Day 062: The Mountain Falls (Level 7)
Summary: A mixed group of Skaikru and Trikru assault Level 7 of Mount Weather.
Date: 30 July 2016
Related: Concurrent with The Mountain Falls (Level 3)
Kane Arlin Nathaniel Wren Sage Asher Wyst Kai Cassandra Fiona Gideon MountainMen Cage 

Mount Weather
In scene-sets.
62 Days After landing

There is a big difference between a commando assault by thirty warriors going in three different entry points and a massed attack by more than five hundred warriors going in a single door.

Certainly, there are teams at each of the entrances used by the commando forces, but they are each larger than the entire commando strike, in place to block off any escape attempts. Another team is headed for the dam even as the massed warriors arrive outside the massive door at the top of Mount Weather, and still more warriors haunt the lower slopes, looking to combat any Reapers who might interfere or to catch any escaping Mountain Men.

When the forces are assembled, there is a call on the captured radio, demanding the surrender of Mount Weather.

The voice that comes over the comms is that of a young woman, and those familiar will recognize it as Fiona Kattegat. "Attention, Mount Weather. This is the Militia of the Ark and the Coalition of the Twelve Clans. We hereby order you to open your doors, stand down, and surrender the Mountain to our forces. No innocents will be harmed if you respond with your surrender and allow us to proceed peacefully. Resistance will be met with force. Again, communicate your surrender and no harm will come to you." Her voice is determined, focused. There's no room for doubt here.

There is, perhaps ominously, no answer. The commanders of the combined force wait for three minutes by the watch of Major Wu, deep beneath Philpott Dam, and then his team disables the generators, one after another.

At the front gate, it is perhaps fifteen minutes before the lights over the door falter and fade, fifteen minutes during which a warm summer rain begins to fall in the early evening. But then they blink out, and under cover of bows, crossbows, javelins, rifles, and pistols, a small team darts up to the front door. A charge is set, and… having prepared for the interference, it is blown without trouble. The door is hauled open by main force, teams of strong men and women on ropes, revealing a wide set of stairs descending into the darkness.

Kane calls out, "Level Zero teams, Forward!" Just as Lexa gestures, "First teams, move!" And the massive force begins to flow onward in neat bunches of ten or so. Those assigned to the higher floors go in first, leaving those assigned to the lowest floor, like this one, to go in last.

There is not a point in his life that Arlin kom Trikru can recall not having drank the proverbial DESTROY THE MOUNTAIN Kool-Aid. To say he holds a grudge against the Maunon is a laughably gross understatement. Zealous doesn't even begin to cut it. Such is the nature of life-long indoctrination fused with life-defining trauma. True to form, he looks pissed off. Those who know him really well would recognize that this isn't his default Resting Jerk Face. Alas, those who know him well enough — i.e., Britt and Rinnan — were sorted into another assault team, much to his displeasure. (Also another laughably gross understatement.) As befits his role as a combat medic, he remains ready and towards the rear.

Being the senior Guard officer on this team, the Ark personnel fall under Sergeant Breens command for this mission. Won't that be fun? Nathaniel looks over those present as he speaks, "Sergeant Nathaniel Breen, officer in command for Ark personnel on this team, or as the Trikru like to call us, the Skaikru. Who among the Trikru here is a scout?" Nathaniels deep baritone can be heard as the team gets ready to start off.

Wren has waited a long time for this. And he would not deprive his Second of joining with him in the glory and honor of this battle. He strides along with the rest of his group, axe in his hand having been sharpened and honed, ready for battle. His shoulder may not be all the way okay, but it'll have to do for now.

Life is a forever changing road of up and downs where paths lead you into some very strange places. The path for today has Sage dressed in her old armor, quickly repaired and fitted to her thinner form. Axe is slung across her back, with sword at her side and her bladed staff within her fingers. Narrowed silver eyes look towards the mountain before Natheniel draws attention to himself. Having not met many Skaikru and spoken to less her lips narrow as she takes in his words. A moment and she steps forward and speaks. "Our scouts are with other teams.." She then glances towards Kai, Wren, Asher and then back to Natheniel. "And our warriors follow my lead in returning to the Mountain.." They might not like it, but it's made clear that while she will work with these people, she is not following them.

Oh good. Of all the guards in all the camp, Asher had to get stuck with Breen. This assault will end with Asher in the brig. Of that, mostly anyone could be certain. Dressed in grounder leathers (because Militia don't get guard armor), Asher is somewhere near Cassandra, because that's where he always is. He has a militia issue assault rifle slung across his back, with the barrel over his left shoulder and a grounder sword slung the opposite direction, handle over his right shoulder. He has a knife at each hip and a grounder hand axe in his right hand. He waits, and since he is not one of the Trikru and definitely not a scout, he remains slent.

Wyst is dressed in her guard armor and carries her assault rifle. She sticks lose to Nathaniel, having his back in this mission where it appears to be several hostilities already occurring. Her manner is quiet as she assesses those on the mission with her and lets Breen do all the talking. For now, she's strictly working under orders and keeping any personal opinions well buried for when she's off duty.

Kai glances towards Wren, then Sage, not her place to speak so she doesn't, the broad blade of her machete loose in her hand and lips pursed to resist chiming in. She's a Second, it's not her place. So she settles for lurking near Wren with her ash-smeared face in her freshly repaired armor and leaves the talking up to others.

Cassandra has fought very hard to be on this team today, and for the amount of effort she's made, her follow-through today looks to hold the promise of being disappointingly lacklustre, comparatively. Last time she came here ready, with her game-face on, gave it her all, stood tall and even followed orders. Today she's slouching and tired looking, with puffy red eyes. A particularly perceptive eye might notice that she's actually hungover. Very poor form. To top it off, she's still recovering from her recent bullet-wound, but she's here all the same, and perhaps that counts for something.

The sloppy Skaigirl is following her mentor, Gideon, and keeping close to Asher as well. But she's avoiding Sergeant Breen, whom she's sending dirty looks and trying to keep out of line-of-sight from. Perhaps surprisingly, she shows no signs of presently holding any kind of grudge towards Kai; and though Sage may not have met her, Cass has met Sage, if not formally, having seen the scantily-glad Mountain prisoner straggling after the last battle. She keeps a curious eye on eye on her from a distance, from behind rain-soaked hair that's plastered to her forehead.

Fiona's voice comes over the comms again. "Attention, Mount Weather. Your refusal to open the doors is considered a non-surrender. Do so now, lay down your arms and surrender the mountain and no harm will come to any of your population. Refuse, and we will proceed to bring down the full force of our combined might against you. For the sake of your civilian population, we urge you to offer your surrender.

As the teams descend the stairwell, they reach a small antechamber with elevator doors to the right and a battered and sealed door straight ahead. A keycard is helpfully swiped across the door up front, but it beeps red, and the door remains shut. And so the whole rush has to be delayed as someone pops open the card reader, finds the right wires, twists them together, and then the door opens. As this is happening, several teams pry open the elevator doors, causing air to hiss out, pressurizing the dark shaft beyond against radiation seepage as best as possible. Several teams hook up grapnels inside the shaft and begin to descend.

And then the door opens into a ruined machine room, with further ruin through blown-open doors on either side. And then the first explosions start, makeshift charges in the wreckage that bleed the first few teams, the ones assigned to clear Level Zero. And then the door to the stairwell is opened, and the first gunfire opens up, starting up a running gunfight down the stairs between the teams assigned to Level 1 and some Security Forces. This far back, it's impossible to see what's going on, only to hear the detonations and the sound of rifles and pistols.

Nathaniel gives Sage a nod, his blue eyes going to her as she speaks. "Sounds like me and Gideon are the only ones with stealth training? Alright. The way I see it, leapfrogging should work fine for formation, three by three. Allows us time to get an idea of what's ahead to be able to tell if they're unarmed or not once the breakaways start. Do you concur?" Nathaniel fidgets in his armor, shoulder flexing as they head downwards with the rest, assault rifle providing cover fire when the situation calls for it. Sergeant Breen seems willing to work with Sages 'two command' structure, at least, from his tone.

"<In Trigedasleng> Told Britt they would fortify." is Kai's comment, for Wren, a gruntedly dry satisfaction of being anti-climatically right,"<In Trigedasleng> Hope her group isn't near all that." her lips are pressed hard together as she endeavors to crane up at least briefly, sticking to Wren's right side. There was a look Cass' way, just one of the 'stay away from me' kind, though she snorts vaguely at Nathaniel's words, mostly to herself.

Nathaniel Breen. That name is not unknown to Arlin. The physical description also matches what he was told. Briefly, the medic's sour mood is sliced open by a sharp grin, his rough-and-tumble baritone slightly warmed by amusement. "Breen, huh? I hope you fare against the Maunon better than you did against Veks."

As the detonations go off, Arlin's only visible reaction to that and the distant sound of gunfire is adjusting his grip around the handle of Molly Hatchet, his gimlet sharp eyes flashing mostly green in the current light. He's stands ready — coiled like a spring — waiting for the mark to move.

"<In Trigedasleng> I follow your command as veteran Warrior." Wren grunts at Sage, but saying no more on the subject. To Kai, he shakes his head. "<In Trigedasleng> Britt knows how to take care of herself. She'll be alright. We can do nothing for her right now. Put it out of your mind for now." Whatever other discussions are being being, by either Skaikru or Trikru, he doesn't really comment on. Only paying attention to orders and not random commentary. He's here to kill, let him do that.

Wyst nods as Breen describes the formation that they'll be taking. She plans to stick with him through the fight, looking at Breen to make sure that he wants her in his formation. She also gives a nod to Kai, whom she recognizes. Cassandra gets a wink and it's clear that guard is fond of the girl.

