The Dark Athena loomed over T-bone, casting its shadow over the victim city with its upper half while its lower half reached down into the sand storm below, from a distance it almost looked as though a great sea serpent had risen from Pandora's forgotten past had risen from the long gone sea to menace the harbor town. (Like what really happened in Pandora's forgotten past, mostly forgotten by the people involved who were devoured by the great serpent or melted by its projected gastric fluids.)
Another trio of shuttles arched out of the landing bay of the Dark Athena, they were tasked with ferrying all the Mech walkers they had left, it was anticipated that so much firepower would level each plate of T-bone, particularly violent piolts were wired into their shells and though they were only pointed in the direction of targets, at this point the Captain simply wanted to win.
The pilots were diving fast toward the landing zones, as they were passed by more drone pods the pilots watched as the next wave crashed and scattered across the suddenly active shield dome of T-bone.
This unexpected obstacle shocked the decending piolts, seeing the drop pods explode mid-air against the shimmering dome sent a hail of burning shrapnel to pepper the decending ships.
Snapping out of their shock, the merc pilots attempted to abort their decent and pulled up sharply on their joysticks, be the hesitation cost them, they only pulled up into thier dooms.
They too crashed against the shield dome, the heavy cargo of walkers badly needed in the city spilled out of ruptured holds to tumble sparking and burning across the defensive dome and over the edge to Pandora's sand storm below.
And for the first time since the battle began the city automated turrets rose from their bays and retuned fire, high intensity bolts and missiles showered the Dark Athena own shields.
Gale revas unleashed a wave of curses as she knew the battle suddenly turned agaisnt her and decisively so.
After hurried and curse laden transmitted orders from the Dark Athena, the nearest merc units redirected from their engagements and beat feet to the City control, the only place where the city defences could have been reactivated.
That mutant hybrid Trask could not be contacted, Revas assumed she would stay in the control center of the city but either she was dead or fucked off to do whatever pleased her.
Gale revas assumed she fucked off and couldnt be counted on.
Reaching the building the merc platoon found the building in lockdown, all the windows and doors were sealed with blast doors preventing any easy access.
The scarred platton sergent called his tech specialist forward to hack the lock, it was impossible to burn their way into the thick blast doors and given how Revas was yelling over the comm's time to waste.
The tech specialist pried open the door control panel and after exposing inner workings, he reached into his side satchel and pulled out his ComTech hacking device made by the Weyland-Yutani corporation.
The datapad was a reliable blue-grade model, not top of the line but suitable. The devices' holo-screen displayed the code cracking efforts as a blue progress bar jumping back and forth representing setbacks against the dppr lock defences and success agsint the same.
With a chime the hack device was finsihed and the techie retrieved the pad while the blast door opened followed by the inner door, opening to darkness.
The platoon rushed into the lobby of the building with thier shoulder mounted flashlights illuminating the surroundings, each beam of light casting shadows from overturned funiture and leaving the furthest reaches of the light to dissapear in a haze at the end of hallways.
This platton was no assuming this area was secure, and with some quick orders snapped over the comms the first squad begand to advance into the structure, intent on deactivating the city defences so the merc's can continue sacking the city.....and turn on the damn lights.
But before they got too far into the facility, concealed explosives were triggered by missplaced feet sent shredded and bloody bodies arching into the air.
Before the shock of the noise and explosion could pass from the survivors, Rouge triggered smoke and flashbang grenades strapped to the sides of generic office art statues and to the ceiling.
With smoke to obscure thier vision while the flashbang stunned the rest, Lola emerged from her cover from behind the upper floor railing and wall to open fire with a DataDyne superdragon model rifle she happened to find.
Her Furyan eyes could see clearly through the mist of the smoke grenades and made sure her spray of fire managed to hit a few targets, she only had one magazine and no grenades for the underbarrel so she just waved the gun barrel until it clicked empty, to which she threw the rifle to smack in the face of a recovering mrec trooper just as his own vison cleared.
Lola's fast retreat was followed by answering gunfire form below to chew up her former cover, but she was already hidden away in the darkness of the building as was Rouge, waiting to stalk their soon to be prey.
Now aware that there was a real threat was waiting for them, the merc platoon broke down into teams and spread into the building, some donned infra-red visors or lit up the immediate area with shoulder and weapon mounted lamps.
Lola had removed her goggles and hid in the darkness just on the otherside of the open threshold of a door. Directly across from her was another open door leading to a well appointed break room, she held her ulaks across her chest and waited patiently.
The sounds of a five trooper squad ecohed in the hallway leading to Lola, she didnt let herself react physically, not moving a muscle or making a sound beyond soft breathing.
The point man wore a night vision visor, the environment for him was lit up in shades of green, the white light lamps of his companions helped his forward vision which he covered with a sub-machine gun blaster supplied by the dark athenas own armory.
He didnt notice the lurking furyan woman hidden in the accountants office, Lola counted the foot steps on the tiled floor. Judging by the sound there was just enough space between merc two and three for what she planned, and acting on the the instinctive impulses of a well-bred warrior race, she struck.
