"Not funny, Ray."
The former rancher looked over at Kin, visibly worked up over what had happened. As she loaded her revolver with her back turned, Ray walked up to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Kin, you know I'da never said nothin' o' the sort if I saw you were in serious hurt. You're a tough ol' gal an' you an' I both know it. As stubborn as you are, it'd take more'n a good zappin' to put you out."
In the hangar, Kier'Ran and a handful of gunslingers held their own against an onslaught of security units, much to the vexation of their combined consciousness. The simple drones and their more efficient, military grade cousins, although more than capable of disposing of the common brute, found themselves deemed incapable of eliminating Kier'Ran and the rest of his ilk without assistance, which led the system to engage its emergency protocol, designed for extreme threats to the facility, though today it felt as though it could make an exception.
It was then, without forewarning, sirens began to boom throughout the docking area and the sound of tank threads faintly echoed from the far side of the docking area. The system, unnerved with the effective resistance, opted to unleash its anti-vehicular weapon, the Atrik Model T-58, built with the purpose of destroying armored cars and ships, though more than capable of decimating ground units with all of its weapon systems and advanced combat protocol.
The Atrik had but one flaw, however, that being its total lack of defensive platting, with all of its wires and gears and pipes visible and unprotected. It was a support vehicle, designed to be used from afar, and as such rarely found itself so close to the action, and the machine could easily be disabled if struck in the right place.
The fragile behemoth slowly but surely made its way into a safe firing range and, with its countless rockets and grenade launchers, showered the battlefield with shrapnel, though failed to notice Kier'Ran, seemingly more focused on those aiding him. As it began to unleash its artillery on the crowd, the infantry units began to rapidly advance, supplementing their apparent lack of close-range weaponry with a hail of small arms fire. The mercenaries, brutes and the rest of those holding of the robotic onslaught began to fall, though Kier'Ran found himself almost ignored and in more than an optimal position to retaliate.
In the market, crouched beneath a makeshift barricade, Mechty and Lukaas found themselves in a position that few would find comfortable, though the unusual duo were at the very least well-protected for the time being. The sniper, Mr. Saunderi, took a shot at Lukaas upon noticing him peeking out from his position, though his round struck the obstruction instead, and detonated, obliterating their cover though leaving the pair relatively unscathed. The madman, unable to see through the cloud of debris, opted to change positions and sought out new targets, assured that the cowboy had been slain in the explosion.
However, while out of the sniper's gaze, the pair was still in a dangerous position, considering the explosion caught the attention of a dozen riot control units, each one more than strong enough to dispatch multiple assailants, which swiftly converged on their position, each one wielding a pair of truncheons that cackled with electrical pulses. The unit surrounded the pair and, after a quick assessment of the battlefield, charged their targets.
Quick, lethal and brutally efficient; these were all words commonly associated with the renown assassin droids of Tanra Station. Although never seen nor documented, the assassins have influenced the floating metropolis' political and social structure, with order often being kept during times of civil unrest due to their blades. The machines were instruments of murder and, whereas other androids were to be used like ammunition - to be expended without care due to their relative ease of production - the assassins were designed to be used sparingly, and careful, with a tremendous fortune put into the construction of each one.
A squadron of the chrome, multi-bladed swordmasters, their sleek, metallic forms covered in thick layers of ash and dried gore, stood atop a rooftop, overlooking the burning world below. In the streets, running through the market, the machines took notice to a lone, red-skinned warrior, with robes that pulsed with blue lights, and leapt from building with murderous intent. A horrible, mechanical screech accompanied their descendant.
The trio, after successfully dispatching a small squad of combat androids, found themselves quite some distance from their hangar, their progress having been impeded after an unexpected assault. The team had managed to survive the encounter, although not long afterward a new threat, looming off in the distance, began to approach. It was, unlike other mechanical units, far from humanoid, with a form more akin to mythical beast, with eight spindly limbs attached to a wide, armored torso atop a chassis with four stout legs, with several heads with countless, beaming red eyes and sensors encased within. The creature was among the most feared machines in the station due to its dreadful appearance and power and, although its origins were far from impressive considering its current status as a construction unit, the mechanical terror was more than capable of dealing out punishment if commanded to despite its lack of armaments due to little more than its immense strength and speed.
The robotic beast, after goring an unfortunate thug attempting to dispatch of the monster on his own, spotted the three bounty hunters and rushed towards the team, its wild, skeletal limbs failing about, crushing all that came into reach.
The red haired soldier and the red coated hunter stood atop the remains of countless machines, slashed to pieces with mechanical limbs strewn about the battlefield. Oil and blood ran down the streets' drains and across the pavement, accumulating in mixed pools at the bottom of the duo's feet. The scene was chaotic, with the world thick with dust and ash, though station remained bright and illuminated with neon signs and artificial sunlight.
In order to keep such a world running, the station had numerous rudimentary worker androids, used for the more hazardous duties that needed to be fulfilled. The units were strong and durable, though poorly equipped for combat and incredibly slow. However, while not designed for any sort of conflict, the androids fared well when deployed in large, shambling clusters, using their immense numbers to overpower targets, though often found themselves suffering immense causalities in the process.
