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The Breach

The Vlaniqk ships swarmed the small vessel, grapples firing and snaring like spider-webs. Rand winked at Kitty and drew his sword. The first wave of the Vlaniqk commandoes, in their sleek black and red armour, leapt from the railings of the battleships and dove towards the deck of the battered star-skiff. 

Below-decks Drake dropped the key Kitty had stolen into a glowing case and snapped it shut. In case the plan failed. 

Kitty grinned back at Rand and sprung into space, directly toward the nearest commando, arcing her body past his spear-blade. Crashing into him, sending him off-course and away from their ship. Ricocheting toward another commando, thrusting her own blade out to impale him. Pivoting off his corpse to kick another in the jaw, stunning him so that as he neared the deck Rand easily cut him down. Kitty yanked her weapon free of the body, floating in the space between the Vlaniqk fleet and the escape ship. More commandoes descending around her, cannons being trained on her. She had decided months ago, deep into the undercover mission that would eventually lure Vixx off course, draw him out of the shadows, that when the final battle came she would fight it as if it was her last.

Suddenly, a line tightened around her waist and she was being pulled back toward her team's vessel. Drake called out to her as he reeled her in, over the whispering etheric winds, "Don't you go showing off until the rest of the Guard get here!" Beside him Rand slashed at a Vlaniqk; the bard was singing softly as he swung his blade, the melody lending his attacks and parries and lethal rhythm.

As Kitty touched down on the deck, ducking the spear of a commando, her eyes widened. "That would be now then." 

For a moment everyone paused. Kitty, Rand, Drake. The commandoes. The captains and crews of Vixx's fleet. Staring in shock as all the stars and swirling etheric clouds above the battle began to churn, spin, melt away. A spectral cloak on a scale unheard of, an enchantment against the senses and against all the known scrying and divining spells. It had drained almost all of the Battery Mages' power; a last desperate ploy to force a battle with Vixx. The illusion of empty space falling away, revealing the gathered fleet of Citadel, the Nexus Wave at the head. And behind the dozens of ships, Citadel itself.