The Last Bastion: Bunker Chicago

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  1. “Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.”
    -Bertrand Russell.​

    ((OOC here.))

    Above the heads of the force proceeding toward the city ruins of Chicago, the overcast skies promised nothing but a light rainfall, that never seemed to come. The dry, largely overgrown highway that served as the path to the city ruins was driven over by several tanks, the occasional helicopter flying overhead and keeping watch on the flanks for an ambush. Most of the infantry opted to ride on the tanks, making travel toward the city faster and easier. The convoy of forces was not the entirety of the forces that The Old Guard and The Coalition had to offer, but it was a sizable portion. Enough so that Marie Black, head of TOG security and military operations, could be found in the Artillery section. She was ready to lead everyone herself if necessary to ensure that this task would be completed properly.

    In the middle of the convoy was the largest of the three sections, the Body section. Here could be found Squad 2, and its three tanks, one helicopter, and several infantry. At the front of the trio of tanks was Carolyn's tank, a heavy vehicle that seemed the slowest of the three: The Squad Leader. Riding atop her tank, Morai sat leisurely with a lit cigarette, and Jenive stood, staring out toward the skyline. Jenive carried her helmet underneath her arm, though the rest of her protective suit was on. “What are you bothering to stare out there for?” Morai asked bluntly, before inhaling more smoke. Jenive gives him a momentary scowl, and replies, equally bluntly. “Looking for the skyline. You know millions of people used to live there, in those huge buildings, right?” Morai scoffs and flicks his cigarette away. “Used to. Long time ago. Not relevant now.” He had a thick accent, which gave away his foreign ancestry.

    A few minutes pass, and the skyline of the city comes into view... Rather, the fog that obscured it all did. Jenive stares out at it in awe, as Morai finally stands up atop the tank to get a look for himself. “Zàicì? (Again?)” Jenive puts on her helmet, and starts double checking her equipment. They were only a few minutes away from reaching the city, and with it, certain danger.

    The fog did not seem to move, or even react, to the wind that blew past them all. It simply stayed in its location, stubbornly refusing to budge. Squad 2's wrist communicators light up, as their ear pieces come to life. Carolyn's voice rings through, as she begins issuing orders to prepare for the coming fight. “All members of Squad 2 issued TC gas masks, put them on now. Before you ask, I don't know why they're ordering this for a fog, but then, TC never tells anyone the whole story, so you might want to just play along for now. Once you put on your gas mask, report in using your communicators. I need to make sure you're all on the right channel. If anyone fails to put on their gas mask, remind them to switch their communicator channel to Squad 2's channel, it should be programmed into their communicator.”

    A moment of silence follows, as Jenive taps her helmet and starts speaking, with a hint of excitement in her voice. “Jenive Rousseau, reporting in. Don't need the gas mask, my helmet will filter the air as is.” Morai finishes putting on his gas mask, and then taps the wrist communicator. “Morai Lee, reporting in... Speaking bluntly, I do not like this. Something uneasy is in the air.” Jenive laughs into her communicator. “Uneasy? It's the raiders all collectively feeling terrified of us, surely! You're superstitious, Morai.” Morai shakes his head, not replying, as he looks around at the rest of Squad 2, likely evaluating each of their responses.
  2. Dennis snorted impatiently, staring wantonly at the overcast. Rain is good for the ground, and the skin. Good for Dennis. This dryness just serves as lens to see the unnaturalness of this fog. Wrex snorted in agreeance. The fog isn't the only thing putting Dennis on edge; this constant roar of engines and grinding of metal on brush and asphalt is a constant reminder of how noticeable they are. Blind and deaf is not how Dennis likes to work. He stepped a few feet closer to Wrex, and one step farther from the nearest tank which he left The Groundhog upon, still within a strides reach of course. Pulling out his old tattered Bible he began reading verses to calm his nerves. A few minutes later as if to compliment his action of reading, his communication began to sputter with the voice of Carolyn. Dennis did not need an explanation of this fog, if they were going in it he is sure as the unbridled hell-fire and brimstone of the infinite fiery pit below going to put on his gas mask. It was a bit tight, but that just helped comfort him. After securing his mask Dennis began to root throw his meager belongings looking for the modified mask that would fit Wrex. Wrex visibly relaxed with the mask upon his snout, or perhaps it was due to the extra attention being paid to him by Dennis. Dennis then fiddled with the communicator to ensure it was set to proper channel, Squad 2's channel.

    Dennis cleared his throat pressed a meaty finger to the communicator, "This is Godsman reporting. We have our masks on. Ready to move. Godsman out." A loud clear squeal of a pig could be heard throughout the channel, as if to punctuate Dennis's statement.

    Dennis glanced to the tank to the left of him to ensure The Groundhog was where we left it, and then placed a large hand upon the head of Wrex. "Looks like it's showtime."
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  3. A hoarse cough tore over the comms, the indirect result of Peter trying to drag the last from his cigarette in one comically long take before roughly putting on his mask, "Don-" another racket of coughs rang through the communications, "Don't be so sure princess," he finally managed to wheeze, "Peter reporting in or whatever... I don't know if a junk dealer's opinion is worth much to you bunch, but if I've learned anything over my short career, it's that if something looks fucky it most definitely is." Not exactly the statement of the century, but the couple seconds of radio silence it caused allowed for the pawner to pick up his breath, "Really though Jenive, I wouldn't dismiss Mister Lee's concerns so quickly; Superstition is an admiral quality to have, especially when you're performing a military operation into some unexplained death fog that just so happened to appear right before said military operation. If anything you should take note from Mister Lee here and use your undoubtedly smart brain to apply some critical thinking skills." Perhaps that was a bit rude of a tirade to start off with, but the moment the Miss Rousseau's privileged drawl eked it's way over the comms Peter's teeth ground together. She spoke with a false innocence, either she was a lapdog who unthinkingly barked whatever her TC handlers told her too, or she was just naturally a happy-go-positive dullard.

