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 Post subject: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:08 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
I've told parts of this story before in other threads, but I've gone back and done some editing and finished the whole thing.

Okay, first of all, yes this is dramatized. It's all told from my character's perspective. the other players were the unit i was with, but their characters died. Eventually they made CS characters, as the GM explained what the next part of the adventure was going to be.

WARNING: It gets pretty violent, also it's kind of long (12 pages, double spaced, the forum format makes it wonky).

I hope you guys enjoy. Feedback is always welcome.

Spoiler:
Operation Dead Lift
(A mixed merc group is hired to evacuate a town being sieged by skull-heads. They have VTOL transports and a small field on the town's north side set as the LZ. Five squads of mercs, some have psychics, there are a few casters but the majority of them are troopers of various specialties. The leader is a Grackletooth with a bionic-replacement lower jaw, don't remember the chomper's name. Nearby is a terrible place, a forest known to be infested by Demons and other creatures of Magic).

CS is deployed around the town, most of the folks have retreated to the ore refinery (the reason the town exists at all, the owner/operator hired the mercs to do this extraction job, hell of a gesture). Transports fire tinsel, pop flares as CS missiles close in. Decoy transport gets gutted by plasma SRM's, the rest of the VTOL's make landing.
The dead-head officer is a real cowboy, sends skelebots in a charge, gung-ho for humanity, son.
Mercs out of the fliers, start to ferry refugees out of the plant, metal chomper the grakletooth wants my unit to clear the last houses, the plant operator says there's stagglers in town.
Bummer.
Me, Alrik, kind of a jerk, Meg the scout/sniper, Vance some purple skinned guy from beyond the rifts and Sally our combat engineer beat feet while CS artillery glasses warehouses and turns the street around us into dirt.
Easy job.
Find a hurt old man and little girl, of course, always the defenseless and injured. Makes your humanity crawl when you know they can't make it back without a body bag. Tell Meg with the med kit to tend to them, rest of the team moves up, smoke from the wall like ol' Prosek smokin' a cigar.
Dead-head tank rumblin' on in, infantry chasin' the skirt. Multi-optic eye says close, too close to run from our position to check the next house. Need some room to breathe so I make with the Naruni Optic Camouflage, take some of Sally's anti-vehicle mines and skulk like a mage in the 'burbs after curfew. Tank driver doesn’t see me, but as the mines bury themselves in the rockcrete, boots spot the uneven ground, call out contact.
Run like you got somewhere to be.
Anti-personnel lasers from the tank cut the air. Boots chuck grenades and a powdery, adhesive dust clings to my armor, exposes my profile. Dive for cover behind a house, tank round brings it down and buries me. Vance and Sally put down suppressive fire, draw the dead-boys off me as they retreat. Tank turns, hits the mines.
Clean up on Main Street. Dead-boys got some explaining to do.
Dig me out of the house, armor's too scratched to make with the camouflage but we beat feet back to Meg. She's got our refugees up and moving, God bless the woman. She’s got red curls and a freckled face that could calm a wounded fury beetle—two scared humans are a song and dance. Run and gun as stray shots from the firefight ahead burn the town around us. Missile salvo from the Mark V parked outside town, called in from the infantry picking themselves up from behind the tank wreck. We hit the deck, the body armor does its job. Meg throws herself over the refugees, but the missiles are plasma. It's like jumping into a pool and trying to stay dry.
Say good bye to grandpa and little Orphan Annie. No time, mission failed. Keep running, Alrik.
Commander Gracklechompers is screamin', pinned down, rock and a hard place. Fire team of skeles and a Terror Trooper waiting for our VTOL's to poke a nose up. We’re light infantry, don't have enough against power armor. Mage is slinging his PPE all over the place, rakin' the skelebots with lighting, not much for it. CS Juice-boy closes in acrobatically at the speed of five-years-to-live, cilmbs the wall and our spell slinger becomes intimate with his vibro-claws. Meg puts him down with a pulse from her JA-12 while he's makin' sure our buddy stays down. Being thorough has a price.
