NATION

PASSWORD

IMPERIAL DAWN [PMTPunk / Closed / IC]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

IMPERIAL DAWN [PMTPunk / Closed / IC]

Postby Forest State » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:39 pm

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF TALAM... A brand new PMT setting where global peace won't last long and where conflict is right around the corner.

In the western hemisphere, the title of regional king is still up for grabs following the decline of the Republic of North Aurelia, which enforced an uneasy peace between opposing sides but has long since been out of the picture thanks to its own civil war and fracturing. Today, the Republic is a shell of itself - the Republic and the States that have come from it, the Free State of Feria and the Republic of Western Aurelia, look at each other with suspicion, and what was once a free society has fallen victim to authoritarianism and regression into the standards of the third world. Entire settlements lie abandoned, valuable industries left as broken reminders of the past, while the hills and mountains and deserts of the heartland, now the core territory of the Free State of Feria, serve as an impassable barrier between the Aurelian and Oriental oceans.

To the south of the former Republic, conflict brews between outside settlers and natives in South Aurelia. Colonialism has long been an aspect of the western hemisphere, and the movement of Aunoran settlers into North and South Aurelia, aside from creating what would become the former RNA, formed the nations of Kael and Reveau as well as the colonies of Alamanian South Aurelia and New Castana. And in the wake of the death of the RNA as a superpower, the Southern Wind Alliance formed between the Republic of Almirez and the Union of South Aurelian Soviets. Their aim? A South Aurelia for South Aurelians - at the expense of nations such as the Alamanian Kaiserreich, and the enterprising Federation of Kael. On the other side of the coin, the Aunoran settlers prepare for war, aiming to win the land not through birthright but through conflict, now that push is about to come to shove...

In the eastern hemisphere, things are no better. The red menace, the Zemalyan Federation of Socialist Republics, casts a large shadow over the old-world dominated continent of Aunora. Kingdoms and Empires, imperial states or just those looking to protect their way of life, face down against a growing communist threat. And out east, in the Orient, proxy armies of the ZFSR already wage their conflicts of 'national liberation' in a number of locales, resulting in a region ravaged by wars of which there is no clear winner yet.

The world of Talam is a rough one. And the year 2049 C.E... May see it plunged as deeply into the flames of conflict as it ever has been before.



As you can probably tell from the title, this is a closed RP with me and Lunas Legion following the adventures and trials of the Kaelic nation. As there is no OOC thread, any remarks/questions should be sent by TG or Discord.


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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:41 pm




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 1
“WORLD WAR A”


The western hemisphere of Talam is at an uneasy peace… But the regional powers of North and South Aurelia are gearing up for the day when that status quo ends. Among them are the 105th Mechanized Cavalry and the crew of the KNS Omen.




Fort MacEntire, 105th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade Headquarters
10km northwest of Daernel, Federation of Kael
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



Was this perhaps… The pinnacle in technology? Of advancement?

Royce Mahon was staring at her reflection - her reflection in the clean white outer armor of the GNM-15 “Comet” Combat Suit in front of her, a humanoid form which loosely resembled the figure of a soldier but was much larger, much bulkier, and able to both give and take a lot more punishment. It was more than just a hardened exoskeleton to enhance the skills of the one that was wearing it. No, that was practically a past technology compared to this, something from the bleeding edge of the future, developed by Gnothas Mearn, perhaps the most innovative arms company in the country. This was different than those exoskeletons. It was a machine of its own, that didn’t just enhance the skills of the pilot but brought its own skillset entirely.

All the pilot had to do, of course, was put those skills to good use from behind the controls. Something that was easier said than done. Everyone thought they could pilot one of these things just fine. Some soldiers could manage to do it without wrecking. Piloting it well and completing the tough objectives that these experimental units found themselves with? Now that was much harder.

But, she supposed it would become more common over the years - need bred further technology, and they did need this tech. They didn’t have the largest population or military in the world. It was a force multiplier. Didn’t matter if the enemy threw more soldiers at it. At the end of the day they still had the upper hand, which was why the project had received so much money from the military in the first place. Both the company that had made the ‘mecha’ suit and the government that was now employing it had realized the necessity of it all.

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The 105th’s hangar at Fort MacEntire…
Because it seemed like there was going to be a World War, or at least a regional war, soon enough.

That was how things were these days, in the world of Talam. The west was peaceful, but it remained to be seen how long it would remain like that. Because not everywhere was the best place to live. And there were plenty of places where a war could kickstart a revival. A lot of the nations in North Aurelia could use a revival. Royce was acutely aware of what was just to the north of her nation’s own borders, beyond the mountain range that had formed the natural line between the two. At one point, the Republic of North Aurelia had been in the competition for hegemony, a power around the world. In their own backyard, which had stretched from the North Aurelian continent all the way down to South Aurelia, they had maintained some semblance of order. Sure, things happened from time to time. But they weren’t typically big things. Not when the area was firmly in the sphere of influence of the dominant power of the era.

That had been about fifty years ago, however.

Sometimes, the greatest forces collapsed under their own weight. The RNA had split under ethnic lines, or more specifically, linguistic and socioeconomic lines - trying to unite a country that had been made up of a number of past colonies of different cultures was easier said than done. And it hadn’t lasted forever. The RNA still controlled the coast which made them a power in the Aurelian ocean - but their former heartland now stood independent as the Free State of Feria, and was now known as Kael’s northern neighbor rather than the RNA itself. And the west, it hadn’t considered itself part of either. There was now a Republic of Western Aurelia, too. All the divide served to do was weaken all three factions. There was a western state with little influence in the heartland and the Aurelian, a heartland state with no influence on the coasts, and an Aurelian state in the east that was left with a shell of its former power.

All of them trended towards authoritarian these days, all of them had a certain level of paranoia, and all of them were plotting against each other to some degree - or at least, all of them believed that the others were plotting against them and aiming to reunite the RNA in their image, when in reality, the days of hegemony were long past and they would be better off trying to avoid a complete decline and collapse. The abandoned factories and entire ghost settlements that dotted some parts of the landscape in the former RNA, as well as the military bases with rusting and unmaintained equipment, said enough about the state of the former superpower…

Which meant that western Talam was now, fittingly, something of a wild west.

Colonial wars had been fought in South Aurelia without the interference of the broken RNA, natives to the continent fighting against the settlers from Aunora who had come over in search of land and resources long before this current age. Sometimes they had success. Sometimes they didn’t. But it had set a pattern of the area being decidedly unstable, able to devolve into low level fighting at any moment. It was the reason why Royce’s own country was braced for war. It had only been five years ago that the Southern Wind Alliance had formed - most notably, that alliance represented a joining of forces between the Union of South Aurelian Soviets, and the Republic of Almirez, two states that weren’t anything to joke about militarily as well as being two of the more nationalistic nations in South Aurelia.

That was to say, if there was a war in either of the Aurelian continents in the next years, it seemed likely that it would be started by the Southern Wind Alliance, attempting to throw out the Alamanians and Castanans and Feronians from their continent now that there was no threat of a larger superpower stepping in to mediate.

And then, in all of it, there was the Federation of Kael - Royce’s country, and the one that she had sworn to defend. If push came to shove, she would likely end up on the front line… Using the combat suit that was in front of her, tied right now to a light system of scaffolding since it wasn’t in use. Kael was, of course, on the southern coast of North Aurelia rather than on the Southern Continent proper, but if there was a war, they would likely end up in it anyway. Because they were very much still Aunoran transplants, just of a far different branch from the Alamanians or the Feronians. And their presence was still a problem to many nations - especially those who would call themselves allies of Southern Wind.

They didn’t have colonies, but they might as well have been imperial in name - they had business interests with the Alamanians and the Castanans, they had their own business operations in various countries such as the post colonial state of Diamenia, and even, to an extent, in hostile territory itself as they operated certain companies out of the Republic of Almirez - things like logging, air travel, and mining. Money made the world go around… And Kael was better than most at seeking it, through their ‘clans,’ organizations that were often dominated and were almost feudal in that they stretched across politics, the military, and business as all powerful noble houses might. It didn’t help that they as a nation had little respect for the ‘laws’ that some others set out - they enforced their interests less through diplomacy and more through guns and bullets, and mercenaries acting as paramilitaries. They were one of the nations in the world to still keep slaves, a fact that Southern Wind rarely let them forget.

It was practically a rallying cry on their end - ‘Remove the slaveowning imperialists from South Aurelia!’

It was also a plain fact at this point that when the ‘Aurelian World War’ did happen at some point, it would likely be Southern Wind and their associated states against the Kingdom of Castana, Alamanian Empire, and Kael. Which was perhaps the reason why Royce spent this much time thinking about it - because it was more than likely that it would end up as a reality at some point. Her reality, when she ended up on the frontlines of such a conflict, protecting the interests of her country with the most advanced and cutting edge equipment in their inventory… The combat suit.

But to someone like Harper, geopolitics was several levels above her paygrade to squint at beyond trying to determine wherever they were going to deploy next, and she’d had more luck throwing darts at a map of the world to pick the next tinderbox than work it out herself. It wasn’t something she troubled herself with, and from her relaxed, carefree stride as she entered what was soon to be her platoon’s mech hangar, humming to no one just to fill the otherwise quiet air with noise.

It would be enough, however, to cause the Lieutenant who was acting as the leader of her platoon to turn, looking for the source of the noise before settling her eyes on Harper. Royce gave a quick assessment, just with her first glance - she seemed average enough for one of the soldiers of the 105th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade, but maybe a bit higher class than Royce herself. Then again, Royce herself wasn’t exactly high class at all. She did come from the capital, Daernel, but it was from the more criminal outskirts rather than the luxurious inner areas of the city. For her, the military was an honorable way of moving up and out of that situation.

Noticing the rank insignia, she realized she was likely looking at her Platoon Sergeant. “You’re the one that’s going to be working with me on this, eh?”

“Guess so.” Harper shrugged. She’d never been a particularly good judge of people, part of the reason she’d ended up in the military rather than in the less exciting, if higher paying world of biotech engineering that her parents and elder brother were in. “Staff Sergeant Harper Nerney.” She added, snapping a lazy salute towards Royce upon noticing her rank insignia.

“Don’t have to be that formal around me,” Royce stated with a nod, turning and looking back at the combat suit that was in front of them, before shifting on her heel to meet Harper’s gaze once again. “The name’s Royce. Royce Mahon. I might seem a little young to be leading the platoon… But I can assure you that I’ve earned my spot just like anyone else… Just through the mechanized corps instead of the academy.”

“Just figured I’d better cover my ass in case you were one of the types that insist on formality.” Harper said, relaxing noticeably as she dropped the salute. “And as far as I’m concerned, if you’re in your spot you’ve earned it until I see shit nosedive but I’m pretty sure you’re not that bad.”

“Well, we might be under pressure soon,” Royce said with a slight sigh. “Pretty sure that’s what the increase in training exercises and such is about, but with Almirez harassing shipping and such… They’re sayin’ World War Aurelia might be right around the corner. You think we’re going to end up in a jungle somewhere soon?”

“No idea, never had the head for politics.” Harper shrugged nonchalantly, crossing her arms. “But we were always gonna get sent somewhere sooner or later, jungle can’t be all that bad even if the mechs are gonna be pains in the ass depending on trees and shite like that. Beats having them in a city.”

“There’s big cities down there, too. And slums and such. Although, at least there’s cover and such… Better than being an open target on some steppe or something,” shrugged Royce. “But I think when the first shot comes… We aren’t necessarily going to expect it. Based on what’s been going on the past few months and such… Seems like the other side is just going to do something. And I’m sure we’ll end up the first ones on the ground when it happens.”

She paused. “Hopefully, you’re ready for it.”

“I better be.” Harper let out a laugh. “No reason I wouldn’t be, honestly, kinda eager to, y’know, do something, training gets you prepped but it’s no substitute for the real thing. But… Like you say, we’re not gonna expect it. Someone will do something stupid, things kick off and we go clean house.”

“Mmm. I’d say I’m ready for a lot of things. Dunno if World War A is one of ‘em, but I don’t think we’ll get much choice in the matter,” said Royce, stuffing her hands in her pockets as she craned her neck to look at the large mechanized combat suit in front of her, her reflection once again showing in the glossy white finish. It likely wouldn’t remain that clean and untouched once they saw actual combat. But that was just the nature of things… It was just a matter of when they’d end up dropped into some dire situation, not if.



The Southern Wind Alliance… A bond formed between the Union of South Aurelian Soviets and the Republic of Almirez in the wake of the civil war and fracturing of the RNA. In fact, it was only possible because the Republic of North Aurelia was no longer the power that it had been, or a power on the world stage at all for that matter. They never would have allowed a nation of Soviets to form on the continent below them, practically in their backyard, but many things had happened in the power vacuum that wouldn’t have been possible before it. One of those odd outcomes was the SWA.

Their goal was pretty simple. Expel the imperialists, the slavers, and foreign business interests from their continent.

It wasn’t a goal that everyone joined them in - there were some in South Aurelia who were fine with the status quo, since it didn’t affect them enough to care - but it was a goal they believed in. And their goal of national liberation also happened to fit the interests of one of the most powerful nations on the planet: the Zemalyan Federation of Socialist Republics. Southern Wind wasn’t the strongest alliance in the world, not by a longshot even… They didn’t have depth beyond the USAS and Almirez, but what they did have was support from overseas, which was perhaps what had emboldened them recently. They didn’t just have inherited and rusting ships like some of the neighboring countries, but hulking Zemalyan vessels capable of going toe to toe with some of the best that their northern rivals could throw at them. They didn’t just have the limited or nepotistic training that was common in South Aurelia, but instruction from experienced officers who had come over not so secretly as advisers.

They’d pursued their goal peacefully up to this point, but everyone knew that it wasn’t going to last forever. They were going to make their move eventually. When they were strong enough. Which, considering their growing strength… Meant that World War Aurelia could come sooner than some were expecting.

Perhaps the first spark would come from the Almirezian Navy destroyer Almirante Ramos, and the brilliant young Commander in charge of it, Zacarias Araya. While the rest of the country went about their day in peace, the Almirante Ramos was on the prowl… The bridge was in constant communication with other units at both land and sea. The task they had wasn’t one that they could slip up with - and the bright commander had been chosen for this mission rather than more experienced peers for a reason.

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Amirezian Navy Destroyer Almirante Ramos
Right now, the navy of Almirez just needed the job done. Pleasing senior officers by keeping the appearance of favoring them could come second to that.

Despite the faith that had been placed in him by officers of far higher rank than himself, there was still some nervousness on the part of Araya. Something any human would have in a situation like this, perhaps. There was no benefit of past experience for the Commander. This was the biggest thing he had been tasked with. And it was no easy task. It was, as some would say, like getting thrown out of the frying pan and right into the fire.

For someone in that situation, though, the Commander was still handling it calmly. Watching the clock in specific, and ensuring that their vessel continued on time as they worked on the first phase of their operation - the hunt.

“The vessel should be in sight in the next five minutes or so…” one of the bridge staff said, drawing a silent nod from Araya, who continued to look forward through the front window, at the endless waters of the Aurelian Ocean that surrounded them.

The Alamanian merchant ship Keller would be in view soon, if the statement was accurate. That was the target. Not some warship, but a merchant ship, carrying goods from Alamanian South Aurelia to the markets of the northern continent. Of course, to the more aggressive and emboldened Southern Wind, this presented a perfectly valid reason to seize the ship and its contents. According to them, anything gained from the Alamanian colony in South Aurelia was simply ill gotten gains that should be returned to their native homeland. However, seizing this ship wasn’t where they intended to stop.

Seizing vessels had gotten a response from Southern Wind’s northern rivals before. Maybe that would happen again if they seized one right now, something that they had already been warned about in the past. That response would lay down the groundwork for the real plan at play here. But Araya couldn’t afford to think ahead of himself. There was still a monumental task for a Commander that isn’t all that experienced to handle.

If things went well, which their Zemalyan advisors told them that this plan might, both they and their Union of South Aurelian Soviets allies would likely have more breathing room. Might even make their rivals think twice about challenging their influence here. There was also, though, a decent chance that things wouldn’t go well. Much of it would come down to how the Commander of the ship executed the plan, which was why there was a definite nervousness on the part of Araya.

He did his best not to show it, though. “Status on the rest of the operation?” he asked. There were other assets in play than just this destroyer… And all of them needed to do a damn good job for the plan to have a shot at working as intended.

“Everything… Going according to schedule,” said another one of the bridge officers.

It drew a slow nod from Araya himself, who bent slightly to see the computer screen that the officer was looking at. It just confirmed that everything seemed to be going on the right timeline… For now.

“Good work, everyone,” Araya said from his post. “We’ll continue on this route and begin preparing the special forces detachment to seize this Alamanian ship… And then we’ll move onto the next phase and hope it works… I dunno what the headlines are going to look like if we don’t succeed here…”

“I think if we don’t succeed, we might not have to worry about having a job much longer,” one of the enlisted sailors said… That was also a true point. There was a big career ahead for Araya. Would the challenge be risen to?



These tensions were nothing new, of course - they were expected. With no hegemony in the area it seemed the regional powers were eventually going to fight out their differences… And the Imperial Navy of Kael was ready for when that time came. Large numbers of ships had been constructed since the fall of the RNA, many of them using reverse engineered RNA technology directly… When a power fell, it also tended to have looser control over where its design elements ended uo. In this case, much of it was now in the hands of one of the nations that the Republic of North Aurelia had kept somewhat in check, among other places.

The pinnacle of the naval developments, other than the pair of aircraft carriers which had also been developed using what could be recovered from some of the fractured arms companies of the broken RNA, was perhaps the KNS Omen… The name meant to say, of course, that the nuclear battlecruiser was a bad omen for the enemy when it showed up. It wasn’t hard to see why. It was armed to the teeth with surface to air missiles, surface to surface missiles, and even anti submarine missiles. It might have resembled the battleships of old in a way, but the vessel didn’t need guns to do the job, the missile armament might as well have been enough to down an enemy surface group.

Which was the reason it was being deployed to the South Aurelian continent, or rather, the ocean around it. It was set to join the allied patrol group off the coast of Alamanian South Aurelia and New Castana due to the rising tensions in the area and the threat to allied shipping that Southern Wind and their increased activities presented - Soviet or Almirezian vessels had been seen further and further outside of their own waters.

The trip there, though, was supposed to be uneventful… They would head west and go around the continent before coming out on the south side and joining the patrol zone. Apparently, however, a peaceful trip there was a bit too much to ask for. There was a distinctive sound of a bell ringing played over the ship’s intercom system, and it signified that Captain Monroe Saunders was calling the ship’s Lieutenant Commanders, otherwise known as the heads of various major departments, to the bridge…

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Imperial Armed Forces Navy battlecruiser Omen.
There was some kind of something going on. That wasn’t to say anyone but the bridge staff knew just what it was yet, though.

Something, however, to someone like Ashla Walsh, almost always ignored the ‘bad’ that was inevitably tagged on after the ‘something’ which almost all superiors tended to forget to add. And so it was with a tired-looking, grumpy scowl on her face that she entered the bridge, only pausing briefly to salute the captain as she entered, mentally bracing for the inevitable bad news to come.

The news, as expected, wasn’t great. Although it partly depended on how one looked at it. “We’ve received word from the shore that we have a change to our assignment…” said Saunders, when the different department heads were gathered along with the bridge staff, all of them waiting to hear just what was happening. They didn’t have to wait very long to find out. “According to what I’ve heard from command, the Southern Wind Alliance - the Republic of Almirez Navy in specific - has seized an Alamanian merchant vessel headed for North Aurelia… This vessel is being impounded in Alca as we speak, in a more overt act of aggression by Southern Wind. The Alamanians happen to consider this an act of war, after the previous warnings… It seems like the other side wants war. They reportedly intend to imprison the sailors from this vessel. And as one of the closest capable ships in the area, we’ll be joining another vessel, a destroyer, and diverting our path to Alca to conduct a port strike and hit back. The extraction of sailors… Is set to be handled by ground based forces. Our task will remain on the sea for now.”

“However…” continued Saunders, letting out a brief sigh that said that all of the trouble wasn’t past with just that announcement. “We’re expected to run into opposition on the way there. Maritime surveillance has detected the Almirezian destroyer Almirante Ramos patrolling this area as well as two attached frigates. Those of you in departments dealing with combat should take note… We may end up engaging in it soon enough.”

Ashla nodded curtly; her department was weapons, so she needed to know exactly what she was up against. A single destroyer and two escorting frigates wouldn’t be a problem for a leviathan like the Omen, but a little bit of caution and wariness never hurt anyone. They had the advantage in firepower by a large margin, no reason not to exploit it.

So, that was how they ended up turning around and changing their path from west to east, headed right towards hostile territory… With contact expected to be made rather soon once they were far enough into their trip, moving at full speed to catch up with the enemy sooner. They wouldn’t be able to get there in time to stop the Almirezians from impounding the merchant vessel. But they could definitely do something about it, preceding the operation on the ground that would free the imprisoned sailors.

Even if their actions would end up being just one part in the sparks that would ignite a war - World War Aurelia.
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Lunas Legion
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:26 pm




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 2
“BATTLE OF THE ALCA COAST”


After Almirez has begun the first moves in sparking war with the colonial axis in South Aurelia, the KNS Omen has been sent on a rapid mission to break through the Almirezian Navy and aid in freeing captured friendly sailors.




Imperial Armed Forces Navy Battlecruiser KNS Omen
En route for Alca, Republic of Almirez
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



An act of war. That’s what they were saying that it was, as the news spread across the world via the internet, saying that the Republic of Almirez was impounding a merchant ship from the Alamanian Kaiserreich. The Kaiser, supposedly, wasn’t happy about it - the Alamanian Navy would likely be in the region soon enough to prevent such a thing from happening again, even if their resolution to the problem had to be one reached with guns and missiles and blood rather than peaceful diplomacy… But then again, Almirez had been the first one to skip past diplomacy, surely urged on by their allies from the Union of South Aurelian Soviets and aided with indirect support from their advisers in the Zemalyan Republics.

The whole situation meant that even if they hadn’t been directly involved at first, the crew of the KNS Omen would soon be dragged in by proxy… Threats to colonial interests in the region were threats to their own interests, too. Even if they weren’t as involved as a nation like Alamania was. No, Kael’s involvement was more subtle, even if their grasp on the continent was stronger than many would give them credit for. They’d found an unusual ally in the Kaiserreich - but the bonds of that alliance would be proven today as they charged headfirst towards a newfound enemy with the aim of retaliating against Almirez’s move on their ally.

And they were almost alone in their chase. The Corvus class nuclear guided missile battlecruiser had kept pace better than the Banlow class destroyer that was supposed to catch up with it… There were at least three enemy ships they were expected to run into before they hit the coast of the city of Alca, where an operation was about to be conducted to strike back for the seizure and free the sailors who were being imprisoned in Almirez for their ‘crimes’ - crimes which they had been sentenced to purely under the orders of the Southern Wind, not of their home country or any allies.

Still, Ashla didn’t consider one on three to be bad odds by any stretch as she made her way down through the ship at a brisk pace, fast enough to get down to her own weapons department than she otherwise would’ve, slow enough to preserve her own dignity as an officer. A sprinting weapons officer, or any officer for that matter, tended to result in mildly perturbed crewmen.

“Prepare to engage.” Ashla declared as she swept into her department’s part of the ship, banks of monitors and displays surrounding the room as she took her place in the center. “Intelligence indicates three probable targets, get me anti-ship missile locks ASAP. And keep an eye on the sonar, I’m not ruling out an unexpected submarine or two.”

