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(Ben Prunty – Old War Machines)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYfqH97b-sY

It always sat at the edge of your mind, but as you seal cracks in the roadway, you finally must admit it: Your recruiter got you good.

Granted, he had you by the neck from the start. You were never in a position to defer your service, but he made you think you got lucky: Good scores, good vitals, why don’t you join the mechanized? A sealed cockpit of a Panzerknecht 40 meters above and away from the worst of it, behind a suite of high tech weapons and defenses? Doesn’t it look heroic on the banners?

Of course, “it” wasn’t the pristine goliath of artillery that dominated the posters, but the utilitarian formation surrounding it.

You glance under the screens in your helmet and are treated with the dull yellow interior of your Panzermagd, crowded with manual adjustments and a backup screen charitably described as “adequate”. Really it describes most of the machine aside the insultingly small fan mounted on the inner frame.
You flick back on the DAS and glance upwards at your far more handsome companion.

The Durga strides behind you a dozen or so meters back, gingerly settling its hexapod legs onto the city road. A titan of matte composite punctuated by a trio of cannons aimed skyward. Even with your ministrations, you can see the massive Panzerknecht was making a mess of the pavement. You weren’t so much protecting the roads from the machine as much as ensuring its solid footing. In the evening sun, the machine shades the entire block.

All Knights were similar in that regard. They have a presence and gravity that’s more than mass. During training, you recall constant reminders of the importance of the knights and your duty to support them. The Knights took ground, the mechanized kept it, and the Magd maintained that order. You played schoolyard bully for the ground pounders while turning around and tending to these warlords.

The fact that this put you in a tug of war between the two does not escape you.
>>
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>>2720926

“01, is there something wrong? You’ve stopped.” Durga; A soft voice placed far above you by the positional systems.

“Nothing, It’s a lil’ bit hot down here.” You take a moment to mop your brow and sip a bit of piss-warm water from your hydration pack. Unsurprisingly, It does nothing to cool you.

“Keep at it, it will be nicer by the canal.” she replies coolly. At least that’s how you hear it: You can’t be sure if it’s just the 30 degrees talking.

You return to your work, directing an undignified squirt of burnt orange Shell compound from your machine and drown a flowerbox. The liquid rapidly solidifies, gaining a pearlescent sheen not unlike car paint. A juvenile musing tugs at your lips. Someone had to have been the first to suggest dyeing the epoxy. You leave the errant thought and the sealant underfoot. This is your first assignment under the Durga, and you had no intention of being crass.

“So… Durga, you got a boyfriend?” Jennings broke over the radio in a painfully affected drawl. He was handling Unit 02 across the way, laying a similar path for the weighty warmachine.

You sigh. It comes as little surprise to you. No doubt he spent the past three hours figuring the fastest way to breach fraternization code.

>Apologize for Jennings.
>Beat him to the punch.
>Ask Unit 03 what’s on her mind, she’d love to contribute.
>Leave it be, there’s work to be done.
:\\ [Write in]

30 minute voting window. Write ins will be accepted as responses or supplemental to responses except when explicitly noted.
>>
>>2720938
>>Ask Unit 03 what’s on her mind, she’d love to contribute.
Is this the AI to our mech? Why the bold?
>>
>>2720938
>Ask Unit 03 what’s on her mind,she’dlove to contribute.

Group conversation? Let's go!

I assume we're a 4 man squad? Also, clearing the way for a titan, that's an angle I hadn't thought I'd see in a Mecha quest..
>>
>>2720938
>Leave it be, there’s work to be done.

Head on a swivel, gotta make sure there's no charlies in the wire.
>>
>>2720938
>Apologize for Jennings.
>>
>>2720960

Unused to the markup; She's your third Panzermagd: You're squadded up with two others and assigned to a Panzerknecht. She's taking up the rear, so she's busy keeping watch and not trying to bang the battlemech pilot.

Not sure I'd put it past her.
>>
>>2720938
>Beat him to the punch.
>>
>>2720938
>Ask Unit 03 what’s on her mind, she’d love to contribute.
Being social is fun, but I'd rather not play another serious military guy.
>>
>>2720938
>Ask Unit 03 what’s on her mind, she’d love to contribute.
Being a grunt for long enough tends to knock the boot out of you and replace it with thoughts on how best to not get caught slacking off.
>>
>>2720960
>>2720962
>>2720975
>>2720982

>"Lis would love to field this one."

>>2720964
>Leave it be, there’s work to be done.

>>2720965
>Apologize for Jennings.

>>2720971
>Beat him to the punch.

Writing: Looks like we're calling in the expert.
>>
>>2721038

You get a bit of a wry smirk and key in.

“Hey, Lis. Looks like Jennings is trying to cheat on you.”

“Eww. No. Lead, that’s disgusting.” 03 shouts across the comms.

You glance back behind the Knight, to see the third member of your element, taking up the rear. Lis’s Magd wasn’t burdened with the large tanks like you and 02, leaving her far less encumbered. She barely needed to accelerate to make up the meters underneath the Durga.

“Jennings, this isn’t going to be a repeat of boot. Officers. Have. Options!”

She fakes towards 02, just close enough to provoke the proximity response. You wince as Jenning’s machine jukes from the expected impact: The feeling is rather like a mechanical bull if your experience serves.

“I am flattered?” Durga chuckles lightly, “I guess I need not worry about ‘inspiring loyalty’?”

“Never did Durga; We’re always good for it. It’s not like we last long out here without the big boy toys.” 03 lopes back center to the road, drifting back under the machine’s stride. “A word of advice; 02 is all talk. He knows his place. If he gives you any more trouble, ask Lead about leave in Prague.”

“Hey! Lis! You said you wouldn’t tell!” Jennings whines.

“I said it; You didn’t ask him. Now come on. We’re behind schedule, and I’m not getting busted down again because you thought you’d be Casanova with a ladder.” She makes some semblance of a rude gesture towards 02 and falls back to her place.
>>
>>2721160

Good head on that one, no matter what her record says.

You check your guidance systems: You’re inside a kilometer to the site. Better still, this road is already improved. You upload the data through to the Durga.

“Looking good 01. We might even catch up.” She bounces back a set of perimeter plans for your destination, an old plaza.

“The infantry is still sweeping, but I expect we’re going to be safe enough once we’re in position. You touch base with the Greys while- Oh. Never mind.”

You are about to ask her about the interruption when you hear a gentle rumble in the distance. You pull up the overview on your headset. A few “gentle” taps later and you confirm there’s no inbound threats: The incoming contact is labeled “Sigyn”, your support for this sortie.

“Lead, 02, move up to the East plaza at best speed. There was an engagement earlier and she is not going to set down unless she’s sure she isn’t going to be picking up shrapnel.” Durga passes the data through the link. “I am slaving you to her systems, so you will get her vector. Expect little chatter, the Sigyn is an older model.”

You break from formation into a loping run, with 02 a head behind you. Between the remaining distance and the bridge, you’ve got about two clicks to go. You see your systems swap over to the airborne knight, trading terrain and ranging for telemetry and vectors, which you immediately suppress barring the Sigyn’s true course. She’s distant, but if you can hear her from this far off, that’s unlikely to stay for long.

02 pulls ahead of you, so you pick up the pace yourself… which he matches…

“She said best speed right?” Jennings pulls ahead again, his machine shifting into a longer stride.

>The Vereinigte armed forces do not play games.
>Match him: She did say best speed.
>Humiliation round 2: Jennings, 2nd place.
>>
>>2721166
>Match him: She did say best speed.
Move with some care though. It's unlikely that there'd be stragglers from the engagement, but anything's possible in the field.
>>
>>2721166
>Match him: She did say best speed.
>>
>>2721166
Match him: She did say best speed
>>
>>2721166
>Match him: She did say best speed.
Now we must learn what happened in Prague.
>>
>>2721195
>>2721222
>>2721236

>"Best speed has a meaning Jennings"

Writing; Going professionally ham.
>>
>>2721263

“Yes; She did.”

You push your dynamo to best power and push off strong, immediately pulling ahead. Jennings falls behind 10 meters or so, before he gets his Magd into a similar gait. You ease up slightly to allow him at your flank, which he wisely remains at.

You make it up onto the bridge, which takes you out of the cover of the nearby buildings. A weak breeze nudges you slightly off course, but is painfully absent in the sealed cockpit. At the least, the increased speed was pulling enough air through the pipes to keep the extra power from making the cockpit any more insufferable.

“Hey. You aren’t going to tell her about Prague right?”

“Sam. I didn’t see Prague. I stayed on base and you came back wasted and bawling.”

“Oh… Right. You and Lis-”

“That’s not it Jennings,” You’re starting to get a headache, “Otherwise Lis wouldn’t know.”

“Ah… Makes sense…”

Thankfully, you find yourself across the river before further conversation could be made.
>>
>>2721373

You immediately dislike the position. It’s obvious from the start that it was chosen to hold the opposite side of the river to Durga’s firing position, but this plaza was ringed with vegetation and structures you could only imagine were sculpture. The central plaza was clear enough and solidly built out of stone, but that only made you more suspicious: It’s on the edge of your influence, it’s prime real estate… You would have put a few craters into it just to make the other guy have a shitty night.

It doesn’t really surprise you then when you hear a few rounds ricochet as you break the edge of the garden. The offending insurgent ducks away quickly enough, but the damage is done. Cover blown, game over pal.

“Jennings, lob a few grenades onto the rim of the plaza, I’m betting they’ve got fougasse’s lining one of the far sides.” He takes the left and you break right.

You unship your 30mm launcher and put a wide burst across your chosen side. The carnage is reserved for a stand of fruit trees and a tacky aluminum something that now actually resembles modern art. The effect isn’t wasted however; a deep thump echoes across the plaza as some skittish saboteur launches a mess of scrap and rock across the plaza, far too high and distant to do much but scratch paint.

That confirms your suspicion however: They were hoping that they’d be overlooked by the forward mechanized and they’d put a dozen or so shrapnel bombs into the side of something expensive. As usual, it would have worked if everyone was on the same page. You’re awfully unsympathetic.

“Spotted ‘em. We’ve got 6 in the open, maybe twelve in the North building. Someone’s peeking out from the third floor at the near end, I think they might have rockets.” You hear the coughing of Jenning’s 30mm, as it chews across the north perimeter, sending up makeshift material and wannabe soldiers in the same cloud.

“Affirmative. Keep em busy.” You reply, moving up.

>Get to cover and saturate the building
>Move to flank, cutting off their movement
>Get an angle on the 3rd floor window
>>
>>2721376
>Get an angle on the 3rd floor window
If 03 is in position, have her saturate the buildings with fire. Don't want to give them a chance to poke their heads up!
>>
>>2721384

03 is still back and supporting Durga. You could call her up if you're concerned, but that leaves Durga's point defense to the token force holding her destination on the near side of the river.
>>
>>2721376
Get to cover and saturate the building
>>
>>2721376
>Get to cover and saturate the building
No such thing as overkill
>>
>>2721405
>>2721399

"A peaceful emplacement is an empty one."

>>2721384

>Get an angle on the 3rd floor window

Writing; Let er rip.
>>
>>2721457

“There’s an outbuilding at my 11, I’m going to get close and clean em out.” You’re already at a dead run as Jennings puts a few more rounds into the front of the building.

“Make it quick, I lost track of th-“

There’s an echoed clap as a RPG slams into the ground 10 meters behind you, kicking up a sizable amount of stone.

“Found him” You push yourself up to the building; likely nothing more than a public restroom, but more than sufficient to handle small arms. You swap to your gun cam and feel your gut jerk slightly as you’re suddenly displaced a few meters. You shift your body sideways, tucking the 30mm out of cover just enough to see around.

Below you, another IED, close enough to give you a seriously bad day. You nip that one in the bud, putting its forsaken owner into mist with a single grenade burst right past the barrel. If you had to get any closer, you’d be concerned with the bomb, but where you stand, you have more than enough coverage above and beside the building.

“Firing”

You trigger a salvo, and steel yourself from the chainsaw roar of the 30mm at full speed. Two hundred odd grenades fired in three seconds and detonated in four. You could feel the pressure wave in your lungs as the weapon traces up the building, paying special attention to the 3rd floor.

The dust and smoke takes a half a minute to clear enough to be usefully visible, even with IR support. The end result is the complete and utter removal of the building’s façade. There’s a first floor garage completely aflame, where you surmise they were keeping supplies.

Jennings puts a few extra rounds into any compartment still unexposed. Satisfied, he signals clear. You return the message. Problem found, problem solved.
>>
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>>2721645

Except for the improvised bombs along your landing zone and the exposed north approach… You sigh.

“I’ll clear the UXO. You get the pad clear?” Jennings is all business for the moment.

“Don’t need to tell me twice.” You mark out the mines you spotted and transfer the data.

He discards his reserve tank of Shell and begins to sift through the dirt, flooding anything he finds with the cement remaining in the tool.

Shell is strange like that: A multirole programmable resin. The red stuff was good for fortifying and encasing things, the Yellow for crowd control and building up temporary structures. Not sure what all else they can make the stuff do, aside from dire warnings about anything blue.

Nothing to worry about around here of course: You drag the spare tank alongside the space and opt for the crude option. You draw a short stretch of the perimeter with your projector and purge the spare into the corner like a fire hydrant. It’s then a simple enough matter to keep the edges past the flowing compound as it floods the contained area. The material fills gaps and excludes debris, pushing casings and splinters along like a mop.

“Shouldn’t we have gotten contact from Sigyn by now?” You pull back out the vectors and data you had so quickly quashed.

You trace her route; a perfect circle kilometers out, turning at a constant angle.

“Bang” Your system voice reads out the C3 stream without a hint of humor.

