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Author Topic: Poker Face  (Read 4101 times)

Anastasius Focht

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Poker Face
« on: 15 February 2013, 02:58:47 »
Quote
I'm old, i grew up listening to radio serials and Dr Who. This is written in that style.

I have 47 of the novels, and drew inspiration from them

The vibrations in the deck plates changed pitch, Karl "The knife" Carver, was on his feet and running, card game forgotton. some of the greener staff exchanged startled looks, but the next lurch left no doubt in the minds of anyone, the dropship was under attack.

What was supposed to be a regular supply run and garrison exchange, was rapidly turning sour.
The knife was already halfway to the mechbays,deep in the belly of the union class dropship when the comms crackled to life and anounced they were under attack by unknown aerospace fighters.

The going got slower as the captain increased the thrust and began evasive manouvers, relative gravity increased to 2 gee's double the comfortable 1 gee the ship had been pulling on the approach. walking now became a chore, a slow lurch .

Another violent lurch in the deck plates, and the lights flickered but did not go out, somewhere smoke was defeating the air scrubbers, and the air smelled of burnt wiring.
Still the Knife was first to get to the mechbays, and began the climb to the cockpit of his Atlas. once there he began the reactor start sequence, and took the time 2 slip into the heavy envirnonment suit stowed under the seat. if the ship lost power he would still be able to function for days if needed.

The Atlas's Communications systems were operational , Having a battery backup built in.  It was this that the Knife activated next. The general Tac-com was a confused noise as various stations relayed status 2 the bridge, but the Knife switched 2 the command frequency and listened. He could have asked for a status report, but the comms controlers were busy. he would learn all he needed 2 know just by listening.

Now was not the time for fight, he was strapped into 100 tons of useless metal, this battle would be won or lost, by the ships crew.
With 46 standard hours to planetfall the wait would be torture, and the news on the command channel punctuated by lurches felt even in the Atlas, indicated the battle was going badly for the dropship.

The reactor would take at least a half hour 2 come to "warm" status. The Knife making sure the helmet of his enviro suit was handy, settled into the chair and relaxed. a wry smile tweaked the corner of his mouth, typical he thought, first decent hand i get dealt in tonites card game, and this has to happen.


to be continued.......

Siberian-troll

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #1 on: 15 February 2013, 04:54:03 »
Your captain ride is Atlas mech?  :o look as another example of 'the Desert eagle syndrome'  :-\

It's not a really munch super-mech, and not ever mightiest one. It's steiner's general's ride (rare to boot) for it's satellite-capable communication system and 19'5 ton armor illusion of safety.

Also, in this game, assault-class tech not a really good choice for small independent units, too limiting and too costly for them. I would recommend you to choose a nice medium or heavy instead, like a Phoenix hawk, Wolverine, or Thunderbolt here.






wolfgar

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #2 on: 15 February 2013, 14:20:51 »
cant say i disagree with the troll, I've beat the hades out of i dont know how many atlas's with my timberwolf, that said, good writing, cant wait to read more
Wolf wins every fight but one, and in that one he dies, his fangs locked on the throat of his opponent.

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #3 on: 15 February 2013, 16:10:14 »
Captain Nikolai Tan, of the dropship Nemesis, relaxed into the command chair. The bridge was bathed in the soft red glow of battle stations and the verbal exchange between the various officers as they tended 2 their respective dutys filled the air with the excited but subdued buzz of a well oiled battle machine.

Radar had detected 30 incoming blips 5 mins ago, and the radio silence and classic arrowhead attack formation could only mean one thing. Hostiles.

The Jumpship reported a clear scope and were quickly finalising preparations to jump. there was no turning back, they were in fact closer to planetfall than the jumpship.
The first long range PPC shot hit just as Capt Tan ordered a vector change. The bridge computers signaled an auto evasive manouver routine was calculated, and the battle began.

Increasing thrust, the ship began a lazy corkscrew , at the same time rotating on its "core" this allowed the weapons cycled and ready to be brought to bear on the approaching Aerospace fighter formation, while those just discharged were rotated away during the recycle period.

The computers would do most of the work now, using complex algorithms to factor vector and damage into the equation, the screens showed Cptn Tan the figures, and projections. It was not good. Without an Aerospace escort of their own they were sitting ducks, it was going to go right down to the wire according to the battle computers.

The ship was now taking long range missile fire, and the damage indicater gave a steadily increasing picture of doom.
Aerospace fighters, were on there way from the planet below, but even at inhumane thrust ratios, They were still 10 hours away.

That left the planets small moon, but Tan smelled the classic Pirate Trap, thats where the dropship supplying the hostiles would be grounded, waiting for the Nemesis to be herded home for the slaughter.

The Dropship Jolted violently as a well aimed barrage of LRM's hit hard, the computers altering the spin and vector to compensate for the lost PPC and laser Turrets.

Capt Tan made some entries into the battle program, the ships vector changed again, much as he hated the idea he had to change his course to give him the option of landing on that moon, maybe they could hold the pirates off until help could be sent from the planet.
 
