PBP House

Bobitron's Games => Green Hell => Topic started by: Bobitron on April 02, 2017, 02:45:13 PM

Title: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on April 02, 2017, 02:45:13 PM
The squad shuffles back to barracks, beat from a long day in the field. After a cycle through the showers, warmed to just below body temp enough to ward off a chill but not enough to make the experience comfortable, you all settle in to tear down your gear under Hood’s watchful eye. Brushing out the soot, sand, and mud from your weapons is time consuming and a bit mind numbing, but the quiet ritual feels welcome after a hard day’s work. 

Sawyer and Cort need a good deal more time for Pearl. A full day outside the fence means hours of maintenance even if they don’t find any problems. They get a good head start on tomorrow’s work. Cort points out a few parts needing replacement. As Sawyer reviews the final list, he’s relieved to note they are all items on hand.

Lt. Gormund shows up just after the lights go out across Canary, a necessary precaution that was brought in as part of the updated security protocols. No sense in lighting up the target for the Vetnan’s mortars and antiquated but still dangerous rocket launchers after sunset. So far the  firebase has avoided such attacks, but the risk is ever present. Full light suppression hasn’t been enacted, so flashlights and personal lamps are allowed.

Gormund knocks gently before entering, his face glowing red in the pale glow of his filtered light.

“2nd Squad. I should inform you this is an official debriefing despite the circumstances. But let’s keep it short and simple. You’re being recorded.”

The debrief doesn’t last long. Gormund asks a few questions, and the squad responds honestly about the events. The LT doesn’t seem to question the decisions made or actions taken. He hands over Hood’s dataslate and bids the team good night. One last job for Sawyer before bed. The slate checks out fine. It’ll require a few more simple steps to use, but there’s no question to piece is more secure; both from physical compromise and wireless. 

The next week passes without much incident. Two full days are spent clearing brush and light trees around Canary. A 48 hour patrol brings you deep into the DMZ via Early’s Valkyrie and a long 120km hike back to Canary, but it goes without incident other than Pearl getting a broken suspension arm that cuts the useful speed of the Venator down to a walking pace. Unfortunately, a replacement part will need to be flown in, so Pearl is out of action for another week or so. Cort won’t let Sawyer go easily, though. A bad driving decision sent a tree stump up between the wide wheels and the body and crushed the alloy strut. A steady stream of vitriol over the error got so annoying Hood even interjected after a couple hours.

There’s mixed news waiting for the squad back at Canary. It seems that B Company is finally getting some reinforcements, and not an insignificant amount. The three undersized companies on Vetna will be brought up to full strength next lunar cycle as Elysian command distributes the rookies straight out of training directly into the field. However, General Giap has captured one of the rare anti-air missile batteries dedicated to stopping off-world orbital landings, and the weapons are stored half a kilometer under the ground, unassailable by even the heavy shells of an Earthshaker. Plans are underway to bring in the landing via dozens of shuttle landings, but heavy equipment and the sheer number of flights needed are causing logistical nightmares. Even once the Elysians are in orbit, it’ll take weeks to get the transfer to ground completed safely. Still, the mood among the Elysians and the PDF alike is buoyant as the news circulates. 

The next day is set aside for refitting and maintenance. The entire squad’s gear is laid out over a dozen square meters of tarp as they meticulously go through each bit of equipment with sharp eyes. The job done, the squad settles in for a tinned lunch, the cold and goopy meal serving to dull even the most chipper atmosphere. 

The familiar scream of a Valkyrie in a spiral descent assails your ears as the daily supply run arrives. Soon after, Hecate bolts up in her seat as a figure steps toward the squad. 

“Great Emperor on the Throne! It’s Bookie and Crouch!”

The hulking guardsman approaches the team carrying a cooler dripping from condensation. Crouch pops out from behind him, grinning ear to ear. 

“We brought cold bia!”
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on April 05, 2017, 08:26:22 PM
Sitting in a back corner lazily playing a game of cards, Zurk's attention was directed toward the door by a nod from Sola before the names Bookie & Crouch are called out.  Sharing a look they both the bald guardsman perked up at the sound of cold beverages, but the medic remained relatively emotionless.  Ever since they first set foot in B Company, Hood talked about how great Bookie & Crouch were and how he and Sola were expendable. 

