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  #26  
Unread 12th of May, 2010, 07:21
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Doc hefted the nuke up, shouldering its entire weight while he fired his rifle randomly with his off-hand in the general direction of the enemy and looked around for a more defensible position.

"Where are we headed, Ryder?" he shouted over the din of gunfire, "This nuke here really wouldn't like getting shot!"
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  #27  
Unread 12th of May, 2010, 07:34
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Jet grits his teeth angrily at the searing pain in his off-shoulder and gnashy cuts against his legs. He recognized the need to put distance between himself and the enemy, so he hoofed it behind the sarge, spraying suppressive fire behind him as he went.
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  #28  
Unread 13th of May, 2010, 02:16
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The ranks of the raptor-beasts are thinning, but there are still more than enough to overwhelm you. Sleepy lets off a few rounds before getting a claw through his chest. His screams are swallowed whole by the din of battle.

Doc casually steps over Sleepy's corpse as he back-pedals while sending bullets flying. He manages to put some gashes in a few dinosaurs before finally making a solid hit, popping a lizard's head like a watermelon. Green gore goes everywhere, sizzling slightly as it hits the ground.
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  #29  
Unread 13th of May, 2010, 08:36
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The raptors redouble their efforts to tear you limb from limb, but timely showers of gunfire from Jackal squad keep them at bay. They snarl angerly, clicking and hissing and spitting errant gobs of acid. The humid air is thick with a thick, acrid scent as the acid corrodes stone, wood, and armor alike.
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  #30  
Unread 13th of May, 2010, 08:45
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Doc twists to avoid a glob of acid hurtling towards him, but the weight of the nuke on his shoulder throws off his balance. Precious seconds tick by while he struggles to keep balance before he finally gets the nuke under control.

Unscathed but embarrassed, Doc looks around to make sure no one saw him fumbling, then gets his finger back on the trigger and resumes his delivery of hot lead.
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  #31  
Unread 13th of May, 2010, 09:01
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Stepping backwards, Dakka takes careful aim at a new bug, but trips over a dissolving trooper. She stumbles, and her aim goes wide for the second time in a few seconds.

You've got to be fucking kidding me! Let me shoot the damn things already!
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  #32  
Unread 13th of May, 2010, 12:32
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The raptor bugs hissed angrily, ducking the suppressive fire as the marines fell back. Jet was fortunate enough to ward off any pursuers for the moment and settled with enough distance between him and the enemy to start safely taking shots.

"Die beasts!" he muttered as the crack of his slug rifle signaled his renewed fury.
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  #33  
Unread 16th of May, 2010, 20:40
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The Sergeant pushed back further, his steps quickening as he struggled to balance speed with stability, accuracy with quick, successive fire. His expression hardened beneath the hard shell of his armour, and sweat trickled down his brow as the heat of the screaming weapon burned into his hands.

"Keep moving!" he called back, more to reassure people that the rear-guard was still alive, rather than because they needed telling. He paused only for a moment, grabbing Dakka beneath the arm to support her stumble. "Keep shooting Dakka. I still expect you to bring back the record number of kills. Don't disappoint!" He swung around towards the raptors as they charged, and let forth a short, deadly round of automatic fire. Blood spurted, and the Sergeant snarled with unsettling amusement.
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  #34  
Unread 17th of May, 2010, 15:04
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The raptor-beasts scattered, their ranks thinned. The local air was quiet, but the acidic tang of the bugs' spittle still hung in the air. Jackal squad seemed to be mostly intact, luckily. After a few seconds of tense inactivity, the remainder of the bugs gathered together and charged at the squad for one last desperate assault.

With a cacophony of clicks and snarls, the bugs surged forth through a hail of bullets. Several raptors fell and the rest were thrown off-balance, stuck in a bad position by covering fire from Jackal and nearby squads who had managed to fend off other ambushes and were approaching to assist Jackal. Things were looking up for Ryder and his boys.
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  #35  
Unread 17th of May, 2010, 20:52
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As the bugs begin their last charge, Dakka lifts her Mini-Gun one last time, training it on the 'face' of the nearest beast. It sees the gun and changes direction, heading straight towards her. At the last second, Dakka opens fire, mashing the thing's head into a pulp with over 20 bullets. When it drops to the ground, Dakka doesn't stop, and shreds the bug's body to bits, emptying her entire clip into the thing.

"More. Fucking. Dakka. You hear me, bug? MORE! FUCKING! DAKKA!!!"

When she's done screaming at the bug in rage, she notices that all the remaining bugs have fled, probably because of her little outburst.

She looks over at Ryder, and calls out on the com.

"Sorry about that Sarge. But you know how pissed I get when I miss the bugs..."
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  #36  
Unread 17th of May, 2010, 21:01
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The Sergeant watched his Corporal, his brow raised beneath his helmet as he tried to hose down the manoeuvring creatures. The drugs, which had been hammered into his blood stream a few moments previously, had begun to wear off, causing his hands to shake viciously for a few seconds, disrupting his aim. The shakes might've been fatal, if his second-in-command hadn't disuaded the things from charging his flank.

