A Bug in the System (Open)
Super American VX Man
OOC: For now, this is just me making a story. Virtually anybody's free to join. If nobody does, I'll gladly go through the whole thing myself...or at least try. If anybody does want to join, I gladly welcome you (as long as you're making a serious attempt). TG me for further details if you're interested.
New Wasteland, SAVX
Freemarket Square & neighboring streets
Protesters were amassed in the streets, shouting, holding signs, singing, and chanting ultra-environmentalist, anti-capitalist messages. This was a meeting of many such groups trying to get publicity and amass popularity for their political positions in the hopes that the government would be swayed to change its policy. It wasn't uncommon, and sometimes such protests were successful. The Führer supported such events, regardless of the position they held. As was common ideology in SAVX, everyone should have their voice heard, as long as they didn't cause trouble. Such was the case here.
"One part per trillion?" yelled one man with a megaphone.
"Unacceptable!" replied a large portion of the crowd.
"One part per billion?"
"One part per million?"
The post-midday sun was still beating down, but at least the worst of it was over. Pockets of openings were arranged throughout the protesters' ranks were Polizei kept relative order and did their best to make sure that nothing went wrong. The streets heading into Freemarket square were blocked off by Polizei with barricades.
At the head of one of the larger roads was Captain Mark Sturnham. He was overseeing the security of the protest in his sharp, well-tailored uniform. He stood atop a small pedestal to get a better view of everything going on. He was a fairly young man, only in his thirties. Clean-shaven, well-built, and tough, he was the stereotypical look of the SAVX Polizei.
Sturnham detested this sort of activity. He was one of the people who, though he didn't show it often, thought that the Führer always knew what to do and that anybody who said otherwise was a fool. This was somewhat unsurprising, since he came from the state of Sainama, where most citizens had a religious idolicism of the Führer. However, he took it further, thinking that any sort of dissent, such as this...mess, had to be dealt with by use of force. It was unacceptable.
Sturnham always kept himself in line, though. He knew that the Führer did not officially accept such feelings, and so, in order to continue to serve the Führer, he kept his thoughts to himself and never let his actions reflect the darker side of his heart.
Looking around, Sturnham saw a protestor looking at him. The protestor was dressed particularly radically, looking like something out of a Sex Pistols concert. Sturnham glared at him. In response, he got the finger. He reacted in no way to this, though. He always kept his composure, even when faced with the most despicable of humanity. He lifted a handset radio to his mouth.
"Status update." He dropped the radio down a fraction to hear the responses. All were the same.
"Status normal, sir."
"Good," Sturnham replied. No later had he said that when there was the loud commotion of gunfire. Sturnham ducked, jumping off of the platform. He pulled out his handgun, looking around. The crowd had started to get riled up.
"Status! What the hell was that?!" he yelled into the radio.
"Sir! Position 2! Jacob street! We've taken fire from an unknown source! Two men down! They're still hitting us!"
"This is position 3! We've been pinned down and have suffered casualties!"
"They're shitting on us at position 5, sir! Heavy weapons! We can't find them!"
Sturnham swore to himself. He noticed that it seemed like many of the protesters were screaming and trying to get out of the area.
"Take cover! We'll retaliate! Fire if you find a target! Don't let any protesters through until this is over!" He swung to his squad. "Use your VXSR-3s to find those gunmen and take them down! You four! Make sure that no protesters get through this point! We can't let anyone get through until we find out who's doing this!" The men took their positions and followed through with their tasks. It wasn't long before one of the sharp-shooters had sighted a gunman in the crowd. The Polizei began to fire. Soon after the word was spread, the other positions began to follow suit. Protesters caught in the crossfire were mowed down, but Sturnham repeatedly stated that it was a necessary loss. This was enough for the Polizei, as under most situations, such was the case.
Just as the situation was being swung back in the favor of the Polizei, massive explosions went off in the crowd and at some of the blockades. Once the din of the resounding detonations had died down, Sturnham looked up from being the platform where he had taken cover. Bodies were strewn everywhere among the smoke and flaming pieces of junk and...he didn't want to know what else. Most of the protesters and Polizei alike were still alive, but the damage to both property and life was apparent.
This was a catastrophe.
Super American VX Man
New Wasteland, SAVX
Neogestapo Dept. Station
Day 1, 2012 hours
The Neogestapo investigator was dressed in a black, somewhat tight robe with a red label on the back depicting a circle around a lower-case "i." He was in his late-forties with a short gray beard and crew-cut hair. He was accompanied by a small retinue of note-taker aides and guards, all of whom wore standard black uniforms. The guards were also dressed in basic combat gear, but kept their guns strapped to their backs.
The investigator walked into the room with his arms behind his back, slowly shuffling towards a comfortable leather chair behind a large maple desk. The guards situated themselves at the corners of the room, removing themselves from the proceedings. The aides remained standing on either side of the investigator. The man cleared his throat, staring into the eyes of each of the Polizei seated before him, including Captain Sturnham. His brown eyes were piercing and assertive, but did not carry a sense of anger or aggression. He introduced himself to the Polizei.
"Welcome to my office, Officers and Captain. I am Investigator George Rallan. You may address me as you wish." He opened a folder placed on his desk. "We are here to discuss the events that occurred a few hours ago in Freemarket Square. According to these preliminary reports, you, Mark Sturnham, and your men were fired upon by unknown aggressors from within a crowd of environmentalist protestors from various organizations. You returned fire until explosions were witnessed, whereupon the conflict was...resolved, shall we say. Is this all correct?"
"Yes," replied Sturnham. Rallan grunted an nodded his head slightly, looking at the report. Then he put it down and looked back up at the officers.
"Well, then, we've probably covered most of what we need to do, so this shouldn't take very long. Now, your comrades are being questioned as you are by other investigators. For now, all I need you to do for me is tell me about the event from your own perspective. If there are any points of interest, they will be delved into further. Let's begin with you, Officer..."
Somewhere in the Syrnian mountain range
A small hidden facility
Day 1, 1853 hours
A phone was ringing on a small metal table. It only rang twice before a large, hairy hand laden with expensive rings picked up the receiver.
"Yes?" said a gruff male voice.
"I hear the weather in Maximaia is good this week," said the person on the other end. The man let a small grin cross his wrinkled face.
"How was business?"
"It went well. I'd say we'll be seeing some new successes in the near future."
"Is the package for the next customer ready?"
"It'll be shipped shortly."
"Good. Update me on the results."
"Will do." The phone clicked as it was hung up on the other end. The man put the receiver back down. Talking in code was a bitch, but it was a small precaution that could keep the entire operation from crashing.
The man sat down in a cinnamon-colored leather chair facing a 30-inch plasma TV. He flicked it to VXN news to see if the contact was telling the truth. Sure enough, there were scenes of destruction and death plastered on the screen while a newswoman spoke of the "terrible loss of innocent life and despicable act of violence."
"Innocent?" thought the man. "Maybe if they're not cutting giant chunks away from your money you'll think that. For others, they're just as guilty as the burglar in the night." He sneered at the screen, then picked up a glass of Vodka and took a sip, grimacing. "Damn, that's good stuff."
Super American VX Man
Syntec City, SAVX
Syntec Corporate Headquarters, CEO Josef Sinh's Office
Day 2, 1032 hours
"Yes, well, this is exactly the sort of thing that's beneficial to business. That's why I need to make sure that it's well-known that we had nothing to do with it, you see? People will assume that a corporation like us is behind it, and I won't have that. Yes, quickly. I want it done within two hours. I'll have a conference ready for you at noon. Be prepared with some good statements. Make sure to include the usual, like, 'We abhor this sort of activity.' You know what I mean. Ok, good. I'll talk to you then."
Josef Sinh pressed the End button on his cell phone and set it down. His 32-year-old tanned body, especially young for his type of position, showed little of the wear and tear that he inflicted upon himself in his company's management. He wore a sharp black suit with a beige tie. As always, he had his thin 2,000 USD designer sunglasses shading his eyes, giving him a removed, superstar appearance. His black hair was gelled back and well-groomed.
Leaning back in his chair, Sinh turned towards the wall-height windows in the back of his room and took a big sigh, lifting his sunglasses to rub his eyes. He turned to the expensive LCD computer monitor on his large mahogany desk to glance at the latest status reports from his direct subordinates. Everything was running smoothly as usual. Nothing required his attention at the moment, so he took a moment to relax.
Sinh's mind however, was stuck on the catastrophe of yesterday. While he couldn't deny that it would benefit him that the people who hated his sort of business were set back, it wasn't a means that he would ever accept. The question remained: who the hell would do such a thing? Perhaps it would be a good thing to help the nation look into it. Brownie points for Syntec, and it would erase the notion that his company was behind it. He picked up his cell phone and selected the number he wanted. He waited while it rang.
"Hey, Geoff. It's Josef."
"Sir! How can I help you?"
"You know that attack on the protesters yesterday?"
"Of course. It's all over the news. What about it?"
"I want to figure out who did it."
"Uh...isn't that more of the government's job? I thought that the Neogestapo was investigating the situation heavily."
"I know, but, you see, this could really hurt us if people get the notion that we might be behind it, you know?"
"Yes...I see. I'll have my department do what we can for you, sir. Is there any place you want me to start looking?"
"Well, I'd say we should start off with the most obvious. Our own people."
New Wasteland, SAVX
New Wasteland Polizei Headquarters, Captain Mark Sturnham's Office
Day 2, 1205
Sturnham was sitting back in his cheap brown fabric chair watching his small TV. The office was cluttered with papers and junk strewn about. The blinds on the windows were half-open, letting in some light from the outside world. A mug with lukewarm coffee sat on the desk where numerous old coffee cirlces were. It was obvious by all the dust and stains throughout the room that it hadn't been cleaned in at least a year.
The TV was going over some local news while stock tickers ran across the bottom and a side menu showed the day's horoscopes. Classic mid-day VXN news. The pretty brunette anchorwoman presenting the news looked to the side of the screen and was handed a paper. She nodded at the person and quickly scanned the page, then looked back up at the screen.
"This just in: in response to yesterday's terrorist attack at Newmarket square, the Syntec Corporation is holding a press conference. We now go live to the conference..."
The main portion of the screen switched over to the conference room. A middle-aged man stood a podium and was straightening his tie. Camera flashes flickered around the room. The man cleared his throat.
"Good day, ladies and gentlemen. I am Public Relations Director Gary Lindstrom. I would like to start out by saying that the events that occurred yesterday afternoon are tragic and that our entire company would like to express our regret that they occurred. We would like to make it clear to the public of SAVX, as well as the people of the world, that our company had absolutely no involvement in the events of yesterday. We find such methods of coercion absolutely deplorable and we hope that the government of SAVX, the men and women of the great Führer are able hunt down the villains responsible for this evil act quickly and bring them to justice.
Our prayers are with the people who lost their lives and their families and friends who have most certainly suffered tremendously. We wish you the best of luck in coping with such a tragic loss.
Our company will be spending its resources to aid in the search for the people responsible so that we can help ensure that no such future acts of terrorism can occur. We will be putting our own investigators and paramilitary personnel into the hunt with the cooperation of the Polizei, Neogestapo, and Inquisition. It is our hope that this crisis will be resolved as soon as possible.
I will now take questions."
Sturnham ignored the rest of the conference. "This is interesting," he thought. "More players in this whole matter." He picked up his phone and dialed a number.
"Tim Waverly? This is Mark Sturnham."
"Mark! I haven't spoken to you in a while. What's up?"
"I need your help for the investigation of the attack yesterday."
"Sure thing, bud. What do you need me to do?"
"See what you can find out about Syntec, Krimson, and Morion. Check on what their higher-ups have been doing the past couple of weeks."
"Sure thing, Mark. I'll get back to you if I find anything."
"Thanks." Sturnham put the receiver back down. This was going to be tricky.
OOC: Do you expect anyone else to post here?
The Fuhrer, SAVX
Here in Intelligent Neighbors the tragic events regarding yesterdays demonstration have been met with astonishment and sadness for all that lost their lives. On behalf of my parliament, and the population of Intelligent Neighbors we wish to offer our condolences. Rest assured that as a regional ally we will co-operate fully with any investigations you may have regarding the attack. As you know, in Intelligent Neighbors there has been a history of civil unrest. The unrest has died down after our political reform, but we know that there are still active terrorist cells in the west of our country, in particular the Cikae Islands. We know the terror and destruction that such people can cause, and would again like to offer our assistance in any way possible.
Super American VX Man
OOC: Sorry for the lack of updates, been busy. Moleland, no, I don't expect anything, per se. But if anybody wants to contribute or join, they're welcome. That's all. As it stands, I'm planning to continue this thing on my own.
New Wasteland, SAVX
Neogestapo Dept. Station, Chief Inspector George Rallan's Office
Day 3, 1134 hours
The bodies and weapons of the terrorists had been inspected, but so far, there was nothing conclusive. Generalist weapons like Kalashnikovs, signs of C4...most of this stuff could be easily obtained by anybody. Tracking the sales of the respective bullet signatures from the various guns could eventually turn up something, but that would take at least two weeks.
George Rallan picked up his office phone, hitting speed dial. It rang only once. Rallan spoke, as was his custom with subordinates at work, before the other person could say a word.
"Troy Nielson? George Rallan here." He paused a split second to let the other person say if it wasn't Nielson. "Anything new found?"
"Actually, sir, we might have found something."
Rallan's eyes lit up.
"Each person has a peculiar burn scar on their back, as though a burning match was slowly drawn across from shoulder to shoulder. I checked this with our in-station terrorist specialist. He said it might be the Iron Fists Liberation Army."
"IFLA? Alright. Excellent work. Call me if you find anything else of interest."
"Will do, sir."
Rallan quickly called another number.
"Inquisitor Rulak Mege's office."
"This is Chief Inspector George Rallan from the Neogestapo. I need to speak with the Inquisitor about the recent incident."
Politeness was not a known characteristic of the Inquisition, but the means they used to serve the country were far from warranting any jolly appearance. This was the dirtiest business in the world, and that was all they had to be good at.
Rallan waited patiently. He knew that, at most, Mege, like any member of the SAVX Inquisition, would only take a few minutes. They were very responsive to the other branches of the government since they knew the important role they played in maintaining security. "Sloth breeds destruction" was the agency's simple but descriptive slogan.