“Did he kill you too?” Jennings tabs over a telemetry file, detailing a virtual fire mission.

Twenty targets down, two vehicles. You’re flattered, Sigyn put two missiles into you.
>>
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>>2721650

“Suppose she slowed down when she noticed the firefight?” You turn the corner on the pad, supplementing the flood with your own canister. You try to pull up the C3 feed before the system reader interrupts you.

“Loitering. You were late, but busy. Can hear fine, No voice in Sigyn. LZ?”

“Take the south approach, it’ll be ready when you are.” You round the last corner, pouring off excess and allowing the debris to cascade off the side.

“Same. Nothing’s live out here anymore.” Jennings pops a green flare into the air.

You hear the characteristic rumble of the craft as she boosts back in. It doesn’t take you long to catch Sigyn’s position so you’re well out of the way when the machine swoops in.

Where the Durga was clean and smooth, the Sigyn couldn’t be further from. The exposed surface is mottled with fasteners, ports and sensors. The periphery is dominated by that quartet of comically oversized jets, while the main body took a shape much like a manta ray. The original lines were interrupted by underslung pods of clearly newer construction, with the Durga’s aesthetic in mind instead of the flier’s. Likely an ill-conceived update to the Knight, turning what was likely once an impressively nimble machine into a flying brick.

Graceful isn’t the word you’d use for it, but the giant bird lands cleanly on roaring engines, charring the edges of the protective plate.

“Good LZ. Thank Durga & you. Return to Durga. Sigyn on watch. Get comfy.”

“You got everything covered here?” You designate the north approach.

“Greys only KM behind. Already caught up to Durga. Be here soon.”

You guess she got this. Jennings tags the inert explosives and you ship back to Durga.

When you’ve returned, the Durga is in position along the canal facing the river. Lis signals all clear. You help her unpack a squad shelter from her machine and set it up along the water. Exactly four more sweaty minutes and the anchors are down. You park your Panzermagd semi-neatly in a row. You remove your helmet and disengage your harness.

As you stand up and punch the release, you pause at what can only be described as a shrine to your old life. You run your fingers along the articles, momentarily somewhere else. The hatch finally pops free, bringing divinely fresh air across your body in your reverie. The setting sun does little to alleviate the dim interior, but you don’t need light to know what’s held in that recess

>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.
>A prison ID cuff signed by the warden with the words “For your return.”
>A technical manual for a junky hand prosthetic, long since replaced.
>A yearbook from your college; You are not listed among the graduates.

This choice determines your history. Write ins can supplement, but not replace your past.

This decision will be left up overnight. The quest will resume at 5 pm EST July 12th “Today”
>>
>>2721658
>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.

Why must quests I'm interested in always run when I'm asleep.
>>
>>2721658
>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.
We can trust the QM not to kill our family, right? Right??
>>
>>2721658
Fuck you, these are all compelling in different ways.

>A yearbook from your college; You are not listed among the graduates.
Idk maybe we pissed off a rich kid whose daddy had a lot of pull
>>
>>2721662

>Present Tense

Who's tag is that?
>>
>>2721665
You already killed our sister! You monster!
>>
>>2721658
>A yearbook from your college; You are not listed among the graduates.

I wonder, did anyone write anything for us in it? A small momento, perhaps - though an entirely blank yearbook tells a poignant story all its own..
>>
>>2721658
>A yearbook from your college; You are not listed among the graduates
>>
>>2721658
>>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.
>>
>>2721658
>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.

I'm a sucker for having a sister.

Cool premise, anyway. We're basically the 10-meter 'infantry' to our titanic 40-meter 'tank', yeah?
>>
>>2721658
>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.
>>
>>2721658
>A technical manual for a junky hand prosthetic, long since replaced.
Obligatory tide-pissing vote in hopes of having a living sister who may or may not be missing a hand.
>>
>>2721658
>A technical manual for a junky hand prosthetic, long since replaced.
Flesh is weak!
>>
>>2721658
>A technical manual for a junky hand prosthetic, long since replaced.
>>
>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.
>>
>>2721658
>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.
>>
>>2721662
>>2721666
>>2721889
>>2721915

Picking "A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag." means having a dead older sister. It's a reasonable enough write in to add that we also have a living younger sister. I'll drop some kind of option for it in the next few sessions.
>>
>>2721658
A technical manual for a junky hand prosthetic, long since replaced
>>
I have returned. 15 minute warning on closing the vote. Current vote follows:

>>2721659
>>2721662
>>2721736
>>2721889
>>2721914
>>2722093
>>2722158

>A photo of your sister in her uniform and single dog tag.

>>2721915
>>2721986
>>2722008
>>2722249

>A technical manual for a junky hand prosthetic, long since replaced.

>>2721664
>>2721669
>>2721709

>A yearbook from your college; You are not listed among the graduates
>>
>>2722573

It's time.

>"You'll hold down the fort for me right? Always were better at this."

Writing wistfully.
>>
>>2722606

You run your thumb along the embossed metal: “Armistead, Maya; Type O-, PZKT, No Pref,”. The embedded holographic catches the fading light as it sways gently from the disturbance.

“Guess I’m here now right?” You mumble.

She took after your mother; a family of strong military heritage. They adopted Greece as their own after the US split, and got just enough roots down there for it to hurt when the Hanguo-supported Turks took Athens. Since then, it was like the entire family existed for the Vereinigte. That drive was what drew your father to your mother, and it was passed down… at least on the mother’s side.

She was in Sinai when this whole thing started. You were told it was a miracle they got her tags out of the whole mess. You’re glad they did, even if they had to dive for them. Whole lot of need to know going around there, but the real war started after that for both the Vereinigte, and for you.

“Hey! Lead! Waiting on you!”

You look up, Lis is shouting from the shelter. There were a few Greys sitting around with her and Jennings. You tap the tag to your forehead with a quick blessing and slip out.
>>
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>>2722748

With the smoke rising from the East, Kyiv looks like she’s seen better days, but between the Greys crossing the river and Durga, you can’t imagine the place would dare be anything but peaceful for the moment. You catch your reel and descend rapidly.

You snap a salute to the leader of the infantry officers, a short gentleman with an impressive mustache.

“Corporal” The officer nods

“Lance sir. Magd are ranked according to the needs of the commanding Knight; This thing’s just velcro.” You brush the insignia on your pocket; A trio of slanted lines, capped with a diamond.

“Still counts. Sorry about the mess up there. My men and I have no excuse for the mistake.” He gestures to the smoke.

“We took care of it sir. No hard feelings.” Jennings nods to you. You let it slide; Sigyn will have all the opportunity to chew them out if he feels like it.

“So, are we still on for our lil’ fire mission sir?” You review the map spread across the table.

“Yes, there’s movement coming up from Lubny. Three elements of hostiles. They caught the Tannhauser out on the road and swept his support. Sigyn scared them off, but last time she went over him, they got damn close to overwhelming her. He’s going to push through the night, but with a damaged dynamo and no local support, he’s going to have a rough time.”
>>
>>2722751

“Which is where Durga comes in right? Drop a few stars on them sir?” Lis marks out a few arcs on the map: Tannhauser is just inside effective range.

“With a little bit of care, yes.” He draws out his tanks moving up. “We want to keep the road intact for the ‘hauser, but otherwise I’d like very much to see nothing but craters out there.”

“With the Sigyn and the Durga here along with you, we could probably meet him halfway.” You eyeball a rendezvous at Yahotyn. “Possibly get his dynamo back in shape and turn the tables.”

“If you think you can manage it: Tannhauser’s a brawler, but if they get a lucky shot, they’re just going to tear him down. There’s pockets of IRH further north, but they’ve vacated the straight path. Pretty sure they spotted Durga coming in.”

“She’s pretty big. Pity they didn’t stay for the fireworks.” Jennings glances over. “How about it. We can go for saving two Knights in an evening?”

“We aren’t going for trophies out here Jennings” You reply.

He shrugs, tapping the map. “They are. Come on Lis, we can’t just let Tannhauser get put up on some wall in Seoul.”

“It’s up to lead. It’s risky, but 100km on a bum engine doesn’t sound good. He’s either going to have to shed armor if they’ve got Locusts out there.” She looks up at the Durga. “On the other hand, if they’re loaded down and we can spot them, it’s going to be a shooting gallery for Durga.”

>Stay in Kyiv; The Durga and Sigyn can support the Tannhauser fine, and you can support them here.
>Move up to rendezvous; The Magd are designed to support and support they shall.
>Go hunting; If you catch the IRH unaware, you’ll have a decent shot at turning the rescue into a carnival game.
>>
>>2722760
>Stay in Kyiv; The Durga and Sigyn can support the Tannhauser fine, and you can support them here.
>>
>>2722760
>Go hunting; If you catch the IRH unaware, you’ll have a decent shot at turning the rescue into a carnival game.
>>
>>2722760
>have a decent shot at turning the rescue into a carnival game.


>US split
>turks took athens
>Vereinigte is im gonna asume a german faction
is this the Race War?
>>
>>2722748
What does PZKT stand for?
>>
>>2722806
panzerknecht i think
>>
>>2722794

No, but Murrica Civil War II did help bring us to this point.

Vereinigte is an evolution of NATO, chaired in Berlin. It's origins are majority American and German, but it has roots all the way back to WWII, when the US incorporated East Germany, and later West Germany.


>>2722806

PZKT is a contraction of PanzerKnecht. The dog tag indicates that Maya was a combat mech pilot.
>>
>>2722806
PanZerKnechT
>>
>>2722809
so this is alternative reality not future?
>>
>>2722808
>>2722809
>>2722810
Thanks, I am unfamiliar with the setting so I am not voting. I am enjoying the read tho.
>>
>>2722814

It's both. We're somewhere around 2075.

>>2722816
Don't be afraid; Lance Armistead isn't incompetent and has some idea of his limits: I'm not going to walk you all into a trap without fair warning.
>>
>>2722819
you'll have to give us a short rundown of the history sooner or later
>>
>>2722825

I've got it in broad strokes somewhere. I simply wanted to give my anons some fun before I go too deep into exposition.
>>
>>2722819
Btw is it all original or there's something I can read up to integrate?
>>
>>2722840

I'd call it original, but I'm anything but.

There isn't any other material however. This is the starting line.
>>
>>2722835
I'm now really curious how the fuck East Germany
are you sure you didn't mix up East and West?
>>
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>>2722847
>How the fuck East Germany
>>
>>2722854
>>2722847
shiet
how the fuck east germany ended up with the US
>>
>>2722788
>>2722794

>"Can't really call it artillery if you don't have targets"

>>2722775

>Stay in Kyiv; The Durga and Sigyn can support the Tannhauser fine, and you can support them here.

Writing.
>>
>>2722865

“We’re not going to do well if there’s IRH mediums in the field. The 30mm is practically useless and it’s not like we can rely on a lucky shot from the coilgun.” Lis pulls out a silhouette guide and turns to the "fun" pages.

A lucky HEAT round could easily seize a joint or slag the internals, especially on a jumper like the Locust, but they’re not going to let you close enough to make that happen. If you cranked the velocity all the way up, a KE round would likely put a hole clean through a soft spot, but then there’d still be four more angry Locusts, or worse, and they won’t give you the chance to catch your breath. Of course, that’s best case: You might just poke a neat hole in some bunker and have the rest of your life to regret your aim.

“We’ll get Durga on board with it.” You circle a few likely zones “They’re going to have their heads above the treeline in most of these places; We can tiptoe around, call out some targets and bust some heads. If we get into trouble, we can screen for Sigyn while she mops up.”

The officer nods. “It’s your show Armistead. I’ll keep back a few squads in Kyiv: How far out do we need to be from those guns?”

“Sir, The Durga is cutting edge. She’ll deflect most of the blast straight under her. I’d tell your men not to watch the muzzle though, the flash is nasty.” You pass your copy of the plans off to Lis; who gives you a nod as you leave the shelter.
>>
>>2722987

You key in on your mic, “Durga, we’ve got a game plan. Lis is sending you the details.”

“One second… Received. Leaving us so soon 01?” She doesn’t sound as clear.

“Hope not. We’re counting on you out there.” You trace back to your Magd.

As you approach, you realize the reason for the interference; she’s on a mobile set as well.

The Knight pilot is ahead of the machine, looking up at the front with an intense expression, comparing it with her visor like some strange takeoff of Hamlet. She contrasts well against the machine, clean and shiny against the painted workhorse. Crisscrossing contacts and wires run along a suit that may have at some point of its design been skin tight, but no longer. Any aesthetic whims had long since been consumed by the wires and guides that snaked into the case in her left hand. A set of gleaming conduits nearly as large as your wrist plug into the back of the suit, calling to mind a marionette. Her dark hair is pulled into a loose ponytail and tucked back into the back of her helmet.

“I believe it is the other way around 01.” She turns towards you and fixes you with sallow blue eyes.

The attention is unnerving. She scrutinizes you no differently than your Magd and seems rather intent on holding eye contact. It throws you off and takes you a moment to catch her meaning.

“The ground pounders are watching the bridge and the perimeter. The Durga is quite literally in mechanized central.” You look up at your machine… She’s still staring… “We mark targets, you slag them, Sigyn guides in the ‘hauser and we all go home happy.”

“I trust your judgement 01. I simply wanted to be sure we are performing our duties at our peak.”

>Reassure her; You wouldn’t suggest it if it wasn’t a sound plan.
>Brag a little; This is still textbook Panzermagd maneuvers, and you’re good at what you do.
>Elaborate; If she sees your line of thinking, she’d concur.
>Write In
>>
>>2722990
>Reassure her; You wouldn’t suggest it if it wasn’t a sound plan.
>>
>>2722990
>Elaborate; If she sees your line of thinking, she’d concur.
>>
>>2722990
>Brag a little; This is still textbook Panzermagd maneuvers, and you’re good at what you do.
>>
>>2722990
>Elaborate; If she sees your line of thinking, she’d concur.
The better she understands our game plan, the better she'll be able to adapt when things go pear-shaped.