He relaxed back into his command chair his eyes intent on the scrolling figures before him.

to be continued.......
« Last Edit: 15 February 2013, 16:29:44 by Anastasius Focht »

Ajax_Wolf

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #4 on: 15 February 2013, 22:14:27 »
Ok, maybe it's just me, but something about the dropper's flight path doesn't make sense. The dropper is past the halfway point to planetfall, and still has 46 hours flight time, so it should be near max velocity with the engines oriented to the planet, decellerating when the ASF arrive. Increasing the thrust to 2g will just slow the dropper faster, making for an easier target.
And which way are those 30 ASF approaching? Coming from the side or along the flight path, you won't have but a few seconds of time on target before they are out of range. The only way to have significant time on target is if the ASF have been doing a tail chase from the jump point, hiding in the dropper's engine wash as they followed it to the planet, waiting to strike after the dropper's changeover. But the ASF don't carry enough fuel for that tactic.

So, it seems to me that you'd be limited to a single high speed pass by the ASF.
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #5 on: 16 February 2013, 02:24:44 »
It is what it is folks, it was written a long time ago, so no refunds  :D
« Last Edit: 16 February 2013, 02:28:09 by Anastasius Focht »

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #6 on: 16 February 2013, 02:27:51 »
".......have used a pirate jump point" was the tail end of the conversation that Col Kamrul Hastings caught as he strode into the garrisons command centre. Corp Cohen threw him a fly swipe and began his Situation report.

Sir, the re-supply dropship has been ambushed inbound, they report 30 hostiles, and are taking fire.
Weve launched Patriot Squadron but thier ETA will bring them to the combat zone too late to be of any real help.

Col Hastings sank wearily into his command chair, doing up the top two buttons on his uniform tunic with one hand, while keying up his data screens with the other.
He had been up late last night with the hand over paperwork. "looks like i picked a bad day to study the ancient art of sleeping in" he gave a wry smile at his drill instructors old joke.

"Sir" the officer tracking the Nemesis reported "we have a major vector change, telemetry feed online"

Hastings keyed the data to his own screen. the scrolling figures and line plot making it clear. they were headed for the moon.

He shut his gritty eyes and slowly exhaled, while he understood the dropships captains desire to preserve the lives in his care, The moon was the last place Hastings wanted the dropship to be, if it was simply a pirate raid, well that was bad enough. But what if it was more than a raid, what if it was the preliminary stage of a planetary assault. The mechs along with the ammunition and spares aboard the dropship would tip the balance against his command.

He keyed another screen to life and toggled through the data, their own supplys were down to the safety margins, they could last a week maybe two if attacked.

"Recall all the patrols" he ordered Cohen, "dont want anyone getting cut off from what supply lines we have"
"Put us on yellow alert, and get a SitRep down to comstar asap, transmit to High Command, priority alpha"

Hastings was about to call for coffee to be sent up, when his nostrils told him it was on its way up the corridor. Good man that corp, as always one step ahead.

A year he had commanded this garrison, the only incident and injury was a broken leg, and that only because a cassette of autocannon rounds had been poorly secured to the lift gantry and had subsequently fallen on a tech below.
A day before he was due to hand over the garrison to his replacement, and the fighting starts.
He didnt know whether to laugh or cry. Stretching he got up and grabing a coffee from the tray, went back to his quarters to shave.

To be continued...................

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #7 on: 16 February 2013, 02:40:11 »
The noise on the bridge of the Dropship Nemesis was an irregular staccato thumping, as volley after volley of SRM's pounded the ship's hull. The Nemesis was buffeted like a massive metal kite in a celestial cyclone. And then... silence, as if passing through the eye .

The Aerospace fighters having closed on the drop ship and passed it now burned reaction mass and used manouvering thrusters to flip end for end.
 
The pounding resumed as this procedure was completed and the Aerospace fighters resumed firing as they sped away "backwards". Towards the extreme range of the dropships weapons, they would burn more reaction mass, slowing, stopping , and then it would begin all over again as they made a fresh run.

Only 23 of the 30 fighters remained, but the dropship would likely not survive another straffing run.
Capt Tan was relying on the fact he was doing what they wanted to buy him some leeway. Assuming this was a pirate raid they would want to maximise the booty. The dropship was vectored on the moon. Where presumably the main pirate force was waiting

If on the other hand this was a search and destroy mission they would never even make the moon, the next pass by those fighters would likely render the ship unlandable, a third pass would leave it a floating cloud of orbital debris.

Below in the Dropships Mech bays, The Knife was brought out of his doze by the systems alarm indicating the reactor in his atlas had come to "warm" status. life support and control systems lit, and the Atlas "hummed" with life.
The weapons systems would not be available for another half hour , when the reactor would have gone from a cold start to full battle readyness.

The knife activated the diagnostic routines, which would test the actuators and myomer control relays, and unplugged the neurohelmet's cables from its overhead socket, these he connected to the socket in the collar of his heavy environment suit, and retrieving the jump leads from the utility pocket on the suit he connected the suit relay to the overhead neurohelmet socket.

The suits pressure helmet could now be donned over the neurohelmet. this was standard vacuum procedure. Should the cockpit seals fail he would still be able to pilot the Atlas.

