Outskirts of El GanchoPacific Mexican Coast0550 Hours, May 23, 1998A Mexican mech, a Wolfhound, peeks from the crest of the hill and has its upper torso shredded by a well placed AP round, kinetic energy delivering just as much devastating force as an explosive shell might. The mech staggers backward and tumbles out of sight.“Scratch one!” Dusty shouts, followed by a war whoop that makes you hold your headphones away from your ears for a moment.“We stay here and we’re cooked, Dusty, fall back, Rookwood, go with him,” you say.“Sparks are you-” Redford doesn’t get a chance to finish his sentence.“Positive, go!” You feel beaded sweat drip from your brow, the meager air conditioning in the cockpit doing nothing to chase away the persistent heat you feel.“Saber Lead,” Sheila says in your ear, her voice deliciously calm despite the chaos around you, “Scythe is feet down and moving inland.”“Copy, have them hold a cordon, we can’t let anything get through.”There is a static heavy pause, long enough that you fear the Mexicans have deployed major comm jamming. “I’m sending in Anvil. They’ll pick you off and dust off in twenty minutes. Be ready.”“I’ll be there,” You say, “We have a date after all.”Sheila’s silence speaks for her.
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
You are Max Reznick, a rookie mercenary with Edgeline and you are pretty stoked. At least, you think you’re stoked. Might also be fear, but you are here in Mexico and loaded for a fight.“Northside,” Dubois says, “Reznick, Kilkirk, get up there and get eyes on the town, it’s good cover and concealment for advancing enemies.”“Got it, affirmative,” you say, trying not to sound too excited as you maneuver your Ozelot carefully up to a small farmhouse you can look out over the sleepy town from.“Anvil is en route to pick up Saber,” Dubois continues, “Twenty minutes. We will be right out of here behind them. Twenty minutes is all the time we must buy.”“How much blood buys twenty minutes?” Toxic asked, a smile clear in her voice.“Too much. Save the blood for when it counts,” Dubois replied harshly, putting an end to any lightheartedness. “We are here on a job, one which we are not getting paid enough for. That is all we have.”You put your mind on the mission, surveying the land before you, clear, flat, farmland lay between the beach-side farmhouse you sheltered at and the town itself. Dubois was right, that town would be deadly if the enemy made good use of it.“Scythe Lead, any chance you want Four and I to get in and clear that town out, might be hostiles soon.”“Negative Three, I do not want you to get bogged down with street fighting. Stay clear and watch the buildings.”“Yeah, but boss, if they get some ATGMs in there-”“You flatten anything that looks hostile, but that is all. Two and I are moving east to link up with Saber, hold position. Lead out.”You studied the rough, irregular form of the houses. That is going to be a bitch and a half if Mexican infantry take up firing positions in it.“So? What now?” Kilkirk asks.>Screw orders, we’re clearing the town.>We do what we’re told, stay put.>You stay here, Four, I’m going to sweep the town for infantry>Write in
>>3622318>We do what we’re told, stay put.
>>3622318>We do what we’re told, stay put.Pay extra attention, if anything so much as blink we shoot.
“We are sitting on a fucking knife edge here, dude,” you tell Kilkirk, “If it moves and it ain’t us, blast it.”“You don’t think we ought to clear the town?”“I think,” you say, “We do what the person who signs our checks tells us to.”“Copy,” Kilkirk says, sounding uncertain, “Just . . . check your targets.”“Yeah, right.” You realize that he’s serious after a moment, “I’ll try not to make too many fucking orphans, alright?”“Right,” Kilkirk says.Distantly, you hear the rumble of heavy gunfire.“Sounds like Saber’s in it now,” Kilkirk says.“We will be soon too. Let’s just do our fucking job.”***“Go!” You snap to Redford as you spray rotary cannon fire down the dirt road, shredding the turret of an armored vehicle that was creeping forward. You hold fire long enough to see a pair of crewmen bail out, splaying themselves like ragdolls before the tank detonated in a cacophony of sympathetic explosions. A third and final crewman emerges in flames, thrashing as he collapses a short distance from the tank.You were already backing up, sweeping for more targets and gazing balefully at your ammo counter.“I think it’s a whole armored brigade too,” Redford says, “That’s the second MBT we’ve cooked off.”“Time’s getting short, those tanks can outpace us on roads.”“Friendlies in your six!”You glance back in your rear display and see Dubois’s new OZelot emerge, pounding up the road. “Sparks, you fall back, Collins and I will cover your withdrawal.”“We’re buying time for-”“Dusty already passed me, he’ll be at the beach by now. We have to move.”“We all go at once now and they’ll run us down,” you retort.“We go slow and they cut us off,” Dubois replies quickly, “There is not time to argue about this!”You glance at your tactical map. Dubois is right, if you don’t really make tracks you might end up pinned in place by more armor than you can handle at once. On the other hand, you’re not wrong either, if you all withdraw to the beach at once there is a very real risk they will catch up with you and destroy you.>Dubois, buy us some time but don’t hold too long. That’s an order.>Fine, we all go now. Let’s haul ass.>Castle, send in Angel, I want airstrikes on advancing units to buy time>Write in
>>3622422>>Fine, we all go now. Let’s haul ass.
