thrudgelmir lowered itself slightly to become level with the two mysterious skirted units. Their designs didn't ring any bells with him, an issue and a blessing both. He didn't know what they were capable of, but at the same time also were unlikely to be tied to anything back home. Still. How different to anything else they were was notable, these guys had a tech advantage on everyone else. Which meant, finding out who and what he was dealing with was of great import.

He switched to external comms.
"So you two seem to be a bit above the curve." As he spoke the Thrudgelmir shifted its grip on its single blade, taking it in both hands. "But what you got in tech you completely lack in manners."
The liquid metal of the blade became looser, extending and losing its one solid shape in trade for what seemed like a weapon made out of pure light, fluctuating and dragging after itself. As the drills on the unit's back activated in full the Thrudgelmir began speeding towards these new foes.


"So here's a lesson on why you don't cut into someone's fight. My welcoming gift-" With them in range now the large mech slowed down drastically, using its momentum to drag the blade in a horizontal motion.
"Taste this! Zankantou!"

It was like a shockwave had come to bear onto the horizon, aiming to tear the intruders apart with its sheer power. As the blade was dragged horizontally the light that came out of it followed like a tsunami without warning. Had this been aimed at the ground surely the environment would have been dragged asunder. But here, in the air, there was no resistance, no rocks in the way to take even a little of the force of the blow.

The Thrudgelmir, having come to a complete stop, observed the aftermath. Smoke it had made clearing slowly from the area as destruction was to be revealed. The blade it held, now in one hand once more gradually receded back into its normal form. Against any normal tech that would have wiped them off the face of the earth, but against someone with tech this advanced. Roman remained on guard. Ready to defend himself should one of the colossi have survived.

"Tech advantage or not, this blade can still cut you."
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#10
Dylan let out a short clap as the new units arrived, not even caring that he was being shot at.

"Wonderful! I think I've created enough of a mess at this point to save the tower. And if not... well, the data was more than worth it. Tell the engineers to divert some of our surplus power to the engines, and prepare our forces for withdrawal. Let the Terrorists fight the observers."

"Good luck with that. They shot out most of our engines - we're not going anywhere. You're lucky this ship is even still flying."

Dylan's smile abruptly vanished, and he pulled up a series of readings. Thanks to the actions of a certain elemental, the ship wasn't going anywhere. What few engines they had were dedicated to keeping the ship floating in one place, and repairs would take... longer than they had available to them right now.

"Wasn't Anya supposed to be handling that?"

"She was. Otherwise we'd have fallen out of the sky."

A long sigh came over their channel before he responded.

"Fine. Return fire, but prepare the escape pods. I've learned too much to die here."

Batteries of laser cannons erupted into life once more, focusing on the interlopers as they tried to cut down on any space for the smaller units to maneuver. A few struck the Thrudgelmir in the back as well, but it wasn't the main enemy any more.
 

Hitura Rael

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#11
The Caper halted in it's advance as shots rained down into the battlefield. Minerva's eye twitched as she glared hard at the monitors, spreading the palpable malice between the interlopers and Dylan. Though, Dylan may have gotten MOST of that hate. "He can't even remember the name of ONE pilot and he has the highest kill count in the goddamned Institute because of his stupidity." She growled to Roman. It was a bit of venting, but likely not an exaggeration as far as she knew. The man just had no care for anything! If the rest of the crew wasn't in the bridge she'd have turned and rammed the Caper's spear through the damn ship already.

She had no intention to let him take these two on alone, but she did not totally ignore his suggestion though. "Cuddles," She said in a sickly sweet sing song tone, "Sick 'em." The DAMON unleashed a howling roar and charged for the four units, waving through the fire to get in range. The DAMON adjusted it's body, using the momentum to skid itself around and fling another tail bomb at the drones.

"If you want me to be honest I trust you a LOT more than I trust that pea-brained sociopathic maniacal sorry excuse for cognitive ejaculate." The Caper fell back, giving the Thrudgelmir all the room it needed to unleash the Zakantou. When it's work was done and the attention freed, the caper tossed the blade to him, the demonic looking mech hovering in place for the dust to settle. She wasn't about to leave him exposed if the two machines survived that onslaught. Minerva shot another glare at the ship, "If the bridge clears out with just him on it... Feel free to kill him. Most of the crew is just... What is a euphemism... in a strangle hold by the balls?"




