Jade Imperium - E.T. Phone Home

Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-22 18:30:40
Local Time 2300 Hours

Hugh and his fireteam sweep the rest of sublevel 4 and reach the stairwell to the upper half of Mesas Negras. The upper stairwell is well-lit and has definitely seen more traffic. The recon through sublevels 3 (non-critical data storage and research labs) and 2 (armory, briefing rooms, offices) is devoid of contacts, although there are more than fifteen bodies here. Most bear the bloody wounds of Turai weapons and radiation, although some were felled by gunfire. There's a battered Turai helmet and most of the armored suit scattered inside the entrance to sublevel 2. It's been shredded by grenade fragments. In fact, these upper levels show the signs of battle everywhere, but it's Angel who notices that there's actually too much blood for the amount of dead.

You think about it, and it's not that surprising. The squad of Turai moves upwards, killing indiscriminately. They're sure to take damage, but with the frisbees they take a few moments' rest and they continue on no matter the odds arrayed against them.

The office block Hugh, Luis, Semo, and Angel are crossing is separated from the armory corridor by a security door. The door itself has been half-melted and lies twisted on the floor.

There are no Turai and no drones lurking around Paxton's last known position... not until Semo hears something in the ceiling above them! The tiles aren't strong enough to support a human's weight - it must be a drone, which means Semo's got a split-second to act.
fanchergw 2007-06-22 18:56:38
Once Hugh's conversation with command if finished, Semo drops the handset and slips his headgear back on. Not long after, the captain shows up with Luis in tow and Semo is pleased. It's a good size for a fireteam and they've got a proper commander.

Back to business. Semo had been planning to send Angel on another sweep of the floor, but with the captain here, they abandon the security center and begin to work their way upwards. It's slow going, as they have to check every nook and cranny. Not surprisingly, everyone they meet is dead.

Eventually, they make their way to level 2. As they cross the office area, they can see the slagged security door and the armory beyond. It will be good to replenish their weaponry; a full set of frags will give them more options in dealing with the Turai.

Just then, Semo hears a movement in the ceiling! Too hard to be sure of hitting with the sword, so he brings up the Mk 48's barrel. "Bogey!" he yells as he cuts loose with a full barrage. Fortunately, the ceiling tiles aren't likely to provide much defense for the drone.
Gatac 2007-06-22 19:10:51
"Circle!" Hugh cries out, dropping to a knee and bringing his SCAR up. The command is clear - defensive position, keep a gun trained in every direction enemies could come from. He trusts Semo to take care of the drone. He has to. It's the basis of military doctrine - you gotta trust your buddies to take care of things beyond your own zone of fire.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-22 19:25:09
Semo rakes the ceiling with bullets, sending clouds of dust down into the cubicle farm. He lets up after a few seconds and doesn't hear anything - not incredibly surprising, but Semo's got an ear for these drones now.

There's a distinctive vrrrrrrrp - the slivers pulverize the ceiling tiles from above and spray across Putupu's chest. His load-bearing vest slags and rips, hanging from his shoulders by strips. The needles puncture through and rip at his flesh, but Semo'll survive.

(4 Shock - clearly, these things need to shoot somebody weaker)
fanchergw 2007-06-22 20:35:23
7.62mm slugs chew the ceiling to shreds in seconds. Unfortunately, Semo makes the mistake of assuming he got the metal monstrosity, which quickly makes him pay for that mistake with a chest full of steel slivers.

"Argh! Damn, that hurts!" Semo grunts through gritted teeth. No time to pick the shards out right now, but at least he has a decent view of the orb now. Snatching out his alien sword, Semo jumps on a nearby chair and stabs upwards at the sphere.

Time to end this: now.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-23 15:33:12
Hugh and Angel cover their quadrants - the drones are usually just the tip of the iceberg. Semo whips his sword out, but the drone's a hair faster. Its weapons blaze a second time. Semo's lunge takes him past the hail of needles but the stream of deadly slivers sprays across Luis. A mist of blood and shredded clothing bursts from Stanhill's left side. He hits the ground, senses dulled by pain, his UMP45 sliding away from his grasp. Luis has seen all too well the effects of these weapons, but he's never been hit by them. His left hip, side, and upper left arm have been flayed down to hamburger. He leaves a bloody smear when he hits the dirty threadbare government carpet.

(3 Wounds, 8 Shock)

The drone's lethal attack is cut short as Semo thrusts his blade up through the tile underneath. There's an electric pop and the guns stop. Semo's made a drone kabob.
Gatac 2007-06-23 19:26:25
"Good news, Stanhill! You've been volounteered for an alien tech briefing. Sarge, keep him steady."

With Angel at his side and his gun up, Hugh crouch-marches forward to the armory access door, then hails the Colonel again.

