Citizens of the Imperium

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flykiller November 18th, 2015 09:43 PM

Assault on the ICS Jefferson Davis
(a solo pbp I ran some time ago on rpol. ship here. unfortunately I no longer have the original graphic so the descriptions and locations will be a bit off, but you should still be able to follow it.)

flykiller November 18th, 2015 09:46 PM

Just Another Ref:

A dim red light shines around you. A hatch slams somewhere and you hear yelling. You slowly open your eyes and see the ugly face of a prissy navy medic right in front of yours. She looks you in the eye and says "Wake up, let's go Corporal, wake up, captain's coming." Oh yeah. Lowberth wakeup. Good times. Feels like your first day at boot. You manage to slur out a few words about her being a worthless navy puke. She seems to be in a hurry, and seeing you respond in a logical and appropriate manner she rapidly moves away to someone else across from you who seems to be half-drunk.

You hate these marine lowberths. They work great, you can wake up in only a few minutes, but they leave your guts churning. You look down and actually see your belly muscles twitching. You stagger forward a step, leaning on the bulkhead, then decide you'd better stand up straight before someone sees you acting like a navy boy. Deep breathing hurts, but helps. You find your locker and check your watch - you've been down for four weeks. Not too bad.

You at least get your underwear on before the Gunny strides through, looking sharp, all awake and smiling evilly. "Make way, room service coming through! Shake a leg people! MARINES!" You and the others automatically snap to attention. You almost passing out at the sudden movement but you steel yourself and manage to stay upright. "SIR!" "HOW YOU FEELING?" "KILLING MEAN SIR!" The yelling seems to clear out a lot of lungs, and some people start coughing. The Gunny smiles even more evilly, approving. "Good, we have work for you today. BRIEFING ASSEMBLY THIRTY MINUTES!"

Thirty minutes? Great, that's just when your bowels will be coming on-line again. Suck it up. Or maybe you can squeeze things out fast.

You look over your fireteam - Smith, Portola, Ga, Urshadi, all fresh out of boot. You only met them a few minutes before going into lowberth. Smith is a typical farmboy doing his patriotic duty. Portola says he likes to kill. Urshadi claims he's from some great vilani military heritage, yeah, sure. Ga is some slant-eyed silent type - you're not sure you like him.

Portola falls on his ass trying get his underwear on. "Hey corporal, did he say we're gonna to fight today?" He has a light in his still slightly-crossed eyes.

Smith is moving like a robot, eyes straight ahead, getting dressed. He looks like he's getting up early on his farm. 'Course on his farm he grew up defending the family cattle from barishka predators while armed with nothing more than a spear. Big scar down his face.

Urshadi keeps looking like he's gonna hurl. "Thirty ... ? ... urp ..." He's not moving fast enough.

Ga is moving methodically. You see him blink, blankly.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez smiled, he couldn't help but smile. "What the hell else do you think they thaw us out for? The Corps don't pay us by the hour and you heard Gunny, get your asses in gear. I want you ****-heads ready in twenty! We move as a team, so if any of you assholes make me late for that briefing, I will be very ****in' unhappy. Now move!"

Dominguez immediately moved to act in the same manner he expected his fire team to, quickly and efficiently. First he saw to his clothing, then to the restroom, and then to his fellow Marines.

Just Another Ref

"Sir yes sir." Urshadi says it while gagging. Everybody moves, and soon they're standing tall in front of you. Not inspection quality, but they'll do. "Fire Team Three!" "READY TO KILL!" You march them straight to the assembly area. You hear a commotion in a nearby lowberth bay.

It's not a large assembly area, you're only a two-squad detachment. The battleflag is devoid of any combat action ribbons. You move past the still-locked-down exercise equipment to the inspection ground. The Lieutenant is there, at parade rest, his back to you, facing forward to the podium. The Gunny is beside the Lieutenant, facing all of you, but looking at his watch. Fire Team One is already in position, ragged but straightening up fast. Fire Team Four is a few seconds behind you. Everyone falls in.

Fire Team Two is nowhere to be seen. You see a pair of corpsman run through a hatch and into the Team Two lowberth area. Crap. You keep your face clear and look your team in the eye. They stare straight ahead. Urshadi seems to have fully recovered. He has an odd serenity to him when he settles into anything familiar. Vilani. You take your position.

The Gunny looks up and comes to attention and calls quietly, "Detachment, atten - tion." Everyone is already there. He does an about face and reports quietly, "Sir. Detachment all present or accounted for. Sir." Without moving the Lieutenant replies, "Very well Sergeant."

Accounted for. Crap.

The Ship's Captain walks in, a dignified old man with great energy. He's accompanied by a pretty young navy thing, wearing a comm headset and a holo-monacle and carrying a computer display pad. She looks all business. All business. The Lieutenant calls out sharply, "ATTENTION ON DECK." You can't be any more at attention, but you try.

The Captain steps immediately to the podium and speaks with no delay. "At ease. One and one-half hours ago we arrived in the Knorbes system. We have been informed by secure channel that a hostage/hijack situation exists on a passenger liner, presently in orbit around the outermost gas giant of the system. A Reginan Senator and his family are aboard the vessel. The hijackers have indicated that they will kill the passengers if anyone makes any attempt to interfere. The local planetary command does not believe they can send a vessel without it being detected, and in any case it will take several days for their ships to arrive out here. Fortunately we are much closer to the situation, our presence is unexpected, and the hijackers have not indicated they are aware of us. We have no information on the character or crew of the vessel, except that it is four thousand tons. Passengers, crew, and hijackers will be numerous. We are to attempt a recovery of the vessel while minimizing passenger casualties. The Marines will lead the way, ship's masters-at-arms will follow. I know most of you are recently out of boot and academy", he nods to the Lieutenant, "but I expect you will live up to the reputation of the service."

The female beside him touches her ear, says, "Sir", and shows him the display pad. He reads, then nods. "I know you are wondering about your missing fire team. Their berth regulator failed, and when they woke up they found themselves blinded. They will recover, but not in time to accompany you. More action for you. You have my guarantee this will not happen again."

"The best time to launch the assault shuttles will be in less than two hours. Lieutenant, you have the mission. Carry on, and good luck to you."

