Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey 2016-11-30 14:01:28
2d10.hi = 9; 1d10 = 3


Front Toward Enemy's optics lets it clearly see the spiral of disturbed air coming off the back of the accelerator slug as it arcs through the air. Even with the hypervelocity speed the slug is travelling at, it had to aim a good few degrees above the target, and - well, not so much with bated breath, but with extreme interest it watches the slug move millisecond by millisecond to the target. Time moves at a treacle pace to a focused Sheen, but...it's such a cool shot.

And it's right on target. FTE sees sparks when it impacts the middle RPG round - right on target, nice - but for just a moment before the white flash.

1d6 = 5; 1d6 = 2; 1d6 = 1; 2d10.hi = 2

But that's almost all there is, a white flash. The RPG rounds must be old as shit, because it just kind of goes pop, and only sets off the one FTE hit. Fortunately, two of them were standing right by the donkey when it goes off, and FTE's vision clears in time to see them falling sans important-looking parts of their heads. The third is pretty worse for wear, but is still standing.


"Got it, Zaef," Hale says. "Let us know who we're getting, and we'll coordinate with Keeper Cavanaugh about where she wants her equipment. Anything else?"


"...hijinks might be a bit mild for what I got up to," Garrett says. "But I'm picking up what you're putting down. Smoke 'em out, cut 'em down, storm the building. Gonna need disguises - can't have invisible soldiers murdering everyone, and Ngawai and I will need to get some local weapons."
"I have my .45s, I'm good," Ngawai replies.
"Okay, I would like an AK," Garrett says.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-30 14:06:46
"Oh no, are you guys okay?" FTE hazards a best guess at what the third guy must be saying. "Hey, where'd your heads go?" It sights in again. "Hey, where'd my head go?"

CrazyIvan 2016-12-01 02:14:46
Angel smirks. "Excellent. As for disguises and AKs...well, you are talking to one of the richest people on the planet, and we *are* in the middle of Afghanistan...I'm pretty sure some assault rifles and and some used perahons and trousers in size 'Spook' can be acquired."
skullandscythe 2016-12-01 11:26:45
"That's all. Everything else, we'll deal with as it comes."

After this, Zaef puts out a call to his quad. "So our escort needs Pashto language support. I will be joining them, and I figure we'll need one more translator. Any volunteers?"
punkey 2016-12-07 23:52:26
2d10.hi = 10; 1d10 = 8 / 3d8.hi = 8; 1d6 = 6 NO LONGER NEEDS A HAT

Another ripple tears a seam in the atmosphere towards the target, and FTE can just about see the man's head explode in a puff of blood and gore. The body drops like it was cut from a string, and as it hits the ground, the crack of the round's firing finally arrives over the surviving goats.


Marta turns Zaef's way. "I'll take it, it'll be good for me to spend time with the Turai and get experience talking with them, since we'll be working with them soon."
"I think I should get it," Jimmy says. "Zaef and I can set up our Turai with sectors of fire while you stay with Ms. Cavanaugh and help her get everything set up."


"Gonna need one of those dresses and scarves for me, too," Ngawai says. "If you think you can keep me out of this game, you've got another thing coming. I'll talk to Swims-the-Black and see if he can take care of his niece."


Swims and Rodirr both stand up, and let - well, let three of the MPs in. Even with most of the MP contingent inside, there’s barely any space to move around inside between three fully-grown Wherren and three considerably smaller humans. Rodirr and Swims both swivel their heads to keep the voxes clipped to their ears scanning the humans’ activity, but it doesn’t take but a few moments for one of the humans to call for his counterparts to take a look at something.
’This looks alien to me,’” the human says, and sure enough, what he pulls out from behind Hug’sh’s bag is a Bashakra’i holodisc and set of quantum chipsets in their sealed containers.

The yellow in Hug’sh’s fur is intense but brief - figures that they don’t send in the stooges for a search if they don’t damn well know there’s something to find. ”Call Iro,” he tells Rodirr, then gets to scribbling another note. Not mine. Do not know where it came from.
One of the other MPs steps forward, cuffs in hand. “’Well, it’s not a sharp stick, so it’s not yours,’” he says. “’Hands behind your back.’
’We wait,’” Hug’sh says, making no attempt to move from where he’s standing.
’Are you resisting arrest?’” the MP asks. Hug’sh can read all over him that he’s itching for an excuse to beat him down.

