NationStates Jolt Archive

Awash in Blue Feathers (Closed RP)

15-06-2005, 19:42
Carl’s stomach turned upside down as the shuttlecraft hit an air pocket and plummeted towards the surface. Fighting back the urge to vomit, he steadied himself on one of the handholds next to his head. On both sides of him Marines acted similarly, although the sounds of a soldier throwing up on the deck above Carl was quite noticeable. They had been on this stinking shuttle for nearly four hours, waiting to get the green light to launch for the planet below, and now that they were finally almost there, the troops were falling apart. To take his mind off of the pathetic sight in front of him, Carl stared out of the glassteel window at the looming planet. It was somewhat earthlike, with a breathable atmosphere and liquid oceans. The main difference was that the planet didn’t rotate. Instead, it had a light and dark side, each with their own continents. He wondered which side he would be deployed on. Shrugging, he turned to the Marine on his left. “Bit of a rough trip, eh skip?” Carl joked. His friend Skip didn’t look so happy.

“Har har” said the Marine, “at least you haven’t got motion sickness.”

“Well, its your own fault for not letting the doctors back in the tin cans,” Carl jerked a thumb in the general direction of the starships they had left only moments before, “treat you for that.” Skip looked out the window, and immediately turned green.

“I told you, no doctor is going to lay a hand on me.” Carl sighed and nodded, acknowledging his friends distinct lack of enthusiasm for doctors.

“All Marines, prepare for landing!” came the shrill voice of the shuttle’s pilot over the intercom. The Marines in the large troop deck of the shuttle all eagerly made final checks on weapons and armor, and then grabbed a hold of the grips next to their heads. The flames that had been engulfing the outside of the shuttle up to now drifted away and were replaced with the breathable atmosphere of the Planet, which he had heard being called “Xenthose”. Out of the window 39 other shuttles could be seen decelerating and breaking off to search for a suitable landing site. “Final descent has begun,” said the pilot. Outside the window, the large, bulky wings of the shuttle unfurled and snapped into place, allowing the massive shuttle to glide towards its assigned LZ on the northern edge of a grassy field. They were still some 400 feet up when the shuttle shuddered and an audible groaning erupted. Carl looked around in bewilderment, searching for the source of the disturbance. As his eyes passed the window, he could clearly make out the fist-sized hole that had been punched through the wing.

“We’re under fire!” yelled one of the marines on the top deck, who no doubt had a better view of the wing. Another hole burst into existence a few feet down the wing from the first, and that was soon followed by four more. Black smoke and gouts of flame issued from the gapping wounds. A long stream of curses could be heard from the cockpit, as the pilot had forgotten to turn the intercom off.

“This is shuttle 14, we are under fire” came the calm voice of the copilot, no doubt forgetting the intercom was on as well. “Requesting immediate reinforcements.”

“Brace for impact!” screeched the pilot. With a tremendous grinding noise the shuttle finally plowed nose-first into the soft, sandy soil of the field. The Marines were thrown against their restraining straps with enough force to knock several unconsciouses. The shuttle bumped over several small rises, and finally slid to a stop against a rather large hill. Red warning lights bathed the interior of the shuttle as the humans inside struggled to release their harnesses.

“All Marines, front and center!” yelled a Sergeant somewhere in the rear. The Marines immediately ran over towards the deployment door, forming 5 neat, single-file lines 50 deep. The Marines from the top deck rushed down the steel stairwells and joined the ranks of their brethren below. The Sergeant smashed his fist against the door controls, and the massive blast-proof door slammed down into the mud as the explosive bolts holding it up detonated. “Move out!” yelled the Sergeant. The Marines obeyed, rushing out of the shuttle to secure the LZ while the Lemen Russ artillery tanks, Wheeled Scouting Vehicles, and the Light Laser Battery artillery they towed offloaded behind them.

Carl watched in amazement as other shuttles burst into flame and careened into the field, just like his had. Whatever weapons were hitting them, they were strong enough to pierce battleship armor, which was what the wings were made of. The Corsair fighters circled overhead, desperately trying to find where the fire was coming from. There wasn’t really anywhere to hide, what with the terrain being almost exclusively grassy hills, yet the enemy continued to elude them. “Trooper Sanchez!” Roared a voice behind Carl, who noted whoever it was had used his surname. A bad sign. Carl turned and started as he realized the Sergeant was glaring at him. “Get over here boy!” roared the angry noncom. “Go tell those tankers to get their metal coffins into gear and take out those guns!”

“Sir, yessir!” Yelled Carl, giving his best snap salute. He jogged off towards the tanks, while the Sergeant screamed at some other unlucky Marines. The tankers glared off at the Sergeant as Carl drew closer. “You are ordered to mov..” Carl started to say, but the tankers cut him off, saying they had heard the order from all the way over here. Carl tried to argue, but the tank’s engines roared into life, and soon he was faced with talking into thin air.

* * *

The guns had fallen silent some hours ago, but nobody knew whether the tanks had destroyed them or simply run out of targets. Either way, the return of the Lemen Russ’s was welcomed. They returned with bodies chained to their sides, which were quickly removed and rushed to the Marine HQ, somewhere back in the center of the large field. Carl didn’t know what changed, but all of a sudden the Corsairs started strafing the grassy hills off in the western direction. Perhaps they had finally found the strange weapons emplacements, Carl mused.
15-06-2005, 21:30
It was an unusually quiet day in the Al’Coth village of Tir’Fursha. The Urdaan had been unusually inactive. This was odd, considering that Tir’Fursha was in the Northern reaches of the Al’Coth holdings. Still, Resa Ja-Dafash maintained his vigil on the barren hill just North of the village. His blue feathers ruffling in the breeze, he turned momentarily to look at his home. The village was small, the houses were little more than holes in the ground with various grasses and straws strewn about in them to cushion the hard ground. It wasn’t much, but it was what they had.

Turning back to the hilly plains he spots a glint of metal off in the distance. In a few minutes, it becomes clear that an Urdaan raiding party had crossed into Al’Coth lands. Quickly he begins alerting his comrades through their psychic link. Within the half-hour, a group of fifteen Al’Coth has been assembled and placed under the leadership of Resa. They decide that the best course of action would be to eliminate the Urdaan threat as quickly as possible, before they reached Tir’Fursha.

Shortly after departing, the warriors hear the shattering sound of Urdaan cannon fire. Immediately they lock their double-jointed legs, fluff up their manes and prepare to engage the hated enemy. After several minutes one of them spots a strange flying piece of metal of in the East and sees the light weapons of the Urdaan strike it. They soon realize that the cannons are focused on these strange contraptions and continue onward, psychically alerting the rest of their kind to the strange sights.

After a few hours, they finally locate their reviled prey. The group of thirteen Urdaans seem to be resting in a small plain below the hill where the Al’Coth warriors look down on them. Silently, the Al’Coth brace their springy legs, fluff their manes and move toward the edge of the steep hill. In unison, they suddenly begin sprinting down the hill, using its momentum to their advantage, as they shriek an earsplitting noise.

Obviously hearing them, the Urdaan stand up and begin firing their light weapons at the warriors. After one of them is hit and instantly dies, the Al’Coth split up, some heading right, the others left. The Urdaan continue to fire in vain as the bird-like creatures act as one, telepathically communicating events to his comrades. For a short time, it appears that a stalemate develops. It seems whichever side tires first will be the loser. Soon, an odd noise is heard overhead. Both sides are too preoccupied to look up, but they take notice when the Urdaan held ground erupts with laser fire.

The Al’Coth suddenly stop running and look to the skies as more odd pieces of metal shoot by, obviously the source of the surprising air support. The warriors take advantage of the situation, charging the Urdaans, who are either dead or slammed into the ground. Within minutes the disremembered bodies of Urdaan soldiers are strewn across the small plain, testaments to the strength of the birdmen’s talons and serrated beaks. After the slaughter, the warriors are exhausted and decide to make camp before heading back, so they can rest and mourn their lost friend.
15-06-2005, 22:08
The squadron of Corsairs dived straight down, lasers carving swathes of destruction among the Urdaan warriors below. The feeble gray aliens died by the droves. Pulling up for another pass, the lead Corsair was hit by a shimmer energy weapon from the assembled alien host below. “I’m hit!” screamed the pilot, as his doomed aircraft nose-dived.

“Stay calm, Red 2!” ordered the Squadron Leader. Despite his order, Red 2 continued to scream until Squadron Leader cut off his COM channel. The rest of the squadron watched in macabre fascination as his Corsair broke up and disintegrated. Squadron Leader grimaced and turned back towards the aliens. “Squadron Leader to Red Leader, attack their AA. Blue Leader, go for their armor. Lets make pay for Red 2!” The Squadron dived as a unit, only breaking off to accomplish their respective assignments at the last moment.

“Sir!” came the staticy voice of Blue 4, “there is another group of aliens, and they seem to be attacking the gray ones!” The Squadron Leader checked his radar, and seeing nothing but the original aliens, reprimanded Blue 4 for the false alert. Making a final sweep with his lasers, Squadron Leader took another glance at his instruments. Nope, definitely nothing there, thought the officer.

“This is Captain Yorik Burgandy,” said the gruff voice on his radio, “of the ENSS Samuel Gooding. I would advise you to check your sensors again, Squadron Leader, for we are monitoring movement on the ground which you have not reported.” The Squadron Leader was slightly annoyed that the captain had been watching them, but took another pass overhead just to be sure. Sure enough, there were more aliens, but of a different color. He was just about to break off to engage, when a priority communiqué was received, ordering the Squadron back to base.

* * *

“What are they sir?” asked one low-ranking intelligence officer of the Lord General. The other officers standing around the holographic display table in the belly of one of the shuttles all turned expectantly to the Lord General, waiting for the answer. Frankly, the general thought, I have no idea.

“They appear to be an avian race that has, for some reason, chosen to fight our little gray friends, the Urdaan.” Two alien races in one day, thought the General, is too many for my liking. “Dispatch a convoy of WSVs to find out what they are, and make sure to collect the equipment the Urdaan left behind.”
16-06-2005, 19:27
"Listen up troopers! We need volunteers for a recon mission!" shouted a different Sergeant than the last one Carl had been yelled at by. Every trooper within earshot raised his hand in an instant. Recon missions usually meant using the WSVs, and that was a very popular vehicle. Driving one was the next-best thing to four wheeling back on earth, a rare treat considering that the army testing grounds is the only area on the entire planet that isn’t covered in buildings.