    With that out of his system he turned his attention to the fog, or rather to what his mind imagined what lay within. Death, turrets, bandits, Bosho; These were all but assured, it was rather the unknown that intrigued him. Those damned voices who had taunted him for so long. Unwittingly he pulled his revolver from his belt checked the chamber and gave it a good spin, oh how inadequate it seemed now, compared to the raw ordnance carried by his companions it might as well have been a slingshot, but it had a charming old-world quality to it, a quality that spoke of time when luxury was so mundane that even weapons were treated like art rather than just tools.

    A hard gravelly voice followed by an inhuman squeal rang forcibly through Peter's headset, disrupting him from his absent thoughts. "Dennis!" he exclaimed with faux enthusiasm, "Nice to hear you and your wife could make it, I can now rest easy knowing that we're now safe from the dangers of chocolate cake."
    • Love Love x 1
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  4. Phelan leaned back on the tank he was using as transport, he didn't know whose it was and didn't particularly care, the weather made his skin crawl. Things lurked in the dark places of the world and came out in such weather. He turned to face the fog resting his rifle on the tank as he stared through it's scope.

    He could only ever see the truth through his scope. The stink of loamy earth combined with the sharp tang of rust hung in the air, the landscape forbidding, he adjusted the scope and listened as the order to put on the gas masks and set the communicators came through. It took a moment for him to realise the voices were external, but still he had his gas mask halfway on already, trusting those inner voices as much as possible.

    "Kell here, frequency and gas prep done." He said plainly. "And don't worry about me, you want Bosho's head, I'll aim for the neck." He said with a grin.
  5. Convict

    Just another day of whack jobs giving out orders. After some long winded speech about the bullshit protocol they’ve set up for whatever the fuck squad two was supposed to be I was handed a gas mask, was supposed to keep me safe. How the fuck was I supposed to see or hear properly with on these things on? The only merit in it is that it’s a damn sight better looking than my face.

    Clutching it in my hands I wait for my smoke singed lungs to make way to the foul air of this god forsaken land and speak to the fuck-tards at the other end of their walkie talkie “Convict.” I’m not interested in the glory, even if this shit stained little encampment of humanity think they’re doin’ right by them, they can go fuck themselves.

    I remember what Honey said to me, sweet, sweet Honey. Told me to send a message to Bosch when I get the order, I figure I’ll get it to him somehow, says he’s got one of his shades lurking. It was only after making love to me I noticed Boscho's mark in a strange place on the inside of her thigh, I was distracted before. She whispered into my ear like a goddess, said the messenger will signal me with a howl to let me know they're around.

    Eyeing the others I watch their proud little smug faces all waiting to walk into a death trap like lambs to the slaughter. It puts a bad taste in my mouth so I spit it out onto the ground beside me; this squad is running to its death. For whatever reason their 'forces' decided I needed to be protected, they puffed me up and padded me with armour to protect me from bullets. I told them I don't like it, slows me down. They insisted. I figure if one of the snipes really wanted me out for the count I'd out for the count if I wasn't paying attention. To top it off, out of the kindness of Bosch's own hell damned heart he was at least kind enough to send me the gift of Honey for meds and pleasure; a respectable gift for someone doing a crazy ass job like this one. At least I'd get to fuck one more time.

    This supposed group of TC elites were ignoring each other already, no wonder they hadn't taken the boss down yet. I think about the letter than I’m going to write, how to tell him the missions. I’ve gotta be careful, figure out how to make it look like a threat and make myself look stupid.

    “Fuck the dead. It’s better to be afraid of the living,” I say to the smart mouth fuck known as Peter, pretending I don’t get it.

    "Language and you better get your head checked if you think that supernatural fuckery is the only domain of the dead," snooty ass bitch didn't know when to quit talking.

    "Yeah It's called my fists." Choked laughter escapes my lips. I don't need him to ask questions about character, simple minds go simple places, people like him know that. He's gonna have to get used to the language though, sorry brainy.

    "Yeah it's called my fists,what are you twelve? Surely you can come up with something better than that," he mocks me.

    I let the words fester in the silence that lingers between us as smoke releases from my lungs and I flick my burning cigarette into the dirt. I remind myself I am meant to be stupid, no witty remarks. I flash him my battered tits "Twelve."

    Smug twat didn't even have the 'decency' to look away "Well I think you should get those looked at, I think they're not suppose to look like that," his head tilted to the side like a dumb founded douche-bag starring at an abomination.

    "Don't give a shit," I know my looks aren't appealing, after all the bloody bullets and beatings I decide I'm better killing than fucking my way to an early grave like the rest of these losers.

    Ending the conversation I smile like an idiot and place the mask over my head, whatever he wanted from me he wasn't gonna get, it was time to focus, time to kill.

    Collab @Snakey
    #5 Ai, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  6. While sitting on the side of the large, rattling tank, Kiku was bouncing her left leg up and down in an impatient arhytmia. The young soldier wasn't much for being patient at the best of times, and today was a day filled with anticipation and the prospect of ticking some very important life-goals off the list. Morai Lee and Jenive gave the order to put gas-masks on, and Kiku had been told to listen to those two by Carol. She slowly slid the mask down her head as she felt her bouncing leg pick up its pace; tapping against the side of the tank a tap or two times each couple of seconds. Instead of saying anything that might bite her in the ass, Kiku started to check her rifle. Maria had always said that checking her rifle kept her sane when she was anxious; and Kiku was feeling that, plus a mixture of excitement and eager-rage bubbling up into her stomach like so-much indigestion. She could picture Bosho in her cross-hairs. The dot between his eyes, and then lowering past his neck, down his chest, down to his groin and then…Pop!