Part of him wanted to stand up and make a sarcastic introduction, but the other part of him just didn't care.  Turning his attention back to the cards, he tosses the cards over to Jace, "Just shut up and deal."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on April 06, 2017, 01:24:09 PM
Hood hops off his bunk and approaches the new arrivals. "Bookie! Crouch! Welcome home you two." He claps Bookie on his wide shoulders and gives him a careful appraisal. "I think your new scars make you even more attractive than last time I saw you."

He jerks a thumb towards the medic and his buddy. "This is Zurk and Sola. Zurk's a saw bones. Next time you get yourself shot up he'll make sure you don't use it as an excuse to get a few weeks rack time while we slog through the green."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on April 06, 2017, 01:33:26 PM
Bookie bends over to place the barrel of bia carefully onto the dirt, wiping his hands free of the cooler's moisture before stiffening into a salute.

"Sarge," he growls, voice like gravel. His eyes flick over the team, pausing only a fraction of a second longer on the two new additions. "I take it the cat's dead." Perhaps it's just the scarring down his face, but it looks like the big man's smiling.

A grinning Crouch barges past him to the table, only to recoil in mock horror at the food. "Ergh! As if sarge's flirting wasn't bad enough," he grumbles, "this is what they're feeding us now? What happened to Old Granny Ba!?! Shuffle up, Mara. Good to see yer. Pass us a bowl, will you Saw?"

He gestures over his shoulder at Bookie. "I tell yer, I am sick of that man. A hundred beautiful Vetnesse nurses bending over him and all he wanted to talk about was getting back to you lot and the front. If he talked at all." He shakes his head. "Doesn't know what's good for him, that's his problem."

"So - kill many Nannies whilst we were gone?"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on April 06, 2017, 03:48:40 PM
Hoods eyes flick nervously to the others and then back again. "One or two. Wasn't the same without you. You were better off out of it."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Brother Anselm on April 06, 2017, 04:37:35 PM
Sawyer grins and stands, too fast his legs connect upending his end of the table, he looks down sheepishly at the debris that spills onto the table and floor. without thinking he stoops down, crack! his forehead slams into the edge of the righted table edge.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on April 06, 2017, 06:33:16 PM
Hood takes the opportunity to change the subject. "Zurk we have a man down here."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on April 06, 2017, 08:50:51 PM
Hugo had just looked at his fresh hand of cards as Hood pointed them out to Bookie and Crouch.  Acknowledging their presence with a raised hand and a half-smile he redirected his attention back to the cards at hand before a loud bang echoed out the room as Sawyer's head met his table.  Already halfway out his seat as Hood called out, he muttered "Yeah, yeah..." in disbelief of the situation. 

Making his over to the operator he calls out, "Sawyer, you okay there buddy?"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on April 07, 2017, 02:46:13 PM
Crouch laughs, rolling his eyes. "Nothing changes. I said pass a bowl, not throw it on the ground, yer lummox."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on April 07, 2017, 04:31:21 PM
Hood goes to his foot locker and rummages around before pulling a box out, wrapped in burlap. "Here we are. Got a box of zubans here I picked up from a trader on our last furlow. Straight from the cloud farms back on Elysia. They'll go great with a bia and whatever meds Sawyer is on at the moment." He opens the box and rolls one of the cigars around on his bushy moustache. "Ah! That's the stuff. Where's the flamer?"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on April 13, 2017, 09:29:21 PM
The smoke is just beginning to settle in a heavy cloud over the barracks when Fan chirps in on comms, his voice serious.

“LT needs you in briefing, 2nd.”

Hecate looks at her sweating mug of bia with a sigh. 

“Of course he does,” she says, gulping down the rest as she stands.

The squad crams into the tight confines of the FDC, the heat overwhelming. Gormund’s back is turned as he inspects a regional map, comparing it to the dataslate in his hands. When he turns around, his eyes stay locked down on the slate.

“Okay, listen up. Real problem developed overnight. 1st Squad missed three check-ins over the last 20 hours.”

1st Squad is the premier team in Pegasus. Led by the only Master Sergeant in the company, Frane "Deck" Decian, close confidant of Captain Gerek and the most veteran guardsman in the regiment. While Gormund holds rank over Deck, there’s little question about who commands more respect and holds more tactical acumen. Standard procedure is a check in every six hours. Even if there is nothing to report, just a click to confirm comms is required. Missing one check isn’t unheard of. Two would be incredibly rare. Missing three means disaster.

