The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
Suddenly, everything was silent. They listened to the rumbling noise of the Robot the Bruce tower falling, and realized what it meant.
"Sleg!" Silvia cursed. "Let's get the slegging hell out of here!"
She turned to Polt, and grabbed his neck.
"But first you're gonna get this thing off my neck."
Polt grumbled. "Crazy girl... there's no time!"
The mutant BWG growled, but didn't do anything. And Damocles and Highness apparently understood that all Silvia had to do was squeeze...
"I got all the time in the world." Silvia said. "I have wings, remember? I can fly out of here on my own if I must. Now get this collar off my neck. It's not like you still need me... you got three bodyguards now."
"JUST TAKE THE FRAGGING THING OFF ALREADY!" Polt snapped.
Silvia frowned. "What? But won't it..."
"Hah! Explode? It's been deactivated for more than a month! Even the backup system battery doesn't last that long!"
Silvia felt kinda stupid, even though she didn't quite trust Polt. He was a madman, after all...
She put the claw that wasn't around Polt's neck in the inside of the collar, and pulled. She felt the claw penetrating the metal, cutting through it, and then going through something that felt like it was most likely plastic explosives. She pulled the claw through the explosives, and on through the collar, until she felt it was coming through at the outside.
She pulled very hard.
The collar snapped, and fell to the ground.
"Come on!" Tami said, almost panicking. "It's only a matter o' time before this tower falls too! We gotta get outta here!"
Silvia looked around. "Dammit! I told you not to slegging wait for me!"
She let go of Polt and went to Mary. "Come on, Mary." She grabbed Mary's hand and helped her up. "We're getting out ouf here."
She put Mary's arm around her neck to supported her, and walked to the airport, while Tami lead the way.
Wirecat looked around for healthy people to help carry the injured ones.
"You there!" he shouted to Brandon. "Come on, help me!"
The transys guard nodded.
Together with Eva and Brandon, Wirecat managed to get Crystal in one of the comfortable wheeled office chairs in the control room without hurting her too much.
Wirecat looked aside, and noticed Wolf still lying on the floor. He was unconcious, apparently.
He sighed. "All right... there are two more chairs."
Tami looked around in the corridor. There was no one left there. The huge body of the cybertroll was lying at the door, but there was no one else.
She ran on through the corridor, looking at the markings on each of them.
About halfway through the corridor, she stopped.
"All right. Must be here." She pointed at the door marked "Air Traffic Control".
The rest of the group followed. Tami noticed Red was carrying the badly injured Bulldog.
She opened the door, and stepped inside.
"Woah... what the frag happened here?!"
The control room was littered with dead bodies. Tami saw five of them were Blackwatch guards... apparently they went mad and killed eachother after VOES deleted itself. One of the Blackwatch still moved a bit, but that was probably just his damaged cyberware acting weird.
Eva entered the room with Wolf, and saw the cybered man move... She didn't take any chances, and put a bullet in his head.
She moved on to the door on the other side of the room.
"Wow." Eva said, as she moved through the double doors into the control room.
She was pushing the chair in which Wirecat had dumped the unconcious Wolf.
"She's a beauty, ain't she?" Wirecat grinned, careful not to move Crystal too fast.
Behind the glass wall before them, on the airport platform, there was what could only be describe as a flying tank...
Wirecat smiled, and opened the glass door leading to the platform.
"I don't think we'll all fit in that thing, you know..." Jessica said.
Wirecat left Crystal to Raven and walked towards the Panzer.
"There's some other plane behind it!" he yelled. "A tilt-wing."
The wind whipped across the face of the cat-man as he stepped out onto the flat airport ring of Transys arcology, rulffling his fur and whiskers. Far below them, the Scotsprawl metropolis stretched out below them, as far as the eye could see. Tiny ant-like forms scuttled about the busy earth, beneath the beating lights, and the encroaching darkness.
Spotlights around the exectutive pad flicked on at the detection of visitors, bathing the Panzer in white light. Red, holding the bleeding goblin tightly, whistled.
"Whoa. She's great alright... how did you know about her?"
Wirecat grinned. "I had a hunch."
Behind them, the other runners, followed at the rear by Polt, Damocles and his BWG, exited the building. The scientist looked sceptically at the tank.
"I assume you mean to escape using this - but how do you intend to fly it?"
The 'Runners time was running out, as they surrounded the only two fuelled-up and ready to fly aircraft. All around were smouldering wrecks and dead bodies - Apparently one of the blues had opened up with his Heavy GPMG here when he went berzerk. Dead and dying green eyes were all around. Heavy winds whipped around the airpads, picking up bits and pieces of wreckage, turning them into lethal flying objects.
Surreally, Wirecat and Mary watched as a green-eye - He looked like an aircraft maintenance crewman - Was flung over the side by a tumultuous windcurrent, being sucked under the disc by the windflow, tumbling over the crash barriers.
Not far off, the stumps of landing gear still fixed to the ground marked the last resting place of some executive aircraft, still moored to the ground, the aircraft having been ripped away from its legs during a 'quake.
"C'mon, c'mon, we haven't got much time!" Wirecat screamed, trying to be heard over the rising wind. The wounded were wheeled out onto the airpads, carefully avoiding the debris and bodies all over the floor.
Remembering back to his basic MUNDI training - Given to all personnel in the interests of basic self-defence - Wirecat did a quick survey of the area. No-one seemed to be around the two aircraft.
"Okay. There's no way we can all fit in that Panzer." He told everyone. The Aztechnology lobo was a military light-attack/scout vehicle, anyway. It wouldn't carry nearly all of them, and would probably only have rigger controls to boot.
"Lets go for the tilt-wing!"
He fumbled with the back door of the IWS Commuter until it swung-down. Keeping a little spell ready, he moved into the back - Dozens of passenger seats, all unoccpuied. So far, so good. He moved to the pilot's cabin. That too. Great.
But who would fly?
By now, the others - Those who could move - Were busily moving the wounded into the back of the aircraft. The whole tower shook yet again as another quake rippled through it.
Then, for Wirecat, and all the others, the whole world seemed to tilt sideways.
With a huge roar of crumbling plascrete ripping from it's moorings, Robot-The Bruce Tower disconnected from the Top Disc. It didn't fall, but the Disc was left tilting at an angle of almost 30 degrees, and felt like it could go at any moment.
Sarah grunted in repressed agony as she fell, jolting her cracked ribs again. Eva fell, slamming the unconsious Wolf into the floor.
She looked up - The Tilt-Wing was still okay, but tilting dangerously on its undercarriage wheels.
