Yes, this in Battle Reports again.
No, the report itself isn't up yet, but should be this weekend - Real Life â„¢ can really be a drain, y'know?
Still, it wouldn't be one of my battle reports without first setting the scene. Interesting note; the scene involving El'ny'eldi adequately sums up what happened to the tau player who faced my opponent before me. I feel for him, I really do.
Lunging wildly down the dilapidated road way, the retreating skimmer trailed a tongue of fire that licked at battered armour-plate and threatened to engulf the lone remaining crewman as he desperately sought shelter. Control yoke wrenched to his chest, the pilot bullied his dying craft around, drawing a line of sparks from the port stabiliser as it gazed the ruined structure hurtling past him. He had but scant heartbeats left to live.
A finger, trained by years of experience and a will of iron, gently squeezed the firing stud on the controller. Upon the Heads-up display, a pulsing blue icon fluttered then solidified, denoting the release of yet another salvo of rail fire. Housed snugly within the barrel of the M3R, parallel tracks of magnetic coils pulsed rapidly, sending the payload on its way at near hypersonic velocities. As they found release from their containment, the solid slugs tore into the open air, ripping pressurised molecules apart with such power and friction that the air itself ignited. In the blink of an eye, the wispy trail of flame connected with the fleeing land speeder - which by then was already dead; it had simply to experience the results of the shots that had killed it. Volatile liquids mixed with the lapping flames of the already damaged craft, sparking suddenly, then detonating with a banshee-like howl of glass-shattering thunder, sending the now flaming wreckage barrel-rolling down the street, colliding with a ruined wall, then tumbling end over end, coming to rest by one of the few remaining unblemished light posts in the entire city.
"Nice shot, boss". Ui'var still managed to sound just a little irreverent, but nevertheless projected a very business-like aura, even over the static laden comm. channel. It wasn't the mindless prattle of an underling trying to carry favour; it was one professional respecting the skills of another.
No matter how good the shot had seemed, Shas'el Elsy'eir Tyen B'saal Shi was displeased, uncomfortable and uneasy. Every sense he had muttered hummed and sucked its teeth sceptically, knowing full well that something quite central and major was wrong.
This was the fourth time in as many decs that they had engaged their potential target; an elite strike force that had merrily ploughed its way through no less than five entire cadres without so much as an audible distress call. When first called to engage this threat, El'tyen's cadre had been a hodgepodge of half assembled units, with some running on little more than spittle, binding cord and the will of the Greater Good, while others had been unable to join the hunt due to their sorry state of repairs. As it was, the Fio tech staff had worked wonders - his cadre's second Crisis Team, Stalker, was now on station, providing his force with a much needed boost in firepower...
Now, however, this made him uneasy; since their first engagement, the foe had become especially cagey. They met little more than fast, light patrols each time they engaged; certainly nothing that had come thus far could have caused such wholesale slaughter.
An icon flashed on his HUD, showing an incoming comm. link coming through. Blinking at it, the channel crackled as Vre'wynn spoke.
"Shas'el, I've just been relayed a D-call from Kau'ui Ny'eldi - automated, and very brief".
A D-call? From El'ny'eldi? Not like him to push the panic button. El'tyen clenched his jaw thoughtfully. "Relayed?".
"Came via Echo La'rua; Vre'kosh is heading back after a deep recon sortie - picked it up off a picket drone".
El'tyen nodded to himself. "What's the bearing?"
The ground shook; masonary trembled in a slow, pulsing crescendo of raw kinetic power.
Listening to the sound, feeling it through his shattered bones, Shas'el Ny'eldi knew he was dead already; he could feel his life-blood draining from countless wounds that were now numbing the once-excruciating pain that had marked his demise. Given how widespread they were, he was surprised to be conscious at all.
Rain seeped in through a large chevron-like rend in the Xor'vesa's front armour, drizzling a morbid blanket of moisture over the remains of his battle suit, running into small rivulets that trickled endlessly to the paving below, diluting the blood and mechanical fluids that themselves dripped from the suit in watery puddles of black.
All around him, he knew the remains of his shas lay dead and dying. None of them had stood a chance; he knew that - not that it eased the pain of failure.
The tremors grew louder; the same perpetual rhythm, yet each shudder heavier than the last. In his narrow field of vision, the dying tau saw a crumbling wall collapse in on itself as it was literally shaken apart.
He hadn't much time left. But focusing on anything seemed to drain him further, closer to the brink.
For the Greater Good, then. The thought galvanised the last of his strength.
"Ve-v-vesa?" He stammered weakly.
++Warning; All Primary Systems at Zero; Registering Fatal Wounds to Pilot; Primary Locomotion at Zero; Secondary Locomotion Error; Limb Not Found; Leak in Fusion Pile dete-++
++Target Acquired; Warning! Proximity Alert! Recommend Evasive Action++
The air outside the cockpit suddenly seemed darker. The beaten and broken battlesuit itself seemed to shudder.
++Aligning...Detecting Lock-On Error; Lock-On at Eighty-Three percent; Collision Imminent!++
Shadow passed over El'ny'eldi; the air roared with mechanical thunder.
