[Hiroshi Okubo – Lifeline]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFhMGXI6B9kYour name is Samuel Armistead. You are a drafted soldier for the Vereinigte Commonwealth, a trans-continental government that holds territory on the East Coast of America, the most of Europe and Northern Africa. Your war machine of non-choice is a Panzermagd: Literally “Tank Maid”, this 5 meter bipedal machine is used to provide security, surveillance, engineering and skirmishing support to the mainstays of the VC military, the massive Panzerknecht combat mechs.You have been given your first assignment, along with your team mates Jennings and Lis, under the bleeding-edge artillery knight Durga piloted by an enigmatic pilot with the same name. Assisting you in this assignment is the Aerial Knight Sigyn, flown by the career officer Alex. In the past week, you’ve taken up the ground covered by the Tennhauser, and engaged in his rescue after being ambushed by a decent sized contingent of IRH mechs. After being cornered by VC political officer known as Hawke, you are being made aware that your situation is far more complicated than it seems.The feeling has likely spread across the entire theater at this point, as you have discovered that the IRH staging ground you have been tasked to destroy mobilized under the cover of a new IRH machine: An electronic warfare machine that’s cut communications to untenable ranges. No doubt the IRH lance previously stationed here, along with its mechanized infantry complement is currently laying siege to Kyiv, opposed only by the crippled Tennhauser. This leaves your team up against 4 IRH Hound Anti-Knight mecha, a full wing of IRH Locust fast attackers, an emplacement of infantry and a strange new IRH machine, with unknown equipment (Beyond a very obvious signal jammer.)Current Loadout:01 [Samuel]: Coil Gun, AI/AS Missiles, EW Package02 [Jennings]: 30mm Gatling, Heavy Armor, Shell Projector03 [Lis]: Coil gun, AT Missiles, Heavy ArmorLast Known Positions: Magd Team: In proximity to the Lubny IRH forward communications site. 03 approximately 300 meters forward, spotting targets in the city. Currently unnoticed by 4 IRH Hounds and 1 IRH Unknown medium knight. CurrentDurga + Sigyn: 10-15 kilometers south of Lubny, skirmishing with 5 IRH Locusts. CurrentVC conventional assault towards Lubny: UnknownTennhauser: City of Kyiv. Last contact during morning brief.
>>2751803“Lis, hold off on the targetter. If they’ve got fancy toys in the field, we’re going to try to keep this a lil’ quiet. Get grid references and start range finding. Get the Hounds and the infantry, I’m going to try to get an offset range on the unknown bogey.”Lis pings back an affirmative and the you can see the data immediately begin to shape up. “Jennings, stay on the point to point with the Sigyn and relay the data. Move up towards Lis in case she gets made but be discrete.”“Ain’t I always? Copy. Don’t go getting yourself stomped out there.” He puts his Magd into a relaxed lope, leaving little but the bass thump of his footfalls to give away his passing.“We don’t know how much time the Greys have been alone with the other IRH forces. The sooner we take these guys down, the better it’ll be for our guys.” You boot into your E.War systems, keeping a special eye on the IRH Unknown Medium Knight. You set bearings for the IRH Unknown Medi-Fuck that.“Designating IRH Unknown Medium Knight ‘Cicada’,” You wonder if the name’ll stick, “I’m approaching.”The Cicada is broadcasting a rather impressive range of frequencies in an incredibly complex pattern. You don’t know enough about Sigint to go into detail, but the waveforms are mesmerizing and intricate, resembling an equalizer more than noise.You carefully approach the city, drifting West in case you draw attention; Last thing you need is to drag an enemy back to your main observer; You still feel a bit bad about Lis baiting the Locust a few days prior. It wasn’t your fault, but you shudder to think how that one could have gone bad.When you get close enough, you can see the medium machine towering over the landscape, closer in resemblance to a tourist attraction than a combat machine. You carefully laze the adjacent building it is using as shelter. The results are less than stellar: Despite the improved equipment on your machine, the data is garbage, thrown up to a hundred meters high or low by some interference. You test the equipment against a nearby tree and confirm that the anomaly is localized to the Cicada.It’s not going to be any good for a precise strike: Definitely better than blind guessing, but still.>Make a guess at the error and arbitrarily assign the distance: Likely inaccurate>Align using your compass to triangulate: Requires getting close and risking exposure.>Triangulate using another Magd’s position: Risks garbled data-transmission or interception.>Adjust your array to try to cut the interference: Low risk but takes time.
>>2751811Voting time is 30 minutes, Ties resolved by rolling off. All prompts may include or be replaced by write ins.Previous Threadshttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=panzermagd
>>2751811>Adjust your array to try to cut the interference: Low risk but takes time.Once we properly eliminate the jammer, then we can go loud. Before that, we're too likely to be make disorganized if a hastier shot doesnt make it
>>2751811>Align using your compass to triangulate: Requires getting close and risking exposure.
>>2751811>Triangulate using another Magd’s position: Risks garbled data-transmission or interception.
>Triangulate using another Magd’s position: Risks garbled data-transmission or interception.Getting close seems foolhardy, and taking too long to set up a perfect shot is time we might be getting cut off at Kyiv. I'd also assume that a shot close enough to force the Cicada to move would disrupt the ewar package it's pumping out - a super complex signal will be disturbed by changes in position.
>>2751863>>2751830Remember that if we get a garbled transmission we won't get anything out of it. Durga won't know where to shoot and we wasted more time than the array adjust.
>>2751863>>2751830>"I got a C in Trig; I'll have Lis do the math.">>2751826>Align using your compass to triangulate: Requires getting close and risking exposure.>>2751825>Adjust your array to try to cut the interference: Low risk but takes time.ROLL: 1d100 BO3
Rolled 4 (1d100)>>2751923
Rolled 5 (1d100)>>2751930fag>>2751923
Rolled 6 (1d100)>>2751923
>>2751930>>2751933>>2751936BEST: 06Wew lad...Writing.
>>2751944“Lis, I’m getting interference on the Cicada. Can you get a bearing for it?” You take a final reading and key in the vector.“Cicada? Oh. Sure, He’s 05- The fuck?” You look up and the machine is gone… Well, that’s not quite it: The visual overlay shows that the machine hasn’t yet moved an inch, but as far as signals are concerned, there’s a deadzone large enough to cover the machine and the surrounding area, engulfing the nearby hotel and surrounding plaza in a sphere clear of readings. Ventilation ports along the lower axis of the machine glow brightly, betraying the sudden power kick.A feeling creeps up your spine, not all that dissimilar to the sight of the rail of a Locus swinging towards you. You don’t wait to second guess it. You send what you have and throw your Magd into a run back and away from the team.You feel your skin catch fire, an excruciating feeling as every inch of your right side burns. You feel a scream die in your lungs as your system rebels from the pain. You feel your body blister and crack and shatter into a million pieces. Your world goes white as you feel the machine stumble under your feet.You’re dead.
>>2752142You hear a loud hiss, which jolts you from your brief experience of hell. There’s a sizzle as some small internal fire is quenched. You tear off your goggles and swear, as you are made acutely aware of every nerve on your right side. There’s a puddle of water in the bottom of the cockpit, colored red from the sealing Shell that likely stopped the associated leak. You kick on your air anyways, clearing the cloying, acrid haze of rubber and steam for the dryness of the chemical scrubber. You take a deep breath.You punch the control for the backup screen and are greeted with the surface of some murky water. Your nav ball suggests you’ve flipped, which should have been obvious from your harness digging in, but you’re willing to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. The C3 system is throwing angry warnings, especially about the master warning klaxon, which you assume is under an inch of water, and particularly unhappy about it. You’re grateful for the silence however, as you can feel a headache coming on.System check clears.; A bunch of redundant relays got blown on your right side and your E.War package isn’t responding, but you gingerly return the helmet to your head and reboot. You wince anyways, the skin is hot and red on your arm, you won’t be surprised if it’s the same across.You’re lying halfway submerged in a stock pond. Your telepresence system warns you about blind spots where optics on your side are blown. You initiate a recovery pose and feel the machine roll under you, balancing between its legs and manipulator arms to get three points of contact. Your machine stands unsteadily, and you step up onto the bank.