"Colonel, this is Captain Verrill. I've got a team just outside the armory, but we had a run-in with one of the drones. We're gonna need an open door and some first aid."
e of pi 2007-06-23 22:26:25
Luis grimaces through the pain, and manages a quick nod. "Got it, Captain. Tell 'em to do as I do, eh?"
Gatac 2007-06-23 22:33:56
"Actually, I'd prefer if we kinda...hold off on that a little bit. I mean, it's plain to see that this thing comes with strings attached. We used it when we didn't have a choice, and now we use it because we're okay with the risks. But it's really more a presentation of what can be done, not an impromptu training session plus regeneration orgy. We show 'em what it does, we say that it's weird and dangerous and crap, and if anybody still wants it, that's their informed choice."
e of pi 2007-06-24 00:24:39
Luis nods quickly, pauses to consider, then replies, "Yeah, I see where you're coming from. I...ah," he pauses, grimacing as he tries to put wieght on his left leg, slips, and instinctively tries to stabalize himself with his bad arm, catches a breath, then continues, "should mention I'm running a bit low on supplies, though."
fanchergw 2007-06-24 08:25:13
The orb spits a hail of metal shards, which whip just past Semo's shoulder. Moving surprisingly fast for so big a man, the Samoan plunges his sword through the ceiling tile it's trying to use as cover and deep into the sphere's electronic innards.

It's only then, in the glow of triumph, that Semo hears Luis' pained groan behind him that he realizes the cost paid by his companion-in-arms. "Aw... ma-an!" he says, and drops to a knee next to Luis. "You gonna make it? Not far now," he says, offering to help the medic up and support him across the way to the armory. "Here, lean on me, Luis." If he'll accept the aid, Semo will slip an arm under his and around his back to take some of the weight.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-25 20:35:09
*I read you Captain.* Paxton cuts off, you hear a series of heavy clangs and thumps, then the beam-burned and sliver-filled armory door unlocks. The foot lockers and heavy benches barricading the door against further intrusion have been moved. Colonel Paxton lowers his M16. The officer's uniform bears the marks of a few close shaves with those Turai sliverguns. A 2nd Lieutenant stands, weapon ready, on the door besides Paxton. She's wearing the uniform of a bona-fide desk jockey with an Interceptor vest slung over it. The third combat-ready member of Paxton's group is a man in khakis and (now sleeveless) white button-up shirt toting an MP-5. Likely an analyst or contractor, his shirt sleeves and tie have been scavenged for extra bandages for the six additional personnel in the armory.

Of those six, one is dead - sliver wounds deep into the leg arteries bled him out before anyone could get help. Another lies quiet but breathing on a makeshift bed of fatigues. He sports bandages from his left shoulder to his mouth. The other four are conscious but in no shape to fight. One's missing a hand, her stump crudely tied and bandaged. Two more have slivergun wounds across their torsos, and the last one's right arm hangs useless at his side, a victim of a whapgun blast that seems to have pulped his shoulder joint.

Paxton sees Luis and snorts. "Captain, I hope you have a medic with you because ours died ten minutes ago."
Gatac 2007-06-25 20:47:02
"Lock the door behind us!"

Once secure, Hugh addresses the Colonel's question.

"Good news: we have a medic. Bad news: That" - he points to Luis's injured body - "is our medic. Good news: We stopped at the gift shop. Show 'em, Stanhill."
fanchergw 2007-06-25 21:16:44
Last one in, Semo lumbers backwards through the open door, Mk 48 at the ready. No hostiles appear, so he slams the damaged vault door closed. "Got it, Captain."

Turning, SSgt Putupu salutes the new officers, then starts browsing for munitions. He'll toss his remaining smoke and flash grenades in a bin somewhere and look to grab a full load of frags. If he can find a supply of belts for the 48, he'll stock up on those as well.
e of pi 2007-06-25 23:59:52
Gatac wrote:

"Lock the door behind us!"

Once secure, Hugh addresses the Colonel's question.

"Good news: we have a medic. Bad news: That" - he points to Luis's injured body - "is our medic. Good news: We stopped at the gift shop. Show 'em, Stanhill."

Luis nods a bit weakly and, grabbing the Frisbee, sets to work. Gritting his teeth through the new pains of the Frisbee's process, he begins a short explanation of the Frisbee- it's an Otheer healing device, but it's painful to use, and has unknown but possibly bad side effects (including Dietrich's...whatever his speaking in tongues is). As he finishes, the pain spikes and he winces. "Mind if I borrow a few things from your medic's bag?"
CrazyIvan 2007-06-26 20:44:10
Angel slumps against the door once its closed and secured, his rifle sitting beside him. All told, he - and the rest of the team - is more of an assemblage of walking wounded, and the one-on-one battle took alot out of him.

After recovering from his daze for a bit, he gets to his feet and heads over to the Colonel, handing over the dog-tags he took from the Turai.

"Found these Sir. One of the bastards took them as trophies."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-27 18:07:41
Luis' demonstration has a potent effect. The raw bleeding meat across his side regenerates into the all-too-familiar skin of the mystery template person.

