When last we played....
is under attack by a ship bearing the Fysar name of Hy'sak Viscari
. Crippled and barely able to fly, the Nemesis
is certainly in no condition to fight. It looks like, at any moment, the enemy could launch boarding parties and try to wipe out the ship's crew from within. The REKT crew is scrambling to make the best effort they can to keep their boat afloat.
Link to last post, if anyone needs it
Continuing what came before...
- Bob Karther is sitting in his CASKET's cockpit, waiting to deploy.
- Brom Keegan Brom is currently on the battle bridge.
- Buck Roberts is suited up in the hangar, ready to drunk-drive his CASKET.
- Caleb Moore, recently woken up, encountered Danald Schwaizenaiga in a corridor, along with a group of engineers.
- Frank Foster is in a dangerous, unprotected engineering area without a spacesuit.
- Gene Weber is suited up in the hangar. They're not just crutches, they're space crutches.
- Ishmael Mahmood is suited up in the hangar, ready to try to squeeze into his CASKET.
- Marina Sukava has just received a bundle of her gear in the armory, and is ready to defend against potential boarders.
- Saoirse Fri'leth is currently on the battle bridge.
- Vynkor is sitting in her CASKET's cockpit, waiting to deploy.
In the bowels of the Nemesis's engines, the entire walkway Frank is standing upon sways ominously in response to the crack of a railcannon round hitting the hull; an ear-shattering cacaphony of rending steel chases away thought. Frank nearly drops the supply crate as he staggers against the railing, a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach. Below, there is nothingness - only darkness, and he nearly blanches at the thought of tumbling down into the abyss. Summoning his courage, he grits his teeth and keeps moving forwards.
Ahead, Antez is standing in an open doorway, desperately waving and shouting. Frank can't hear a word he's saying. Is his mind muting the words, or are they running out of air? His chest feels constricted; he's unable to breathe as he stumbles the last few dozen steps to the end. There's a smell of something burning - is it smoke? But where's the fire?
So close to salvation, the floor shakes; Frank trips and falls. Hands appear, groping in the darkness, and pull him forwards into the next room.
Antez dodges out of the doorway, and the doors snap shut behind him. He crouches in front of Frank's face, seemingly speaking, and through the murk Frank is finally able to hear him. "Frank!
Come on, don't do this... Frank, say something!"
Squeezing his eyes shut, Frank blinks and mutters, "Repair duty sounded better than fighting."
Resisting the urge to sigh with relief, Antez laughs instead and claps him on the back, before heading to a locker on the far side of the room. "Yeah, that's what I thought, too. Big surprise, eh?"
The former janitor nods, still trying to collect his wits. "What happened?"
"Hull breach," Antez explains, coming back with two sets of gear. "Par for the course, but we got caught in a bad place. Here's a suit; you'll need it in case of another."
Frank waves it away, trying to catch his breath and rid himself of the shakes. "I'll put it on in a minute," he assures the man. "I just need a moment."
After staring disapprovingly for a moment, Antez clicks his tongue. "Don't be long then," he warns, and starts suiting up himself. A moment later, he leaves the little room, heading out for supplies.
Before long, Frank has calmed down enough to take out his PDA, setting up a link to Caleb as he jogs to the armory, hoping to pick up some gear - just in case.
Danald Schwaizenaiga eyes Caleb up and down, after delivering a rousing (if incomprehensible) speech. "Look like yahve hald a ranch baffor innit aiden mite?"
Caleb looks at him for a moment, then hesitantly says, "No, I really haven't. Pretty sure not."
The man takes the wrench out of his mouth and plops it into Caleb's hands. "You have now, mate. I'm gathering up crew to head topside to engineering, sector C-14. We've got to seal off the breach before there are any more casualties. You in?"
"Fukcing hell, this is bad," Caleb mutters, staring at the tool he turns over in his hands. The ship is already barely holding together, and now there's more
hull breaches? I don't like the way he phrased it,
he thinks. "Any more casualties."
Glancing around at the other engineers, he sees most of them are crouched on the floor, preoccupied with checking their equipment.
Suddenly, a strong resolve overtakes him to assist his newfound allies - no way is he letting anyone die on his watch. He tightens his fist around the wrench Danald has handed him. "I'm in. I need a suit, though. Know where I can grab one?"
Danald gives the new recruit a friendly clap on the back. "Knew you'd be with us, mate. Good man here, call 'em as I see 'em. Ay, Redrick!" he calls out towards the dozen engineers behind him. One of them half-stands and raises a hand to identify himself, to which Danald orders, "Get this man a suit! He's coming with."