Sally has explosives, but no range. No anti-armor weapons, but one of grackle's boys still has a charred arm attached to a Wiggle-20. Snatch it up, frag rounds, close enough. Big-Terror is two hundred meters out, no cover and half a dozen skelebots between him and me. Back armor's weak, but no way I’ll get there before his missile rifle turns me into a splotchy memory of smoke and ash.
Vance has spoofers, lends me his rig as I’m the faster runner. He covers me with his grenade pump, Sally drops the chaff grenades off her underslung launcher and I pound sand with my feet. First skelebot tastes the JA-12, the next has a vibro-blade for my hide, but I roll past and it takes a pump round to the spine. Big-Terror doesn't see me, he cuts loose with the missiles and pops the wall full on. Cover fire stops, the others fell off, maybe dead in the blast.
Cut out of the smoke, see the trooper's rear and let him have it, 27mm to your back. Shake and rattle, Big-T. Mag empty, story over, the armor’s reactor blows. See me, doin’ my fly without magic trick.
Armor lookin’ like decoration for a corpse. Crawl to your feet, Alrik, skeles don’t get tired of shootn’ at you. Running back, one hellion skelebot spots me and takes an AP grenade from the JA-12’s underslung. Skull-slag. Lasers, hyper-carbon railgun rounds and frag fly around the kill zone between me and the LZ, but the skeles don’t see through the chaff and spoofers. Bolt like a ghost.
Get back to the VTOL, Gracklechomp gives the order, the first flying whale full of townies takes off and I get the feeling this is gonna work. Meg, Sally and Vance climb out of the rubble, Vance missing the sleeve of his armor, adrenaline says he can still feel the arm that’s waving goodbye to him in the ruin of the wall.
Stumble and bleed our way to the VTOL, strap in. Pilot is a joker, “Keep your bits and pieces in the upright position, dig?”
G’s punch our guts, lift-off. CS armor jocks like a merekat, missiles and lasers point like they know something’s up. Grakle orders suppression, draw off enemy fire, protect the civies. Pilot banks over the north edge of town, VTOL’s 30mm laughs like a demon. Get some.
Then we climb, droppin’ flares to play with the SRMs screaming after the VTOL’s exit. The plane rolls and dips, banks hard and more flares light the sky behind us. Pilot pipes up as our guts drop into our feet, he’s prayin’ to some old god as he tells us we’re about to cash in.
Well, not everything can go right.
VTOL screams, pieces of armor and the wing come off, free window seat. The racks Gracklechomp, the sergeant and our last spell slinger are strapped to come loose, sucked out the hole. Vance is hanging by his harness, flyin’ like a flag but won’t clear the breach. The next missile hits the rear and the hatch melts, pouring out of the back like a bucket of steaming water. Air sucks out the other wounded and the VTOL’s a drunk on the road, crash and cash. Last thing I see is the green claws of a forest opening up to drag us out of the sky.

PART 2
Me hangin’ upside down in the tangle. Head’s spun out, can’t get right. Pull the harness release and fall to the deck, bam, instant wake up. VTOL’s done, melted pieces of our ride make a happy trail through purple trees. Check the pilot, tree branch helping him with his thoughts. Copilot made out, helmet deflected the lethal blow, seeing black though. Fly-boy luck.
Vance is some kind of I-don’t-know, still alive, but not bleeding while he snoozes. Maybe he can heal the wound, dig it. Sally and Meg are having a slumber party.
Now us, outside, Vance alive but one arm, copilot unconscious, Meg shaken but good, Sally can’t find her shotgun. We hear the howl.
Great.
Purple-green eyes, breath like a 3-day bender, hair and claws from your nightmares. Pack of hell hounds lookin’ for their next meal. Sally backs up, skins her caseless 10mm while Meg draws a bead with the ’12. No problem ladies.
“Fire in the hole”, I share the magic of the M81 flash with our new friends.
God flicks the lights on and claps his hands. Multi-optics and visors polarize, ultra-ear kills the noise, the hounds break.
