Bainbridge IslandSeattle, Seattle Free Trade ZoneUS Pacific Northwest0430 Hours, May 13, 1998You are Andrew Sparks, the Unbroken Saber, the Devil of Barnake, and a veteran of countless other conflicts, large and small. You’ve seen every degree of human suffering the world has to offer and in many cases profited from it. You’re a mercenary, part of a company called Edgeline, once one of the most revered and respected on the globe, but after a bloody debacle in West Africa, the company has fallen on hard times.“Castle, this is Saber Lead,” you say, surveying the dark landscape that surrounds your mech’s position in a wooded gully. “I’m in attack position, over.”The Pacific Northwest was quite literally a world away from the interior of Cameroon, but you know too well that the war-torn third world isn’t the only kind of shithole on earth, even aside from the FTZ slums in the US or the sprawling refugee camps of the midwest, here in the Pacific Northwest, outside of one of the wealthiest cities in America, was a different kind of hell“Affirmative, Saber Lead,” a smooth, calm female voice replies through your helmet headset. “Interpol assault teams report readiness. The operation can begin once the target’s mech contingent is taken out.” Sheila Craft- once your ever-trusted wingmate when she operated in the field- sounds the same as she ever did. Monotone, mission-oriented, humorless- if you didn’t know better.“Roger, Castle,” you reply. “Going radio silent. Wish us luck.”“My operational plan doesn’t allow room for luck,” she replies.
The year is 1998, thirteen years after the First-Strike War, a brief but deadly confrontation between East and West 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 ‘98.***Important links:>What is Strike Mech ‘98?https://pastebin.com/npxZyNVF>Archivehttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Strike+mech>Twitter feed I use to announce planned game times.https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQMI allow between fifteen and twenty 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.
Smiling to yourself, you toggle off the comm and flip to the unit-wide network. “Saber Team, Saber Lead. Interpol is in position for the assault, but we have to clear out the sentry mechs holding down this compound.” As you speak, you review the dossier on Gary Ashpool.Ashpool is, in your mind, typical of his kind. A predator, a man with the means and motivation to exploit humanity for pleasure and profit. Someone above the law. Or rather, he had been.With untold millions of dollars behind him, he’d operated with impunity, escaping justice by moving out of the United States territory proper and into the ill-policed Seattle Free Trade Zone until even that wasn't enough. Now, with some two-bit mech mercs under his employ, he’d been too tough a nut for any police organization to tackle.That is until they contracted Edgeline.“Remember, watch fire toward the mansion, if we kill the target there’s no payout. He’s wanted alive.”“What’s the difference?” Saber Two asks. “Either we send him to hell or the Swedes do, right?”“The difference, Dusty,” Saber Three addresses him by his nickname, “Is that we do not get paid.” As a French-speaking Belgian, Genevieve- Saber Three- turns her ‘th’s and ‘s’s into ‘z’s.“Shit, I’d do that kinda work for free,” Dusty responds, “Ain’t got a problem knockin off sinners.”“Then perhaps start with yourself?” Genevieve shoots back.“Guys, come on. Chill,” Saber Four, says, Redford was always the peacekeeper in the team.>You’ll have to settle for killing cut-rate mercs, Saber Two>If you’re not in it for the money, you’re in the wrong line of work, Dusty>Cut the chatter, we’re here for a job>Write in
Posting good obscure mech music:https://youtu.be/pxTLUqQTH6U
>>3526625>>You’ll have to settle for killing cut-rate mercs, Saber Two
>>3526625>You’ll have to settle for killing cut-rate mercs, Saber TwoCraft is not on duty? That's both good and bad, is she waiting to recover from her wounds?>You’ll have to settle for killing cut-rate mercs, Saber Two
>>3526625>>If you’re not in it for the money, you’re in the wrong line of work, Dusty
>>3526625>Cut the chatter, we’re here for a jobJaded commander, can't get attached, they'll die at any second now
>>3526649Going on my playlist.>>3526659>Craft is not on duty? That's both good and bad, is she waiting to recover from her wounds?It's been eight years.
>>3526682this sounds good, tell them to cut it after we say our piece
>>3526691Oh, I see, well, good thing she got out of there, let's see how things are after we finish this
>>3526691>8 yearat this point we either own the company of have some shares in it kek
>You’ll have to settle for killing cut-rate mercs>>3526656>>3526659>Cut the chatter>>3526682>>3526697>If you’re not in it for the money, you’re in the wrong line of work>>3526682>writing
“You’re gonna have to settle for killing cut-rate mercs, Saber Two,” you say, suppressing a smirk. “Now cut the chatter, we’ve got a job to do.”You learned long ago not to get too attached.“Affirmative, Lead,” Dusty, for once, sounds a bit embarrassed. Rare form for him.“Thy shouldn’t prove too challenging,” Craft says, “Hit them hard enough that they don’t get back up.”Now you smile in earnest, “Telling me how to do my job, Castle?”“A helpful suggestion,” she replies.“Now who’s chattering?” Saber Two asks.“Can it,” you say.After infiltrating up from the coast and moving along the shallow gully that connected to the coast, your team was split and in position, ‘hull down’ and concealed by the thick vegetation, it would only take a few titanic steps to emerge into firing position and unload on the enemy. You’d reviewed the surveillance shots INTERPOL had sent, Ashpool’s personal mech guard consisted of six units, CA-02 ‘Conquistadors’, exports from South America. Certainly not the most terrible mechs around, maybe a step down from some French Frogtech, but capable enough.Conquistadors were ostensibly sold as police enforcement units, intended for crowd control and partisan hunting. These were modified with aftermarket armor plates and heavier weapons to become decent combat mechs in their own right.You’d arrived prepared to deal with this threat, your team is equipped half and half with old M-12 ‘Wolfhounds’, the same mech you piloted in Germany during the First Strike War, the other half, Saber Two and Four, had the newer M-13 ‘Wildcat’.You were certain you were fighting amateurs, wash-ups, and wannabes, but you knew firsthand that a shell didn’t care who fired it so much as what it hit.You’ve got to make this one count.The gully you and Saber Two occupy is narrowing up, though it continues on further, bisected by an anti-personnel security fence, something that wouldn’t slow your mech down any more than a stiff breeze would. Just ahead two CA-02s were on patrol, you and Saber Two might be able to sneak closer and engage the enemy from point blank, it depends on how alert and how fast the enemy was.If Saber Team rushed in as a unit, sneaking as close as possible before moving, it just might catch the enemy off guard, although it would be harder to draw a bead on them while moving forward at top speed.A slightly more cautious approach would be to rely on your gunnery skill, hanging back and picking off the enemy mechs from a distance, though things could get complicated if they fell back on the mansion.