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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:01 am
by Xah
Sierra Six, Cindering Peaks

The initial entry wasn't the cleanest the Xahians had ever done, and the language across the comms reflected that. Tomas watched in a professional detached view as the unfortunate first person to enter was taken down and dragged away by the things that were clearly waiting for them inside. First Squad took that loss with more personal affront that Tomas liked to see from Xahian Warriors; with various battlecries, the squad peppered the room with hundreds of flechette rounds, with mixed success against their foe. Clearly, to establish a beachhead, a more forceful beginning was required.

"Pull back," Tomas ordered and gestured to the two Umka armoured Warriors with the Arktos cannons. As the squads cleared themselves from the entrance, the two rotary cannons cycled up and opened fire on the building before them.

Whereas the basic rifle fired a depleted uranium flechette at a reasonable rate, the Arktos cannons turned that dial up to 11, firing around 10,000 DU rounds per minute. Less than 20 seconds later and the two cannons ceased, followed by four quick rounds from the autocannons, just in case.

Tomas wasn't sure if that'd be enough to clear the initial rooms, but he signalled the first squad to re-enter, although perhaps being a bit more cautious.

Re: The Light After the Dusk

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:26 am
by Pie
Sierra Six | Cindering Peaks

The Team runs out of their last building assigned, and they hear a large amount of gunfire from where the Xahians were dropping, the entire team turns to face the Xahians. Corporal Johnson stares at the Xahians as they use two rotary cannons and an autocannon to clear a room, he looks back to the group and says "they are obviously compensating for something." And walks back to where the dropship was, along with the rest of the Section. As they are approaching the gunship the Corporal looks down at his grenade holders, noticing one is missing he says "Oh shoot, I'm missing the one set for 10 minutes" Almost just as he says "minutes" The Building they just finished clearing explodes in a massive explosion. "I may have set it to full power also." he, and the rest of the section board the Dropship, and prepare to leave.

Re: The Light After the Dusk

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:43 am
by Ella2 6
Sierra Six, Cindering Peaks

The ghoul packs in the south were confound by the towering forms that confronted them. The huge, octopedal chittering masses were so far removed from anything that was humanoid that for the moment the undead considered them vehicles. With that understanding came all the intuitive implications of fighting vehicles - which, in the case of the Oizys , was not necessarily, wrong either. Indeed, their radial symmetry provided detection capabilities similar to omnidirectional sensors, their speed and strength matched that of mechanical war machines and their strange hydrostatic nervous system made ghoul control chip incompatible. So far as the ghouls were concerned, the ozyis were just unmanned ground vehicles.

Kinetic slugs ripped into the Ellian structures, holing the solid slabs of plasteel like bullets impacting glass. The ghouls go to ground, fattening themselves against the floor to avoid the heavy weapons fire. The shots do produce valuable material though, exposing the electronics embedded within the walls of Ellian buildings - these will surely come in handy for replenishing nanite reserves after the battle.

The Oizys smashed their way through the comparatively narrow doorways, battering down the walls and dislodging the door frames. The ghouls inside, were they able bodied, fled as the Phonotaxis clansmen spilled into the single storey building, having witnessed how easily they put down their packmates. Those too damaged to move quickly were assigned the unenviable task of delaying the tentacled monstrosities and found themselves quickly torn apart by blade and claw.

A ghoul who had been cut in half at the hip and reduced to crawling manage to strike one of the attendants with his claws, tearing a long gash in the environment suit, but unable to penerate the thick Oizys exoskeleton from his disadvantageous position on the ground. The Oizys brought a powerful limb down on his head in retaliation and smashed his skull open. 9503026-Combat-Engineer and 4933073-Reconitor faired even better as the only occupants of their building were two damaged ghouls that simply melted away under the heat of the micro-fission beams. The lasers had also melted some parts of the walls and the ceiling sagged slightly to the far side as the plasttel resolidified.

6206614's situation was more dire. Whether by choice or by chance, the Barracks Mastery ended up facing the strongest opposition of the three groups. Five ghouls awaited him in a dual storey building and they all pounced on him simultaneously as he breached the room. One of them, a formerly indigo-haired Ellian woman, had managed to climb atop of him while the other four attacked from all sides. She wrapped herself around the base of his ninth limb and drove her claws into it. If her control chip could express emotion, she would almost be surprised by what her talons had dug into.

- This one is flesh. -

The other ghouls quickly responded to this news by coating their claws in sedatives. If their drugs had any effect on these creatures at all, they might have a decent chance to bring it down.

Re: The Light After the Dusk

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:44 am
by Ella2 6
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Gunsmith, Floor -3

Charles took the weapon back from the Qorsikan and leant back in his chair to stow it away on the weapons rack. “Okay, I'll prepare the short rifles for you,” Charles nodded, relieved by the simple fact that the they could actually agree anything something at all, “Though depending on which avenue you want to pursue for obtaining them, you would have to fill out different paperwork. I'll have someone send you all the details later - your people won't be living on base will they?” Adrekka shook her head. “We'll send it to your ship then.”

