Log:Array Consortium: Assault on Complex Seven, Part IV

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Assault on Complex Seven, Part IV

Location: Jaynat, Sarkhai
Participants: Mandl, Sarna, Tovana, Sion, Naldana, Kryll, Adhar Gann

With an internal revolt in full swing, the time has come for Consortium forces to breach the nigh-defenseless Complex Seven and assist in its liberation. Consortium walkers will assault the complex alongside Gray Legion troops, fighting their way through the domes and help the civil resistance remove or capture the final holdouts.

The assault on Complex Seven has already begun by the time Consortium forces depart the Serious Business. Compared to the landing barges brough to the surface by the Gray Legion, the Consortium's contribution, a single Y-4 transport and its contents, is microscopic: but the transport contains nine squads of Consortium Marines, armed and ready for battle, and a battery of AT-PT walkers to support them. They are the vanguard, and will enter the breach ahead of a horde of Gray Legion infantry in order to help the popular resistance, already nose to nose with the very heavily armed remnants of the Kespaninan forces, and with luck and the Force's help wipe clean the complex of the remainder of the enemy.

Up in the troop bay, the Marines are preparing themselves; in the belly of the ship, five AT-PTs prepare themselves to be released. Dubbed element RAIDER, the leader walker is crewed by none other than the Captain himself, dressed in the ancient blue plastoid and ceramic plating of a vehicular armor that hasn't been seen since the days before the Clone War. Enclosed in the walker's armored cockpit, linked by still-advanced interface leads, Adhar clears his throat as the ship departs and speaks over the comms.

<< Raider, this is Raider One. Call out status. >> Sion seconds the unit in Raider Two, with Naldana in Three, a suspiciously familiar Dug Marine driver in Four, and yet another Marine in Five. On the bridge of the ship, there is Mandl and Sarna - Mandl with his own mission, and Sarna staying aboard with the command crew and pilots should there be an emergency and to keep communications clear.

<Hello Three walker reporting in.> Naladana reports in his hands on the controls, as he is starting to move towards, and his eyes moving around the cockpit, as his snarl of pleasure.<It is time to rumble!> His voice is fileld with pleasure, and then he stumbles forward into the chair, trying to get comfy.

In the little cockpit, Sion's fingers flick over the switches that bring the ancient AT-PT's systems to life. She's clad in a tight-fitting swoopsuit, and glad of the extra features her helmet provides for this mission. <Raider Two, hot and ready... ugh. I sound like a Biscuit Baron ad,> she mutters. <All systems go. Two is ready to romp, stomp, and... something that ends in 'omp'.>

<Raider Five, reporting in.> A mechanical voice replies over comms, a translator built into the Kubaz marine's scout armor conveniently translating from Kubazian to Basic for the rest of the pilots. He goes through the process of starting up the AT-PT's system and Raider Five's engines start to hum. <Ready to move out on your order, Raider One.>

Mandl pores over displays and readouts, verifying positions and checking life-signs. Dr. B'rot is bathed in the glow of a half-dozen screens, coordinating threat responses from the backfield... until the time is right... but mainly keeping boots-on-the-ground in fighting form! Forward to victory!

Freekin checks back over the comms, <<Raider /FOUR/ Copies, Board Green, Weapons Hot.>> He goes over a final systems check anyway, after telling lead he's all green. Its just a thing, check, confirm, double check. He tests ALL THE THINGS, not wanting anything to go wrong on this walk, Cause thats what these things do, they walk. You're not flying Freekin..

Down, down, down over the cold rocks of Jaynat does the Raptor descent, rattling as its gunners spray laser fire into the domes that already smoke in places from the conflict raging within Complex Seven. Too soon the ship descends not far from where a sea of gray-suited soldiers await; a voice rings over the comms as the ship settles down and the hatches open, revealing to the pilots of the walkers and the troops above the dark soil of the planet and their target not far away.

