Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 1

threadbare 2015-03-03 21:57:03
Well, Hunter thinks as he catches the uncomfortably-like-barbeque smell wafting over after the spectacular failure of the RPG gunner. It's not like I made that happen, but I'll take it...and I might not be hosting a cookout anytime soon. I had forgotten the smell.

Turning his attention upconvoy, Hunter directs some suppressive fire at the third floor of the building Arketta and Ngawai are currently clearing. They could use the help, but he's not going full rock and roll: he doesn't want to burn down his ammo just yet, not with Zaef and Hale engaging hostiles a few houses over.
skullandscythe 2015-03-05 13:54:37
Bits of gore and viscera rain down on Zaef's position from what used to be the roof, bringing back uncomfortable memories of the Arena and it's meat-grinder deathtraps(some literal meat-grinders). Guess Hunter got his target.

"Two left, Hale. Keep me covered," Zaef says as he readies a grenade in one hand.
punkey 2015-03-08 14:06:48
"Copy, we will stay low and wait," Arketta grunts back over the vox.

(Arketta and Ngawai hold their turn until after Hug'sh and Hunter.

Hug'sh suppress: 2d10.hi = 3
Insurgents Will: 1d8 = 6

Hunter suppress: 2d8.hi = 7
Insurgents Will: 1d8 = 1

Hunter suppresses for 1d10 with the 1 die bonus for the 1!

Arketta Shoot (killstreak): 1d12 = 5; 1d8 = 4 / 1d12 = 4; 1d8 = 5 / 1d12 = 8; 1d8 = 8 / 1d12 = 7; 1d8 = 7 / 1d12 = 10; 1d8 = 7 / 1d12 = 6; 1d8 = 1
Difficulty: 1d6 = 2 / 1d6 = 2 / 1d6 = 5 / 1d6 = 1 / 1d6 = 6 / 1d6 = 1

Ngawai Shoot (killstreak): 2d10.hi = 6 / 2d10.hi = 4 + 1d6 = 3 / 2d10.hi = 8 / 2d10.hi = 9 / 2d10.hi = 5 / 2d10.hi = 6
Difficulty: 1d6 = 2 / 1d6 = 5 / 1d6 = 5 / 1d6 = 3 / 1d6 = 1 / 1d6 = 3)

If only the insurgents in the building knew to do the same, things might have gone better for them. .50 caliber fire pours onto the upper two floors, sending men diving for cover - or hitting the floor, bleeding, as the building erupts in dozens of tiny explosions from the .50 API rounds. Hug'sh's barrage is less than effective - they already know he's there and that he's laying on the pain, so they just hit the deck and get behind whatever walls they can. Some of them aren't quite so lucky and get tagged by the tungsten penetrators as they punch through the concrete slab construction, but a few brave souls still get up and fire his way. Hunter, on the other hand, catches the third floor completely by surprise. Arketta and Ngawai hear confused shouts and cries from upstairs as the shooters try to figure out exactly where the fuck the heavy fire that's sending them to the floor is coming from.

"Gonna get tight in there," Ngawai says as she slings her beamer across her back, drawing not a pantaki, but a Narsai'i handgun alongside an Imperium-made four-inch blade.
Arketta looks over to Ngawai to reply, but stops when she saw what Ngawai has pulled out and shakes her head. "Kansat and their pantaki training."
"At least I'm not welded to my big, bulky beamer like Turai," Ngawai replies with a smirk as she and Arketta advance on the entry to the second floor, still pouring out smoke, dust and confused cries for help and backup. "I pop right, you slide left?"
"Copy that," Arketta replies.
A final nod is exchanged, and the two women move simultaneously - Ngawai standing up and moving high, her pistol held in one hand and braced with her other on top, wrists touching and knife tip forward, and Arketta duck-walking underneath before standing up herself, beamer raised and ready. Both buttonhook around the corner and advance forward to the first door, entering just before Hug'sh's barrage has ended.