>Rush in>Pick them off at range>Four and Three provide overwatch as Two and you advance>Write in
>>3526736>Four and Three provide overwatch as Two and you advance
>>3526736two is shit at gunnery so he advances with us while 3 and 4 provide overwatch>Four and Three provide overwatch as Two and you advance
>>3526736>>Four and Three provide overwatch as Two and you advance
>Four and Three provide overwatch as Two and you advance>writing
“Four, Three, lay down a base of fire, try to clear out the units in front of us, we’ll advance into the compound and draw fire.”“Affirmative, Lead,” Three replies, cresting the gully’s lip with the upper half of her Wolfhound and drawing a bead on the pair of mechs before you. “Missile away.”The M-12s you and Dubois's mechs are equipped with Anti-Mech Missiles (AMMs), worlds superior to the small TOWs you carried in Barnake.The launcher belches fire and her missile cuts a straight line, borne on a spark of fire, directly into one of the waiting Conquistadors. It doesn’t stand a chance, caught flat-footed and struck dead center with the warhead, the entire mech is blown clean in half. Its partner wheels about and fires blindly toward this sudden threat, backpedaling toward the mansion. Saber Four fires his main guns in rapid succession, shells going wide, one tearing a small gap in the security fence and another whistling past and on toward the edge of the compound.“Idiot!” Dubois snaps, tracking her own guns onto the surviving mech.You get to it before she does, pumping in two rounds from your autocannon as you trample the security fence, Dusty on your heels.“Hey, give me a fucking break,” Redford bemoans, turning his attention to the two Conquistadors still standing by the gate, firing off a trail of rounds from his rotary cannon that cut a glowing rainbow across the night air, a pale imitation of the lit Seattle skyline visible to the east across the bay.“Saber, be advised, we have reason to suspect-” Sheila is interrupted as the Conquistadors north of the compound open fire with their heavy guns, shells dropping around you and Dusty and detonating against the soft earth.“We see it, Castle!” you reply, “Artillery configuration.” Two and you return fire but at a full run, you have no hope of hitting them, return fire simply mussing the topography to the north.“Negative, Saber Lead,” Sheila says, “We’re getting a fresh heat source. Looks like a helicopter.”“Aw hell, he’s runnin for it,” Dusty says.You spare a look toward the far side of the compound, there is indeed a helicopter there, being pushed from an outbuilding, its engine warming and blades starting to spin.“He there yet?” you ask Castle.“Unknown, no one has left the main building so I think he’s warming it up first,” Sheila replies.“He’s gonna get away, man!” Dusty adds.A shell from the mechs north of the compound glances off your shoulder armor, turning your torso violently enough that you’re shaken in your cockpit, momentarily dazed.Saber Three and Four are occupied with tying up the two Conquistadors near the base gate and are in no position to shift targets to these artillery mechs.>Risk the shot and destroy the chopper>Focus fire on the artillery mechs>Three and Four advance and draw their fire so we can get closer>Write in
>>3526838>>Three and Four advance and draw their fire so we can get closerthey can't be that far, time to go in and get that chopper
>>3526838>Risk the shot and destroy the chopper
>>3526838>Focus fire on the artillery mechs
>>3526878can you we go for the artillary while we tell the other two to advance?
>>3526838>Focus fire on the artillery mechsThe team's safety comes first
>>3526901>>3526878>Focus on artillery.>writing
You weren’t going to risk any lives needlessly to satisfy a contract, not after Barnake. Bringing your mech to ah alt, you line your sights up on the sharpshooter mechs and are greeted with the pulsing tone of a missile lock.A stroke of the trigger sends your AMM screaming toward the enemy. Return fire finds nothing as you already are moving again, scattering away from their shots.“Scratch one,” Castle says, “Nice shooting Lead.”“Scratch two!” Dubois says as a fireball climbs from the gate.Turning to your own guns, you and Dusty drop more shells at the distant mechs, some fire falling short and punching a flaming gouge through the upper floor of the mansion.“Oh fuck,” Saber Two chuckles.“Lead, watch your fire, Interpol is not happy about that danger close to target,” Sheila chides.“They can bill me,” you reply, tracking the sole remaining conquistador as it strafes alone the hill.“Movement!” Saber Four calls, “Targets in the open!”“Confirmed,” Sheila says, “Getting a visual. Looks like Ashpool, he’s moving for the chopper.”It wasn’t a long run, a solid thirty-second sprint to the chopper and he’d be virtually untouchable.“Shit,” you swear. If Ashpool boards the chopper, you risk killing him to shoot it down, and firing on it now held a similar risk, an unprotected human in the open didn’t handle close-range concussive force too well.>Take out the chopper, we’ll risk it>Can’t risk killing the target, get in close quick>Tell INTERPOL to haul ass in here to nab their guy>Write in
>>3526915>>Can’t risk killing the target, get in close quickmelee the chopper
>>3526915>Take out the chopper, we’ll risk it
>>3526915Have we killed all 6 mechs? If so, sprint to the chopper, and we'll hold it down if we have to
>>3526915>>Can’t risk killing the target, get in close quick
>>3526915>>Take out the chopper, we’ll risk it
>>3526930No. One remains on the hill and one by the gate.