“Last contact was here, 95 km from Firebase Sparrow. That’s the far end of their patrol. They had just finished an overnight at some overrun ruins and were about to head back. The mission was routine. Just a patrol, long loop.”

Looking at the map, the patrol ran deep in the DMZ, but nothing that isn't done by Pegasus regularly.

“Their Valkyrie has done a flyover of the route these last three hours. I'm afraid he saw two bodies near the ruins, both ours. No PDF troops close enough, so we go in and get our own. Good landing spot a couple clicks out for dropping the Sentinel. I’d have you fast rope in, but the canopy is just too damn thick. Sour and Early will be ready in fifteen minutes, so you’ve got to hurry. Oh. Right. Mission designation is Crystal Pirate. 1st Squad is Wind, 2nd Squad is Sun. Deployment point is Table, undecided extract point is Halo. Canary is Doorman. Any questions?”
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on April 15, 2017, 05:12:09 AM
"No sir." Hood goes way back with Decian. He is anxious to leave as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Brother Anselm on April 15, 2017, 07:48:32 AM
Decian, The man was a legend, if he was in trouble and needed help, if this mission went south, it didn't bear thinking about. Scoot was up to the mission, he'd had a long rest, I'm good, I think...  Sawyer shifted uneasily in his seat.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on April 17, 2017, 08:37:10 PM
Zurk let out a long exhale at the news.  He never spoke with Decian personally, but from second-hand stories and accolades, the man was certainly held in high regards by most.

"Just one question sir," he chimed in a few moments after Hood.  "How many were out on patrol in 1st? I know you said we got two confirmed down, but how many are we looking for in total?"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on April 17, 2017, 09:15:17 PM
Gormund nods, flipping through a couple screens of info on his dataslate.

"Master Sergeant, second in command is Corporal Tillian. Looks like they went out light a couple, but still eight total."

Tee. Hearts sink as Tillian is mentioned. Talio “Tee” Tillian was a member of 2nd squad back on Kastorel-Novem. He moved to 1st during the restructuring when the company was nearly destroyed. The man saved Hood's life more than once. Used to stay up late letting Bookie blather on on whatever mildly heretical paperback he had managed to find. Treated Mara like a kid sister in need of protection even though she is a couple years his senior, which drove her nuts and the rest of the squad to laughter.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on April 28, 2017, 12:54:26 PM
Crouch mutters a curse, then falls silent. Bookie just shifts his weight from one foot to the other. His eyes remain locked front, stone-grey, inexpressive, unreadable.

Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 02, 2017, 12:04:47 PM
"Permission to go rescue our comrades, sir." Says Hood. He just wants to get on with whatever happens next. Bringing home their bodies, rescuing them from a horde of orks, joining them in their graves. He just doesn't want to be standing here in front of Gormund while the lieutenant reads his data slate like he doesn't even know the names of the men and women serving under him.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on May 05, 2017, 09:01:24 PM
Gormund nods.

"The Emperor Protects," he intones.

Sour already sits with engines idling at the pads, the Mk. XI Accatran Sentinel slung underneath in a squat bundle. Sawyer has to contort himself to crawl into the pilot's seat, a feat he's always proud of accomplishing without smashing any of the array of levers, displays, and knobs that control the walker.

Early's Valkyrie screams down from a steep descent , flaring up at the last moment to slow, an unusual landing. As soon as the flier's skids touch the hard clay of Vetna, 2nd Squad is scrambling into the seats and buckling into place.

"Hold on to ya butts, 2nd." Early's voice chirps into your ears. "We're doing a corkscrew. Sour and I took a few shots earlier today."

A corkscrew ascent is a wild ride up, spiraling rapidly skyward to keep the Valkyrie's flight path directly above the firebase. It's fuel-inefficient and rough on the airframe, but keeps the transports safer from ground fire. By the time they leave Canary, they'll be nearly 2km up.

Even the most fit of the squad is wheezing a bit during the ascent, pushed back hard into the thinly cushioned seats, guts churning from the extra G's.  The level flight that comes soon after is a welcome relief. Early pipes in again.

"I haven't recced this place personally, but Grains said we can't drop right to the temple. No clear spots to land, no time to get a Cutter in place."