TX-5, pooch. Have some micro-grenades for the run home.
Comms are no good, over. No surprise, nothing goes right. Vance looks like hell, says he can move. We drag the copilot for a few klicks until the IRMSS wakes him. He’s Matt, a body, but a fly-boy, useless on the ground. Meg gives him her side arm, NG-45, big hardware for the little lady. A few klicks later, lost in the forest. West is north, the sun plays games, can’t see our feet in the fog.
#EveryforesteverinanRPG
Us in a clearing, flowers and vines like a welcome home. Half way, giant boulder is a giant head, vines are arms, flowers are poison pollen. Head looks like an old longhair with a baldspot, yellow teeth and a laugh like my old man. Vance is missing his hat, Matt has no protection, pollen snares them, vines grab them. Meg aims the JA-12, vap-vap, the head cries like a little girl, vines around her leg.
TX-5 to the eye, micro grenade meets white-matter. Sally cuts Meg loose, she pumps a rifle grenade into the mouth, take your medicine. Vines pull our comrades faster, head’s going down. Sally reaches into engineer bag of tricks, NG Inferno charge, plasma cataclysm, flesh melts off the face, screaming stops, vines stop.
Two more klicks in random direction before a word is said. Place is heebie-geebies.
Dark night, hell hounds tracking us, booby traps answer the door when they come knocking. Not much sleep. Vance is working on a new arm, Matt won’t stop seeing terror in his own shadow. Running out of explosives, like a coffin nail. Sally and Meg keep it together, I appreciate it.
Next day, new tracks, giant. Best news ever... Scout ahead, find a camp of techno-uglies, minor demons, call them brodkill. Move to avoid but they put out the call, “Manflesh on the wind, brothers!” I hear the demogogian on ultra-ear, chills the bones as it echoes through the woods.
Need a cyber-doc to take these things out, might be better.
Us on an animal trail, massive grey and red arms grab Sally from nowhere. Chains fling out and wrap up Meg and I, Matt screams and knocks over Vance in a panic, demons come to say hello. Ugly raises a blade, not a sword, just a sharpened hunk of metal. Demon strength makes it a man-slayer. Vance stands just in time to be split end to end. Purple crap everywhere.
Not my idea.
Vibro-knife comes free of the sheath, cuts the chain, Meg and I drop. New ugly steps up, oversized cannon, no known make. Barrel is bigger than this earth it’s so close. Matt-panic finds a new accident, NG-45’s a tree, knocks the ugly down.
Hand to the drop-rig, NE-4. Ugly knows his face is as good as gone, but he roars to try and scare me. Nerves of steel, pull the damn trigger. Empty mag, headless demon. Meg shoots man-slayer, shears his hand, not enough to kill. Demon foot + Huntsman Armor, not the best equation. Meg flies, but with one hand, ugly can’t get a good swing in. Vibro-knife in close, not enough time to reload. Stab the thigh, twist and duck to the side, hell blood pours out, demon screamin’. Heavy blade swings, too slow. I use the knife to climb up his kidneys, wrap around his neck, insert tab A into windpipe. Timber.
Now I’m a lumberjack.
Explosion. Trees shake, bushes blow out and there’s a new howl. Sally tumbles out of the brush, smoking but alive. Meg struggles, but stands. Vance is a memory. Matt points his long pistol at shadows, tense and shaking.
Could have been worse.
I take Vance’s pump rifle and make Matt bury the pieces. Worthless fly-boy.
Us a few klicks later, still no idea where we are, but the fog is thicker. Turn back, still lost. Nowhere to go. Sally thinks if we just go straight we have to get somewhere eventually. Even running into the Dead-boys doesn’t seem too bad. Rather fight than be lost. We get our wish.
Out of the fog comes T-Rex.
Hide and teeth, he’s hungry and looking for a fight. He’s too close, no way something that big can sneak up on you. Ninja-sauroid. I get knocked aside by the tail, lose the pump rifle in the leaves. T-Rex is set on his prey, he ignores me.
Thank God, he wants to eat Matt.