Ngawai's first steps seem to be into a makeshift armory - loaded magazines are stacked on the bed, RPG-7 rounds still in their tubes lean against the wall and are stacked on the floor - and two guards or runners are waiting inside. They both jump with surprise as Ngawai steps through the door - a pause that gives more than enough time for Ngawai's pistol to snap up to her close-in shooting position and deliver a shot to the closest one's face. As the body drops, though, it screens his friend just enough that Ngawai's quick pivot shot is mostly taken by the corpse, and he closes the distance to Ngawai with lightning speed, his own pistol raised and ready to fire. What he is not ready for, however, is the quick downward stab with Ngawai's readied blade into his shoulder. The blade dives most of its four-inch length into his flesh, and the man screams, dropping his pistol. Shouts of alarm from the next room over started the instant she fired that first shot, so Ngawai pivots - and drags her attacker along with her through the new handle she stabbed into him - and holds him in front as a shield. A shotgun barrel pokes around the door and fires point blank, shredding the gut of her shield but nothing else. Ngawai drops the screaming man - whose screams jumped up an octave when his guts hit the deck - and when the shooter sticks his head around the corner to see if he killed her, her hands snap back into position and she delivers another .45 round between his eyes. She strides quickly through the now-empty next room and towards the next, the blaring TV as sure a sign of occupancy of any other.

A quick blur out of the corner of her eye is all it takes for her to hit her knees, bending backwards underneath a swung piece of steel rebar. Without getting back to her feet, Ngawai pivots towards the attacker and fires three quick shots from her pistol's position clenched up against her carapace chestplate, all three rounds ripping through the man's chest and dropping him in a more permanent way. The other man in the room screams something in his Narsai'i tongue and opens up with his rifle, sending her rolling behind a pillar for cover. He empties his magazine in seconds, giving Ngawai all the opening she needs to stand up and pop him twice in the chest. The third apartment cleared, she advances into the last, pistol clutched in the Kansat low position. No target presents itself immediately - but as she turns to leave, she hears a scream of rage from behind and coming towards her fast. She spins, extending her pistol out as she does so, and the instant the man comes into her view, she fires once-twice. Both rounds run through the man's head, and he drops the blade just after he hits the floor. Her pistol's slide locked back, Ngawai slides in a new one as she retrieves the old and locks the slide forward, waiting for the next.

Arketta strides forward through her half of the hallway, Tenner at the ready. There’s sunlight behind her and a door to the right just ahead, hanging half-open but still swinging a little from the last guy rushing through it. She takes that information in and automatically shifts her rifle to her left shoulder. Then, movement - Arketta doesn’t waste her moment and pulls the trigger. The searing flash of plasma rides along the underside of the AK now sticking out of the doorway, melting the magazine and cooking off the ammo inside before it takes off the pistol grip and most of the hand holding it. Screaming from beyond the doorway, louder than the fifties outside - Arketta moves closer to the wall on the right and creeps forward. The next guy thinks John Woo had the right idea and just jumps clear of the doorway, but before he can even get to the problem of how he’s going to land on his side and manage to get his rifle on target, Arketta’s shot cooks his guts like she’s doing a skeet competition. He comes to rest of the floor, flailing and kicking and generally taking up all of the space in front of her, but that doesn’t last very long before the shock takes him for good. The next kill is a guess, but not a lucky one: it just stood to reason that there was somebody stacked up behind the door in the closer corner where she wouldn’t see him, and so her next shot goes there, blowing a nice hole in the wall. To his credit, the poor bastard standing behind that hole tries to drop to his knee and stick his rifle through the new gunport, but Arketta’s follow-up goes right through that same hole, and that means curtains for hostile Charlie. Just a few more steps and she’s at the side of the door, ducked underneath the hole she just made and ready to breach.

If Arketta had stuck her head through the doorway at standing height, she’d probably be short some grey matter now - but what AK-wielders Delta and Echo didn’t plan on was her dropping onto her side on the floor, her helmet cover getting a nice soak in some of Bravo’s warm blood and guts. Her first shot takes off Delta’s head from the nose up and creates a nice circular viewport in the drywall behind him, and Echo might as well have brought a pickaxe to this fight ‘cause he sure as shit isn’t using the last second of his life to bring his AK up and shoot Arketta - a mistake she fixes quickly and cleanly with a Tenner blast to his sternum that doesn’t quite vaporize the insides of his ribcage but still takes the man down for good. Arketta rises to her feet, careful to keep the Tenner pointed into the apartment and her finger near the trigger, and the worst thing that happens to her in the following three seconds is some of that helmet blood dripping down on her shoulders.But then she steps inside the bloody mess she just made in the apartment, and Alpha - he of the newly one-handed persuasion, yet somehow still conscious - latches onto the back of her leg with a sudden cry of effort. Arketta whips around, already hearing the shout of “Allahu Akbar!” from the apartment’s small bathroom, and by the time she’s kicked Alpha off her, somebody’s running at her back. She pivots on her back heel, catching Foxtrot with a hip-rotation-powered Tenner butt to the guts; a knife clangs to the ground as he stumbles back, but he doesn’t realize what a truly bad idea this was until Arketta stabs her Tenner forward at him, superheated muzzle first. The lunge connects and drives him back against the far apartment wall, where he promptly catches Arketta’s next two shots. The third comes almost before she’s quite finished pivoting back to her original opponent, but it still lands squarely in Alpha’s chest. Arketta backs up another half-step as she sweeps her muzzle across the whole apartment - lots of half-loaded magazines on the table and a musty old wooden crate with loose packs of cartridges underneath, the electric tea kettle’s almost boiling, where did these guys get ceramic kitchen knives of all things? - but after a few seconds her stance relaxes just a tiny bit. Her sector’s clear.

