Origin: Oracle Defense and Detection Network - Northeast Eden
Processing encrypted data...
WARNING, EXTRADIMENSIONAL ENTITIES DETECTED
ANGEL; CLASS-II; 2 ENTITIES DETECTED
ANGEL; CLASS-I; 15 ENTITIES DETECTED
CIVILIAN CASUALTIES: 1563 AND INCREASING
EDEN PERSONNEL CASUALTIES: 231 AND INCREASING
LOCAL ZACS UNITS - MOBILIZE AND ENGAGE
STANDBY ZACS UNITS - MOBILIZE AND ENGAGE
SNAKEHOUND UNITS - MOBILIZE AND ENGAGE
EDEN ORACLE UNITS - MOBILIZE, OBSERVE, ENGAGE
PHANTOM OPS - MOBILIZE, ENGAGE, TERMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE
UNIT-347; OPERATOR: JACOB KNIGHT; PHANTOM OPS - MOBILIZE, ENGAGE
UNIT-011; OPERATOR: YURUSA MONO; SHIKURU CORP - MOBILIZE, ENGAGE
UNIT-019; OPERATOR: KSENIYA VOLKOV; PHANTOM OPS - MOBILIZE, ENGAGE
UNIT-343; OPERATOR: SEFU [CLASSIFIED]; PHANTOM OPS - MOBILIZE, ENGAGE
ASSAULT FORM PERMISSION REQUESTED
TRANS-DRIVE PERMISSION REQUESTED
ASSAULT FORM PERMISSION GRANTED
TRANS-DRIVE PERMISSION DENIED
WARNING - INCOMING TRANSMISSION
CIVILIAN CASUALTIES: 12435
EDEN PERSONNEL CASUALTIES: 567
APOSTLE CONTAMINATION DETECTED
System 101001101 interference...
Attempting reboot11001010 01011110010011...10010110
11010001COMING... System interference...11010000110101010100011
Switching to alternate channel...
Unknown signal detected - Purging...
THEY ARE COMING
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ORACLE SYSTEM FAILURE
Transmission error - Extradimensional interference
Attempting to reestablish...
"Suppress that fucker, now!"
"Rooftop! 12 o'clock!"
"Medic! I need a--"
"I need artillery strikes on the Dot, now!"
"Negative, we need to hold until Phantom Ops gets here."
"Get the civilians out of the way!"
"Shit Squad 4 just got fucked! They're gone!"
"Fire fire fire!"
"Oracle, I need airstrikes on my position now! We are being overrun, over!"
"Shit." Mendez cursed and fired rounds into the smoke cloud. His ZACS sensors outlined the smooth, rounded form of an Angel as he brought his weapon's integrated sights to bear on the entity. His pulse rifle roared, sending rapid, accurate bursts downrange. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a screaming man clad in a ZACS suit being dragged behind a building, blood spraying onto the street as he flatlined. From behind him a rush of air alerted him to a group of 4 Snakehound members dashing forward into the smoke, pulse carbines and high-frequency machetes in hand as they closed in to engage the Class-I in CQB.
"Units in my arc! Cover those Snakehounds!" Mendez barked. "Suppressing fire."
The four Snakehound units converged onto the single Class-I, moving at nearly inhuman speeds with their advanced armor systems. The Angel was large and resembled a lizard and gorilla fused together in an almost beautiful and perfect harmony. Its body was entirely covered by a smooth outer, white shell. There were cracks in a few places where it had sustained damage, but it was beginning to heal itself already.
The lead Snakehound charged ahead as the two at his side moved to flank the Angel. His carbine rattled as he emptied the entire magazine into the creature's featureless face. The weapon was discarded, and he pulled another blade from his waist and began engaging the creature in hand-to-hand. Its body was peppered with blue sparks as pulse rounds collided with its armor. The Angel swung at the lead Snakehound, its fist a blur of white. The Snakehound ducked just in time, avoiding a hit that would have completely torn his head off despite his suit's armor and augmentations. Within a split second, he whirled around in a complete 360-degrees, bringing both his blades at the creature's midsection. They scraped loudly at the armor, sending a shower of sparks as the edge attempted to cut through. His attack ineffective, the Snakehound retreated a few feet as the two Snakehounds at each side dived together to strike at it from behind. A cut was noticeable on the creature where the lead had just attacked. Crimson blood dripped from the chips in the armor as it began to seal itself up again.
"Fucking healing factor..." he spat. Behind him, the forth Snakehound's pulse carbine was burning white-hot as he poured magazine after magazine into the Angel. However, even as the Angel was fighting three different individuals in close quarters with its large size, the damn thing was managing to dodge most of the rounds even at such a close range. The shooter cursed loudly and quickly loaded another magazine into the gun. His suit's sensors beeped as they warned him of his overheating weapon.