A graceless, hideous horde of powerful machines, covered in rust and foul chemicals, emerged from the portholes within the streets, rising like the undead from deep within the sewers and into the world above. As they arose, the creatures took notice to the two hunters, and began to march towards them, prepared to tear them down.
Just after Mechty scared off the young child away and before Lukaas could begin fabricating his plan, a explosive sniper round detonated near their cover, destroying it. Knocked down and covered in dust and debris, Lukaas tried to remember why he thought it wss a good idea to come to this space station.
Deciding that he would be more comfortable off the ground, Lukaas gathered himself off the ground and started dusting himself off before remembering there was a rogue sniper with pendant for explosive desmemberment on the loose. On the loose but not in sight, Lukaas discovered when the dust cleared.
Yet, it turned out that they traded one foe for another. Surrounded by a dozen riot droids wielding electrical batons, Lukaas once again questioned his life choices.
"You know what? We'll worry about that sniper later."
Before waiting for the nonexistant answer, Lukaas took aim with his Sawn-Off, loaded with slug rounds, and fire twice at two of the charging peace keeping robots. The first slug pirerced the central processing unit, shutting it down instantly. The second destroyed the hydraulics, immobilizing it in a metalic lumb.
Holstering the shotgun and unholstering the axe, Lukaas charged the gap he created to escaping the closing ring of drones.
Taking not a moment longer than necessary to gather xer wits after the detonation of their cover, Mechty dived headlong between a couple of the droids and under a nearby stall, leaving the shopping bag behind with a few more holes in it than before.
These heavy bruiser mechs were wielding electrified truncheons, and while Mechty was sure that xer armour would negate the power coursing through them, they would undoubtedly pack a heavy punch, which wasn't something xe wanted to confirm if at all possible. The two droids had moved to persue xer, and xe scrambled along frantically as the stall was flipped out of the way.
Mechty reached the corpse of the sniper's first victim, and pulled it around as a meat-shield just in time to absorb a skull-cracking blow which jerked the carcass to the side with a heavy thud and the smell of singed flesh. Xe pulled at the body again, and shoved it back into the legs of the closest droid, knocking it off balance, raised xer right hand, and depressed the small stud in the center of the gauntlet's palm, causing two five-inch brass claws to spring forth from above the knuckles.
Mee-dee darted forward, using xer body to finally knock the droid over, and with a quick jab of xer right fist, sank the two brazen prongs into the more lightly-armoured neck, just missing the vitals, since the droid was starting to get up, but damaging the joints enough to make the head loll uselessly, its array of sensors staring forever downwards. Mechty pulled back from the droid, giving it one last kick to keep it out of the way for a few more moments, and turned to see Lukaas drawing an axe, before a truncheon in the hands of the second droid smashed into the side of xer helmet, propelling xer through a stall of good luck charms.
Xe shook xer head while getting back up, and felt around the impact site of the electrified weapon, feeling a slight dent in the armoured helmet. Dammit, now I'll have to get repair work done on this, and I'll likely have to do it myself, xe thought, looking for the droid responsible, and rolling aside just in time to avoid another blow.
I hope Lukaas isn't having as much trouble as I am, or we're royally screwed...
Precis' eyes grew wide when she saw what was approaching them. It was something she had never seen before, and if it hadn't been in the mood to eat them up right now, she would have been absolutely impressed by it. Having a huge love for robots, despite her mishap with Robby, she wished that she could meet the creator of such a beautiful mechanical creature and shake their hand while copying their blueprints down.
Now wasn't the time for that though, because a person had just been killed by the monster and now it was charging right for the three of them! Knowing that this wasn't going to be easy in any way, she called out quickly. "Look out!" And quickly hurried over to cover. She was scared, she was afraid of the creature, but more than that, she was intrigued. That thing piqued her mechanical mind and she wanted to know just what made it tick. She was itching to take out her tools and start dismantling it right away, but she wouldn't be able to get close to it as it was now. Maybe later she could try and get to it, but not right now.
During the opening barrage of the Atrix, Kier'Ran had hidden atop one of the smaller ships. Hidden among the many things that jutted from the heap, he'd gotten to a good place to maybe take it out. And if not, it was probably one of the safest places in the hangar, unless all safety protocols had been taken offline.
He looked out, and spotted a cable running straight across the dock just above him. Taking the chain off and slowly looping around it around his cybered arm and dashing off from cover and jumping. He threw the chain around the cable and slid down the cable towards the hulk of wires,plates, and computer boards, all together in one mess. He landed on the main turret that swiveled and he landed, causing him to almost lose his balance, but his arm saving him once again. The units opened fire on him and he dropped behind the main gun and started breaking boards and ripping out wires wherever he saw them. Hitting one, a shrapnel launcher fired on a group of the regular security units, shredding them almost instantly. Luckily the men they were firing on had kept their heads down, otherwise there would've been quite a bit more red mixed in with the metal.