Sage is not ignoring Nathaniel but it takes a moment for her to answer. Her eyes are flickering over their unit, meeting each Trikru's eyes before moving on to the Skaikru. Finally she turns back Nathaniel, "No.." A simple one word answer, but then she goes on. "All warriors are given such training. Stealth and moving in the dark are one of my specialties. Our healer in the background with two fighters, but otherwise, this.. leapfrogging? Will work. Let us use our strengths well."

A nod to Wren, even a flicker of a smile. "<In Trigedasleng> Britt will be well, she has no other path.." Sage has full respect and faith in Britt, so she shares that with Wren and Kai before she lips up the ranks to come near the front.

By the time the gunfire starts up, the teams headed for Level 6 have started moving into the door, leaving only the two teams headed for Level 7 and those remaining to guard the door above-ground.

"Not sure that's gonna work." Asher pipes up. "You've got four people here actively using guns or bows. Everyone else needs to get up close and personal. Standard guard tactics aren't built around these kinds of fighters. You might want to reconsider leap frogging and firing lines and whatever else you've got in mind to make sure you've given clear entry paths for close range fighters when the shit hits the fan." Asher may not have been much for book learning back on the Ark, but of the delinquents, and frankly by basically any Skaikru standards, he's seen more all out combat than most.

Gideon is toward the back of the group, because she sure as hell isn't going to be at the front with a bow and arrow. That's how you get a gunshot to the face. She has been following silently, not interrupting or interjecting. She does not at Asher's idea though, silently agreeing.

Caught off-guard by the wink, the groggy Cassandra gives Corporal Fairchild a blank look of confusion at first, but then cracks a grin at the Guardswoman. She had way, way too much to drink last night, and this led to her making other even worse decisions afterwards, which, for Asher's sake, she's going to pretend that she was too blackout-drunk to remember. At one point she may have found herself debating out loud the inner struggle of whether he is more like a Lophorina superba or a Aptenodytes forsteri. Fun! She's here to follow orders and redeem herself, so she leaves the tactical discussion to the others and just nods along to everything that everyone is saying. However, she does make a point of nodding more firmly when Asher speaks, especially when Gideon adds her silent two cents in. She may be a bit biased here.

Kai casts a look over at Asher as he speaks with the vaguest kind of smirk,"<In Trigedasleng> Kholmin is right. The one's with guns up front, and bows, but the last teams got hit hard trying to get close. Ma'am." there's another glance at Wren and a small shrug of apology for interjecting. Not like everyone here doesn't know for a fact the girl can speak English, quite possibly she's not just to be a bitch,"<In Trigedasleng> They like to use grenades and gunfire, they do not fight with sword or axe."

Nathaniel givs a firm nod to Asher, "My concern is that they've proven to have flash grenades, and leapfrogging allows for minimal exposure to them. I was going to suggest scouting in front, melee in middle, and bows and rifles in back formation. I'm perfectly happy to go with a two line formation as well though if that isn't something that concerns Sage or anyone else." Their turn is coming up, apparently.

Everyone can speak wisdom and some can hear it as they pass up the line to get a better view of the last unit up. Sage tilts her head as she looks at Asher and then frowns in thought. "Range covers those who fight up close one wave after another.." Which to Sage seems to be what leapfrogging should mean. But then words mean different things and she is not yet use to it. But Sage does not talk much, she nods towards Nathaniel and moves forward with a flicker of her fingers to those behind. "Fire, Cover, Call out if you incoming.. flash grenades.."Whatever the hell those are.

Now that they've decided to make the best use of their melee units, Asher moves off to follow the others in, Axe in hand. He'll stay near the front of the group, as he usually does in situations like these, unless directly told to move back or cover rear guard. He's fallen silent now that he's gotten his opinion out there and they seem to be moving forward with a plan that won't leave him unable to act.

As the team moves into the Mountain, through the wreck and ruin of a machine room, past the dead and wounded Skaikru and Trikru being treated as best as they can, and down the stairwell beyond, gunfire continues to echo up the stairwell. The door to Level 1 is now open, although no gunfire comes from the other side. Everything is dark, lit only by emergency lights scattered here and there. For some of them, they see their first dead Mountain Man there, a hazmat-suited figure sprawled on the stairs leading from Level 1 down to Level 2, shot through the arm and leg, and with a spear in the gut. Whatever weapons the figure carried have long been plucked free.

Nathaniel gives a nod to Sage, "two line it is. Anyone who prefers melee in the front line. Flash grenades… if you see them toss anything small, like a cylinder or a sphere shaped object, turn around and run while shielding your eyes. It's either a frag grenade or a flash grenade. You don't want to be near a frag grenade, or have your eyes and ears hit with a flash grenade." They start to move by now, at least. Then, finally he looks to Arlin, "Veks did good. his mobility won the day. Lucky or not, he took advantage." His rifle is up as they start forward.

<FS3> Gideon rolls Wit+wit: Great Success. (8 8 7 7)

Gideon is preparing, an arrow being nocked in the notch in her bow. She passes by the body, frowning slightly at the sight of the hazmat suit. Her jaw sets slightly as something crosses her mind. "They are wearing their suits inside the Mountain," she says to Cassandra, nodding slightly. "They knew we were coming inside…" Her frown deepens a bit. "My question is… where are they?" They being the other Mountain Men… the so-called innocents they could save.

"If they're smart, they'll select their positions in areas where we have little cover and they have the advantage," Wyst observes to Breen as she makes her way in the formation that he indicted, "They won't take us out in the open unless they're foolish."

"Last time, they ambushed us in the stairwells…" Asher provides off-handedly as he continues to move with the others, towards the front of this particular group. The body in the hazmat suit earns a prolonged look at Asher frowns just a bit. Interesting…They weren't wearing those last time.

<FS3> Kai rolls Warcraft: Success. (5 5 5 5 7 1 5)
<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Warcraft: Great Success. (7 8 8 3 8 7)
<FS3> Wren rolls Warcraft: Success. (5 7 2 4 6 1)

"Wherever it is, it will be fortified, and as far away from military assets as possible, if they have any sense." Kai grunts as she moves along with the group,"They obviously expected us to breach and were prepared for radiation poisoning." she nudges the body as she passes.

"We know they can't survive contact with the outside if they haven't had a dose from someone from the Ark. Inside should be a different story. The dam being disabled means their scrubbers aren't working. If Ms. Wood was correct, they have a backup generator somewhere, and that probably means they've huddled all the people into a secure location, with these being Security." Nathaniel chimes in, "probably not a huge leap to say we're not going to be dealing with anyone but soldiers unless we find that location."

"There will be many adversaries ahead. More than other groups. Be prepared." Wren utters, he too moving forward with Kai, being of the melee sort.

Gideon nods in agreement with Kai's observations and assessment. Though she grimaces in disagreement at Nathaniel. "No… on that, we disagree… you do not leave the defense of your village to just your warriors… if someone means to wipe you out, you conscript as many people as you can to fight." Or at least, from her tone, that's what a Trikru might do. Or maybe what Gideon would do. She continues forward as they advance, and she keeps a close ear on the sounds of battle at each level. But their level has yet to come…

The gunfire continues to echo up the stairwell, ebbing and flowing. Occasionally there is an explosion and a brilliant flash of light as someone uses a flashbang. Level 1 passes, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4…. Every flight, there are dead and wounded Trikru, Skaikru, and Maunon, sometimes in clusters, sometimes all alone. Most of the Maunon are in hazmat suits, but occasionally, one can be seen wearing just fatigues and armor.

And then the sounds of fighting in the stairwells trails off, instead coming from through the door to Level 5. Below them is only darkness, broken here and there by emergency lights. There are only about fifty warriors in the stairwell now, the 30 designated for Level 6 and the 30 designated for Level 7.

"They didn't surrender." Cassandra is slow to lend her opinion to the matter, in part because she's hungover, but mostly because she doesn't imagine anyone cares. Her tone is quiet, lackadaisical, and she sends an empty look Gideon's way as she steps on over the Mountain Man's corpse. The first time she came in close proximity with a body down here on Earth, she emptied her stomach onto the ground next to the poor bastard. Now, she doesn't even bat an eyelash. "So does it matter?" The implication of her nonchalant manner is clear. There are no innocents here, and even if there are, they don't merit saving.

The sound of gunfire and screams has Cassandra falling silent, looking to her leaders for guidance. Mostly that consists of Gideon, but she's including Sergeant Breen and Corporal Fairchild in her attentions too, since she doesn't want to end up in the brig. Her hand clutches the haft of her bow, knuckles paling.

"Sha. When you know the alternative is death.. warrior or not no longer matters.. but, why then.. have they not surrendered? It suggests to me that they haven't actually heard Fi's words, or they do not believe them."As we descend deeper and deeper in this region its inhabitants become more and more modified, and fewer and fewer, indicating our approach towards an abyss where life is either extinguished, or exhibits but a few sparks to mark its lingering presence." are words that seemingly come to the girl's mind suddenly with the dispassionate air of a quote as she looks down towards level 6 and the flickering emergency lights.

Nathaniel continues on, his eyes glancing to the ones without hazmats, "looks like we have leftovers from the torture chamber." He remarks somberly, his rifle giving cover fire when possible as they continue down. "These people aren't Trikru, Gideon. Their entire goal seems to simply be survival… and besides, we're not here to wipe them out, we're here to force their surrender or kill all their Security until they don't have a choice except to surrender the remaining people." Cassandra gets a glance, and a nod, "until they do, our job is clear."

<FS3> Arlin rolls Stealth: Success. (5 2 7)

A peculiar expression (and possibly an oh-so-faint smirk) settles on Arlin's face in response to Nathaniel's assessment of Veks, but it likely is lost among the tactical conversation and forward movement. Clompy-stomp footsteps are drowned out by the sound of gunfire. While the others debate the whole innocence thing, the medic remains both hyper vigilant and oddly zen as he visualizes letting the enemy's blood flow while keep his senses keen to find opportunities to make fantasy a reality.

