Starting over

Yu Jing
Yue Fei
VS Nomads

One of the benefits of reaching Hsien rank was effective immortality. Your experience and service to the State Empire were recognised with a guaranteed resurrection, and this was not the first time Hsien Yue Fei had needed to make use of it. The sensations of waking in a new LHOST were always disconcerting. Your cube brought memories of your last moments buzzing through your head, dreamlike, as you awoke. The richer civilians who could afford access to a resurrection often opted to have these edited out, preferring to avoid the trauma of their own death. To an officer of the ISS who died on a mission, that wasn't an option. They were expected to reflect on those last moments, learn from them and avoid such expensive mistakes on their next assignment.

And so, those last moments were crystal clear. The Kuang Shi buzzing from the boarding sub into the undersea lab, like angry wasps in a swarm. The sounds of chain rifles and screams, the confusion as his suit was hacked, then the embarassment and disgust as he remembered the boots of his armor losing purchase and slipping on a glistening streak of oily Walrus faeces. He had stumbled back out of cover just as a very determined looking Bakunin Moderator levelled her combi rifle at him. And then nothing.

"Don't worry, commander. I put an end to that lucky moderator myself. There are no more living witnesses outside your personal CSU detail, and I checked their contracts still contain that very strict confidentiality clause," said Celestial Zhou. "There were no Nomad survivors, not even their child hacker, which is the good news. You lose no public face and we don't have to explain ourselves. It's unfortunate that our strategy to send the Kuang Shi charging in first didn't leave us any opportunity to prevent a friendly fire incident."

"Unfortunate, but worth remembering how effective it is in such a confined space. This raises a question though, what had that walrus been doing inside the lab? Did you find anything tying this to the incident in New Hypatia?" As Yue Fei spoke, he gathered the sheet from the hospital bed around his waist and stepped to the ground. As he turned to inspect the crate containing his recently repaired armor, his back turned towards Celestial Zhou and she saw that the new LHOST had been tattooed in preparation for resurrection. In large calligraphic script across Yue Fei's back were the characters 尽忠报国 [1].

"We retrieved some samples and sent them onto our lab. There's no time to get into all that now though, we need to deploy immediately to a civilian area of Huaqiao. A familiar-looking member of the Bakunin Observance just showed up there and I'm really hoping they don't know anything about our affairs in Montalban. I made sure we took the call so we can scope it out and try to avoid another misunderstanding." Celestial Zhou moved to the door. "As soon as you're in your suit, we move out."

[1] This translates as "Serve the country with the utmost loyalty."

As Yue Fei and his units arrived, they saw a number of Bakunin troops milling around a Lo Pan's Noodle Restaurant. In contravention of Yu Jing Martial Law in Huaqiao, they had set up a defensive turret on top of the restaurant, obviously activated and ready to fire at anyone else in the area.

"This is the ISS. Please deactivate your turret and disperse. Lower all heavy weapons to the floor immediately," broadcast Hsien Yue through his suit's amplifier. This was probably a misunderstanding and it should be straightforward to remind the Bakunin troops that they were in territory administered by an ally. A moderator with bunny ears sitting at the noodle bar giggled loudly and a heavily armored Cenobite by one of the restaurant tables hefted her weapon over her shoulder, clearly not thinking of putting it down. This called for a restrained show of intent.

To avoid harming any of the Bakunin squad, one of the Pangguling remotes was sent forward to knock out the Nomad defensive turret. Annoyingly, it lost the exchange and ground to a halt.

"Let me fix it up," said the Monstrucker firing his gizmokit into the REM. With a whir of servos and a leak of hydraulic fluid the pangguling sank lower on the ground. "Uh. Let's try that again," said the Monstrucker, firing a second shot. Right on target! Both back legs fell off the Pangguling. The Cenobite snickered and yelled something rude about the quality of Yu Jing robotics.

Yue Fei saw red at this slur to Yu Jing technological prowess and ongoing refusal to disarm. Requesting smoke cover from Celestial Zhou he moved up and fired no less than five salvos of Armor Piercing ammo at the Cenobite. Just as his ammo was running low, a couple of rounds hit home and slammed her to the ground.

[ Not much really worked in YJ turn 1, the Pangguling failed, the Monstrucker executed it, then it took the rest of the turn to knock down the Cenobite. Suddenly, after using up all available orders and O-12's prestige (the most ironicly named rule ever, right?), Yue Fei broke his link to use his LT order and finally dropped the Cenobite. His haris relinked before passing the turn to Bakunin. ]

The Yu Jing Defensive Turret (actually a reconditioned Dakini tacbot) was deployed on a convenient fencepost, and demonstrated further the deadly accuracy of the upgraded F-13 defensive algorithms installed on it. It shot a Morlock, running forward and throwing smoke. It shot a second Morlock, trying the same thing. Then, for a finale, it shot an Uberfallkommando, who rather rashly tried to do exactly the same thing the Morlocks had done.

Demonstrating a little more smarts than the assorted dead smoke grenade throwers, Reverend Custodier Mira Rivera decided to fire a pitcher behind the building by Yue Fei. Putting some White Noise up, she ran behind the building and scored a classified objective by scanning Yue Fei, then attempted to carbonite him. Luckily his tinbot firewall saved him.

[ Bakunin turn 1 was actually more awful than Yu Jing turn 1, as @MJGrey lost three of her troops in the enemy turn! ]

To avoid further free hacking attempts, the ISS decided to deploy Bakunin's bane - Kuang Shi. One of them ran around the corner that the Mira was hiding behind, and dropped a chain rifle burst over the repeater, a Cenobite and the Rev. The repeater was destroyed and the Custodier, also the Bakunin lieutenant, went unconscious. The Bakunin turret, trying to even score with the Yu Jing turret, murdered the Kuang Shi.

Yue Fei's CSU retinue opened the first of the Tech Coffin's, revealing a High Value Target. Yue Fei requested more smoke, then used it to destroy the Bakunin F-13 turret before it could do more damage.

With the turret gone (and perhaps also because they had lost their lieutenant) Bakunin morale collapsed. A Kuang Shi flushed out the zero on the right flank and managed to remove the unconscious Uberfallkommando. Yu Jing were able to make a clean sweep, picking up their remaining objectives and making sure that Rev Mivera and her squad received swift medical attention, as well as a stack of indictments for inappropriate deployment of heavy weaponry and automated turrets in a Yu Jing jurisdiction.

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Yu Jing
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