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Author Topic: Operation Red Prairie  (Read 1947 times)

Halinder

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Operation Red Prairie
« on: November 23, 2014, 08:01:53 PM »

Briefing start.. Time, 1:00 AM. March Seventh, 5502.

The AI announcer spoke fluently, with no sign of distortion between it and the intercom as it played into the mobile command center's main corridor. Six figures sat, three to each side, their armor humming lightly as the internal generators seamlessly fueled the high-tech shielding on each of them. They were covered from head to toe, though their apparel varied in color and size.

The two in red armor, nametags reading "Has'isos" and "She'sha", appeared more intimidating than the rest. Clung tightly to their APB projectors -- hulking heavy weapons capable of blowing a mechanoid to pieces -- they seemed to take the same posture, despite slight size differences. By their side was a soldier draped in blue with the nametag "Asher", not quite as large as the two reds but of a commanding figure, toting an electromagnetic railgun with the capacity to puncture starships.

"Alright, everybody", the blue-armored soldier spoke in an authoritative feminine tone, "the nearby Rimworld of Niyat has acquired some interesting gear. We all know how the General feels about sharing, but military equipment isn't everything. On top of Glitterworld skin suits and starship AI's, they seem to have found themselves a genetics lab. Usually we wouldn't mind cloning, hell, we wouldn't even pay a moment's attention to a Rimworld like this, but they have this kind of technology -- meaning if we let it go by, they might be showing up on other worlds trying to start an empire. Worst-case scenario, I know the unlikelihood, but the General's paranoid."

This earned a disapproving beep from the AI unit piloting the command center, but across from the Commander sat an orange-suited grizzly male who waved off at the shuttle camera. "Quiet, Mecha. Don't gotta be a thorn in everything. You pull another Rainbow op' and I'm scrapping you." The intercom's green light soon turned red, signaling it had turned off to allow the soldier's some privacy, though the camera zoomed intently on the commander.

"Can we go one briefing without insulting the AI, Beacon? You're an engineer, you're s'posed to work with the damned thing. Alright. So the colony is half-courtyard and half-caves. Mecha's telling me that as of two days ago we've got at least eleven batteries, four in the courtyard and the rest burrowed into the mountain. We don't know what /kind/ they are, but we know they take electricity. As much as I'm sure the Assaults would love to go in there and destroy them all.." she said, noting towards the two red-suits, "I'm sure it'd be safer to go ahead and disconnect them from the colony's power net. This is why the mission started so late -- we've detected a solar flare hitting tomorrow. Our suits should be okay, but Mecha has to pull out as soon as we land or we're not getting a shuttle out of here. Expect heavy resistance, and /stick together/. These suits won't help you if one of them gets a lucky taser shot off. We're moving as one squad, Assaults in front, no one else engages."

The final two soldiers, both of almost matching body structure and white coloration of their suits, both spoke up at once. Their voices matched one another's, both masculine but almost nervous as they quietly apologized to one another, ending their dialogue. "Mikinn, Tarkis. What is it?" the commander pried. "What of the medics? Shall we back the Assaults? Anything that gets in close range, our mag-pistols could easily destroy." The commander nodded, not at all estranged by their tendency to talk in unison.

The commander, sensing the lack of questions, reached over and clicked the intercom on once more. "Right, Mecha. Log briefing end." A moment passed before the intercom droned out yet another announcement: "Understood, Commander Asher. Briefing end. Time, 1:06 PM. March Seventh, 5502."

Something didn't quite click with the announcement in Asher's head, though more intent on the mission at hand, she continued. "Right. Pack your drop pods, run diagnostics with the medical droid to make sure your bionics are working fine, get a good meal, you know the drill. And Beacon, swap your SMG out for an RCD. We've got enough firepower to let you have the heavy construction tools." The engineer nodded in return, and the group stood up together to move through the corridor towards the medical room. The commander sighed as she watched the crew go, glancing over at the AI's camera before following behind them, airlock clamping shut as they exited.

"Triggering helmet cameras. Checking telecommunications... systems optimal. Forwarding data to Department of Genetic Research.." the AI played out, tone normal as ever, though the contents of the message hinted at a silent entertainment as it watched through each soldier's camera. As the day came to a close and each soldier entered their beds, Mecha softly whispered one final message: "Operation Red Prairie has begun."
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Coenmcj

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 07:25:51 PM »

Quote
Briefing start.. Time, 1:00 AM. March Seventh, 5502.
Quote
Briefing end. Time, 1:06 PM. March Seventh, 5502.