>>3526915>Can’t risk killing the target, get in close quick
>Can’t risk killing the target, get in close quick>>3526924>>3526931>>3526954>Take out the chopper, we’ll risk it>>3526932>>3526929>Melee helicopter>Writing
“Fuck,” you hiss, making sure your open mic is off before flipping back to team comms. “Saber Two, let’s hustle, move on the chopper!”“Got it!”“Three, Four, keep those mechs off us!” you should, heeling your mech over and throttling up to race for the idling helicopter.Dubois and Redford split their attention, each firing on a mech. Dubois takes hers down with a burst of autocannon fire.In what feels like slow motion, you see Dusty pull his mech ahead of you, fee churning the earth to mud before a shell tears through the knee of his mech and it topples over with a shrill cry of panic in your ear.“Four!” you shout, willing your team to take out the last sniper.“Scratch one!” Redford shouts triumphant as his founds fly true and detonate across the Conquistador’s chest armor, knocking it flat.“Dusty?” You check.“Good! I’m still fucking here!” Saber Two replies, sounding amazed.You don’t have time to dwell on it, the chopper is here now, you don’t slow down. The craft tries to life up and away when it sees what you have in mind. It’s too late. Whirling blades shatter on your mech’s armored legs and you trample the aluminum hull of the aircraft, crumpling it like an empty can before the gas tank goes off, the fuselage tangling around your legs and sheering apart under your stomping feet.Scratch one whirlybird.You slow to a stop, dreading what Arkady will say about the inevitable burn damage to your paint job. Coming about you see Ashpool and a gaggle of bodyguards, staring dumbfounded at the flaming ruin of the helicopter you just stomped through. You flip on the external loudspeaker with malicious glee. “Have a seat, Mr. Ashpool.”The millionaire looks back over his shoulder and sees the headlights of approaching INTERPOL armored cars. He had a lot to answer for and you hoped that justice would be served.“Congratulations from Interpol, Saber Lead,” Sheila says. “I’ve double checked, the contract will cover the damage to our mechs still.”You exhale. “Pays to have insurance, Castle. Get Anvil down here for pickup . . . and tell Arkady I’m sorry about the mechs.”“Affirmative. See you back on Fortuna.”(1/2)
The Seattle Free Trade Zone, despite the glitz and glamor of its sparkling highrises, was its own kind of hell, one occupied by corporate salarymen and neon-festooned gutter punks alike.With the post-war economic slump of the late 80s a number of semi-lawless Free Trade Zones were opened to bolster a sagging economy.There was no question, vast amounts of money were made, typically on the backs of the poor.Not that you have room to look down from your high horse, you’ve seen more desperate poor to their graves than maybe anyone. It didn’t pay to dwell on it.The city was picturesque at night like this, golden towers against a black horizon.On the flight deck of Fortuna you watch your mechs lowered down into the bowels of the ship one by one.“Fast thinking, Sparks.”You look back at Sheila with a smile. She hasn’t changed much in the past eight years. Older now of course, but still as beautiful as ever. Silky black hair, sways in the breeze, matching the black coveralls she wears and the black-shafted cane she leans on as she walks toward you.The silver head flashes in the artificial light of the deck, the engraved words catching shadows. Omnes Mortuus Est.“With the chopper I mean,” she explains.She gives you a half smile, one that doesn’t quite reach her remaining eye.You return a lopsided grin, “I wasn’t going to just let the money fly away.”“That’s good,” she says. “I don’t think that would have been good for us. We operate enough in the red as it is.”You slow your natural pace as you walk back for the flight tower of the carrier, so Sheila can keep up with you, her cane thudding down heavily, her leg only yielding reluctantly, giving her a stiff gait. You stay on her left, by her good eye, the black patch that covers her right not visible at this angle, though you can just make out the faint white line of scars near her hairline.For a moment you think back to that fear and hate-filled night in Cameroon, the day you’d carried her in your arms, her body broken, her career as a combat pilot ended. You wonder sometimes if she resents you for surviving intact. People sometimes called you the “Unbroken Saber”. It always made you inwardly wince because you weren’t the only Saber to survive, just the only one to survive intact.>Good work yourself, do you have our next contract lined up?>I was thinking about Barnake again . . . about what happened>These pilots don’t hold a candle to you back when we fought together>Write in
>>3526999>>These pilots don’t hold a candle to you back when we fought together
>>3526999>I was thinking about Barnake again . . . about what happened>These pilots don’t hold a candle to you back when we fought together
>>3526999>>Good work yourself, do you have our next contract lined up?
>>3526999>>I was thinking about Barnake again . . . about what happened>>These pilots don’t hold a candle to you back when we fought together
>I was thinking about Barnake again . . . about what happened>These pilots don’t hold a candle to you back when we fought together>writing
>>3527038Are these two married yet?
“I was thinking,” you say.“Thinking? Let’s be reasonable here, Sparks.”“About what happened . . . about Barnake.”The levity disappears from her expression, her face gets her and, for a moment, she looks lost. “That was a long time ago.”“Time doesn’t wash away the past,” you say. “It’s impossible to forget.”“You’re not trying hard enough then,” she says.You sense a sore topic and steer the conversation away, “You know, back in the day, you could really tear it up. These new pilots-” you glance around to make sure you’re not being overheard. “They don’t hold a candle to you.”“That much I know,” Sheila says, brushing hair from her face. “If Van Leuwen hadn’t liked you, it would have been me calling the shots in the team, you know.”You don’t doubt that’s true, although you hadn’t thought about the old man in a long time. He rarely was directly involved in the operation of the company anymore, after Barnake a lot had changed.A part of you wonders if things in Cameroon would have gone differently if Sheila had been in charge instead of you. Another part of you wonders if she believes that too.“There’s something else,” She says, leaning against the cool metal flank of the control tower. “Van Leuwen, he contacted me.”“Really? I thought he was-”“Sick? Yes. Very. But he reached out, he wants to meet you.”“When?”“Tomorrow morning.”You look toward Seattle’s skyline like you could see him. “Here? About what.”“Here,” she says, “About the company.”“Hm. I wonder what he wants. Alright, tell him I’ll be there.” “Already did,” Sheila says, a smile ghosting across her lips. “Try to look nice.”“I don’t always look nice?” you tease.Sheila only tightens her smile but adds nothing further.“Alright. Thanks, Sheila.”“Get some rest, Sparks.” She says, not giving you a chance to reply.(1/2)
Van Leuwen’s place was a fully modern building, built after the war, opulent, towering, a glittering spire of glass and steel. The old man was much like you remember, only older, stooped, his bright eyes and warm smile held youth and vigor, but there was a sadness behind them as well.“You’ve been doing quite well,” he says, leading you into his home and waving off the offered assistance from a nurse. “I follow all your engagements and of course I keep track of personnel changes. I’m pleased with how things have gone, given the circumstances.”“Thank you,” you say.“Please, sit down,” he gestures to a plush couch, opposite a broad window looking out over downtown Seattle. “Can I get you anything?”“No, thank you, I ate before I came.”“Yes, of course,” Van Leuwen nods absently before lapsing into a short silence. His fingers awkwardly intertwining. “They tell me it’s Alzheimer's,” he says, giving you a humorless smile. “Funny, all this money and still nothing I can do to stop it. The condition is progressive you see.”“Oh.” You have no idea how to respond.“It’s alright,” Van Leuwen says, answering a reply you did not make. “I have my good days and bad days, but they say it will only get worse.”“I’m sorry.”“As I said, it is alright.”The both of you lapse into silence and Van Leuwen gestures his nurse away with the wave of a crooked hand. “After Cameroon,” he says, “Things seem to have fallen apart. The company never truly recovered from that.”“No.”Another pause, “Sparks. I must apologize to you. For . . . Barnake. I believe our intelligence at the time . . .” he stops, “There is no use in excuses. I let you down. For that, I am truly sorry.”>It’s Craft you should be apologizing to>Save your apologies, it won’t bring back the dead>Thank you, I know it hurt you as bad as everyone else>Write in
>>3527083>>Thank you, I know it hurt you as bad as everyone else
>>3527083>>It’s Craft you should be apologizing to
>>3527083>It’s Craft you should be apologizing toWe walked away unhurt, he owe the others way more than us.But don't be bitter about it, just tell it like it is.
>>3527083>>Thank you, I know it hurt you as bad as everyone else>The Wolves, who were they?
