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ComNet > Stormtrooper Corps > Archived Stormtrooper Corps Story Board > The Perfect Storm - May Competition
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Topic:  The Perfect Storm - May Competition
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  The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 9, 2009 10:18:51 PM     View the profile of Angel 
The Dominion hung in space, its engines glowing slightly as it slowly crept through the debris field. Parts of what were once freighters floated motionless all around the Victory-Class Star Destroyer. Aboard the bridge, General Rizzit stood ominously still with his arms folded behind his back. His eyes scanned the carnage before him as a small trickle of sweat formed on his brow. The Dominion's turbolasers sounded in random intervals, throwing bright green beams of pure destructive energy into the void to pick off any debris straying too close to the ship.

"Second one this week?" A familiar voice sounded behind Rizzit. Recognizing it immediately, he didn't even bother turning to greet the Prefect.

"Yep, this time they didn't even bother taking any of the cargo. Just blew the whole thing to hell." Rizzit answered. "Glad to see the New Republic is too good for our cargo these days."

Surface Marshal Cleric "Cosmic" Vor'soth let out barely audible sigh as he surveyed the scene. The New Republic had found their advantage against the Vast Empire's push towards the Core, and was now exploiting it. They knew that the VE's Navy was spread too thin as it was defending both the newly taken worlds and their home planets. The few fighters and escort ships they had been able to spare for this latest supply convoy were no match for whatever strength the NR was throwing against them. From the extent of the damage it appeared to be at least an MC-80 cruiser heading the attacks. On one hand it was flattering that their advances had garnered such attention from a government fighting a two front war against both Thrawn and the VE.

"I think it's about high time we did something about this." Cosmic stated morosely. Out the viewport he spotted several techs floating in EVAC suits sifting through the wreckage and attempting to recover the "black boxes" from the freighters.

"Really?" Rizzit answered sarcastically. His voice was tinged with weeks of frustration. Supplies were wearing thin at the front lines, and they couldn't afford for these attacks to continue. "I figured we'd let the NR completely pick our supply fleet apart." Arching an eyebrow at his long-time compatriot he added, "You have anything in mind?"

"Get Sergeant Nimiichi and his platoon on the Dominion as soon as possible." Cosmic replied, already moving away from the viewport and back towards his personal quarters on the ship. "Once we find out where they're striking from we're putting an end to this." The door to the bridge whooshed shut as added emphasis to his orders.

Cracking a small smile, Rizzit turned to the nearest comm tech and said "Make it happen. I want Storm Platoon equipped and on this ship within 48 hours."

*    *      *      *      *

Colonel Ellrich Alfonso, commander of the New Republic forces on Eriadu, reclined in his plush nerfhide seat, cigarro in one hand and glass of fine Corellian Whiskey in the other. Across from him sat Captain Ruron Singta, a male Sullustan, and Lieutenant Marin Collesta, a female Bothan. Neither of them was in the same celebratory mood as their leader.

Ruron shifted uncomfortably in his seat. The actions Alfonso had ordered him to take did not sit well with him, and belied the ideals the New Republic stood for. "Sir..." He started, hesitating to bring rebuke against his commander. "I don't believe we should have destroyed the freighters."

Colonel Alfonso's smile faded to a dull frown, then degenerated into an annoyed sneer. "Oh really Captain? And what would you have done? Give our enemy quarter?"

Scanning his eyes across to Lieutenant Collesta, Ruron searched for support from her, but the Bothan sat as stoic and emotionless as always. Swallowing the lump growing in his throat he managed to summon the last of his resolve to finish his objections. "After we destroyed their escorts, the vessels were defenseless. We could have taken the cargo and released the crews back to their families. What we did was just what the Empire used to do. We may have well of just held a blaster to each of their heads and pulled the trigger!" Ruron surprised himself by how easily the words flew from his mouth and how quickly he had lost his temper.

"We can't let these upstarts from the damn outskirts of space think we are soft!" Alfonso hollered back. He had quickly lost his sense of humor about the situation and dropped the cigarra into whiskey, extinguishing it with a hiss. The scent of boiled alcohol and smoke filled the room as the rather corpulent Colonel rose from his chair. "If we did as you suggested, we'd let them know just how desperate we are for supplies! They'd summon their forces and march straight for Coruscant! If you have a problem with that, Captain," Alfonso added with as much poison in his voice as he could muster, "Then I will relieve you from command of your Mon Cal Cruiser and replace you with someone who WILL follow my orders!"

Alfonso smiled inwardly as the smaller Sullustan cowered from his commanding officer. Ruron could be controlled, and he liked that in a subordinate. The day the little twerp stood up to him would be the day he dressed like a Twi'lek slave girl. However, the Captain's behavior was starting to get more and more out of line, which was something he could not afford.

"Now get out of my sight before I decide to relieve you anyway!" the Colonel finished.

Ruron snapped a shaky salute and did as his leader commanded, turning on his heel with military precision and fleeing for the safety the hallway outside offered. As he left the room, Alfonso turned to Lieutenant Collesta who still sat unphased by the entire exchange.

"Watch him. If he tries anything funny, you know what to do." He said.

"Yessir." The Bothan answered. Her golden fur rippled in excitement. She held no respect for the Captain and considered him to be a spineless wimp. With him out of the way, she would be one step closer to taking Alfonso's command...the fool just didn't know it yet.

*    *      *      *      *

48 hours later...

The dull gray orb of Eriadu spun slowly in place, hovering a few meters above the holoprojector in the center of the briefing room. Angel stood slightly to the side in his dress uniform. An impressive display of medals adorned the left breast, slightly below the rank insignia of Sergeant First Class. He had attended many briefings in his long career, but this would be the first he had given.

It had only been a few months since his ascension to Storm Platoon Commander and he had yet to settle into the role of a ranking commander. Serving dual duties as the Jester Squad Leader had help him retain his sanity as it provided welcome reprieve from the endless mounds of paperwork constantly strewn across his desk. For this mission, however, he would be forced to remain on the sidelines. Jegora, his ASL in Jester, would be assuming command of the squad as Angel played the part of mission coordinator and battle commander.

The Platoon Commander scanned the faces in front of him. He recognized the half dozen faces immediately, picking out Lucky and Alan sitting closely together as always. Tanus, his PA and SL of Blackjack, sat a few seats away from his ASL, Garyll. Most notably and most distressingly however, was the sight of Jegora and Jager (who was acting as ASL of Jester for the mission) sitting on opposite sides of the room, obviously not pleased the other was present. He had hoped the two would mend their differences, and while they were not at each other's throats still, they had yet to ease the tension which always hung between them like a dark cloud.

Pushing such thoughts aside and silently hoping for the best, Angel began his briefing. The lights in the room dimmed, and the image of Eriadu shifted to display the first mission...
Paladin Briefing wrote:PALADIN
Mission: Disable or destroy Cardan V-Class space station Targus
Objective 1: Take down space stations turbolaser defense grid located on sublevel 10.
Armor/Weapons: Standard Squad Equipment. ONE personal choice weapon.
Details: Paladin will microjump into the system on a small transport claiming to be a maintenance crew for faulty sewage systems. Once onto the station they will proceed to sublevel 10 and attempt to disable the turbolaser systems.
Expected Opposition: False ID's will not stand up to the entry inspection by NR crew, so there will be no point in keeping up pretenses. The space station has many troops on board as it serves as docking station for the NR fleet. Expect minimal resistance at first. However if their presence is detected before the turbolasers are brought down, expect heavy resistance.
Objective Bonus: By disabling the turbolasers you will allow reinforcements to land. They will follow Paladin's microjump very quickly.
10 posts or less - Three (3) squads of regulars from the 48th Battalion complete with additional ammunition.
13 posts of less - Two (2) squads, no additional ammo.
15 posts or less - One (1) squad
More than 15 posts - All squads were shot down.
Blackjack Briefing wrote:BLACKJACK
Mission: Take control of planetside spaceport, which doubles as the NR Naval HQ on the planet.
Objective 1: Destroy Arial Defense Missile Systems.
Armor/Weapons: Standard Squad Equipment. ONE personal choice weapon. High yield explosives for destroying missiles.
Details: Blackjack will microjump into the system from the Dominion on a small transport claiming to be tourists. Once landed, they will proceed with their mission. There are five (5) missile systems surrounding the facility.
Expected Opposition:Expect at least ten (10) armed guards at each missile system. They will not be very skilled.
Objective Bonus: By disabling the missiles you will allow reinforcements to land.
10 posts or less - Three (3) squads of regulars from the 37th Battalion with additional ammunition.
13 posts of less - Two (2) squads, no additional ammo.
15 posts or less - One (1) squad
More than 15 posts - All squads were shot down.
Jester Briefing wrote:JESTER
Mission: Take control of Eriadu City by eliminating militia and capturing planetary governor.
Objective 1: Infiltrate militia motor pool and cripple their movements within the city.
Armor/Weapons: Standard Squad Equipment.
Details: Jester will microjump into the system and land near the city on a Sentinel-class shuttle. They will make no attempt to hide their intentions, as the chaos ensuing from their landing and appearance will aide in the overtaking of the city.
Expected Opposition:Expect at least thirty (30) armed guards plus mechanics and techs at the motor pool. Scattered militia should engage along the way. They will not be very skilled and should be easily overwhelmed.
Objective Bonus: Crippling the motor pool will slow their response to our invasion. If this objective is completed in less than 15 posts, Jester will be able to commandeer one of the transports of the motor pool to move quickly to their next objective.

You have your orders and your post count begins now. I am not putting you straight into the action on purpose. I want you to figure out how to get somewhere without posting pointless filler. My advice is to start on your transports to your destinations. I am posting this a day early so you can organize yourselves and ask me questions. I will unlock the topic at 12:00am (00:00) PST of Monday May 11th.

Remember that my intro posts from now on will be exclusively from the point of view of the NR commanders. Alfonso will be in Eriadu City. Collesta will be at the Starport, and Ruron will be on the space station.




Platoon Commander - Storm Platoon | Squad Leader - Jester Squad
PC-SL/SFC Angel/Jester/Storm/Phoenix/Dragon/Osiris/Stormtrooper Corps/Tadath/Vast Empire
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[This message has been edited by Angel (edited May 10, 2009 09:24:01 PM )]
[This message has been edited by Angel (edited May 10, 2009 09:24:33 PM )]
[This message has been edited by Angel (edited May 13, 2009 10:38:17 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 11, 2009 03:59:08 AM     View the profile of AlanRJ 
Alan sat next to Lucky as the lights dimmed and the briefing began.  It had been some time since the full Platoon had been called into action so he knew that something major was up and he was looking forward to seeing what they would be facing, although he knew that the risks would be high if the full Platoon was being involved.

He took notes at key points of the briefing.  Already his mind was working on how they would get onto the station without causing too much of a commotion.  He knew that keeping a low profile would be key to the success of this mission but already he knew that it would not be easy.

The briefing came to a conclusion and everyone got up and started to leave.  Alan stood up but noticed Lucky had remained seated.  He wasn't sure why so he sat back down to see what was going through her head.

"What are your thoughts on the mission?" asked Lucky.

Alan thought for a moment before replying, "way I see it is if we manage to get onto the station without being detected then it should go smoothly but I don't know how we are going to get on if false ID's are not an option".

"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing" replied Lucky, "we can always try to bluff our way past, say we forgot our ID's or lost them".

"Sounds like a plan, although if it doesn't work then we will need to take out the guards quickly at the entry inspection area" said Alan.

"Agreed, let's go inform the squad of our mission and get prepped" replied Lucky as she stood.  Getting on the com, she relayed orders to the squad to go to briefing room two to relay what their mission was.

Entering the briefing room, Alan scanned the room.  He noted that all of the squad were already present.  I guess they must be eager to find out what the mission is thought Alan as he sat down next to Lucky and waited for her to brief the squad.

"I'm glad to see you all here" said Lucky, "as you know the Storm Platoon has been called into action.  We have been given the assignment of infiltrating a Cardan V-Class space station.  Once onboard we are to take out the stations turbolaser defence grid on sublevel ten.  We will be utilising a small transport and assuming the role of a maintenance crew.  Now false ID's will not be tolerated by the entry inspection team so we are going to have to try to bluff our way past them".

"What happens if they don't go for it?" asked Zeshaun.

"Then we take them out, swiftly and quietly" answered Alan.

"Won't their disappearance alert other troops?" queried TK.

"In time it will but I am hoping that we can get down to sublevel ten and take out the defence grid before that happens.  Don't be under any illusion, once the grid is down then they will know that they have intruders onboard and they will be looking for us" replied Lucky.

"Great" commented Njall, "sounds like a blast".

"What weapons will we be taking?" asked Greywolf.

"Stick with your standard equipment but if you have any personal weapons then you can take one with you" replied Lucky.

"Guess that means you'll be taking you DL-44's" commented Zeshaun.

"I sure will be" replied Alan, "although with your arsenal I have no idea what you will be bringing, just try to make it something light".

"I take it we won't be using our stormtrooper armour?" queried TK.

"Correct" replied Lucky, "we will stow our armour in a secret compartment on the shuttle should we need it later, for now get into casual clothes and no armour".

"When do we depart?" asked Leon.

"Get yourself prepped and meet us in the hangar bay, we leave immediately" answered Lucky.

"Anyone have any other questions or concerns?" asked Alan as he looked around the faces of the squad.

The squad looked around each other.  Everyone seemed to be comfortable with what their assignment was and Alan was eager to get the mission underway.

"Dismissed" called out Lucky.

The squad stood up and hastily filed out of the briefing room leaving Lucky and Alan alone in the room.

"Here we go again" said Lucky.

Alan nodded and stood up, Lucky joined him and together they headed back to their room to get prepped and ready for the mission.

Alan slipped himself into black trousers and a black top.  He strapped his belt around and slipped both his DL-44 heavy blaster pistols into their holsters.  Grabbing a black jacket he flung it on and checked in the mirror to make sure that they were adequately concealed.  Lucky got herself together and soon they were leaving the room and making their way to the hangar bay.

Entering the hangar bay it didn't take long for them to spot the transport that would be taking them to the station.  It didn't look like much but Alan was certain that it would get them to their objective.

Several of the squad members had already arrived with only a few others to join them.  Alan took Lucky's armour and stowed them in the hold along with their E-11 blaster rifles.

Alan looked over at Zeshaun and walked over to him.  He hoped that he wouldn't take offense at what he was going to say but it needed to be said.

"Zesh?" asked Alan.

Zeshaun glanced over and spotted Alan approaching him, "hey, what's up?"

"Listen, I hope you don't mind but I'd like Lucky to pilot us to the station" said Alan.

"Mind if I ask why?" queried Zeshaun.

Alan could tell by his voice that he had been looking forward to piloting the ship.  "Well, to be honest, your flying hasn't been overly impressive to-date" replied Alan.

"Understood" said Zeshaun, he smiled and added, "I guess we wouldn't want to crash".

Alan smiled, happy to see that Zeshaun did not seem upset by the fact that he wouldn't be taking the pilots chair on this mission.

The rest of the squad soon arrived and started to stow the gear on the ship.  Lucky noted that everyone was now here so quickly shepherded them into the ship.  Entering the ship the first thing Alan noticed was just how cramped it was inside.

Lucky manoeuvred her way to the pilots chair and Alan joined her in the co-pilots chair.  Lucky started to check the systems and go through the pre-flight check.  Once she was satisfied everything was in order she got onto the com system.

"This is Lucky from Paladin squad requesting permission for departure".

Several seconds passed before a voice came back through the com system.

"You are cleared for take off.  Good luck Paladin".

"Roger that" replied Lucky.

Her hands roamed over the controls as the ships engines roared to life.

She looked over at Alan and asked "ready?"

"Ready as I'll ever be" replied Alan.

Lucky smiled and the ship lifted off the hangar bay.  It hung there for a few seconds before moving forwards and soon it was out into the open space.  It looked so much darker than before.  The contrast of the hangar bay to the darkness of space was remarkable.

The ship moved slowly through the blackness of space as it made its way towards the space station.  Alan hoped that getting onboard the station was going to be relatively easy although he had his doubts about it and he hoped that it wouldn't involve a fire fight.  He patted his guns and knew that if it ended up being one then he was more than ready.

"There she is" commented Lucky.

Alan peered out through the main view port and took in the sheer size of the station.  He had seen numerous pictures of the station but seeing it in real life was something totally different.  He hadn't expected it to be so big and he started to wonder how long they could keep up their pretence before being discovered and having to fight.

"Looks bigger than the photographs" commented Alan.

"Indeed, well here goes nothing" said Lucky as she opened up a com channel.

"Space station Targus, this is maintenance crew delta requesting permission to dock" stated Lucky.

Alan knew that the station was probably busy but every second that passed by where they weren't getting a reply made him more and more nervous.

"They're not buying this, are they?" asked Alan.

"Take it easy" replied Lucky, "they're probably dealing with a lot of requests".

The com channel sputtered to life as a voice said "you are cleared to land, please proceed to docking port one and proceed to the entry station for presentation of your identification papers".

Alan grimaced as he heard that.  He could tell that they took security very seriously on the station and already he was thinking that they might have to fight their way through the entry area even though that was the last thing they needed right now.

"Well, at least they allowed us to land" commented Lucky.

Alan peered behind him and he could see that the squad was getting restless.

"Get ready guys, we're just about to dock" commented Alan.

No-one spoke but Alan was answered with several nods.  He could tell the squad were eager to get off the ship and stretch their legs.

Lucky manoeuvred the ship towards the docking port and brought the ship down gently.  Alan couldn't even tell that the ship had actually landed until the engines died down and soon the ship was quiet.

"Nice landing" commented Alan.

"Thanks" replied Lucky.

Lucky pressed the door release button and the ramp slowly started to descend.  Once it hit the deck she waved the squad to disembark.  Exiting the craft Alan glanced over and immediately spotted the entry area.  He glanced around the area but could not find any other way off the deck apart from through the entry area.

Alan wondered just how long they could talk before the guards at the entry area would begin to get restless and wonder what it was that they were doing.  He knew that they would have to make their move and do it quickly.

"I don't see any other way off of this level apart from through there" commented Lucky.

"Yeah, I was just noticing that myself" replied Alan.

"So, we going to try to bluff our way through?" asked TK.

"Yes" replied Alan.

"I hope this works" commented Greywolf.

"I hope so too" replied Alan, "just be ready for a fight if it doesn't though".

"I'll take the lead" said Lucky, "but be prepared for anything".

Alan nodded as he glanced around at the squad to make sure that they understood.  He knew that their reflexes had to be quick if things did not go well but he trusted Lucky's diplomatic skills.  He knew that if anyone could get them through without a fight then it would be Lucky.

"After you" said Alan as he waved his hand forward.

"Thanks" replied Lucky.

Well, here we go thought Alan to himself as he followed Lucky towards the entry area.  His guns at the ready should the need arise to use them.

Word Count: 1,890
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Garryll Gates
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Garryll Gates
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 11, 2009 12:03:48 PM     View the profile of Garryll Gates 

Gates whistled at their objectives. They had to take down the NR HQ? He and Tanus stood at the end of the briefing, and the Assistant came up behind him. “A toughie, eh, Tanus?”

“I’ve done harder ops. But taking out missile systems against green boys? Easy as pie,” replied the Squad Leader and Platoon Adjutant. “Get the men assembled.”

Gates tipped a salute, and left the room, walking briskly to the barracks of the large warship. Inside, Blackjack was sprawled over beds and chairs, playing cards or polishing knives. The high turnover rate of rookies and even veterans had left Gates with a squad he wasn’t fully comfortable with. Alater, the massive lizard with spec-ops background; TX-47, or ‘Tank’, the mechanic and vehicular addict; Reese, a second-mission veteran, and two new troopers, Semaj and Kestrel.

“Gather ‘round, folks,” Gates ordered, waving the Blackjacks together. “We’ve finally got our mission. Here it is; we go planetside and blow the snot out of a few dozen green New Republic conscripts.”

“Could we get some more info than that, Gates?” hissed Alater.

“No you may not, and that’s sir,” Gates replied. “C’mon. Grab one weapon-Command doesn’t want you guys going trigger-happy; our ship is in the hangar,” Gates replied, and trooped out of the room, the squad following behind.

Quickly, they wound their way through the halls of the Star Destroyer, and made it to the hangar; Tanus was waiting by nondescript ship and waved them over. The Paladin Squad was talking in a group, and the Jesters were nowhere to be seen. Gates’ lips curled into a slight smile. They’d be some of the first, this time.

“Urban combat, boys and girls. What Blackjack was made for,” Gates said over his shoulder.

“Uh sir,” inquired Semaj, “Isn’t our squad designation Assault Infantry?”

“It is. We used to be Urban Combat Ops. Just returning to our roots, right?”

They boarded the transport, a medium-sized passenger freighter. Techs carried weapons and armor onboard the ship, as well as creatively scattering trash and other debris as if the ship was actually used often enough. Gates followed the lead tech as he unhooked a floor panel and placed another set of Katarn Commando armor into the secret hold. Gates drifted over to another tech with an open wall panel placing M-82G Assault rifles inside; deeper into the cabinet was the Tyrant LMG, two Stouker Conc rifles, and the Hydra RPG. Gates slipped a newly acquired StA-52 SLAR rifle into the hidden spot as well.

The techs disembarked, and Tanus waved them into the main seating area. “Here’s the plan. We go in plainclothes, but the armor’s here. We’ll take the explosives-” he pointed to a half-dozen backpacks- “and our ‘82s. No support weapons for step one.  Also, the DT-57s, as sidearms aren’t very conspicuous. We’ll land close to the missile launchers and take them out quick; backup’s on our tails, and they won’t be happy with rockets up their ass.”

Gates lit a cigarette, and clamped it between his teeth. “Okay Tanus, they got it. Let’s get this show on the road.”

TX and Tanus retreated to the bridge; the rest sat idily. Gates shrugged and made his way to the bridge as well. The two men prepped the ship, going from engines-cold to a warming temperature, and then to a full-throated roar in a minute; the repulsorlifts kicked in, and the ship rotated on its axis, spinning and getting ready to fly.