The Sergeant waded through the troops, slapping some hands and passing others. The slapped rushed over to a vehicle and either got into one of the seats or the big Heavy Pulser on the pintel mount.

Carl's arm got slapped, and as he ran towards an empty WSV, he noted with satisfaction that Skip had also been slapped. Carl manned the Heavy Pulser, while Skip drove, and some other trooper neither of them knew got into the passenger side.

Skip smirked and punched Carl's leg lightly. "Look at those poor saps over there." He was motioning to a group of about 10 WSVs that were being hitched to trailers. "That’s gonna kill their speed" mumbled the trooper in the passengers seat. Needless to say, none of the soldiers in the chosen vehicles looked particularly pleased.

The original Sergeant Carl had seen climbed a small hill. "Mount up!" he roared into the amplivox he held in his right hand. "Move out!"

At his command, 67 WSVs launched out of the base, their big engines roaring with power.

"Woohoohoo!" shouted Skip. Carl had to admit that he was having fun as well. He didn’t get to sit down like the other two occupants, but the reassuring presence of the Heavy Pulser cheered him up. "Hang on!" bellowed Skip just before he launched the scouting vehicle up and over a large hill. It impacted on the other side none-the worse for wear, its massive suspension taking up the shock as if it were nothing.

The convoy raced along the ground for about half an hour before the trooper in charge of that little jaunt decided to head in the direction that the officers back at HQ had told them to go. He probably wouldn’t have, except a patrol of Corsairs ripped overhead and reminded the whole group that they had a mission to do. There was a slightly perceptible grumble over the radio as the WSVs were brought back into formation, but it was soon forgotten in the sheer joy of the ride.

"This is Trooper Gavin Lusteur. I’m up on the west flank, and I think I got movement" came the voice over the radio. A Chorus of affirmatives announced the departure of several WSVs to the west flank. After about five minutes, a second broadcast came over the radio.

"All WSVs, report to the western flank. I think we just found our Urdaan, boys!"

Skip shrugged and turned the vehicle so tightly that it went up on two wheels. It thudded back down, and Skip floored it. Plumes of grass and topsoil sprayed away from their rear tires as they shot towards the west.

OOC: This ( is a WSV. It can hold five people: one driver; three passengers, and one gunner. The WSV in this picture is sporting a satellite uplink instead of a weapon on its mount.
19-06-2005, 03:05
The first thing that the Al’Coth do, once they settle down, is to burry their fallen comrade. Digging into the ground with their strong arms and sharp claws, the fourteen of them quickly have a good sized grave dug. Ceremonially, four of the birdmen lower their fellow warrior into the hole. They then proceed to burry him, this time using their legs and talons. Next, they decide that the time for a celebration feast has come.

In short order, they gather the scattered remains of the Urdaan into a pile and begin to consume the flesh of their hated enemy. There isn’t much meat on the alien’s bones and it has a somewhat unpleasant odor and aftertaste, but it is tender and the Al’Coth draw a certain satisfaction knowing that they are digesting the very ones that would have sought to harm them. They begin to speak amongst themselves in their language of squawks, chirps, clicks and screeches. They mostly discuss the odd flying pieces of metal that won the battle for them. Shortly, however, the conversation turns to what each of them would do if the Urdaan leader was in front of them.

Suddenly, their somewhat gruesome jokes are interrupted by the sound of engines off in the distance. They instinctively drop into battle stances.

“More Urdaan scum,” one of them spats.

“No, it sounds different,” Resa muses.

The sound grows closer and soon large wheeled vehicles burst over a hill in front of the birdmen. Immediately, they notice that the odd contraptions are being piloted by strange creatures, certainly not Urdaan. They psychicly reach a consensus to let these new aliens make the first move.
19-06-2005, 17:45
The WSV jerked to a halt as the driver slammed on the brakes. "WHat the hell are those things?!" asked the gunner.

"I dont know! Shoot em!" commanded the passanger. The gunner was about to do as he was bid, but the driver waved him to stop.

"They havnt attacked us yet, so why should we attack them? Plus, it seems that are," the driver paused in disgust, "eating our enemies..."

The passanger kept a warry eye on the bird-things, but turned to the radio. "This is Trooper Gavin Lusteur. I’m up on the west flank, and I think I got movement," said the trooper ironicly.

"You think you've got movement?" asked the gunner humorously. Gavin shrugged and turned back to the "birds", which were now staring at the humans with an equal amount of interest.

"Hello. Do. You. Understand. Me?" questioned the driver. The birds clicked thier beaks and squaked a bit, but didnt seem to do anything other than continue to eat. All three men in the WSV shrugged and decided to wait for backup.
19-06-2005, 19:33
As the strange creatures begin to speak among themselves, the Al’Coth realize that they obviously aren’t planning to attack. Relieved, they are about to continue eating when one of the aliens seems to direct his strange guttural language at them.

“What is it saying?” One of them asks his comrades.

“I don’t know. I bet it isn’t saying much.,” another responds.

“I know, just listen to it talk, more like an animal’s grunts.” another warrior chimes in.

The Al’Coth continue to eat when, suddenly, Resa chirps, “Wait, do you think they’re the ones behind those weird flying machines?”

“They could be. This is big news we should alert the others,” another squawks.

His fellow birdmen agree and they utilize their psychic link to alert the populace of Tir’Fursha to recent events. They, in turn, broadcast the message to other villages, which quickly pass it on to more settlements. In almost no time at all, the message reaches Las’Te Fra-Yesh, the current Banta of the Al’Coth.

“Very interesting,” he clucks.
20-06-2005, 04:31
Slowly the rumble of WSV engines could be heard screaming across the hilly country to the east. A single WSV roared over a hill and slammed back down onto solid ground. The crew gave a whoop, which was quickly picked up by the other crews as they cleared the mound. 66 Wheeled Scouting Vehicles darted toward their fellow vehicle at full speed; truly a sight to behold.

"Hey! Over here!" waved Gavin. The lead WSV spotted him, and they all turned in unison towards his position. The bird-like aliens coked their heads quizzically, but did not stop eating. Apparently not much fazed them.

In a shower of dirt and grass the WSVs skidded to a halt. "Wow," whistled the driver of one of the vehicles, "what tech." Gavin looked confused, and turned back towards the aliens. They were still there, but his comrade’s attention seemed to be focused on the hover-vehicles and the dead Urdaan surrounding them. Suddenly, someone seemed to notice the bird-things for the first time, and an exited round of conversation spread like wildfire throughout the human forces. Someone aimed a Pulse Rifle at them, but another person stopped them from firing. A hushed silence descended, as the two species sized each other up.

"Trooper Gavin, report to the rear immediately!" said a voice over his personal comm channel. Gavin snapped a quick salute, even though the officer that sent the message couldn’t see it, and scurried to the back of the human "formation". A man in a dark over-coat stood waiting for him by the very last WSV. His jet-black eyes said "your late", and his insignia said "Einhauserian Naval Intelligence". Gavin just about stopped where he was. Wherever the spooks of the ENI showed up, nothing but trouble followed. "Alright, you were the first person to set your eyes on the things up ahead, so tell me: what are they?" asked the ENI agent.

"Sir, I believe they are an avian race that to my knowledge we have yet to encounter, sir!" obediently barked Gavin. The agent nodded and furrowed his brow.

"All right then trooper, tell me, what leads you to these conclusions?" Immediately Gavin barked out a reply.

"Sir, they are adorned with feathers, have bird-like arms and legs, beaks, and talk with clicks. It is obvious they descended from birds, sir!

The spook look mollified for a moment, and then took out his mike and spoke into it. Gavin only caught the end of the whispered command, but it sounded like "foxtrot, oatmeal, symbiote," or something along those lines. The ENI agent turned back to Gavin and ordered him to go find the officer in charge.

"Tell him to give this," he handed Gavin a bundle of exotic looking necklaces, "to the bird-things."

Gavin obediently rushed off to do the agent's bidding.
Christopher Thompson
24-06-2005, 16:00
--Attacked Urdaan Encampment--
The Urdaan had seen it all today. Another alien race, another that hates them. All of their existance had been soroful; the dark past that hated them, being hunted by an unseen foe to near extinction, and now coming here to be hunted by not one but two races. The Urdaan had always managed to survive somehow, though. As Captain Suuw-ran passed through the now almost obliterated camp, he saw his faithful an fearless soldiers pass by, all hard at work salvaging the base to move back. Everything that couldn't be moved would then be detonated. "Sir," one said.
The Captain's eyebrows raised up in question as he saw the Urdaan standing before him. "Yes, what is it?"
"We shall be ready for detonation early tommarow morning. In the mean time, Alpha and Bravo company from Sector Six will cover our withdrawl."
"Good. And what about those light artillery and AA batteries and tanks I ordered?"
"They should be here this evening sir."
"Excellent. Payback's a bitch."
OOC: Sorry for the small postage, I'm getting back in the groove from taking a break in Germany. Also, what's my tech here? What are those guns that can shoot through such armor, and I do have tanks and planes and boats, right? Spell it out real quick for me.
30-06-2005, 21:12
OOC: Ok, the tech is: you make it, it works. I left them almost a blank slate. The only restraints you have is that you have to incorperate hover tech into something, and lasers are always cool. You have 4 light starships at your desposale to engage my fleet, and a sizable force on Theros as well. Dont forget that. We have yet to fight on Theros, so im gonna replace Ermacia.
Gehenna Tartarus
02-07-2005, 17:52
A screeched filled the air, followed by the sound of rapid footfalls. The breaking of twigs and the rustle of leaves battled to dominate the air, but nothing could cover the second screech as it grew louder, coming closer and closer. Hy’loth turned in time to see the bushes part and reveal the familiar features of his friend Lof’tagn come rushing into view. In the blinking of an eye, the Al’Karook had leapt into the air, clearing the new arrival before landing safely back on the ground.

“What are you doing?” Hy’loth stared at his friend, his feathers ruffled in frustration. “You know what falsely raising the alarm is frowned upon.” He shook himself, his plumage falling back into its normal state. One gangly arm quickly flicked over his head, preening. Clicking his beak shut, to display his displeasure at Lof’tagn, he turned and began to walk towards the village.

