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Author Topic: Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)  (Read 837 times)

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« on: 17 January 2021, 04:52:12 »
       An update on The Descendant: My second complete book is currently with my editor and I am awaiting feedback, the third book is with my beta readers and I finished writing the fourth book on Christmas eve. I’m contracted to print a book every eight months, but I am far enough ahead I felt it safe to sharpen my skills by changing the pace for the time being. I wanted to revisit some other projects. So I have for you, new adventures for Rabbit. I’m looking forward to hearing any feedback. See if anyone can notice a difference in the quality of the writing since what I posted before was old material I had simply touched up to make presentable. There have been a few years and a few hundred thousand words of writing practice between when I wrote that, and when I am writing this. So… If the misfortunes of the PBI catch your interest, Enjoy.    

Also of note: the forces in this story were generated at random with a few rolls and an 80’s edition of Mechwarrior. So I don’t have any lore related reasons as to why the opposing force may or may not have the types of mechs they do have or any related implications to their origins.

                                                                                            Too much, or too little?

       Rabbit was tired. Tired of everything, tired of life. He had been through too many wars, seen too many dead in the futile pursuit of fame, fortune, peace, or some combination thereof. The mercenary command he was contracted with had picked up a six-month garrison contract. That had ended five weeks ago. Their relief had never arrived. They had been told there was some mix up with the transportation. He wasn’t sure if it was something wrong with the dropship, or a missed jump or financial troubles, or what the cause was. All Rabbit knew was that their relief was almost six weeks late, and they were liable to take another six weeks more before arriving. As such Rabbit and the rest of the mercs were stuck.

       Rabbit had learned to keep his head down. He had been in the business of subterfuge for too long and escaped by the skin of his teeth too many times to feel comfortable being stationary for so long. He was sure someone, somewhere attached to one government or another would love to get their hands on him, and liberally punish him for his supposed war crimes. He had just done what he needed to do at the time. They had been here too long and he desperately wanted to move on. He sunk lower in his chair the booted foot on one leg resting on the knee of the other as his shift on night watch was nearing a close. He yawned so wide and hard that his right ear popped and started ringing terribly.  Rabbit had been trapped at this guard post long enough some of the locals were starting to recognize him when he went about the chores that life necessitated while off shift.

       Speaking of shift, this whole six-month stint, command had kept him on the night shift. Waking just in time to see sunset getting off shift with just enough time to watch the sunrise and get his personals in order before sleeping the day away to do it again the next night. He sat in his chair, his eyes open but unseeing as he starred at the wall of small monitors displaying various camera feeds. Was the money worth it?

       His thoughts grew deeper as he struggled to keep his eyes open. Was the money ever worth it? Had it ever even been about money? He had spent the last few years, wandering. Running from something, and beyond the threat of possible retribution for his actions during the Fed Com civil war, he wasn’t sure what he was running from. The only soul in the Inner sphere he dared still call friend had found himself a wife, and the last Rabbit had heard was expecting a second child. Spaceman had actually managed to slip under the radar and find the quiet life and be happy to do it. Rabbit had thought about it, even had the opportunity once or twice. But he knew he wouldn’t be happy. He could never settle down to such a quiet uneventful life, he would forever be looking over his shoulder. But at the moment he hated his life of action. Because for the past six months his ‘action’ meant cold windy nights with a handful of unrefined people he didn’t know well and trusted even less.

       His tired mind continued to wander through his years of service, both with the military and the various mercenaries he had thrown in with since then. To all, he had destroyed, to all he had killed. Everything he could remember was either running from or attempting to commit some form of destruction. It was all he had known, all he had ever heard reports of. For a moment he wondered how there was still an inner-sphere left to be tearing itself apart. How was everything not already destroyed? Who was making new things? Who had built the cities he had seen bombed, the tanks and mechs and planes and VTOL’s he had seen shot. Who made the music? The art? What was that like? What was it like to build things, to grow and cultivate rather than hunt and obliterate?

       Rabbit yawned again and switched which foot he had resting on which knee. Shaking his head to clear it, not wanting to chase what he had been thinking too far. After all, he was a doer of things, not a thinker. Rabbit checked the time just as the door to the cold gray concrete room squeaked open. He jerked his head in greeting to the oncoming shift. He stood and took up his rifle from where it leaned on the wall and made to leave. Neither of the two men sharing a word, as was usual. But the sharp exclamation of a four-letter explicative drew his attention back to the little room just as the door was swinging shut.
He caught the door with the heel of his boot, preventing it from closing completely. His voice thick with exhaustion. “What?”

       The man that was supposed to be his relief didn’t speak, and instead only pointed, his old gun hanging loosely from one hand as the other trembling hand extended a finger to point at the monitors on the left side of the wall of screens. Those particular screens had the perimeter camera feeds. The facility they were guarding was surrounded by kilometers of flat grassland and scrub brush in all directions. They had cameras with hardlines feeding straight back to this room hidden among the brush, some nearly a kilometer out.

       The camera’s picked up the unmistakable silhouettes of a half dozen battle mechs. Their broad shoulders peeking over the horizon, backdropped by the rising sun. Rabbit wasn’t tired anymore. Using a four-letter explicative of his own, he leapt back into the room full of monitors and lifted the plastic cover on a large red button in the panel above the rows of monitors before slamming the fist of his other hand down on the button, sounding the alarm. He didn’t know who’s mechs they were, but They didn’t belong to the unit he worked for, and the planetary government they were contracted with didn’t have any. Who’s ever they were, they didn’t belong there, and they were getting close fast.

       Rabbit leaned in towards the screens, his tired eyes trying to discern what the mechs were. One was a Cicada, he could tell that much, it was too tall to be a locust. There was something else? Dust plumes? Some sort of hover tanks, or transports. Transports he nodded to himself. They would need infantry. Grunts such as himself to secure the warehouses and load what was stored in them. Assuming that this force was coming to raid the isolated depot that he was guarding. For at least he could readily not think of another reason for a half dozen battle mechs to be charging straight towards them unannounced.
       Rabbit’s glare intensified as he tried to figure out what the other mechs were. Was that a spotlight? A Warhammer perhaps? The door burst open and he and the other guard both jumped reflexively. Rabbit began to bring his rifle up, but the light that came in through the open door let him identify the intruder as a man who went by the name of Scruffy. His rifle didn’t rise above the low ready, and instead both the men inside the room cursed Scruffy.

