As the creature tears its way down the cramped tunnel, many of the acolytes are frozen in pure terror. Panic grips them as their few stablights illuminate the monster rampaging through the dark, freezing water toward them.
The beast leaps are Taeric, tearing deep into his shoulder. It swipes again, just barely missing his head.
Felpox’s mind snaps, and he lashes out at his friends, believing that they too are more of these “daemons”.
Calidus opens fire at the beast with his shotpistol. The weapon’s roar is deafening in the tight confines of the maintenance conduit. Unfortunately, he only manages to gouge a few scratches into the thing’s thick chitin plates.
Ishamael too begins firing, overcharging his laspistol. With a crack-hiss, Ishamael’s bolt fires down the tunnel and into the beast, blowing out a chunk as the energy superheats part of the creature’s exoskeleton. Black ichor pours into the water, laying across the surface like an oil.
Incensed, the beast rips its way up the wall beside Taeric and leaps into the middle of Ishamael, Felpox, and Caradoc. With a furious, dizzying assault of talons and blades, it tears into the acolytes.
Felpox is caught by one of the creature’s razor claws, tearing open this throat and adding his own blood to the flooded tunnel. He staggers back, clutching his gaping wound, and tumbles into the bulkhead behind him.
Caradoc disengages from the beast, narrowly avoiding another flurry of attacks. Raising his helgun, he fires a volley of overcharged bolts. A few catch the creature low, throwing up sizzling steam as they punch through the water and into the thing’s powerful leg muscles.
Calidus inhales a series of powerful combat drugs as he draws forth his chainsword. From over his shoulder, a now-recovered Arkady lends his laspistol to the fight as well.
Charging the beast, Calidus catches it in the shoulder. The chainsword roars as it digs deep, soon becoming bogged down in flesh and bone, spraying the walls with the creature’s alien blood. The four-armed monstrosity flails – screeching, hissing, and roaring.
Wounded, the creature leaps to the ceiling, using all six limbs to escape back into the darkness of the flooded tunnel.
Caradoc, Ishmael, and Arkady keep their weapons and lights trained down the dark tunnel, waiting for the beast to return. Wounded, Felpox and Taeric help each other back to the ladder. Back on Deck 16, the acolytes find a terrified Brenner and start their rapid retreat.
They make their way to the docking bay, finding Corvath, oblivious to what has just transpired. Kaur remains aboard the Arvus as well, still sedated and strapped to one of the shuttle’s gravity benches.
Corvath fires up the Arvus’ engines and prepares for their emergency evacuation and the shaken and wounded acolytes drag themselves aboard. Now secured, they depart the beleaguered Tertia-12 for good, beginning another dangerous dance through Port Aquila’s dense asteroid field.