>>3622434This is fine
>>3622422>Castle, send in Angel, I want airstrikes on advancing units to buy time
You consider your options a moment. “Fine, we haul ass. Dubois, lead us out of here.”“With pleasure, sir,” she replies.***The Wolfhound you’d spotted just a minute ago finishes limping to the beach, the closer it gets the more obvious that it was one of Edgelines.“You two newbies the cavalry or something?” The pilot, Saber Two asks.“Something like that,” Kilkirk replies.“Yeah, nice work.” Sarcasm.“Maybe if they’d sent us in first we wouldn’t be out here saving your sorry ass.” The words were out before you’d had a chance to really think about it. Wow, seems you hadn’t outgrown the mouth that got you into enough trouble in your youth.“Oh, you’re a real fucking hoot,” Saber Two continues.“Cool it, Dusty,” Saber Three said, her mech emerging into sight. “Let’s keep a level head.”“Says the fucking artillery girl. Call me back when you’ve got some real contribution to the fight!”“Saber Twp,” the new female voice you hear is authoritative, calm, and cold as ice. “This is Castle. Local comms are monitored. Keep this line clear.”Dusty just snorts in reply.“Prick.” You say the word and close the channel.“You’re really playing with fire there, Reznik,” Kilkirk says, unimpressed. “Castle has my back,” you retort, your blood still boiling.“Man, this isn’t Seattle.”You spot movement in a window and catch the flash of green, a shoulder-mounted anti-tank launcher. You’re already firing. “Contact! Infantry!”The building you sight on is annihilated in a flurry of shells and masonry. Whoever had been in there moments ago was passed on to the afterlife.Kilkirk joins his fire to yours, sweeping rotary cannon fire over the tops of the buildings and then across the ground in front of them, kicking up a swirling trail of dirt that obscures your vision.“Scythe Three, report,” Castles cool voice in your ear. “I spotted uh, there’s infantry in the town I think.” You’re still searching for more targets.Castle’s pause is long enough that you feel her disdain. “Be confident in your targets, Scythe Three.”“Affirmative,” you say.>Stay ready for more movement>Lay suppressive fire across the nearest buildings>”Castle, permission to suppress the town?”>Write in
>>3622532>”Castle, permission to suppress the town?”