The old bounty hunter continued to crush what he could of the systems of the Atrix, but with very little apparent effect. The main gun continued to spew forth it's shells, and most of the weapons on the platform were still operational, if more than a bit off the mark much of the time. He needed help, and he needed it soon.
Being chased by five of the remaining nine riot control droids, Lukaas knew he had to eventually hold his ground. All he had to do was hope that Mechty was capable enough of handling xerself.
Stopping dead in his tracks, Lukaas quickly turned around and swung his weapon at the nearest pursuer. The lucky recipient took the blade to the neck, severing the head unit from the body. Like a headless Chekadia, it ran straight into a stall full of exotic blades and weapons. As he was recovering from the heavy swing, one of its buddies took a swig at him while running full speed. Lukaas was fortunate enough that the brunt of the drone's truncheons landed on the axe handle as Lukaas was repositioning himself to swing again. Unfortunately, the combination of the electrical current running through the truncheon and force of the swing forced Lukaas to let go of the axe and watch it go sliding out of reach.
With the four remaining attackers coming in for the kill, the fifth headless one got back up, blindly swinging at imagined foes.
With not enough time to think through his next plan, Lukaas sprinted toward the blinded drone with the others en route with a special delivery of painful death by electrocution. With less than a meter between Lukaas and the drone in front and behind him, Lukaas dropped to his knees, sliding under the club of berserking droid. The Billy club knocked off Lukaas' hat right before smashing into the chest of one of the death deliver, short-circuiting vital components.
Grabbing at the first weapon within his reach, a flail, Lukaas swung it at the legs of another drone, knocking it over. With it on the ground, Lukaas buried the flail into its chest, disabling.
Heh, if my luck keeps up, I might make it out of here ali...
Lukaas's luck ran out before he finished that thought as a truncheon smacked him in the back of the head. Feeling his brain turn to mashed potatoes, the only thing Lukaas could do was go flying face first into the pavement. As he began to black out and the two drones began to wail on him, one last thought entered his mind.
I wish I was wearing my lucky hat right now.
Both Kristina and Xion had been cutting down countless security mechs, which slowly began to form a pile of smashed limb, bodies and heads beneath their feet. The oil that kept these machines running trickled out of the empty shells, and along with the blood that was spilled, had created a foul smelling pool.
Despite all the ash and dust that been created due to the intense fighting, the station still remained viewable, thanks to its artificial sunlight, and the numerous glowing neon signs from various buildings that dotted the area. It was then that a creaking sound was heard, as the portholes began to open, revealing a horde of machines, covered in an array of various rusts and chemicals, giving them the putrid appearance of zombie like beings of old.
"How ironic, zombie robots. Now then Xion, you take those on the right, I'll take the ones on the left. Happy Hunting." Kristina then began to engage the new opponents, who wielded hefty weapons, and had a monstrous appearance.
"Kin, you know I'da never said nothin' o' the sort if I saw you were in serious hurt. You're a tough ol' gal an' you an' I both know it. As stubborn as you are, it'd take more'n a good zappin' to put you out."
"I suppose..." Kin said, still working on calming down. She quickly turned to see what Precis was so worked up about, and saw the construction bot rampaging down the street. "You mean like that thing?" She asked, pointing at it before grabbing Ray and bolting after Precis.
Mechty began to scramble back as fast as xe could, trying to get some space between xerself and the mindless drone. Moving backwards across the wrechage of a stall, xe plucked up the closest thing to hand and chucked it at the droid. Glass jars of liquids and spices.
That gave Mechty an idea, and xe started to throw jars of the treacle-like fluids at the droid, eventually smashing one across it's face, before struggling to get a lid off another jar, and flailing it wildly to send the spices to stick on the wet sensors. Blinded, the security bot reached some kind of internal decision, and shut itelf down, slowly settling to the floor in a small bundle. The nearly headless mech from earlier was off rampaging through the livestock stalls, smashing cage doors and releasing a small herd of spooked Bovinon.
Mechty realised with a start that xe couldn't see Lukaas fighting, and hurriedly looked around, before seeing him fall to the ground with a trio of drones around him, with a headless one doing it's own thing off to the side.
Xe took off at a run around the edge of the bovinon herd, before releasing a screech of static from the voice modulator built into xer helmet, prompting the already panicked cow-esques to stampede away, and towards Lukaas.
I hope he'll be okay, but there's no way I coul take on that many mechs by my lonesome, Mechty thought, before sprinting after the herd, readying xer claws to finish off any bots.
Well, at least a few broken bones will be preferrable to eternal slumber...
"You mean like that thing?"
Ray turned to the crashing footsteps and sounds of the mechanical behemoth that had just brought itself into view.
"Ayuh," Ray agreed, unable to take his eye off those of the creature. "That'd just about do it."