Get up, still no pump rifle. Matt lucks out and dodges at the right time. Sally cuts loose with the 10mm, DU APRJ death. T-Rex doesn’t take your crap, he goes for the bite. Meg fires, but the JA system sparks, hell of a time for malfunction. I shoot a wild round from the NE-4, but I miss and Sally takes a trip to teeth town. The crunch comes loud, armor plates rip, collapse and we get the muffled scream through her helmet, then she’s limp and quiet. T-Rex plays with his food, tosses the snack in the air and catches it with his mouth, swallows half her body.
Meg rages and point blanks with a JA-12 rifle grenade, loses some plating on her huntsman from the blast and ragdolls down a slope. T-Rex is missing some serious thigh muscle, but he’s still interested in seconds and Matt’s too close, paralyzed in the gory display.
Plasma cartridges, nine of them. Murdertooth runs scared until his tail melts off, stumbles like a drunk, thrashes like a wannabe on Mega. Last mag slides in, but not blowing it on a burn out like ol’ T-Rex. Sally’s bottom half wasn’t devoured, has her engineer satchel. T-Rex squirms, angry, trying to get up but has no balance.
Helmet off, cigarette in. Sick of this crap. Matt’s hiding, Meg’s nowhere, Sally’s in the belly of the beast. NG Fusion Block, last trick. Blasting cap, M98 remote detonator. Goodbye, sucker.
The conflagration reads See you in Hell.
Deck Matt, he knows he should be dead. Find Meg, she’s on shaky legs, bleeding through her armor.
“You killed it?”
“Sauroid steak.”
Her helmet comes off and she hugs me. Guess Sally and her were partners. I feel her tears streak like blood on my cheek.
No time for this.
She patches up and collects her memories, Matt doesn’t say another word. A few klicks later we see smoke, use it like a beacon. Run like crazy, children beating the dark home. Worst fear is it’s our old VTOL, shouldn’t be smoking still, but the forest is a bastard.
Us in another clearing, reached the point of the smoke as night falls, looks like a dead hellhound. See navigation lights above. Aircraft. Too close. Multi-optic eye gives me more bad news. Matte Black, skull head, flying on silent wings like the reaper himself. Always something with this place.
Striker SAMAS paints us in the unflattering spotlight, troopers appear from every edge of the forest clearing. Our hands go up with our hopes and dreams.
SNAFU.

PART 3
Deadheads close in, order us to stand down. Hands already up, officer. No tension, ten guns pointed at us, cool eyes look back at me. Juicer, Stalker, ‘borg, rangers, troops and an LT. Special Ops squad. Meg yells to get down, tosses a chaff and smoke from Sally’s bag. Clear choice, bolt.
The spoofing gives us a head start, but random fire does its job. CP-40 pulse to the back. Armor heats like an oven but I stay on my feet. Dead head squad leader orders capture, not the CS SoP I grew up with. I’ll keep runnin’, thanks.
Meg in the lead, she clears a fallen tree with a laser-flaming stump. I make it over but I hear a scream cut by the whine of turbines from behind. Matt just got snatched, Stealth-SAM can see over the smoke. It lifts him off the ground and his wingman plunges in at Meg.
Run and gun, no time to aim. Plasma cartridge to the leg. Armor turns to liquid from the heat, slag puddle that I have to jump over as I run. Not enough to take out the leg, but it gets his attention. Meg tosses another chaff behind her, throwing her camouflage, heat dampening cover on and SAM turns to make me a memory with his P-beam.
Before I can juke, before a thought enters my head, a neural mace rings my bell from behind. Crap myself from synaptic overload and twitch on the ground. See juice-boy standing over me, gives me another neural shock and I black out.
Coulda gone better.
Wake up, no armor or weapons. Matt’s shaky, can’t stay calm. Got a trooper watching us. He calls the LT, Captain Coalition. Guy’s a true believer. Gives us a choice. March with them back through the woods or eat 15 mega joules. I saw the barrel he had us over, but screw it. Ask him why anyway.
