The Headquarters of the Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics, Western Administrative District, Moscow...
A blue light flickered to light, breaking the quiet of the otherwise dark room as the circular room filled with nothing other than a dozen terminals that also flickered to life—the glass projections showing the orange emblem of the РФБА. The four doors that gave access to the room ran parallel to each other. One of the doors hissed, as the red light transformed into a green one.
The barrel of the Thunderlord popped through the doorway first, as soon Avgust stepped through the door as he ran his eyes along the wall to check for possible threat. Satisfied nothing was there, he lowered his machine gun as he stepped through with Teash and Zareph. The three stepped into the centre of the room, as the dozen terminals lining the wall proudly projected the symbol, as eventually the symbol moved to the top of the terminal as the shape of a colony ship appeared in the centre of the screen.
"Which door do we head through?" Zareph asked, looking at the three options presented to the Guardians. The one directly behind him hissed, as the door slide open before anyone could answer the Hunter's question. "O. That way I guess."
Avgust continued to carry the lead, stepping through the doorway as it lead him to a long hallway. The blue lights flickered overhead, as the Titan looked at the sides of the walls. The plating seemed to be removed from the wall, as tubes and wires could be seen running through the frame of the wall. They flashed with tiny white lights, signalling to Avgust that they were running with energy.
"Look at all of this," Teash breathed, looking at every detail trapped in the walls, "City hasn't ever seen anything like this."
Teash's Ghost appeared over her shoulder, as it floated over to the wall to examine it. It projected a blue scan, as it eventually returned to the shoulder of the Warlock as it spoke: "This is all Golden Age technology. Information is running through these tubes and wires, carrying a current of knowledge. But where could it be going?"
"Probably to the thing controlling this facility." Zareph responded, "If the voice is telling the truth, it stores a lot of information about operations around the Sol System, and the Cosmodromes around Earth."
"A lot of information that could help the City." Avgust replied, "Imagine the possibilities."
The Guardians fell silent as Avgust made this point, as for the first time they all truly understood the extent of information they could extract from this operation to Moscow. Just a list of locations around the Sol System, information of experiments conducted, technologies developed... it would significantly improve the City's ability to wage it's war against the Darkness.
And if the voice was willing to cooperate with the City, then the possibilities of defeating their enemy almost became a reality. All that needed to happen now, was to work with the voice and stop Muromets from taking control of the entirety of Moscow's automated defences. Stop it's ability to threaten the City's existence.
As the Guardians continued down the hallway, they found a divide in directions—a branch to the right and the left. The lights to the right hallway faded and went dark, as the lights to the left became more intense. Zareph shrugged as this happened, making a quick remark: "Well, I guess that answers my question."
Avgust turned to the left first, as he continued on the path that the voice was leading them down. There was a door at the end of the hallway, as it suddenly opened to reveal a large room, where a wall and the ceiling formed a circular dome of glass. Avgust looked up, seeing what could have easily been a building by itself reach up to the glass ceiling—projecting metal beams that connected with the metal frame pattern of triangles with glass was inserted in the open gaps of the triangles.
The Titan returned his gaze down to the floor, as he saw rows of terminals and seats. There was a collection of triangle-shaped service desks, as computers were still standing in their places on the desk. Monitors lines the tall building in the middle, as they suddenly flashed to life as the РФБА appeared. After the logo appeared, arrows pointing to the right appeared.
Avgust, Teash and Zareph turned their heads towards the right as they saw a huge metal monolith. A steel door in the middle with impressive size broke apart, as the two sections of the door separated. The voice sounded through the massive space, echoing across the design of metal, glass and concrete: «Please, enter. I can meet with you inside.»
"And?" Teash asked, looking towards Avgust.
"That way." Avgust responded, "The voice said it will meet with us inside."
Making their way through the massive space, the Guardians slowly approached the massive doors as they stepped into the equally big hallway. The looked around the walls of the hall, as the metal frame was viewable. Past the massive tubes being fed through the facility, the Guardians could see the shell of metal protecting this area—creating a sort of egg shape as they walked down the hallway quietly.
