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Amidst the RocksEpisode 02
Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:44 PM
Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:00 PM
"Running the probabilities" Eric said as he roped in the drones. Two shot back towards the DR as the third circled to assist Rod. It was a lot of data to sift through, more anomalies popping up. They were obviously in the Pirates' home turf. That being said, there were only so many decoy tactics they could employ and so few ways to hide something with a distinct a trail as their cruiser possessed. "Best match... bearing 0-30-72 relative, roughly 3000 km. At least four other equivalent masses relative to that path. Figure is close to 90% on first track, less than 60% on all other tracks. I think we found her, the others have to be more decoy sites."
Dwer shot around in an arc, barely slowing for what rocks he had to contend with and raced back to help the others. His parting shots suppressed the enemy valkyries long enough that their opportunity fire missed wide. Rod capitalized on the situation and carved the undamaged valkyrie into pieces. His guardian drone swooped in on the second bandit and put a double blast into it, tearing it apart. His sensors read the last of the containers as clear.
The three renegades tried to close the distance, but even with their custom suits they were more than outclassed by the Rheas and the -171s. The outer two slowed down and strafed backwards towards their pursuers, obviously trying to by time for a command unit. The right side suit turned in time to take Natalya's power punch clean on. Mass plus velocity enhanced by a pin point barrier made a very effective ramming wedge. The punch sliced through the chest armor and burst through the back unit, collapsing the booster unit and snapping the left arm off. Natalya carried on through her target as the blow carved a large chunk out of the pilot underneath the armor. The suit held for the briefest of moment, accentuating the horrific nature of the pilots death, before its reactor failed and consumed the pirate in a fireball. Olga cut in on the second, cannons streaming fire. This pilot managed to get a shot off, twin cerulean beams lancing towards the much more agile Rhea. The size of the blasts definitely put them into the larger end of what could be safely mounted on modern combat machine. A direct hit would have incinerated Olga. Olga's own blast clipped the suit, blasting armor off its chest and thigh, annihilating one of the chest cannon mounts. The suit cut velocity and spun downward, trying to match velocities with his assailants.
Quola, meanwhile, cut past the two bandits and locked on the leader. Her lower position gave her an optimal kill position, one her opponent was aware of. Caught between his mission and survival, the bandit elected to stay the course. Dropping his arms to trail behind he let loose with smaller caliber fire from forearm cannons. Quola bobbed out of the line of fire, her computer locking on to the hear plumes of the renegade armor. The computer pulsed a golden lock reticule and Quola let loose with a missile volley. The commander managed to gun down three of the missiles, but the other half closed the distance and impacted. They bit into the engine block and pulverized the thrusters, depriving the suit of its primary drive unit. It spun crazily, its momentum continuing to carry it forward but its attitude jets firing widely. The suit was dying, and its pilot would follow it soon afterward if nobody came to his aid.
Convinced that the rest of the team had things well in hand, Eric switched over to Rallye's and Kes' comms. "Secure that last position, I'm coming to you to get a better reading. Rod, meet up with us there."
Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:42 PM
Olga had seen enough of the enemy suit's capabilities. She began an irregular spiral towards it, contrary to the direction of its own spin, and accelerated again. As she closed with her enemy, she opened a line to Quola and the assault shuttle: "Suggest hyu capture de assault leader for qvestionink. Schuttle, can hyu take de pilot in vile ve fineesh up here?"
Olga figured that the enemy didn't have enough agility to keep up with her, especially close in or with those heavy cannons. She, on the other hand, had speed and acceleration and two Mauler AA guns at the ends of quite flexible arms. She opened up with both of them, trying for disabling by a thousand cuts rather than concentrating her fire and destroying the core.
Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:45 AM
Dwer had spent 30 seconds closing the distance only to find his choice of targets was drastically lower than when he started. Vectoring onto the the remaining Armour he took careful aim at the engine block and let loose with shot from the shoulder cannon before gunning the throttles again.
In an extreme speed pass Dwer shot past the bandit, scything the outnumbered Armour with AA laser fire. Abusing the ludicrous thrust at his disposal Dwer executed a gut wrenching turn that kept him within in mere meters of his target, maintaining AA fire as he did. Accelerating once more he pointed himself in the rough direction of the asteroid field. As distance opened up his shoulder cannon pivoted round and pointed backwards letting go a Parthian shot before exiting the furball.