>>2752143You’re at the edge of a clearing. It puzzles you for a moment until you look to the city and see the Cicada still standing tall, right where you left it. Instant landscaping aside, you decide to take cover back in the remaining treeline, slipping past dying trees and smoldering vegetation.On your right side, your machine looks like it was sandblasted. The electronic equipment suffered the worst: For a moment you think the modular couple may have discarded the gear, but at the right angle, you can see that not much remains past the locking collar, which, along with the sunburn from hell, is a pretty good hint that you just got nuked like a TV dinner. That probably explains the lack of a radio.When you get some distance away, you fire an optical PTP transmission south. Sigyn immediately pings back, routing the signal.“Jesus fuck Sam! Where are you?!?” Lis sounds livid.“Right where I left me. How long?” “Twenty; We withdrew when the forest exploded.” Jennings doesn’t have any of his typical levity.“I think it’s an Area-Denial system turned up to 11; My sensors and radio are slagged, and I- urgh- got a nice tan out of the deal.” You adjust your harness and flinch, you can feel some of your suit is sticking to your side.“Are you clear?” Durga, the words clinical but the tone definitely not. Your little monitor appears to be a casualty of your data rate, but she sounds a touch hoarse.“How clear do I need to be?” You push up the motors, adjusting to compensate for a list in the hip joint. Probably a bearing that ruptured.“Well, when you went dark, the Locusts broke from Durga and tried to catch us on the run. Durga cored one and winged another as they came in. We don’t think they’re gonna to regroup and come back inside the hour, so she took the time with Sigyn to plot a scattershot. She’s going to burn down Lubny as soon as she knew you were out. She would have done it earlier if we didn’t think you might have been downed inside city limits,” Jennings coughs, “You’re welcome by the way.”>Let’s stick to a tactical strike: We might not kill him, but we could drive it off if we walk fire.>Burn it down; I’m not sending anyone closer to a weapon that goes through armor.>We wasted too much time: Call it off and go help Kyiv.
>>2752145Lubny doesn't have any Greys does it?
>>2752149You don't know, but you didn't see any.It's possible they were hiding, but there's no good way to tell unless you want to get close enough and see if anyone wants to transmit.
>>2752145>>2752151well that settles itBurn it down; I’m not sending anyone closer to a weapon that goes through armor.
>>2752145>>Burn it down; I’m not sending anyone closer to a weapon that goes through armor.
>>2752145>Burn it down; I’m not sending anyone closer to a weapon that goes through armor.
>>2752163>>2752158>>2752155>"Fuck these guys. I didn't like the Ukraine anyways.Writing
>>2752231“Fuck ‘em. Fire at will.”“Call her off. Not our call.” Sigyn’s message flashes over on the C3. “Nah; She’s got the right idea. It’s a bit drastic, but so’s this whole front if we don’t get that jammer down.”“Homes? Businesses?”“The people are evacuated. The city was going to be destroyed the moment the IRH decided to put their jammer smack dab in the middle of the city.” You tack across towards the previous clearcut. “Get some altitude and sight in for Durga. If you want to limit the damage, help her eyeball it.”You make it back to the original clearcut you followed up towards Lubny. You can see where Durga had advanced rather closer than you would have liked. She probably considered it optimum range for a saturation attack. You see Sigyn drift out of the way of the Durga at a speed best described as reluctant. No sooner did she clear when the cannons began charging. You piggyback on Sigyn’s sensors to watch the attack.The first rounds are directed directly into Lubny proper and land wide, eliminating entire buildings at once. The second volley is nearly on target. You see one of the projectiles blossom into a glittering cloud where you assume the Cicada directed its wave gun. Inwardly, you muse that it’s probably the intended purpose: A wide sweep would rupture propellant tanks, slag optics and guidance as well as detonate charges. Of course, that’s a classic excuse: Like the old wives tale about using anti-material rifles to “deny” enemy soldiers the use of their helmets. No doubt if the Greys ever got this far, they would have swept them like chaff.“Movement. Hounds along the west perimeter. Light vehicles evacing north and west.” Sigyn reports, deliberately applying green nav tags on the fleeing vehicles instead of the typical red targets. “Acknowledged.” The Durga’s cannons shift slightly and the lances go skyward, “They should be handled.”Sigyn is conspicuously silent. You grimace: If it wasn’t before, that’s going to be a fight later.
>>2752417You see the Hounds moving up to interpose between the vehicles, but their rails do nothing to intercept Durga’s projectiles, ripping through their semi-solid structure without imparting any significant force. The rounds hit home, skipping over the heavy machine’s charges. You can see the surface of their armor glow, but with the more rapid output and distance, most of the machines are not significantly harmed. One of them stumbles into the impact site however, and you hear the deep throated rumble as his ammunition and fuel ignites. The remaining machines tramp away at best speed, occasionally stepping through buildings on the outskirts in their haste.Durga however returns her focus to the Cicada and its charge. The next volley is dead on. The lead plasmoid projectile poofs into a dispersed cloud like before, but the next two strike the hotel dead on, smashing through the roof without slowing. For a surprisingly long moment, the rounds don’t seem to react, like they’ve forgotten what they were there for. There’s a loud crack as an electrical arc opens along the side of the spindly Knight, and the tardy artillery erupts, bathing the area in its incandescent payload. The machine makes good on an attempt to escape the doomed building, but its locomotion fails it, and it falls hard on its side, only barely outside the lethal zone. While your systems are crippled, you can hear the communication open up through Durga and Sigyn’s systems. There are immediate and desperate calls for fire support along the Kyiv outskirts, along with substantial casualty reports.You are eager to take advantage of this lull, but you do not lose the presence of mind to check on Durga, even with your limited bandwidth. She’s much like before, but moreso; drenched in sweat and gasping for air. It provokes a pang of concern, not unlike the thoughts you have when you think of your sister back home. Even as she draws herself back up and takes control of herself, you wonder if she’s really in a condition to continue.>Refocus on Kyiv: Job’s done here, and Durga can field the more distant targets from here.>Finish off the E.War Knight: He’s likely dead, but another volley or three will ensure a direct hit.>Fire on the retreating Hounds: They’re not going to threaten you or yours again.>Regroup: Force Durga to rest. Her immediate response won’t mean a thing if her immediate response is to pass out.>Split tasks: Sigyn can possibly handle one task while Durga can do another.
>>2752421>Refocus on Kyiv: Job’s done here, and Durga can field the more distant targets from here.
>>2752421>Fire on the retreating Hounds: They’re not going to threaten you or yours again.
>>2752421>Regroup: Force Durga to rest. Her immediate response won’t mean a thing if her immediate response is to pass out.
Kyiv really needs help guys
>>2752421>Refocus on Kyiv: Job’s done here, and Durga can field the more distant targets from here.Kyiv, ho!
>>2752423>>2752499"Eyes on the prize; Just a lil' further.">>2752433>Fire on the retreating Hounds: They’re not going to threaten you or yours again.>>2752455>Regroup: Force Durga to rest. Her immediate response won’t mean a thing if her immediate response is to pass out.ROLL: 1d100 BO3BONUS: There's some friction and fatigue going around. How should Sam encourage the team?
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>2752505Bonus: With lube.
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>2752505Bonus: We got boys out there counting on us. Let's give one final effort (if this indeed the last part of this engagement)
Rolled 51 (1d100)>>2752505promise drinks at the end of the op
>>2752509>>2752510>>2752512BEST: 75BONUS: "Look, just a bit more. We'll take the boys in grey back to a city that's not on fire and have a liter."Don't think I forgot about the other suggestion.Writing.
>>2752518>Don't think I forgot about the other suggestion.[Worry]
>>2752518I'm going to be honest with myself and end the session. My writing for tonight has declined below standards. I'll find some time to finish this next update "today". Please bear with me.Next Session is going to be Thursday the 26th at 5pm EST, to give me time for a statics exam.Thank you for participating!
>>2752417>The first rounds are directed directly into Lubny proper and land wide, eliminating entire buildings at once. The second volley is nearly on targetPoint of order, with a battery you use a single gun firing a single round at a time to walk on, and only once you've got the correct adjustments, THEN you fire for effect with all the guns. Firing all the guns during the adjust phase is just wasteful.Artillery is a ridiculously mathematical science, and as long as you have correct firing data for one gun, and correct location data for all of your guns, the firing data for the others can be extrapolated.Nowadays they mostly use fancy computers for it, but (at least as of when I was still in a couple years ago) you learn to do it the old fashioned way in training. Both so you understand what the computer's doing and are better equipped to troubleshoot it when it inevitably fucks up (as military computer systems always do). And so you know how to do it the hard way if the computer is all the way down, so the battery can still provide fires.
>>2752638This is understood. It was also willfully ignored by Durga for a reason.
>>2752638A JTAC i had the pleasure of working with was good enough to be able to call in 3 separate fire missions on 1 target from 3 separate batteries and have them land first round volleys without adjustment in simultaneous impact.
>>2752518“Sigyn, keep relaying map data to Durga and keep our west flank, Those Hounds aren’t turning back, but I wouldn’t put it past the Locusts.” You finally reach Durga’s position. You see a small berm of Shell where Jennings and Lis set up to weather the Locust’s previous strike. Its surface is pockmarked from the AT missiles. “On the bright side we got Lubny right?” Jennings moves from cover to join you. “You look like hell.”“Rough neighborhood.” You quip.“What do we do from here?” Lis drops a ping on Lubny, “All of our targets were supposed to be there.”“We can take the road up and hit designated targets as we approach. Grey’s guns are probably still hitting forward positions, so we’ll take the south and west targets one at a time.” You pass along the directive to Sigyn, who immediately begins relaying back targets.You glance at Durga. She’s gathered herself up again, no doubt in a moment she’ll chime in and gloss over her distress . “We’ll take it ~at your pace~ Durga.” You stress those words heavily: If she’s only really listening to you here, you’re going to make sure she stays functional.She takes one more deep breath and responds “Alright. Sustained fire then. I am ready.”“Hold it together Durga; We’ll rout these IRH, ride back to Kyiv and have a good laugh over a few drinks.” You smile, choosing to share the invisible gesture on principle.“Going to need more than a few,” Lis deadpans.
