In the moment when the furious shade wavered, dazed, Astraea seized the moment to channel a fiery assault of her own back at the damaged navi. The snake itself was hard to control, however, and try as she might, its first pass across the freshly blown sands curved wide of its target, before beginning to twist around for a second attempt.
There wasn't time to focus on the errant fire serpent, however. Astraea had to take care of protecting her ward, and Sirocco seemed to be recovering her wits rapidly. Response time and reflexes were not the little Metangler's forte, and despite Astraea's good throw, the defence clonked off his body and landed just ahead of him. The reinforcing buff passed through the little guy all the same, however, and the Metangler paused to pick up the shield and let it affix to one of his diggers after another step, before continuing to plod steadily towards the gates.
The desert navi shook herself off and wrapped the shadows about her form again, glaring around the loading bay with a seething hatred. The two massive guards had hunkered lower, and seemed to be focused on some internal process; the roar of their engines had grown louder, but the steam from each of their smoke stacks and tapered away temporarily.
Astraea's taunting, unusual as it was for such things to come from the engineer, did seem to draw the other woman's focus for a brief moment, and while CTA focused on helping path a smoother path for their trundling ally, the fire-haired navigator reached out both hand,s curling them into enraged claws as she focused on Astraea. The action became a barely-contained hunch and her hands rose to clutch her hair for an extra tense moment before she arched back, her body exploding in fire and tearing winds as an ear-splitting scream of rage and pain drowned out even the churning engine noises for a moment.
The blast wave rippled across the entire loading bay, fire and wind tearing the sand into a blinding maelstrom of super-heated razor glass shards. Astraea was able to shelter from the worst of it, and by chance, her faithful cinder turret seemed largely unaffected, but the smallest metangler's shield was torn away again in the storm, and the two larger ones suffered the full brunt of the raging assault. It was hard to hear anything over the howl of wind; hard to see anything through the lacerating storm of sand and super-heated glass fragments, and it didn't seem to be stopping either.
“You! I'll tear you to shreds! I'll burn you to ash!!” The shriek echoed through the sandstorm. Astraea had just enough warning to raise her new shield, before the red and black shape in the sandstorm reached out towards her, slashing arms that seemed too long now, and raking vicious claws in her direction. The shape hadn't moved, but with each flurry of strikes the rending wind lashed and assaulted Astraea from different sides. She ducked away from one as another shattered her shield; it fed its strength to her, but the reflect laser light disappeared into the storm without seeming to connect. She managed to duck away from a third, and a fourth tearing strike, but one of them ultimately connected, racking razor-thin shards of burning glass across her body.
At the edges of her sight, Astraea was just able to see that her Metangler friend had made it all the way through the blast doors, and might even have been out of the sand storm; it turned back, lifting its own diggers in hesitation, then more wisely folded itself down into a defensive position and its met-helmet expanded to cover most of its body, with a gap in the top for its smoke stacks.
In front of it, the two giant metanlger guards blinked and reticulated their lenses against the sandstorm, before both leaned forward with a groan and opened bread grates across the barrel of their chests. The platform was bathed in thick, all-engulfing cones of rolling fire, and Astraea head the sound of the desert navi shrieking in rage and pain again. The wall of fire rushed out towards her, but the angles seemed to have been picked as carefully as the two behemoths could manage; Astraea herself was spared their wrath, though her turret, alongside, was just barely clipped by the fires on one. It shuddered under the heat, but stood strong. It didn't matter how big they were, CTA could not be toppled by any other inferior machine. It must have bee their poor aim that they had even struck it; they weren't crafted from the Maker's hands, after all.
The fire from their twin blasts was caught up in the storm of wind and sand, and Astraea could see that turning the vengeful program's own weapons against her had indeed rent away the shadows that shrouded her form, but she still hovered in the heart of the sandstorm, hair blazing and her dark skin nicked by many small scratches. She turned back to the gate guards with a ragged shriek and launched a fresh dervish of steel-shredding strikes at the pair. More slashing blows rained down on them, tearing away more exposed pieces of metal and gouging into their sturdy bodies; the individual tearing rends weren't very much, but Astraea's keen mechanist's eye was able to tell that the assault was beginning to add up on the two. As it was, the scouring wind storm, laden with laceratingly sharp, heated glass shards, was a danger in itself, to everyone. It wasn't dying down yet, and just trying to function in the storm was difficult enough; Astraea could barely see her target clearly enough to attack, and every moment the fight went on, the small cuts and nicks were continuing to harry her.-=The Vengeful Wind=-
SiroccoShade.rcvr: 440Hp [Normal][Near the centre of the blast doors][Blind(Sandstorm)][WyrmEgg Homing]-=Caught in the Crossfire=-
Astraea.CMD: 85Hp [Normal][Western side of the battlefield][Strengthen: 40][Blind(Sandstorm)]-=Holding the Gate=-
Metang-Sual: ??? (-180) Hp [Normal][Left side of blast doors][Blind(Sandstorm)]
Metang-Takid: ??? (-150) Hp [Sand][Right side of blast doors][Blind(Sandstorm)]-=Mechanical Considerations=-
Metangler.sec.ogg: 66Hp [Normal][Beyond blast doors, Defending]
CTA: 16Hp [Normal][Reinforced]-=Sanctuary Exposed=-
[The Sand Is In The Air Now!]Sandstorm:
All Targets within the sandstorm suffer Blindness, and take 5Hp damage per action taken within the sandstorm. Fire attacks that pass into or through the sandstorm gain Slashing with no loss of accuracy. The sandstorm covers the majority of the platform, excluding the area beyond the blast doors. (2 Turns Remaining)
The bay is a large, mostly ovular area, broader than it is deep. The eastern side is beginning to be encroached on by sand, and drops away into darkness and missing terrain. The northern side holds the large blast doors, while the southern side holds the platform that Astraea arrived on. The western side ends against a wall of old machinery and metal. It's all covered in a horrible burning, lacerating, sandstorm now.