Lof’tagn frowned, as well as he could without the use of eyebrows, his black eyes flaring slightly. “You worry too much.” He watched his friends retreating back, and noticing that he did not appear to be stopping, he moved rapidly after him, catching him with little effort. “What harm does it do, ‘Loth?”

Stopping suddenly, causing the second Al’karook to collide into his back, almost sending both of them sprawling onto the floor. His talons grabbed at the feathers on Lof’tagn’s neck. “The alarm is what will save us all, if you go around screeching that danger is coming, one day when it does, it will be ignored.” He looked sadly into his friend’s eyes. “And do you want to be responsible for killing the village?”

Lof’tagn shook his head, which was now facing down towards the ground. Without saying another word, he released his grip and let out a playful trill. “Race you back to the village.” He shot off, racing through the foliage, his friend following closely behind.

* * * * *

The village at first glance, did not look like a village, in that there were no huts and houses. The Al’Karnook tended to live in more natural locations, caves, under the ground or the odd few had adapted huge trees into homes. There were a few Al’karook milling around, talking between themselves. While others went about their business, keeping the village protected and seeing to the general running of the day.

Up above on high outlooks, several Al’Karook stood, their eyes flicking around their surroundings. It was from his perch at the front of the village that Sk’mon watched the two youngsters rushing back into the village, knowing as he looked down upon them that they were bound to be running from trouble. Letting out a deep sigh, Sk’mon longed for the days that he could run free and not have to worry about the protection of the village.

From his vantage point, he could see for over a mile at the surrounding land. The village had been constructed on high ground, allowing for better protection. Chosen not only for its position, but also the closeness of water and a good supply of food, Ha’na’goeth had managed to survive the attack of many, and it was safe in this knowledge that the habitants went about their daily chores with little fear, but they were wise enough to keep their eyes open.

[ooc: due to there only being one gender of Al'karook, all will be referred to as 'he'.]
02-07-2005, 21:51
OOC Expertly written. Truly a joy to read!

Xenthos, base camp

The atmosphere roiled and burned where the massive dropships plunged through it, bringing more men and supplies to the now-entrenched human forces. The ships flared their engines, and set themselves heavily to the ground. Men and machines poured out of some, while what look to be pieces of a prefabricated base were being rolled out of one. Skip shook his head. If they were setting up prefab's, they were in for a long deployment. Carl, who was standing next to Skip, noticed the dark look that crossed his brow and clapped Skip on the back. "Hey, don’t worry, the prefab's also mean a shower, hot food, and a warm bunk. I’m sure we can’t be here too long. After all," Carl broke off to survey the surrounding plains, "there isn’t anything on this miserable planet worth guarding.

Skip sighed deeply and went back to cleaning his weapon. The standard issue Marine Pulse Rifle may be able to punch through light tank armor, but it sure as hell needed a lot of maintenance. This was the third time in one day that Skip had changed the focusing crystal on the end of the barrel.

"I hope you are right man, I hope you are right..."

Xenthos, scouting column Omega

The necklaces shone with a strange, alien glimmer that was both pleasing and revolting at the same time. Gavin would be glad to get rid of these as soon as possible. I wonder why the ENI agent asked me about the aliens, reflected Gavin. Ah well, it is not the duty of a soldier to ponder such things, he concluded. By this time Gavin had made his way to the front of the crowd. The blue aliens were still there, and it looked like they had not moved since the agent had called him back. Hesitantly, Gavin approached the closest one. With a small flick of the wrist, he flung the necklaces at the feet of the bird-things and rapidly retreated back to the safety of the WSVs.

Theros, two clicks west of landing site

The two troopers struggled out of the much and onto a relatively dry tree branch. "This sucks man. We been trudging through this shit for hours now. I’m startin' ta' think this whole damn moon is one damn mudball. Damn I hate this..."

The other man just grunted and slapped the barrel of his Pulse Rifle. Suddenly, an awkward looking turtle-creature dropped out of one of the trees directly in front of the two men. Startled, and unable to make out very much detail in the perpetually twilightish light caused by the massive trees, all they could do was shoot. Two Pulse Rifles strobbed through the darkness, sending burst after burst of brilliant white energy streams towards the creature, which had died on the first shot.

Both of their rifles went dry, their 16 shot batteries having exhausted themselves. This brought the men under control. "What is that thing?" asked the first man. Getting no response, the second man turned, and was greeted with empty air. Where the first man had sat, there was nothing but a spent battery and some scrapped moss.

"Hey man, where are you? Hello? Hey, this isn’t funn-" the man was cut off in mid sentence as a claw erupted from his chest. Blood fountined out of the wound as the feather clad murderer dragged its pray behind the tree, where it had stashed the first victim. The creature was careful not to get any blood on its feathers. Its brilliant blue feathers.
Gehenna Tartarus
03-07-2005, 10:54
The hunting party found the carcass of the Yarhl, the head scout almost tripping over the body as he moved through the undergrowth. The group stopped, three of them surrounding the fallen turtle-like beast, while the others kept their attention fixed to the area around them, searching for signs of trouble. One had found a vantage point up one of the nearby trees, the common practice when the group was out.

Kh’bhan, the hunting leader, stepped forward and pushed the creature over with his foot, his beak pulled back ready to attack should this be some rouse the Yarhl had found of felling pray. But the body rolled with no resistance and the black mark that covered its chest, singed skin and dried blood, indicated that it had left this world, but not by any normal means.

“There is trouble around. Be on your guard.” Kh’bhan flicked his head around, eyes scanning the area. The group’s feathers rose almost as one, puffing them up, as they prepared for battle, their claws ready. Nine sets of eyes began the arduous task of seeking signs of trouble. The hunting leader looked up to their observer. “Do you see anything?”

The screech that when up through the air indicating no sign on movement, made the others feel at once, more secure and more on edge. Something had killed the Yarhl, and it was something that could easily kill them too. Without much sound, the party began to move, sweeping out from the centre, panning around looking for anything that could show them the cause of the destruction.

In what felt like a lifetime to all those present, another shrill filled the air, bringing Kh’bhan running to the source. Without a word, one of the party pointed to the ground behind a tree, where they remains of two creatures lay, dead and ripped to shreds.

The leader bird crouched down to inspect, quite a picture with the double jointed knees almost concertinaing beneath him. He looked up, his eyes grave. “This had been done by one of our own.” He rose from the ground, returning to his full height. He sent up a call, beckoning one of their own to show himself, but the call went unanswered. “We need to inform the Elders. Tar’fai’ka will not be pleased to hear that others now walk on Theros, or that one of us has attacked without permission.”

Leaving three behind to dispose of the dead, Kh’bhan returned the rest of the group back to Ha’na’goeth.
03-07-2005, 20:38
Theros, landing site

Cigar smoke wafted throughout the room, caressing the officers gathered around the map table with its cancer-giving kiss. This seemed not to bother any of them, as they were intent upon the map laid out before them. The men looked grim, for several patrols had not reported in hours. This was by no means an unusual occurrence. Hell, Einhauser looses troops so often that nobody noticed anymore. If it weren’t for the cloning tanks and genetics labs back on Earth, the planet's entire population would have been wiped out trying to absorb the sheer number of losses. Such was the nature of galactic war.

This, however, was something different. The swamp world seemed to make everything look darker, more sinister. After a moment, one of the larger officers broke the silence.

"We should refrain from sending out scouts, from now on," said the face wreathed in a nimbus of cigar smoke.

"What would you suggest we do instead?" asked another voice, obscured by the shadows of the prefabricated base's operations center.

"We should use line troops, and send them in larger numbers. It is the only way to protect our investment."

A third officer snorted. "Investment?" it said mockingly, "what investment?"

The man wreathed in smoke sighed deeply. "Why, you surprise me general. The investment is this moon. Would you see us lose the first habitable planet/moon combination we have discovered?"

This seemed to cow the general. "Very well," he said in a low voice, "send out whomever you will." With that, he walked towards the door, which was already irising open.

Theros, temporary landing strip

The shuttle shuddered and dropped thirty feet as it hit a pocket of low pressure. Belly thrusters fired to correct its course, and the landing light on the makeshift tower flashed green. "You are cleared for landing, shuttle. Make for strip beta," said the air-traffic controller. The shuttle flared its belly jets once more, and then landed with a crunch on the gravel pad below it. The rear door swung open and two more WSVs rolled out. Fat lot of good they will do in this swampy mess, thought the controller darkly.

The humans had been lucky enough to find a large area of solid ground free of the giant trees that covered this mudball, to set down on, and after only a few hours, had set up prefabricated walls, a barracks, supply depots, and even a landing strip for the shuttles that continually ferried men to and from the moon. The command center loomed a good three stories over every other building present. It housed the refineries necessary for keeping the supply depots, well, supplied, and a place for the officers to lounge around. The air-traffic controller in the center's tower had an unobstructed view of the surrounding air space, and quite a good view of the nearby trees. As he was glancing at said trees, a slight blue flash caught his attention. He ran a quick scan of the woods, but the sensors turned up nothing, and the automated defense turrets on the walls hadn’t opened fire. I guess it was just my imagination, thought the man.

OOC: forgive my not making the post longer. I have a new ship I have to release today that still needs some editing.
Gehenna Tartarus
04-07-2005, 19:56
Dw’nag raced back to the village as quickly as his legs could carry him. Unlike the humans, he had no trouble navigating the boggy ground and skimming past the huge towering trees, for unlike them he had been born here, at learned where every item of life had sprung up and taken its place in the grand scheme of things. Normally he would appreciate all that he passed, but not today, not right now, for he was on a mission, and the mission was of the utmost importance.

He had seen them arrive, had watched as they took over the land. Had followed the progress of the birds from the sky, and had felt the fear that the image gave him. From his vantage point in a tree, his blue plumage oddly blending with the foliage making him near impossible to see, not that any of those on the ground had been looking for him, they had been too busy to notice that which was not directly in front of their eyes. But the image that he had seen, it had brought a feeling of foreboding, the feeling of trouble.

Racing into the village, he almost collided with a group of hunters that seemed as much flustered as he did. And they seemed to be heading in the same direction, with as much speed. In the centre of the village was their goal, the home of Tar’fai’ka, the wisest and most powerful of the Al’karook, and it was to him that the people flocked in time of trouble.