>>2754112Without the cover of the jammer, the IRH forces found themselves in a fork of their own creation. While bullying Durga south of Lubny had kept the heavy weapons off their backs, it put her in a good position to arrest their logistics and devastate their batteries. Worse still, the general disorder suggested that the strike on Lubny had caught or driven off a major portion of their forward command, leaving them to their doctrinally inferior local commanders. When the remaining enemy Knight-class elements withdrew to cut their losses, the VC infantry pressed forward under the support of the Magds that were deployed to repair and rearm the Tennhauser. There was only moderate levels of resistance, especially where Durga’s impressive firepower put the fear of god into the abandoned soldiers.For your part, you spent most the next seven hours twiddling your thumbs. There was contact with a lone Locust north of Lubny at the 2 hour mark, but Sigyn would not engage out of concern of the enemy pulling her out of position to target Durga. Regardless, you were given orders to move back towards Kyiv along the road between fire missions, making another investigative foray impossible.To her credit, Durga maintained a respectable pace, maintaining a steady queue of fire missions with, as far as the Greys were concerned, impressive effect. You had to rein her in once when she tried to catch up with the queue, but as far as you could tell, her condition had stabilized: The longer setup between volleys was naturally bottlenecking her fire rate, and the lighter anti-personnel/materiel charges seemed to take less out of her. A sense of déjà vu colored the timeframe. When you set aside your earlier misadventure with the Cicada, the whole thing followed the general “Hurry up and wait” of training. Of course, the underlying reality of the endangered VC troops eliminated the comic aspects: You weren’t just wasting tax dollars out here. Your frustrations would only go unanswered however: No amount of wishful thinking was going to drive the engagement to a close faster, unless someone out there had box of Instant Panzerknecht for this very occasion.The sun was pushing over west when Sigyn informed you that targets had dried up. Your watch told you it was scarcely 5:00.>Scan the perimeter and take a break; According to the tac map you’re clear enough.>Rotate coverage to give your people the time to recharge>Push back to Kiev immediately: Empty ground is not safe ground.>Coordinate with a local unit of Greys to split the ground: You can catch a breather behind friendly lines.
>>2754114>>Coordinate with a local unit of Greys to split the ground: You can catch a breather behind friendly lines.
>>2754114>Coordinate with a local unit of Greys to split the ground: You can catch a breather behind friendly lines.
>>2754114>Coordinate with a local unit of Greys to split the ground: You can catch a breather behind friendly lines
>>2754112>>Rotate coverage to give your people the time to recharge
>>2754161>>2754172>>2754213>>2754403>Coordinate with a local unit of Greys to split the ground: You can catch a breather behind friendly lines.>>2754491>>Rotate coverage to give your people the time to rechargeSorry i'm late, got excited with pre-writing. Closing vote in 15.
>>2760735>"It's Märzen time!... Or probably just powdered coffee in warm water."Writing
>>2760806“Sigyn, relay a vector towards the nearest main-line of the mechanized; we’re taking a break.”“Remain on station?” Sigyn’s question takes a moment to parse.“No, we’re still on task: The Greys aren’t making it to Lubny, so we’re going back to them. Ah, call it a strong suggestion Durga.” You tab back to her: Thankfully she’s better, less struggle than simple exertion. She looks no less exhausted.“Affirmative… I agree.” She lifts her visor to wipe her brow. “We can find a field behind the main body to let Sigyn land as well.”“Great.” is her response in a cheery voice. You’re rather sure Durga’s little kludge failed to catch the context.Leading the Durga back demonstrated the sheer chaos that had erupted under the IRH jammer. You’re glad to note a lack of VC wreckage along this particular road however; probably due to your decisive strike against the armored column nearly seven hours ago. The ground dries out relatively quickly, allowing you to pace back at a reasonable rate. You’re surprised a few times, but in every case, it’s startled wildlife, no doubt panicked by the fighting. It’s another hour and a half before you hit VC patrols. They’re a haggard bunch, with an edge on them from their losses, but they’re cordial enough: They relay the thanks from the 4th company near Varva; Your destruction of the Cicada and subsequent fire support got them out of a rather nasty pincer involving one of the Hounds.As you advance, the detritus of battle becomes more apparent: obsolete machinery by the dozen decisively struck down with clean and precise blows, with the occasional VC machine utterly mangled by blow after blow, less penetrated than hammered into non-functionality. A number of machines were chalked with symbols, indicating their remaining functionality when the crew bailed for medical or other purposes. An untrained eye would call it an overwhelming victory for the VC, but anyone in the know would call it even: The IRH machines were an order of magnitude cheaper, and recently they had begun fielding rudimentary “slave’ tanks, which meant the numerical disparity wasn’t nearly as telling as you could hope.Another seven kilometers behind, you reached a checkpoint aligned across a raised highway. A bare field a half click behind was an serviceable landing zone for the Sigyn, while Durga had little difficulty stepping over the earth berm some meters offsides. A short chat with the officer in charge gave you the lay of the land and some more appetizing rations than the crisis kit stowed under your seat. By the time you’d gotten up to speed, Jennings reported that he had retrieved Alex from Sigyn and lashed up a tarp on 02 to give some shade. You send Lis off with the rations and move to collect Durga.
>>2760904You spend the time walking over trying to decide how to extract Durga from her machine in case she’s worse off than expected. You’re on plan G, discarded for lacking dignity when you spot her descending on a rigid man lift built alongside the 9’o clock leg. You silently chide yourself for the ridiculous thought exercise, even as you file the idea: the paranoia may come in handy in an emergency, although you hope to never find her missing the necessary limbs for the standard egress.You shift to offer your left shoulder to her, and she embarks with some hesitation before she locates the safe step and tie in. You consider informing her of the communicator at that position; hopefully it still works after your experience with the Cicada.>Interrogate: You need to know what’s up with her before you meet up with the rest of the team, much less when you have to give your AAR.>Comfort: She was having a rough time up there; She might appreciate your private concern instead of addressing it in front of the group.>Reassure: You get the feeling she was rather upset by your short MIA; She’d be better off if she was more certain of your (relative) health.>Bond: Make small talk to feel out her status. No point making it heavy if it doesn’t have to be.>Ignore: Stay more or less quiet; You can talk when you’re all together.>Write in?
>>2760909>>Reassure: You get the feeling she was rather upset by your short MIA; She’d be better off if she was more certain of your (relative) health.
>>2760909>Reassure: You get the feeling she was rather upset by your short MIA; She’d be better off if she was more certain of your (relative) health.
>>2760909>Bond: Make small talk to feel out her status. No point making it heavy if it doesn’t have to be
>>2760909>Bond: Make small talk to feel out her status. No point making it heavy if it doesn’t have to be"Glad you carried the day while I was takin' a nap."
>>2760909>Bond: Make small talk to feel out her status. No point making it heavy if it doesn’t have to be.
>>2760945>>2760962>>2760964>"So, uh. What do you like... beside guns?">>2760925>>2760944>Reassure: You get the feeling she was rather upset by your short MIA; She’d be better off if she was more certain of your (relative) health.Close call on the last voteWriting.
>>2760967Flex your guns
>>2760967You toggle the phone; There’s one built into the shoulder for a ride along and one hidden behind the manipulator cluster for the occasional outside-in message. “We can talk if you’d like; It’s the lil’ blue nub with the symbol on it.”She takes a moment to locate the mentioned control on the moving Magd. You keep the stride steady so she isn’t getting jostled too badly.“Ah. Hello?” Her voice is not nearly as strong as it was in the battlemech, but it might just be fatigue.“There you go.” You spot her on the distributed cameras, before the sudden realization that any angle you’re getting isn’t going to be less than (or rather, far more than) conversational. You hope you’re not blushing, even behind a half meter of plate. “Looks we traded roles.”“Yes. I can see why your teammate was not so enthusiastic.”“I can slow down if you need,” You don’t wait for her response to throttle back, “The bipeds kind of sway a bit if you’re not on top of the gyro.”“It is a bit strange, but not bad. A bit like a ship,” She leans out a bit, letting herself loll with the movement, “It is relaxing. I ~like~ it.” She puts emphasis on the word, letting it linger on the tongue.“Like the VC?” You keep your question light, not a barb or trap, but simple curiosity.“No. Although I like the soldiers, this is different,” She pulls back in onto the machine, “I was not sure I would enjoy this until I got on.”“My sister used to say you have to try everything before you can hate something.”“That seems strange. I know what I like and what I hate already…” The realization dawns on her, “Except this… and you…”You pull at your collar. “Ehh… I think it’s more general than that… She was more talking about building experiences and growing as a person.”She nods, “You sound like Hawke. Always talking about being new every day. Ah, you have not been introduced… She is my advocate, you should meet her.”Damn this collar is tight.“I’m sure she knows where to find me.”
