Wild Hunt Strides

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Beyond Light (2020.11.10)
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Move in silence.

IV

Vynriis was the first to spot movement. Twenty meters, against the horizon. A lumbering hulk of muscle and high-density Cabal plating indolently ascended a stone column in her firing line. It huffed air deeply, leapt forward, and impacted the ground with dead-weight grace on two armored trunks. The tremor ran through her bones.

The trio swapped to close-band comms. "Beast in sights."

Gaelin-4 and Nivviks slowly crawled to her side, taking care not to draw attention in the quiet night. The beast was Cabal all right, red-paint-scraped armor of the Legion buckled against an outpouring of muscle and blistering flesh. From its back and stomach, bladed tendril mutations slithered through gaps in the armor. Its hands were fused in an ever-grip around two massive cleavers that ploughed trenches in the soil as it trundled toward the flames.

"It appears… abnormal for a Wrathborn," Vynriis noted.

"Old. Perhaps one of the first. An escapee of the Crow's?" Nivviks mused. "Preventable. Spider will be displeased."

The Wrathborn Gladiator tore into the wrecked transport. Licks of flame seared its exposed meat without notice, and remnant oil set the Gladiator's cleavers alight in patches.

"I'll handle this. Excuse me." Gaelin-4 stood and strode directly toward the Wrathborn. It lurched to face him and loosed a tortured bellow. Gaelin snapped a smoke bomb into his hand with a flicker of Void Light and flung it into the Wrathborn's mouth. After a muted pop, dull purple smoke poured from its head, and the Wrathborn reeled in the fumes; bloodcurdling shrieks cast plumes of smoke like clouds against the starry backdrop.

Gaelin knelt and shouldered Transfiguration. He sent four heavy Arc rounds that cracked splits in the Wrathborn's helm. It howled and stampeded towards him; tendrils lance-hooked into the dirt to rip its body forward faster. It tripped the Shadowshot he had set. Void Light tethered the Wrathborn, anchoring it at the core of its existence. The beast whiplashed and lost its footing; face struck floor—shattering its helmet.

The mad thing rose, smoke billowing from its nostrils like a hellion. It wrenched with every fiber of strength, veins bursting to break.

"Keep pullin' like that and you'll tire yourself out." Gaelin-4 sauntered around the Wrathborn, darting stake-points into the ground to form the Arc-cage's cornerstones. He pulled the third from his belt when he felt something snap within him. It broke the Void tether?

From the dying smoke launched a tendril. He ducked it and saw the fiery blade just quick enough to roll over it and into invisibility. He flicked another smoke bomb into his hand and struck the beast between the eyes. It flailed and sent tendrils in his direction. Gaelin rolled back and came up, rifle forward. He dropped the first two and began to reposition when the ground erupted beneath him. A tendril pierced his thigh and dangled him in the air as two more drove at his head and chest. He cracked a spike grenade against his knee. The stick sputtered and beamed with Void Light. He severed the oncoming tendrils with the beam, and they gushed soulfire like a fissured dam.

The torrent incinerated the grenade and half of Gaelin-4's right arm. His rifle fell. Before the thought to reach became action, the Wrathborn slammed the Exo to the floor and pinned his leg. Gaelin's breath tremored. It raised its horrid cleavers. He drew Lonesome from under his cloak and shot the thing in the eye. It cast him across the site and through a stony point protruding from the ground. Shards of broken rock cascaded around the Guardian. Gaelin clutched a puncture in his chest, a barb of stone protruded from it. The throw had shattered his hip. He was unable to stand, and it was getting dimmer. A shadow in his vision. Lightning wires overhead. Pressure.

Category: The Crow

Quest: The Cryptolith Lure, Hunt for the Wrathborn