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Making a Splash

Episode 01

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#41
Hiro Protagonist

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Scratch one.

Grunts often looked at pilots with disdain. The ground pounders saw their valkyrie driving comrades as video game players, insulated from the horror of killing. The popular refrain was that if a pilot had to look their enemy in the eyes at the moment of death, the pilot's fragile little psyche would crack.

Natalya wasn't sure where that came from. Having just looked into a man's eyes as she removed the back of his head the hard way, she found the experience to be a bit anticlimactic. Then again, she always did on the ground. 

She didn't dwell on it. More important things to do. Either hostages were secured, or they weren't. Joining the breach wouldn't change the outcome there.  If they were, it was time to start escaping. If they weren't,  it was still time to start escaping.

She slapped her last mag of grenades in to the launcher. These were the real deal. No more flash-bangs. She moved into the connector tube and placed all of her door openers against the "glass" of the courtyard side wall in a large semi-circle. The stuff might have ben shock proof, but there was distinct difference between impact and thermite.  She then took up overwatch at the far end of the tube, covering the corridor in the southern building.

She had the dooropeners keyed to a burn command on her HUD but she didn't trigger them. She meant to take the friendlies out they way she and Olga had come in, putting them in the courtyard with a short path to the shuttle. But if the enemy decided to get in the way, she wanted an exit that wasn't on their map.

Which meant keeping it off the map unless it was needed.



#42
schanze

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Kes felt annoyance welling up inside. Were the situation any different she would admire the pirate’s skill with his aging craft. As it was, her frustration grew with each dodge and bank.

 

A few beats later the logical part of her mind clawed its way back into control. With a huff she glanced at guidance and determined they were moving south and away from the others. As much as she wanted this one dead, and she really, really did, it wasn’t worth falling into a trap or risking the mission.

 

The Rhea made one last surge forward and shot its laser cannons close but just above the pirate. With that it applied full power and made a drastic vertical assent. Still within range and locked, she released another volley of the short-range missiles on the target below. A target that with any luck was too close to the ground to completely avoid the attack. She didn’t linger for the results.

 

She made a quick sensor scan and circled back for a full speed burn towards Dwer and Eric.

 

If her target survived and decided to visit she’d be more than happy to finish the job.



#43
schanze

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The doctor considered Tiffany's question. 

 

"Mm. Fairly good. Possibly some injuries but nothing that we won't patch. I wouldn't guess a fatality."

 

He paused and peered out of the craft while drawing from the cigarette.

 

"Though it's the mundane things that kill you."

 

Nevin returned to his spot and after a moment's reflection edged to a new, apparently safer, spot several inches over. 

 

"By the by, what are your intentions with that?"

 

An outstretched cigarette indicated the frowny grenade.



#44
Coolhand

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Dwer didn;t skip a beat rolling the Q-rhea through one of the oncoming fireballs and zeroing in on the remaining drone. He had expected greater resistance from the drones in all honesty, in most cases drones were more than capable of evading such simple attacks. Then again the only drones he'd faced had been high end models and his own craft was not nearly as advanced as this Q-Rhea.

A craft which continued to surprise him with how it performed. Unlike valkyrie battroids it handled perfectly in high speed flight, had no stall speed, no engine flutter, nothing that would hamper it in a close range dogfight. Being armed to the teeth was a big plus as well. He'd just have to get used to macronisation.

Demonstrating the Q-rhea's maneuverability he pulled onto the drones tail at point blank range and gave it an extended burst from the right arm laser, giving it a second burst for good measure before pulling off and gaining more altitude. He tracked the sky for targets, also keeping an eye out for his flight leader.

***

With the majority of the pirates down for the count Quola followed Olga through the door, keeping her gun at the ready just in case. Any pirate that tried to get back up would soon be put back down. Quickly jogging over the the control room console she pulled a cable out of her left arm gauntlet and jacked in. She quickly retook control of the security systems on base, making sure every single door was locked and that the pirates who had fled had as few ways out as possible.

She needed no hands for this task and thus knelt down to check on the nearest hostage, staying wary of her surroundings as she did so.

Almost as an afterthought she uploaded the position of the fleeing pirate to anyone with the equipment to receive it.



#45
gradius

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"Oh this?  Just a little welcome present should any unexpec-unwelcome unexpected guests show up."  Tiffany replied as she identified the explosive indicated.  She then gestured to a differently labeled grenade.  "The smileys are decoys."

 

Tiffany took a glance out both side doors again, before turning back to Nevin, "So have you seen combat before?  I mean as a doctor?"

 

 

Meanwhile, a little further away, Roderick had cringed a little at all the concussion grenades going off more or less at the same time and space.  This however, did not stop him from putting two rounds into someone who still seemed to have some of his wits about him after weathering a storm of explosions.

