Tagged in: session report
Location: Mt. Yamaguchi
Time: T-5 hours
It took us longer than expected to get to the mountain, but at least we were out of the Taint. The lot of us were worried about scaling the thing, but we were in good hands. Godfather was a regular mountain goat. She led the way, setting up the rigging so it would be easier for novices, like me, to keep up and not fall behind… Or off the mountain.
Cpl. Amoroso picked an excellent spot in which to traverse the rest of the mountain through a cleft big enough to accommodate two Marines abreast. This should have been a warning that we should have kept a lookout for booby traps. We didn’t.
I was following Godfather when she stepped over a rock in the path and I heard a click. My eyes were drawn away from her ass and to her right leg that was partially obscured by the rock.
“Sir, don’t move a muscle,” I said as calmly as I could. Her upper body began to turn to look at me. “FREEZE!” I yelled in response. She did so.
Putting down my assault rifle, I gingerly stepped over to her and walked around to the front to get a better view of what I was dealing with. Right by Cpl. Amoroso’s foot was a Squealer, an AP land mine designed to turn soldiers into abstract art. Worst part about the damn things was even if you avoided taking damage from the one you inadvertently set off, the active unit sent out an arming signal to the rest of the mines in the nearby vicinity. One goes off, they all go off. The downside was no more minefield, but the tradeoff was increased casualties. Also, if the enemy who laid the things was nearby, they were sure to check out what set them off and finish the job.
Hearing me yell, the other Marines started to close and I waved them off. “Get back, it’s a Squealer.” They all retreated around the curve.
“Liebl,” Amoroso said, her voice softly shaking.
“Shhh. Trust me, I got this,” I said in an inspiriting tone. I hope she bought it.
I carefully scooted closer to her leg and the mine, getting on my hands and knees. The munitions’ arming light was on, transmitting a standby signal to the rest of the devices secreted around us. I used my stylus roll the mine towards me and after that, I pressed the arming switch backwards and rendered the mine inert. With the active unit out of commission, the others deescalated.
“There, all done,” I said standing up. The next thing I knew, Godfather was crushing me to her in a strong bear hug. I felt my face flush and the uncomfortable realization that Liebl Jr. was curious as to what was going on.
“Thanks,” she whispered in my ear, giving me one last squeeze before letting me go. I gibbered some nonsense in return about it not being a problem, or something. The rest of the Marines took turns in congratulating me and crushing me in their embrace. I felt strangely self-conscious, but a quick smile from Godfather set things straight.
After making it through the cleft, we were on the eastern side of the mountain. At the foot of it, was a crater strewn badland known as the Moon Scape. It was an anathema for vehicles, so we were going to have to leave them behind for the supply shuttle to pick up and bring to us once we were past it. Beyond that, was the Republic’s Detention Center. And beyond that, was the Dark Citadel. We’re going to make it. I’m sure of it.
Location: Moon Scape
Time: T-4 hours
I’m writing this laid out on a med stretcher heading back to the Schenectady, along with an unconscious Kerske, a worried looking CO, and a pair of exhausted privates. We just got our asses kicked, but good, and we’re running out of time in a major way.
How’d we end up this way? Just bad luck. We heard from Intel that the uprisings were finally suppressed and that the Black Guard was now focusing its attention to finding us. Marching through a ‘Scape was a nightmare and slow as shit. There was little to no cover available and a range of low hills were to the south and north of us. I was chit chatting with Amoroso, who’d defrosted a bit to me after the Squealer incident, and not really paying that much attention to the surroundings. To be honest, there wasn’t that much to see. But, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a glimmer sparkle on the crest of one of the southern hills. It only took my amygdala a millisecond to scream SNIPER!
“DOWN!” I yelled as I threw myself, in the unfun way, at my CO and knocked her over. Next moment, my right side flared in excruciating pain. A muffled crack rumbled from the south. I felt my extremities go cold and I knew I was slipping into shock.
The next few minutes were a blur, I heard Amoroso calling for evac and a barely lucid Fenelton yelling about armored infantry heading towards us. Explosions began rocking our position and I saw Kerske get knocked off her feet from a blast effect. I thought it was all over, then the drop ship appeared and we scrambled, crawled, or were carried up the loading ramp. We tried to wait as long as we could for Fenelon, but it was obvious he was still dealing with that concussion that Kerske dealt him and he fell behind. It was a sad sight to see one of our own captured as we headed back to the relatively safe confines of the Schenectady. The medics said I lost a lot of blood, but I’d be golden once on board our vessel. I still can’t feel my legs and my fingers can barely hold up the stylus. After the medics were finished doing what they could do for me, Cpl. Amoroso came over to talk.
“Can I ask you a question?” she asked me, her eyes glistening.
“Sure,” I told her with slurred speech. Wow, pain meds are awesome!
“Are you crazy?”
I looked at her and blinked away her twin. “For you,” I blurted out, my internal censor down. Wow, pain meds suck!
She then leaned over, gently grasped my head, and gave me the kiss of a lifetime. When she finished, she straightened and walked away.
You know, I can now die a happy man. Or, as I feel right now, go to sleep a happy man.
On 2457.6.23 at 15:43, Pvt. Robert Liebl died of his injuries en route to the G.E.S. Schenectady.
Auto-Transcription – G.E.S. Schenectady. 2457.6.23 18:43
Mission: Perform suicide run on citadel with the Schenectady to secure Princess Ryan. Code Name – Do or Die!
CO – Sgt. Crystelle Cassidy
Cpl. Chris Verder-Bruegge
Pvt. Art Bjorlykke
Cpl. Nino Amoroso
Pvt. Lucy Kerske
Pvt. John McKie
ASSAULT SHUTTLE RECORDING:
Cassidy: Okay, people. We’re moving out of orbit and doing a strafing run on the citadel. Fighters incoming. Everyone strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
*muffled explosions and gunfire*
Cassidy: Whew! Fighter screen breached. Repeat, screen breached.
*multiple explosions and klaxons going off*
Cassidy: Heavy flak. Repeat, Heavy – arggh!
- Sgt. Crystelle Cassidy vitals: concussion sustained – Conscious –
- Cpl. Nino Amoroso vitals: concussion sustained – Conscious –
- Cpl. Chris Verder-Bruegge vitals: massive trauma to abdomen, bilateral lower extremities, and head – Unconscious -
- Pvt. Art Bjorlykke vitals: massive trauma to chest and head – Unconscious -
- Pvt. Lucy Kerske vitals: Pulse and breathing elevated – Conscious -
- Pvt. John McKie vitals: Pulse and breathing elevated – Conscious -
Cassidy: Oh, fuck. My head. Shuttle touchdown. Anybody still kicking disembark and get ready for a counterattack.
Kerske: REPTILE SCOUTS!
- Sgt. Crystelle Cassidy vitals: respiratory arrest, pulse flatline – KIA –
- Cpl. Nino Amoroso vitals: respiratory arrest, pulse flatline – KIA –
KERSKE: ARMORED GLID-Uurrk
*Small arms fire*
- Pvt. Lucy Kerske vitals: Massive trauma to abdomen and chest, pulse flatline – KIA –
AG Trooper: FREEZE! Put down the Flaming Sword! NOW!
*Gunfire, sounds of wrestling*
- Pvt. John McKie vitals: Pulse and breathing erratic – Unconscious -