In the countryside outside of UGZ, where there was but the roads and dry grass and trees, and the bivouacs of soldiers, a group of soldiers sat about a campfire. In a place of insurgents, where it was reported many were running about in the night, and a major uprising had not taken place far from them, it could be forgiven for thinking they were fools. They were well aware of the situation, though- and had concluded they were fine. They were Ellowians, drafted to the cause of their conquerors, coerced, or perhaps sick of conditions in POW camps. They weren’t particularly happy to be doing what they were doing, but it didn’t keep them from sitting around a fire under an old shed in some trees, one of them strumming a guitar while the others made soup with water from their canteens and beef bouillon cubes, with a few young pines added for a bit of extra substance.“Hey, Klaud,” one of them spoke over the guitarist’s playing, “That song you’re playin’. It’s from down south, isn’t it?”“Fuck if I know,” the Guitarist continued to play the simple song, “My pop taught me it. Don’t know where it comes from.”“Bullshit you don’t. I got folks down south, ‘s even got old tongue words to it.”“Well I don’ know ‘em.”“Eey, Klaud’s not proud of his pop runnin’ over the border, huh?” Another trooper implied something untoward in Ellowian culture, as he gestured towards the guitarist with his cup of soup.The guitarist’s playing stopped for a moment. “If you don’ like my playin’ you can fuck off, Marko.” “Fuckin’ hell, jus’ makin’ a joke. Get the stick outta your ass.”“Shut the fuck up already, Marko.” The Senior of them said with a growl, “Klaud, if you quit playin’ the guitar just so you can bitch at people I’m gonna take it and belt you with it, hear? Don’t need your stupid mouth screwin’ with your talent.”“Kiss my ass,” the guitarist mumbled, but he started strumming once more. He played in relative silence, appreciated by all, even those who’d spoken up, until a pair of feet came crunching through the underbrush and he halted.
“Hey, don’t stop just for me. As you were.” The troopers relaxed at a familiar voice, shared with a familiar face as he came up to the fire. “Careful, play good for too long an’ some insurgents might come an’ listen. Come an’ share the fire and food too.”“Maybe they’ll trade some smokes too, eh?” the senior enlisted asked rhetorically. “You don’t seem too concerned ‘bout ‘em, huh Mom?”The NCO scoffed. “You know how it is. The platoon’s been over the area twice. Everybody’s gone ‘cept the ghosts. You could blow up a bomb out here and nobody’d know. We’ll be up the next two nights for damn sure anyways. Get any coffee in you?”“Netillians don’t got no goddamn coffee for us and you know it.”“Yeah. Strossvalder’s got coffee for us though. From the squatters. I brought some.”“No shit?” the trooper called Marko spoke up, “Wait, which one?”“Which one what.”“Which Strossvalder, there’s like a dozen of ‘em. The girl?”“Nah.” “Shit, would’ve been nice to have a girl thinkin’ about you for once.”“That broad’s nasty as shit, man. Looks like someone cut her face in half and stuck it back together.” The guitarist shared his opinion after the end of a song that had just come.“Still a chick, who cares,” Marko said to Klaud, “Who, then?”“An officer.”“Really slimmin’ it down there. Gonna make me guess?” The NCO nodded, and Marko blew a raspberry. “Pfff, whatever. It’s the quartermaster, ain’t it?”“Quartermaster ‘stache with the box of wonders, got it in two.”The senior of the team cleared his throat. “A’ight, so you come here to deliver coffee or is there somthin’ else.”“Yeah, actually. See that a way?” The visitor gestured off north, “Sound came from that way, you might have heard it.” A few soldiers nodded. “There’s a bit of woods that way. Don’t go near ‘em. Orders from the Lieutenant, from the second in command to the Coordinator. Don’t ask why, just don’t poke around there. Got it?”The fire team gave him odd looks but nodded or shrugged. As one of them put it, wasn’t like there’d be a big box of caramels waiting for them. The visiting NCO left, and once more they were left with the fire, the stars, and the sound of the guitar.------
You are Richter Von Tracht, Lieutenant of Strossvald, Coordinator for the 1st Company of Netilland’s 5th Combined Light Infantry, and it had been a far busier night than you had accounted for- even knowing much of what would happen. If the Judge Above thought you deserving of a just night, or perhaps even morning, now, though, your involvement in the fight over UGZ-07 would be ending soon. Even the milder choice of assignment to aid in quelling the massive uprising had cost you near half a platoon in wounded and killed in action. Not only were you of the mind to request withdrawal as soon as this duty was done because of web of unlikely alliances you’d caught yourself in, which was strained with each action you took, but with much more punishment the force you’d taken into the UGZ wouldn’t have the numbers to be able to fight at all. The actual fighting was over for the unit, and you had the feeling that the NLF and its allies had fled this area, from the scouting you were doing with Anya, your retinue and whom you’d placed in charge of the other tank. However, the tanks had not been doing much for the battles thus far, due to being blocked off by barricades. The second of three that your group had been tasked with helping Netillian pioneers clear out of the road should have been gone by now- you heard several explosions that could have been it, but in the UGZ as it was now, explosions were hardly uncommon. Though most of the sounds of battle were difficult to hear now, as you and Anya were inside of an underground storeroom, underneath a basement brothel, that was well stocked with supplies the Resistance were using in their fight against Netilland.Were you actually loyal to Netilland and its military government, you would have made this room a trap, or destroyed the cache, but you had to consider the NLF’s goals as well, and you hadn’t done very well in currying their favor tonight, by your measure. So you’d leave this cache be- perhaps leave a note, as you had discovered it while it was being moved, though nobody had been present so you were presumably between deliveries. A small request that they leave you alone and they’d do vice versa- though everything indicated that the fighters in the area had already withdrawn after your preemptive strike past the first barricade. Firstly, a brief investigation to find out what was beyond the obvious.For example, the type of ammunition. No surprises there- 8mm rifle ammunition, made popular and widespread by the dissolution of Reich bolt action rifles that were popular with militaries since the turn of the century, though small modifications had been made since the originals such as to length of the weapon. The point moreover was that these munitions told you very little about what weapons the Resistance actually used, since guns that used 8mm were exceedingly common and were in use by both Ellowie and Netilland for decades before now.
You were no chemist or demolitions specialist, but if you appropriated a block of explosive from the cache, perhaps you could find one that could tell you more about this bunch the NLF were using. There wasn’t a particular need to know- just that more information was always helpful in general. It would be fairly traded for- you drafted the note you thought of leaving, describing the information you’d told the child the NLF was using as a bomb courier whom you’d found earlier, as a request to leave this sector alone for now. Should you sign it, you thought? With what name?“Say,” you asked Anya, “Drachen told of somebody called Sichel, who told him that the King’d die tonight.” That assassination plot was thwarted personally by your companion. “You think that’s somebody he trusts, that I can sign as?”“I think with a name like Sichel that’s the assassin himself.” Anya expressed through her gas mask, protecting her from blackflower fumes.So not a good name to sign under. You would just have to remain anonymous, then. Fair enough.“We’re through here,” you declared, “Let’s go up and finish our look around, then we’ll return to the unit and finish the mission. Hopefully that’s enough work for battalion command’s favor by proxy.”“Always better to have it in writing,” Anya said, “Keeps them from bitching about doing too little or too much.”…Ever a sellsword, you thought to yourself. With everything done, you thought to go up the ladder…then thought better and gestured for Anya to go up first. She made a rude gesture and insisted in sign that you go up first. No reason to argue further, you supposed, though there was no danger discovered upon wandering back up, then out of the basement from there.
Back in the alleys with Anya, who tore off her gas mask, coughed, and covered her face again with a kerchief, you looked up at the heights of the buildings around you. Moving from roof to roof was theoretically safer than using the streets and side paths- even if Anya was, you guessed, afraid of heights- not something she’d be like to admit. Jumping between roofs, even with small gaps, though, was admittedly unreasonable lacking in safety if you were doing it for no reason. If the NLF had indeed withdrawn, as all signs pointed to- wouldn’t it be less a bother to just walk the streets?It was what you ended up doing, and after you decided to give only the briefest of surveys to each building along the way, you found yourself at the third barricade- where you spied a Netillian patrol looking it over.>You’d found out everything you needed to know in your recon. Head back to the unit. No need to stay and chat.>It’d been a while since you’d seen any friendly faces. Go down and find out what you could from these Netillians- though they wouldn’t be from your unit, they were allies.>There was something else you wanted to handle while you were out and about, and not under any watchful eyes of “allies.” (What?)>Other?Past Threads are collected here: https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnhTwitter for announcements and various horseshit is @scheissfunker
>>3689835>It’d been a while since you’d seen any friendly faces. Go down and find out what you could from these Netillians- though they wouldn’t be from your unit, they were allies.These barricades cost a lot of our guys, I’m not optimistic about how blowing these up and no tanks is going to look.
>>3689835>It’d been a while since you’d seen any friendly faces. Go down and find out what you could from these Netillians- though they wouldn’t be from your unit, they were allies.
>>3689835>>It’d been a while since you’d seen any friendly faces. Go down and find out what you could from these Netillians- though they wouldn’t be from your unit, they were allies.
>>3690235>>3690266>>3690351>>3690554Go down and talk with the Easterners. Northerners? Where is the center of the world, anyways.Writing.
“Hey,” you waved Anya over, and pointed to the Netillian patrol eyeing the barricade. “Wonder where those guys are from. Maybe another company of the 28th infantry?” If you were lucky, it was another formation, whose arrival would make your presence less necessary. The UGZ was too large to both be attacked and contained by a single battalion- since this was the opposite end of the city from where you started, yes, it had to be another formation. Best to link up with them and tell them what was going on, you thought. It was agreed you’d go and meet them- your choice of uniform being of benefit to recognition from units even outside of your own. Granted, your lower halves were appareled out of uniform, but the green jacket was what mattered most. It’d be better not to surprise them, so you went down and to the other side of the third barricade from them.“Hey, over there!” you called, “We’re from the 28th Infantry Battalion. Mind if we come over and join you?”There was a moment of hesitation before the reply came. “You got a passphrase?”You looked at Anya, and she shrugged. There was one for the 28th- but would these people know it? “Sure we do. Never got anything to holler at you people with, we don’t know who you are!”More deliberation on the other side. “We’re the 20th Infantry’s fourth company. We heard that this barricade was gonna be cleared out of the road here, and came to look ahead of time, with all that fightin’ goin’ on a bit ago. How about you climb over and show your faces?”“Yeah, no problem.” Though you had to stop and consider for a second, looking up and down at Anya.“What’re you lookin’ at,” Anya asked warily. “…Somethin’ on my chest?”
It was hard to tell sometimes.“There aren’t any women in the Netillian army. Maybe with some of those mercenaries that are hanging around, but not in uniform. I’m wondering if it’s dark enough for them not to tell.” She’d also not have to talk, of course. Maybe it’d be best to send her back for the rest of the unit while you waited here? She could probably take care of herself just fine.Yet you didn’t really want to send her off on…principle. Especially since she was still wounded, no matter how she refused to show it, even if she insisted it was nothing.Anya looked over herself, put her hands on her chest, pressed, pulled her jacket up so it sat looser over the belt. “That should be fine.” Admittedly, it was enough to make Anya look like she could be a rather slender, short young man, with the bagginess of the clothes and her face and hair covered up.>No, you should get your people moving more quickly, and the deception would never be perfect. Send Anya back.>It would have to do. Go over the top and meet your new friends with Anya.>You’ll go over with Anya, but maybe she needs some more help looking the part… (How so?)>Maybe you should meet these people with more than yourself and Anya. Say you’ll be back>Other?Also, should you go meet with these people, if you have anything you want to ask them, write that in.
>>3691495>Maybe you should meet these people with more than yourself and Anya. Say you’ll be backI don't see anything we could get from talking with them.
>>3691495>>It would have to do. Go over the top and meet your new friends with Anya.
>>3691495>It would have to do. Go over the top and meet your new friends with Anya.
>>3691495>It would have to do. Go over the top and meet your new friends with Anya.Ask these guys how their night went, what happened when they engaged the insurgents, if they have at all. Ask if they have seen any of the insurgent tanks too. I kinda would like a solid win to go home with, so maybe if we get relieved we can send our infantry home and try to get a direct favor with this other units commander by having our tanks blow up a stubborn building or some rebel tanks.
>>3691731Go on back.>>3691748>>3691771>>3691874>>3692334Go on forth. And other things.Writing.
“It is fine.” You told Anya, “Let’s go see these people from the 20th.” Then, over the barricade, “We’re coming over!”When you did climb over, reaching back to help Anya over (though she didn’t take your hand), the Netillians had their weapons in hand, as was natural, but you didn’t like the looks they were giving you.“What’s up with the masks?” one of them demanded, “…Hey, what if these people’re imposters?”No, you couldn’t have that idea floating around. “If we were imposters we could have thrown a grenade over. Look at my partner here, does he look like an insurgent? How many munitions casters do they have?”The suspicious one was persistent. “Could have taken them from people captured. It could happen. Just weird that you’re covering your faces.”“If you need proof, then you can get it from our group that’ll come down this way as soon as we send word back. We were checking ahead to see how the route was before we went down it. Lay off, it’s been a long night.”The skeptic moved around Anya. “…Real midget here.”“Tragic, I know. There’re more important things to talk about than my comrade’s diminutive stature,” you feigned heatedness while trying not to smirk. “Have you engaged any insurgents? You seem pretty far up, especially with them having tanks running around, or so I hear. Haven’t seen any of those myself.”“Haven’t heard of them having tanks. You shittin’ me?” one of the other members of the patrol said.“How’d they even get them in here? Sounds like dumb gossip and fearmongering.” Another agreed.You shrugged. “It’s what I was told, at least. It was why my group was brought over with our tanks. We’re not technically from the 28th. Just attached to their second company.”“Well, I hope it’s just a rumor,” the most relaxed of them said; probably their team leader. “We’ve had a nice quiet night so far, even though command’s been throwin’ a fuckin’ shit fit. Goin’ a whole night without seeing any lowlanders, let alone ones in tanks, that’d be some good luck. Have all the fighting done by the time we even come out here.”
“Haven’t seen anybody, huh?” you nodded, “Neither have we, not after that engagement you talked about hearing earlier. Supposing they’ve just run off to another part of the city.” The one with all the doubts was still squinting at Anya- maybe you’d had enough small talk. “Well, if it stays quiet, then yes, that will be quite a pleasant change. We need to get back to our unit- the sooner we clear out this barricade, the sooner we can relax some.””Wait,” the suspicious one said, “Don’t go anywhere. We’re going to search you and make sure, unless you want to come back with us to our commander.” Apparently, you were wrong and this one was the one in charge. Being searched would be no good- you carried a few items of contraband that would definitely irk this overly cautious soldier, and a search of Anya would reveal a few things that would certainly cast more suspicion on you.Anya had already turned around and begun to leave, though, and you were of the same mind.“Would you cool off?” you asked of the Netillian, “Do I sound like an Ellowian to you? We’ll be right back.”You weren’t let go happily, but there was at least enough doubt cast upon the man’s suspicions that he didn’t hold you and Anya back at gunpoint. That would have been thorny indeed.The journey back was much quicker than it took to go out- when you checked your watch, it had been forty five whole minutes. The barricades had been cleared by now- you heard the demolitions going off earlier, though you wondered if Lieutenant Kristoph would rashly order everybody forward in your absence. The chances of your crews listening to him was small, though- they didn’t think much of the Netillian officers, what with their exposure to them largely being the tank commanders’ grumblings about their flaws. Your return, signaled by flashes of your electric torch in an arranged sequence, which was returned with the proper response, showed that perhaps the young officer had learned some restraint- a lesson taught with the blood shed tonight, maybe.As soon as you got back into your tank, though, you got the classic sass.“Back from your date already?” you radio operator, Hans, mocked you over the intercom as soon as you plugged in.“Shut up.” You shot back. “Get me on line with the company command. If not them, then Battalion, ideally ours. I want to be leaving as soon as we can after the damage we’ve taken.”“So touchy, boss. Makes it seem like a few things happened. Couldn’t help but talk here about what you could be up to.” Hans did his best to test you. “Don’t nag at me, I’m doin’ what you said.”
“For somebody who makes fun of people for looking for things that aren’t there, you’re awfully eager to try and imply things, Hans.” Your gunner, Stein, criticized Hans. “His fiancée’s a lot sweeter than Cutface and you both.”“Kohmdersante flehtderrves.” Malachi added his incomprehensible opinion. “Donseh diffrenderrrk.”“It’s not that dark, Mal,” Hans continued to delay doing his job. “Second company. You’re on, boss.”Thank you, Hans, for putting you in the proper mood to deal with this. “Second Company of the 28th, this is 5th Battalion’s First company, reporting that we’re about to finish our mission. We’ll need to pull out after this is done. There’s no more enemies here, we did our job, and more people are arriving. We’ve made contact with soldiers from 20th battalion down the road here, so the 28th shouldn’t be stretched for much longer.”“Your help is appreciated,” Captain Becker said back to you, “We need you back as soon as possible, though. The attack’s bogged down. They’re trading ground for time, and we can’t make an effective attack on the UGZ garrison headquarters with how spread out they’ve forced us to be. We’ve good reason to believe they’ve taken it, but I want extra support in case it’s a trap.”More favors, of course.>Say that you’ll help- but you’ll expect some damn good words in your favor for it.>Inform the Captain that your men are battered and in no shape for further fighting- you’ve fulfilled your obligation and will be returning to your camp. He can get help from the other fresher reinforcements.>Relent and offer to add your tanks to support the assault on the garrison headquarters- but you’ll be keeping your men back. They’ve fought enough.>Other?
>>3692744>Inform the Captain that your men are battered and in no shape for further fighting- you’ve fulfilled your obligation and will be returning to your camp. He can get help from the other fresher reinforcements.If we send tanks we'll damage our standing with NLF even further.
>>3692744>OtherI seem to remember that our trucks had been commandeered, so we either are going to need to use our tanks to carry our wounded back to the camp, or we need those trucks back. If we get those trucks we can send one of our tanks over.He needs us more than we need him right now, we can squeeze him a little bit. Sure the NLF won’t like us killing their dudes, but a tank in urban combat can vary in usefulness, as we ourselves have demonstrated. I would gamble that a single tank is enough to be recognized as helping out without having to be the deciding factor of the battle.
>>3692854Go right on back.>>3693232>>3693329Make a deal.Writing, though since my writing time may be interrupted, I'll put forward that I'm presuming that you'd want to go yourself, instead of sending a wounded woman in your place.
Just a look around at your diminished and wounded told you that taking your group into another fight, likely a harder one, wasn’t an option you could take- not when the motivation for such was not a cause they could possibly support being wiped out to a man for. There was one thing you could certainly contribute, though- to increase the impact you’d had tonight.“How about we arrange something else,” you told Captain Becker, “My men have taken a large number of casualties, and they need to be sent back to camp to reorganize and regroup, for which I will need those trucks you’ve taken back. Normally, I’d say my obligations here are through, but if you return the trucks so I can get my men out of here, I will personally contribute myself, my crew and my tank to your attack, in support of it.”“…You drive a hard bargain, Coordinator.” The Captain said thoughtfully, “but given the choice between that and you withdrawing completely, I will take your deal. Return to the company headquarters after you’re done out there and I’ll have somebody show you the way up.”This had better be appreciated. “Affirmative. Out.” Then, you spoke over the platoon network to Anya, “After we’re through here, we’re pulling out. Rather, everybody but me is. We’ll get our trucks back, and I want you to take everybody back to the camp.”“While you do what?” Anya demanded back, “Do your best to get shot?”“Hopefully not. Let’s just finish this up. Maybe by the time we get the third barricade cleared out they won’t need any help.”After a brief aside with Lieutenant Kristoph detailing most of what you had seen- which was nothing, as you left out the parts about interrogating the bomb runner or raiding the basement. Some new sense of caution had been instilled in him, though, as when the formation got moving again the rate was ponderous indeed. It must have taken a good hour and a half to sweep all the way down to the third barricade, finding naught else the whole way for it. The Pioneers were retrieved, and the slow job of laying down charges to destroy the blockages done- after it was certain that all on the other side knew the area was going to get dangerous.The final explosion you hoped to be remotely near that night boomed, and as the pioneers finished the job of carving a path with shovels and axes rather than bombs, you preemptively bid your farewells. From here, your unit could make it home without you. Though, upon your departure, Anya left you with some final words of encouragement.“Don’t do anything retarded,” she told you sternly, hanging off your tank rather than talking on the radio, “Or I’ll beat the shit outta you after I drag you out of whatever shit you got yourself in. Got it?”“I’m glad that your motivation for me to keep out of danger is that you’ll be more a danger yourself,” you said dryly.
“See what happens if you fuck up, fairy boy." Anya poked you in the forehead, "If you get popped then I can’t beat your pants off in that drinking contest you set up.”Oh, right. You had arranged that. Well, you already felt like you needed that, unless you would have to put it off further until a night where it would be even more needed. You simple shook your head, waved, and after Anya jumped off, you ordered your tank back down the road to second company’s headquarters.Here was hoping you’d be scary enough to make the NLF shove off the garrison headquarters without you damaging their reputation with them.-----The Garrison Headquarters, when you were led up to it, didn’t seem like the spearhead of an attack- it was far, far too quiet, even going up to it. The loudest noise locally had been your tank, and though most nearby would be thankful of that, it only made you suspicious.“That’s it?” you asked of your escort, low in the cupola with your hat off to reduce your silhouette. “I thought there was an assault going on. Is there a ceasefire or did everybody go off to lunch?”“Course not.” The escort said testily, “Us of third platoon’ve taken first platoon’s place after they hit this point, and second and fourth platoons are spread over the flanks to cover them and to give support by fire. The first platoon’s in reserve behind us. I dunno the full plan, but we’re probably shaping up to attack as soon as you’re in the know.”“I must be here because you’re concerned about the enemy tanks?” you guessed.“Yeah. Apparently they haven’t been dealt with yet. The anti-tank rifles are still being carted around by the hunting groups, so if you can keep an eye out that’d be swell. It’d be a bad idea to shoot that big gun into the garrison headquarters, though. We haven’t even softened it up with mortars ‘cause there might be our guys still in there.”No mention of civilian casualty potential with a mortar attack- though you supposed that with the uprising, little thought was given to the welfare of those who likely supported this disaster to the Netillians. “I suppose the Captain will be here to oversee the attack?”“Yeah, as soon as you were coming back, he came here ahead of you. He’s waiting in his forward post up there a ways. I’ll show you.”Captain Becker was set up in a three story building across the street from the Garrison HQ- which was artificially broad, given that the Netillians did take the precaution of giving their UGZ garrison headquarters some elbow room from their surroundings, so that their razor wire fences had some purpose.
“You’re here?” he acknowledged your arrival. “Good. Then we can begin.” He pointed to a simulacrum of the UGZ he had arranged on a broad table out of various objects, for want of a proper map. “If you want an idea of differences, just peek out the window. Not too far, though. It sounds quiet but you won’t want to tempt any sharpshooters. Anyways. Lieutenant Giesken, this is Coordinator Von Tracht. He’s brought his tank to help the attack,” he directed your attention to one of his officers, somebody just a touch older than you but plenty worn down by the creases forming early on his face. “The main issue with taking the garrison HQ back at this point, you see, is that the avenue of escape for the insurgents is too open. We’ve not the manpower to surround the place and trap the occupants, nor to keep them from absconding with what they’ve seized if they haven’t already. If we attack and force them backwards, we will have naught to show for it but that we hold another decrepit building in this pit. This is where you come in, Coordinator. Lieutenant, if you would explain.” It was good that you’d become used to being called Coordinator by Netillians else you’d have been confused. Lieutenant Giesken gestured to a toy car that was apparently meant to be your vehicle. “The plan goes like this. Second Platoon, led by me, will storm the place in two places. One through the main gate, and another through a hole in the fence you’ll knock down with your tank. Then, we’ll sweep across and cut off the rear exit- that’s the only place we don’t have a machine gun set up watching. After that, it should just be a matter of watching for yourself while we call in first platoon to help us clean up the place. Tanks aren’t too useful for clearing a building, but damn if they don’t make a fine mobile roadblock. There is at least a platoon’s worth of enemy fighters estimated to be in that compound- thirty to forty, and they can be assumed to have seized the machine guns and similar small arms from the garrison armory, as well as tear gas grenades and the like, but they should not have any anti-tank weapons. We can’t be sure on the numbers, though, because their backs’ve been open, though if there were much more of them we would have expected a counterattack rather than them letting us move in- unless it’s a trap, of course, but we don’t have much choice but to spring it in this case.”
“In the event the rebel small tanks appear, you’ll also be expected to deter them, of course,” Captain Becker took over again, “Beyond that, much should be left to the infantry. A barrage of smoke rounds from our mortars will obscure our entry points once we begin. Make sure to wear you and your men all don their gas masks, we will be using tear gas to flush out the enemy from their hiding places where possible. Avoid the use of high explosives or fragmentation weapons in places where you do not know if there are any hostages. Is all understood?”>Crystal clear. Almost too easy. Start as soon as possible.>Maybe you could convince the insurgents to retreat and leave their prisoners behind? You could offer to go as a negotiator. It would save many valuable lives…>You had a few questions/issues. Such as…>You have another proposal- (What?)>Other?Accidentally posted the map first instead of last somehow. Whatever. Most of the buildings on this map are 1-3 stories tall, by the by. The larger, usually, the taller. In case it wasn't clear, the white smudge marks are smoke bombardment from mortars.
>>3695626>Crystal clear. Almost too easy. Start as soon as possible
>>3695626>>Crystal clear. Almost too easy. Start as soon as possible.
>>3695626>You had a few questions/issues. Such as…Can they spare us a munitions caster, we would like to have options for non lethal measures if they try to use any captives for some clever strategy. We want tear gas grenades but can we get smoke too? I don’t remember if that was an ammo type for the munitions caster. Smoke would be good to help the insurgents get out without us having to massacre them if the attack goes too well.
>>3695650>>3695912>>3695989Get going- but can we borrow your stuff?Writing.
I don't remember when I last read this, but call me when we get to drink hilda's piss.
>>3696149There is only one girl for Richter fool
What does Maddalyn's bathwater taste like?
