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Operation Southern Cross (Excalibur IC)

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:55 am

Page, still sitting at the radio post for lack of anything better to do while waiting for rescue, perked up at the sound of Alix's voice cutting in on the channel.
"One, this is Lead. What's been going on over there? Last thing we saw up here before the bottom fell out of this pile of bollocks was you guys getting hit by that bomber swarm and all those ground contacts coming towards you. Are you all all right? I'm assuming you didn't find Jackal?"

On the other end, Alix scrambled to find some way to summarize the recent clusterfuck. As she caught Page up, she nonverbally waved the rest of the group off, towards the trucks. It took her a few minutes to put it all in order, but she felt she'd done the story justice - the abandoned house, the radio, the shootout with potential UDF traitors, the errant bombing raid, all of it. As he listened, Page could feel his jaw drop - he'd had a feeling this was all a bit too easily set up, but there was no dispute now. Once again, Excalibur had been lured into someone's trap.

But instead of the rage he expected himself to feel at this news, he felt more like laughing. The last time they'd been set up, it had taken an entire SS battalion with tanks and artillery support, and a few hundred Spanish troops on top of that to pin Excalibur down back in Spain, and now these Saffie fuckups thought they could do the same with a handful of antique bombers and a couple dozen dim farmhands with hunting rifles?

"...so that's what happened. My rough idea was to head back to Rand as fast as possible to try and link up with you and Blue Flight...but then I heard you had to make a crash landing?"
"Well," Page responded, trying to sound unruffled, "the emphasis is on 'crashed' over 'landed'. We're really in a bad way out here - we've got three of our crew dead from the impact, but the rest of us - that's Kaya and Coetzee - seem to be in alright condition. Can't speak for them, of course, but they're walking and talking."
He looked out the window, trying to pick out the path in the darkness. "But the good news is, I think the pilot put us down near the road we used to get here. If you come back the way you came, sooner or later, you'll probably see us and we can link up. We can probably send Blue Flight back to Rand in the meantime - no doubt they're pretty low on fuel and ammo."

Alix furrowed her brow. "How close are you to the road? Are you sure we'll be able to see you?"
Page glanced at the burning engine outside, the flames now spreading to the dry veldt at a rather worrying rate. "Trust me, if you're within ten miles, you'll probably be able to see us."
She ran the new plan through in her mind - grab the trucks, link up with the crash site people, and then get to Rand and join up with Silva and Blue Flight...where hopefully, somebody would be qualified to decide what the hell to do after that.
Hopefully not Cutler.
Oh, who was she kidding? Of course it would be Cutler.

A rustling from the bushes betrayed the return of Geoff and Doug - bearing a prisoner and, unfortunately, the body of Lev, either dead or dying. Alix winced at the sight.
"All right, Captain, we'll try to get to you as soon as possible. I'm going to have to go now - we're pretty banged up down here, and I think we may have just brought in a prisoner and one of ours, KIA."
Page's voice turned to ice. "Who was it?"
"I think it's Sergeant Sikorskivitch. Sorry sir, I really do have to go now - he's in a bad way. We'll be leaving to join you momentarily."
"Right. Keep us posted, if you can."

As Geoff approached, he seemed to be taking great pains to avoid Reide -Alix could guess why. While all this weas going on, the South African looked pained, like somebody who couldn't quite think straight. She felt bad for him.
"I'll be right back, Lieutenant. Stay here, all right?"
He nodded dully, massaging his temples.

GOram wrote:
Ms. Noble. We found Lev. He's in a bad way. Mr. Stanford is rendering what aid he can, but he needs a hospital and he needs it fast.

Alix glanced at the Sergeant. It did indeed look bad - worse than anything she'd ever seen anybody survive before.
"Get him onto one of the trucks. Quickly. And for God's sake, do what you can for him."
GOram wrote:Also, the men who attacked us. They're all wearing UDF uniform. Now, I don't know what's going on, but this fellow -
Talbot gestured at the teenage soldier with the muzzle of his Thompson
Seems like he might be the cooperative sort. Perhaps you ought to have a quick word with him?

Alix looked over the prisoner - a ridiculously youthful-looking, scared sort. He seemed to be avoiding her gaze.
"Get him loaded on as well, then. We've got to get the hell out of here, now - we'll conduct the interrogation back at Rand. Not out here in the open."
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Goram » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:52 am

Stanford knelt over the Russian, attempting to keep pressure on the field dressings that adorned his wounds. The Flying Officer had sourced a small first aid kit in the cab of the truck, but it wouldn't do Lev any good. He needed a surgeon and a hospital - not a truck in the Veldt and a fighter pilot with as much medical training as your average boy scout. Despite his medical inexperience, Stanford did know one or two things. He knew he had to stop the bleeding and his blood pressure was almost certainly to low for morphine - not that the unconscious Sergeant would have any need for the anaesthetic.

As Jimmy wandered towards the pair, Stanford noticed the Russian's eye lids flicker. Perhaps a hint of conciousness? The Flying Officer couldn't be sure, but he would swear blind that the critically wounded man had moved. Indeed, seconds later, his eyelids did more than flicker - they opened fully. Lev was displaying signs of life, but it seemed as though his time was short. His breathing was erratic, his pulse impossibly weak. His eyes were open, but Lev wasn't there. Seconds later, his shaky breathing seemed to stop. Stanford put his fingers to the man's neck, feeling desperately for any movement, any sign of life, no matter how weak. He moved his fingers up and down, left and right, but he could find nothing. Stanford bowed his head as he sat on his haunches. He reached out with bloodied hands and ran his fingers across the lifeless eyes, closing the lids for the final time. Another one gone - one more empty seat in the mess. Stanford couldn't help but think that he hadn't even been on the Squadron long enough for the Flying Officer to learn the pronunciation of his name.

How's he doing, Flying Officer?

A voice, somewhere behind him, said. From it's Louisiana drawl, Stanford presumed that it was Jimmy. Douglas didn't look at him. With the brim of his cap pulled down low, he kept his eyes on the dead man, almost as if he was unable to look away.

"He's gone, Sergeant. Lev's dead."

Stanford searched his mind desperately for something to cover the corpse with. The man ought to have dignity and he doubted that anyone in the unit wanted to see a fallen comrade, particularly in the state that Lev was in. Stanford didn't wear a battle dress jacket, at least not whilst on ground operations, and he certainly hadn't brought a rain coat. He sighed and turned to face Jimmy.

