Hey guys! Legion is back with another chapter coming at yous! I've got nothing much to say, as I've been really enjoying getting back into the story at full force. Not just writing it, but also putting it into images! SFM images to be precise! I'll be putting links down to my newest ones under the chapter, please give them a look at them once you're done reading this piece! I would highly appreciate it ^w^ (yes I know, shameless advertising but I like a teeny little bit of attention ya know? XD ) Anyways, onto the meat of the content!
Over at the Earth Guardian's position in the mid-city, having left a trail of destruction in the wake of a not so subtle crash landing, the dragon himself was laying on his side, the scales on the right side of his body was torn to shreds, bleeding profusely through the punctured wounds, though this was mainly covered up by the ground his side sat on. Discomfort for him was an understatement.
Yet it was near his tail's end and his wings where most of the pain wracked through his body, scales burnt to a crisp with the flesh underneath roasted by Plasma. His strength was at an all-time low, barely enough to let go of Spyro who uncurled from the Guardian's chest. Terrador had the unpleasant feeling of being able to smell his own plasma burnt flesh, not an enthusiastic feeling for certain.
What was worst for the Earth Guardian was that when he arched his neck around to see the state of his wings, all that was left was a partial remnant of the membranes that once connected the thin flesh that made up a majority of his ability to fly. Without that thin skin, he was grounded to the world he walked on. Just seeing the sight of some bone from his membranes being exposed was a disgusting sight, but it was covered over by the immense amount of torment he was currently enduring.
The Purple Dragon was slightly dazed, his vision blurred from barging through the 2 tower like structures and feeling the force of Terrador's fall into the streets, yet despite that he himself sustained no injury, "Terrador…are you ok?" his first thought once he processed just what happened within the span of a few minutes of terror and uncertainty was the health and wellbeing of his teacher. Once he pulled himself up from Terrador's hold, made easier by the slick and smoothness of his gold armor, a wave of grief overwhelmed purple saviour's feelings, a tear even beginning to well up in his left eye.
"Your wings…your tail! A-Are you able to move?!" he slowly began to panic the longer he stared at Terrador's mutilated body, a husk of his former glory, yet the Guardian was more concerned about the life of the other dragon he carried to safety, "Spyro…quickly…pull Cynder out from underneath me…trying my best not to crush her" he fought through all the pain his body was currently trying to accustom itself to, lifting himself up just enough for Spyro to haul out the barely awake dragoness with his jaws gently tightened around her neck, behind her head. The taste of her steel armor wasn't pleasant, but he had little choice in a matter of speaking. As soon as she was out of harm's way, Terrador lowered his mass into the ground to rest.
Cynder was steadily regaining conscience as Spyro pulled her out from Terrador, the effects from the Fist of Rukt's Gravity Impellors, small generators that gave the hammer its extraordinary abilities over other hammers within Brute society, had worn her muscles down after putting them through immense pressure which caused her to nearly be knocked out completely.
"Ngg…S-Spyro? N-not now Spyr-…huh? Wha..." Cynder's mind finally cleared itself as she could still feel the unbearable soreness Magnaruckus' hammer had left behind, its effects clearly demonstrating the weapon wasn't to be taken likely. A normal Gravity Hammer it wasn't.
But it was when she stood up and looking behind her she realized just how bad of a shape Terrador was in, putting aside the stability of her health as she stumbled lightly towards the Earth Guardian and rested her paws on his snout, laying her forehead against his scale, "Terrador…w-what…what have I done…" her breath escaped her as her eyelids closed and a few tears poured from her cheeks, inevitably sliding onto the side of Terrador's nose.
"It's not your fault young dragon", he coughed his words, trying to clear his throat up of any dust particles that entered his windpipe, "I did not pay full attention to their soulless machine and I paid the price for such an amateur mistake…"the Earth Guardian assured her to the greatest of his ability, but Cynder continued to dig her head into him, "But it is! I swore to you, to Spyro, to Thel, to Volteer and Cyril that if combined our powers, our elements together against this one massive, overwhelming foe we could stop it from tearing the city apart…and now?" Cynder looked up at him and revealed her tear soaked emerald eyes, regardless of what he said to her, she was claiming full responsibility for the Guardian's gut wrenching wounds.
It certainly wasn't the first time he'd seen this look on her. Terrador knew the dragoness would still bear the full guilt of slaughtering so many during her days as the 'Terror of the Skies', and hearing of her infertility for the far-flung future doesn't help her case. Now the one time she could lead a full-fledged attack consisting purely of Dragons, the strongest that Warfang and potentially the whole planet had to offer to repel a piece of technology on 4 legs, and it all fell apart.
Spyro came up to her side to comfort the dragoness, draping a wing over her backside, "But we can still beat it Cyn…our attack proved one thing to everyone; It can be hurt. We got through its shield and stunned it, if only for just a few minutes. If the Power core has been moved like you said it has been we need to let everyone else know, anybody who tries to board it with the information Thel's given them; they'll be walking straight into a trap…Magnaruckus may have been counting on that sole fact to lure in as many as he could" Spyro's explanation helped her to see the positive of what this defeat gave them.
"Spyro's right Cynder…" Terrador spoke up, bringing her attention back up to his eyes, "It was already proven effective when you both walked straight into it. Were it'd be anyone else they would be dead by now, or perhaps worst. What you went through was invaluable to the survival of those who'd be brave enough to try the same trick. Not all defeats should be accounted as completely negative to what we're trying to achieve".
Cynder however still tightly closed her eyes and went back to gently pressing her head against the Guardian's snout, "But what about you…I almost got you, Cyril and Volteer killed. Spyro already lost Ignitus…we both can't afford to lose you" she sniffed lightly to clear her nostrils, still distraught by her failure.
The Scarab's roar as it opened fire on buildings in the distance, gripping the hearts of the 3 Dragons, Spyro being forced to watch as more of the city collapsed, as more people were turned to ash so Magnaruckus' genocidal mission objectives could continue to be satisfied.
The Dragoness had to pull away from the Guardian to allow him a little breathing space, allowing him to suggest the next thing they had to do, "Spyro, Cynder, you have to get moving. You need to find the others and inform them of what you discovered" Terrador firmly instructed them, knowing they and the other worldly beings were now the only ones who could firmly stand up to Magnaruckus and the Scarab he stood on, "It's imperative that the off-worlders have been relayed this".
"Not without you Terrador…we have to get you up and find you safety, at least bunker down with Cyril and Volteer" she stubbornly refused to leave the Guardian at the mercy of the 4 legged excavator platform or nearby Jiralhanae patrols, "Can you still walk?", she counted on the efforts of his legs to get him moving. Even without wings the Dark green Dragon should still be able to move freely of all 4 paws.
He was ultimately a ruin, a combination of his wounds, his age and a weakened state in general meant he could barely use his legs to stand, let alone walk. Yet, the mighty Guardian tried nevertheless; Using his right side, albeit the side where most of his scarring occurred during his fall from grace, his legs mustered barely enough pushing power to put himself upright.
Spyro saw the extent of the damage on that side of his body. Lots of scraping and scale removal. Scales that weren't removed were either heavily damaged or lost colouring, "Ok, that's a good start Terrador" Spyro noted, already off to an advantageous start. However, the moment he began standing on all 4, his legs quivered heavily and forcing him back on the ground, his belly crushing the ground underneath. It crushed the duo's souls, their hopes being torn apart every second Terrador failed to stay on his feet.
"C'mon you have to keep trying Terrador!" Cynder pleaded from the bottom of her, as the Scarab in the distance continued to bring down almighty hell upon the city's inhabitants, storming ever closer to their general vicinity.
Potentially, the only reason they weren't being fired upon as soon as the Scarab looked in their general direction was because of the half-collapsed buildings around them. They may be unusable for their former occupation, but they provided decent cover for the larger Guardian. The Scarab was just far too low to the ground to be seen over it.
He had urges to just sit back down on the ground and admit his impending demise at the hands of Magnaruckus' ultimate war machine, but he knew he wouldn't be able to convince Spyro and Cynder to leave him for the mechanized beast. Every minute counted now, the longer they stayed here the higher the chances they would be to getting spotted, then eventually, surrounded. It was especially imperative that he start moving at least to calm the inner demons that now slept within both of the 13, nearly 14, year old Dragons.
The traumatic experience Spyro went through with the loss of Ignitus almost jeopardized their run towards the now very much dead extinct Volcano that served as part of Malefor's home fortress. Terrador had to acknowledge that Spyro's sudden turn to the darkness, like he did with Gaul, and most notably when Ignitus perished, can happen should be die. From what he'd been told, it already recently happened in some meadows during their first showdown with Magnaruckus and his forces. The same can be said for Cynder, her darkened abilities were released twice now, by Malefor himself and during their encounter with the treacherous Shenko.
The fact that both dragons still contain some semblance of their inner evils does not create a healthy atmosphere should someone close to them perish…and thus, Terrador used most of that processed information in his head, using it as extra strength to help get himself back up.
With a massive groan, his sharpened fangs in full display, he used the last remaining bits of his strength to try and at least stand. Spyro and Cynder backed off to allow the Earth Guardian to gain a bit of extra surrounding area, in the event should he fall over unexpectedly. But, to their immense relief, Terrador managed to get on, and stay on, all his legs. Even if he was a little shaky, it's better than being completely immobile.
But naturally when a Dragon stood up, they tend to adjust their wings to their sides and tuck them in. When he tried, he instantly felt pain through his body. The remaining parts of the membranes on his wings, thinking they still had the relatively thin flesh between them, moved individual, but without the wing flesh tying them together, they moved separately instead of acting together. It only grew worst when the seared off flesh was moved lightly about, further increasing unnecessary pain.
"Unnggg! Blasted machine...feels like the day when Cynder…" his eyes opened wide when he remembered a past battle with the corrupted adult form of the dragoness, when her deadly shadow fire, at that time far more potent and far deadlier, covering his entire body. Only the durability of his scales at the time could withstand its terrible heat, if for a small amount of time.
Cynder's eyes widened by that surprise mention of her name, and it only degraded her spirit to hear another piece of her past come back to haunt her, "Ignore what I said…wasn't my intention to bring that around again" feeling slightly ashamed, he dismantled his comparison of the Scarab's main weapon to the highly corrupted Cynder's Shadow fire.
"We need to move deeper into the city, away from the Scarab. Hopefully Volteer didn't take Cyril too far…" Spyro checked their corners, running towards cover where ever he could find and scout for the mortally wounded Guardian, with Cynder walking slowly by his side, keeping an eye on his movements in case he was going to collapse again.
The Purple Dragon could hear nearby gunfire, clearly Spiker ammunition, opening up from a mere couple of blocks away. It wasn't the Scarab, but it was all the more dangerous as Jiralhanae forces now were in extremely high spirits with Magnaruckus and his Scarab to lead them, "I will…try to help you with oncoming enemy forces young dragons…" he stated his intention to defend himself should they be discovered, by Spyro looked back and shook his head in disagreement.
"No, if you try to use your powers you'll only worsen your body!" Spyro warned his mentor greatly, "The toll you took is far too great, if we have to fight, let Cynder and I take care of the threat" knowing Terrador has enough to worry about with his weakened state, the last thing they needed was a weakened Guardian trying to fend off ranged enemies…last thing except for the Scarab's wrath of course.
"Can you even fight after what he did to you? You were only unconscious just moments ago young Dragoness…" Terrador looked down at Cynder, concerned for her abilities, "I'm still a little shaken…Thel told me all about the potency of its abilities. Now I know what he's felt…" she noted that the Fist of Rukt was something to not be trifled with. Its ranged abilities were extraordinary but not indifferent. There are certainly magic abilities that can immobilize opponents on the spot, but none ever had the ability to do that and smash a person's skull in without hesitation, "But that doesn't mean I'm going to let them get their sights on you…they've done enough damage…caused enough death. I can handle a little electricity" she swore with a determined expression on her face, slowly taking up the front position over Terrador. Spyro couldn't resist blushing lightly at that statement, something Cynder saw in the corner of her eye. A mind processed giggle eventually broke out, keeping it bottled up to stay focused on their current problem.
As soon as she did though, a Mole was strewn violently across their position right in front of them, his corpse having been riddled with Spikes from what could have been the earlier firefight. When the body hit the building on the opposite side of the pathway from whence he was thrown, 2 Jiralhanae Minors armed with said Spikers climbed over rubble coming around the corner, Spyro throwing himself into their line of fire.
"FREAK FLYERS! WE FOU-" One of the Brutes was barely able to get his sentence off when Spyro used his wings to immediately charge and electric current through his body, opening his mouth and releasing well over 10 million volts, penetrating their shields effortlessly and frying every single piece of tech on their armor. The bolt that violently surged through the first Jiralhanae's body then travelled to his companion in a nanosecond, repeating the process, the volts causing horrendous muscle spasms and ultimately frying his brain.
It only lasted for a couple of seconds regardless of what was done to their bodies. Spyro had little sympathy for how Mag's forced suffered, if there was any remaining to begin with. Yet, since they just got the word out, more had to be coming, "Cynder, make sure they don't come behind us!" the Purple Dragon turned his head the moment the Minors fell to the ground, knowing any nearby foes would attempt a flanking manoeuvre should they have witnessed the electrocution of their comrades.
