Saga: AotD arc
Prerequisites: Completion of previous missions in arc
Summary: Psi, Mimic, Kit and Techron escape from the city by avoiding hordes and fighting their way through only what they have to, then they make their way back to the same derelict complex Psi was initially captured in - which just so happens to be the very source of the Black Life outbreak. Naturally, resistance is much thicker than the first time around, and progressing through the level consists mostly of having to push back infinite reinforcements until the player is able to make it into the next section. At one point a torrent of Black Life nearly overcomes the entire party at once, but Mimic's timely use of Flashbang-based explosives saves them, and the four use light-based attacks to push the torrent back to its source - an alpha Hive Mind at the centre of the hive itself. Once the Alpha is defeated, Dread appears and announces that he is the last Alpha remaining - and as such, now possesses singular control over the entire Black Life race.
[When the player reaches the exterior of the Black Hive, there is already a small group of Hive Mind standing watch. The mission officially begins after they're defeated.]
Psi: Well, this is the place. Looks like it's more heavily defended than last time, though.
Synn: Or more likely, the ones that needed to hide before don't need to hide anymore, now that they're well into controlling the area.
Techron: Aww, why'd you have to go and hurt them? I was gonna ask them for cupcakes!
Kit: ...what? But you're a freakin' robot! Why would you even--
Techron: Uh oh, someone's getting cranky again! Sounds like someone needs a muffin!
Kit: I don't even-- y'know what, shaddap, that's not important. These things were hard enough to kill on our own - how are we gonna take down a whole hive of them?
Mimic: Yeah, about that... the little guy told me these things hate light, so I swiped a few things while we were back in the mall.
[Mimic hands a pair of flashlights to Kit and Techron. Kit mounts one onto his AR and hooks the second one onto Techron's shoulder, turning them both on.]
Psi: Hey, wait a minute! What do I get?
Mimic: Santa Mimic has something special for you.
[Mimic hands Psi something that appears to be a toy ball, roughly the same size as Deception.]
Synn: ...a rubber ball? Is this a joke?
Mimic: I don't do prop comedy. Try hitting something with it.
[Psi shrugs and throws the ball away, causing it to emit a burst of coloured light each time it bounces.]
Psi: Oooooh, now I get it. This should work.
[A pair of Hive Mind become visible in the doorway to the Black Hive, looking to sneak up on the group.]
Synn: You sure about this? It's still not going to hurt much when we hit things with it.
Mimic: No sweat, I've got that covered.
[Mimic pulls the pin on a grenade and casually tosses it behind him, into the doorway. Naturally, the mooks hiding within are blown up, causing Black Life to spill outside.]
Mimic: Let's go.
[Psi and Kit shrug to each other before following Mimic inside, along with Techron. Naturally, the level design is identical to the previous playthrough, but this time the area is heavily infested, transforming even the simplest of corridor trawls into combat-intesive excercises. Thankfully, Mimic's upgrades helps make shorter work of the horde - Psi's attacks do increased damage, Kit can hit multiple enemies with AR and flashlight, and Techron's torch deals constant damage to all Hive Mind in front of him. Mimic himself is unchanged, though his explosive attacks still remain as servicable as ever. After clearing the entry tunnel out, Dread stands before the elevator downstairs, completely alone.]
Dread: Waaaaaaaaait... Friendly. Mean no harm.
Psi: Holy crap, it talks!
Dread: Not one of them. On your side.
Kit: I doubt that. You've got a bad accent and black stuff dripping down your sleeves.
Mimic: I had a waitress like that once. Only the stuff wasn't black.
[Long, awkward silence.]
Techron: I get it!
Mimic: You and everyone else apparently.
Synn: [to Dread] What do you want?
Dread: To help. We... I... learn to control it. Caused this.... problem. Wish to end it. Can't. Not alone.
Synn: ...well I'd hate to admit it, but he's got a point. We need all the strength in numbers we can get.
Kit: I still don't trust this guy.
Techron: But he can use his magical blobby powers to make the bad guys less blobby! And he can keep it all to himself so we can have one as a pet later! Ooooooh can we take him with us? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we?
Kit: ALRIGHT FINE! As long as it shuts you up!
Mimic: I hope this won't be a reoccuring theme...
[Dread joins the party. Should the player choose to use him, his attacks won't deal exposure damage on other Hive Mind like they would on the player or other enemies, but rather, deal direct damage proportionate to the amount of exposure damage it would've done over time. The intense fighting continues until the bottom of the entryway, which displays a sudden lack of enemies altogether. Mimic places a mine on one of the walls along the way to the inner depths of the Black Hive - not long after, the same black flood that caught Psi the first time around returns, engulfing the entire party. The mine then explodes like a flashbang, freeing everyone again and pushing the flood back long enough for the group to mount a counterattack.
The flood continues to advance afterwards, quickly gaining momentum over time, but some of that momentum is reversed every time a character hits it, gradually pushing it back towards its source. Once the party pushes it back through the mouth of the hive caves where Psi reached the first time, enemies start to appear at set points of progress, forcing the player to take care of them while the remainder of the party holds the flood back. They can't keep it up forever, naturally, so the player can't afford to dawdle too long on keeping the rear clear. Eventually the flood is pushed back to its source - a solitary, yet influencial Hive Mind Queen summoning the Black Life from the crevices around her. Once she's completely exposed, a single attack downs her instantly, ending the level.]
Queen: You... don't know what you've done.
[Dread slowly approaches as the conversation continues.]
Synn: The hell we don't. We're stopping this invasion, and all we have to do is take you out.
Queen: Not so simple. Not just one leader. No longer.
Kit: Then we'll just take them down too.
Mimic: Hell, it's not like you guys are hard to find. You all stick together like flies to sh--
Dread: Wrong. Only one now.
[If Dread isn't already within arm's reach of Queen, the game waits until the fact. Dread then kicks her into the nearest crevice, where she disappears offscreen.]
Dread: Yes... one leader. Me.
[Pause for dramatic effect.]
Psi: ...what the hell? You lied to us!
Dread: No lies. Told you I could control it. Was truth. Told you I could not take this one alone. Was truth. Told you I mean no harm. Was truth. Will stay that way as long as you submit quietly... or stay inside.
Mimic: You're kidding, right?
Kit: How about I just shoot you and end everything right now!?
Dread: Shame... hope you brought an umbrella with those toys.
[Dread throws a tendril directly upwards and pulls himself offscreen. Kit and Techron open fire too late, and miss him entirely. The various Hive Mind and liquid Black Life decorating the background drains and follows Dread outside, leaving the cave empty.]
Techron: He killed all the good ones... that's meaaaaan!
Mimic: And we just helped him get rid of the only obstacle to him controlling the entire species. And possibly ours too, if we don't go after him.
Kit: Right. We'd better hurry up. He's probably already outside by now.
[The party runs offscreen back where they came from, ending the mission.]