She was met quickly by one of the brightest Lieutenants under her command within the weapons department, Nevan Cassidy - it made sense that Cassidy was competent, coming from one of the more relevant clans in Cabry after all. It had been the military or politics for the young man and he’d selected the military and hadn’t looked back since… Although he couldn’t say that he’d been in any situation like this one before. This was all new territory.

“We haven’t seen the enemy on radar yet,” Nevan remarked with a slight sigh, gesturing to the number of computers where crew members were working away, examining screens and preparing for when they would inevitably have to launch at the enemy. That time hadn’t come yet. It was, in a way, a calm before the storm, and almost a fitting one as the sun started to set outside. Not that they could see the peaceful sunset from down here… They were below deck, and besides, the focus was on the screens and their work… Not the outside. “Depending on what they do, it might be a bit before we spot them. But there’s a helicopter up right now, looking…”

“Then I suppose we shall have to just wait instead.” Ashla said, starting to tap her foot in an irregular, impatient rhythm against the floor. She hated waiting. It was the calm before the storm, when you knew what was about to come, but couldn’t quite yet do anything about it. “Although what three escorts can do against the Omen...” She let the sentence trail off. Three escorts against a ship like the Omen meant the enemy commander was either a foolish glory hound, a hardcore loyalist following suicidal orders, or someone competent with a plan. All were dangerous in their own ways, but some more so than others. She’d have to see what happened.

The conversation with her Lieutenant wouldn’t last long, for one of her other crew members would quickly make a call out while pointing to the communications console within the room. “Lieutenant Commander, there’s an incoming call from Captain Saunders!” the communications officer pointed out, getting her attention.

“Put the captain through.” Ashla said calmly, her earlier panic mostly gone now she was back in her element and in command of the situation.

“Aye!” the member of the crew said, pushing a few buttons on the console - and then holding out the phone receiver to the Lieutenant Commander, with the Captain waiting on the other end of the line.

Ashla took the phone, holding it up to speak into it. “Yes, captain?” She asked, not about to stand on ceremony during the lead-up to a battle.

“We’ve picked up the enemy Almirante Morales class destroyer and its two Project 426 escort frigates on radar… They’re not in our range yet. They’re further east from our current position, closer to the coast… It’s not the best kind of waters to give chase to them in. We wouldn’t want to run into problems, running aground and such. I’m asking if you have a plan in place to eliminate the enemy threat before that becomes a problem,” Saunders spoke quickly, not wasting much time getting the point across… They were, after all, roaring full speed ahead in the direction of their opponent at this very moment. Time was of the essence.

“We don’t need to catch them, just get them in range.” Ashla spoke. “They’re running, but they’ll be running to somewhere. If you can plot a course for us to intercept them before they get there, or plot us a course in parallel with the shoreline we can finish them off with superior firepower, but we do not want to get too close to the coast and I think the enemy commander knows that.”

“Be sure that they do get finished before we close too much with them… I don’t want to hang around the shoreline and there’s an airbase in Alca. Be way of air based attacks. We don’t know how far the Almirezian Navy is taking this thing… But they’re sure making more provocations than they would have in the past, damn it,” said Saunders. “We’re currently on pace to meet them about head on… Still closer to the shore than what’s comfortable.”

“I’m more worried about submarines than land-based air strikes, but concern noted. And I have no intention of letting them get away as long as its within my ability to do so.” Ashla said.

“See to it that you don’t.”

The call ended on that which left them cruising towards the opposing group of ships, still moving at their maximum speed while the crew made preparations. They’d had to get the weapons set up to fire, considering they hadn’t been expecting combat previously, but that was all but done by now and it was simply systems checks and the like… Maybe just a way to pass the time considering the tense situation. Wasn’t like any of the sailors here could say they had been in something like this before. Helping in counterinsurgency operations and such was vastly different from taking on the navy of another regional power, with a prisoner situation depending on their success.

Their attack on the port, after all, which needed to happen on time and would require them to get through hostile ships first, would be a required part of getting the Alamanian sailors freed. Because the Omen was really just one part in the larger assault that was coming… But their actions would also represent the tip of the spearhead, the first to show up and the first to strike a blow.

And the quiet silence had returned once again, much to Ashla’s irritation as her food started to tap against the floor again as she waited for anything at all to happen rather than simply waiting.

“The opposing commander is known for being crafty, you know…” said Nevan, also staring ahead at the others working, waiting for some further developments in the situation. “At least, if it’s the name that I heard circulating around once we knew we were going to be taking on Almirez… And that it was probably going to be a destroyer we’re up against. Zacarias Araya. Formerly a frigate commander. But this wouldn’t be the first time that Araya has tangled with the Alamanians. Or well, in this case, with one of their allies.”

“Doesn’t mean he’s ever fought the Kaelic Navy or a ship like the Omen.” Ashla stated. “Cleverness and intelligence can only ever get you so far before luck or something else catches up. With luck, that’ll be today, once we get his little group in range.”

“Yes but… Taking on the Alamanian Navy… Provoking the Alamanian Navy and coming out of it, with just a frigate, is something of an impressive feat. And look at what Araya has now. More assets than before. I suppose that’s the reason for caution. We have more firepower… But we are alone, headed into hostile waters,” Nevan continued, shrugging slightly. “It’s not the spot most commanders would want to be in…”

“That implies he knew the Omen would be the ship sent to respond and alone rather than with escorts.” Ashla pointed out. “He’s gotten two extra frigates, sure, but now he has to fight a far more powerful ship. He’s intelligent, so he’s running because he knows he can’t outfight us so he’s waiting for us to give up the chase most likely, which we obviously can’t do. One commander, no matter how good, cannot make a victory if presented with the wrong situation. When we catch him he’s finished.”

“We’ll see…”

The latest development would get the attention of all of the officers within the weapons room, however. In this case, because there was an update to their enemy’s position. “The enemy group is reversing their position and heading back towards Alca!” reported on of the crew members, watching the radar feed which was being transmitted from the helicopter that was in the air watching the situation, a Sea Owl styled design that was based on one of the RNA’s prior inventions… Now that the RNA was a shell of itself, however, most of their technology had become ‘open source’ so to speak.

“A strange choice.” Ashla murmured to herself. “They come out to meet us and then turn back? Inform the captain of their course change and that they might be using themselves as bait to draw us into the range of anti-ship missiles from another source we haven’t spotted yet. Our mission hasn’t changed. That enemy group needs to be eliminated.”

“Aye,” the crew member said, saying something to the communications officer who radioed the bridge quickly with the updated information - although there was a chance the bridge already had it. It was a strange situation for sure.

The peace would be disturbed further by the next news, however. “There’s Sn-37 fighters taking off from Alca!” reported one of the other crew, watching a similar screen. “With… Well, presumably attack loadouts… Headed in this direction, the helicopter is picking up six of them so far. We’ve only got minutes before they end up here, in range to hit us.”

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The Zemalyan built Sn-37 Strike Fighter

“Like I said, bait.” Ashla chuckled. “Ready the SEA-100s, fire as soon as they come into range, six missiles.”

“Aye…”

And so, with the group of Almirezian Air Force strike fighters roaring towards them, giving them only minutes to get ready before the engagement began for real, the crew prepared to lock on and fire as soon as their targets were in range. Although, the task at hand was easier said than done. “They’re dropping in altitude as they approach… Making it hard to get a lock on radar even if we know they’re coming,” the crew member reported.

“Keep trying, switch to the SEA-55 once they’re in range and prepare the Wasps and Scorpions.” Ashla commanded. She wasn’t about to let this attack get through if she had any weapons that would allow her to say otherwise.

They would manage to get the lock once again once the strike fighters were closer to the vessel, and from there, it didn’t take long before missiles roared out of the VLS cells located on the deck, towards the front of the ship. What had been a clear day was interrupted by smoke clouding around the deck and the bridge and everywhere else as the six missiles shot forth in the direction of the enemy, which wasn’t deterred by them and continued straight ahead…

However, the luck seemed to be on the side of the missiles this time rather than the pilots, with the strike fighters breaking and making evasive moves once they were closer to the Omen itself but finding it impossible to lose the locks. The missiles pursued them. Chased them, didn’t let up or lose the lock, and they would eventually catch up with most of their targets…

There were a number of explosions in the sky as the largest engagement between Almirez and its imperial rivals in quite some time played out, five of the Almirezian fighters crashing down beneath the water when everything was said and done, not having fired their payloads. There was, however, one fighter that had survived the onslaught and outpiloted the missile that had been on the six of his own plane, with a combination of electronic warfare, sharp handling, and chaff… And that fighter was now looping around and firing off all four of the anti ship missiles that each fighter had been carrying as a payload.

“Four vampires… Incoming,” reported one of the crew members, watching as new contacts appeared on the radar screen and the fighter who had fired them made a hard turn away from the vessel while popping flares and accelerating, aiming to get out of the area quickly.

“Deploy decoy rockets.” Ashla stated calmly, seemingly not the least bit unsettled by the incoming missiles. “And ready the CIWS.” Four missiles should be enough to be easily dealt with by the Omen’s active countermeasures.

“On it…”

Soon enough, there would be more shots fired off in an effort to deal with the ongoing attack on them. The decoys would do a good enough job to get two of the rapidly moving missiles away from them, but there was a bit of a problem… And well, that was the fact that there were still two incoming that hadn’t been thrown off track, having found a good enough lock. Which left Ashla with a quick decision to make on what their next move was… After all, they might only get one or two more moves in this little duel of theirs.

Two missiles left, but Ashla thought she still had enough left in her arsenal two missiles wouldn’t be an issue. She still had the Omen’s CIWS batteries, plus the ship’s Scorpions even if there were only two of the latter. “Open fire with the CWIS and the Scorpions.” Ashla stated.

The rotating cannons took aim at the two missiles at the same time that the Scorpion missiles streaked out of their launchers and fired off towards the opposing targets. However, none of the missiles fired would hit the mark, both targets continuing onwards… One of the anti ship missiles came dangerously close but instead of making impact with the hull it ran out of energy and crashed into the water, short, causing a massive explosion of water which would soar in the air, nearly reaching a height higher than the ship itself… And the sudden burst of water would also make it harder to see the trajectory of the second anti ship missile, which shot through the wave and had better luck, passing through a field of CIWS fire safely and slamming into the hull of the vessel.

It was safe to say the impact was felt throughout the Omen, the entire vessel swaying with the hit as their current speed caused them to list off to the side slightly, as steering was added to compensate and pull them back in the other direction. Crew members were thrown off their feet… Smoke billowed out of the spot on the side of the hull which had been hit. The lights flickered for a moment, even, before recovering… Although it would take longer for the crew to recover, both from the actual impact and from the shock of the situation and the fact that the enemy had played them perfectly and lured them into this trap which had resulted in a successful strike.

Ashla fell forwards, catching herself on the edge of a console before staggering back to her feet. Damage control wasn’t her area of expertise; she didn’t need to know how much damage they’d taken, only that they weren’t all dead. “Status report, I need to know what the enemy group is doing and if we have more planes incoming.” Ashla barked out, pushing herself back up to her feet. She couldn’t do anything about the damage they’d taken, but she could do something about any follow-up attacks.

“Not picking anything up just yet…” Nevan said through gritted teeth, climbing up from the ground and looking at one of the console screens that had been abandoned by a crew member that was still on the ground. The impact had been a violent one, after all - no one was dead in this department but they probably had some minor injuries at the least, that might affect their combat effectiveness.

Someone else would speak up, however, with something intriguing, holding the phone in hand. “There’s contact from the Captain again!” the crewman spoke, in a hurried tone.

“Put him through.” Ashla sighed, mentally ready for whatever was about to be sent her way.

The phone would be handed over quickly, and with it, there came new orders. “We’re not just going to let them get off with this… We’re not moving right now but we’re not just going to sit here like sitting ducks, the Banlow is going to be here soonish, and the ground forces coming in by air, but until that happens… You have orders to wipe the air base off the map. You should be able to get the location based on the radar pattern of where those strike fighters came from,” Saunders ordered…

They were equipped for ground strikes, of course. That was one of the primary reasons they were on this mission in the first place - the formidable Gladius missile, a creation of the Republic of North Aurelia that like many other things had fallen into their hands and had even been improved upon, was made just for that purpose. And they would likely end up putting it to good use soon.

“Roger that, and with pleasure.” Ashla said, handing the phone back. “Get me the position at which those fighters first registered on our radar and prepare the Gladius missiles. We may have shot down all bar one of those fighters, but that one isn’t going to find a home to return to.”

“Preparing to fire as soon as possible…” said one of the members of the crew, getting the coordinates of the hidden jungle airbase where the attack had come from and putting them into the targeting system… Eventually, there would be a siren on the deck. The familiar one that came before the VLS cells were about to open up and release hell on the enemy. Missiles rose up from their storage compartments, the deck now filled with the sight and the smell of smoke as they streaked higher into the sky, turning to accelerate towards the enemy coastline. Eventually, they’d get further inland and reach their targets. It didn’t seem like the jungle airstrip was defended with air defenses after all. However, for now, they had some… Down time.

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Like many inventions of the Republic of North Aurelia, the Gladius missile has ended up in the service of a number of other nations these days.
Down time didn’t mean Ashla was leaving, even as the quiet and relative calm returned to the Omen. “We’re dead in the water so stay on alert, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a second attack wave to finish us off or the group we were chasing turns back tries to.” Ashla declared, crossing her arms. Even wounded as she was, the Omen still had a great deal of fight left in her if someone thought she’d be easy prey.

“We shouldn’t have ended up hit in the first place…” said Nevan, taking a step back from patrolling the room and seeing what kind of level they were operating at after the strike. Fortunately, it hadn’t been them that had taken the actual impact… But they had still felt it. “Any problems we face from here on our are because we… Well, because someone underestimated Araya before. And now they have the initiative…”

“He used himself as bait to lure us into a trap.” Ashla waved dismissively. “In case you didn’t notice, we swatted five of six planes and three of four missiles out of the sky, but you do only need one to get through in the end. Personally, I think you’re overestimating him, but given what happened when I underestimated him I’ll keep a weary caution. Overestimating someone’s capabilities is almost as bad as underestimating them if you begin to think they’re invincible.”

“Overestimating? Only took them one wave of attacks to get through… I’d say they did pretty good considering the defenses… And it’s only possible because we’re this close to land, something that only happened because we’re chasing after the enemy,” Nevan stated with a slight sigh. “But that’s the Captain’s decision. Point is, though… The response from this department sure underestimated the opponent, too. And look where we ended up from that.”

“True.” Ashla conceded. “We were maneuvered into an unfavourable situation, but the fact remains that the Omen is still operational and afloat, if dead in the water. Still a failure, given we failed to catch the enemy group and are dead in the water, but if this Araya was the savant you make him out to be we wouldn’t be afloat despite being hit. Not sure if that’s due to lack of resources and need to improvise or not, however.” Ashla scratched at her chin as she thought. “A second wave of planes close behind the first, his group turning to give battle simultaneously with the attack wave, if he’d had one or two of those ancient hunter-killers… No, he could have finished us off, if he’d had the available resources and managed to coordinate them correctly. No doubt we’ll be seeing more of him in the near future.”

“They hardly have subs in the first place… A lot of the danger comes from their air force which hopefully will be grounded in this area for a bit thanks to taking out the airstrip although if we’re sitting here long enough we might be vulnerable to attack from Alca itself. If you want to know why I rate the enemy highly… Consider the fact that our campaign is probably done before we’ve even gotten in range to hit the harbor,” Nevan continued, watching one of the radar screens.

“Tactical victory. He’s pulled this off once, so naturally we’ll be warier next time. It’s if he pulls it off again we need to start worrying, once is a fluke or luck, twice is a coincidence, and I don’t believe in coincidences in war.” Ashla said, crossing her arms. “We’ll see what he’s made of when he has more available to play with.”

“Fair enough…” Nevan said. Although it didn’t seem like her words were really believed by the Lieutenant, who took a more cynical view of the situation. But some people just couldn’t be convinced. Maybe not until Ashla had more experiences like this herself and realized that her overconfidence was going to be a problem.

It wasn’t long before their cruise missiles hit the intended spot, and one of their crew members reported the hits. “Strikes confirmed… The enemy hangar, runway, and some of their aircraft should be destroyed with that… I believe the runway has been rendered inoperable,” the crewman said. They wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked again from this base now, it seemed.

But as for any other bases… That still had to be determined. “I’m seeing nothing coming from the coast on the radar datalink so far…” Nevan stated, letting out a deep breath. “So it seems we’re stuck waiting for the other ship…”

“Which, in retrospect, we should have most likely done.” Ashla said. “As it stands, once we’re back into running order we’ll likely be ordered back to Kael for repairs and to evaluate the damage. That we’re still afloat, if immobile, hopefully means it’s relatively minor.”

“Relatively…”

Still an unsatisfying outcome. But one they were stuck with for now. They would have additional cover when a Banlow class destroyer joined them soon… Until then, they would miss out on what they had come here for. Which wouldn’t look good for them, and it especially didn’t look good that there would inevitably be images of Kael’s monster of a CGBN listing with smoke pouring out of the side. Partly due to the mistakes of the one who had been in charge of its defense.

Higher command would have some questions when they reached port, that was for sure. Even if they had survived and dealt a blow back.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:59 pm




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 3
“KNIGHTS OF THE SKY”


The mercenary market in Talam is traditionally a large one - there’s always a number of states or non state actors looking for more firepower… Some of the most prestigious are mercenary pilots, taking to the skies in their own aircraft and fighting for profit rather than for any flag. One such company is Warhawk Defense, which is quietly preparing for it’s next deployment out east, to the divided nation of Kuristan. Kuristan, formerly an unstable democracy, has been split in two by civil war for years - anticommunist powers such as Alamannia and Albion have supported the western half of the country, which is still ruled by its sitting President, while the Zemalyan Federation of Socialist Republics has backed the invasion of the west by the communist east. With the western faction having been backed into a corner by the on again off again war, some have speculated that mercenaries could appear on the front soon as a way of evening out the score…




FlyDaernel™ Airield, Warhawk Defense Regional HQ
Daernel City, Daernel Province, Federation of Kael
January 25th, 2049
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



FlyDaernel Airfield was, as one might expect, one of the airports within Daernel, the capital of the Federation of Kael. That wasn’t to say that it was anything like Daernel International, the massive airport with a number of runways and routes coming in from both the east and the west, acting as a gateway between the two and taking many of the business that had once gone to the Republic of North Aurelia back during better days for the continent. But the place was somewhat state of the art in its own right. There was only one runway, but it was surrounded with all of the facilities that one might expect from such a place, with repair facilities sitting across from a control tower which itself wasn’t far from a hangar containing a number of high tech and expensive planes…

The name may have sounded like the name of some sponsored airport, but it was rather a military airfield operated by one specific group: Warhawk Defense. The branding around it was simply a way to get more cash to spend on the operations here - it wasn’t cheap running a wing of air mercenaries. Pilots expected to be paid, planes themselves weren’t cheap, missiles and bullets cost more than the average person would realize, and all of the planes had to undergo repair and maintenance frequently to stay in the sky… Some might say it was a bit soulless to slap the corporate logo of an airline on the gate outside and in a number of places at the airfield, but it was just one way of covering that. Because not every company had unlimited resources to dip into, even if all of them were aiming to get to the point where spending on excesses was no problem…

Still, this company had carved out a place for themselves. Taking jobs around the world had put enough in their pockets to spend on facilities like this one, and within the facility, any visitors would find rows of aircraft which were able to compete with any of the ones that might be found in a national military. And they had fought like a national military much of the time. They’d carried out air strikes over South Aurelia and they’d fought in warlord conflicts in the Orient, they’d been around the world and back and for that, Warhawk could say they were one of the better off companies in this field… It helped that, in this culture, mercenaries were seen as an honorable thing. A path to self improvement and improving one’s position. There were no shortage of people that wanted to become ‘knights of the sky.’ If anything, there was a shortage of viable companies instead…

Which meant that the Pitchfork Squadron that operated out of this base was lucky to be in the position that they were in right now. Mostly, that position at the moment involved preparing for a future deployment that the rumor mill said could be in Aunora - eaastern Aunora, in specific, in the border zone where the west met the ZFSR… The nation of Kuristan had been split east and west by a conflict of both competing influences, and some said that the west was looking to bring in mercenaries not to win, but to just survive. Could those mercenaries be from Warhawk? That was undetermined, but some within the company would say so.

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Training flights out of FlyDaernel Airfield are a regular happening…
The news about Kuristan was the subject that was currently being talked about on one of the televisions, as some of the pilots of Pitchfork Squadron waited in a side room for the ground crew to finish preparing their fighters. It took time in the sky to stay sharp, after all… Especially if they were going to head to a deployment overseas in the coming days or weeks, like some said.

“The East Kuristan SR has announced renewed plans of an offensive across the Kostori river, and into West Kuristani territory… According to East Kuristani state media, these plans will be a complete effort involving the nation’s ground forces, air forces, and paramilitary units working in sync to push for the unification of the country by the end of 2049. Allies of the Republic of Kuristan, such as the Kingdom of Albion, are expected to step up their support to prevent the western nation from falling into becoming a ZFSR client state…”

“What do you think?” said Flight Commander Jock McLean, looking up at the screen and gesturing to it as the newscaster continued to speak about the situation in the eastern country. “Could be the next deployment… And a challenging one at that. Not ‘cause of the Kuristan SR… Because of their allies, and the fact that most of the planes we see there probably won’t be theirs… It’ll be more advanced ones flying in from the ZFSR.”

“Could be, could not be.” Guinevere shrugged dismissively from where she was lazily sprawled over a couch. “Depends if someone’s willing to foot our paychecks for the West or not, but you’re probably right on it being a mess if we do go over. ‘Volunteer’ pilots in good planes are a pain, but not every enemy can be some warlord’s flock of barely operational not-quite warbirds. Hopefully it’ll pay well if we do go over.”

“The money might be coming from Albion… Not one of the typical sources. Doesn’t seem like it, but this is a bigger deal than just some smaller regional conflict,” McLean stated as the newscaster continued. “No, it’s an east versus west conflict. Whether the eastern storm that’s coming is enough to tip it in their favor permanently… I guess we’ll either see soon or we’ll be on the ground over there ourselves while it happens.”

“They do have to, y’know, win first.” Guinevere pointed out. “Not much of a storm if the KSR gets two miles over the border then gets stopped in their tracks.”

“They’ve been winning so far, haven’t they? They have the western backed side backed up behind the Kostori river… And they haven’t been able to break out from that river since they ended up back there,” McLean said, raising an eyebrow. “As far as I know… It’s the Republic of Kuristan that’s in desperation mode, not the Kuristan SR.”

“Winning so far’s the important thing there.” Guinevere said. “Doesn’t mean they’re gonna keep winning. Sure, momentum’s important, but fuck knows how good their logistics is at keeping it up. But guess we’ll see ‘bout all that in the near-ish future.”

“We’ll see,” said McLean, pausing and turning when the door to the room opened up and someone else stepped in, in this case, their ‘Business Officer,’ Lucas Domhnail. As a corporate squadron, they of course had some people around them responsible for making sure that the business side of things ran smoothly, sometimes to the annoyance of the pilots. It had been said that they had commissars, too, just like a socialist squadron - theirs were just from the HR department rather than some political ministry. Although right now, it was more likely Lucas was here to tell them something important than to get on them about some company policy.