Terrador was still making one step at a time as the Dragoness ran past his side to reach his tail flank, and it would appear Spyro's pre-emptive thoughts were on point as 2 more of Mag's warriors would come roaring around the corner, a Captain and a Minor this time. They were in turned blasted away by Cynder's Siren Scream, the force of which kicked up dust and rubble, throwing back the Brutes before they could even raise their weapons. What did them in however was not the blast wave of her power, but the Fear element's speciality in driving the afflicted Brutes with nightmarish visions of what they were frightened by the most.
Thanks to their weak minds, they would be affected for a while should they not be driven towards a tendency to shoot themselves to end their misery. These 2 however crawled back away from the Dragoness, screaming and kicking in a vague attempt to shake off the horrors that were not there.
Another Captain however, armed with a Carbine and followed by a few more Minors, watched as they wriggled and rolled away from their flanking position, screaming to whoever was nearby, "GET IT OFF ME! GET THIS PARASITE OFF ME!", possibly having visions of the parasitic Flood, a common fear that always sprung from Cynder's element in Jiralhanae. He noted the fact that there was a strange red glow around their heads, being the effect that gave them these realistic hallucinations. The Captain instead raised his weapon, stomping on those afflicted with the element so he could get a clear shot into their skulls, executing them one by one to end the torture.
"If you find any pack brother with that red aura around their heads, I expect anyone and everyone to do the same thing. It's mercy after all…" he issued to his underlings, who were slightly unhinged by the remorseless execution of their own kind. Yet there would be no time to mourn their dead brethren as they moved up to replace the 2 dead Brute's flanking position.
Knowing the Dragoness was around the corner, the Captain quickly peaked half his body around and fired Carbine rounds on Cynder, forcing her to roll closer to the side of the road behind some ruins as soon as the first shot barely missed her by centre meters. But this left Terrador's rear exposed to any attack should the Captain and his underlings attempt to fire on him. Realizing this, Cynder shifted the elements within her, and using her wings in combination with her power unleashed a massive gust of gale force winds in the Brute's general direction, sending up tons upon tons of dust and small pieces of debris into their faces as the rest ran around the corner.
The Brute Captain immediately used the arm holding his rifle to block any dust from getting into his eyes, only to be pushed back by the force of Cynder relentlessly flapping her wings back and forth to distract them long enough for Terrador to keep pushing forward. His movements slowly gained more speed, even if it was still walking speed, but it's still better than the slow motion he was forced to do moments ago.
However, going further meant getting into the open where the Mole warrior was thrown, and that means jumping straight into a killzone. From what Spyro could see as he ran out into the open, multiple Jiralhanae of varying classes was closing in on their position. With the desolation caused by them over the course of the battle, former city streets were now fields of open battle with large piles of rubble being the only things breaking a flat open are. Whilst some buildings haven't fallen, most of the city outskirts were utterly carved apart, and the speed of Warfang's continued destruction has only increased with the Scarab's arrival. Only the Mid-city, Inner-city where the Grand Atrium was located at the very heart of Warfang, and the Southern Sector where another large portion of Warfang's population had retreated before and during the devastating conflict.
"Oh Ancestors, not what we needed…" Spyro called out to his precursors as he backed off from Spikes and Brute shot grenades flying towards him. He couldn't count the number of Jiralhanae troops in time, but it wasn't a whole legion at least. Still, if given even half a chance to continue advancing, they will no doubt surround the structures they were hiding behind, and if they attacked at the same time, their powers could only do so much before they're overwhelmed…and that's if they didn't target Terrador first.
Cynder's gale force winds finally forced the Jiralhanae in front of her to back off behind cover and wait for something to distract her. The Earth Guardian however, seeing Spyro being forced back behind the buildings, meant there was no way to advance without being pelted by enemy fire, "If you can't hold them back Spyro then there's no point in continuing this fruitless task…" Terrador tried to urge his pupil to abandon him to his fate.
"Stop talking like it's already over!" Spyro's voice rose up not wanting to hear more words of leaving his mentor to die, "Your and Cynder's lives are far more valuable than mine can ever be now, I have lived a majority of my life!" the Earth Guardian continued to pressure the Purple Dragon into retreating with his life, along with the Dragoness'.
"WE DON'T LEAVE ANYBODY BEHIND TO DIE TERRADOR! WE'RE ALL GETTING OUT OF HERE TOGETHER, END OF DISCUSSION!" Spyro shouted at the top of his lungs, his eyes closed shut as he was forced to yell at the Earth Guardian and show his unwavering determination to protect him, even if it killed him, "Cynder, I can hold them off! If you have to get someone else to try and save us, I'm not stopping you-" he wanted to let his bond-partner know should they be forced to find more help, he could hold down the fort as best he could, but nevertheless, "Don't you even dare suggest it! I'm with you Spyro, we're not splitting up again!" she yelled back, siding with the Purple Dragon till death does them apart.
But Terrador lamented at this waste of their power. His body was ruined, his power drained trying to cover for his scarring and loss of the ability to fly, an iconic trait of his kind, he was in no shape to continue the fight until he's rested. And the Dragons he counted on to help stop the attacker's dead in their tracks were willing to put their lives on the line for his weakened soul horrified him. His fears only grew worst when 4 Jet pack Brutes boosted over the buildings next to them, flying high in the sky and coming down on their position.
Spyro threw his head up towards the sky and launched himself into the air at full speed. The Jet Packer closest to the ground was unfortunate enough to have Spyro's jaws latched around his neck, then whilst the Dragon held onto him with claws, threw him into another flyer. With their jet packs still thrusting, they were both radically far off course from their intended targets. Trying to train their weapons on the freak flyer, Spyro opened his mouth and fired multiple Icy shards towards them before they could even get a shot off. Instead of targeting their Jet packs or their bodies, he aimed the shards to explode upon impact against their weapons, freezing them and their hands all together.
Due to the temperatures being way below the recommended use of Plasma Rifles and Spikers, the remaining Jet packers were vulnerable as they drifted down, struggling as they tried to reach for the Purple Dragon, feeling the absolute sub-zero temperatures frostbite their hands. Without hesitation, Spyro used his horns and charged right into the chest the one that held the Plasma rifle, sending him falling to the ground at high velocity, then Comet Dashing into the other Brute, the force of which killed him instantly, if the fiery blaze erupting around Spyro's body burning his front to cinders wasn't enough to begin with.
Cynder watched as Spyro thrashed and bashed the Jet Packers out of the sky without showing an inch of mercy, ensuring they would never get anywhere close to either her or Terrador. But, returning to the action happening right upfront, catching the Brutes from earlier trying yet again to get the jump on them, she unleashed a hellish blaze of Shadow Fire to keep them at bay. The blaze was large enough to block their path for as long as it burnt, for walking through would be a practically suicidal decision, not even their shields could withstand a blaze that intense.
Despite their best efforts, one Jiralhanae Minor managed to find an opening within Terrador's structural cover, a small hole that hadn't collapsed up the weight of the ruined structure, revealing the Guardian's left side. He pulled out a Carbine, holding enough penetrating power to break through his scales, and fired multiple shots, the caseless radioactive projectiles piercing right through them to embed themselves in his softer flesh underneath.
A strike of searing pain ran through Terrador, unleashing an earth shattering roar, his nerves reacting aggressively to the toxic substances within the Carbine's munitions, causing small burns at the point of the 6 to 8 impacts. In a natural reaction of sorts, he threw his body to his side and slammed against the structure, almost knocking it over, all this commotion garnering Cynder's attention, "Terrador?!", watching him drop his body back onto the cobblestones. When he threw himself against the building, the hole from which the Brute fired from collapsed, blocking him from any further firing into his target. He was also forced back due to the amount of debris falling of top of him due to Terrador throwing himself against his cover.
"One of them found an opening…! Ngg! Feel like molten lava showering all over my left!" he couldn't cover his wound without the use of his wings, leaving it open enough for Cynder to see. Spyro, having heard the deeply pitched roar from below, came back in for a landing. He didn't even have to know how much pain Terrador was in to be brought back down again after that unpredicted call out.
"You have to get back up, there's still a chance!" Spyro yelled at his mentor to jump back on his feet, yet the Guardian was barely able to crawl let alone stand up, resting himself against the structure, "Even if I could run Spyro, I'm too large of a target. Escape for me isn't an option, you must see that!" Terrador stared him in the eyes, grunting as he pushed himself further against the structure.
Spyro, frustrated, angered by his mentor's onslaught of words demanding him and Cynder to run away from a fight meant to keep him alive infuriated him. Yet he still had an open enough mind to see why the Guardian wanted them out of here now more than ever. Terrador clearly saw himself as a liability to the cause, regardless of his position within Warfang's leadership. Overwhelming emotions flurried through Spyro's heart, momentary flashbacks took the Purple Dragon back to the event of Ignitus' death. Terrador's unhealthy position reminding him somewhat of how the Fire Guardian grew progressively weak after only pushing through the Belt of Fire for at least 30 seconds to at most a minute. History was carefully repeating itself despite the variety of circumstances, all coming to the same disheartening conclusion.
Overhead, storm clouds began to cover up the midday sky, further darkening the battlefield that already laid in smoke, rubble and ruins. They merged slowly together with an ominous thunder streaking across the sky, the remaining light on the remnants of the city slowly fading into a greyish landscape filled with the same gunfire, the same shouting for the past dozen or so hours, since the last night.
Cynder looked back, watching a conflicted Spyro try to decide whether to run and leave Terrador to his imminent demise, at the haste of Guardian's words, or stay till the very last moment hoping someone, something, might be able turn the tide against the encroaching Jiralhanae if just for a few moments. Regardless, Cynder planned on following him in his choice, even if it meant suffering the consequences.
Yet, as if fate had other plans for them in the future, as a pack of 5 warriors were about to flank them from Spyro's side, a rain of arrows from above were fired down towards them before they could even reach the corner, 2 of the Brutes suffering fatal hits to their necks whilst the others either bounced the primitive munitions harmlessly off with their armor, or landing in-between the soft exposed areas between those armor pieces.
The War Chieftain bringing up their rear with a Plasma Cannon turned his head upwards to the still standing building on the opposite side of the street, one that has a cube like base with 2 levels above it and a hemispherical roof like structure at the centre. Here at least a dozen heavily armoured Moles, covered in thick Blacksmith armor, fired their crossbows that had an auto-loading mechanism built in, similar to modern self-loading weaponry, complimented with well crafted, steel tipped arrows into their enemies. These arrows, being smaller, could fit in a 9-arrow magazine for an increase in fire rate over the stock crossbow given to almost every Mole marksman with good enough accuracy. Whilst still not having enough penetration to go through Covenant armor, it was a far more effective weapon than the Bows carried by the Cheetahs and most crossbows carried by normal Mole warriors.
"If even one Brute gets his claws on those Dragons down there, I will be very unhappy! Now, another volley!" one of the Blacksmithers called out to the rest of his squad, raising their Auto-Bows in unison and continued raining a surprising amount of fire on the Jiralhane surrounding Spyro, Cynder and Terrador's cover. The Jiralhanae below barely had time to react, backing off slowly or running to whatever rubble they could get behind before they were picked off. 2 of the arrows impaled the War Chieftain's neck as he fired his Cannon towards the Moles, only having gotten a small burst off before the arrow cut through his windpipe.
Spyro could very well see the chance they have been given, looking back to Terrador as he was surprised by the Mole's initiative to put their lives on the line and hold back the Brute menace for as long as they could, "Terrador, we're not alone anymore. Now's our chance!" Spyro concluded.
With even more lives on the line, Terrador again attempted to muster his strength, but the last injuries he received was still devasting enough to keep him down, "I'm absolutely trying Spyro…but I'm far too weak, whatever was in that last attack is getting worst by the second…" he stated, as the toxic radiation from the Carbine wounds slowly spread throughout his body.
Cynder on the other hand remembered that the properties contained in Carbine ammunition had a high level of toxic properties, at least from what information she gathered from Thel over the course of the last week or so. It wasn't too far fetched to believe her power could have something that can be used to weaken its ability to spread.
"Spyro…Carbine ammo, it contains an elevated level of radiation with toxic reprocussions…maybe if I stopped it from spreading, and share some of my power with him, it'll just be enough to get him off the ground and get away from here" she proposed to the both of them, "But it does mean I'll have to…hold my paw against those burns. It's not a very good plan but pressing at the source of the problem may allow me to identify what its individual toxic levels are and neutralize it…once its stopped, I can begin transferring what energy I can" she had to be the bearer of bad news for Terrador, knowing even further pain on top of his utterly mutilated wings and shredded sides was the last thing he wanted.
"Wait, will you still be able to have enough left over? You've been fighting this entire time whilst I stayed on the sidelines…" Spyro, concerned for how much she had left at this point, was steadily calmed by her response, "I can regenerate magic power faster than you can Spyro. You may be a walking prophetic destiny, but if I was forced to like one thing about my time being with the wrong side, is that I was given a deep energy reserve. It doesn't even need to be a lot, just enough to help him up" she assured her worried partner with a soft smile, to which Spyro nodded lightly, spinning his body around to cover their front once more, whilst Cynder's burning Shadow Fire behind them kept their flank safe.
"I assume you've done an energy transfer in the past Cynder?" the Guardian was less than keen to have his radioactive burns be held down by the Dragoness, even more worried by her experience with this technique in the first place, "Spyro and I had to do it quite frequently during the final days of the Dark War" she revealed walking up to Terrador's left side, where the burns were situated between damaged scales, "I wasn't fond of having to give up my power at first but when Malefor's armies were at Warfang's doorstep, we had to continuously trade our energies to keep up the fight against the Grublins and the Orcs. It felt weird having someone else's power emanating inside you…but needless to say, it worked out for the better of our wellbeing" she explained during their earlier days working together after they were freed from the Time Crystal.