"Who's gonna fly this thing?" Wirecat called out. "There are manual controls, but the comp's operational. If someone can deck in and get access to the autopilot, we'll be in business!"
Seconds later, everyone was onboard - Everyone apart from Red, who was looking over the Lobo Panzer, and Polt and his creations, seemingly still deciding which vehicle to take.
Eva picked up Wolf again, in a Fireman's lift, to take him up the ramp onto the tilt-wing.
She looked: A gun was pointed at her. A big gun, one of the GPMGs until so recently wielded by a psychotic blue-eye.
Crash was holding it. The stock tucked under his armpit, knuckles tightening white on the firing grip and the forward pistol-grip, a long belt of disintegrating-link casless ammo draped over his shoulder. He struggled to carry the gun, but he had a look of sheer hatred on his face as he rounded on Eva and Wolf.
"Drop that fragger here. He doesn't get on with us." He demanded of Eva.
Jessica settled into the seat of the Tilt-wing. It was leather, and comfortable, like the rest of the richly-furnished aircraft - much better than anything Dragons Paw had provided. In the confusion, it looked like she might be the only one able to fly it out of here - she had no idea where the rigger girl was, and Raven - or Crow or Hawk or whatever he liked to be called - wasn't in a position to be able to be much help.
She had some experiance in military flyers - she's been captain of the Red Dawn for one thing - but hadn't flown a civvie aircraft like this in years. It was considerably less complex than some of the Dragon Paw stuff, though.
The rest of the people in here were depending on her, as well. This better work.
She placed one hand on the control stick, and glanced over the panels infront of her. This kind of craft looked like it was permanently kept ready-to-go - the only people who could use it would be those coming from the Executive Boardrooms on this level, in need of a quick escape. Hopefully, nothing else would get in the way as they made good their escape.
She activated the main engines, and the tilt-wing hummed to life. She breathed a sigh of relief. No nasty traps or hidden suprises.
Autopilot Engaging. Please remain seated for maximum comfort.
The autopilot! Jessica knew that they could now be in trouble. This kind of thing would be programmed to take them, avoiding as much harm as possible, to whatever safe location the Transys Executives had decided. It probably wouldn't be any use in a sky full of army helicopters, missiles from the arcology roof - if still functioning, and any kind of flying drones that may be around as a VOES parting present.
The massive jolt as the tilt wing took off sent most of the non-seated runners sprawling, grabbing hold of each other, the furnishings, or anything to stop them falling out. Silvia, Ash, Highness, and Crash were not so lucky, nearest the still-open entrance doors and were pitched out in the shock of the aircraft's sudden movement, back onto the damaged ring, colliding with the Wolf-bearing Eva in a tangle of terrified limbs.
Ash's body flickered with flame, and Silvia instintively dropped into dragon form, clanging and bruising against the railings between them and 200 plus floors to fall before certain doom. On the tilt-wing, Chance felt his heart jump to his mouth, and, almost choaking, pulled himself up with the aid of an armrest in one of the many plush seats, and pushed his way to the woman in the pilot's seat.
All six runners slid across the sloping floor, towards the far railing, Red and Bulldog, and the Panzer, as the tilt-wing began to move, the runners inside bruised, shocked, and inadvertantly having abandoned their friends.
The docking ring shuddered again, as another peice of tower dropped away below them in the black night, and the floor tilted another few degrees to compensate. Red, holding Bulldog as far away from any spikes as possible, and just managing to stay on her feet, decided it was time to go, and, turning, saw the Tilt-wing free in the scotsprawl air.
Shock and betrayal clogged her thoughts, as she stared dumbstruck. The lights of the city blurred, as tears rushed to her eyes.
"FRAG! THEY LEFT US BEHIND!"
In that blood-red moment, she almost dropped Bulldog, but, with the aid of the black-painted side of still-moored Panzer to support her from the tilting drop enough to recover her wits, managed to gather enough sense to open the entry hatch of the machine, and thrust her goblin companion inside. Following him in, and losing a spike as it tore against the metal of the door, as well as bashing her head on a low hanging bulkhead, she threw him into the co-pilot's seat, and, with luck bourne of desperation, got the machine to start on the first try at the controls. The flight engines roared to life, and the flying tank tore away from the pad, bits of it's moorings spinning out into the oblivion winds, as she noticed for the first time the tiny forms of the runners tossed from the tilt-wing.
Silvia was the first to recover from the fall, mainly because she had used her claws to steady herself. Next to her, the form of Highness lay, a little further down was Ash and almost near the edge, Crash was climbing to his feet, ready to make another assault on Wolf. Who was still unconscious. Eva was no where to be seen.
"SLEG!" Yelled Silvia against the raging winds of the high altitude. "They... left us behind!"
She couldn't belive it, How... could they? She thought they were her friends...surely they'd be back?
She shook herself to her senses, or rather another jolt within the disk did. There was no time to wait. She had to make her own escape, but how? Flying was going to be deadly in these winds. She heard the thunderous, deafening roar of an obscenley powerful engine starting, she turned. The Panzer! Somebody was starting up the Panzer!
"Ash!" She yelled out to the half elf, She'd been shouting, screaming and yelling so much recently, it hurt to even talk. "Hurry! The Panzer!"
She ran, ran towards her last hope of escape. She only caught a glimpse of what Highness was doing, and no time to stop her from being suicidial.
The sky. She'd never really looked on it as anything special before, but now... you could say it was her friend, yet it was quite hard to describe the way Highness feels about things.
The winds blew though her hair, not like she'd notice.If she had noticed the wind, things could have turned out a lot better. But unfortunately, the best way in life isn't the only way.
She turned towards the Tilt Wing, it had the Master on. She needed to follow it! She opened her wings, the wind caught them. Sending her tumbling backwards. Barely missing the running Silvia, but putting her on a collision course... with Crash.
Crash continued his slow walk towards Wolf, trying to keep his frail body from being blown over the edge by the winds. Each step seemed to take more effort, as the disk continued to shift underneath him, the threat of it toppling was always present. But, if there was no hope for him. He'd at least take the scum that had insulted the VOES down with him!
He had one hand, gripping onto the rails, his cyberhand free for the kill. That's when he felt it, it wasn't the cold hard metal, it was flesh. It was the hand of the bitch who'd tried to save Dr. Alexeiv.
Two birds with one stone he thought, with a sinister smile on his face.
He slammed his cybered hand onto hers, he could hear every bone in it brake. The metal it's self had bend under the force. She screamed, clinging desperatly onto the rail with one hand. Crash loomed over her, about to go in for the kill.