>>3696236These thoughts of Maddy return at the strangest times.
“I only have one possible request,” you announced, “Can I get a munitions caster? With smoke, preferably?”“The hell do you need one of those for?” the Lieutenant of second platoon demanded, “You’ve got a tank. You can’t possibly be short of firepower, and what would you need smoke for with that armor?”“Just in case.” You insisted.“You were lent munitions casters, Coordinator.” Captain Becker said.“They were returned.” Save for one. One that you weren’t going to pry from Anya’s cold dead fingers- not that you’d try for fear of her corpse leaping back to life and attacking you. You’d said that all of the borrowed weapons had to be returned- but you were sure Anya would conveniently forget about that instruction a mere blink after you said it.“I concur with Lieutenant Giesken that it would be a luxury for you and not a necessity, considering the equipment of the assault force besides you. I’m afraid you will have to go without.”Well, damn. There went your plan to perhaps play both sides by providing senseless obscuring of the senses. “Understood.” Maybe you’d think of something else when the time came. “Then I am ready when everybody else is.”Captain Becker nodded, then pointed to an electronics operator nearby. “Call all the platoon leaders. Tell them we’re starting in five minutes, or when the mortar strike for smoke hits. I’m going to call for it as soon as that order is send out, so whichever comes first, that will be our mark. Blood, grit, and fire.” Becker saluted his platoon commander, and he saluted back- none was expected from you, of course, but it did give you pause for thought.What were you fighting for? You shook your head. “I’ll go on the mark of smoke.” You confirmed, and turned about to leave.You gave a quick explanation to your crew, along with a quick sneaky gallivant out with Malachi to point out where you’d be driving- on his request. While you were out, you tried to think of something to talk about with him- it’d be a good opportunity while you were both alone, especially considering how mysterious he was- but just after he managed to get a good look around the corner, the shriek of mortars coming down echoed about the buildings surrounding you, and Malachi sprinted right back, half dragging you by the arm the whole way back.“Cansheoutsmahk,” he said hurriedly to you as he went around to the back hatch- the front crew for the X-50 had no entrance in the fore, and the exits there could only be opened from the inside, and were meant for emergency. “Tallergo.”“Tell where go?” you repeated, “Right, of course.” As soon as you were in your seat again, and Malachi reported over the intercom that he was in position, you heaved yourself over the edge of the cupola, and commanded, “Forward! Tear a hole in that fence, and make damn sure our entrance won’t be stopped at its inception!”
With a grinding like steel being sharpened, the engine of the X-50 wound up, and the tank lurched forth, a steel bull pawing at the earth before charging forth. You had the thought to tell Malachi to slow down, as smoke swallowed up all sight of the garrison base ahead, but you knew better than to doubt his choice of action- all you needed to do was be another set of senses for him. An instrument of his will, as he was yours- neither of you would triumph without the other.“…Fifty meters, about, Mal,” you said carefully.“Hechown.” Came the reply back over the intercom.“What?”“Hetch dahn, boss!” Jorgen shouted at you and pulled you down.Oh, right. Malachi really was going to send this fence flying that much? You reached back up only to get the handle of the hatch and fling it shut, before the tank began to tilt like a boat on the sea. A horrible wrenching and tinkling of metal echoed dully from outside, horrid dragging and snapping, and you peeked out the vision blocks in the cupola to see that a horrendous gash had been ripped in the fence from the tank running laterally along the fence- the entire platoon could march through the space if they wished, and a portion of the fence was being dragged along behind, bending the rest along the way in a destructive domino effect. All you could hope for was to not be snagged- it was all behind and to the flank, some tied up in the treads, at least, and not in front where it would disrupt your armament.With a final snap, the fence was torn mostly away from your treads, and it rippled and swayed back like the tension being snapped out of a spring, rattling along the ground and tying itself in a crumpled knot.>Tell Malachi to halt for now- and let your support catch up. That was enough stunts for the night.>Urge Malachi to keep going- it was important that you reach your staging area quickly.>Suggest something that might seem a bit odd- the other side of the base needed a hole just like this one, you thought.>Other?
>>3696565>>Tell Malachi to halt for now- and let your support catch up. That was enough stunts for the night.
>>3696565>Tell Malachi to halt for now- and let your support catch up. That was enough stunts for the night.If this is a trap, let the squishies trigger it.
>>3696565>>Tell Malachi to halt for now- and let your support catch up. That was enough stunts for the night.Yeah let's not.One tank alone and unsupported in an urban environment?
>>3696572>>3696599>>3696628Woah there, Silver.Writing.
“Driver, halt!” you ordered Malachi, “That’s far enough. The breach’s been torn, let us wait for a flood to come through before its opposite may catch us first.”“Aykommanhderrr.” The tank came to a halt, and after a check to make sure the wall of smoke was present to your left as expected, you donned your gas mask and opened up the hatch again. Dangerous, yes, but no more dangerous for you than any trying to exploit the smoke obscuring the advance to make their own attack on you, rather than the disproportionate advantage they would have shooting down at you or from a distance. This also let you keep a better eye on the advancing Netillians- a good half of second platoon was running up in bounds by squad across the road and cleared ground, keeping pace with their other half heading for the main gate. A pair of quick thud-KRACKs came with their advance, as munitions casters sent their high explosive grenades into the guard posts, with one of the crews firing a second volley to surely gut their target before teams armed with submachineguns closed to the front, looked into the gatehouses, and gestured back an all-clear signal.The second half of the platoon, led by the platoon’s senior NCO, came running up by your panzer after they came upon the massive gap in the fence freshly created. “Come on, move, move!” the senior NCO said, temporarily ripping his gas mask up, “No time to lose, keep rolling and we’ll be right behind you!”You raised your arm in affirmation, then ducked back into the tank. The gas mask didn’t play nicely with your headset and throat microphone- you had to minimize outside disruptions to even shout past the mask into it. “Driver, forward at fifteen. The infantry are moving behind us. If we take fire, be prepared to halt on my command but not immediately.”Malachi affirmed that command, and the tank moved forth again. As you moved away from the shield of smoke, you ducked as low into the cupola as you could, submachinegun tightly clenched in hand- to your right would be men of the fourth platoon, but when you moved past the mostly featureless warehouse and past the heavily windowed administration office, a mimic to the place your acquaintance Maenesko worked, not only would you be beyond their direct shield, but a stray lucky shooter would have a good, close shot- regardless of your desire to help Ellowie, you couldn’t help them if its dedicated defenders killed you.
As you drove by the warehouse, you heard what few windows it had being smashed, and the clanking followed by a fwooosh of tear gas grenades being armed and tossed in. Not enough to flush out the whole place, no, but surely enough for, if anybody was lurking in a position of ambush, for them to launch into a coughing fit. Clearing said warehouse was not your job or that of the 2nd platoon’s accompanying half- you moved straight on, with one of two squads assuming a position of overwatch at the corner of the warehouse as the administrative building came into sight. As soon as you did, a few snaps popped by your tank at the Netillians, who doubled back and after unleashing a hail of thudding fire from a machine gun into the office corner, immediately had their two munitions caster wielders begin pouring smoke and tear gas into the windows until the side of the building was a waterfall of multihued miasma. You hadn’t stopped- only slowed the pace somewhat, and the Netillians quickly returned to bounding behind and to your flank. Second company was well seasoned indeed, with how coordinated they were and how smooth their teamwork flowed. The result was that you didn’t stop moving- not even when gunfire cracked from the upper floor and sent you as deep into your tank as to make it a mole’s hole, while spraying haphazardly at windows so steeply angled upwards that you couldn’t see what was in or past them. It was chaos, and after that initial engagement, you didn’t even look out to the flanks, such your eyes were fixed upon the heights. Thankfully it felt like but an instant before you rounded the corner of the administrative building. It wasn’t that you were any safer- but the sounds of battle from the south signaled that the NLF here would now be contending with too much for them to focus overly much on you.Northwards, after all, was even more insurgent held territory. If anything you were even more outflanked, even more isolated, but nevertheless at the north gate you had to make your stand. At the very least, the brick walls directly flanking the entrance and concrete gatehouses beside said gate would form some basis for a solid defensive position. You had to secure this upper half- the reduced but still combat capable first platoon of the 28th Battalion’s second company would be coming in about now, and the garrison headquarters would be stormed in short order.
The good thing at least about being so visible to all was that there would be no way the insurgency would bring their tanks around here- not if they insisted on fighting the way they had before. You kept in the cupola, nice and low- for all the worth the tank had as an iron work of death, with the infantry having spread out and taken cover, any bit of you that stuck up and out would be the tallest target about, especially as the smoke was still thick.…Instinct turned you on to ever so slight a sound, so slight you would have thought you should barely hear it, and you looked in the vision block of the corresponding direction. Out a window, ever so carefully, a train of people was turning into a small group. They were all diminutive, as you could tell by how large their weapons appeared next to them. Were they the main force, or were the NLF seeing the situation develop and attempting to move the child soldiers out before the jaws of doom trapped them fully?Your accompanying infantry didn’t seem to notice them as a barrage of rifle fire came from the detention facility on the other side- and they probably wouldn’t notice these fleeing child soldiers, whose weapons were slung across their back or otherwise held loosely, as they were staying idle- none of them having the courage now to run off by themselves, it seemed, without the steadying voice of an adult leader. A few looked towards your tank with wide, wary eyes as they seemed to begin to creep away by themselves…>Allow them to go. They should be thankful of the Judge’s mercy indeed that they might escape the brutality of tonight.>Who knew what they could do? What if it was a trick? Order your crew to load high explosive, turn the turret, and destroy them while they were still vulnerable.>You couldn’t let them stay there- but you would not make your crew take any part in this. Alert the Netillians to the danger and do naught else.>A few well aimed bursts with the submachinegun should destroy enough to send the rest fleeing back inside. You couldn’t pretend they weren’t there- that they were no threat. Not when your other allies were right here.>Loudly make yourself known and demand their surrender. Surely, they should comply.>Other?
>>3697556>Give them some further time to move on, and then speed them on their way with a few not-so-well aimed bursts from the submachinegun.I doubt they'll surrender, we can't let them past unmolested in case a successful escape emboldens them, and I can't say I'm interested in blasting child soldiers with HE.
>>3697556>>Allow them to go. They should be thankful of the Judge’s mercy indeed that they might escape the brutality of tonight.>Other?Point deeper into the city making it clear this is their chance to run. It may bite us in the ass but we gotta try. Also>Don't go into those woodsGODDAMN WIZARDS are corrupting Choirboy.
>>3697570Supporting. If they run away don't touch them if they're running towards us give them a few bursts to chase them off.
>>3697556>Scare them off. Turn the turret towards them, but don't shoot.
>>3697570>>3697653Combining these two, turn the turret and fire a few purposefully off-target bursts from the coax at them (does this thing have a coax?).
>>3697653>>3698873Do the crew know we're pulling the fishy triple cross business with the NLF yet or is that still just between us and Anya? Because if they don't and we go turning the main gun away from the action and then tell Hans not to fire or to deliberately flub a shot, the rest of the crew is going to smell a rat.>>3697556I reckon we're safer "encouraging" the children along with a few wild shots with our sub, if we're brave enough to stick our head out, a la >>3697570 suggested, or pretending we didn't see them at all.
>>3698873It does not have a coaxial. The option for such was changed for a bigger gun.>>3699585>Do the crew know we're pulling the fishy triple cross business with the NLF yet or is that still just between us and Anya?It has not been decided to tell the crew that, so no, they don't know. I presume you don't want to tell anybody except the need to know as far as command decision making goes, unless stated otherwise. That said, the crew is plenty expectant of you being up to shady shit what with your history of involvement with the Intelligence Office.
“…Gunner, on my mark,” you said carefully, still weighing how much you wanted to tell your crew about your current allegiances, “Turn the turret half left. There are a bunch of child soldiers there. Do not engage.”“I can’t on kids, commander, even if they had guns.” Stein said sternly.“You won’t. We just want to scare them. On my mark.” There was too much to explain properly- all you could lean on was that you didn’t want to kill them because of their age and maturity rather than because of whom they fought for. Unwitting that they were being saved, hopefully, rather than narrowly avoiding death, your show of force combined with nervousness and inexperience should send them fleeing. Whereto, though? To the fence where they could escape, or back to the building where they would be delaying the inevitable? They were leaving it presumably because there was no other way out, yet the razor wire fence had no aperture in it either…No, they had a plan for that else they wouldn’t have come out even after you had clearly occupied the gate. You peeped out, squinted…there. A gap in the fence that had missed your initial inspection, cut into with wire cutters- a minute sway in its middle betrayed that it had been cut open and pushed apart some time ago, before the weave of the thing pushed the fence back together, though not enough to not simply be pushed through once more. That decided it. “Now!” you called to your gunner.As the turret swung around you rested the edge of your submachinegun on the cupola, making ready for an aimed burst in the wrong direction, to hurry them along and to not get any clever ideas. Make it a danger for them to stay, and motivated to flee as fast as they could before an insurmountable opponent. A few got the idea as soon as the turret began to turn, and the rest fled with your clumsy, rattling gunfire that might have been threatening to the street a few dozen meters from them.
Yet one remained. A sort you recognized, as you had seen such in yourself in the past, and maybe still now. One who remained, who fancied themselves a hero. A child they were, but you could still be impressed by their valor- were said bravery not causing them to level a gun at you. They wielded it inexpertly from the sway as they pointed it at you, and as you instinctively pointed your gun at their center they were still unsure on their feet. If it came to a duel you would be the obvious winner, but did you want to win this duel?Could you afford to potentially lose it, either..? There was no longer any time to retreat inside the cupola before one of you fired the first shot, even in this world where thought slowed to allow a consideration per fraction of a second, where each heartbeat was a minute. The mind moved quicker than the body, but the body would no longer accept any delays. What was right or wrong could be deliberated a dozen times in the moment it took to draw your finger back, but the only action now would be to either shoot, or not.>Fire. Your inner sense told you, “Kill! Or be killed!” and they had never led you astray.>Hold. Maybe it was foolish to believe yourself particularly blessed. Yet you had been lucky enough to make it this far, hadn’t you? (Hope the opponent rolls badly)>You were talented enough to make the expert shot another could not, weren’t you? Didn’t ability set you apart, not luck? You could solve this your own way. (Make a nonlethal singular shot- but where?)
>>3701145>You were talented enough to make the expert shot another could not, weren’t you? Didn’t ability set you apart, not luck? You could solve this your own way. (Make a nonlethal singular shot- but where?)Their left arm, keep them from holding up the gun but still capable of runningHopefully the dice don't mess this up. I've had enough of my main characters getting their heads shot off by child soldiers this month. Also, congratulations to Hans for his field promotion to gunner hurr durr
>>3701145I don't fucking believe we don't have time to duck. Sounds really artificial.Still, seconding >>3701181
I am up.>>3701181>>3701225>>3701236Course of action is clear. Writing.>>3701192Is it not believable that someone might be able to make a rushed shot with their gun in the space of time one might try to evade? Not shooting doesn't involve sitting there and waiting to be shot, in case it wasn't clear. But if that harms verisimilitude, then I'll make note of it for the future.
It was hardly becoming of your name and ancestry to trade your life for a child’s, no matter if they were armed or no, you decided, and though you indeed shot, it was not to kill. You aimed for their steadying arm- without being able to hold the rifle with two hands, there was no way they could fight, let alone make a shot with any accuracy at all.To call the W.db 30 Submachinegun a piece of junk would be to flatter it. Its stock was uncomfortable, it had no select fire, and was generally deserving of worse names than the usual moniker Clank and Bang. However, its rate of fire was relatively slow, so being able to just touch the trigger for a single shot would be simple- one shot that would be all you would need.>Roll up to 3 sets of 1d100- roll under 65, averaged.
>>3701609I just don't see how there might be enough time to shoot first but not to duck.
Rolled 100 (1d100)>>3701621
Rolled 23 (1d100)>>3701621>>3701626LOL
>>3701626This is why I dislike dice in quests.
Rolled 65 (1d100)>>3701621
Oh dog what done
>>3701626>>3701633>>3701636Cutting it close huh.Writing.
>>3701640If we're going to be engaged in this much dismounted/small arms combat maybe Richter should try to get a better gun.
>>3701626So would failing with a 100 on this roll mean we nail the kid, or miss entirely?
You saw the upstart’s aim disrupted and them drop their weapon in shock before you registered the recoil, and they looked in disbelief at their hand for a moment- it being too dark near them for you to see what damage you had done- before dropping their weapon entirely and fleeing. Tragedy had been averted, in the long term, at least. Though that would be hard for them to accept after you’d wounded them.Once that last retreating soldier was on their way you quickly returned to the shelter of your armor- and hoped you wouldn’t have to make any more decisions that would seem suspect considering the tank’s purpose of blocking off the northern entrance to both those who would reinforce as well as those who would flee. The most difficult task for you in this had ended, though. From here all you truly had to do was sit and look imposing whilst the encroaching Netillian troops did the dirty work of clearing out the Garrison Headquarters building by building. You directed the tank’s cannon towards the engagement coming from the detention center, but when you shouted (out the side) for direction on targets to engage, the platoon NCO shouted back not to engage- the hostages, after all, had not been located.So you directed the turret to be turned north, as munitions caster fire quieted the resistance from the detention center. A keen eye was kept for more fleeing NLF, but as the smoke dissipated and Netillian soldiers coming up from the south became visible, steadily approaching as they swept up the garrison base, it seemed that the fighting was almost over as soon as it began- again, with you having to do relatively little work. Perhaps it was best that way?Not that you could have felt pride over this battle anyways. This was not a charge of lances into the lines of the Reich at its mightiest, this was a battle against children in a brutal occupation. The roles being reversed made you dissatisfied- though that may have been ideal for your true mission here. Could you disguise that, though, or would it not be needed to amongst other sympathetic northerners?
A Netillian runner came up, sticking to cover even though the gunfire had died down. From observation of movements, you could see that the Detention Center was probably the last building to be cleared. The runner went to the NCO, and they exchanged a few heated words, before the runner began his journey back, and the NCO went to you and rapped on the tank.“We gotta go, Captain’s orders,” he said angrily, “Apparently there’s a huge bomb in the armory. Captain doesn’t want to risk us getting blown up by it, so we all gotta pull out. Who knows when they’ll flip the switch.”“Were the hostages found yet?” you asked.“Nope. First platoon’s gonna take the Detention Center,” the NCO pointed to the subject building, “and then they’re gonna pull out west, but the rest of us have to get moving ASAP.”>Finally, an excuse for you to be finished. Take that opportunity without question.>Suggest a solution- perhaps you could detonate the bomb from afar, in your armored vehicle, using explosive shot? It would mean less delay for the Netillians…>Suggest defying orders and remaining. Surely the Ellowians wouldn’t risk blowing up their own people- and you were far enough from the armory where the bomb was anyways. It couldn’t be as colossal as the one you’d endured back in Sosaldt after all…>Other?>>3701652You can certainly be on the lookout for a better one.>>3701663It was a roll under.
>>3701898>>Finally, an excuse for you to be finished. Take that opportunity without question.
>>3701898>>Finally, an excuse for you to be finished. Take that opportunity without question.The sooner we can fulfill our obligations and get the hell out of here the better.
>>3701898>Finally, an excuse for you to be finished. Take that opportunity without question.
>>3701898>Finally, an excuse for you to be finished. Take that opportunity without question.Setting off that bomb with a HE round could be pretty fun (read as: dumb), but yeah we ought to get out of here before we strain our new allegiances any further. Screw the armoury for now.
>>3701898>>Finally, an excuse for you to be finished. Take that opportunity without question.Depending on the amount of supplies we end up with by the end of all this, we might want to consider sharing some with the Ellowians. It definitely couldn't hurt our relations to exchange something other than gunfire with our secret allies.
>>3701906>>3701923>>3701928>>3701937>>3701956>>3702206Get me the fuck outta here.Rodger dodger, writing.
An opportunity to escape the UGZ on this night would not be turned down. “Affirmative. I’ll move when you do.” You could have sped on out by yourself. Were tempted to, even.“Let’s haul ass.” The NCO confirmed. “Wait a moment and let us shove some of our wounded on your hull. Get some use out of that box.”You bid Jorgen to shut the side hatch, then said into the crew intercom, “Alright, Malachi, once they stack their bodies on the tank, get us out of here. Follow the guys back, and from there, I’ll get Captain Becker to let us get back to camp.”The half of third platoon you were with moved far faster out than they had in, right along the way you came- though this time no stray shots were coming out of the building. Not that you poked any further out of the cupola. Once you were (soon) back in territory under the watch of the flanking positions, you could let yourself think more on this past engagement. The hostages hadn’t been found- but the 28th’s second company had, from the look of it, managed to push up and take ground with relatively few casualties compared to those whom they replaced. They were competent soldiers, yes, but you wondered how much was helped from your leaking of information- prestigious as it was to hold a symbol of the Netillian occupation in the middle of an Ellowian city for the NLF, evidently it was not worth the potential cost of defending it. Yes, the NLF was playing the long game, but you wondered if they had expected to lose not only the main supply route you’d cleared, but also the Garrison Headquarters- two significant blows to their continued resistance in the city, and there could be additional reinforcements coming to exploit this, as well. Perhaps the bomb in the HQ could be a feint, a ploy to force the Netillians to withdraw only for the NLF to come right back in, but it would take little effort for the Netillians to retake the place with their advance having secured the flanks. You’d also heard naught of the vaunted rebels’ tanks, which perhaps were being saved for a counterattack, but thus far the NLF and their allies in the uprising had been following a quite passive battle plan. Was it lack of coordination, or conservatism, though?“You think we’ll get a decent reward for this, commander?” Stein inquired, “Coming to help this much and all, even if we didn’t end up doing much.”“Hah!” Jorgen half choked, half laughed.“What’s so funny, northman?” Stein grumbled. “Thought you’d like to sling that axe a bit.”“Wehr meht, boy. Rehwehrd’s naehtgehtten kouked.” “I certainly hope Netilland’s appreciation of us spare meat’s work that they’ll do more than not cook us.” Stein shook his head. “Else we might not show up next time.”
“Ershdoshy sehm. Ollsaem. Deyen, pehy, gedout. Hiyo hiyo don’ went nothing ehlse.” Jorgen had an awfully jolly tone for such a cynical explanation of how he viewed this. Stein couldn’t find a point to disagree with, so he just rolled his eyes and leaned back in his seat, idly turning the gun periscope side to side as you went back to your initial staging area next to the forward company headquarters.Without delay, you went to find the Captain and found him after having to be redirected a few times. When you checked your watch, it was close to two o’clock in the morning- but the energy about the place drove sleepiness away from all present, and no gait lacked for purpose. Regardless, you did not intend on spending long enough to see if that stamina would carry into the dawn.“I’ve done my part and more,” you told Captain Becker, “Not only are my men spent, but the fuel stores on my tank will be spent if we operate much longer.” More of a concern for driving back rather than around, but a point nevertheless. “I am here to inform you that I will be leaving.”Captain Becker frowned. “I don’t suppose I can convince you to remain to help in securing..?”“Negative.” You repeated your stance, not budging. “We weren’t supposed to be here at all tonight. Make sure you note of my help to your people here when you make your report. Good night, Captain.” Quick and to the point, you didn’t bother saluting and stepped off back to your tank as soon as you could.-----
The drive back was quiet, save for the odd report of anything sighted. The NLF could be sure to have concentrated any offensive efforts on maintaining in the UGZ instead of splitting their limited forces apart from a specific political goal, but the NLF weren’t the only insurgents about; nor were insurgents the only potential danger. Yet as the sounds of battle grew further away, so did your eyes grow heavier, even with the noise of the tank, the treads, and the sharp stink of oil and grease. The latter things became oddly comfortably after enough time in a tank.The tank returned to camp, with enough fuel left in it to maybe drive back one more time-and stay there. Needless to say, you were done with operations. You dismissed your crew and were tempted to head right to bed, but you had to check on administrative obligations first. To see if all was taken care of, the wounded taken to a field hospital, ammunition usage accounted for, the like…the two staff officers still up, one barely so, told you that yes, the wounded were taken care of, the vehicles were back in there place (though you’d seen that for yourself) and that Sergeant Nowicki was busy preparing the after action report. You hadn’t asked her to do that; she might just be being proactive after nicking a weapons system for herself, balancing out her moral credit.Checking on the spunky retinue revealed her to have been hard at work…earlier. Slumped forward over a typewriter, Anya was now fast asleep. Anya asleep was a rare sight to see- she normally went to bed later and woke earlier than you, to the point where it had to be on purpose. It was a shame because nobody would hesitate to say that Anya was adorable when she was asleep. Something about the contrast to when she was awake. She still had her Netillian jacket on and buttoned, the cap tumbling off the top of her fluffy blonde head.>The report could wait. Tomorrow would probably be just as busy as last night anyways.>No sleeping on duty. Wake her up. You’ve got things you want to ask, too, in addition to business. (What?)>Wake up Anya, it’s been a long night and it’s time for drinks. Irresponsible? Yes, but you felt like such about now. You’d have to plunder drinks from Krause’s box of lost and found items, though.>Other?
>>3702592>The report could wait. Tomorrow would probably be just as busy as last night anyways.>Put a blanket over her shoulders and then go to bed
>>3702592One of these, please >>3702646
>>3702592>>Other?Wake up Anya, tell her we made it back alright, and send her to a proper bed, she'll grow up stunted if she sleeps slouched over like that.
>>3702694>wake up the tomboy>gets mauled>"How could this have happened?"Also:>stunted That's how we like them. :^)
>>3702592Boss, while there's a break in the child shooting, I have a dumb question to ask: Are the rules to Vier-Sechs based on a real game or is it something original? My friends and I like to play obscure dice games and I might note down the rules the next time I re-read through PCQ. I want to play.
If we do end up waking Anya up, have her confirm she's seen a medic about that reopened side wound already and if she hasn't, take her to see one before we go to sleep.
>>3702646Sure. It's been a long day anyway let's all get some rest and settle the rest tomorrow. Hopefully the reward we get was worth losing half a platoon for.
