53 53. Eywa's Wrath

Liam couldn't have saved the Na'vi, even if he wasted time to get a team of Na'vi to help while under heavy fire from the RDA, risking the lives of others with his own.

Then he needed to take her out of the machine grasp as well as take the chainsaw that was still in function halfway in her waist out safely then managed to save her from a hemorrhage at best and hundreds of other potential issues related and unrelated to her from far and close.

And at the same somehow keep the machine from falling, and even then if all went well, the chance of her surviving was close to zero, if equal to it. So he didn't try, fully knowing how it would end in the best of the best-case scenario.

This was why in that instant he let go of the machine, letting it fall on the halfway bisected Na'vi, he could but reduce the length of her suffering and that was the most effective way.

The arrow he used earlier would have not been of use either as turning off and hacking to take control took exponentially more time and control, times he didn't have, and control he lacked over such a machine due to unfamiliarity and his point of view.

Adding that there would still be the problem of her being almost cut in half.

"Ninety-one, ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four.", he continued to count as one of his explosive arrows flew from his bow to an AMP suit in the distance, the blast killing three other SecOps close too.

Then he felt the 'link', the feeling he had when close to the Tree of Souls intensifies in a powerful burst of feeling he senses not from him that soon becomes a constant stream of emotion.

Of which a primal almost animalistic anger was at the forefront, and he wasn't the only to have noticed it if the slight pause within the Na'vi a few seconds later were any indication.

'Finally too many have already died.', Liam smiled, he didn't know when exactly was she going to act.

It was clear when he interacted with her that she did want her children to fight for themselves even if that included them dying and being wounded or crippled before she acted or every suffering and horror they lived through would be for nothing.

It was a lesson for her children and even for him, that much he could guess even without her directly telling him. This was pragmatic and extremely cold from her and from his point of view that told a lot. But she didn't like to do this, he could feel it in her emotion.

He didn't like this as well but he understood and was at peace with this fact in a way even thankful. She wasn't some kind of babysitter, she was quite literally Mother Nature here and as such what she was wasn't all pretty flowers and cute animals living in harmony under a rainbow.

She wasn't a human or a Na'vi, she was an ancient hive-mind covering an Earth-sized moon. As such she perceived life in a fundamentally different way than he did or anyone else for that matter.

But he understood she was playing the long game so to say, one harsh lesson was better than a hundred soft ones easily forgotten through time. Maybe not the best of methods but one that at least seemed to work.

The area suddenly turned dark, darker than the usual shadows brought by the crowns of the rainforest's trees, the sky was getting covered by gargantuan black clouds and at the same time, the ground started to rumble as if an earthquake was happening.

<Eywa is with us! The All-Mother had enough of watching and staying neutral! This is not only my and your battle for our survival only but hers as well! Disengage and let her do as she intends!>, Liam suddenly proclaimed as loudly as he could, his helmet opening for his voice to be heard better, all the radio waves he was connected to sending these words as well.

As his words echoed, the pilot of an AMP suit screamed in anguish as she was crushed into pulp by the heavy front legs of a large male hammerhead titanothere, a giant herbivore two times the size of an average female African elephant and with a large cartilage structure reminiscent of the extinct hammerhead shark.

Further down South this dead pilot was a regular SecOps foot soldier who was gutted open like a pig from the chest to the crotch by the wicked claws of a thanator and was left to die by blood loss, his warm internal organs laid bare on the ground for the slowly approaching giant centipede to feast upon.

A Scorpion Gunship high in the sky swarmed by hundreds upon hundreds of stingbats who dogpiled upon it, not caring for their lives, the odd dozen few who entered the vehicle ripped apart the ones at the manual turrets into ribbons, and their weight combined and their effect on the rotor caused the aircraft even against the screaming pilot's wish to slam into the cliff of a floating island and explode on impact.

All of those three cases were but examples of the wrath-given form of the oldest being within the Milky Way.

The Toruk Makto atop his mount gazed in both horror and marvel at what was happening, Liam's words were correct, and the words he just announced made it clear one thing needed to be done.

<Fall back!>, Jake barked the order through his throat microphone, his voice heard by a few in the sky with their one device and did as asked.

The action of those few caused a wave-like event to happen; all of their attacks stopped at once, and the remaining arrival force of the Na'vi flew away, disappearing within the crevices, floating rock, islands, and mountains in but the blink of an eye.