It eased out of the hanger, and maneuvered around melted metal from the lost convoy. “They’ll pay in blood,” muttered Tanus. “A New Republic life for each of ours.”

Gates nodded, the smoke reaching his lungs. He checked the charge of his 57, the nervous habit criticizing him again. “Well then, what are we waiting for? Let’s move on.”

Tank nodded and started up the hyperdrive. Gates could just barely glimpse the distant planet Eriadu that was their goal. Then, the stars streaked into blurs and the ship shot forward at huge speed-

For only a moment. They were dragged back out of hyperspace by a massive gravitational pull of the planet. They kicked the engines back into gear and started towards the planet. Once they got closer, they hailed it; a spaceport controller picked up.

“Greetings, transport Eyes in the Sky, welcome to Eriadu!” the controller said enthusiastically. “If you would please state your cargo and purpose…”

“Of course,” started Tanus, “We’ve no cargo; we’re tourists from Coruscant, and have decided to explore worlds of interest around the galaxy.”

Gates snorted, exhaling smoke. Tour the galaxy, more like burn most of it down.

“Thank you for the information. Your destination?”

“Eriadu city,” Tanus replied. “We’d like to see the capital.”

“Excellent,” the controller said, and rattled off a series of coordinates. “If you’d please land there.”

Tanus nodded and signed off. The two pilots dove the ship into the atmosphere, shields burning clouds and friction as they tumbled onto the planet that was now their target. Gates strapped himself into another chair as the shields glowed from the entry burn, but they were quickly through. Blackjack’s transport leveled out, and they coasted carefully towards a large complex; from above, there was a large rectangular hangar that housed ships from many planets; only a few dozen meters away was a much smaller building flying a New Republic flag and was pentagonal; on each corner of this still-large HQ was a missile launcher; the five Arial Missile Launchers they were to destroy.

“Let’s land near the corner, less of a run that way,” Gates said, pointing out an open spot in the far corner of the hangar. Tank nodded and carefully adjusted their course, bringing them into the hanger and skillfully twisting the ship to a halt. He dropped it onto its repulsorlifts and then eased the power, drifting harmlessly onto their landing struts and solidly onto the ground.

Gates checked the outer cameras for Customs officials or other officers; there were none. Obviously, this planet was not a fortress of war as some in the Empire or Republic were.

Blackjack’s ASL flipped the intercom. “You may now unfasten your seatbelts. Vast Empire Galaxy Tourism is happy to have transported you here, and they hope to do so again. Please have a nice day and break out the ‘82s.”

The three Blackjacks left the cockpit, locking the controls behind them. They entered the main hold to see Alater handling passing out weapons and explosives-filled backpacks. Gates pulled on a loose jacket and slid his rifles under the garment. He slipped them back out with no fuss, and several of the others copied him, adjusting collars to hid rifle butts and shifting backpacks to sit more comfortably.

Gates pressed a control, and the ramp lowered, spilling cheerful, albeit cool, sunlight and air into the cramped, recycled-air ship. “Ahh,” Gates said, cracking his knuckles, “A good planet to fight on.”
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[This message has been edited by Garryll Gates (edited May 12, 2009 04:15:52 PM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 11, 2009 01:48:47 PM     View the profile of Jegora 

There was a general hush throughout the large passenger cabin of the Sentinel-class landing craft. The large shuttle was normally able to house nearly two full platoons, but today it carried only one squad: Jester squad. The passengers sat patiently, fully dressed in their coveted Storm Commando armor, waiting for the order they all knew would come in due time. They were all strapped into seats near the rear of the shuttle, as close to the ramp as they could get; when they finally received the ‘go’ order, every second would count.

Jegora sat quietly in the chair closest to the ramp. By all outward appearances he was calm, cool, and collected. On the inside, however, he was fighting some anxiety over the coming battle. For Jegora, this mission would be like nothing he had ever faced before. This would be the first time he would have primary command of a squad, and although he had served as Angel’s assistant squad leader for some time, and Gio’s before that, he worried that his prior experience would not translate into his current situation. Above all, however, he feared making a critical mistake that would cost him (or even worse, his troopers) their lives.

Even though he knew such doubts were natural, were even to be expected, Jegora also knew that he couldn’t afford to dwell on what might happen. He could only react to each situation as it presented itself, and do his very best to accomplish the mission with minimal losses. Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, Jegora tried to eliminate his doubts. For the most part he succeeded, although a small piece of his mind still dwelt on the multitude of mistakes he might possibly make. Still, now he was determined to do his best, and with such a talented and experienced squad behind him he truly felt that they had a real chance at success.

The mission itself was fairly simple, at least in theory if not in practice. Hostile forces stationed on and around Eriadu had been harassing Vast Empire shipping lanes for some time. As a result, the Corps was preparing to cripple Eriadu, both in retaliation for the freighter attacks and in order to ensure that supplies could reach the front lines. Jester squad was just one part of that operation, although they had one of the central jobs to do. The Jesters would insert into the capital city of Eriadu, a dirty, polluted, impoverished, and industrialized sprawl of the same name. Once there they would carry out a specific set of objectives while wrecking as much havoc as possible.

The Jester’s attack on the city was twofold in purpose: obviously, the objectives they had to carry out were important, but the attack was also meant to impress upon the citizens of Eriadu that they weren’t even safe in their own homes. It struck Jegora as both a necessary and brutally efficient stratagem, one that he was more than happy to carry out if it meant that no more Vast Empire citizens would lose their lives to the pirate-like tactics that the New Republic had displayed in the prior weeks.

Jegora was jolted out of his reverie when a voice suddenly emanated from the shuttle’s intercom. Every single Jester turned their head at the noise, for they all knew what such an interruption meant: it was go time. Jegora stretched his legs one last time and checked his harness, knowing that what was about to happen next was not going to be pleasant.

Upon receiving the ‘go’ order, the pilots of the Sentinel-class shuttle immediately initiated a micro-jump through hyperspace to a set of predetermined coordinates . . .coordinates that placed the shuttle, and its passengers, mere kilometers above Eriadu’s upper atmosphere.

This was the first phase of the plan, a daring move designed to catch the Eriadu defense forces off guard. For the moment it seemed to have worked, there being no immediate reaction by the hostile forces to their presence. For a long, long moment the shuttle simply sat there, hanging on the edge of space, fighting the tug of the planets gravitational field.

And then they fell.

It was by no means an uncontrolled fall, but neither was it flying. The pilots, who Jegora figured had to be at least slightly suicidal, kept the shuttle on a general course through the use of maneuvering jets and boosters. The idea was that the shuttle would be harder to detect and track if the main engines weren’t online. That may have been true, and it may have helped them avoid some potentially lethal anti-aircraft fire from the planet below, but Jegora worried that they might just crash and die anyways. Such things were known to happen.

For the first thirty seconds or so the shuttle’s descent was fairly smooth. Then, however, things began to get rough. The shuttle began to rock and shake as the combined strain put on it by the planet’s gravitational force and the air rushing past at several thousand kilometers an hour began to have an adverse effect on the structural integrity of the craft. Also, anti-aircraft fire began to increase, and several near-misses caused the landing craft to literally quiver as high energy bolts passed way too close for any kind of comfort.

The next few moments passed painfully slow for the Jesters. They were beginning to feel the extremely high G-forces placed upon them by the freefall, even though the shuttle’s inertial compensators were working at maximum. Jegora wondered how much longer the stormtroopers could withstand such trials; they weren’t pilots, and they weren’t trained to resist the blackout conditions that came so easily at increased G’s. Even Jegora, who had been a pilot, found the freefall extremely difficult.

And then, suddenly, without warning, the shuttle jerked once, then twice, slowing in the process. And then it landed, if such a thing could be called landing. Jegora figured a better term might have been “hitting the ground”. The Jesters were thrown against their restraints, and when Jegora managed to glance over at his fellow troopers he noticed that a couple of them looked rather green in the face. There wasn’t time to say anything, however, for after a few seconds of what seemed to be an uncontrolled slide the shuttle hit something. Hard. The Jesters were slammed into their restraints once again, and then all was still.

Jegora was the first one to react. He quickly undid his safety restraint, noting with satisfaction that the rest of his squad was following suit. Grabbing his gear from the storage lockers, Jegora quickly suited up and then went to check on the pilots. What he found caused him to mutter several oaths in at least three different languages.

The pilots were dead. The shuttle had slid head first into a heavy building, and while it had managed to penetrate a goodly distance into the side of the building the cockpit window had been pierced by what appeared to be durasteel bars, used to reinforce the structure of the factory walls. Both pilots had been impaled on these bars, creating a bloody mess that was rather obscene to look at, even for one as seasoned as Jegora.

Returning to the passenger area, Jegora noted that his squad was fully suited up. Speaking for the first time in nearly two hours, Jegora nodded to his troopers and said, “Let’s go.”

No one moved. An armor clad figure that Jegora’s HUD identified as Jager asked a question. “The pilots?”

Jegora shook his head. “Dead,” he said, his voice holding a tone of finality. With that he hit a button on a nearby control panel, lowering the ramp. Luckily the shuttle had burrowed far enough into the building that it offered them some cover as they exited the shuttle. Even so, several laser bolts could be seen arcing towards the shuttle, a few coming awful close. Glancing down the ramp, Jegora then turned back to his squad.

“We dust these buggers, and then we move on. The motor pool should be half a click to our northeast. For now we stick together and cut a path to the objective. Questions?”

There were none. Several of the troopers shook their head. Jegora turned back to the ramp and said, once again, “Let’s go.”
Jegora Fal
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 11, 2009 03:27:36 PM     View the profile of Zeshaun 
Zeshaun felt very naked as he stepped off the shuttle onto the landing platform of the space station, he had chosen to take his light assault rifle with him, since he didn’t trust the E-11 very much. The fact that he had his trusty weapon by his side made him less nervous but without armor, he was feeling very jittery, and as he walked behind Alan and Lucky he got a bad feeling that this mission would not end well for them. The materials that the clothes were made of were very irritating on his skin and were a little short for his long arms, and wrapped tightly around his waist, making it even more uncomfortable. Zeshaun nervously tapped his foot as Lucky and Alan approached the guard waiting for the squad, extending his hand and waiting for their documents.
“Names and ID please.” The guard said without even looking up from his computer.
Lucky rummaged through her belt and looked up looking very confused. “Looks like I forgot it back at the base.” She said very apologetically.
“You must be new.” The guard said, looking up suspiciously from his computer.
A large lump formed in Zeshaun’s throat, he was sure that the guard would call them on their bluff and their mission would be compromised. Zeshaun’s fears were strengthened when the guard reached for a comlink and started to speak softly to someone else, discussing something in length. Zeshaun also noticed the blaster that was strapped to his belt, and Zeshaun wasn’t sure if it was his imagination but he thought the guards hand was slowly lowering to the blaster. The guard got off the comlink and looked up at the squad.
“You’re free to go right now, but in the future we won’t let you in if you don’t have your passes.”
Zeshaun let out a sigh of relief, Lucky apologized, and then thanked the guard and they entered the space station.  He shifted his rifle onto his other shoulder and was feeling much more comfortable now that they had managed to get into the station. He closely followed behind Alan and Lucky as they followed a complicated map down many corridors and passed through a countless number of doors I hope I don’t get lost in here Zeshaun thought Cause there’s no way I’m going to be able to find my way out The station was much larger than Zeshaun had ever imagined, they hardly ran into anyone after they descended down the first level and he was getting more comfortable by the second.

“This isn’t so hard.” Njall said sarcastically.

“Just wait till they find out that we disabled their turbo lasers.” Alan said jokingly.

Zeshaun chuckled but he felt the same way Njall did, he felt like this was probably one of the easiest missions that he had been sent on in a long time, after dealing with menacing hutt’s, and hundreds droids, disabling turbo lasers would be a piece of cake. Zeshaun noticed that as the squad went down another level, he noticed that the walls seemed to get darker in shade as they descended, and the lights dimmed down, casting the squad’s shadows across the floor. As they walked down another hallway they passed by another group of maintenance workers, Zeshaun stiffened for a moment but relaxed as soon as they were past.  They kept going down, and soon enough they had reached sublevel 10 and, to Zeshaun’s surprise, without any problems. Maybe I brought this rifle for nothing Zeshaun thought as he patted his trusty rifle. They reached the door leading to the main hallways of sublevel 10 when Lucky and Alan stopped.

“What’s wrong?” TK_421 asked.

“It’s locked.” Zippy relayed back.

“So much for not having any problems.” Zeshaun mumbled.

“Keep watch while Lucky and I try to break in, we don’t know if this will spark an alarm so be ready for anything.” Alan ordered.

Lucky brought out a small packet of tools and the two leaders of Paladin squad started working on the lock to the door. Zeshaun scanned the hallway, keeping an eye on the stairways that lead to and from the level they were standing on. He heard Lucky muttering some curse words under her breath, Zeshaun guessed that the lock was more difficult than most. Makes sense, Zeshaun thought I guess we couldn’t just expect to waltz into the room holding their best defense. The seconds turned to minutes, and Zeshaun was starting to worry that the lock was too much for his squad leaders, when Lucky stood with a triumphant smile on her face.

“I’m done!”

“Finally,” Njall said rolling his eyes. “I thought you’d never get that thing open.”

“It had an alarm that I had to bypass,” Lucky retorted, “and I don’t think you could have done any better.” She added playfully.

Alan opened the door a crack and poked his head into the room, then motioned for the squad to follow him in. When Zeshaun snuck into the room he was immediately taken aback by the brightness of the room, after going through corridors with dim lights, the brightness of the room forced him to stand still for a minute and wait for his eyes to adjust. After his eyes adjusted he saw that the room had a large glass window right in front of him. When he noticed that there were guards standing inside of the room he dropped to the ground as quick as he could.  The rest of the squad did the same; they were glad that the guards were not looking out the window. We’re probably the luckiest people alive right now Zeshaun thought as he tried to rid the images of what would happen if they were caught by the guards  after they had gotten this far.  The squad crawled on their hands and knees until everyone was past the glass window, and they stood up and started to lightly jog down the hall, getting away from the guards as fast as they could.

“That was close.” Alan said, as the squad stopped to catch their breath.

Lucky opened up her map to see where exactly they needed to get to in order to find the room with the turbo lasers defense grid. Zeshaun looked up and down the hallway’s making sure no one was coming while they stood there.

“Alright, this way.” Lucky said, closing the map and pointing down the hall.

The squad started to run, Zeshaun was surprised by the silence in the halls, he expected a lot of people would be coming in and out since it was the main defense grid, and it was probably very important to the station, although Zeshaun wasn’t complaining The less trouble we have the better The squad took a turn around a corner and was nearly spotted by a small group of guards, walking down the hall, carrying some kind of food and laughing. The squad waited for them to leave the hall and then continued.  Each hallway they went down looked identical to the one before, and Zeshaun had a hard time understanding which way they had come from, and was impressed with Lucky’s skills to be able to memorize the map so well. Lucky stopped in front of a set of double doors, each one with a very complicated lock placed on it, and to the squad’s dismay, there were also two guards standing on either side of the door, looking very bored.

“What now?” Leon asked.

“I guess we have no choice but to take them out,” Alan said with a sigh. “Let’s try to make this as clean and quite as possible.”

“And make sure they don’t get any distress calls out.” Lucky added.

The squad slowly approached the guards from an angle where they couldn’t see them approaching.  Zeshaun, Alan and Zippy took one of the guards, Lucky, Leon and TK_421 took the other, Njall and Greywolf stood guard, just in case more guards arrived. On Lucky’s mark the two groups pounced on the two unsuspecting guard, bringing them to the ground almost instantly. Zippy covered the guard’s mouth while Zeshaun sat on the man’s legs and held the guards arm’s down to keep him from flailing. Alan pulled out his blaster and with one swift hit with the butt of the gun the guard stopped moving and lay on the floor, Zeshaun looked up to see that Lucky’s group was successful as well. Zeshaun and Njall dragged the guards to the edge of the corridor, they weren’t really sure where to put them but putting them inside a room wasn’t really an option so they left them there.

“Now,” Lucky said, looking at the door. “We just have to get this door open.”

“Easier said than done.” Zippy stated, as he looked the lock system up and down.

“Think we can manage this lock?” Alan asked a little skeptically, looking toward Lucky.

“I guess we’ll have to.” Lucky said, letting out a huff and then revealing the small package of tools again.

After a few minutes, Lucky looked up from her work, “Looks like we’re gonna need some help.”

Zeshaun immediately volunteered, and worked with Alan on a lock. After inspection Zeshaun noticed that there were actually two separate locks placed on the door, and if one of the locks was forcibly opened, the other would trigger some kind of mechanism, Zeshaun wasn’t sure what exactly it triggered and Zeshaun wasn’t very eager to find out. The two of them worked diligently on the lock, Zeshaun snuck glances at Lucky’s lock as well, seeing if he could help out any on that as well, but it seemed like she was having an easier time than they were so he concentrated on the task at hand. He followed precise instructions from Alan and found that without his armor, his hands started to get sweaty and the wires were getting very difficult to hold onto.

“Watch out!” Zippy warned, pointing down the hall.

Zeshaun turned to see three guards walking down the hall, holding some papers, and in deep conversation with each other, they hadn’t noticed the squad yet. we’re done for Zeshaun thought as he scrambled to get behind a corner, he saw the wires sticking out of the locks, and was sure that the guards would walk by and immediately notice something was wrong, and when they notice that the guards are missing, they won’t just walk away. Zeshaun felt his heart beating very quickly as the footsteps came closer and closer, then they stopped we’re doomed Zeshaun closed his eyes and hoped they would go away.

“Where are those two?” One of them asked.

“Must be slaking off, and it’s their most important shift of the day to.” The other retorted.

“I’ll report them to the administration.” The one with the papers said, “Let’s just keep going, I’m going to blame you if we’re late for that meeting.”

The three guards walked down another hallway, and their voices faded away. It’s settled, Zeshaun thought as his heart rate slowly came back down to normal We are the luckiest squad alive He went back to work on the lock, the close call made Zeshaun want to work faster, and before they knew it, they were on the last wire, Lucky cut it and they all waited for the alarm’s to start blaring, but they never started. Relieved the squad quickly lined up at the door, eager to get inside and wreck whatever they had to in order to get the turbo laser defense grid down.  Alan pressed the button to open the door and the door emitted a hiss before opening up and granting them access into the room.

“You’re kidding me.” Lucky said in disbelief.

“We came to the wrong room?” Alan said, staring in.

“The map says it should be right here.” Lucky said, shaking her head.

The squad stared into a room full of boxes, and extra cleaning supplies. There was no sign of there ever being any kind of defense grid in the room, and if there was they did a very nice job of covering it up. All that hard work was for nothing. Zeshaun thought very disappointedly, they would now have to go around the whole floor and try to find where the defense grid was actually located, if it was even located on that level.

“We’re screwed aren’t we?” Njall asked.

“Yes, I think we are.” Alan said, shaking his head.
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 12, 2009 12:47:35 AM     View the profile of Jager 

"Hold your fire!" A voice called from outside the building. The crash had sent a wall of dust and particulates into the air making for a perfect smoke screen. The feint tap of a timid sets of boots alerted the squad to movement outside their makeshift hanger, though the volley of bolts that greeted them had already ruined the surprise.

Without a moments notice both Jager and Hond took positions on either end of the newly created doorway whilst the rest of Jester found cover where they could.

The wall of dust caught rays of murky light that streamed in through the hole, granting anyone standing outside a view of the darkened silhouette of the mangled shuttle against an almost pitch black background. A starched, brown legging stepped through the opening, cautiously followed by another. The set belonging to a young security force officer, the fear dripping off his face as he swung his extended pistol across his line of sight. Hond waited for the man to take a few more steps before he acted, grabbing a hold of the officer before a hastily tossing him out of sight with little more then a yelp. 

The muffled cry of pain as Hond finished the man with his knife, prompting Jager to start his little number. Two security speeders had taken up covering positions outside, well back from the crash site, with a handful of officers peering anxiously over the bonnets with their pistols fixed forward. With a grunt he raised 'Misty', pressing the stock hard into his shoulder before peaking out and leveling the sights at the speeder on his right. The officers had no chance against the wall of led that Misty sent forth, the first group crying out in terror and flailing around as rounds passed through both them and their speeder.

The rest of Jester needed charged through the hole to finish off the remaining hostiles as Jager pivoted back to cover. Time was of the essence in an attack such as this. No doubt orders were being yelled over communication systems and trucks were being filled with the over-eager soldiers of Eriadu's planetary defense force. Their first encounters would be mainly with the horribly under-prepared security force before reaching the Motorpool. From a tactical stand point it had all the makings of a brilliant surprise attack, but on the ground it was touch and go. A mistake here, a miscalculation there and they would no doubt find themselves quickly overrun. But for the moment things seemed to be going well, even with the botched landing. Which miraculously all of Jester walked away from in one piece.

The remaining officers were dispatched with little to no hassle by the bulk of Jester whilst both Hond and Jager covered them from the crash site. The pair would act as the rear guard as the squad advanced down the street, though it would be more like a sprint then a standard advance.

"Move it up!" Jegora ordered over the comms. If there was one thing Jager doubted about this mission it was the lack of lack of Jikkyo Nimiichi, or as most called him 'Angel'. The mans departure from the squad was sudden but at the same time not unexpected, which also made Jegora's ascension to squad leader even less of a surprise. But it still didn't sit well with Jager, regardless of whether or not he was the mans assistant. Where Angel was subtle, Jegora was brazen. Where Angel exuded confidence, Jegora sometimes stumbled... but more importantly, where Angel required little more then an stern look to chastise the more wayward members of his squad, Jegora would resort to beating them senseless. But as the Nimiichi had made very clear shortly after the briefing, if he didn't like Jegora as his leader then he could simply leave the squad.

The sun's radiant glow was obscured by thick, low clouds of pollution which gave the air a slight tang to it and the surrounding area a morbid brown-grey color. The factories and warehouses rose up from the ground and stood guard over the street. In short the place was no holiday destination, and why anyone would want to call this place home Jager would never understand.