Before merc two could lift his follow up foot step and just after merc 3 set his lead foot down, Lola darted between them. Her dual ulaks lashed out, the hyper-keen edges cutting easily and neatly into the back of merc two's neck and the front of merc three's own.
Merch four shouted out as he seen the blur of a woman dart by, not distracted by his falling comrades he fired, his barrel chasing just behind Lola to leave deep craters in the wall around the doorway to the breakroom.
Rushing after her, the three merc's caught no more than her backfoot and her fluffy tail as she fell back via the other door of the break room.
They did not have time to notice the trio of remote mines spaced evenly in the kill zone, all linked to the proximity sensor planted just before the door she fled through.
When the point man reached the next door, the mines triggered and exploded, killing all of the chasing mercs at once in a tight kill zone.
Rouge waited in the shadows, her smooth edged curved blade held in a reverse grip in her hand, she was crouched atop a support bean crossing over the cafeteria of the building. Her senses were as fine as Lola's and could see clearly in the dark of the building interior and hear her prey well before they entered the room below her.
This portion of the invading platoon of three mercs stormed into the room, spurred on by the nearby explosion and dead comrades, tipping over tables and kicking them away from the group.
They were expecting more planted explosives, it was risky to throw and kick potential environmental threats, but like Lola, Rouge had a blade for them.
She dropped down among them and with a downward thrust driven by her weight, her blade cut through the second mercs shields and armor, slitting open her chest, her death spasams reaching her hands caused her to fire her weapon ineffectively into the floor.
The muzzle flash lit the room up with split second light, the third merc in the rear quickly raised his rifle to fire a burst of bolts into Rouge's chest.
But in that split second of darkness, Rouge ducked down and with a kick of her legs, slid around behind the attacking merc in a tight circle on the floor, whos gun fire peppered the very suprised first merc in the front.
Behind the last one, Rouge smoothly slid her hooked daggar around his neck and pulled and sliced it open easily.
Before Rouge dashed off into the building to support Lola, she paused over the mercenaries she killed, looking at all the blood pooling around her feet.
She was struck with a thirst she'd been ignoring for weeks, he mouth watered at the though of drinking the vite readily available at her feet, she was a batling of the vampire variety, and she had to satisfy her thirst sometime.
But thanks to the pregnacy, it coming back more urgent than usual, her supply she kept for this purpose was getting depleted, and she doubted the blood spreading at her feet was not clean.
Shaking thoughts of her hunger from her mind, she steeled herself for the fight before her, she wouldnt let Lola clear the building alone.
It took another twelve minutes of fighting from the shadows to whittle down the invading platoon of mercenaries, but they did it.
The last five mercenaries managed to make it to the last corridor leading to the control room, they didnt make it halfway before both Lola and Rouge slid out from the shadows behind them at once and opened fire with thier SMG's, the Dahl made weapons burst fire allowed for a saturation field of fire that overwhelmed thier low quality personal shields and peppered the armorless bodies underneath.
With the structure quiet and littered with the bodies of a dead mercenary platoon the two ladies relaxed enough to consider thier options.
'well the front door is wide open, better keep our eyes on it.' Rouge said roloading her weapon, keeping an eye on the dark hall leading to the operations center, he sharp eyes pentrating the darkness.
'And keep this place on lockdown, like hte man said.' Lola said simply shaking clean her ulaks of blood, referring to thier shared lover Tails.
Rouge coulnd't disagree. Flying away in the ship would not be possible with an attacking frigate looming overhead.
Making their way together down to the first floor, the women took new hidden positions overwatching the front door and landing, keeping this vital tactical point would help swing the battle to thier benefit more than rushing out into the streets to join the battle.
Moxxi killed her, as she fully intended. Lovestone was not a diciple, she was a sacrifice to her own good. She was a hedonist to the core but the torments of the Dark Eldar pushed even her to her limits, it left her weakend and withered into the woman that people had grown accustomed.
But implanting her Eridian made trinket she dubbed 'Moxxi's endowment' was meant to convert another persons life force and transfer it into her.
And she was quickly rejuvinated from the damage the torment masters of Commorragh inflicted onto her. Moxxi stood up to take in her returned real self, she wasnt skinny anymore but robust. Her breasts returned as well, her true I-cups tore free of her top to spill out, and her thick ass was back too.
She admired her returned beauty, and it wasnt until the trade of fire between the Dark Athena and the suddenly reactivated city defences brought her back to reality and tear her eyes from the mirror.
Her clothes fitted to her true self were not readily on hand, down in the shops hidden bunker. She grabbed some loose rags, torn shirts that her son made for the sake of soaking up oil and wrapped a ample patch around her ample bust.
She was glad that she had her body back, but Moxxi knew this wasnt the time to pull her usual flirtatious antics.
Now she had to act, the precience granted by Edrik indicated to her that the Dark Athena would eventually break through the shield, and while the push back from the judge expiditiary force would see the mercenaries driven away, but she didnt want that.