Slipping the neuro helmet on, he relaxed as his body seemed to blend with that of the Atlas.
The 360 HUD showed the heat signatures of the mechs near him. Most were at warm start like him, but some remained dark and cold.
 
The knife flexed his fingers, arms, legs. the diagnostic routines responding all systems in the green.
From the floor of the mechbay, the atlas resembled the waking of a sleeping giant. what had resembled a rigid granite statue of some brutal war god, now flexed with pseudo life.



To be continued......

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #8 on: 16 February 2013, 18:14:18 »
On the far side of the moon, an Overlord class dropship lay concealed in the shadows. On its bridge Nova Col Kieran Zhan looked on with satisfaction at the data on his screens. The fact that Galaxy Commander Pryde would have him shot on the spot had she known what he was doing, did little to diminish his pleasure.

If he could take a whole planet with such a small force, then his deeds would outweigh the insubordination, and while she may not like it she would not dare punish one who brought such glory to the Clan.
Unwritten rule it may be but it was fact, disobey and fail, be destroyed. disobey and succeed... well to the victors the spoils as the old Terran saying went.

The mechs and spares he needed were being herded in acording to plan, once the Nemesis was down, he would move his own dropship near. The Nemesis would make the perfect warehouse and staging point for his assault on the planet below.

His Intel had been spotless, the garrison below had seen no action in the last year yet the garrison commander was big on live fire exercise's, he could afford to, with the regular supply runs this planets location afforded. They were low on expendable ammunition and hadnt been tested in real battle for a long time.

They were soft and ready.

All it took was one man, one man with the hunger, the drive. That man was him. Men and machines would be used and sacrificed, but at the end of the day this battle would hinge on him.

He relaxed into his chair and steepled his fingers, he wanted to smile, but he never did so in front of his men. None the less his eyes twinkled in the manner of the predator about to pounce.

Ah yes, much glory in battle was to be had here, and the glory would be HIS.


To be continued..... 

snakespinner

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #9 on: 16 February 2013, 19:36:59 »
Interesting start.
The Atlas is well known as a command mech so no problems there. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #10 on: 17 February 2013, 17:20:10 »
Cheers Mate   :)


On the bridge of the Dropship Nemesis, Capt Tan ran his bloodshot eyes over his screens. The Aerospace fighters had not begun a second straffing run but had matched the dropships speed, just outside of the range of the Nemesis's weapons. The odd extreme range PPC shot from the fighters would hit or pass the dropship, like a cattle dog nips the heels of his charge's, but they no longer pressed the attack, content 2 pace the Nemesis like a wolf pack stalking a wounded Elk.

The details screen of the major systems alert the computer had just delivered, gave obvious reason to this tactic.
Explosive decompression on multiple decks and associated hull damage, combined with the loss of a critical number of manouvering thrusters, meant (in the computers cold mathmatical opinion) the dropship could not make an atmospheric landing.

Should he try the atmosphere would catch on the gaping holes and with out those critical manouvering thrusters, the Nemesis would quickly begin an uncontroled spin, which would be her end.

He was comitted now, he gave the word to the comms ops, to pass the word. They were going to have to make a stand on the moon. He set about making the entrys into the flight program.

Dirtside below , Col Hastings returned to the command centre, and was informed of the deteriorating situation. The dropship was going to land on the moon, and the battle stats pointed over and over to a capture scenario, not a seek and destroy. His officers had started looking at him out of the corners of their eyes. He caught their covert glance's trying to read his face,to get a picture of how confident the "old man" was about a situation that looked bad to them, to find some hope of reassurance in his visage.

"ladies and gentlemen", he said with a broad grin he wished he felt "seems our retirement has been postponed, the old mechwarriors home will have to wait ".

"Corp, have them get the Widow maker out of mothballs".

Smiles and the odd chuckle broke the tension, everyone knew the Col's Warhammer was his second office,and Corp Cohen would no doubt have made sure it was ready and waiting even now.


To be continued......
« Last Edit: 17 February 2013, 17:22:08 by Anastasius Focht »

Sandslice

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #11 on: 18 February 2013, 03:05:05 »
"Widowmaker" and "Dark Death" are 'Mech nicknames that get you flagged on a Mary Sue litmus test for BT fanfic.  :P

That said, tasty stuff so far.   O0

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #12 on: 18 February 2013, 17:16:49 »
 :)

Three hours ago Capt Tan had ordered the firing of braking thrusters to slow the Nemesis back to less than one gee. This was preparatory to flipping the ship end for end, allowing the main thrusters to be used in the landing cycle.

Some parts of the ship were designed to function in either mode such as the bridge, but for others once they flipped, they would be hanging "upside down". To do so at more than one gee would be exhausting on those who had to endure it.

Capt Tan had taken a risk slowing the ship so early, but the AeroSpace fighters dogging them made no agressive moves, content to chase the prey down to the trap.

Slowing the Nemesis now meant he could flip the ship end for end closer to the moon and minimize the time and gee force factors the mechwarriors below would have to deal with. Once down he needed them fighting fit and functioning.