>>3622532>Stay ready for more movement
>Stay ready for more movement>>3622557>>3622573>Writing
It takes some effort, but you resist the urge to re-enact every Vietnam war movie you’ve ever seen and restrict your fire. That is until more targets start to reveal themselves. A few more short bursts drives back another team of mech hunters, though more soon appear, popping concealing smoke and weaving between the buildings. AT rockets flash past your mech, one getting cut down by your anti-missile system mere meters from your Ozelot.“Mechs!” Toxic says, “Scratch one! Two more coming from the east- damn they’re tough fuckers!”“I’m down to 50% on my machine gun- uh- rotary cannon,” you say, checking gauges.“Make your shots count,” Dubois says, “Save missiles for mechs and keep your heavy ordinance for if they push up.”“Anvil two, lifting off!” You spot the Mjolnir carrier, engines whining and straining to lift Rookwood’s mech into the air, following behind the one carrying Dusty. DuBois swears loudly in French as she emerges into your peripheral sight, leading the rest of Saber team.“We’re gonna be really fucked if they start dropping artillery on us!” Toxic says.“We will be gone by then,” DuBois says.“Anvil, second run starting now, ready boss?”“Just be quick,” Sparks says, maneuvering his mech into the open, followed shortly behind by Redford.A Mexican mech steps from cover for a clear shot at the transport planes but doesn’t live past that. You drill two fresh holes in it with your autocannon, another pair of shots missing wide.The heavy lifters come down on top of Saber One and Three, clamps securing their mechs and hauling them into the sky.“Aw shit,” Kilkirk says, “How the fuck are we going to get off this beach?”“Shut up and shoot!” DuBois bellows.“Scythe team, hold fast, heavy lifters are inbound, Saber team is clear, good job,” Castle says.You feel a strange sense of relief, you’d done your job, but now you have to get off this beach somehow.“When our birds get here, we are going to leave in pairs, Collins and I will be last out, Rez, you and Kilkirk will go first.”“Affirmative,” Kilkirk replies.>Affirmative, we’ll be ready to move>You go first Dubois, I’m a better shot than Toxic. We can cover you.>Write in
>>3622613>You go first Dubois, I’m a better shot than Toxic. We can cover you.It's our best stat
>>3622613>You go first Dubois, I’m a better shot than Toxic. We can cover you.But maybe don't compare our skill to Toxic's just say we are the best shot
>>3622613>You go first Dubois, I’m a better shot than Toxic. We can cover you.
>>3622613>>Affirmative, we’ll be ready to move
“You first, Dubois. Kilkirk and I can cover you two.”“This isn’t up for debate, Rez,” she replies.“No, it’s not, but I’m the best shot you’ve got. If you want any of us to get off this beach alive, it’s up to us to make that happen.”Dubois unleashes an AT missile which screams over the farmland and narrowly misses a Mexican mech that backpedals out of view. “Fine. You are second out. Don’t make me regret it.”“Never,” you say.With precise fire, you pin down advancing armor and infantry in town, your ammo counter climbing steadily lower until the Mexicans back off, a sort of quiet settling over the battlefield. “They’re waiting until we’re evacing,” KIlkirk says, “We’ll be vulnerable then.”“They won’t touch us,” you say with confidence you don’t feel. Even so, you feel, strangely calm, looking at your own impending death with a clinical detachment.“Evac inbound, heads up Scythe,” Castle says.Two Mjolnir’s come in low, their hulls nearly brushing the surf until they pull up at the last second to get in position to grapple onto mechs.Toxic and Dubois move from cover into the open and the Mexican attack begins again in earnest, shells, and rockets flying thick.“We’re hit, port side!” one of the Mjolnir pilots says. “Stay tight, we’re almost done,” another replies.You pump shells in the direction of a nest of heavy anti-air fire until a ‘Low Ammo’ alert tone sounds in your headset.“Locked!” Toxic says.“Lift off!” Dubois shouts.The two Anvil craft peel away and drag their cargo with them, shell fire rattling off their armored hides.“You’re next, Scythe Three and Four,” Castle says.You lick dry lips. >We’ll go together, Kilkirk>You first, I’ll cover you.>Write in
>>3622684>>You first, I’ll cover you.
>>3622684>You first, I’ll cover you.
>>3622684>We’ll go together, Kilkirk
>>3622708>>3622715>You first, I’ll cover you.>writing
>>3622684>>>You first, I’ll cover you.
