Mortis' had opted to celebrate his victory over the monstrous arachnid with a self congratulatory dissection. He was lucky his predictions had been correct, he concluded that if the bug that had attacked him earlier fell to the pathogenic properties of the 'Sanguine' then perhaps the great dead creature before him would as well.
Mortis glanced over the spider with eye's tuned for detail, with each passing glance an image was stored in his mind for reference or use. The creatures fangs were roughly the length of his forearm and had serrated segments closer to the maw of the beast designed to tear flesh. It's eight legs, within the tips of the Tarsus, contained retractable claw-like blades, likely to grip its food and it's thorax was jagged from the overlapping plates of the exoskeleton.
"You are beautiful aren't you."
Mortis was about to make the first incision on the underside of the abdomen but was halted when he noticed something out of place in the physiology of the spider. The segment known as the pedicle, used to offer movement of the abdomen, was enlarged and more complexly structured. Mortis raised his scalpel high in the air, hovering above this curiosity and brought it down like some sacrificial dagger. As the blade drove through the surprisingly soft tissue in the rear of the spider coiled inwards and a long stinger burst out between the spinnerets nearly impaling Mortis.
"I think I'm in love."
Blake stumbled through the darkness of the airship, chased by the cacophony of gunfire, shouts and monstrous screeches. Having strapped the crossbow onto his back, he tightly gripped his beretta, lightly fingering the trigger.
Despite the darkness, occasional shafts of light pierced through small portholes, allowing Blake to briefly investigate. From what he could make out, the airship interior was unlike anything he had ever seen; metal lines and odd contours he would ordinarily assume could never work. As Blake admired this wondrous relic of the Goodman he approached a battered metal stairwell, the railings and a few of the steps warped and crooked obviously from the airship's impact with the ground. Sighing, and with a concerned glance back through the darkness towards the chaotic noise from outside, Blake ascended the steps to continue his search for something that could get them out of this mess.
Marcus backed into the airship, rifle at his waist. He knew better than to waste precious rounds shooting at the beasts. Once inside, he looked around, taking stock of the area. They were in some kind of storage deck. Containers and other boxes lay scattered around, illuminated by the red glare of a flare. Marcus lifted the lid off one of the wooden crates, inside were what looked like rockets, but much smaller. He looked around, there were roughly four boxes of the same type and size of the one stood in front of him. Looking behind him, he saw a small man hiding in the corner. It was Ford. "Get up you coward, you just gunna get eaten sitting down if you don't move." Marcus laughed.
BLAM!. Another muzzle flash came from Shaun's gun before he hid again, "Shit, what is that guy doing!" he muttered to himself as he drank quickly out of his flask, "Pheewey, thats some good stuff" Shaun muttered again to himself as he savored the taste of his favorite drink.
Shaun kept on firing at the horde of giant spiders until CLICK, a unhappy sound came from both of his guns, "Crap, out of ammo, sorry you two but you have to be put away now" Shaun muttered quietly before putting Ebony and Irony into his pockets and pulled out his katana once more.
Shaun looked around and saw the the other defenders still fighting the spiders, Shaun huffed and spoke to the nearest person who was Ashe, "Hey, I'm out of ammo, I'm going to see if I can find any in the ship", Shaun then quickly turned around and dashed off, hoping to either find more ammo or that other man who walked off to find a solution.
Turning a sharp corner at the top of the stairwell, Blake was suddenly drawn to something spied through one of the dirty portholes. Eyes narrowing as a smile crept onto his lips, Blake looked past the grotesque spiders crawling across the deck of the airship, and fixed his stare on what appeared to be a cannon of some sort.
Continuing down the narrow gangway, the grizzled mutant-hunter rushed through the darkness ignoring the sounds of his comrades fighting down below. Eventually he found what he was after: a sealed metal door leading to the deck, and the cannons. Testing the ease of the doors giant locking mechanism, Blake was relieved to find that it was still functioning, and with a little effort could unlock the door himself.
Running back to the top of the stairwell, Blake saw - through the distorting red mists of a flare - Marcus helping Ford up from the gore-slick floor. "You!" He yelled at the two men, "Need a hand up here, I think I've found a solution to these unholy pests!" Without waiting to see if they'd follow, Blake quickly made his way back to the deck's doorway.