"Don't worry, Dakka. If getting pissed means that you splatter more of the fuckers, then be my guest." He half-turned, waving his troopers back. "Change of tactics: I want an organized push forwards. We're going to make that damn cave. Now move!"

He raised his weapon, sneered down the sight, and pushed forwards.
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  #37  
Unread 19th of May, 2010, 13:46
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Doc scanned the area for any more moving bugs, then moved back up to the rest of the group.

"Hey Jet, you wanna give me a hand with this nuke? it's got a little bit of heft to it, if ya know what I mean."
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  #38  
Unread 19th of May, 2010, 16:26
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The area was finally quiet as the last of the bugs were mowed down or driven away. The area was a mess -- the ground scorched with acid burns and covered in corpses. The fallen troopers were unrecognizable puddles of organic matter. Blotches of acid covered the flora, reducing smaller plants to nothing and burning large holes in the trees.

The anti-air fire seemed to have stopped for the moment, which meant that other companies were successful and might even still be alive. You had a few moments to catch your breathe and patch up your wounded before your commlinks crackled to life.

"*ZzzZshZzhhh*-tillery has been silenced, repeat, anti-ai-*ZzshzsHH*-lenced. This is the Orbital Command aboard the TEF Nihil, requesting sitrep, repeat, TEF-*ZzzzzZsshhhhhh*"

Your commlinks' signal icon on your suit's HUD blinked in and out of existence. It seemed that you weren't in a good place to get a signal. In the heat of the battle you lost your bearings, and the nav unit built into your suits couldn't seem to get a fix on the Nihil to provide GPS. You had no idea where the caverns were relative to your position, and there didn't seem to be any other squads nearby. Your two-way radios were still operational, at least. Not that anyone was answering or anything.

It seemed like you were on your own for the rest of the mission. How the fuck were you supposed to radio for evac after the bombs were set, anyway? Command probably had a back-up plan to ensure safe evac, right? Might as well keep moving!
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  #39  
Unread 19th of May, 2010, 16:57
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Jet walked on over and grabbed the other handle of the nuke, leveling the weapon between him and Doc once again. His face was a mask of displeasure, but as per usual, it didn't seem like he felt like sharing his feelings with anyone.
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  #40  
Unread 19th of May, 2010, 18:37
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Ryder was silent after the battle, and the troopers knew him well enough by now to know the reason why -- when he lost men, he said his thanks and good-byes to himself, mourning their loss in his own way so that he could put his focus where it was meant to be: on the mission.

He stood up, looking away from the corpse of what had once been Niko, and listened closely to the wave of static. Beneath his helmet, his expression hardened in annoyance -- sod's law was a harsh mistress, and the bitch knew how to try a man's patience.

The Sergeant turned to his remaining squad and did what he did best: lead.

"Alright folks, we are officially fucked as of this moment. But that's okay -- fucked is what we're trained for.

"Jet, Doc, get the nuke. Hold that bad-boy to you like it was your own nut-sac. Everyone else, I want a defensive parimeter about them as of this moment... that means right now!" He paused as the men scurried into position, their confidence restored in part because of the familiar practise of following simple orders.

"As you all heard, communications are fucked and we've no idea where we are. But that's fine -- I told you we'd end up having to trust our own sense of direction anyway." The Sergeant paused, allowing himself a moment to kick raptor remains from his boot. "So, here's the new plan: rather than go running head-first into danger, we're going to make for the high ground--" he turned and pointed towards a gathering of hills, just visible above the treeline, "--and try and get a better signal. You all know the drill: high ground means we can kick ten tonnes of shit into the raptors if they try to bugger us again, and it'll also allow us a chance to survey the area.

"Any questions? If so, ask them on the move. Dakka, on me." The Sergeant adjusted his grip on his weapon, turned on his heel, and led the movement further into the unknown.
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Last edited by Croaker; 20th of May, 2010 at 06:51.
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  #41  
Unread 20th of May, 2010, 11:56
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Dakka made her way forwards, kicking bug bodies as she went. She was livid. Livid at not having seen the bugs, livid at having lost two troopers, and living at having missed twice. She was known for spraying bullets, but for hitting the damn mark. Next bugs she ran into were going to be sorry they were ever born.

As they moved for the high-ground, Dakka kept her senses alert, straining to detect the slightest hint of an approaching bug. She'd let Niko get taken out from right next to her; she'd be damned if she lost another of her crew to the acid of the raptors.
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  #42  
Unread 27th of May, 2010, 16:50
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Sergeant Ryder made his way towards higher ground, leading Jackal squad out of the clearing and into the woods. After fifteen minutes or so of trekking through the woods things became hopelessly confused. You couldn't see the forest for the trees. Luckily, before too much longer you came across the only distinct landmark on possibly the entire planet: a wide and tumultuous river.

