06.02.3013: ...And Prey
Summary: Something gets loose on The Ring.
Date: 2 June 2013
Related: The Seen and Unseen and What's This...?
Hostiles Benedict Erik Asher Veryna Johana 

Benedict's Office
A small office cramped with a number of noble knights.
2 June 3013

Whatever reports, deliveries, or discussion had been going on in the Young Lord Orelle's office, it is interrupted by a blinking light on his desk comm. There isn't even time for the comm to be answered before it cuts in, the voice of the young Sergeant on duty outside coming through quick, almost panicked, "Milord! Sorry to interrupt, but it's the science pod! The one with the Hostile Project!" That's the point at which he actually has to take a breath, leaving the barest room for someone to cut in if they want to.

Leaning back in his chair, Benedict turns his attention from the Important Conversation at hand with all these Knights. Maybe he's trying to talk them into joining the marines. Looking to the comm, the Young Lord lifts a hand, and then lowers it as the voice begins, a frown settling in and growing as he listens, and he cuts in, "It's important, I take it. What is it? Is it broadcasting again? Turn it off. I thought we'd taken care of that." Frowning fully a-go, Benedict looks to the others in the room as he listens for the response, "Forgive me, everyone. It seems I might need to go tend to something." He'd probably have rathered not had a room full of company for this call.

The lone Cindravale knight had grasped at the opportunity to visit the Ring because when it comes to the subject of warfare against the Hostiles, Erik is most certainly interested in learning more and even sharing ideas. This includes tactics of the past, what had worked, what hadn't, and perhaps what potential adaptations the evil cybernetic ones have made to themselves. When the comm interrupts though, Erik leans back in his seat, a troubled expression clouding his face after hearing the tone of the man on the line. The subtle request by the young lord for the others to depart for privacy is noted by the Cindravale Knight who rises from his seat, bowing his head, "Understandable, My Lord. Thank you for your time for the discussions."

Sir Asher Khournas has arrived on the Ring only recently, one of the Knights offered by Khournas to serve in defense of the Ring. He is currently accompanying the Young Lady Johana Ibrahm in whatever meeting had brought them to visit the Young Lord of Orelle. He turns his attention a little towards his companion as the sound of the panicked man at arms on the intercom device.

Since the attack one week ago, Veryna's been splitting much of her time between The Ring and Nubilus, both on-duty and off. Today in the course of taking time off on The Ring, she's sat in on the meeting between other knights concerning the tactics and reports. Though off-duty, the heightened security and war atmosphere means that she's passed on the dresses and jewels, opting instead of durable pants and shirts reminiscent of naval uniforms, complete with sword at her hip and dagger on the other. "Broadcasting? Again? I thought the Arborenin had disabled any such devices?"

Hearing the intercom, Johana falls silent, deciding not to interrupt anything. Instead, she takes the moment to look around the room to see if there are any other familiar faces other than Asher. Seeing the Cindravale, she offers a quick grin, but her attention drifts on, the others she's not so familiar with getting polite nods before settling back on her companion, a shoulder lifting almost uncertainly.

The Sergeant stammers for a moment, "N- No Milord… it's… it's… I'll put it on screen." And a holoscreen blossoms along the wall, showing a live feed from within the science quarters. For a moment, everything looks still, perhaps even normal. Until it strikes home that everything is still. The laboratory has been abuzz with activity since the Hostiles arrived, and now it looks as still as a grave. And then it becomes apparent that that is an apt metaphor, as blood stains several surfaces, and the more alert of the group may note that the shape beneath one table is a scientist's body… or rather, half a body. The legs are entirely missing, and blood still spreads from the ragged end of his torso.

Benedict nods at Erik's words, glancing to Veryna for a moment before the Sergeant gets his voice back. Looking to the holoscreen, it takes a second, and then the man's jaw clenches. Cursing aloud, the heir lurches to his feet, "Damnit! Put all the active duty knights and soldiers on alert. I'm coming down there. Do we know anything about what happened? Footage from before this?" His hand balls into a fist on the desk, "Put on a security alert for the area around the labs, get people safe. Say we're running drills or something along those lines. It might be too late already, but get squads at the exits from that area."

Before the Cindravale knight could depart, the urgency of the message is revealed when the live feed is shared on the main screen, causing Erik to fall very still. His eyes immediately captures the details of what is wrong, noting the lack of scientists, live ones at least, the corpse and blood that is seeping out of that body. Immediately, concern is voiced by the Cindravale, "Why were there no alarms sounded? Is there a recording of what the camera picked up earlier?" Without even knowing he had done so, Erik already has a hand resting on the pommel of his longsword, tense right now.