       He demanded of them. “What the hell is the alarm for?” It took Rabbit a moment to generate an answer as his mind chewed through the surprise at seeing the man. Scruffy typically worked the shift prior to Rabbit’s. He was not on the morning shift coming to relieve him, nor was he on the same shift. Why he was already dressed and so quick to respond to the alarm didn’t make sense.  But as his mind caught up to current events. Why Scruffy was there didn’t matter at the moment. They had real problems to deal with. Rabbit pointed to the screens. Fighting through another yawn, that twisted his voice. “Half a dozen mixed mechs. Some sort of hover vehicles. Probably transports coming to take whatever is in our warehouses.” He lost the battle with his yawn and his head rolled back and his eyes squinted shut as he strained against his gaping jaw and exhaustion.

       As he rolled his head back forward he found Scruffy leaning on the console, his submachine gun dangling on its sling around his neck as he peered at the screens his nose almost touching the screens. “That’s a screaming Warhammer out there!”    

       Rabbit nodded before Scruffy asked another question. “Who are these jugglers?”    

       Rabbit shrugged. “You know as much as I do.”

       Scruffy swore with another very choice four-letter word and stepped outside. His head swiveling, looking inward towards the center of the facility where the rest of the command was stirring in the weak light of the early morning. Rabbit stepped outside with him, the two men standing shoulder to shoulder, watching the pilots and ground crews scramble to get their lance of medium mechs online. Their command sported a mixed medium lance consisting of a forty-ton Strider, an old forty five-ton Blackjack a fifty ton Enfield that was their newest shiniest mech, and a thirty-five ton Panther, which was technically not even a medium mech but Rabbit thought of it as one, since it wasn’t fast, and it had a PPC that hit like a freight train. That was the command's oldest mech. Their lance was in good shape and their pilots weren’t a bunch of greenbacks but their cumulative weight was only one hundred sixty-five tons. The seismic sensors told them that the half dozen approaching mechs massed nearly twice that much at three hundred tons. Or so Rabbit and Scruffy heard as the other man was still inside the monitoring station, and by now was on the radio talking very quickly to whoever was on the other end.

       As the other mechs drew closer, the other grunt was able to ID them in the screens, and Rabbit and Scruffy looked to each other as he listed their names over the radio. Rifleman, Warhammer, Clint, Cicada, Brigand, Roughneck. A bunch of heavy mechs. The two lowly infantrymen hefted their slug throwers and with a nod to each other, sprinted away from the guard shack across the courtyard in front of the warehouses towards one of the weapon emplacements their command had procured to try and bolster their simple defenses.

       Rabbit’s tired mind went astray as they dashed across the two hundred meters of open concrete. He didn’t consider Scruffy a friend, not in the way he did with Spaceman, but they had signed on with the command at roughly the same time and despite being a physically smaller man, Scruffy being a solid ten centimeters shorter and twenty-five kilo’s lighter, he seemed to have boundless energy and enthusiasm. He carried his own weight if not more within their rifle platoon. He might not be a friend, but he was Rabbit’s co-worker and in this situation, no one he would rather have with him as they hopped onto a flat top trailer that had a manual operated A/C 5 mounted on it.

       Scruffy was spinning wheels by hand like a mad man to swing the muzzle of the weapon around in the right direction. Rabbit slapped the lever on the back of the autocannon with the palm of one hand, dropping the breach block, and stomped a pedal mounted on the trailer’s deck. The pedal activated a battery-powered servo which opened the small armored compartment at the front of the trailer, nestled just behind the hitch. Rabbit hooked his fingertips around the rim of a phat cartridge and pulled it free from the rack. Letting his foot off the pedal as he turned, the door over the magazine sealed with a loud clack as Rabbit rammed the massive cartridge home inside the chamber of the cannon, and slapped the lever again, closing the breach and locking it shut. He was still short on breath from their sprint to the weapon and instead of verbally affirming the weapon being ready he punched Scruffy’s shoulder as he agonizingly slowly spun the adjustment wheels training the cannon on one of the distant looming silhouettes.

       Rabbit tightened the sling on his rifle so it didn’t hang so loosely around his shoulders and sucked air hard trying to catch his breath. He realised he didn’t have his helmet, it must still be back in the guard shack. He screwed the tips of his fingers down deep inside his ear canals in preparation for the cannon’s discharge. Listening to the rasp of his own breath inside his lungs while they waited for someone to give orders. They were under contract, they still had rules of engagement to follow.

       They waited, tense and terrified. Scruffy keeping his sights trained on the rhythmically bouncing shoulders of the Riflemen in the distance as it closed to within firing range. No word came over the radio, no orders were given. Then tension was palpable.

       The opposing force of mechs came to a halt, a mere hundred meters beyond the chain-link perimeter fence that couldn’t even keep the indigenous critters out. Rabbit watched as the lance of mechs from his command formed a line abreast inside the compound, and the ten mechs stood looking at each other. As motionless, expressionless, and terrifying as only giant machines can be.

       They stayed that way, for minutes. Rabbit grew antsy and shuffled his feet on the deck of the trailer. He had to know what was going on. He flinched as if he had been physically struck when he remembered the radio on his belt. He pulled it free sharply, the belt clip snapping with a sharp metallic ping. He thumbed through the channels frantically listening for whatever channel it was that the mech jocks were talking on.

       “…an’t do that. We have to wait on word from…” That was a voice he recognized one of the pilots from his command.  He could never remember their names. It was the pilot of the Strider, he remembered that much.

       Whatever the Strider pilot was saying got cut off by a sharp female voice. “No matter, we won’t leave any witnesses.”
       With that, the Riflemen fired both of its autocannons. The report was thunderous as the massive shells slammed into the chest of the Enfield who stood opposite the Rifleman, across the fence.  Scruffy flinched in his seat at the gunner's station of the cannon. Rabbit jumped and nearly fell backwards off the trailer as he tried to cover his ears from the thunder of guns.  He recovered and shouted over the din of gunfire as all ten of the mechs erupted into motion, their massive stomping legs and the discharge of several lasers, autocannons, and SRM launcher racks. Scruffy spun the wheels madly adjusting the cannon, trying to keep a target in his sights. Rabbit shifted his weight to the other foot, ready to stomp on the actuator pedal and open the magazine.