And if she points out any glaring flaws, all the better; we're forewarned and can change things up accordingly.
>>
>>2722990
Elaborate; If she sees your line of thinking, she’d concur.
>>
>>2723041
after all we wanny impress her with our big, uhm, brain
>>
>>2723006
>>2723041
>>2723063

"Hey! We're not just hotdogging it here; we did the math!"

>>2723035
>Brag a little; This is still textbook Panzermagd maneuvers, and you’re good at what you do.

>>2722998
>Reassure her; You wouldn’t suggest it if it wasn’t a sound plan.

Writing.
>>
>>2723074

“Uhuh… We,” you put emphasis on the word, “are a lil' wasted if we don’t have eyes out there.”

You post the plans in AR and she humors you, holding up her visor. The light of the projectors catch in her eyes, which only highlights her focus. You can’t help but think she’s somehow caught both you and the map in the same light.

“’Hauser is here. He can’t break from the road, or he loses any distance Sigyn bought him this afternoon. So, he’s taking the highway straight. He’s going to tack north to Yahoten at the earliest opportunity.”

“Why would he do that? The road goes right past it.” She points in midair and you crane your neck to get your display at the right angle to see it. A briefing through a keyhole…

“He’s going for the bridge. It doesn’t buy him time, but even Locusts can’t make a two kilometer jump with a combat load. They have to follow him over or tack around.” You mark out a few alternate paths.

“If he was being chased by another Knight, I’d be concerned, but the IRH machines are intermediate sized: They lack the necessary firepower to slug it out or take out the bridge supports. They’re hoping to harry him until they can bust a joint or finish off his dynamo.”

“So it forces them into a firepower match, which the Tannhauser wins.” She cocks her head to the side.

“Only if they try it. They’re brave, but not stupid. They’re going to split up and jump to beat him to the other side.”
>>
>>2723278

“Which is where we come in then?”

“Exactly. Anyone we can catch launching we relay to Sigyn, and she swats them down over the water. Anyone we get late, you put a salvo over their landing zone and hit them while they’re recovering.”

She nods. “What if they are heavier machines? Like a Hound?”
“Then they’re stuck on the bridge or going around the bank. Same principle applies, you just get a few more shots in.”

She smiles, a little too warmly for your tastes. No love lost for the IRH, but you’ve never had a happy thought thinking of a plasmoid cannon’s aftermath.

“I… like this plan.” She pulls down her visor, still unwavering. There’s a brightness in her eyes that you’re unsure if you’d prefer to be directed to the brief or yourself.

You’ll let the battle have it for now. As quickly as it came, the smile fades. The same intensity as before, but focused elsewhere.

“We’ll be going then… Ma’am?” You suddenly realize she has no nameplate… or any insignia you recognize.

“Durga. We are both Durga,” she nods to her Knight in the distance, “Not complex at all.”

You doubt that, but nod anyways.

“Go on then… Armistead?”

“Samuel. Samuel Armistead… Mom was a lil’ bit old fashioned.” You salute.

She nods, replacing her visor. She snaps a precise salute, takes one last glance at your Magd’s face and walks away.

You make professional effort not to watch her go. At least good enough for the Army anyways.
>>
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>>2723292

LOADOUT SELECTION:

A Magd is designed with easily exchanged components throughout the design. While the main body maintains a roof-mounted “sandblaster” that serves against incoming projectiles and soft targets, the machine is typically equipped across three hard points, two mounted on the sides and one underslung mount. Any of these mounts can be traded for an equipment package or left empty to improve speed, agility and free reactor power.

For example, for the start of this sortie, 01 and 02 were equipped with one 30mm direct-fire grenade launcher, a Shell compound projector and a high-capacity tank of additional shell compound. 03 was equipped with only the 30mm launcher and a storage pack which carried the semi-hard shelter used as a field base / barrack.

These modules are designed to be donned with the assistance of another Magd or a military crane, and can be exchanged within an hour under these circumstances. Makeshift tools can be used to equip a Magd, but extend the time up to 6 hours (Literally having the Magd “dress” itself alone)

Weapons

30mm Grenade Gatling: Devastating short ranged weapon against soft targets. Automatic.

Missile Pod: Guided missiles with long range. Specialized for anti-armor or anti-infantry/anti-structure

Coilgun: Fires large bore shells at medium range. Ammunition carried is a mix of anti-armor/anti-infantry HEDP and anti-Knight Sabots. Ineffective against fortifications. Slow ROF

Equipment

Shell Projector: Equipment for applying multi-role Shell compound. Compound can be be selected for reinforcing structures and Knight armor, constructing light fortifications, or crowd control and fire suppression. Support option.

Extra Armor: A mating module that covers the front of the machine and includes 2 additional “sandblasters”. Armor is articulated to allow full range of motion and can be purged if it is still reasonably intact, leaving the light guns. Combat option.

EWar Package: An idiot-proof signal jammer, communications relay and enhanced sensor suite. Supports the squad with better intel and “quieter” operation. Stealth option.

Gear: Catchall Write-in option: Generally, fits anything compact a medium truck could carry.

Empty: Omits equipment to enhance Magd's general performance.

If you wish, you can modify your loadout. Based on the mission plan and character preference, equipment has already been selected.

>01: Ewar Package, Coilgun, Empty

>02: AT Missile Pod, 30mm Gattling, Empty

>03: Ewar Package, Coilgun, Empty

>Go with this loadout.
>Amend Loadout (Add/remove a piece of gear as a write in. Proceed as normal)
>Custom Loadout (Extends voting by 15 mins; Majority vote decides)
>Skip (Deploy immediately without refitting or rearming.)
>>
>>2723323
>>Go with this loadout.
seems good
>>
>>2723323

>Go with this loadout.

Maintaining stealth and speed is paramount, since we're playing the scouts and spotting for the big guns. Unless anythings feels necessary to tack on, I say get goin'. Time is of the essence, too, even just an hour late can radically change the battlefield.

Also the default is for Samuel to drop the 30mm he had earlier? Curious, but alright.
>>
>>2723323
>>Go with this loadout.
>>
>>2723323
>Go with this loadout.
>>
>>2723323
>>Go with this loadout.
>>
>>2723323
>Go with this loadout.
trying to tempt us with loadout autism. For shame on you.
>>
>>2723346

He's trusting Jennings to handle an infantry surprise. The HEDP rounds are more than sufficient for any targets he expects in the countryside. Since the mission is primarily spotting, he doesn't want to risk missing a an opportunity.

>>2723357

Hey, I put thought into the default. You can always let Sam handle the autism, and he'll always cater to the plan.
>>
>>2723371
Why do you keep spoilering everything you say.
>>
>>2723374
They're non-story/conversation posts, obviously. To differentiate between narrative and not narrative
>>
>>2723345
>>2723346
>>2723346
>>2723347
>>2723350
>>2723351
>>2723357

>"Looks CAN kill.. Oh, and a bit of insurance."

Writing.

>>2723374

It's neither an update nor a vote. If I write something that's more than a direct reply, it'll be formatted with the intent of being read.
>>
>>2723383
>They're non-story/conversation posts, obviously.
Obviously. It's just bizarre, I don't know any other QM that bothers with that, and it's not like OOC posts are difficult to discern anyway.

Not a big deal I guess, but it's been bugging me.
>>
>>2723388
It's really not bizarre at all. Maybe it is to you? In a text based situation, it seems pretty cool to separate what is in character and what isn't. In case someone get's confused.
>>
>>2723388

>>2723390 ditto
>>
>>2723385

A lighter loadout all around, giving your team the little extra oomph Lis spent the whole time coming into Kyiv playing with. Durga spent the time relaying and coordinating with Sigyn. He was initially skeptical, but changed his tune very quickly when he realized the Sigyn wasn’t going to be exposed. A contact fault in the capacitors took extra time, but you were off and away inside 45 minutes.

The Magd were designed with a utility focus, but with just that little bit more juice, they were almost fun to pilot. Like crossing the bridge the first time with Jennings, you could feel the shift as the machine traded gait. In this configuration however, the machine was comfortable holding just shy of a run. The joints hummed in a smooth rhythm with the footfalls, and the reduced load noticeably reduced the ambient. You could almost enjoy this.

Yahotyn, 116 km. Alright. Feeling’s gone.

“How’d Durga like the plan?” Lis pulled alongside. Jennings was taking point for this one.

“A ‘lil too much I think.” You think back to her reaction. “Like the moment I said the Durga was going to be handling the offense, she gave me this look like I was Santa Claus”

“Didn’t take her for the ammosexual type. You sure it was the plan?”

“No, not really.” You try to piece together if there was something you said or did but come up blank.

Lis stays quiet for a moment, clicks her mic… and ultimately says nothing.

“You thinking she likes him?” Jennings. Thanks.

“More than she likes you at least. Prick.” Lis stays quiet after that.
>>
>>2723464

It’s dark by the time you start approaching Yahotyn. There’s no sign of the Tannhauser yet, nor any threats. The Grey’s intel seemed good enough; No one wanted to be between the Durga and the Tannhauser without a meter of plating between.

“I’m not getting anything.” Lis pauses for a moment to redirect her aerial. “You think he didn’t make it out here?”

“Anything big enough to punch out the ‘hauser’s going to be loud. He’s probably staying quiet.” Jennings replies

“The thing’s huge, How quiet can it be?” You direct the squad forward into the woods outside of the urban buildup.

“The Tannhauser’s got treads. He can almost crawl if he’s got the time for it.” Surprisingly, Jennings again.

“02, If you were driving that thing with a engine problem, what would you do?”

“I’d get some speed, get right up to the city and lay flat. In the dark like this, they’re going to hear him before they see him. I’d stay nice and cool, sneak up to the bridge and rush it like I’m trying to get air.”

The mental image of a Knight on a skateboard wasn’t exactly the epiphany you were looking for, but It would serve.

“You still betting he’ll make it?”

“Ain’t gambling: He’s there. Give him a chance.”

>Move to elevated position to watch and wait for the Tannhauser
>Find hidden locations near the bridge to look for him.
>Fan out into the rough nearby the river, trying to spot the IRH machines directly.
>Put out a signal for him and immediately relocate; He might not realize he’s got cover.
>>
>>2723470
>Move to elevated position to watch and wait for the Tannhauser
>>
>>2723470
>Move to elevated position to watch and wait for the Tannhauser
Superior spotter position, gives us the clearest angles to not only spot our friendly but also enemy movements. Plus, easier to relay coordinates to Durga to bring down the pain.

Also, Lis mildly jealous? Ohohoho..
>>
>>2723470
>Move to elevated position to watch and wait for the Tannhauser
>Fan out into the rough nearby the river, trying to spot the IRH machines directly.
Would there be any detriment in one of our units taking an observation position while the other two fan our and search actively? In a pinch, the elevated unit might also be able to provide firing support.
>>
>>2723470
>Move to elevated position to watch and wait for the Tannhauser
>>2723487
i think she is just tsundere for Jennings
>>
>>2723497

There's nothing stopping you from splitting the party except for you. Magd are effective against most targets. You don't want to blunder into an enemy Knight alone however, even if they're not as large as the Vereinigte models.
>>
>>2723478
>>2723487
>>2723497
>>2723500

>"I have no reason to doubt Jennings. He'll come when he's good and ready."

>>2723497
>Fan out into the rough nearby the river, trying to spot the IRH machines directly.(Partial)

Writing.
>>
>>2723528

“I agree. Let’s stay at least half a click off of the bridge and find someplace with a view.”

You tag the bridge with an a waypoint and start trucking.

It takes you a all of ten minutes to find what you’re looking for; An earth bermed levy somewhat south of the bridge protecting a material yard. You’re disappointed in the relative height, but the sudden rise gives you the advantage of cover from the far side. A short check on the rangefinder assures you that your guns aren’t going to serve that well, but it’s not like you were going to brute force them anyways.

You push a message across the C3 network, letting Durga and Sigyn know you’re ready to go. Sigyn passes back an affirmative. Hopefully Tannhauser’s picking that one up too.

Time passes slowly. Nothing really visible in the scattered lamp-light than a few errant civvies on the far side of the river. Nothing sinister; just your typical distraught locals.

Off to the side of the group, you see a light fall out in the distance. A sequence of lamps along the edge of some warehouse. Then another disappears… and another.
“Movement, North-east, right in front of the building. Don’t send It along just yet, I don’t want Durga getting trigger happy.”

You try to get range… And you smirk as you see that it’s decreasing steadily.

“Amend that. Tagging Tannhauser. Dammit Jennings, I owe you a beer.”
>>
>>2723662

“Told you he’d be here. Is he coming?”

“I think he’s lining up for his run now. Keep your eyes peeled for the other guys.”

“Lead, we’ve got contact. One Locust, coming up the main road bold as brass” Lis tags the offending machine.

The Locusts are among the lightest machines you could still reasonably call Knight class. Stripped back and spindly, they rely on their speed and agility to get in close and put down the hurt. Rocket pod on top, a railgun on one side and a grappling clamp on the other. Not the dangerous part really, compared to the robust cowled rotors laying across its back: Locusts are a point-blank threat with the actual ability to get in close. Fragile enough; A good shot with the coil into the back or leg would put one down, but that gun would have little difficulty going right through you

“Think ‘hauser’s been spotted?” Lis passes you the position data.

