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    Maxim 1: Pillage then Burn



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    Join date : 2017-03-19

    Maxim 1: Pillage then Burn

    Post by Thoria on 30th March 2017, 03:28

    “MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE IT!” screamed the instructor as the gaggle of youngsters scrambled past, panting heavily under the glare of a hot noonday sun. Thoria watched on in amusement as the group struggled past, all on the ragged edge of collapse. “Huggens! You better be about to die cause I am not happy. NOT HAPPY HUGGENS!”. It was good. Having left the islands and gone in search of money and adventure Thoria had wound up talking herself into an established company of mercenaries, unlike the majority, these weren't the just scraping by lucky gunslingers. No indeed. This was Taylors Terrors. Just one of small number of professional mercenary companies, they did everything, be it full scale assualts in zoids, to actions of a questionable legality. Assuming naturally the price was right. How Thoria got herself into her present position was primarily because the company had had difficulty finding a replacement for one of their heavy hitting zoid pilots, a 'munitions' accident lead to the death of her predecessor and the destruction of the main zoid in the support team.

    The other fact that she had a Genobreaker Jet was also taken into account. Which was why she got to swagger around in the company jacket and an lieutenants tabs. She'd had the quickee leadership course, and was nominally in charge of the fire support group, luckily her time in the islands militia meant she'd had some experience within the disciplined ranks, and the knowledge that as the LT, she was just there to take responsibility, her subordinate officer was the one who actually ran the show. “Hey L-T.” called a hulking bear of a man, shooting a quick wave.

    “Grizz, how goes?” asked Thoria as she stepped into the shade of the company's hangar, the largest part of the compound besides the walls.

    “Pretty good, they came through with replacements for the Red Horn cannons. Other than that, we've been put on notice that we might be needed for an upcoming op.” replied her second in command, he looked over at his own zoid, a customized Bearfighter, sporting a somewhat concerning lashup that looked vaguely like a...

    “Is that a particle cannon?” asked Thoria incredulously as her jaw hung open.

    “Yep. Salvaged and tweaked by your's truly.” said the man with a note of pride.

    “There is no way that thing can power it...”

    “It doesn't have to, I de-tuned it, slapped on its own power supply. Ought to be good for two, three shots. Probably.”

    “I know I'm new at this game Grizz...but I don't think 'probably' really should be acceptable..I mean you know your stuff so I'm happy to give you the chance...but is it safe?” asked Thoria

    “About as safe as all that ammo on the red horns in a firefight.” replied Grizz with a deep laugh. “I'll be careful. Besides, you know what they say...”

    “Yeah I know...thirty seven. In the meantime, what do you think of the new arrivals outside?” the woman turned and gestured to the now collapsed group of runners, sprawled beneath the shade sails that kept some areas of the company livable.

    “Are you asking if I trust them to do their job? Ask me when they've gone out once. It's like relying on someone else for the information so we can do our job, oh sure you've got it easy, that big ol' hulk of yours could turn most anything we're likely to face to scrap, but the rest of us? Not so much. If those kids don't do their jobs...we wind up in trouble. Especially if we don't get any support.” Thoria grunted as Grizz made his point.

    She remembered the...difficulty...she'd faced upon joining, she was out in support of a ground crew and someone messed up, they were running a convoy through the badlands when someone went and started blabbing on an open mic, talking about some important information, like numbers of guards and so on. Things weren't easy out in the badlands, and some desperate people wound up hitting the convoy, so who actually opened the channel was a moot point, it took the intervention of some team pilots to break them out, it was only the presence of the Genobreaker that gave the attackers pause from committing fully to their attack. At that point she'd only been a contractor, hired to do the run and get paid, by her current employers, it was the fact that even when outnumbered and under attack she stood to face the flame.

    And so here she was, in charge of a pair of Red Horns, a bear fighter and trying to figure out 'was this a good idea'.

    A good day then.

    “Well, lemme know if we get tapped because I've got some paperwork to finish up, if I knew that this job meant sitting behind a desk...you can bet I'd have given it a pass. I know I'd rather be hitting the beach” groused Thoria as she turned to leave, knowing what was coming.

