Getting around the Phyrexian soldiers, child’s play; getting into the largest of the Phyrexian warship, a hellish nightmare. It was only by sheer luck that Jace had managed to slip aboard with Elspeth when it welcomed Jin Gitaxias’ metamorphic researchers back into its depths.
The pair made it into the hanger, surrounded by enemies totally unaware of their presence; they made their way through the ship. It took them several hours of wandering the maze-like halls of the warship to locate the bridge, the central command portion of the ship. After dispatching the Crusaders that guarded the door, Jace reached into the room his mind. He took total control of a porcelain legionnaire standing against a wall in the far end of the room. He had connected not only to the constructs senses, which were far different from his own, but also its mind. He quickly extracted all the information required to understand the insect-like language that was Phyrexian.
The room was massive, and filled with many glowing mana-infused control panels. At every free space stood different kinds of Phyrexian guards, standing still as statues, but very capable of leaping to life in the blink of an eye. Jin Gitaxias was speaking to Bolas in an aggravated tone.
“You test our patience Nicol! You promised us acquiring the artifact would be quick, that these rebels would give in quickly.” Elesh Norn chimed in. “What stops us from taking our armies and completing our own campaign without you? We no longer need you; we can planeswalk our armies as we please to spread our purity to the multiverse.” Bolas patiently waited for the praetors to cease their bickering. “You could leave. In fact, I implore you to. I would love to see all ‘four’ of your warships, which ‘I’ collected the components for, with their limited supply of mana, take over the multiverse. Are you three daft?! You can barely conquer a single plane without running short on fuel. The destruction of those small planes will only power these ships for so long, and you don’t have the firepower to destroy another. We stand to gain an impressive amount of power on a very mutual level if this plan is completed. The mana on the other side is so abundant it could fuel endless war-efforts.
“If you think you can handle the multiverse all by yourselves, go right ahead. Remember though, that you would still be trapped on your forsaken metal world had I not offered you a chance to spread your corrupt empire to other lands. Now, do any of you have any further objections to my plans?” Total, unnerving silence took the room. “Good, now that that’s handled, Jin, dispatch Vector Signious to retrieve the artifact, then set a course for the tower. We will finish the drill today. Oh and, Sheoldred, please do something about our uninvited guest will you?” Jace immediately realized his cover had been blown. He forced the porcelain Legionnaire to charge spear first at Elesh Norn, before it was stabbed through by twelve of its fellow soldiers. As Jace relinquished his control over it, he could feel the confusion setting over the dying legionnaire as it awoke to find its allies had killed it.
Elspeth asked no questions as Jace charged into the room slinging spells. She simply followed behind him, Godsend in hand. (The sword/spear she’d used to kill the corrupt god of revels, Xenagos) She wasted no time in dispatching the bloodthirsty guards. Jace immediately attempted to subdue the praetors mentally, but was thwarted by Jin Gitaxias. The two blue aligned magic users immediately began open combat. Elspeth was forced to dodge a down-stroke form one of Sheoldred’s needle-like legs. As it landed, the floor beneath it crumpled and ripped. Elspeth stabbed at the Phyrexian with Godsend, hoping a lucky jab would end this conflict quickly, but Godsend was caught in the mighty jaws of Sheoldred’s lower mouth, and would not be relinquished.
Bolas watched in a very amused fashion as the five battled each-other mercilessly. Elspeth vs Sheoldred and Elesh Norn, back to back with Jace vs Jin Gitaxias. Jace and Elspeth stood at each other’s backs. Jace reached out to Elspeth with his mind. Switch! Elspeth knew what he meant. She ripped Godsend from Sheoldred’s jaws and swung at Jin Gitaxias while Jace crushed Elesh Norn’s mental barriers and pushed Sheoldred against the nearest wall like a bug with his telekinetic powers. Godsend ripped through the lower portion of Jin’s hand, spraying Phyrexian oil everywhere and enraging Jin to no end. Elesh was unable to battle with Jace ripping at the fabric of her sanity with all as might, and Sheoldred was very easily subdued by the sheer force of Jace’s telekinetic strength. As the tide of battle began to move in favor of the two planeswalkers, the bridge was swarmed with Phyrexian soldiers. Elite class black-aligned plague warriors. They were merciless, and predatory in nature.
