The rest of the White Tiger’s were either more used to their drivers insane driving style, or steadier on their feet than Erich, because he was the only one who stumbled as the vehicle pivoted.
Or they don’t have enough room to fall over, Erich noted with grim satisfaction as he saw the strained look on the faces of those goons who were pressed up against the wall.
Still, the moment the van swerved to a halt, the back doors were swung open and people were piling out onto the smoke-filled street.
“Time to go, kid.” Myra grinned as she easily pulled his heavy exo-suit to its feet with a single massive purple hand before leaping out herself, the van swaying violently on its suspension as the purple meta left.
Erich wasn’t much slower as he charged out of the van, his suits sensors allowing him to see across the car-park despite the clouds of smoke obscuring everything.
Which was why he got to see in great detail as one of the White Tigers took a stray round and collapsed mid-charge. Nor was she the only one, as he could see two other prone figures face down in the smoke.
Myra might have disdained the use of energy shields as a rich man’s crutch, but he imagined those of her posse who weren’t bulletproof might have felt differently.
Besides, it wasn’t like the defenders were having it entirely their own way. From behind him he could hear the methodical gunfire of his drones as they advanced on the building. Rather than the mad dash of their organic counterparts, his mechanical underlings fired as they advanced, forcing the defenders to duck back into cover in those few moments where the smoke shifted enough to give either side a vague view of the other.
"Erich, second floor, third window from the right! " Gravity radioed.
Through the gloom of the smoke, Erich watched as a flailing figure was dragged up into the air, flailing madly as they were illuminated in green.
Ignoring the occasional spark of bullets impacting his shield, he focused on the figure.
“Weapon Three. Manual Control. Eye Reticule.” He murmured as his targeting system interposed a targeting reticule over his vision.
“Manual Control Engaged.” Gravity’s automated voice responded.
As soon as the reticule was in place, he thumbed the activator on his wrist and three shots cracked out from over his shoulder.
The glowing figure jerked in the air, before going still.
“Target down.” he said simply, watching as a moment later the glow faded, and the body slumped against the parapet of the window.
"Nice." Gravity shouted, “the rest are keeping their heads down now. Get over to Myra before a Meta shows up.”
“Drones on me.” He instructed, running forward as the machines around him stopped firing to jog after him. One lagged behind as a result of sparking leg, but he paid it little heed.
The situation at the door was about as he expected, with Myra’s gang hunkered down in front of a doorway with the woman herself battering away at the doors.
Shit, he thought as he noted that they’d been reinforced. Not enough to withstand the enthusiastic battering of an angry brute for long, but enough to have delayed their plan for a quick breach.
“Drones. Sentry mode.” He said as he ducked into cover, inwardly acknowledging that this suit had that one advantage overs its predecessor in that it was actually small enough to use cover.
Well, that and the fact that I could still move in this one in the event it stopped working, he thought, acknowledging the not insignificant degree of claustrophobia he now suffered from his time spent immobile in his last suit.
“Weapons one, two and four. Independent targeting.” He murmured as he saw the first defenders sortieing from the hospital’s other entrances.
The arms on his back leapt into motion, whirring away as their targeting systems honed in on the distant figures who had started to exchange fire with his own group. The three arms fired in unison, although whether or not they hit anyone, Erich couldn’t say given the general confusion of the battlefield.
Fortunately, their Brotherhood goon’s aim seemed to mostly be on the drones. Which was understandable, given that they were all still standing out in the open.
It seems ‘Call of Destiny’ lacks a cover mechanic, Erich grumbled as he watched one of the drones stumble back from a shot before rebalancing itself. Need to rectify that.
Fortunately for him, the drones were not so weakly armored to be brought down by a few stray rounds. It would take a good number of shots in the same general area before their armor was compromised.
It also helps that Gravity and her drones are still on overwatch, he thought as a distant figure was lifted into the air, to be perforated by gunfire a moment later.
“Kind of need those doors open, Myra.” Erich shouted, wincing as gunfire thudded into the pillar he was hiding behind.
Myra didn’t grace his complaint with a response, but she did seem to redouble her efforts to batter down the metal entrance. As he watched, the steel entrance continued to deform under the woman’s enthusiastic blows.
“Ammunition reserves: eighty percent.” Gravity’s automated voice helpfully announced, causing Erich to wince.
“Selective fire mode.” He hissed, wary of expending his anti-telepath weapons ammunition reserves before he even encountered them.
Or any meta for that matter, he thought, before wincing at tempting fate.
“Doors down!” Myra shouted triumphantly as the metal door collapsed with a crash, “get the fuck-”
The woman was cut off as a figure from within smashed into her, sending both of them to the ground in a tangle of cursing limbs.
“Shoot it!” the woman shouted as she pried the creatures teeth away from her throat.
She needn’t have bothered. While Erich and the rest of her people might have been stunned by the arrival of a goddamn werewolf, the drones and the weapon’s on his back had no such compunctions.
They had just been waiting for an appropriate firing solution. A needless precaution given that Myra was a brute, and thus could shrug off most small arms, but Erich hadn’t thought to program in an exception.