He strides out, and the Lieutenant calls out sharply, "DETACHMENT, ATTENTION!" When the Captain has exited he asks the Gunny to have the three fire team leaders approach. "Gentlemen, we will execute a controlled hull-breach entry where we expect engineering to be. All three assault shuttles will breach at different points. Navy personnel will support the breaches and attempt to take charge of engineering, we will clear all decks of all hijackers. We will be as stealthy as we can and attempt to avoid advertising our presence whereever possible. Gentlemen, we can expect to encounter up to two hundred passengers and several dozen crew. Check your targets, but trust none of them. I will obtain an image of the Senator and his family and upload it to everyone's HUD memory so you know when you find him. Gunny, dismiss the men to prepare their equipment."

"Alright, you heard the man. Shake it, people."

Alejandro Dominguez

"Okay, team, I want everyone ready for an initial weapons check in 30. I want you completely ready in 1 hour. After that, we'll meet up for our fire team pre-op brief. And I'm not too happy about not being the first fire team here, so don't **** with my time table, people. Got it? Good, now let's move." Dominguez led his team to do as he instructed.

flykiller November 18th, 2015 09:47 PM

Just Another Ref

Everyone moves on the double for their weapons locker.

You pop the hatch to your own toychest. Ahh, nirvana. On the long racks are the old standbys - laser rifle, gauss rifle, ACR, shotgun, grenade launcher, crossbow. There's a slot for a PGMP, but it was never issued. On the short racks are the lasers and scopes, the hand grenades, the launched grenades, the forced entry tool, and the Claws. On the opposite racks are power cells and ammo. Lots of ammo. Gauss, chemical, pressurized, crossbow bolts, it's all here. Shouldn't be here, it should all be downrange. You'll see to that.

In the middle of it all is the combat armor. Dull matte black in the dark, it is even now lightening up to a puke gray to match the walls around it. Fluted and gracefully curved to try and deflect incoming rounds, it still somehow looks menacing. The slowly graying faceplate stares blankly at you. On the breastplate is the name "Dominguez". On the shoulder pieces are two chevrons. You feel as happy as the Grand Marquis of Mora standing in her treasure chamber - she's got nothing on you.

Everything here has a maintenance card tacked to it. You check several. All are up to date. The armor was serviced just last week and is fully powered. The gauss rifle was nanite-treated a month ago. Perfect. Something's going right.

(Laser Rifle - fifty shots, requires a backpack powerpack connected by cable to the weapon. Zero recoil, low rate of fire, reasonably quiet, moderate EM signature, moderate susceptibility to EM counterweapons, zero to high penetration, devastating damage.)

(Gauss Rifle - fifty shots per magazine, power supply in each magazine, seven magazines normally carried. Low recoil, moderate rate of fire, reasonably quiet, high EM signature, high susceptibility to EM counterweapons, high penetration, devastating damage.)

(Advanced Combat Rifle - forty shots per magazine, seven magazines normally carried. Moderate recoil, high rate of fire, gunpowder-operated, noisy, zero EM signature, zero susceptibility to EM counterweapons, zero to high penetration, good damage.)

(Shotgun - semi-auto, holds up to seven rounds, else as per ACR. Ammo ranges from standard buckshot to lead slug to armor-piercing slug to rubber electro-stun slug to short-range EMP slug to rocket-assisted grenade. Not your granddad's scattergun.)

(Crossbow - single-shot. Ammo similar to that of the shotgun.)

(Grenade Launcher - mounts under any longarm except laser rifle, also usable independently.

(Grenades - fragmentation, concussion/stun, smoke, CS (tear gas), sparklers (blinding), fuel-air explosive (very dangerous), and, last but not least, sensor (toss it, it sets up and relays information back to your heads-up display in your helmet). All have hand-thrown and launched versions, and all activate on impact, on delay, or on signal.)

(Claws - mount on lower arms over tops of hands. Extend on activation (make sure your hands are down). Used in crowded close-quarters fighting.)

(Combat Armor - visual/IR partial auto-chameleon. Light, flexible titanium-faced micro-kevlar over body-fitted vacc suit, multi-channel radio data link, electro-magnetic and infrared indicator/locator. Twelve hours atmosphere. Powered heads-up display in face screen in both natural/augmented visual modes.)

You may wear the armor, the claws, and an equipment belt with forced entry tool, tookkit, and emergency kit (first aid, suit sealer, etc). You may carry the laser rifle and up to six grenades, or any other two weapons plus seven magazines (one in the weapon) or other appropriate ammunition plus four grenades, or eighteen grenades.

Choose, for yourself and your men.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez wasted no time suiting up. He quickly prepared the armor, the claws, and an equipment belt with forced entry tool, toolkit, and emergency kit. He hesitated only a moment before choosing the remainder of his kit. He rammed a magazine home in the ACR's receiver. He had no doubt that things would go noisy sooner or later, besides it had no problems with EM counters. He also took 3 extra magazines for the ACR and stowed them. Next, he took up the Gauss Rifle, loaded a magazine and took two extra mags. He followed that up by securing 1 frag, 1 sensor, and 2 CS grenades to his combat webbing.

Satisfied with his weapon load out Dom checked it over once again before turning to see to the outfitting of his fire team. He'd make sure everyone was equiped in a smart way and carried as much ammo as possible. After the weapons check, he'd return to get himself fully suited up.

Just Another Ref

You line up your weapons, they're all good. Your team lines up the following for your approval:

Smith - laser rifle. Two concussion, two smoke, and two EMP toss grenades (sorry, forgot to list those).
Portola - crossbow with scope and laser, and shotgun, both with broad range of ammo. Two EMP, two sparkler toss grenades.

Urashdi - gauss rifle with grenade launcher. Two frag, four concussion, two EMP launched grenades. Two CS, two concussion toss grenades.

Ga - ACR with grenade launcher. Four concussion, four EMP launched grenades. Four sensor toss grenades.

A navy corpsman shows up and starts handing out concentrated food bars to everyone. Urashdi declines, but the other three eat several while working. The corpsman also hands out the standard drug pack - speed, narcotic, stabilizer. He notes on a clipboard every recipient, and he'll be asking for them again if you haven't used them.