Redrick nods and opens the wall locker beside him, eyeballing Caleb for the right size of suit. Once he's found one, he tosses it over; Caleb catches it in his arms and immediately starts suiting up.
"A'ight gents - and ladies," Danald calls out, producing a second wrench from his toolbelt and waving it for attention. "We're headed up to C-14. Each of us knows their task. We get in, we patch the place, we get the hell out. I'm lookin' for top efficiency here - all the top! Ay - Nigel - you got somethin' to say, eh?"
Nigel, a younger-looking fellow, looks quite nervous as he queries, "They hit C-14 once - what if it gets struck again? What if we get spaced?"
Danald gives a grim smile, and speaks softly. "Not our concern, mate. We have a job to do and we'll damn well do it, spaced or no. This ship's survival depends on our craftsmanship - are you gonna be the man to let her down?" He levels the wrench straight at Nigel's face.
"'At's right. Step to, mate; let's get rolling. Caleb, you suited?"
Caleb, fastening his helmet, nods. "I'm ready."
"Gather the gear and let's move out then!" Saying this, Danald puts the wrench between his teeth and grabs a supply kit; Caleb observes this and grabs some supplies as well. With that, the little band starts moving at a brisk pace down the flickering corridor, while the floor rumbles beneath their feet.
Before he's walked more than a dozen paces, Caleb's PDA rings. One-handed, he pulls it out and checks. It's Frank. The first thought in his mind is whether the man is okay. "Hey, Caleb?"
Frank's voice sounds shaky. "I was kept down in engineering - where should I go?"
The ex-soldier replies swiftly. "We're putting a team together to head up to C-14 to patch a hull breach. We could use the help."
Frank groans from the other end. "C-14? I was just there!"
"Well... are you going back, then?"
"Yeah, I'll meet you there,"
he replies, and closes comms.
Caleb speaks up, calling out to the front of the column. "Danald, I think we've got another guy coming, name's Frank. He's good people!"
"Ay, we kin yiss alla hap we can get, good anya fur rickertin!" Danald shouts back past the wrench in his mouth. Though his words are indistinct, they're clearly spoken in approval.
As her canopy closes, Vynkor starts up her CASKET's control systems, casting a death glare out through her canopy at the stragglers. They're busy getting into their ships as well.
In his ship, Bob settles Jimmy carefully next to him in the seat, strapping him in, and then leans back into the chair, feeling cold clicks beneath his skin as the PSI Unit extrudes its tendrils. "Don't worry, Jimmy," he whispers softly. "Bob protect you."
Buck is preoccupied with trying to fit back into his suit. He could perhaps use losing a few pounds in the midsection, but honestly, it isn't worth giving up booze and good food. As he struggles, he mutters sideways to Gene, "I thought this trip was gonna be boring. Slimy bastards owe me a nuke," Then, after muttering a bit more, he raises he voice and calls out to one of the nearest technicians, "Hey, you! Pack me a nuke! I'm turnin' that squid death ship into a pile o' nuclear slime! -- And where the hell's Brom and Frank? They punked out on us or somethin'?"
"Can't do that, cap'," the girl calls back. "We don't have any nukes ready! Those things take time to build!"
Grumbling about poor service, Buck finishes strapping up his gear and climbs up the stepladder into his CASKET, taking a good swig from his bottle as he goes.
Gene hasn't said a word; he's too busy trying to fit into his own gear - a struggle accentuated by - and highlighting - the fact that he's still on crutches. Eventually he gets suited up and starts towards his ship.
Down the way, there's a good deal of commotion regarding Mekkin, Anabais and Crank on whether or not they'll be permitted to fly in the first place. The argument against
is mostly that they've only seen a handful of missions and anyone else staffing the hangar is probably a better pilot. The argument for
is mostly Anabais, who strong-arms her way through the agitated engineers before anyone can stop her and climbs into the cockpit of a CASKET - not her own, but she doesn't seem to give a shit.
Meanwhile, Ishmael realizes that nothing has yet been installed on his CASKET - no special custom weapons or anything of the sort. He tries to hail a nearby engineer to ask for a bubble blower, but his request gets shot down without much ceremony - specifically when another heavy round smashes against the side of the hangar. Reluctantly, he comes to terms with the fact that on such short notice, he'll just have to make do with what he has as-is.
"Lieutenant!" Vynkor radios. "What are our priority targets?"