Hug’sh puts his arms out in front of him, bent at the elbow - just about in reach for the MP to try to cuff him. “Try” being the operative word. The MP gladly takes the bait, and steps up to somehow try to put the comically small handcuffs on Hug’sh’s wrists. Hug’sh waits for just the right moment, then he strikes.
(1D8 => 8 ; 1D4 => 2)
His wrist slips around the handcuff chain with speed belying its size and seizes the MP’s wrist, quickly pulling him off-balance and his face into Hug’sh’s left elbow. It’s not quite an instant KO, but it is what the Narsai’i call “getting your bell rung real good”.
(1D8 => 8 ; 1D4 => 3, 1D8 => 1 ; 1D4 => 1, 1D8 => 8 ; 1D4 => 2 / Damage: 2D6 => 2 ; 2D12 => 7 , 2D6 => 4 ; 2D12 => 10)
The three other MPs already had their hands on their sidearms, and before their comrade can even clear his vision, five shots ring out. One of them just discharged his weapon into the floor, but when Hug’sh looks down, he sees four spots of blood welling up through his fur. None of them hurt - it’s more like being punched, and not particularly hard - but those are definitely bullet wounds.
(Swims: 2D10H => 7 ; 1D6 => 5 / Rodirr: 1D10 => 9 ; 1D6 => 4, 1D10 => 6 ; 1D6 => 3 / Damage: 2D16H => 10 ; 1D8 => 4, 2D16H => 13 ; 1D8 => 6, 2D16H => 9 ; 1D8 => 2)
Rodirr and Swims-the-Black don’t waste any time - both of them pounce on the remaining three humans, and between Rodirr grabbing two of them and clapping them both together and Swims simply picking the third up by the neck and slamming him back-first into the wall, all three of them are out cold.

The sole remaining conscious MP reaches for his pistol, still dazed from Hug’sh’s blow, draws it, and points it at Hug’sh - no, Swims - no, Rodirr. “’H-halt!’” he shouts. Hug’sh takes a step forward, which is enough to make the MP flinch - and then Hug’sh simply grabs the gun and rips it out of his hands. While the MP watches dazedly, Hug’sh snorts, drops the magazine and racks the remaining cartridge out of the chamber.

”Rodirr,” Hug’sh growls, ”when you have reached Iro, would you kindly tell our warriors to grab their weapons and assume a defensive posture?”
”Already on it,” Swims grunts, halfway through the haptic.
Rodirr, on the other hand, is more worried about the blood running down Hug’sh’s chest than anything else. ”Chief, you have been shot!” he says as he grabs one of Hug’sh’s pants and tries to stop the bleeding.
”I noticed,” Hug’sh grunts, taking over the process of putting pressure on his wounds. ”Collect our prisoners’ weapons and see to it that they’re in no further danger from themselves.”
”So we are taking them hostage?” Rodirr asks.
”No, we are taking them prisoner,” Hug’sh replies. ”We are soldiers, not criminals. These people are under our care and protection now, until we can sort this mess out.” He turns to the last standing MP. “’You,’” he breathes. “’You wait now.’
‘James Scott, Sergeant First Class, 022 -’” the MP starts, managing to pull himself together to stare something resembling daggers at Hug’sh.
’I do not ask name!’” Hug’sh bellows at the soldier, flashing a bright orange-yellow. That, combined with the four bullet holes in Hug’sh’s chest, is enough that Hug’sh’s muzzle is filled with his fear, and he falls silent. Hug’sh leans in a bit closer and gives him a gutteral growl, just to put a period behind that, then straightens up a bit again and turns to Rodirr. ”Any word from Iro?”
”He is on his way - with a quad of his own to defend us,” Rodirr replies.
”Our Wherren have retreated to their barracks and fortified them,” Swims adds.
”Good,” Hug’sh says. He takes another breath. ”If the Narsai’i want to make this into a fight...they can have it.”
Rodirr and Swims-the-Black both nod. ”...and Iro is bringing a Wherren kauka, by the way,” Rodirr grunts.
”Good,” Hug’sh repeats.
e of pi 2016-12-09 22:31:49
"Clear for now," Luis says. "I'm thinking you don't just leave guys standing around with donkeys full of RPGs. You want to find a new over watch spot, and hang out to see who sticks their head out as we head in, then join us?"
CrazyIvan 2016-12-11 02:57:07
Angel nods.

