Jade Imperium - Welcome Home

CrazyIvan 2007-06-15 15:44:07
Angel nods silently at the sergeant and raises his rifle, advancing silently forward. Each footstep is carefully placed, avoiding the shards of glass that litter the floor and keeping his rifle up. His face is set in a firm, vaguely predatory pose as he advances. As far as he's concerned, hunting these bastards down one by one is a perfectly legitimate use of Delta's time.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-15 16:58:03
Andy and Kitty come back down and drag the server cabinets back into place. It looks like the amber glyphs inform whoever's watching that there's not enough space for matter to get through.

Kitty stands by on the abort nodule in case Max and Andy shift anything. They have to move some of the dead to get leverage to lift the cabinets back up, and the portal engages just for a second. In that second, Max sees what Amo saw - black void pinpricked with thousands of stars. Against that lifeless background is a space vehicle, a starship straight out of the movies. It's shaped like a needle, if you could call a kilometer-long ship a needle. Whatever the Gateway is attached to on the other end, it's open to space, it's feeding the artifact power, and it's moving.

Kitty slaps the abort nodule. Max realizes the otherside Gate is being fed enough power to engage a new portal in a matter of seconds. Kitty has to hit the abort three more times while Max and Andy get the cabinets back in place, then the Gateway is blocked once more.

Max gets an idea of how one could set up a Gate to be secure and still allow travel. You'd need a system of authorization codes and control over at least two Gates. When you're ready to travel, you'd communicate through a powered and dialed Gate to the destination Gate, which would remain blocked until the other side got your authorization. They'd unblock their gate, you'd unblock yours, the portal would engage, and then you could send people to other Gates under your command.

As for a less squishy seal over the Pit Gate, there's the recently-cleared Exotic Materals wing. Max recalls some tests with experimental impact foam - it didn't work, it sprayed out and got hard and brittle rather than doing its intended purpose, but it could do the trick. It wouldn't take much. Barring that, there's always the sand from the testing ranges used as backstops. That'd take longer to bring down in the elevators but Max can't think of a reason why sand wouldn't work. Besides, sand can be cleared and they can unblock the Gate to get Greene back.

A more risky option would be to chance the (now powered) freight elevator. Go straight to the surface, bring a truck down from the motor pool, and drive the sucker right onto the Gate. Fill in the gaps with server cabinets and give the dead a rest.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-15 17:41:08
Taylor secures the female Turai, who is lolling in and out of consciousness, with two zip cuffs for the wrists and another pair for her ankles. A fourth pair tie her ankles to her wrists. Solidly hog-tied, she responds in one of her lucid moments, "<What I talk truth, you think lie. I talk lie, you think lie. I say nothing>."


On sublevel 4, Angel stalks through the flickering corridors. He ducks into the nearest doorway and into a chilly dark space. He's in the server farm now - rows upon rows of servers churn. Others are silent, their status lights out from radiation or battle damage. Full-blast air conditioning sends Angel's gooseflesh crawling.

There's no footfall on shell casings, no scritch of armored boot on concrete, no Army footwear, no attack drone's whine.

It's Semo who spots the movement on the comm room's security monitors. Semo sees just one xenohuman, stalking through the hallways near the upper-level elevators. His first thought is How is this guy still standing? The Turai's armor has been battered and picked apart by small arms to reveal fresh tan flesh in spots. The warrior wears a tattered red sash and carries trophies - a slung M16, a web belt with drop holster, dog tags tied around his beam rifle barrel. One of the alien frisbees is secured to the stalker's left hip.

Semo watches the xenohuman sweep his rifle around a doorway corner before entering. His guncam must still be working. He doesn't appear to have noticed Angel, but he's definitely sweeping the level. It would have been hard for anyone not to notice the noisy breach through the security booth or the demise of the attack drone.
fanchergw 2007-06-15 18:03:37
Watching the security monitors, movement catches Semo's attention. An Other moving on the upper level. Despite appearing to be on his last legs, he's coming after them.