A bolt whizzed past before ricocheting off a light post infront of him. He replied with a muffled string of curses before dropping to a knee and let out a burst towards the parked speeder his attacker had taken cover behind. Hond added to the replied with a quick burst, each shot finding its mark resulting in one less security force officer for them to deal with. With him out of the way the wide street returned to its silence, the wail of a distant siren the only discernible sound as it echoed the length and breadth of the street. No doubt more company would be on the way, but without any advanced warning they too would suffer a similar fate to their comrades.

He was wrong.

An intersection lay ahead and after a left turn very little lay between the squad and their first objective. The laws that govern all things stated that if something was going to well, it was an ambush. In this case they were correct. At first he thought nothing of it, after all it was an industrial area, there was little cause of alarm when he saw movement near a second story window in the large warehouse that towered to his left. His paced quickened as did Honds as the pair moved to regain a line of sight the rest of Jester when without warning hostile fire began erupted out of the windows across the street. 

Again without thinking Jager swung his trusty friend towards the windows and squeezed the trigger. The Tyrant hollowed as a torrent of lead raked the line of windows. Whether he hit anybody or not was moot, the action was to give his fellow Jester's a few seconds to find cover. He could feel the clip getting light with each round until it reached the inevitable dry 'click'. If he took cover that would be the end of him, the men in the building had an almost panoramic view of the street which would deny any sort of movement after the fact.

Hesitating only for a second before bursting into a sprint towards the corner, pulling Hond to his feet by the scruff of his neck as he passed the by. Jegora and Kiption pulled back to the intersection and began firing, essentially substituting for Jager with the difference of actually scoring hits on the enemy. An act which effectively put both Hond and himself on point.

Whilst the element of surprise had been lost, they still had momentum on their side and with still plenty of time before a strong counter attack could be mounted, the relative annihilation of the motor pool and their victory was almost assured.
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[This message has been edited by Jager (edited May 12, 2009 01:37:33 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 12, 2009 01:13:36 PM     View the profile of Jegora 

Crouching behind a large hovercraft, Jegora and Kip opened up on the hostile forces located on the second floor of a building across the street. The seasoned veterans kept up a steady stream of fire from behind their cover, letting blaster bolts loose at anything and everything that moved. Jegora was doubtful that he actually hit anything, but the powerful A280 blaster rifle he wielded managed to put several good sized holes in the wall of the building; if nothing else, the intimidation factor of the suppressive fire he and Kip laid down managed to keep the enemy troopers at bay. For how much longer their success would continue, however, was anyone’s guess.

Jegora and Kip kept up the covering fire until the rest of the squad managed to move to the same side of the street that the ambushers were on. This allowed them some measure of safety, as the angle was all wrong for the enemy troopers to get any kind of firing solution. For Jegora and Kip, however, there still remained a sizable distance to cover before they were out of the enemy’s firing arc. They would have to cross the street before they could do anything else, and that meant they would either have to stop firing and sprint or move slowly and attempt to keep up the covering fire until they were out of harm’s way. Neither option was very good. If they decided to make a run for it there was the very real chance that the hostile troopers would simply pop out from their hiding places and open fire at the two stormtroopers while they were out in the open. If they decided to advance more slowly and attempt to keep up the covering fire, the same thing might happen, as any kind of movement would drastically reduced the accuracy and effectiveness of their suppressive fire. In effect, there were no good options.

Glancing around, Jegora tried to think of some other course of action. He couldn’t believe that he was already stuck in a situation that would, most likely, result in some sort of casualty. He felt a rising tide of panic as he searched for a way out, all the while sending a continual, deadly stream of blaster bolts towards his ambushers. In the end, every course of action came to the same pivotal moment: eventually, Jegora and Kiption would have to stop shooting, and that meant that the enemy troopers in the building above would be free to open fire on them at will. Letting loose a sigh of frustration, Jegora just about gave the order to make a break for the other side of the street when, against all odds, the enemy decided to help him out.

The inexperienced Eriaduan troops, being impatient and ill-trained, had decided that rather than wait for the stormtroopers to make a move they were going to come out after them. It was the worst possible tactical decision that could have been made in such a situation, and one that Jegora planned to exploit fully. As he watched the first enemy trooper exit the building, Jegora quickly keyed his throat mic.

“Jager, on your left. Bogies exiting the building,” he said before ducking back down into cover. Immediately the enemy soldier opened up on his position, and Jegora could hear the laser bolts bouncing off the speeder he was using as cover.

The rest of the Jesters, lined up a mere ten meters from the doorway, waited until several of the Eriaduan troopers had exited from the building. They then opened up on the hostile troopers with blaster and projectile weaponry alike. The results were instantaneous. The enemy troopers had become fixated on the visible targets, Jegora and Kiption, and had either forgotten about or disregarded the rest of the Jesters. They paid for that mistake dearly as a withering hail of fire cut down half of their numbers in a quick, bloody second. The rest of the Eriaduans fled back into the building. Jegora knew they were still a threat, but he also knew that the display they had just witnessed would cow them into inaction, at least for the time being.

Wasting no time, Jegora keyed his throat mic again. “Move up,” he said, his voice as outwardly calm as ever. Only on the inside did he note the relief he felt at getting out of that particular sticky situation alive. His relief was short lived, however. He knew that this next part would be even more difficult.

The Jesters moved swiftly, and before long they approached the gates of the motor pool. It was a rather impressive thing, the gate, a solid black durasteel construction that would not be easy to penetrate. Left and right of the gate various civilian speeders were parked rather haphazardly, no doubt owned by the civilian personnel of the nearby factories and even, possibly, the motor pool itself. Jegora idly wondered if anyone on this planet used any kind of mass transportation. So far he had seen a rather large amount of personal vehicles scattered about.

Shaking his head clear of such random and distracting thoughts, Jegora motioned to Abalar. The young trooper understood, and as she approached she slid a large pack off her shoulders. Jegora took the offered pack and withdrew from its depths two rather ominous looking thermite charges. The charges were only a small part of a large variety of explosives that the Jesters had brought along for this mission. The squad had drawn straws, and Abalar had ended up with the none-too-pleasant job of carrying the massive amount of explosives on her back. Jegora didn’t envy her.

Handing one of the charges Jager, Jegora quickly primed the charge and attached it to the gate. Jager did the same with his, and when both charges were ready the entire squad quickly retreated a goodly distance away. These particular charges were remote detonated, and just as Jegora prepared the hit the button all hell broke loose.

What was left of the ambush force that had initially engaged the Jesters took less time to regroup than Jegora had initially thought they would. They pined the Jesters against the gate with a burst of fire that, while not exactly precise, was nevertheless effective at driving the Jesters into cover. Jegora rolled behind a speeder, hunkering down as he attempted to return fire. He poked his head up, and to his horror saw more than twenty enemy troopers advancing on their relatively open position. It seemed as if the troopers that had ambushed the Jesters at the corner had found reinforcements somewhere.

If it had just been those twenty or so enemy troopers, the Jesters might have had a chance. Right at that moment, however, the forces that had been barricaded inside the motor pool decided to engage the stormtroopers as well. They drew back the gate enough that another two squads of hostile forces rushed out. Making a split decision, Jegora keyed his throat mic.

“Run, behind that factory,” he said, gesturing to a large factory with two giant exhaust vents off to their right. “Move!” he said again, and then he hit the detonator.

The effects were immediate and devastating. The Jesters, who were already moving off to the right, felt little of the intense heat generated by the thermite explosives. The enemy troops exiting from the motor pool, however, were incinerated. The gate was melted within seconds, and even the enemy troops advancing from the other end of the street were distracted and disoriented enough by the sudden burst of heat and light that they quit shooting for a few seconds, giving the Jesters the time they needed to make their escape.

For now, the Jesters were safe. Nonetheless, things were not going well. They had attracted the attention of the Eriaduan Defense Forces, and more importantly the New Republic was sure to realize what was going on. They had been forced to flee from their primary objective, and they had a goodly amount of enemy troopers on their tail. Somehow they still had to get back to the motor pool and cripple it enough that it would no longer be of use to the enemy. Using his HUD to pull up an intelligence photo of the city, Jegora figured they only had once course of action.

They would have to circle around.
Jegora Fal
Squad Leader, Jester Squad
Initiate of the Dark Jedi Order

SL/SFC Jegora/Jester/Phoenix/Dragon/Osiris/Stormtrooper Corps/Vast Empire Army/Vast Empire
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 12, 2009 02:09:20 PM     View the profile of Njall 

“We’re screwed aren’t we?” Njall asked.

“Yes, I think we are.” Alan said, shaking his head.

Although it seems quite hopeless that there was anything in the room, the squad still did a thorough search, overturning boxes, storage crates and anything bigger than a speck of dust. 

“What the…..” queried Njall. 

The squad gathered around him to see what he had found.  Inside one of the crates was a small computer, stuck to the crate bottom so that it would not fall out when overturned.  TK quickly dislodged it and set the computer on the ground.  Njall pushed the button that looked like it would start the computer, and jumped back a little when the figure of a pre-recorded holo message popped out from the screen. 

“NR employee or security officer, this has been placed here to remind you of the grid control movement.  This will no longer house the system.  As the Imperial forces are striking deeper into our space, it is not unlikely that we will be invaded soon.  Therefore, take this room off your patrol routes and instead go to these…” 

The message played on, listing the different routes.  Alan was about to shut off the recording, when the message said these crucial words:

“The system is now housed in two different rooms.  Although they are connected, to bypass the system for a laser shutdown, shut down sequences will need to be initiated in both rooms.  If one of the systems is bypassed, an alarm will sound.  At that time all security personnel will be put on high alert, as to stop intruders.”  The message finished with those words. 

Paladin squad sat there in silence for a second before Zippy piped up. 

“At least we know what happened to the system, and where it went.”

Njall, TK and Greywolf gave faint glares in Zippy’s direction, but stopped when Lucky spoke up. 

“Zippy’s right, you know.  We’re doing better than when we first came into this storage area.  We know where the parts of the system are, and what kinds of security we will need to go though to get there.”

Alan spoke up next

“Lucky, are we going to split into teams or do this as a whole squad?”

“Let’s stay together for now, who knows what kind of security we might meet on the way.  If we absolutely need to than we will split into fire teams, but let’s try and get this done as a single group.” Lucky replied

Njall piped up:

“So…, we going to move out or what?”

“Right Njall, let’s move.” Lucky said

The squad proceeded to the door and then halted.

“Uh-oh” Zeshaun said

A group of four security guards were standing near the doorway, blasters in their hands. 

“Oi!  What all you guys all doin’ in there?” The guard asked suspiciously.

“Um…Absolutely nothing out of the..Ah screw it!  FIRE!” Lucky Yelled

“Where is i….”  The guard started to ask, just before he and his comrades were lifted off their feet and thrown into the wall by a hail of blaster bolts, courtesy of the Paladins.

“Let’s go, quickly” Alan ordered

The squad dashed down the corridor.  Njall zoomed around a corner, knocking down a company worker on his way.

“Sorry buddy.”  Njall called behind him

“Wait guys stop, we’re almost there and we still might be able to bluff our way past the guards like we did at the entrance.”

“Sorry Lucky, but I don’t think that you are going to have much success with that.” Njall commented, looking ahead.

The other squad members followed Njall’s gaze, and saw what the guards looked like.

“Oh crap.”  Leon said

Ten muscular men stood there, all of them sporting large, powerful looking guns. 

“If that’s just normal guard duty, I wonder what it’ll be like if an alarm’s sounded.” Njall wondered aloud. 

“I just hope we don’t find out.” Alan said

“We need a plan to take them out, it’s highly unlikely they’ll let us all walk into the place with part of the defence grid.” Zeshaun said. 

“Zesh, you’re a genius!  They won’t let us all in, but some of us might be able to pass by.”  Lucky exclaimed

“Good idea Lucky.  I’ll go in there, with Zesh and Njall.  When the rest of you guys show up we can take them out from behind.” Alan ordered

“Alright then, let’s do it.”  Zesh said

Alan, Njall and Zesh made their way up to the guarded doorway.

“Who goes there, what are you doing and what is you purpose here?” the head guard asked

Alan spoke up to provide a cover story

“We’re hired technicians, we were told this is where the equipment we’re gong to look at is stored.”

Although the guards were tough, it quickly became apparent that the were hired for muscle, not brains, because the guard quickly said:

“Alright then, please go in.”

Njall was quietly laughing to himself as he stepped into the room.  He, Alan and Zesh surveyed the scene, there were two engineers in the room but the were hunched over a piece of machinery and were paying no attention to the new arrivals.  A small watch on Alan’s wrist gave off a small bleep.  All three of them knew that the bleep meant that the rest of the squad was about to try and get in.  Each of them grabbed two fairly heavy pieces of metal and moved up slowly behind the guards. 

Lucky and the other squad members moved up to the doorway. 

One of the guards repeated the challenge to Lucky, and this is when Alan, Njall and Zesh struck.  Each piece of metal connected to the back of a skull, and six of the ten guards crumpled instantly.  Lucky and the troopers gave a blaster volley, taking down the other guards.  That’s when Leon noticed that the two “engineers” had stood up, revealing themselves to be disguised guards.  The guards went scrambling to get their hidden rifles, while the squad tried to react.

“I won’t let you guys have had all the fun with the metal.”  TK said, as he hurled two of the metal slats towards the guards.  They both made impact and the guards went sprawling.

“Okay, I don’t want to take any chances so I want TK, Greywolf, Leon and Zippy as guards.  The rest of you come help me try to disable this part of the defense net system.”

The four designated as guards walked over to the doorway and took up positions.  Njall, Zesh and Alan followed Lucky over to the terminal and watched as she booted up the control panel and maneuvered to the shutdown option.  A window popped up, asking for an override password to be entered. 

“Any of you guys experienced at hacking?” Lucky asked

“Nah.” All three of them replied

“Try New Republic.” Alan suggested

Lucky entered New Republic as the password, but to no avail.

“How about Eriadu?” Njall asked.

That to had no effect, although Lucky noticed that the computer hesitated before denying access.

“So it has something to do with Eriadu.” Alan mumbled.  “Try Eriadu City Defense.”

Again, the computer hesitated before denying the password. 

“Try Eriadu City Defense Net.” Njall said, snickering at the simplicity.

Lucky entered the password, and Njall quickly shut up as the computer flashed an Access Granted sign and went to a screen asking if a partial shutdown was wanted.  Lucky pressed the affirmative key and the computer, in a recorded voice, said

“Partial shutdown engaged.  To complete the shutdown of the Eriadu City defense net, please go though the same procedure at the system’s other control panel.”

Zesh started to sigh with relief, but stopped suddenly when five short alarm blasts were broadcasted over the building’s intercom. 

“Crap, I forgot about what happened if a partial shutdown was engaged.” Said Lucky.

“Guys!  I think we’re going to be getting company!”  Alan yelled at the four squad members guarding the door. 

Zippy, Leon, Greywolf and TK readied their blasters as Lucky, Alan, Zesh and Njall ran over to the doorway.  Lucky frowned under her helmet. 

“I don’t see anyone coming to arrest or kill us.” Said Zesh, confused

The same thought occurred to everyone else in the squad, as the was not one single person in any of the three corridors in sight of the doorway.

“Go out, quickly.  We might be able to get to the next room before guards converge on the area.”  Lucky ordered

TK nipped out of the room, then ran back in with two blaster bolts flashing through the hallway where he had been.

“Guys, there are about six of ‘em out there, all armed.” TK reported

“How could that have happened?  They aren’t out there at all.  You sure you saw them?” Asked Alan.

“Yeah, they’re in a side hallway, right against the wall.  You can’t see them from inside here.  However, they might not be expecting a full squad, and we slightly outnumber them.” TK replied

“Alright men, let’s get out there and release all hell possible on those guards.” Lucky said

The squad charged out of the room, turned, and fired at the guards.  Not one of the guards was able to retaliate and they were down in a matter of seconds.

“Alright, let’s get to that second control room.” Ordered Lucky.

Word Count: 1557.
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Garryll Gates
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Garryll Gates
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 12, 2009 04:45:35 PM     View the profile of Garryll Gates 
Blackjack filed out of the hangar, in a broken line as if tourists, and not vengeful Stormtroopers ready for blood.  Tanus stood at the lead, and Gates followed immediately after, with the rest of the squad strung behind by rank and seniority.  Tanus had a small earbud screwed into his ear, and was listening to it raptly; a small wire connected it to a datapad.

Gates came up next to the Squad Leader. Tanus muttered sidelong- “By the sound the Security Forces are making, Jester’s made their appearance. Let’s get a move on to the guns, backup could be coming in soon.”

The younger man nodded, and waved the Blackjacks to move quicker. They noticeably increased their pace to a light jog, watching warily for any officers, as all were on the other side. Gates’ rifles poked him in the back, reminding him of their presence.

Quickly, the squad closed to within 100 meters, and the large New Republic HQ sat ponderously and imperiously next to the even larger hangar, and the two nearest corners housed intimidating, multi-barrel Arial Missile Launchers.  “Left or right?” Gates muttered. Tanus waved right.

They wandered closer to the missile launcher, and were soon close enough to differentiate the people manning the guns, and their guards. There were the 10 guards as Intel had indicated, and a few engineers to man the gun itself.

Tanus kept them getting closer and closer, and they still weren’t noticed. All 10 security were crouched or lazing around, playing cards or sleeping. “What a poor show of discipline,” said Gates aloud, lighting another cigarette. “Let’s shoot the bastards and Hell can teach them some attentiveness.”

Tanus nodded, and they ducked down to make a smaller target, and dashed up to the lip surrounding the weapon. Gates motioned to draw weapons and fire on command; backpacks were set down as quietly as possible, and M-82Gs were slid off of Stormtroopers’ backs.

Gates held up three fingers, and counted down to one, dropping a finger at each number. Tanus rolled his eyes. At one, they popped up and clicked the safeties of their rifles down simultaneously. One sleeping soldier looked up blearily and blinked at the Stormtroopers. “Wha-?”

Gates put a round in his forehead, the M-82 smashing hard against a permanent bruise on his shoulder, and barking a solid slug down the barrel. The bullet made an impressively loud noise. The rest of the guards made rather comic jaw-dropping motions and dove for cover or their weapons.

Blackjack opened up in earnest, spraying lead into the hapless engineers and the corporal in charge of the fiasco, killing him before he could get a communication off to his commanders. A couple of men with the looks of veterans managed to rally the last four men into a coherent fire team and layed down a scattered group of shots; the two raw rookies ducked instinctively, and a Reese flinched. Gates felt a bolt pass inches away from his face, but kept shooting, a snarl curling his lip.

One of the men poked his head out enthusiastically for a better shot, and took a shot to the gut from Tanus, and one in the knees from Alater. He collapsed, leaking blood and tears.

“Up and over, boss?” Gates asked, pumping his fist to mime the action. Tanus considered for a split second. Speed was of the essence.

“Go,” Tanus told him, “Up and over, Blackjacks!”

The well-drilled Stormtroopers tumbled up onto the platform, rolling back onto their feet. One of the veterans popped up and put a laser shot right into Alater’s chest. Imagine his surprise when the blast merely made the huge lizard soldier laugh. Gates put a shot into his upper chest and another in his throat, and ended his surprise. Alater hissed and tore right through the other veteran; the last man screamed in fear and turned to run, only to be cut down by a merciless barrage from TX.

“Get the thermal detonators out now,” Gates ordered, putting the gut-shotted New Republic guard out of his misery. “And let’s get on the road.”

Blackjack ran back over to where they’d set down the packs, and Reese pulled a thermal deonator from his. The explosive would disintegrate 5 square meters and not an inch more, so it was a great tactical device for precision explosives.

Gates took the explosives and quickly pressed the authorization code in on the unmarked keys. He stuck the device down one of the tubes, and waved the troopers away. “Sorry boys, we don’t have time to watch the fireworks. We have four more guns to take out.”
ASL/GSGTGarryll Gates/2SQD/2PLT/1COM/1RGT/1BAT/Tadath/VEA/VE/EW1 [IH][CCA][BC]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 13, 2009 03:40:15 AM     View the profile of Bloodhound 

Bloodhound twirled his Enforcer on his finger. Again. His rifle had been, tragically, lost in the landing, reduced to little more than a handful of broken pieces. His pistol was now down to half a clip plus a spare. What a wonderful time for The Old Man to make him change weapons.

The run down factory they were stuck playing around in was not a nice place. Dirty, falling apart and full of, well, fecal matter. Bloodhound didn't like it one bit, he was stuck up on a catwalk with the jackass Jager and no idea when idiot enemies might bust in and force him to expend more of his now quite minimal ammunition supply. He didn't like the catwalk either, it made noise every time he moved and the only thing between him and the door (that made at all decent cover) was some pipe of unknown usage and clearly poor construction. There was no way this day was ending well for him.

Then, of course, hell broke loose. Idiot civilians decided to blow the door open instead of knocking. Then charge in. Jester waited, of course, waited until they'd all entered. The idea was to open fire as soon as they were all inside the building. Of course that couldn't work. In a few flat seconds the enemy militia spread out, finding cover. Jager and Bloodhound still had anything close to a firing arc, but Bloodhound was loath to use his ammunition. That left Jager and his tyrant. It worked quite a bit better than Bloodhounds quaint little Enforcer; and clearly Jager was quite happy to use it, as could be evidenced by the casing spilling out over the catwalk. Not that Bloodhound really cared, what with the still being alive and all.

As the Moronic Militia was turned into naught but little bits of gore splattered across floor and wall the Jesters broke away again; sure some of the enemy were still surviving and putting up a formidable token resistance; but nothing more, just a token attempt to save their pride and they died horribly for it; Bloodhound himself splattering the brain-bits of one particular twi'lek across a compatriot with a careful shot of the forty-eight caliber slugthrower. Bloodhound loved projectiles. Him and Jager had been forced to flee across the catwalk and while Jager had ran down the stairs; Bloodhound was satisfied to slide down the railings, he chuckled, loving that trick.