    Kiku here, reporting in for Bosho-Bashin’, boss~” Kiku chimed in, past the dick-fight between the other unhinged crazy-chic, and the hobo-lookin’ smoker guy who gave off weird vibes. She took a moment to look at the other people in the caravan; or at least she tried to. Seeing the pig with the gas-mask on had her double take, and she went back to her gun and her knife for a bit of distraction instead. To anyone who knew her, they’d get that Kiku was a little zoned-out. This mission meant a lot to her, and her concentration was at its peak. Dozens of different scenarios were playing out in her mind; all ending in the same way: Bosho’s head in her hand, and his corpse twitching on the floor underneath her.
    #6 LimeyPanda, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  7. Bob puffed on a cigar as he walked, already down to a small nub from the relit half he'd started with that morning. Usually he made the things last longer, but he was worried about this mission and the worry had him damn near choking on the thick smoke as he puffed away like a campfire built out of wet wood. That fog wasn't natural, and the order for gas masks was strange. Somebody up the chain knew something more about this fog than they were letting on, and if gas masks were required then it probably wasn't anything pleasant. He'd have to ask Mouse about it later, see if the tricky little bastard had gotten his hands on any information about it.

    As they neared their destination, the Antoinette girl gave the order to mask up and check in. Her presence as leader of a whole squad amused Bob. He'd heard she had some combat experience, but he was pretty sure it was mostly politics that had her calling the shots for this oddball squad. Bob had never been one to bother with political nonsense, and that was probably a good part of the reason he was here as another squaddie rather than leading one of his own. Not that it bothered him much: he was just fine following orders, so long as they weren't braindead garbage, and this girl less than half his age wasn't all that close to being the worst choice for leadership that he'd seen and worked with. Better her than some of the suicidal glory hounds that cropped up from time to time, that was damn sure.

    The chaotic and excessive radio chatter that followed the order to report in drew a chuckle from Bob, and the stump of his cigar slipped from his mouth and fell to the ground. "Shit, had another two or three puffs to go on that one," he muttered to himself. He was tempted to pull a fresh cigar out of his pack, but he knew he'd only have to snuff it out in a few minutes when they reached the fog. Instead he busied himself with putting on his gas mask and making sure his hat was on snug over the top of it. He never went on a mission without his hat and a couple other lucky items in his possession, and he wasn't about to stop being careful with it now.

    By the time he was all set and ready to check in on the radio there had already been some kind of weird fight and a mess of useless comments filling the frequency. This squad was full of fresh meat, not many seeming used to using radio channels wisely. Some were probably there just to be a part of taking down the last big raider gang so they could feel good about themselves for helping "save" Bunker Chicago, like their little contribution was equal to all the work folks like Bob had done to clear out all the others raiders for miles around. Others probably came hoping to be the one to bring Bosho's head back to Marie Black and take the spoils. He couldn't really look down on the latter sort, as he had some hopes of that himself and material gain was a decent reason to fight, but the former were just like the damned glory seekers who always ended up dead. Worse, they usually took others with them. Bob had always felt that damn fools who care more about making a name for themselves than staying alive and making sure the bad guys died should just stay home and save everyone else some trouble.

    Once a bit of silence opened up on the radio, Bob took his chance to make his quick report. "Bob Coffey here, mask on and comms up. Let's keep the jabbering low once we get in there, boys and girls. Wouldn't want to see some of you die cause you were talking over someone calling out a threat." This lot could do with a little sobering up, he figured, and better to get that out of the way before the fighting started.
  8. Box took a large bite off a piece of dried meat. She had just wolfed down a can of beans, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to eat properly in the next hours, and who knew if she would have to use her abilities. She had taken the habit of not only bringing dry foods, but also some dried and salted meat. The high protein snack gave her the extra energy she much needed.

    Since Jane and Wren had passed almost 5 years ago, in order to keep their home in good shape, she had joined the military under the Old Guard under Bob’s advice. She surprisingly liked the old man, and whatever advice he had given her, she had followed, and it had helped to keep a decent lifestyle. She didn’t speak to him (or anyone for that matter) much, but she respected his devotion to what seemed to be his life-long cause to the Old Guard. Jane and Wren had been the same. Their teachings about military lifestyle, expectations, and other useful knowledge (like reading and writing) had been her lifesaver in a sea of roughnecks. Despite her past, the recruiters had been a little impressed at how much she knew regarding medical trauma practice, and about her physical fitness.

    Five years later, almost day to day, she was on her first real important, raider-related mission. She didn’t want to admit it, but she was fucking nervous. She hadn’t been on any raids this size ever. Box took out another piece of dried meat and nibbled at it. She spotted Bob and headed up towards him. She was maybe 3 feet behind him and she heard his ear-com perfectly clear – just to be on the safe side, Box took out the cotton swabs she kept in her bag and stuff one in her ear where she would be placing the ear-piece. She took a final bite of food and picked it up for “later”, whenever that may be.

    She gave Bob a light pat on the back as she passed him, turning around to stick her tongue at him. “Looking good, gramps.”