Terrador looked away, his head facing forward towards Spyro as the younger Dragon kept an eye on their cover, as the Moles above continued to fire their Auto-Bows downwards at the exposed Jiralhanae forces, "Then I suppose I have no other choice than to entrust your abilities. Regardless of how painful it is, I'll try not move around whilst you proceed with the transfer" the Guardian assured her, knowing whatever she did, it was going to cause excruciating pain.
"It'll take some time. Hold still" the Dragoness located the Carbine wounds, the radioactive burns looking like a collection of cysts, dark red with a hint of green, probably being the pinpoint area where the munitions landed, "It's not a pretty sight…." She shook her head, barely able to contain her stomach at grievous sores. Mutilated wings were bad enough, but something about these burns stirred something fierce in her stomach. Upchucking now would be a little disrespectful and embarrassing to top it off.
Yet, she proceeded to raise her right paw and gently place it on the burns, not being as squishy as she once thought yet held extreme amounts of heat even on its outer skin. As she laid her paw over it, Terrador groaned heavily and fidgeted his body, his mind urging to back off from Cynder grip on it, "By the Ancestors, such excruciating pain!" it was more discomforting to bear as his wings wanted to bash the Dragoness off and cover the burns, but of course that wasn't close to being an option. He dug his claws deep into the ground, dragging them deep into the cobblestones whilst causing surprisingly large scars in the ground.
"Just do your best to sit tight, like I said, this may take time since the toxins do not originate from our world. It's all unknown to me" Cynder pleaded to Terrador knowing this was causing all sorts of horrendous stinging, closing her eyes to concentrate on nullifying the toxins spready into his body. Luckily, with Terrador's mass it spread far less effectively than it would on a small individual in comparison to say someone of her stature, or even an Elite's height.
As Cynder continued to assist with the healing efforts, Spyro kept himself a few steps away from revealing himself to the Jiralhanae who were still attempting to stay organized under precise Auto-bow fire, counter-shooting whenever they could. Individual Jiralhanae nearby would come to reinforce those who were aware of who the targets were managed to spread the information to their people, slowly becoming a larger, more overwhelming pack. The Blacksmith Moles were well situated atop the building they stood on, and because of their smaller height, were much harder to hit without a precise weapon, something most of these Brutes lacked.
Yet being forced to pull back and load a new magazine full of 9 relatively small arrows each took a bit of valuable time, as the mechanism for locking it into the Auto-bow was more complicated than that of normal firearm. Each time a Mole reloaded, the Brutes were given a chance to push up. A group of them did manage this, of 4 Minors accompanied by 1 blue armoured Captain, closing in on Spyro.
The Purple Dragon however knew they'd get through the hail of arrow fire sometime, throwing himself around the corner and unleashing a bright, burning fiery blaze in their direction once they walked into range, the flames so large it engulfed the lot of them with the exception of one Minor, who fell back once he realized what Spyro was about to do. Whilst using the 'Flamethrower effect' of his fire breath, the Purple Dragon drew his head slowly around to drag the flame's direction around, keeping them set alight whilst also inadvertently causing a flaming screen effect which blocked view of himself to the other Jiralhanae.
Despite not being able to see him behind all those flames, and having a number of their allies in front of their aim whilst they burnt to death in a screaming fit of agony, some of them shot their Plasma rifles and Spiker into the flames hoping to hit the Purple Dragon, but he stopped his fire breath the moment the first shots came out of his hellish blaze, backing off to let the savages burn as well as receive friendly fire from behind.
"Is it working Cynder?" He called out to her without looking in their general direction, preferring to keep an eye on the combat situation then watch Terrador scrape the ground around him, "Not…quite!" her eyelids tightened as she strengthened her Poison element, the effects which passed through the bulbous cysts and into the blood stream where most, if not, all the radioactive toxins would be crippling the Guardian severely.
The effected red blood cells of the Dragon, which had been destroyed initially by entry of the Carbine munitions, began generating in areas where they were once dead, with white blood cells and elemental cells enhanced by the Guardian's magic were regenerated to go on and help fight back against the foreign invasion, albeit only being slightly effective just due to how severe the radiation was against his inner workings. Some of the stronger toxic properties managed to survive despite Cynder's Poison element working strongly against it, yet the effects that they once produced couldn't withstand all she had to offer, therefore rendering the stronger toxins relatively weak without support from the rest of the infected bloodstream.
Returning to the battle, the Moles were starting to feel the pressure as return Covenant firepower began getting vastly accurate, plasma weaponry managing to get a lucky aim off by sniping 1 of the Blacksmith Moles in their foreheads, then another just shortly after, reduced to around 8 remaining Auto-Bow wielding shooters, "We can't hold them for long Dragon! You have to move soon!" One of the black armoured soldiers shouted as he reloaded, crying out to Spyro that they were barely able to make a difference now despite the relatively moderate number of Jiralhanae they've killed or wounded.
There was for a moment again fading hope, with the Blacksmithers beginning to run low on ammunition and Spyro feeling the seething anger from his enemy that endlessly cursed their names to the bowels of an already daunting hell. Like a gift from the heavens however, their one and only Phantom came screaming overhead without warning whatsoever to the shock and horror of both parties, and who would it be piloted than none other by the 2 Unggoy who had managed to survive not only their defection from Magnaruckus, but this entire battle, ith Jabjab at the helm and Yapflop on the starboard side opening the small door, lowering a Plasma cannon oh which the little Grunt happily manned. In the cargo hold behind him were a labour of Moles, volunteering to venture across the battlefield to support wherever, whatever they deemed as a necessary foothold against the invaders.
"Wanna play rough Brutes?! Ok then; Say hello, to my little friend!" Yapflop laughed manically as he opened fire on the enemy forces below who now not only had to contend with Auto-Bows, but now a Phantom that circled around them providing aerial fire support to the Dragons who were initially encircled from almost every possible angle. Jabjab on the other was a little unenthusiastic by his Grunty friend's comment, "You're just a walking talking plagiarist aren't you…" the green armoured Unggoy grumbled lightly.
The Brutes below however were even less impressed, again forced to throw themselves into various piles of rubble, even craters formed by larger than normal explosions, "Someone shoot that half-ling off that turret now!" one of the Minors roared angrily as he tried following his own advice, returning fire with a Plasma Repeater at the skyborne enemy, to which was very ineffective in reaching its target in the first place.
What fire Magnaruckus' forces did manage to get off however, combined plasma and Brute Shots, managed to damage his weapon, causing him to go into a wild panic keeping his head down, "I thought they don't know how to aim!" he cried out loudly, with a final grenade from said Brute Shot flying in with perfect aim, destroying the starboard cannon whilst sending Yapflop screaming back into the cargo hold, caught by 3 Moles surprised by his sudden reappearance.
Jabjab heard the screams of his friend and looked back at the troop holding area, "Yapflop! Is he ok?" he hesitantly asked, hoping to every god that ever existed that he was ok, to which one of the 3 Moles holding him saw how very dazed he was from the concussive blast of the weapon that hit him, "He's ok!...but he's a little out of it", yet this response was enough to trigger Jabjab's anger, re-activating the auto-turret located under the Phantom, "Probably shoulda done this earlier…" he concluded, pressing only a few holo-buttons which activated the friend or foe system, targeting only those of Doisac origin.
The Purple Dragon below watched as the Phantom continued to circle their position from a safe height in the sky, endlessly raining burning bolts of plasma from its chin mounted gun, giving the group of Blacksmith Moles time to reorganize themselves, perhaps even coming down to provide closer support for the Dragons whilst Cynder pressed on with her nullification procedure.
Nearby, the Sangheili navigator turned warrior, then turned horrific monstrosity thanks to Magnaruckus' absurd engineering corps, Shin Tarscar was sprinting street to heavily bombed street, passing some still standing structures, going from cover to cover to get to where the Phantom was bombarding the enemy from above, and picking off individual enemy pack members who were trying desperately to reach their brethren in an effort to fight off the airborne attacker with his Spikers from mid-range. Jikartus, Mag's former second in command, was hot on the cybernetic Sangheili's trail, following with Fuel rod in hand, quite literally in fact, as it was lightly enough for him to simply use like an oversized hand cannon.
"Terrador crashed over in the street between those buildings" Tarscar stated as they continued to tread closer to the Dragons position, hoping to pull them out of there before the Scarab caught wind of the absolutely astounding amount of priority forces being sent to one location. Jikartus could very well clearly see, using his taller than average height, Terrador laying on the ground, though he could not see any visible signs of the 2 younger Dragons around him, "He's down for the count Shin, barely moving a muscle. Any normal creature would be dead by now after being hit by the Scarab…" Jikartus commented, having watched the entire moment of the Guardian being thrashed from the skies by the Focus Cannon of the Covenant walker.
"They're no normal creatures to begin with, you've seen them in action plenty of times before. Now we're going to save one them whether you like it or not, come!" Tarscar personally ordered the Jiralhanae defector, brushing aside any animosity due to it. Jikartus was irritated by the Sangheili's beratement, if slight mistreatment of their partnership, but he understood why; There was a lot of bad blood spilt between each other's races for the past few months, which only continues to get worst as this battle went on.
As they got closer to the Dragon's position, Jikartus decided to use the limited communication between his fellow pack defectors in an to attempt to locate the Sangheili in charge of the survivors of the Shadow of Intent, mainly with whatever remained of his cloakers, "Jikartus to Stalkers, have you located the Arbiter's position?" he panted on the comms, running as fast as he could to keep up with the enhanced Elite, to which most of the responses from his loyal warriors was a big fat no. Only one of them managed to relay the only useful intel to him, "Unfortunately no War Chieftain, however Losyedus has yet to report in from the north eastern outskirts since tracking the Banshee that was shot down by Loyalist forces" one of the Stalkers stated.
Knowing it would have been only a matter of time before Mag's forces would have encircled that area If the Arbiter or even the black dragoness that followed him in was still alive, perhaps Losyedus would be with them, pursued by enemy forces, "Whatever the case may be, we have a bigger problem on our hands in the form of that Scarab. Do what you can to run interference. If you're unable to do so without getting slaughtered, then simply track its course, help the inhabitants as much as possible…and try not to scare them. Prove to them you're on their side!" he had to make sure his Brutes could be shown as allies to the majority of the Mole army, since their enemy was of the same species.
Shin and Jikartus, having reached the general hotspot of the skirmish, was forced to fire on the move against some Minors stuck deep within cover poking out to take pot-shots at the 2 approaching former Covenant warriors, though Jikartus' Fuel rod cannon made things very difficult for them to even return fire in the first place.
Shin however, once he reached Terrador, realizing Spyro was standing here providing support to the downed Guardian, with Cynder doing something over to his side, "Spyro? Cynder?" Shin calling out their names quickly caught Spyro's attention, but the Purple Dragon froze the very moment he watched Sparx's killer approaching him. However, as Terrador lifted his head slightly seeing the War Chieftain approaching Tarscar from behind forcing the Earth Guardian to shout out the immediate danger behind him, "SANGHEILI! BEHIND YOU!" his deep voice tore through Shin's body, such a threatening warning forcing to turn immediately on the spot only to recognize Jikartus approaching him. Cynder wanted to immediately intervene, but she was still tightly concentrating on her task at hand. She was instantly reminded that neither the Guardians or Spyro know about the recent defection of some Brutes loyal to Jikartus.
"Wait, behind us?" Jikartus said as he checked his backside to see absolutely nothing, only realizing he meant himself, forcing Tarscar to block the path of the Purple Dragon's fire breath, "Spyro no! NO! Jikartus is with us!" quickly jumping back in front of the War Chieftain, standing his ground to quickly inform him of a recent development in the fight against Magnaruckus, with only seconds before Spyro incinerated both, forcing the Dragon to swallow his fire down.
"What do you mean 'he's with us'? What part of the enemy siding with us did I miss?!" the Purple Dragon's right brow raised, bewildered by this revelation of an allied Jiralhanae, "Long story short Dragon, Jikartus here, along with his most loyal of followers, have seen the error of their ways. Magnaruckus finally broke him, and now, he wishes to fight for us. It's as simple as that Spyro, no favours, no strings, all of us are sharing a reason to bring Magnaruckus' reign to a decisive end…" Shin assured the Purple Dragon that he and Jikartus were not enemies if a greater threat stood before them. The name rang a bell within Spyro however, remembering this War Chieftain's face every time Magnaruckus appeared.
"Jikartus…you were at the encampment we raided to bring Thel back. In the meadows when we saved Cynder…every time Magnaruckus appeared you were always with him. You're his right hand!" he realized, curiosity quickly mutating to threatening, "So tell me this; Why start doubting his methods now…during the battle for our city of all times to turn traitor" he narrowed his lavender coloured eyes to the War Chieftain. Like Thel and a few other before him, the sense of being back stabbed could not be shaken.
Shin rolled his only one organic eye, knowing this might take up invaluable time, but then heard the voice of Terrador's curiosity peak, "I would like to know this as well…your kind has already committed unforgivable acts. What makes you think we can go ahead and turn our vulnerable backsides to your blades-Ngg!" the Guardian demanded to know, moving his neck up which in turn slightly moved his body, forcing Cynder to further tighten her grip and keep the Guardian grounded, "Terrador!" despite shouting his name, which did indeed keep him on the ground, still had her eyes shut tightly, almost having lost complete concentration on the subject at hand.