The Angel's fist crashed violently into one of the Snakehounds. Due to her own luck and the reactions of her suit, the victim had managed to shield herself against the blow. She uttered a cry of pain as her bones shattered with the armor plating on her arm and right side. Her body was sent flying through a destroyed department store, disappearing inside of the building. The lead Snakehoud cried out his teammate's name as he parried an incoming blow with a slash from both of his blades together. One of the shattered as he felt his arm buckling violently against the blow. The battle had just become easier... for it.
Mendez's weapon clicked empty. He patted his battle harness for more magazines but came up empty-handed. "Fuck." He swore as he was forced to watch the three remaining Snakehounds fight a losing battle. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" It was then as he looked up and noticed the silhouette of another angel closing in on them. He quickly tapped his mic, screaming to the other Snakehound members. "Fall back! Fall back!" He cried. "A Class-I is closing in on your position! Get the fuck back now!"
But it was too late. As one of the Snakehounds leapt through the air to attack the large reptilian ape, he was snatched from the air by a tentacle. He attempted to struggle at first, slashing at the arm that had gripped him. The fourth Snakehound had begun to fire on the second angel that was now approaching. It was a beautiful jellyfish-like being with two large tentacles for arms and a vaguely humanoid shape. The pulse rounds tore through its more lightly armored tentacles, revealing its pulsing red flesh underneath. But their efforts were in vain. The captured soldier now screamed for his life as the other arm wrapped around him, tearing him apart, armor and all. The lead Snakehound now leapt back beside his last remaining squadmate before they retreated together.
"Mendez!" A younger soldier rushed to his side. "We need to fall back now to point L3 and meet up with Battalion-047."
"What took ya so long, kid?" Mendez asked jokingly as he wrapped his left arm around the other man's shoulders. "Do we have Phantasmas on the scene yet?" As they both stood, a river of blood began to flow from a gaping hole in his abdomen despite his suit's attempts to patch it up.
"Jesus christ sir..."
"Don't worry about it." The older man reassured. "Just let that serve as a warning never to throw a grenade at a Class-II." He then grunted painfully, the look of distress hidden behind his polarized visor. "Let's get the hell out of here."
The younger man hoisted him up, after which his suit's augmented muscle fibers began to assist his crippled body. Mendez knew he probably wouldn't live too long without treatment. The projectile had missed obliterating his liver, but had caused severe trauma to both it and the surrounding organs. He was okay now, but he could already feel himself getting light-headed. Nonetheless both men moved quickly, retreating alongside the two Snakehound members as the men and women ahead of them lay down suppressing fire on the two approaching angels. As they passed by the department store where the second had been flung through, the lead disappeared inside before returning with a limp body. Mendez's sensors detected that she was still alive although barely so. He threw a glance at their pursuers just in time to watch their bodies disappear in a bright flash and thunderous boom as artillery bombarded their position.
"God the sound of explosives have never sounded so beautiful..." The young man beside him commented. However, before Mendez could reply a sudden shockwave knocked him off his feet. The older soldier was thrown violently to the ground. Dazed, he lifted his head from the ground, his eyes meeting with a cracked visor and flickering heads-up display. His ears were ringing and he felt nausious. "Kid!" he cried out looking around. The younger soldier was nowhere to be seen, except for a streak of metal, flesh and blood that lay splattered in a four-foot streak in front of him.
"You alright Sgt. Mendez?" A low, gruff voice caught his attention. Mendez looked up beside him to see the lead Snakehound member sitting a few feet away from him. One of the other men from his unit was missing, and the injured woman lay on the ground behind him.
"I'm alright." Mendez replied. "What about--" He quickly stopped as he noticed the other man's arm and leg twisted at an odd angle. "Shit..." He cursed.
"I'll be fine." The lead said simply, although he grunted slightly in discomfort. "You need to take the injured and get out of here. I'll buy you some time." As he finished, the muscle fiber of the suit flashed with a dim light around the twisted areas of his limbs. With a restrained yet still audible cry, the suit snapped the Snakehound's arm and leg back into place. The fibers expanded noticeably as the suit began to compensate for its user's damaged bone and muscle tissue. His wounds temporarily healed. The man drew his sidearm and stood, pointing his weapon in the direction of the blast. Although standing, Mendez could tell it was still painful for him. Man wouldn't last five seconds against an angel in his state--much less two or possibly three of them. However, it wasn't like the three of them could outrun these damn things either in their condition.
