The hunter clutch waited silently in ambush. The rain hit their translucent cloaked forms. Running off of them in rivulets as it spilled onto the dark ground below. Crouching in the trees above they waited. All around them was a bright green jungle. Birds and other creatures generated a cacophony seemingly from everywhere. Chitters and hoots and clicks and cries. The moist, humid air filled their lungs and they were surrounded by life. For a moment the three felt balance. Alive in a sea of alive. The air was moist, warm and easy to breathe. The pair of suns and their harsh light unable to reach them under the thick jungle canopy.
They heard the machine-kin before they saw them. First the cacophony of noises around them went silent. Then they heard the crunch of metal forms crashing through the undergrowth. Kynyann narrowed his eyes. The machine-kin were graceless. But not mindless. He frowned deeply. No, they were not unthinking. Blunt instruments could still do egregious damage.
The machine-kin emerged. A cluster of their smaller ground forms. These kind were mainly used to sweep an area. Laying waste to any thinking life attempting to escape bombardment from the skies. Kynyann suspected they were scouting, since it would be harder to sweep the jungle from the air which was the machine-kin’s usual way.
With a hand gesture the three hunters leapt from the trees decloaking as they fell. The machine-kin-sterilizers started to react but they were faster. Landing easily, they advanced and began to fire. Their plasma bursters released streams of white hot spheres. Many shots found their mark and a few of the machine-kin fell to the ground in a smoking ruin. Responding instantly the machine-kin cluster began to radiate electromagnetic chaff. The hunters targeting systems began to spill false data and their guidance reticles bounced unpredictably.
This was expected. As one the hunters lit up their energy talons with thrumming violet energy fields. The fields popped and crackled as they evaporated the moisture from their air. Small wisps of steam trailing from the blades as the hunters began to fight. Engaging with the machine-kin-sterilizers in brutal melee combat. The talons did substantial damage when they landed, shredding what they touched. Their metallic bodies liquified and adapted in response. Becoming more lithe and difficult to hit.
The blades of the machine-kin were razor sharp monofilament and each hit which landed true sliced through Batra armor and flesh with equal ease.
One of the hunters fell, with a cry cut short by a whirl of alloyed blades. A few more machine-kin were rendered into broken scrap as the hunters struck back. The last two machine-kin shimmered as their plates interlocked increasing their toughness. But this response was reflexive, Kynyann suspected as it would provide no additional protection from the hunters energy sheathed weapons.
“For the Clan!” Kynyann croaked fiercely and they continued fighting beneath a sky of leaves.
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