"Clear!" Arketta shouts.
"Clear over here!" Ngawai replies.
"Hug'sh, second floor is clear, moving to third." Arketta looks over at one of the three RPG launchers on the floor - this one with a chunk melted out of it from a shot. "I think we've got the rockets, but keep an eye out."
punkey 2015-03-08 23:45:03
(Swims runs the rest of the distance to the MRAP.

Angel suppress: 1d12 = 2; 1d10 = 4
Insurgent Will1d8 = 7

Angel's suppression fails!

Luis Shoot (2x): 2d10.low = 5; 1d8 = 7 / 2d10.low = 3; 1d8 = 5
Difficulty: 1d8 = 6 / 1d8 = 8

Insurgents Shoot: 1d6 = 6 / 1d6 = 3
Difficulty: 1d8 = 3 / 1d8 = 8

Swims hit! 1d8 = 2 Shock)

Swims-the-Black's fur turns a bright red and blue mosaic as he tucks and runs as best as his big frame will let him towards the MRAP. A few stragglers pop out of the alleyways and fire off shots towards Swims, Luis and the MRAP, but no sign of the remaining RPG shooter yet. The thinned herd has created one problem for Angel - it's hard to suppress a bunch of targets that don't have the courtesy to all stand near each other. He expends a dozen rounds chasing targets back and forth as they pop out, but to no effect. Luis gets a bead on one as he pops out and blasts him with a beamer shot that blows him back against the wall behind him and leaves a bright red steaming stain, but another one pops out at the same moment and fires a few rounds towards Swims - one of which elicits a sharp yelp as it grazes his side, cutting off a few "hairs" from his coat. Luis pivots and returns fire, but to no effect as the shooter ducks back into the alleys.
punkey 2015-03-08 23:54:02
(Hale Shoot (2x): 1d8 = 3; 1d8 = 1 / 1d8 = 7; 1d8 = 6
Difficulty: 1d6 = 6 / 1d6 = 6

Zaef Throw: 1d10 = 5; 1d8 = 3
Difficulty: 1d6 = 1

Damage: 2d10.hi = 5 / 2d10.hi = 10 / 2d10.hi = 8 / 2d10.hi = 8)

"Got you covered!" Hale calls back from his own little sliver of cover, taking a knee and firing off a couple of quick shots from his Tenner. One goes wide, but the other tags an insurgent square in the shoulder, flash-burning a fist-sized chunk of flesh. The screams and horrible smell from above and on ground level serve as the perfect distraction for Zaef - he peeks out around the corner, sets in, and easily lobs the grenade the fifteen or twenty feet to behind their cover. As Zaef and Hale take cover, Zaef sees a couple more insurgents round the corner to back up their friends - just in time for the grenade to go off. Screams of agony only last the time it takes for the ringing to subside from Zaef's ears, and by the time both shooters get back into position, there's no more targets to be had.