A Cutter is a giant 8,200 kilo bomb used to clear an LZ in the middle of the jungle in a split second. Filled with a slurried promethium derivative and tens of thousands of disc shaped submunitions, it can carve an 50m circle in the trees that allows a few Valkyries to land where moments ago there was only a canopy and dense undergrowth. The Sky Talon can just barely lift one if it skips any armament, even skipping shells for the heavy bolter.

"LZ is 1700m out from the temple. Unfortunately it's on the other side of a river, so you'll have to find a crossing. Doorman is ready to rain in assistance, but that damn bomber screwed up things so badly that we're still having trouble guiding the shots. Expect the steel rain to be a bit dangerous if you need it."

The Valkyrie shifts into a hard dive, Early giving an involuntary grunt.

"Here we are! LZ Table. Extract is Halo. We'll figure out where based on what you find."

The jungle rushes close to fill the windows as Early brings down the Valkyrie. The LZ is a small, abandoned farm, maybe 30m of ground hacked from the jungle with innumerable hours of labor and left to be taken over by the creeping green hell of foliage. A small, stilted hut and a handful of small storage sheds are all in ruins, victim to a fire some months back.

"Take care, Sun. We're popping back to refuel and lie in wait. An hour out when you're ready."

Hood tucks the dataslate into its pouch after reviewing the map as the squad disembarks, quickly forming a fire line to watch the treeline. The temple where 1st last called in is just north. The river Early mentioned is barely visible on his sat-map, so it can't be too big. Small enough to fit underneath the canopy. It lies about a kilometer ahead.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Brother Anselm on May 07, 2017, 08:00:25 AM
Sawyer shivers with excitement as the thrill of the mission envelops him, Scoot seems to pick up on his feelings as he rumbles in contentment, happy to be free again and operating under his own power. Sawyer glances down at his auspex, eyes scanning for anything out of the ordinary.
 'All systems operational sergeant, awaiting orders.'
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on May 09, 2017, 12:54:52 PM
Breathing an audible sigh of relief to be off the transport, Zurk mutters "I hate trips like that," to no one in particular.  Crouching to a single knee, he begins to scan the treeline, making sure they didn't land in the middle of a trap. 
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 09, 2017, 04:38:25 PM
"Okay Bookie's on point. Mara has the rearguard. Tactical advance to the river. Keep spread out and stay quiet. No way the sergeant got caught out by some Vetty insurgents. Whatever is out here is either very dangerous or very numerous. Or both. We find them - they don't find us."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on May 11, 2017, 03:37:37 PM
Bookie grunts in affirmative.

"Chief. Crouch, on me."

Rifles braced against their shoulders, the two scouts peel off from the fireline and advance on the forest.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on May 11, 2017, 08:27:03 PM
Progress through the bush is always a tricky game of balancing speed versus safety. A veteran unit like 2nd squad  led by a competent scout like Bookie is usually comfortable at 1-1.5km/h through the thick vegetation of Vetna- sometimes slower, sometime faster. Bookie knows from experience that the path of least resistance isn't always the best route when the fauna is willing to eat off your face and the VLA are happy to stick traps around every corner. In this case, an unspoken urgency pushes the pace considerably and Bookie is able to concentrate foremost on finding a path for the sentinel and getting to 1st.

The slow moving, 3-4m wide river soon comes into sight. The lush canopy almost completely covers the water from overhead, forming deep shadows along the banks. The near edge is gentle, but the far edge has a challenging meter high ledge to top, tangles of muddy roots snaking down into the brown water.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 14, 2017, 10:55:03 AM
Hood hunkers down in the overgrowth and scans the riverbank with his magnoculars. He thumbs his microbead. "I want overwatch positions from cover. It would be too easy to get ambushed here. Sawyer you got any ideas about how to cross this thing? Especially with the Sentinel. Would it be practical to cut some trees down for a bridge?"

Spoiler: show
IIRC the sentinel has a chain blade for cutting through undergrowth
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Brother Anselm on May 14, 2017, 02:14:22 PM
"A bridge would be a good option, if you guys didn't want to get wet, I wouldn't trust it with Scoot though"

Sawyer looks at the far bank with a frown. taking in the height and the roots, it would be next to impossible for Scoot to get a firm footing.

