Games Forums 2075: Stormy Waters Song of Patterns Jungle Drums IC

Viewing 20 posts - 621 through 640 (of 794 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #17527
    AriaAria
    Participant

    [Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan]

    The portal from the metaplanar chasm spat them out in to a vast geological impossibility…with a soul churning wrench, those that stepped through found themselves in a huge underground cavern lit by amorphous red light and wreathed in forbidding shadows. Along the floor and walls a city spread before them, the architectural inspiration clearly of Aztech origins but old…so very old, as if this was an ancient forerunner of that empire that was old in its own right. A stepped pyramid dominated the centre of the hall…immense columns reaching up from it to support the impossible ceiling only dimly perceived overhead. The matrix was just noise and technological sensors were providing conflicting readings as if something in the air was interfering with their function…and the background count was horrendous, the air tainted by blood and death…

    It was an archaeological gold mine…one someone seemed to be fighting over as they could clearly hear the sporadic burst of small arms fire and the occasional crump of a grenade detonating not too far from where they had stepped through…rather than the central pyramid the focus seemed to be on a smaller obsidian stepped pyramid set to one side…

    Spoiler:
    BC is Aspected 12 and will be worse at the ritual site

    ***

    @Zen

    Even retrieving arrows from the fallen Zen’s supply was dwindling fast. He had managed to reuse some that had been fired back in his direction but they were vastly inferior to the carbon composite shafts of his own and the bow was as likely to shatter them on firing as it was to launch them back at the illusive fighters. Inch by inch he had made his way towards the obsidian pyramid and now he was in a small domestic scale building overlooking the open courtyard at the base of the pyramid. From this vantage point he could see a line of docile (drugged?) semi naked figures being led up the steep steps towards some sort of chamber near the top. Although the light was crap he could see from the tats that some of the victims seemed to be members of Alyce’s security detail…the warriors either side of the line were dressed similarly to the ritualistic garb of the Azzie priests he had seen on the trid but to his trained eye there were subtle differences that spoke of a divergence of culture somewhere in the dim and distant past.

    @Alyce

    Alyce slammed down beside Rhea against the side of a house to get her breath. The intensity of the conflict had diminished somewhat after the initial onslaught as their opposition were now considerably more wary of the firepower that Alyce’s crew could bring to bear. That wasn’t to say that the interlopers had the upper hand, far from it, they were scattered and comms were disabled, ammo was depleted, gone in some cases and they were cautiously preserving what they had, only taking a shot when certain of a kill. It was gruelling…the warriors they faced knew the city intimately and could strike from almost any direction, a guerrilla fight with low tech weapons but crippling magic. Across the small courtyard she was crouched in Alyce watched as Milo helped Adel and Caroline in to the relative cover of a dry fountain. All told Alyce knew where less than a third of her original party were and the responsibility was weighing heavily on her. She could hear gun fire two, maybe three hundred meters from her position, the echoes made it difficult for even her sensors to judge – something seemed to be messing with their effectiveness – they might as well be on the other side of the world for all the good she could do from here. There was little choice but to push on to the obsidian pyramid and hope that others would do the same…whatever they were here for was there…

    #30

    #17535
    MercyMercy
    Participant

    Sian
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Sian looks over at her friends as if to ask a question, then nods. She is concerned that this portal will take her to yet another planet in another place and she has so many things left undone here on this one. Still, the alternative would seem to be a dire one. She steels herself as she stops sustaining the Acid Aura spell and steps through the portal.

    And is slammed by an aspected background count that seems greater than anything she has felt in some time. She curses in her native tongue as her eyes water from the combined experience of crossing the portal and the background count. She manages to step sideways before going to her knees so that her companions can come through without bumping into her, and takes a look around. What at first had sounded like angry insects going at each other can now be determined to be the sounds of gunfire and grenades. Her ears pick up machinegun fire and the occasional blast from at least one assault cannon. If they are not on Earth, then they are on another technically advanced planet.

    She rises from her knees, looking about, waiting to see if her comrades had decided to join her. Her first view of the terrain has her shaking her head. It is almost surreal, like an old painting of how some pyramid dwellers built their cities.

    Alyce
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Alyce plops down near Rhea and pants to catch her breath. She has been in many combat situations over the years, but nothing like this. ”Well, sister, this is one fragging horrible situation you let me drag you into, isn’t it? She cannot rely on her tech sensors much and has turned them off, but she can still rely on her own natural enhancements, which gives an advantage over most people. She listens as Rhea gets a very limited status report from her security team and can tell that her security chief is dismayed at the loss of life among her people. She reaches a hand out to touch her friend. ”I am sorry, dear, but I am glad that you are here with me. I shudder to think what this would be if you were not.” Alyce flexes her right arm a bit. ”Bloody hell. My arm has not hurt this much since……well, ever. I have lost count of the number of people, creatures, and things I have cut through and it is not over, yet.”