Vertalis' attention was taken off of the Caper when Dylan began to clap. What had the man done no- oh. Oh no. He rubbed his face vigorously and pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment. "No offense Dylan, but I think we should hire a ship captain so you can focus on your observations rather than attempt to divert your attention both ways like this. We're lucky we're not dead yet." Vertalis shook his head at the man and turned. "Be sure to issue the order to all pilots. Don't dawdle Dylan, we need to get out of the line of fire. Does it have autopilot? We could try to use it as a nice bomb on the terrorists as they deal with those machines you prompted out."
 
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GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#12
Cuddles tail bomb flew straight and true - the lead Opus unit banked to avoid the thrown projectile, only for the centipede-like organ to boomerang back around, its teeth latching onto the rear engines of the unit before detonating, the explosion swallowing not only its intended target, but - thanks to the skilled gunnery of DEI's AI-driven batteries - also sending its immediate neighbor into a tailspin before crashing into the ocean below.

The remaining two reoriented themselves towards the DAMON currently charging their ranks, wing-mounted plasma blasters blazing to life as they sent a hail of gunfire towards the creature, already starting to angle their descent to bring the more devastating cannons to bear.

As the Thrudgelmir charged, at least one of the colossi seemed to recognize the imminent danger. The skirted unit's thrusters flared, carrying it up into the air as its companion shifted focus, twin gatling cannons coming to bear on the approaching Super Robot-

All for naught.

With a howl of screaming steel, the Zankantou tore clean through the Reus' chest, sending thunderous blasts of plasma crackling across the ocean front. The Proton Generator on its back glowed bright-

A massive explosion erupted from the heart of the machine, a wave of force and light that sent water crashing against the island's coast, as the Reus was completely disintegrated by the runaway power containing in its own generator.

Yet, the danger wasn't through just yet.

From the pillar of steam and water left from the titan's destruction, the second burst forth. From its knees, a pair of axes were torn loose before being combined in its grasp, whirling to form...

A gigantic, crackling plasma blade, one not unlike that grasped by the machine that had devastated its brother unit. The Plasma Blaster Sword was brandished in a challenge, the Stoma bringing it crashing down towards the Thrudgelmir in an overhead slice, its mechanical eyes gleaming with purpose.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#13
Roman grumbled as the DEI ship shot at his back, switching his comms to public for a moment.
"Hey, pointdexter. If even one of your brain cells hasn't been shriveled and you care for the people on that ship at all you're going to not aim those BB pellets at me anymore. Because otherwise I'm just going to turn this right around and fill in for the big guy who I just took care of for you. Understood?"

Scientists, they were smart if they weren't busy being absolutely stupid. And it seemed from both his earlier interaction and this that the man in charge of that ship was busy with being stupid. A lot.
For the time being his focus needed to be elsewhere though, as there was another of the two big mechas still about.

Just as he returned his focus to the actual battle the second of the two giant mecha come down upon him, Dylan's little distraction had nearly turned very, very bad. Still, Roman quickly needed to catch the attack as he would very much not like a taste of his own medicine right about now. As such the Zankantou was held above him, clashing with the gigantic plasma blade that was being brought down on him. The ground cracked underneath him as the force pushed the Thrudgelmir down, already damaged joints creaking as the cells were working on repairs that were immediately damaged once more by the force of the impact.
A stalemate for now, but with the additional downwards force the Reus was poised to win this match of blades.

Were it not, for a certain girl giving back what she borrowed.

Still having one free arm the white mech reached backwards, catching the second of the two blades. Now it was two to one swords. With a sideways motion the Thrudgelmir would try to put the blade right in the side of the Reus, a motion and execution very, very, reminiscent of shanking someone. Except now it was with a giant robot, and an even bigger sword.

After all if this thing had two axe things that combined into a sword, Roman was just going to use two swords. He wasn't about to let some weird intruder one up him after all.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#14
"I was not informed of any cessation of hostilities - and you've been busy ripping holes in my ship until a moment ago."

Dylan answered Roman's 'request' with his usual smug tone of voice, but there was a frayed edge to it for once. Too many things had gone wrong today. A better man would have risen above the challenges, and a saner man would have fled by now. (Un)forutnately Dylan was neither.

"Fine. We can have a temporary ceasfire while the subjects are dealt with. After that-"

He was rudely interrupted by a beeping alarm on the Axion's bridge, signalling the Riot's approach and vector. It was charing in with killing intent, the red mist trailing behind it giving the impression of an avenging angel.