(Luis regenerates back to 6/6 Wounds and 10/12 Shock)

"Ergh.." mumbles the handless corporal, getting to her feet. "Will it grow my hand back?" Thus starts what Hugh aptly called a "regeneration orgy". One of Paxton's crew with nasty but non-fatal slivergun wounds refuses the frisbee, as does the soldier with the bandaged shoulder and mouth. Luis sets to work on the wounded. He also checks the deceased medic's equipment for any more gear, but it seems most of it's been used. It should hold him over until they can get to the infirmary one level above.

Colonel Paxton takes the dog tags from Angel. "Goddammit. Thanks, Riviera. Do you or Captain Verrill have any intel on these things' objectives, troop strength, anything? They stopped tryin' to get in here a while ago, makes me think they're up to somethin'."

Semo grabs several more heavy clanking belts of 7.62mm ammunition and swaps out all his grenades for M67 frags.

(back up to 600 rounds for the Mk.48 and 6 frags)


Things have been quiet the last few minutes down in the Pit. The freight elevators are locked down, the Gateway remains blocked, the prisoners are secured, and Dietrich is asleep. The charnelhouse smell is starting to get to everyone (except Max with his sealed environment suit), but other than that things are blissfully calm.
Gatac 2007-06-27 18:39:36
"We've managed to capture one of their battlesuits - we counted four signals before they noticed it and scrambled our access. So it's at least four of those guys left. Also, we've managed to learn some of their language, enough to cover the basics. Seems like they think this is their ancestral home - and at that point, they were basically all about taking the gate and getting their invasion force in here. The thing that's saved us so far is that this seems to be the only gateway on Earth - or in orbit."

After waiting for that to sink in, he continues.

"Sir, they've captured one of our men. They agreed to exchange him for one of their bigwigs we're holding down in the gate room. It would be great for morale if that could be done...but don't trust them to uphold their end of the agreement."

Hugh turns to Semo.

"Sarge, how 'bout some ammo and 'nades for the rest of us? We load up with everything we can carry and just blow the fuckers away."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-27 20:52:40
"Captain, we cain't go through with an exchange until this facility is under some semblance of order. If the Gate is secure, we make contact with chain of command. We get reinforcements, and then we move out and engage the remaining hostiles."

"You mean 'blow the fuckers away', sir?" asks the 2nd Lieutenant.

"Yes, Morris," Paxton replies. "Herricks, stay here with Adams and Palmer. Captain Verrill, your team will resupply and continue your sweep to the surface. Rodriguez, Fritter, Cleveland, go with Captain Verrill. Morris, on me. We'll head to sublevel 4 and keep contact with Command."


A brief survey of the Pit's systems brings Max to the conclusion that trying to fix Mesas Negras with bubblegum and duct tape is a venture doomed to failure. He turns his attention towards the beam rifle and other alien weapons.

The stingers and the beam rifles all appear to be based around railgun technology; magnetic force "throws" the weapon's payload towards the target. In the case of the stingers, a few minutes' quiet experimentation pops a packed block of the slivers out of the weapon's handgrip, much like an Earth pistol. It's a dead-simple weapon; trigger, activation mechanism, power source, the energized barrel, and the ammunition. Less moving parts than a flintlock musket. Whatever's left over must handle the IFF technology and whatever else the weapon can do.

The rifle proves slightly more tricky, only because it has no obvious ammunition supply - at least not until Max figures it out. The weapon's solid barrel itself must be the ammunition. Each Turai carried a handful of long rods. They turn out to be several replacement barrels. Max theorizes that the beam rifles must be particle beam weapons of some type. They barrel "shroud" acts as the railgun accelerator, stripping particles off of the central solid barrel. There's a beefier power source and a great deal more electronic widgetry, but the concept is the same as the handguns, which are, in effect, similar in concept to the Turai throwing spears. From one perspective, it's a much more natural evolution of weaponry than thrown projectiles up to projectiles thrown by tension up to causing an explosion on the user's end in order to stab the target with a piece of metal.

"You know, code to kill smartgun broadcasted by Samal rank," Hethna Varos says, interrupting Max's tinkering. "In case chamakana stolen, cannot be used on Turai. Your science is useless-"

Varos stops as Max coaxes a click-whine from the beam rifle. He knows he's got it, because the alien muckamuck looks taken aback.
Dieter 2007-06-27 21:11:38
admiralducksauce wrote:

"You know, code to kill smartgun broadcasted by Samal rank," Hethna Varos says, interrupting Max's tinkering. "In case chamakana stolen, cannot be used on Turai. Your science is useless-"

Varos stops as Max coaxes a click-whine from the beam rifle. He knows he's got it, because the alien muckamuck looks taken aback.

"Oops. Guess I broke that with my primitive brain. Let's see if I'm right..." replies Max, smiling as he aims the rifle at Varos.

"Yeah...that's what I thought. Next time you try and invade an alien planet, you should be certain your Science-Fu is better your enemy's."