“You can find out if you come along.”
Easy choice.
LT leaves, I ask Matt what happened to Meg. He’s still a useless fly-boy, has no clue. She must have made it. Smile for the first time in 3 days.
Get our gear back, move out. Psi-stalker watching me like a hawk. Juice-boy wants to start a fight. Not in the mood, blow him off. LT has him on a leash, no trouble. Try to remember which way we went, fog is laughing at me. Ranger pulls my woodsman card, I tell him what he can do with his mouth. LT breaks it up, tells me to keep going.
A klick later, find a river I never saw before. Feels like heaven. Helmet off, cool breeze, clear water, soft grass. Come back for a picnic sometime. Ruin it with a cigarette.
LT approaches river, suddenly psi-stalker runs up, vibro-sword out. Mist gathers, shape of a naked woman in and out of sight all at once.
“You carry regret in your heart, human.”
LT takes his templar attitude with her. She wasn’t talking to him. Looks at me.
“Will you banish that darkness and lead these men, even if it means your death?”
Feeling a little embarrassed, flick the cig into the river. River flicks it back at me. Nymphs…
Tell her I don’t have a choice.
She warns us again. Get on with it. Invisible naked lady goes away, only way you can tell is the wind stopped, then the briar patch across the river parts. Looks dark in there. LT says move. Cross the river, psi-stalker says he doesn’t like it. Says it feels like a rift. Doesn’t look it. LT barks and his dogs listen this time. Drag Matt by the flightsuit, walk in the park.
Yeah, doesn’t feel like a rift. Pass through and throw up.
Smells like hellhound breath, smells worse than a ‘burbs bar. Ground pulses like it’s alive. Think of that head, the face in the ground that nearly ate half of us…this where his body is? LT sends a Striker up ahead, death sets off on silent wings. The rest form a patrol formation, send me on point with the ranger and stalker.
Bad ju-ju everywhere. Purple rocks that giggle, green puss in the ground, yellow trees growing decapitated human heads. Horrorshow.
Matt runs up, he has to go, can’t deal. Says he saw God’s face in the sky, judging. Smack him, give him a cigarette, tell him the next time it’ll be a plasma cartridge.
Striker never comes back, no comms, over. Two klicks later trees thicken, then thin, roots like snakes or a creepy hand on your thigh, skin crawling. Then the noise, crash, two, three, no seven shapes ahead. Mist is black and purple here, hard to tell even with multi-optics.
LT orders ambush, now we’re talkin’. Crew spreads out, in come more brodkill. Not screwin’ around. Body armor, real weapons, plasma flamer, ATL-7, vibro-flanged maces, Triax rail guns. First shot from the ranger, snipe in the eye and then poof. Seven figures vanish.
Chaos. Two troopers eat it from plasma fire, juice-boy flips away and finds his target, draws blood. Get some, ‘roid-rage. Second ranger is a pig on a spit, body flies into the mist and the ‘borg deafens everyone with the pounding of his rail gun. Demon-soup. I flick on IR, spot an inviso-jerk coming up behind the LT, put a pump round in his crotch from 100ft, screamin’ demon. Psi-stalker finishes him in a howling flash of blades. Matt runs under a fallen tree, NG-45 making a mess of things. See Brodkill coming for him, aim and squeeze a pump round off, take the knee and it falls. War howl from behind, vibro-mace inbound. Duck and roll, loose some shoulder armor, feels like it was dislocated.
Big ugly swings the mace up to finish me off but I don’t stop moving, run for it. See the wounded demon, leg slowly healing as it raises a sword. Matt fires but hits center mass, might as well throw a rock. The big blade shears tree and Matt, see the eyes go dead but I keep pounding feet.
I get splattered in demon blood, stop running. Big ‘borg puts another burst into the corpse that was chasing me just to be sure, gives me a nod and turns to another target.
LT calls regroup, firing line. Thought I was in hell already, but the troops unleash it. Trees, rocks and brodkill turn to vapor and chunks of evil. It’s worth the stench.