    “I'm sure we'd all like to see you at the beach!” called Grizz with a laugh, it'd become something of a joke in the squad, she'd arrived, done what was needed and slotted in by the folks in charge when a copy of a calender photoshoot that had been done for 'charity' reasons (Okay...so she lost a bet...) came to light in the barracks. Thoria wasn't terribly concerned, her people knew the line to not cross (as one colleague had failed to follow), and she gave back as good as she got. Besides, Thoria knew she was easy on the eyes, and was happy to use her assets ('And what assets! Aaaaroooooooo!' as Grizz put it once), but it was also easier with Grizz for Thoria to bear. It wasn't exactly public knowledge, but her second wasn't into women, and as he'd said she was young enough to be his daughter, and that is just wrong.

    So as she walked away she smiled, things weren't all that bad, a good paycheck, bonus for being sent out on jobs, most of her pay going into the bank for a rainy day, and she was getting experience (limited though it was) working rather than just sponging off some team for fame and fortune, even if she didn't get as known (or feared) as the likes of Kael Nyx or the husband/wife team from Fury (She'd heard some stories about their exploits, something about a vending machine...). But she got to 'get her hands dirty' in the world rather than just sitting in some bunker waiting for things to go to hell.

    And that suited Thoria just fine. Just a pity how mercenaries didn't really attract much in the way of 'talent' as she'd put it once.

    Some days later...
    Thoria's eyes snapped open from her doze, her phone warbling as she checked the caller ID. Work.
    “Go for Thoria.”
    “RTB for assignment. Usual terms, danger bonus in effect.” spoke the party on the end of the line.
    “Okay, back in...forty minutes.” replied Thoria as the call disconnected. The woman sat up and picked up the empty cartons of takeout that had more or less covered her from her previous nights attempt to reach one hundred percent slobbishness. She'd reached maybe sixty percent...but now, the detritus was consigned to the bin as she pulled on an outfit more befitting public exposure, yanking the jacket on but not zipping it. Another minute and the door was locked and she was halfway down the stairs to a near new SUV, its engine purring to life as the air conditioning blasted as it took off through the port town headed for the compound on the outskirts.

    Upon arrival the SUV pulled directly into the hangar where the various munitions technicians were fussing about with the loading of ammunition in the zoids, pallets of missiles sat in specially designed miniature bunkers to prevent accidents as the Red Horns were armed up. Her own zoid, Akula, was already loaded and ready to go as she climbed into the pilots seat and toggled the retract function, the chair sliding deep into the armored core of the Genobreaker. “Just waiting on the twins and we'll be moving out.” crackled the radio as Grizz's Bearfighter stalked past.

    “Good. I'm just looking at our orders now” replied Thoria as she scanned the documents on the heads up display. What it outlined was a fairly standard protection mission, they were to link up with a trio of Gun Tigers from another company (radio frequencies attached), and proceed to mission area. Ground squads will move in to secure a mine from brigands, while support provided overwatch and on-call artillery support. Nothing terribly exciting then. Changing channels Thoria addressed her squad. “Anvil one to Anvil squad, mission is proceed to area, provide overwatch and fire support to ground element. Will be working with another company's units, orders suggest that allies will be acting as scouts. You know your jobs, lets make sure its done and dusted quickly. Anvil squad, move out!”.

    The far larger Genobreaker stomped out into the sunlight after the Bearfighter as the pair of Red Horns brought up the rear, the quartet setting off at the best speed towards their destination, a handful of trucks rolling out behind with a pair of gun cars providing escort.

    The following day, before dawn.
    “I've got them in sight...I see...three trucks, probably carrying their people, two armed light vehicles...looks like a bearfighter and two red horns split off from the group earlier and are moving off.”

    “Confirmed, three troop trucks, two armed light vehicles. Bearfighter and redhorns as support element. Right on time.

    “Keep them under observation, we were told there was supposed to be four zoids. I'll let the others know.”

    Thoria rubbed her eyes, it was well before a reasonable hour and she was tired, she'd fallen back late the previous day when a small group of zoids had some out to investigate the convoy, and had managed to make them keep their distance, until they had turned back anyway, but it was briefly discussed to be a 'good idea' to hang back just in case someone tried to come up behind as the operation got underway.
    “Anvil one to Secore Security unit, we've arrived and would like an update on the situation.” announced Thoria over the designated channel.

    “So good of you to join us Anvil. We thought you guys had gotten lost.” came the cheery accented voice.
    “Not at all. We're here and ready to get started.”
    “Very good, we've updated your guys with the layout and what information we've managed to gather, are you guys grouped up over by...point baker?”
    “Uhh...wait one” replied Thoria as she furrowed her brow. Their erstwhile allies in this job seemed awfully keen on their disposition... “Roger. We're standing by near point baker. Do you want us to link up with you?”
    “Oh...no thats fine. We'll keep an eye on things as your guys go in.” replied the voice “Let you know if we need you folks.”
    The line went dead as Thoria changed channels once again.

