Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey 2017-04-12 00:26:46
"Maybe a couple of hours?" Kitty replies. "Why, is something wrong?"
skullandscythe 2017-04-12 22:12:22
"We're securing everything as best we can. Hopefully I'm just worrying over nothing." Zaef hesitates a moment. "I'll head back out and coordinate with Jimmy. Kitty, if Marta gives you or the rest of your team orders, follow her lead, alright?"
punkey 2017-04-16 01:41:51
Kitty nods, her expression turning worried. "Be careful, Zaef. Okay?"

---

"What's the word?" Jimmy asks outside the impromptu clinic.
skullandscythe 2017-04-16 17:03:30
"Taliban usually follows the ridge coming from the north. Sometimes they hike up the mountain base."
punkey 2017-04-17 19:44:35
"Well, that answers the question I was about to ask you," Jimmy says. "We've got a dozen men, approaching from the north on the ridge. I've got the Turai holding fire until we can ID them."
skullandscythe 2017-04-21 00:26:31
"How many Turai do we have in position?" Zaef asks. "Can they confirm that the men are armed at this distance?"
punkey 2017-04-23 13:17:06
"One trin has eyes on, sent another cloaked over the ridge to cover a flank," Jimmy replies, shouldering his beamer. "Taliban hide their AKs under their clothes until they get closer, so we won't know until they're on top of us. And if there's one group..."
skullandscythe 2017-04-24 14:22:33
"Mmhmm," Zaef grunts, frown deepening into a full-on scowl. "So we can expect another party coming. I hate being right," he snarls as he flips through the haptic, pulling up troop roster and telemetry. "We have sensors in place on the road yet?"
punkey 2017-04-25 12:09:31
"Immediate perimeter only," Jimmy replies.

"Oi," Caleb calls out over the 81X vox channel from his perch at the bottom of the village. "I believe I have ascertained the presence of uninvited guests mounting the valley from below - at least a quad. We are holding our fire for the moment, but time is short."
skullandscythe 2017-04-27 15:32:48
Zaef freezes for a moment, scowl torn halfway between fear and loathing. Then the mask is back on, and Zaef starts fingering the hilt of a 'knife.' "Hold your fire just long enough to get good cover, Caleb." He turns to Jimmy. "Let the trins on the ridge know they've got the same orders, fire when ready. I need to know where our troops are as well, the troops on the ridge and near the valley may need reinforcements."

Lastly, he pulls Marta's comms up. "Marta? We're under attack. They're not here yet, so keep it calm. Start escorting the locals out and everyone's bags packed." Then Zaef goes back to his decidedly un-calm day.
punkey 2017-04-29 02:57:50
"Shit," Marta says. "I'll get the villagers in here and leave a trin posted around the building before I get down to back Caleb up."
"There is no need to rush on my account," Caleb replies.
"You say that now," Marta says.

Jimmy nods towards the north - there's the quad coming across the ridge.

(Zaef Wits: 1d6 = 2; 1d8 = 1)

And suddenly the perimeter alarms start lighting up - spotty though they may be, it seems at least one - no, two more quads wandered right into them. One is backing up the quad down below the village, and the other is approaching from the road.

----

"Last chance to change places, dear," Arlana calls over vox to her daughter, a mile or so away on her flank of the impending battle.
"Only if you run over here," Arketta replies.
"...it's not nice to taunt your mother," Arlana says. "Fine then, we're on the count."

FTE is sitting cloaked at one edge of the flanking strike, while Arketta looks over to Luis next to her and smiles before putting her helm down at the other.

"One, two, three!"
e of pi 2017-04-29 23:27:09
Luis smiles back at Arketta, then turns back and reranges the village for the fourth time. It hasn't moved, and he knows he's just stalling as the countdown goes. He locks down his helm and waits out the count for the trucks opening up on the other side.
skullandscythe 2017-05-01 08:14:53
"Sorry, Marta, but Caleb's going to have to wait," Zaef cuts in. "Perimeter sensors are telling me Caleb's enemy quad just got reinforcements, but there's another quad on the road, and only one trin between them and the village. Jimmy and I are heading there now, and you'll join us when you've got the new guard in position. Caleb, you've got your orders, we'll join your dance when we're done."