Tapping Morris code into the comm, the sargeant sends the message to Angel.

[code:e0667ea02f]One, upper level, near elevators.[/code:e0667ea02f]

Angel sends a quick acknowledgement, then moves out. Gliding silently through the humming machinery, Angel seeks a vantage point from which to get good shot at the xenohuman.
Gatac 2007-06-15 18:16:43
<Maybe you should work on your trustworthiness, then.>
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-15 20:45:07
Angel sneaks through the server farm and quickly crosses the corridor to the checkpoint monitors. The Turai sweeps across the hallway just as Angel spins inside the room.

The xenohuman creeps into the server farm, checking behind him while his weapon sweeps corners and doorways in front of him. Angel has a shot for a moment but maddeningly holds fire - if he misses, he could destroy God knows how many systems.

All he has to do is wait for the warrior to exit the server room through the far door. Angel pulls back around the corner when the beam rifle sweeps the corridor, then snaps around, his SCAR-H raised.

Bang! The round blows through the Turai's throat, leaving a crimson Rorshach on the wall. The xenohuman snaps off a shot that goes wide, rupturing a few of the pipes running through the corridor. Steam sprays into the hallway. The Turai topples back into the server farm.

Angel can't confirm the kill. The man's out of sight and was carrying a frisbee... does he charge him now and finish the job or hang back, take up a new position, and see if the Turai moves?
fanchergw 2007-06-15 20:57:25
A brief glimpse reveals the Turai, but not enough for a shot. Cool as a popsicle, Angel waits for a better opportunity. He knows where the alien is, and where he's likely to go.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...


Blood sprays and the alien warrior goes down. Fatal? Not fatal? Angel cannot be certain.

Be careful.

Angel stalks noiselessly across the room, advancing on the xenohuman's position. Confirm the kill, but don't take chances.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-15 21:43:48
Angel creeps to the server farm door, careful to keep his back to something that'll stop those beam rifles. Sure enough, the bastard's gone. Only a smear of blood remains, and Angel's not about to follow the bait straight in. If the Turai isn't dead, he's healed by now.

On the balls of his feet, Angel moves to the far doorway looking for a flanking position- whap!

Concrete dusts into cinders around Angel. He drops into the server room on his chest. The sneaky bastard's got sight on either doorway from behind one of the server racks. Angel fires twice, rolling behind another cabinet as the Turai fires again. The cabinet blows open, throwing slagged equipment onto the floor. One of Angel's shots is true, thunking into the Turai's shoulder.

Both warriors spin around their respective server racks.

"Over here," the Turai taunts. His voice is ragged and tortured, barely healed from Angel's gunfire.
Dieter 2007-06-15 21:53:32
Resecuring the Gate for the time being, Max is focused on getting backup at Mesa Negras...ASAP.

"Captain. Since the freight elevator is now operational, I recommend a couple of us take it topside to see if we can radio someone with the Shortwave's we've got. Out of curiosity, how long would it be before DoD sends someone out here after the Mesa did not call in to the Pentagon?"
Gatac 2007-06-15 22:19:26
Hugh thinks about that for a second.

"Good question. I'm not in the loop on the strategic planning. My guess is they're already up there and have the base surrounded by now, but they're waiting for signs of life - or authorization - before they move in. Of course, if the blast doors at the top are fried, it might be that they can't get in.

As for that elevator...who knows what's on there. Immobilze it - if you can lock it down, even better. We'll sweep it when we have more men."
fanchergw 2007-06-15 22:21:54
Seeing the smear of blood and lack of body, Angel realizes that the alien was in sufficient condition to heal himself with the frisbee. That makes him dangerous.

Angel attempts to flank, but the Turai knows his business and is waiting for him. They trade shots twice before Angel gets in a decent hit. At least the xeno is too busy to heal himself right now.

Hearing the Turai's taunt, Angel tries to get a feel for where the voice is coming from. Then, he moves quickly for a better angle and fires.

