When the party attendants heard of the plan to repel Cybertronic, they wasted no time in getting ready. Armor was put on, assault weapons were loaded, and faces filled earlier with levity became grim. Malakai returned the closed helmet to his head and slipped his right arm through the straps that attached his AC-40 to its usual spot underneath his forearm. All of them walked out to the rear grounds and waited.
In the distance, the Imperial soldiers heard the whining of servomotors and felt faint impact tremors under their feet. As time went on, both sensations became more pronounced.
Malakai strode away from the group of huddled soldiers, towards the direction of the disturbance, and stopped a good distance from them. He gripped the handle of his AC-40 and stood stock still, waiting. He tried using the Art, but could not focus fast enough to use it before the enemy appeared.
Out of the darkness it came, lurching with jerky steps into Malakai’s sight a mere ten meters from his position. The thing towered over the Inquisitor by a good two meters. It was one of Cybertronic’s abominable war machines, an Eradicator Deathdroid.
“Chicken walker!!” Malakai heard someone exclaim.
The Blood Berets wasted no time into moving into position. Once the droid was spotted, they peppered it with fire from their Invaders. The battle droid ignored the bullets striking its egg shaped body as if they were nothing more than raindrops. A burst of fire from Millicent’s Invader cut across the droid’s glowing right eye, putting it out. The glow returned moments later.
Graeme ran to his brother’s side, pausing momentarily to yell orders over his comm. “Chief Haig, get Madison up ‘ere with th’ Charger n’ have th’ rest o’ th’ squad support him. Berets! Ye canna hit anything from the back seats! Move in, ye lollies, or do ye need me t’hold yer hand?” He then raised his Claymore and hurtled towards the Eradicator.
As ordered, Private Madison rushed after Major Fergan. Once he had the droid in his sights, he braced the sixteen barreled Gatling gun against his hip and squeezed the trigger. The gun roared into life as a staggering fusillade was brought against the mechanical monster. However, the private was too eager to please the Major, as his shots missed the mark due to inadequate bracing. The rest of the Highlanders moved into a support position as they were told. The Blood Berets moved their firing line closer to the droid and emptied their weapons at it. Again, their attacks were mostly ignored, bouncing off the heavily armored body. Twice, the fire from the Berets caused the Eradicator to lurch before righting itself.
Suddenly, a caricature of a human form emerged from the darkness, bearing a shield in one hand and a sword in the other. It was a Machinator, a cheap battlefield construct. It methodically moved to Madison, whose attention was fixed on the Eradicator, and stabbed the private through his side, sending the heated blade through the human’s lung and heart. The Charger slipped to the ground, with the Highlander following suit. Without pause, the construct withdrew its sword and attacked Corporal Dunnings. This time, its quarry was prepared and the Machinator’s weapon was turned away by the Highlander’s Punisher sword.
Another Machinator charged from the shadows and attacked both Chief Haig and Corporal Dunnings. The Cybertronic blade sliced through both Highlanders as if they were mere saplings. Haig’s body sagged without its right arm, while Dunnings’ entrails stained the ground. The last Highlander alive backed away from the carnage. He was prepared to turn and run when a searing pain bit into the center of his back. There was a twisting sensation and the Highlander died shortly afterwards.
Malakai focused his mind, using the Art of Mentalism to harden his skin to the strength of steel. Enemy fire struck him several times, only to ricochet off his invulnerable body. He twisted, took aim at one of the Machinators, and squeezed the thumb trigger to his AC-40. Tracer fire lit up the darkness. But with preternatural speed, the Machinator brought up its shield and blocked the rounds heading for its head.
Meanwhile, the Eradicator turned towards Graeme, leveled its right arm at him, and a gout of flames rushed out. Graeme dove out of the way, rolled forward, and sprang up again even closer to the droid. Again, the flamer nightmarishly lit up the gloom. This time, the inferno caught the Highlander in its hungry grasp. Malakai watched impassively, even though he could hear Millicent scream his brother’s name.
From out of the conflagration, a figure shot out, still running full tilt at the Eradicator. His body was untouched by the flames, but he quickly discarded the heavy cloak that was still being consumed by them. “It’ll take a lot more o’ that t’kill me!” Graeme bellowed as he closed with his inhuman opponent.
His Claymore raised, Graeme brought it down on the Eradicator’s left leg in a two handed chop. Sparks flew as the sword was deflected by the polycarbonate armor. The droid backed up, lowering its body to spot its foe. What it got for its troubles was a Claymore piercing its egg shaped body, severing several systems regulating its balance. The droid tottered drunkenly, swinging its flamethrower to bear. Graeme ducked underneath it and then turned, bringing his Claymore down on the lightly armored elbow joint. In a shower of sparks, the severed Magmascorcher fell away from the droid’s body. Before it could recover, Graeme pressed his advantage, swinging his sword again. He sliced through the Eradicator’s right knee joint, sending the bulky droid plummeting to the earth. Smoke billowed out from the seams of its body, its glowing eyes went dark.