As the two start heading out, Zaef turns to look at Jimmy. "Attack hours after we arrive, four quads of enemy...Tell me this seems weird to you, too."

edited by punkey on 2017-05-02 00:05:52
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-05-03 12:47:09
FTE's skin goes dusty brown, then mottled to better blend with the high desert around it. "Moving," it sends, loping forward towards the village, looking for a clear sightline on any enemy fighters foolish enough to present themselves.
punkey 2017-05-20 14:46:43
Not every bazaar in Kabul is run by Islamist warlords - most are normal marketplaces to buy and sell goods and food, and some are just run by regular, run-of-the-mill amoral warlords, like the kind that Garrett and Angel find themselves in. Raw spices sit next to crates of surplus Soviet ammunition and across the way from the poultry stall with a few beater AK-47s that the owners won’t be needing anymore for sale.
Garrett and Angel, lacking the proper look to blend in as locals at the moment, have wisely gone with the “mercenaries with a big wallet and bigger firearms” cover for their purchasing. Garrett definitely seems to be playing the part of the pissed-off merc, perhaps a little too well. He’s glowering at stall owners, snorting at their offers, and when one of them made a particularly insulting offer for a dozen lungee headdresses, even Angel’s ears were burning at the string of Pashtun epithets Garrett let loose. Some of the bazaar’s guards have started shadowing Garrett and Angel, but they’re spending enough money at the moment - and are carrying large enough firearms - that Angel doesn’t see any direct threats, yet. Not that Garrett notices as he scans the bazaar in front of them.
“Can’t find a good fucking deal on a Eastern Bloc AK anymore,” Garrett grouses. “Fucking PMCs snapped them all up.”

“Because that’s definitely why you’re upset.” Angel replies in a soft deadpan. Nodding to a criminally overpriced crate of AKs, he shrugs. “Let’s just get this done, yeah? Boss wants a crate of guns, we get a crate of guns. Accounting can bitch about the cost later.”
Garrett gives Angel a look for a moment, then catches on and nods. “Yeah. Yeah, let's just do this. Not my money we're spending.” He turns to the stallkeep. “$2000 is too much. $1200.
The stallkeep shakes his head. “No! I'm not selling them for less than $1800!
Garrett steps up to the stallkeep. “Look, dumbass, the crate is cracked and there's​ no protective paper in there! Half of them are probably rusted out and would blow up in my hands when I pulled the trigger!
The stallkeep stands up in turn. “No, I stored them inside! They're all in top condition! Are you calling me a liar?
No, I'm calling you a crook!” Garrett counters.

Angel assumes his usual role in these sorts of exchanges, looking quiet and dangerous. And ever so slightly annoyed to be here. Which conveniently also makes him the “Good Cop” in this little exchange with Garrett, who he privately suspects is not just acting. He crouches down, looking into the crate, a slight frown on his face. “I’m sure a respectable businessman like yourself wouldn’t mind us having a closer look at the merchandise? If it’s all you say, we’ll take it for $1700. If it’s not…” Angel shrugs, the gesture summoning an array of possible consequences ranging from Garrett’s opening offer seeming generous to deeply painful things.

3d8.hi = 5; 1d8 = 3

The stallkeep looks over at Angel, then at Garrett. “Fuck you both,” he says. “Give me the money, you take the crate.
“See?” Angel grins. “Reasonable people, all around.” Angel hands over the money - an embarrassingly trivial expense to sell a cover story given his wealth, and adds on another $40 for good measure. “To hold onto them, until we’re done shopping. This one will just get surly if he also has to haul a crate around.” He nods to Garrett. “See anything else we need?”
“Clothes, guns, bullets, grenades,” Garrett ticks off on his fingers. “Nope, we’re good. Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
Angel whistles and waves four $100 bills at the men with a forklift pallet already loaded down with the aforementioned items. Two of them heft the crate of AK-47s onto the pallet, and all four of them follow Garrett and Angel out to their van. Crates are loaded into the truck, cash is exchanged - with another hundred on top for each of them to forget their vehicle - and both men climb into the van and trundle off down the road to look for a convenient place to change gear and get ready to blow up a terrorist stash house.

“They weren’t lying...having money really does make everything easier.” Once they find a convenient place, Angel pulls out a few of the “best” of the AKs, setting them aside, and changes into more subtle attire, almost immediately missing Imperial fabric tech. He gives Davis a serious look. “Is your head in this Garrett? Not really interested in getting killed on account of you being pissed off and distracted because the U.S. government is being its usual dumbfuck self.”
“Wazir is threatening my family - couldn’t be more in it,” Garrett says sharply, but doesn’t turn around.

Angel’s glare sharpens. “Wazir is some two-bit warlord that forgot the best way for his kind to prosper is to keep your head down and stick to the petty cruelty. But that’s not where your wife and kid are right now, and you know better than to lie to me, Garrett. So I’m going to ask that again.”
Angel can see Garrett’s fist clench, then he takes a deep breath and relaxes. “They are surrounded by some of the best fighters in the galaxy,” he says. “Iro has promised me they will be safe, and I’ve met him - he’s not going to let someone else make him a liar.” Garrett turns around. “But this is supposed to be our home, Angel. Ngawai and I, we want to raise our daughter here, on Narsai, not on Atea or Whiirr, Narsai. I’ve put up with a lot of shit and made a lot of things happen so that we would have a chance at feeling safe here, and a bunch of dickless assholes in Washington seem intent on taking that away from us.” He throws his shirt into the box of their normal clothes. “It’s…” He sighs. “It’s just hard to deal with.”