>>2761102You crest the ridge and see Jenning’s makeshift lean-to. Lis had a pot up on a few bricks, steaming over an alcohol stove. You could see Alex lying on a towel a short distance away, soaking up the remaining sun. Jennings jumps up from where he was loafing and directs you in after you let Durga disembark, lining you up with Lis’ machine to help with a windbreak. You settle into resting position and shut down. You pull your goggles, wincing as you feel a touch of sticking. You feel the tender skin, locating a scratch on your brow, denying the worst case scenario.You slide out of your chair with some care. You pause to rehang Maya’s tags; they hadn’t gotten out of the alcove, but it didn’t feel right to leave them sitting. Your other sister’s photo had unfortunately fallen somewhere; You’ll have to go digging later, or perhaps have her send you a new one: Miriam would oblige you.The moment you pop the hatch, you hear angry shouting. You discard all pretext of injury and more or less cast yourself off the machine with the cable as an afterthought. You land hard but push up quickly and jog up to where Alex and Durga were. The smaller blond pushing into Durga’s space as she shirksBetween Alex and Durga exists a strange dichotomy of form. From an obvious perspective, they matched their machines: Alex was smaller and shorter in general, but the comparison broke down under the mildest scrutiny. Even without having their backgrounds on lock, you note subtle indicators of their history.Alex’s smaller frame is effectively proportioned: she is strong, with smooth edges born of measured nutrition rather than indulgence. Her wavy blond hair is kept short, no doubt to limit the effort necessary to wring it out from the liquid cockpit. While the general impression reminds you of a counterpart to Tennhauser’s professional image, she carries herself with a far more casual dignity: For her, the uniform was an accessory of her authority, not a symbolic of it. She made full use of this power, applying a richness to her voice reserved for dignitaries.In contrast, Durga body is a monument to hardship. At some point, there were the makings of a truly amazon figure, but the final results were compromised by illness or injury. Not to say she is boyish, but it is telling that she only matched the smaller officer’s measurements when by all rights she might have been centerfold material. That did not mean she lacked attention to it; as subtle makeup and her long black hair carried forward what feminity she could muster. Her sunken eyes spoke for her entire figure: There was an unfulfilled charm there, lost to circumstance. They dart towards you as you approach, which appears to simply infuriate Alex more.
>>2761114“Don’t you dare look to him, You’re the one in charge here. You don’t get to pretend you’re off the hook simply because you’re having him OK your every screw up.” She presses her lips into a scowl. “Literally twice today, you flew off the handle: The first time, I might even have given you it, but there’s a city in flames now because you can’t even follow your own procedure.”“Hold up a-“ You try to interject.“Can it Corporal, or I’ll even out that burn.” Durga mumbles something that you can’t quite make out. Alex whips back to her aflame.“Say that again. I dare you.”“I… did not mean to.” She wrings her hands.“No... No no. ‘I didn’t mean to’ is for stepping on toes and spilling drinks, not hip firing plasma cannonry.” She bristles, “Not twenty minutes later, you ran dozens of perfect, by the book fire missions on targets from here to the river, and you never once broke protocol.” She paces, highlighting the absurdity of their height difference. “You knew what you were doing, and you chose to do it wrong. You’ve somehow broken your telemetry so bad I’m the only person who knows, and I can’t afford to push this to the brass, so now I’m stuck being the nun with a ruler… Now, help me understand: Why?”“I did not mean to do it, I just…” She looks down. “had to.”Alex slaps her across the face. You can tell a significant amount of force was behind it, but the effect is highly limited by the height and weight difference. Durga steps back, touching her cheek. Her expression is confused, which Alex mistakes for mocking: She moves in to make another attempt.>Intervene: Alex got her lick in, if she wants more, she needs to pay admission.>Disable: Your charge is being attacked; Officer or no, Alex is going to the ground.>Observe: Durga can handle this, and your intervention is only going to reinforce Alex’s words.>Hijack: Alex is compromised, you’ll take care of her concern with a more appropriate amount of force.>Write in?
>>2761117>>Observe: Durga can handle this, and your intervention is only going to reinforce Alex’s words.We won't be helping anything by intervening.
>>2761117>Observe: Durga can handle this, and your intervention is only going to reinforce Alex’s words.We did just talk about growing as a person via experiences.That said if Durga pulls out some magic martial arts bullshit and is likely to seriously hurt Alex we need to step in. And by seriously hurt I mean broken bones, death, etc.
>>2761117>Intervene: Alex got her lick in, if she wants more, she needs to pay admission.
>>2761145>>2761151"She's trained. This won't take a moment to resolve right?">>2761157>Intervene: Alex got her lick in, if she wants more, she needs to pay admission.Ho Boy...Writing.
>>2761176Alex reaches up, but Durga fades back with a practiced reflex. She lifts her hands into a fighting stance and waits for Alex.“You said you want to understand. I am trying to tell you.” Durga bites her lip, “I do not want to fight you.”“You burned a city and incinerated routed troops because you couldn’t help yourself? That’s not good enough.” Alex rolls her neck. “Sam; You understand you’re seeing nothing correct?”“What am I supposed to not see?” You check their uniforms: Neither of their suits have spare pockets, odds are good they’re not going to pull something.“Sam, tell her to stop.” Durga looks anxious.“She’s not going to listen to me. She’s 5 foot nothing; just pick her up or something.”“Remind me later and I’ll make you take that back Corporal.” Alex feints: Durga stays stock still.Alex slips in towards Durga’s side going for her knees. She responds by shifting inside, putting Alex past her. She telegraphs a strike, but she stops before launching. Instead, she steps back again.“You aren’t doing yourself any favors by playing with me girl. If you don’t take this seriously, I’m going to take it personally.” Alex takes up the distance between them.Lis runs up from the shelter but stops when you put a hand out. She probably draws the wrong conclusion but complies: No doubt she thinks you’re trying to avoid getting court-martialed.“-not playing…” She takes a deep breath, “I am not going to fight you.”
>>2761285Alex steps in again, striking midline. You see Durga move to block… but stop dead and take the blow square. She doubles over coughing. Alex moves in and sweeps for the knee again, this time catching her. She holds just long enough to ensure Durga can keep her head off the ground, then drops her on her back. She steps in and locks a leg with a shoulder, putting her knee down on her chest.“I noticed. That’s pissing me off. We’re a fucking tourist attraction dear. Real royalty’s been dead for a century.” She presses down, eliciting a gasp from Durga. “That’s not respect, that’s patronizing. Fight me!”“-Not it… Not it…” She huffs, “Not able.”“You’re an officer of the Vereinigte. We’re trained to kill. I can see it in your eyes, you know I can’t hold you, but you’re letting me because you're belittling me." She presses on her again, but you notice the lever lacks force."Don’t make me ask again…” You catch something in Alex's voice; Pity? For who?“I want to!” Durga shrieks, tears streaming down her face. Alex grimaces and releases Durga, sitting back. She takes a deep breath. “You actually mean it.” She stands, “And I’m the bully. Sorry.” Durga lays back with a whimper, eyes closed. They sit there for a short bit, nothing but panting.Alex looks you in the eye, holding up her fingers. “One, this is over. I’ll try to make it up to her, but I don’t think it matters. She’s just a bit rudderless.”She smooths back Durga’s hair with an ashamed look.“Two, Standing order. If anyone touches her, lay them out. She can’t ask you directly, so you’re answering to me for this. She’s declawed; She could have put me down any time, but that’s not permitted. Is that right Durga?”Durga sniffs and nods, wiping away the tears.“Three, Next time you make a short joke, I’m putting you on your knees,” She stands, “It’s not my thing, but someone here might appreciate it, so maybe I’ll pay back for being queen bitch.” She turns back to Durga. “I’m sorry. Don’t forgive me too quickly, but I’d rather be friends.”>Tend to Durga: That didn’t go as expected.>Drag Alex by the ear: “I didn’t mean to” only counts for spilled drinks right? Help her.>Lay into Alex: This wasn’t appropriate from the get-go.>Help Durga back into the group: Singling her out after an incident like this will only foster dependence.>Write in?
>>2761286>Help Durga back into the group: Singling her out after an incident like this will only foster dependence.
>>2761286>>Help Durga back into the group: Singling her out after an incident like this will only foster dependence.>“Two, Standing order. If anyone touches her, lay them out.We're trying to /reduce/ her dependance on us, darn it.
>>2761286>Drag Alex by the ear: “I didn’t mean to” only counts for spilled drinks right? Help her.Wew
>>2761297The issue is that she literally can't fight back against fellow VC. No way to stop that dependence.She might be able to fight us though.
>>2761290>>2761297"Well, now that we've worked that out. Coffee?">>2761304>Drag Alex by the ear: “I didn’t mean to” only counts for spilled drinks right? Help her.