Collect gear, no time to bury bodies. LT orders double time, enemy knows we’re here. I finally get the skinny. Intel reports a CS spy went rogue, delved into magic, worked both ends for years until command found out. LT won’t tell me what he really did, but it has to do with a demon master, some other-world crap, summon-the-dark-god-situation. Well, good enough reason, not much choice anyway.
Another half klick, exit forest finally. Mist is twice as bad, visibility 10 meters. High above, purple lighting, I feel like I’ll throw up again but I don’t have anything left. One of the soldiers loses his lunch. Helmet air freshener. More lighting, it feels worse. Get close, yeah, still gets worse. Rocks ahead, looks like a path leads up, hard to see through the mist. Then little dark shapes, child-like with huge bloodshot eyes, tiny ripper teeth and swollen bellies. They have sticks, seems like a joke, but twisted madness hurls them at us in a wave of crazy.
“Fire at will!”
Low on ammunition before this, draining everything I got just to contribute. NE-4, goes dry. TX-5, nothing left. Pump Rifle’s done. Troopers blaze away, cutting loose entirely. Mini-greenskins explode, pop and crunch like cockroaches, but the wave of flesh doesn’t stop. I take out the NG-45, only two shots left, then I have an HE grenade and my knife. Pigman unleashes grenades and the gobs start to fall back, Striker-SAM lifts off and dumps mini-missiles, green chunks everywhere. The wave subsides. Smoke if you got’m.
That’s when it got bad.
Fiery explosion, second ranger gets incinerated, out of the blast comes Night on Bald Mountain, fifteen feet of muscle, wings, flaming sword, whip and shadow. A ******* Baalrog.
LT stops when he sees Big-B. Knockin’ boney knees. Fire and Death takes a swing at him but the psi-stalker knocks him down. ‘Borg steps up, rail gun, eat supersonic, depleted uranium ring flechettes. Big guy’s fiery aura doesn’t give a hell. Flaming sword to the neck, molten metal flies like blood, burning a tree down. I leap to get clear, roll up and look for a weapon.
Baalrog is roaring happy, flicking deadheads around. I could run, but I’d rather kill this guy. Not for the CS, because it just shouldn’t be. Juice-boy engages but makes a bad move, zigs when he shoulda zagged. Flaming sword, fountain of fiery blood. Find the pigman, lost his leg to the fire whip. Struggles, tell him he’s done and take his Wellington. Armor Piercing grenade rounds, coulda been worse.
Run behind the big guy, his wings cause a problem, moving around too much. Then he leaps up and catches the Striker-SAM with his whip. I take the exposed arm as my opportunity. Shape-charged 30mm to the elbow socket, get some. Big-B’s arm pops, not sheared off, just busted and now I look like his next snack. Put two more rounds into him, doesn’t slow his rage, mag’s empty.
Crap.
Demon snarling, running for me when a howl pierces the skies of hell. The sound of courage. A wolf the size of a horse, fangs showing, rips out of the mist like its late for dinner. Big-B catches the move, but too slow and woof-woof dives right for the throat, hot demon blood everywhere as they crash to the ground. On the wolf’s back is a sight I’d never thought I would see again.
Dressed in thermal suppressing camo-cloak is Meg, riding the beast. JA-12 is on her back, has her caseless SMG in hand with some kind of white-glowing charm tied to it. The wolf rips at Big-B’s throat some more and Meg empties the mag into its face, chunks of demon skull and horn come loose, painting her and the wolf in blood. Baalrog stops squirming.
That was pretty hot.
Psi-stalker leaps forward to Meg and her pup but the LT reigns him in, down boy. Wolf says…yeah, talkin’ wolf…says its here to kill the Demon Master’s servant. Shifter, the LT reckons. He takes the newcomers, need all the help we can get. Dig it.

PART 4
Start up the craggy rocks, slow going. No one’s feelin’ great. I can manage, but I need a smoke. The air turned poisonous though, always something. Truckin’ up, ask Meg what happened. Introduction to Aragh the Wolf, like Flight of Dragons. She met him in the woods tracking us. I had to laugh: I let her go, she doesn’t leave. Just like every girl I know: if I’d chased her she woulda ran.