    She put on the com and was instantly relieved she thought about the cotton swab. “Y’all sounding like chickens in a pen. Box in, Box out.” Her voice was deep but calm, and the static sound actually seemed to accentuate the almost-non-existent feminine tone of it. The tall, black woman took a deep breath to calm her nerves, and stuffed her head inside the gas mask. The fog ahead was definitely not reassuring…
  9. Ozzy had arrived in the Chicago area a month and a half ago, but he still found the skyline... marvelous. He had seen the ruins of cities before, but none so majestic and grand as Chicago's. He sat on the lead tank of their squad, idly listening to his higher ups talk about the city. Yes, millions did once live here, and millions also died here. Today we shall be adding more to this glorious charnel pit that is Chicago. Even if none shall mourn our those passing, these millions dead shall witness our deeds for all time. The order came in to sound off and mask up, and Ozzy did so. The fog definitely didn't seem natural, though he wasn't familiar with the local weather yet to reach an informed conclusion about it. From what he'd seen wandering the wastes, mutants and/or technology could do just about anything. “Ozymandias here, ready and eager.”
    #9 Grothnor, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  10. The Fog… Gabriel had seen it from his aerial view, and he had a hard time to believe it was just a fog. It was almost like a thick cloud, stuck to the earth by incomprehensible means. Good thing that they had been told to bring the gas mask, or for him to have it just in case the oxygen tank of his helicopter depleted early. One never knew when coming close to raider territories; one well-placed shot was all it took to take down any vehicle or person. He looked on with awe as he advanced slowly with the squad… Certainly not a military forged group with a good pre-made chemistry. Hell, he knew very little about most of these people. Like his father would say; “Une esti gang d’étrangers. (A fucking group of strangers)’’.

    The orders were call out by the Squad Leader; Carolyn. This undoubtedly meant that they were approaching the danger zone, where anything could happen. A quick check of his systems to make sure the weapons were functional and he proceeded to put his ATS on Active mode. Already, it was scanning the people who were below them, along with the vehicles for quick recognition. For the time being, they would all be ignored. It would pick up on any obvious movement of people or vehicles from here on out, but with the fog, it will make things very hard.

    A few of the people reported in already, with one advising to not use the radios for casual talk. A sly smirk rose on his lips, coming to acknowledge himself. “Gabriel Desrochers reporting in. All systems check and ATS system on active…” He wouldn’t know who would know what his ATS was, but he figured that those that needed to know would know. “… I’ll be keeping low. This fog will probably limit my vision too much for higher altitudes.” His accent was quite clearly that of your traditional French Canadians of Quebec, though it wasn’t as bad, being that he has been around an English community since birth.
    #10 Rain of the Night, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  11. Hewitt Ziegler

    Hewitt slid off the metal hull of the tank he'd hitched a ride with as the city came into view. They had yet a good distance left before they breached the fog, but he preferred to be mobile ahead of any danger—and he felt confident that if a pig could keep up with the vehicles, so could he. Still, he kept near to the vehicle's side, not wanting to chance his luck with any potential snipers.

    He pulled on his gas-mask before speaking up. "Ziegler, reporting in." He glanced around at his squad-mates, a group more reminiscent of the most unprofessional of mercenaries than a proper military attack force. "Glad to have y'all as company," he added, with no small hint of sarcasm.
  12. The inside of the tank looked like a starscape. Lights of blue, green, red, and gold surrounded Aleksa. The only other light was from the two screens that were shoulder level, and the window looking out. The window was made of bulletproof glass. It wasn’t the clearest, but Aleksa could make out friendlies from foes. It stretched like the arc of a bow above the bulldozer component of the tank. She sat below the turret, it being operated by the AI. The two screens were from cameras that were placed at the right degree angles of the tank, on either side of the window. Their optics were advanced, but not scientific. They kept focusing in on the strange fog in the ruins of Chicago. They didn’t give any readings, they were just perplexed by it, as was Aleksa.

    Currently, she was pinning her long, straight black hair back. She had to rearrange it for the gas mask to fit flush against her face. Her tank was airtight, had to be for sandy battles. Yet, that didn’t mean something couldn’t get in. An armor busting shell could open her tank up like a tin can. Whatever that fog was, well, she had more important problems to worry about than magical moisture.

    Aleksa could barely hear the words on her comm for the rattle and jive of her tank. Yet, she made out what was important. This was the best setting for her listening comprehension. Her tinnitus and the tank could form a symphony for the words to come out as lyrics. She quickly pinned one last piece of her thick hair back and listened to the members of Squad 2 chime in.

    Aleksa chuckled at the pig squeal. “That’s darling,” she said to herself, not loud enough to be picked up by the comm. Other voices chimed in, varying degrees of aggression punctuated them. An argument broke out between what seemed like a woman and a man. Aleksa sighed. Youth usually gave way to petty disagreements like that. And speaking of youth, Carolyn, their commander was quite the child too. Not to say she didn’t have the experience to lead a squad of armed-to-the-gills oddballs, it just seemed odd. Aleksa’s father had always been faithful to the Old Guard, and so it was almost alien to be under TC leadership. She didn’t know much about it, but she didn’t make a fuss either. A well-paying job was a well-paying job, rocking the boat was not good for one’s profits.

    Aleksa gave a sweet snort at Bob’s retort. She had wanted to say the same but hadn’t quite found the lull in the radio airspace to do such. She ticked off the other voices as they came across. Someone named Box, which was interesting. The helicopter pilot with a thick accent, French if she had to place it. And another couple that held no resonating features to their voices beyond being eager males.

    Most of them were male, as to be expected. This world was harsh, and not for women. Hell, if things hadn’t had happened like they did, Aleksa wouldn’t have been here. Her place would have been taken by Edwin, or no one at all. It was probably good that she was here, though. Three tanks and a helicopter seemed scant considering the technological prowess of Bunker Chicago.