>>3702646>>3702691>>3702884>>3702895>>3702914Put a sheet over it so the guests don't see.>>3702694Call her short.>>3702802Not many people just try to forget they've been wounded, but Anya is one of them- amend this, should sleep be interrupted.Writing.>>3702766Oh, Vier-Sechs is just Cee-lo. 4-5-6, or shortened, 4-6. Not an exciting revelation, I know, but it's a simple game that you only need three die for so it's even easier to keep in your pocket than a deck of cards if you keep the mess kit clean.
If you sleep like that, you’ll grow up stunted, you thought to yourself looking at Anya. …More stunted. But was that actually a problem? She couldn’t be let alone like that, though- the air was bitingly chilly tonight, and even if Anya insisted that is wasn’t cold if there was no snow, there had to be some point where she felt it, and you couldn’t have your retinue coming down with a cold, especially with that wound she was still nursing. You went off towards Anya’s tent to get her a blanket, then thought better of that idea and went to get your own blanket instead. Anya would somehow just know you’d been in there, and would undoubtedly give you shit for it. Krause had once shared a story where he’d peeked in and found the entrance set with twin alarms formed from bells atop the flap and strung up at foot level. A habit surely not learned from any place where nobody locked their doors. When you asked Anya about it she had plainly laid out that ”I don’t need a room, but if I got one, nobody has any business screwing around in it.” No defensiveness to it, just a matter of fact statement.Anya had better appreciate that you’d be sacrificing your blanket for her, you thought. Stealing a blanket from anybody would be seen as an invitation for retaliation, so the sacrifice made would have to be yours. You laid the heavy woolen blanket over Anya’s shoulders and wrapped it around her front, leaving her upper head poking out from the folds, her breath issuing a steady beat of misty clouds. You felt tempted, afterwards, to rub her head, putting her to bed as you were. Very tempted; in spite of the potential risks.…Some other time. The longer you spent up, the worse you’d feel when you were invariably woken early. After confirming that the night watch was up and that Junior Lieutenant Krause was handling the people who were still up and about, you popped a small twist of blackflower, and fell face-first into your cot to welcome the darkness.-----
Blackflower gave dreamless sleep, and after last night, the abyss was comforting. The sort of darkness from looking up at a night sky in the city, not that of looking down at the bottom of the sea. They looked identical theoretically, but it was all about the context. When you woke up and checked your watch, noting some displeasure at how the Netillian jacket you’d left on had somehow gotten itchier over time, it was late for you- ten o’clock. Somebody had been letting you sleep in. This wasn’t necessarily a mercy. It was long after breakfast, and not a scrap was ever saved after the field kitchen finished the meal of the time- that is, if they were working. In a situation as like last night, if it was still going on, the kitchens may have shut down and the iron rations broken out. That was the first order of business, then- to see what was going on.You could really use some nice morning tea right now. Everybody on this damned side of the continent drank coffee. The Twaryians would have to be negotiated with for something drinkable.First, to the staff office. What was happening? Ah yes, still a state of alert, but reduced. The threat to the current sector had been reviewed and determined to be negligible. This meant that reinforcements were being sent over to the adjacent sector- though you had been passed over, with your unit’s adjacency to the border making moving your whole unit not an option. The platoons were still out, but had been granted an opportunity to rest- the depleted 3rd platoon was doing headquarters guard duty. However, 3rd platoon was apparently also having difficulties. Many of its soldiers had been complaining and lamenting “fighting kids-“ brutal combat against child soldiers, with many casualties coming from hesitation to fire first, on top of the sheer amount of casualties, had had a noticeably negative effect on the platoon’s morale.>3rd Platoon is now of REGULAR experience. This will improve their combat proficiency, and they will remain of this experience level even after taking heavy casualties and being replenished.>3rd Platoon is now SHAKEN. Shaken units will perform worse in combat and have decreased cohesion and morale. It may be best to keep them away from hard assignments unless absolutely necessary.
A decent inflow of news was fed into your drowsy ears. Ironically, though UGZ-07 was in full revolt, UGZ-09 was in relative peace. A new platoon had been approved to be drawn up and placed under your “command,” though their “camp” was in the UGZ- as your “5th platoon” was actually a militia under the control of the movers and shakers of the UGZ, in an attempt to make the best of their situation and assemble an unofficial police force that would not abuse them as other Netillian units tended to. >A 5th Platoon of Ellowian Conscripts/Volunteers has been added to your command. They are unequipped, and are thus unsuitable for combat. Though improvised and scrounged up crude weaponry is like to be enough for duties of patrol and peace keeping in the UGZ, they cannot participate in a proper fight without equipment. They also start out as GREEN in experience. A missive from Battalion Command had also arrived. You were given a formal, minute letter of appreciation that was completely sterile, were it not for the implications of what was left unsaid.Coordinator Von Tracht,Your contributions the previous night in support of operations to retake UGZ-07 are recognized thusly as commendable, and political committee will be notified of any requests for particular decoration or award. By the authority of the Defense Party and the Military Council, 1st Company of the 5th Battalion has been awarded a Merit for service. Replenishment of casualties will be handled upon receipt and confirmation of wounded and killed in action.-Lieutenant Colonel Bauyer You were tempted to ball it up and toss it in the trash. Apparently, in spite of the sacrifice, Bauyer wasn’t being groveled to as much as he would have liked by the 28th Battalion, so command was giving you the equivalent of table scraps.>2 RP receivedSome good news was received from the workshop. Finally, the X-20 had its parts custom made and fitted in. Once more, the twin autocannon tank, the ugly-as-hell “shoe,” was upon the field of battle again.>The X-20 has been returned to the motor poolThe most pressing news, though- now was the date for turning in forms requesting requisitions. This included additional gear, vehicles, units, reinforcement, extra fuel, luxuries- though one couldn’t get everything, you were in a position to request a fair bit that could be delegated to a company.
>You may now spend RP in order to obtain unit upgrades and supplies.Replenishment costs 1 RP per 10 soldiers, rounded up. Heavy replenishment will degrade unit experience, but only if they are above Trained level. A unit once obtaining Trained level has intrinsic experience that can only be lost on unit devastation.>Infantry Platoon Upgrades:New Model Machine Guns (3RP per platoon)- Replaces the W.dB 29 Neue-Machinengewehr equipment of the platoon with the newer and improved W.dB-Grunsen 30 Light Machine Gun- improving combat efficiency to a tune of +5 to general combat rolls.Stormtrooper Spec Squad (6 RP per platoon)- Upgrades one squad in the platoon to be Stormtrooper spec- equipped with body armor and a greater proportion of submachineguns. This combination improves close quarters combat rolls by +10, and reduces damage taken in close quarters by 1.Platoon Munitions Caster Team (3 RP per platoon)- Adds a munitions caster to the platoon command element, which reduces the defense bonus from fortifications to enemies the platoon fights, as well as improving its combat roll by +5. Self-Loading Rifle Armament (8 RP per platoon)- Replaces the basic bolt action rifle armament with self-loading Grunsen Model 1930 Automatic rifles. Improves all combat rolls by +10.>Basic Equipment (8 RP)- Makes a unit combat capable. Unlocks access to other upgrades.Company Additions-Anti-tank Section (7 RP)- Adds a section of Anti-tank rifleman and their supporting elementsMortar Section (8 RP)- Adds a section of 3 80mm medium mortars and crews to the company’s supportMunitions Caster Section (7 RP)- Adds a section of 4 munitions casters spread across two teams to the company’s roster.
>Other Upgrades- Other things not listed may be requested, of course, but note that things that a light infantry company isn’t meant to have will likely cost quite a bit more.Cavalry Scout Section (8 RP)- A section of mounted soldiers. Relatively archaic, but nevertheless useful.Motorcycle Scout Section (10 RP)- A light motorized element commonly used in motorized units, but that has been spreading in prevalence with the new importance placed upon patrol of territory.2-ton General Transport Trucks (12 RP)- Light Infantry are not meant to use motor transport, but Netilland has made trucks a priority production for its army. Perhaps you could obtain some, though at a premium…(Grants five trucks, able to transport a full platoon- as well as other things)Recreation Unit Priority (3 RP)- Nothing helps a young man’s state of mind like a warm bed and somebody to share it with. And sharing a few more things besides the bed. Not venereal diseases, the whole point of it being regulated is hygiene!(Improves morale of the company’s units. Magically.)Extra Fuel (1 RP per additional unit- increase Fuel Weekly Allotment by 1 per 3 RP)- Fuel is in relatively short supply beyond what is allocated, though perhaps you can convince some people to part with more…-----Von Metzeler also requested a meeting with you- but it was to wait until Requisition had been taken care of.>Spend up to 22 RP Points on whatever.
>>3703864Lets take 20 soldiers of replenishment for 3rd Platoon for 2RP, New Machine guns for 3RP(Don't give them to anyone just yet), and I want to get the trucks, but I feel like that might be a drain on our fuel. Instead take the Mortar section for 8RP, and see if we can get 5th platoon some basic gear for another 8RP. By my calculations that puts us at a handy 21RP expenditure, so if you guys want we can splurge on a whole 1 fuel unit extra, my treat.
>>3703864>3 RP for 30 soldiers (Replenishing 1st and 3rd Platoons)I seem to recall that we got this from the ambush way back:>New Weapons x1 loot procured. Can be used to half the RP cost of New Model Machine Guns and Stormtrooper Spec squad platoon upgrade. So 1 Stormtrooper Spec for 3 RP and 1 New Model for 2?RPRecreation Unit for 3 RP (Especially for 3rd Platoon)Then the Mortar Section for 8RP and one Platoon Munitions Caster Team for 3RPWe can equip platoon upgrades on a as needed basis right?
>>3703920I support this mostly but for a few questions, lets keep that extra requisition for miscellaneous during the week purchases.tanq, will the "Recreation Priority" help mitigate Shaken damage? Or is this only something time will mend? Boys fucking heh earned it.Did we promise the UGZ that we would equip them as well? Or is simply sponsoring them enough to honor our promise?
>>3703922Although if this is the case (excellent catch anon) then I support this instead.My priority:Outfit the police (if outfitting them was what they explicitly asked us to do)Get some RecreationMortarAfter that, whatever we have left is up for grabs.
>>3703922>We can equip platoon upgrades on a as needed basis right?Correct.>>3703925>tanq, will the "Recreation Priority" help mitigate Shaken damage? Or is this only something time will mend? Boys fucking earned it.It won't negate it immediately or anything like that, but it will help soften the blow a lot, yes.>Did we promise the UGZ that we would equip them as well? Or is simply sponsoring them enough to honor our promise?There was no promise to equip them, no. Just for the force to be raised.
>>3703975Just to check is it possible to get enough horses to mount a platoon or put them in carts or something?Given that trucks beside being expensive are going to cut into our fuel allowance like crazy horses seem like a good alternative even if they're slower. Not for this week but something to think about.>>3703925As for 5th Platoon let's see if we can't secure any arms/RP reductions from next weeks mission first since there's no firm promise to equip them. For now we can use them to reinforce 4th Platoon in case they take casualties I guess (while guarding the UGZ)
>>3703975Gotcha, then yeah we don't need to arm them just yet. We should spend the rest on upgrading our original units.
>>3703864Voting for>3rd platoon full replenishment>cavalry scout section>mortar sectionVoting against any other expenditures as I think we should save some RP in case something important crops up
>>3704014>Just to check is it possible to get enough horses to mount a platoon or put them in carts or something?>Given that trucks beside being expensive are going to cut into our fuel allowance like crazy horses seem like a good alternative even if they're slower. Not for this week but something to think about.Technically, horse and cart is how the company's larger materiel is moved around (while the light infantry ruck most of their stuff as expected), as non-mechanized troops, though they're not exactly speedy- or well suited for combat. So while you do have carts, your people are meant to hoof it unless they're moving the whole company.
>>3703860>Replenish all losses (3RP)>Add machineguns and stormtroopers to 3rd Plt., halved for loot (4 RP?), as welll as a munition caster (3 RP). Maybe designating 3rd Plt. our elite unit will also raise their morale.>Get a Cavalry Scout Section (8 RP)>Increase weekly fuel allotment (3RP)>Get additional fuel (1RP)
>>3703922Supporting. Just to check for the shaken status does it recover naturally or must RP be spent every time morale takes a blow?
>>3704213It'll go away eventually, yes. Acting to put it back up again makes it go away quicker, though.
>>3703922+1. For the mortars, how portable are they? I assume they have to be man packed since transport seems valuable based on RP costs.
>>3704234They are man portable- insofar as they are transported by their crews of five in multiple pieces (baseplate, tube, bipod), who also pack their ammunition. A rather typical type.
Alright time to tally this up.>>3703920Replenishment- 2RPNMG-2 RPMortars- 8 RPEquip 8th- 8 RP>>3703922>>3703937>>3704234Replenishment- 3 RPStormtroop- 3 RPNMG- 2RPRecreation- 3RPMortar- 8 RPPlatoon MC- 3 RP>>3704089Replenishment- 2RPCav Scouts- 8 RPMortars- 8 RPThough to be clear on how this is gonna be added up, anything not included is for practical purposes a vote against anyways.>>3704158Replenishment- 3 RPNMG- 2 RPStormtroop- 3 RPPlatoon MC- 3 RPCav Scouts- 8 RPWeekly Fuel- 3 RPAdditonal Fuel- 3 RPAs fun as it would be to have horsey boys it seems hookers won out. In other words, >>3703922 . Completely emptying out that RP for toys.Writing.
First order of business was replenishment. You looked over the documents Anya had finished in the morning, your eyes still heavy and the words blurring together. Two squads- if you broke that up, you should be able to fully refill your ranks. Then there was the matter of equipment. Requests for a platoon’s worth of new model machine guns and gear for a Stormtrooper specified squad were filled out. Both of those things, you had learned, would have been much appreciated in the operations you’d carried out this week. In addition, you requested an important gap in capabilities be filled out- a mortar section for the company. Strossvald’s best infantry units had mortars in each platoon, let alone company, but Netilland was undergoing a massive army expansion. Shortages were to be expected, as were accommodations for such. Artillery was a controversial subject in the Border Zone. Medium size guns and up were actually banned from being within a certain distance from the border. More paperwork was involved with mortars than one would expect for mere steel tubes- the Twaryians and Netillians were equally wary of being shelled from across the border, out of sight. You’d heard of insurgents provoking cross border skirmishes, as well, between Netillians and Twaryians whom hadn’t been involved in the initial shelling at all. A few of those incidents had resulted in changing of rules so that mortars could not be fired across the border at all, on threat of court martial.Another capability you requested was theoretically a small one, but requesting new capabilities also ensured replacements for damaged equipment, trained personnel, as well as munitions supply- it was never for merely one thing. A munitions caster team of a gunner and ammunition bearer, to be assigned to a platoon’s command element. One might think such was a relatively diminutive addition of firepower, but you’d seen yourself the potential of a munitions caster, especially one wielded by a trained operative. The final request on the list came. Requisition was an uncertain animal, you’d come to learn- but over a month you’d learned the approximate limits of what could be asked for in what situation. This final item made you somewhat uncomfortable. Was it because of your history with prostitutes? That was probably it. You were filling in a form to request a priority visit from a “Recreation Unit,” which was a sterile way of referring to a mob of state-sponsored whores. You hadn’t actually seen them- apparently the unit consisted of a mobile camp, with better than average cooking and access to beers and wines, though most young men you’d heard telling rumors of it cared less about those and more about the loose women. These prostitutes were pre-paid, after all; a soldier could simply take a girl they liked in hand and skip off to one of the private wagons and do as instinct called.
It wasn’t that simple, of course- according to the request form, there would be tickets and queues and the like, and anybody with any objections to being barred from more than flirting would be tended to by armed guards. If anything required order to be maintained, it was an affair like this, lest their arrival turn into a chaotic orgy, or worse, enough counts of rape to execute an entire town of men under Strossvald’s military laws. It wasn’t something for yours or your officer’s benefits at all, of course. Primarily, you had 3rd Platoon in mind when considering the request. The reports of their men being severely downtrodden bid ill for future operations. Perhaps some pampering would improve their spirits- such was the recommended reason for special request of the unit, after all.Thoughts of female companionship took you to your fiancée, a world away. Her birthday present would be on the way now- hopefully it would arrive in time, or not too late. Today was the 26th of December, and Maddalyn’s birthday was on the 30th- a day before New Year’s Eve. Just before 1932 turned to 1933. You wanted to touch her- to pick her tiny, light body off the ground, to smell her hair and feel the rise of her chest with her breath, her heart beating against you with how tightly she was clutched. You remembered her when she was nervous, when she was sad, when she was amorous, the time you’d accidentally gotten her falling down drunk and she was singing and dancing like a foolish little girl, but that she’d at least been happy.If you were wounded, you would be sent home to see her, wouldn’t you?…You had more work to do. With how the week had gone, combined with general reports you’d requested and just having people ask around, you could find out how the various factions around felt about you and your antics. Important information for further operations.>UGZ-09, Ackersdol- Favor Increase- Pleased>Rural Townships- Favor Increase- Neutral>New Jorgenstohn- Favor Increase- Pleased>Netillian Military Command- Neutral: Various actions both against and for them have resulted in balance.>Ellowian National Liberation Front- Contacted- ???>Ellowian Revolutionary League- Uncontacted- ???>Twaryian Border Front Command- Favor Decrease- Antagonistic>Ellowian Monarchy and Gendarmes- Favor Increase- PleasedIt seemed that the general attitude of the native peoples had improved lately, with your efforts. The villages you’d helped by defeating the mercenaries exploiting them didn’t speak directly about what you’d done, but there was apparently no shortage of talk about how “the Strossvalder” was “different from the others,” and talk of a similar sort was going about in UGZ-07; which Maenesko had jotted a missive to you concerning.
Meanwhile, a bounty had been put on your capture across the border. How pleasant. It wasn’t a particularly high amount, which somehow offended you. The positive of such was that at the very least the Twaryians weren’t annoyed enough to focus all their ire on you.Anya had gotten some fame from attention in high places. A letter of commendation came praising “Von Tracht’s lovely escort” and a request that she might appear for an official award ceremony to be decorated by King Wladysaw himself. So far as you’d heard, Anya had no intention of attending any ceremonies nor being decorated, though.The people of Reismuhle were livid with you. A letter from their mayor was critical of your performance and the character of your officers and men in general, and you stopped reading it halfway through. The town had been razed, yes, but most of its inhabitants had escaped unharmed. For lack of places to house them, they had been escorted to New Jorgenstohn. The mayor of New Jorgenstohn must have seen an opportunity. Some forms had been sneakily shared with you concerning the construction of new buildings, homes, businesses, and economic endeavors. New Jorgenstohn sought to eat up these new unwilling immigrants and turn them into a long term profit. An assurance that you would profit as well, was naturally included.All that done, you asked for any assignments from command- nothing yet, thankfully. The next sector over was in complete chaos, but the razing of Reismuhle had given Battalion Command an excuse to keep from contributing too much to UGZ-07. The status of the sector was “high alert” but not much was actually happening. It gave you time to focus on other things, you supposed. Such as whatever Von Metzeler was hoping to bring up. You went over to him to find out.-----“A town appeared out of nowhere, Lieutenant,” Von Metzeler said, as serious as possible to compensate for how silly the news must have seemed. “There are proper buildings, perhaps people. I cannot imagine it having been built in the time needed for us to have simple not noticed it, or for it to have been properly constructed. It may as well have grown from the earth, or dropped from the sky. I struggle to come up with an explanation for it that sounds less mad then either of those possibilities.”“…” you tried not to stare in a manner that might seem condescending. “…I see. How did you find out about it?”
“There was a strange sound the other night, whilst you were deployed to UGZ-07,” Von Metzeler explained, “I went to investigate it with a fire team, and we were accosted by extremely strange individuals, before being whisked away…somehow. I was informed by Yva to not try and investigate it until the next day, at least. So the next day has come.”“Extremely strange individuals?” you asked.“Men from the mountains, with green hair, and dress of a traditional sort. There was also a tall figure in ragged, black cloaks, who was masked and had a strange voice.”You cocked an eyebrow. “What sort of mask? A gas mask? An old one?”“No.” Von Metzeler said bad, “A steel or iron one, that looked like a gargoyle’s face.”Not Poltergeist, then. Was that for the better or worse? “And you said this Yva woman told you not to go there? You went back to her?”“No. She appeared near where I was transported to. She took me back to my men, then left on her own.”You smiled wryly at Von Metzeler. “Are you worried for her, Lieutenant?”Von Metzeler was not amused. “What an untoward implication. I think it extremely concerning that this event took place, and that we would be unwise not to investigate it. We were forced away with a small number of men, but if we investigated with a platoon, then we could not be turned away.”>You had to agree. Assemble a platoon and go investigate the place. (Which platoon, and will you bring anything else, such as a tank?)>You weren’t particularly concerned about this, strange as it was. You would allow Von Metzeler to investigate himself with a platoon, though. (Which?)>Going out there knowing nothing would be a bad idea. You should ask somebody about this, or what they might know. (Who, and what to ask?)>This smelled far too fishy for your liking. Prohibit Von Metzeler from investigating it, or taking anybody by it. This new apparition wasn’t a threat to you- best to not have it become one.>Other?Also, if you choose not to go or have anything to do with this->What do you do instead? For example, perhaps you should report to the Major…
>>3706965>>You had to agree. Assemble a platoon and go investigate the place. (Which platoon, and will you bring anything else, such as a tank?)4th Platoon; no tanks but bring Von Metzeler along. Maybe at the same time update him on what went down at the party if we haven't already, especially with our Kommissar 'friend'.
>>3706965>This smelled far too fishy for your liking. NO NO NO.We have no resident expert to help us here, maybe if we did that would be a different story.>But we could ask Yva...Shoot her already! She is tricking you with WIZARD BULLSHIT. She already tried it once and was surprised when her evil ways did not work on us. Every time we involve ourselves with them we, or those we travel with end, up worse off for it. The Oblitares dogfucker, Liemanner, Fishsticks from Valsten, do we really want to stick our nose into it and add even more names to our list of misadventures with absolutely no defenses? >Other?Convince him that Yva is not what she seems and that if he looks at her appearance objectively, then there is something very strange about her timing in all of this and what she purports herself to be. Also if we go anywhere by ourselves and tell him to stay he's going to go gallivanting off after he anyways. At least convince him to take Krause with him when he ignores our perfectly valid argument.>What do you do instead?I want to go frame the Twaryians for supplying the NLF. I see no way of doing that currently. So might as well go to the Major.
>>3706965>Other Don't send anyone for now,if Metzeler wants to find out more make sure he goes talk to his wizard friend first. If she says leave them alone then just do so.In the meantime let's see if we can get more info from the Major on where Signy's going to be as well as NLF related stuff.
>>3707162Also maybe write about this village in our next letter to Maddy;see if she has any ideas.
>>3707115>>3706965All of this essentially. Fekkin wizards.>>3707166>Write about wizardshit in the heavily screened letters. No thanks.
>>3707173We have our own uncensored method of corresponding with Maddy through New Jorgenstohn's mayor remember.
>>3707176Mhm, I still don't like it.
>>3706965>>This smelled far too fishy for your liking. Prohibit Von Metzeler from investigating it, or taking anybody by it. This new apparition wasn’t a threat to you- best to not have it become one.Of all the enemies and potential enemies we have in this country mountain men don't seem to be among them, yet. I don't see any reason to go investigating them and risk changing that.
>>3707180Eh pretending that Metzeler will listen to us after we tell him no is pretty useless. How about alternatively we get him to go investigate Zohr instead?
>>3706965>Going out there knowing nothing would be a bad idea. You should ask somebody about this, or what they might know.Send Metzeler to ask Yva>What do you do instead?Report to the Major, ask her about Zohr. I don't believe she'll be the least bit helpful, but who knows.By the way, I am of the firm opinion that we need to eliminate Zohr preventively. If he is intending to use us, and he seems like the type, the first task he asks of us will be designed to strengthen his grip on us in some manner, like implicating us in something for further blackmail, distancing us from alternative sources of support, etc.
>>3707227I'll switch to this. Having a Kommissar's attention may really affect our ability to contact other groups.
>>3707162I support this, also is Kelwin back? I want to ask how the night went after we left.
>>3706965Backing this >>3707227. See what Mintler can squeeze out of Yva in the meantime, but ultimately leave any wizard shit up to the wizards. We can go and have a chat with Major milk about about herr kommissar and Signy.
>>3707227>>3707162Backing these. Let sleeping dogs lie while we settle the more mundane stuff.
>>3707115>>3707173>>3707182Nope, never, abort, do not engage.>>3707162>>3707227>>3707242>>3708044>>3708951>>3709477Don't go yourself- but let Von Metzeler go, and have him go ask his magical girl. Though with a stern word of warning.Also go see your new mom. Subject of the day is the Kommissar. Because if it's green then it shouldn't be seen.In addition, the Twaryians don't like you anyways, so why not pin the NLF's gains on their support? Sow some discord in this fragile peace.Sorry anon you're not shooting the wizard today it seems, but at least you're not getting involved. Coordinator Von Cockblock. Writing.
>>3708044And to specify on this, yes, he is available.
Has anyone ever called her Maddalyn von Bum cause she has a nice butt?
The frown that sank your cheeks upon being requested to actually look into this was an unconscious replacement to the smartass smirk from before, and the shift hurt in its rapidity. There was a stark difference between gossip, and actually getting involved with whatever this was. “I would rather not. I can’t stop you, but I will not even consider releasing men to look there without more information.” Von Metzeler already seemed annoyed, so you laid out more terms. “I don’t think you should be associating with that Yva woman at all, for all of my jokes. Do you not know what she is? She may look like some plain, ordinary young lady, but she is a sorcerer. We have had poor dealings with otherworldly tomfoolery in the past, and I don’t see that changing. Ask her what you will, and if she mentions anything of particular concern I will hear it, but I advise that you be more careful.”Von Metzeler’s eyebrow twitched, though his stoic expression remained. “I am not led lackadaisically from woman to woman by my sense of whimsy, Von Tracht. I hardly need to have advising against such.” He saluted. “I will return after collecting more information.” Your second in command turned on his heel and left.Annoying. You preferred it when he didn’t have female acquaintances. He’s left before you’d even told of your plans for what you were going to do while he was away- which was to go see the Major, both for updates on the situation, and to ask her a few things- including on how to proceed on an idea you thought of. Said idea was to find a way to connect the Twaryians to the NLF in the view of the Netillians- and thus heighten tensions. Hell, the NLF were probably being supported by them in some way anyways, at least on this side of the border- the Twaryians were tight enough with their own happenings on the other side of the border it wasn’t as though there was a huge amount of proof otherwise, other than the general theory that the NLF fought all occupiers, which was a political alignment that could very well shift completely with the right motivation.Somebody would have to know where you were going. You hadn’t spoken with Captain Kelwin since last night after his misadventure at the Langenachtfest party. He was supposed to be in command of the headquarters camp at the moment, so he would be easy to find at least. As expected, he was pacing about the command tent, though nothing was calling his or the staff officers’ attentions. The staff officers were a mix of tired and bored, though Kelwin seemed unusually fretful, which combined with his boyish looks made him look even more timid.“Captain.” You addressed him, and when he looked at you, you saluted.
