Mech hangarFortunaPacific Mexican Coast0315 Hours, May 23, 1998The bleating of alarms and warning klaxons matches your elevated heart rate as you dash across the mech hangar to your Ozelot. All around you was a flurry of activity, mech techs and ship crew clearing the elevators to lift your mech to Fortuna’s flight deck where Anvil teams Mjolnir mech carriers were likewise powerup up their turbines and getting ready to ship out.You grasp the cool metal of the lower rungs of a ladder and start hauling yourself up toward the cockpit of your war machine, the weight of your assignment pounding in your head louder than the ready alert. Scythe Team was being called up to extricate Saber from a mission headed south. Fast.“Reznick! Step it up!” Dubois, your team leader, calls from her cockpit hatch as it closes. “This is not a drill!” You see her turn away to her monitors and strap on her neurohalo before the closing hatch blocks her from view.“Here, sir,” the first time you’ve ever been called sir in your whole miserable life as a tech hands you your helmet. “Good luck.”“Thanks,” you feel sick as you say the word, hands sweating, nervous fear. You’ve done this before, you tell yourself, there’s nothing new here.Only there was. This was the big leagues. You weren’t in the Free Trade Zone anymore.
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/TimeKillerQM
“Scythe team is in there air,” Sheila says, her normal soothing voice sounding frayed, even over the poor audio in your ear. “Roger, Castle,” you say, “Keep my seat warm, we’ll be home soon.”“Affirmative.”It was a lie, well, a half lie, you thought as you surveyed the team’s status windows in your cockpit. Saber Two, Dusty, was damaged, pretty seriously. He was ambulatory at least, but slow. You’d wisely sent him ahead toward the beach where Scythe would be landing shortly, but he was still a liability.Saber Three, Rookwood, was the rookie of the team, still shaking out some of her jitters. A former support team pilot, she was filling in with Dubois’s transfer to Scythe, but so far doing okay.Saber Four, Redford, was doing fine, formerly the rookie of the team, he’d been watching Rookwood’s back admirably, you were damn proud of him, but he wasn’t the best pilot you had. All told, it was a rough team for a mission like the one facing you. Elements of the Mexican army were pressing down, aiming to cut you off and trap your force inland and destroy or capture you. Surveying the map, you see that they’d be passing through the town of Iglesia de Santa Maria, a little blip of nothing in a land otherwise dominated by fields of crops.At the rate Dusty was moving, if you kept pace with him, the Mexican army would likely deploy between you and the town of El Gancho, along a low rise. It was a daunting prospect to run and gun against these guys anyway, made worse by the possibility that they would hold good defensive ground. You might be able to sandwich them against Scythe team when they arrived, but it meant a head-on attack and potential casualties.The easy solution was to abandon Dusty’s mech, put him in your cockpit and make a dash for the town. If you were fast, you could avoid confrontation entirely, but paying for a new mech would take a big bite out of the profits from the mission, something you could ill-afford.You might also have the chance to launch a diversionary attack on Iglesia de Santa Maria, shock the Mexicans and potentially buy some time, thought it was risky, very risky to expose your small team to a major engagement so early on.You don’t have the time to dwell on it forever and are painfully aware of the sort of diplomatic incident this will likely create between the two nations if you really get into it with the Mexican army.>Abandon Dusty’s mech and rush for the coast>Keep pace with Dusty, we’ll break through their lines if we have to>Counter attack Iglesia de Santa Maria to buy Dusty time>write in
>>3588782>Keep pace with Dusty, we’ll break through their lines if we have to
>>3588782>>Keep pace with Dusty, we’ll break through their lines if we have toMuh flashbacks
>Keep pace with Dusty, we’ll break through their lines if we have to>Writing
