Colony Galileo

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  1. North Bellsford, Super-Centre

    The North Bellsford Super-Centre was a massive shopping district turned into a mall. It is fifteen floors of nothing but stores and warehouses, as far as the eye can see--the whole complex was over five miles long and three miles wide. It's filled to the brim with everything a person could need, with the lower floors being small-time shops--often with their owners and families living in them--and upper floors being dedicated to entire corporations and their conglomerates. It was a shining beacon of civilization, and was often directly supplied via a small spaceport landing strip on its rooftop for shuttles to drop off supplies. It was supposed to be an evacuation zone, in case of natural disaster, as the structure had multiple titanium-steel rooms made specifically to survive them.

    Those rooms were nothing more than death traps in this event, leading many to try and flee the complex in any way they could.

    Several escape pods landed around it, and three pods in particular came crashing through its roof. One descended all the way to the bottom floor, whilst the other two stopped on the eighth floor--commonly called the "tech floor" for its numerous computer & avionics-related stores. One pod crashed beside a water fountain, leaving the inhabitants momentarily blacked out. After a few seconds, backup power kicked on inside the escape pod, and a red light illuminated the group. It was a pod made to hold six, and it only contained three survivors: Ariston Tychon, Sergeant Max, and a woman the the two knew as the navigator of their ship. Tychon, however, would know that she was only filling in for a different navigator, who had come down with an illness and was being treated in a hospital in Bellsford when the attack came. As for the others: Two of the men had died of their wounds before they hit the ground, while the third died of the impact after failing to fasten their seat belt correctly, snapping their neck as a result.

    The navigator unclips her seat belt and pulls off her helmet, bringing a gloved hand up to her head: It was either an injury, or simple dizziness, though it was difficult to discern with the dim red light of the escape pod. Max was able to discern at a glance that she was a clone, likely of a beta type. The three could hear the sounds of water raining onto the side of the pod, sizzling on the side of the pod. The navigator looks between the two remaining survivors, then works on the door of the pod. Luckily, they had landed properly, with the bottom of the pod remaining upright against the floor underneath it. The pod hisses as it opens, mechanical assistance kicking in to help her open the door. She raises a hand over her eyes as bright lights greet her through the ceiling they just broke through, recoiling in pain momentarily before pulling out her side arm and stepping outside.

    A few seconds pass before the navigator looks back inside the pod. She salutes the both of them, as one glance at the patch on her shoulder indicated that she had a lower rank than either of them. Out of procedure, she addresses the admiral directly. "Sir, there are no hostiles on this position yet. There is one other escape pod, but I don't think it came from our ship. As per procedure, I'm going to check for survivors." She pulls out her radio and looks at it bitterly, as it had not survived the scramble to the escape pod. "... I hope one of you has a working radio, sirs. We could really use directions by a liaison officer." By the sounds of the uncertainty in her voice, she was not used to the military life yet.

    Without waiting for confirmation, she moved across the now wet ground from the broken fountain toward the second pod. Only a few feet away and on its side, she wastes no time in opening it, though she did pause when she noticed the ship markings on the side. "Science division?" She mutters to herself uncertainly as the pod hisses open. Out of the six people in the pod, there were only four spots taken, and only one survivor: Phillipe Mordante. There was no clear way to discern how or why he was the only survivor, though it was clear to see that the seat belt system for one of the men had failed, considering his mangled corpse had been ejected from its seat. The woman grimaces, then offers a helping hand to Phillipe. "My name is Morgan. I was the navigator aboard the INEF flagship vessel Diplomacy. It's clear that you're a civilian, so don't worry, we'll get you out of here. Grab my hand, and you'll get to meet a rear admiral today." She gives him a soft, comforting smile: It was very clear to him that she was trying to reassure him if he was panicking, and was likely insincere given the current situation.

    Looking around, they were in the middle of a four-way intersection, where the fountain had been the centerpiece of the area. There was broken glass all over the floor, and several businesses had already been looted or shuttered. There were still a few civilians in the area, peeking over counters and through broken windows at the escape pod survivors: It seemed they had chosen to hide rather than flee the area. In each of the four directions, hallways were lined with stores, though they could still hear the sounds of distant, panicked voices south of their position. Distant gunfire could be heard to the north and east of their position.

    North Bellsford, Zinc Road

    Zinc Road was an eight lane superhighway, designed to accommodate all kinds of vehicles on the road. On each side of the road were wide sidewalks, and block-sized buildings dominated each city block down the road. The road led across the entire city, from north to south, giving easy access across the city wherever needed or wanted. Most buildings stretched to be four floors high, and were a mix of housing and light commercial corner stores or grocery stores. Two blocks to the north, stretching high into the sky, was the Super-Centre, and a main entrance across several, ornate concrete steps. Traffic was backed up end to end in this part of the city, leaving many to abandon their vehicles and simply hike their way to Central City. A few soldiers were scattered amongst the crowd, attempting to maintain order. Here, Norb Chi'Surn, and Ariel Abraham were part of the crowd, though both were luckily fully equipped to handle the situation. Before either of them could make it any further south, an escape pod comes crashing down in the middle of an intersection, crushing two vehicles and landing only five feet from Norb. Chips of concrete shower down on him.

    The escape pod pops open, the door outright falling off its hinges as it showed signs of having been fired at. Norb was able to discern the scorch marks as Chrysalid plasma weapons--the pod was lucky to have survived even a close encounter with such a weapon, leave alone a direct hit. Nonetheless, smoke emanated from inside the escape pod, and Leonie Valkrich was carried out by Prosper just before it became clear that some of the plasma had heated up the interior of the pod so much, that most of its inhabitants hadn't survived the sheer heat in the local, contained atmosphere of the pod. Leonie, still coughing, had luckily been on the opposite side of the pod from where it had been hit. A small crowd gathers and stares, some gagging at the smell of burned human flesh from inside the pod. Though it took Leonie a few seconds, she was able to stand on her own, having sustained no serious injuries aside from a few bumps and a couple bruises. Prosper, being an AI, also had little difficulty carrying out all of their equipment--leaving them fully ready to take on whatever might be ahead of them.

    A second escape pod had landed nearby, though it was unclear if anyone had survived, as it appeared to be even more damaged than the first pod. Nobody dared to touch it at that moment, seeing the metal still glowing with heat and plasma burns.

    As the crowd slowly begins to settle, a man steps out from the crowd: He was decked head to toe in a mechanical armour suit, which seemed to enhance his reaction times. Underneath the suit it was difficult to discern who or what he was, as his face was covered by his helmet. Nonetheless, he stepped on top of a truck, and began to speak loudly, holding a radio up above him. "May I have your attention, please! I am Nikolai! I received a message from Central City! A liaison officer requires myself and any volunteers to head north and secure the entrance of the Super-Centre mall! Anyone who helps will be allowed on the military evacuation craft when it arrives! So, you can help me, or continue hiking for a couple hours into Central City. The choice is yours!" One of the members of the crowd yells back at him, with a question. "Why the fuck should I risk my neck to secure the damn mall?!" Nikolai responds, promptly. "Because you will be given a secure evacuation method, and because they believe the Rear Admiral of the fleet landed here... And because innocent people need your help in escaping the mall! Do not be a vain coward! Help me!" The line of cowardice didn't seem to win him too many particular friends, as most began to shuffle away. He sighs in irritation, and glances down at the escape pod, towards Prosper and Leonie. "I suppose I will at least have you two watching my back. Better than nothing, yes?" He seemed strangely amused by the fact that most of the crowd had turned away from him.

    To the north and east, smoke could be seen rising up from the edges of the city. Nikolai patted his light machine gun, and waited for any volunteers to help him.

    East Bellsford, Red Line

    The city of Bellsford, along with other cities, built an underground railway system to interconnect the various sections of the city together. It became the most prudent form of public transportation, and most local colonists knew of the plans to connect Tyre's Valley to Bellsford via the system, but the project was constantly delayed in favour of upgrading space ports. Now, it seemed, that those who kept screaming for the underground network were at least somewhat vindicated, as the near indestructible tunnel network withstood the attack perhaps better than anything else in the city. Though, while the tunnels were impenetrable, the power system wasn't, and power had failed for the underground network on the east side of Bellsford.