With the War Chieftain put on the spot, Tarscar sought to cover the position Spyro had left open, needing to use it even if the enemy was still being harassed by the circling Phantom above, "I surrendered my pack to the Arbiter and his surrounding allies, including the female over there. I brought myself before him, completely at his mercy. If he wanted to, he could have killed me right there and then, and he almost did…" Jikartus pointed out to Cynder who was part of the defection meeting ground, alongside the Shadow survivors, the Unggoy and Lekgolo defectors, and dozens of Cheetahs and Moles, Prowlus and Hunter included.
In the midst of explaining himself to the Dragons who suspect him of potential betrayal in the near future, the fact that the Black Dragoness was here tending to Terrador instead of assisting the Arbiter as he previously perceived completely dumbfounded him. It meant that Thel was still out there in the outskirts by himself, or at the very least with Losyedus, against an untold number of foes. Yet his thoughts were sidetracked by Spyro's backtalk, "Why didn't he? What stopped him from cutting you down" his stare turned into one of distrust, hatred for what Jikartus is, was, a part of since touching down on their world. The Jiralhanae was starting to allow his more feral instinct begin to take over, sneering back at Spyro after he tried to verbally state his reasons for the defection in the first place, baring a small portion of his meat tearing teeth.
But they both pulled away as soon as the Dragoness was forced to interfere from afar, "I stopped him!" Cynder hissed, opening her eyes as she panted lightly, now trying to focus on the transfer of some of her power into the Guardian Dragon, feeling what was practically a portion of her life force drain away, by her own accord of course, "I stopped Thel from using his hatred on the wrong being. Jikartus and his followers may be Jiralhanae, but I've seen them go out of their way to fight for us. The one he sent to try and assassinate Magnaruckus, the Stalker that helped me and Thel after he crashed his machine…", as she made this statement, the 'one' that helped her and the Arbiter had to have been Losyedus, thought Jikartus, "And they were brutally murdered because they tried to fight for a just cause" the memory of Losyedus' head being smashed apart like a watermelon stuck out with horribly in the Dragoness' mind, unable to shake off that scene off.
Terrador, feeling his strength slowly start to return now that a majority of the toxins injected by the radiation has been rendered useless, heard just about enough to prove Jikartus and his pack's innocence. They will never obtain Warfang's full trust, but granted the situation, the 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' is always a welcome sight to behold and Terrador willingly acknowledged their cooperation, "It's certainly too late to make harsh judgements now" with his acceptance of Jikartus and his remaining group of Jiralhanae who still ran amok the allied forces of Warfang, Spyro shifted his attention back to the War Chieftain, unable to argue further thanks to Cynder's reveal, "Alright…alright. I still don't feel comfortable about this" he wasn't completely settled with the fact he'd be fighting alongside the same invaders who were cutting down those around him. It's almost inconceivable to think about the whole affair for the Purple Dragon.
He came out of his thoughts again the moment Shin fired over a barrier he was using as cover against the oncoming attackers, despite being hit from 3 different directions; himself, the Phantom above and what remained of the Blacksmith warriors who wished to stay atop of the structure behind them to continue providing support. Yet the Brutes still closed in all the while taking casualties, undeterred by the arrival on Resistance reinforcements on the scene, "This is getting out of hand, if they send a big enough army here, that Scarab will surely take notice, I'm not in the mood to die a second time!" Tarscar growled every time his position was fired upon by those too late to get their aim in, "I can barely see what I'm even shooting at with the smoke coming from the burning dead in front of me. This machine eye is good, but it can only do so much!", murmuring to himself over the red eye as this crucial part of his cybernetics didn't do so well to peak through thick screens of smoke.
Cynder on the other hand, still having her paw pressed against the bulbous, fleshy wound on Terrador, felt her magic reserves start wear thin as she gave more and more to the Guardian. The disgusting pustules looked seemingly smaller now that the source of the radiation had been neutralized, and the toxins accompanying it had worn out their welcome. The wounds also lost their crimson red color, now reduced to a dark blood red closer to actual Dragon blood.
"Now it's your turn for questions; the last time we heard about you, Dragoness, you were pursuing Thel's Banshee as it crashed in the north east outskirts of the city. I can only assume Losyedus, the Stalker that was there to assist you is dead. If the Arbiter is indeed alive, we must know his condition" Jikartus took out his Fuel rod again, throwing himself next to Shin's side whilst overhearing any reply from Cynder.
She however could barely speak as she continued to concentrate on the transfer of her power to Terrador, even beginning to sweat on her forehead, so thus Spyro decided to do it for her, sparing her any extra pressure on her mind, "He's with Hunter and Prowlus, fighting off something new. It was huge, had very thick armor, very few weak spots. No shielding for that armor, like what all the others have" the moment he mentioned thick armor with next to no areas of vulnerability, Jikartus and Shin knew it was a Warlord.
"By the rings he's hired Warlords?" Shin cursed, his eyes shifting to the War Chieftain by his side firing over cover with his Fuel Rod downrange, "You're his second in command, why didn't you warn us he has Warlords at his beckoned call!?" Shin couldn't help but growl ever so furiously, grinding his mandible's teeth together, "There were so many Jiralhanae that was housed within the 'Prophet's Vengeance', for a CCS Battlecruiser it was overcrowded! Especially after you destroyed our Assault Carrier! Evacuated hundreds and thousands of survivors" Jikartus reminded the former navigator of Shadow's only ship to ship kill during their first engagement, "There were barely any standouts. So many Chieftains, so many Majors, numerous other warriors taking up the mantle of leadership all employed to do Magnaruckus' bidding with unflinching resolve. I was bound to miss a few…" he sighed at himself, pulling back to reload his Fuel Rod Gun whilst Shin took his place and suppressed the Jiralhanae as they moved closer to their position.
"You did miss 'just a few'! And now Thel is out there contending with it supported by the aid of the only 2 feline clan leaders, and if they die," Shin heavily emphasizing the importance of Hunter and Prowlus, "the news of their demise will spread like a destructive wildfire to remaining Cheetah clan forces, it will be absolutely demoralizing. I wouldn't be surprised if they ran out on us after the fact!" Shin expressed his outrage ever so profusely, ducking his head as plasma and spiker fire flew over his head.
The Jiralhanae in the field moved as best they could to try and avoid being singled out by the automated chin mounted Plasma turret fielded by Jabjab's Phantom, however no matter what kind of cover they took in an attempt to hold their ground, they'd only be flanked as it circled around, as the few Minors who were firing on Shin and Jikartus' position learned when they turned their heads to the sky as bright purple bolts slammed either into them or around their general area of positioning.
"Our pack is too exposed! We must retreat and come back with reinforcements!" a teal armored Brute Minor shouted to a dark blue Major near his position of building rubble, who in return hissed at the runt of a warrior for daring to even think of retreat, "You take one step in the opposite direction of the freak flyers and I'll have your hide weakling!" his snarling had an instant effect to the whelping's idea of retreat, refusing to back chat against his superior, "Pack Brothers! Get some Plasma Launchers on that Phantom! Drive it away!" whilst tarnishing the Minor's low ranked reputation, he ordered whoever was carrying the Plasma Launchers that recently arrived to support their hold out to lob the highly explosive munitions of said weapons to if not destroy the Dropship, send the Unggoy and their Mole warriors in the back far away from any attempt to support the Dragon's defensive location.
2 Jiralhanae covered in the same Teal colored armor package were moving together behind a pile of ash laid across a former cobblestone street hearing their orders to deter the Unggoy from continuously bombarding their forces, settling down behind some low ground cover as the Phantom came around approaching their launch radius.
They grumbled lightly however as they were forced to kneel on their right legs, stabilizing their aim as the Dropship's trajectory was an awkward pattern to follow, slightly rising and falling as it circled in an attempt to avoid a majority of the light arms fire from the ground. It nevertheless gave them steadier locking abilities as the stock of the Plasma Launcher rested on their right shoulders, charging the 4 barrels for a barrage of 8 sticky plasma explosives. As it came closer to their area of operational range, the Launchers locked on the moment their barrels had fully charged all 8 barrels, and both Jiralhanae fired one after the other.
The plasma bolts homed in on the Dropship from the front, giving Jabjab clear sight of the oncoming threat, reacting accordingly, "AH! HOLY NIPPLE!" he cried as he was forced to pull off his circling sky path, but by the time he violently turned the Phantom off course, 2 bolts stuck to the automatic turret, and as the Dropship veered off, 3 more struck along under the vessel, all of them exploding one by one causing severe damage to the underside, exterior damage at the most. The worst of the devastation being that the chin turret was completely destroyed as piece of it fell from the sky, sparing many Jiralhanae on the ground allowing them to continue their assault.
The interior rocked the cockpit and the cargo hold like an earthquake, with one of the blue explosions rupturing the hull itself, blowing a small enough hole in the troop holding area where 2 very unfortunate Moles were sucked out, screaming as they plummeted to their deaths towards the battlefield below.
"Ahhhh! Jabjab! We just lost 2 in here!" one of the Moles shouted trying to let the Unggoy pilot know about their situation, leading the green Grunt to fall back and deploy his troops, "Ok ok! Unggg, I was hoping to clear an area for you all, but the place is still too hot! Weapon systems are down all over the board…" he softly ended his sentence as bright red warning lights began to appear, indicating the destruction of all defenses, except for the port side Plasma cannon which wasn't connect to the Dropship's systems. "We're just target practice now!" Jabjab, greatly aggravated by the level of punishment he took, was forced to back off. It did mean he could get the troops off to reinforce the Dragon's position, levelling the playing field for as long as they physically could. It just means they'd have to travel somewhat to the field where they'd be more useful.
Yapflop grumbled lightly as he threw himself away from the care of the Mole warriors and stumbling into the cockpit, irritated by all the rocking around from the damage they took, "I thought you knew how to fly!?" Yapflop growled, clubbing Jabjab's side with his large, though scarred arms, "First I get blown off the plasma cannon and now you let some dummy Brutes hit us with plasma launchers?!" he continued to club Jabjab until he was forced back by his friend using his own large right arm.
Jabjab was forced to look away from the holographic screen that gave him full view of all that was in front of his dropship to the orange clad Grunt, whose damaged arms immediately reminded him of the night 2 moons back, when a firebomb was thrown by one of Shenko's Jiralhanae associates just prior to fight between Thel, the darkened form of Cynder, Drektus and the treacherous Sangheili leading to the total destruction of their Flagship. He could still vividly remember every waning second Yapflop suffered in those last moments before the warship's catastrophic end.
"I got caught up in the moment, it was a mistake! There was so many of them and the others down there were getting overwhelmed" he attempted to explain himself, shaking off the tormenting memories, even though the one who he was trying to get the point across was someone with the mind of a child more so than an actual commander, thus he grunted in annoyance, further ignoring any comments made by his Unggoy companion.
Yapflop rolled his eyes, "Just get us to a place that isn't crawling with things trying to murder us…", sighing in defeat, knowing he'll have to be dropped groundside to assist the Mole whose weaponry was a balanced mix of captured small Covenant weapons to some average crossbows. The unfortunate ones were stuck with a couple of spears or swords, "But hey! At least if we go on the ground together, we kill all the Brutes who stand in our way! Maybe we'll be true heroes if we beat up enough Chieftains!" Yapflop happily jumped at the thought of facing Mag's forces once again with Jabjab at his side killing as many barbaric enemy foot soldiers for as long as they physically can. Jabjab on the other hand looked to Yap a brow raised.
"I can't leave this ship unattended Yapflop. Despite how many hits we took back there, it still flies responsively. I'll do my best to bring in more people to help with that mid-city skirmish but without the turret I'm only good for transporting now, with the port-side plasma cannon being the last actual weapon to fend them off with" he felt crushed having to leave his only Grunty buddy behind to assist with the battle at large. Jabjab, as much as he wanted to eventually die by his best friend's side, leaving the Phantom alone to needlessly be destroyed or captured wasn't in their best interest. Thus, he felt it's smarter, for Warfang's overall defenses, if he kept piloting it until it's truly worn out its battle usage.
Yapflop, slightly devastated upon hearing Jabjab's retort, lost most of his motivation to continue fighting. It wasn't that the Moles were bad fighters, especially since his people were barely any better, but he's almost never had to split up from Jabjab this entire time. They'd stick together regardless of the situation. To hear Jabjab to begin suggesting splitting up was blasphemous, heresy…terrifying. "But Jab…we're best buds! Not just best buds…but we're Unggoy! We can't go out fighting without the other…a lonely Unggoy is a dead Unggoy" his voice softened, a sense of dread overwhelming his poor little body, his soul wracked with grief.
With the Phantom now far away enough from the center of the engagement, but close enough to allow the Moles to get into combat within minutes, opened up both sides doors as well as deploying the Gravity lift in the back center of the ship, giving the Mole warriors various ways to exit their holding area, "It had to happen eventually Yap, this battle is bigger than just us. Like Arby said yesterday speaking about that new oath, we must put things aside for the greater good, for what we're fighting for. I swear to every dead Prophet that has ever lived, I will come back to help you but if I have the ability to get as many guys with sticks here as fast as I can…it's an advantage we cannot waste" Jabjab reassured Yapflop despite knowing it'd be a while before they'd rejoin, but by then no one could guarantee their safety.