>>2761346“You beat up all your friends?” You give Alex a light shove, moving past to Durga.“Only the ones I care about. You trying to get the undercard?”“Bigger fish to fry. Go with Lis and pour some coffee, we’ll be right there.”Alex sighs, but moves off dusting the grass off her suit. Lis pauses for a second but follows after.You kneel down next to Durga, reaching out a hand. She gives you a teary scowl and smacks your hand away.“You just did that to see if you could?” She pulls a fleeting smile, “A bit; I told you to call her off.”“And I thought I was going to have to keep you from murdering her.” She takes your hand this time and you pull her upright easily. “Not possible. If I try, the action just dies on the front of my mind… Worse since she was ordering me…” She rubs her temples.You think about asking her to elaborate on her circumstances, but the thought makes your spine crawl. You’ll leave it be for now. More than enough has been dragged into the light in that little exchange. It’s entirely expected that the people involved with a machine that destructive would want it to be used safely, but it’s quite a bit too much to lock down the pilot in such an invasive manner. To leash someone that tightly to their work is quite a bit too…She still has your hand. Under other circumstances, you might have let her keep it, but as it stood, it was still red and painful. Your expression must have betrayed you since she gives you a quizzical look. “Uhm… Are you alright?” She lets go and gestures towards your side. You wonder exactly how bad it looks.“The Cicada gave me a tan; considerate of him to make sure my Magd and I match.” You pull your glove and look at the angry looking flesh. Surprisingly little actual damage actually, you thought it was far worse during the sortie. Attenuation must have been a lifesaver for your fleshy bits.“I can take a look at that later if you’d like… I’ve got some training to care for myself.” “It’s nothing, it barely hurts at this point.” You smile, and completely ignore the burning at the corner of your mouth. “Let’s get back, we’ve probably got coffee ready.”She nods and follows your lead, a bit close for an officer and subordinate.
>>2761586The whole team was pushed in under the tarp. Tending the fire, Lis was pouring a kettle into mess cups while Jennings started another pot for reheating food. Alex was sitting with her drink a bit away on one of the Magd’s toes, far enough to give Durga distance.“Get it out of your system?” Jennings sips a cup of coffee utterly drowned in creamer. “There was nothing to get.” Durga responds, accepting a cup from Lis. She pondered the cup carefully before adding a frankly disturbing amount of sugar.“I’m talking about Sam; Not like him to watch catfights.” Jennings dodges a punch from Lis. Lis offers you a cup, already doctored to your liking, which you accept gratefully.“Leave it Jennings; You would have pulled binoculars if you had them.” Lis sits down with her own drink, subtly forming the circle to include Durga. “Purely out of concern; Not like I can run off when I’m handling the fire.” He turns and tosses a bag to each person present. “Lis, Italian roadkill, Sam, Southwest roadkill, Durga, Midwest roadkill, Alex, Ocean roadkill.” “And what did you get?” Durga reads over the package of chili mac with a touch of amusement.“A bottle of hot sauce seasoned with an omelet.” He grins, “In other words, screwed.”>Talk about current events>Talk about civilian lives>Talk about hobbies>Talk about family>Write in?Calling it for tonight. Next session is going to be Monday the 30th, 5pm EST. This is an exception to the rule, I expect to be writing on Sundays and Thursdays.
>>2761589>Talk about current eventsOnly because I don't think Durga has any of the other three.
>>2761589>>Talk about hobbies
>>2761589>>Talk about current events
>>2761589>Talk about hobbies
>>2761590You'd be surprised what she can contribute. There are always analogues.
>>2762294Then I'll switch to hobbies to break the tie.
>>2761600>>2761659>>2762353>Talk about hobbies>>2761636>>Talk about current events15 minute warning
>>2771482>"Let's try to go twenty minutes without someone getting upset."Writing
>>2771551As the sun began its decent, the orange glow grants a nostalgic sense of mundanity to the camp. Despite the earlier complications, the worst of the friction melts away with the application of hot food to tired and hungry soldiers. A touch of practical instruction to the officership in the occult mysteries of field ration packaging allowed you all a marginal table setting, which went a long way to close the gap between personnel refueling and sharing a meal.Alex maintains her distance from Durga despite, or likely because of her troublingly rapid turn around: It hadn’t even been an hour and she displayed no suggestion of concern from their altercation. You hope that she’s just generally good natured but admit there is likely less benign angle for her uncharacteristic tolerance. Or perhaps it is technically characteristic: You have to remember that you’re one of the exceptions. “You think they’re gonna to give us some downtime?” Jennings drowns a snotty yellow medallion loosely defined as protein in a packet of red sauce. “Can’t expect an immediate response from the bad guys right?”“Now that they’ve secured the river, it’s likely that we’re going to consolidate. With the counter-offensive, it’s likely they’ll push forward just a lil’ and settle for holding it as the frontline.” You take a sip of your coffee. “We’re going to have to regroup anyways, which could put us up for a week or more.”“Pity about that; I was looking forward to sticking around.” Lis says.“What for? It’s hot and the city is empty where it’s not wreckage.” Jennings talks around his entrée with practiced ease, it’s the closest thing to table manners he has.“The river is nice. Before everything got so messed up, my dad would take yearly trips out here for pike fishing.”“And that’s why you borrowed my cargo allotment?” “At some point there’s no way to fit it all into a trunk. You know how frustrating it is not to have the right tools.”“Jennings’ hobby is turning branches into sawdust; he probably could get by with just his bayonet.” You clap him on the shoulder. “Hey, I sell those. You’d be surprised how many of these guys’ll buy a good luck charm.” He pops open a pouch on his arm and pulls out a crudely carved little rabbit. “Any takers? I’ll trade it for your dessert.” He gestures towards Durga.“He is kind of cute.” Durga seems to consider it for a moment.“Be ashamed. Go scam some other squaddie.” You wave Jennings off. He feigns offense but returns to his meal.
>>2771950“It reminds me of the paper folding animals.” Durga looks thoughtful.Alex looks up from her meal. “Origami? That’s a strange hobby… This side of the border I mean.” “We use it as a calibration exercise. Sometimes I would try to match a shape with patterns of my own design. They said it was good for coordination and adaptability.” She deftly forms a rabbit with one of the ration’s foil wrappers and smiles. “Looks like I remember some of it; It has been a while.”“How about you Sam, how do you kill time?” Alex picks at her meal.“I used to do rock climbing.” You gesture back at the Durga on the horizon, “I try to keep it quiet, so no one gets any ideas if a bulb burns out up there.”Alex shakes her head, “Don’t laugh; I’ve had to disembark off the back of Sigyn before. It feels a lot taller on the outside.” “Anyways; it’s probably how I got put up here so fast: They put a lot of stock in good tackle skills, and the work is pretty similar once you get past the huge load numbers.” You shrug, “Might have just been luck though. How about you?”“I, uh, translate.” She blushes for some reason. “It’s like you said, the Vereinigte loves leveraging their troops.. The Sigyn’s loaded down with comms equipment, so the VC has me do flash conversions if they get lucky and intercept something. My Korean is good enough for command chatter.”“That’s a hard hobby to have, especially outside of an explicit rating. How do you find material to practice outside the import restrictions?” Lis pours herself another cup of coffee.“I guess I know the right people?” She glances towards Durga, “It’s not that strange.”>Press Alex about her connections>Toss her a softball to give her an out.>Move to another topic (Write in?)>Redirect to a light story from boot (Moves to next scene)
>>2771958>Toss her a softball to give her an out.
>>2771958>>Toss her a softball to give her an out.We can press it later if it comes up again and things are slightly less delicate.
>>2771978>>2772029>"If we can make it all the way back to Kiyv without another fist fight, argument or ambush, it's alright by me."Writing
>>2772120“You can still get a lot of stuff second hand; There was a bookstore in Frankfurt that only stocks refurbished and sanctioned Hanguo literature and material. Getting the untranslated stuff is probably just a matter of asking nicely with a wad of cash in hand.” You turn a hand up at her, hoping she catches your meaning.“… Right. They’re quite expensive. I only ended up with a new book every month…”You flash a much more reasonable number on your other hand.“or six…”To his credit, Jennings manages to keep a straight face from his commanding view of the charades. “Sounds like a waste. If it’s fun for you though.” Lis shrugs.“I find it soothing. I sometimes need it.” She glances down at a scrape on her knuckles. “That’s the whole point ain’t it? Something to do when we get unbearable?” Jennings starts collecting trash. You check your watch: You’re on the edge of a half comfortable trip back to Kyiv.“So any chance I can convince you to carve more figurines?” You get up and start helping with the teardown.He doesn’t miss a beat. “Only if you start climbing again.”I hit a block. I'm going to keep trying tonight, but I didn't want to leave you guys without whatever I could manage.
>>2772384No problem mate, it can be tough to get into the groove sometimes.