The armor isn't light but it fits well and doesn't restrict your movement at all. The rubber pads on your boots raise your height a bit and make you feel more agile. You do a few stretches and bends to get a feel for your new balance balance. You drop your faceshield, call up the HUD, and select IR. The corpsman shines like a red beacon in the night, you can see the slightly warmed air flowing down out of the air circ vent ducts, and there's a faint outline of machinery against the inboard bulkhead - you recall that the ship's power plant is on the far side. Portola is suited up, you can see him only with difficulty. You switch over to the EM spectrum. The alien perspective is odd - the vibrating silhouettes of the cables overhead, the soft glow of the control panels, the sudden appearance of Urashdi's gauss rifle rail as he charges it, all in clear green. You can tell the corpsman's pen is magnetized, it flashes green whenever he moves it near the steel clipboard. Portola in his armor is like a hole in the spectrum. Suddenly the conformal antenna on his helmet glows bright sparkly green. "Corporal, Portola, comm check."

Urashdi has left his weapon charged and not cleared it.

At the hour mark your team is lined up. Ga has never trained on this kind of armor and he needs a few points corrected, otherwise they look good. Smith still looks like he's about to undertake another day on the farm.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez approved the weapon load outs with little comment.

Urashdi, unless you're gonna throw it right back up, you better eat whenever you get the chance. You never know when the next meal will come.

"Portola, we'll get to that in just a moment."

"Urashdi, clear that damn weapon."

Dom switched back to normal optics and gathered up his fire team.

"Okay, form up people. Switch to secure fire team comms." Dominguez gave them a moment before continue on the secure comm channel. "Okay, everyone check in." He ensured everyones' comms were functioning properly.

"Okay, I know you're all virgins, so listen up. I personally prefer my people not hopped up on any mood altering substances, but you're each your own soldier, so make your own call. Forget what the corpsman told you, if you don't use it, tell him you did or you lost it. In the corps we keep everything we can. You never know when it might come in handy, it might even save your life, or the guy-next-to-you's life. I want you to put everyone down that is armed. We may not be able to tell the difference between friend and foe. I will take the fall if something goes wrong. Apparently the real reason for this op is some senator VIP. We'll have his picture before go time. He is our number one priority. The mission comes before our lives. We will get the job done, the Corps always does. Any questions?

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:09 PM

Just Another Ref

"No Sir!" You double-time them back out to the assembly point.

Fire Team One is already there, again, and again they are ragged but straightening up fast. Corporal Oatridge greets you with a wide grin. "Well Corporal Dominguez, ready to kick ass I hope. We could use some good back-up, something might get by us."

A few minutes later PFC Chambless precision-parades his team to the assembly point. They look sharp. He puts them at rest, then casually greets his fellow team leaders. He always seems so comfortably at ease, almost incognizant of rank. "Corporal Oatridge, corporal Dominguez. A free cruise aboard a luxury liner this time, yes? We really must visit the bar." His voice is pleasant, but his eyes are rock steady. You've seen him act like this under fire too. Officer material.

You're near the access bays and the boat people are running in and out of the assault craft like chickens with their heads cut off. You distinctly hear a _petty_ officer trying to yell and hiss at the same time through his teeth, "Whaddya mean it's not? Fill it now!" You remember someone saying something about never watching sausage being made. A dull slam echos in the bay, and you see the interior of one of the boats rock back and forth on its mounts. If the outer hatch is open then the mount is a single pressure boundary to vaccuum. All the boat people freeze, staring at the mate point. When the boat stops rocking they all start running again.

A dull quiet beep sounds in your helmet. You lower your visor - everyone else does so too at the same time - and display the message. It's a news graphic of some high mucky-muck with his family. "Senator Balk is seen here visiting the slopes of the Lilith Skyery on a fact-finding mission blah blah". Must be him. The portrait is good, you'll recognize him.

A dozen navy boys come through a hatch and head towards you. The support teams. One of them, the prissy little navy medic who woke you up, sees your name on your armor and moves to you, bringing three boys with her. They're all in vacc suits and carrying lots of gear. She extends her hand. "Corporal Dominguez pleased to meet you again I'm Chief Socha we'll be your support team for today. Petty Officers Sorcha Niles and ... Pataki is it? ... are your electrician mech and comm support, I of course am the corpsman. I know we're not a team yet but we're here to back you so just lead the way."

Pataki looks like he's ready to piss his pants.

More navy boys move up, the Master-at-Arms and his gunner's mates. Some are wearing vacc suits, but many are wearing only flack vests and close helmets. Some have ACR's but most have shotguns. You look at their shell bandoliers - you're not sure about the navy's color coding, but it looks like they have buckshot and slugs. On their belts they carry pouches with rescue balls - plastic bubbles that you step into, seal, and inflate if you find yourself caught in a vaccuum. They divide up and line up behind the Fire Teams in straight lines. The Master-at-Arms stands to their side, not looking at anyone in particular.

The boat pilots move up and stand in a line off to one side.

"OFFICER ON DECK!" The marines snap to, everyone else lurches to attention. The Lieutenant strides in, full armor, carrying only a shotgun. The Gunny is right beside him, matching step for step. They march to the head of the formation and change face smartly. The Lieutenant scans over the crowd for a moment, saying nothing. He steps forward slowly and walks the ranks, starting with the boat pilots, silently looking them up and down, then checks the support teams. The Gunny stays withhim. He moves to inspect the gunner's mates, the Chief falling in beside him according to navy custom. Stopping at one man the Lieutenant looks closely at his gear, then grabs his bandolier and shakes it. Shells go flying everywhere. The Lieutenant speaks quietly but everyone hears him.

"Chief some of this equipment is defective. I want it replaced."

"This is what we have sir. Some of them are carrying shells in their pockets."

"Chief, identify immediately who has defective equipment, and also who has training in weapons besides these. Sergeant, take the identified men to Team Two's lockers and outfit them as best you can. You have seventeen minutes to outfit them, Chief you have three minutes to reorder them as you see fit."

While the gunners mill the Lieutenant strides to the front. "Marines, sailors, as you know we're up against hijacking terrorists. We will storm the ship and retake it. The vessel, ICS Jefferson Davis, is brand new so we don't know the ship's layout or any internal features. We don't know the number of the enemy, the ship's crew or the passengers. We don't know how the enemy is armed, or whether the crew is still resisting them. We don't know where the passengers are, if they're being held in their rooms or in some central location. What little intel we have indicates the enemy still doesn't know we're here so we do have the element of surprise. Docking collars have been installed on the assault boats so we will do simultaneous hull breach entries in the rear where we believe engineering is likely to be. After that is secured a ship's engineering team will move in to operate the engineering plant while the assault boats stand by to receive any casualties or other evacuees. We will then move forward quickly or stealthily as the situation warrants and crush any opposition we find. Marines will lead, gunners mates will secure rear areas and provide support as asked. Gentlemen, this is a civilian passenger liner with Imperial citizens. Check your targets before you shoot. I and Sergeant Hinchcliff are in charge, next are my marine Fire Team leaders Corporal Oatridge, Corporal Dominguez, and Private First Class Chambless. Do what they say."