“There’s something soon that might be of interest to you two,” stated Domhnail, looking between both McLean and Guinevere, the casual suit that he wore contrasting heavily with the flight suits that the two pilots were wearing. Then again, they were in completely different professions. Made sense that they looked the part. “There’s a plane coming in from Diamenia… You know, one of those places down south, kind of what you’d expect from South Aurelia… Authoritarianism, narco-state, and all that. Apparently this pilot is a defector from the Diamenian Air Force. And they asked to land here, which the higher ups approved… So you can expect to see cops and KIB around here soon and all that, but if you’re lucky you’ll get a look at this landing first.”

“Well that’s not something you get every day.” Guinevere said as she leapt up to her feet, for once actually eager over something their squad’s resident corporate suit had said. Just because she’d grown up around the corporate world didn’t mean she liked it, just that she knew why they did the things they did. Which was normally complaining at them about company policy and them not following it.

“Anything beyond they’re a defector?” She asked, starting to move towards the door. She didn’t exactly want cops and the KIB crawling all over their turf, but sometimes you just had to deal. And the spooks weren’t that bad. Some of the time. One of her best friends was in the KIB so she couldn’t say they were all bad, just mostly. “Like, you don’t expect them to request to land here of all places, but eh. Oh, uh, ETA on landing?”

“Don’t know a whole lot but we are one of the only groups like this that completely owns our own airfield. Might have something to do with it. And if what I heard from the higher ups is correct…” said Lucas, as they started walking out of the hangar complex and towards the runway which was located not far from it. “We might be dealing with someone looking for work, too. I mean, getting into the country is one thing. But staying here and not just getting deported, that might be harder. I have the feeling we’re being asked to take someone in so to speak… Would make staying around without getting kicked out easier, because you know… We can get someone working papers.”

Lucas paused, looking to the sky once they were outside and standing on the apron near the runway. “Supposedly the pilot is from the 153 Squadron… One of the elite ones in Diamenia. They’ve got the most modern and up to date stuff in the Diamenian Air Force, not every squadron can say the same.”

“Makes sense for them to land here then, private property means the plane can stay on our runway, working for us as you said means not getting kicked out with nowhere to go, plus good pay.” Guinevere responded, crossing her arms and standing next to Lucas, eyes trained on the sky even if she’d hear the plane before she saw it. “Diamenians are gonna be pissed but fuck ‘em, they’re not gonna do anything.”

McLean looked to the sky, spotting a pair of floodlights approaching and cutting through the familiar Daernel fog… Seemed that this defector was being escorted by one of the F/A-20M Specter fighters that made up the backbone of a number of squadrons within the Imperial Armed Forces Air Force. While on the other hand, once the defector’s plane came into view, it was somewhat easy to see that it was a modern Zemalyan produced Sn-51 Archer C fighter, painted in the blues of the Diamenian Air Force and the blacks of 153 Squadron, both colors contrasting with each other and coming into better view while the plane started its descent.

“That would be the plane, I think,” said McLean, pointing out both the Diamenian fighter and the escort that was flying somewhat close to it.

“Nice ride.” Guinevere let out a low whistle at the sight of the plane; she could appreciate a good plane when she saw one, doubly so since the corporate side in her view liked to cheap out on their own planes some of the time. “Wouldn’t mind having a go if we get to keep the thing.”

“The KIB might want to send it back to keep things good with Diamenia against Almirez,” stated Lucas, shrugging. “But… There’s a chance. Then again, that thing is Zemalyan made… Not like the Aurelian models we have. You wouldn’t be able to use half the missiles we have with a Sirnov jet like that one.”

“I just want to fly the thing, not use it in combat.” Guinevere scowled as she looked up at Lucas. “Not every day you get one of those literally landing on the runway. I want to see how it handles compared to our usual fare for curiosity's sake.”

“Fair enough,” said Lucas, as the Sn-51 touched down, the flaps fully extended and the airbrake popping up once the plane was on the ground to start cutting the speed… Wasn’t long before it was slowing down, eventually rolling to a stop, the black and blue camouflage pattern now more visible as well as the markings which displayed the squadron, and the roundel of the air force that the plane belonged to. Well, the one that it had belonged to before getting taken all the way out here. And then… The canopy would open up once the plane had come to a stop on the runway, the pilot starting to climb out of the hulking aircraft before dropping down to the ground, face still covered by a flight helmet.

“Yo.” Guinevere gave a lazy wave towards the pilot as they climbed out of their plane, slowly starting to make her way across the runway. Wouldn’t hurt to make a good first impression on what might be her flight’s newest member given they’d been down a pilot. They weren’t the only flight who used this airbase, just the ones currently living there while off-contract.

The Diamenian pilot approached slowly - and when the flight helmet was removed, Guinevere and the others would see a female face and a full head of hair that had been hidden beneath the helmet which hadn’t shown anything. That, and a face that was somewhat exhausted after making the trip, which itself had been from a long way out. Bahia Clara, the capital of Diamenia and the place where the squadron was based, wasn’t exactly close to Kael. Although, it wasn’t very long before a few dark SUVs of the KIB would show up on the tarmac seemingly out of nowhere, presumably having arrived after being alerted earlier about what would happen.

The doors to the SUVs opened up and out emerged a number of agents wearing light tactical gear - it wasn’t the heaviest loadout they could have chosen, but they were armed nonetheless, and they had a few guns pointed at the pilot that had just emerged from the cockpit of the Sn-51. “It seems Diamenia isn’t exactly regarded with trust by the authorities…” remarked Lucas, watching from a safe enough distance. “A little too much proximity with Almirez…”

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Former 153 Squadron pilot Francis Madrazo
“Bit of deserved paranoia never hurt anyone, I suppose…” Guinevere said as she reluctantly stopped, not willing to get in the way of the KIB. That was just being stupid.

It seemed they wouldn’t get too long around the new pilot before she ended up taken away by the KIB at the rate at which things were going, with one of the agents fixing a pair of handcuffs to the pilot’s wrists, but that didn’t stop the eyes of that pilot from roaming towards the Warhawk ones which were standing by the runway and watching the ordeal… Her eyes would meet Guinevere’s, the look in them something of a pleading one. After all, there was often little telling what would happen to someone that was dragged off into an SUV by the KIB… And it definitely wasn’t the preferable outcome for someone that had risked enough just getting here.

Guinevere paused, just thinking for a moment. Crossing the KIB was… Far from the smartest decision anyone had ever made in Kael, and she’d know given she had friends from her hometown who’d joined it and she got occasional non-classified stories from them on the rare chances they’d gotten to meet up given their respective lines of work.

On the other, well… She wasn’t the type of person to just stand back when things like this happened. There was a reason she hadn’t joined the KIB, and that was because there was a bit too much of a strong moral center to her. Even if it made her do things like what she was about to consider doing, things which she knew were probably just a little bit stupid but she couldn’t not do.

“I thought she was a defector, not a spy? Since when did Kael arrest defectors?” She called out, more in protest than in challenge. If the KIB wanted to shove over this there was nothing she could do, but at the very least it made her feel slightly better, voicing her protests.

“This defector happens to be coming from a regional hot zone,” one of the agents stated, looking to Guinevere. Although, the protest seemed to slow things down at least, getting a couple of the agents to start talking, perhaps going over whether or not they were meant to make the arrest here… This wasn’t the kind of thing that anyone was particularly experienced with, after all.

“She’s a defector in an Sn-51.” Guinevere pointed out. “If the Diamenians are starting to sacrifice their best planes to get a single spy into Kael, well, that makes no damn sense. You guys have a modern Zemalyan fighter jet, I figured you’d be more excited to get your hands on that than its pilot. Not like she’ll know all that much, she just flies planes like me, she won’t know any of the higher level stuff you want to know.”

There was some pause - the procedure for something like this wasn’t entirely laid out, and so, after a brief conversation, one of the agents took out a radio. “Look, the protocol isn’t entirely clear on this, so I’ll have to make a call back to the office about it…” the agent said… Which left the others to mill around, not taking any further action just yet, as the pilot stood there with her hands handcuffed still. The only thing the other pilots could do was wait…

But they didn’t have to wait forever, as a decision came somewhat soon from the office the KIB agents had come from. The agent looked back to the others. “The defector can go for now… But she has to file the appropriate paperwork in the next twenty four hours, or this will be considered an illegal entry into the country,” the agent continued, putting away the radio and gesturing for one of the others to unlock the handcuffs. “So since you advocated for this… You can consider yourself responsible for making sure the right process is followed.”

Guinevere said nothing, simply nodding. Paperwork wouldn’t be that hard to deal with, it was just a matter of knowing what went where as she glanced down at her wristwatch, making a note of the time. If they said twenty four hours, she had exactly twenty four hours, and she was not about to get herself snatched for wrong paperwork.

The pilot started making her way over once she had been released by the KIB agents… And McLean raised an eyebrow at the action on Guinevere’s part. “Nice job showing up the KIB for no real reason…” McLean said, looking between the pilot and the agents behind her. “What exactly made you think that was a good idea, again?”

“I didn’t think it was a good idea.” Guinevere said, letting out a relieved breath. “But worst that could happen is they tell me to shut the hell up and keep going, plus there’s a good reason I come from spook central and I’m friends with a bunch yet I’m not a spook. Call it a bit too much of a conscience.”

“You literally shoot at other people for money,” McLean remarked sharply - and that was kind of true. They were further removed from their targets as mercenary pilots but they were still mercenaries at the end of the day. “Might want to reconsider that bit.”

“It’s more a thing for injustice, if they’re on the other end of the missile that’s their fault, they chose to put themselves there.” Guinevere shrugged. “Perfectly fair. Shit like that, not exactly.”

“You’re a decent person, Cathain… Then again, like I said, you might want to work on that if you want to do well in this field,” McLean stated, folding his arms and turning his attention to the defector as she made her approach from the runway. McLean slapped Guinevere on the shoulder before taking a step back himself. “And try not to get too attached to your new friend over here. We don’t know what’s going to happen… Or what the intentions are here.”

“Yeah, but defectors tend to be the driven or otherwise interesting types. Takes a hell of a lot to give up everything you’ve ever known to fly to the other side.” Guinevere said, watching the defector approach. “And don’t think I can’t be both a decent person and do well, I can keep the battlefield and here separate.”

“We will see…”

McLean stepped away to head back to the hangar, and Guinevere would find herself face to face with the defector that she had seen before from a distance. A bit more nervous up close, and the tiredness from the trip was more apparent, but she had survived at least, and now she was on the ground… And hadn’t been dragged away by the KIB for some kind of interrogation. “T-Thanks for that b-back there,” the defector spoke. “I k-know that was probably h-hard and a l-lot to ask of you…”

“You didn’t exactly ask, and I’m not exactly the biggest fan of spooks in the first place.” Guinevere gave a dismissive wave, as if it was nothing. “But you’re welcome, whoever you are.”

“F-Francis… Madrazo,” the pilot said, still sounding nervous, her voice contrasting with the guts it must have took to fly across South Aurelia in a stolen fighter before landing in Kael. Not to mention getting the fighter off the ground in the first place. It must have taken quite the effort… But on the ground, this pilot was a bit timid to say the least, and spoke like someone that at worst was on the verge of being a emotional wreck.

“Well, welcome to Kael Francis.” Guinevere said, smiling. “I’m Guinevere, you can call me that or Cathain if it’s a bit of a mouthful. The big guy is McLean. Anyways, let’s, uh, go find you somewhere to stay and get that paperwork sorted before it’s a problem, yeah? You’ll probably feel better off the runway.”

“Er, yeah… Makes sense,” said Francis, following after Guinevere while their Business Officer, Lucas, watched in the background. McLean had made a valid point about not getting attached - they didn’t know what would happen in the future. But this did seem like the kind of thing that didn’t just happen for no reason… After all, there were plenty of airfields to land at and this happened to be the one that received the landing from their defector.

Maybe, this was actually the start of something… They lacked one pilot and needed to fill the spot before their next deployment, after all.
Last edited by Forest State on Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29672
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:40 pm




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 4
“JUNGLE HUNTING PART 1”


War is heating up between two sides vying for influence in South Aurelia… The imperialistic axis of the Federation of Kael and the Alamanian Kaiserreich, and the nativist Southern Wind Alliance. The former is preparing an effort to free the crew of the merchant ship recently impounded by Almirez, but few realized at the time that the naval action was only a first move… And that the real strike would come in the form of an all out blitz by Southern Wind to try to take back full influence over their continent in a fell swoop.




Northern Theater Command Center, Republic of Almirez Army
20km south of Alca, Republic of Almirez
January 27th, 2049
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



There was a fight coming soon - just about everyone knew it, from the soldiers of the Southern Wind Alliance between the USAS and the Republic of Almirez, to their likely opponents: the Aunoran settlers in and around South Aurelia, who had clashed with the locals in some ways for ages… But those clashes didn’t tend to go hot. The expectation was usually that things were going to die down. But it was hard to argue that at least one side didn’t have the intention for a full war based on the events that had happened only days ago. That was to say, the events that had seen the Kaelic missile cruiser KNS Omen struck by an anti-ship missile fired from an Almirezian plane, in a naval confrontation where destroyer Commander Zacarias Araya had gotten the better of the larger, but solo, vessel.

That wasn’t the kind of thing that could just be forgotten about after a few days, nor was it the kind of thing that could be backed down from. There had to be a response - if only because a lack of one would make the world think that the Federation of Kael couldn’t respond to one of their prized cruisers getting hit like this by an enemy which had provided plenty of provocation over the past years. This incident could serve as the straw that would break the camel’s back.

One move that not everyone expected, however, was Almirez and their South Aurelian Soviet allies taking the initiative and making moves to remove the foreign presence from their continent before a proper response could form. The move at sea had been the first one… But it was the first of many. And these moves were set to happen within a short time span of each other, while the KNS Victorious carrier battlegroup was still en route from the Kaelic mainland. There would be a war, that was for sure… But if they could move before the other side, they could potentially tip the scales for the conflict in a way that Kael and Alamania wouldn’t be able to flip back so easily. Both sides knew there was always a chance of something like this happening… Most didn’t believe that Southern Wind would do it right now.

“The 23rd Armored, 25th Infantry, 17th Airborne, and 27th Armored Brigades are currently in the Union of South Aurelian Soviets, massed on the border with Alamanian South Aurelia… However, the analysts predict that it would take four days to push the defenders to the coast, thanks to their technological advantage and the local garrison. Additionally, the enemy has prepared for such a situation since the naval battle with Kael…” said one of the Generals within the Northern Theater Command Center - which in this case was being used to coordinate movements across the southern and northern fronts of this conflict that was about to break out. And thanks to Southern Wind, it seemed the southern theater would be in another country entirely - Almirez didn’t share a border with either the Alamanians or the Castanans, but the South Aurelian Soviets did. And so, the war would have to go through their territory, creating some interesting logistics challenges.

Standing by one of the main windows, overlooking the beach and the sea beyond - one of the places a future battle would likely take place - was Neizan Vela, the one who was acting as the effective leader of the Army right now as the highest ranking officer within it. Vela reported directly to the President, and the General didn’t intend to head back to the capital, Camina, with a bad report. Victory was necessary… Even if the numbers that the other General was giving weren’t the most optimal for that. But giving it everything and hoping for better than expected results… That might be a better option than giving up now and potentially getting replaced for failing at the job. “There will be a carrier group in South Aurelia by four days… An enemy one,” stated Vela. “I don’t think we can spare that much time…”

“On the northern coast, not the southern one,” one of the other members of the staff pointed out. “With Alamanian South Aurelia and New Castana being on the southern coast, we may be able to solidify control of that area before an opposing fleet can head around the continent and set up there. Especially if our own fleet deters them enough to head around the long way rather than going around our own coast.”

“But fighting a conflict on two fronts…” muttered Vela, weighing the options while pacing back and forth, eyes eventually turning to a map that was unfurled on the middle of one of the main tables being used for planning. “If we don’t control the entire south by the time the fleet gets here… We’re going to have to deal with two battles instead of one.”

“We’ve already gone too far to turn back. We went past that point as soon as we hit the Omen with an anti-ship missile…” said one of the other members of the staff, with an exasperated sigh.

“Should have sunk it,” someone spoke up. They had landed a hit but all they had done was take the vessel out of the fight temporarily. Not permanently, and they had still suffered a number of losses when the still active cruiser fired off Gladius cruise missiles to destroy the base the attack had originated from.

“Alright, have we heard back from the South Aurelian Soviets and their general staff?” asked Vela, straightening and looking to the rest of the officers assembled in the room. Maybe their allies would be able to help them out here. “Being the larger country between the two of us and considering these colonies are on their border and not ours, surely they can up their commitments to this plan given the unexpected speed of the Kaelic fleet’s deployment…”

One of the others simply shook his head.

“Nothing from their upper command yet. We did agree, however, that their area of focus would be on New Castana while our focus would be on Alamanian South Aurelia… The smaller of the two colonies.”

“That was before we learned that the Kaelic fleet was already on the way,” Vela stated plainly, wiping some sweat from his brow before turning and starting to walk out of the main room within the command center. “Continue with the plan to have our forces in the South Aurelian Soviets cross the border when the plan hits zero hour… We’ll go ahead with it because we have little options. For now… I’m headed to talk to our Zemalyan advisors to see if further help is out of the question or not.”

“Yes, sir…” said one of the other soldiers by the door, saluting as Vela exited the command center. Victory wasn’t so sure here, based on the circumstances. But they would be damned if they didn’t give it their best attempt.



Zero hour. The moment when the Southern Wind Alliance would make their joint move against the colonial forces on the continent. It became even clearer to both sides once the buildup on the border became more and more clear from the Alamanian side - the garrison there wasn’t the largest but it had been reinforced thanks to recent tensions… Though the main goal for those soldiers would be to hold out for further reinforcements, not to win. It wasn’t hard for anyone from that side of the border with a pair of binoculars to stare across the border and see the large troop movements happening not far over on the other side.

And then… It sort of just happened. A specific message was translated to the forces massed on the border… Shortly afterwards, it wasn’t much longer before there were forces swarming for the border, Zemalyan produced and some more effective native produced armor designs rushing the somewhat weak defenses as the Alamanian garrison fell back to attempt to stop the attackers at a better defended line which was further behind. But such a line had been set up hastily. It didn’t take long for the Southern Wind force to reach it, but that wasn’t to say that they were just going to knock it right over and continue on into the valuable cities they were making a push for.

No, the other side wasn’t the largest, but they were well drilled and well armed… It made sense for them to be trained this way, considering everyone had known a possibility like this could happen. Maybe they hadn’t thought it would happen soon, but knowing it could was enough to make preparations for it, and the Alamanian military was already somewhat prepared for the amount of armor they would potentially have to deal with.

“Aim… Fire!” was the shout from one of the Alamanian officers just behind the defensive line, which was located on higher ground than the border itself. It was from here that they had watched the troop movements from a distance and since the jungle around this area had been cleared, they also had clean shots at the enemy with their guided weaponry… It was also fairly easy for air based units to spot what they were attacking.

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The Almirezian Army began to move in at zero hour…
FWOOSH!

Missiles fired off one after another on the order of the officer, coming from the tripod mounted ATGMs that were positioned strategically around the road. Keeping the enemy from getting up the hill and down this road was the main goal of these forces, for now at least… Ultimately, they were meant to hold off the invasion until further help came. They couldn’t win themselves, but they could maybe prevent the key cities from falling while the full force of the Alamanian military crossed the Aurelian ocean. Or at least as much as they could spare with the red menace that was glaring over their shoulder - the same side that was aligned with Southern Wind, in name because of national liberation and in practice because it was a way of striking at their rivals through targeting their colonial possessions.

BANG!

While a couple of the rounds would miss, the majority of them hit their mark, a number of explosions happening at the same time - disabling some of the enemy vehicles and blocking the road in the places where they had once stood. The infantry that hadn’t been hit, of course, continued rushing around the wrecks but many of them would simply be targeted as soon as they popped out from the smoke clouds that had formed in the wake of the explosions. The Alamanians were holding them decently… For now. The influence of numbers couldn’t be understated, and even as Almirezian soldiers fell in their tracks on the main road as they were caught by machine gun and semi-automatic rifle fire, others took alternate routes and went around the danger. It was hard targeting all of them.

“Give me red smoke right there!” shouted one of the other Alamanian officers, gesturing to a specific spot further away from them, on the road. One of the grenadiers complied, loading a smoke round into the underbarrel grenade launcher and dropping to one knee, firing the thing like a mortar and watching as red smoke poured out and into the sky at the spot which had been selected. “JTAC, tell the helo to come back around and hit the spot where the smoke is!”

The forward observer complied, reaching for the phone attached to the radio backpack of another soldier while starting to relay the instructions that the officer had given. It wasn’t long, only another minute or two, before the AunoraCopter attack helicopter was coming around for a pass with the enemy in view and a target now marked, unguided rockets being launched into the Almirezian position and doing further damage to the road, in addition to wiping out the group of infantry attempting to push from that direction. It also freed up the machine guns and rifles to take aim at the soldiers who were rushing from… Alternate directions.

“How long are we going to hold out here, you think?” one of the Alamanians found himself asking while ducking behind the cover of sandbags and reloading while the onslaught continued, even given the loss of the center column. Some of the thinner jungle trees were brushed out of the way as another armored vehicle crashed through, this one taking a route around the main road to avoid the wreckage.

“As long as we can hold it…” replied one of the other soldiers, ducking low to avoid the new spray of machine gun fire that came from the old tank. There were plenty of those in the opposing force… Enough that a few helicopter runs wouldn’t make much of a difference or not in whether or not they saw them in the field. It simply meant they would have a bit of relief before another one showed up, and they wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a Almirezian armor swarm… Although, the tactic itself was decidedly Zemalyan, it just so happened that the Zemalyans were one of the multiple supplies of Almirez and their main foreign advisors.

“Maintain pressure!” shouted the officer in the area. Right… They were Alamanians, to spend the entire battle hiding, even if the odds were against them, would be a disgrace. And the last thing anyone wanted to do was to disgrace the country. Still, if they were going to hold here, they would need more than machine guns and rifle fire and their anti-tank posts which were still crewed by just infantry. They didn’t have armor of their own, hadn’t had time to get it set up before the attack… Yet. It would be arriving eventually.

It was only seconds after the order was given, however, that things started to explode - trees splintered and collapsed under their weight and dirt and rocks were thrown up into the air, the explosions each illuminated by a quick flash that verified that these were indeed explosive rounds. Rocket artillery. They were getting hit from further back in an attempt to uproot them from their position, and they would have to do something about that if they wanted to hold here… The second salvo would only be more accurate than the first, after all.

“Goddamn it! Get an estimate of how quick the strike fighters can get that artillery out… Wherever they’re firing it from!” shouted one of the junior officers, and a radioman quickly went to work with contacting the headquarters behind the front and asking for the air support that they needed. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers who worked with artillery ran back towards a table with computers set up, moving to calculate the position the artillery had fired from.

“I have the rough battery position!” that artilleryman shouted, running out of the tent and back to the sandbag-surrounded foxhole where the junior officer and the radioman were pressed close to the ground.

“Let’s do something with it, then…” the officer replied, silently hoping the jets would get here before more accurate salvos could be fired at them. The rocket artillery packed quite a punch, after all… It seemed the Almirezian Army had leaned more from their Zemalyan advisors than the Alamanians had thought at first.



