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Author Topic: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)  (Read 10761 times)

Trace Coburn

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When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« on: 10 September 2013, 07:18:37 »
[[  Re-poster’s note: if you’ve read Never Coming Home, this is the story that explains precisely why finding Camp 26 drove everyone so apeshit, and the ’Loonies particularly.  It was co-written by blacktigeractual, and his segments are attributed accordingly.  ]]

[[Posted 02-11-2009, 21:01:16]]

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder: One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see." And I saw. And behold, a white horse.
There's a man goin' 'round takin' names.
 An' he decides who to free and who to blame.
 Everybody won't be treated all the same.
There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the man comes around.

-Johnny Cash, "When the Man Comes Around"

Elbar, 2776/06/18, Running Deer Mountain... 171st Kowloon Volunteers

Colonel Ngo looked at the granite mountain's heavy blast doors.  "Intel's wrong.  That base isn't inactive."  The 171st had made it to ground 400 kilometers northwest of the primary LZ's for the Royal division.  Tranh Truk Ngo lowered the glasses.  "Trains are running in.  We're going to take one of those trains, and get inside."

"What're they carrying?" Dean Vu Nghien asked cautiously, lowering his own glasses.

"Not sure, the boxcar's got open slats on top, but they're angled, can't see in." the Colonel said,  "Chan, take Alpha and find out what the Rimjobs need vented cars for, Chao, take your battalion up the slope in squad formations, I want you to put out their eyes when the rest of the Regiment is in position-also see if you can identify the firing ports for that Brian Castle's defense-guns without alerting them, and feed the coordinates to the artillery battalion."

"What do you think's going on in there?" Tranh wondered softly. Whatever it is, it intensified when the task-force jumped into the system.  There was a smell in the air...

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #1 on: 10 September 2013, 07:20:06 »
[[Posted 04-11-2009, 09:47:04]]

Rail siding...

Cham Nguyen volunteered after arguing with his young wife about it for months.  Two's only two years.  He smiled grimly, and motioned the other six men in his squad.

The security measures were familiar to him-too familiar-when the Ia Drang cell stormed the reclamation site at Dinh Diep, the guards had used similar automated sensors to control the perimeters around the worker's barracks.

Angled inward-who do they need to keep inside?  He pried the access panel open, and slid in the looping chip.

the rest of the networked sensors pinged back, and consumed the computer virus, looping their outputs.

"Okay, they're looking at refreshing images of what they were already seeing.  Let's go."  The squad moved up on the first train, watching for the human guards.

Nghien and Cho took up the 'security' position, while Cham slipped up to the actual train.

The boxcars were standard models-corrugated metal utilty types.

He hopped up on the coupler, and listened...

There were voices in the cars-and they were soft, worried, and weeping.

what the HELL? The Star-League issue infantry helmet had infrared and multispectral systems built in.  He tongued the activation switch, and looked through the cheap aluminum walls of the boxcar.

There were people inside, and they were packed like sardines.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #2 on: 10 September 2013, 07:20:56 »
[[Posted 05-11-2009, 09:00:38]]

Major Chao...

Major Jin Chao's position on the slope overhanging the Brian fort's entrance allowed her a look into the angled louvers of the railroad cars.

she lowered her binoculars in shock.  "what do you see?" Colonel Ngo's voice over the tightbeam asked.

"The train's full of civilians...and they don't look happy to be here." she raised the binoculars again, "They look scared."

"Your engineers got the sensors?" Ngo asked.

"Found 'em.  We're going to need about five minutes to get clear before you order in the love." Chao said, adding, "Weird enough, no roving patrols-the footpaths are overgrown or eroded, and the service road's got potholes all over it-if there was Indig resistance in the area, they're not here now-Rimjobs are better about upkeeping shit like that when they've got an active insurgency going."

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #3 on: 10 September 2013, 07:21:26 »
[[Posted 06-11-2009, 21:43:04]]

Sgt. Nguyen...

"there's over a hundered of these cars, sargeant."  Lt. Quhon told him, "We're on a time-table."

"We've got to get those folks out." Cham insisted. 

"You were at Dinh Diep in '69, right?" Quhon said.

"You know it, sir, you were there too." Nguyen replied, "God knows what they intend to do to those folks inside..."

Quhon nodded.  "We'll just have to stop them doing that-inside, we can't have their guards spotting a break-out..."

"They'll open the doors." Nguyen said, "You know they will."

"Point.  Good point." Quhon frowned again, "Good point...wait for my signal, then just start cutting locks and opening doors-I want to have a couple platoons with heavy weapons in position to cover the civvies before you start opening doors, and the rest of the Battalion on the way..."

Quote from: maddog2584, 06-11-2009, 15:40:54
It is soon going to get very bloodly if this is what i think it is. camp 26 I believe the reference was, a good example of why you do not commit genocide, there is some one that will eventually kill you for it.

most of the NAZI guards and the people behind the holocaust did die, and a huge number of geman infantry and tankers joined them as all of the allies lost interest in taking prisoners after they found the camps. to my knowledge however the american forces if not hold drum head trials as the kowlonese are prone to do.

this is interesting we finally get the story of the events that are often referred to in other stories.
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 07-11-2009, 08:35:24
Allegedly in some camps the Russians disarmed and tied up the guards, handed out sidearms to the former inmates, and then went for a long walk.  They had a notably smaller camp guard POW population by the time they returned...
Quote from: Jimmyray73, 07-11-2009, 16:19:05
Sometimes the Russians just have a certain sense of style...

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #4 on: 10 September 2013, 07:21:49 »
[[Posted 07-11-2009, 23:05:49]]

The Train...

Saul heard voices-these weren't the same as the confident bark of the guards, or the sullen grumbling of the railway people.

"Mom, I hear someone outside...and they sound funny." he said.

"Shhh." his mother cradled him close.  "quiet now." she said.

He could feel her fear, and she clutched him tighter when the door on the side of the boxcar creaked open.

They were soldiers.

"come-quiet, run." the man's accent was thick, almost impossible to understand.  "quick-quick, didee mau." he urged.

Rachel took a chance, and stood up. 

she approached the open door, and saw soldiers with weapons out, facing the head of the train, or out away from it.

"Didee-Mau!" the young man insisted, gesturing for her, and the others packed into the car, to come outside.

The young man screwed up his face as if concentrating, and said, "RUN, HIDE. BAD THINGS HERE-you go, we protect! You RUN."

Cham Nguyen

I should've spent more time in english class!  the civilians didn't seem to understand, but then, the girl moved, and he saw a pendant.

a six pointed star.
I hope they aren't Reform!  It had been years since his mother had dragged him to Synagogue...

In Hebrew, he said, "Get off the train, and run, as fast as you can, away from the mountain-don't let them see you, we are going to shut this place down."   

Understanding dawned on the girl's face, and she translated for some of the others, while still OTHERs crowded to the doorway, and started getting off the train.

Okay, mom, you were right-I DID need to pay attention to the Rabbi...

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #5 on: 10 September 2013, 07:22:15 »
[[Posted 08-11-2009, 17:39:48]]

SLDF LZ Linda, near sunset...

"...I don't understand, General, why did you send what amounts to a barely-reinforced infantry division to make trouble around a Brian Castle?"  Colonel Studler from the (former) 7th Defenders of Andurien, asked, "Christ, they're going to get chopped to pieces out there!"

Gordon McEvedy shook his head, "No, they aren't." he said, "Most of a Brian Fort's defenses are geared to repelling armoured assaults, and I can't put the 171st on Garrison, do you know why?"

"Explain it to me." Studler said, "This should be good..."

"Three and a half percent of them speak english with proficiency." General McEvedy stated flatly.  "Makes it impossible to put 'em on garrison just about...anywhere.  ON the other hand, they've been fighting the Rimjobs longer than anybody else-they know HOW to fight them, and the little bastards WANT to fight them...and if they're in that deadspace around that fort, then the Rimmers have to adapt to that fact, or lose the fort-it frees up the rest of the task-force to secure the other zones."

"You're spending them like...god, General, that's a terrible plan! who came up with it?"  Studler asked.

"Colonel Tranh Truk Ngo, of the 171st.  if we put a 'mech unit to seiging that base, it'll tie up too many of our units, and we can't replace the losses quick enough."  McEvedy said, "On the other hand, the Rimjobs either have to chase down or dig out that infantry outfit or they risk losing the fort-it makes them come out, or fold in-and if they fold in..."

"What?" Studler asked.

"See those Ferrocrete trucks?"

Quote from: qc mech, 09-11-2009, 02:54:56
And after what they find in the castle, those trucks mean nothing.  >:D It will be too personal to simply wall them alive.  #P #P
Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 09-11-2009, 03:19:18
Between the cattle cars stuffed with Jews, the smell of burning people and the history of Kowloon, they already know what's going on in there, even if they don't have physical proof.

But, they could use the trucks to seal all the openings but the highest one, then stick in a fire hose.
Quote from: Adjudicator, 09-11-2009, 10:11:34
Quote from: Cannonshop, 08-11-2009, 17:39:48
SLDF LZ Linda, near sunset...

"What?" Studler asked.

"See those Ferrocrete trucks?"

 Nice one, Cannonshop! I really like the use of Quick-Setting Ferrocrete on Underground Fortresses!

I remember seeing something similiar used in the old Ngoverse in the Dark Age Era story "Overpressure Waves", which I still occasionaly dig out and read.

Wonder if the Rim Worlders are able to suppress the trucks before they can even start their jobs, unless there are variants of these trucks with Military Grade Armour...

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #6 on: 10 September 2013, 07:23:00 »
[[Posted by blacktigeractual, 11-11-2009, 13:05:59]]

Okay this is my first effort at collaboration with another author so please don't shoot me!  ;)

Sonderheim Medical Reclamation Center
Elbar, Empire of Amaris
May 3rd 2776

A prayer echoed through the dead man’s pain fevered brain.

Answer us, O Lord, answer us, in this time and season.

Craig Mayer lay in a cot in the antiseptic hallway.  The drugs in his system were not, as the Amaris medic had told him, painkillers.  The pain from the accident at the munitions plant that had crushed his left leg throbbed without relief.  The drug just kept Craig immobile and quiet.  In the back of his mind he heard his Rim Worlds Republic “supervisor”; Cole Vincent complaining to the man in the doctors lab coat.

For we are in great trouble.

“Major, this unit is one of my best workers,” Vincent said with a whining fawning tone, “how are we expected to maintain our quota when you don’t limit your selections to the broken ones?”

Hide not your face from us and forsake not our supplications.

The Doctor or Major, whatever, had a surprisingly mild voice.

“Mister Vincent, you must understand that in war one can’t always determine which supplies will become scarce.  When such scarcities occur we have a duty to the Emperor not to allow them to continue.  This unit’s blood type is currently in need so it will provide supplies.”

The man paused and Craig could see his reflection smile in the glass panels lining the hallway.

“Of course if you have a complaint, Mister Vincent, I can pass it on to General Amaris…by the way what is your blood type?”

For you are the Lord who answers us in times of trouble, who redeems us and saves us in all our times of distress.

Vincent’s voice quavered as he demurred and hurried off.

The Doctor looked down at Craig and smiled.  The drugs he’d been given had worn off slightly.  Craig was able to mumble a question.

“What was that…Ahh no, I don’t hate you and neither does the Emperor, quite the opposite we revere you for the sacrifice you are about to make on behalf of the brave men and women serving our Armed Forces.”

Craig felt himself being wheeled down through a pair of double doors while the Doctor whistled happily.  The clean antiseptic room Craig found himself in resembled the cross between an operating room and an assembly line.  As technicians rushed over to relieve the Doctor of his burden, the man waved them off.

“No need; I’ll prep this one myself.”  Whistling to himself the Doctor adjusted a silvery sharp implement.

“Now my friend; you will feel a sharp pain for a brief moment as we eliminate your higher brain functions.  Our harvesting procedures require the donor to be alive and anesthetics can contaminate the supplies so we will spare you anymore pain.”
Placing the instrument at the back of Craig’s head, the Doctor smiled gently.

“After all,” he said, “we aren’t monsters.”

Running Deer Mountain,
Elbar, Empire of Amaris
20 June, 2776

Phan Du’c Lanh lowered his binoculars and looked over to where the faint smell of nicotine betrayed the Tiger officer.  The 171st Volunteer Regiment’s “liaison” with 90th Heavy Assault Regiment was kneeling in the clammy muck overlooking this particular road because the Star League regulars wanted their own look at the complex at Running Deer.