"Any questions?"

Alejandro Dominguez
"Yeah, yeah, whatever, Oatridge."

"Forget the bar, just give me the alcohol." Dom grinned at Chambless.

Dom eyed the Navy slackers as they approached. He looked Pataki over quickly. "Don't worry, if they get to you guys, we must all be dead." Dominguez laughed at his own joke.

Dom listend to the briefing impassively. "SIR, NO, SIR!"

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:12 PM

Just Another Ref

[Some orientation. The speed is for use during combat ops when immediate physical action is required. You've been on it before, it's very effective and has few aftereffects if used only ocassionally, but it slightly impairs your judgement. The narcotic is for pain. The stabilizer is a sort of medic-in-a-syringe, stabilizing an injured patient and rapidly accelerating response to injuries. It kinda-sorta works. One thing it's very good at is delaying spinal injuries effects.

Your armor comm system has twenty channels programmable to any frequency. Number one is dedicated exclusively to the unit CO, two belongs to your immediate commander, three is devoted exclusively to your fire team and you, four is a general line that receives and transmits simultaneously everything on channels one through eight, five through eight provide contact with nearby associated units. Nine involves artillery calls. The rest are a hodgepodge of other uses. A little blue light will blink to tell you if a call is incoming. You have no "secure" transmissions. When you transmit you broadcast, and everyone who's listening hears it. The transmissions are encrypted, and though a big computer can break the encryption in two or three minutes this is considered sufficient for tactical use.

Feel free to make other suggestions, I'll probably accept them.]

The Lieutenant checks his watch. "Pilots to the boats. Teams board when pilots call ready. I'm with Team One in boat one, Sergeant you are with Team Four in boat three. Corporal Dominguez you have the Chief Master-at-Arms and some of the initial engineering team in boat two. All clocks are synchronized, hull breaches will take place simultaneously in twenty minutes. Good luck."

You have a few minutes before boarding. The Chief MAA moves up beside you, but says nothing. He has a shotgun that looks thirty years old, flack vest, no bandolier, his pockets bulge.

A boat petty officer appears and waves thumbs up, the Lieutenant calls, "Boarders Away!", and everyone moves forward.

Your boat is ... a bus, you think. Some seats, but mostly overhead handholds and support bars spaced along the entryway. The support engineers move immediatly to the second airlock forward, where they will perform the hull breach entry. [You'll need to decide the boarding order, meaning you'll have to arrange everyone now. Who do you want first, closest to the forward airlock and first onto the liner?] It's a bit crowded, but everyone fits. Your marines look good, the gunner's mates look nervous.

Chief Socha dogs the aft outer hatch then the aft inner hatch, then hits a comm panel. "Bridge, aft airlock secured."

"Very well. All hands, radio silence. Corporal Dominguez to the bridge."

When you get there you see surprisingly little out the window. One of the pilots says, "Ten minutes. I assume you'll want to select the entry point yourself. The liner is hiding in the gas giant's radiation belt that just happens to coincide with a dust ring. We are hiding in it too. We can't see it with our equipment, we're relying on last reported position obtained by our parent ship's sensors. Effectively we're flying blind, but don't worry, we've done this before."

During the transit the dust sometimes clears a bit and you can see the gas giant. It's a pretty dark blue, all swirly and full of storms like the eye of some great goddess.

At ten minutes you still see nothing. The dust here is fairly clear, you should see something. The pilots start looking at their insturments and then out the window. After a minute one of them says quietly, "Decel?" The other checks a panel. "To drop? Maybe ...."

A panel changes a display and flashes a message. Both pilots suddenly grab their controls and jerk them over. The display fills. "Ah ****, spin you pig! ..."

An incredibly loud screech bellows from the aft bulkhead, followed by a cannon boom that almost covers over the tearing rip. The gas giant in the window suddenly jerks away. You feel the artifical gravity strain, yank your guts in two different directions, then fail entirely. You fly straight back, hit your butt on someone's head, spin a full circle and hit the aft bulkhead flat. An explosion of lights fills your eyes ....

"I got you!" "No, I got you first!" You both laugh. Mom brings a plate of cookies. Your brother puts down his toy gun to eat. You keep yours.

.... noise. Yelling, someone screaming. Shift limbs, feel intact. Escaping air somewhere near you. Chief Socha is trying to bandage a gunner's mate who looks to be bleeding to death, but she can't because she has a broken arm. Everyone is pushed to the sides and ends of the boat. Pilot yelling, "Tom! Tom get off the slew panel! Tom can you hear me! Get off the slew!"

Alejandro Dominguez

"I want a sitrep (situation report), fire team three, check in."

Dominguez didn't waste any time with inaction or waiting for his team to check in, instead he moved to the pilot. "Where the **** is the slew? I'll get him off." Dom quickly moved to do just that.

With that taken care of he returned to the pilot. "Okay, what's our situation, and are we still able to achieve our operational objectives?"

Just Another Ref

Portola and Urshadi both sing out. Smith seems to be buried under a pile of gunner's mates, but he's tossing them off with no problems. Ga is silent.

One of the pilots has been knocked out of his harness and is sprawled unconscious on the control panel, actuating various controls. The scene outside the window is spinning madly. When you pull him off of them several displays clear and center and the remaining pilot seems to regain control of the boat. The world outside stabilizes. He plays with the panel a minute. "Yeah ... yeah we're ... still functional, barely." He yells aft, "Restoring gravity", and chokes slightly. You feel come grav coming back, but it's only about a third of what it was before. The pilot is bleeding down one side of his face. "Yeah, I can get you to the liner. It's right behind us." The boat slowly spins about, and you suddenly see the ship. It's big and quite long, maybe bright red though it's hard to tell out here so far from the star's light. A weapon's turret hangs askew, still spitting sparks. The ship's bridge window is obvious, as are the nacelles aft. You think you see another boat lurking at the ship's rear. You also see someone at the ship's window, looking out as if searching for something, but he's missing your boat as it drifts aft towards engineering.

