This guy just didn’t get it.
La Màquina had long since identified the red smoke as some sort of radioactive byproduct; her skin wasn’t fond of it in the least, but she could handle a bit of radiation for a while, especially with her Aura to keep it off of direct contact with her. Now, though? Now radiological readings were spiking, and it didn’t really take a nuclear physicist to figure out what was going on.
Unfortunately for the Robrute…well, he just didn’t get it.
In her current position, Màquina had just about all the advantages. The brute’s greater size and leverage didn’t mean spit in the air, his arms were tangled up with restraining her own and trying to haul her around by the forearms, and his foe had four almost completely unimpeded striking limbs with which to take advantage of their bind. If he wanted to try and spit radioactive glop at her, she’d just make sure it was point elsewhere. The bruiserbot had exactly one neck’s worth of musculature to try and direct his radioactive spew – Màquina had two arms’ worth of musculature with which to direct it elsewhere, and two arms pretty much always beat one neck.
Discarding its anti-armor dirk, allowing the weapon to fade into rapidly dispersing golden dust, La Màquina slammed her upper-right Backhand up under the Robrute’s chin, fingers gripping into any angle or crevice they could find, and twisted hard. Her upper-left Backhand continued to manhandle the brute’s head, forcing his mouth up and to the right, away from her delicate beauty and off into the distance where it could be someone else’s radiological disaster. If the bruiser’s neck was anything like her own she didn’t give herself good odds of actually snapping it, but she was absolutely twisting with enough force and torque to break a Natural’s neck like a charred twig. There was little realistic way the brute would be able to keep his sludge beam strike on target.
As for the Robrute’s attempts to haul her up and into the path of the beam? That would prove just as fruitless. Màquina’s own natural arms resisted the attempt as much as they could; while she couldn’t easily match the much larger machine’s strength of limb, she was by no means weak, and furthermore the leverage she had on the Robrute’s head also allowed her to push down and away from his toxic spew, once again matching four arms’ strength to that of two. That was a no-go.
And worst of all, it left Màquina’s lower Backhands entirely open to continue their work of finding holes to stab anti-armor dirks through. The Robrute was vastly underestimating that threat; La Màquina was not at all just randomly stabbing and hoping to get lucky. Each strike was guided by sensor and target acquisition & analysis systems honed to a razor’s edge of efficiency and sensitivity, driven by myomer muscles with far finer dexterity and control than even the finest and most precise of martial-artsy Naturals. Metal was indeed tough, but mere passive alloy protection was no real protection at all from La Màquina’s questing spikes. It was something of a miracle that she hadn’t already found a weakness sufficient to wedge a spike into. If the Robrute continued to ignore her stabbings, he would regret it in extremely short order.
What he didn’t know, couldn’t know, was that La Màquina’s Forged constructs, the weapons her Diablo’s Foundry yielded to her, could be willed back into their raw energy states – violently. Any time Màquina wished. She was stabbing at the big bruiser with armor-piercing sticks of dynamite – and he was letting her. One good penetration was all she needed – even if that stab didn’t hit anything vital or even particularly important, the ensuing explosion inside the Robrute’s armor, turning all that toughened metal against her foe and using it to contain her own attack inside his vulnerable internal systems, would absolutely hit something important.
As for the warbot’s attempt to run her into the Ring’s plasma ropes, or whatever else he had in mind? That was easily enough dealt with – neither combatant had full control of their mutual flight. La Màquina’s Halo-driven levitation fought the Robrute’s rocket-driven thrusters, with the result that neither android could force the other onto a steady, desired course. For La Màquina, that was fine – she was doing perfectly well on her own and only needed to exert her flight systems against the Robrute’s to stop them from crashing into anything. The Robrute, on the other hand, needed to try and actively steer the pair into whatever obstacles he wished to make use of, which Màquina could screw with at will. All she needed to do was aim at all of the places up in the air where there wasn’t anything to crash into – her foe needed to try and find a way to overcome her interference long enough to actively target a place to be. She tried to guide the fight in a rough circle around the central Ring, keeping them within the bounds of the fight, but she wasn’t terribly worried about it so long as she could keep the charge from landing them in trouble. And she could.
This brute was either dumb as a bag of New Arizona rocks or he was severely underestimating La Màquina. She was fine with either version. She liked being underestimated – she loved the look of horrified shock on the faces of enemies who thought she was an easy win when they found themselves under her heel, watching in helpless fear as the Thousand Executions built itself above them. And if this guy was just that dumb?
Then it was her job as a custodian of synthetic society to ensure that his schematics were scrubbed from the database before any more resources were wasted on new Robrutes.