Yapflop was flabbergasted, stumbling back dragging his eyes across the floor he backed up on whilst covering his face using his claws. The whimpers that escaped his mouth basically said everything to the green armored Grunt, Yapflop wasn't ready to split apart from his comrade in arms, quite literally in fact when he was slowly being burnt up by the firebomb he was horrendously mauled by. Out of the 2 of them, Yapflop was definitely the more incompetent of the 2, the little Unggoy knew it deep down without Jabjab he was more or less useless.
As the Moles huddled off the ship from various directions, at least 27 of them in total moving together in a pack like mentality, Jabjab held out his right arm towards Yapflop, staring at him with determination burning brightly in his eyes, "You can do it Yap…you're the bravest Unggoy I'd ever had the pleasure of fighting stupidly tall enemies with" and despite still wearing his methane mask, Yapflop could clearly tell the Unggoy Phantom pilot was smiling. Not a chuckle, not a sarcastic grin, nothing to do with any shenanigans whatsoever.
It was a clear cut, proper smile. Yapflop knew he was because he was doing so in return, responding to Jabjab's held out his own in response, both clubbing each other's arms at the same time, a sort of sign of appreciation for one another, "I won't let you down Jab! Go get as many people as you can!" Yapflop firmly established his intention to go all out on their enemies, retracting his arm to haul over his Fuel Rod Gun, turning to run off in the direction of their Mole allies. Before jumping off however, Yapflop wanted to give off one more remaining sentence to his Unggoy buddy, "You better rush them in Jab because by the time you get back, might not be any big bad Brutes to kill!" Yapflop laughed manically as he launched himself off the port side of the ship, screaming fanatically catching most of his Mole allies off guard.
By the time he landed though, he planted face first into the rubble below, crying out in pain as he realized what he did was terribly stupid, some of the warriors even cringing at the sight of the Unggoy basically throwing himself off a 2, maybe 3 story building. Jabjab couldn't help but shake his head, laughing at the scenario Yapflop put himself into. Still, with his Dropship's troop hold now completely empty, Jabjab must bugger out of the area before he attracts unwanted attention, flying in the direction of the mid-western city area where many Mole warriors were flushing out the remaining Jiralhanae fighters that heavily contested the hill earlier. If Darst was still there, he needed to be convinced to continue the battle regardless of the Scarab's presence.
Over at Terrador's location, Cynder's grunts caused Spyro to gain concern, turning towards her away from his position next to Shin and Jikartus. The Dragoness at long last completed her toxin nullification for the Earth Guardian, collapsing onto the ground underneath her body as she felt drained of her power, "Ok, it's done! Terrador…please tell me you can move now" she begged the Guardian to stand up on his own feet, panting ever so quickly to catch her breath as the Purple Dragon slid by her side, draping a wing over her backside only to realize her body temperature was unusually high, "How much magic did you use up? You're burning all over!" Spyro was worried by how long it took to get the Earth Guardian back up and running, sensing that she may have used too much to even help herself.
"Thank you Cynder, just…give me one moment" Terrador stated as he pressed his paws tightly into the ground, muscles pressurizing to give him the strength to get up. Surely, as a thin shadow cast over Shin and Jikartus, tossing their heads around wondering why it got darker, the Earth Dragon was once again back up on all 4 legs. Whilst his physical injuries still ached horrendously, the inner pain keeping him down was all but eradicated. The toxins were now harmless, the radiation null and void, and the elemental power Cynder had spared him was strong enough to suppress his more grievous wounds.
Both of the younger Dragons on the ground were pleased enough, even though Spyro swung his head back to his Dragoness and watching her collapsing on the ground, practically taking the Guardian's place, "I had to make sure…he was prepared…he used everything up trying to suppress his injuries. He had nothing use. What power I gave should be enough keep you going Terrador…I hope" Cynder panted between at least 3 to 4 words in her reasons for weakening herself like she did. But Terrador wasn't overjoyed by the fact Cynder literally sapped herself dry just to ensure his ability to walk and run. But it was hard to be stern against her when his gratitude was far more prominent.
The sound of further gunfire hitting against their piece of cover caught Shin and Jikartus off guard, bring their full attention back at the firefight at hand, "He may be on the move now, but my former pack brothers will not let him leave this place alive. Without the Phantom we don't have anything to keep their attention!" Jikartus snarled as the light infantry fire became more and more aggressive, a constant stream of Spiker ammunition digging itself into their stone cover, in front and behind.
The Purple Dragon couldn't help but notice they merely traded one injured Dragon for a worn out one now, at least until her power came crawling back, "We need to get Terrador away from here and find the other Guardians. Cynder will have to stay here, she can't fight in this state" he forewarned those who planned to aid in Terrador's retreat as multiple Blacksmith Moles had either climbed down or ran downstairs to reunite with their Resistance allies, falling in behind Jikartus and Tarscar. Shin threw his head in the direction of the young Dragons, seeing Cynder trying her best to catch her breath, yet looking at the new arrivals who helped assist with their defense thus far.
"Guardian Terrador! Thank the ancestors you're still in one piece! I mean…in stable condition!", one of the Blacksmiths embarrassed himself as he tried to come up with a sentence that didn't immediately relate to the Guardian's mangled wings, "I-it's good to see you up sir, a fine recovery indeed", he greeted his leader with high praise, only to turn to Shin and bear him some news, "Off worlder, your overly engineered flying machine may have suffered damage from enemy ammunition, but it just dropped some of our warriors not far from here. They're coming to assist" the small yet heavily armored warrior explained, his black armor thick in high quality steel, "We can bring the Earth Guardian to where the other 2 may have retreated. The rest can stay to ensure the Black Dragoness' survival" he explained further, revealing that they can provide Terrador an exit strategy, "But we'll need more than just our reinforcements. Something, anything that can keep them distracted away from us if just for a few moments".
Jikartus raised his right arm, the one holding his Fuel Rod Gun like an oversized pistol to blindfire an entire magazine in the general direction of his former pack brethren to limited effectiveness as the Brutes in the line of fire threw themselves out of the path of the explosive projectiles then to return firing just as the War Chieftain managed to pull his weapon back to insert another clip inside the chamber, making a high pitched beep to signal it was ready to fire again, "No distraction will be enough to force their attention elsewhere little furball, they want your Dragons dead by any means necessary on the account of Magnaruckus' demands" he cautioned the Mole's idea of a distraction, as if they were to expose even himself or Shin for the job, they would immediately shift all weapons fire to a retreating Terrador.
"Need not to worry…I'll create my own opening. Brace for this one…" Terrador announced to the entire group, focusing his attention over to the nearby heavy gunfire that was pounding against their cover trying to breach it in any possible manner, yet the large, rectangular like structure managed to withstand most of it, if not, only chipped away slightly. His hazel eyes looked towards the exhausted Dragoness who in turn looked up in curiosity as to what Terrador schemed within his aged mind.
Unbeknownst to his allies, his mind was deep in thought, connecting to the ground beneath them through scale to cobblestone contact, manipulating its very matter. It began hardening at an extreme rate deep underground as Terrador shut his eyes tightly, enabling him to concentrate on his earth-based creation. Thanks to Cynder's energy which tended to be used by darker, more uncommonly used elements of the Realms he was able to conjure, thus control, a large portion of the ground under the Jiralhanae advancing on their position began to quiver, catching them off guard slightly once it began to rock about.
It was the Guardian's very soul linking to the Earth underneath projecting his strength through sheer willpower alone. His mind became the hardening dirt, his power was the force of its movement. Yet, it was his sheer determination to protect the young Dragons and their friends from the corrupted evil that slowly encroached their holdout. With one swift stomp of his front right paw, the ground underneath the Jiralhanae forces violently shook, jolting the dozens upon dozens of soldiers catching them completely by surprise, and to their horror began to continue shaking causing some to fall off their feet complete, some rolling around the destroyed rubble they had created during their genocidal campaign.
"What's wrong with this place?!" one shocked Jiralhanae Minor wearing Teal colored armor cried as large, disfigured pylon of the hardened soil sprung out from underneath viciously knocking him about whilst the ground shook. "It's an Earthquake, it has to be! It couldn't be the freak flyers doing this?! Could it?!" one of the dark blue armored Majors cried out as he felt that this was not some crazy act of nature, but one of the Dragons having mastered the ability to conjure Earthquakes.
He was unfortunately dismayed by a nearby Chieftain who came up to his side to furiously push him over, as he was trying desperately to resist falling over, "Don't be so quick to give the freak flyers credit you fool, they've been able to do many things but I doubt they have the ability to cause environmentally sourced disas-GAH-AAACK!" to the Chieftain's horror as he was about to debunk the knocked over Major's theory, only for a pylon of heavily hardened soil instantly sprouted the ruins underneath him and impaling through his soft, unprotected neck, cutting of valuable oxygen needed for his lungs as well as cutting vital arteries, affectively mutilating the experienced Brute Chieftain. That one Major he shoved aside panicked at the sight of his dead superior, scurrying away hoping to not end up like him.
These solid protrusions looked similar to obelisks thanks to how the surface was reshaping itself, violently splitting apart causing small sinkholes with swallowed up the Brutes without warning. Though unlike the obelisks, this didn't outright kill them, merely buying more time for those behind cover with Terrador. It was an event of apocalyptic proportions, for the enemy at least.
Nevertheless, whilst the Jiralhanae endured an earth shattering event that rocked the position they attempted in crossing to their very core, Shin, Jikartus, Spyro, Cynder, even the Moles couldn't feel a thing under their feat for the ground was not directly aiming to disrupt their general vicinity. Gunfire from their enemies was slow and erratic, stopping for the briefest of moments as the Jiralhanae were doing all they can to survive the unnatural phenomena from tearing their pack apart, suffering minor injuries to terrifying but occasional casualties due to the randomness of the event. Both Jikartus and Shin popped their heads over to find out what was happening to their enemy, completely dumbfounded as the Brutes fumbled around like a youngling of their respective species, to their amusement, as they vainly attempted to get a hold of anything as the ruined buildings itself just moved alongside the quake. The pylons that protruded extensively from the ground certainly wasn't doing Mag's troops any favors, along with small crevices and cracks on the ground slowly coming to fruition as the extent of Terrador's very own Earthquake began to take a form of its own, literally tearing apart the very foundation that Warfang had been built on.
The Earth Guardian's maw opened as he began to lose control of the surface he managed to go completely unstable, panting lightly. Perhaps he took it too far, as it was the ground the Moles had built the city on originally, "I've only ever made the earth shiver a few times in my life. That'll keep the, busy for only a few more minutes, it's bound to die down soon" Terrador warned those who planned to help him reunite with the other Guardians to check on their state of affairs, "Indeed. Come warriors, now's our chance!" the Blacksmith in heavy armor ordered his surrounding Moles, at least 7 of them in total preparing to surround the massive elder Dragon, readying their Auto-bows in case they met unexpected resistance along the way.
Tarscar curved his neck in the direction of Jikartus, using his right cybernetically replaced arm to hit the War Chieftain's shoulder to gain his attention, "Go with the Guardian, they'll need all the help they can get should Magnaruckus have Stalkers or stranded troops deep behind our lines" but to Mag's former second in command's dismay, he raised a brow as to the Sangheili's reasoning behind weakening the defense for the slowly recovering Cynder, "Then it'll only be you and the Purple one to defend this sector. Surely you're not asking to split us up now?!" Jikartus, deep down, felt off put by this order knowing their chances of survival are lessened greatly without his overwhelming assistance, especially once the quake would begin to die down.
It was the slight shift of Shin's head that raised the War Chieftain's brow, turning himself completely around in the direction of the approaching Mole forces led by Yapflop, navigating through destroyed ruins to close in on the quaking site, "It won't be me and Spyro for too long. Cynder will recover and then we can begin to search for the Arbiter. Hopefully before the Scarab bears its might down upon us" as the cybernetically altered Elite ended his sentence, the frightful blast of the aforementioned excavation walker obliterated another row of structures to nothing but dust, viciously exterminating a large collection of Moles and Cheetahs who had been attempting an ambush of Magnaruckus' Scarab. Their screams echoed far and wide, so distant they could hear it over the ramblings, the cries of the Jiralhanae who could barely stand up on the shaking surface in front of them.
With the incoming reinforcements led firmly by the Unggoy, if Yapflop was leadership material in the first place, along with Shin's desire to reunite with their commanding officer before staring down the Scarab only then did Jikartus see Shin's reason for separation, giving in to the Sangheili's request, "Split up we shall then. Considering his discontent for me, perhaps it'd serve me well to not rejoin with the Arbiter until he can see his allies are firmly comfortable with my troops around" the War Chieftain concluded, remembering their proper introduction from earlier being…less than unfriendly.
"Are you sure this cretin can be trusted?" one of the Moles behind the heavily armored Blacksmither asked, "We've already killed many of the beasts, what makes this turncoat trusted beyond any reasonable doubt?" but to Shin and Spyro's disbelief, it was Terrador who vouched for Jikartus' allegiance, "This oversized beast has put himself in harm's way to ensure my survival young Moleling. I've placed my hopes in him, like the other off-worlders to save our people. If he wishes to come along I won't stop him. This would be a good chance to show the others not all Jiralhanae are made of pure malice as this battle has claimed so far" the Guardian firmly expressed the Brute's cooperation should Jikartus follow through Shin's plan.