“Ah, Coordinator.” Kelwin saluted back, “…I heard you had a time of it last night. It’s good that you came out of it unharmed.” He frowned to himself and his head tilted down. “I read the after action report, though I now think I should have insisted on going. A leader, even one like myself, should share in the risk.”“I had you busy enough with your actual area of responsibility.” You dismissed that theoretical. “Here. The requisition requests for the week I’m going to turn in. You should see them, at least.” Even if his approval wasn’t particularly necessary. “Do you have any questions concerning it?”Kelwin read over the form. “Which platoons will get the new equipment listed?”“I thought of them as being assignable based on current need.” You said, “so the choice equipment takes the abuse rather than the men who would be assigned them permanently.”“That’s not how it’s usually done, but…” Kelwin continued staring at the papers, “It makes sense.” He flipped to the next page. “…A request for a Recreation Unit to make a priority visit?”“Yes.”“They give out tickets to every member of the unit,” Kelwin said. “I’ve never been near a unit but I’ve been told how they function.”“I am to be married, Captain.”“I know, I’m not really keen on…using mine either, but,” Kelwin flushed as he muttered this, ever shy. “What to do with it, then? Give it as a reward? Sell it?”“There’s time to think of what to do.” You dismissed the subject of prostitutes and their business quickly, “The forms, when you’re done with them. I’m going to go to Kamienisty to turn them in, maybe do a few other errands. Pick up a few luxuries for calmer times. I’ll leave everything to you today. Can you call a courier to drive me there?”“Huh? Oh, sure.” Kelwin bothered a staff officer about it, then asked, “Do you need it to be priority?”You shook your head no. “No need to hurry this. All the bullets are flying the next town over. Is there any news on that, by the way?”Kelwin closed his eyes and turned his head side to side. “They’ve stopped sending reports out this way.”“I see. Thank you.” You started to leave, “I’ll be out and about. Send for me if I’m needed.” Meanwhile, you were going to see if you could scavenge anything to eat that didn’t come from an iron ration.-----
Your courier arrived an hour after being called, what with the stated lack of priority, and you were then on the way to Kamienisty. The car ride gave you time to go over what you wanted to bring up with the Major- as well as an event that would be arriving quite soon. In a few days, you’d heard that the Minister of the People of Mittelsosalia would be visiting your area of the Border Zone- though a more honest way of putting it would be that Signy was coming by. It wasn’t like you had to see her- most likely she had no idea you were here. Should you anyways, though?You didn’t go straight to the bar to meet with the major. Some show of popping about the markets was made, as heavy traffic went down the street, trucks honking their horns as what looked to be building materials was being ferried south. Some of it undoubtedly for New Jorgenstohn’s fortuitous expansion. When the bar was finally entered, the usual tender nodded towards a table with a single occupant, a rather ratty looking fellow with the stink of booze and the air of a vagrant- they bid you, “Von Tracht,” to follow them- and you had the feeling that despite looking like a useless drunk, this was actually a disguised spy, or capable confidant. At least you could skip the song and dance of ordering the Major a drink- maybe she’d finally tired of that game, for now. You were led to a rather shabby looking hotel- assuredly the location of one of the Major’s hideouts, and were led to a room- a room that seemed inhabited, with clothes tossed all over and so much trash around that it looked like a hog lived here, but you were led further over, to a cabinet, which your guide pushed out of the way to reveal a door installed in the wall. He knocked on it, and left, leaving you standing alone before it.The door to the room beside opened, and you got a reminder of just how tall the Major was- even when she did not wear heels, she stood over you. Her state of dress was…much less modest than it often was. She had groomed herself, but she’d neglected to put anything on her lower body besides a pair of black small shorts, a loose button up worn on top. Her eyes were not hidden by glasses- they were piercing and dark.“…Von Tracht,” she said in a condescending snap, “tell me that this is not the first time you have seen a woman’s legs before.”“No, of course not,” your brow furrowed and you averted your eyes. “I’m not used to being greeted while the person I’m meeting with is dressed like this.”“My door here is knocked upon when it is important. I care little for if I make a young fop feel flustered by being prompt.” You had the feeling the Major was just messing with you more and that she knew you were coming all along. She didn’t seem the type to try and be seductive, much as the mind might try and leap to such. Come in. I have heard something of your recent escapades.”
You followed her into her room as she shut the door behind you. A look to the door and windows revealed them rather heavily fortified with boards- not enough to nullify an assault, but plenty to delay one until an escape could be made. The place was lit up with a variety of lamps that put everything in a rather bright light- including the side room that the Major must have turned into an office, but there didn’t seem to be much in the way of files; it seemed to just be newspapers and magazines. Including an odd one- that the Major picked up as she slunk around the desk and sat in a chair on the other side, bidding you to sit in the chair opposite as she kicked her long, pale legs up and rested her feet on the corner of the desk, tilting her chair back and flipping open the magazine.“Opal? You coughed with disbelief. A rather old copy of it, too.“You are a man, Von Tracht. Surely you understand that pretty women are a pleasure to look at.” The Major said, sounding nonplussed as she flipped over a page like she was viewing the weather report rather than a book of softcore pornography. “I suppose it would be rude to not share.” She flipped to a page, and showed you, and your mouth fell open of its own accord.…No, that wasn’t Maddalyn, it was her mother. You’d seen this issue before- though you hadn’t made it to that particular picture. The Late Lady Von Blum wore a translucent sheer camisole on her upper body, which came just down to the bottom of her breastbone, the angles of her ribs and hips marked by sensual lighting, and her nipples faint beneath the tantalizingly thin fabric of her top. Her bottom half was completely unclothed save for a pair of sheer stockings that squeezed her thighs at their height- only clever placement of her dainty arm and wrist hid her womanhood, barely, such that if you could crane your head to the side you would see all. Her lower hand sprawled down upon a bedsheet with her other arm coyly bent at her side, her finger at the side of her mouth in a sultry open mouthed pout. Her chest was raised and forward, and her eyes so inviting they near reached out of the page to tug you in.“Your words are stolen from your lips, Von Tracht.”“…The mother is very alike the daughter, is all,” you muttered and pulled your cap over your eyes. To tell the truth, you hadn’t seen Maddalyn at this level of nakedness before. You wondered how much she matched…“Quite a catch, isn’t she.” The Major returned the magazine to her viewing. “Far more fair than Von Blum’s previous wife. Presumably you have met the sons of such, as they are the heirs, after all.”“I have.” Though you didn’t recall much about them. “Maddalyn is rather far back in the line of succession.”
“Barnabas Von Blum,” the Major said with a lazy lilt in her voice, “Was not the first in line to inherit his title either. He had no desire for it, they say, but it found its way into his hands anyways. Before that, he was known to go…adventuring. To where, nobody could really say. He was forced to return once to assume his place as family patriarch, he married a woman he was obligated to, and fulfilled his duties with a bevy of children he cared little for, if rumors are to be believed. He vanished for two periods of time, though. The second time was after he was widowed the first time, and he came back with the woman who would become his second spouse. A noble lady whom was a refugee from the Reich, he told all who asked…but the Intelligence Office did some investigation. They couldn’t find any evidence whatsoever that that woman had come from where he said she did.” The Major sipped at her tea, holding the cup by its upper rim, her hand splayed out like a spider. “Not of particular note in and of itself. The mechanisms of the Archduchy outside the gossip of the courts cares little for if the nobility decide to intermarry with the lower classes, so long as they maintain order. A more curious matter was where this woman had come from at all…and where Von Blum went in his undocumented travels.”You didn’t see why you were suddenly being lectured on the family history of the Von Blums, but thought better to ask the reason. “Presumably you looked into that?”The Major sipped at her tea, resting the Opal magazine on her lap. “It was deemed too much effort for too little result. Why, are you curious?”You pursed your lips. “I came here for other reasons.”“Then state them.”>What to tell the Major?>Or perhaps more important, what NOT to tell the Major?Also>Ask anything else?>Ask for support on particular plans?>Other?This stuff is more for things besides the initially requested subjects of the Kommissar and the Twaryian Conspiracy plan, or elaboration on such.Third time's the charm.
>>3710319Maybe ask if the IO knows where the NLF is actually getting all their shit from as well as the situation out west; if she declines to answer we can just talk to Signy. No need to talk about meeting with Drachen or any wizard stuff.
>>3710319>Or perhaps more important, what NOT to tell the Major?Definitely not the connection to the NLF or magical mossheads, not yet without some progress that way. There's always the chance she'll drop us to the Netillians if it advances her agenda somehow if we spill too much incriminating leads. Or how we found the tunnels and passed messages along.>What to tell the Major?Saved the King, Zohrs blackmailing us into working with him, fought some barricades, Bauyers a dick.>Ask anything else?Good ways to deal with Zohr, are the NLF evacuating the warring UGZ and why besides blowing it up, does she want us to contribute more to that fight or leave it as a quagmire?>Ask anything else?Can she actually support us in things? I thought she was very big into letting us do whatever except for major policies. If she can help then organizing the Twaryian plans I suppose.
>>3710485>Can she actually support us in things? I thought she was very big into letting us do whatever except for major policies. This has been the case- though it doesn't mean you're barred from trying to ask.
>>3710364>>3710485Both sound pretty good for now.
>>3710319>>3710485These seem like they cover the important things, I personally don't care too much for withholding information, especially the kind that a lot can be done with, but nothing wrong with playing our cards close to the chest.I would also like to ask about the Duchess, although it seems like if the King lacks power she probably has next to none, but we did just get our men slaughtered by underfed civilians so it might pay not to underestimate our enemies.All of that being said, I find it remarkable how consistently uncomfortable it is meeting with the Major. It really does seem like she could not care less about what happens to us out there as long as it is still tangentially beneficial to the Intelligence Office.She must be team Hilda
>>3710319Seconding >>3710485>>3710661I'm absolutely sure the Major is trying some kind of psychological manipulation on us, though to what ends I can't say.
>>3709631This anon shortly recieved a visit from the entire 5th Platoon of Von Blum's 3rd Company of Panzers and was never heard from again
I am finally around again.>>3710364>>3710581Ask about the NLF. Keep mum about knowing them. Or anything about wizards.>>3710485>>3710581Same in addition to party shenanigans. Also the CO is a dick. Also advice on Kommissar and anything known for the UGZ and its development and actions for it.>>3710661>>3710726Ask about the party ho with blue blood because Anya punched her in the nose.Surely the Major has your best interests in mind.Writing. Maybe something else too.
I guess you could say its looking like a MAJOR update?
Did the Major really have to leave her shirt open like that? “You know of the National Liberation Front of Ellowie’s recent activity here.”“The Uprising, of course. As well as the burning of that colonial town nearby. Across the border, there was a raid upon a supply depot two days prior. Yesterday, there was even an attempt on the life of the High Protector.”“That was the NLF?” you feigned ignorance of the last.“Who else would it be? Besides, I know of the assassin they hired and their history. I knew what was going to happen in advance.”“…I would have appreciated that knowledge,” you grumbled. How much else did the Major know, then? She wasn’t being particularly open about the rest.The Major leaned on her hand, her face still as severe as ever. “You did not need to know. Would you show any initiative if I fed you everything from my hand?”“I would have been able to order my subordinate not to intervene and thus not interfere with your plans.”“Von Tracht, do you think I care whether the High Protector lives or dies? The assassination attempt in itself is what is important. A good web does not depend on the catch flying into a single dark corner. And look where it has gotten you. Wladysaw XI may not be a figure of particular power, but he still wields some, albeit of the sort granted by his masters. That power is within your grasp now. Or perhaps, within that of your retinue. Yet she is an extension of your will, no?” The change in her expression right at the end was hint enough at how truthful she thought that last statement was.“…In any case. Since you seem to know plenty about their procurements,” you led into your original thought, “While I was fighting against the NLF in UGZ-07 the other night, for the sake of our allies, I made note of their weaponry. Much of it seemed rather new, or unused. Somebody is supplying them.”“And you want to know who.” The Major finished for you. “Of course I know. The shipments took some time to track down, but once the organization that was transporting them was found, it was easy to find out who was giving them over. What you saw were, most likely, weapons bought from Vynmark, transported to Sosalia, then had their identifying markings scrubbed. This was done by commission of the Republic of Mittelsosalia.” The Major allowed herself to smile slightly. “Your friend has been up to some trickery, or someone is doing it in her stead.”You leaned back in your chair. “And she is coming in a couple days.”“I’m certain you can piece together what has happened, and is happening, Von Tracht.”Indeed. Though maybe you should not linger on it overlong, much as it provoked thought. The Major would probably not let you sit here and stew in your head. “My retinue and I saved the king, as you know. I have a question about one of the king’s relatives, though. The Duchess of…er…”
“Kamilia Von Katski. Duchess of Diameniglica.” The Major supplied for you. “There is only one Duchess in Ellowie. At least, that is of age to be troublesome. Why are you curious about her? Is it the combination of her being a young and buxom woman and her propensity to sharing in one night trysts?”“No. My retinue, Miss Nowicki, encountered her at the Langenachtfest social. They had a disagreement.” Anya’s stated reasons were she was annoying and in the way. “Miss Nowicki punched the Duchess in the face and broke her nose. When I was confronted over it, I mocked the Duchess. That might engender some spite down the road.”“Perhaps. But unless you find yourself in a situation where she is able to get you outnumbered and alone, or are likewise incredibly idiotic for some reason and allow her to be a threat, I doubt you are even in danger of a prank, let alone of your lives being threatened. My earlier statement was not entirely a slight. The royal family of Ellowie, in its current state, is a mob of spoiled brats who finally have found some greatness after having lost it and getting it promised back to them for generations. They are dancing around the proverbial and literal Langenachtfest tree as they woke after the longest night to find crowns in their shoes. Their desire for realpolitik is limited to bickering amongst one another for who gets to sit the throne, violent as said bickering has been in the past, with Wladysaw’s history. I would not consider any of them actually threatening. Their authority given by the Military Council, however, is ultimately authority under the High Protector. So the High Protector, If you for some reason are uneasy around his cousin, then your newfound favor with him should be a good enough shield.”Leave it to the King, then, and don’t let her near you. Both sounded easy enough. “I met another character at the party,” you continued on that thread, “Without my best interests in mind. A member of the Kommissariat called Captain of State Security Zohr.”“Zohl.”“Whatever.” You could care less what the last letter of the man’s name was. “But it sounds like you know of him.”“Not particularly.” The Major told you frankly, “But the Kommissariat is the Intelligence Office’s most direct enemy in this land, so I have made sure to at least keep an eye upon them and their officers in case their attention turns to us rather than their own people and Ellowie. You haven’t made an enemy of the Kommissariat, have you…?”“No…” you said defensively, “…Not yet at least. Zohl approached me at the party, and made an offer to work with me, after finding out that I might have been involved with an operation against the interests of one of his fellow Kommissariat officers.”“What operation?” the Major asked.“…Er…””Tell me.”
“There were abuses of power being undertaken by mercenaries under the command of a Kommissariat officer. Illegal abuses. I dealt with them in a suitable manner, but I did try to be subtle about it. Zohl suspects me nevertheless. Not that it seems the Kommissar whom I acted against seems to.”“Kommissar Vanberg, presumably.”“Yes.” Good thing the Major didn’t need to correct you on that name. “He and Zohl are rivals of a sort. Zohl offered me to work with him against Vanberg, after I punished the abuses of Vanberg’s mercenaries.”The Major cocked an eyebrow. “And you do not want to exploit that offer?”“His moral character was of a sort any with a conscience would find disgusting. I feel no need to recount why.”The Major continued to give you a curious look, and wrote down a few letters, that didn’t appear to combine into words. “What would be gained would not be worth having to tolerate him? So be it. Yet he intends for you to work with him anyways.”“I would ask for your assistance in that, actually.” You brought up one of your plans for the near future. “I need Kommissar Zohl eliminated. I suspect that he’s given me particular attention and that he won’t be leaving me alone just because I turned him down. That he is an abhorrent person means he won’t be missed. Would you be able to help me do that?”The Major squinted at you, not moving in her position at all, then closed her eyes. “…You understand what you potentially ask, yes? A wrong move may provoke the Kommissariat to reevaluate the threats to them. You are not in a position, Von Tracht, to ask that the Archduchy summon up its might to aid in your personal battles.” She opened her eyes again with her typical glare, though unshielded by any glasses. “That said, if you are already down this path, only a fool would not seek to prevent you from hurting yourself. If you want to destroy Zohl I would recommend setting aside a touch of your pride and working with his enemy in the Kommissariat. Without calling upon resources only to be touched in an emergency, I have very few strings to pull upon that can affect a man in the Kommissariat, who is not so easily manipulated by forces outside of his will. I very much doubt, if he has a single clever thought in his head, he will allow you to find him in a place where he is at a disadvantage. Not without the introduction of sudden and unpredicted chaos to where he is.”“He seemed not at an advantage at the party, at least. He went to have relations with his unwilling escort. That would seem a vulnerable enough position to put himself in.” You posited.
“You are sure that is what he went to do?” The Major riposted, “Do you think he would think so little of you as a threat that, if you jumped so quickly to the conclusion that he must be killed, that he would let you find him in such a position ready to be dispatched like a fool? It was he who approached you, was it not?”You had no answer to that.“Your family is known for its impetuousness, Von Tracht,” the Major scolded, “Especially in being led by such to an early grave. Do follow the better example of your father and show some caution when blood rushes to your head.”Your teeth couldn’t help but grit at that. “Can I at least count on whatever help you can give in destroying this threat?”“As the Kommissar for an elite unit,” the Major said, “He has put himself in a very defensible position. He is human, though, and thus has weaknesses somewhere. Fine. I can prepare a proper file on him, and when an opportunity arises, I will let you know if its occurrence. I will trust you to be competent enough to exploit said opportunity upon being informed of it. You will not likely have much time to plan or act, but all I can guarantee are chances.”“Just chances?” You had hoped for something much more concrete.“Precisely what do you think I do from day to day, Von Tracht? Sit in this dingy room and masturbate?” Her tone was as cross as it was crass. “If you fear for your life, rest assured that I have good eyes on your welfare when you are not actively putting yourself in danger. Do not act erratically or stupidly and your roads will remain relatively free of lurking threats. Sometimes, your ignorance of a plan is required for it to go through.”“…” You didn’t like that, but what could you do? It wasn’t like you could demand the Major to do otherwise. She outranked you by quite a bit, in more ways than one. “I did have a plan of my own, actually, that I would also like your help with, if possible.” The Major made a go on motion with her hand. So you did. “The source of the NLF’s support is Mittelsosalia. However, it took you more digging to find that out. I was thinking of having threads leading elsewhere. Over to the east, to be precise. The NLF’s allegiances are not with Twaryi, but who is to say they are set against receiving any help at all? Both sides have supported movements even if the movements turned upon them immediately. The scale of this uprising is unprecedented. For it to be linked to Twaryian ties wouldn’t go over well.”
“That thought had crossed my mind, yes.” The Major’s severity dissipated. “It is a possibility, though not an easy one without a Twaryian conspirator. Depending on how the recent uprising lasts, the resentment built would be enough for it to be worth the effort in lieu of other pursuits. Several things would be needed, though. For one, we require a Twaryian coconspirator. For two, we must orchestrate a mistake. At least one, but ideally multiple, that would present a mystery for investigators to solve on their own. Thirdly, the mood and demand must be set for those looking for answers to want to conclude prematurely at the answer we want them to. I can handle all but the first. If you want for a duty, then pursue the first.”“Find a Twaryian to work with us?” you repeated. “Kidnapping one, I suppose. I’ll be on the lookout.” You had caught Twaryian prisoners in the past- even one that spoke New Nauk. However, you had turned in that lot to Battalion command. “On the subject of the NLF and the UGZ, however. While I was there, I found tunnels, but I did not delve into them. Do you think that the UGZ inhabitants are being evacuated through them, or might be?”“The people of the UGZs are near all in them against their will. I believe you already know the answer, Von Tracht.”So, yes. “The deployment of my unit to the UGZ was requested by the Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bauyer. I helped by destroying barricades through a main supply route, as well as giving some minor aid in the recapture of the Garrison Headquarters. Though we were made to retreat from there afterwards from discovering the presence of a bomb. I think that satisfied out obligation, but does our operation here have a stance on whether to help or hinder the uprising…?”“We have nothing to gain from an early resolution to the uprising.” The Major said, as you expected. “If you act any further with it, then let it be to further its transformation into a festering canker. I’m sure your friend wouldn’t have it any other way, hm?”A frown crossed your face. That descriptor wasn’t exactly a kind one. “I suppose that is all I have to report. How are things back west? It is not as if I can receive any letters back from my parents or my fiancée, after all…”
“Maddalyn Von Blum languishes in her home with no ring upon her finger and no husband to comfort her.” The Major said, presumably making fun of you. “Or perhaps you refer to your fellow operatives. Lieutenant Von Neubaum returned from his assignment in Halmeggia. He made a request to take the scarred woman accompanying you off of your hands, but I neglected to pass along that message. He is now with Von Walen and Von Igel in Plisseau, where the southern city states are growing aggravated with their northern brethren, and contemplate joining with the Archduchy. A subordinate state to one nation, in order to preserve the liberties they believe another would infringe. The Archduchy will move in to occupy the territory to defend it against the northern unions should a referendum decide upon their joining, but such is not for another two weeks.”You hadn’t been thinking of the Intelligence Office affairs, but you supposed that was good to know. “I do not have anything else to report,” you said, shifting in your chair. “So…”“Hmm,” the Major sat back upright, faced you, and stared into your eyes. ”You aren’t neglecting to tell me anything important, are you?”“…a few things.” You muttered, though…did you really need to admit that?“…Hm, hm.” The Major nodded to herself, before leaning forward and prying your eye open with two fingers. ”Hold still.” She seemed to give something a good few seconds of investigation as you obeyed her command- what she was looking for, you couldn’t say, before she let you go and jotted down a few letters on a stray paper with a loose pencil. You hoped it wasn’t anything wrong. “Fine. I won’t pry into every little secret you keep. We all need some privacy in our affairs, don’t we?”There was something you really didn’t like about all that. Though you supposed she was right. No need to bother her with everything, the Major was probably plenty busy as it was.“May I go?” you asked.“You may.” The Major picked up and started looking at her old (yet pristine for its age) issue of Opal, “Next you darken my door you had best have a drink I like in hand.”-----
That ordeal over, you were escorted away from the cruddy hotel to a completely different place, using alleys and passing through a few buildings, before being deposited back into Kaministy’s central square.Your report had been made, direction given. Stay away from the UGZ-07, easy enough. You liked UGZ-09 better anyways. Procure a Twaryian for the false flagging plan…hm. More difficult. Sure, you could just traipse over the border and nab somebody, but doing that without provocation wasn’t approved of- and if there was no provocation, there was a high likelihood of reprisals. What to do in the meantime? You were in the area for more than a few things, after all, and for the things you weren’t near, you had managed to grab yourself some time…>Kamienisty had a fair share of markets and stores. You could buy a few things…such as however much liquor you needed to get Anya wasted. (What and for what?)>The High Protector still resided in the Manor where the party was last night. Maybe you could arrange a meeting with him?>Kommissar Vanberg’s unit was nearby. Maybe you could visit Zohl’s rival and arrange a few things.>Start preparing a trip across the border to Twaryian occupied territory. You needed to conduct some reconnaissance over there to see what you could work with.>Head on over to UGZ-09, Ackersdol, and see if anything demands your attention. Or a general investigation besides. >Go to New Jorgenstohn. It was your unit’s primary responsibility as far as colonial settlements went, surely they’d have something for you, be it recent happenings you could exploit or ways to get in better with them.>Head back to camp and wait until called. If nobody called, then the patrols called for by command around the territory would make good practice for the troops while they got a few days off actual conflict- time they could spend with the Recreation unit.>Other?>2 day gapKill me.
>>3716711Buy the liqour for Anya first, then let's pop by UGZ-09 and New Jorgenstohn and see how they're doing.
>>3716715Supporting. Time to see the results of our efforts for ourselves, also maybe we can check in on Metzeler on the way.
>>3716742Also what unit is Komissar Vanberg in charge of?
>>3716787Political Officers like Vanberg and Zohl aren't really nominally in charge of everybody- though their sway brought about by party affiliation might suggest otherwise. Rather, they are attached to units, especially those with political importance such as the elite 13th Mechanized Guards (Which Zohl is attached to part of), or serve in the capacity of general investigations and maintenance of morale and zeal. As for what he's attached to?...Why, the Penal Battalion, of course! It was never actually said, since you were engaging men under the employ of him and his allies, not his unit, but it can be presumed you know now.
God I love the Major.Fucking bossy dykes get my blood flowing to places that aren't my dick for once.That comment about Maddy hurt alot though.Anyway.>>3716715This seems like a good plan.
>>3716711>Liquor>MayorLiquor for Anya and maybe some fizzy cola if there is any around. Maybe buy something pricier for bribing someone with later.When we visit Mayor Hamtaro we need to ask him if he's made any new connections over the border, or any leads to making new ones for ourselves.I'm curious why Signy is visiting if she is already supplying them with guns. Maybe she needs an official cassus belli and seeing it in person will give her enough moral outrage to intervene?Whenever we meet the King it will have to be with Anya if we want any likelihood of getting anywhere. Maybe he doesn't want to be a puppet forever? I dunno.And whenever we meet with Vanberg we sure as shit need to make sure we haven't been tailed. Maybe ask him about his rivalry with Zohr and see if we can "take care" of him for a price?>Othertanq is the Penal Battalion made entirely of Netillians criminals or are there ellowians and Twaryians in there as well?Is the price on our head high enough to lure some would be bounty hunters across the border?