       Scruffy finally lined up on a target and mashed the trigger button. The trailer jerked as the autocannon erupted. Spewing fire and thunder. The lead projectile crossing the courtyard and slapping the Cicada in the upper thigh. The round denting armor, and creating a massive shower of sparks as the plate shrugged off the round, not penetrated by the shell.

       The breach of the cannon slammed backwards less than a meter from Rabbit’s hip as the weapon cycled. Ejecting the spent case from the round and returning to the ready position. Breach open, tendrils of smoke oozing their way out of the cannon’s dark, hungry maw. Rabbit’s torso was already rotating with a second round in hand. He dropped it on the loading tray, and with the closed fist of his right hand rammed the oversized cartridge home into the breach before slapping the lever with an open palm, resetting the breach block, readying the weapon again. He shouted over the din as a barrage or SRM’s overshot their target and exploded in the courtyard in front of the warehouses. The Warhammer wandered closer. Slipping through the wafting clouds of concrete dust from the explosions. The ground-shaking with the hundreds of tons of dancing death machines. Rabbit caught sight of the flash of colors across the Warhammer's left shoulder. He recognized that seal, but it didn’t register in his tired adrenalin panicked mind at the moment. He heard his own voice strain against the din as the mechs danced and their lasers cut the air. “HOT.”

       Scruffy heard the call and fired the cannon again. The trailer lurching with the jolt of recoil as the high-velocity round glanced off the Warhammer’s shin and buried itself in the dirt with an audible thump. It was then Rabbit was able to place where he knew that symbol was from. These mechs were the relief force. These half dozen traitors were the ones who were supposed to have been here weeks ago to take over the garrison. He rammed another giant cartridge into the breach of the gun. Scruffy spinning the wheels to swing the gun around tracking the Warhammer as it shuffled sideways. Dodging the raking fire from the Blackjacks four medium lasers. The Enfield behind them being swarmed under by the concentrated fire of an entire lance of mechs was reduced to nothing more than a towering skeleton. It’s armor burned and blasted away. Daylight visible through a gaping hole in the torso where an autocannon shell had detonated internally. The pilot punched out. The top of the cockpit popped open and the command couch rocketed up and away on a plume of flame. The frantic pilot in the Strider, with fresh glowing trenches cut in its plating crisscrossing its body from the slice of lasers, made a run for the open planes that surrounded the warehouse facility. The Panther was bore to the ground by a vicious kick to the shins from the Clint and grew still as the looming hulk of the old Riflemen stomped on it. The pilot leaning all of the machine's weight onto one leg as the foot crushed the smaller mech's chest.

       Scruffy fired the autocannon again. His round missing as the Blackjack and the Warhammer still dancing around each other. Lasers and SRM’s flying every which way. This battle was being decided quickly. Rabbit leaned on Scruffy's shoulder instead of loading another round into the gun. “We need to leave now, or we may not ever get to leave.”

       Scruffy was going to protest, but then the two hover APC’s pushed their way through the clouds of dust and settled onto the patchy concrete courtyard in front of the long low rows of warehouses. Massive ramps opened and out poured two platoons of grunts. Riflemen with old slug throwers and lightweight soft armor, much like Rabbit and Scruffy were equipped with. Rabbit hopped down from the trailer and made a run for it, slipping between the warehouses not wanting to become a target himself. Cursing with another four-letter word Scruffy left the gunners station of the autocannon turret and chased after his comrade. The thunder of machines and guns dwindled in the background as their command’s mechs were blasted into scrap. 

       They ran as fast as their panicked legs would let them. Slipping between the warehouses. They passed through the first row of buildings and were crossing the access road before the second row of buildings when Scruffy stopped. “Wait.”
-Chace A. Randolph

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #1 on: 17 January 2021, 05:07:41 »

       Rabbit skidded to a halt his heels sliding on the gravel between the patches of pavement. Speaking between gasps. “We. can’t. stop. Have. To. get out.”

       Scruffy shook his head. “Get out how? Go where? There’s nothing to use for cover for kilometers in any direction. They don’t know they’re still here. We should hide in the warehouses while we can. Because there won't be anywhere to hide out there.” He jerked his head to indicate the perimeter fence with his chin.

       He turned and made his way back across the road to the warehouse they had just run past. The building was twenty meters wide and one hundred meters long. With four meters of internal space from floor to ceiling. Despite having lived amongst them for the past six months, no one in the command knew what was inside them. Rabbit swore as still panting, he followed Scruffy to the small side door. Scruffy jiggled then handle. Locked. The ground seemed to bounce rhythmically as the mechs moved around in the lot on the other side of the building, a lot filled with nothing but dead mechs and the dark columns of smoke drifting into the sky, as the twisted bodies of the fallen mechs burned like funeral pyres. Rabbit shouldered Scruffy aside and drew his combat knife. He wedged the blade in hard between the knob and the frame and wiggled it around, pushing this way and that, making enough play in the mechanism that he was able to depress the deadbolt and open the door, without making it obvious at a glance the door had been tampered with. He held the door open as Scruffy entered, mockingly asking “First time?” Then shut the door behind himself as he sheathed his knife again. The latch still catching, holding the door shut just like Rabbit had never been there.

       It was dark inside. The weak early morning light barely pushing its way through the small greasy windows high up in the wall just below the roof. Inside were rows and rows of wooden crates. Some small enough to contain a spare car tire. Some large enough they could have held entire limbs for a battle mech. The two men had no idea what was stored in them.

       Scruffy hopped up on a waist-high crate and used that to get on top of another as a stepping stone to a third one that was much taller. Scruffy lay on his belly and barely managed to slither in between the roof and the top of the crate. Rabbit was already following his lead and ten meters down the row of crates had found a medium height crate with taller ones on three sides and so he slipped into the shadowy cubby sat down, sinking low into the corner.

   Rabbit stifled a yawn as the broad rolling doors that took up the entire front wall of the warehouse squealed and opened. Jerking him awake again. Light spilling in from the sun now just above the horizon. A dozen soldiers with armor and guns jogging down the rows of crates, checking their corners, their muzzles pivoting sharply as they moved down the rows of crates. Scruffy lay his head flat on top of his crate, breathing shallow. Rabbit scrunched lower into the corner behind the crates as the clomp of rubber boot soles approached and then receded. Judging by the crunch sound of splintering wood, someone had shouldered their way through the door that Rabbit had popped open with his knife.

