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Zeo Grey
Last Call
Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:23pm
174.18.7.32 (XFF: 70.192.119.56)

NRP: I dunno about the rest of you but I'm ready for LJB's mission...So with that in mind I'm ending this.

RP: Pawn nervously glanced back at the comatose form of Shinsei then into the haze of smoke and mortar dust that blanketed the bottom floor of the Troy. Through it he could hear the clamor of battle. Mega Busters whined and boomed, beam sabers hissed like serpents as they sizzled through flesh and above it all the dead and dying screamed. The mass-produced reploid felt the old mixture of fear and adrenaline pulse through his body. It reminded him of the old days, the days he had fought on the front lines of the endless war between Hunters and Mavericks.

The haze swirled suddenly and Pawn formed his buster. Black-clad forms pushed through the mist, their weapons at the ready. He had seen Maverick commandoes once and these men moved like them. No hoarse shouts. They moved in silence, like hunting wolves.

Crouching the blue-armored reploid pulled grenades from his pouches and rolled them over the debris-strewn floor. Then he formed his plasma buster and waited.

The black-armored reploids seemed about to fall for the trap until the lead unit held a hand up and crouched. Even before he saw the reploid lift one of his barrel-shaped grenades Pawn knew he was made. With a thought he activated the bombs. Sharp blue explosions rippled across the front line of the approaching troopers sending several to the ground in jittering piles as the stun-charges rippled across their bodies in crackling arcs of blue electricity.

Those behind them surged forward plasma busters blazing.

Pawn opened fire as well. Not a bad last stand.

***

Shade’s grimace was hidden beneath his helm as he hacked his way through Holstier’s mercenary reploids, black beam sabers whirling dervishes of death. Ahead of him he could see Zeo. The reploid’s gray armor was painted red with blood, most of it not his own. Yet even as Shade watched an enemy reploid slid in behind the berserker and slashed his blade deep into his side.

Zeo didn’t even hesitate. The Omnium katana whirled in a silver sheen and slid easily through the reploid’s chest armor. Several hand-spans of steel burst from the reploid’s back and he dropped slowly to the ground, the blade still buried in him.

“Zeo!” Shade roared. The sword!” The katana was composed of pure Omnium, one of the rarest metals in the world, legendary for its nearly unbreakable nature. The Omnium composing the katana had been sharpened to a micron’s edge. In short, it was one of the most expensive and perfectly crafted weapons in the Free Zone. And Zeo had left it behind without a second thought.

The black-armored reploid surged forward, sheathing a blade and thrusting his empty hand forward. The magnetic grappler shot from the underside of his gauntlet and clanged solidly against the hilt of the katana. Jerking back he activated the retracting motors of the line. The katana ripped free from the corpse and slashed through the air like a lightning bolt to land with a satisfying thunk in the mercenary’s hand.

Armed with the fabulous weapon once more Shade’s good humor was restored. It lasted only a second.

This is Pawn. The pillar is under at-“ Shade’s COMM squawked and the signal faded into static.

“Dammit.” Shade absently slit a reploid’s throat with a swift strike and, with a final backwards glance at Zeo, charged towards the Troy. The pillar was everything now.

***

Arin cocked his head to the side as the few remaining cameras on the lower floors showed him the dire situation only a floor below him. The young woman in his arms sensed his suddenly divided attention.

“What is it?” She asked, nervously twisting a lock of her platinum blonde hair.

The teal-haired ninja shook his head. “I’ve got somewhere t’be love. Ye’ll have ter excuse me.”

Cylecks looked up. “What’re you talking about? We’ve got to get these civilians out.”

“Aye.” Arin agreed. “But if th’ whole bloody floor crashes down what’ll be the point eh?”

Wouldn’t worry so much about that.

“What’re you sayin’ Jarvis?” Arin replied.

This is the Troy boy. You really think we’d have designed this so a single I-Beam is the only thing keeping the place from falling down?

“Well whatever you’re planning I’d suggest ye do it now before th’ whole damned pile comes crumblin’ down.”

Already on it.

***

Pawn bit back a scream as a plasma bullet grazed his side with a flash of pain and spurt of blood. Switching his aim Pawn blasted the shooter in the chest. Behind him the stasis shield still shimmered with unconscious Shinsei at the base of the I-Beam.

***

“Axel!” The big Russian turned at the sound of his name. Shade pointed behind him. “You’ve been flanked. Pillar’s under attack!”

“I know!” Axel replied. “Trying to fight my way back in!” A prospect he had found increasingly difficult as precious fluids dripped from his mutilated hand. Transforming one hand into the Axel Striker had halved the flow of blood but it was still prodigious.

***

Holstier snarled a curse under his breath as he surveyed the battle. It was not going in his favor.

“Grace. If they don’t break I’m calling this off.”

His second blinked. “What?”

“It ain’t worth it. These Freelance guys. They’re too damn much. We’re under prepared.”

Grace sighed and nodded, checking her tablet’s display. Unlike many of the mercenary companies, Holstier kept his men bound by the strictest military codes and supplied them with top quality gear through several investments that had achieved lucrative pay offs. As such each reploid’s armor was tied to a tactical display viewable by the commanding officer via HUD or, as in Grace’s case, a tablet computer.

“So it seems.” She admitted.

“Then sound the round up and lets get the hell out of here.”

“Mario won’t be happy.”

“We’ll burn that bridge when we get there.” Holstier replied with a shrug. “Frankly this job’s costing more than we’re making.”

***

Across the battlefield that was the Troy and the street in front of it black armored mercenaries began to fight a retreating battle, heading back to their transports.

Pawn breathed a sigh of relief. Arin, Axel, Shade, and Cylecks had appeared in the nick of time, saving him from a gruesome death. Still, even with their veteran assistance it had been a close thing.

***

“Get ready Arin.” Walther Jarvis muttered as he signaled a techie. The uniformed man nodded and activated a system that had never been used beyond its initial testing.

***

“Uh…what’s going on?” Pawn asked.

Cylecks pulled his saber free. He remembered that Arin had begun this confrontation as an enemy.

Arin held his hands up, a cocky grin plastered across his face. “A little faith boyo. This’s th’ answer t’me prayers…I hope.”

“You’n’me both.” Shade muttered.

Large sections of tile slid away around the devastated ball room and emitters slid into place. Axel watched, fascinated despite his pain. Brilliant blue beams shot forth from the emitters and splashed against the ceiling above, covering it in a blue energy shield that slowly solidified. A subtle groan heralded the weight of the ceiling settling against the new barrier.

“I think y’can turn that thinger off.” Arin said, pointing to the Stasis Shield, still shimmering over the I-Beam.

HONN, who had done his fair part during the melee, swarmed into a bipedal shape and delicately switched the shield off then pulled it from the over-stressed I-Beam then looked up at the ceiling.

Nothing moved.

***

Zeo let out a sigh as he slumped back against an overturned hover car. Sheathing his beam saber the berserker rummaged through a pouch and pulled a cigar from its depth. Turning he wrenched a piece of cherry-red metal from the car and, ignoring the way it sizzled against his armored glove, lit his cigar. Inhaling he dropped the metal and stared out over the battlefield.

“Hell of a Beer Run.”

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