“Another foe?” inquires Darrac.
“One of the worst,” I reply, “We fought once before. It took down the entire New League except for myself, Lantern and Narszara. I barely held my own and Lantern was the one who took it down. Do your best to destroy it.”
“Excellent,” says Darrac in a satisfied voice.
He flaps his wings and zooms at the Machine, flying close to deck. I grab one of the bounty hunters’ guns of the deck. Hopefully this will do some damage against the Machine.
Darrac turns at the last moment, dodging the Machine’s laser beams. He swipes one of the legs of the machine, leaving a light tears in the armour plating. The machine tries to swing a fist at Darrac, but he’s already out of range of any melee attacks.
I take that as my cue and pull the trigger on my borrowed gun. It turns out to be a semi-automatic that fires explosive rounds.
The shots dent the armour of the Machine, but do little beyond that. I’m not sure how to beat it with Sam or Narszara to help.
Perhaps if I-
The world spins as I fly forward. A red warning message flashes up on my HUD.
Warning: Rocket Pack Disabled
Warning: Severe Damage to Back Armour Plating
What the heck hit me?
I stagger upright. The loss of the rocket pack as removed a lot of my options as well as most of my ability to dodge.
I look towards the Machine as its lasers begin to hit me. It’ll take a couple of minutes, but if the Machine keeps this up, it’ll burn through the Sentinel armour and start hitting fleshy stuff beneath.
I try to shield by face and chest with my armours, but it won’t bring my anymore time
That’s when Darrac swoops back in and stabs both of his forearm spikes into the disco ball head of the machine. Bolts of electricity leap out of the machine, electrocuting Darrac. He barely gets his spikes out when the Machine grabs his injured leg.
He grunts in pain and the Machine tosses him off of the edge of the carrier.
“No!” I shout as I aim my lasers at the Machine.
I get off a few ineffective hits before the Machine fires four of its missiles at me. I get a couple of goes off, hitting one, two and three of the missiles before the fourth explodes into a dozen micro-missiles.
Without my rocket pack, I don’t have much chance of dodging the missiles, but I try anyway.
I fail miserably.
I maybe dodged two, maybe three, but the rest slam into me. The explosion sends me flying backwards. I can’t take much more of this, no matter how great the Sentinel armour is.
My HUD flickers and several flashing warnings pop up as I smash face up into the deck. Sonics are both offline, lasers are both offline, right arm is disabled and serious damage to pretty much every piece of outer armour plating.
Oh and the thermal vision is offline as well.
It occurs to me that this might be it. My final fight only a week and a half after becoming the Sentinel.
“Lantern!” I shout over my comm, “The Machine. I’m going to die if you don’t get over here.”
“Hold on buddy,” comes a firm and steady reply in a gratefully fast time, “I’m coming pal.”
I lean up expecting the Machine to finish me off. It fires another four missiles at me.
Help comes from an unexpected source.
A grenade flies into the path of the missile and explodes, prematurely detonating the missiles and the micro-missiles contained within.
“Come on you stinking piece of junk!” yells Spartan at the Machine with his gun in one hand, “Not on my aero-carrier!”
Oddly enough, my first thought is where did Spartan get his gun from. Probably picked it back up after I dropped it when my rocket pack was destroyed.
Spartan grips his gun with both hands and opens fire on the Machine. He quickly blasts its optic ball off since it was damaged by Darrac already. The Machine quickly responds by firing its lasers at Spartan.
I try to tell him to roll, but I’m still struggling after my beating. Several lasers destroy his gun while one hits his neck armour, barely missing his head. Another couple hit his cape.
Spartan stumbles backwards, coughing. As the Machine prepares to fire again, I spot a dark shape behind him.
With an unruly battle cry, Darrac swoops down and over the top of the Machine, slicing its shoulder lasers off as he goes.
“A Neriarr is harder than that to defeat,” calmly says Darrac as he throws a small, shiny device with glowing green lines at the Machine’s chest.
The device explodes in a green explosion, sending the Machine tumbling backwards into the deck. But with what appear to be anti-gravity packs built into its back, it quickly returns to standing up right.
Firing another set of four missiles, two at Darrac and two at Spartan, the Machine charges towards me. As the other two fly off to avoid the missiles, I sit upright. I look up to see the Machine pound me back into the deck. The Machine pulls back its fist for another strike, this time to finish me off.
As its fist comes down, a flash of light appears in front of me.
There is the Lantern in all his glory, the Machine’s fist caught in his hand.
“Pick on someone your own size,” snarls Sam.