"Would you lend me your jacket, please?"

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Postby Grenartia » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:38 am

GOram wrote:Stanford knelt over the Russian, attempting to keep pressure on the field dressings that adorned his wounds. The Flying Officer had sourced a small first aid kit in the cab of the truck, but it wouldn't do Lev any good. He needed a surgeon and a hospital - not a truck in the Veldt and a fighter pilot with as much medical training as your average boy scout. Despite his medical inexperience, Stanford did know one or two things. He knew he had to stop the bleeding and his blood pressure was almost certainly to low for morphine - not that the unconscious Sergeant would have any need for the anaesthetic.

As Jimmy wandered towards the pair, Stanford noticed the Russian's eye lids flicker. Perhaps a hint of conciousness? The Flying Officer couldn't be sure, but he would swear blind that the critically wounded man had moved. Indeed, seconds later, his eyelids did more than flicker - they opened fully. Lev was displaying signs of life, but it seemed as though his time was short. His breathing was erratic, his pulse impossibly weak. His eyes were open, but Lev wasn't there. Seconds later, his shaky breathing seemed to stop. Stanford put his fingers to the man's neck, feeling desperately for any movement, any sign of life, no matter how weak. He moved his fingers up and down, left and right, but he could find nothing. Stanford bowed his head as he sat on his haunches. He reached out with bloodied hands and ran his fingers across the lifeless eyes, closing the lids for the final time. Another one gone - one more empty seat in the mess. Stanford couldn't help but think that he hadn't even been on the Squadron long enough for the Flying Officer to learn the pronunciation of his name.

How's he doing, Flying Officer?

A voice, somewhere behind him, said. From it's Louisiana drawl, Stanford presumed that it was Jimmy. Douglas didn't look at him. With the brim of his cap pulled down low, he kept his eyes on the dead man, almost as if he was unable to look away.

"He's gone, Sergeant. Lev's dead."

Stanford searched his mind desperately for something to cover the corpse with. The man ought to have dignity and he doubted that anyone in the unit wanted to see a fallen comrade, particularly in the state that Lev was in. Stanford didn't wear a battle dress jacket, at least not whilst on ground operations, and he certainly hadn't brought a rain coat. He sighed and turned to face Jimmy.

"Would you lend me your jacket, please?"


Jimmy bowed his head in silent acknowledgement of Lev's passing, before handing Stanford his jacket.

"Here you go. You need me to help get him inside?" Jimmy asked.
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Postby Kouralia » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:05 pm

Following on with the others until they reached the lorries, Smythe remained alert for the whole journey. Once there, though, he quickly climbed up and opened the door of the lorry, checking inside with his Browning out and ready to end any Stormjaer who was lying in wait... Fortunately they'd evidently not supposed that Excalibur would survive the house, and hadn't thought to post guards by the lorries, or set a trap, so the cabin was just a dark empty space into which Smythe slung his rifle and gear as he started up the engine. "Ready to get on the road, Ma'am." He called back, "Doesn't look like anyone's been playing around with the lorry, so we should probably try to pick up Mr Page, Corp Waddock and that Colonial chap as soon as possible - before some traitors go on the prowl for them."
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The Tiger Kingdom
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Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:50 am

As Smythe went to fire up the lorry out, Alix watched as Doug returned to Lev's side, feeling helpless and guilty. As she finally got a chance to catch her breath, it felt like something inside her was cracking - the hardhearted, adrenaline-fueled callousness and detachment that combat created within her that moments before, had allowed her to respond to the news of Lev's mortal wounding with nothing more than a grimace, was falling away. Desperately, she looked away and screwed up her face as hard as she could for a few moments in an attempt to suppress tears, her hands on her knees. Inside, she was screaming.
Why the hell did he leave? I know he followed us in - he would have been safe in there with us! At least, he would have been safer...
Her thoughts got darker and darker by the second, one rising from the morass of shame and guilt to hit her like a sucker-punch to the throat.

I cannot command people. I just can't. Whatever I'm doing, it's just not working. I cannot get people to listen to me. I shouldn't be here. Oh God, I shouldn't be here. What the fuck am I doing?

As if to cap this question off as justified beyond any shadow of a doubt, she overheard Doug talking to Jimmy, quietly pronouncing Lev dead.

She didn't know Lev. He was new to the squadron, not very talkative, hadn't really distinguished himself at all - in short, he was a stranger to her, but in a way, that made it just as bad as if she'd just lost a dear friend, because her ignorance about him just made it even more ridiculous that he had died fighting under her command. Did he have a family who cared about him? Was he a good person? Would they have been friends, if he had lived?
The fact she didn't know made her guilt all the more real. Trying to recover a semblance of calm, she looked over at Jimmy and Doug, standing around the body.

And then, before she knew it, an icy wave of pure hate spread out from her very core at the sight of the latter, chilling her brain and banishing the guilt, so powerful it nearly took her breath away.

Those two - Geoff and Doug - had abandoned their positions too. She'd never even seen Geoff fall back with them when she ordered it and he'd still been there when they'd come back out, so it stood to reason he'd never even left his post in the first place. Had he not heard what she said? Maybe.
But people only inches away from him along the sandbag line had heard just fine. He had disobeyed a direct order.

She saw Doug and Lev go into the compound with her, she knew they'd been there - but when they emerged from the basement, somehow, they'd both gotten back outside again, apparently of their own initiative and volition. How had that happened?
Her mind raced, trying to reconstruct the likeliest sequence of events.
Geoff stays outside, with the gun. Doug hears it, and decides to go back outside - not to pull him back in by his ear, but to support that position, also violating orders.
And Lev, the newbie, who didn't know his arse from his elbow about this sort of thing, got confused...and decides to take Doug's word for it. Jimmy said they left together...


Oh, it made too much sense.
The words Desertion in Combat flashed in her mind's eye.
It was so easy to see it - Doug and Geoff had blown off her orders to go get themselves killed playing at being heroes, probably laughing at her the whole damn time, abandoning their posts in the process, and had ended up luring a rookie out there with them on their fool's errand.
And they'd gotten him killed.

For a pure second, she wanted nothing more than to pull her Colt, jam it right in Doug's teeth, pull the trigger, then do the same for Geoff - it would save His Majesty a pair of nooses*, anyway.
Wasn't that right?
Desertion was a crime, after all - and in combat, it was treason. Wouldn't she be justified in punishing it as treason, especially if it had gotten another soldier killed?