Wyst nods as Nathaniel once again emphasizes their orders and there's a silent nod given that she's got it. She moves quietly, preferring to keep her noise level at a minimum.

Gideon glances to Cassandra, shaking her head slightly. "We keep moving," she says. "Their fight is there, ours is further down." Despite these words, Gideon casts a glance down the open door of Level 5, and her eyes narrow thoughtfully. Then she looks at Nathaniel at his words, and she snorts, but she declines from saying more. Her expression was never very good at hiding her thoughts however, and it is quite obvious that she does not agree with the guardsman. She does not linger, moving down with the Level 6 team. Closer… closer… she tries to keep her breathing level, and her heart in a slow and meditative rhythm. It is working… now and then.

"Everyone's goal is survival," Cassie quietly retorts, when Nathaniel makes his assessment of the Maunon. Under her breath, she names him, "Branwada." After that, she falls silent again. Kai gets a curious glance for her quote, but no comment; she nods her head to Gideon and continues skulking on, still reluctant to let that habit of hers go.

<FS3> Gideon rolls Resolve: Good Success. (6 7 4 8 1 8 2)
<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Alertness: Failure. (6 3 6 1 2 4 3 3)
<FS3> Kai rolls Resolve: Success. (5 3 1 3 5 7)

Gideon's mouth just twitches when Cassandra dubs Nathaniel branwada.

<FS3> Asher rolls Alertness: Great Success. (8 3 8 3 7 8 4)

Asher may not be towards the back of the group, but he's gotten good at listening for Cassandra to say pithy things, even while she is hungover. He hears the word and glances over his shoulder, smirking at Cassandra. He remains silent though, and continues with the front of the group. The sound of the gunfire and the screaming draws his attention and Asher returns his focus to the fight that is likely to come.

None of this really seems to matter to Wren. Stuff about saving people or not, not his call. He heard the heda's order. That, in the end, is what he's listening to. He's just going along with the rest of them, looking more irritable by the moment. Less talking, more fighting. That's what he wants right now. The gunfire has his attention, ready to dive into the abyss.

The darkness does not attack the invaders. The teams for Level 6 look at one another and continue their cautious advance down the stairwell. They reach Level 6 and begin to work their way through the door lock. That just leaves twenty warriors going into the darkness. They reach the Level 7 door, and the stairway continues downward beneath them, although there is yellow stencil-paint on the wall proclaiming that the stairwell down is an EMERGENCY EXIT. One of the Guard with the other Level 7 team steps forward, working on the keycard reader, and eventually, the door hisses open, revealing darkness beyond, once more split only by a few emergency lights. There is a passageway, and then the hallway Ts. To the left, storage, and the other team's job. To the right, the Presidential Office.

"This is too easy," Wyst mumbles under her breath to Nathaniel, trying to not be jumpy because it's odd they got here so quickly. She was expecting to get attacked by Mountain Men by now, "They might have moved Cage." Meaning it's easy because there's nothing to find here.

Gideon feels the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Realization has hit her… and it has taken a while now. They are in the Mountain. The Mountain is filled with the army of the Twelve Clans… plus the Skaikru. She feels her fingers give the smallest quaver of anticipation, and then she is tightening her grip on her bow. Her gaze cuts to Cassandra, she offers a short nod, and then she takes up that rear position with her bow drawn tight. She glances at the door they came out of, offering some sentry so the others can make their way down the right-hand corridor.

<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Alertness: Good Success. (5 5 7 3 1 2 3 7)

Nathaniel holds up his ear as they approach, "I can hear something… movement or maybe voices." How he's hearing anything over the gunfire is anyones guess. "They could also be spread thin…" His voice is low now, "about to find out." His rifle is at the ready, looking to Sage, "ready when you are."

Kai's silent as they proceed down into the darkness, level 6's team peeling off and finally, at the bottom, their own 'magic' door. She doesn't bother speaking any longer, content to remain silent and alert by Wren's side with all the patience she can muster. Good thing she's not claustrophobic. There's word of noises, and her grip adjusts on her hilt, a slow smile crossing her face in anticipation.

<FS3> Sage rolls Alertness: Success. (2 8 4 4 6 1 3 4 2)
<FS3> Cassandra rolls Alertness-2: Good Success. (5 8 1 7 5)
<FS3> Arlin rolls Alertness: Success. (8 1 4 4 5 4 4 2)
<FS3> Gideon rolls Alertness: Good Success. (1 7 7 3 2 4)
<FS3> Kai rolls Alertness: Great Success. (6 7 7 4 8 4 8 7 2)
<FS3> Wren rolls Alertness: Great Success. (7 2 6 4 7 7 8 6)
<FS3> Wyst rolls Alertness: Good Success. (2 7 4 3 6 6 6 4 8)
<FS3> Asher rolls Alertness: Great Success. (5 6 8 7 7 8 3)

Sage doesn't talk much, but she holds her hand up to pause the group long enough for her to lower herself to the ground and peer into the darkness. Darkness is her friend but it does nothing for her hearing. A flicker of two fingers towards each side of the door, pulling people up so they might have a better view or to cover their asses. She then slowly stands, gives everyone a moment to ready themselves before she will move forward.

Wren has been standing there quietly in the darkness, not needing to look over at Kai to know she's there next to him. "Shhh." he suddenly sounds. Then he's quiet again, listening. Since he can't sign it to the rest, being in darkness and all, he'll have to say something. "Voices. On the right. Gonasleng."

Following the leadership of her mentor intuitively, Cass draws an arrow from her quiver and pulls her bowstring taut. Her eyes flicker from Gideon to her right side, but she seems uncertain, and looks to others for guidance, based on where their attention seems to drift. Wyst's commentary about things seeming too easy has the Agro Station delinquent briefly turning to give her a nod. "She's right. Too easy," Cass whispers, probably only loud for Gideon and those nearest to her to hear.

Asher too can hear the voices coming from the right. His grip on his axe tightens and he looks in that direction. Time to get to work…A glance over his shoulder is spared for those with bows and rifles and then Asher looks to Wren, Kai and Sage, towards the front where he is. Ok…This will go well. They have a plan. "On your mark…" he says. Whose mark? Whoever is in charge, that's who!

Arlin might well be a bit too daydreamy about the impending carnage he will unleash. The medic hears not the voices Wren points out. He does, at least, hear the beefy battleaxeman point out aforementioned voices. Hazel eyes slice that way, grip on Molly squeezing a little. Instinctively, he looks behind to make sure there are no unwanted guests sneaking up from the war party's rear.

<FS3> Sage rolls Alertness: Good Success. (2 8 1 3 7 2 2 1 8)
<FS3> Sage rolls Stealth: Success. (4 1 4 8 3 6 5 3 5)
<FS3> Luther rolls 8: Success. (2 6 1 8 6 6 5 2) - Alertness

Sage holds up her hand, flickering it in the red light in a hold position. She then moves, disappearing into the darkness on silent footsteps, she is not gone long before she appears again and slides back into the group. She speaks very softly and let's the others pass the information back. "Suits and Non-Suits in the room. Crowded cover; tables, doors, windows. Quick Rush to cover.."

Nathaniel gets the information, then nods, pulling a small cylinder of his own from his belt. In a low voice, "Anyone who can throw well, toss this inside after you pull the pin. It's a flash grenade, don't want to be in the room when it goes off. I can do it, but I'm not very practiced."

"Hold," Cass says quietly, raising a hand. Sure, it's not her job to give orders around here, but since when has that stopped her. She glances to Breen for a moment, but it's Sage whom she turns her attention towards in the end. "Do you see the president?"

Are you serious? That's Arlin's flat expression to Nathaniel's offer to let someone else throw it. Because any of the Trikru are going to be so much better practiced to tossing a flash grenade they have zero training in handling. Which might be why he offers the sergeant a single flourishing 'have at it, bro' gesture to let the Skaiguard handle it.

Kai settles down, loose and ready for all that her smile gets bigger in the dark. She's not going to leave Wren's side, but the ex-Skaikru Second is practically bouncing on the balls of her feet in anticipation of the fight about to begin.

Nathaniel spends 1 luck points on Stealth, don't fail me now..
<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Stealth+3: Success. (6 4 6 6 8 1 3 1 3 6)
<FS3> Luther rolls 8: Success. (5 8 4 2 1 6 2 3) - Alertness
<FS3> Wyst rolls Stealth: Good Success. (2 6 4 5 7 4 8 4)
<COMBAT> Nathaniel suppresses Security11 with Flashbang Grenade. <successful>
<COMBAT> Nathaniel suppresses Security12 with Flashbang Grenade. <successful>
<COMBAT> Nathaniel suppresses Security13 with Flashbang Grenade. <successful>
<COMBAT> Nathaniel suppresses Security14 with Flashbang Grenade. <successful>
<COMBAT> Nathaniel suppresses Delinquent2 with Flashbang Grenade. <successful>

The corridor Ts to the right, and then turns back to the left again, forming part of a Y shape. The other team moves off to the left, advancing quickly with melee weapons ahead of ranged. There is a roar of sound and a brilliant wave of light from around the corner. In these confined quarters, with concrete walls and only emergency lighting, it is mind-numbingly loud and bright. The shouts of surprise from around the corner are nearly silent in comparison.

When the outsiders round the corner — those that do — they can see several men and women in khaki fatigues but no hazmat suits, as well as one person in a good-fitting hazmat suit with a pistol, two people in hazmat suits that look about two sizes too big with pistols, and a man ducking behind the president's desk. It's hard to get a clear look at him, but he certainly isn't wearing a hazmat suit.