Mege was on the line in a matter of half a minute.
"Chief Inspector, what do you require?"
"We have a potential lead on the people responsible for the incident three days ago. What's your situation with IFLA?"
"We've had difficulty infiltrating them, but we have people, and we have some information. Do you need a connection?"
Mege grunted in response just before the line went dead. Rallan could almost see him making a quick nod in response before getting to work. While the minds of the Inquisitors were a terrifying enigma, he couldn't help but admire their efficiency and effectiveness.
Syntec City, SAVX
Syntec Corporate Headquarters, CEO Josef Sinh's Office
Day 3, 1349 hours
"Nothing yet, sir. Looks like everybody checks out so far."
"Good. But double-check, especially the executives and major stockholders, to whatever extent you legally can, and then some. Clear?"
"Chrystal, sir. I'll get back to you soon."
Josef Sinh ended the call and went back to playing on his computer. The screen was embedded into the wall to the left of his desk so that it wouldn't get direct glare when the windows were open. It was a massive, high-detail device hooked into a satellite TV receptor, his state-of-the-art PC, various video game systems, DVD player, and even a VHS for old-time's sake. StarCraft never looked so good.
Super American VX Man
IFLA Base Camp
Day 4, 0902 hours
The black-haired, well-tanned operative donned his terrorist gear once more. Surprisingly for such a removed, secretive location, the sanitation levels were high. Everyone who chose to be was clean-shaven, showered, with white teeth. This made it many times more bearable than infiltrating other terrorist groups had been in the past. Of course, the fact that such levels could be maintained meant that there was a much stronger foundation than most previously encountered terrorist organizations. There was definitely much more that the eyes and ears of SAVX had not yet found.
It was up to this operative, then, to find out.
The order had come from Inquisitorial offices yesterday. The nearly microscopic earpiece in the operative's ear had picked that up.
"Abort current mission. New mission: find out were IFLA is based."
The transmission was curt and to the point. The operative needed no more.
The first obvious place to check was the communications tent. Doubtlessly a link of some sort could be found there. The trick was to get in. He had no formal clearance, so a healthy alibi was needed.
He left his tend, fully dressed, and quickly trotted out to it. He was stopped by a guard with a VXAR-1 rifle strapped across his back. The guard shoved the operative back, immediately taking on an attitude bordering on blatantly hostile.
"What are you doing?"
Think fast. "I was told that there was some sort of technical malfunction with one of the devices. I was told to see if I could fix it."
"Nobody told me anything of the sort. When were you called?"
"Uh...about half an hour ago."
"I've been on post for two hours. Nobody told me anything."
"Oh...uh...well, maybe they fixed it themselves. Seems like a lot of junk just gets weird every so often, y'know?"
"Ok, well, I'll talk to them myself some other point just to clarify, but never mind for now." The operative walked away. He needed another way.
Then an idea hit him. He walked across the sands to the large camouflaged tent that sat on the entrance to the cave that held the mess hall and looked for some of the people that he'd been forming false friendships with. Sure enough, a couple were sitting at a table. He grabbed some food and went to sit with them.
"Hey, Jack! How's it going?"
One of the other guys spoke up. "Yeah, I'm doing really good right now. I got my month break coming up. Gonna go home and see the family. Luckily they still think I'm working oil rigs, otherwise it would be so much harder to keep up this gig..."
"Excellent," the operative thought. "I didn't even have to try. Maybe this'll give a hint to some IFLA basing in SAVX..."
"Yeah? No kidding? That's great. Where's your home?"
"A little town in Intelligent Neighbors, near the Cikae islands. Ha, it was so close to IFLA basing that finding them to help the cause was no trouble at all. How 'bout you?"
The operative was taken aback. IN? That was wholly unexpected. He needed to contact the Inquisition immediately. However, he held his poise perfectly.
"I come right out of New Wasteland, actually."
"Ha, really? The heart of the hell? Got some deep roots to work with for the org, eh?"
"Yeah, you could say that." He pretended to look at his watch. "Whoah, crap. I gotta hit it, guys. Got my drill run today."
"Your cycle's up already? Man, HQ's been preparing for some big stuff lately. You don't really think about it until you get the extra training shoved up your ass...oh well, see ya." The others chimed in with their own good-byes. The operative waved back and ran off, dumping his half-eaten food into a portable incinerator.
New Wasteland, SAVX
Day 4, 0945 hours
Inquisitor Markus Oleg connected immediately to his operative's transmission request. He had been on high alert ever since his team began reporting intensified IFLA activity, and he preferred hands-on control in such potentially drastic situations.
"Raven connected. What do you have to report?"
"Sir, according to one of the terrorists at the Totsandufer Alpha camp, their base of operations may actually be situated somewhere in or near the Cikae Isles of IN. I cannot be sure of anything, however."
"You're certain that the enemy cited that location?"
"See if you can find anything more definitive. We'll look into it."
Oleg closed the transmission. This was an interesting turn of events. He immediately began to write an e-mail to the IN intelligence agency.
IFLA Base Camp
Day 4, 0949 hours
The operative had just closed the transmission when two armed men burst into his tent. They leveled their rifles at his head. "Shit."
"What was that?"
"Who were you talking to?"
"Shit." He tried to find a decent alibi. "I was practicing conversing with the sergeant. Just building confidence, you know?"
The men looked at each other. "Maybe they bought it," the operative thought. They looked back.
"You're coming with us."
When one of the terrorists went to grab the operative's arm, he grabbed it and twisted it while driving his knee upwards. The man's elbow snapped. The operative jumped up and quickly followed with a well-aimed chop at the man's neck, snapping his vertebrae and killing him instantly.
The other terrorist barely had time to react before the operative grabbed his lower jaw, pinching the man's tongue and the soft area between the V-bone of the jaw. Shoving forward with his other hand into the terrorist's face while pulling back the jaw, he ripped the soldier's lower face off. Before he had a chance to scream, the operative followed with a round-house kick to the back of the head, knocking his enemy to the ground. He then followed with a pile-drive into the man's skull, crushing it against the hard ground.
Brains and blood had left splatters against the operative's uniform, so he quickly changed into the first terrorist's shirt. He hid the bodies under his blanket. He had to leave.
He managed to sneak his way through half the camp and was about to pass an open part of the perimeter when four terrorists jumped out, rifles aimed. He froze for a second. He was about to turn when a rifle butt slammed into the back of his head, making the whole world explode into stars before the black curtain fell.
The plot thickens...
OOC: Waiting for that message SAVX, Address it to the INHSS (IN Home Security Service). The INHSS is a remenant of the old totalitarian leadership of IN, and still operates in a much the same way (very vicous and uncaring manner, without regard for civil liberties).
Super American VX Man
OOC: Sorry for the delay.
Email to IN Home Security Service
From: SAVX Inquisition
RE: Terrorist Attack Four Days Ago
Day 4, 1000 hours
To whomever it may regard,
Considering the geographical proximity and diplomatic status of our nations, you are undoubtedly aware of the recent terrorist attack that occured during a protest rally in New Wasteland four days ago. After examining the current evidence left by the attack, we have determined that it was carried through by the Iron Fist Liberation Army. We have been in the process of infiltrating their organization with generalized scrutiny and relative caution for the past two months. However, this attack has made us aware that action needs to be taken immediately.
We assigned our agents in the field to find whatever information they could on the potential whereabouts of the IFLA upper command so that we might deliver a devastating decapitation blow. However, from what we have been able to gather so far, we do not have direct access to the potential home stationing of the organization.
That is why we need your assistance.
Reports from agents made recently have suggested that this organization is not only based in SAVX; it is international. A particular report suggests, even, that their center may be located somewhere in the Cikae Islands.
We do not make it a point to survery and scan our allies' territories, seeing as how we trust them to be able to cover their own countries effectively. As such, we have no more conclusive evidence that the terrorists may be based in the Cikae Islands. That is why we request that the INHSS acquire any information it can on this location and possible terrorist activities there.
If further evidence is found, the Führer is happy to oblige in their destruction.
Thank you ahead of time. We trust that you will be able to quickly and effectively find whether these reports have merit.
-Inquisitor Markus Oleg
Somewhere in the Cikae Islands
IFLA Prisoner Compound
Day 5, 0602 hours
The operative slowly began to reenter the living world. His vision was dark and fuzzy, and his head felt like it had been hit by a speeding freight train. He began to shake his head to get his senses going, but the only sensation that resulted was amplification of the pain he already felt. However, his movement was all that someone else needed to see.
"Ah, you are awake."
This brought the operative out of his daze. "Oh no..." he thought. He looked up, opening his eyes more clearly. He was bound to a chair that was bolted into the concrete floor. The cords dug into his skin, barely allowing enough blood through to keep his limbs alive. In front of him stood a man with a black beret on his well-groomed brown hair. He had a grizzled look and ferocious blue eyes. His lower face was covered in stubble. "Obviously to help maintain his appearance of toughness," the operative thought. The man wore an olive IFLA uniform that was impeccably starched and cleaned. His black military boots were like mirrors. The operative tried to speak. It was slurred and broken, and he found out how dry his throat felt. He coughed weakly and tried again, this time forming coherent words.
"Don't bother with formalities. You might as well go straight to killing me. You know I won't talk."
The interrogator nodded, raising his eyebrows.
"An experienced one? Well, then, let's cut to the chase."
He picked up a razor and cut the operative's left nipple, then picked up a salt shaker and dumped some of the crystals onto the fresh wound. The expected burn was horrendous. The operative gave a little "Oomph," but then rebuilt his composure.
"I don't care who you are right now. Who do you work for? IN? IH? Euroslavia? SAVX? Who?"
The operative simply sat still. The interrogator ground his palm into the wound he had just applied, rebirthing and amplifying the pain. The operative didn't let anything show. He simply began to meditate.
This was no ordinary meditation. It was a specialized version taught by the Inquisition to its field operatives. The training took at least a year to obtain a decent level of control. Mastering the technique took at no less than three. It was nicknamed the Dead Breath because of the tendency for a trainee to get a ragged breath once a deep level of calm was achieved. There was an underlying meaning, of course. It was assumed that being capture meant certain death if SAVX could not rescue a capture operative in time. This was not a problem for operatives; they were taught that the duty to their country was worth any level of suffering, and that it was only because of this suffering that the people were allowed to live. The pseudoreligious untertones followed the fact that most operatives came from Sainama, were the Führer was regarded as a deity.
The Dead Breath meditation allowed for the user to not only achieve a sense of peace and calm, but it also temporarily rewired the brain. The exact reason for this result was not understood, but some of the sensations of pain were redirected into the pleasure centers of the brain, meaning that the suffering was not only more bearable, but, to an extent, welcome.
This technique, of course, was known to few outside of the Inquisition. Those who knew and were not members were people like the Führer, who know were trusted with knowing anything and everything that went on in the government.
As the operative began to settle into a state of relaxation, the interrogator continued to question him and cause him massive pain. However, he knew that all he needed was patience, and he had patience; it was why he was an operative for the Inquisiton. Either he would be rescued, or he would eventually meet the sweet, soothing embrace of death, whereupon he would be directed to the paradise presided over by the eternal spirit of the Führer and recognized for his glorious sacrifice. That's what the vxicist priests had always said, and he did not ever falter from his faith.
Marcus Brandt, head of the INHSS, glanced over the report one more time, running through the course of action he would take in his mind. At the center of his plans was the thought that he should have spotted this, spotted those damn terrorists before all those lives were lost. Hell, they would pay. As head of the INHSS, Brandt had almost unlimited access to the RWC Black Steel supercomputer network, as well as the ability to enlist any citizen of Intelligent Neighbors to help in his mission, at any time.
The first stage of this would be to find if the reports from SAVX had any merit. Brandts instincts told him that they probably did, the Cikae islands were infamous at breeding revolutionaries. Bringing up his head of the Black Steel management on the videophone, Brandt orders his men to scan the entire Cikae islands for unusual activities, over the last six months, especially around 4 days ago. The techies set to task and reported that they would share the findings within the hour.
Office of Jack Foley, President of IN
Foley sat at his desk, typing up the monthly statement to the press on his laptop. He was mildly annoyed at having to do this, but one of his election pledges had been to write a monthly report to the public, without any script writers applying political spin. "Tell it like it is", had been Foley's motto.
A soft beeping interupted his thoughts about the slight economic power rating fall, someone was ringing him directly. Only a select few had a line straight through to his office. Foley glanced at the panel, it displayed the name Brandt. Foley picked it up.
"Hello, this is the president speaking."
"Hello Mr. President, this is Marcus Brandt, head of the HSS."
"And what do you want with me today Brandt?"
"We have a small situation sir. You know the recent unrest in New Wasteland, SAVX? Well the inquisition from SAVX has contacted us, informing us that they suspect the perpetrators originate from, or have an extensive base within Intelligent Neighbors."
"Impossible, you know we purged the country of such people in the reformations. How dare they suggest we harbor terrorists!"
"Mr. President, they have information from agents with the group, called the Iron Fist Liberation Army. They say they think that the group may be based in the Cikae islands."
"They do, do they? Well, inform them that their agent must have misheard. There are no terrorists in Intelligent Neighbors."
"With all respect Mr. President, they are only asking us to scan the area for any activity. The Black Steel team are using satellites from all RWC member nations and images from spyplanes, radar and other sightings to collate a file that can tell us the answer within the hour. I am sure the file will prove that we have no terrorists within our borders."
"The file had better prove that, Brandt. You know we cannot inform the public of this accusation, even if shown to be truthful. The uproar would be enormous, it could plunge the country into civil war. We must not have war, the reforms prevented it last time, but only just. You understand me Brandt? No-one must know."
"Loud and clear Mr. President. I take it that if we find anything I can authorise some covert HSS and SAVX forces to tackle this problem?"
"You have clearance, but if anyone finds out I will disown all knowledge. Your ass is on the line, not mine."
Foley puts the phone down and shakes his head. He tries to continue with the report, but cannot concentrate. Frustrated with the situation, he buzzes his secretary and asks for a cup of Earl Grey tea to be brought in, with two Rich Tea biscuits.