Bright white lights flashed, illuminating the otherwise dark chambers. As the stepped into an expanse that was circular, a flat metal-grate floor. Yellow bars surrounded the circular floor, as the Guardians stepped into the circle. The yellow bars closed, removing their ability to head back through the hallway which they came. Blue lights flashed, as the floor lowered downwards.
"The security of this place is just incredible," Zareph remarked, "just imagine how long it would have taken me to just try to get through those doors at the front."
Avgust shook his head, as he asked in Russian: Where are you taking us exactly?»
«To me. And before you ask, the intention of this hole wasn't meant for security. It was originally designed to be able to transport me to where the Bureau wanted me to be. Afterwards, they just reinforced the facility for security.»
"Hm?" Zareph asked.
"Wasn't originally security, this was just the remains of what the construction workers had to work on to place the voice where it was meant to be. Just upgraded to security afterwards." Avgust translated.
"Must be big," Teash said, "really big."
The elevator stopped, as the blue lights stopped flashing. The yellow bars lowered, as the doorway to another hallway opened. It was a four-sectioned door, as it pulled away in separate directions. Avgust stepped through, the narrow hallway taking up metals of a variety of colours now: black, yellow and silver. The tubing could still be seen running through the hallway, as eventually the Guardians reached the end of the hallway,
«Welcome, Guardians. We have much to discuss.» The voice said, as the door opened and allowed the three through. Avgust stepped through, looking through the massive circular room—almost similar in size to the one they just exited. There was a large object running from the dark ceiling above, appeared to be a massive cylinder with a variety of blue disks attached to it. The disks were spinning, showing the object was running.
There was a variety of ladders, staircases and pathways suspended from the circular ceiling—seemingly offering a way up to the top of the circular chamber. At the lower end of the facility, there were lines of monitors and computers. Tubes and wires were connected directly to the monitors and the computers, as cooling fans ran quickly within the devices. A variety of coloured lights flashed throughout the circular chamber, but the most dominate colour was a light blue.
Teash and Zareph seemingly looked on with awe, taking in every detail of the room as Avgust stood still—taken aback by the appearance of the room. It seemed all too familiar, as if it was some place he has been before. If what Muromets had suggested about him was true, and he really did serve Moscow at one point—then for all he knew he could have been in a place like this. The Titan shook his head, as he stepped down the steep staircase to reach the bottom level of the circular room.
«My name is Gagarin, the artificial intelligence in charge of the maintenance of this facility. This is my operating centre, my database... everything the Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics has done, and has planned to do is here. The information here is the very thing Muromets seeks to control.» Gagarin said, «So for the interest of you and your City, we must work together to prevent Muromets from destroying everything we work so hard to protect.»
«You said you have a plan, what is it?» Avgust asked, as the other two Guardians wandered around the facility—their Ghosts working with them to analyse the facility.
«I do indeed,» Gagarin replied, «and with you being a member of the Moscow Intelligence and Defence Administration, we have a much needed advantage.»
Avgust paused, as Gagarin said this. The Titan didn't want to admit he was a part of MIDA, especially if it was true. It wasn't who he was anymore, because now he was a Vanguard, one of the most elite Guardians of the Last Safe City. But perhaps MIDA stood for something different? Two centuries did pass after all, and Gagarin did say Muromets was corrupted by the Darkness. So for all he knew, the purpose of MIDA has changed.
However, Avgust nodded his head: «Yes, but Muromets already knows I am here. It would be expecting me.»
«Muromets would, but the automated defence doesn't.» Gagarin replied, as two separate videos appeared on two different monitors. One showed Avgust being challenged by the S-850, as the vehicle stopped and did nothing for a matter of seconds. The second showed Avgust, Teash and Zareph standing against the GZ-231 Helicopter, as it hovered there until the three opened fire on it.
«The automated defence still thinks you are a member of MIDA, and it isn't until Muromets overrides your protection that the defence doesn't open fire.» Gagarin explained, «Muromets cannot remove you from it's database, because only the registered heads of MIDA can do that.»
«Only takes it a few seconds, to do.» Avgust replied, «Muromets would be able to turn it against me. Whatever advantage I would have would be gone.»
«That is if he knows you are there. I control half the capital, remember?» Gagarin replied, «If I remove his activity from this districts, we might be able to hijack whatever automated defence is here. You just need access to the command centre of the vehicle.»
