Locked In.

“So, they want us to just give up peacefully?” Knuckles said. “That’s an interesting approach, considering they already know that answer.”

“And what would that be, Guardian?” a dark voice asked. The group spun around the see a Dark Legionnaire standing behind them, with a cybernetic eye and arm that ended in a three pronged claw.

“Kragok. I figured you’d show up.”

“Yes, I came down on the assumption you’d come to the decision you seem to have reached. So, will you come peacefully?”

“The day I give the city to you is the day Sandopolis freezes over.”

“Very well then, prepare for battle!” Kragok said before Legion soldiers poured out of the alleyways, surrounding everyone.

Alerak reached for his gauntlet and pulled out his handgun. “This is gonna be tough,” he remarked before taking aim and firing.

* * * * *

“Good, so the real attack has finally begun. Soon your puny city will be conquered, and then the rest of the island with it,” Kage said, still looking to the airships floating above the city.

“You should probably worry about yourself first!” Ekajra replied, shoving Kage to the ground. “Don’t let your guard down just ‘cause of a fancy ship.” As Kage got to his feet Ekajra kicked in him in the face, sending him back to the ground. Ekajra grabbed him by the collar of his robe and hoisted him off the ground. He spun around, and threw Kage into a tree. Kage fell to the ground with a loud thump, but recovered almost immediately and, with incredible force, slashed the base of the tree, sending it fall towards Ekajra. He jumped out of the way, only to barely dodge Kage himself who had dashed out from below the tree.

Kage swung upward, and Ekajra bent backwards to dodge. He almost fell over, but steadied himself and hit Kage while he was still exposed. Kage simply brought his arm back down, and Ekajra stepped to the side. The claws slashed past him, clipping the edge of one of his all natural spines, and grazing off of the metal of another.. “Ow! That’s gonna sting for awhile!” Ekajra remarked as he slid around Kage and grabbed onto his hood. Using the fallen tree as a boost, he jumped over Kage and pulled the hood over his face. Disoriented, Kage was unable to stop Ekajra who launched off of the tree again and shouldered Kage to the ground. Kage flailed randomly with his claws, and Ekajra backed off. Kage got to his feet and pushed his hood back.

By the time Kage had examined the area, Ekajra had run behind him. He dove to the ground and rolled sideways, knocking Kage off his feet. Ekajra grabbed Kage by the legs and stood up, spinning around. He threw Kage into the air, then jumped up to punch him in the face. With his opponent dazed, Ekajra laid a few more hits into Kage before gravity decided he’d had enough and pulled them back to the ground. Ekajra jumped back and waited for Kage to get up, catching his breath. Kage stood up slowly, holding his right arm close to his body. A faint yellow glow began to form. Ekajra’s face widened in shock as Kage turned around, revealing the glowing hole in his palm.

* * * * *

Alerak ducked a laser blast from a Legionnaire, knocking the gun out of his hand and whipping him in the head with it. He shot down a few more soldiers with the large laser rifle before throwing it in front of him. It smashed into the face of a Legionnaire, knocking him out. Just then the force of an explosion coursed through the ground. A faint hint of laser could be seen on the edge of the city. “What was that?” Vector asked as he slammed two Dark Legionnaires’ heads together.

“It felt like it come from where Ekajra’s fighting Kage. I hope he’s okay,” Alerak said before taking out another Legionnaire.

* * * * *

“Woah!” Ekajra yelled as he looked at the space where he had just been standing. A trench had been dug out by the laser Kage had just fired from his hand. Ekajra turned to look at the tunnel blasted through the trees. It was large, and more than one tree was scorched or still on fire. He looked back to where Kage was just in time to see him burst out of the dust cloud. Ekajra scrambled out of the way as gleaming claws slashed towards him, quickly followed by a blur of shadow. Ekajra’s vision was blurred from all the dust, but Kage had no trouble finding his target with his cybernetic eye. Ekajra turned around and ran out of the cloud, barely avoiding Kage’s strikes. He quickly turned around and blocked as soon as he emerged from the dust. Kage pushed against him and began to walk slowly towards him, forcing Ekajra back. Ekajra swung a punch beneath their arms, trying hit Kage’s stomach. Kage blocked it, grabbing Ekajra’s fist. He then turned, and with ferocious strength, picked Ekajra up and threw him into the trees.