The room itself — before the application of the flashbang — was nearly a work of art in and of itself. Paintings completely cover the low concrete walls, statues stand amidst the room, there is a low coffee table and several chairs, and a giant grate guarding a fan behind a wide wooden desk. Now there is also a blizzard of paper thrown up by the explosion.

Between the invaders and the defenders, there is a mostly-glass wall, with a couple of feet of concrete at the bottom. It's not great cover, not with the all-glass door, but it's -something-.

Sage moves the head of the group, doing so with eyes closed, at first so not to be blinded.

Wren catches that look in Kai's eye. "<In Trigedasleng> Steady…" he utters to her lowly. When they round the corner in that Y shaped room. He doesn't pause. "<In Trigedasleng> You and I. To the death and back again." And the Trikru warrior starts off at a running, barreling charge the group, the first in line is going to be the first to get a taste of his axe. He doesn't have to look over his side at Kai. He knows she'll be right there next to him.

Wyst moved up with Nathaniel when he went to throw the flash bang grenade, she's covering him the best she can and closes her eyes when he throws in the grenade. After the sound of the flash, She then rushes in, shooting at the first Mountain Man she sees. Then does a quick assessment of the room to see if she can find cover as she continues to fire at other opponents.

Charge into a hail of bullets with another hail of bullets covering their suicide run? Sounds like another day in the Mountain to Kai. It's not that she's heedless of the danger, it's that, well, you do what you've got to do. And in this instance? For Kai? It's charge a gauntlet of people armed with guns and hope to green Eden that she doesn't catch a fatal shot before she can shove a couple of feet of steel into one of the enemy. As soon as Wren moves, his Second is by his side.

So it is that Sergeant Breen heads over and into the corridor. Sneaking into the shadows, he's easily able to get close enough… then there's that overhead toss… *BOOM* an explosion of light and sound, and Nathaniel sulks back to the corner of the corridor, drawing his sights on the security inside, "Focusing rifle users first." Doesn't really need to be said, but at least he's calling his shots for the melee combatants.

Sure, Asher has an assault rifle. But he's way better up close and personal. So he leaves that strapped to his back and charges down the hall with Wren and Kai at the guards in the President's office. Nearly certain death impending? No problem! Just charge into the bullets! That's the way to do things!

Gideon is moving out, her footsteps quick and advancing toward the glass and cement wall that will serve as cover. Her stance stands low and balanced, though her bow and nocked arrow are held in a readied position so all she has to do is straighten up, fire, and then duck back down to keep moving. She glances to Cassandra, nodding slightly. "At the corner, clear who you can…"

Being told to go stand in the corner has Cassandra gritting her teeth, and she glares at Gideon, but moves to try and follow the order without question. This puts her right next to Sergeant Breen, whom she's been avoiding this entire trip. The two are evidently not friends after he stuck her with a shock-baton, even if he's been punished for it. Unfortunately, there isn't even room for her there anyway, and so she ends up standing next to him for nothing, still out in the open. All the same, she gives her mentor the barest of nods, then turns her attention to the room ahead and takes quick, fast aim with her bow.

For all he wants to get his retribution on, there is a time and place for everything. Arlin's waited most of his life for this moment. He can wait a few minutes more, especially when his job requires holding his position to tend to the wounded. After all, a dead healer is a useless healer. That doesn't mean he can't send one of the Brothers Grimm to say hello. Whether or not the throwing knife manages to deliver the greeting remains to be seen.

<COMBAT> Security13 attacks Nathaniel with Assault Rifle - Serious wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Cover).
<COMBAT> Security11 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Wren with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Wren with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security11 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security11 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security11 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wyst fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security13 with Assault Rifle - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security13 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security13 with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wyst with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Arker3 attacks Nathaniel with Pistol - Light wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Security12 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Sage with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Sage with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Gideon with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Delinquent1 with Bow - Light wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Arlin attacks Security14 with Thrown Knife - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Security11 with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Cassandra with Pistol and MISSES!

Four of the security and one of them in the Hazmat suits have been stunned by the flashbang that Nathaniel threw into the room. That doesn't entirely stop them from trying to shoot things that come charging in even if their senses are over loaded! The hard core security personnel are dressed in kaki tactical garb with helmets and riot gear shoulder guards. Cool and professional, they lay down fire while those in the oversized Hazmat suits look a bit less well disciplined in their actions.

Bullets start flying, the confined spaces suddenly heating up with a great deal of LOUD NOISE! In the first few seconds none of them go down but one of the harder looking Security engages Wyst, shooting her in the neck. The one who's Hazmat suit fits best fires a pistol at Nathaniel but barely hits him. Several light wounds are traded but mostly the shots coming out of the President's Office go wide and miss their targets, spattering the walls and making chips of concrete fly in tiny shards!

<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Resolve: Good Success. (3 7 8 6 5 7)

"Oh hell no," says Cass. Bullets, arrows and cruder weapons fly, and just as she's taking aim into the office, the Skaigirl spies some shapeless jackhole in a hazmat suit taking aim with his pistol at her mentor, Gideon. There's a twang from the Skaigirl's bow, and she lets fly. It pierces the powder-blue blob's firing hand, sending him staggering to the side, but it barely grazes his actual flesh. Both he and her are soon taking aim again, but this time Cassandra ducks towards cover. "Move, Breen!" she shouts to the injured Sergeant.

Any flinch Kai had left regarding charging into gunfire is.. well, basically worn off at this point. Sure, she moves, she weaves.. somehow by the grace of green Eden she doesn't catch a bullet to the anywhere as she endeavors to close the distance with their enemies, but stop for cover? Hell no. Likely the roar of fury is lost in the sound of glass and gunfire, the chink of metal on concrete and boots on the ground and a thousand other sounds that are mostly white noise to her at this moment because her goal is set. Some bastard is shooting at Wren and she aims to bury her sword in them with all the satisfying vengeance she can muster.

For all the fire he pours into the room, Nathaniel manages a bullet hole in Security11s hand. His position does put his leg out through… and they take advantage of it. Two bullets fly through his leg and Nathaniel moves back out of sight, biting back a scream from the pain as he allows Cassandra to take the spot.

Cage Wallace does not respond as well to a flashbang grenade as do his security detail and the militia. Then again, he's a scientist, not a fighter or a 'courageous' volunteer. He stays down behind the desk, rubbing at his eyes with the heels of his hands. The two smaller figures in their ill-fitting hazmat suits fire with more enthusiasm than accuracy. Is… is one of them actually shrieking, "Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!"?

Oh, look. Arlin is making friends. His knife acts as proxy to offer 'handshake'. Before the medic can see about further greetings, he recalls that this is a work-mixer, which means taking Nathaniel 'round the corner to tend to the injured sergeant.

Keep moving. That's what Wren would tell Kai. But he doesn't have to, there's no need to talk right now. Watching muzzles of the weapons being trained on him, he does not move in a straight line, weaving and swerving where he needs, trying to keep the men shooting at him off-balance about where he moves next. It's the one that's shooting at him that he's trained his eyes, not taking them off him for a minutes. He might still get tagged, but that man is running out of room. He'll be first. And he's more than happy to let his Second join in on the slaughter.

Wyst takes the shot but that doesn't stop her from unloading into two of the security guards. She does her best to draw their fire, her neck bleeding but she'll deal with that later. She then finds a target to focus her fire on and starts to get to the business of dispatching their enemies. She doesn't yell or shout, she's cold as ice as she fires.

Sage is silent, it seems her MO(tm), as she moves quickly darting from spot to spot so she can get into melee distance. Her bladed staff at the ready with each move.

Asher doesn't really seem graceful, and yet, he charges directly into the firing line, weaving left and right as he avoids being shot repeatedly. There's even a roll in there. That's not easy to pull off with a rifle and sword strapped to your back. Two different guards unloaded full auto fire in his direction and Asher comes out of it unscathed. He rounds the corner and doesn't stop for cover, closing in on the entrance to the President's office.

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Alertness-2: Good Success. (3 6 1 7 8)

<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Security11 with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wyst fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wyst with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Delinquent2 with Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cage attacks Kai with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Nathaniel:
< Right_Leg (Serious): successful
< Right_Leg (Light): successful
<COMBAT> Security13 suppresses Asher with Assault Rifle. <successful>
<COMBAT> Security13 suppresses Kai with Assault Rifle. <successful>
<COMBAT> Security13 suppresses Sage with Assault Rifle. <successful>
<COMBAT> Security13 suppresses Wren with Assault Rifle. <successful>
<COMBAT> Security11 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Wren with Assault Rifle - Critical wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Wren with Assault Rifle - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Cassandra with Pistol - COVER stops the attack.
<COMBAT> Arker3 attacks Asher with Pistol - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Security12 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Sage with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Sage with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Gideon with Pistol but MISSES!

Wyst swears under her breath as she goes toe to toe with one of the Mountain Men. He's able dodge her shots but she's also able to dodge his. They seem to be almost moving out of the others target as they square off. She grind her teeth and continues to attack him, hoping her luck will improve.

There is plenty of hot brass hitting the floor to make it slippery and treacherous. Not that anyone has time to notice. One of the security team full auto fires to try suppress people charging into the room and seems to be good at making people try to evade or dive for cover. Another shoots at Wren with a cold, calculated eye, nailing the oncoming Trikru with a hard shot full in the head!

Meanwhile, another of President Cage's security tries to riddle Asher, but barely succeeds in touching him. More bullets fly and it's chaos, many shots missing to spray the walls. The surprised militiaman grimaces and also tries to do in Asher with his pistol as he yells, "Keep down!" That's probably for Cage.

Things in President Cage's Office are suddenly getting in tight as the range distance closes and people can begin to fight hand to hand. The noise is fairly deafening.