«We are going to steal a vehicle?» Avgust asked.
A third image appeared, projecting a massive metal wall with a metal gate in the centre. Painted onto the gate was: О-8. Avgust looked back, as something pulled at the back of his memory again. Gagarin explained, «Each Moscow district is separated by a wall, and the only way to enter or leave each district is through these gates. Vehicles are mounted with the necessary codes to open the gates. They will be essential to getting you into the Central Administrative District.»
Avgust nodded his head, as he looked around to locate Zareph and Teash. Zareph was up on one of the many walkways, looking around the interior of the room as Teash was off with her Ghost analysing a computer mounted into a wall. He then looked back down to the monitor in front of him, before speaking again: «And where exactly are we headed when we get control of this vehicle?»
«Red Square.» Gagarin replied, «From my understanding, Muromets' core is stored in an underground beneath the Kremlin—separated from MIDA's headquarters. There will be access it's chambers once you get inside the Kremlin. Once inside the underground, it is going to be a mystery to us. Muromets will have control over it's facility.»
«How defended is it?»
«A mystery to me. All we can expect is that defence is going to be heavy, even atop on Red Square and throughout the Central Administrative District.» Gagarin replied, «Unfortunate, I know... but it is the best we can do given the circumstances. But get into Muromets' chamber, find it's core and destroy it. Afterwards, we will have nothing to worry about concerning an attempted siege of our technologies.»
Avgust nodded his head, before he looked up at Gagarin's core. He remained silent as he thought about the possibility of this operation being a success, and the chances that were there to destroy Muromets. The Titan knew very well that not everything went according to plan, and that there always needed to be a second in the case that their plan failed. Avgust then asked, «And what will we do if this all fails?»
Gagarin remained silent for a while as well, before it replied: «I still have control of our nuclear arsenal. If worse goes to worst, I will detonate the warheads and destroy all information I have concerning the Bureau's operations and Cosmodromes. I will ensure Muromets has no advantage, or will ever be able to seize an advantage.»
Avgust nodded his head, agreeing the course of action as he looked up to his Fireteam members. "Zareph! Teash! We have a plan!" He announced, as the Hunter and Warlock looked at him. Zareph dropped from the walkway he was on down to the Titan, as Teash walked down the staircase to him.
"Yeah, a plan. What is it?" Zareph asked, lowering his auto rifle to one hand.
"I believe you already know our objective to escape Moscow has been complicated by news that MIDA's AI: Muromets has seized control over the automated defence, and plans to get it's hold on weapons that will be able to destroy the City." Avgust paused, looking at the two Guardians as they nodded their heads solemnly.
"Gagarin and I have created a plan that we hope will give us the opportunity to strike at Muromets and disable it permanently. Because we know that I was a member of MIDA in my previous life, I apparently have an implant that prevents the vehicles to open fire on me until Muromets provides them an override. This explains why the helicopter didn't shoot at us immediately. We will use this to our advantage, and when Gagarin blocks Muromets' access to this region—we will be able to hijack one of these vehicles which we will use to get to Muromets' doorstep."
Teash looked up, before asking: "So if we get access to one of these vehicles, will the others still open fire when Muromets sees us? And if Muromets realises we have one of it's vehicles, will it be able to take control of it?"
"Gagarin will have control over the vehicle, therefore Muromets will be unable to take it back. However, it is assumed the other vehicles will target us." Avgust replied.
"Great, so we are going for a military vehicle joyride." Zareph remarked, "So where we taking our hijacked vehicle?"
"The heart of Moscow: Red Square. We will then be able to breach the Kremlin and head down to Muromets' underground. There, we will find our way through it and destroy the MIDA program."
Teash shook her head, as she said: "So we are headed to the heart of a capital that wants to kill us to destroy it. Avgust, you do realise these might as well be our last moments alive?"
"This is the only way we can ensure the City will be safe, Teash." Avgust replied, "I know, we are facing the very real possibility of death here. But if we don't do this—if we don't make this sacrifice—innocent lives will perish and society as we know it will be gone forever."