IN HSS Head Offices, Krakk, IN
"Sir, the file has been compiled, sending it to you now."
Brandt waited until the file had finished printing, picked it up and examined it. The first page had an overview of the isles, and the following pages had progressively zoomed in on a location, north island, Shax Mountains. Smoke. Flames. The images switch to a grainier spyplane image, in infrared. Figures can just be made out, green blobs on a darker background. Nothing certain is visible, except... there!
The final image has a red circle drawn on it, outlining something. Near the fire is a box shaped object. The heat from the fire has made one side stand out, giving a definate outline. The box has a handle, and looks quite long.
The next page was a statistics sheet, for the SAG-9, a SAM used commonly with terrorists in the IN area. And at the bottom, a picture of a box of SAG-9 ammunition, identical in shape to the one in the picture.
Brandt cursed, now he had to deal with the scum of the earth again, and this time he had to deal with them quietly. His ass was on the line.
Reply to SAVX Inquisition
RE: Terrorist base location.
To Inquisitor Markus Oleg,
Regarding your recent email, action has been undertaken here at the INHSS to comply with your request. It has been noted by the President that you are a valuable ally, who we should assist when asked to. It has also been noted, that due to the possible desent of Intelligent Neighbors into anarchy, it will not be possible to strike at the terrorists with as much force as we can muster. The operation must be covert an no-one outside our two agencies should know of it. Your offer of help is greatly appreciated, but if you decide to send any forces, be aware that while in the domain of the republic they will be subject to IN laws and regulations. If you are caught by IN security forces they will hold you as a foreign invader and may torture/kill or imprison indefinately any of your men. The INHSS will be powerless to stop this, as we are not meant to be involved in any way with this, and to get involved would raise suspicion.
We have used all in our means to help locate the terrorists you spoke of, and we have compiled a file that has all the necessary information you shall require. The file has been attached to this email, but we hope that you will consult is before any action is undertaken.
If you still wish to aid us (and we hope you do) then it can be arranged for a small boat to meet yours some way offshore, and bring your men under the radar. Should your men require aerial transport, we can have some retired Marsupial Helicopter gunships that your military industries developed stood ready, although our men will use the indiginous Attila Gunship. If absolutely necessary, one of our Scope Class submarines can be dispatched, and aircraft, helicopters and small vehicles will be picked up by it.
Thanks for the information regarding the IFLA, we will make sure the threat is eradicated for good in Intelligent Neighbors.
Head of INHSS
Super American VX Man
New Wasteland, SAVX
Day 5, 0349 hours
Many in the Inquisition needed little sleep. Such was the case for Markus Oleg. With the response from INHSS, he was putting in as much overtime as humanly possible to work out plans for the covert strike on the terrorist base.
He was also worried. Inquisitors were taught to care about each other, if nobody else. This allowed the organization to avoid internal politics and squabbling, which many Führers had felt cut away from the effectiveness from the system. No internal competition was required; the Inquisition was driven by zealous nationalists.
As such, Oleg was concerned. His agent from Totsandufer Alpha hadn't reported in a day. This was never good news, but policy was that operatives would only be considered lost after two days. However, Oleg felt that, perhaps, he could pull a small favor from INHSS.
He was about to send his finalized plans to Mege, the Führer, and Brandt. He quickly added a small tidbit to the copy being transmitted to Brandt. A small request that would help him get a clearer head on the situation. And perhaps a small change to the strategy for his forces.
Email to IN Home Security Service, Inquisitor Rulak Mege, and the Glorious Führer
From: Inquisitor Markus Oleg
Day 5, 0400 hours
As you are well-aware, the IFLA is suspected to be based in the Cikae Islands. Satellite photos have shown evidence of their presence, and we are going to react with force. As you are also aware, this cannot be known to the public for the sake of the stability of IN. The overall strategy is simple: a covert attack will be used to obliterate the IFLA presence in IN. Within a day, SAVX forces will conspicuously attack IFLA locations around SAVX, which will be the only reason attributed to the halt of IFLA activity.
The assault on the Cikae Islands will be carried out as follows: first, Inquisiton Shadow covert ops forces will arrive approximately twenty miles from the coast in a stealth transport, aided by a small missile ship armed with cruise missiles that are loaded with VX Nerve Agent warheads in the event of unexpected problems. Should the mission go horribly awry, the target mountains will be coated in the toxin to ensure the death of all potential threats. This could easily result collateral deaths, in which case my office has multiple cover stories prepared. However, this will most likely be unnecessary.
The Inquisition forces will meet with a INHSS forces and deploy to the island in helicopter transports. If Marsupials can be supplied, that would be appreciated. If not, we can supply our own.
IN troops will do as they are commanded by their respective forces. Our own forces objectives are as follows, in this order: destroy enemy radar and communications; compromise heavy defenses; and then assassinate leaders. Secondary objectives include: finding information on high-profile persons, plans, and any other locations of operation; searching for and rescuing hostages and prisoners; capturing medium-profile personnel for interrogation and respective punishment.
As is standard policy of SAVX covert military options, a squadron of B-2 heavy stealth bombers will be on alert. They are all loaded with MOAB Mk. II explosives (the power of a conventional MOAB with 15% compacted mass and volume for easier transport). These are meant for absolute last resort, only in the event that a catastrophe is imminent. They will completely level everything in and near the target zones. As you can all imagine, such an event is extremely difficult to cover up. Let's try to avoid it.
Operations begin when INHSS decides so.
P.S. to Marcus Brandt:
I have reason to believe at least one of my operatives may be in the region as a prisoner. If you can try to locate any potential prison structures before the attack, it would be appreciated. I'd prefer not to lose him.
-Inquisitor Markus Oleg
OOC: I don't know if you realise this SAVX, but the Cikae islands consist of three very large islands, together about the size of Ireland. Each main island has a city, Cikae (west isle), Edoras (east isle) and Verm (north isle). The northern isle is the least inhabited, with Verm only having a population of ~30,000. The eastern side of the northern isle is mountainous (Shax mountains), and very sparsely populated. So when you said you would coat the islands in toxin, that would mean killing ~200,000 people. Perhaps you could edit to say "the target mountains"? Sorry for not being clear about that.
IN HSS Head Offices, Krakk, IN.
Day 5, 0700 hours
Brandt read the new email carefully, concentrating too much to enjoy the warmth and smell of the newly printed paper as everyone does. He read the small attachment and grunted, "hmf". This was unexpected, a SAVX agent on the soil of the Republic, this would take some explaining, but now was not the time. The SAVX inquisition wanted their agent back, so he would do whatever he could. Tapping into the power of the Black Steel network, he scanned the newest images of the target area. Several odd shapes of rocks and trees stood out at him. Before they would have been looked over, but now he knew what they were, camoflaged terrorist buildings, squatting in the mountains.
The start of the winter season was nigh, and snowflakes had settled en masse during the night. The glean from the snow had obscured some pictures. But not all of them. A few where zoomed in on a particular complex, that looked like an outcrop of trees. Several sets of footprints were just visible, leading into the trees. Expert analysis had shown that someone had been dragged into the trees, the long grooves on the ground giving evidence.
Brandt went to forward the images to Oleg, but stopped. First he had to sort out the problem of SAVX overkill, the missile ship and the bomber squadron. They must not be allowed to enter the conflict, at whatever cost. Brandt dialled up the chief of the INAirForce, and spoke quickly to him, ordering that he send four of his best pilots (and two navigators), 2 with VA-4 'Avenger' Interceptors and 2 with VA-3 'Lucifer' High speed bombers. No-one argued with the head of the INHSS, those that did were likely to end up dead in the morning from an 'overdose'. The pilots and planes would be at the Carville airfield by 0830 hours.
"Now for some men", Brandt thought to himself. "But who?". Brandt considered the INK, the Kommando's. The trouble was it took too much time and paperwork to get them, that was not possible for this assignment. "Damn". Brandt had men of his own, well trained and brought up in the same way as the INK, but they could not be infiltrated into the mountains in time. He needed an outsider, someone who would not ask questions, someone who they could 'silence' afterwards.
"Hello, this is MERC customer service desk, how may I help you?"
"I need a mercenary, based in Verm."
"Ok, can you supply your name and address?"
"RED 1-Zero", Brandt spoke his codename softly, knowing that he would get what he wanted. The woman on the other end gasped.
"Thank you sir, when do you want this mercenary?"
"As soon as possible. I need him to have covert equipment, with mountain camoflage and equipment."
"Certainly sir. We have someone available, a Mr. Jung-Il."
"Has he any experience?"
"Four years fighting with the CFF sir."
"He will have to do. Tell him to wait halfway down the A344, Shax mountain service station."
"Thank you sir, I will just read you his number..."
Brandt noted down the number of the mercenary, then hung up. He disliked using mercs, but it would have to do. He needed someone who could be up in the mountains before the main assault force came in. A guide to enemy positions, and perhaps even an escape method for the SAVX agent. Brandt turned back to the computer, and sent the satellite images of the area to the SAVX inquisition, along with a note which read:
From: Marcus Brandt, INHSS.
Attached are the images that detail the probable whereabouts of your operative. We are sending a one-man scouting party up the mountains, to pinpoint the location of the enemy base, as well as aid in the breakout of your operative.
A small squad of INHSS Stormtroop Soldiers (12 men) are being assembled at the Torfall base, eastern Cikae island. Marsupial gunships will be sent to pick up your men from their transport ship, as soon as you inform us of their arrival. They will be taken to the Torfall base, where they can practise working with the INHSS operatves.
The operation will be scheduled to take place at first light tomorrow. Our helicopter transports will approach from the east, out of the rising sun. The INHSS Stormtroop Soldiers will prioritise on suppresion of enemy strongpoints, and neutralisation of enemy personell.
We thank you on the diversionary attacks you are scheduling, and inform you that your bombers will be granted entry to our airspace.
-Marcus Brandt, Head of INHSS.
The four new planes of the INAF stood proudly on the runway, two VA-3 'Lucifer' heavy bombers, and two VA-4 'Avenger' interceptors. The pilots and navigators of the VA-4's stood to attention beside them as a man wearing the uniform of a INHSS officer stepped out of the adjoining building.
"Welcome to Carville Airfield gentlemen, consider this the start of your permanent transfer to the INHSS. You have been brought here to aid in an upcoming operation. You will hopefully not be needed, but you must be in the air and ready as soon as the operation begins. As for now, the engineers here will help you erase all markings on the plane, the planes need to appear nationless."
"You will then be drilled in your objectives. I can tell you now that the two interceptors may be required to take down a squadron of B-2's. Don't worry, they will have no fighter escorts and their location will be permanently in your computer system. The two bombers may have to attack a missile ship. Again, their location will be flagged up. In both cases, the target will not be hostile at all before your attack, so there will be no return fire initially. You will be briefed in detail later."
VA-4 'Avenger' (http://img122.echo.cx/img122/6039/avenger10yw.jpg):
Empty Weight: 22,808 kg
Maximum Weight: 52,449 kg
Wingspan: 11m (wings swept), 21m (wings forward)
Speed: Mach 2.8 at altitude, Mach 1.4 at sea level
Range: 7200 km ferry
Armament: 2x28mm cannon w/ 800 rounds; 1xInternal bay, 4xFuselage & 4xUnderwing hard points for 10,800 kg
VA-3 'Lucifer' (http://www.afa.org/magazine/Jan2005/0105raptor5.jpg):
Maximum take-off weight: 30,000 kg
Normal weight: 26,000 kg
Engines: 2x pulse-detonation/turbo-fan hybrid
Maximum Thrust: 120,000 lbs (Double Pulse: 230,000 lbs)
Max Speed (high altitude): Mach 3.7
Cruise Speed: Mach 1.12
Service Ceiling: 19,000m
Maximum operating range at cruise height: 4,200km
Armaments: 12x Hardpoints (two in internal weapons bay, four hardpoints beneath each wing, 2 hardpoints on fuselage), 2x 30mm cannon.
-(For this mission)- 2x 4000 pound RAMJET missiles with EMP warheads, 2x JASSM, 4x Hex III (http://s7.invisionfree.com/Venom_Defense/index.php?showtopic=82) Antiship missiles.
Super American VX Man
OOC: Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, I was imagining an archipelago of mostly smaller islands...
And no, not B-52s. B-2s.
SAVX Naval Base D-12
Day 5, 2030 hours
Thirty men in black robes armed with VXAR-1 assault rifles and an assortment of other weapons and tools sat in a circle, awaiting their commander. The room was large, square, concrete, and dark. Only a few weak lights hung from the ceiling. These were soldiers from the Inquisition Shadow Corps. The Inquisiton many years ago had deemed it necessary to have their own special forces for secret operations and small-scale attacks, and thus had created their own branch of the Shadow Forces. They were ready to go above and beyond the call of conventional SAVX forces in other to further the goals of the nation.
The soldiers sat silently, knowing they wouldn't have to wait long for their commander to show. Sure enough, Sergeant Neral Axos showed up in his own combat uniform within minutes of everyone's arrival. His own robe was a dark crimson. Underneath one could see the bulging of Mk. I Powered Combat Armor. His own rifle was slung across his back, and a sword was held in a scabbard at his side.
However, there was a subtle level of shock. He was accompanied by five soldiers in Mk. III Powered Combat Armor. Their shoulder plates bore the symbol of a bleeding skull with a snake skeleton intertwined through the eyes. The rest of the armor was a mix of black and crimson paint. They all bore various heavy weapons, selected based on personal preference.
The group walked into the middle of the circle and Sgt. Axos addressed his men.
"Good evening, soldiers."
The Shadows replied with a chorus. Axos nodded, then continued.
"I'm sure you're all wondering why I'm accompanied by five Wraith Squad Death Troopers. This is by order of the Führer: he feels that this situation may require a certain extra blow, seeing as how unexpected the IFLA has been so far. Certain things may lie in wake that we do not anticipate." He didn't add the part that the Führer didn't know the new government well and so was unsure about his trust. That was a personal issue, and it had no concrete basis. Thus, the Führer had no desire that too many others know his feelings. "However, he asked me to assure you that this is not meant to suggest that you can't handle the situation by yourselves. He simply wants to make sure that everyone comes home alive."
"We understand and accept," replied the circle.