    Marcus was standing just outside the subway when he heard the sound of escape pods hurdling through the atmosphere. Looking up, he spots one make landfall a few feet from him. The pod was unscathed aside from impact damage. One glance would tell him that the pod was from the INEF Merits--a larger cruiser class that had been in orbit. The pod door hisses open, and five figures emerge from inside, including Gilian Thorne, Laura Shima, and Kephart. Kephart landed with a metallic thud as he left the escape pod, and it didn't take long for the other two to climb out of the pod. One was a recent recruit. The other couldn't be recognized in his mechanized battle suit until he took off his helmet--it was the second in command of the INEF Merits. This made him the commanding officer, though he took one glance around at everyone around him. The scar on his cheek was a recent addition, it was still bleeding a little. He takes one look at Marcus and nods. "You seem to have your head about you... I'm assuming we landed near one of the subway stations?"

    Before Marcus could reply, the emergency speaker system just outside the subway entrance crackles to life. The voice of a nervous wreck of an engineer came through loud and clear. "I w-was just contacted b-by a l-l-liaison officer! They n-need volunteers to p-protect the subway station! I g-got the power going, but it won't f-fit everyone! We have one more train coming and two more c-c-convoys! If w-we can just h-hold on for ten more minutes, we can all get to Central City!" The speaker system cuts out and the Commander of the INEF Merits shakes his head. "Kid doesn't sound any older than twelve and he's the one fixing everything?" He turns and looks back to Kephart, Laura, and Gilan. They were his subordinates, and he was in charge. "Head inside the subway station. There should be a small cafeteria located in the staff area of the platform: Take whatever tables you can and make some cover. Encourage any non-volunteer civilians to stay in the cafeteria as well, that should put them out of the firing line. Make sure the children go first. If there's not enough room for all of them, that's just too bad: I guess they'll have to actually use their training." He glances to Marcus and nods. "Commander Berry Wilson Jones." He offers a handshake and motions with his head to get to the subway station. "Will you assist us? It's either fight or hide in a corner with the children, the choice is yours."

    Outside, there was only one dead end road leading into the subway station, lined by concrete walls for aesthetic purposes more than actual, useful cover. Down several steps was the main platform of the subway station. To the left was the cafeteria, behind a simple wooden door, and to the right was the power room, which was protected by a blast door. Both were unlocked, though the blast door was quite heavy and made to work only with mechanical assistance--that is, when the power is working consistently. Which, at present, it wasn't working consistently. There were concrete columns surrounding titanium beams, keeping the roof of the subway station up, and providing decent cover even without the metallic cafeteria tables.

    There was a subway train, packed full with people, about to depart to make way for the second train behind it. Though the lights were flickering in the tunnel, it had no choice but to proceed as soon as possible. Still, there were a few people fighting to get their children on board, but it was too late for them: They would have to wait for the second train.

    East Bellsford, Convoy #4

    Meanwhile, a series of convoys was getting the most distant civilians to the nearest underground subway stations to transport them rapidly to Central City. A tank with a scoop attached to the front was shoving vehicles blocking the road out of the way, as various civilian vehicles followed after it slowly and cautiously. Quentin Brant, even, likely found himself sharing his truck with a few others riding on the back. Children could occasionally be heard weeping, though their parents were there to support them. A couple seemed to be missing their parents, and were being taken care of by a military medic. The convoy stops as an escape pod lands on the road in front of them. Two civilians pull out their rifles and pass the tank, moving to help out the escape pod survivors, only to watch the door get ripped off its hinges and tossed aside like a toy. They stop in panic, raising their rifles as the incredibly alien form of Tharvax climbs out of the pod. "Is it one of them?!" The one on the left says. "Nah, no... No..." The one on the right replies. "How do you know??" The one on the left whispers with a panicked expression on his face. "Cuz' judging by the size of that ugly motherfucker, we'd be dead by now. Doofus." He slaps the back of his friend's head before he continues. "'Sides, look at his arm. He's got an INEF badge on it. If he didn't, the tank'd have shot it... For whatever that's worth." He motions back to the convoy. "Look, uh... Friend... We're a convoy heading to Central City. If you're looking for any of your soldier buddies, they're all heading there, along with us civis."

    As Tharvax approaches, the one on the left panics and flees back into the convoy. The one on the right, however, takes off his baseball cap and bows his head politely: He was a greasy mess and looked like he saw far, far too much sunlight on a regular basis with the burns over his arms and the back of his neck. "Name's Ralph. I'm a mechanic, a pilot, and I do some huntin' on occasion. I'm glad to have you with us... N' uh... Don't mind Danny, there, he's just... Scared o' everything that's got a bigger dick n' he does. His nerves are frayed, he saw his parents bite it... He's a nicer fella' usually, I swear." With that said, the convoy got ready to move out again, though the tank commander popped out of his tank to look at everyone in the convoy. "We're late, the enemy has passed us. We're gonna have to go faster. Get the elderly aboard any vehicles, and be ready for an attack from any angle. If shit hits the fan, dump your vehicles and make a run for it, and we'll cover you." The tank commander then glances down to the mechanic, whose farmer's accent was almost as thick as the grease and oil caking his hands. "I'll trust you to lead the evacuating civilians inside the subway station once we get there. You led most of them to us, after all." The mechanic puts his hat back on and then tips it to acknowledge what the commander had said. Wordlessly, the commander dives back into his tank, seeming to ignore Tharvax altogether.

    With that said, the mechanic turns and walks back to Quentin's truck. He helps an elderly couple aboard, then hops on the back himself. Inside the back of the truck, he pulls out a piece of gum from his stained pockets and unwraps it. He pops it in his mouth and chews in an absent minded fashion, before looking around at the other civilian vehicles and people around him. Just a dozen or so in all, really. "Look, y'all," he starts off, yelling so everyone could hear him. "I'm gonna need some help to organize everyone inside the subway station once we get there. Any volunteers?... I know it ain't much, but, I'll pay you in gum n' gratitude! Yeah?"
  2. Laura Shima
    East Bellsford - Red Line

    "Sir," Laura replied simply before making her way into the subway station below. It was a mild comfort to have a commanding officer present; to have clear orders laid out before her. It helped solidify her priorities. Focus on your job, not on personal issues. Looking around, she saw people trying to get themselves or their children onto a train that was clearly overfull already. It was time to get them in line and busy.

    "Attention," Laura called out, shouting in order to be heard over the clamour. "The INEF requires your assistance in laying out the cafeteria tables as cover in case of invading forces." Pointing, she traced a line from the cafeteria door to where the next train would pull up. "Lay them on their side, facing the stairs, and forming a path between the cafeteria and the rails. Children should move farther back to stay out of the way until the cafeteria is empty. At that point, all unarmed civilians should wait in the cafeteria until the next train is ready to be boarded."

    With that said, she moved off to the side, pulling out the radio equipment she had grabbed in the escape pod while in transit. Focus on your job. Slipping on the headset, she set the radio to automatically rotate between military frequencies every few minutes. It would pay to keep track of the general state of the city. Laura moved to return the radio to her belt, but hesitated. Not on personal issues. She turned to the INEF Merit's general frequency and activated her mic. "This is Private Shima, requesting any known status of Private Renard Turner. Private Shima, requesting status of Private Turner." Finished, she quickly put away the radio and went to help with moving the tables.
  3. North Bellsford, Super-Centre
    Phillipe Mordante

    Phillipe looked up and the clone. "Ensign Morgan." He said plainly disengaging the belts. "Thank you." He said with what might have been a trace of sarcasm as he levered himself up with her help. "Dr Phillipe Mordante, INEF Nanotech Specialist. Operational rank Captain. Science Division." He dusted himself off and reached over to a locker removing the secured container he'd made sure to load onto the pod. Opening it he removed a Nanorifle and the Nanoforge. "What can you tell me about our situation, we didn't exactly have time for a briefing."

    "We crashed into a very large building, I think it is the Super Centre in Bellsford." She remarked simply, glancing about the area. The civilians were still watching them, though parents kept their children back the moment that Phillipe pulled his equipment out. "I'm not from around these parts. I'm from New Earth... I don't think they see military here often."

    Phillipe turned to look at them, "We're probably going to be lucky if they know how to count to ten. Provincial colonies and the inbreeds that populate them." He tone indicated an excessive level of sarcasm. "It's inconceivable." He snorted.