       There was some indistinct shouting outside that continued to fade as the group of goons moved on to another building. Rabbit and Scruffy settled in, who knows how long they would have to wait to make sure their foe had departed. Ten minutes, fifteen minutes… Rabbit fell asleep. Scruffy quietly smashed spiders with a gloved hand on top of his crate, but not daring move to another hiding place for fear he would make noise, or the other foot soldiers would come back. After another forty-five minutes of motionless waiting one of the Hover APC’s slowly squeezed through the still open rolling doors at the far end of the long low building. The blast of dust and roar of turbines was overwhelming inside the confined space of the warehouse as the vehicle slowly back in. The rear part of the skirt started to deflate as the ramp fell and the vehicle settled. Its engines shut down and drifted down from a scream to a whine, to a whistle as the turbines spooled down. The foot soldiers that had jogged through the warehouse before returned. The back door now half smashed squeaked on its hinges as they re-entered the building. The dust was still settling after the hover APC made its entrance. The dozen men, now with weapons slung strode casually down the aisle between the stacks of crates until a tall thin man in a flack jacket stepped from the back of the APC, a massive laser pistol flopping loosely in a thigh holster on his right leg. He stopped at the end of the vehicle’s ramp to light a cigar, puffing hard to get it started. He stood there all his weight on one leg, hips cocked at an angle in his leather pants as a dozen troopers walked to him. They saluted and the tall man with the cigar haphazardly touched a hand to his brow in return.

       The soldiers said something indistinct, Scruffy couldn’t make out what they were saying because they were facing away from him. He heard the reply of the other man as grunted it around his cigar. “Yes I know, otherwise I wouldn’t be standing out here now would I? Now, hurry the hell up. we don’t have much time. Load the transport up. Leave the big crates. Stuff in as many of the little crates as you can and let’s get out of here. We’ll come back for more later if we get the chance.”

       The man with the cigar waved a hand to dismiss the soldiers who laid down their arms and started hurriedly carrying and stacking the smallest crates within reach into the hold of the transport. As they did the Man with the cigar slowly strolled down the row across the length of the warehouse.

       Scruffy could see Rabbit shifting uncomfortably in the shadows behind the large crates. But as he shuffled in the dark, his eyes grew huge and he froze. Scruffy tracked his gaze to see what had upset him. Holding his breath and he lifted his head, to look to his right instead of his left. Willing himself not to be seen. After he had moved and let his eyes focus again in the slowly growing light he too froze. His blood turning to ice water. The man with the cigar had an emblem with a bone white sword on a pale blue background down the back of his flack jacket. The Word of Blake. Scruffy let his head down onto the top of the crate shrinking as low as he could willing himself to become one with the shadows.
The Blakist’s voice barked loud and sharp. “Hey, you there!”

       Rabbit by now was sunk down in the fetal position in the pit between the crates but jerked back up at the barking voice, his rifle came up and the safety flipped off. His instincts told him Scruffy had been spotted. He leveled his rifle from the shadows and put the rifle’s sights between the man’s shoulder blades. Having a staring contest with the sword emblem on his back. But then the man continued. “Come down here and grab some of these crates too. We want to diversify our takings.”

       Scruffy hadn’t been spotted, he was just ordering around some of his goons. Rabbit slowly released the pressure from the trigger of his trusty old slug thrower and sunk back down onto his behind atop the crate. Carefully letting the breath he had been holding in his lungs out, letting his chest deflate in a controlled manner, marshaling his breathing as his panicked heart beat away madly, pushing Rabbit’s blood pressure up the red line.

       Rabbit and Scruffy remained where they were for some time as the soldiers grunted and dripped sweat on the concrete floor. Carrying various wooden crates selected seemingly at random out of the stacks back to their transport.

       Finally, the thirteen men and their thick boots clomped back up the ramp into the vehicle. The engines kicked on and roared back to life as the now partially empty warehouse was filled with thunder and dust. The Hover APC’s skirt reinflated and the vehicle gingerly pulled out of the building. The doors didn’t close, the sound just got further and further away as did the rhythmic footsteps of the half dozen accompanying battle mechs. Just like that, they were gone, and the world grew deathly still and quiet. Rabbit’s stomach rumbled as it was near time for lunch now. He should have been asleep for several hours already. They waited another fifteen minutes before the two men nodded to each other from across the aisle and climbed down from their perches among the storage crates.
Rabbit peered out the now smashed back door of the warehouse, looking both ways before emerging and detaching himself from the shadows, Scruffy only a step behind him.

       They stopped in the road between the rows of warehouses. Scruffy was calm, controlled but seemingly on the brink of rage. “What the hell was that? The word of damn Blake? Here? I thought they were busy near the core. Didn’t they just capture Terra through some backstabbing or something?”
       Rabbit shook his head. “That was a couple of years ago man. They’ve been hiring mercenaries and recruiting people left and right ever since.” Rabbit straightened and peered down the corridor between the warehouse towards the no longer smoldering wreckage of mechs that used to be the mercenary command he and Scruffy worked for. “That explains why our relief didn't arrive on time. They got bought out by the Word of damn Blake.” He started walking back towards the courtyard. “We really have to get the hell out of here now.”

       They rounded the corner of the warehouse and were faced with the husks of three dead battle mechs. The guard shack and the monitoring station smashed. The jeep that had been parked outside the barracks building blown up. Both the temporary buildings that had been serving as their barracks and the mess hall had been gutted by fire and lay smoldering with their roofs partially collapsed. “But how?” Scruffy queried.

       Rabbit started walking, then he kept walking. Scruffy caught up to him near the trampled chain link fence. “We can’t just walk out of here! The nearest settlement is more than ten klicks away!”

       Rabbit’s only reply was “Better hurry before the Blakists come back then” as he kept walking.
-Chace A. Randolph


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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #2 on: 18 January 2021, 15:08:44 »
This a solid and well-written tale  :)  :thumbsup:

More, please ...


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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #3 on: 19 January 2021, 23:58:55 »
Interesting and glad to see back

They are in for a long time, shocked they didn't raid the warehouse supplies for the walk
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"


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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #4 on: 20 January 2021, 03:20:12 »
10 km is a 90 minute run for a average runner in running gear.

For openly walking on good roads with a day pack with a light day pack it is three hours.