"Good. Now then, you know your orders. Make sure you have all that you will need. We depart in one hour." Without another word, the circle disbanded and disappeared into the shadows. Axos turned to the Wraiths.
"You all know what your orders are?"
One soldier spoke up. His altered, filtered voice was metallic and cold, but surprisingly soft.
"Yes. We are aware, word-for-word, of the Führer's explicit directions. We will not interfere with your objectives. We will remain hidden unless we are absolutely needed."
"Good. We do not want to call upon the last resort mechanisms."
"We are aware."
"We are done here, then. I will join my men. I assume you will be following us as dictated?"
"No closer than ten miles."
"Good. I hope we will not be needing you."
OOC: Sorry about the B-52 thing, edited now. As for the fact that my planes have been put on standby, it is just a precaution, my government was serious when it said that the public must not know, at any cost. Do you want this RP to end up with my planes attacking or what? I do not mind really, it depends on where you want to go with your RP (as I have just hopped on board for the ride). I will make an IC post later this w/e, rather busy ATM.
Super American VX Man
OOC: I know you're serious. I loved the twist, actually. I'm not sure exactly what will happen. Let's just keep the story going for now, and if something comes up, then we'll go from there.
OOC: Thanks, I thought that the twist may add a little spice to the story. And now for the IC post. BTW, do you have any OOC info for me about those Wraiths? If you think the HT-11 suit is too post modern, then tell me and I can edit it out.
Torfall Base, Eastern Cikae Islands,
Day 5, 2100 hours
At the shout the 12 men stood sharply to attention. Their stance was perfect, as it should be. These were GreyWolf 42 Stormtroop Soldiers, the best that the INHSS had to offer. Led by none other than Wulfila, they were trained to be the best. Wulfila was a giant of a man, and was encased in the ridiculously expensive HT-11 full battle armour suit (http://s7.invisionfree.com/Venom_Defense/index.php?showtopic=102). The HT-11 had been withdrawn from most of the armed forces, as normal men could not carry the weight, even with the integrated 'muscles'. Wulfila insisted on it though, he needed the extra firepower.
The other 11 men were armed with the FLIT-3 body armour (http://s7.invisionfree.com/Venom_Defense/index.php?showtopic=135), standard amongst special forces in Intelligent Neighbors. The men had chosen to wear these suits as they did not know the full extend of enemy resistance they would meet, and the FLIT-3 would give them a chance of surviving a rifle round that could come their way. They also carried a S-63S assault rifle (http://s7.invisionfree.com/Venom_Defense/index.php?showtopic=100). Wulfila would be used to start the attack, breaking into the building with the SAVX operative, and sheilding him while the rest of GreyWolf and SAVX Shadow Corps secured the area.
"GreyWolf 42, at ease! I won't bullshit you, this is going to be one hell of a mission. We are moving in with the SAVX forces tomorrow at first light. They will arrive here very shortly, and you have a couple of hours to get ready. As you are fully aware, the extent of the enemy's power is unknown, and there is a hostage present. It would not bode well for inter-regional politics if this operative was harmed. Another important point to note is that we have sent another operative, a mercenary, to set up beacons and provide a distraction for your arrival. Unfortunately if this man was left to live, he could well be a liability. Therefore we must regretfully silence him. Do you understand?"
There was a grunt from Wulfila, then the gravelly voice sounded: "I will make sure he reaches Valhalla."
"Excellent, that is all I have to tell you now. I will update you before you leave with the latest intel."
Four Marsupial Gunships raised into the air, their rotar blades kicking up a flurry of snow. They banked, and headed out over the sea, to pick up the SAVX forces that were on their way.
Jung-Il struggled up the steep mountainside, trying to move silently through the thick snow, while covering his tracks as best he could. His sniper rifle hung across his neck, and his trusty beretta was in it's holster. The GPS beeped into his ear. He looked down, and noted that he was nearly in position, opposite the target mountains. He needed a place to hide, stay out of the weather until needed.
A group of rocks loomed up in front of him, perhaps a cave if he was lucky. A muffled cough startled him. Jung-il paused, and drew his pistol quietly. He reached into a pocket, and withdrew a silencer, that he screwed onto his pistol. The mercenary crept around to the side of the rocks, and smelt the air. Tobacco. Nothing for it, he thought, time to kick ass. With a swift movement he swung into the entrance. There were two men there, one sitting on a chair the other standing smoking. The beretta whispered sofly, and the smoker slamed into the rocks, falling onto the cold ground. The terrorist on the chair grabbed for his assault rifle, but Jung-Il fired again, punching a bullet through the man's shoulder.
"Don't move." Jung-Il whispered, and knocked the rifle onto the ground. The terrorist looked at him with cold eyes, but then flicked them down again. Jung-Il caught the movement, and turned and fired another shot into the head of the recovering terrorist on the floor. A blow catches Jung-Il on the head, and he falls to his knees. The terrorist stands and kicks him brutally in the ribs, knocking him on his back. Again he grabbed for his assault rifle, but Jung-Il administered a kick to the back of the legs, pitching him into the rock wall. With an audible crack the terrorist slumps to the floor. Jung-Il stood, and pointed his pistol at the mans head...
Super American VX Man
OOC: It used to be on the regional board, but that's obviously dead now. I've got some information on most of the technology because of the NS wiki entry I've been working on for the past couple of months, so I've made a website where you can see the relevant stuff. The armor you're using is fine. Oh, and I fixed some of the names I used before so you can properly reference it...Axos is using Powered Armor I, and the Death Troopers are using Powered Armor III (forgot that I changed the names :P). And for clarification, the Shadows use Mk. II Combat Armor. I'll make my IC post later.
Super American VX Man
Off the Coast of the Cikae Islands
Day 6, 0200 hours
The small transport ship bearing the force of Shadows slowly slithered through the relatively smooth water. The night was pitch-black, except for the stars. The new moon had left the surface of the Earth darker than necessary to carry out the operation. Axos, standing aside from his men, inhaled slowly, then exhaled even more slowly, savoring the crisp air. It was heavy with the scent of salt-water, but that was a pleasant smell in the sergeant's mind.
The attack was to take place in about three hours, but Axos had always liked to be early. It gave him time to plot some of the territory personally and reconsider his strategy. However, he was too far away from the mountains to see anything personally, especially with the near-complete lack of ambient lighting. Instead, he simply took the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere.
Barely a half a mile away silently floated the missile ship sent to accompany the Shadow attack group. Their orders were simple and clear: upon the code-word "Spring," the entire supply of chemical-bearing missiles would be launched at the mountains in the distance.
Silently, the captain of the ship hoped this would not occur.
Ten miles back, the Wraiths stood at attention; motionless, silent, and intimidating in their demonic-looking armor, they simply waited. Their transport's crew had been forbidden to interact with them--for their own safety--and as such the most the Death Troopers recieved was an awed glance. They cared not for interaction, though. Their lives were the mission, and the joy that the mission brought. They each silently hoped that something big would happen. It had been nearly two years since the last call to action, and their unstable minds were itching for fire and blood.
IFLA Camp Alpha
Somewhere in the Totsandufer Wastes
Day 6, 04300
The SAVX military had sent numerous strike forces to the various known IFLA locations around SAVX. Hidden against the dark sands of the Totsandufer Wastes, nearly six-hundred Marines, fifty Cobra tanks, and ten Sorceror howitzers surrounded and approached IFLA Camp Alpha.
Just when they were about to entire firing range, a squadron of Hotspot Strykers zipped overhead and thundered over the terrorist base, unloading their massive payloads of incendiary bombs. The base erupted into brilliant orange and red fireballs, throwing billowing black smoke into the equally black sky. The screams of the terrorists were met with the firepower of the SAVX military as the ground forces charged in, unleashing their fury.
Across the rest of SAVX, similar events were unfolding. In one smooth stroke, the IFLA presence in SAVX was shattered.
Off the Coast of the Cikae Islands
Day 6, 0210 hours
"Target ahead, sending recognition signal."
... ... "Hello, this is VXS Dolphin-54, please identify yourselves."
"Good morning! This is commander O'sheen, of the Intelligent Neighbors Home Security Service. We're here to move your men to Torfall base. We are approaching to land."
The Marsupial Gunships hovered over the transport ship, and one by one they landed on deck. The waiting Shadows boarded quickly, appreciating the familiar 'copers. Within 15 minutes the Marsupials were on their way, speeding over the calm water, leaving a trail of disturbance behind them. Perhaps a metaphor for what was to come.
Day 6, 0230 hours
"Shit." Jung-Il swore, and kicked the man in the head, cracking it against the hard metal floor. Drawing his knife from it's sheath he drove it deep into the mans neck, before slicing it across and out. Blood poured down the mans vest, and droplets flew onto the face of Jung-Il, giving him a sinister look.
Jung-Il stood quickly, and left the cave, moving away and into a more elevated position halfway up a tree. Crouching he lined up his rifle on the target, deep in the valley below. His nght-vision scope revealed specks of men down there, almost hidden from view by the softly falling snow. Jung-Il's hand moved to his trouser pocket, and he withdrew his laser pointer, setting it up to point directly at the terrorist camp. We have reached the calm before the storm.
Torfall Base, Eastern Cikae Islands
Day 6, 0245 hours
GreyWolf 42 stood to attention as the Marsupials landed, Wulfila towering above the rest in his HT-11 suit. As the Shadows emerged, they saluted their comrades on this mission, before stepping forward to shake their hands.
"Welcome to Torfall base." Wulfila greeted Axos, "hope you enjoy your stay, short as it is."
INBC 24 hour news station
Day 6, 0440 hours
"We are recieving multiple reports from all over SAVX about a wave of reprisals against targets believed to be instigators of the violence five days ago in the city of New Wasteland. It appears at this time that SAVX military forces have attacked in overwhelming numbers and are exacting vengence on the terrorists. We will update you on this situation, and what it means for Intelligent Neighbors as we get the news."
"Let me remind you that since the reformation of Intelligent Neighbors there are no terrorists within our nation, and we are safe from them and their actions."
Super American VX Man
OOC: Uh...VXS Dolphin-54.
Super American VX Man
Day 6, 0300 hours
The droning of pain had stopped. Perhaps something had changed? The operative began to work out of his trance state. When he rejoined reality, the weight of his wounds hit him. It would take weeks to heal, and he'd probably be left with a multitude of scars. More importantly, though, he saw that his interrogator was on a phone. He tried to listen in on the conversation, but it was difficult because one of his ears was apparently damaged.
"...intruder?...make sure...gets out...do it myself...understood."
The operative's jumbled brain wasn't able to work out any apparently meaning from the words before the interrogator had hung up the phone. He pulled a handgun out of his pocket and turned to the bloodly, bruised, and broken man tied to the chair.
"It looks like someone's here uninvited. That means that you're more of a liability than anything now, given your performance up to now."
He cocked the gun.
Torfall Base, Eastern Cikae Islands
Day 6, 0430 hours
The first bit of reflected light from the sun had barely begun to peek over the horizon. Axos turned to his men, who were sitting in a group, waiting for his command. He glanced over to Wulfila and nodded, then addressed his men.
"I hope you've all had something to eat and have used the rest facilities, because we're leaving in five minutes, and there will be no time to make it up. Collect your gear and get on the helicopters."
Axos hopped up into his own helicopter and watched as his men dispersed.
Cikae Shores, Approx. Ten Miles Away
Day 6, 0445
The transport plunged its drop-door into the sand after landing. The fix Wraiths walked off, their metallic boots shaking the sand with each massive step. One of them pointed towards the mountains, and the five monster soldiers began to sprint.
As they receded into the distance, the transport pulled its door back up and floated back into the sea.
Day 6, 0301 hours
With a dull wet thud the interrogator's head snapped back, before he fell to the floor heavily. The glass in the small window cracked, and shattered.
A mile away, halfway up a mountain Jung-Il smiled, that operative owed him big. Now for the inevitable backlash. He gripped his rifle and zoomed in on the hut again. Another terrorist ran into view, looking at the broken window. Click. The terrorist lay on the floor, blood spraying from his head wound. Click, Click, Click. The operative must not die. He continued firing, round after round whistled into the area, causing death and mayhem. The operative sat in the middle of this carnage, watching with intent. Pick up a damn weapon.
The sharp sound of boots on snow caused Jung-Il to whip around, at the base of the tree where three masked men, pointing old soviet rifles at him. Jung-Il moved his hand to his pistol, but a round of fire caught him in the chest, knocking him backwards off the branch and into the cold snow.
Jung-Il coughed, blood spattering the white snow. He tried to move but a kick the head stopped him. One of the men stood above him, and pointed the rifle down.
"Who are you working for? SAVX?"
The masked man savagely kicked Jung-Il in the ribs, causing more blood to leak from his mouth. Jung-Il coughed, and then lay still. One of the terrorists nudged him with his boot.
The man pointing the rifle lowered it and crouched down next to Jung-Il, moving his hand to check the pulse. In a lightning movement Jung-Il threw the man forward, pulling a pistol from the back pocket as he did so. Firing without aiming he took one terrorist in the shoulder, stopping him raising his weapon. The other terrorist gawped in amazement, before firing his rifle randomly, spraying the area with a storm of bullets. Suddenly the fire stopped, and the terrorist fell to the floor. Jung-Il was still crouched, holding a smoking pistol. With a grunt he dropped it, and collapsed backwards into the cold embrace of the red snow. I've done all I can.
Shax Mountains border, Northern Cikae Island
Day 6, 0440 hours
"Approaching target area in five. Get ready for a hell of a landing."
Wulfila stood at the head of his helicopter, addressing his men. The open side doors presented him with a view of the strike force, six helicopters glistening in the morning sun.
"Alpha squad, take the left flank and give covering fire while I and Bravo squad assault O-building. (Operative Building). Don't stop firing! The SAVX forces will help us in this mission, as you know they are well trained fighters that you can depend on with your life. As for the enemy, they are a bunch of worthless dogs, but remember that even dogs fight in a corner."
A beeping from the cockpit alerted Wulfila. He turned and spoke to the pilots.
"The targeting beacon has stopped sir, something must have happened to the mercenary."
"Ok, as soon as we approach the area he was in, drop me off and I'll check it out before meeting up with you later."
