Test of Strength

Mach, Aera, and Vector all warped in from the portal, and stood close to the portal entrance. The area was much more inviting than the last place they visited, and didn't have nearly the anxiety as last time. Machman jumped into the air and flipped forward as several large metal plates jutted out from his body. In a flurry of metal, he eventually paused in the air in his MachFighter form. The aircraft's engines swung downwards in their housings and allowed his frame to hover just off the ground as he opened his cockpit.

Alright, time to find some viruses.

Aera jumped towards Mach's open cockpit hatch and used her wing thrusters to ease herself into the cockpit and on to the ejection seat inside. Several ribbon-like straps crossed over her chest and waist and secured her into place as the internal display flickered to life. Vector had already fragmented up into dozens of pieces and fastened himself to the frame of the Machfighter. Machman confirmed Aera and Vector's junction to his frame, and closed the cockpit hatch as he throttled up.

The Machfighter began to rise in the air, and slowly moved forward and accelerated as his four main engines swung back to their default positions and sent him soaring over the floor of the network. Aera watched the full wrap-around display in the cockpit, and kept an eye on the radar as Mach scanned the area ahead, prepared to take on whatever comes their way.

((Ready for Battle #1))
It didn't take long for Machman's party of three to discover some viruses to spar with, as they found themselves on a clear glass pathway, with a trio of Swordy knights blocking their way forward. However, if one were to look closely, there could be seen a small turret underneath the glass pathway, scoping out the top floor with a swivel here and a tilt there. Behind it, some consoles sat unused in the relative darkness of the Rogue network. One of them looked to be turned on, its green screen beaming up at the group. The turret virus was alerted to the party's presence by the commotion the Swordy made, and locked its sights onto the group.

(1st Floor)
Swordy-W2 A: 160HP
Swordy-W2 B: 160HP
Swordy-W2 C: 160HP

(2nd Floor)
Shooter: 120HP
ConsoleA: 12HP [Screen Lit]
ConsoleB: 61HP
ConsoleC: 69HP

- 50% Glass (First Floor)
- 50% Normal (Second Floor)

MachMan.EXE: 160HP
Aera.SP: 70HP
Vector.SP: 100HP

Both Mach and Aera spotted the trio of Swordies, and also noticed the nearly transparent floor beneath them, and the Shooter virus lurking there.

[[i]Viruses identified. Count 3. Permission to engage?[/i]]

[Permission granted. Battlechips uploaded now. Engage!]

Several sensor pods, including the two modified decoy pods, jettisoned from his frame in a series of small explosions. The sensor pods darted over to different areas on the battlefield, while the two decoys floated behind Machman in a single-file line. Their holographic projectors turned on, and within seconds, Machman was followed by two exact copies of himself. One banked slightly left, while the other right, and stopped on a few feet from Mach's wingtips. In just a few brief seconds, Mach had seemingly multiplied his forces, and now met the Swordies with equal numbers. Machman's plasma shield raised in front of him, and provided a nearly invisible barrier between the enemy and himself.

His two weapon blisters opened up and revealed two loaded, triple-tubed rocket launchers, carrying 6 high-explosive rockets in total. Mach quickly targeted the Swordies and fired a salvo of rockets towards them. The rockets streamed from their respective launchers and left white smoke trails as they streaked towards the Swordy trio. However, instead of detonating on impact, the rockets exploded in the air simultaneously and effectively made a rapidly moving wall of flames that surged over the glass floor. He noticed the glass flexing under the pressure and heat of the blast, and that gave Mach an idea.

[[i]Let's see if this works.[/i]]

Machman, who was approaching at a fairly good speed, decided to have his engines swing in their housings and point downwards and slightly forwards as well, and pushed them into a full burn. The roaring engines quite effectively slowed Mach's advance, but the sheer force of the engines' thrust caused the glass panels to tremble and eventually give way, sending two lines of rapidly breaking glass towards the trio of Swordies, followed by tumbling shards of glass. Two whole sections of glass directly underneath Mach's fuselage broke free and hurtled towards the Swordies.

Mach continued to let his engines burn, and that caused his frame to pitch forward as it rose into the air. His wings held up to the strain as he "popped" into the air, and his nose continued to point towards the ground as he eventually rose almost 100 feet into the air, pointed straight down. While he performed this unorthodox maneuver, his decoys peeled off and slipped down into the lower level through the large holes in the floor caused by Mach's abrupt stop. They started to weave and cross past each other as they approached, and their holographic engines imitated Mach's as they slowed down to avoid passing the turret virus.

