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Uplink Three: Hunting

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Designation: Catherine
Rank: Primus Magos Dominus
Location: Unknown World assigning designation: VP- 23336789432

Uplink successful

+For the Omnissiah+

Approximately 5 Martian standard months have passed since the discovery of planet designated VP- 23336789432. In that time Dominus Catherine and her cohort had managed to capture 10 equines who wondered into the Forest of Horrors (as her Skitarii called it). To raise moral she would sometimes lead her troops through the woods on hunts. They were entertaining, with many deadly creatures, but didn’t have the same feel of a Death World jungle like Catachan. The creatures where just as massive sure, but they weren’t as smart and seamed to only blindly charge at her troops. They chose a clearing in the forest to set up a landing pad for the lander as well as camp, a few basic pre fab structures were erected but nothing that would go noticed by an average fly over. They abducted those who wondered in figuring few would come to investigate a disappearance in what was likely one of the most dangerous woods on the planet. During these abductions they had found three classes of equine of various hues, designated: Terra, Aerial, and Aethereal. Terra Equines have enhanced muscle and bone structure, they are the most similar to the creatures of Old Earth. Aetheral Equines posses long bone spikes protruding from their skull. They are their version of psykers no daemonic possessions have been observed but their bodies are executed and incinerated after study concludes just to be safe. Aerial ones have so far only been observed, capture has proven most difficult of the three equine races seen. Unlike some species the equines did not appear to be divided by race or appearances. There were no observed biases between the different classes which seamed odd given there obviously different biologies. The biologus was currently determining if interbreeding between the classes was possible.

During one of the hunts through the woods in search of what the Skitarii called a "rockgaiter" Catherine was suddenly struck by a living ballistic missile. She was taken far away from her troops and slammed into a rocky cliff leaving an indent. She groaned as her cogitators ran self repairers informing her of all the damage done. She blinkclicked it away and stared at her attacker. Before her stood one of the rare Aerial class. It's coat was a cyan shade that matched this worlds sky perfectly, it possessed a prismatic mane cut short and spiked. It's wings appeared strong and fit, along with the rest of its body having clear muscle definition, this was clearly an alpha flier, it’s flank was branded with a sigil of a white cloud producing a prismatic lightning bolt matching the mane. The beast snarled at her as she stood her dislocated joints welding into place with a smooth clicking of blessed titanium, it would take more than that to put her out of the fight, still... she had fought orks with less of a punch. His face was the very image of wrath. Hers, she quickly amended. The beast had the trademarks of the female genus, shorter muzzle, larger eyes, leaner frame etc. But she knew how to use it to her advantage. The xeno spoke to her in its native tong, still beyond her cogitators ability to translate a single word, probable an insult. Catherine brought herself lower to the ground feigning injury. The xeno approached slowly, asking a question in its odd scratching voice.

Once it was close enough Catherine lashed out bringing her electro whip from her cloak and rapping it around the xeno's leg. It tried to ascend and escape her, Catherine merely activated the whip with a flick of the switch on the side. Motive force coerced through the beast, it convulsed crying in anguish. But it still remained conscious ripping the whip from the Dominus's grasp.

All of Catherine’s augments at the moment we’re geared towards close combat, but she wasn’t entirely out of ranged weapons. From her cloak she produced an arc pistol, lighting exploded from the barrel striking the beast dead on. It forced the beast down to her level. Finally on the ground the leader of the Byzantium Exploritor skitarii legions didn’t relent her attack. She held down the trigger getting closer to capture. Once with a few feet the xeno bucked at her hand flinging her pistol into the brush.

'Cleaver girl.' Catherine thought to herself.

The xenos tackled her forcing the primus down under her body weight. Catherine kicked digging a claw into the midriff of the beast. It backed off the dominus, but it still didn't retreat.

The two warriors circled each other, scanning, waiting for the other to make the first move. Finally Catherine grew impatient and charged the beast. Instead of flying up the creature instead ducked underneath the tech priests wide legs becoming tangled in her robes. Catherine pivoted a leg, slashing along the creatures stomach spilling red life fluid onto the grass, the beast reared away, the scratch open to the elements clearly causing the xenos great pain. While it cried it pulled itself free, scrambling away from the tech priestess. Still it didn’t run away.

Unsurprisingly the cyan and prism xenos charged yet again, soaring through the short distance on her wings, the blood flowed from her side like the tong of a canid sticking its head out a Leman Russ hatch.
Catherine pivoted her self away from the living projectile at the last possible second then sliced down with a vibrio blade hidden in her cloak. The perfectly crafted shivering sharpened steel tore through flesh, muscle, bone, muscle, then finally flesh again, as if it were cutting through water. Once the crawling milliseconds passed by the beast zipped by in front of the dominus loosing control and slamming into a tree. The beast was finally incapacitated. It lay there, dismembered, crumpled, and twitching in a pool of its own blood. If Catherine had a mouth she probably would have chosen that moment to spit on it. Still... That had to be the best fight of her life. The adrenaline, the unpredictability, the rage on both sides. The dopamine in her brain was unmatched. It was like when she got her first mechadendrite grafted to her spine. She could feel the excitement flowing through her brain like a drug. To think it all came from such a being.

She looked down at the wing by her feet. Stabbing it with her leg she brought it up to her optics examining it closely. It would make a fine trophy to add to her collection... but it seamed such a shame to cripple an opponent of such skill. It defied logic she knew, but she couldn’t deny that she wanted another challenge like this beast had brought.

<Sir are you alright?> a skitarius asked over the noosphere.

It had taken them quite a while to get in communication range of her. The xenos must have brought her miles away from her troops in but seconds through a hostile environment. There was definitely more to this then she knew.

<I am well.> She reported sending a location tag so her troops could meet up with. She received affirmations of the tag from every single one of the troops in her squad. So this wasn’t an ambush. This creature acted alone.

Primes Dominus Catherine thought about what to do with the still living creature when her troops would find her. She could kill it now, easily in fact. But they needed an aerial. It was such a waist of good potential.

When the alpha came through the brush the rest of the squad followed bowing before her and requesting status updates to her condition. She calmed her troops with soothing binary and explained the events as efficiently as she could. Some of the skitarii wanted to execute the xeno and were already aiming their weapons at it. Catherine halted them however, pointing out one of their objectives was capture and abduction not extermination. This satisfied the more zealous skitarius who holstered there weapons. She instructed her troops to carry the xeno back with the utmost care and if possible see if Shearia could provide medical aid. Her troops let out confusion codes but followed their orders all the same. Two carried the incapacitated mare while the rest acted as guards, taking off into the woods as fast as there legs could carry them.

Now alone (aside from the alpha ranger that first contacted her, who insisted on not leaving her side) she pinned the blue wing trophy to her belt as a show of respect for the enemy. With that settled she took off into the Forest of Horrors with the alpha ranger following close behind. This mission just got more interesting.

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