    Rhea manages to smile and nods. ”Do not worry about it, sister. I would rather be nowhere else. OK, status report. We have about fifteen effective soldiers here. Ammo is running low in the first Mule, but the arrival of the second one has given us a good shot in the arm in that area. We only have the one Reload drone left and it is working full time. The Mules and the two remaining Bumblebees give us a lot of firepower and Milo is still with us, so our heavy support is good. I assume that the only way out is forward, right?”

    At Alyce’s tired nod, Rhea gives several oral commands and runners head out to deliver them. At Alyce’s signal, the remaining team begins to leapfrog forward.

    274

    #17541
    Jack_SpadeJack_Spade
    Keymaster

    I stepped over the literal corpses of the innocents to reach the portal. Somehow that made me feel nostalgic and just a little bit nauseated.
    To my surprise we didn’t land inside a ritual circle but somewhere underground that I would have categorized as the filmset of a particularly cheesy adventure movie. Except that this was in fact a real pyramide and that the gunshots sounding around us were in fact real gunshots.
    Even more surprising was the strong matrix signal. With some disbelieve I said: “Funny thing, we didn’t move in time but quite a bit in space. Looks like we are in South America and in a warzone to boot.
    First order is to find out who is shooting whom and if we want to shoot at one or both factions.”

    #17549
    Adamuadamu
    Participant

    Al had shrugged and cracked his neck.

    “Geronimo, baby.”

    Not screamed. Just a quiet caress of sandpaper vocal cords.

    And whammo – he blinked a few times and got his bearings. He’d never thought there could be a cavern big enough to contain an entire city, so his first thought was that they were on yet another alternate reality, like Magical Mystery Island. But no, he knew they were on earth. Underground. Hell, he even knew how deep. Didn’t know how he knew. He just did. And then Shrike’s tech had located them in South America.

    And from there it all seemed pretty clear.

    “Amen ta makin’ some IDs afore we start a’life-takin’. But I can guess who we’s gon’ find here…this bein’ Latino Land an’ ol’ Al not bein’ no believer in coincidences. Remember, same folks as sent us ta Wyomin’ done sent another team…with the Mirror that LB mentioned…ta South America. Dollars ta doughnuts we’s gone find Alyce an’ Dreamy’s team here.” A particularly vicious exchange of small arms fire and personal munitions detonations punctuated his thought. “Or what’s left of ’em.”

    #17557
    MercyMercy
    Participant

    Sian
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Sian shakes her head again and looks over to Al. ”You think that is Alyce Krait out there in the ruins? That could make sense in some manner, I suppose. I recommend that we be a bit careful approaching any armed men, as we may not be able to identify her men if there are soldiers on both sides, especially since I can hear some pretty heavy weaponry.”

    She cocks her head and continues. ”It would seem that the heaviest gunfire is coming from the direction of that smaller pyramid. Perhaps we should head that way?”

    275

    #17562
    Jack_SpadeJack_Spade
    Keymaster

    “Yep, a splendid idea, let’s go where the gunfire is heaviest.” I replied with barely a hint of sarcasm. But of course she was right and I started moving in the direction.
    “As a compromise we could load SnS and Gel to disable without killing – or in a pinch, flechette will also do, provided our friends wear their armor.”

    #17566
    GilgaGilga
    Participant

    Zen watches in frustration how Adel is led along with other members of the expedition into the pyramid by the ancient warriors that proved to be a capable fighting force. He could get himself killed by raiding them, but there was only one of him. In AR he checked which of the party links is still active and then decided to risk message.

    >> Alice, Dream, Reha I am en route the Pyramid following a group of captured group members, but I lack the firepower to free them. I lost contact with Caroline and with the rest, this ritual did something to her magic I think.
    Can you help. I am currently unnoticed and plans to follow them hoping to find some way to stop their ritual.

    Sending a matrix message wasn’t the safest to do, but he couldn’t just give up.

    #17567
    Adamuadamu
    Participant

    “Well, I guess it’s a pinch then,” Al said, swapping a slug clip for buckshot on his shotgun. But it was his hunting rifle he kept in his hands. “Ol’ Al don’t pack no fake ammo.”