The two VA-3 and two VA-4 aircraft lumbered into the air, the VA-3 'Avenger' planes streaking high into the sky and toward the B2 bombers lurking there. The VA-4 'Lucifer' bombers banked toward the missile ship, and engaged their double pulse engines, boosting them onwards at mach 3.4.
Shax Mountains, Northern Cikae Island
Day 6, 0445 hours
"We are above the location of the mercenary sir."
"Thank you, don't slow down."
Wulfila jumps down from the 'copter in mid flight, his huge battlesuit slamming into the snow. Despite the stability, the suit tumbles, but Wulfila stands up, shaking the snow off the suit. Lumbering forward in the deep snow he comes to an area of carnage, blood staining the snow. In a hollow lies Jung-Il. Wulfila nudges him, and the critically injured man opens his eyes.
Wulfila looks down on him, and raises a large metal-clad foot. "Good bye" he rasps, before bringing the boot down with all his might on the head of the dying man. Wiping the blood and brain tissue on the snow, Wulfila begins to run down the mountain, his weight giving him extra momentum.
OOC: SAVX, do you want to make the post about the helicopters arriving? You know the strength of the IFLA.
Super American VX Man
OOC: For now, treat it like there's moderate resistance: numerous soldiers with various small-arms, mostly rifles and SMGs, the occasional explosive weapon. It'll pick up when the time is right. Is there any type of vehicle your nation has at its disposal that's comparable to the Humvee or the VXTTP (http://www.angelfire.com/ns2/toxicvalley/vehicles/lav.html), but maybe a little more high-tech and/or stronger?
Day 6, 0303 hours
It took the operative a moment to fully shake off the haze. He was about to die, there was something like a gunshot, but he was still alive, and there was no new pain. He blinked a few times, realizing that only one eye wasn't swollen shut. The interrogator was lying on the concrete floor in a pool of his own blood and neural tissue, his head thoroughly ruined.
The operative called upon his training. He looked at the ropes binding him to the chair as he heard commotion outside, as well as more barely-audible gunshots. He figured that there was a surpressed sniper rifle doing damage outside. Was it his countrymen, come to his rescue?
He began to wriggle, but he felt the searing pain of a multitude of broken bones, mostly ribs. This was going to take a little more concentration. He began to slowly move. The movements were barely noticeable, but were coreographed just so...
He had his right arm free. He made short work of the rest of the ropes, then staggered upwards. His unbroken joints were stiff, his ribs were on fire, and his jaw wouldn't move properly. He could also feel that his nose wasn't in place. "Priorities," thought the operative. His broken bones meant that close-combat needed to be avoided. Healing would only occur if he was rescued. He needed to get out. He slowly staggered over to the interrogator and gingerly leaned over, picking up the pistol. Once he was upright again, he carefully put his hand against his jaw and shoved hard, snapping it back into place, reawakening the old pain.
The operative began to slowly make his way out of the small complex to search for a way out of his predicament.
Day 6, 0450 hours
The Marsupial helicopters hovered in the air, ripping into the IFLA base with their 10mm minigun explosives and rocket-pods. Meanwhile, the Shadows dropped ropes and seemed to fly down from the passenger bays inside the Marsupials. Their black Inquisition robes were a hard contrast to the snow, but in the first light of dawn it wasn't an important predicament.
The first group down began to snake their way through the light trees bordering the base, easily gunning down or slitting the throats of those foolish enough to venture out to face the attack.
Sergeant Axos was among the first to drop out. He waited for the remainder of his troops to disembark, then waved the helicopters off. They had orders to remain on-call for support if needed. He then quickly ran to his troops and consolidated them.
"Remember! Our first objective is to clear any major anti-air defenses so that air-support will have no resistance! This will begin with the destruction any enemy radar positions. Qor'al! Is your radar detector picking up anything?"
"Yes, sir. Western portion of the base, it seems. See the dish? It's about a quarter of a mile away."
"Good. Let's move!"
The Shadows quickly headed for the radar installation, using their superb stealth tactics to remain unseen and fighting off the moderate resistance that was being offered so far. It wouldn't remain so for long.
Day 6, 0455 hours
The Wraiths watched from the distance as the Shadows and IN soldiers began their attack. They had stopped a mile away from the conflict so that they would remain unnoticed. So far only one patroller had come by, and he had no idea what hit him before his body was nothing more than a pile of ribbons, sliced to bits by the Wraiths' Power Swords.
Day 6, 0450 hours
The whirling rotors of the two Attila gunships tear up the snow as the twelve men of GreyWolf 42 step out into the snow. Quickly the men form up, and move out toward main area's of resistance, which were pitifully weak. The S-63 rifles burst their anger at the enemy, taking many men down. One soldier was struck by a stray round, knocking him to his feet, another pulled him up.
"No time for a nap, friend."
The soldier grinned inside his helmet, and dispatched an infidel with a flick of his wrist knife.
"We got to get inside the buildings, prepare to breach the door!"
Two soldiers scrambled forward, covered by their allies and set a C4. Dashing for cover they get away in time to see the door ripped from it's weak hinges and sent spriraling away.
"Go go go!"
Wulfila tore down the slope toward the building, his chaingun blazing death into the few that opposed his way. He did not stop when he reached the door, and slammed into it, buckling it under the force of impact. A punch from his powerclaw finished it, and Wulfila was inside the holding area. He scanned the area for signs of life, there was nothi...
Three flashes lit up the room, and Wulfila felt three bullets connect with his visor, cracking it. With a roar he turned in the direction of the fire, toward the man crouching in the corner. His chaingun began to spin, warming up briefly. The bullets loaded into the barrels, and were fired, spinning along the barrels toward their target, the heavily injured man in the corner.
At the last moment Wulfila hauled his chaingun upwards, sending the bullets into the wall above the luckiest man alive.
"Operative?" Wulfila enquired.
"What's it to you," the man croaked.
"Nothing," replied Wulfila, and slung the man forcefully but carefully across his shoulder. He stepped outside the building and contacted the SAVX manned helicopters by radio.
"I have your man, he needs to be evaced."
The Attila gunships, having dropped off their passengers now circled the area, using their missiles and chainguns to pummel the terrorist scum. There was a flash in a group of trees to the left, and red lights blinked on the control panel.
"Incoming missile! Engage defense system!"
The helicopter turned slightly to get side on to the streaking missle, and hatches slid open over the body.
"Three, two, one, fire!"
Grenades shot out from the hatches, detonating in front of the missile, spraying it with shards of metal. The missile carried on through the storm, and hit the helicopter square. The 'copter was knocked back, spinning slightly, but did not explode. The de-armed missile dropped like a stone to the ground.
OOC: I just use modified Humvees, with better armour (aluminium glass, and other mods), better guns (one version has a 20mm gas gun equivalent to a 40mm cannon) and more protection for the gunner.
Super American VX Man
Day 6, 0503 hours
The radar installation was a small structure with cinderblock walls and a flimsy metal door. Axos believed in conserving resources, so his first instinct was to see if they wouldn't have to use any of the C4 yet.
"Drizgal, Mor'tuk, get behind me. Follow close. The rest of you cover the rear and enter in groups of three."
By looking at the door, Axos knew that he could easily knock it down with his light Powered Armor. He backed up two steps, then charged forward. He lunged, tucking himself into a ball, his full weight hitting the door and knocking it off its hinges like it was nothing. He rolled through the entrance, firing bursts from his VXSMG-2 into the few enemy soldiers present. The two Shadows followed, picking off the rest with no difficulty. The group outside was met with fire from a counterstrike team. The Shadows dissolved into their surroundings, finding cover like cockroaches. One was hit in the shoulder, but the shoulder pad managed to deflect the round, knocking the Shadow to the side and leaving him with little more than a bruise.
Once the counterstrike was dealt with, the Shadows entered the radar installation. The inside was dark and bare, save for a small wooden closet door, a desk where a bloody man lay hunched over in his chair, metal stairs leading up to the second floor, and five mutilated bodies, their blood decorating the floors and walls. Axos was already heading up the stairs, his submachine gun in one hand and his Power Sword in the other. The Shadows followed suit, their weapons poised.
Once at the top of the stairs, a four-foot hallway wide enough for two people led to a single wooden door; all that between Axos and the control room. Effortlessly, he walked into the door, forcing it to break and fall forward. Immediately thereafter he was met with a hail of bullets. He ducked his head to keep his visor protected from the rounds and swung to the left, his sword floating through the abdomen of the terrorist standing there. As soon as he had left the doorway, the first two Shadows dropped to crouching positions, firing into the control room, while the pair behind them remained standing, their muzzles flashing with reports of death.
The ensuing slaughter lasted mere seconds. Once the resistance was left bleeding and dead, Axos motioned to one of the Shadows who promptly dropped a large C4 charge in the middle of the room. The men quickly filed out of the radar installation once the timer was set. In another thirty seconds, the second floor of the radar installation was transformed into a massive fireball.
Axos used his suit communicator to contact the Marsupials now that their threat was neutralized.
"Koala-2, the enemy radar is down. You are free to extract."
"Roger that, Big Boss."
Day 6, 0514 hours
The IFLA commander knew that they were screwed if they didn't unleash their secrets. Revealing of hidden resources was less worrisome that utter annihilation.
On the other end of the compound, an inconspicuous warehouse opened its large doors. A team of three IN Humvees modified with experimental VXSC-1 "Sound Blaster" Ultrasonic HACSP (High Amplification Concentrated Sonic Pulse) Guns and two with a VXMG-24 "Pulverizer" Mini Auto cannon drove out and headed off to combat the invading forces. They were followed by an M-22A2VX Viper light tank fitted with a small VXMA-10 "Sunshine" Laser Cannon as opposed to the normal gun. The doors remained open for another minute after the Humvees and Viper exited before closing, though nothing appeared to exit. However, from certain angles, one could almost make out...
Day 6, 0520 hours
The Marsupial approached the designated spot where the operative was to be picked up. Two onboard medics helped the battered man into the passenger bay and strapped him to a built-in foldout gurney as the helicopter began to lift off. The other Marsupials poured their fire into various targets of interest, spreading death everywhere. They turned back to reload just as the chopper with the operative achieved its optimal height.
Then came the annoying, loud, foreboding beeping.
"Fucking hell! Missile lock! We've got an incoming missile!"
The helicopter barely had time to swerve and fire three rounds of chaff before a Hellfire-3 slammed into it, detonating just inside the cockpit. The helicopter returned to the ground about five times faster than it had picked up, landing in a heap of twisted metal, deadly spinning rotors, and flaming debris.
Four Shadows who had been assigned to guard the operative upon his rescue ran over, muttering curses. They waited until the rotors had all been stripped off or stopped spinning, then approached the wreck, cautions of any secondary explosions that might occur. The mess lay on its side, one end of the cargo bay open to the sky. A soot-covered hand popped over the edge, grabbing onto the side. One Shadow quickly grabbed it and helped the person out. It was one of the medics. He had mild injuries, but was still in working order for the time being. The other three Shadows gathered around, avoiding the burning cockpit. Clambering up onto the wreck, they peered inside.
The operative was writhing. He had suffered a massive burn on his torso and right arm, but he was still alive. The other medic was dead, his head skewered by a long piece of shrapnel from the cockpit explosion. The Shadows quickly climbed in to help the operative out. They picked up his broken body and carefully removed it from the crash, climbing back out of the former passenger bay. They laid him on the ground slowly by the sitting medic. Quickly ripping off parts of their robes, the Shadows wrapped the most serious injuries of both men in black fabric to help act as a temporary aid.
Axos wasn't long in coming. This was an unexpected setback, and he wanted to see what was going on.
"Sir! The helicopter was hit by an unidentified missile after it had lifted off. We managed to extract these two, the only survivors."
"How the hell--"
Axos was interrupted by explosions two buildings away. He ran over, leaving the Shadows and the wounded men where they were. He turned the corner and saw five Shadows engaging a Humvee armed with a...what?
He was answered when the gun fired. There was a barely audible screech, followed by one of the Shadows being knocked back through the air. It didn't move when it landed. A thermite grenade went off by the side of the vehicle, melting through portions of it. However, the gun was still operational, and the next target was barely missed as the Shadow dove to the side, sending bits of snow, rock, and dirt flying in a giant cloud. By this time, Axos was charging towards the vehicle. He fired a burst from his SMG to distract the gunner. Just as the turret swiveled to meet the new threat, Axos was already upon it. His Power Sword drove through the vehicle's armor, slaying the gunner.
Axos was in disbelief as he removed his sword and gathered the Shadows present back together. "Sonic weaponry? How the hell did they get their hands on that?"
Day 6, 0524 hours
One of the Wraiths began to stand up as soon as the Marsupial was hit. Another held his hand up, and the Wraith backed down. A cold, metallic voice broke the silence to support the motion.
OOC: The evacuation part made the entrace of the hidden tech pop into my mind. :)
For the unknown vehicles, you can involve them if you want, but don't destroy any yet. For their involvment, just have missiles seem to fly out of nowhere on rare occasion.
Oh, and losses really start to occur here.
Day 6, 0530 hours
Wulfila had loaded the operative into the marsupial, then turned and made back toward his men. A mighty explosion rocked the ground and he turned to see the the flaming wreak of the helicopter, with Axos and the Shadows pulling the still alive operative out of the mess. One of the Shadows gestured, and he saw a humvee skidding around the corner, blasting the Shadows with some form of weapon he had not seen before. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Axos dash to the vehicle and kill the driver with a thrust of his sword.
A deep grumbling sound was pinpointed by his helmet, and Wulfila turned to see the turret of a tank come round a corner, a blinding light lit the area and tore chunks out of some trees behind him. The trees creaked and started to fall inexorably toward Wulfila. Raising his arms Wulfila knocked the trees to one side, and dived to the left as another burst of red fire left a smoking ruin where he was standing.
"A1, there is a tank in the area, take it out now!"
One of the Attila gunships turned toward the action, and flitted forward. Inside, the pilot calls for people to get clear:
In the middle of pushing the fire button two missiles streak from an empty clearing and strike the helicopter on the tail, spinning it out of control and plunging it headlong into a building.
"A1 down!" Axon calls over the radio, "require immediate heavy support, taking fire from unknown location."