"Oh, goddamnit. Can we deal with this in a moment? I've got to discipline an employee."

Roman would have his connection abruptly cut, replaced with some flavour of canned elevator music.Dylan let out a sigh, reaching out across his control panel to a button labelled 'Scorpion Failsafe'. The metaphorical trigger was pulled without hesitation, a signal sent out to Ashley's machine to foribly decouple the sphere - and shock the pilot into unconsciousness. Last time it had incapacitated them both without issue. Presumably this time it would do the same. Dylan took a deep breath, shaking his head and turning to the doctor at his side.

"Vertalis, I can multitask just fine. And we've got the spare captain around for if I'm really busy. If you really want to leave you can, but we're safest right here. Besides, we'll need to retrieve the Sphere. Can you imagine what those terrorists would do if they got their hands on it? They might even destroy it!"



Ashley's Sphere was ejected once more, the Riot S beginning to fall to earth as its power source was violently removed. But this time the shell refused to fall - floating in midair in an abrupt rejection of the laws of physics. It slowly began to unfurl, revealing a tail with a shining green tip.

"Did you really think..."

It lashed out, striking the Riot in the head and ripping through the armour like it was nothing.

"That would work?"


An Ares raised its head, staring directly at the bridge of the Resolution. One hand was raised, the beam saber igniting once more with a flash of green light before beginning to distort. The energy weapon was soon replaced by a solid metal blade, audibly humming with dimensional energy. Ashley simpled willed the blade forward, her machine performing a lazy thrust as the blade grew... and grew... and grew...

Unless stopped within the next few seconds it would rip into the bridge of the Great Axion, the lance of dimensional power aimed directly for the command chair.
 

Hitura Rael

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#15
Minerva was more than happy to stand back and let Roman and Cuddles deal with all that. It was illogical to throw the Caper at these things if they had it handled. She took the opportunity to scope out the rest of the field. She WAS supposed to be guarding the ship after all. She frowned, noting the lack of Anna and Eliza. Where had they gotten off to? No remains of the Lemures on the field... That was a good sign at least. And there was Ashley.... Oh crap. The Caper abandoned the battlefield, heading to intercept the Riot, "Don't you die, I'll be right back. And don't hurt cuddles!" She warned Roman sternly. She would not forgive him no matter what if he hurt Cuddles.




Vertalis sighed. "What I mean is... If you let the captain manage operations of the battle, you can focus all your attention and genius on the battlefield and direct units or focus studies-" Vertalis cut off as the alarm signaled the approach of the Riot. "Cuddles and Minerva can recover it-" Again, his voice trailed off. The failsafe had just failed. And now his daughter was putting herself between the bridge and the berserk pilot!

"Minerva, return to the battlefield, Cuddles, Override sequence, intercept the Riot!"

No response from Minerva.


OVERRIDE FAILED... SYSTEM LOCKOUT INITIATED...
"Oh no..."




The Caper leveled with the bridge, putting Minerva right between the Riot and the bridge. The wings spread wide, blood red light twisting along the black surface, extending past the confines into the open air. The runes rotated in front of the Chaos Caper, forming the semblance of a gate momentarily before drawing in to each other and into the mech's hands, coalescing into a massive spear of black and red light. The Caper calmly swung, bringing the weapon to bear against the lance of energy.

The calculated risk was great, but it was worth it. It wasn't enough to negate the assault, but it was just enough to redirect the attack, shattering the energy spear into motes of black and red light. Minerva left the comm link open to Roman, but other than that, only opened to Ashley.

"If I am correct, I have your attention now." Minerva's voice was calm and cold, like the disturbing time she and Ashley had discussed Minerva's father. "Think on this Ashley, Do you really want to do this now? Do you REALLY want to kill him like taking a beam cannon to a fly? Or would you prefer to do it up close, personal. Make him suffer Ashley, Redirect that anger to that interloper," The Caper motioned to the remaining machine that had appeared to assail her and Roman, "Or don't. Kill Dylan if you want. But is it worth that risk right now? You'd lance through the whole ship, not just the bridge. He's an insect to you right now, tiny... fragile... You could simply reach in and pluck him out. Who could stop you? Who would stop you? Just don't endanger our way home further. After all, Nice as my opponent is... I don't think he's inclined to take us with him. Or his companions. If they even let us live."