"Where do you want to go?" The pilot tries to yell aft again but chokes badly. "You have a medic, right? See if you can get him here to check Tom."

Heading back aft you see a gunner attempting to straighten Chief Socha's arm while another wraps it in a brace. She's directing the efforts of two other gunners who are attempting to stop the bleeding of the one Socha was working on earlier.

One gunner is laying in a corner, twisted up like a rag doll. You seem his eyes are open, and he's breathing.

The Chief MAA is blocking the hull breech with his left arm, laying it along the split while your support team mechanic is breaking out an emergency hull patch.

Pataki seems to be different. He's working with your electrician, a slip of a girl who now has a broken cheek, to determine the status of the breach collar. "I think it will still work, Corporal. We can always find out the hard way." He grins reluctantly.

Ga is out cold. You press his status display and get normal readings, but he's gone for now.

Alejandro Dominguez

"Just get us on that ship. I don't care where. Just do what's easiest. We don't need anymore problems." Dom hesitated, but then added, "Actually coordinate with one of our other boats. If it's not too difficult, try to get us close. We might need to do a rapid evac, and if it comes to that, I'm not sure this tub can take it." Without another word, Dominguez moved away from the pilot.

"Good, Pataki, make it work, 'cause otherwise we will be finding out the hard way."

Without even turning away, Dom yelled, "MEDIC!" Once the medic arrived he continued, this time in a regular speaking voice. "I don't need to tell you how to do your job. Take care of that poor bastard over there in the corner, and there's a pilot up front that needs your attention. One of my men is unconscience, but his vitals are stable, see to him later. Now get moving."

Dom shifted his voice so that everyone close could hear. "Okay, people, I want you all to get your **** together. I know some of you are already banged up, but we still have a job to do. I'll be first man through the door. My fire team will follow me through." Dom would never tell another soldier how to command his troops. He'd let the navy personnel worry about the navy personnel. "I want you all ready. We're gonna try to get close to one of the other ships. If we end up needing a rapid evac and the pilot doesn't think ours can take it, we need to move all of our people and whatever kit you can carry over to one of them. Don't forget to blow this ship, we don't want anything to fall into the wrong hands. Any question?

Dominguez wasn't happy. He had people down and out, and they hadn't even made initial contact with the enemy. He hated putting his life in some navy pilot's hands.

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:14 PM

Just Another Ref

The pilot says, "I'll coordinate. Hull integrity is poor. May not be able to return aboard. We'll know after breach." He seems to be minimizing his words, and struggling with each one.

Chief Socha is moving very fast. Her arm is braced and she seems to be using it again. She quickly checks the bandage on the bleeding gunner, interrogates the gunner in the corner before slapping a hypodermic at him, then leaves him there otherwise untouched to push past Pataki and your electrician to tend the pilot.

The Chief MAA is putting his sleeve back down and retrieving his weapon. The outside of his left arm looks half-frozen and abraded. Your mechanic reports that the breech is sealed for now but that the aft hull probably has a lot of pinholes in it. He returns to working with Pataki and the electrician.

The liner appears to be four decks high. You look at the aft section and it does appear that engineering is there. The port and starboard nacelles are almost certainly maneuver drives, if standard practice has been followed. The power plant modules are likely to be near centerline.

Breech is scheduled to take place in three minutes. You can make the schedule if you hurry.

[The above graphic is a bare outline of the engineering hull, top-down view, no internal details yet. You must choose where on the graphic you make your breech. Your engineering team will attempt to make the breech on a clear portion of the bulkhead and not right onto a blockage. "Forward" means towards the front of the boat, etc. You may breech on a bulkhead on any of the four deck levels (though there may not necessarily be a deck on a given level, the space may be one big open area), on a deck (on the lowest deck), or in an overhead (on the uppermost deck). Breeching on a deck or an overhead is usually a bad idea because of interference to the artificial gravity plates there and also because of difficulty in entering and exiting, but breeching the overhead can sometimes give a tactical advantage.]

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez decided to put down forward and on the second deck. If it was open, he hoped it wouldn't be too long a drop. If it was just him and his Marines under ideal circumstances, he probably would have gone with an overhead breach, but now it seemed like they were going to have to abandon their vessel. He didn't want any more trouble than he'd already gotten, but he was pretty sure that not wanting it wasn't going to stop it from happening.

Just Another Ref

You show the pilot where, and he moves in. He's unsteady, and you think he's going to ram the other vessel, but he manages to get control and gently press the breech ring against the hull.

Your engineering team drop their faceplates, shut the inner hatch, pop the outer hatch, and finally pop the breech ring hatch. You watch through the inner hatch porthole. They take soundings and scans against the hull, and then the mechanic drills a hole and the electrician scoots a probe through. She says something, and Pataki gives you a thumbs up while the mechanic starts anchoring the ring to the liner's outer hull. Pataki begins laying out some kind of cord from a spool labled "Category 4" in large red letters while the electrician traces out a line inboard of the ring.

The Chief MAA is instructing his remaining gunners. "Just follow them in. Stay down, back them no matter what, and return fire if fired upon. We can do this, they don't know we're coming."

You hear Chief Socha up front talking to the pilot.

Ga is still down. You check his readout again. Some of the signs are slowly drifting down to yellow.

When the mechanic finishes he and the electrician begin laying the line on the hull. Pataki pops the inner hatch, and you feel your ears pop with higher pressure. "When they finish we'll be good to go. The cord will cut the hull and drop the plate inward. The cord will be quiet but the falling plate will be noisy, there's no way to avoid it. We didn't see anyone farside."

The mechanic and electrician pile back in and close the inner hatch without dogging it. "We're hot, get down." The electrician is holding some kind of actuator in her hand. "Your call corporal, say when."

The cord suddenly shines bright white and seems to melt the hull rather than burst it. The plate falls away, the mechanic hauls open the inner hatch, and you charge in.

You're directly on a deck with a large open overhead - the second deck spans two deck levels. Ahead of you are the maneuver drives looming large. They seem to be idled, but even idled this close to them you can feel their gravitic torsion turning your balance slightly. Overhead you see a catwalk allowing access to the upper drive machinery. On the far bulkhead you see three hatches total. Some equipment hangs on the bulkhead. Everything looks new. No-one seems to be here.