    "... Right." The ensign replies, devoid of emotion and in a suddenly, sharply professional manner. The sounds of distant gunfire from the north and east grew a little closer, drawing her attention as she subconsciously flicks the safety off her pistol.

    Phillipe looks up towards the sound of gunfire and slots the nanoforge into the rifle. The sound of the weapon charging up was audible for a moment before the weapons electronics established a connection to his supplementary intelligence. "So, let's go meet this Admiral." He said. The pair moving off without further ado.

    East Bellsford, Red Line
    Marcus De'Leveyan

    Marcus looked the Commander up and down. He'd just come in from the wilds to resupply. He mentally examined the situation. "Of course i'll help Commander, I'm Marcus De'Leveyan, Ranger 1st Class, Galileo Parks and Recreation." He engaged the chameleon-weave cloak's camouflage circuitry and unshipped his rifle. Kold bounded between his master's feet. "And this is Kold." he patted the dog's head.

    The commander's eyes follow the dog's movements. He kneels down and leaves a hand out for the animal to sniff him first, get accustomed to him. "Good boy." He mutters under his breath before he looks back up at Marcus. "Good. I won't keep you then, you should get down into the subway station. Help with setting up cover if you can. Should make our day easier."

    "You know what's going to make life easier." Marcus said with a grin. "I've got a nice swarm of drones, you want, I can station one of the stealthed surveillance ones over the subway, hopefully give us a birds-eye." Marcus offered. He removed a dataslate from a pocket and passed it to Jones. "You can watch the feed on this. I've got implants to manage them."

    Jones takes the datapad and examines it, nodding with approval. "Good. They're your drones, you know them best. Use them efficiently and try to get us an angled view, so we can see the entrance of the subway station and several feet beyond it. If they're going to throw explosives at us, I'd like to know."

    "Done," The angle on the drone footage would change as Jones was watching. "I'd offer to bring the offensive drone online, but probably best if we keep it as backup." He checked out the entrance to the subway. "So you want me down there helping set up the barricade, consider it done. You need me, just press that key," Marcus indicated.

    Jones looks to Marcus with respect, and motions for him to continue. "It's good to see government working together well for once. Keep your head down, it'd be a shame if the politicians lived longer then men like you."

    Marcus laughed a rich deep laugh. "They're like cockroachs, we could let the damned Crysalid scum nuke us and those bastards would still crawl out from under the rocks."

    "True, and probably try to sell what remains for a scrap of power." He taps the pad and smiles, chuckling. "Alright, go. No time to waste on fraternizing now."

    "Gone, don't let yourself get killed." Was all Marcus said walking off his chameleon-cloak blending him into the terrain.
  4. Leonie Valrkrich,

    North Bellsford, Zinc Road

    "Son of...."

    Leonie cursed. She felt her stomach turning, but she hadn't emptied it as the person next to her. Her eyes were narrowed as her vision was blurred. Somebody was carrying her outside, but at the moment the woman couldn't bring up any gratitude. Her face was colored pale as she tried to make sense out of what had happened. Clearly she was alive, that was something. If she had been however swapped with the guy next to her....

    Just as she was about to mumble a thanks to the person who had carried her out, Leoni turned her head as her eyes were squeezed close. Leaning forward, she could feel the unpleasant sensation moving up. Puking out some fluid, she remained leaning forward with her hands on her knees. Her vision was gradually turning normal, but the woman couldn't push the thought of her mind. The thought that she could've been the one who could've been who hadn't made it out. Ignoring the warm salty trails of tears, Leonie straightened her back. Only for her eyes to widen as she shot back in her previous stance.

    Puking again, the nasty aftertaste gave a literal bitter meaning to the realization that the woman had. Still leaning forward, she didn't pay attention to what happened around her. It still took her a few moments to realize that she should probably get going. And thanking the person who ha-
    The woman straightened her back as she then turned her head to the 'person'. "Oh..." An awkward silence passed while the woman could hear that somebody was talking through a radio. "Thanks." Leonie told the AI, taking up her equipment. While she did a quick check, trying to spot any damage on her gear and weapons, Leonie did listen to what the man with the radio said.

    Because you will be given a secure evacuation method, and because they believe the Rear Admiral of the fleet landed here... And because innocent people need your help in escaping the mall! Do not be a vain coward! Help me!"

    Glancing up to the liaison officer, Leonie tried to then see if she could see some more military personal. But it seemed that there wasn't a platoon or something that would give her some hope that she could catch a breath. Or a mint, considering that her breath was probably quite foul at the moment. Her attention moved back to the liaison officer as he spoke with an amused tone to her and the AI. "I suppose I will at least have you two watching my back. Better than nothing, yes?"

    Raising her right arm to sweep off her mouth, Leonie mentally cringed. She would almost be willing to kill to get the foul taste out of her mouth. Nodding back to the officer, she would glance to a large specimen that was unknown to her. Briefly she wondered if she should be wary in case the creature would be an enemy. Only wanting to facepalm as she already reasoned that if the large creature was an enemy, that she would've likely been killed while she had been busy with emptying her stomach. Sighing, Leonie would keep trying to focus on trying to give the liaison officer the back-up that he had requested.
  5. [​IMG]

    North Bellsford, Super-Centre
    The ride planetside had been far from quiet, with the occupants of the pod fleeing from the Diplomacy being jostled around as it cut through the atmosphere. It had been an unusual twist of fate that ended up with Max being in the same pod as the Rear Admiral, one that he couldn't quite recall as they barreled towards what could possibly be their doom. Within a short period of time, they touched down roughly, momentarily knocking Max out.

    When the Sergeant came to his senses, three of the men were clearly dead, bringing a scowl to his face. He could recall tossing at least one of the wounded into the pod in an attempt to save their life, though which it had been eluded him. Everything had happened so quickly. Freeing himself from his restraints, the seven foot tall suited soldier bent down and searched his dead comrades for a few moments as the navigator spoke, "Sir, there are no hostiles on this position yet. There is one other escape pod, but I don't think it came from our ship. As per procedure, I'm going to check for survivors." Removing their dogtags, weapons, and ammo, he stored these in various pouches and compartments on his suit and vest. The lack of hostiles was slightly comforting as he stepped outside just in time to listen to the woman once more speak before moving to the other pod, "... I hope one of you has a working radio, sirs. We could really use directions by a liaison officer."

    Chirping off a simple, "Understood," Max proceeded to scan with his internal communications, calling out on the military frequencies as he listened to the conversation between Morgan and the scientist, "This is Sergeant Max requesting directions. I have a VIP with me in the Super Centre." It was entirely possible that the enemy was listening in, so he was careful not to say anything identifying the Admiral specifically, considering his current mission was basically to ensure the man's survival.

    The Sergeant looked over at the approaching scientist with disdain, having heard most of their conversation, including the man's sarcastic insults of the populace, but decided to ignore the man and instead took up a defensive posture looking towards the sounds of gunfire. He yelled what was practically an order to the civilians hiding amongst the stores, gesturing with his head towards the south, "Retreat! Hiding will only get you killed!" After that, he maintained his position, awaiting orders from the Admiral or information from any liaison officers.​
    • M-47 Infantry Railgun; 25 Mags of 5.56mm Tungsten Slugs; 375 slugs remaining.
    • His Dogtags
    • Emergency Rations
    • Combat Knife
    • Dogtags of the Fallen (3)
    • Equipment Scavenged from the Fallen
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  6. Prosper - North Bellsford, Zinc Road
    The small electrical servos and hydraulic pistons that made up Prosper's simulated muscular system produced a barely audible sound as the AI worked to remove first the surviving INEF soldier, and then the equipment out of the damaged escape pod. As Prosper went back into the pod a third time to ensure he had gotten everything, he ran the numbers. The chances of their survival were extraordinarily low. He and the woman had been very lucky to escape with the few injuries they had sustained during the landing. The entire time his many sensors scanned the surrounding area for movement.

    After a quick second of rummaging Prosper found what he perceived to be the last two valuable things in the burned out pod. A standard issue INEF rifle, and a tactical harness that held a few extra magazines of ammunition for the prior piece of equipment. He peeled them off of the slightly burned man they had no doubt previously belonged to and brushed off the last remnants of charred clothing and sizzling flesh that had stuck themselves to the otherwise undamaged items. He put on the harness and climbed back out of the pod to see the woman he saved spilling her breakfast onto the pavement.