Below in the dropships mechbay, the Knife didnt need the data feed from his command channel to know what was happening. The steady decrease in his relative weight had already conveyed Capt Tan's choice of tactics to him, he approved.

While there was always the risk the enemy fighters would open fire again, the knife believed in maintaining control over any battle scenario.

The Capt had used braking thrusters early, uping the ante in the Nemesis's favour, but the enemy had yet to call his bluff.

.......To be continued

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #13 on: 19 February 2013, 17:20:30 »
The Knife felt a moments vertigo, as if a turbo lift had stopped too fast as the main engines of the Nemesis engaged for the final descent to the lunar surface below.

Quad pillars of superheated plasma , with a stellar glare fought against and slowly balanced the opposing kinetic forces. And just as the first sand was flashed to glass by the tip of this fire, the dropships massive legs swung out from their armoured recesses and locked down .
Four seconds later there was a gentle thump, and the "landed" lights began to flash in the cavernous mechbay.

The massive clamps that held the mechs in their transit gantrys now responded to commands of the individual pilots and swung clear of their cargo's.
Even in the cockpit of his Atlas, the Knife could feel a gentle rumble as the massive armoured doors ground open, freeing the way for his men and mechs to disembark the Nemesis.

As per doctrine the smaller mechs went first , they would form up on their lance mates and each group would head for a Nav point already calculated and downloaded into the onboard computers during the descent.
With the scouts out, the mediums came next and set up a pair of revolving defensive lines. clockwise and counter clockwise at 1000 metres from the nemesis.

That done the heavy's and assaults thundered down the ramps and set up position under the firing arcs of the Nemesis's functioning guns.
Atop the dropship other armoured covers were rolling aside and the radar arrays and comm's dish's rose like periscope's. They were ready for battle.

But it was not at a place of their choosing, nor was the timetable theirs...
All they could do was wait now, for the enemy to deal the next hand in the game.......

To be continued....
« Last Edit: 19 February 2013, 19:19:55 by Anastasius Focht »

Dave Talley

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #14 on: 19 February 2013, 17:38:59 »
tag
Resident Smartass since 1998
“Toe jam in training”

Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
JA Baker

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #15 on: 19 February 2013, 21:59:00 »
Eons ago when man was still clinging to logs in order to cross water, a large asteroid had hit this moon. Its impact creating the massive crater the Nemesis stood in. But such was its angle of descent it also took the top of a peak, one of many in a mountain chain 100 kilometres east of where the Nemesis sat waiting.

It was to this peak, Nova Col Zhan directed his dropship be relocated. Once the defence of the Nemesis was neutralised he would move again to begin the transfer of mechs and supplys, but for now this gave excellent line of sight.

His forces would use jump where applicable or drop cradles for those without it, to deploy to the plains below. There they would engage and if possible draw the enemy back into the range of the big guns on his overlord class dropship. Either way he was happy with the situation, his dropship stood little chance of being overrun in its location but was in a perfect position to "feed" mechs as needed into the battle as it developed. The range was perfect as it allowed him to flank left and right of the Nemesis as well as approach straight on. He keyed an order into the ships comms system for his officers to attend him in the operations room. It was time to listen to their bids.

In the cockpit of his Atlas the Knife had been apraised of the situation and location of the enemy dropzone.
Locking the actuators he placed the mech in standby mode, while he unhooked his neural interface, and rumaged in an equipment locker.

He removed a small satchel of limpet mines and choose one, replacing the rest back in the locker.
Tearing off its wrap he snapped the safety strap off, and removed the radio controled remote from its housing, exposing the arming toggles set below.

He set the remote within reach of his pilot seat, and sealing his suit opened the primary hatch on the cockpit, which led to the left shoulder of the Atlas.

He braced for one second as the air rushed past, then moved carefully out.
With even greater care he chose a spot where two of the armour plates that covered the Atlas's massive head joined.

Triggering the adhesion mechanism, he armed it and set it for remote detonation.

Returning to the cockpit, he re pressurised and flipped the visor on his helmet. Reconnecting his neural interface, he brought the mech back online and unlocked the actuators. The remote he taped to the controlboard in front of him.

It was always good to have an ace up ones sleeve.....though if anyone else had known what he had just done, they may well have chosen to think this joker was wild.


To be continued...................

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #16 on: 20 February 2013, 18:18:54 »
The scout lances had shifted east in their sweeps towards the confirmed enemy DZ. The mediums patrolling at 1000 metres taking on the task of scouting west as they rotated through that quadrant.

Fifty minutes later the scouts reported contacts. No hard data at first as the emeny mechs used the terrain to block radar when possible.

The first contacts were like ghosts, appearing and disappearing from the rader scopes. Here a Madcat, there a pair of Ryokens. The first wave moved in like phantoms, these would be the faster mechs , scouting the scouts. The lighter mechs fell back towards the dropship, fanning north and south to ensure they were not being flanked.