Nathaniel feels the pain subside, at least for now… and it doesn't take long for Nathaniel to get back onto one leg supporting himself against the wall. He doesn't need fancy footwork to shoot, after all. "Surrender and drop your weapons!" Nathaniel calls out. His tone makes it clear he doesn't expect it, but had to try as he locks in the sights again.

What's scarier than a seventeen year old girl with a sword and murder on her mind screaming DIIIIEEEE at you? Possibly, just maybe, one that charges into a hail of gunfire and somehow does not manage to get hit. Where Wren moves one way, Kai moves the other, ducking and weaving in the relentless effort to reach the security forces trying to hammer them with bullets. She knows, when Wren is no longer at her side, and to fulfill a promise to protect him, she must break the promise to stay by his side. She launches herself on the closest of the security guys, fully aware that it makes her a target but right now there's someone who needs to die. Slow and gurgling, but she'll take fast and vicious as hell right this second to insure that they cannot take any more shots at her First, damnit. Not allowed. No retreat and no goddamn surrender as far as she's concerned.

Evidently, Cassandra has some trouble with the whole concept of 'following the Guard's orders'. She has trouble following orders in general. Generally, she prefers to be the one presuming to give them; just ask Khesu. So now that she's claimed her spot behind cover, at least following Gideon's orders, she sends a single glance towards Nathaniel to check that he's OK, flattens herself against the corner to very literally dodge a bullet that blasts into the concrete, and then peeks out once again to poise her bow. She sees Asher take two more bullet-wounds — what else is new? — and very nearly loses her shit, jaw clenched and teeth bared. But she remembers her archery lessons: stead in the arm, focus. The weapon Gideon's educating her appears to be very good for steadying her resolve and preventing her from turning into the violent, reckless maniac she used to be in the Skybox. And so instead of charging in, she stays calm, aims her bow with a gaze fixed on one of the security guards spraying bullets from his assault-rifle, and narrows her eyes intently.

A bullet grazes Asher's chest, and another grazes his arm, but he's been shot enough times that he's able to push that pain to the back of his mind and focus on the present. He dodges some more autofire by volition of diving and rolling and comes up a few feet from the militiaman with pistol in the hazmat suit shooting at him. He rushes forward and brings his axe to bear upon the hazmat suit wearing militiaman.

Wren was doing a good job running towards that guy with murder on his face. Until that he's hit so hard in the hand that it knocks him over, sprawling onto the floor. If he hadn't had his head turned the way it was, he'd be a dead man. And had his head tucked down a little, trying to not make it a target. The bullet struck the side of his and traveled downward, along the side of his head, between the corner of his eye and his ear. A large gash runs the side of his face, blood dripping his face and onto the floor, making him look nightmarish. Also may of cracked his skull a little from the initial strike. He struggles to get up to his feet. "<In Trigedasleng> KILL HIM, SECOND!" he manages to roar out, if only to tell he's still alive. But he needs to get up, the sound of metal scraping against the metal of the floor from his axe.

Sage dodges bullets or the gunman is just really bad, either way as Wren goes down, she shifts to the side to draw the shooters attention, a swirl of her bladed staff and she moves for the neck.

As the attackers get closer, the President sticks his head and hand up over the desk, firing off a shot at one of the Outsiders coming howling in at them. That's… mostly… keeping down, right? As the Outsiders push past the shattered glass of the President's office, as their bullets destroy priceless works of art, the two smaller defenders begin to retreat… not that they have anywhere to go, and not that their pistols waver… yet.

<FS3> Arlin rolls Athletics: Good Success. (8 2 5 7 5 3 1 1)

Easy peasy fresh and breezy, Arlin is remedying the Skaikru sergeant's right leg with efficient effectiveness as befits an effective battlefield medic. One who doesn't dilly-dally and who is instead bolting down the hallway, sound of flopping medical satchel and rucksack drowned by gunfire as he cuts a course to the toppled Wren. "<In Trigedasleng> Hold tight, birdie!"

<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wyst with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wyst fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Nathaniel with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Cover) (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sage attacks Security13 with Spear - Serious wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Security11 with Bow - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Cassandra with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Arker3 attacks Asher with Pistol - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security11 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security11 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security11 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kai attacks Security11 with Sword - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Gideon with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cassandra takes careful aim at Security12.
<COMBAT> Cage attacks Kai with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Arker3 with Axe - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Security13 attacks Sage with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle and MISSES!

Aye, so much for priceless works of old pre-war art. Some of the paintings might be repairable with a good hand later but most of them are ripped to shreds and are going to be a total loss. Shame, that. No appreciation for history and art - SAVAGES! Even President Cage's desk was once a master craftman's wet dream. Now it would only make them weep.

You have to give President Cage's personal Security credit. They are holding their ground against the assault like the professionals they are trained to be. One of them fires coldly at Wyst but does her no real harm. Another shoots Nathaniel in the gut! That's going to hurt. Take that you Skaiguardsman scum! There is shouting but it's hard to make anything out in the noise, gun fire ripping and drowning out attempts to shout orders. Cage's people are starting to suffer some real injuries now as things go close up into hand to hand combat, but no one's down yet.

Wyst swears under her breath as he manages to dodge her bullets again, "Fuck this…time to use the baton." She then switches from her assault rife to her baton knowing that her skill is much better suited for close and personal combat. She has an angry look on her face as she moves in. Right now she's not worried about the decor. It's all about securing these guards.

Another burst, another round of misses. Distracting leg pain is distracting. Shouldering the stock again, Nathaniel starts to take aim at the one who just put a hole in his Abdomen, sight locked in.

Die. DiedieDIEDIEDIE. Kai can hear Wren's voice, but her focus is on the man mistakenly thinking that it's okay to keep shooting at her. It's not from conscious thought where she steps aside from the barrel just a moment before he fires at her, it's because she wants to insure that she has the best angle on sinking that heavy blade of hers into his neck. That the shot from Cage goes wild isn't by dint of her doing. Her blade is jerked free and swung again without really even waiting to see if he's going to keep standing. He shot her First. He dies. Ignore the teeth bared smile, really. It has nothing to do with the satisfaction of righteously murdering someone by her personal measure of righteous.

With narrowed eyes and a calm burning rage in those silver eyes Sage engages the Security officer. A swirl of her bladed staff, knocking the gun to the side so the bullet it releases only grazes her ribs. Before she turns with a quick slash deeply into the neck of the guard. She twists the pole again and is clearly going for the same spot once more.

Ok, so maybe Asher didn't do as much damage as he normally would have. The guard shot him in his axe arm as he was bringing it down. Sure, the axe blade still slices through the hazmat suit of the left arm that the militiaman interposed to block the attack, but that was it. Asher's right arm is bleeding, but is fine beyond that. Asher takes a step back, and half circles as the militiaman puts the gun away to brawl. "Back down, dumbass…I don't wanna kill you, but I will if you push me." That's like offering him a chance, right?

"Nice sword," says Cass, squinting into the oval office — which is in fact rectangular. "I want it." It's that priceless artifact of Dante's she has her eye on, and though she has a brand new short-sword at her waist, gifted by Gideon kom Skaikru, evidently gifts just aren't as fun for a delinquent as a prize self-claimed. With a deadly calm, she propels her arrow forth from her bowstring, sending it at the hazmat-figure who's firing at Sergeant Breen. It's worth mentioning that she does have a head injury.

Part of being a field medic is hauling ass, which is what Arlin does. Hell, there's even a pretty sweet slide into place, reflexes on autopilot as he gets set to work on Wren.

Cage's shooting is not up to snuff, but he keeps at it, trying to pick off those attacking his security detail. The two smaller defenders are… not doing too well in their attempts to drop the archers, but at least they're trying right?

Wren feels a hand on him and the reaction is jerk against it, until he sees Arlin in a blood-hazed view. He can't do much but try to regain his bearing, while the world is still spinning around him. Need to get back up. Need to tear apart. Need to kill.

<COMBAT> Security13 attacks Sage with Brawling but Sage DODGES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Nathaniel with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Cover) (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sage attacks Security13 with Spear - Serious wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Kai attacks Security11 with Sword but Security11 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Asher with Pistol - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wyst with Assault Rifle - Serious wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Security11 attacks Kai with Brawling and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Security11 with Bow - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Sage with Pistol - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Security12 with Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cage attacks Kai with Pistol - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Arker3 with Axe - Serious wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Wren:
< Head (Critical): successful
<COMBAT> Arker3 attacks Asher with Brawling and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security11 has been KO'd!

Things are still going as hot as can be. The tide however seems to be turning as the invaders begin to get the upper hand, scoring serious and even critical wounds against President Cage's security forces. Some of them are getting pushed back against the walls or into corners as the hand to hand gets seriously savage and bloody. This is fighting like they have never seen before, and will never see again. At this point most of their own shots go astray, though one of them tags Nathaniel yet /again/, wearing him down bit by bit. Another nails Wyst with a bad shot to her leg.

And then it happens. The first among Cage's personal guard goes down beneath Gideon's bow with an arrow in his throat!

Wyst swears under hear breath as the damn security guard manages to shoot her in the leg as she rushes him. She is going to trying to beat that man to a bloody pulp after all the damage she's taken from this Mountain Men. She's going to need a medic once she's had a chance to come down from this fight but right now she's focused on her opponent.

<FS3> Arlin rolls Alertness: Good Success. (7 1 4 3 7 5 5 8)

Wren needs to sit his ass down so Arlin can do what needs to be done to ensure that the warrior can get back up. Which he does because that's just how the medic rolls. "<In Trigedasleng> Good enough for now's gonna have to be good enough. Don't die." And then he's off.