    “Grizz...I think we're looking at hitting Twenty Nine. Just keep an eye on the temperature and tell me if we hit twenty nine okay?”.

    “Hey boss...you really think it'll get to twenty nine? Okay, I'll watch for it. Bet you a round if it gets there.” replied the man as the three other members of Anvil team had a shot of cold adrenaline surge through them. Thoria grimaced, the ground team was already over the hill and out of sight as she repeated the prediction to the teams commander.

    “What the hell are they talking about? Twenty nine? It's gonna hit thirty two easy. Amateurs. Can't even get the temperature right.” grumbled one of the Gun Tiger pilots with a roll of their eyes.

    “Ground lead to Anvil lead, we've engaged multiple entrenched defenders on site. Mine layo..dif..ent than..aps..su...” the radio dissolved into static as jamming came on, filling the radios with white noise. Luckily the zoid radio systems were able to cut through the jamming, briefly.

    “Anvil one, anvil. Confirmed. We've got a condition nine! Grizz I'm on the way!” cried the woman as she hit the jump jets, sending the hulking Akula rocketing into the sky as the inter-zoid communications were rendered to hash by the jamming. From the sky Thoria could see gunfire around the main gate of the mine, her own people had stalled in their advance as one of the troop trucks was on fire and a gun truck was on its side, tiny figures huddled in the cover of the vehicle. “Hold on guys...” she whispered as missiles streaked away from the airborne zoid which had reached the peak of its jump and began its descent, jets orienting downward and spooling up for a landing.

    The ground troops of Taylor's Terrors were putting up a game fight, three had been injured and one was critically wounded when the vehicles were ambushed with buried mining explosives, taking out two of the vehicles, the rear gun truck pulling forward off road to rain high caliber fire on the defending brigands, who were firing back with only minimal results. The communications were shot completely, someone was jamming for everything they were worth a... The ground force command had looked up just long enough to see the streaks coming in and shouted “INCOMING!!” before diving into the dirt as the mines gate flashed into fire and the concussive blast rolled over the embattled troopers. Clearly their support was still operating as he pulled himself out of the dirt and directed the majority of his men forward towards the ruined gateway, guntruck in the lead.

    The rest of Anvil team however was another story.

    Grizz snapped off the orders and got the group ready as communications were cut, he spotted the trail from the LT's zoid as it shot into the air, the two red horns has arrayed themselves to watch eachothers backs, being slow and not suited to high speed combat. Nor was the bearfighter for that matter...but its firepower and extra armor meant if anyone wanted to tussle, they'd have a bad day. A flash of metal caught his eye as a Gun Tiger crested a nearby ridge, a cloud of smoke belching forth as a concealed weapon fired. The bearfighter slumped sideways as the round flashed past to impact on the far side of the pair of redhorns, with a growl he triggered a volley of missiles to flatten the area around the enemy zoid. With a yelp the pilot of one of the redhorns opened up with the zoids thirty millimeter repeaters, sand spraying from a nearby dune as a second gun tiger leaped into view, the remaining pilot unable to see what was coming was knocked unconcious as the guntiger fired, missing its intended target, but striking its partner in the flank.

    Akula's jets roared as it came into a hover and surged towards the embattled support team, she had seen the two attackers and was concerned for the safety of her team, their zoids suited more for indirect support than slugging it out with a nimble foe. Luckily for them, their enemies didn't know someone was missing. Both Bearfighter and remaining Red Horn were holding the Guntigers back, the lighter zoids couldn't risk getting hit lest it deal serious damage...and the way their company was run...that would mean they'd be paying for repairs themselves... As the two attackers bore down, firing their hundred and five millimeter cannons they neglected their radar, their own communications wiped out by their own jamming, as a result the first didn't see the oncoming Genobreaker Jet drop from the sky feet first to crush the smaller zoid under its bulk.

    As Akula landed Thoria spat out the mouth guard she'd stuffed in seconds before touching down, having done it just in case she bit her tongue or shattered teeth with that bone jarring landing. Her victim was a pile of twisted wreckage beneath her zoids feet as the jets fired once again, not nearly as hard and it rose off the broken metal pile and set down on solid ground. The impact had been noticable enough for the other attacker to realize that the black behemoth wasn't friendly. Unfortunately for him, it was far too close.