“They’re not sure. Come on bud.” Jennings shifts up towards the ridge.
You catch the other Locusts moving in: one south, one north, sweeping through the streets. They don’t bother staying quiet this close, you can hear the rotors as they drift between the buildings.

There’s a sound like the tearing of paper, and the lead machine is suddenly in two pieces, accompanied by the full-throated roar of an engine three stories high.

The Tennhauser rockets out of its place, revealing the sports pitch it had crept through with all the delicacy of a bulldozer. The stricken Locust’s companions turned and fired on the rushing behemoth, but their search pattern put them outside of effective range against armor that thick.

You could see a massive crater in the upper right corner of the machine, no doubt from a heavier foe further afield. The entire upper turret appeared to be seized, which likely explained why he crept so close, aiming the oversized autocannons with the treads.

A hoarse, low voice breaks over the wire. “Ten here. Making best speed, Four Locusts, Two Hounds. Anything you can spare would be appreciated.”
>>
>>2723667

You hear the Locust’s engines spin up, which is your cue. You transmit go-codes for each of the tagged machines just as they get airborne. You see a few bright flashes off the clouds to the west.

Fifteen agonizing seconds later, you hear the shriek of a telephone pole sized missile and her identical sister as they intercept the labored pseudo-Knights. You can hear the ADS systems firing, but the warheads are barely inside reasonable range when they burst, throwing their deadly cargo forward.

It’s as if a giant went at the machines with a paring knife. One of them is cored and detonates in midair, while another peels like some exotic fruit, blossoming into flame as it careens off into the river.

The leading machine lands safely on a promontory north of the bridge. It has just enough time to reset its shocks and get upright when a trio of meteoric projectiles slams into the ground around it. The dark pyroclasts burst on impact, spewing white hot liquid dozens of meters into the air. The Locus only manages one step before its own armor ignites, burning like a magnesium flare.

“Defending! Lead, fall back!” Jennings sounding a retreat? He’s been full of surprises lately.

“Sam! MOVE!” Lis’ yell pushes you into the now. You take a guess and throw your machine forward and away just in time for the concussion to slap you right through the armor.

The moment you brain catches up, you turn back. A set of craters, in a neat “walking” pattern dot the hillside. The pattern stutters, before being lost in the torn turf and clay that you surmise was your previous position. Another ten meters distant is a Locust, spinning down its rotors and cycling the rocket launcher.

Your voice wavers slighty. “Durga; Marking Locust 5. Hold fire. Technical problems on our end.”

Calling it here for tonight. Going to try for a hat trick and finish this fight up 7/13 5:00 EST
>>
>>2723677

On second thought, I'll at least get a vote up. Same rules as last time, valid until I get back here.

>Engage in the time honored stratagem of "Fire Everything."
>Order Durga to fire at an offset position and try to bait the Locust
>Call Sigyn in for VERY close air support
>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's
>Write in?
>>
>>2723689
>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's
>>
>>2723689
>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's
>>
>>2723689
>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's
>>
>>2723689
>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's
>>
>>2723689
>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's
>>
>>2723702
>>2723782
>>2724346
>>2724410
>>2724447
Just out of curiosity, what about this angle of attack is makin' us all chime in agreement?
>>
>>2724615
>fire everything

Blow our load this early? Nah, you never know what's around the corner.

>Order Durga to fire at an offset position and try to bait the Locust

Bait the locust with fuck off rockets...No thanks

>Call Sigyn in for VERY close air support

There's a fine line between friendly fire and collateral damage. Personally I wouldn't chance it.
>>
>>2724615
Its the best one to do
>>
>>2723702
>>2723782
>>2724346
>>2724410
>>2724447
>>2724684 (Assumed)

>Disengage, trying to split the Knight's attention across your Magd's


15 minute warning.
>>
>>2724987

Time.

>"I like every angle of a railgun but this one."

Writing a prudent tactical retreat.
>>
>>2725066

(Danger – 6.24)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QpUGCXwOks

“North-west, disengage at emergency speed! 02, hook first.” You slam forward the throttle and feel the your Magd slip before digging in and lurching forward. It’s more or less a 3 meter jump to the flat surface behind the levy, but you’ll worry about the servos when you don’t have a 15 meter combat machine waking up behind you.

“Five registered… You said hold fire?” Durga sounds disappointed.

“Call it a lil’ problem with the rangefinder.” You and Lis meet stride going straight back into the yard, earning a couple dozen meters on the Locust. You hear the rotors stop, He’s coming.

“Firing! Hope you’re good at skipping!” Jennings catches the ground suddenly, drawing his machine into a tight 180. He fires a trio of missilesl towards the machine.

The Locust ADS system fires a split second later, catching the projectiles more than 5 meters ahead. The gesture isn’t wasted however; no matter how fast the Locusts are, they can’t reliably intercept and maneuver at the same time: For a moment, the mech hesitates, which allows Jennings to turn back to a full run.

“You’re up next Lis, I’ll some smoke behind us.” You cast forward a few canisters between the stacked materials and mounds of gravel.

She enschews the fancy maneuvering, slowing and directing her coilgun over your shoulder. She waits for Jennings to pass you, then fires, putting a HEAT round over your virtual head. The shot is on target, but catches the machine directly in the front plate, leaving a impressive, but ultimately futile pit.

The Locust shifts its weight, favoring the undamaged side of its split-glacis. It levels its railgun. At this range, it’s still absolutely lethal, just quite a bit less accurate against targets at a run.

Which unfortunately means he’s targeting Lis.

>Pop more smoke, push your scrambler and hope that Lis makes it before the Locust can get on target.
>Stop, hook and fire HEAT to distract: Only fair if everyone’s got a chance at the short straw.
>Crash charge your coilgun and fire a Sabot: This is the only chance you’ll get to hit him square without playing chicken.
>Call the big guns: No matter how bloodthirsty the Locust is, he's not going to die to spite a Magd.
>>
>>2725232
>Crash charge your coilgun and fire a Sabot: This is the only chance you’ll get to hit him square without playing chicken.
>>
>>2725232
>Crash charge your coilgun and fire a Sabot: This is the only chance you’ll get to hit him square without playing chicken.
>>
>>2725232
>Pop more smoke, push your scrambler and hope that Lis makes it before the Locust can get on target.
>>
>>2725292
>>2725341

"Hold on Lis; We've got this one."

>>2725390

>Pop more smoke, push your scrambler and hope that Lis makes it before the Locust can get on target.


Risk can be managed, but not eliminated. On the other hand, he who dares, wins.

>ROLL: 1d100, Best of 3

>BONUS: What's Sam's target on the Locust?
>>
>>2725232
>Call the big guns: No matter how bloodthirsty the Locust is, he's not going to die to spite a Magd.
I'm assuming that we didn't do this previously because our Magds were close enough to the Locust that taking incidental friendly fire was a significant possibility.

What would be the downside to doing this now, after we've gained some distance? Possibly even in tandem with popping smoke or one of the other options?
>>
>>2725407

The options were separate because the Locust was not going to be surprised by the heavy weapons this time. It would be flushed by the attack, making it a defensive option rather than an offensive one.

If you can nail down the Locust, it would be trivial to hit it with the big guns, but it's not going to sit there and wait.
>>
Rolled 71 (1d100)

>>2725400
>>
Rolled 61 (1d100)

>>2725400
Aim for center mass
>>
Rolled 34 (1d100)

>>2725400
>BONUS: What's Sam's target on the Locust?
Turret ring - that is, the connection between the turret and hull.

Regardless of where we fire or what we're firing, we naturally want to aim for a soft spot. Joints would work, but won't do jack shit for preventing him from firing. If we could hit the rear, underside or topside of his vehicle, that might work too, but I assume we're firing head-on, frontally.

And we're firing a sabot, not HEAT, so all we'll do is punch a hole straight through his vehicle rather than filling his compartment with lethal copper shrapnel.

So we go for the spot that screws with his targeting, preventing him from rotating his turret.
>>
>>2724615
Battletech.
Force the heavier, better armed and armored mech to choose who to engage and have the others kidney punch him when his weak rear armor is exposed.
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>>2725400

oops, center mass>>2725423
>>
>>2725423
>>2725425
>>2725432
>>2725443

> BEST: 71+

>"I'll get him along the waist traverse; That'll make aiming difficult."

Writing.
>>
Rolled 71 (1d100)

>>2725400
Aims for the railcun barrel
>>
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>>2725455

“Lis! He’s on you, break left!” You dig in your heels and swing around, putting your coil in line with your center. You prioritize the gun over all else, and your visor flickers as the dynamo whines angrily. You feel the tension build as the capacitors flash check off green in sequence...

You hear the pop as the railgun fires, a hair off of Lis’s right. She’s off balance now; there will be no luck to save her from the follow up. You see the sparks cascade from the gun as another bolt is secured, and he raises it again to track Lis.

You pop a flare, which breaks the enemy mech from its tunnel vision. It lifts it gun and turns rapidly, giving you a nice view of his anemic torso ring. You give it just a moment to turn past midline before you fire.

You feel the heat in your hand as the gun bucks under your fingers. With the adrenaline coursing through your veins, you can feel the rod cast from the barrel, tossing aside its magnetic vestments with the abandon of a Dutch escort.

The rod strikes the machine midline, slightly offset and under the main plate. You can see fragments scatter under his arm, a combination of shrapnel and bearings scooped out of their tracks. The Locust hitches as its upper body is suddenly pinned to the lower, causing it to stagger.

Lis tosses a few smoke canisters in your vicinity, which you duck into before the Locust can recover. Your systems protest while your dynamo spools back up, hissing as the secondary coolant boils off to return to practical temperatures.

The Locust turns to track your squad, but is stymied by the damaged ring. It casts a spread of rockets into the smoke, undershooting your positions significantly. It then turns south and breaks into a staggering run, lurching whenever its offset torso throws it off balance.

“Look at ‘em go. We going to follow that one up Sam?” Jennings breaks through the smoke, coming around the edge of a stack of lumber.

“Let’s not. I don’t want to run into his cousins out here.” You notice Lis doesn’t stop until she’s got Jennings and yourself between herself and the fleeing Locust.

“That’s the point Lis; Lead promised the nice lady targets, and that Locust isn’t running for a piss.”

>Break off: The Tennhauser is safe, mission accomplished.
>Follow the Locust at a distance, break off if he leaves range.
>Chase at his heels: One good shot could finish the thing off.
>Order Durga to bombard the fleeing machine: A lucky strike could get him and any of his friends.
>>
>>2725545
>Break off: The Tennhauser is safe, mission accomplished.
>>
>>2725545
>Break off: The Tennhauser is safe, mission accomplished.
>>
>>2725545
>Order Durga to bombard the fleeing machine: A lucky strike could get him and any of his friends.
>>
>>2725545
>Order Durga to bombard the fleeing machine: A lucky strike could get him and any of his friends.
Don't see we lose anything by doing this. Following him would put our machines at risk, but a bombardment doesn't require us to even move.
>>
>>2725548
>>2725552

>Break off: The Tennhauser is safe, mission accomplished.

>>2725553
>>2725578

>Order Durga to bombard the fleeing machine: A lucky strike could get him and any of his friends.

Tie. Let's decide how to handle this into the future.

> Coin flip: Choose randomly between the two
>Sudden Death: First response to break the tie is chosen
>Write in Rule: More detailed response is chosen.

15 minute vote to apply for this decision. At the end of the thread, the majority vote will be used for all further ties.
>>
>>2725617
>Sudden Death: First response to break the tie is chosen
>>
>>2725617
>Coin flip: Choose randomly between the two
Alternatively, write the option whose reasoning you personally prefer or feel will make for a more interesting narrative.
>>
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274 KB JPG
>>2725624
>>2725630

How am I going to handle a tie on the tie resolution vote?

>>2725630

I personally would like to avoid that, since it'll kinda reverse causality. I try to make sure that all my paths are interesting without forcing any specific one.
>>
>>2725617
>Coin flip: Choose randomly between the two
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>2725649
>>2725630

Coin flip wins. Here we go.
>>
>>2725617
>>2725666

>"We're done here. Let's see if we can hitch a ride."

Writing.

Remember if you're dissatisfied with using coin flips into the future, continue to vote: The final tally will be used to decide the general rule.
>>
>>2725677

“Tennhauser, we’re coming up to support you. How’s the reactor?” You turn away from the fleeing IRH machine.

“Running hotter than I’d like, but as long as we don’t do any more sprints, we’ll be good to make it back. Who’s my saviors out there?”

“The missiles came from Sigyn, she’s probably still covering us. The artillery is Durga, launching from Kyiv, We’re her retinue.”

“Good you showed up when you did. I don’t think I’d have made it if the Hounds caught up. You get any of em out there?”

“No. One of the Locusts was hoofing it South, so we think they were trying to beat you past here.”

“Tracking him. He’s outside my range.” Sigyn’s robotic voice cut in.

Tannhauser takes a deep breath. “Good to hear from you Sigyn. I owe ya for last night.”

“Just a bottle T. Dry as a desert up here.”

“Fair enough. Soon as I get the insurance for this bad boy.”

Your system chirps as Sigyn relays a set of coordinates.

“Spotted. L5 and three other targets. They’re inside the AA envelope.”

“Registering!” Durga spoke up with enthusiasm.

“Durga, hold off, at this range you’ll barely scare them.” You confirm the distance: Hitting anything mobile that far out is a matter of their shitty luck.

“Is that not my call Armistead?” There’s an edge in her voice.

“Professional opinion Durga: There’s going to be more next time. Let’s not mess up the Grey's advance. You got one today right?” You have the sneaking suspicion she’s got that intense look on her face again.

“You did keep your promise. Fair enough Lead. We’ll talk when we get back.”