Correcting his vector a bit Dwer opened comms “Koolhan here, I'm moving back into the field. I'll hook up with Rod on my way through.”
“Yatta!” came the victory cry from Quola. Were someone looking they would see her Rhea fist pumping the vacuum.
“Yes Momma, I'll get on that.” she took a little time for a victory pirouette before setting off after the ballistic power armour.
Matching velocity was easy enough, a quick grapple and some thrusting and she had their course stabilised. All throughout her Impact cannon was pointed squarely at the cockpit of her would be captive.
“S'cuse me, but you need to get out now.” she commed to her victim. Without much warning she clamped onto the cockpit canopy of the armour and tore it clean off, the other manipulator arm grabbing the pilot and bodily wrenching him from his stricken craft. Holding the stunned looking pilot off to one side in a grip he had no hope of breaking she popped her own cockpit hatch.
Kicking off she casually glided over to the Renegade Armour and swung herself into its cockpit. Within a few moments she had located what she was after, a few more moments and some frantic key tapping later and she was done. Kicking off again she boarded her Rhea once more and opened a data feed to the Damask Rose.
She opened squad comms “Eric you should be getting a feed with telemetry and flight data from one of the Renegade Armours. With any luck it'll help you out.” she switched channel to the Rose “Salvage i've marked a wreck for you, have deck crews clear a landing for me and have security teams on standby to deal with a macron. I'm bringing this guy in.”
Keeping her captive (who seemed very put out by the forearm cannons digging into his chest) at arms length she starting moving her Rhea towards the landing pattern.
Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:55 PM
Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:13 AM
Posted 29 August 2013 - 01:38 AM
Quola waggled the 'wings' of her Rhea, much to the discomfort of her new passenger. She would have given a mech sized thumbs up...if only the Rhea had thumbs.
"Da, we shall be doing that." she commed to Natalya, somewhat unintentionally mimicking her speech patterns. Thankfully she did not attempt the accent.
Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:49 PM
The active bandit got a shot off with his remaining chest cannon, but missed way wide of Olga's position. Her return fire peppered the hull, first taking out the second cannon, then moving on to hit more of his maneuvering thrusters. He brought his arm cannons into play, opening fire and clipping Olga's left shoulder. Her display instantly blinked into critical orange. Most of her armor was scrap in that area, but she hadn't lost any functionality in systems. Another burst from her arm cannons sheered the back off the renegade armor. The suit almost comically fell apart in space, leaving the pilot flailing out of control with only his chest section and the barest scrap of the armored skirt remaining. Realizing his predicament, the pilot wisely held his hands out in the universal sign of surrender.
Quola, meanwhile, sped back with her prisoner. The shuttle could run as courier for the prisoner, but it didn't make sense to have a full size Zentreadi (or two) lashed to the hull while they tried to assault the cruiser. The two could be locked temporarily in the launch bays, but more permanent solutions would have to wait. Natalya headed back, taking her escort position about the Damask Rose as Quola fell in line.
Rod formed up as Eric compiled the data Quola sent him. It took a few seconds to overlap the coordinates with his battle grid. "Confirming... target area is the staging point for the enemy cruiser. Four remaining points should have three to four mecha a piece. Conducting pinpoint scan in 3...2...1... now."
The ELINT unit went from sifting through large areas of space to five very specific containers of the void. Anyone in that area with an energy detector on board would know they had just been swept and spotted. No amount of dust and debris would work against that focused a search. The battle grid updated quickly.
"Cruiser position confirmed, she is primed and moving. Hostile sensors are in track mode. Weapons are online. Counting four groups of variable fighters, contacts Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, four Thunderbolts each. Repeat, sixteen VF-11s in four groups of four. Two other tangos: Nightmare leading Group Beta and..." Eric whistled "Holy shit, they have a Q-Rau. Meltrandi power armor leading group Delta. Also making at least three more Renegade armors hull down on the cruiser. I've got power sources in the main hold but I can't distinguish them from each other."