"Very well. I…appreciate the chance you've given me. If not to atone for my transgressions on your world, but to ensure trust between your people and mine. At least to those who do not share Magnaruckus' ideology" the War Chieftain, still kneeling next to Shin, bowed his head towards the Guardian, which quite frankly shocked the Elite. It was one thing to fight alongside his supposed enemies, but to offer his services to a Guardian Dragon was something else entirely. Maybe there was hope for Jikartus' people, for his species. It's just that there wasn't any left for Magnaruckus' group.
"Let's get moving, the quake is already losing momentum" Terrador suggested, feeling his created natural disaster begin to waver. The surface under the Jiralhanae was still shaking violently enough to keep them disorganized, though some of the heavier soldiers have begun to manage staying on their feet, firing very few Spiker munitions on Jikartus' and Shin's position, the latter springing up to provide cover fire from his own Spikers, giving Terrador, Jikartus and the Blacksmith Moles the best possible opportunity to move out.
"Now or never…" Jikartus murmured softly, standing on his feet backing up to join the evac group covering the Guardian, of whom shifted his attention to the young Dragons huddled together. Although the Dragoness shared far more elemental power with him than she should have, seeing her life of far more value than his own, kindly returning the favor, buying some time for them before they'd trek out in the devastated outskirts, "Young Dragons; this is the best possible repayment for keeping me safe, and even then, nothing I provide will come close to what you've done. Please, Spyro, Cynder…You don't have to save the city. You don't have to protect the historic values within it. I dare to say that even if may be presented with the choice of saving those who still inhabit the city to that of your own lives" he paused to allow the younger Dragon to allow him to process his sentence, knowing when he'd realize what his Teacher was trying to tell him, "I will allow you to decide what is more righteous in the end. You've already done more than your fair share acts of selflessness. Don't feel at fault for those you're unable to protect" he solemnly spoke down to them, letting them both know should they choose to keep each other safe over the inhabitants of the city, their lives were far too valuable to lose in a single battle.
"But we've already boasted on about protecting these people, we promised to! We can't go back on it now when…" Spyro stopped his sentence at the very moment he heard dozens of voices scream far away as the Scarab again unleashed another volley from its focus cannon, the Purple Dragon only having to image what kind of horror, what pain they would endure before their souls could be set free from their disintegrating bodies.
"I'm not saying you have to abandon your duties Spyro, but we still have to be realistic with our expectations. Even if we lost Warfang, should it be burnt to the ground, if we're still alive to fight another day it will be another chance to reclaim what's been lost. A city we can build. A life cannot be replaced…" Terrador heavily emphasized the importance of living to see the next sunrise, when your own life must come first, "The needs of the many does indeed outweigh the needs of the few, but if the many are incapable of being saved to begin with…let's just say the toughest decisions will follow you no matter the outcome".
What truly tore him apart from the inside, the horrible realization that he'd inevitably end up with is that as they'd look for Thel and come up with a proper counter-attack to the massive machine, hundreds would be sacrificed in the process. All of them who'd be doing what they could to slow down its advance, yet they would all be trampled in its path, mere hindrances in its goals. Without their intervention, the Scarab was ultimately an unstoppable force hellbent on reducing their city, their people, to a smoldering ash, an ash that couldn't be told apart from a building and what used to be a person.
"This isn't like our war with Malefor, Spyro. It shouldn't be treated as such. The methods of fighting have changed, our tactics have been forced to evolve on the spot, and our enemy has a fanatical devotion the likes we have never seen, one they'd happily die for. You must continue to adapt to their ways and thus counter accordingly" Terrador advised Spyro carefully and to an extent, to Cynder, but the Purple Dragon immediately rose up, as did his voice, "But we've been doing exactly that for the whole day, for the last few days really! It's just…just getting harder and harder to cope with! How long will it be until we just break Terrador?! It just…can't…keep…going" his fangs slowly exposed themselves as desperation caught up with him, staring down the Guardian eye to eye.
The Guardian was taken aback by the young Dragon's tone, but he couldn't help but sympathize with Spyro. He and Cynder have faced the Jiralhanae far longer than either he, Volteer and Cyril have, and this unfortunately added to their over-experiences with the Dark Master's forces. He was ripped violently out of his thought process as one of Blacksmither's shouted upwards to the far larger Dragon, "My Guardian! The quake is dying down!", forcing Terrador to fasten his evac, but not before leaving some options open to the young savior, "As much as your body and mind can handle young Dragon…after that, by all means, do what you think is best for you and for Cynder…" he sighed deeply, knowing words would not abide by the Purple Dragon anymore. What did he mean by that exactly? Abandonment? Sacrifice? Become suicidal in the face of overwhelming odds? Perhaps there wasn't a proper answer to his question thought Spyro, his eyes lowering down to stare blankly at the cobblestones underneath him, at Cynder's dismay.
"Dragon! Go! We're out of time!" Jikartus growled angrily as a small number of Jiralhanae troops began accurately firing on their position, forcing the Guardian to sprint out of cover alongside the War Chieftain and their Blacksmith squad, completely taking the enemy by total surprise as a massive target presented itself, re-acquiring their aim on Shin, "IT'S THE OVERGROWN FREAK FLYER! SHIFT YOUR FIRE!" one of the Brute Majors yelled profusely forcing to switch targets to Terrador plus his protection, but the shaking of the surface plus Tarscar's cover fire kept them surprised, unable to bead on the massive yet fast moving target.
Their only chance to land a fatal blow on the Earth Guardian came to a grinding halt as random plasma fire came from a completely separate flank as the Moles led by their valiant Grunt commander also suppressed their position, thereby outnumbering this particular group that had been constantly reunited with other packs to assault the Draconic position, "Don't rush in guys! They're really good at beating you to a bloody pulp at close range, trust me, I know the guys!" Yapflop yelled out to his surrounding troops, taking pot shots with his Fuel Rod Cannon and almost managing to hit a Brute Minor with one, forcing him to retreat into low ground cover.
It didn't take long for Terrador and his group to escape the firing range of the savage enemy forces, pulling back to a number of large yet fairly tall structures that, whilst damaged, have faced less plasma fire than the outskirts or the mid-city where the most brutal of the fighting has taken place, thereby taking them to the inner city sector, the areas closest to the Grand Atrium. Cyril and Volteer had to have retreated to the Atrium at the very least. The Ice Guardian's wounds were not laughing matter. Potentially not to the same effect Terrador has suffered, but still, a worrying event that needed his full attention.
One foolish gold Brute Major however managed to crawl his way through the shifting, shaking surface despite all the fire that's being thrown in his vicinity. What direction it didn't come from however was Shin's Spikers as the rubble this very Jiralhanae crawled through was under his guns, therefore bypassing his line of fire, out of his sight. Tarscar was completely oblivious to the encroaching threat to his life, only realizing it in the corner of his left eye, a sense of dread overwhelming his mind at that very second, was too late to react as the Jiralhanae pounced like a lightning strike from the ground, taking complete hold of the partly cybernetic Sangheili and pinning him to the ground, accidently losing grip of his weapons in the process, sliding across the street.
Spyro and Cynder were caught in shock in a single moment as Shin, despite his enhancements, could not force the aggravated, hungering Brute off of his body, his arms barely able to make any effort to shove him off as his foe's extremely sharpened teeth, accompanied by his horrid breath, was brought closer and closer to his own face, "You foul beast! Get! Off! Me!" Tarscar cried out as the Brute then began to try and claw the Dragon's Elite ally, tearing parts of his very thin combat harness, digging into his flesh like a beast straight from the wilderness itself, spilling Shin's already low supply of blood.
Spyro immediately sprung out from Cynder's side, of who also tried to help Shin but lagged far behind her Purple counterpart as her power still hadn't risen back to an appropriate level, already leaving her panting for breath. Spyro however, determined to ensure the survival of the formerly dead Elite…even if his body was the sole reason for Sparx's death, an event still sticking out of his mind.
But he had to push it aside just for a single, solitary second, to focus on the mortal enemy that was crushing his home, springing his own scale covered mass on the Jiralhanae's backside, latching his claws into the Brute's exposed skin whilst at the same time using the sheer strength of his wings, along with the muscles embedded within, to barrel roll the screeching creature off Shin, whilst almost completing the roll, Spyro violently threw this cretin into the cobblestones like a piece of vile dirt off his paws, landing back on said paws to charge him whilst he was down.
By the time he hit and slammed into the ground, the metal of his armor scraping causing an eardrum cracking sound, the Brute shook his head clear of any dust that managed to catch onto him, but by the time he managed to regain his bearings, the Dragon fighter smashed his thick, helmeted head into its stomach, where not even the Covenant made armor could protect him from such a blunt blow causing parts of the Jiralhanae's insides to rupture, blood vessels and alike.
Spyro immediately jumped back to allow the Brute to stand back up for just a few seconds, pinpointing his neck being the part to attack just like all of his fallen enemies, once again using his built up yet agile forearm and rear leg muscles, again using his claws to latch deep into the Brute's skin, using his sheer mass and strength to throw him up against the building the Blacksmiths once used as a vantage point for their Auto-bows, so hard in fact it broke apart at the area of impact. Having caused multiple scarring wounds to the Jiralhanae's neck, his dark purple blood was let loose draping all over his golden armor, only being a matter of time before he'd bleed out. It was an easy fight for Spyro, along with his enemy being distracted, his agility gave him full control over the dumb, bulky weight of his enemy who, despite being one of the heaviest creatures in the old Covenant asides from the Lekgolo, was at the Dragon's mercy.
Sustaining the blow from landing so heard in the wall also broke multiple bones with the Major, some too vital to be broken as his skull had split open in a small area where his helmet covered, this in combination with the absurd amount of blood escaping the Brute's neck. Barely able to stand, Shin's, now Spyro's enemy, fell on his bottom, sliding down from where he was slammed into having no strength to keep standing, let alone keep fighting. Even in the Brute's dying moments, it gave Spyro a sinister stare before his mind would inevitably fade to a cold, soulless black void. But he refused to react to the deathly gaze thrown in his direction, allowing it to make one last dying sigh before leaving his body behind to rot and decay in the battle torn street.
Cynder breathed a small sigh of relief seeing Spyro being completely unscathed, even for Shin suffering a few minor claw scars that ripped through his harness. It's merely extra damage scars to add to the many he's already obtained, especially in the meadows only 2 nights ago, "Spyro…thank you" Tarscar, immediately grateful, bowed his head lightly to the 4-legged flyer, though he didn't respond as kind as the Sangheili did, "It's fine. Can you walk?" he walked passed him to overlook the firefight between Yapflop's reinforcements beating back the remaining Jiralhanae pack members slowly being forced back in the general direction of the Scarab, still far off in the distance levelling entire city blocks.
Of course it dawned on the formally deceased Elite that it was his body who crushed the fail, tiny body of Sparx. He remembered it all whilst in the company of Ignitus, the sole reason he managed to make it back into his body, when his cybernetics were being used as a weapon to assassinate everyone who was in Arbiter's inner circle. In fact, it wasn't just Sparx. It was also the killer of Ventor Odesa, the Major of the small group that survived within Shadow of Intent for many days before being found by the Arbiter and Cynder.
Knowing full well of what he was unable to control, it wasn't a surprise Spyro still harbored resentment towards him, "Yes…yes I can still walk" he admitted seconds later, "Then let's get going. We must find Thel. Since you're with us, and Cynder still hasn't recovered most of her strength yet, we'll have to walk the way to where we found him last" the Purple Dragon conceived the fact that the last time they'd seen him, the Arbiter, with Prowlus and Hunter, were in mortal strife against the ridiculously oversized Jiralhanae Warlord.
Spy' turned to his Dragoness who approached by Shin's side. Even she couldn't help but feel even a small sense of responsibility for Sparx's demise, as whilst Sparx was crushed at the time, she was seconds away from being torn to ribbons by the Cybernetics controlling Shin, forcing Spyro to pull her out of the fire. Still, he wasn't focused on that moment in time.
It was simply Shin's body who he fully committed the blame on, "Let's get going then…Cynder, if you need to rest don't be afraid to take a breather. We'll let you catch up" the Purple Dragon stated before vaulting over the piece of cover. The Black Dragoness was just about to do the very same, however she turned her head to Shin with a concerned expression on her face, "Deep down he's still mourning for Sparx, but you mustn't take it too personally. That creature before you returned to form? It wasn't you. It was just another one of Magnaruckus' insane machinations" ending her sentence as she vaulted over damaged wall, now laced with several spikes and plasma burns, pushing the Sangheili to set aside any downplayed emotions, quickly re-acquiring his Spikers and followed the Dragon's lead.
Although the moment they revealed themselves in the open caused some of their foes to fire upon their position once more, thanks to Terrador's minor earthquake that by now has subsided completely, helped the 3 sprint from cover to cover caused by the event in order to join up with the Resistance side of the firefight, passing by individual Mole troops who lightly cheered on the Dragons and the Sangheili who managed to hold their position to defend their Guardian leader, "Keep it up sir! We'll have them on the back burner again soon enough!", one of them, holding a crossbow, acknowledged Spyro's presence as he passed by, even a couple of others whose morale was boosted by the sight of him and the Dragoness, "Thank you Dragons! Thank you offworlder! We saw what that oversized monstrosity did to Terrador, we thought the worst when he went down…we'll be sure to repay the enemy back in kind!" another allied soldier, this time armed with a Plasma Rifle he was barely able to lift up, yet nevertheless did his best to suppress the Brutes from afar.
