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Long Distance Shooting
Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:24pm

For the second time in an hour, Demios's awareness came back from blackness. He was pleased, however, that this time he had eyes to open and within a few milliseconds he confirmed he was back in his own body again. Finally! he thought to himself before his full auto-senses sync'd back up. Unfortunately, it was a far more perilous point at which he awoke to his own conciousness.

"Shit!" He yelled, flipping over to see the sands of the desert rushing at him. Of course, switching back into his original body some hundreds of meters into the air left him falling straight for the ground. Beside him, he could see the Mars nose-diving for the ground, the blink of lights on the control panel indicative of it's restart.

Forming a buster cannon, he fired several shots into the air, using the kickback to propel him towards the LandChaser. Warning. Two hundred meters till impact. Warned his senses as he grabbed the handlebars of the Mars and twisted the machine so that it was underneath him.

"Rrrgh!" He pulled with his full weight, fighting against aerodynamics and the LandChaser's weight to aim the massive thrusters back towards the ground. A few more blinks and a green screen alerted him that the Mars had booted up and was ready to roll. The engine, of course, was cold and with a snap, he could feel the Aeroshell popup around him. This would be close.

With a wrench, Demios opened the throttle fully and behind him, he could hear the whine and roar as the thruster went from zero thrust to one hundred percent thrust in a few moments. With a mental command, Demios modified the Aeroshell shape to be that of a pair of wings. This normally would be a huge drain on any CPU as hand-modifying an aero-shell program was not a simple thing to do, yet the Adaptive Matrix quickly stepped in to handle it.

With the sudden aerodynamic shift and new thrust, the Mars shot off away from the Stomping Grounds yet the dive continued. Warning. One hundred meters till impact. "C'mon, you beautiful machine..." Demios muttered, holding on for dear-life as the machine neared the sands.

As the sands rapidly approached, Demios realized that he wasn't going to make it entirely. Gritting his teeth, the Mars impacted the sands going much faster horizontally than it did vertically. The LandChaser bucked violently as it bounced off the sands, then bounced again before it began skidding. Demios cut the thrust after the first bounce and the sand began to splatter against him. He knew the Mars was tough and it would probably manage to avoid major damages.

After a few seconds, the machine finally stopped a long trench buried where the Chaser and its pilot had skidded. "...Whew..." Demios finally let out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding.


Aurora blinked, watching the goings on and the approaching tanks with a mix of fear, curiousity and anxiety. What was going on? How could she help?

She had been unaffected by the body swap, much to the chargin of Trapper who had woken up in her father's body not thirty minutes earlier. After initially trying to get Aurora to go with him, Trapper had decided to head for the Bar to create whatever mischief he could while he could blame it on Demios. Aurora's adaptive matrix and ether drive had protected her from the spell, creating a defensive spell to counter it in as many seconds as it took to wash over the barracks.

Now, finally having emerged from the barracks she saw the mercenaries forming ragged battle-lines and the massive tanks roaring towards them unleashing their high-caliber fury. Armed with only her magi-link sabers, she had no idea how to help. And where was Demios now?

"Aren't you Demios's work?" Came a voice behind Aurora and she turned to see a short, blonde reploid in gray armor.

A quick scan of the data that Demios had preloaded into her archive revealed some basic information. "You're Vier, right? My father's old partner?" Aurora asked.

"That's right. C'mon. I was going to borrow something of your old man's anyway." She said, a eager grin on her face before grabbing the younger replod and dragging her towards the hanger bay.


Once the Grenadier had finished thanking luck, gods and anything else he could think of, that he hadn't splattered across the sands, he took inventory of the situation. He'd ended about a two miles or so perpendicular to the attack of what appeared to be several Duncadian tanks. "What the hell..." He thought to himself.

Behind him, the Mars was performing a self diagnostic, prepping itself to be airborne again which left Demios with only a few options about how to contribute to the battle. Luckily, he was more than effective at this range. His optical sensors tightened up, giving him a magnified view of the battle. Several of the Freelancer's LandChasers were heading towards the tanks and the two, smaller Dragon tanks were closing rapidly on top of the Stomping Grounds. If they got much closer, they'd be able to start directly firing on the Freelancers rather than simply bombarding them from a distance.

"Let's take care of that." Demios said to himself, digging his heels into the sand. A few clicks would be heard as his shoulder cannon deployed, the cannon entering his line of sight and aiming directly for the rearward of the two dragon tanks, which was farther from the approaching chasers. With another click, a laser focusing array deployed prepping Demios's most powerful weapon: The Plasma Laser.

His dualphase reactor emptied its entire plasma manifold into the cannon relays. The warm hum of the cannon relays told him he had a full charge ready for the laser. His targetting was sound, his weapon primed and with a final check, he fired.