A resounding crunch followed by a sickening bursting noise echoed through the dimly lit chamber filled to the brim with broken machinery and cloaked in spider webs.
"My, my... Did I break something?" Whispered the sinister lullabies of a madman to a bulging jelly-like orb coiled in his grasp. Littered throughout his make-shift operating room were puddles of black and green ichors, thick slabs of obsidian carapace and oddly shaped organs adorned the chamber.
The pale psychopath, Mortis, rose from the mutilated remains of the gargantuan arachnid, bits of thorax, abdomen and segmented legs scattered around his presence. Wrapped around him were thick, fleshy, glistening tubes.
What a mess you've made
Mortis cast the vile raiment from his shoulders and dusted off his stained, worn lab-coat. He proceeded to methodically return his assortment of saws, blades, clasps and other instruments into the various pockets lining the inside of his black leather Doctor's bag.
As he slipped the last tool of the trade into it's resting place a billowing siren ran through the facility catching his attention. Mortis had only just realised that the hail of gunfire upstairs that had accompanied him throughout his ... 'work'.
"Well, I suppose I should give them a hand" Mortis quipped, his rifle raised and began ascending the stairway.
A spider rammed the side of the airship, then it's brothers and sisters followed. They crashed against the side, long black legs reaching through the small crack. The wood was holding, but only just. Marcus turned and noticed Blake shouting at him and made his way towards him.
Outside, the orange light from the blast door was glowing, a wave of deep colour bathing the plantlife in light. The rain was pouring down and streaks of lighting dashed across the sky, thunder roaring across the plains, like an untamed beast. Just over the sound of the very heavens themselves, came a steady chugging. Shouts of men, and then a heavy thud. Two men entered the dome from the blast door. Entombed in heavy power armour, they looked like walking tanks. One looked across the landscape whilst the other spewed hot fire across the plants, setting the spiders alight and pushing back the swarm. Two Humvee's drove in, side by side and the heavy pounding of automatic machine gun fire rang around the dome. The heavy fifty calibre rounds tore through the spiders, the flashes of light basking the room in sudden bursts of light. Voices bounced around the room and more people rushed in, disciplined and trained soldiers, moving with an air of professionalism. They opened fire, pushing forwards under the wall of fire from the fifty calibres, towards the Airship.
Marcus looked out to the commotion. "Oh fuck, oh piss!" Turning to Blake, Marcus spoke. "The Foundation are here, we need to leave NOW!
As the gore and ichor stained the hole that Ashe and a few of the others held she saw the lighting of the storm outside flash nearly blinding her. Spiders and their limbs had littered the entrance to the airship but the sound of heavy footsteps and the sound of motors.
"What the hell?" Ashe said as she loaded the last of her rounds. Then out of the light she saw them. Their thunderous steps, their metal exterior, the sound of their weapons tearing the air with its distinctive fire. They hadn't seem to have changed. It was as if Ashe's past was storming through the dome.
Ashe's eyes froze with hesitation then Marcus' words snapped her back to reality.
"Where to?! They have the entrance!" Ashe yelled back as she looked frantically for another way out.
Tapping noise came from the Captain's Office, Shaun was eagerly accessing the computer, ignoring the sensation that he felt from his arms, it felt like he was being stuck with hundreds of needles of adrenaline but still he ignored it.
Shaun still heard the gunfire from the survivors around him, his typing speed slowly increases so he may re-join them and help them, but Shaun's typing speed was increasing way too fast, it was...unnatural.
"Mother fucking Eureka!" Shaun yelled as he accessed the computer, he was about to look at the documents but a loud voice came from somewhere, "The Foundation are here, we need to leave NOW!, after hearing that Shaun pulled out a USB that The Scientists gave him on his first mission leave, he uploaded all of the computer's information onto the small device.
