Bamenda Air BaseBamenda, CameroonWest Africa0900 Hours, July 1, 1990“Saber Lead, this is Angel Six, we have eyes on the airbase, over.”You are Andrew Sparks, a lieutenant and mech pilot in Edgeline, an international mercenary company. As a Twenty-nine year old veteran of the Third World War, you’re no stranger to combat or the rigors of army life. That said, you find the mercenary life suits you much better. Higher pay, more personal liberty, hell, they don’t even care if you cut your hair or not. You are also Saber Lead.You flip the tactical com toggle switch with a gloved hand and sit back in your crash couch, the five-point harness across your chest tightening up as you do, the Neural Halo under your helmet snug against your temples. “Affirmative, Angel Six,” you reply, a ghostly whisper of your own voice echoing back in your headset. “Have they rolled out the welcome mat?”Angel Six laughs over the com, “We’re talking about Cameroon’s finest, they don’t even know we’re here yet.”
The year is 1990, five years after the crucible of the Third World War that swept like wildfire over the earth. With the decline of the superpowers of the Cold War, numerous smaller factions, nations, and corporations compete for a commanding share of the globe. Even as most give up the tools of battle, a select group of men and women continue to live as soldiers of fortune, mercenaries, warriors for hire.Of the numerous deadly innovations of the war of the late 1980s, combat mecha are perhaps the most apparent. These new mobile weapons platforms put the firepower of a platoon of battle tanks in the hands of a single pilot, granting them firepower and mobility that was previously only dreamed of.With the weapons, the will, and the know-how, mercenary companies roam the globe with their Mechs in search of conflict, money, and fame.This is Strike Mech ‘90.***Important links:>What is Strike Mech ‘90?https://pastebin.com/53fiVDc8>Archivehttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Strike+mech+98>Twitter feed I use to announce planned game times.https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQMI allow between ten and fifteen minutes for voting depending on the importance of the issue and how divided the vote is. If the vote is tied up, I usually allow an extra five minutes for a tiebreaker, and if no one votes, I roll for the tiebreaker.I always try to incorporate (and encourage!) write-ins if they don't violate the spirit of voted decisions, though I may edit or tweak them to fit better.
You smile to yourself. Compared to the Soviets, this Cameroonian militia wasn’t really up to snuff. That said, a job was a job. It was nice that the ground-hugging flight your mech carrier had undertaken the last hour had paid off, and you’d managed not to hurl in your cockpit as your carrier’s pilot ducked and weaved over the rugged West African countryside.“Roger,” you say, “Anel, go ahead and wake them up. I’d hate for them to miss our company.”“Affirmative, Saber Lead. Good hunting. Angel Six out.”You flip the toggle switch again and turn back to your team’s tactical comms. “Sabers, Angel is going to shake up the militia at the airbase, check weapons and IFF beacons, don’t want to get pegged by one of Angel’s bombs.”As you speak, you change your attention from the small console before you to the three flat-panel monitors that wrap the front half of your cockpit, each tied to external cameras on your mech. Currently, they show a lovely view of the brown, hilly, scrubland rolling along beneath you, the top half of your sight obscured by the gantry where your carrier is affixed to your mech.The mech itself is American made, a late-war model, one that was built incorporating the lessons of the war. About ten meters high, with chunky weapons pods in place of arms and smooth, rounded edges to protect joints and the cockpit core itself.Weapons come back good, 30mm rotary cannon, 120mm autocannon, TOW missile pods, laser anti-missile system, all in the green. It was a world of hurt you were going to drop on these rebels.“Lead, Two,” Saber Two says, “Should I ask if you remember the target priority list?” Her tone is neutral, as her expression usually was, but you knew her long enough that you could tell she was teasing you. She had a blank-faced facade to those around her, never too warm, never too cold, but even so, you knew that neutral facade hid genuine warmth.You’d also found it was true over the years you’d worked together that she was much more detail oriented than you were, especially when it came to the minutiae of war. Muzzle velocity of shells, the effective range of optics, forecasted enemy capabilities.>I know we’re here for their fast movers.>Not necessary, but I like to hear you talk so go ahead>Don’t show off for the rookie, Two>Write in
>>3507597>Don’t show off for the rookie, Two
>Not necessary, but I like to hear you talk so go ahead(based TK already including waifu material)
>>3507597>>I know we’re here for their fast movers.
>>3507597>Not necessary, but I like to hear you talk so go aheadRespond teasing with teasingI was craving a battletech quest, this will fit the bill if we get to customize our mechs
>>3507597>Not necessary, but I like to hear you talk so go ahead
>>3507597>>Not necessary, but I like to hear you talk so go ahead
>>3507614>reads part about autistical customization of mechsKek, nevermind the customs, lets just play stompy robits
>Don’t show off for the rookie, Two>>3507603>>3507609>Not necessary, but I like to hear you talk so go ahead>>3507605>>3507614>>3507615>>3507616>I know we’re here for their fast movers.>>3507619>>3507608>Teasing>Writing>>3507624Yeah, that'll Maybe come later on.
You smirk, “I don’t think that’s necessary, Two, I have a set of perfectly good ears, but I do like to hear you talk.”“Maybe it’s for Four’s benefit,” Two says, referencing the rookie.You take satisfaction that you flustered her, though you’re not sure anyone else can tell.“Can you two stop flirting on the tactical comms?” Three asks, chuckling, “Those MiGs won’t kill themselves.”You chuckle in reply and flip off the com, adjusting your grip on the throttles, trying to stave off the nervous fear you feel. This was a cakewalk mission, but even so, people died on milk runs all the time.Your mech and its associated carrier weren’t alone, behind you were three other aircraft, each with a combat mech attached to its belly through a complex harness, a breakaway gantry that would drop the mech at its designated target site once it arrived.“Four hundred meters to target,” Saber Three says, the mirth gone from his voice, all business. “Two hundred.”You exhale and bring up your combat HUD as the carriers crest a dry ridgeline and come into view of the X-shaped tarmac of the airbase.A trio of fireballs blossom on the outskirts of the base, radar-guided bombs dropped by Angel to take out the outer defenses, SAM sites most likely.“Dropping,” your carrier pilot says, his voice buzzing from your headset.You feel a sudden change in inertia as the clamps securing your mech blow away and you drop toward the earth. No sooner do you experience freefall than the retro rockets on your mech’s drop harness fire, hard. Hard enough to feel like you’ve been kicked in the ass.A second kick comes a second later as your war machine touches down hard enough to bounce you around your seat. Hydraulic leg actuators flex and contract to absorb the impact but aren’t perfect.(1/2)
“Lead touchdown!” you say as Two through Four sound off behind you.“Fan out and advance on the base, top speed.”You’re already zooming in with digitally-enhanced optics to scan the simple pre-fab shelters and hangars for threats. You’re here for the base’s interceptors, Cold War-era fighters that could still be deadly in the right circumstances. Of course, they had to be in the air for that. Here, at best they had the earthwork shelters to defend them, discounting the base’s actual defenders.“Infantry in the open,” Two says, “Likely packing AT gear.”You see them with the benefit of optical zoom, small specks at this range, racing from a barracks building toward fighting positions.“I’ve got eyes on armor,” Four says, “Looks like old war vintage, main battle tanks, five hundred meters west of the base.”Adjusting your mech’s stance with a thought, you turn your attention to see four armored vehicles rumbling out of a hangar separated from the rest of the base. Those infantry likely don’t have the range to pose a serious threat at this distance, but as you close with them they will become increasingly dangerous if they can figure out which end of their rocket launchers is the dangerous one.Those tanks were more of a threat, deploying to sweep out and strike at the flank of your squad as you advance, you could turn toward them and deal with them first, or press on the base anyway.>Two and Four, hold and engage the tanks, Three, advance with me on the base>Angel, deal with those tanks, we’re pressing on>All units, let’s scrap their armor and then worry about the infantry.>Write in
>>3507659>All units, let’s scrap their armor and then worry about the infantry.
