Saturday, January 19, 2013

CAtS Noir: The Sand Sharks Of Dresden III

Unit Log Transcript 1stSquad/EchoPlatoon/2Company/ArcturusRangers [Reporting Officer Rank: *ERROR*Corporal Jes]

E-Day +15

Corporal Jes with her Mid-range Improved Heavy MG
Things have been pretty quiet down in the troop compartment of the Redeemer ever since the light show got over at Dekko. Explosions in space are pretty anticlimactic, I guess. When they vaped that wreck, I was watching it on the CC feed from the for'ard gun station, and all I saw was a couple tiny blue flashes as the cobalt warheads went off, then the ship just broke apart and scattered. The Redeemer had to do some evasive maneuvering afterward, to avoid debris I guess. Not sure if that's normal for space battle, or if the Redeemer's crew is just dumb.

A few days ago, the Redeemer hooked up with the 3rd Escort Flotilla, which is part of the Arcturus sector fleet. ComArcSecFlt, which I would guess is Navy for 'The Admiral,' cut us orders to check out some back water desert world where a mining colony went dark. It's probably for the best. Everyone's antsy to get back in the game. Except for Dustin maybe. He hasn't heard the end of it since he chickened out on the Somnolent Rose.

Dudley hasn't got himself promoted yet, but he did manage to get us some new doodads. Our gear was pretty banged up when we got off that wreck, but now it's better than new. He had the armorer slick up that big Vulture pistol he carries, my MG got accurized for long distance work, and even Dustin got a new reflec sight for his slug rifle. Grizz...I'm not sure how he did it, but he convinced someone in requisitions to give him a power claw. I wonder who he had to hold hostage to pull that off. I'm not kidding, I'm seriously worried about the Redeemer's crew here.

I'll have two days to look into it before we hit Dresden III. Not sure what I really want to find.

Operation Tornado (Dresden III) Day 1

Trooper Dustin with his Long Range Improved Slug Rifle
The troop landers got us down to the surface unopposed, and we got into the mining facility with no problems. While the place was totally shut down, with no sign of the miners, there was also no sign anything was really amiss, either. The phrase 'milk run' was rattling around in my head. Then fire teams from 3 Company, which had perimeter duty, started going off the grid. Like, nothing, no reports, they were just gone. After the third team fell off the displays, Dudley got orders over the net from our Platoon Lieutenant to go check it out. I hope the orders came from further up the chain, and not that our L.T. is some sort of glory hound that's going to get us in hot water.

The place is all sand. Sand on the ground, sand in the wind, sand in the air you breathe. Sand everywhere. In places I don't like sand being, even with the armor seals. But we found out what killed the 3 Co. guys. It almost got us too. There was no warning, they just came up from under ground and latched onto us with serrated teeth and wouldn't let go. Within 2 or three seconds, we went from patrol formation to each of us individually wrestling some sort of sand monster. I was rolling around on the ground with mine when Dudley just came up and shot it in the head. He had killed his with some piece of intel he had ferreted out of the Redeemer's XO before we headed dirtside. Would have been nice to know before I had teeth on my shins, but I'll take what I can get. He killed them all. I may not like Dudley, but he does come through some times.

Operation Tornado (Dresden III) Day 2

Trooper Grizz with his Short Range Improved Slug Rifle & Power Claw
Found out earlier that the Redeemer's troop landers are supposed to be back today with the rest of the Battalion. I'm not sure what I think about that. I appreciate the backup, but what are more boots going to mean against monsters that can come out from under the ground with no warning and bite you? Anyway, after our tangle with the things yesterday, we got all patched up. Fortunately, Sgt. Dudley managed to kill them before we got too beat up, but we all had some lacerations to patch up. At least the mining facility seems to be safe, maybe they can't get through the ferrocrete floor panels or...

We stopped them, but a lot of 2 Company is gone. They sank a section of the floor and came sliding up it like munkwhals at a circus or something. Most of us that weren't wiped out in the initial attack pushed them back into the sinkhole and unloaded on them, wiping quite a few out and pushing the rest back into the tunnels below. Grizz, of course, jumped down in and started shredding with his power claw. Dustin and Dudley got messed up. Grizz is in really bad shape. I lost my left foot. That's a weird thing to say in a report, but one of the slithing things bit it off. It's one of the ones that got away too, so I can't even get it reattached. Medics stopped the bleeding. I'll survive, but I'll have to wait until we're extracted to have a new one cloned. I swear if I hear one pirate joke...

Operation Tornado (Dresden III) Day 3

Sgt. Dudley with his Close Range Improved Sidearm and Middle Range Improved E-rifle.
The medics rigged me a prosthetic so I could at least walk around. I'm not 100%, but I want to get this over with. The Battalion is in worse shape than I am , with about 30% killed or combat loss. We're going down into their tunnels. Going to burn them out with thermite charges. Big ones. It'll flood the tunnel system with superheated air. The techies say that if that doesn't kill them all, that it will make it so there are not enough viable adults to sustain the population, and they'll all go extinct. Fine with me. I miss my foot. I liked walking on it.

We were all set up in defensive positions, guarding the techies while they set the charges, when the vekking things came up through the ground again. It was bedlam, people were screaming, gouts of sand and dust were spewing up everywhere, people were disappearing down through the floor. We had to keep them off the techs.  Dustin and Grizz were making serious headway with their slug rifles, but it was not enough. It seemed to me that every sand monster on the whole planet was coming for the techs, and there was nothing in their way but me.

One of them got me in its mouth and started shaking. I could feel its teeth skittering across my breastplate. The armor held it off, but there was nothing left. More were still coming up through the floor, heading my way. I looked at where my foot should be and something broke. I picked up the MG and held down the firing spoon. I'm not sure how long I was there, but I think I killed them all. Next thing I remember Dudley and Grizz were pulling the empty MG out of my hands. I was shaking pretty badly, but they told me it was over, and that we needed to get to the landers so the charges could get set off.

Fine with me, I had enough of that planet to last a lifetime.

Author's note: I had a pretty good suggestion from MIK to make little vignettes or dioramas to illustrate this. This one was already done at the time he gave me the idea, so I didn't feel like going back to do it. Next edition, however, should be good to go.

1 comment:

MIK said...

Another fun writeup, nice to see the troopers got new gear, especially the claw! Looking forward to the next round.