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Axel
The roof, the roof, the roof blow'd the fuck up.
Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:38pm
98.125.78.8 (XFF: 70.192.119.56)

Out of options and nearly out of time, the two halves of HONN leaped off the rooftops on opposite sides of the street, seconds before the self-destruct charges detonated and sent a storm of fire and debris high into the sky. The rooftops funneled the blast more or less straight up though, sparing HONN the hit.

But there was that slight problem of the ground rushing up to meet him, however. The twin HONNs fell apart in mid-air, the cockroaches rushing out linking end to end, finally connecting in the middle of the street about 30 feet up. Now encompassing an area about 20 square feet and one cockroach thick, the HONN-parachute's terminal velocity was significantly lower. He floated gracefully to the ground, carpeting an area of demolished cars and bodies, then retracted in on a central location to reform.

***

Shinsei was on her knees, arms tucked in tightly, trembling as her reserves neared their end. Eyes clamped tightly shut and blood trickling out of her nose, it would be only a matter of seconds before she lapsed into unconsciousness. And then, into death, as tons of steel and concrete would come raining down on her. Axel likewise had little left to give, as his core servos and ferro-fibrous musculature had nearly drained his capacitor of all working energy from the extended effort of supporting half the building's weight.

Liska had long since been rendered unconscious from the repeated blunt-force trauma, and was now merely an instrument of the Holstier soldier's wrath as she was slammed into various objects again and again. One arm was bent at a weird angle, and several plates of armor had been shorn off entirely.

"What can I do to help?" a voice from an invisible figure whispered in Axel's ear. He barely recognized it through the haze of a low-power system, but through the agony of a body nearly destroyed Axel was able to hiss a reply.

"S.stasis..shield... Ver..ti... I-Beam..." That was all the Russian could get out, but the invisible HONN was about as brilliant as they came, and was able to piece together the logic in less than a second.

Working his way between Axel and the severed I-beam, HONN lifted the lever which strapped the Stasis Shield to Axel's left arm and removed it. He inserted the field emitter in the gap in the I-beam, but hesitated a moment before pressing the switch.

"You know your hands are directly in the way?" Honn asked simply, and Axel replied with a tense nod. The Stasis Shield winked into existence, the top and bottom edges cutting cleanly into the I-Beam and locking them in a zone of null-time. Solid objects cannot move without the existence of time, and thus the Stasis Shield had effectively repaired the I-Beam for the battery's ten-minute duration.

Unfortunately for the Russian, his fingers were also in the Shield's field, and were sliced cleanly off of his hands. He cried out briefly in pain as his digits were removed, tucking his arms in tight and bearing the rest of the agony with resolute stoicism. Shinsei immediately allowed herself to collapse as the weight of the building was lifted from her shoulders, the forcefield dissipating into nothingness.

"Can you fight?" the invisible HONN asked, his precise position impossible to identify.

"I can form a cannon without my hands, yeah," Axel said in a strained voice. "Can you hide Shinsei until she wa--"

Even as he was speaking, an invisible blanket draped over Shinsei, the active camo making it appear as if it was merely an empty patch of sidewalk. Nodding in satisfaction, Axel shifted both of his useless hands into arm cannons, turning his attention on the Holstier solider who was about ready to finish Liska off.

"Hey!! Na kaleni, dolboeb!1" Axel barked, drawing the soldier's attention. Grinning, the soldier held Liska's inert, broken form up in front of him as a shield.

"Ah-ah-ah, you wouldn't want to finish her off by mistake, would you?" the soldier taunted.

"You have no idea who you're dealing with, do you?" Axel asked simply, and fired a shot wide to the left. The soldier watched the apparent epic miss with genuine amusement, but his disdain turned to horror as the shot arced back around quickly.

"Nooo!!" the soldier protested, attempting to bring Liska's body in line to block the shot, but to no avail. The Search Cannon round struck the solder in the ribs even as he was turning, sending him spinning away. Liska went flying, then crumpled to the ground with a reflexive groan.

Axel's right arm came up, blasting a half-charged shot at the Holstier soldier, then another from his left arm in rapid succession. Already damaged from some previous skirmish, the Holstier soldier's core ruptured under that last impact, bleeding out the remainder of his working energy in a jet of bluish light. The Reploid's irises dilated as his power ran out, then he collapsed to the ground like a broken appliance, an anticlimactic dull metallic clunk heralding the end of his existence.

It was only then that the Russian became aware that although he could distinctly hear the sounds of fighting, there were no enemies in the immediate vicinity. Glancing around rapidly to confirm his suspicion, he quickly realized why no one had answered his previous distress call earlier.

"Shit," he cursed, sounding more annoyed than anything. The pain in his hands had faded somewhat, and he had problems of his own to deal with. Liska was nearly destroyed, and Shinsei was unconsious for God knows how long. The sounds of fighting actually struck Axel as a blessing, for it indicated that the other Freelancers were at least still capable of combat, and thus better off than the two near him.

"Oh, hi," a youthful voice spoke up, drawing Axel's attention. Pawn had come around the corner, and was making his way over to the group, deftly skipping over and around the bodies. "I heard your message--everything okay?"

Axel facepalmed his tinted blast visor. "You halyavshchik2, where the hell were....oh nevermind. Defend this position until Shinsei regains consciousness. Oh, and that--" Axel pointed a cannon at the Stasis Shield, still supporting the I-beam. "If it starts beeping in about..oh nine minutes or so, broadcast that on the universal distress frequency."

"But won't the enemy hear that as well?" Pawn asked, cocking his head slightly.

"Probably. But if the shield beeps the low-power warning, enemy eavesdropping will be the least of my worries, Chuvak3," Axel said, then darted into the casino to aid the evacuation effort.




1: "Hey!! On your knees, fuckhead."
2: lazy person
3: kiddo/buddy

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