"Ok, we could try going up or down river, try to find a better place to ford, or, with the chain blade i could clear away the roots and stuff. then start cutting steps into the bank, both would consume time and the second option would be noisy. and then thats if this river is shallow enough for me to get across"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 14, 2017, 03:46:22 PM
"What would be the ETA on making a crossing? Even re-positioning by a click will cost us an hour that our comrades might not have." Hood looks into the waters, wondering what alien fauna might be down there.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on May 14, 2017, 06:15:51 PM
"Sarge," Zurk interjects, pausing just long enough to wipe the sweat from his brow, "Water doesn't look too deep.  Should be able to cross with little trouble. Hell, worse comes to worse, with enough line we can anchor up to Sawyer's rig to make sure we don't get washed away."  Pausing for a moment before stating the obvious he finally continues, "Not sure how we get that vehicle up there though."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 14, 2017, 06:46:10 PM
"That's what worries me. At the moment I'm thinking to drop a tree to get some of us across and create a beachhead, then get the sentinel up that rise. We could anchor it at the other side to get Sawyer up there. I'd rather take an axe to one of these boles than wade across. Throne knows what horrible monsters are in there. I'm open to suggestions though."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on May 14, 2017, 07:02:33 PM
"Suggestions on how to cross a river? Sorry Sarge, they didn't cover too much engineering in medical training," Zurk quips.  Adjusting his gear for a moment he continues, "Not sure how effective it would be, but we could tie some rations to a line and toss it in the water to see if anything nibbles.  And if nothing bites, that brown water might actually give flavor to the blasted things...Or you could just toss a couple grenades in spacing a few meters apart. Can't imagine anything living would want to hang around the area after that."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 14, 2017, 08:08:29 PM
Hood walks over to the sentinel and pops the supply bin. He takes out an axe and a bandolier of chemical flares. He swings the flares over his head to rest around his body and then takes one out, pops it, and quickly throws it in the river to see if it illuminates anything horrible.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on May 14, 2017, 08:24:58 PM
The flare sizzles for a moment as it hits the murk, sinking quickly. You can still see the ghostly-green glow under the water, but the silty, slow moving water is too thick for the flare to illuminate. It sinks to maybe 1.5m down and sits, barely visible.

Hecate is leaning over the edge watching closely when a ripple disturbs the turgid waters. The flare disappears in the blink of an eye. She stumbles back, her boot catching on a root, and falls down scrambling.

"You see that? Tell me you saw that!"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 15, 2017, 11:15:20 AM
"I saw it." Hoods walks up to a tree he judges to be of sufficient size to span the river and be used as a bridge by a trooper and starts chopping at it with the axe. Between chops he says: "We ford the river... cover the crossing... anchor the sentinel... with a winch line... use it to help... Sawyer climb up the bank."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Brother Anselm on May 17, 2017, 10:18:26 AM
"Thats a lot of hard work Sergeant Hood" Replies Sawyer as he takes in anchor points and begins cogitating weights and stress ratios. "With enough ropes, block and tackle and a bit of prayer, it shouldn't be a problem" Data slate in hand Sawyer slips into a fugue like state as he puts his thoughts into readable reality.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on May 17, 2017, 03:08:58 PM
"Where engineering... is concerned... you're the boss... Sawyer..." Hood is already regretting smoking that Zuban cigar as he continues to hack at the tree.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on May 27, 2017, 11:50:11 AM
Crouch grins. "Betcha you wish you packed more than one axe, eh sarge?" Shouldering forwards, he reaches out his hand with a wink. "Hand it over, boss. This is a young man's job."

Bookie's already hunkered down in the bushes on the bank. His ghillie suit blends with the jungle leaves as he scans the far side of the river through his gun-sight.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Thevshi on June 12, 2017, 12:57:13 PM
Mara had been rather quite since the briefing, the news that 1st Squad was missing had seemed to hit her hard.  Of course that did not stop her from focusing on her job as 2nd Squad went into action to try to find their missing comrades. 

As the squad came to the river, Mara signaled Brosnan to move in closer toward the squad as she found a shaded section of jungle and activated the chameleoline coating for her Carapace armor.  She then focused on the jungle behind them, watching for any sign they were being followed.