Alejandro Dominguez

Immediately after noting Ga's worsening condition, Dominguez got the Medic on the radio, "I was wrong, my man isn't stable. His vitals are dropping." Dom left it at that.

"Listen up people, as soon as we open this tin can, we pile through. I want the room cleared, and every entry point secured."

Dominguez check his kit over quickly. He readied the Gauss. [Private to GM: I'm pretty sure that's the quiet one. ]

Dominguez looked at the electrician and nodded his head. "Go."

Dominguez tensed, he would go through the breach the moment the plate came to a rest.

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:14 PM

Just Another Ref

[Private to Alejandro Dominguez: Yes, the Gauss Rifle is reasonably quiet, but not silent. It hums and pings distinctively when fired, and the round does generate a sonic crack as it moves.]

You're directly on a deck with a large open overhead - the second deck spans two deck levels. Ahead of you are the maneuver drives looming large. They seem to be idled, but even idled this close to them you can feel their gravitic torsion turning your balance slightly. Overhead you see a catwalk allowing access to the upper drive machinery. On the far bulkhead you see three hatches total. Some equipment hangs on the bulkhead. Everything looks new. No-one seems to be here.

Everyone except for the wounded and the medic has piled in. Your fire team splits up neatly to cover all three visible hatches - Urshadi the forward, Portola the aft, and Smith the overhead catwalk hatch when he finally sees it. Portola is licking his lips, Urashdi is clearly nervous, Smith looks very calm, but all are disciplined and focused. The gunners and their Chief spread out adequately, apparently checking out corners and covering your marines' back. They are ill-practiced but seem to be figuring things out.

Your support team is looking over the maneuver drive control panels. "We can override these from here, if necessary." Pataki finds a ship's comm panel at the controls and flips through some channels. " ... esults. What is the problem back there?" "Just about got it, nobody's going anywhere. Passengers in the well, 'cept for a few. Uh, hang on."

The Chief MAA is near you. "Advance, or bring in wounded and secure this compartment first?"

Alejandro Dominguez

"Secure this compartment, then bring in the wounded. Once that's done, me and my men will advance. You will hold this point. Coordinate with one of the other boats so that we can get home. If we need assistance, I'll radio. Any questions?"

Dom plans on attempting to use whatever element of surprise may still remain. His men are better equiped and trained for this operation, and he'd rather not have the navy along for the ride as a great big question mark.

Just Another Ref

The Chief snaps his fingers. "You three, help the corpsman move Erger and Uruush in here, and the marine. You others, by the hatches for support."

Chief corpsman Socha approaches you. "Neither pilot is fit to fly except in a do-or-die situation. One is on stabilizer, the other could bleed out at any moment but says he'd rather stay up in case you need a pilot. Private Ga is in a coma. The injured gunners are unavailable." She looks pale, and winces when she moves her broken arm, but she's still moving fast.

The wounded are layed out in a corner with Chief Socha hovering over them. Your marines haven't moved and are still covering the hatches. The gunners are standing by. Your engineering support team is lined up to one side. Niles the mechanic has picked up a discarded naval shotgun, and Pataki has Ga's Gauss rifle/grenade launcher. He's grinning. "You don't mind, do you?" Sorcha the electrician is crouched behind both of them and is looking very hyper. One of her hands is shaking. The Chief MAA is addressing his men. "Alright gunners. The Marines are going through, we're staying here until they call us." Several of them look up - apparently they don't like that at all. Others look relieved.

Alejandro Dominguez

"Good job, Socha. I don't care what that pilot says, you see to that man's wounds. We will not be re-boarding that ship. Make sure everyone can be moved, we don't have a choice." Dominguez turned away from the corpsman. He knew she would do her job. She'd done well under pressure. He'd make sure to mention that in his post-op reports.

Dom approached the Chief MAA. "Listen, I'm giving you and your men the difficult job. I need you to hold this point. Have one of your men radio the other boats. I want to know who the nearest is, and get a rough idea of how to get there. Me and my people will check the route and radio back for you to bring your men and the wounded up. By that time I want our boat rigged for remote detonation. Provide those detonation codes to Command & Control. Have them blow it if, and only if, it's mission failure, otherwise, I'm sure they'll want to recover her. Have the techs prep to override the drives, but don't have them do anything unless I give the word. They will evac with you, so if I haven't given the word by then, just have them leave the drives alone. Any question?" Dom waited for the info on the other boats.

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:15 PM

Just Another Ref

Sorcha moves to the drive control panels, looks them over carefully, and sets a few switches. "Ready for full shutdown." She is shaking all over and is barely coherent.

"Aye." Niles hefts a thermite grenade, sets a dial, then runs back onto the assault boat. He reenters the engineering space a moment later, dogging the breech collar hatch behind him. "Give the word and the boat drives melt." He clearly is very unhappy about that.

"Break radio silence, aye." Pataki pulls up a dial, hesitates, then punches in a frequency and moves aft all the way to the bulkhead, pressing against it. "Fire Team Three aboard, port drive nacelle, request rondevous point for casualty evac." He listens, fiddling with his dials. "Two decks two high. Unknown. We're on the upper." After a moment he reports. "Team One not responding. Team Four is on-scene but delayed, trying to locate a breech point. From the Gunnery Sergeant, two minutes, combined entry to upper main space, your team and his. They will be full aft, far starboard side, this deck."

Over the ship's interior comms you hear someone demand again, "Engineering team, what is going on back there? I want that engine room." Someone else replies, " ... uh, hang on. Stand by." The second voice sounds suspicious.

The Chief MAA looks at the comm speaker, then at you. "They know we're here."

Alejandro Dominguez

"**** it. We're going loud people. Sorcha, shut them down. Niles, frag it. Pataki, tell them that we'll be there in two, but that we'll be heavy with the support teams and wounded. Okay, people, change of plans, we'll all be moving together now. Socha, you take as many people as you need to get the wounded moving, start with support personnel. You all stay to the middle. Me and my men will take point." Dominguez looks at the Chief MAA. "You and your men will be the rear guard. I want your men to be split into two teams. I may need to call one team up if we run into heavy resistance."

Dominguez turned to address everyone. "You see someone armed that's not one of ours, you put them down. Any questions?"

With the element of surprise blown, Dom saw only one option. One of his instructors had always phrased it in a way that Dom liked. It was time for 'a preponderance of force at a decisive point.' He knew that his order to break radio silence could cost them this mission and their lives. He just hoped it wouldn't go down that way.

