The Black Forge, a collection of misfits all, attempts to survive in a hostile universe, by trading, fighting, and exploring while running low on spare parts, food, and keeping one step a head of the bank.
Gateway, Port of Call
After arriving in system, Dav contacted Charlie. "Thanks for the lift." The port-of-call station had several dozen lengthy piers jutting out from the main hub, a thickened disk with several structures covering the top, resting upon a large asteroid. To add to the backdrop, a small orange star peeked out from behind a cloud of asteroids seeming to surround the remainder of the system, a protective shell around the soft interior.
"No Problem, you need a 'nother you just holler!" Came the response from the Fortunate Son.
"Go head and let us out here. We hope you wouldn't get mixed up in anything unpleasant." Dav said. "Black Forge, prepare for disembarkment. Secure all surfaces and materials. It might be a little bumpy."
The freighter would start packing itself back up, a small flurry of drones floating about as the various baffles and supports holding in the dropships were put away, "Now I don't mind unpleasant, just remember that costs extra!"
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, Uso.]]
Aero Frame hangar
Scott was over on the Icarus closing up an engine panel on the back up Pou nan Yie aero frame. It's internal space was geared for personnel transport and the external spaces were loaded with rocket pods.
Progress continued on refurbishing the Icarus, especially the engines. With a one gee burn Scott could take one engine off line at a time for repair. The three-dozen people with Scott were getting a crash course in how to fix crap with nothing while on the move. So far, it had worked out. After getting Joshua's aero frame and Vlad’s fighter ready for launch, the backup was coming along. It probably wouldn't have the thrust to break atmosphere, but then he wasn't sure the Icarus would either until he finished overhauling the number three and number four engines.
Orange's Crushah was also progressing, though Scott would need a new fusion engine to power the monstrosity. Also was a shortage of armor plates. Many of the Black Forge mecha had holes patched with simple steel plates, not the proper tungsten and ceramic composite. Hopefully the pilots had learned from their mistakes and didn't charge in.
The Aero frame hangar was a generic mess. The electromagnetic launch rails were being replaced with new steel tracks. a pair of humanoids were using an arc welder and overhead rail lift system to position the new pieces of dense metals, sparks flying. a functional and battle-ready gunship sat in bay three, the closest to the catapult, paired with an ancient style turbofan broad winged aircraft in bay four. parts were still piled around the chassis of a scratch-built gunship sitting in bay one. Various parts, from basic electronics and simple ceramic armor plates, to a small fusion plant and rocket pods with racks of missiles. the other three bays held parts for the Aero frames, more missiles and rockets, ammunition for autocannons and Gatling cannons, and a few replacement catapult parts for the refurbishments of the hangar. The smell of oils, burnt metal, ozone, and sweat was oppressive. At the center of the vortex of chaos was Scott. Clad in mechanic's overalls, he had tools spilling out of pockets and tool belts. standing beside the newest project, Scott was oblivious with his earbuds in, both to preserve his hearing and set a work pace.
Scott was tuning a plasma exhaust port, listening to ancient country music, a depressing melody about some vehicle and female, when a new person from the new recruits approached.
She was a pale skinned young human woman appearing to be in her early twenties, with long, golden blonde hair that was currently down, swaying behind her as she walked across the hanger. Her sky-blue eyes scanned the deck, spotting the various parts and other obstacles in her path, and she stepped around them with a light skip to her step. She seemed hesitant to touch the assorted bits and supplies, perhaps due to her current attire. It was a far cry from the sturdy overalls worn by Scott and the maintenance crew scattered around the hanger, a blue dress uniform with white highlights and gold finery woven into it. Any rank insignia or other identifying marks that the uniform might have once borne were missing, leaving no clue as to what polity it might have represented to someone who had not seen the design before. Despite that alteration, the uniform itself was obviously of fine quality, albeit a bit worn. The strangely formal image was completed by the matching cutlass at her side, both its hilt and scabbard decorated with gold filigree.
The woman stepped up behind Scott, maintaining a safe distance as she tried to avoid getting too close to the stream of sparks coming off the nearby catapult as it was being worked on. Clearing her throat, she called out to the engineer, her voice ringing out clearly as she tried to be heard over the sound of the arc welder. "Excuse me?" she asked, her words tinged with the faintest hint of an accent.
Scott, unaware of the new person behind him, just kept nodding as he worked, his music loud in his ears.
After a few moments with absolutely no reply, the woman let out an annoyed huff. Working her way closer to the man, continuing to step around or over any loose parts in her way, she crept up behind the oblivious engineer. As she neared, she began to reach out for his shoulder, but hesitated at the sight of the grease and oil stains on his overalls. Instead, she cupped her hands around her mouth and tried again, much louder this time. "Excuse me?! Mister...Reginald, was it?!"
Scott saw some movement to his left and glanced to his side. Standing there was some sort of woman soldier in a dress uniform. He yelled back, "I can't hear you. Let’s go somewhere else."
Scott stopped his music and removed the earbuds. the soft foam buds plumped in his hand, now the size of a marshmallow. Scott gestured to the woman to follow as he moved towards a small auxiliary lift beside the main lift. Scott began to make small talk in the lift, "You clean up real nice in that uniform. Where's it from?"
The blonde smiled at the compliment. "The Bundesdeutsche Kaiserreich, my home. Though I am no longer sworn to the Kaiser's navy, the uniform was commissioned by my family, so I was permitted to keep it upon my..." she frowned briefly, "...exit, from the service."
She shook her head, quickly moving on from the topic. "But where are my manners?" Her face lit up with another smile, and she sketched a slight bow, inclining her head forward with one arm extended slightly to her side and her other hand resting just below her chest. "I am Marina Ilse Reinhild von Steube, now an Aero frame Pilot of the Black Forge, at your service. A pleasure to meet you."
Scott said, "Aww shucks, sweetie. You remind me of my daughter, all formal like. But as for the pilot business, I have seen your scores and you will be on bus duty, at least until the captain can meet you in person. I'm sure you will do fine. I will have your frame ready for when we attack. Let’s get your paperwork settled and then you can help me get the Hummingbird set up."
Daedalus captain's office.
Like most of the offices in the new dropships, this one had a tack welded plate of some metal onto a metal post of some sort. Folding chairs were the standard. the thin metal ones that could be folded up and stowed. Dav's back ached, sitting in these. atop his "desk" sat a portable computer also tack welded into place. the fear wasn't theft, but of the regular vibrations emanating from the engines. they clearly need an overhaul. With Scott over on the Icarus, he had to make do with the current situation. just to get some rest, he slept in the cockpit of his mecha, Dark Horse. All the other beds, pallets, blankets, and pillows had been distributed amongst the crew. This was important for moral, as is showed he was not above the lowest of the crew. He lived as they lived. Ate what they ate.
As he had so many new recruits, it had taken a little bit of time to figure out who had any hidden talents, skills, to put to good use. After a week of simulations in several of the mecha, bridge consoles, and even written exams, Dav had his people sorted. The last 67 interviews were mainly assigning crew to various departments on this ship such as mecha techs, crew techs, and even a few marines who had previous military experience. What he was interviewing for now was a Frame pilot. With Scott busy with chief engineer duties, and his very real lack of combat skills, he needed a combat ready pilot to drive the Catspaw. He hoped this candidate would accept. He had shown more skill than the rest of the recruits, but Dav needed to speak with him to find out more about his personality.
The young mercenary approached without much fanfare, his eyes moving around to take a better look at the place, not that he knew if he'd be accepted or not. Battle records and reputation were important for places like this, but he didn’t have much of either just yet.
His eyes finally landed on the interviewing officer, triggering what would be a reflex by military standards as Makre saluted at Dav before reverting to a relaxed stance.
"Captain SteinBar." Makre simply exclaimed, "I am grateful you have taken me in consideration." The man, no doubt, kept thinking of the... troublesome previous run with a mercenary group as he talked.
Dav returned the salute, indicating he knew more about military matters than his dress would indicate. Dav said, "Please, take a seat. I have been reviewing you file and scores, Mr. Eomes. But scores on tests and simulations don't tell all a man's story. I would like to know before I put you in the cockpit of one of our battle frames, why did you enlist with us on Atraxis?"
"Effectiveness, sir. And success in operations." The young man replied without hesitation, taking a seat as he did. "I joined the Alliance Army in hopes of making a difference against injustice and wrongdoing. But it became rather clear that red-tape... among other things, made it hard for the army to take action. And I left for mercenary work... It's been a mixed experience for the past two years."
Dav nodded as he tapped on a data pad. Dav then asked another question, "We may have to fight injustice in the Alliance as well. How would you feel about killing any of your former comrades?"
"I would hope that doesn't happen, but I understand the possibilities... hmm... I will fight them if it means helping more people that way." The young man replied after a moment of deliberation, with no uncertainty about what that meant in his eyes. "I am not deluded, I know that no empire or faction is flawless."
Dav smiled at that response, the response he was waiting for. "One more question before I extend an offer to pilot for us. Do you have any questions for me?" Dav said.
"I have one... I kind of have a notion about it. But I would like to know how you procure equipment and weapons. I am under the impression that 'you' have no... sponsors."
"Unlike the ancient vigilante, Bucey Vein, we aren't mega gazillionaires. All I was given when I started this operation was a contact, a small chest of Werners, and a goal. Everything else we take from the dead. If we take a contract through M.E.C.H.A. we stipulate we get all salvage. Through victory do we get stronger. Through victory do we earn favor." Dav said, a wildness in his eyes.
"That favor is used to add new talent," Dav said, staring at the young pilot in front of himself. "We are building a reputation for victory." Dav stood and extended his right hand, "welcome aboard, Mr. Eomes."
"And I will do everything in my hands to help." Makre heaved a quick sigh just before reciprocating the handshake, "By the way... the name is Arlo-Eomes. It's... a weird surname I will admit."
Once both the Icarus and the Daedalus were free and clear of the Fortunate Son, they began a one-gravity burn towards the innermost planet, Kotoku I.
While still tied into the local sensor net, Dav got the image of a pair of Taienese Frigates, minus their mecha launches, orbiting the Fourth planet in the system.
Dav was unphased, as he received a one-word response "Vengeance" from his enigmatic contact two nights prior via subspace message.
With a week of travel to the inhabited planet, he would watch the frigates. Now, on to business. Dav commanded the ship AI, "Charlotte, open a link to the Duke."
Within a few minutes, a stately elf's face appeared.
"Greetings, my lord" Dav began. "We have brought the farming equipment you ordered."
The Duke blinked twice, then he smiled. Duke Glynvalur said, "Have you now? Please land and disembark the equipment at the spaceport. My farmers will want to inspect the shipment. I won’t pay for a shipment sight unseen."
Dav smiled back. "How many farmers can I expect, Lord Duke?"
Glynvalur's smile dropped, a thin line compressing his lips. He said, "Twenty farmers will likely meet you. The rest should be in the fields preparing the ground. Have a safe landing. I look forward to meeting you face to face, merchant."
The screen cut to black as Charlotte intoned, "Transmission ended, Captain."
Dav responded, "We will have a pilot briefing in the morning once we clear the asteroid field. Notify the pilots and department chiefs."
Charlotte confirmed, "Aye Aye, Captain."
After Dav closed his console, he passed bridge command to another Black Forge member.
This one was a small fox modified anthro person."You have the con, Ms. Yates."
"Aye Aye, Captain." She responded. Chuan smoothly slid in the chair barely vacated by Dav as he stepped off the bridge and made his way towards the conference room to prepare for the morning.
Aiyana was looking over her new mecha for the moment, taking it all in as it was much different than what she had driven previously. Everything looked good and seemed good and now it was a waiting game for them to unload- should be simple enough thing and so Aiyana was pretty relaxed that nothing really was going to happen. With that comfort, she would pull out another manual to read. It still looked like gibberish to her for the most part but with Lilly's help she was starting to understand things a bit more. A soft hum would come from her as the elf would finally start heading towards the conference room with her nose in a book- she would be damned if she didn't figure things out and she didn't want to be late to the meeting.
Xir spent the travels to the new system much like the week before departing. Running security and helping to continue working on at least the dropship it was assigned too. Beast fully recovered along the travel too. Unfortunately, the ammo sack was beyond healing and Xir knew it needed at least a week to try and grow a new one on the new planet where enough water was. When we exited the humanoid’s methods of FTL travel Xir prepared itself for the meeting it knew that Xir would be called too.
On a side note during the trip Xir made it a point to spend time in the Commons room talking with the crew taking note to spend some time with Lyon every evening to do a form of counseling with him in private. The offer was also extended to Alex. Sense Alex noticeably was upset during the last meeting.
Alex had turned down the offer. He was hesitant to interact with aliens quite as, well, alien as Xir was. He usually could get along well enough with more humanoid races, but despite his time outside of Reservoir he still couldn't get over some things.
While passively accepting the consultation, Lyon never did shake the stomach-turning feeling on the way to the rock that was Kotoku, and it wasn't just the one-g burn.
During the trip, Muk actually spent a few hours in his cockpit getting used to using his new hand. One of the technicians set up a computer for him to run simulations. He had been practicing in the mech bay with his boys using the hand as a weapon as well. By the time they arrived, he could use it better than the pincer he had before. It still wasn’t working as smooth as using his flesh hand. Any progress was a good thing with Muk, though.
Lily looked up from the operating manual she was studying for the second time as the ship exited its jump, and decided it was a good excuse to take a break. She stood up and stretched her back as she let the blood flow recover from sitting at her desk. She put her sash on, checked her markings in the mirror and fixed her hair before walking happily towards the conference room, humming happily.
During the trip Steven began to work on the Daedalus, using the items on hand he used some of the steel and ceramic materials to put armor and build the simple blueprint structure that was given to Steven to rebuild the dropship. While uploading the base software and wielding the pieces onto the Daedalus, Steven thought about new processes for his mecha to increase output.
