It was at this point, with the Deathjack now missing both its arms, but with a single focus point available from Power Boost, that I had a decision to make, and Robbie made a prediction. He said “you’ll hit on eight unboosted, but you’ll leave her alive on one box.”
First attack misses. Second attack… well, look down there and you’ll see.
Davies, are you some sort of time-bending future-assuring wunderkind, and if so, do you have a hot twin who can be persuaded to wear suspenders and a silly hat with horns on?
Haley nimbly sidestepped the helljack’s clumsy flailings with its damaged arms – left, right – but as she parried the sweep of its horns, disaster struck. Her spear caught between the horns, and was flung away on the backswing; her power field took the blow, but shorted out, leaving her sprawling in the dirt from the thud of the horns in her belly.
Deneghra, bleeding from a bullet hole in her shoulder, felt a deeper pain resonate through her – as if something she hadn’t even known she had had suddenly been ripped almost clean away, and now hung by a thin thread of nerve and gristle, every second an agonising prayer for the pain to not stop, because if it stopped, the whatever-it-was would be gone, beyond any hope of recovery.
This was it.
She closed her eyes and cast out for a bonejack the Khadorans hadn’t ruined in their spite – one remained, not far from where her sister fought the Deathjack. Sure enough, Haley lay on her back, struggling to find her feet, all the wind knocked out of her.
Deneghra clenched her fist, and as the bonejack’s arc node flared green in the deepening night, the last echo of Gloria Haley screamed and died. Scalding acid poured out of the bonejack, sweeping the ground around her sister.
Even as the venom roared, Haley knew this was the end. Without her spear, and staggered, all her power spent on that shot against the lich, she was vulnerable, and her sister had known it. Even so, she threw up an arm to hide her face, instinctively rolled away from the green torrent as it gushed toward her. Her arm boiled, skin coming away in great burning chunks, bone snapping under the pressure and rotting to dust before it hit the ground.
Then came the bullets. Five rounds, then five more. Five hit an armour plate over the bonejack’s knee; five hit it just behind the head, square in the arc node. It collapsed, working leg still twitching fitfully, and as the rush of venom became a trickle, and then nothing, Haley rolled back in the dirt, let the smoking ruin of her arm fall in the mud, and saw the stars go out.
“Barker! Melbury! Get the captain out of here! The rest of you, covering fire! Fall back!”
With Haley dead and Karchev out of the picture, the remaining Cryx forces could now refocus their attention onto the Menites, which they promptly did, with Asphyxious dropping back away from the Bastions.
There followed a Menite turn of which I confess I remember little and have photographs for less. The Bastions advanced into the Temple properly, and the Revenger moved around to its edge so that a few Mechanithralls could eat Ashes to Ashes. Anyway, at the bottom of round four, with two players left in it, the table looked like this.