As Eric relayed the information Kes and Rallye started their intercept towards the closest group: Alpha. The VFs spread out to greet them, beckoning them in closer to their position. All of them were in Battroid and had their gunpods trained on the two mercs closing in on them. The other three positions were moving to envelope the lead elements of the DR group. Meanwhile, the Bonney rolled slightly, dipping her starboard wing down. Eric almost missed it if not for his sensors detecting the enemy weapons array going from track mode to lock. The lead turret swung in line with Kes' impromptu wing and fired. The golden bolt swam through the rock field, pulverizing asteroids along the way and traced a deadly path just aft of Raylle's valkyrie. The cannon went into rapid fire mode, saturating the area and driving a wedge between the two forward pilots and the rest of the group. Meanwhile, the Beta wing accelerated, lead in by the Nightmare. Hostile locks sounded all over Kes and Rallye's cockpit as nine variable fighters locked them up. Eric's fingers flew, disengaging the escort mode for the drones and setting them on interception. The trailing three broke from their escort positions as the fourth swam up from Raylle's trailing right side and rocketed into the fight, intent on driving the Thunderbolts back.
"I'll stay back to cover the DR!" Eric commanded, concern edging in on his voice. "Everyone else, go, go go!"
Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:04 AM
Olga grabbed her captive and bumped helmets with him so they could talk more easily. "Hy've got to go capture de rest uf you friends now, but be a goot boy und schtay surrendered. If hyu don', Hy'll hunt hyu down und do to you limbs vat Hy chust deed to you armor."
She let go and charted a course swinging wide around the Bonney until Gamma and Delta were between her and its guns, at which point she'd charge the cruiser. "Enemy fighter cover" indeed. She posted it to the unit tacnet with an invitation for anyone else interested in joining the boarding party to follow her in, then revved her engines and headed out.
That left only Gamma and Delta themselves to deal with. Nine on one would be rough, even for Olga in a Rhea; what she needed was a psychological advantage. She popped on the unencrypted, wideband comms. "Dis iz Olga Jägerkin vith Cameron Core Solutions. Hyu are overmatched, but ve are beink nize und takink prisoners today. Doze who veesh to surrender, call now, because dis iz a limited-time uffer!" She paused, looked at the Rau on her screen, and added in Zentradi, «I'll also accept settling this through battle by champions so no-one else has to get hurt.»
Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:01 PM
Dwer made a quick survey of the situation before deciding his course of action.
“This is Coolhand, I'm moving on group Gamma. I'll keep them busy until help arrives.”
Four on one in a superior machine wasn't much of an issue for Dwer, Delta group was a worry however. Nine on one was a bit much even for him.
Vectoring in on his chosen prey he kicked the Rhea into an erratic corkscrew to evade incoming fire. Reticules danced across his visor as the computer tried to find firing solutions and missile locks.
Quola gave her captive a thruster assisted shove towards the Damask Rose's open cargo bay. Her Rhea giving the poor sap a goodbye wave before rejoining with Natalya.
She took a moment to admire all the new data on screen, positively relishing in having helped expose the enemy positions. However the gravity of the situation wasn't lost on her and she soon returned to business.
“I have your wing Miss Natalya. Let's go break some heads.”
Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:07 AM
Kes released a massive cloud of chaff and flares while accelerating toward Alpha at maximum speed. Her path dodged and weaved across the battlefield, though it was a clear beeline toward the nearest Thud. She locked the other three VF-11s and released a swarm of high-maneuverability missiles. The pirates would probably shoot down these missiles; Kes only wanted to buy time. Other results were merely a bonus.
She closed the distance with the untargeted Thud and impacted at speed, with the Thud between her and the remaining fighters. Her left claw sought purchase on the hull of the Thud while the right tore away at the gunpod and cockpit shielding.
She opened fire with the right arm-mounted pulse gun as the claw tore into the cockpit area. The pilot, whoever he or she was, wasn't going to outlive this mission. Kes would make sure of that.
Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:05 PM
Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:16 PM
Vincent’s movement patterns mirrored his wing mate as craft bore into the opposition like a drill through concrete, the smooth jinks moving into a high bank. As if on cue, Kes released some of her payload into the group, which bought him a scant second as he would hope they would be distracted. HOTAS going diagonal summoned up a deft GERWALK, his fixed small and swiveling medium bore sweeping through space at the remaining three of the first group. A chaff mist appeared behind his craft when he commanded fighter mode once again, delving towards the closest two to ascertain a lock.