"Looks like we're clear," Hale says, and hustles back across the narrow alley to Zaef's side and gives him a slap on the shoulder. "Good shit, Mr. Utari."
e of pi 2015-03-09 22:58:43
Luis grins at Swims as the Wherren comes pounding up to the MRAP.
"You all right?" Luis shouts.
Swims-the-Black checks himself, and wipes a bit of blood off on his webbing. "Got winged a bit!"
"Could have been worse," Luis says, and looks around. "Shall we get out of here before they get a better chance?"
"Already ahead of you," Swims replies, hefting himself back into the MRAP.
"Block is clear, and we're mounting up here," Luis says on the vox, then climbs back in himself.
"About time you two ended your tea party," Angel said as Luis climbed in the passenger door and fired off a few more .50 rounds to keep the insurgents down.
"The neighbors wanted to complain about the lack of noise," Luis says.
Gatac 2015-03-12 14:27:58
"Arketta, what's your situation?" Hug'sh voxes between shots. "From here, it looks like we've torn this ambush wide open. Recommend you come back so we can get rolling again."
punkey 2015-03-12 22:01:06
Arketta's non-firing hand flips through the "mute" haptic. "Hug'sh wants us to head back!" she shouts as she carefully checks the rest of her half of the hall.
Ngawai carefully turns over the body of the knife-wielder with a toe, her armored arm shielding her face. "Uh-huh," she calls back. "What do you think?"
Arketta sticks her head out into the hallway as shouts and scuffing still sound from upstairs - sounds like the last fighters upstairs are trying to get their shit back together. "I still got a few stun grenades," she says with a shrug.
"And I got a few, too," Ngawai replies. She steps out into the hall and smiles. "I always hate leaving a sector uncleared."
Arketta returns the smile as she gives the haptic to turn her vox's mic back on. "Negative," she replies to Hug'sh. "We're clearing the building. Requesting suppressing fire on the third floor from all available guns."
Gatac 2015-03-13 14:44:20
"Copy that!" Hug'sh grunts, then flips to the team vox channel. "Arketta and Ngawai need some suppressing fire on the third floor to clear the building. Angel, Hunter, are you guys ready to rock?"
skullandscythe 2015-03-13 16:15:02
"Zaef here. Hale and I have taken care of..." Zaef takes a second to glance up at the collapsed roof of the building. "...what remains of the hostiles here. Heading back to the convoy now."

Zaef flicks the mic off, and turns to Hale. "And when we get there, we're going to have a talk about your actions here. You got that?"
punkey 2015-03-14 13:36:38
Hale looks a bit surprised. "Yes, if that's what you want."
threadbare 2015-03-17 19:56:43
Hunter hears and acknowledges. The sooner they clear that building, the sooner they can get the hell out of this place they've just poured thousands of dollars worth of munitions into.

"Copy that. Probably going to burn down the belt with this one. Putting fire on target in five, four..."
punkey 2015-03-23 15:33:21
(Hunter Shoot: 3d8.hi = 8
Difficulty: 1d8 = 2
Damage: 2d10.hi = 3; 1d6 = 1

Hug'sh Shoot: 3d10.hi = 6
Difficulty: 1d8 = 5
Damage: 2d10.hi = 8; 1d6 = 3

Angel Shoot: 2d12.hi = 10; 1d10 = 6
Difficulty: 1d8 = 6
Damage: 2d10.hi = 10; 1d6 = 2)

"Right with you, Major," Hug'sh grunts.
"Fuck it," Angel mutters, and turns his M2 the same way as Hunter and Hugh'sh.
"Hit the deck, this might get a little loud," Hug'sh barks over the vox channel as his fur and ears flatten out.

It gets more than a little loud. Arketta has just enough time to shout "Hit the floor!" to Ngawai before the whole building rocks under the assault of a few hundred rounds of .50 Armor Piercing Incendiary rounds. The floor above them erupts in shouts and screams only for a moment before the barrage overwhelms even that, and then it's just the two women, on the floor, flipping up their respective helms to block out the deafening roar of the incendiary rounds detonating against the side of the building. Halfway through, a crack shudders the whole building as part of the third floor buckles, and as the last of the rounds slam into the structure, half of the top floor gives way, blasting a wave of dust down the stairs and all over Arketta and Ngawai.

After a few seconds, Arketta stands up and surveys the scene through the sights of her beamer. The stairwell to the top floor has collapsed, cutting off that avenue of attack, and she sees that Ngawai is all right as well, as she stands up, her armor caked in gray dust.
"I think we're good," Ngawai says to her over her helm's vox.
"Yeah," Arketta says. "I think we're clear."


A few minutes later, Hug'sh's fur flashes green with relief as he sees Arketta and Ngawai hustling up the street towards the MRAP, both covered in dust and splattered with red but otherwise looking just fine. "Let's get the fuck out of here," Arketta says over the team vox. "Home Base, Rocky 1-1, this village is clear, we're moving on towards objective, time now."
"Rocky 1-1, this is Home Base, good copy, out," the vox replies.
threadbare 2015-03-23 19:41:24
"Yeah, best to be out of that building quick, don't know how stable it is," Hunter agrees, racking another belt of ammo and setting aside idle thoughts about who else might have been in there.