The former rancher was snapped out of his mild stupor when Kin tugged on his sleeve and ran for Precis. Once he freed his arm from Kin's grip, the first thing he saw fit to do was start shooting out the big beast's eyes. Firing his .577 again and again, though seemingly to little effect. "Kin, git that gorram young'un to the ship, I'll do what I can to keep it off yer tail!"
Precis really hoped that they would be able to make it to the ship in one piece since it didn't look like there was much of anything that could stop the huge beast from breaking everything in its path. Still extremely curious about the thing, she looked to Kin and asked. "Do you think that thing could fit into the cargo hold after we take it down somehow? I would really love to study how it was made. You know..for science and all that. Maybe I could even get it back up and running on our side!"
"...Xion, you take those on the right, I'll take the ones on the left. Happy Hunting."
Hmph, is that woman ordering me? She better keep to her side... Survival of the fittest and all
Although the sight of the rusted droids rising seemlessly from the grave might be enough to deter most people, Xion was not most people. Their pathetic shells may well be able to shield them from the ravages of time, but nothing could prepare them from the motion that he commanded.
Xion set off, appearing as if a blur, the glimpses of light reflected off his blade as he carved through the reinforced carapaces, their hardened alloys offering little resistance from the sheer speed of his vibrating blade. As it's mono-molecular edge cut the bots in twain, what resistance their shells offered sent sparks flying as the metals met in combat. He swept one of the machines to the ground with his feet, before jumping on top of it and plunging his sword deep into it's circuitry, before retracting his blade and cutting the top half of it's abdomen clean in two.
The robots however, kept on coming, even after witnessing the massacre of their now fallen brethren, their sheer numbers threatened to overwhelm Kristina, who had resorted to using her sword completely. The junk bots began to engulf the streets, appearing from every alley, and every pothole.
Xion made his way over to her in the blink of an eye, slashing through more of the bots as they fell between his path. He found himself fighting behind her, she was still holding her own better than he thought, but they needed an ace in the hole.
"Hey! Do you happen to have a plan for these things? Or is it just 'slash until they're all dead'?"
After receiving a more than recommended amount of blows to the head, Lukaas' life began to flash in front of his eyes. His first bike, his first kill, surviving his first bovinon stampede.
Wait, I've never survived a stampede.
Through his swollen eyes, he caught a glimpse of several and stampeding Bovinons heading his way.
With the two of the trio knocked aside by the herd the third turned its attention toward the cattle and began attacking them. Taking advantage of the brief lapsed of attention, Lukaas tried to encourage his legs to work. Just as he was going to test whether his legs were properly working, a bovinon slammed into him, breaking a rib or two. Back again on the ground in agony, Lukaas decided he was more comfortable down there.
Reaching for sawn off and a pair of shotgun slugs, the rampaging drone must've reassessed priority threats and Lukaas became target #1. In a rushed attempt to reload his firearm, Lukaas' mangled hands dropped the ammo. With the drone just about to finish him off, Lukaas dropped his shotgun and closed his eyes in preparation of the sweet embrace of death.
Kristina kept fighting them with all her strength, every few strike, another one of the mech went down; either in pieces, or just simply falling down. Despite the combined work of both her and Xion, their numbers grew; it was like the ancient tales of the Hydra and its infinite heads 'Chop off one head, and two more takes its place.' She began thinking as to how the Hydra was killed in the original tale, when she was interupted by Xion.
"Hey! Do you happen to have a plan for these things? Or is it just 'slash until they're all dead'?"
"I'm currently working on that, just give me a moment to concentrate." Kristina remarked in a harsh tone, still deep in though. Suddenly, the light bulb in her head came on, an idea had formed. She looked at her associate with a devious grin.
"Say, Xion, you wouldn't happen to have a light would you? Or can you at least see a means to create fire?"
"Say, Xion, you wouldn't happen to have a light would you? Or can you at least see a means to create fire?"
"I can indeed..." he said whilst almost back-to-back with Kristina.
He eyed around the market place for a source of ignition, his eyes caught the sight of an electrical cable running up the side of a wall, it's fastenings visibly corroded from age.
Xion sprinted towards the cable, appearing as a blur due to the sheer speed. He used one of the droids as a platform to launch himself above the rest of the horde of metal men below him, before using his empty hand to latch onto the thick cable, proceeded to use his vibrosword to cut it loose at the top, thankful that it failed to electrocute him. He began to slide down, the cable tearing itself from the wall slowing his decent.
The sparks shot from the tip of the heavy duty wire as he dragged it behind him as he cut down more robots between his path to Kristina.
"Will this do?" he raised the cable to signify what he meant, careful to not let it's sparks burn her face. "If you recall, they also spurt flammable fluids, so what now?"
"Will this do?" Xion asked as he raised the cable to signify what he meant, being careful to not let it's sparks burn her face. "If you recall, they also spurt flammable fluids, so what now?" He then asked. Kristina then thought for a moment more, before telling Xion of her plan.
"Simple really, this oil we're standing in, once we get a safe distance, we set it a light with this electrical cable. Thing is, we'll have to be careful to make sure that the market stalls don't get burned down as well. Any ideas on how we accomplish that?" Kristina asked, before cutting down another two security mechs.