"Everything is quite back her so far."  She stated over the squat Vox in a low voice.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on June 13, 2017, 09:30:47 PM
The work goes quickly, though the squad is dripping wet with sweat by the time Sawyer uses the Sentinel to push the thick trunk across the slow moving water. The crossing is tense. Mara and Bookie stay in overwatch while the others cross. Anchoring Sawyer gives him enough leverage to make the high edge without much trouble, the Pathfinder's actuators whining as the wide feet claw for traction in the mud. Multi-fuel engine protesting loudly at the strain, he gingerly crests the edge with a nervous eye cast back to the water. Almost 40 minutes has passed since they reached the riverbank.

Soon the jungle is broken now and again by the outlines of age-old structures, so overgrown that a novice might think them rocks. They grow more dense and defined as 2nd Squad approaches the target site, at times peaking through the mossy growth to reveal time-worn decorative carvings in ancient stone.

Bookie notices the first sign of 1st Squad. An Elysian can be seen ahead, propped up against a tree. As the scout calls for a halt, Mara whispers in the comms. "Another. 20m left."

A second guardsman is face down in the undergrowth.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on June 20, 2017, 06:28:52 PM
Hearing the words that they've made contact with the first (of what was most likely to be many) guardsmen causalities, Zurk began immediately scanning the horizon, searching for possible ambush parties on the perimeter as he awaited Hood's orders.  No doubt he would need inspect the bodies, but given that they've already given their life for the Emperor, he didn't see the need to rush to their side.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on June 21, 2017, 04:59:07 PM
Hood thumbs his comm bead. "Spread out. Covering positions. Watch for ambushers, watch for traps." He takes a knee and uses his scope to scan for anything suspicious. He's keenly aware the Elysians may still have life in them and every second counts but 2nd squad will be no good to them dead. Once he is satisfied they aren't walking into a trap he says: "Zurk check the bodies. Mara see if you can pick up a trail or anything that might tell us what happened here."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Thevshi on June 22, 2017, 11:59:29 AM
Mara had resisted the urge to rush toward the downed Elysian she had spotted, knowing full well that it was likely already too late and that this could be a trap.  She scanned the jungle area around the body, looking for any sign of hostiles.

"Understood."  Mara replied when Hood gave his orders.  "Watch for booby-traps."  She added in warning as she activated her chameleoline coating again and moved to start a sweep of the area around the bodies to look for any signs of what happened. 
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on July 04, 2017, 02:50:31 PM
Stopping dead in his tracks at the sight of the fallen guardsmen, Bookie sinks wordlessly onto one knee, ghillie-suited outline merging with the shadows of the tall jungle grass. Three paces behind him, Crouch does the same, his eyes nervously scanning the all-surroudning tangle of branches and ruin.

Spoiler: show
That's testing vs 43 (Per 33 +10 for eyesight), either Survival or Awareness, to spot traps, ambushers etc. And vs 50 on Stealth +10 to try and hide in the grass.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on July 05, 2017, 06:19:33 PM
"Watch my six," Zurk whispered over his shoulder to Sola after hearing Hood's command.  Slowly he crept toward the first body, his eyes shifting between the horizon and the fallen guardsman before them.  He half expected this to be an ambush of some type, though whether it came from a party in the treeline or a booby-trapped corpse he felt was a toss up. 

Reaching the body, he stops just short of being able to reach it before taking a knee and eyeing over every inch of the body, looking for any signs of a buried land mine or other such dangers.

Spoiler: OOC • show
Not sure if you need me to make a roll or not for that.  Not quite inspecting the body *just* yet
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Bobitron on July 05, 2017, 08:29:34 PM
Zurk gets within 5m of the Elysian before making a decision the poor soul is in the Emperor's hands. A handful of holes from a high caliber projectile weapon cross the front of her armor. A huge bug, probably 4 cm long, is hungrily digging a burrow into her face.

A glance over at the second shows he fares no better, this time shot in the back. Zurk's stomach at the thought of the thousands of eggs the cloud of flies hovering over the corpse must have lain at this point.

Bookie sinks into the undergrowth so well that for a second even Hood loses sight of him. Mara slinks slowly around the perimeter, finding dozens of tracks. There was so much activity that tracing an individual would be damn near impossible. She spots a few larger ruined buildings nearby through the trees, perhaps 50m further. It would be tough to observe much there without getting closer- the jungle has done an impressive job reclaiming the bastion of religion and civilization over the last couple hundred years. She also sees another dead Elysian toward the ruins, head a bloody mass under a splintered helmet.