“Stay together, Saber Team, we’ve got a lot of ground to cross and not much daylight left,” You say over the team com, trying to project an air of confidence.“Roger, Lead.”You’re thinking about Cameroon again, about Barnake. How was it that one mission came to dominate your life so utterly? “Angel Team is on standby,” Sheila reminds you. “We can have them drop ordinance on the advancing army units and slow things down.”“If we call in air support then they will too. We can’t let this become a full-blown war. Scythe Team is just here to even the odds and make sure we get out.”There is a pause, then a soft click as Sheila tunes out of some other broadcast channels, keying in to talk to you and you alone. “I don’t like it.”“I know,” you say grimly, “Me neither. Try not to take it out on me at dinner, okay?”There is another pause and you’re not sure if she’s going to laugh or cry. “I wouldn’t. I won’t.”“I know.” You choke back whatever you might have said next. You’re getting sloppy and sentimental. “See you soon, Sheila.”“Soon, Andrew.”You flip back to team comms. “Redford, take lead, Rookwood, watch our rear,” you throttle up and increase your mech’s plodding steps as you move down the bare freeway, catching up with Dusty’s limping mech. “Miles to go before we sleep.”(1/2)
The first sign of contact with the enemy comes just after the first golden rays of sunlight crest the eastern horizon, painting the vineyards with long, creeping shadows and casting all the vegetation in shades of grey.“AGMs!” Redford shouts, dropping his mech to a crouch in the middle of the road and firing a long burst with his rotary gun toward a solitary farmhouse north of the road. The shells obliterate the structure like a tornado of fire, peeling away the roof and blowing out the exterior walls so the structure slumps forward. A second burst, to the right of the first, plays over an orchard, splintering a pair of trees. The enemy missile careens out of control when the mech targeting it is first to pull back from Redford’s fire.“Spread out!” you said, taking your own advice and trampling through a vineyard. “Get off the road!”“Two mechs, M-12s I think,” Redford says, voice cooler than before, getting stock of the situation.You couldn’t count on any tech advantage then, they had the same as you. It was possible you had an experience edge over them, but that was a big gamble to take, these guys had likely been fighting smugglers or renegades through this area already.“I can’t see shit man, I think my fucking targeting system is fucked,” Dusty bemoans.“Stay down,” you tell him with hardly a thought, “Three?”“I don’t see targets,” Rookwood says, voice shaking, her mech rising on its haunches to peer toward the low rise the fire came from. “The sun is interfering with IR.”“Copy,” you say. It was going to be a visual fight then, no fancy detection gear. Sheila’s airstrike sounded pretty nice right about now.This might be the advance tip of the Mexican advance, maybe they were slower than you thought. It might be possible you could slip by them if you hurry and watched your flank. Of course, this might also just be a forward picket team and you might be advancing straight into their main battle line.A glance at your clock shows you that Scythe team is five minutes out from landing and probably another fifteen away from being in combat position. You could wait and hope the Mexicans were content to let you sit here, or you could maybe head south, off the road, and try to slip their line, if it hadn’t got that far yet. A longer path, but maybe a safer one.>Make a push forward>Hold for Scythe>Move south to try to slip their line>Write in
>>3588950>Hold for Scythe
>>3588950>Move south to try to slip their lineCoordinate with Scythe so we can link fasterWe can keep moving diagonally and they land thereCan we open coms? Negotiate an extration?
>>3589006I mean, there is little gain to be had here for both parties and assets and money to lose, the deed is already done, maybe Sheila can reach some mexican big shot
>>3588950>Move south to try to slip their line
>>3589006>>3589008To be clear, you want to try to negotiate with the Mexican army?Yeah, definitely possible to try.