Then they were out. It wasn't a long run to the open and quite melted doors into the motor pool. The fact that they were open was a nice surprise to the inexperienced Moelik Hond. He hadn't had the pleasure of ever being in such a large scale assault before and he found it, quite honestly, a wee bit frightening. He didn't know what to do or how to do it; where they were coming from or where they would go. He might be a strong person inside, confident if certainly not cool, but adaptable. However this was all new and he was constantly seeing ways the enemy could shoot at him. They dodged between cover, or so called cover, it was all pretty superficial to him. Speeders, boxes, garbage cans, light posts, he was confused more than anything. Where was he?

"Hond! This way you bloody idgit!" Jager yelled.

Bloodhound turned his mask towards the man and jogged to his position, just within the motor pool. Thoughts were racing through his head about the enemy. Not about what kind of person they were but about what kind of opponent they were. Confusion dominated him more than anything. The squad moved again; now he and Jager stuck on rear guard, moving further into the motor pool.

To Bloodhound there were too many open spaces, too many times he felt exposed. He didn't like it one bit. It made him jumpy, it made him nervous, it made his trigger finger itch. Itching trigger finger; now that was familiar, life had always been an itching trigger finger, a cigarette and a can of beer. Now, though, he wore a helmet, and there was no beer on hand, so he was left with just his frustration and itching trigger finger. Stormtrooper training didn't help, training him not to waste his shots, so in the end he didn't even have the trigger finger; perhaps he really had lost everything.

The squad moved into a building, possibly pursued, possibly not. Bloodhound, despite being at the rear, couldn't tell in the much and gray sameness of the buildings. He didn't want to be stuck on that position, as much as he refused to fail at it he also knew he wasn't fit for it. Grays and browns melted into each other before they entered the building. Bloodhound couldn't tell what kind of building it was however. Things didn't look the least bit similar to him and as far as he could tell there were just more bloody doors.

"Hold up." Jegora ordered.

The squad spread out inside a small room. Bloodhound, of course, knew his place, just to the right of the left hand door. He wasn't good enough to be involved in the quick tactical briefing. Jager, Jegora and even Mai got to be in on it; but the Dog of War. Oh no. Bloodhound wasn't happy about that. He didn't really know what to think of Mai anymore. she'd been ignoring him since the last mission, and he'd been repaying the favor. He'd lost though, he didn't know why she would avoid him; he'd died and therefore she'd won. Perhaps neither had won.

In this situation he was slightly envious. She could blend in, disguised in the armor; he, however, was still obvious. His red eyes still glowed through the visor. He wanted to laugh loudly as something suddenly occurred to him. In normal society all he needed to do was wear a pair of sunglasses to fit in; but she could never. In these conditions he couldn't fit in in a thousand years, but she could wear the armor just like everyone else. Perhaps he really was the loser.

"Bloodhound! Mai! You two with Jager. You take out the 'pools fuel depot. The rest of us will take out the vehicles." Jegora looked up, then back at Jager, "You can handle that, right?"

Jager mumbled a response, then stood up. He motioned to his group. Bloodhound wasn't a fan of that; he had developed a bit of a dislike for most people in the squad, although he would be forced to admit Jager was one of the few he actually liked, no matter if the feeling was mutual or not, Jager was the kind of person that would of fit in at home, wherever that was. Bloodhound wasn't sure.

Their group left quickly out the building, luckily encountering no immediate resistance they rushed between another couple buildings. At this point Bloodhound was just watching his own back and making sure there was no one that needed shot; confusion rose up in him again, but he kept it under the skin, showing that kind of weakness was the kind of thing that got one killed and Bloodhound refused to die in such a drab environment. Death wasn't an option for people like him; and at the same time he somehow felt the need to keep those around him alive. He didn't know why, perhaps it was the training, perhaps it was The Old Man's insistence that allies were important. Whatever it was; Bloodhound didn't want these people dieing.

Ain't nothin' but a hound dog.
[This message has been edited by Mongrel (edited May 13, 2009 11:27:22 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competiion
May 13, 2009 10:24:05 AM     View the profile of AlanRJ 

“Alright, let’s get to that second control room.” ordered Lucky.

Listening to the alarm klaxons resounding through the hallways told Alan that they were not going to get too far before more guards turned up.

“We need to turn off this alarm before we have the whole base come down on us” said Alan.

“Well one the defence grid is down then we were always going to have the base on high alert” said Njall.

“True, but we need to shut off the grid and with all these alarms going off then we may not even accomplish that” replied Alan.

“What are you thinking about?” queried Lucky.

“We need to get out of this corridor before it gets swamped with guards” said Alan.

“What about that room?” asked Zeshaun.

“Let’s go” ordered Lucky.

Zeshaun who was closest to the room opened the door slowly.  The room seemed to be empty apart from a row of computer equipment.  Zeshaun waved the squad inside and they hastily filed into the room.

Before the squad could discuss what their next course of action would be, they heard several booted footsteps charge past the room.  Alan knew that they would not be the last of them.

“Well now what are we going to do?” asked TK.

“Well whatever it is we need to do something quickly” commented Greywolf.

“Agreed, is there anything in here that can be of some use?” asked Leon.

“Fan out” called out Lucky, “let’s see if there are any terminals or anything that can be of some use”.

The squad started to wander through the room.  Alan walked down a bank of computer systems.  He had no clue what they were or what they would do.  The rows of machinery had numerous flashing lights and emitted several beeping noises at almost a rhythmic timing.  If only the defence grid would shut down if we destroyed those thought Alan but he knew that it would never be that easy.

His senses were suddenly alerted as he heard a noise.  He knew exactly what that noise was, it was the door.  He knew that none of the squad would leave unless ordered to do so and he also knew that Lucky would not suddenly decide to vacate the room without letting him know.  He realised that there was only one reason for the door opening and he screwed up his face and cursed silently.

Alan moved further into the room, away from the door.  He knew that someone had entered and he decided that the most logical answer was that it was guards.  Probably doing a sweep of the rooms thought Alan to himself.  Spotting a cupboard, Alan thought that maybe he could squeeze into it to hide.  Opening it he saw the contents and smiled.  This might just work.

The guards swarmed into the room and immediately came across Zippy, Greywolf and Leon.  The squad members didn’t stand a chance and were immediately disarmed.  A guard stood watch over them as the other guards started moving through the room to locate any more intruders.

Lucky held her blaster tightly in her arms, she knew the squad had been discovered and her mind raced as she tried to conjure up with a plan to rescue them and to bring the guards down.  Then she felt a blaster being pressed against the back of her head and she knew she had been discovered.

“Give me your blaster, now” said the man holding the blaster at her head.

Lucky was startled as soon as the voice uttered the words.  She knew that voice and her mind wondered what was going on.

“Trust me” he whispered.

Lucky nodded.  She knew that whatever plan he had conjured up needed her to play along.  She quickly complied and handed her blaster over to him.

“Now, move” said Alan.

Alan had been very fortunate in locating a uniform worn by the mechanics they had seen earlier that had been guards in disguise.  It was little more than an orange jumpsuit and the thing made Alan’s skin crawl.  He didn’t know what kind of material is was but it itched, itched rather badly.  He wanted out of it but he knew that if this was to work then he would have to wear it for now.

Alan was nervous with the plan he had formulated.  If it didn’t work then he would be handing over Lucky to the enemy, as well as himself.  If the rest of the squad got captured then this mission would be over before it had even begun.  Alan did not fancy the prospect of spending the rest of his days in some prison facility.  This has to work thought Alan.

“Halt, who goes there” called out a voice.

Alan immediately spotted the guard.  Then he noticed several of the squad kneeling with their hands on their heads.  He hoped they would know to keep their mouths shut and not to look surprised at seeing Alan hand over Lucky.

“I found one of these intruders tampering with the computer systems” stated Alan.

“Good work.  I haven’t seen you are here” replied the guard.

Alan could feel a lump swelling in his throat.  He wondered if the guard was going to ask for identification.

“I just got transferred here last week, still getting to know my way around” replied Alan.

“Yeah, I hear ya, this place can be a maze” replied the guard.

Alan smiled as the guard chuckled.  The alarm klaxon was still resounding although it seemed a little more muted in this room.  It still hurt Alan’s ears and he suddenly thought of something.

“Damn alarm hurts my ears, we got the intruders, can’t we turn that bloody thing off” said Alan.

“You’re right, it’s starting to give me a headache” replied the guard.

The guard withdrew a comlink from a pocket located on his chest and spoke into it.  Alan tried hard to hear what was being said but from what he could hear the guard muttered some security protocol and stated that they had the intruders.

The guard carried on speaking and Alan wondered what he was talking about.  The alarm was still blaring and Alan started to question whether he had taken things too far with his ruse.  Suddenly the room became deathly quiet.  The sudden cessation of the alarm was startling and a welcome relief to Alan’s ears.

“Well looks like these intruders done a number on the defence grid.  I just got word that the partial shutdown was a success.  There’s a maintenance crew en-route now to try to reverse the shutdown, although last time this happened it took them quite some time to fix it” stated the guard as he place his comlink back into his pocket.

“Thank you” commented Alan.

The guard looked up, his face querying the meaning behind Alan’s statement.  He face soon turned to one of surprise and shock as Alan’s blaster moved from behind Lucky’s head and towards the guard.

“Wait, you’re” the guard started to say.

He fumbled for his comlink but he never stood a chance.  A blaster bolt leapt out from one of Alan’s blaster pistols and struck the guard in the head.  He crumpled before he was able to say a word.

“Nice work” said Lucky as she retrieved her blaster from Alan.

“How many more are there?” queried Alan.

“There are three more guard in here somewhere” commented Leon.

“Fan out” stated Lucky, “we need to take them down quickly”.

Zeshaun had heard the commotion and knew that they had been found.  He hoped that some of the squad had escaped but he also knew that he could be the only Paladin left to finish the job.

Zeshaun had found himself a dark corner to hide and try to think of what he should do next.  He spotted a guard, heavily built, wandering through the area.  Zeshaun knew that he was searching for the rest of the squad and he also knew that he had to be taken out.

Zeshaun kept to the shadows as he sneaked up slowly behind the guard.  He knew that any form of blaster fire could alert any other guards in the vicinity so he had to be very careful.  Moving swiftly, the guard suddenly felt a strong pair of arms wrapping themselves around his windpipe.  He struggled but he found the world around him turning black.  He struggled for air but his lungs found that they were not receiving any.  Zeshaun released the guard and the motionless body crumpled to the floor.

“You’ll pay for that” said a voice.

Zeshaun glanced round and spotted a guard levelling a blaster at him.  Zeshaun knew he had been caught.  He looked around wondering whether or not to flee or fight but he knew that either option would get himself killed.  He raised his hands slowly and hoped that the rest of the squad had fared better than he did.

The guard was about to tell Zeshaun to start moving when his head exploded in a world of pain.  His hands wanted to reach out and cradle the area that the pain originated from but his eyes wouldn’t stay open.  His body became unresponsive as it crumpled to the floor.

Zeshaun glanced down at the fallen guard and looked up and saw TK standing over him, wielding a heavy pipe.

“I’m glad to see you” said Zeshaun.

“Thought you might be, have you seen anyone else?” queried TK.

“No” replied Zeshaun, “I hope they’re alright”.

Njall lay hidden as best as he could.  He had been heading back to meet up with Zippy when he had saw the guards storm in and apprehend Zippy, Leon and Greywolf.  He had ran quickly to the far end of the room.  He knew the guards would be coming for him but he also knew that he wasn’t going out without a fight.

As he hid, thinking of what to do, Njall suddenly spotted a man wandering through the room dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit.  Njall recognised it immediately as one of the uniforms the disguised guards had used.  Grabbing his blaster he advanced on the man quickly.

“This one’s for Zippy” called out Njall as his finger pressed down on the trigger.

“Njall wait!” yelled out Lucky.

Njall’s finger was already depressing the trigger but when he heard the shout from Lucky he elevated his hand so the shot flew over the man dressed in orange.

Alan glanced back to see Njall with his blaster raised.

“That was too close” commented Alan.

“Alan?” queried Njall.

“Yeah, long story.  We have three guards still in here, have you come across any or taken any of them out?” queried Lucky.

“No” replied Njall who became aware that the rest of the squad had arrived with Lucky, although they seemed to still be missing TK and Zeshaun.

“Halt!” called out a voice.

“I think we just found one of the guards” stated Greywolf.

“You think” stated Njall sarcastically.

The squad glanced round and saw the large bulky form of the guard standing with his blaster raised.  Alan knew that being amongst the squad meant that he couldn’t even try to pull off the ruse again.  He wondered how quickly the guard’s reflexes were and whether he could gun him down before he got shot himself.

Alan was about to try when the guard’s body suddenly became limp.  His eyes closed and he crumpled to the floor.  Alan looked at the fallen guard and back up to where he had once stood.  Alan smiled immediately as he saw the sight before him.

“TK, Zeshaun, glad to see you” said Alan.

“Nice to see you too, nice outfit by the way” replied Zeshaun.

“Thanks” stated Alan, even though he didn’t mean it and was eager to get out of the thing.

“Well that’s one guard down, only two more to find” said Lucky.

“Well I took one out” stated Zeshaun.

“And I took out the other one” added TK.

“Nice” commented Alan.

“Well if that’s all the guards taken care of then we can proceed to the second room and initiate a shutdown there and bring down this defence grid” stated Lucky.

“Won’t they have brought the first room back online by now?” queried Zippy.

“According to the guard I talked to, it will take them sometime to get it back up and running” said Alan.

“And with the alarm off and the station no longer on high alert then we should be able to get to the room relatively easy” said Lucky.

“Won’t the station wonder what has happened to these guards and why the intruders haven’t been taken to a holding cell?” queried Leon.

“Probably” replied Alan, “we just have to hope we can shutdown the defence grid before that happens”.

“Well what are we waiting for?” asked Njall.

“Well let me get out of this infernal outfit first” said Alan.

“No, wait” interrupted Lucky.

“What?” asked Alan, although he wasn’t sure he liked the way Lucky was looking at him.

“Leave it on” said Lucky, “you can bring up the rear and if we get stopped you can try to bluff your way past the guards and say you are taking us to a holding cell”.

“But this thing it itchy” complained Alan who had already started to scratch his neck.

“Once the grid is down then you can take it off as the station will be on high alert then for sure” replied Lucky.

Zeshaun chuckled and added “besides which, you look good in orange.

Alan muttered under his breath as he scratched his neck.

“Let’s move out” called out Lucky.

The doors to the room opened and the squad started to file out.  Alan moved behind them and hoped that they would not come across anymore guards until the grid was down.

Word count: 2,315
ASL/1SG AlanRJ/1SQD/2PLT/1COM/1BAT/1RGT/VEA/VE [<3 Luckystar] [ES2] [IH] [BC] [SoH] [EW2] [CoS] [RoM] [ES1] [CCA] [SC] [GC] {RES} {MRT}

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[This message has been edited by AlanRJ (edited May 13, 2009 10:25:06 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 13, 2009 05:49:53 PM     View the profile of Mai 

Adrenaline was the worst kind of drug. The euphoric rush that swept through the system had a tendency to fade within mere seconds, snatching the heightened perception of the world away with its demise. The heart would slow to its drab consistent level. And despite the attempts of the mind to retain the body at peak readiness, muscles would relax, and reaction time would slow. For a perfectionist like Mai, this was an unacceptable occurrence. She was, and always would be, a junkie when it came to action. On a day to day basis there was always some way in which to consistently shape her body into the perfect weapon. It was a concept instilled in her mind at birth as a cub, an urge written into her very genetic code. The Cathar strove to become the very best at what they were born to do; Hunt. A lifetime of violence and instability had served only to increase Mai’s desire to join the ranks of the elite and virtually indestructible. She would be calm. She would be collected. And she would kill anyone who stood in her way.

Of course, on a mission such as Eriadu, it was difficult to maintain an air of invincibility.  There were simply too many uncontrollable factors in the overall equation.  Whether it was something as basic as a shift in ground plans, or a series of unpredictable manoeuvres undertaken by the enemy, Mai was ultimately at increased risk of injury or death. A strong set of muscles, whilst impressive, was no more likely to sustain a series of blaster bolts than a layer of fat. Her reaction capabilities might be at almost twice the rate of a normal human, but that would account for little if she was caught in the path of a grenade or found herself face to face with an enemy rifle. It was a frustrating scenario at the least.

“Eyes forward Mai.”

Jager’s voice literally boomed within the confines of her helmet. Cringing beneath the residual echoes in her ears, Mai complied by fixing her gaze back on Jager’s back. She understood that rookie members of the squad were often placed in a central location to avoid bearing the responsibility of covering the fore or rear of a group. Her attempts to prove otherwise were simply being interpreted as lack of concentration by her current ASL. It was yet another uncontrollable factor; her squadmates. Whilst they were difficult to understand and frequently exasperating, they also had the uncanny ability to heighten her own potential in combat scenarios. It was a new concept to an individual used to forging her own path in the world.

“Fuel Depot ahead, spread out.”

The brief update emerged as the trio of Jester members approached a curve in the corridor they had been following for almost a minute. Mai sidestepped swiftly to Jager’s right, bringing her rifle up to cover the expanse of space where the corridor ended and the entrance to the depot begun.  She heard Hond mutter under his breath as the trooper copied her movement from the other side of Jager and perceived the vastness of their target. Dozens of immense rounded barrels faced them, dotted at precise intervals across the cavernous hangar floor. The barrels themselves were over two stories high, their faces dotted with ladders and staircases to allow personnel to access and monitor each individual storage container. At the base of every second or third of these containers were hover vehicles equipped with refueling utensils. And between these mechanics, engineers and other ground staff wandered about purposely, their movements precise.

“Guess they haven’t been informed that they’re under attack.” Hond remarked dryly.

As though in direct response to Hond’s comment, the PA system hanging on the wall behind the Jester group crackled and roared to life,

“This is a Code Four. Repeat Code Four. Unauthorized personnel have entered the Motor pool. They are armed and extremely dangerous. All personnel report to designated positions. This is not a drill. I repeat Code Four...”

The depot immediately burst into a flurry of activity. Employees allowed clipboards and spanners to clatter to the floor, some sprinting down staircases and sliding down ladders in their haste to get to relative safety. Hover vehicles roared to life, hoses lashing free of their containers as ground staff piled inside cabins usually reserved for two passengers like clowns into a clown car. Jager took the chaos in with a single glance before giving his next order,

“Works for us. Maintain your distance. We’ll use grenades. Keep moving or there will be nothing left of you.”

The three Jester members moved into the hangar in a spear formation, Jager maintaining his position at the front. All opened fire immediately, picking targets capable of posing an immediate threat. Mai gunned down a technician sprinting for cover as she followed Jager between the first of the fuel containers. It was like entering another world. A virtual cityscape of whirring machinery and giant coffers that made onlookers feel diminutive at the very least.

“Mai,” Jager’s voice was still unruffled despite the enhanced roar of their laser bolts and the screams of their unarmed victims, “Container to your right.”

Mai didn’t bother to confirm the order, choosing instead to leap into the air from her standing position to the first stairwell ramp on the perimeter of the closest fuel container.  She saw Hond scrambling up the staircase of the adjacent container in her peripheral vision as she bounded skywards again towards the next ramp. Jager maintained his position on foot, getting smaller and smaller as Mai ascended the container.  Reaching the very pinnacle of the staircase, Mai found herself abruptly faced with a terrified yet burly looking mechanic that had obviously been too slow in reacting to the security code. The human male roared in a very Cathar-like fashion as he bared a unimpressive array of teeth at her. Of more concern was the heavy wrench he raised in his left fist, swinging it back with the intent to smash the tool into Mai’s skull.

Mai ducked easily beneath the first swing, driving the barrel of her rifle into the man’s unprotected stomach as she came up beneath his arm. The force of the blow carried the mechanic over her head and sent him toppled over the minuscule safety rail. His scream lasted only a second before he connected with the unforgiving floor in a sickening crunch. Unruffled, Mai stalked to the console and examined the small screen before her. Technical jibberish. Button layered upon button. Disregarding the idea of accessing the terminal, Mai glanced up and examined the maintenance hatch opposite her.  Swinging her rifle over her shoulder she hooked both hands under the clips holding the hatch and pulled back. The door swung open with a satisfied squeal of metal upon metal, releasing a cloud of petroleum aroma as it did so. Almost gagging despite the aid of her helmets filters, Mai unhooked a grenade from her belt and pegged the device deep into the blackness of the containers.

She didn’t wait to hear the thud of the grenade striking the bottom of the container. She was already hightailing it back to the ground, jumping the last three meters and rolling to absorb the impact. Mai allowed herself a bare minuscule of a second to get her bearings before sprinting after Jager who had moved on ahead and was currently throwing his own grenade into another unsuspecting container. Heavy breathing to her left informed Mai that Hond was right on her heels as she closed the distance between herself and Jager. The senior soldier almost crashed into her as he landed heavily on the floor and stumbled to regain his footing.

“Move! Move! Move!”

Mai didn’t need to be told twice. She led as the Jester’s strained with every last inch to reach the relative safety of the corridor in time. They ignored wayward mechanics as they too perceived what was going on and let out screams and shouts of pure panic.  Twenty meters to safety. The first rumble of the explosion heaved the ground beneath their feet. Ten meters. The air about Mai seemed to suck behind her, all sounds ceasing in a perfect stillness. One meter.

The hangar erupted in a screaming upheaval of flame and noise. Mai found herself catapulted forwards onto her stomach, pain flaring in her side as Hond or Jager connected with her mid-air. All three Jesters landed haphazardly in the corridor, tumbling over each other as the trio of grenades set off a chain of explosions that intensified the wall of heat and air emerging from the depot. It was only once they had been pushed about the curve of the hallway that each was able to disengage their limbs from one another and get back to their feet.