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Uso, Gir, Armacalic, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Daedalus conference room
Dav arrived before the rest. He took the head of the table, currently a sheet of Battle Frame Armor welded to a pair of thick metal posts in the center of the room. In his hands were a dozen data pads. Lacking an assistant, Dav placed a pad in front of a dozen folding chairs around the misaligned table.
Aiyana walked into the room-before Muk thankfully- and give a warm pleasant smile to everyone as she found a spot and took a seat in front of a data pad. Picking it up for a moment before placing it down, her hands folding in front of her as she waited for others and while she did, Aiyana would just go on to rebraid her long hair as she liked keeping her hands busy.
Alex was making his way to the conference room as well. The trip had been interesting for him. He wasn't used to living around and interacting with quite this many non-humans all at once, so he had spent most of his time trying to avoid them. A lot of his time had been spent around the hangar, examining his mech. It was in working order again, and there was little he had felt like changing over the duration on the trip. As he entered the conference room, he sat down in a chair near the entrance.
Muk’s boys dragged him into the conference room lying flat on a makeshift sled. It took some squeezing, but they managed to get him in the room. He couldn’t move around much in the cramped room, and he had to recline slightly to see anything. Anyone entering the room after him would have to crawl over him to get in.
Xir positioned itself in the doorway to the conference room sense there was no way everyone would fit, especially with Muk in there in its big sled. Xir thought that this god thing just might be going to his head a little too much. Leaning in the doorway and Reaching in with a tentacle, Xir picked up a pad and began to look over it.
As Lily approached the wall of Muk in the door to the conference room, she tried pulling on his ear to get his attention.
"Excuse me, Muk? Could you please move? I'd like to come in if that's alright." She said brightly.
The big Atraxian stirred when Lily said his name, but he didn’t awaken or move out of the way. Even if he wanted to move, the small corridors and the cramped conference room left him no room to do so.
After not hearing a response, Lily sighed, carefully she took off her shoes revealing porcelain white little feet, and carefully tread over the massive alien. Tight walking along his outstretched arm, over his shoulder, her ankle length skirt brushed his face as she stepped on top of him. She took a moment to squat down on her ankles upon his chest and gently pat his face in sympathy before walking over the rest of him, stepping off, and putting her shoes meekly back on. She put herself at a place at the table, sitting cheerily waiting for Dav to start them all off.
Muk reached up to swat at the fabric tickling his nose. Lily’s feet on his body woke him up the rest of the way. He looked up at Lily in time to see her squat and pat him on the face. She smelled good to him, forcing him to resist the urge to literally make a meal out of her.
When she had passed him, he sat up and looked around the room. “Muk don’t fit up here, boss. Muk thinks dis not a good place ta meet.” He said to Dav.
Dav silently agreed as he nodded. He was sweating worse than in his frame cockpit during a pitched battle with half his cooling system disabled.
Lyon had already settled down in a corner of the room, looking at his data pad, specifically, the armaments of his mech. "It's not enough." He muttered to himself. A couple of makeshift shields and some smoke grenades were definitely not going to help him. This is it. He's going to get himself killed.
Orange flowed up to the door of the meeting which was surrounded by all the crew. Orange found a small crack behind Muk flowing through to get in the room. Getting to one of the chairs Orange took the shape of a small Atraxian (while still looking like slime) and sat down looking at a pad, while maintaining its body temperature colder than normal to accommodate for the heat in the room.
Steven arrived at the meeting with black spots and soot all over his body, just repair the last little bit on the mecha and internal structure of the mech in the bay and trying to help bring the Daedalus to full operational status. Steven arrived with Muk in the doorway, using his small frame, he slid around Muk, slightly squishing Steven's body but managing to get to the other side with some ragged breathing.
"That was fast." The young mercenary mused quietly as he followed directions mentally, to the conference room, only to stop as soon as he laid eyes on the crowd present at the place. Only a circus would have such a mishmashed group of body shapes and alien features among humans. With a quick reminder not to make problems for himself or others Makre finally took forward again, avoiding large bodily parts as he squeezed his way past the door and into the room.
Once everyone was gathered, the room was quite crowded. Only Scott and the aero frame pilots were absent in person. Scott, Vlad, Joshua, and Marina were assigned to the Icarus, readying the Aerospace craft. Those on the Icarus were attending via remote laser encrypted channel. With Muk and Xir in the back near the door and more than a dozen others crammed into this room, the heat was nearly unbearable. The barely functioning air scrubbers to the life support system struggled to clear the spent carbon dioxide. Sweat poured down Dav's side, but not only from the heat.
Dav stood and began, "We are going up against the Imperial Tai Pan Army." The silence was deafening, with only the breathing of over a dozen souls. Dav was worried as well. Even second line auxiliary units were mounting formidable firepower.
"The Imperial Tai Pan Army? That's funny...The Fish and Potato Company were sent to Kiwomian to protect some Tai Pan citizens, or was it Alliance citizens? Eh, either way. Anyhow, I think we'll be fine. I hope." Vlad noted.
Xir brought its tentacles to its head, "what kind of fire power are we talking about? Obviously military grade but every civilization has a slightly different progression of producing death.". Xir listening intently for the response.
"It's likely some kind of direct-energy weapon, or plasma, unless you're talking about the
Gartagen Union. They got some fine railguns." Vlad responds.
The moment the Tai Pan army was mentioned, her face would pale a little. She was going to be going against her own people-in a sense at least. Aiyana moved her hand to her mouth as she bit her thumb nail, no longer smiling as she had been over the whole Lilly and Muk situation. It would take her a moment to even find her voice after that, " How many? Did they give a number?" Aiyana asked Dav, her fingers intertwined with each other now as she leaned back in her chair. Even though the elf was not born on Liang Aiyana did remember her mother’s teachings on Tai Pan and having never gone against them had the female uneasy.
"That's what I've been saying, the Taienese wouldn't have come a hundred light-years here without making something happen." Lyon stuttered. "Why did the Duke choose us to help defend whatever he's trying to defend? Some of us have only been in combat once."
Steven whistles, and says "well at least we gain some attention over the last little bit of
Dav gave the crowd a few minutes to vent their frustrations and voice their concerns.
Xir says "as long as we don't go in completely blind, I'm sure we can handle it.". Xir being the eternal optimist demonstrated a level of confidence in its stance and even glowed a little in what could be a physical response to excitement. Xir continues "If we are releasing this populace from a horrible lordship of these people, whoever they are, then I say it's worth the risk.". Obviously Xir does have a little ignorance on who the Tia Pan are in the scheme of the Dynamics of this section of the universe.
Alex drummed his fingers for a moment or two. "We got called up to defend Kotoku, not drive someone out. It joined the Solarity of Kowloon a couple of years ago, so in theory Kowloon's knights and military should be helping to defend Kotoku, but they're not."
He paused for a moment. "Either the lives and resources here aren't important enough for Kowloon to send their troops, or something's happened that we don't know about. Regardless of that, Kotoku isn't exactly large enough to raise an army of its own, so we're probably all they've got."
Steven listening to the conversation, Steven chimes in, "If we can get some information on the Taienese and there mecha, we can find a weakness in their mecha.”
Muk knew enough about the Taienese to be a little concerned about the upcoming mission. Mostly he was excited about the prospect of facing them, though. His boys had departed immediately after dropping him off. They weren’t interested in listening to the humans talk, and Muk didn’t want them getting ideas anyway.
As nothing specific had been discussed yet, Muk didn’t have any questions. He just wanted Dav to get on with it so he could go back to watching isekai anime.
"If I may, do we know what the battlefield will be like? Do we have the opportunity to choose and change the areas of engagement? Do we have time to perform more thorough reconnaissance of the area?" Makre exclaimed with curiosity his mind already running with the possibilities ahead depending on the information that was fed back to them.
"Or any kind of intel on the expected enemy forces? Knowing what division or battlegroup is present can give us an insight on who the commanders are, their preferred tactics and the most likely frontline and support gear we're bound to face."
Scott gathered Vlad, Joshua, and Marina in his office on the Icarus and linked up from his station to the conference room of the Daedalus. Several worn, but comfortable, chairs sat in front of a larger viewscreen showing the crowded and hot conference room. Scott flopped down on the front and center one, with a few chairs to each side of him. He cracked open a cold beer and took a long drink, appreciating not having to be present in person for this meeting. Within the virtual conference, Vlad sits himself down on a chair. "So, what's happening?" Scott replied as he handed Vlad a cold beer, "Nothin yet. Just the crowd asking questions and getting the piss an vineg'r out of their systems. Dav'll tell them what they need to know, or at least as much as he knows. Intelligence will likely be scarce until the fur flies. After you, Joshua, and Marina get settled I will turn on the mic on our end."
Vlad happily grabs the beer and then chugs the whole thing in a few gulps. "Thanks." Vlad places the empty bottle on the table. "Give me as much info as you can. I'll fill in the rest of it with bombs." jokingly says Vlad.
Unclipping the sheathed cutlass from her belt, Marina rested it against one of the vacant chairs, before taking a seat. "And I suppose I will be delivering our forces to deal with whatever is left," she said with a small smile. "Not quite as exciting a task, I fear, but an important one."
Joshua with a smiling hoping this wasn’t going to take incredibly long. He asked," everyone was doing today and when are we starting this party?" As Joshua turns his head to face Scott.
Scott turned the mic on with a hand controller, handing out beers to Vlad, Marina, and Joshua. The wall monitors also split its image in half, ready to receive information from the briefing.
After the crowd calmed, Dav continued, "Never fear, we have some help. Black Forge command has authorized support. On the day we drop on Kotoku one, the strike cruiser, Spire of Vengeance, will engage and likely destroy the two frigates orbiting Kotoku four. That leaves the mecha and the launches. Thanks to our friend, the Duke, we know how many mecha are present at the spaceport. Twenty are likely positioned at or around the spaceport. After that, it will be a bit of guess work. Up to twenty-five more are likely either on patrol or stored on the launch if they are at full strength. Each frigate only carries one launch with a maximum compliment of forty-five mecha. Another assumption is that there will only be one launch on Kotoku one. The Taienese frigates are defending Kotoku four, not one. It stands to reason they are more interested in that planet than the one we are liberating."
Dav activated each pad with a touch, revealing a M.E.C.H.A. contract. Dav said, "Our contract from the Duke stipulates liberation of the colony and its defense for one month. In exchange we will get both dropships refurbished at Gateway as well as other goods and services. Any payment left due is on deposit at MECHA. As to salvage, we keep half of the mecha of our choice, not all. The Duke was very specific on this point. He feels the greater part of Kowloon cares little for his colony and their response to the Tai Pan aggression as evidence of a need to raise a free company here. This engagement will provide that basis. As to any naval salvage, Spire of Vengeance will likely keep any frigate parts and all salvage they recover from Kotoku four. We might get a naval weapon off one of the frigates, but no promises. I’m told the Black Minister himself is in system and is watching. He is very interested in our progress thus far."
Dav touched his pad again, updating the pads with a rough schematic of the spaceport and an oversized representation of the enemy launch. He continued, "The operation has two parts. The first is the neutralization of the launch and its reserves. Our aero frame element will bomb the launch and then deliver our marine elements to secure the remainder of the launch and any mecha, supplies, and enemy combatants on board. Ms. Yates will have tactical control. Vlad will strike the launch as our strike fighter then move to support and provide air patrol just in case some of the fighters from the frigate were stationed at or around the space port. Joshua will fly close air support and protect the marines from any ground threats in the area. Marina will deliver the marine element then support Joshua. Mr. Gorman and Mr. Jamison will have tactical control of their specific marine elements and will board and capture the launch. The key here is to destroy or disable the launch and its reserves, then seize any valuables and salvage."
Dav touched his pad a third time, updating the pads again. This time there was caricatures of the mecha and a short graphical GIF laying out the second part of the operation. Dav said, "The second part of this operation involves our ground elements. The Icarus will settle down at our fallback position and the Daedalus will operate at the spaceport. The first element of our ground forces will be the Puma mecha and Beast. They have the maneuverability to get clear of the Daedalus and engage the enemy while the Daedalus hovers before landing. I have every confidence in the piloting abilities of Ms. Yates to hold the Daedalus steady for offload under fire. The distraction of the first element will allow the Daedalus to land and let the second element, the Lions, Tigers, and Crushahs off load safely and support where necessary. I will keep operational control of the ground elements and Ms. Yates will control The Daedalus. She has my authorization to lift off and relocate out of the colony if necessary, to preserve our ride off this rock if things go south. Once we have secured the spaceport and eliminated or neutralized the reserves, we will organize a defense of the spaceport then hunt down any remaining combatants. We will accept surrender and turn over any officers to the local authorities for prosecution and summary justice after we question them for intelligence as able."
Dav touched his pad for a final time, bringing up a larger topographical map. Dav continued, "If this operation goes tits up, we are to rendezvous with the Icarus at point delta five. Recover what you can but obey the retreat order if it comes. If I am disabled or killed, Ms. Yates will assume command. If she is killed or disabled, Xir will assume command. If all of us are disabled or killed, assume you are on your own and act accordingly. At that point I strongly recommend you withdraw. Simulation training begins in two hours. See your operational controllers for any questions you may have. Dismissed and good luck."
"Something's wrong, that's too few of them. Taipan can afford to throw more than this at Kotoku..." Alex muttered as he made his way to the simulators. He got the feeling that he would need all the practice he could get.
Aiyana was listening quietly now, going between looking at the data pad to Dav as he spoke and explained how things were going to run and where she was going to be dropped. The elf didn't have much to say as she didn't have too many opinions on it: The Tai Pan were hurting and terrorizing innocent people, and someone had to help and protect them so she would do it- even if they were her own kin. "Alright, well, I’ll see you guys in the Sim." she said with a small smile as she got up and wiggled and squirmed her way out of the cozy meeting room to mentally prepare herself for the upcoming
Lyon sighed and threw his hands up. "Yep, let's kill those si bi before they can kill us. I'm going to go with Aiyana to get some maneuvering practice in."