She had a plan to get rid of the the Dark Athena before the Judges get too close to Scooters shop, by some strange twist of fate her hidden bunker and illegal shadowrunner operations and would see her arrested.
She had no time for that, making her way to the main shop floor she found her son, as well as the "Rouge trader" Tails and one of his women Carmelita as well as Tiny Tina trading fire with encroaching merc troopers, Moxxi could see that her allies and son have made a good effort on thier part.
No merch got within fifty meters of the main doors and the deployable road blocks used for cover, the road beyond was dotted with bolt riddled bodies and burning hulks of armored walkers.
Strutting past the silent Edrik floating serenely in his tank, hearing his mother approaching behind, Scooter looked over his shoulder and instantly shouted with joy; 'Real mom is back, yall!'
Each of the other defenders took a look at the regenerated Moxxi and were justifiably suprised.
'You bangin' gurl!' Tiny Tina declared without hesitation before sighting down her her sniper rifle and blowing up another victim with a well placed center body shot.
'What other suprises dose this woman have up her sleeve?' Carmelita said under her breath as she quickly reloded
Spinning behind the cover of the wall, Tails turned to face Moxxi. 'Well it looks like you changed a lot in the last hour, ready to join the party?'
'Not just a clever plan, but a damn insta-fix. Edrik, darling, care to clear the sky for us?' Moxxi asked as she summoned up her personal SMG, Good Touch from her storage digi-deck to manifest in her waiting right hand.
The recently fed Guild navigator, empowered with the spice melange, was fully capable of such a request. 'Where would you want them? The other side of the universe? Core of the local star?' Despite the mutated man voice being translated by the mounted voice box on his tank, a hint of excitement could be detected in the metallic static.
'Just straight up my dear floating worm, just outside of the atmosphere.' Moxxi ordered before joining the battle shooting bursts of fire charged bolts into any merc she caught sight of peeking out form the cover of wrecked hulks of walkers and vechicle hulks.
Below on the underhang of T-bone, Callie and Honey had finally recived help in the form of the dual wielding swordsmen and women zipping around with well practiced ease via thier omni-directional gear, cutting ghost drone heads from slumped shoulders.
Callie ducked into the dubvious cover of a hastily built shack on one of the few stable platforms supporting the bridges, taking time to re-load her handguns. She peeked out the window to take in the fight taking place around her.
She and Honey had held thier own quite well agaisnt the poorly coordinated walking dead cyborgs, thier A.I. simply could not react in a smooth reliable manner and were destroyed in droves as they were outmanuvered by Callie and Honey.
The drones that came under control of a merc on the Dark athena proved little better, gamer-esque curses eminating from thier speaker grills as the drone bodies fell to the walkways of over into the storm swirling below.
The city defences reactivated, the shield dome materialized around T-bone, and the automated camera-guns rolled along thier rails and added thier support, firing down on the invaders on all levels of T-bone.
Realizing that the tide was turning drastically, Callie peeked back out of the doorway, looking for her parter in this skirmish.
Spotting the other feline-woman a short distance away, delivering a roundhouse to send a drone over the edge and into the open air. Catching sight of the woman she knew as Lisa who was beckoning to her, she ran toward her and leaped into the shack.
'I think the party down here is getting crowded, that bunch with the swords look like the type to roofie drinks.' Honey said as she reloaded her own weapon, crouching next to Callie.
'I think we better get back to the top of the plate, we need to link back up with the others.'
Honey nodded in agreement, Callie peaked out of the shack angain to pick the best course to take back to the top-side of the plate and back to Scooter's.
Ghost drones were dropping by the dozens, the where previously they choked the walkways, they now were scattered and uncoordinated. One of the ramps leading up to the streets above only had five drones occupying it, they were still obeying the general order to infiltrate the buildings from access panels from the underhang.
With the arrival of reinforcements, Callie was certain they could handle the remaining drones; 'There's our way back up, follow my lead!'
Honey nodded and was close behind as they rushed form the crudly welded shack, ducking low under the sword wielding zipping by on thier gas propelled lines.
Both ladies opened fire, Callie's revolvers and Honey's SMG made quick work of the slow advancing Ghost drones, their bolt riddled bodies fell to roll the rest of the way down.
Charging up the ramp they beheld T-bone scorced by war, but was clearly gainnig the upper hand, sprinting close to buildings and keeping cover in the form of burning vehicle hulks and made a direct path to Scooters garage, which was well within view.
Tails caught sight of them first, who urgently waved to them, clearly demanding they get to the auto shop and relative safety before adding covering fire with the others to ensure Callie and Honey could make it to the shop.
Leaping over the armored barriers, Callie landed neatly on her feet as did Honey.
Her attention was immediately drawn to the transformed Moxxi, and the navigator focusing his power.
'I am ready to send them away.' the mutant human said through his metallic translator.
'Do it, I'm bored of them.'
And with that the Navigator began to fold space around the Dark Athena.