And then it passed - or at least, went dormant. Later. I'll deal with them later.
Oh, I
WILL deal with both of them later. Maybe I'm a shitty leader. I can admit that, if the evidence bears it out.
But somehow, I don't think that's the full story.


Grenartia wrote:Jimmy bowed his head in silent acknowledgement of Lev's passing, before handing Stanford his jacket.
"Here you go. You need me to help get him inside?" Jimmy asked.


Without even stopping to think, Alix stepped over to the pair, rigidly not looking at Doug. Her voice was taut and quiet.
"Jimmy, I'll help. If you...want to get his feet...I'll get his shoulders. We'll cover him up once we get him set down in the truck."
She tilted her head vaguely in Doug's direction, still not looking at him. Her voice, turning from taut to outright brittle, shook ever so slightly.
"I think you've done more than enough here, Flying Officer. Please get in the truck. Now."

Kouralia wrote:Following on with the others until they reached the lorries, Smythe remained alert for the whole journey. Once there, though, he quickly climbed up and opened the door of the lorry, checking inside with his Browning out and ready to end any Stormjaer who was lying in wait... Fortunately they'd evidently not supposed that Excalibur would survive the house, and hadn't thought to post guards by the lorries, or set a trap, so the cabin was just a dark empty space into which Smythe slung his rifle and gear as he started up the engine. "Ready to get on the road, Ma'am." He called back, "Doesn't look like anyone's been playing around with the lorry, so we should probably try to pick up Mr Page, Corp Waddock and that Colonial chap as soon as possible - before some traitors go on the prowl for them."

"Just a second, Colour - we need to get Lev...er...squared away first."



Back somewhere in the greater Johannesburg-Pretoria area...

Phone pressed so tightly to his ear that it hurt, van Huidebroeke was getting very, very sick of being cut off.
"I say again, come in Magaliese-Kommando! What is your status? Are you receiving?" he roared into the phone, for (give or take some paraphrasing) roughly the third time in thirty seconds. There was nothing but static for a reply.

The SS officer behind him, to the Boer's growing irritation, seemed totally undisturbed. Hell, he didn't even sound surprised.
"They're not going to respond, General. I suspect they may have taken..."
He paused to choose his words.
"...unsustainable losses. We may need to consider backup plans."

Van Huidebroeke responded, to the surprise of everyone in the room (including himself, up to a point) by throwing the receiver as hard as he could into the wall, roaring like a stuck wildebeest as he did so. The room went totally silent, every pair of eyes fixed on him. the General took several deep breaths. When he spoke again, he seemed perfectly calm.

"Colonel, I'm going to be brutally honest with you - I did not have much of a reserve plan. I sent 96 good men out there after no more than twelve enemies, and quite possibly less. And now you're telling me they're all dead? Or broken by this handful of Britishers? Should I have seriously planned for that eventuality?"
He turned to the German, his eyes burning with anger. "Either you've just gravely insulted my men, or you're not telling me something. We need to share information, Colonel, if we're to trust each other."

The German languorously leaned back in his chair, growing more and more impatient with the theatricality and emotion of this "General". Was it worth telling him his suspicions - sharing confidential information in the process?
It was looking more and more like he would have to.
He cleared his throat.
"Before I comment, it's important to make clear that I cannot prove anything. But given what has been relayed to me so far as to their capabilities and personnel, I believe that the enemy has sent their absolute best, a unique formation that an associate of mine reported that he had totally annihilated some months ago. Evidently, he was either taken for a fool, or lying. If I'm right."

He sighed.
"I do not mean to sound sensationalist or defeatist, but these soldiers you're up against...many in the German military believe them to be some kind of propaganda myth, some kind of legend concocted by the British, a scare story made up by commanders to excuse their own incompetence. I can assure you that they were...or are...entirely real. We've seen traces of their work across three continents, in half a dozen countries-"
"Get to the point."
The Colonel sniffed, offended. "Very well. The unit is called Excalibur Squadron. And you are not going to be able to kill them with a few dozen shit-kicking farmboys."

The General ran a hand through his thinning hair. "Then we need to send more men. We still need evidence of a British attack, bodies to drag through the streets. And if these English are so dangerous, we can't let them get back top the city-"
It was the Colonel's turn to interrupt. "I beg to differ."
"Of course you do."
"There's no point in sending more men after them out in the veldt. They're a small enough band that they can outrun and outmaneuver even your precious commando groups - and sending more men out of the city will just make us weaker as the truly decisive struggle is about to start. And finding bodies was always a secondary objective - we can still accomplish our goals regardless."

The Colonel looked to the city map on the wall. "We will let them return - they must be doing so right now, for what else can they do? We will meet them where our forces are gathered - right here in this city. They will be drawn to us like moths to flame, and we will cut them apart piece by piece in the alleys and streets, building by building, room by room. You sent dozens after them, and that didn't work - we have thousands here. If that doesn't stop them, nothing can."

There was a long pause. Finally the General muttered:
"Twelve men. The whole plan, falling because of twelve freaks of nature. What's their secret, Colonel? Do they have bulletproof skin? Can they turn invisible?"
The Colonel chuckled morbidly. "I will say this for them - they have a nasty habit of being in the right place at the right time..."



*Neese? Is that the plural? Seriously, if we all spoke Esperanto, this wouldn't be an issue.
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When the war is over
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Goram
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Postby Goram » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:09 am

I think you've done more than enough here, Flying Officer. Please get in the truck. Now.

Stanford could see the Flight Lieutenant's thoughts skitter across her face. He could see the icy hatred, the blame, behind her eyes. He'd seen it before, on the faces of the pilots at Hornchurch, during the long summer days of the previous year. Looking at Noble, it was almost as if he was back there and, now as then, he could tell what she was thinking.

"Yes...Skip"

He lingered on the last word, leaving a decisive edge on it's delivery - not quite insubordinate, but with a definite venom. The Flying Officer turned away from the other two and climbed up into the darkness of the waiting truck. He shuffled down to the end of the makeshift, bench style, seats and cradled his rifle between his knees. His mind raced as he unclipped the unused bayonet from the muzzle of the rifle, before returning the blade to it's sheath. The look on Noble's face was clear enough. He, along with Talbot, would be blamed for Lev's death and for insubordination. If that wasn't enough, Carter would likely accuse him of murder.