The loud gunfire outside was getting more louder, "Ugh, it seems that things never change with these guys" Shaun mutters to himself after hearing the loud gunfire of the Foundation, a noise came from the computer and Shaun pulled the USB out, as Shaun passed the entrance to the room Shaun went to the main captain's chair and spoke "Sorry mate, I need these", Shaun then twirled the chair around only to find a decapitated body. After picking up the ammo for his two guns, Shaun ran towards the area whoever warned him.
Mortis had arisen from the dank web and bloodstained chambers and was making haste through the hurdles of barbed vines towards the single diminishing beacon of light in the center of the dome. He had garbed himself in the thick, fish-scaled cloak the moment he saw the downpour of acid rain cascading from the gaping maw at the peak of the dome.
The closer Mortis got to the Airship, the greater his comprehension of the situation grew. The spider population appeared to have increased by the dozens and by the sounds of heavy gunfire coming from within the great mechanical structure, his comrades had been pinned down. Mortis broke through the abyss into the illuminated core of the greenhouse, his entry managing to grab the attention of a few of the gargantuan arachnids.
"Tag, you're it!" Mortis announced to the spiders he had attracted as he squeezed the hairline trigger of his rifle, the iconic ping resonated from his M1 Garand as his last bullet blasted from the chamber felling one of the beasts instantly. The adjacent spiders recoiled for the briefest moment as one of their own lay sprawling helplessly among the foliage, Mortis took this opportunity and leapt onto one of the wings of the flying machine and bolted along it's chassis.
Mortis had now reached the upper deck of the ship and was trying his best to out maneuver a pair of spiders that had taken a great interest in him since his brief demonstration on one of their kin. One was larger than the other and had a smoother carapace, the other was much like the one he dissected, smaller and more angular. Mortis couldn't help but laugh manically as the adrenaline coursed through his synthetic bloodstream. Despite all his dodges and rolls Mortis was quickly being closed in by the twin arachnids. It was by sheer luck that Mortis had found a weak portion of the deck that gave way as one of the spiders thrust their stinger in a failed attempt to impale the patchwork man. A few evasive actions later and Mortis was diving into the makeshift porthole his hunters had provided and found a temporary solace form the beasts above.
As the spiders clawed and screeched over the loss of their prey Mortis rose to his feet and removed his acid drenched cloak casting it aside like some unwanted burden. As he did so he noted a series of rapid footsteps coming from the corridor connecting to his own. He raised his rifle aiming with one hand into the empty space, waiting. A few seconds later a man, one he had never seen before, raced around the corner and came to a sudden halt before Mortis
"Bang!" Mortis mused to the unknown figure frozen before him followed by loud ping that resonated through the stale silence. Mortis giggled as he lowered the gun watching with cruel amusement as the colour returned to the foreign mans features.
Blake cursed as he heard the others' warning of the Foundation's arrival. He'd had dealings with the Foundation before; unholy, ruthless men who care not for the eradication of mutants. Dangerous fighters though. Too dangerous for the group to get into an unplanned skirmish with.
Placing his focus back to the deck's cannon, Blake peered through the porthole and grimly watched the spiders battling with the power-armoured soldiers. "A good distraction..." He said to himself quietly, turning to see if Marcus and Ford had followed him.
Looking down the empty gangway, Blake cursed the young man and his companion for ignoring his order as he rushed back to the top of the stairs.
"In the name of the Goodman, I've found a cannon!" He roared at them, throwing his hands up in exasperation. "If we can fire the cannon we may be able to cause enough of a problem to get outta here alive! But I need some covering fire to get to it!"
The pale-scarred man fumed visibly, his face turning red causing the scar on his head to shine bright and ugly.
Marcus heard Blake shout and following the sound of his voice, found him on the upper level. Seeing instantly what all the fuss was about, Marcus smiled like a small child at Christmas. "Rockets are on the lower level, get that fucking door open and I'll bring these bastards up. give 'em a bit of a surprise!" Marcus yelled over the heavy thump of fifty calibre rounds. Sprinting down the stairs, Marcus found Ford, cowering in a corner again. "Get up you piece of shit, carry these!" Marcus shouted, thrusting a stack of rockets into his arms and taking a set for himself. "GO! Get to the fucking top!" Marcus yelled, Giving Ford a nudge.
