Patrol Run

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  1. Music | OOC w. Rules | Setting Development Thread

    CCN William Burke
    THE REACH / 2654-09-25 / 0200 ZULU

    The CCN William Burke was a magnificent vessel, an Argonaut Class destroyer, the pride and joy of the Consortium Navy. With its two kilometers of length, hundreds of railgun batteries and an equal amount of starfighters - only a small fraction of the incredible firepower packed into the destroyer - it was a formidable foe that even the elf like races of the Perfect Rim and the Ishtar of the Core Worlds, with their disciplined navies, thought twice about crossing.

    The ship was assigned on patrol duty on the Reach, the region on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy that separated the Milky Way from Unknown Space, commonly referred to as exactly that - the Reach. Because of its firepower, and the battalion of Consortium Marines based onboard, it, and ships like it, had a unique ability to independently handle most crisises and emergencies that arose on the Reach - usually piracy, rogue mercenary companies or hostile colonists - without having to rely on or wait for reinforcements.

    Trouble was common on patrol duty on the Reach, but for the William Burke, this had been an unusually slow month, with only a few skirmishes with hostile colonists who didn’t want to be subjects to Consortium authority and took every chance they could to resist them. They had been left in peace, as was the policy of the Consortium, after the responsible parties for any hostile actions taken against the military had been arrested, and the William Burke had continued on its way with little to worry about.

    Its next stop was in a region known as the Midas Belt, an asteroid filled area of space that had never been properly explored and charted, where it was going to meet up with an Elohim destroyer for a couple of days of joint reconnaissance operations into the Reach - a common procedure between the two allies, an alliance that had been founded in the common ground of total belief in military readiness. Both nations were military superpowers in their own right, and over the years, a strong bond had been formed between the Consortium and the warrior society of the Elohim.

    Plans are fickle things in military operations, however.

    When the Sigint Division of the William Burke picked up an unidentifiable signal, encrypted beyond the capability of Sigint's crypto analysts to break, the situation had warranted a change in plans. SOP in situations like this was to investigate the signal, and it had been tracked to an unidentified planet in the Midas Belt.

    A squad of Select Marines, the special forces branch of the Consortium Marines, had been activated, and told to get ready for a deployment. In addition, a company of regular marines had been told to prepare for full-scale deployment, in case the Selects ran into any hostile contact on the ground. In less than an hour, the crew on the William Burke went from a lazy routine mindset to the hurried professionalism of people who knew the situation had changed drastically.

    * * * * * * * * * *
    The Consortium Wars:

    Prologue: First Contact
    * * * * * * * * * *

    Nicholas Sherev, Master Gunnery Sergeant of the Consortium Marines, with over fifteen years of service in the Marines alone, gave out orders as he walked through the barracks. The activity there was hurried and tense, as the Select Marines went over their equipment. He took up notes from people on equipment needs, such as batteries, rope, shoe laces, note pads, and all the other small things that always ever seemed to be needed only moments before deployment. After compiling a list, he signed it, and sent four of the marines down to the Quartermaster to check out the equipment, along with a requisition order for ammunition and explosives.

    Once he was finished with this, he picked up his combat harness, strapped to his backpack for ease of transport, in one hand, and his assault rifle in the other. His equipment was always ready for a quick deployment. He called out to the marines:

    "Briefing in ten minutes at the Satbay."

    "Sure thing, Gunny." Somebody replied in the back.

    As Sherev stepped out, and the door hissed shut behind him, he walked down the dark metal colored hallways of the William Burke's inside. To an untrained eye the ship's crisscrossing labyrinth of corridors would be a maze, but to Sherev, it was perfectly logical, and it wasn't long before he stepped into the area known colloquially as "the Sat Bay".

    The Satellite Bay was named so because it was located right above the large telescope installation that the Burke was equipped with - essentially a ship-based spy satellite - that allowed for live satellite overhead footage 24/7. In the center of the room was a large, round table-like uprising, which usually depicted the black of space, but currently reflected the planet under them in a colored satellite image.