Stanford cast his mind back to the battle. On the recommendation of an officer associated with a traitorous outfit, Noble had order the squadron to retreat in the face of the enemy and give up their lone advantage. If not for the short bombs, dropped by the RSAAF, then the UDF would have taken the position and caught Excalibur like rats in a hole. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the traitors to have killed every single member of the unit.

What would they have used?

The thought flashed across Stanford's mind. Gun? Grenade? Bayonet? It mattered not - each would be equally effective. The thought occurred that, by staying at the machine gun position and providing a rear guard, Talbot had saved the entire unit by pinning them in place to be obliterated by bombs. Had he not, Stanford felt certain that the position would have been successfully taken.

His thoughts progressed onto the bombing itself and how vast chunks of masonry had been blown from the walls. It had seemed that the building was coming down and, frankly, it surprised the Flying Officer that more of the Squadron hadn't broken cover and returned to the side of the lone Flight Lieutenant. Lev, of course, had been the exception. To become a member of Excalibur, one had to be a combat veteran. Lev was a bumbling rookie, compared to other squadron members, but he'd seen combat and he knew the risks. He had come back to the fight of his own volition. He had willingly gone into the darkness, despite being cautioned by both Stanford and Talbot, and he had died there. Despite willingly doing all of this, Noble had decided that the two Officers would be her scapegoats.

In Stanford's mind, the fact of the matter was clear. Noble had badly cocked it up, when she ordered the Excalibur contingent to retreat. It was an order that could easily have resulted in the death of every member of the ground detachment. Her mistake had forced three subordinates to take matters into their own hands and one of them had been killed doing it. It could be argued, Stanford supposed, that Noble could indirectly be blamed for the loss of Sergeant Sikorskivitch. In order to cover herself, she would serve the two Officers up to Page and Cutler. They would be her scapegoat.

As the others piled into the truck, Stanford resolved that he would not go down like this. He would not allow Noble to make a scapegoat out of either Officer. If she wanted a fight, Stanford would give her a fight.

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Postby Kouralia » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:57 pm

The Tiger Kingdom wrote:"Just a second, Colour - we need to get Lev...er...squared away first."

"Yes, Ma'am." Smythe called from the cab, quickly sliding out before grabbing his rifle and moving to the back to let the tailgate down for Alexandra and Jimmy. Standing awkwardly aside, Smythe was struck by the thought that he should have something to say, but couldn't for the life of him think of anything relevant or worth voicing. Instead, he mutely stood aside and took his cap off, bowing his head slightly as the others loaded him on the lorry and trying not to tap his foot in his desire to quickly get out of there.
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Postby Morrdh » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:03 pm

Charlie completed his second pass of the crashed Anson and then made up his mind, there was hardly any light and the ground was too broken and uneven to attempt a landing. Glance at his gauges told him that the Spit's fuel tanks were running low, more than enough reason to head back to the airstrip at Rand especially if the bombers had scored some hits that he hadn't noticed. He called out over the radio. "Sword Ten here, ground is less than ideal and I really don't want to try it in this light. Running low on juice in the old gal as well, probably best just heading back to the drome."

[ht][/hr]

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Postby Grenartia » Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:14 pm

The Tiger Kingdom wrote:
Grenartia wrote:Jimmy bowed his head in silent acknowledgement of Lev's passing, before handing Stanford his jacket.
"Here you go. You need me to help get him inside?" Jimmy asked.


Without even stopping to think, Alix stepped over to the pair, rigidly not looking at Doug. Her voice was taut and quiet.
"Jimmy, I'll help. If you...want to get his feet...I'll get his shoulders. We'll cover him up once we get him set down in the truck."
She tilted her head vaguely in Doug's direction, still not looking at him. Her voice, turning from taut to outright brittle, shook ever so slightly.
"I think you've done more than enough here, Flying Officer. Please get in the truck. Now."


"Yes ma'am." Jimmy said, as he nodded solemnly, while bending over to grab his comrade's ankles. "You want to back up into the truck, or should I?" He asked. It seemed so cold, so unfeeling, the way he was having to coordinate with Noble about how to put Lev's body into the truck. Like he was helping his neighbor move furniture into a truck, as opposed to moving a person. One that, had, not less than 10 minutes ago, been alive and breathing. It all seemed rather fucked up to Thibodeaux.
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Postby Gibberan » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:58 pm

Carter emerged from the building, clearly relieved to have found the main group. He had been on his way to the basement with the others, but had lagged behind, and had soon found himself in a labyrinth of dark, eerie, unlit passages, which he had wandered around in until he found the lighted exit. Approaching his commanding officer, who, for some reason, was flushed with what seemed to be a mixture of anger and guilt, he prepared an explanation for his absence.

"Sorry for the delay, Ms. Noble... I was on my way yo the basement, but...well..." He turned away sheepishly, his cheeks glowing bright red with embarrassment. "I...uh....got lost in the hallways..."

He heard a clamor from behind him, with Stanford and Jimmy hunched over a slumped, bloody body. "Is that..." He silently excused himself from the Lieutenant's presence, walking slowly towards them. When he saw the body, he let out a quiet gasp. Sergeant Sikorskivitch. Stone Dead.

"Oh, God." was all he could manage to say.
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The Tiger Kingdom
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:36 am

Gibberan wrote:He heard a clamor from behind him, with Stanford and Jimmy hunched over a slumped, bloody body. "Is that..." He silently excused himself from the Lieutenant's presence, walking slowly towards them. When he saw the body, he let out a quiet gasp. Sergeant Sikorskivitch. Stone Dead.

"Oh, God." was all he could manage to say.

"I think I know what you mean," Alix muttered in response.

Grenartia wrote:"Yes ma'am." Jimmy said, as he nodded solemnly, while bending over to grab his comrade's ankles. "You want to back up into the truck, or should I?"

"I'll do it."
Suppressing her natural reluctance, Alix gently grasped Lev's unmoving body around the shoulders, under the armpits, then she looked to Jimmy and flicked her head upwards. Rising to their feet, they could just about lift the hefty Russian between the two of them (Alix feeling like she was having a harder time of it than Jimmy - the Russian wasn't small, and she was never going to be the physically strongest member of the squadron). After a few moments and some tricky maneuvering, Lev was placed in the very tail end of the truck, his body spanning its width. Alix retrieved the jacket from Jimmy and, with a sigh, placed it over the Russian's body.
Goodbye, Lev.