>>3716966>tanq is the Penal Battalion made entirely of Netillians criminals or are there ellowians and Twaryians in there as well?The Penal Battalions are entirely Netillians- though they're a mix of actual criminals who are serving rather than either paying a fine or going to prison, political dissidents and similar thought criminals, and soldiers guilty of (usually up to interpretation) military crimes such as misappropriation of supplies, laxness in duty, and criminal incompetence. The political dissidents especially though are under heavy scrutiny by the Kommissariat.>Is the price on our head high enough to lure some would be bounty hunters across the border?Not much chance of drawing in people who wouldn't have been already coming, no. You haven't pissed them off that much. It's enough that any Twaryian soldier passing you off to a superior would be whistling for the day, though.
>>3716715>>3716742>>3716826>>3716963Enabling drunken revelry, go by the friendlier parts of the neighborhood.>>3716966Also cola. Anon keeping a bead on things Anya implied she likes. Elaboration on meeting with the Mayor. I'll be writing after I shower. Going to be catching a flight tonight.
With no plans to throw yourself into anything too dangerous again anytime soon, you decided to make good on your investments up until now. Starting with the ability to host a small alcoholic ceremony celebrating surviving another week, considering what had gone down. You’d have to procure drinks for that- rank and file soldiers weren’t normally allowed to buy and keep alcohol themselves, but you had special privileges both as a foreigner and coordinator. Besides, the Netillanders would have other means of entertainment; you couldn’t feel too bad for their exemption from taking any drinks outside of a tavern.A constant of any settlement was a liquor store- and there were multiple in Kamienisty. The first one you stumbled into was where you got your selection. Several tall bottles of cloudy Ellowian potato wodka, light beers, dark black whiskey, and a stout bottle of what looked to be near-poison absinthe. To balance it out, you got an equivalent amount of bottles of cola. Anya had hinted she liked them, though you weren’t sure if it was for the sugar or the carbonation. You also knew quite little about drink mixing, but did know that cola was a good way to obscure the taste of stronger liquor, and if Anya didn’t like the dry sparkling wine, you could definitely count on her having to hold her nose on the whiskey at least. Or maybe it could just be enjoyed for what it was.An expensive wine had caught your eye- in its own little display in the store, but with your jewelry splurge your pockets were looking a bit thin when it came to money to be spent frivolously- you didn’t want to dig into your (admittedly large) emergency cash reserves just to buy fancy wines to impress people with.As noon passed by with you waiting for a staff car to be freed up for your journey back to camp (requested at the same time you actually turned in all the paperwork you said you were going to town to do), you wondered what sort of drinking contest Anya had in mind, or if you should come up with one. Just take shots until one of you falls over? Bludgeon each other with intoxicated fists and wake up in the morning as a living bruise? Or perhaps…The imagination was yanked off the route it was taking by the arrival of your courier, though he had a motorcycle with a sidecar rather than an automobile. A simple greeting was exchanged, and he asked where you were going.“5th Battalion, 1st Company’s camp. Down the south road.” You told him, “I’ll tell you where to split off. Don’t rush off after that, though. I’m going to visit UGZ-09 right after.”“Not UGZ-07?” the courier laughed nervously. “Just kidding.”“I’ve already had my fill of 07,” you muttered darkly, “Let’s go.”-----
A good pretense for your visit was actually recently organized- officially the 5th Platoon of 1st company (one more than normal, but you’d been warned before that additional platoons might enter the battalion- at least this one had been inserted into the order of battle by your will), they were actually formed and intended to serve as a police force under the authority of the Ellowian leadership in the UGZ-09. Unequipped save for messily assembled uniforms and whatever they could get their hands on for weapons, they were certainly not a battle ready unit, but they did not need to be. Your contributions were such that you felt like you could go to the UGZ unescorted. You were greeted soon after entering the fenced off small city by a team of 5th platoon’s patrolmen, who recognized you for who you were and approached, waving and smiling.“Representative Rumell said to send his regards and gratitude if we saw you around,” one of the patrolmen said. Representative Rumell had been placed in charge of “5th platoon.” If Netilland allowed Ellowians in the UGZ to form official leadership, then he could be called a police chief, but for now he could only call himself by his self-appointed position on the UGZ’s inner hierarchy. “My regards to the representative as well,” you saluted. “How is your first day going?”The team looked at one another, and shrugged. “Alright, I guess.” One of them said.“It’d be better,” another grumbled, “If the damn Penal soldiers weren’t making trouble keeping us out of the places we oughta look.”Uh oh. The 22nd Penal Battalion was one of the units who had a company stationed in UGZ-09, and were a common source of harassment to the inhabitants. That they were being troublesome was hardly surprising- though that didn’t make the news any more welcome.“The Representative hasn’t given us word on it yet, but you’re technically his boss, yeah?” one of the volunteer police asked you directly, “We want to be able to go and beat ‘em up if they’re in the way or causing trouble. They’ve been stepping on us for too long now. We can finally hit back, right? If we don’t, how are we gonna do our job?”
“Slow down,” you cautioned, “What exactly have they been doing?”“Not letting us into places in the UGZ,” the grumbling patrolman said, “If we try to tell them to let us in, they laugh. If we try to push past, they get mean. What are we supposed to do?”“Beat the shit outta them.” The rash patrolman said.“If we tried that a week ago we coulda been beaten to death in the street, or shot. Call me crazy but I ain’t risking that.” The grumbler looked to you with some hope, “Unless…”>Tell them not to be foolish. They’re lucky they got this far- an incident could strip away their right to even this token force. They’ll just have to deal with this injustice for now.>Have them go wild- they were right, the Penal Company here had perpetrated more than enough abuse, and if the hard lesson being taught in UGZ-07 wasn’t telling them something, they’d need a remedial lesson.>Promise to make it an issue with the Penal Company commander- though he didn’t like you and wouldn’t listen to you in all likelihood, what with how you’d antagonized his unit as it was…>Other?
>>3718377>Tell them not to be foolish. They’re lucky they got this far- an incident could strip away their right to even this token force. They’ll just have to deal with this injustice for now.Prove their worth before stepping on toes, yes?
>>3718377>Tell them not to be foolish. They’re lucky they got this far- an incident could strip away their right to even this token force. They’ll just have to deal with this injustice for now.Although tell them we will investigate why portions of the UGZ are blocked off. It'd be a good diversion for Von Metzeler away from that damned wizardry.
>>3718392>>3718495Supporting with both conditions
>>3718392>>3718495>>3718602Back, boys, you're not that tough yet. Tell them to prove their worth, and that you'll do something about it. Or have Von Metzeler do something about it. Busy hands don't hold other hands or something.Writing.
>>3719120Late but to add on we should also probably go check things with Maenesko; as the camp commandant he should have some idea on what they're doing.
“Don’t be foolish,” you admonished your newest troops, “You are extraordinarily lucky that you were allowed to be organized in the first place. An incident not in your favor could strip away all you’ve gained, token an offering as it is. You will have to deal with this injustice for now. You are scarcely hours old as a group and you’re already spoiling for a fight? Prove that you are capable first, before you dive into a battle you have naught but hot blood to count among your advantages.”That counsel provoked a mix of reactions. Two of the patrolmen grimaced uncomfortably as they realized that they had thought to move ahead with little idea of what was entailed, while the other two became more incensed at not getting what they expected.“So what, we just let them trample us like before?” One asked heatedly.“I am asking you…!” you put a heavy hand on his shoulder, “…to let me handle it. I’ll find out why they’re not letting you in to places, then see what I can do about getting rid of whatever the problem is, or put one of my men on it.” Von Metzeler needed a distraction anyways. You really didn’t like him getting chummy with a soulbinder- you had no idea why they would want to be around each other at all, besides human inclinations, but they were increasingly around one another nevertheless. Nothing good could come about from that- especially when you had no knowledge of where Yva’s allegiances lay or what her greater agenda could be. No Maddalyn to tell you what was what, no Poltergeist to be an unstoppable wall, not even any Riverman to be the most basic of spiritual reassurances. To be defenseless against a potential foe like that was not a comfortable feeling at all. The only defense you knew of, based on simple intuition, was to not involve oneself with them at all- impossible if one decided they wanted something from you.…Perhaps you should find Von Metzeler soon.“Hey,” you addressed the patrolmen again, “Have you or any of your compatriots seen my second in command? You know of him, surely. He would be dressed like me.” You looked down at your jacket. “…The same hat, at least.”The patrolmen looked at each other. An exchange of have yous and nahs. “We can check with the people back at our barrack. Where are you going, we’ll have somebody come tell you if we don’t have to look for you.”“I’m going to Sub-Lieutenant Maenesko at the Garrison HQ, but, no, I’ll come to you.” Enthusiastic, at least. “Good day. I might see you at your barrack.”-----Maenesko’s office was as chaotic as the other times you’d been in it- each time, it appeared as though a fresh storm had blown everything about like somebody had taken the whole place and shook it, but for Maenesko it was simply normalcy. Ironically, here in what appeared to be a managerial disaster area, UGZ-09 received the most aid and had its troubles best assuaged.
“Sub-Lieutenant.” You saluted Maenesko. In spite of the title he preferred, the two of you were actually the same rank. “Have you been well?”“Better than the fools at UGZ-07.” Maenesko said through his hands as he rested his elbows on stacks of papers. “Though thanks to them, I haven’t had any time to tidy up around here.”…Was that a joke, or not? “There certainly hasn’t been an uprising around here.”“I would say it was narrowly avoided, Coordinator.” Maenesko said levelly, “It’s easy to say after the fact that things would turn out this way, but there was a point where I fully expected to experience what happened at UGZ-07. Granted, my captivity would hopefully be kinder than whatever the prisoners over there are going through.”“I spoke with members of my 5th platoon on the way here,” you switched to another subject, “The UGZ representative’s police force, freshly minted as it is. They reported that they were being obstructed from patrolling and investigating select locations in the UGZ by Penal Battalion troopers. Do you know anything about that, why they’d do that, and if we can get them to stop?”“Yes. Yes, and no.” Maenesko answered in order, “I am the overseer appointed here, but I can’t tell the men to not do things. I have no authority over them besides kvetching at their superiors. My end of things concerned crates and people coming in, and how there’s never enough of the former for the latter. So I can’t tell them to stop. Not so easy, but I do know what they’re keeping your police from finding.”“Illicit enterprises, presumably.”“How could you have possibly guessed?” Maenesko’s tone was as dry as a sea of sand. “But yes. Drug and prostitution trade that they or their superiors have stakes in. The Kommissariat turns a blind eye because they all but outright encourage the rape of Ellowie and her peoples, and here, even get to harvest a tidy profit from it.” That elicited a frown from you. “Sorry, was that too blunt?” Maenesko queried as dryly as before, “Having to deal with the numbers involved with the issue leaves me with few better words than the most coarse to describe it, you see. Especially when my tools to combat it are lacking.”“What’s been allowed to the Ellowians is still too little to combat it,” you saw where Maenesko was going, “I’m thinking of either looking into it myself, or having my second in command investigate. It will be much harder to dissuade us, rather than bossing around freshly formed Ellowian troops.”Maenesko blinked at you. “Well. That was quick.”“I only said I was thinking about it.”
“Well, for when you stop thinking about it…feh.” Maenesko tried to slip in between papers and ended up knocking a stack on the floor. “To hell with it. Here.” He slapped a few pages clipped together in front of him and beckoned you closer. Which required you navigating a dangerous maze, but you made it to the desk to see what appeared to be a map of a section of the UGZ, with points marked in red on it. The next page was another section. “These are the places, on maps I had made for this place. It cost me a pretty penny, too. Lieutenants aren’t paid too handsomely. The other two pages are the names of the places, their trade, and what I’ve been told is their level of security. I can’t do much with it, so I’m entrusting it to you.” He pushed the papers towards you. “Take them.”“I…alright.” You picked up the papers and glances at them before folding them and putting them in your pocket. “Thank you.”“It’s likely to be less accurate the more time passes.” Maenesko told you, “If you were to ask what the next pressing issue of the UGZ is, it’s the drug and human trafficking. The UGZ is not on any sort of tipping point, but you can understand I’m sure why I want this to stop. It reflects poorly upon my nation, above all else, even if the Kommissariat and the Defense Party wish to revel in the spoils of their victory like it is an endless fountain of milk and honey.” A pause. “Was there anything else?”“No, actually.” You saluted, “I must be off.”“Good luck.” Maenesko’s eyes went back to his papers as you backed carefully out.-----When you arrived at the Ellowian “Police” barracks, you were immediately accosted by one of the member of the patrol group you’d met earlier- a thin, wiry young man with a shadow on his chin. “Coordinator, right? People saw your guy. The Lieutenant Von Mezzler guy. He actually came around here, asking after a lady. Somebody who goes by Yva, long brown hair, glasses. We told him we hadn’t seen anybody like that. He was pretty on edge, from what I’m hearing.”“God damn it.”“What?”“Nothing.” You sighed, “So he isn’t here anymore.”“Nope. Apparently he went right back out of the UGZ. Guess he went back to camp.”…It was possible. Though unlikely. You had a bad feeling about it. “Thank you anyways.” Having gotten what you came for, you saluted, and turned about to leave.
The important question was when Von Metzeler had arrived and left, you supposed. He hadn’t been back at the camp when you dropped off the liquor and coke- though Junior Lieutenant Krause had been. It was possible that you had slipped by one another, but with how the roads were, that was unlikely. You hadn’t been dozing off that much on the motorcycle ride over. You did that a bit on the way back, and when you eased back into camp, you immediately set out looking for Von Metzeler, to no avail. You would have to find his good friend, instead.“Junior Lieutenant Krause?” you found him at the motor pool, talking with some of his crew- and Von Metzeler’s. “You haven’t seen the Lieutenant, have you?”Krause cocked his head at you. “Hey, Richter. No, I haven’t. Why? I thought he went off to the UGZ.”Well, that settled it.>If Von Metzeler was going to prance off by himself to the Judge knew where, then that was his problem. You had to go to New Jorgenstohn.>Captain Kelwin was in charge of affairs around the camp right now, anyways. Instruct Krause to go find Von Metzeler for you- a responsibility off your mind.>Damn it all. You knew where Von Metzeler had gone- and you couldn’t just let him go off there and not help him, either. (Where? And leave with who/what?)>The Liquor was here; hopefully Anya was too. You were of the mood to start that contest early, now.>Other?
>>3719689>>If Von Metzeler was going to prance off by himself to the Judge knew where, then that was his problem. You had to go to New Jorgenstohn.>>Captain Kelwin was in charge of affairs around the camp right now, anyways. Instruct Krause to go find Von Metzeler for you- a responsibility off your mind.Tell Krause to go in the direction of that damn forest but if he can't him/ he's already went in then just come back.
>>3719689Seconding >>3719697Maybe if Krause can find him before he goes too deep he'd ne more willing to listen to his good friend.
>>3719689>>If Von Metzeler was going to prance off by himself to the Judge knew where, then that was his problem. You had to go to New Jorgenstohn.>>Captain Kelwin was in charge of affairs around the camp right now, anyways. Instruct Krause to go find Von Metzeler for you- a responsibility off your mind.I'm about to suggest we belt the fucker.Send Krause after him. Having his best friend around should help keep him from trying anything too crazy. And if he does, having someone he cares about nearby and at risk maybe will get him to think about how deep down the rabbit hole he really wants to go. I do vote that the next time we see him we really drill into his head just how deep this abyss goes. Have we really never told him about almost getting our neck snapped by the Oblitares guy? And that was just us sitting in a damn car.>Other?If/when we deal with the Penal legion we should bring Emma. Let that undead harlot soak in all the vice she wants while doing something useful.
>>3719689>>If Von Metzeler was going to prance off by himself to the Judge knew where, then that was his problem. You had to go to New Jorgenstohn.>>Captain Kelwin was in charge of affairs around the camp right now, anyways. Instruct Krause to go find Von Metzeler for you- a responsibility off your mind.
>>3719689>Damn it all. You knew where Von Metzeler had gone- and you couldn’t just let him go off there and not help him, either.He's obviously gone to that hidden village. Let's go after him. Alone, because more soldiers won't do shit against soulbinders anyway, and we can act more freely without extra eyes.
I have flown and mostly un-jetlagged.>>3719697>>3719758>>3719868Krause pick up the problem please I have to go to town.>>3719790Punch metz grab gosht>>3720177Go by yourself.Writing.
I ought to test if this works before I look silly.
Didn't von Metzeler capture a prisoner during the attack on Reismuhle? Did we decide what to do with her?
>>3723348You have not.Though the uses of a ratty teenage girl aren't exactly extensive.
>>3723357>the uses of a ratty teenage girl aren't exactly extensive.Oh, I beg to differ.
>>3723357Should probably interrogate her anyway, maybe after we come back from New Jorgenstohn.
“…I have to go to New Jorgenstohn,” you said irritably. “Junior Lieutenant Krause. I have an important mission for you. Lieutenant Von Metzeler may be in serious danger. I need you to go to the forest he designated as off limits, where he’s said a town has suddenly appeared. I just know that’s where he’s gone off to.”Krause’s mouth turned down. “What sort of danger?”“Of the sorcerous type, if we are very unfortunate. Like in the Blumlands, and the mountain trail in East Valsten. I would go myself, but I feel he would trust you more in case he has come upon something we would…disagree upon.”“Sorcerous, huh,” Krause looked north, in the direction of the wood and the hidden settlement that had apparently sprung from nowhere. “I’ll be taking a tank, then. Funny, isn’t it, that its armor works just as good for ghosts as it does for bullets? I’m assuming you’ll allow me that. Else if we do run into something we’re good as screwed.”You couldn’t argue with that, though you were wary of using fuel… “Be there and right back. Whatever you do, be quick.”Krause gave you a thumbs up. “If I’ve got a tank, I’ve come to realize I can do just about anything with it. Even learn to stand on one leg, hey?”>The rapidity of this maneuver will not result in fuel expenditure- though another might cause an impact.That wasn’t an event you’d think Krause would joke about, but you nodded. “Captain Kelwin will have everything taken care of back here. Focus on getting Von Metzeler back. I’ll be heading to New Jorgenstohn in the meantime, I should be back in an hour or so.”Krause saluted and immediately went to rounding up his men. In spite of his activities that were less than professional, you could take comfort that in spite of his growing collection of misappropriated goods, he was quick and industrious when it came to carrying out his assigned tasks.You would have to wish the same was the case with other allies, such as the mayor of Jorgenstohn whom you were going to see…-----
Damnation. Damnation and Hellfire. He should have never let her go off by herself. Rondo Von Metzeler had a bad feeling when he couldn’t find Yva in the room he’d rented her- but some idle hope that he would find her in the UGZ was quickly dashed, and when she wasn’t there, he knew there was but one place she’d be. The strange locus of odd happenings- that she had assuredly been heading to in the first place, and had yet to return from.He didn’t know how he’d do anything, if there was a threat there. He knew well enough of what supernatural occurrences had taken place near him to know he was powerless in their presence, but doing nothing was simply not an option. Brute force wasn’t everything, anyways. He had been whisked away rather than eliminated, so any threats most likely would consider him a pest at best, and certainly not somebody who needed to be eliminated considering the ease of blowing him away on the wind. Combined with a relatively simple change in apparel, his defenses would be appallingly meager yet plenty sufficient in their own way.He had also armed himself in another way. The only thing he could think of that might be any help in dealing with the spectral.“This place is scary,” Emma whispered to him, resting in the hoot of the jacket Von Metzeler had donned. “The weird trees are everywhere, there’s ghosts…”“You are a ghost,” Von Metzeler pointed out. “What do you have to fear?”Emma had told Von Metzeler her view of the events of last night; from inside the cottage she often was shut in, she had heard and felt the disturbance- and described it as “calling,” but also as though “something had broken through.” She had no idea what it was, only that for a moment, there was something, then nothing, and that around the village that had appeared from nowhere, there was the sense of spiritual energy being all “stirred up.”“I don’t like this place,’ Emma insisted, “So what if I’m dead? It doesn’t mean I can’t be afraid.”“If you are afraid then you may go back.”“No,” Emma refused that offer, bristling against the back of Von Metzeler’s neck, “I don’t want to be shut up in that dump all the time. Now that Hilda’s gone I don’t even have anybody to talk to. If I don’t go out sometimes I’ll go nuts.”“You are not shackled to us, either.”“I don’t know where else I’d go.” Emma said flatly, “I want to live again. That’s why I’m still here, isn’t it? Why I didn’t just stay dead or go on or whatever? So I can get to live? Richter said he’d try and find me a body. The others too, I guess, but they just want to sit in the dark anyways. He’s probably forgotten anyways, but what am I supposed to do? Get swatted by these wizards who think I’m a cockroach? Complain at people who can’t hear me or are scared of me?”
“…Very well, then stay where you are.” Von Metzeler said, “If you feel in danger, I can put you in this can. Keep an eye out behind me. I’ll trust you with my back.”“…Um.” Emma coughed, “I can’t fit in that can anymore. I’m, uh, too big.” Von Metzeler stopped and turned his head. “What?” Emma sounded hurt.“Then it is doubly important that you keep careful watch.” He pointed ahead. “We are close. Do not speak unless it is necessary. The person I am looking for is a woman, with long brown hair and spectacles, and a fine looking nose.”“What the hell does her nose have to do with anything?” Emma hissed back.“Shh.”Fog lingered from last night, still not having been banished by the sun. Creeping shadows walked to and fro- cast against the bricks and stones by things unseen. The eerie shadows were the only sign of live at first glance, in spite of Von Metzeler circling the village, looking for any of the oddly dressed men from before.When Von Metzeler ventured into the village itself, it was not long before Emma let out a gasp as he walked by a hut, and he snapped around with pistol in hand, his other hand on his sword. The figure leaned against the building was a huge person, easily two and one half meters tall, and broad as to be a human panzer. Their face was wrapped up in masking, and from head to toe where there was not a peep of skin to be shown- only a slit open across their eyes.The person had clearly expired, judging from the dark tear across their center which had also removed one of their arm at the elbow. The wounding was black as night, and drawing a hand near produced a tingling sensation in Von Metzeler’s fingers.“What is this guy?” Emma whispered. “…He’s not a person.”“What do you mean by that?”“He’s…I dunno, empty. Like Hilda’s eyes.”Von Metzeler had no idea what that meant. “He is dead. Is that not an explanation?”“No, like, there wasn’t anything there in the first place. I’ve seen dead people, they’re not like this…”“If it is no threat, then let us move on.” Von Metzeler said firmly, turning and walking as Emma hurriedly flew back into his hood.Searching some huts told little. Old, dusty furniture. Artifacts that would have no meaning without a different sort of investigation- they weren’t the mystery Von Metzeler was focused on. In the grass, he saw a glint as he stepped along. He picked up the thing the light had shined off of- a piece of beaten steel, with an eyehole and decorations in its shape.“What is that?” Emma asked, “A piece of a mask?”“Yes.” It was familiar looking. Was there a battle, he wondered.
As he passed by another hut, Emma spoke up. “Something’s weird about that house,” she said suddenly, and Von Metzeler stopped, and turned to face it. “It smells like…a couple wizards came here and let loose at each other, or something. Hey, where are you going? Stop! Didn’t you hear me?!”Von Metzeler had heard, but he didn’t care. He knocked his way through the shabby wooden door, everything dimly lit from the light of the windows and gaps in the thatch roof. He stormed through the rooms, until he came to a woman who had bundled herself in the corner. He recognized her, though she seemed unwell- there was an emptiness under her right shoulder, and her breathing was slow and shallow.“Yva,” Von Metzeler knelt down. “Your arm…!”Yva looked up, and smiled slightly before turning her head down again and shaking it. “Rondo? You have better places to be than this old place, don’t you?”“Conserve your strength,” Von Metzeler reached for where the arm had been severed, just below the shoulder, and his fingers touched…not flesh, but what felt like wood. “…What? Your arm…”“I am alright, Rondo,” Yva said, “I just need some rest.”Rondo Von Metzeler grit his teeth and mumbled a compromise. “This is a poor choice of resting place.”“I am fine, Rondo. I am too tired to walk far, anyways. Let me be, I will be up in time to see you tomorrow.”Von Metzeler thought on it. “I refuse.” He slipped his arms under Yva’s legs and supported her back with his other hand, and picked her up. “I will bring you back to my camp. You will be safe there.”“…I should not have expected anything less than for you to be stubborn,” Yva sighed, “So be it. Though I am in no state to oppose your action-“ Yva smiled with a sly tilt to her brows, “Rondo, are you abducting me?”“Hmph.” Von Metzeler did not dignify that remark with a response. “I suppose I should not ask wat in the world happened here.”“You cannot know.”“…I understand.” Von Metzeler didn’t, but he knew since his youth that some questions had answers better off not found. He understood the important part.As Von Metzeler left the cottage, Yva in his arms, Emma raised a ruckus about it.“What’ya think you’re doing, grumpus?” she gasped, “That’s a soulbinder!”Yva’s expression turned dark. “An ember,” she said lowly, “And a large one…”“She is my friend.” Von Metzeler said to Yva, then to Emma. “…This is my friend. Yva, Emma. Emma, this is Yva.”“She’s not gonna kill me, is she?” Emma whined.“She will not.” Von Metzeler said , looking to Yva for her answer.“You do know what that is, do you?” Yva asked.“I do. But I do not judge others based off of the circumstances of their origins.” Von Metzeler said, firm as concrete, “Else I would have no right to despise any more than myself.”-----
New Jorgenstohn was quite a bit busier than you’d seen it before. Workers were laying out measurements for what you guessed were new constructions, and the town had grown a conjoined twin out of sheds and tents- the former inhabitants of Reismuhle, who appeared to have been press ganged into working to build their new housing. Members of your first platoon saluted your arrival before going back to milling about at their outpost. The Mayor, one Lambart Gespie, was of course quite willing to meet with you- though the first person who appeared at the door was his daughter. Still unappreciative of your rescue of her from the Twaryians, she slammed the door in your face, and you had to wait for the mayor himself to attend to you.“Inconvenient, I know,” he said to you, seeming in high spirits in spite of his perpetual redness making Gespie appear stressed. Combined with his short and fat stature and dandy fashion it made him the picture of a nervous accountant. “But with this latest expansion and the next migration wave this week, we should quite soon have a proper town hall! How exciting.”“Has my package been sent along?” you asked immediately, “It is important that it arrives as quickly as possible.” You didn’t want Maddalyn to wait for any more time than necessary after her birthday. “Yes, yes, of course,” the Mayor said in a flattering tone, “It was top priority. I can trust that it will arrive before the end of the year.“Very good.” That was a relief. The Major’s jab about Maddalyn languishing at home with no husband to comfort her had struck you in an unexpectedly sore place. Maddalyn was the daughter of a Territorial Lord- showering her with gifts was not for the sake of her gain, per se. It was what you could think of doing, though. At the very least she would no longer have no ring on her finger.…Now you wanted to see that ring on her finger.You cleared your thoughts. “Has there been any trouble, lately? Anything I should be concerned about?”“Well, roving insurgents razed Reismuhle to the ground,” the Mayor said, his tone full of false sorrow, “The poor people have been taken under my wing…and it seems they’ll stay a while. The Twaryians have not been near, and the insurgents seem to fear your ire, so I must say, for New Jorgenstohn, I believe things might be, in the light of all that has happened, be looking quite good. Hoo hoo hoo…”“A windfall for you, certainly.”“Yes. Though, given how mutually productive our relationship has been,” the Mayor clasped his hands together, “Despite its rocky beginnings…there are a few matter that, if I may request your help with them…”“Speak them, then.”