Mai planted a hand on the wall for balance, trying to still the spinning of the world around her. Jager was shouting something, waving his hands about in an attempt to get their attention. She glanced over at Hond who looked equally confused about everything that was going on. Explosions were still sounding in a constant stream, small muffled thumps gradually outdone by the deafening wail of structures being torn apart from the inside. Jager seemed to give up on basic communication, storming over and forcefully shoving Mai further down the corridor. He did the same for Hond, getting the two moving away from a fuel depot that now resembled an artist’s rendition of hell. It was only once the group had covered a few hundred meters that they were able to perceive the sound of Jager’s voice,

“...freakin’ insane. Almost didn’t make it. We have to double back and meet up with the others.”
Jester Squad//StormPlatoon

[This message has been edited by Mai (edited May 13, 2009 05:56:58 PM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 14, 2009 04:24:13 PM     View the profile of Zeshaun 

Zeshaun was very glad Alan had managed to get rid of the blaring alarm, with that sounding he wasn’t sure how far they would get before they were shot down. He also enjoyed seeing Alan squirm in the orange jumpsuit that he had found. On the plus side, he had a chance to get them out of a messy situation. On another good note, according to Alan, fixing the first portion of the defense grid would take a long time, leaving the Paladin’s with a nice chance to take down the other part before the technician crew fixes it. Zeshaun decided to stay in the back of the pack with Alan, who was bringing up the rear.

“How’s it going back here?” Zeshaun asked, smiling, baring his sharp incisors.

“Experience it for yourself.” Alan retorted, rolling his eyes.

Zeshaun walked along with Alan down the hall, surprisingly, there was not very many guards out, even though the alarm was off, they had to be in high alert. shows how much they care about this place Zeshaun thought glaring at one of the guards that was walking down the hall ahead of them, he didn’t even bother to look behind him to see why a large group of people were walking behind him. Just as Zeshaun was thinking that, the guard actually turned around and stopped, putting his hand on his gun.

“What are ya‘ll doing here.”  The guard said nervously.

Alan moved himself to the front of the pack, shoving past a few of the squad members to make it look like they weren’t friendly.

“I’m taking them to the holding cells,” Alan said

“There aren’t any holding cells down here.” The guard said suspiciously. “What are you trying to pull.” The guard started to pull out the blaster and Alan nervously started to finger his DL-44’s as well.

“Nothing, “Alan said affirmatively. “I’m taking them upstairs now.”

“I’ll help you there.” The guard said, with a coy smile on his face.

That’s not gonna go well Zeshaun thought, he quickened his step and moved up near the front of the pack to help Alan out if he needed it. Right before Zeshaun’s eyes, Alan took two quick steps toward the guard, instantly closing the gap and then placed a kick right in the guard’s groin, the guard fell to the ground clutching his groin and moaning, rolling around on the floor in pain. Zeshaun jumped on top of the guard and muffled the man’s cries, Alan took out his pistol and used the butt end and beat down on the man’s windpipe until the guard stopped moving, Zeshaun slowly let go and got up, dusted himself off and looked toward Alan.

“I didn’t know you could be so brutal.” Zeshaun said picking at a small thread that was sticking out of the shirt he was wearing.

“What do you mean?” Alan asked, confused.

“That’s number two today,” Zeshaun said motioning toward the dead body.

Alan shrugged, “I can do that when I have to.”

Zeshaun smiled, he liked this wilder side of his assistant squad leader. They dragged the guard into an empty storage closet and went on their way; although they went a little faster since the other guards would probably find out they had a missing guard. After walking through what seemed like an endless number of corridors, they finally arrived at a terminal much like the other one they found.

“This seems to be it.” Lucky said, putting her hands on the terminal, booting it up.

“Let’s hope this ends better than last time.” Njall said in his usual sarcastic tone.Lucky started typing away and also revealed the same little kit that helped them get through the other’s locks and such. Zeshaun nervously watched as Lucky tried to work through the terminal and deactivate the defense grid, but he got nervous just standing there and started fidgeting with his gun, when he suddenly caught a guard coming around the corner.

“Hey!” The guard yelled. “What are you guys doing?”

Zeshaun instinctively pulled up his rifle, and snapped off a shot, filling the previously quiet hallway with the sound of his rifle’s shot exploding from the barrel of his gun, and the sound of the guard hitting the ground with a thud. Alan turned toward Zeshaun with a dismayed look on his face.

“What did you do that for?” Alan hissed.

“Sorry, instinct.” Zeshaun said apologetically.

Zeshaun ran down the hall and dragged the dead guard down the hall back with to the squad, and stole all the cards and papers that he could find, he thought that he might as well get something useful out of the whole situation. wonder how Lucky’s coming along Zeshaun thought as he looked up from the dead body to check to see how far she was coming along.

“Almost done?” Zeshaun asked, looking up and down the hall again, afraid that his shot would attract more attention than they needed at the moment.

“Yeah I think I almost have it.” Lucky said, “It’s done!” She triumphantly announced.

When nothing happened, the squad looked up toward Lucky, who now had a strange look on her face.

“This isn’t good…” She said trailing off.
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[This message has been edited by Zeshaun (edited May 16, 2009 11:16:18 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 14, 2009 07:26:51 PM     View the profile of Jegora 

Jegora watched Jager, Bloodhound, and Mai head off towards the large fuel tanks that were just visible at the other end of the motor pool. It was hard for him to trust Jager with any type of assignment, but Jegora was disciplined enough to set his personal feelings aside. Whatever else could be said about Jager, he was an excellent soldier, and he could probably handle blowing up a container full of explosive fumes.

Turning back towards what was left of his squad, Jegora laid out the plan he had devised only seconds earlier as fast and as efficiently as he could.

“This is the main garage,” he said, gesturing to the large metal building the Jesters happened to be standing right next two. “I have four detpacks. This building looks quick and cheap, so I’m hoping that we can cause a big enough boom to bring it down.”

Lukas shook his head, not so sure about the plan. “And if we can’t?” he asked quietly.

Jegora just shrugged his massive shoulders. It was a good question, and one Jegora didn’t have an answer to. “If it doesn’t bring down the building then we’ll have to scavenge some more explosives. Either way, we don’t have much time.”

With those words Jegora distributed the remaining explosives among the various members of his squad. Brightstar got one, Kiption got one, Lukas got one, and Jegora took the last charge. That left Abalar to cover the squad’s back as they went about the business of placing the explosive charges. Once the detpacks were distributed Jegora spoke again.

“Alright, we spread out, each of us takes a corner. Let’s clear this building quick-like, and get this done.”

There were nods all around. Suddenly confident in his squad and his own abilities, Jegora slung his A280 over his back and readied his much more manageable M66-SD submachine gun. Then, without any further ado, he led his squad into the building through a conveniently open doorway. Upon entering the building Jegora could find no immediate threats, but he was experienced enough to know that didn’t mean it was safe; it just meant that he didn’t know jack. Luckily the wide-open interior of the garage served to aid the squad. Most of the vehicles, many of them repulsor craft, were parked in an orderly fashion in the center of the structure. Along the edge appeared to be various mechanic benches and work stations. Upon examining the interior of the building Jegora confirmed that it was just what it had appeared to be from the outside: a cheap, standard construction erected as quickly and efficiently as possible to house the militia’s vehicles. Motioning to his squad mates to get on with the setting of the explosives, Jegora made for his own corner to do the same.

The detpacks were standard, high-yield devices designed to destroy large targets. As such, they required some setup in order to be used. While not particularly difficult or challenging, the process did take some time. A good ten minutes after entering the gigantic building the Jesters were finally ready to leave. All the charges were set, and the only thing that remained was to get as far from the building as possible, hit the detonator switch, and pray.

Giving another vague hand gesture to his squad, Jegora motioned for them all to exit the building. It was debatable whether or not his troopers understood the actual gesture, but it was a moot point. They were all smart enough to realize that it would be a prudent move to get as far from the building as possible, and they all wasted no time in doing so. Following his squad out of the structure Jegora had high hopes, as the building was not meant to be particularly sturdy. He jogged after his squad, and once he felt they were a goodly distance away he turned back towards the garage, detonator in hand, and said a small prayer.

Only to be interrupted by Jager’s rather winded voice in his ear and a gigantic fireball at the other end of the motor pool.

Jegora tried to decipher what Jager was attempting to tell him, but it was a moot point. Obviously the man had been successful, but beyond that Jegora was hopelessly lost. A tap on his shoulder got his attention, and when he turned his head he was rather surprised to see Abalar pointing towards the motor pool’s gate, some hundred yards distant.

“Uh, boss?” she said hesitantly. Nothing else was required. As Jegora’s gaze followed her extended arm he abruptly came face to face with the one situation he had been dreading all along: lots and lots of bad guys.

Keying his throat mic, Jegora said, “Jager, get your lily white arse over here. We’ve got company.”

A grunt was all Jegora received in return. Glancing around for any sort of cover (and finding none), Jegora was only half listening as one of the Jesters asked, “What about the building?”

Jegora just shook his head. There was nothing they could use as cover. They would have to retreat into the garage and take up the best defensive positions they could among the myriad of vehicles. “It will have to wait. Now move, back into the garage.”

They met Jager’s group at the door, and the reunited Jesters slipped inside the large building just as the militia released their first shots. Jegora breathed out a silent oath. He was so blasted tired of being shot at.
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 15, 2009 10:28:16 PM     View the profile of AlanRJ 

“This isn’t good…” said Lucky, her voice trailing off.

“What’s wrong?” asked Zeshaun, “surely the system should be down by now”

“It should be, I don’t understand” replied Lucky, “let me check”.

Lucky went to work on the console pulling up schematics whilst the rest of the squad watched on anxiously.  Alan could feel the tension building up around them and he knew that wasn’t good.

“Guys” snapped Alan, “keep an eye out for guards.  I don’t want any to surprise us”.

The squad nodded and moved their attention away from Lucky and started to scan the room and the doorway for any potential trouble that should arrive.  Alan moved over to Lucky to see if he could provide assistance.

“Any thoughts?” queried Alan.

“Well the system has definitely been shutdown but the grid still seems to be active, I don’t understand” replied Lucky.

“Well at least the alarms aren’t going off this time” commented Alan.  He could still remember the ringing of the alarms in his head.

“Hmm, oh yeah, I bypassed the alarm system this time.  Oh no” stated Lucky.

Alan suddenly became aware that after Lucky said that, that several of the squad members looked over.  Alan glared at them and they quickly turned back to scanning the room and staying guard.

“Sounds like you know what’s wrong” said Alan.

“Yeah, and it’s not good” replied Lucky.

“I figured that” said Alan, “so what’s the bad news?”

“Looks like the guard you spoke to didn’t think too much about the engineers in this place, they are better than what the guard gave them credit for” started Lucky.

Alan interrupted her as he suddenly thought about where this was going, saying “oh, you don’t mean”.

Lucky finished off the sentence “yeah, the engineers have brought the other system back online again”.

Alan leaned back against a pillar and sighed.  Just when he thought the objective had been achieve he felt that the mission had been brought back to square one.

“Guys, huddle round” called out Lucky.

The squad gathered around Lucky as Alan stood guard.  He knew what the problem was and also what they needed to do.  He kept his senses sharp and his ears peeled on what the squad would say when they heard the news.

“I’ve shutdown this part of the grid but it looks like the other one has been brought online” said Lucky.

“Oh great” commented Njall, “we’re no further forward”.

“So I’m guessing we have to go back and perform yet another shutdown” said TK.

“Yes” replied Lucky.

Alan could hear from her voice that she wasn’t thrilled with the prospect.  Alan wondered whether there would be any heavy security guarding it now.  He hoped not but he also knew that the intruders that were reported still had not been taken to security and that would raise concerns soon.

“Wait, if this is just a partial shutdown, why are there no alarms going off?” queried Zeshaun.

Alan smiled.  Trust Zeshaun to come up with the good questions he thought to himself.

“Good question” replied Lucky, “I’ve bypassed the security systems so that the alarm wasn’t triggered”.

“If we go and shutdown the first one again, what’s stopping the engineers from fixing this one?” asked Greywolf.

“Maybe we should split up?” queried Zippy.

“No, we stay together as a unit.  I don’t want the squad split” replied Lucky.

“Only one thing to guarantee that this one doesn’t get brought back online before we take down the other one” stated Alan.

“What’s that?” queried Gin.

Alan grabbed both his blasters out from their holsters.  The squad’s eyes widened as they scrambled away from the console.  Alan’s blasters blazed as repeated blaster fire struck the console.  Sparks flew as the consoles lights flickered and went out.

“Are you crazy” called out Lucky, “that stunt could bring down every security guard on us”.

“We need to ensure that this place isn’t brought back online” replied Alan, “now it won’t for a long time, besides which, the security system has been de-activated so they probably don’t know what happened here” replied Alan.

“Let’s move out” called out Lucky.

Alan holstered his blasters as he stepped towards the doors.  The doors swished open and Alan was startled when he saw a guard just about to enter.  They both looked at each other with a look of surprise.  Both acting fast but Alan was marginally faster.

Alan launched a kick as the guard brought his blaster to bear on his.  The guard yelped in pain as Alan’s boot struck the guards wrist causing him to drop the weapon.  Alan grabbed the guard and flung him inside to allow the door to close.  Zeshaun grabbed his weapon and aimed it at the guard but Lucky’s hand moved onto it and lowered it.  Zeshaun glanced inquisitively at her but she shook her head.  She looked over at Alan and could see the fire in his eyes.

The guard after being flung inside had fallen and slid across the floor.  Alan towered over him as he scrambled to his feet.  The guard pressed one of his hands against his chest and Alan realised that it was the hand that he had kicked.  He immediately began to wonder whether he had broken the man’s hand or wrist with the kick.  He couldn’t think too much about it as he advanced on Alan, his free hand swinging out towards Alan.

Alan backed away from the guard.  Although it did indeed seem that the guard was cradling a damaged hand, Alan knew that a wounded man could fight twice as hard and besides which, the guard was very muscular and if he connected only once with Alan then Alan would certainly know about it.

Alan’s breathing quickened as he circled the man looking for an opportunity to take him down.  He could feel his heart racing.  Despite feeling adrenaline rushing through him and the exhilaration of being in a fight, he was also scared.  The man was far more muscular that Alan and had he not been injured at the start then Alan may not have even ventured into a fist fight with him but right now he felt frustrated with the mission.  Just when it looked like they were making progress they were put back to square one.  What better way to vent off his frustration than on this guard thought Alan, although he was starting to question whether this had been a good idea.

The guard launched his fist towards Alan’s head and Alan saw his opportunity as the guard had overstretched himself.  Dodging the fist, Alan’s foot launched out and struck the guard behind his knee.  The guard yelped more in surprise than pain as he collapsed to his knees.  Alan was quickly upon him as he grabbed the man’s head and slammed it down onto the floor.  Alan stood up and was surprised to see that the guard, although looking dazed, was getting up.

Surely that should have been the end of him thought Alan.  The guard stood up looking groggy.  His hand wiped a string of blood that seeped from his nose.  Alan didn’t need to be a doctor to see that it was broken.  The sheer shape of the nose, the bad crook in it was evident enough.  The guard advanced on Alan again, this time more wary of him and Alan knew that he had to put an end to this.

Alan shot his foot out again at the guard, again directed at the man’s knee but this time meant to shatter it.  Alan’s overconfidence was evident as instead of his knee connecting with the guard, he suddenly found himself being hurled into the air.  The guard had launched an uppercut and it had connected with Alan’s jaw perfectly.  Alan found himself on the floor, his jaw aching and his body throbbing with pain.

He groaned, he felt like just lying here but he knew that he wanted to finish this.  He started to get up slowly as the guard advanced on him slowly.  From the corner of his eye he could see Lucky and Zeshaun arguing.

“We need to put a stop to this and finish off our objective” objected Zeshaun.

“We will” replied Lucky, “Alan will finish off this guard and we will carry on”.

“With all due respect Ma’am, but surely this is wasting valuable time” added in Gin.

Lucky smiled and shook her head.  No-one in the squad called her Ma’am apart from Gin and it was something she was still trying to get used to.

“Alan will finish this off himself and that’s the end of it” said Lucky.

She could tell that other members of the squad wanted to voice their concerns but her statement cut them off and she glanced round the squad with a look on her face that told the squad that she didn’t want to hear another word from them on the matter.

Alan looked at the guard more cautiously.  His jaw throbbing as he rubbed it.  He was grateful that his jaw had not been broken and he was going to give the guard more respect this time.  The guard launched a fist at Alan.  Dodging the fist, Alan sidestepped and brought his foot down on the side of the guard’s knee.  The guard cried out, clutching his knee as he collapsed to the floor.

Alan jumped on top of the guard pinning him to the ground.  Wrapping his arms around the guard’s neck he began to squeeze.  Underneath him he could hear the guard gasping for breath.  He felt the guard’s hand lash out at Alan and although the man struck Alan repeatedly, the force from the blows were minimal.  The man’s breathing slowed and then Alan felt the man’s body go limp in his hands.  Once he was satisfied the guard was dead he let go and the body slumped on the floor.

“Let’s go before anymore guards come” said Alan as he moved to the door.  The door opened and Alan was happy that this time there were no guards outside.

“You heard him” said Lucky, “fall out”.

The squad nodded in unison as they quickly followed Alan out the door and back into the corridor.

Alan’s frustration over the objective seemed to have relaxed.  His pent up frustration over how the mission had gone on ebbed away and now his mind was focused once more on completing the objective and this time they would.

“You ok?”

Alan glanced round as he saw Lucky had moved through the squad and was now walking alongside him.

“I’m fine” replied Alan as he rubbed his jaw, “thanks for stopping Zeshaun”.

“You’re welcome, I figured you needed to put down that guard by yourself” replied Lucky.

“Well you know me all too well” said Alan.

Lucky smiled and said “yes, very well indeed”.

Alan smiled back and said “well let’s get this objective finished”.
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 16, 2009 02:17:48 PM     View the profile of Zeshaun 

Zeshaun was upset that Lucky had not let him interfere with Alan’s fight, even though Alan did manage to kill the guard, it would have been faster and more practical to just shoo the man and get it over with. Zeshaun felt more and more frustrated, and had to use some of his relaxation techniques in order to keep himself from just going on a guard killing rampage. The fact that they had gone through all the trouble to get the first grid down made it that much worse that the technicians were able to fix it so quickly. Might as well have just not disabled it in the first place Zeshaun thought as he kicked the air, as they walked down the halls. Zeshaun looked over at Alan and saw that he seemed happier, and had a confident smile on his face, he was glad that at least Alan seemed to be doing better than before, and on a better note, Lucky had managed to bypass the alarm system so they wouldn’t have to run under the blaring sound of the klaxon alarm.

“Over this way.” Lucky said motioning to the right with her arm.

The squad followed her around the corner and saw that a group of guards seemed to be talking about something in the middle of the hall, probably about how they were going to capture the paladin’s. The squad back pedaled, and stopped for a moment, looking toward Lucky to give them any orders. She brought up the map and started to trace a new path with her fingers.

“Let’s hurry,” She ordered. “This route will probably take longer but it’s safer.”

The squad ran and followed her down a few hallways; all looking exactly the same, but Lucky seemed to know exactly where to go. Zeshaun was never any good at memorizing things, so he was glad someone in the squad could do it. They blew by a few maintenance workers who just seemed confused to see a group of people running down the hall, although they were probably harmless Zeshaun kept an eye on each one they past, just in case they picked up their comlinks and decided to call it into the guards. When Lucky lead them through a shortcut through the rooms, they ran into a group of technicians. Both sides were equally surprised, and Zeshaun had to keep from instinctively drawing his rifle. The technicians didn’t seem to realize that the paladin squad was intruders.

“You guys going to fix that terminal?” One of them asked.

Alan hesitated and then answered. “Yes.”

“Well you don’t need to,” Another larger man said with a satisfied smile.  “We already fixed it.”

Alan made eye contact with Zeshaun and they both knew what would have to happen, Zeshaun lazily stepped up to the front, and then suddenly swung his elbow around and connected with the fat man’s face. A crack and a gush of blood confirmed Zeshaun’s feeling that he had broken the man’s nose. Alan was immediately on top of one of the other technicians. Zeshaun could see Lucky roll her eyes out of the corner of his eye and he smiled, the rest of the squad jumped onto a target and the whole squad rolled around on the ground, attempting to take out the group of technicians.

The manual workers were nowhere near as strong or as experienced at fighting as the guards were so it wasn’t very difficult to take them out. The only problem was that all of them seemed to have comlinks, and it was difficult to keep even one of them from calling in for help. The fat one that Zeshaun was fighting was attempting to put up a fight, but it was useless Zeshaun was just better trained and more conditioned. The technician swung at Zeshaun’s stomach, but Zeshaun took the opportunity to side step, and deliver an open palm blow to the man’s chin. The fat man fell to the floor, holding his jaw, his nose still bleeding profusely. Zeshaun quickly fell on top of him with all his weight, knocking the wind out of the technician, Zeshaun finished off the fat man with an elbow to the throat, his body weight crushing the man’s wind pipe, and leaving him motionless on the ground.

The other’s also finished up with their targets, and the squad dragged the bodies into one of the rooms, stacking them on top of each other because they happened to open up a small storage area. They continued on, knowing that the terminal was coming up soon.

“The terminal should be right through these rooms.” Lucky said aloud to herself.

  In front of them was a door, leading through another room, supposedly to the terminal. Lucky quietly opened the door, and found the room empty, except for a personal computer terminal on top of a desk and a few sofas, arranged in the middle of the room. must be some kind of office or something. Zeshaun thought as they quietly walked through to the other side. Lucky for them, the other door had a small window in it so they could see out into the hallway. Alan went up to the window and peered out, then beckoned for the rest of the squad. Zeshaun took a peek, and saw that 4 guards were now standing by the terminal, talking, and they all were carrying intimidating looking rifles.

“Are we going to take them out?” Greywolf asked.

“It looks like we’re going to have to.” Lucky said, sighing. “Alright, here’s the plan.”
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[This message has been edited by Zeshaun (edited May 16, 2009 02:19:23 PM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 16, 2009 09:14:15 PM     View the profile of Mai 

Jester retreated quickly into the motor pool garage, firing pot-shots every few meters to prevent the group of enemy militia from gaining on them too quickly. Tactically, they were breaking the rules by locking themselves in a relatively inescapable position, but the charges and subsequent firestorm at the adjacent ends of the motor pool had left them with no other option.