Lanh had first thought it was distrust of his people’s abilities that had been the rational for their little jaunt.  Colonel Tranh the 171st’s big man had told Lanh to pay special attention to the recent campaign at New Home.  While the initial invasion had been a push over, a RimJob counterattack had turned the fight for the world into a yearlong brutal slugfest…All due to a failure in Star League Naval Intelligence.

As a result the Black Tigers didn’t trust anybody.

It was an attitude any Kowloonese could respect.

“Lieutenant Gilmour the rabbits are in the pen.”  Lanh called out softly.

Far quieter than any MechJock had a right to move the Tiger’s new Gunslinger slid forward and whispered;  “It’s your op Lieutenant Lanh; I’m just along for the ride.”

Smiling faintly Lanh clicked his tongue just loud enough for his comlink to pick up.  In the distance two squads; one Tiger and one Kowloon slipped out of the night for a diner and rest stop at the edge of the road.

Joey Lynn Shotugama of the 12th Eagle Claw Regulars stifled a yawn as the Major went into the bathroom.  Looking at his squad mate Mitch Holloway he saw his own nervousness mirrored in the man’s face.  The Major; a doctor in the Rim World’s Medical Corps was just as likely to send an over tired private to be “Recycled” as he was to lecture him on the need for proper sleep and offer him a stim tab.

Adjusting his Rasa-22 assault rifle to a more comfortable grip he heard a muffled grunt from beside him.  Turning his eyes widened as Mitch pitched down into the waiting arms of a black clad form.  As he opened his mouth to shout a warning a stabbing pain robbed him of his breath.  Looking back Joey stared in astonished pain as a slender short woman twisted her blackened blade in his Kidney while grabbing his throat in a crushing grasp.

Didi Moran eased the dead sentry to the ground as her counterpart Trinh Huu Tha’ng one of the 171st’s scouts did the same with his quarry.  The rest of the team had neutralized the RimJob’s transport before any calls for help could go out.  Reading her HKMP-1 subgun she nodded at her companion.

The officer inside the bathroom opened the door muttering about the filth.  As he strode out he actually took three steps before realizing something was amiss.  Tha’ng smiled wickedly as he leveled his subgun at the Amaris officer.  Didi relieved the man of his sidearm, comlink and pocketcomp while one of Tha’ng’s troopers stepped up with a pair of flexible cuffs and a canvass sack.

“You are not going to put that on me, it’s filthy!” The Amaris major said irate.

Tha’ng just grinned and motioned with the barrel of his gun.  Once the man was bound, Didi stepped up to him and patted his face.

“Now sweetie, it’s that or you get what we gave your friends.”  The look in her eye quieted their prisoner and Tha’ng’s team swept off into the night with their quarry in tow.  Didi turned to the portly man in the apron who’d come out of hiding.

“Thank you, brother, now get yourself gone.”  She said warmly.  The man smiled back.

“Keep your thanks, miss, just kick those bastards off our world.”  He faded back into the shadows.  After a second Didi did likewise.

Tommy Lindon, the 90th’s slicer or computer hacker was shaking as he handed over the disk containing his report on the data found in the Amaris major’s pocketcomp.  Sam Winters laid his hand on the young man’s shoulder as he took the disk and placed it in his console’s waiting port.

“Bad.”  The Colonel said simply.

Tommy composed himself visibly and nodded.

“Yessir I-I’ve never seen anything like it, look under the directory marked Medical Supplies…”

Sam paled as he read looking up at the room’s other occupant.

“This, this is genocide, they’re using people as…”

“Spare parts, they’re using them as spare parts.”  Said Colonel Ngo Truk Tranh.

This changes everything, Thought Colonel Tranh, the Castle Brian at Running Deer Mountain had to be neutralized.  Its very position could interfere with the rescue of the conscripted labor and the “spare parts” as it were.  That Amaris would stoop to genocide, to wipe out the entire Jewish population on Elbar didn’t surprise the Colonel.  They’d done much the same thing during the “clean up” at Dinh Diep.

At least Colonel Winters offered up the use of their support.  Smiling grimly, Tranh reviewed the orders placing some of his better English speakers to act as forward observers.  The thirty six Long Tom mobile guns and twelve Chaparral Arrow IV launchers should give the RimJob’s nightmares.  As for the six teams of BlackHearts attached to the 90th…

Well Lanh says they’re worth their weight in gold, so he can have them.  The close proximity of so many of the Special Armed Service troopers and their Nighthawk powered armor made him nervous.  A twinge went through him then.  It was more than young Lanh’s acceptance of the Blackhearts.

Time to take my medicine, he thought grimly.

90th Heavy Assault Regiment Cantonment, Aftraisa, Elbar

We gathered in the tent at the center of our company’s billet.

“We don’t have to like it B, we just have to deal with it.”  Sonny Matos growled at me.

“Just grousing bossman.”  I answered glumly.

“Look kid, I know you’re crazy enough to want to go after a Castle Brian, but I’ve done it before.  If these Loonies want to tackle it’s all theirs.”  Turning back to the holomap the Captain of Charlie Company; 3rd Battalion (The Stalking Tigers) of the 90th Heavy Assault Regiment highlighted the area around Hills Pointe.

“Okay kids, this is our target an industrial complex fortified and defended by elements of the 63rd Amaris Dragoons.”

On the screen a breakdown of the 63rd based on known intel appeared.

“Now as all of you know the RimJobs have been systematically exterminating the Jewish population on Elbar.”  Matos closed his eyes for a minute and took a breath.  “This is one of the places they’ve been doing it.”

Highlighting a pair of DropShip pads on the eastern edge of the complex, Sonny speared his warriors with a cool gaze.
“Because of the possibility of a large number of prisoners on site; Command wants this done with overwhelming speed, before the RimJobs can hold hostages over our heads.”

On the screen a wave of aerospace fighters went after the anti air emplacements in the complex.

“Once our bombers have nailed the AA here, a force will be downloaded on these pads.  That means us people, along with the rest of 3rd Battalion and the airmobile boys from the New York National Guard.”

A battalion of BattleMechs and a company of jump infantry dropped on those pads, drawing a portion of the defenders inward.  Outside the complex the rest of the Tigers and their attached volunteers from the Ryukaze swept in to neutralize the Amaris defenses.

Gods I love computer simulations, they always look so pretty I thought.

“You all know how nasty this will get and I know you all want to hurt these ******, well this is your chance, so keep your heads and we will pull this off.”  Looking at all of us he paused for a second or to then growled at us to get some rest and be ready to embark two hours before dawn.

As we left Gracie Liu my senior lance member came up to my shoulder.

“Once more unto the breach huh.”  She said.  I nodded with a grim smile.

“Surrounded, and if anything goes wrong totally ******, just another day in the Black Tigers.”  I answered.  In the back of my mind I remembered it was supposed to be a beautiful day tomorrow.

Guess it really will be a good day to die.

Trace Coburn

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #7 on: 10 September 2013, 07:23:34 »
[[Posted 11-11-2009, 22:10:18]]

Running Deer Mountain, 1745 Hours...

Doctrine, is doctrine.  The garrison sent 'mechs out to corral the escaping prisoners.

Sending out 'mechs requires opening doors, and while the sally-ports were well camouflaged from electronic surveillance at range, orbital scanning, and reconaissance aircraft, they're not particularly easy to hide from the mk-1 mod-0 human eyeball at close range.

Those heavy blast-doors also don't close particularly quickly, even with the hydraulics boosted with heavy structural myomers.

"thực hiện cháy."  The 171st were waiting, and as the first lance of Jackrabbits bounded out of their sally port, the artillery from six Thumpers laboriously moved into position, converged at very close range, firing HE shells directly into the open portal and the surrounding hillside.

"Battlemechs, Attack." Tranh Truk Ngo ordered,  "Advance and hold that door open for the infantry.  All artillery units, execute pre-planned fires.  First and second Battalion, advance, third battalion, cover those civilians."

The bulk of the SLDF forces were carrying out attacks more than two hundered kilometers to the south-there was NO reason for the Garrison here to be at more than a slight elevated alert status.

Which was, in hindsight, remarkably poor thinking.

The scarce 'mechs belonging to the 171st were mostly older SHD-2H models gifted to the unit by Their Star League allies-a heavier medium, with a forgiving heat-curve and relatively good armour for its type, the Shadowhawk is, however, not a particularly powerful or even, in most views, effective battlemech.

Tranh's 'mechwarriors weren't particularly gifted pilots either, so in a sense, the matching of mediocre 'mech to mediocre 'mechwarrior wasn't much of a problem.  Less so, since the 'mechs only had to move up, and hold the door.

Light autocannons, medium lasers, and short-range missiles worked just fine to hammer the antipersonnel defense-emplacements inside the entry tunnel.  Tranh dropped into his 'command vehicle'-a hollowed out Magi chassis converted to carry radios and comms instead of the heavy weapons and amplifiers it had been designed for.

'Door's open, let's pay a visit." He said casually.  "Let's find out what they need trainloads of civilians for."

Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 12-11-2009, 11:02:25
Is the human body part 'harvesting' canon, or something Cannonshop came up with?
Quote from: Rage, 12-11-2009, 13:48:47
I think it's something CS came up with, but, hopefully TPTB decide to make it canon.  It seems the sort of abominable action Amaris would heartily approve of.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #8 on: 10 September 2013, 07:24:34 »
[[Posted 12-11-2009, 22:47:10]]

Corridor P-5, Running Deer Mountain, 0300 hours...

"They're holding the intersection." Ned Phillips said, shaking the empty charge-clip from his laser rifle.  "The Commander wants them pushed back out the door."

"We're going to need heavier shit than these, then-you get an Ident off the Opfor?" Tom Walker asked.

"'re not going to believe who the enemy sent to us."  Ned said.

"Who is it? 'cause whoever they are, they're some crazy mother ****** to think they can take a Brian fort with infantry." Walker commented.

"Kowloonese." Ned said, "All the way from back home in the Republic." 

Tom smirked, "Long way to go to be turned into spares."

"No shit.  Have some extra grenades..." Ned said.  Walker took the box magazine of micro grenades, and fed them into his automatic grenade launcher.

"Let's kick some slope ass, the-" he never got to finish the statement-instead, the bend in the corridor was filled with an expanding bloom of tungsten wire-fragments moving at several times the speed of sound, pushed by a lump of C-12 in the core of a lobbed and cooked-off hand grenade from just ahead of the jog in which the Rim-worlder guard squad had taken cover.

Ned could see his friend and comrade's shredded, hamburger body as his head rang from the thundering noise-Tom's body and body-armour had cast a shadow that protected him from the blast.

In the gloom, figures moved.  He pushed aside the remains of Tom Walker, and he tried to stand-only then, discovering that the blast hadn't entirely missed him.   wow, I'm in shock...that's going to hurt as soon as my brain realizes it... his leg, from the knee down, was hamburger and broken bone amidst shreds of nemourlon boot and ballistic cloth pants-leg.

He pulled the lanyard off of his radio, and tied it above the shredding, tournequet now...they can graft another one on later...

His violated hearing registered the sound of a chemical-ballistic weapon, a slug-thrower...  He looked up in time to watch a little man with corporal's stripes lay down a five-round burst from his (Ned's) mid-abdomen up to...darkness.

Cham Nguyen took point around the bend after his squad's grenadier tossed one- using a subgun in 9.8 mm with a suppressor, he was looking for anyone that might put up a fight, to put them down and assure the dead really were.

There was a Rimjob Sargeant trying to tie off his shredded leg.

Cham shouldered the subgun, and let fly a burst into the man's head and torso.

The others weren't moving, breathing, or even mostly-intact.  "Clear."

Quote from: lowrolling71, 13-11-2009, 01:34:55
Nice work and thanks for sharing. Very through work these 171sters are doing.
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 13-11-2009, 04:12:37
Given that the surviving Israelis apparently made it to Kowloon?  The Torah covers might as well have 'Never Again' embroidered on them.  This fight is pretty much personal, and I see few, if any, Rimjobs not 'killed in the fighting', or 'committed suicide rather than be captured' for the officers.  Even if the 'suicide' is a half dozen nine mil rounds to the back of the head.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #9 on: 10 September 2013, 07:25:10 »
[[Posted by blacktigeractual, 14-11-2009, 15:18:09]]

Outside Running Deer Mountain;

Did Moran watched as the Shads attached to the 171st dealt with the wrecked gateway.  Waves of the Kowloon volunteers streamed towards the entrance.  Heavy weapons designed to kill armored targets reached out and annihilated some, but their ability to stop so many was almost nil.