    A lull in the radio chatter gave her the moment she needed to respond. “Aleksa Volkov here, driver of Ole Scarlet,” she said, her accent Russian but not heavily so. She grabbed the mask from the bottom of the tank. “I’m about to prime weapons, so those riding my tank, you might feel a little warmth. I assure you it isn’t the Devil heating up you backsides to take you to Hell. Not yet, anyway.” She switched a few toggles and the auto-cannons began to warm up. The siege gun clicked as it began to load shells. Aleksa also took that time to place her drone console next to her tank controls. With a few buttons, another screen came to life. This one was pitch black as the drones were working through their start-up diagnostics. Once she got them air born, their visuals would appear on the screen. In her tank, she’d only release a few. Now if she was on foot, there would be a terrifying swarm of them.

    “I’ll also be releasing drones. They are black with red stripes on them. There should be three. Please don’t shoot them. They’re like feral dogs, they’ll attack when attacked. Also, they’re expensive.” There was not much else to say after that. She slid her gas mask on and made sure it fell flush with her face. It impeded her vision even more, but she hoped that the detriment to that would be rewarded by not dying via evil, magical moisture.
  13. "Fletcher in," Shlan reported before returning to the depressing task of thinking about her fellow squad mates. Almost a decade working throughout the bunkers as a mercenary, yet she was sure this was the most ragtag group of people she had ever laid eyes on. There were some who inspired confidence, of course. Old Robert Coffey, a semi-familiar face from the past couple of years in Bunker Chicago; Lee, a man who looked like he knew what he was doing; Aleksa Volkov, the accented woman who was piloting the tank Shlan sat on. A few others. And Hewitt of course could be counted on to hold his own. But as for the rest, they struck her as slightly off-kilter, some dangerously so. Or young, or unused to combat. One man even had a gods-be-honest pig coming along.

    Still, she thought, fingers drumming on the hull of the red-painted tank, it's good to be out here again. She hadn't had a contract in months, and the familiar weight of the city had been starting to scrape away at her once more. The borderline paranoia and ever present sense of danger that flared up at every bump in the crowd, every noise at night. At least out here the feeling was justified. But more than that, outside the bunker felt familiar. It was what she had grown up in. It was home. A home who's presence was admittedly diminished by the sheer size of the armed forces moving through it at the moment, but it was better than nothing.
  14. ((Check this OOC post for more details.))

    “Looks like it's showtime.”
    -Page 1, Dennis 'Throughway' Godsman.​

    Something's In The Air

    As the squad finishes reporting in, Carolyn replies to the squad within her tank. “Good. Once we hit city limits, infantry will need to dismount from the mechanized units and take up positions guarding our flanks. We have firepower, but we'll be dependent on you for your eyes. Stick together, it's easy to get picked off alone by more than raiders around here.”

    Though it took a few more minutes, the group reached the city limits. There, Morai dismounted wordlessly, staying close to the tank and watching for trouble with an experienced set of eyes. Jenive, meanwhile, hops off the tank and uses her scout suit's grappling cables to take to the rooftops of the residential buildings, being a little more distant from the group, but taking advantage of height to look for trouble, moving from rooftop to rooftop.

    The fog cut vision down as expected, to nothing more than twenty feet. Yet it had an odd, unsettling feeling for everyone inside the fog. The fog felt nothing like the H20 they had all come to know growing up. The only thing keeping helicopters from colliding into structures was very cautious flying: Any extreme maneuvers would come with a high risk. There was hints of radio chatter on other frequencies. “Stop.” Carolyn commands as she brings Squad 2 to a halt, the other squads around them separating from the column and taking positions nearby.

    The silence was deafening for a minute, as, aside from the sounds of the running vehicles in squad 2, the sights of the other squads vanished into the fog around them. Finally, Carolyn speaks again. It was clear she was replying to an order from a higher up on another frequency, but was either careless or clever enough to leave squad 2's broadcast frequency on so they could overhear it. “Yes, I can relay some information based on the data from those gadgets and sensors those TC bastards forced into my tank. A lot of it seems beyond the on board AI to process, but it seems the fog is comprised of some sort of crystalline membrane. I am not a chemist, but this is definitely not natural. Someone manufactured this, but, it's completely organic. It is not comprised of any kind of carbon... Silicon, maybe.”

    There's another pause, as Morai switches the safety off his weapon and looks around the area. Carolyn once again starts speaking. “It seems there's breathable air here, but, whatever this shit is, I wouldn't want to experiment with whether or not human lungs can process it. Keep the masks on, and don't lose them. The computer says less than five minutes of this shit will have nasty reactions, it just doesn't know what they are... Yes ma'am, we will proceed further in once we get the go-ahead.”

    After about five minutes of a strange, eerie silence, the squad hears the go-ahead signal from the Arrowhead group. Proceeding further inside the fog, they reach what was once an upper class neighbourhood: Buildings, though mostly intact, show long peeled paint and damage from long term lack of maintenance. Some rooftops were collapsed, other walls had fallen: It left plenty of debris to take cover in and around, with living rooms and bedrooms left open on display. Morai turns on his radio, confusion in his voice. “Where is... All the plants? The trees, the grass... It's all gone.” Indeed, there was no sign of any life. A few moments later, the group reaches an outer line of turrets: Damaged, severely. The only thing left behind were a few blood stains, smeared across the ground as though bodies were rolled over and popped open by tanks.

