All hell broke loose.
Atlas reeled back as the sudden, terrifying screeches echoed from the depths of the structure. The scene in front of him rolled out like a movie. Small groups of human-looking figures were bunched up near the center. Surrounding them was what seemed to be a swarm of oversized bugs. But before Atlas could figure out who exactly the people were, an array of gates opened up around them.
No sooner had that happened, large, inhuman figures emerged from behind the doors, and started to close in on the group. They were monsters, unlike any sort of creature Atlas had ever seen. The group immediately mobilized, and split up. Some of them wielded swords, and turned to face the colossal beasts that advanced on them.
If they were anything like the warriors Atlas had encountered before, they were very capable of fighting back. But did they stand a chance against the monsters? And even if they did win, were they friendlies?
Then Atlas noticed that one of the sword wielders was familiar. Upon closer inspection, he realised it was General Drake from earlier. Atlas headed towards the man with his rifle at the ready.
Hey! Over here! he tried to call out, but his voice was lost in the combined clamour of the monsters.
Atlas watched as the General passed off a humongous sword to another figure nearby. The creature was certainly not human; it had large wings protruding from its back. But before he could confirm what his eyes were seeing, a long shadow passed overhead. Atlas looked up to see that the snake-creature, which he had come across before, was twisting its way through the air. Atlas quickly ducked behind a large pillar.
Goddamn great, it can fly now, he muttered.
The snake landed directly in front of the General, and started to lash out at him. Atlas aimed his rifle from cover and released a few rounds into the side of the snake. The bullets bounced harmlessly off, and the creature didnt even seem to notice. The snake recoiled from an attack by the General, but seemed unharmed. To his surprise, the man took the opportunity to leap onto the back of the snake.
Atlas tried running his bullets through the strange line of spines in the snakes side, but they did nothing. His rifle was useless against the creatures armour. He would have to use heavy weapons to stand a chance.
The General reared back with his flaming sword in his hand, preparing to plunge it into the snakes back. But at that same instant, the snake flared its spines, which appeared to have webbing between them, and shot out from underneath the General.
Atlas barely had time to move out of the way, as the snake barrelled straight into the pillar. Then it swerved in midair, and took off into the sky, circling above them. Atlas rose to his feet and confronted the General.
Have a plan? He asked, eyeing the beast.
We have to get it on the ground, replied the General.
I can do that, said Atlas, holstering his rifle, and pulling the anti-tank Javelin from his back. Then what?
The General smiled, Then I destroy it.
Atlas loaded one of the tandem missiles into the Javelin, and aimed it at the black snake circling above.