* * * * *

Tar’fai’ka sat on a throne, not one ornately carved out of a chunk of wood, but was the living tangle of a tree, itself growing in such a way that the ruler of the Al’karook could rest his weary legs and watch over his people. For Tar’fai’ka’s Palace was one of the huge trees that dominated the middle of the village, giving both protection and shelter to those beneath.

The screeching and squawking that filled his ears did not bring him any joy. The sound of a troubled Al’karook travelled far, not just by the ear, but through the mind. And as his people approached with their fears and concerns, he knew of them immediately, just like the rest of the village, for they were bound together not only in blood but in the union of their minds.

Suddenly before him, he saw standing two men, both screeching out their messages at the same time, letting the Banta hear nothing but a jumble of words but their meaning was lost. Raising his hand, he brought silence to the air, and gazed at the two men before pointing to one to speak first.

Kh’bhan stepped forward and lowered his head before he began. “Banta Tar’fai’ka, I bring tragic news.” He rustled his feathers in frustration. “We came across a Yarhl that had been killed, but by no Al’karook or Urdaan hand.”

The Banta looked puzzled. “How can you be so sure?” His trill voice commanded respect. “The Urdaan are always trying to find new ways to destroy us.”

Kh’bhan shook his head. “We found the remains of some strange beings, killed by one of our own.” His eyes flared with anger. “This move along brings trouble to our people.”

Tar’fai’ka looked troubled, his eyes held a sadness that seem to reveal his soul. “This is indeed a problem.”

“It is worse than that.” Dw’nag stepped forward, his eyes wide with wonder. “I have seen the beings. They travel in birds that will bring the might of the Urdaan into insignificance. They have land beasts that they can climb into, that carry them across the ground.”

Both the other birds looked at him, stunned expressions matched exactly. “And where have you seen all this.” Tar’fai’ka’s voice was filled with concern and urgency.

The younger Al’karook pointed off into the far distance, further than their eyes could see. “At the Lag’nak. They have commandeered the land as their own.”
04-07-2005, 20:45

PFC William Anderson stepped off the ramp of the combat dropship, and fell waist-deep into the mud. He cursed, but struggled out of the way in time for the next armor-clad trooper to disembark. They fanned out and secured the immediate area around the hovering shuttle while it disgorged the other six men in the squad. Having completed its mission, the ship shunted a blast of super-heated air into the mud, and burst through the trees back in the general direction of the base.

The comm bead embedded in William's helmet crackled to life, and the voice of Sergeant Ackerson floated over to him. "Listen up Marines," the voice said, "Our mission is to find out what happened to some scout units that disappeared over this direction. Make sure your weapons don’t clog in this damn mud. And James," the Sergeant turned towards PFC James Francis, "keep that thing pointed away from me." The squad laughed, and James lovingly stroked his heavy plasma-thrower. "Move out men," ordered the Sergeant.

Although the many layers of armor and the fully sealing body-glove kept the mud from actually touching their bodies, it slowed them down considerably. Each footstep became an arduous battle, and if they had been without their armor, they would’ve been stuck the moment they left the dropship. William wondered how the unarmored scouts had managed this, but, failing to find a suitable answer, chalked it up to some sort of new tech that was best not to know about.

His train of thought was interrupted by a rather large tree that seemed to arc up into the sky for miles. The trunk was at least 50 feet in diameter, and surrounded by the thick mud. William cursed quietly, so the comm wouldn’t pick up his voice, and began trudging around the tree.

"Hey Sergeant. Come look at this..." said James, who was out of Anderson's sight behind the tree. William heard some slogging footsteps, and an intake of breath over the comm. "What the hell is it, sarg?" asked James.

"Bastard must be fifty foot long!" said another voice. William didn’t recognize it, so he guessed it was one of the two new recruits in the squad. He rounded the tree, and nearly walked straight into a behemoth. It was like a gigantic crocodile from earth, but it had fins instead of arms and legs, and blowholes on top of the head. It was half submerged beneath the mud, and was staring intently at the backs of the rest of the squad, who had failed to notice it. William gave a cry of alarm and opened up with his Pulse Rifle. Searing white energy burst across the scaly back of the beast, which swung its massive head around and tried to bite William's legs off. He jumped back, and a sudden gout of plasma caused the beast to lay still.

There was a low whistle over the comm, and the Sergeant approached the carcass. "This guy would’ve gutted us without us every knowing. Damn good thing you found it before it pounced." Sergeant Ackerson slapped his gauntleted hand across the armored plates of William's back. "Ill inform command about these things. Maybe we can prevent a few other squads from meeting the messy fate we just avoided," said the Sergeant while kicking one of the two-foot long blades that passed for the creature's teeth.

While the Sergeant got on the comm with command, William stared down at the beast. This was going to be a very interesting mission.
04-07-2005, 22:36
The warriors were continuing their feast when one of the aliens cautiously began to approach. The birdmen turned to face him, bracing for an attack. Rather unexpectedly, the strange creature tossed an odd, glowing necklace at Resa’s feet, and then quickly retreated back to his comrades.

“What was that about?” an Al’Coth clucked.

“I don’t know. Maybe the mammals figure this is some sort of peace offering?” Resa clicked as he picked up the necklace with his talon, slowly razing it to one of his claws. He dangled the glowing device in front of his face, examining it closely. Cautiously, he raised it above his head and dropped it. The strange device came to rest awkwardly on his mane of feathers. “Does it do anything?” he asked aloud, frightening himself with the way he spoke. It was not in his normal clicks and chirps but in the guttural speech of the strange mammals. Even more disturbing, his comrades still understood him.

Far away, the Banta had been monitoring the events through the psychic link. *That device you ware is a translator Resa Ja-Dafash. The Urdaan used them when they first landed. When they thought they could subjugate us with fear alone. You will communicate my words to the mammals exactly as I send them to you*

*As you command* Resa responded. He turned to the mammals and began slowly moving toward one of their great wagons. He shouted, “Mammals, I am Resa Ja-Dafash of the Al’Coth. I speak for my leader, the Banta. Why have you come? Do you come from beyond the sky as the Urdaan do?” A silence settled over the two peoples as Resa continued walking toward the aliens, his fellow warriors moving into position close behind him.
05-07-2005, 01:54
The bird-thing continued towards the humans, who lowered their rifles towards the perceived threat. "Stand down!" loudly ordered the ENI agent, who had moved to the front. As a sign of good will, the agent tucked his Pulse Pistol into its holster. "My name is Richard Huntley. I speak for the human company of Einhauser. We came here looking for worlds not unlike our own, where we could live peacefully," outrageously lied the agent. "Yes, I suppose you could say we come 'from beyond the sky', but not like the Urdaan. We come bearing an offer of peace."
06-07-2005, 02:49
Resa looked cautiously at this human and relayed the words of the Banta, his fellow warriors stood quietly behind him.

“Your offer of peace from the human tribe of Einhauser is much appreciated Richard Huntley. Times have not been good for my people. The Urdaan came from beyond the sky and sought to rule us and our brothers, the Al’Karook, who live on Theros. The Al’Karook still hold on, but my people have been pushed almost into the water. We are like a Chupdor backed into a corner. We had thought that we would eventually have to fight onto our own deaths and take as many Urdaan as possible with us, but perhaps you humans can save us. If you help us defeat the Urdaan scum, we promise you a peaceful place to settle.”
06-07-2005, 03:14
"The deal is good. I will relay our conversation to my superiors." With that, the agent slid back behind the armed soldiers and over to the radio of the nearest WSV.

(OOC im looking for the guy playing the Urdaan. We may have to replace him if he doesnt show up)
Gehenna Tartarus
06-07-2005, 23:21
The three Al’karook stood in silence as the words sunk into their heads, and the meaning became clear. They had had many years of hostilities with the Urdaan, had fought beak and claw to save themselves, to make sure that they lived and grew strong, they would not sit back and rest on their laurels as another threatened to destroy all that they had built up.

Tar’fai’ka lowered his head in thought, his eyes facing the ground, but the images he saw were not the bark of the tree or the leaves that had managed to grow despite the feet that walked upon them. His vision was filled with the scenes of many dead, blue feathers bathed in blood, the victims of the Urdaan, but it would not happen again, this new foe would be beaten back, despite the monsters that they had brought with them.

Looking up, his eyes met the two others in the room, falling mainly on Kh’bhan. “You will have to go to Lag’nak and see what you can find out, but be careful. Until we know what we are facing, we do not want to reveal ourselves.” He frowned, as best as he could, his lack of feathers creating a strange effect. “Once we have gauged the new evil, then we will attack, and remove this strange beast that befouls our land.”

Kh’bhan nodded his head, his feathers ruffling with his growing anger at this new threat. “We will be weary, Banta, and we will be triumphant.” With a signal of dismissal from the ruler, the hunter turned and left to gather his fellows to begin the task.

His companion, Dw’nag watched as he left and turned back to Tar’fai’ka. “And what would you have me do, Banta?” His eyes revealed his desire to serve the nation and his ruler in this endeavour. “How may I serve you?”

“You will help to secure the village. Inform the lookouts that there may be trouble. I want to know as soon as any of these beasts are in sight. We must be prepared for anything and everything.” Tar’fai’ka let out a small clicking sound with his tongue, as he mourned the loss of those that had fallen before and hoped that no more of his own would suffer.

* * * * *

The hunting party was skilled, able to be as quiet and as invisible as possible. They moved swiftly to the point where Dw’nag had first witnessed the strangers, their long gawky legs have no trouble with the swampy marsh. Where the ground became too unbearable, they simply leapt over them with their concertina legs, and landed safely on the other side, with barely more than a gently tap on the ground.

Kh’bhan led the group, his hackles up, his feathers puffed making him appear bigger than his natural size. But should the need arise he could move fast, his plumage returning to normal and becoming more streamlined. He motioned for the party to split, half going to the left, half to the right. Silently they moved towards their destination. Stopping as they reached the perfect viewing point, other Al’karook leapt into a tree, taking the high ground as the others found good vantage points.