Elsewhere in Intelligent Neighbors
"Hello, this is mission control to Strike Force 2, you are cleared to approach target, do not get detected or fire until the word is given."
The VA-3 (http://forums.jolt.co.uk/showthread.php?t=431974) aircraft turn and manouevre into position, circling the oblivious SAVX missile ship waiting miles away. Many more miles away, way above the battle raging for the terrorist camp, the VA-4 interceptors get into position, tailing the B2 bombers.
Day 6, 0530 hours
GreyWolf 42 poured into the building, each man taking a corner of the room and clearing it of hostiles. Gunfire blazed, but the superior training and discipline of GreyWolf 42 paid off, and they took the rooms with only one casualty, a soldier hit in the leg with the bullet piercing the armour. Now they had to accomplish their primary task, to secure any documents related to positions of other terrorist camps. The squad fanned out, turning over boxes and frantically searching the area. One sat at the computer in the corner, miraculously unharmed.
"I have something sir! Downloading the file to my HD now."
The soldier flipped a catch open on his backpack, took out a small device and plugged it into the USB port of the computer. Almost instantaneously the file started to be transferred across to the internal hard drive of the FLIT-3 suit.
"Nearly done, 88%, 90%, what the ..."
The ceiling above the squad buckled and caved in with a roar, moments later a fireball tore through the area, picking men up off their feet and slamming them into the walls and each other. As quickly as the blast happened, the fire went out.
"Alpha's down sir, Omega is injured; possibly spinal injury, Rho is buried somewhere in that mess."
GreyWolf 42 was scattered around the room, one had been pierced my a long metal blade, like a rotor, and was hanging from it on the wall. Gamma wrenched the rotor out, and set the man on the ground. Another man had been hit severely by shrapnel, and was now lying semi-concious on the floor, bleeding heavily. The others were scorched and scratched, but still in fighting condition. The computer area was now a burning mass of helicopter.
"We've got to get Rho out from under there, we need that information. Beta, Sig, stay with Omega and get Rho out of that mess, dead or alive. The rest of you, follow me. We've got to find out what the fuck did this, and shoot it in the ass."
Gamma led the six remaining soldiers out of the building, and into the heat of battle. The carnage they came across did not phase them, they were hardened veterans. Quickly Gamma ordered the squad to take cover from the vehicles strafing the area.
"Epsi, do you have a 'nade ready?"
"On the count of three. One..."
A modified humvee came closer, spinning on the slippery mush that had been snow.
Wulfila appeared on top of a building, running like a madman while blasts of laser fire raked the area behind him.
Epsilon tossed the grenade into the air, with a large arc. Wulfila leapt from the building, and grabbed the grenade as he went. Landing heavily on the roof of the humvee, he smashed the gunner with his power claw as he punched down through the hatch into the insides of the vehicle. The mighty claw opened, and a small object clinked out. The flash of fire within the vehicle was followed by the larger explosion of the fuel tank. The humvee was flipped up into the air, Wulfila thrown heavily against a nearby wall. Gamma rushed over, and fired bursts into the wreak of the vehicle.
"You okay, Wulf?"
Wulfila grunted, then sat up. He twisted the heavy helmet off his head and spoke more clearly.
"Damn claw and visor broken, how are we for men?"
"Seven Storm Soldiers including us, and an unknown number of SAVX Shadows."
Wulfila swore inwardly, We need some heavy weapons to beat these fuckers. then radioed the remaining Attila.
"A2, we need you to drop a damn missile on that tank, get rid of it ASAP. Watch for enemy missiles."
"Roger that GreyWolf."
OOC: Was that Ok?
Super American VX Man
OOC: Excellent. Check your TGs before writing your next piece.
Day 6, 0527 hours
"Regroup! All Shadows consolidate to my position!"
Axos let the Battlefield Area Network Coordinator (BANC) system in their suits figure out where that was. A small ways away, he saw a bright beam slice through a group of trees. The rest of the action was blocked by a building. Axos turned and fired a shot into an approaching terrorist, hitting him in the head.
It only took a minute before all Shadows had arrived. Axos did a mental count: seven were missing. He was down to twenty-three men. That meant that others hadn't faired so well against the surprises that had been encountered.
"You three! I want you to head to the extraction point and pull the wounded into the forest. Remain there and protect them unless otherwise commanded.
"Everyone else, form up with me. We need to take these things out and get this mission finished."
Just as Axos turned to begin the lead, the Humvee with the auto cannon sped out from behind a building nearly a hundred feet away. The turret began to fire immediately. Axos was hit squarely in the chest, causing him to stagger back; were it not for his armor, he would have been killed straight off. Luckily, his armor absorbed the impact and most of the explosion. However, he was still heavily wounded. Five of his ribs were broken, and he was bleeding from the scores of cuts and burns that resulted from the penetration. He collapsed to the ground on his knees, clutching the injury.
Meanwhile, four other Shadows were hit by the 25mm explosive shells. They didn't have the same level of armor protection, so the shots ripped them apart. The other Shadows managed to avoid the fire by diving into cover.
The Humvee sped forward to hunt the other targets. The gunner assumed that Axos was either dead or nearly dead, which proved to be a fatal mistake. As the vehicle was about to pass by Axos, he jumped up, driving his fist through one of the armored windshields. The vehicle swerved, and he let his arm get thrown back, spinning just enough to keep from breaking it. This wasn't before he dropped his present.
A second later, the Humvee was spurting blinding white fire as burning thermite ripped through the armor from the inside. The shrieks from the crew inside didn't last long as the thermite burned through their soft flesh with heat well over 5000 degrees (F).
Axos dropped back down to his knees and removed his emergency can of Syntec Biofoam, squirting the goo into his chest to help keep the wound in check. The Shadows came out from their positions to make sure their commander was alright. He stood back up, doing his best to hide his agony before the Biofoam's local anesthetic was able to kick in. He turned back to his men.
"Alright. We need to get to the command center. Follow me."
However, the IFLA had other plans in mind. Another mysterious missile flew from out of nowhere, colliding with the ground near the group. Two Shadows were knocked back, but were only slightly injured from a couple pieces of shrapnel. As the sixteen remaining Shadows followed Axos into a nearby building for cover and time to think, IFLA soldiers poured out of other nearby buildings that hadn't yet been checked. As fire opened up between the two enemies, Axos thought to himself, "God...damn...it," punctuating each word with a shot.
Day 6, 0535 hours
"Axos has been injured."
"We will not intervene yet. Calm your blood lust. You know the Führer's orders."
The remaining Attila helicopter skimed over a building and lined up on target with the laser tank. With a flash of fire a single magma missile struck out and slamed into the side of the tank, the dual warhead biting into the weak armour. The Attila moved closer for a better look, blowing the smoke away. The hole in the side armour was large, nothing could have survived inside... The turret on the tank began to rotate toward the helicopter, grinding inevitiably around. A burst of autocannon fire raked the helicopter, sending sparks and fragments of metal flying.
"Taking heavy fire, withdrawing to extraction point."
The helicopter returned fire on the humvee with it's twin cannon, and rose out of the way of a laser shot. It pivoted slowly, and snaked away out of sight. Wulfila watched the gunship disappear, then turns to his men in the brief respite they had.
"We have no heavy support left soldiers, so we need to concentrate our firepower. Follow me, we'll link up with the Shadows and see what Axos plans to do. Ready... GO!"
The seven men of Intelligent Neighbors dashed out into the snow, guns blazing. Wulfila charged two IFLA members, filling one with bullets from his chaingun and clubbing the other with his power fist. A burst of autocannon fire opened up, shattering the legs of one of the storm soldiers, and killing another outright. With a roar Wulfila turned, beckoning to Gamma to lead the rest of the squad toward the command centre, and Axos. Wulfila's chaingun blazed, spraying the humvee with fire. A lucky shot penetrated the damaged windscreen, killing the driver. The humvee plunged on toward Wulfila, who jumped out of the way, leaving the humvee to smash heavily into a building wall. Wulfila fired a couple more rounds at some advancing terrorists, and ran to catch up with his squad.
GreyWolf 42 reached their destination as a missile streaked into it, clipping a wall and careering off to one side. Where are those damn missiles coming from? Thought Gamma, before calling across to Axos.
"I am coming over, cover me!"
Gamma leapt over the small wall the rest of his squad were behind, and dashed across to the Shadow's postion. Bullets whistled around him, but none found their mark. Pulling a grenade from it's holder, he chucks it into an open doorway, before completing his dash toward Axos. Looking back over his shoulder he sees Wulfila arrive, and start to care for the wounded storm soldier.
"Axos, what is the plan of action now? Wulfila and four storm soldiers (one injured) are in position opposite you. Another three (one injured) are back in one of the buildings, trying to recover some important information. I have been instructed to remain with you from now on, as I am better able to communicate with my leader."
Beta was crouched beside the injured Omega, injecting him with morphine and powerful antibiotics. The FLIT-3 suit had 'healed' the holes in it's inner fabric, and Omega was no longer bleeding.
Sigma was pulling portions of helicopter out of the way, throwing them across the room. Slowly he worked his way down into the pile of wreakage, and he saw a glimpse of white.
"I found Rho!"
"Is he dead?"
"Yeah, but his backpack seems to be Ok."
Sigma unhooks his combat knife and levers the damaged back panel open, revealing a mass of circuitry. Hacking the wires away from the central box, he manages to free the hard drive. A clatter in the hallway silences him, and together with Beta he lines up his rifle on the door. Two men burst in, Kov rifles at the ready. The terrorists spray bullets around, and Beta and Sigma are caught off guard momentarily. A burst of fire from Beta hits one in the chest, and a burst from Sigma rips the other's neck out.
"Damn, there will be more coming this way soon. We need to exit the area."
Sigma looks up at the hole in the ceiling, and grins.
"Well, we can't leave via the front door, so I had better start to clear the way for a roof extraction."
"Good plan, but all our helicopters are out of action. We need some assisitance"
Super American VX Man
OOC: Got back from Warped Tour and seeing my girlfriend a bit ago, but I'm totally dead. I'll get a response posted tomorrow for sure, though. Sorry for the delay.
Fine, but I am going on holiday for 2 weeks tomorrow, so will not be able to post. I don't know what you want to do, carry on or wait. It is your choice. Either way, it has been great roleplaying with you, and I hope you will be involved in a RP I am planning for later this summer.
Super American VX Man
OOC: I'll try to continue myself, but if I determine that I need your input for anything, I'll just wait. Yeah, it's been a blast, and I'll be sure to try to join in your RP. After this post, I'll be covering both sides of the story.
Day 6, 0533 hours
Axos nodded to Gamma while both nations' soldiers continued to fire at enemy positions.
"We need to find the commander. If we can kill him, it'll throw the IFLA into disarray."
"Understood. Do you have any idea where those goddamn missiles are coming from?"
Maybe...I hope not. "No."
"What are we going to do about the tank?"
As if on cue, the mangled Viper crawled around the corner. Its movement was erratic as one of its treads was malfunctioning, but somehow it was still able to work. "Oh shit," thought Axos. The wrecked tank stopped once three wheels on the malfunctioning tread fell off, clanging loudly to the ground. As if to compensate, the turret started to align itself with the soldiers' position.
Axos was too late in issuing the warning. One of the Shadows' heads vaporized and another behind him was beheaded when his chest burned away. After the first shot, all of the soldiers were on the ground, hidden behind rubble and debris. To make matters worse, two more missiles plowed into the partially intact wall. A large portion of the ceiling crumbled, crushing a Shadow. Another Shadow was skewered through the neck by a piece of steel reinforcement from the wrecked concrete wall, killing him almost instantly.
Axos needed to figure out how to take down the tank before they could continue on. He sent a two-many party to flank the Viper and find a way to take it down. Just as they were about to exit a broken doorway on the other side of the small building, one of the Humvees zipped by. They dove back just in time as a sonic blast blew a section of the wall to smithereens.
"We're pinned, sir!"
There were only two ways out of the building. Both were guarded by enemies with heavy firepower. Wulfila's group wasn't much better off, and they were hindered by wounded but living comrades. Axos wasn't sure whether it was a blessing or a curse that his only major casualties were all killed straight off. "Probably both."
"What are we going to do, Axos?" As soon as Gamma spoke, a Sound Blaster shot shook the building, causing the concrete at the doorway's side of the building to crack a bit. Axos knew they couldn't get out without heavy losses, if at all. Their extensive training mattered little now: they were out-gunned. There was only one hope, and he had no idea if that hope was real or not. But it was better than nothing.
"We wait." Missiles pounded into the ruined section of the building, further destroying it. Gamma shook his head.
"You SAVX guys are fucking crazy..."
Day 6, 0539 hours
The Wraith leader determined that this was enough. With the Viper, the two remaining Humvees, the three covert missile tanks that their infrared scanners had picked up, and the approaching force of nearly fifty IFLA combatants, it was obvious that the soldiers in the base were in trouble. The Führer's orders were clear.
"We want you to remain unknown. The less the world knows, the better. We do not want to use our last-resort mechanisms; this would cause international friction that I never want to deal with. That is why I am sending you. If the mission appears to be nearly compromised, and ONLY then, you will attack, and you will do what the Death Squads do best. You will destroy everything tainted with enemy hands, and you will leave a clear message. In short, you will do your duty. Am I clear?"
"Yes, my liege!" the five had replied, spirits coursing with glee and pride. Now the mission was obviously about to be compromised. The surprises the IFLA had in mind were of much greater caliber than the lightly-armed Shadows and GreyWolfs could handle.
Discarding the typical Wraith covert tactics, the leader gestured forward.
"Rockets on the tank."
A Wraith with a VXRL-3 "Vine" Rocket Launcher stood up, the large triple-barreled launcher resting on its shoulder. The targeting system in the suit--connected via a short-range wireless transmission with the launcher--made split-second minute adjustments to the Powered Armor's positioning. When the "FIRE" text blinked in the corner of the Death Trooper's visor, he pulled the trigger.
The unguided rockets launched with half-second intervals. The three growing white smoke-trails, which were forming into one large trail when the gases diffused enough, looked for all the world like a rapidly growing vine. Before the rockets hit their target, the Wraith leader swung his right arm forward, holding his unlit Flame Sword. He held a VXHG-52 "Big Stick" Rail Handgun in his left hand, fully loaded and hooked to his suit's power core. He began to run forward, quickly commanding the voice module to turn on amplification.