Matt Jenson's 25 ton Commando was the first to take fire. Two ER large lasers hit his left arm and red lights lit his weapons board, as his armour melted and the arm actuator locked. Seconds later at least 20 of the 30 LRMs fired from paired LRM15 launchers atop the MadCat that had found him struck and his Large Laser and left arm were destroyed.

The Hot Drop, the waiting, all had taken their toll on Matt's nerves. He made a fatal error, like a flushed game bird he panicked. He triggered a long burst of his jump jets , the low gravity of the moon made the jump much higher than it should have been and the Commando flew like a dandelion seed on the wind.

In the cockpit Matt could only sit helplessly as ER PPC fire from 3 Madcats slammed his mech again and again. there was no where to eject to on this airless desert, and the ejection charge would likely put him into low orbit at this altitude, there was no where to go, nothing to be done, he was helpless ......

The end when it came was almost a relief

To be continued............ 
« Last Edit: 21 February 2013, 00:13:07 by Anastasius Focht »

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #17 on: 21 February 2013, 17:54:28 »
Kaela Roshak smiled with grim satisfaction as the ER PPC from the left arm of her Timberwolf scored the definitive hit on the Commando. Punching through what was left of the armour and internal structure, it cored the reactor and the Commando exploded in a white ball of destruction.

For a brief moment it resembled the seed of the jorda plant blown on the winds of Tokasha the world where her Sibko had been creched.
Her star consisted of Three Timberwolves and two Stormcrows, and in biding such , she had won the right to first charge at the enemy. It was fitting and auspicious she should start the battle by claiming the first kill.

Her Star fell back into formation with practised ease and they resumed the push forward. The Stormcrows flanked left and right of theTimberwolves who played anchor to the formation with her Mech centre of the star.

The Stormcrows BAP which had found the Commando long before the pilot even knew it, would give extended tactical warning of enemys left or right of them, and would allow the star to flex left or right in response with her mech as pivot and anchor.

It was a formation that all her people were comfortable with and they worked not as five separate mechs, but rather as a Clan Star should, a single amorphous being a flowing organisim of destruction, that moved over the terrain in command of and able to respond to the battle as it evolved.

Accelerating her Timberwolf to its top speed she pushed forward towards the Nemesis

To be continued..........
« Last Edit: 21 February 2013, 21:56:57 by Anastasius Focht »

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #18 on: 22 February 2013, 17:11:37 »
On the bridge of the Nemesis, Capt Tan relaxed into his chair. He listened to the reports and instructions flowing over the Ops Comm channels.
His job was done, the dropship landed. There were casualtys, bones broken, including a Mechwarriors neck. A combination of the initial scamble for the mechbays and the high gee manouvers. But all and all he'd done as well as anyone could have asked, his ship was landed,the mechs were deployed. He shut his eyes, and listened to the battle comms.

"Scout lances, procede to new nav points, snipe where you can and watch that crossfire","medium lance's continue picket cycle until contact then engage","assaults hold position"


Wi Chu (Wally) Tetsuri, crouched his Bushwacker at the rim of a crater and checked the position of his lancemates. To his left was another Bushwacker and Thompsons Uziel, to his right Niro's Hunchback, its ECM and its electronic interferance adding to the cover given by the crater. His own Bap had picked up a Ryoken moments earlier and they waited here in ambush.

The moment his HUD gave the range he was waiting for , he gave the command, and they surged up over the lip of the crater. Triggering his optical zoom, he targeted the left leg of the Ryoken.
His gauss riffle shook the mech as it fired a melon sized ball of hardened steel at supersonic speed, paired PPC fire from the Uziel also struck the leg.

The Ryoken fell, but as it did 4 ER PPC's struck Niro's Hunchback, the mech was critically damaged and the lance fell back into cover. the Ryoken regained its footing under the covering fire of the two Madcats that had come to its aid. But it limped, its left leg actuators mangled and melted.

To be continued......

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #19 on: 23 February 2013, 17:29:18 »
Kaela Roshack, no longer smiled as she cut her mechs speed to hold formation with the critically damaged Stormcrow.

"Stravag", with her push forward irreversably slowed, Star capt Torson, would be free to begin his advance by the rules as set by Nova col Zhan.

Keying open comms she gave the orders to hunt down the Surats responsible.

SC Torson , on being given the GO took a moment to check the status indicators of the mechs in his Star.
His Executioner and the two Summoners had used Jump to ascend from the dropzone to the battlefield below, but the two MadDogs that completed the Star had worn drop cradles which had been shed once they had landed. He wanted to be sure both MadDogs were functioning in the green.

When he was confident all was satisfactory he gave the order to advance.....

In the battle room on board NC Zhans dropship a comms officer took careful aim using the enhanced zoom of one of the external cameras, lining up one of the Nemesis's comm dish's he triggered the laser.
A minute practised adjustment in aim and the comm set chimed with a receiver lock and "handshake"

"Sir" he hailed Zhan, "i have ship to ship laser comm"
"Send our Ident, and the terms under which we accept surrender" ,"They have little hope opposing us Quiaff"
"AFF sir" replied the comms officer, and set about his task.