Above them, Mach had his nose pointed directly over the Shooter's position, with two large missiles that materialized under his wings. He positioned his targeting location on the same spot for both missiles, with the plan to use one to smash the glass, and the other to punch through and destroy the immobile virus underneath. He quickly sent the targeting data to the missiles, and fired the first one from under his right wing as he started to fall towards the floor. The missile's solid-fuel rocket ignited and sent it straight down towards the floor like a meteorite. He paused for only a couple seconds before he launched the second missile in a similar fashion. The first missile detonated on the floor with a loud boom and a burst of flame, while the second followed after it and eventually exploded.

Mach used his control surfaces and engine thrust to pull himself out of a dive, and began to circle around to survey the damage.

-[Activate MachFighter.GMO]-
Aera: Mobility Junction to Mach (3 Passive Movements or 1 Passive Dodge)
Vector: Armor Junction to Mach (100HP Casing)
1. PhoenixShot: Swordy-W2 A,B,C (140dmg Fire + Wide Attack)
2. Shockwave: Swordy-W2 A,B (40dmg + Piercing + Ground Attack + Group Attack) [+Glass Shatter Damage?]
3. Shockwave: Swordy-W2 B,C (40dmg + Piercing + Ground Attack + Group Attack) [+Glass Shatter Damage?]
4. DoubleShot: SwordyW2 A, C (60dmg + Splash Effect dmg + Terrain Break)
-[Mobility Action: Position Machman directly over Shooter]-
5. Prepare Magnum1
6. Magnum1: Glass, Shooter (120dmg Fire + Break + Panel Break)
-[Mobility Action: Pull out of Dive]-
-[Mobility Action: Circle around above ground]-

Decoy1: Move to Second Floor
Decoy2: Move to Second Floor
Death came very quickly to the Swordy, as Machman's explosive rockets, combined with the floor-breaking, exterminated them rather quickly. One did manage to reach Machman's position and take a well-placed slice, but his Plasma Shield held strong, and he left unscathed. By the time he was done, the first floor was nothing but shards on the second, a small piece of floor left all by its lonesome. The Shooter virus from underneath was an idiot, targeting Machman's decoy fighters and essentially leaving it a sitting duck for Machman's Magnum shot.

(1st Floor)
Swordy-W2 A: DELETED
Swordy-W2 B: DELETED
Swordy-W2 C: DELETED

(2nd Floor)
Shooter: DELETED
ConsoleA: 12HP [Screen Lit]
ConsoleB: 61HP
ConsoleC: 69HP

- 5% Glass, 45% Broken (First Floor)
- 50% Normal (Second Floor)

MachMan.EXE: 160HP
Aera.SP: 70HP
Vector.SP: 100HP


- [BambooSword] Battlechip
- 1350z
- 30 BugFrags
As Machman circled around, he noticed the computer screens near the remains of the shooter virus, and saw one was still lit. His engines flickered as he gently brought his fighter body down to the second floor and extended his landing gear. After he landed, he opened the cockpit hatch, and the belts that crossed over Aera's chest and waist retracted into the ejection seat.

[[i]Aera, do you mind taking a look at the activated terminal near us? I'll send a drone as well, but I can't use the console very effectively.[/i]]

Aera reached up and grabbed the rim of the open hatch as she started to hoist herself out.

Sure. I'll go take a look.

Sire, may I accompany her?

[[i]Make it so.[/i]]

With that, Vector's metal plates lifted from Mach's frame and came together into his humanoid form on the ground as Aera jumped from the cockpit and floated gently to the ground thanks to her wing thrusters. The both of them approached the activated terminal as one of Mach's Overwatch drones followed close behind.

Mid-Battle Action:

Examine ConsoleA
The terminal seemed benign as Machman and Aera approached it slowly. As they came closer, they did not notice a white line of light across the ground that they crossed, which turned red sliently. Suddenly, a few seconds later, just as Aera had reached within a few inches of the console, the whole area blared with bright red lights. All three of the consoles flashed on, the same white writing all over their alarmed red screens. "SECURITY BREACH DETECTED. ACTIVATING EMERGENCY PROTOCOLS, PERSONNEL IDENTIFICATION MUST BE PRESENTED IN 3."



The machine angered beyond reconciliation, a large circle appeared underneath their feet to entrap them. The circle emitted a wall of red light that encompassed their vision and enclosed them in a tight space. Then, their data structures began to disintegrate and phase out... to where, God knows. And perhaps, the screen as well.

[Destination: HDES_003R][b][/b]