The Clockmakers began to filter into the corridor holding foam dispensers, axes and other firefighting paraphernalia. They blinked in confusion at the Rainbow Riot who was calmly leaning against the wall, having a smoke. "Uh?" one of them said, drawing her attention.
"The sensors are saying there's supposed to be a blazing inferno here?" the poor Clockmaker asked. The Interventor was way too calm and it was making him nervous.
"Oh, that? Yeah, don't worry about it," she said, as she indicated the closed hatch on the opposite side of the corridor. "It's just Up Yours." She seemed to think it over. "Though I wouldn't touch the hatch if I were you. It's kind of boiling in there and your skin would melt and stick to the metal, but it's not a fire."
"What the hell is he doing that's causing that?" Another Clockmaker asked.
"Oh, he's mining WhaleCoin. We're about to deploy to save his true love and he apparently needs more because of his lover's sick mother."
"Oh, you mean the guy being catfished by the dolphin."
"You mean you haven't heard? Damn, Cavill, you really do live under a rock."
"I guess he hadn't heard the news, though."
"What news?" Rain asked.
"WhaleCoin just rugged."
"Oh, yeah, that news," Rain said with a mischievous smile. "Shh. Don't tell him."
"You seem to be pleased, Commander."
"Really, Shank?" Commander Desanges asked their XO. "Do you really think I have anything to be pleased about? Even with some of the stragglers finally getting here, we're well below fighting strength and about to attack an experimental TAG research facility held by the hyperpower to save our pilots. We don't have a lot of anti-TAG weapons left and we'll be coming in with the remnant of a remnant of our forces."
"And yet you seem pleased."
They grinned. "Well, yeah, we're Nomads. This is just like our everyday lives only more so. The Corregidorans may have their crooked grin, but they're not the only lot that thrives in this kind of adversity."
"The operation should be starting by now," Shank said.
"Good, let's bring our pilots home."
8 Working Angel CRRRC
Casum Angelorum Timete
Task Force Up Yours
Interventor - Rainbow Riot
Salyut Zond - Proof of Purchase
Salyut Zond - Misplaced Affection
Reaktion Zond - Discount Buffet
Hellcat - Random Passerby
Bran Do Castro
Vertigo Zond - Care Package
Alguacil - Dizzy
Alguacil - Chase
Morlock - Up Yours
Morlock - Casual Encounter
1. Nomads wins deployment and opts to take first turn.
Rainbow Riot linked her fingers together and stretched. Her joints made a satisfying cracking sound. She then spread both arms high and wide, as if she were a conductor. She had a manic grin on her face as she brought both arms down dramatically, causing a number of quantronic screens to appear before her.
"This is Rainbow Riot to all Nomads; begin operations on my signal. You'll know it when you hear it."
All around the facility, the hacked speakers began to come to life.
Bran Do was skulking around in the rooftops. He had inserted himself into the area beforehand, scoping the lay of the land, and was now just waiting for the signal to begin. He could sense that there was something happening nearby: an engineer was looking very busy with his little REM assistant and he could catch movement from the corners of his eyes. The engineer was definitely not alone.
Mary had also similarly gone on ahead. She kept her hood up, and she was tapping her feet as she made last minute checks to her equipment. All the intel they had told her that she would be vital for this mission, and she had last minute checks to make.
Then the music started and there was no more time for preparation. Bran Do, Mary and the rest of the Nomads all took advantage of the confusion to begin their advance.
"I see some guards. They're pretty heavily armed for a security detail. The Combined Army presence must have them nervous," Mary said through the comms.
"Copy. I'll get Discount Buffet to provide overwatch."
Mary breathed in, and waited. She heard the familiar sound of a heavy machine gun opening up, and she moved, using the cover to advance without being noticed. A whump followed by the tell-tale pressure of an explosion told her that the opfor had fired a missile launcher and the sudden silence of the machine gun told her it had found its mark, but that was precisely why Nomads preferred Zonds to take the brunt of enemy fire, and in the sudden confusion of the attack, she had managed to sling the repeater into place. Now, it was time to get to work. She opened up her screen and studied her targets. A Nomad brain spike to the opposing hacker seemed like the perfect way to say hello.
Meanwhile Bran Do leaps into action. He jumps down from the roof, enhanced legs absorbing the impact of the crash. He felt the bullets whiz by from the direction of the other shadow sharing the roof with him. The one who had thought they were perfectly hidden in the darkest spot on the roof.
Whoever that had been was not the priority target however. He sprayed his combi-breaker, trying to catch the other large shadow he had noticed but failed to do so, and then he got tackled by the small REM accompanying the machinist. "Well this is embarrassing," he said, as he swatted it aside only to feel the pain blossoming from his back from whoever it is he had tried to bypass early on. "Damn," he said, as he toppled over.
Turn 1 Notes:
1. Hilariously bad rolls fuck with first strike plans.
2. Bran Do attempts to discover what was certainly a TAG. Fails, and puts all 3 shots into the engineer instead. Also fails that and promptly gets clinched by the helper bot who dodges into place.
3. A Hellcat attempt to drop into a blind spot to get a repeater on the fire team. This also fails.
4. I attempt to shoot the missile launcher with the Reaktion Zond to free up the line of fire for Mary. It was at optimal range and the target had no cover, so it wasn't a bad risk, but that also fails and the Zond gets taken out. This forces me to attempt a speculative pitcher throw which fortunately succeeds.