“Well, you see, Reismuhle’s population has been displaced here. They could certainly expand the amount of labor available for our lumber production, but you see, I have thought of diversifying. Ellowie is a land of some fertility, and though the climate is ironically not one good for rice, grain may still be grown. Nothing will be growing now, yes, but the Wintergrain planting season is now. Reismuhle may have been near scorched off the land, but its mills are intact, both the complete one and the one that was being built, as is its farming equipment. The mayor of Reismuhle would rather see his town restored and rebuilt…but there is a healthy amount of arable land nearby, I have been told. A farming enterprise near here simply lacks the proper equipment…do you see?”“You want the farming equipment confiscated and the mills disassembled and brought over here.” You surmised.“That course of action would have questionable legality, yes, but…” the Mayor smiled uneasily, “and, er, so would destroying the fields themselves so there is no temptation to rebuild that ruin, but surely you can see the wisdom in it? The profit? Certainly, if the tractors moved here, they would need fuel to run…perhaps more fuel you could borrow?”“More fuel would not be remiss. The rest I will have to consider.” You said, “Upon whether it would be best for the greater good.” Of course. “Is there naught that ails you and your people? Just expanding of horizons?”“That is the ideal, no?”“I see.” You checked the time. “I will return at a later time, then, with an answer to your proposal.”“Do you not want to stay for tea?” the Mayor offered. “My daughter is quite good at brewing it.”Tea. Being offered for once. “…I have things I must attend to. Maybe another time.”The mayor’s chubby face fell. “Ah. Alright then. Another time. Maybe with some friends of yours.”-----Von Metzeler expected a bit of a walk with Yva- it was less than he hoped, especially since Emma being frightened of the area as well now of Yva somehow made her jabber more than he’d ever heard from her before. He would have hoped Yva would be the one speaking more.It was not long out of the forest, however, when he saw a tank rolling towards him out of the fog- thankfully one of the unit’s. It was extremely unlikely to be a Twaryian tank, certainly, but the possibility was still there. It was completely buttoned up, and Von Metzeler had a sinking feeling that it would be Von Tracht, until it pulled up close and out of the top crawled a much more relieving sight.“Hey, Rondo,” Frederick Krause waved, “Commander said you might be in a lot of danger, good to see you’re only at risk of throwing out your back lugging around tail.”
“Good afternoon,” Von Metzeler said as he stepped up around the front of the tank. “Frederick. This is Yva. Von Tract may not think much of her, but she is no danger to us.” Then, to Yva, “He has been my good friend since childhood. He can be well trusted.”Emma floated up and away from Von Metzeler and Yva in an awful hurry, and seemed to go up and say something to Krause which turned his wry smirk upside down. He muttered something to Emma, then squinted at Yva, then Von Metzeler.“Rondo, we’ll, uh, have to talk about this.”“About what?”“You know what. Though,” Krause leaned on the edge of the cupola and forward, “Von Tracht has had his dealings with wizards not so easy on the eye. I don’t see why you can’t be allowed some slack.”“She is hurt.” Von Metzeler ignored Krause’s point. “Help me take her back to camp.”“’Course. Though when the shit comes down it’ll be on your head. I’m not gonna be your umbrella for this. Got it?”“I would expect naught else.”-----You had returned from your venture at New Jorgenstohn, to find the tank back, and went to Krause for results.“Aye, Richter, I got him back. No worse for wear, either.”“There were no…problems, at the village?” You asked carefully.“Didn’t even have to go that far,” Krause threw his hands up, “Found him coming out of the woods with a sixty kilogram booty shell.”…No. “Hey, Commander, where are you going in such a hurry?”No, no, no, ah, damnit. There, in Von Metzeler’s tent, Yva was lying down in his cot wrapped in a blanket, her coat folded on a stool and her boots off by the cot, with Von Metzeler sitting guard over her. He stood up immediately as you entered.“Lieutenant Von Tracht,” he was immediately addressing you.“Lieutenant Von Metzeler, what is this?” you demanded.“She was wounded and in an unsafe place.” He said, seeming near rehearsed. “It would be barbaric to have simply left her to suffer in the winter climate, even one as warm as it has been here. I am hosting her here until she is healthy enough to care for herself in her quarters in the UGZ. Returning her there in her current state would be irresponsible.”>Belt him. (Malachi is not with you, and Von Metzeler is taller and stronger than you.)>Force Von Metzeler to take Yva back to the UGZ. It is none of your responsibilities to take care of something she likely got herself wrapped up in, and she could make you a target to her enemies. (You will likely have to convince-or force your way in this.)>If Von Metzeler insists on adopting somebody, you won’t be having him take care of her in the camp of all places. Instruct him to transfer her to the cottage where Hilda once stayed.>Begrudgingly accept this. Were you really going to come out of this looking like the good guy? You couldn’t cause conflict between yourself and your second in command over something like this?>Other?
>>3724037>>OtherAccept it, but she can stay in the cottage.
>>3724037>If Von Metzeler insists on adopting somebody, you won’t be having him take care of her in the camp of all places. Instruct him to transfer her to the cottage where Hilda once stayed.Judge above Metzeler.....Well, there's not much to be done for it. Nothing good will come of her being in camp with a bunch of horny men, so this is the better option.
>>3724037>>If Von Metzeler insists on adopting somebody, you won’t be having him take care of her in the camp of all places. Instruct him to transfer her to the cottage where Hilda once stayed.Honestly the cottage is probably nicer than living out of a tent like everyone else is right now.
>>3724037>If Von Metzeler insists on adopting somebody, you won’t be having him take care of her in the camp of all places. Instruct him to transfer her to the cottage where Hilda once stayed.>Remind him that soulbinders can't maintain relationships because of the whole soul rewriting thing.
>>3724037>Belt him. (Malachi is not with you, and Von Metzeler is taller and stronger than you.)Yes we absolutely can cause conflict between us and him over this. And in between trying to ineffectually swipe at him as he kicks our ass yell at the idiot just how much danger he's put everyone in the entire unit.Why do you think no one knows about Soulbinders? Because they kill everyone involved in their matters. Do you know how easy it would be for them? Did he ever think of anyone BUT her? Can he even pretend that she might not be subtly influencing him like a soulbinder would?Make sure to absolutely mention Tilly and Markus the Riverman with Anons >>3724055Also that if she is a Soulbinder then they can survive absolutely ruinous injuries and very easily recover. THIS IS ALL A TRICK.Ultimately>Force Von Metzeler to take Yva back to the UGZ. It is none of your responsibilities to take care of something she likely got herself wrapped up in, and she could make you a target to her enemies. (You will likely have to convince-or force your way in this.)If he so insists on taking care of her, then he can. And stay away for awhile.
>>3724037>Other, try to be diplomaticVon Metzeler knows how we feel about Him and Yva, so let’s try to explain this situation to him without feelings. There is a soulbinder girl here, even if she does absolutely nothing to us, we know soulbinders have enemies. Those enemies could come and endanger every person here and we would have no way to effectively combat them. Unless the Lieutenant Von Metzeler has a solution to this series of facts that we know, he is endangering the lives of everyone here, to protect someone he cannot protect. He has a week to find that solution.
>>3724037>Force Von Metzeler to take Yva back to the UGZ. It is none of your responsibilities to take care of something she likely got herself wrapped up in, and she could make you a target to her enemies. (You will likely have to convince-or force your way in this.)>Why do you think no one knows about Soulbinders? Because they kill everyone involved in their matters. Do you know how easy it would be for them? Did he ever think of anyone BUT her? Can he even pretend that she might not be subtly influencing him like a soulbinder would?>Make sure to absolutely mention Tilly and Markus the Riverman with Anons >>3724055Also that if she is a Soulbinder then they can survive absolutely ruinous injuries and very easily recover. >THIS IS ALL A TRICK.
>>3724037>>If Von Metzeler insists on adopting somebody, you won’t be having him take care of her in the camp of all places. Instruct him to transfer her to the cottage where Hilda once stayed.Maybe in exchange for our hospitality we can 'ask' Yva to help us with getting Emma a body or some other solution. We need to do something with her soon.
>>3724037>>If Von Metzeler insists on adopting somebody, you won’t be having him take care of her in the camp of all places. Instruct him to transfer her to the cottage where Hilda once stayed.
>>3724041>>3724046>>3724053>>3724055>>3724859>>3725118Put your wizard in the shed please.>>3724100Punching solves all problems. Then have her thrown back where you left her.>>3724549Same with no punching.>>3724160You have one week.So while Yva gets to stay in the little house that smells like burnt hamburgers, there is plenty of things to try and tell Von Metzeler- even if they were things not in the winning decision. For example remember the whole Enthrallment thing.Jet lag continues to consume me.Writing.
You’d have to start this off diplomatically, as frustrating as this was. There was little chance you saw of getting Von Metzeler away from Yva otherwise.“If you insist on adopting somebody,” you said crossly, “Then at least take care of her somewhere other than the camp of all places. Do you really want her here, especially as the Recreation Unit is coming by? She rest in the cottage Hilda was living in. The conditions there are better than in one of these tents anyways.”“I…well,” Von Metzeler started to try and think of some objection, but Yva spoke first.“A cottage will be fine,” she said, though you thought her trying to get some sleep. “If you are going to argue with one another, may you do it outside?”“Yes, I apologize,” Von Metzeler said hurriedly. “…Come.” He led you, and Krause who had followed you, outside.“When we found her,” Krause explained as you moved away from the tent, “Her right arm was lopped off. Don’t you think we should have a doctor look at that?”“That arm was false,” Von Metzeler said, “Made of some sort of wood and substituting for flesh below the shoulder. She…allowed me to inspect it. There was discoloration at the joining like that of the scarred woman’s burns, but she insisted it was normal. She insisted upon not needing to see any doctors, and I could not find anything upon her.”“She is a Soulbinder, Von Metzeler,” you whispered harshly after looking around for any stray listeners, and then motioned for them to follow further away to discuss this sensitive subject, “Do you know how Maddalyn can heal grievous wounds? She has told me that not only are they incapable of being killed in conventional fashion permanently, but that they also recover from even the worst injuries with great speed. Of course she is fine.” Hearing that Yva’s arm was false was a bit a surprise. You supposed that moving a false arm around just like a normal one was probably simple for a sorceress, but you hadn’t even the inkling of it. “You don’t have to worry about her at all. What you should worry about instead is everything else. Don’t you think she might be influencing you with her magic?”Von Metzeler glared at you disapprovingly. “Keh. My patience for implications that I have no free will wears thin quickly, Von Tracht.”“She is a soulbinder,” you kept at it, “Your free will has jack all to do with it. Do you not even suspect it?”“Commander’s right, Rondo,” Krause backed you up, “From where the rest of us are seeing it this looks awfully funny. What’s your reason to not consider it?”
“Yva would not do such a thing.” Von Metzeler said confidently, “We talk, discuss, and debate. When I found her, she bid that I let her be, and instead I went against her wishes and took her here. If she were simply manipulating all of my whims, then why would she allow me to disagree with her or to do what she does not want?”“Regardless of how well you think you know her,” you countered, “She has clearly not shared everything with you. Did you know what she was before today? How much has she not told you? Do you know of how enthrallment works?”“How do you know about whatever that is, Richter?” Krause asked, while Von Metzeler blinked.“If you remember that I dealt with a soulbinder called the Riverman to rescue Maddalyn from the fort in Todesfelsen, we spoke on several occasions.” It was a somewhat distant event, but you remembered the mechanics of this because of the gravity of the potential deal- and its conditions. “Soulbinders are nomadic by nature because if they remain around people for too long, they change their souls and turn them into their thralls. Thralls who cannot resist the will of their masters. The Riverman was good friends with a young woman- he refused to stay near her for over long, for fear of turning her.”Von Metzeler’s mouth tightened. It was clear that this was news to him.“How long does it take to become a thrall, or whatever?” Krause asked.“The Riverman wasn’t clear. He said a few weeks, depending on what he did.”“Then Rondo is fine.” Krause put his hand to Von Metzeler’s shoulder. “You’ve only known her for…maybe a bit less than a week? There’s no weird mind control going on. This Riverman guy didn’t stay away from his friend forever. You just have to space things out.”“Also,” you weren’t done yet, “You recovered her, hurt. Why? Have you thought about who her enemies might be, and what might befall us for sheltering her? Has she bothered to mention that? And if they do come for her, or us, then how can we defend ourselves? We can’t. Even if Yva is no threat at all to us, is it the same way for her enemies?”“…I believe,” Von Metzeler shuffled in his pocket, and took out a piece of metal, “She has defeated her enemies. I found this while at the village, as well as the body of a…person, I believe. It did not seem human.”Von Metzeler held a shining steel piece of what must have been part of a ghoulish mask indeed, were it whole and not a section. The edge appeared to have been cleanly sliced as though with an impeccably sharp and swift blade, as the mask was not bent by whatever blow struck it whatsoever.“Will those be the only ones?” you asked rhetorically, “Has she said a word about this to you? When I asked her she only gave me nonsense about how I can’t know.”
“…She told me to stay away from the place,” Von Metzeler murmured to himself, “She did not want anybody involved.”“Well, think about what I said,” you wrapped up, “I’ll still allow you to care for her in the cottage, but Judge Above, be careful.”“I will go and speak with her,” Von Metzeler started back, but Krause held on to his arm.“Wait a moment, bud.” He soothed Von Metzeler, “Let all that sit a bit. Think it over more. Don’t go charging off without thinking, you’re better when you give yourself some time.”“And I am going to talk with her first,” You declared, “Wait until I am done, at least.” You left Von Metzeler with Krause, and returned to Yva’s tent, waiting after entering for her to address you.She finally did after a minute. “What is it?”“You did not tell my officer about enthrallment.”Yva sighed. “You know far more than you should. Of course I did not tell him. What would it bring about other than alarm? Do you think me irresponsible or ignorant? I am human. I am allowed to have friends.”“What about lovers?”“You know little, and thus presume to know all.” Yva turned towards you with an annoyed look on her face, her spectacles off. “I do not force my way into your affairs, nor do I demand any help in mine. Am I not allowed to so much as enjoy the company of another?”“I know that your sorts are not to be trusted, and that is all there is to know. Besides, I am not refusing you any hospitality. I’m being careful.”“Hmph.”“In exchange for my hospitality,” you proceeded with what may have been a daft plan, but…progress was needed. “May I ask for some help? Perhaps I will not interfere with your relationship with Von Metzeler further, if I know you are benevolent?”“We are not meant to interfere.” Yva warned. “…What is this favor?”“I need help. I have an ember, who is…the spirit of a girl.”“A mimic.” Yva corrected, “A creature that believes it is that it is not.”“Regardless. I wish to find her a body, or some other vessel. She has grown significantly since we met, and I understand that that is a problem.”“Foolishness.” Yva said immediately, “You want to give a creature with a false memory of life a false body. You do not know the severity of the act you speak. The sects of the west deign to practice the craft of false bodies, but even they are not so arrogant as to attempt to bring the dead back to life.”“Then you will not help me?” You asked tentatively.
“I would have to lack any conscience entirely to do so.” Yva said sharply, “The path you seek to walk this ember down leads to naught but enervation and despair. To craft new life for the sake of the dead is forbidden. To allow her to grow will only give token blessings, and a deeper hunger for a life it never had and never will gain. My best help would be to usher the poor thing into the peace of oblivion, but you obviously do not wish for that.”As you could have guessed. You turned on your heel. “Then we have nothing further to discuss. Von Metzeler will be here shortly to take you to the cottage.” You left without waiting for a response.…Something Yva mentioned struck you as off, but you weren’t sure what. Recent frustrations made you want to sit down and clear your head rather than think on the spot. You wanted to spar with Anya- that made your blood run plenty of places other than your head, but she pointed out that she was hurt, and far be it from you to open her wound. You still felt like you left a gap in your routine. Anya’s abrasiveness made her less than popular with most, and said most might be relieved to not have to deal with her, yet the constant competitiveness was something you found great fulfillment in- the feeling of having a rival, you supposed, even if she probably didn’t think the same of you.
It was afternoon, now, creeping into the beginnings of the evening. Time to go over the options you’d learned today.…Ah, there was also the subject of a prisoner Von Metzeler had taken the other day. A child soldier of the NLF who was at the razing of Reismuhle. You should probably figure out what to do with her. That, and if you were going to see Signy. She would be in the area the day after tomorrow, you’d heard. Presumably she was elsewhere right not- though, maybe, if you felt it, you could learn where she was and go and see her early? It couldn’t be too difficult…>Choose to do or not do the following tasks offered. Remember that 3rd Platoon is currently low on morale when considering assignment.----->Help the Mayor of New Jorgenstohn confiscate farming equipment and sabotage Reismuhle’s fields. This may require some subterfuge but should be low stress with little possibility of combat, though the manpower needed will be high. Will most likely require two platoons of men to accomplish.>Prepare to do something about the Penal company’s illegal operations in the UGZ. Will likely require a platoon or two at minimum, depending on how you go about it.>You had to either scout out Twaryian territory or make a raid to get a conspirator. (Scouting/investigating can be done with a small group. A raid requires at least a platoon)>Other?Also>Interrogate the NLF prisoner (with what questions?)Whether or not this is done,>Set her free. As a show of good faith to the NLF, and pass it off as her being a harmless child to others.>Send her to the UGZ-09. She’d at least not be a fugitive there.>Turn her in to battalion headquarters. Doing elsewise could draw suspicion, couldn’t it?>Keep her in your custody. You certainly couldn’t send her elsewhere knowing the circumstances of the usual places.>Other?And>Visit Signy when she comes to the area.>Try and meet Signy ahead of schedule.>Don’t meet with Signy. You’d probably just distract her- she didn’t know you were here, and didn’t need to.>Other?
>>3725666>>Help the Mayor of New Jorgenstohn confiscate farming equipment and sabotage Reismuhle’s fields. This may require some subterfuge but should be low stress with little possibility of combat, though the manpower needed will be high. Will most likely require two platoons of men to accomplish.Afterwards we can tackle the UGZ and border raid.Sent 1st and 2nd Platoons>Interrogate the NLF prisonerBasic stuff, name, what cell she's in etc. Doubt she knows much.>Keep her in your custody. You certainly couldn’t send her elsewhere knowing the circumstances of the usual places.Wait for Signy to show up fist. I'm kinda expecting Drachen to show up again when she comes so maybe release her then as a sign of good faith.>Try and meet Signy ahead of schedule.Though if we only can do so once see reaches it'll be fine, but meeting her when there's less eyes around may be useful.
>>3725677Sounds good. Tanq do we know where and what exactly Signy is going to visit when she's here?
>>3725735>Tanq do we know where and what exactly Signy is going to visit when she's here?Nope!
>>3725765So I assume the first two involves finding out where she'll pop up I guess. All three tasks can be done within the week right?
>>3725666>>3725677This seems fine.
>>3725780Finding out a schedule isn't hard the day before, you just don't know at the moment. Though Signy's gonna be there in the middle of the week, not the end.As for the other things, yes, there's time so long as you have people.
>>3725677This is fine, I would only add that when we question her we ask her the relationship between NLF cells. I don't think we should let on to her about our friendliness to the NLF yet or our plans with her. Maybe say we might release her if she cooperates. I think she understands that that is so much better than what the Netillians would do instead.If we want to find out about Signy we might wanna ask the King, as a visiting Head of State she probably will have to see him at some point, this will likely require Anya.
>>3725677>>3725735>>3725791>>3726104Softball questions, put troops on busywork. Keep that ratty thing with you until guests arrive- try and intercept the eyebrows.Writing.
>>3725666>>Interrogate the NLF prisonerI don't really want to interrogate her but I am wondering if we can use her and others like her as a sort of messaging system between us and the NLF. For example whenever the NLF could use our help with something or wants to drop some info they could send some children with contraband near our camp for us to "capture" and "interrogate" before releasing with our response. Additionally, as far as finding a Twaryian collaborator, instead of raiding the border and capturing one I think it would make far more sense if the NLF could simply provide us with one. Even if they don't actually have Twaryian connections they probably have some contacts on the Twaryian side of the border who could find a sympathetic Twaryian and send them our way. It would be in their benefit to help us since conflict between Nettiland and Twaryi improves the position of the Ellowian independence movement.So meet with the NLF girl and have her relay these proposals to our contact in the NLF whose name i forget. This also counts as a vote against going out to scout or raid over the border.Also, >Visit Signy when she comes to the area.Since she's also working with the NLF it just makes sense that we should make contact with her and see if we can coordinate our efforts.
>>3726473>>3726348Whoops, guess I was a bit late on the draw there.
The easiest, if dullest, task was what you decided to take care of first. The prosperity of New Jorgenstohn was in your interest, especially if it led to a greater share of fuel for your tanks- and the larger the town became, the greater your sway in the Border Zone. Improper as it might be to appropriate the assets of a ruined town, while also sabotaging efforts to return it to its past state, it would all turn out better in the end for them. After all, if all were collected in New Jorgenstohn, the citizenry would be far easier to defend in the long run. First and Second platoons would be assigned this menial duty, leaving Fourth platoon to keep the camp secure, and Third platoon…to enjoy the benefits of priority Recreation Unit visitation. The entire company technically benefited, but the Third would be idle through the days.Fifth platoon, you learned when a logistics officer arrived to deliver the paperwork just prior to the unit’s arrival, was also accounted for in the distribution of tickets. Not that they’d likely be interested at the moment. They could perhaps be easily persuaded to part with their share of indulgence in the flesh, considering their fortune to be allowed to organize at all. You yourself had been presented with your own, special passes for “particularly memorable carousing.” Well, you had thought, perhaps whomever was trying to curry favor with the Coordinator might accept somebody else in your place. Who? Well, you didn’t know. Perhaps Jorgen, your loader. Hans for all his pestering of woman seemed to have cooled significantly after his encounter with your gunner’s wayward sister, and leaving your loader as the lone skirt chaser, with little care for what manner of quarry he hunted so long as they were adult. A typical trait of Yaegirs, you heard. Hungry for women as much as they were thirsty for blood, and Jorgen had never denied it.With Signy on her way, meanwhile, you had the thought to find her before she arrived in your sector of the border zone in two days. It wouldn’t be difficult, you presumed, to find out where she would be with just a bit of asking around. You figured it would be better to meet the republican militant turned head of state in a place where less eyes would be cast upon you.
The last thing to take care of before the sun set would be the matter of the prisoner Von Metzeler had taken the other night. She’d been bound up and temporarily house in a “prisoner tent” with a guard posted, and the young lady shackled by the hands and feet- enough to allow some movement, but certainly not such that she could flee. With your new connection with the NLF, and the knowledge that Mittelsosalia, and likely Signy by extension, was supporting said Liberation Front, you were thinking of letting the child soldier go at first provocation anyways. The justification being simple mercy towards a stray child. Plenty knew what happened to insurgents of any age to take much issue with softheartedness. You would still question her, though.The young woman was around fourteen years old, by your measure, though since meeting Maddalyn (who would be twenty four in a few days) you had always felt your sense of guessing age to be a tad off. Neck length scruffy black hair spilled off the top of her head, and she still wore a worn canvas coat that she’d been brought in with. Despite being captured, she didn’t seem to be very upset. Maybe that would make her more pliable than the younger bomb courier Anya and you had found in UGZ-07 the other night.“Good evening,” you arrived with a plate of food. You set up a folding table and chair in the corner of the room, laid out the (admittedly not very appetizing looking) bowl of stew, and motioned for the prisoner to sit. “Don’t worry, it isn’t poison. It’s actually decent.” After you got used to the Netillian insistence on over-spicing everything with peppercorns. Or perhaps that was just your kitchens’ tastes. “Are you a friend of the Swordsman?” the girl asked as she sat in the chair.“The swordsman?” “The man who captured me.” She sniffed at the stew. “He’s handsome, but that was what I thought he’d be like anyways.”“Ah.” You supposed you were Von Metzeler’s friend? You weren’t sure. “I am his commanding officer. What is your name, young miss?”“Maddy.”That was easy to get out of her. “Is that short for Madeleine? Or Maddalyn?”“Does it matter?”“No. Just a coincidence, my fiancée is called Maddy, too.”“It’s actually Magdelena,” the girl admitted, “But I don’t like the letter G or the way it sounds. I don’t want to be called Maggy.” Magdalena took an inquisitive spoonful of stew. “…There’s too much pepper in this.”Maybe she was a bit too comfortable with this, to be making critiques of her dinner. “So, here is how this is, Maddy. You were captured and detained here on suspicion of partaking in armed insurgency. However, I’m willing to make a deal. I’ll let you go if you cooperate with me. I’m sure that’s better than anybody else would offer.”Magdalena stopped mid sip. “Cooperate?”