<< Consortium forces, this is Commander Litara. >> A light, musical voice, its sternness strange for all its beauty. << We are prepared to follow you in. >>

<< Excellent, >> says Adhar over the comms. << How goes the battle within? >>

<< We are tracking multiple explosions throughout the domes. The resistance commander reports that they're in heavy combat with the Kespanians, but they're dealing with much heavier fire than they had expected. Every Kespanian soldier basically has a repeater instead of a rifle, and in heavy battle armor - you've seen them. The civilians have security armor and blasters. Even with numbers on their side, it's getting grim. >>

<< Acknowledged. >> Adhar cuts to internal communications, and proceeds to steer his walker down the ramp - old though it might be, the walker treads the ground as easily upon its multi-jointed legs as it did in its deployments during the Clone Wars. << All units, muster and proceed toward the complex. We're on our way. >>

<Now then, the war is on it's way. This is a fun, drive.> Naladana's voice is coming over the coms, and then his eyes are moving quickly with a little chucke, his hands is moving the legs of his walker, and then his eyes are narrow to watch the battlefield.

< I hope we get there in time. It sounds bad. > Sion says, bringing her walker down the ramp with a surprisingly light gait. Something in her just *clicks* with this old, stompy war machine and its jolting, rocking gait. <Do we have anything on Kespanian troop positions? They're going to hear us coming, for sure. I'd rather greet them long-distance.>

Raider 5 grips the controls for his AT-PT's legs. There's a metallic clanking as the vehicle begins to shift forward, heavy footsteps moving down the ramp and onto the battlefield. It was a relatively small walker, but still a heavy and loud piece of machinery. <The enemy will be exterminated like insects.> The Kubaz calls out over comms as his vehicle moves forward toward the battle.

Raider Four throttles up his AT-PT, moving forward with the rest of the pack. <<This is 4, bringing up the left flank.>> he scans for threats, traps and anything to trip on since he's not in the air and the only thing you run into are blaster rounds.

The heavy clank of armored feet on the cold earth rattles the bones of every driver - even Adhar, though less so thanks to his particular armor. While the Marines load into repulsorlift transports stored in board the ship, the walkers serve as vanguard, tromping ahead at a clip of sixty kilometers per hour across the landscape. Behind them, the Legion's forces also begin to mount, and while that is taking place new explosions rock the complex.

<< Raider Leader to Command, >> Adhar bellows over the comms, << What the hell was that? >>

<< Explosion in the Dome Two fuel repository, >> Litara replies, her sweet voice ever more grim. << Adjust your trajectory to breach just ahead of it. Skip Dome Three, we'll put people on it. >>

<< Acknowledged, >> Adhar mutters, and keys comms once more. << All forces, redirect to bearing three-three-two. We're skipping Three and proceeding to Two. Follow me and prepare for possible contacts. >> Even as he says this, and his walker turns toward the the closer dome, the shapes of marked mining crawlers can be seen. Forming a wall against approach, the raised cabs of the crawlers erupt in gunfire as sentries attempt to repulse the walkers now with repeater fire. << There's the welcome committee, >> Adhar growls. << Raider, target the tops of those crawlers coming in and clear 'em off, they might have missiles or something up there. >>

There is a grenade flying out of his walker, with the skilled of a wolf made for war, as Naldana moans in pleasure into the air. As it explodeds into the air, and then it is going to blow up the roof of the crawler with a wicked chuckle.<FUN>

<Copy, Raider Leader, changing course for intercept at Dome Two,> Sion coms, turning the walker and picking up the pace.

Plainly, the Kespanians would just as soon they didn't get to Dome 2. <Aw, look... they even brought a welcome mat,> Sion remarks, seeing the crawlers and their passengers ahead. <Shall we wipe our feet, or just go straight in?>

The cockpit of her walker tilts back a bit, and her grenade launcher *THOOMPS* echoingly, sending a concussion round arcing onto the top of the far right walker.

"Have a present for you," the Kubaz pilot of Raider 5 utters, snickering under his breath. He reaches for the controls for his walker's grenade launcher and takes aim at Crawler 1. Pulling the trigger, a grenade fires out on an arc toward Crawler 1. The grenade comes down on top of the targeted vehicle and explodes. <Solid hit.> The Kubaz calls out over his comms.

Freekin lines up a shot on the far left crawler, *FWOMP* his rounds arc from his walker towards the crawler, scoring a good hit. Timing the shot between steps to keep the platform as steady as possible is an interesting trick, but the effort pays off. <<Raider 4, engaging left crawler.>>

Mandl bids the cabin a quick farewell, and ushers the relevant specialists into a packed transport. "Go, go! Now is the time!" They're aware of their purpose, and all move with the steely determination of ordnance specialists on a tight schedule. There is much cluttering and jostling, but little conversation...