Hesitantly, Ford made his way up the stairs.
As The Foundation continued the firefight against the spiders, a man stepped out of one of the Humvee's, He stood at just over six feet tall, clad in a powerful suit of armour, the left shoulder pad holding an Eagle head emblem. The man yelled to the others and they began forming up into a line, pushing the creatures back. The flamers spread a dense cover of flames as the riflemen let of short, controlled bursts. The new man cocked a shotgun with one hand, before unloading it into a spider. 'BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM!' six shots echoed around the dome as he tore a spider to pieces with the powerful gun. Huge chunks of flesh were torn from it and it collapsed onto the floor.
The scared Shaun stood on the spot and looked up only to be confronted by a giggling man, Shaun then noticed the noise he heard was a blank "PING", Shaun's faced scrunched up and began to laugh with the strange giggling man with all the gunfire sounds around them.
Noticing the sound of fire outside the two stopped laughing and Shaun was first to speak, "Well, we should help those other guys out, oh, and my name is Shaun, Shaun Pittman" Shaun said in a calm tone with a smirk across his face as he walked up to the stranger and offered a handshake.
Mortis glanced over the mysterious figure standing before him, He was extending his hand, a common gesture used as a form of greeting. Mortis coiled the spindly fingers of his intact hand around his and bowed slightly. The man now identified as 'Shaun' wore a grin in an attempt to mimic his own but Mortis noted all the subtle signs of unease.
"Mortis, I take it you're aware of the armed militia and arachnids outside?" The exchange of words between the two individuals was interrupted by a loud screeching noise. One of the spiders that had been in pursuit of Mortis before his escape had lodged one of it's long, clawed limbs through a hole in the deck and was flailing wildly desperately trying to find it's prey.
"I'll need this" Mortis pulled the shocked man in closer and with his other hand pulled the man's pistol from the holster around his waist. Mortis made a sudden turn and aimed at the bulbous growth at the tip of the appendage. In a loud bang the bullet flew from the chamber and burst through the leg nearly severing it and causing it go limp.
"The growth on at the top of their legs is filled with a liquid that aids in their hydraulic movement-" Mortis explained as he returned the the pistol to the man now identified as 'Shaun Pittman'. "Also, you have something of mine." He added while motioning to the bloodied stump where his hand had been.
The confused Shaun looked around and at the last moment he looked down and saw the horrifying disconncected hand of Mortis in his left hand where he had been shaking him, Shaun's face looked back up to Mortis's bloodied stump, and back down, back up, and down again, and once more up, "Once more" Shaun spoke as he looked down at the hand and back up to Mortis's bloody stump, "Holy SHI...".
After 5 minutes of explaining from Mortis and shrieking from Shaun, Mortis fixed his hand once more and Shaun breathed in deeply once more, "Okay I think Im used to it now, okay what now?"
Mortis rolled his wrist rhythmically while explaining the nature of his 'Mutation' over Shaun's frantic burst of confusion. By the time the flow of the Sanguine had returned to normal the man before him had calmed to a point where civil conversation was once again possible.
"I'd suspect the best course of action for me would be to return the rest of my group, scan this damnable ship and be on my lovely way." Mortis turned and bolted to the end of the corridor towards the gunfire and yelling of familiar voices.
"Whatever happens to you is of no importance to me" With that final comment he turned the corner waving the mysterious man goodbye. In his hand: a silver pistol with the words 'Irony' etched into the foreign metal and his face illuminated with that same persistent and oddly innocent smile.
Follow the leader...
Shaun was beginning to like this Mortis fellow, but before he suggested that they go back together he was already looking at the back of Mortis running away, "Son of a' bitch..." Shaun muttered before the running crazy man was completely gone.
Shaun was now left in a corridor of the ship drinking on his mysterious flask, "What should I do now, I haven't got anywhere to go I guess, may as tag along with those other guys...hey wait a sec" Shaun muttered to himself before he checked his holsters, one of his guns was missing from the second holster, "NO, Irony, you're missing...how ironic" Shaun laughed at his own misery of his missing engraved pistol, Shaun ran off to find his missing gun and the crazy man with his friends.