    Scanning the area around the black pyramid where the fighting seemed to be concentrated, he listened carefully. “Whoever’s down there’s got about the best fire discipline inna world, or else they’s runnin’ low on rounds. An’ unless I miss my guess, ya got firearms on jist one side o’ the battle – ya got salvos, but no audible returns or exchanges. Hnnh.”

    He hit Alyce’s code on his ‘link, but the thing was as dead as most of their other comms in here.

    “Reckon we’d best go check it out,” he said, disappearing silently into the shadows of a narrow forest path as if into thin air.

    #17585
    MercyMercy
    Participant

    Sian
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Sian nods at Al’s comment about the weapons fire. ”I do believe that you are right, Al, which begs the question of just who, or what, they are shooting at. I would suspect spirits, probably those created by using blood. Perhaps some type of ancient warriors as well?”

    She watches Al step off into the undergrowth and follows him, her mind already preparing for some sort of encounter ahead. She quickly loses sight of the man, but her enhanced hearing allows her to remain close. Shaking her head, Sian is surprised that she can still be surprised by the man.

    276

    #17593
    Jack_SpadeJack_Spade
    Keymaster

    I had pulled up the hood of my cloak and activated the RP coating to reduce my visibility.
    My matrix scan revealed an active commlink, so before it could vanish again I tried to tag it.

    Spoiler:
    Matrix Perception: 12d6t5 7
    Tag: 14d6t5 5
    Zen can resist with INT+Sleaze

    #17644
    GilgaGilga
    Participant
    Spoiler:
    resist tag: 15d6t5 6
    What happens on a tie?
    #17645
    Adamuadamu
    Participant

    Slinking amid the underbrush and darting through shadows between buildings, Al was making steady progress toward the thick of the fighting. The closer he got, the more it became apparent that all their initial theories had been correct. An armed paramilitary force was being persistently harrassed by an opposing force with primitive weaponry but reinforced magical assets.

    The approach was costing him, though. He felt like crap. All these jobs inevitably ended up somewhere that neither the voodoo gods nor She wanted to go, and this place was the worst yet. Worse even than that damned pyramid in Boston. His dogs were silent. Dead silent. He couldn’t help thinking that they were disgusted with him, having failed to make the sacrifice for his friend that they had made unhesitatingly for him. Back to the cool stone surface of some ancient building, he took deep breaths and forced the clouds and noise from his head as best he could. Yeah, they were still there. His patrons. And of course the Good Lord would go with him to hell and back. Al chuckled. Apparently, He had already accompanied halfway through that journey, just by seeing him here. Now to work on the getting back part.

    Someone tossed a bolt of lightning at a couple of guys in digital jungle camo. They dodged behind cover, cursing in Russian. That figured.

    Al realized that whoever was tossing all that magic around must be someone very bad – unless they were, what was the fancy word? Unless they were “attuned” to the darkness of this place, they could never pull that level of Satanism off. So aside from his guess about who the Russians were working for, he decided it was a free fire zone on whoever was slinging the spells.

    Or it would be if he could see any of them.

    He moved forward, still homing in on what sounded like a man-portable (well, troll-portable) assault cannon. Another hunch. The firing was sporadic. The natives had probably taken heavy losses from the modern firepower, and now were hemming the invaders in with harrassment and attrition. Al ducked stray bullets and stepped over dead bodies. There it was again, close. He squatted and did a quick-peek around a corner and yup, good old Milo. That was it. This had to her group. But he could wander around for days and not find her in this mess, not without help.

    He turned and whispered back to Sian that he’d confirmed this was Alyce’s party. She passed the message back to Shrike. Then Al waved his rifle around the corner to get the mammoth troll’s attention, then poked his face around, grinning like a wolf. The trolls eyebrows shot up and he started to open his mouth, but Al put a finger to his lips. Winked broadly, as if it was all a game. Then raised his palms in a question. The troll understood immediately and thrust a cucumber-sized finger to his rear and took up a covering position. Al nodded and dashed across the intervening space, not stopping but moving on past the troll and then jinking left. Crossed though the blown out back wall of a small outbuilding, and approaching its front entrance, heard women’s voices. One he knew for sure.

    He caught his breath, brushed himself off, and stepped out of the building as if he was on a Sunday Stroll in Hyde Park.

    “Heard ya might be in need o’ some assistance, ladies.”

    #17648
    MercyMercy
    Participant

    Sian
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Sian nods at Al’s whispered comment and waits for him to make contact before moving closer. It was one thing to be one of Alyce’s best friends, like Al, but something different when it comes to someone who has only met her a few times in person. Especially when the other person is blind and has control over some very significant firepower.