The thunder of the grenades landing on the crawler roofs rattles the big machines - the sentries are made quick work of, bloody ruins flung this way and that, no guns left to threaten the walkers or the troops behind them. << Go around, >> instructs Adhar, whose own grenades have helped cleanse the crawlers, and updates the mission map via Raider Leader's internal communications suite. << Let's press on. >>

But no sooner does his walker clear the crawlers than Adhar has to steer his machine wildly to the outside. << Shavit, >> he barks over the comms, marking red triangle on the field. << Watch it! Minefield beyond the crawlers, keep your sensors hot. >>

<Copy. Careful foot placement acknowledged,> Sion coms again, her eyes already busy, helped by the walker's sensors. Old they might be, but ground combat hasn't changed in centuries. <Picking some up. Patching locations to all Raiders,> she adds, moving to pick her way between them. <Be careful back there!>

The pilot of Raider 5 completely fails to notice the mines in their path as he maneuvers around the crawlers. The right foot of his walker sets down near one of the mines and an explosion staggers the vehicle. It stumbles to the side and barely remains upright. The Kubaz swears under his breath and tests the controls to find his vehicle still mostly functional. <Raider 5 reporting light damage. Can continue.> He lets out another swear at being caught off guard like that before continuing on.

Freekin walks his, walker, up towards where Adhar reported the minefield. He considers blasting a path through with the frags, and asks over comms. <<Can't we just frag a path through? No? Magnetic?>> he grumbles. "Someone make bigger antimine frags." he spots one in front of him and avoids it, tagging it on the tactical map for everyone behind him. <<Also, can't we follow the crawler paths back?>>

Mandl's caravan hangs behind the walkers as explosions come hither-and-yon, detouring only at a crucial moment on their own assigment from Adhar. Veering sharply, they abandon the cover of the AT-PTs and speed toward the maintenance tunnels bored deep within the attending mountains, slipping *whoosh* from view and into the literal belly of the beast...

While Mandl's boosted van tears off along the rocks, Raider strides forth across the rocky earth. The minefield is very thin - exposing just how much material has been moved away from the complex - and it doesn't take long at all before the massive dome is close enough to tower over the charging walkers. << Right, >> says Adhar as he brings his machine up to side of the connector tube just beyond Dome Two. << Open fire on the side of the tunnel, guns only. Get ready for any trouble. On me. Three...two...one... >>

And then the dual blasters on the face of his walker fire, streaming death into the metal skin of the tube.

Raider Two pauses, holding still to focus fire on the side of the tunnel. The walker's cab swivels as she stitches tandem-fired blaster bolts into the rock face.

Raider Five catches up with the rest of the AT-PT's after a moment, having lagged behind a bit due to the mine. Coming up to the tunnel, the head of the vehicle turns to bring its two blasters to bear on it and opens fire, blasting at the wall of the tunnel.

Mandl runs over the breach-points with personnel, cementing the plan as they delve deeper into the service-tunnels and enter the 'mine proper,' lights *whizz-whizz-whizzing* by. "Encroach here, radio here, here and here-- set charges there and there. Are we clear?" No questions, no hesitation, only unity of purpose...

Freekin lines up with the other Raider walkers, and opens up with his guns on the tunnel wall. He smiles inside the walker, as there is a proper amount of dakka being poured into that wall, and it looks like its about to collapse. "Why is continuous fire so satisfying?" he holds fire as it looks like the wall is about to breach, allowing his weapons to cool.

Shredded by combined fire of the walkers' guns, the wall of the connector tunnel twists and shudders - while a single AT-PT wouldn't have a prayer to breach the thick durasteel of the umbilical, five have no problem blasting a section to ruins. << Right, well done, >> calls Adhar as he charges ahead, crashing through the remainder of the shredded hull into the corridor - and into a homemade tank trap made from welded-together crates studded with rebar spikes and tangling wire. << Shavit, >> he roars as he's almost tangled up in the mess, << Be careful getting in here! The whole tunnel's full of tank traps. >>

And no sooner than he says that does the far end of the tunnel erupt in blaster fire! A wall of repeaters open up on the Captain's walker, smashing into its armored cab - and are deflected in a hail of sparks, showering sprays of crimson light in every direction, filling his displays with glare but otherwise only scratching his walker's blue paint.