News had broken out in the rest of the country and around the world for that matter about the sudden attack by the Southern Wind Alliance… The USAS pushing into New Castana and Almirez doing the same with Alamanian South Aurelia. What few expected, however, was combat to break out soon in the city of Alca. Of course, Alca was rather strategically important to the goals of Southern Wind. Not only did it have a major military port for Almirez, one of the largest ports within the alliance combined, but it was the place where the conflict had started in some ways. Mainly, because it was the port where the Almirezian Navy had impounded a Alamanian merchant ship and arrested the crew, prompting Kaelic military action to attempt a rescue of their ally’s countrymen and kicking off the conflict as a whole in a way.

It was believed that the planned military action had failed… There had been a brief engagement with the KNS Omen and the ship had been stopped in its tracks and had been forced to turn around to head for friendly port and undergo repairs thanks to the damages it had sustained. The KNS Victorious battlegroup wasn’t even at the front yet, and some time would pass to allow for battle progress before they did reach the spot.

However, there was one thing that the Southern Wind Alliance hadn’t accounted for, and that was some of the most mobile and dangerous forces within the Kaelic arsenal. And one could be forgiven for not accounting for them, because it was hard to tell if they were even seeing active use at the moment. These were, of course, the very cutting edged mechanized cavalry units that had been created, which took advantage of hulking combat suits to bring the firepower of a tank and the kind of movement ability one would expect from a helicopter. They could change the game if they were used right, but the technology wasn’t exactly mainstream. Both the Republic of North Aurelia and the ZFSR had started development on their projects in the area long ago, but with the RNA breaking up, the projects had been continued at a much slower pace by its weaker successors… Some of the work, however, had fallen into the hands of other rising powers who continued the projects themselves to varying effects.

One of those nations had been Kael, and the result had been the GNM-15 Comet combat suit, twenty two feet tall and capable of wielding an arsenal of weapons which brought all the firepower someone would expect from heavy armor. It was also capable of extreme mobility thanks to the jump jets on its back… Using those was both exhilarating for the pilot and terrifying for the enemy, of course. It didn’t take much effort to get behind the enemy line, after all, when using those jets. As if the sight of the massive mech flying didn’t scare the enemy enough on its own.

The wildcard up the sleeve of the Federation of Kael right now was the C-80 Titan dropship which was roaring over enemy territory right now, under escort from a group of F/A-20M fighters but potentially not needing much in the way of support. It was flying fairly high up… And it hadn’t been attacked just yet. Although, the dropship itself wasn’t the main weapon… No, that was the payload. Four ‘drop pods’ which would soon be ejected from the aircraft, before opening up to reveal their true payload, one combat suit within each. The pilots would be able to use their jets to get to the ground from there, or a parachute if those failed.

And the high altitude drop would put them not far from the city of Alca, where their precision strike would, if all went well, free the Alamanian prisoners while a second team prepared to extract them by boat. Of course, for the latter part of the plan to work, the mech force would have to take the pressure off of the special forces, who’d be arriving at the beach by RHIB… And it was important they weren’t simply met with fire from the enemy, which meant the enemy needed to be taken out there. But that was getting ahead of themselves.

It wouldn’t be long before the darkness within their combat suits turned to light, and their sensors gave them a view of the outside and their surroundings - which would be the sky and the clouds based on their current position and where they’d be dropping from. They were going jungle hunting, but the mission began in the sky… With dropping outside of the enemy’s air defense grid and outside of civilization, and working their way back in towards the city of Alca, where their objective was.

Was one hell of a way for the 105th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade to receive their first wartime mission. Then again… Everyone had known World War Aurelia was coming. They just didn’t know it would be right now.

“Radio check…” said Royce, from the darkness of her combat suit and pod, the only noise before she had said anything belonging to the roar of the engines of the massive dropship, and the wind rushing outside of it. “Everyone can hear me, right? We’re going to need to work together on this…”

“I hear you.” Harper’s voice was clear and calm, even if she found the experience a more than slightly alien one, hearing the whistle of the wind outside her mech’s pod and the slowly fading roar of their dropship’s engine.

“Drop is happening in under ten minutes,” Royce reminded the others, as they grew closer to the site… And the other two members of the platoon would confirm their radios were working.

“Check,” said Kieran Teague, the number three member of the platoon. The working radios would also be confirmed immediately afterwards by the final member, Slaine McQueen.

“Loud and clear.”

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Does the color of the sky mean anything special to you?
“Then I think we’re ready,” said Royce as they continued on towards their destination. “What do you say, everyone? You wanna live forever?”

“Would be nice, but also damn boring.” Harper said, an eager grin on her face, any previous nervousness gone or at least not showing in her voice over the radio.

Once they were over the drop point, they would be able to hear the mechanical sound of the doors of the transport opening up, each of the metal pods sliding out of the back and into the sky, where they started their rapid descent downwards… Of course, the pod was only a vehicle to get them in the sky, not the one that they would use for the actual landing. The darkness within the cockpit was quickly replaced by light, as they continued their descent downwards and the metal outer layer broke away to allow the vehicles inside to go free… And from there, they would be able to use their jump jets to get to the ground.

Although, despite dropping over an area that wasn’t covered by SAM sites that could hit them, their descent was still something that could be spotted from the ground and it drew the attention of some of the manual flak guns on the ground. Not radar guided but still dangerous under the right circumstances, and the bright tracers gave a good indication of where the fire was coming from. “I think we have our first target,” said Royce as they continued their descent, her jets roaring to life as she took control of her fall and prepared to point her combat suit in the direction of the tracer fire.

“Don’t see them yet.” Harper said, jump jets flaring as she re-oriented her own mech in the direction of the tracer fire.

“Follow the bullets…” said Royce, shifting her own path of descent further before accelerating and picking up speed - she’d have to slow down before the landing, but she did want to avoid moving too slowly and getting hit. At the same time, she fired off a three round burst towards the ground, not aiming to hit anything but aiming to force the enemy to reconsider and think about getting out of the path of the explosive rounds of her rifle. The BR-126 Assault Gun was quite the impressive weapon, capable of hitting with the power of an explosive autocannon while being shrunken down and fit into the hands of one of the combat suits in rifle form.

“Drop behind me, squad… We’re going for that clearing over there. And then we hunt down the sons of bitches shooting at us right now and continue with the objectives,” Royce ordered as they grew closer to the ground, not having been hit by the tracer fire yet. So far, so good. But if the enemy was in this area, they still needed to take them out.

“Roger.” Harper nodded, adjusting her mech’s descent slightly so she was headed to land a short distance behind Royce’s while remaining within the clearing. They’d been lucky so far, but she didn’t like trusting to luck since it always run out sooner rather than later.

They’d touch the ground hard but gracefully with the help of the jump jets, Royce’s combat suit in the front with the other three trailing behind in a rough column formation. They were in a clearing… But surrounding them was jungle. Not that they couldn’t see a bit over the trees, of course. The height helped with that, although it did make it somewhat easier for anyone to see them coming. Shifting her own body within the combat suit to move the body of the suit, Royce pointed out over the horizon of the tree line, before starting forward, trees being crushed under the weight of the combat suit which was pushing through them. “Now… I think most of that tracer fire was coming from this direction…” she said, looking back to the others while continuing on her way, clearing a path in a way for the three who were trailing after her.

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The jungles here aren’t a kind place…
“Self-propelled or towed?” Harper asked as she leaned forwards slightly, her mech starting forwards, the ground crunching beneath its tread. Self-propelled would be easier to find, bigger, bulkier, while a towed battery would likely have just abandoned its pieces and scattered into the jungle. Neither really would stand much of a chance against a mech squadron in Harper’s view, even if they could damage them.

“No clue, impossible to tell all the details from how far up we are… I’d guess self propelled from the rate of fire, though. Didn’t see any flak explosions in the sky,” said Royce, continuing to push the trees out of the way while they made their way to the target. “But we might be outnumbered in this fight. So if you have any suggestions you want to make on the strategy here, now is the right time to do it.”

“Well, we don’t know entirely where they are, while they saw where we landed and know which direction we’ll be coming from and these things aren’t exactly subtle. I say two of us go straight at roughly where they were firing from, other two break off, come in from another angle once the first two engage. They’re not designed to fight mechs and they know it so they’ll probably be preparing to run but they can still damage us if we do something stupid.” Harper said, her mech following after Royce’s, leaving impressions in the dirt. She wasn’t sure whether it was poor luck they’d dropped in next to an enemy AA battery, or if there was something deeper going on here.

“Teague, McQueen, you’re in the second group…” Royce commanded, continuing before they were set to reach another clearing. “I think this is the spot…” she settled eventually, raising her rifle and taking a deep breath before she had the combat suit move forwards, breaking the tree line and making the first aggressive move on their opponent.

“Nerney, you’re on me,” she stated, raising up the rifle further to take aim as she took a quick count of the enemies in the surrounding area, five self propelled anti aircraft guns which had been camping around the area and waiting to encounter enemy air power. That wasn’t the encounter they ended up with, however, as the combat suits came crashing through the jungle instead, a hard opponent even for the rapid firing AA guns which were built with a design that used an IFV chassis… An IFV, however, was still dwarfed by the large combat suits.

Taking aim at the first one, Royce squeezed the trigger of the massive assault gun, three bright muzzle flashes appearing in the afternoon air as explosive shells were sent towards the vehicle at high speed, two of them striking the ground around the hostile vehicle but one of them tearing directly through the inside of it and doing damage purely as a projectile… But the explosives would ensure that nothing survived, as if the round itself entering the vehicle hadn’t done enough damage. Still, there happened to be four others to deal with before they could say it was safe.

Harper’s own colossal weapon rose up slowly, mech shifting up into a firing position as she took aim at the most distant of the SPAAGs, two shots screaming out of her own assault gun as she opened up, trusting that the other group would come in from another direction and catch their enemy off guard or, even better, cut off their line of retreat. Her shots would just end up kicking up dirt, however, both of them hitting around the target but going down as near misses… Unlucky this time.

They did have some help, though, as there were still two other members of the platoon. Taking the attention of the enemy were Teague and McQueen, who didn’t just come from another angle but came from another direction entirely, using their jump jets to lift themselves over the tree line before aiming to drop down behind the enemy… Well, in the case of Teague, his combat suit came down on top of one of the anti aircraft IFVs, crushing the chassis underfoot and certainly scoring a crew kill in the process. There was no time to talk about the impressive kill, though, with the remaining enemies in the area.

As McQueen came down, she fired off three more shots, but they simply exploded into one of the trees that was slightly high of the mark that she was actually looking for, doing no damage… The missed attacks on the part of the 105th gave the opponent some time to fire back, and there were still three of their vehicles left. One of the turrets opened fire, bright flashes lighting up the sky as it took aim upwards and shot its rapid fire rounds towards McQueen, none of them hitting however as the shots were placed off target and the nimble mech began moving out of the way as soon as aim was taken. McQueen would respond quickly, though… Extending the foot of the combat suit, she kicked through the side of the vehicle and sheared the armor right off, flipping the vehicle over in the process and dooming the crew to an unknown fate.

“Two to go…” she announced over the radio, a slightly devious smirk on her face within the cockpit. Wasn’t a bad way to pick up a kill in the first wartime assignment they’d received… And one of their first assignments as a unit in general, wartime or otherwise.

But the other two would take their shots, also. McQueen was targeted again by one such vehicle that was further out, but the shots ended up mostly missing in a wide spray with some of them deflecting off the outer armor. “You’re not going to get a second chance…” she muttered, swinging around to see who had shot. The last vehicle of the group, on the other hand, took aim at her back but didn’t have much more luck than the other one did at hitting accurately and getting through the armor… Perhaps because the mere presence of the combat suits was enough to spook the crews.

“Leave some for the rest of us.” Harper said playfully, turning her attention to the closest of the two vehicles and opening up with her assault gun, not wanting to waste the time getting close. There was better luck for her this time as both rounds hit their mark and caused a fireball once the ammunition cache of the enemy vehicle was ignited, the explosive round doing the trick for getting that done. There was still one vehicle left, though, and Royce herself decided that it was time to get back in the action. She took one step as a running start before lifting slightly in the air with her jump jets, aiming downwards in the process to fire a burst towards that last vehicle…

One round managed to connect, piercing through the roof of the IFV chassis and disabling the vehicle for a moment before a plume of smoke turned into fire, signaling that it wouldn’t be going anywhere. “That’s the last of them,” she announced over the radio channel as she dropped down, pulling back from the controls for a moment to tap at the touchscreen which would display the map of the area that they’d downloaded before embarking on this operation. “We can’t celebrate yet, though… The enemy is going to know we’re here by now and we have to free those prisoners in Alca,” she said, moving back to the controls. “Which according to the map, is to the north of here.”

“Guess we better get moving then.” Harper said, allowing herself a brief moment of relaxation, just motionless inside her mech. “They might move them or something now they know we’re here.”

“Any time we spend here that isn’t necessary… Is too much time,” nodded Royce, pushing forward and leading the group once again as they took up the column formation behind her. They would have to be careful that they didn’t run into more trouble, of course. The anti aircraft team would have reported what was happening in to some kind of higher command, and there was a high chance there were more units on the way to deal with them. Nothing they couldn’t handle.

It helped sometimes, however, to talk about something else and distract from the monumental challenge they were facing. “So… Is this how you all saw your first combat going?” Royce asked, raising an eyebrow while keeping the pace of her combat suit up from the front of the column.

“Not really sure what I expected.” Harper admitted. “But it was quick and we didn’t even get scratches on our paintwork much, so I can’t really object. Just felt… Too quick, if you know what I mean. Expected it to go on longer.”

“Well, that’s what happens when the enemy is shit… It’ll be harder when we end up against tanks or something,” said Teague, following in the third spot in the formation, behind Harper but ahead of Slaine.

“Speak for yourselves, I seemed to get their attention and had all the fire on me,” McQueen grumbled from the last spot, as they blazed their way through the jungle and went north, in the direction of Alca.

“And fighting is kind of a fast thing in general,” remarked Royce. “I’ve been in enough street fights to know that they aren’t… The kinda slow motion shit you see in movies.”

“Not really objecting, if it’s quick then less chance for you to fuck up and die.” Harper said, shrugging inside her mech. “Just kinda surprising for me.”

“Well, we’ll get a chance to see if it stays this way soon… Because I don’t think this is the last of the contact that we’re going to run into,” Royce said in a true statement while continuing to push through the jungle at the front of the group. The truth was, they could get outnumbered and overwhelmed out here… Wasn’t out of the bounds of possibility especially with their unit being an experimental one - they had no idea if there would be problems with their combat suits. Things had gone well so far, however. They just had to keep up the performance while going into the heart of enemy preparations on the northern front of this new conflict…
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Lunas Legion
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:09 pm




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 5
“JUNGLE HUNTING PART 2”


Conflict in South Aurelia has kicked off with the Republic of Almirez and the Union of South Aurelian Soviets invading their southern enemies, but the quick insertion of the 105th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade of the Federation of Kael has proved a challenge for Almirezian forces around Alca to deal with… After eliminating an anti-aircraft section, this inserted group is now en route to free the Alamanian prisoners captured from the merchant vessel that was impounded days ago.




Northern Theater Command Center, Republic of Almirez Army
Alca Metropolitan Area, Republic of Almirez
January 27th, 2049
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



The trek through the jungle continued once the AA section had been eliminated, and from here, they were only a little bit out from the location they had originally been heading to in the first place. Still, there was reason to be careful. Such large and dangerous machines would draw attention on the battlefield and they would certainly be marked as a threat - there had been plenty of time for the AA crews to radio their higher ups and inform them they weren’t just facing any ordinary threat but… An experimental one that wasn’t expected to be seen around these parts just yet.

All the more reason to pick up the pace and keep going towards Alca, and the military base and prison that the city held.

Royce remained in the front of the group, her rifle still raised slightly in the hands of her GNM-15 “Comet” combat suit, while she kept listening to the radio communications. Not that there was a ton coming through that was relevant to them - they were the spearhead that was the first on the ground, not any other units. Nothing would be alerting them of what was ahead, because they were the ones who would have to discover that. There was AWACS on patrol further north, outside of Almirezian territory, but only so much relevant info to them could be gained from that.

Sure was a lot of pressure for a first mission, but not everyone was thrown right into a war right away - since they’d been handed the task, Royce was determined not to mess it up. They wouldn’t fail because of her leadership of the new platoon, which had been quickly thrust into the fires of conflict… Then again, they also hadn’t expected this conflict to break out, not this soon. When they were putting the unit together, they probably hadn’t imagined there would be such a sudden need to deploy it.

Crossing into another clearing, Royce stopped in her tracks, hearing the sound of approaching engines. “It sounds like there’s something coming this way… Not entirely sure yet what it is, though,” she said, taking a deep breath and focusing - it maybe sounded like it was coming from the sky, but there were no planes in sight, and they would likely hear those louder and be able to see them coming from further out.

“Missile?” Harper asked, stopping a short-distance behind Royce, reflexively moving her mech’s rifle up into a firing position. “More likely to be a helicopter though from what little I can hear.”

“Wouldn’t it fuckin’ sound different if it was a missile? And we would see it by now,” said Royce, turning around to see if there was anything behind her before shifting once again, the large combat suit moving swiftly despite the size. “Skies are clear right now and I don’t see any contrails and shit, I don’t think it’s that…”

Which left a couple of different options, one of them being that they were under attack from a helicopter, or multiple ones. “Guess it’s helis, then,” said Teague, looking up and seeing if anything was about to come over the treeline just ahead of them. It helped that they were high enough up to see over it, but there was still a chance for something to jump out at them and ambush them - they didn’t have perfect vision of the trees.

“Something might be incoming,” Royce said, before giving a gesture forward and quickly moving towards the edge of the clearing. “Start heading through the trees… Whatever it is, we’ll have more cover than if we’re stuck out here in the open.”

“Roger.” Harper said, nodding inside her mech and turning, her mech stomping away towards the edge of the clearing. She’d figured it wasn’t a missile as soon as there hadn’t been an explosion or a cloud of smoke and dirt soon after she’d said it, which meant it was almost certainly helis as Teague had said. Not something mechs couldn’t fight, but not ideal either in her view.

Soon enough, as if responding to the group of four breaking away from the clearing and into the jungle once again, shapes emerged over the tree line slightly off to the west, but oriented towards the platoon and sizing them up. “Helicopters…” Royce said quickly, not taking too much time on the callout… She needed to put more attention into using her gun, not communicating. Likely, the helicopters already had sight on them with IR, which meant an attack could be coming… Soon.

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Helicopters operate under the Republic of Almirez Army Aviation Wing
“Keep moving, it’ll make it harder for them to get off a clean shot, especially with the jungle,” Royce continued, following her own instructions as the four vehicles grew closer, each of them loaded with two racks full of various missiles, presumably IR or laser guided.

“Not too keen on stopping.” Harper shot back, branches crunching as her mech tore its way through the jungle. Four helicopters vs four mechs was too fair of a fight for her liking, even with the advantage of the jungle as limited concealment.

“Incoming…” Royce muttered, as one of the attack helicopters fired off a pair of missiles towards Teague, who was moving through the trees and attempting to stay behind cover but was still somewhat exposed, just like all of them were. Was hard to hide inside of a 22 foot tall combat suit, after all. The combat suit, however, was nimble - and Teague was able to shift low and to the side, causing the missiles to explode into the trees rather than hitting the combat suit itself.

“Close call,” he muttered over the radio. But, they didn’t have peace for long, as a second helicopter fired, the shots going for McQueen this time but ending up off the mark and hitting far away - it seemed this attack had been a hail of unguided rockets rather than a missile which tracked its target.

“Why the fuck’s it always me today?” McQueen asked in exasperation, from the number of attacks that had been directed towards her maybe, but continued with the rest of them.

Royce, however, wasn’t satisfied to just sit back and take the attacks. She aimed her rifle into the sky and fired off a four shot burst, but all of the shots went wide of the mark, her deflection shooting not accurate enough to hit any of the now moving helicopters which were pursuing them. More shots went up in the air, though, when McQueen took aim at the one that had fired at her - this time, the shots hit their mark and the vehicle was ripped apart by the explosive shells, spinning out of control before the helicopter burst into flames entirely and broke apart. They still had three to deal with, though.

“Just your unlucky day, I guess.” Harper said in response to McQueen as her mech turned, shifting her rifle around slightly and settling back into an aiming position as she drew up a shot on one of the remaining helicopters, firing off two shots before quickly turning her focus back to moving away from the helicopters. One of the issues of a one-person mech was, well, the need to multitask.

Once again the shells hit their mark and the second closest helicopter went down, crashing into the trees just off in the distance and sending up a blast of fire as well as metal shrapnel which rained down on the surrounding area. Still, there were two left, and they were now the ones on the attack - another missile fired off towards Teague, this one hitting but not getting through the tough armor of the combat suit, which was designed to be resistant to a number of things. The other helicopter next to it also began firing, taking aim at the same target, but another quick movement sent the missile off track and into the trees where it simply caused wood to splinter and explode outwards while missing the intended target.

It was Teague’s turn to shoot back this time, but a three round burst didn’t hit the mark, leaving Royce to also give it her best attempt once more, hitting the cockpit and causing a pretty quick and spontaneous explosion, destroying the helicopter while she kept moving rapidly. McQueen took aim at the last one in the group, but a quick dodge from the vehicle in the form of a turn and change of acceleration kept her short stream of five shells from hitting, and keeping it alive for now.

Harper let out a vague sound of irritation to herself as her mech stopped once again for the briefest of moments, rifle already raised up into a firing position from where she’d left it earlier, only a few small adjustments necessary as she aimed, the rifle shifting around ever so slightly before it roared as she fired off a three round burst at the sole remaining helicopter.

The last helicopter was down soon enough as Harper’s shots hit the tail rotor and caused it to spin out of control and crash into the trees not far from where one of the other ones had gone down… Which meant the threat was probably done for now. Though, it gave them more motivation to get to where they needed to be. Last thing they wanted was getting caught out by the enemy like this a second time.

“Everyone good?” asked Royce, stopping only for a moment, just so she could check her bearings and make sure they were headed in the right direction. “Lot of firepower thrown around by those things…”

“Good here.” Harper said, relaxing noticeably within her mech, slumping down with a long breath. “Guess the AA guns must’ve radioed our drop location in.”

“Still fine despite being the target of the day…” muttered McQueen, following from the position in the back she had taken up for the entire time.

“Still good here, too,” said Teague, who had been targeted and even hit but was still just fine. “Armor did the job against the missile so I guess I’ll have to thank the engineers when we get back.”

“It is designed to handle whatever the enemy might throw at it,” said Royce while she pushed through the jungle in the front of the group once again. “Although, it’ll be nice to not come that close again, hopefully.”

“It’s what happens when we’re some of the first ones on the ground…”

That was the truth. They had little support here, they’d simply accomplish their goal and get out, there was no room for anything extra. They were getting closer to that goal, however, as they crossed out of the jungle and ended up in the suburbs of Alca, causing Royce to stop and look at the map once again to see just how far from the military complex they were. “We’re not far out…” she announced over the comms channel. “But some of the biggest resistance should be around here.”

“Well that’s just brilliant.” Harper grumbled. “I’m assuming that means tanks and AT infantry most likely.”

“When we get closer to the military complex, yes,” said Royce, considering their options. “We can head there on foot… Or we can pick up the speed and use the jets to get past some of these buildings. Either way, we’re going to be under fire once we get there.”

