The Wall that separated the Omega Sector from the rest of Angelus... no. The barrier that kept the insanity and darkness of Omega Sector from polluting Angelus and the rest of the world loomed ahead, and was growing larger as the Blue Steel Zero devoured the distance between itself and the wall.
Tyger licked his lips as the dull ache in his left arm thrummed with the engines and systems of the Blue Steel Zero. He looked at his arm reflexively and, of course found that it was fine. Casting his attention over his systems, he found the source of the ache. Zero was telling him that she was hurt. Not badly, his Stun-Baton was knocked off-line, but the mechanical, alien voices in the back of his mind, at the edge of his perception simply made it worse. He had managed to evade the missile strike that caused the damage, for the damage could have been significantly worse if it had been a direct hit.
Turning his attention to his forward sensors, the visuals suddenly locked onto and magnified the image of John Masada and the object that was floating near him. Oh, he was well aware of the Power Armor, Armored clades and 'Zombie-Borgs.' But his focus was on that keg-sized object near the head of the Enochians. "Not every day you get to play with Nukes." Tyger grinned to himself. "I'll bet I can pop that fucker like a zit from here..." He was about to engage the shoulder-mounted railgun when he remembered that Carpenter was on his back hanging on for dear life.
Without a word, Tyger piloted the massive power armor from above the buildings to a low skim on the road before landing. "Here's your stop Nate. Thanks for using the Blue Steel Taxi service. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a zit I gotta pop." At that, the Blue Steel took a knee and the railgun lowered into place and locked on to its target. As Carpenter began a quick jog to do his part in this last-ditch defense, Tyger focused intently on the nuke. The sound of Marcy's voice that he had rigged up as the Onboard Computer told him he had weapon's lock and he could fire at any time. The mechanical alien whispers in his mind told him he was going to miss. He had to engage the Zero System. It was the only way.
Tyger's thumb was over the Zero System Activation switch. Do it! You do not have a choice! Use it! You must! The voices insisted, no. Demanded. Tyger simply closed his eyes and squeezed the trigger in his other hand.
There was no warning. A high-pitched scream of power and the recoil of a sudden discharge jarred the Blue Steel Zero to its feet. The railgun projectile few faster than could be seen, only the blue corkscrewing ambiance of ionized air, mist and atmosphere suddenly being violently displaced was the only evidence of the shot fired. Almost as soon as the shot was seen, there was the sound of shattering glass followed instantly by the sound of a dense, metal object suddenly being dented.
Masada winced and reflexively ducked and the bomb spun around on its axis with a softball sized dent in its surface. Whatever had hit it had not only damaged the bomb's casing, but shattered the mental barriers protecting the device and himself in a single shot. With a growl he saw the Blue Steel Zero in the braced position, as well as the Heretic, Nathan Carpenter moving towards him. His mind's eye told him the ESPer, Yiska Karuk was also present and the Witch as well. They would pay for their interference!
Tyger cursed aloud as the nuke took the hit from the railgun. Obviously it was not floating out there for just anyone to screw with. That only made things more difficult. I told you so. If you would have used the Zero System, you would have succeeded. Tyger took a knee again and prepared to line up another shot with the railgun, his thumb still hovering precariously over the switch.
Masada's forces did not need to be commanded to take up a defensive position and deal with those that would attack their messiah and the Salvation of Earth. All of the forces began a rapid advance, the power armors seeming to move in towards Carpenter. Tyger cursed under his breath. He could take another shot at Masada or the nuke, or he could take out those mecha and give Carpenter some cover. You can't do both!
Without thought or argument, Tyger pressed the Activation switch.
For a brief moment, the voices stopped chattering. For the first time since climbing into the Blue Steel Zero, Tyger's senses were clear. No. Not clear. They were beyond clear. He could feel the weight of the railgun on his shoulder. The firm grip of the chaincannon in his right hand. The stabbing pain of the Blue Steel's...his...damaged left arm. In a matter of microseconds, Tyger was aware of everything that the Blue Steel was. The advanced fly-by-light sensors and controls enhanced his precision and senses.