A fresh, young-looking Trooper that Ryder recalled as being called "Grim" called out:

"Permission to speak, boss? Er, Sir? Sir, the river is flowing down an incline, like the field manual says! Sir, if we follow this against the current, we'll be heading uphill! Fuckin' A! Er, sir!"

Trooper Grim waved his field manual about and point his slug rifle at the river.

"We do seem a bit... er, lost, sir," another Trooper, called Raven for his hair and eyes, said. "No offense to the Sergeant, of course. This place is a godforsaken hellhole. It all looks the same," Raven continued, cigarette bobbing in his mouth.

The river was flowing downhill. The distant roar of rushing water echoed in the distance, but there were no other sounds. It was strangely still. Didn't this planet have any other life?

The radio signal on your suits was still fluctuating. Every few minutes you got a burst of static and some unintelligible dialog, but at this point you weren't even sure if it was direct towards you. The frequencies were all fucked up. The GPS was still in the shitter, too.

"So uh, where to? Sir! Where to, sir?" Grim asked, stowing his field manual and leveling his rifle to ready position.
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  #43  
Unread 28th of May, 2010, 06:41
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Ryder had spent the duration of the trek through the woods in silence, speaking only when he was directing troopers this way and that. But as time passed, his frustration began to verbalise, expressing itself in grunts and growls as he considered the wilderness about him. He knew that they were lost and, were the situation not so dire, he might've been embarassed about that fact; but now wasn't the time to try and salvage his pride.

He looked around at Grim as the trooper spoke, and then looked towards the stream to which he gestured. The Sergeant smiled beneath his helmet, and then nodded, tapping the barrel of his weapon against his temple. "That's good thinkin', trooper." He turned towards the others, and then added, "Seems that those manuals are better for more than just wiping your arses. Grim's right -- streams flow downwards, so we've more chance finding our bearings if we head up-stream.

"Dakka, be sure to pull your punches on Grim for a month. Guy deserves a reward." Adjusting his grip on his weapon, the Sergeant started the trek towards the hilltop, his frustration much less than it had been mere moments before.
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  #44  
Unread 28th of May, 2010, 10:12
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Dakka walked over to Grim, and patted him lightly on the shoulder. Grim winced.

"Sure thing, Sarge. I'll make sure the hero of the day is only slightly bruised at the end of the month. Word of honour."

Dakka got a cancer stick out, and resumed her bug-watch as the squad moved uphill.
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  #45  
Unread 28th of May, 2010, 13:40
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Aside from the rhythmic clinking rattle of his busted armor, Jet marches on silently.
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  #46  
Unread 29th of May, 2010, 05:24
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The forest remained eerily silent, but began to grow less dense as the squad followed the river uphill. Radio signals were improving as well--after a few hours of steady marching the squad had gained at least a thousand clicks of altitude.

Abruptly the forest ended. A few dozen meters of open ground terminated in a majestic bluff overlooking great swaths of forest. You can see a dent in the trees to the north--that must be the opening to the cave system command mentioned.

Your radios fizzled to life:

"Jackal Squad, come--*ZshsSh*--ackal Squad, come in. This is orbital command, we are reading moderate radio signals from your position. Please respond, repeat--*sssZhhshhhSHH*"

Your GPS seemed to have locked on to the Nihil as well, and was searching for you position. Things were looking up!
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  #47  
Unread 3rd of June, 2010, 00:39
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Ryder led the squad up hill without faltering in pace or determination. His belief in his fellow trooper, and in their own ability to overcome any adversity, in any form, shone through his every movement, his every muttering of, "Can't be far now. Keep moving." And, in the end, their perseverence was rewarded with a spectacular view from atop a peaked bluff, and the crackle of their radios upon their armour.

Instantly, the Sergeant lifted his own to his mouth, and began speaking, doing a double-take of his squad as he did so, evidently checking their number in his head. "Orbital Command, this is Jackal Squad. We're receiving you. Minimal static, but the connection's workable. Over."

As he listened to the incoming response, the Sergeant gestured for the Squad to fan out with his free arm: evidently the fact that they had already been caught off-guard was still fresh in his mind, and he wasn't keen for the incident to be repeated.
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  #48  
Unread 4th of June, 2010, 02:46
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Dakka made sure the rest of the troop was in position, before walking over to a spot facing the way they came. She kept her gun trained on the trees, and awaited Ryder's orders.

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  #49  
Unread 4th of June, 2010, 19:05
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"Orbital Command, we're south of the caves, and are headed there now. We expect to encounter heavy resistance between here and there." He looked over his radio towards Dakka, and nodded as she got into position. He looked towards the other troopers, expecting them to do the same.
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  #50  
Unread 4th of June, 2010, 23:30
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Jet adjusted his goggles and spat the acrid taste of this world's atmosphere out of his mouth. He was ready to move forward.
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