Double that with heavy kit walking cross-country.

So one day for the last plus moving clandestinely.

Figuring in ammo, water/food, one change of clothes, several changes of socks, at least some bad-weather gear and a change of civ clothes plus at last some battle rattle/weapons: about 30 kg of kit I'd say.

So moving cross-country using concealing terrain features during day-light would take our heroes one day-march; or two nights when moving at night.

Edited: because I should not post from my mobile ...
« Last Edit: 25 January 2021, 08:13:06 by cklammer »


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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #5 on: 24 January 2021, 20:55:57 »
I was refering to the fact WOB took out the base and hired the relief force.

Anything they could have raid the warehouse for could help them long term.
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #6 on: 30 January 2021, 04:29:00 »
       Since this is newer stuff, and not something old that I am editing, and my idea for this is a little more involved. These next few parts will be related and consecutive, no more stand-alone mishaps until I finish chasing down my idea. So please enjoy, as we explore a little deeper into Rabbit’s motivations and inner workings. If it gets too boring, I'll gladly have him blow something up for you in the next one.

       Yee of little faith

       Rabbit and Scruffy had settled into a dry and dusty drainage ditch on the side of a dry and dusty dirt road. The long-dead scrub and brush in the ditch was brittle and crushed into powder under the weight of the two tired men, who were doing their best to be quiet as they slunk along the bottom of the channel that had been dug for seemingly no reason, because it was so dry in this hemisphere that it never rained enough to actually need such a drainage line. The Sun had set roughly twenty minutes before and darkness was near complete, as the last tendrils of light and heat were creeping over the mountains on the horizon were oozing out of the edges of the sky.

       Rabbit was exhausted and dragging behind, all of his senses dulled having been awake nearly thirty hours and hiked some twelve kilometers with all his kit. Shuffling in the bush and scrub alongside the road that stretched seemingly forever across the lake bed that had been dry for millennia and formed the basin, the warehouses at one end, the dusty little town at the other. Scruffy had been leading the way as the two men snuck in closer to the town. Rabbit’s exhaustion dulled senses and left him in no state to be the point man. The smaller man with his blond hair and gently tanned skin blended in with the dead plants better anyway. Rabbit was a larger and darker man. His hair so dark brown it was almost black, and despite being on night shift his skin tanned well under this planet's sun leaving him an almost mahogany color. His eyes, seemingly always far off in thought or memory were an odd color, somewhere between green and hazel. Scruffy wasn’t sure how to judge the only other surviving member of their mercenary command.

       He seemed a decent enough man, but there was something off, something hidden. Everyone could sense it, but no one had cared enough to bother pushing him for details. After all, they were mercs everyone had a checkered past and things they would rather not talk about. Still this seemed like something more significant. He certainly seemed more put together, his kit more organized, his reflexed more honed, cooler under pressure during the training simulations than many of the other people with similar credentials had been. What had he left off? What would a regular rifleman have, that he wouldn’t put on his resume when trying to get hired. There was a bunch of something that this exhausted man wasn’t telling to Scruffy, or anyone else.

       He shook his head to himself as he stepped over the outline of a large rock. It didn’t matter what he thought of Rabbit. Rabbit was all he had, and it would have to be enough. Instead, he needed to be thinking of what they were going to do next. What was their objective in coming to this city? Ultimately, they needed to contact and warm the planetary government he surmised. They needed to get in touch with someone and tell the story of what had happened to their unit. Tell the galaxy of the unprovoked attack, the unwelcome presence of The Word of Blake, and the traitorous mercenaries who had assumedly taken a larger payment to go against their originally contracted job. He continued to scuttle along the ditch. They wouldn’t be able to do that with the meager radios they carried in their kit. They were short-range and certainly didn’t have the right type of encryption to be able to get onto the right channels to talk to the right people with the local government. The two of them had switched their radios off. Fearing any transmissions would be triangulated and allow someone they didn’t want to zero in on them. This was a planetary sized game of cat and mouse, and currently, the two of them were the mice.

       He shrugged to himself. Exhaling hard through his nose in the now total darkness. For all, they knew there might not even be a planetary government anymore. The Blakeists could have landed with orbital assets and swept them all aside in one grand swoop. They needed more information, and preferably transport before it would be worth the risk of trying to reach out and contact someone else.

       Another road joined the road they had been following. Scruffy stopped at the T intersection, the new path carved into the desert sand stretching off in front of him, sprouting from the far side of the road whose ditch currently concealed them. He sunk down onto the balls of his feet, his eyes barely above ground level as he looked across the road to the brush on the other side.

       Rabbit slow and noisy saddled up next to him before sitting down in the bottom of the ditch. Leaning back against the opposite wall of the trench, not even bothering to take off his pack. Letting out a long deep sigh as he leaned his head back, using the top of his backpack as a pillow.

       Scruffy shivered as he refocused his gaze across the road. It was getting cold as quickly as it was getting dark. Rabbit mumbled something under his breath.

       “Whatchu say?”

       Rabbit repeated himself, a little louder, so he could be heard this time. his words slurred with exhaustion. “Fuggin’ word of Blake. Bunch of religious zealots.”

       Scruffy arched an eyebrow “oh?”

       “Yeah, they’re almost as bad as the damn clans. ‘cept they don’t have no crazy tech. Like double heatsinks what even is that shit? Wacko’s doing shit, killin’ people and stuff in the name of their faith.”

       He wasn’t insulted because he knew Rabbit, much like himself was angry at the Blakeists in general for slaughtering their unit. But, being a man of some faith himself, he decided to throw that out there for Rabbit to chew on and see how he felt. “I’m a man of faith.”

       Rabbit grunted his sides heaving, making the straps of his vest creak. “Really? Wouldn’t have guessed. You didn’t seem the type. I thought all  them types were on the down and out.”

       Scruffy shivered again as the night’s chill crept up on him. “People who believe in a higher power are no different than you, just because you don’t. We have wives and lives and kids just like everyone else.”

       Rabbit grunted again. “You have a wife and kids? In this line of work? Isn’t that a little, unfair?”

       Scruffy contorted his face to arch the other eyebrow this time, one of his small quirks that added to his comic persona. It was too dark for Rabbit to see his expression. “I have a daughter, she’s ‘bout four years old now. How is that unfair though?”