    Around the table stood already a Sigint analyst, as well as Lieutenant Harry Roman of the Consortium Select Marines, the commanding officer of the Select Marine platoon based onboard.

    As he entered, Sherev moved up into attention and saluted the men. The gesture was returned by the lieutenant, though the Sigint analyst, a corporal from the Consortium Navy, was too engrossed in studying the satellite footage to pay any attention. A slight lack of discipline that only cemented Sherev's distaste for navymen.

    "At ease, gunny. Put your equipment in the corner, come over and take a look. I need you and your men to be fully understood with the geography of the AO when you deploy." The lieutenant said.

    "Yes, sir." Sherev said. He placed his backpack and vest on the ground in the corner of the room, neatly stacked, but kept his unloaded assault rifle on his back in its nylon strap, as he walked up to study the footage while waiting for his men to join them. Soon after, the marines started to filter in one by one, and followed his example, placing their gear on the floor in the corner of the room.
    #1 Loxley, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
  2. Designated marksman, Lance Corporal Kyle Mirkoff set his rifle and gear in the corner of the room and formed up behind the sergeant. Mirkoff didn't like being the first ones on the soil of a new planet. A variety of threats raced through his mind from angry locals to harsh environments. He stood at attention awaiting the briefing.
  3. Hospitalman Roose Clark had only been in his bunk for what seemed like five minutes when the command to muster at the Sat Bay was given. It had been a long day in the infirmary tending to sprained ankles, sick sailors, and the occasional Marine with a blister or two.

    HN Clark moved quickly from his bunk, grabbing his Jump-Bag and his semi-automatic rifle. He made his way down the winding and turning corridors aboard the Burke, getting lost more than once. When he finally arrived at the Sat Bay he found himself among a unit he was newly assigned to. Just the week before he was flown out from one of the inner-colonies to take over the position of another Corpsman who was having a child, or so he had heard. He set his jump-bag down and leaned his rifle against it, then he fell in with the Marines that were already mustered.

    *I don't know anyone here save for the Sergeant, and that's only courtesy... And to think I may have to make landfall with this unit, guys that don't know me yet...* Clark thought to himself. He couldn't help but be aware of the Marines closest to him eyeing him up and down. Trying to size up their new "Doc", *No, I'm not their 'Doc', not yet, I need to gain their respect, their trust, I have to be proven for that honor.*

    Clark then looked forward; away from the disapproving eyes of the Marines; waiting for the briefing to begin.
  4. "At ease, marines." The lieutenant said when each of them had arrived. "First, I'd like to introduce you all to your new team medic, Hospitalman Clark. He's replacing Hospitalman Giordino. Welcome to the Select Marines, Clark. Do try to keep up." The lieutenant then looked down at the satellite footage on the Sat table in front of him, and began the briefing without further ado: "We've picked up an unknown signal from this planet, designated TRX4. Our Sigint Division is unable to decrypt it, and so we need to verify it manually. You men are the lucky volunteers who get to go down there and investigate the source of it." He pointed at an area from where red ripples of digital paint erupted, marking the spot of the signal.

    "The AO is a ruined city of some kind. There is a lot of these on the Reach, and scientists back in Charon guess they are from some sort of ancient civilization. Doesn't matter right now. There are about fifty buildings, sandstone mostly, with what looks like some kind of pyramid in the center of the city. The signal stems from that pyramid. That's where you need to go. Satellite images detect numerous heat sources on the ground, but sat images aren't clear enough for us to say what they are. Most likely you are dealing with human colonists, or possibly scavengers or pirates, so be prepared for anything, and go in with stealth."

    "Your objective is, again, to reach the signal and investigate it. If possible, retrieve the source of it. If necessary, designate it with laser target designators for a pickup by the Corps of Engineers. They will be able to blow the top right off that pyramid if it's bulky, and pull it out of there. You will be dropped here, about one kilometer from the pyramid, just outside town. We'd drop you farther away to avoid tipping the people in the city off, but satellite photos indicate that a sandstorm is coming, which means you have about four hours before we need to pick you up, or you'll be stuck down there until it has passed. Only God knows when that will be. So be quick."