<< And troops ahead, >> he bellows further, answering with the rough coughing of his walker's blaster cannon; the corridor is full of light, the Captain's machine the only thing visible, and the true defense of the complex is encountered. Time to dance...

<Coming in behind you, Lead,> Sion coms, threading the needle the defenders left for them to slip through. <Can't say I'm impressed by their housekeeping...>

She aims a grenade for a slot in one of the walls, but it hits low, impacting on the surface.

The Kubaz pilot of Raider 5 maneuvers into position behind Raider 2, more cautious of their movements now having already set off one mine earlier. With blasterfire from Raider Leader illuminating the tunnel, he spots the troops ahead and angles the AT-PT's launcher to lob a grenade over the two walkers in front of his toward the troops position.

Mandl and team disembark into underlit underearth, all flickering lamps and abandoned load-lifters. Positions are taken up, orders relayed, and the crew gently steers dense crates of explosives to various key points...

Tromping forward, his abilities augmented by the old yet /incredibly useful/ tanker's armor, Adhar steers his walker amongst the tank traps and engineered nonsense; with a loud coughing 'thonk a grenade arcs from the machine's fore launcher amongst the group. Explosions tear through the blockades, but not only does his grenade's blast prove harmless - unlike those from Sion and the Kubaz driver - the soldiers that were lurking behind the defense line vault over the barriers, proton charges in hand, moving headlong in light armor and at blinding speed.

Welp. That's no good.

<Jink left, Lead!> Sion says suddenly, jinking right herself to pop off a concussion grenade that drops /right in front of/ the squad of blitzers. <Mop 'em up before they get up, guys! That oughtta teach 'em to play tag with Consortium armor!>

Mandl's team spreads out in the dim, periodically reporting: "In position, checkpoint alpha. Load secure, proceeding to checkpoint beta." and so on. Carefully, methodically, they plod their way forward according to Mandl's directions. "Beta reached, secure confirmed. Approaching charlie..."

With a grenade from Sion downing the onrushing troops, Raider 5 opens fire with its blasters to make sure they stay down. <That oughta finish them off.> The Kubaz calls out over comms, his helmet translating in a mechanical tone. He scans ahead for any further sign of danger.

Freekin is covering the rear with Naldana, but he is getting a little itchy from the battle inside and nothing happening behind. <<Raider four here, everything is clear in back. Requesting permission to move in and support the main push in the tunnels.>>

The onrushing bombers are turned to red paste between Sion's grenade and Raider 5's cannons; tromping ahead with the group, Adhar manages to /slip/ on the horrible pool of gore, and despite his best attempts, Raider Lead falls into the nearest tank trap, impaled on rebar that detonates within. The walker shudders, and though it does not explode, black smoke begins to pour from the holes speared in its side.

For a moment there's nothing, but then the hatch pops open, and Adhar emerges in his driver's armor - wielding a bowcaster, four mag-limbs arranged in an 'x' pattern, a drum magazine, and heavy recoil-suppressing repulsor nodes mounted in its frame. << Dismounting, >> he calls over the link as he fires a pair of explosive bolts downrange - one hits a man and reduces him to a red gush, just like Sion's grenade, while the other slams into a barrier and throws up a fountain of shattered plascrete. << Don't wait on me! >>

<I'll see if I can't give these goons something to think about besides you, Boss,> Sion coms, maneuvering her walker between Adhar and the Kespanian troops just long enough to drop another grenade on them. This time, she ploops one right into the middle of a makeshift pillbox through the too-big firing window they left for their repeating blaster. <The marines are coming. Doubt they'll mind having experienced leadership along!> she adds as she moves farther up the tunnel, bypassing the puddle of grenade by-products.

Freekin moves his walker into the pipes, and moves forward towads the rest of the pack already inside and fighting. He takes extra care to avoid any walker-tank traps and opens fire downrange at the hostiles causing problems for ground troops. "They do understand they're pockmarking a wonderful paint job on these walkers right?"