"You should choose your company a lot more carefully, you may have lived longer by it."
But his hand never made it. The form of Highness, still rolling madly from the recoil of the wind, slammed into the back of him. His cyberarm going straight though the already weakened rail, and then he was falling.
He made a desperate grab at the air with his cyberarm, He'd caught hold of something... It was Eva. She was still clinging to the rail with her good hand, Crash wondered how long she could keep it up.
"Looks like your lives in my hand now, bollock!" She ranted, shaking her bare leg to try and get him off. Unfortunately for her, Crash had a tight grip.
"Or is it?" Crash asked, tightening his grip on her leg. If he was going down, somebody was going down with him!
Bulldog stirred in the co-piolet seat, not quite knowing what was going on. His eyes were barely open when he tried to look around. He could just make out what looked like the controls to... something? Maybe a very complex computer, some sort of walker, an aircraft? Was he dreaming? Were they finally getting out of this hellhole? Away from that nightmarish super computer and his dreadful lackeys?
A few things played on the Goblins mind. One was that he needed to retire, and the other was that he'd lost many good comrades today... many friends, and friends yet to be made. He hadn't even heard of Pierre's betrayal, and it was unlikely he never would. The man would die a hero, not the scum that he was.
"Welcome to the real world, you silly old fragger!" It was Red. He could barely hear her, and each word hurt his head.
"Ugh..." He moaned, followed by a comment by Red about his "Unique Charm". He eventually pulled himself together and asked, "Are we finally getting out of here?"
"I hope so, the fraggers in the Tilt Wing left us behind." Red answered.
"Hold on then..." Bulldog looked over his wrist phone for awhile, before handing it to Red. "Think you can manage those co-ordinates? It's not too far away."
"Where is it?" She inquired.
"Some of my... uh, friends have a camp there. They can help us lay low for awhile, But they don't like Orks." Red nodded, she fed the co-ordinates into the onboard computer, they'd be going soon.
"Just DON'T touch ANYTHING!" Red warned.
"Yes... mam." He replied weakly, he didn't feel like putting anymore effort into talking. But there was this button he was staring at, It looked interesting. Maybe Red wouldn't mind if he gave this Goblin forsaken place a little leaving present?
He flicked the clear plastic casing away from it, Red didn't seem to notice. He had one last little speech from his voice of reason, then decided what the frag...
He pushed it.
Two flaps opened up at the side of the Panzer. From them two missiles dropped down. A type of joy-stick, you could call it, popped up between Bulldog's legs, Red was still two busy with the controls to notice, silly girl!
A targeting helmet dropped down onto his head, he moved the controlstick slowly, trying to find a weak spot to target. The roof guns came into his sights.
"Bingo" He whispered.
He pressed the small red button atop the controlstick, the Panzer rocked from side to side, before resting, unbalanced on one wing.
Bulldog watched with glee, and Red in horror as the missile made for it's target. As it impacted, the roof gun burst into nothing but shrapnel and flame. The jolt of the explosion, rocking though the disks surface, large cracks forming all the way along it. Silvia and Ash were momentarily knocked off their feat, while Eva and Crash, still clinging on and showing no sign of letting go, almost slipped to their doom. The rail was starting to bend.
"TAKE THAT YOU FRAGGERS!" Yelled Bulldog, high on the revolution. Red leapt on him, in her moment of madness taking no consideration of his wounds.
"WHAT THE FRAGGING HELL ARE YOU DOING! You crazy bastard, are you trying to get use all killed!" Even under all the make-up, Bulldog was sure her face was red. It was the first time she'd actually scared him. He slowly let go of the controlstick, realising another blast would tear this place apart. Red cooled off a bit, she'd realised another problem. "The Panzer is unbalanced now you idiot!"
"We could always get rid of the other missile when we take off." Bulldog almost coughed out, the excitement had left his body, he was just a tired, old injured Goblin again.
"If we can get this thing off the ground and above those fragging flames!" Red muttered. Going back to the controls.
Ash had been minding her own business, trying to settle the wounded Chance into the tilt-wing when everything had just gone to hell in the space of a few seconds.
She lost herself to panic for a moment, as she began sliding off the tilting disc. Then rationality caught up with her, and she stabbed one of her katanas into the metal of the disc, using its hot blade to pierce the strong material.
Grinding and scraping, she came to a uprupt halt.
It still wasn't good, of course. But it beat following the various other debris and junk from the collapsing towers to the bottom... at least until the disc itself decide to go down south itself. Several others had apparently fallen out of the tilt-wing with her... but at the moment, she was certainly too busy saving herself! Besides, the curve of the disc was such that she could not see any of ther others.
The tilt-wing had taken off... but Ash's faith remained firm.
It would come back. Chance will never leave me here. Just hang in there girl... She reasoned, as she hung on for dear life on the anchored blade.
Chance response to the tilt-wing taking off was less than cordial... Despite being one-armed, with his left one hanging uselessly by his side, the soldier was still capable of handling himself. Still dazed by his serious injuries, he didn't have time for niceties.
Jessica felt the gaping barrel of the autoshotgun hovering two inches from her temple even through the semi-zombie state of being jacked in.
"Turn back and pick up the others... Now." Chance said grimly, bloodshot eyes showing exhaustion and barely hidden dispair. His autoshotgun was held under his arm against his side in what appeared to be a normal position to a casual observer... but there was no mistaking his intent if Jessica didn't turn back.
And Jessica was the only one who could possibly pilot the aircraft...
Jessica couldn't possibly land on the pad at the angle it was at now. It seemed to be tilting more every second. But there was a maddened soldier holding a fragging autoshotgun to her head...
At least none of the fragging arc AA weapons were doing anything. Automated gun turrets, SAM batteries and the fragging laser that had wiped all air-traffic from the skies over Britsprawl were sitting silent now.
A thought came to Jessica's mind.
"Ladder... See if you can find a rope ladder!" She said, fighting both the terror of a gun to her head and the huge thermals coming up from the arc as it wrecked itself.
Crash tightened his grip on Eva's leg. His fingers had ground through flesh and were grating against bone now. Eva screamed in agony. It was music to Crash's ears.
"Heh, why the frag should I die, anyway?" He yelled, words lost instantly to the thunder of the Panzer engine.
Thinking he could have a Chance if he dugs his metal fingers hard into Eva, incapacitating her with pain and hopefully gripping well enough, he began clawing his way up her body...
