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Friv
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Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Forty-One: Deathmatch

13 Nov 2008, 01:24

As energy raced across Hath’s core, Kieran’s eyes widened. “He’s Weaving something. We need a clear shot!”

“Not a problem.” Grabbing the door he had knocked down a moment before, Tenrek let out a grunt of effort. With a tremendous heave, he sent a hundred pounds of stone arcing through the air towards the smoke-filled gap in front of them, trails of golden Essence in its wake. For a moment, the smoke flew aside as the stone flew forwards – revealing thousands of flashing shurikens flying around a forcefield-shielded pillar, whose wiring extended in all directions from Hath. Shards of stone flew in all directions, sliced into fragments by the whirling barrier of blades, and failing to so much as strike home. Hath laughed hollowly.

“Is that your best attempt? I am shielded by my own Charms and by the Great Maker’s Defense Array! Your efforts are meaningless!”

“Okay, that’s a problem.” Fokuf shook his head, as the smoke billowed outwards. “Thoughts?”

“Use the soulsteel lining.” Aegis raised her skyspitters. “Or just hope for a lucky shot. Even the Array can’t block everything.”

Alina nodded, twisting her chakram around to send a volley of Essence-shadows across the gap between them and the rogue Alchemical. Plates of metal slid into place, easily deflecting the attack, and Hath laughed again. Shaking his head, Fokuf suddenly kicked a fragment of soulsteel into the air, then slammed it crosswise across the gap. It skidded across a layer of shurikens and left a tiny smudge across Hath’s pillar. Kieran stepped into a defensive position in front of his friends, as Aegis fired a volley of shots across the Alchemical’s middle, leaving scorch marks in a few places.

“Hm. I might have felt that. My turn.” Panels opened and deployed, as mobile drones fell outwards. Each was a single metal eye, attached to a four-limbed frame. Six of the creatures launched outwards, jets carrying them through the air as lightning cannons deployed around the inner wall of the chamber. The drones dropped between the Solars and the exit, blocking off escape.

“You focus on Hath – we’ll deal with them!” Fokuf gestured to Kieran, who nodded in return, then spun to face the new threat. A drone darted nimbly out of the way of a snap-kick, and he shook his head. “Fast little bastards.”

“They contain all of my considerable skill.” Smoke poured from the central pillar, and Kieran found himself defending himself on three sides as the drones pressed in. Ducking and weaving, his anima blazed as limbs slammed across his chest, his return swordthrust causing a cascade of sparks but failing to drop his foe. Fokuf, nearby, nimbly backflipped away from one drone, only to have a second one deliver a punishing blow to the side of his head. He staggered backwards, momentarily dazed, and returned to a fighting position.

Tenrek shifted his attention to the drones as his companions found themselves beset. With a roar of rage, he grabbed one by its rear legs, spinning it around himself three times before releasing it in the direction of Hath. The recon drone slammed into the Defense Array, shattering into shards, and its remains peppered the pillar with minor gouges. At the same time, Jasmine raised a hand, white light blazing forth, and let a beam pierce the smoke now threatening to surround them. Aegis and Alina took advantage of the guiding light to send volleys of lightning and Essence through the gap that Tenrek had momentarily made, leaving more – albeit minor – damage.

“I may have underestimated you.” Hath made the admission blandly, although an undertone of surprise coloured his words. As he spoke, two of the drones shifted angle to focus on Tenrek. One wrapped all of its legs around the Zenith, pinning one arm to his side as he struggled to avoid its deadly grasp, and the other took advantage to deliver a pair of blows that left him gasping for breath. “But not sufficiently for you to have a true chance.” The remaining three drones divided their attention between Fokuf and Kieran, as a volley of lightning blasts knocked Jasmine off of her feet. The smoke was now crowding around the Exalts, who found themselves gasping in pain.