 

Satisfied that the bandit was down, Roderick moved in, checking to make sure that all hostiles in the immediate vicinity were down or unable to put up resistance before getting a head count on the hostages.



#46
schanze

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"Ah. The things make me uncomfortable, is all."

 

Nevin waved the thought away. He peered into his bag. It was as prepared as it could be. Waiting was all that could be done.
 

He smiled at the question, though it was too quick and tight to hide his momentary discomfort.

 

"More than some, less than others. See one combat zone, see them all."

 

"And you? Special operations of some sort?"



#47
Abaddon

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From her position at the rear of the shuttle Jo noticed one of the kidnappers taking off down one of the connecting tubes. He trigger finger started to squeeze the trigger before stopping, there was no way her bullets would do anything to the re-enforced glass.

 

Without thinking Jo bounded down the ramp and sprinted towards the fleeing man. Toggling her mic she relayed a message to the team. "I've got one headed down a connector. I'm in pursuit."

 

In short order she reached an access door and, pausing briefly to ensure there was no one else was in the tunnel, she entered with her SMG raised to the ready.

 

The pirate was nearing the end of the connector tube as she lined him up in her sights. The poor bastard didn't even seem to realize the was there.

 

For a brief moment she considered calling out to him to stop...but she wasn't in the military anymore and she wasn't being paid to take prisoners.

 

She squeezed the trigger and sent a burst of fire streaming towards her target.



#48
CrazyDreamer

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Olga was a little dazed but still coherent enough to focus on the task in front of her: securing the surviving enemy in the room with restraints. "Hostage room secure. Do ve hef a secure corridor for medical?"

#49
Vertigo

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The control was swept quickly and cleanly by the team.  The two remaining living pirates quickly found their roles reversed, not that they had much to say about in their dazed state.  There was some grumbling by the Obsidian staff as they too recovered from the concussive assault.  The CCS staff were far more appreciative of their rescuers, being somewhat familiar with the operations of their combat teams.  Olga found Golg Boa amongst the CCS staff with someone who looked like an official.  He had the barrel chested build that spoke of zentran lineage, though he was somewhat shorter than one normally pictured for a miclonized zentran.  He noticed Olga approaching and held up a hand to stop her.  "One second, linking to the squad network."  His eyes glazed for a second as he linked himself in, popping onto the Sari-C network and taking over their hierarchy.  Secondary info flooded back to the squad members regarding security and motion sensors. 

 

Gulg looked at Olga after a moment's analysis.  "The compound is not secure."  It wasn't so much an accusation as it was a statement of mild annoyance that the job was incomplete.  Security feeds showed one last clump of pirates, eight in total, massing in the eastern building.  Quola had shut them in, but they could easily break out the glass to get access to the courtyard.  That left the shuttle lightly defended with only Natalya and Nick available to do anything about it immediately.  Not delaying a moment Gulg sent instructions to everyone on the Sari-C network to take up defensive positions along their entrance route.  He directed Nick to leave his prisoner and skirt the southern corridor in order to set up a crossfire.  He was just getting to Natalya when the pirates attacked.

 

Fire sprayed the shuttle as most of the pirates laid down cover to keep any suppression weapons CCS might have inside from coming into play.  Bullets whizzed in the doorway, driving Tiff and Nevin back into the bowels of the shuttle.  Two of the pirates vaulted the broken out framework and ran for the cover of the shuttle's nose.  Pressing in close, one leveled an assault rifle at Tommy and shook his head, indicating the consequences if Tommy tried to take off, obviously assuming his bullets might somehow penetrate the shuttle's canopy.  The second one fired a burst at Natalya, though the bullets merely rattled off the glass tube, chipping and cracking the connector but failing to penetrate.

 

Jo rounded the corner to find the last of the northern bandits trying futilely to open one of the doors Quola had shut.  He turned in time to take the burst full on.  Sagging, he flopped to the ground dead.  Jo turned in time to see the counter assault start.  From her vantage she could easily move around to the north, squaring off the box in the crossfire, so to speak.  That was if she could get the doors open.

 

The sky battle ended quickly.  2nd generation drones lacked a lot of the capabilities of their more modern equivalents, especially the ability to keep up with so nimble an opponent as a Rhea.  It went into evasive maneuvers but was far too late to avoid Dwer's attack.  Energy beams carved it up, sending wreckage falling to the ground.  Looping around Dwer reacquired contact with Kes and Eric.  The former was pulling up from her last pass against the only manned valkyrie remaining.  Her shot forced the VF-11 to hug the ground just long enough for the missiles to cross the distance.  The last she saw of the enemy pilot was the valkyrie reconfiguring to soldier and rolling on its back to try to engage the missiles with its gunpod.  Explosions blanketed the target as a great furrow was blasted out of the Obsidian hillside.  She likewise moved to regroup with Eric's position high above the compound.