Crazy buggers, but if they get enough bodies in…

Raising her arm she signaled to the rest of her team and at her command nine other Nighthawk armored troops charged forward along with three other squads nearby.  Running on foot took longer than jumping would have but it was far safer to go from crater to crater than to be stuck in midair with no cover.

Jumping into the lee of a hill to gather the rest of her team she found herself face to face with a mix of old school Lee-Enfield M36’s and man portable 80mm Short Range Missiles.

Ahh ****** me, I hope one of these guys speaks English.

Before she could say a word a familiar voice called out.

“Didi, glad you could make the party, sorry about the reception!”

Phan Du’c Lanh flipped up his visor and grinned at her.  As the firepower pointed at her went away, Didi relaxed and nodded at the shattered gate a few meters away.

“So we going in or are we just gonna sit here and chat.”

Lanh laughed flipping his visor back down, his voice took on that filtered artificial quality that always came from the electronic speakers.  Gesturing with the computer built into his fatigue’s gauntlet he sent Didi a short burst transmission.

“Didi, the Colonel would like your assistance in securing the Castle’s computer core.”

Didi nodded and gave Lanh the thumbs up.

“Okay, we’ll lead off give us some cover?” She asked.

A wicked grin was the reply.

90th Heavy Assault Regiment Cantonment;

Inside the drop bay of the Leopard Class Dropper Roadrunner, grabbed the rungs of the ladder leading to Hussy’s cockpit. 

“Lieutenant Gilmour!”  A voice called out from behind me.

Damn it.  I winced.

Turning I forced a smile as Captain Colm McKinney strode up to me all spit and polish in his Mech Warrior Combat Suit.
“Captain, I would stay and chat sir; but I’m pressed for time right now.”  I started to turn back to the ladder.

“I’m aware of that Lieutenant, that’s what I wanted to talk about.”  The tall black haired officer with the pencil thin moustache smiled amiably.  “General Hollis wanted me to tag along and review your operations…” He gestured back at the VTR-9SL standing in the middle of our deployment area.

I’d wondered who was the idiot who left their big fat ‘Mech in the middle of our staging area.  Okay Bruce take a deep breath.

“Captain I’d love to accommodate you, but there simply isn’t time to get you rigged up.”

“Nonsense, Lieutenant you know as well as I a Leopard can easily accommodate six ‘Mechs on a suborbital trip, and I won’t be a bother once you ground your ships…”  I had cut him off.

“Our DropShips won’t be landing, Captain.”  I stifled a smile at the look on his face.

“You…I mean how?”  He stuttered.

“We’re downloading, Sir and unless I’m misinformed you have no training and have never even done an orbital drop.”  Being a good friend of the finest slicer in the Star League has its benefits.

“But you’ll be surrounded…how will you evac.  That’s insane.”  McKinney’s eyes were big as saucers; I forget sometimes what is normal for the Tigers isn’t for even the rest of the Defense Force.

“We’ll evac when we win, sir and hell we’re the 90th being surrounded and outnumbered is what we get paid for.”
As I turned away I heard him mutter; “Bloody lunatics.” Grinning savagely, I tossed back over my shoulder.

“Ohh by the way Captain, could you move your Victor, you’re parked illegally.”

Grinning I strapped myself into Hussy’s linear frame and ran through the start up sequence.  Out the closing drop bay I saw Captain McKinney’s Victor start up.  The Leopard rumbled and shook as she rose into the air.  Plugged into the TACNET, could hear Lieutenant Persaud coordinating with the rest of the 917th Airlift Squadron.  The nine Droppers would carry us to the target under the cover of Red and Black squadrons of the 1171st Royal Tactical Fighter Wing.
Already Silver and Gold squadrons were in the middle of their attack runs, and I could hear them over the net.

“Rifter, watch the fire from that tower, heavy SRM fire!”

“On it Hellion, giving it some depleted uranium love.”

“This is Mouse; got a TAG on an LBX battery anybody hot?”

“Bugger’s got it Mouse; Arrows away!”

I shook my head.  Drama Queens, the whole lot of them.

“Lieutenant Gilmour, five minutes to target.”
  Geoff Persaud called out.

“Thanks Geoff, okay gang sound off.”

“Trey Two here.” Gracie Liu called out.

“Trey Three; ready to go.”   Jack Benning signed in.

“Trey Four; umm okay boss…”  Scott “MechRat” Mackenzie sounded uncertain.  This was his first download.

“Hey ‘Rat wassamatter nervous about getting your cherry popped?”   Gracie teased.

“Sergeant Liu, stow that shit RTFN!”  I snapped as the first bursts from the surviving flack and AA ‘Mechs struck around us.  As the doors opened I could see the flash and thunder of Firedancer’s energy batteries as they suppressed the guns around the port.

“Mayday, mayday this is Black Betty, mains are out were going down, going dow…”  The crackle of static was sickening as Black Betty slammed into the hillside north of the complex taking a lance from Bravo Company with her.

Snarling I rotated Hussy’s vambraces to grip the drop bay doors with her built in climbing claws.  Geoff called out the seconds till we jumped.

“Three…two…one…Trey Lance GO!!!”

Yanking on the bay door frame I shot myself into the void.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #10 on: 10 September 2013, 07:26:37 »
[[Posted 15-11-2009, 23:55:12]]

"The hairs on your arm will stand up.
At the terror in each sip and in each sup.
For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter's ground.
 When the man comes around.

-Johnny Cash, "When the Man Comes Around"

"...look at what they did to your people, and tell me again what you would do?"
-Colonel Tranh Truk Ngo, briefing civilian volunteers on Elbar.

Running Deer Mountain, sub-level six...

****** collapsed the ceiling on the corridor behind that vault-door."  Lt. Hoang said, "I need volunteers to get in using the ducts-pistol and knife work, guys, and probably mine-disarming too."

The fighting had cleared the outer 'rings' of the Brian Fort, and they'd found out why the Rimjobs needed so many civilians.  Refrigerated warehousing held hearts, lungs, livers, coils of intestine, and thousands of litres of blood in sorted barrel-vat lots, warehouse levels contained sorted collections of the 'donors' personal effects, and the base's waste-disposeal containers were jammed with whatever bits coudn't be re-used.

This wasnt' about taking the base anymore, and the Rimjobs in the deeper levels-the command levels with the 'Fortress Keep' system, knew it.

"Can't we just drill in, pump it full of KD-7, and call it good?"  Nick Du'ong asked, pulling off his LBE and setting his helmet aside.

"Big boss wants as many officers as we can grab-mostly intact, if possible, he's got something special for 'em."  the LT said,  "and they've got, or at least, Intel thinks they might have civilians alive in there as human shields, so we're going to secure the vents, pipes and tunnels to pin 'em in there, and dig the ****** out."

Sublevel 1, entrance gate...

Colonel Tranh Truk Ngo managed to make it outside before he vomited-at least, that was the excuse.

Sgt. Thanh and Sgt. Trung made sure nobody was too close or looking too hard, while he rode the first seizures out.

The Neuroin wasn't helping anymore-gotta up the dose...son of a bitch....this hurts...  He'd hardly believed the report when the guys from the 90th had shown it to him-but seeing the 'merchandise' firsthand, packed or awaiting packing and processing for distribution...that was something that made all the pixellated data in the universe kind of...

the next seizure wracked him, and everything was white agony.

The two NCO's from the Headquarters unit waited for him to finish...

it took five minutes, and the Colonel was visibly exhausted as they helped him back to his feet inside the now-empty railcar.

"Get a couple details together." Tranh said, "Locate some wooden poles..about ten meters long, I want a long taper to a blunt point on one end, and the other buried about two meters deep using post-hole diggers."

"How many?" Sgt. Trung asked.

"How many Rimjob officers did we capture before the command staff sealed the Keep levels?" Tranh asked.

"About forty, sir."

"Cut fifty for the first lot of them.  Get 'm spaced about one klik apart." he said.

"What are we doing, sir?" Trung asked.

"We're going to punish those mother ****** for..." he gestured back at the mountain, "For that."  His eyes burned with fury.  "Better see to it we've got additional stocks on-hand when the boys break through into the keep levels...and afterward... they don't deserve a bullet."

"Yes Sir." Trung trotted out.

"You know the Terries aren't going to understand, sir."  Sgt. Thanh said.

"I don't care-just do it." He was unsteadily drinking an electrolyte solution mixed with meds, "and Thanh, pass the word-once Intel's done debriefing the enlisted prisoners, it's open season on Rimjobs-make a ****** example out of them."

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #11 on: 10 September 2013, 07:27:18 »
[[Posted 16-11-2009, 01:49:50]]

Running Deer Mountain, 1500 hours...

Phuc Duc Lanh wanted to tear his own eyes out, he wanted to wash his memories with acid...he wanted to never remember what he was seeing.

"They...they carved them up for spare parts!!"  He looked at Didi's suited figure.
"Yaweh,  làm cho tôi một hòn đá.

làm cho tôi như tê cứng như đá.

Đi từ bộ nhớ của tôi những nơi này.

Hoặc đưa cho tôi trả thù những người đó đã làm điều này.

Lên án tôi vào pit, nhưng cho tôi trả thù!!"

Jars of eyes stared from shelves, sightless and preserved in liquid nitrogen.

Avenge Us.

He looked at her, and then, he looked at the shelves around him-the dissected remains of thousands.

Avenge Us, oh Lord...deliver us from this evil and punish the responsible ones...

"Lanh?" Didi asked, her worry seeping into her tone.

"Can't you hear them?" he asked, "Can't you hear them, all around us?"  he walked up to the Nighthawk trooper, "They prayed and nobody came...nobody heard them...nobody...they begged and nobody heard them.  they cried out, and they were silenced and nobody did anything to stop this."

Quote from: Hadrian, 16-11-2009, 11:16:41
Quote from: blacktigeractual, 16-11-2009, 10:58:06
nasty, I'd wanna tear my own eyes out after seeing that.

I'd be more inclined to tear out the eyes of the person that did that.  Call me old fashioned.
Quote from: Euphonium, 16-11-2009, 11:26:36
Hadrian, You're old-fashioned.  ;D

On a more serious note, I can see both.   Even if I'd been able to carry out suitable punishment on those responsible, I'd probably need a lot of mind-bleach to erase the nightmares.  It freaks me out badly enough just reading it in fiction.
Quote from: Werehawk, 16-11-2009, 12:05:15

This is one really dark piece of writing...
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 16-11-2009, 13:55:01
Quote from: Hadrian, 16-11-2009, 11:55:51
I reckon Cannonshop's been reading about Vlad the impaler.

Google him and see what I mean.

It's probably easier and MUCH more effective if you've got a battlemech to lower the person slowly though.

This isn't the first time Cannonshop had the Kowloonese start planting stakes.  OTOH the Rimjobs are gonna have alot of 'suicides' rather than be captured.

SLDF JAG: Suicide?  He took a dozen nine mil rounds to the back of the head.
Kowloonese Sgt:  He had a hell of a deathgrip on that pistol, sir.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #12 on: 10 September 2013, 07:28:12 »
[[Posted by blacktigeractual, 16-11-2009, 18:38:38]]

Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 16-11-2009, 13:55:01
SLDF JAG: Suicide?  He took a dozen nine mil rounds to the back of the head.
Kowloonese Sgt:  He had a hell of a deathgrip on that pistol, sir.

A note here; Some of you may notice that the Black Tigers are a little predjudiced when it comes to the House Lords, ofter referring to them as "Colonists" and what we'd call Level 1 tech as "colonial" or old school.  No offense is intended by the author, but it is what I see to be a Terran perspective.

"Lanh?" Didi asked, her worry seeping into her tone.

"Can't you hear them?" he asked, "Can't you hear them, all around us?"  He walked up to the Nighthawk trooper, "They prayed and nobody came...nobody heard them...nobody...they begged and nobody heard them.  They cried out, and they were silenced and nobody did anything to stop this."

“We did, Lanh…”  Her armored gauntlet rested lightly on the Lieutenant’s shoulder.  Lanh was shaking; his eyes red rimmed with both pain and rage.  He looked up at her and she raised her face plate with its grinning tiger visage.

“We were too late to save them” she said waving other her hand at the rows of “parts”.  “But others will live because of us, as for these we couldn’t save ‘em, but we can do one thing for them…”

The shaking stopped and Lanh looked up at Didi and nodded.

“We can give them vengeance.” He finished for her.

When Dido Birgitte Moran snapped her faceplate down the sound it made was like a steel trap.