Looking up, she could see the rest of the squadron seated, looking at her and Lev, waiting to go. Even in the dark, she could feel the burning intensity of Doug's gaze on her, and from his tone of voice in his two-word reply to her order, he seemed to have gotten himself pretty well keyed-in as to what she was thinking - and contrition wasn't in his plan. She made a mental note to keep a very close eye on him for the rest of the operation - he clearly couldn't be counted on. Page would have to be informed, once they picked him up.

Exiting the back of the truck, she motioned Smythe forward as she walked around to the passenger side of the cab.
"All right, Colour, fire this thing up and get us to Rand as fast as you can. I don't ever want to see this place again. And Carter, you should probably get in, before you get left behind. I'll give you this - for someone who gets lost so badly, you sure get caught up at the right time."
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

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Gibberan
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Moralistic Democracy

Postby Gibberan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:14 am

"And Carter, you should probably get in, before you get left behind. I'll give you this - for someone who gets lost so badly, you sure get caught up at the right time."

Carter nodded gravely. "Yes, ma'am. I'll try to, uh..." His voice trailed off as he picked himself up and pulled himself into the back of the truck, staring at Lev's unmoving body in deep, guilty thought.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son in the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through himJohn 3:16-17

RP Name the Ambrosian Confederal Republic, or Ambrose
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Kouralia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Kouralia » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:20 pm

"Yes, ma'am." Smythe said, slamming the tailgate shut and securing it, before following her to the front and getting up into the cab. After stowing his rifle, Smythe began to drive off, before stalling the lorry. "Mi..." He said, sighing deeply and smacking a fist against the steering wheel. "Mannaggia..." Smythe mutterd as he turned the key and started the engine again - this time managing to pull off successfully. Soon the Squadron was being driven as fast as the Colour could get them down the path while still remaining unlikely to crash.

After a few moments silence, he cleared his throat. "Ma'am, I'd just like to apologise for any misconduct in the house there. I..." He paused, "I shouldn't have left the two Flight Sergeants while you were with Lieutenant Reide. It was wrong - I should've stayed and tried to temper the untested enthusiasm of Flight Sikorskivitch, but I had some minor suspicions about Mr Reide and..." Smythe sighed, "After the showing by the UDF 'reinforcements' I wasn't so sure if it'd be good for him to be alone with you, out of sight and sound from the rest of the squadron. I shouldn't have thought to second-guess your trust in him, and now Lev's dead because he didn't have someone who could properly lead from Red Flight there."
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United Kingdom of Poland
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:55 pm

Morrdh wrote:Charlie completed his second pass of the crashed Anson and then made up his mind, there was hardly any light and the ground was too broken and uneven to attempt a landing. Glance at his gauges told him that the Spit's fuel tanks were running low, more than enough reason to head back to the airstrip at Rand especially if the bombers had scored some hits that he hadn't noticed. He called out over the radio. "Sword Ten here, ground is less than ideal and I really don't want to try it in this light. Running low on juice in the old gal as well, probably best just heading back to the drome."

[ht][/hr]

Kaya busied herself with scavenging what mechanical parts she could from the crashed Anson.

"Agreed ten, I think we should head back." The fuel gage in Matt's Spitfire was getting close to bingo fuel. He went to go tap the gage with his right hand, just to make sure it still worked. His arm only got about half way up when a jolt of pain went up his body. Putting his right hand back on the stick he felt his shoulder, his left hand coming up a lot shinier in the light from his instruments. "Lead, Ten I think I might have caught a few pieces of debris from one of the bombers I shot down. I have a gash in my right sholder, I can't tell how bad but i still have feeling n my right arm. It just hurts like hell. Lead, you think you can hang on for a few minutes with out us while Sword one and the rest of the ground team come to pick you up. Sword 11 and 12, form up on me and ten, we're headed home."

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:56 am

As the truck started, Alix tried to force herself to keep her eyes peeled for anything that looked hostile out the windows, but it was just too dark to see anything. The only light for miles and miles spilled out from the truck's headlights - anything outside of those two beams of light stabbing out onto the dirt road was essentially invisible to everybody inside. She couldn't stop her mind from wandering, second-guessing, and thinking...

Trying to anticipate what would happen next, she found herself at a loss. Southern Cross was obviously a total shambles, now - the entire plan had been built on the fairly reasonable assumptions that the South African intelligence was good, and that the UDF could be counted on to be competent. Those two assumptions, clearly, hadn't just been shattered - they'd been shattered, then the shattered pieces had been re-shattered, then they'd been lit on fire, then the burnt shards had been fed to a goat, which had then been eaten by a lion.
In short, things had gone quite badly wrong. It didn't need restatement, but there it was.

Would they just...get in a plane, beat it back for Durban and the Llamrei, and head right home at top speed? Alix couldn't deny the allure of leaving this catastrophe of a country behind, but she had to admit that that wasn't going to happen. Entirely aside from the fact that the Jackal was still out there and the mission was totally unaccomplished (though at least a few dozen OB men wouldn't be bothering anybody anymore), something in the essential calculus of the South African situation had changed irrevocably tonight. If the intelligence Page had presented them had been correct (and, seeing as how it had come from SOE sources rather than South African ones, she trusted it a great deal more), while the OB had always been open about its Nazi sympathies and its antipathy towards the British government, and may have even been behind some light sabotage efforts across the Union, it had never, ever done anything this openly hostile before.

They had played some pretty considerable cards - they'd openly revealed that not only did they have the UDF penetrated to hell and back, but also that they commanded the true allegiances of many of its soldiers as well. The situation was now now longer one of covert action and political tension - it was one of open warfare.

Alix doubted that the solution that Whitehall would hit upon to solve the problem would be to call back its most elite commando unit and cut their losses, even with one of its members being dead and numerous others sustaining considerable injuries.
But what could they do? They had no leads...no information...nothing. They were back at square one. The Jackal could be anywhere in the Union, and if the OB had decided that tonight was the night to declare open war, that meant that they weren't just p against a few compound guards - Excalibur would be up against the whole damn movement, and clearly, the UDF could be counted on for no help.

Smythe's voice cut through her rumination.
Kouralia wrote:After a few moments silence, he cleared his throat. "Ma'am, I'd just like to apologise for any misconduct in the house there. I..." He paused, "I shouldn't have left the two Flight Sergeants while you were with Lieutenant Reide. It was wrong - I should've stayed and tried to temper the untested enthusiasm of Flight Sikorskivitch, but I had some minor suspicions about Mr Reide and..." Smythe sighed, "After the showing by the UDF 'reinforcements' I wasn't so sure if it'd be good for him to be alone with you, out of sight and sound from the rest of the squadron. I shouldn't have thought to second-guess your trust in him, and now Lev's dead because he didn't have someone who could properly lead from Red Flight there."