>All units, lets scrap their armor and then worry about the infantry.
>>3507659>>All units, let’s scrap their armor and then worry about the infantry.
>>3507659>>Two and Four, hold and engage the tanks, Three, advance with me on the baseIgnoring the Infantry is a terrible idea. We shouldn't underestimate them. Thousands of tankers have made that mistake and paid for it.
Changing my vote to >>Two and Four, hold and engage the tanks, Three, advance with me on the base
>>3507659>Two and Four, hold and engage the tanks, Three, advance with me on the baseIf they came across that stuff, they probably have someone with them who knows what he's doing
>>3507659>>Two and Four, hold and engage the tanks, Three, advance with me on the base
>Focus on tanks>>3507663>>3507668>>3507672>Split the team>>3507676>>3507679>>3507683>>3507689>Two and Four, hold and engage the tanks, Three, advance with me on the base>writing
wonder what world war 3 was about? probably the soviet forces and America but who else?
>>3507690question, we having a rookie means we just lost a friend?
Tracked armor probably was a very effective deterrent against another similarly equipped foe, but to a mech, it was just an obstacle.“Let’s retire these relics,” you say on the tactical comm, “Two and Four, hit them with TOWs, Three and I will draw fire.” You’re already accelerating forward, leaning your mech into a run, moving diagonally to the oncoming armor, Three hot on your heels, the heavy feet of your mech’s plodding the dry earth and throwing up billows of dust.The tanks can’t resist and take the shot at your exposed flank, making the mistake of not stopping to aim first. The shells go wide, detonating in the sand before they come close.“Fire one,” Two says, cool as ice as the star-like flare of a TOW missile streaks from her shoulder mounted launcher, dancing over the scrubby landscape to striking a T-55 at the base of the turret, detonating its ammo supply and blowing the turret into the air in a pyrotechnic display.Another tank is similarly dispatched by Saber Four before the surviving two vehicles have the foresight to stop and try to draw beads on your stationary team members who scramble to motion.You can’t focus on them, turning ahead to zero in on the infantry, visible in spite of their drab, tan uniforms.Your image is motion stabilized against the churning gait of your mech so you can see clearly they are setting up their own AT weapons, TOW launchers, Saggers, and most seem to carry handheld AT weapons.“Light em up,” you say, dropping your red crosshair onto them with a twist of your wrist. The trigger depresses easily and your 30mm rotary cannon whines to life, spraying a steady stream of depleted uranium shells forward against the enemy.Dirt volcanoes up around the Cameroonians as you dance fire closer to them, swinging it across a half-assembled TOW battery and a shed behind it, both erupting into splinters and debris, no longer people and weapons, just a pulpy, aerosolized mass.
Three drops two 120MM HEAT shells on the barracks, the corrugated metal sides exploding outward as its engulfed in a fireball.“We got the bastards with their pants down,” Three says.“Let’s keep it that way.” You glance over your shoulder and see Two and Four weaving and dodging the clumsy Cameroonian armor as they line up their next shots.“Looking good, Saber Lead. I see a lot of scrambling down there,” Angel Six says, his F-14 Tomcat circling overhead.Another few bursts of your rotary cannon and you’re through the line, survivors scrambling away, the dead left to lie in the hot African sun. Dead ahead are the aircraft shelters, the conical noses of MiG fighters barely visible.“We’re a fox in the henhouse now,” you say, pumping shells into the fighters and blasting them to scraps, one by one.“Nice fucking work, Saber,” Angel Six says, “A lot of secondaries down there. I think this is a clean plate.”“Affirmative,” you reply, glancing around for any surviving fighters, pausing to put a few rounds through a nearby fuel silo which begins dumping its flaming contents across the tarmac. The early warning system in your cockpit shrills a sharp report and you look over to see two missiles burning hard from the hill to the north, wire-guided AT rockets, probably TOWs or Saggers. You stare in dumbfounded surprise for an instant before your LAMS, laser anti-missile system springs to life and burns one of the two out of the air.Three isn’t quite as lucky, but he managed to take a step back that throws the missiles off, avoiding a direct hit and instead gets his flank peppered with shrapnel from the blast.“AT site!” Three says, pointlessly now.It’s at extreme range for you, you can only just make out a tan lump you think might be a concealed position, the ambient ground heat makes infrared useless.>Angel Six, smoke em out>Three, cover me, I’m advancing on it>Engage at range, keep them suppressed>Write in
>Three, cover me, I'm advancing on it
>>3507704>WW3It was NATO and the Warsaw pact with fighting in Central Europe and East Asia. Some low-level nuclear exchanges were had. As for the reason, it was sparked by a mutual misunderstanding during a routine military exercise. The Soviets struck first thinking the West was about to attack.It ended in a matter of months with a negotiated settlement and peace treaty.>>3507708>Lost friendWhile you have in the past, in this case, the Rookie is replacing another pilot who retired out.
>>3507731>Engage at range, keep them suppressed
>>3507731>>Three, cover me, I’m advancing on it
>>3507731>Three, cover me, I’m advancing on it
>>3507736>The Soviets struck first thinking the West was about to attack.So kind of a variation on that time irl when the Soviets thought we had launched our nuclear arsenal and nearly responded in kind for real.
>Three, cover me, I’m advancing on it>writing>>3507748Precisely!
“Three, cover me,” you say, throttling up again and racing toward the hill weaving around the burning, ruined buildings of the airbase.“Crazy, man,” Three says, leveling his autocannon and firing off a quick burst of rounds that burst across the top of the till with concussive ‘bangs’.Training your own weapons on it, you draw nearer, into effective engagement range, now, where the fuck was the- A rocket flashes out at your from the base of the hill, much closer than the emplacement you were looking for. The rocket streaks overhead harmlessly and you follow the smoke trail back to the launcher, to see a squad of Cameroonian infantry with RPG-7s, practically on top of you.With a panicked step backward, you drop the sights of your rotary cannon on them and fire, but not before another one of them fires and strikes the shin of your mech. While the AT squad was churned to liquid, your own mech suffered minor damage to its left leg, it’ll slow you down, but not stop you.“Firing again, Jefe!” Three calls. The back blast of the TOW marks it clear as day to you as the missile races for Three.“Not this time,” you level your weapons and fire a long burst of both, obliterating the launcher and crew in a series of flashes. “Scratch an AT team,” you say, “Or two. Three, you-?”“Alright. They just nicked me.”“Me too,” you reply, “Two?”“All good here. Enemy armor eliminated.”“And the base is toast,” you say, surveying the destruction.”“Saber Lead,” Angel Six breaks in. “Fortuna relays that a Cameroonian armored brigade has been spotted rallying up and preparing to march on us. Suggest we call evac.”“We’ll be gone by the time they get here,” you reply. “Start cratering the runway, Saber team, get clear and proceed to extraction point.”A clean sweep, almost. The damage to your mechs was minor, but even minor damage usually carried a bill of a few thousand dollars of repairs. You were glad you didn’t have to foot the bill on that one.
