|Return from Where?
Author: jdog16 PM
Nefarious has returned, and he has a notsonew plan to finish! On hiatus for an unknown length of time.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 23 - Words: 34,847 - Reviews: 120 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 04-10-07 - Published: 08-18-05 - id: 2539928
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Yes, I yet live! I'm sure that all two of you guys actually reading this are very excited!
So, I got a Wii, twilight Princess, and Rainbow 6: Vegas in the interim between chapters. Good stuff, all of it.
"Damn!" he swore, banking and rolling in a zigzag pattern, attempting to evade the veritable cloud of blazing emerald laser bolts flitting by. His ship's turret responded automatically, spatting out bursts of cobalt energy blasts.
The rest of the fighters in his tiny fleet followed suit, dodging fire from the persuing enemy ships as they made their way towards the surface of Daxx. Ratchet led the way, plotting a course for Dr. Nefarious' laboratory. Directly engaging the mad scientist's forces would only result in their deaths; the one chance for victory resided in defeating Nefarious himself.
Ratchet checked his radar. Almost one hundred ships were following the Zephyrs; a mere portion of the origional force, but still too much for the lombax's fleet to destroy, especially with their shielding as low as it was.
"We'll be entering Daxx's atmosphere in about ten seconds. Brace yourselves!" informed Sasha over the comm-link.
Ratchet checked his restraints and tightened his grip on the flight stick.
Despite the preparations, the force of the impact with the outer atmosphere hit like a ton of carbonox blocks, violently shaking the Galactic Fleet fighters as the friction threatened to rend them into tiny metal fragments. Fiery globes surrounded the Zephyrs as the air ionized and heated to thousands of degrees from the speed of their entry.
Ratchet struggled to maintain control over his ship, fighting both the intense turbulance that rattled his bones and the cloud of red hot gases that obsured his vision. He checked his radar again; to his surprise, most of the fighters that persued the lombax's fleet were gone.
"They must have thought us more trouble than we're worth," thought Ratchet, "Either that, or they just want to focus on attacking the Quantum Leap."
Ratchet felt a pang of guilt at the thought, feeling as though he'd abandoned Vega, Clank, and all the others defending the Galctic Fleet's flagship. He quickly shook it off; he needed to focus on reaching Nefarious' stronghold and disposing of the mad robot supremacist.
The fireballs surrounding the Zephyrs flickered and died as they slowed their descent into Daxx's atmosphere. Droplets of condensed water formed on the ships' canopies as the humidity rose, only to be swept away by the speed of the Zephyrs entry. The small fleet broke the cloud layer, and details of the ground became discernable; an archapelago of small islands and rocky reefs in a vast ocean came into view. An enourmous complex was built on the largest island, covered with high spires and radio antenna.
Ratchet opened the comm link with the rest of his Zephyrs, "Alright everyone, set your ships' autopilot in a holding pattern; we're gonna be bailing out to avoid the heavy anti-aircraft guns." He pressed several buttons on hs ship's dashboard, "I've sent you all the coordinates for the drop zones. Once we're on the ground, we'll locate a way inside the laboratory." Green lights winked on in his holographic display, indicating that the other pilots understood.
The lombax pressed more buttons on the dashboard, programming his ship to maintain a wide eliptical pattern high above Nefarious' lab complex, as well as slowing it down. Several seconds and a flip of a switch later, the canopy of the Zephyr rose up, the air roaring around Ratchet with the force a typhoon.
After checking his equipment one last time, the lombax drew a deep breath and exhaled sharply. Then, without looking, he pressed his thumb against a glowing yellow button.
Almost instanly, a mechanism in the Zephyr's seat propelled Ratchet's body into the sky like a cannon, clearing him of the small fighter in a fraction of a second, which soon disappeared into the distant clouds.
Seconds later, Ratchet felt the heavy hand if gravity take hold and pull him down towards the planet. He adjusted his body into a face-down spread-eagle position as he began to accelerate towards the ground, opening his palms and shifting his weight to maintain stability during the freefall. The sound of rushing air intensified, nearly deafening.
As the surface of Daxx grew closer, Ratchet scanned his drop zone; a small rocky island on the outskirts of Nefarious' complex. After adjusting his descent path accordingly, he searched around his sides for the ten pilots that were headed to the same island. He spotted five of them; one met the lombax's gaze and gave him a thumbs up. Ratchet returned the gesture.
Suddenly, through the sound of the wind whipping through his ears, Ratchet thought he heard something; a high pitched whining noise.
He immediately recognized the noise. He activated his helmet's comm-link.
"Heads up everyone!" Ratchet barked through the radio, "Nefarious knows we're here, and we're gonna be up to our ears in mortar rounds pretty soon. Once you reach your landing zone, take up defensive positions; we'll have to fend off a few enemy patrols before we can advance to the laboratory. Watch your backs and keep your heads down. Ratchet out."
The lombax cut off his radio, looking toward the complex. Sure enough, the alarm had signaled the lab's defense systems to come online; Ratchet and his troops were now staring down into the barrels of at least a dozen mortar launchers.
"Great," the lombax thought.
"Here they come!" someone shouted, voice wavering.