>>3527083>It’s Craft you should be apologizing tobut>Thank you, I know it hurt you as bad as everyone elseand>The Wolves, who were they?
You choose your words carefully. “It’s Craft that needs to hear that, you know.”“I know,” Van Leuwen says, hanging his head and clasping his hands together. “I have tried to tell her. That woman is headstrong. She believes that my sympathy . . . my sorrow, that it is pity. I simply . . . “ he loses his words, struggling for a moment. “I want her to know I never intended that. Ever. Her or Santos, or Pickett. It was a terrible tragedy.”“People learn to live with tragedy,” you say, “Craft is no exception. I appreciate it though, I’m sure she does too. I know you hurt just like the rest of us.”“Yes,” Van Leuwen says. “I wish I could make it right.”You allow a healthy pause, “The Wolves . . . who were they anyway?”Van Leuwen looks up, momentarily puzzled before he catches your meaning. “What does it matter?”“It matters to me,” you say, trying to conceal the boiling hate you feel.“Sparks. It was not personal. It was business, I know it doesn’t excuse it-”“It’s personal to me,” you say coldly.Van Leuwen lapses to silence a moment, “The White Wolves. They are a mercenary company from Russia.”“How did the CLF afford a whole battalion of mechs?” you ask.“That does not matter anymore,” Van Leuwen snaps. “We were drawn into politics beyond our understanding. It was a mistake, that is all.”You decide to let it go, no sense pushing the old man anyway. You know it’s a small world, you’re sure you’ll see them again soon, maybe even through gunsights once more.“Sparks, I want you to control the company.”“What?” you feel numb shock at the suddenness of it.“Don’t act surprised,” Van Leuwen smiles, “You and Craft have been running my company for quite some time now. This disease is a bastard. I will not be able to conduct business for much longer. I would like to give control to someone I trust.”(1/2)
“But, sir . . . I . . . I’m really not good with money.”The old man laughs, a soft, raspy chuckle, “That is okay. The money is all in a trust you see, it will be doled out as needed. I have lawyers and accountants for these things. You will be handling the day-to-day operation. We do not need another butt in the saddle-” he pokes you lightly in the ribs, “We need a brain at the helm of this thing. There is no one else I trust with my company.”All you can think of is how much money and how many lives are being handed over to you. “Sir, I-”“Consider it a final order. I am sure Craft would tell you to do as I say. I pay your bills after all. You are a mercenary, yes?”“Yes . . . well . . . yes.”“The organization will have to be reformed,” Van Leuwen says, “After we lost Cutlass team in Honduras, we’ve been leaning on Saber pretty hard. We need another assault team.”“Sounds like Cameroon,” you say.“Yes.” Van Leuwen says sadly before coming back to business, “You have qualified pilots, I believe that Dubois would make a qualified team lead.”You didn’t trust Redford or Dusty with it certainly. And putting the fire support guys in an assault team would be an awkward fit. “I think so, yes,” you agree.“We’ve already begun recruiting to fill the gaps, I have some candidates in mind,” Van Leuwen says. “Before you get underway again. Edgeline needs fresh faces and inspired leadership.”You’re not sure how you feel about the name. Edgeline was Van Leuwen’s company and carries with it its own baggage. People remember the name, but they associate it with things like the Barnake Massacre or the bloody struggle in Honduras. Maybe a rebranding is in order?Of course, you might prefer to clean the old name.>Edgeline is fine>Developmental Frontiers>Viper Systems>Phoenix company>Write in
>>3527148>>Edgeline is fineThese Colors dont run. Altho I do suggest a refurbished logo. Maybe a big 'E' formed from 4 swords?
>>3527148Hellhoundswe are the Devil afterall
>>3527148>>PhoenixThe most fitting
>>3527148Fine with EdgelineAlzheimer's is a hell of a ride, and it'd be a shame to change something the old man recognizes.
>>3527148Alternatively we could go with like >Camelot Knights of iron and sword theme and all that. Could be a fun theme. With maybe Excalibur or something as our symbol.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>1 Edgeline>>3527156>>3527177>2 Phoenix>>3527169>>3527184Rolling and writing
You’d rather restore honor and notoriety to your old company than cut and run. Edgeline it is.“I have also opened a line of credit to purchase new mechs. One hundred million US dollars for the units, weapons, ammo, parts, batteries . . .everything.” Van Leuwen says, sounding like a kid in a candy shop as he scrounges up papers from the coffee table before him. From the brochures and sales leads Van Leeuwen shows you with shaking hands you see there are three viable choices to outfit your team.A fresh batch of surplus M-12 Wolfhounds has gone on sale on the open market. The M-12 is, of course, a fairly old design since supplanted by the M-18 Bloodhound and M-13 Wildcat, but it was sturdy, dependable, and versatile with the capability to mount a new shoulder-mounted launched assembly for firing the newest generation of anti-mech missiles.From across the Atlantic in Germany, the WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’ is a higher-end option, built after the war, it has an emphasis on survivability including automatic pilot ejection systems, but the added costs means you won’t be able to purchase any additional configuration packages and will have to make do with the mech’s onboard guns.Last and strangest is the creased, stained pamphlet Van Leeuwen has advertising surplus MBK-89a units. A Soviet-made mech, the MBK-88 was a solid all-around design that had come too late in the war to turn the tide. The MBk-89a was a modified version of the older 88, sporting an improved aftermarket sensor system that brought it up from abysmal to merely below average. It was likely as good as war-era Soviet-made shit was going to be, this particular lead was offering four of them as well as kits for outfitting them as scouts or mech-hunters, all for the same price as a team of Wolfhounds. A real bargain.The Wolfhound was a safe bet, middle-of-the-road with known capabilities, though it was getting a bit dated. The Ozelot was high end but limited in function and would likely prove cost-prohibitive to repair in the short term. The MBK-89 is a jack-of-all-trades while master of none, but the price is right and it would likely prove easy to maintain.>MBK-89a (Soviet)>WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’ (West German)>M-12 ‘Wolfhound’ (USA)
>>3527199>>WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’ (West German)
>>3527199can we mix and match?get two Ozelot's for the assault team to have durability and two wolfhounds that would serve as anti-mech
>>3527199Part of me leans toward the Ozelot simply because it has an actual ejection mechanism and I like fancy shit, but at the same time the Embeekay is also very tempting. A full 4 suit team? I mean that speaks for itself. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done and is very flexible.
>>3527199>WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’ (West German)
>>3527210I would like this, but if we can't then>WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’ (West German)
>>3527210Has to be a package deal for the moment.
>>3527199MBKVersatility and utility are important.
