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Protectorate Flagship Aggressor, Rear Boiler Station

A dense cloud of steam flooded through the breached hatch and melted the barriers of thin ice cast by Claymore One and Claymore Six operatives as they hurdled behind cover. The humidity was thick and the temperature rising every minute as the besieged soldiers were being slowly cooked by the Warjacks steam throwers.

Cooked Protectorate bodies littered the entrances, while spent brass casing littered the ground around the defenders. Hitsu ignored the drops of warm condensed water dripping down his helmet and into his sweat soaked collar as he quickly thumbed cartridges into his emptied magazines. Spent magazines and several discarded cardboard boxes laid sodden by the humidity in the boiler room at his feet.

"How long are those ass holes just going to keep this up?" Hitsu yelled out as he slipped the reloaded magazines into his pouches. "Are they really trying to cook us?"

The Protectorate forces were unable to force their way in had fallen back when the enemy commander in charge realised sending in any more troops would just be wasting bodies. Instead, the enemy forces had stopped forcing the breaches and instead had their Warjacks to spray hot steam into the breaches to superheat the interior of the boiler station.

With the ventilation vents closed off, the hot steam flooding into the room made the humidity and temperature rise. This causes the soldiers inside the room to be unable to sweat off the heat of their bodies which over time will lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

The Claymore One and Six operatives could only cast ice spells to help cool their bodies down, but with the rising temperatures and humidity taking a toil to their bodies, their spells could only so do much.

Tyrier sat next to Claymore Six team leader and discussed their options. Both leaders were worried that if they do not break this deadlock, most likely they won't be able to go home. Claymore Six team leader said, "We blow up the boilers and break out from one side?"

"The Warjack with the damn steam thrower will cook us before we even take a step out of cover," Tyrier shook his Head. "And we have nothing to punch through the armor of the Warjack either."

"How about tossing all our explosions out of the breach?" Claymore Six leader suggested. "Several kilos of high explosives should be enough to cover our escape. We use the moment of confusion to break out..."

"I guess that's the only option we have other then waiting to be cooked alive here..." Tyrier sighed and gathered his men over. "Alright, boys, we got ourselves a plan..."

"This is going to be a suicidal break out..." Tyrier quickly briefed both the Claymore One and Six operatives about their plan of action. "We throw all the explosives and flash bangs out of one side and blow it. The blast should disorientate anyone outside and hopefully the damn Warjack! Then we pray and run! Alright, any questions?"

"Boss?" Wolf raised his hand. "Erm... why don't we try blowing up the pipes and using it to escape instead of going out by the main hatch?"

"I am pretty sure the pipes of the boiler room isn't as armored as the the entire place," Wolf raised his point. "Also... without the boilers running... the pipes should be safe enough for us to... erm... use?"

Tyrier glanced at Claymore Six leader and they both let out a bark of laughter. "Goddamn it, why didn't we think of it?"

"Alright! Set the charges on the boilers!" Tyrier ordered. "The rest start finding us a pipe that leads out of this death trap!"

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Protectorate Flagship Aggressor, Forward Decks

Aegeus was Protector of the Justice Order having grown up within the Order ever since he could remember, learning, and training skills. Once he came of age and passed the Final Examination, he was promoted to the ranks of a Protector.

He could not speak, as all the tongues of the Protector of the Justice Order were removed since young. What he learned was that their existence was absolute obedience to the Order and their mission. He grew up being taught how the Protectors stood next in the ranks of the God of Creation and Justice and when he finally received his Judgement before Ramuh, he will rejoin the holy ranks beside his God once again.

And now, he and his brothers' mission was to ensure the safety of the Inquisitor General. The enemy that appeared before him were just beings that needed to be sent to the Judgement for their affront to his beliefs and creed.

The twin steam blades appeared in his arms like magic, his blood red cloak sweeping back as he charged forward towards the group of lawless. As he closed the distance, he pointed each of his steam blades at the closest lawless and squeeze the finger length lever.

Two sharp pops of steam burst out from a hollow tube that ran along the short length of the blade and two stake darts shot out. The expression of the two lawless turned to shock and pain as the stake darts hammered into them, and by the time they toppled backward, he was within the group of lawless.

He swung his steam blades with fitness, feeling the short sword like weapon humming as steam was pumped into the weapon, heating the blades and recharging the four shot chamber of the mini steam cannon. Any slash or cut with his steam blades would leave behind scorched flesh and burns.

Within seconds he had shot two lawless and cut down another two. The remaining three at the rear raised their long black crossbow like weapon and the thunderous roar and flash of the weapon left his ears ringing and a blob of white on his vision. Still, he twisted his body as he sensed the danger from the weapon, just barely avoiding the deadly projectile that torn a ragged hole in his cloak.