"Did you have the captive Hostile, Young Lord, or just the pod?" Asher asks, rising as well and taking a step a bit closer towards Johana, "It will help us determine what exactly happened in that lab." He says with a serious look to him, he turns a side look towards Johana, "It appears that a Hostile has gotten lose, Young Lady." he explains, as if it weren't obvious.

Veryna sits and watches the video on the holo screen silently. She takes in all the sights and lack of activity, noting primarily the blood on the floors and the spreading pool from the ragged torso. "That doesn't look dry quite yet," she says, pointing out the bloodstains on the holo. "What level is this research lab located on?" Veryna asks, rising while she speaks.

Watching the visual, Johana is already rising to her booted feet, her hand leaving the arm of her escort, eyes rounded at the gore on display. "It seems so, Sir," she whispers in return, barely managing to find her voice. "Perhaps we should round him back up. I never really agreed when they captured one and left it alive. I was afraid of something like this."

Even as the orders and questions come in, there is finally motion on the screen, a female scientist crawling from behind an overturned table. Blood soaks her short hair, and covers half of her face like a curtain. Collapsing onto her back, she looks straight up at the camera, mouthing, 'Help me.' While this silent play acts itself out, the Sergeant is responding, his voice more sure now that he has orders, "Alert going out now, Milord, squads responding. I haven't looked at previous footage, but I can put it on your screen now." Then he pauses, "Um… a drill Milord?" Another voice comes over the comm now, a much more confident female voice, "Lieutenant Shivers, Sir. I'm issuing an evacuation order for the First Quadrant of the Halo for an unscheduled hull breach drill."

"The two captives Hostiles," Benedict answers Asher, then Veryna, "It's on one of the spokes running from the First quadrant, a bit from here." His eyes don't leave the screen though and as the woman crawls out, he demands in a loud voice, "Get a group in there and get that woman out!" As he says that, he's already walking out from behind the desk and towards the door with a turn of his head and a broad invitation offered, "I, and the Ring would appreciate any help, Sirs." Then he's pulling the door open as the woman's voice takes over, and while she's mid sentence, he lifts a hand to tap at the side of the glasses he wears, the arm of one featuring a little earbud which curls around Ben's ear and into it, "Navi, transfer this to my private comm, extend it to the other Knights in the room as well, if they have something with them." And anyone in the room with a communication device will get a beep and be able to hear everything -and talk, if they so choose. Stepping out into the hallway, he glances around, before heading off towards the nearest elevator. It's a brisk pace, but he's not running through the Ring, "Lieutenant Shivers, very good, that works. I'm on my way down, have someone meet me near the express elevator closest to my office with a sword, please. I take it we don't have any information, beyond the obvious, then?"

The idea of announcing a drill has Erik nodding his head, as if in agreement with that order as it having the locals panicking at the thought of an escaped Hostile would hamper security efforts, especially when a more capable officer has taken over the communications. Following as Benedict departs from the office, "My Lord Orelle, it would be an honor to assist the Ring in this. If you have an armory we can borrow, I would more than like to join the security team in removing this threat." The Cindravale knight is certainly eager to test his training against the Hostiles, combination of youth, boldness, and a bit of an ego.

Like the others, Veryna slips through the door following Benedict. Another perk of wearing funtional pants rather than dresses is that, even though she isn't wearing a comm device, she certainly has access to one in the pockets. It takes just a moment to slide it around her ear and synch with the rest of the group. She doesn't say much otherwise, holding the pommel of dagger and sword as she briskly follows.

"I can accompany you, Young Lord Orelle." Asher says with a nod, and a glance towards Johana, "If you are coming as well, Young Lady, Stay near me and I will do my best to keep you safe." he adds.

"I am coming as well." Johana replies almost curtly, but it's from the concern, not any anger. There's a flash of something in her eyes as she follows the others to the door. "I'm very capable of taking care of myself." And of all things, she has a smile for him. "You worry about keeping yourself safe. The com device she always wears chirps as she walks out, joining the parade of follow the leader, out of the office.

The holoscreen snaps off as Benedict's comm transfers the call to his earpiece, but Lieutenant Shivers' voice can be heard clearly over the associated comms, "No, send a full squad, Sergeant. I'm scanning through the previous footage. It appears that the damaged Hostile reactivated, tore its way out of the Faraday cage, and began attacking scientists. Its active camouflage engaged almost immediately, it retrieved its weapons, and continued killing until it departed. We're attempting to track it on cameras, but its active camouflage is making that extremely difficult. I'll have someone with your blade, Sir."