You preemptively quash Jenning’s comms. Whatever he said damn near killed Tennhauser laughing.
>>
>>2725885

You clear the buildings and see the ‘Hauser. Jennings wasn’t kidding, the damn thing was barely twice your height. A pan shaped turret was nestled between the front hull and two sub hulls designed to lever the machine skyward. In this position, it wasn’t all that different from a tank, but you know from the brief that the Tannhauser could lift up nearly thirty meters.

That is barring the battle damage: Not all unlike the Locust you scared off, you could see where the turret ring had been torn asunder. Cracked red Shell gleamed in the recesses where the automated systems had stabilized the damage, but the recoil from attacking the Locust on the bridge had broken it loose, making the turret sag to your right

“You kids want a lift?”

You don’t bother dignifying that with a response, clamping into the purpose built cleats and locking in your manipulators.

The trip back was uneventful for the Ukrainian countryside. The Tennhauser’s spotlights made visibility a non-concern and the gentle rumble of Sigyn above reminded you exactly how much firepower was covering this little caravan.

As you roll in, the Grey’s cheer for the Tennhauser: organizational chart be damned, they know a tank when they see one, and the Hauser was a popular symbol for the rank and file. Prefabs much like your own were organized along your path, and you were directed to a staging yard, where dozens of Panzermagd’s and engineering cranes were ready to receive the ‘Hauser.

The pilot, a mountain of a man with red hair bid you fare well as he was set upon by a mob of engineers, crewmen and the occasional officer all with their separate but definitely most urgent issues regarding the stricken machine.
>>
>>2725887

As you return to your site, you see that the infantry have made quarters for the officers in the same block you have, no doubt to stay near to the main thoroughfare and the Knight’s staging areas. You know that Durga would likely want to debrief the squad, but your squad mates hadn’t gotten this far without knowing the score. Lis specifically points out that she’s only requested you, informally, and without a specified timescale… You’re got some wiggle room here, and you’ve been riding off and on that damn Magd for nearly ten hours now.

>Report immediately soldier!… Maybe wash your face.
>Make yourself modestly presentable before showing.
>It’s early morning; It can wait. Take care of yourself, get some sleep and report when it’s light.
>Contact Durga: She might have turned in, but waking her isn’t that bad.

>SPECIAL: Take advantage of the early morning; It’s probably late evening on the East Coast, a call to your sister wouldn’t go amiss.

(This option offers you the opportunity to have family to fight for. Maya might be gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the younger Armistead from following in her footsteps, or at least keep her stubborn butt safe.)

>She’d appreciate it. (Samuel has a younger sister)
>Maybe another time. (Samuel has a younger sister)
>Oh, right…(Samuel is alone after Sinai)
>>
>>2725890

>SPECIAL: Take advantage of the early morning; It’s probably late evening on the East Coast, a call to your sister wouldn’t go amiss.

>She’d appreciate it. (Samuel has a younger sister)
>>
>>2725890
>SPECIAL: Take advantage of the early morning; It’s probably late evening on the East Coast, a call to your sister wouldn’t go amiss.
>She’d appreciate it. (Samuel has a younger sister)
>>
>>2725890
>SPECIAL: Take advantage of the early morning; It’s probably late evening on the East Coast, a call to your sister wouldn’t go amiss.
>She’d appreciate it. (Samuel has a younger sister)
>>
>>2725890

>SPECIAL: Take advantage of the early morning; It’s probably late evening on the East Coast, a call to your sister wouldn’t go amiss.

>She’d appreciate it. (Samuel has a younger sister)

I would not be surprised if a later event inspires the sister to sneak her way into the military to fight alongside us. Imouto powers will not be denied!
>>
>>2725899
>>2725914
>>2725956
>>2725985


>"T. Comms is probably set up by now. Pretty good chance I can get a call out."

Writing

This option permits a selection of the other choices. These will be up for vote while I write.

>Report "immediately"… Maybe wash your face.
>It’s early morning; It can wait. Take care of yourself, get some sleep and report when it’s light.
>Contact Durga: She might have turned in, but waking her isn’t that bad.
>>
>>2725991
>Report "immediately"… Maybe wash your face.
We're already making her wait, best not to push it.
>>
>>2725991
>Report "immediately"… Maybe wash your face.
>>
>>2725991
>Report "immediately"… Maybe wash your face.
>>
>>2725890
>Make yourself presentable
Scrubbing some of the sweat at least, whether or not we actually report right away.
>She'd appreciate this
>>
>>2726111
Ffs didn't update, thought I had auto-refresh on. Ignore me.
>>
>>2725991

You slip your harness and stand, quick enough to catch the shift as your Magd settles into its offline stance. Helmet shelved, release pushed, a brush against the hanging tag: Your typical routine, with just a bit of kick to it. You glance up towards the Durga as you suck in the cool night air: It’s subtle, but you can tell she’s off somewhere by the way it stands. You think it might over-correct into the wind or something like that.

Good. You didn’t catch her coming in then. Alibi secured.

You skip the liftwire, taking the handholds three at a time. You’re on the ground before Lis or Jennings has even finished parking.

Jennings pings you halfway across the road: “Say hi from me!”

You slip into the comms tent easily. Technically you needed a scheduled appointment, but at this time of night, you haven’t yet met a technician that didn’t just sign anyways: With the OPSEC system as robust as it is, it’s not like anything was getting leaked here, least of all by someone with their legit ID.

You slide into one of the chairs, immediately regretting your helmet hair. She wasn’t going to care; She hadn’t heard from you since you started training on the Magd’s. Nine months? A year?

You cue the call and don the headphones; a small victory for your hair, smoothing the worst of it. A short animation as the system warms up, then a dark screen, save tiny text stating “NA:NY:Wait for reply”.
>>
>>2725995
>>2725997
>>2726085

>"Dunk my face, swig some mouthwash. There's work to be done."

Writing.
>>
>>2726140

To your pleasure, you got a response at the 3 minute mark, and she loads in after another two.

In the dim light, the screen dazzles you for a moment. It’s a bright dorm, with a bit of mess in the corners and a pile of laundry on the bed. Miriam leans back into the frame with a bright smile. She had cropped her wavy brown hair short since you last saw her, leaving it shoulder length. She’s grown quite a bit as well, not quite catching up with her late sister in height.

In other respects however… Well, Jennings wasn’t getting an introduction. Yet another reason to keep her in school.

“Hi Miriam. Long time no see.” You put on your best “It’s 3 AM in the Ukraine smile”.

“Hey Sam, no kidding!” She leans in towards the screen “Liking the bars, you steal em?”

You tap your chest lightly “Not from anyone I know, my command stuck me with em when I walked in the door. She seems to be a bad judge of character.”

“Oh, She? I didn’t think you had it in you bro. Mom would have told you to stick to regs.”

“It’s not like that and even if it was, VC regs just require you to phone home.”

She laughs. “Dancing with enough room for the political officer between you?”

A red icon blinks on screen: Bad topic. Time to move on.

You screw up your face. “It’s been a long shift sis, let’s talk about something else.”

“Sorry… Um… I got accepted to that school I was going for. It’s an accelerated program.”

“I’m guessing that explains the closet you’ve got right there?” You gesture across the room.

“Yeah. Dorms are a bit tight. It’s nice though, we’re right on the river.”

“What are you in for?”

“It’s a hands on engineering program; we do a lot of things, hands on, study abroad…”

You nod quietly. The normalcy is peaceful.

“How about you Sam? How have you been holding up?”

“Pretty ok once I got out of basic. It’s rough mostly in the mornings, but we’re a lil’ too busy for it to stick. Shave and shower clears me up pretty fast. I keep her tags in the cockpit, so she’s not too far away. Sorry I didn’t ask you if you wanted them; I know you and Maya were close.” You rub your eyes.

“It’s fine. You took it pretty hard. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Have the Grey’s been coming around recently? Jenn- Lis says they’re badgering people, even with deferred service.”

“Nope! They haven’t been a problem at all!” She gives you a faint smile. “Listen, I gotta go. We’ve got a thing tonight. I’ll get back to you alright?”

You nod. “Good night Miriam.”

“Mira; Honestly, I haven’t been called Miriam since grade school”

“And I’ve been the exception since?”

She sighs, smiling with the corners of her mouth. “And you’re the exception… Night Sam.”

She waves, and the screen goes dark.
>>
>>2726165

You pull the transcript, noting the ding. Two actually, you’re overachieving tonight. Nothing actionable though, otherwise there’d be a big old “Report to X” stamp on the top.

You leave the room, passing a cute officer with blond hair in the hallway. You’re almost too tired to salute, but she doesn’t bother you: Guess the thought counts.

You duck out of the comms center towards the officer’s quarters and immediately are struck by the realization that you’ve got no frigging clue where to track down Durga

“Is she well?”

You virtually jump out of your skin. It’s not like she was hiding, but you’d think a woman wrapped in tin-foil and a signals lab would be more noticeable.

Which only answers that question: She’s changed out of her combat rig She’s wearing a long officer’s jacket… and not.. much…

No. It’s the base layer for her suit. Thank god; You’d prefer to end your career on your own terms, not because of a man-eating CO.

“She’s fine.” You reply, faster and a bit louder than intended.

She fixes you with a look, but lets you go far easier than last time you were face to face. She points off towards the tents.

“Come along.”
>>
>>2726290

She brings you to a hard-shelled shelter and directs you in. The living area is immaculate and frankly uninspired. Earth tones, with little contrast. It’s significantly larger than you expected, which makes sense when you see the far door marked with a red cross.

“They stick you with your own infirmary?”

“Durga and… I have similar needs,” She hangs up her jacket, before tapping on her shoulder, “Performance has a price.”

Visible through cut outs in the suit, a pair of triangular brackets mount across her shoulders, matching into the spine. A larger third post finishes the pattern on her lower back Between them, a thin mesh resembling lace curved up to follow the spine. No doubt you mistook them for part of the suit when you saw her the first time.

You stay stock still. Not quite sure yet if you’re being tested or trapped.

She collects a robe from her bunk/couch and dons it. “I reviewed the combat data for the Tennhauser mission. That was an impressive shot.”

She looks back to you with a familiar smile: The one where you assume she’s thinking about twisted metal.

“What was your thought process?” She catches you with those piercing eyes. “How do you compose yourself?”

>Discipline: Hold fast.
>Intuition: Go with your gut.
>Observation: Know the field
>Caution: Deliver your report and get out.
>Write in?
>>
>>2726295
>Observation: Know the field
I do like the double meaning behind this prompt.
>>
>>2726295
>Observation: Know the field

political officer
bad topic

Add another red flag to the pile
>>
>>2726295
>Observation: Know the field
>>
>>2726303
>>2726333
>>2726353

>"Situational Awareness: Good for IEDs and Section 8's"

Writing
>>
> Military focused, 'semi-hard' science/tech mecha quest with combined arms stuff
This is top stuff OP, I've been hankering for one of these for a long while now.
>>
>>2726382

For once, you don’t try to dodge her gaze. You return the stare. For a moment, you fear that you’ve made some terrible mistake, but she does not betray offense, nor do you turn to stone. You’re just staring into a pair of tired blue eyes, glimmering deep…

How long has she been in the Durga you wonder? You were shipped in with the offensive, but as far as you could tell, she arrived under her own power: With some abuse of the shield system, she could hover rather quickly along open fields and water, but this was mostly road… Days? A week or two?

“I’ll admit we missed him coming in, so I was tracking him as hard as I could. A machine that large telegraphs a ‘lil, so that was the edge we were looking for.”

She nods, “You chose to run immediately. Were you trying to escape?”

“In a Magd, there’s really no option. The ‘hauser or Durga can probably slug it out, but we can’t afford a hit from something that big.”

“But you turned back?”

“Yeah. That’s when I went for the waist. Lis had his attention, so I could get a clean shot.”

“If you lack the armor to defend against the Locust, why did you pause in the open?”

“We all did. It’s called leapfrogging.” You mime it hand over hand. “Each of us takes turns covering. That way we all can make the most ground without giving up our rear guard.”
>>
>>2726573

She settles on the bunk, looking down and rubbing her wrist. A new tic?

You pull the thread. “Panzermagd’s have to work as a team. When the job is big, we split it up. None of us alone could have put a dent in that Locust, but when we lock hands, we’re stronger than the sum of our parts.”

“That includes me as well right?” She looks up. It’s a smile, but entirely different in character. Warm embers instead of a plasma torch.

“Yes. It does.” You reach out a hand.

She shifts towards you to take it, but hesitates, pulling her hand. Not afraid, just unsure

“We might not come up to your knee, but like Lis said, we’re all good for it”

She blinks a few times at your statement, expression blank.

No. Fuck. Abort. That’s not it. She’s asking you! and Lis was talking about the Magds! Are you so exhausted you’re going to trash this-

She takes your hand. It’s surprisingly warm, as is her smile.

“I understand the sentiment… I think.” She lays her other hand over, before letting you go.

She stands and moves to the kitchenette, grabbing a glass of water.

“Sorry for this. I may have been indulging myself a bit.” She drains the glass .

“It’s alright. Just put me on the spot a bit.” You stand; You know when you’re being dismissed.

“I will try to be more open about my intentions in the future.” She gives you a weak imitation of her earlier expression. “I would like to know more about… my team.”

“I can make that happen Ma’am,” You follow the shift in her tone. You decide to pull one more time though, “Would you mind elaborating on what your wanted tonight?”

She looks thoughtful. “I needed to figure things out.”

“Things?”

“I… thought I loathed you.” She states.

What. You hope your poker face kept over from basic.

“Ah. No, I just thought that. I was just confused.” She looks down. “I love the Vereinigte, so when I did not feel that way about you, I just assumed I was supposed to hate you.”