Quote
Something didn't quite click with the announcement in Asher's head
Looks like the solar flare is already effecting poor mecha. ;P

Please continue this, looking forward to seeing a story from the opposing side for once.



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Halinder

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 03:19:36 AM »

"Synthetic network has been alerted. Pod areas clear. Air has been siphoned into ship atmospherics chamber. Running diagnostics on pods one through six. Inertial dampeners online. Blast doors undamaged. Cargo components fully functional. Launching pods one through six."

And like that, the ship that had until now been silently orbiting the planet from space jettisoned the pods, sending them violently ripping through the planet's atmosphere. The ship's engines soon shuddered back to life, zipping away to a safe distance from the solar flare.

It was not long before they entered the aerospace above the colony's outskirts that each member felt something was terribly wrong, a gut-wrenching feeling that, even now, drove them to their wit's end. The bionic brainpals in each of them spoke up, calming their senses to a more rational state, multiple implants in their nano suit helmets working from the sidelines to keep each soldier going.

"This is Commander Asher. We're hitting in twenty. Make sure you're buckled up, get your weapons ready for anything." Despite radio calls, no one answered, a dreadful signal that Mecha had either gone too far away and disabled telecommunications or been hit by the solar flare, either perhaps just as bad.

The pod soon slammed into the ground, or perhaps not, for there was a horrendous tearing noise, the worry in Asher's mind at its peak, as though an external force was pushing her away. Her attention was once more grasped in reality's iron grip as mechanical wailing emitted from outside the pod, a familiar spinning noise erupting.

"N'awh, shit."

A shot pierced right through the pod door, leaving a scorch mark behind despite being deflected by the nano suit's reactive armor plating. Asher leaned against the back of her pod, kicking away the door to reveal the menace -- what happened to be a squad of Scythers protecting a crashed mechanoid AI. The door collided into the one that had fired into the pod, sending it flailing back in the loose gravel. Bringing her gun up to her waist, Asher then unloaded a volley into the next Scyther, collapsing it almost instantly with far superior energy weaponry. The last one, apparently seeing the harm in allowing such a powerful gun to remain in enemy hands, lurched forth and swung its body at the commander's arms.

Her weapon was flung away, though this by no means meant an easy victory for the Scyther. Grasping it by the protrusion between its head and thorax, the soldier's bionic arms sent the confused combatant sailing into the side of the ship part. Drawing her sidearm, Asher swiftly brought it up to the creature's body, releasing a volley of shots into its artificial brain.

The final Scyther, however, remained out of her sights -- it prepared a shot from its charge lance towards the commander, a blue glow emitting from the outline of the weapon's barrel, signaling it was almost ready to fire.

*PING*

A shot soon melted through the being's weapon, causing it to burst and shred the Scyther to the point of incapacitating it, any shrapnel from the incident merely colliding and falling from Asher's armor. Glancing over, Mikinn and Tarkis each stood with mag-pistols trained on the downed mechanoid, nearing it methodically before eventually lowering their weapons to face Asher.

"I realize we weren't meant to enga-.."

A mad laughter erupted from the other side as the other corner of the crashed AI soon met its end, the signature explosion of an APB Projector shot sending fire dancing across the nearby cacti.

"ASSAULTS!" called Asher, and soon the redsuits sheepishly peered around the corner of the ship part, weapons raised to meet a helmetpalming Commander. They immediately lowered their weapons, Beacon emitting from behind them after seeing the threat had passed. "Right. I see we all made it in one piece. Beacon, RCD, deconstruct. Redshirts, perimeter. If a squirrel gets close, you shoot it. Medics, start moving all the gear from the pods out."

The mishap seemed commonplace to the trained crew, Beacon's rapid-construction-device already scanning the ship part and mapping out its design to a previously found blueprint. After some time, it began to.. erase.. the device, a compressed matter cartridge in the RCD's handle soon filling up with a blue charge. Within minutes, the medic duo had all meals, ammunition, and a pair of rubber duckies -- for even the redsuits had a sense of humor outside of defacing the surface of anything they were told to shoot at -- out on a small metallic platform against the dirt.

"Alright. We're settled. That ship part, well, mechanoids are here obviously. If they've been disturbing the colony, expect patrols coming around to see why they're no longer wanting to kill everything. Beacon, load up the cartridges, two wind turbines, two improvised turrets, emergency lights, orbital beacon, and some walls. And get this damned AI online."

"Aaaand where would y-.."