“You first man, I’ll cover you.”“You sure?” Kilkirk asks.You’re low on ammo. You’re tired. You’re afraid. You’re thousands of miles away from home in a foreign country surrounded by pissed off, heavily armed soldiers. The sun is rising ahead of you and you’ve got one chance to get out of here alive.“I’m sure.”“Anvil, coming in hot!”“That’s our ride,” you say, adjusting your grip on your control stick. “Now move your ass!”You bring your Ozelot to its feet and deliver a trio of rounds onto the head of a rapidly advancing armor column, blasting the lead vehicle to bits. Tracking your weapons to a pair of enemy mechs you stutter rotary cannon fire at them and unleash a guided missile. It takes you a moment to recognize the ringing in your ears as your own screaming, a hoarse, terrified, warcry.Enemy combatants go down in shreds, vehicles in flames.“Going for pickup!”You see a Wolfhound step forward, the small tricolor of the Mexican flag visible on its upper arm from this close range.You line it up and squeeze your triggers. EMPTY.The computer blares the alert at you.The Mexican mech fires, shells tearing apart Kilkirk’s mech’s left knee.“Shit!” Before you know what you’re doing, you’re moving your mech forward at a sprint into the open, a dozen combatants on the battlefield drawing a bead on you simultaneously.You’re thrown sideways in your harness as an anti-tank missile detonates on your mech’s flank armor. Thank god for German engineering.A second shot careens off the top of your mech, narrowly missing the head. Still, your gambit works, fire is off of Kilkirk and onto you.“Popping smoke!” You seize and yank the deployment handle with all your might, way more than is necessary.Smoke grenades are expelled from ports on your mech and detonate in the air, obscuring you from the enemy.“Unless you're applying for expedited Mexican residency, hold the fuck still, Scythe Three,” one of the Anvil pilots says to you.You look up, staring into your overhead monitor, and see the rotund form of a Mjolnir VTOL lifter lowering itself into the smoke, clamps securing your mech tightly.“We’re clear, Castle,” the pilot says. “Keep the light on for us.”“Affirmative Anvil. Nice flying.”In your cockpit you unclench your hands from the controls and unclamp your jaw, letting out a slow, shaking exhalation.***Thanks for playing guys! You survived Mexico and now you have your date with Sheila. Since Thursday is America Day I’ll be running Friday at 7EST (11 UTC).This first mini-arc for Strike Mech is wrapping up so the next session will likely be the capstone for that. hope everyone tunes in!https://twitter.com/TimeKillerQMhttps://discord.gg/WMEDDgX
>>3622791Thanks for running
>>3622791Great read, thanks for running!
>>3622813>>3622886Thanks for playing!
Main flight deckFortunaPacific Mexican Coast0615 Hours, May 21, 1998You are Andrew Sparks, and you could be happier. You stand on the main flight deck of your company’s carrier, Fortuna and watch the last Mjolnir carriers return from combat. You wear the same jumpsuit you wore in the cockpit of your mech, unzipped and pulled down to your waist so the empty sleeves hung by your legs, the warm, morning ocean breeze felt cool on your sweating skin. “We made it,” Redford says, coming to stand beside you, tucking his helmet under his arm.“Barely. The contract isn’t gonna pay for all this,” you eye the damage to Scythe Three as the Ozelot is lowered slowly to the deck. “We’re two mechs crippled and two more damaged.“We can replace mechs, boss,” Redford says quietly.“I know.”Mechs, sure, but only if you have the money to do so.“Crazy bastards,” you look back toward the invisible Mexican coast. “What possible point could there have been to that?”“National armies,” Redford says, “They don’t look at this stuff objectively like we do.”You’re not really sure that mercenaries look at battle any more objectively, but they certainly take a less bloodthirsty attitude.“Sheila is gonna hand me my ass.”At this, your wingman laughs, “You think so?” he shakes his head. “She’ll be happy you’re alive, I think.”You gesture with your head back toward the coast, “That. That means consequences. We roughed up a Mexican armored brigade while on Guatemala’s dime. I don’t think they’ll let that go unanswered.”“We were just sticking to contract,” Redford says, evidently puzzled at your concern.It was the defense of many a soldier, most famously in the second and third world wars. Just following orders.You don’t argue with Redford.“Boss!” You glance behind you to see Dubois crossing quickly to you. “Just so you know, my people are all intact. No casualties to report.”You nod at her.>Good work out their Dubois>Your people are a little rusty.>You’ve got some real cowboys in your unit. Break it out of them,>Write in
>>3629617>>Good work out their Dubois
>>3629617>Good work out their DuboisThey did good and folowed orders, when they didn't they asked permission for it.
>>3629617>Good work out their Dubois>their
>>3629631>>3629649>>3629655>TheirClassic TK-style Questing. The quality you've come to expect.