Orange stepped up from the chair, morphing back into its blob form begun leaving the room thinking of all the new life forms here and that which it was going to meet on the planet " Oh what joyous fun".
The plan didn’t make Muk very happy. He knew that his Crushah wasn’t fast enough to keep up with Xir’s Beast and the Pumas, though. It was even more annoying that Dav put a little Taienese fox and some weird alien thing ahead of him in the chain of command. He was especially interested to hear the Black Minister was watching. Until now he had thought Dav was in charge of this warband.
Now he realized Dav wasn’t a Warboss, just a Chief of this Black Minister guy. Still, if he could defeat Dav he would be one step closer to being the Warboss of Warbosses. After this mission he would be ready. For now, he would follow orders to the letter.
“Aye, boss. We’ll kick dose pricks right in the cobblers!” Muk roared excitedly.
Muk’s boys came in a few minutes after Dav was done and dragged Muk back to the mech bay where he was living at the moment. He spent the next few hours having dinner and watching “Is it Ethical to Date a Lady you Met in a Labyrinth?” with his boys.
Joshua sitting there with a small smile and sat there minute longer try to think what he should do to optimize his gunship ship to succeed in their upcoming mission. After Joshua is done thinking he head out after everyone else and head back to the gunship to makes minor adjustments.
Lily sat until the crowded room was cleared out a little, and the wall of Muk was removed before gathering her skirts and standing, a small bow to Dav before she turned on her heel and left to go back to her quarters and get her work suit on.
"Simulation training? Fancy." Vlad jumps up from his seat. "If you need me, I'll be at my jet. I still have to unjam my VTOL systems." Vlad walks out of the room, heading towards his AU-3.
After being dismissed by Dav, Steven left to get some food and continue working on the mecha. That would put him in a better mood, after hearing about the enemy they will be facing, Steven might just need it.
Marina grinned, rising to her feet. She sat the beer Scott had given her down, still unopened, and returned her cutlass to its place on her belt. "Liberating a world in need? I must say, this is already a far more thrilling and worthwhile endeavor than anything the Interstellare Marine had to offer!"
She offered a jaunty salute and a farewell to the others in the room, before turning and walking out, humming a tune as she went.
The atmosphere wasn't something that Makre was thrilled about, rather than a cohesive military unit, the group seemed, generally speaking, out in their own world. Certainly, he hadn't had the time to talk to the others before the mission, but the place seemed a little far from the well-oiled machine he was accustomed to. "Fortune will be with us." He exclaimed to the others without thinking much about it. It was only polite and logical to hope for everyone in the combat group to make it back. Without wasting any more time, he headed out too, tense but psyched for the trial ahead.
After everyone left Xir entered the room to talk to the Captain. "Captain, I'd keep an eye on Muk if I were you. Over the last couple weeks, I've seen him watching you more. And he has a look in his eye like he is waiting for a fight. More than usual. I don't see him doing anything before this mission, too much is riding on it. But after, I don’t know. Just know that you have my support if things escalate physically, or if his boys try to get involved."
Dav looked at Xir a moment, then responded. Dav said, "I'm already aware. It is in the nature of an Atraxian to only follow the strongest. With the knowledge I serve another greater warlord, my quality is called into question. Right now, he is thinking he could be a better, stronger leader, but will wait until he has demonstrated his strength to the others of this warband. I am expecting a challenge soon after. As our weapons of battle are frames, that is the method I will choose as the challenged."
Xir nodded its head. "Yes Captain, I understand. Just know that at least this member of this warband is with you." Xir backed out of the conference room.
Xir then left to go to Beasts hanger. Beast will need to be above 100% for this mission. When Xir gets to its hanger it goes directly to the UV heat lamps control, up to this point we're set to a lower intensity, to turn them to Max. It took very little time for that hanger to heat up from the lamps and UV radiation. Beast stretched out on its side and just began to purr.
Xir then went to the simulation room. Fortunately, there was the make shift pod for Xir but there wasn't any program made to mimic Beast, so Xir used a Puma with as big an energy weapon that could be installed with every extra heat sink placed where ever there was space for. After about 15 minutes of frustration using a simulation of a noncomparable Mecha to Beasts abilities Xir walked away, opened comms to Steven, "This is Xir, when this mission is over, we should to talk about making a proper simulator program with Beast as my Mecha. The Mech's abilities that are on file are too different and are just getting me killed or building bad habits in me."
Lily peered out from her simulator pod as Xir stormed out before looking at the pod the alien had been using. She wondered of its pod was bigger than hers, and if not, how such a strange quadraped creature fitting into a humanoid control pit.
She shook her head, closed the hatch again, and continued her practice using the best maps of the location the outfit had been able to make.
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
After an uneventful travel to Kotoku I, the Daedalus and the Icarus began their final descent. Scott radioed to the Jazera control tower from the bridge of the Icarus, "Jazera actual, this is the Icarus. We are experiencing some significant engine trouble and need to make an emergency landing. We will set down in ..." Scott cut the radio as he was speaking. With a signal to the Icarus pilot, Jorge, the Icarus began to break formation with the Daedalus. The Icarus veered off, heading towards the reserve rendezvous point. Once in high altitude, the launch bay doors opened, readying for catapult launch of the three Aero frames.
Joshua says with some excitement to his voice "aww come on Vlad there’s no fun without a little danger as he chuckles. I’m ready for whenever you smash that launch button Scott." Joshua starts to turn everything one that he needs to make the drop and survive the drop with some with heavy metal music playing in the background.
"You want me to do what?" Vlad says over the comms. "I'll fucking die on reentry. My jet is not made to handle hundreds of degrees of heat."
"Oh, I’m sure you’ll be fine," Marina chimed in, a teasing note to her voice. "That fighter of yours has much thicker armor than the interceptors we had back where I come from, and they could make it through re-entry in one piece! Mostly. Theoretically."
There was a pause, before her voice came back over the radio. "Erm, the Hummingbird is ready to launch, by the way."
"You own me a new jet, if this thing breaks, Command. Heh."
The Daedalus continued towards the Jazera Star Port. Chuan continued normal radio communications, taking direction from the tower as if nothing was amiss.
Dav signaled the rest of the Forge, "Combat in one hour, prepare for increased thrust. Let’s get these mecha fired up." With that, Dav powered up the Dark Horse. The reactor vibrated, feeding power to the systems. Dav said, "Sweetie, perform initial diagnostics. Let me know of any irregularities in standard parameters." Sweetie responded almost immediately, "Copy, boss. I am detecting nonstandard armor signals from the right torso. Hydraulics are functioning at ninety seven percent. Weapon systems online and safeties in place. Ammo load full. Plasma reserves charged. Cooling system pressure nominal. Gantry maglocks engaged. Will that be all, Boss?" Dav responded absently, "Sure Sweetie. Keep an eye on the new recruits. Let me know if anything appears out of the ordinary."
Alex ran through the checks, like he had learned during his admittedly barebones training. Thanks to Lyon, the thruster status light now on the console shone green. The engine hummed as it rose to a standing position. Ammunition was checked, and energy weapons began to charge their capacitors. He steeled himself for the fight ahead, remembering the last one, the unnatural heat, the shortness of breath
Lily heard the order to fire up, and flipped the engine primers on, watching as the levels rose on her machine as it came to life. Slowly standing on its own power as it waited within the gantry. She stared at the hangar doors as her hands played over the controls, keeping her breathing steady as she readied herself for the mission.
Quickly she raised a channel with Aiyana.
"Don’t worry, Aiyana. I’ll take good care of her." she promised.
Aiyana got her new Mecha prepped, it was VERY different from her first one but a part of her was very giddy at being in this big ol Crushah. Aiyana was getting situated when she heard Lily's voice over the comms to her, " Please do, she kept me safe and as long as you give her a lil love, she will keep you safe Lily." Aiyana told her as she was looking through switches again before opening comms to Lily, " Hey, I'm not supposed to push the red buttons yet, now am I?" Aiyana asked with a playful laugh- she was totally joking but she needed to ease her mind of the sorta fight they were going into.
"All systems green, as green as they can be anyways." He cycled through the power and hydraulics before securing himself for good. Once he was sure the shields and grenade launchers didn't threaten to tear themselves off, Lyon strapped himself into his battle frame. Well, it was less of a battle frame and more a glorified work horse. He maglocked some crates of ammunition and some spare scrap to wherever he could find a surface on the mech, then picked up a mecha sized pistol with its freehand.
Orange flowed into the Mystery Machine starting it up. Going through the checks making sure all systems were up and running. During the checks noting that the chest armor wasn’t as strong as it was, and the Chainsaw arm was back in business but not a hundred percent. Heading for the hanger for the departure. Mystery Machine ready.
Xir entered its hanger were Beast was still sprawled out under the UV lamps. Xir says using their method "It's time.". As Xir cut off the lamps, Beast got up on all 4 legs and did a full body stretch, akin to a feline, then lowered its head and opened the cockpit. Xir was wearing its bio armor just in case there was need for a bail out. It got in then the muscle fibers and nerve connections began holding Xir in place. Xir directs Beast to the proper hanger door for where the deportation for the first group will take place. Xir comms in "I'm ready.".
The custom mech hummed quietly as soon as Makre started the engine remotely, and the cockpit opened just at the same time as the hangar bay's door, with the inquisitive mercenary looking at a few scribbles he'd kept around after the briefing. He had some doubts about the planning of the whole operation, but he'd not been hired as a strategist, was he? "This might work" He mused to himself, having spotted a few areas of interest before climbing on the mech, turning knobs and pressing buttons with practiced ease, putting on the headset around his head and pressed the broadcast button. "Startup sequence finished. Ocelot on standby."
Muk’s Doomcrakka roared to life in the Mech Bay. Sitting in the Cockpit, Muk was feeling much more confident in his piloting with his new hand. The lack of missiles didn’t bother him, especially with the huge cannon now attached to the shoulder of his mech. He took a few moments to test the chainsaw arm. Satisfied that everything was working properly, Muk switched to the Black Forge comms channel. “Doomcrakka ready for murderin’, boss.” He announced.
As Steven’s Clad enforcer roared to life, Steven sat in the chair and said "Liz, do diagnosis check" with Liz responding with a sweet human like voice" yes sir" after a few she responded with " 93% on the weaponry with rail gun at one third ammo capacity, armor at 100% with movement being at a full 100%. Anything else I can for you, sir" Steven doing a small smile, " no, that will be all"
Millions of kilometers away, a dark object traveled dead in space towards Kotoku IV.
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Jazera Space Port
The traffic controller was having a usual day. He had reported to the Taienese standing watch commander about the emergency landing of the inbound ovoid dropship Icarus, a common shape in both the Imperial Army as well as in the courier and logistics castes. With those entrusted to the third class being run well past their overhaul dates, emergency landings upon reentry in a planetary gravity well were becoming a common occurrence. The Daedalus, another ovoid which had arrived on the same jump ship, was on final approach.
Onboard the Icarus, Scott readied the magrail catapult. at one hundred thousand feet, Joshua was hurled out of the Icarus in his as yet unnamed Aero Frame at a modest thirty meters per second, a little over three standard gravities of acceleration.
Joshua laughing as he got shot out of Icarus and says, "Vlad this is where the fun is at.". Joshua loads up the destination and glides over to the way point on the way
Joshua cuts on his mic to the marines in the back of his gunship. Joshua touches the side of his helmet and says "welcome to my humble abode you lovely people. I will be your pilot today. I do humbly apologize for the bumpiness and jerking today, but please keep all head and appendages in your seats at all times. please hope you fly with the black forge again. Hoping that would break the tension of the troop's that are about to hit the ground fighting." Joshua switch the comms off and switch it to Marina and Vlad asking about how there decent is going so far?"
Next up was Vlad. The Bay technicians worked efficiently under Scotts guidance, readying the AU-3 in less than five minutes. Once locked in, He was quickly launched at the same speed out the door.
Having just been launched into the stratosphere, Vlad’s AU-3 starts to “gently” glide down as gravity does its job on pulling down the jet-fighter into the troposphere-layer. The AU-3 jet-engines were offline as the thin air could not allow for normal flight. Until the air was thick enough, all could Vlad do was to wait and keep the course down to the troposphere. After some time, Vlad starts to ignite his engines as his systems warns of the jet’s entry into the troposphere. Roaring, the engines turn on as the AU-3 manages to maintain its speed and flight. Vlad radios in, “This is Vlad, I’m in the air. Requesting coordinates on targets.” Vlad looks at his detection systems, electronic support measures, like radio direction finders, radar detectors, etc. Vlad would hope that something would pick up as to gain situational awareness as he is practically blind right now.
Vlad's first order of operations was to look about for other enemy fighters and look out for enemy air defenses. Vlad now waits for anything to pop up on his radar-systems, or hopefully, command can give him some form of general info on sites. If not, then Vlad had to visibly find his targets himself, which would be very dangerous.
Knowing the Catapult may get jammed along an improvised rail, Scott took an additional few minutes to walk the rails, checking for warpage and cracks. Finding none, He ordered the Hummingbird locked and loaded. This took an additional few minutes, as the marine elements had ferried over a few days ago. They loaded up in quick step and locked into their seats, a hodge podge of foam, straps, and buckles. Once ready. Marina and the humming bird were launched.
Inside the Hummingbird’s cockpit, Marina grinned as her Aeroframe accelerated into the planet’s upper atmosphere. A simple thought to her Mind-Machine Interface brought up a readout of the frame’s systems on her helmet’s HUD, and she nodded at what she saw. The external armor was holding up just fine, and the internal temperature was well within the limits. Satisfied, she sent another mental command, and the frame’s engines roared to life. The sudden increase in G-force pressed her back into her chair, and exhilaration flooded her as the craft descended further into the atmosphere.
She opened an internal channel to the troop bay. "This is your pilot speaking. We are in flight and will now begin our approach to the AO. Apologies in advance for any turbulence!"