* * * * *

“Eat this!” Knuckles said as he hit a Legionnaire with an uppercut. The Legionnaire flew into the air and landed on another soldier behind him. Knuckles worked his way through the crowd, his eyes on a specific target. He shot his arms out sideways, catching two Legionnaires who were trying to flank him, then whipped his arms back and hit tow more trying to get him from behind. He ducked as another shot at him, then popped back up and charged into him with his shoulder, sending to robed echidna into his comrades like a bowling ball. “Espio, how about a little team work?” he called to the chameleon fighting nearby.

“You got it,” Espio replied. He leapt over the Dark Legionnaire between them, kicking him in the back of the head. Knuckles grabbed onto Espio’s ankles and spun around. Espio dug out a circle of soldiers around them before Knuckles released him. Espio flew threw the air, crossing his arms. With a flick of his wrist shuriken were in his hand, which he threw at the enemies below. As he neared the ground he righted himself and landed with a kick to a Legionnaire’s face.

Alerak fired another shot before the always ominous clicking noise came from his gun. “You think with laser weapons we wouldn’t run out of ammo,” he said as he ducked, dropping the fuel cell out of his gun and reaching for another one. A Legionnaire was right on top of him when a laser blast hit him. Alerak turned to see Julie-Su aiming at him. “Thanks,” Alerak said as he slid another fuel cell into his gun and getting to his feet. “They really brought in a lot of troops. How many do you think there are?”

“Not sure. Though we haven’t heard much from the tanks, which means they’re probably using them just for holding the perimeter,” Julie-Su replied.

“Which is good for us. Hopefully my men should be able to disable the tanks. If that happens, it’ll be a whole lot easier to drive the Legion off,” Remington said. He reached for the walkie-talkie on his shoulder. “This is Remington. Squads B through D, how’re you holding up, over.”

The walkie-talkie emitted some static, followed by a voice. “This is Squad B captain. We’re holding the line as best we… can… they’re putting up quite the fight, over.”

“Focus on taking out those tanks, they’re our top priority, over.”

“Got it. Over and out. Eat blaster Legion…!” the squad captain said before his walkie-talkie cut off.

“Sounds like they’ve got it under control,” Alerak said. “Shouldn’t we be looking for the one in charge?”

“I think Knux has that under control,” Vector said, pointing to Knuckles who was charging towards the edge of the mob they were currently fighting. There a small hoverdisk was descending from the main airship. Kragok could be seen heading towards it, rather calmly for someone in a battlefield. He stepped onto the disk, and as it began to ascend, Knuckles jumped on, clinging to the bottom. Fortunately the Legion soldiers wouldn’t dare try and shoot him down, with their commander on board. As they reached the airship, Knuckles climbed into the cockpit to confront Kragok.

* * * * *

“Ow… that was not good,” Ekajra said as he sat up. Kage had thrown him right into the hole in the trees that had been burned out, but that didn’t stop what remained from bashing Ekajra on the way in. He stood up, looking for Kage, and tried to walk out of the woods. The second he passed through the trees he was thrown sideways when something big and heavy collided into him. It soon turned out to be Kage, complete with laser sword. Ekajra was thrown to the ground, and Kage pounced on top of him, holding the laser sword to Ekajra’s neck. “Well, this didn’t exactly end the way I planned.”

Kage jabbed his knee into Ekajra’s chest, knocking the wind out of him, before reaching up to his ear. “This is Shadow Claw. I’ve captured the target. Requesting a hoverdisk lift… Oh, don’t worry, I’ve got him under control. Just make sure you have a cell ready for me to dump him in. Kage out.” He turned to look at Ekajra, and shoved his blade closer to Ekajra’s neck, an evil grin decorating his face. “You don’t know how long I’ve wanted this, traitor.”

“Heh, yeah, well,” Ekajra said, gasping for breath. “We’ll just see how this turns out in the end.” Kage pulled his sword away from Ekajra’s neck, only to slam the end of the handle into his head, knocking him out.


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