For a second, she didn't quite know what to say.

"Colour...I...I don't think you have anything to apologize for. You carried out your orders exactly as you were told to. It was...erm...a very fluid situation, and I'm quite sure it's not your fault that Lev did what he did. It wasn't your responsibility to be Lev's minder, and I don't think either of us could have known what would happen there."

For a second, reminded by Smythe's words, she glanced back behind her at Reide. Through the gloom of the interior, she could see the Lieutenant slumped against the rail running along the side, rubbing his temples with his fingers and occasionally mopping at his brow, a pained expression upon his face, like he was trying to think through a crippling headache, which, in all likelihood, he was. Alix felt very bad for him - she couldn't imagine how awful it would be to have to fire on your own traitorous comrades. And to be wounded like he was in the process, no less...
But he was still with them, and hadn't betrayed them. She was immensely grateful for that.

Not wanting to draw Doug's glare, she turned her gaze back to Smythe.
"And I appreciate that you tried to keep an eye on the Lieutenant for me. But I think...we can probably trust him now, can't we?"



Back in the city...

"...So Lieutenant, you're fully clear on all aspects of your assignment? You have no questions?"
The Stormjaer Lieutenant seated in front of the Van Huidebroeke nodded silently. He hadn't gotten to where he was by asking questions, true, but the fact was that the assignment was an exceedingly simple one, as well as one that he'd been prepping for for a week now. The only dicey bit would be the escape, but he'd make it work somehow.
The General stood and saluted at this response, and the Lieutenant matched him, the German adviser watching from a corner, looking bored.
"Well, then, Lieutenant van Brecht,", the General began, "I wish you the best of luck. Take pride in what you are to do - while it may be difficult, rest assured in that it is necessary. Yours shall be the shot that is heard around the world, and will lead us to victory and vengeance over the English in equal measure."

The Lieutenant couldn't help but notice that the magnetic presence of the General that he was so used to seemed to have diminished, and the words which normally spilled forth from him with such feeling and passion were more muttered than declared. But he ascribed no greater meaning to that particular fact - it wasn't relevant to the task at hand.
"Thank you, sir," he replied. "It's an honor."
"Dismissed, Lieutenant."

Shouldering his rifle, Lieutenant Hendrik van Brecht turned with military precision and strode through the headquarters like a robot, exiting through the front gate and out into the shadowy city streets...
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

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Grenartia
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Grenartia » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:39 pm

The Tiger Kingdom wrote:
Grenartia wrote:"Yes ma'am." Jimmy said, as he nodded solemnly, while bending over to grab his comrade's ankles. "You want to back up into the truck, or should I?"

"I'll do it."
Suppressing her natural reluctance, Alix gently grasped Lev's unmoving body around the shoulders, under the armpits, then she looked to Jimmy and flicked her head upwards. Rising to their feet, they could just about lift the hefty Russian between the two of them (Alix feeling like she was having a harder time of it than Jimmy - the Russian wasn't small, and she was never going to be the physically strongest member of the squadron). After a few moments and some tricky maneuvering, Lev was placed in the very tail end of the truck, his body spanning its width. Alix retrieved the jacket from Jimmy and, with a sigh, placed it over the Russian's body.
Goodbye, Lev.

Looking up, she could see the rest of the squadron seated, looking at her and Lev, waiting to go. Even in the dark, she could feel the burning intensity of Doug's gaze on her, and from his tone of voice in his two-word reply to her order, he seemed to have gotten himself pretty well keyed-in as to what she was thinking - and contrition wasn't in his plan. She made a mental note to keep a very close eye on him for the rest of the operation - he clearly couldn't be counted on. Page would have to be informed, once they picked him up.

Exiting the back of the truck, she motioned Smythe forward as she walked around to the passenger side of the cab.
"All right, Colour, fire this thing up and get us to Rand as fast as you can. I don't ever want to see this place again. And Carter, you should probably get in, before you get left behind. I'll give you this - for someone who gets lost so badly, you sure get caught up at the right time."


As the truck began rolling off, Jimmy closed his eyes, and began to pray. Mostly a mixture of sorrow for Lev's death, but also of gratefulness for his sacrifice, and that nobody else died. When he finished, he lifted his head, opened his eyes, and turned to Stanford and Talbot. He'd recognized the hostility in the air from the moment he'd told Noble who all had left the basement, and it had only gotten worse since.

"Mr. Stanford, Mr. Talbot, I know what yall and Lev did back there was for the good of the unit. Had we all gone down into that basement, we likely would've been taken out by the surviving OBs. So thank you for holding them back." he said.
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Kassaran
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Kassaran » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:54 pm

Jonah had been pulling tight loops over the property when he finally saw a truck on the ground begin to load up with whom he guessed were the members of red and White Flights, but one grouping looked as though there were a body, and sure enough in another low pass, in the dim light of the fires now beginning to self-extinguish themselves on the ground, sure enough a body was being loaded up on the truck. Biding his time, he had once again began to pull wider and wider loops circling overhead until finally the truck had begun its journey back. coming in low overhead the truck he thumbed on the transmitter as he dropped in probably just over a hundred or so feet off of the deck," This is Eleven to One, I am on standby, requesting further instructions. Hold in CAP over truck or move back towards the airfield for refuel?"
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Zarkenis Ultima wrote:Tristan noticed footsteps behind him and looked there, only to see Eric approaching and then pointing his sword at the girl. He just blinked a few times at this before speaking.

"Put that down, Mr. Eric." He said. "She's obviously not a chicken."
The Knockout Gun Gals wrote:
The United Remnants of America wrote:You keep that cheap Chinese knock-off away from the real OG...

bloody hell, mate.
that's a real deal. We just don't buy the license rights.

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Kouralia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Kouralia » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:04 pm

The Tiger Kingdom wrote:Smythe's voice cut through her rumination.
Kouralia wrote:After a few moments silence, he cleared his throat. "Ma'am, I'd just like to apologise for any misconduct in the house there. I..." He paused, "I shouldn't have left the two Flight Sergeants while you were with Lieutenant Reide. It was wrong - I should've stayed and tried to temper the untested enthusiasm of Flight Sikorskivitch, but I had some minor suspicions about Mr Reide and..." Smythe sighed, "After the showing by the UDF 'reinforcements' I wasn't so sure if it'd be good for him to be alone with you, out of sight and sound from the rest of the squadron. I shouldn't have thought to second-guess your trust in him, and now Lev's dead because he didn't have someone who could properly lead from Red Flight there."