Once all the birds were away, Scott ordered the bay doors closed. Gods speed, he thought. He knew he would be burying someone soon. This was the way of a warrior's life.
On board the Hummingbird, the elements were divided along the left and right sides. Mr. Jamison, a middle-aged human with African ancestry, chewed on an unlit cigar. He was loaded with battle gear and a well-worn fatigue cap. With all the recruits new to the Black Forge, Jamison walked the central aisle, slapping shoulder pauldrons, adjusting straps on the rookies, and generally making himself known. Mr. Gorman, previously a lieutenant in the Alliance, kept to himself and closed his eyes. He gripped the armrests of his chair tightly whenever the Hummingbird hit some turbulence, which was near constantly. Then Jamison made it in front of the Oddity out of oddities. "Well, well well. What do we have here? A real professional?" he said around the nub of a cigar, a bit of spittle leaking onto his three-day stubble.
Karma looks up at the man with a calm face, based on his looks he doesn’t look over 25 but, he has 200 years of experience, he was a mercenary that would do anything to get the job done. As he hears the words he chuckles and says, "well you could definitely call me something like that, names Karma Morningstar, what can I do for you today."
Unapparent to the other rookies on the bench, karma noticed Jamison was checking the straps as the Hummingbird bucked and swayed as they fell through the Stratosphere of Kotoku. Jamison nodded as he slowly checked the high straps with a quick Jerk and then the lower ones. While checking the lower straps, Jamison whispered to Karma, "Help me out a bit would ya? These hicks don’t know squat about real fighting. Gorman has had his cherry popped, but he is still wet behind the ears. I'll let you know when to take over and give me a hand."
Karma chuckles and nods as he looks around at the other rookies and then goes and helps check the straps as he whispers back to Jamison "Well it wouldn’t be fun without a couple of newbs on the team would it, don’t worry ill have your back, just give me the order"
Jamison smiled, yellowed teeth clutching the brown wrapper. Gorman's eyes narrowed as Jamison seemed to linger with one of the troopers. Jamison glanced back at Gorman then stood up and bellowed down the compartment while looking at Karma, "Easy now, cupcake. You gotta buy me dinner first, then you can get the business." The whole compartment erupted into laughter, hands slapping knees and rifle stocks. Jamison patted Karma on the shoulder and winked at him as if to say he had to keep up appearances and Gorman was too suspicious by half.
Karma laughs with the rest of the men as he sits back down and waits for the incoming fight. As he looks around, he sees a mix of oncoming excitement and fear of their first fights. He chuckles to himself and shakes his head slightly as it reminds him of how he was reminded of how he was when he experienced his first battle. He takes out his axe and uses the magic stored inside it to expand it and takes out a special whetstone and sharpens the blade as he waits.
Jamison Settled into his seat beside Gorman and started humming a little tune, familiar yet unidentifiable. Gorman glared in his direction before squinting his eyes when they hit a bit of turbulence. Jamison thought to himself, this is gonna be one hell of a shit show.
Once the first Aero frame was away, the radar board lit up. From air traffic control's end, it had the appearance of a dropship beginning to break up upon reentry. With the trajectory well outside the population center, he sent a notification to the standing watch commander for a recovery mission. As the first-class air traffic controller picked up the communicator he thought, "As long as a first-Class Citizen wasn't involved, who would care?" Whatever the ship was carrying was light based on its previous descent pattern, so likely foodstuffs, clothing, or some other common good. Likely the Dropship would be recovered, reconditioned, and sent back to pick up a replacement order. A delay of a few weeks at most and the replacement of a few second- and third-class citizens. Hardly something to get overly emotional about.
As the Daedalus began its final landing approach, Chuan began to open the mecha bay doors. a loud grinding sound commenced as the six bay doors opened like a petaled flower. slowing as she began the final descent balanced upon six large ion drives, she unlocked the restraints on the first element. Chuan signaled Dav the readiness of first element as well as sending out a two-word wide beam transmission into space: Commencing vengeance.
The half dozen Warmonger class Battle frames positioned around the spaceport tower began to fire up their engines as the Daedalus began its final descent near the air tower, a few hundred feet in the air.
As the Clad enforcer dropped to the ground Steven said" Liz activate ECM" with a swift reply from Liz "yes sir" as the ECM kicked on Steven a cloud of dust settle around the mecha from using thrusters right before hitting the ground to soften the blow on the mecha hydraulics. As the blue and black mecha hit the ground it toppled forward, unbalanced from the poor use of the maneuvering thrusters. sensing a weakness, a pair of the tai pan mecha opened fire upon the downed mecha. As the plasma chambers on the mecha designated as Warmongers were still charging from the sudden activation, four thick beams of coherent light reached out to caress the upper torso and back of the Clad Enforcer, with three connecting. The thinner back armor vaporized as the heat inside the cockpit soared when a beam melted the aft hatch. molten ceramic and vaporized metal filled the cockpit and dripped down on the command seat, a secondary monitor and spots on the cockpit armored glass. several burns formed on the back of Steven's arms and legs. Howling in pain inside his neural helmet, Steven shook the molten metal and ceramic off his extremities, now severely blistered. The secondary monitor cracked from the heat. Across the back of the Clad enforcer, three deep slashes covered its back, a rake from an enormous predator.
Lily pressed forwards on her controls and the machine rumbled into motion, one step, two steps. It jumped over the edge, free falling and hitting the ground with a resounding, earth shaking boom. Concrete dust plumed from the landing and settled as Pink Defender straightened its knees, stepping out of the small hole in it had just impacted into the street and moving to clear the landing area as it scanned for potential threats.
"Command, Spider, on the ground. Proceeding with mission." Lily radioed back to the dropship.
Under the direction of Xir, Beast jumped out of the open door, and instinctually activated a gravity point to slow Beasts decent. Hoping that the surprise attack will cause some confusion for a couple minutes, Xir opened fire. Without hesitation the cutting laser zeroed in on one of the half dozen Mecha around the tower. The High energy beam speared the enemy, quickly melting armor and structure. an overloaded cooling system ruptured in the torso sending it off balance. Another Warmonger stepped in front of the damaged mecha, releasing a pair of heavy laser cannon beams back at Xir and Beast. a single beam connected, burning the left arm of Beast. a thick rope of blisters formed on the arm, flaking off a row of hardened scales. Beast screamed from the pain but maintained its attention on task.
Alex pushed down on the pedals within his mech, the machine picking up speed slowly until it was at a slow jog, for a mech. Jump jets fired to slow the fall, leaving him close to where Lily had landed in her mech. At least some of the element was together, so that was a plus. On the other hand, the alien's still up in the air, He thought to himself as he began to move.
With nearly three hundred tons suddenly free, the dropship bucked and listed. To add insult to injury, the last pair of active Warmongers fired upon the Daedalus as well. Most of the fire impacted upon the surface of the dropship tearing through the hastily welded steel plates. One beam ignited a box of autocannon ammo stored near an engine cooling jacket. Instantly two drives shut down from overheating. Chuan gripped the controls tightly and feathered the drives to regain control. Lacking sweat glands, she panted heavily as she struggled with the controls. Soon, the Dropship stabilized and continued to drift downwards to land on rapidly extending landing struts. With several holes in the dropship as well as nearly thirty percent of their trust offline, The Daedalus wasn't going anywhere soon.
Beast landing just moments before the Daedalus, Xir knew that this would be the most dangerous time for the rest of the team. At this point Xir felt and could hear the large animals heart beat and sense the adrenaline running through Beasts veins. The cutting laser opens fire on a second Mecha near the tower that opened fire on the drop ship in hopes to maintain their attention long enough for the rest to disembark the drop ship and of course take out an enemy if able. The stored energy in the cells declined slightly but still good for energy, Nice thing about fighting in day light is that energy enters the cells and slows energy loss during battle due to natural UV absorption.
Xir spears another of the Warmongers, now fully functional and moving to engage the new threats. Beast's cutting beam lops off the right arm of the enemy warmonger at the shoulder as the Taienese pilot attempts to roll the damage across its torso. With a jet of a plasma cone spewing from the shoulder, the warmonger becomes unbalanced and misses their return fire.
Inside his cockpit Dav shook like a rag doll in the mouth of a Doberman. Little could be done but hold on to his seat. As the timer counted down inside Dav's cockpit, Dav began to sweat a little. This time was always the most dangerous. Little could be done by any Frame Warrior while strapped down in a dropship. He would feel better once his feet was firmly planted on dirt and the shooting began. Seconds later, his board lit up green. Chuan had released the locks on the gantries. He waited for the dropship to land and begin to settle on its struts as well as for the doors to fully lower before hitting the release button on the gantry controls. the scaffolding surrounding the mecha opened in half, freeing his mecha. Dav spoke to the unit, "If you believe in a god or your momma, send your thoughts into space for all of us. Move out!" With that, Dav began to maneuver The Dark Horse out of the dropship and down a dropship ramp, scanning for hostiles.
A new timer began to count down in Dav's cockpit. This one would indicate when the Air support would strike. only being a few hundred kilometers away, the air element would arrive shortly. Hopefully all would go as planned. He released the safeties on his weapons and lined up a shot on the Air control tower. He fired a warning shot near the glass covered top level. The intention was clear: If you stayed in the tower summit, you were going to die. He could see a flurry of activity on his monitors zoomed in on the top levels as various forms moved suddenly from stations and desks heading for stairs and elevators.
Aiyana gritted her teeth, " Ok...one big foot after the other...that’s it, girl." Aiyana cooed to her big mecha. Aiyana was MORE than glad to not be part of the aerial drop group as she probably would have passed out from being knocked around like a ragdoll. Gathering up her resolve, she would walk this big crushah on out. Aiyana was looking over her systems as she urged the machine on before she flicked her coms on again to Lily, " Hey, how are you doing?" Aiyana called over while she prepped for the fight, getting her guns loaded and ready.
Drop into a 1-g gravity well. First time for everything. Lyon accessed to the Daedalus' outer cameras before all his blood rushed to his head. Somewhere out there, a star a few light years out, hosted a small rock that he called home for a few years. Maybe he'll go back there once this is all over to see what became of it. With the thought, Lyon's face distorted with the acceleration down the dropship ramp.
Once on the ground, Lyon put an even distribution of power into the mech's limbs, then slammed on a button that brought his makeshift shields forward. He then released the maglocks that were holding all the baggage on his mech, having them fall around him for easy access. With his pistol, he fired a few shots at the first Mech he saw. Not that he was expecting any damage, he just needed to buy time for the heavy hitters. Besides, he was the one with the smoke and the shields. As he expected, the shots from his 20mm hand cannon merely grazed the armor of the torso damaged mecha. The Warmonger pilot, slighted that such a weapon would be dared to use against him, turned the full force of his war machine against Lyon. The Plasma Cannons in the arms failed to fire, a gout of fluids draining from the neat hole in the torso made by Xir. The sudden loss of cooling fluids caused the heavy laser cannons to miss high. Two other enemy mecha focused their fire upon the winged mecha. several bolts of plasma streaked into his right wing, shearing it off as Lyon staggered to his knee.
Orange pushed the controls forward shooting out the hanger door landing with a jarring of the mech. Beast was not too far away so deciding to keep close to it stepped closer, looking around for the closest enemy target and aiming all its pulse weapons and firing. Multiple energy beams and plasma reached out and hammered the Warmonger standing over his downed brother. Multiple plasma and energy beams connected, savaging the torso armor of the warmonger. Not unexpectedly, the warmonger turned its attention upon Orange and his Mystery machine. A pair of heavy plasma cannon bolts reached out and connected with his center torso and right arm, shredding armor.
The shaking bounced Muk around in the cramped cockpit of Doomcrakka. Luckily, he had gotten his boys to add some extra padding to the interior of the sparse cockpit, so he didn’t get knocked out. He had a headphone in one ear blaring heavy metal music and the other ear listening for orders. Dav’s statement about gods got a gruff chuckle out of him. He thought better of it and said, “Muk sez dat Krag made da green ones ta fight an’ win, and dat’s what we gonna do!” He yelled in response.
The ramp slammed down and Doomcrakka surged out the door. Muk didn’t waste any time, quickly scanning the area for targets nearby. He kept close to Dav, holding fire for the moment. After being chewed out by Dav for charging in last mission he was going to follow Dav’s orders to the letter unless an enemy engaged him first.
Makre took the shaking in stride as he gripped the controls of the mecha in his hand, trusting the auto gyro on the task of keeping the machine steady as the fires of hell burned just outside the dropship'. He might have never had a true deployment before, but he'd seen his fair share of drills and practice drops. The Ocelot shook along with their transport, almost as if to remind him not to forget what was going on, his hands tightened around the machine's controls.
"Targets spotted." He simply exclaimed as the first few markers appeared on the HUD. His fingers hovering over the triggers and igniters, the guns slowly traversed in the limited space inside the dropship, preparing The Ocelot to engage the moment the line of fire was cleared. The doors opened, the mechs in front of the Catspaw moved, and Makre followed along, sending rounds down range the moment he cleared the door. "Ocelot, engaging.", he said as he fired upon one of the mecha damaged by Xir with his gauss and plasma cannons. all his weapons struck true, stripping several tons of armor off the mecha and knocked it off its feet with a high and low shot to the shoulder, leg, and arm.
As the other mecha disembarked off the dropped ship Steven Stood his mecha up and moved towards a building for cover. His body screamed in pain, overriding his ability to think for a moment. Quickly, Liz engaged the air scrubbers and vented the cockpit before the life support died, its filters clogged with quickly hardening metals and ceramics.
Lily brought her mechs gauss cannons to bear on the targets around the air traffic control tower and covered them with the guns, waiting for them to do something stupid, moving to keep lanes of fire open for any other mechs that might be behind her.