FortunaAtlantic OceanWest African Coast1530 Hours, July 1, 1990The Atlantic Ocean right on the equator was a world made of two planes, the deep blue, sparkling ocean below and the pale white sky above. Half the day the pitiless sun would crawl from east to west and the other half was merciful darkness without the churn of powerful engines and the steady lapping of the ocean.It’s hot and it’s dull, but it sure beats the frigid, grey Baltic sea where you’d been before this.The aircraft carrier Fortuna sat atop the crystalline ocean, an oasis of terrestrial life in a desert of water. What had once served in life as the French aircraft Carrier Clemenceau now lived on in private ownership, much like her owners and crew, she was part of a private enterprise vested in war.The massive ex-warship served as the mobile headquarters of the Edgeline Company and home to its many members and families, all told just over one thousand souls on board. The formerly sterile, drab, metal passageways were decorated with murals, posters, and graffiti now, most of it harmless. Other exterior platforms were taken up with micro-parks and gardens, lending the ship a strange air of almost being part cruise ship. The shopping options on board certainly didn’t do much to dispel that impression.A hot ocean breeze sweeps over the deck of the carrier, tussling your hair as you watch one of the exterior elevators lower your mech down below decks to be rearmed and repaired.“The new M-12s will be nice.”You look over your shoulder to see Saber Two approaching, her helmet under her arm and black jumpsuit unzipped down to her waist, mirroring your own state of affairs.“The M-11 is a tough old gal,” you say, referring to your current model of Mech. “I’ve got no complaints.”“Spoken like someone who’s never graced the cockpit of an M-12,” she doesn’t smile, but the corners of her eyes fold slightly, as close as you were likely to get to a grin.
The wind picks up, tossing heir impossibly long, dark hair as she surveys the surrounding ocean. Out of uniform like this, she wasn’t Saber Two, she was Sheila Craft, wingmate and close friend, one of the first you’d made in Edgeline since you mustered out of the Army.“Good run,” you say to her.“It was alright. No one got hurt.”“That’s a good run in my book,” you reply.Sheila didn’t respond, instead watching the glittering horizon.“Beats the Baltic,” you say.“I won’t argue with you that the climate’s more agreeable,” she says, “But my risk of skin cancer has probably tripled.” She casts a baleful glance up at the merciless sun overhead. To someone with skin as fair as hers it was probably no joke, but you were used to long hours of work in the hot sun by virtue of your rural upbringing.“Drinks!” Saber Three says, shouting to be heard over the whine of idling engines and the constant breeze. Saber Three, Raul Santos was not someone that would have ever been inducted into the Mech Corps of the US Army simply because of his sheer size. Even so, he’d proved his worth time and again. “I am buying,” he says.“That so?” You cock your head at him. “Not sure we get paid enough for you to foot my bill.”“Ah!” Santos grins wider, “Then maybe I get the rookie to pitch in too?”“I’m getting sick of you calling me that,” Saber Four says, emerging from behind Santos’s shadow. Rob Pickett was anything but a rookie in the conventional sense. While he didn’t see any action in the war, he was a multi-year veteran of the United States own Mech Corps before it started to hemorrhage members to better paying mercenary outfits.>You’re probably right, Rob, we outta stop calling you that>Like it or not, you’re the Rookie until we get new meat>Rookie’s not a bad nickname, if anything it’s neutral. You’re lucky.>Write in
>>3507793>Rookie’s not a bad nickname, if anything it’s neutral. You’re lucky.
>>3507793>>Like it or not, you’re the Rookie until we get new meat.
>>3507793>>Rookie’s not a bad nickname, if anything it’s neutral. You’re lucky.do we have callsings?
>>3507793>Like it or not, you’re the Rookie until we get new meatAsk Santos, he was rookie until you steped in.Don't care if its true or not, lets just run with it.
>>3507816>do we have callsigns?Just Saber Lead through Saber Four.No unique callsigns. Yet>Rookie’s not a bad nickname>writing
>>3507793>Like it or not, you’re the Rookie until we get new meat
>>3507828Actually miscounted, correcting.
You snort, “Like it or not, you’re the Rookie until we get new meat.”Pickett rolls his eyes aggressively, “You fucking serious?”“It’s not a bad nickname really, neutral more than anything. Shit, Santos survive being Rookie for like . .. two years.”“It’s true,” Santos says sadly. “Some men must bear heavy burdens.”“So which one of you fuckers has to die so I can earn my name back?”“I think it’s Spark’s turn,” Sheila says.“I’m still waiting on the grim reaper to call my number,” you reply.“So,” Santos says, “You in, Jefe?”“In?”“Drinks!” Santos repeats, “Did you hit your head?”“Ah yes,” You bring yourself up to speed. “Sounds interesting. You going, Craft?”Sheila looks unconvinced. “I hadn’t planned on it. I don’t really want to wake up with a headache tomorrow.”“Headache sounds bad,” you agree.The four of you walk as a group toward the nearby control tower, a bastion of refuge from the bustling activity of the flight deck where Angel team is being taxi’d onto elevators to be taken down into the guts of the ship.“A hangover is a problem for another you,” Pickett says, “Tonight’s problem is-”“Crippling boredom,” Santos supplies, “An inability to cope.” He reaches the hatchway first and hauls the metal door open, letting the rest of the team into the relative peace and calm of the ship’s interior.Santos ducks under a low bulkhead before continuing, “Let’s be honest with ourselves, Sparks,” he grins back at you, “Alcoholism is probably one of the most healthy coping mechanisms you can have in our line of work.”>Go drinking with Santos and Pickett>Spend time with Sheila>Check up on your mech>Write in
>>3507843>>Spend time with Sheilaspar? spar
>>3507843>Check up on your mechMechfu, is best girl
>>3507843>>Go drinking with Santos and Pickettbros before hoes
>>3507843>Spend time with SheilaLet's get to know more about our closest friend so whe she dies gruesomely on the line of duty it will hurt all the more
>>3507843>Go drinking with Santos and PickettToday, I take a stand against the rampant waifufags of /qst/
>>3507843Can we mix>Check up on your mech>Spend time with Sheila?
>>3507887Sure, but I'm counting it as a vote for Sheila for record keeping purposes.
>Spend time with Sheila>>3507860>>3507849>>3507887(+mech)>Writing
>>3507870I Guess we're a long way away from the brotherhood in nanbaka
>>3507870This reminds me of the Kaissereich quest that within 2 votes turned Into a Dating sim
“You guys go on,” you say, “I’ve got some things to check on.”Santos gives you a knowing look, “Yeah okay. Craft, keep a close eye on Sparks here. Make sure he don’t get up to no trouble, eh?”“I can’t say I’ve ever been good at that,” Sheila replies to Santos’s amusement.“Later,” Pickett says, he and Santos disappearing down a passageway.“Craft, you wanna come with me?” you ask, “I’ve got to check on my girl.”“Your-? Ah. Yes. Alright.”The two of you begin descending decks, swiftly clambering down the nearly vertical stairwells on Fortuna’s interior and squeezing past other crew going the opposite way.“Tough luck about that RPG hit,” she says, “I bet Arkady is going to throw a fit.” Arkady Vedenin, the technical mastermind who kept Edgeline’s mechs fighting fit without breaking the bit, yeah he was probably going to give you hell.“Nah,” you lie, “Arkaday and I have a thing.”“A thing?” Sheila almost smiles at you.“You know. Like . . . a closeness thing.”“I’m sure.”Another couple decks down, you flash your ID cards to an armed sentry who nods you into the main mech hangar. The bay was cavernous, or as much as it could be on a ship. Running almost a hundred meters long and nearly a dozen wide, with an elevator at either end. It was choked with technicians and pallets of parts, sparks from welders falling from idle machines and the loud clanging of metal reverberated around the room.The mechs themselves were set back into cloisters, separated by gantries, giving the hangar an almost gothic feel.Here, Edgeline’s entire mech compliment was in storage or maintenance. Saber, Cutlass, and Sledgehammer all standing at the ready.You see your own mech, an M-12, standing at attention, her leg removed below the knee where techs were spot welding fresh armor plate onto it.“Sparks!” Arkady calls, catching sight of you and storming over.Uh oh.Sheila doesn’t smirk, but you can tell she wants to.“You sonuvabitch, what did you do to my Mech?” Arkady asks. “She’s got splinters all over the glacis and the leg’s fucked to hell- pardon my language,” he adds for Sheila’s benefit.>Your mech? Let’s be real about who she belongs to>Shit happens, Arkady. I make no guarantees>I’m sorry, really, won’t happen again!>Write in
>>3507929>I’m sorry, really, won’t happen again!it'll happen again
>>3507929>Your mech? Let’s be real about who she belongs to
>>3507929>>I’m sorry, really, won’t happen again!