“I say we go for speed, less chance of reinforcements showing up the faster we are and they know we’re coming.” Harper said, idily glancing down at her mech’s ammo count. Hopefully enough to get her through to the extraction, at 66 shots.

“Agreed…”

Switching her attention to triggering the jet engines that were on the back of the combat suit, Royce flipped a couple of switches and pushed the throttle forward after unlocking it, causing smoke to fill the air on the ground as she rose off the ground, McQueen and Teague following closely behind - surely, the sight of the three flying combat suits would be intimidating to anyone on the enemy side who saw them like this, but it also marked them out as a target and ensured the enemy would know exactly where they were coming from once they ended up closer to the frontline they would soon be fighting on. Or more accurately, the frontline they would soon be opening.

Even in training, Harper had found the jumpjets… Odd to use, following a moment behind Royce and the others as her own mech soared skywards, having taken a second longer with her mech’s engine ignition. It wasn’t really flying, more… Falling with some control over it. Still, it gave a good view over the city, if she’d had the time to appreciate it before she turned her attention back to the matter at hand and the fighting yet to come.

The group as a whole would move rapidly towards their destination once they were in the air, not flying straight there but going high up into the sky to clear a number of buildings each time and then taking off again, moving quickly to avoid drawing the attention of enemy units which might be able to fire on them - there probably weren’t too many, but there was always the threat of the other side having some kind of self propelled guns in the area. Like the ones they had just eliminated previously.

They were now heading towards the military complex, and as they came down towards the ground, a slight massing of soldiers and a few armored vehicles was visible further down the road they were about to land on. “Hostiles up ahead,” called out Royce, although she suspected they would already have noticed on their own without her needing to point anything out. “Next jump, we’re going to drop hard in front of ‘em and unload, we’ll clear this road and keep moving…”

“Roger that.” Harper said, engines flaring again the moment her mech hit the groundd and she jumped skywards again, a trail of smoke and fire behind her mech as her engines briefly lit up as she adjusted her position in midair, mentally plotting out her mech’s descent so she wouldn’t drop herself into the line of fire of the others when she landed.

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Some of the armor of the Republic of Almirez Army.
They were approaching a pair of main battle tanks and a number of soldiers, but mixed in with those regular soldiers who couldn’t hurt them, there were also some soldiers with stronger anti-tank guided weapons. Perhaps a bit more dangerous to them - there were three or so of these AT teams mixed in with the rest of the soldiers with the distinction not necessarily being immediately apparent between them and the regular ones.

“There’s also AT up there… Be careful,” Royce said through gritted teeth as she landed and started moving immediately, firing off a shell into one of the smaller groups of soldiers that was gathered around an anti-tank gun, the explosive properties of the shell doing the job in taking the group out immediately. They still had a couple left to deal with, however, and the tanks.

Harper started her own mech as soon as she hit the ground, not wasting any time in moving off towards the side, aiming her rifle squarely at one of the tanks and firing off a four-round burst, not wanting to take any chances with the enemy armoured vehicles they were facing. A tank vs a mech was too fair a fight for her liking.

Two of the shells hit and tore through the front armor of the vehicle, producing an explosion that would also hit some of the soldiers around the tank. There was one left, though, and the gun was pointed towards Harper - soon enough, smoke filled the air as well as a bright muzzle flash and a loud bang as the counterattack started, a tank round being propelled in her direction but not actually hitting her, instead flying for some distance and exploding behind, where it did no damage.

“Bit close there, eh.” Harper said, seemingly not that perturbed by the tank shell skimming by her mech as she shifted her mech’s aim over to the sole remaining tank, firing off two shots towards it but not wasting any time, trying to reorient her aim towards the remaining AT teams and not waiting for a confirmation of the tank kill.

The second shell hit the mark too, producing a similar effect, but they had the infantry teams to worry about and there was something of a surge forward as the second tank was destroyed… Not that most of the soldiers could do anything. But some of them did have guided weapons - two missiles spiraled forwards towards Royce as the one in the lead of the group but one of them went off the mark. The second one, though, slammed into the body of her combat suit, but the smoke would clear soon to reveal that despite the scorching of the armor, it had held against this and the enemy had been unsuccessful in dealing a crippling blow.

Royce shot back, opening up with five shots which were sprayed into the general area of the enemy, relying on splash damage to do the job for her in taking out two of the AT teams that were still left. Only one of the shells was able to take something out but she could have sworn she saw it send three soldiers flying, destroying their anti tank post in the process, and causing some of the others to run in retreat now that they were clearly losing and didn’t have the support of armor or even a full anti-tank section. “Another close call…” she muttered under her breath. The missile had almost been strong enough to get through her armor, after all.

“Close calls are better than actual calls.” Harper chimed in, surveying the scene of the two smoking wrecks and the strewn mess of body parts, corpses and the occasional piece of twisted metal or sandbag. “But yeah, that looked like a nasty hit.”

“Let’s not let it happen again,” Royce said calmly. She wasn’t exactly panicked… Some of the others had been hit and now she had just joined the club and proved that the armor could hold up to it. She moved back from the controls and looked at the map once again, determining where they were in relation to the military camp before announcing it to the others. “I think we can get to the target destination in one more jump. After me, everyone. And then, expect resistance once we get on the ground.”

She triggered the jump jets once again, going high into the sky and heading north towards their target location, and watching for what was on the ground there… A number of buildings, sure, but there were also some armored vehicles on the ground which could potentially prove dangerous, and more soldiers, and even a couple of AA guns that might make their landing decidedly interesting. Then again… Challenge was just expected for the finale of this operation, where they had a chance to get what they were actually looking for.

Harper fired her mech’s jump jets seconds after Royce’s, hurling her mech skywards again, engines briefly lighting up as she aimed to slam her mech down atop one of the AA guns. The sooner everything in there was dead, the less chances they had of dying stupidly on their first mission.

Her little move worked and the weight of the combat suit came down on the top of the turret and crushed the entire vehicle underfoot, but it wasn’t the only enemy vehicle in the area, and an alarm started sounding… Well, it had probably sounded as soon as they had been spotted approaching from the sky. That alarm was drawing more troops towards their location as Royce landed behind Harper and Teague and McQueen came down around them.

Further down the road they had landed on within the military complex, which itself was made of multiple sections including heavy fortifications and suburban housing, the latter being closer to what they had landed in the middle of, there were three armored vehicles rolling towards them. Not like the tanks they had faced before but rather armored fighting vehicles which might have been carrying soldiers - or more likely in this case, were covering soldiers with their large main guns.

“Three AFVs, front!” barked Royce, raising her rifle to shoot a three round burst at the lead vehicle in the little convoy, one of her three shots hitting the mark and sending the vehicle up in flames as the other two continued towards them, their autocannons spraying forwards as they suppressed the area around the group of combat suit users but didn’t land any hits just yet.


“Not sure what chance these idiots think they have…” Harper mumbled to herself as her mech turned, rifle moving before shooting two shots at the lead one of the pair of remaining APCs, rather relaxed with the situation given how their previous engagements had gone.

Her shots hit the mark, a second vehicle bursting into flames and stopping in its tracks, although the last one in the group fired back at her with its own 30mm shells, two of them heading towards her and nearly hitting - but the agile combat suit wasn’t the largest target and even as the AFV came into range to hit them, the attack wasn’t a success. McQueen took aim at the last one, the impact disabling the last vehicle out.

“We move on foot now,” Royce said quickly, gesturing with the combat suit for the others to follow her closely. They weren’t far from the actual building they were looking for, the one where prisoners were being held. At least, according to military intelligence… If that was wrong, they would have a much larger and harder search on their hands. “And then we get out of here before they fully mobilize…”

“Are the prisoners going to run on foot or what?” Harper asked, moving to follow after Royce. Mechs weren’t APCs, they weren’t supposed to carry any more than just their pilot. “Since that’s a really bad plan.”

“We can clear a path…” said Royce. “No way to land something like a Titan right now but we aren’t that far from where the recovery team is showing up on the beach, I believe they’ll be able to meet halfway once the prisoners are on the run,” she added in explanation, continuing while staying on the lookout for any more hostiles as they approached.

“Roger that.” Harper said, going quiet and satisfied with the answer she’d been given. She still didn’t think it was the best plan in the world, but it was better than leaving their targets behind.

Royce kept on the move, and they showed up outside of the building where the prisoners were suspected to be held, one of the larger administrative ones where the Military Police had a distinct section that was marked apart from the rest of it. “McQueen! You’re on finding our targets and getting them out of there. Everyone else… Cover McQueen’s approach.”

There were, of course, defenses that had been set up when it became apparent there was an attack going on. The building was somewhat tall, taller than their mechs even, and on the lengthy set of steps leading to the large front entrance, some soldiers had set up a pair of large assault guns which were pointed towards the intruders. As Royce spoke, one of them just happened to go off, sending a large blast of smoke into the air and coming close to hitting Teague but instead falling short and exploding the concrete in front of him, showing the power of the round.

“We don’t want to get hit with one of those…” muttered Royce.

“Looks more like an arty piece than a tank.” Harper said to herself as she aimed her rifle at the leftmost of the pair of assault guns, firing off three shots towards it. It was a tank, albeit a turretless one, but that didn’t make it any less dangerous.

Harper’s shell hit the mark, metal and dust exploding outwards with the destruction of one of the assault guns, but there was still one left - Teague took aim and fired, that shot hitting too and the vehicle being destroyed, but their enemy was determined to throw more at them as McQueen made the approach to the building and prepared to break through the outer wall, which was made from stone, using her powerful combat suit… The opposition this time came from the rooftop.

“Ambush…” warned Royce, as a couple of missiles were fired off towards Harper from the flat rooftop, where a couple of infantryman revealed themselves at the edge of it, guided missile launchers in hand as one of the missiles veered off course and into the ground but one of them stayed on track and was rapidly heading towards Royce - at the same time that a similar pop up attack targeted McQueen herself, going wide and exploring in the air instead to create a puff of dark smoke.

“Wonder when they’ll get the memo not to fuck with us.” Harper sighed, mech leaning back awkwardly as she aimed her gun up at the rooftop at a steep angle, firing two shots up at the no doubt reloading soldiers manning the missile launchers. It was an awkward angle, but unlike a tank a mech could make the shot.

The impact of the shells exploded part of the ledge, dropping one of the two soldiers off of it if the explosion hadn’t done enough damage - they wouldn’t have to worry about that soldier, who was falling over twenty feet… The other one had managed to not fall due to backing away further from the ledge, but stood up at the edge once again, which was now more exposed and the stone shattered from the previous impact, and launched a second missile towards Harper, which went over her shoulder, before moving back behind cover.

Royce took aim at the other gunner which had targeted McQueen, that shot also hitting and sending up smoke, but she was sure from the falling debris that she had taken out the gunner… Although some of the debris happened to fall directly on McQueen, who would likely complain later despite it only scratching the armor. McQueen had managed to break through the wall which meant they were almost done here, but they still had to hold for a little bit longer.

They were striking near an important base, after all. Opposition was only expected.

“Another goddamn helicopter!” Royce pointed out as something appeared in the horizon and grew closer, approaching to get in range with them while aiming at them with infrared and attempting to get a lock. Before they would be in good range to fire back with their heavy rifles, the helicopter fired off a succession of three anti-tank missiles, shifting on an angle to fire from the side at McQueen while she tried to enter the building - but this just resulted in the missiles failing to track and instead hitting the building that the helicopter was aiming to protect. The pilot shifted, targeting Teague instead and firing off another three while staying just at a far enough range to prevent the mechs from being effective, all three of them on target and striking directly around Teague… But surprisingly, some movement from his combat suit was enough to throw them off, seemingly, leaving Teague unscathed.

“That thing still has a few missiles left,” Royce pointed out. “But it’s too far out to deal with like this… Someone’s going to have to get a better angle, maybe heading up to the roof using the jets or something.”

“I’ll distract it if nothing else.” Harper said as she gunned her mech’s engines, crouching down before throwing itself upwards, slamming down onto the roof of the building, briefly sweeping over the mess of debris before turning away from the roof back towards the offending helicopter, firing a single shot off towards it to get its attention, she didn’t think she’d hit at this range.

The shot did indeed fall short thanks to the range but it also kept the helicopter at range. Unfortunately, Harper presenting herself like this gave it a chance to fire off the last three missiles that it was holding, all of them locked on her since she had made such a clear target out of herself - and it was only a fairly narrow miss, all of them hitting the area where she was positioned just like they had for Teague a moment ago, the tracking falling just short in the end. The helicopter still had a cannon, however, and she’d also have to deal with a blast from that, ten rounds being fired off in rapid succession and seven of them on target at first to hit her, all of them meeting the same fate as the missiles however, partly due to the range the helicopter was firing from.

Well, that was kind-of awkward, both of them just uselessly shooting at one another. Harper fired back regardless with two more shots, just waiting for the helicopter to move closer or run out of missiles, either was acceptable; she was a distraction while the others got the prisoner out.

More shots, more misses… But it seemed the helicopter had less chance of missing than she did considering the higher speed autocannon could fire from further back, and there was a second burst which lit the sky up with white smoke, but once again didn’t hit accurately and rather ate up chunks of the roof that she was standing on rather than hitting her armor. The others could have fired… But none of them really had the right range to do it without going into the air - which was the task Harper had taken up.

“Well, let’s get a bit closer, shall we?” Harper smirked, leaning forwards. Sure, she could distract it, but why distract something you could just blow up? It was just a matter of getting in range, and, well, driving it off would work just as well as a distraction. Her jump jets flared as she launched herself off the roof towards the enemy helicopter, aiming to land on another, closer roof that hopefully could hold her mech, or if the roof couldn’t the next few floors down might. It’d be cover if nothing else.

The helicopter tracked her movements - and it had no more missiles but it did have guns and rockets, taking aim at the roof she had just landed on as soon as she was there and firing off six rockets, much of the spread hitting her this time as only a couple of them fell short of the mark. Which… Had enough explosive power to break through the armored layer, activating various warning and firefighting systems as the actual internals of the combat suit were damaged in a number of areas from head to toe and the pilot chamber was damaged by the front of the mech starting to cave in, the front console in this chamber smashed to pieces by the sudden compressing of the container. As for the legs of the combat suit, those would give out soon after due to structural damage, sending the entire thing collapsing backwards as communications were cut with the rest of the team.

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The first combat suit kill scored by the Republic of Almirez in World War Aurelia.
Harper wasn’t sure how long she’d been out for as she woke to red emergency lights and everything hurting. She pushed herself up regardless, quickly noting the obliterated console, bulges and cracks in the mech’s armour. Shit. She turned around in the faint red light, searching more by feel than sight as she hunted for her mech’s power cutter, something she’d hoped to never have to use. Having to cut your way out of a mech normally meant something very bad had happened, like now. She found it after a few moments of fumbling around, grasping it tightly in one hand as it briefly sparked to life, checking it still worked before pulling herself. She started to feel along the remains of her mech, stopping when she reached what she thought might’ve been the hatch, giving it an experimental shove. Nothing. Cutting it was then.

Turning her head to the side so as not to look at the blindingly bright light directly, gently starting to move the cutter across the metal, occasionally switching it off to check her progress by the line of searing red metal as she traced a circle. Minutes passed, too long for her liking until she could finally kick a circle of metal out as she emerged into daylight, holding a hand up above her head as her eyes adjusted. Hopefully she could catch up to the rest of her team, although on foot and with the delay from cutting herself free that… Wasn’t likely.

The battle, however, was still raging and had already moved on as the rest of the team was further down, breaking through the enemy defenses to make a path for the prisoners to move through the jungle and towards the beach where the extraction team was set to pick them up. It seemed that… She had been left behind amid the chaos, in the middle of an enemy camp in enemy territory, in a rather important city that was controlled by them. Not the best situation. But also not one that her team could exactly afford to turn around and get her out of, considering the large number of forces they were fighting at this very moment.

Harper took a deep breath, centering herself. Alright. Okay. She couldn’t catch up, and she refused to be the first Kaelic PoW of the war. She stuffed her power cutter into one of her uniform’s pockets. Step one, get the fuck away from here, and strip the uniform after finding a change of clothes or at least make it less obviously a uniform. Step two… Well, she’d do step one first, no point in planning ahead if she got caught. She turned back into her mech, emerging a few moments later with a handgun and a map, not that the map would be much use without a compass, but it was better than nothing.

Turning away from her mech, she headed off at a quick jog into the city, aiming to put distance between herself and her mech, discarding her jacket and helmet, leaving herself in just a vest top and khakis. Better than being obviously military, but she’d want something to replace her khakis with completely sooner rather than later. She’d need to decide if it was safer hiding out in the city, trying to make her way back to friendly lines… Or some other option if she could come up with something. If she didn’t get caught of course.
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:42 am




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 6
“URBAN JUNGLE”


War rages on between the imperial axis in South Aurelia and the nativist Southern Wind Alliance, and with an alliance forming officially between the Federation of Kael and the Kaiserreich of Alamania, the Ranhalt Accords, it’s sure to only grow more intense… As a counter-invasion is mounted on the northern coast of Almirez, the 105th Mechanized Infantry Brigade prepares for an urban assault to seize the surrounded city from enemy hands.




Fort MacEntire, 105th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade Headquarters
10km northwest of Daernel, Federation of Kael
January 31st, 2049
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



Few would have predicted it earlier in the year, but war was now raging across South Aurelia. It had happened just like that, really - the anti-imperialist Southern Wind Alliance had seized a few too many ships and made a few too many oversteps, and their underestimation of the imperial will to fight had resulted in a response which triggered the all out invasion of Alamanian South Aurelia and New Castana - a conflict that the Federation of Kael had been drawn fully into by a complex web of alliances… They weren’t an imperial nation in South Aurelia yet, not at this point anyway, but they profited off of their presence there for sure. They weren’t an Aunoran nation in geography, but they were in ethnicity and origin - and therefore they were the natural enemy of Southern Wind.

The 105th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade had been one of the first to fight in this conflict, being responsible for the rescue of the Alamanian sailors that had been captured by the Republic of Almirez. Since then, the Alamanian carrier group had shown up and the Kaelic navy had pitched its support for it, a battle beginning off the coast of Alca as air forces brought in soldiers for an attack on the ground. The combined force from the South Aurelian Soviets and Almirez was pushing into Alamanian South Aurelia… But Almirez itself was losing ground on its northern coast to the opposing alliance.

Which was what it was now - an alliance. The Ceannasai had flown out to Alamania and made the deal with the Kaiser, bringing the interests of the two countries together formerly… It was a mad world these days, and good allies were needed to last long against threats like these. Turns out the Kaiserreich and Kael were more fitting for each other than anyone would have thought at the beginning of the year.

How that would translate into action… Royce Mahon wasn’t sure yet. She did know this, though - the conflict they were fighting now was one of domination. The winner, either imperial or nativist, would dominate the continent. She could only hope that the spoken of winner was her nation and its allies rather than the ones that had kicked things off in an effort to kick them and their interests out.

She stood straight, moving from the position of leaning against the hangar. She was waiting for someone right now… The transfer, in fact, that was supposed to be here so they could continue filling their mission requirements even after losing a member that was surely good as dead right now after ejecting in the middle of an enemy base. That stayed with her… But it wasn’t as if Royce had never seen someone die before. She was able to get over it. The streets, at times, were a good preparation for the difficulties one might face in life…

Ciar had always found it distinctly odd to move units. You met people, you got to know them well, then all of a sudden you were told you were being reassigned to another unit and to report to such and such at when and where. Her walk was slightly off as she finally approached the mech hangar for the unit she’d been assigned to, not quite limping but definitely favouring one leg over the other as she approached in silence.

“Staff Sergeant,” Royce called out to her to get her attention, stepping further away from the hangar wall and unstuffing her hands from her pockets, gesturing towards the hangar itself before pressing a button on the wall - it caused the large doors to start sliding open, slowly but surely, to allow them inside soon enough. “You’re looking for me.”

“You’re the lieutenant then.” Ciar said, giving a small nod of acknowledgement towards Royce as she approached. She wasn’t someone who spoke much, tending to keep her thoughts to herself. “Here to show me the hardware?”

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GNM-15 “Comet” Combat Suit
“Here to show you the plans for tonight… And the hardware is here, too,” Royce acknowledged with a nod as she started towards the open gap between the two hangar doors. “I assume that… This is your first time being in a role like platoon sergeant. Y’know. Promotion and transfer and all that.”

“Yea.” Ciar nodded. “Mechs are new-ish, but I didn’t think I’d get jumped up the ladder this quickly. Guess war makes everything quicker, huh.”

“I haven’t been in command of this unit for very long, either. I finally ended up in combat and we had mixed results - succeeded in freeing the prisoners which is something you probably heard about on the news. And also managed to lose one person, the last platoon sergeant to be in the same position that you’re in right now,” Royce mused. As they continued on their way, they could see mechanics and ground crew working on the massive battlesuits that they would eventually wear into combat. For now, though, they were all practically tied down and restrained with scaffolding to make it possible to work on them easily.

“So,” Royce added, her eyes traveling between these different sights, and the people who were carrying around ammunition and such, or pulling carts full of it - the hangar was really alive in a way, and they were just one small part of it all. “Are you afraid perhaps to start working with me?”

“You’re dropping me into a corpse’s position, I’d be lying if I wasn’t… Apprehensive.” Ciar said, crossing her arms. “But afraid, no. It’s not like you’re cursed to get all your staff sergeants killed or some dumb superstitious shit. They got cocky or unlucky or stupid or a mix. Death happens in war.” Ciar gave a small shrug. “So yea, apprehensive, but not afraid.”

“I learned something important from someone before. Actually, from a place you might not expect, a scammer in Daernel that I knew growing up. I learned that death isn’t something that you can afford to worry about on the battlefield, and that you’re more likely to die from worrying about it than from whatever danger is in front of you. You’re capable of a lot… But not if you hold yourself back with fear,” Royce continued, finally stopping her walk when they had reached the mechs they were using, looking up and inspecting hers as the crew worked on it and prepared it for the night. “It was also fear that made my previous platoon sergeant hold back, leading to her eventual demise when the less fearful enemy struck back.”

Royce paused, giving some time for this to sink in. “I suppose that’s the reason the first thing I’m telling you right now is to be fearless out there. This isn’t the kind of opponent that gives second chances if you aren’t.”

“You have to have something to be scared of first.” Ciar said, looking up at the scaffolding around the mechs, tracing it with her eyes as she thought. “The only things I fear are all back here. Things I have but don’t want to lose, but they’re not things I fear losing me.”

“Trust your instincts… Trust your platoon. And don’t back down in fear and I’m sure you’ll do better than the last one in your position did,” Royce concluded simply, her voice hanging for a moment before she continued. “It may sound like heavy advice to give someone early on. But I’m sure she wished she knew that back during our first battle too… Was too late by then, and it’s stayed with me.”

“Sometimes you just have to drop this on someone.” Ciar shrugged. “But you said you were going to show me the plans for tonight?”

Royce was silent, walking further over to her own station within the hangar and going through some papers that she had placed down at one of the desks not far from the mech itself. She opened a folder, handing it to Ciar to look over the contents. “Aerial insertion as usual. Night fighting equipment will be used… Though we’re not carrying anything with us and using the internal gear instead, in night mode. The OPFOR is the same as last time and so is the front - the city of Alca. Kaelic Rangers and Marines have pushed into the city along with Alamanian forces, while much of the Almirezian military is tied up with Southern Wind activities further south. They underestimated how willing we would be to go to bat for the Alamanians, and didn’t expect a joint attack on their own territory in response. Long range bombing has already weakened much of their air defense grid and infantry movements supported by armor on the ground has led to the surrounding of Alca… Now, we get to make a trip to the heart of enemy fortification there and break it down for good.”