And the parade contines on down the hall to an elevator, "Thank you all, then," Benedict remarks, and then comments, to nobody human, "Navi, make sure the elevator is already on its way up, the less time wasted, the better." He looks to Erik, "If you need a weapon, tell the Lieutenant. If you want to go put on armor, you can, but I'm not waiting." Looking to the rest of the group, she asks, "Does everyone else have a weapon? If not, speak up." Addressing his comm, he says, "Lieutenant, keep me up to date. Any idea which direction it went from the labs yet?"

Since the young Orelle Lord has opted to not wait, it wouldn't do for Erik to venture off to don armor so he accepts the fact that his current attire will have to be enough to act as protection. "Very well, My Lord." With the decision made, there is no complaints or debate coming from the Cindravale Knight, his left hand still resting on the pommel of his sheathed longsword.

"You are hardly dressed for battle, Young Lady." Asher says, "I would be negligent to not protect you." he adds as he accompanies the Orelle nobleman, "These things have an advanced stealth field, far better then our scout suits." He explains as he walks, "I'm sure Young Lord Orelle can enlighten us further, but they were virtually invisible when they ambushed the Arboren party."

"Unlike the forests, however, there's only so many places they can hide on The Ring. It should be far easier to contain and control." Veryna isn't so familiar with The Ring as a whole, but it is a space station, and there's only so many places one can hide…or be vented out into cold space. "There should be others with armor on already, should the need arise," she says regarding the guards likely to be on duty.

That had never occurred to Johana and she looks down at her clothing and gives him a rueful smile. "Of course, you're right. I am going to request a sword though. Or a polearm or something at least, so I don't feel so exposed." Listening to the conversation around them, she continues walking, speaking into the comm. "Sir Johana Ibrahm," identifying herself first. "I'll require a sword as well." Mentally berating herself for leaving hers behind.

The Sergeant from the comm is waiting at the elevator with a pair of sheathed swords, looking rather thin and reedy. He offers them out even as Lieutenant Shivers continues to respond via the comms, "We cannot track the Hostile easily with the cameras, Sir. I've been tracking its movements by the opening doors, but it seems to be opening multiple doors to throw that method off. I believe it's trapped inside the First Quadrant, Sir." There's a pause, and then she admits, "It's killed another four Citizens, Sir."

"You're all knights, I assume you can defend yourselves," Benedict remarks after Asher's comment, "If anyone isn't comfortable, I can have the sergeant direct you to the armory." The heir reaches to take both of the swords from the man, nodding to him, "Sergeant, thank you." Turning, Ben steps to offer one of the swords to Johana with a nod as he speaks. Not to her, though, to Shivers, "I -hope- it's trapped inside the First Quadrant, Lieutenant. It's going to be rather ugly if not." The man curses she offers that list bit, and her steps into the express elevator, beckoning the others in, "We're on our way down. Did we get most everyone evacuated? Hopefully it didn't get out while that was happening." Looking to the group, he looks them all over and then nods, "When we get down there, be on your guards. Weapons out. If you -think- you see something, tell the rest of us, don't wait to make sure. Any questions?"

There is a thought that occurs to Erik and he brings it up, "If evacuations are complete and we have a general idea which direction the Hostile is heading towards, why not lock down the doors in its way. It'll force our target to backtrack to doors that are open, in a way, funneling it to us and the security force." The Cindravale looks like he's ready, joining Benedict inside the elevator.

"Just stay near me, attack when you can, I'll do my best to make myself a target." Asher says with a nod at Johana, "If it comes to a fight anyway. If we're lucky, it's injured and not operating at it's full strength though." He says, and as he steps into the elevator he 'flares up' so to speak, his eyes go white, and the slight flicker of whispy flames dance around him, with the occasional static discharge visible. His aura isn't very intense yet, to those who can judge such things, "I may be able to try and sense it, but I've never had direct eposure to a Hostile."

"Would it be in poor taste to mount the head like a hunting trophy? I always hear about drake hunters, but this seems like a much more valuable prize," Veryna asks in a half-joking fashion. A little humor to defuse the situation and compare the nature of The Ring to, well, nature. She stands in the elevator straight as a board, setting her jaw and allowing herself a look of only slight unease and tension.

Taking a few steps forward, Johana accepts the sword with a grateful nod. "Thank you, Sir." Also passing along a nod to the Lieutenant, for bringing it for her. Once she has the sword in hand, she grips it comfortably, looking rather confident with it nestled there against her palm. With another look to Asher, she smiles. "Now I feel better." The words are mostly spoken in almost a whisper, unobtrusively. Hearing about the four citizens though her smile quickly fades to be replaced by a grim determination, until Asher mentions making himself a target. Stepping into the elevator alongside him, she lifts her free hand and rests it on his arm briefly. "Don't take unnecessary risks.. please."