    Jenive's voice could be heard now on the radio. “This is... Strange. I'm seeing the occasional sign of movement on my motion tracker, but, it vanishes the next moment, and appears somewhere else. Something is interfering with my equipment.” Morai replies, a little uncertainty in the tone of his voice. “Are you certain it is an error and not the truth you see?” Jenive's voice, now a little panicked, replies back. “Yeah, I'm fairly fucking sure nothing is supposed to move from two hundred meters north to three hundred meters south east in a second.” Carolyn's voice cuts through them both as she speaks, once again in a commanding tone. “Enough cluttering the channel! The other squads are surrounding us, they will let us know if Bosho is coming.”

    “I do not think it is Bosho we need to worry about.” Morai states simply as he kneels down beside the tank. Before Carolyn can reply with further irritation, Morai continues speaking. “We should set up positions. Take advantage of the two turrets we have on each side of the street, garrison the structures. Hold here. Take advantage of concealment and cover as well. Best case scenario, Arrowhead will tell us to move out in a minute. Worst case scenario, they've gone dark for good, and we should not be caught off guard.”

    Another moment of silence.

    “Alright.” Carolyn replies softly, before clearing her throat. “Try to stay in groups of three or more together. We will need infantry on each side of the street. For those of you not good with compass directions, this street runs north and south, our objective is north. Take the east and west structures, those two large residential buildings will do nicely. Aleksa, position your tank ahead of mine and set up. Bob, I want you on the east building. It appears in a worse state of repair, the cover might not be as good there, I'll need your experience there in case our communications are cut off in the heat of a firefight. Everyone else, take whatever position you think is best. Good luck, everyone.”
    • Love Love x 1

  15. [​IMG]

    Dimas had hitched a ride on one of the various tanks that the squad had with them. As soon as they had entered the fog, his senses were heated and he felt a warm feeling inside. It was as if the mysterious thick air was connected with him in some way.

    He had no idea why this was and it unnerved him slightly as they rolled forward. Dimas checked his gas mask to ensure it was flush against his face. Even with the mutagens in his body, the air could still hurt him possibly. Dimas wouldn't take that risk and was pleased to feel that the mask was tight as a drum.

    A few moments of silence allowed the raven haired male to speak up over the channel, "Dimas Pokorny reporting in. I'll be listening." he stopped speaking and as the tank stopped he jumped off his perch and onto the ground. He had a 10mm pistol at his hip just in case his mutations couldn't help in the foreseen battle.

    The mutant watched a few others pull on forward into various positions besides the tanks. He bit his lip as he tried to remember their names, it seemed now that the memory of him accepting this mission was vague and distant, fading now far too fast. He sighed and racked his brain until he recognized the older man Bob Coffey. His toughened exterior made Dimas feel that his best bet was to follow him and prepare his body for using his mutations if need be.

    #15 Absyinthe, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  16. Bob simply rolled his eyes at Box's little jibe as she passed. She was an odd one, but not the strangest person he'd ever met. Everyone picked up some strangeness if they lived long enough, and he wasn't one to judge people too harshly for it most times.

    Other than that little amusement, the march to the city ruins was unremarkable. The kids and civvies managed to keep the radio mostly clear of useless chatter after Bob had chastised them, which he took as a good sign for the future. If they could follow directions when it was simple and easy then they at least had a chance of being able to follow them when things got hairy.

    As they entered the strange fog, Bob flipped the safety off his weapon and held it at the ready rather than leaving it hanging from its shoulder strap. Carolyn's little mishap with the communications system brought a smile to his face. There was no way to be sure what had happened there, but he saw only two possibilities: she was a damn fool who didn't understand how to work the radio properly, or she cared more about the well being and preparedness of her soldiers than about respecting protocol. The former meant she'd probably fuck up more in the future and get people killed, and the latter meant she had the makings of a commanding officer that Bob could actually respect. He decided to reserve judgment until he had more to go on.

    Even without the info gleaned from overhearing Carolyn talking to a higher up, Bob would've agreed with Morai's assessment. Something about this fog was just plain fucked up. It didn't feel at all natural, and he had a bad feeling that he wouldn't like figuring out where the hell it came from. He was quite relieved to hear Carolyn agreeing to the cautious approach, bunkering down in case of the worst happening rather than expecting things to go well. Where he was still forming an opinion of Carolyn, Bob had already decided he liked this Morai fellow, clearly another experienced soldier who knew how to stay alive. He'd seen the guy around before, but this was the first time he could recall working with him directly.

    When Carolyn finished giving her orders, in which Bob was one of the few called out for something specific, he mulled them over for a second before deciding they were good ones. "Sure thing, I'll cover the east. Could use two or three others in there as well, more'n that'll be too cramped in case of a fight." He looked over the others, considering specifically requesting Morai and a couple of the others who looked like they knew what they were doing, but it was probably better for everyone to spread the experience around. "I'm not too picky about who comes with, but it'd be best if you at least know your way around a gun. If you don't then I'd suggest you try using those turrets or hiding behind the tanks. High firepower and good cover can make up up for a lot of lacked experience."

    With Bob's helpful suggestions given, he doubled checked his gun while slowly heading toward the eastern residential building, giving folks time to decide who wanted to come along. The building was a sorry heap of shit, truth be told. It had walls for the most part, though it seemed a good quarter of the upper floor had been gutted by a fire long ago that had also pulled down a large part of the roof. He couldn't be sure how much damage there was inside, but judging by the fact that the overall structure was still standing he had to guess the ground floor would be serviceable at the very least. Could be some of the second floor was also okay, but he wouldn't want to trust his weight to any of the floor near the burned out section.