Mechty frowned beneath xer mask as xe saw Lukaas seemingly give up, closing his eyes, and leaving the drone to end his only life. That won't do at all. A dead team-mate would be useless, he shouldn't be giving up so easily, xe thought, diving under the legs of a bovinon, and straight into those of the remaining droid. The bot tumbled down on top of Mechty, knocking the wind out of xer, and xe scraped frantically at the armoured skin of the enemy, unable to get the angle necessary to strike at the neck or try to push xer wrist-blades through the armour.
The mech wasn't going to leave it one-sided, and began to rake its truncheon down Mechty's back, causing xer cloak to wither and smolder, before xe grabbed it's wrists.
Now they were stuck, neither able to strike, and Mechty's cloak catching on fire.
The only problem was, the mech wasn't going to tire, whereas Mechty would. Xe only prayed Lukaas would gather his wits and help out.
Kin's momentum was halted when Ray pulled out of her grip. She turned, about to ask what he was doing, but was interrupted by the thunderous report of his rifle.
"Kin, git that gorram young'un to the ship, I'll do what I can to keep it off yer tail!"
"Goddammit Ray!" Kin shouted, knowing she didn't have time to change his mind. Catching up to Precis, she muttered "If he gets out of that alive, I'm gonna kill him..."
"Do you think that thing could fit into the cargo hold after we take it down somehow? I would really love to study how it was made. You know..for science and all that. Maybe I could even get it back up and running on our side!"
She was floored by the girls enthusiasm. We're in the middle of escaping from homicidal security bots, and all she can think of is studying the most dangerous one of the bunch? "Ummm... How about we think of doing that when we have the machine incapacitated? Now, we gotta move!"
The mechanical behemoth set priority targeting on the most present danger: Ray. The former rancher was taking shot after shot and quickly running out of ammunition. It didn't take long for the giant construction robot to move in on its target, its column-like legs crashing through market stalls as it closed in on its target. Ray quickly bolted in the opposite direction, slinging his rifle over his shoulder as he darted for the alley. He sprinted down the narrow passageway, the sounds of gunfire and security bots becoming nothing but a faint whisper compared to the heavy pistons working the construction bot's legs and the grating of the metal they crushed. It was clear that Ray couldn't outrun the thing and he knew he had to break line of sight fast.
The rancher bashed through a shop's rear entrance, throwing his shoulder against the door and breaking the deadbolt out of the jamb. He stumbled into a dark storage room just as the behemoth's leg swung through the alley, hitting a trash compacter and throwing it through a nearby wall. Ray moved into the shop and exited through the storefront, focused on finding a means to eliminate the mechanical monstrosity. The metal beast stalled as it scanned the immediate area for movement from its target, though only for a moment as it opted to follow the most probable path of travel. It leveled the store as Ray walked down the street, causing him to stumble as the ground shook and debris flew outward from the impact. To avoid being seen, Ray dove through a shop window and clumsily tumbled across the floor. Again, the beast paused as it scanned the area for signs of its target who was peering over the low sill of the broken window. The gunslinger soon spotted opportunity in a small fueling station further down the road. If he could get there, he could lure the bot and blow it to smithereens, but the real problem lied in getting there and initiating his plan without being seen.
Precis was pretty worried about what Ray was doing right now, but she had her own worries right now. She had to get back to the ship and make sure that there was enough room for the behemoth. If not, she could always disassemble it and keep the parts in the cargo area. It was then she heard Kin's response to her question, and it certainly made a lot of sense. Keeping pace pretty easily, she said. "You're right, but I know that Ray will be able to do something about that behemoth. I bet he's got a super cool plan going on right now. Though, I can only hope that plan doesn't injure the thing TOO much. If he can at least disable it I'll be able to do the rest."
With Precis and Kin making a run towards the Silversword, it appeared as if they traded the frying pan for the fire. Their path led to a battleground of military grade security drones and gunslingers with Kier'Ran hanging tight onto the anti-vehicle Atrik. With their path blocked by the robotic rodeo, they had to assist the old tracker.
As the Gunslinger tried to figure how to lure the mechanical behemoth towards the fueling station without getting killed, two sword fighters seemed to have just done this. The ungodly groans of the dying worker androids caught the attention of the monstrous construction unit . With it's previous prey hidden, the creature reassessed priority targets, plotted a path past the fueling station and over some market stalls, it charged the duo.
Wake up, Lukaas
Because you are going to die if you don't.
Why should I care? I have nothing worth waking up for.
If you die, then you will break the promise you made me.
Eyes snapping up, Lukaas returned to the land of the conscious, greeted by the scent of burning cloth and oil. Suffering from brief amnesia, Lukaas was confused by the sight of two wrestling robots.
Wait, don't I know the orange one?
Yes, the two of you just met a hour ago. You need that one not dead.