“Go to ground.”

The squad broke off into smaller groups capable of finding a degree of cover for the fight to come. The garage was large, though nothing in comparison to the fuel depot Mai had been in just moments before. A galvanized and reinforced door made up the entire wall to the very rear of the garage, and before it an assortment of military and civilian vehicles were parked in set stationary positions. The rest of the floor space seemed to be devoted to maintenance and storage. And it was in this clattered disorganized mess that Jester had emerged.

Mai found herself behind a fortified storage trunk with the label ‘Spare Treads’ splashed on the side in sloppy paint. Unfortunately, Hond had also identified the trunk as adequate cover and had followed her over. She made to move to a tower of boxes a few meters away but was forced to duck back down as the pursuing enemy entered the garage and opened up with the full force of their firepower. Most shots splashed harmlessly against the floor and the cover that Jester had found with only a few posing a threat to individual safety. In direct comparison, the members of Jester squad popped out of cover just long enough to punish the enemies’ inaccuracy with short bursts of deathly precise fire. Propping herself up against the side of trunk, Mai bared her teeth beneath her helmet and trailed a line of rifle fire up and over an enemy soldier foolish enough to advance without supporting cover. The man twitched in an almost comic fashion, casting his rifle skywards as his legs collapsed beneath him in a shower of blood.

“Don’t let them pin us down.”

Jegora was behind a similar looking storage container just a few meters away, Lukas at his side. The others were zigzagging defensively back towards the vehicles under Jager’s command. Every few meters they would stoop behind cover and fire when the opportunity presented itself but their target was obvious. The militia commander was obviously intelligent enough to realize that his fleet was under threat. After some distressed shouting between the officers, half of the enemy militia swerved aside from their comrades and began to move around the perimeter of the garage to intercept Jager and the others.

“Jager, heads up. Mai, Hond, stay in position. Get the rest.”

Jegora was quick to respond to the change in tactics. The odds were now drastically improved, four versus nine. The militia had already paid quite heavily in losses since engaging the Vast Empire squad.

“These guys’ retarded or what,” Hond grunted as he gunned down another enemy trooper trying futilely to advance towards their position. Mai flicked her gaze to him momentarily, waiting for the expected demeaning comment to follow the statement. But Hond remained silent, his finger on the trigger as he took down another sluggish enemy soldier. Since the two’s confrontation on the Jester’s last simulated mission she had been unsure how to act around the other Private. Whatever slight she’d had against him had been sated with his virtual death. Whilst she had not been victorious as such, the explosion of anger had been refreshing. Self control was not her strong suite. She did not and would never understand why humans withheld and repressed their passions.

“On the left,” Hond murmured again, drawing attention to a trio of soldiers making steady progress towards their location using a series of stacked crates as protection. Mai responded by flicking a grenade into her left hand and looking pointedly at her companion,

“Think you can draw them out?”

Hond barked out a laugh before coming brazenly to his feet. Resting his rifle on his hip he pulled back on the trigger whilst side stepping out into the open. Mai was stunned for a moment by the sheer stupidity of his maneuver. More surprisingly, was its effectiveness. The three advancing soldiers immediately halted and opened fire. It was quite simply, too great a target for them to ignore.  Hond let go of the trigger and cast himself sidewards, rolling as he hit the garage floor. Coming up behind another machinery trunk, he paused to return fire before stepping out into the open once again. Cursing under her breath, Mai crouched low to the floor, and using the crates surrounding her to shroud her movements, began to circle around to a position where she could begin her assault. The three soldiers were completely unaware of her presence until her grenade cluttered almost unceremoniously at their feet. One of them shouted out to his comrades in warning but it was too late. All three disappeared in puff of flame and smoke, severed limbs flying out in all directions to thud sickeningly to the ground.

“All clear,” Jegora was saying over the squad channel, “Let’s move back to the others.”

“Nice throw.” Hond was abruptly at her side, “Let’s go.”

Mai remained silent, but declined her head slightly in a subtle gesture of deference. Hond might infuriate her, but he had just proven his courage in a fashion that she could respect. Jegora and Lukas has dispatched the remaining few soldiers and were already jogging towards the firefight at the other end of the garage. Re-shouldering her rifle, Mai fixated her gaze on her next target and started forward to join them.
Jester Squad//StormPlatoon

[This message has been edited by Mai (edited May 16, 2009 09:16:46 PM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 17, 2009 02:11:51 AM     View the profile of Jager 

"Die!, Die!, Die!, DIE!"

The Tryant's roar heralded the death of his enemies. He had underestimated his opponents, a fact which he was not proud of. His five-man team took up positions covering the rear door with the understanding that it was going to be their primary entry point. Instead the Eriadonian's decided to do some last minute redecorating.

A section of wall behind where Abalar and himself had taken up a position exploded, sending both to the ground and peppering them with fragments of concrete. His ears rang and his thoughts were scattered amongst the fragments of wall yet as he turned over and saw the figures charging through the dust he knew exactly what to do. Bright and Lukas wasted no time in moving to assist, the veteran Jester pulling Abalar behind cover whilst their newest member and Kip moved to pick up the slack. Even over the white noise that still persisted in his ears he could still hear his weapons roar. Both working in unison to block out Lukas's calls for him to get to cover.

Figures began appearing at the rear door. Lukas had weighed up his options and began dragging Jager to relative safety, his weapon still firing bursts towards both entry points whilst Kip pulled back. Both sides knew where they stood, a fact made clear by the surge of hostiles through the rear doors. Bright and Abalar continued in their efforts to hold them back from their position behind a support girder and some overturned toolboxes but it was looking grimmer by the second, and their fall would kick start a domino effect that would spell the demise of the Jesters.

With the ringing in his ears vanished as quickly as it had set on, allowing the sergeant to regain his bearings. Lukas had pulled him behind the tracks of a military APC, the fifth in a line of six or seven that they had passed whilst moving towards the rear doors.

"Moving in from the rear." Jegora announced over the comms as his fire team advanced.

"Hole in the wall, right side. We've got the rear door covered" Bright replied, her relief partially muffled by shots from her's and Abalar's rifles. With the additional fire power coming into play the once powerful charge from their opponents all but halted, the last trickle of men attempting to pull back from their foothold a few meter's in inside the garage itself. A foothold that had cost them dearly.

The sounds of weapons fire dropped off, they had routed the enemy momentarily. It was time to complete their objective and move on.

"Guess they got Luth, shame"

"Pfft, you wish" Jager shot back at his squad leader's remark as he emerged from his position behind the APC. "I was just-"

"Cowering in fear?" Hond queried, finishing Jager's sentence for him. He could see now why Jegora had beaten him.

"No. I was checking to see if our ride was ready." He corrected, slapping the APC's armored hull. Jegora shook his head disapprovingly and surveyed the area. Drums of fuel stood in clusters of three between the APC's, which in turn shielded them from the incoming fire. Which was lucky because the Jesters had not packed an adequate amount of explosives to level a building of this size.

"Ab, Hond, Mai Search the bodies for ammo. Lukas, Bright, Kip. Cover them. Jager, with me. We move out in three" Jegora delegated as he walked towards the last APC in the line.

The inside was lined with seats and painted in a plastic-white color. It was cramped but could still hold, at a glance, twenty odd troopers. Jager stepped in and took a seat as he began replacing the magazine in the weapon. Jegora commandeered the drivers seat and began fiddling with buttons and knobs before the entire transport shuddered to life. 

"Pull your head out of your ass."

Jager looked up from his task. At first he thought he was hearing voices. "Oh, what. I get taken by surprise once and you start grilling me about it?"

"No. I'm just saying that if we lose anyone because of your incompetence, I'm gonna make you pay."

The two sat in silence, allowing the mans statement to fully sink in. Up until this point Jager had only played with the idea of leadership, he was a very self-centered person after all. If things got bad enough, the rest of his squad could burn so-long as he managed to get away. Such a mindset would likely come back to haunt him in the form of a court-martial set on by Jegora. The idea of spending a lengthy amount of time in a military prison, or being executed, held little appeal to him.

"Alright, I'm a gambling man." he announced, "If we all survive, you owe me a thousand credits." Jegora paused his fiddling for a brief second as he considered the deal.

"If we all survive, unscathed." he corrected, "Fine." A deceptive smirk formed on Jager's lips. It was a tough bet with the odds stacked horrible against him, but he had an inkling that he would come out a thousand credits richer by the end.

"Jesters" he called into the Comm, "We're leaving."
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 17, 2009 04:17:50 AM     View the profile of Garryll Gates 

Tanus glanced at his watch. “Too slow, too slow,” he muttered. He waved Gates over. “Gates, we have to take these guns out quicker than we are. Take Reese and Kestrel and go that way around the building, take out the guns that way. I’ll take Alater, TX and Semaj and do the rest of ‘em.”

“Gotcha boss,” Gates responded, and then whistled the two PFCs to him, waving cheerily at the other group.

The fireteam moved quickly over the flat land; Gates, Reese, Kestrel. They’d split with the rest of the squad to cover more ground, quicker. After all, the element of surprise had a half-life of about ten minutes.

Gates drew at his cigarette, making it glow a bright red as the mostly-depleted stick struggled at the vacuum. They continued at a brisk walk, rifles strung under their jackets, Reese and Kestrel looking around warily. Gates’ feet kicked up tiny puffs of hardened dust as he marched quickly towards their objective: the second Arial Missile System. Tanus’ team would handle the ones around the other side, while Gates’ would handle this one.

They still tried to hold on to that ‘I have no clue where I am, don’t deport me’-tourist look, but a foot officer looked at them oddly. “You there, halt!” the man said, and Gates could tell he was only a boy, barely twenty and green as grass.

“Is there a problem officer?” Gates asked pleasantly, fingers looped casually into his thick belt. The officer looked flustered and frustrated, no doubt anxious at the invasion of his home splattered all over the police channels: Jester was causing a ruckus. The man’s dark blue jacket and shiny silver badge depicted him as a New Republic Police Deputy, as least that’s what Intel had said.

“You are aware that this is a no-crowd zone, are you not?” the officer asked.

“I was not,” Gates replied, “We’re tourists. Where’s the city?”

The man made an ‘uh’ sound as his jaw dropped. “It’s over that way…” He pointed. “I’ll escort you there.”

The man stepped forward as if to lead them, and then pulled his pistol out, a small compact duty pistol carried by law enforcement across the galaxy. “If you’re tourists, then you came in a ship. The spaceport hangar is within sight of the city. Come with me.”

Gates sighed. Reese and Kestrel tensed, nervous. “Okay officer,” Gates said, “You caught me. I’m an Imperial Saboteur, come to destroy the hated New Republic’s presence and free these people.”

The officer looked perplexed, and his hands wavered for a split second, but not long enough for the Imperials to tackle him. He pulled a pair of dull-silver stun cuffs from his belt and tossed them to Gates.
“Put them on.”

The Stormtrooper made a show of putting them on, and the officer looked over to the other two, his pistol twisting to cover them- now.

Gates took a long step forward and swung a fist into the face of the officer. The man’s nose crunched audibly, and bright red blood sprung from the injury. The man clutched his face, and Gates hit him in the throat. The man fell, gagging and chocking on a half-crushed throat. Reese and Kestrel restrained him, and slapped his own cuffs onto him, and rolled him into a shallow ditch.

“Let’s move,” Gates said, and they leapt back into a jog, their target now within sight beyond the edge of the wall. They left the struggling officer in his ditch.

Quickly, the super-fit soldiers’ legs ate up the distance, and they closed to within a dozen meters, but still mostly out of sight of the gun by the wall of the NRHQ. Gates motioned for silence, and the two troopers calmed their breathing, going from a slight gasp to the barely audible sigh of relaxed. He poked an eye around the corner. The ten guards were equally relaxed as their counterparts on the first gun, with only a couple men even bothering to have guns near them or even their uniforms fully on. The engineers fiddled with their massive weapon, cleaning the trigger mechanism.

Gates half-way turned to his squadmates when a clatter and cursing came from the guards. He poked his eye around, again. One of the guards was swearing and the engineers were as well; the man had knocked over one of their container of cleaner, and the guard had managed to douse himself in it. The liquid spread slowly across the floor.

The sergeant in charge of the weapon stood up, swearing as well. He stalked over to the klutzy soldier and was about to chew him out when he slipped in the cleaner and knocked the rest of the containers over. The engineers’ curses became even louder.

A breath of wind swept across the plane, and Gates took a bit of comfort from the cool, until his eyes started watering.

“What’s that smell?!” breathed Reese, pinching his nose. Gates grinned. “Ethanol –based cleaner,” he murmured back. He motioned for the Stromtroopers to stay where they were. They halted, mystified. He gave them a huge, conspirational grin and clambered up onto the raised gun platform. His boots clattered noisily on the heavy-metal base. The swearing stopped, and the guards cried out and raised weapons. Gates inhaled heavily, breathing in the smoke of his cigarette, and it, nearly a butt, grew an amber red. He plucked it from his lips as he raised his arms as if in surrender.

The sergeant smirked superiorly to him, and stepped closer. The stink of the liquid wafted into Gates’ nose. He smiled, a smile he’d perfected on a dozen battlefronts, a smile he’d never displayed behind his anonymous helmet. A maniac’s smile.

The sergeant stopped abruptly, intimidated by the insane grin plastered on Gates’ face. Gates lowered his hands, and did two things.

The first was to flick the still-burning butt of the cigarette lightly at the sergeant. The other was to give him the bird.

And then he stepped backwards off the platform, and the cigarette hit the man in the temple, and lit the highly-flammable liquid on fire. The New Republic soldier screamed and collapsed, clawing at his face and managing to light the rest of himself on fire. The other guards stared in horror as their CO went up in flames, blue and yellow alcohol-fed flames.

The sergeant collapsed face-first onto the deck, and the spreading liquid on the floor lit into an inferno, catching the rest of the men in it. More screams rose from the soldiers, and those heavily-enough doused went up like the first; the rest dodged off the platform. Four of the last five dove off the side the Stormtroopers were on. Reese and Kestrel, rifles out, put them down in a second. Gates ran around the platform now engulfed in flames, and pulled the SLAR off his back. The last man was running distantly towards the next gun.

Gates peered through the scope blandly, the huffing, sprinting figure’s head pointing back to look for pursuit. The sniper pulled the trigger, and a long, thin bronze round spat from the muzzle, crossed the hundred meters and implanted itself in the runner’s cranium. He fell.

Gates slung his rifle and made sure Reese was planting another thermal detonator.
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[This message has been edited by Garryll Gates (edited May 17, 2009 09:36:25 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 18, 2009 01:41:03 PM     View the profile of Jegora 

It took the rest of the Jesters several minutes to climb aboard the armored personnel carrier. Jegora used this small delay to familiarize himself with the controls of the vehicle. At least, he tried to familiarize himself with the controls. In his past life, when he had been a pilot with the Starfighter Corps, Jegora might have been able to figure the damn thing out. None the less, at that moment he had no such luck, although he did manage to start the APC. That was as far as he got., however; for some reason the controls were all locked up, and nothing that Jegora tried got them working.

As Jegora sat there, studying the console before him, Jager’s voice drifted up from the rear of the vehicle. His ASL had retreated to the passenger area, probably in an attempt to avoid anymore discussion with his squad leader. That was fine with Jegora, as he really didn’t like the man anyways.

“We’re all aboard,  sir,” Jager hollered, his voice thick with sarcasm. Jegora just grunted and kept on contemplating how he was going to get the vehicle to work.

After a few seconds in which nothing interesting nor productive took place, Brightstar joined Jegora in the cockpit of the craft. “Having some trouble?” she asked, obviously trying to keep from laughing.

Jegora just shot her a withering glare that lost much of its effect through the visor of his helmet. Bright laughed again, this time openly, and began to study the panel herself. After a few seconds she reached out, pressed a couple buttons, and then sat back with a smug smile on her face. Jegora simply sat there, stunned, as the entire craft came to life around him. The engine took on a new life, reaching a level of power recently unattained. Lights came on everywhere, blinking and beeping and nearly blinding Jegora. Most importantly, however, the controls unfroze, and Jegora was now able to drive the craft.

“But . . .how?” Jegora asked his newly acquired copilot.

Brightstar laughed again, and pointed to a sheet flimsiplast that was stuck on the face of the console. Jegora leaned over and quickly read through the aurebesh text, and then let out a low groan of frustration. It was an instruction manual detailing how to start the craft.

Snarling viciously, and with Brightstar laughing beside him, Jegora slammed the APC’s throttle into the full open position and kicked it into gear. The craft shot forward, its front wheels very nearly coming off the ground. Jegora quickly throttled back, surprised at the craft’s power.

“What the in the nine hells was that?” a voice shouted from the passenger compartment. Jegora just muttered an oath and kept going, navigating his way through the remnants of the motor pool with some difficulty. When they reached the main (and only) gate of the facility, Jegora stopped the craft.

“We good?” he hollered back. A chorus of affirmative responses answered him, and Jegora couldn’t help but smile behind his helmet. “Well then, who did I hand the detonator off to?”

Jegora recognized the voice that answered him as Bloodhound’s. “I have it,” he said, his voice clearly relaying how very much he wanted to press the little red button in the center of the device.

Nodding, mostly to himself, Jegora didn’t see any reason to hold off. “Well then, fire in the hole.”

There was a split second of complete and utter silence, which was soon followed by an ear splitting explosion. The four detpacks detonated simultaneously, igniting drums of fuel. That alone should have caused a big boom, but the explosive force of this particular blast rocked the heavy APC, which was a few hundred yards away.

Bright looked at Jegora. “Was that supposed to happen?” she asked calmly.

Jegora just shook his head. “Must have been some ordnance,” he said. Craning his neck to see the site of what had been the garage just moments before, Jegora had to be a little impressed. The only thing that remained of the garage, and most of the pool’s vehicles, was a crater. Sitting back in his seat, Jegora shook his head again and keyed his throat mic, this time opening a link to his superior.

“Angel, objective completed. The motor pool’s down . . .”
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 18, 2009 02:04:59 PM     View the profile of AlanRJ 

“Are we going to take them out?” Greywolf asked.

“It looks like we’re going to have to.” Lucky said, sighing. “Alright, here’s the plan.”

The squad huddled around Lucky as she started to reveal to the squad what the plan of attack was going to be.  The squad listened intently, some nodding as they heard their names being mentioned.  Alan nodded as he thought to himself that it was indeed a good plan.  He knew it had to be, otherwise if they failed to take out the guards quickly then reinforcements would be called in and their chances of completing their objective would be gone.

Alan grasped both blasters in his hands and waited by the door.  His breathing was heavy and a single bead of sweat trickled down his forehead.  His entrance into the room was going to be critical but he knew that should his entrance coincide with the guards looking towards the door then he could be facing his death.  It was a risk but an acceptable one in his eyes.

“You ready?” asked Lucky.

Alan nodded and replied “ready as I’ll ever be, just make sure you nail those guards”.

“Don’t worry, we’ve got your back” said Zeshaun as he readied his weapon.

“Let’s hope his shooting is better than his flying” commented Njall sarcastically.

“Heh” rebuked Zeshaun although he knew Njall was just teasing him.

“Let’s do this” said Alan.

Lucky nodded and held up three fingers.  She silently started counting down with her fingers.  Alan wished that she would finish the count as he was nervous enough and it seemed like an eternity was passing by.  Finally her count was over and Alan knew it was time.

Flinging the doors open, Alan burst into the room.  He had never been so happy to find that the guards were not looking his way when he entered.  His blasters opened fire and immediately two guards dropped from accurate shots to their foreheads.

The remaining guards immediately had their weapons in their hands and were pointing them at Alan.  Alan knew that the squad would be covering his back but for now all he could think about was survival.  His heart raced as he dived to the floor.  Blaster bolts flew over his head as he found himself skidding along the floor and crashing into the wall.  His body ached as he glanced up and saw the guards pointing their weapons towards him.

Zeshaun and TK were first through the set of doors.  They immediately spotted two guards and it looked like they had Alan pinned down.  Zeshaun and TK wasted no time in firing at the guards.  They didn’t stand a chance.  One minute Alan was looking up at the faces of the guards that were to bring his life to an end, and then they were collapsing down.

Gin rushed over to Alan and helped him to his feet, “are you ok Sir?”

“Yes, thanks” replied Alan.  He glanced over towards Zeshaun and TK and added “you took your time”.

“We got them didn’t we” replied TK.

Alan shrugged.  He couldn’t say very much about that as they had indeed taken out the guards.  He spotted Lucky who was already huddled over the monitor frantically working away.

“At least we can finally get this defence grid down” commented Zippy.

“Yeah, who knew taking down the grid would be so problematic” added Leon.

“Oh no” said Lucky.

“Why do I not like the sound of that” commented Alan as he glanced over at Lucky.

He moved over beside her to see if he could lend any assistance.  His nostrils flared as he could still make out the smell of burnt out circuits.  He had been very surprised when he had learned that the engineers had managed to get the system back up again so soon.

“I can’t shut it down from here” said Lucky.

“Why not?” asked Leon, “you shut it down before”.

“Yeah, we have faith in you, you can do it” cheered on Zippy.

“No, you don’t understand” said Lucky, “the engineers didn’t fix it, they simply bypassed the circuit”.

“I don’t like where this is going” said Njall.

“We have to go to the terminal that they have bypassed the circuits too” said Lucky as she stood up.

“I hate to ask Ma’am, but where have they bypassed the circuit to?” asked Gin.

“Two floors up from here” replied Lucky.

“Great, more walking around a heavily guarded space station” muttered Njall.

“That’s enough, we have a job to do and we will do it” said Alan, “we are Paladin”

He looked around the squad seeing in their eyes that he meant it.  The squad nodded in agreement.

“Let’s fall out and get the job done” said Lucky.

The squad moved as one to the doors, glancing out they saw that the corridor was clear.  Here we go again thought Alan as the squad started to make their way down the corridor and towards the nearest turbo lift.
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 18, 2009 03:44:45 PM     View the profile of TX-47 

Speed being of the essence, Tanus had split BlackJack into fire teams.  ASL Gates would take Reese and Kestrel with a Stouker north to the third battery of Arial Defense Missile Systems; Tanus and the rest would head along the southern flank to take the second.