"Alright then. Back home for a shopping trip and booking the babysitter. You want me to hang back and keep an eye on things?"
skullandscythe 2016-12-13 10:52:13
"I'm with Jimmy on this one," Zaef says. "Marta, you'll get more contact with the locals if they're coming to you and Kitty, and you can work on our primary objective. Jimmy and I can focus on security, though if we get a chance to talk with the people here, I'll take it."
punkey 2016-12-16 13:14:15
FTE rotates its joints down for maximum traction on the rough and uneven ground, and pounces from perch to perch. The cloak keeps the rest of the world from seeing a set of Turai armor twisted into a quadrupedal form leaping about like a chrome cat, and as the convoy rumbles up a half-mile behind him, FTE reaches a perch that lets it see the road ahead out to a good couple miles or so - and that there is a lot more than just dust, farm animals, and bits of lookouts. A couple pickup trucks stream away from a village just at the edge of FTE's easy perception, presumably a response to the unanticipated explosion. It can't make out any specific details, but it looks like the Taliban have been busy setting up a defense for the coming push.

"What do you see?" Arlana asks over the vox link.


Marta and Jimmy both nod and head off in their respective directions - Marta with Kitty's Keeper team, and Jimmy with Zaef.

Speaking of security, the village fits a theme Zaef has noticed for much of this part of Narsai - old brick buildings perched on the side of a relatively steep mountain. Stairways run up the mountain in various wending paths through the village, intersecting with footpaths running across the mountainside. Up at the top are a few lookout posts - nothing more than open-air shelters that give an unobstructed view in all directions - and that's about it as far as security goes. If you squint, there's defensible positions on all four sides, but it's still, well, just a village.

Up at the top of the village, Jimmy kicks at a rock, then takes a knee to start sketching sectors of fire. "Pretty risky, letting your girlfriend run her little experiment in the middle of a battle we just got our asses kicked in," he says. "No offense, but there's no way I'd let my girl go running around in a war zone when there's insurgents with beamers and sunmines around."


"I got it," Garrett says, and reaches into his pack for a small sconce and sticks it to the wall. "I'll get full coverage set up, Mr. Moneybags here can pick you up in his flying car for a shopping spree."
"You just don't want to pick up the tab," Ngawai replies.
punkey 2016-12-16 13:14:37
As moments stretch into seconds, Hug’sh reflects on what just happened. #justhappened: three Wherren moving as one. He could...hear? See? Smell?...Swims and Rodirr beside him. And it wasn’t the way he usually did it, which was to focus and look at them and go, oh yes, green happy, ten four, buddy. It was...he just knew. And he didn’t think about knowing it, or how he knew it, or why he could have four bullets stuck in his chest and still be on his feet. For a while now, he’s been Hug’sh, not just Hugh in a very well-made suit, but...Hugh was there, still hanging out, still crashing on the couch. And now...Hugh has left. His memories are still there, like a forgotten Steak & Bitches t-shirt buried in the bottom of the laundry hamper, but now it’s just one of those things reminding Hug’sh of who he’s not, not anymore. Hug’sh is not that guy anymore. He was a cub clinging to his father’s chest, soothed by the musk of fragrant herbs and soil. He was a young warrior learning how to hold a spear. He was a general chosen to train his people in the traditions of their allies.

And that was okay. That was Wherren.