Tyger retched at the sudden assault on his senses that the sensors gave him and the sense of vertigo that accompanied that. His eyes narrowed towards the Enochain power armor that was closest to Carpenter as if he were trying to look through it, to see how it worked, where the armor plates joined, the joints of the servomotors and systems. Kill it! They made you look like a fool! Your friend is in danger! Stop the Enochians! "Alright babe, Just like we rehearsed it, gimmie target pattern Jolly Roger."
Almost instantly, numerous targeting recitals appeared all over the Enochian power armor nearest to Carpenter. The Baroque mecha had barely comprehended that it had been painted in a most heinous way before the RK-99 chaincannon voiced its opinion. Tyger heard and felt the internal motors of the weapon revving up and the autofeed sending numerous medium caliber bullets into the gatling-style chambers. The firing of the weapon was but a gentle throbbing purr in Tyger's hand.
Directly outside of the Blue Steel Zero, hundreds of spent shell casings and links spilled from the angry chaincannon like a veritable waterfall of brass. At the same instant, the infamous chaincannon spit fire, smoke and death with a furious roar.
The Enochain mecha and its pilot experienced a brief second of pain as the carefully placed concentrated burst of armor-piercing bullets rammed and pounded into the elegantly crafted surface. Armor was torn asunder, the arms were shorn off at the elbows and eventually the main body of the mecha itself was riddled through relentlessly as the deadly precision of the chaincannon's voice disassembled it. When the smoke cleared, the once beautiful Enochian power armor was reduced to torn slag, blood pooling from around the rent pilot's compartment. One down.
Yes. YES! Kill more of them! You MUST Kill more! Quickly before the others try to stop your friend!
Tyger shook his head with an angry growl. "Get out of my head! I won't let you win! Not again, NOT here!" Yes here. Yes now. You Can't stop me. I told you before. YOU. CAN'T. WIN! Tyger released an angry cry of frustration as he felt his mind suddenly unravel and fall into the twisted grip of the Zero System.
At some point, the other members of 9th Squad had began to take action, and Masada had issued the orders for his squad: The remaining power armors would 'deal with' the Clade. The Zombie-Borgs were set upon The Witch and the squad of Clades were ordered to stop the Heretic. Tyger was barely aware of Richard Hemelshot making one of his typical entrances into any combat situation: Ram a spinner into something explosive. In fact, the finer arts and aspect of the entire conflict were lost on Tyger. All he saw was the five advancing Enochian mecha.
The Blue Steel Zero glowered balefully at the nearest power armor, the railgun once more locking into place. The chosen Enochian did not have time to react to the preliminary crack of discharged energy from the shoulder mounted weapon. The ultrasonic projectile hit the Enochian power armor, punched into the pilot's compartment and ripped through out the back without slowing down. The corkscrewing ionized and disturbed air followed the projectile as if the mecha it passed through did not exist.
Almost as soon as the railgun shot ripped through the Enochian mecha, there was a sick pop as one of the Zombie-Borgs happened to be in the line of fire. The shot ripped through the creature even easier than it tore through the mecha, reducing the lobotomized man-machine into little more than scattered meat, blood and mechanical components.
The effectively gutted Enochian mecha staggered backwards lazily from the impact and damage inflicted by the railgun, almost as if it had not yet come to the realization that the fight was over and its pilot was dead. When the Enochian power armor finally understood however, it collapsed in a heap. Blood mixed rapidly with flowing lubricant and hydraulic fluids.
Tyger was vaguely aware that almost as soon as he had dropped the Enochian, the four remaining units attempted to bring him down with a concerted series of well-placed blows with their massive swords.
They thought they had him pinned. Two behind, one in front, the other to his left, a hardened building to his right. They were wrong. All four swung at once, each attempting to cause the Blue Steel Zero to be sent into their comrades attack due to a hit, or by the XSWAT Prototype dodging into the blow. It is the thought that counts. One attack completely missed, one grazed the armor but caused no real damage, the last two landed their attacks squarely.