“Just let me ask some questions. For example, you are with the NLF, yes? Is there a specific cell you are a member of?”“I don’t know anything about that.” She blinked at the annoyed look you gave her. “No, really. I was in UGZ-09 for a while. Some NLF guy came around and was looking for volunteers to sneak out through a way they had, so I signed up. I didn’t want to do anything in 09, because it’s gotten a lot better, and Mister Maenesko doesn’t deserve to be attacked, I thought. The colonial towns can get bent, though. I just followed whoever would take me.”“What way were you snuck out?”“Dunno. They covered my eyes.”Clever of the NLF. “So I suppose you don’t know much that I’d be interested in, would you?”“My star sign?” Magdalena asked, truly lacking in what you were interested in.“No, that’s fine.” you sighed, “If you get too uncomfortable, let the guard know, and they’ll bring you water or a bed roll or something.”“I have to go to the bathroom.”“…Then ask the guard. Good to meet you, Maddy.”You turned and left. Magdalena wasn’t of much use, as you anticipated, but keeping her well and ready to let free was quite a bit more valuable, potentially, than anything else- even her star sign.“…Actually,” you paused, then turned and went back to Magdalena’s ear, and spoke quietly. “Say if I wanted you to carry a letter to the NLF. Have a bit of a chat between us. Could you carry a message for me, were I to let you go?”“Why would you want-““Yes or no.”Magdalena stared at you sideways. “…Sure, I guess?”You nodded to her, and then went back on your way.-----“Hey, fairy boy,” Anya trundled into your office tent while you were idly proofreading forms, “Come on. I’m bored.” Before you knew what she was on about, Anya had grabbed you by your collar and dragged you out of the tent.“What in the world?” you choked out in surprise.“Do you want to sit at your desk and read papers or get blasted?” Anya demanded.“I see you’re recovering well enough.”“Not enough that I don’t need to see the bottom of a bottle.” Anya grunted, “Come on, my tent. People know better than to screw around near there, not that anybody who would is here anyways since the hooker mob came around.”Oh. This was about the contest. “Wait a moment, if that’s what you want, I bought some things from Kamienisty. Beer, spirits, cola-““Cola?” Anya froze for a moment, “I’m not gonna whine about it, but don’t that not even got a drop of alcohol in it?”“You mix it with stronger drinks to make it taste better.”“That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard you say,” Anya declared, “Let’s go get that, then!”Anya was still dragging you at a pace you could scarcely keep up with. “Do you want to invite a few others, maybe?” You suggested.“Fuck no. This is between you and me. No backup allowed.”
…Oh, it was a competition. Anya scarcely allowed you enough time to pick up what you’d bought before dragging you back to her tent and through the flap before tossing you to the ground. She rummaged around a bag and brought out a multitude of objects, including wood and stoneware cups of a plain but serviceable sort.“So how do you wanna do this,” she said as she laid things out on the ground cloth over a wood pallet that served as the floor of the tent, insulating against cold and wet. “Each of us just knocks it back one after the other until one of us passes out, or do you want to make a game out of it?”“A game?” you asked.“Yeah, like this.” Anya shook a trio of dice out of a bag and rolled them into a wooden bowl. “Vier-Sechs?”“Sure. Whoever rolls lower than the other takes a shot.”“That’s…not how you play Vier-Sechs.”“It isn’t?” Anya frowned. “Then tell me how you do it.”“It’s usually played with more than two people, but…” you explained to Anya the rules. The dealer rolled a number, and the other players rolled against that. Great rolls were triples and 4-5-6 being instant wins (4-5-6 trumping a triple), triples winning double a player’s bet and 4-5-6 winning triple. Valid normal rolls were two dice with matching numbers, with the third dice making the “point number,” for example, a roll of 2-2-4 would have a point value of 4. An invalid roll was a “bust,” with there being rerolls allowed for up to two busts, with a third being a default loss. A roll of 1-2-3 was an instant loss, with the loser having to pay out triple. “I suppose,” you thought aloud, “That the bet would be however much we’d drink if we lose. Like I bet a shot and if I win, you have to take it. With a triple being you have to take two, and if I lose with a 1-2-3, I have to take three.”“That sounds a lot neater than just taking turns,” Anya’s attention was captured, “Let’s do that! Though I’ll say, if you get too wasted, and you start acting funny,” Anya reached under the blanket of her cot, and retrieved a leather sap that you had no idea where she’d gotten. “I’ll smack you one if you try anything I don’t like. Just saying.”“Hmph. As if.” You looked over the weapons for this duel. Shot glasses, normal glasses about the size of rocks glasses. Three packs of six bottles of pale ale beer. A pair of liter-bottles of wodka, a bottle of whiskey, a half-liter of screamingly-high proof absinthe, and Anya’s contribution, what had to be some locally sourced, independently produced and unlabeled pair of bottles of what was undoubtedly moonshine.>Play the Vier-Sechs drinking game. Anya was a small, slim woman- surely even if luck was against you, this would be easy?>Insist on turn taking. That way things would increment evenly. It wasn’t a proper contest if it wasn’t fair, was it?>Come up with another idea for a game. (What sort?)>Other?
>>3726619>>Play the Vier-Sechs drinking game. Anya was a small, slim woman- surely even if luck was against you, this would be easy?Probably going to lose either way so whatever.
>>3726619>Play the Vier-Sechs drinking game. Anya was a small, slim woman- surely even if luck was against you, this would be easy?
>>3726619>>Play the Vier-Sechs drinking game. Anya was a small, slim woman- surely even if luck was against you, this would be easy?
>>3726621>>3726627>>3726672>>3726696Going by luck of the dice. When have they ever steered you wrong?I'll be heading out soonish so expect a large interruption.Writing.
“We’ll do Vier-Sechs then,” you decided, “Are you dealing first or me?”“Does it matter?” Anya asked.“Well, the dealer goes first.”“Then you deal.”“Alright.” You checked over the drinks again. All unopened. You’d have to make the bet before you rolled…>Make your ante, in number of shots of:>Beer>Vodka>Cola>Absinthe>Moonshine>It would likely be unwise to go for more than 3 at once.Seems I'm going...right away. Though I might be able to phone update given how short these updates may be.
>>3726713>Two shots of beer
>>3726713One shot of vodka with cola
Rolled 5, 2, 1 = 8 (3d6)>>3726730Two shotsa beer. Easy start.Gimme 3d6. If you bust you get two more tries to make a roll.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3726764Missed you.Flipping coin, 2 is yours, will have to roll again anyways since bust.
Rolled 3, 5, 2, 3, 3, 2 = 18 (6d6)>>3726765Just gonna get the other two sets out at once actually.
Rolled 6, 2, 6 = 14 (3d6)>>3726766
Rolled 1, 3, 6 = 10 (3d6)>>3726765
"Here's my first bet," you said, pouring out shot of wodka, then mixing it in a larger glass with a fizzy measure of dark, sweet cola."What's that for?" Anya made a face at you."I'm making your first defeat sweeter.""Cocky dick," Anya muttered, "So wait, if I bet in, do we take both of what was bet or just who won?"You paused. "...Both.""Gotcha." Anya poured out a shot of wodka. "Better be ready to get knocked the fuck out."You'd see about that. You rolled your dice...bust. A second roll, and you set your jaw at your crappy roll. A 2. The worst roll."Ha ha, get fucked," Anya cackled, and she rolled.. a bust. Then another. "Come the fuck on," she swore, and then she rolled... a 2. "...Okay, we tied, what now?">We both drink.>We roll again.>We ante up and roll again.>Other?
>>3726832>>We both drink.
Rolled 2, 4, 6, 3, 6, 2, 6, 5, 5 = 39 (9d6)"We both drink," you declared, lifting Anya's bet. "Bottoms up." You dunked the wodka down your throat- it was actually quite smooth, like pouring the feeling of a warm furnace down your throat.Anya shrugged. "Alright then.">Richter's shots- 1 wodka>Anya's shots- 1 wodka"...Not bad," Anya said after she dunked her shot from you, "I could drink more of that.""Then you'd better get ready to">Ante up- same rules as before>To make things flow, go ahead and roll your 3d6 with your vote.- this post's set is Anya's rolls, if the first or second is valid, it is counted first- same with your rolls. The first valid roll is your roll, rerolls only allowed with busts.
Rolled 6, 1, 4 = 11 (3d6)>>3726867
Rolled 3, 4, 4 = 11 (3d6)>>3726867
Rolled 2, 1, 3 = 6 (3d6)no ante? I'll just presume same as last time.You rolled twice- to get a 3. A crappy roll, bit not the worst, you thought- until Anya rolled a 6."Ha haaah," Anya jabbed her shot in your face, "Open wide, suckerrrr." You were oblidged to take both your ante- and Anya's. Three shots of wodka were now in your system, compared to Anya's one. If there was a handicap from your disparate sizes it may have been gone now...>Richter- three shots wodka>Anya- one shot wodka"Luck's on my side," Anya poked at you, "Not too late to give up~""The battle is far from decided," you said as you poured your bet and rolled your dice.>ante up- and roll your dice.
Rolled 3, 5, 3 = 11 (3d6)>>3726914Two shots of beer then as my first one.
>>3726919+1. Anya's lost this round already right?
>>3726931With a roll of 1-2-3? Yes. Triply so.
After measuring out two shots of beer (perhaps wary of your last defeat) you rolled your dice- a five. A good, solid roll. Confidence returned as you passed the dice and the wooden bowl to Anya- who smirked while pouring out a shot of wodka, and rolled her dice- and immediately turned scarlet. "BULL SHIT." she near shouted as the dice turned up 1-2-3. "Fucking...whatever."You merrily served Anya her triple share of the bet- three shots of wodka, six shots of beer. Devastating, if you were to say.>Richter- three shots wodka>Anya- four shots wodka, six shots beer"Alright," Anya coughed after downing the last of her sacrifice, and letting out small "urp," " Fuck you. I'm not down yet.">Ante up, dice up
Rolled 4, 2, 3 = 9 (3d6)>>3726947Two shots of vodka
Rolled 4, 5, 1 = 10 (3d6)>>3726965Re-rolling
Rolled 2, 6, 6 = 14 (3d6)>>3726947>>3726968
>>3726947While this is going on ask her the last time she did something like this. With the Death Heads or the Iron Hogs?
Rolled 1, 2, 6 = 9 (3d6)>>3727004Sure.
Rolled 4, 6, 4, 2, 4, 6 = 26 (6d6)>>3727019
Rolled 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 6, 6, 2, 4 = 24 (9d6)You doled your bet- two shots of wodka, and as you shook the dice in your hand, you asked Anya, "So when's the last time you did this? With the Death Heads, or Iron Hogs?""With somebody else?" Anya thought, "I mean, I did it sometimes by myself in the Death Heads, but, fuck me, I'd have to be fucking stupid to do this there. I don't like the idea of getting raped, or some blue ribbon fucking sluts setting me up to get dicked. They'd do that with women they didn't like, you know.""That's awful.""Hey, they paid decent cash and gave you a door that locks and a bed. Could have done worse. In the Iron Hogs...when Hell died. And once when he caught me sneaking booze. Made me drink disgusting shit and I got a horrible hangover after. That was about eight years ago.""That can't have helped your opinion of him" you rolled two busts. "Damnit." The third was a two."You're fucked now," Anya sneered, "and no, didn't make me dislike him at all. I thought it was hot, actually.""Hot?""Fuck yeah." She rolled a six. "Like how that's hot. He didn't let up on me, made me strong.""Suuure," you sighed, taking your now three shots. Anya had been consistent in her betting at least.>Richter-six shots wodka>Anya-four shots wodka, six shots beerSix shots...enough to kill anything that moves. So said a crafty character in a frontier movie you'd seen once."So," Anya addressed you further as she measured out three shots of...the moonshine. Oh dear. "What would you do, say, if the Archduchy booted you out tomorrow. Said you were banished or whatever, or like, you had to leave for...whatever reason. What'd you do?"Anya let that question hang as you made your bet and rattled the dice in her hand.>I would prefer not to think of such a circumstance.>Right on the path my uncle did, I suppose. There is a place for me there, still, after all. Several places.>Find some way to prove myself once more. Disgrace is no stranger to the Von Trachts, but I'll be damned if I will be the final condemnation.>Other?Also,>make bet and roll off
Rolled 6, 6, 1 = 13 (3d6)>>3727058>Find some way to prove myself once more. Disgrace is no stranger to the Von Trachts, but I'll be damned if I will be the final condemnation.>One shot of absinthe
Rolled 6, 4, 4 = 14 (3d6)>>3727058>Right on the path my uncle did, I suppose. There is a place for me there, still, after all. Several places.>Two Shots of AbsintheAcquire maddy, go war for Signy.
>>3727058>>Find some way to prove myself once more. Disgrace is no stranger to the Von Trachts, but I'll be damned if I will be the final condemnation.Technically we've already been banished once lol.
>>3727079Shit you should have gone first
>>3727072>>3727083Banishment is nbd we just get back.>>3727079Pound for one, pound the other. Phone is dying. There may be a remedy, but likely not. Show is in half an hour anyways.
>>3727105How many more rounds till someone gets knocked out at this rate?
Rolled 3, 5, 4, 5, 3, 5, 5, 6, 5 = 41 (9d6)You poured a shot of absinthe- and rolled your dice. A 1."Gotta be kidding me," you grumbled."Win some you lose some, huh?" Then, Anya's dice gave her triple 1s. "You really fuckin' lose this one." Judge above. At least you weren't playing with rules where triple 1 was five times the "payout." Two shots of absinthe, six shots of this moonshine that smelled like fire...and tasted like it too.>Richter-six shots wodka, six shots moonshine, two shots absinthe>Anya-four shots wodka, siz shots beer"Phoarr," you wheezed, "Where the hell did you get this...this acid? It's the most horrible thing I've tasted.""It's as potent as it's shit," Anya said, "Got it from the Ashes, 'course.""Of course." You supposed you should answer Anya's question now. "I've already been banished from the Archduchy once, technically." You admitted to yourself, "How hard could it be to prove myself even more? The Von Tracht family has known disgrace before, but I'll be damned if I'll mark their final dishonor.""Psh." That seemed to irritate Anya, "I mean, if they do it again, why not just say, fuck 'em? Hell didn't go back beggin' for second chance when they kicked his ass out. Who says Von Tracht has to mean Archduchy?"Anya was saying things you didn't like, but she was looking cuter than ever, especially as her cheeks began to flush pink. Shoot, you'd more than doubled the drinks you had...either you had to stop losing, or finish Anya off in one huge win. It would take your share plus even more to knock her down, you bet. But a big loss would be the end of you once the full force of your imbibement hit..."We are only Von Tracht because of the Archduchy," was all you had to say as the next round of betting went. "Fegh...">next bet, next die rolls. will be back later as phone is on life support
>>3727114Depends on how badly one loses. You're probably going to get wasted with another medium to large loss, while logically, Anya being smaller, if you hit her with what's in you now it'd probably only take a bit more to put her under.Supposedly.
Rolled 2, 6, 3 = 11 (3d6)>>3727137This one's for Maddy
Rolled 2, 4, 1 = 7 (3d6)>>3727137Stay the course
Rolled 3, 3, 4 = 10 (3d6)>>3727137
>>3727150Victory by one. For now.Phone is near death so no update til I get back. Prepare your banter, I guess. And ramblings.
Rolled 6, 3, 6, 2, 6, 4, 5, 5, 5 = 42 (9d6)“It pisses me off, you know,” Anya grumbled as she poured out three shots of moonshine- evidently intent on killing you outright. “So much goddamn potential, and you just go right back to these fuckers that toss you in the brig for what you’ve done. Hell didn’t go back to grovel at the feet of the people who kicked his ass out." She tossed her dice in the bowl- a bust. “Shit.” Another go, giving her a three. “Damnit, figured luck would let me rub your face in that.”“Luck is a fickle thing,” you said as you were requested a proverb, distracted from Anya’s rambling, and as though the Judge winked at you, your second roll was a four- defeating Anya’s dice by a single point. “And like that, it likes me better.”Anya stuck her tongue out at you, but tipped a shot of moonshine over her lips without protest, launching her into a coughing fit. “What the fuck.”“I agree.”Anya held her nose as she quaffed the rest of the moonshine, and she made a face when she drank the absinthe. “The hell is this? It’s weird.”“Absinthe is made from a mixture of herbs,” you explained, “Notably wormwood. Medicinal. Hallucinogenic in certain doses, or so I hear.”“Meh. I’m not feeling much off it.” Anya said, despite having just drank it, “You’ve had two. You seeing any funny shit?”The funny shit you’ve seen would make hallucinations seem tame. “Not really.”“Well, you’re gonna be seeing stars soon anyways,” Anya took the unopened bottle of moonshine and slammed it dramatically between the two of you. “No more pussy shit, either way this goes, somebody’s gonna be on the floor.” The thought of having to drink an entire bottle of that awful stuff made your skin crawl, until Anya put a bottle of cola beside it. “And a consolation prize.”>Make your bet- and your rolls.
Rolled 5, 2, 6 = 13 (3d6)>>3727495Three shots of vodka
Rolled 4, 5, 1 = 10 (3d6)>>3727507>>3727495
Rolled 2, 1, 6 = 9 (3d6)>>3727507re-rolling
>>3727507>>3727526>>37275273 busts is a bust overall right?
"You're on," you said, pouring out three shots of wodka. "I hope you liked the taste of that brew if you're laying it all out.""Right the hell back at you." Anya rolled another three. "Fuck."You almost giggled to yourself. The liquor was starting to get settled in your head, and it was inviting all its friends over. This was an easy roll to beat, though. You let loose the die- a bust.Fine enough another roll. Another bust."What..." you said tonelessly to yourself, and rolled one more time- the third bust. A loss be default."HA! Ha ha!" Anya wound up and punched you hard in the chest, "Suck it down, loser!" She was getting rowdier as well- yet you guessed this would be the end of you.If you survived drinking this. You upended the moonshine bottle into your throat, and tried to speed its passage away from your taste buds, but every millimeter of its journey scorched, and burned more the more you drank, until the bottle was emptied and you felt compelled to throw it roughly out the tent door flap. The three wodka shots after were a blessing- though it was a wonder you could taste the cola that was last."A'ight, a'ight," Anya popped open cola and filled a normal glass with a mixture of it and wodka, "An'ther rooound?""That's...not parta the bet?" you were already getting kicked by your latest bottle. Once it hit there would be no hope."Who caaares?" Anya glugged down the mixed drink, "Got th's in th' bag anyways."Your faculties were beginning to lose clarity. What was a wise decision anymore? Screw it, right? A voice within told you to stop, but...why do that at this point?>Maybe this was a chance to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. No, wait, the other way around? (Make your bet- no rolling)>Sure, enough game drinking. Now, post game drinking.>What about a...non drink game? A fight? Somethin else...?>Ot...other?
>>3727542>>Maybe this was a chance to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. No, wait, the other way around? (Make your bet- no rolling)Same as before
>>3727546Sure at this point try to bring her down with us
>>3727542>A voice within told you to stopWhen was listening to the voice inside our head ever a good idea?>Maybe this was a chance to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. No, wait, the other way around? (Make your bet- no rolling)Let's get 5 rocks glasses, one of everything
>>3727569I'll switch to this
>>3727546>>3727550>>3727569Final hail mary.I'll be out for most of if not all of today past morning, but maybe we can get through this at least.Give me the usual rolls, 3d6s til you get a valid.
Rolled 5, 4, 5 = 14 (3d6)>>3727755
Rolled 5, 3, 5, 1, 3, 5, 5, 1, 5 = 33 (9d6)>>3727760Well, it's not a bust!
>>3727762Get sloshed, Anya
“I’ll show you what you’ve got in a bag,” you half stumbled in laying out a single sampling of everything, running out of rocks size containers and having to keep the beer in its bottle but having one of everything else in such a volume, “All in.”Anya’s smile turned broad. “That’s m’re fuckin’ like it.” She picked up the entire vodka bottle and put it between you. “Sudd’n fucking death.”You rolled the dice, and hoped for a reversal in your fortunes…a four. Not fantastic, but not awful either. Anya peered over, squinting, then scoffed. “Eas’ game,” and proceeded to roll a three. “FUCK.” She pounded her fist on the ground, “E’ry time, fuckin three. Fuck me.” Anya didn’t seem that broken up over picking up the wodka bottle and inverting the entire thing into her mouth, chugging it down like it was water on a hot day, her cheeks puffing up to take in the flow, and a stream running down her lip, off her chin, and down her neck like sweat on a hot day. She probably dumped at least a sixth of the bottle all over herself rather than into her, but your intoxication, and Anya’s, was growing by the minute. Anya sped through the rest of the lost ante, and with each one her drinking was more and more clumsy, until she got to the end of the glass of moonshine and spiked the stoneware cup into the floor, breaking it into pieces. “Gaaaaagghhhh…”“So, who…” you tried to string your words together properly, “Who, whoer, who wins..?”“Winsss?” Anya slurred, “Winssswhuh…what?”“The game…?”“We’re noh don’ yet, pre’y boy,” Anya rolled her voice, and pounced on you and sat on your chest with a beer bottle in hand, “Ooopen up, kiiillerrr!”-----…Where were you?You had woken up in a heap under a tree, in the middle of some small woods. Sitting up reoriented you-you were a good ways outside the camp…somehow. Also, you weren’t under a tree, technically- you were up it. Somebody had beaten the shit out of you- there was a black eye, probably, bruises up and down your body, and…was that a knife cut on your palm? Messily bound with what seemed like…fine black fabric. It didn’t seem usual, somehow, but you were still collecting yourself.What the hell had happened? Last night was a blur. Oh, somebody had stolen your boots, too. At least it hadn’t rained. Where was Anya? Not here.Could you try and remember? Should you?>Your recollection is pretty spotty. You’ll have to piece it together vaguely.>Vote in the format of “you had done something…x” "Stupid" can probably be assumed.>More details are fine as well. Up to two general tones of events probably happened…maybe three?>Other things?
>>3727778>>More details are fine as well. Up to two general tones of events probably happened…maybe three?
>>3727783I was unclear. These are not options- an actual vote would be a vague descriptor of what happened last night. Nothing too exact, though.
>>3727778Got into a drunkel brawl with Anya that's for sure. Maybe managed to do enough to piss her off and dragged out of camp? Anyway better get back ASAP.
>>3727778>cut palmsWere we perchance given the old Iron Hogs initiation via a drunken bloody handshake?>First our jacket>Now our bootsOh god, there's a conspiracy afoot to replace our entire uniform with itchy netillian fabrics.Judge preserve our feathery hat.
>>3727787Ah>>3727778I think we had a brawl with Anya and eventually got spooked enough by her or something that we climbed up a tree like a cat.
>>3727778>Somebody had beaten the shit out of you- there was a black eye, probably, bruises up and down your bodyProbably a drunken fight with Anya >and…was that a knife cut on your palm Messily bound with what seemed like…fine black fabric. We maybe managed to win the fight and Anya rewarded us by making us her blood brother. How sweet.>Oh, somebody had stolen your boots, too. Probably lost it getting up this tree>Where was Anya? Not here.I'd guess she'd be higher up in the tree, but if not there check Hilda's old cabin or her camp.
>>3727824This as well.
>>3727778>We fought Malachi and won>Then we run away from angry Von Metzeler>We hid in this tree and sliced our palm on a knag>Anya bandaged it with a very personal item of clothing.>She should be hiding here as well, but isn't.
>>3727824I'd support this, with the added fabric bandaged being VERY personal and I'm surprised she owns a pair based on the personality of the one who tied it on for us.>>3727778Is it morning?
>>3728137It is morning....Are you suggesting that Anya goes commando?
>>3728171Well today she might be.Also I know why Richter ran away, it was after the initiation and he panicked when Anya kissed him, either or Emma spooked the shit out of him in her wanderings when she saw them partying.Also we need to check ourselves for any new tattoos.
>>3728171How far away exactly are we from the camp? Still within walking distance?
>>3728202Yeah you can walk back. You can see it just fine, probably two hundred to two hundred fifty meters away.
>>3727778I hope the fight with Anya didn't start because we drunkenly gave in to our repressed urges and tried to get frisky with her>It did
>>3727778>Anya tried to get frisky with us, but we defended our integrity like a lion.
Anyone else down for the idea that Richter is an huge softy when drunk.I would enjoy him beinging the "I fucking live you man" types.Probably lots of yelling about how much he misses home and his Maddy and other shit.Could see it not mixing well with Anya who is probably super agro while wasted, providing a good reason why they'd fight to start with.
>>3727788>>3727812>>3727821Got into a fight- possibly got dumped out here. Climbed up a tree.>>3727800>>3727812>>3727824>>3727855Blood initiation. Nothing bad could happen from that! Unless either of you had a blood borne disease.>>3727896Wishful thinking.>>3728137>>3728201Panty bandit.>>3728283Naughty you.>>3729486No, she came onto me!Contradictory accounts on why you got domestically abused I guess. Though if Anya wanted something, could you really stop her?Writing.>>3729694"Stop moping and punch me!"
It was easy enough to presume why you were beaten up- Anya and you sparred all the time, she probably didn’t hold back in an impromptu brawl. Not that you could remember how that went. Or if it had a cause besides Anya’s tendency towards seemingly arbitrary decisions. That didn’t explain the cut on your hand, though- if Anya attacked you with a knife, you would probably be dead. You’d heard of mock rituals where palms were cut between people and a bloody clasping of hands followed- it would hardly be unusual anywhere let alone in Sosaldt. Was that before or after you (hopefully) beat each other up? Or were you the only one beaten up? You’d have to get to Anya and find out. Hopefully you didn’t hurt her too much if you did just lay into one another.…What if…something else happened? You had to admit to yourself, you thought Anya was attractive. Distractingly so. There was no point in denying it, though you had no idea if Anya felt the same. She had called you “pretty boy.” Was it possible that…?No, of course not. But maybe..? No. She’d refuse you, and you’d refuse her. Maybe not if both of you were drunk enough? She had jumped on you, who could say?The thing used to bandage your hand was of particular concern. It didn’t look like any normal bandage- it was some improvised thing. The fabric wasn’t of a sort you’d think of for a stray rag, though. You carefully unwound it- and stared at it. There was no mistaking it- this was a pair of black lady’s undergarments. “There you are!” You heard Anya’s voice and was so surprised in your scramble that you fell out of tree. “H-hey!” You thought you might have had a painful landing, but judging from your interruption towards the end of your descent, Anya had broken your fall.“My thanks,” you said as you picked yourself up- Anya hadn’t been able to keep on her feet as you crashed down on her.“Yeah, no big deal,” Anya groaned, “Wake up with a screaming hangover, Grumpus gets in a hissy fit about getting intoxicated and where’s the coordinator. What an annoying fucker. Then your ass falls out of a tree and smashes me. No, I’m fine.”As Anya got up, you gave her a look over. She wore her uniform jacket- though it was off the shoulders. She was bruised up like you, and she had a nasty bruise over her eye to match yours, and one on her cheek. She didn’t seem to be in much discomfort from that compared to her migraine, though, judging from the look on her face. It seemed at some point, both of you had just started punching each other in the face for some reason. One of her gloves that she usually wore was off, and she had a bandage on her hand.“Is there a cut on your hand?” you asked Anya. “I have one on mine.”