Still, the rest of the world insists on intruding. ”Iro and Paul are here,” Swims grunts.
”Ask them to come inside,” Hug’sh answers, then straightens himself, despite the stinging in his chest. You’d think four bullets could decide on whether they were just a nuisance or a full-on searing kiss of red hot pain.
Swims grunts a reply into his vox, and a few moments later, Iro, Paul, and a trin of Turai, all clad in full chrome baktar armor take up a position outside of his door. ”Never boring with you 815,” Iro cracks. He pulls a spare kauka off his hip and tosses it to Hug’sh.
”Thank you all for coming,” Hug’sh says, pocketing the kauka for the moment - those bullet holes still have a show ahead of them. In return, he tosses the quantum chips to Paul. ”If you would, there are some items over there that the Narsai’i claim were stolen from you. I have no idea how they ended up in this hab, but we can figure out who planted them later. My two immediate questions are: were those stolen from your supplies, and if so, who had access to them?”
Paul catches - one handed - the three items thrown to him, and looks them over. ”Unless the Narsai’i have quantum chips that are identical to ours - which, trust me, they don’t - these came from Bashakra’i stock.” He slides the crystalline vials and holodisc into his armor’s pack. ”We’re investigating a series of thefts from our stores at Kabul, and the serials match the missing lot. Looks like the Narsai’i aren’t happy we’re working together.”
”What else is new?” Hug’sh asks. ”Do you have any concrete evidence of who stole the chips? Video, witnesses, anything?”
”Sconces were blinded from a blackout,” Paul says. ”But if I had to guess, this seems like the work of your friends in high places - DNI or Simmons, maybe.”
”One does not order a hab searched without knowing that there is contraband inside, so whoever it is, the man who ordered this search shares his musk,” Hug’sh says. ”I think it is high time we had another conversation with General Cooper.”
Iro cocks his head to the right. ”Seems that he is at your perimeter.”
”There are...forty or so Narsai’i at our perimeter,” Rodirr says. ”General Cooper is demanding access for him and one other human.”
”Signal him that we accept his terms and are waiting for him,” Hug’sh says. ”Until I give the order, the perimeter stays up, nobody else enters or leaves without my authorization.”
”Most of our forces are out on patrols, but I have two other quads on the way,” Iro adds.
”Good,” Hug’sh says. ”Let’s hope that we are done fighting for today, but if it comes to it - I do not intend to make this easy for the Narsai’i.”
”Not the biggest fan of this planet anyway,” Iro says.
“It’s not so bad,” Paul says. “We just attract the biggest assholes on it.”
punkey 2016-12-16 13:15:18
A few minutes later, General Cooper and...some other human walk up, escorted by a trin of Wherren in armor and carrying beamers. Cooper looks...less than pleased. “’I hope you have a good -’” Seeing Hug’sh bleeding from four holes in his chest stops Cooper cold - and Hug’sh senses the fear even more strongly off of Cooper’s anonymous friend. “’My God.’
’Kew-purr,’” Hug’sh growls with pointedly neutral color, then starts scribbling on his notepad. I am not in the mood for games. Did you send these men?
’I did,’” the still-unnamed man says. “’I had reason to believe that you and your group are behind the thefts of Bashakran equipment from this AO.’
’We found stolen alien tech that they definitely didn’t make, Sir,’” the sole conscious MP says.
“And there it is,” Paul cracks.
The unnamed suit glares at Paul’s helm. “’And you are?’
Paul pops his helm’s faceplate up. “’Paul Sturgis, Bashakra’i internal security.’
The man’s eyes narrow with hate. “’I’ve heard of you, you’re the traitor.’
’Not yet,’” Paul says, and kisses at the man before dropping his faceplate back down.
Hug’sh grunts as he writes out a new message. These items were certainly stolen, three days ago, from Bashakra’i stores. The Bashakra’i confirmed this to me. But we are not the ones who stole them. I do not know how they got into this hab, but we will be reviewing our security - and we will find out. He swings his head towards the other man. “’You,’” he says, which - as we all know - sounds a lot like “Hug’sh”, unless care is taken to swallow the ending, so it comes out more as a “Yug”. I do not know you. Who are you?
’Hilby, National Security Agency,’” the man says. “’That means that I have ultimate authority over all humans from my country and am responsible for the safety and security of all Americans, and you have no authority over me.’
Hug’sh isn’t sure whether to laugh out loud at that blatant lie - and Paul does - or treat this “Hilby” character like he’d love to treat Agent Simmons. He settles for writing a note. I hardly believe your first four words. The rest, I know to be lies. I will give you one more chance to tell the truth before I treat this situation as an assassination attempt.