Your expression is stone: Later, you’ll debate if it was blank or an indescribable network of ridges and valleys. You turn away before Durga can see the sculpture she wrought.

“And now?”

“I do not dislike you Corporal.”

“I'll take it. Get some sleep Durga”

Calling it for the night. Tentatively scheduling another session Tuesday 17th, 5pm EST

Comments and Critique are welcome, as well as general discussion. I'll see about getting a short "How we got here" history primer together sometime in the coming week.
>>
>>2726591
Thanks for running mate, looking forward to seeing where this quest goes, seems like it's got plenty of potential.
>>
>>2726591
Thanks for running
I see great potential.
>>
>>2726591
Good stuff, thanks for running
>>
>>2726455
I know, right?
I especially love that we're in a little-bitty support mech, and not the towering death machine. Really gives a sense of danger to combat when one lucky shot could turn us into a red mist.
>>2726591
And Durga is intriguing to say the least.
>>
>>2726591
Otherwise a good quest but
Post more/10
mech stuff makes me feel like a crackwhore.
>>
>>2726591
will there be a containment discord to limit shit posting in the thread?
>>
>>2727666

Currently that's a no, but I'm not going to rule it out if things get hectic. I'd prefer not to fragment the audience too badly, so I'd prefer to keep everything in the threads.
>>
>>2727676
understandable
>>
>>2727676
intensify the shitpos tie ing
>>
>>2727020
Reminds me of Fear Nought quest, but futuristic instead of World War era
>>
Running a bit behind. Will be posting a new thread shortly. Sorry for the delay.
>>
>>2739452
why a new thread?
we are only on page 7
>>
>>2739459

Aren't we in auto sage? I'd prefer to bump the thread if it's not against /qst/ decorum.
>>
>>2739473
im not an expert on this, but it should take a few days for the thread to die
>>
>>2739480

Fair enough. Posting here for now then.
>>
>>2726591


“The IRH Hound is a impressive enough machine, but is entirely inadequate against our newest Knights. The so-called “Dustbin” cannon fires a truly devastating HESH-style round a significant range using a recoilless design…” The officer continues his rote description.


Medium weight, heavy AA and short ranged AK capabilities. Slow for its size, favoring ambush and flanking. It’s what put the hurt on the Tennhauser. Fires a wad of explosives the size of a jeep, which conforms to the armor and joints of a Knight. The resulting detonation is remarkably good at separating plates, mangling armatures and generally buckling critical components. Atop that gaping maw is the big brother of the Locust’s railgun: An fully automatic version optimized to punch a half dozen holes in a target in a second… Thankfully it lacks the depression or agility to track Magds, but that’s not the problem.

They were to be your target today. The night rescue out of Kyiv a few days back seemed to galvanize field command: The Durga was suddenly hot product among the brass the moment Sigyn and your combat footage made it across. You’re not sure you can blame them. Despite Sigyn handling a larger number of the combatants, the image of a Locust bubbling into slag over a few minutes was the kind of thing these commanders craved: An absolute weapon.
>>
>>2739640

[Darren Korb – Heightmap]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op2p4lPtKsk

“Durga will be moving forward along the Dnieper river using her GEV along with her retinue. She will be providing fire support and direct fire from the Obolon region, moving north to clear the flank of the IRH staging area at Lubny.” The officer gestures across to Durga, sitting alongside Tennhauser’s pilot and a blond officer you can’t place. “Do you understand your mission?”


“Sir… My machine is not optimized for direct engagement of IRH hostiles.” You note the hesitation; she chose those words carefully. A technically correct answer.


“I’ve been assured by your superiors that you will be more than capable. The overwhelming firepower will be sufficient to route the enemy before a protracted engagement can occur.” He pauses. “Regardless, we have little choice. We cannot redeploy the Tennhauser until a foundry can be delivered from Warsaw, and we cannot permit them to engage us here.”


“Why not?” The blond officer pipes up “We still have two knights and an entire battalion of mechanized holding this position.”


“Command intends to hold here, at most pushing up to Poltava.” Tennhauser’s pilot sighs. “They want to take advantage of the river and establish an operating base here, which means the front lines must be pushed forward.”

“That’s completely backwards. They can’t seriously be that confident in this theater.” The blond officer pouts. “I’m not getting shot because some fat idiot insists we need to make the borders pretty.”


“Hey, I already got shot for it.” Tennhauser’s pilot stands. “Do we even have any idea how many Knight-class threats are out there?”

“We estimate up to three elements of combat lights, and perhaps one remaining fast attack element, depending on how many spare Locusts they had at Lubny” The officer pulls up some grainy satellite pictures. “We missed catching them on the move, so we’re forced to guess.”

“This plan’s getting worse by the minute.” The blond turns back to you, “Hey, Sam. Speak up. You were out there.”

On the spot AND at a disadvantage? And what the hell kind of officer insists the grunt make her point for her?

>If the brass wants Lubny, you’ll get them Lubny
>She’s right: The Durga’s got better things to do than get blasted.
>It’s Durga’s call; defer and back her up.
>Hold it. Do I even know you?
>>
>>2739649
>If the brass wants Lubny, you’ll get them Lubny
>>
>>2739649

Since I was late, I'm going to boost the vote time another 15 minutes.
>>
>>2739649
>>It’s Durga’s call; defer and back her up.
Welcome back OP
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>2739672
>>2739778

Tiebreak
>>
>>2739782

>"It's been going well so far. Might as well make a habit of it."

>>2739778

>>It’s Durga’s call; defer and back her up.

Writing.
>>
>>2739787

“We did good work out there. No reason not to take advantage of this momentum.” You shrug. “If they want to eliminate targets at Lubny, it’s our job to make that happen.

“You’re remarkably calm about this. Aren’t you forgetting our asses are out there too?” Lis speaks up from behind you.

“We’re moving in daylight under direct support. There isn’t a Locust pilot dumb enough to try to get into a fist fight with the Durga, and the Hounds can’t effectively target us, We’d either have to stop right in front of them or start flying.”

“And what about those who ARE flying?” The blond officer glares at you.

Oh. Context. Hi Sigyn.


“The Hounds are going to be focused on Durga; They’re going to be far more worried about getting one-hit by the plasma gun than taking potshots.”


“Sam is right. They shouldn’t have the freedom to take their eyes off of me.” Durga calls up a rather redacted schematic that you recognize is her machine.

“It is a bit unwieldy, but I can hit them outside of their range, even directly. Their weapon is entirely useless against my defensive systems: at maximum projector range, the shells are unable to cause more than superficial fragmentation. I simply ride out the blast.”


“I don’t think willingly being bait to a wolfpack is a good solution at all Durga…” Sigyn’s pilot frowns.


“It will be fine. It is as the commander says; they will not survive a long engagement.” You see that damn gleam in her eye again. “I will destroy them all before they can overcome us.”


“I wish your confidence was catching.” The blond pilot sighs. “If I can’t convince you, I guess I’ll just back you up. I’ve got a reputation to uphold.”

“Glad to have you on the team.” Durga glances towards you unsubtly. You hope Jennings… No, you hope Lis didn’t see that.

“If that’s out of the way, please prepare your crews. Infantry resistance will likely be light, but concentrated, especially nearing the staging area. You will be supported by mechanized squads already in the field who will screen for threats. If there’s no additional concerns, the operation will commence in two hours.” The commander looks across the briefing room.

“Durga’s Retinue will be expected to provide light fortification support, so please ensure your team carries a Shell projector.”

>Link up with your crew until the mission.
>Approach Sigyn’s pilot and fix your introduction.
>Chat with Tennhauser’s pilot, Perhaps get some pointers.
>Contact Durga to discuss… hopefully the mission?
>Write In?


Recommended LOADOUT:
01: Coil Gun, AI/AS Missiles, EW Package
02: 30mm Gatling, Heavy Armor, Shell Projector
03: Coil gun, AT Missiles, Empty

>Accept?
>Adjust?
>Custom?
>>
>>2739895
>Adjust?
Stick some Extra Armour on 03. Agility's good, but we're moving in daylight and they're probably going to draw some fire with those AT Missiles.
>>
>>2739946

>03: Coil Gun, AT Missiles, Heavy Armor

Voting extended: remember there are two choices.
>>
>>2739959
Right, whoops.

>>2739895
>>Chat with Tennhauser’s pilot, Perhaps get some pointers.
He's got first had experience with the OPFOR units we're going to be running into, so he's probably our best source of info for the moment.
>>
>>2739946
>>2739977

>"Tenn's been against these guys before. It'll be useful to see if he's got any tips."

Writing

Tough Crowd tonight
>>
>>2740031
Stick with it mate, the sessions immediately after the first are the most important and the toughest, showing players they can depend on you to run regularly and not drop the quest. Keep working at it, and you'll find an audience soon enough.
>>
>>2740034

I'm not concerned. I'm having fun. I'll stick it out if it means waiting days between votes.
>>
>>2739895

“Lis.” You stop her at the door, “Go heavy on this one; We can’t just cut and run if it gets hot.”

“I can manage.”

“I don’t doubt that; Just for my piece of mind then.”

“Alright Lead, But this doesn’t count as a “talk”.” She slugs you lightly on the arm.

“Yeah. Sorry, I’ve been busy.”

“Don’t worry too much about it. Training was different,” She brushes back her cropped hair, “You talking with the boss?”

“Nah; I wanna spend a ‘lil quality time with Ten. He’s got experience with these guys, so I think I’ll pick his brain since we won’t have him out there with us.”

“Fair enough. I’ll keep Jennings out of trouble. I think I saw him following Sigyn out: That’s going to go well.” She rolls her eyes.

“You never know.”

“The man’s got all delicacy of a prostate exam. I’d think I know.” She shakes her head, “See you.”
>>
>>2740170

Tennhauser’s pilot still was loafing in the corner when you drifted back. He looks remarkably carefree for a man who got his machine opened up only a few days prior. He’s rather bulky for a pilot, though it matched his Knight well. The tightly-cropped red hair and clean shave ensure you don’t mistake his mellow nature for carelessness: You know a professional when you see one.

“Didn’t get a good chance to introduce myself. I’m Issac.” He reaches out a meaty hand, which you accept.

“Did a pretty good job bringing in the ‘Hauser, almost didn’t see you down there.” You sit down beside him.

“Ten’s pretty quiet when she needs to be. Scared the shit out of some poor townies though.” He stretches. “Hopefully they get her back in good shape soon.”

“Pretty sure it’ll buff out. You get a good look at the punks who did it?”

“Full lance of IRH Hounds, with the same Locusts you dropped into the river. They came in behind us, swooping past and picking off my Magds and tankers. When I turned to track one, I got a pair of dustbins in my left side. Barely got centered before they blew. Didn’t get the gun, and it completely opened up my left dynamo. I popped some Shell to stabilize, went flat and drove like hell. With the weight of the gun, their depression rate is lousy.”

He makes a “whoosh” gesture over his head. “Like back in Basic. Man, that was a while ago. There’s something to the guys out there though: Those shells were going a bit fast compared to the old ones. They probably cooked up a better launching charge.” He rubs his forehead, “Not a fan. I liked em better when they flew like beanbags.”

You nod, “Any of your guys make it out?”

“My number 3’s supposed to be in the infirmary now. They gotta ship him back to fit him for a new leg.” He chuckles, “Jokes on the Hanguo; he already lost that one in Sinai.”

“Ah… Sorry to hear that.” You can’t help but sound a bit down.

“… Nah, it’s my bad. Shouldn’t have brought it up. Everyone’s lost something there.” He pats you on the shoulder. “My trainer was there when it happened; I know how you feel.”

“Yeah. Just kind of a lil’ mess.”

“A couple million people swallowed a bit more than a mess. We’ll make em pay for that you know.”

You sigh and nod. “Yeah. You good to hold down the fort?”

“Ain’t got anything better to do. I got this”

You stand, say your goodbye and walk out.
>>
>>2740174

Between the briefing hall and your staging area, you become aware that you’re being watched. There’s an officer in a unfamiliar, but clearly Vereinigte uniform leaning up next to the comms tent. She’s looking through a monocular, making no effort to hide her examination of you.

You make a quick catalogue of anything you could have done recently, but come up with nothing save your recent call. If that was it, They wouldn’t have bothered waiting this long. So what’s this about?

>Ignore her, You have nothing to hide, and everything still to do.
>Evade her, If someone’s got a beef with you, it’s only a matter of time before they find an excuse.
>Stare her down, Two can play this game.
>Approach her, Some problems are best handled head on.
>Write In?
>>
>>2740176
>>Stare her down, Two can play this game.
See who blinks first.
>>
>>2740176
>Stare her down, Two can play this game.
assert dominance
>>
>>2740176
>Stare her down, Two can play this game.
Lean up against a column on the opposite side of the clearing. Establish a No man's land between the two of you. Will she cross it to talk to you?
>>
>>2740203
>>2740234
>>2740250

"One of us makes far better television."

Writing.
>>
>>2740176
>>Stare her down, Two can play this game.

Hey op, got a twitter? Might help pull people back in between runs.
>>
>>2740261

As a Corporal of the Vereinigte, you know quite well that if there’s something hanging over you, it’s not going disappear or give up for the sake of some harebrained counter-plan. This calls for proper responses.

You cross over to your Magd, already prepared for deployment. When you glance back, you see she’s shifted to put away her glass, but pauses. You turn deliberately, lock her in you gaze, and deploy the enlisted’s most powerful secret move…


You lean back, and begin the herculean task of holding up your Magd’s leg.