Red, firmly ensconced in the body of the Panzer (having jacked into it) felt a feeling that had no real human counterpart. All the vehicle's sensors were translated into real-time information by the rigger jacks in her head. As a rigger, she was sued to them, and the far-away feeling you got when using a radar.
So when the SAM's somewhere in camouflaged positions in low-lying Scotpsrawl got a lock onto her, she felt a slight twinge of anxiety. But only slight.
As an armoured vehicle, panzer's were hard to damage with conventional SAMs, and hard to hit with slower-moving Anti-Tank missiles. A SAM may do damage her bird, but it wouldn't blow it out of the sky.
She also found another Radar contact. Something BIG, approaching the Arc from the Sea...
Jessica saw the contact too, though the radar in the tilt-wing was nothing compared to the military grade Ferrari of radars mounted in Red's Lobo.
Gazing from the dust-spattered cockpit of the tilt-wing, Chance getting ever-more frustrated with her, she saw the large, approaching craft enough running lights on it to light up Las Vegas.
There had only been one aircraft she'd seen that looked like this one did at night time, and she had served on it...
Vega was led by hand by the Green-haired girl, clambering over festering deck-plates, desperately trying hatches, for a way to get into the ship, for shelter.
The massive freighter was clear of the arc now - But debris was still falling from the cloud - And now night - hidden top of the gargantuan building. All the outside lights were off, for the first time Vega could ever remember, and something was blazing up near the top.
Another huge chink of plascrete slammed into the ship, demolishing a water bowser that fed the Hydro-Magnetic drives.
"We have to get in!" The girl wailed. So far, there seemed to be very few hatches, and the hatches they found were sealed tight, in places welded. There seemed to be no-one on board, and no way belowdecks. The women had no way of knowing that this was actually a crewless, automatic ship.
But now the ship was sailing, and they were moving to the front of the ship, they were becoming safe from the raining debris.
Typically, it was then that they found the one accessible cabin - A red cross certified shelter cabin, should people become marooned on the ship somehow along its journey.
Thw two women cdashed in there, and looked from the porthole at the gently-swaying Transys Arc towers.
"The gyro-stabiizing is gone." The secretary pantedm breathless. "Its going to..."
And then, Robot the Bruce tower finally broke free of it's moorings, coming clean away from the Main body of the Transys Arc. The tower, which was supposed to be named 'Robert the Bruce' but had fallen victim to a typo during naming, began a slow backwards vault. Huge plumes of smoke erupted all up and down the tower as it disintegrated in the air. Seconds later the tower collapsed in on itself. A veritable tidal wave of salty spray was thrown up as millions of tons of plascrete cascaded into the water and onto the Sea-Side part of Scotsprawl.
The centre disc, far greater in mass than the top disc, fell immediately, cascading down onto the bottom floor of the Arc, pulverising dozens of floors instantly. With a roar that was said to be heard (and Felt) in far-away Tynesprawl, the impact sent another huge shockwave up the two remaining towers.
Straining against it's VOES-Upgraded supports and hanging on by the architectural equivalent of a thread of silk, the top disc now canted at almost 45 degrees, and could go at any second...
Silvia put her foot claws in the plascrete when she felt the platform tilt to 45 degrees.
The Panzer's engines started running, and the armored VTOL plane floated from the platform. Silvia could hear the sound of metal scraping on plascrete when the platform hit the side of the Panzer.
Silvia crawled up, putting her foot claws deep in the plascrete to make sure she wouldn't slip.
"I'll get you there!!" she yelled at Ash.
She reached Ash, and pulled her up to where the Panzer was floating. Apparently, whoever was controlling it had the decency to wait for them... unlike the Tilt-Wing.
Silvia grabbed with her claw into the open door of the Panzer, and put her claws firmly into the metal floor of the flying tank.
"Here you go!" she yelled to Ash, over the noise of the Panzer and the crashing tower, and pushed her into the chopper.
Ash quickly grabbed Silvia's hand and pulled her in.
"All right! Get us the slegging hell out of here!" Silvia said to Red, while closing the door.
Right before she closed it, she saw Wolf's unconcious form falling over the edge. But next to that, there was someone, struggling to get up...
"There's still someone there!" she yelled to Red.
"We can't save her!" Red yelled.
"Oh yes we can!" Silvia snapped, and jumped out of the Panzer.
Eva looked down. Crash had apparently realized he could't climb further up without releasing his robo-arm, and tried to get a good hold of her arm with his real arm to make sure he wouldn't fall off.
"No fragging way." Eva grumbled. She kicked Crash in the neck with the leg he wasn't holding in his iron grip.
She heard a sickening crunch when the foot hit Crash' neck... a kick from a BWG wasn't something to be taken lightly.
Eva panicked when she noticed the metal arm didn't let go off her leg... this was an old-style robo arm. Unlike most newer cyber-arms, this thing had no fibre-muscles that would let go when they were no longer controlled, but small hydraulic pumps making sure the arm wouldn't move a millimeter if it didn't get any new movement commands.
She tried to climb up, but she knew she couldn't, with Crash's dead body hanging on her leg.
Then, she felt a hand grab her arm, and pull her up.
Silva held on to the railing at the side of the platform, and pulled Eva further up.
"Sleg you're heavy!" Silvia yelled at Eva, not noticing Crash hanging on her leg.
Behind her, the Panzer lifted off from the platform, and flew closer towards the two.
"Got some dead weight on my leg." Eva said.
"Aw sleg. Is he dead?"
"Yeah. Neck broken."
Silvia quickly pushed her claws in the robo-arm's fingers and pulled them off.
Crash's body slid down, and disappeared over the edge, just like Wolf's did.
The Panzer was now hovering right beside them. The door of the Panzer opened.
Ash grabbed Eva's arm, and pulled her into the Panzer.
"Frag! There's no room for five!" Ash said, as she grabbed Silvia's arm and pulled her in.
"That's only three-and-a-half I'd say." Silvia said, and slipped into the cockpit.
"And another half, makes four." she said. She grabbed Bulldog under his arms, sat down on the co-pilot chair and put the Goblin on her lap.
"All right. Close the door, we're going." Red yelled to Ash in the back.
Ash quickly closed the door, and the Panzer hovered away from the collapsing building.
The sheer noise of the Panzer had been so loud that those who had been exposed to it at such short range had actually suffered significant hearing damage. But they got off lucky - There were horror stories about people actually dying from the noise of Panzers, or worse, being caught under the Ground-Effect blast of one and literally flattened.