“Oh, yeah,” Anya looked at her bandaged hand, “Crimson Cross. Hogs thing. You make a bloody X with your hands after you get out of…I dunno how many fights without being scratched.”“I see.”“And then you kiss.”You knew when you were being messed with, so you didn’t give that a retort. Hopefully she wouldn’t demand to see your mark…which was on the hand hidden behind your back, holding her underwear. “Are you wearing any underwear right now?”Anya made an incredulous face. “The fuck is that supposed to mean?” She blinked, then pulled the waistband of her trousers out and looked down. “…Why the hell are you asking? Why wouldn’t I be? Dickhead. Even made me check.”You shrugged. “I mean…you know…never mind. Von Metzeler wants me to show up, surely he’ll have a few words for me. Us. We should head on back.”Anya rolled her eyes and muttered something about getting chewed out- when she turned around you noticed a bloody handprint on her bottom. Not that you had just looked as soon as she started walking. “…Hey,” Anya stopped suddenly, and grabbed your arm, let me see your Crimson Cross. How messed up is your-“ She spotted the pair of panties gripped in your hand, and then squinted silently at you.“I can explain.” You said. “…No, actually, I can’t.”“…So that’s why you were askin’ that other thing. Probably just grabbed it out of my bag.” Anya said. “Didn’t think you were the sort to steal panties.”“I most assuredly did not steal them,” you turned your nose up at that accusation. “They were wrapped around my hand when I woke up.”“I’m not retarded enough to use underwear as a bandage. Maybe you are.” She snatched her underwear back, “…God, you bled all over these. Is it your time of the month?” Anya stuffed the offending item in her pocket. “Look. I don’t remember much either, but let’s just leave it as we got drunk and beat each other to a pulp. I don’t want any other answers, sure as hell don’t need them. Nothing happened, no need to think about it. Got it?”>The most likely and preferable option. You could agree to that.>Apologize for hitting her and stealing her underwear. Even if the former was consensual and the latter you’re certain was unintentional.>Ask what she’s so afraid of. Of course “nothing” happened. What would have?>Ask what she wants to name the baby in nine months.>Other?
>>3730051>The most likely and preferable option. You could agree to that.
>>3730051>>The most likely and preferable option. You could agree to that.
>>3730051>Ask what she wants to name the baby in nine months.
>>3730053>>3730056>>3730059Some things are better left not thought about overmuch. >>3730060Playing with fire. Maybe ask if she wants to name it after her father.Writing.
A nod was returned. “Of course.”“Good.”Anya was uncomfortably quiet as you both made your way back, but she eventually made a sarcastic comment about your “new fashion statement,” concerning your lack of boots. She had stolen them, she admitted- you picked them back up at her tent before heading on to the headquarters tent to meet with your second in command. A glimpse inside told that the two of you had absolutely ruined the interior- it was as though somebody balled up the tent like a piece of paper and before throwing it in a bin, from how the contents of the place looked.Von Metzeler was quite bemused when you finally went to see him; it was a meeting just with you and he, with Krause apparently elsewhere- retrieving the X-20 from the machine shop, its bad engine parts replaced with custom made (by necessity) pieces. “On the same day I am admonished for friendliness with one of the fairer sex, you engage in drunken revelry with a woman known for being troublesome.”“Bite me.” Anya sneered, her eyes still heavy with headache. You tried not to freshly notice the teethmarks on her shoulder.“Did anything of import happen that I missed because of it?” you challenged him.Von Metzeler frowned deeply. “No. First and Second platoons were dispatched upon their duties with New Jorgenstohn just earlier.” You checked your watch- it was nine o’clock. “The question of how to deal with the Reismuhle farms remains. I know of the mayor’s intent- to have said fields destroyed. However, I gave no orders concerning such. It would be a waste and naught else, especially were we to actually commit men to it. Re-appropriation of materiel for use elsewhere, likely by their same users, is one matter. Wanton destruction for the sake of hostile takeover is another.” Von Metzeler’s look was severe, “I took the opportunity to amend this oversight.”“I see.” You grumbled.“I’m leaving.” Anya said, “I’m going to meet with the Ashes. Need to make sure they don’t get up to anything stupid with all the hot blood around.”>Reject Von Metzeler’s change in plan. The whole point was to win the favor of New Jorgenstohn- disposing of some fields only freshly sown would be more benefit than looking good.>You’d have to get rid of those fields for the Mayor’s benefit, and for better terms in negotiating a reward. Maybe you could find some way to destroy the fields without making your men do it…? (How?)>Von Metzeler could have this. You had to go and catch Signy ahead of time- you picked the simple task first so you didn’t need to keep a strict eye on this, after all.>Go out with Anya to meet with the Ashes. It was about time you made a point of seeing them.>Other?
>>3730113>>You’d have to get rid of those fields for the Mayor’s benefit, and for better terms in negotiating a reward. Maybe you could find some way to destroy the fields without making your men do it…? (How?)Get the Ashes to burn it. No town means no one nearby to harvest it which means the crops are going to be wasted anyway.Not like we're burning down grain ripe for the harvest.
>>3730130Also go start finding out Signy's whereabouts after this.
>>3730113>>Reject Von Metzeler’s change in plan. The whole point was to win the favor of New Jorgenstohn- disposing of some fields only freshly sown would be more benefit than looking good.Remind him that the harvest is likely solely going to be consumed by the Netillians.We shouldn't be shedding any tears over these settlers losing a bunch of fields considering the Ellowians who actually need the food aren't likely to see any of it.
>>3730113>>3730130Oh damm, great idea famo.I keep forgetting we have them as a resource.
>>3730130Supporting. Getting these kids to blow off some steam sounds good.
>>3730113>>Von Metzeler could have this. You had to go and catch Signy ahead of time- you picked the simple task first so you didn’t need to keep a strict eye on this, after all.
>>3730113Richter, you feisty!>>3730130This is good.
>>3730130>>3730135>>3730229>>3730279>>3730914>>3731397Child labor laws not applicable to insurgents. Time to exploit that.Then Signort.>>3730142I am in command, here.>>3730961>>3731927Fine, we'll let the fields lay. Not like they'll sprout anything til spring anyways.Writing.
“I will go with the Sergeant,” you said, but first addressed Von Metzeler’s concern, “I won’t have the men do anything about the fields, but you know that these are fields owned by conquerors and those who displaced the Ellowians who languish in the UGZs. I would think you wouldn’t shed any tears over the loss of a harvest not yet sprouted, that would feed Netilland rather than this country.” You sounded as though you were going to acquiesce, but you had another plan in mind.“Regardless, the flaunting of law and order leads down a dangerous path.” Von Metzeler countered, “It is one matter to help Ellowie and her people. It is another to involve those who themselves have done no wrong and live here by circumstance rather than as a fulfillment of personal greed. I believe there is a better way.”“And what better way is that?”Von Metzeler hesitated. “I do not know. However, the colonial towns will not go away, I believe, regardless of what direction is taken. The people will not be leaving. I merely would have that considered.”“If we’re going, then let’s go,” Anya yanked on your shoulder, “I’m not gonna sit around and watch you argue about nothing all day unless you’re gonna settle it with fists.”You gave Von Metzeler a stiff salute, and he returned it, as you wordlessly parted ways.“Does he know about our deal with the NLF?” Anya whispered to you as you headed out. “Oh, and if you’re coming, we gotta get you in different clothes. I told them to hide if I came around with anybody, especially if they were in uniform.”“I have not,” you said, “Not yet, anyways. I doubt he would object to it. In spite of what he said I know he has no shortage of sympathy for Ellowie itself and no love for Netilland. I have not told our superior about it, though, so telling him that has the possibility of her coming to know through him rather than me. I’d rather not make the Major think I’m hiding things that are too important from her.” She already knew you were…but she had been oddly dismissive of such. She didn’t seem the type at all to just let that go…but so be it. So be it.“What’s his beef, anyways?” Anya’s voice went back to its normal volume- which Von Metzeler had more than once described as obnoxious. You didn’t share that opinion, you supposed. “Try and dig the pole out of his ass and you’d be neck deep in his guts. I’ve never even seen him crack a smile. Or swear. Obsessed with sticking to every letter.”
“Lieutenant Von Metzeler is sensitive about his image.” You said, though you thought Anya could presume such after being around him for a month. Not that she ever lingered near him. Nor with many people, really. It seemed when she got free time she spent it by herself, with you, or with her forest strays. She had tried to be around Hilda- but Hilda was thorny as ever towards others. Anya being unable to see or hear (or even know about) spirits meant that Emma didn’t speak with her either. “I’ve known of him since our time at the Panzer Academy. The Von Metzeler family are infamous for their involvement in criminal activity. If there is an untoward activity, especially in the Capital region, they likely had a hand in it. They grew rich from the black markets and trafficking of contraband, and bought their nobility rather than having it bestowed honorably.”“What’s the big deal?” Anya threw up her hands, “Money can buy anything. Even this honor or whatever. The Archduke is some schmuck with a ton of money too, just with a big head about it.”“That is not the case.”“Whatever.” Anya raised her hands higher and shook her head before shoving them in her trouser pockets again.“The point being,” you got back on track as you ventured back to Anya’s tent, “His lineage provokes doubts about his personal character, so he feels the need to be his own example. The Von Metzeler family has no prestige to be inspired by, to look back and admire.” The Von Tracht name certainly did. Though its heights were fallen from shortly after the bestowment of the honor of nobility…“Well, I got shit out by a whore in the middle of a pile of dust. Maybe he ought to be a bit less bent out of shape.”“Nobility is more than just…” you sighed, as Anya went to rummage around in her things, not seeming to pay you much mind. “Another time, I suppose.”“Here, when we get into the woods, put this around your neck.” Anya tossed a light blue and white broadly striped neckerchief at you. “It’ll tell them that I want you around.”“What will they think I am?” you asked as you put the triangular cloth in your pocket.“A friend.” Anya pulled out a poncho. “Here, wear this instead of the jacket. And take off that stupid cap. It looks stupid. You looked cooler with what you had on in Sosaldt.”“It is descended from the caps of the Archuduchy’s hussars and cuirassiers, and has a proud history. The cap is not for your benefit anyways,” you grumbled as you removed it. “I am sure my fiancée likes it, anyways.”“She’d have to be blind.”… “…Does this neckerchief hold any significance?”“One of the kids gave it to me. That’s all.”You were both soon on your way out- Anya carried a bag of rations over her shoulder, which she said was for the Ashes- to keep them from getting into trouble just trying to get food.
“I’ve made it so they have a decent amount stored up and hidden away,” Anya told you as you went down a way with no footpath nor road, towards a wood closely knit with tall trees and scrawny younger saplings. “But it’s best to be safe.”The Kalamarz firs that these woods were lousy with meant that there was a refreshing lack of oddly shaped presence creatures, though there was a different sort of oddity as you both passed by a pool, itself by an old trail that was near grown over. There was a strange mist coming up from the pool- and ringed around it were small, faceless statues that had spaces in clasped limbs where perhaps something was meant to be slid.“Is that a hot spring?” you asked.Anya looked over. “Doesn’t look very hot to me. No steam or anything.”“Do you know what these statues are?” you asked.“Not a clue. Probably some kooky hick shit. Lotta the kids who came from the sticks take ghost story shit real literally.”How sensitive to the spiritual were they, you wondered. You knew most around, even in these unusual times, did not have the sensitivity awoken within you and your crews and officers. Hilda had been spiritually attuned from when you had met, while the others…you supposed just became such over the course of time with all the strange happenings that occurred to the lot of you. None liked to talk about it whatsoever from what you’d heard or inquired. Maybe they hoped if they ignored it long enough life would cordially return to normal.Perhaps such was your hope too. Yet you were hoping to marry a woman who was mixed up in all of it utterly. Did you have a choice? Was there a point where you did?“I have a plan for the Ashes,” you brought up to Anya, “We need those fields in Reismuhle ruined. Von Metzeler is against using our troops for that, as you heard, but maybe the Ashes would be up to some vandalism? It would help them blow off steam, and it would end up helping us too.”Anya said nothing at first. “I’ll think about it. I don’t want them in any real danger. I know what it’s like, to be young, lost, with nobody to hold you back from doing stupid shit and all the confidence in the world that you’re up to it.”“I’m sure I can engineer things to be safe.” You reassured Anya.“You’d better.” Anya's words were harsh, but her tone was...trusting.-----
“Here we are,” Anya said after a good forty five to an hour of both walking and jogging through the woods, “Just roll with whatever I say.” For whatever reason, Anya was buttoning her jacket. In your opinion, she looked more charming when official. Though it wasn’t as if the other way wasn’t charming in its own way, of course, but…The first thing that caught your attention was the rusty hull of an Ellowian tank, its camouflage faded, and a set of tracks loose. It didn’t appear damaged- but its track had come off, and it had been abandoned in this small clearing. For it to have come here through the woods would have required some special maneuvering- though you supposed, looking around, it certainly wasn’t impossible. It was an El.Pz-5; a fearsome tank with sheer angled armor, both turret and hull thrusting out to an edge like the front of a plow blade. You had heard that these tanks were very durable- but slow, and prohibitively expensive to produce compared to its contemporaries. “Do you think we could tow that out and fix it?” you said despite yourself. The factories that had made those tanks had been made to continue to produce- but new batches hadn’t been coming in your direction yet.“Nah, I looked inside. Whoever left it set off a bundle of grenades in the engine and took out all the ammo for anything, and the machine gun’s not had a fun time from sitting in the rain for a long time. Better off that the kids sleep in and under it. Speaking of,” Anya took a deep breath, “Hey! Did you runts stay up all night again!? Where are you!?”Gradually, a couple dozen children of varying age came out around the clearing. The youngest looked to be roughly eight, though there was one diminutive child who may have been seven, though most appeared ten to twelve. A quarter were in their early teens or about to arrive at them. You were reminded uncomfortably of the child brigands you encountered in Sosaldt. They all gave you and Anya a wide berth and were dispersed into clumps all over.Anya gave them all a look over. “There’s a few of you missing. I know Elly ran off like an idiot to the NLF, like I told you all not to.” She gave one of the Ashes a withering stare, and the young boy pouted in response. “Who else went? I told you to tell everybody to come back. You didn’t forget, did you?”“No, big sis, they wouldn’t listen…” the boy called Elly said.“Did you try punching them?”“I didn’t wanna punch a girl.”“Yeah, well, learn to.” Anya said harshly, “Damn…er, darn it.”“Did somebody punch you, big sis?” One of the other kids asked, “We’ll beat them up!”
“Yeah, this dummy punched me,” Anya jerked her thumb to you and you recoiled with your hands raised in alarm. “Don’t worry though, we hit each other all the time. We just got rougher than usual last night. Anyways, all of you, get lost, ‘cept squad leads, you stay here.”Squad leads, huh. Anya had militarized them- but she had also mentioned often that she did her best to keep them out of trouble. Perhaps training and organization helped sate their thirst for action. A thirst that might be sated soon, since you’d discussed your plan with Anya on the way.“Alright everybody,” Anya cracked her knuckles, “Whose heads do I gotta knock around for letting your people run off?”“They were tired of waiting, big sis,” one of the kids (the squad leaders were all older save for one), “Something big’s happening, and we all wanna be in it. How much longer do we have to sit around?”“Until I say so, pipsqueak.” Anya flicked the child’s forehead. “This guy is Fairy Boy. He’s visiting with me.”“Who is he?” A young man about thirteen years old asked, his face marred with acne where it wasn’t dirty. “To you. Who are you, Fairy Boy?” The look he had for you wasn’t a kind one at all.>You’re with the NLF.>You’re a friend. That’s all.>You’re a mercenary from Sosaldt>You’re Anya’s sibling>You’re Anya’s boyfriend>Other?
>>3733196>A spy from another countrywho is also>You’re a friend. (of Anya's)
>>3733196>You’re Anya’s boyfriend
>>3733196>>You’re a friend. That’s all.
>>3733196>You’re Anya’s boyfriendFriend is too generic and if any of them run off to the NLF or get captured by the Netillians then they can identify us.At least that's my excuse anyway.
>>3733196>>You’re a friend. That’s all.We're a friend she met in Sosaldt
>>3733196>You’re a friend. That’s all.
>>3733235A spy. Totally.>>3733243>>3733613Banter to screw with as many as possible.>>3733374>>3733481>>3733541>>3733787>>3733698>>3733235Friends, that's all. From Sosaldt. Though not many are actually from there...Writing.
“I’m a friend.” You said, not adding too much on, “That your big sister met in Sosaldt.” It struck you suddenly how funny it was to call Anya big considering her height. Big for a bug, maybe. “Isn’t Sosaldt a bad place where only bad people go?” The youngest of the “leaders” said- a mousey looking small girl in spectacles and uneven brown hair. The glasses had a badly scratched left lens. What she said was hardly an uncommon belief…nor was it necessarily not based in fact. Though your time in the country had given you the context for a less broadly sweeping condemnation.“You’re all bad people as far as Netilland is concerned,” Anya interjected, “And you don’t care how bad somebody is if you’re getting into trouble. Bad people tend to know trouble good.”“You’re her friend?” the pockmarked faced kid insisted, “What does that mean?”“It means shut up, Dan, and ask all your burning questions when you’re out on a date with him.” Anya balled up her fist and bonked Dan on the head with it, “No lessons or anything like that today. You’ve got jobs to do now. All of you except Ryse, go out and get the missing runts back before they get into something stupid that they can’t get back out of. Don’t you pretend you don’t know where to go. Ryse’ll take everybody else on a mission this night.”“That’s no fair!” a young heavily freckled woman around fourteen whined, “Why does Ryse get to do it, she can barely see a thing normally, never mind at night!”“I can see just fine…” the bespectacled girl softly objected.“It’s because Ryse has to use her head because her eyes don’t work. The rest of you have scrambled eggs sloshing around in your thick skulls. Tell me, did any of Ryse’s people screw off to go hang around with the National Liberation Front like I said to not do?” Silence met Anya. “Yeah, I thought not. You’re not going anywhere until you grab your missing pieces. Get lost. Not you, Ryse, I was just sayin’ how you had a brain, Judge Above.” So all but the glasses girl started to leave, grumbling to themselves. One of them kicked their foot out behind them and kicked Ryse in the rear as they went. Anya didn’t address it. “Alright, Ryse. I’m letting you have this, so before anything, you know better than to mess this up, right?” The glasses girl nodded. “Good,” Anya said firmly, “Alright, Fairy Boy, tell her what needs to be done.”“How old are you?” You asked first.“Twelve a and a month.”You gave Anya a glance. “Should a twelve year old really be in charge of this?”“Nobody’s going to be in charge for them.” Anya said, “Besides, Ryse isn’t a moron, and there’s plenty of places where morons are in charge. You wouldn’t have suggested having them do this if you didn’t think a bunch of kids couldn’t handle it, would you?”
“Hm.” You supposed not. “Do you know where Reismuhle is?” Ryse’s blank expression told you everything, but Anya held a map out between all of you. “We’re here,” Anya pointed to the map, in the woods where nothing was marked. “Reismuhle is over here. You remember me teaching you all how to read maps, don’t you? ‘Course you do. Remember where we are on the map, because you aren’t allowed to mark it unless you want army men to come here and catch you all and lock you up.”“Reismuhle is not occupied right now,” you said, “The NLF burned the town a couple of nights ago. However, there are fields here…and here, and here.” You pointed to the north, northeast, and west of the town, in varying distances- they weren’t right next to the colonial town, after all. “They’ve been planted, so even though the town’s been abandoned for now, we want to keep anybody from coming back there. That means ruining the fields. If you just dig them up and throw it all over that should ruin the planting, and then setting it on fire for good measure should kill many of the seeds. I would do the former far before the latter, if at all, though, for visibility’s sake, since you’ll be doing this at night.” You looked to Anya. “Do these kids have any incendiaries?”“Nope. Make them work with their hands. Builds character.”“Are there soldiers around the fields?” Ryse asked.“Not at night there shouldn’t be.” You told her. “There’s something going on with them picking things out of the ruins, but there’s better things to watch at night than some ruins. The fields don’t have any growth because they’re Wintergrain, but a preemptive strike like this has more weight down the line.”“…I don’t really get how digging up a bunch of dirt helps.” Ryse mumbled to herself.“Less food means the enemy is hungrier. Even if it’s less food a while from now,” Anya explained to Ryse. “It’s not your job to think about it anyways, just do the mission. Look at that map now and tell me what you’re gonna do when you’ve thought of it.”Ryse took a few minutes, said some things to herself, then laid her plan out to Anya. It was rather thorough for what a twelve year old would come up with, and included preparations and redundancies. There was not only the plan of approach, but scouting out the approaches beforehand, and identifying patrol paths just in case.“Alright,” Anya nodded, “Couple things. One, you’d better go with the initial recon so you know what the land’ll look like. Two, don’t get too excited. You don’t need to mess up everything in one go, as far as most people are concerned, a messed up planted field and an undamaged one are just piles of dirt. Keep careful. Besides that, it’s good enough. Go get the people ready. Don’t forget the map! Judge above.” Anya sighed as the mousey girl ran off.
“That plan didn’t sound like something a little girl would come up with,” you said of Ryse’s mock briefing, “You’ve been teaching them these things, I presume.”“Yep.” Anya said, “I’ve been keeping it to the important stuff. Movement, bivouac, keeping out of sight, retreating- stuff to keep them from being caught, to help them run away and stay outta trouble. Lot of them want to know how to kill, ‘specially the boys. Even with the time I’ve put in a lotta them still don’t get the big picture. It’s worse now since they’ll have seen NLF people and know that a lot of their guys aren’t much older than them. Hell, you’ve met the ones in the tunnels, the bomb carriers. The Ashes see that and think they can do it too. Nobody ‘cept me tells ‘em how many of those kids end up getting shot because they don’t know how to really fight.”It was true- after action reports from 3rd Platoon indicated that much of their opposition was clearly poorly trained- many casualties came from a hesitation to engage child soldiers rather than incompetence of soldiery. It was not only high casualties that had demoralized 3rd platoon, though, but the killing of youths, too. Hopefully, with the arrival of the Recreation Unit last night, their spirits were in ascent. “Unless there was anything else,” Anya prodded you, “Figure we can get going.”“I can get back by myself if you’d like to stay.” You said.“Nah.” Anya swung her pack off and let it fall to the ground. “Let’s go. They’ve got enough to do today.”-----
Once you had returned to camp, you began to plan for your other big event for today- finding and meeting up with Signy, a day earlier than she’d be coming around here. Cursory investigation told you that she would be meeting with the High Protector of the Ellowian Occupied Territories- King Wladysaw XI. That would be a train ride north, to the King’s “palace,” which was formerly a castle of the old monarchy, a relatively quaint but still picturesque one atop a hill. The Ellowian capital proper was within Twaryian territory, else you would have pegged the King’s palace to be an appropriated place of governance. It would likely be most efficient to make the High Protector share his time with both you and Signy- but getting a meeting was not so simple as snapping your fingers. You supposed that Signy’s meeting wouldn’t be lasting all day and night- you could catch her afterwards at the adjacent town, if need be, unless you tried to force your way in during the meeting times. Alternatively…the King seemed rather fond of Anya and her contribution towards his lifespan. Anya didn’t like the King, and her award ceremony that she didn’t intend to show up for was next weekend, not today…but maybe a surprise visit from her could get you near Signy earlier.>Go up by yourself- you’ll just wait for Signy to be done. It would be earlier than waiting for her to come here anyways.>Take Anya to the palace. You’d rather have an early ticket in.>Go by yourself, with the intent of demanding to be attended to. Would it work? Probably not, but you could at least try.>Journey to the palace with other people. (Who? No, you can’t take 4th platoon and storm the palace. One or two people.)>Other?Not saying you have to but maybe it’d be nice to get Signy a present on the way
>>3734939>Journey to the palace with other people. (Malachi and Stein)Our boys
>>3734939I'll second this >>3734979Could we possibly get a quick sketch of that El.Pz-5 for next thread? It has my curiosity
>>3734939>>Take Anya to the palace. You’d rather have an early ticket in.
>>3734979This works, we just need to meet with her and ask about her plans, no need to see the King as well Also that coronation sounds like another prime assassination attempt in the making.>Present?Either some nice gloves, a fancy eye patch or maybe that fancy wine we didn't get before. I'm trying to remember what we drank whennshe got sloshed before back in Sosaldt' but I can't.
>>3734979Sure. Also maybe get the wine as >>3735553 said.
>>3734979>>3735067>>3735553>>3735564>>3735658>>3736242Seeing Signy with your driver and gunner, and enabling her developing alcoholism. What she had with her was probably not something you'd find in a store. Absolute rotten anarchy produced hooch with poison dissolved in it for flavor, that would probably explode if you lit a match near it.>>3735492Take your short blonde visitor's pass.Waiting outside the gate like Mordecai it is. Though not really, just metaphorically. I'll chop the thread here like the gangrenous limb it is and have this vote be the action for the start of next thread. Thanks for playing all.>>3735067>Could we possibly get a quick sketch of that El.Pz-5 for next thread? You can, maybe even before this thread falls off depending on how industrious I am. It might even pop up with other Ellowian stuff in procurement at some point. Going with the Blue Knights at the start of the arc would have had them come around even sooner.
>>3736648Thanks for running. Blue Knights would also have been fun but at least the Rangers give us a lot of opportunities to subtly help out the Ellowians.