    Of course, close was a relative term. It was out of range of the X-breaker claws...but close enough that the grappler arms could easily snag it. Which is exactly what happened, the rocket powered appendages shot out and latched on, crunching armor easily as the winches screamed, wires snapping taut as the smaller zoid was pulled off its feet and across the ground, giving the pilot a terrifying ride as the ground tore at his Guntigers armor...and it was getting closer to the X-breakers that reached forward like gods own pair of scissors. Times two!.

    The three parts of the Guntiger hit the ground with a thump, the head rolling free (and the cockpit it contained) to rest on the sand, pilot hatch flying open as the occupant started running away. Reunited the ground used signalling lights to send messages, the remaining Red Horn would watch over the fallen counterpart, while Grizz would accompany Thoria to assist the ground team in their assault in a direct support mission. As the pair moved off they watched a fireball rise into the air from the depths of the pit, tracers visible as they flew into the sky, clearly someone was having issues.

    The ground commander ducked behind the rockpile once again as a sizable explosive erupted from a hut in the pit, burning debris raining down on his mens positions as the defenders set off mining charges scattered across the ramps leading down, their remaining gun truck had been disabled when one such charge blew off one of the wheels and it had ground to a halt, the enemy weapons unable to pierce its armor, but was still able to fire back without risking the vehicles crew. It was moments like this that made him wish for the bad old days of the rift war. When it was a foe who used tactics and didn't resort to dirty tricks. And when he had unlimited support!. What he wouldn't give to be able to call in a barrage on the enemy position across the mine from him. The heaviest ground weapons keeping his men pinned in the rockpile with the sheer weight of fire, and because the commander was good at his job, he didn't react when he saw the shapes come over the top of the mine. He just hunkered down and smiled. The explosions cut off the screaming. And it was nice.

    With the immediate threat dealt with, Thoria and Grizz went off to support their own troops, coming down on top of the defenders , Akula on its jumpjets, and the Bearfighter sliding downhill on its belly. Missiles flew as soon as the pair crested the top and dozens of men were wiped away in the resulting firestorm. Across the pit the various squads of the Terrors were pushing out from cover, meeting only sporadic fire, which was quickly suppressed by cannon fire from the Bearfighter, the Genobreaker setting up its shield as the troops positioned themselves behind the towering war machine, cheering as the lashup started down the ramp, the light fire not even phasing the shimmering shield being generated.

    At the base of the pit, in a small hut inside the opening to the mine...
    “Damn it! You'd said they'd be taken care of! They weren't supposed to start now...and where in the f#$k is the heavy support you promised? Huh? WE PAID YOU FOR PROTECTION! And now it turns out you're not even able to take care of a bunch of second rate zoids who, in your words 'couldn't win a prize in a shooting booth'. Well...last I heard, you're down two and I'm starting to think your company isn't worth the money we've paid.” roared a giant of a man, slamming a huge hamlike fist onto the table as small rocks rained down on the roof of the hut like the patter of rain.

    “There were...complications. You weren't supposed to kill the miners or the other staff. The deal was, fifty percent output, you get defense. We gave you the keys to the place...which the company was less than thrilled about, and you're what? Thinking of giving up? Support is on the way. And its more than their crappy bearfighter!” snarled a man in a desert camouflage uniform as he reached for his holstered pistol slowly. 'It was supposed to be easy, we give these morons control of the mine, we get half the take, and everyone was happy. Instead what do we get? A bunch of trigger happy outlaws that kill the miners, make a big show and think they can take on professionals? Why we're even involved is beyond me' thought the representative, he'd lost contact with his two comrades and with the enemy bearfighter bearing down maybe it was time that he got going while the going was good.

    Or rather, that had been the plan when a mining charge blew his zoids cockpit and head apart.

    “You think you all that. Didn't think I'd just let you leave did you? You owe me. And I'...” the leader of the brigands laughed as the merc suddenly had his escape route blown apart. Sadly however, what came next meant he couldn't enjoy the victory. The giant flopped backward as the wall behind him was decorated in a tasteful shade of brain and bone. The merc didn't get to enjoy the moment either, as two of the men inside swept their guns up and opened fire, while two guards at the door turned around and unthinking, swept their own fire across the hut. The only survivors were the two door guards, by way of being lower than the occupants.