“Tip of the spear in an encircled cityfight then.” Ciar said. “Could be nasty business depending on what’s left encircled in the city and they’ll fight to the bitter end since they know they can’t retreat.”

“Tanks… Infantry. I’ve heard that there’s some kind of Zemalyan operatives helping out the Almirezians… But I don’t think even their communist advisers are going to be able to save them. Not with what we’re throwing at them. However, there’s still enough things that present dangers. Getting hit with a tank shell the wrong way can still present problems,” Royce replied. “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”

“Depends how they set themselves up. If they dig themselves in properly, strategic demolition to block streets, overlapping fields of tank fire into chokepoints… But that’s why we’re the spearhead then isn’t it?” The faintest hint of a smile crept onto Ciar’s face, the first actual sign of emotion she’d showed. “Bit hard to create a defence line against something with the mobility of mechs.”

“Expect to move through the land and the air but don’t underestimate the effect the environment might have on the fighting… We’re going to be in a city and I don’t expect jumping through buildings to be easier than moving around in the open jungle,” Royce said, nodding - but it was a reluctant nod, considering what she had just said. They had to contend with more than just the opposing armor.

“Yea, it’ll be a bitter slog at best.” Ciar gave a reluctant nod. “Armour at least we’ll be more mobile than, but infantry AT teams… Those might be a problem if they’re any good and know how to use the environment. ‘Least they won’t have much in the way of air support most likely.”

“They may, they may not… Depends on how the battle in the sky is going. Hope that they’re overwhelmed at the time that we drop - which should be part of the plan, but the battle is an unpredictable thing,” stated Royce. “The Almirezian Air Force is a dangerous one when it comes to striking targets on the ground. Regardless… It’s not the main factor in this.”

She paused slightly, stepping away from her station. “So get your rest… It’s going to be past midnight at the time we touch down in enemy territory, but we’re not going to have much time at all to relax once we’re there.”

“Yea, I’ll go get what sleep I can. Last thing anyone in combat needs is to be trying not to collapse from tiredness.” Ciar nodded, turning away. “See you in a few hours or so.” Ciar added as she started to walk out of the hangar, making her way back towards their barracks block. Some things didn’t change much, and where you slept was one of them.



It wasn’t long relatively before they were in the air, the Titan transportation aircraft taking them all the way from the Kaelic mainland towards Almirez, and eventually, into enemy territory while a flight of fighters covered their push into the area. Of course, they were somewhat safer than usual as they moved at high altitude and at night, but there was always a risk… Right now, the only sounds were of the jet engines and of the slight rattlings of the pods within the back of the aircraft. That changed soon enough.

“I’ve been notified that launch is soon,” Royce said over the comms channel to the others. “Check your maps now and then be prepared to make the slide out shortly… The pilots aren’t going to wait up a single minute late for this. If any of you are unprepared… It’s going to affect us.”

“Roger.” Ciar said simply, checking her maps on one of the secondary screens in her mech before double-checking her mech’s systems, making sure everything was in order. It never hurt to be safe when you were about to be tossed out of a plane to make absolutely sure.

The time for checks wasn’t a very long one and the lights within the back of the aircraft eventually turned red in warning, alerting everyone within that they were soon going to drop. Of course, there was no one that was actually able to see the lights - the pods were sealed until they were in the air. Slowly, the doors of the massive vehicle slid open in the back, and the locks on the rail system were released one by one, allowing Royce and then Ciar and then the other two members of the platoon to drop, this time descending into the night air where they wouldn’t even be able to see the ground beneath them once the pods broke, at least without switching to NV mode. They were lucky to be using some of the most advanced tech that was available… Paratroopers conducting an airborne assault in earlier days wouldn’t have the same means that they did.

They fell and fell, and then each of the pods split open, letting them free… Which meant the last leg of the flight down was all on them and the thrusters that were on the back of each GNM-15 “Comet” combat suit. There was, however, a bit more pressure on them this time when it came to landing… Mainly because of the fact that they wouldn’t have a very good view of the landing area before they actually touched down on the ground.

It was a surreal experience for Ciar. Knowing you were falling, but not really seeing it, with nothing but darkness and the rare light in the besieged city below as any form of indicator that they were falling, along with the descending altimeter on one of the screens. Landing in darkness, even with night vision technology was always going to be a spotty affair, but she had the map all but memorized as her mech’s engines briefly sparking into brilliant, blinding light in the darkness as she corrected and slowed her descent. The altimeter was ticking down at a good pace, not too slow, not too fast that she’d die on impact.

“First Platoon landed safely…” Royce announced over the operations radio channel. The environment, however, wasn’t an example of the usual empty landing zone which was just trees or a clearing or something like that. No, they had dropped in the middle of Alca, one of the strongholds of the enemy, and even if that enemy was being pushed back, that didn’t change that there were four of them and a number of opposing units in the area from the second they hit the ground.

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The sights of downtown Alca
“Contact…”

They had been spotted on their way down and Royce made the callout as soon as she detected the first enemy tank using infrared vision - as it turned out, there was already a group coming to meet them, turning from a major highway onto the narrow street that they were on right now… Not that there was any traffic on the highway, considering the siege. Only one tank showed itself originally, but as it advanced, it became clear that it wasn’t the only one turning the corner to face the group of mechs that had just shown up… Royce decided to take a shot.

She stared through the scope with her rifle raised in the air towards the first opponent, and squeezed the trigger - But her three shots struck the area around rather than hitting the target itself, pavement exploding around the tank and leaving some hard to pass craters but not doing damage to the enemy vehicle itself.

Ciar’s mech had slammed into the ground a short distance behind Royce’s, having hit her planned drop location almost dead on. Her mech turned, the flick of a switch transitioning the screens to infrared vision as she aimed her rifle at the clearly visible thermal profile of the tank, taking a single step sideways for a slightly better angle on the vehicle before opening fire with three shots towards the tank.

Her shot hit the mark - all of the shells hit and the explosion lit up the night sky and made it possible for a brief moment to see clearly, before the sky was lit up more by the fire which erupted afterwards from the carcass of the tank, flickering orange as the metal burned in the night. The fire also made it possible to see the wave of two other tanks that were coming from behind, attempting to use the now killed tank as cover for their own move against the mechs… One that was potentially fatal for themselves if they couldn’t get the mechs out quickly.

There was a loud boom as the lead tank of this formation fired back for the first time, putting them under fire finally, with the shell flying accurately towards Ciar… Didn’t hit, though, and it ended up going wide and sending up even more smoke as it slammed into a civilian building, collapsing the face of it in the dark behind them while the battle raged on without stop. In urban combat, no one was particularly safe… Not even those that were just riding out the action in apartments and waiting for it to blow over.

“Return fire!” said Royce… But that wouldn’t happen until the second tank had already fired its main gun, targeting Royce herself as the lead figure in the formation. She had moved just in time as soon as the gun was pointed towards her, another civilian building struck as she pushed the limits of the suit’s acceleration to get away just before the shot had been rocketed through the place where she was formerly standing… Close call. But not the closest she’d had.

The squad did go along with her order… MacQueen and Teague stepped up to shoot, MacQueen destroying the first of the tanks with one shot but Teague not having the same luck after firing three shots that just couldn’t hit the mark no matter what.

Ciar, seeing that the last of the currently visible tanks was still operational, turned her mech sharply, rifle quickly tracking and firing off two shots at the remaining tank, mech already starting to move after she’d fired. There wasn’t any reason to stay in the same place for long. She hit the mark, the opposing tank obliterated in a ball of fire, leaving three burning wrecks there and no more enemies in the immediate area it seemed.

It was now that they could get an idea of what kind of a place they were in, since they weren’t being shot at - they weren’t the tallest thing in the area for once, but rather, the buildings were, and they were right next to a highway which was often busy but today was empty… It ran through the city, and the lack of people on it showed how dire the situation was. But still, despite this dire situation, it was clear that Alca was important to the opposing force just because of how it was developed economically.

“Let’s start moving…” said Royce, looking at her map as she continued on her way in the lead. “We should run into some barricades but making a bee line for the downtown center and the largest resistance is the best path to get this done and wrapped up with by a decent time.”

“We could just go over or around the barricades if they’re not too heavily defended.” Ciar suggested, mech starting to stomp after Royce’s as they headed deeper into the city. “Depends if you feel comfortable leaving enemy forces on our line of retreat.”

“They will be defended… With artillery and infantry and whatever else they have around here. It’s not going to be safe to just ignore them but we should run into a couple at most,” Royce explained over the radio.

She kept going after explaining, keeping up a good pace, although it was hard to check for threats with the night vision gear… Easy to confuse things that weren’t actually enemies for enemies, and sometimes easy to miss the ones that were actual threats. It was better than nothing, however, and all of their opponents didn’t even have the same capability, only some of the ones with more modern gear. She could bet most of the infantry didn’t have night fighting gear.

“Through them it is then.” Ciar didn’t seem that annoyed by the prospect of having to punch through any barricades, even if she had suggested bypassing them as she followed after Royce’s mech, matching the quick pace as they made their way through the city.

The first of those barricades was of course along one of the main avenues and was an artillery battery set up in the middle of it, probably one of the ones used to fire back on the forces that were shelling the city - so far, that counter fire hadn’t had much success… But that wasn’t the only thing there. There was also an infantry team, with about three anti-tank launchers between them spread out over a decent enough area that they’d take multiple shots to eliminate, and resting behind the line were a pair of tanks apparently protecting the artillery.

“Artillery isn’t going to be that much of a threat to us from this range if we stay on the move… Focus on the infantry and tanks,” Royce said, gesturing for her platoon to move into action.

“Roger.” Ciar said, engines briefly flaring as she launched her mech skywards into an arc, aiming to slam down atop one of the tanks behind the barricade; it was a bit difficult to track a target in flight, and if it worked it’d put her in a prime position to take down the remaining tank in short order. The move was a success, the weight of her mech coming down on the top of the tank and crushing it without much chance of an escape from the crew… While the rest of the squad moved in for the rest of the threats.

Royce aimed at one of the three anti-tank crews, firing off two shells which hit the mark and sent shrapnel and dust through the rest of the nearest infantry formation after obliterating all three members of the anti-tank team… But there were still a couple more to worry about, one of which was targeted by MacQueen with three shots of her own, two of which hit the mark and quickly thinned out the infantry further before Teague took aim at the last section of infantry in the hopes of wiping out the group… His shots struck the mark, the quick advance of the mechs having wiped out all of the soldiers on foot on this side of the barricade.

The only thing they were left with was one more tank as well as the artillery, but the crew of the tank had other ideas than just going down without a fight. A shot was fired back at close range at Ciar, the round hitting the leg and penetrating the armor there but not quite doing enough to actually seriously hurt the mech… Wasn’t a great angle for that, and the power of the cannon wasn’t strong enough as well.

“Really?” Ciar said simply as she glared down at the offending tank, levelling her rifle at it and firing off two shots at it. There were a few blinking lights, minor damage to one of her mech’s legs, but not enough to critically unbalance it or cause it to topple over. She’d still need to get it looked at after the mission though.

Both of the shots hit - and the flames that followed told the platoon that the job had been done well enough. The only thing left was the artillery, although that wasn’t to say that there wasn’t a challenge there in its own right… It could still hurt them under the right circumstances. The guns behind the enemy line fired off from closer than they normally would, the first one targeting Ciar and missing wide only to see the round crash into a building’s window… The second one, though, actually put a round on target, and it would collide with the combat suit, but the armor this time was enough to deal with it by itself with no evasion needed… There were still two artillery pieces set up, though, and they fired off their own shots - one missed MacQueen, while the other one targeted the closest mech again which happened to belong to Ciar, placing a round on the torso plate but not penetrating.

“Let’s wipe them out before they’re a problem…” said Royce, bringing her combat suit close to the nearest one and firing one round from close range… But when that didn’t work, she slammed the foot of the mech against it to break it in half.

“I’ll give them credit for not running.” Ciar grumbled, slightly rattled from feeling the impacts of the artillery shells against her mech, even if they weren’t designed to take out mechs; it was still more of a chance to die with every impact, and she’d gotten lucky so far. She turned her mech, firing three shots at the single remaining artillery piece, advancing towards it as she did so; she wasn’t going to give the crew time to reload.

The rounds missed the mark, however, perhaps due to the difficulties of aiming in the dark… Which gave a bit more time for the crew to fire back on their own, a doomed shot which also flew wide and ended up hitting a building rather than the mech, not doing any damage other than making a loud noise… Behind Ciar, Royce moved up and took aim, her shots hitting the mark this time and taking the group out fully.

“Any damages? If not, we’re going to keep moving straight away before reinforcements show up…” Royce remarked. “Don’t want to get hit with air support again.”

“Took a few hits but nothing crippling or critical.” Ciar reported. “It’ll need to be looked at once we’re back at base, but the mech can keep going.”

“We’ll keep moving in that case,” said Royce, and they did just that, advancing through the city while looking around and seeing the destruction through the lens of their night vision, buildings with smoke plumes from artillery barrages earlier as well as places where the roads had been destroyed by the long range bombing campaign that was being conducted by the Kaelic air forces, in support of the ground assault.

“Roger.” Ciar said simply, content to move off in silence as they headed deeper into the city, more focused on watching for ambushes than the destruction around them as they advanced.

They would soon get an interesting message, however, as they made their way to the city center itself, the buildings getting taller as they moved along, and the destruction getting more apparent thanks to the saturation of attacks in this area. “…Be on the lookout for Zemalyan mechanized cavalry operating in this area, according to reports from military intelligence…”

“Didn’t think they had mechanized cavalry of their own,” muttered Royce over the comms channel as they received the word from the higher ups. “Although, surely taking that out would be enough to break their effort.”

“We have to take it out first.” Cier said. Zemalyans were another matter altogether compared to the Almarezians they’d faced so far, and you didn’t send your worst out to foreign countries as expeditionary troops. “Suppose we just keep an eye out for it.”

They were approaching the downtown skyline itself and they could see some recognizable sites - the football stadium here, some of the buildings that were used in local government, some shopping centers which were known around the country… Royce pointed out the specific spot where they were likely to find what they were looking for - the largest concentration of enemy forces. “Supposedly, that stadium is being used right now by the military as the headquarters of their communication, since we took out the actual military base outside the city… From the tanks I can see in the distance, I’m inclined to think the reports are right.”

“So how are we gonna handle this?” Cier asked. “Since it’s probably gonna be fortified and if the Zemalyans are anywhere they’ll either be there or close enough to respond.”

“We can go over the top…” Royce said as a possible suggestion. “And hit them as hard as we can behind their lines. If there are Zemalyans there, we might be able to catch them off guard. If not, I doubt there’s anything that we won’t be able to handle.”

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Alca Municipal Stadium, one of the largest in South Aurelia
“Seems workable. If we can get inside the stadium they won’t be able to bring APCs or tanks to bear on us, we can cripple them before they can get a response together.” Cier nodded in agreement.

Without saying another word, Royce took a slight running start and activated the jump jets, soaring high in the sky and giving their position away in the process - the clock was ticking now and they wouldn’t have all that long to get inside the stadium and take out the enemy formation in there before they had more units bearing down on them… So she didn’t take any time that wasn’t necessary, only flying as high as she needed to clear the wall before aiming her rifle downwards and spraying five shells once the encampment became clear… There was, indeed, an enemy camp in here. Complete with tents, parked vehicles, and everything. Wasn’t like the stadium was needed for its original use at a time like this, so it made sense. But its time as an encampment would likely come to an end, as the explosive shells rocked the tents and rocked the ground too, before Royce came crashing down and landed on the wreckage of one, her rifle quickly swinging into position as she looked for threats.

“It looks like there is a Zemalyan combat suit in here… That hasn’t even gotten off the erector yet,” Royce pointed out, gesturing to the far end of the arena where a scaffolding setup like the one that they used back home was set up - it had been placed on the track that went around the field somewhat awkwardly, but it fit, but it was indeed what the intelligence reports said… A battlesuit unlike their own, painted in red where theirs was white, and marked with the symbols of an enemy nation.

Of course, there were other things to think about too… Like the platoon of tanks that was sitting still for now, but had drivers rushing to them to get them set up to fight. Likely, they wouldn’t have enough time with the mechs having just landed…

“Worry about any enemy mechs later.” Cier said as her mech slammed into the ground, mech rising up as she scanned the area, firing off three shots against the currently immobile tanks, figuring dealing with them first before their crews could get them into fighting condition would be the best course of action. They had to do as much damage in the chaos and panic before resistance started to organise.

Royce fired her gun around the same time and both of them would find hits, the night sky lit up once again with explosions - which would just show as flashes of white heat for them, given the fact that they were viewing things through the green tinted lens of night vision… There were still a couple of tanks left, but the rear members of the platoon pulled forward and took their own shots, both of them hitting successfully too to take out the platoon…

Didn’t take long for Royce to direct her gun towards the rest of the structures, firing five rounds in a somewhat random direction, taking out tents and radio towers and whatever else was there, including personnel who were scurrying between the different locations within the encampment but finding that their efforts were in vain and the stronger mechanized force was able to tear right through them.

“Helicopter taking off…” reported Teague.

But that helicopter would soon end up under fire from half of them as Teague’s own single shot missed but the one round fired by MacQueen hit, twisted steel and helicopter parts descending as the thing split into multiple pieces and crashed down, jet fuel leaking and setting fire to the nearby tents.

“I believe the enemy is in a full retreat right now,” Royce said, watching the destruction that they were bringing about on the enemy and then shifting the sensors of her mech back to the strange Zemalyan combat suit that was still positioned peacefully in its erector, not having been hit by any of the previous action. “As for what to do about this…”

She didn’t exactly have an answer yet, though, considering they had never run into one of these and didn’t even know it existed.

“Keep the thing intact if we can, I’m sure there’s a bunch of guys in lab coats just waiting to dismantle it if we capture it.” Cier said, turning to look back at the inactive mech. “Odd, though, that I don’t think I’ve seen anyone trying to get to the thing to pilot it.”

“Don’t think there’s enough time to get something like that up and running… As for keeping it intact, I’ll have to see what command says about that, I don’t know if they can get a team in here to bring it back… But then again, with the damage that we’ve dealt, the assault on the city should be good to begin in the next day or so,” Royce remarked, unsure. “Much of their command structure should be gone, if not the General in charge of this region.”

“Guess we’ll have to see how the rest of the army fares.” Cier said, looking out over the remains of the camp on the stadium’s field. “But yea, we’ll see what command says on what to do with it. It being alone like this is… Odd.”

“We’ll see…” Royce said, her eyes shifting as she watched the fires in the stadium. This conflict was certainly growing bigger, that was for sure - she wouldn’t have thought months ago that she would end up fighting in a crucial battle for Alca, but here she was anyway. But with foreign sides getting involved such as the ZFSR… Things could only get bigger from here.

She just hoped she and her unit would be ready for it.
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Forest State
Senator
 
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:30 am

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February 10 2049

BREAKING: PREMIER TAO PHANG ANNOUNCES LIBERATION OF SOUTHERN SHENGOU
Shengouese People’s Army Has Crossed The Demilitarized Zone, Prepares For Full Offensive

CHANGYAN, UNION OF COMMUNIST SHENGOUESE REPUBLICS --- Many in the nation today expressed surprise or adulation as the Shengouese People’s Army crossed the demilitarized zone with Southern Shengou and the self-claimed ‘National Republic of Shengou,’ for the first time since the Fifth Reunification Crisis fifteen years prior. The liberation effort is assisted by the SPA’s comrades from the Zemalyan Air Forces and the Zemalyan Navy, which were spotted in the skies and in the waters assisting against the ‘National Democratic’ occupier to the south. Zemalyan strategic bombers sent reactionary forces packing from the border, while the Zemalyan aircraft carrier Admiral Piotr Gorelov joined the First Fleet in striking terror into the enemy navy.

Paramount Leader of the Union of Communist Shengouese Republics Tao Phang addressed the people in a nationally broadcasted speech at 9:00 AM sharp this morning, from the Liberation Square in Changyan. This is what the nation’s leader had to say -

“It has been over six decades since our struggle to liberate Shengou from the forces of reactionaries and oligarchs began. We have spent our blood, sweat and tears in this most important and righteous of struggles, and all of us have lost someone to the conflict. I once promised you that I would finally end this conflict that has subjected millions to needless suffering under the iron jackboot of the reactionary oligarchs, and today, I intend to set about fulfilling that promise, and ensuring all those who gave their lives for our revolution did not do so in vain.”

The address of the people was met with resounding applause and support, with many citizens expressing support and gratitude for the brave Shengouese People’s Army soldiers immediately following the address. Citizens spoken to by the Zenshi News Service described their reactions to the revitalized liberation campaign as “joyous,” “excited,” and “thankful.” Many expressed their personal satisfaction with the tenure of Premier Phang as Paramount Leader, stating that the liberation of Southern Shengou would be just another accomplishment on a long list for the former People’S Army Brigadier General, who once served in the conflict himself.

The increased liberation effort comes at a time when world tensions are at a high - imperialist nations around the world are banding together to prevent people’s liberation efforts at this time, making reunification with the capitalist and imperialist Southern Shengou a matter of the utmost importance. The brunt of the effort is currently handled by the 23rd, 40th, and 41st Group Army, though Army officials have informed Zenshi that further units will join the fighting as the situation advances.

Be sure to check the Zenshi News Agency as the only official source for news releases from the Snengouese People’s Army and reports from the front, as well as updates directly from the Shengouese Communist Party!

OTHER STORIES
  • Hangqumao Province Reporting Highest Steel Output In 3 Years
  • Zemalyan Aircraft Carrier Joins SPAN First Fleet
  • Communist Party Bans Southern Shengouese Espionage App
  • Imperialist Enemies Form Ranhalt Accords Alliance
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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:02 am




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 7
“DETACHMENT E”


As global tensions escalate, the KIB has assigned a Special Combat Groups task force to the situation in Shengou - while a peculiar skirmish happens in southern Feria.





National Intelligence Complex
Bandon, Federation of Kael
February 15th, 2049



It was safe to say that world tensions were at about the highest they had been in… Decades, perhaps. That wasn’t to say there hadn’t been conflicts in the past, even big ones. However, at the current point in time, the formation of a new alliance and the actions of the Zemalyan Federation of Socialist Republics and its allies within the similarly ideological Karagrad System were pushing the situation into a war that looked more and more global. Before, there had been loose alignments, alliances that weren’t entirely formal, and proxy wars…

Today, however, there were two sides. The Karagrad System, and the Ranhalt Accords - the latter being formed out of Kael, the Alamanian Kaiserreich, the Kingdom of Albion, and the Kingdom of Castana. All of them imperial powers, or aspiring to be, and at the very least all of them possessing foreign influence which the Karagrad System took offense to. And on the other side, the ZFSR, the Republic of Almirez and the South Aurelian Soviets, the Union of Shengouese Communist Republics, the East Kuristan Socialist Republic, and others… Natural enemies ideologically, and from a pragmatic standpoint, the top competitors to the Aunoran old world when it came to dominance in the developing sectors.