“I know, man.” Angel’s street clothes join Garrett’s in the box. “But it was fucked up before anything ever game through that fucking gate. It’ll be fucked up after we’re gone. People are stupid and petty and easily frightened.” He gives Garrett a grin. “It’s exactly like owning a home. Some kind of shit is always broken. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s big, but you deal with it and fix it because it’s yours.” He chuckles. “Besides, if major political change was easy, you spooks would have a way better track record.”
Garrett pauses. “That’s actually a really good analogy.” He pulls his shemagh up over his face. “And my track record is pretty fucking good.”
Angel grins. “That’s just because you have hard-working, salt of the earth Rangers to pull your ass out of the fire.” He looks over his outfit again, tugging fabric to make it a little more disheveled. “Speaking of which, shall we go give a two-bit warlord a sternly worded reminder about fucking with Garrett Davis?”
Garrett turned around, grenades in his pockets and a set of old Soviet webbing on his shoulders, and racked the action of one of the good AKs. “Sounds like good therapy to me.”
punkey 2017-05-20 14:47:09
Garrett and Angel crawl back to the edge of the roof top where they left their little spy sconce stuck to the wall earlier in the day. The little terrorist market has calmed down somewhat, but the stalls and crates of ammo, weapons and explosives are still out on display.
“What do you figure?” Garrett says. “Toss a smoke grenade down there, start a fire, push in from the other side?”

Angel nods. “Yep. Smoke them out - somewhat literally, push in, and make sure any suspicious crates with Chinese writing inexplicably get smashed.”
Garrett pulls out a grenade - frag, not smoke. “Be a shame if some of those old explosives went off.” He glares at the parking lot for a moment, then his gaze is drawn to the street, where a few Afghani citizens are still doing their business. His eyes freeze on a woman leading a young boy by the hand, then he sighs and puts away the frag grenade. “I'll get into position below and lob the grenade over the fence. Keep them from closing the gate, I'll push in and hold for you to join me.”

Angel chuckles. “Damned shame. Just can’t get reliable stuff anymore…” Angel nods at the plan - and the plan changing enough not to kill the woman and child, and heads out, positioning himself to keep anyone from getting near the gate without being gunned down, waiting for Garrett to start the show.
punkey 2017-05-20 16:22:07
"Pretty fucking weird, boss," Jimmy concurs. "If by weird you mean really First-damned suspicious."
"Samal, the quad coming in from the road has split up," the trin guarding the road approach calls over vox. "Please advise."
"Our two quads have split as well," Caleb replies. "They seem to be attempting to surround us."
"Ridge quad is picking up the pace," the trin Jimmy sent over the ridge in cloak calls back. "Whatever is happening, it's about to happen."

----

The loud booming of three .50 BMG machine guns opening up simultaneously is an excellent way to get everyone's attention, even when you're not sending armor-piercing incendiary rounds down-range. The thirty-odd irregulars holding the village get no such warning - they're just far enough away that the leading edge of the wave of lead hits well before the sound of the guns does.

(Suppression fire #1: 2d8, 1d12 = 6, 8 / Suppression fire #2: 2d8, 1d12 = 5, 11 / Suppression fire #3: 2d8, 1d12 = 7, 3 / Difficulty: 1d10 = 1)

The Browning M2HB machine gun is not a very complicated weapons system, and between Arketta and Arlana, they managed to get the Bashakra'i Turai contingent trained and certified on it in less then a day. Point at thing you want to hose with big bullets, press the butterfly trigger, and ride the recoil. It's a lesson the Turai seem to have taken well to heart, as the rounds blast through walls and tear off limbs. Even with the modest magnification that Turai helms provide, it's easy to tell that the fighters in the village didn't anticipate the damage that a wall of hot .50 BMG lead would do, and where more than a dozen armed men were milling around, there's now a lot of dead bodies and torn-off limbs.

"Suppressive fire started!" Arlana calls out over vox. "Flanking team, move in!"
skullandscythe 2017-05-20 21:46:24
punkey wrote:

"Pretty fucking weird, boss," Jimmy concurs. "If by weird you mean really First-damned suspicious."

"Oh good," Zaef quips. "Not just me then. Right, new orders:

"Jimmy, let the folks at home know we've been engaged, if you haven't already. Ask for reinforcements, don't expect any, business as usual.

"Road trin, spearbomb them while they're still bunched up and fall back to better cover, to the village if you need to. Jimmy and I are coming to reinforce.

"Ridge trin, you are ONLY authorized to engage the enemy if they engage us or they start setting up positions overlooking the village.

"Caleb, if the enemy hasn't spread out yet, spear bomb 'em. If they have, you'll need to split up as well, and move to intercept.

"Marta, change of plans. Since you're rounding the civilians up in the building, you'll need to stay with the security trin. You're the only one there who speaks Farsi, and they'll need to be reassured."
e of pi 2017-05-22 22:32:58
"We're moving in!" Luis says, then suits word to action, hustling in as his cloak blends with the dusty scrub around them, and the sounds of shooting and screams come from the other side of the village..