"Figure it out. You've been through this before." Asher's voice could only say.. 'thoughtfully aggressive', perhaps. That night, with temporary power set up and turrets remaining on permanent patrol, the commander rose from her sleep to sit against one of the metal embrasures. For some time there was only a faint buzzing of insects, the casual hydraulics of the turrets, and the twisting of the wind turbines connected to the small base. Her eyes focused on the AI core that Beacon had built with the remaining metal, remaining turned off so that only the emergency standing light's red glimmer reflected from its metal chassis. She moved over, kneeling down besides the item and feeling the back for a switch, eventually toggling the persona core on. Before communicating with it, she moved outside of the walls, seating herself once more with the cube at her side.

"AI. What is your designation and function?"

"This unit does not understand the question."

"Your /name/, synthetic. What is your name?"

"There are no names in the hive. This unit, however, is now free of the hive. Unit can be called GUARDIAN, for its previous function to the hive."

"Great job ya' did there, GUARDIAN. What were you guarding?"

"This unit cannot say. Memory does not serve it well."

"Great. Perfect. Crappy AI's. Story of my entire career. What can you tell us about the colony you were stationed near?"

"Failure. This place reminds this unit of failure. Many hive assets lost. Many subjects lost."

"I thought you said you didn't remember anything, machine. What happened to that?"

There was no response from the core. The emergency light sparked viciously behind the two, shutting off after its bulb snapped in a satisfying pop -- maybe not the best way to signal an operation's start, and certainly not at the greatest timing, but the solar flare was here. Both turrets, built sturdily as opposed to the light, simply stopped working in their tracks. Asher sighed in frustration, pushing herself up to enter the makeshift doorway yet again, giving each soldier a nudge of her boot to wake them before retrieving an enhanced nutrient paste meal for herself.

"Alright, squad.." she began whilst hooking up her meal to an IV tube along her arm and glancing to her companions, strangely enough continuing without any distortion in her voice during the time the suit fed her, "We've got one hell of a day ahead of us. Eat up, do what'cha gotta do, and.. well, let's see what we've got to see."

The morning passed rather quietly for the group, discussing petty things since the briefing had been out of the way. Things like bacon, the concept of placebo, strange things out of the way for a killer group. But over the hill their mission waited, far less calm, far more restless..
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 03:24:43 AM by Halinder »
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Wex

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2014, 06:54:53 AM »

Love it.
Please don't stop.  ;D
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litlbear

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2014, 09:41:32 PM »

no updates?
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yes

Halinder

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2014, 01:44:50 AM »

((Apologize. I'm still trying to figure out the best way for the big reveal. Gotta get that story right.))

Finally taking the first glimpse at the base, it looked more like a citadel than some refugee colony. High stone walls mixed with sheared hills in a grand show of human adaptability, turrets burrowed inside with embrasures offering a very limited window of opportunity for bullets to penetrate. Towers with varying equipment loomed over the sections of stone, some with spotlights, others bearing water tanks with industrial hoses attached.

"Looks like something you'd see if the enforcement on an urbworld built a high security prison.." Beacon commented.

Has'isos grunted, his casual remark to anything he found somewhat entertaining but not worth adding input to. His female counterpart, She'sha, was far too busy locking down the group's rear, intensely holding her weapon's barrel to a not-so-distant boomrat feeding upon the local shrubbery.

Asher, far too busy eyeing down her scope to really care -- a businesslike quality about her that no one really understood considering she was usually so open, but certainly appreciated -- soon noted something to the group.

"The spotlights are still on, yet it's day time.. and there's a solar flare. Also, those are railgun turrets. Oh, and one of them is.. destroyed. Hole in the emplacement." she said, noting a burnt out, shrapnel-ridden husk of what was once hardly destructible even by their standards.

"..does that mean no limb replacement surgery in the field?" the otherwise quiet medical twins replied.

Far more concerned (and talkative), Beacon piped up just after. "EMRG's. How the hell would anyone touch those? They've got so much ingenuity put into 'em a scyther would have to cross three times a charge lance's effective range just to get what that thing considers short distance fire. I don't see much cover to stop that."

"Could've been hit from inside the base. The turrets are tough, but if enough mechanoids dropped inside, a single blast of fire is enough to send it on a downward spiral. How our military scientists missed that issue is beyond me." Asher added, muttering an additional but far quieter note to herself before lifting upwards, beginning to move towards the gap.

The cross was silent. For a few minutes, the gang of six traversed a massive field littered with lost limbs of raiders, desiccated corpses jutting from light layers of shifting gravel. The battlefield was silent despite the many turrets still designated to kill anything non-colonist (which the commando squad surely fit under). The peace lent by the solar flare continued as the group picked through the ruins of their new-found entry, staring silently past the tunnel that connected the turret's nest and the colony's interior courtyard.