       “People, grunts like us always be dying. It’s not fair to let someone love us, because we could wake up dead any morning.”

       “Not everyone dies. C’mon how long you been at this? Yet here you are, tired and bitching in a ditch. How is that, unlike any other day?”

       Rabbit grunted a third time. “Been a man in uniform a long ass time. Too long. Before and through the duration of the fed-com civil war.”

       Scruffy didn’t say anything, not at first. He turned his eyes back to the road. There it was. That’s what Rabbit was hiding. He had been in the Fed-Com civil war. The whole war. It was a miracle he was still alive. Who knows what he had done, or had done to him. Who he had gained or lost.  The silence drug on. Scruffy had to say something so he didn’t appear so deep in thought as he mulled over the realisation. “You mean to tell me, a hardened badass gun-toting killer such as yourself never loved a woman?”

       Rabbit made a quiet barking noise. Some mix of a scoff and a laugh. “I certainly loved a woman. But when the chance came, and I could have saved the damsel in distress. She didn’t believe me, didn’t trust me. Didn’t go with me. I’ve no idea where she is if she even survived the war.”
       “Real love?”

       Rabbit nodded but realised Scruffy couldn’t see him in the dark. So he answered aloud again. “yeah…”

       “You’re on the wrong damn planet then man.”

       Rabbit still shocked and confused asked. “How do you have a wife and daughter, when you’re out here, doing shit like this, with people like me?”

        “Easy, met a girl in the academy, got married ‘n’ stuff.”

       “Wouldn’t have figured you for the type.”

       “You must not figure much about types then.” Scruffy took a deep breath. “None of that matters right now. We need to get into the city unseen. Get our ears to the ground see what’s going on, maybe secure us some transport or better radios or something. We can’t sit out here looking in forever. If you don’t have a better idea, I say we take this rode into town.”

       He jerked his head to indicate the dirt road on the opposite side of the intersection. Rabbit didn’t answer.  Scruffy waited, gave him a minute to think, he was tired, after all, maybe he needed some more time to process it. Still no answer. Scruffy glanced back over his shoulder.

        Rabbit was asleep, slumped there in the dirt.

       Scruffy couldn’t blame him, poor Rabbit had been awake along time. They had been through quite the morning and made a long hike afterwards. He would let his only remaining ally rest. He glanced up and down the length of the trench, stood, stretching his knees and neck, peeking over the ravine, standing out like a prairie dog before settling back in. A significant portion of their kit had been destroyed when the barracks got burned. They didn’t have all their survival gear. The bottom of the barren lakebed gets awfully cold at night. He figured it best if he got some sleep too. Because soon they would wake, unable to sleep, stricken with the shivers, and be forced to keep moving. He settled down, deeper into the trench leaning against the opposite wall, so if something came along to wake them, Rabbit would be looking over one bank, and he the other. Trying to keep all their bases covered. He crossed his arms over his knees and rested his head atop them, slipping his skull below the cold air, stirred by the breeze above the confines of the ditch.

       Rabbit didn’t even realise he had fallen asleep. Suddenly it was extremely dark and the night sky was all he could see. These stars had become familiar to him during his six-month stint on night shift. Rabbit growled and swore as he stirred. His teeth chattering with the cold. His joints stiff and aching.
“It’s cold as fish dicks.”

   Rabbit looked about, the starlight too weak to let him make anything distinct out. He could only tell where the ground ended and the sky began because of the absence of stars. Somewhere not far to his left, Scruffy’s husky voice came. “’bout time you moved. Was starting to wonder if you had froze to death. We need to move.”

     “But to where?”

      Scruffy shrugged, the motion of his shoulders invisible in the dark. “For lack of anything better, we should get into town, see if we can get word on what’s going on. Maybe a better form of communication, or even transport.”

   Rabbit groaned. “You might have to drive then. I don’t know how to drive an automatic.”

   Scruffy took a second as he considered that. “What?”

   “I only drive stick. Automatic transmissions are gross.”

   The heel and palm of Scruffy’s left hand quickly made contact with his forehead, making an audible slap in the dark. He stood, and struggled over the side up onto the road. His joints also protested, stiff from the cold. Rabbit scrabbled to make it out of the ditch himself, and they took positions on opposite sides of the road.

With a grudging acceptance, Rabbit started walking again. “C’mon, no rest for the wicked.”

       Scruffy’s voice drifted from the other side of the road. “So I shouldn’t have let you sleep? I’ll wake you up next time.”

       Rabbit snorted through his nose. “Or you could give a pulse laser a lap dance.”

       Rabbit pulled up his collar and tightened the straps on his pack. Hunching his shoulders against the cold breeze. Cursing himself for not wearing longer socks as the cold air seeped in under the hem of his pants and over the top of his boots as each leg reached max extension during his stride.  It took them an hour of shuffling in the cold and the dark before they found pavement. The pavement lead them into town, but slowly. The buildings didn’t spring up all at once. First a gas station, an empty depot building. An abandoned and burned down house. They stopped in the scrub at the edge of a twenty-four-hour restaurant whose lights were on, two lonely vehicles parked at opposite ends of the partially lit parking lot.

       In the shadows of the parking lot lights, Rabbit shook his head to Scruffy, and made off around the back of the restaurant, giving the light a wide berth and slowly, gingerly working his way around the building in the dark, careful to avoid the miscellaneous detritus that had collected around the periphery of the building. Scruffy just as quietly followed.

       They spent twenty minutes just to circumvent the one building. Once on the other side, Rabbit drastically picked up the pace, almost jogging. Not only wanting to find information and transport, but to get away from the building. He could smell the food and he was so damn hungry. He wanted to put as much space between himself and the building as possible before his stomach made him do something stupid.

       The two men slipped deeper into the shadows, melding into the night, both of them completely silent beyond the crunch of the seasonally dead vegetation beneath their tired boots. They pushed deeper into the town, looking for something. They didn’t know what they were looking for. But it didn’t take them too much longer to find it either. Half an hour later, as they slunk down an alley between tired old buildings with peeling paint and sagging roofs they saw the looming shoulders of a powered down battle mech silhouetted against a floodlight in an abandoned lot on the far side of the street.

       “Getting warmer.” Scruffy mumbled under his breath rhetorically. 

       “I wish.” Rabbit answered anyway.

