T+10 hours from the Immortal attack.Previously on A Magikallenic Mystery Tour:
An Immortal armada from Omicron legion invaded the Praetorian occupied planet of New Bielefeld in Space Nazis territory. Buying time until evacuations could be completed, Praetoria safely evacuated most of its forces from the planet. The leaders of both armies being MIA in the battle.
The citizenry of New-Bielefeld have awoke to find their planet mostly intact. The white clad oppressors on every street corner merely replaced with new ones wearing black garb.
“He’s coming round. Simply remarkable.”
Pilate let out a groan as he returned to consciousness.
“What was that?”
Pilate jolted awake at the voice.
“Who?! Where? How!”
The cyborg spoke through a crackling voice modulator.
“The who is Professor Lichfield, RARCom tactical science divisions. The where is New Bielefeld, old town district. As for the how, I don’t know how you managed to survive a knightmare frame collapsing on you, and I have no idea how you are still alive. Especially given the Warhead shard failed to survive the same fate.”
“I… I just remember hearing a coilgun firing. It all went black after that. Was the evacuation successful?”
“Highly. 89% recovery rate of personnel and equipment. Right now Master Argheart is rallying her forces in the Albion Channel Nebula, although we aren’t aware of what her current plans are.”
“So what is with the four eyed-freaks?”
“After the planet was evacuated, the only forces remaining were those too scattered to make it to the evac centres in time, and deep infiltration units working embedded especially for this kind of scenario. We were to begin picking off high value Immortal targets, but something more important came up. We knew the Warhead shard was presumed KIA, and obtaining his Immortal core is invaluable. We also detected anomalous readings from the battle site, possibly connected to the core. I hypothesize that they are a mechanism for Immortal cores to be readily detected and recovered, but I won’t be able to prove this until I can take the core for further study.”
“The Core is here?”
The professor gestured to the silent cyborg beside him.
“Show him the containment unit”
“This core containment unit will only hold for another few hours. There is a full containment chamber aboard the RRV Inquisitive capable of holding a Warhead shard. We have reinforcements coming, but we need to leave now before the Immortals find us.”
“I won't be a hindrance, I can stand.”
“I don’t need you to stand Pilate. I need you to fight.”
Pilate and Lichfield leave their safe house, only to find armies are already assembling to fight over the Immortal core.
The Immortal Alliance took the initiative, attacking first.
Wasting no time, an Immortal Skullbane opens fire, cutting down three Praetorian marines, and securing a quick first blood.
Britannian forces led by General Bruce Menzies and his adopted protege, Juliette, quickly close in on the CCU. Both still holding a grudge from their last defeat. The Immortal Blackback APC also moves.
The Blackback opens fire on the Crusader death tank. While dwarfed by its target, the APC still manages to deal three points of structure damage, leaving the Crusader with 11 points left.
Just out of frame, the Knightmare fires its XL80 rifle, hitting the Crusader for massive damage, leaving it with only three points of structure left.
Menzies attempts to gun lichfield down, but misses miserably.
Terrorkhan shooting was also ineffective, cutting down a single marine.
Humiliated in his last fight, Bellator Indominus knows of the fate that awaits him if he fails warhead a second time. Firing his black hole caster, a terrifying hum can be heard, followed by the sickening sound of crushing bones and ripping flesh as four marines are sucked into the event horizon, leaving not a trace of them left.
Bruised, but not beaten, the Praetorians rallied themselves for their counterattack.
By now all Crusader gunners know of the Knightmare frames infamous weak spot. The gunner lays his sights on the mechs crotch, and unleashes an explosive shell directly into the groin.
The Knightmare collapsed as its legs were separated from its body. The nearby Skullbane suffered a point of size damage, and several Terrorkhan were killed by the shockwave.
The Commando tank charged forward, uprooting trees, crashing through fences, and crushing the bodies of dead marines under tread. Marines clamber upon the bus alongside it to get a better vantage point.
The gunner wastes no time placing repeat precision shots into the already damaged skullbane, toppling the infernal mecha, but overheating the coilgun in the process.
Meanwhile the marines combine fire, cutting down a Britannian Knight-Lancer.
With the sound of heavy artillery in the background, Professor Lichfield goes for Menzies. Using his inhuman cyborg strength, Lichfield lifts him by the neck. Menzies struggles for survival, but to no avail.
“GET A OFF OF ME YOU WEE CYBORG COCKSHITE!”
“I hypothesize a bolter round through your right eye socket at this range will have enough energy to render brain function inert. Please remain still during this test.”
“YA FUCKING SCIENCY ballerina I’LL RIP Y…”
Menzies fell silent as the round ripped through his skull, taking a chunk of grey matter with it.
Aghast Juliette gazed in horror at her mentors limp body hanging from the cyborgs grasp.
Lichfield drops the corpse, unnecessarily kicking it to ensure the Britannian was dead.
“Storing hypothesis as a theory for future reference.”
Not wanting to be outdone by a professor, Pilate makes a lunge for the Knight Lancer.
