to keep up a juking pattern in its flight.

”He ’s trying to draw me out.
And he doesn ’t know my Fantasia is sporting a flight system. ”

The enemy was aware the Fantasia boasted a considerable sensor range.
Instead of fruitlessly trying to search the Seraphim, he instead flew around seemingly lazily.
The VF-5 ’s flight appeared slow, but it held considerable power in reserves.
The VF-5 hid a number of short-range boosters underneath its wings to assist with dodging and carrying out swooping attacks.

TheSeventhSnake chose to take his time to aim.
His sensors had detected the VF-5 a fair distance away.
Together with all the sensor pollution the crowded urban environment offered, he had a 90% certainty the enemy hadn ’t spotted him yet.
The Seraphim ’s Red Eye module shone a little brighter as it locked on to the VF-5 ’s left cannon, just underneath its wing.

Since he hadn ’t received any sniper training, TheSeventhSnake fired upon the moment he felt a buzz.

The energy bolt that left the DMR ’s barrel soared through the air in a rapid flight towards the vulture-like mech.
The VF-5, perhaps caught off-guard by the projectile ’s unexpected angle, reacted too late.

The wing and the barrel of its left cannon took a glancing blow.
It resulted in minor damage to the VF-5 ’s flight systems but the damage the barrel sustained made the weapon inoperable.

Dire_Wolf seemed to be enraged as the VF-5 opened its beak to let out a piercing scream.
This sound wave disrupted Seraphim ’s lock on the vulture-like mech, causing him to miss his follow-up shots.

The VF-5 explosively activated all of its boosters, ascending quickly towards the Seraphim.
TheSeventhSnake abandoned his position and took to the skies himself.
The Seraphim widened the distance while continuing to fire back at the enraged vulture.

The VF-5 could only helplessly dodge the shots while trying to keep up.
It excelled at bullying ground mechs by shredding them with its powerful cannons, but with one already disabled and the other firing out of its effective range, the vulture performed rather poorly.
Only its secondary machine guns achieved consistent hits, but their caliber was so small that even the Fantasia could tank a few bullets as long as they didn ’t land in the same location.

However, it somehow suffered only glancing blows on its chassis so far.
TheSeventhSnake kept trying to hit the VF-5 ’s essential systems, such as its wings or its engine, but only managed to clip armor or negligible systems.

”This bastard ’s dodging pattern is strange. ” TheSeventhSnake grew more suspicious as his shots kept leading away from where he wanted them to go.
”I got it.
He ’s fooling my aim assist! ”

The early versions of aim assistance were easy to fool.
Certain movement patterns easily led its internal computers to overcompensate its aim in a faulty direction.
This wasn ’t easy to accomplish in practice.
It took an unusually avid mech pilot to even be aware of this solution.

In any case, now that he knew what was wrong, he disabled the Red Eye.
This pretty much had an immediate impact on his DMR ’s accuracy.
His shots spread much wider now, sometimes missing the vulture by thirty meters even.
He couldn ’t help it.
Firing a rifle in midair was hard enough.
Travelling swiftly while trying to dodge the vulture ’s return fire only added to the instability.

Nevertheless, the almost perfectly random distribution of shots threw the vulture off-guard for a second time.
Since even the Seraphim ’s pilot couldn ’t predict where his shots landed, his opponent could forget about figuring out a pattern.

The exchange continued on for a handful of minutes.
The VF-5 appeared miserable as its chassis sported a lot of scorch marks and ran low on ammunition.
It succeeded in preserving its important systems, only suffering major damage to its massive wings.
The vulture was built to be robust among the fliers, so even if it lost half its wings, it still maintained its capability to stay afloat.

The Seraphim on the other hand survived the sporadic barrage of solid projectiles with a few dents.
It suffered an unlucky hit at the end when a cannon shell managed to hit the rifle.
The impact and subsequent explosion irretrievably wrecked the weapon, leaving the lightly armed Seraphim without a ranged weapon.

”Just as well.
I only have a third of my energy left. ”

Both sides knew it this match would be decided up close.
The Seraphim ceased running, turned around and approached the VF-5 cautiously while unsheathing its combat knife.
The rainbow cloud spurting from its rear gave the angelic mech a majestic appearance, as if it was a queen that claimed the skies as its domain.

The VF-5 let out an indignant cry from its beak as it accelerated in a sudden fashion, eager to challenge the interloper.
While its half-wrecked wings reduced the power of its flight, its plentiful thrusters still provided a substantial amount of explosive acceleration.
The vulture flew out with its sharp and menacing claws stretched out.
The force of its approach enough to wreck any Fantasia-based chassis in a head-on collision.

TheSeventhSnake flitted to the side and used his superior agility in the air to keep his mech safe.
He swiped the VF-5 with his combat knife, scoring occasional hits but unable to deal any critical damage.
The cloud generator spurted out so many colorful clouds that the streets were almost completely obscured.
This didn ’t affect either mech ’s performance, as they both switched to alternate vision modes that could easily see through the clouds of vapor.

Somehow the VF-5 ’s pilot managed to orient his mech in a way that presented its most armored portion towards the Seraphim.
This let the VF-5 use its abundant armor to block the small knife.

If the Seraphim ’s arms possessed more power and carried a better weapon, then it would have carved the VF-5 apart by now.
Instead, it had to dodge the VF-5 ’s fatal claw strikes with every approach, suffering a few glancing blows in return, one of which simply sheared off both its legs at the knees.

TheSeventhSnake felt constricted, and as his energy reserves fell to the last 10%, he again staked odds to a final blow.
He stopped dodging sideways and flew towards the VF-5 head-on.
The vulture noted the change in strategy and extended its claws and its beak in anticipation.

At the last moment, the Seraphim chose to dodge to the bottom right, straight at one of the VF-5 ’s claws.
The reinforced limb tore through the Seraphim ’s thin armor plating.
The angelic mech ’s head crunched loose while its torso had been sliced half-way through, disabling countless essential systems.

The VF-5 suffered catastrophic damage in return.
The Seraphim ’s combat knife sunk deep in its chest armor, and while it suffered little damage so far, the close-ranged strike possessed enough momentum to carve through its plates.
Red liquid leaked out of the gaps.

The Seraphim had succeeded in piercing the cockpit with its last gambit.
Both mechs lost their propulsion and fell.

[Winner: TheSeventhSnake.]

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