"We should keep on the move. Our lighter mechs can't take the kind of punishment that the others can, and I'm not keen on getting caught out here with my pants down." Alex said, as he flipped on his ECM and began to move into positions that would let him scout routes for the first element to take. "Aside from that, we're going to need some kind of plan aside from just 'capture the spaceport'."
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Orbit of Kotoku IV
Fa Shu, Captain of the Imperial frigate "Han Xin", was resting in his command chair, linked to the ship wide neural net when a large energy pulse suddenly appeared three hundred thousand kilometers starward. Tracking the trajectory, he commanded all crew to their stations. the lights suddenly turned a deep red, indicative of the ancient practice of Earth navies. Shu said, "Track that launch position and begin feeding tactical data to the ready fighter teams as well as the combat air patrols. I want to know who, what, where, and when five minutes ago."
A flurry of activity began on the flight deck as the launch doors opened and containment fields modulated for a fighter lance launch. A pair of Ying Zhao Aeroframes adjusted their heading and increased thrust towards the unknown source of aggression.
Jazera Space Port
After settling the Daedalus down, Chuan launched herself towards the main command display. She yipped a bit with her adrenal glands overwhelming her sense of calm. She whined a bit then was able to settle herself. She mustn’t allow this weakness in front of the other Brothers and Sisters. Bringing up the tactical display, she nodded. the half dozen communication and data analyst personnel on the command bridge were new but enthusiastic. red, blue, and green symbols began appearing on the display as various technicians began to identify targets of interest in the ongoing battle with optical feeds from both the ground element cameras as well as the cameras on the Daedalus. She linked herself into the Air element communication channels, almost barking in her excitement. She said, "Mr. Vlad, I have a heading and target acquisition. The enemy launch is located on the star port tarmac at point theta six. Keep on your current heading and fire for effect. Joshua, there are four Aeroframes parked near the enemy dropship. Engage at will. Marina, adjust your heading by five degrees starboard and strafe the Aeroframes on the runway before landing. The Dropship weapons are powering up and we have active radar signals emanating from the command deck as well as the Air Traffic Tower. Our radar has a pair of older Tai Pan aeroframes returning from scouting the Icarus. They are five minutes out at current heading and speeds. Streaming targeting data to you now.
Joshua listen to her instructions and responded, “Roger that, they’re about to be towed Black Forge style." Joshua engaged his thrusters and engaged the Aeroframes on the runway with a strafing run. Autocannons blazed as hundreds of brass casings fell from the sky and a gauss round launched at hypersonic speeds. Puffs of hardened tarmac danced with shattered armor plates and misted ground crews as 20 mm rounds impacted along a thick line from one Aeroframe to the last. As a gesture of good will from Joshua, the large gauss round struck the side of one of the Aeroframes, twisting the nose landing gear into an unusable mass of twisted metal and rubber.
"Copy. On route." Vlad says in the comms. Keeping its course, the AU-3 makes way towards the grounded Tai Pan dropship carrying the reserve mecha. In the meanwhile, the AU-3 calculates a targeting solution for destroying the on-ground Tai-dropship. Before long, Vlad gets in range to unload his dumb-ordnance from his internal bomb-bays. Going to lower altitudes, Vlad gets ready to deliver. “Dropping.” Vlad states in the comms. Opening, the internal bomb-bays, Vlad unattached his four 2,000 Pound General-Purpose Bombs upon the grounded Tai Pan dropship. While Vlad would like to see if his devastation made its work, he had other priorities to quickly take care of. After delivering his ordinance, He accelerated to higher altitudes. Vlad said, “Control, dropship bombing done. Engaging boogeymen.”
Unbeknown to Vlad, the four bombs dropped true. One impacted the tarmac short of the Dropship. The next two impacted upon the energy shields. With the major energy released from four thousand pounds of high explosive, the shields transitioned from a cool blue shade to a deep red before flickering out. The last bomb struck the side of dropship near the observation deck. A slight delay allowed the last bomb to punch through the armored glass before detonating. Gouts of flame rushed out all along the upper levels with several secondary explosions erupting from upper ports and the command deck.
Following Vlad in towards the enemy vessel, Marina set the Hummingbird's ECM suite to active countermeasure, and ensured that the frame's onboard AI had its point-defense guns ready to fire. Satisfied that all was well, she reopened the internal channel to her craft's troop compartment. "We will be landing shortly, so be prepared to disembark! And mind the shrapnel, yes?"
Closing the channel, she looked ahead, sensor readings and telescopic images of the dropship and its surroundings appearing on her HUD. A large red diamond superimposed itself over the dropship as the Hummingbird's AI recognized it as an enemy, but a mental command split it into multiple small diamonds that covered the defenses on and around the landed ship. She throttled down her engines and dropped her altitude as the target neared, and with a wild grin, she disengaged the safeties on her Aeroframe's weapons. She loosed a barrage of rockets in the wake of Vlad's own ordnance, The AI assisted with the target acquisition, a dozen emplacements targeted for destruction. The Hummingbird bucked as the craft reoriented itself over a dozen times in the five seconds it took to unload the entirety of the weapon pods, almost two hundred and fifty fifty-seven millimeter rockets. Hell rained down upon the dropship interior, a half dozen armored turrets, and several infantry emplacements near the armored Dropship ramps. Marina then switched to VTOL maneuvering and quickly lowered the Hummingbird towards the ground. Aiming to land behind the cover of one of the large buildings nearest to the Tai Pan vessel, she came to a skidding halt bumping up against a parked car and setting off its anti-theft security system, a loud honking paired with its flashing lights. Once down, the aft ramp began to lower from hydraulic shafts built into the roof of the Aeroframe. The AI began to report the destruction caused by the rocket attack. dozens of individual targets were deemed eliminated, from small vehicles, infantry, most of the weapon blisters on this side of the dropship, and one of the Warmonger mecha still locked into its gantry within the belly of the beast.
On the ground near the Dropship Daedalus, Dav could see the enemy Dropship. Almost Identical to the Icarus, save the size. The large ovoid stood almost another 20 meters taller than the Icarus with a dozen small weapon turrets dotting the surface. With six open armored doors, a cavern of gantries, mecha, and supplies could be seen inside via hi resolution cameras. With Daedalus streaming tactical and optical data to his secondary monitor, Dav opened his comms to the ground element and began giving orders, "Second element, move to cover and begin neutralizing those active enemy mecha. First element, engage those Aeroframes before they get airborne. It felt like the Daedalus took a hard hit on the way down, so let’s give them some time to square up. Seems like someone up there can't take a hint that we mean business. Keep your mark ones and zeros peeled for any patrols. Our brothers and sisters are feeding any tactical data they get to your secondary monitors. Report any injury or mechanical failure to the Daedalus, now coded Black Forge Actual. Dav out."
Chuan watched the enemy mecha around the Air Traffic Tower on her monitor. They were advancing toward the Black Forge mecha in a tight vee formation, covering their downed comrade as he gathered his mechanical legs underneath himself. With good discipline, they charged their weapons and held their fire for a moment, presumably for orders from their commanders.
With the first of three command structures neutralized, Dav tasked his AI to direct the missile launchers to lock on and target the remaining two air control towers. Dav said, "Sweetie, lock and load. Take those air control towers down. Home in on their radar signatures." Sweetie responded, "Anything for you, love." Three guided missiles streaked out of the launch ports. The two homing on the main control tower were quickly intercepted by the point defenses of the approaching Warmonger mecha. The third missile easily streaked out and connected with the unarmored spinning dish atop the smaller tower. A small explosion from the missile knocked the dish off the tower, a gaping hole where the sensitive electronics used to be. With the thoughts of command out of his head for a moment, Dav moved up across from the lead mecha and aimed for the weak knees of the digitigrade style of the Warmonger. Pulsed energy alternated with ballistic fire, amputating both legs cleanly. The enemy mech promptly was dumped upon its face and lay still.
As Alex began to move backwards leaving the heavier units in front, he called out over the radio. "Steven, are you fit to move?" His ECM concealed his sensor signatures to the enemy battleframes as he began to move in a different direction, taking a potshot with his missile pod as he went, since that wouldn't compromise the ECM like a direct shot would. His missile arched toward the enemy battleframes but was intercepted by the solid antimissile defenses provided by the proximity of the frames.
There was a short expanse of open territory without any buildings but ducking down onto a lower road should help to conceal the battleframes once they got in there. Alex said over comms, "Steven, Lily, Xir, follow me. We'll can this way and get into that group of buildings. They should be good at keeping something solid between us and the enemy." It seemed that Alex was quick witted, at least when it came to avoiding harm. He indicated a route on a map which was currently displayed on the console inside the cockpit.
Following Dav’s orders, Muk moved Doomcrakka forward to the building Steven was using as cover. Inside of what like a warehouse, he could see wooden crates piled almost to the ceiling. He slid to the right of the building and sighted a Warmonger3 with melted armor dripping from its torso. With a slight metallic screech, the two armored "eyelids" opened in front of the large cannon, revealing an enormous cannon muzzle. On the observation deck, the Atraxian shaman rattled his staff and prayed in a seizure to Kragonak, gibberish filling the air. the other boys in attendance also shook and twitched, a strange dance manifesting. Simultaneously, a green mist appeared around Doomcrakka. Muk said a silent prayer to Kragonak and opened fire with his Third Eye. The recoil hit hard, and he struggled to keep Doomcrakka upright. If his god was on his side his aim would be true. The Atraxian gods were observing this day as a 20 cm armor piercing round blew a large hole through the torso of the damaged mecha, spinning it around like a rag doll before it collapsed into itself.
Xir listening to Alex over the comms. Xir decides to hit two birds with one stone but still be in the fight with the Mecha. Beast activates the gravity point and levitates into the air. Once a good line of site for the landed aero frames could be seen, Beast attempts a strafing cut with the laser on as many as it could, not to destroy but to damage preventing their take off. The cutting laser lances out and carves a thick furrow along the tops of the Aeroframes, melting armor. Then Beast lands behind the small building directly behind it for cover from the Tai Pan Mecha.
I'm going to die. Lyon picked up some scrap metal off the ground and stepped behind Steven's damaged mech, neglected his shields that got torn off. "K-keep firing, but don't move." Lyon remarked, bending the scrap metal behind its back, then used the welder he prepared to attach it. With one hand controlling the welder arm, Lyon's other hand went for the grenade launchers. "Deploying smoke!" He yelled over the comms, firing three pellets forward to confuse the incoming mechs as he tried to buy time for Alex's flanking maneuver.
I'm so going to die. With his whole body shuddering, the scoundrel opened comms to the Taienese themselves. "Ni ta ma de bai chi. You fucking idiots." He stuttered with a mix of fear and anger, in Taienese dialect. "Why fly so far out only to die in this shithole of a star cluster?"
Once Aiyana was out in the battle field with everyone, she was quietly calculating what she was going to do. She wasn't in a light mech anymore and this one could take a few punches- or ten and keep on truckin'. With that in mind, Aiyana would comm over to Alex, " Hey, I'll help pull some fire away from you guys, alright? This beast can take some punches, so I'll be alright" Aiyana said before flicking it off and revving up her chain sword arm. Now this new attachment looked fun and she was going to use it to the best of her abilities. With that, Aiyana would start to head around the smoke, going the opposite way the others had as she stomped her way around as Aiyana would work on pulling fire and attention from Alex, Steven, Xir and Lily. If any would see her and start to attack, she would go ham with her chainsaw blade on them.
Orange deciding it would be best to follow Aiyana’s Lead went in an Arc direction in order to distract and cover its allies. Running in an arc towards the enemy mechs, it fired its pulse weapons. Orange Wanted to get close as possible as to put use to its chain saws but holding off as to not be surrounded by the enemies alone. Thinking back to the last battle Orange decided to do the smart think and keep moving for now, waiting for the moment to get close and personal. Pulsed energy and plasma caressed the downed mecha without legs, blistering and removing tons of armor before biting into the internals of the arms. weakened bones of the mecha snapped off the right arm at the shoulder. With so much fire directed at it, the pilot ejected with a loud pop and a rocketing chair climbing high into the air.
Lily kept her cool and continued her move to the West as fire commenced, the six enemy mechs were a problem, but she wasn’t equipped for short range combat, and moved to flank instead. She did see the Aeroframes on the ground, however, and lined them up with her 75mm gauss cannons. Firing sequentially at the grounded aircraft, she would focus fire one until it exploded or was otherwise disabled and then shift to the next, keeping an eye out for fire from the enemy mechs as she moved wide. The pair of gauss cannons fires with a one-two punch. the rounds struck the side of the trailing Aeroframe, damaging armor along the fuselage. With the first shot from the right arm, the weapon system went offline, capacitor failure scrolling along a tertiary monitor.
"Keep your wits about, this is just the first exchange of fire. Don't stay in the open." Makre replied in comms to the nervous sounding 'smoker' in the group as he pushed his own machine forward despite his desire to look for an overwatch position. He was in one of the better armored walkers of the combat group after all. His eyes scanned the area again and attempted to follow his own advice to get behind whatever he could find to protect the legs of his catspaw before anything else could happen. His weapons immediately locked on to the next enemy walker his instruments could find, but he stopped for a second just to ensure there wasn't a more alluring target. With nothing of the sort about, he sent another pair of shots down range. Pulsed plasma reached out from the arm pods towards the Warmonger without a right arm. Highly energized plasma struck the mecha in the left arm and shoulder, damaging armor along the large appendage.