Personally Zhan hoped the enemy commanders would accept defeat, but he knew his Star Capts were eager for combat. The Mechwarrior in him felt the same, but the commander in him knew it served no purpose to destroy that which he sought to capture. But if they had to destroy every mech opposing them to get to the spares and munitions aboard the Nemesis then so be it.

He would succeed in this campaign, he had only ever suffered defeat in combat once a very long time ago when he was young and relatively untested in battle. The humiliaton of that time had burned in him like a sacred flame, fueling his return to mechwarrior status, his rise through the ranks. And yet for every victory won since that time, even combined their totallity could not even begin to expunge the shame he kept secreted inside. He would give anything to cleanse this blot, but had long ago given up ever finding a means of doing so, instead he directed this gnawing anger at his opponents.

He would succeed , if he had to do so over the broken bodies of every person aboard the Nemesis.
« Last Edit: 23 February 2013, 20:14:00 by Anastasius Focht »

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #20 on: 24 February 2013, 18:31:56 »
Niro began slaping overide switch's with a sense of detached horror, those ER PPC's had hit with pinpoint accuracy, the centre torso of his Hunchback.

They had cored right through and stripped a sizable chunk of reactor sheilding from his Nissan 200 engine.
The mech tettered on the brink auto shutdown, but he regained partial control. He could move, but firing the weapons would with the overides in place , cause his reactor to go critical.

He keyed open a comm channel to the lance leader.

"Im gone Sir", He reported

"Get the lance back to that secondary ambush point we tagged. ill hold em as long as i can"

"No no, fall back we can cover you" replied Lt Tetsuri

"Sorry boss no can do, im Cooked........"

There was a moments silence as the lance leader absorbed the ramifications of that word, with the loss of reactor sheilding niro was taking Radiation.

"Roger" replied Lt Tetsuri, "is there anything you want me....." he was cut off by Niro, "Sir get moving, and Wally..... its been an honor serving with you...."

Another moment of comm silence....... then quietly

"Likewise Son, Tetsuri out"

He watched leave them Via his HUD , but at 500 metres they turned and raised the right arms of their mechs in salute.

He "punched the air" twice with is own right arm in response and with weapons systems deactivated set the Hunchback in motion forward, towards the enemy............

The Knife listened with interest to the Intel on the Command channel, the enemy had identified himself as Nova Col Kieran Zhan, a name from the Knife's distant past. He put through a request to the Comms Ops for a link. An idea was begining to formulate in his mind...........


To be continued...........


Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #21 on: 25 February 2013, 18:02:30 »
With what appeared to be subtle silence, the massive energy stored in the coils of a Kierney Fuchida Hyperdrive, translated the jumpship Kerensky's Pride to the systems pirate jump point.

On the bridge the strained silence was not entirely due to the inherent risks taken jumping to a pirate point, but was inspired instead by the obvious cold fury of the personage in the command chair.

Galaxy Commander Elsha Pryde, was here to kill Nova Col Zahn.

She had just jumped from the system Zhan had been assigned to garrison, of the 16 industrial/mining complexes scattered amongst the systems mineral rich moons and asteroids only 5 remained functional. The rest destroyed by pirate raiders or a rival Clan, they would never know. By the time those left to cover his absence had worked up the courage to call for assistance, the raiders were gone.

The officer left in charge had cracked and told her the whole plan and Zahns location before she had him shot.
The remaining officers had each received entry's into their Codex's that would forever bar them from contributing to the Clans genetic repositorys, she would have designated the entire roster Solahma had she the resources to replace them.

"Dropship reports ready status Galaxy Commander" informed the captain. breaking the silence.
without a word she rose and headed towards the leopard class dropship.

This was his last mistake, she thought back to his first.

Zhan had been given command of a small force, bid to hold the freebirths off while a newly discovered Star league Library was copied prior to its destruction.

His entire force was wiped out, the library lost. Zahn the only survivor.
His commanding officer and one of her Sibko, had allowed him a Trial by combat, and had lost, Zahn retained his MW status, eventually rising to Nova Col rank.

There would be no Circle of Equals this time.His failure to communicate this venture up the chain of command, and the subsequent loss of the facilitys he was assigned to guard gave her the right to shoot him outright. Her hand strayed unconciously to her side arm holster. This day had been long in the coming.

To be continued.............

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #22 on: 26 February 2013, 19:18:43 »
With no atmosphere, the solar winds beat down directly on the surface of the moon, ionising the rocks and dust.

Kaela Roshak looked again at the MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) display.The ionisation had created enough of an electrical charge to scramble any data its sensors picked up. "Malfing useless", she muttered. Thus it was she did not notice the Hunchback sprawled face down until she was almost on top of it.

It was dead. shutdown, a few kicks to the exposed cockpit area would ensure it remained salvage, she walked her Mech towards the prone Hunchback.


"Sir ?, repeat the message Quiaff ?"

Nova Col Zahn turned to his comms operator numbly

"NEG..........., Neg" , "i understood it"

His comms operator returned his gaze stiffly to the screen in front of him , the message had been short, "Karl Carver wants to call in an I.O.U"

That the Nova Col understood the freebirth code was less surprising that the effect it had had on him.
The whites of his eyes were showing and the corners of his mouth were flecked with spittle, he looked like a man posessed.