Hilby glares at Hug’sh - only for a moment, though. Staring contests with beings that outweigh you by more than 200 pounds are not his strong suit. “’Hilby, National Security Agency. I was given a tip that your group was stealing Bashakran equipment, and sent MPs to investigate.’” Cooper flushes bright red and his jaw clenches - Hug’sh can’t help but find the similarity to an extremely pissed-off Wherren amusing.
Hug’sh signals a basic willingness to go down that trail with a faint nod. Given a tip by whom? And why did you not inform the Bashakra’i about your information?
’I am under no obligation to inform them of our suspicions,’” Hilby says, crossing his arms. “’This is US government property, and we can search it whenever we want.’
“What a load of scrofa shit!” Paul bellows.
“That is a lie!” Iro shouts, and both of them get up in Hilby’s face.
“These habs are Bashakra’i property given to the Wherren!” Paul continues.
“Just because we stand on Narsai’i soil does not make everything it touches yours,” Iro hisses.
Hilby sneers at his reflected image in their helms. “’Tell the alien and the traitor to get out of my face.’
punkey 2016-12-16 13:15:34
Hug’sh gently imposes an arm between Iro and Paul on one side, and Hilby on the other. You would do well to cease provoking them, as you have already provoked me. Whether genuine investigation or an attempt to instigate a diplomatic incident, I find your conduct extremely unbecoming of someone purporting to represent a government. And while my patience is great, it is not unlimited. Hug’sh growls as he flips the page. I will now give you a chance to explain how you knew about items in this hab that none of us had seen before. I suggest you use that chance.
Hilby’s sneer turns towards Hug’sh. “’That’s classified.’
It’s not easy for a Wherren to pronounce “bullshit”. Somehow, Hug’sh manages. Do not seek a fight you cannot win, Hilby. I have been shot by your men over a pretense we all believe you engineered. Tell the truth or I will consider your actions an act of war sanctioned by the US government.
Hilby’s sneer turns to a hard glare. “’You don’t have a leg to stand on. You can just fuck off back to your mud hut -’
Cooper finally steps in, cutting Hilby off before Paul decks him. “Enough! Mr. Hilby, I don’t care who sent you, if you keep this up I will have you detained and they can take it up with me later.’’ Cooper looks back to Hug’sh. “’I think we can both agree that this is not in either of our best interests.’
Hug’sh nods to that, a hint of green finally entering his fur. “’Denk yug,’” Hug’sh breathes. I am willing to consider this matter an unfortunate misunderstanding, on the record. So far, nobody is dead. You may take custody of the prisoners and retrieve their weapons from my second-in-command. If you agree to tell your men to stand down, I will tell my troops the same. And then, we will speak about the theft of the Bashakra’i items in a more relaxed setting at a different time. Is this agreeable to you, General?
’Yes,’” Cooper nods.
Rodirr drops the MP’s sidearms - unloaded, of course - onto Hilby. ”I believe these are yours.”
One more thing. Hug’sh scribbles. Please tell your leaders the ultimatum still stands. And we will look very poorly on further attempts to...damage this alliance. Is this message clear?
Cooper nods. “’Understood.’
Hug’sh nods back. “’Go,’” he says.
Cooper starts to leave, but Hilby doesn’t budge. “’You attempted to murder three US military police soldiers and took them hostage - I’m going to see you burn for this.’
punkey 2016-12-16 13:16:17
Hug’sh looks to Hilby, then pointedly flips his notepad to a new page, writes slowly and deliberately on it, then rips that page from the pad and hands it to Hilby. I walk through fire. Your bullets do not stop me. If I wanted your men dead, they would be. Crawl back to your masters and tell them you failed. If there is any wisdom in you, you will not test me again.
Hilby’s sneer returns - Hug’sh feels the contempt roll off the human in waves. “’If you’re smart, you’ll do the same.’
Hug’sh smiles at Hilby - big, toothy smile. “’Go,’” he repeats.
Hilby smirks. “’You first. This is a US forward operating base - this is our territory.’
’That is entirely uncalled for,’” Cooper says.
Hug’sh writes out a note for Cooper. Is he going to come with you, or do I need to carry him out of here?
’Mr. Hilby, we are surrounded by armed Wherren and Bashakrans, and none of them look very pleased to see us,’” Cooper says. “’Discretion is sometimes the better part of valor.’
’And if you let these aliens have their way, next they’re going to be moving into the White House,’” Hilby replies.
’And that’s enough of that,’” Cooper says, and gestures to the MPs - including the ones that are just coming around. “’Soldiers, escort Mr. Hilby back to his quarters.’
’Sir, I -’” the sole MP that started all the problems says.
’So help me God, soldier, if the next words aren’t ‘- am on my way’ I will see you sent to Leavenworth for disobeying a direct order,’” Cooper growls, clearly done with everyone’s shit.
’- am on my way,’” the MP says. “’Sir.’
’Good,’” Cooper nods. Rodirr and Swims both roll an appreciative muted green wave at the display of command, and Cooper turns to Hug’sh with a nod. “’General.’
Hug’sh nods back. “’Guhnarawl,’” he echoes.