Steven took severe damage, with the damage in the back of the enforcer, Steven assessed the situation upon him, then he used an "Ace" up his sleeve. Steven slightly weak of breathe " Liz, activate system scanner on enemy forces, look through any file for the enemy force mecha, let me know when find anything" as Liz scans the enemy mecha, Steven contacts the team "this is Steven my rear…is gone...I'm gonna continuing piloting for now" as Steven close comm's. Liz replied, " There is significant damage assessed to the enemy dropship. Their command and control center has been destroyed. There is still four operational mecha with varying amounts of damage to both armor and weapon systems active. There is two inbound enemy Aeroframes with payloads unknown. The Aeroframes on the local runway have moderate armor damage. The main functioning radar and communications center is located in the main Air traffic tower. This information has been uplinked to Daedalus actual." Steven slightly ragged "thanks beautiful "
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Orbit of Kotoku IV
Three seconds after the energy pulse was detected, captain Shu blinked as his sister ship was enveloped by a particle beam. A neat hole five meters wide was burned through the command section of the Imperial Frigate. A second beam lanced through the engineering section a heartbeat later. Captain Shu overrode the pilot's controls and mentally ordered the Han to begin evasive maneuvers. Mentally, he prepared a message to Imperial High Command. He said, "This is the Han Xin, Stationed in the occupied system Kotoku. We are under attack. Presume all forces lost. Engaging unknown hostiles. Feeding data as able."
During these evasive maneuvers, another pair of Taienese Fighters launched, their shields weakened by a grazing hit from the upper door upon exit. Shu addressed the crew of the Han, "Hopefully, enough persons will witness this attack. I'm ordering an emergency FTL procedure. Begin charging the main drives. Deployed fighters, rendezvous with the Imperial forces on Kotoku IV once we travel to hyperspace. For the Emperor!"
Jazera Space Port
As one, the remaining Tai Pan forces opened fire. Two mecha looked left, targeting Muk. Two mecha turned right, targeting Orange. Heavy lasers and plasma cannons reached out for Muk. Fully half impacted the building Muk was using for cover, glass and ferrocrete exploding. The other half impacted across his legs, left arm, and right shoulder mount. Armor was damaged, with the loss of the 20mm cannon mounted atop the right shoulder. Muk's prayers to Kragonak were heard, as the Doomcrakka stayed upright with Muk struggling with the controls.
The other two Warmongers focused fire upon The Mystery Machine. Three of the four lasers connected as well as one of the three plasma bolts. The laser fire focused upon the right side, stripping the last of Orange's armor to the right arm and torso. When the plasma cannon bolt struck center, several warning lights flashed as several cooling systems and the Gamma ray Vulcan went offline. The heat in the cockpit also spiked with the sudden center torso cavity filled with molten steel and titanium. Orange easily kept balance as he spun the damaged part of his torso quickly, ejecting the molten metal and presenting an undamaged side to the enemy. Unfortunately, he was now facing back towards the Daedalus, traveling at max speed.
Chuan, still coordinating the data analysts and intelligence, saw four more signatures appear a kilometer to the northeast. Chuan opened the comms to the first and second ground elements, "New contacts one klick northeast. Looks like there was one patrol moving about. The main air tower is feeding telemetry data based upon the direction and density of the signals. We won't have time to decrypt their data links, but probability is close to eighty-seven percent certainty. Significant damage has been registered upon the enemy dropship, but beware, the north side weapons still seem to be active."
With the enemy forces splitting, Dav saw his opportunity. He pushed through the smoke, tracking the air traffic control tower and the mecha nearby. He launched another salvo of missiles at the tower communication arrays and sighted his direct fire weapons on the closest mecha to the right. Bracing for the heat spike, he fired all his cannons. Dav Launched his missiles at the Air Control Tower, but the anti-missile systems on the remaining Warmonger mecha quickly shot them down. Dav fired the rest of his weapon systems at the closest enemy mecha, an undamaged Warmonger. With a blaze of gauss, plasma, and 20mm autocannon fire, Dav scored the armor on the right arm, and heavily damaged the armor across the front torso, though no breaches were assessed by the AI.
Muk’s cheers of celebration were cut short by the enemy’s lasers and plasma. His mech shook from the blast and nearly lost its balance as tons of armor fell away from its legs. He saw that the right shoulder turret wasn’t responding. The sensors flashed red warning lights, and they showed armor loss in his legs and his chainsaw arm. Luckily, he hadn’t taken any internal damage, that likely would have detonated his autocannon ammunition and ended his role in the battle.
Witnessing Dav’s Dark Horse emerge from the smoke, Muk pushed forward. Retreating to cover might have been wiser but with Dav advancing he couldn’t back down. Doomcrakka advanced at full speed, right arm swinging up to point two 20mm autocannons at the mech Dav was targeting. He fired everything except his Third Eye and started to spin up his chainsaw arm as Muk closed the distance quickly. The majority of Muk's 20mm cannon fire connected, shredding armor off the left arm, left torso, and center torso as the Warmonger pilot twisted the mecha to the left as he attempted to move past Muk. Muk had seen this circle fight maneuver before on a Mecha gladiatorial vid late last night. Instead of beginning the circle fight as the Humies did, Muk turned in close and ran his thick chainsaw into the exposed right flank of the enemy mecha, bisecting the torso and lopping off the right arm. Unbalanced, the Warmonger collapsed to the ground, the fusion engine shutting down with the loss of so much engine shielding and coolant.
Xir assesses the battle field and numbers. Eight against four is descent odds but if those four patrol warmongers come in the mix now, we will be done for. They need to be distracted for a bit. Under the command of Xir, Beast sprints straight East about 800 meters into the open field, while tinting Beasts skin to the grey brown ground color. Beast kept running until a clear view of the patrol warmongers could be seen. Doing a sideways sliding halt, leaving a slight dust cloud, Beast squats to blend in with the horizon. Beast zeroes in with its cutting laser on the patrol warmonger on the far left before opening fire. This was not only to do damage to the target, but to also grab the attention of the other three warmongers with heavy fire crossing right in front of their vision. If it slowed them down for even 6 or 12 seconds, it would be worth it. Xir's Beast laser cut into the right torso of the targeted mecha, penetrating the armor and cut deep into the enemy structure. Several cooling and plasma conduits exploded, knocking the mecha to the ground.
Alex wove through the buildings, ECM humming as he went. The weapons on the dropship that were still active weren't facing him, and as he made his way towards the airstrip. When he had reached a position where he could see all three of the still landed Aeroframes, he took his shots, weapons spitting death at the slowly moving targets. "Opening fire on those Aeroframes, this should keep them from reinforcing while the airstrip is blocked by the debris." With the sudden draw of so much power from the fusion engine, the heat spiked in the cockpit. Beads of sweat poured off Alex's body, a puddle forming under him in the command seat. Alex's weapons connected on the lead Aeroframe, the majority striking and severing the right wing. the crippled frame skewed to the right, off the runway and into a ditch. the Pilot cut the engines and fired off his smoke flares as a signal of surrender.
Aiyana was somehow lucky to not get any damage to her mecha as she tried to draw fire with Orange but that didn't save him from getting the brunt of the attacks that were happening. When Aiyana saw him getting pelted with lasers and plasma, the elven woman was quick- as quick as you can in a mecha at least- to load her cannons and start firing on the ones that were shooting at him. Opening the comm's to Orange, "Hey! You alright?" she asked, concern in her voice as she shot at the enemy battleframes. Aiyana’s fire was mostly inaccurate as only one stream of 20mm autocannon fire struck one of the damaged Warmongers, scouring the remaining armor plating off the center torso.
The scoundrel kept his mech's arms steady, the left keeping the scrap metal in place while the right went about wielding the welding torch. Unable to fire as he patched up the Clad Enforcer, he continued taunting through the comms as he imagined the Taienese beyond the smoke. They were there alright; he could hear the laser cannons popping and the missiles streaking through the air. "Ta ma de, you were all so talkative on Tai Pan. What, you feline-forms bit your own tongues out here? Or is that you're scared shitless? Imagine, all that training, all that spanking new, shiny tech. Two decades, maybe more, of spending your lives in the perfect VR environments." Lyon shook his head. "For the emperor! We bleed and use our blood to build her shield!" He mocked in a singing, Asian tune, "Well then, how does it feel that after all that time and effort, what you perhaps thought was towards a promising, fulfilling life," He spit in his own cockpit in disgust, "That you're going to die here, so, so far away from home, burning away Her Majesty's faith and resources, only to have accomplished nothing."
The scoundrel gave a cold laugh at his own stupidity. He anticipated now a thousand rounds of plasma bolts and missiles tearing through his defenseless mech, reducing him, and poor Steve in front of him, to nothing. The thought of the Taienese losing here? In part to the likes of him? That was perhaps worth it.
Lily clicked her tongue as one of her gauss cannons broke after the first shot. Not like the simulators at all. She cut power to that weapon and let the capacitors wind down to prevent any chance of ignition. “Pink Defender, weapons malfunction. Continuing mission." She reported, tersely, raising her remaining weapon. She took aim at the top of the ATC tower, she felt a ping of annoyance that her gauss weapon didn’t possess any alternate fire modes and took a shot at the top of the tower. Hoping to buckle the roof and destroy all the sensor and datalink equipment within it. If the remaining gauss cannon didn’t bring it down, then she might find a use for the broken gun after all. Lily's single gauss shot struck the comms array atop the tower, mangling the delicate antenna.
"Are we running out of time? Has anyone picked transmissions from the structure or the hostile units?" Makre inquired without thinking, following his training to the letter as he pushed the controls and broke cover, attempting to keep a uniform distance between the heavier walkers, a formation of sorts, just in case he needed to charge forward to take the lead or to provide physical cover to the damaged units. "There's only three enemy units left down here. Let's finish them quickly." The Ocelot rocked again as another volley of shots headed for the surviving Tai Pan triplet.
Makre's attacks were well placed as the temperature in his mecha spiked from the sudden draw of power from the fusion reactor to fuel the hungry weapons. Missiles, cannons, and laser pulses reached out to score hit after hit upon the fresh mecha which had turned to deal with the threat of The Dark horse. The missiles connected with the left leg, blowing the appendage off at the knee. The remaining arm and torso weapons savaged the armor on the left arm, torso, and shoulder. the damage to the leg caused the remaining struts to crumple, toppling the mecha to the ground.
Steven, being injured, pulled out a standardized first-aid kit in the pilot’s cockpit. As he applied the first aid kit to his injuries for a quick fix, with the application of burn aloe, and the new layer of skin with Nu-skin, but Steven tells himself proper medical attention will.be needed.
With the largely ineffective fire from Aiyana's ramshackle crushah, Orange thought he knew the best way to worm his way into the pants of a hot elf mecha pilot was to demonstrate his prowess in battle. Orange Decided it was Live free or Die. Orange turned back towards the pair of enemy mecha and accelerated to full speed. Overriding the engine safeties, power poured from the engine into the limbs and weapons. Aiming his legs at the lesser of the two damaged mecha, Orange fired all his torso weapons at the mecha Aiyana was firing upon. Half of the energy weapon pulses hit the enemy mecha. The enemy warmonger attempted to mitigate the damage by drawing its large shield like arms in but was ineffective at stopping the critical hit on its center torso. Multiple plasma projectiles cored into the center torso, destroying the remaining shielding around the engine. With many of the critical safety systems damaged, the engine began to go critical. Moments later, the Pilot ejected, an astonished look upon his face as he rocketed upwards and backwards from the toppling mecha. Then Orange plowed himself into the other mecha at full speed, trying to take out two birds with one chainsaw. The Mystery Machine tangled and collapsed into the enemy mecha as nearly one hundred tons of metal collided with barely half of that. Orange aimed to pierce its right chainsaw blade through the closet enemy slamming it into the enemy closet to it. He was only partially successful. The left chainsaw arm wrapped around the barrel like torso, scrapping metal armor as the right bite deep into the left torso up to the elbow. Like a deep stab wound to a person, fluids gushed out of the chassis. Unbalanced, both mecha collapsed to the ground, the Mystery machine atop the Warmonger.
With the great amount of heat generated from Orange pushing the mecha past it's safe limits, the mecha critical overrides kicked in. The mecha shut down, save for the small air conditioning unit. Cool air blew down upon the slime as the oven of a cockpit baked the edges of his protoplasm body. This had better be worth it, he thought.
As Vlad passed over the Enemy dropship, a light show erupted, seeking his demise. Laser fire connected with his underbelly and right wing, savaging armor and slicing off a cluster of missiles from the right wing. With the sudden loss of so much vaporized armor and lost ordinance, Vlad struggled with the controls. He shot upwards in a spin, his engines suddenly boosting his acceleration to three gravities. Vlad's vision went dark for a moment. He returned to awareness once he reached fifteen thousand feet and was greeted by enemy targeting locks.
Vlad regains his consciousness as he is alarmed by his systems that the AU-3 has just been hit in its underbelly and right-wing. “Just my lucky day...” Vlad whispers under his heavy breathing. Vlad glares at his console, noticing that a target-solution is available. Without hesitation, Vlad pressed a single button. What remains of his smart-ordinance on his right and left-wing is released, sending nine multi-purpose guided missiles towards the two Tai-fighters ahead. While Vlad’s AU-3 was in bad condition, the madlad knew that there was more Tai-fighters on a runway. So, instead of retreating, Vlad went slightly south and then west towards the enemy runway, hoping that his missiles would have destroyed the two airborne Tai-fighters. Vlad plans to use his only remaining weapon left, his GSU-8 30mm Rotary Cannon, to get rid of any Tai-fighters trying to lift off on the runway.
Vlad's missile launch was not unexpected. Nine missiles streaked out, homing onto the two approaching Tai fighters. immediately, the two fighters spit up. Pouring chaff and flares as they accelerated apart, they spun midflight and began to shoot at the remaining missiles with their burst fire plasma cannons. Unfortunately for the Tai fighters, each was struck by one missile, one gouging a deep furrow in the fuselage armor, the other taking a hard hit to the Left wing. The First spun back around and continued to follow the quickly retreating AU-3. the other began a flat spin northward, the pilot fighting with the craft controls.