At the same time, Trudy piloting her Samson fired her last rocket at Scorpion Gunship before flying away at the words as fast as she could. She didn't understand the language but knew it meant to retreat, it was part of what was said to do.

Her heart almost stopped beating and her life flashed before her eyes as a 'smaller' swarm of stingbats passed right in front of her aircraft.

They were controlled or directed but it didn't matter how much logic was behind it she would always react this way, she knew the character of those animals.

They attack everything in sight without prejudice and care for their own well-being, she remembered various stories about aircraft flying above where this suicidal creature nested and was ceaselessly attacked until there either was no bat or the aircraft had exploded against a hard surface.

Or how they devoured entire herds of elephant-sized animals to the point not even bones remained.

They were the most terrifying animal on this moon in her humble opinion, and here… Quite possibly a million of them were present. It didn't matter if they couldn't directly damage aircraft in any meaningful way with their teeth or claws aside from scratching the paint and maybe the metal under.

The Great Leonopteryx might be big, majestic, and powerful but it didn't hold a candle against this. Her choice to betray the RDA the same was staying a safe distance from the aerial battle and aiming each of her missiles correctly.

"This is hell.", she mumbled, feeling bile rise in her throat while she forced her 'baby' to fly higher and higher not wanting to stay here longer than strictly necessary.

She saw through her damaged but still fully hermetic windshield the bats swarm divide into several dozen 'smaller' groups going to all aircraft after aircraft, she saw them throw themselves at the rotor blades without stopping until the blade simply couldn't spin as effectively anymore.

But the most specular and horrifying sight was that of the Dragon Assault Ship far below her it was taking the brunt of the force to the point it couldn't be seen anymore as it was forced downward by the sheer mass of both living dead put onto it, all of its motors likely going critical one after another due to the same reason.

"This madness…", she mumbled again, what their 'ally' Liam had said about the All-Mother was proven to be terrifyingly true, she was going to help them but she didn't know it would be in such a way.

This was the act of a deity, the RDA had gone unchecked and unpunished for too long and this was its wrath.

But at least it means they have won and that gave her an amount of relief she couldn't even begin to describe.

Back on the ground Quaritch piloting his AMP suit moved at a brisk pace, a GAU-90 was securely held in the metallic hands of the suit.

It was more of a cannon than a gun, 2.19 meters (~7.18ft) in length and 100.7 kilograms (~220lb) and it fires four 30mm-caliber rounds per second. Its main focuses were armor and vehicle penetration/destruction but it worked fine as well on people, particularly if those people have naturally carbon-fiber-reinforced bones.

Though it's a pretty rustic weapon with no advanced system or fancy devices attached to it. It needs to be kept simple and reliable in all conditions adding trinkets and more complex systems only increases the chance of potential critical malfunction.

Quaritch studied his surroundings, blood mixed with mud, horribly mutilated bodies of humans, whether lacking a part of their head or its entirety either via a bladed weapon or blunt force, charred bodies, deactivated and heavily damaged AMP suits with their pilots as dead as it could get.

And in this were the occasional arrows, it wasn't always this way but this pattern was in a clear path and it was… Worrying, it wasn't normal. It was like a rabid beast passed here and killed all in an extremely brutal, and ruthless way but also fast.

He saw a lot of atrocities, many of which he partook in and led. Most of them ended in bloodshed so he wasn't unfamiliar with it or truly bothered by it too but the one in front of him just in terms of visuals was quite high up on the list. If it were to be higher, kids needed to be added and some more.

He even saw Lyle Weinfleet, one of his best men dead, this was particularly puzzling as his death was due to air poisoning that much he could tell. No visible wounds of any kind and a face showing signs that his death was due to breathing problems.

As if the machine was simply turned off and all security protocols with it ended in this. Other possibilities were moot in his mind, and it wasn't the time to ponder on this. Lyle died and that was all that could be taken from this. And the watch was also gone.

There were also plenty of Na'vi, even more than his men and that brought a smile on his face but still. It all turned oh so horribly wrong.

'It seems I won't be back for dinner...', the Colonel thought grimly, a dark chuckle escaping his lips at the sight of another corpse.

"Damn, he didn't go easy on you did he.", he said under his breath with astonishment, he needed to take a closer look to even know what sex the corpse was.

It was of a woman, she was split in half from her half-crushed head to pelvis as she was but a ration wrapper that was opened with a bit too much enthusiasm.