>I’m sorry, really, won’t happen again!>Writing
“Arkady,” you say, “honestly, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. I know she means the world to you, and I promise, it won’t happen again.”“That’s what you fucking said last time,” Arkady grumbles before glancing at Sheila again, “Scuse me.”“You’re fine.”“Arkady, come on.”“You ‘come on’. Look, it isn’t hard to be careful with these things right?” he loops a heavy arm over your shoulder and strokes his thick, dark mustache with his free hand. “See those big guns, Sparks?” he points to the mech’s weapons. “They’re there so you don’t have to let the enemy get close, see?”“Yeah,” you say. Really Arkady was the only person you’d ever let push you around like this, mostly because you put your life in his hands every time you strapped into that cockpit.“What’s the bill, Arkady?” Sheila asks.“It’s not pretty,” the tech winces, “But . . . hell I guess I could be worse. Armor plate took the brunt of it.”“That is what it’s there for,” Sheila says.“Bah, that’s quitter talk. You want a big-ass slab of armor to walk around in? Talk to the damn Germans then.”(1/2)
The M-12 was intended to be a balance of the three golden ideals of mechanized weapons. Speed, armor, and firepower. Really, she was only mediocre in any one area, but one put together she was a jack of all trades. Quite different than the M-8 ‘Bison’s that Sledgehammer team piloted. Heavy support mechs, they were slow, ungainly, and poorly armored, but they packed a hell of a lot of firepower and got it to places conventional artillery couldn’t get.As Arkady said, different manufacturers followed different methods, the Germans typically favored armor and survivability for example, owing to the catastrophic losses they’d suffered in the war, they since took a view that every life was precious, a stark contrast to the Soviet ‘quality through quantity’ approach.“She’ll be ready for tomorrow’s assignment though, right?” you ask, weathering a glare from Arkady.“It means delays on rearming Cutlass team,” the tech says grudgingly, “But she’ll be ready.”“Sparks!” This voice was more friendly, jovial. Mason Throneberg, Sledgehammer Lead approaches you across the hangar. “Hey man, good job on that airbase.”You are very aware of Arkady’s intense glare on you.You change the subject, “Has the old man told you anything about our next op?”Mason shrugs, “Nah. Operational security and all that. I know it’s up north and I know it’s you and me buddy.”An assault team and a fire support team. Whatever it was, it was related to the airbase attack. Still, you knew better than to try to pump Mason for info.“Still, word’s going around that after this one we’re going to get some heavy rotation stateside for R&R. Can’t say I’ll be sad to get out of this place. You got plans man?”>Oil painting, it really mellows me out>I think I’m going to finally take a sailing trip>I’ve got plans go hunting in the Ozarks.>Write in
>>3508008>I think I’m going to finally take a sailing tripAw yiss. I hope some synth-heavy music is also in order.
>>3508008>>I think I’m going to finally take a sailing trip
>>3508008>I’ve got plans go hunting in the Ozarks.
>>3508008>I think I’m going to finally take a sailing trip
You grin back, “I’ve got this old boat, just finished restoring the damn thing before we shipped off last time. I’m gonna take her out I think.”“Boat?” Sheila asks, surprised. “You sail?”“Not yet,” you say. “But soon, yeah.”“Do you have any training or experience?”“I read a book once. There was a boat in it.”Mason laughs, “Sparks, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have a ‘can-do’ attitude.”“It’s a personal failing,” you reply, “I try to only ‘do’ when there is cash on the line now.”“How mercenary of you,” Sheila says and you grin back at her.“Well, I got a hot date,” Mason says, “With a cool bunk. See ya.”You wave him off as he leaves the hangar.“You finished up here?” Sheila asks.“Just about,” you look back at your mech. “Yeah okay. Alright.”You follow Sheila from the hangar deck as Arkady and his team begin to re-mount your detached mech leg. The two of you head back up the way you came, eventually emerging back onto the flight deck and stepping into the cooler breeze. To the west, the sun sinks lower on the horizon, just a dim ball of thermonuclear fire.“It reminds me of home,” she says.“What, the sun?”“This place.” She’s staring out over the water. “The ocean, the sunset, the desert.”You suppose in many ways it is like California but you recognize homesickness when you see it.“Miss it?”“Sometimes,” she says. There is a long pause, “Yes. You?”You think about home. Home is cornfields and big sky and baseball and nothing to fucking do. “Nah.”“I can believe it,” Sheila says. “In all the time I’ve known you, you’ve never seemed unhappy here.”>So why’d you sign up then? This isn’t exactly a draft.>Thinking of retiring?>You have plans for the R&R?>Write in
>>3508078>You have plans for the R&R?
>>3508078>So why’d you sign up then? This isn’t exactly a draft.
>>So why’d you sign up then? This isn’t exactly a draft.>writing
Sheila looks at you, brushing the hair from her face. “Straight to the point, I see. No, I’m here because I want to be. The pay is good, I’m good at it, and I like the people I work with.” She looks to the fading sun again. “I just miss home sometimes is all.”“Craft,” you say, “How the hell did you even get wrapped up in all this?”“I used to work on mechs,” she says, “At the San Bernadina plant. When I found out how much more it paid to pilot them . . . “ she shrugs. “I don’t mind the work we do here. Our chances of dying are relatively slim, that never bothered me anyway. I think it’s the killing that gets to most people. Putting a few shells through the windows of a building knowing that no one inside is walking away . . . that eats at people but . . . it never bothered me. Everyone dies.”You follow her gaze out to sea and consider her words. “You should get that written on your mech,” you say, “‘Everyone Dies’.”Sheila looks back at you, “I’ve got it tattooed on my lower back.”You snort laughter before exhaling softly. “I’d better go get Santos and the rookie before they kill the last brain cells they’ve got.”“I think that would be best.”“See you at the briefing?” you ask.“If you don’t,” she says, “something has gone catastrophically wrong.”***That’s all the time I have for tonight. Thanks to everyone who showed up! The next session will be on Thursday, 7 EST (11 UTC) We’ll be hearing about the next operation and executing it. I had a blast running this and hope everyone else enjoyed playing it.I’m happy to field questions/comments here.Be sure to add my twitter for updates on quest times and join my Discord to shitpost at me.https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQM https://discord.gg/WMEDDgX
>>3508118thanks for running
>>3508132My pleasure! Thanks for playing!
>>3508118>Sheila looks at you, brushing the hair from her face... I like the people I work with>Sheila looks back at you, “I’ve got it tattooed on my lower back.”
>>3508118Where did Sheila see the desert? Cameroonian coas is all rainforests.Also why the hell did we waste DU shells on infantry? HE would be cheaper and more effective.I won't ask why we have rotary cannons at all, because rule of cool after all.
>>3508508>DesertHighlands, inland Cameroon, near the Nigerian border. Not exactly desert. But arid.>DUBecause your rotary cannon doesnt allow for ammo switch out. Also because it sounds cool.
>>3508520Ah, I thought she was seeing the desert from the ship.
>>3508525Nah, you're too far off the coast for that.Thought to be honest, I'm only now seeing that Cameroon isn't as dry as I thought it was.