Mahder chhod!  Puram Kishore swore in his native tongue as he raced around the corner bullets and laser fire tearing into the opposite wall.  Loonies and SAS, he didn’t know which was worse.  The damn Loonies had gone nuts when they’d seen the “recycling” facilities, his squad had killed at least a dozen but they kept coming.  Once they got in they seemed to come out of the woodwork attacking from places Singh’s mind knew they couldn’t have been.

If that wasn’t bad enough the Kowloon troops had brought Star League Special Armed Services troops in Nighthawk suits.  Kishore’s mind reeled around that fact.  A squad of the armored troops had come around the corner taking his sergeant by surprise.

The lead machine, Kishore couldn’t call them men they didn’t look human, ended his sergeant’s life by punching straight through the man’s chest.  The rest of the Nighthawks had fallen on his squadmates with weapons meant to punch through ‘Mech armor.  Puram Kishore just ran.

The corridor lights flickered as an explosion rocked the complex.  Running for the hatchway at the end Puram was surprised to see it slide open.  As the lights flickered again a nightmarish figure strode out.  Covered in blood and dirt a black armored form gazed at him.  A snarling feral tiger’s face stared back at him.  His mind broke then and he dropped his rifle.

A tale his grandmother had told him filled his mind.  A tale about a demon tiger.


The demon raised its right arm and fire filled Puram Kishore’s universe.

August Martine, born of the Taurian Concordat and trained as medic had never taken pleasure in the wrecking of a human body.  As she surveyed the smoldering wreckage of the Rim Worlder trooper that lay before her she still didn’t.  After what she’d seen here in Running Deer Mountain; she didn’t feel anything at all.

Leveling her Corning 20mm Blazer she continued down the corridor.  Blinking twice she brought up the TACNET.

“Didi, this is ‘Gust; Sector Twelve clear, Hostiles neutralized.”

Hills Pointe Industrial Complex…

Lieutenant Colonel Xavier Derman ran across the tarmac towards the waiting aircar.  His visit to the Hills Pointe facility was ill timed as the facility had come under air attack from the avenging Star League Defense Force while a heavy jamming attack cut them off from the outside world.  Xavier had no illusions about the fate of anyone who got in the way of the assault he knew was coming.

The defenses were strong and the mixed regiment of ‘Mechs from the 63rd Amaris Dragoons and armor and infantry from the Dragoons supporting elements were hardened veterans.  Like Xavier they also had no illusions as to their fate.

If I can just get to the rest of the Dragoons we might be able send these bastards packing.

A sudden roaring in his ears made him look up.  His driver was staring wide eyed up into the air.  As he turned a huge shadow fell over him.  A blast of intense heat and pressure knocked the Amaris officer over.  As he fell he saw a massive raptor shaped form fall on twin pillars of fire.  His driver was consumed by the flames an instant before being crushed by a massive cloven hoof.

The battle scarred Marauder seemed to regard Xavier for a moment then moved with a fluid grace into the complex.  Other BattleMechs landed around him the thunder of their drop engines and the shriek of metal hitting tarmac overwhelmed Xavier.  Sobbing uncontrollably he curled up in a fetal ball.

Xavier Derman stayed that way right up to the point Vinh Li Duc’s Black Knight, Sightblinder stepped on him.

I opened up on a 120mm autocannon emplacement that was targeting some of our jump infantry.  The caress of one of Hussy’s particle cannon detonated the ammunition bin sending shards of metal and parts of the crew flying.  With all the steel around us our sensors were pretty much useless and we were down to the good old Mark One Model One eyeball.
So when the RimJobs finally got their shit together the first warning I had was when a model 6R Warhammer stepped out of the smoke from the gun emplacement and laced me with missile and laser fire.  With less than twenty meters between me and him his PPC’s were next to useless, mine however had no problems with infighting.

A base model ‘Hammer is still a pretty tough customer despite being old school colonial tech (Y’know colonial, those piss poor rejects who can’t get their shit together without the Hegemony to hold their hands; they have names like Kurita, Liao or Steiner.).  They do have one major flaw, really, really bad armor plating around the legs.

I slashed both whips of particle goodness across his left leg, following up with a spattering of laser fire.  I stepped up and kicked out with Hussy’s right claw and snapped off the limb at the shin as the ‘Hammer staggered back.  Once the RimJob was down I stepped on his cockpit.

Sounds coldly clinical doesn’t it?  Well it is, after the word came down on what the RimJobs were doing here, it had to be.  If I went into this all hot headed, I’d be dead. 

As I turned a Thunderbolt in the Dragoon’s distinctive blue and grey scheme stepped up to get a shot on Alex Winters’ Black Knight; Elmo.  The dickhead was obliging enough to offer me a clear back shot.  By way of thanks I sent a gauss slug into his spine.

“Thanks B, these guys really wanna party.”  The Colonel’s son and Captain of Bravo Company sang out as he carved chest armor from the stricken T-Bolt.

“No problem Root Beer,” I answered using the nickname I’d hung on him when we’d first met back in Albion Prep on New Avalon (His initials are A&W after all.), “looks like it’s gonna be a long day.”

It was as it turns out, but not for the reasons I expected.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #13 on: 10 September 2013, 07:28:46 »
[[Posted 17-11-2009, 00:00:58]]

"Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers.
 One hundred million angels singin'.
 Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum.
 Voices callin', voices cryin'.
Some are born an' some are dyin'.
 It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks. "

-Johnny Cash, "When the Man Comes Around"

Command Sublevel VII, Running Deer Mountain, Keep area...

Colonel Gregory Von Strang-Hillard heard shouts and gunfire, and knew the Keep was now exposed.  took them eighteen least there's that.  He regarded the holo on his desk, his Marie, back home, his two children Franz and Galois, proudly wearing their Republican Youth Vanguard uniforms.
Don't they understand, this was...we're making a better world.  All of them...

The sound of fighting grew closer to his office.  He drew out a pen, and a piece of paper-the message could've been more conveniently dictated to one of the computers, but somehow, hand-written was more...appropriate.

My Dearest Marie,

I will not be coming home soon.  In the next few months, perhaps even years, you will no doubt hear all sorts of infamy spoken about me.  Know that these are fundamentally un-true... our work here was necessary to improve the lot for all mankind...

"That's cold, man."  Gregory looked up in alarm.  "Lying to your old lady like that? cold."  The young woman standing beside him wasn't a Rim-Worlds soldier, or even one of the Locals.  tigerstripe fatigues, no helmet...and asian.  Kowloonese.  "Keep the hands where I can see them." she instructed, "you can put the pen down, or you can try an' stab me with it, I have orders."  she said in passable, if heavily accented, english.

Bianh Vu Lao had her orders-whenever possible, take officers alive.

"My orders say alive, not un-harmed." she said.  "you give me trouble, you'll live just long enough for me to hand you over before you bleed out."

He put the pen down, and his palms flat on the desk. "I see." he said.

"Nope. You don't."  Bianh pistol-whipped him, dragged his arms behind his back, and zip-stripped his wrists together before dislocating his shoulders and zip-stripping his elbows.  "You will, though-I might even vid the trial for your kids, so they can watch their daddy standing erect one more time."

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"You're going to be made an...upstanding resident of Elbar." she said viciously, "Permanently...assuming you don't share something REAL juicy with the Intelligence section."

The blows and the rough treatment hurt.  As she dragged him, stumbling, by the collar out into the corridor, he saw them bayonetting enlisted men who were wounded.
The thought  we taught them that. occurred to him...

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #14 on: 10 September 2013, 07:29:07 »
[[Posted 20-11-2009, 23:28:00]]

Running Deer Mountain, 11 hours post-battle...

"Locals at the entrance again, sir."  Sgt. Thanh said.

"Not hard to figure out why-did the KP's set up kitchen services for the 'fugees?" Colonel Tranh Truk Ngo was having a good day-which is to say, his day wasn't going so badly as yesterday.  The pain was managed and a change in dosages had the siezures under control-he'd even relented to a delay in executing the Rim-Worlds officers until they'd been properly interrogated.

"Not about that, sir."  Thanh said.

"I take it the Duty-Officer thought it was important?" the Colonel asked.

"See for yourself."  Thanh said.

Tranh got to his feet, and followed the NCO through the maze of corridors to the southeast entrance.

"You're not going to tell me."  Tranh asked.

"No sir." the Sargeant said firmly.

"If I order you?" Tranh asked.

"Then only, sir...but it'd be disappointing as all hell..sir."  the Sargeant said.

They reached the gate, and it opened.

There were about a hundered, at first glance.  All men and boys between fourteen, and...old.

They looked serious, and they were quietly standing in lines.

"What's going on?" Tranh asked.

one of the oldsters stepped forward, and in Hebrew, said, "We want to enlist, we want to fight the monsters, we want revenge."

Tranh looked at them, then at his NCOIC, "Sargeant...hell with it, Sargeant-Major, get a couple of our corpsmen broke loose to look these folks over, then see about setting up some kind of training area with a draw of cadre-do we have enough hardware from the capture to arm 'em?"

"You're saying yes?" Thanh asked.

"They'll have to meet minimum physicals, and pass a basic literacy, but yeah, I'm saying 'yes'.  WE lost four hundered men taking this dump, with another three hundered who're not going to be fit for combat operations for another ninety days-and the rotation's not due until next month on the eleventh.  They want to fight, and damn right they've got a motive and the right to, so we'll take 'em in, train 'em up, arm them, and give 'em a leg up.  Get with the S-3 for Second Battalion and his NCOIC, we don't have twelve weeks, so we have to 'amend' it down to the bare basics."

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #15 on: 10 September 2013, 07:29:44 »
[[Posted 21-11-2009, 22:48:02]]

"One of the goals of training in a wartime situation, is to objectify the enemy, removing the taboo against murder so that a soldier can do his job.  The Rimworlders serving Amaris had done such a superb job that they were willing and able to part out human beings not only to fill their military needs, but also for use in civilian hospitals on other worlds.

They Started It."

-Lt. Colonel James Qua, 171st Volunteer Brigade, 11 April, 2783 (Court Martial statement)

Headquarters Area, SLDF Taskforce Elbar One...

"...heavy casualties, but the fort was taken."  Lt. Colonel James Qua of the 171st was acting liason, and filling in for Colonel Ngo.

"Heavy Casualties? Jesus, man-you lost seven hundered combat effectives!"  Colonel Sam Hallis of the 331st Division's strike regiment said.

"Heavy casualties." Qua shrugged, "Not as heavy as we took at Eagle's Nest.  Over all, we're at around seventy percent, which makes it not bad."  the Kowloonese officer's manner was formal, but his eyes were empty.

"What about reports what's with the stakes?"  Major Jim Apone from the 7th asked, "I'm getting weird reports..."

"The stakes are not a problem." Qua said simply, "Redecorating."

Apone stared at Qua, and then looked around the table at the other officers at staff-call.  "Redecorating." he tossed a holo on the table among them.  "You're impaling them."

"They got a fair hearing first." Qua said off-hand, "it's very popular with the locals." he added.

"You're Crucifying People!! sweet Jesus, man, you're going too far!" He was pale, and shaking with outrage.

Qua shrugged, "THey deserve it.  I suppose you're going to tell me it's wrong to train the local auxiliaries who've signed up using available materials too?" his tone remained absolutely conversational, and his expression was utterly neutral, as if he were commenting on the quality of morning chow.

"available materials?" Hallis asked.

"Available Materials.  We've got something like six weeks to train them in, assuming everything stays positive in terms the timetable, and the Rimjobs don't pull something clever out of their asses." Qua said, "So...we're using what's available to train the locals who've signed on."  He remained absolutely cold, "Given how they treated the folks who live here, there's been very little in terms of complaints about that."

"What are you doing?" Hallis asked, "What 'local materials'?"

"Captured equipment, enemy personnel, we've been careful to vet out the ones with useful information first, given the rate of enlistments, we're going to run out of targets pretty soon."  Qua said.

"Targets?" Hallis pressed.

"Bayonet Practice, sir."  Qua stated evenly, "It helps weed out the ones that will freeze up-the rest should perform adequately after they're distributed for tactical training with their units.  One of the hardest things to overcome in training, is the natural inclination of a man NOT to kill another man.  After the first time, we found that it becomes somewhat easier-once that taboo is overcome, the rest of the training regimen is somewhat simpler to implement."  Qua leaned back, "And after what we found at Running Deer Mountain, the Rimjobs deserve it."

