Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey 2017-03-07 21:44:07
"Fine, fine," Arlana says in reply. "Just a broken rib or two, nothing a kauka can't fix."
"I'm getting you out of there right now," Arketta says breathlessly over the vox.
"No need to make such a fuss, dear," Arlana replies, straining with effort at the end as she tries to force the wreckage apart enough to slide out. A loud crack is heard over the vox - causing Arketta to yelp. "Damn, just broke off a piece of the door, I think."

FTE comes up over the rise in time to see the smoking remains of the attacking convoy, the surviving Narsai'i and Naranai'i setting up a defensive perimeter, and Luis, Arketta, and a few Wherren hustling over to one HMMWV - well, he already saw the last part from his live feed from Luis' ocular implants.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-03-09 10:27:56
"I'm on the low hill on your 4," FTE sends. More like FTW, amirite? No, don't send that. "Keeping optics open for any additional targets."
e of pi 2017-03-16 21:23:44
"Understood, Luis says. Arlana, stay put," he adds on the other channel. "Just give us a second and we can get you out more easily." He hustles up to the HMMWV, looking for any risk of fire or explosion, then gets to work with the Wherren pulling the wreckage clear enough. Nice to have the big furry jaws of life, he finds himself thinking.
punkey 2017-03-20 23:16:47
Zaef walks down the hill into the largest structure in the little village - two of the small cinder brick houses joined together into a community gathering point of sorts, now occupied by Kitty and her merry band of Keepers. Marta is walking around the room, guiding the locals from station to station, where they're scanned by various Imperial medical devices, and when needed, shunted to one side or the other for treatment. One Keeper is busy administering complex multivalent immunotherapies to treat malaria, tuberculosis, and a few cases of leishmaniasis, while another checks an infant for nutritional health. Of course, Kitty's research is ongoing, too - each resident has a snap DNA sample taken to be quickly sequenced and added to her database as part of her ongoing project to chart genetic drift between the Narsai'i and the rest of humanity.

Marta fends off a male Keeper from approaching one of the women in the village and brings a Bashakra'i woman over to help her out before looking Zaef's way. "What's going on, boss?"


Shove a sufficiently thick piece of metal between a load and a fulcrum and put enough force on it, and pretty much anything will move. In this case, the piece of metal is the driveshaft of Arlana's wrecked vehicle, and the force is a trin of Wherren (and Luis and Arketta) pushing it as hard as they can. The HMMWV's wrecked from creaks, snaps, and pops, and eventually widens enough for Arlana to slide out and hit the ground, emitting a scream of pain followed by grunted hard breaths.
"Mother!" Arketta shouts, and rushes to Arlana's side.
"Yes, definitely broken ribs," Arlana grunts. "Arketta, be a dear and -"
Arketta's already got the kauka in her hands, and waves a hand over her mother's armor to activate the carapace's med-diagnostic visuals - a rough idea of what's damaged and where to guide kauka application without needing to remove the armor. A flash later, and Arlana cries out again, but her breathing then quickly goes from labored to steady.

"Better," Arlana grunts, and climbs to her feet. She looks over at the village in the distance - Luis can see with his implants the clear outline of little human shapes the couple of miles distant, watching and waiting for the patrol to approach. "Without the vehicles, we have no way back, and we are easy targets out here in the open. They see us now, but we can break line of sight behind the hills." She turns back to the patrol - now mostly comprising of Bashakra'i and Wherren, along with a couple trins of Narsai'i, the highest ranking one being a Staff Sergeant. "We have two options. Bunker up, the Sheen - Front Toward Enemy - calls for extraction, and we hold out until support arrives - or we find a flank, and clear the village out. Luis, Sheen, you two have the best eyes - how many do you see?"

(Luis: 1d10 = 10; 1d10 = 9
FTE: 1d12 = 8; 1d10 = 9; 1d10 = 10)