You are unable to catch her immediate expression, but her glass returns to her hand and she fixes you with it. You return the favor, hand binoculars notwithstanding. You find your anxiety melts away nearly instantly: Turning a tense standoff into a cartoon skit that leaves nothing to dignity or authority… She’s completely at your mer-

And she’s walking over. You wonder if your vest is bulletproof

She’s an older woman, the kind you’d see heading meetings and delivering speeches. Her outfit is almost entirely unadorned, a black coat with silver accents. She wore a beret with a mirror polished silver shield on it, large enough to reflect back your whole eye if your vision drifted to it. You could see rank insignia hiding in her sleeves, but the design seemed to specifically work to hide them. Your initial impression was correct: She’s an auditor.

The smirk on her face didn’t much suit the outfit. Nor did the frizzy hair pulled back in a bun. She reminded you more of a middle school teacher than a commissar.

>Take initiative: Speak first [Write in?]
>You have the right to remain silent: Make her fight for it.
>Be Friendly: Introductions and courtesy are powerful tools. [Write in?]
>Play coy: Pull your reel, mount your Magd and make her talk up to you. [Write in?]
>>
>>2740288

I'll see what I can do.
>>
>>2740302
> Salute
She's an officer so, 'ma'am' is all we should say, then it's speak when spoken too, and say nothing more than necessary, especially when it comes to dealing with a political officer/spook type.
>>
>>2740288

Done: @FernglasQ. I'll put scheduling info up for now, but I don't think there's any reason I can't do other stuff later.
>>
>>2740302
>Take initiative: Speak first
Sup bitch Ma'am
>>
>>2740302
>>Play coy: Pull your reel, mount your Magd and make her talk up to you. [Write in?]
We don't know if we're in a hole yet, so don't start digging. 'Ma'am' is all we need for now.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d3)

>>2740307

>Be quiet, but give proper respect

>>2740320

>Take initiative: Speak first: Start with proper address, move forward.

>>2740333

>>Play coy: Pull your reel, mount your Magd and make her talk up to you.

Looks like we're going to be polite any way this goes.
>>
>>2740351

"Salute; My name is Samuel Armistead, my ID number is 487..."

Writing
>>
>>2740356

As she approaches, you roll yourself up off the Magd. “Ma’am” you say, with a snap to attention and a salute sharp enough to shave with.

Her expression is unchanged. She approaches you close, coming up to your chin. She examines you with the same eye you recall from your instructors in training, but you’re damn sure she’s not looking for lint.
“Lance Corporal Samuel Armistead?” She looks up towards you.

The shield catches your eye, revealing faint markings. An thin inscription around its border states “retine vim istam, falsa enim dicam, si coges”. From your time in school, you recognize it clearly.

It’s Latin*.

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“I’m Auditor Hawke; does that mean anything to you?”

“No, Ma’am”

“Good; I didn’t expect you would, and it makes this a whole lot simpler. I am a part of Durga’s project. Do you know anything about it?”

“Ma’am, She’s my superior. I am tasked with supporting her.”

She steps back, giving you room to breath. “I believe you. Do you know what Auditors do?”


“I am unable to speculate, Ma’am; Only hearsay and rumors.”

“I do not breath fire Corporal; I cast a shadow and I sleep with both eyes closed.”

You suppress a smile.

“Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the point. I’m a friend, and I’d like if we can act that way. Does that sound agreeable to you?”

“Yes, Ma’am”

She frowns.

“You can drop it. I’m not going to pretend I’m meeting you half way in any circumstance but give me credit for indulging your little power play.”

>Maintain your stance: It’s a trick.
>Stay wary, but match her demeanor: If she wished you ill, there would be more chloroform.
>Take her at her word: Sometimes the spook has bigger fish to fry.
>Turn the tables: If she wants something from you, you’re getting first question (Write in?)

*The phrase means "Restrain your strength, for if you compel me I will tell lies"
>>
>>2740404
>Take her at her word: Sometimes the spook has bigger fish to fry.
"Normally it would be suicide for me to act casually towards an Auditor after first meeting them, don't you agree?"
>>
>>2740404
>Stay wary, but match her demeanor: If she wished you ill, there would be more chloroform.
Spooks are never your friends.
>>
>>2740404
>>Stay wary, but match her demeanor: If she wished you ill, there would be more chloroform.
>>
>>2740404
>Stay wary, but match her demeanor: If she wished you ill, there would be more chloroform.

>>2740414
What if they're a maneating Danish noble though?
>>
>>2740419
Why would you trust a Dane to begin with.
>>
>>2740414
>>2740415
>>2740419

>"We can talk, we can even pretend to be friends, but I'm still watching your hands."

>>2740406

>Take her at her word: Sometimes the spook has bigger fish to fry.

Writing.
>>
>>2740484

“You understand it’s just prudent Ma’am.”

She adjusts her beret. “It really is just prudent. Looks like I judged you correctly.”

She steps past you and looks up to the Durga.

“She’s beautiful right? The machine. We’ll get back to the girl.”

You wrinkle your nose. “There’s nothing to get back to. We-“

“Shh. I know. My entire job is to know about Durga, and it’s surprising how much you can get just by asking.” She turns back to you.

“And you’re here to ask?” you settle against the Magd again.

“Yes, I have a few things I need from you, and I’m offering you help in return.”

“Why would I need your help?” You rap the side of the machine, “You don’t by any chance have a official document forbidding my machine from blowing up?”

“In a manner of speaking. They asked me to arrange an “unfortunate accident relaying salvo coordinates” if you catch my meaning.”

Your blood runs cold. “Talk.”

“I said no; which is your first favor. I have jurisdiction over you in that regard; So long as Durga… Sorry, I mean as long as my project deems you necessary.” She points back to the machine, “Every single part of the project is Durga, just a little bit of trivia: Makes meeting minutes hell.”
“I’m a lil’ apathetic to your record problems right now.”

“Did you catch the funny part yet?” She quirks an eyebrow at you.
>>
>>2740588

“I’m not finding my death an entertaining prospect,” you furrow your brow, “Who’s they?”

“Got it in one. Project Valkyrie.”

She holds up a finger “My people aren’t happy with you. Durga asked some strange questions and scared the shit out of a poor technician when she decided to shake his hand.” She chuckles. “Bless her, I told them to expect drift right out of the gate.”

She moves on before you can interrupt, holding up two fingers. “Valkyrie on the other hand, came in wanting blood. They were rather cross when I told them they couldn’t have you AND the project Durga data they’re so desperate for.”

“I don’t even know about a Valkyrie, project or otherwise.” You rub your temples, “Why the hell are they gunning for me?”

“No clue, that’s favor 2.” She taps the shield on her beret.
“You’ve somehow managed to piss off a black project you didn’t know existed, and we,” she taps your chest, “have no clue. I’ll give you that one as soon as I have it.”
>>
>>2740592

“I’m guessing this means I’m already stuck with you?”

“Like you said, death is not an entertaining prospect.” She digs into her pocket, pulling out a data card. “Here’s the deal. I need you to keep an eye on Durga for me. This’ll give you the necessary permissions and controls to force stream data from your C3. Behave with it, watch Durga, the machine and the pilot for strangeness… Well, perhaps difference is a better word… anyways.”

You accept the chip. “That’s it? A lil’ anticlimactic.”

“You’re already doing everything else I want you to do, between keeping her alive and not fucking her.”

“I already told you it’s not-”

“She told me dear, I’m just pulling your chain. Just remember to file with IA. Not just regarding Durga. Didn’t think Lis was your type, but any port in a storm? Any bed in a barrack?”

“That’s-“

“Human. You don’t think we actually care about the paperwork?” she shrugs, “Your actions are far more important than your signature; we know a lot more about you from what’s missing than what’s filled out.”

“Is this your idea of friendship?” You grit your teeth.

“Of course not, but it’s the closest we’ll ever get to it. Rest assured that if I have any issues with you, You’ll know: I don’t make a habit of killing people who can still repent.” She pulls off her hat. “Not all of the rumors about Auditors are false. I don’t expect you to thank me, but as long as you don’t betray myself or Durga, you can at least rest assured that I’m the only one you’ll ever see. Seems like a bargain to me.”

“What if I say no?”

“To the espionage? Planet turns, you’re slightly less useful, I might trade you for something or someone better.”

“And Durga?”

“If you fail me and Durga and you performed to your fullest, you’ll discharge honorably and never see me again.” She dons her hat, “If you held out on us, I’ll ensure you a long and painful life full of horrors. Do you understand?”

>Agree to the espionage; It’s fair, favor for favor.
>Refuse; You’ll perform your duties, no more.
>Lie: Surely you can slip from her reach, right?
>[Write in]

That's it for tonight. Resuming at 6 PM, 7/18. Vote will stay up until 6:15

@FernglasQ on twitter for scheduling and contact.
>>
>>2740595
>>Agree to the espionage; It’s fair, favor for favor.
I really don't like her, but she's being straight with us, and is only asking we watch. She also didn't stipulate silence.

I am suspicious of why they want us to watch data streams from her mech however. If she's their golden child, shouldn't they already have access to that data?


Did we piss off a black project by being friendly to the test subject? That seems... excessive.
>>
>>2740595
>>Agree to the espionage; It’s fair, favor for favor.
Not much of a choice really, but with spooks it rarely is, isn't it?
>>
>>2740595
>Agree to the espionage; It’s fair, favor for favor.
>>
>>2740595
>Agree to the espionage; It’s fair, favor for favor.
>>
>>2740835
>>2740743
>>2740626
>>2740610

>"Clear as crystal.”

Writing.
>>
>>2741892

You take a deep breath and nod. “I don’t like it, but it’s a fair enough trade. Don’t supposed you’re going to explain your reasons?”

“They’re transparent enough if you do your diligence. Good hunting Corporal.”

And with that, she turns on her heel and walks back towards the comms tent. You have to shake the impression of the entire city rippling in her wake: It’s a different kind of power than a brace of medals or a Knight in motion. The shadows between the archaic buildings were darker, and the glare over their silhouette harsher, despite the fine morning.

You mount the Magd and pause inside the hatch. A brush against Maya’s tag centers you. Nothing’s changed really. People you don’t know wanting you dead for reasons you don’t know has always been a given in this uniform; Even the concept of being backstabbed really doesn’t phase you above the initial shock. You sit in the dim lights of the standby lamps for a long moment, appreciating the quiet. You know from a pragmatic sense that your Panzermagd isn’t much safer than outside on a battlefront, but for a moment you imagine it a refuge.

You break from your reflection, booting the Magd and run the program. It’s quick, and while a disturbing number of errors and prompts flash past you, the package ultimately confirms success. The difference is subtle, but you get the gist: You’re sharing the same authority as Durga, at least as far as diagnostics and sensors are concerned. You don your headset and tag over to her external optics.
>>
>>2742065

Kyiv was built up significantly during the Cold War, possibly in an attempt to match the prosperity in Germany after the Soviets foolishly traded it away. The resulting architecture was overwrought and inconsistent, with massive plazas like the one you were staging in surrounded by classical buildings too large even for their purpose. Modern accouterments hid behind and beside these structures, often crowding out forgotten monuments and courtyards. It was a very different Kiev than you walked through, with a surprising amount of green hidden behind the dull stone. At this height, it almost looked proportional and balanced.

You feel your gaze shift. You tap the sensor lock, cursing your absent minded command, only to breath a sigh of relief when it returns an error; Perhaps Durga is embarking? You wonder how many cameras you needed to page through before the system simply drops the correct one in your lap from a motion alert.

She’s difficult to make out, entering the nearly featureless cockpit. In a smooth motion, she pulls down and settles into the waiting harness. The now aligned interfaces make a loud whirr that more calls to mind a lifting jack than a precision war machine. She taps the face of her visor, which seems to activate it, illuminating her eyes through the tinted polymer.

Your vision shifts from the smooth walls as the system emulates her output, suspending her in a disorienting 360 degree bubble of Kyiv and associated data. In the simulated light, her eyes flick across the panels before settling on one.
>>
>>2742069

“You are early, Lead. We still have a half hour before deployment.” Your datastream informs you she’s adjusting some communication protocols at a rate you are unable to keep up with.

You fumble for a moment to ensure you’ve got your systems straight. “Just checking things and getting settled; A ‘lil bit nervous.”,

All true really.

“Me too. I wanted to get out here early and run diagnostics.” Despite the gloom, you can see her eyes fall, “I think I did something wrong earlier, so I need to make sure everything is performing properly.”

The technician Hawke mentioned? Or all the way back to your late night talk? It might have been recent: She was animated during the briefing, but even in the limited time you’ve known her, she makes a habit of switching demeanor quickly. Then again, it might even be a trap: If Hawke told Durga, and you were in systems you weren’t supposed to be, then you’ve pretty sure it’s a slam dunk for sabotage… But then why actually give you a usable progr-

“-Sam?” She focuses on your icon, which shifts to a stream of your machine’s interior. You make your best effort to look candid. “What do you think?”

“Uh… Yes?”

You see her frown

“No?”

“I will try again: Should I be feeling tense about this mission?” She stretches, demonstrating an impressive span, “Tennhauser was the only one relaxed at the briefing. I am under the impression he can be discounted for this assessment. You seemed fine earlier, but I am unsure now if I just imagined it.”

>Not at all: No sense dragging her down if she’s feeling good.
>Of course: We’re fighting; It’s appropriate to be wound up a bit.
>Be clear: You met her shadow, and she didn’t have nice things to say.
>Come clean: If Hawke wanted you to stay quiet, she should have asked.
>Write in?
>>
>>2742071
>>Of course: We’re fighting; It’s appropriate to be wound up a bit.
>>
>>2742071
>Of course: We’re fighting; It’s appropriate to be wound up a bit.
>>
>>2742071
>>Of course: We’re fighting; It’s appropriate to be wound up a bit.
A little bit of nerves is a good thing; it keep you alert and on your toes. Being too tense can be distracting, however.