>>3508118Am or pm
>>35090607 EST Pm. So Approximately 27 hours from now.
“Outstanding.” The mood in the briefing room is relaxed, it was dark and calm, all lights dimmed save the large bank of television monitors that made up the back wall displaying a high-contrast situation map of the area.“Outstanding,” the speaker repeated, his voice tinged with a vague, almost unplaceable European accent. You know him to be a native Dutch speaker, Jan Van Leeuwen, affectionately known as ‘the Old Man’ and the head of Edgeline in more ways that one. He’d been famous even before purchasing a French Aircraft carrier and a dozen surplus combat mechs. He was a telecommunications baron with a fortune estimated to be in the hundreds of millions at least. He was a striking figure, tall, slender, with greying hair that hung down to his shoulders and a jovial smile on his face. “So far our employers in the Cameroonian government are quite pleased with our work here.” he looks to you, “Lieutenant Sparks, your handling of the airbase has especially impressed them.”You allow him a nod, but marvel at the irony of calling your employers the ‘government’ of Cameroon when they were such a thing in name only with the Cameroonian Liberation Front in control of the military and most of the country.“This means we are free to proceed with step two of our operation which I must apologize has been quite secretive.” Jan taps to the next slide, the map behind him resolving line by line to become the town of Barnake and the surrounding area.“You see, we do know where the CLF have taken President Mvondo, we’ve known for some time,” Jan says, “And it is critical that we rescue him to remove a bargaining chip from the CLF’s hand. Let us not forget, that President Movondo is ultimately our client here.“No Movondo, no payday?” Mason asks.Jan smiles tightly at him, “Perhaps not so dramatic. But not far off either. The plan consists of several stages, the first, eliminating the airbase at Bamenda was the first part. You see-” he traces a finger across the map of Cameroon, “It provides for us a safe air corridor all the way to Barnake from the coast, necessary to extract Mvondo.” (1/2)
There is a pause, “The last obstacle is the town itself, quite heavily fortified by the CLF, they have established anti-aircraft defenses in the area and can transfer the president in a moment if they suspect an attack. To that end, we cannot approach by air or land.” Jan grins, he has a secret to share, which you know is one of his favorite things.“The River Benue,” he traces a finger along the river’s course. “It crosses the border from Nigeria right by the town. A team of mechs can travel this river in secrecy and strike suddenly. Our public relations department has just negotiated transit rights from the Nigerian government. This means we will fly in two teams of mechs to travel the remaining distance by river.”“The Saber team under Sparks will advance on the town under cover of night, destroy resistance, secure the president, destroy the enemy AA batteries and signal his withdrawal. Sledgehammer team under Mason will proceed through Point Alpha and to the nearby heights where they will provide overwatch and long-range fire.”Jan looks between the two teams, his eyes meeting yours briefly. “Once the president is secure and a path is clear, a helicopter extraction will occur to take him to Fortuna. The mech teams will withdraw to the river and leave as they came in.” Jan smiles again. “Are there questions?”“Yeah,” Mason says, “What about resistance? Enemy numbers?”“There is a significant CLF presence in the town. We expect enemy infantry and armor. They will be most likely armed with war surplus.”“So, more of the same?” you ask.“Very much, yes.”>Is the village deserted? What are our orders regarding civilians?>Will we have air support?>What if they kill the president?>Write in
>>3512072>Is the village deserted? What are our orders regarding civilians?>What if they kill the president?All of them
>>3512090>All of them>Writing
“Yeah, just a few,” you say.Someone behind you groans.Jan gives you a patient smile, “Yes, Sparks?”“Have we gotten any intel on the village? Is it deserted?”“I’m afraid not,” Jan says, that smile fading. “The CLF has kept the local civilian population close, perhaps thinking it will make them safer.” “And our orders regarding the locals?”Jan looks uncomfortable, “We should do our best to limit any collateral damage. But we have a mission to complete.”So all bets were off. “I guess that precludes any air support as well?”“Yes, Angel team will be sitting this one out. The risk of AA fire from the ground is too great, not to mention the early warning radar signatures may give the Cameroonians. Ground forces only.”“Last question,” you say.Another pilot sighs in relief.“If the CLF kill Mvondo-”“That is not likely,” Jan replies. “He is a key element of their negotiating strategy. That said, we cannot allow that to happen. Mvondo is the whole reason for this operation. He and his family must be extracted safely.”“Got it,” you settle back in your seat. Complications, but not insurmountable ones.“We’ll have the carriers in the air within an hour,” Jan says addressing the others in the briefing room, “Good luck.”(1/2)
Benue RiverNigerian-Cameroonian borderWest Africa2100 Hours, July 2, 1990Your cockpit monitors display mostly darkness, that of the river your mech is mostly submerged in, and that of the sky overhead when it does occasionally crest the surface of the water.Though you’re behind several layers of armor and machinery, you can feel more than hear the vibrating rush of water across your mech. Each step brings you a few meters closer to the target site, but traveling upstream and underwater like this was hardly glamorous.“I hope we don’t have to get out of here in a hurry,” Santos says, “Cause we’re goin nowhere fast.”“Intel on this op says there are no significant enemy forces outside of Barnake,” Sheila replies. “Just what’s in the town.”“Yall don’t have to worry,” Mason says, “Sledgehammer has enough ordinance to level an entire armored battalion if they try to come at us. Anything they set up we can knock down.”“Just don’t miss, huh?” Pickett says.“We only ever miss twice, bud,” Mason says, “Then we got you bracketed.”“Santos, I’m pretty sure if you asked real nice, the old man would have let you drop right on the city. What’s a few SAMs to the face?” you say.Santos snorts, “The carrier’s gonna feel that more than me. I just hope I’m low enough to the ground to stick the landing.”“Hey man,” Mason says, comming you directly. “Just a bit of chest-thumping and protocol to sort out before we get there. We’re overwatch and you’re point on this one so you’ll be in the thick of it. You want us to get targets confirmed through you first?”It would delay fire support, but it would also ensure that Mason didn’t pulverize something that maybe you don’t want pulverized. You trust his judgment but it was a matter between fast support or surgically precise support.>If it’s mean, flatten it>I’ll request fire support if I want it>For some reason if I need you to stop I’ll let you know>Write in
>>3512178>>I’ll request fire support if I want itbetter this way or they'll end up flattening a hospital or something
>>3512178>I’ll request fire support if I want itBut keep an eye out too, if he c a n confirm it, shoot it
>>3512193>>3512201>I’ll request fire support if I want it>writing
“Mason, if you know it wants us dead, wipe it out. Otherwise, my team will call fire support as we need it. The last thing we need is to hit a fucking hospital or orphanage or something.”“Right, no sweat,” Mason says as your teams trudge on.Not long afterward, the water of the Benue river rolls off the sloped armor plating of your mech as you trudge up the muddy bank, finally free of its cold, death-like embrace. No sooner are you free then your monitors all flicker and return, tinted the monochromatic green of night vision.Distantly visible are the speckled lights of the town, Barnake.“What do you think, Sparks?” Mason asks, stopping his M-8 beside you, just a pale ghost in your sights. “We clear to proceed to overwatch point?”Scanning the savannah before you, your HUD doesn’t pick out any anomalous heat signatures, battle tanks or AT crews lying in wait.“Yeah,” you say. “Move fast, let us know when you’re in position.”“You got it, buddy.” Mason signals his team and the four support mechs march off, moving swiftly and heavily into the darkness, toward the distant heights.Whatever happened out there was Mason’s problem now, you hoped he could handle it. The town was your issue.“I can make out some heat sources in town,” Sheila says, “I’m thinking they’re battle tanks.”“Likely,” Pickett agrees.“We’ve got to take out those AA batteries too,” you remind the team, “Hostile skies means no evac means a scrubbed mission.Consulting the digital map of the area intelligence put together for you, you can see three AA positions around the outskirts of town, one was on the hill Mason was approaching, he should be able to handle a surprised AA crew, it meant the other two were your problem.You could split the team in half, with one mech for each site while you pressed on the VIP’s location at the same time with the other two. You might also focus on taking out all the guns before moving into town or even securing the president and his family as a team before dealing with the guns.Intelligence reports that Mvondo is being held along with some of his staff and his immediate family. A small team of loyalist commandos will ‘rise up’ once you’re in position to secure and rescue him. Your mission is to clear out the largest threats and secure a landing zone for the choppers.>Split the team to deal with AA guns as you move into town>Handle AA guns before attacking town>We’ll deal with the guns after we’ve got the president secure>Write in