>>3629713we get it TK, you are writing
>>3629717*yourThis is a TK quest after all
“You did good, Dubois. Your team really kept their heads on, nice work.”“Thank you,” She says, her normally hard demeanor softening a bit. “They are good soldiers I think. New, but they have promise.”Over Dubois’s shoulder, you see another, less happy face approaching.“These fuckin space cadets,” Dusty says, pointing an accusatory finger at Dubois, “Are out of control. That Reznick kid trashed his mech and almost got that other boy killed to.”You stare into Dusty’s wild eyes for a solid second in silence, willing him to relax.He does so, slightly. Ungritting his teeth and lowering his hand.“There are two crippled mechs on this assignment, Dusty. You and Reznick. Not sure you have a leg to stand on.” Oops, a pun.“This-!”“Reznick got your ass and mine off that beach,” Dubois interjects, turning to face her old wingmate. “Maybe that booze-addled brain of yours is too broken to see that now.” Her accent getting thicker as she gets angrier.“Back off me bitch-” Dusty says, taking an aggressive step forward.“Whoa whoa!” Redford moved between the two of them, putting a hand on Dusty’s chest, “Hey cool it!”“You’re a mother fucker, Dusty.”“I’m not apologizing for some snot-nosed brats cause it makes me look like a shit team lead when they go to pieces out there!”“We’re a goddamn team, Dusty,” you return, “You need to take a breath. Do you need to take a walk?”Dusty fixes you with a hare stare again, “That-” he points toward Mexico, “Should have never happened! We almost got fucking wiped out! It was just like Barnake out there all over again!”You bristle at this implication. “It wasn’t like Barnake.”“Yeah? Well, it damn well could have been.”“And how is that my team’s fault at all?” Dubois challenged.Dusty didn’t have an answer for her.A few dozen yards away you see Rookwood standing anxiously, helmet in her hands, watching the rest of her team arguing at the edge of the flight deck.>You’re going to walk away Dusty and I am going to forget we had this chat>Give me an excuse, Dusty. Just one, and your ass is swimming home.>What you need is a break from combat duty. You’re on standby reserve effective now.>Write in
>>3629757>>Give me an excuse, Dusty. Just one, and your ass is swimming home.time to show who's boss
>>3629757>What you need is a break from combat duty. You’re on standby reserve effective now.
>>3629757>Give me an excuse, Dusty. Just one, and your ass is swimming home.
>>3629779>>3629804>Give me an excuse, Dusty>writing
You narrow your eyes at Dusty. “Give me an excuse, just one, Dusty, and your ass is swimming home.”Dusty’s mouth fell open to make an argument or a smart ass remark.You held up a finger to silence him, tightening your jaw. “No one- I say- not one of us died out there. Your ass is intact because we worked together. Not by luck, not by skill, but my teamwork. If anyone of us faltered everything would have fallen apart.” You let your words sink in. “The only person who came close to faltering was you.”“Sparks, I-”You waggle your finger. “No. Go get your head screwed on straight.” you push past him. “And if I find out you so much as sniffed a drop of alcohol you’re off my ship.” You don’t bother to ask if he understands. You know he either will or he won’t.You’re leaving the group now, walking across the flight deck to where Rookwood stands, her eyes widening in nervous fear as you approach.You force yourself to lighten up, flashing her a collected smile. “Well done, Rookwood. Not just support but assault too. Looks like you’re a woman of many talents.”“Thank you,” she says.“I’m sure we’ll be bringing you out on more missions in the future.”She relaxes a bit. “That- . . . thank you.”“No worries.” You leave her too and make for the hatchway into Fortuna’s command tower. Sheila’s dark silhouette is there already, leaning heavily on her cane. You stop facing her.“Dusty-” she says.“I took care of it. He’ll shape up or he’s gone.”Sheila’s eye widens slightly in surprise for a moment before she composes herself. “You think that might be too harsh?”“I don’t have the patience for someone like that,” you say, looking back at Dusty.The Redford and Dubois have walked away leaving him alone, pacing the edge of the deck, hands on his head, staring out at the ocean.“I need a solid team, not a bunch of loose cannons.”“Right,” she says. “Do you want the bad news now or after you’ve gotten some sleep?”“Hit me.”“Mexico has given Guatemala a 48-hour ultimatum to pay for the damage done by ‘rogue military elements’ or they’ll be retaliation.”“Mother fucker,” you say with a heavy sigh. “And I assume-”“Guatemala wants to extend our contract for conventional military action.”“Pay?” you ask.“A reduced rate,” she says grimly. “The defense minister is saying it’s our fault this is happening.”“Our fault?” you ask rhetorically. “Can’t possibly be Guatemala jumped the gun on these smugglers without warning their neighbor first?”Sheila has no answer. “What should I tell him?”It would be good money, even reduced, but it would be hazardous. Of course, your fault or not, sticking around might smooth things over with Guatemala a bit. Whether or not that was worth it was your call.>We’ll accept it>We’ll decline>write in
>>3629842>>write inFull rate or they can deal with this alone, fuck scraping our mechs for less of their damage cost
>>3629849This, negociate for a higher pay, since they did not give us the full picture.
