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Bombing Paladin Lots

 
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Savant



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 355
Location: Rangstadt, Allied Europe, Earth, NEC

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Bombing Paladin Lots Reply with quote

The images on the screens were clear, sharp as the early morning clouds above Lake Esperance. Paladin Lots hadn't the sense of peace about it that Ashanti had in the morning cool, however. It was all foreboding and menace, a grim skeleton of aggression. Too-white lights glared from behind black ribs that encaced the monstrous creature; the dark shapes of buildings cast in soft oranges like the misshapen organs of the beast. Long angular spars were claws held close by spindly steel arms, holding the rest of the bustling city at bay.

"So this is your attack on the Lots?" Caelin asked bluntly, voicing the question that his companion didn't ask. The two Utopians weren't nearly as impressive outside of their exoskeletons - Armigers as they called it, or APEs as the Steelgate Republicans apparently called it in the captured video. They wore lightly armoured and skintight suits very similar to the Talons' own BDUs, and were not particularily tall or large. Caelin stood close with the Terranovans, his expression hard and critical. Scildfreja lingered beside, glancing about in impulsive surveillance. He caught her glance and pressed, "Psychological warfare?"

"That's right," Captain Tynes said. "We're demonstrating to the Earthers that we can attack them anywhere, and from any angle we choose. Gomorrah will see their failiure and support will drop for them."

"In theory," muttered Roland from across the room. Beside him, Mem shrugged affably.

"The CEF's gonna have to show Gomorrah that they're being held at gunpoint, after this. They'll have to stop playing nice," Mem said.

Caelin frowned and glanced at Scildfreja, who made some obscure and brief hand gesture that only made his expression deepen. "You put a lot of faith in Terran drones," he said. "They drop in the open sky, and the drop-pod isn't an Autocarrier."

"Autocarrier?" Tynes raised an eyebrow, "What's an autocarrier?"

The Utopians exchanged glances again as Caelin paused before replying. "Automated transport. It isn't enough to drop a pod of drones on a target in the open, you have to get closer or -"

He was interrupted by the baritone bark of the Utopian "Sleca" heavy recon drone, the Hammer. The camera watching the Lots swiveled upwards into the inky black, where the first trails of falling stars could be seen. "Lead Armigers. Twelve spacecraft inbound to this location. No guidance. No autoguard. Maintaining observational stance."

The Talons huddled inwards to watch the bright white falling stars as the drone zoomed into the leader in a side view - the inset panel showed the bulk of the stubby drop-pod rocket within the glowing cone of heat from its entry path. The thing was deploying long arms out of its sides, preparing to fire stabilizing thrusters to slow and control its descent. Sleca zoomed out again, panning back to show Paladin Lots in its entirety. The incoming pods were whitening spots sinking downwards along the black sky.

And then the leading pod blossomed into yellow-white, trails of spiralling fragments spinning off into the sky and a puff of dense black smoke marking its demise. Then the one behind. The drone highlighted thin blue lines where lasers snapped out from the Lots, caught by UV and infared cameras. "Target defense systems active. No threat to this unit. Two spacecr - three spacecraft des - four spa - Incoming spacecraft are taking casualties."

They were. The first wave of drone pods was nearly annihilated, leaving one alive to impact into the steel maze of the Lots. The second wave was taking heavy casualties as well. The drone took time with a secondary camera to zoom into the Lots, displaying a traversing laser turret as its laser eye slid along its track, holding a beam of heat and death against the hull of the leading drop pod.

Mortar fire followed, splashing fire and destruction into the Lots. Smaller, quicker lasers started to join in, peppering into the sailing mortar shells. With such little guidance the paths of the shells were predictable, and most exploded high in the sky. A few, though, impacted into the heavy gridwork. One large support spar buckled under a direct blast, setting the building above it askew and casting several individuals, little more than black blots at this distance, down into the dark depths of Alpha level.

The drop pods had finsihed their tasks, most of them sundered in the sky. The reply was immediate and brutal - swarms of Octopus drones spread out into the barrens around the Lots, followed by Battle Frames and Tanks and personnel carriers. Explosions and chaos followed as they wiped aside every vagrant or passer-by within their reach - a massed strike team of Frames swept forward towards the mortars. "This area is compromised," the Hammer reported, "Retreating. Lead Armigers, this operation is complete. Returning to pick-up location."

The camera swiveled aside, and then went dead.