Quote from: al103, 22-11-2009, 23:31:58
Quote from: GBscientist, 22-11-2009, 16:41:09
I hope you write in some courts-martial at the end of this story.  Meeting atrocity with atrocity results in an upward spiral of atrocity.  Good commanders ought to know that as good as revenge feels, it doesn't always get the job done.
Compared to Kerensky "lets kill all Amaris family up to toddlers even if 20 times removed from main line" or massacre of families in Kowloon uprising Ngo tried to prevent it's not atrocity, but just "huh? they got overboard..." And i don't remember that method of execution of criminals (they do NOT have POW status, or more correctly lost it because of they deeds) is covered by any convention.
Quote from: Hadrian, 23-11-2009, 03:45:11
Once word gets out, it'll be a very good psychological weapon.

"Surrender to the 90th SLDF Regiment, NOW!!!!"

"Failure to do so will result in us continuing on with our next mission and leaving you in the very capable hands of my colleague, Colonel Ngo of the 171st Kowloon.  I'm sure you've heard of them."
Quote from: DoctorMonkey, 23-11-2009, 07:29:30
The Gurkhas apparently have this reputation (or did in the Falklands War)
Quote from: Hadrian, 23-11-2009, 10:30:51
I remember a story (possibly apocryphal) that an Argentinian marine battalion was defending a hill when it was attacked by the British paras.  They went screaming up towards the Argentinians who held for a while but then retreated down the opposite side.

They came face to face with the Ghurkas charging up the rear of the hill so they turned around and ran back over the hill to surrender to the paras.

The reputation of the Ghurkas (and units like them) for almost barbaric ferocity, cannabalism, etc HAS to be manufactured since they fight on a long term basis for civilised armies who simply couldn't afford to have troops that actually did these things.  In the almost 200 years of service to the British government, the Ghurka units have an extremely low disciplinary problem even with the lousy treatment they get from HMG.

It must be heart-warming to know though, that your enemy is crouching behind a wall, filling his shorts, shaking so bad he can barely ****** his rifle, "knowing" that if he goes to sleep, he'll wake up and find all his friends have had their heads chopped off and put in a pile at his feet.
Quote from: DoctorMonkey, 23-11-2009, 20:04:23
Unlikely Argentine Marines - I believe they were good professional soldiers, it was the Army that had conscripts

The Gurkha's have a reputation for being hard-as-nails/nuts among all the British military types I know (mostly doctors, with stories like trying to go back to work from the moment they are awake after an operation or whatever)

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #16 on: 10 September 2013, 07:30:17 »
[[Posted 24-11-2009, 22:47:57]]

After staff-call...

Colonel Apone felt like he was in a nightmare-trapped in a nightmare.  Monsters...they've been turned into monsters!

It wasn't so much the revelation of what the savages from Kowloon were doing-other units had shoot-on-sight orders for rim-worlds troopers who hadn't surrendered, and even the 7th Volunteers had a few cases of...vigorous interrogations...

It was the matter-of-fact, commenting-on-the-weather agreement by Lt. Colonel Qua on the subject of...

It was enough to make any good man sick-bad enough what the enemy was doing here, they've compounded it!

Crucifixion? Impalement? using human beings as bayonet practice?

The seeming unconcern by the 90th's man wasn't so bad-he'd heard about Them-and reports showed they were only shooting prisoners-a measure that, while a violation, wasn't up to the standards of...horror.

His staff-vehicle stopped at the CP for the 171st.  Maybe I can talk some sense into Ngo...he tried to show the rim-worlders on his own planet some mercy...

Apone averted his eyes from the gasping, grisly 'gate decorations'-still in their uniforms, slowly suffocating in agony on the stakes.

He found Ngo in the back of a tracked vehicle-the Kowloonese officer had declined to take up residence inside the Mountain.

"Hey, Jim, nice weather."  Ngo commented without looking up.

"Tranh, you've got to stop this." Apone said, "It won't bring them back."

Ngo looked up, "Is that what you think this is about?" he asked, "Bringing them back?" he gestured to a camp-stool chair.

"Isn't it?" Apone asked.

"Jim...nothing can un-do what they did here-I'm not that crazy...." he set aside a map-reader, and leaned forward,   he shook out a no-smok, popped the end, and drew in on it.  "We must make a friend of horror, Jim, horror, and moral terror,  we have to make Horror our weapon, our companion, because it's with us whether we want it or not-and if we try too hard to resist it, it will overcome ALL of us...besides, this way some of the prisoners might actually live to see the end of the war-if I ease up, I'll have a million civilian-driven incidents of revenge, I'll end up having to put most of my men on MP details going after the people we're supposed to be helping."  He gestured at the open door of the APC, "We go more extreme than they can concieve and maybe they won't be going after their neighbours for not being rounded up and used for slave-labour and spare parts."

"Politics?" Apone was even MORE horrified by the logic Colonel Ngo revealed, "You're...that's sick."

"Sooner or later, the locals will think so too-and they'll ask me to stop...and I will-when they ask me to." Ngo said, "When it's too horrible for them, when seeing it makes them sicker than remembering friends, sons, daughters, brothers, and uncles who were butchered out like a used car for spares...I'll stop then."

Quote from: Hadrian, 25-11-2009, 11:32:25
Quote from: lowrolling71, 25-11-2009, 10:50:57
Nice work and thanks for sharing. That is some cold blooded logic and I predict a lot of gun barrel sandwiches from the 171st survivors when this is all over.

If this story is part of the Kowloon arc then considering this is one of the early battles, the 171st present are VERY unlikely to survive long enough to feel guilt.

The regiment, according to other mentions elsewhere, has a truly awesome casualty rate.  It's continuous existence is entirely because there was far more volunteers to join than there were places to put them and this isn't even including those from amongst the "genocide survivors".

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #17 on: 10 September 2013, 07:30:59 »
[[Posted by blacktigeractual, 25-11-2009, 15:12:08]]

Yesterday, Hills Pointe Industrial Complex

The prisoners had been gathered off on the grasslands surrounding the factories.  The graves they were digging were they had been told; for the SLDF and civilian casualties.  That there were far too many holes in the ground for the thirteen dead Tigers and twenty six civilians was not lost on the Rim Worlders.

I sat on Hussy’s foot eating a bowl of ramen.  Amazing how a fight makes you hungry, and horny.  I snorted, that Lieutenant from the Andurien volunteers was cute, but I think she was too much into the “bad ass” image the 90th had.
If she could see us now, I bet she wouldn’t be so hot to trot.

Major Singh and Sonny Matos had left me in charge of my lance and a short company of infantry.  Captain Weintraub should have been pissed, but I was the Gunslinger.  Anyway he knew I would let his troopers do their own thing and wouldn’t make waves.

Gracie plopped down on Hussy’s opposite claw and groaned laying her head on my shoulder.  I looped my arm around her shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze.  You’d think with our reputation and after the horrors we’d seen little would affect us but that’s a load of shit.

When it stops getting to you, that’s when you cease to be human.

“Hell of a day; huh?”  Gracie asked.

“Yup, how’s it going with the turtles?”  I asked using the Tiger term for civilians.

“Doc Wynndham, you know the new girl from the Magestry?” I nodded; we’d picked up a lot of volunteers recently.  “She’s got them calm for now; she’s not too thrilled about the arrangements for the prisoners.”

I nodded, seems like an eternity ago when I joined up neither would I.  There was no emotion in it though, no righteous fury.  The RimJobs were guilty; no court would bring any measure of closure greater than a bullet to the back of the head.

A familiar voice cut through the background noise; “Lieutenant Gilmour, a word please?”

Damn, somebody upstairs must hate me.

Colm McKinney, one of Hollis’ aides strode up with a sandy haired officer a full bird Colonel.  Not one of ours though, Andurien.  Colonel James Apone; then boss of the 7th Volunteers.  I stood and nodded to them.

“Lieutenant, your salute…”  McKinney started but the Andurien officer stopped him.

“At ease Captain, were in a war zone and I don’t feel like making myself a target.”  Apone had an open friendly manner probably made him a popular leader.  Still a squad of New York National Guard paused around us.

“Sirs; how may I be of assistance?”  I asked.

“Orders from General Hollis, my troops will be relieving you here.”  He held out his pocketcomp and I fumbled at my belt to let him transmit the orders.  Looking them over I looked up puzzled.

“Running Deer?  Why are we going… The 171st declared the area secure.”

“That’s the problem Lieutenant, we’ve gotten some disturbing reports about what is going on there and Colonel Winters authorized me to borrow your lance to accompany my command lance and check it out.”

The look in my eyes must have spoke wonders, because Apone chuckled.  “No rest for the wicked…eh Lieutenant?”

“Yessir,” I turned to the rest of my gang and gave the order to mount up.

In the background the snap crack of Terran Mausers and the outraged cries of the prisoners made both of our visitors jump.

Apone turned to me shocked; “Lieutenant what is the meaning of this!”  He demanded eyes wide.

Tossing my empty plastic bowl away I shrugged and said simply;

“Pest Control.”

Colonel James “Call me Jim” Apone watched the Terran officer climb the six meters to the cockpit of his crouched Marauder.  Looking over at the stunned Captain McKinney he shared a glance before the Defense Force regular turned away swearing softly.  Apone caught the end of it…”Kerensky’s Sledgehammers, should have known better…

As the men walked back to their BattleMechs the Andurien officer asked what McKinney meant.  The slender young man looked away for a moment then began to tell the tale.  The retreat from New Vandenburg.  The 90th going to ground and waiting.  The brutal series of assassinations and campaign of terror that had shattered an entire rebel division.  While the capture of over twenty members of the Rim Worlds Republican Army shed light on how Amaris had planned his coup there were darker rumors.  A half dozen Star League bureaucrats had been shot as spies with little or no documentation.

While no action had ever resulted from the battle, ever since then the Black Tigers of New Vandenburg had gotten the roughest assignments, cracked some of the toughest nuts on the long bloody path to Terra.  Every dark and questionable mission in Army Group Davion’s theatre of operations was considered Tiger Territory.

As the Tiger Gunslinger’s Lance fell in step with his own troops Apone could see the Tiger’s infantry dumping bodies into the waiting holes.  He shook his head sadly, this madness needs to end.

Running Deer Mountain, Same Day…

Inside my guts were in turmoil, threatening to spill out the noodles I’d just eaten.  Outwardly I kept a mask of calm on my face.  Impalement is not a pretty sight nor is easy on the nose.  Across from me one of the not quite dead men slid down a little on the wooden shaft releasing yet another waft of fecal matter and blood over the tooth pick forest.

Apone saw the battle armored figure of Dido Moran and started towards her.  Seeing the look on his face I cut him off waving her over.  From the other side of the field I saw Lanh, the liaison officer assigned to us.  The boy’s eyes were dead and cold and he looked over the bloody field with satisfaction.

Dido snapped to attention and raised her visor.  Her own face was haunted, dark rings around her eyes.  Her armor was spattered with blood, dirt and other less identifiable substances.

“Report Sergeant”, directing her attention to me rather than the other officers; this was not the time or the place for their sensibilities.

“Colonel Tranh’s orders, an example needed to be made.  B you didn’t see, see what those miserable bastards did in there.  So many people…reduced to ****** parts.”

She staggered and I reached out, hoping she wouldn’t fall on me.  Dido’s tough as nails, but we all have our limits
I understood at least in theory, nothing could stop an enemy or even one’s own people from committing atrocities, no law held out for ever.  But the justice on Elbar, that at least would make people think.

For a while anyway…nothing lasts forever.

“Lieutenant…LIEUTENANT!”  Colonel Apone growled.

“Sir?”  I looked up.

“Round up your lance we must stop this!”  Apone gestured around.

Looking over the macabre forest, laid out in military precision I turned back to the Andurien officer.

“Nothing to stop, Colonel, it’s already done.”

The chill in my voice silenced both men, and they silently walked away.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #18 on: 10 September 2013, 07:31:42 »
[[Posted by blacktigeractual, 25-11-2009, 18:03:15]]

Alex; Today, 3rd Battalion (The Stalking Tigers) on approach; Last known position 3rd Brigade (Mixed) 89th Amaris Schutzstaffel Arbeiten Division…
Captain Alex Winter watched the sensor readings being relayed by Puma Company’s Mongooses and Talons.  The events of the past week lay heavily on the young officer.  His best friend, Lieutenant Bruce Gilmour, had always called him the sensitive one.

Guess that’s true, but damn it we can’t fall into the trap of becoming like the RimJobs, if we do we’ve lost.  B has got to get that, he’s the damn Gunslinger.