"Zaef, bring our guest back in, and we can talk about expectations on the next stretch of the drive. Let's get moving."
punkey 2015-03-24 12:31:09
Hale sits in the back of the MRAP in silence as the convoy leaves the village behind them. Hunter remains on the turret, but once the village is out of sight Angel and Hug’sh climb back inside, giving Hunter the go-ahead to do the same. Hale fiddles nervously with his chamakana and wipes the dust off of his armor with a cloth as Hunter climbs back inside, and looks expectantly his way.

The hardass NCO in Hunter wants to chew him out the way he did so many green recruits, to vent his spleen on Hale’s conduct and otherwise cuss a blue streak. The anthropology grad student within him points out to current-Hunter that this is an opportunity to learn something, and the gestalt opts for a different tact: “That was...unexpected, what you did there. Tell us what you were thinking.”
“Following standard Turai tactics, Samal,” Hale replies quickly, sitting upright. “Pillar 4: Speed and violence of action carries a Turai forward to victory.”
“Take me through it, step by step.” Hunter gives Zaef a glance, as if to say, we’re not yelling yet, but I’ll let you know when that time comes. Zaef nods curtly, the only motion he’s made since he sat down.
“Move forward with all available speed, when hostile forces are encountered, seek available cover and return fire to provide a base of fire for a flanking maneuver by other forces,” Hale says. “I...I thought this was standard Narsai’i operating procedure, Samal; I read as much in your doctrine.”
Hunter sighs. “That is the doctrine, the words of it, but that was not how we bring the words to life. ‘Encountered’ means seeing them in or near range of your weapons, not being shot by them. This doctrine was written by men who did not have kaukas or Turai armor, and had a different idea of what ‘all available speed’ means. You lived today because of those things, but you took risks you didn’t need to, and forced Zaef to take risks he didn’t need to, in an ambush setting with an unknown number of assailants. Do you understand why that might be less than optimal?”
“Yes, I understand, but...is this how the 815 fight now?” Hale asks. “I have seen the holos of your group in action, and this caution, I didn’t see it before. I am not complaining though! Not at all, Samal, it is just...I thought this is how the 815 fought.” He fidgets a bit more - the ex-Turai was obviously not expecting the third degree here. “You are more aggressive and more forward than the Narsai’i, more like Turai, more like the Khiraba. It’s part of what I admired about your tactics on Whirr.”
Zaef narrows his eyes and tenses up at that last comparison. His experiences with Khiraba, and even prospective Khiraba, are few and markedly more unpleasant than most anything else he can recall.
Oh, you are not trying to pull our man card today, Hunter thinks, but he takes a breath, sees the whites in Hale’s eyes, and relaxes. “Most certainly, 815 favors aggression and flexibility when the mission affords it. But our mission today is to protect the assets from ambush, and our flexibility every day is built on trust, and a shared understanding of what everyone else is going to do. Look at what Ngawai and Arketta did today. Look, you wouldn’t get onto a--what’s that sport y’all play, the one with the balls?”
“Right. You wouldn’t come onto a team and expect to make the team’s starting side, without ever having practiced with them, or even had so much as a friendly conversation with most of them. But that’s what you did today.” Hunter looks him in the eye, trying to make room for understanding. “And listen, I know it’s hard to slow down and just try to learn, especially something you think you already know. You have years of experience screaming at you to do something, you’re gonna want to do it. Some of those instincts are right, but some of them aren’t going to serve you here. It’s gonna be a process, you’re going to feel like an idiot sometimes, but I swear to you it’s going to feel better than making everyone pissed at you because you keep insisting on fitting square pegs into round holes.”