Tanus took point, trading off with Tank as they moved.  Semaj was next with Alater on rearguard.  Tanus had the Stouker and the rest had their M82-G Assault Rifles in hand.  Leapfrogging from crate to crate, Tanus and Tank would move then hold as Semaj and Alater moved up.  Thus they made their way to a stack of crates providing both cover and a vantage point for the fire team to regroup.  Tanus didn't like what he saw.

What looked to be twenty guards were stationed at the base of the multistory weapon platform.  Work crews seemed to be conducting maintenance; whether it was repairs or upgrades it mattered not.  BlackJack's mission was to take it out, and the time for subtlety was at its end.  Tanus made the orders simple as his fingers signed to his troopers.

Readying the Stouker he sent a barrage concussive blasts as fast as the rifle's fire rate would allow, tossing New Republic troopers like rag dolls every which way.  Those not caught in Tanus' onslought were peppered with hot lead as the other three troopers gave their assault rifles a workout.  In seconds it was over.

Tanus advanced, deftly navigating the dead bodies strewn about.  Tank was next, followed by Semaj and Alater.  Firing a single blast into the open door killed the crew and techs inside.  As Tanus switched to his DT-57 Annihilator Tank went in to set the charges. 

Tank was nearly finished when some Bothan techs dropped down from the level above.  Tank was able to shrug them off before they could use their fusion cutters on him.  Tanus was in a similar predicament but his reflexes and heavy blaster proved more than a match for Bothan techs armed with laser welders.  From the sounds of it Alater and Semaj were busy outside as well, possibly more New Republic Troopers.  Not good... Tank thought as he drew his Ryyk Blade and M32 Toothpick.

As the Bothans with fusion cutteres rushed him Tank sidestepped, cleaving off the hands of one Bothan while being momentarily out of the other's reach.  Shoving 'handless' into his buddy knocked him into the wall; the second Bothan's weapon was incidently slammed back and up into his own face.  The discharge took his head off.

As the first Bothan collapsed wimpering and in shock, another bothan tech came at Tank with a vibrocutter.  Tank was worried, as this guy appeared to have combat training and Tank was just barely holding his own.  Tanus dispatched a pair of bothans weilding plasma torches only to duck and trade fire with yet another bothan, this one armed with an advanced mining laser that apparently doubles as a blaster rifle.

Tank knew he couldn't keep up the parry-and-thrust routine forever and locked blades too fast for his opponent to avoid and capitalized on the flash of suprise with a solid kick to the bothan's groin, followed by another.  As the bothan fell Tank drove the point home; the point of his combat knife between the bothan's eyes and to the hilt.  Releasing the M32 he took the vibrocutter and ran it through a mon cal who was intent on putting a laser cutter to Tank's head.

As Tanus finally dropped the bothan sniper dead, an Ugnaught with a mining laser came at him.  Having broke cover far too soon he quickly fell to a staccato of rapid shots from Tanus' DT-57.  Before Tanus could switch power packs a Mon Cal and yet another bothan came at him.  As the plasma torches they weilded certainly meant business he dropped and rolled into the mon cal's legs.  As the mon cal was toppled ove he flailed his arms in mindless panic, unable to grab anything for support but carving open his friend's head with his plasma torch.  As the Mon Cal's head bounced on the floor Tanus filleted him with the Toothpick.

Slamming a fresh power pack home Tanus resumed shooting annoying techs.  Tank dispatched another pair of Ugnaughts who were similarly armed.  With no more attackers (for the moment) Tank finished  setting the first charge.  Semaj ad Alater came in shortly after the shooting had stopped.  Tanus spoke "Alright BlackJacks!  Let's take the high ground!"  And the next minute he was up on the platform, shooting.  Alater ran up next, followed by Semaj and Tank.

It was chaos.  Semaj was panicked and firing wildly, blasting some of the retreating droids as well as enemy combatants.  The other BlackJacks enjoyed the raw carnage.  Alater was gleefully ripping to pieces Rodian and Bothan troopers, alternately sending them airborne with his armored tail.  Tanus was a death dealer with his DT-57 and M82-G.  Tank was dueling a Kel Dor soldier who was weilding a force pike.  Semaj had maged to regain just enough of his wits to do a decent job of not letting any of the techs get too close with those power tools, even though his kills included a TC protocol droid in full retreat.

DUM droids had knocked an R5 and a GNK over the platform's edge as they ran amok.  One Ugnaught was using a GNK power droid for cover and Semaj shot it.  The resultant explosing killed not only the Ugnaught but two more techs caught in the blast.  Between Tanus and Alater the rest of the soldiers were finished off as Tank's Ryyk beheaded the Kel Dor.  Finally free of combatants, Tank helped Semaj set the final charge for this missile battery.

Before the stormtroopers could celebrate they were dodging durasteel plates and other construction materials.  Jumping down from the platform they spotted an AT-CT construction vehicle.  Luckily it wasn't actual AT-ST drivers at the controls.  Smiling evily, Alater ran fast, his tenacious zigzag dodging improvised projectiles even as he closed in on the construction walker.  Too fast for the crew to hit, he leapt up.  The huge lizard landed on the walker's head and ripped open the top hatch with his bare hands.

As Alater made short work of the Ugnaught crew, the other BlackJacks fell under fire from an AT-RT.  Alater quickly lept into the cockpit and turned the vehicle's repulsors on the AT-RT.  But instead of tossing it away or into the ADMS platform, it was flying at the AT-CT!  Fast as a blink he was up and out of the doomed walker.  The explosion utterly detsroyed both vehicles but Alater's tough hide protected him the hot shrapnel; light scratches was the worst he would suffer; burns on his clothes would be more obvious.

Just as Alater rejoined his fellow troopers they were assaulted anew by more soldiers.  Tanus found himself in hand-to-hand with a Gotal commando, Tank was dueling a Trandoshan officer weilding a Trandoshan vibrosword and Alater had his hands full trying to keep Semaj from getting overwhelmed as he tore enemies apart.

True to New Republic recruiting policies there was a good assortment in the rising body count.  Bothans mostly, Humans, Mon Cal and Rodians, they were all quick to die for their cause.  After an eternity of incessant flurries Tanu grabbed the Gotal by the horns, forcefully pulling the head down and his own knee up.  A moment later the Trandoshan was lanced on Tank's Ryyk.
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BlackJack Squad
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 18, 2009 05:07:28 PM     View the profile of Angel 
The transport carrying Colonel Alfonso sped along the city street at breakneck speeds. Cries of alarm mixed with profanities of many languages filled the air and mixed into a dull roar. Those lucky enough to not be near the street just ignored the ruckus, as it was becoming more and more commonplace these days. Inside the speeder, Alfonso returned the citizen's apathy towards his presence. His constantly scheming mind was focused on much bigger and more important matters than the disruption of this pathetic planets streets. Even the glass of whiskey clenched in his hand remained untouched, the ice having lost since melted under his heated grip.

He had to find a way to rid himself of Captain Ruron. The man's weakness was vastly becoming a reflection upon Alfonso himself in the eyes of his own superiors. This in turn put him in disfavor with them and damaged his plans for increasing his status within the fledgling New Republic. Their stinging words still resounded in his ears from the latest rebuking. How can you hope command a fleet when you can't even control one Captain! Even his report of the destruction of the Vast Empire's shipping fleet served as little recompense from the continued pathetic behavior of the Sulluston Captain.

Cursing his fate, Alfonso barely noticed as the speeder stopped in front of the Eriadu city's central government building. The door to the luxurious transport swung open as his driver announced their arrival, raising Alfonso from his irritated stupor. Taking a sip of the now watered-down whiskey, he spat the liquid out with a disgusted "bah!" Displacing his frustrations onto the glass, he threw it down on the duracrete street and took a sick satisfaction at it's destruction.

No sooner had he fully removed his increasingly corpulent body from the vehicle when he was almost plowed into by an extremely flustered aide to the governor. "S-s-sir!" the aide stammered as he skidded to a halt.

Alfonso sneered at the man, who's body odor seeping through his pores hung in the air like a noxious cloud. It was obvious that the man had sprinted straight from his desk to the Colonel's speeder from the dark patches under his armpits and the sweat plastered hair stuck to his head. The short man's round glasses incessantly slipped off his long, beak-like nose.

It was obvious this man had little in his life but his job.

Snorting in discontent, the Colonel snapped back. "What is it?"

Bracing himself for the bad news he had to deliver, the aide shouted back "Eriadu City is under attack!"

For the first time since exiting the vehicle, Alfonso noticed the dark black cloud fuming from the city's industrial district. Grabbing the aide by the collar, the much larger Alfonso lifted him off his feet and looked him square in the eye.

"What do you mean under attack!?" Small flecks of spittle flew from Alfonso's mouth as he spoke, wetting the aide's glasses. "Where's your bloody militia!?"

"That's just it sir...they took out the motor pool already! The militia is paralyzed!" Swallowing hard, the aide continued his report, "There are also reports of suspicious activity around the starport's aerial defense towers, and on the orbital spacestation the fleet is docked at!"

"Do you have any useful information about them?" Alfonso demanded.

"R-reports are coming in from survivors of the motor pool," the aide hastily replied while fumbling through the flimsiplast reports cradled in his arms. "They only counted eight combatants, all dressed as Imperial Stormtroopers."

Alfonso's mind reeled. How could an enemy come in on a whim and cause this much damage this fast? Moreover, who was stupid enough to attack a world held by the New Republic? And with only one squad?! Dropping the aide on his rear, Alfonso moved quickly up the stairs into the government building muttering obscenities and the words "useless kriffing people" under his breath. Storming into the building, he almost shattered the glass doors from the force of his entry. He had to get in contact with the New Republic's headquarters to organize a proper defense, and fast. If he lost this world to the Vast Empire on a whim, it would spell the end of his career...

*      *      *      *

Meanwhile, back on the Dominion

Platoon Commander Jikkyo Nimiichi was growing restless. As much as he hated not being a part of the action, he hated being so far away he couldn't even monitor it even more. The communications link with each SL was obnoxiously silent, fueling thoughts of massacre, failure and death running rampant in his mind. He never had a problem sending his own squad into seemingly impossible situations, and even his actions on the battlefield would leave some to doubt his regard for the lives of anyone...but now he had direct control over the fates of hundreds of men and women..

“Angel, objective completed. The motor pool’s down ...” The subspace transmission from his ASL sounded through the Dominion's comm system and blared loudly onto the bridge. A wave of relief washed over the Lieutenant from the long awaited good news. A single swipe of his hand wiped away the sweat that had begun to form on his brow.

Smiling inwardly, Angel was glad to hear that the Jesters were getting along fine without him. He had nothing but confidence in his chosen successor's abilities, but his judgment was sometimes suspect. Angel had let a lot of things both Jegora and his de-facto ASL recently did slide that normal squads would have immediately commanded immediate disciplinary action. Angel understood the stress he had put his squad under, however, and preferred that his troopers work out their own differences. Judging from how quickly Jester had completed its first mission, his philosophy had least that's what he would tell himself.

"Good work." Angel answered, keying the activation button for the comlink in his hand. "I have your next mission ready for you."

Cruising through files on the console in front of him Angel located the briefing he had just moments earlier completed for Jester squad, pending their success. " Your next objective is downloading to your datapad now. Intelligence has reported that the NR's planetary commander has entered the central government building. They've also told us that the governor himself is NOT there. Read your briefing, and good hunting Sergeant."

Closing the link to the Jester's acting Squad Leader, Angel turned to see a smirk on the face of General Rizzit, his longtime friend and compatriot.

"And you were worried..."


JESTER - Second Objective
Mission: Take control of Eriadu City by eliminating militia and capturing planetary governor.

Objective 2: Travel via acquired transport to central government building.

Armor/Weapons: Standard Squad Equipment plus any vehicle weapons on the APC.

Details: Having successfully completed their first objective, Jester will proceed to the "downtown" area of the city and fight their way through any opposition to the planetary government's central building. Once there, they must completed two (2) tasks: First, locate and take control of the communications center in the building. Second, determine the location of the planetary governor.

Expected Opposition:The building will be well guarded with more skilled combatants than the rag-tag militia. Expect NR commandos to be present, although not in great numbers. Expect close to fifty militia-grade enemies, and perhaps a dozen commandos. On the way to the building, you will encounter vehicular forces whom were out on patrol when the motor pool was destroyed. You will encounter up to three (3) 1-L Light Hovertanks, and a various collection of smaller troop transports.

Objective Bonus: Taking control of the communications center will cut off any additional reinforcements from the NR HQ. Failure to complete this mission in less than 15 posts will result in heavier resistance during ensuing objectives.
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[This message has been edited by Angel (edited May 18, 2009 05:09:41 PM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 18, 2009 05:22:25 PM     View the profile of Luckystar 

Lucky walked silently down the hallway to where she had spotted a bank of turbolifts earlier, as a guard passed them and stared her dead in the eye s she sighed as a look crossed his face He knows we don’t belong here in a swift motion  she raised her pistol, clocked him  on the head and tossed the body unceremoniously in the corner. As she moved forward another guard shouted at them, looking over her shoulder she raced to call down a turbolift and turned to face the man. As the doors silently opened, she motioned for the squad to get in and listened to the doors hiss closed as the man rushed her. She sidestepped to the left just in time to avoid getting head butted in the gut, as the man hit the door; she whirled around, took one of his arms and pulled it her way until it was dislocated. Grunting in pain, he attempted to fight but he was wasting his breath for nothing, she swiftly reached for his other wrist, broke it and muffled his scream by shoving his sleeve into his mouth and stuffing it down the man’s throat.

Opening the doors manually, she found herself staring into the shaft. Not wasting any time, she walked forward and edged her way along a ledge on the inside of the shaft just as she heard a whoosh and jumped into nothingness, a turbolift was coming to meet her. As she landed on its roof, it rose up quite quickly and she counted the number of exit holes, as they were coming up to the second, she jumped off, slid down some cables and arrived to a sudden halt. Prying open the doors, she saw the squad waiting for her, a small gathering of bodies surrounding them.

Panting heavily, she gave them all a once-over before motioning for them to walk forward.  “The room we’re looking for is a few hallways away, be ready as I suspect we will encounter heavy traffic.”  As soon as the words escaped her mouth, two guards rounded the corner, a look of shock crossed their face, it only lasted a second however, and as they reached for their weapons she shot one in between the eyes and motioned with her head to Zesh and Alan.  Without hesitation, she leapt and just barely managed to dodge the blaster bolt aimed for her head, hitting the man in the stomach hard. As she raised herself on top of the man, Alan and Zeshaun joined in, pinning him down. Before he could do anything, she pressed both her hands against his windpipe and left it there for a few seconds. She felt his body relax and quickly put a finger to his carotid artery, there was no pulse.
Satisfied, she stood and kept walking. They needed to get to the terminal and shut the grid down for good, what was frustrating her was how complicated this seemingly simple task had become. 

They met few people down the next hallway; taking care of their silent deaths was relatively simple. A few minutes later, she stopped and motioned for the squad to join her, flattened against the wall, she explained to them that the terminal room was beyond the junction.

"Here’s the plan.”
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 19, 2009 11:17:46 AM     View the profile of Garryll Gates 

The fireteam sped off from the still-aflame missile battery and its slowly-crisping guards. They'd left a nice present behind too, the small Stormtrooper Thermal detonator that was stuck in a box of rockets. Gates grinned blissfully at the destruction it had the potential of causing.

They had abandoned stealth, as their time started ticking ever faster. Heavy boots slapping onto hard-packed dirt accompanied the panting of the junior Stormtroopers and the steady breath of their ASL.

Gates skidded to a halt, barely breaking a sweat. To Reese and Kestrel's credit, they were barely breathing hard either, but did have a sort of nervous early-mission sweat about them. "Didja hear that?" Gates asked the two troopers under his command.

They shook their heads. "Hmm. Rookies. You'll learn to hear an explosion from a mile off. The first of the detonators have gone off, so our job is one fifth totally destroyed."

Reese and Kestrel tried to grin, but couldn't. They were still too nervous. "C'mon. Couple more guns and we link back up with the squad, catch our ride, our armor, some more ammo, backup, and so on."

They broke back into a run, and grew nearer and nearer to their next target. The Arial Missile System sat majestically on its platform, this one burnished from use and careful camouflage, as well as care. Gates consulted a tiny map on his datapad. It turned out that the last two guns were closest to the main drag and also the last, which was smack in Tanus' way, actually flanked the front door of the complex. The guards would likely be at least somewhat compotent, then.

Blackjack's smaller fireteam dove into a shallow depression, a tiny hole filled with weeds. They were only a dozen meters from the gun itself, and a couple of guards slowly walked back and forth, their rifles slung professionally.

Gates rolled deeper into the depression; the two PFCs followed him. "Here's the plan," muttered Gates, digging around in his pocket. "I'll take those two men out, quick as you like, and while they're wondering what the hell is going on, you two flank around. I'll cover you. Then you cover me and we'll rush 'em."

Reese and Kestrel shrugged, and then readied themselves. Gates finally found his silencer and screwed it carefully onto the SLAR. He poked it from the weeds, and flicked the lever from 'safety' to 'semi'. The dulled silver metal contrasted harshly with the dark brown weeds Gates was up to his eyes in.

"C'mon, you bastard, turn around." Gates whispered as he lined up a shot, calming his breathing and setting himself. The guard turned to make another line, and his comrade walked past him. "Now."

Gates' index finger twitched, and a the rifle coughed lightly. He swiveled slightly and twitched again. Again, the rifle coughed. Within a second of one another, the two guards fell, one shot in the temple, the other with the back of his head blown off. A split second after that, Reese and Kestrel shot off towards the only cover in the plain, the HQ itself.

A cry rose from the guards at the gun, and a head popped up. Reese, point-blank, fired his M-82G into it. It fell back silently. The same could not be said of the rifle shot, a powerful, point-blank slug right at the other guards.

A hand popped over the parapet, blind-firing at Reese and Kestrel. The woman calmly took aim and blew the offending appendage off. Bright scarlet blood leaked from the hand, still clutching the pistol, and shrill cries rose again.

Gates chose his moment to move, and, ducking low, raised himself from the depression. He sprinted around the emplacement, totally unseen - the guards had enough on their minds with Reese and Kestrel shooting at everything that moved. In under five seconds, he'd moved a couple dozen meters to the other side of the gun's platform. He slammed his back into relative safety.

Gates slipped his combat knife out of the sleeve sheath, and kissed it for good luck. He flicked on the comm unit in his ear. "Reese, Kestrel, move on five." Gates qucikly slid the knife onto the over-slung bayonet lug on his '82. He slammed the slide back and flicked the charging lever to 'full-auto'.

"1," he muttered, climbing silently onto the platform.

"Two." The engineers to man the gun crouched in fear behind their charge.

"Three," he whispered, stabbing the first engineer in the back of the head, twisting the dead hulk off his knife, and hitting the second, gasping tech with the butt of the rifle. The third tech jumped at him, screaming incoherently.

"Four five!" He finished quickly, grappling with the man. The guards half-turned towards the commotion before realizing the error, but responded to slowly to save themselves. Reese and Kestrel, rose over the edge, yelling.

"For the Empire!" Gates roared, and the cry was echoed by the two others. He punched the engineer in the kidney, and he gasped in pain. Gates rolled him off and kicked him in the neck, cracking the fragile bones. Reese and Kestrel had shot four of the guards, but three still remained. Reese threw his rifle, dead and empty, into the head of one of the combatants, and dove at a second, yanking his 'toothpick' combat knife from his boot. Kestrel grappled with the third, face curled into a snarl.

Blackjack's ASL dove at the man Reese's rifle had hit in the head, bearing him down in a full-body tackle. They struggled for a few seconds – an eternity – with Gates whaling the man with both fists in the upper torso while the New Republic soldier meekly tried to stop the rain of blows.

Finally, the man fell limp under the onslaught, unconscious or dead. Gates stood up, and surveyed the carnage. Reese was wiping off his combat knife on a dead opponent, and Kestrel put a killing round in her mark’s head. Gates wordlessly extended his hand, and Kestrel placed a thermal detonator in it.
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[This message has been edited by Garryll Gates (edited May 20, 2009 01:40:07 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 19, 2009 04:56:47 PM     View the profile of Zeshaun 

Zeshaun listened intently as Lucky told them what they would probably be facing at least some resistance. Since this was their second time disabling this terminal everyone was very determined to get it right. Lucky made sure it was very clear what her orders were, and everyone would be able to do their job, because of her plan, if one thing went wrong, things would not be looking good for the paladins. Zeshaun’s job was to kick down the door and provide firing cover for everyone while they tried to storm the room.

“Everyone ready?” Lucky asked, looking back one more time.

The squad nodded, and Zeshaun swallowed nervously, he moved up to the front and waited for Lucky’s signal. She held up her fingers slowly counting down from three. When her last finger went down, Zeshaun wound up his leg and put a punishing kick right underneath the door handle, sending it off its hinges and breaking the lock. He ran in his rifle firing even before he saw anyone, Zeshaun immediately saw at least one man go down from his shots, but he wasn’t sure how many people were actually in the room. He quickly scanned the room, and aside from the holes in the wall from his rifle, he saw five shocked guards cowering in the corners of the room. The rest of the squad came in and quickly exterminated the rest of the guards and Lucky opened up the terminal and started to work quickly.

“How soon do you think you will be done?” Njall asked nervously, peering out of the doorway down the halls.

“You nervous?” Zeshaun prodded with a smile.

“No…” Njall said trailing off.

“Guys, stop bothering each other, it’s not making anything easier.” Alan said looking around. “We’re all a little nervous.”

The squad intently watched Lucky as she typed away, and cut wires. She stopped for a moment and everyone held their breath, she looked over and said.

“You guys are making me nervous, go watch for guards outside.” She waved her hand away.