Meanwhile, Semo is too busy watching the doors and monitors, including Angel's fight, to think of sending out a message...
Dieter 2007-06-15 22:30:30
Calling the elevator down is only going to help the situation, so Max does so.

"We should be ready for when the elevator doors open. Everyone take cover and be ready for anything!" orders Max, activating the freight elevator and bringing it to the Gate Room level.
e of pi 2007-06-15 22:41:35
Still a bit angry at himself for not seeing through the ruse, and perfectly understanding the captain's ire, Luis mutters something unintelligible, angry, and generally self-directed as he goes to work on Mellish with the Frisbee and his medkit.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-15 22:41:56
The freight elevator's berth on sublevel 8 starts with massive blast doors that lead to a 150 foot long reinforced tunnel. This tunnel also culminates in identical blast doors, like an airlock. The Pit lies within those blast doors. A secondary security booth overlooks the tunnel, accessible from sublevel 7, as well as remotely visible by camera from sublevel 4. The tunnel cameras are out, however.

Both pairs of blast doors cannot be open at the same time. Someone will have to go into the tunnel and clear the elevator once it comes down, shutting the blast doors to the Pit behind them.

Luis stabilizes Mellish easily enough, but the operator's had a run of bad wounds as of late. He's not fully healed, but he is conscious and able to fight. She-Ra's grisly wound heals up as well.
CrazyIvan 2007-06-16 00:45:13
"You wanna play games?"

Angel drops into a low, fast moving crouch, his rifle held at ready, while he repositions himself.

Done this dance a thousand times...and this guy definitely deserves what's coming
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-16 15:50:37
Angel moves, and the Turai darts for better cover. They circle each other, aisle to aisle, moving before either can get a shot. The Turai tries to close, Angel tries to flank.

Angel peeks around one of the cabinets. Still no shot, but at least he's covered. Suddenly the Turai's weapon cranes around the xenohuman's own position. Angel whips back behind cover, crouching low. The Turai fires into and through the cabinet! Angel's knocked flat for a second as the server explodes painfully across his back, then he scrambles for new cover. He fires again, a double-tap that punctures the Turai's own cabinet but with little discernable effect.

(4 Shock)

This time Angel rattles the cages, so to speak, pretending to thrash about in pain, then stalks past his hiding spot towards the Turai's right. The alien warrior's not rushing in headlong, but he sure as hell is moving up to confirm a possible kill. Angel gets a split-second for a side shot. The Turai sees him too and spins to fire, but Angel's a hair faster. His SCAR-H speaks twice. The first shot hammers the xenohuman's helmet, the second spears through the faceless visor. The Turai convulses and drops to the floor where he continues his finger-twitching death throes. They cease, and the server farm is quiet once again.
CrazyIvan 2007-06-17 23:36:14
Angel snarls in pain, his accumulated series of wounds beginning to take their toll, and sends two more into the Turai to finish him off and make sure this time that he's down.
fanchergw 2007-06-18 17:48:30
"Good job, soldier!" Semo sends to Angel upon seeing that he's put down the Turai.

Turning back to the bank of monitors and other equipment, Semo notes what looks to be an outside communication setup. Wondering if it still works, the Samoan picks up the reciever puts out a call. "Mesa Negras to command. Staff Sargeant Semo Putupu of Delta Force here. Do you read me?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-06-18 19:12:55
*Papa Zulu here, we copy Mesas Negras. Glad to hear you're back online. Relay to Captain Salazar; request status report, his engineers missed their check-in.*

Angel caps the Turai. His rounds impact the warrior with no more response than a side of beef, spattering crimson on the server room floor.
fanchergw 2007-06-18 19:38:59
"No can do, Papa Zulu. Invading hostiles appear to have eliminated all base personnel. Returning expeditionary force only known survivors on base. Captain Hugh Verrill commands. Reinforcements requested to prevent escape of hostiles. Hostiles are heavily armed and armored."