Even more so than in standard Star League commands, in Terran units the Gunslinger was the soul of the unit.  His or her voice spoke with authority on matters of Regimental Honor and Conduct.  That Don Roberto had handpicked Bruce to succeed him had surprised Alex.  His friend’s devil may care attitude had diminished since the death of his friend and lover Rachel Miller on Acamar.

But he’s still the craziest fur ball in the whole bunch.  And Don Roberto’s death hurts him almost as bad as Rae’s had.  But if Bruce is our heart and soul what does that make us.

A fleeting red blip caught his attention and he smiled with an almost savage relief.  The coming fight would provide some relief from the issues plaguing Alex.  Bringing Elmo, his powerful alter ego to its full sixty five kph speed he called out orders.  Lal Singh, the Stalkers battalion commander brought the rest of the unit in line with the two battalions of Kurita volunteers comprising Isokoru Satoh’s Ryukaze.

As the red blip resolved into a heavy mixed company, Alex couldn’t help thinking screw what the rest of the Defense Force thinks, this is who we are;


Major Singh had gone down, his ‘Mech riddled with fire.  That was the thing unleashed the beast.  I would carry that moment with me for the rest of my life.

The RimJobs hammered back at us after their initial shock, their armor and infantry working with their ‘Mechs to present a wall of fire. I isolated a Rhino Assault Tank and cored it with both Magna Hellstars.  Something broke inside the blue and grey machine and it shuddered to a halt.  As our assault closed in under the missile boats minimum range the tank shut down in surrender.

The snap crack of Terran Mausers and the outraged cries of the prisoners made both of our visitors jump.

It was then Gracie shot a particle stream into the hole my fire had created.  I’d moved on to engage an aqua colored Archer, lashing it with more particle fire when the tank brewed up.  The coldness of the act shouldn’t have bothered me but it did.

“Pest Control.”  James Apone’s shocked face rose in my mind.

I lashed more particle fire at the fire support ‘Mech carving into its legs capitalizing on damage already done.  Seeing the weakness in the RimJobs’ motive assembly I rode out a swarm of anti armor rockets that stripped armor from all over Hussy’s frame.

One of the not quite dead men slid down a little on the wooden shaft releasing yet another waft of fecal matter and blood over the tooth pick forest.

Shifting slightly in the linear frame that controlled the big Marauder I pulled into the gauss trigger.  The chunk of ferrous metal snapped the Archer’s shin. The Amaris machine slammed into the ground, its pilot shaken.

“Nothing to stop, Colonel, it’s already done.” The coldness I felt yesterday caught me like a jagged claw.

All around us the Amaris troops were falling the brutality of our assault had overcome their initial counterattack vicious as it was.  We were taking casualties as well, instead of the cold calculating and unrelenting attack we were known and feared for; our blood was up.  Rage was taking over.

Don Roberto lay in the MASH ward on New Home.  His sickly pallor clutched at my throat.  My mentor and friend knew he was done and was accepting it better than I was.  Looking at me he chuckled.

“Hell kid, you know damn well life is fatal in all known cases.”  He coughed then and wiped the pink froth from his lips.  “Have something for you…”  Beckoning me closer he pinned something to my collar.  A pair of crossed white handled pistols.  I tried to protest but the Don cut me off.

“Told Sam already, there will be a vote, it won’t mean crap, you’re my successor.”  He grabbed my hand and looked me in the eye.

“You need to listen to me, B, this war, it’s gonna eat up the Tigers if you let it, You’re the Gunslinger now, they’ll look to you for their conscience, for their Honor…Don’t let them become the New Vandenburg lie…

Don Roberto Julio deVega y Harrington lost consciousness then.

He died two days later.

Spotting an Atlas that had to be the Amaris commander, it was then I made a decision.

“Gracie, ‘Rat, Jack arrow point target AS7-D target to disable.”

“Disable…Loot are you nuts!”  Gracie’s voice was almost feral.

“Execute your orders Gracie, DO IT NOW!”  My howl had the desired effect, Gracie’s discipline kicked in and she opened up with deadly accurate ranged fire at the big assault ‘Mech.  ’Rat and Jack Benning joined in their fire staggering the Atlas.
Pushing Hussy past her safe operating speed I closed the distance shouldering a Griffin out of the way and vaulting a Manticore heavy tank, my charge surprising them and their fire went wide.

“B, what the hell are you doing!”  Alex called out furiously.

“Ending this, Al just back my play.”  I spat back as the Atlas slammed a stream of autocannon fire into my poor girl’s armor plate.  Reaching the right point I launched my seventy five ton monster into the air.  At top speed you can get a good fifteen or twenty meters straight forward from a ‘Mech in top condition.  Not much, nothing like jump jets but it was enough.

The Atlas, stricken from the fire it had received from my lancemates wasn’t up to the punishment dealt from Hussy’s charge and it went down.  Kicking down I snapped off the heavy barrel of the Deathgiver cannon.  Before anyone could do anything else I pointed my right arm at the Amaris machine’s skull like head.  At this range I couldn’t miss.

I was a Tiger, I would do what needed to be done.

“Amaris Commander, order your troops to cease fire and surrender or you will be destroyed.”
Alex couldn’t belive his ears, what the hell was Bruce doing?

“You just kill us any way…”  The shaky voice of the Amaris commander came over the open channel.

“I give you my word as an officer of the Star League Defense Force and as the Regimental Gunslinger of the 90th Heavy Assault.  You will be treated according to the Ares Conventions as Prisoners of War.”  Bruce’s voice rang out.

“What the ******…”  Gracie Liu growled, “Boss we’re here to kill them, not coddle them.”

“No Gracie, we are here to defeat them, and we have…we’ve made our point now let’s get back to the business of winning this war.”

The shooting on both sides had petered out as every eye was drawn to the exchange.

Mitch Sovino, one of Alex’s troopers strode his Bombardier forward to face the blackened and burned Hussy.

“Gunslinger or not, they’re RimJobs, vermin, they’re not even…”  Mitch dropped off uncertainly.

“…Human, Mitch, that was the mistake they made, People will talk about Elbar for decades, it’s done, enough already.”  Bruce cut in.  The RimJobs were quiet, but that wouldn’t last, Al walked past Mitch and turned to look over the battlefield.

“It’ll never stick Bruce!” Gracie yelled.

“Gracie, it’ll stick or I’ll make it stick, you ****** selected me to carry our honor, so if any of you wants to challenge me, now’s the ****** time…” 

“B’s right, I’ll back him.”  Alex heard himself say.

“As will I.”  The calm voice that came from the Ryukaze Dragon striding across the ground.  Chu-sa Isokoru Satoh came to stand up next to Hussy.  “As I am the senior officer on the scene, that about settles it.”

The Amaris commander came on line then.

“Alright Lieutenant, we surrender, All units 3rd Brigade…it’s over, lay down your arms and dismount your vehicles.”

And as Alex watched in amazement, they all did.

Okay, maybe Don Roberto knew what he was doing after all.

Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 25-11-2009, 18:47:07
Quote from: blacktigeractual, 25-11-2009, 15:12:08
Colonel James “Call me Jim” Apone watched the Terran officer climb the six meters to the cockpit of his crouched Marauder.

Six meters to the cockpit of a crouched 'Mech?

Quote from: blacktigeractual, 25-11-2009, 20:34:09
10 meters is the height of the tallest 'mech, the Orion.  Hussy stands 8 to 8 .5 from foot to gauss housing and stands on theropod legs, if B wants to he can crouch her all the way down to the ground.  Sorry own an articulated model of a Macross Glaug Officers Batle Pod. Not all things are equal.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #19 on: 10 September 2013, 07:33:12 »
[[Posted 25-11-2009, 21:55:21]]

35 Kilometers N. NE of Running Deer Mountain...

Major Ilse Strange of the Elbar Imperial Militia sidestepped her Warhammer as the treeline exploded with missile and autocannon fire from what Intelligence insisted was a light infantry formation with very minor 'mech support.

She raked the treeline without a better target than the smoke-trails from the SRM fire to aid her-someone's running ECM!  Her fellows were doing the same.

In the snow-blur of her sensors, she caught a glimpse...

2nd Battalion, Companys D and F, 171st Kowloon Volunteers...

Captain Dinh Trac watched as the Quisling Militia unit hit the trigger line.  When they did, he reached over, and flipped a switch, and the Guardian ECM on-loan from the 331st spun up to full life, blinding the sensors of the rimjob-quislings' battlemechs, and jamming their commo to their infantry vehicles and tank support.

The weapons platoons tripped their rockets, and opened fire with the towed antitank cannons-drawing the attention of the Rimjob outfit downward, while the signal went to Charlie Battery.

The Quislings still had the advantage in armour, and if they closed the gap...

The first wave of artillery shot dropped along the correct vectors-and he could see the Quislings' armoured carriers-open topped half-track vehicles common throughout known space, erupting as bomblets dropped down among them.

The enemy's 'mechs were disordered at first-but they got their act together quick- forming a flying-W with the remaining tanks, they drove forward into the steel rain, firing with each step.

Combat distances closed in seconds, and the Kowloonese units found themselves at point-blank range as the rimjobs tried to find the source of the jamming.

Dinh left the vehicle, as a warhammer crested the ridge at a run-plowing into trees, mines, and objects.

He fired his grapple at the machine's hip-joint using eyeball windage and leading the target.

It yanked him from his feet, along with six other members of the Headquarters section.

Above him, shell casings from the Whammy's machine-guns rained down as the zip-line hauled him upward.  Treelimbs battered him.

Major Strange

She bulldogged through the treeline, up the ridge, and into a clearing, firing her antipersonnel machine-guns and blazing away with her torso-mount lasers, while looking for a target for the PPC's.

Sensors indicated several objects-of-drag had suddenly appeared on her 'mech.  External cam feeds showed men, on fast-ropes, coming up.  This is new...  She'd heard stories about elite Star League infantry that were trained to take down 'mechs, and rumours about what happened at Eagle's Nest and Kowloon...

she stepped down hard on her control pedals, turning violently to dislodge them, and flailed with her arms.  what did the Advisors say?... she dropped the 'mech to the ground and began rolling-thrash-and-bash, when there's no water, thrash-and bash...

Twenty minutes later...

Lt. Truk Nghien looked over the tags.  "Captain Trac, how much of him is left?"  he asked.

"Not a lot-the 'mech's legs are covered in most of him, we found these and...enough of him to be pretty sure it's him, sir."  Corporal Phung Li said, "the quisling Pilot's over there."  he gestured.

"Okay, they sent a mixed battalion, and we've got a platoon left-I think we can safely say the Rimjobs are pissed, and coming." Truk said.

"What about the Quisling Prisoners?" Li asked.

"We're getting a lot of static from the allied units." Nghien said, "I'd as soon not kill these-at least, not until they've been vetted.  Contact SLDF command and get a team of MP's from the Seventh to come fetch 'em-maybe Apone's people can use the experience of handling prisoners to ease their achy consciences."

"Right Sir...who've we got left speaks english?"  the Corporal asked.

" I don't have a clue-the Whammy went right through headquarters platoon..."

Quote from: Cannonshop, 26-11-2009, 14:07:55
Quote from: Comedian, 26-11-2009, 06:28:14
Congrats you just named a Unit:89 th Amaris Security Squadron Working Division.   #P
( Schutzstaffel Arbeiten Division…).
While there was a Unit working for Amaris called Greenhaven Gestapo there is no implication that the Rim Worlds Republic named Units after the german Wehrmacht or paramilitary Units of the third Reich.
AFAIK the Greenhaven Gestapo were Mercs.

Which isn't a bad name for a unit whose duties mostly focused on keeping the Peasants in line, now is it? ;)
Quote from: Liam's Ghost, 26-11-2009, 16:49:40
Especially not for an army that had a republican guard unit called "the Sword of Saddam". Somehow I doubt Amaris only went with older, less well remembered twentieth century villains. I have a feeling he somehow enjoyed being the super villain, heir to generations of villainy.
Quote from: Liam's Ghost, 27-11-2009, 17:27:34
Quote from: Comedian, 26-11-2009, 18:38:30
@ Liam's Ghost: Sword of Sadam ?
From HB: Major Periphery or a BC Story ?

Comstar Sourcebook page 9. 203rd Republican Guard division, which occupied Hilton Head during Amaris' reign.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #20 on: 10 September 2013, 07:33:52 »
[[Posted 01-12-2009, 08:53:00]]

October 27, 2776, FOB Wilma, SLDF Landing zone Two...