    Alyce
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Alyce, tired and hampered by her almost useless radar and ultrasound sensors, is not completely without her enhanced natural abilities. And she can still rely on the feeds from her remaining recon drones, as long as the drones are quite close. In this case she has deployed them so that one covers the back side of the building she and Rhea are resting against. She is taking advantage of a rare semi-peaceful moment to rearm her men and hook up the extra ammo drums to her weaponized drones. As each Bumblebees landed, two soldiers would transfer ammunition to its coffers while another pair was making sure that the two Mules were loaded.

    The short status report Rhea had just given her was a bit disappointing in the area of ammunition, especially for the assault cannons for Milo and one of the Mules. The stock of HMG and MMG ammo was little better. The influx of small arms and grenades from the second Mule is a positive sign, and the Reload drone was busy making sure that everyone was well stocked. Still, Rhea’s unspoken comment was that there might not be enough to fight their way back out. Alyce nods grimly. ”Well, that is certainly a concern. I guess I should have brought another couple of Mules with us. Lesson learned for next time I do anything for these Choir people.”

    After a moment of silence, Rhea gets the small joke and both women laugh lightly. Alyce holds up a hand and makes several hand signals as her fuzzy drone feed and her senses pick up the approach of three people, one a bit ahead of the others. Rhea responds quickly, her many years of training and experience kicking in. She takes up a position near the opening, her AS-7 pointed so as to catch the first person through. At the same time, she signals two of her team to take up positions to support her.

    The stranger moves closer, using far more care than the usual rush of primitive warriors. Suddenly, Alyce’s senses pick up on some old, comfortable smells. Sweat that she would know anywhere. Cheap beer. Lucky Strike fags. All remembered. Never to be forgotten. All loved. She quickly calls out. ”Rhea, no! It is Al.”

    Rhea quickly raises her shotgun to point into the air and motions for her men to stand down. She does, however, keep her hand on the huge revolver at her side……………….just in case. Alyce watches as Al steps through the opening in the building. Her face is tired and encrusted with dirt, foliage, and sweat. She has bandages from where her armor had failed three times to completely protect her. Still, when she smiles at Al, it is genuine. She nods at his flippant remark. ”Bloody hell we do. We have them just about where we want them. But if you are in the area and wish to help a bit………………………….?”

    The smile disappears as she continues. ”But, actually, we could use some help. Sort on men, short on some munitions, morale is starting to dip, and bloody Dream took off on his with three of my people and I do not know their status. My mage is long dead and that puts me at a disadvantage in that area. Their mages do not seem immune to assault cannons, machineguns or grenades, as they have sort of learned by now. Say, are the other two you arrived ahead of with you, or are you running from them?”

    277

    #17657
    Adamuadamu
    Participant

    If Alyce was surprised by Al’s appearance here, she didn’t show it. Probably had enough on her mind.

    “Yeah, they’s with me, an’ if that ain’t evidence enough o’ the fallen state o’ the world then nothin’ is.” He gestured as his two co-workers took the stage. “Reckon ya know Sian. An’ Redback here was probably at the meet down in the Mole KIngdom, though they was so many freaks there that night it’s hard to keep ’em all straight. Anyhoo, no point in fightin’ without a what-for. Don’t tell me – yer stoppin’ an evil ritual ta end the world, right? So point us at it, toots.”

    #17660
    Jack_SpadeJack_Spade
    Keymaster
    Spoiler:
    @gilga
    Defender wins on a tie

    Despite finding the link, I couldn’t get a fix on the carrier, but I needn’t have bothered. Al knew the guys. I wasn’t even surprised anymore.
    Seeing the garbage retreaver in the field again… damn what was her name? … anyway it seemed like they now found themselves in a pretty shitty situation. I could tell because I had been in similar once before.
    I decided to leave my visor closed and just waved vaguely friendly with my free hand while keeping hold of the grip of my gun with the other.
    “I hear there’s some kind of vanity mirror around that’s all the rage now. How about you keep those bozos distracted while we go and gather the objective?”

    #17663
    MercyMercy
    Participant

    Sian
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Sian watches as Al disappears into the ruined building, waiting for him to pop back out with the signal to join him. Normally a patient woman, Sian is a bit anxious just now and every second Al is gone feels like minutes. It does not really help that she can hear the sounds of combat coming from several directions. Using the training she received at a small temple high in some distant mountains, she focuses on her inner self, allowing her to relax. In what is really only a couple of minutes after he went in, Al emerges to wave them on. Sian smiles to herself and walks with Shrike to meet the others. Al makes some rough introductions that are not really necessary and Sian greets Alyce as the friend she is then stands back to hear what is happening.