    "Rules of Engagement, sir?" Sherev asked.

    "Fire only if you are fired upon first, as usual." The lieutenant replied. "The Consortium is trying to build a rapport with these colonists, and live fire incidents tend to be a hinder in that, which means that our superiors get testy. Stick to the rules, and we've got our asses covered if the shit hits the fan, marines." He thought about things for a moment, then nodded to the analyst, who took over:

    "The planet is equal to New Earth in gravity, meaning you will not have to wear exosuits with gravity compensators. The atmosphere consists of..."

    "Skip the science class, Einstein. Get to the hard facts." The lieutenant sighed, irritatedly.

    "Yes, sir." The Navy Corpsman said, looking almost offended. "You will be able to breathe normally down there for the short time you're staying. Staying any longer than twenty hours means a risk of overexposure to trace elements in the air, however, which can lead to Richter's Syndrome, which is very bad. Therefor I advise you to bring oxygen masks in case of a delay due to the sandstorm. In addition, there is nothing known of the wildlife of the planet, so be careful and watch out for predators. The region we are over currently is desert, meaning water will be scarce, so fill up camelbaks and canteens before deployment, and make sure to wear sunscreen." The marines couldn't tell if he was joking or not, as his face remained completely serious as he said it.

    "The temperature currently is 40 degrees celcius, with very low humidity. During nightfall we estimate that it will reach -50C. The sand retains the heat well, so if you are forced to stay, bury yourselves in the sand to survive the night's cold." He looked at the lieutenant, and added: "That's all I've got."

    Lieutenant Roman looked around at the marines.
  5. Mirkoff raises his hand. "Can we bring souvenirs back?" He said jokingly and lowered his hand.
  6. *Funny.* Clark mused at Mirkoffs comment.

    He raised his hand, "Where can I get an O2 mask sir? I was never given one upon my arrival." a simple question. *If there's only four hours until that sandstorm hits... We have to go now, or soon, otherwise we're stuck down there...* Clarks mind wandered in the possibilities of being stuck on a potentially hostile planet. "Also, when do we leave sir?" There was no doubt everyone else wanted to know the answer to that one just as much as he did.
  7. "Enough." Sherev muttered to Mirkoff, who seemed to always have a smartass comment in the least fitting situation. The new team member, the Navy Corpsman, then raised his hand and asked several questions. The lieutenant nodded towards Sherev and said:

    "Gunny will go down to the Quartermaster with you and check out an O2 mask before deployment. Make sure he's got everything else he needs as well, Gunny."

    "Aye, sir." Sherev agreed, offering an acknowledging nod to Clark as if saying, 'We'll take care of it'.

    "Do you have any further questions?" Sherev nodded.

    "Just one, sir. What's the situation on medevac and fire support?"

    "An Air Force shuttle escorted by an M23 Gunship will hover in-atmosphere providing casevac and exfil after the completion of the mission. If you need fire support, the Burke's HPRG batteries will provide artillery fire. Guide them in with the LTD's. Your callsign on the comm network will be Fox Patrol 1. Combat Control will be Hotel Fox. You will have little to no communication with them, but the air units will be Air Fox 1 and Air Fox 2. As a sidenote, the gunship is specially equipped with electronic warfare equipment. It will jam all non-allied communications channels in the area, including signals from surface-to-air missiles and other electronic guided weaponry. It's a little present the Air Force came up with."

    "Understood, sir."

    "If there are no more questions, you deploy from the secondary battery bay in thirty minutes. Good luck, marines." Roman said as he walked out.

    "Clark, on me. You too, Mirkoff." Sherev said as he walked towards the door, picking up his gear as he stepped outside. He headed down the corridor towards the stairs that would take them to the Armory Deck and the Quartermaster, one deck above the Gunnery Deck, which in turn was where the secondary battery bay was located. He threw a glance at Clark as he did, and asked: "Is this your first time deploying via rail pod, Clark?"

