“Come on!” Danilovich urged as he snapped a new cell into his las-carbine, and offered a hand to the Amazoneum warrior climbing up behind him. The hand convulsed as another arc bolt tagged him in the side, and he slumped in smoking ruin on top of the manhole.
"Danilovich!" Harmothoe grabbed the officer and hauled him back into the hatch, yelling for a medic. A white clad vostroyan, spattered in red, hustled over and two of the young Lieutenants men pulled him clear. Harmothoe watched the man work for a moment, but knew already that Danilovich was dead. She ground out a vile curse under her breath before turning to the Vostroyans clustered behind her, looking at their leader as the medic tried to restart his heart.
"Listen to me!" she roared, and the men turned to look at her. "We finish these traitor bastards for the lieutenant! We make them pay for every bloody step we have won today! Are you with me?"
There was a throaty roar and a weapons and fists punched into the air. With battlecry she had learnt in the creches of the Amazoneum, she plunged out of the hatch with an augmented leap, Vounoe a step behind her. Both women leveled their las blasters as they charged, sawing a hail of fire down as they plunged headlong into the hail of fire. Lasbolts spat past them in response to hails of carbine fire as both women made the first barricade, mostly thanks to their fine armour and Harmothoe's refractor field. In close combat, the two women carved down the last few defenders.
"Bomb it out!" She yelled, and frag grenades tumbled into the command deck. Armaglass shattered and rattled, smoke boiled from the deck, and with a feral cry the Vostroyans and Amazoneum breached. Bayonets flashed and punched into servitors and the last few Skitarii, as Vounoe and Harmothoe's spears carved down a pair of lumbering cybernetica constructs held back for close protection. The carnage came to and end as the smoking bodies of the crawlers crew were tossed from their lasbolt holed chairs.
"Crawler secure!" Harmothoe canted, wrenching her spear from the destroyed torso of the crawlers commander. Surrender had never been an option.
“You should take your men back.” Cuilope told Petrovich. The skitarii rad-counters were already clicking dangerously from the number of irradiated bullets embedded in the walls and the bobbing corpses.
Petrovich nodded, and gestured for his men to fall back. Cuilope turned to Hector Rho as behind him Skitarii began to draw heavy trench knives, and safe their carbines.
"I was hoping to not die wet and miserable today, Hector."
Hector would have smiled, if he still had lips. Instead he nodded.
"I'll do my best to keep you safe, then." With a haptic gesture, his Skitarii moved forwards and into the murk. Cuilope, and two other Amazoneum, moved in with them, their sonic spears silent for now.
Visibility dropped immediately, but the Skitarii churned forwards, using their maglocks to cling to the deck and make good progress. A pair of flooded Cybernetica hulls barred one accessway, and acetylene torches were brought forwards to cut them apart.
Truly, the unalloyed metal is as weak as the unimproved flesh.
As the robots collapsed, and the path forwards opened again, the ambush came.
The fighting was immediately confused and chaotic. Blood and oil polluted the already filthy water. Skitarii grappled hand to hand with knives at each others throat. Hector slashed left and right, punching his blade into sternum armour and joints with brute force. Suddenly, Cuilope was next to him, spearing enemies like fish on a harpoon. Her lasblaster pulsed darting beams of red into the murk, and bodyparts bobbed past Rho's helmet as he pushed forwards. Sensor scatter told him they had made the main command centre. He hooked left and Cuilope hooked right, individual skitarii making their own entrances. It was a fight without form or logic, a brutal melee in the worst conditions. Hector felt a tingle across his sensorium, and glanced up.
Staring down at him was the shrivelled, emaciated body of his opponent. He drew his augmetic fist back and punched it into the glass, once, twice, three times until it cracked and the pure amniotic mix inside mixed with the toxic river. The tribune inside began to thrash and burn, until Hector wrapped his metal fingers around her neck and squeezed until the Tribunes head came away, disintegrating in the toxic water.
+Crawler secure.+ He canted. +We must move quickly if we wish to salvage anything from this+