Zeshaun walked outside of the door and leaned back against the wall, looking up and down the hall everyone minute or so, and looking inside the room in between. He was so nervous that he wasn’t sure what to do when he saw a pair of guards, probably making their usual rounds around the level come around the corner. Both sides stared blankly at each other for a moment before they realized that they were enemies. Zeshaun dived to the ground to avoid the blaster bolts that came from the two guards down the hall.

“What are you doing?” Njall asked.

As Njall stepped out into the hall and nearly had his nose shot off, Zeshaun snapped off a shot and hit one of the guards in the chest, sending him skittering down the hall. The other guard picked up his comlink. oh no Zeshaun thought as he tried to aim for a vital point on the guards body. Zeshaun tried to prepare so quickly that he missed his target by a good four inches, only hitting the man in the bicep. we’re doomed Zeshaun thought as he saw the guard press the button, then he was suddenly taken off his feet by two shots to the chest.  Zeshaun looked behind him and saw Alan with both his blaster out.

“Thanks.” Zeshaun said as he got up from the ground.

“Not a problem.” Alan said, patting Zeshaun on the back and putting back his blasters.

Zeshaun stepped back in the room just in time to hear Lucky say the triumphant words that he had been waiting for this whole mission.

“It’s done, the defense grid is down.”  She yelled triumphantly.

The whole squad cheered but their happiness was short lived, a sudden klaxon alarm started to blare, and Zeshaun could actually feel the ground shaking with the amount of feet that were moving around. He gripped his rifle tighter, and turned toward Lucky, along with the rest of the squad for her instruction.

“Well don’t just stand there,” She yelled. “Let’s go!”
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[This message has been edited by Zeshaun (edited May 19, 2009 04:58:32 PM )]
[This message has been edited by Zeshaun (edited May 19, 2009 05:09:02 PM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 20, 2009 02:50:12 AM     View the profile of Jager 

The city streets were barren and desolate, the wind howled between the drab tenement blocks and skyscrapers. If Jager didnt know better he'd have guessed the civilians had been evacuated a long time ago, this wasn't the case however. Instead they had been merely told to seek refuge in doors until further notice. This combined with the new republic's fetish for constructing their key military and logistical hubs in densely populated urban sprawls, meant that an orbital bombardment was going to be the last resorts, last resort for the empire. Civilian casualties always looked bad no matter how they were dressed up.

This, among other reasons, was why the Jester's were here, all eight of them packed into a military armored personal carrier as it trundled down the empty streets. They were acting as the surgical knife in the empires vast arsenal, cutting the cancer that was the new republic off at its roots whilst at the same time leaving the rest of Eriadu mostly intake.


"Parked speeder!" Bright shouted frantically from the co-pilots seat. 

The sounds of a civilian model speeder being crushed under the weight of their recently commandeered armored personal carrier reverberated through the hull, making most of the squad cringe as if someone was running their nails down a chalk board. A frustrated groan could be heard from the transports driver as the last wheel landed back on the duracrete curb.

Bright placed an understanding hand on the mans broad shoulders "Maybe I should drive?"

"No, its alright. Just... just an accident, I'll be fine."

Again the transport jerked forwards before picking up speed and continuing on towards the cities central government building. Jager smirked briefly before lighting a cigarette he had earlier retrieved from his gear. The operation had gone well so far. No wounded or casualties, which was surprising when he factored in the groups less then perfect insertion and the fact that they still had a lot of rookie members amongst there ranks. Sure there was still Jeg and himself, Bright and Kip and the new sergeant who hadn't said much, Lukas. Jager lent back and let the smoke escape through his nose, studying Lukas out of the corner of his eye.

Never trust the quiet ones, they were always the crazy ones. Loud mouths were different, you could take a chance on a loud mouth and often come off with a win. They were people who had to tell alert others to their greatness... quiet ones didn't. Never trust the quiet ones. Of course there were exceptions to every rule. There was 'nothing to prove' quiet, then there was 'iIn over your head' quiet. Abalar was the latter. Out of everyone in the transport, she was the most likely to end up shot and by the look on her face she was aware of it. To her credit she did hide it well, though the facade wasn't going to last forever. 

Again the APC rocked violently, "Listen, just stay in the center of the road...." Bright stated, the tone of her voice betraying her dwindling patients with Jegora. He had once heard someone describe Jegora as a 'jack of all trades', but as the old saying went "Jack of all trades, master of none" which his current actions gave merit to. Jager was just glad the man knew his way around the art of leading a squad, he had clearly learnt from the best.

He inhaled deeply again, letting the noxious smoke fill his lungs and throat. There were few things he found more relaxing do to whilst on a mission, a feeling which he accredited mostly to the deep, slow breathing that the habit required. Sure the chemicals played a part but in the end it was the notion of clearing ones head of distractions and savoring the silence. Like the cigarettes themselves, silence was a commodity that was hard to come by on a battlefield. Unlike cigarettes, one could not simply bring silence with them. It was completely reliant on the surroundings and situation.

An extended hand broke Jager's zen like focus on smoking himself to an early death. Hond sat opposite him with his palm out and a 'Hook me up' expression on his face. Jager didn't play that way.

"I'm trying to find a nicer way of saying 'Not a chance', but the words aren't coming to me." Jager stated, temporarily removing the cigarette from its position between his lips. Hond dropped back in his seat and mumbled something that sounded in a similar vein to 'Tight-ass'. Jager replied with a shrug as he returned the cigarette and took a drag,

"What... so I'm an asshole for not letting kids smoke?, Next time bring your own.". Hond replied with an extended middle finger and a sneer, neither phasing Jager in the slightest. Unfortunately Hond reminded Jager of a younger version of himself, and that meant that the kid was a survivor. It would take more then a botched landing and a suicidal planetary strike to kill either of them. Though unlike him, Hond lacked the pinash and suave nature of his squads second in command. But from where Jager sat, what the kid lacked in style he sure made up for in prepubescent angst. 

A gentle tap on the shoulder broke his train of thought, "Sergeant, do you mind putting that out?" The odd request prompting him to cock his head to the side. Immediately he recoiled in horror, his hand flapping comically around his holster revolver. The action getting alot less laughs then he thought it would...

tough crowd.

Mai sat with a confused expression on feline features, a look that was mimicked by those around her. Jager quickly collected himself,

"Sorry, for a minute there I forgot you were a giant cat"

Her expression immediately changed from confusion to disdane. Nothing silenced a room quite like xenophobia. That awkward, heavy feeling in the air as those present pondered how they would respond. In truth however, he didn't hate her... he just didn't trust her. A trait he picked up as a child. Being stuck on a moisture farm with rarely any daily contact with the outside world made a person cautious around strangers of their own race, more so around beings that broke from the norm. In this case, giant cats. 

"I take that as a no?"

Jager smirked and exhaled "No chance in this lifetime I'm letting an over-grown kitten tell me when I can and can't smoke."

Hond lent forwards in an attempt to stick up for Mai. Jager didn't give him the chance as his attention jumped from one to the other,

"Don't you start, preppy. Those contact lenses may scare the piss-ants in the mess hall but it'll take more then that to scar-"

"Luth!" His squad leader barked, cutting his sentence off like a head in a guillotine. The other two went silent as both he and Jegora locked themselves into a staring contest. If either backed down they'd be seen as weak, neither were going to allow that to happen.

"JEGORA!" Bright cried out as she attempted to avert the disaster. Both men broke their focus as the transport collective gaze shifted to Bright. By then it was too late to avoid it. The transport cut across the intersection without a moments hesitation, the brazen act causing its path to cross with a light armor patrol and across the bow of their light tank.
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Garryll Gates
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Garryll Gates
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 20, 2009 10:46:36 AM     View the profile of Garryll Gates 

The fireteam wiped the blood off their boots and got ready for the last push – the last Arial Missile System was within their grasp. Unfortunately, this one looked to be the toughest nut to crack.

“How about it, boys and girls?” Gates asked the two soldiers as they readied ammo.

“How about what? Sir?” asked Kestrel, racking the slide back. “If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Think we can take the last gun by ourselves?” Gates asked. “Y’know, one more tally to rack up on my let’s-see-how-much-scum-I-can-kill-in-one-go list?”

“I know of no such list,” Reese replied, signaling his readiness. “Uh, sir.”

“What, you don’t keep tallies?” asked Garryll. The two soldiers shook their heads mutely. The ASL shrugged. “Whatever, let’s just call the boss.”

Gates typed into his datapad’s comm. “Ace, this is King,” Gates said into the mic.

“Gates, quit screwing around. We still have a job to do,” came Tanus’ voice over the comm. “I see you got the Intel reports on the last AMS.”

“Yessir. I don’t like one fireteam’s odds.”

“Agreed. I’ll take my boys and sweep the gun, you take yours and draw their fire,” Tanus ordered.

“I live to play bait,” Gates replied, and shut the comm. off.

He stowed the datapad back into his pack and the three troopers started towards their last target. After only a couple minutes’ run, they again came upon the curve of the building. Gates waved them into a long, narrow ditch, practically a trench in depth.

Gates fell in first and swore viciously. “Sewage,” he whined. The other two snorted back laughter and much more carefully dropped in. They crouched down low in the sewage, eyes watering in the stench. “Sir, this sucks,” Reese gasped.  “I can barely breathe.”

Gates swore again and tapped the comm. “Tanus, we’re in position.”

“Copy. We wait for your distraction.” The comm. crackled off.

Gates blinked to clear the tears out of his eyes and clambered to the lip of the trench, SLAR out in front of him, eye glued to the scope.

“Let’s see…here we are. AMS, check. Door guard, check. Ten security, check. Ooh, look at this. Sandbag-defended E-WEB. Two guys. That is arrogant,” Garryll muttered to his squadmates. “I’ll go for the gun, you guys cover me. I’ll pick him off first, at least.”

“I’m overjoyed to be part of the planning process, sir,” Reese replied.

Gates patted him on the head and looked back down the scope. The E-WEB gunner still was staring starkly and loyally out into the distance. Gates put him out of his boredom with one shot. The sniper round tore through the air, and everyone within a hundred feet heard it. All eyes turned to the shooter, who proceeded to put another round right into the assistant gunner for the mounted weapon.

New Republic soldiers raised their shoulder arms to firing position to cut down the moron now streaking right at them, pumping shots from his rifle on the run. Little did they see half of his seemingly erratic, running shots actually found targets, and dropped a couple men.

Reese and Kestrel popped up from the ditch and started spraying and praying. Dozens of high-caliber slugs tore down range and splattered noisily on steel walls. Gates dove behind the sandbags and looked back at the two Blackjacks spraying. Reese looked at him and Gates squinted.

“You…are…”he muttered, reading the soldier’s lips, “a…total…dumbass.” Gates grinned, and gave him a thumbs up with his left hand.

An enemy laser blast burned down the palm of the hand, and nearly took most of the extended finger off.

“Shit,” Gates muttered, adrenaline still pumping so heavily he could barely feel it. Anyway, the wound was cauterized, so at least he wasn’t bleeding. He rolled over the sandbags, shoved a dead body out of the way and turned the gun, pointing it at the exposed guards on the front door. They ran for cover and he mowed them down, the powerful turret ripping one man in half. The guards near the Arial dove for cover, but not before Gates nailed another one with the E-WEB. “Tanus, now would be a good time.”

Finally, the cavalry arrived. Tanus and Alater leapt onto the platform, Tank and Semaj on their heels, and tore a hole right through the inexperienced guards. It was simply a massacre, the guards caught between a rock and a really hard place.

Tanus tossed a thermal detonator down the tube and the squad re-united. Gates wrapped up his injury, now feeling dizzy with pain. Alater tossed him a tube of painkillers. It hit him in the head. Once he'd managed to down a couple, he could at least see straight.

The SL moved quickly back to the hangar. They practically sprinted, getting as far away from the skirmish as possible to both contact the PC and get their powerful support weapons and armor. Along the way, they heard four distinct explosions, the detonators exploding and taking the Arial Systems with them.

Within a couple minutes they’d retraced their steps and climbed back into their transport. Gates got himself some better medical attention and the rest of the squad cracked open the hidden compartments. Tanus spun up the comm. to Command, foot tapping a beat on the metal grate in the cockpit.
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 20, 2009 11:10:53 AM     View the profile of Angel 
"Again with the alarms!"

Ruron Singta, Captain of the MC-80 Cruiser Liberty covered his highly sensitive Sulluston ears with his tiny hands. It had been the second time in less than an hour the alarms went off. The first time, the head of the station's defense personnel had called it off as an error caused by the unexplained loss of half the station's turbolasers. Shrugging it off as yet another malfunction on the Cardan-V Class spacestation, Ruron had returned his attention to the ever growing collection of miniature durasteel models he assembled.

As his hand strayed towards the comlink on his desk, it inexplicably crackled to life. The captain of the guard's voice came through loud and panicked. "SIR! ALL TURBOLASERS ARE DOWN!"

The tiny Sulluston dropped the model he was holding, the clang of the metal rebounding off the desk causing his ears further pain. "What? How is that possible? We put in redundancy for a reason!"

Ruron's response gave the captain enough time to compose himself and bring his voice under control. "It was sabotage sir! We found the second console completely destroyed." The captain's voice choked a bit before adding his final words. "We also found many of my guards killed and hidden."

Ruron's mind raced. Sabotage...Alfonso is going to use this to take my vessel away... Quickly pulling up the embarkation/disembarkation logs for the station on the recessed console in his desk, he scrolled through the logs to find the most recent arrivals.

"The transport that landed a few hours ago...dud they show ID?" He demanded through the comlink.

The captain of the guard hesitated slightly as he pulled up the records. "Negative sir, they were new and said they had forgotten their ID."

"YOU IDIOT! WHAT SORT OF BRAIN DEAD PEOPLE DO WE HIRE HERE! FIND THEM AND KILL THEM NOW!" Ruron rarely got this heated, in fact, he had almost never lost his temper before. But now, with facing the loss of his command because of the stupidity of those put under him by Eriadu's government, he flew into a rage. Sweeping his arm across his desk, he scattered the models arrayed before him. X-wings, B-wings, TIEs and cargo ships flew across the room, pinking lightly on the floor; paint canisters splashed their contents on the walls, chairs, and viewports.

Half of his mind wanted to hunt down the captain and rip him limb from limb, so blind was his rage. His hand was already drifting towards the grip of his service blaster strapped to the holster on his hip...when his comlink beeped again and a different voice came through.


"You just figured that out!?" Ruron snapped back without even knowing with whom he was speaking.

"No sir, this is different! Three assault shuttles dropped out of hyperspace near the station and landed in the main docking bay!" The voice answered. Ruron finally recognized it as one of the supervisors on the command deck. "Without the turbolasers we had nothing to repel them with!"

The blind rage gave way to abject fear. He had allowed the enemy to completely subvert his defenses, and now the station was being invaded. Without a doubt, a capital ship of some sort would soon drop out of hyperspace and lay waste to the fang-less space station. Keying the comlink still clutched tightly in his hand, he rose his XO on the docked Liberty

"Rouse Echo, Charlie and Delta teams and have them double time to the station's docking bay." He commanded. "And rouse the pilots, we need them launched ASAP." Without waiting for a response, Ruron slumped into his chair and slowly rubbed his head...

*          *            *            *


Angel's attention snapped from Rizzit's quip to the commtech sitting at his console a scant 10 feet away. "Yes?" He answered.

Snapping a salute, the tech continued. "Our squads from the 48th Battalion report that they have successfully landed on the space station. The turbolasers were deactivated on schedule by Paladin."

"Good, raise their Squad Leader on the ship's comm system." Angel inwardly beamed with pride. His squads were doing their jobs to perfection, and the opening stages of the invasion were going off without a hitch. The rookie commander inside him was dancing for joy, but the experienced veteran soldier still held reservations. He knew that this was exactly the point where things would start to go horribly wrong.

The commtech had no sooner raised Luckystar on her subspace comlink when the bridge was filled with the piercing noise of blaster bolts, death screams, and curses. Of course, here's where things go wrong...

"Sergeant?!" Angel called over the link.

"Yessir?" Luckystar's strained voice replaced the sounds of battle over the speakers, granting a welcome reprieve from the deafening noise. "We're a little busy right now."

"Understood, check your datapad as soon as possible, I'm sending your next objective now."

"Roger tha...ALAN ON YOUR SIX!" The link went dead with more blaster shots, and Angel could only hope that Paladin could break through whatever resistance they had brought down upon themselves. Making the finishing touches to the briefing, he sent it off to Luckystar.


PALADIN - Second Objective
Mission: Disable or destroy Cardan V-Class space station Targus

Objective 2: Retrieve Armor/Weapons from docking bay and proceed aboard the MC-80 Mon Cal Cruiser Liberty. Once onboard, prevent the NR's fighters from launching by destroying them, killing the pilots, or disabling the docking bay.

Armor/Weapons: Standard Squad Equipment plus one personal choice weapon.

Details: Taking down the turbolasers has allowed all three squads from the 48th Battalion to land safely. They have brought additional ammunition for your squad. First squad (Alpha) will accompany Paladin to the MC-80 Cruiser and assist in the objective. Bravo and Omega squads will continue the invasion of the space station.

Expected Opposition:The Liberty houses three squads of elite commandos, all of which have been dispatched to the station's docking bay to repel the invaders. Once through them, the MC80 will have standard NR trained troops, but their numbers will be low because the ship is docked and most are on leave. The pilots are also decently trained in ground combat.

Objective Bonus: Preventing the launch of the fighters will allow the Dominion to microjump into the system. Its fighters will then join the battle against the Liberty and Targus.

Completion in less than 10 posts will result in no fighters being launched.

Completion in 11-15 posts will result in 1/4 of the fighters being launched.

Completion in 15+ posts will result in 1/2 the fighters being launched.

Platoon Commander - Storm Platoon | Tactical Officer - Army High Council
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[This message has been edited by Angel (edited May 20, 2009 11:16:48 AM )]
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  RE: The Perfect Storm - May Competition
May 20, 2009 12:18:17 PM     View the profile of Jegora 

At first Jegora could only watch as the APC he was trying to drive literally crushed the speeder underneath its massive wheels. It took a smack on the head from Bright for him to finally regain his senses. Glancing around, Jegora noticed that second speeder had been following the first, and that it had been far enough behind the first speeder that it had managed to avoid getting smashed by Jegora‘s vehicle.. Grabbing the controls, Jegora yanked the armored personnel carrier around as best he could in order to face the oncoming threat. He doubted very much if the small speeder posed much of a danger to the large APC, but on the other hand the smaller craft was armed with a heavy laser cannon. It was better not to take any chances.

“Someone gonna shoot it?” he yelled over the squad channel. A few mumbles answered him.

Lukas was the only one who would give Jegora a clear response. “It would seem we can’t get it to work,” he said, his voice sounding only slightly strained. Jegora, on the other hand, swore loudly before slamming the APC’s throttle into the full open position.

The large, armored vehicle leaped forward, directly towards the oncoming speeder. The driver of the craft, and his gunner, realized what Jegora had planned, albeit too late. They tried to bail out of their craft, but by then the APC was upon them. Literally. Jegora grinned slightly as the APC attempted to climb up and over the speeder, driving it into the ground with a crushing finality that was both satisfying and enjoyable. Well, it was enjoyable for the occupants of the APC, anyways. Jegora decided it might not have been so enjoyable if he had been in the speeder at the time of its demise.

Grinning wolfishly underneath his helmet, Jegora looked over at Bright, who was shaking her head slowly from side to side. “See, I told you I had it under control,” he told his copilot, eliciting a rather nasty glare.

Sensing that now wasn’t the best time for humor, Jegora shrugged and turned back to the controls of the APC. He resumed their journey towards the capitol building, moving slowly at first to ensure that there was no damage done to the APC, and then faster as he became certain that the vehicle was still in good condition.

“Get that bloody turret working,” Jegora told his squad mates. Glancing around and the city sliding by, Jegora grimaced at all the opportunities for an ambush. “We might need it here before too long.”

One of the male troopers said, “Willco, boss.” Jegora couldn’t recognize who said it, but that wasn’t important. What was important, at least to Jegora, was that whoever had said it had called him boss. Truth be told, it was a rather eye opening revelation for Jegora. Never before had he been the ‘boss’, the squad leader. Now he was, and the full weight of the responsibility he carried hit him again in full force, along with the anxiety he had suffered earlier. It caused him to go numb for several seconds, imagining the ten thousand ways he could screw up badly enough to get someone hurt-- or worse.

A light touch on his shoulder snapped Jegora out of his reverie. He glanced over to see Bright’s hand resting on his upper arm. “Are you O.K.?” she asked quietly.

Jegora nodded slightly and did his best to push away all the fears and doubts that had suddenly assailed him. “Then what’s wrong?” the sergeant next to him continued.

He had to think on that one. A thousand thoughts were running through his mind, and none of them seemed to want to cooperate. Jegora knew that he was capable of leading this squad, and he knew that the squad members themselves were skilled enough that even if he didn’t make all the best decisions they would come out on top. But he also knew how fickle life could be, especially when one was engaged in a risky military operation. The last thing he wanted was for someone to get hurt or die because he failed to make the right decision.

He couldn’t tell Brightstar any of this, of course, but the intuitive sergeant guessed it all anyways. Patting Jegora’s arm, Bright looked away and said, “Just remember that sometimes not making a decision is worse than making the wrong decision.”

Jegora looked over at his copilot and smiled a little bit behind his helmet. She was right, of course. Jegora resolved that he would do his best to make informed and proper decisions, but he also promised himself that he would make the decisions. There would be no second guessing, no more doubts. He wasn’t perfect, and he wouldn’t try to be. And if-- no, when --someone got injured or killed, he would have to deal with it. That was part of the job, and he would learn to cope, as every squad leader before him had learned to cope. Feeling infinitely better about himself, Jegora brought his attention back to the road ahead of him.

Just in time to see a hover tank speeding towards them.

Keying his throat mic, Jegora issued a quick set of orders over the squad channel. “You people got that cannon working yet?” he asked.

“Aye, almost done,” Hond responded.

Jegora smiled again, but this time it didn’t reach his cold, hard eyes. “Good,” he said. “We’re gonna need it.”
Jegora Fal
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