The Vertibird reaches Hot Springs, hovering over the ranks of Knights. Julia turns her Gatling Laser downwards and clears a path, felling rank after rank of Legionnaires. The Knights let out a brief cheer, followed by a renewed assault upon the Legion. The Brotherhood presses its advantage; spears and swords are no match for plasma and military precision.
Or so they thought. Something has changed.
When last the Brotherhood halted the Legion's advance, they fought tribals armed with spears, crude swords, and salvaged, ill-repaired firearms. The first ranks, the shock troops, are still similarly armed. But behind them, as the smoke clears a bit from the down-draft of the Vertibird's engines, a new Legion appears. One armoured in gleaming new steel, not salvaged from the fallen. One armed with newly manufactured weapons, crude but not primitive. One aiming a salvo of shoulder-mounted rockets right at the Vertibird.
Jacob starts to evade, pulling the Vertibird up to avoid the rockets. He dodges one, two - but a third and a fourth slam into the vehicle, the first shattering against the armoured hull beside Julia, tearing her harness and disarming her. The second hit strikes the thruster, exploding in a great ball of flame that robs the Vertibird of its upward thrust. "Brace yourselves," Julia calls needlessly to the Knights waiting within, as the Vertibird falls to the earth, leaving a smoking trail behind it.
The Knights on the ground react quickly, opening fire on the rocketeers. The Legion returns fire, their bullets compensating for their lack of sophistication with sheer attrition. Rockets fly from the Legion ranks, exploding in the rapidly disintegrating Brotherhood ranks. One rocket flies towards the trading post; Sook is barely able to dive back in time, pulling Jack with him, as the rocket crashes into the doorway and crumbles the roof down. Rubble falls, pinning Sook's leg and Jack beneath him.
The Vertibird hits the ground roughly, ploughing a trench in the earth before friction finally stops it. Julia, her harness gone, is thrown from the vehicle as it first lands. Jacob's head slams roughly against the controls, fighting till the last to regain some semblance of control. Within, the Keyestone is shaken, but mostly unharmed. The Knights had strapped themselves back into their harnesses at Julia's command, as their drills had taught them.