 

Data fed into them from the ELINT system.  Eric linked into the shuttle's sensors, giving them eyes on the ground.  "Looks like they might need a little help down there.  Want to scare the piss out of some foot sloggers?"



#50
gradius

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"Well no need to worry about explosives from me."  Tiff smiled, "I can perform the 1812 overture with them."

 

She also caught the not quite genuine smile from Nevin, but was distracted by his own question to her.

 

"Of a sort.  More support than operations though."  Tiff replied, referring to the cover that Working Group Alpha was officially put together for.  "We mostly did analysis."

 

"I did have to patch some wounds in the field however, between assignments." Here she bent the truth a little, as most of her battlefield medical experience were on her one and only assignment throughout the NUSA war.

 

"Some of the wounds really weren't pretty."  At this she shuddered, recalling having to patch together some people she had gotten to know during the war.  Tiffany looked away and happened to notice Jo leave her post.  "Hello, where's she going?"

 

 

 

Tiffany was facing away from the side door when bullets came whizzing in.  Thankfully there were no ricochets though the incoming fire forced her to shy away from the side entrance.  This did not however prevent her from answering the nature of her calling.

 

Three 'soft' frag grenades went sailing out the side entrance facing the pirate attack.  Well, two sailed out neatly and one bounced expertly off the side of the entrance to cover the blind spot from where Tiff was huddled in cover.  The 'soft' frags were made to minimize damage to hard surfaces like glass but maximize damage to soft materials like spacesuits and flesh. They were also cooked off.

 

"Frag out!"  Tiff's voice rang over the comms.



#51
Rivel

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Well, so there was good news and bad news.  A few prisoners had been taken, which soothed Nick's oft-mangled heart, the hostages were safe, and the mission had gone well so far.

 

The bad news was that now they were under fire again, but it would seem their enemies hadn't quite taken everything into consideration.  For one, it seemed none of them had the weaponry that Nick had on hand, and none of them realized he was still a pretty good marksman.  It's true, he was no longer one of the best in the galaxy, but he'd made a mint doing trickshooting, and scared a few people off when they tried to hustle the hustler.

 

He took to the corridor and reholstered the heavily reworked Grizzly and pulled out a bizarre looking pistol.  He checked it: one bullet.  That meant it was fully loaded.  It wasn't exactly bolt-action, but it was close, and could match the range of any rifle that wasn't meant for extreme long-range sniping.  He got to the window that he had demolished and took cover, letting the camo adjust before checking the view.  One of them had thought to take cover by the shuttle, but it looked like there was some boot visible from Nick's angle.

It'd do.  He aimed and fired, then ducked down to reload.



#52
CrazyDreamer

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[OOC: I believe that the XP-100 series is technically bolt-action. Also, it is f—ing scary. You know you can fit them with bipods and scopes?]

 

Olga didn't mind her command being taken over by Gulg. After all, he had a superior rank (if in the wrong branch), Zentradi blood (but not Commander or Meltrandi), and combat experience (however ancient). Therefore, he (minimally) met all three items on her test for acceptable superiors.

 

Enemies assaulting the rear of her formation, on the other hand, did not meet her checklist for acceptable anything. Time to go.

 

Olga charged back out of the room, unholstering her pistol as she went, and roared as she entered the courtyard. Tiff's grenades roared back. Right; best avoid the boomfield. Olga did her best to roar even louder as she moved to where she could see around the shuttle to the assault force and lay down some suppressing fire.

 

Living diversion wasn't the healthiest occupation in existence, but she trusted the friendly forces already in the courtyard to take advantage quickly enough to keep her safe.



#53
Coolhand

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Having done what little she could with the security systems Quola unplugged and made a bee-line for the corridor again, giving Goa Bulg a salute and a pink kitten as she left the hostage room. Sliding into cover below one of the now broken windows she used security feeds and other peoples sari-C networked equipment to locate where the pirates were.

Firing arcs were poor so she began to duck walk up the corridor whilst blind firing over the verge in an attempt to at least suppress the pirates.



#54
CrazyDreamer

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The facility networks and Gulg Boa flickered into existence in the Damask Rose's operations room (or, as a makeshift sign said on the door, "Der Blinkenlights Zimmer"). Inside, Alexi observed the developing ground situation and Eric's response and . . . facilitated.