5. I end turn one with Bran Do clinched, but with a repeater down and the enemy hacker dead. The Morlocks have also advanced further into enemy territory.
6. Bottom of two, Uma manages to take out Bran Do who decides to just kill the REM. PersonalUser start moving the TAG forward to claim territory.
"Uh, anyone have eyes on Up?" Mary asked. "Could've sworn I just saw him run past me screaming about Ellie."
"Oh, wow, he's overshot the target zone. Probably going to be disruptive for them either way, but that means you'll have to hold the center on your own for long enough for us to extract our pilots. Up for the job, Mary?" Rain asked.
"Oh, I have some ideas, but I'll need some help."
The Fusiliers were spooked. Their hacker had just convulsed and dropped dead. Steam was coming out of their helmet. The lieutenant ordered his missile launcher trooper to reposition. He was set to do the same, when his commlog beeped. Checking the message, a message popped before his eyes: Christmas has come early, boys. Love - Mary Problems.
He heard the familiar whistling sound, and looked up to see a missile heading their way. There was no time to react, and he instinctively knew that wherever he went the missile would follow. "Well, damn, at least PanO has good healthcare."
Turn 2 Notes:
1. I move the Morlocks into group 1 and move them forward. The left one uses smoke to set up a path for the Hellcat to drop a repeater in the Uhlan's path and then positions herself as an ARO piece. Up Yours goes in deep, and penetrates the Fusilier ML. He is dropped by return pistol fire.
2. The Nomads give Christmas presents in the form of Interventor Spotlight and Vertigo Zond missiles. This wipes out the last of the Fusilier fireteam and puts PersonalUser into Loss of Lieutenant.
3. With Loss of Lieutenant, the enemy round is limited. Uma and the Uhlan kill the Morlock and the Hellcat, but the Uhlan gets possessed.
"Not going to be able to hold this much longer, guys." Rain said. Still, it was pretty funny watching the look on Uma and the Machinist's faces from the Uhlan's cameras as the hulking TAG turned on them.
"We're doing good. Just give me a little more. There, I've pulled up the Pilot Pods. Get our evac down here now. I'd get the crypto wallet but I hear WhaleCoin just rugged, so that's pointless."
"Ugh, I just lost control of the TAG. Our transport's out. Get out now."
Turn 3 Notes:
1. I use my new toy to kill Uma and the Machinist and park the TAG in repeater range.
2. I use a coordinated order to bring most of the surviving Nomads in the deployment zone to the nearside zone for control.
3. Up Yours who had regen from metachemistry flubs the roll. :(
4. With Courage and a command point, PersonalUser avoids a loss by regaining control, making two saves and walking up to the center. I had forgotten farthest side was four points and thought the center was the most important part, otherwise as Key Ops, Mary could have walked into the far side and won me the game with her tactical awareness. Oh well, I wasn't really planning on fighting in Edda but already got my Montalban game and wanted someone else in the group to get a shot at their zone. The failed regen roll could've also accomplished the win if it passed, but again luck wasn't on my side. Still, it was a very commanding turn 2 despite a lot of bad rolls on my part so I can't be too unhappy about the results.
1. Key Ops killed - 2 points
2. Nearest zone controlled - 1 point.
1. Center zone controlled - 3 points
Final Result: Draw
"Careful, those are our pilots," Rainbow screamed as she oversaw the Alguaciles loading them onto the transport.
"Look who I found?" Mary said with a grin, as she came into view carrying Up Yours."
"Oh, good. We've recovered all our casua--TAG!!!" she screamed, as the Uhlan came into view and aimed for a pilot pod.
"Ellie!" Up Yours shouted, as he came to. He pushed Mary aside and rushed forward, charging the TAG and forcing it to direct its fire towards the charging lunatic. He managed to get a full burst into Up Yours who collapsed once more into a pool of his own blood, but the charge had given the rest of the Nomads time to react and the TAG was forced back through a combination of small arms fire, and the transport's defensive weapons.
"Hurry, we need a Daktari now," Rain called, as they dragged Up's unconscious frame into the transport and the Nomads fled the scene.
"Oh good, the idiot's finally awake," Charlotte the Daktari said without rancor.
"You got yourself perforated by bullets playing the hero. Speak of the devil, you have a visitor."
The large, now-bipedal, and muscular male dolphin charged into the room. He grabbed Up's hands with his own. His hold was surprisingly delicate despite the increased bulk. "Ellie?" Up asked weakly. He didn't need him to confirm, he could already tell with just a glance, and he certainly wasn't complaining over what he saw.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I have some WhaleCoin but it won't be enough for your mother."
The dolphin shook his head. "No! No! I'm sorry you had to go through so much to save me, but we're together now and I've decided to join the Working Angels and WhaleCoin rugged so it's all worthless anyway. Anyway just focus on getting better and then when you do we have a whole future ahead of us. Have you head of Ur-Coin?"
"Ur-Coin? Is that a new coin?"
"Not yet, but we're going to be rich when we make it," the dolphin said with glee and Up knew that everything would be alright.
We did it, gaiz! We saved Ellie! Haha, I hope everyone enjoyed reading the whole thing as much as I enjoyed making all these stupid jokes.