<FS3> Kai rolls Athletics-1: Success. (4 2 1 5 8 4)

Kai's left swinging at air, because Gideon's arrow beat her to it, which also means that there's nothing this time between her and Cage's wild shot. Screw the rest of the security personnel, it's that guy she wants, the one that just put a new freaking hole in her armor. And her, for that matter. There's no grace to the way in which she jumps up onto the desk, but this one? Tactically this man is likely to be the target of all targets, and though vengeance is totally on the menu, it's going to start by taking off that hand.

"<In Trigedasleng> Drinks on me later." Wren grunts at Arlin, getting up from the floor. Blood has drenches one side of his face and hair. Looking absolutely monstrous, and it's the one that currently targeting that he seethes at. With a roar of defiance and axe in hand, he lunges forward toward the soldier, swinging his axe, pure unadulterated hatred in his face as he tries to bring the weapon down. At the very least, it'll take some heat off his Second.

Another round grazes Asher rib cage as he was dodging a punch from the Arker in a hazmat suit. Asher hacks his axe horizontally at chest level at the hazmat suited man, the blade slicing through suit and the bicep of his right arm viciously. Still, this is a two on one fight, and his opponent isn't down yet. Asher takes a step back and to the right, trying to force the Arker into the firing line of the Delinquent. It is a temporary measure, they can coordinate.

There is almost a faint whistling noise as Gideon looses her arrow. It slices through the air, and embeds itself neatly in the throat. There is a gurgling noise, and the Mountain Man drops. She then advances forward another step, and her eyes latch on the President of Mount Weather — their leader. She does not even give him a Grounder title in her head, focusing on him as the other… an other worthy of killing. She feels her jaw set, and she is nocking back an arrow even while her shoulders flex and roll.

Cassandra watches Gideon fire that shot that slices through the Maunon's neck. Learning isn't always about what you're taught: sometimes you have to teach yourself. The stance her mentor takes is carefully observed before the Skaigirl aims her bow again, this time at the stubborn hazmat suit who not only had the audacity to try and shoot Gideon earlier, but who's now shot at her Niron. He's going to pay for that, if Cass has any say. She breaks cover, advancing towards the office after her First with slow, patient steps, needing to close in for a better shot.

Sage has to dodge to one side from the Security guard jumping at her, but her bladed staff still cuts deeply into his hand, as she swirls around to catch another bullet to the left side of her ribs. Like the dance that started before, her movements flow into an attack on the Security with a single Pistol.

<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Shock Baton - Moderate Stun wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Cage attacks Kai with Pistol - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Security12 fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Kai with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - Serious wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wren attacks Security12 with Axe - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Sage attacks Delinquent2 with Spear but Delinquent2 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Kai attacks Cage with Sword but Cage DODGES!
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Arker3 with Axe - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Arker3 attacks Asher with Brawling and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wyst with Brawling - Moderate Stun wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Security13 attacks Sage with Brawling but Sage DODGES!
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Kai with Pistol - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Delinquent1 with Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Cage with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Sage with Pistol - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Arlin attacks Security13 with Axe - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Arker3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Kai has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Security13 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Wyst has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Kai spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Annndd… as soon as Kai leaps up on the desk, one of the security detail shouts, "PROTECT THE PRESIDENT!" He fires a burst at Kai himself and does her some real harm, with all three shots hitting her at close range! The others try to do what they can to cause damage enough that they can fall back and use their own bodies to try and shield Cage from the attackers. another Security personnel is down to fighting hand to hand with Wyst and hits her a stunning blow to her hand with a small Maunon in an overly large Hazmat suit almost at his back, firing at Kai with a pistol, hitting Wren's Second with yet another bullet! The face behind that mask is young, very young and exalted with the rush of adrenaline of a girl no older than Kai herself…

With a grunt of effort, Asher sweeps around the left side of the hazmat suited man he's facing off wish. He brings his axe down in an overhand strike, the head of the axe slashing into the side of the man's head and he falls. Asher steps over the man's body as he twitches, gravely injured by likely not dead. Asher holds his axe out towards Cage and stalks towards him, "Give it up! You don't have to die here…" At least he's being a bit more defensive in posture now…

Mother is the necessity of invention, and Arlin's had years to perfect how his hatchet is rigged to his satchel. He's also had years to get really good at transitioning from treating wounds to inflicting them. Good golly, Miss Molly, she sure likes to (crack) bone. In this instance, the breast bone. Fatally, even if not instantaneously. That's right, Maunon. Suffer. "<In Trigedasleng> It's a date," the medic cheerfully calls back to Wren.

Alas, further bloodletting must be postponed because the medic espies the downed Wyst, and it's to her side that Arlin dashes.

The other Hazmat suited figure also appears to be young. A boy perhaps in his teens, doing his damnest to stop the attackers. Damed if he doesn't somehow look as familiar as the girl.

Stick your head up, threaten a president with a sword, it draws attention. Of the painful kind. Really, there's probably not a single person including Kai herself likely to be surprised when she becomes a bullet magnet. One to the hand. One to the abdomen, three in the chest, and though her blade falls there's not the force behind it to do much of anything, her legs going out from underneath her and for a second there it might seem like the ex-Skaikru Second is going to die where she leapt. But there's a twitch of her sword, a reflexive clutching as painful, blank-eyed LIFE registers somewhere in Kai's grey eyes. Screw prisoners. Kill is the only thing left in what's functioning of her pain riddled brain right now. If it's her destiny to die here, damnit, it will be knowing that the Maunon dies with her.

Wyst managed to shock the security guard just before he takes her down by slamming his fist right into the wound on her neck, knocking her to the ground. She lays there prone her shock baton still hand as she lays there unconscious and bleeding.

Cassandra's stance is different to Asher's, not to mention the Maunon's. For one, she doesn't care if any of these people die. It's really not that she has anything against them — they just haven't given her a reason to be for them, is all. It's probably a good thing that she's only a Second, and not that good of a shot, because she doesn't even seem to care that the powder-blue hazmat figure she's shooting at looks about as young as her, and maybe even younger. She looks him right in his masked eye and notches another arrow as she raises it to his throat, shooting to kill. Cheetahs need to eat; run, antelope.

Gideon does not advance, does not retreat. She calmly looses the arrow. It misses, but that hardly phases he as she reaches for another. Her expression is hard and unreadable, her jaw fixed. She does not even care what is happening around her. She has her target. Which means she probably has no idea if she's about to become a target herself.

"KAI!" Wren can only watch in horror as Kai is gunned down by numerous weapons. It's happening all over again. It's Lark all over again. It can't happen again. He won't let it happen again. Not like Lark. Not Kai. Not his Second. The Security man in front of him is cut down in front of a combination of hits and he moves forward, trying to get to her. But then another one gets his way. He will cut his way through to her if it kills him. No again. It can't happen again.

Cage stumbles back from the slashing sword, dropping onto his ass and pumping a shot into her torso. He sighs with relief, only to have a much larger angry person with a melee weapon come after him. Scrambling up to his feet, he ducks and dodges as best as he can.

Burst. Burst. Burst. Nathaniel just keeps pouring hot lead into the room in three round bursts. Moving into the open now with their attention on the melee combatants, Nathaniel takes up a firing line stance and starts pouring more hot lead into Security personnel. No need for talking… they had their chance to surrender, and now it's time to pay for that.

<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wren with Brawling - Serious Stun wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Kai attacks Cage with Sword - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Cage with Bow - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Sage with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cage attacks Asher with Pistol - Light wound to Left Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Cage with Axe - Serious wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Wyst:
< Neck (Moderate): successful
< Chest (Light): successful
< Right_Leg (Serious): successful
< Right_Hand (Moderate): successful
< Wyst is back in the fight!
<COMBAT> Security12 fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Asher with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Kai with Pistol - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wren attacks Security14 with Axe but Security14 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Sage attacks Delinquent2 with Spear - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Delinquent1 with Bow - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Asher has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Cage has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Kai has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Wren has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Cage is not out of the fight yet! (Orion)
<COMBAT> Wren spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Asher spends a luck point to keep fighting!

One of the Security who's fighting hand to hand punches Wren a stunning blow to the arm! BAM! He dodges Wren's axe and tries to drop that big Trikru yet. Not as effective as shooting Wren but if he'd hit him in the head… while another of Cage's Security shifts position across the room and prays while he sprays right AT Asher - but doesn't manage to hit a damn thing except the wall. Idiot. Could be some panic there.

Kai is taking a BEATING as yet more bullets rip into her body! The teenager in the Hazmat suit means as much business as the would be Trikru and apparently knows how to handle the pistol. She's got it hot for Kai.

Bullets whiz by Asher as he stalks towards Cage. Oddly, everyone except for Cage misses Asher. After Kai's blade meets Cage's neck, Asher ducks down and comes up in an angled slash, also catching Cage in the throat. Cage's one fired shot hits Asher in the leg, and Asher staggers to the ground for a moment, but is quick to shove himself back to his feet and rounds on Cage again. "I guess you don't want to do this the easy way…" Obviously. Asher intends to finish this mess.

Great, someone just had to know where to punch Wren. Right in that wound that's not exactly healed up yet. And really tender, and Silver didn't make that any better the previous night(thanks, babe). Wren stammers, falling to one knee as his swing goes wide. Not again. Not like this. Can't be like this. Not again. He gets back up, not willing to just lay down and die like last time. And he will swing his axe again, all too ready to cut the other down. Needs to cut him down. Need to get to Kai.

Grey-eyed, blood-soaked, murder. There's no dodging, no bothering worrying about other people in the room right now. Kai is bleeding, she hurts. But there's a job to be done, and her focus is so very, very narrow and clear to her. Her blood slicked hand doesn't truly want to work properly, and it's so tempting to stop, but she has it in her, drawing back her arm with a gurgling snarl the president gets the horror-show face of the blood soaked girls crimson grin as her blade finds flesh, and then another bullet strikes her and down she goes again into the carpet face first and not stirring.