Spyro and Cynder returned their praise with calm, yet soft smiles, knowing they were too busy to have even a small conversation right now, "Focus on the fight guys, don't give them a chance to blindside you", knowing praise is the last thing they need right now, Cynder set the few Warfang warriors who had their backs turned to the fight immediately resume their push against the breaking Brute pack.
When they arrived by Yapflop's side, it was the Purple Dragon who caught his attention, "Yap, thanks for bringing in the cavalry. We wouldn't have been able to get Terrador out of that street if it wasn't for your arrival" Spyro immediately offered his gratitude to the Unggoy who, at the same time in putting down his Fuel Rod Cannon, turned and hugged back with his massive arms, to the Dragon's shock, eyes shot open as he felt the force of the Grunt's arms tighten around his neck.
Shin and Cynder were confounded by this show of closeness, usually only seen towards other Unggoy, "Thank the nipple you guys are ok! I thought yous were goners!" Yapflop yelped happily, hugging Spyro's neck even tighter, "I saw the whole thing! Scary Scarab machine shooting Green Dragon guy right out of the sky, both of you going down with him…yes, I can see THAT far! Doesn't matter anyway! You 2 are alive and that's that! Can we keep it at that please?!" he stated, overly ecstatic about them surviving their encounter with Magnaruckus' mightiest war machine, letting go of Spyro only to show Cynder the same affection.
He started lowered his neck to cough extensively, opening his windpipe back up to take back in the oxygen he couldn't obtain through the Unggoy's clutches, a fate Cynder had befallen seconds after him as Yapflop hopped forward catching the Dragoness, extending his arms out and pulling her in cuddle her neck, the Grunt's head resting against her neck, a little embarrassing for her to say the least, especially with Shin watching. She couldn't hold her head back as it rested against his triangular armor piece, with the smallest horn on the left side of head scraping against it. Though the longer she stayed within Yapflop's ridiculously constraining grip the easier it was for her to take notice of the various burn scars he had around his body. That night on the Shadow of Intent is still one she will never seem to forget. It felt like a lifetime ago when all of that was going down, when Shenko's treacherous intentions were revealed to her, as Yapflop suffered the full extent of a firebomb being thrown at him and witnessing Spyro's near death experience. Everything else was blank after that, only waking up by Thel's side as the ship began to tear itself apart. The rest, simply put, was history.
Tarscar cleared his throat as Yapflop seemed disinterest in letting go of the Dragoness, reminding the Unggoy of his own presence, "Unggo-Ugh, um…Yapflop…if I may ask, what's happening with Jabjab and the Phantom he's currently still piloting?" Shin enquired about the mission priority for the slightly more 'in tune with reality' Grunt, to which Yapflop finally released his Dragoness cuddle prisoner, looking up at the much taller Elite, "Jabjab said he was gonna keep flying people around to lots of spots where our guys were needed. Since most of the turrets on the Dropship was destroyed, Jabjab thought it best I helped these Mole people until he got back to me. So far so good it seems, we still have 28 of our original group of 30!" Yapflop jumped happily, seeing his overall command being very successful, that was until one of the nearby warriors managed to get their forehead clipped by a stray Carbine round, passing right through his armor to instantly kill him.
"Whoops…make that 27" he lightly tapped his fingers feel some sense of guilt for the death of that Mole. Cynder helplessly sighed at the weak attempt to make humor, knowing someone just died to give Yapflop that chance to comment.
Shin shifted his eyes to the many Moles under Yapflop's command. They didn't look anything like the average Warfang guardsmen that were easily everywhere on the frontlines, being raggedly equipped in comparison to the city's far more experienced and well-trained soldiers, as far as training and experience took them against lethal Jiralhanae war packs anyways the genders, though being kind of hard to tell between the males and females of the species, seem nearly balanced, though it was the females that outnumbered the males in this regard. Meaning that as more trained warriors died, civilians took the role of their defenders. It shook the Sangheili to think Warfang was now down to conscripting the every day worker of the city to defend their homes now, scraping the very bottom of the barrel.
Tarscar looked down upon the Unggoy and knelt down to his level, causing Spyro to raise his left eye brow as to the Sangheili's motive, "Yapflop. We're heading to the outskirts to find Thel. The moment we recover him, from there we plan to take the battle to that Scarab…we'll need your assistance in case he's in trouble" he firmly asked the orange garnered Grunt to help them assist in the search for Thel. In the moment he was forced think about it however, Yapflop froze, his arms retreating to his sides.
Though the Unggoy was forced to choose between abandoning his Mole squad in the hopes of finding Vadam, Cynder intervened on behalf of the conflicted Grunt, standing by his side with a face of uncertainty to the Elite's request, "Shin this has to be the first time I've ever seen him split away from Jabjab. You can't ask to pull him away from the last thing his friend wished him to do. If Jabjab says he'd be back, he can't break his word just to help us find Thel. The 3 of us will be more than enough to deal with that Warlord should he be the reason for Thel, Hunter and Prowlus' delay" she thoroughly explained Yapflop's legitimacy in helping the inexperienced Moles contend with the Jiralhanae in the hopes of pushing them back further.
Tarscar was ready to counter this though, pointing out to the Unggoy's Fuel Rod Cannon, "We need his weapon to help bring it down. Your powers are strong but you're still recovering what you lost after helping Terrador get back on his feet" Shin knew if Yapflop were to join them, it'll be much easier to deal with the Warlord currently besieging Thel and the 2 Cheetah leaders. Spyro however pointed out something both Cyn and Shin completely missed, "Guys…look at him" he softly demanded them, seeing Yapflop tread over to his Fuel Rod to haul it back on his right shoulder, looking back at them with a saddened expression, "You're conflicted…I can tell" Spyro steadily approached Yap, knowing all too well what he was going through.
"You know, if Jabjab was here…he'd say, 'Arby's in trouble? We can pull him out of there no problem, Unggoy power too great for dumb Brutes!'" Yap impersonated his best friend as best his could, his voice almost matching that of Jab's, "But without him here, I can barely make the tougher decisions on my own. Hard enough to leave his side. But here, I've never felt so happy to lead my own group…it's not like leading a whole bunch of old Covenant troops, but it's as close as I'll ever get to being a real leader. And these Moles, they're just like Unggoy…small…weak…easy to kill…far too easy now that I think about it. Yet filled with a lot of passion to fight" Yap happily sung the praises of the every day Warfang inhabitant, seeing a lot of his kind in the. Moles were to the Dragons as Unggoy were to Sangheili. Only difference is, one uses elemental magic, the other uses powerful technology, "And leaving their side be like leaving a lot of Jabjabs".
When Yapflop finally turned his body to Shin and Cynder, firmly holding his assault weapon like it was his favorite night time teddy bear, they could see him smiling ever so gratefully for the opportunity he'd been given, giving Tarscar his answer without even needing to verbally communicate it. "Me and Mole people will help hold of stupid Brute advance for as long as we can! Go on, tell Arbiter he dumb for going off on his own. It's never a good idea, like, he's already done it before when Brutes first arrived! Cynder knows this as well, it's whole reason why you all scary and robotic now Shin!" Yappy had dropped a bomb on both Tarscar and Cynder, reminding both of them how she and Thel had a habit in going off on their own leading to outright terrible results.
Spyro of course, couldn't help but let out a small giggle, one Cynder quickly jumped on his case for, "Don't encourage him Spyro…" she narrowed her eyes down towards her bond-partner, to which he politely reminded her, "He has a point though. Yapflop of all people to tell you common sense Cynder" he wanted to keep stoking the fire just a little bit further just to see how far her reactions go, yet he kept receiving fairly hostile looking expressions from the irritated Dragoness.
Shin slowly got up from his knelt down position once he felt satisfied with Yapflop's answer, taking his Spikers back out, "Whatever you do to hold out Yapflop, I sincerely hope for the best with you and your group. Do what you feel is right. Spyro, Cynder, lets leave Yap and his Moles to deal with those savages over the horizon" He personally issued to the young Dragons to start getting a move on with their march back into the destroyed outskirts, both complying with a nod of their heads and leaving Yapflop to his own devices, hearing one last Grunty yell before the ruins they traversed block their sight of him, "COME ON BRUTES! YOUR MOTHERS COULD UP A BETTER FIGHT THAN THIS! AND I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN WHAT A GIRL BRUTE LOOKS LIKE! PROBABLY VERY UGLY!" he screamed from the very top of his lungs as he lobbed Fuel rods into the positions, Spyro, Cynder and Shin overhearing the explosions from a distance.
As the Resistance on the western part of the city continued to push the Jiralhanae forces back, the east looked far more grim by the second as the Scarab continued to decimate anything that even have them a looked in its general direction, carving up the streets whilst leaving black scars deep within the earth it disintegrated, like a smaller version of a glassing beam from a Covenant Cruiser. Jiralhanae forces marshalled underneath to protect its defenseless underside, where virtually none of the Scarab's weapon emplacements could ever hope to touch.
Mole forces who had kept up their blockade for as long as they did, such as the earlier defense events where a number of the Dragons and their off-worlder allies fended off, were now scattered, overcome with fear or had been killed off completely, giving the walker free reign to continue approaching the heart of the city, having to slowly climb up to reach the much taller structures placed next to the Grand Atrium.
On its hull, Magnaruckus, in a knelt down position barely holding onto the Fist of Rukt, was still in a trance of some sort, repeating the very words he used earlier to unveil his renewed plans for the Dragoness, though in a more quiet tone, "Hellfire…Freak Flyer…be mine…you will burn…", his eyelids, opening to reveal one blood shot eye and the damaged white one, seeing the Scarab continue its rampage, a full beam straight into a large bell tower causing its instant collapse, with the bell making its final ring before succumbing to a large cloud of dust that only the Scarab and surrounding Warfang structures were tall enough to stand atop of.
Verlecktus slowly approached his grand leader from behind with curiosity being the first emotion to feel seeing the Chieftain in a completely different stance to what he'd been expecting, what should have been a proud leader seeing the fruits of their labor finally come to reveal itself before him, and honor those who served him with unquestioned loyalty and devotion. "My Chieftain…the city burns below us. What trouble occupies your thought if I dare to ask?" he asked him with great caution should his leader instantly decide his fate, yet all that returned back to him was a deep groan of pure, unadulterated pain, as Mag slowly rose up to return to reality, "It's nothing Verlecktus. Probably just a concussion I've suffered from that last blow. Bloody freak flyers…" of course that retort was merely a cover to his…extreme ambitions for the Black Dragoness, knowing that dissent may arise should he go back on his word to murder her in name of the Jiralhanae race, to establish their superiority over the Dragons, for what she'd done to his image.
Verlecktus had no other choice but to accept this response as fact. Terrador's clubbed tail did a number on his glorious leader, mainly since it was incredibly unexpected. Because of the damage the rear panel protecting the not-power core room, their ambush plan has been exposed, and by now, any of the 3 Dragons managed to survive their fall back to land, word will no doubt get around, potentially ruining their advantage in moving the Scarab's power core, "In any case my Chieftain, it doesn't matter about the loss of our ambush spot. The rear is not a valued target anymore, they have no idea that the Power Core is now placed directly behind the Focus Cannon's eye. And since it's already vastly well armored compared to the rest of the walker, we're practically unstoppable. As you can see up ahead, their center of Government, or whatever it may be to these cretins, is directly in our sights" Verlecktus pointed directly to the massive Atrium that stood tall above the rest of Warfang.
Magnaruckus stood up upon hearing of how close they're getting to this massive structure they consider a symbol of their people, an icon of their building mastery, "Can't the Scarab just destroy it from here? Surely it can't be out of our range…" Magnaruckus demanded as to the reason why they couldn't simply tear it apart right here and now, but he looked closer, narrowing his one eye'd vision down, seeing noticeable black marks of damage located around the lower half of the structure, realizing they were a combination of Banshee, Phantom, and more recently yet surprisingly, the signs of the Scarab already having made some attempt, from long range at least.
"From here, the exterior is far too thick for our plasma. We can carve through it but that will leave us vulnerable to boarding, sitting around and doing nothing but firing away. If we want to turn this city into a dust storm from this building's collapse as soon as possible, we need to get close where the Focus Cannon can be used to maximum efficiency. Right now, it's all cosmetic. A waste of potential destruction we could instead be doing to the city around it." Verlecktus explained down to the smallest detail to comply with his leader's demand, "All we have to do is allow the Scarab to continue its rampage towards it. There's no cause for concern at this point my Chieftain, time is on our side. Destroying this building will surely bring us a great victory over these primitives." he assured his great leader, smiling at the prospect of them holding all the advantages, whereas Warfang had nothing left to stop them with.
Magnaruckus however was not convinced that this approach was the be all, end all to this conflict. Even with the destruction of the Grand Atrium and the chaos it'd sow among Warfang's ranks, a building wouldn't be enough to convince them that their fight was a lost cause. Time and time again, Mag insisted it was the Arbiter and his inner circle of allies and comrades was what kept the enemy fighting to the death. More so than any created symbol. He turned to Verlecktus with a sinister gaze staring at him, fully coming around with a direct approach towards his Engineering lieutenant, "You still think we'll win this by conventional means with unconventional weaponry Verlecktus. Are you even thinking straight?" he raised his brow, then resetting it the moment he asked an incredibly silly question, "Don't answer that…All this Scarab is to me, all it does, is set the enemy up for their destruction and for our forces to keep fighting, to continue our unstoppable onslaught" his voice grew deeper with antagonistic intentions towards his Lieutenant.
