Her vision was fogging up. Despite her enhanced optics, eagled-eyed Atalanta was struggling with the visor on the cheap hazmat gear that she had been provided with. The entire area had been flooded with a biotechvore virus, and they had been charged with securing the extraction site in sector 12b of the Xenofarm. It was precautionary, they assured her. The Combined Army was preoccupied with Raveneye, they assured her. If that was truly the case, the mission wouldn’t have been given to the Homeridae of the Steel Phalanx…
Movement across the factory complex caught her eye, and reflexively she squeezed the trigger of her sniper rifle. The shot echoed across the empty space between, and the Morat body landed heavily, and unmoving, in the dirt. She sighed, and swung her view back to the extraction zone, trying to sight the rest of the Morat squad. A massive shape surged into the zone, and she fired before it could come to rest. She landed a hit square in the head of the massive Bultrak TAG, doing just enough damage to send its fire careening into the building beneath her – tearing off massive chunks of concrete. Snapping the bolt back in a smooth, practised action, she reloaded her sniper rifle and took aim. The machine had stabilised itself in cover, and reciprocal fire ensued. Unerring in her accuracy, Atalanta struck the machine squarely in the chest, only to have the round ricochet harmlessly off its armour. Unfortunately, she wasn’t so lucky. She could feel the warmth spreading across her chest, the synthetic life seeping from her Lhost. Snapping on her comms, she called out to her squad. “I’m down. The zone… is… compromised…” before fading to unconsciousness.
With a heavy sigh Machaon signalled to his squad of elite Myrmidons to move out. They moved with the fluid grace of dancers through the battle-ravaged factory complex, bobbing-and-weaving through cover as if in some intricate, yet deadly, performance. Arriving at the formidable sniper’s position, Machaon looked upon the wreckage of Atalanta’s Lhost – vital fluids congealing on the floor. “She is beyond saving.” he muttered under his breath, as he salvaged her cube from the corpse. With a stern look, he signalled Phoenix to visit fiery retribution upon the Morat machine, to which the veteran Myrmidon was happy to oblige. Setting his heavy rocket launcher into direct fire mode, he stood upon the wall and let loose – filling the zone with cascading explosions and rendering the alien machine inert.
“Alke, take the ZO.” barked Machaon into comms, setting Alke and her Thorikitai into action. The seasoned soldier sprinted ahead of her squad, and barrelled straight into the drop zone. Hitting the deck while running at full pace, she slid along the dirt floor until crashing into the opposite wall – directly next to the immobile Bultrak. “I mean, it would be shame to leave this lying around.” Alke mused to herself, as she unsheathed her sword. Driving the razor-sharp point between armour plates, and deep into the machine, she could hear the muffled cries of its captive operator. The squad may have secured the extraction site, but she could still see Morat hiding amongst the crates far too close for comfort. While her orders were strict, she knew that there was someone on the mission who had far greater leniency. “Ok big guy, you’re up.” she purred over the comms. She waited a moment, and heard a crash and gutteral roar as Ajax, the Great Myrmidon, charged around a corner. He was indiscriminate in his carnage, laying waste into everything with his giant trench hammer. He was shot, sure, but he wouldn’t stop. The Morat simply could not stand the onslaught. Watching from the safety of the objective, Alke almost felt sorry for them… Almost… “Ok boss, we’re clear for extraction.”