Day 6, 0540 hours
Lying on the ground along with the rest of the soldiers, Axos heard the deep roar from the distance just before he heard slams and explosions from the direction of the Viper tank. Before he had a chance to peer over the rubble, he saw the turret launch into the air at a moderate angle while a fireball rose under it. The fuel tank had been hit. Moments later, sounds of combat and distinct weapons fire, along with the most horrendous screams uttered by any creature on Earth echoed from the distance.
The battle was once more theirs.
Super American VX Man
Day 6, 0558 hours
Axos waved forward, getting up. All of the soldiers with him followed suit. His first goal was to consolidate all of the Shadows and GreyWolves under his direct command, or at least within some degree of coherency better than what he currently had.
He led his men across the road to the building where Wulfila was. The wreckage of the Viper burning in the distance, casting orange light on the allied forces. He grouped his men into squads of four and had them take defensive positions while he discussed the next move with Wulfila and Gamma.
Gamma had already approached Wulfila and was talking when Axos walked over, removing his helmet.
"...what happened, but it sounds like we've got some help now."
Axos nodded, and the two IN soldiers responded in kind. Wulfila spoke up first.
"So, Sergeant Axos, it seems that you may have some idea as to what's going on now. Care to explain?"
Axos stared into Wulfila's eyes while he thought of what to say. "Probably best to go with the truth. We'll see how much I have to reveal."
"Death Troopers. Five of them."
Wulfila and Gamma were taken aback. Death Squads had reportedly only assisted in battles waged with other ally forces in a handful of the countless military operations SAVX engaged in throughout its history. While they certainly weren't revered by foreigners quite like the people of SAVX did, there was a degree of shock to even hear of their involvement in, well, anything.
Gamma broke the silence first.
"There are Death Troopers fighting out there?"
"Why the hell were they sent here?" Wulfila asked.
"Because the Führer had suspicions that we'd bite more than we could swallow. The IFLA has always had surprises up its sleeve, so he decided to have his own."
"So he thought we couldn't handle this on our own?"
Axos noticed the hostility raising in Wulfila's voice. He decided to play his next words carefully. He didn't want an argument here, and he didn't want any hard feelings from the IN special forces.
"He didn't want to overencumber us with the tools to take out what we've obviously encountered, since he wasn't sure if it would be necessary. He simply wanted to have a backup carry that weight instead and only get involved if necessary. That way we wouldn't waste time and energy dragging around the weapons we might not need. Believe me, the Führer respects the military might of all the nations in The Kingdom of the Midlands."
Wulfila merely grunted in response. Axos took that as a sign he had succeeded. He continued on.
"Anyway, I think it's safe to say that most of the work has been cut out for us, so let's take care of our priorities. I currently have twelve men under my control in the immediate area. Four have taken the wounded to a safer zone in the forest for evacuation when this area is secure.
"From what I understand, you have three men who are separated and need to be recovered. Here's my plan: I will take my forces and rendezvous with the Death Troopers. About two-thirds of this facility should be devoid of enemies, so I assume that you can make it to your comrades with ease. I will use the GPS uplink in my helmet to locate you and meet up with you. Once that is taken care of, we will decide what the next course of action is."
Both Wulfila and Gamma nodded, muttering acceptance. Axos turned and put his helmet back on.
"Shadows with me. We need to find our friends. Remain in your squads."
The Shadows followed Axos out onto the road. Much of the commotion had died out from the distant combat, but Axos knew where to go. He began to travel. His men, divided into three squads, surrounded him in a triangle, shooting any terrorists that came into view.
It wasn't long before another explosion sounded nearby. Axos looked towards its origin and saw a burning Humvee flip into the air just above another building. He jogged over to the area two buildings away. Rounding the corner, he came upon the five Wraiths. They were splattered with blood and gore. Their guns were still smoking and their melee weapons were still dripping blood. The combat hadn't occured long before.
The area itself was on the border of the base, about a third of the circumference away from the original DZ. The Humvee was competely obliterated and lay in a firey heap. A crater stood where the Humvee was just before it was blow literally sky-high.
Countless bodies littered the snow and pavement. There was barely any white or gray to make out, as everything was coated in blood.
The Wraith leader turned as Axos approached, while his four Troopers played with the bodies of the enemy.
"Axos. I've been expecting you." The Wraith's altered voice sounded like a demon, and his appearance only made it more so.
"I'm sure you have. Do you need a status report?"
"No. We have seen everything."
"Then perhaps you have seen what keeps firing those damn missiles?"
The Wraith paused a moment, surprised that Axos wasn't aware.
"Are you familiar with the RVS-3 "Copperhead" Support Tank?"
"Of cour--I see." Axos swore inwardly. He had been correct. How did the IFLA have access to that technology? It was still barely integrated with SAVX's own military.
"There are three total. We've destroyed two."
"Good. Alright, we need to rendezvous with the GreyWolves. Can I count on you to continue the mission with us?"
The Wraith leader paused a moment, as if thinking. He glanced back at his men and made a quick sound, beckoning. Like obedient dogs, they halted their grotesque fun and approached. The Wraith leader turned back.
"I don't see why not. The Führer said nothing about discontinuing our mission after your success was once more guaranteed. Plus...my men's spirits are still parched. Show us blood, Axos."
Axos nodded. "Of course."
Super American VX Man
Day 6, 0618 hours
The sun had finally peeked its dreary head over the horizon, showering the tiny battlefield in rays of light. Sigma and Beta had received the transmission a few minutes ago: Wulfila, Gamma, and the other GreyWolves were on their way to extract the trio of warriors from where they were holed up in the second floor of the structure. A few terrorists had tried to enter, but were met with death. The rest had set up a defense outside while they tried to figure out how to best deal with the two combat-ready GreyWolves in the room.
Omega, who had been asleep, slowly opened his eyes as the warm sun shined through the giant hole in the room. Sigma, who had been watching him, grinned.
"Good to see you're still alive."
Omega grunted a response. He closed his eyes for a moment again, then forced his weary, injured body up into a sitting position.
"We're still here?"
"Yeah. The bastards have had us trapped in here for about half an hour or something. The others are coming to help get us out this way, though." Simga pointed to a spot where the wall and ceiling used to be.
Beta, who was barely listening, yanked a long wire out of the computer console. He walked back towards the door and pulled out a grenade. After tying the wire to the pin on the grenade and one of the door handles, he put the grenade on the ground next to the wall holding the opposite door. He then put a slab of the ceiling onto the grenade, pinning it to the ground.
"A little present for after we're gone."
They heard a yell from outside. Sigma looked over what used to be the wall, spotting his comrades down on the street. Many of the GreyWolves were busy piling rubble and junk against the wall. They had made considerable progress, already making a mound about 2/3 as tall as the first floor; enough to safely jump down to. However, Omega would be trouble getting down.
"Guys, they're here and they're ready. Let's get out of this shit-hole. I'll go over first. Beta, you lower Omega to me, and then you can follow. Hand me the computer stuff, too. We can't forget that."
Holding onto the ruined wall, Sigma hopped over the edge. He kept holding on to stop his fall, then let go for the final few feet, landing heavily on the rubble.
"Alright, lower him!"
Beta helped up Omega, then walked him over to the edge. He helped the injured GreyWolf get into a sitting position facing the group of soldiers, then began to lower him down by holding onto his chest. Two other GreyWolves scrambled up the debris heap to help Sigma lower Omega the rest of the way. Beta dropped the pack with the hard-drive in it to Sigma, then began to lower himself down.
That's when the doors flung open. The grenade was on a short fuse, and it detonated with little hesitation. The blast caught Beta off-guard, startling him. To make matters worse, a large chunk of the debris that had pinned the grenade to the ground flew over and hit him in the shoulder, causing him to fall prematurely.
He landed on his back partway down the mound, rolling the rest of the way. Had it not been for his armor, he would probably be dead, or at least paralyzed. Luckily, only his shoulder was broken from the debris.
As the GreyWolves exchanged words, as well as gunfire with the remaining IFLA soldiers on the second floor of the building, Axos came around the corner with his band of Shadows and Death Troopers. Looking over at the blood-soaked Wraiths, Gamma was taken aback.
Axos jogged over to Wulfila.
"Get your men?"
"Yeah, and I can see you got yours."
"Any enemies around?"
"Yeah, in the building..."
Not a second after the phrase was uttered, the Wraiths charged into the building. Bursts of gunfire were first heard, followed by the sounds of Death Trooper weaponry. A cacophony of buzzes, slices, and smashing played the music to a chorus of blood-curdling screams as IFLA soldiers were killed in the most brutal methods imaginable. A maniacal laugh here and there added to the overall terror, helping make just the audio version of the battle unforgettable to the GreyWolves. The Shadows were unfazed, such sounds being fairly common in certain sections of Inquisition buildings.
The affair lasted barely half a minute, and the Wraiths emerged, gory as ever. One actually had entrails from one of the soldiers draped about the neck of his armor, the ends swinging in the cold air, dripping steaming blood and other juices. Another uttered, "How delightful," while wiping the blood from her Mega Claw onto the torso of her armor.
Axos looked at Wulfila.
"Let's move on, shall we?"
OOC: Stay tuned for the exciting climax!
Super American VX Man
OOC: Get ready for a long read! I couldn't decide on a breaking point, and I didn't want to hold suspense any longer (especially because I'm going on a trip in two days), so I just left all of this together.
The combined forces of SAVX and IN met little resistance as they continued through the base, once they sent their remaining wounded back to the forest. Remaining were Axos, Wulfila, Beta, Gamma, Sigma, twelve Shadows, and three other GreyWolves. With the Death Troopers on hand, resistance translated to nothing. Wherever they went, the way was paved in red.
Eventually, after fruitless searches through other buildings, the soldiers came upon a large structure built into a small cliff-side. It was covered in conifer plants and snow to help give it camouflage. To the left of it was a large warehouse. The paved area was dotted with boulders, obviously there long before the base was built. Looking at the warehouse, Axos thought, "Probably where all those vehicles came from." Perhaps there were more surprises inside. He didn't want to take that chance during the assault on the cliffside structure.
"Wraiths, check out that warehouse. You eight Shadows go with them. The rest of the Shadows, and the GreyWolves, follow me."
While the warehouse team moved towards their objective, Axos brought his team towards the cliff-side structure. The top of it almost had a palace look. As they got within fifty feet of the structure, hidden double-barreled machinegun turrets popped out of the concrete ground. They took two seconds to register their targets, but Axos only needed one to register them.
The turrets opened fire as the team split, taking cover behind large boulders that were embedded in the ground. Already Axos regretted sending the Death Troopers away. They needed their heavy firepower. Then an idea struck Axos. He immediately switched the frequency on his helmet radio.
"Koala team! This is Axos! Come in, Koala team!"
The turrets had stopped firing when all available targets had disappeared. Axos glanced around the corner, pulling back just in time as a turret poured fire at him.
"Koala team! Respond, dammit!"
"This is Koala leader. What do you need, sir?"
"We need rocket support at the base! Get your asses over here right now and take out these turrets!"
Axos switched back to his team frequency.
"Hang tight, men. Support's on its way."
"What about those missiles?" asked Wulfila.
"Death Troopers took care of 'em. Covert tanks." Two, anyway.
It only took a few minutes before Axos saw two Marsupial helicopters approaching over the trees. Axos switched back to the Marsupial frequency.
"You guys see the turrets?"
"Affirmative. Locking on..."
Suddenly, barely fifty feet from Axos, the last Copperhead tank broke its active camouflage, raising its launcher from inside the hull.
"Break the attack! You're being targeted by a missile!"
Commotion began to surface around Axos as the allied forces reacted to the sudden appearance of the tank. Without a second thought, Axos bolted. He pushed his armor to the limit, clearing the gap in almost no time. Using his tremendous momentum, he jumped, ramming into the side of the tank. The vehicle rocked for a moment--a moment too long. The launcher lost its target-lock, misfiring the missile into the forest.
That was all the time needed. Axos dove away to the ground as both of the Marsupials emptied half of their rocket pods into the lightly armored tank, completely obliterating it. With barely any delay, they turned back to the pop-up turrets, which had begun to fire at Axos. Hellfire missiles tore out from the launcher tubes on the Marsupials, annihilating the turrets.
After the blasts died, leaving only craters and burning debris, Axos stood up, waving at the helicopters.
"No, sir, thank you. That tank would've killed one of us."
"No problem. Oh, do me a favor. We've got some wounded in the forest. Pick them up."
"Will do, sir. Good luck."
With that, the helicopters turned and flew to the forest. Without hesitation, Axos began to run towards what appeared to be the main door on the cliff-side structure, while his forces quickly followed. The door was a large, metal, medieval-looking thing; fitting for the overall appearance of the building.
Two Shadows ran to the door, placing the plastic explosive charges at key intervals. Once they were done, everyone ran back, some taking cover. One of the Shadows pulled out the detonation trigger and pushed the button. The doorway erupted into flames with an ear-splitting bang. Once the smoke cleared, the doorway stood open to the soldiers; twisted, burnt, and broken, but open.
Once inside the building, Axos saw a two staircases and an elevator. All three ran up.
"We'll split up into three teams. I know elevators aren't safe, but I have a feeling we won't get any trouble from it. Two Shadows and three GreyWolves on the right; two Shadows and three GreyWolves on the left; and Wulfila and I will take the elevator. There are only four floors; search them. We'll go straight to the top. Let's go!"
While the Shadows and GreyWolves split up and headed up the stairs on either side, Axos and Wulfila strode forward. Axos pressed the button to call the elevator.
"How do you know this won't be a death-trap for us?"
The elevator dinged upon its arrival, followed by the opening of the doors. Just before they entered, gunfire erupted from elsewhere in the building; the troops had begun to fight. The doors soon closed, muffling out the sound, then the elevator began to move.
"What do you think we'll find, Axos?"
"I'm hoping we'll find IFLA soldiers packed everywhere, putting up the greatest fight they ever have, while their leader, whoever he is, attacks us with a ferocity like that of a Death Trooper."
Wulfila was incredulous. "Really?"