    He paused at the entrance, a hole where a door once was, and saw nothing of note in the barren entry hall. Bob took his left hand off his gun for a moment, reaching up to make sure his hat and gas mask were still on securely, then down to touch the medallion hanging from his neck and down into his shirt, unseen by others most of the time. It was a sort of ritual, something he did before any potentially dangerous mission if he had time for it, and he saw no huge rush here. He waited for others to chime in and volunteer to join him, and once he had a couple he'd head on in and lead them on a quick sweep of the ground floor, then the upper floor, to make sure no raiders were lurking about. He expected it would in truth be him making the sweep while a gaggle of newbies followed him like mindless goslings trailing their mother, but there was no helping that now, and it was probably better to have a little incompetent backup than none at all.
    • Love Love x 1
  17. Dennis unstrapped several belts of ammunition from Wrex while listening to Bob and threw them over his shoulder. "Hey there sweet hog, those buildins' ain't no place for a hog like yourself." Slowly he ruffled her floppy leathery ears, whilst lost in thought. Dennis has been in some pretty shit situations before and this was going to be one of them. In the last few years Dennis has taken to purposely forgetting comrades names so that way he doesn't recognize their mutilated gore spattered bodies in the field. Made it easier to orphaned families back in the Bunker, made it easier to deal with his inability to protect everyone. A light snort broke him from his trance, "You're right Wrex, thanks. You gunna go wait back their pretty like. Behind them tanks. Now if anythin' goes wrong, you gunna squeal. Yesum."

    Dennis tapped his communicator, "Ullo there Bob, I'm gunna go with ya."

    "Alright Wrex now we gonna go sneaky like. You go there behind those tanks. Stay with that one with the metal birds, anythin' will shoot that first. Stayin a bit behind it. If she dun move in this city, be safe." Quickly Dennis activated Wrex's gas mask communicator.

    Dennis hefted The Groundhog off the tank and a slowly stomped up to the entrance where Bob was standing. Giving him a curt nod, a few warm up winds of the barrels.
    • Love Love x 1
  18. An Introduction...

    Slowly, the large tank AEGIS rumbled into the streets, following the lead of Carolyn's tank. Inside, tending to the mechanical insides of the tank, was a pilot in a lab coat, Tristan. He had done his best to keep his machine clean looking, although it was still a bit of a mess by pre-apocalypse standards. The whole mission seemed a little weird to the pilot. One would expect such an important mission, to finally clean out the raiders, to be carried out by a crack team of experts, of which Tristan was clearly one of. Instead, it seemed they pretty much handed anyone who was willing and able to use a gun a position. Just looking at his notes, there were at least two cultists, a well known paranoiac, and a man who was more than a little obsessed with pigs. At least they had the good sense to employ Bob and the Desrochers pilot. Perhaps The Coalition was attempting to go with the "shock and awe" approach to finishing off the raiders, using massive numbers to essentially overkill the enemy for what essentially amounted to a publicity stunt. Scratching his head, he briefly considered asking Carolyn what the deal was, but stopped himself before any words escaped his lips. He figured it best not to question the logic in this mission, at least for the time being.

    When they got to the point outside the fog, Tristan had chimed in with a thick German accent "Tristan Sovres, reporting for duty. And---" He was interrupted by a sudden descent into darkness, his sole light source had, once again, died out. "Oh for the love of..." he blurted out as he attempted to fix the problem, first with a wrench, then, discovering that the bulb had simply burned out, fumbled around a bit for the box of light bulbs he always carried with him. The box itself was labeled "We're Green!" from some advertising campaign pre-fall. This made no sense to the man, even an idiot could tell you they were white lightbulbs and not green, what kind of idiot would even...

    He stopped mid-thought, having grabbed the lightbulb and screwing it in. Where did the fog come from, and why would it not be affected by the wind? His first thought was "Well, perhaps it is some sort of temperature inversion...No, even that would have disappeared a long time ago. Worst case scenario, it's some kind of chemical weapon, although why Bosho would cover his own base in the stuff I don't know. Yeah...definitely a temperature inversion...Still, cannot be too safe" Once successful at restoring light to the tank, he grabbed his gas mask and put it on. He then pushed forward the throttle, being led along by Carolyn's tank through the dense fog.

    "Yeah, definitely not a temperature inversion" was the first thought to cross his mind as they entered. The feeling was altogether alien, instead of feeling soothing it was twinged with an indescribable feeling, almost like it was physical dread. Goosebumps formed as readily as sweat on a summer day, and yet there was a bizarre feeling of...nostalgia? That was the only word he could fathom in his mind for this feeling, though he was not sure the others felt the same way. In most other aspects it seemed to mimic a dense cloud of normal H20, minus the probable death by mask removal. Even through his two years of military service, Tristan had never experienced anything like this before, and it chilled him, not knowing what could lie beyond the fog. This fear only worsened when Jenive's scanner, and later his own scanner, detected a bizarre anomaly, dots moving all around the place. Could Bosho have installed a data scrambler in his base? It struck Tristan as unlikely, though not impossible. "Oh I don't like this at all." he accidentally said out loud.

    Tristan was not surprised when the order to set up defenses came through. A situation with this many unknown variables was not something to take lightly. He took a look around, trying to see how he could help most efficiently. After a long look at the turret, he had a thought, and decided to try something. He then said "AEGIS, activate one of the Scrappers, leave to full manual control", a voice control that gave him direct command of one of his oldest, but most reliable inventions. The Scapper bot was a boxy robot on four wheels, as well as two arm-like appendages. It moved towards the turret, and through the onboard camera, Tristan looked into the turret, and, finding what he was looking for, set to work. Out of habit, he started speaking "Let's see, if this goes there...then that...yes then we can place this here." The speaking continued like this for about a minute before he stopped, then said "I should be able to get one of these turrets to fire automatically. Can some of you move both of them into a 170 degree fan? Thanks. Also, I may be able to get to the other one, but I doubt it, if one of your has the expertise to autotomize the second one, that would be spectacular. As for me, AEGIS and I will defend our Southern flank, though I should be able to...ah...turn the turret to the east or west. Let me know if you have any need of support in that area."