Cage takes one slash across the side of the neck, and then another in the other direction, plus a grazing arrow wound to the chest. He is already dropping the gun when he spasmodically pulls the trigger, sending a bullet along Asher's leg. The force of the blows knocks him to the ground again, just after he got up again. Blood spurts from his neck, and he grasps hold of it with both hands, "No… you don't understand…" the words are liquid under the blood staining his lips and teeth as Cage struggles to talk, "…the surface… was our birthright…"

For a moment, Cage Wallace's famous last words give Cassandra Bonheur, prisoner of the Ark, a moment to pause. She lowers her bow as she steps into the office, glancing around at the familiar faces as she circles around to the man's desk. "There is no birthright," she tells the President, looking down towards him with a callous emptiness that almost resembles pity. "Life's what you take. That's it." Apparently, she understands him. It's a touching moment. It's over when she reaches for his father's fancy sword, to draw it from its holding place.

<FS3> Arlin rolls Alertness: Success. (1 6 3 1 5 6 8 6)

Wyst may be knocked out but she's not down for the count. Not when Arlin's finished with her. "Wakey, wakey." Lightly, he slaps one of her cheeks to rouse her once he's tended to the bleeding. And since she'll live, he's again on his feet and in motion, hatchet in hand and treaded boots pounding floor to get into El Presidente's office.

Gideon halts on her arrow when Cage stumbles, and then tries to make his case. She flicks her gaze to Arlin, and then her expression grows slightly wolfish. "I don't know… perhaps the heda should deal with him… and then we can see what sort of birthright awaits the Mountain Men."

Wyst wakes up with Arlin's gentle slap and blinks, realizing that she's on the ground and there's still a fight going on around her. She grips her shock baton and then stands up quickly, moving to take down the nearest Mountain Man security. She notices that Asher is about to end Cage, "Wait…let me knock him out. He should have to face trial…not face an easy death."

Nathaniel turns his rifle on the others, "He dropped his weapon Mr. Kholmin. Stand down and deal with the others."

"How about you use your fucking baton to deal with the assholes still shooting at us?" Asher growls out at Wyst and he turns away from Cage and moves off to deal with one of the delinquents. If Cage wants to pick up his gun and start blasting, cool. Not Asher's problem anymore.

Sage is not worried about Cage, she at one time had two on her and that has the silent warriors attention. Another hit of the chest and she growls very softly as she swirls around with the bladed spear, using it's reach in hopes of taking out one of her attackers.

<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Cage with Shock Baton - Moderate Stun wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wren with Brawling - Light Stun wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Sage attacks Delinquent2 with Spear - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Kai:
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Right_Hand (Moderate): unsuccessful
< Chest (Moderate): unsuccessful
< Abdomen (Moderate): successful
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Kai is back in the fight!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Gideon with Assault Rifle and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Gideon attacks Security12 with Bow - Moderate wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Delinquent2 attacks Sage with Pistol and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Delinquent2's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 attacks Asher with Pistol - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Delinquent1's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Delinquent1 with Sword but Delinquent1 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Asher attacks Delinquent1 with Axe - Serious wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Wren attacks Security14 with Axe - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cage has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Delinquent1 has been KO'd!

With a flourish, Cassandra draws the President's sword, tests it in her grip, and levies it towards Cage Wallace. "If I were you," she warns the man, eyeing his gun. "I would pick that thing up and shoot myself in the head, knowing the things they're going to do to you." They don't have much time to chit-chat, though, because then another arrow and several more bullets are flying, and she snarls as she lunges forward to try and impale the remaining hazmat with the gun. Unfortunately, time spent talking means she telegraphs her attempt, and he very easily dodges like a mound of powder-blue jelly, right after putting a bullet in her Niron's arm.

You have to admit, Security is trying! Their lives depend on these last few minutes. One of them tags Wren with a fist again but it's only a glancing blow. Nothing very effective like before. Gideon is shot at but missed! She however does NOT miss her target, nailing the man who'd shot at her with a finely fletched arrow that was probably made by Benning's hand. Do her sister proud!

Meanwhile the baby faced male Teen in the Hazmat suit tries to shoot Sage but misses. The matching girl goes after Asher with her pistol. Things in here are really starting to look grim for the Mountain as the blows keep falling and the bullets are getting fewer.

Nathaniel keeps his rifle aimed, another burst. "Ridiculous." Nathaniel keeps pouring in the lead to those who simply will not surrender.

Another round cuts into Asher's right arm, but once more it's a graze. Asher turns on the Guard who shot him and moves in quickly, his axe blade slicing through the air and into the guard's right arm with a meaty thunk. When Asher pulls the axe free, the girl's arm dangles, uselessly and she falls to the ground, more in shock than due to the life threatening nature of the injury. Asher then turns to help Sage dispatch one of the remaining guards.

Wren's hand will hurt, but it's not even something that registers in the big Trikru's head. Not when he's finding paydirt, that axe coming low in a swing across the guard's abdomen, biting in a hard hit. He will get to his adoptive daughter, she's not going to die here. And he will cut his way through this man. Not again. Not going to happen again. Not like Lark.

Wyst grips her baton in her hand and then moves on Cage, taking him down before the man can do something to set anyone off to kill him. She wants that man to face trial and she's going to knock him out so he can. There's a grim satisfaction as the lightning arcs through Cage's body, knocking the man to the ground twitching.

Kai's not dead. The armor Starling made might look like swiss cheese right now, and she's dead weight when Arlin gets to her, but from the flutter of her eyes and the twitch of her hand the bullet-riddled Second is apparently not going to die today. Not that she elects to get up right this second, either, that wounded right hand twitching reflexively in some kind of grateful acknowledgment of the medic she's just a little too foggy right now to try clambering right back up onto her feet and thus elects to stay put for the moment and hope she doesn't wind up eating another bullet.

This close, even with rifle fire and shouts all about, someone getting struck with a shock baton stands out. Cage twitches, his back arching, and he screams, the air burbling with blood as it claws its way out of his throat. He is still bleeding horribly from the neck, but once the shock baton is removed from contact with him, and arcs of electricity are no longer crawling over his body, he flops on the ground and lies still, unmoving beyond his breathing.

Sage does not like to miss, that shows in the silent snarl on her face as she dances with a guard and a gun. Her movements are still as sharp as before, swirling to the side to dodge another bullet, but it causes the bladed end of her staff to miss the ear of the guard by less than an inch.

Kai is up and at 'em, and that's when Arlin's gaze fall upon whom he concludes is his lifelong quarry. (Never mind Cage might be too young to have been President when Arlin's father was executed. Rage eyes see no difference.) "<In Trigedasleng> Mine," the medic lowly growls, not about to let his Life Goal die here and now when a more sadistic death can be had later. And so he gets to work to prep the President for transport.

Alas, Gideon is going to be denied her kill. Cage's scream rips through the chamber and it almost paralyzes the the remaining Security if only for a heart beat. There is blood on the floor, broken glass, chips of concrete, splinters from the shredded desk, picture frames with paintings that were shot off of the walls, weapons, and a great many brass shell casings for rifles and pistols alike. Even a stray arrow or two here and there. And the bodies of the dead, the dying, and the incapacitated.

The bullet-magnet Security man is in seriously bad shape. He pauses only a fraction of a second in his attacks and seeing Cage shudder and fall to the floor after his scream, his President down, the man raises his assault rifle and points it at himself in an attempt to suicide.

At almost the same moment, the male teenager in the oversized Hazmat suit falls to his knees and throws up his hands, dropping his pistol, "I surrender! Please don't kill me!" It's a frightened voice, muffled as it is by his head covering.

Cassandra winces with sympathy for Cage Wallace when she hears the grown man scream. No one deserves this. Not in her book. As far as the pragmatic survivalist is concerned, no one deserves anything, for better or for worse. She sees Asher charging into the fray, per usual, and checks his flank. Then she steps forward towards the begging male teenager, her manner calm and collected, evidently to accept his surrender. She kicks his pistol to the side, then lowers her gaze towards his. "This is for your own good," she tells him quietly. "Turn your head down to the ground." Without warning, she then raises her new sword high, swinging it downwards to try and execute him with a chop to the neck.

<COMBAT> Asher attacks Delinquent2 with Axe - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Security14 attacks Wren with Brawling - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wren attacks Security14 with Axe - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Wyst attacks Security14 with Shock Baton but Security14 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Security12 attacks Security12 with Assault Rifle - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Security12's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Nathaniel fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nathaniel attacks Security14 with Assault Rifle but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Cage:
< Neck (Critical): successful
< Chest (Light): successful
< Neck (Serious): successful
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Cage is still KO'd.
<COMBAT> Cassandra attacks Delinquent2 with Sword - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Security14 has been KO'd!

The security officer who raised his rifle tries to shoot himself but in his haste, the assault rifle rips loose and only hits his helmet, the recoil in the odd position throwing his aim well off with none of his body to help to brace the firearm. Bullets rip into the ceiling after grazing his helmet, making him stagger back but not killing him. His heart must be going a mile a minute in desperation.

They're accepting his surrender, right? That's good, right? The teenage boy, tears streaming down his face, starts to nod to Cassandra, and then her stolen sword goes up, and Asher keeps coming, and he jerks back, just barely avoiding their blades. Cassandra's catches on his hood, pulling it free, but he's already screaming before then, tainted air bleeding in through the hole in the suit that Sage tore with the blade from her staff. The loss of the hood just means that everyone in the room can see that the boy is only thirteen or fourteen at the oldest… and that he is dying horribly. First, his skin reddens, and he begins to scream. And then the red rashes begin to blister, and he collapses to his knees, his scream rising up louder and sharper as his body burns alive.

