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Author Topic: Chapter 6: M.I.A.  (Read 3327 times)

Perius

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #15 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.

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Colonel Blood

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #16 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.
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Bobitron

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #17 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.
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Brother Anselm

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #18 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.'
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Padre

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #19 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. 
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Lesson Learned: When a girl you're courting says she's looking forward to a hot night on the town, that doesn't mean arson

Colonel Blood

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #20 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."
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Perius

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #21 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.
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Bobitron

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #22 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.
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Colonel Blood

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #23 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
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Brother Anselm

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #24 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"
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 02:18:53 PM by Brother Anselm »
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Colonel Blood

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #25 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.
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Padre

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #26 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."
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Lesson Learned: When a girl you're courting says she's looking forward to a hot night on the town, that doesn't mean arson

Colonel Blood

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #27 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."
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Padre

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #28 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."
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Lesson Learned: When a girl you're courting says she's looking forward to a hot night on the town, that doesn't mean arson

Colonel Blood

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Re: Chapter 6: M.I.A.
« Reply #29 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.
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