The hunter leader let out a trill, that his companions understood, but to the normal human ear would be nothing more than a bird’s call. Settling down, they began to watch as the beasts manoeuvred their metal monsters through the forest, with them safely tucked up out of sight.
08-07-2005, 19:25
Theros, basecamp

Private Jeffrey O’Connell sat chewing his last cigarette. He never smoked them, instead preferring to chew the tobacco out. It seemed to calm him down more. As he sat chewing, he watched the lumbering mechanical giants cross the gate through the west wall. They were covered in the cursed mud that seemed to make up the very core of this moon. That the mud reached all the way to the assault walker's six massive leg actuators testifies to the depth of it.

One of the walkers strode ponderously over towards Jeff. The pilot must not be in a hurry, thought the private, or he would be going full speed. Indeed, it did seem that the machines were moving unusually slow. Perhaps they didn’t want to knock anything over, mused Jeff. By this time it had reached the open ground to his left, so it dropped its four metal doors and released a surge of Marines. They were caked in mud, and all looked fatigued under their armor. Nobody really knows how a Marine can tell the emotions of the other Marines, but people suspect it may have something to do with the genetic material used to breed them back on Earth.

One of weary troopers walked over to Jeff, and sat down heavily on the reinforced concrete bench. For a moment they sat in silence, until the newcomer spoke. "Hi Jeff," the man said. Jeff nodded absentmindedly, then turned and stared at the emotionless cameras that served for eyes in the battle suit. He could see different lenses clicking into place, focusing, then making room for the next lense as the other Marine cycled through his vision modes.

"Hi Cody. Where you been, brother?" asked O’Connell. His brother turned his head and gazed out at the trees beyond the distant wall.

"Just mucking around. How about yourself?"

"Just thinking," trailed off Jeff. "Hey, I’ve got patrol duty in an hour or so. Want to come?" he asked his brother. Technically, neither of them were older than the other, having both been grown in the same tank. However, Jeff had been lifted out of the vat first, so he assumed the role of "older brother".

"Lemme clean my armor and take a shower. Ill meet you in the vehicle park." With that, Cody O’Connell peeled his sticky, mud-covered armor off of the bench and trudged toward one of the prefabricated barracks. Jeff simply went back to chewing his cigarette.

* * *

Theros, last recorded coordinates of scout squad 22

It had taken them a while, but they had finally found squad 22's trail. If the scouts are so stealthy like everybody says, then why did they leave a trail, wondered William? To be honest, the trail wasn’t much. A few crushed planets, some boot marks, and what appeared to be dried spit. It led away to the northwest, so the Sergeant fanned them forward.

"Keep your eyes open men. We have to assume the worst," said Ackerson. He climbed a small hill and peered off between the gigantic tree trunks. Seeing nothing, he jumped down and landed up to his waist in mud. It had been like this for an hour. The mud seemed to get deeper the farther they got. Then it would grow shallow, they would get excited to be finally rid of it, and it would deepen.

There was a slight buzz in William's earpiece, and suddenly the Sergeant was talking. "Switch to thermal, Will. Maybe we can pick up on their heat signs." William nodded and mentally commanded his suit to switch lenses. It complied, having received the order via the direct neural interface built into the helmet and the base of his skull. He cycled through several different vision modes before coming upon thermal. With a blink of the eye, it engaged and began sweeping the surroundings. The world glowed with deep blues and greens, but other than the muted shadows of yellow his teammates put out, there were no heat signatures in the area. With slight dismay, Anderson noticed that the clinging mud hid body heat better than the armor he wore.

"Sergeant Ackerson," William vocally commanded his comm. bead. It obediently switched him to a secure private channel reserved for talking to the Sergeant. "Sergeant, there are no thermal signatures in the immediate vicinity. However, it has come to my attention that the mud blocks heat, sir"

"Sir, I've found something!" came the excited voice of one of the rookies. The two marines hurried over to his position, which was displayed on their HUDs. He stood at the base of a tree, with his foot on the back of a burnt... thing. It looked sort of like a turtle, but much uglier.

"Pulse burns." noted James, who had appeared out of the swamp on their right. "The work of squad 22?" The rest of the group nodded.

"James, burn the body. Charles, Tyler, Daniel, Nick, secure the perimeter. William, take Nathan and help me look for more clues," ordered Sergeant Ackerson. They spread out to do their various jobs. William had gone no farther than a few feet when he tripped on something behind a tree. The servos in his armor whined, but compensated nicely. William turned when Nathan gasped behind him. William's boot had caught a rock and pulled it away, and underneath was squad 22.
12-07-2005, 21:52
After stripping the bodies of all usefull items and reviewing the footage from the scout's helmet-cams they burned the bodies and buried the remains in the thick mud. No words were said over their impromtu graves, for most Einhauserians belived in no god; no savior to salvage their souls. They were not necessarily atheist, they simply had no time to stop and think about such things. If you were a civilian, you worked in the factories or the shipyards for 18 hours a day, and then got 6 hours of sleep in a dark corner of your workplace. That is, if you were lucky.

The story is much the same for Marines. Either you are training, fighting, or being transported to the next combat zone. Still, it is comforting to know that you will be remembered, so each and every Marine has a detachable memory card at the base of their throat that has their entire life history, accomplishments, and various videos taken from their HUD cameras.

It was this chip that PFC William Anderson removed from the two charred bodies. He placed them in one of his empty battery cases and shoved them into his rucksack for safe keeping. With a nod of the head he motioned that he was done and the team could move on.

"Alll right men," said Sergeant Ackerson. "We need to find out what killed these guys. You've all seen the video, but unless you've seen something I haven't, the only clue we have to go by is that whatever killed these men had at least one claw."
Bipedal Apes
15-07-2005, 19:31
OOC- this is just an introductory post to get things rolling again. Develops Resa’s character some but doesn’t really advance the story yet.


Resa was a nexus. The flow of thought eddied around this Al’Coth, slowing and swirling, filling its mind, taking and giving. The third circle was particularly strong but the fourth unusually weak, considering that night was falling and the Al’Karook should be at their clearest. But those worthy warriors in the sky had troubles of their own and were perhaps too preoccupied to take pleasure in the strangeness of Resa’s recent experiences.

The circle of distant Al’Coth had no such distractions. By the thousands they were drinking in the memory of understanding the new aliens’ grunt-speak, and of making sounds back at them that seemed both speech and not-speech, so that Resa could not say now whether the grunts had come from the beak of this Al’Coth or from the necklace itself. Resa could feel those who had been attuned at the time of the encounter lording over those who had not. It was always this way: those who had shared a novel experience were temporary nodes of attention, like little Banta, until after a time the memories had filtered out through the minds to the world.

But Resa could not wholly relax and enjoy the position. The circle of near minds was too active, distracted by the new aliens encamped nearby. The party was wary despite the Banta’s truce; it was a war party, and rightly suspicious. Furthermore, on patrol, there were always the Urdaan to watch for. Four of the party were sleeping, and their dreams filled the others with strange thoughts of unknown dangers, warriors from the sky who might bring victory like a gift, or might as easily snatch it away.

Within the nearest circle, however, there was comfort. Between Resa and the half-formed mind of the unborn one within, the sense of pride could flourish. It was Resa who had led the party, who had vanquished the Urdaan, who had been chosen by the Banta to represent the Al’Coth to the new aliens. From somewhere within came a dream, a fleeting picture of Banta Resa ja-Dafash. As quickly as it formed it was subdued. This Al’Coth had discipline, and presence of mind, and would never let such a thought be read. Or so Resa hoped.
Gehenna Tartarus
15-07-2005, 19:58
Kh’bhan was not happy. He watched the beasts wander around beneath them, scurrying around, gathering their tools of destruction and wandering off deeper into a world that did not belong to them, a world which if the greatness smiled down upon Theros would once again fall into the hands of those that loved it, that worshiped the ground, the sky and the trees. They had been here longer than any could remember, had been granted this land. They had fought the Urdaan, and still did, for what they had. They would not stand back and let another take it from them.

A whistle rang out amongst the trees, nothing more than a bird’s call to those one the ground, but to the Al’karook, it was a message to listen, to become one with the group. To share what one had discovered. All the way back to the village, the cry of outlooks would send the word, until all were one.

The voice filled each head, the air once more quiet as La’pac, the closest to the group of marines that had found their fallen comrades described their actions. He was a good hunter, could sense a mood in the air. And the message that he sent conveyed that message, and it was one that did nothing to improve the feelings around them. The beasts that walked among them were angered and their anger could only lead to one thing…

Kh’bhan sent up a second trill, calling the group to order. He sent a thought over the distance, aiming for one mind and one alone…

* * * * *

Tar’fai’ka sat upon his living thrown, his mind awash with the message from across the jungle. He could see the beasts and their weapons, and he knew what they were. He had fought the Urdaan and had seen what they could do, this new threat looked even worse. He frowned, as best he could and let out a low mournful whistle that filled his chamber, and conveyed the feeling of fear and regret.

Suddenly his mind was filled, this time the voice was urgent, and full of fight. Kh’bhan had been chosen to lead the group for a reason, and though they may have been hunters, first and foremost they were warriors.

Tar’fai’ka sent back the message that he knew Kh’bhan did not want to hear, but for now they would watch and learn, so when the time came, they could win the battle that was brewing.
15-07-2005, 22:07
Urien Rakarth smiled from the back of his Skyblade. He'd found a small force of a new foe. These new ones were unlike the Al'Karook that had plagued them in the past.
"Dere are nev pipple down dere, let's go pay dem a visit." Urien said with a sadistic grin. The other Skybladers laughed somewhat insanely. The Skybladers were a somewhat insane and extreme group of Urdaan.
"Let's get rock and roll." He called out as he stepped on the acceleration switch and sped down at the aliens, crackling maniacally as he drew his Stinger pistol and grabbed his bladestaff. The other Skybladers swooped in after him.

A squad of Urdaan Jetbikes were busy patrolling when they came upon tracks left by a large tracked vehicle. They pulled away and gunned the engines to get to a forward military base.

"Kommunder, ve've found zumddink."
"Vat iz it?"
"It appears to be a large vehicle."
"Alright, get de rangers to go out und find vat dey kan about dese nev vehicles."
"Yah sir. Hy'll send zum uf de rangers und mundrakes."
"Goot, karry on."