 

"Unit flight, please recall that this is a friendly facility; try not to blow it up," he dryly commented into the aerospace tactical channel. As he was speaking, he pulled up the tactical map of the facility and marked a thin box between the east edge of the shuttle and the eastern building and running the full north-south length of the courtyard. No friendlies were in the box. Alexi designated it as a kill box and sent it to both the air and ground teams.

 

He switched to the ground channel. "Y'all might be getting some air support shortly. Kill box is anything east of the shuttle, so hold west of it or send a cancel signal if you want them to abort the run."



#55
Vertigo

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"Just a point, boss," Eric said jovially "but I meant landing in Battroid.  Unless they're packing some serious heat they haven't used up to this point I doubt any of those pop guns can even phase overtech armor.  I'll be gentle.  Besides, high explosives lead to fratricide."



#56
Hiro Protagonist

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The south courtyard doors still hung askew from the breach.

The drone was very small, but very sturdy. It could carry five times its own weight. Fortunately it only needed half that capacity. It darted out of the door and made a dash across the courtyard, zipping into the same window group the enemy were firing out from.

And it stopped, monofilament cable suddenly jerked free.

For an instant, it hung there, alone among enemies.

Then the smoke grenade speed taped to the bottom went off, the detonation enough to ruin the delicate lift system. Thick, green aerial marker smoke billowed as the drone dropped to the floor. 

"Fire in dhe hole," Natalya muttered as she began laying measured bursts into the east building from her new position by the south doorway. As an afterthought, she put a frag grenade from her launcher into the smoke.



#57
CrazyDreamer

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Alexi shrugged, not that anyone could see it over the network. "Okay, so it's also an LZ. People still need to avoid being squished when you come down."



#58
Vertigo

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Surprise, action, intent.  All elements of effective plans.  All exploitable through the right training.  Nick's shot bull's eyed the pirate's foot, causing an involuntary reaction of pain.  The man stood and fell on his side in time to notice the explosives Tiff had placed earlier.  He had about two seconds to realize how truly screwed by life he was before the fragmentation device literally went off in his face.  The courtyard became a killing field as small metal bits ricocheted around, pinging off the shuttle and the buildings.  Through sheer coincidence Natalya's drone delivered present exploded seconds later.  Her burst winged one of the pirate's as he stood coughing.  Spinning, he ducked into cover as her frag sailed through the opening.  The explosive showered the wounded bandit and three of his cohorts in lethal fragments.  The two northern most tried to move but cover fire from Jo and Quola drove them back against the wall.

 

DAMPENING ENGAGED scrolled across the Sari-C network moments before Eric's -171 did a high speed pass of the complex, blowing dust into the eastern building as he passed.  Both Rhea's came down fast, hovering above the shuttle and pointing every barrel they had at the two remaining active hostiles.  About that time Olga vaulted the broken window frame, blood trickling from her left thigh were a frag had gotten her.  The pirates did a double take between the mecha and the very pissed looking Meltrandi standing in front of them.

 

"Fuck this!"  The lead pirate threw down his gun and raised his hands in surrender.  The second followed suit.

 

Gulg sent a quick burst of instructions.  Extract VIPs immediately.  Mecha set perimeter.  Evac in 2 minutes.

 

OOC: Scenario is complete.  Post any reactions and I will have the next phase (debriefing) back on board the DR by Sunday.



#59
Hiro Protagonist

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Natalya trotted back to the connector and collected her door openers. No sense leaving them behind to immolate some unsuspecting window washer. She wasn't sure they would have worked as planned. She wasn't a demo expert. But it would have been a hell of a light show.

Once her kit was secured, she safed her weapon and took up an overwatch position on west building. No sense in getting lax about potential surprises. She felt a twinge of pity for the bandits, now that it was all over. They hadn't stood a chance. She wondered how many she'd killed today. Probably not many, if any at all. That was mildly disappointing. There was no test of skill to it, so it wasn't really worth much either way. The body count wasn't the most important thing.

She just wasn't sure what the most important thing was. They had the hostages freed--VIPs the boss called them. Best to treat them as such. No point in ruffling feathers, the area seemed secure. Flawless victory. 

So why didn't she feel  like they'd won?



#60
CrazyDreamer

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Olga spent two hurried minutes making sure all equipment and prisoners were retrieved and secured. She spent the ride back to the Damask Rose getting a quick, 30-second recap of everyone's participation in the action[*] and watching the tactical overview as compiled by the operations room crew. Questions, suggestions, and reviews would wait for the formal debrief; all she wanted now was facts to hand over to the bosses.

 

She also smiled disconcertingly at the prisoners.

 

[*OOC: I'm going to re-read the thread and assume any actions taken during it are now known to Olga and any NPC who needs them. If you're going to lie or something, let me know.]







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