>>3527228I change to >WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’ (West German)thenwe are buying assaults, we can complement the unit with the ones we already have
>WpZ 121 ‘Ozelot’>>3527207>>3527214>>3527225>>3527237>MBK-89a>>3527212>>3527234>OzelotWriting
“Ozelots sound interesting,” you say, reviewing their capabilities. “I’d like a bit more versatility though.”“In time,” Van Leuwen says, taking back his brochures. “I’ll get the order put in right away, you know the Germans make good stuff. We can make sure that Fortuna is resupplied before setting sail.”“What’s our destination?” you ask, head still spinning from the amount of money Van Leuwen casually threw down.When the old man grins at you, you immediately feel foolish for asking the question, his teeth too white and straight to be natural.“That is up to you, Sparks! Sure I have to sign the paperwork, but you are in charge of such things.” He produces a map of the world from an end table drawer and spreads it on the table. “For the Pacific, there are two obvious courses. The South American Pacific coast, down past Mexico, on to Chile where you can round the continent into the Atlantic. Or-” he taps the map. “East Asia.”South America would be lower impact work, likely working for corporations or drug lords. You might get lucky and put down an insurrection, back a coup, or even fight in a brushfire war. It would probably be safer but the pay wouldn’t be as good. It’s tempting if only to get newbies up to speed, though it may not afford the kind of experience that would be useful in heavier combat situations.Asia though, that was the big time. The Soviets and US both had a vested interest in the area and would pay well, not to mention China and Japan. The pay would certainly be better but chances are you would get involved in some heavy shit, risky operations against other high-end mech forces. It would be one heck of a trial by fire, but that pay day would be legendary.From South America you could sail up the Atlantic coast next before crossing to Europe, or follow the West African coast.From Asia you could cross into the Indian Ocean and then to East Africa.The world was a shitty place and there was no shortage of people who would pay you to kill other people.>Pacific Coast of South America>Across the ocean to East Asia
>>3527259>>Pacific Coast of South AmericaI can predict who we run into in East Asia and I dont want that matchup with untrained rookies on our side.
>>3527259>>Pacific Coast of South Americagotta cut those rookie teethafter we are done here tho, instead of circling to the atlantic, couldn't we head to asia?
>>3527259>Pacific Coast of South Americagood chance to break in the new mechs, see how they operate in conjunction with the older units
>>3527268>couldn't we head to asia?Japan from Chile is about 10,000 miles away, as opposed to 4,000 from California. It's possible, but would be a VERY long trip through empty ocean, in short: expensive as hell.Don't worry, there's plenty to do in the Atlantic too.
>>3527259>>Pacific Coast of South America
>>3527259>Across the ocean to East AsiaWho dares wins
“No reason to through the new meat straight into the fire,” you say. “Let’s stick with South America for now. A good Latin American war might pep them up.” You say.“As you say,” Van Leuwen replies, snatching up the map. “I will order the mechs and send the recruits over. Oh! And be sure you get to know the command staff of Fortuna, including the non-combatants. It will prove valuable.”“I’ll remember that,” you say.Van Leuwen stands quickly and you mirror his moves. “Sparks-” he shakes your hand with a firm grip, his fingers thin and bony in your hand, “The very best of luck. I know you can do some good with my company.”“I hope we just make some money,” you reply.***That’s all the time I have for tonight guys! Thanks for playing! Next session we will meet our second main character and his introduction to Edgeline as well as setting sail for our next contract.The next game session will be 7PM EST (11 UTC) next Thursday. I hope to see you there!https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQMhttps://discord.gg/WMEDDgX
>>3527301thanks for running
>>3527301Thanks for running
>>3527311>>3527376Thanks for playing!
>>3527301Dammit, I missed it all. I'll see you next time TK!So there aren't any cybernetics in this universe? Damn shame what happened to Sheila.
Where's my promised Dark Empire specials reeeeeeee
>>3527997We'll nurse her smile back anon, uf Sparks can get over his guilt that is.
>>3528014>if Sparks can get over his guilt that is.We'll make sure of it anon.
>>3527997>Next timeI'll be expecting it!>CyberneticsSome. They're imperfect and expensive. This is a fairly low-tech retro future.>>3528003>Dark EmpireI'm cooling on it more. My brain is overheated from Star Wars. Give me some time.
FortunaPacific OceanPacific Mexican Coast1200 Hours, May 20, 1998***You are Max Reznick and you've just signed a contract that will change your life. You're going to become a mercenary combat mech pilot and leave Seattle behind. At twenty years old, you’ve finally gotten your big break. Edgeline, the mercenary company that just signed a contract with you, had run you and dozens of others through a battery of tests, both physical and mental, the most important of which was the neurostimulus test. There, in a shabby downtown office, you’d had a NeuroHalo ringed around your head and had to control a simulated mech. It was a skill that couldn’t be taught if you’d flunked that it would have been over.Fortunately for you, you passed with flying colors. You've never before seen combat as a mech pilot, but your past makes you uniquely prepared to deal with the challenges ahead.We will be experiencing Max’s rise from nothing as he pursues his dream of becoming an elite mech ace. Everyone has their own reasons for signing up as a mercenary, it is not a life for the faint-hearted or weak of spirit. Healthy and happy minds do not aspire to a life of warfare for profit.What sort of background qualifies Max for this pursuit?>Gutterpunk - Spent your life in Seattle’s slums, fighting rival gangs, boosting cars and electronics, and generally struggling to get by. As an adult you served briefly in a domestic mercenary, undertaking a few petty assignments like knocking over rival gangs or dealing with inter-corporate warfare. This is your chance to escape the streets and become something more.>Good Ol Boy - Grew up outside of the city and lived the country life. You served in the US Army in a tank crew, seeing some combat during the Yugoslavian Intervention of the mid-1990s. You’ve always wanted to make a name for yourself and earn a fortune of your own and becoming a mech pilot seems the best way to do that. You don’t want to wait for the next war, you want to go and find it yourself.>Pencil Pusher - Your life is ordinary, you live in a shoe-box apartment alone and worked for a shipping conglomerate that operates from the FTZ, international bookings. You'd done a multi-year stint in the Washington National Guard where you'd been trained as a mech pilot but saw no combat. This is your chance to escape monotony and find adventure, to really see what the world is like outside of a city box.
>>3542548>Good Ol Boy - Grew up outside of the city and lived the country life. You served in the US Army in a tank crew, seeing some combat during the Yugoslavian Intervention of the mid-1990s. You’ve always wanted to make a name for yourself and earn a fortune of your own and becoming a mech pilot seems the best way to do that. You don’t want to wait for the next war, you want to go and find it yourself.
>>3542548>Gutterpunk - Spent your life in Seattle’s slums, fighting rival gangs, boosting cars and electronics, and generally struggling to get by. As an adult you served briefly in a domestic mercenary, undertaking a few petty assignments like knocking over rival gangs or dealing with inter-corporate warfare. This is your chance to escape the streets and become something more.Struggle!Will we still play with sparks some times?