"Shas'kosh, did you get that?"
Rain drizzled continuously across the city, but in one broken down alley way, the drizzle was having a rather unexpected argument with Gravity. Probability would have frowned at the scene in bemusement, while Physics and Fate would most likely have shouted "Eureka", run off down the street without a towel and run smack into each other; the rain simply failed to hit the ground in several places, despite there apparently being absolutely nothing but sky above.
It was moments like this that Vre'kosh lived for.
A tepid crackle of lightning briefly illuminated the Stealth La'rua faster than the Stealth Field on their scout suits could handle, momentarily betraying the presence of three angular, bulky figures and four disc-like objects. Waiting for the camouflage gear on his suit to catch up, Vre'kosh raised his hand out as if to tap something in front of him.
Inside the suit, the action of his arm manipulated the HUD before his eyes, allowing him to call up a stream of data, including the brief message burst his team had just picked up. His eyes flicked to the location stamp on the message, noting where it had come from.
"Echo, ammo check".
Despite the lack of explanation, his team mates rattled off a manual check of their remaining ammunition, removing the cylindrical clip at the rear of their burst cannon, looking at the rounds contained within, before slotting the clip back in place. Vre'kosh performed a checked of his own; he had less than an eighth of his original ammo load - it had been a fruitful excursion. Tapping the cylinder twice against the head of his suit, he slapped the magazine back into place and locked it. "Barely point-one".
His team mates confirmed his fears. "Point-one, also".
"Point-zero-three". Ui'raus delivered the admission with a hint of satisfaction in his voice - most of the rounds that now failed to occupy the magazine had killed Gue'la infantry and armour today.
Blinking at the comms icon of the HUD, Vre'kosh opened a channel.
"Vesa, relay through KV-24 to Kau'ui Tyen B'saal Shi. Message reads as follows; Distress call from Kau'ui Ny'eldi; Echo requesting instructions".
++Relay open. Attach D-call transcript?++
"Confirmed; Attach and Send".
"This could be the break we've needed. Shas'vre," El'tyen growled. "Did you get a fix on location?"
"Copy that, Shas'el. Came through the Drone relay we installed - Kor'vesa-zero-seven was point of origin. Area seems pretty built up; we could hide a whole Manta in there and no-one would find it".
"Quite, Shas'vre - we entered the area just over a dec ago. If not for the drone relay, I doubt we'd be able to talk".
"Shall we proceed ahead of the Kau'ui, Shas'el? We're not far...."
El'tyen interrupted calmly yet firmly. "Vre'kosh, your telemetry says that your ammo is beyond critical levels. Can you confirm?"
There was an audible pause. "No it doesn...". Another pause. Realisation dawned."...oh, confirmed, Shas'el". There was no disguising the brief bemusement and final frustration in the voice.
"Sorry, Shas'vre, but the reset dodge was old when I was Shas'la. Besides, your la'rua's weapon telemetry does say â€˜full'... which is quite the novelty, in my experience". Grinning despite himself, El'tyen tensed his muscles to help relieve the twitch that he could feel there - they had been in the cockpit for some time, now.
"I'll remember that next time, Shas'el". The voice, while static laden, was undeniably subdued.
I'm sure you will. While bad practice, and despite the building ache in his cramped limbs, the fact that Echo had try to mask the true status of their ammo supply brought a contented smile to El'tyen's face for a moment. He had no doubt that given that their first ploy had failed, Echo would haul themselves back for resupply and be back to join the fight as soon as they could. No one leaves a D-call unanswered.
Arching his back to stretch the muscles there, El'tyen sent his instructions with the surety of one who would not be argued with. "Echo, head back to Pick-up Four-Niner - you should be able to get what you need from the Orca on station there".
"Copy, Shas'el; mo..##n#.#o###----".
The warbled channel cut out.
Only then did El'tyen notice that the aching in his limbs felt much more pronounced now. His muscles weren't cramping...
They were being shaken.
All around the Kau'ui, buildings visibly shook in a slow, thumping rhythm that threatened to start jarring teeth out; windows clattered from frames in knife-like shards, while loose masonary began pouring down from upper floors, crumbling chaotically as the timbre of the tremors grew deeper and firmer. Down the roadway, a ruin that had once been an office block reverberated so vigorously, El'tyen wondered it would remain standing much longer.
Suddenly, with an agility that belied its size, a gargantuan avatar of destruction, its head for all the world looking like the incarnation of some ancient terran myth lurched through the side of the towering ruin, sending broken bricks and scaffolding scattering around. Floors caved in and avalanched off of its heavily armoured surface, while a pall of dust billowed out from the base of the former structure. Flanked by two tracked vehicles, the bipedal war machine turned to face the Tau cadre.
El'tyen's flipped on his external speakers and bawled at his warriors. "Warhound! Break, Break, Break!"
Last edited by White Knight
on Nov 17 2006 03:09, edited 3 times in total.
Firestorm - Shoot lots and watch what drops...