The rangers and mandrakes boarded a wave serpant(vehicle) and travelled to the point where the Bikers had crossed paths with the unknown vehicle. They disembarked and head along the path the target had taken.
15-07-2005, 22:54
Theros, squad 22’s last resting place

The cackling laughter alerted the squad to their presence long before the shots began whistling overhead. “Take cover!” ordered Sergeant Ackerson, while randomly firing pulses of raw power into the air in a vain attempt to hit something. The laughter seemed to grow only louder the more energy the pulse Rifles spat up into the air, and soon it became clear that whatever was up there wasn’t afraid.

“Where are they sarge?!’ virtually screamed James. He had hidden himself behind a rather large tree trunk, and was in the process of burrowing into the mud. Anderson thought this was a great idea, and began to do the same.

“I don’t know! I don’t even know what’s shooting at us!” came the frenzied reply. The hissing whine that suddenly filled the air over their position alerted the squad to the enemy’s proximity. In a second the whine was gone, but the weapons fire continued. William cursed their bad fortune in lacking a heavy weapons trooper. A Heavy Pulser or two would take any threat out in a moment. There isn’t much that can stop a pulse of pure energy as big as a football, thought Anderson amusedly. The ever-continuing cackle snapped him out of his reverent trance, and he managed to fire off a few pulses before the mud outside the little crevice he had hidden in exploded with weapons fire.

“Orders, sergeant?” asked Nathan.

“Nathan, you and James move up to the embankment there,” the sergeant highlighted a point on their HUDs, “Nick, Daniel, provide covering fire on my mark. William, get out that pumpgun of yours and clear us a path through the underbrush back to this point,” he said, indicating a spot about a half mile back. “We will fall back to your position once we can. Ready, mark!”

The squad broke on command, and ran out into the withering hail of fire. The mud considerably slowed their movement, and out of his peripheral vision William could see the price they paid for that. A smoking hole appeared in the shoulder plate of Nathan’s armor. Luckily, the shot didn’t burn all the way though, and the big Marine continued to sprint to his assigned position. Best do the same, thought William hurriedly.

Theros, basecamp

The deep mud that covered a great deal of the surface of Theros made using vehicles risky, but the O’Connells had taken one anyway. It sure beat walking through the muck. The big, beefy tires of their commandeered WSV spun, suddenly gripped a rock or piece of wood, and shot ahead, only to get stuck again a few hundred meters ahead.

It had been an hour since they left the basecamp, and yet they were only three miles into their assigned scouting area. It didn’t seem to bother either brother that they were so late; theirs had always been a genetic line possessing immense patience.

“Hey Jeff,” said Cody haltingly, trying to be heard over the roar of the engine and the constant bumping caused by the poor traction.

“Yea man?”

“When should we head back?”

Jeff considered this quietly. “How about now?” he answered, spinning the wheel of the WSV 180 degrees. “We’ve check out enough for today. After all, what’s going to attack a human garrison?”

Xenthos, basecamp

Tank patrol 2331 pulled up to the giant gates of the prefabricated base. They broadcasted their code on a secure frequency, and waited until the gates swung open to permit them. They rolled ahead, unaware of the threat following their tracks.
16-07-2005, 04:05
The new aliens had taken cover and were firing back. The Skybladers continued their cackling and began focusing on tormenting the non-Al’Karook. One of the non-Al'Karook managed to wing one of the Skyblades, causing it to spiral down and crash, the Blader managed to avoid major injury, though his Skyblade was totalled.

At Urien's signal, the other Skybladers also drew their bladestaffs and swooped in after the fleeing non-Al'Karook, the blades slicing into the running aliens, removing arms, heads, legs and even slicing one in half. Three of aliens tripped as they ran, one would be left as an object lesson, after recieving Rakarth's brand, while the other two would be taken as trophies, subjects and information sources. The two were clubbed with the blunted end of the bladestaffs knocking them out where they were drapped over the SKyblades. The Urdaan who'd lost his Skyblade grabbing a ride with another.

Urien hopped off his Skyblade as it drifted to a stop. He clubbed the downed alien, before using the staff to slice throught the armour, peeling the non-AL'Karoot like a lobster. He then brought the staff down, breaking both the arms and legs of the alien. He grabbed a small branding spike and activated the heating coil. He touched the brand to the skin of the alien burning his brand into the alien's skin. He then hopped onto the Skyblade and with the others speed off.
ooc: brand

The rangers and mandrakes continued to travel along the trail of the vehicle.
"Vat a primitiff pipple, usink tracked vehicles."
"Ya, it'll be fun teachink dem der place."
"Hy vonder if dey'll make goot schlaves or gladiators. Vych Hesperax hes saeed she'll revard hennyone vo gets her a fev decent gladiators."
"Hopefully dese aliens are useful und prufitable."
Bipedal Apes
16-07-2005, 05:51
It had come time to move. With moonset, the sleep-cycles were done, all had fed well on the stringy flesh of felled Urdaan foe, and Resa was ready to resume the hunt.

The new aliens watched from a little way off, some having shed their outer skins and sacrificed minor appendages, burning them and inhaling the smoke. A strange, ritualistic people. Many wondered whether losing their skin was painful, like the pulling of feathers; but it was done in so casual a manner, Resa was doubtful. There were urges to use the necklace, to approach and ask. But Resa thought better and, further, felt distinctly an admonition from Dafash, worldbringer of this Al’Coth, to avoid truck with strange and unknown beings.

For a brief moment Resa focused on that link, acknowledging the advice... Dafash ja-Tekal ni-Resa, sent this Al’Coth, your mind is with me.

From far, far away the reply was clear. Resa ja-Dafash, hunt well. Your thoughts are mine as well.

Resa issued commands to the party: Telalan and Johsa farscouts, the others in standard v-formation following Resa’s lead. They set off suddenly, taking no time to get in line, falling into place naturally as the hunt began. Resa could feel the aliens watching them recede, until the rolling landscape cut off the view.

* * *

Urdaan. It was Johsa, long out of vision to the northeast. Resa was not surprised by the warning, but had not expected it so soon. Even as the party changed course they could see the strange conveyances, limned through Johsa’s eyes. The metalcraft were still. The Urdaan were scattered around, standing at ease, watching something too distant to see without their alien devices. With attenuated manes, the Al’Coth closed to attack.
Bipedal Apes
17-07-2005, 14:38
The Urdaans’ reliance on their strange devices was their undoing again. Focused on some distant thing, they never saw the Al’Coth charge.

Resa led the attack, sprinting toward the halted Urdaan craft at a speed the aliens could not match without the aid of their machines. From half a dozen steps Resa leapt, claws, feet and beak forward, mane fully extended, and shrieked. The others mimicked their leader’s attack in perfect unison, falling upon the startled Urdaan and rending, biting, slashing.

Those foe atop the metal craft were dispatched in a moment, their foul blood making a stink in the air. An Urdaan’s head protruded through a hole in the craft, and Tolmar, the nearest Al’Coth, pulled it off and flung it aside. The aliens’ own war-cries could be heard within, muffled. Tolmar reached down through the egress but there was a flash and a hot noise and two spindly legs fell to the ground, the body that they had supported suddenly gone.

The pain of disconnect as that Al’Coth left the circle was strong but brief, and came as a mortal warning. Resa gave the order to fall back, and in an instant the party was sprinting toward the safety of a hillock, descending below its horizon as the Urdaan behind finally managed to mount their weapon and begin firing, too late.

OOC-- Here is a deinonychus skeleton at the AMNH ( mounted in a theoretical attack stance. This is how I imagine the Al’Coth leaping at their enemies.
Gehenna Tartarus
17-07-2005, 19:06
Laf’tagn looked at Hy’loth, his eyes burning with anger. “Why will you not step outside the village? Are you a coward?” His gaze flicked irritably towards the entrance, his body pointing in the direction he wanted to go, but he had been still by the voice of his friend. “We are only going to look? What harm will come of it?”

The slightly older of the two did a good impression of a frown. “There are beasts out there, and not just the Urdaan. You heard the warning.” He turned his back. “If you want to go, then you go, but do not ask me to go with you.”

Laf’tagn ruffled his feathers, and without saying another word, he headed out of the village. His friend looked back watching him go, several minutes later, he was following behind.

* * * * *

Kh’bahn watched in horror as the beasts were attacked by the Urdaan, another whistle rose through the air. His beak was open, his stance ready for attack. While the Urdaan were distracted by the alien beasts, an attack by the Al’Karook would be most successful. Killing two enemies in one attack seemed like it was sent by the light. His thoughts raced across the tribe, filling the distance and spreading until all around could hear. Once more he waited for the reply.

* * * * *

Laf’tagn picked up the words, and raced through the bog, his body swiftly rushing past trees, and bounding effortlessly over the swamp. He knew where he was going; he followed the call that filled his head. He knew that he could make a difference, could help in the struggle that lay ahead. He was about to meet his destiny, the beginning of his climb to greatness. When he returned to the village as a hero, his friend would realise the errors of his ways.

* * * * *

The images swam across his mind, as crisp as if he was looking down upon the scene for himself. The destruction caused by the Urdaan fresh in his mind from their own attacks, this time the Al’Karook would have the upper hand. Letting out the Warrior’s Cry, his voice raced across the distance, reaching each and every Al’Karook.

* * * * *

Hy’loth stopped, having had lost sight of Laf’tagn. His head swivelled around as he listened for signs of noise, but there was none. Suddenly he heard the warning, the call to war. His heart sank, as he suddenly realised the destination his friend was taking. He began running, picking up speed. He had to get to Laf’tagn before he did something foolish…like get himself killed.
17-07-2005, 22:39
Xenthos, basecamp

The ever-spinning ceiling fan slowly churned the cigar smoke. The occupants of the room seemed not to notice, however. Once more they were all huddled over the holographic field map displayed on the table before them.

"How would you say the war is coming, gentleman?" asked a tall man in a wine-colored suit. The other figures shifted slightly, but remained composed.

"It is well. The Al'Coth, or the 'blue bird people' as the troops call them, are ready to cooperate, I believe," said a shadowy man in the back. The first figure took a long pull of his cigar and then dashed the glowing end against the table. Sparks flew into the air like so many stars, lighting the room for just a moment- a brief flicker in time.

"And what of the Al'Karook and Urdaan?" he asked.

"They are a different story. The general state of the marsh-moon Theros makes troop movement somewhat hazardous. Ad to that the fact that the two pre-established factions present on said mudball are catching us in their crossfire, and we have a very sticky situation indeed."

The first figure pulled a second cigar from his pocket and lit it up. "Options?" he asked.