First Quadrant of the Halo, The Ring
The Halo is a thick circlet that arcs around the equator of the Ring's main sphere. It is one of the busiest regions of the Ring as it connects the six disks that stretch out from the Halo like spokes on a wheel. The Halo itself feels like a tall, but still somewhat narrow, tunnel with wide mezzanine walkways running along its sides, and the monorail below where sleek trams quickly ferry travelers around the circle. Spaced equally along the Halo are elevator bays with lifts that run up along the exterior longitude of the sphere to the various districts. Transparent composite panels line the outermost wall of the Halo to provide breathtaking views of the Eye and its Lashes as the Ring continues its own orbit around the blue gas giant.
2 June 3013

"We believe that we have it trapped inside the First Quadrant tram station, Sirs." Lieutenant Shivers' voice remains steady, "We're still evacuating personnel from both ends, and there are a squad at each end to protect that evacuation. All lifts save for this one have been locked down, as has the tram itself. But we do not have visual contact with the Hostile, Sir." The lift hisses downward, dropping away quickly, and then slides to a halt, the doors whisking open to reveal the expansive view of Oculus and Inculta 'below.' There are masses of crowds still jockeying to get out of the wide doors at either end of the curving tram station, each with a group of men-at-arms in Orelle colored Combat Armor herding them out.

<FS3> Hostile1 rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Asher rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Benedict rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Erik rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Veryna rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Johana rolls Alertness: Good Success.

"Of course, Sir Johana," Benedict answers her thanks, then he remarks to Veryna, "You really need to spend more time on the Ring, I think, Sir Veryna." He nods at Erik's suggestion, thinking it over for a moment as the elevator whooshes down. The Awakened in the elevator hardly even warrants a glance, it's not exactly unusual. "Good to hear, Lieutenant Shivers. Continue with the evacuation of course," and Ben looks towards the groups leaving, nodding as he studies them for a moment before turn attention back to the tram station as he moves out of the elevator and in that direction. His sword is held in one hand, angled across his body so that it's at the ready, "Navi, show me everything the team had managed to learn about the hostile before it escaped." And as he walks, he's a touch distracted, information flickering across one of the lenses of his glasses, which obviously aren't really glasses. To his companions, he remarks, "Have any of you spoken with the group who encountered these Hostiles originally?"

Riding the lift down in silence, Erik appears to be focusing his thoughts on the encounter they will soon have, it will be his first against an actual Hostiles. Once the door opens up, he steps outside and is distracted by not only the viwe of the Oculus and Inculta, but also the civilians that are performing the 'evactuation drill'. At least he is alert enough to draw his blade but right now, he does not see the camoflauged intruder, his gaze looking back to Benedict who asked a question, "No I have not, My Lord."

"I've only had second-hand reports, unfortunately. I did, however, interact with Princess Janelle when she first brought the pod here to the Ring with Arboren support staff," Veryna answers as she steps off the lift. Like the others, she too draws her sword, and hefting it to a ready position utilizing two hands lacking the armor and shield promoting a one-handed posture. Through the crowds and men-at-arms, she sees nothing unusual.

When the others start to move out of the elevator, if able, Johana will move to put herself at the head of the pack, placing an arm in front of Benedict so that he cannot walk much further out of there. "Wait, there's something I wanted to tell you." Turning to face them, putting her back to what looks like to her, a suspicious blur, she speaks into the comm very, very softly so that her lips barely even more but everyone can hear. "Behind me, don't look yet.. up above the door, about ten meters… see the blurred spot.." That's all she says quietly, not wanting to alert the hostile if indeed that was what it was. Out loud she says, "I'm better with polearms than with a sword, but thanks for the loan." Just to have -some- reason for having stopped them, she holds it with both hands and waits for direction, causally stepping aside so she doesn't hinder the forward motion that's bound to be coming.

"I spoke with them." Asher says, "And am fairly familiar with their encounter, as familar as someone that wasn't there can be." he adds, his Aura flaring in intensity as he steps out of the lift, the dancing flames and electric discharges coming more frequently now as he glows brighter.

<COMBAT> You start a combat. Your combat number is #653.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 has changed weapons to Hand Crossbow. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Hostile1 has changed armor to Scout Armor. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Hostile1 has changed stance to aggressive. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Johana has changed stance to defensive.
<COMBAT> Asher has changed armor to Psychometric Armor.
<COMBAT> Asher has changed weapons to Psychometry.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 will attack Erik this turn. (Mars)

<COMBAT> Veryna passes.
<COMBAT> Benedict passes.
<COMBAT> Asher passes.
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Johana passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 attacks Erik with Hand Crossbow - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile1's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Erik has been KO'd!