When the solid chime was heard, five snaking trails leapt towards their prey. Like a lion done with his mate, he rolled off to meet the next threat.
Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:55 PM
<Please. Mom may have been vat born, but I wasn't.> The Q-Rau pilot sent back at Olga on a private beam. She had short clipped green hair and the cocky air that power armor pilots always seemed to have. <She also taught me fight as a unit, not as a single target.> The Q-Rau accelerated into the lead, dragging her four compatriots behind her. She seemed to beeline for Olga, then took notice of Dwer slipping towards the forward element in Gamma. Dropping an eight missile volley, the Q-Rau catapulted upwards for a clump of rock. Her four Thunderbolts each let loose with their wing mounted munitions, double pairs of intermediate missiles streaking down towards Olga and the two CCS Drones that had caught up to her. Eric snapped the drones into anti-missile defense. Their beam cannons carved the larger missiles from the sky, leaving Olga to deal with the smaller ones locked on her. Not quite the deft hand at evasion like Dwer, Olga still managed to roll away from the missiles and slammed them into an asteroid, pulverizing the rock. She tracked on the Q-Rau and sent a shoulder blast chasing after it, but a machine as maneuverable as the older Zentreadi suit wouldn't be easily caught by such an attack. The pilot looped around the blast and poured forearm cannon fire back at Olga. The two drones dove after the Thunderbolts, keeping them off Olga.
Coolhand made contact with Gamma swiftly. Like Olga's group, these Bolts carried wing mounted payloads. Like the amateurs they were, they let loose at Dwer, never realizing something as slow as their ordinance was never going to touch something as nimble as the Rhea. Weaving through the missiles, Dwer took the first Bolt head on and bracketed it with missile fire. Unable to evade, the pilot ate four missiles and promptly exploded. Dwer tore through the group and sprayed fire, spreading the Bolts out. They reconfigured to Battroid to better track the erratic Rhea, gunpods belching fire. The second one had enough time to hear his threat warning receiver before Rod speared twin energy beams into its flank. The beams ripped the Thunderbolt in half, sending its legs pinwheeling into a nearby rock. Rod likewise let his momentum carry him through the enemy formation. The remaining two bogeys took cover on an asteroid, wildly spraying fire between Rod and Dwer.
Kes bore down on her enemy as the missile swarm engaged the other three. To its credit, the Thunderbolt reconfigured to Battroid and got a burst into Kes' frame, tearing into her armor and blowing the left arm cannon into scrap. It futilely tried to get the shield interposed between itself and the berserk mecha coming at it, but the odd angle plus the impact sent the shield rocketing into deep space. Kes' bad arm latched on to the chest armor plate as the right batted away the gunpod. Flipping the mecha around she placed it between her and the Nightmare group, even as those bogeys rolled in. Missiles separated from targets as the final group engaged. Vincent announced his presence. So focused on the Rhea in their midst the pirates had totally forgotten about the newer Nightmare close at hand. Cannon fire raked the formation, Vincent adjusting his aim ever so slightly during the roll. A full three quarters of the missiles were incinerated, and Vincent still managed to bring his line of fire back on target and took one of the Thunderbolts through the canopy. The other two, realizing a bad situation when it presented itself, shot back towards the cover of the Nightmare group. Even as they did the Nightmare converted to Battroid. A familiar cylinder shot into its hand and replaced the barrel on its gunpod as the pilot swung the rifle in line with Kes. So much for loyalty among thieves.
The Bonney rolled again relative to the battle, 'leveling' parallel to the main plane of conflict. Now both beam clusters came into play, punching fire around Natalya and Quola. Her considerable close in weapons also came online, filling the area between the two pilots and the ship with a virtual firestorm of flak and missiles. The ship seemed to want to keep them at arms length, not really trying to press its weight advantage in this fight. There was still no movement from her fighter bays, but readings from Eric's sensors still seemed to indicate more bandits inside.