He took out a sheet of paper from his desk drawer, folded it in half and penned down seven random sets of Standard numbers and characters on one half. After transcribing the same list of glyphs to the other half of the paged he ripped the paper in half and handed one of the two copies to the Qorsikan.

“Because you don't have Ellian communications keys, we can't set up encrypted channels with you without sending you a set of keys in an unencrypted channel first,” he explained, “and needless to say, sending you a set of keys over a public network defeats the purpose of encryption.” He handed her one of the halves and placed the other one in his drawer. “Go see John Camila, our cryptographer, to get these keys set up. Now let's take a look at those schematics.”

Re: The Light After the Dusk

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:20 am
by Qora
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Gunsmith, B3

Adrekka nods when Charles told her to go see their Cryptographer about the communication keys. "Very well. I'll acquire the schematics for you now. Unfortunately I only have it in a digital format. I hope this wouldn't be problematic for you." She produces a tablet from her robes and brings up the files for the Heavy Weapon Platforms schematics in all of its glory.

The schematics shown, in great detail, the many mechanisms that allow for movement, the armour for the legs and chassis, and modularity of all of its parts. However the schematics do not show the more important information such as the location of the AI, the Fusion Reactor, and the fuel tanks for the reactor. In that regard it only detailed enough information to show the connections required to allow the HWP to use the weapon and how the reactor may power it if it's required to as well as betraying that the weapons require an optical sensor for more precise aiming. Overall it seems to have a mimicry of arachnid life to it with the placement of its electrical works, internal systems, and armouring.

"This details as much information that I may freely give. Unfortunately I may not show the more critical information due to Imperial Law."

Re: The Light After the Dusk

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:35 pm
by Phorcys
Those ghouls not already crippled by their covering fire flee before the Westerners' onslaught. But five able-bodied ghouls lie in wait for 6206614. They hurl themselves at the lone Meridian even as he forces his way through the buckling plasteel.

The Barracks-Master faces the strongest opposition of the Taskgroup. The Phonotaxis remnants the lightest. Yet - at least immediately - their fortunes are reversed.

The Meridian is a veteran of the Contact War. The Meridian fought cuticle to cuticle with his brood-kin in the corpse-choked blackness of the Western tunnel-fronts. All dead now save for him - found buried under a cave-in and a pile of enemy dead he had gorged on for grim cycles to survive. Close combat methodology is ingrained so deeply into his circuitry that in battle the majority of his nerve clusters run dark - only the most primitive, oldest, fastest rudiments of the motor system flaring with hyperactivity.

The Meridian all but literally fights in his sleep.

Whereas the Phonotaxis Attendants - 0191997 and 0111795 - are hungry, hormonal, near-mutinous exiles herded into the breach on their Kin-Master's uncaring orders. Untrained, unspecialised - least essential of all their desperate kin-group - they are fodder and they know it. Passed over for use of their dwindling mating-stock. Fed on the scraps of what little can be kept from grasping Meridian pereiopods. They have no more will to fight for it. And even if they did - a lifetime of idle decadence has not made them into soldiers. They have only one tactic. Flail their limbs blindly and hope to make it out the other side. Against most softworlders this flurry would suffice. But not ghouls.

Within a half-second 6206614-Barracks-Master's limbs have weaved an intricate dance of destruction, pereiopods decapitating and crushing skulls, impaling bodies, barbed suit-segments goring flesh as they pull back from each darting stroke and coil instantly into another.

Four of the ghouls never touch him. The last clings onto his suit as if for dear life, already mangled and crippled by deep wounds.

In the instant before its spine is ripped out the survivor manages to dig its talons between the armour padding and pierce the suit-skin - exposing the base of his irreplaceable ninth limb. Another wheels around in response to eviscerate this threat to the ovipositor - but the ghoul's face is already melted half off, a high pressure jet of chlorine gas and hydrochloric acid spewing from the breach. The control chip is fried even before its body is torn open and cast away like a broken toy.

The last Ellian husk - a ragged upper body feebly attempting to crawl away on one broken arm - is dispatched the same way, spinal column wrenched out of its back. The Meridian inspects the grisly trophy for a moment, cloaca clicking in contempt at so dysgenic a structural vulnerability. He discards it. Moving on, cloacae scanning for more prey. Pressure and temperature alarms blare as auto-sealant clots over the suit breach but 6206614 is not concerned. All threats eliminated he clenches his cuticle shut and airtight. Deafening him. But protecting his soft tissues for the seconds until equilibrium is restored.

The Phonotaxis oizys burst into their building to face no threat at all - any able-bodied ghouls scattering from the moment the airlock gave way. But at the Taskgroup-Commander's urging the Attendants give chase. Surging rapidly ahead. Aggression inflamed by the long longed-for rush of power. Their will to fight is minimal. Their will to pursue and kill unresisting prey has never been higher. 111795 scarcely notices when a downed ghoul manages to rake his side, scoring cuticle. A pereiopod unconsciously lashes out to retaliate but the Attendant does not even break his stride. They bound deeper into the facility - overextending. And leaving their Master vulnerable.