"Exterminatus seems to be the easiest solution. After all, what use is the moon to us?" The shadow that had said the last remark moved closer to the dangling lamp above the map table. The light filtering through the haze of cigar smoke revealed Richard Huntley.

"A good option," agreed another man, "but the nearest fleet capable of Exterminatus is busy escorting colonization armadas. We cannot pull them away from their duty there, and we lack apocalypse missiles of virus bombs."

Richard mulled this over for a moment, and then decided that he had said what he came to say, and withdrew from the room. As the door irised closed behind him, the first man looked at the second.

"He gives me the creeps," he said. The other man nodded.
Bipedal Apes
21-07-2005, 03:28
OOC- I hope this thread hasn't died. Meh.


The Urdaan were searching now, and doing it properly, mind-to-mind, without their pathetic devices. Having led the party a safe distance, perhaps a thousand running paces, Resa had given the order to hide. And so hidden they were. None of the outer circles could feel them, or be heard by them, for their minds were closed to the flow.

Resa could feel the Urdaan searching, like a gentle wind tickling feathers. Their anger was evident, and it made them more dangerous and more careless. Their search was not methodical, it was sweeping, and fast, and the Urdaan were moving as they searched.

All this Resa could feel. The Al’Coth stood about, not really moving, a few of them shuffling here or there, but with their minds carefully disentangled from the greater psyche. Each felt alone and disoriented. Resa knew this without feeling it. Each could see it in the others’ eyes.

“How long?” asked Kres’Tak. The words, spoken aloud without the accompanying thought transmission, seemed strange and disconnected. Like the voice of an animal.

“We must remain in this way until the enemy ceases its search,” Resa replied.

“What of Tolmar?” Johsa asked.

“Tolmar will be retrieved.”

This caused a minor stir. To the extent that the Al’Coth could experience strong emotion while half their minds were closed, the group registered anxiety.

“How will this happen?”

“We will have victory over these Urdaan, Johsa. We will wait until they have tired of the search. And then we will strike, as we did the first time, while they are watching with their eyes, not with their minds. And we will surprise them, and slay those that remain.”

“There are three,” Clinan commented.

“Yes, there are three. And three were slain on our first sortie.”

“And Tolmar will be retrieved?”

“What remains of Tolmar will be retrieved. And the ritual of disposal shall be performed. The line of Urgast-- Treklin-- Ro’mar-- Tolmar will be remembered.”

“We must mourn Urgast ja-Tolmar,” said Kres’Tak.

“The unborn within Tolmar will be properly honored, although no remains may be disposed.”

“The Urdaan weapon destroyed Urgast entirely,” Kres’Tak observed.

“It did. And all but the legs of Tolmar. But satisfaction of the rituals must wait.”

The Al’Coth understood. They waited. Somewhere a thousand paces off, the Urdaan continued to search, sweeping the area for linked minds, finding nothing.
22-07-2005, 01:09

The men jerked in their harnesses with every lumbering step of the massive six-legged assault walker. Luckily for the Marines, the harnesses and their armor compensated enough to keep the jarring movement from killing them. The air filled him a low thrum as the gunner swiveled the long-barreled mass driver cannon on the roof to scan a nearby grove of trees, but found nothing.

It had been like this for nearly four hours. In fact, every since they boarded these stalking machines. "This is getting tedious," said Skip over the intercom. Carl clicked his mic to acknowledge his agreement. "Still, it will be good to finally get some action going. Finally get to shoot some Urdaan ass!"

"Comm. silence!" shouted the rugged voice of the walker's driver. Technically, the communications network they were using could only be heard by others with the same armor as Marines, who were plugged into the power core of the walker, but it never hurt to be careful.

Carl gazed around the room with a look of sheer boredom. The sight of the racks of military grade small-arms and anti-armor weapons on the inside of the compartment would have once stirred a great feeling of patriotism in Carl, but four hours of looking at anything would start to grate on anyone's nerves. Still, personal sacrifices had to be made for the good of the nation.

Carl and Skip’s walker was one of twelve stationed on Xenthos. They had not been part of the original convoy of ships that arrived in-system, but instead had been “borrowed” from a passing military transport. Rumor had it that these walkers were the first of their kind and were actually on their way to be presented to the garrison forces in the Sol system when their transports were intercepted.

All in all, there are 15 walkers in the Nimas Tenae system now, and all but three are on Xenthos. Carl was glad of that fact, because without them he would either be riding into combat in the stinking belly of a Lemen Russ artillery tank or a semi-exposed WSV.

“All Marines, prepare to disembark,” said the voice of the driver over the comm. Carl instantly began to obey the order, the instinct to listen to superiors implanted in every Marine kicking in. He pulled up a schematic of his armor, checked that all systems were at peak efficiency, and then triple checked. When that was done, he manually checked to be sure that all unused D-rings and power slots were locked shut, and then began to check his autosenses.

All throughout the twin cabins in the walker men were busy doing the same thing. Battle was soon, and adrenaline was coursing through every genetically engineered vein. “All Marines, listen up. Urdaan forces have been spotted roughly 2 clicks south-west of here. We are moving to engage. Force size is estimated at a company. Armor, or whatever they call theirs, is present. This is shaping up to be the first major battle of this war. Don’t loose, boys,” said the driver.

OOC: This ( is the walker in question. I am not good at photo editing, so you will have to use your imagination to see the changes I've made from the original. My version has the stubby barrels of heavy pulsers and lascannons instead of the lasers located in the turrets and an enclosed, armored seat for the roof gunner. There are numerous inner changes, but you would need a complex design sheet (that I have yet to create) to get them all.
23-07-2005, 20:59
A Urdaan force was on the move, they'd heard that there was an new foreign group. The Fire Prism and Falcon Grav tanks formed the core of the force. There were a couple of the War Walkers and squads of the Guardian Defenders.

"Men, de aliens appear to be komink toward us vith hostile intentions, dey must not be hallowed to surviff." The company commander informed the men.
24-07-2005, 00:14
The squad unbuckled their harnesses as one and moved deftly to the racks of weapons. Anti-armor weapons were snatched, Pulse Rifles were grabbed, and the occasional plasma-thrower was very, very carefully picked up. "You get on that comm. bead to command and get me some air support!" Carl heard the sergeant shouting to the driver. He couldn’t hear the reply, but it looked like the driver agreed.

"Prepare to disembark on my mark. You will keep pace with the walkers until we near the enemy. Stay behind us until the enemy infantry shows up. Air support is enroute. Orbital bombardment is also standby, but can’t be used unless we pull out of range. Good luck men," said the driver. "Mark!"

With a clang the side doors swung open and Marines surged out. They pulled up alongside the fast-moving assault walkers, their tactical armor allowing them to run far faster than any normal man. In every Marine's eye was fixed the image of the approaching enemy.
Bipedal Apes
24-07-2005, 04:33
Some time had passed since the last tendril of Urdaan thoughtseek was felt. Tentatively, Resa reached out to the circle of near Al’Coth. Gratefully, hungrily, the others joined the link, and like a flood their thoughts converged, messy and distinct; questions, statements, emotions, fear and anger and loneliness and relief coming from twelve directions. And then gradually blending, every Al’Coth’s question finding an answer: Did you see? finding I saw and Did you feel? finding we felt and memories becoming one, shared. Fear met with bravery, loneliness with the togetherness that forms the background of every Al’Coth’s existence beginning with its many-year gestation. Even within the innermost circle Resa could feel the radiance of relief as Bel’An, ja-Resa, the unborn within, was gladdened by the resumption of the link.

After a short time of renewal, Resa decided that it was safe to broaden the circles again, and as one the twelve Al’Coth sought the greater set of minds, the third circle and the fourth, and with the grandeur of the tide sweeping across an obsidian beach, the millions of distant Al’Coth flowed back into them. Dafash was there, and Resa could feel that old one’s pleasure at this Al’Coth’s survival. From many many paces’ distance, Resa sent the greeting of lineage: I remember your memories, Dafash ja-Tekal.

Learn from my experience, Dafash returned, and Resa sensed that there was something more that the elder wished to convey. A memory, one so old that Resa had not truly experienced it; it came from Tekal, when that Al’Coth was still active, before the crippling birth of Dafash. The foetal Dafash absorbed the event but it was long before Resa would start to develop, or begin recording memories.

Resa focused on Dafash now, feeling the time many many thousands of moonsets ago, when Tekal led a war-party against a slithering Urdaan metalcraft much like this one; and in a similar sortie, Tekal’s fighters took the Urdaan by surprise, killing several, but had to retreat. Like Resa, Tekal ordered withdrawal from the link, to prevent the Urdaan from finding them through mindsearch. After a time Tekal allowed resumption of the link, and the Al’Coth prepared to resume their hunt. But no sooner had they begun their charge across the wooded hillocks than the Urdaan appeared, in full battle dress and prepared, laying in wait; for the Al’Coth discipline had not been complete, and the Urdaan had sensed them although it seemed that they had not.

Resa felt the pain of the failed attack, of the death of ten Al’Coth and their unborn, the end of ten lines. The lesson was clear; Resa should not trust the Urdaan, for they were full of treachery, and would use any means to gain advantage in war.

Have the Urdaan sensed our presence, then? The question traversed the great expanse of grassland and woodland, and in an instant the reply was in Resa’s mind.

Trust your senses, not your intuition, my Resa. That is all.

Resa quickly shared the memory with the party so that all would understand the need for caution. And then the advance began, the warriors falling naturally into formation, each knowing its place as soon as Resa decided. They did not charge in the standard V-formation, but rather in trios, a few together bounding ahead, rapidly scanning the horizon from hillocktop, and then descending into the next little valley as the remaining nine advanced. Thus they were spread across a distance of three hundred paces, and not concentrated in a group that the Urdaan disintegrators could hit all at once.

The return to the site of the battle was thus slower than the retreat. Even so, it did not take long. The Urdaan, however, did not turn up; even when the Al’Coth reached the site, their enemy was nowhere to be seen. The legs of Tolmar were there, and Johsa retrieved them at Resa’s half-conscious bidding. There is no ambush, Resa articulated through the link, to no particular Al’Coth. Where have they gone?

Then five of the party took off running, designated advance scouts, assigned to sight the Urdaan metalcraft and its crew. Resa sent them in different directions, five points on an arc that expanded out from the party’s position. But another warning came from Dafash: They have gone to meet reinforcements.