For a second, she didn't quite know what to say.

"Sergeant...I...I don't think you have anything to apologize for. You carried out your orders exactly as you were told to. It was...erm...a very fluid situation, and I'm quite sure it's not your fault that Lev did what he did. It wasn't your responsibility to be Lev's minder, and I don't think either of us could have known what would happen there."

For a second, reminded by Smythe's words, she glanced back behind her at Reide. Through the gloom of the interior, she could see the Lieutenant slumped against the rail running along the side, rubbing his temples with his fingers and occasionally mopping at his brow, a pained expression upon his face, like he was trying to think through a crippling headache, which, in all likelihood, he was. Alix felt very bad for him - she couldn't imagine how awful it would be to have to fire on your own traitorous comrades. And to be wounded like he was in the process, no less...
But he was still with them, and hadn't betrayed them. She was immensely grateful for that.

Not wanting to draw Doug's glare, she turned her gaze back to Smythe.
"And I appreciate that you tried to keep an eye on the Lieutenant for me. But I think...we can probably trust him now, can't we?"


Smythe nodded, slightly put at ease by Ms Noble's words - even if he had winced when she called him 'Sergeant'. "Of course, ma'am. Whatever you say." He said, keeping his eyes front and concentrating on getting them out of the AO as quickly as possible, without going off-road and tipping over. "Is Mr Page, Sarn't Ko-tzee and Corp Waddock's crash site likely to be in view from the road, do you think?"
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The Times of Kurton - National News Source
Risen Britannia wrote:"England has been invaded at various points throughout its history. Fortunately, every invader mysteriously became English when they took over, thus leaving England undefeated."

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United Kingdom of Poland
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:47 pm

Kassaran wrote:Jonah had been pulling tight loops over the property when he finally saw a truck on the ground begin to load up with whom he guessed were the members of red and White Flights, but one grouping looked as though there were a body, and sure enough in another low pass, in the dim light of the fires now beginning to self-extinguish themselves on the ground, sure enough a body was being loaded up on the truck. Biding his time, he had once again began to pull wider and wider loops circling overhead until finally the truck had begun its journey back. coming in low overhead the truck he thumbed on the transmitter as he dropped in probably just over a hundred or so feet off of the deck," This is Eleven to One, I am on standby, requesting further instructions. Hold in CAP over truck or move back towards the airfield for refuel?"

"Eleven, this is nine. I need you and twelve to form up on me and ten over by the crash site, then we're heading back to refuel."

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Kassaran
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Postby Kassaran » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:14 pm

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:
Kassaran wrote:Jonah had been pulling tight loops over the property when he finally saw a truck on the ground begin to load up with whom he guessed were the members of red and White Flights, but one grouping looked as though there were a body, and sure enough in another low pass, in the dim light of the fires now beginning to self-extinguish themselves on the ground, sure enough a body was being loaded up on the truck. Biding his time, he had once again began to pull wider and wider loops circling overhead until finally the truck had begun its journey back. coming in low overhead the truck he thumbed on the transmitter as he dropped in probably just over a hundred or so feet off of the deck," This is Eleven to One, I am on standby, requesting further instructions. Hold in CAP over truck or move back towards the airfield for refuel?"

"Eleven, this is nine. I need you and twelve to form up on me and ten over by the crash site, then we're heading back to refuel."

Jonah sighed, then thumbed on the comms," Copy that Nine, One, I'm pulling off unless you need anything further by the way of assistance. Over."
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Zarkenis Ultima wrote:Tristan noticed footsteps behind him and looked there, only to see Eric approaching and then pointing his sword at the girl. He just blinked a few times at this before speaking.

"Put that down, Mr. Eric." He said. "She's obviously not a chicken."
The Knockout Gun Gals wrote:
The United Remnants of America wrote:You keep that cheap Chinese knock-off away from the real OG...

bloody hell, mate.
that's a real deal. We just don't buy the license rights.

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Morrdh
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Morrdh » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:18 am

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:"Agreed ten, I think we should head back." The fuel gage in Matt's Spitfire was getting close to bingo fuel. He went to go tap the gage with his right hand, just to make sure it still worked. His arm only got about half way up when a jolt of pain went up his body. Putting his right hand back on the stick he felt his shoulder, his left hand coming up a lot shinier in the light from his instruments. "Lead, Ten I think I might have caught a few pieces of debris from one of the bombers I shot down. I have a gash in my right sholder, I can't tell how bad but i still have feeling n my right arm. It just hurts like hell. Lead, you think you can hang on for a few minutes with out us while Sword one and the rest of the ground team come to pick you up. Sword 11 and 12, form up on me and ten, we're headed home."


"Copy that Nine." Replied Charlie over the radio. "Ya better take point and get yer kite down first."

"Eleven and Twelve, whats the show like fer ye chaps?"
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Kassaran
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Kassaran » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:58 am

Morrdh wrote:
United Kingdom of Poland wrote:"Agreed ten, I think we should head back." The fuel gage in Matt's Spitfire was getting close to bingo fuel. He went to go tap the gage with his right hand, just to make sure it still worked. His arm only got about half way up when a jolt of pain went up his body. Putting his right hand back on the stick he felt his shoulder, his left hand coming up a lot shinier in the light from his instruments. "Lead, Ten I think I might have caught a few pieces of debris from one of the bombers I shot down. I have a gash in my right sholder, I can't tell how bad but i still have feeling n my right arm. It just hurts like hell. Lead, you think you can hang on for a few minutes with out us while Sword one and the rest of the ground team come to pick you up. Sword 11 and 12, form up on me and ten, we're headed home."


"Copy that Nine." Replied Charlie over the radio. "Ya better take point and get yer kite down first."

"Eleven and Twelve, whats the show like fer ye chaps?"