Just Another Ref

Everyone lines up and you lead the way through the hatch (1). Smith, accompanied by a single gunner, simultaneously moves through the catwalk hatch (2).

You are stepping out between an enormous power plant flask and its collection tower. Ahead to the left is another smaller power plant assembly, aft of it are the jump drive vanes. The way to where the other assault ship is breeching seems to be past (3). Directly ahead of you is a ladder rising to the overhead catwalk and a hatch in the deck immediately below the ladder. You hear Smith and his gunner stepping heavily in the overhead catwalk.

You immediately encounter two individuals, a woman at (A) and a man at (B). Both are wearing orange coveralls and head set comm systems, and both have longarms. They are facing forward towards (D), weapons ready, but turn as you suddenly appear on their flank. They both aim at you, eyes wide. The woman at (A) is wearing an orange cap with a prominent logo on it, "Starways". She fires at you with a shotgun. The man is looking at you, blinking, and starts to point his weapon up.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez fully expected his men to drop these two before he could get a word in edge-wise, but he had to try. Dom dove for cover and yelled out, "HOLD YOUR FIRE, DAMN IT! WE'RE FRIENDLIES!" He could live with collateral damage. It wasn't something he liked, and he figured it would eventually catch up to him, but he could live with it.

Just Another Ref

You feel the shot splatter hard against your armor. Nothing penetrates, and your HUD doesn't even register the hit. The man at (B) is yelling "Hilde, stop stop stop!" He is pointing is weapon away, towards the deck. Portola behind you has his shotgun up at her but doesn't fire. She stares, then suddenly lowers her weapon, stamps her foot and turns away. You see Smith quickly lean over the catwalk railing above you with his laser, take in the scene, then without stopping smoothly continue moving down the way looking over his weapon for targets, his gunner copying his every move.

You get up to let your team in, and they start stepping through. A pellet is stuck in one of your armor joints, limiting your movement there. You pry it out.

The man checks towards (D) and steps towards you. "Where did you come from? They're trying to break into upper level here, they're almost in. I think they hold the rest of the boat." He keys his comm headset and starts to say something, but suddenly stops. "They hear us. My chief is in EOS, you can see him through the glass if you step over here (E)."

Hilde turns back. "Sorry for shooting you, glad you're here, is anyone else coming?" She seems hard. You see several other orange-coverall-dressed people towards the other side of the space.

As your group steps through you see Sorcha your electrician towards the back sitting on her butt holding her tear-covered face. Looks like a pellet hit her in her broken cheek.

Alejandro Dominguez

"Medic, see to Sorcha."

Dominguez turned to look Hilde over. "Any of your people banged up? Any more of you armed?" Dom wasn't going to be handing out anymore information than absolutely necessary. He needed answers before he could decide what needed to be done next.

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:16 PM

Just Another Ref

Members of your team are filing the wounded past you towards E and F, where two other armed Skyways engineers are standing. The man guides you to step starboard and look through a thick glass window into C, which seems to be a control room. Three individuals are there, two of them armed with pistols. One seems to have a wrench for a weapon. They stop and stare on seeing you through the glass.

Hilde answers. "No, no-one here is hit yet though we're expecting them any moment. And this is about all we have" as she waves her shotgun. "I don't know what happened to the master-at-arms up forward. He has couple of suits of combat armor but we haven't seen him."

Smith calls down, "Topside clear, no upper access."

You hear a loud bang to starboard. The engineers there are facing aft and raising their hands, yelling "Engineering, engineering." You see your Sergeant moving into view at E, weapon up, followed closely by PFC Chambless and others. They note you and continue forward, securing their area.

A loud pop sounds within the control room at C. A piece of the bulkhead falls in and hurls one of the engineers into a corner. Two men from the outside reach in with handguns and start firing. A loud bang rings out at D and you see men begin to rush in. The first few are holding up large semi-clear shields that reach from the top of the head to the shins. The man who was talking to you ducks into a corner, Hilde drops and begins shooting. The shot splatters on the shield. The lead man fires - a hand laser - and a gunner next to you flails, blood and flesh scattering. The incoming men suddenly notice you and Portola next to you. Out of the corner of your eye you see the Gunny begin firing, then lurch back on being hit by something.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez yelled as he fell to the floor going prone. "RETURN FIRE!" As he hit the deck he brought his Gauss to bare and started firing at the attackers' feet. If they brought the shields down, he'd go for their heads.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he registered that he had seen the Gunny get hit. He hoped it wasn't anything serious, the Gunny was a good man, a hard ass, but a good man.

Just Another Ref

Your shot hits the man squarely in the ankle. He spins around like a ballerina and tumbles to one side to the deck, trying to pull his shield over himself and reorient his weapon aft. Portola fires a round at another man with a shield - it hits the shield and detonates, cracking it in half and breaking the man's arm. The man drops it and aims his own weapon one-handed at Portola. Hilde blocks your line of fire to the first downed man. You hear your gauss weapon whining as it rapidly recharges for another shot. Two other incoming men plant their shields on the deck and fire around them. You feel lead shot impacting your arms and weapon. Pataki is moving up. The engineer you were talking to lurches back and falls on you. An incoming man in the back of the pack is readying a grenade of some kind, but doesn't seem to have a good grip on it.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez pushed the engineer off of him and took aim at the man with the grenade. If he wasn't able to drop that bastard, things were about to get a lot worse.

Just Another Ref

The man with the broken arm, Portola, Hilde, and a gunner all fire at once. The broken-armed man comes apart under the assault, but Portola is hit. You hear the crunch - an armor-piercing round - and he staggers and trips back onto some piping. Pataki steps in front of him to cover him and moves forward, ACR on full auto. You can't get a good shot at the man with the grenade, but you fire anyway. The high-velocity round takes off the corner of one shield and barrels into the bulkhead next to him, scaring him into dropping the grenade. You don't think he pulled the pin yet. The man with the hand laser manages to reorient and lase. The light energy burns through Hilde's shotgun and her arm and engages your gauss weapon. The recharge whine stops immediately, and a laser warning in your HUD races up through green and yellow and stops just short of red.

Alejandro Dominguez

A string of curses ran through Dominguez's head, but he did not give them voice. Instead, he dropped his gauss, not wanting to risk firing it after it had taken a hit, and quickly got to his feet. He grabbed Portola and tried to pull him clear of the engagement so that a medic could see to him. He dropped Portola, drew his ACR, and returned to join Pataki at firing on the aggressors. He just hoped things went better with the ACR than they had with the gauss.