“Poison…” Aegis backflipped above the radius of the expanding poisonous smoke, her skysplitters leaving trails of lightning across the room, but failing to find a mark. Alina stood over Jasmine as the ghost stirred, her chakrams deflecting lightning into the floor and ceiling. Kieran and Fokuf were now back-to-back, sword and fist flashing as they tried to keep their two remaining foes away – the drones were battered and damaged, but pressed their attack. Tenrek had managed to reverse his hold, flipping another drone away to crash against Hath, but the last one leveled a final punch that laid the Zenith out. Aegis shook her head. “How did we think we could succeed?”

“A question that rather interests me as well, young one.” Hath chuckled good-naturedly, as the drone that had dropped Tenrek moved to intercept Aegis, its arms slamming into her with vicious precision to send her collapsing to the poison-choked floor. “I admit, you put on a better showing than I had imagined, and managed even to damage me. But still, this was never going to be anything but a short fight.” More lightning stabbed down, and Alina fell to one knee as Jasmine collapsed beneath her. “So be it.” He gestured, and the drone moved towards Alina and Jasmine.

There was a flash of darkness. The drone shattered from the force landing on it from above, shuddered twice, and went still. A pair of sais flipped easily out of its back, as Steel stepped off its remains. “I can agree with you there, big guy. This could only be a short fight.”

“Another ghost? Annoying, but not impressive.” A barrage of lightning focused on Steel, who found himself quick-stepping backwards. Alina tried to take advantage of the pause to send another volley of shots at Hath, but he was focused intently on the scene in front of him and parried them with ease. “Those drones were a part of me, and I am not pleased to have lost them. You will pay for your insolence.”

“Yeah, I’d say it’s about time.” Steel chuckled. “You don’t stand a chance.”

“Oh, really? And what, pray tell, do you intend to do to stop me?”

The answer was immediate and sudden. Green light flared as Draniel struck, dropping like a diving eagle from above, his anima blazing around him for a moment and then concentrating entirely into his claws. Vitriolic energy sliced through the Array, even as shurikens tore into the Infernal’s flesh, and his claws slammed deep into the pillar, sliding down several feet and leaving massive gouges along their path. Smoke and oil boiled from the wounds, spraying dozens of feet into the air, as Draniel pushed himself up. Heedless of the adamant blades trying to strip him to the bone, he spoke once. “He won’t do anything.” The blades slammed forwards a second time, impossibly quickly.

If Hath had planned a reply to the sudden intrusion, he never had a chance to display it. In a shower of sparks, it was over. The remaining drones collapsed lifeless to the ground, the smoke began to clear, and the room’s own lights went out, leaving the gold of the Solars and the Infernal’s green the only illumination visible.

Bleeding, battered, Draniel smiled without humour. “Thus perish the enemies of Adorjan.”
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BrilliantRain
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Forty-One: Deathmatch

13 Nov 2008, 03:40

So, is Kieran going to get mad at Steel now? Since one would think he would recognize that one's voice.

Also, I'm a little curious why the alchemical would be the one worried about poison gas, since they don't technically need to breath.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Forty-One: Deathmatch

13 Nov 2008, 09:17

BrilliantRain wrote:
So, is Kieran going to get mad at Steel now? Since one would think he would recognize that one's voice.

Also, I'm a little curious why the alchemical would be the one worried about poison gas, since they don't technically need to breath.


Well, nerve agent is a more contact than contact poison - if you just hold your breath or wear a gas mask, it'll difuse through your skin and kill you that way. And even with clay flesh, Alchemicals still behave as if they were organic life beings, so there you have it.
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Friv
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Forty-One: Deathmatch

14 Nov 2008, 00:56

BrilliantRain wrote:
So, is Kieran going to get mad at Steel now? Since one would think he would recognize that one's voice.

Also, I'm a little curious why the alchemical would be the one worried about poison gas, since they don't technically need to breath.


Yeah, I was working on the theory that Hath's nerve gas is a supernatural poison, and thus something that can affect Alchemicals. A Storyteller could rule either way, really.

And Kieran will have some trust issues coming up. :twisted:
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