Hale nods, and then just sits there silently for a moment. “I don’t understand, Samal,” he finally says. “How...What am I supposed to do, then? Are your orders to just...wait in the back and observe?”
“No. You didn’t do anything egregious. It’s not like you shot a child or let the assets get destroyed. You ran ahead a little -”
“- and got some extra holes for it,” Zaef growls.
Hunter nods. “That, too. It’s possible that if you were paired up with other members of 815, we wouldn’t have noticed. It’s just...we don’t know you yet, on any deep level. We don’t know what you’re going to do, aside from what we know of Turai generally. When you took the initiative like that, I felt more uncertainty than I’d like in most firefights. So, no, don’t wait in the back. But don’t try to lead from the front either. Follow our lead, ask questions when we’re not in a hurry or getting shot at, and otherwise get to know us. Have conversations with people, spend some time absorbing viewpoints. You came here for field instruction. Well, it starts now.”
“815 may not fight like the Narsai’i,” Zaef says, “but we don’t fight like the Turai do either. You’re going to have to adapt quickly, especially given the circumstances. We’re more or less in enemy territory now, with little chance at manta support - closest Narsai has to them, anyway. We need all hands on deck, and that means taking care they don’t get shot off, you know?” Zaef crosses his arms and leans back. “One thing to learn - and this is very important - “ Zaef tilts his head forward and glowers at Hale. “Do not compare us to Khiraba. Understand?”
Hale nods. “I only meant in terms of tactics, Samal,” he replies. “That you are the elite of the Narsai’i.”
Zaef snorts. “Fine. Just don’t do it again. And,” Zaef leans forward and his shoulders loosen, “I am not a Samal, Hale. Utari will do, as will Zaef.”
“I only mean it as…” Hale leans back and sighs as he shakes his head. “I’m explaining myself an awful lot right now - I just mean it as a sign of respect. You have command authority over me and others, that makes you a Samal. I know that you do not actually hold the rank. It just seems right that you be given the respect you deserve as one of my commanders.”
Zaef smirks. “A compromise, then. The only rank I have and care for is Shipmaster. Will that do?”
“We’re not on a ship, but…” Hale shrugs with a smirk. “I already am used to the 815 ignoring rules when it suits them. Master it is, then. So, Master Utari, am I getting this talking to because I broke the 815’s rules, that I actually did something wrong? Or because the 815 are not used to Turai doctrine, and you weren’t expecting my actions?”
The smirk disappears from Zaef’s face completely, replaced with stone. “No, Hale, you are getting this speech because you took what I like to call an unnecessary risk, and I would prefer it if you didn’t take another.”
Hale nodded. “So, you just don’t want me to get myself killed.”
“Don’t you?”
“Of course, but…” Hale shrugged. “It’s combat. People die. Just trust your training, equipment and the Turai next to you. Do the best you can, and if you die, you die. You want me to slow down, Master Utari, I can do that. If Samal Brand wants me to hang back and learn, I can do that. But it’s still combat, Master Utari. If you want me to be safe, then you’d be better off sending me back to the Gateway.”
“Maybe. But running right into a funnel wasn’t your best, Hale. You proved that right after, putting down three from behind a wall, barely time to breathe.”
Hale nodded, smirk still on his face. “Yes, I over-extended myself a bit. But it worked - and you had my back, and we have kaukas.”
“When the well is empty, they know the worth of water,” Hunter says. “You’re accustomed to an operational environment where you’re well-resourced and you have a lot of advantages working in your favor. You had them today, and it turned out alright. 815 doesn’t always get to operate like that, though. Sometimes that means only having weapons you can smuggle past guards, and sometimes that means operating without a kauka...which until recently was how every Wherren had to operate. Shit happens, soldiers adapt, and flexibility is a virtue. Does that make sense?”
Hale is silent for a moment as he thinks, but then the soldier nods. “Yes, it does. You are trying to train me to fight like you 815 do - like you’re alone and cut off at all times, and there I was, fighting like I had the whole of Duis’ Ninety behind me, but the 815 are less than a quad. We - excuse me, you don’t have the equipment and backup I depended on in the Emperor’s service, and I can’t just take a beam or have a leg blown off and have a quad coming to pull me out of trouble.” He sighed. “I thought you were being too cautious, but...now I get it.” He bows to Hunter and Zaef as best he can in the MRAP. “I apologize.” He leans back into his seat. “Puts a whole new look on how fast you 815 are.”
“Glad to hear it,” Hunter says, genuinely thankful that his charge seems to understand. “Get some water, we’ll pick up on a lot of boring procedural and hardware familiarization in an hour or two. And let me know if you turn out to be bleeding to death or something.”
Hale laughs. “Will do, Samal.” He wiggles a short haptic, and the carapace extends a drinking tube. Hale takes a long draw from it before speaking up again. “And...would you mind taking me through a few simulator runs once we get back? You’re right, I’ve got a lot of habits to forget. Maybe you, or Director Davis, Elhu Kesh, or Captain Verrill could help?”
“Definitely. I’ve been trying to get these knuckleheads to put their working principles in some permanent form for a while now, besides what I’ve written up about them. But I’d be happy to help.”
Hale nods. “Thank you, Samal.”