    Rail pod deployment was one of those necessary evils that the Consortium Marines had come to accept as life. It involved stepping into a hardened and armored deployment pod the shape of an artillery shell. Each shell had room for one fully combat equipped marine, complete with safety harnesses and gravity suppressors that compensated for the G forces the marine was put under. The shell, after being properly sealed, was loaded into one of the ship's 300 mm railgun batteries, and fired at tremendous speed towards the planet's surface. It penetrated the atmosphere, and engaged an automatic auxiliary landing engine moments before impact. By any and all accounts, it was a most uncomfortable experience, though after a while, marines tended to be desensitized to it. Sherev, with his fifteen years of experience in the Marines, had thousands of rail pod deployments under his belt, for example. But you never forgot your first.

    They entered the Quartermaster's area, and the Quartermaster, a jagged, scarred old marine, greeted them with a gruff nod.
    "What can I do for you, Gunny?" He muttered.

    "The Navy Corpsman here needs an O2-mask and some extra rifle mags."

    "Can do. Sign here, please." The Quartermaster handed Sherev a form that he signed, and then disappeared into the back to get the equipment necessary.
  8. "Clark, on me. You too, Mirkoff." Clark grabbed his gear and followed the two Marines out of the Sat Bay and toward the Quartermasters .

    "Is this your first time deploying via rail pod, Clark?" *A rail pod....* Clark thought uneasily. "Only in the simulators Sergeant, I've heard it's one hell of an experience in actuality." Clark wasn't afraid, but he wasn't entirely excited at the whole being launched out of a railgun at terminal velocity. *Who even decided that was a good way to get to the ground, it sounds like a terrible idea* Clark thought in his mind, but it had worked for as long as the Marines had been using it so he knew he could trust the tech.
  9. Mirkoff grabbed his gear and folowed Sherev and Clark. He walked next to Clark "The simulators over do it. It's not that bad and it feels like a blowjob. You won't even know you did it 'til it's over." Mirkoff was lying. In reality it was a nightmare. Encased in a metal tube and shot and out of a cannon at mach speeds towards a planet. What could possibly go wrong?
  10. "The simulators over do it. It's not that bad and it feels like a blowjob. You won't even know you did it 'til it's over."
    "Ha, I sure hope you're right about that one.." Clark knew that Mirkoff was just trying to calm his nerves before his first drop, and in the least he could be thankful that someone seemed to like him a little bit around here.

    "That Quartermaster is sure taking a while, but to be frank this ship is massive. That storage room must be huge to have all of our equipment necessary" he said aloud to both Marines. Clark was starting to get that feeling of butterflies in his stomach as it kept taking longer for the Quartermaster to reappear; and the longer it took; the closer to the drop.
  11. The Quartermaster returned with Clark's equipment, as well as a crate of ammunition, and the O2 mask. Sherev opened the ammo crate, pulled out a cardboard box no larger than the palm of his hand, containing the caseless ammunition of their battle rifles. He picked up one of the magazines, and started filling it up. As he did, he said: "Just hold onto the bulkheads inside the pod and make sure to strap yourself in properly, and you'll be fine. The tech in the pod will compensate for the dangerous levels of G forces, but it will still be unpleasant. That's not to say it will be dangerous - it's completely safe as any marine will tell you, at least until you land. But once the pod lands, you need to get out of it quickly. It may be armored, but it's a magnet for rocket propelled grenades in a firezone. So get out, seek cover, and wait for us to find you."

    As he spoke, he shoved the filled up magazine into one of the medic's mag pouches. Together they quickly multiplied the amount of ammunition the Navyman was carrying into battle to equal that of the marines. Once they finished, Sherev turned to Mirkoff.

    "Watch over him today. We were all new at this at one point or another." He turned to lead the trio down to the Gunnery Deck, but stopped and added: "Oh, and Clark. You're in the marines now. It's 'Gunny', not 'Sergeant'." With that, he turned around and lead the way down to the Gunnery Deck. They soon made their way to the Secondary Battery Bay, where the rest of the squad were already waiting and preparing. A full eight of the huge armored artillery shells were lined up on a conveyor belt along the wall, each with an open door and a tiny armored glass window, and most occupied by marines strapping themselves in.