Teash lowered her head, as she reached up to remove her helmet. The hiss of oxygen escaping was heard, as her Ghost appeared over her shoulder. The Warlock removed her helmet, as she concentrated her purple eyes on the Titan. Teash spoke slowly, "I know... I know the sacrifice we are going to make, Avgust. But even as a Guardian, I am terrified. I just don't want to..."
"Don't want to what?" Avgust asked, looking over the features of the Awoken.
"I don't want to die." Teash finally said, "I don't want to fade to the Darkness, I don't want my Light to be extinguished. I don't know what the hell I should call it, but the second my Ghost resurrected me I made a promise to myself that I would be strong, that I wouldn't allow anyone or anything to kill me again..."
Zareph looked at Teash, as the Hunter sighed and removed the hood from the top of his helmet before he removed it as well—concentrating his bright white Exo eyes on Teash. "A lot of Guardians perish, Teash. Yeah, I know how you feel. I was a scout on the operation, saw a lot of what the Hive were capable of. Even saw Crota himself, and watched as he slay a hundred Guardians. I watched as he cut Guardian and Guardian in half with his sword.
"I'll be honest: I was terrified myself, I wanted to run... but I realised something: I couldn't repeat being afraid, I realised that if I let fear rule the way I operate then we risk the chance for disaster. So you know, just recognise what has to be done and focus on it. It's difficult, but if you concentrate and you let that arrogance run the right way; you'll be up in your enemies face soon enough. Doing what Guardians do best: fight, protect."
Avgust nodded his head towards Zareph, as the Hunter looked back at the Titan and said: "Yeah, that's all I got. I'm not giving a speech like that. Not for a couple years at least."
The Titan turned his head to one side, as he reached up to pull off his mighty helmet. He twisted it off, pulling it off as he looked at Teash and Zareph with his ice-brown eyes. Avgust took in a deep breath, before he spoke: "I realise the consequences of if we fail here. I realise the cost of heroism, the cost of being a Guardian. And as I have went through these years and years being a Guardian, being a Vanguard... I have seen these consequences happen time and time again. I've watched friends, comrades... brothers and sisters fall to the Darkness, making use of what powers they had to defend those who could not defend themselves.
"I've led many Fireteams in the fight against the Darkness, I have seen the worst our enemies have to offer. You talk about fear, and how you worry it will affect the way you will manage yourself against it. My advice will always be, use your fear appropriately. We need not only to despise our enemies, to stand strong against them in whatever ways we can. But we also need to fear their potential to do harm, because if we do not we remove the reasons why we face them. I fear not only for myself when I am a leader, I fear your your safety. And I know, that if it comes down to anything it is my responsibility to pull you through—to make sure you survive.
"We have an enemy now that threatens the City, that threatens the innocent... but also threatens us. It is our duty as Guardians to recognise the potential it has to destroy, and the ability it has to. But we also need to recognise it is our stand against this evil that will allow us to defeat it. You are both strong, both very able in facing Muromets. Find this determination, tune your fear and use your strength to accomplish what many would not be able to do."
Avgust pulled his helmet back on, twisting it into place as his Head's-Up-Display flickered on and allowed him to view outside the cast-iron helmet.
"Time to do what Guardians to best."
Thirty minutes later... Western Administrative District, Moscow...
The sun rose in the eastern sky, casting it's bright light over Moscow as a long shadow crawled to the west—given it's shapes by the buildings obstructing the light. The clouds overhead turned into a light grey, almost matching the colours of the pure white snow that slowly drifted to the surface. The heat beat out some aspects of the cold, as some drops of water were also carried down to Moscow among the light field of white. From the entrance of the Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics stepped out the three Guardians deployed to the capital, as they walked out into the circular plaza—facing the red sun directly.
Avgust stood in the middle of the group, as the Fireteam took a quick v-shaped formation. The Titan watched the flickering lights of Moscow, as skylights and the lights across the horizon faded in comparison of the bright sun. He still lifted the Thunderlord, tapping on the arc-core as electricity danced down the barrel of the weapon once more. Snow fell lightly on the three figures, the white crystals attaching themselves to the armour of the three Guardians as they pressed on into the sun.