After a moment, with his ears still ringing painfully, he stood in the middle of the group of fallen lawless, the blood cooking and turning black on the edge of his blades while his battle brother finished off those that still had breathe in them. He gave a prayer in his heart for the brave yet weak lawless and was about to leave to join the Inquisitor General when another party of lawless appeared.

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Slow was covering the rear of his section when they came to an abrupt halt. He took a glance and found a section of Marines dead, their blood, and bodies spayed out along the passageway while two Beetle Heads in red armor stood over the dead.

"CONTACT!" The point man dropped to a crouch, his shotgun up and thundering, spewing a small cloud of lead out while the others took up firing position.

The passageway immediately descended into chaos as the Marine section engaged the two red Beetle Heads. Unsurprisingly, both red Beetle Heads had magical shields, as a flickering rainbow hue appeared under the barrage of lead. To their surprise, the red Beetle Heads did not retreat but instead charge forward.

The lead point man yelled out in pain as he raised his shotgun up to block a downward stroke of the shiny blade in the red Beetle Head's hand. A severed gloved hand went flying off with blood squirting all over the passageway.

The passageway was wide enough for only three men to walk side by side and the short engagement distance was disadvantageous to the Marines once the enemy got into melee range. The long barreled assault rifles were dropped on their slings and sword bayonets came out as the men huffed and grunted in the fight.

Slow dropped his LMG and drew his short battle axe and waded into the melee, the Red Beetle Heads surprisingly managed to held off his section and even downed two more Marines in melee. Both sides glared at each other, four on the Slow's side and two on the Protectorate. Slow noticed that despite their heavy breathing, the red Beetle Heads did not suffer any wounds.

"Grab the wounded!" Slow hissed as he noted his section Sergeant was one of the downed ones with a nasty belly wound. "I hold them back! GO!"

With an Oerkish war cry, he leaped forward, swinging his hand ax down while in his other hand, he held a sword bayonet. Despite his size and nickname, Slow was anything but slow. He used his bulky frame to block and push the two red Beetle heads back and matched their slashes and stabs.

Taking the opportunity Slow had given the section, the rest quickly dragged the wounded back. After several clashes of steel, both sides stepped back and reassessed their opponents. Slow had several burnt wounds on his arms and legs, but already his natural healing ability has started work, but the scorching pain that remained made Slow grit his teeth with pain and anger.

The two red Beetle Heads suddenly moved together, one sought to tangle with Slow while the other went in for the kill. Slow could only roar out in anger and use all his strength, slamming his ax down, forcing the red Beetle Head that faced him to drop back while Slow suddenly threw a side kick at the other red Beetle Head that tried a sneak attack.

For his efforts, he took a bad stab in his thigh. Grunting in pain, he hobbled out of reach of their blades when suddenly a yelled call out from behind. "SLOW! GET DOWN!"

Quickly, he dropped prone just as his returning section mates open fire at the two red Beetle Heads whose magical shields started flickering wildly again but popping. The two red Beetle Heads dodged as much as they could and their blades popped, tiny gusts of steam erupting out and cries of pain came from the Marines.

Slow rolled to his side and drew out his service revolver and snapped off all five shots at the closest red Beetle Head who was barely even three meters away. The red Beetle Head jerked as his soft leather armor was unable to withstand the punishing fire of the revolver, sending him crashing on his back.

-----

Aegeus was enraged as he saw his battle brother fall. He screamed in his heart and glared at the lesser being who killed his brother. He leaped forward, ignoring the rest of the lawless with their thunder spells, his only intention was to get justice for his fallen brother.

The damned demi being managed to evade his attack by rolling on the passageway like some slimy snake. His magical barrier finally depleted by the endless barrage of the lawless thunder spell, made the dozen magic crystals on his magic barrier formation crumple into dust, yet he ignored it, and followed up on his missed attack, his steam blades going straight for the back of the neck of the demi being.

To his surprise, the demi being rolled over and a tube appeared in its hands aimed at him. The pitch darkness within the tube seemed to be infinite when the demi being yelled out something, and the tube flared into eye searing brightness.

-----

"FARK YOU!" Slow pumped the action of the shotgun, spitting out a red shell and shoved the muzzle up at the face of the red Beetle Head, and squeezed the trigger. The loud boom that followed was the most satisfying noise Slow has ever heard.

The red beetle like helmet of the Protectorate soldier vanished with a puff, and the bulkheads were immediately riddled with holes and painted with blood and brains. Slow dropped the smoking shotgun and slumped on his back in pain as his adrenaline wore off. The burn cuts all over his body both hurt and itchy as he laid there while the rest of his section that was more able came over to drag him to safety.

"Ow... this farking hurts... I wonder why did I wanna be a Marine..."

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