Shan looked over his shoulder as his men filed into the control room. They were in effect a sorry excuse for followers; flesh peeled, where suppurating pores did not cover exposed skin. He sighed and the grinned to himself. He had after all chosen his path and his Master. There could have been prettier followers if his choice had been different, but the disease of debauchery was something he revelled in.
Satisfied that the more sentient of his people were aware of what they needed to do, he once again studied the game board. The shield around the Flagship was still holding, although weaker than he would have liked, and therefore he had a little time left. Panic over his situation and caused him to make rash moved before and he was determined not to do so this time. The signature from Fold Space was uncertain; neither a proclamation of intent or a bungled game of deception. Whoever was coming feared little what might await them, and that in itself caused Shan concern.
All of the fields separating the game zones were down, however in some cases portals joined unexpected areas and he felt a delicious thrill of the potential interactions occurring below. It was a shame that he could not take the time to really enjoy the chaos and destruction being unleashed below.
The dwarf and his beast were an enigma; neither their arrival or survival had been expected. Perhaps it was all part of a bigger game? Whatever the reasoning behind their involvement, he could still use them in his escape. To action, then.
Cracking his fingers in anticipation he entered a string of commands into the console before him. These Ori were great at contingency plans. It obviously came from being hunted and feared throughout all of their long-lived existence. With a flourish he activated the final symbol and keyed his screen to show the isolated tower standing in the midst of the Cemetery Plains.
Wind ruffled the tall grass close to the Tower. In the further distance a twisting mass of Ambyn fought and feasted. Their mindless hunger drove them on even when they had devoured all others. Field collapse had opened a new vista to them, yet it seemed that they were unsure of their direction. There were just too many interesting possibilities. One amongst them would soon lead and then their destructive path would continue. That is, if they were allowed enough time. Fortunately their choice would soon be made for them. The collateral damage caused by this choice would trouble Shan for less than a heartbeat and for others much longer.
At the top of the Tower’s spiralled structure light began to blink. It was at first red, then blue, followed by green. This cycle soon became a chaos of colours as more and more panels flicked to life, mingling in the now heavy air. With a groan, the Tower split open, shooting small spheres skyward. These whizzed around in apparent discord just for a moment, before arcing out in a rainbow of light. At the highest point of their trajectory they hovered over the Ambryn whose mindless rage left them oblivious to their impending danger.
Spheres spilt, showering the grasslands with liquid fire, a rain of chemicals which burned where they struck, refusing to be extinguished. Ambryn ran, hissing in pain and terror, and where they passed they carried flame. Tall grasses burst into flame, the wind fanning the blaze towards the Tower. Bushes and trees also caught alight as the first mindless creature crossed into the neighbouring zone. It no longer felt hunger, just the unavoidable urge to flee. With it, it carried its own death and perhaps that of others.
Not all of the spheres split at once, others continuing on to drop and explode deeper into the surrounding forest. More missiles left the Tower, this time travelling in the opposite direction to the spheres. These were larger and shone no light, except the lambent flame of the motors which drove them onwards and ever upwards towards the distant hills.