Lieutenant Cho chirps snappily. "Bridge says we need you guys out there right now, so if you're not suited up and ready to go, I'm really sorry, but there's nothing I can do!
"Vynkor, Gene, Anabais, Ishmael, Buck, and Bob. Hmm, down to only six. ...but it's okay! Don't worry, you'll do great! Take off and get ready to launch!"
"Shut the fukc up and just give us our orders,"
Anabais growls; her CASKET lifts off the hangar deck, much to the vexation of the engineers nearby.
"Right, well... I have very limited intel. But! From what little I've seen so far, I'm assuming they have a TC-29 model anti-particle velocity shield, so your best bet is to take off and keep in a tight formation while you try to evade their fire. They'll have their eyes on our launch tube, so I'm going to route you around the back of the ship and underneath. ...That means now! Take off and get moving, and stay in formation until fired on!"
And so five more half-repaired CASKETs take off from the hangar floor and jet it towards exit into the launch tube. As they approach, the dense blast doors beyond roll haltingly to the side, making way for them.
"Their shields will block your railguns and lasers, but not the slower velocity of your CASKETs,"
the FTO warns as they accelerate, proceeding at full clip to the second set of blast doors. "You need to get behind their shields, and then hit their boarding cannons with everything you have, okay? If we can keep them from boarding us, we can stretch the fight out long enough to figure out a plan. You just have to get past their point defense first, and - Oh!"
Cho cries out suddenly, as another powerful railcannon round rattles the old battlecarrier's hull.
Saoirse hears Cho's chipper voice echoing from the base of the battle bridge. She hears people shouting about the boarding cannons. She hears a confirmation that the acting captain is in communication with the enemy vessel, and she decides it's time to move. She checks her PDA for the nearest boarder defense group. Then, after turning to Brom, Saoirse suddenly realizes he's not suited up. "Why the iffrean don't you have your gear yet?" she asks incredulously.
He finally seems to notice she exists. "Ah, greetings Saoirse!" he booms. "I of course came here to boost the morale of the bridge crew! Couldn't have then trembling while we're attacked."
She stares at him for a moment, and then says, "Go get it. And then," holding out her PDA, "meet me here."
Brom nods. "Right, I'll go and fetch my equipment. Try to hang back until I return." He gives her a most dashing smile over his shoulder as he heads toward the armory at a brisk walk. Saoirse watches him leave, and then dons her helmet and locks it, sealing the suit. The electronics hum faintly as it powers up, the earpieces clicking into place. Then, she exits the bridge as well (on crutches) muttering angrily in Irish about terrible medics.
As she leaves the armory, Sukava looks at the note attached to her helmet in disgust. Is this their apology for stealing my old hands? Do they think they can bribe me?
Extra creds? She'd rather have her old prosthetics. However, she resigns herself to suiting up and heads down towards the hangar.
Behind her, though she doesn't notice, Frank is already waiting in line for his gear.
Something a lot harder not to notice is Brom Keegan, strolling his way past the line in a truly grandiose fashion. "Mr. Hoffman! I, Brom Keegan, unmatched marksman and hero, have returned!"
"Get in line!" someone shouts at him.
"No time for chit-chat now! I require the gear I had on my last mission. If the enemy attempts to board our ship, they're going to get more than they bargained for!"
Frank turns around and frowns at Brom. Clearly, getting knocked unconscious during the last mission didn't hurt his ego at all. Fortunately, Brom eventually gives in, and lowers himself to the terrible degradation of having to stand in line with the normal, ordinary people.
The nearest Boarder Elimination Group stands at a nearby intersection, and their captain, a middle-aged woman, is giving a well-memorized lecture. They all stand at military attention. "Mobility!" she says, loudly, as she struts before them. "Mobility is key! When one of those groups hit, we dispatch as one
. No jostling! If someone gets in our way, we run them over if we have to. You hold the line
." The lecture is surely one the assembled BEGrs have heard a dozen times over. Saoirse, on the other hand, has not, so as she approaches, she listens intently. "Mobility! Keep in step. If they board the ship in multiple groups, we have to be prepared to tackle all
of them if we need to! Keep the ship's layout fresh in your mind at all times. Always
know where you are!
We are of one mind, of one
body - when we move, we do it by! the! book!
Mobility, mobility, mobility!
And if we're ever caught off-guard, we - ... Wait... Who are you?" She halts mid-sentence, pointing a gloved finger in Saoirse's direction.
"Saoirse Fri'leth, reporting for duty," Saoirse says, then makes an attempt to salute. Tricky to do, holding crutches. Half a dozen eyes look her up and down in scrutiny.