<FS3> Sage rolls Resolve: Good Success. (2 1 5 6 5 8 8)
<FS3> Cassandra rolls Resolve-2: Good Success. (1 2 5 7 8 8)
<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Resolve: Good Success. (1 2 8 8 3 8)
<FS3> Wyst rolls Resolve: Good Success. (2 3 7 5 7 8)
<FS3> Kai rolls Resolve-2: Success. (8 6 4 3)

"Ms. Bonheur, go out into the hallway with Mr. Kholmin and stand watch. My orders were clear about surrenders." Nathaniels voice, for the first time, is sharp, snappy. Then Sargeant Breen puts a finger to his earpiece. "President Wallace is secured along with his office. Over." Then he looks to the boy being burned alive.

If Wren were in a better frame of mind, he'd say something about the younger teen that had surrendered. Might've even tried to stop it, it's not on his mind, just walking past. But not right now. Not after seeing Kai get shot that many times. Once the last man in his way has hit the ground, he drops his axe letting it clatter on the ground, going to his Second, doing nothing more than reaching out for her, scooping her up in his arms.

Sage had stopped her attack when the kid had surrendered, she even took a step back. There is honor to ones word, even in battle. But she also doesn' blink as Cass and Asher seem to have other ideas. The warriors mouth opens as if to say something but then closes as she watches the boy burn from the inside out. Those silver eyes are dark, almost dead as she turns away and checks the room carefully. A tiny wince when her armor pulls on her wounds, but otherwise a closed expression behind the war paint.

Wyst is swearing under her breath when Cassandra tries to execute the teen herself but then something odd happens. His body starts to twitch and move like he's burning up and skin erupts in welts, "What the hell?" She looks to Nathaniel to see what he wants to do and apparently he has the situation well in hand. She puts her baton away, now that the fight is over, "Breen…" She looks to see if he wants her to do anything else.

Kai's wandering hand finds her sword hilt, and then there's screaming. Awful screaming. Young screaming. But before she can really get a sight on it she's being scooped up and she croaks,"<In Trigedasleng> Your alive." with a tired and bloody grin, trying hard to block out the sound. Trying hard and failing. Righteous murder of adults is one thing, but kids? Green eden. She awkwardly slides her blade away in its sheathe on the second attempt as her left, still stitched together hand clutches at Wren's and her teeth are set, cowardly (by her measure) electing not to try and look around her First's bulk to see the dying kid.

The worst part about all of this, for Cassandra, isn't that she's watching a thirteen year-old boy die. It's that she can't even bring herself to care. She holds back her sword as her attempt to lop off his head fails, and just stares into his eyes as the boy's face melts. It would have been kinder on him if she'd succeeded. She draws back her sword again, poised to attack again, wanting to end it rather than let him suffer, but this time she just doesn't have it in her.

"Go… float on a goat, Sergeant Breen," Cassandra turns to say to Nathaniel, bleak and exasperated, as the child writhes on the floor in agony. She gives the Sarge' a vacant look, but ultimately follows his orders. Letting the President's sword hang by her side, she slips her free arm under Asher's broad shoulders, trying to silently placate him with the physical contact and support him as they stagger off into the hallway. Hopefully the guard-killer doesn't decide his Mecha Station stunt bears a repeat demonstration.

The response from Kane is somewhat delayed, gunfire still crackling over the channels, "Excellent, Sergeant. Secure him as necessary." There's a pause for more gunfire, "He'll face justice for what he's done."

Nothing else seems to matter. Not the prisoners, not Cage, not much of anything else. The whole world could suddenly catch on fire and Wren wouldn't really notice. He has his Second, they did their job and they're leaving. Able to hold Kai with one arm for a moment, he stamps a foot on the blade of axe, making the handle pop up enough that he doesn't have to lean down to grab it. And it's then slide into it's back sheathe. Both arms going back to hold Kai, he nods. "<In Trigedasleng> I am." But half of his face is covered in blood, and he doesn't look entirely there, but there's enough of him to carry her to the outside. Unless he's stopped, of course.

"Roger, will hold here until ordered otherwise. Over and out." With that, Nathaniel looks to Wyst, "Corporal, Guards cuffs on the President." Then Nathaniel starts to look around, "Great work people, this is a victory for both of us."

Arlin's earned no shortage of drinks tonight. And as much as he loves booze, nothing tops the unconscious, not-about-to-bleed-out, restrained Cage Wallace. No time to celebrate or gloat or rejoice or deal with any of the abundance of feelings this moment is causing. Instead, taking a strange kind of sadistic peace in what will soon come to pass, the medic compartmentalizes and sees about Wren's most recent round of wounds.

No emotion whatsoever is displayed when Asher and Cassandra turn the clueless teenager into a pile of goop — one whose hazmat suit isn't a chrysalis and the whose bodily meltdown isn't the kind of DNA super soup that will result in a butterfly. Arlin does, however, make a mental note to buy those Skaikids a round of good drinks.

<COMBAT> Cassandra treats Asher:
< Chest (Light): successful
< Left_Arm (Light): unsuccessful
< Right_Arm (Light): successful
< Chest (Light): successful
< Left_Leg (Light): unsuccessful
< Right_Arm (Light): unsuccessful
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Wren:
< Left_Arm (Serious): successful
< Right_Hand (Light): successful

Wyst moves to do as Nathaniel asks, placing cuffs on the downed Cage. Her manner is straightforward, efficient as she gets him secured. There's no emotion on her face over what Cassandra did to the teen. She then leans against the desk and stands there, looking a little worn around the edges from the fight.

The ignored would-be suicide looks around at the people utterly ignoring him, and carefully, quietly slides a full magazine out of his belt, then ejects the clip from his rifle… and it clatters loudly to the wreckage on the floor. Oops.

<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Resolve-1: Good Success. (6 5 5 8 8)
<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Brawn+brawn-1: Success. (4 7 6 2 1 2 3)

Nathaniel finally gets a chance to look around… and frowns at all the damage. "So much history, gone because the fool wouldn't surrender in time." Nathaniel sighs as he looks at one of the ripped apart paintings. Then… the magazine falls, and Nathaniel immediately heads over to him, putting his rifle away, then grabbing and *yanking* the mans rifle to the other side of the room. "Bad move." With that, Nathaniel punches the would-be assassin square in the face. Hard.

Kai pauses among the rubble while Wren's getting treated, the clatter of the magazine draws her attention, but before she can do more than peel her lips back from her teeth, he's already been dealt with. So the grey-eyed girl takes one of the smaller, undamaged artifacts from the room, then dips down to collect a chip of the concrete from the ground to pocket. Though she might on another day argue that she's mobile, she can keep going, with the echo of that kids scream in her ears she lets Wren lead her off, it's a long ass walk back to the camp, after all, and she's not feeling so crash right now.

<COMBAT> Cassandra treats Sage:
< Chest (Light): successful
< Chest (Light): successful
< Chest (Light): successful
<COMBAT> Arlin treats Nathaniel:
< Abdomen (Moderate): successful
< Chest (Light): successful

Once he's been treated, Wren goes to pick Kai up again, cradling her in his arms. He doesn't say much more than that. He gives Arlin a nod, a thanks for the second round of getting looked at, but that's it. Nothing more, and he heads out, taking his Second to the healers outside of the mountain.

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Alertness-2: Good Success. (8 8 7 2 4)

In the hallway, Cass takes a moment to try and calm Asher down. This may or may not involve an impromptu make-out session, which may or may not be the reason she doesn't do as good a job as she could seeing to his injuries. Who knows. Fortunately his armour absorbed most of the bullet wounds, so while exhausted, he wasn't in terrible shape in the first place. Holding President Wallace's sword by the hilt, blade pointed downwards, she then presents it to the murderous thug. "This is for you," she says. Apparently, she didn't claim that prize for herself, after all. When that's sorted, she takes a brief glance down the corridor, just so that no one can say she didn't stand watch, then steps back into the office.

"Don't see anything," Cassandra informs Sergeant Breen, sending him a blank, challenging look. Go on, tell me off, it says. She really does have trouble obeying orders. "Ash is keeping his eye peeled though. Just thought I'd let you know." And then she turns to mind her own business, which happens to direct her towards Sage.

"Alright?" Cass asks the Grounder. It's a rhetorical question, surely, and only precedes her seeing to business and bandaging the other woman's wounds.

<FS3> Nathaniel rolls Resolve-1: Success. (1 3 2 2 8)
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Cassandra=stealth-2 Vs Nathaniel=alertness-1 (to try to sneak a pistol)
< Cassandra: Embarassing Failure (1 1 1) Nathaniel: Good Success (5 4 3 1 8 8 2)
< Net Result: Nathaniel wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Arlin rolls Firearms: Failure. (4 6 2)
<FS3> Arlin rolls Firearms: Success. (2 8 3)

Sage tilts her head at Cassandra when she goes back wrapping her wounds, but the warrior is silent and simply gives the girl a nod in thanks before she steps outside and goes back doing what the Trikru were here to do, take down the mountain. IE she goes to watch the halls.

With the last of the wounded treated as much as is possible here and now, Arlin sees about collecting his booty, which happens to be Cage Wallace's ass. Just as he's about to retrieve the President, something else nearby catches his eye: a pistol. For a long moment, the medic is flooded with ambivalence, considering his father's conviction about the importance of firearms and considering the price his father paid for those beliefs. The former eventually wins. Unfortunately, the Trikru healer accidentally discharges the weapon before the safety can be set, subsequently shooting a hole through one of the fancy-shmancy paintings on the office wall. Oops.

Second time is the charm, though, and the pistol is pocketed without further mishap before Arlin hefts his unconscious quarry into a fireman's carry and moves out, a certain gleam in his hazel eyes offsetting the inscrutable intensity of his expression.

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