    He listened to the liason officer try and fail to recruit the aid of the civilians in securing the nearby Super Centre that was reportedly the landing site of the fleet's Rear Admiral. Prosper turned to Leonie as she was the highest ranking INEF personnel in the area, "Ma'am. I am INEF Artificial Engineer 4259, callsign Prosper. What are your orders?" He stood there at attention with his rifle in his hands and simply awaited her commands.
    #6 Potatocat, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
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  7. Quentin Brant in East Bellsford, Convoy #4
    Quentin's fingers rapped at the rim of his truck's steering wheel, poorly mimicking the barely audible techno-swing-trance 'music' feebly crying from The War Wagon's audio system. Usually he would have is blaring, threatening all those around with deafness, but with an older couple crammed into the cab he figured he would tone it down. An act of heroism really. He felt like he was playing the part wonderfully over the last few hours, picking up folk in his truck, not trying to fight the tank commander every time he spoke, hell, he even managed to control his urges to bellow Grass, gnash or ass, no one rides for free at every poor soul who happened to ride along. Truly, after this was all said and done he deserved a holiday named after him or something. Or maybe just a medal, a medal would probably suffice.

    He continued putting along, driving in manual mode in an attempt not to fall asleep. He hadn't slept in a solid day, partially because of his own awful schedule, but mostly on account of the whole alien invasion thing. His real wake up call came when he, and most everybody else, saw something crash into the road ahead. A dash of Armageddon to help the apocalypse go down, with a giant blade-monster to sweeten the deal. Great. Quent reached for his pitifully inadequate side-arm, possibly hoping the inconvenience the creature before it tore him asunder, only to be assured by some honky-tonk frontier kid that the beasty was in fact on their side. Cool. He did not bother to question further.

    The frontier kid, named Ralph apparently, jumped in the back of The War Wagon with a couple of geezers in tow. Really pushing the limits of the tiny pick-up's capacity and bringing the overall potential for tragedy to a critical mass, one nearly-retired cop away from complete calamity. Ralph called out for volunteers and Quent originally ignored him, not particularly in the mood to risk his life more than he already had. However, a flood of epiphany came and with it washed the thought that he was being out-heroed by a hick. He furiously rolled down the windows, poked his head toward Ralph and mustered his inner honky-tonk, "Look y'all," he parroted. "I can get done what yoo need gotten' do an' can organeeze folk right-good-like, jus' don' get yer chew in my box eh?" Now having proven to his gawking passengers that was mentally ill he turned to a more normal diction, "But seriously though, don't stick your gum anywhere back there, that's just gross man."
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  8. East Bellsford, Convoy #4 - Tharvax

    As Tharvax tossed the useless door aside, he found himself confronted by two gun wielding humans and a tank. Three challengers. Was it a true trinity, or simply three things that did not make a holy pattern? He guessed that they must be the latter as soon as they started speaking. When he took a few steps closer and one of the men fled in terror, Tharvax felt certain that they were simply humans, not a divine revelation. The number of beings who fled in terror from him had far exceeded three, including a few who had fearfully refused to board the escape pod he had just emerged from, so there was nothing to be learned from it.

    The braver human, the one who gave his name as Ralph, wound down his confusing ramble and Tharvax fell in line with the convoy. "Scared of everything that's got a bigger dick?" Tharvax murmured to himself, though a murmur for him was plenty loud enough for some nearby humans to hear. "My species does not possess external genitalia. Humans." The last was said with unconcealed amusement and accompanied by a couple swishing swings of his tail, though he made certain to keep the bladed end well away from the humans or their vehicles; it was not difficult, seeing as how nobody seemed interested in being near him at all. Tharvax did not mind this solitude among the masses. The Korthari were a species made for solitude, sitting halfway between artificial creation and living being, never fully connecting with either side. His faith in the guiding principles of the Trinity would carry him through, as always.

    Ralph's request for help broke Tharvax from his quiet thoughts. He would have liked to volunteer to aid in organization, as did a man driving a truck, but he knew that his attempts to calm and guide the humans and other smaller species on this planet would simply result in more fear and chaos. He was better suited to another role, and he spoke up to say so in his loud, rumbling voice. "I will guard the entrance to allow your people to organize and evacuate unharmed. The enemy will not pass while I draw breath." As much as they tended to be scared of Tharvax's presence, he knew humans tended to take comfort in knowing that he would be protecting them rather than being a potential threat. He hoped this would help to calm some of the frightened and crying people, but the emotional results of his statement were not important. He would do as stated and protect the civilians at all costs, as was his duty as a member of the INEF.

    North Bellsford, Zinc Road - Norb

    Norb remained as most of the crowd faded away. While the noisy man was busy talking, he had been examining the escape pod that only two had emerged from. The plasma burns looked impressive, but he was not impressed by little of the material had actually been burned through. Escape pods were built to survive drops through an atmosphere, and all the friction heat that entailed, but that shouldn't mean much to a well-made plasma cannon. Norb decided that the only reason most of those in the pod died was due to the primitive heat shielding technology of the humans, not because of the quality of arms used against them. He also decided that if the pod had been attacked by a proper Chiwen plasma cannon then nobody would have survived, not even the AI's matrix.

    Satisfied with his self-aggrandizing assement, Norb addressed the shouty man on the truck. "Norb will help! Norb show real plasma melt Chrysalid garbage." What he lacked in skill with the language, he tried to make up for in enthusiasm by hefting his plasma rifle and grinning at the armored man. "Norb show, Chiwen plasma melt all, very good. Shit shit!" The profanity was called out in a cheering fashion, similar to how a human might say 'hooray,' and was followed by another grin from the little Chiwen. He walked over to join the AI and human woman who were from the human military and apparently enlisted to help, ready and waiting for the order to move out.

    TL;DR (open)
    Tharvax goes with the convoy and volunteers protection for the refugees.

    Norb volunteers to help with getting to the Super-Center.
    • Love Love x 1
  9. Current Location- Space above Galileo 3
    Matthew was sweating profusely as he watched his ship ripped to shreds by enemy fire and multiple escape pods leave a bit later than his did. He was happy for himself and the other survivors but not so much for the one who didn't make it no matter how few there were. As he entered the atmosphere he held on a bit tighter to his seatbelt as he felt the shaking and saw the planet below grow closer and closer. He had one more glance back and just waited for the inevitable crash landing.

    Current Location- East Bellsford, Red Line
    Matthew Looked waited as Galileo 3 was so close he leaned back in his seat as the pod smashs in through some ruins of what used to be a city, the sudden landing made him jolt and whack his head off the seat headrest that wasn't made for comfort. He shook his head to free it from the pain as he undid his seatbelt and rose to a sudden head pain from hitting hard and getting up too fast. "Ah shit," he yelled before getting to the door controls to open the main door.

    Matthew checked his gear he stowed away as he equipped himself with his weapons and prepared to move to a nearby subway station as he was instructed before getting in his pod. He looked ahead and spotted the almost jungle gym like ruins ahead seemed calling out to him and he began to run forward one handgun out. Matthew jumped in one window and used some rubble to climb up to the second floor and jumped off the balcony of that house and onto the roof of the next with ease. Running atop the roofs made it easier to spot the subway ahead and he hopped down through a hole in the final houses roof and did a roll towards a window vaulting over and doing a quick roll on the ground and continuing to a jog to the station brushing off some dust.