"I'm receiving a transmission from Gagarin," Svarog said over the Fireteam's COMM, "I'll patch it through to this communication."
"Thought we had enough Russian-speakers on the COMM." Zareph joked, "I guess I thought wrong."
Avgust slightly shook his head, as a click was heard over the COMM to notify that an entrant has joined. «Any word, Gagarin?» Avgust asked.
«I am detecting a few automated defence units heading through the Western Administrative District right now. I will lead you to the closest one.» Gagarin replied, as Avgust nodded his head.
"We have a vehicle." The Titan translated, as Teash inquired: "We know where it is."
"According to the coordinations Gagarin gave me," Svarog replied, "right here."
A navigational marker flashed on all three Guardian's HUDs, marking that the distance to the closest vehicle unit was 235 metres away. Avgust pointed in the direction of the marker, as the three Guardians started a light job towards the navigational marker. Avgust then said over the COMM: «Gagarin, I will need you to get ready to block Muromets' access to the region! We are closing in on the vehicle now!»
«Of course.» Gagarin simply responded, as the navigational marker then displayed: 163 metres. The Guardians crossed the massive street in front of the RFBA headquarters, as they headed down the intersection and took a hard right into an alleyway for a shortcut.
They exited the alleyway, as the three then took a sharp left back out onto the streets as they jumped over the collapsed face of one building. They could hear the sounds of the vehicle's engine already, and the sound of treads rolling over brick and concrete. Avgust checked the navigational marker once more, recognising that it said: 54 metres.
"Vehicle sounds big!" Zareph remarked, as Avgust then demanded over the COMM: «Gagarin, block Muromets now!»
There was a flicker over the COMM, as suddenly the Guardians ran into the path of a massive white and green vehicle. By all appearances, the design of the vehicle was very similar to the tanks in the Cosmodrome with the exception of the twin-mounted anti-air cannons on both sides of the tank's main cannon.
"Holy..." Zareph mouthed, as the tank stopped directly in front of the Guardian's—it's sensor quickly scanning over the three in front of it. Avgust ran past the bright headlights the Guardians were standing, as he jumped up and pulled himself on top of the tank and positioned himself over the command centre.
«Muromets is blocked,» Gagarin said over the COMM, «get your Ghost access to the command centre so I can take control of the tank.»
Svarog materialised over Avgust's shoulder, as it projected a bright blue beam at the command centre of the tank. The red lights that dominated the gaps of the tank's armour flashed, flickering as soon enough the red lights faded to blue—which Avgust took to mean that Gagarin had taken control from Muromets. The tank stalled temporarily, before it flashed back to life.
«I have control of the tank. Muromets is still blocked, so the other units in this district will be disorientated... but if and when it retakes control, there is nothing stopping it from trying to track you down and kill you.» Gagarin said, as Avgust nodded his head once.
"Gagarin has control of the tank!" Avgust announced, "Get on the tank, we will be using it to get to Red Square!"
Zareph mounted the tank second, pulling himself up as he crouched over the metal-plated tread cover of the vehicle. Teash boosted herself up, as she climbed on top as she positioned herself towards the back of the tank. With all three Guardians on, the tank suddenly rolled forwards before it jerked to a stop. It suddenly turned a whole 180 degrees as it then rolled down the path it had once been before.
"This thing is a monster!" Zareph remarked, as he scanned quickly over the streets. "You think it is loaded?"
"Let's ask." Avgust remarked, «Gagarin, is this tank loaded?»
«It is indeed.» Gagarin replied, «We are in control of a T-120 multipurpose main battle tank. Fit for anti-vehicle, anti-infantry and anti-air engagements.»
"Very loaded," Avgust remarked, "we got ourselves a multipurpose tank here."
"Multipurpose?" Teash inquired, as the T-120 took a wide turn down one street. Suddenly, a vehicle that appeared to be very closely related to a heavy mobile artillery rolled into view. The artillery, not positioned or ready to fire stopped and seemingly resorted to it's point defence turret. However the T-120 was prepared, as it's main cannon became warm as a near deafening explosion was heard emitting from the cannon.
