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Beasts of Burden (Military)

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"How are the kids?"

'Emile,' Tori's voice. 'Incoming!'

Just as Emile asked, he would catch the glint of a sniper scope in the peripheral. His shots had alerted them to someone besides Michael. The Major was known as a major threat, but some of the more seasoned guys, with scars and missing fingers and the like, knew what a sniper picking people off looked like well enough to send word through the bandit chain to look for a marksman. Well, someone had found him, and just a moment after Emile saw the glint, the snap of a rudimentary bolt rifle sent a shell rocketing toward Emile.

Explosions rocked a facility somewhere nearby as a generator that had powered down shut down a refrigerator which destabilized some dangerous chemicals. Over the din, Michael never responded to Emile. Fire filled the arid canyon as Xerxes' holding tanks holding something noxious blew combustably.

Michael's hair had grown back out to his shoulders. It blew to the side, across his face as the detonations rocked the canyon. Now with Michael looking down on Xerxes, the buyer's detail of men rolling up behind the golem, he wore a grin where he bit down in defiance with his canine tooth. He didn't seem surprised by the explosion at all. It's almost like nonprofessionals shouldn't deal with complex drugs and chemicals. Without so much as a gesture from Commager, the green and crimson fray of fire whorled down from the way it rose in acrid clouds out of the canyon, whorled down and swallowed the bandits in a choking black oven of heat and black smoke. 

He'd always heard that burning to death was the worst way to die. Well, he wondered how the living stone man would handle the flames he'd possessed as they turned to spirit fire. He would surely be swallowed— evaporated by it.

From the outside, the grasping of an ocean of fire and smoke was a beautiful, terrifying sight to behold. Michael's influence over the flames was unbelievable even when beheld live.

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Tori's warning and his own expertly honed reflexes allowed Emile to roll out of the way just as a shot bit into the rock where he had previously lain. Not wasting a second even while dodging, he continued to look down the scope of his rifle as he moved. By the time he was on his stomach again, he had acquired his target. A single pull of the trigger, and the enemy snipers head exploded in a cloud of blood and brain matter. 

Emile would find himself with no time to rest as the fallen snipers comrades had arrived on scene and began to rain bullets on his position. The Longshot was forced to get up and run behind a large boulder as the stone was steadily chipped away by a constant stream of automatic fire. It soon became clear that these men were a more experienced breed of scum. When half of them would need to reload, the other half would take over suppressing his position; leaving him no chance to fire back.

Unless he created one.

Calling up his spotter bot, he had the device fly out to the right and out from behind the boulder. The veteran slaver's reflexes would now work against them as they shifted their focus to the sudden movement. Meanwhile, Emile darted out to the left and fired two shots as he ran to the next cover. Both shots hit their targets, taking two more of the slavers out of the fight. 

Now he just had to figure out how to take out the other four.

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