>>2772384keep it up, you're doing fine
>>2772384[Blackburn - Masafumi Takada and Jun Fukuda]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXJ4-ZJZHKQ[AutoRecover: No Tagging Data Available: Data Archived 34:01:23 hours ago.][Deep, obfuscated voice, Tags: Unknown, Powerful] “-cking idiots involved. There’s 20 million people in here, and you fucking point at him and say “Watch out bub!””[Nasal, light voice, Tags: Valkyrie, Technical, Target] “We were attempting to resolve the situation before it could become a complicat-““He wasn’t a fucking problem until you told him he was a fucking problem.”“We’re at a crucial state; The Valkyrie project is sensitive to outside perturbation.”“It’s not my problem you built this thing out of eggshells. You had almost a year to catch this.”“The registration was incorrect. We didn’t catch it because his name was different.”“If you’re trying to tell me your dirt machine can’t handle a wedding, I’m going to be beyond livid.”“No; The records were destroyed. Originals were moved to Sinai.”“Every time I hear about that god forsaken crater, you’ve somehow engineered a crisis worse than the original body count. Tell me about the damage; Who’s [Hawke]? (Reconstructed data, Review before response.)“An actual ghost, she shows up, goes into R+D, putzes around a bit, disappears, reappears wearing a black coat. Might have gone private, might even have gone Hanguo.”“You aren’t seriously suggesting we’re hiring traitors?”“No, But the pay is impressive, like double agent impressive.”“Move on; We’re wasting time on her. Can we insulate?”“Easily, but we risk contamination. If we separate them and they realize it...”“Skip the obvious. Can it be contrived?”“Not really. We didn’t catch it soon enough. Someone’s bound to notice.”“So we do nothing then.”“Sir?”“We’re doing exactly what you should have fucking done from the start. We’re keeping our nose out of it and we’re marking time. It’s a time honored tradition of a long line of not-fuck-ups working for the VC.”“What about the girl?”“Did I stutter? She’s ours already.”
>>2772603You’ve nodded off at some point: You can feel by the sway of your machine that Durga is carrying you. Your face is numb where an analgesic gel has been applied. Between it and the dream, your spine crawls.You sit up, activating your HMD by the movement. You’re riding 12 o’clock on Durga, stalking over an highway. From the light and a touch of shoddy math, you’re a dozen minutes out from Kyiv. You key in, at least to ensure you’re awake.“Armistead reporting. Was I out?” You keep it simple.“Like a light” Lis chimes in.“You clocked out as soon as you geared up.” Jennings states, “Thank Durga, she didn’t skip a beat: We’re almost on time.”“I was just paying attention.” Her tone is familiar: You adopted a similar one when you were keeping her up during the fire missions. >Status: Hopefully we’re on track.>Dream: Go private with Durga and cross reference.>Posture: Clearly you intended to get some rest here. >Stay Quiet: Acknowledge you’re up, but do nothing else.>Write In?Going to try for one more update tonight.
>>2772615>Write In?"Thanks for the pick up.">Status: Hopefully we’re on track.So wait that little chat on the first post was Sam's dream and not an OOC PoV shift?
>>2772641Yes. Sam had that experience. It was not out of POV.
>>2772615>Status: Hopefully we’re on track.>thanks durga
>>2772685>>2772641"Thanks Durga; How far out are we?"Writing.
>>2772698“Thanks. I guess I wasn’t quite as keen as I thought.” You stretch out in the cockpit, stopping at the edges of your range. Treating you in cockpit might have been difficult. You vaguely remember Durga offiering a check, so you ought to respond. There’s an angle of pride however, and a touch of expected perform…Eh Fuck it; She could have always bundled you up and thrown you in luggage.“I’m feeling better Durga. Thanks for the help.”“Just maintaining my team…” She turns her head away from the camera: You wonder how much nuance is lost without this level of examination.“What’s our status?”“We’re about seven minutes out of Kyiv. Sigyn has landed in her Knight, and Tennhauser has positively identified our approach. We are twelve minutes ahead of schedule.”.“That’s perfect. Thank you Durga.” She nods.On first glance, Kyiv was virtually unharmed. From further examination, you could see where Hount explosives were bounced into the river by now degraded Shell emplacements, causing significant erosion along the coastline. From a military perspective, there was more than enough stable shoreline, but you could not help but hope there was a spare jetty where the Pike would still strike bait.“Ten to Durga; We’re ready for you. Lost four Magd and assorted Mechanized. Welcome home.” The red-haired professional keyed in.You gave Durga the opportunity to respond, and she obliges with a mild, but heartfelt “Thank you.”
>>2772813“You save our bacon out there dear. Let me know if you feel like a drink.” Tennhauser rotates back to watch the perimeter.“I will let you know Ten.” Durga keys in with less hesitation. As you approach your site, you feel a strange sense of Déjà vu. A swarm of VC Greys stand around your staging area, with all the subtlety of a grease fire. Under a normal circumstance, this kind of reception might be appropriate, especially if there’s some concern about the public response based on the weapon or target involved in the stortie. You cannot shake from your mind the impression of your dream: Something is setting off alarms here. You feel a cold pit in your stomach.>Intentionally delay Durga: You know more than enough procedure to hold them for nearly three hours.>Drop first and play dumb: There’s honor amongst pilots: They’ll explain before they risk losing one of their own.>Comply utterly: You’re only one man: You’ll stay in a position to observe and intervene as usual.>Appeal: Regardless of the attempt, a rousing appeal might change the temperament. >Write in?”Next session is going to be Saturday the 4th at 5pm EST. I apologize for the delay, which is why I'm going to attempt a double header on Sunday the 5th at the same time of 5pm EST. Tell your friends.
>>2772817I'm not sure I understand what's happening. Is Sam worried the Greys are going to kill him cause of how they are stationed and cause of the dream?
>>2772817Nor do I understand the prompts other than delay. Comply with what? Appeal to who? What does dropping first mean?Maybe I'm too brainlet for this quest but I'm having trouble parsing all this cause these prompts are all from Sam and Sam has way more information about this world and the people in it then I ever will.
>>2772817>Intentionally delay Durga: You know more than enough procedure to hold them for nearly three hours.maybe we can drop some hints to our squad in the meantime
>>2772826>>2772839Sorry, I probably should have been more explicit. Sam is concerned with the concentration of Greys at the location, and is parsing it based on his recent dream to potentially be a threat to Durga and himself. I'll review this in the morning for a sanity check. I apologize for any confusion.
>>2772903Sorry. Looks like I went past the Hemmingway threshold and lost coherence. I'll do a rewrite.
>>2773436I mean I kind of get it now. Comply means do whatever the Grey's want and Appeal is trying to persuade them away from whatever Sam thinks they are doing.No idea what Drop First means though.I think one of the issues is that while showing is going always going to be more interesting than telling (and you're doing a good job of it for the most part) sometimes I don't know what you are showing me. Sam's mind full of knowledge of this world is completely alien to me and I can't always follow his train of thought or know what the fuck he is talking about.And that makes it really hard to make informed decisions in quest that seems pretty lethal.I'll wait for this rewrite before I vote.
>>2773582Nah, this one's on me. I hurried too much and ended up leaving a whole bunch of detail out. I'll have it fixed sometime today or tomorrow.
>>2772698Take 2 of >>2772813 and>>2772817Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer. Also, edit sober.“Thanks. I guess I was a lil’ less as keen than I thought.” You stretch out in the cockpit, stopping at the edges of your range. It wasn’t all that far.Treating you in cockpit might have been difficult. You vaguely remember Durga offering a medical check, so you ought to respond. There’s an angle of pride however, and a touch of expected perform…Eh Fuck it; She could have always bundled you up and thrown you in luggage.“I’m feeling better Durga. Thanks for the help.”“Just maintaining my team…” She turns her head away from the camera. You wonder how much nuance is lost without this level of examination. It occurs to you that’s the wrong angle however; this level of scrutiny is the norm for your superiors, You’re just stealing a glance through Durga’s eyes really… Maybe a haircut is in order. You shake off the idle thoughts. “What’s our status?” “We’re about seven minutes out of Kyiv. Sigyn has landed in her Knight and Tennhauser has positively identified our approach. We are twelve minutes ahead of schedule.” You see some chatter on the C3: Durga is manually updating IFF codes, likely backed up from the communications failure.“That’s perfect. Thank you Durga.” She nods at your reply.A few short minutes later, Kyiv came into view, virtually unharmed. From further examination, you can see where Hound explosives were bounced into the river by now degraded Shell emplacements, causing significant erosion along the coastline. From a military perspective, there is more than enough stable shoreline, but hope for Lis’ sake there was still a jetty where the Pike would strike bait.“Ten to Durga; We’re ready for you. Lost four Magd and assorted Mechanized, but most of us are whole. Welcome home.” The red-haired professional keys in. You get a short window into his cockpit through Durga; Not all that different from yours really.You give Durga the opportunity to respond, and she obliges with a mild “Thank you.”“You saved our bacon out there dear. Let me know if you feel like a drink.” Tennhauser rotates back to watch the perimeter. Now that you’ve gotten close, you can see how he’s jury-rigged: You see where they stole drives and segments from the lower torso to patch up the upper turret, turning him into a glorified turret. From the condition of the road and a hamstrung Hound being pulled apart by engineering staff, you assume he was rather effective in that regard.“I will let you know Ten.” Durga responds without the previous hesitation.