Mandl radios up: "Home base, we have reached our initial set-position-- are we cleared to proceed? How many minutes do you need before extraction?" The explosives team goes silent, awaiting the go-ahead for the... pacing... of it all?

While ahead of his fallen walker the rest of Raider proceeds forward, implacable and lethal, Adhar drops down the side of the smoking machine and charges ahead - vaulting over low barriers he instantly catches the attention of the Kespanian troops, who turn their fountains of death at him as best as possible amongst the cover from their own tank-traps and the suppressive fire offered by the oncoming walkers. << Roger that, Mandl, >> he bellows over the comms, turning another poor soldier into a fountain of smoking gore. << Set charges for fifteen minutes. Should be all you need if the troops are coming behind you down there, otherwise it'll be a Hell of a distraction! >>

As terrifying as the defenders' gunmanship might be, their numbers have grown perilously thin thanks to the rest of the Raiders; desperation is thick in the air along with the ozone and blaster smoke, as the Kespanians are well aware of what's going to occur without a miracle.

<Suppressing...> Sion coms, setting up a fan of fire with Raider Two's blaster cannons, sweeping the makeshift fortifications ahead with little noticeable effect. But the two-legged war engine continues to stride forward, step by inexorable step. <Careful... the tank traps get thicker the closer we get.>

Seeing the flash of repeater fire aimed at Adhar, Raider 5 adjusts his aim to shift from suppressive fire to bringing his guns to bear on the enemy forces. <That oughta silence them.> The Kubaz calls out coldly over comms. The walker continues to move forward, maintaining pace behind Raider 2 and watching for anymore fire from the troops as well as keeping an eye out for further traps.

Moving forward into the fray as he spots Adhar pushing up on foot, he focuses his dakka on the soldiers but the glory that is dakka causes Freekin to lose his focus, and gets too close to one of the traps. *FWOOM* it goes up and sends his walker off to the side <<Raider four, walker damaged, dismounting!>> and then the walker slams into the wall and gets propped up there. The hatch pops open and Freekin climbs out and down to the ground, weapon in hand and moving up to support Raider Actual.

Mandl replies: "Timers are set, munitions hot. Mandl to all Raiders-- Mandl to all Raiders: We have fifteen minutes from *clik* ... right now."

With the word of the charges set, Adhar pushes himself into high gear; despite the weight and bulk of the heavy driver's armor; the sound of his heavy breathing can be faintly heard over the comms as he charges into the surviving enemy at the end of the corridor. Ducking into a cut-up cargo container that served as a firebase, Adhar fires into the dark, red light flashing and thunder rolling after, blood on the walls. << Raider, >> he calls, backing out of the container, << Volley fire with grenades. Get these jackanapes cleared out so we can get the doors open and enter the dome! >>

Then to Mandl he adds, << Raider actual to Rockborer, acknowledged! Fall back to waiting position. >>

<Acknowledged, Lead. Five, bracket right. Two has the left. Keep your head down, Boss... here comes the rain!> Raider Two stomps forward and left, sets itself, and unleashes a flurry of three grenades, the idea being to set up a vicious crossfire with the other walker.

<Copy. Raider 5 moving into position.> The Kubaz maneuvers his walker to take aim at the right position. Unfortunately that leads directly to the walker stumbling into that anti-tank rebar spikes and toppling over. A few explosions rock the walker before the hatch pops open and the Kubaz crawls out, grumbling. He taps his comms. <That's a negative Raider 2. You're on your own.>

Now that he's armored support turned bootslogger, Freekin moves up through the tank traps with ease to provide fire support and cover for Adhar. <<Raider four engaging on foot.>> His first shots are aimed at specific targets, then he just unloads to suppress anyone downrange. Though, with his aim now it seems like all fire is suppression fire. "Removing blinders sir." he shakes his head, "Maybe the fall messed with my optics." Totally the case.

Mandl's company reacquires the safety of the armored van, and begin an orderly retreat through their point-of-entry. Above all, visible to each, a timer flicks soundlessly down until escape will inevitably become "entombed forever in..." T-minus 10 minutes.