Tyger shook his head as he tried to clear it and growled like a feral beast. He ignored the blood seeping from his nose and ears thanks to the neural feedback from the concentrated blows. That hurt. The Blue Steel Zero staggered for a moment as the pilot regained his senses.
"There is no WAY he can be standing after what we just did!" One of the pilots gawked at the staggering power armor.
"And yet, he still is. The Prophet declared that he be dealt with. We must obey."
The four Enochians hefted their large, heavy swords and changed position, fanning out to keep the blue and silver mecha's back against the building. Tyger grinned maniacally as he checked his targets. "Hmm. Four Hard Targets and a Soft Target above and behind him on the building. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe... one of you is sure to go. I already took down two you see..."
The damaged left hand of the Blue Steel twitched just before the railgun cracked once more. The projectile slammed into the torso of one of the Enochian mecha, tearing through most of the left shoulder and narrowly missed taking the pilot's head off. The stricken Power Armor staggered and then fell backwards several feet. Although he survived the hit, the neural feedback from the attack ensured that the pilot would not be getting back into the cockpit any time soon.
"...and with that one dead that now makes three!" The barely conscious Tyger was suddenly ripped from the cockpit of the Blue Steel Zero and thrown into a world of pain as three simultaneous blows from the remaining Enochians slammed into him. Even before the pain subsided, Tyger's vision was replaced by pain and then unconsciousness.
"This is madness!" One pilot announced after realizing that although is blow landed square, it did little more than dent the armored hide of the Blue Steel.
"Agreed. Whomever this pilot is, he is out of our league. Not many can take what we have been handing out."
"And we can't take what he's giving to us. He will kill us all before we can stop him." The first replied.
"As Enochians, we must follow the Prophet."
The first mecha looked at the third pilot. "This is true, but we can not follow the Prophet if we are dead, and his orders say nothing about suicide!"
The second Enochian looked at the remains of the three ruined mecha, two of their pilot's life-signs were nil. The other was alive, barely. He then looked at the Blue Steel. "If it gets up after this, we leave. We will not allow ourselves to be squandered here when there are more dire battles ahead." The other two nodded in agreement.
Almost as if on cue, the Blue Steel Zero released an angry, mechanical roar of defiance. The second battery of blows had sent the pilot into unconsciousness, but the Enochians did not know that. All they saw was that this mecha before them, which they had been ordered to deal with had taken down three of their number...two of the pilots killed, while it seemed to ignore their own assaults.
Kill...KILL!!! Slaughter them ALL!!!
"Holy Mother of God..." was the barely audible reply from one of the Enochians; the only words that all three would speak before scattering in separate directions. The Blue Steel moved to lunge at the nearest one as it stooped to gather its chaincannon, allowing the Baroque mecha to make good its escape.
Maim...Destroy... Rend them limb from limb! Let none survive my wrath!
The Blue Steel howled its frustration as the other two Enochian Power Armors left the scene, but not before picking up their wounded partner. Must...KILL! The Prototype mecha hefted the chaincannon and prepared to unleash fiery death at the next thing that had the unfortunate luck to be caught in the crosshairs of any of the Blue Steel's weapon systems.
Slaughter them ALL!!!
The chaincannon suddenly locked on the armored clades who now had their backs facing him. They were all in kneeling positions, as if in prayer. Carpenter was with them in the exact same posture. The chaincannon thrummed to life as the multi-barreled system engaged and prepared to spit death upon them all. "No. Stop it...They're done fighting." Tyger groaned aloud as the dark oblivion that was unconsciousness gave way to a red haze.
Not a haze of anger or loss of control, but blood. His blood. Tyger massaged his head where with a groan and felt the warm, sticky sensation of raking his fingers through his own blood. "Dammed bastards hit me harder than I thought..."As Tyger regained his bearings and reasserted control of the Blue Steel, and the situation showed that there were no more enemy combatants, the Zero System disengaged itself on its own accord, much to Tyger's relief...