"Quola, Natalya, all the enemy cover is engaged, go for that things turrets. Take out half of them and we can send the shuttle in" Eric said as he re-vectored his last drone to fly cover for Tommy's shuttle. The barge was settling into a position to make it run given the signal from the rest of the squad. Eric was taking a high watch position, his two stand off missiles searching for the slightest movement from the ship bay. The pirates were getting desperate. This would be over quick.
Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:46 AM
He had paused momentarily around Kes’ whereabouts while his eyes trailed the two bandits that after-burned away with their tails in between their legs. Where are they off too in such a hurry?!
A quick x5 optical zoom revealed an older Nightmare whipping out something rather... nasty.
“Mama Pig’s got it in for you, Kes!”
In fighter mode, he boosted forward in a wide arc, squeezing the space between himself and the stoic older baddie bandit.
“Eric, I need that drone! Pincer move!”
His reticle quivering from thruster power, his centering dot weaved directly left and right of his target as four volleys leapt into the darkness towards their target. He streamed in ever closer, staying in fighter mode to make himself a harder target.
Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:39 PM
If the Rau pilot wanted to do this five-on-three rather than one-on-one, Olga was happy to oblige. After all, she was Olga; she had them outnumbered.
The remaining incoming missiles were perhaps best dealt with by the tri-barrel pulse lasers in the Rhea's arms. Of course, dodging the Rau's pulse lasers at the same time would be a bit more difficult, so best to give them something else to do, like shoot down Olga's mini-missiles. She helpfully supplied some to keep the Rau pilot entertained.
Quola and Natalya were tasked with dealing with the Bonney while the cover was occupied, so Olga's next task was keeping the cover occupied. She had slightly more engine power than the older model in front of her and was determined to use it. She also had a voice and was determined to use that. «My mommas were a war hero and a mad scientist and now I'm the momma . . . and you need a good spanking.»
Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:01 AM
<Tsch> The Q-Rau sped towards another rock closer to her Thunderbolts, moving to flank Eric's drones. She let another eight missiles fly to deal with Olga's pack. Strafing between mecha sized rocks she cut loose with alternating chest and forearm fire, looking to suppress Olga more than damage her. <Everyone seems so infatuated with my ass. Get in line!>
Posted 21 September 2013 - 01:25 PM
«Aww. No one's ever interested in my ass.» Olga spread some suppression fire while she dodged back and went evasive behind whatever bits of cover she could find, trying not to get hit while staying close enough that her opponent couldn't just turn and chase the drones without risking getting shot in the back.
Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:59 PM
‘Rookies, well that makes things simpler.’
Dwer wasted no time rolling the Rhea over and bringing the shoulder cannon to bear on the asteroid the Thuds were taking cover behind. Blasts from the over-sized gun slammed into their makeshift cover one after the other causing it to shake and shift ever so slightly each time. Craters were left after each impact and cracks began to form in the floating rock, doubtless unnerving the greenhorn pilots on the other side.
Gaining altitude relative to the plane of the battle he effortlessly weaved through their clumsy gunpod fire, maintaining his cannon barrage. His new angle afforded him a pair of missile locks, not truly solid locks but enough for his purposes. Leg and shoulder pods promptly disgorged missiles towards the cowering Thunderbolts, sixteen in total. He wasn’t so much looking to score hits as to flush them out.
He slammed off a few shots from the chest cannons to keep their attention before turning tail and accelerating towards Olga’s position. If they were truly as amateur as they looked they’d give chase, affording Rod some easy kills.
“Yokai” Quola gave her affirmative to Eric.
Breaking formation with Natalya she put the Rhea’s legendary acceleration to good use, diving straight towards the Bonney in an insanely reckless maneuver.
In a frenzy Quola mashed the countermeasures stud like no tomorrow, giving missiles a veritable buffet of potential targets. In a moment of insane insight she blind fired a swarm of her own missiles directly forward into the hailstorm of flak and dove through the explosion, doing her best to evade what she could as she tried to break through the umbrella of AA fire.
Bouncing the Rhea around violently she lined up whatever weapons she could on whichever turrets were closest, using missiles and cannons alike. Their shuttle needed a hole, she was going to make them a hole no matter the cost.
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