    “I don't think boss is gonna be happy.” grumped guard one

    “I don't think Boss gonna care” replied guard number two.
    “What do we do now?”
    “I guess we give up?”
    “What? But theres all that gold and stuff!”
    “Oh yeah...lets grab some bags”.

    The brigands who were occupying the mine workings proper suddenly found something better than shooting people. With big bad boss dude dead...they could get looting! The way it was supposed to be. Unfortunately however, where there's looting...there is burning. And as any miner will tell you, fire underground is not conducive to good health. But nobody had told these guys.

    Outside the mine however. The ground troops were spread out taking prisoners and 'rendering aid' to those who were still alive, but clearly not long for this world. The two zoids were standing over the entrance as smoke poured out from the opening, the pilots and leader of the ground contingent were in conference when the pilot of the undamaged Red Horn called in a sighting of a fast moving zoid. Thoria and Grizz swearing as the visual came in. It was a Pteramander. And they weren't ideally suited to deal with an aerial threat.

    “Thanks for the heads up, play dead, hopefully it'll focus on us. Uhh...Grizz? What are you doing?” asked Thoria as she noticed the Bearfighter turning to face the direction of the oncoming flier.

    “Well...I've got this new toy.” replied her colleague as his zoid rose onto two legs, the modified particle cannon swinging down to rest by the zoids side. “I reckon I've got a chance if we give them a taste of this puppy”

    “I'm not going to argue this. I think you're nuts. But I'll give you as good a shot as I can...To infinity and beyond!” cried Thoria as the jets fired, launching her zoid upwards and out of the pit, missiles racing free towards the oncoming threat, toggling to her beam rifles she spat energy at the oncoming Pteramander as her zoid touched down in the midst the ruins of the gate. Missiles sped past a barrage of rockets from the flier as the X-breakers locked into position, generating their coruscating shield as the warheads detonated, her zoid bucking from the barrage, while her own missiles were avoided (mostly), of course they weren't supposed to hit only to drive it into a suitable position. While Thoria had faith in her second in command, she wasn't about to just count on a miracle, and so safely tucked behind its shield, she had her zoid charge its primary weapon. While it was 'fast' in comparison, the Pteramander had a problem. It couldn't react and make drastic changes, while it was much easier to sweep the area of sky that her target occupied with the Genobreaker's charged particle cannon. Of course, thats if her comrade flubbed his own shot.

    “come on...come on...almost...” chanted Grizz as he watched the outline of the Pteramander, retransmitted from Akula, move towards the targeting carat. The cannon glowed with contained energy as he tightened his finger on the trigger “almost...there...Got you!” he crowed of the radio, the Pteramanders pilot startled as another voice came over the air, distracted he failed to see the bearfighter at the bottom of the mine. He did see the flash however. The modified particle cannon fired correctly, the beam scything through the wing of the Pteramander, the zoid rolling over as its rocket launchers fired again, sending volley to waste themselves on the surrounded countryside when they ran of fuel.

    Thoria watched the enemy zoid corkscrew in, fire and smoke in its wake as it disappeared over a dune and out of sight, at least until the cloud from the explosion became visible. It seemed like it was game over. And it was still before nine o'clock!. Hopefully someone thought about breakfast...

    Half an hour later and Thoria kicked at the smoking wreckage of the mines canteen. A pocket sized book open in hand as she sighed, closing the book when Grizz walked over, grinning smugly.
    “Whats up bosslady?” he asked as he stopped beside her and looked down.

    “So...Does anyone actually read this thing?” she asked holding up the book, the title read 'Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries' “Its right there on page one...ish. Maxim number one: Pillage...THEN BURN!”

    Grizz clapped the woman on the shoulder and howled with laughter.

    word count: (according to the thingy there) 4412
    Takeshi Kimari

    RPC : 94
    Posts : 166
    Join date : 2017-03-16
    Location : Preparing the Floordrobe.
    Age : 24

    Character sheet
    Name: Takeshi Kimari
    Team: Highguard
    Primary Zoid: Liger Zero

    Re: Maxim 1: Pillage then Burn

    Post by Takeshi Kimari on 3rd April 2017, 20:50

    Nice work. 45RPC because I prefer multiples of 5.


    "There's an art, or rather a knack to flying, in learning to hurl oneself at the ground, and miss."

    Battle Record: 2/0/1

      Current date/time is 15th July 2018, 13:50