"You've got a unit that's gone way off the reservation, General, care to explain that?"  Aleksandr Kerensky looked decidedly grim, "Thus turning what should've been a simple liberation op into a bloodbath."

"Sir, all due respects, have you seen what they found? what we found?"  Hollis asked, "The bloodbath was already here-the Ninetieth is just draining the tub."

"I'm not talking about the ninetieth and you ****** well know it, I'm talking about your savage little auxiliaries."  Kerensky said,  "I'm really starting to regret letting Gordon recruit them.  First that ****** on Eagle's Nest, now they're committing atrocities for revenge."

"It's under control sir." Hollis said, "there haven't been any more impalements or crucifictions since the initial batch."

Kerensky shrugged, "Get your savages under control, General Hollis, get them under control before I get to Elbar with the second-wave forces.  I don't care if you have to arrest everyone in the 171st, you're going to put an end to that insanity before it spreads, you understand?  I will not have that kind of action going on under Star League colours."

"Did you read the data we uploaded, or not?" Hollis suddenly felt too angry to be deferential.  Apone's to blame for this...

"My staff's still sifting it." Kerensky said.

"Talk to DeChevalier, then, sir, he's already digested it." Hollis almost snarled.

"You're edging on insubordination there, Hollis." the supreme commander said.

"There's remedials for that, Sir-a whole stack of regulations to deal with that.  There's no reg to deal with what we found here." Hollis didn't bark, or snarl, but his eyes smouldered into the two-way's vid pickup.  "Either you didn't see it, or you don't believe it, it's real, Sir-over forty million people were carved up for spare parts-and that's just in the files we've finished sifting.  Not even mentioning the ones that were worked to death, starved to death, used for experimentation, target practice, and just outright the hell do you even begin to work out a punishment for that, sir? Even figure out what charges?  The 'Loonies executed forty-three Rim-Worlds officers using inhumane means, and they've probably killed another five hundered Rimjob prisoners in ways that are probably not the most humane.  You tell me, from ninety lights out, over HPG that you're more concerned about those than about millions of civilians who weren't just killed as collateral damage, but systematically murdered in the most gruesome, horrific, evil way possible?"
Hollis scowled, "You need to get your ****** priorities in order, sir."

"General Hollis, you're relieved, inform the commander of the Ninetieth that he is now task-force C.O. for Elbar, and report to your quarters until I arrive."  Kerensky said.

"Aye aye, sir."

Quote from: Euphonium, 01-12-2009, 12:12:45
Quote from: Cannonshop, 01-12-2009, 08:53:00
"You're edging on insubordination there, Hollis." the supreme commander said.

Why edge on insubordination when you can go for the whole thing by telling the truth?  >:D

Quote from: kingdragon, 01-12-2009, 12:22:23
You know, I never thought I would say this.

But when the hell did Kerensky become a REMF?
Quote from: al103, 01-12-2009, 16:14:14
He was one from the start. And without any real experience at job IIRC, because he decided (or made to decide) that his duty is to make inspections on SL troops and given size of the thing... essentially most of things he did was that... And real work was done by second-echelon military bureaucracy.
Quote from: Muttley, 01-12-2009, 18:05:18
He's worse than a REMF.  He's a danger to his troops.
Quote from: Worktroll, 01-12-2009, 18:27:18
No, Kerensky's an idealist. Who else would have refrained from stopping the Cameron from falling under Amaris' sway, because it wasn't the military's place to intervene in politics, and then end up smashing the Inner Sphere 'fixing' the problem that resulted? Who else would have led off as many warriors as he could gather to a strange place, and then expect them not to fight each other?

Doesn't make him a good man necessarily. True believers can be very scary.
Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 01-12-2009, 19:01:53
Yeah, give me a pessimist any day. I would rather someone point out problems, than ignore them.
Quote from: al103, 02-12-2009, 01:50:11
Quote from: Worktroll, 01-12-2009, 18:27:18
No, Kerensky's an idealist.
It's not "No, Kerensky's an idealist." it's "Kerensky is REMF idealist".
Quote from: Worktroll, 02-12-2009, 10:26:22
Worse - Kerensky is a front-line idealist. A REMF usually can't deal with facts outside his paradigm. You can deal with a REMF if you have an understanding of the 'dark side' of bureaucracy, by manipulating the 'facts' sent to them, by means of toadying and flattery, or by character assassination.

Kerensky's far, far more dangerous. He can look you in the eye and tell someone else to kill you. He'll follow due process until it's totally clear in his mind that action is necessary, then he's as unpredictable as a hurricane. And as destructive to those around him.

Quote from: croaker, 07-12-2009, 06:14:21
Quote from: kingdragon, 01-12-2009, 12:22:23
You know, I never thought I would say this.

But when the hell did Kerensky become a REMF?

When he failed in his duty to raise young Lord Cameron to be a man, instead of a pansy-ass wimp, I'd say.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #21 on: 10 September 2013, 07:34:33 »
[[Posted by blacktigeractual, 02-12-2009, 13:01:41]]

Sam; 90th Heavy Assault Cantonment…

“Understood General Hollis, please report to FORCOM-ELBAR we’ll need you in strategies and planning…”  Samuel Winter said tiredly

“Colonel, General Kerensky has relived me of command…”
  Hollis interjected.

“And as Operational Commander I have the authority to use any and all assets at my disposal to complete our wave one objectives, and your experience and knowledge of our mission are too important to be wasted.  Do I make myself clear?”  Sam smiled to take the edge off of the force of his words.  The foot high holographic image of General Hollis chuckled and nodded.

“Crystal clear, Colonel.”

“Good if the big man wants to act like a bureaucrat, let him, we’ll win this thing in a way we can live with.”  Sam said fixing the General with his gaze.

“From your lips to God’s ears, Sam.” Hollis smiled back.

“Carry on then.”  Signing off Samuel Winter leaned back against the concrete support column in the school cafeteria that the 90th was using as a command center.  Looking around at the various aging and peeling posters on nutrition, school spirit and one for a long ago school formal he closed his eyes and shook his head.

Where were the children who’d eaten here, laughed and joked and obsessed about dates?   Sam was afraid he knew the answer for far too many of them.  Looking across at Majors Isokoru Satoh and Justine Sinclair he made a decision.

“Ko, you’ve got the command here, Justine back him up.”  The commander of the Ryukaze Volunteer Regiment looked surprised, but Justine the newly promoted combat commander of the Hungry Tigers just nodded.  Before the Kuritan officer could speak, Sam explained.

“With Dan Garrett sidelined with neurofeedback damage and Chris busted up from that engagement with the 89th SSA two days ago, you’re the senior Tiger.”

“But I am not…” Isokoru started.

“After New Home; the hell you aren’t; everybody respects you, the gang will take orders from you.  Justine and Bruce will help.  Keep pressure on the SSA and use the plan as a guideline.”  Turning to a waiting aide he gave an order moving the staff meeting up two days.

As the Tiger’s command center bustled with activity, Sam watched for a moment then turned and headed for his BattleMech.

19th Amaris Dragoons Headquarters…

“Colonel Bronson, this just in from the ELINT section.”  Captain Jeffery Collingsworth referred to the Dragoons electronic intelligence section.

“More bad news?” Kevin Bronson the 19th’s commander said, his Rim drawl more pronounced than his aide’s.

“Maybe not, sir.  We think we’ve broken the 7th Andurien’s ciphers, here…” handing over the datapad he stepped back and summarized the information.

“There has been a command shake up in the Star League forces; Hollis has been relieved of duty.  The new commander is the 90th’s top dog, Samuel Winter.”  Bronson looked up worried.

“Yeah, sir I know…but” Collingsworth held up his hand grinning, “wait there’s more; the Butcher of New Vandenburg has moved up a staff meeting to Wednesday and…”  Collingsworth pointed to the end of the intercept; “We know where.”

“How sure are the computer geeks about this?”  Bronson looked at his aide; keeping his hopes carefully shielded.  After all it wouldn’t be the first time information like this would be used to lay a trap.

“Pretty sure, boss the 7th Volunteers don’t have anywhere near the technical sophistication of the Defense Force or the Terran troops.”

“Okay, call in Major VanZandt’s Makos; this is right up their alley.”

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #22 on: 10 September 2013, 07:34:56 »
[[Posted 02-12-2009, 23:11:47]]

HHC, 171st Volunteers, 22 KM north of Running Deer mountain, October 27...

Sgt. Thanh hated this part, as he and SFC Noi held the Colonel down, and forced the injector against his rock-hard, spasming neck.

hhhsttt!  The antiseizure meds were cut with the most powerful painkiller known to man (and the most addictive, dangerous, and illegal narcotic known to the Terran Hegemony.)

"How long?" Noi asked.

"Hopefully a few minutes." Thanh said, "He's been shorting his doses, so I don't know how far he's progressed...he's had to-someone intercepted the last shipment."

"Any ideas who or where?" Noi asked.

" of the supply pukes with 331 mentioned that a medical package was impounded by some of the MP's with the Seventh, the Colonel hasn't let us make a supply raid to get it back."  Thanh said, "Though he should...we need his brain working and able, not wrapped up in chronic agonies and occasional seizures."

"I'll get Linklater and a couple of the kids on it, then-just don't tell him what we done until we've got the meds back."  Noi said quietly.

"NO"  Tranh Truk Ngo managed, with difficulty, to sit up in the exhaustion after this latest seizure.  "No, if you do it, you'll end up putting your men at risk of charges for drug-trafficking."  he said, "Further, that means someone has to explain why you did it, which then puts a spotlight on the Unit, and I can't let go until Jimmy Qua's back from being patched together after that ****** last week.  I'll ****** DEAL with the pain, and the seizures, until I've got someone to replace me, you don't go putting MY men at risk for MY problems."

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #23 on: 10 September 2013, 07:35:14 »
[[Posted 03-12-2009, 00:52:17]]

Trauma ward, SLDF 1144th MASH...

"...imagine what the universe would've been like, if, after beaiting the everloving snot out of the Reds, Washington turned up as dying of a fatal disease?" Major James Qua commented idly.

"Who's sick?" Didi Moran asked the Kowloonese S-3.

"Colonel Ngo.  He's stage one Cholmann's, and late into it."  Qua murmurred, "It's an open secret in the unit that teh C.O.'s not healthy, but there's only a few on the Command staff that know how not-healthy he is."

"Cholmann's?" Didi asked, "what's that?"

"Terminal, degenerative, he's either going to get shot, or he's going to die in agony-they can't even make him comfortable when he hits stage three-hell, we can't do much more than dope him to the gills now..." Qua sighed, "Need him,'s magic, wihtout him, no leaders...who can sit on the feuds or keep the men in line... hard to help him keep it secret..."

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #24 on: 10 September 2013, 07:35:36 »
[[Posted 04-12-2009, 13:01:49]]


Sam Winters wasn't real happy.  "General Hollis, did you know there's a drug problem?" he asked.

Hollis looked up from the terrain map.  "Drug problem, Sir?" he asked.

"Apone's people just came back with test results on a suspicious package they picked up on the Medical shipment-it's Neuroin, about nine Kilos of it-street value alone's about six hundered thousand Star League Dollars."

"Oh.  Shipment for the 171st, right?" Hollis asked, "I'll go secure it-"

Sam wasn't buying it-"You know about this?" he asked.

"Colonel, let's take a walk, this is classified."  Hollis said, scooping up his field jacket and heading for the door.

They went outside.  "Talk." Sam said.

"Colonel Ngo must be further along than he told us." Hollis said, "If he's already using Neuroin to control the pain."

"Pain-what the hell is going on?" Sam demanded.

"Tranh Truk Ngo's a dying man, Colonel Winters, and yeah, I know about the drugs- Colonel Ngo has it a birth defect, it's commonly called Cholmann's Syndrome, he doesn't know that we know."  Hollis said quietly.

"Cholmann's.. syndrome-what is it?" Sam asked.

"Means he's going to die in a species of agony that makes what he did to those Rim-Worlder officers look like a mercy shot." Hollis said, "and nobody can do anything to stop it short of killing him.  In the short term, the pain can be controlled using drugs, but they eventually lose effectiveness.  When we found out, he was using Coupron."

"Coupron? that's..." Sam paused, "Coupron's strong stuff-they use it for cancer cases..."

"Yeah.  If he's using Neuroin, things must've gotten a lot worse." Hollis said, "If it gets too far around, we'll have to bounce him back to civvie-street."

"Brief me." Sam said, "What did I inherit, and why're you covering for him?"