The commander looks uneasy. "You're, ah... one of the new recruits, are you not? From cryo."
One of the assembled soldiers speaks up. "Almory, she can't follow us on those crutches. There's no place here for a cripple."
At this, the commander instantly snaps, "You're out of line, Jefferson. Can it." The soldier mumbles a "yes lieutenant" and straightens. Then, to Saoirse, "You can watch and learn. If you get in our way, we'll shoot you. If you can't keep up, we'll leave you behind. Those are my terms. Do you accept?"
Saoirse raises her chin and bites back any anger she might be feeling; she'll show them what true grit is like. "I accept," she echoes, standing to attention with the others.
"Good." Without any other display of recognition, the commander turns back to her previous occupation. "Mobility, mobility, mobility
," she repeats herself. "And if we're ever caught off-guard -"
"BROMMMMM KEEEGANNNN IS HERE!" someone roars - a very particular, loud "someone" that can only be... well, of course... Brom Keegan. "Master assassin, legendary hero and acclaimed teacher! So long as I'm here we can hold the enemy off! They made a serious mistake by attacking our ship, and if they so much as think about boarding it, we will make them rue the day they were born! Now who's with me?!"
He is greeted with a stunned silence. Saoirse greets him with embarrassment and a facepalm. Several moments pass before Lt. Almory, already tired of the interruptions, flatly replies, "Get in line."
Sukava arrives in the hangar, finds someone that looks like they're in charge, and asks where she should go to get his CASKET.
The response she gets makes her want to kill someone. "They've already launched! We don't have time to get any more ready."
Outside the Nemesis
, the squadron of CASKETs curves in tight formation about their mothership's hull, staying out of sight until they reach the center of the ship. Then, at a command from Cho, they turn upwards, curving over the top of the Nemesis
. At Anabais's direction, they twirl about, spinning their formation, making it as difficult as possible for the enemies to get a clear shot - as the anti-aircraft point-defense rounds come arcing in.
"Don't return fire!"
Cho orders with urgency. "If you do, their shield will harden and it'll stop your entrance. Wait until you're beneath it and then -"
"Let us do our job, glitter-bitch, and don't fukcing interfere,"
Anabais interrupts with a growl. "Bob, Vynkor, Buck, Ishmael, Gene - split yourselves up. I'm going to strafe their launch tubes and cause as much damage as I can, but you shits need to target their two broadside railcannons before they cause any more hull breaches. Now fukcing LISTEN because I'm only going to say this once. On my mark, I'll - "
Abruptly, her comms fall silent as a series of point defense rounds rip their way across her CASKET.
"Danald Schwaizenaiga. Glad to have another hand, mate," the man says, offering a brisk handshake to Frank. "Everyone present, check your seals before I vent us out. My man Redrick here is gonna lead half of you to fix some o' the leaky fuel pipes. You follow his lead. Antez, you're with him. The rest of you, you're with me. We're gonna patch this old girl up safe and sound, no mistake." With his helmet on, there's no hope of holding a wrench between his teeth, so he's remarkably clear.
Frank checks his helmet's seals, and gives a frightened nod at Caleb. Caleb holds his gear in his hands with uncertainty. He'd never really done any real repair work, but he figured it was never too late to start learning. Soldiers ought to be useful off the battlefield as well, after all.
Redrick - a grizzled man with a bald head and full, deep red beard - is giving out instructions to his team. Neither he nor Danald have clearly claimed either of the REKT inmates.
"We all set?" Danald asks. When there are no objections, Danald depressurizes the room. "A'ight, gents, to the breach!"
"I'm all right,"
Anabais grumbles in response to her team's worried inquiries. "Nothing vital got hit. Focus on the fukcing objective."
"Shield breach in three... two... one... breach!"
Cho calls out.
" Anabais orders, breaking off and splitting away wildly from the twirling formation. "Let's roast these fukcing shits!"
The hull of the Hy'sak Viscari
, a rather jagged, alien-looking ship in itself, sweeps in curves beneath the paths of the five REKT fighters. Up ahead, the first of two main broadside railcannons looms. It's hard to imagine doing much damage to it with their puny weaponry. As they approach, they notice something odd, however - the railcannons have ceased firing.
At this moment, an announcement echoes across the comms. "Captain Havor Malluk here. Everyone, stand down. I've negotiated an alliance with our new friends here. They're going to escort us to Fuhodo Station and defend us from hostiles. I repeat, stand down."
((this announcement is heard throughout the ship.))
Anabais curses excessively.