The team, after collecting themselves for a moment, takes a look around-and notices that some gun slits have opened on the upper levels of the towers at each corner of the fortress. Ivan takes the car back into cover as some machine guns open fire, with UB! providing covering fire. K heads away from the shooting as well, and takes cover behind the annihilated TA car in the alley. Tobias and Rolph carefully scope out the scene with their smartlinked weapons, while staying in cover. Ivan, UB!, HCB, and Ut remain in the car. Ivan manages to move the car to a position where he can fire on one of the towers without being visible to the others, and does so, lobbing a shell straight into the southwest tower. Tobias has also been firing on this position, while moving around and staying low to avoid the incoming bullets and grenades. He takes serious damage from a frag, however. Rolph decides to take matters into his own hands, and fires some arrows into the nearest vision slit, and then takes a running leap towards the northwest tower, using his emergency chute to glide over, and then grabbing hold with his gecko gloves. Unfortunately, he gets shot from the northeast tower while doing so, sustaining some major damage. But he makes the jump! Very impressive. He scales the wall, as Ivan lobs a shell straight into the room above. Surveying the devastation, Rolph decides not to venture inside alone, and continues towards the roof, to get a better view.
Once stepping atop the roof, he receives some fire from the northeast tower, and ducks back down. Ivan, UB! and HCB all start firing on the fence, and trying to determine if there are land mines. They eventually successfully detonate some sort of buried explosive, and decide to try to find a better way in. Ivan approaches the gate again in the car and begins to enter, but has to reverse back through to avoid an incoming rocket from an rpg that has just rushed out onto the upstairs fortress balcony. He avoids the shot, but it caves in the scanner tunnel, blocking that way in. The rpg team takes a a second shot at K, hiding behind the TA car in the alley. Ut has run over the help heal him, and they both dodge out of the way of most of the damage, but the car is shredded. UB!, Tobias, and Rolph team up to open fire on the team, setting off their supply of rockets, apparently, as a large explosion occurs. K heals himself and HCB, and then HCB and Ut head towards the fortress, crawling over the gatehouse wreckage and weaving across the lawn. Ivan blows through the front fortress door with the autocannon as they approach. UB! heads in as well, as Rolph begins descending to join them. Tobias hears a helicopter approach, as he continues to exchange fire with the southeast tower. Ivan signals that it is their former comrade April, who he called about the possible news story occurring. While she provides cover with a sniper rifle, Tobias lobs some grenades into the tower. The firing stops.
Ut approaches the door first around front, and gets hit with a lightning bolt, but staggers into cover. Ivan fires through the open door again, with no noticeable effect, it seems that vision inside is obscured in some unnatural fashion. HCB, UB!, and Rolph all gain cover near the house. Ivan sends in the firefly drone, while Tobias queries the fortress’ node. he discovers a bizaare looking carnival, and is approached by a crone-like female dwarf. She offers him candy, which he refuses, and she begins stabbing him. His icon takes some major damage and he initiates a hot dump to avoid further damage. He hacks his datatrail, and shuts off his comms. Then he jumps from the edge of the roof, over the fence into the yard, using his hydraulic legs. The helicopter continues circling. Ivan begins moving the car to a better position again, but it gets fried by a massive lightning bolt from the interior of the fortress. The engine kills, and the car no longer seems functional. So much for their escape plan! Ivan heads towards the building with his meat body as he sends up the lynx.
Through the firefly drone, he sees a figure crouching behind a spiral staircase in the center of the building, and a room to either side, as well as the access to the four corner towers. He sends the drone up the stairs, and loses contact, seemingly due to jamming. UB! steps in, and using the feed from the drone, successfully blows the mage to pieces, but also gets a lightning bolt in the chest. The rest of the team enters, and begins scoping out the area. They find a destroyed exercise room (which is apparently where Ivan’s shells have been landing), and on a sadder note, they find Scrounge’s partially dissected body in the lab/medical suite. There are other corpses in various phases of decay and dissection as well, but noone they recognize. The team members who knew Scrounge are enraged, as is April, up above. They head back out into the main area, and take fire from two more BS guards who exit the northeast tower base. They make short work of them, but then quickly have to dive out of the way of a grenade dropped down the spiral staircase, after which a gate seals off the hole through the floor.
Rolph climbs up using his gecko gloves, and begins applying foam explosives to the gate. Ivan notices someone assaulting the lynx’s firewall, and goes hot to scope it out. He sees the dwarf crone that Tobias has warned him about, and successfully sneaks up behind the icon, destroying it in two swift blows. He tries to trace it back to its source node, but fails. The team, lead by Tobias, begins assembling a barricade at the bottom of the stairs, to provide cover once Rolph blows the hatch. K is feeling uneasy, as his magical powers seem to be being interfered with in a way he hasn’t encountered before, except in the crater. It seems to worsen as he nears the stairs. They prepare….