    Spotting the Commander of the INEF Merits directing everyone he walked over and stood tall saluting the Commander, "Reporting for duty sir," Matthew said standing tall, "I'm ready for combat, rescue missions and general missions sir."
    #9 Silverdawn, Aug 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  10. East Bellsford, Convoy #4: Caitlin

    [BCOLOR=transparent]While Caitlin had previously enjoyed the fact that her home was far enough from work to get it off her mind once off the clock, but only a train ride away in case she was called in, it was now proving more dangerous than it could ever be worth. She and Procyon had caught up with the group that was making their way toward the train station, but the sheer volume of people was making her uneasy. She had slowed long enough to pull on her gloves just to keep herself from accidentally brushing up against someone and knowing the back of their hand before their name. She was certain that they weren’t the only group with this idea, and she had no way of knowing what was actually going on at the station. The invaders had run past them earlier, and at the time she had felt lucky that they hadn’t stopped to address her group in one foul way or another; however, it now seemed more likely that they could be walking into a tin can trap. Her sidearm was on her hip and she could drop her bags in case of a fight, but she knew she wasn’t the best equipped or skilled.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Along the way she had tried to keep count of the group, which seemed insane at times given how many there were and the fact that they kept moving. Caitlin wanted to make sure there were no stragglers to the best of her ability. If they died because of an assault or shock it would rest better on her conscience over the fact that she had allowed them to fall behind and get lost. This meant she was towards the back of the crowd and spent most of her time talking with the elderly and children. The children seemed happy enough to pet Procyon (with or without permission to the dismay of some parents) and so long as the group stayed together, Caitlin was fine with this.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]When a pod slammed into the ground in the front of the group she was quick to set her duffel bag down and move through the crowd reaching for her gun. Once Caitlin saw the scorched and scratched INEF crest on the side of the craft, she relaxed her hand and was glad she had. The last thing she wanted to do was give that creature a reason to pay attention to her. Fuck, he was huge. as a handful of men talked through their thought processes, and quirked a half smile when Ralph took a shot at Danny. The new individual, as big as he was, did seem to have a sense of humor. Caitlin reserved her own quips for her own amusement as she knelt down to begin rubbing Procyon’s head to keep herself from staring until she heard the call for volunteers. This had her immediately back on her feet and making her way, once she had reclaimed her duffel, to the organizer. She wasn’t the first to volunteer her services, which relieved her. There were a few people worth meeting in this group. The first fellow brought humor, which was important and made her smile again. Once she approached Ralph she was steely faced and working to portray her position with proper dignity. ”I’m here to help in however you need. It’s only fair to let you know now that I’m no crack shot, but I’d like to think I’m pretty damn good at putting individuals back together if the rest of you can make sure they don’t get vaporized first.” She flicked her eyes towards the driver of the truck, trying to commit his face to memory, before turning her attention back to the impromptu leader of their group. ”All I’ll recommend is that we make a way to keep our group from getting stragglers. We’ve got enough kids and elderly to make me nervous.”[/BCOLOR]
  11. Ariel Abraham - North Bellsford, Zinc Road

    Jerking as the escape pods crashed, Ariel spun on her heels watching intently as two people made their way out of one. She frowned once neither turned out to be her sister, and the ever so eloquent aroma of burning flesh didn’t help stop any lamentable thoughts from creeping into her mind. Ariel pushes through the crowd to get closer to the pod as one of the survivors began pulling things out.

    She halts and taps her foot impatiently, waiting for him – perhaps it – to finish up so she could take a look at the remaining bodies. As she does she notices the other survivor puking her guts out. “A true beauty queen,” she mumbled without intention. Ariel shook her head before focusing on the pod once more. After the survivor finished up Ariel would move closer to inspect what remained which she instantly regretted laying eyes upon. She pressed her palm against her mouth and closed her eyes. She forced the bile rising in her throat to go back down before she ended up like the other woman. Ariel walked away from the pod before opening her eyes and letting her hand drop. At least it wasn’t Arianna.

    Ariel payed full attention as the metal man – Nikolai he said his name was – spoke. She was amused by the small alien’s – Norb – manner of speaking, the smile on her face hinting towards that as she watched him walk to the two survivors. Ariel walks over to Nikolai and pats his armored arm. “Diplomacy isn’t your specialty, is it?” Ariel smirks then shakes her head, “Make that four people watching your back, so far atleast. I’m going to go check out the second escape pod team leader.”

    Ariel turned then walked to the second escape pod. Standing there she focused on using her telepathy to try and get into the minds of anyone who may have survived. She doubted there were any though. This pod was in worse shape than the first, and the first barely even had survivors. Still, she felt she had to try atleast. If she were to get into the mind of anyone she would send out the message: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get you out of there.’ But in the back of her mind she would realize the fabrication of her words. If there were survivors then there probably wouldn’t be any by time the pod had cooled enough for anyone to touch it. Ariel could only hope that her words were enough to conciliate one before their final moments.

    tl;dr (open)
    Ariel volunteers as tribute then tries to check second pod for more survivors.
    #11 K3l, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  12. Kephart: East Bellsford - Redline

    For such a heavy and large machine, Kephart was rather quiet inside the pod, mag-clamped to the deck to keep him secure. When the escape pod landed, the massive infantry unit needed to evac first, to make room for the humans to escape. When the mag clamps released, Kephart's suspension adjusted, raising him back up to his normal ride height. The long-segment band tracks let him move without clank, nor clatter, as he rolled out of the escape pod's door. Only when he teetered over the edge, and 3.7 tons of advanced chassis slipped to the ground with a double thump of impact as his suspension absorbed the forces of his 3.7 tons dropping to the ground. Free of the confined space, Kephart began to prepare his systems for battle, charging the capacitive systems for the railgun, and a muted metallic racking noise as an internal mechanism chambered a round into his co-axial machinegun, mounted just low and to the left of the main barrel in his turret. A low drone of several fans began to mount, drawing in cool air through armoured vents, and pushing it through heat exchangers to regulate system temperatures.

    When the armoured human removed his helmet, revealing himself to be the Second in Command of the INEF Merits, Kephart acknowledged him as his immediate superior. Upon orders, he replied, "Affirmative, Sir." before turning about, and followed Laura down the stairs in into the station. He deferred to let Laura engage with the civilians, as people did seem to have some trepidation of listening to his words when he was in this chassis. He set himself to working with the tables. With several muted clanks of latches being released, the angular sides of his turret began to spread out, as his material handling armatures unfolded to allow him to manipulate the objects. In the process, he made note of the blast door, protecting the power generation room. He opened a comm-line to the Commander, "This is Corporal Kephart sir. Offering tactical evaluation of Red Line Station, East Bellsford. Station features power generation room, with unlocked and open, blast door. Stronger defensive point than cafeteria. Have not determined power room capacity for civilians. Continue with standing orders, sir?" His voice was level, but not monotonous, and on the baritone register.
  13. East Bellsford, Red Line
    Gilan Thorne

    Gritting his teeth to avoid biting his tongue on impact, Gilan tried to calm his nerves. His hands gripped the straps that held him in his seat, and he noticed the knuckles turning white. The sudden impact disoriented Gilan and it took him a moment to come to his senses. Looking up, he noticed the large AI exiting the pod. Unhooking himself from the straps, Gilan grabbed his gear and made his way to the open hatch of the escape pod. Spotting a radio, he grabbed it and stuffed it into one of his pockets.

    Stepping out of the pod, Gilan took a moment to orientate himself. Checking over his gear to make sure it was undamaged he nodded, satisfied. As he glanced up, Gilan noticed the commander and straightened himself out. Hearing his orders, Gilan nodded. "Copy that sir." He responded automatically, turning and making his way after Laura and Kephart.

    As he entered the subway station, Gilan looked around. Laura had already begun organizing the civilians and Kephart had begun assisting with the moving of the tables. Spotting the open power room, Gilan made his way towards it. While he made his way towards the open blast door, Gilan pulled out the radio he had snagged from the pod. Giving it a once over, he could already see it had suffered some light damage in the landing. Frowning, the medic hoped it was something he could fix later.

    Stuffing the radio back in his pocket, Gilan raised his rifle and entered the open power room. Sweeping left to right, he made sure the room was clear before fully stepping inside. He could make out a lone figure by the far side of the room, dutifully hunched over an array of consoles. Carefully approaching the figure, Gilan called out. "Sir! INEF, we are asking all civilians to head to the cafeteria until the next train arrives."

    The person turned, and Gilan was surprised to see just how young he was. "I can't leave yet, I have to make sure the power stays on." The young man's eyes were filled with a sense of purpose, but the exhaustion was clear in his voice. Taking a few steps forward, Gilan lowered his gun slightly. "You're the one who sent that message then?"

    Nodding, the young engineer glanced over his shoulder at the consoles behind him. "I did, yes. But I have to stay here and try and keep the power going for as long as possible. If I can't get it flowing consistently, we may not even get a second train to evacuate on!"

    Cursing inwardly, Gilan glanced over his own shoulder, back out the exit of the power room. Turning back, he made a decision. "Maybe I can help. What's been causing it to drop?" A flicker of relief passed over the young engineer's face and he nodded. "I'll take all the help I can get."