"Tranh Truk Ngo led the Kowloonese uprising against the Rim Worlds back in sixty-nine, you know what that means? it means he's their ****** hero,  James McKenna, George Washington, you tracking? His soldiers follow orders because HE follows orders.  They're still bitter about Dinh Diep."

"That's...that's the city that Chivington blew up in '29, right?" Winters asked.

"That's the one." Hollis said, "In '29 the SLDF was used to keep the Amaris boot on their necks, and they haven't forgotten that...Everyone else, the Seventh, the other Volunteer and rallier units, are with us because they believe in the Star League, the 171 is with us for one reason-they want to punish their old oppressors-they want revenge.  Tranh keeps them from going too far off the reservation."  here Hollis stopped, shook out a cigarrette, and lit it, "SO, yeah, I'm covering for the little bastard, and I let him get away with shit I wouldn't let my own men get away with-and now, you do to.  Tranh's a rarity, he isn't just in this for Rimjob blood."

Hollis took a deep drag on the smoke, "He's in this to mend fences, and they'll follow him, so we keep him functioning so that they WILL follow orders."

Quote from: maddog2584, 04-12-2009, 19:08:44
An understanding general, those are nice to have. I guest this story is going to end with Ngos death at some point. To bad it is a great story. Nice to see the tie ins to the statements made in other stories about the Ngos and Kowloonese.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #25 on: 10 September 2013, 07:36:14 »
[[Posted 04-12-2009, 22:10:08 ]]

SAS Team room...

"...still pissed about Dinh Diep, at least, Lanh thinks they are-Ngo keeps the lid on it and the men follow him, if he's outed, or he drops down too far sick, we are going to get stuck cleaning up the blood."  Didi said.

"Let me get this straight- the guy's got a frakkin' Terminal Illness, one that the docs in the Hegemony still haven't figured out how to beat-and he's commanding an overstrength Regiment, of vengeful psychos?"  Sally Leonards was 'The New Guy' on the team-a replacement brought in prior to the Elbar Mission launching.  "What's the problem with letting them run loose?"

"You saw the 'toothpick forest', right?" Didi said,  "Well... I found out it's not the first time for the 'Loonies, not one bit-when they threw off the Rimjobs on Kowloon, rioters hunted down whole families before Colonel Ngo put a stop to it..some of them grumble about him doing that, but they obey-he's an icon, he's their James McKenna, if you catch the idea."

One of the other SAS spoke up, "So we tell the old man, right? he can get it released..."

Didi shook her head, "If we tell OUR Colonel, he's going to be duty-bound to put Ngo on patient status and ship him out.  We tell Bruce, maybe... better if it stays under the radar."

"Shouldn't be too tough-the Seventh's MP's aren't that good, they're eager, and they're good troops-just not all that professional, we can get in and out with the goods and they won't know anything happened, just their evidence locker's light.  Tough part'll be sneaking the shit into the 171's AO and getting it into the right hands without tripping some of the hotwires running around there."  Grimsby commented, "The little ****** are psycho, but they're damn good about perimeter and site security-probably from generations of playing blood-tag with counter-insurgency units."

"I think I can arrange the hand-off." Didi said, "Major Qua's decided he can get back to the unit."

"I thought he was supposed to be laid up for another three weeks?" Grimsby asked, "I mean, he was ******' hamburger when I carried him in."

"He's supposed to be-he thinks he's fit." Didi replied, "Doesn't make it so, but it's not worth posting a guard to keep him in bed, so..."  Didi took another look at the map.

"Why do I get the feeling we're doing something batshit insane for someone who's batshit insane, to prevent insanity from overtaking everyone?" Leonards asked.  "There's a kind of...poetry to it."

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #26 on: 10 September 2013, 07:36:41 »
[[Posted 04-12-2009, 23:12:44]]

HHC 171st Volunteers...

"...come."  Colonel Ngo wasn't feeling good, but he wasn't on the floor, groaning, and he wasn't laid out on the desk, too exhausted to stand.  a good day. he mused.

The tent-flap moved, and a small, gray-haired lady stepped in.

"Colonel?" she asked.

"That's me, Mrs. Meier, My aide told me you have a request?" He asked.

"y-yes, Colonel... It is god's work you're doing, fighting the occupiers, but...well, some of your actions-" she tried to look up, but he could feel her fear.

He stood up, and walked up to her, "Look at me." he said, "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you."

She glanced at the floor next to his desk, then, slowly, she raised her eyes.

"You want me to stop?" he asked, "Stop the torture, the crucifictions, the impalement?" he asked her gently, "you want me to stop being a monster?"

She nodded.

"Then I will." he said, "I will stop being a monster for you.  Tell the others-the ones that were too afraid to come here, that I will put a stop to it."

"God bless you." she said.

"God blesses His people, Mrs. Meier, he blesses the innocent, and he blesses the good-He will have nothing to do with the likes of me- it isn't possible for me to be redeemed-I would have to love Him, and I don't-I was born Damned, and that's how I will die, but I won't drag anyone down with me if I can stop it."  He smiled at her, trying to hide the stabbing pain behind his eyes, "Tell them that I will do as you have asked.  No more atrocity."

She left, confused.

Tranh watched her go.  "Sargeant Major, pass the word- Regulation 2251A is back in force-we handle any further POW's under Ares Conventions, and make it stick."  He said.

Sgt. Major Thanh Li nodded, "Sir, I think that's a great idea." he said.

Colonel Ngo looked over at the man, "Then get your ass moving, S'maj, those orders won't communicate themselves."

After Thanh left, the ache jumped up a notch, and he smelled...cinnamon. oh shit.

Colonel Tranh Truk Ngo barely made it into the 'safe' position before the seizures took over-and with them, the agony...They asked me to stop! the triumph of the thought held back his despair...

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #27 on: 10 September 2013, 07:37:07 »
[[Posted 07-12-2009, 03:51:09]]

Redstone Bluff, Afrasia Continent, Elbar, 51 KM north-northeast of Running Deer Mountain, 0330 hours, Wednesday...

The Rim-Worlders had the area sewn deep with vibrabombs and mass-sensors, and crisscrossed with trench lines.  With the artillery pre-plotted to 'pot' anything that managed to avoid being ensnared by the minefields, it was the best defended point north of Running Deer Mountain.

The best part, of course, for Colonel Hugh L'Saunne, was that there weren't the penetrations of railways carrying civilians into the sequestered zone, and he didn't have to devote men to guarding/suppressing a civilian population that had been slated to be used for raw materials, slave labour, and test subjects.

He marched his way along the defense-line, pausing to watch as the Galahads and riflemen assigned to ADA duty engaged another enemy fighter sortie.

"We're holding the door closed on Peaceful Valley, boys.  We'll only have to keep them bottled in a little longer." He'd said the words, but Colonel L'Saunne's gut told him that the promised reinforcements from the rest of the Empire weren't coming.

He parked his Orion at the Regimental CP and climbed down  the kneeling 'mech's central shaft.

as soon as he got to the ground, he turned to an aide.  "Report?"

"Second Battalion held off the 7th Volunteers at Goldstone Gorge, sir-they're asking for reinforcements, Third Battalion is deeply enmeshed in fighting the lead Assault company from the 331st Royals...and our perimeter reports all-quiet except at station nine."

"What's Station Nine reporting?" He asked, interested.

"They aren't, sir."

Station Nine...

L. Corporal Truk Cao Ky wiped his knife on the shirt of a Rimjob sentry,  then signalled his team silently to finish what they were doing.

Colonel Ngo ordered us to treat prisoners under Ares conventions...well, if we don't have prisoners...

The assault on the perimeter outpost had gone rather well-the Rimjobs here had been relatively lax-they'd missed the risk of un-armoured men filtering in with weapons that don't make any sound-it had been knife work.

"Cards?" Leutenant Chu'an held out a hand.  Truk handed the officer a deck of playing cards emblazoned with the Kowloon Republic's national flag, while the rest of the team arranged the Rimjob guardsmen in entertaining, if sometimes disgusting, poses.

"make sure they know who did this, and why."

The enemy would concentrate on this portion of the front-hopefully, enough to create an opening for one of the allied "Heavy" units.

Truk turned, and finished wiring in the timer.  "Okay, sir, we've got...thirty minutes to be clear of the area before their minefields go off-they'll Have to put a stopper here?"

"That's the plan." the LT said, placing the last card in the mouth of the OP's commander.  "Let's go, People!"

The Rimjobs had the same prejudices they'd always had-they left the river, too shallow to hide a 'mech, practically unguarded.

Alpha Company, Kowloon Coast Guard Marines, was headed deeper into enemy territory, and they were doing it with rubber "Innertube duck-hunter" floats.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #28 on: 10 September 2013, 07:37:24 »
[[Posted 07-12-2009, 04:12:41]]

HQ Task Force Elbar (90th SLDF Regiment...)

Lt. Commander Anh Cu'ong sipped tea in the orderly room, and waited for Colonel Winters to arrive.  The Coast-Guard's mission here was to provide air and logistical support-but she'd brought a company of Marines along-And now, I have to explain that... she thought ruefully.

She hadn't had much experience dealing with the CO of the 90th.  I hope he's more reasonable than Hollis was.

The chronometer on the wall clicked another minute gone.

"Ma'am, you could wait until morning..." the Duty Officer told her.

"I'll wait here." Anh said quietly, "Patience is...a strong suit with folks in my profession."  she checked her wrist chrony, and imagined the spot on the map that Alpha would be right now.   They should be back on the move-if everything went according to plan.

The only way to be certain, of course, would be to watch the northeast for a series of large explosions-the Marines were sent out under communications silence with the specific mission of creating a distraction on the front to relieve pressure on the line units at Goldstone and Ridge 36-Colonel Ngo's plan, her assets, but while she was confident that the Coast Guard would, as always, carry out the mission, she wasn't certain of it.

Next time, I'll tell him to use his damn Rangers for this kind of thing. she resolved silently-knowing full well she wouldn't tell him any such thing.

It was like waiting for an assay on a new Rock-either there would be something worth the fuel and time, or there would be an expensive bust.

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Re: When the Man Comes Around (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #29 on: 10 September 2013, 07:37:47 »
[[Posted 07-12-2009, 06:18:27]]

0400, Wednesday Morning...

Colonel L'Saunne did not just hear it when 2.5 kilometers of minefields went off all at one time, he Felt it.

"What the-?"  He tumbled out of his rack, hauled his pants and boots on without buckling, and rushed out.  "Are we under Attack?"  the CP of the Able Regiment of the 656th Rim Worlds Combination Division was still intact, though the ground-shocks had shaken some of the trucks, and his orion had toppled over onto one of the porta-potties.

"Sir! Remember when I said that Perimeter Nine hadn't been reporting activity?"  Major Olslew shouted, coming out of the CP.

"Yeah! What the ****** was THAT??"  L'Saunne demanded, "I told you to send someone out there."

"We got vid-feeds, sir..."  they went back into the Command-Post vehicle.  "Luckily, the EMP from the blasts wasn't strong enough to fry more than local systems..."

"EMP? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??" L'Saunne demanded again.

"The minefields along Section nine, sir,including EMP, Vibrabomb, and Command-det fields-we think.  Seismic sensors for about fifteen, maybe twenty Klik radius are flatlined."  Olslew answered, "We got vid-feed from the relief team sent out to're going to want to see this."

"Show me." L'Saunne had his 'calm' back, "And send a Battalion out there-if those fields are down, then the trench-lines and prepositioned fighting positions are trashed-we're wide open."

"Already on it, sir, I've dispatched First and Fourth Battalions to cover the area."  Olslew said, as a technician brought up the imagery taken right before the blast.

everyone inside the bunker was dead.  Everyone at their post was also dead.  Someone had taken the time to pose some of the bodies in...disgusting positions.  "Closeup on the Leutenant." L'Saunne ordered.  The Tech froze the video, and increased magnification.

Colonel L'Saunne slumped visibly.  "Cancel all passes and all leaves, start sweeping waterways." he said, and turned to Olslew.  "I should've known that They would be coming."

"Who, sir?" Olslew asked.

"You did your pre-war time at Outpost 23, and on Apollo, Olslew, I guess it's okay that you don't know about Kowloonese maritime terrorists."  L'Saunne said, "I was garrison on that hell-pit for six months back in '61, one of their little 'games' was to sneak in and butcher a Militia or Police outpost, leave calling cards, then vanish up or down the river systems-we're going to have to chop resources to waterway control."

Colonel L'Saunne then sighed, "I guess, if the blast didn't wake him, I'm going to have to call General Beauregard..."