Day 408 – Part 2

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

Judaeo-Christian Bible, the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 5: verse 9

Up to this point I have abstained from technical jargon: the possibility that this record will survive must also take into account difficulties in understanding or translating it. Yet the events that occurred upon my exiting the cave were so swift and confused I must fall back on a precise layout to communicate them clearly:

Time Elapsed: 00.00 seconds since arrival on battlefield. Description follows assessment from the immediate 9 o’clock/270 degrees/personal West/immediate left of unit “Morc-35” and follows a graduating field until reaching the 3 o’clock/90 degrees/personal East/immediate right of same unit. Enemies 0, Guardians 8/8 active.

01.18: The first Legionnaire shook the ground as its boots touched down. Bullets sparked off its armor. It seized Telrik in both fists – it dwarfed the big Titan as if he were no more than a child’s toy – and slammed him into the cliff side. There was an audible crunch and Brutus the Ghost was suddenly winging away, trying to get clear of the Cabal’s reach. (Enemies: 1, Guardians: 7/8 )

03.77: “Incoming tanks!” Miranda was at least 20 meters away from the rest of us, doubtless part of the outer perimeter, but now she was running back to the cliffs. She leaped into the air to avoid fire – (Enemies: 13, Guardians: 7/8)

05.54:- and was snatched out of the sky by a lunging Legionnaire. It grabbed the Hunter’s foot and cut its own jet-pack, dragging her down by weight alone. She was thrown to the red sand and crushed by the boots of a charging wall of Phalanxes. Her little red Ghost shot away, but was herded back towards us by weapon’s fire. “Help!” it cried. (Enemies: 37, Guardians: 6/8)

06.39: I was hit by stray fire from advancing Legionnaires. Camouflage activated. Damage minimal. I reached out and grabbed the visibly confused Brutus from the air. (Enemies  approx. 45, Guardians: 6/8)

07.99: An infusion of Light, generated by Solar feed, burning hot. 3 Solar Light rounds, fired from weapon designated “Golden Gun”, wielded by Awoken Hunter Arianna. Discharged rounds all find targets. Targets exploded on contact with discharge. Enemies suffer 7 visible casualties. (Enemies approx. 38, Guardians 6/8)

09.01: Audible input, dBA 147 and rising to 165: 3 Cabal Harvesters. dBA continues to rise. Enemy reinforcements. “Firing line! Firing line!” shouted Farstride. His weapon roared with almost continuous thunder. Magnus stood to his right, hand cannon blazing with constant fire. Then the ground shook and the Warlock vanished under a boulder that fell from the cliff behind us. (Enemies approx. 55, Guardians 5/8)

13.56: I held Brutus out in front of me. “Revive Telrik and then help revive Miranda! Almost half the fire-team is down!”

“I can’t!” said the Ghost. It sounded confused. “It’s very Dark! I can’t draw enough Light!”

I considered: had the Cabal found a way to harness the Dark? Did they know this and ambush us? (Enemies approx. 60, Guardians 5/8)

17.72: Human Hunter House disengaged camouflage next to Farstride. “We need to transmat out!”

“If we bring in our ships the Harvesters will shoot them down, along with our Ghosts!” Farstride shouted over the weapon’s fire.

“And if we don’t they’ll bury all of us and our Ghosts under artillery fire and rock!”

“Guardian down!” reported Ebony. I saw Drake’s Ghost flitting our way. (Enemies approx. 70, Guardians 4/8)

23.50: I assessed the tactical situation. Our backs were to a literal wall, a cliff-side we could not scale without being entirely exposed. We were surrounded by a massive cohort of Cabal troops. Flight out was impossible, as the hovering Harvesters prevented ships from flying in low enough to transmat us out. And both the Harvesters and the tanks beyond the foot soldiers had begun a barrage into the side of the cliff, saturating the zone with fire and rubble. If they killed our Ghosts, they killed us.

It was a clever trap. What were a few Legionnaires for the chance to bring down 1 Guardian? Some Guardians had slain hundreds, maybe thousands of Cabal soldiers. But 8 Guardians? In a single attack? Whatever Centurion commanded this cohort stood to win the greatest tactical skirmish in years, all for the cost of a few troops buried beneath the rubble.

27.99: I knew we were going to die. I was //afraid. And a little…//sad.

28.23: The air tore with a sound I can only describe as a “howl”. Light and color warped. Darkness like nothing I had ever seen congealed into physical shape. A charging Cabal fell to the ground. It clawed desperately at the red sand as it was dragged back by a tendril of oily…substance…and vanished into a wound in the air. (Enemies approx. 69, Guardians 4/8)

33.10: Multiple instances of Cabal soldiers vanishing into Dark anomalies. The enemy lines fractured, scattered, and vanished. (Enemies: 12, Guardians 4/8)

45.61: We all stood still, weapons up and pointing at the now empty red field, splotched with black and filled with the detritus of fallen Cabal and their gear. “What was that?” demanded Arianna softly.

Farstride shook his head. “No idea.”

“Whatever it was,” said House, “I do not think we should be here when it decides to come after us.”

“Agreed,” I said.

“Grab a partner Ghost and mount up,” said Farstride. “I’ll call this into the Vanguard.” (Enemies: 0, Guardians 4/8)

59.09: The air howled again, and we were attacked by an army born of the Darkness. (Enemies: Legion)

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