Rapping. Ace’s fingers hit the table one at a time in sequence as they waited for Lore to arrive as Magpie had suggested. They would look to their wrist periodically, checking off the minutes as they elapsed. Then, the airlock hissed open.
“Thank the gods you’re here.” Ace and the others swarmed them. “We’ve got a problem.” Ace gave them a moment to sit down before explaining their discontent.
“Ah… So on a scale from one to ten, how screwed are we?”
“Your face and current employment status will be the first thing the transmitter sends to the city.” Ace was surprisingly calm.
Lore nodded slowly. “Good thing we’re done here then. I would have liked to have left quietly but can’t always get what you want.” Lore reached into their bag and removed three discs; they distributed them to the recon group who thanked them.
“Glad we’re not going into this without our helmets.” Midpoint started, inserting his disc into the slot in the crease of his back. “Shame about our stuff.”
“That may be a problem we can fix.” Char jangled her money purse. “Get yourselves something nice.” She tossed the bag to Magpie.
Hours passed as they waited for the clones to return and the chaos to begin. While Lore and Ace had spent their time planning, Destiny and Curves seemed to have become a fair bit more familiar. They were an hour outside of the city by speeder so they used their time wisely, finalising plans. Lore’s Breacher began to flash. Their time was up.
Magpie safely squirreled himself away, scope trained on Lore who stood at the front of the pack with Char at their side and the remainder of their force behind them. A tsunami of snow rampaged before them, drawing ever closer to their position. Lore could feel the speeders moving the ground below them as they advanced to the battlefield. The snow cleared as the bikes came over the horizon, Undulia led the pack.
“No one does anything till I say so, right.” Lore looked around at their allies. They returned a nod of confirmation as they braced for the coming fight.
“’Inquisitor Loren’ I can’t believe I was stupid enough to believe that. Traitor, I loved you. I waited for you. You were mine but I can see you’ve changed. She got to you didn’t she. A filthy Quatarrian. Couldn’t stay dead could you?” Undulia was red with rage, trying to maintain some semblance of composure. “By the powers vested in me by the United Earth Protectorate I hereby sentence you and your co-conspirators to death. Any last words?” As she had been talking, several troop carriers had unloaded a contingent of troops which now had trained their weapons on Lore and Char.
“I honestly have no clue what I’m meant to be doing here but I know it must be important. I may have loved you at one point but people change and you’ve got to accept that and move on. If I am to die here, which I sincerely doubt I will, then let me use these last words to say that these last few weeks have been the best of my life,” Char glared at Lore as if to remind them that they could only remember the last few weeks, “and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.” Lore smiled to Char as they moved back to their side.
“Truly touching.” The sarcasm flew over Lore’s head. “Ready.” The troops stabilised their rifles. “Aim. FIRE.”
Lore watched as the plasma bolts left their rifles, forming a wave of red lightning. They intertwined their fingers with Char’s. The world began to slow as Lore’s plan came into action. The Crashing waves now stood a foot away from their faces as Lore turned to Char.
“The necklace.” Char reached out and touched glowing amulet. With that, something in them both changed; Lore absorbed Char, becoming one being with two minds, the amulet’s blue glow quickly shifted to a brilliant gold which spread to the wings, illuminating the gaps between the armour’s plating. From the groove at the back, a pair of glorious, golden wings erupted. Lore opened their eyes, the same golden light poured from their iris. As if a master already, they brought their wings before them and shielded themselves from the plasma wave as it crashed over them. Time had resumed its normal pace and Undulia’s troops were quickly learning of the transformation that had occurred before them. The Reaper stood from their knelt position and opened their wings revealing an unharmed being. In their hand, Lore’s staff in its compact form. They unfurled it revealing a weapon of silver and gold. Undulia’s men took a step in retreat from the being before them. The Reaper simply stood, surveying the field before them; they slammed their weapon into the ground and began to walk forward. Once again, the troopers fired on them. They didn’t seem phased. Now standing within a few meters of Undulia’s line, The Reaper stopped. They held their hand, fingers spread, over one of the three transport shuttles. Slowly they clenched their fist. The transport shuddered in anticipation. With fist made, they began to rotate their hand; as they did, the shuttle withered, its metal plates rusting before their eyes. Within an instant, the transport had been reduced to a pile of rust in the snow and the troops that had once made use of it had retreated. Now, before The Reaper stood only Undulia. Similar could be said about those behind them as Lore’s troops had too retreated to the safety of Sanctuary Point.
“What are you? What is this?” Undulia had lost all sense of control over her voice, her questions rang thick with terror.
The Reaper stood silently. Their glowing eyes illuminating the darkness of her soul as they pierced her eyes. She could no longer move, frozen in a mixture of fear and reverence for what felt like an eternity broken only by the sound of an approaching vehicle.
“Get in!” Destiny’s voice boomed from the ship hovering above them. The clones poured from the airlock and onto the ships docking ramp as The Reaper’s light grew. As it dulled, where one figure had once stood, two had replaced it. Magpie ran behind them, Lore’s staff in hand and helped Char drag an unconscious Lore onto the ship.
“Get us out of here!” Char shouted up towards the bridge. Curves had taken to the captain’s chair and with Destiny’s help, got the ship underway. Char looked to Ace in confusion.
“Destiny used the transmitter to send herself back to the ship during the stand-off.”
Lore was beginning to come around as Destiny announced their successful break from orbit. Rexel.