       They slunk across the parking lot on the far side of the buildings, across the street, and paused at the edge of light that pooled beneath the towering floodlights in the lot beyond. There they were, all six of the battle mechs, bearing the colors of the traitorous mercenaries who were so easily turned against the holders of their contract by someone else waving an assumedly larger, but yet indeterminate amount of money.

       They glanced at each other as they surveyed the mechs. Their armor dimpled with the impacts of autocannons, crisscrossed with the burn scars of lasers paint scorched away by the blast marks or SRM’s, but all the damage appeared cosmetic, or superficial.

       Still, they drifted closer, wandering between the puddles of light. Their advance was tenuous, cautious. Each step forward through the darkness was slow, and silent on the cracking old pavement, Like coyotes circling a newborn, both equally ready to pounce and do violence or scatter into the safety of the darkness at the first flicker of movement or whisper of noise.

        There was none, this late at night, the techs and pilots typically associated with the handful of mechs was nowhere to be seen, and the guards that should have been protecting these massive million-dollar machines were probably off catching a cat nap, or having themselves a smoke or locked in the bathroom accompanied by full-length centerfolds on glossy magazine pages.

       Rabbit felt like a cat, as he was slinking between the legs of the giant bipeds in the dark. Still, he didn’t find anything useful. He had made his way amongst all six of the massive mechs and was disappointed he knew nothing more now than he did before except where the machines had been stored.
 Rabbit and Scruffy found each other again on the far side of the lot, Rabbit greeted his comrade with a shrug. Scruffy had better luck. He explained that there were a couple long trailers parked on the far side of the lot. Filled not with just the tools and equipment but with the sleeping members of the unit.
Rabbit grew a curling smile of malicious intent. Scruffy nodded, “First we get what we came for, then we do what we need.”

        Rabbit nodded sharply and the two men separated again. Slipping between the lights around the periphery of the lot, scuttling like malicious vermin in the shadows of the cold silent machines of war.

        The two tired, hungry men, met yet again, in the dark and silent places between floodlights and gingerly, slowly shuffled through the first trailer full of tools and parts and computers and the various supplied uses in the technical servicing of battle mechs. From amongst these items, Rabbit took the liberty of lifting one of the small portable computers and its power supply and stuffing them into his pack. Whoever had used it last, had left it in sleep mode, without activating its password protection. Whatever it contained, Rabbit would had unfettered access to it.  He even found one of the toolboxes unlocked and rummaged through it. Rearranging some of the tools, pocketing a fist full of plastic ratcheting wire ties, he took a moment to pitch the screwdrivers out the trailer’s open door into the lot amongst the mech’s feet. Smiling as the small metal and plastic and rubber tools bounced and tinkled and rolled about across the pavement. A man’s toolbox was a sacred place, never to be touched, and this time he took pleasure in defiling it.  He returned from throwing the screwdrivers and slid open the bottom drawer which contained all sorts of expensive specialty tools and Rabbit grinned broadly, but Scruffy put a hand on his shoulder, jerking his head to the other trailer.
-Chace A. Randolph

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #7 on: 30 January 2021, 04:33:46 »
       Rabbit paused, his brow lowered, he slid the drawer shut, gently almost reverently as he followed the other man out of the trailer and they made their way to the second one. They took up positions, one on either side of the door. Scruffy made his intentions clear as he dropped the Magazine from his submachine gun and tapped it on his thigh to check that it was fully loaded before stuffing it back in his gun. Rabbit heard the safety selector on the gun click from off, past semi-auto all the way to the fully automatic fire mode. Rabbit swallowed hard and readied his rifle too. But then a sinister idea came to mind. He held a finger to his lips and, and pulled the plastic cable straps back out of his pocket. He took three and fed the tips of each into another, effectively making one long one.
       With cable ties in hand, he gently turned the knob on the door and swung the door open on its oiled hinges. He slipped inside at a crouch, Scruffy behind him, the muzzle of his submachine gun sweeping above Rabbit from left to right as the door went wide. Rabbit shuffled down the aisle between the bunks laden with sleeping men against the walls. He wandered all the way down to the far end of the trailer until he found, judging by their larger footlockers, and cooling vests hanging from their racks, the pilots of the mechs. He looked at the half dozen men. Grizzled as they were with mismatched hair cuts, one missing a front tooth as he drooled in his sleep, their tattoos, and their raggedy appearances. He wasn’t sure which was the leader, couldn’t tell who was in charge.  Instead, he picked the one that seemed to be in the deepest sleep and took the end of his ratcheting cable tie, bent the tip backwards so it was straighter, and then lubricated it with his saliva before gently sliding it beneath the nape of the man’s neck.

       He gently fed the plastic straps through, until the tip protruded out the other side, from beneath the man’s neck. He squirmed in his sleep. Rabbit slowly, quietly, afraid to breathe pulled the end around and slipped it inside the head at the other end of the plastic strap. With the first of the teeth engaged, he looked over his shoulder to Scruffy who nodded grimly. Rabbit looked back to his dirty work between his hands and shouted, loud and with force, his angry voice shattering the silence inside the den of their sleeping foes. “phuck ‘em up.”

       The man beneath Rabbit’s hands jerked awake at the shout. Just as Rabbit pulled the cable ties tight over his Adam's apple. The gasp he made when he jerked awake was the last breath he would ever take and he clawed at the burning constricting line in his throat while he watched, over the next dozen seconds the two strange men in his trailer fired their old slug thrower weapons into every bunk onboard. The small man near the front of the trailer fired short bursts, the low caliber high rate of fire weapon illuminating the inside of the trailer with its arm length plumes of muzzle flash.

       “Brrrt”. Scruffy swung his muzzle to the next bunk. “Brrt.”

       Rabbit pivoted on the balls of his feet swinging up the long barrel of his larger caliber battle rifle. He left his gun on the semi-auto setting. It was virtually uncontrollable when fired in full auto mode. He put two rounds into the chest of the person in the bunk across the aisle, who was still in the process of throwing off his blanket. “Blam, Blam.” Rabbit took a step closer to the door, shooting as he moved. “Blam, Blam.”