>>2777017As you move through Kyiv, you find the thoroughfare oddly busy. The typical traffic was present in the form of gun tractors and trucks running supplies and personnel, but there’s a remarkable number of additional troops moving with. A formation of armored troopers jogging in sync and a unit of skirmishers on their ultra-light tracked chassis rockets past. You are about to leave it to paranoia brought on by the strange dream when you see a trio of coilgun tanks holding up the procession. You don’t have to wait for the gears to turn over on that one. Those things are too heavy to be out on a joy ride, and neither the barges on the river, nor the cargo trains load on this side: They’re on the way to their post, or rather your post.Of course, this isn’t an arrest, or at least it’s not just one. No point grabbing one of you while you’re sitting behind the wheel of a warmachine. Something’s afoot here, and someone’s decided it can’t wait for an MP to smash your face into your cereal bowl tomorrow morning.It could be the brass is upset with Durga’s behavior during the sortie and decided to intervene. It’s also entirely possible that Hawke’s little door wedge tripped an alarm, and you’re the one who’s getting collared. Maybe you got “lucky” and this is just going to be an incredibly uncomfortable debriefing about the IRH Medium from some power tripping moron with a few too many ribbons. Regardless, it puts a cold pit in your stomach.As you turn in with the squad, you see the formation “coincidentally” move up to box up the access ahead of a covered jeep. The troopers don’t bother with any pretense: They array and fill, only stopping short of pulling their weapon: the dollhouse cousin of your 30mm guns. You twist to scan the crowd with your good sensors on your left half, but in vain: If these are Hawke’s people, she’s absent. >Intentionally delay Durga: If you twist SOP a little bit, you could stretch this into hours of logging, contamination checks, and courier delays. You aren’t fully qualified to service the Durga, but that’s just cake; another delay.>Play dumb and disembark first: If you hurry out, you can get stuck in with whoever’s in charge of this mob and gather information. If they’re here for you, you can keep the heat off the rest of the team. >Comply with any requests: You were never getting into a brawl with a bloc of VC troops in the first place. Keep your eyes and ears open and wait for the opportunity to respond.>Stand off: Order the team to stay where they are. If you power off and hunker down, you force them to be proactive. They might be able to torch your doors, but It’ll make this loud, long, and awkward regardless.>Write in?
>>2777024>Intentionally delay Durga: If you twist SOP a little bit, you could stretch this into hours of logging, contamination checks, and courier delays. You aren’t fully qualified to service the Durga, but that’s just cake; another delay.>If it's possible try to get into contact with Alex and see if she can figure out what is going on while we are delaying.
>>2777024>Intentionally delay Durga: If you twist SOP a little bit, you could stretch this into hours of logging, contamination checks, and courier delays. You aren’t fully qualified to service the Durga, but that’s just cake; another delay.Talk to the squad.TRY to be subtle about it
>>2777024>Intentionally delay Durga: If you twist SOP a little bit, you could stretch this into hours of logging, contamination checks, and courier delays. You aren’t fully qualified to service the Durga, but that’s just cake; another delay.I'm always impressed how much character is put into these vote options Fern, good shit
>>2780177As a reader, I get frustrated by ambiguous options, so I want to make sure players are certain exactly what's running through the character's head when they do something.It's also why I insisted on the rewrite: If you're not in Sam's head at the least during decisions, what's the frigging point? Which made it all the more important that I went back and installed the necessary internal monologue and observations.
>>2777049>>2778970>>2780177>Intentionally delay DurgaClosing vote in 15.
>>2777024>>Intentionally delay Durga: If you twist SOP a little bit, you could stretch this into hours of logging, contamination checks, and courier delays. You aren’t fully qualified to service the Durga, but that’s just cake; another delay.Thanks for the rewrite, it helped a fair bit.
>>2777049>>2778970>>2780177>>2783101>"There's a problem with the knight's ionic containment system... No, seriously, there's a wire loose somewhere, give me a minute or a thousand."Writing.
>>2783118As the Durga lumbers overhead, your mind is running at a frankly ludicrous speed: You don’t really like any of your options in this case. While keeping your nose out of the intrigue is simply the wisest course of action, it can leave someone entirely out of his element. You’d immediately lose a battle of politics or plotting and despite it being a non-option, they’ve eliminated the choice of direct opposition. If you want to keep any control, you need to drag this back into your arena.A scorch mark across the belly of the machine catches your eye: A glancing blow from the Locust skirmish, only deep enough to knock some optic or sensor loose. It’s the inspiration you were praying for. A quick check in the system gives you a short laundry list of similar damage, until you find the magic words: “Dynamo Fault”. It’s just a fuel sensor that likely took some shock when the Hound scored a hit on the shield. Durga would clear it the moment she parked. Instead, you dig down to the individual unit and delist it. The machine won’t report the specific fault but will report an issue with the engine. It’s a trick you picked up from Maya: The story filled far more with righteous indignation than specifics, but you didn’t have any difficulty catching on once you were stuck in with the Panzermagd. This time however, instead of hazing a newbie Knight pilot, you’re using this prank for good.Now to manufacture the alibi. “Durga, I’m getting a dynamo caution from you. Cycle the DC system for me please.” You keep your voice slow and precise: What your instructors helpfully called a “Cover your ass” tone, with little chance of being misheard in a recording.The whole system flashes red, then green under your systems. You hear angry sputtering under your seat as your machine fails to sound the appropriate alarm from the water-logged klaxon. You check the listing, and pump your fist: The entry is missing, but the error isn’t. You quash the alarm and key in again.“Did it work?” She sounds worried. You don’t blame her, you didn’t pick the fault for being minor.“Still there; Go ahead and standby; I’ll have Jennings check it out before you disembark.” You swap over to your Magd companions.
>>2783565“What now?” Lis’ tone is loud and frustrated. You feel a bit guilty, their alarms probably worked just fine during the power cycle.You pause for a moment to collect your thoughts. This one’s quite a bit harder convey under the radar.“There’s a dynamo trip on Durga. Probably just a lil’ sensor shock, but you know how that is.”“She can fix it herself! Look, there’s a shower with my name on it not 50 meters-“ Lis sputters“It’s definitely not gonna to be a config error, eh Sam?” Jennings’ sighs. His tone is knowing but exasperated. The “what” made it, but the “why” hasn’t clicked yet for him.“Probably not; Can you handle it? I gotta go shoo the rubberneckers.” You ping the main road, where you can see some officers disembarking from the jeep. You drop another two markers for emphasis on each of the tanks.You hear a low whistle. Apparently, he just got it.“Huh. Son of a bitch.” He sounds slightly impressed. “Lis?”“What? Come on, you aren’t-” “We’re going to treat this one as a possible reactor breach; we ain’t in the position to look lax when we’ve got fruit salad in the audience.” Jennings chuckles“What the hell are you talking about… Oh, shit.” She seems to finally catch the barricade.“Fearless leader is going to talk it over with those guys, When I start the check, you’re going to scoot Durga into the barracks. Get her washed and while you’re at it, take one too. Can’t be too careful you know, take your time, get to know each-”“Not another word. Pain in the ass… ” They both pull their machines upright again and turn towards the Durga. The troopers in formation bristle with the sudden movement, but the reaction turns to confusion as you each flip on hazard lighting. You disembark, favoring your undamaged side. You still brush Maya’s tags, despite the pins and needles. As you hit the ground and begin to tramp over, you allow yourself a smirk before you’re close enough to be seen: This’ll be a good bar story once it stops being a tightrope walk.
>>2783568“Hands up.” One of the lead troopers unships his weapon, but doesn’t really bother pointing it: He’s just going through the motions, anything you could hurt him with is 60 meters back. One of the unarmored attendants from the jeep moves forward to frisk you, coming up with nothing but a power bar and a harness cutter, entirely worthless as a weapon. He takes it anyways, no doubt just to be an ass.Before they can say anything, you raise your voice. “I’m going to need you all to move along, we’re handling a lil’ Class 3 here. No one’s in or out till we’ve got sweeps done.”The man you assume is the head honcho, a big guy with a bunch of medals on him sets his jaw. “I’m not falling for that bullshit. Someone cuff him.” His ruddy complexion compares surprisingly well with your burnt side. Under other circumstances, you might have pushed him a bit, but there’s no point being provocative when you can be procedural.One of his people whispers in his ear, and he curses the offending aide. You didn’t have to hear what was said: At this very moment, the only way he was getting in here was if he had the authority and rating to take charge. He knew it, you knew it, and it was entirely up to him to see if he wanted to pull something.Of course, he went for it: “I’m Major Hershman. We’re taking over here Corporal, stand aside.”>Call his bluff: The problem with wearing your service on your chest is that you’re DAMN sure he’s unqualified.>Set a trap: If you allow him his little delusion, he’s going to step right into a quarantine. All that extra security is going to be hilarious when he decides he wants out. Who knows what you could find out?>Pull rank: Corporal doesn’t beat Major, but if you mention your contact with Auditor Hawke, he’s going to start being honest rather quickly.>Investigate: If you maintain this impasse, you can draw out some of the details of these circumstances. At the worst, you just end up wasting more of his time.>Write in?
>>2783571>>Call his bluff: The problem with wearing your service on your chest is that you’re DAMN sure he’s unqualified.
>>2783571>Call his bluff: The problem with wearing your service on your chest is that you’re DAMN sure he’s unqualified.
