Zetsubo, having reach near the head of the golem by now, noticed that the golem was now moving away from the temple. He had a small window of opportunity, and he intended to take it. He would throw himself as far over the golem as he could and aimed for as close to the entrance as possible. When he reached the ground, he would roll the rest of the way into the temple and just start running, certain that his last little performance alerted someone. Now that he was in, he wasn't about to leave.
Unfortunately, those still standing above Som were the heavily warded priests and mages, their enchanted equipment snapping and warping the spikes around or away from them. They tossed a small grouping of grenades down the stairs as they heard the footsteps. The grenades themselves were a cocktail. Two of them released pure, radiant white rays of searing light, the others contained a caustic gas, originally intended to burn the fur off of mutant anthropomorphic creatures, then dissolving the rest of their bodies as well, but also suited to turning the stairwell into a dripping, molten mess of steel and wrought iron.
In conjunction with this, every step Som took rendered more white-hot explosions, every floorboard on the ship being individually warded with a blast glyph. The blazing temperatures melted a hole in the side of the ship and set the hull on fire.
The golem tripped forward, Aaron successfully pulling its feet out from under it. Unfortunately, on its current path, it fell straight down, chest first at the phalanx of soldiers below. If it could grin, or grasp the concept of irony, it would have done so at that moment. With its remaining fist it reached out as it fell, ready to pound the soldiers into dust.
Zetsubo took the boot to the gut, that's what he got for not being cautious enough. It was unlikely that he would be able to fight toe to toe with anyone here, so he needed a quick escape. Maybe he could coax the man away from the door long enough to let him pass. He flipped out his pair of tonfa's and twirled them, taking a couple steps back. "I don't have time for this. Isn't there something more important you should be doing?"
Jack couldn't be bothered with the alarms below deck. Someone was on board and he knew where they'd be headed. As he entered the brig he smiled. The witch had been crying. "Pleased to meet you," he said with a suave smile, "My name is Jack." He cautiously approached the cell, tapping the bars with his cane. "You don't seem like the type to go to war..." He looked her over through his dark-green glasses. "Unfortunately, we don't have much time left before s**t gets real up here. One of your friends is on the ship. I'll have to kill you if he makes his way here." He spoke coldly as he removed the cylinder containing the tranquilizer darts from his can and replaced it with another cylinder.
"It really is a shame that I may not get to spend any time with you," he said, his smile changing from a suave smirk to plain disgusting, "We could have had so much fun."
His feet sizzled with every step, though his skin was hard enough to keep them from catching fire every step burnt his feet more and more. This was one of those times where hovering would be nifty.
Very soon he found two grenades in his face, and could sense what was going to happen too late. The gas had no effect because he was not mutant, and his powers of shape-shifting were purely vampyric. The light though took care of that immediately. His skin was flayed off of his body entirely, and 'twas he not so old he would have been toast. Literally.
Finding himself mangled beyond reason, but beyond sight, he would have to pull another trick out of his sleeve. This was an experimental one though, and would be risky.
He opened his mouth wide, and a huge snake like being covered in red scales crawled right out. The pain he went through was excruciating, not only from the light blast but from the shedding itself. He came out, a husk of clothes and flesh on the ground behind him. If he was directly attacked for the next couple of minutes he would be met with a great amount of pain, despite his adamantine-strength scales.
He launched himself up the stairs before the troupe could begin to attack, spinning to form a brilliant red figure dashing though the air. The immediate area would be met though with red scales slicing though everything, including the ship itself. With that hardness, and a sharpness unparalleled, the poor soldiers would be diced.
He continued flying about the air for a bit and landed further down the hallway, which would be decimated. The glyph met his sensitive scales and burned immensely, but still he trudged on.
The hunter took a few more steps, bringing him to stand directly in the doorway, so there was no way to even slip past him, as the brim of his hat raised, revealing the devilish glint in his eye.
He twirled both of his own weapons, and then firmly gripping them again the motors roared to life like a pair of ferocious animals, the teeth along the blades beginning to rapidly spin on the chain's path.
"Unfortunately for you this doorway is of utmost importance."
Seeing what was about to take place, a part of Aaron winced; The troopers all braced themselves, while the Diamond Troops immediately full-charged the shield... And then that fist slammed out for them.
It crashed into the shield, which kept the fist out for the meantime... But the shield shattered as a result of the impact, and the leftover force crushed several bodies, sending the rest reeling, almost through the air. Into that gas cloud...
And thankfully, out of it, into a pile.