The fight had been building up - the sudden war of imperialism versus anti-imperialism which had broken out in South Aurelia was simply the first shot, and the formation of the Ranhalt Accords a confirmation that it couldn’t be avoided. Now, it was too late to turn back.

Perhaps the most major step had been taken. Soon, the war to reunify the most populous country on Talam would resume, and it was clear to both insiders and outsiders that the war wasn’t just one of pragmatism and control of government but a clash between two ideologies that had hated each other since one’s inception - communism and ‘National Democracy’ as it was called… The latter being quite the unusual creation, appearing in the southern half of Shengou following the fall of the preceding Ren Empire, and advocating for a democratic system where the ruling party would rule like the emperors of old. It had some roots in the Republic of North Aurelia’s democracy of older days… But in execution, it was closer to what the Republic was now, after it had become a place where might made right and where the military was central to the strength and running of the nation rather than its bureaucracy.

The ZFSR, which bordered the northern part of Shengou, had been unable to let that stand. They had backed the rise of communism - not just socialism but legitimate red blooded communism - in the post-collapse nation and kicked off the Shengouese Civil War. That had been seventy years in the past. Despite the fighting stopping, even for long periods at a time with the most recent ceasefire having happened fifteen years in the past, the problem remained unresolved.

Until now, maybe. While the imperial powers in the west were busy with a new South Aurelian conflict, it seemed the USCR believed they could make a move of their own, pouring over the border into the National Democratic controlled south, in hopes that the western ideal of containment would falter under the pressure of having to fight on two fronts. What they maybe didn’t expect, however, was western efforts in other ways than the obvious ones.

“Have a look at this,” said the man sitting across from Kaelic Intelligence Bureau agent Kyran Carey, turning his tablet around and setting it down on the wooden desk between them - the screen glowed notably in the surroundings, which wasn’t surprising. It wasn’t the brightest in here, but there was something oddly fitting about the KIB working in the shadows. In this case it was the literal sense, but in the metaphorical sense, most of their most important actions were taken outside of the public eye. Right now, the Bureau was working overtime so to speak. While Kael itself wasn’t threatened yet, business interests and personal interests fully required them to take this fight with the Southern Wind - and the larger Karagrad System as a whole, otherwise known as the large framework that Southern Wind had been formed from.

Kyran reached out, pressing play before settling back to his resting position, rather casual about the meeting despite the good chance that him, and his unit would be deployed again. Because they weren’t exactly the kind of intelligence types that hung around at an office, but rather part of the Special Combat Groups, the ones who did much of the dirty work and operated informally, covering over their successes and hiding the very nature of their operations until they were already over - sometimes for longer. It wasn’t a famous job, and surprise deployments like the one that was likely coming here happened at times, but it was worthwhile from a few perspectives. Outside of being able to say that the SCOG operators were one of the nation’s first lines of defense, as well as one of the first lines for their allies, the pay was more than enough to make up for the challenges too.

And everyone in this country was just trying to move up, weren’t they? Some did it by making a killing in business, some did it by killing enemies overseas. Kyran fell into the latter group.

The footage started to roll after Kyran clicked the play button, and it displayed sights that would be familiar from the newsreels of the past day or so - tanks and soldiers charging across the demilitarized zone in Shengou, with the footage in this case recorded from a stationary post as soldiers rushed out to defend the border… However, the spot that was recording would end up being hit by an artillery shell and that part of the video ended early, switching instead to drone footage of the scene from above, which allowed the viewer to take in the absolute magnitude of the fight going on around the DMZ… Barbed wire was being bypassed, mines exploding, warplanes clashed overhead and struck targets on the ground with deadly accuracy.

It was the kind of war that was expected between two nations with first world military technology and power. Two large and heavily industrialized nations at that.

“Footage from the Shengou DMZ?” Kyran questioned, though looking at the footage made it somewhat obvious with no need for questions just what was happening. There was only one situation right now that was at this scale, and it was the one that was happening in Shengou.

“Affirmative. The situation around there is about what you would expect. Obviously, this is a problem for us… While the conflict in South Aurelia is taking up much of our attention, the Karagrad System has been making aggressive inroads into other areas. First their push into Aunora with an increased offensive in West Kuristan, and now an invasion by the USCR into the National Republic of Shengou… We can’t send much in the way of actual forces at the moment, but the orders from the top are to interfere in other ways. There’s a strong interest in this for us to not allow the enemy to spread while we’re tied up by a southern conflict,” the man across from the table, Doran O’Hannegan, said.

Doran was, like Kyran, a veteran of this - though his time was still before Kyran’s, as evidenced by the fact that Kyran was active in the field and Doran was in the office instead. And Kyran happened to be used to the process already… Coming in, getting the rundown on the situation, and coming out with a new task. This time, however, there was an extra step. Something else important to note.

“Situation’s going to be a bit different for you this time. You can already tell, I’m sure, that we’re intending to intervene indirectly through SCOG action in Shengou, in both our allied nation and the invading one to subvert the invasion attempt. But you’re getting a more formal team this time. Special Combat Group Nine Detachment E… Echo. Comes with more resources. More responsibility too, but… I’m sure you can handle it, agent,” Doran said, sliding across a folder full of documents to Kyran. “Check out the assignment further. It’s the same kind of stuff you’ve done at a smaller scale. This time, the stakes are higher.”

“You can assemble your own team,” Doran added, spinning slightly in the chair. “But you’ll have to make it quick. Situation is already developing, just like the one down south. You will be working with one person of interest in specific, though - Xiaodan Yue, part of the local intelligence community in the NRS, has parents that fled the USCR. Knows her way around both countries from what I’ve heard and currently involved in asymmetrical warfare against the invader. You’ll make contact with Yue once you’re on the ground… Who else you’re looking to work with is your discretion. Just sent me a completed list of personnel soon and I’ll see what I can do about it.”

It was certainly a big change - going from leading to informal teams to a formal one like this was a major step, and well, Kyran had never been involved in something as important as this conflict regardless. Not only was it a larger assignment, but the stakes happened to be higher than they’d ever been in the past for the agent.

“Aye,” Kyran said, standing up and taking the folder. “Never had something like this to do but you already know me… Bit too competitive to fail now that you’ve got the pressure on,” he added. “I’ll do my best. Hope the gods decide to favor me, though…”

And with that, he turned to step out of the mid sized wood furnished office, and into a fluorescent lit corridor, one where the plain surroundings could make one forget that this entire facility was located, in typical KIB fashion, within the impenetrable walls of an actual mountain. The impressive engineering wasn’t something to think about right now. No, Kyran had a lot on his mind and a lot on his hands. First and foremost was putting together the group that would head to Shengou and attempt to aid in the effort to slow down the Karagrad System’s onslaught.



The Free State of Feria, the northern border of the Federation of Kael, was perhaps hell on Talam. No, both it and its eastern neighbor, the Republic of North Aurelia, were competing for that title. Maybe they both were, really. At one point they had been the same country, a unified Republic of North Aurelia which had stretched from the east coast to the west and had been a major player on the global stage, able to compete with the ZFSR and able to enforce interests of its own while driving military development forward - but the country had broken not from external threats, but within.

Vast differences in culture and even in the environment in different parts of the country had created a disunified atmosphere around it for the longest time, and under pressure, the nation had split. No more singular Republic of North Aurelia - there was the RNA, no longer a power like in the old days… The Free State of Feria, on its western flank, engaged in a nationalistic border conflict with what it considered its former overlord that had kept down their Ferian and Etorian culture… And the United States of Western Aurelia, a more advanced and developed nation that was now far removed from its roots and where it had come from, instead adopting its own culture around innovation and avoiding the trends of the crowd. To the north? The associated territories of Norica had become a bigger player than the nation that had formerly overshadowed them, their hypercapitalist and business driven nation clashing with the RNA at sea for oil.

Feria on the other hand, had oil and it had plenty of it, but it didn’t seem to make the common person richer… Especially in the south, towards the Kaelic border, and also out in the east where cities had been devastated by conflict with the RNA. Sure, they called it a border war. But at one point, the RNA had been the premier power in the region, maybe the world. When two parts of the former RNA slugged it out on the battlefield, it meant a lot of heavy metal getting thrown around. The average person didn’t have a ton… But the two nationalistic governments that both claimed their nation was the sole legitimate one in the former RNA still had funds and powerful arsenals, and often used them.

Officially, there was no war, but when there were thousands dead from border skirmishes and when cities had been hit with rocket barrages and armored charges, it was hard to make the argument that this was just a low intensity conflict over territorial disputes. It hadn’t sparked into a hot war, but it was anything but low intensity, and it was absolutely a war - one that controlled the people, too. Both countries were democracies… But there were some issues that just couldn’t be compromised on. Each person within these countries had a side, the RNA or Feria, and it as determined by where one was born - little sympathy existed for anti-war protesters and the like. While candidates disagreed on some things, the one thing that all of them did agree on was nationalism in favor of their own nation against the rival.

All of this made for ideal conditions for raiding, near the southern border with Kael. The Bangor Syndicate was the largest criminal group in Kael, but they were more a problem for other countries these days than they were for the Kaelic government that they lived under - Feria in specific, considering the proximity between the two and the the kind of land that could be found around the southern border… There wasn’t a major city until Salva, and the authorities were spread out over a large amount of farmland and mining lands. The Bangor Syndicate happened to be opportunists. They seized resources for the open market, brought back guns for their own use or to sell overseas in countries with stricter arms controls than their own, and captured people for the Kaelic and Castanan institutions of slavery, bringing the captured back to those countries or to the third world with looser rules on the matter.

Sometimes, raids by the Bangor Syndicate into the apocalyptic landscape that was the deserts of southern Feria resulted in bringing back all of the above.

The convoy of trucks headed down the dirt road some distance north from that border right now, despite their heavily armored nature and the machine guns that were on top of the two lead ones, weren’t military - but rather, part of the Federal Police, agents of the government who often patrolled these areas and kept them from turning into anarchy. Complete anarchy, anyway. There was seemingly always at least some anarchy here, it could just be limited to the best of the abilities of the authorities. And it seemed that these trucks, painted with the symbols of the Federal Police but colored in a more military style desert tan, had run into one of these ambushes.

FWOOSH!

Their armor was good, but it wasn’t good enough to take out a modern anti-tank guided missile. Someone had quickly emerged from behind a large rock within the sand covered valley pass and fired, the missile spiraling through the air a bit wildly at first before the control surfaces made it more accurate as it went along, eventually slamming right into the engine block and detonating the vehicle with a resounding sound - the crew was no more, the convoy was stopped, and they weren’t getting around this road block so easily. And they didn’t benefit now from being not as heavily armed as the military. While anyone would be in a bad spot here, the Ferian government agents especially were, as they only had a limited amount of military grade weapons.

Someone emerged from the hatch at the top of the second vehicle to reach the machine gun, but a bullet quickly hit the agent through the helmet as the forces of the Syndicate made themselves seen, jumping out from the shrubbery, from behind other rock formations, and even a few from the tops of the side of the valley, firing down on an unsuspecting enemy… The fight might as well have been happening from as close range as possible these days, which only added to the overwhelming factors.

And any of the officers that believed they were the superior side simply because they had more official training would find out just how wrong they were, as bodies began to drop on the road thanks to the fully automatic fire from the military weapons of their opponents, as the Syndicate swarmed them - the second vehicle attempted pulling away, but was swiftly gunned down by a cartel member with a marksman rifle who fired one shot through the windshield, hitting the driver and stopping the vehicle in its tracks.

The Ferian side was soon overwhelmed, the survivors mostly putting their guns down as the Syndicate swept through… One man in particular was rather relaxed as he strode from behind the Syndicate position, a pistol in hand and held in the air, ready to aim and fire at a moment of notice. The ones on the other side wouldn’t know it of course, but they were facing Bran ‘Madcat’ Kearney, one of the top names within this specific region of Feria.

Stopping in his tracks upon reaching the scene of the surrender, a grin crossed the face of the cowboy hat wearing and pistol toting gangster, who gestured to the rest of his own men. “Round up the ones who surrendered. The Bangor Syndicate is merciful… And hey, I’m sure they’ll enjoy finding new homes in our country or in Castana. Or maybe perhaps Mirez,” Kearney stated, pistol still ready despite the enemy being unarmed at this point. Never hurt to be too prepared. “Search the vehicles, too… Don’t feel like waiting to know how much in gear we’ve earned.”

He took a step away, looking to the captured prisoners one more time as a dust cloud blew up within the valley, making quite a bit of noise so Kearney had to shout his next words. “Don’t look so down! I’m sure some will find plenty of value in a Ferian Federal Police officer…” Kearney continued, chuckling. “But if you want to look at it glass half empty… That’s up to you.”

With that, he turned back towards the south, the direction they had come from in the first place, rather satisfied with the way the Syndicate had handled the attack against what many others would consider a ‘superior’ foe. Quick, decisive, and deadly. They’d brought back a fair amount of profit seemingly, too…

Was just a matter now of seeing who was in the market for what they had.
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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:06 am




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 8
“SECOND CHANCES”


After capture by the Bangor Cartel in a cross border raid, one agent of the Federal Police of Feria is given a second chance to avoid a more hopeless fate in servitude - service to the Kaelic Intelligence Bureau.




Bangor Syndicate Ranch
Bangor, Federation of Kael
February 17th, 2049
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



Aella was someone who always preferred to look on the bright side of life, but even so the only one she could see to her current circumstances was that she wasn’t dead. She wasn’t entirely sure why she wasn’t dead, instead sat on bare concrete in a crude cell with just a bucket and a dirty mattress, but she’d learned not to ponder questions like that too deeply.

They often led to wrong answers.

Still, she was alive and… Waiting, for something. The room wasn’t particularly well lit and she couldn’t see the sun, so she had no idea how long she’d been in here. But better alive than dead like most of her former Ferian Federal Police colleagues were from what little she’d seen of the attack’s aftermath. The place was well guarded, too, the cartel running itself more like a small military… And this place might as well have been a military prison with none of the benefits given to prisoners, at least for those who were kept here. The ranch wasn’t bad… But only for someone that was on the side of the owners, the cartel, not the ones who found themselves here as slaves after meeting a poor fate on the road in southern Feria.

It seemed that a couple of those armed guards were entering the holding area right now, both of them with rifles in hand and the lower halves of their faces covered by bandanas with intricate designs in a very dark blue contrasted with smaller highlights of white mixed in. The rifles too were about standard fare for the cartel, about similar to the ones that the military used, though the ones around here were a bit less standardized with more modifications and adjustments, which was of course fitting based on where they came from.

There was someone else accompanying them, however, who had a different appearance - the most notable thing was that the black-haired man wasn’t wearing militant style fatigues like the cartel members did, or any kind of camouflage or drab for that matter, but rather a more casual style which seemed presentable enough despite… Not quite having a military appearance. A spook outfit perhaps. The man seemed like someone from intelligence, or from somewhere else along those lines, but where exactly wasn’t clear. Or if that theory was even right. There were, after all, no identifying logos or anything of that sort on the man’s clothes.

“So this is the one…” the man in the middle said, looking around at the different cages within the room before settling eyes on the one in specific that Aella was in - though most of the others were unoccupied. It wasn’t like there were too many survivors within the group of Ferian government agents that had been ambushed on the road the other day. Other still had been moved to other locations, leaving Aella here with those who were left.

“Good looks, right? You can see why the price is high,” stated one of the cartel members, gesturing towards Aella as the man started forward to have a closer look, intentions unclear.

“Important, perhaps… But not most important,” the man stated plainly, looking down at her and then turning back to the others. “What’s it about her that made the KIB say she’s worth looking at? You guys have brought in Federal Police people before.”

“This one is distinguished…” said the other cartel member. “Have a look at the documents on that table over there. And the rank. You’re not dealing with a run of the mill street cop here.”

“I don’t think anyone in the Federal Police is that,” the man said with a slight roll of the eyes, before reaching for a phone from his pocket. “I have a call to make… To see if this is worth it,” he added, punching in a number before raising up the phone, seaking hurriedly into it. “Hello? Yeah… I’m at this ranch that you told me about right now… This agent really worth bringing in…? Cartel guy says she’s distinguished, just taking a look sends other signals though… Alright. Hopefully, your judgement’s right on this one…”

He hung up the call, stepping back and turning slightly. “I’ll make the deal,” he stated. “So have her brought out.”

The cartel members, nodding, moved for the cage… With one of them unlocking it and the other one leveling his rifle towards the sole occupant while gesturing in the direction that the other gunman was now moving. “No funny business,” the guard reminded - there were no bounds or chains at the moment, but the threat of the guns was enough to force reconsidering any attempts at causing trouble now that the door was open.

Aella said nothing, nodding as she got up to her feet, brushing herself down momentarily before walking out of her cell, moving to follow after the second gunman. She wasn’t stupid enough to try anything funny, not after what she’d been listening into. If the KIB of all organisations was interested in her and a deal had been done, that was her ticket out of here to somewhere hopefully not quite as bad.

The surroundings outside of the room housing the cell were a bit better, as expected - regular hallways, windows, and few would be able to tell this was a highly defended cartel base just from looking at the way it was set up. This was the route that the cartel gunmen led Aella through, before they passed through the front door and into the light for the first time in a couple of days… Outside, there was a pickup truck in the driveway and the man from earlier was standing there.

“I suppose this is good enough,” he said, handing over the last of multiple bundles of cash before turning his attention to Aella, after one of the cartel members gave her a push in the back to send her in his direction.

“And I guess you’re wondering what the hell this is about,” he continued, judging that she would have little knowledge of the situation. Few people would - only the cartel, the man, and the ones who had sent him in this direction with this information tip.

“Curious, yes, stupid enough to stick my neck out and ask directly, no.” Aella said, her voice level. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was dealing with yet, and that meant keeping her head down with a metaphorical ear to the ground at the same time. Assumptions were for idiots.

“The name’s Kyran… Kyran Carey, of the Kaelic Intelligence Bureau. The fact of the matter is, my organization and my unit in specific are no stranger to carrying out irregular and informal operations in a number of locales around this region and around the world in general. Sometimes, those operations require irregular personnel, too. I’ve been told to put a group of people together for an upcoming operation…” started the man, explaining calmly. “I’ve also been told that there’s a distinguished Ferian agent on the market after being captured by the Bangor Syndicate… Funny how things happen around the Ferian border. Point is, that agent is you.”

“As a foreign agent, you can play different roles that might be harder for someone from our country… At least for the kind of work that we have in front of us. As a slave, you’re also a member of the squad that can take risks that more valuable members can’t. The kind of person that’s also useful on an operation like the one coming up. You can reject the offer, of course, and our merchants here can hand back the cash and you can go back to where you were before… But I have a feeling that isn’t an outcome you would be happy with,” Kyran continued, laying out the details and letting Aella decipher it all for herself. “Maybe you can even make something of yourself if you go this route. Attempt a betrayal, of course, and you’ll quickly find yourself dead… There’s multiple ways to ensure that.”

“All I’ve got to say is she can’t have been that distinguished if she got herself captured by a cartel in an ambush.” Aella said, her voice taking on a slightly dark tone. “And it’s not like either option is an ideal choice, but your option has more in its favour than going back there to whatever fate.” It was the cold arithmetic of survival, risk evaluated up against everything else. Morality didn’t figure into it. “Although I get the distinct feeling this team of yours is sounding suspiciously like a suicide mission, but I’ll take my chances regardless.”

“If you think you have enough worth to justify not being sent on such a mission, it’s up to you to prove that,” Kyran said plainly. “Considering you fought for a government which put itself into its own mess, few will have sympathy for you on this front,” he added, taking a step forward towards her and pulling out an object, which he would move to fasten around her neck before taking a step back.

“And this collar can do one of two things… Shock, or explode entirely. Attempt a betrayal and the latter will happen,” he informed her, before stepping back towards the truck. “Everything is clear, then?”

“Crystal.” Aella said, tapping the weight around her neck. “And a paycheck is a paycheck, it may be an absolute shitshow of a state but they paid well enough, and at the end of the day that’s what matters.” She wasn’t some idealist who’d die for some idea, there was no place for that kind of person in Feria anymore.

“We move out soon, then,” Kyran stated, turning around and opening up the pickup truck, climbing in the driver’s side while the passenger side remained unlocked for Aella. “Destination, the far east. Be thankful for getting a second chance here… Not everyone who fails does.”

“I’m more thankful I’m not dead right now.” Aella shrugged, moving around and climbing into the passenger side, the door shutting with a clunk. “But same difference from my view.”
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
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Posts: 4312
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:54 am




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IMPERIAL DAWN
SEASON 1 - EPISODE 9
“RED STORM”


While more well known conflicts heat up elsewhere, the ZFSR and its allies wage a proxy war against the western empires in the former Zemalyan territory of Kuristan… After deploying to the area, the air mercenaries of Warhawk Defense are finally called on to halt an East Kuristani strike on facilities deep within the Ranhalt Accords backed Republic of Kuristan.




30 km from the Kostori river
Republic of Kuristan
February 25th, 2049
Collaborative post between Forest State and Lunas Legion



Sometimes a river was more than just a natural line… Rivers could form the border between countries and could alter history as they divided different sides between each other, marking the boundaries for battles or representing lines that were hard to pass, natural defenses of sorts. The Kostori river was filling that role, in eastern Aunora, perhaps on the border of what would be considered the ‘east’ by most of the world… Off in the distance, the Zemalyan Federation of Socialist Republics loomed large, and with it the massive expanse that made up their territory, but further west on the edge of Aunora there was a country divided, a former territory of these easterners, which was now split between being influenced by either side… The anti-communist nations of the west, or the easterners looking to reassert their reign here through proxy rather than outright takeover.

The Kostori river was the boundary between each of the sides.

It was also the site that Pitchfork Squadron was racing to rapidly, a sense of urgency in their flight of four F-39SR Super Redtails as they drew closer and closer to the location where the Karagrad System and the East Kuristani SR in specific had made good on their promise… The promise had been to come across the river and begin the campaign to ‘liberate’ the rest of the country. The rest of the country that they claimed was simply a puppet of the Ranalt Accords thanks to the Alamannian and Albionish support for the Republic of Kuristan… It was true somewhat, of course, that it was a state kept in power by the west - they flew western fighters and manned western air defense systems and fired western guns - but that didn’t mean the people that were holding out here after bloody fighting to secure the nation’s freedom preferred the alternative that was eastern rule…

If that was the case, they wouldn’t have kept up so much resistance on the western half of the river in the first place, and would have likely rolled over to the Zemalyan attempts to influence the Kuristani Civil War in their favor. There was no one in the Republic of Kuristan, seemingly, that so readily embraced an eastern identity.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “COWBOY”] [FLT CMDR.] JOCK MCLEAN - “Contacts showing up on radar as expected… Heads up, boys and girls.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “BONITA”] [PLT I.] LUPE CUEVAS - “Ten Sirnov fighters and a bunch of bombers behind ‘em? Hmm, reds meant business after all…”

-] [RoKAF] [F-12 GHOSTDOG] [MAJ.] MAKARIAN FEDEROV - “23 Squadron will handle the majority of the attack… Direct your attention to the planes around the bombers. These bombers and their escorts are the most dangerous.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “COWBOY”] [FLT CMDR.] JOCK MCLEAN - “Affirmative. Bonita, on me. Arrow, Runaway, break off and approach from the right side.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “Breaking…”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “Roger, breaking.”

Guinevere could see the contacts clearly on her radar as her aircraft broke off rightwards from the rest of her squadron, eyes watching the radar. They shouldn’t be much of a problem, as long as none of them did anything too stupid and luck didn’t tilt in the enemy’s favour.