The Foundation moved forwards, accurate fire putting the spiders down before they could turn. The noise of gunfire echoed around the room, flashes of light lit up the darkness like small suns. One of the men fired at a spider who had strayed too close, yet nothing came out of his rifle. Almost comically, the man looked down at this rifle before being impaled by the spider. A sickening scream bounced around the dome as the man was torn in half. The two men nearest to him turned and emptied their clips into the beast, tearing into pieces as another dragged the wounded man back to the trucks.
The solider in the massive suit of power armour, with the Eagle head on the shoulder started yelling commands and the troops began to move towards the airship. The big man stopped, swinging his rifle from his back and fitting it snugly into his shoulder, scanning the ship. He stopped over a small door leading to the cannons. Lowering the rifle, a frown crept over his face and he yelled another order to the men, who began to move faster towards the airship.
"Shit...shit...shit..."Ashe mumbled as she scrambled up the stairs. The arms of the spiders crawling about the ship nearly impaled Ashe as she ran up the stairs towards the sounds of her comrades. Ashe was desperately low on ammo and the Foundation was coming hot on their heels.
Luckily Ashe found herself on the deck of the ship looking over the side of the ship, dodging spiders left and right. Ashe drew out her .357 magnum and plugged one of the spiders sending it spiraling back. As she saw the spider retreat she saw the advance of the Foundation. She aimed her magnum once again trying to see if she could make the shot.
Sprinting back to the bolted door of the deck, Blake wondered if they'd be able to make it to the cannon unscathed. As he gripped the heavy handle, he turned to see a trembling Ford stumbling down the gangway, arms clutching the odd rockets that Marcus had handed him.
Not waiting for Marcus to join them, Blake pulled his beretta out with his free hand and pulled the door's handle down, making sure it didn't swing open unexpectedly. "You're not looking so good," he said, eyeing Ford suspiciously. A terrified sound from the back of the man's throat was his only response.
Holding out his arms, Blake tried to make his face softer, an obvious effort for the scarred mutant-hunter. "Give me those... You cover me with rifle fire." Ford handed Blake the rockets; they were lighter than he'd expected. Silently praying to the Good Man that they would cause enough damage, Blake nodded to Ford as he threw open the door.
It wasn't far to the cannon but with the uncertainty of the spiders and Foundation gunfire, it felt like ten miles. Running as fast as he could whilst in a half-crouch, Blake meandered towards the cannon, skipping and lunging out of aggressive grasps of the spiders as Ford kept pace, firing wildly to keep them at bay.
Sliding to an awkward halt at the base of the cannon, Blake planted the rockets by his feet and grabbed the first handle he saw. Swinging the chamber open, he placed a rocket inside and pulled the firing lever, cannon aimed straight at the attacking Foundation. Nothing but a dull 'clink' could be heard within the contraption. Blake cursed as he smashed the cannon with his fist, ignoring the panicked shouts of Ford.
Returning his attention to man behind him, Blake turned and noticed Marcus had joined in the action, bringing with him three more rockets. Placing his cargo on the deck next to Blake, Marcus readied his weapon and began defending the cannon alongside Ford.
"It won't fire!" Blake roared over the gunfire, furious at the prospect of his end. Suddenly, Ford turned and grabbed a wheel located at the side of the machine and began turning it. "I've seen designs not unlike this...you gotta turn the wheel to prep it!" Returning once again to the spiders, Ford continued to fire.
Blake spun the wheel until it suddenly stopped with a 'crunch', and then he stood up and lined the Foundation's trucks in his sight. "Praise to the Good Man!" Grinning maniacally, Blake fired.
The rocket shot out with a high-pitched squeal, fizzing sparks trailing behind at it corkscrewed towards Blake's target. Even before the rocket hit the ground a few metres short of the trucks, Blake had already loaded, prepped and fired the cannon again; this time a towards a closer group of Foundation soldiers heading towards the entrance of the ship. The rocket squealed straight and true, hitting the soldiers with a bang, engulfing them and the surrounding foliage in flames.