>Come clean: If Hawke wanted you to stay quiet, she should have asked.
She seems like the sort to appreciate honesty, and I get the impression the whole cloak-and-dagger thing is about testing us as much as it is keeping an eye on her.
>>
>>2742065
>>2742069
>>2742071

Fortunately, forgetting a trip is mostly harmless.
>>
>>2742071
>Of course: We’re fighting; It’s appropriate to be wound up a bit.

>Be clear: You met her shadow, and she didn’t have nice things to say.
Test the waters for what we can tell her. If they do give a fuck, this much should raise enough flags for them to give us a warning, without putting a bullet through out head. If they don't give us the cease and desist in a few days, that would imply we're in the clear to say more.
>>
>>2742109
>>2742092
>>2742084
>>2742082

>"How can you not be a little stressed about getting shot with a Buick full of explosives?"

>>2742092

>Of course: We’re fighting; It’s appropriate to be wound up a bit.

>>2742109

>Be clear: You met her shadow, and she didn’t have nice things to say.

Writing
>>
>>2742171

“It’s perfectly normal to feel pressure when you’re going out into the field. Tennhauser wasn’t that nonchalant when he had rails bouncing off his armor, and probably less so nearby the Hounds, who don’t need to get a lucky shot.

You index her cockpit cam into the corner of your view and reset your camera. Jennings and Lis are visible coming from the barracks.

“Normal perhaps. But is it wrong if I just feel excited?”

“It’s not wrong; but it should be tempered with caution. You aren’t the only one out there with a big gun.”

She nods. You see 02 and 03 power up in your HUD.

“Sam! You ain’t going to believe this, Alex said we can drink with her after the mission!” Jennings voice cracks with excitement.

“Sigyn’s pilot.” Lis sounds bemused, “Jennings has been taking it personally. Guess I’ll can never be sure right Lead?”

“Anything’s possible. Everyone up?” You lever your machine upright.

“Sure. How are we doing this? They said something about going down river?” Jennings’s machine staggers upright with the heavy projector.

“We embark on the Durga: Sigyn’s going to cover for us while Durga uses her projectors to go downstream.”

“Can something that big actually cross water? Do we have floaties for it?”

“The shielding can be projected over a wide area. Imagine it like an invisible raft.” Durga begins to stride forward, crossing above you.

“02, You take the 4’o clock, 03 takes the 8 position, I’m up at twelve. We should be mostly balanced that way.”

You each move to your assigned positions and wait for the Durga. You have to drive down a primal fear as thousands of tons of steel “kneels” towards the ground. If the Durga was large standing, it was unbelievably titanic at your level. Even still, the last 5 meters needed to be covered by a cargo clamp leaving you suspended a meter or so below the main body. The suspension is effective enough, but you cannot help but find the experience a little degrading, riding like saddle bags.

“Anyone get the impression this didn’t get brought up in committee?” Lis maneuvers herself into the clamps.

“They’re more concerned with unloading than loading Lis; The whole clamp is designed to drop us from full height.”

“It better not.” is all that Lis has to say on the matter.
>>
>>2742443

Once you got used to the teeth rattling buzz of the projector, the trip downriver is almost pleasant. The constant displacement under the machine disturbed the water heavily but petered out to a gentle rustle of the adjoining forests and rocky beaches. For the first time since you got here, you could see why anyone could stand living out here.

Sigyn coasted behind you at what you’d call a passive-aggressive hover: You could hear her constantly fighting the throttle to stay with Durga, despite your rather reasonable pace.

“A few boats ahead on the east shore, just civvies. Tacking west so they don’t flip.” Sigyn’s voice?

You check the C3 and see the message posted exactly as spoken. Out of the corner of your eye, Durga looks rather pleased with herself. You trace the message back to the communication protocol she was toying with earlier. A reasonably clever hijacker, feeding in from the C3 and directly interfacing with her comms unit: You’re just catching the output from your privileged access.

“Fair enough Sigyn, don’t get too far out.” You review your position: 5 kilometers out from your landing, “Where are we getting off?”

She sets a waypoint “Durga sets down shallow. Beach to marsh to road. 15 km from target. I stay wide, Durga pushes up. Greys engage on main road, we flank through woods.”
“Do we really want to be tramping through hostile swamp?” You lean back, letting the swaying machine sooth your nerves.

“I can always carry you till the road.” You hear the shield projectors wind down as Durga slams into the shallow water with an accompanying tsunami. The harness takes a surprising amount of the shock out, but still leaves you wobbling.

“Pass” Lis mumbles into the mic.

>Deploy from the beach and scout ahead: You can pick through the loose soil with a little care.
>Stay on the Durga: You might be a bit exposed, but at the least you’re not bogged down.
>Deploy and move separately through the city roads; You can watch more distance in front of the Durga on improved roads.
>Deploy and improve the Durga’s footing. It’s not much faster, but it’ll be a lifesaver if you’re ambushed before the road.
>>
>>2742449
>Deploy and move separately through the city roads; You can watch more distance in front of the Durga on improved roads.
>>
>>2742449
>>Deploy from the beach and scout ahead: You can pick through the loose soil with a little care.
If the Greys have the roads, we can take the marsh, unpleasant as it might be. At least we won't be in the open.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>2742478
>>2742486

Tie breaking
>>
>>2742538

>"Stick with the plan. This is going to suck a bit."

>>2742478

>Deploy and move separately through the city roads; You can watch more distance in front of the Durga on improved roads.

Writing
>>
>>2742542

“Hang in there Lis. We’re off as soon as we’re shallow enough.”

True to your word, you land on the bank, while 02 and 03 land about knee deep, putting up an impressive spray as their harnesses swing free.

It takes Durga a few attempts to get solid footing off the river bank. The sludge abruptly terminates where she’s used her projectors to spread her weight, giving a banded appearance to the mud on her pointed feet. Eventually, with a little bit of Shell from Jennings to anchor, she manages to step over the bank and into the trees beyond. You do a quick function check and move on.

You take a short detour towards town, scaring off a few curious bystanders with the PA. From there, you tack back directly through the marsh, floating in a loose formation as you weave between softer ground and depressions.

The irregular stands of trees and shrub coupled with the irregular ground make this environment a favorite for Magd: You can afford to dip into the depressions and probe for better ground. Theoretically you could tip or bog, but with your relatively light armor and the tools you need to stabilize the ground, it’s a simple enough matter, not much more difficult than a footsoldier tramping through. Significantly less bug bites, although you’re still baffled at a lone fly that appears to have entered the sealed cockpit.

“How’s it handling back there Durga?” You pause for a moment to scan ahead.

“Frustrating.” You glance back and can make out the top of one of her guns. “I am not slipping anymore, but the clearance is unacceptable,” She scowls, “I’m getting muddy.”

“It’ll wash. No Knights detected.” Sigyn takes a low pass over the marsh, driving the bass of her engines down your spine.

“Give us some room Sigyn; No one’s going to poke their heads out if you’re standing on them.” The knight accepts your request, banking back and sweeping Durga’s flanks.
>>
>>2742654

You manage to increase your lead to about three kilometers when you start hearing small engines. Relatively speaking of course. You relay back the information and creep forward. Up ahead, you see an IRH armored column in motion. You don’t immediately see any supporting Knights however.

“Durga, we’ve got ground pounders up here. They must be moving up to reinforce.” You get a rough count at 30 combat vehicles, mostly obsolete tanks.

“Mark them; I can handle it.”

“It’s a waste. We haven’t yet spotted the Knights. Let Sigyn handle it, she can flush their support.”

“And if I hit them now, they will never get their support.” She sounds agitated. “Mark targets and standby.”

>Mark targets and comply: The only waste is a surviving target.
>Try to bounce the targeting past Durga to Sigyn using your enhanced access: What she doesn’t know can’t reveal her position.
>Engage the vanguard: If you blow some of the lead vehicles, your magds can hold your own and have Sigyn do the heavy lifting.
>Attempt to slip behind the convoy silently; The Greys can handle their own weight class, you’ve got nastier opponents afield.
>>
>>2742658
>Mark targets and comply: The only waste is a surviving target.
Durga's official role on this op is arty support, she's going to get made sooner or later, and we've got excellent support if/when any knight-classes show up.
>>
>>2742658
>Mark targets and comply: The only waste is a surviving target.
>>
>>2742658
>Mark targets and comply: The only waste is a surviving target.
Durga doesn't appear to enjoy being told to do nothing, hm..
>>
>>2742693
Her rather aggressive attitude isn't really a good fit for an arty knight, is it?
>>
>>2742658
>>Mark targets and comply: The only waste is a surviving target.
>>
>>2742675
>>2742684
>>2742693
>>2742710

"Alright. Alright. Gonna step back a bit here..."

Writing.
>>
>>2742728

“Alright. Marking lead… center… rear… And we’re going here. Speed is 30, bearing 290.” You key out the coordinates and signal your group back.

“Sam, the hell are you doing just caving? We’re still ten clicks out!” Lis hisses over the radio.

“Sigyn; Get a bit of altitude and watch for movement. We’re going to shake the apple tree a bit.” You flick on the scrambler. “Durga’s good at range, we’re going to give her that.”

You can’t see well through the canopy, but it doesn’t take a keen eye to spot the guns. Three gloves of blue light too bright to look at directly. You’re sure some spotter in the convoy’s picked up the flare, but at this range, it’s mostly moot. You feel, rather than see a series of six concussions. Six matching lances of light crest overhead, bright and shining. These projectiles would be far less cohesive than the ones that she’d used for the long range shots towards Yahotyn. smaller, faster.

No less devastating. The lances strike along the road in a clean series of fenceposts about 75 meters between. Nearly a kilometer distant, you can see the lead vehicle or two perhaps outrun the super-heated projectile.. Between each one previous, the only sound present is the scream of vapor venting from the pavement and earth. a split later, the heat reached fuel tanks and ammo stores, causing a cacophony of explosions and ruptures. The radio, along with the target area, was mercifully silent as the armor began to melt into the pavement.

It was as if the gaze of God himself had found these bastards lacking.
>>
>>2742911

You draw yourself away from the carnage to check on Durga. She’s breathing hard, but not smiling as you had expected. There is a luminance in her eyes that you could no longer attribute to sheer joy de vivre.

“Contact. 4 kilometers, heading 40. They’re firing.” Sigyn reports. You tear yourself from the screen to see a wave of five projectiles from the north west, tumbling lazily. “Three are wide.” Sigyn banks away from a fusillade of railgun fire, forcing her low and away.

“Defending!” You hear a series of sharp cracks as the Durga’s point defense strikes. You see the lead projectile fragment and burn, but its partner is undeterred. You see the projector activate, a ripple in the air that causes the thin shelled explosive to collapse and detonate. The resulting explosion obscures the Durga. You tab through the C3 and breath a sigh of relief as only superficial damage is reported. As far as damage control is concerned, Durga is unharmed.

Physically at least. There’s venom in her expression as she brings the Durga back upright. The cannons are charging again.

That’s probably bad. The Hounds cycle slow, but not slow enough you want to bet the next shots are going to miss before she dead aims the group.

>Get Sigyn back to relay coordinates. If she’s not going to back down, they need to be accurate.
>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.
>Link up as fast as you can: You can support her PD with your own and get her moving.
>Wrest control: Maybe you can force upload an order to the autopilot

Calling it again. Sorry for the slow updates today. Will run 7/19 6pm EST. I’ll be deciding on a more regular schedule to finish the summer and prepare for the part-time semester. Fear not, I want to stick to twice a week if I can manage. Decision is up for the interval as always.
>>
>>2742920
>>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.
She is built for long range artillery, not slugging. She's going to need to learn patience if she wants to survive. Maybe we can pitch it to her as like stalking prey or something.
>>
>>2742920
>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.
>Be prepared to race back and provide PD if she doesn't listen.
>>
>>2742920
>>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.
>Be prepared to race back and provide PD if she doesn't listen.
Trying to talk her down's not a bad idea, but at the end of the day, she is our CO, and bickering in combat wastes seconds that could get us all killed.

Thanks for running boss.
>>
>>2742920
>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.
>>
>>2742920
>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.
>>
>>2742927
>>2742937
>>2743119
>>2743124

>Appeal to her: She can’t shoot those guns if she’s dead.

>>2742927
>>2742937

>Be prepared to race back and provide PD if she doesn't listen.

Vote closes in 15.
>>
>>2743772

>”Have you ever considered NOT getting hit?”

ROLL: 1d100, Best of 3

BONUS: How do we get her attention?
>>
Rolled 61 (1d100)

>>2743787
>>
>>2743787
Attention as in get her to realize we are talking to her or attention as in convincing her?
>>
>>2743807
>>2743787

Convince her. She seems rather determined to answer the Hound's insult the old fashioned way.
>>
Rolled 64 (1d100)

>>2743787
>>
Rolled 37 (1d100)

>>2743787

>BONUS: How do we get her attention?
She asked yesterday whether or not she was part of our team. We said yes, but this is her chance to prove it. Shoot out of anger and force us to get into the line of fire or protect herself so we can all move on to completing the objective.

Call it a stay of execution for those Hounds.

>inb4 nat 1
>>
>>2743805
>>2743824
>>2743828

BEST ROLL: 64
BONUS: "Drag me out in the middle of the night and forget already? Not happening sister."

Writing.
>>
>>2743787
>Bonus
relate this to a game of tag, or cat and mouse, or of a pack of coyotes fighting a tiger. She is powerful, but they are many, and quick. She needs to be careful to not be overwhelmed.

I dunno how much we know about basic tactics, but she should have at least had some education as an officer.
>>
>>2743838
i don't think tigers and coyotes have intersecting habitats




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