    Turning back to the consoles, the young man began gesturing towards them, talking over his shoulder. "We got hit, and we got hit hard. Once all the fighting started, most of the initial systems went down. We have emergency power up and running, but I don't have a way of getting full power up throughout this system."

    Gilan made his way over to join the man at the consoles. Lowering his rifle, he looked at them, furrowing his brows as he tried to make sense of all the information. "I have had to divert power from several systems just to keep the trains running, and I haven't figured out a way to get any of the defenses up yet." Throwing a hand back to gesture towards the blast doors, the young engineer continued, "These doors would likely help keep out whatever the hell is attacking us, but I can't see a way of getting them operational without diverting power from even more systems. If I drain too much we might lose power again completely and there's no telling how long it would take to get it back up again."

    Nodding, Gilan chewed on his lower lip. There had to be a way to figure this out...
  14. Gwen Argalla
    East Bellsford — Convoy #4

    Gwen winked at Ralph from down on the street. "That'd better be some fine gum."

    She had been walking near the front of the convoy, helping to push aside whatever debris the tank missed. Though careful not to over-exert herself before any real danger came their way, she was a little sweaty, and pulled her canteen out of the duffel bag she carried slung over her shoulder. Taking a quick swig of water, she turned to the woman who had answered Ralph's call.

    "We can assign everyone a number, and have them call it out in order." She shrugged. "It'll take some organization, but it's the best I can do."

    That said, she set out to do just that, with herself starting at one. While it might not prevent anyone from straggling off, it would at least notify them if anyone was missing. Assuming, that is, that she could get people to cooperate. It's not like they could be any louder than the tank.
  15. Officer William McCormick

    The air was stale. Muffled shitty pop-music was still audible in the shopping complex. William tried desperately to focus on crisp pounding of his footfall, but he could not escape the reality of this place. Muffled cries and whimpers came from all directions as families with children attempted to hunker down in the Super-Center. It was suicide. But perhaps they knew this. Perhaps they just wanted to die quickly with the ones they loved instead of terror and separation of being picked off in the streets. William had been sent here partially to force these people to evacuate but with the logistics of the road to safety, he knew they were all dead anyway. He had abandoned that cause hours ago. He was now here to fight.

    Another cry. Another pigtailed toddler scrambling for her parents. Don’t think about Ellodie. She will be fine.

    Looters dotted the premises and William did his best to avoid them. His uniform would only entice them to fight and they were not the enemy. In fact, it would be stupid for these people to not loot as many tools for survival as possible. This world was about to be turned on its head and shop theft would be the staple of survival. They could repay the dead owners by continuing the human race.

    William kept moving, kept trying to distance himself from the civilians, kept trying to stay focused. Salt caked to the inside of his fatigues from dried sweat. As he kneeled down to take a precious sip of water a roaring crack exploded from up above. Dust kicked into the air as some object landed intact yards away from his position. William could feel his heart beating in his throat. He thought for sure it would be an enemy droppod. William felt utterly out of his element. Exposed, undersupplied, and without a team to fight; he knew this encounter would likely be quick but he was going to take a few of these Chrysalid cunts with him.

    Weapon poised on the crashed vessel, he approached as quickly as he felt he could maintain a fluid aim. He was going to close the distance, hopefully toss a grenade in the mix, anything he could do to stay out of a long range firefight with a more advanced species. Shit was about to get barbaric. He was close now. Whatever stepped out of that pod was a fish in his barrel. He kneeled, poised, red dot floating above the now opened exit. His safety slipped off and finger kissed the trigger. Outstepped a human.

    *Motherfuh-* he exhaled with raw relief. They must have been survivors from the INEF vessels above. By the way they moved and handled the situation, he was quite sure of it. William trotted up to the downed crew but decided against communicating their presence. He was sure by now the Chrysalids would have cracked the police comm system. That would have been one of the first steps in planning such an invasion. Even if they hadn’t, he wasn’t about to divert any resources getting these military runaways out when they could be rescuing his people. His thoughts on the matter were solidified as he overheard the comments of the balding scientist. His rifle was cute enough though; must have been craft day at the nursing home.

    “Welcome to purgatory gents.” William chortled to the disembarking crew, his eyes danced around to the different members with varying levels of disdain. “You’re in the Super-Center eight floor. I don’t know if you were given orders but if we stay here we’re dead. …” William’s mood turned serious, “The holes you just opened up in the roof of this building is going to send in Chrysalid like water on a leaky ship. My humble advice is that we clear the hell out of here, unless you want to live another ten minutes defending a pile of smart phones.”

    He waited for a reply, hopefully from one who they had determined was in charge. His eyes reverted back to shadowy movements of civilians around them. Particularly the little heads that bobbled at knee height.

  16. Libero
    Location- INEF Escape Pod, currently plummeting towards North Bellsford Super-Centre

    In his travels, Libero had experiences two crash landings. The first was an emergency landing protocol drill set up by his government, the second was the result of a criminal's successful attempt to take control of a civilian ship and unsuccessful attempt to fly it. Libero had a few minutes to remember these landings as his escape pod plummeted towards the surface of a planet he had never visited, not knowing whether he would arrive in time to die at the hands of its invaders or be crushed upon impact.

    Looking at the empty seats around him, Libero wondered whether he would be in a pod with his fellow travelers had the INEF not separated him from the group when they were detained, or if the were destroyed along with the ship. Perhaps he would not only survive his third crash landing, but find his friends in the warzone below. Perhaps he should also thank the Chiwen smuggler that got the group detained in the first place; if Gump hadn't been caught bringing stolen tech into the colony, Libero's group would be on the surface already, and likely killed by the invaders.

    When the ship was first hit, Libero was in the process of being examined by one of the engineers, an old man he never got the name of, on one of the ship's lower decks. Libero's body, an invention of the Fonte race, was nothing like the typical AI tech he had witnessed in his years of travel. A regular 'free' AI was the result of a program having their consciousness 'awaken', or evolve beyind their original orders and instructions. Libero, as with all of the Duplicates from his homeworld of Parivin, was an exact copy of a living being's mind, placed into a robotic body so they could live on for eternity. He was named Vincente, and he was now an 89-year-old war veteran and former POW, living with his large family back on Parivin. Libero had a new, never-aging mechanical body, and programs that perfectly simulated the process of a living being's senses. When Libero breathed in, he tasted the stale air of the pod. When he touched the surface of the empty seat beside him, he felt the hard plastic on his palm and fingertips. He was alone, and he felt it.

    Suddenly, the pod was crashing through layers of something solid. After a few seconds, it had stopped, and Libero was now strapped to the ceiling of his pod. Ripping the seat belt off of him, Libero landed on the empty seats below, just as the red lights of the emergency power turned on. The urgency of the moment hit Libero as the lights did, and he released his Martellos in response to the feeling. He pressed the green button beside the door with the end of one his Martellos, and waited as it slowly opened, revealing some sort of shopping center. By the time he could exit, several civilians were waiting for him. When they saw his Martellos, two of them ran. "I am not here to hurt you," he said to the few remaining people. "Did any other pods land-"

    The same crashing sound he'd just experienced echoed throughout the mall. Several pods had just arrived, somewhere down the corridor to his right. Nodding awkwardly to the civilians, Libero ran towards the sounds of the new arrivals. Running past the shuttered stores and confused survivors, he was greeted with a loud "Retreat! Hiding will only get you killed!" just as he found two more pods. These pods looked like his, so they might be from the same ship, but no one he recognized was waiting for him, just soldiers. One of these survivors carried a large rifle, so Libero returned his Martellos to their storage space in his forearms.

    As he walked towards the group, another soldier greeted them first. By the time he was within speaking distance, Libero heard the man say "My humble advice is that we clear the hell out of here, unless you want to live another ten minutes defending a pile of smart phones."