Looking for a weapon, Lukaas spotted his gun and one shotgun shell laying to his right. Grabbing at it and loading it, Lukaas pointed the business end of the firearm at the droid he needed dead and pulled the trigger.
With pain rocketing through his broken arm, the stalemate of the wrestling match was put to a end with a spectacular show of sparks and shrapnel.
Dropping the sawn-off, Lukaas fell back on the ground and mumbled something barely decipherable.
"Happy now, Sunsan?"
Mechty fell back as the burst of pellets from Lukaas' gun knocked the security droid off of xer in a spray of destroyed parts. Breathing heavily from all the effort expended in the last few minutes, xe just laid there, unable to bring forth the strenght needed to move. It didn't really matter anyway, all the bots were dead or no longer any threat, and the bovinons had stomped off elsewhere.
After a minute, Mechty started to hear something moving through the debris of the market nearby. Turning xer head, xe saw the little street urchin from earlier. He seemed to be going around, pocketing stuff. Seeing that reminded xer of the shopping, and xe pulled xerself up, making a grating sound while doing so. The kid heard the sound, and scampered off deeper into the market. Mechty shook xer head, climbed to xer feet, and wandered over to grab the shopping bag and check on Lukaas. Apart from a little blood, the shopping was fine. Lukaas, however, seemed to be staring up at the ceiling, looking the worse for wear, his hat discarded nearby. Mechty picked it up, dusted it off, and placed it on his chest, before sitting down next to him and waiting for him to come to his senses.
Ray was in the middle of cooking up a plan when the behemoth suddenly started moving again. What was surprising was that it was moving away from Ray, as if it found another target that it deemed as a higher priority. When the gunslinger felt he was in the clear, he vaulted over the low wall and made a mad dash for the fueling station at the end of the road, securing his rifle with one hand and his hat with the other. He quickly reached the station and assessed the materials he had to work with, mainly the canisters of fuel, both big and small. What really caught his eye was the very large, external fuel tank that was fixed to the foundation of the station. A quick look at the gauge and he cracked a small smile, seeing that it was nearly at full pressure.
"That'll do just fine, I reckon," Ray said to himself as he hustled inside the station's main building. The door's sensor chimed as he stepped through and he quickly saw there were people inside, sheltering themselves from the killer construction unit that took to the streets just moments before. "Y'all wanna clear outta here, this place'll be soon be a smoulderin' pile o'rubble afore long."
"Hey, now wait just a minute here," said a man with a bright red shirt and a cap with the station's logo. "If you think you're gonna destroy my station just to blow that thing up, then you are sorely mist-"
Ray quickly, with masked reluctance, drew one of his revolvers and trained the barrel right between the man's eyes. "Alright, pardner, we can go 'bout this two ways. Now, I may not be able to predict the future or nothin', but I'm purdy shore yore gonna pick the one that leaves you with all yore teeth and without some new holes in ya."
The capped man, his eyes staring down the revolver's barrel, nodded frantically and headed for the door like the others had. He paused, turning to Ray as he opened his mouth to say something before immediately closing it and scurrying out the door, not willing to see if the gunslinger meant what he said. Ray holstered his revolver and tipped his hat to the departing man, then headed to the back room. The back of the station was terribly cluttered, whether as a result of sudden panic or just simple lack of organization he couldn't say for sure. Seeing a container that closely resembled a tool box, Ray quickly moved on it and began rummaging through its contents. He removed a blowtorch and a few rolls of duct tape, then made his way back to the station's exterior with his findings. He set them near the large fuel tank before heading to a large storage cage containing smaller gas tanks sitting against the fuel station.
"Acetylene?" Ray muttered to himself as he read the label on the cage before breaking off the lock. "Yeah, yore gonna burn real nice, ain't ya?"
The gunslinger began removing the tanks by twos and setting them near the large tank until the storage container was completely emptied, then got to work immediately. He set each of the acetylene tanks on their side atop the concrete platform the large tank was set upon and made sure each was pressed against the underside of the massive canister. Using the duct tape, the gunslinger secured each acetylene tank as best he could, then grabbed the blowtorch. He looked towards the direction of the recently commissioned deconstruction bot and could see it wreaking havoc in the distance. It was headed in the direction of the shipyard. The same direction that Kin and Precis were heading. Ray feared that the very thing he was trying to prevent was about to happen - he had to lure that thing back to him quickly. He spotted a small transport buggy and without hesitation, set the blowtorch and four tanks of acetylene into its rear. Hurrying back into the station once more, the gunslinger scrounged up some scraps of cloth and a can of lighter fluid before returning to the buggy and setting off down the road.
Kristina silently cheered for joy as the worker drones began to die off, each accompanied by a painful sounding groan; which almost made her feel sorry for them, but then she remembered that they tried to kill her and Xion, she signified this by kicking the head of one that was still moving off its chassis with single strike; a smile appeared afterwards. Their victory was short-lived though, as a towering construction mech had spotted the bonfire, and was steadily making its way over to them.