Even as Johana begins to speak up again, a ribbon of razor-sharp steel comes whipping down from that blurry spot above, driving directly down toward Erik. In the wake of the ribbon, the patch of blurry background falls away from the wall, aiming to drop directly into the midst of the collection of noble knights. The faster it moves, the less sure the background becomes, creating a six-foot-tall blur of a long-limbed, slender humanoid, carrying a heavy-bladed axe in one hand. Landing with a far quieter thump and clatter than might be expected from such a creature, it immediately begins laying about with its weapon.

There was the crowd and Oculus, then as Erik turns to see what Johana is going to share with them. When she gives her quiet warning of the blur, the Cindravale begins to frown at the description of the potential Hostile target. However, since they weren't to look up,. he doesn't see the bolt flying right at him. The noble knight does feel it though, the projectile slamming into his chest which knocks him back a foot or two. The next thing Erik knows is that it is hard to breath and that he is on his back, in a daze, the sound around him becoming very dull and far away.

Benedict pauses when Johana steps forward, looking to her and nodding slowly, and then there's a bolt slamming into Erik, knocking the Valen to the ground. Quickly followed by an axe-wielding Hostile dropping amidst their group and starting to swing away, he shifts his sword, gripping it with both hands as he seeks to ward away any strikes and calls, "Someone! Check him!" Obviously referring to Erik, but, well, Benedict might be a few things. Doctor and medic isn't one of them. Grunting, he comments, "Navi, keep track of it. I want a record to study." And then he brings his sword down in a wide swipe while the thing is hopefully distracted with one of the others.

When Johana steps out and draws their attention toward the blurry spot on the wall, Veryna of course lets her eyes drift that way. This close, there's no warning as that ribbon of steel whips through the air. It only takes a half a heartbeat to recognize that she wasn't hit, then the blur is dropping to the floor and charging. With sword up, Veryna doesn't have many wasted motions as she too swings down at the charging Hostile.

Since she'd not really been in the position to attack anything with her back to it, Johana had stepped aside and once she does, the bolt flies by striking the Cindravale in the chest. It takes her only a moment of 'ohmygods that could have been me' before she's kneeling down beside him, urging him to his feet. "Up, up, Sir Erik, we need your help." Looking at the ribbon of steel with sharp edges to see if she could possibly remove it. "If I pull this thing out you're going to be very, very upset, wake up and do it yourself."

Asher's head snaps towards Eric as he gets nailed by the crossbow bolt, then he's looking at the blur falling down in their midst, and coming right at him <I'll try to create an opening for you> He says telepathically towards Benedict as the Young Lord moves to engage the very Hostile he's engaging.

<COMBAT> Hostile1 has changed weapons to bludgeon. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Hostile1 will attack Asher this turn. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Hostile1 has changed stance to Defensive. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Asher will attack Hostile1 this turn.
<COMBAT> Asher has changed stance to Defensive.
<COMBAT> Benedict will attack Hostile1 this turn.
<COMBAT> Veryna will attack Hostile1 this turn.
<COMBAT> Benedict has changed stance to aggressive.

<COMBAT> Veryna attacks Hostile1 with Sword but Hostile1 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Johana attempts to rally Erik and FAILS
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 attacks Asher with Bludgeon but Asher DODGES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Hostile1 with Sword - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Hostile1 with Psychometry but MISSES!

Whatever Johana said to Erik either doesn't register properly in the knight's mind or he just doesn't hear her, still on his back and looking up in an unfocused manner. He doesn't respond, still stunned by the ambush and steel bolt that had embedded itself into his chest. The only response that the Cindravale has that he isn't unconscious is turning his eyes to look up at the Ibrahm knight, as if seeing her for the first time.

As the Havenites around the Hostile burst into action, the blurring effect flickers once, then disappears, revealing the angles and planes of the armor that sheathes the creature. It is a flurry of motion of its own, however, striking out at the glowing plates sheathing Asher with its double-headed axe while it ducks and dodges away from most of the attacks. In one case, it actually bats aside the flat of Veryna's blade with one hand, the sound of metal on metal ringing through the tram station over the sound of sudden panic at both ends.

Benedict nods slightly in response to Asher's telepathic remark and waits for the Khourni to draw the Hostile's attention before his sword comes down in an attempt to strike the thing's arm. He flicks a glance to Erik and Johana only briefly, not wanting to lose track of the Hostile for more than a moment, and then he lunges close i nan attempt to strike the Hostile again.