You scoff, “This is hardly our problem. They stirred up shit with their neighbor, they can foot the bill. If they’d given us the full picture then none of this would have happened.” you lay a hand on your chest, “I’m a mercenary, not a goddamn diplomat. Don’t blame me when your choices get you in trouble.”“Sparks,” Sheila reminds you.“I know! I know! Shooting the messenger.” you sigh. “Look, tell the minister that we will be happy to extend the contract. Provided he pay our full rate. That includes wartime pay. This is not your run of the mill police work.”Sheila nods, “Alright. I’ll see what I can do. I don’t think they’ll have many choices if they want real help and not some Frogtech, Mickey-mouse outfit.”“And get us an escape clause,” you say, “I’m not gonna get roped into some insane last stand. We’ll fight fair fights where we can but we’re not dying over this.”“Alright,” she says, “That will probably tie me up all night, but I’ll get on it.” She leans onto her cane and makes to leave.“Don’t think you’re getting out of our date that easily,” you say quickly.Sheila flusters, very unlike her, “I thought we were going to go over reports.”You snort, “You didn’t really think that, did you?”“No. I suppose not.” She shifts on her feet, leaning slightly on the door jamb to take the weight off her leg. “Dinner. Yes. Alright. Meridian Lounge?”“It’s the closest thing to civilization on this tub.” You thump a bulkhead for emphasis.A pair of crewmen scoot between the two of you, exiting the superstructure for the flight deck.“I don’t imagine you’d be the best guide to civilization, Sparks. You’re from Iowa.”You feign shock. “How dare you. Iowa is just as much civilization as wherever you’re from.”“California, Sparks,” she reminds you, knowing full well you knew that.“Never heard of it,” you say, “Sounds like flyover country.”You draw a smirk from her. “Alright. I need to get this paperwork moving though. You should get some sleep, you’ve been up all morning. And . . . maybe a shower.” She wrinkles her nose at you.“Probably a good idea,” you say. “I’ll see you tonight then?”“Tonight.”(1/2)
“Rez.” Dubois catches you emerging from the men’s showers. You startle and turn to her, suddenly self-conscious that you’re only wearing shorts and carrying your shirt in your hand. You weren’t expecting to run into anyone else, certainly not your CO. You’d taken extra long, just letting the hot water run over your body. This was your first mission as a real mercenary and you’d made it out okay. You and your team. That bore celebrating.“Dubois, uh-”She looks you over once, like studying a new mech design. “Rez,” her eyes go back to yours, “I wanted to tell you that you were reckless out there.”The ‘Rez’ thing was new, but you don’t mind. “Reckless?”“Yes. You are not a one-man army. You gamble too much on your talents.”>Sounds like you’re looking for problems. We did great.>I took some risks, yeah. I’ll be more careful next time>Did you come all the way here to tell me that?>Write in
>>3629955>I took some risks, yeah. I’ll be more careful next time
>>3629955>>I took some risks, yeah. I’ll be more careful next timeIt was not a gamble tho, you know that what I suggested made sense, that's why you agreed
>>3629955>Did you come all the way here to tell me that?
“A gamble?” You cross your arms and smirk, “You think so? I mean, you agreed to the plan because it made sense right?”Dubois’s gaze doesn’t waver. “Yes, I suppose.”“Sure,” you say, shrugging. “I’ll be more careful next time.” It’s clear you don’t mean it. “But is that what you came all the way here to tell me?”“No.” She looks your body over again in a way that makes you remember that your CO is a human being after all. “I came to tell you that you also did well.”“Well?”“Yes. You are more than just a uh . . .” she searches for the word, “Street punk. You and Collins both. I am impressed.”“Well, thanks, boss. It was my first time so . . . ““Yes,” She says. “You are a good pilot, Rez. I don’t mind fighting with you, I just want to see you sharpen, like a knife. Understand?”You nod affirmatively.She lightens up slightly, giving you a playful slap on the shoulder.>Thanks, Dubois. >You haven’t seen half of what I can do yet.>Is there anything else you wanted? (Flirty)>write in
>>3630043>>Is there anything else you wanted? (Flirty)the goods are already o display
>>3630043>>Is there anything else you wanted? (Flirty)
>>3630043>Thanks, DuboisShould I put my clothes now?