So it was no surprise that the passengers (except Red, who didn't need to use something as imprecise as human ears when jacked into the milspec sensor suite of a scout Panzer) - Who hadn't even been wearing ear protection - Actually heard as the top disc finally fell from its moorings, falling end over end to the rubble below. With it went the Bodies of Barkah, Wolf Alexeiv and Crash, as well as the mutant BWGs who had been so cruelly denied a chance of life in this world.
Much to the disappointment of any onlookers, the gigantic disk simply plunged into the night-darkened clouds and disappeared below.
The two surving Spires of Transys, now curiously denuded of their binding rings, remained standing, albeit precariously.
The 'runners got a last glimpse of the two towers - sticking up like two fingers, a defiant gesture to the world.
In fact as history was to prove, the two towers were to stand for years to come, and those who had been trapped in the Building and Mall grew into a kind of tribal mentality, led by reputed former gang leaders. They even managed to stave off the Transys security men as they came back to reclaim corporate property, yet another humiliation for the Megacorp, by now plunging in terms of assets and stock every day.
And then, even the towers disappeared behind the cloud.
Missiles Incoming, Red instinctively knew, from the warning tingling in her virtual ears. While her passengers ogled and gawked from the tiny, armoured windows in the ridiculously-cramped vehicle, she was in fact fighting for her life, and theirs by association.
A Panzer was normally very tough to fly, what with having all the aerodynamic properties of a Jet-Powered brick. To make matters worse, this one was overloaded.
She increased power in a vain attempt to gain height, and waggled the tiny canard foreplanes to change course, then WHAM!, and WHAM! again.
The Panzer had just been hit by two Shorts Saint Agile AAMs, doing superficial damage to the underside of the Panzer.
Engine power faltered for a moment, but the brute of an engine held.
then the three Firedrake Attack Helicopters made an appearance again, flying low inbetween the wrecked buildings to stay out of Red's possible line of fire...
Jessica was helpless as the Aerobus Tilt-Wing stayed in hover mode, and began descending towards the ground. She saw the computer had alotted a landing vector near what looked like a military forward airbase.
She realised Transys operatives groundside must have patched into the Autopilot remotely somehow, but still, couldn't do anything about it.
She looked down the cavernous barrel of Chance's autoshotgun, and closed her eyes.
A sudden change in engine tone brought her back to life - The Aircraft tilted it's engines into the forward flying position. She was pressed back into her feet by acceleration. Chance was forced to drop his gun to hang from it's sling and grab a seatback to stay upright.
The Tilt-Wing was heading fast out to sea - Towards the huge aircraft with all the lights.
It was an Airborne Aircraft Carrier - The Airborne Aircraft Carrier, the Red Dawn.
"Someone altered the course!" Exclaimed Jessica. She shot Chance her strenest look. "You going to shoot me NOW, Fragface?"
Abandoned by Dragon's Paw in Geneva, the Cash-strapped MUNDI had managed to buy it for a pittance, scrap value. Their entire worldwide pool of aircraft engineers had laboured long and hard since Geneva to make it operational again, for reasons no-one truly knew. Some said MUNDI were going to become a Mercenary force instead of the world's lapdog. Some say they wanted the Air-fortress to Fight Dragons with, maybe even to invade Terganon.
Whatever the truth of the matter was, MUNDI had believed they had a weapon that might have even withstood the defences of the Transys Arcology, and they had flown there at short notice, but with maximum publicity. They were, after all, an organisation that, like the old UN, were funded depending on how the world saw them. 'Saving the Arc' was a catchphrase MUNDI high-ups had grown to like.
"Sir, we've got 'em. The Tilt-Wing's on approach vector Alpha. The Brits won't shoot them, they're trying to hit the Panzer." Said a MUNDI decker, taking the optic cable from his datajack wearily, yet contentedly.
"Thank you Corporal." Said the nervous MUNDI Commanding Officer of the ex Dragon's Paw AAC, who then called over his security chiefs.
"Alright lads, lets do this safe, but use kid gloves. The Transys gimps are going to pitch a fit that we're nabbing refugees from their frag-up of a catastrophe, but once they set foot on here, MUNDI-controlled territory, whoever the fraggers are will be the property of our bosses - Every fragging Corp in the world, not just Transys. Transys won't attack us and risk a full-scale corp-war. So rest easy, and treat the fraggers nice for the cameras. Then our Interrrogators can have a go at them before everyone else."
He broke into a broad grin, adjusted his beret and saluted, dismissing his men.
The thought that the passengers onboard the Aerobus might have other ideas didn't even cross his mind.
Charlie sprinted across the Pitch-Dark deck of the ship, desperately searching for the two women he was silently sworn to protect - There was no telling what might be ionboard this ship, sealed below. The Royal Navy would be after them too.
As a former Army man, he didn't exactly have a high opinion of the Navy either.
When he saw the Stealth Frigate sail out of it's self-created fogbank, he stopped in his tracks, thinking that someone upstairs was listening to his worst nightmares, and having a laugh with him...
The Stealth Frigate HMS Calthrop stayed eerily silent as the Captain, drinking a mug of coffee, ordered his weapons rigger to disable the target in prelude to boarding. Most of the ship was controlled by semi-smart computer systems, drones and riggers, leaving only a dozen or so unmodified Human officers and Seamen on board, and some Royal Marines Cyber-Monsters to do the dangerous stuff.
A Slacker Supersonic Anti-Ship missile was launched in just under twenty seconds.
Charlie had just time to spot the flash before the missile - which resembled a supersonic explosive telephone pole (back when they actually used telephone poles) struck the ship astern, and the whole section went up in a huge fireball.
Chance was about to retort when his wristphone rang... Freed of the jamming equipment installed in the now defunct towers, Ash had succeeded in putting through a call.
Muttering a rather sheepish apology to the still-pissed Jessica, Chance sat himself down in a seat red-faced both with embarrassment and exhaustion. Still peturbed with his ungentlemanly behaviour, he spent the next few minutes on the approach to the Red Dawn silently.
"They're fragging attacking us!" Red yelled.
"Frag. This will... complicate things..." Bulldog grumbled.
"Things?" Silvia said. "What things? If you got some sort of plan to get outta here, spill it, dude."
"He gave me coordinates of a group of his 'friends'." Red said. "He said they'd help us stay low for a while."
The one-legged Goblin sighed. "Well I don't think my friends will appreciate it if we land there with... THAT on our tail..."
He pointed at the big dot on the radar.
"What if we pretend to crash?" Silvia said suddenly. "I mean, we just escaped from a collapsing building... For all they know this Panzer might be a lot more damaged than it is."
"And it'll take them a while to get to the 'crash site'..." Bulldog said, thinking out loud. "Yes... That sound like a great idea."