Asher sends a streamer of ashen energy charged with an electrical discharge outward, angled high, with some caution at avoiding his companions as it flies towards the ceiling, leaving a scorch mark rather then hitting his intended target, the Hostile. He manages to dodge aside the strike from the axe <Good hit! Strike home!> He telepathically projects to Benedict once again as he lashes out with Telekinetic force from above, hands coming downwards in a slaming motion, leaving a streamer of fire from his awakened aura in their wake.

Okay so that didn't work… Johana looks at Erik, reaching up she pats his face kind of hard with the palm of her hand. "Wake up.." The words more urgent. Seeing those steel colored eyes looking at her blankly, she realizes he was awake. Oops. So, she was slapping him for nothing. Finally her gaze falls on that blasted ribbon of steel and using her own clothing to wrap her hand in before grabbing hold of the bolt. "Take a deep breath then let it out slowly…" Intending to gingerly pull it out as soon as he's expelling the breath in his lungs. "Just look at me, that's right." Her voice gentles and she positions herself more over him so he doesn't watch what she is doing, offering him an almost tender look. Here goes… And while the others are fighting the hostile, the Ibrahm is trying to remove the bolt.

The lack of armor is a bit disarming to Veryna, who, quite simply, isn't capable of striking as hard without it. She's not big and powerful, and it shows when the Hostile simply bats the blade away and sends her taking a step or two off-balance to recover. Then the Hostile is past her, and she's free to spin on it again, adopting an altogether more aggressive swing as she lashes out towards the machine again.

<COMBAT> Johana will rally Erik this turn.
<COMBAT> Veryna has changed stance to aggressive.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 will attack Benedict this turn. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Asher has changed stance to aggressive.
<COMBAT> Johana has changed stance to aggressive.

<COMBAT> Asher attacks Hostile1 with Psychometry - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Veryna attacks Hostile1 with Sword but Hostile1 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Johana attempts to rally Erik and SUCCEEDS. Erik is back in the fight!
<COMBAT> Hostile1 attacks Benedict with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Hostile1 with Sword but Hostile1 DODGES!

There is only so much a lone combatant can do, however, and one of the blades gets through the Hostile's defenses, the slash cutting between armor plates on its right arm and sending a trickle of some liquid trickling over them. Whether it is blood or something like hydraulic fluid is… open to speculation. Whirling about, the creature circles its axe over its head, attempting to clear some space around it. The telekinetic force slamming down at it drives its head forward in what would undoubtedly be a most uncomfortable way if its armor weren't protecting it, and then the axe lashes out in a downward blow, aiming to cleave in the Young Lord Orelle's head.

Really not the most physical of knights, Benedict is used to armor himself, rather thick, heavily modified armor. He's also used to a HUD giving him odds and predictions for an opponents actions and what his own best actions might be. Most of those are useless against a Hostile, too different, and fighting different. And it seems quicker and stronger, or that's just the lack of armor. After landing his strike, the Orelle heir flicks his sword up in an attempt to parry the incoming axe, and the Hostile's blow simply powers through the block, the weapon drawing a nasty cut atop Ben's scalp before he manages to twist it away from him. A pained grunt escapes, and he growls, "Damnit! Kill this thing!"

Once again Veryna swings at the Hostile, but rather than catching her blade, it simply moves out of the way. It's spinning and twirling, moving with impossible speed. However, it seems to be focusing on others for now, so she just keeps thrusting and slashing at the machine.

<Sir Benedict is in trouble> Asher projects telepathically to Johana, his telepathic blow strikes his foe, though he's not able to bring enough force in at the proper angle to hurt the creature. He frowns a bit as he adjusts his footing, his hands coming back before jutting forward in an attempt to electrocute his foe, firing of a blackened smokey trail, crackling with electricity within it.

The urge to close her eyes is immense, but she'd asked Erik to look into hers as she pulled out the bolt, so the Ibrahm manages to refrain.. When he breathes in, then out, she uses the cloth in her hands to gently pull the ribbon of steel free, allowing it to fall on the floor beside her as she rips off a long strip of fabric and lifts him enough to wrap it around him and tie it into place in a makeshift bandage. When she does get him back to the here and now, she hopes, Johana offers a warm and hopeful smile. "Now get up and fight." Picking up her sword after hearing the Young Lord, she draws it and just like that she goes from healer to warrior, fire in her eyes that matches the color of her hair and she fully intends on doing some harm.

