A Tiny Tale of Valor
Bzzrp, T-minus ten minutes…
Chimed Tristana’s watch vibrating from where she sat perched, watching intently from an old radio tower. The plan had already been set in motion and her team was in place. Twitch had cleared the south side of the island hours ago, allowing Veigar time to place what would probably be too many explosives and Fizz had just radioed his position.
All Tristana was waiting for was the ok from Teemo who she suspected was probably skulking in a bush somewhere.
The plan was simple, wait for Gangplank to take flight in his interstellar warp-craft, then misdirect him right towards Veigar’s nest of treachery. Following Dreadnova’s demise Twitch and Teemo would then storm the hideout and snatch the hex-tech core their squad had been sent for. Gangplank had stolen the core from a scientist named Creator Victor and then disposed of him. It was their job to not only take down Dreadnova but also safely retrieve the core.
Upon a successful grab they were all to rally on Fizz, whose job was to clear a path ensuring their smooth escape. If all went well they could be sipping on yordle-pop, feet raised in a deck chair, reminiscing on the good old times before days end.
Bzzrp, T-minus five minutes…
Teemo: “In position Commander”
Tristana felt anxiety rush through her, this was going to be their last job and then they were out. The stakes were becoming too high and one of these days somebody wasn’t coming home alive. The only reason she’d accepted the mission in the first place was the two million credits promised following her team’s success.
A tall, tough looking lady with giant gleaming fists, had approached her and Veigar weeks ago. She’d promised fair pay, a space ship and the chance to avenge the lives of thousands who’d fallen victim to Gangplank’s ever building crime syndicate.
The opportunity had been enough but the pay would ensure their retirement. An end that was fitting, Tristana thought to herself, glancing down momentarily at a calling card the strange lady had left her. It read nothing more than ‘The Debonair’s’.
A team of so called arctic-ops specialists had already failed an attempt on Dreadnova only last month, it was also rumored a gang of battlecast mercenaries now sought the reward for his assassination.
Time was up, there was no backing out now. Tristana’s grip tightened around the holster of her cannon, as a tremble ran through the radio tower, signaling movement from the hanger bay below; Gangplank was on his way up.
Without any hesitation Tristana depressed the red button under her thumb and the cannon she held responded instantly, whirring loudly as it came to life, charging an enormous blast of plasma. Her shot placement needed to be perfect, too low and Dreadnova would escape.
A horrid groan of metal echoed out over the island, disrupting what had been a peaceful afternoon as the hanger doors shuddered open. Tristana heard thrusters fire up and a few seconds later the warp craft shot into the open air.
She was careful taking aim, making sure to track the craft’s movement through her sights before exhaling deeply and squeezing the trigger. The stock of her weapon thudded into her right shoulder as a clump of plasma rocketed into the side of Gangplank’s vessel. The shot was perfect, completely destroying the crafts starboard thruster.
Gangplank instantly lost control as he listed horribly to port, spiraling downward towards the southern end of the island, leaving a crooked trail of smoke in his wake.
“Golf-Papa inbound” confirmed Tristana confidently over her headset, eagerly awaiting Veigar’s detonation, he was her artillery expert after all and had been bragging for weeks about a charge he’d called, primordial burst. Apparently, it would light up the sky.
As if on que and just as Gangplank’s craft passed over the island’s remaining land, a blinding blue light tore the vessel in half, blurring Tristana’s vision and knocking her backwards as she watched Dreadnova disintegrate.
So far everything was going to plan, that was until her radio clicked filling her ears with the coarse rasping breaths of Twitch, something wasn’t right.
“Commander ma’am, it’s not what we thought, Teemo is down, I’m intercepting him now to provide aid” strained Twitch between breaths.
“We need to retre.. arghhhhhhhhh!” Twitch’s headset suddenly cut out.
“Say again last!” shouted Tristana, hoping desperately for a reply, what had gone wrong? Without wasting another second Tristana fired a round at her feet propelling herself from the radio tower, towards Gangplank’s hideout. Thinking quickly as land approached from underneath she radioed her remaining squad.
“Fizz, ready the ship for take-off then fall in on my six. Veigar, configure your mortars to blow this place to hell, you can set them off once we’re all in the air. I’m not leaving anyone behind” she finished with purpose in her voice.
Tristana was pleased when the response was affirmative clicks. They trusted her completely, something a team of this calibre needed if they were going to make it out alive.
Back on her own two feet and now inside Gangplanks’s hideout, Tristana made her way to Twitch’s and Teemo’s last known location, praying that she wasn’t too late.
As she made her way down, through a maze of spiraling staircases she noticed rows upon rows of large crates marked with the wording ‘Essence of Eternum’.
It didn’t mean anything to her but if Gangplank had his hands on them, it spelt nothing but trouble.
A loud groan of anguish that seemed to echo from several floors below instantly caught Tristana’s attention. Quickening her pace, she bounded down the remaining stairs, entering what looked to be a giant underground laboratory. Flickering blue lights hung from the ceiling, broken, hanging only by their wires, lighting Tristana’s surrounds eerily.
The sight before her eyes was enough to momentarily halt her breathing, Twitch was slumped against the wall in the far corner, propped up on one elbow. His torso was heavily slashed and his body armor had been shredded and bloodied, he wasn’t in good shape.
As Tristana drew closer she could see the laboratory floor had been smeared with blood and debris, it was evident a fight had taken place, but with what?
Twitch suddenly started laughing with a crazed stare set upon his face and with his remaining energy, raised a hand shakily to point to the centre of the lab.
“Teemo” he rasped so quietly it was almost a whisper.
Tristana snapped her head in the direction Twitch had pointed and sure enough a dark bundled shape lay motionless only feet away. She raced over to Teemo and applied two fingers to his neck, the faintest pulse could still be felt and relief rushed through her. She needed to get them out of here now.
The faint patter of feet on metal could be heard above her, that would be Fizz she thought and she was right. Within moments Fizz was beside her with Twitch slumped over one shoulder and his trident in hand.
“Ma’am, there is a secret underwater passage out of here, I can swim us to the ship” He panted heavily. Tristana nodded at him.
“Good plan, I’ll grab Teemo, you lead the way”
As she leant down to scoop up her scout a sparking red light caught her attention across the far side of the laboratory. The light seemed to be emanating from behind a warped steel bench, it looked like someone or something had been secured to it and had now broken free.
The sparking continued to grow brighter as a cluster of large metallic shapes rose from the ground, joined together by red essence filled with orange electricity. Two massive blades also protruded from the figure like arms as its massive metal ribcage loomed towards them. Tristana had already made up her mind.
“Run!” she shouted kicking Fizz’s trident from his hand, and dumping Teemo on his shoulder in its place.
“You need to survive”
Fizz looked at her with dumbstruck awe mixed with sadness. But without another word he understood and turned, leaving the lab with a comrade on each shoulder.
Burning eyes now glared at her as the creature summed up its new target. One last message to the squad she thought, clicking her mic on quickly.
“It’s been a tough ride friends, live so you may avenge what has happened here today, vandal gunner out”. Clicking off the mic she tore it from her side, not needing to hear the response that would surely come.
Again, as she had before firing at Gangplank’s space craft Tristana charged her plasma cannon ready to fire at the monster’s hex-tech core. Unfortunately, even Tristana knew she didn’t stand a chance. The hairs stood up on the back of her neck as the creature bellowed a single word before launching at her.
And then there was no more.