Just Another Ref

You grab Portola by a ridge in his armor and drag him behind the collector. You can see the round sticking out of his upper chest, he seems stunned and is trying to pull it out. Chief Socha is there and pushes you towards the combat yelling "Go!" as she leans towards Portola. A bright flash and loud boom rock the compartment and the gunners who had been firing stagger back. Socha cringes and holds her ears. You feel untouched in your armor and sling your ACR into position as you move around the collector to engage the remaining incoming. You see them falling as Urshadi guns them down from behind. Pataki is flat on his back trying to get up. Hilde is trying to shove Pataki's ACR one-handed under the shield of the man you first hit while he is trying to keep her weapon's muzzle out - a struggle of cripples. The man with the grenade is sitting in a corner, the weapon back in his hand, his eyes bleeding, grasping at the top of the bomblet as if trying to find the pin.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dom took careful aim at the man with the grenade. He had to put him down or Murphy would be in charge of the next round of events, too. Dom squeezed the trigger.

Just Another Ref

The man crumples under the impacts. His grenade rolls away, the pin pull-ring clacking on the deck with each revolution. Hilde fires at the downed man and a few of the rounds slip along the deck and hit him, and he sags onto the deck. Urshadi kicks away the shield and holds his weapon to the man's chest. He sees it, nods, and slowly tries to raise his hand laser to engage Urshadi. Urshadi fires.

Hilde stands up, holding the ACR in her right hand, her left arm in bad shape. She has trouble talking. "EOS" she says, pointing at the control room, and moves past (D) towards it. Pataki is getting up, yelling "Hey, my gun." You hear the shooting on the starboard side slowing down and ceasing.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez immediately moved to join Hilde. He moved quickly and precisely. He was slightly hunched over and wherever his eyes looked, his ACR pointed.

[Private to GM: I could guess what EOS stands for, but I'm not sure. ]

flykiller November 18th, 2015 10:17 PM

Just Another Ref

[Private to Alejandro Dominguez: Enclosed Operating Station, or also Engineering Operating Station ]

Urshadi falls in alongside you exactly as he's been taught. He looks zen. You follow Hilde past (D) into the atrium forward of EOS. She's holding her new ACR one-handed like a pistol, clumsily trying to point it around the corner into the EOS space. You see another marine - Chambless - appear at (H), target Hilde briefly, then orient towards EOS and move forward. Another marine behind him attempts to orient towards the open forward access at (G).

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez pointed at Hilde then his eyes then back the way they had come and finally down, telling her to watch the way they came and stay put. She was wounded and he didn't want her getting any worse. Then he made sure he had Chambless' eye and he chopped forward with his hand twice, signalling for Urshadi, Chambless, his follow, and himself to storm and clear the room. Without hesitation he moved to do just that.

Just Another Ref

For a moment Hilde looks blankly at you, then seems to understand. She moves back, clearing the way for you and Urshadi. Chambless points to his man, his eyes, then towards the forward access at (G). Your backs will be covered.

On the signal the three of you rush EOS. On clearing the broken bulkhead and gaining a line of sight inside you see three men down and two men up, one frantically pointing a weapon and one not.

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez rushed the room. "DROP YOUR ****IN' WEAPON! DO IT!" If the man made any hostile move whatsoever, Dom would put him down.

Just Another Ref

The one man is simply standing there, his arms folded, a disgusted look on his face. He puts his hands in the air.

The other is screaming, wide-eyed. He swings his weapon at you and opens fire. It's a revolver, a big one.

Alejandro Dominguez

Rather than drop and allow someone behind him to take the rounds, Dominguez stood tall and squeezed his own trigger.

Just Another Ref

He hits you in the chest. The round impacts hard and staggers you, but it doesn't penetrate. You and Chambless cut him down. Some blood splatters on the man with the folded arms. He wipes it off disdainfully - a real character.

Chambless' man calls quietly, "Clear on the entry."

Alejandro Dominguez

Dominguez trained his ACR on the other man in the room. "You stay put. Move and I won't hesitate to drop you."

"PFC, secure that man's weapon." He watched the man as the Marine crossed the room. If he twitched the wrong way, Dom would not hesitate to pull the trigger.

[Private to GM: I don't actually know Chambless' rank, but I didn't want to use his name. ]

Again addressing the man, "Who are you?"

Just Another Ref

[Private to Alejandro Dominguez: Understood. ]

Chambless steps over a body and moves to the man, staying out of your line of fire. He checks him over one-handed, finds a revolver, and tosses it back into engineering. "He has no other large weapon. Of course, I'm not a policeman." He sounds pleasantly calm.

Urshadi is oriented to the access hatch. Smoke lingers in the passageway, and the reek of slaughtered bodies fills the air.

The man is very well dressed, his nails are manicured, and his hair is perfectly combed. He's leaning back on the control panel. Except for the blood on his clothes and the puddle of blood he's standing in he's ready for an audience with a Duke. He looks you over. "I would appear to be your prisoner, Corporal. My name is Antoine Prise. I don't need to provide a service number, do I?"

A speaker announcement sputters from the control panel. "Engineering Team, are you through yet? One of the maneuver drives indicates off-line, is it intact?"

Alejandro Dominguez

"Cute, now turn around and put your hands behind your head." Dominguez immediately moved to help (i.e. force) the man comply. His day was just getting better by the moment. He kept his ACR pointed at the man's back and shoved him towards the Lt. He could figure out what to do with him. Dom would just as soon shoot him as keep him as a prisoner.

Just Another Ref

[Just to reorient. Chambless is PFC Chambless, the fire team leader for Team Four. The Lieutenant and Team One are not yet aboard. The voice on the ship's intercomm on the engineering panel appears to be a terrorist leader asking about the progress of terrorists trying to take over engineering, and is not from your own ship.]

Chambless' man and Urshadi cover the forward entrance. PFC Chambless yanks a wire from a damaged panel and ties the prisoner's hands. "One casualty my team, several gunners down. Lieutenant's not aboard yet, his boat is probably lost. We're only here because we saw the sparks from your collision." He finishes tying and looks at you pleasantly. "You're senior."

The prisoner looks around at you. "Rough day?"

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