    "Then let us focus on the civilian lives that need defending." Libero stood before the group, glaring at the retreat-suggesting soldier. "You are human military, after all, and while I have no affiliation with your government, I have my own experience defending those who cannot defend themselves. I suggest we work together to save lives, and not just our own. My name is Libero, and I am here to help."
    #16 PCSutfin, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2015
  17. North Bellsford, Super-Centre

    The escape pod’s jarring impact left the Rear Admiral incapacitated for several moments longer than the others, and when he opened his eyes to survey the scene he could see and hear his navigator opening the pods door. His biomechanical eyes rapidly adjusted to the change in lighting, allowing him to see the navigator recoil from the brightness. Turning his head, he could also make out the corpses of the soldiers who hadn’t survived the landing. For the first two it was to be expected, but the third was a mistake likely caused by panic, the kind that could have been avoided.

    Before unfastening his seatbelt, he patted himself down to make sure the transmitter was still on his person. When Mellaran returned he replied to her statement with a nod as she disappeared. Then, after the sergeant had disembarked, he followed him out. Analyzing the scene briefly, he could already tell that south or west would be the safest directions to travel, but he decided they would still need to wait for the liaison officer to tell them where the city center was.

    Since the Sergeant had communications under control, he made his way to the navigator and her one survivor. Ignoring him for the moment, he addressed her. “Mellaran, do you need medical attention? Sensitivity to light is a symptom of a concussion,” he awaited her response, scanning for any other symptoms of trauma. Then some local cowboy and an AI appeared.
  18. "I will guard the entrance to allow your people to organize and evacuate unharmed. The enemy will not pass while I draw breath." -Tharvax, Page 1.

    North Bellsford, Super-Centre

    Morgan glances back to her superior officer when he speaks to her. Though she was surprised, she contemplated for a moment what he said and nodded. "I bumped my head back there, but I'm not confused or anything else like that. Besides..." She looks around the area, pity in her eyes at the civilians. "I don't think I have time to be injured. I should be fine until we get to safety." Still, a small and shy smile formed across her lips as she looks to the rear admiral, respect brimming in her eyes. "Thank you, sir."

    Between the Sergeant's orders, William McCormick's initial hostility towards the pod, and Libero's suggestion to save the civilians, most of the civilians reacted with an understandable confusion. Still, a few gingerly picked up their children and what few belongings they could reach for, as well as whatever firearms they had nearby, and began to flee from the area to the south and east. There were about a dozen still who refused to budge, instead arming their rifles at the sound of the approaching fighting, and getting ready to defend their stores. It was highly unlikely that any of them could be convinced away from their storefronts, unless they had ample reasoning to do so.

    Morgan glanced between William and Libero, and though she showed more compassion towards Libero, she ensured that she remained a few steps away from him. For William, however, she showed some confusion at his disdainful and disgusted looks: If he loathed the military so, why would he bother offering his suggestion? It certainly couldn't be an order, for no member of civilian forces could have their authority considered above that of military in war time, and this was war in all ways imaginable. Still, it wasn't her place to reply to his declaration, and instead she simply looked away, hints of sadness crossing into her eyes.

    After a minute or so of silence, the Max's radio crackles to life. On the other end was the sound of a young male's voice. "Sergeant, I am Liaison Officer Tyson. I'm going to help you get out of there. We've traced your position--and no doubt, the Chrysalids have as well. This signal is being cycled to try and avoid their cracking algorithms, but we should operate on the assumption that they know you have a VIP with you." A loud scream is heard in the distance to the North--not far from where Libero's pod had landed, placing enemy forces only a couple minutes away. It seemed Tyson overheard the scream, as his next instructions sounded rushed. "Head southward as quickly as you can and keep your heads down! We're setting up an extraction zone outside of the mall. If you reach the southward-facing set of glass walls, you can take the emergency rappel system down to the ground level! You'll have to pass through a food court to get there. Watch for enemies coming from the North! They're going after whoever was in those escape pods, and I'm going to assume by your name that you're one of its occupants. Move! Now!"

    Morgan glanced around at the civilians: The few remaining refused to budge, even overhearing all of that. She then looks to Max and Ariston, awaiting her orders. Still, she seemed nervous, and eager to move out given the circumstances.

    North Bellsford, Zinc Road

    As Norb, Ariel, Leonie, and Prosper each step up, a few of the locals stop and hesitantly gather around the group. One of them steps up onto a car beside Nikolai, though he looked positively childish compared to the hulking mass that was the amused mercenary. The civilian turns towards his fellows--nineteen others in all--and speaks loudly. "I'm Martello, I've been trained in squad command as part of my militia training!" He glances at Nikolai and nods. "I'll take command of the militia." He then looks down to Leonie. "We'll listen to any orders either of you have for us." Pulling out his sidearm, he turns off the safety and looks at the other three. He especially seemed doubtful of Prosper. "The rest of you can offer suggestions, and we'll think about it." Some among the militia chuckle, which diffused their tension somewhat.

    Nikolai hops off the vehicle he was standing on and proceeds northward, as he likely simply expected people to follow him. Most of the militia had only standard rifles or side arms, and clothing--no body armour. They would get shredded in a firefight without proper cover. There were several abandoned vehicles, and the numbers of civilians fleeing south quickly filtered down to nothing.

    After a few minutes of travel, the group stops at an intersection with a few vehicles scattered about it. Plenty of cover, though there was no telling how well it would stand up to enemy fire. To the east and west, the road stretched on into further intersections, though the intersection heading north stopped being a road and became a rather extravagant looking set of marble steps up into the mall. They provided no cover, and thus anyone fleeing from the mall's front entrance would likely get slaughtered when the Chrysalids arrived. The streets were large enough to accompany six sets of lanes--three for incoming traffic, and three for outgoing traffic.

    There was a pair of buildings, three floors high, on each side of the main street--one facing the east road, and one facing the west road--which could likely be garrisoned, or used as a sniper's nest. Both also had doors leading to the rooftop, which would be easier to aim and fire from, but would provide less overall cover. They were made out of a mixture of concrete and brick, and were made to be aesthetically similar to older cities of Earth, though the beams keeping the structure standing were reinforced with superior techniques and metals so the building could withstand severe punishments of nature and remain standing, even if it was badly damaged. The less people there were on the streets using the vehicles as cover, however, the less control over the streets the group would have--making it a tactical decision. One that could be deferred to Nikolai or Martello, should nobody else wish to make such a decision.

    Suddenly, Nikolai's radio crackles to life. It was the liaison officer on the other end, speaking to everyone as Nikolai quickly grabbed it and held it over his head so everyone could hear it. "This is Liaison Officer Davis, Chrysalid signatures have been detected approaching from the East. Be advised, however, that Chrysalid scout teams employ stealth capabilities, and could be coming from anywhere--even the south road. You will only have a few minutes to prepare--it could be as little as five minutes. You should-- shit, hang on, I have another group on the line." The radio suddenly cuts out. Nikolai smacks it a couple times just to be sure, then shrugs and puts it away. "I suppose we are on our own then." He glances to the four who volunteered to help him first, and motions around the battlefield. "Suggestions? You should all get ready to fight, while you offer those, of course." He glances over at Leonie. Though his expression couldn't be seen under his helmet, the way it tilted up and down couldn't really hide his salacious intentions. "Don't want nothing bad happening, after all. It'd be a real shame to lose the eye candy."

    East Bellsford, Red Line

    It didn't take long for Gilan to figure out what the issue was within the machine, as he was much more experienced than the civilian engineer was beside him. His sharp mind was able to roll over the machinery and discover the cause: The main circuit board had overloaded and the cabling connecting to it had shorted out as a result. While the circuit board was still intact, the cables would need to be cut off, and their plastic ends shaved off and replaced, as they had been damaged beyond repair. Luckily, there were several plastic end piece replacements nearby, and Gilan could do it quickly and efficiently--though it would require time to complete the repairs. Though, he could assign the civilian to do it--however, the civilian would take longer to complete the task.

    Laura was easily able to manage the civilians: They had no interest in fighting with her, when she was clearly able to knock most of them aside if necessary to get her job done. They flee to the cafeteria, with only ten being armed and willing to fight. Still, those ten at least seemed to have light combat vests and plenty of ammo, and a couple even had medical kits. One of them steps out from the group and salutes casually. "Keran." She states curtly and simply. "Veteran militia, ready to serve." Most of them, indeed, looked middle aged. "We'll get those tables." Without another word, they pass Laura by and move towards the Cafeteria, pulling out tables and arranging them to get ready for the fight ahead.