>>3542548>>Pencil Pusher - Your life is ordinary, you live in a shoe-box apartment alone and worked for a shipping conglomerate that operates from the FTZ, international bookings. You'd done a multi-year stint in the Washington National Guard where you'd been trained as a mech pilot but saw no combat. This is your chance to escape monotony and find adventure, to really see what the world is like outside of a city box.
>>3542548>>Gutterpunk - Spent your life in Seattle’s slums, fighting rival gangs, boosting cars and electronics, and generally struggling to get by. As an adult you served briefly in a domestic mercenary, undertaking a few petty assignments like knocking over rival gangs or dealing with inter-corporate warfare. This is your chance to escape the streets and become something more.
>>3542559>SparksHe aint going anywhere. This is a two protagonist deal.
>>3542582will they kiss be friends?
>>3542548>Gutterpunk - Spent your life in Seattle’s slums, fighting rival gangs, boosting cars and electronics, and generally struggling to get by. As an adult you served briefly in a domestic mercenary, undertaking a few petty assignments like knocking over rival gangs or dealing with inter-corporate warfare. This is your chance to escape the streets and become something more.A chance to escape and not become a statistic in our neighborhood, but a statistic in mercenary employment
>>3542587Self romance is beyond the scope of this quest.
>>3542548>Pencil Pusher - Your life is ordinary, you live in a shoe-box apartment alone and worked for a shipping conglomerate that operates from the FTZ, international bookings. You'd done a multi-year stint in the Washington National Guard where you'd been trained as a mech pilot but saw no combat. This is your chance to escape monotony and find adventure, to really see what the world is like outside of a city box.
>>3542548>GutterpunkScruffy underdog fighter time>>3542587Sure but the only Sparks' kissin is Craft.
>>3542590yeah but that's what you said about loli palpatine
>>3542601And I was right
>Good Ol Boy >>3542554>Pencil Pusher>>3542576>>3542591>Gutterpunk>>3542559>>3542579>>3542600>GutterpunkWriting
Your life was never easy. The other street trash and punk kids of the Free Trade Zone’s rainy back alleys were your only family. You were no stranger to hardship but in a way it hardened you, sharpened you to a razor’s edge. You were rough, jagged in places, but you could cut deep nonetheless. You’d explained this all to the cripple who interviewed you, a blown-up war vet named Craft. She stared at you with her one good eye, cold, calculating while you told her about the scraps you’d been in and the company you’d worked for previously, really more of a hopped up street gang, the Diamond Sharks. You still bore their emblem on your back, between your shoulder blades.It was chump change shit but . . . she must have liked something about you.You’d never set foot in a mech cockpit before, not really, you’d learned to pilot on illegal military-grade simulators people had installed in arcades on the outskirts of town. You’d honed your skill, desperate to one day climb to the top. Well, here was your change.The climate-controlled air is cold on your half-shaved head and you rub at your nose nervously, finger brushing a ring there. Delilah, your girlfriend at the time had pierced your nose for you, called you a pussy for not wanting to do it."Reznick?" Your name is read back to you from a clipboard, recognizable in spite of her accent. The woman who read it looks at you dubiously, her attractive features marred by a furrowed brow and quizzical glare. She was probably ten or so years your senior, but her athletic build and clear complexion made it hard to be sure. She tossed a long blonde braid from one shoulder to the other with a turn of her head. "Max Reznick?"The three new recruits, yourself included, each wore an identical, plain gray jumpsuit, black boots, and stood lined in a grey passageway deep inside the aircraft carrier that Edgeline called home.“That’s right,” you say, reigning in any disrespect you feel.She eyes you, like studying something she found in a dumpster. “And you think you’re a soldier then?”>No, I’m a killer>Shit lady, my life was a fucking warzone>Give me time and I will be>Write in
>>3542660>Give me time and I will bePlay it cool max
>>3542660>Give me time and I will beNo bad mouthing Craft Max, Sparks will rip you a new one.
>>3542660>Give me time and I will be
>>3542660>>Give me time and I will be
>>3542660>Not yet, but I've fought before.
>Give me time and I will be>Writing
You smile, “Give me a little time, huh? I’m a fast learner.”The woman, whose name patch says ‘Dubois’ just shakes her head and says something you don’t quite catch under her breath before proceeding down the line of new recruits of which you are one of three. Directly beside you, and her next stop, is a young woman, around your age though a full head shorter than you, but a spikey, neon green mohawk offsets this height difference. “Collins?” Dubois tries.“It’s Toxic,” the girl returns, making little effort to hide the disdain in her voice, lip half-curled in a sneer. She takes this opportunity to flick black-smudged eyes your way. You can tell right now from the way they glitter with hate that she’s going to be trouble. It’s not hard to see that, like you, she’s borne from the streets of the FTZ. What was more difficult was placing her background. She wasn’t a Diamond Shark, so what then?“What?” Dubois is taken aback.“Toxic,” the girl repeats, like duh. “Nobody calls me ‘Collins’.”“You prefer Paige maybe?” Dubois asks, maliciousness leaking into her own voice.“No. I prefer Toxic.” The girl grins back broader, her facial piercings catching the overhead fluorescents and sparkling for a moment. She shifts in place, trading her weight from one foot to the other like she can’t sit still, her eyes dart to you again, gaze hardening, pressing her teeth into her ruby-red lower lip.Yeah, she was going to be a lot of trouble.Dubois snorts, turning to the last newbie, “And I expect you have a jolly pirate name as well?”“No ma’am,” he says, “Kilkirk. Dwayne.” Kilkirk exudes ex-military. Everything about him from his ramrod straight posture, his close-cropped dark hair, eyes fixed straight ahead.Dubois turns away from this team, her back to all of you, wiping a hand across her brow and mutters something in a language you don’t speak, maybe French before turning back. “Well. Sparks said I was going to enjoy this assignment, that should have been my first clue. Alright-” She stands still, feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped behind her back. “It seems I must welcome you to Edgeline. I am Genevieve Dubois, and we are going to be Scythe Team.”(1/2)
“What the fuck is a scythe?” Toxic asks.Dubois shoots daggers at her. “It is what the Grim-fucking-Reaper carries. Understand?”“Ah, yeah.”Recovering from the interruption, she presses on, “We are not that team yet. You are all numbers on a spreadsheet, yes? You are assets of a company.” here she pauses and looks over the three of you again. “Being a mercenary is not like . . . rumbling the hood-” she looks at you and Toxic, “Or fighting for some country-” she looks to Kilkirk. “We are here for two things and two things only. Money, and each other. If you forget that then you will die over a scrap of mud. Here there are no medals, there are no parades and there are no fucking banners flapping in the wind. We serve the invisible hand of economics. Yes?”When it’s clear this is not a rhetorical question, you all respond affirmative.“Remember that well,” Dubois says, running a hand over her braid. “There is one other thing. In Edgeline, we respect the Holy Trinity. The Old Man, Sparks, and Craft. They are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and you do not fuck with them.”“I,” Dubois says, a smile on her lips, “Am just a prophet. You obey us and you will go further than you will trying to swim home.”***In Fortuna’s expansive mech bay, you see the four war machines of the new Scythe Team. Dubois points out each person’s mech in turn.“Reznick, unit zero three.”You stare up at the hulking armored frame, a small team of techs still pulling protective wrapping and coverings from the mech’s sensors while weapons are polished and oiled. A white-block S-03 is stenciled on the machine’s upper thigh.You’ve only seen mechs in the movies and video games of course. Being so close to one is . . . intimidating, to say the least. Especially a brand new one. Jesus, these Edgeline guys had a lot of faith in their HR department to hire the right picks.“Zero Three.” You step closer, close enough to lay a hand on the cold armor plate of the machine’s leg. You would have just been happy to get some ancient Frogtech mech or something, but this would go a lot further.“Okay, we will take a moment to see what you will one day drive,” Dubois says. “Kilkirk, you will be partnered with Reznick.”You and the dour military man meet eyes silently.“Collins, you stay close to me I think,” Dubois adds.Kilkirk gravitates toward you, less tall that you’d initially thought somehow, but as foreboding as the Berlin Wall.“Reznick?” He asks.“Yeah,” you say.He doesn’t offer to shake your hand, but you think for a second he wanted to. He looks over at your mech and then at his, Zero Four, but says nothing.>You were in the army?>So, why’d you sign up?>Some welcome, huh?>write in
>>3542757>You were in the army?>So, why’d you sign up?