    With that, he went back to work on the turret, and positioned his tank to defend the flank of the army.

    Action Log (open)

    Before moving into fog: Reports in
    After moving into fog: Reprograms one of the turrets to fire at hostile targets automatically, using a Scrapper Bot to do the reprogramming. Requests that others move the turrets and reprogram the other one. Positions his tank facing South to effectively defend the flank, while having options to attack the East and West if necessary.
  19. With the comm system seemingly in working operation, it was safe to assume that they would have a smooth way in, unless something was going to shoot at them from the get-go. Gabriel kept relatively low, so the trackers on his ATS system were still able to identify the group. Whatever kind of fog this was, it would represent a problem for any automatic systems he had in place within his helicopter. He’d only have to wish this fog wasn’t going to fuck about with his electronics, of the shit-fest would begin.

    Once within the fog, it was made clear; Gabriel wasn’t going to be using the ATS system until they were actually engaged in nearly close quarters combat. The vision was shit, and not only that, he could barely have sight of the buildings around. He had to be slow; cautious about every turn, advance or even standstill. “J’pourrais rien faire avec ça… (I won’t be able to do anything with this…)” He kept this off the comms. He looked down on his comrade at arms; barely visible. He’d have to figure something to be of any help.

    With all the information distributed, Gabriel was confident that maybe it was best he set down the helicopter. There no point in risking flight in these kinds of conditions. Furthermore, his ATS was picking up on targets... Which weren’t there. Everytime he’d try to figure out what it was aiming it, it was lost from the targeting system. It would continue picking it up and disappearing... Which came to confirm what Jenive spoke of. “I can confirm Jenive’s situation. My ATS trackers are picking up on non-existent targets, on and off.” He confirmed over the comms. With a couple switches and pressing a few promps on the onboard tracking screen, he set his ATS to the basic AI (aka Manual) Where, he’d have to design a specific area to aim the guns at.

    When the orders were put forth, Gabriel waited until the comms were free to speak up. “Carolyn. I’ll be setting down my helicopter between the southern tank and yours. I won’t be of any use in the air with these conditions.” There was something he could actually do while on the ground, with his repair kit and his laptop. “Tristan. I’ll take care of the second turret. Might need some quick help from someone to rotate it, but I’ll be able to automate it and fix the most of it.” The helicopter slowly came down to set where Gabriel had said, a warning having been given for his descent.

    Once the helicopter came to a stop, its engine sounds died down. Gabriel swiftly switched from his onboard mask to the gas mask given at the beginning of the mission. The cockpit opened and he gathered his tools and weapon to its holster before he came out and ran over to the still untouched turret and began the debugging process. Hopefully, he’ll have it set up before anything happens and get back to his helicopter as soon as possible.
    #19 Rain of the Night, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  20. If this was her first raiders’ planned operation, it wasn’t her first job with the Ol’ Guard. She listened intently to the instructions while she assessed what she saw in front of her. The fog made it difficult to see properly, and she couldn’t discern any other noise except the vehicles and other squad members. Box took a deep breath and confirmed her up-coming action. “Box here, will be heading to the west building to clear it out. Anyone gets hurt, let me know. Out.” As she passed the others working on the turrets and those in the tanks, she was somehow thankful that she had the training to be an infantry soldier – she wasn’t sure she’d mentally survive for long in a tank. She waved at her comrades as she passed, trying to be friendlier, just as she had been told to do. She was aware that she was odd, maybe a bit unapproachable, but she wanted to fucking live through this mission.

    Box wasn’t very used to teamwork, but she knew she better make the call to have some company. “Anyone free to join up, not sure it’s best if I head out alone.” The tall woman turned around and walked backwards, raising her arm as she made eye contact with the few randoms behind her, like the mutant Dimas, and Ozymandias. She didn’t know them very well, but she wasn’t about to be picky about whom had her back when she’d enter the condemned building. Her eyes flickered to the bad-mouthing woman, Convict, for a moment. Feeling a bit tense, she turned back around and jogged for a few metres.

    The old, decrepit mansion looked like it had been beautiful, many decades ago. The harsh environment had ruined the strong-looking porch posts, which held an elegant balcony. Box could see the handiwork in the wooden structure, her mind’s eye reconstructing the intricate hand-carved designs. Those people must have had an incredible lifestyle, she thought. No one today lived in such a structure – who could afford it when they lived by the scraps? Once she was on the porch, she leaned in and closed her eyes, concentrating and listening to see if anything was making sound in the mansion. Box frowned – there wasn’t a sound at all. Was it this… fog? Or maybe she couldn’t hear too well with her gas mask? Shaking her head to clear it, she turned around again and waved for the others to make their way. “Entrance of the West Mansion here looks good, the staircase for the balcony looks functional – southern balcony looks crapped out, but the northern one looks in a tolerable state.”

    Taking another deep breath, trying to calm her nerves and keep the flashing memories in check, Box unholstered her favourite pistol and offed the safety. She was ambidextrous by nature, so she swiftly took hold of one of her daggers, holding the pommel and grip in her palm, with the guard resting comfortably below her wrist. Box took another deep breath and carefully treaded up the stairs.
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