If Erik's senses weren't stunned and dulled by taking that brutal hit to the chest with the steel bolt, he might have objected to the slaps that Johana was giving him, an interesting technique in trying to get his senses back into him. But in his current state, the slaps could be punches and he wouldn't respond. However, once Johana tugs at the bolt in his chest and pulls it out, there is a loud growl of pain. Senses comes rushing back to the Cindravale Knight, too many as there is also a hot flash of pain, which transitions to anger, anger at being taken down so easily before the fight even started. The Lady Knight's encouraging words aren't even needed as Erik tightens the grip on his blade, going into a crouched position for a moment. Finding balance, his eyes lock onto the Hostile that is causing havok in the group of nobles and from his lowered position, he springs forward, lethal intent clear.

<COMBAT> Hostile1 has changed stance to normal. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Hostile1 will attack Veryna this turn. (Mars)
<COMBAT> Johana will attack Hostile1 this turn.
<COMBAT> Erik will attack Hostile1 this turn.
<COMBAT> Erik has changed stance to aggressive.
<COMBAT> Johana will attack Hostile1 this turn. Options: called=head
<COMBAT> Benedict will attack Hostile1 this turn. Options: called=Neck

<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Hostile1 with Sword - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Johana attacks Hostile1 with Sword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile1 attacks Veryna with Bludgeon - Serious wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Veryna attacks Hostile1 with Sword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile1 with Sword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Hostile1 with Psychometry - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

Apparently, the blood of the Havenites is up. The Hostile continues to fight, but the superior numbers are beginning to tell now. The crackling electricity strikes it in the chest, crawling over its armor plates as blows begin to rain down upon it. The creature staggers, but does not fall, still managing to sweep out a powerful, looping slash at Veryna's left arm despite being rocked by successive strikes from the Havenites.

With blood flowing down over his face, Benedict grits his teeth and watches for an opening, lunging close and slamming his sword against the Hostile's neck while it tries to fend off one of the others, the screech of his sword striking the metal ringing out before he hops back a step. Looking for another opening, he watches as the others land numerous strikes and he mutters, "What is this thing made out of? Next time, I think we stop to get armor."

Against the advice she had though so sound earlier, Johana is not backing down or hiding behind anyone. It's just against her nature and she draws back her sword one taking a deliberate slash at its head, only to have it land across its abdomen. Drawing her blade back once more, she takes a deep breath, letting out slowly, intending once more to aim at the head and perhaps decapitate it with a single, angry slash of her borrowed sword.

When her blade strikes home in the Hostile's midsection, Veryna wants to cheer, but it doesn't come without cost. Her blade strikes home, but then, so does the axe wielded by the Hostile. It bites deep and hard, cutting a big slash across the top of her left arm and shoulder. Bright blood immediately starts to pour down her left arm, and she backs off for a moment, taking a refreshed grip on her sword handle and looking to parry before striking out again.

In Erik's mind, he was to charge the Hostile and impale it with his blade, starting at the sharp tip. However, due to the wound he had taken, his mind may have been willing but his body wasn't. He is actually a bit sluggish in his movements, not the quick and fluid knight he is use to being. However, it is good enough to get a cut into the Hostile, now that he is close again, the next attack is to be a slash at the creature's neck, intent is to decapitate.

"Press the attack!" Asher calls, using his actual words this time, his hands come back again, pumping forward to send another jolt of electrical discharge out towards the Hostile, accompanied again with that smoke, ashen trail!

<COMBAT> Erik will attack Hostile1 this turn. Options: called=Neck
<COMBAT> Veryna has changed stance to defensive.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 will attack Johana this turn. (Mars)

<COMBAT> Veryna attacks Hostile1 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Johana attacks Hostile1 with Sword - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile1 with Sword - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Hostile1 with Psychometry - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 attacks Johana with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Hostile1 with Sword - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Hostile1 has been KO'd!

The Hostile takes a sword thrust to the neck, another to the chest, a slash to the stomach, a third thrust to the arm, and that's even before the crackling, smocking jolt of Psychometric energy that strikes its chest. That it is still standing is a tribute to its… maker? mother? creator? To whatever made it what it is. Surging forward, it struggles to bring itself to grips with the Young Lady Ibrahm, a crackling, screeching sort of sound emanating from its helmet. Two swords scrape off its armor, three, and it brings its axe low, aiming to sweep it up into the Khourni woman's abdomen.

Benedict isn't talking anymore at this point. His head -really- hurts. Stepping in close again, he grips his sword with both hands and swings it into the thing's neck, again. It's gotta pop off eventually, doesn't it? He flicks a quick glance to the others, checking to make sure nobody is leaking entrails or anything.

Erik's movements are indeed a bit sluggish and slow as his cut just misses the neck of the Hostile. It is by pure adrenaline and anger that drives the Cindravale on, to see this battle to the end as he tries to keep a grip on the adrenaline that is threatening to disperse.