"Ahem." Ash said. "We do have two injured people here... are you sure you'll survive that, Gobbo?"
"We just have to pretend to crash." Red said. "Just make a lot of dust... and this machine is pretty good at that."
"All right." Bulldog said, and started typing a number on his wristphone.
Bulldog looked down at the wrist phone, the face of a young, greyish skinned Goblin appeared on his wrist phone. He had long black hair, was wearing sunglasses with a purple tint in the lenses and had a scar down the side of his face. This was hamfist, a GOTN rigger. He was one of the so called re-reinforcements sent to aid Bulldog in Transys, but they never made it in time... lucky fraggers.
"This is Hamfist, How may I se... General!" The Goblin looked over his sunglasses, as if in disbelief. "Sir... you're... alive!"
"I don't feel it..." Bulldog nearly groaned. "Listen, We're in a Panzer with two wounded. I believe that most of my team are KIA and we have one MIA, I'm on a MV, namely a Panzer, with four non-hostile's. Although they have no links to us. . We'll be crash landing in a panzer near your base camp very soon Ham, Don't let me down!"
"Yes Sir!" The Goblin saluted. I'll make the arangements to have our camp dismantled ASAP!"
"Good job, Glory be with you Ham."
"You too, Sir."
With that, the Goblin went off. Nobody thought to question the Goblin on this call, just in case he got angry and decided to have his "friends" kill them when they got there, or some other sinister action.
Except Silvia of course, but that's just Silvia.
"Wow... General... Sir... That's pretty cool! You're in the army or something? Wow..." She was saying, although she probably knew it all anyway.
"Get this camp down! I also want some of these Jeeps checking the perimeter of this place, we're expecting company!" Hamfist yelled out to the Goblins, running around in the pale green tents that made up the GOTN camp.
The GOTN never made permenant base camps, this one, by rights, had been up too long already. Ham was glad to see it go, it was an accident waiting to happen. He then started getting the veichles organised for the Goblins' Departure, there wasn't many Goblins on the camp. But there was enough.
"Ah well... At least that old fragger Bulldog got out of that hellhole..." He sighed and continued the preperations.
"Are we set now... I never did catch your name." Red began, speaking to the Goblin.
"Call me James. And yes, Ham has made the arrangements to take us out of here. Although, Nothing can be done for the others."
"Like I care, Those fraggers left us behind!" Red almost spat. "This fragging thing is still fragging unbalenced as well!"
"Unbalenced? How?" Ash asked, dreading the answer.
"Because the professer here, decided it would be a fragging good idea to fire a missle at Transys!"
"Well, If you'd have just fired the other one when we took off LIKE I SAID we could have got around this!" The Goblin grumbled, it really did seem a good idea at the time.
"And kill everyone? Oh what a great plan! Let's just give you a medal for it now, you fragging idiot!" Red almost screamed at him, Silvia shook her head.
"Guys, guys. Why don't we just drop the thing?" Silvia suggested. Red and Bulldog looked at her, slightly dumbstruck. It just seemed to simple to be true. "You can disarm it, can't you?" Silvia went on.
"Well... yes..." Replied Red.
"Well then, just do it and land this thing!"
The Panzer flew over the treetops of the Scotsprawl forests, having dropped its load earlier, Red was now flying it with ease. The GOTN clearing wasn't far away, Although Bulldog had forgot to mention on thing...
It was almost in the middle of a fragging forest!
Aside from this being just plain insanity, what with all the Scotsprawl beasts lurking in them, it was also going to make it very hard to land the Panzer.
"There! You see! I told you girl... you should trust this old Goblin more..." Bulldog mummbled quietly, as a clearing came in to view. It would be hard to land there, and would be a bit more rough, what with all the trees scraping on the side, but Red was sure she could pull it off... Or at least Bulldog was sure.
Meanwhile, a small civvie style Jeep made it's way though the winding Scotsprawl forests. On it rode an old, slightly disgrunted Goblin, loaded up with enough stun equipment to put a dragon out for a year. You could never be too careful with these damned forests, the base camp had been attacked serveral times already.
"Lokk fur a fraggin' Panza eh? An' 'ow the 'ell am ah meant to spot one of those, eh?" The Goblin moaned. He was answered by a tide of dust dust running though the trees, completely covering him. The noise was defening, but that didn't matter. As the Goblin was already deaf.
"Oh..." The Goblin spat, brushing the dust out of his hair and moving towards the source.
The doors to the Panzer opened. It had been quite a close landing. The space had been quite confined, as Red had thought. The Panzer had got caught on some trees and was tilted at an odd angle, but they could still get out. And Bulldog had amanged to survive the jolt, although he looked a little worse for it.
Ash climbed out the doors as they opened, supporting Eva, who could barely walk on her wounded leg. She was followed by Silvia, carrying Bulldog with more effort the Red had and then, Red herself, who was inspecting the damage. It had felt worse then it was.
"When are your 'friends' coming Goblin?" Asked Ash, worried about how long Eva could stand.
"Soon..." Was the only reply the Goblin gave.
After a few minutes of uneasy slience, a Jeep appeared in the clearing. An old Goblin with more wrinkles then a shirt that hadn't been ironed for a year was driving it. He picked up a small radio and spoke into it.
"Aye Ham, Ah got em. Want me to being the wee lasses back to base with the General? Aye... Aye... Ah'm on me way." He put down the radio, looked over the group of people. "Yer wee lucky fragga Bulldog, Yer surrounded by women!"
Bulldog took no notice of the comment, as the others started getting into the jeep. It was a tight squeeze. The Goblin gave the women blind folds.
"Put 'em on, or Ah'll leave yer behind. Your choice, lasses." There was only really one choice for them. They put them on, the Jeep was on the move.
Red was pleased, but also annoyed. She'd flown a panzer. Quite well. Off a collapsing building. Through skies full of army fliers. With that deranged gobbo pressing big red buttons like George Bush III. And it had only barely crashed - she was sure, with a bit of help from one of her contacts, she could get it off the ground again, as soon as this business was over. It wouldn't be hard to get it moving, just maybe a little hard to find it, in a forest. She didn't think there were forests in scotscprawl - as far as she knew, it was one giant city. Maybe she was in a park or something.
The blindfold was laughable, really. Her cyberlens could see straight through it, and was taking in most of the route in the rugged jeep. She'd mentally flicked the recorder function on - you never knew when knowing an escape route wouldn't come in handy.