Blake revelled in the screams of the unholy soldiers as he loaded the third rocket into place. He aimed his sights once again on the Foundation trucks, laughing at the fiery scene that threatened to pin them down if the flames were to spread. Turning the wheel rapidly, Blake noticed that the rate of fire from Ford and Marcus had lessened. Spinning, Blake saw that the spiders were keeping their distance from the cannon not that it was firing. "There's gotta be more of these cannons! The spiders hate them...if we can get 'em going all at once, maybe these unholy beasts will leave us alone!"
Not waiting for a reply, Blake aimed his sights once again towards the trucks. Pulling the lever, Blake watched as the rocket exploded just short of the trucks again but succeeded in setting aflame the rest of the surrounding foliage, trapping the remaining soldiers within. The unlucky ones were either dead, or dying as the fire raged inside the dome.
"Praise the Good Man, heathens!!!" Blake screamed, as he loaded another rocket into the cannon.
Marcus let off short bursts into any of the spiders that tried to climb onto the frame of the airship. The Majority of the beasts were now occupied with The Foundations men.
The explosions blew the men to bits. The group that had been advancing to the airship were now little more than a dense red haze and lumps of flesh spread across the floor. The truck had saved the few men behind it from death, but the fire still reached them. Engulfed by flames, the men screamed, a spine tingling screech of pain.
The Foundations fire halted for a second, as they stood, shocked by this new development. The leader, the massive man clad in power armour heaved his rifle to his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. As Blake was loading another round, a sharp crack and a heavy thud came from behind him as massive section of the airship was blown away by the high calibre rifle.
The fire's had started building slowly, though the vegetation had yet to catch. Marcus looked around in Panic. "Were the fuck is everyone?! We need to get out of here NOW!" He yelled, as he dived behind a thick metal railing, just in time to dodge the new barrage of gunfire that was now aimed directly at the cannons.
Mortis ran through the metallic, valve and pipe covered corridors, inhuman screeches and gunfire bellowing around him. In his immediate background came the calls of the strange man who's weapon he had commandeered moments earlier. Mortis bolted through a large doorway into a wider section of the deck he was on, coming face to face to his companions under duress. Delrath, the colossal mutant, was pressed hard against a thick, towering, metal door, the sound of scratching and hissing resonated from the other side. Ashe and Kreth were firing wildly through a gap in the ships hull keeping the horde of Arachnids at bay. Hunter was perched in the corner, shaking and in some sort of daze. Opposite to him was yet another unknown figure, across the man's abdomen was a deep laceration.
Where's Marcus and the mutant hunter...
A loud explosion echoed through the halls shaking the very foundation of the ship itself, through one of the port-side windows a pillar of fire shone through briefly illuminating the war waging on outside. Men in metal armour were thrown through the air while others were set alight in crimson flames. Spiders were scrambling aimlessly, thrown into a state of confusion at the level of resistance and foreign changes in both lighting and sound.
Oh... they must be outside
"Hello, everyone. You must all be so glad to see me safe and sound" Mortis announced gleefully as he casually walked through the centre of the chamber giving everyone around him exaggerated waves. He walked up to Delrath and patted him on his bone encrusted shoulder.
"Keep up the good work, try and stay alive long enough to rip my head off." Mortis strolled leisurely to the barricade of bullets Ashe and Kreth had made to keep those pesky spiders at bay.
"Little tip, aim for that bulbous growth at the tips of their legs. Break it and they become completely immobile." Mortis pointed at one of the spiders that had reared it's fangs at the two gunmen, an obvious sign of aggression. In the background came another loud explosion that resonated through the very air.
"Also, which way did Marcus and Blake run off too?" He queried, His smile a foul juxtaposition of the situation at hand.
Shaun ran after the crazed man through the hallways, not knowing he went Shaun followed the sound of gunfire, but before he started to run towards the sound of gunfire a giant explosion happened, sending Shaun into the nearest wall to him.
After the giant explosion Shaun climbed back up from the floor using the wall for support and muttered "Bloody hell, what are these people doing...ugh," an adrenaline feeling started to overwhelm Shaun, he touched a light switch, a source of electricity, "Ahh so this is what I gained from almost being fried in that damn lab!" Shaun said as he noticed his own power and dashed down the corridor more faster then usual.
