Elevated Stress

The teams congregated at the base of the freight elevator, with the exception of Emerson, Ezra, and Hammond given they would be their ticket out of here once Lanstrom had been slain. It didn't take long for Ink and Syn to start the ascent up the maintenance shaft. However, their activity hadn't gone unnoticed as a few uplifted began to show up, appearing from the fog and snow like demons from hell itself. The uplifted were flanked by living failures, all of them approaching the site of the elevator.

"We have to hold these fuckers off until our ride gets down to us." Jhonen said as he checked to make sure his rifle had a round ready. "We need to hold this line until Ink and Syn can get to the top." Over the radio he added to Ink and Syn: "No pressure."

"We will move with haste, Cross." Syn said with a hint of annoyance. "So long as the girl's hack holds..."

...

Aurora was still at the terminal when Oriel came tearing into the room in a fury that no human could match.

"GIRL! ABOMINATION! YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR TREACHERY!" Oriel descended upon Aurora with bloodlust in her eyes.

...

Ezra listened to the sound of the uplifted as they tried in vain to get into Emerson's ship. It was locked down tight. Not only that, but Ezra was currently sitting in one of the gunner seats manning an anti-material cannon normally used to ward off incoming asteroids. It did pretty well against the pesky uplifted and their failures.

Hammond was having far more fun on his gun though, whooping and cheering as he took out one uplifted after another.

"Don't get cocky, boss!" Ezra said, though she admitted to feeling a little fun at being able to go trigger happy on a bunch of mutant freaks.

...

Lanstrom stared at the monitors as she watched the battle unfold at the bast of the elevator. Somehow, they had found a quicker way around all her safeguards. She had been too focused on the Anomalous Girl... and now she was paying for it. Worse yet, all her predictions about Jhonen were coming true.

He would kill her, there was no doubt about that in her mind. Despite her impressive intellect, or rather because of it, she knew she would meet her end this day. The odds all pointed to Jhonen being the angel of death that would bring her dreams crashing down. No other outcome could be calculated, and she had done several thousand calculations. She had tried in vain to try and find an escape.

But you could not escape his wrath. The fury of a father denied his daughter. And for the briefest of moments, she wondered if her search for perfection had been for naught. She had claimed to beat death, yet it came for her just as it had before.

And yet her hubris had pushed her to try and fight fate. Even if it was a vain action, she would go down fighting.

"Come then... Let us have our final confrontation..."

...

"Open fire!" Jhonen started to fire at the approaching horde of uplifted. They were armed, and intelligent, the living failures their cannon fodder as they took cover behind various mining equipment and nearby structures.

The goal was to hold this position until the elevator was sent down. To hold their ground. Beck and the remaining Crimson Death Squad members seemed to be on their side for the moment. And they would soon prove their loyalty when Pike and Ayers got picked off by an Uplifted wielding a rifle. Beck took him out but the look on his face was clear, he knew getting out of this frozen hellhole was a pipe dream.

"Cross... I must say, it has been interesting fighting alongside you. If I knew anything about your daughter, I would gladly tell you it... But I don't. Suffice it to say... Good luck finding her." Beck smirked as he produced two grenades from his belt and hopped over the guard rail and rushed towards a collection of living failures.

"Beck!" Jhonen shouted to him, but it was too late. The grenades went off, taking Beck and a good portion of the living failures along with him.

Jhonen cursed under his breath and continued to fire at the uplifted... Yet it was clear that they were many and tough to boot. The snow was getting worse on top of it, visibility was dropping, and it was an advantage to the gifted uplifted who seemed to see right through the snow and fog.

"Syn! ETA!" Jhonen shouted.

"We are nearing the top. ETA: 10 minutes." Syn responded.

"We don't have ten minutes..." Jhonen muttered to himself, though not through the radio.

Anna was resolute in fighting until the bitter end. She managed to down an uplifted with a well placed headshot but they seemed to only keep coming.

However, her heart skipped a beat when she heard a familiar sound echoing from the white wall beyond the snow and fog... A roar.

The dragons had arrived.

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