>>3542757>>You were in the army?>>So, why’d you sign up?
>>3542757>You were in the army?>So, why’d you sign up?Let's get to know the dead meatAbout the ganger girl, we recognized she is from the area but not what gang right?I think she recognized us, maybe her gang had a grudge, I predict pain, trouble or hate fucking, probably all of them.
>>3542778>>3542780>>3542794>writing>>3542794Right, she seems to recognize you, but you have no idea who she is.
“Army?” you ask.“Hm?” Kilkirk looks at you.“You were in the army?” you try again.“Yes. A few years.”“See any action?” “I was in Yugoslavia when it went down,” he says. “In the armor.”“Tanks, right?” you ask.“Yeah, tanks. Were you . . . “ he realizes this is a stupid question.“Nah,” you say, “Well, not that war anyway. I mean . . . I was stateside.”“A mercenary?” Kilkirk asks.“Sometimes,” you reply. “More of a way of life. The pay is a lot better here though.” You give him a disarming smile but he just looks back at his mech.“So why’d you sign up anyway? Army pay not cutting it?”“I’ve been out for a few years,” Kilkirk says, “Money. Yeah.” he looks distant, “The army taught me how to shoot a gun and take orders but . . .” he shrugs.“Then you’re one step ahead of me,” you say.Kilkirk doesn’t laugh at the joke.The two of you look toward Dubois and Toxic, talking further down in the mech bay. Toxic doesn’t look back at you, standing close beside Dubois who is indicating some component on her mech.“Friend of yours?” Kilkirk asks.“What? The girl? Shit, no. I think she hates my guts.”“Really?” he seems surprised.“Gangers don’t all run together, you know?” you say.“Ah.” It’s clear that he does not know. “Sorry I just-”“It’s fine. I think she just wants to put a blade between my ribs. Not sure why.” You wonder if she has any gang ink on her. “Are you from here? Seattle?” Kilkirk asks.“Yeah,” you say, “Born and bred. Back when it was state territory. You?”“Illinois,” he says.“Long way from home.”No reply. Fine.(1/2)
The rest of the day is a blur of orientations, meetings, and training. The culmination of this rapid exposure to Edgeline and its culture is a visit to the simulator room. A narrow chamber whose floor is covered with snaking cables that all converge on a central terminal station manned by a pair of technicians. The cables come from the half dozen mech simulators that take up the majority of the room. “This is the lion’s den,” Dubois says, her voice eager eyes wide with excitement. You’ll be doing much of your training here. Here is where we will cut your teeth. Test your mettle,” she uses the English turns of phrase awkwardly like she knows how they are supposed to work, but not why. “You can fight and die and bleed and not cost the company a cent.”The simulators are massive steel coffins on hydraulic pistons that pitch and rock them to simulate the movement of mechs. Right now two are active, bucking and bobbing, the others still and dark.“This is a simple game, one you should hope to never play. It is a game of cat and mouse, hunter and hunted. We will see who is what. Pick a simulator.”You’re intimately familiar with machines like this, less so their real-world components, and you’ve fought on many a virtual battlefield. How is it that you normally stack up?>Mech Jockey - The best way to avoid dying is to not get shot. You’re able to coax your mech to feats of mobility and speed.>Hot Shot - The best defense is a good offense. You specialize in weapons fire and gunnery.>Versatile - You don’t have a specialty. You’re versatile, but don’t stand out in any one area.
>>3542856with our current mechs I'd say>Hot Shot - The best defense is a good offense. You specialize in weapons fire and gunnery.but we do have to improve on the mobilit
>>3542856>Mech Jockey - The best way to avoid dying is to not get shot. You’re able to coax your mech to feats of mobility and speed.We flank and bait
>>3542856>Versatile - You don’t have a specialty. You’re versatile, but don’t stand out in any one area.