At the last moment, the cazar angled her arms and jerked her body to the right, allowing the first mortar round to pass by harmlessly. The roar of its exhaust reverberated through Sasha's skull, momentarily negating the sound of the rushing air.
Suddenly, a blast of hot wind and deafening sound ripped through the air, catapulting the cazar end-over-end through the sky. The roar of the wind disappeared, replaced instead with a high-pitched whine brought on by the pressure wave of the explosion. Sasha struggled to stabilize and regain her bearings; she was tumbling helplessly through the air, unable to control her descent.
Another explosion erupted above her, farther away this time; a Ranger screamed as the white-hot shrapnel from the detonating shell tore through his chassis, showering sparks and bits of metal in all directions. Voices shouted indistinctly.
Through the chaos of the exploding mortars, Sasha was finally able to regain control over her descent, and looked down. Her eyes widened at the sight; apparantly, she'd lost track of time when the mortar exploded near her. The ground was much closer now than she'd imagined, and was closing in quickly, only several hundred meters away. Reflexively, she jerked her head back and threw her legs forward, putting her perpendicular to the ground. As soon as she was upright, she activated her charge boots, hoping that the jets of exhaust would slow her down in time.
The boots worked, though just barely, and Sasha hit the dirt hard, knocking her to her knees. Numerous Rangers landed around her, yelling indistinctly.
Before the cazar could even look up, crimson laser bolts barreled toward the landing zone, zipping by with an audible hum and scorching blackened pits into the stones of the tiny island.
She instinctively scrambled for cover behind a boulder, small plumes of molten rock erupting everywhere. Quickly, she pressed a button on a small, bracer-like device on her right forearm, and an N90 Hurricane materialized in her hands, teleported from the weapon's bay of the Quantum Leap.
Without looking, Sasha angled the weapon out from behing her cover and squeezed the trigger, unleashing a storm of burning plasma bolts upon the attacking security droids, which dove and dodged to avoid them. Few suffered any damage, thanks to the innacuracy of the barrage, but the cazar had given her group some breathing room, and they immediately took advantage of it, standing from their cover and loosing laser bolts from their arm-cannons.
Explosions and electrical crackling emanated from the ranks of the enemy, signaling the destruction of numerous drones. The rest soon found cover behind boulders and fired blindly around them.
Thinking quickly, Sasha pressed another button of the device, and the N90 vanished, a Nitro Eruptor appearing in its place. She lifted the weapon, angled it up, and pulled the trigger, releasing it's explosive payload with a muffled thump. The grenade flew in a tall parabola arking over the battlefield, and quickly plummeted to the earth, impacting just behind a group of three enemies. The explosion ripped through the robots, showering ragged pieces of their broken bodies and bits of shattered stone everywhere. Others nearby fell to the ground, stunned by the shockwave.
"Move up! Don't let them recover!" the cazar shouted, breaking cover after equipping a Plasma Coil. The Rangers dutifully obeyed, jumping out from behind singed boulders and out of shallow ditches. The group raced forward, firing their weapons from the hip and finishing off the last of the defense drones.
A quick scan of the charred battlezone revealed no remaining hostiles. The walkway linking the landing zone to the main island compound was clear. Sasha immediately opened a comm-link with Ratchet.
"Ratchet, it's Sasha. Our landing zone is secure. How's it going on your end?"
"Oh, nothin' we can't handle," he told Sasha after the ringing in his ears ceased, "Go to the compound's main entrance and hold position there. We'll link up with you when we finish up here."
"Got it," replied the cazar, "Just make sure you get here in one piece, hotshot," she added before closing the comm-link.
Crouching behind a boulder, Ratchet used his supply bracer to make a Bouncer materialize in his gloved hands. Him and his small division of Rangers were pinned down by a massive guard robot. The automaton was at least twenty feet tall, made of bright crimson metal, with two repeating plasma cannons mounted on its arms. It's eyes glowed green as plasma bolts barreled from its weapons, slowly eroding away the boulders that Ratchet and his men used for cover.
Suddenly, the barrage of superheated gas ceased, and the huge robot paused to put a new energy cell into it's weapons. Instantly, Ratchet seized the opportunity, leaping out from behind cover and pullung the Bouncer's trigger.
The weapon's massive round seemed to clear the barrel in slow motion, tumbling through the air until it reached its target. Upon doing so, the shell burst open with a loud explosion, releasing a dozen bouncing bomblets. The small explosives remained idle for a fraction of a second, then locked on to the giant machine, flinging themselves at it and bursting into mini firestorms.
The robot shuddered under the force of all the explosions, holes appearing in its metal casing and internal circuits and wires melting from the heat. Suddenly, its legs gave out, the metal bending and snapping off at the knee with a sound similar to a gunshot, sending the hostile crashing to the ground.
Ratchet held his breath, prepared to fire again if necissary. But nothing happened; the huge machine lay unmoving on the rocky ground.
"Alright," he said, "Let's get going. Sasha and the others should be waiting for us at the lab's entrance."
He and the Rangers started across the walkway toward the compound, quick and determined.
"Almost there," thought the lombax, beginning to feel the effects of fatigue take hold, "almost there."
And so the chapter ends. Not much more left.
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