"Oh, crap. Out of the frying pan and into the fire it seems." Kristina said sounding rather worried, but then saw something hurtling down the road, it appeared to be a road buggy of some kind, and it had a familiar driver behind the wheel; the gunslinger from back at the Red Giant, Ray.
Xion stood amongst the remains of hundreds of mechanical worker droids, their components strewn across the landscape in the immediate vicinity of the two swordsmen, tracks, saw blades, retinal implants, all had met a swift end as blades had pierced and slashed straight through them. Xion himself was having no such fun destroying the robots, their threat level was minimal, with their weapons and tactics rudimentary at best, not having the capacity to remotely endanger him. As he stood in a shallow puddle of motor fuel and oil, he wondered if the other members of the group were being challenged by opponents of similar strength, or whether they had been mistaken for being their superiors and had been targeted by more advanced assassins.
Just as he pondered these thoughts, he heard the screeching and clanking that unmistakably came from large hydraulic joints. Could it be? Something of a challenge?
His ears sought out the direction of the noise, and it was then that his eyes met the sight of something slow and thunderous coming round the corner of the market. A massive mechanical behemoth had since arisen, attracted by their recent collaboration and proceeding bonfire, and had decided to turn it's attention towards him and Kristina. A most valiant thought.
"Oh, crap. Out of the frying pan and into the fire it seems."
He looked over at her, visibly exhausted from her efforts, although she certainly was a resilient one, clearly capable of fending for herself for quite a while longer. Once he looked past her bedraggled state and body quivering with adrenaline, he could see a hardness to those eyes, something foolish, but almost an effervescent quality.
"You need not worry yourself. This beast is not of any different breed than those before, it's enormity only allows for more weakness to exploit. Or as the saying goes - The bigger they are, the harder they fall."
Xion flicked the tails of his coat, causing the accumulated fluids to seamlessly slide off the strange alien hide that comprised it's outer layer. He then stepped over to a small market stall and looked down at it's wares, before retrieving a length of cloth, which he then used to wipe his blade clean of any residue, before turning on it's vibrating function to remove any last fibres for good measure.
He swung his sword against the air, twirling it in his hand before taking on a readied stance, his feet planted firmly and his sword pointed directly at the impending scrapheap.
It was then that he heard the sound of an engine coming from behind the beast; it was a buggy of some sort, hurtling at it's admittedly paltry full speed, heading straight for them. It's driver seemed familiar to him, his augmented vision providing ample zoom on the target's face, it was the cowboy gunslinger from the Red Giant, reinforcements perhaps?
The gunslinger in the utility transport was becoming frusterated with the speed of the buggy, fearing he wouldn't reach the large metal beast in time. As he drew nearer the behemoth, he could make out what he assumed to be its new targets. Their faces were familiar, he recognized them as bounty hunters from the café. Before he could ponder further on just what the hell they were doing just standing there, he was forced to start weaving through debris that the mechanical monstrocity made from carelessly charging through anything that it couldn't step over. The sound of hydraulic pistons at work became more audible, though just barely coming through over the thunderous sounds of the beast's crashing footsteps, as Ray trailed behind it. The gunslinger swerved to and fro, looking for opportunity to pass beneath it and hopefully reach the two blade-brandishing bounty hunters in time.
A small window of opportunity presented itself as both Ray and the beast approached a clearing in the cluttered streets. The buggy zipped between the aft pair of large moving pillars and nearly surpassed the fore when the gap closed briefly on the gunslinger. What seemed to be a live Chekadia vendor was spared by the behemoth before Ray - having no option other than risk being wrecked by the beast's legs - burst through the corrugated iron structure, splintering its wooden frame and scattering the metal sheets. Cages of Chekadia were thrown all around and the gabble of the airborne hens were just another addition to the sounds of the absolute chaos. Not more than a few seconds' time and a quick glance after the impact confirmed what Ray thought he'd heard, a cage occupied the passenger seat and within was a rather flustered hen frantically flapping about. The gunslinger was prepared to grab the caged bird and throw it out when realized his attention was needed elsewhere.
With the behemoth was none too pleased about having been usurped by the gunslinger in the buggy, it jabbed with its spindly arms in an attempt to break the vehicle and, in turn, the man driving it. Ray, meanwhile, was swerving and dodging as best he could, his foot firmly on the accelerator as the engine struggled to meet its operator's demands. He was just out of reach of the behemoth when a pointed limb swung fiercely, nearly slicing the main thruster in the rear. The metal beast was now behind Ray and the space between was gradually widening as he sped down the road. Skirting to a halt just mere feet in front of the duo with swords and, without a moment's rest, he clambered into the small bed of the buggy with the materials he brought with him.
"No questions, just get in. You, drive us to the fuel station back the way I rode from. And you, in the back with me," Ray said, pointing first at the male bounty hunter then to the sword-wielding woman next to him. Not willing to let his hands keep idle, he began individually dousing the scraps of cloth he brought in lighter fluid. "C'mon, put the silverware away, we gotta decommission that darned thing."