The last of the Kespanians obliterated by the grenades of the remaining walkers, Adhar proceeds over the last of the barricades and over the mangled remains of the doomed Kespanian defenders. << Right, >> says Adhar, << Raider, dismount and let's get this door open. >> The door doesn't take long to unseal, as Adhar is on the emergency panel micropicks - despite his thickly armored fingers, the Captain trips the panic circuits and the door to Dome One opens wide.

They wait for the troops to arrive, which happens blessedly just a few minutes later; pouring through the breach at a full run, the Marines come charging over the barricades, carbines at the ready. These are professionals, men and women picked from a wide variety of militias, military organizations and security companies, people who were trained to do this sort of thing. They're not mercenaries in the strictest sense, though they certainly work for hire: they are one force, uniformed and trained together, one purpose, employer, and mission. Black armor over blue jumpsuits, each one wearing golden numbers on one shoulder pauldron and the sun-and-sabaac-cards logo of the Consortium on the other.

<< All right, Raider, >> Adhar roars over the link, << With me! All forces, move ahead and intercept the enemy forces! Defend the civilians, but otherwise leave no survivors! >> Because that is Adhar, when the moment comes; the ends are white, the goal charitable, but the means are steeped in blood.

< I could've just blasted that open, > Sion points out wryly, but nonetheless powers down her AT-PT and pops the hatch. Dropping to the scarred rock of the tunnel, she locks the hatch behind her and rushes to join the rest of the Raiders. "Glad to see you all in one piece."

Freekin groups up with the rest of Raider squad, and provides a security cordon around Adhar as they push with the rest of the military force. He fires short bursts of blaster fire at any available targets, but focuses on keeping pace and not allowing anyone to get clear shots at Adhar.

Mandl reboards the mothership, rejoining Sarna. "... can we assist from here? No?"

This is not the command you're looking for. (Try "help" or "+help" for help.)

The troops have their missions - they jog ahead, streaming into the dome's major thoroughfare. As further security doors unseal, the soft sounds of distant gunfire can be heard; then, much closer, blasters roar as the Marines make contact with the enemy. << Raider Command, this is Squad Three, >> calls a bright, silvery voice over the comms. << We have engaged the enemy at the south entrance of the Great Atrium! We have them pincered against the resistance, but there's not much left of them! >>

<< Acknowledged, >> Adhar calls in reply, gesturing for the rest of his squad to follow as he charges ahead down the master corridor; taking a few turns here and there, the sounds of heavy battle are nonetheless clear. << Keep the pressure on! The Legion will be here soon! >>

He leads, turning here and there, jogging with purpose down the white, holo-decorated walls of the causeway; squads of troops have taken place ahead, forming behind more barricades, pouring fire downrange. The Kespanians are there too, braced against the great doors of white durasteel that lead into the dome's central district, engaging the Marine squads with blaster rifles and repeaters. Adhar, leading Raider, fires twice down the hall as he moves to take position with another unit - though he tears the head and upper torso off an gray-armored Kespanian with one shot, his now blood-spattered companion screams and shoots him in the side. Thickly armored as he is, Adhar isn't even staggered as he moves, though when Raider assembles by Squad Four near the enemy line, he moves a bit more heavily than he did on the charge.

<< Legion Command, >> he calls over the coms, voice tight with pain; the wound in his side is scorched, likely cauterized already. << This is Raider. We have engaged the enemy at the south entrance of the Central District. We are prepared for you, t-minus...five minutes. >>

<< Acknowledged, Raider. >> Commander Litara's voice is clear over the line. << Our troops are already at the staging area. My compliments to Officer Mandl, when you see them next. >>

<< Roger that! >> He turns to the rest of Raider, waving at the enemy ahead. << Don't just -- ngh, stand there, dammit, >> he bellows. << Kill the bastards! >>

< I hate it when we have to kill the bastards this way, > Sion mutters, sticking to her usual pop-and-drop style of fighting: Cover to cover, taking shots when chances present themselves. One of the enemy goes down under two shots. <Looks like their welcoming committee came with plenty of refreshments.>

Mandl monitors the situation from the dropship: having nothing to add until one side or another has a decisive advantage, Mandl is merely bent in a chair at a brace of consoles, headset clamped tightly to one... er, side... of their head.