The remaining pair of armed Aeroframes upon the runway began a tight formation acceleration down the runway. Soon they would be airborne and in the fight. Seeing his moment to shine, Joshua locked on to the two accelerating Aeroframes. If he could catch them on the ground, that would be a big win for team Black Forge. He veered to the right as he engaged the VTOL systems and Launched the wing mounted guided missiles as well as firing the 20mm autocannons and sighted the gauss cannon upon the lead Aeroframe. Three missiles streaked out and down upon each of the targets. The flare and chaff deployed, but with the low speed and inability to maneuver the missiles each took three missiles into the aft engine ports, wing and fuselage. The rear Tai fighter detonated as the last missile penetrated the weakened fuselage armor, killing the pilot. The lead Aeroframe sloughed off armor from the missile attack and the streams of cannon fire before taking a solid hit from the heavy gauss cannon to the left wing, punching a hole through it.
Once the Hummingbird settled down, the Marine elements unbuckled and began racing down the ramp towards the cover of the building. Mr. Jamison and Mr. Gorman began to bark orders at their respective elements. Gorman, being a bit timid, ordered his element to begin suppression fire from the nearby building on the remaining Imperial Infantry. Jamison, the bold leader, ordered his element to charge the Dropship ramp. Karma, being in Jamison's element, was also ordered to charge. Once the Marine elements were clear of the Hummingbird, Marina closed the aft ramp as she gunned the engines to take off.
Pulling up and away from the drop-off point, she gave the Marines an impressed nod as they undertook their charge. How gallant, she thought as she quickly surveyed the battle around her. She saw the three Taienese Aeroframes racing down the runway, desperate to get airborne, and was tempted. Down to only her autocannons, this moment of vulnerability was probably the only chance she would get at taking one of them out. But then, Joshua's Aeroframe was still in position over them, and she could see Alex's mech beginning to open fire on them as well.
"Ah, to hell with it," she muttered, returning her attention to the Marines. They were so small compared to the multi-ton ships and war machines littering the battlefield, but no less brave. It would be a shame to let their courage go unrewarded. "No need for us to part ways just yet!" With a blast of her horizontal thrusters, she drifted around the corner of the building separating her from the enemy dropship and let loose. Marina fired upon the remaining defensive infantry emplacements with her 20mm autocannons. Spent shells rained down, smashing the odd parked car as she traced her fire back and forth through the enemy lines, doing all she could to keep them suppressed while Jamison's element closed the distance. Streams of tracer rounds lit up the daytime sky as the lights of death touched the area’s leading up to the dropship ramps. High speed projectiles ripped through sandbags, imperial infantry, and thin ferrocrete barriers. in seconds, there was few moving things left in the area near the dropship ramps. With a cheer, the Black Forge marines charged towards the crippled dropship and its treasures.
Leo, a new junior mechanic working in the engine room, awakened with a raging headache and a stream of blood running down his shirt. He was nearby when the blast from the ammunition crate knocked him off his feet and stole his consciousness. Around him, some of the others weren't so lucky. Several different species of aliens were unmoving, and some were moving sluggishly. The part of the control panel still undamaged displayed critical damage to the engines numbered one and three.
Leo got up, stumbled, and fell against the side of a machinery. His head was pounding, but only as bad as any night of hard drinking. Leo looked on silently, surveying the damage readouts. He tried to contact the bridge, "Anyone upstairs? I'm seeing readouts for a fractured fuel injection line for one and three and a lot of the folks down here are taking a forced nap. I can see if we can patch up the lines enough to get them online, well at least enough to bounce this place." The command line crackled a response, "Captain Chuan here. Get those engines back online. It isn't looking good for us out there.". Leo grabbed what he thought he needed, shook a few people he thought were awake enough to work, and started heading repairs for the engines, flipping open the access hatch and crawling into the maintenance space.
Leo took one of the side thrusters and began disassembling it, removing the turbopump and started replacing the destroyed one on drive three. He was basically shoving a square peg in a round hole, but it should work long enough to get them home.
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Hal 9000, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Orbit of Kotoku IV
A moment of calm proceeded as Captain Shu was able to charge the drives for an emergency Jump. Space, time, and light folded inwards as the Han disappeared from the Kotoku system. Thousands of kilometers away, a half dozen Spheres detached from their mothership, Ion drives pushing them towards their target, Kotoku IV. The remaining Imperial fighters in space turned and began a high gravity burn towards the Dropship on Kotoku IV.
Jazera Space Port
The Mecha pinned beneath Orange struggled for a moment before accepting the inevitable and powered down after rolling upon the arm, pinning the Mystery Machine's right arm in place. The other Warmonger near the Air control tower struggled to rise to its feet, failing and sliding back onto its belly.
The returning patrol moved into defensive positions, firing upon Muk and Xir. The odd Mecha out got to its feet and began moving towards cover. The cover in question was the mecha sized buildings several hundred meters North East from the Daedalus. One Mecha fired upon the Doomcrakka, hitting its right torso with a heavy laser. A stream of liquid metal flowed off Muk's mecha, splashing to the ground.
The remaining two mecha fired upon Beast, scoring a pair of laser hits and many near misses with the plasma cannons. The heat from the twin lasers striking the right flank of Beast, boiled blood and burned skin but didn't pierce the thick hide.
Seeing the Air Traffic Control tower still semi operational, Dav locked on with his missile systems and fired another triplet of missiles at it. Dav then turned the Dark Horse to the right in a northeastern direction and advanced. He targeted the injured patrol mecha's right torso and fired his remaining weapons. Two of the triplet of missiles connected with the tower, destroying the top level, glass and steel showering the ground below. The patrol mecha targeted by Dav received his gift. The gauss cannon and the right plasma cannon hit the intended area, the left plasma cannon struck the building. With the engine shielding damaged beyond safe margins, the pilot ejected.
Alex was sure that there would be some enemies on their way back to the airbase soon, so he decided to support the ground forces while staying in cover. Some Taienese troops were beginning to filter out of the airbase and attempting to stop the marines. He walked the fire of his autocannons over the positions of enemy ground forces, taking care not to hit the marines that were serving the black forge. 20mm cannon rounds struck the dropship security teams attempting to keep the Black Forge marines from entering the cavernous Sphere.
Muk cursed at the Taienese pilots for wrecking the spray-paint on his Doomcrakka. He looked at the display, seeing that he essentially only had armor left on his left torso, center torso, and his right arm. Any more direct hits would probably detonate ammunition, removing him from the battle completely. He would need to get to cover if he wanted to keep fighting.
The Warmonger on the ground presented an irresistible target for Muk’s Third Eye. Muk targeted the downed mech. With a deafening roar, the oversized cannon fired in unison with Muk’s remaining autocannons. The high velocity rounds punched through the shredded armor over the gyro casing, spilling the heavy metal sphere in chunks onto the tarmac. A moment later, the pilot ejected. With more enemies coming, he didn’t want to be focused down and killed. At Muk’s direction Doomcrakka sprinted into cover behind the Air Traffic Control building.
With Xir utilizing the pain and adrenaline from the laser burns on Beast right flank, Xir directs Beasts rage and aggression into focusing the continued flanking around the patrol unit while lancing the cutting beam into a pair of patrol warmongers. The beam grazed the first Warmonger and struck the second Warmonger in the left torso. Xir taking note to now place Beasts left flank in the direction of the enemy. Maybe a cross fire with the enemy might be in order. Xir opens coms, "I'm going to try and flank the patrol unit. Maybe we can get them in a cross fire."
Lily saw the communications array on the tower collapse and hoped that helped disrupt their enemies as she turned to the approaching group of Warmongers. She looked at Orange managing to shut down his own mech and sighed, activating her jump jets to propel herself about as gracefully as a machine of that size could towards the legless machine whose pilot refused to give up.
Walking the last few paces over the down machine she carefully placed the muzzle of her non-functional gauss cannon against it while her working one took a shot at the lead warmonger from the second patrol. A bluff, but a good one. The shot plowed through a corner of the building, damaging the armor of the Warmonger's left leg. The crack of the shot whipped across the star port before she turned on her loudspeaker system to speak to the legless mech.
"Please bail out." She spoke it tightly, polite but pressured as she also used it for half-cover from the rest of its approaching comrades. It was at this time that she realized the cockpit was empty and the enemies around her had either powered down or punched out.
The catspaw continued its march undeterred, slowly trying to take point on the formation as the allied machines groaned under the enemy fire. "Damaged walkers, rotate with your squad mates, it won't do if you lose your mechs right now." Makre suggested into comms, as he slowed the Ocelot's gait enough for the targeting systems to line up with the farther Tai Pan walkers. A full volley from his weapons rocked the machinery again as soon as he finished acquiring the target. With a huge buildup of heat in the cockpit, A quartet of missiles launched as the Heavy gauss cannon, plasma cannons, and pulse lasers reached out towards an enemy mecha. Makre could see through the dripping sweat pouring down his brow two of his missiles struck the center of the enemy mecha, ripping holes into its center torso armor and internals. the other two missiles buried themselves into the thick part of the right leg, removing armor and artificial muscle. The Pulse weapons stitched fire along the right arm and both legs, shredding armor
Aiyana saw what was going on with Orange and that he was quiet effectively destroying the mech under him, with that Aiyana would turn her attention to the other battleframes that were nearby, and she would start to work her way up to them. Aiyana was loading her autocannon and aiming it at the battleframes before she started to fire on them. Being new to mecha combat, she pressed the firing button on her right-hand controls. hundreds of 20mm cannon rounds traced out before the cannons overheated and jammed. unfortunately, the fire was ineffective, most impacting on the walls and internals of the building the targeted mecha was ducking back behind.
Steven, his nerve restored with the happy juice included inside the first aid kit, focused his mind on hunting the enemy. Steven said, "Thanks, Lyon. Appreciate the patch." Checking his working tertiary monitor he locked his weapons on the damaged enemy hiding behind a building and fired all his weapons. Now was no time to be worrying about heat, he thought as his nerves tingled from the freshly applied Nu-skin. A wave of heat flooded the cockpit as plasma and power was siphoned from the main reactor. A veritable light show extended from the arms and torso of the Clad Enforcer, seeking his prey. It would have been quite the experience save for the fact that Steven's aim was a bit off. More than two thirds of the pulsed laser bolts, gauss rounds, and plasma balls impacted the building beside the Warmonger. a few shots impacted the right torso, but most stitched into the legs. With the volume of fire already directed into the legs, the right leg collapsed, toppling the mecha.
Steve back for action, began to move his mecha after Lyon welded his mecha back up. Steven thank Lyon very much for the helping hand. Steven scanned the area for any enemy mecha frames and fired on them
As Lyon stepped back from Steve, he emptied his pea shooter's magazine firing at the wave coming from the Northeast. With his remaining shield now programmed to be pointed in that direction, the scoundrel directed his mech through the smoke he himself deployed and rushed to the side of the Mystery Machine. Lyon took a split second to fire off two more smoke grenades to deny the Taienese' line of sight, then went about rescuing Orange. "Hold still," he remarked as he diverted power into the mech's arms, using them to tear open the cockpit.
Orange started the process of flushing coolant through the fusion engine, powering it completely off and back on. It hoped the heating sinks were helping to cool the fusion reactor. Using the excess power from regenerative cooling, Orange restarted the mech, yelling into the mic as metal fingers began to dig into the armored casing, "Wait, wait, I'm good. I just need help getting my chainsaw dislodged from under this mech, Lyon."
The damaged Aeroframe accelerated and began to bank southwards, weapons arming. the armored launchers on the wings opened, revealing several dozen mini missiles. A quartet launched, seeking the nearest enemy. That enemy was Joshua. A pair of missiles struck the left wing and another pair struck the left fuselage. Dozens of green lights suddenly changed to orange and red as a loud whooshing sound erupted behind Joshua. Joshua struggled with the controls, attempting to regain control over his craft. "This is Wolf, took a heavy hit. Lost lateral controls. I’m going down. I might get one more shot before I eject. I repeat, Wolf is going down."
The two Aeroframes Vlad fired upon regrouped, then began to plot an attack vector on Vlad, targeting locks hunting.
"Air-watch Command, my asshole is being fucked right now. I got two on my wing. Anyone, I need help." Vlad says, climbing his AU-3 higher into the sky. He hit his afterburners, maxing out his acceleration in an attempt to evade his pursuers. Quickly the klaxons in his cockpit stopped as his altimeter spun upwards. Once Vlad passed twenty thousand feet, he glanced at his radar. His enemies were no longer in pursuit, off to seek more important prey.
From Marinas view, the Black Forge Marines charged up the large ramp and entered the massive mecha transport. Small flashes flared inside the dim caverns, but mostly it looked like it was going well.
Damion entered into the transport with the rest of the marines. While his eyes adjusted to the lighting, he raked his hand threw his silver white hair and wiped the sweat from his brow his skin around his hands and back of his neck show a deep surgical scaring while his skin was an unnatural ashen grey hue.
"keep your head on a swivel and guns to rock n roll anything moves that’s not us shoot it till it doesn’t move." Damion said to the other marines with him. Damion knew fully well he wasn’t "trained" for this thing or much sort of combat but what THEY did to him made him capable. Damion took point once inside the transport rifle to his shoulder as he aimed down sight checking corners if he saw anything, he’d fire a short burst center mass.
Marina didn't take the time to celebrate the Marines' success. Joshua's mayday was at the forefront of her mind. If he went down, not only did that leave a Taienese fighter free to engage either her or Vlad, depending on how hard he fought to stay in the air the enemy pilot might just decide to light him up again, potentially injuring or killing him.
Well, we'll see about that, she thought.
Her maneuvering thrusters fired, shoving the Hummingbird's nose left. The Aeroframe's engines shifted horizontal, and she gunned the throttle. The building she had been using as cover went by on her left, as did a second building as she tried to pick up as much speed as she could in such a short amount of time. Banking left, she zoomed past the smoke billowing out of the airstrip's control tower and readied her autocannons, eyes scanning for Joshua's attacker. When Marina cleared the smoke, she saw her sitting duck taking aim at the crippled and descending Pou Nan Yie gunship. A flick of her thumb and both cannons zeroed in on the nose and cockpit of the damaged Aeroframe. A millisecond later, a trigger pulled sent a pair of streams of armor piercing rounds stitching through the plate glass, killing the enemy pilot instantly. Streams of pink mist poured from the ruptured cockpit, the damaged craft spinning toward the ground. Unfortunately, the left-wing cannon ammo feed jammed from the heat of repeated firings. "Damn those Atraxian pieces-of-crap cannons."