Clearly not properly healed, Pilate takes a minigun barrel to the back of his head.
He slumps to the ground. Unconscious, but alive.
Juliette was given no time to recover from the loss of her mentor before Death Corps snipers unleashed fire from above, cutting her down.
Having lost most of the their leadership, the Immortal alliance was reeling, but nowhere near close to giving up, as the turn passed to them.
In a tactical change of mind, the APC reversed back to its starting position, disembarking its complement of Terrorkhan. Blocking each others line of sight, those that could aim failed to make an impact with their rounds shooting.
The Knight-Lancer that knocked Pilate out was much more effective. While Lichfield’s cybernetic agility allowed him dodge the incoming point-blank fire, the technologically more advanced death-corps operative took the full brunt of the minigun, his internal biomechanical organs being shredded despite layers of subdermal armour. The CCU was now available to be claimed by the Immortals.
As one Terrorkhan did, breaking formation to grab the CCU.
The remaining Skullbane opened fire on the battered Crusader, which still hung defiantly onto life with a single structure point remaining.
Bellator Indominus with the rage from his last defeat burning even stronger, lay the event horizon from his black hole caster directly onto the tank. While the tank was far too large to be swallowed into nothing, the weapon had its intended effect, ripping up internal power relays, and sending the tank into meltdown.
Containment failed on the tanks reactor, sending an explosion throughout its interior, throwing the turret out of its cradle, and blowing open the vehicle's roof and hatches.
The pilot of the Knightmare ineffectually beat at his controls, unable to make his mount do anything but writhe in the rubble.
The Immortal Alliance had managed to destroy the most powerful weapon in Praetoria’s arsenal, and grab a hold of the CCU. Their enemy prepared last ditch efforts to sway the battle back in their favour.
Continuing its charge forward, the Commando tank fired its secondary turret, dealing a point of structure damage to the Skullbane.
Attempting to remove the now dreaded black hole caster, the Praetorian marines made a laughable attempt to kill the Indominus.
The Professor also suffered from poor aim, missing the Britannian commando infront of him.
The snipers however weren’t so sloppy. Killing both a commando, and the knight-lancer.
The Praetorians had failed to make a dent in the Immortals ranks, giving their opponent the opportunity to seal their victory.
The Terrorkhan still grasping the CCU made a run for the Blackback. While its gunner made preparations to take care of Professor Lichfield.
In a terrifying sight, rounds bounced off of the Professors armoured cybernetic body, leaving him entirely unharmed.
The rest of the Terrorkhan that disembarked from the APC had been making their way to the other side of the battlefield, shooting down one of the marines as they went.
Once again the sickening sound of men being crushed into oblivion could be heard, as the few remaining marines looked on in horror.
The skullbane returned fire on the Commando tank, dealing two points of structure damage.
With the CCU still in the hands of the Immortal Alliance, Praetoria would need to fight even harder to turn this around.
The commando tank notched up another Skullbane kill. While nearby marines failed to make any headway in taking down the remaining Terrorkhan.
Snipers took out the remaining Britannian commando.
The Professor made an attempt to stop the fleeing Terrorkhan, but fortune seemed to favour the Immortals, his shots failing to land.
Any hope of victory crumbling around them, the Praetorians resigned defeated.
Tucked safely inside the blackback, this Terrorkhan could only imagine what reward he may receive for successfully recovering a Warhead shards core.
The APC reversed, crushing a fleeing civilian.
Before speeding off to deliver its precious cargo.
The final Overwatch shows the still burning carcass of the Crusader, the crumpled mechs of the Immortal Alliance, and the bloodbath created where forces clashed over the core.
Some Time Later…
Immortal Command Vessel ILWS Barghest
Omicron Shards Chamber
“Surprise Motherfucker! Happy to see me again?”
“I wouldn’t be happy to see you if you’d come to save me from a burning building.”
“How jovial of you. Now lets put aside the pleasantries, and you can tell me how you escaped from the grave.”
“Tell you what? You were crushed, I survived. That is plain to see.”
“Am I really supposed to believe that? No matter. I have plenty of time for you to tell me what you know. Until then, get comfy in that forcefield. I have matters to attend.
The Warhead shard snapped his fingers.
“Guard, send in Menzies.”
A hover medi-bed floated in, followed by white clad masked doctors of some twisted nature. A grating sound like sandpaper being rubbed on a chalkboard could be heard emanating from under the bandaged head.
“Painful isn’t it Menzies? I imagine you are astounded as to the capabilities of Immortal medical technology. Well, it is in the name.”
The sound grew louder and more frantic, as Menzies hyperventilated but still couldn’t draw air.
“You know what happened today Menzies? A lowly Terrorkhan trooper dodged fire to recover my core, while you failed me. That trooper now has money, and women, and if he so desires his own command. You however are here, in as I understand it extraordinary agony. Don’t worry. Fixing you will be a long, slow and painful process. But we’ll do it. Eventually."