Not that 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander is afraid. He fears nothing encased in full carboplatinum power armour - save for the Meridians - and even their threat recedes with a Kinguard at his side wearing the same.

But perhaps he should.

For he is least experienced of the oizys in battle - and in operating the armour, jealously hoarded from the Meridians for that exact reason. They could doubtless put it to more efficacious and threatening use. The Taskgroup-Commander employs it merely to dispatch already crippled ghouls, crushing them to pulp underneath its heavy gauntlets. Not even deigning to fire his weapon, or bloody his knife.

But his Kinguard has no such luxury. Rapidly convulsing his cloacae 0117771 echoscans every direction for enemy activity. He is all that protects his sibling-charge now, and he holds his coilgun primed and poised in two rippling limbs, flashing monoblades drawn in two more. He bears little respect for the craven command of his master, but so his impulses demand. Oizys are hard-wired, instinct-bound creatures, and loyalty to brood-kin is an instinct as deep as lust itself - insurmountable by either reason or logic.


But 0117771-Kinguard is no ordinary oizys. Once a scion of the greatest Kin-League of the West, his curated genome has been bred away from the oizys baseline for generations, attuned to subtler kinds of predation - manipulation, deception, even ambition. The necessities of Western rank. And so a competing drive flickers on the peripheries of his thought processes - one beyond the metacognitive capabilities of almost any oizys. One every cycle of conditioning was meant to guard against. But one arisen under situational strains the warren-masters could never have foreseen.

Is it not also 0117771-Kinguard's duty, the oizys considers, to insure the continuation of the geneline? Logically, must not this duty come above even his primary directive of protecting his immediate brood-kin?

Does not the weak leadership of 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander ultimately threaten the survival of all their band - all that remains of the Kin-League Phonotaxis? Would their genome's future not be maximally assured under 0117771-Kinguard's own estimable command?

Cold calculation races between the logic gates of the oizys' uncephalised neural architecture. An unavoidable resolution burns painstaking new pathways against the resistance of three million years of evolution.

Such hard-coded instinct cannot be truly overcome. But just for an instant 0117771-Kinguard's protective conditioning falters. And just in that instant 0117771-Kinguard elects not to warn his sibling-master. Omits to inform him of what he has just echoperceived.

9503026-Combat-Engineer and 4933073-Reconitor bounding deeper into the facility.

Just a glimpse. Then they vanish from echolocational range. But their stalking gait was clear indication of oizys on the slaughter-path, emboldened by fresh kills. Their last known trajectory has them moving rapidly towards the Xahians' position. Their intent clear. None other conceivable - but a retaliatory strike.

The fate of 7133707-Combatant has made clear what the consequences of further aggression against their alien allies will be...

"Advance-lead, honoured-sibling" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander clicks - and briefly 0117771 wonders if his Master has noticed after all, and similarly wishes to lure his suspect servant into the inevitable cross-fire. But the moment passes in a tracheal-contraction and instinct overrides. He dismisses the heinous, unthinkable notion. Stamps out his own anomalous thought patterns with a bristle of his setae and a rattle of his limbs. 0117771 protects. This is his nature.

Yet still 0117771 does not alert the Master.

The Kinguard could not say why, even if oizys were capable of introspection. For deeper than his shallow semi-sapient awareness can percieve, conflicting subroutines still run. Under-connected, scarcely co-ordinated cortices war with one another over a neuronal battleground. Contradictory signals racing for the most efficient pathways. Battling for control of motor function. The perceptual system. Hormonal secretion. The requisites of action.

"This one obeys. Advancing" 0117771-Kinguard clicks with only the slightest quiver in his limbs. The slightest flutter of his setae all that betrays internal chaos.

And whether one oizys deceives the other, or both, or neither - whether either are aware of what they are doing at all - the result is the same. 0119859 and 0117771 are isolated and heading into danger.

His suit is repaired, the wound beneath the clotted breach deep but superficial. A gouge of exoskeleton at the base of the ninth limb. Unconcernedly the Barracks-Master springs onwards to rejoin the other Meridians - 9503026 and 4933073, echosensed ahead -

-and somehow the veteran urban fighter trips -

-and his powerfully-built thick-cuticled bulk sent smashing into the ground.

6206614 has never made such an inexplicable blunder. If such a proprioceptive lapse was even possible he should have been dead a long time ago.

The bewildered Meridian realises - as he lashes out four pereiopods to right himself - that he cannot move the ninth at all. It has no sensation. The entire limb hangs off him somehow both limp and yet hydrostatically taut. Paralysed. Some toxin coating the alien claws - it must be - for he can feel the numbness spreading deeper into the surrounding tissue.

At the realisation an unfamiliar hormonal response floods the Barracks-Master's system - a cold shot of fear. For if the slightest scratch can cripple a limb, is he capable of surviving another attack, his mobility hampered, his combat effectiveness critically reduced?

He convulses his cloacae, ranging clicks high and low. Ominous signatures close in beyond the walls.