"Can't say for Twelve, Ten, but I haven't heard from him since we started... thought he was with you guys. On top of it all though, it appears good. The lorry is en route back to base it appears, looks like they might be heading in your direction. Over it all, I think we took a ground casualty. Did a low fly-by as they were loading up, someone was being loaded onto the back, and I think a coat was over them still. not sure, but you might want to run that through One. Any news on Lead? Find his bird yet?" Jonah was now beginning to pull up and away from the road the Lorry was on, not noting any changes in movement or direction due to the distance he had rapidly covered in the short time it had taken him to respond.
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Zarkenis Ultima wrote:Tristan noticed footsteps behind him and looked there, only to see Eric approaching and then pointing his sword at the girl. He just blinked a few times at this before speaking.

"Put that down, Mr. Eric." He said. "She's obviously not a chicken."
The Knockout Gun Gals wrote:
The United Remnants of America wrote:You keep that cheap Chinese knock-off away from the real OG...

bloody hell, mate.
that's a real deal. We just don't buy the license rights.

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Founded: May 04, 2012
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:21 am

Kouralia wrote:Smythe nodded, slightly put at ease by Ms Noble's words - even if he had winced when she called him 'Sergeant'.
"Of course, ma'am. Whatever you say."

The Lieutenant discreetly rolled her eyes. Serves me right for asking him an opinion question, I suppose. Not sure exactly what I was expecting.
Kouralia wrote:"Is Mr Page, Sarn't Ko-tzee and Corp Waddock's crash site likely to be in view from the road, do you think?"

Alix squinted into the dark, once again trying to see if she could spot anything.
"Well, Page said that he could see the road from the crash site, so I imagine that the reverse will be - wait, do you see that?"

Alix pointed off to the northwest, in towards a dark grove of trees. Beyond the grove, illuminating it from behind, was a pinprick of wavering orange light - and as they got closer and closer, it got bigger and brighter.
"There's something on fire over there."
Passing the grove, Alix could see the source of the blaze - on the far side of the grove, the wrecked frame and merrily burning engine was clearly silhouetted against the dark sky and landscape. She turned to Smythe.
"That's them. Try and get us in as close as you can without catching us on fire."



Tapping his fingers on the top of the radio console while waiting for further developments, Page passed the time looking at the spreading blaze out of the cracked window of the Anson, idly trying to see if he could influence the path of the flames by telekinesis. He would go and help Kaya with the salvaging, but he felt someone had to attend to the radio, and he didn't want to get underfoot as she did...all that salvaging stuff. She seemed to be good on her own.

And frankly, he didn't want to be around Coetzee at all. Aside from the fact that the South African was just rather...off...in general, the fact that it appeared the Saffies had turned on Excalibur back at the house as well hadn't engendered much trust from Page towards the Sergeant. Granted, he hadn't done anything outright suspicious, yet, but it was worth it to be wary. Having him outside on watch, in Page's view from the window, was probably the best way for Page to keep an eye on him - he didn't want the South African in a position to be able to sneak up on him or Kaya unawares.

Speaking of the devil, right as Page was beginning to be truly convinced that maybe it was his mind-powers that were keeping the fires away from the plane, Coetzee yelled out.
"Contact! Truck, coming in from the north!"
Page leapt to his feet and grabbed his Thompson. After a quick check that all his gear, so carefully modified and maintained, was all still in place (he really had come out of the crash pretty well intact - Kudos to whoever had designed the interior cabin of the Anson, and the pilot as well, of course [RIP]).
"Sergeant, Corporal, on me," Page called. "Let's get out of here before this whole damn veldt field goes up in flames."
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

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United Kingdom of Poland
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Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:17 pm

Morrdh wrote:
"Copy that Nine." Replied Charlie over the radio. "Ya better take point and get yer kite down first."

"Eleven and Twelve, whats the show like fer ye chaps?"

Kassaran wrote:"Can't say for Twelve, Ten, but I haven't heard from him since we started... thought he was with you guys. On top of it all though, it appears good. The lorry is en route back to base it appears, looks like they might be heading in your direction. Over it all, I think we took a ground casualty. Did a low fly-by as they were loading up, someone was being loaded onto the back, and I think a coat was over them still. not sure, but you might want to run that through One. Any news on Lead? Find his bird yet?" Jonah was now beginning to pull up and away from the road the Lorry was on, not noting any changes in movement or direction due to the distance he had rapidly covered in the short time it had taken him to respond.

"Understood 11, Sword 9 to sword lead, I regret to report that sword 12 is missing in action, presumed KIA. Last reported contact was before the bombers showed up. We are RTB to the airfield. Sword 10 what is our heading towards Rand?"
Last edited by United Kingdom of Poland on Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Posts: 12281
Founded: May 04, 2012
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:00 am

Followed by enlisted duo, Page trotted out to meet the truck. Moving at such a clip revealed about a dozen various new aches and pains across the entirety of his body that he hadn't noticed yet, but he was so happy to be moving back towards the action again that he hardly noticed. His new "combat mask" still strapped to his belt, bounced against his leg as he ran - he'd nearly forgotten about it. He hoped he'd get some use out of it before this was all over.

Suddenly, an idea occurred to him. Motioning Coetzee and Kaya on ahead of him, he stopped, extracted his pack of Luckies, bent over, and lit one against the burning veldt.
He took a long drag.

Then he kept running.


Alix watched as the three dark shadows emerged from the wreckage, her eyebrow raising as the tallest one of them took a momentary smoke break. She could hear the footsteps of Kaya and Page's UDF liaison echoing against the steel floor as they grabbed seats - and then, Page's confident voice happily calling out:
"Oi, driver! Does this bus stop at 82nd Street? There's an extra quid in it if you - oh, shit. Sorry. Probably a bad time."

"...If you - "
Page nearly tripped over something long and black lying on the floor of the truck. Looking closer, he jumped slightly to see it was clearly a body - Lev's.
"Oh, shit. Sorry. Probably a bad time."

Nevertheless, despite this grim intrusion into his high spirits, he couldn't keep a rakish (he fancied, anyway) half-smile off his face as he made his way forward, seeing the toughened, battle-ready faces of his squadron as they sat in the dark, clutching their weapons. Many of them didn't appear to be so sanguine, but he couldn't blame them - they'd just been through the wringer, after all, and they knew as well as he did that this wasn't over yet. But he felt like he was just getting started. His heart was racing, and his senses felt so heightened, his thoughts so fast and so compelling, that it wasn't so much that he didn't feel the pain from his arm and his crash injuries, as much as he could just tune it out.
He was feeling better, on the whole than he had in months.

And as the truck started for Johannesburg and he made his way forward to the front, passing by the grim faces of his men, he saw the lovely visage of the woman up front was quite downbeat as well.
...Maybe he could do something about that.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

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