Death and pain and the screams of the others were no longer important, Jill had her goal and no amount of ugly bastards would get in her way. Before she truly knew what she was doing, her feet were sprinting underneath her, and she was closing in on the mech with rapt speed. In its state, the mech was on its proverbial knees, whatever systems it had well aware of the lack of life of its passenger, and in turn was lowered to the ground to give any other pilot easy access. Jill respected the dead, of course, but she respected her own life more, and felt no pity in kicking the grimy ancient body of the pilot to the concrete below, taking her spot in the pilots seat with little mind to how sanitary it might be. She didn't know how to pilot it, but she looked around quickly, trying to find some way to at the very least shut herself in.
Even then, he screamed as he quickly moved Vella off his back and away from the lasers that blasted into his cheap polymer armor. Bob kept screaming even as his limbs were blown off, one at a time, writhing on the floor as he dragged the small woman along. Plucking the two plasma grenades off of Vella, Bob kept screaming as he ignited them, tossing the two explosives back at the reeling squad of Taianese that had hurt her and Sneak so badly. He even kept screaming as one of his remaining limbs grabbed at the young alien, dragging Sneak along with the two of them as he tried rushing back to Bhelith. Bob even screamed at the enemy soldiers shooting at him, his dizzying psionic pressure shifting over to them in turn as the grenades he threw landed. The alien screamed like he saw a familiar form fall to the dirt, a black blade tipped shaft jutting into the air like a bloody flagpole from Her body.
Like that day, Bob screamed, yet nobody could hear him.
As she began to pace forward to shield the downed cluster of what passed for soldiery in Creature’s company, she set her entire will to finding some other alternative that did not require every single one of them to die so that, at the last, she and MAYBE Creature could fight their way out of this ambush. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust the Gartagen’s fighting skills – more like if she were certain the Gartagen were going to survive, she could be reasonably assured that he wouldn’t. Something about his cosmic thread of fate seemed to make it so that the man she had raised to peerage would always find some way to surprise or annoy her even if it happened to be inconvenient. Especially, it seemed, if it were inconvenient.
She would have to have a word with him about the way he trained his next soldiers.
Bhelith lifted her shield over Barlor. He seemed to have been closest to her, barring Bob, but only because he had started to crawl. She dropped to a knee – the remaining people in this little clusterfuck were already ground level anyway – and held the shield over her head. Using it as a point of reference, she spoke and poured power into the enchantment. Pale light streamed from the edges, creating an umbrella effect overtop of her little cluster of injured. The machine gun was unwieldy, even with her enhanced strength from the suit, but she leveled it and prepared to fire on anything that dipped low enough to fire on her valuable pile of near-corpses.
Speaking to the bloody messes beneath her, she ordered, “Stay low, and shoot their feet." Then, still puzzling her way out of the situation, she added, "I am going to try to summon our forces in orbit.”
Bhelith herself had not planned to have trouble in a crypt that had been sealed for over a century with anything but a few old gartagen remnants – but the Asteria was hers, her magic and her seat, and it would know if she needed it. Whether the officers on the bridge would realize what the ship might be trying to tell them was something she’d never quite tested, and she wasn't sure she could accomplish it through a mountain.
No time like the present to try, she supposed, as she began to gather herself for the attempt.
Resting back Jilly felt devices attach all over her body. Her missing arms, however, found little security. Though the back of her neck suddenly erupted in biting pain a she felt some sort of neural jack lash out and bite into her flesh. "WELCOME NEW OPERATOR." Then the world flooded across her vision. Jill saw Creature fighting the two foes; the HUD marked Creature's enemy with designations that Jill by the miracle of Gartagen engineering translated directly into her mind. The two enemy soldiers were Taianese. Their slender blades dancing too fast for her eyes to see. Creature's big heavy laser sword parrying and striking back at the pair who were just slightly too fast.
Bhelith, Bob, Sneak, Vella.
Bob, Vella and Sneak were down. Bhelith and Barlor were slowly on the approach. That distant voice spoke to Bhelith. "You elves have always enjoyed your dramatics. I suppose we can kill all of your people and then do our meeting down here in seclusion?"
The Empress was, however, a very gifted magic user. Bhelith, she began to focus her mind and body for the task at hand would find it daunting, but not impossible. The key risk was that magic, was unpredictable, and the force she needed to break through could quite conceivably bring down the cavern on top of everybody.
The shield wall was still trading shots with the Taianese. Bob had gotten to both Vella and Sneak. The one issue Bob had, however, was the fact that the Taianese were bearing down on him. Bob could see the Shield wall several meters ahead. He had to make it to them. To save Vella, Sneak and himself. He just had to try.
The remaining distance to the safety of the Empress was short, but felt like the longest mile as it awkwardly scurried about on its few remaining limbs. At the same time, the dark skinned elf's words felt like they came from far, far away, and somewhere in the back of his mind, the Sutakame knew that if it stopped now, it wouldn't just die. Sneak and Vella would die with him too. With several limbs blasted off, his stride awkward and lopsided, the shelled creature continued forward. Even as its mind stretched out to try and smother the Taianese soldiers looking at it, spinning their perception until it was like a drunkard about to retch, pieces of metallic rubble and cement rose off the ground as it desperately tried shielding itself and its friends from their fire.
With the exertion, Bob coughed and sputtered, blood spraying out from its nose, eyes and ears as he drew closer and closer to Bhelith and her line of shields.
She could hear the suit and understand, but more interestingly was that she could see. Of all the things she expected to survive, the Gartagen interface tech was what she thought would fail first, yet it still adapted to her as a pilot, even if it was muffled and a little off. She wasn't sure if it was due to degradation of the systems, or if it was because of her. Either way, the suit had handled running in idle for centuries, surely it could last one more fight. "Alright baby, let's stand up, we've got some gene splicer fucks to smoke." She spoke through gritted teeth. She tasted iron. "Unless you want to admit that they're better than you." She had no delusions that her words fell on anything other than deaf ears, but the words still boiled her own blood enough as she forced her mind into that of the machines, eyes glued to the ones attacking Creature.
She didn't know how it worked, she wasn't the kind of prodigy who could step into a robot and know the controls, but it seemed to already tie into her own mind. She'd make it simple them, she glared at Creature, dubbing him in her mind as a single word. 'Friend.' However, as she turned her eyes to the Tai Pan, the words changed, and she made it very clear from the boiling pit in her stomach.
Jill, however, did not know how many she had harmed. Because when it was over, none of the Taianese corpses remained for her to inspect. Jill had not driven them off. When all was done, and the survivors took account of the situation, all came to the realization that the Empress had been taken as well.