    "Mirkoff, get him strapped into his pod." Sherev said as he walked up to discuss details with the Gunnery Officer in charge of the railgun battery. They agreed on an exact position for their deployment, and the Gunnery Officer reassured Sherev that he actually knew what he was doing, and that his men did the same. After all, the lives of the marines were in their hands, and every marine relied on the fact that they could aim straight and without screwing up. Finally, Sherev stepped into his own pod, pulled the hatch shut, and strapped himself in. He checked the display, which showed that everything was a-ok. The Gunnery Officer walked by each pod, checking everything and doing a thumbs up with the person inside. When he passed Sherev, he did the same, and Sherev returned the gesture, showing he was ready.

    A moment of silence followed as the officer disappeared out of sight.

    Then, with a jerk sideways Sherev felt his pod move with the conveyor belt, and be placed in the railgun first of all. A series of whining sounds outside followed by a mechanical sound alerted him to the fact it was time. The window was now black, showing that he was inside the railgun's mechanism. He heard a whining noise as the railgun charged up, and then a violent explosion, followed by a tremendously violent acceleration downwards, that made his stomach want to leap out of his body. Had he not been strapped in and protected by the artificial gravity, he would have been turned to jelly by being smashed against the ceiling of the pod.
  12. Mirkoff guided Clark to his pod. "That one is yours. Pretty simple, just put your weapons on your right and the rest of your stuff on the left. Be sure your seatbelt is fastened tightly and if you have the urge to puke, don't. Keep your hands and feet inside the pod at all times and..." He paused for a moment to think. "Who is your next of kin?"
  13. "Weapons on the right, equipment on the left, just like the sims" Clark climbed in and did as he was told, tightening his harness to the point were it was almost too tight.

    "...and...Who is your next of kin?" said Mirkoff in an attempt to lighten the mood once again, "That isn't very funny." Clark replied. He could feel his face flush as Mirkoff closed the hatch and walked out of the small window of sight the view ports provided.

    "At least I fit nice and snuggly..." Clark said aloud as he went through his pre-flight checks (if you could really call this "flight") before their launch. As he was finishing up the conveyor belt began to move and he felt the pod tilt. Suddenly all he could see was black, he was in the tube... Blue electrical light started flashing around the pod as the electricity charged in the railgun, and he could tell this was it. Suddenly he was hurling from the gun and through space, *Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck* he thought. Then it was all gone, the terror, the anticipation, for a brief moment he had a clear view of the William Burke in all its splendor. It really was as massive as it was said. It's grey armor glinting in the sun of this distant solar system, it was oddly disheartening knowing he was leaving its safety, but it was also beautiful. He watched as several more pods were launched behind him.

    As quick as it had appeared it all disappeared, the view from his windows turned red and orange as he began his entry into the upper atmosphere. The pod began to jerk wildly, something Mirkoff said flashed through his mind: "If you have the urge to puke, don't". "Easier said then done!" Clark yelled as the urge to puke took over all his senses. He must have been falling for a good minute before the fire cleared and he had a clear view of the planet still so very far below him, he looked down through the farthest window and suddenly the world began to spin, the surface seemed to move farther away, and his vision blurred until all that was left was darkness.

    Clark could hear the sounds of his on-board computer, the clicking and beeps, the rattling of the pod itself. But his vision was gone, groping through the dark he found and grabbed the nearest hand hold and held on as tight as he could. *I am NOT dying on my first drop!* he thought. Then his vision came back, and all that was left to fill the cabin other than the view of what was seemingly a never-ending desert bordered by a giant cloud of sand was the red flash of the altitude warning from the on-board computer. "ALTITUDE. ALTITUDE." Clark oriented himself and found his gages. "ALTITUDE. ALTITUDE." They were reading off, or at least they seemed to be. "There's no way I'm 1300 meters off the ground" he said astounded at his altimeter. "ALTITUDE. ALTITUDE." Then he remembered what the railpod instructor had told him at the simulator training "Always trust your instruments, no matter what they say, and what you think, they're right.".