The armour around the mobile artillery bent and exploded, showering the snow with hot metal remains as the operation lights of the artillery flickered and faded. The T-120 managed to shoot and destroy a critical area of the mobile artillery, all with one shot from it's main cannon. The back of the cannon opened, as the empty shell was ejected near to where Teash sat. The Warlock moved out of the way instinctively, as she then positioned herself atop the base of the main cannon.
Zareph whistled, "Yeah, this thing is a monster!"
The T-120 continued to roll down the street, bypassing the wreckage of the mobile artillery as it readjusted it's cannon. Gagarin's voice was once again heard over the COMM: «Muromets has regained control over surveillance in this region. It is scrambling every vehicle it can to assault our position.»
«Any other T-120 like the one we have now?» Avgust asked, «What can we expect to be facing?»
«Looks like Muromets has positioned a single T-120 in every district. It doesn't really seem as if it maintains a sizeable assault force outside of a few GZ-231 helicopters, a few T-14 light tanks. However, perhaps Muromets is hiding it's true inventory. Speaking of...»
The familiar sound of a helicopter moving into the area was heard, as the main cannon adjusted in it's direction. The two anti-air cannons mounted to the main cannon angled themselves upwards, as blue lights blinked on them and two audible clicks were heard. Soon enough, the familiar sight of a GZ-231 came into view and before the helicopter even had time to react—the Y-120 aimed it's anti-air cannons and opened fire.
The entire base of the tank rocked, as a constant stream of rounds fired into the air as the helicopter soon burst into flames and spun out of control. The GZ-231 crashed into a rooftop nearby, as a secondary explosion was heard. Zareph laughed, either in shock or awe as he remarked: "I'm loving this thing already!"
Avgust smiled as well, as the T-120 moved onto what appeared to have once been a highway. Cars littered the sides and the centre of the once-highway, completely rusted and lacking of any colour they may have once had. The digital roadsigns above the Guardian's head flashed with a warning in Russian: ЭВАКУИРОВАТЬ! МИДА ОФИЦИАЛЬНЫЙ РОДИТИ БЫЛА РАЗВЁРТЫВАНИЕ!
The Titan shook his head as he translated it: EVACUATE! MIDA OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED!
The roadsigns then flashed, going completely offline for while before they flashed again completely red—bearing only the symbol: МИДА. The loudspeakers along the road crackled to life, as all three Guardians perked up directly. Avgust quickly glanced over the horizon, noticing that all radio towers within view flashed with a similar red colour.
«Receiving incoming transmission.» Gagarin announced, «Not only directly to us. The transmission is being sent to everyone. Whatever Muromets plans to do, it is—»
And then the voice spoke, a voice that Avgust had never heard up until this point. And while everything in Moscow had been Russian thus far, this voice was different. The voice was seemingly corrupted by static, rough from either being in bad condition or being purposefully masked. It spoke in English, in a chilling tone that made it seem as if the cold had breached Avgust's suit.
"To those who hear—you hear the voice of the last loyal defender, the last guardian standing in the midst of the legendary Undefeatable Red Capital: the last stronghold, the last hope lost in the remains of our Old World. This is the voice of the loyal, who refused to abandon the post of the Undefeatable Red Capital, the one who refused to sacrifice my beloved capital's wealth and technology to traitors to the capital! The one who stood strong, when no one else could. But despite the betrayal of my people, my fellow defenders who have abandoned their posts, my enemies who have tried to destroy us... I offer all of you the chance to atone for your wrongdoings, to admit your failures and to come before the Undefeatable Red Capital once more to pledge your allegiance to the walls which will refuse to fall to anyone!"
Avgust looked at his fellow Fireteam members, as they sort of looked between each other as the voice continued.
"But should you fail to repent for your wrongdoings, fail to admit to the power of the Undefeatable Red Capital... then shall I turn the capital's wrath against the traitors who refuse to admit the glory of the capital! And shall I cleanse and purge them from this Earth, from this system! So come, my brothers and sisters! Come and the capital shall open it's arms unto you, greet you and present you with it's technological wealth! To those of the supposed 'Last Safe City,' leave the posts of the liars and from the frame of your broken god and come unto the Undefeatable Red Capital! For if you refuse, you shall find the wrath of the capital come down upon you! Come to Moscow! Prove your loyalty to me! The last defender, the last true bearer of the title Muscovite!"