From the smoke emerged tall, slender being. Compared to the other two, it was more ornately decorated. It floated above the ground, moving with an unearthly grace. A soft, beautiful tone began to fill the battlefield. It was a single, monotone note, emanating from the angel itself, harmonious and mysterious. It was calming, yet at the same time frightening and pure. A Class-II Angel.
"Oh fuck..." Mendez's voice trailed off as his mouth hung agape. However, his trance was quickly broken by the other man's gruff voice. "Don't just stand there! Get your ass moving!" he barked. Mendez quickly scrambled to his feet like a child ordered to clean his mess, he quickly stumbled over to the woman. Slinging his rifle over his shoulder, he reached for the woman's left wrist and pressed a few commands on the PDA screen. Within a few moments, a hiss was heard as the hard armor plating of the suit unlocked and fell to the floor. With less weight and obstruction, Mendez quickly threw the woman over his shoulder.
"Hey." The Snakehound said in an eerily calm tone. "That rifle got any rounds left..."
"No." Mendez replied breathlessly.
"Too bad..." the other soldier lamented as he raised his sidearm at the Angel. "Now get out of here!" His voice had caught the attention of the angel. With turn of its head, it brought its faceless head to bear on the man. In that instant, its right arm shot forth like a spear straight for the man's chest.
It was over. Mendez knew that much. They were utterly screwed. Once that Snakehound was out of the picture, nothing would be stopping those things from sinking their claws into him next.
But angel never reached its intended target. The Snakehound collapsed backward as his body reacted to the incoming strike that never came. Instead, the soldier was left staring at the back of a figure standing before him. It was clad in smooth, segmented plates of armor, with bands of light running through both its outer and inner workings. They seemed to move with the being's body as the armor itself was alive. Its right arm was raised toward its face, as if it had caught something in its hands. Mendez's eyes widened with both shock and awe as he stared on.
A Phantasma. Mankind's last and only defense against the horrific beings known as Angels.
The figure gripped the smooth, pointed arm in its right hand just inches from its face. It showed no signs of strain or fatigue, and the angel's armor began to crack from the pressure of its grip. "Are you alright?" Came a distorted but recognizably human male voice from the figure. The angel retracted its arm almost instantly, the armored man making no attempts to stop its retreat. He wrung his wrist, almost as if to taunt the creature, before tightening it into a loose fist that fell at his side. "Get going. I'll take care of things here."
"Y-yeah... sure thing..." Mendez replied. As he helped the Snakehound up. The other soldier looked at him for a moment before asking, "your first time seeing a Phantasma I take it?" Neither of them bothered to speak any longer though, as they began to sprint down towards friendly territory at over 35 miles per hour, assisted by the artificial muscle of their suits. As things were, they would not be able to do any more.
The Phantasma took a step towards its foes. Undaunted by their destructive power and unfazed by their beauty. "This is Unit-343, Operator Sefu. I am on site. Will maintain control for as long as I can until backup arrives."
The reptilian angel lunged at him first, swinging a giant fist at his smaller frame almost as soon as the last words had left his lips. A thunderous crack echoed throughout the battlefield as the blow was redirected effortlessly by its would-be victim. A shockwave tore through the ground beside the Phantasma before colliding with an apartment complex in an explosion of dust, concrete and steel. The angel quickly followed with its left, the smooth plated arm tearing through the air as it moved toward the Phantasma's head at a lightning speed. However, the armored man only seemed to move faster, his left fist colliding with the creature's upper arm. The angel's armor shattered as it was struck with blinding fist, exposing its red flesh that seemed to liquify as the impact tore through the shell and penetrated beneath. Before the monster could even reel, Sefu had already gone on the offensive.
Three quick strikes rendered its head into a cracked eggshell, followed by a swift and powerful uppercut to its chest, lifting the angel's massive form into the air. Within a fraction of a second the Phantasma's foot collided with its broad chest once more in a spinning back kick, the heel crushing the already splintered and weakened armor like a club going through glass. With a twist, Sefu spun like a drill in the air, a white ring of air bursting around him as he broke the sound barrier. The monster was sent flying like a spinning rocket into a building in the distance, smashing through it before splashing in the ocean from where it once stood. The man landed in a crouching position, using his left arm to stabilize himself before rising.
"Physical attack ineffective." The Operator noted. By now, more angels had converged onto his position, drawn to the more dangerous threat. He had done his job as a distraction, all that was left now was the extermination. Slots in his gauntles and armored helm opened as his armor engaged its ion cannons. From each of the devices at his waste he produced a blade, its thick, straight edge humming as it began to glow with a magmic hue, holding both at the ready.
"Phantasma Three-Four-Three. Commencing destruction of the targets."