Whatever hurt feelings the Kubaz had from wrecking his walker he was certainly working out of his system now. Not bothering with cover, the Kubaz charges forward toward one of the enemy troops while firing at them with his rifle. Two shots land and the soldier drops. After managing to drop someone, he finally moves to find cover behind one of the open doors.

Making his way along, he doesn't drive ahead with the others but stays near Adhar especially after witnessing he took a hit. He fires twice down the corridor at hostile targets, and connects twice, dropping his target. Freekin steps back into cover and looks to Adhar, "You alright boss?"

The battle rages now, the squads trading shot for shot. Whatever might be going on the in the central district, the battle here is as pitched and heated as one might ever imagine. For every Marine that falls, however - and fall they do - two Kespanians match them, regardless of their armor or guns. Raider helps, of course, dispatching men left and right, and though Adhar's accuracy is reduced from the wound in his side, every successful shot landed is still a death sentence.

"I'm fine," he hisses in reply to Freekin's query as he fires over the barricade; without a mask, his skin is a bit pale under the reinforced visualizer. "Just keep to the task at hand, Crewman, and worry about the medics later."

Sion double-taps another Kespanian goon. <Has somebody tolds these clowns they've already lost? We're coming from this way, the Greys are coming from another way, they're in between... it can only turn out one way: One big, ugly tyrant sandwich!>

The door manages to take one blaster bolt for the Kubaz marine. He immediately returns fire at the trooper that shot at him, striking him square in the chest with a bolt and felling him. Spotting another Kespanian wounded from a previous blaster shot, still trying to stay in the fight, the Kubaz snaps off a quick shot at him as well. The soldier lets out a pained cry as he's taken out of the fight for good this time. <They likely see no other choice but to die fighting. Let them come.>

"Yea well, we have a lot more to worry about if the boss gets himself knocked out. MEDIC!" Freekin calls out and waves a medic down to check on Adhar, then steps aside to fire two more shots into another target downrange. "Keep an eye on him doc, for some reason he seems to be a blaster magnet."

Mandl's wristcomp goes *ek-ek-ek-ek-ek* just as word comes through: "The Marines are in position to breach the dome," they report. "Checkpoints reached-- detonation in t-minus"... the scientist pauses to check their wrist "... two minutes. Two minutes to detonation. Notify all personnel to seek appropriate cover."

Try or die. Try /and/ die. Damned if they do, damned if they don't, the Kespanian troopers lie dead in heaps behind their barricades now, and though a goodly number of Marines are dead and wounded too, their spirits are high, and Adhar senses the proper moment to break from cover and press the attack. "WITH ME," he bellows, and racking the autocollapsing bowcaster onto his back draws the short, wicked, cleaver-like blade at his side, leaping into the Kespanian lines. With a single stroke, he takes half a man's head away with his powered vibrosword, shearing bone, brains and armorplast in a squeal of steam and friction. The other troopers recoil in the moment, and the Marines roar ahead with their commander. The squads charge, firing point-blank into some, others smashing their rifle butts into the last of the Kespanians, overwhelming and murdering the stricken defenders in short order. The victory is to the Consortium!

Even as the last of them die, however, the dome begins to rumble; beyond the gates to the Central District, the cataclysmic sound of muted thunder, followed by shearing durasteel and splintering architecture, fill the air as Mandl's charges do their work; the gates are forced open by a Marine technician, and as they do the sight beyond is of desperate fighting, civilians in tan security armor matching gray Kespaninans blade for blade and muzzle for muzzle in a terrifying storm of urban fighting - before the ground opens up, of course. Across the atrium, where the shops thin to surprisingly delicate gazebos and other accoutrements of finer civilization, the ground tears away, and from the mouth of the rupture comes a roar of angry men-at-arms and the shattering screeches of their rifles. Gray like the Kespanians, but with pauldrons and gauntlets of brilliant yellow, the forces of the Legion boil out of this new breach, like a river of soldiers blazing death all before them. It isn't even close; as the Consortium forces add their own fury to the mixture, the last of the Kespanians practically melt before the guns, falling and dying by the droves, their heavy armor slowing whatever flight they might have tried and dooming them to a ingnominious death.

Within the hour, Complex Seven is free.