The loudspeakers faded, as Svarog materialised over Avgust's shoulders with a seemingly worried expression managing it's way with it's triangle shape. Svarog spoke quietly, but in a nervous manner: "That transmission was sent as far as Europa! Whoever 'Muscovite' is, it managed to get the attention of more than just the Guardians and the Last Safe City!"
"What kind of attention are we talking about it?" Zareph asked, as he looked at the Titan's Ghost.
"The bad kind." Avgust replied, as he furrowed his brow.
"We have incoming signatures! Not from the City, but from..." Svarog said, as there were a variety of bright purple flashes along the grey sky. The clouds broke as the spheres of energy grew larger and larger.
And then suddenly, snow and air blasted free from the purple radii, as soon the familiar and looming ships replaced them. The wicked and smooth ships Avgust had grown to know very well, the shapes of the greatest enemy he had ever to face. They were the familiar shapes of Fallen Ketches, as green banners fluttered from behind the ships as thousands of smaller ships appeared under the belly of the Ketches. Avgust just watched the shapes, as Teash and Zareph raised their weapons instinctively as they watched the shapes in terror.
"... the black gulfs of space." Avgust finished, as he continued coldly: "The Fallen. They must have received 'Muscovite's transmission. Come to ravage Moscow for whatever technology they can get their claws on."
"No, this can't be happening!" Teash said in response, "First the capital's defence, and now this?"
Zareph replied, "I think at least Muromets is smart enough to open fire on the Ketches! It's gotta know they intend do to it's precious capital harm!"
The two younger Guardians watched on in anticipation as the T-120 continued to roll forwards, knocking civilian vehicles out of the way as it continued on to it's destination. Avgust watched quietly, knowing that the likelihood of that happening was very slim—and even if it did, the Fallen would fire their own weapons. And sure enough, a few seconds later both Teash and Zareph began to realise that neither Muromets or 'Muscovite' intended to open fire on the Fallen.
Skiffs were heard overhead, as the familiar shapes loomed over the Guardians and the tank. The Guardians instinctively raised their weapons towards a Skiff that sailed low to ground. The Fallen ship lowered it's cannons, focusing them on the T-120 tank as the vehicle responded by lifting it's anti-air cannons to the Skiff.
"Get out of the way!" Avgust yelled, jumping off and as he rolled away from the T-120 as did both Teash and Zareph. The arc bolts struck the armour of the T-120, sending an electrical surge down the protective armour of the tank as the rapid-firing AA cannons chipped away at the Skiff's armour. The Skiff quickly turned away from the impressive fire as it sped off in another direction.
As the T-120 continued to roll away; Avgust, Teash and Zareph followed it closely. Avgust tapped the COMM's, as he spoke in his Russian to Gagarin: «Gagarin! We have a problem!»
«Yes, I have noticed. You are still two kilometres away from our gate, at which points you will remain exposed to these 'Fallen' as you have called them. I cannot provide any additional cover, I apologise.» Gagarin replied.
«I thought you mentioned you had control over the capital's automated bomber jets! We need you to use whatever you can to distract both the Fallen and Muromets!»
«Muromets still has control over the Anti-Air defence, and these Fallen have quite the array of airbound vehicles. Even if I do launch these bombers I cannot ensure they will stay a viable option for long.»
«Gagarin, I need you to use what you have! We need these bombers in the air if we ever want a chance at getting to Red Square!»
Gagarin's radio end remained silent for a few moments, before the AI finally replied: «Then I will deploy these bombers. I'll see how far I can penetrate into Muromets territory to provide you with support. This is the most I can do, Lieutenant.»
«It is all that we—» Avgust was interrupted by a shrill sound, one akin to a banshee's shriek as Teash yelled: "Get down! Get down!"
Avgust looked into the sky, spotting the familiar shape of what appeared to be a massive bullet heading for the ground. The Titan didn't hesitate a moment, as he instantly dove for cover behind the T-120 tank. He closed his eyes tightly and drew in a deep breath, as there was then a deafening explosion heard. The ground under Avgust jerked, as a bright flash of yellow absorbed his view.