After a small sprint an an amount of parkour, Shaun had reached the opening of the deck and source of the gunfire, he spots a number of people he doesn't know, except from the crazy Mortis and the guy who gave him his weapons back earlier, Shaun walked up to Mortis and Ashe "Hey, can I have my Irony back?" Shaun questioned Mortis as the gunfire still surrounded them.
Ashe fired the shot but Mortis behind her giving advice didn't help as the shot missed hitting some metal on the floor. Ashe resisted all her might to shoot Mortis knowing that it would be a waste of ammunition. Instead she fired another round into the spiders trying to claw their way in.
Ashe leaned back and checked how much ammunition she had left in the magnum. With two rounds left things looked scarce. A midst the screaming and the gunfire Ashe heard the faint screaming of Marcus. She got up and using the now illuminated pathways caused by the raging inferno she sought him out.
"MARCUS!" Ashe yelled trying to get his attention.
Blake pushed himself onto his knees after the explosion behind him had thrown him to the hard deck of the ship. Jumping up to the cannon again, he glared in the direction the shot had come from and pulled the lever.
"What?" Blake grimaced as a dull thud reverberated from the chamber he had just loaded. He tried to turn the wheel again but it didn't budge. Cursing his luck, Blake attempted to open the chamber but found the mechanism jammed. As he fiddled with the lock, he was aware of gunfire getting far too close to their position.
"Dammit!" Blake yelled, kicking the base of the cannon before grabbing a second rocket. He swiftly jammed the explosive into the next chamber and began turning the wheel. Hesitating slightly, Blake took a deep breathe. He had no idea what would happen if things went wrong somehow; probably, they'd all be burnt to a crisp...if the explosion didn't kill them first.
Pushing aside his surprise apprehension, Blake aimed again for the the source of the heavy shot. Sighting what appeared to be the leader, he grinned and fired simultaneously.
Blake's grin slipped off his scarred, pale face as the rocket spiralled away from it's target, exploding harmlessly into a clump of barbed vines that cushioned the force of the explosion. It wasn't a total miss however; the dense foliage would burn nicely, causing problems for the advancing soldiers.
The next rocket was already loaded and prepped, but just as Blake pulled the lever another shot from the Foundation soldier's leader rocked the airship, punching a hole through the deck only a few metres from the cannon. Due to the cannon's sudden jolt, the rocket spun wildly to the left and landed harmlessly wide of it's target, the explosion again being cushioned within a tangle of dense thorns.
Reaching for another rocket, Blake glanced down to find that he was out of ammo. Straightening himself, he turned to Marcus and Ford, their attentions still focused on keeping the now cautious spiders at a distance. "We're outta ammo!" Blake shouted above the gunfire and screech of spiders. "We need to--" Blake cut off as he heard a familiar - if muffled - voice through the tumultuous noise.
"MARCUS!" It sounded like the arrogant, young boy.
Crouching low to avoid being made a target and unholstering his berreta, Blake chuckled as he gestured towards the inside of the airship. "Seems like someone needs babysitting!"
Mortis cast his eyes to the silver coated magnum in his right hand and finally back to Shaun. The man before him looked and sounded nothing like he did when the little chase of cat and mouse had begun. He look reinvigorated, no heavy breath, signs of perspiration, he didn't even have any of the telltale signs of lactic acid burning through his muscles.
"If I can use it for a second." Mortis turned his back on Shaun and moved to a position between Ashe and Kreth, his line of sight directly opposite a monolithic spider making a press for the gaping maw that his two companions had spent such an effort defending.
He pulled the trigger of his pistol and a blast echoed through the metal room. The bullet launched form the chamber and ricochet off a piece of plating on the leg.
Damnable gun's too heavy.
He realigned his shot, gripping the pistol with both his hands now in an attempt to steady it. The bullet shot form the chamber but landed no where near his mark. It scraped along the chitinous thorax and flew right past Mortis's head. He scanned over his comrades receiving glances of dissatisfaction.