Those who were at danger of death quickly applied magic and tonic to themselves... But only sixty of them remained.
Retreating further from the fight, the golden-clad warriors together collectively slammed their hands down to put up a solid barrier of stone, calling on the help of the Earth as well as God to protect them. The Diamond troops also propped their shields against it, to give it further thickness. Their shield-juice was gone, but the shields were still incredibly protective on their own.
The damage had been done either way, though. And Aaron would not forgive it. Still holding down the golem's legs, Aaron would forcefully climb up onto its back and then bring his sword up, in a reverse-grip. Straddling the stone creation, he would violently and repeatedly stab it, trying to reduce it to rubble. Tears were actually streaking from his eyes. He'd made a stupid choice, and he had nobody but himself to blame. But he was going to make sure no more harm came to them.
Vivian glared at he captor. Fury shone within her violet orbs. So that was the one who had gotten her with those darts.
As he approached her cell, she stood. Her legs were shaking terribly. They still weren't fully awake.
"I would rather be killed than get to know you better," she snarled at him. There was no mistaking his intent and she REFUSED to let herself be used like that again. "Thank the gods for this so-called friend of mine."
Her arms crossed over her chest and she pressed her forehead against the metal bars. She had to think of a way to get out of there. Things were looking pretty grim for her. How... how... a lump rose in her throat.
"To think though," she muttered, grabbing a hold of the bars. "I'll never know a man before I die. How... anti climatic."
It was a lie. Anyone who knew her would know that she had a lover and children. However, this man did not know her. Not at all. She was also very young looking so it was completely believable that she had not known a man. Her cheeks flushed brightly. How shameless she had turned. The blonde was reminded of a Bond villainess. All she was missing was a ambiguously sexual sounding name.
If the golem was able to feel satisfaction, it would have been cut short by the stabbing from Aaron's massive sword. Its body cracked into pieces and the crystalline core in its lower back shattered, taking the light from its eyes as it fell where it would lay for the rest of time.
Emboldened by the damage exacted on the HO troops, the remaining gun crews on the Intent focused their fire on the new, scraggly formation of troops that had escaped the impact of the golem's fists. This volley included two more gas rounds.
Only one battle priest remained after Som's flurry in the hallway of the Intent, below decks. He had only the capacity for one more thing. Flipping open a panel on the wrist-mounted communication unit, he hit a combination of keys and bled out quietly on the floor, satisfied in his death.
The ship's intercom kicked on, "Warning, all personnel to designated safe zones. Ship wide purge in affect." Giving just ten seconds warning, no explanation of where the safe zones were, and another loud, blaring alarm tone, the ship then released the same neurotoxin that was being fired at the troops below. Every hallway and major room of the ship would be inundated with the gas until it was turned off.
Before the gunfire could penetrate through the wall of stone and the shielding, however, Aaron slammed his sword down in front of them, stabbing it deep into the ground so that it couldn't be uprooted and fall over onto them, and then with a single swipe of his massive gauntlet, thrust the gas harmlessly away... And then, infuriated, Aaron stood up from where he was, turning around and approaching the Righteous Intent.
"I may not be able to just destroy this ship, but I'm big enough that I don't have to," he announced ominously... And then he would actually reach up towards the ship, intent on plucking each and every cannon right off of it. If Jack tried to pilot the thing out of his reach, he'd just reach up to catch its upper half, to prevent it from flying at all.
Jack was about to say something to Vivian, but an alarm cut him short. He spat a curse and bolted to a panel on the wall, lifting it and punching in a series of button combinations. A hissing sound was heard, followed by a change in the air-pressure of the brig. Jack sighed in relief.
"Whoever is coming for you must be making headway. Unfortunately, one of the officers aboard the ship tripped the contingency protocol and the ship is filled with this delightful gas I helped engineer that actually eats away at brain tissue, the lungs, the heart via the lungs, and on down the line. It's rather messy, but it's quick," he explained it all in too much depth with a large grin on his face.
He looked the woman over, considering her earlier words. "Listen, whoever you are, it was only going to be fun when you didn't want it. Whether you're faking it now or you're sincerely feeling a little weak in the knees," he jabbed, making a pun at the expense of her quivering legs, "I'm just not that interested anymore. Not in this pretense, anyway." His smile grew as he stepped up to the bars of the cell, prodding at her with the cane. "Hopefully your white knight eases up. If he doesn't, I'm not beyond filling this whole damn ship with gas and ramming her into the mountain."