Rolled 2 (1d3)>>3542862>>3542869>>3542913Oh come on guys.>1 Move>2 Shoot>3 BalanceRolling and writing
>>3542944Well people are busy
You don’t usually like to brag, but you’re a pretty good shot, at least when compared to the other guys you used to roll with. How you stacked up against battle-hardened mercs remains to be seen.You choose a simulator at random and pop the hatch, the familiar interior of a mech cockpit inside. The status lights wink lazily at you and the flat-panel display screens hum, lit black, waiting for input. You glance at Kilkirk beside you, “Good luck, man,” you say.“Yeah.”You climb in, sealing the hatch behind you and following the steps Dubois had outlined earlier to start the thing up. You sort of knew how from the simulator you used to play, but the process was a bit more involved.“Scythe Three, this is control, you hear us okay?” You barely fit the headset on when you hear the voices come through.“Uh, yeah. Roger. Go ahead,” you say, adjusting the neural halo.“Great. We’re loading up a combat simulation for you. Dresden, it’s street fighting, you’re probably used to it.”You’re not sure if that’s a joke at your expense or not. “Right.”“Objective is to find and destroy enemy mechs. Don’t get killed, understood?”“Yeah, I got it. Cowboys and Indians.”“Go get ‘em, cowboy,” the controller says with a chuckle.(1/2)
The panels around you ignite, pixels resolving to a mottled grey urban landscape, you recognize the architecture as European, you’ve never been out of the US or FTZ before but you know images like this from pictures and video of the war. It looked like what a lot of those cities looked like before they went up in nuclear pyres.Your mech is nestled in the crook of an abandoned building, the floors all blown out by heavy ordinance, a main downtown street running in either direction, choked with abandoned cars and bodies of civilians who failed to escape in time.You don’t see any wounds on them though it’s hard to make out through the greenish haze in the air. It only takes another second before you realize these are people asphyxiated by chemical weapons. You remind yourself that it’s just a simulation and review your gauges.You carry the standard loadout, a double-barreled heavy autocannon on your right, suitable for taking out mechs at range, and a lower caliber rotary cannon for lighter targets on your left. It could still kill a lighter mech at close range.Your Ozelot doesn’t have much in the way of extra sensors, radar (useless in a city like this), infrared, night vision, and standard enhanced optics. With some much dense clutter, you would have to find prey the old fashioned way.You step forward with a twitch of your controls, a heavy, mechanized foot pulverizing a compact car beneath you.A small tactical map displays an overview of the section of city you’re fighting from, the map though is pre-war and has to be taken with a grain of salt. You can see to the north, near the river, is a hill, some high ground that likely has a clear view out over much of the city, a good place to get eyes on targets.There’s also a broad plaza not far away that would make good ambush ground if you popped some flares and hid yourself, surely it would draw in whatever forces were looking for you, though it would also alert them to your presenceIt might simply be better to keep your head down and roam the side streets, looking for evidence of other mechs.>Move to the high ground for a good vantage point>Fire flares and lay an ambush in the plaza>Roam the city and try to spot enemy movement>write in
>>3543026>>Move to the high ground for a good vantage point
>>3543026>Roam the city and try to spot enemy movement
>>3543026>Roam the city and try to spot enemy movementStalk and look for a trail, those mech must leave something behindIf we had backup we could go to high ground, but that would give us away and we are alone on this one
>Roam the city>writing
You press the floor pedals and set your mech off at a swift pace while you strain forward in the restraints of your seat, peering intently at your monitors looking for prey. Each step of your Ozelot shakes you in your seat, side to side, forming a hypnotic rhythm, almost relaxing if not for the deadly nature of the game you play.The rip of a rotary gun freezes your blood.You tear your eyes around your status board, trying to find the damage, it takes you a moment to realize the fire wasn’t directed at you.A second rip and double blast of an Ozelot’s main gun calls your attention and you twist your mech’s torso with a flick of your joysticks, turning to track the audio pickup.You hear more gunfire, at least two mechs were fighting distantly. Before you know what you’re doing, you’re gaining speed, moving to get eyes on the combatants, taking a zig-zagging course through the city to get closer, heart hammering.Another Ozelot bursts through the facade of a building in front of you, back to you as it backpedals.Your hands slip from the controls as you startle before you grab them firmly and bring your weapons to bear, crosshairs falling onto the mech as it rotates to face you. You squeeze tight, depressing both triggers and wash fire over the mech, armor piercing shot and shells punching through the enemy mech which tumbles backward lifeless and in flames. A kill.You exhale before you’re thrown against your straps by the simulator, your mech wheeling away from an impact, warning lights blaring across your cockpit. Your right arm was hit just above the gun actuator, your main gun was sheared away.The mech you’d killed was evidently the prey in this situation rather than the predator.Acting on instinct, you back your mech up around a corner as 30mm fire shreds the street corner.You only have your rotary cannon left and it wasn’t going to be a quick kill. It’d take a lot to take out a mech like this, and with this other one hot on your trail, it would be tough.>Burst through cover and engage point blank>Flee deeper into the city to draw them in>Lay an ambush here>Write in
>>3543116>Lay an ambush hereWe need to get close
>>3543116>Lay an ambush hereWait for them to pass and go for the back
>>3543116>Flee deeper into the city to draw them in
You only have one chance.You navigate carefully around the edge of one of the half-ruined buildings and into a wide alley, advancing a few paces before turning in place to squat down, rotary cannon aimed at the mouth of the alley.The seconds tick by painfully and you try to keep your hands from shaking, finger just brushing against your left-hand trigger, waiting to unleash hell.You imagine you can feel the other mech’s footsteps vibrating you in your cockpit before you realize that’s probably just a nearby simulator.There! The hunched form of an Ozelot steps into view and you open fire. A stream of rounds tears over the head of the enemy mech, blowing out the windows on the opposite building.“Fuck!” You track downward across the frontal armor of the Ozelot, smoke and flame erupting across its front as your shells strike armor and detonate or glance off.Its main gun comes up, the yawning barrel of its muzzle framing your viewscreen, a second from firing.Never letting go of the trigger, you sweep fire over the mech, ignoring the overheat alert blaring in your cockpit.The muzzle flashes, a shell punching a hole clean through your mech even as the enemy reels and collapses under fire.You see the auto-eject notice pop up on your monitor just before the simulation goes black.You exhale hard, releasing the sticks and leaning back in your cockpit. You’d killed the enemy, but only just. It cost you your mech and nearly your life.You open the hatch and emerge in time to lock eyes with Toxic as she exits the simulator across from you. Like you, her forehead is covered in a thin sheen of sweat, her eyes look like blue pools at the bottom of a dark coal pit and you once again get the overwhelming sensation that not only does she not like you, she hates you.“Reznick,” Dubois says, calling from the control station. “Sloppy. Very sloppy. You were like a kid out there, spraying your guns all over,” she mimes jerky movements. “Collins, you got cocky. A lucky drop of Kilkirk is all.”Toxic snorts and crosses her arms, “Dead is dead.”“And you are both,” Dubois reminds her cooly. “Not good. You cost the company a fortune in insurance payouts. Not good at all.” The minor elation you’d felt from what you saw as a victory quickly evaporates.“We are going to run it again,” Dubois says, “Until you learn to handle yourselves in battle. If you panic in a simulator, you’ll be useless to me in the field. Again, yes?”You take another shaky breath. “Right.” You glance at Toxic but she’s already ducking back into the simulator.You follow suit, ready to do or die in the virtual world.***That’s all the time I have guys. Thanks for playing!The next game session will be 7PM EST (11 UTC) next Thursday. I hope to see you there!https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQMhttps://discord.gg/WMEDDgX
>>3543198Thanks for running
>>3543198Why do you always do this Thursdays? Thanks for running.
>>3543223>>3543227>ThanksThank you!>>3543227>ThursdayIt's the day I have the most free time. Cant do weekends or fridays.
>>3543198Well, crap. I'm asleep whe this goes on.Thanks for running TK!