He made one more calculation in his head as he, Ashe and Kreth made took slow steps backwards from the monster. It had begun moving into the chamber, it's gigantic body barely fitting through. Mortis adjusted his aim yet again and as the spider was half way through, a resounding BANG wailed through the empty room followed by a squelching noise. The bullet had launched from the chamber, through the barrel and directly into the bulbous sack connecting the upper most leg segment. The beast collapsed, flailed wildly unable to find ground and foolishly lodged itself in the side of the deck.
Mortis satisfied with his work returned the gun to it's owner along with a simple nod as a sign of thanks. Afterwards he took small delicate steps coming face to face with his comrade, Ashe, his features beaming.
"Little tip, aim for that bulbous growth at the tips of their legs." Mortis repeated, his voice conducting a mocking overture.
"It would be nice to be introduced to everyone, but first we have to get out of this cluster-fuck" Shaun joked then looked towards Ashe and Mortis "Thanks for returning my weapons you two" Shaun said with a smirk on his face, this is the first time I smiled for a long time, Shaun thought as he looked outside to the carnage.
Shaun then looked around the room and asked loudly, "Now, anyone got any ideas how to get out of here alive?".
Marcus watched as the next barrage of missiles missed and only added to their problems. Marcus looked to the man in power armour, wielding a flamerthrower and raised his rifle. Focusing on nothing but his breathing and the steady beat of his heart, he squezzed the trigger gently. A loud CRACK tore through the air as the round was fired and then hit the fuel tank on the Soldiers back. Almost immediately the man went up in a ball of fire, screams echoing around the dome and slowly, as the very air he breathed melted his lungs, he fell silent.
Noticing Blake darting back, Marcus followed poking his head through the doorway. "Scan the fucking ship and get up here! WE ARE LEAVING!" He yelled.
The spiders were retreating, under the hail of fire from The Foundation and from the raging inferno that was now spreading around the room. With the spiders nearly dealt with, The Foundation turned it's attention to the airship. More fire punched into the ship as the soldiers peppered it with rounds and the leader moved forwards, a VERY pissed off look on his face.
"COMING!" Ashe yelled as she tracked Marcus' voice with the fire from the inferno lighting the way. Ashe avoided the spider's limbs as they clambered down or away from the inferno sticking their limbs into the open slots.
Ashe clambered to the steps to where she saw the head of Marcus and now Blake before her. Ashe ducked as incoming fire began to hit the exterior of the ship and nearly coming through the slots. Then Ashe snapped back to cannon before she ducked her head.
"Is- is that a fucking cannon?!" Ashe screamed. Then she focused back to reality as more bullets peppered the ship. "Any ideas on where to go? I was thinking a mad dash to the exit but by the way things look we have better chances of riding on the spiders!"
Blake closed his eyes for a moment, trying to ignore the ignorant boy's unholy remark. "The abominations must be killed, lest their presence further anger the Good Man." His voice was loud and clear above the gunfire cracking outside. It had been a long time since he'd given a sermon outlining the truth of this Twisted Earth, the only thing that offered him peace.
"So," Blake shouted above din, "who's scanning the ship?"
Over everything thats happening at the moment, Shaun had enough time to get up to the position to these people's leader, Shaun stepped up to him and ducked into the cover beside him.
"Hey I have information you guy's would want" Shaun casually and with a smirk, "Who the fuck are you!" Marcus yelled at him madly but surprised, "Just a man that came here at the wrong place and wrong time, I'll introduce myself later, anyhow, how the hell are we going to get out of here, I got a bike waiting outside, and I saw you truck, we have to get to them" Shaun responded as he fired a shot at one of the armored men.
Marcus watched as the new person came out from the darkness of the Airship, yelling something at him. Marcus would have been paying attention, but at that time, he was more concerned about the hole in the steps, which the new man missed and fell through, falling a full floor back down into the airship. The look on his face was priceless as he realized there was no solid floor under him.
Marcus shook his head, looked down to make sure the man was alright then called out the rest. "As soon as Mortis has scanned the interior of this airship, we'll make our way to the blast door! Run through the flames and try not to catch fire!" He yelled, ducking as a new wave of rounds tore the side of the airship apart.