Lords of Chaos, Part 13: Battlefield Control

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(August 24th)


Clockwork's voice snapped over his allies' comms as he saw Mayfly arriving. “Retreat. Full retreat.” Even as he spoke, he was moving into a sprint, gauging his options.

“Losing your nerve, Clockwork?” Malleus Kaine asked derisively, as his magic grew back around him. He reached out, sending waves of dark power rolling across the battlefield, and Mayfly banked hard to avoid them.

“Idiot, they have the beacon. That means…” Clockwork glanced around as he ran. Warzone hadn't waited for the explanation, dropping into a full-speed arc in the opposite direction – but Dudeman was in pursuit, and… yes. There. As he stepped forwards and dove into the water, Clockwork reached down to his suit, triggering his last failsafe. Two small objects dropped to the ground behind him, as Powerblock and Blindsight raced to cut him off, and the land around him erupted as his high-powered explosives went off. In the cloud of dust and grit, he reached to his collar, shattering a small gemstone implanted in his armor, and thinking imprecations at his erstwhile allies.

Scourge, seeing the battle turn, didn't hesitate. Ignoring his enemies, he turned and started to dash away, drawing out his medallion as he did. By chance, Malleus Kaine, seeing the battlefield abandoned, did the same with a medallion he was carrying, and twin flashes of red light and black shadows echoed across the field.

Timebender screeched to a halt, looking around in shock. Above, and increasingly far away, airborne SEA agents were cutting off Warzone, and explosions rocked the sky, but there was no sign of the others. She saw more flickers out of the corner of her eye, as lights shone out a half-mile away, and looked to the others in confusion. “What the hell…?”

“Teleports.” Mayfly dropped down to the ground next to her, nodding to her. “Short-range. SEA is tracking, of course, and they've already engaged Malleus.” She made a face. “Apparently, he and Scourge were using the same talisman, which is of course impossible since there's only one of them but that's dimensional alteration for you, and no sign of Clockwork yet…” She glanced over to Handyman. “Holy crap, is Lucky okay?”

“He will be.” Handyman was kneeling by Lucky's head, checking him for injuries. “He got lucky, of course. No serious injuries.”

“The same with Strategos and your companion.” Bloodline limped over, with a faint smile. “It seems that the battle is won, with no fatalities. But it was truly a close thing.”

“Yes. It was.” Timebender paused, looking to Mayfly inquisitively.

Mayfly's attention was rivited on the sky. “Ooh, that's not good. Do you guys want me up there?”

Timebender raised an eyebrow. “Nadia.”

“Yes, I know what an order of magnitude is, thanks. Oh, he's not that much more powerful than I… ouch.” Mayfly winced as a speck dropped from the sky. “Shutting up. Sorry.”

“Nadia!”

“Hm?” Mayfly looked over at Timebender suddenly. “Oh, sorry. I was listening to the radio, and trying to convince them to let me collar Warzone. But apparently it's SEA members only up there.” She paused. “On account of pretty much everyone except Dudeman is getting their asses handed to them. So, sorry, what were you saying?”

“She didn't actually say anything except your name.” Handyman supplied helpfully.

“Then why are you angry?” Mayfly asked.

Why are you wearing Dragonfly's power armor?” Timebender finally yelled. “Where the hell did you come from? Where did these agents come from? What is going on?”

“Oh, that.” Mayfly shrugged. “Well, Dragonfly tried to kill me, which we kind of expected. And I still had those two unbroken power crystals – the ones from my own suit, right, that were bonded to me? So I thought, hey, why not try it and see if it works?”

“You swapped Atlantean power crystals into a new suit?” Handyman said dubiously. “You're lucky that worked.”

“Well, they were cut identically. I mean, really identically. Which makes sense, since it turns out the Witch Doctor made this suit, too. Which isn't a huge surprise, I guess.” Mayfly grinned. “So anyway, I swapped out the crystals and my suit worked perfectly.” She considered, before amending. “Well, perfect-ish. It's a bit sluggish. So anyway, I was about to fly down here to help, when I noticed that there was a program still running. A recall program. So I triggered that…”

“You triggered an unknown program?!” Timebender shouted.

“Not unknown!” Mayfly protested. “I had a pretty good idea what it would do, and I was right. It was a remote for the Oligarch psibeacon. At which point I was in the control room alone with Kaniessa, and… well, long story short I teleported a bunch of SEA agents into the Oligarch base, and they went to cut off the Witch Doctor and took control of the psibeacon.”

Handyman stared at her. “But that means…”

“It means the SEA now has planetary teleportation capabilities.” The voice came from above, as Dudeman flew to a landing. Behind him, four more agents were handling the collapsed form of Warzone. “And more importantly, it means we have a path back to Sayleen.”


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