Veryna's swing this time is slow, but it connects. It scrapes against the Hostile's chest, but that's only one of the flurry of attacks that finally seem to bring it to a halt. When it lurches forward away from her, she steps after it, ready to strike again if needed, even as drops of blood run down her arm and fall from her elbow, and the occasional drip that makes it to the heel of her hand and pommel of her sword.

Swinging her blade with all her might may be the very thing that saves Johana, that, combined with her petite stature. With both arms extended, she can almost see her blade swiping like butter through the head of the hostile.. instead, like a jolt, her blade crashes into the bludgeon with a jarring impact, the clash reverberating through her blade and into her arms, almost toppling her with the strength of the impact while the screeching sound ricochets throughout the area. Shuddering, she stumbles a step forward before catching herself.

Asher takes a step in closer towards Johana as the Hostile turns it's attentions on the Ibrahm heir and his aura flares up even more, crackling a little as he channels another of his blasts, hands both forward, palms out as he releases the smokey trail of an electric blast towards the cybernetic hostile. <Get behind me> he telepathically directs towards Johana, even as she's lunging at the creature herself.

When one of Asher's blasts strikes home, it does so with a vengeance. Benedict's blade rocks the Hostile's head back, and then Asher's charged and smoky blast nearly takes its head off, leaving it with half a neck and rapidly falling backward. Its axe hits the ground first, and then it crumples, falling with a clatter as what is quite clearly blood pumps arterially from its neck. It twitches once, twice, and then goes still, the warbling, crackling sound dying away to nothing.

Benedict grunts as the thing's head gets blasted off and he sags a bit, sword lowering as he steps back. He nods to Asher, "Good hit." A hand comes up, wiping blood out of his face, "And good work everyone, thank you. I wouldn't have wanted to run into that alone." Grimacing, he tentatively touches the gash in his scalp, before touching his comm and saying, "Somebody get a medic over here." He looks to the others, "Everyone in one piece?"y

When the Hostile finally falls, sans head, Veryna finally lets her guard down. The tip of the sword sinks down to hit the floor, held loosly in her left hand. Her right hand presses tight to the gash in her shoulder to finally try and staunch some of the flow of blood. "I'm alright over here. Just need to have this treated. The body should be secured."

Johana had heard the voice that sounded as real to her as if it had been said aloud, but too late for her to alter her movements. Holding her sword in one hand, she lifts her free one to swipe the back of her hand over her forehead. Breathing a sigh of relief, she bends her knees, squating down for only a moment to observe the thick liquid and frowns as she rises again to face Asher. "Blood.. they sure look like they'd function on something other than blood." Offering him an apologetic smile, she motions towards the hostile. "Sorry for not getting behind you, I heard you too late." Not realizing that not everyone could hear the voice.
Only then does she look around at the other wounded, only Asher and herself had come out unscathed. Seeing the condition of the arm of the lady and the head of the young lord, she nods hesitantly. "Three of you need medics. Immediately…" Turning her head to look at Erik now too, concern evident in her eyes at all of the blood from the other three.

When the battle against the escaped Hostile finally comes to an end, Erik just looks at the fallen corpse. The adrenaline and rush of battle is slowly fading, being replaced by the pain of the wound that was initially inflicted on him. The temporary bandage that Johana had wrapped around him is already soaked with blood, as is his tunic. The grip on his longsword slackens but is still held, now hanging loosely in his hand. "I'll live." Comes the two words from the Cindravale, spoken not as strongly as he usually would have but it is what he expects, even now unwilling to backdown.

Asher's aura begins to dim, and the psychometric protection is allowed to drop though he doesn't fully leave the awakened state. He turns towards Johana, looking her up and down a little… no torn clothes, no bleeding gashes.. and he nods, "Think nothing of it, Young Lady Ibrahm." he replies, "You seem to have come out of it well." He adds, his attention shifting to the injured amongst them though, specifically Erik, "We shoul get the wounded to the Hospital as soon as we can…" He shifts again to look at the fallen Hostile, "And to think, that this is just their scout model…."

At either end of the tram station, the men-at-arms mostly start to relax, although several of them at each end are still peering around as if expecting more death-monsters to come dropping out of nowhere. The Citizens have all been evacuated, although the body of one man can be seen on the overpass that stretches over the monorail track and out to the arm that holds the Hostile research lab. Although she had been silent during the fight itself, not wanting to distract from the blur of combat, Lieutenant Shivers now speaks up via comms, "I've already called a medical team, Sir. I'm sorry I couldn't give you any warning, it seemed to just come out of nowhere."

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