>>3512240>>Split the team to deal with AA guns as you move into townmake the most use of the surprise factor and hit multiple locationsthe 2 most proficient run into town to secure the president, things will be tough
>>3512240>Handle AA guns before attacking town
>Split the team to deal with AA guns as you move into town>>3512253>>3512258>writing
You can tell this one is going to be rough. “We’re splitting up,” you say, “Saber Two, you and I will push on the town and secure Mvondo while we have the element of surprise.”“Affirmative,” Sheila replies. She’s your best, no doubt there. Santos was good but sloppy, and Pickett didn’t have enough experience under his belt to handle the unexpected. Still, you’d have to rely on them to take out the AA guns.“Three and Four, I want you to split off, Three, you take the northern gun, Four, you take the southern gun. We’re going to run this thing like a marathon, understand?”“Affirmative, Lead,” Pickett replies.“Don’t fire until you’re in a good position, with luck, they won’t see you coming. Let’s go.”The four of you separate and move out swiftly, pounding footfalls echoing in the night. In a minute you’ve reached the outskirts of town, stepping over a parked four-door car and trampling a fence you didn’t see. You find yourself on a narrow street, moving up and toward the center of town where the hotel Mvondo was being held at was located.Sheila’s 30MM gun opens up without warning, shredding the front of a building beside you, tossing scraps of masonry and powdered plaster everywhere. “Hostiles!” she cries out.You take an involuntary step away from the building and see what had been an infantry team scattered through the interior of the building.“Christ, okay, full speed, let’s go.” You jam your throttle and are pressed into your crash couch for a moment as your mech pounds up the street.Fifty caliber rounds ping off your front armor, tracer rounds bouncing high into the night sky looking like miniature comets in your green night vision. Following the trail, you see an aging white Toyota with a heavy machine gun in the back blazing away. A technical.It only takes a single pulse of your 30MM cannon to ruin the truck and the crew, hardly worth the effort.“More infantry!” Sheila calls, “Twelve O’clock, get clear!”You react without thinking, stepping backward and twisting, backing your entire mech through a nearby cluster of houses, their corrugated steel roofs crumpling beneath your mech’s awesome weight as their walls give way.
The AT rocket fired at you streaks by and detonates on Sheila’s mech.Depressing the trigger, you grit your teeth and sweep your crosshairs across the street where the shot came from, your rotary cannon whining and spewing death down range. A trio of small explosions and a bright flash on night vision convinces you that you killed whatever it was. Glancing back to Sheila you see her mech is still standing.“Two-!”“Fine lead, I lost my TOW guidance system but I’m alright,” she sounds shaken, but in control.“Right, let’s pick it up.”“Got it, lead.”You travel the rest of the way to the hotel, stepping over the armored car that struck Sheila before you get there. The building, is sturdy block construction, towering over the surrounding area, five stories in height. Your arrival sends the loyalist commandos in the building into action, gunfire flashing in the windows as they secure the hostages while you and Sheila stand guard.Explosions to the north and south indicate mission success for Pickett and Santos.“Lead,” Santos reports, “I got movement up here. Frogtech tank or something looks like.”“Shit,” you say, “Are you sure?”After the war, when the French government disbanded their armed forces, the French weapons industry turned to develop weapons for export and with little choice, ended up dumping a lot of hardware on the third world. ‘Frogtech’, as it was called, often found its way into the hands of rebels and low-bid mercenaries. It posed a much larger threat than the conventional gear you’ve seen so far.“Yeah, I think so. Big ass tank, big gun,” Santos says. “Pulled away before I could get a bead on it. I lost it though.>Saber Three and Four go hunt down that mech killer before it becomes a problem>Hold tight, we’ll bring the whole team>Sledgehammer, flatten that entire block, not taking chances.>Write in
>>3512298>>Hold tight, we’ll bring the whole team
>>3512298>Saber Three and Four go hunt down that mech killer before it becomes a problemKeep your distance and signal for sledgehammer when you get a visual
>>3512307this but tell them to not engage, if the plan doesn't work we go with the whole team
>Saber Three and Four go hunt down that mech killer before it becomes a problem>>3512307>>3512344>Writing
“Three, take Four and get eyes on that tank, nothing stupid, we’re gonna have Sledgehammer take care of it when you find it.”“You got it. Four, let’s move.”The two mechs move across your small tactical map, homing in on where they last saw the French mech destroyer.“Lead,” Sheila says, drawing your attention, “I’ve signaled Fortuna, a chopper has been dispatched, we’ve got some time to kill before they arrive, ETA is forty-five minutes.”“Affirmative,” you spare a look to the hotel where you know inside men with assault rifles are securing a dozen or so civilians including some children. Not long now.“Four,” Santos says, “I think I’ve got visual, behind that auto shop. Stay-” The signal dissolves into static.Further away, the northern section of town is lit up with fire, a fireball rolling into the sky.“Jesus Christ!” Pickett calls, “They got Santos! There’s two of them!” Gunfire flashes out randomly, shells bursting among roughly built houses.“Fuck!” you cry out, trying to get a handle on what’s happened, “Four, hold fire, goddamit! What’s Santos condition?” You know the answer.“He’s fucking wrecked, Lead! Nothing left!”You feel a void in your stomach, a sinking sensation, one moment he was here, the next . . . “Sledgehammer, plaster those coordinates,” you snap. “Load for anti-tank. Four, get clear.”“Fuck. Fuck! Moving,” Four says.“Rounds inbound,” Mason says, the distant howl of a multiple-launch rocket system cutting the night air.The missiles come in with frightening precision, carving a swath of destructions across two square blocks, buildings being blown to smithereens and smoke climbing into the sky. “We’ve got one- two secondaries,” Sheila says. “Big tanks I’d say.”“Four, status?” you ask, pushing Santos’s face out of your mind.“I’m on my way back, confirming the kills.”“Carefully,” you say, almost pleadingly.In a minute there is a reply, “Yeah, two confirmed. French mechkillers alright and . . . Lead, these aren’t Cameroonian colors.”“Say again?” your blood runs cold.“Yeah, shit, these aren’t CLF. I’m seeing a uh . . . like a white wolf head logo. Shit. Are these mercenaries boss?”Foreign mercs would be a surprise.(1/2)
You toggle comms to address Fortuna “Foreign mercs? A wolf? Do we know anything about that?”“Stand by, Saber Lead,” control responds followed by a painfully long pause. “Negative, we’ve got no reports of foreign mercenaries operating in the area.“It might be a local militia,” Sheila suggests.“No. Not fucking likely,” you double check your tactical feed, noting the distinct lack of Saber Four on your map.“Are we bailing? Maybe there are more,” Four says.“We’re not fucking bailing,” you shoot back, “This doesn’t change the op. We’re here to do a job and we’re going to do it.”“If there are foreign mercs here-,” Sheila comms you directly.“It will make this decidedly more difficult,” you say, looking back at the hotel. It was the best site to defend in the town, but also an obvious target, the first place they’ll come looking. You might move the president and his entourage further into the suburbs, a less-likely target, though these outer buildings went up like matchsticks under fire. It was also possible you might commandeer some vehicles and take the whole group out into the surrounding countryside. You’ll have freedom of sight and movement out there, but that may work for any potential enemy as well.>Keep president in the hotel>Move president elsewhere in town>Take the president out to the countryside>write in
>>3512396>>Take the president out to the countrysidetake the package, out there sledgehammer will have a visual on them before they can come close
>>3512396>Take the president out to the countrysideWe are kinda bailing
“We’re moving,” you say to no one in particular. “Four, head out of town and locate a spot where we can land an evac chopper. Two, tell Mvondo and his people to get mobile.”Your teammates sound affirmative and the plan is put in motion.“Sledgehammer Lead, Saber Lead. We’re taking the VIP out of town, if anything is coming I want to see it a ways out, copy?”“Copy you, bud,” Mason says, “But we got issues here.”“Issues?”“Heat signatures approaching, lot of them. Moving down the D17 toward your position.” Mason’s voice is strained, he sounds very unhappy about this.“Tanks?”“Mechs,” Mason replies. “Looks like three teams or so. I think they’re Russian make. Probably mercs.”“Shit,” you pound a fist on your steering yoke. This has all gone bad. “Hey,” Mason says with a dry chuckle, “Remember Minsk?”“Minsk?” You are thrown by the non-sequitur reference to the war for a moment before you remember the Highway of Death. “Mason, you fire on that column and you’re going to have three pissed off mech teams on your ass, we’re not there to screen you this time!”“If we’re as good as I think it’ll be like half that number alive when we’re done. Say the word, boss.”If Sledgehammer unloaded on the mech teams now they’d thin their numbers a lot, but it wouldn’t end well for Sledgehammer, heavy, cumbersome fire-support mechs caught in the open facing faster assault mechs.>Give them hell, man, open fire>Fuck that. Hold fire and get clear>Write in
>>3512477question, so what are our options here, if they come we will have to face off against the three units or can we bail?