The beam of white lanced from the tip of his cannon, so brilliant it eclipsed the sun. It covered the distance in the same time it took for light to fill a room when you flicked on the switch and it easily pierced the Dragon tank, errupting from the farside of the tank with plumes of fire and smoke. Demios maintained the beam for only a short second, yet his targetting program allowed him to twist and turn the beam so that it cut through the tank's main engines, control center and main ammo storage. As quickly as it appeared, the beam disappeared and moments later the once proud battle tank erupted in a brilliant fiery explosion.

Momentarily drained from the plasma expenditure, Demios panted. A few minutes and his reactor would be ready to fire again. "Next, the big one..."


Inside the Behemoth, a lanky reploid slowly took another drag on a cigarette. It wasn't the most glamorous job he'd ever taken but Scope didn't complain. Hanging out in a duncadian battle tank while a group of lunatics had fun firing their big guns had hardly been a terrible drain on his efforts or energy. Of course, it was boring.

Atleast it was until the first tank exploded.

"WHAT IN THE NAME OF FLAME BROILED PERFECTION WAS THAT?!" Roared his employer to no one in particular.

"I'll go check it out." Scope volunteered quickly and without waiting to see what the other man said, he blinked out of existence.

He reappeared on top of the Behemoth battle tank, in one of the observation decks/gun nests. He quickly retrieved his teleport beacon and returned it to his belt. It slipped easily into what looked like a sniper's bullet designed specifically to hold them.

The wreckage of the tank still burned as the remaining ammo and fuel were consumed by the fire. A quick glance gave him plenty of information. His optical sensors easily tracked the ionized air and he turned perpendicular to the tank's path to see a green spec in the distance. "Mighty big gun that one must have." He said in a faint drawl. Moments later, a particularly large sniper's rifle appeared in his hands.

First, an escape route. He told himself. He quickly chambered one of the special rounds with his teleport beacons and fired blindly back behind the Tank's path. The beacon embedded itself in the sand, sending telemetry data back to Scope, giving him a clean escape route if that big-gun turned back on the tank he was riding.

Next, let's see if I can silence that one. He set the gun on the edge of the nest and looked down the scope. A few moments of fiddling with the magnification, he clearly could see his target: A large green Reploid, panting heavily with a cocky grin on his face. He looked particularly well armored and the shoulder cannon he sported was the only obvious weapon. Quite a punch for the size of the package. He thought to himself before he seemingly pulled a massive bullet from thin air, Turbo-penetrator round oughta do.

He chambered the massive round and fiddled with the magnification again. A two mile shot from the top of a rolling, firing behemoth of a tank. Not the easiest shot in the world but atleast his target didn't have any cover. He lined up center mass and waited for the tank's guns to fire. While they were reloading, he stilled his body and squeezed the trigger.


"That ought to do it." Demios said to himself, his reactor built back up a charge. Demios shifted slightly, turning his aim for the larger battle tank when something reached out and cut into the Grenadier.

The attack caught him in the shoulder, easily and surprisingly cutting through his armor. It barely missed the servos that controlled his right arm, continued on to punch through the armor on the back of his shoulder, then carried into the backpack unit with enough force to shatter the conecttor to his shoulder cannon. The barrle of the weapon shot off under the force of the attack, spiraling into the dirt and Demios reflexively hit the deck. Sniper?! At this range?!


"Damn." Scope muttered, "Just had to move at the last second, didn't you?"


With his right arm injured and his shoulder cannon literally shot off, Demios knew his only option was to get on the Mars and make himself as difficult a target as possible. He didn't have anywhere to stow the remains of his shoulder cannon, he'd have to abandon it. A few moments later, he leapt on to the LandChaser and shot off, weaving a random path back towards the battle, intent on using his other weapons to assist at this point.


"Here it is. I knew it would be in here somewhere." Vier said, opening the hatch on the heavily armored APC. The rear hatch descended on pneumatic lifts to admit entrance. "You drive." She said to her lavendar colored cohort.

"Me? I've never driven an APC before." She said, somewhat alarmed.

"Demios told me what's inside'a you. You'll take to it like water, trust me." Vier climbed into the back before recalling The Armory. She began pulling pieces out, prepping what looked like an enormous bazooka. "C'mon! What're you waiting on?!"

Aurora, reluctantly, climbed into the cockpit of the tank and sat down at the controls. "How am I supposed to drive this thing?" She thought to herself. Just as soon as she laid her hands on the controls though, she thought she had them figured out. Without ever having even seen the machine before, she flipped a few switches and started the roaring engine. Between the data that Demios had pre-loaded about the machine and her adaptive matrix quickly creating an abstraction layer for her, she knew Vier was right.

Hopefully she wouldn't end up getting them both killed. She looked to the side, a little bit of her ether drive spinning up to flick several switches at once with telekinetic power. The ramp on the tank closed, the roof hatch popped so that Vier could egress to fire and the rapid-firing assault cannons on top were fed target data and set into automatic mode.

"Here we go." She said as she cranked back the throttle and sent the treads spinning. Behind her, Vier let out a whoop of sadistic glee.

"Gonna blow up stuff today!"

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