    A few of the civilians were intimidated by Kephart, though the veteran militia seemed emboldened by his presence. It didn't take long to finish setting up the tables as Commander Berry walked down the steps into the subway station, examining the pad which Marcus had handed to him earlier. He brings his attention away from the pad upon noticing the ten militia, and grimaces momentarily: They would need more than that to hold the station effectively if the enemy sent anything more than scouts. He points at Laura, and motions to her radio. "Ask for a liaison officer from Central, tell them to expect two more trains coming from the..." He looks around momentarily and spots a sign. "... Red Line station. After that, close and seal the tunnel. With explosives, if necessary."

    Marcus & Berry both would hear an audible blip moments after the last of the cafeteria tables were set up: The surveillance drone had detected something. Two somethings, really: One coming from the north, and disturbances coming from the east. Berry kneels down and pulls out the pad, watching the feed. A few more moments pass, the room dead silent and tense, before the drone blips again to confirm contact from the east: It was a ship. Something difficult to discern for Marcus as it simply looked like a green-brown, organic thing of a cyclical shape with strange, exoskeletal flesh that reflected light shined upon it, but Berry knew what it was. "Dropship. Just by the way it's coming in and slowing down to approach the ground, that's a dropship." He places the pad down as the Dropship starts deploying troops behind a few buildings--out of eyesight of the drone, which could only see the very top of the vessel.

    Commander Berry starts shouting orders, motioning for people to take positions with a pair of fingers. "TAKE COVER! GET READY! Remember, there was two suspected contacts, only one confirmed--there may be reinforcements right behind whatever it is we face! If you don't know where the fuck something's head is, shoot for its limbs instead! Remember your training!" Berry himself takes position behind one of the columns, in the middle of the subway station. He then noticed that the power room was still open, and he gritted his teeth. "Kephart, Laura, close that door. We can't protect it and the cafeteria at the same time, but if it's closed, we won't have to. If Gilan is still inside, tell him to come out here with us, or leave him in there--if he feels his talents are better served there, that's fine by me. Once power is back, he can open the door himself anyway. Once you are done with that, get to cover--immediately!"

    East Bellsford, Convoy #4

    Though the civilians appeared somewhat relieved by Tharvax's declaration that he would protect them, most kept their children away from him. Most, that is, except for one small child, who wandered away from the truck that Caitlin was sitting on to poke Tharvax's leg in curiosity. Before Tharvax or anyone else could move to take the child back to the truck--and the old woman who was waving her cane and screeching shrilly for the child to return--the convoy suddenly stops. Quentin's drones detected an incoming dropship, and both he and the tank commander became aware of it. The dropship could be seen in the distance before it dipped behind some buildings to unload its cargo. Before Quentin could speak up and inform everyone that his drones had detected at least one vehicle among the dropship's retinue, a few radios around the civilian group all come to life with the same voice. A panicked woman was screaming, with the sounds of gunfire in the background of the transmission. "This is Convoy 5! We've sent our civilians ahead, the Chrysalids have found us! We're holding the line as long as we can, but once they're done with us, they're going to go after them. If anyone can hear us--" The woman is momentarily interrupted by the sound of an explosion in the background. "WE'RE DOWN TO ONE TANK! CHRIST, IF ANYONE CAN HEAR THIS, SOMEONE, PLEASE, THERE ARE ELDERLY AND CHILDREN IN THAT CONVOY! I REPEAT, THERE ARE ELDERLY AND CHIL--" The transmission cuts out, and only static follows.

    A few moments later, the tank commander pops out of his tank and looks back to the civilians. Most of them were very shaken, the silence was overwhelming. They were looking to Ralph and the Tank Commander each respectively to speak their minds, though before the commander could summon the courage, Ralph stood up and spoke. "Y'all know me, I'm a techie, one o' the best." He clears his throat, and his southern accent drops to nothing, as his voice comes across surprisingly clear. "The convoy is faster without those tanks, assuming nothing is blocking the road. Meaning they have a short head start... If we activate our radios and call for the subway station to respond, the enemy will know where we are--and we can draw some of them away from that convoy, giving them a much better chance of escaping." The commander looks at Ralph with a scowl. "No offense farm boy, but sacrificing one convoy to allow another the chance of escape is a stupid move." Ralph smiles and crosses his arms nonchalantly, not intimidated by the tank commander. "Right, which is why we stick the radio sending the transmission into the ground, behind us. Where it will keep repeating a request for help or orders or whatever other military jargon sounds juicy enough to molest. That will give us a head start... So long as we say we're stuck, or something similar." The tank commander shakes his head. "And then what, the Chrysalids will come up right behind us--where we lack a tank to protect that flank?" Ralph shrugs. "We're not far from the subway station now. I'm willing to bet we can get there before the Chrysalids catch up to us." He glances back to the civilian convoy. "If we don't do this, we damn every single person on that convoy to die."

    The tank commander grumbles under his breath and sighs, then glances ahead, in the direction of the subway station. "We have to make a decision anyway." He glances back to the civilians, and clears his throat so he can speak up. "Either we proceed now with speed and try to break our way through this blocked up road, to reach the subway station as fast as possible, or we abandon our vehicles here and take to the alleyways. If we take to the alleyways, we'll reduce our detectable profile significantly--even if we use our radios in Ralph's stupid plan--but it'll take us longer to get there. And when we do, we won't have a tank." He pats the side of his Sabre Tank and grimaces: It seemed he was attached to his tank. "We need to make this decision now by consensus. If you can't, I'll make it for you."

    It seemed the convoy was left with two decisions to make...
    #18 Brovo, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  19. North Bellsford, Super-Centre

    Ariston acknowledged Morgan’s reply with a brief nod. He knew they couldn’t treat a concussion without medical support, but as long as she was aware something might be wrong it’d keep her on her toes. Pointedly ignoring the cowboy, he turned to the AI. “I’m sorry ‘Libero,’ but they’re well-trained citizens of the Terran Confederation, and they’ve made their choice,” trailing his statement, the Sergeant’s radio crackled to life, and the Admiral nodded stolidly as Tyson began speaking.

    After hearing the liaison officer’s instructions, Ariston drew his sidearm from its holster and turned to let his gaze encompass everyone remaining at the intersection before speaking. “As long as you’re comfortable dying, I don’t have the time to dissuade you,” his expression, if not his chronically harsh voice, softened for just a second. “Good luck. The INEF thanks you for every second you can buy us.

    Without further delay, he began heading towards the southern corridor at a brisk walk, gesturing towards Max and Mellaran as he walked. “Mellaran, you’re with me. Sergeant, you take the rear and keep your eyes peeled, we're moving quick and we won't be stopping to chat with anyone,” addressing the others in an elevated voice, he continued. “I suggest the rest of you make up your mind quickly, debate isn’t a luxury you have time for.
  20. Libero
    Location- North Bellsford Super-Centre, Level 8
    I’m sorry ‘Libero,’ but they’re well-trained citizens of the Terran Confederation, and they’ve made their choice."

    This man, his presence commanding respect, was clearly some sort of INEF authority. His word was, in times of crisis, law, and as a former soldier, Libero understood that. Whether the leader's decisions would bring them to victory or failure would be his responsibility, and the weight of the group's actions, as well as the consequences of those actions, would rest only on his shoulders. "Understood," Libero responded, "however, should we happen upon anyone defenseless and in need of saving, I will make my own choices."

    As the radio in the other soldier's hand went off, Libero listened closely to the information Tyson provided. There were Crysalids looking specifically for the pod survivors, heading towards them from the direction Libero entered this area from. To the south, if they could get through a food court before the Crysalids overtook them, the group would find an emergency rappel system that would bring them to the ground floor, and a nearby extraction point. While Libero considered how the survivors could make it out alive, he was taken from his thoughts by the words of the leader, who was addressing those who hadn't left. “As long as you’re comfortable dying, I don’t have the time to dissuade you. Good luck. The INEF thanks you for every second you can buy us.”

    Libero stepped forward. "That's not the only option. We know there's Crysalids to the north and safety to the south. Getting between them and us is suicide.

    The leader looked towards Libero and the coward who had approached the soldiers, having just given his companions an order. “I suggest the rest of you make up your mind quickly, debate isn’t a luxury you have time for.”

    "My mind is made. I will go with you." Libero looked to the survivors. "Who else? Stay if you want to die. Come with me if you want to live."
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