"But as long as the Arbiter and those freak flyers survive, there will be no end to this fight. Only with their blood soaked on my hands will I declare an end to this conflict!" Mag slammed Verlecktus into the ground and stomped on his Lieutenant without any mercy, tired of his old way of thinking, "Tell me, did you by any chance gather my equipment off the 'Prophet's Vengeance' before you treaded the path to get here?" he asked very sternly, tilting his head slightly to his left, grabbing the Engineer by his collar, to Verlecktus at least, this was a shocking question to ask.
"B-But of course my noble Chieftain! However, I assumed you had no need of it since you've obtained the Fist of Rukt!" Verlecktus gulped lightly, his mind running through various scenarios should he accidently anger his leader, "I locked it all up downstairs! I can help you prepare if you would care to…keep me alive…just a little longer?" Verlecktus pledged his assistance in suiting up. Mag couldn't help but chuckle at that request, stepping back to allow his Scarab Commander the opportunity to stand back up, "Resorted to begging, have we? How could you stoop any lower", Mag shook his head, losing all hope for Verlecktus to reach the same position that Jikartus did, but that last line just didn't sit well with the Chieftain of the Brutes, valuing Strength, Courage, Discipline, and a bold way of thinking. He didn't need weakling by his personal side.
"I miss Jikartus" Magnaruckus turned his mass around to face what his Scarab face, a burning city engulfed in black smoke, heavy dust clouds coinciding to create an unhealthy fog that he could see over, fully knowing his troops would have just as hard a time dealing with it as their multitudes of enemies will, "He had a different way of approaching situations like this. With Humans and Sangheili, we both mocked their advances on the Ark by encircling ground troops, bearing heavy artillery as they scurried around looking for some place to hide. Entire reinforcements being unable to support their assault on our Prophet's position with the Citadel…of course, Truth never gave me the opportunity to personally deal with the Arbiter, and his Demon associate…the blind fool" he raised his right fist still holding the Fist of Rukt, tightly clenching the hammer's handle as he still remembered the instructions evoked by the Covenant holy leader, "Thel also seems to have an uncanny ability to make anyone, or anything his ally. Even the blasted Parasite!" Verlecktus' eyes shot open as Magnaruckus slammed the Rukt's handle so hard onto the Scarab's hull, it formed a dent.
"And despite all that I've done for him…what he's done to me, I still miss Jikartus. That's why I plan to take his head alongside Thel's. Let it be a reminder to those who dare turn against me will suffer the exact same fate all Sangheili will eventually receive" he growled in the imagination of ripping off his second in command's skull from his shoulder, an ironic end to their brotherhood.
"But looking back on the Arbiter, I've made too many mistakes with whom he's been able to align with. The freak flyers, the Lekgolo, the Unggoy, my own troops…" he took multiple deep, heavy breaths, "I refuse to make more. I will do what Truth should have done the moment the Arbiter was branded with the Mark of Shame. Execution!" Mag hissed ever so aggressively, looking back to Verlecktus with an eye of determination, "You said you wished to help me. If that's the case, break the chains that holds down my blades. It's time to show these primitives what a real monster is" the massive Chieftain's feet thumped against the Scarab's hull with each step as he passed by Verlecktus, to whom shook of any stunning effect he endured listening to his mighty leader.
It was always an honor to hear Mag's personal feelings upon times like these, when battles were to be waged. It was indeed a habit the Chieftain made every time before a glorious fight.
Verlecktus arrived at a Covenant sealed crate deep within the heart of the Scarab, some space away from the command and control center of the vehicle, with the Lieutenant taking hold of a corner to violently rip it off, bypassing the need to put a code in to access Mag's weapons, revealing 2 identically large, jagged swords, their size being equivalent to a Mgalekgolo's metal shield. The swords were demonic looking in nature, the steel on each side of the blades formed a jagged looking appearance capable of tearing the insides of any unfortunate victim apart whilst they were being impaled. There were even tints of red wedged between the jagged structuring. The best comparison would be like lava sitting against a rock formation, with the red tints being bright enough to be seen from some distance away.
The handles however had a leather like material wrapped around to allow Magnaruckus ease of handling, as Verlecktus watched once he stood back to allow his Chieftain access to his haunting blades. Before taking hold however, he hauled the Fist of Rukt onto his backside, being more than strong enough to resist the ridiculous weight of Tartarus' hammer. This gave Verlecktus the opportunity to fetch his Chieftain's appropriate battle attire from another Covenant Crate, ripping off the door very much in the same way he did with Mag's blades, revealed blackened, sharp armor worthy of Magnaruckus' might.
Of course it wasn't a completely new set. Magnaruckus' armor was more than enough to protect him, but this fight has shown them both Jiralhanae do not always have the advantage at close range despite their immense strength. Foolish Minors and Majors found that out the hard way as soon as they were cut off and encircled, the Moles could simply cut into their Brute's vulnerable areas to kill them, even if it means climbing onto their sleek armor.
The first 2 pieces of course were broader shoulder plates, with sharper edges that warranted a potential climber to avoid or risk cutting up their hands or paws. The second piece of armor was a wrist gauntlet capable of unsheathing a pair of large blades, far smaller than the 2 gargantuan blades he was collecting, but nevertheless a fantastic addition as well, "I heard rumors that the worthless Jiralhanae mercenary group utilized these wrist blades extensively for their best soldiers…I admire their designs, but they're mercenaries nevertheless" he commented on the beings that engineered this piece of tech he stole from, admiring their designs but downplaying their legitimacy. They were just a small band of traitors after all.
His helmet however was a mix of many things. Experience gained in fighting a variety of foes called for Magnaruckus to prepare a battle helmet that both symbolized his presence on the field, whilst being protective enough keep those with larger firearms guessing as it covered around his face. The mask covering Magnaruckus' mouth could form around this area at his own whim, possibly linking his brain to his armor system in some respect. Design wise, it was similar to his helmet, which was also used by the Jiralhanae Commander known as Thrallslayer, the very same Brute who was allied alongside the old Arbiter Ripa' Moramee during the early days of the Human-Covenant War, whilst retaining the protruding, crown like features of modern Chieftain armor.
Magnaruckus wasted no time changing appearances once Verlecktus personally delivered his battle garments. Ripping off the parts that were being replaced, exposing an unnecessary amount of Jiralhanae fur, quickly replacing with the shoulders and the wrist gauntlet. Without any hesitation, he pulled his head forward to pull his old helmet off, which still retained damage from his encounter in the Meadows. Slipping on the new helmet, his nerves could feel it being connected to it and quickly forming a mouth cover piece, only to immediately uncover once he was sure it was working properly.
But the finishing touches were just starting to get put into place. Verlecktus and Magnaruckus noticed 2 of the Brute drivers from the control center had brought in extra armor plates to attach to Mag's already sturdy chest suit. A small huff of respect was given to both low classed Engineers, raising his massive arms to allow the Brutes easier access, slipping on the very thick plates, of which the material was like Scarab armor, or even Capital ship hulls.
One of the Engineer Brutes also went back to grab another additional piece to add to Mag's already extraordinarily lethal array of, coming back and trapping it to his left arm. Covering most of his wrist up to his elbow was a thick slab of thick armor that contained some interior plasma tech, lighting up the moment it was interconnect to Magnaruckus' armor set, "A wrist mounted deployable shield barrier…very intriguing.
Verlecktus and the 2 Brute Engineers all stood aside, their now indestructible looking leader finally taking hold of the 2 fiercely forged blades that completely disregarded the streamlined philosophy of other species who used sleeker, straighter and lighter swords. Perfect weapons for the Jiralhanae Chieftain who could now take on more punishment than even Wraiths hoped to dream.
Yet as they were about to witness as he brushed them aside, could still move normally like any other warrior, not hampered by the weight of the armor or the Fist of Rukt, "These swords…they are the Twins of Doisac's Retribution, Verlecktus. Not as ritualistic or symbolic as the Fist of Rukt but…more than enough to send the Arbiter and his allies into a panic. One strike is all I need, and they're as good as dinner on our plates" Magnaruckus smirked at the thought of cutting the Dragons or the Sangheili down in just a single fell swoop. It's more than enough to cut through their armor, through their scales. "Better not keep my audience waiting I suppose. There's fun to still be had" he announced firmly of his intention to join the battle, having been on the sidelines long enough.
Verlecktus ordered his Brute underlings to return to the control room to continue their approach towards the Grand Atrium, whilst he'd follow Magnaruckus upstairs outside the walker again, holstering the Twin swords on his thighs so he could obtain a stationary Type 52 Plasma Turret to use as his ranged weapon. Due to his size, he could easily hold it like an Assault Rifle of sorts, being able to easily control its stream of fire, "Verlecktus, as much as I'd prefer Jikartus to be in your position right now, I'm entrusting you in all Scarab command duties. You've performed admirably so far, but don't you dare let that go to your head. Annihilate that building, destroy the remainders of the city. Burn these primitives into nothing but dust and particles…shouldn't be too hard with the advantage you have at your fingers" Magnaruckus stepped towards the edge where he planned to launch himself off to get groundside, staring down what seemed to be around 35 meters down. A mere dive for him.
"Of course mighty Chieftain! Show them what your capable of. Show them the might of the Jiralhanae people! When you return with Thel's corpse in hand, myself and your loyal pack brethren will be here to honor your glorious victory!" Verlecktus again knelt before his great leader with his arm across his chest, confirming his instructions, to which Mag gave one look from his blood orange eye and growled accordingly, whispering softly to himself just enough out of Jikartus' hearing ability, "Idiot…" without any further reason to stay here, he moved his left forward to allow his right to step on absolutely nothing, using his left to hop forward a little so he was clear of hitting any of the Scarab's side obstructions, falling to the ground at great velocity thanks to the combined weight of what he carried.
Without any warning whatsoever, by the time he reached the surface, the dust clouds subsided allow his Brutes to bear witness his descent from what felt like the heavens, sticking the landing so heavily, it caused a minor quake to surge around him. The rubble underneath him acted like a cushion to him, breakable cushion material, gracing his warriors who immediately bowed down before him in shock, "CHIEFTAIN MAGNARUCKUS!" One of the nearby War Chieftains behind him even got so far as to lower his Fuel Rod Cannon and even rested his hands on the cobblestoned ground, "W-We never got word of your oncoming presence!" he felt as if he disgraced himself by not being properly prepared to meet him this close, but the massive Jiralhanae already was sick and tired of the endless praise he received from Verlecktus, getting up from his landing and walking out of the impact crater he caused.
"Skip the formalities pack brethren. We're going hunting. First to spot the Arbiter, the female freak flyer or the treasonous Jikartus receives a promotion as my second in command when we get back to the Cruiser" Magnaruckus promised any of the surrounding Brutes around him, whether it was the Minors, the Majors or the Chieftains, but it was merely an empty promise he used to disregard all what they were about to do to honor his presence.
Sure enough, a large pack surrounded him, consisting of various ranks of his army, all armed varyingly to the point no one would like to see approaching them, navigating the ruins streets towards the Western half of the city where their forces were surely suffering in. Despite all their hardship thus far, Warfang's defenders were never going to be ready for when he would descend upon them.
Another massive chapter later! Plot wise I know it hasn't moved forward too much but trust me, we're getting close to the end. REEEEEAAAAALLLL CLOSE….. Not much to say other than appreciative of the support so far with my recent come back with this storyline. Believe it or not, the moment I uploaded 79, hours later I come back to see over 100 people have viewed it alone! I just found that shocking, considering I just can't see randoms coming in then leaving for absolutely no reason. Not even trolls have time for that, and I doubt there are bots on , I honestly don't see the point in making them just for a website such as this. Anyhow, thanks for reading Ch: 80! Helluva number to get up to, though I'm sure if I tried I could compress the whole story down to 40 once I get to doing the remake. That's all from me, 716 out! P.S: I know it says up top I was gonna put links to my SFM images but considering I don't think I'm in some shape or form not allowed to, I'd prefer to just keep things as they are here. If you do wanna check them out however, just look for my DA account with the same name. Images such as: 'Jiralhanae Hellfire' 'An Arbiter and a Dragoness Under the Dark Sky' 'Arrival By Fire' and my latest one; 'They will Slaughter no more' I plan to make more S.a.D images in the near future to coincide my writing. Fleshing out more of my imagination as I go along (assuming I can be a good SFM user in the first place . ).
Not much to say other than appreciative of the support so far with my recent come back with this storyline. Believe it or not, the moment I uploaded 79, hours later I come back to see over 100 people have viewed it alone! I just found that shocking, considering I just can't see randoms coming in then leaving for absolutely no reason. Not even trolls have time for that, and I doubt there are bots on , I honestly don't see the point in making them just for a website such as this. Anyhow, thanks for reading Ch: 80! Helluva number to get up to, though I'm sure if I tried I could compress the whole story down to 40 once I get to doing the remake. That's all from me, 716 out!
P.S: I know it says up top I was gonna put links to my SFM images but considering I don't think I'm in some shape or form not allowed to, I'd prefer to just keep things as they are here. If you do wanna check them out however, just look for my DA account with the same name. Images such as:
'An Arbiter and a Dragoness Under the Dark Sky'
'Arrival By Fire'
and my latest one; 'They will Slaughter no more'
I plan to make more S.a.D images in the near future to coincide my writing. Fleshing out more of my imagination as I go along (assuming I can be a good SFM user in the first place . ).