As quickly as this thought came, Resa was in communion with the Banta, and it was agreed that a dozen parties would join the battle under Resa’s command. The hundred and sixty-eight warriors were sprinting toward Resa’s location by the time the Banta’s command had been issued. It would take some time for them to arrive; time during which Resa was charged with locating the Urdaan force and assessing its strength.

There was time as well to commit Tolmar to the ancestors. Resa wasted no thought before beginning the ritual. The five scouts participated even as they sought the fleeing Urdaan, mourning with their own unborn for the end of that Al’Coth’s line.

Clinan and Johsa rapidly dug at the base of a hillock, rending the dirt with their talons like the flesh of an enemy. Resa pronounced the ceremony, aloud and across the link. “Urgast-- Treklin-- Ro’mar-- Tolmar-- the line is ended, but not forgotten. No more will be birthed with these names, but their vast history and endless deeds shall forever be known, remembered by the commonality and preserved by the link. Tolmar, the final, ni-Urgast, was slain by vicious enemies while fighting to preserve the Al’Coth. Urgast, ja-Tolmar, unbirthed, was slain by vicious enemies while lending aid and comfort to Tolmar, from within. These two and all the preceding incarnations of their line are heroes for their contributions to all Al’Coth.”

Heroes, echoed the near circle through the link.

Heroes, echoed the far circle through the link as again, for a moment, Resa was the center of thought of all Al’Coth.

The digging was complete; the grave needn’t be deep, with so little of Tolmar left for burying. Johsa placed the legs in the ground and Resa, watching them, voice a final goodbye. “Tolmar, your sacrifice is great and worthy. Rest well in eternity, now your incarnations have ended.”

Johsa and Clinan began piling dirt on the remains, and the rest of the party joined them. Even Resa helped scoop the moist, fragrant sod over the grave. As the final talonfuls were dropped, word came from Li’nar.


That Al’Coth was due north, perhaps twelve hundred paces. The other scouts immediately shifted their direction to carry them close to the position. The Urdaan force was large, indeed. The metalcraft with its half-slain crew had joined a vast array of craft: fliers and walkers, and hundreds or even thousands of Urdaan. Dafash’s second warning rang true, and Resa was glad of the Banta’s wisdom in dispatching the dozen parties of reinforcements.

Even this many fighters may not be enough, however. As the other scouts reached their observation posts, east and west of Li’nar and some two hundred paces distant, the magnitude of the Urdaan force became clear. It was the largest gathering Resa had ever witnessed. The thought came from somewhere, possibly within, that the enemy was massing to challenge the new aliens, the strange ones with whom the Banta had arranged a truce.

But there was grave danger. Once having defeated their immediate foe, the Urdaan would not stop or retreat. They would continue advancing, even if this force represented the better part of their entire armies, and press on into lands held by the Al’Coth.

The Banta agreed. Resa could feel the call going out to more soldiers, many more, and more senior leaders than Resa. When the full Al’Coth forces arrived, this Al’Coth would lose place, falling back down the ranks. But that would take time, much time, for the dozen parties already en route were all the soldiers that could be mobilized to the site before moonrise.

Those great forces, all the soldiers the Banta dared send, would be the second line. Resa would have the glory of leading the first resistance in the great coming battle.
Gehenna Tartarus
24-07-2005, 09:59
From his perch up in the trees, Kh’bhan watched the aliens move passed. They had received the call to war, and were waiting expectantly, seeking the right time to attack. But they were not foolish, they had fought the Urdaan for too long to not wait for the right opening, as time when they could catch their enemy with their guard down. Word had already reached them of an Urdaan attack on the enemy, and if they were favoured, the Urdaan would attack again, and whilst both parties were caught up in the fighting, the Al’karook would launch their own attack.

Kh’bhan extended one of his claws, admiring it, accessing the damage that it could and would do to the soft flesh of the beasts. The Urdaan had been killed most effectively by it, and he had seen the evidence of one of the beasts sliced to pieces with the simple yet effective implement. It was not one that had been forged by hand, but one that had been given to the Al’karook, a natural protection against those that would fight them.

His eyes moved back to the scene below, the alien beasts moving slowly through the mud laden land. Huge tracks marked the path of their metal monsters, cutting up the land that the Al’karook called home, the sight made Kh’bhan boil with rage. He itched to be down on the ground, marking the beast with huge marks across their skin. The time was soon, he would avenge Theros. The beasts would all die.

Moving his head, he scanned once more through the trees, seeing his companions scattered about, all poised and ready, once he gave the signal, they would swoop down, catching their quarry by surprise. It was a basic hunting pattern, waiting until the pray was least expecting and then…wham!, picking them off one by one.

He looked down, his feathers up, indicating his readiness.

* * * * *

Hy’loth sighed, or as close as possible with his vocal cords. He had been searching frantically for Laf’tagn and had practically given up and was ready to return to the village leaving the foolish Al’karook to his own devices, when he heard the whistle coming from above him. Looking up, he spotted the mass of blue feathers above him.

“What are you doing?”

Laf’tagn waved a clawed hand, indicating his friend to join him in his hiding place. “You might want to get up here, those beasts are coming.”

Without further urging, the young Al’karook followed the others instructions, just in time to see the line of beasts work their way through the trees. He gave Laf’tagn an evil glare, but said nothing, not wanting to draw attention to himself. His gaze was directed by the movement of this friend’s arm to various locations around them, where he could see the familiar blue plumage of his follow villagers. They had managed to find themselves right at the scene of the next Al’karook battle.
24-07-2005, 21:07

"Coming in range in five, four," counted the nearest walker's gunner over the comm., "three, two, one, firing!" The mass-driver on the back of the walker slammed backwards as a gleaming silver shell streaked downrange. Almost simultaneously the other walkers fired as they entered their extreme range. The shells impacted on the shields of the enemy tanks with a ripple, and then a mighty fireball as they erupted. Sporadic return fire lanced outward and into the walker formation. Energy weapons glanced off of shimmering shields and filled the air with a whine of recharging capacitors.

"Anti-armor weapons, forward! Target the unshielded tanks!" yelled the Sergeant into the comm. The Marines carrying Heavy Pulsers and plasma rockets increased their pace until they were at the head of the group. The first missiles began to streak out of the barrels, oily smoke belching from the quick-burning retro-rocket engines.

As the two forces entered medium range, the fight truly began. Small arms fire flashed between the two sides, and the Heavy Pulsers mounted on the walkers strobed to life. Carl sidestepped in mid-run to avoid a glowing burst of energy that disintegrated the ground where he had stood moments before. Other marines were not so lucky. A man in third squad dropped suddenly, a neat crater in the center of what used to be his head.

"Take shelter behind the walkers!" shouted the nearest assault walker driver. The squads obediently obeyed, and fell back to a rough column behind each mechanical giant. More shells exploded from the mass-driver barrels and thundered down-range, impacting shields and decimating light vehicles. Energy return fire penetrated a nearby walker's shield and melted the top layer of the forward armor.

"Break ranks and engage melee!" ordered the Sergeant. In one fluid motion the entire squad reached for the humming blades stored in their scabbard. The line of Marines broke from cover and charged towards the nearby enemy. The first rank of men threw themselves flat in the grass as the men behind them fired a salvo of pulses to keep the enemy at bay, while the third rank charged forward with swords at the ready. They were badly outnumbered, perhaps even 3 to 1, but they would do their duty. Besides, reinforcements were enroute.


The Marine column edged its way through the thick undergrowth, using their melee weapons to clear a glowing path. "Man, this sucks..." said a neighboring Marine. The others grunted in way of reply, but did not stop. They were the acting spearhead of the human advance into Urdaan territory, and they were not going to be halted for anything short of Jason Green. At least, that’s what they would have told you, had you asked.

Behind them, similar columns fought their way through the thick mud and plant-life, trying to make good time. Still, they were at least five minutes away from the spearhead. None of them thought this important at the time, but they would soon learn of their folly.
27-07-2005, 07:12
The heavy weapons mounted on the War Walkers lanced out to smash into the opposing walkers, while the 'mini-gun' cannons spat death at the enemy infantry.

The primary cannon of the Fire Prism tanks spat massive balls of plasma into the main enemy tanks while the lesser guns focused on taking out the lighter beasts.

The many weapons of the Falcon Grav tanks poured fire down-range into the infantry.

The Guardian Defenders opened up, thier massed fire a hailstorm of coherant light, superheated plasma and projectiles.
30-07-2005, 19:55
The Assault Walkers strode forward mightily, their six legs keeping them upright even in the face of the withering enemy fire. Shells exploded the ground into a million pieces, leaving craters large enough to swallow a shuttle. The air was thick with raw power as the sides exchanged energy fire, and still they rushed towards each other.

The Marines were in front now, their plasmatic close combat weaponry drawn and ready in one hand, their Pulse Pistols in the other. Carl and skip ran joyfully across the battlefield, spitting death at each glance. An Urdaan warrior had the nerves to get in his way, and he raised his blade to parry the alien’s attack.

Electromagneticly held plasma met alien metal in a clash of sparks. Carl stepped back and thrust forward, but the Urdaan was fast. It countered by sidestepping and mimicking Carl’s move. He parried again, and head butted the enemy. It fell backwards, and Skip cut it in half with his blade.

"Thanks," said Carl as he drove a Pulse round through the helmet of an Urdaan about to eviscerate Skip from behind. He grinned like a madman under his faceplate and launched back into the fray.

By now both sides were engaged in close combat, and the ground was muddy with blood and fluids. Carl saw Nathan leap into the air and land on the chest of an Urdaan, who stumbled back under the weight of the Marine. Nathan didn’t hesitate, and jammed the barrel of his newly assigned Heavy Pulser into the gap between the aliens helmet and armor and fired.

The fiend exploded in a shower of energy, and Nathan hit the ground running.
20-08-2005, 20:58
...and then a meteor hit the planet and everybody died, the end.

No, but seriously, I think its time I admitted that this thread is dead...

So, you should all assume that all but 10 Urdaan were eviscerated (the 10 escaped on a shuttle or something), the Al'Karook's territory has been reduced to a single swamp-island, and the Al'Coth have been subjugated. You will here more of the Nimas Tenae system after my civil war ends.