>>3630043>Is there anything else you wanted? (Flirty)
>Is there anything else you wanted? (Flirty)>>3630060>>3630073>>3630103>Writing
You stare at each other another moment. “Something else you wanted, Dubois?” you ask, smirking.She looks you over again and breaks a smile. “Eh. Yes, okay.” She looks around to ensure you’re not being watched. “Why not?” Dubois takes your hand and leads you back into the showers, latching the hatch behind you.***If the Meridian Lounge were like any other quality dining establishment it would have had windows looking out on a stunning view of some sort. You’ve always thought-however impractical- it would be nice to have something like that in the control tower. Still, here, nestled deep inside the ship you were lucky that the walls weren’t simply metal bulkheads slathered with fire and corrosion resistant grey paint. True to form, Sheila was here first and waiting for you. She sat at a small table nestled in the back of the restaurant, the silver head of her cane leaning on the table, sparkling in the same way as her black, sequinned dress.“Ah,” you say, self consciously as you approach to sit.Disappointment is impossible to miss in Sheila’s face, quickly followed by embarrassment.You just wore a pair of slacks and your only button up shirt that wasn’t a uniform. This one was pastel blue and patterned with pink flamingos across it. Really it was more of a Hawaiian shirt than anything. You didn’t even wear an undershirt.“Oh god, I am so sorry,” you say quietly, sitting opposite her. “I just wore- I mean, I thought-”Sheila holds up a silencing hand. “It’s fine. I shouldn’t have expected anything else. I overdressed is all.”“No no, you look fantastic!” you say. “I just wish I’d known to dress nicer.” Not that you could have.“It’s not easy for a girl in my condition to get a dress on alone, Sparks,” she chides.“Maybe you’ll have some hope next time.” Smooth as fuck.Sheila is unimpressed and just stares blankly back at you.Ouch.A waiter arrives to take orders. He’s just a kid, barely a teenager and probably the child of one of your direct employees. It was pretty common for Edgeline family members to get peripheral work aboard Fortuna.The two of you order and get served drinks- beer- and then lapse into a tense silence.You consider telling Sheila she looks nice, but you already did that once.>How’s your leg today?>How did the talk with the minister go?>Sorry if I worried you with that last mission>Write in
>>3630145>Sorry if I worried you with that last mission
>>3630145>How did the talk with the minister go?>Sorry if I worried you with that last missionWe should have invited you long ago, all this time and we could be seeing her in a dress!
“Sorry if uh, you were worried about the mission.”“Worried?” Sheila asks like she’s unfamiliar with the word.“Yeah, about me. I know things got dicey.”Her cheeks redden, just slightly. “I was worried about the team.”“You weren’t worried about me.”“I . . . I was, yes.”You smile at her. “That’s sweet.”She furrows her brow angrily at you, “Stop that.”You can’t hide your surprise, “Stop? Stop what?”“Stop presuming things. Stop . . . ““Embarrassing you?”“Yes.”“But, I like it.”Now she looks truly puzzled, “I don’t see why.”You laugh softly, “You’re always so cool and collected. It’s nice to see you squirm a bit.”“I don’t like it,” she replies, glowering at you.You hold out your hands in surrender, “Okay, sorry. Jeez.”Food arrives and puts a brief pause to your conversation as you eat.“Yes, Andrew, I was worried. I always worry about you. I don’t like you being out there without me watching your back. You take risks, you push the limit. You need someone to make sure you don’t take it too far.”Her sudden candidness surprises you. “You think I push it too far?”“Yes. It’s in your nature. You push me, you push yourself, you push the company.”“I didn’t push anyone out there, I played it safe,” you say calmly.“Safe,” Sheila snorts, “Your ‘safe’ for anyone else is dangerous chaos.” She shakes her head. “No. You did your best. I shouldn’t worry.” She drinks half her beer.“It’s okay, I worry too.”Sheila swallows a bite of food. “The minister has agreed to your terms by the way. They don’t feel they’re in the place to be choosy I guess.”“Great,” you say, “So we get a rematch with Mexico.”“Looks that way.”You hadn’t meant to talk shop at dinner and feel a hint of guilt for doing so. “Sheila, if you’re worried about me, don’t be. I’m going to play it so safe. Crazy safe. Geriatric, brittle-bone grandma safe.”“I should hope so,” she says, the hint of a smile on her face.(1/2)