Purple lighting strikes the rocks above of us, bile in my stomach rises, incoming. Stone shower, I hit the ground and a boulder bounces past me. Aragh takes Meg higher, dancing around the chaos. Striker-SAM protects the squad, to him it’s like getting rained on. Dust off, LT orders recon and SAM flies up. Stalker takes point, says he smells food, lots of food.
Up top is horrorshow all over again. Flat ground, standing stones with tiny bodies speared into them, look like children at first but they’re fae. Circle of blood with a man too much like a demon to have any humanity left. Red hair waving with no wind, black eyes seeing us without looking, got a silvered vibro-sword and a bag of tricks, holding a ritual shank in his hand he brings it down on the pale white of a unicorn. Shank in throat, gurling, wide-eyed terror, noble creature kicks, but bound. Blood pools in a well below it. Then the sky shudders again, clouds warp and lightning crashes, strikes the pool and it bubbles.
“Too late”, says the shifter.
LT quick draws his service sidearm, shot to the head. Magic ********, round wasted, not a scratch.
Figures.
Aragh wants to try his, Meg grabs my hand, pulls me up on his back as they charge. Woof howls and I feel bold, like this guy’s just a joke. Easy job. Then the blood pool explodes, red and blue whips of magic crack and tear at reality. Aragh leaps over and I hang on to Meg. Mr. Shifter is ducking out as ten foot tall rat men in black armor rush out of the Rift he opened.
Clear the mess and I roll off, “Get’m, I’ll handle this.”
On my feet, first demon rat comes at me, got a hammer with a face that’s literally laughing as it comes for me. Dodge to the side, quick draw the NG-45 and knife, counterattack rips armor and the rat’s foot catches me in the gut, see me flying again. Roll up, laughing mallet wants to tell my skull a joke. Get a shot off under his arm where I tore his armor, he stumbles. Second one is pressing in, ding the last shot off his helmet and fall back. Two on one. Best situation ever.
Ditch empty pistol, dance inside the newcomer’s guard while his friend hefts his hammer again. This guy’s sword is as big as I am, not a pleasant thought. Duck under his swing, find the belt of his armor and cut into the strap, expose his hip but I can’t press advantage, hammer coming for me, roll away again. Getting tired, not from a long line of acrobats, but I was born a soldier. The hammer broke ground where I escaped, left my HE grenade there for him, use the second rat as cover. Ground shakes and we all go for a ride.
Roll over, sword-rat is getting up but I fit my vibro-knife into his hip this time, twist and rip. He eats dirt and through muscle-tearing effort, behead him with his own sword. Thing’s so heavy I nearly threw out my back. Hammer-rat’s missing an arm and struggling. Heft the blade again, use it like an club and crush his helmet into his snout, sword snaps, he stops moving.
Get my knife, look around. Things are bad. Three more rats engaging the squad. Striker-SAM’s wings have been clipped by lighting. Psi-stalker is like a kid in a candy store, fighting tooth and nail. Meg and Aragh playing cat and mouse with the shifter. He lets some magic loose and air rushes past me, knocks me over as rocks are hurled into the air. The LT takes a boulder to the helmet, goes down.
Crawl up, notice a huge shape emerge from the rift, demon minotaur with an axe that makes my privates shrink up. Always with the hellspawn. Why doesn’t anyone ever summon a little girl? I could do with a good tea party.
LT’s down, Psi-stalker licks his chops and makes the leap to take the bull by the horns. Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. Phallic Axe to the groin, magic sucker down. Not good. Even worse, hear a scream, see Meg floated off her feat by magic, see Shifter hurl his vibro-sword along a sonic boom. Armor is no barrier, in the chest to the hilt and she flies past the rocks.
Aragh the wolf howls but the mage hurls more nonsense at him, shackles the beast to the ground. No choice, up to me now. Run toward the Gallu minotaur, he sees me and I slide, avoiding the axe and scoop up the psi-stalker’s vibro-blade. Got a present for his Shifter friend. The bull moves to clip me with his backswing but Striker-SAM cuts in, tackles him with his turbines flaring, they go crashing through the rocks.
