The Showdown Begins

Kato watched as Crystal ducked through the entrance and Mithrat created a time bubble to phase through the wall and then disappear into the shadows.

"You coming?"

"Yeah, let's do this," Kato grunted as he followed Snowflake in.

The room was cavernous, with a number of large crates and logistical machinery strewn about the room. The most noticeable feature was the large serpentine robot that they had seen on Nathan's security feed. As Kato looked on, the last of the prisoners they had seen were in the process of getting onboard.

Without thinking, Kato ran toward the prisoners, shouting, "Stop right there!" Before Kato was close enough to engage them, the remaining soldiers had boarded, with the last guy flipping Kato the bird before slamming the door in Kato's face.

As Kato cursed up a storm and unsheathed his blade in preparation to attempt to bash the door open, the mech revved to life. Kato managed to strike the doors once with his sword, and the door shuddered under the impact, but before he could swing again, the door moved away from him as the mech began to slither. He sheathed his blade and reached out to the mech to try to get a grip on it. He partially succeeded, only to get dragged a short way before falling off.

The mech did a half-circle around the room before rearing up to face Snowflake and Kato (the later having hastily gotten back up).

"Your efforts to apprehend me have been admirable, SeeD, but you are too late to stop me," a masculine voice (presumably the Colonel's) emanated from a speaker. "You can crawl back to your Republican lap dogs and tell them that you rescued the hostages, because that is all you will achieve today."

As he said this, the drill at the front of the mech started to turn, and Kato began to realize what the Colonel planned to do. He’s going to drill his way out of this place… and Kato had no idea how he could prevent that.

Suddenly, the air grew cold, and as Kato looked on, a layer of ice appeared around the front of the mech. The motor to the drill sputtered and the drill stopped turning. Kato glanced at Snowflake and saw that the ice had come from him. A grin crossed his face as he shouted back, “I don’t think so, Colonel Something. This ends today!”

A moment of relative silence passed, and then the Colonel’s speaker squawked back to life. “Foolish SeeD, I gave you an opportunity to leave this place with your life intact, but in your arrogance, you insist on futilely opposing me. Very well, this shall end today, but not the way you wish.”

The mech lurched forward, and with greater speed than Kato had thought possibly, the drill head of the mech hurtled toward him and Snowflake, who dove for safety in opposite directions so that the incoming mech came in between them. Coming into contact with the floor hard enough to knock off the ice that Snowflake had created, the mech reared back up and twisted toward Kato, causing the massive tail to whip toward Snowflake.

Kato stared slack jawed at where Snowflake had been as he backed away from the mech, praying to Lady Luck that the Guardian Force hadn’t been crushed. He breathed a sigh of relief as he caught a glimpse of the big cat sprinting for cover after the dust settled. Then he heard a mechanical whirr, and he looked up to see two rotary autocannons unfurl from behind the cockpit of the mech, one on either side. Now it was his turn to dive for cover as the autocannons began to spin, sending a torrent of large-caliber munitions in his direction.

Kato had found himself in a number of dire situations in the past where death had seemed nearly inevitable, but there was something about having hundreds of bullets the size of his fist absolutely shred the forklift he had used as cover while leaving a gazillion big holes in the concrete all around him in the course of a few seconds that caused him to think he had finally met his match. Fortunately, Fate (or Nim) was smiling on him, and he heard an explosion, after which bullets stopped pounding his position, although the sound of heavy machine gun fire could still be heard (what Kato had understandably not seen was that Crystal had sent an arrow flying into one of the autocannons that by absurd chance had gotten caught in one of the gears in the cannon, preventing it from being able to rotate, which caused it to overheat and then blow up).

Kato pulled himself out of the pile of debris that was the remains of the forklift, covered from head to toe in cement dust and forklift parts and smelling of fuel and coolant. He looked up to see the head of the snake robot pointed toward someone else, fire spewing out of the remains of one of the autocannons while the other continued to fire upon his companions. Then the tail of the mech came hurtling toward him, and there was no way Kato was going to be able to get out of the way…

Suddenly, Mithrat was standing next to him his clawed hands held out toward the the incoming mech, and Kato realized that the mech had stopped a meters away from them. So had everything, actually. Mithrat pointed toward part of the mech further up, and Kato saw that part of the door Kato had struck earlier was partially ajar. Wordlessly, Kato sprinted toward the door, and using his sword like a crowbar, he made the gap big enough for himself to fit in.