>>3512477>Fuck that. Hold fire and get clearWhatever they are paying us, won't cover the cost of what we've lost already. Nothing can.Tell Sledgehammer to hold the fire until they can fire on their backs while they are engaging our troops. Let's pray they don't have support of their own
>>3512490Apologies if I was unclear, the situation is such that another larger mercenary force is bearing down on you. Cutting and running isn't an option by default but you can write that in. It would be abandoning the president and his entourage and thus the mission.Otherwise, Sledgehammer can reduce enemy numbers, but they will likely be subsequently engaged and destroyed.Otherwise they can let them pass and leave for the withdrawal point.
>>3512477>Write inWait for them to come to the city, then they hit them from their backs with everything, we will have them surrounded and surprised, we can pick off tbos the keep forward and they will habe more time to shoot again if any of them tries to go after them
>>3512497>>3512491I like the hitting them after they pass plan,
>>3512491>>3512497>>3512502>Shoot them in the back>writing
As much as you want to tell Mason to get clear, you know you don’t stand a chance without his help. “Fine, but we’re not doing Minsk. We’re doing something new. Let them come at us and then hit them in the back. Got it?”“Yeah, if we can lay low till then. We blasted an anti-air track off this hill so they may know where’ up here already.”That was an unpleasant thought. “Just, try to sit tight okay? If they come at you . . . ““If they come at us, we’ll give em something to consider.”You flip to team comm. “Four, Two, we’re gonna have company. A lot of company. Spread out and find good firing positions once we get out of town, I want to hit them as they’re coming out of it.”You watch the president and his entourage loaded into a series of jeeps by the Cameroonian commandos and follow them into the countryside. Soon you leave the roads behind and move into the flat open savannah until you reach the spot Four located for the evac, deploying your defense a few kilometers away, facing east, toward Barnake.A flash of gunfire lights the distant hill, silhouetting it against the black sky.“Shit, Saber, they found us!” Mason says. “Scout mech team.”“You got it?”“Yeah, for now. But we’re hitting the main column”You don’t have time to argue, a monochromatic rainbow of missile launches leaps from the hill as Sledgehammer’s Bisons fire their deadly salvos on the targets entering Barnake, out of sight of you. Fireballs blossom across the road and fires are started on the edge of town.“Get clear, Sledgehammer,” you say, “You’ve done what you can.”“No promises, bud. Sledgehammer Lead, out.”“Shit. Fuck. Two, what’s the ETA-”“Chopper is fifteen minutes out,” Sheila replies.“We’re gonna be in it before then,” Pickett says.“Don’t sweat it,” you say, “This is what we’re here for right? Did you think this was just gonna be a milk run?”
“Targets in the open!”They are burning bright on your infrared, Russian mechs, coming forward quickly on that unique chicken-legged gait, weapons forward, spreading out in a combat deployment. They’re easy to pick up even without the false-color infrared, visible in the light of Barnake as the eastern -half of the town burns.“Weapons free,” you say, dropping the crosshairs of your 120MM on the lead mech, a T-88, war vintage, this one’s top bristling with antennas, a command variant.A stroke of the trigger unleashes a trio of shells in rapid succession, the gun firing and cycling in seconds. The first catches the enemy mech in the hip, staggering it, and the second strikes dead center, glancing off its glacis plate.A pair of TOW rockets lance out from Pickett’s position and detonate an enemy mech while Sheila likewise engages with her gun.The Russian mechs firing back wildly, panicked, they have no clear targets are are advancing blindly.Another burst from your main gun takes down the leader while Sheila finishes off her target.“Scratch one,” you say breathlessly.“Team flanking left!” Pickett says, dancing armor piercing rounds from his rotary cannon northward, the tracers ricocheting off the armored flank of another mech team. It seemed Mason hadn’t gotten as many of them as he hoped.These guys were probably veterans, using standard Soviet doctrine. Pinning you with a frontal attack while they probed for your flank. It wasn’t good, you were likely still outnumbered and didn’t have many options.>Stay in cover and give fire>Pickett, keep them suppressed, I’m changing positions, make it look like there are more than three of us>We stay here and we die, advance on them, we can punch through their center and draw them into the town.>write in
>>3512577>We stay here and we die, advance on them, we can punch through their center and draw them into the town.