After Cooper, the MPs and a still-fuming Hilby leave the hab, Hug’sh plops down onto the nearest chair.
“Man, fuck those guys,” Paul curses, watching them head down the stairs in his helm.
”Ah,” he breathes with some relief, then finally reaches for the kauka and starts to work on the bullet wounds. ”Thank you,” he sneaks in between breaths. ”Thank you all.” He looks to Paul. ’Fug dem,’ he snarls, before settling back into his normal voice. ”It is all provocation and clumsy attempts to divide us. To think that they actually believe it will work…” His look falls in Iro. ”For a moment there,” he says, ”I thought we would really have to drop the hammer.”
”It would have been a good fight,” Iro says. ”But it seems that not all the Narsai’i are as stupid as we think they are.”
”Taking out the sconces was a good trick,” Hug’sh says. As the kauka does its work, one two three...four bullets are pushed out of his chest and pling to the floor. ”We know the insurgents are getting Narana’i gear, including something that allowed them to see through cloaks. But how did the US government defeat your security measures?”
”Turning the lights out,” Paul says. ”The no-light sconces were not installed yet.”
”Hrm,” Hug’sh harrumphs as the wounds on his chest close, leaving just a few tender spots and dried blood streaking down his chest. ”Who would even think of that?” He shakes his head. ”Please keep us updated on your findings. I have a feeling we might have to make our case in the near future, and I would like to show more than suspicions.”
”I will task some of my Turai,” Iro says. ”But if you would not mind, I think we should set up a secure perimeter around a combined alliance compound. Guards, perimeter security, sconces. Prevent any further thefts or...interference.”
”An excellent idea,” Hug’sh nods. ”I agree.”
”And if you don’t mind, I will stay right here with my trin,” Iro says. ”Seems like you three need protecting more than I do.”
”Certainly,” Hug’sh says, then looks around. ”...we may need more chairs.”
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-12-16 13:33:17
"I got two pickups headed this way from the village, Quis," Front Toward Enemy sends. "Some lookouts, meager defenses otherwise. 'Stoo bad that donkey didn't blow, would've covered up the fact some of 'em got shot. How far are you out now?"
punkey 2016-12-16 13:35:08
"We are...a kilometer from your location," Arlana replies, sounding very disappointed at that fact. "Which could take all day at this speed! Luis, speed this scrofa train up! We can't give them time to set up a defense!"
e of pi 2016-12-17 21:39:26
"FTE!" Luis says. "Do you see any sign of other surprises they might have left buried on the way to them?"
skullandscythe 2016-12-18 22:58:36
Zaef doesn't responds to that, instead pulling up his haptic and sending Hale a ping: Meet @village summit. planning defense. Bring drones if you got 'em.

"Rav-Turai Hale will be arriving shortly, to help with the defense plan."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-12-19 09:58:29
"Looks clear." Front Toward Enemy replies. "Pickups are still on the move, nothing looks too spooked yet."