The elevator dinged again to signal that it had reached the fourth floor.
"Prepare for combat, my friend. Hopefully we'll have something good."
"Aye, SAVXian. Let's kill us something big."
As the doors opened, IFLA soldiers poured gunfire into the two elite soldiers.
"There's the first part of my wish."
The two dove forward into the hallway, Axos shooting and tearing apart enemies, Wulfila blasting and smashing in tandem while gunfire rained upon their armor. Axos worked to keep his wounded chest area covered while Wulfila kept his head covered just enough to avoid getting it shot.
The battle was furious but short. In barely a minute, the last IFLA solder was smashed against the wood-paneled walls by Wulfila. All that remained were two doors. Trying to remember how the building looked on the outside, Axos figured one would lead to a large room, possibly a library of some sort. That would be full of IFLA soldiers, no doubt. The other would probably be a small office; perhaps where the commander lurked. It was Axos's sworn duty to take down the man who was ultimately responsible for all those SAVX civilian deaths.
"You take this door, I'll take the other. On the count of three, we go in."
Axos walked over to his door.
Axos shoved the door open, causing the wood to splinter and crack. The last room was a large office, decorated with plants, low-quality art, and moderate furniture. There was a closet door off to the side, with windows opposite. At the other end of the room from Axos was a large, clean, wooden desk. Behind it was a large fabric chair. Standing next to the chair was the object of interest: a man with dark, brown, brooding eyes and a gray crew-cut. He left cheek bore a long, faded scar, obviously from some sort of far-past injury.
However, what Axos noticed most was what the man was apparently prepared for combat with. He wore Powered Armor just like the model that Axos had, except it was impeccably polished and had no apparent damage from the ongoing battle; this was the first time the suit would see combat in this battle, and if Axos had his way, it would be forever the last. In his right hand, the man held a Death Guard Razor Whip (http://www.angelfire.com/ns2/toxicvalley/razorwhip.html). Axos was shocked. First the Humvees with the Sound Blasters and the Autocannon, the Viper with the Sunshine cannon, then the Copperhead covert tanks, now Mk. I Powered Armor and a Razor Whip? "How the hell is the IFLA getting their hands on this stuff?!" he thought to himself, gritting his teeth.
Before Axos had a chance to say anything, the man spoke. His voice carried an arrogant flair worthy of the most pompous British upper-class, minus the accent.
"Well, sir, I am amazed you and your cohorts have made it this far."
The man did a quick sweep with his eyes of Axos's dress.
"Inquisition Special Forces? I'm honored. Judging by the reports I received from some of my men, there are Death Troopers with you as well, yes? And INHSS? All this just for me? I'm touched. I never thought I could strike a nerve that strong."
"Who are you?" Axos responded, his voice harsh, bordering on a yell.
"What? You're attacking my compound and you don't even know my name? Very well. Allow me to introduce you to myself: Commander Alec Zykon. And not a better introduction you'll ever receive."
"Your talking only makes me want to kill you more."
"Ha! As if you'll have that opportunity. But, oh, pray tell; for what do I owe this apparent death sentence?"
"For the murder of Polizei Officers and innocent citizens of SAVX, you terrorist dog!"
"Well, I'm speechless. I mean, I'm flattered, but I must be honest: I do not deserve all the credit for that brilliant strike. Nay, I merely supplied the means."
This piqued Axos's curiosity. He raised an eyebrow, lowering his voice and stepping forward. "What do you mean?"
"My God, you SAVX fools are blind. Tell you what: I'll let you know just what you're missing before I kill you. That way you can die knowing who killed you, no question on your mind. Eh? Alright. Your own Polizei Captain Mark Sturnham arranged the affair. He hated those protestors, and we don't care what group we kill; you're all evil bastards. Of course, the entire concept, funding, and supplying came from a source within Syntech. I simply could not have pulled this off without their help. Where do you think I got all these wonderful toys? Most of which you've ruined now." Zykon shook his head, disgusted. Axos's mouth hung open, his eyes screwed in confusion.
"Cat got your tongue? Ha! Well, enough of this chatter." Zykon's face turned into pure hatred, his eyes narrowing and his teeth gritting. "Time to die, you fascist swine!"
Zykon lunged forward, swinging the Razor Whip in a blindingly fast arch. Axos barely managed to jump back in time, the sharp edges of the weapon slicing through were he stood a split second before. Zykon swung the whip again, forcing Axos back to the door. The whip left deep cuts in the walls, floor, and ceiling of the office, also ripping through furniture and plants as it flew. Axos realized that he had to force the attack back before he was entirely out of the room. Before Zykon had a chance to swing again, Axos dove forward, rolling along the ground until he was just three feet away from Zykon. He stabbed forward with his Power Sword, with Zykon side-stepping just in time to avoid being skewered.
Zykon ran back a couple feet, swinging the whip again. This time Axos didn't have enough room to fully dodge the weapon. It sliced through his torso, gouging a large wound on his left side. The blood flowed thickly, along with various digestive juices. Axos staggered back, crying out in pain. Panting, he fixed his eyes on Zykon, who was grinning smugly.
"What did I tell you? You're going to die."
Axos charged again, but this time he wasn't as coordinated due to the severe wound. Zykon easily accommodated for the attack, swinging the whip once more. This time, it did even more damage. The majority of Axos's left arm fell to the floor, severed halfway along the upper arm. Axos screamed and fell back into a sitting position on the ground, leaning against the wall. He dropped his sword, gripping his gushing wound. Zykon walked over, grabbing between two of the links of his whip with his other hand, holding the portion between his hands taught.
"What a sad, sad way to go. Meh, good riddance to bad rubbish. May you find peace in Hell."
Zykon started to push the taught section towards Axos's neck.
"No," Axos thought. "No."
"Too late for that."
With nearly all his remaining strength and will, Axos swung his right arm, back-slapping Zykon in the face. The Powered Armor's multiplication factor on Axos's strength was enough to send Zykon tumbling to the side, pulverizing his jaw and his cheek bone. While Zykon was recuperating and trying to regain his senses, Axos forced himself up. He picked up his sword just as Zykon turned around.
"I said no."
Using what remained of his depleted might, Axos shoved the Power Sword into Zykon's chest. The micropulsing of the blade allowed it to tear through the armor with no difficulty, sinking into Zykon's flesh. Zykon's face became a pure expression of bewilderment.
He coughed up blood from his ravaged lungs, pausing a moment, then slumped over, the life fading from his brown eyes.
Right then, two of the remaining Shadow operatives came in through the door. They ran over to try to help their sergeant.
Axos waved them off.
"I'm as good as dead now, boys. Leave me be."
The Shadows backed off, honoring their officer's wishes.
"Before I go, listen...listen well..." Axos's breathing was becoming harder and ragged, his face fast turning pale. He swallowed. "Captain Mark Sturnham...he's responsible...and Syntec...someone in Syntec...make sure the Führer knows. He must..." Axos coughed. "He must stop them. Make sure...he knows."
"Yes, sir. Justice will be served."
Axos's breathing began to slow. His own mission was accomplished, and now the rest could be finished without him. He was free. He looked up just as Wulfila walked through the doorway. He smiled, nodding ever-so-slightly.
Then he closed his eyes and embraced the calm of death.
OOC: One more post to go! Tomorrow, I promise.
Super American VX Man
New Wasteland, SAVX
Brondura Apartment Complex
Day 7, 0503 hours
Mark Sturnham's sleep was uneasy and restless the entire night. He didn't see any reason why, but he just couldn't get to sleep well enough. What little sleep he did get had given him bad dreams.
He was just falling back to sleep again when there was a pounding at his apartment's door. "Who the fuck is that?" he wondered. Getting out of bed in only boxers, he stumbled through his tiny living/dining room to his door, scratching his butt as he went. He didn't bother looking through the lens to see who it was, instead unlocking the door and pulling it open as far as the chain-lock let it go. He was in no mood for this.
"Who the fuck is it?!" he yelled, squinting his eyes against the light in the hallway.
The door suddenly flew open, kicked by a powerful leg. The chain-lock ripped off the wall and smacked Sturnham in the side of the head. He stumbled back, almost falling. While he rubbed his temple where the metal piece had hit, he started to grope for a knife he left on a small table near the door.
"What the he--"
He opened his eyes again and gawked for a split second. Coming through the doors were two Neogestapo SWAT soldiers in their ominous Mk. III Combat Armor (http://www.hlportal.de/images/content/hl2/enemies/combine-soldier2.jpg), armed with a stun-baton and an MP5. They were followed by Chief Inspector George Rallan.
"What's the meaning of this?!"
Sturnham barely had a chance to get out the question before one of the SWAT smacked him in the chest with a stun-baton. The mild electrical charge sent him reeling in pain, crashing to the ground. The small table he was near fell over, with the brown ceramic lamp on top shattering upon impact with the old carpet. He started to get up, but was batted again by the stun-baton, this time in the head.
Completely disoriented, he was unable to struggle while the other SWAT--swinging his strapped-on SMG to his side--quickly whipped out handcuffs and cuffed Sturnham. The other SWAT came over and pulled Sturnham up. They waited while Sturnham regained his senses enough to walk. In the meantime, Rallan read the arrest warrant.
"You, Mark Sturnham, are under federal arrest for the support and implementation of terrorist activities within the nation of SAVX. You are under arrest for the deaths of over seventy civilians and twenty-three Polizei. You are under arrest for grand treason. The Inquisition, after reviewing overwhelming evidence collected from a certain military operation, has deemed you guilty of all these charges. You will have no trial. You have no rights. You will be sentenced to death at an Inqisitor's choosing in the Halls of Hell."
Sturnham's face was the picture of absolute shock. His mouth and eyes were pulled as far open as they could go.
George Rallan motioned with his hand, and the SWAT soldiers dragged Sturnham out of his apartment while he screamed and struggled. Rallan was grim.
"Mark, I can't believe this. You of all people. You had great promise; I could see that. Why did you do it?"
However, the former Polizei Chief was too busy trying to get loose to pay any attention to the Neogestapo officer. The Halls of Hell were aptly named. It would be a long time before Mark Sturnham finally met death, and he would spend that time in agony beyond normal human conception.
Somewhere in the Syrnian mountain range
A small hidden facility
Day 7, 0924 hours
The old man, dressed in a sharp business suit, knew that everything had gone horribly wrong. What had started as an effort to help his business by shutting up the environmentalist and anti-business protestors had turned into the annihilation of all of his strongest assets, as well as his certain doom.
He had strong suspicion that the base in the Cikae Islands had been wiped out. All reports from the area had stopped. The last one, suggesting the approach of enemy forces, was brief and non-descriptive. However, it was all that the man needed. His goal had been to give the IFLA enough resources to battle effectively against the SAVX military. That way, Syntec would receive more contracts to build military supplies, sales of protection supplies would increase, and people would be far more suggestible to the ads he had been cooking up. Stock prices would flourish, and he would be ten times richer as a result. However, all those supplies, among other things, would indirectly point to his involvement. Once all the links were made, there would be no way for him to be found innocent in any court.
It had been easy to hide his actions from the company itself. He was head of numerous departments, one of which was the Scrutiny Board, as Josef Sinh called it. It had the power to review any and all actions carried out through and by the company. With a few payoffs and cooked reports, his footsteps on that end were covered. That wouldn't help him now, though.
Truly, Geoff Munlam was a dead man.
Looking out a small window in his secret office in the low-altitude Syrnian mountain range, he could see a bright-blue cloudless sky. The greenery on the mountainsides was overwhelming. "Such a potent resource, if only tapped," he thought. The environmentalists had seen to the end of that.
Knowing was sort of fate awaited him if caught, Geoff decided it was time to cut things short. Sitting in his comfy cinnamon leather chair, he turned off the TV, which was showing the aftermaths of the strikes on the IFLA bases around SAVX. "A failed investment of immense proportions," he thought. Opening the drawer in a small end-table by his chair, he pulled out a Krimson Corp. single-action revolver: the only thing he ever purchased from Syntec's greatest competitor. He made sure that it was loaded, then prepared to shove the barrel into his mouth. However, he stopped short and put it down. He picked up a glass from the end-table and finished off the iced lemon-vodka drink inside. It seemed fitting to have one last bit of happiness.
Lifting the gun again to his mouth, Mulman sighed. "What a waste." Just as he was about to pull the trigger, his window cracked. A sniper round removed Mulman's trigger finger and sent the revolver flying. He grabbed his hand, yelling in pain while a small stream of blood poured onto his suit from the wound. The window then shattered as small grenade-like canisters flew through, bouncing and rolling on the ground.
Mulman looked at the canisters with dread. "Oh no." They began to hiss. Mulman knew what was happening. He was being prevented from death. He dropped to the ground and scrambled to the revolver, but it was knocked away by another sniper round. As he tried to crawl to it again, the gas from the grenades started to take effect. Almost instantly, he felt overwhelmingly drowsy. He continued to try to reach for the revolver, but that proved futile. In seconds, sleep overtook the man. However, just before he lost consciousness, he gave a fleeting thought towards his own doom. He knew what lay in store for him when he awoke.
The Halls of Hell were the stuff of the worst nightmares, born of the most insane minds in the Inquistion. Threats of the place were used to scare kids into behaving. His own parents used to use the same story on him when he was a child. Now, Mulman knew, he would be heading there for real.
Super American VX Man
OOC: IN may make a followup post, in which case I'll make the necessary edits to accomodate it. For now, though, this is it. So, now that my story/RP is all done (thanks for your assistance, IN!), what did you all think (assuming anyone actually read it)? This is the first story-based piece that I've started myself and brought to an end, and I'd like to know how I did. So please, comments, thoughts, criticisms, questions!
Hope you all enjoyed it! :)
OOC: Great RP SAVX, enjoyed reading it. I will add only a little, no need to edit your posts.
The words echoed through the control rooms in IN, Brandt smiled for the first time since the communique from SAVX. It was over.
"Strike force two, stand down, I repeat; stand down!"
The planes banked and moved away from their targets, heading back home to the airbase.
Three Days Later
Brandt sat at his desk, watching the computer screen intently. A video played over and over again. The video showed dark shapes assaulting a building, and the cries and screams of their victims. They will need to be taken care of.