Elspeth forged a path through them, expelling them with divine light from Godsend. They charged through and down the nearest clear hall. Jace began raising barriers behind them to slow the enemy’s pursuit. They ran down empty corridors, through passage ways, and crowded gun decks, dispatching enemies as they ran. The plan was to escape and warn Sorin about whatever Vector Signious was, and beat Jace to the tower. (The location of which he had extracted from Elesh Norn’s mind during the fight) They reached a lower section of the engine room, and stopped. They were alone, and were no longer being pursued.
Elspeth checked the area for enemies, when she’d determined it was clear, she asked, “So what now?” “We find a way off this damnable ship, and let Sorin know what we’ve learned.” Which is?” Jace explained what he’d gathered about their plans, and the location of the “drill” and the argument that had transpired. Elspeth looked unaffected by the news, but her voice rang with a newfound certainty as she spoke. “Now we just need to get off this blasted ship.” Jace pondered this problem for a while. There just didn’t seem to be a feasible way out. They simply lacked the firepower to blast their way out, and all exits were sealed tight and manned by soldiers.
An idea arose in Jace’s mind. They just needed to warn Sorin and make their way to the drill. The warship was heading to the tower. All Jace needed to do was warn Sorin of the imminent danger, and give him the location of the drill. Jace relayed his plan to Elspeth who agreed. He promptly gave all the information to Sorin via a mental link, and sat back and waited for the ship to start moving.
The silence began to get to Jace, so he thought of conversation starters so they could pass the time. “So, how was Theros?” Jace asked, not truly caring, just wanting something to kill the time. “Hectic...” Was Elspeth’s only response. She rested Godsend against her knee and watched the gleam of light reflected off its blade intently. Jace didn’t imagine they had much in common, but this was ridiculous. Elspeth broke the silence. “So what exactly are we facing at this tower? How much resistance?” Jace pondered the question. “This is the largest warship, so there’ll be at least several thousand, assuming they don’t deploy every soldier onboard. Luckily, they’ll probably leave the other ships behind to keep up the assault on the fort. It’ll be difficult.” “And the drill?” Jace shrugged. Elspeth looked uncomfortable, as if she were recalling some painful memory.
She muttered something under her breath. “What?” Jace inquired. “We can’t fail here.” She said. “I know that.” “No you don’t Jace, and hopefully you never will. If we don’t win here, all the multiverse will suffer the same fate as Mirroden.” Jace could see the pain in her eyes, the distress. “I can still hear the screaming, the unbearable screaming of my friends and allies dying around me, slowly being killed from the inside out. I failed on Mirroden, I can’t fail here. I won’t!” Whatever had happened on Mirroden had scarred her; she just never showed it until now. Jace suddenly felt a connection to the champion of light. Jace reached out and grasped Elspeth’s knee, “We will win. I promise.” Elspeth regained her composure and stood.
“The ship’s stopped.” She stated ignoring Jace. They made their way to one of the lower hangers. Blue aligned-elite soldiers were escorting several artificers to small onithopter-hover crafts. Jace and Elspeth snuck aboard one, and Jace cast a spell of shrouding to hide them from the Phyrexians. When the craft landed, they exited and snuck between the ranks of the elites guarding the remains of the tower. The tower sat atop a short, steep cliff, with a larger cling rising high from behind it. It was old and decrepit. Stone bricks, cracked and crumbled, adorned the tower and the ground below. Built into the top of the crumbling tower was a large monstrous machine. It was constructed of pieced-together artifacts and machines. It was much like a pillar, but it was wide at the base, and as it progressed upward, it slowly became narrower.
At the top, four small black spikes pointed straight up, like slaws grasping something. The gap between them was the perfect size for the lens. I thought it was a drill. What could they possible need to drill in the air? Jace had a valid point. All the mana source relics were at the base of the drill, which meant that it was definitely focusing all that raw power upward. Elspeth was both awe-struck, and disgusted by the monstrous creation that stood before them. They were still shrouded, but it wouldn’t be long before the spell wore off, so they found a hiding place away from the tower behind some boulders and loose debris from the tower. They waited there, planning their attack. Deciding to wait till Bolas appeared so they could not be surprised during their assault.