As he laid on his back, listening to the sounds of bells playing in his ears, Lukaas felt a pressure on his chest. Lifting his throbbing head to look at the foreign object only to discover it isn't so foreign.
"Oh hey, Mechty. I forgot you were still here. Thanks for finding my lucky hat. You know, if it wasn't for that hat, I would be dead right now. Lucky me, huh?"
Despite what his body is yelling with every painful movement, Lukaas got up on his unstable legs and started towards the SilverSword.
I'm fucking done with this station, Sunsan. Why didn't you just let me die?
Watching Lukaas climb unsteadily to his feet, Mechty opened xer mouth to speak, before stopping xerself and placing a hand on his shoulder instead. Deciding that this was a serious moment, xe quickly removed the hand and chucked it back at the corpse it came from, replacing it with xer gauntlet on his shoulder.
Lukaas seemed rather shaky on his feet, and Mechty wasn't too sure it would be a good idea to be walking off towards the sounds of distant fighting. There were a few cheap, overturned hauler-buggies in the area, used for moving supplies in bulk, but not at high speeds. They could probably find a working one to commandeer, and use it to ferry some supplies with them as well. Never know what may come in handy later. Mechty kept xer grip on Lukaas' shoulder, and waved xer free hand in the direction of a couple of the transports.
"No questions, just get in. You, drive us to the fuel station back the way I rode from. And you, in the back with me." Ray ordered, first pointing at Xion, then to Kristina; both of whom seem confused. He then continued. "C'mon, put the silverware away, we gotta decommission that darned thing." Ray shouted, pointing at the giant construction mech that was fast approaching behind them. Quickly wiping the oil and sweat from herself and her sword, Kristina quickly jumped into back seat with Ray, who was busy dousing individual scraps of cloth into lighter fluid.
"I hope you know what your doing Ray. Come on Xion, the faster we get moving, the faster that thing gets turned into scrap metal." Kristina called out over the sound of the buggy's engine.
Xion watched as the cowboy swerved the buggy to halt mere inches away from where he and Kristina stood, the wheels screeching across the road leaving choking fumes of tar smoke in it's wake.
"No questions, just get in. You, drive us to the fuel station back the way I rode from. And you, in the back with me."
He watched as the gunslinger pointed first to him and then to Kristina. Before Xion could object and cite that he wasn't the greatest driver in the solar system, Kristina had already hopped into the back of the buggy, and along with Ray, had begun to fuss around with dousing rags in fluid, improvising Molotov Cocktails to attack the mechanical monstrosity.
"C'mon, put the silverware away, we gotta decommission that darned thing."
Giving a huff to the idea of being ordered about by some space rodeo clown, along with being targeted by hundreds of robot workers, Xion resolved to go with the flow and to put an end to the whole situation as quickly as possible, even if it meant playing along with Ranger Ray here and his pitiful militia weapons.
Sheathing his sword, Xion vaulted over the passenger door, landing directly in the drivers seat with a loud *THUD*. He adjusted the rear view mirror slowly, almost procrastinating.
"Hold on tight" he said before shifting the buggy into gear and pushing the pedal down as far as it would go, giving a sharp judder to the backseat passengers and causing some of the liquids to spill. The small automobile's speed climbed steadily, although it would surely fall behind unless there was more to this plan.
"Once ya get them rags doused, tie 'em on the handle like this one here," Ray said as he tied one of the doused rags to the the handle of one of the gas tanks so Kristina could see. The gunslinger then reached for the blowtorch and held it up. "Then, once them rags is secure, yore gonna light 'em up with this when I tell ya, then throw them off the back. Be careful when ya get to it - thanks to Lynda Leadfoot up there, the flatbed's practically soaked in lighter fluid. Now, yore gonna wanna toss one when we pass under that big fella, that's so we can get 'im after us. Ya got all that?"
The buggy began to move at speed as Xion put the vehicle into gear, and with a slight judder due to going over some loose bits of road, it caused some of the liquids to spill on the passengers at the back. Ray then began to explain some of the finer points regarding his plan.
"Once ya get them rags doused, tie 'em on the handle like this one here." He said, tying one of the doused rags to the handle of a gas tank so Kristina could see what he meant.
"Then, once them rags is secure, yore gonna light 'em up with this when I tell ya, then throw them off the back. Be careful when ya get to it - thanks to Lynda Leadfoot up there, the flatbed's practically soaked in lighter fluid. Now, yore gonna wanna toss one when we pass under that big fella, that's so we can get 'im after us. Ya got all that?" Ray then asked Kristina, hoping she understood the plan. She responded with a slight chuckle at the remark directed at Xion, then went to a more serious expression.
"Of course, light these doused rags when you say, but be careful due to Xion's oh so tender approach to driving. Then when we pass under the large construction mech; throw it at the mech so you can no doubt shoot at the fuel tank, causing it to follow us." Kristina responded, simplfying the plan, whilst making it more understandable for those who didn't quite catch Ray's 'unique' dialect.
"Just give the word, and I'll do as you say." She then added, giving a sligtly mischeivous grin.