>>3589016Maybe not the grunts on the ground, but if Sheila can reach someone overseeing this, offer him a discount coupon on his next smuggler cleaning call
>Move south to try to slip their line+>Write in
“Saber, we’re going offroad, south, to try to slip their line, no point in trying to punch straight through if we can avoid it, not without Scythe.”As your team comes off the road, crashing through a nearby vineyard, you comm Fortuna. “Castle? Saber Lead. Can you talk to these people? Seems like they’re trying to close the barn door after the cows already got loose.”“A rather folksy saying, Saber Lead, but I understand your meaning. I’ve been talking with my contacts in the country, trying to find out who’s pulling these guys strings. So far . . . I haven’t got much to offer.”“Anything?” You ask.You sense Sheila hold back a sigh. “A deputy minister of defense. He’s not too pleased when I told him where you are and what you’re doing. National sovereignty and all.”“Yeah, I got that part.”“His words to me were that ‘Mexico cannot come out of this empty-handed.’”“So what, he wants blood?” “He wants a win, Saber Lead. He’s going to get one one way or another.”“Not if we’re gone,” you counter.“He might not take it out on you.” Her meaning is clear. Guatemala might be on the hook if you get away.“Shit.”“Yes.”“What about a mech?” you ask, glancing at Dusty’s war machine.“A mech?”“Would he accept ‘capturing’ a mech?” you ask again.“It’s possible that he might.”You wince at even the possibility. That mech was a multi-million dollar war machine. Handing it over was going to hurt. Still, it might be better than slogging your way to the beach.“He’s got to want something else right? What about an IOU?”“He might go for that,” Sheila says, “But you’d be promising service for a mission we might not have any say in. You might not be happy with the outcome.”“A wild card,” you say.“Exactly.”>Tell him we’ll ditch Dusty’s mech in exchange for safe passage, no one else has to die>We’ll take our chances fighting it out of here>Offer him a free contract with us to smooth this over>Write in
>>3589090If he will be going down on guatemala if we get away we cpuld offer him help in that regard, intel and support if needed.Or else I say we >We’ll take our chances fighting it out of here
>>3589090"Kinda hard to scoop blood with your hands. Empty or otherwise"He wants a victory, he will get one. And a demoralized army.>We’ll take our chances fighting it out of here
>>3589090>We’ll take our chances fighting it out of hereWe need to get paid or we will go bankrupt
>>3589090>We’ll take our chances fighting it out of hereWe're professionals. We were paid to fight, and that's what we'll do.
>We'll take our chances fighting out of hereI'm phone posting now. Expect slower updates
"Kinda hard to scoop blood with your hands. Empty or otherwise.""More folksy sayings?" Sheila asks."Look, Castle, we're professionals. We were paid to fight, and that's what we'll do. We need to get paid to do what we do or we go bankrupt.""No argument from me," Sheila says. "Good luck, Saber."“Hey, Sheila- uh, Castle.”“Yes?” Sheila asked, clearly taken back by the odd breach in protocol. “What does ‘El Gancho’ mean?”“The Hook.”"Hm. Okay, tell Scythe to come ready for a fight."***"Scythe Three, feet down!" You cry as the carrier disengages its clamps and you drop a shirt distance to the ground below, retrorocket harness dropping away around you. You were here. Another country. It was your first time being somewhere beside the FTZ or US proper . . . Or Canada that one time but you didn't like to dwell on that incident."Scythe team, form up," Dubois says. "We are moving inland now, Saber is not going to wait."You check your mech's status, system components green, weapons online."Let's go, Reznick," Kilkirk comms you, his voice heavy, "In your six.""Right. Here we go." You throttle up toward the enemy.***"Right side, contact!" Redford shouts before a shell careens off the shoulder armor of his mech and explodes in the brush nearby.You're firing before you consciously realize it, main gun barking and projectiles streaking out toward the enemy without result.A trio of mechs peek over the rolling horizon, popping up and down to trade pot shots with your team."Spread out. Dusty, provide missile overwatch, nail the next motherfucker that pops up.""Whack-a-mole, copy.">Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairs>Withdraw as a team>Hold for Scythe team>Write in
>>3589255>Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairs
>>3589255>Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairsDon't give them a chance to retaliate
>>3589255>Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairsWe can't stop or we will be surrounded
>>3589255>Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairsAny time lost is time that Mexican reinforcement might be using, but we can't afford to turn our back to the enemy so middle-ground it is...
>>3589255>Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairsOh shit. I haven't missed the thread this time.
>Suppress the enemy and fall back in pairsLocked in>>3590372Hate to break the bad news bud, but this got interrupted with qst went down yesterday. Session continues next Thursday.But at least you got to vote, right?
>>3590450It went down again? Jesus, someone needs to fix these servers.. And no worries QM, I'll see you next Thursday!