Chapter 33 - Alea Iacta Est

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21st September 2311 14:20 EST - Dust skirted along the canyon, like some scene from a western movie, brushing the canyon edges in a swirl as a light breeze pushed its way through the enclosed space.

The sound of the booming canyons from within the wall echoed relentlessly, pulsating violently as the deep canyon boosted its apparent outrage. Death incarnate sat beyond metres of metal and rock, and as the Blue Ravens exited the labyrinth of tunnels, the booming sound swarmed around them, eager to remind them that they were deep in enemy territory.

As Jason leant against a rock to provide cover, Turner rested the deceased Kensington down beside them, placing his hand on his damaged chest in respect. Moving to Jason's side, both glanced down towards the enemy encampment.

Like ants scurrying around the canyon floor, the Cetis were organised and prepared. Scampering around awaiting the next misguided artillery strike or ill-prepared assault on the wall.

It appeared that only a few hundred littered the dusty floor, yet, there was no telling how many more were waiting in the walls of the canyon.

A rush of adrenaline flowed through Jason's veins. This was the final step to the liberation of Loki, with only one wall standing between them and victory.

As Donnelly rested beside him, his thoughts of victory were quickly quashed. The war was far from over, and there were plenty of enemies within still to uncover. Donnelly's fight for survival was still ongoing, but perhaps the end of Loki would also mean the beginning of the end of her struggle.

Just one wall, and now the Ravens would be preparing the way for its demise.

Turner placed his hand on Donnelly's arm causing her to initially shudder at his touch. "Jacqueline, are you with us?"

Donnelly looked at Turner, sheepishly nodding her head but reluctant to appear eager.

"I will need to call artillery strikes, yet I need you to point out the power station and its redundancies. That's all you need to do, are you ok with that?" Turner asked.

Donnelly briefly looked towards the ground, "Yes, I can do that."

Turner reached for another small device from his side, watching it as it flew away from his palm.

With the area being drawn out on her HUD, Donnelly started to spin it around with a flick of her wrist, examining the canyon in meticulous detail.

As the device started to investigate some of the entrances into the canyon walls, Donnelly hesitated, before zooming the view into one area deep in the canyon wall.

She pointed at it, causing the area to highlight and glow. "The main power station is here, and I am guessing, looking at the output it's producing, there will be three redundancies."

Turner nodded, "Where are they?"

Her hands appeared that they were flailing around aimlessly, but as Turner could see the same map, he watched in awe as Donnelly's actions were anything but pointless.

Eventually highlighting the three points in the canyon, she nodded towards Turner, "Here, that should be all of them," she responded.

"Man, they are dug in deep, will the artillery be able to penetrate?" Turner responded concerned.

"A focused barrage may not necessarily hit the power station and its redundancies, however, the sheer firepower of the AR-768 Mandalay Cobras will devastate the canyon around it, likely burying and crushing them in rubble," Donnelly explained.

Jason took the time to flash a small smile, it had been so long since he had heard the knowledgable Donnelly so focused and confident that he had almost forgotten what it was like. It pleased him that she had not completely disappeared into the depths of her mind, and perhaps, with the right expertise, that was enough to pull her back from the brink.

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