======

* 1 of 12 drop pods report arrival at drop location.
* Drop Team #6 reported destruction of 1 building (supply offices), damage of three (warehouses) and one (latrine), death of 12 individuals, injury of 15 individuals. Operational lifespan of 2 minutes 12 seconds.
* Mortar stations reported launch of four salvos each, and destruction of 1 architectural structure and 4 buildings, damage of 12 buildings, personnel casualties unknown. Operational lifespan of 3 minutes 28 seconds.
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Savant



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 355
Location: Rangstadt, Allied Europe, Earth, NEC

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 Lares 275LC - 0830h
Paladin Lots, Gomorrah
Commonwealth Integrity Directorate Headquarters

The room was more like a stadium in miniature than it was a conference hall. This was the largest conference room in the Lots, and was designed with the specific purpose of general meetings between the CID and CEF in mind. Near one hundred chairs were arranged in rising half-circles, opposite to a wall and stage where presenters could speak their piece. This is where Krynn Rasuul found herself now.

She was perfect that morning. The black of her uniform was like the black of space and gleaming with the silver stars of her rank, her buckles, her buttons, and her numerous awards. Her complexion was in perfect counterpoint to the stark dress uniform of the CID, with pale skin and jet black hair. Other CID officials made the uniform look imposing. Her? She made it look terrifying.

Krynn was in rare form this morning. Even the hardened Colonels and Generals in front of her looked engaged in her rhetoric. She had been railing on for the past fifteen minutes, raging at the laxness that they all had displayed, burning with righteous anger at the results of their inattentiveness. She spared no one the lash, and she could tell that they were eating it up. She, too, fed upon her own anger, making the fires of hate burn hotter.

"It is our own laziness - our complacency - that caused this! We have no one to point a finger at but ourselves for this assault! We all know that the Terranovans," she spat the word out like poison, "did this just to make us look like fools in front of the colonials. And they were successful! We look like idiots!"

She faced off against a thin, lanky, sweating middle aged man who only hours ago was commander of an Arclight Fast Response station. He shook - he was unused to being in a gravity well - and his poor constitution only made him look more weak-kneed against the shorter but incandescent CID Commandant. He bared his teeth and made to speak.

"I've already submitted my evidence to the court, Commandant. I'm not the only one to make mistakes here." He growled.

"Have you been listening to me, Captain? Have you been paying any attention to the words coming out of my mouth?" Krynn was small but her voice was louder than one expected. She had gotten good practice at using it ever since her promotion to Commandant. She didn't let the man catch himself or reply, instead barreling forwards with her accusations. " We've all failed. But you, you are the representation of everything within us that's wrong!"

She glanced up into the stage, searching out for a face in the crowd. She needed to know her allies were with her. Krynn's glance was met with a grim smile. Krynn's own was more feral, baring sharp teeth. "Everything within us that's complacent! Everything that's inattentive! Lax! Decadent!" He was raising his hands, and someone from the audience was speaking up to stall her, but the CID Inquisitor would have none of it. Not now. "It's a cancer in this organization, and a blight on this fair Commonwealth!"

No one noticed her Orlinjok pistol as she freed it from the holster and took it in hand. They were too busy watching her thunder against the beleaguered Captain. "An insult to Earth! A disease! You're the worst of it! And I," She stood back and leveled the pistol at his chest, "I am the surgeon."



The echo of the shot was worse than the actual blast, for the ripples of remembered sound shook the silence that followed. The world seemed slow, stunned by that echo. Even the burly Mordred guarding the doors gripped their weapons hesitantly, unsure. The conflict between the CEF and CID had reached new heights in the quest for dominance. Krynn holstered her weapon and watched the body drop. She could almost smell the Terranovan stench on him.

Then she forgot him and faced the room again. "We have the gravest responsibility here in the Colonies. We must be ready to spend our lives at any moment in service to the Concordat and the Party. Every colonial is an enemy until he is beneath our yoke. Our foes hide amongst them, they hide amongst us. The worst foe of all hides within us."

She gestured to the shuddering corpse. "Complacency. Trust. These are luxuries we can't afford - eleven billion souls are counting on it. Let your duty consume you! Be diligent! Be ruthless! We. Have. No. Options."

From above, in the gallery, one spoke out. A stern looking woman with an angered look on her face. "The Eighth Fleet agrees with the Commandant," Admiral Edith Mubatu, recently promoted to the head of the 8th fleet, rose from her chair. "Twenty years of sitting on this rock has made us lazy, made us no better than this fat colonial trash. It's time we stretch our muscles and show these gutless worms who's in charge. It's time to take out the garbage."

Krynn could kiss the woman. A sea of shocked and angry eyes was quickly being swept away into a storm of righteousness. The Commandant fanned the flames. "I will prepare a program for the cleanup of the worldcity. Each of you," She pointed at the fleet commanders, "shoudl do the same for your own organizations. And then we'll take this fight to the enemy. Just like we ought've twenty years ago."
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