Which was why, when Myra lifted her assailant into the air, the werewolf yowled in pain as dozens of rounds were fired into its back from behind. Which was then followed by a second barrage of fire as the gangsters and Erich recovered from their shock.
“Yuck.” Myra cursed as she clambered out from under the creatures corpse, her front liberally smeared with werewolf blood. “What the fuck kind of meta was that!?”
Erich didn’t deign to answer the dangerous question. Doing so would defeat the point of coming in the first place. Instead, he promptly put another two rounds into the werewolf’s head.
Don’t want that regenerative factor coming back to bite me in the ass, he thought, ignoring the surprised looks from the White Tigers.
At least, those who weren’t busy firing back at the skinheads trying to flank around them.
“Drones, follow mode. Drones two and six, sentry mode.” He instructed before gesturing for Myra to get inside the building. “Let’s get this done.”
The woman scoffed, rubbing blood from her chin, but strode into the building nonetheless. Hearing no gunfire from within, Erich, the White Tigers, and his remaining drones, followed after her.
The interior was nothing special. Little different from any other hospital really, if a little more wind worn from lack of maintenance.
There was also the remains of the Brotherhood goons who had been guarding that particular entrance. Spread out quite liberally around the lobby. Erich didn’t need a degree in criminology to see that they’d been done in by teeth and claws.
It would seem that the Brotherhood’s method of controlling their test subjects is far from foolproof, Erich grimaced as he turned away from the gory tableau. And he wasn’t the only one who did so, as he heard someone throwing up behind him.
Although, he thought, trying to understand the implications of the scene, it’s possible they don’t even have a control method. Which would explain why the Brotherhood retreated after delivering the werewolves to the mansion. They didn’t want to be eviscerated by their own weapons.
Shaking his head, he brought his mind back to the task at hand. None of this would matter after he brought the entire building down and put an end to the creatures.
“What the fuck?” Myra repeated as she surveyed the carnage. “Seriously. What the fuck?”
“Get the explosives ready,” Erich instructed, “we’re on the clock here.”
Every second they wasted brought New Brotherhood reinforcement closer. In the form of goons, other metas…
…or cops and capes.
Myra glanced suspiciously at him, but nonetheless instructed one her people to pull out the bundles of explosive they had brought with them.
“On that pillar there.” She said, after quickly consulting the map on her omni-pad.
“Let’s keep moving,” he instructed.
They found a few more bodies as they passed through the halls, Myra in the lead. It was enough to make him wonder if the earlier werewolf had escaped rather than been released. Perhaps as a result of panic in the face of their attack?
Still, even with a werewolf on the loose in the interior, he would have expected more defenders about the place. They couldn’t have all been killed or gone to defend outside.
“How are things looking outside?” Erich radioed.
“We’re down to three drones. A speedster showed up and took out the two you left on the doors. I took care of him by canceling his gravity and letting him splat into a wall.”
Erich grimaced at the mental image. Myra, who had been listening in, directed three of people back the way they had come. A wise precaution against being flanked now that there exterior defenders were out of commission.
Graivty continued on, “I think he was the leader on site, because now most of the Brotherhood out here are keeping their heads down. They seem pretty content to hunker down and wait for reinforcements.”
That made sense, but Erich wasn’t quite ready to believe it. Every time they’d encountered the New Brotherhood before, they’d been played like a fiddle. He couldn’t believe that everything was going his way now that he’d engaged in an insane assault on one of the Brotherhood’s main facilities.
Still it did no one any good to for him to voice those misgiving outloud.
“Right, try not to get complacent.” He radioed, “we know the Hangman’s a sneaky bastard, and we’ve already encountered… two metas.” He resisted the urge to curse as he nearly said werewolf, giving away to Myra that this was more than a trafficking ring. “I’m willing to be there will be more.”
“Roger that.” Gravity acknowledged, the faintest hint of nervousness in her voice.
He didn’t blame her. He wouldn’t have been too happy with the possibility of encountering another one of the creatures that nearly staved his head in in her shoes.
As they advanced further into the hospital, they started to find where the first of the test subject were held.
“What the fuck is this!?” Myra grunted as she peered into a room with half a dozen men and women cowering in the back corner.
Likely the ‘medical’ staff, he thought.
That wasn’t what had drawn Myra’s eye though. It was the rows of cots filled with people strapped to their beds.
Their very bloody beds…
He had no doubt if they looked around, they would find a torture room, equipped with all the tools needed to induce an Event, as well as some system to associate that pain with some kind of animal.
He made it sound simple, but he was sure the execution was quite a bit more complex, given how simple the theory behind it was. Otherwise he was sure their would be artificial meta humans all over the place.
They're all members of the Brotherhood though, he noted with both relief and surprise as he noted the tattoos strewn about. Perhaps captured from the True Brotherhood, or volunteers from the New Brotherhood?
It didn’t really matter in the end. The knowledge that he was about to blow up a horde of Nazis made the act slightly more… tolerable.
At least, more tolerable than blowing up a horde of innocent people.
Slightly, he thought as he deliberately looked away.