The two of you finish eating before long, passing time gossiping about the events of the ship and news back home, anything other than the impending war in Central America.You see Sheila wince slightly as she stands from the table and you offer her a steadying hand on reflex, one she does not take, instead leaning heavily on her cane.“Thank you,” she says. “I think it’s going to rain. The pins in my leg always hurt when the weather changes.”“Ah . . . is there anything-?”“No. Thank you.”You stare silently at one another for a moment, neither speaking, her good eye flicking between your eyes.“Thank you for dinner, Andrew.”“Let me walk you back to your quarters again,” you offer.Sheila nods consent and the two of you leave the restaurant. Once you’re out of the doors, she loops her right arm around your left, using it to steady herself slightly as she walks.You think about asking if she wants to see the ship’s doctor again but don’t.You make pleasant but inane small talk as you walk, Sheila occasionally squeezing your arm tight to keep pressure off her bad leg, until you stop outside the hatchway to her quarters. She released your arm and looks at anything but you. “Don’t you dare ask to come inside.”You resist saying ‘Don’t worry, I always pull out’. “Wasn’t going to,” you lie.She stares at the floor in front of you another moment before looking up. “What do you see here, Andrew?”“What do you mean?”“Me. Us. It’s no secret that you . . . care for me. And you know that I feel the same. But what is it that you see? Why do you persist in this?”>Because I don’t *just* care for you. I love you.>I just want to see where things go. Don’t you?>There’s no reason to stop. This can move at whatever pace you’re comfortable with>Write in
>>3630289>Because I don’t *just* care for you, and I see us having a chance, don't you?
>>3630342Good for me.
>>3630289>There’s no reason to stop. This can move at whatever pace you’re comfortable withI hope it's not a slow one
You think a moment before answering, not daring to say the wrong thing now that Sheila has opened up a bit.“Because I don’t just care for you,” you say, laying a gentle hand on her shoulder. “I see us having a chance, don’t you?”“I . . . don’t know,” she says. “Our work . . . the jobs . . . ““We’re not our jobs,” you say. You lean in and kiss Sheila, her lips soft and warm on yours. She loops a free arm around your neck, holding you close for the kiss. Staying like this for a moment, she finally breaks and pulls back, staring at you with her good eye. You see fear and desire in equal measure.“We could be something together,” you suggest. “We should be.”Sheila releases her embrace. “I know . . . and maybe we will be.”You smile sadly back at her, feeling the moment fleeting. “Soon?”“Maybe,” she says. “Goodnight, Andrew.”“Night, Sheila.”She enters her room and closes the door softly, sparing a single glance back at you where you stand waiting.With the door closed and latched you stick your hands in your pockets and smile to yourself. A kiss. You’re smiling like an idiot by the time you reach your own room. “Soon,” you repeat to yourself. “Maybe soon.”***That’s going to conclude Strike Mech ‘98 for the time being. Thanks for playing guys and sharing in my idea, this is my first quest that hasn’t been directly based on something else so it was a gamble for all involved. I had great fun with it but I’m going to put it on hold for now until I’d like to return to it. SM 98 is the kind of quest with no obvious conclusion to it so I may run it in the future if the mood strikes me. Feel free to swing by the Discord if you haven’t already so you can harass me to keep running it.Thanks guys!https://discord.gg/WMEDDgX
>>3630397Thanks for runm8ng.
>>3630397This was great stuff. Couldn't vote, but it was a great quest.
>>3630532>>3634135Thanks guys! I enjoyed it myself!
>>3635647Yeah, couldn't vote either but I'm glad you had fun
>>3660671>>3635647Agreed, really enjoyed it and hope we can see more eventually.