Zurk careful checks for traps, ensuring his safety before performing a closer inspection of the bodies, going through the steps drummed into his head despite the obvious. Both troopers are wearing full gear and have weapons nearby. The nametags read Frencis and Duluth.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on July 07, 2017, 12:43:17 PM
Hood creeps up behind Zurk, seeing Bookie give the all clear. He takes the proffered name tags and puts them in a pouch. Looking over the bodies he says: "They left their gear. Doesn't look like Vetties did this to me. They're fighting a guerilla war and they can't afford to be picky." Over the squad comms he says: "Let's check the ruins ahead. Bookie and Mara take flanking positions while we follow up. Sawyer have a look at the wounds as you come through. See if you can tell us anything about the weapons we're up against."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on July 08, 2017, 02:49:27 PM
As Bookie leads him off to cover the left flank, Crouch whispers over the squad comm. "Who was it, sarge?" It's no secret he's owed gambling debts by half of 1st squad. "Sarge?"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on July 08, 2017, 03:47:47 PM
"Duluth. And Frencis." Hood makes the sign of the Aquila. Completely misreading Crouch's  interest he clenches his fist and vows: "Don't worry. We'll get payback for them."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on July 09, 2017, 12:02:48 PM
Arising from his kneeling position, Zurk scans the horizon once again, trying to find the ruins mentioned.  "Whoever it was, they are well armed - at least for Vetties. Those are high caliber rounds. Most likely from a bolter weapon of some sort. I reckon they stumbled into the ambush and this one was dead before they hit the ground.  The other one probably shot in the back as they fled for cover.  Or ran....Hard to say."

His mind wandered about the group's past, before Zurk and Sola joined 2nd.  In order to prevent Jace from overhearing, he turning his comms off for the moment, leans in and whispers to Hood, "Sarge, I may be overstepping my bounds here, but is there any chance this looks like the work of that Bollaxus creature you all tangled with?"
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on July 09, 2017, 01:26:14 PM
Hood's usually dark features have gone slightly pale when he turns to regard Zurk. "Not Bollaxus... no." He hunkers down behind cover, hand out to steady himself on a piece of fallen rockrete.  "By the light of the Throne... could it be?" Over the comms he says: "Hold up. I've got a sick feeling about what could have done this. I hope I'm wrong but all the signs point to Adeptus Astartes."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Perius on July 09, 2017, 02:07:20 PM
Crouch's muttered curse is lost in Zurk and Hood's chatter. Ahead of him, Bookie pauses, activates his comm-bead.

"Plenty of other rounds are high calibre. Nannies are just getting well-armed, that's all. Either way, they killed Elysians. That makes them tangos.

"In position to keep advancing, boss. On your word."
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Brother Anselm on July 09, 2017, 04:36:31 PM
With more than a little irritation Sawyer brings Scoot into a kneeling position and releases his safety harness, with consummate ease born of experience he dismounts from the Pathfinder. With a wary scan of the undergrowth he advances towards the nearest corpse. kneeling next to the decomposing body nearly causes him to retch, flies erupt from it and surround both living and dead, their buzzing and close proximity doing nothing for Sawyers highly strung nerves, with leather clad gloves and Auspex he probes the wounds, bile fills his mouth as he disturbs the maggots that infect them. Sawer spits and clamps his mouth shut, resolved to get the examination over as quickly as possible so he is able to move on to the next corpse. With his expertise in ballistics tech he'll uncover the type of weapon that killed them. "Anyone seen any spent ammo casings anywhere?' Voxed Sawyer through clenched teeth.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Colonel Blood on July 09, 2017, 05:46:05 PM
"The word is given but... be very careful." Hood rises into a half crouch and follows his soldiers into the jungle. Maybe he's starting at shadows but all the signs point to space marines: the bolter wounds, the lack of interest in stripping the bodies, their ability to ambush an elite Elysian unit... no way a Vettie partisan took down the Master Sergeant.
Title: Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
Post by: Padre on July 09, 2017, 09:13:31 PM
Zurk remained silent after the Sarge's seemingly wild proclamation.  Part of him wanted to press the matter with Hood, but the other half knew that he didn't exactly have the full story on 2nd before their arrival.  With an uneasy look on his face as Hood takes off, he gives a nod over to Jace to join them as he switches his comms back on before silently following behind the sergeant.