Niro hung from his seat straps, his arms dangling over the cockpit's control panel, the "Not a Dame" as he had christened his Hunchback was in warm shutdown and would never rise from where he had lain her down.

He had felt the gentle vibrations minutes earlier and had blinked bleary eyes and focused on the switches he would need.
The vibrations were no longer gentle now as the approaching mech got closer, his vision swam again.

Star commander Roshack raised the right leg of her mad cat and aimed a kick at the hunchbacks head, just as her sensors reported the mech had powered up.........

Niro felt the mech hum to life around him one last time, he triggered an Alpha strike, he did not need to aim.
The reactor, damaged and now called on for a massive power load went critical and exploded like a minute sun

The glare was the last thing Star Com Roshak saw.....


To be continued

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #23 on: 27 February 2013, 17:58:24 »
Zahn had cleared the room and now sat facing the comms screen. The face staring back was undeniably that of the man who had beaten him all those years ago. As if it were yesterday he remembered his demand for a warriors death from the cockpit of his crippled mech.
His forces destroyed around him,the mission objectives lost............

The face on the screen had mocked him as it did now.

"Its alright" , he had said. "I'll take an I.O.U" and had walked his mech away to the enemy dropship, now loaded with the only data core copies of the Star League Library Zahn had been entrusted to defend.

Those three letters had been his sole focus, his constant companion even as the med techs had pulled him from the wreckage days later. He had sought its meaning and had learned it was a freebirth term conveying obligation and debt.

And now that same mechwarrior was here, all these years later proposing he repay the debt, by deciding the fate of the Nemesis in one on one combat.

Like a.. like a.. , the concept was offensive , like a Circle of Equals

He would not engage in Batchall with a freebirth

"Neg" he replied to the Knife," i recognise not your claim".

"I recognise i have the superior force, i recognise you are cut off and will fall to my Star commanders eventually. "

The Knife's gaze remained steady, "much like the last time we fought" he replied quietly.
Zahns left eye twitched as he struggled for control of the rage that threatened to consume him.

"This time i shall WIN , and rest assured should you survive, you will die at my hands. I at least will do you the honor of a warriors death, and in doing so i will have repaid your Stravag I.O.U"

He cut the link.

Oh how he was tempted. He wanted nothing more than to see this man in his sights again, the risk the Knife would be killed in the battle for the Nemesis kept forcing its way to the surface of his mind.
The communications console chimed again, he opened the channel................... and stared into the face of Galaxy Commander Pryde.

"My Dropship will arrive in 2 hours. You are relieved of duty. Pryde out"
the Screen went dead.

Zahn sat transfixed, as if a moment had been frozen in time.................


To be continued

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #24 on: 28 February 2013, 17:48:25 »
Lt Tetsuri's forces were trapped. They had been joined by Lt Botans lance minutes earlier, but all seven mechs were now well and truly pinned down. Long range missile fire from a pair of Vultures kept them behind cover while a Gladiator and two Thors jump sniped them unmercifully.

His Bushwacker rocked again as a clan gauss rifle scored yet another hit.
They had to knock out those vultures, he opened a channel to Lt Botan.

"We are going to have to charge em, take your lance round and try and hit those Vultures" he ordered
"Roger" replied Botan

He passed the order to his lance.

Star Com Torson watched the jump charge indicator in his HUD. He had the enemy pinned down and was using range to finish them, his last gauss rifle shot had almost breached the leg armour of the Bushwacker he had targeted.

The indicator flashed green and he triggered another jump.
The realisation his target was gone, took no more time to hit him than did the paired PPC's from Thompsons Uziel, now racing towards his position at over 100 kph the mech almost flying in long leaps under the lunar gravity, behind came the Bushwackers their LRM's providing cover fire.

His shot went wild and his mech came down, targeting systems scrambled from the effects of the PPC's
"Surats" he muttered, and waited for his targeting systems to clear and function normally.

Nova Col kieran Zhan was trapped, he entertained no illusions as to what Galaxy Commander Pryde would do once she arrive. This venture had been a gamble and now he had been caught, caught between fate and destiny. What choice was there ? , He opened a comm channel to the Nemesis and sent a message.

Then he gave the order for his forces to disengage and made his way to the mechbays below.

In the cockpit of his Atlas, the Knife listed to the message as relayed by comms ops.
It was a simple acceptance and a set of co-ordinates, half way between the two dropships. Double checking his nav reference he set the Atlas in motion and walked the Mech out alone across the lunar landscape


To be continued...............................

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #25 on: 01 March 2013, 17:10:00 »
The Executioner was gone, like morning mist in a freshening breeze it had dissapeared back into the landscape.

Lt Tetsuri opened a channel to Lt Botan.

"Any sign of those Vultures ?"

"None" replied Botan "they were on my scopes a second ago then they went passive and fell back"
the matter however was given no further speculation as both pilots received orders to withdraw to the Nemesis.

Zhan Thumped the arm of his pilots chair in frustration.

