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Author Topic: Of Dastards and Damsels  (Read 1696 times)

Marwynn

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Of Dastards and Damsels
« on: 16 February 2011, 02:57:36 »
Isaac twirls the wine glass in time with the lazy, distant sloshing of the ocean. The bistro offered a broad view of the momentarily drowning white rocky shore far below. Gulls, or their local variety, hovered far away, their cawing more distant than the breaking waves.

He pauses briefly to savour the aroma and sips the wine before swirling the glass by its stem again. Isaac does this without conscious thought, his idle hands casually betraying his mastery of detail and control as the swirls arc slightly wider to account for the lost liquid. He is in sync with the rumblings of the waves.

The meal devoured and paid for, he stands up slowly and smiling, nods towards the friendly maître d'. Emil was standing apart from the afternoon crowd, directing his troops with quick, sharp tilts of his head and subtle hand signs.

Emil's return smile is genuine. Isaac is a recent regular; quiet, amicable, and a gracious tipper.

Isaac kills him as he walks past.

Outside, he shields his eyes from the false-sun blazing accusingly at him. The drive flares of a DropShip setting down disappear behind a quaint wooden billboard. In faded white, flowing script it read Bienvenue à Dieudonné!

Marwynn

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Re: Of Dastards and Damsels
« Reply #1 on: 19 February 2011, 23:21:48 »
Antibes, St. Therese
Dieudonné
Free Worlds League
May 13, 3007


Months of dangerous and silent work were dedicated to make the next few minutes possible. Behind Dieudonné's charming façade, a secret war of cunning smiles and deadly whispers was waged by at least three parties. A war Zan's employer seemed determined to join with a rather outrageous entrance.

"And end it, soon enough." she muttered low so as not to activate the comm system in her cockpit. "Idyllic," she continued in the same almost-silent tone. "How the hell did Isaac stay sane for---" her musing stopped at the patter of heavy firearms slammed into her 'Mech.

She reacted.

The Warhammer WHM-6R didn't flinch, or even slow down at the automatic weapons fire. It swivelled slightly, raking the targets with her weakest weapons. The machine guns and small lasers sprouting from its chest alternated between eye-searing flashes and ear-numbing thrums.

The once-gorgeous marble balconies now jutted from burning villas like white broken bones of a charred corpse. Like the charred corpses that still lay on some of them.

Zan deftly sidestepped an overturned ground car and a spilled-over wall, out of professional pride not in fear of any damage or obstruction, and made her way to her next set of objectives. Pristine homes glittered near the broken ones, untouched save by the smoke and the firelight of their dying neighbours.

Hardly taxed by the brief executions, the Warhammer turned a corner and was gone, almost wearily. No footprint lingered, only the carnage of a few pyres testified to its passage.

Operation "Red Carpet", Zan tsked. Malfing right it is.


(Forgive the roughness, I'm rusty)

Marwynn

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Re: Of Dastards and Damsels
« Reply #2 on: 04 March 2011, 11:27:56 »
The shuttle banked gently in the purpling sky, its engines leaving pale streaks lost against the quickly setting sun. Just another hopper heading south; ferrying grapes, wines or something equally perishable and expensive to somewhere offworld. Three had flown by within as many hours.

Lumps of shadows fell away from this craft, hidden quickly by the nearly night sky. More followed closely, each one falling away before quickly sprouting wings. Turning into the wind, the shuttle changed course and headed south again.

The cargo wasn't heading offworld for once.

----

Dieudonné
Free Worlds League
May 13, 3007


The Bat personal entry vehicle was a late Terran Hegemony development, distributed just a year before the Amaris Coup. The Civil War would see its popularization in the minds of the public as the "black ops" vehicle of choice, nevermind that it was simply a better way to fall from the sky. Like with many things, the Inner Sphere believed it to be lostech.

Though the quality had indeed suffered in the last few hundred years, Paulson didn't think there was anything lost about the piece of tech he was strapped into. The Bat allowed its passenger to survive an
atmospheric drop, provided its ram-air chute was deployed properly, in relative safety from detection due to its form and substance. It received its name, however, for its thin wing-membranes that gave the
PEV the capacity to glide.

It was, the SLDF SAS once observed centuries ago, the perfect HAHO/HALO vehicle. For wussies.

Paulson always thought, all things considered, the ride to be comfortable. Certainly a better alternative than jumping with a backpack and an extra pair of underwear and socks to keep warm, no matter the SAS's claims. He had done enough HAHO operations that he was secretly glad he was now a Batman. Or rather, one of the Batmen, those crazy few who jumped out of perfectly good vehicles to strike fear into the enemy.

The wind barely howled at him, and his kit's infrared blocking properties kept him warm. Soon, it would be too warm, and so Paulson relished the relative cool.

Unlike the Hegemony-era models, these Bats were manual. It had plenty of displays and sensors to guide the poor paratrooper strapped to one, but it was still up to skill and daring to land on target. Alive and unseen, that is.

Three whole squads, Paulson repeated to himself as he counted the non-shadows in the sky. Overkill.

High Atmosphere, High Opening operations had one purpose; to stealthily deploy, by air, a unit to infiltrate a heavily defended area many kilometres away from their original drop area. A simple ram-air chute would let a trained paratrooper glide for 25 kilometres. But the Bat allowed for up to 40 km, at any time of day, in nearly any kind of sky. Compared to the High Altitude, Low Opening operations that emphasized speed and (it was hoped for) minimized the chance of being shot as you fell to the ground, HAHO drops were leisurely and required strict stealth discipline. This was Paulson's 27th career Bat drop.

The landing zone was 32 km away from the drop spot, exactly 80% of the Bat's range. That they cut it that close meant the target had to be taken seriously, especially since they were to land in the middle of the target.

Well, middle and slightly to the left. Paulson grimaced, rolling his craft's wings slightly to handle the patch of rough air, perfectly mimicked by his squadmates. He glanced at the ETA timer blinking slowly down and reassured himself of his rifle's weight on his back, right beside his emergency chute.

Both of which, Paulson thought sourly, were just as lostech as the overgrown glider he was strapped to.

 

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