She mustn't have suffered with how it seemed to have been done with a rapid and forceful movement but it was something to look at.

This was something… Something he never quite had seen before. Points needed to be given where they needed to be given but that was quite brutal, to say the least.

He wasn't delusional enough to ignore what fate awaited him, his entire force was either dead or flying in despair at least he could take as many of them as possible with him before he got killed.

An explosion was heard, one louder than any other was heard and it wasn't hard for him to deduce it was the Dragon Assault Ship.

If it was the Valkyrie everything in a fifteen-kilometer radius would have been gone and the ground he was standing on would have been turned to glass. But that didn't stop him.

A lot of Grace's and by extension, Max's actions suddenly made a lot more sense and it infuriated him to great lengths, it was all below his nose but it was too late now.

He was played by them like a fiddle and that was what was pissing him off the most. At least he took one of them.

And he was also furious about the death of all the ones he brought here, it shouldn't have turned this way but it did and it was his fault for having been arrogant. He should have bombed the tree from higher than the banshee or any wildlife could fly but again it was too late and he did it this way because he wanted to cull down Jake and Grace's little army.

He didn't miscalculate, they should and would have won against those blues savages, it was simply an impossibility that happened. An impossibility he dearly wanted to kill.

"I know you're here, you can hear me. You can show yourself. A show of politeness between two gentlemen wouldn't be too demanding. Show yourself, I won't bite. I promise.", Quaritch said softly through his microphone as he stopped moving, his eyes fixated on the corpse of a Na'vi right in front of him.

"No answers?", he inquired before stepping on the head with a metal foot, which busted under the several hundred kilos of pressure then he purposefully smeared what came out on the muddy ground as if it was trash.

And the response was immediate, a steel javelin flew through the air, exponentially faster than the Colonel could perceive and it lodged itself deeply within the feed tray of the autocannon.

The force was so high it bent the metal around its course and pierced various other internal parts of the firearm rendering it completely useless aside from being used in melee.

Quaritch's eyes widened to an almost comical level at the sight of his damaged GAU-99, his heart started beating faster and stronger in his chest pumping adrenalin within his body than ever in his fifty-one year of life as both terror, anger, and excitement flooded his being.

He tore the javelin out with force damaging the autocannon further not that it mattered at this point and he threw where he supposed it came from, right in the branch of a tree. and a voice he recognized and wanted to hear echoed within the AMP suit's cockpit.

"I won't be having any type of senseless fight with you, no ceremony or honor to be given, there has been enough violence today.", the deep voice said, displeasure and disgust clear in its tone. Sadness even.

A figure jumped down from the same branch Quaritch threw the javelin back to. He instinctively took on a defensive position, a large military knife that might as well be a two-handed broadsword was taken from a 'sleeve' of the AMP suit's left arm.

It was of a man, five digits on each hand with one holding the javelin until it disappeared into thin air, if it was in another circumstance the Colonel might have paid more attention to this.

The figure had the build of a human male and a very muscular black and slightly damaged armor covered in drying blood not hiding this, but it hid most of the white tribal paintings on it. Armor that by all means seemed full of various technologies.

But what got all Quaritch's focus was the piercing ethereal silver eye shown through the hole in the damaged helmet glowering at him; he felt incredibly vulnerable at that moment.

He was going to die, he was the prey and he couldn't do anything. This was a monster, a monster that organized everything.

A compound bow materialized in the armored figure's left hand while the strange cristal protruding the wrist of the same arm gleamed brighter.

The figure drew the bow to half of its maximum draw weight all in but a fraction of a second and fired immediately, an arrow having appeared in between in a way only a magician would trick your senses. But here it wasn't a simple paltry trick.

The Colonel didn't, couldn't have reacted, it was the limitation of his biology, even with his system flooded by adrenalin, all of his senses and attention on the figure facing him. And even if he could, it would not have changed the outcome.

The arrow flew and the bronze tip smashed against the windshield of the AMP suit letting the mechanism responsible for starting the explosion do its work.

A bright light was emitted from the explosion, lighting the area for a second before the form of a shattered windshield and a charred torso with one arm, a head missing its lower jaw, and a face burned to the point no one would know who the pilot was.

"One hundred and seven.", Liam said and looked down at his trembling right hand, he frowned and stopped the movement by force, cracking the heavy film of dried human blood on it.

It was them or him and he still felt no pleasure or satisfaction in the act, it brought him immense solace.

*

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