Joshua struggled with the controls, attempting to halt the spin and land the stricken craft on the tarmac below.
Leo was fairly sure his idea to use a lateral thruster cooling pump and coils would work, just need to get them both repaired. Leo started to bolt the new pump down into the coolant line, it was two sizes too small due to the lateral thruster being much smaller but with enough sealant he was able to fit it in place. The pressure stress would eventually cause the pump to blow but it would hold long enough to get them out of here. He then shifted his attention to drive one, getting the new coils in place and sealing the piping with a carbon sleeve. Leo radioed to the bridge "Coolant lines are sealed and should hold... I think. At least long enough to get us home". He started making his way out of the maintenance space.
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Lone Badass, Hal 9000, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Jazera Space Port
Unconcerned with the archaic jet fighter above, the two Aeroframes above the battlefield flipped their frames over, diving into the battlefield. They opened their armored covers, revealing dozens of plasma mini missiles. A transmission played over every radio frequency, Angry and fast. "Wǒmen yǐjīng shòu gòule nǐ dì hǎidào bàilèi. Shì shíhòu sǐle!" [ 我們已經受夠了你的海盜敗類。是时候死了。] After that burst transmission, Hell rained from the sky. Several dozen plasma missiles launched, targeting the lead element moving to engage the remaining ground forces. Dav was the first struck by the fusillade. Missiles detonated across his mecha, the force of the wreath of explosions knocked Dav to the ground...hard. several restraining straps snapped along with his collar bone as he was tossed into his primary display. Darkness immediately took him, along with the faint taste of copper.
The Catspaw fared better...or worse. A quartet of missiles caught Makre in the right leg, melting the ferro titanium bones. like a rotted stick, the force of a running mecha snapped it clean in two. Gravity pulled the heavy mecha towards the ground, plowing it into the unforgiving tarmac sheared off the right torso gauss cannon barrel as well as the right shoulder missile launcher.
Aiyana took a spread of missiles, savaging armor but failed to breach or knock her down.
Facing two armed Warmongers, Steven braced for the return fire. many shots missed, save the pair that punched into his center torso and right shoulder. His pulse laser melted from the plasma ball that struck his shoulder and the armor boiled away to framework over his center torso.
The last enemy mecha followed Xir, blasting into his left flank. Hot plasma melted one of Beast's legs, only a charred mess of bone and sinew remained. the pair of heavy lasers cut deep into its right shoulder like a surgical scalpel, filleting muscle.
Having avoided death, Vlad now sees a good time to do some close-in-air-support. AU-3 sensors picked up some non-friendly mecha ahead, not too far away. Descending, Vlad lines-up his jetfighter to get off a good burst of 30mm auto fire on the mecha. Once in range, Vlad would unleash a trail of bullets before having to pull up to higher altitudes. Vlad would do a few more runs, given that the mecha don't have much AA on them anyhow. Sighting along an attack vector, Vlad lined up his shot on the crippled Warmonger. When he pulled the trigger, the force of the burst of fire pushed Vlad back into his seat as the AU-3 suddenly decelerated. In the blink of an eye, hundreds of 30mm tungsten tipped rounds punched through the thin rear armor over the left torso and into the engine inside. The mecha pitched forward into the building before slumping to the ground.
Down to only one cannon, but emboldened by her first air victory, Marina banked left, soaring over the airstrip as she raced after the two remaining fighters. As she passed Joshua's slowly descending frame, she wiggled her Aeroframe's stubby wings in a salute, before kicking the throttle to max. As soon as she had a clear line between her and the Taienese craft, she started squeezing off bursts with her lone gun from long range. She was not overly concerned with hitting the targets, her goal was simply to draw their attention away from her ground-based comrades. She also made sure to keep an eye on the nearby buildings, ready to dive into them for cover the moment one of the fighters turned to engage her. With luck, she could use her frame's hover capabilities to ambush anything that dared to pursue her.
Sensing his Aeroframe was in its death throws, Joshua waited until he slowed the vertical descent to a relatively slower speed and much lower altitude before ejecting. The explosive bolts holding the cockpit canopy in place detonated. a millisecond later, the piloting couch rocketed up and away. When forty meters per second of acceleration was applied to Joshua for over six seconds, his body trembled with the force. His vision blurred before the bladders in his flight suit kicked in. Thinking the delay was an indication of something wrong, oxygen finally stopped making it all the way up to his brain and Joshua blacked out.
"Roger that." Alex said, as he began to move back towards the area of the battle where he would be able to get shots off at the Aeroframes, to keep them off his damaged comrades. He attempted to keep a stable firing platform as he opened fire with his heat efficient autocannons and interspersed the fire with bursts from his laser weaponry. His ballistic weapons failed to connect as the enemy Aeroframes were turning too quickly. Readjusting his aim, he let loose the pulse and Gatling laser weapons, cleanly bisecting the right wing. Suddenly unbalanced, the Aeroframe began a flat spin. Overriding the desires of the pilot, the AI calculated in a millisecond the odds of the pilot recovering the craft at its very low altitude and forced an ejection. a second later, the remains of the craft crashed through a nearby building, both reduced to a smoldering wreck.
It would take a moment for Aiyana to register she was hit and when she got hit, it felt like it was going to knock her on her mecha ass but her crushah did a great job at keeping her upright. Several things blared from Aiyana's systems- including a weapons jam, "Shit!" the elven woman cursed as Aiyana went to unjamming her guns- she needed them. As Aiyana worked on the jam, she could hear the taunting outrage from the Tai Pan, that would just make her shake her head but right now she wasn't going to focus on that. When Aiyana got her weapon unjammed- however long that took- she would take aim at the Aeroframes that were heading in her direction. the warped cartridge ejected, along with a few dozen other decent rounds before the weapon indicator read green. She was back in business.
Lyon let go of Orange's mech, only to hear back from the Taienese as their missiles screeched through the air and pounded his allies like heavy rain. His eyes widened, blood vessels dying them red as Dav's comms screamed and then silenced. Nearly biting a crack in his teeth, he brought his cameras up to the Aeroframes, and shouted back, "ni ma bi! wo ba ni men quan sha le! 你妈逼！我把你们全杀了！ (You sons of bitches! I'll kill you all!)" He grabbed the sharpest piece of scrap nearby, dashed through the smoke, and then launched the improvised missile upwards at one of the fliers, firing a smoke grenade in conjunction to hide its trajectory. The scrap missed wildly as the launcher indicated an error upon launch. The missile did detonate, wreathing his mecha in a thick oily smoke.
Orange decided to start cutting through the Mech that had his chainsaw pinned to the ground being careful not to hit it while cutting. when its arm was finally released, Orange stood up and turned toward the enemies that were left. Cutting was more fun, Orange thought.
Muk heard the Taienese gibberish in his ear and then he felt the plasma explosions rattle his Doomcrakka. He hadn’t been paying attention to the Aeroframes before, so he didn’t know where the missiles came from. Growing a little concerned and annoyed at the smoke he switched from visual sensors to neutrino sensors and moved out of cover.
He could see that Dav was on the ground and not moving and Makre was also down. The single Aeroframe was passing by, leaving him with the enemy patrol as the best target. One of the mechs was venting an insane amount of heat. With so many friendlies down he couldn’t afford to give the Third Eye time to cool down. He lined up a shot on the damaged Warmonger and fired an alpha strike with three autocannons and the Third Eye. The enemy mecha ducked back from Muk's barrage behind what it thought was a safe piece of cover. To be sure, the building did stop the fusillade of small caliber autocannon fire, the warehouse walls being shredded. But the building could not slow down a large bore blast from the Third eye, especially when charged with the psychic prayers of his followers. The heavy cannon shell pierced through the warehouse before connecting with the left leg of the enemy mecha. The round pierced through the remaining armor and detonated inside the thick calf. The damaged appendage vaporized in a shower of ceramics and metals, knocking the enemy mecha to the ground.
Lily was miraculously unscathed by the missiles, looking up to see the rain smash down around her, her mech seemingly between the raindrops, or they thought she was little threat. She fired her jump jets again, the rumble of the engines reverberating through the frame into her seat as she launched upwards again, flying in an arc towards the cover of the buildings to the north.
At the top of her arc the jump jets cut off, a split second of serenity before gravity took hold was all she needed, lining up a shot on the low flying Aeroframes and giving one of the machines a passing shot before her mech lurched as gravity rightly reasserted itself, the jump jets stabilizing the recoil as she made a controlled descent down behind the building from the patrol of damaged warmongers. The gauss slug connected with the fuselage of the remaining Aeroframe, penetrating the armored shell. Smoke began to pour out of the ship as its nose turned northwards in an attempt to gain protection from its friendly dropship.
The machine crashed and rocked Makre out of his brain before he could react, adding to the to his heating problems in no small way. Alarms warning him of the various system damage seemed almost mute, in comparison to the loud, painful throbbing inside his skull. At the very least, that was all he had to worry about for the moment, no noticeable wounds on his body and a couple of weapon systems still operating meant he could still retaliate... If he wanted to make himself even more of a big-ass bullseye. After a couple seconds of meditation, the man cursed himself as he pulled the trigger "The Ocelot is crippled. Let's finish them before someone dies here."
With the adrenaline still running through his veins, Steven continued firing lasers at the knocked down Taienese mecha. As he fired off the ironclad lasers one by one the adrenaline surge more and more through Steven as well as the heat climbing inside his cockpit. Steven not knowing the difference between the two at the moment, he just hoped that it would be enough to turn the tide. Laser and plasma fire reached through the ruined building, removing the other leg from the mecha. With both legs destroyed, the pilot powered down. Steven was also in some trouble. His heavy use of weapons and inattention to his thermal scale caused his mecha to shut down. His adrenaline began to wear off at this moment as well. With the combined effects of heat and body fatigue, Steven slipped into unconsciousness.
Entering the building sized spacecraft never failed to amaze Damion. More than a dozen mecha cubicles were positioned in a circle around a central lift with a ceiling height of 15 meters. Several doorways with manual airlock doors of the more normal two-meter variety were evenly spaced between the cubicles. Inside the cubicles were mech gantries, thick metal cages designed to House and Facilitate repairs and rearming when needed.
Marina and Vlad did their work well.
The first main room required little in the way of force to secure. Nearly half a dozen Warmongers were still strapped into their gantries, many filled with rocket damage. Bodies littered the deck, the few alive had been secured already. Once mecha parts and supplies were now so much trash, some still burning from the recent air and mecha strikes.
The two marine elements began to subdivide into smaller teams. Jamison pulled out a bag of heavyweight zip ties and proceeded to hand out small bundles to each fire team. Jamison said, "Boss wants some prisoners. Accept surrender if offered but shoot to kill." With that the teams began to disperse. Damion’s fireteam was assigned weapon turret duty. "Secure several weapon turrets, and maybe use them on the enemy battle or Aeroframes."
Damion decided to lead his team to the north guns with little to no resistance. Upon reaching them he and his team set out to zip tie the enemy forces occupying one of the turrets. Turning to the rest of the fireteam "Go over and zip tie the rest of those in the rest of north guns." Pointing to one of the squad members. "You, cover the door I'm going to use this turret to try and shoot down one of the fighters."
With that, he would hop into the now opened turret and sighted the guns as his eyes glossed over with a silver hue as he began to load set and ready the turret before attempting to line up and lead the fighter with the turret sight before firing. Unbeknown to the enemy pilot, the Gatling laser cannon spun up as the fighter flew overhead trailing smoke from an obvious rent in its armor. Damion displayed a cruel smile as he sights on his wounded prey. with a pull of the trigger, a stream of coherent light and energy reached out and stabbed into the ruined flank of the Aeroframe. Multiple system failures began to register as each bolt impacted another internal system. Then the fusion core registered containment failure imminent and shut down. The pilot ejected seconds later, a plume of rocket exhaust separating the pilot from his machine.
The excruciating pain that passes through Beasts body enrages the youthful animal. With Xir's only option of directing the Beast adrenaline induced rage, Beast charges at its best speed, dragging its limp leg behind it, toward the warmonger that shot it. During Beasts approach the cutting laser releases a sustained Lansing at the warmonger cockpit/center Mass, slicing deeply into the center torso armor before sputtering out. Beast ended its charge with a grappling tackle against the warmonger, Beast’s claws gouged deeply into the armor of the left torso and right leg. With the screaming rage of the Beast, which could be heard even all the way back to the Daedalus, Beast lifted the mecha up and slammed it to the ground. The straps and welds holding the pilot and his command couch in place separated from the force, pasting the enemy across the back of the cockpit. With a scream of rage and victory, Beast belowed into the sky. Xir open's comms, "Captain. I’m not sure how much more punishment even Beast can take. Captain? Captain?! CAAAPTAAIN!!!!!!".
Leo pulled himself out of the maintenance hatch, and back to the engineering room. As he stood up, he stumbled, landing hard against some crates as his legs felt weak, he only realized now that his shirt was soaked through in blood. Leo pushed himself back up, there was still more work to do, others that weren’t as lucky. He began pulling people who still looked alive towards the med bay, calling out of the dropship radio that there were mass casualties on the engineering deck.
Seeing the battle was over, Chuan rounded up the bridge crew save for one communications tech and began sending all available personnel to help with the mass casualties below. With so many injuries and material damaged, she could only think this was barely a pyrrhic victory.
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, kiteakat, mechameme, Ray of Meep, lincolnD, Shinoh01, SloanRocks2, ArsenicJohn, Jimmy, Gir, Armacalic, Lone Badass, Hal 9000, Ahoy, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]