    "GOD DAMNIT!" Clark said as he reached for the air brake lever. "ALTITUDE. ALTITUDE." Suddenly his pod hit a violent pocket of turbulen- "Ground." Clark squeaked as the rockets automatically fired, without the air-brake deployed his landing was much rougher than it should have been, the impact instantly knocking Clark out.
  14. Mirkoff casually put his things into his pod casually. Collapsing the stock on his rifle and making sure the safety was on. Didn't want it accidentally going off inside the pod. He climbed in as the belt started to move. Yee haw he thought as his pod shot into space, away from the William Burke. He watched his instruments count down to impact. He pulled the air brake and looked out his window. He saw Clark make a pretty hard landing. Mirkoffs pod landed with a big thud. He pushed the hatch open and got his gear out. Slightly dazed, he extended his rifle stock, took the safety off his rifle and made sure he had a round in the chamber. He walked over to Clarks pod and kicked the door. "Hey doc you ok?" He said.
  15. THUD "Hey doc you ok?"
    Clark stirred in his pod. "Huh? What... ow. What happened? Am I on the ground?" Clark said, not sure who to. "Yeah. Yeah I'm good thanks"

    Clark opened his eyes, immediately tearing up at the smoke filling the pod. "Stand back, I'm blowing the pins." Clark said to who he had figured out to be Mirkoff from his voice. He flipped a red safety cover and flicked the switch up, a red light turned on above the switch. He looked down and pulled the striped yellow and black handle below him. Small primed explosives set of and the door blasted off its hinges hurling forward. Mirkoff stepped away gingerly just before the door attempted to leave orbit.

    "Hey, Mirkoff, how was your ride... Mine was... Ok." Clark said with a notable shake in his voice. He stepped out and looked down, his hands were shaking.
    #15 FrostedCaramel, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  16. Sherev felt a violent tremor as the pod met the hard ground. Moments later, silence ensued, disturbed only by the delicate sound of pebbles and dust raining down from the impact by the pod. He checked his gear, and then grasped the wheel lock of the door, rotating it with one hand, and kicking the heavy door open, his bullpup assault rifle in the other. As soon as he stepped outside, he raised the rifle, and let the barrel fan the area, sweeping for enemies. There were none to be seen in the open desert, only a series of six or seven other rail pods with soldiers coming out of each one.

    "Gather up, marines." He spoke with a low voice in the microphone of his IGR, or internal group radio.

    With that, he moved towards the pods closest to the sand colored city ruins towering ahead of them, recognizing Mirkoff and Clark standing by it. Other marines joined up with him as he approached. Once he reached the duo, he spoke:

    "Good job, Clark. You survived your first rail pod drop. No time to stand around though. Move out."

    He made a hand signal to the squad, and the marines moved up into two lines of four each, distancing themselves from each other with five meters in the side and five meters between them and the person ahead of them. As they took up the formation they began to move forward at high, but walking speed. Each marine kept their rifle at the ready as the desert ruins came closer and closer. It looked abandoned in the distance, but each of the marines knew far too well that just because it looked deserted didn't mean it was. Every hundred meters or so, the squad stopped and crouched, allowing the pointmen to observe and keep an eye out for people.

    After about ten minutes, they reached the outskirts of the city, marked by sandstone buildings, half-razed sandstone walls, and palm trees. They sought cover by the nearest wall of the closest building, where they crouched, and the pointman looked back to Sherev to receive his orders. Sherev made a quick flash of his hand, and the squad split up into two fireteams. One team moved around the corner, sticking to the wall, to move parallel to the street. The other fireteam, including Mirkoff and Clark, ran hurriedly across the street, which was no wider than twenty meters or so, to the building walls lining the other side.

    Once both teams were in position, they began to move down the street, tense. They could hear noise up ahead, but not close enough to be able to garner any insight from it in regard to the people making their home in the ruins.
  17. Mirkoff tried to identify the noise but couldn't. "Gunny" he said into his IGR. "I'd like to get up high, birds eye view."
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