His Daishi had made the descent without error, but one of the explosive bolts on his drop cradle had failed and the frame with its thrusters and reaction mass tanks hunk akimbo from the body of his mech.
He put in a call for a star of elementals to remove it.

One hour out Galaxy Commander Pryde was informed by her com ops staff Zhan had left the dropship in his daishi. Was he running ? or did he intend to force her to battle.

At the Co-ordinates given the Knife waited in his Atlas.


To be continued

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #26 on: 02 March 2013, 17:07:28 »
Thirty minutes from the Drop Zone, the com ops team on board Galaxy commander Pryde's leopard class Dropship, picked up transmissions, where the channels had fallen silent but minutes before. She ordered the transmissions be routed to the bridge speakers.


"So, we meet again" said Zhan his Daishi two hundred metres from the Knife's Atlas.

"What changed your mind" quipped the Knife, not knowing the hidden barb the words would carry.

"A desire to see you dead freebirth" replied Zhan angrily.

"And we agree if i win the Nemesis is free"

"I'll hardly have use for it if i lose" replied Zhan

"But your men will honor the agreement ?" pressed Carver.

"What do i care", " I have everything i want right here" came Zhans reply.

"You dirty....." was all Carver got out before the Daishi opened fire on him.

He started the Atlas running to the left, while he torso twisted to the right. He killed the alarm that told him his LRM racks had been hit. Four ER Large laser's and four ER Med pulse lasers had melted and fused most of the missile ports shut. He flicked another toggle. The unspent ammo was spat from a port in the rear armour .

The threat of internal ammo explosion neutralised, he turned his attention to his target.

His return fire missed as the Daishi's ultra A/C 5's stitched a line of tiny craters up the Atlas's legs and left arm. the ER Large's and ER medium pulse's completed the job and the arm was severed at the shoulder to fall lazily to the lunar surface.
The knife struggled to bring his remaining weapons into line with the Daishi, but the A/C 5's again hit and sent armour spinning from the Atlas's Legs. The gyros screaming in protest the Atlas spun 270 degrees and fell.

To be continued............

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #27 on: 03 March 2013, 19:27:06 »
Zahn, watched the Atlas fall with satisfaction, he held fire while it lay prone, wanting the pilot to get up so he could knock it down again.

While regaining the feet of the Atlas with only one arm would have tested the best piloting skills, the low lunar gravity helped and the knife got his mech standing again.
His shoulder ached from the dislocation suffered when the Atlas fell, his seats restraining belts saving him from all but this injury.
He fired his remaining weapons and scored a hit, before Zahns Daishi again savaged his legs with an alpha strike.
His body lurched painfully against the straps as his mech, right leg crippled, shed forward momentum and began limping.

Zahn was smiling, after all his subordinates were not here. he could afford the luxury.
His plans in ruins, certain death at the hands of GC Pryde awaiting, yet still he was happy. He would finally kill the trashborn who had bested him oh so long ago.

He waited for the Atlas to put one more token round of resistance in before he finished it off.

The Knife was still in the fight.

Bringing the Atlas to a halt and raising the right arm he hit the actuator lock overide, at the same time he hit the remote detonator taped on his console.

There was noise.......... and darkness.............

Zahn watched as the side of the Atlas's head exploded in a gout of flame, armour chunks flew.
A jet of vapour hissed from the side of the mech as the cockpit was breached and the air escaped to cascade over the Atlas's shoulder as snow.

For a moment time also froze
The decimated Atlas stood lifeless, one arm raised, a statue.

Zahn was enraged, some fluke had robbed him of a kill. The mech's cockpit and life support systems perhaps damaged in the fall had failed.........
And still he was mocked, there stood his opponents mech arm raised. Even savaged as it was something in the pose struck a heroical chord.

He willed his mech forward intending to batter this final insult into the dust with his mechs arms.............

The knife could taste blood, but he did not know from where. His whole head was a candidate judging from the way it throbbed. But his environment suit had withstood the blast from the limpet mine, where the cockpit had not.
He watched Zahns rush, hand over the actuator overlock switch already rimmed with frost in the vacuum.

The Daishi, arm pods raised to hammer the Atlas down never struck.

Instead the remaining arm on the Atlas freed of the overlock came crashing down, its fist burying itself in Zahns cockpit.

To be continued


snakespinner

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #28 on: 03 March 2013, 20:54:20 »
Trust a clanner to run headfirst into an Atlas's fist.
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Anastasius Focht

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Re: Poker Face
« Reply #29 on: 04 March 2013, 17:39:31 »
Mission de-briefing:
Planetside:

The Knife looked into the stoney face of Col Hastings and tried to read the man.
Looking back at his hand he decided to call a raise.

"So when this new dropship turns up , i figure there goes the deal. Fats in the pan."
He tossed more c-bills in the pot
"Instead some ranking officer offers us the use of her dropship to transport down, then packs up her troops and goes. We were ripe for the plucking, but she wasnt interested in us at all, why she lent us a dropship albiet crewed by elementals i dont know. She seemed almost grateful i killed Zahn"

You win again, replied Hastings throwing in his cards.


The End



Black Angus