>>3512577>Pickett, keep them suppressed, I’m changing positions, make it look like there are more than three of us
>Pickett, keep them suppressed, I’m changing positions, make it look like there are more than three of us>Writing
“Four, keep them pinned,” you say. “I’ll reposition and engage.”“You’re going to leave our center exposed,” Sheila returns.“Not if they don’t know I’ve moved,” you return. “Keep firing, Two.”“Affirmative, Lead.” She punctuated her words with another burst of shells across the advancing Russians.You back your mech away from the scrub line you’d sheltered at and move at a clip along it, keeping the vegetation between you and the enemy, hoping it would conceal your movements. A minute later you pass behind Pickett’s position.“Taking a lot of fire here! My rotary is jammed or something,” he says, panic edges his voice.“Hang tight, Four, I’m here.” You drop your mech into a crouch and zoom in on the team engaging him in time to see two of them fire their top-mounted AT missiles. “Shit!” You squeeze the trigger and fire both your main weapons, the rotary cannon whirring as the main gun spits shells.Both mechs are caught off guard, trying to withdraw to face this new threat, but they never get the chance, each being shredded by heavy, close-range fire.“Scratch two!” You shout.You see a third missile strike Pickett’s mech in the torso near his 120MM gun, the ammo supply ejecting as it detonates, saving his life. “Fuck! I’m hit! Actuator's out!”You scan the darkness, trying to spot the heat signature of an enemy mech through the flames consuming Barnake. “Get clear, Pickett, fall back to the LZ, you’re done.”“Let me-” Saber Four explodes from a main gun hit to the torso, the M-12 topping over into the brush and igniting the dry grass, turning the surrounding night to twilight.“Four is- Four is down,” you say, drawing a bead on where the shot came from.(1/2)
“Chopper is here,” Sheila says, “They’re loading the VIP now, let’s fall back and get clear.”|You flip channels, “Sledgehammer? Mason? Are you there, man?”A barely audible hiss is all you hear before Fortuna command comes back on the radio, “Sledgehammer team is KIA, Saber. Get clear, mission priorities are secondary at this point.”A bit fucking late for that, “Affirmative.” You toggle back to Sheila, “Go for the river, serpentine pattern, I’ll keep overwatch.”“Affirmative.” You can barely make out Sheila’s mech in the distant as it rises from cover, pivots, and starts marching swiftly back toward your position. Like clockwork, two other enemy mechs in the savannah stand to get a better shot. You’re ready. You fire twice at the first, not waiting to see the results before turning to engage the second, firing as it does.Your shot punches through the central optical sensor and blows out the back half of the upper assembly, topping it in a fireball.“Scratch-” Sheila’s mech’s left leg buckles from a hit and the entire vehicle topples over.“Saber, VIP is clear, chopper is leaving the area, you need to proceed to extraction point ASAP, enemy will not pursue you over the border, copy?” Fortuna command says on the radio.“Shit,” you glance to verify the first mech you shot at is down, not exploded, but out of action, the pilot bailing out.“Two- Sheila, you hurt?”“I’m not great, get clear, Lead,” She says, her voice shaky with pain. “I’ll take my chances at prisoner exchange. Not worth the risk.”>”Stay safe.” Leave for the border>”Not risking them taking you prisoner or not” retrieve Sheila>write in
>>3512659>>”Not risking them taking you prisoner or not” retrieve Sheilathe whole thing is fubar, we lost a lot of friends, let's not loose the last one
>>3512662>”Not risking them taking you prisoner or not” retrieve SheilaThey might decide that they don't sant prisioners, we killed a bunch of their dudes too
>>3512666may satan protect us hellish trips
>>3512662>”Not risking them taking you prisoner or not” retrieve Sheila
>>3512662>>”Stay safe.” Leave for the border
“Goddammit!” You let out a cry of primal frustration, pounding your fist against the bulkhead beside you as anger and fear mix in your gut. The idea that the CLF was just sitting on a battalion of mechs didn’t sit right with you, there was no way, it didn’t add up, but you weren’t going to let this mission claim everyone. “Stay put!”It was crazy, it was suicide. You had to do it.You leap forward from cover and into the open, striding toward Sheila’s downed mech. The cockpit hatch is open and you see her wriggling free onto the ground, her face is covered in blood and she has her left hand clapped tight on her right arm which flops sickeningly as she moves.A Russian mech steps from the darkness beside you, concealed by billowing smoke from the grass fire all around you. Close range, no, beyond close range, point blank.You swing your right arm’s 120MM gun around and feel a metallic clash as it strikes the frontal armor of the Russian mech. The enemy is already bringing a rotary canon up, the yawning muzzle looms huge in your viewscreen, your eyes almost as wide as the gun. With another shout of rage, you focus your intent and the mech reacts, lashing out with a foot to rest of the inverted shin of the Russian mech. You step down with all the might hydraulics and electric motors could muster, shattering armor and crumpling titanium skeleton.The T-88’s right leg buckles and the entire war machine heels over, its autocannon spewing fire into the air before being smashed under its own bulk when it lands on it.You take a measured step back and finish it off with two shells before racing for Sheila again.“Saber Lead, Angel team is scrambling now, they are thirty minutes out but-”“Belay that,” you say, “They’ve got god knows how many mechs out here, we don’t need to throw more lives away. Sheila and I are getting out of here on our own or not at all.”“R-roger, Saber Lead. Good luck.”(1/2)
No more shells come your way so you drop to a knee and pop the catch of your cockpit, unbuckle your harness with a twist of your hand while you snag your personal defense submachine gun from its holster as you emerge into the hot night, the smell of smoke thick in the air.You don’t even use the small footholds to scramble off the mech, just jumping clear and landing on the hard earth, nearly losing your balance before you dash the remaining distance to Sheila.“Sparks, what the fuck-”“Stow it!” you snap, looking her over. Broken arm obviously. She squints up at you with one eye, her long hair matted with sticky blood, her right eye is squeeze shut, then you see blood from beneath her eyelid leaking out. “Jesus, Craft.”“I’ll be okay,” she says, trying not to wince, “I’m just-”“Shut up.” You toss your gun, useless against mechs anyway, and slide your arms under her. “This is going to hurt like a bitch.”Sheila sets her jaw and nods once, short and sharp.You lift her and try to tune out her cry of pain.She tries to hold her broken arm still as you run for your mech, the grass rustling past your pants, the sounds to mechanized feet stomping nearby, smoke obscuring what little you can see. “I feel dizzy,” Sheila says.“Stay with me, Sheila,” you say, trying not to sound afraid.You reach the mech. Four steps up is easy enough alone. Impossible when you’re carrying someone. “Shit. Okay, hold onto me, tight as you can, don’t let go.”“I . . .can’t. It hurts too much,” she hisses.“Don’t you fucking quit on me, Craft!” you snap at her, “You’re going to fucking live! You hear me!?”Sheila stares at you with her good eye, speechless for an instant before she releases her broken arm and wraps her good one around your neck, grabbing a fistful of fabric on the back of your jumpsuit.You climb. Somehow you climb with Sheila holding onto you with everything she has left, screaming at every movement. It takes an eternity, but you reach the cockpit, half dumping her inside, not even waiting to close the hatch before you stand and turn, running for the Benue river, the burning town behind you.Sheila tries to be small, nestled beside you in the couch, her head lolling side to side as she struggles to remain conscious. The border is so close and so far.“Fortuna, we’re going to need medics on standby, Saber Two is in rough shape.”“Affirmative, Saber Lead, the old man has pulled all stops. A medevac chopper will be waiting in Nigeria.”“Affirmative.” You look to Sheila and she looks back, her face painted in blood. The sole survivors of Barnake.
That’s my time. Thanks guys! I really appreciate everyone who stopped in to play. Consider this the conclusion of Strike Mech ‘90 with a possibility of expanding it to a full series Strike Mech ‘98. I’d love everyone’s thoughts, positive, negative, questions, things you’d want to see in the full series. Be sure to follow on Twitter for updates or join my Discord to fuck around.https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQM https://discord.gg/WMEDDgX
>>3512734Thanks for running, TK
>>3512734That was awesome, and a really high stakes missionI'd love to see more of Sparks and Craft
>>3512744>>3512746Thanks for playing!I hope we get to see more of them myself and I hope I see you guys there!
>>3512734I liked it a lot tk. In regards to running Strike Mech 98, I have this video https://youtu.be/ySJ1Z5o8y5w
>>3512734My only critique is it wasn't very clear how much our choices contributed to our success or failure.
>>3512734Thanks for runningSparks is the Devil of Barnake, that was very nice
>>3512734Btw using the link in the opening post won't show this thread, so it's probably best if you link just /qstarchive.html?tags=Strike%20Mech when you run again.
>>3512662>serpentinehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpNU3WumPFQ>>3512734Sad I missed this, really enjoyed reading through it. Hope we see you soon
>>3512983I think it will be more clear in the future!But who knows.>>3513111>the Devil of BarnakeI hope it sticksThanks for playing!>>3513261whoops. Ah well, good spot!>>3513559Was thinking of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yji3B3L2WqkBut yeah.You'll be seeing more before long!