       The brilliant light of their muzzle flashes and the thunder of guns filled the interior of the trailer. “Brrt. Blam, Blam. Brrrt. Blam, Blam.” Many were shot in their beds, some managed to rise and die on their feet. One produced a nasty snub-nosed flechette pistol but was unable to use it as his fate was sealed with a five-round burst of 4.6mm caseless rounds from the SMG across his chest before he could raise his pistol and return fire. The two men who had intruded made their way back towards the door in the middle of the trailer's side, and they departed. The interior smelling of burnt powder and decorated with blood, meekly squirming bodies and twisting tendrils of gunsmoke.

       A long night of silence, punctuated by a few vicious seconds of violence, as had become normal in the Rabbit’s’ line of work. He and Scruffy agreed to meet back at the restaurant at the edge of town and split ways. Dumping empty magazines and racking in fresh ones as they slipped off into the darkness, the rubber soles of their boots clapping rhythmically across the splitting pavement and cracked sidewalks of the dusty little town as they ran.

       Rabbit was no longer tired, his mind raced along faster than his feet could carry him. As the events burned themselves into his memory. The absolute darkness that had filled his eyes after the massive muzzle flashes of his battle rifle burned away his night vision. His eyes smiled with hate, and his mouth twisted with rage as he pivoted to his next target and fired again. Two bright flashes lighting up his vision once more. Telling him he had made his mark before moving to another victim. Their blood was cheap and he spent it quickly. Most were blasted out of existence before they understood what was going on.
Rabbit and Scruffy had quickly left. Leaving one man, with a few seconds of now stale air still trapped in his lungs as the sole witness to the extermination trapped in the dark the sleeping quarters, unable to breathe, squirming on the floor in the pooling blood of his dead friends and the last thing he ever saw was the twisted, hateful, and beleaguered form of a man who he didn’t know he had wronged as he methodically slaughtered all his comrades in front of him.
Rabbit raced off through the night. Diving headlong into the near-total darkness, guided by nothing but the starlight and the occasional street light. Putting as much space between him and the messy scene he had just created. Who knows who would respond to all the noise he and Scruffy had just made. Or how far away those two platoons worth of troops were. Since the handful of people sleeping in that trailer had just been the mech’s pilots and the supporting technicians.

       He slunk down a back alley and jogged along, eventually losing a battle with a jaw-splitting yawn. It took nearly two hours for him to get back to the restaurant that smelled so good. He spent another forty minutes hunkered down, shivering against the cold night breeze, his adrenaline having long worn off before Scruffy arrived.

       At first, Rabbit was nervous when one of the shadows on the far side of the parking lot split and half oozed out into the empty space of the parking lot. Rabbit was half ready to make a dash across the empty lake bed, to disappear into the night. The only thing that calmed him was that whoever would be looking to avenge the murdered mech warriors would probably not be a single man skulking in the dark. Against every screaming fiber in his body, he waited, almost willing to pray that his still hunched form would go unnoticed in the gloom.

       His fears grew as the shadow slunk closer, undulating like the rolling shoulders of a prowling feline. But, it was just Scruffy. He slumped over and melded into the scrub and brush next to Rabbit. His voice gruff, and breathing ragged as he recovered from the exertion of his flight through the night.
They settled in, hunching their shoulders farther against the cold. Scruffy leaned over, “What kinda info you get out of that computer?” 
Rabbit slowly shook his head. “Hadn’t looked yet.”

       “Well, why the hell not?”

       “I didn’t think of it.”

       “You had all this time here by yourself, and you weren’t looking through that thing?”

       Rabbit drug the computer out of his pack opened it and woke it up. “I don’t know man. I was thinking other shtuff.” His words slurred with exhaustion.
   They winced and blinked hard as the screen lit up, washing them with its blue-white glow in the darkness. Rabbit groaned and gritted his teeth as he stared hard at the light and waited for his eyes to adjust. He moved the cursor around and opened the file system.

   It didn’t take them long to find the command’s records. Including all their financial transactions.

   Scruffy stabbed the grimy screen with a finger. “This is it. This is our proof that they broke their contract, took payment from the Word of Blake nut jobs, and everything. It’s all here. Those dumb bastards didn’t even try and hide it.”

   Rabbit nodded. “Yeah, but I feel like if two strange, dirty men with guns show up and drop this info pertaining to some people who were recently and brutally involuntarily deceased, that might raise some suspicions.”


   “Yeah.” Rabbit echoed.

     “So how do we get this to the right people who can do something about it?”

     “They don’t need the whole computer, knowing my luck it would just get discarded or overlooked anyway.” 

       Rabbit took off his pack and rummaged through it for a moment before he produced not one, but two small, universal memory storage devices. The cheap little computer only had one port. Forcing Rabbit to plug them in only one at a time. But with each drive, he copied the files over onto the external drive. He gave one to Scruffy and kept the other for himself.

   Scruffy raised an eyebrow and waited patiently for Rabbit to explain. He was slow on the uptake, but eventually, he caught the drift. “Look man, everyone else is gone. Those bastards killed all the mechs, burned the barracks with everyone in it. We are all that’s left. Two men isn’t a command. It can’t be just the two of us against the rest of the galaxy.”

   Scruffy nodded. “I’m tracking.”

   “You said you got a wife and kids… and now we both got copies of the data that proves these bastards' guilt. I think this is where we should part ways. We split up, and eventually, we’ll figure out where, or how, or who to give this data to and you can go back to your family.”

   Scruffy grunted. “And what about you? Where will you go? What will you do, one man against the whole galaxy by yourself?”

       Rabbit stood, his knees protesting against the cold after crouching for so long. He left the screen with the financial files open on the computer and set it on the back step of the restaurant. Scruffy pushed rabbit for answers again. “But what will you do?”

       “Me? I’ve got my own people to go back to. I’ll offload this data to someone useful as soon as I can, and then I’m getting on the first ship out system.”
   With that, Rabbit stretched picked a point on the horizon and started walking. Scruffy stood too, but he didn’t follow. He watched as Rabbit slouched off into the darkness. Off to do who knows what, and go who knows where.
-Chace A. Randolph


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Re: The Adventures of Rabbit (Part III)
« Reply #8 on: 02 February 2021, 18:57:34 »
Bad, Bad Mercs  :o, that why you bring an real inf platoon with you to provide base security, even if it only a temp R/R site, or at least have 1 mech active on sensor sweep.   

Back when we played regularly like the # of times until new players learn, that my Scout/Sniper units used to rise hell in enemy bases without proper security.  Mech Jockey didn't like being taken out by 7 man inf force. 

Thanks for the memories and story

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"