    Alyce
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Alyce nods at Sian and Shrike. Her enhanced hearing had let her identify the boorish man from the meting in the Earl’s house in Below. She is a bit too exhausted to hold her own in a verbal duel, so she just nods. ”Al, you are saying some of the right things, as is your rude friend, but you must pardon me for a small doubt. The last thing I knew is that you three were headed to Boston, so how is that you are here, just in time? We have been facing a bunch of powerful mages ever since we came into the city. Many of them have died, but there seems to be a goodly supply of the bloody bastards and there is a chance that they could have created you and sent you to attack us from within.”

    At Alyce’s words, Rhea takes her hand from her pistol and makes some movements with it before placing it on her shotgun. The barrel is still pointed at the sky, but she has better control over it with both hands. Several of the men and women nearby suddenly have a greater interest in what is going on. Alyce nods at Rhea before continuing her remarks. ”Do you remember first meeting Rhea, Al? She came to that little river village in Cambodia to pick up something I wanted taken to safety. Please tell me what that something was. After that, we can discuss the vanity mirror and the world-ending blood ritual we stumbled upon.”

    278

    #17671
    Adamuadamu
    Participant

    “Orphaned stray ya picked up. Name was Jewel or Gem or Ruby or somethin’ o’ the sort. This one here come an’ fetched her, ‘ceptin’ her hair’s different now. Bod’s still okay, though.”

    He plopped down on to a huge, half-buried chunk of stonemasonry, pulled his left boot off, and shook it until a pebble tumbled out.

    “As fer why we’s here from across the world ta save y’all’s pretty asses inna nick o’ time, well, I take all the credit. Now where’s Dreamy an’ Bressington’s mirror?”

    #17673
    MercyMercy
    Participant

    Sian
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Sian had recognized the subtle movements from the woman standing next to Alyce as well as the responses from the soldiers in the area. These are hardened soldiers and killers and they are armed with some of the newest tech gadgets and weapons and she was sure they would not hesitate to try to kill her, Al, and Shrike if commanded to. She appreciates the precision of their movements and really hopes that Al has the correct answer, but is prepared for the alternative.

    Alyce
    Friday April 9, 2077; Post Field Camp 15, The City, Under the Jungles, Aztlan

    Alyce notes the immediate shift in the men near her as they react to her question. She actually holds her breath as Al sits and then correctly answers the question. With a sigh of deep relief, Alyce relaxes a bit while Rhea make a few hand motions and the soldiers return to their other tasks. Alyce nods to Al as Rhea moves forward and holds out a hand to Sian and Shrike, greeting them. ”Hello and well met. My name is Rhea Kynn and I am the security team chief here.” She looks around at the remaining security team and shakes her head. ”Although I maybe should stand down. We are less than a third of the strength we had not three hours ago. I can give you a current status report if you need it.”

    Alyce looks over at Al with gratitude. ”Thanks for coming, no matter what the reason. Fragging Choir. This was supposed to be a bloody simple delivery and drop, you know. No one, not even Dream, even hinted at the sort of things we have experienced.” She looks up at Rhea and shakes her head. ”Don’t even think that way, sister. Your leadership of our security team is the only thing that has kept us together. Next time, we ask for more support and supplies.”

    She faces back to Al and gives him a weak smile. ”As for Dream, he commandeered three of my soldiers and took off in the early stages of the battle. I know that he was headed for the smaller pyramid now just a short distance away, so that is where we are headed. He has the mirror. Why he did not stay with us, I do not know, but his actions have not helped that much, to be sure. Fragging Choir and their secrets. We will need only a few more minutes to get the ammo distributed and loaded and then we will be ready to move out from here.”

    Alyce faces directly at Shrike. ”If you feel a need to charge in by yourself, please feel free to do so. The mages arrayed against us seem to not be affected by what I am sure is a significant background count, but our mage was. Lighting bolts and fire spells seem to be very popular. I do not say this to stop you, just as information that you can use. I am happy to use whatever is at my disposal to aid you.”

    279/10

    #17675
    GilgaGilga
    Participant

    Zen texts >> Anyone still alive?

    In wideband, covering all the channels. He decides to go toward the gunfire, sneaking skillfully to avoid opposition.

    #17791
    Jack_SpadeJack_Spade
    Keymaster

    “Wait, you already have the goods? Who is this Dream guy or girl? Why the hell are you still hanging around here and not there to cover their retreat?”
    I asked with genuine disbelief.

Viewing 20 posts - 621 through 640 (of 794 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Menu