Francis trailed not far after her, seemingly more confident in the sky than she was on the ground as she moved the plane sharply, bringing it onto a path to flank the opposing bomber group from the side once they came up on it… Their mission here was a rather important one. Mess up, and the opposition would be able to get through to attack using cruise missiles, which was the real purpose of these bombers at the moment rather than striking with conventional unguided munitions. They could expect damage to the aircraft stores, the runways, and other military targets within the border city of Shavikor if they didn’t do their job. Damages which would make further attack easier.

So it was safe to say they had good reason to avoid messing up here.

The Kuristani F-12 Ghostdog fighters around them broke off to handle the less concerning threats, leaving Pitchfork Squadron’s planes relatively isolated to handle the Sn-51 Archer B planes that were escorting the group of four bombers. While there were four bombers, there were six escorts for the squadron to take out, based on the couple more contacts that popped onto their radar screens as they made their run up to the enemy.

Three of them headed on the route that Francis and Guinevere were flying on.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “Orders on how to take this one? All enemy fighters are in my range now…”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “Quick and bloody, fire at will. Sooner they’re down sooner we can splash the bombers.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “Affirmative.”

Francis looked down to the radar screen, moving the indicator and looking for a lock - which she was able to acquire, the tone and the symbology change on the HUD indicating that she was ready to shoot at will… Which she did, targeting the closest of the Archers and firing off one of the long range AA-20M Arrow missiles that the Super Redtail was carrying.

The missile streaked off through the air, the contrail visible from the cockpit, and the enemy fighter moved to evade, pulling into a high turn… But hadn’t moved quickly enough as the Arrow missile slammed into the underside and broke the jet into multiple pieces, a quick ball of fire replaced by smoke and raining metal as Francis continued on her way and the amount of fighters faced by the right side pair of her and Guinevere was cut down to two.

Guinevere was looking for her own missile lock, eyes flicking down to the radar screen as she tracked the indicator across it. The indicator changed, blinking, signalling she had a lock and she didn’t waste any time, firing one of her plane’s AA-20Ms towards her target. She watched the missile roar off into the distance, out of sight but the target she’d locked onto remained there on the radar, the missile missing for whatever reason.

The enemy she’d just shot a missile at didn’t waste any time in firing back a missile of its own in response, Guinevere banking her plane hard to the right as the missile screamed towards her, her plane’s missile lock indicator blinking in panic as she turned her aircraft downwards into a dive, flares streaking out behind her plane as the missile shot harmlessly overhead.

While this battle happened, Francis was still moving on the offensive after downing one fighter, and angled the nose of her own Super Redtail to face the one that had just fired on Guinevere, taking advantage of that enemy peeling away to avoid a potential counterattack… However, the escape wouldn’t happen fast enough to stifle the pursuit from Francis, who was able to get a quick lock and fired off a shot accurately, the Scimitar missile chasing the target in a desperate race before that fighter pulled the nose up and went vertical, popping flares all the while and losing the missile in a turn while Francis kept the nose of the fighter pointed at it… A second Scimitar was fired not long after, as if the enemy fighter pilot hadn’t been shaken up enough by the three missiles that had already pursued his aircraft.

This one arced with the turning fighter and seemed to be on the right path to hit, but once again the other fighter did an aerobatic move and rolled away from the missile before the point of impact, safely turning to move back towards the opposing formation which was rapidly getting closer with the air mercenaries.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “Perhaps it is out of my place to say this… But converge on me. The only way we tear through these last two and the bombers is sticking close and overwhelming them.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “Better plan than anything I was coming up with, coming around.”

Francis pushed the throttle forward to gain speed while coming at the lead fighter in the enemy formation in a dive, heart lurching in the process… She didn’t exactly have combat experience after all although in general, these dangerous flights were nothing new to her as someone that had been in an elite squadron in Diamenia. She picked up a lock on the lead fighter and only pulled up when she had already launched the missile, taking a sharp and sudden turn to get out of harm’s way immediately while Guinevere came in right behind her, to look for the second shot if she could manage to find it.

Guinevere flicked her eyes back down to her radar screen, more focused on it this time as she looked for a missile lock again. Hopefully the missile actually hit this time once she had lock. She would find the lock and fire off the missile, but the evasion of the enemy plane brought the missile off target quickly… At the same time that the plane’s flares distracted the one from Francis while the second fighter popped out from the peripherals and fired once again at Guinevere before pulling into an aggressive climbing turn. Neither side wanted to hang around the other for too long in this one, it seemed.

Guinevere let out a muffled curse as she turned her plane hard sideways before jerking it upwards, watching the missile spiral past her as she turned her plane back around, heading to re-engage.

But as the mutual attack failed and the two Warhawk pilots were split up, Francis was chasing after the original fighter that the two of them had went for, and aimed to finally put it away by shooting two missiles, placing one a bit earlier and then firing off the later one after that one was already in its flight. The goal, of course, was to force the opposing fighter to run into the one that was moving late and a bit ahead while avoiding the one behind… They were both on target, but she watched as the first exploded in mid air and the other one sailed past the target, probably distracted by electronic countermeasures… She had an idea, though.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “If you can keep the other one off my ass… I have an idea.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “I’ll do my best but today is not my fuckin’ day with the missiles it seems.”

She hardly waited for a response before she was already picking up speed and pursuing the wide turning fighter which she’d had trouble with downing. Two missiles hadn’t been enough to do the trick, but if she could get close enough… She believed she could get behind the other fighter and possibly get the finish with her guns now that they were fighting within close range of each other, but the other pilot jerked to one side before breaking to the other and threw off her pattern - the massive aircraft she was in didn’t help her case, whereas a smaller one may have been able to avoid this trap.

“Fuck…” she muttered under her breath, fighting for position with the other fighter in a rough back and forth where the Sirnov tried to get her to give up a good position and she tried the same after defending, followed by the Sirnov having another go which she narrowly turned out of before bleeding off speed and letting herself loop around behind the Sirnov and shoot, something that was avoided using a vertical climb which she followed the Zemalyan aircraft into. She couldn’t keep up the position advantage however and found herself bleeding too much speed, leaving her further from the target once the climb ended. She’d have to fight to get that position back…

However, she couldn’t get the speed back up soon enough to prevent the Sirnov from taking her six, leaving her as the one defending this time as the Sirnov sprayed its cannon, a miss by some margin as she moved aggressively to prevent herself from getting hit, going into a similar climb as the one the enemy had and pulling the nose of her jet back to bleed speed. But the fighter from hell was still on her tail, she believed, even after she had bled off some speed. “Son of a bitch…”

Breathing deeply, she successfully defended as the missile indicator in the cockpit lit up again and told her that it was a good time to send some flares out, thanks to the missile.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “We need to put everything into getting this fighter out…”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “Hang in there, I’ll see if I can get behind him but there’s still the other one to worry about.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - Do your best… I might be able to get them out in one swoop.”

Guinevere didn’t respond, more focused on trying to get back into the fight and looking for a missile lock on the plane that was pursuing Francis, not that she’d had much luck with the missiles so far. The indicator, however, didn’t change, being unable to acquire a proper lock and prompting Guinevere to let out a muffled curse. It really wasn’t her day. She turned away, watching the second fighter come worryingly close on her radar, forcing her to abandon her position on the other fighter.

The distraction however had been enough for Francis to break free into a sharp turn, which allowed her to circle around in a wide arc - she would have asked for a smaller and more agile plane if she knew the fight was going to be like this - and target the one that was pursuing Guinevere, determined to have a better hit rate this time… She put two missiles on target once again, but found them ineffective a second time, before she picked up speed and gained position towards the opponent rear, spraying and missing in a wide arc and fighting to maintain the spot she was in.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “Stay on the other fighter… I’ve pushed this one off you… And go straight for the bombers if you have to.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “You sure you can handle these two by yourself? They’re being right bastards about not dying.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “We’re not going to have a base to fly back into if these things get their cruise missiles off…”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “True. Keep these fucks off me, I’ll go for the bombers and come back once they’re downed.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “RUNAWAY”] [PLT I.] FRANCIS MADRAZO - “I won’t let anything get through…”

Guinevere turned her plane away from the dogfight, trusting that Francis could handle herself if she said she could and fully aware that the longer they spent trying to deal with the enemy fighters, the better chance the bombers had of actually getting into range. It didn’t matter if they downed the fighters if the bombers were able to get through. Now she just had to catch up to the Dru-112 bombers and get them in range of her missiles.

It didn’t take long for her to get in range, her F-39R was faster than the bombers and without a fighter on her tail she didn’t have anything distracting her. She hummed quietly to herself in the silence, watching as her lock indicator flashed and a missile streaked out, the indicator locking on to the second bomber in quick succession as she fired off a second missile swiftly followed by a third, barely having time to blink in between locks as a fourth missile streaked away from her plane. Radar blips vanished, one, then a second, then a third, the fourth stubbornly remaining up, the massive, ponderous plane having managed to evade her missiles as she sped after the fourth bomber, looking for another lock on it. She wasn’t going to let it get away.

It didn’t take long for her to have the final bomber once again in missile lock as she fired another missile at it, watching it streak away in nervous silence. Maybe her luck with missiles had come back full circle? A few seconds passed as she watched the final radar contact blink out of existence as she brought her plane back around, engines flaring as she headed back to help Francis finish off those two pain-in-the-ass fighters if she hadn’t done so already.

But Francis on the other hand wasn’t even offensive right now and was simply focused on defending her own position as she had both fighters trying to get on her tail and chasing now that she was the main target, at least until after she caught sight of Guinevere and adjusted her plan, bleeding speed and turning as she let both fighters overshoot, and then turning back into fly roughly behind them while firing one more Scimitar at about the same time which completely changed the odds of the fight as it accelerated into the pair of enemy fighters and exploded, breaking one of the opposing fighters into pieces in the process… And leaving them with a two on one where they had the dominant position.

Well, it seemed Francis had been able to hang on long enough for her to get back, that it hadn’t taken her too long to down the bombers likely being a major help in that. Still, if the remaining fighter was any good as it had been earlier, even a two-on-one might be trouble, Guinevere mused as she hunted for a missile lock on the sole remaining fighter as she closed in.

Her lock indicator blinked and she loosed another missile towards the enemy fighter, turning away as she did so, but it seemed her luck with missiles had returned back to haunt her as she watched the enemy fighter’s radar blip remain on the screen, grinding her teeth together in irritation.

Francis had also acquired a lock and fired off one more missile of her own, only to find that the enemy’s evasion was already putting it off target and she had lost the lock soon after, the missile doing the same and continuing on a straight path before self destructing while Francis kept her pursuit up on the actual trajectory of the opposing fighter… At least, she was.

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-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “COWBOY”] [FLT CMDR.] JOCK MCLEAN - “All fighters RTB… We’ve gotten the job done right now, let’s not hang around the border and get into extra fights because of it.”

-] [WARHAWK] [F-39SR SUPER REDTAIL “ARROW”] [PLT II.] GUINEVERE CATHAIN - “Roger that, returning to base.”

Francis didn’t say anything but she did quickly break from the fight while she still had the advantage… She joined the rest of the squadron in their formation as well as the Republic of Kuristan Air Force planes that were fighting with them and had survived the encounter, as they turned around from their current position and sped towards the other side of the Kostori river… The side that was still free and that they had been contracted to protect. Seemed like it would be around for at least the next time the East Kuristan Air Force attempted something like this… Though how many times it survived another day remained to be seen.



Following the operation, many of the members of Pitchfork Squadron and their Kuristani allies found themselves within the West Kuristani city of Rysiki, which happened to be where they were staying. They had flown out of the military base earlier but this would be a time for them to head into the city proper… Which of course, since they were a mercenary outfit that had just completed an operation successfully, meant that there would be a fair amount of drinking. They’d ended up so far at one of the suburban bars not far from the base, the one that was called the Freedom Fighter appropriately named considering the situation the country was in… And some time into this trip out to the bar, Francis found herself roaming from her original spot and searching for the pilot she had flown with directly during this last outing.

Guinevere was sat by herself, not at the bar itself but close enough that it wasn’t difficult to get to, a nearly empty glass of some brightly coloured drink sitting on the table in front of her, more focused on peering disdainfully down at her drink than at her surroundings.

She would soon find herself approached however by someone that was hard to ignore, Francis - partly because Francis happened to tower over her in terms of height… She sat down, not speaking up right away but managing it in due time. “S-So… I hadn’t talked to you since the mission so I just wanted to t-thank you for helping me back there… Probably bailed me out a time or two, r-really.”

“It’s nothing really, but you’re welcome.” Guinevere said with a small shrug. “You kept the fighters off me long enough I could break off to go and down the bombers, so as far as I’m concerned you don’t really need to say thanks but it’s appreciated.”

“Yeah but… Kinda feel like I still owe you considering I wouldn’t be around here if it wasn’t for you,” Francis stated plainly, shrugging as she looked Guinevere over.

“I guess, but… I’m not exactly the kind of person who wants for much, y’know?” Guinevere said, leaning back in her chair.

“I could give you my check from the mission or something… I dunno,” shrugged Francis, considering her options and shaking her own drink up slightly in her hand before sipping at it ever so slightly, cautious as ever in her movements even in a place like this and with some alcohol inside her too at this point.

“You earned that check as much as I did, it’d be just unfair for you to give any of it to me.” Guinevere shook her head. “That and I’m kinda blanking what to spend mine on, I don’t need more money to figure out where it’s going.”

“Right…” said Francis, an awkward silence falling over the table. She wasn’t the kind of person to start conversation and she seemed slightly disappointed about being turned down and such, although the look that was written on her face for now wasn’t entirely obvious when it came to showing what she was thinking to anyone that didn’t already have experience with her. “If you need anything, then… I still owe you, you know.”

“Yea, I’ll keep it in mind.” Guinevere said, nodding. “Don’t worry yourself over it, I’m not just going to demand something randomly, if there’s something I want that you can help with I’ll ask. I just don’t feel like you really owe me, y’know?”

“Just sayin’ that I do,” Francis muttered with a slight shrug, unsure of what to say from here… She had made her point that she felt like she did owe something, but it was hard to convince someone when they calculated these kinds of things differently, coming to a different conclusion. “Maybe it’s just the kind of person I am.”

“Maybe.” Guinevere said, sipping at her own drink, her face scrunching up in disgust. “If you want to start, buy me a different drink, this one’s absolutely vile.”

“I’ll do anything you want,” Francis said, smiling slightly at the fact that she at least had something to do now to make herself feel better about her situation. “Just tell me what you want me to get…”

“Vodka and lemon, I have no idea what actually went in this brightly-colored abomination-” She tapped the rim of her glass. “But it’s so vile I’ll keep it simple from now on. No more fancy-named mysterious cocktails.”

Francis nodded, standing up a moment later, and she disappeared across the building to where the drinks were actually served and where some of the more social members of the squadron were hanging out… Before coming back not too long afterwards, setting the glass of vodka down in front of Guinevere. “Hopefully this is better?”

Guinevere picked up the glass and drank deeply before setting it back down, nodding slightly. “Much, thanks. Had to wash the taste away.”

“Is there… Anything else I can do for you?” Francis asked simply, her own drink set down, and herself not really that focused on anything that she herself was up to right now. No, her focus was more on Guinevere for whatever the reason.

“Just keep me company for now, drinking’s much better with company than alone.” Guinevere said, sipping at her own drink. “Also, uh, so you can probably stop me doing anything too stupid when I inevitably drink too much.”

“Oh,” Francis nodded in acknowledgement, before chuckling slightly. “Well, I’ll do my best to not let you dance on any tables or something… Unless you want to do it and you’re also able to tell me how many fingers I’m holding up… And um… S-Since we’re hanging out for a bit, is there anything you wanted to know about me or something? I know I don’t always talk a lot.”

“Drunk me is a force of nature and, apparently, is surprisingly good at dancing, just let her do it for a bit and make sure she doesn’t fall on her face.” Guinevere said, smiling. “I mean, I wouldn’t even know where to start on that. Like, how the hell does someone like you end up defecting? If you don’t mind me prodding.”

“Well… It’s kind of a long story,” Francis said, her face scrunching up as she considered it and ordered the events - and thought about just how much she wanted to say. “But… G-Guess you could say I ended up with squadmates from hell. And well, I knew I would end up with enemies but I had enough of them already for things that I can’t really c-control… So I had to get out. But when you’re valuable to the Air Force it’s not easy to just get out of it, you know? Even if I felt like it was either getting out or giving up on everything.”

“You did get out of it though, and now you’re here on a completely different continent drinking with me.” Guinevere said, smiling. “Didn’t mean to bring up unpleasant memories though so sorry ‘bout that. I kinda got lucky since, well, mercs get that freedom with squads, part of why I’m here and not in the IAFAF. Pays better too plus you get to see more shit.”

“It’s a far cry from the Diamenian Air Force, yeah… And can’t complain about seeing action instead of testing shit. Sometimes… You just wanna be more than a glorified beta tester,” admitted Francis. “But it did teach me some different skills, I suppose. I’ve learned a lot of things from a lot of places, really. I bet you’d hardly believe me if I told you I could look at any drug off the street and break down what chemicals are in it and reproduce it if I had the right stuff. But Diamenia… It teaches you a lot.”

“I’ve never been a science person, so I’ll take your word for it.” Guinevere shrugged, taking another sip of her drink before swirling it around in the glass. “And I guess it did, but you’re here now. No need to dwell on the past or whatever. I know I never do much.”

“Do you want to dwell on something else?” Francis asked, shrugging, not really minding either way - she had embraced the past, after all. To ignore it completely would be to lose the identity that had been shaped by her experiences and tempered by hardship on her part. “Something like… Dancing? Or trying those drugs I mentioned?”

“I’m not quite drunk enough for dancing quite yet. I might be the queen of lightweights but just one vodka won’t do that much to me.” Guinevere laughed. “And depends what you’ve got. Getting high sounds… Kinda nice.”

“Technically I don’t have anything right now… I can get just about anything. I’ve got the know-how to do it,” Francis said, replying with a slight smirk, rarely confident for her. Then again, she did apparently have experience with this field, so it made sense that she believed in herself and her abilities when it came to this.

“Surprise me then.” Guinevere said, grinning lightly. “Suppose we can have a little race, eh? You go out, find whatever the surprise is and get back, and we’ll see what state of drunk and disorderly I’m in when you get back.”

“Well, now that you’ve challenged me, I kind of have to do my best,” Francis chuckled, getting up and moving about to do as she said she would and find something good for them… She had a number of different options on her mind, but for now she remained focus and narrowed it down to what she would likely be able to find around here in Kuristan. Though, she doubted the task would be hard for her. She did know her way around this world after all, and it was one of the few things she could say she was genuinely good with.



It was a bit of time before Francis came back but she did intend to make good on her promise, finding Guinevere’s table once again after she had been gone and leaning down, resting her hands against it. “Well, I might have ventured out a bit on the strong side of things…” she said, chuckling. “There’s uhhh… Coke. And that new more experimental thing out of Shengou, Black Dragon. It’ll uhh… Knock you out if you mess up. But I’ve heard good things…”

“That sounds like a ‘ell of a wild ride. Gimme.” Guinevere said, grinning viciously, her speech slightly slurred from the semi-circle of glasses of varying sizes arrayed out in front of her. She wasn’t completely drunk yet, but she was a good ways down the road to being it.

“This shit is strong, you know…” Francis muttered, taking out what seemed like a small sheet of paper and placing it on the table after looking from side to side. “You’re supposed to peel the sticky part off and put it on your skin,” she informed, watching Guinevere carefully. “Like I said though, I dunno if this is too much for you or not. You might meet God or something.”

“I risk dying for a job, risking it juuust a little off the job is no biggie.” Guinevere grinned, leaning forwards and picking up the pad, resting it on one hand while peeling off the cover. “Well, here goes…” She said, peering down at the exposed pad before slapping it hard onto her forearm, wincing slightly.

A second passed. Two. Three. “I… Don’t feel…” She began, her voice slurring into sounds that were impossible to understand, her vision starting to swim and spin and haze before the world went dark and she keeled over forwards, head slapping against the table, out cold.

It was an awkward moment of course for Francis, who had just warned Guinevere about the fact that this very thing might happen, but at least… At least she was there to do something about it rather than just leaving her. She had said something about feeling like she owed her. A start for paying her back would be to at least pay and carry her back out and back to the base to recover… She’d gotten her into this spot after all.

“Come on…” Francis muttered under her breath, lifting her squadronmate up. It would take some time to get her into a car and back to base but well, sometimes that was just the way things went…



Everything was… Odd. She didn’t really know how to put it as she pushed herself up. It wasn’t a hangover, it was… Close to it? Her head pounded from pain and her vision was a bit hazy and everything was too bright-

She rolled over, burying her face into her pillow to avoid the too-bright light, mumbling incoherently into her pillow, shuffling around awkwardly.

“You feeling alright?” asked Francis - she had passed up on the chance to get high herself, instead looking after Guinevere in case she needed anything… And now that she was awake, she was quickly by the bedside to see if she was doing alright. “I tried to warn you but uh… You kind of passed out immediately as soon as the drug took effect. I think the dose was too much for you.”

“Duh…” Guinevere mumbled out, turning her head sideways on her pillow with her eyes still clamped shut. “I feel like I’ve been run over by a marching band and I can hear them echoing in my skull…”

“You… Need anything? Water? Painkillers?” asked Francis, standing straight now but still looking down at her friend, her eyebrows furrowed in concern. “You uhhh… You did kind of hit your head against the table, so. I’d be surprised if it didn’t still hurt right now.”

“Yeah, gimme a drink an’ painkillers.” Guinevere gave a small, weak nod. “Sit on m’ back or somethin’ when you’re back, feel like I’m gonna float off or some shit…”

“You’re probably still high,” Francis observed, stepping away and moving to another corner of the room where she had already gotten some of the things she was pretty sure would have been needed… One was a glass of water, but she also grabbed a couple of painkilling pills as requested, bringing them over and handing them to Guinevere along with the glass.

“You’re the best... “ Guinevere mumbled out, an arm weakly reaching out to grab the glass of water before she brought it back to her mouth, sipping gently at it before she set it back down. Reluctantly, she sat up, grabbing the painkillers with one hand and popping them into her mouth, washing them down with more of the water.

“Still feel like shite but thanks…” She mumbled out, shutting her eyes again as she sat there, resting a hand on her forehead.

“You should get some rest,” Francis advised. Not that she was an expert on this kind of thing, or a doctor, but she had seen enough in her past to know that Guinevere wasn’t going to be much use like this and that she was best off getting to sleep or at least getting rest. “You’re not going to be able to do much of anything like you are right now.”

“Yea…” Guinevere nodded weakly. “Thanks though.”

“I guess I’ll head back to my own room…” Francis said, slightly disappointed that the night had been ended pretty early thanks to Guinevere passing out and her having to watch over her. Though, she didn’t regret the latter part. “If you need anything… You already have my number.”

“Not like I’m going anywhere, but you can stick around if you want.” Guinevere said, shifting back down so she was lying on her bed. “Although I should probs just, well, sleep this off.”

“I’ll leave you to it…” said Francis, lingering for a moment, perhaps wishing to stay longer, before deciding on what was ultimately the best… And starting out of the room. Hopefully, all of this would be over with and it would be back to normal soon enough.
Last edited by Forest State on Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

for: the anime right
anti: catgirls & people who step on snek


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