FTE stretches its legs out a little further to stick a few sconces over the top of the hill, but thermals and heat distortion prevent it from getting a good view. Luis, on the other hand, is just to the left of the unsteady air, and after a bit of haptics to zoom his vision in a few tens of magnification (and getting used to looking around with telescopes in his head), gets a count of roughly 35 individuals versus their quad of off-worlders and six Narsai'i survivors.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-03-21 10:43:24
"Good eyes," Front tells Luis. "I would cloak up, jam or kill their comms, and take the village. They wouldn't be able to get help without sending runners - slow targets; or vehicles - big targets. We play it safe and slow, bleed out their numerical advantage, sow fear and erode their morale, then pwn them hard."
e of pi 2017-03-21 23:18:29
"Maybe, but there's about three quads of them," Luis says. "That's not the worst odds, if we had to do it, but we're already down vehicles. I think we do better if we make them come to us if they want a piece of us, and we call for more support to clear them out." He pauses, turning from the tactical picture, and mentally rewinds. "Also, good eyes? What does that mean?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-03-22 06:24:08
"I only counted 23," Front Toward Enemy replies. "Was I not supposed to be in your feeds? I was checking for bad guys."
skullandscythe 2017-03-22 17:32:21
"Just came by to see if you've heard anything from the people here. We've got a defense plan, but there's too many unknowns for anyone to feel comfortable with it." Zaef hesitates. "Also, Caleb said he'd been kicked out. Something about being a disruption?"
e of pi 2017-03-22 22:51:01
"First, don't do that without asking, and second show me what you got in through. But the latter later," Luis says, eyeing his outgoing network usage. He scans the horizon again. "I'm definitely seeing at least 30, though."
e of pi 2017-04-02 12:28:00
"We can do more about those numbers if we make them come to us," Luis says. "We call for backup, and we find advantageous terrain around here to help even the odds. We can use the remaining two vehicles to get moved and settled, then use them for flanking if the opportunity presents. If they bunker up, we get the time for our backup to come in so we can roll them out."
punkey 2017-04-02 23:17:58
"First-dammit, I'm fine, dear!" Arlana curses. She still doesn't struggle too much as Arketta helps her walk over to Luis.
"They're not going to come to us if we just surround them, it'll turn into a siege," Arketta says.
"This is the best way for these land vehicles to make it back to the mountains," Arlana says. "We have to push through here. Last time, you didn't know where they were, or how many were against you. Now you know both." She looks to Arketta. "How would you root them out?"
Arketta looks around.

Wits (Tactics): 3d8.hi = 6; 1d8 = 4

"They've got more anti-vehicle rockets, so pushing into the village with our two trucks left is suicide," she says. "But those heavy guns will draw their attention and put down a great base of fire. Those little rises -" she points to the slight hills blocking FTE's vision, "- will provide cover for the trucks while letting the guns stick over the top and still provide good covering fire over the few hundred meters to the village. One quad stays here to push in on command, the other flanks to one side and pushes in once the trucks open fire to draw their attention. Once the attacking element gets stopped, they put down a base of fire and the trucks push in with the other quad." She sighs. "It'll be rough on the flanking quad, holding out while the trucks move in, but that's the best move - and why I'll be leading that element."
punkey 2017-04-03 00:06:05
Marta Talk: 2d10.hi = 6; 1d8 = 4

"The people here weren't saying much at first, but when the medicine came out, some of them changed their tune," Marta says. "The Taliban mostly come from the north side of the ridge, following the other side of the ridgeline and coming over the top about a half-mile away. But they also come up from below sometimes." An old lady comes up - with her dark tan skin and shawl, Zaef can't help but think of Brinai for just a moment - but then she asks Marta something in the local language, which Marta quickly replies to and grabs one of the female Keepers. "She needs a chest scan for infection, please."

Marta turns back to Zaef. "And as for Caleb, let's just say that he's...too enthusiastic about getting things done quickly here for his own good. Stepped on a few toes with the locals, nothing I couldn't handle. I've worked with military scrofa in fine dining shops before."
skullandscythe 2017-04-04 21:36:28
Zaef nods, frowning. "Alright. Do you need any help around here? My Farsi is, well, passable, and Jimmy seems more...diplomatic than Caleb," he says, thinking of Jimmy's barely-professional hints at pulling the plug. And speaking of which, he'll need to talk to Kitty to get an time estimate for everything she was working on.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-04-05 10:28:53
"Mother knows best," FTE quips. "And we're better shots, but us flankers will need cover. Add your cloaks in when you displace, make 'em waste shots on ghosts. I'd still like to know what their comms are like. I don't want them able to just call for help. Keep it contained. Night'd be better still, use our better optics, but you fight in the shitty dusty wasteland nobody wants to live in that you have, not the shitty dusty wasteland nobody wants to live in that you want."
e of pi 2017-04-05 19:53:23
Luis nods slowly. "If we have to push it, that's our best shot. Samal Arlana, you want to take the Wherren and the rest of the Narasai'i on the main push while we hit the flank?"
punkey 2017-04-06 23:07:24
Arlana's helm looks Luis' way like she's about to protest being sidelined, but then looks a bit further to her right to Arketta, and even without her daughter's helm up can see the concern on her face. "Yes, I can handle that, Luis." She clasps a hand on his shoulder. "Good luck." She looks over to FTE a ways off. "Sheen? Keep my daughter and son-in-law safe."
punkey 2017-04-06 23:39:21
"No, we're good here, Zaef," Marta replies. "Just let me know if - or when - we need to start evacuating people."

Kitty walks over to Zaef, her field coat removed in favor of a tan t-shirt, and gives him a peck on the cheek. "How's keeping us safe look, Zaef?"
skullandscythe 2017-04-10 11:50:41
Zaef grimaces. "Right. Let us know if you find out anything else," he replies, forwarding a quick write-up of Marta's intel to Jimmy.

To Kitty, he responds sheepishly. "It could be better. How long will it take for you to finish up, roughly?"