Nethertheless, this goblin was intriguing - he was a survivor, alright, and seemed to know alot more than he let on. A natural leader, as well, although he seemed to have lost whatever he had meant to be leading. Maybe she'd find out - something about this revolution he was always avoiding to talk about, maybe.
Charlie flung himself down, behind one of the metallic bulges on the ship's deck, as the fireball washed over him. It looked like the Navy had found them, and were simply destroying anything that was fleeing the massive arcology - and presumiably askign questions later. Such a large vessel as this - which he thought might be an unmanned cargo ship, seing from there being no visibile entrance to the interior from the deck - would stand no chance against the kind of naval hardware the Royal Navy had been investing in since the Queen's ascension.
He peered out from his shelter, at the darkness around the ship. There was obviously one - or more stealth vessels in the water, and that obviously wasn't a warning shot. It was time to do something.
Picking himself up, he presented an easy target over the low boxy shapes atop the ship's hull. However, it also gave him a marginally better chance of seing the two women he was trying to protect. Maybe there was a lifeboat here, or something that...
The second missile struck the ship, pitching him, and the remains of the shelter, into the sea.
Hamfist smiled. It had been a smooth operation. All the tents were down, All the Jeeps but the one had arrived swiftly, the plain white civvie van, Just in case these unexpected guests wanted to stay awhile.
He looked at the tall trees around him, it was a miricle that they were here really. I mean, there were hardly any forests left in Scotland. But some bright spark in the Scottish parliament had put a protection order on these, They served as a great hiding place. One dirt track in, and the same one to get out.
He picked up the radio, His main communication link to his fellow Goblins.
"This is Gold Hawk, I repeat, this is Gold Hawk. Jeep's one and two are clear to go, I repeat, Jeep's one and two are clear to go." He said as the two Jeep's strarted up and drove down the dirt track. He walked over to the last remaining Jeep, tapped on the window.
"Get your weapons ready, We don't know what company Bulldog is bringing in... or under what circumstances." The Goblin nodded.
Just then, the Jeep rolled in from the woods. It stopped next to the other, right next to Hamfist. He surveyed the passengers with much intrest. He also noticed they were all women. What a conincidence.
Red, Who had been sitting smugly in the back of the Jeep was now slightly annoyed, she'd been expecting proper buildings with bars on the windows and a barbed wire fence or something, now all she saw was a few Jeeps, A white van, which looked as though it wasn't even meant to be running, and quite a nice Helicopter in the background. It almost made recording her way not worth it.
"We are ready to move when you are, Sir!" The Goblin Rigger said.
"Get me the frag out of here, and explain the situation to these people. But let me warn you Ham, If any harm comes to them... It's your neck on the line." Bulldog said grimly as two Goblin's come to take him away.
"Wait!" Red said, almost without thinking. "Where is HE going!"
She'd saved the old fraggers life and he was abandoning them? What the frag?
"Allow me to explain..." Hamfist began. "This is what is going to happen. We need to move to another location, Now I can't tell you where that is, But you will be safe there, if you choose to go with us. But for now, You have a choice. If you belive that you can get out of here on your own steam, then we will leave you here. If you decide to come with us, We'd appriciate it if you answer a few questions about what the frag just happened, Then you may leave."
"And the wounded?" Ash asked, looking at Eva.
"We can help her, I will ensure she gets treated as one of our own."
"And the others?" Ash continued to inquire, she needed to know what exactly was going on here.
"Others?" The Goblin asked.
"The ones aboard the Red Dawn." At least she'd guessed they were on the Red Dawn. She'd seen the Tilt-Wing headed that way as the doors closed.
"Hmm... We can make enquires about them, Depending on the circumstances... We might be able to help them."
Red couldn't hold it in any longer.
"And who exactly is this "We" your talking about!" She asked, slightly annoyed with all this secretive crap.
"It is not my place to disclose that." Said Hamfist, as two Goblins rushed towards Eva, steading her and taking her away to the Helicopter where Bulldog had been taken. "I hope you don't mind, but she doesn't look to be in any state to be left alone out here. I will take her to our new location myself. As for the rest of you, It really is up to you. The van doors are open."
With that, Hamfist made one last order, The two remaining Jeep's moved out. He himself climbed into the Helicopter, the last three Runner's watched as the rotor blades started.
It took off, leaving the Runners alone, with a decission to make and a Van to freedom.
"How long do you think it will be until the army reach the Panzer?" Silvia asked.
Ash had been putting on an unconcerned front all the while, concealing her wristphone with the long sleeve of her fire-retardant jumpsuit. The call was still connected, but Chance was wise enough to keep silent and just listen to what was going on at Ash's end to avoid giving her away.
When the goblins left, Ash conferred with Chance.
"Ash, gather the other two and come to the Red Dawn's vicinity, but keep your lights low and stay covert if you can. I see MUNDI coat of arms painted on the carrier's bow. She's a bit shot up, but I guess that MUNDI's taken it over. We might have to land on her."
"Aren't we still on the wanted list by MUNDI?" Ash asked.
"I know... but it looks like our tilt-wing's autopilot is set to land on it, and we can't stop it short of decking into the system. If we do end up landing on the carrier, taking our chances with MUNDI is a lot better than mixing up with some obscure goblin army or Transys forces. MUNDI's too visible to the public to try anything harsh with us, especially with so many wounded on board and our SOS "Don't shoot us" radio beacon switched on... its very bad PR for them. Sides', Crystal and Sarah here are pretty fragged up, they need proper medical attention"
Chance omitted his own messed-up arm, not wishing to alarm her further. He was feeling light-headed himself, and ending up in MUNDI's hands didn't seem such a bad idea. At least he had some past connections to the organisation and could try pulling a few strings.
She looked at the van, then glanced at the others. Her instincts told her that it was much better to just take the van and go in search for the Red Dawn, but she couldn't read the expression on Red's face, and Silvia wasn't that close to her anyway.
"Look," Silvia said to Red and Ash. "I think it's best to just take the van, and let these guys handle it. Obviously, they're well organised. And if MUNDI has the others... well at least it's better than VOES, right?"
"I wouldn't be to sure about that..." Red replied.
"But what about the people in the Tilt?" Ash asked. Silvia knew all too well what she meant. What about Chance.
"Look... Wirecat's MUNDI, the decker woman with him was MUNDI, and last time I checked you and Chance were MUNDI too... what's the slegging problem?"
Ash looked at Silvia. "Geneva." she said. "MUNDI's somewhat paranoid when it comes to coverups, apparently. I've never seen any of our teammates from Geneva again. There's no way we can be sure they won't do the same with Transys."