>>2783581>>2783599>>2783604>>2783632>"I can tell you've done a lot in your career Major, but turning a wrench isn't on the list."Writing
>>2783709“Major, I’m a lil’ behind on all the candy the VC has been issuing lately, but I’m damn sure there isn’t a single one on there that I can defer to you on without violating my duties to the VC. You could hit the Tennhauser or Sigyn’s sites, but their people are going to be busy, and even if you shanghaied them over here, there isn’t one of them that’s going to take charge of a Class 3.” You shrug. “You don’t have to believe me, but you do have to stay over there for the next… four hours? If we’re lucky?” You glance back and see Durga disembarking. She accepts Lis’s help, but choses to walk on foot back to the barracks. Midway across, she spots you and slows to give a little wave, You can hear the echo of the PA as Lis puts her back on target and she skips a bit to make up the lost ground. You track her just a little longer: It’s a stabilizing influence against the angry officer and his posse behind you. You can feel the tension melt down your back and your mind clear. You can also feel the Major’s eyes boring into your back. “You’re obstructing an investigation into sabotage Corporal.” He folds his arms, “If I have to take you all in, I’m going to get my answers.”“I frankly don’t care Major; We’re working. If you need us, you know exactly where we’re going to be. Between the Durga, getting half cooked by an IRH microwave and going double shift today, I’m not in the mood to deal with your crap on top of everything else.” You turn back, giving a rather genuine look of discomfort.“And once you’re done erasing all the evidence?” His accusation bites.You return the favor. “I was being civil major, and you’ve done nothing but point fingers and tell lies. We’re done here. Go shake down someone who has the clout to get you and your Surtalogi people whatever dirt you’re digging for.”“This is an official investigation Corporal. I don’t need force if I wanted to see you put through the wringer…” He trails off and suddenly balks, “What did you say?”
>>2784018[Masakazu Sugimori - Towards Nothingness]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQZcVICLRmc“Surtalogi project. You said you were with…” You blink. He didn’t. Where did that word come from? Something about Norse gods?He blanches, as much as you expect from a man of his rosy tone. You can virtually see the confidence drain out of his face. “Dawkins, dismiss these men.” He waves off his aides as well. The man’s voice no longer has any heat to it. It’s resigned. When they begin moving, he turns back to you. “You’re with Hawke aren’t you? Figures.”You consider writing it off as a guess or a freak coincidence. It won’t be believed. You certainly aren’t going to confirm anything to a man who had coilguns pointed at you. You don’t have to give up any authority he’ll hand you willingly though.“What was this about Major?” You keep as vague as possible.“We got the brief. About Hawke… And you must be Armistead.”
>>2784035You raise an eyebrow and check your uniform. The nametag on your chest is entirely illegible. The patch isn’t much better, but you still have a collar tab on your left that’s perfectly readable.“That I am. Why does that matter?”“It means this was a mistake. I knew this was too good to be true, There wasn’t a chance in hell it would be as easy as a handful of engineers and a collared pilot.” He pulls a flask, considers it for a moment, then tosses it at his feet.“Skip the pronoun game. Talk.”“The leak out of Valkyrie was fake. They probably doctored some data out of Durga and made it look recent. So, the moment the actual recent Durga data went MIA, of course we had to act. Of course, it was only convenient that Surta was the closest and it was right after we got told to leave you be. Devious.”You frown, “Why is that convenient?” “Because they’re going to arrest me for this, and that means Surtalogi is going to be put under Valkyrie.” He eyeballs his flask. You do him the courtesy of giving it back to him. He takes a long draught.It’s maddening. You have someone who actually knows what’s going on and you’re not sure where the hell to go with it. You’re working off an errant vocab word anyways, so where do you even take this without admitting you’re mostly clueless?>”Why does it figure that I’m with Hawke?” He seems to know how I could know the name; perhaps I can trace that back to how I do know it?>”What is Surtalogi?” This guy seems to be in charge of another project like Hawke with Durga. Especially if he’s right about being set up, this might be your only chance to get the details.>”Why me?” There’s special instructions not to interact with you, both from that dream and here; Why am I being treated like I’m dangerous?>”Tell me about Valkyrie” It’s risky, but you might be able to get him to fill you in on what he thinks you know.>”Who is Hawke?” He might not know, he probably will figure you’re not in the game, it’s worth it to figure out what you’re in with.>Write in?Multiple choices can be made; Difficulty is increased by the number selected.
>>2784041>”Why me?” There’s special instructions not to interact with you, both from that dream and here; Why am I being treated like I’m dangerous?
>>2784041>>”What is Surtalogi?” This guy seems to be in charge of another project like Hawke with Durga. Especially if he’s right about being set up, this might be your only chance to get the details.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>2784058>"Why Me?">>2784066>"What is Surtalogi?"Roll: 1d100, Best of 3
Rolled 77 (1d100)>>2784253
Rolled 17 (1d100)>>278425Fingers crossed
Rolled 2 (1d100)>>2784253
>>2784257>>2784263>>2784271BEST: 77>"Let's hear it then. Tell me about your work. Not like they can arrest you twice."Writing
>>2784287“Not exactly the best for you, but what’s the problem with Valkyrie getting control over Surtalogi?” You hedge. He takes another drink “The projects are separate for a reason. We don’t want a repeat of our past mistakes with Durga. We got our prototype at one hell of a cost.”You’re not quite sure what he means, but nod anyways. “And the name? It’s mythological right?” “They all are. Surtalogi is the fire that destroys the world.”“So it’s the weapon then?”He nods, “More or less. Once you’ve reached a certain point, the distinction between thruster and weapon blurs.” “And that’s why you had to jump on this: You needed the data from field testing the cannons and it didn’t come through?” It’s a stretch, you hope you got the right angle.“Need is too strong, but it would have helped. The Durga project is stingy about their data. Of course we would react if the little that was guaranteed stopped.” He looks up at the machine. “How’d it perform?”“Would prefer if it was faster.” You volunteer nothing.He chuckles. “Not surprising. It needs a little wakeup. One of the first things we corrected in Surtalogi.“What kind of cannon needs a snooze button?”“Not the cannon, the ammunition. Plasmoid is fundamentally nanite based.”The word is sour. After Sinai, the rumor mill blamed nanotech and there was an aggressive luddite push, which drove the word to near extinction. It was easy for governments to cave and restrict the tech, but in name only: it was an open secret in government circles that the legislation was more about rebranding the essential technologies than actually limiting them. The myomer in the Knights and Magds, Shell compound, and even reactor technology are still prevalent, just under more polite names. There is meaning in using such a loaded and loathed term however: The most important aspect of modern smart material is the limitations on it: Shell operates only under its specified patterns and use case, it only assembles its matrix into the specified format and reacts to stress. To use the word nanite is to suggest the old-style substance: undifferentiated machines, allowed to react and learn in their own operation. Horrifying, and if the rumors were true, the weapon that took your older sister.
>>2784641You bite your tongue; getting angry about Sinai isn’t a good use of your time.“Bold after the accident. It’s like nuclear weaponry.” You think back to the failures during WWII.“Yeah, but plasmoid is actually reliable. It’s self-priming and amorphous: It’s more of a chemical reaction than a mechanism. Making it more adaptable simply gives it wider use cases than ‘more and less’.” He gives a pained smile. “We just started on a semi-stable design. Something solid. Looks like I’ve cocked that up.”“They won’t hurt your people if they want your project. It’s a lil’ counterproductive” You half-lie, half-hope.He spits on the ground. “You’re awfully charitable to the nature of this work. You’re probably right though.”There’s an awkward pause, nothing but the distant sounds of moving machines.“Tell Hawke. I don’t know her, I don’t trust her, but she didn’t send me to bust her own people: If there’s one thing I know from my history, it’s that there’s no better weapon against treachery than spite… and I’m not beneath sending a little to whoever set this up.” He adjusts his uniform, “Why don’t we call this an accident then? Owe me a favor?” You try. He guffaws. “That’s sailed days ago; That’s not how this works… They’re probably ransacking my office right now and waiting to give me some new cuff-links. You’re clueless, aren’t you?” His smile is tainted with bitter hopelessness.“I got a few now, I’ll share ‘em with someone you don’t know and trust if that’ll be enough.”He sighs. “Better than it could have been. I could have hauled you all in and got to sit on my high horse for a few hours before the MP’s took me.”>Offer to help him: He might be able to negotiate with Hawke to end up outside a jail cell.>Try another question: You’ve lost your camouflage, but that doesn’t mean he might still volunteer some things.>Send him off: He’s got music to face and being caught here after the fact may damn you by association.>Let him be: Give him the time to get ready and leave on his own terms. Might be wise coming from his philosophy about spite.>Write in?Calling it for tonight. Will be back SUN 8/5 at 5pm EST.
>>2784654>Let him be: Give him the time to get ready and leave on his own terms. Might be wise coming from his philosophy about spite.
>>2784654>>Let him be: Give him the time to get ready and leave on his own terms. Might be wise coming from his philosophy about spite.We're a soldier, not a spy. Let's not get too deep into this mess.I always was terrible at intrigue
>>2784654>>Let him be: Give him the time to get ready and leave on his own terms. Might be wise coming from his philosophy about spite.
Slight delay, expect the new thread around 6 EST