The moment Kato was inside, time’s flow returned to normal and the momentum of the mech cause Kato to fly head-first into some escaped prisoner’s chest. Then, when the tail screeched to a halt, Kato flew across the small room and landed in another escapee’s lap. As everything stopped spinning, Kato saw that he was in a small, thin room with lockers presumably full of gear on one end and the prisoners seated in rollercoaster-like seats on the other. A few of the escaped prisoners looked rather nauseous and had their eyes shut, but the rest were staring at Kato with and expression of surprise and alarm on their face… among whom was the jerk that had flipped him off earlier. Pinned as they were by the seats that were keeping them from being tossed about the room like Kato had been, the escaped prisoners were helpless to stop Kato as he upholstered the pistol of the escapee who’s lap he sat on and used it to shoot the guy across from him in the face. That blighter would never flip anyone off ever again.

Shooting the rest of the escaped prisoners was like shooting fish in a barrel, except that the barrel was moving and Kato was also inside of it. Kato had never been a terribly good shot, and he could only hold the pistol with one hand because he was using the other to clutch the restraining vest of the soldier he was sitting on (who was futilely thrashing about as Kato suffocated him). As such, Kato missed the vitals of his targets with over half his shots, but that was okay because his targets couldn’t do anything but scream at him or plead for mercy (which was not forthcoming).

So focused was he on this grisly task that it took Kato a number of moments to realize that the mech was slowing down, until with a jerk, the room shuddered to a halt. Suddenly, the safety restraints that had kept everyone trapped came undone, and the two surviving escapees leapt to their feet with fiery vengeance in their eyes. Kato fired at the first, who was reaching for his own holstered pistol, only for the weapon to click. His magazine was empty. Kato lobbed his stolen pistol at the escaped prisoner’s face and knelt down to grab his sword that had conveniently come to rest nearby (he had dropped it during his initial airborn experiences upon entering the mech), and lunged at the escaped prisoner who was taking aim at him. Just as the man fired, Kato turned his back shoulder to the side so that the shot missed, then slashed upward with sword so that he caught the escaped prisoner’s pistol with his blade, pushing the barrel of the weapon away from himself before bringing his blade down for a lethal stroke into the man’s throat.

Kato proceeded to knee his victim in the groin, then kick him in the chest as he fell to his knees to knock him out of the way, then he lowered his sword toward the last escapee, who, unarmed, held his hands out and was backing away from Kato.

“Dude, please don’t kill me, I’ll do anything for you, I swear!” the man grovelled as Kato stepped over a dead body toward him. “I’ll be your butler, worship the ground you stand on, any…”

Just then the intercom beeped to life, and a familiar voice announced, “Gentleman, please grab your weapons and offboard as soon as possible. We need to drive off these annoying…”

It was then that Radek must have heard the agonized screams of the last man as Kato chopped him up. After a pause, Radek stated, “Bay 1, report.”

“All is well in Bay 1,” came a reply.

“Bay 2?”

“No major problems here, Colonel.”

“Bay 3?”

There was silence, except for a moan from one of the dying escapees that Kato swiftly put an end to. “Umm, everything’s fine in Bay 3.” Kato lied.

“Well SeeD, your survival and persistence continues to surprise me almost as much as it annoys me. Unfortunately for you, since you killed all of my men in Bay 3, which happens to be the rear-most compartment of this machine, Bay 3 is no longer needed. As it happens, this machine is equipped with a segment ejection function in case a part gets lodged in a tunnel, so…”

The engine whirred to life and the room slowly began to move, bringing about a litany of panicked orders in the other bays as the prisoner’s who had been in the process of offboarding now needed to strap themselves back in.

“... have a nice flight.”

Kato desperately tried to open the door into Bay 2, but it wouldn’t budge. Frantically looking about as the mech picked up speed, Kato realized he didn’t have enough time to get out the way he had come in, so instead he strapped himself into the nearest seat just as tail end of the mech shifted it’s momentum in the opposite direction, jerking Kato forward. Then tail accelerated just as Kato heard the ominous sound of the bay being released, and soon Kato found himself pressed against his restraints as the cabin flew through the air, the bodies of the men he had killed flying to the opposite wall as the ejected bay hurtled toward its inevitably painful destination.

Then the cabin collided with the wall of the great room with a thunderous crash, and Kato’s world went black.

(OOC - So Kato and Mithrat are out for the count, with Mithrat having been laid out by the tail of the mech after the stop spell he used to save Kato expired. However, thanks to Kato's efforts, the mech no longer has a tail it can swing at people, and it only has one autocannon left. Can Crystal and Snowflake hold out until reinforcements arrive to save the day?)

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