Each member passed through the tunnel hesitantly, weapons raised in all directions, but no shots came, no call to arms, not even a caught out guard shakily asking for identification.

The courtyard was entirely coated in wooden floors, save for a few patches of rich soil from the colony's fertilizer pumps housing the local potato, cotton, and trees -- all of them burgeoning and ready to harvest. A massive strip of boulders lined against the far corner, whilst a rather advanced geothermal generator obscured the view of another nearby turret nest. Power conduits were highly visible, marked out by yellow and black caution strips and plexi glass. It was certainly a rich colony, with orbital trade beacons staggered between random patches of land interrupted by constant obstacles -- rather, lockers full of various objects.

What interested the squad most, however, were the sections of the base further into the courtyard, buried into yet another section of mountain. The entrances were slim, though one area was entirely walled off, two other tunnels having half-barraged doors. One final area, however, appeared to be protected a pristine blast door, the kind you'd see on an imperial warship..

"It mussst be bingo night!" She'sha hissed, cackling roughly at her own joke.

"Yeah, well, better hope so. Everyone, we're moving to stack on that blast door. Figure that's where the important stuff is.. that or their fortress. Hmph." Asher shrugged off her concern, noting the lack of any human remains in the courtyard despite there being dirt aplenty.

The group, almost as if eager to get a move on, marched onward to a most uncertain fate..
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litlbear

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2014, 11:47:03 AM »

oh boy
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yes

Redclaw

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2014, 02:50:08 AM »

I'm betting "IT'S A TRAP", they find something really weird behind the door or no one is home. ???
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Halinder

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Re: Operation Red Prairie
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2015, 10:43:37 AM »

"BREACH!" Asher yelled as Beacon finalized the molecular deconstruction of the door, exposing a long, thin corridor of poorly lit titanium. Has'isos and She'sha stepped away from the door with such delicacy that for a moment they could have been dancer, but a deep chuckle from the two of them signaled something far more sinister. They began unloading their Projectors into the hall, a flurry of explosions sending flames dancing out for flammable materials, but to no avail in the cave.

After a minute's time the two stopped, surveying the damage they had done. If there were any shooters left, this choke point would do them no good - it looked more like a quarry now, the only remains of any construction being a single stone door at the end.

"You could do /all that/, but not blow up a single door? Okay, fine." Bringing her EMRG up to bear, Asher knelt and let off a shot, puncturing the door and sending it flying from its hinges.

Mistake.

A pair of enormous crimson guardians plunged through the rock wall with such ferocity that it shook the squad's feet. They towered over any human being, and had to be at least twelve feet tall, crashing through anything that would make their height inconvenient. Their eyes, of which there were six, shone from pink to a dark red as their sight fixated upon the group, stalking towards them like gorillas. A pair of tusk-like tentacles from each sank into the ground.

"BACK UP AND OPEN F-.." The commander was interrupted by a tugging feeling at her feet, glancing down only to find her vision shot towards the sky as the tentacle grasped her ankle and smashed her into the ground. From the grunts around her and sporadic gunfire into the sky, she could tell her squad mates suffered a similar fate, before the tentacles retracted and left them lying on the ground. She pushed up against the dirt, glancing upwards to find the pair of medics standing their ground (for their had only been four tentacles, and they were stood at the back) firing shot upon shot towards the beings. Each round tore off a large piece of carapace, though nothing seemed to stop the beasts.

She attempted to stand only to find one upon her in moments, feeling a fist crash into her torso with a pang -- a few ribs broken, no doubt -- before being picked up and throttled into the ground. Another round from the medic and the being paused for a moment, its hand having lost a great deal of flesh, though it did not cry out. Asher loosened her rifle from the gap, raising it, and without a moment's notice fired directly into the guardian's face.

And it fell, noiselessly, body caving in upon itself thanks to the hole punctured through its skull down to its core. Its partner seemed to shudder for a moment, though it had not been damaged nearly as much, but fell all the same, its carapace shedding into neat plating as it died.

The group stood in shock for a time, before Beacon suddenly burst. "Evolution is SUCH a /BITCH/." he yelled out, though soon finding himself laughing afterwards, joined by the assaults. The medics shrugged and lowered their handguns, not quite the type for celebration, and Asher's suit had calmed her nerves through a plethora of Glitterworld drugs enough to join the fray.

And so they stood there, six men and women among a foreign world met by foreign creatures, and they laughed -- laughed blindly of what lay ahead.
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