Silvia sighed. "Right now we gotta take care of ourselves. At least we'll be free. If they won't be, we can always go and rescue them."
"Rescue them?!" Ash yelled. "Look who's talking about rescuing! You're a teenager! You have no idea what defences MUNDI has on their prisons! Their PR might be going down the drain, but their army sure isn't!"
Ash looked angrier than Silvia had ever seen her.
Sparks flew all around her, and Red jumped aside when a small bush caught fire. "Will you fragging calm down?" she said to Ash.
Silvia walked towards Ash, shapeshifted her hand and put it on the woman's shoulder. She felt it was hot, but it was nothing her dragon skin couldn't handle.
"Look. We'll get through. We got through Geneva... twice. And now we got through the hell of Transys. We'll get there, and we'll bring 'em back. Now calm down before you melt your wristwatch and blow up the van."
She shifted her hand back and pointed her thumb to the van.
"I'm going in that van, OK? The worst they can do is try to kill me. You think after the Daemons of Geneva and the VOES, a bunch of gobbo terrorists is gonna succeed in that?"
"So they're terrorists..." Red said, almost whispering. "Did you say Daemons?"
"Yes, terrorists. Just don't let them know we know." Silvia said.
She turned around and walked towards the van.
"Now come on. Mustn't keep our driver waiting in there."
"Wait, what was that about Daemons?!" Red yelled, running after her.
Silvia turned her head. "Believe me, you don't wanna know."
Alanya grabbed her cyberdeck. "Look, can't we juz' deck through the auto pilot?"
"I don't think that'd be wise..." Chance said, as they saw the Red Dawn appear in front of them. "If we run now, they might just shoot. I mean... better not take the chance."
Alanya sighed. "Yu'r right. But I bettar make shure dey can't get to my data."
Wirecat grinned from behind her. "You downloaded some nice stuff from Transys then?"
"Oh, yu bet." Alanya grinned, and plugged in her datajack.
"Hello there. DINA5."
"What?! What is this?" A frown appeared on the small floating piece of paper.
"I took the liberty of putting my latest encoding algorythm on your data." the voice said. "Just so no one can get to it but you... and me."
"No way... you're..."
"I was VOES. Well, a copy of his program, to be correct. But now I got nothing to control, the name VirtualOctopus Expert System is no longer useful."
"Niice." DINA5 grinned. "Great knowing you. I'll get back to you later... but some important stuff is going on in the physical world."
"I'll be waiting for you, DINA5."
The 'Runners waited nervously in the confines of their passenger Tilt-Wing as it made an automated final-approach to the hovering fortress, the AAC, having been ensnared electronically.
They didn't have to wait long. The engines rotated into the upright position, and the Aerobus landed like a helicopter on the Main VTOL pad on the huge carrier's surface. Not far off, a Feith VTOL Fighter-Bomber was sling-shotted up the ski-jump ramp, onto a CAP - No doubt trying to deter RAF Fighters from coming anywhere near.
As soon as it had been reported worldwide at the speed of light by over a dozen News Media stations that the first refugees had been taken from the wrecked Transys Arcology, Corporations and Governments all over the world demanded to be shown them, to see anything they might have brought from the Arc, or interrogate from them what had actually happened in there. Foremost among these voices was Senior Executive Hanrow G. Gilbert from Transys Neuronet, taking a strident role in affairs following the rumours of his predecessor's Suicide.
Oblivious to the furore surrounding them, the 'Runners had been taken deep into the belly of the beast by their security detail. For some reason, they hadn't been stripped of all their gear yet.
It was then Chance recognised the Sergeant leading the escort. He didn't know the name, but knew the face from Geneva.
"Where are you taking us, Sergeant?" He ventured.
"I am not liberty to answer that question." Replied the Sergeant, with a slight waver in his voice.
"We're really fragged." Eva realised, whispering. "Once they get an inking as to what happened there."
"Hold it." Chance held up a hand.
"They're not taking us to the brig!" Jessica realised. She knew this old character.
The Sergeant snapped, and turned, if only to quieten his charges. He rounded on Chance.
"Alright, Vei. I don't know if you know me, but I served with you at Geneva. Everyone I knew from Geneva is gone. No word, no trace, no sight nor sound... And I am not prepared to see that happen again."
The other soldiers looked at each other questioningly.
"Sarge, these prisoners-"
"SHUT UP, Nikolov!" The Sergeant turned back to Chance "I have made contact with your other party on the ground. Come with me, I'll lead you to a emergency pod."
Chance realised that if what this man said was true, and this wasn't some kind of over-elaborate and unnecessary ruse, his career was finished.
"Thank you, Sergeant." Was all he could say.
BBC News, By Royal Order of Her Majesty Queen Antoinette
Shot of the two spindly towers that are left of the Transys Arcology
"Military sources are refusing to confirm whether or not the unexplained standoff at the Transys Arcology, Scotsprawl, is over, despite the devastating and tragic collapse of the Structure's third tower. International outcry is growing over the fact that both Military and Transys Neuronet officials are refusing to allow medical personnel or aid into the structure or its surrounding area.
Other sources say fighting can be observed around the base of the building, and unconfirmed reports are coming in of a Merchant ship having been fired upon by a Royal Navy Warship, which the Navy denies.
Shot of the huge floating AAC, night-time near the Scottish coast. It is brilliantly lit, and VTOLs hover all around it. Suddenly, a large flash is seen as some kind of emergency vehicle is jettisonned from the underside,
"The fate of the Tilt-Wing full of refugees that reached the MUNDI AAC Red Dawn is unknown, and shrouded in controversy. MUNDI had appeared to bow down to the international and Corporate pressure to release the refugees to Transys Neuronet authorities, but after the amazing scene we can see here, MUNDI went strangely quiet on the subject. Transys Neuronet's Senior Executive Hanrow G. Gilbert, speaking for the CEO, had this to say:
"Och, if those MUNDI imbeciles have somehow let 'em get awey, we'll 'ave noo choice but to cut back even more on their funding."
Chance watched the report, concerned. They'd managed to get away, those that survived. The injured Crystal and Raven had been gotten to Hammerhand's clinic, and were both said to be stable and recovering.
The ordeal was over for them, truly. But he was melancholy. What had they gained for all the suffering?
Chance and Ash had gone, hoping to meet the Decker, Crash, for Crystal had said he might be able to help him track down their missing comrades. But now he was dead. To make matters worse, MUNDI looked more unstable than ever. The escape had greatly embarrassed MUNDI, and the organisation looked set to fall - And if they fell, then what of those who had been 'disappeared'?
End Chapter Four...
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