Shifter’s wild-eyed, caught in the moment as he goes back his blood pool, draws his knife and exposes his arm, finishing touch incoming.
Run like no tomorrow. He sees me coming, but he commits to the act, smart guy. Knife in, blood pours out of his arm into the well and the world seems to spin. Magic makes a purple, crackling mess of everything but I stay on my feet, keep moving.
Bowl the shifter over, use my knife to pin his naked arm to the rock. He screams, says it’s too late. Yeah, for him. Pound his face with an armored fist, bust his nose, stand and stab into the flex mesh of his armor between abdomen and chest, twist and rip, cutting open the carapace like drawing a curtain aside, blood everywhere. Finish with a stab to the face, vibro-active field shakes his head apart, makes him a puddle of gore and bone fragments.
The Rift light show steps up, becomes a rave of pulsing red and blue. LT is staggering to his feet, he’s got a trooper left, wounded but dragging him up. Striker-SAM pilot climbs free of his wrecked armor, Gallu demon’s head is particles on the wind. Then the rave explodes, sending molten rock into the air, whole area shakes and I lose my feet.
Magma rains down from the sky as the Rift snaps and shifts, losing its hold on this world. Mission accomplished, now get up, get out, Alrik. On my feet, panting, hurting, gotta get to Meg. Then the gate shuts entirely and the whole rock face splits, a geyser of volcanic blood spews into the air. Walls of fire and rivers from hell. The smoke blocks vision, the fire blocks passage. Too much heat, multi-optics are useless.
LT grabs me, “Move!”
I can’t, Meg’s still in there, probably dead but I owe her that much. She came back for me.
Silver fur flashes through the fire, snarls at the LT and then blue eyes bore into mine. Aragh will get her. I see the extended companionship in his eyes and then he’s gone, into hell.
I let the LT pull me away.

END
Running for what seems like hours as this place melts around us. Killed the bad guy, lost your unit. Just met them, but the pain’s real. Vance the purple man, brave guy. Sally the combat engineer, always looking on the bright side. Even Matt, waste of skin that he was, didn’t deserve to be broken by demons. Meg, couldn’t protect her either. Nymph said I brought regret, that kill my comrades or was it just demons and monsters?
Beaten and battered we find our way to the passage, exit the darkness and fall into the nymph’s river. Cool water, fresh air, paradise. Slog out of the clear blue, catch breath. Helmet off, cigarette in and stare at the rip in reality that just crapped us out, waiting for Aragh and Meg to appear.
LT’s at my side, “Thank you.”
I don’t answer, nothin’ nice to say to him.
“Just want you to know…I never met you, I was never here. There were no demons, no shifter, no rift. Understood?”
I blew out smoke.
He nodded, “Of course that means you’re on your own getting out of here. Good luck.”
Then he’s gone, takes his dead boys with him.
I sit for a while, nothing. No nymph, no Meg, no Aragh the wolf. Can’t see the opening anymore. Gone.
Get up, notice the LT left his sidearm and some spare e-clips. Guy’s not so bad, for a true believer.
Arm up, pick a direction. Do it all over again.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:20 am
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:32 am
Posts: 6675
Location: 'Murica
Comment: Avid Cyborg and Braka Braka enthusiast.
Best. Story. Ever. You fn rock Alric.


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:16 am
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Haha, thanks man. Was really a fun game.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:59 am
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:32 am
Posts: 6675
Location: 'Murica
Comment: Avid Cyborg and Braka Braka enthusiast.
I was reachin to offer you a smoke and magazine while I was reading. Your character is like me irl. Lol


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:48 pm
  

User avatar
Priest

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:19 pm
Posts: 42825
Location: Somewhere between Heaven, Hell, and New England
Rifts noir, with the right attitud'ed banter giving a report from the edge.
Groovy. 8)

_________________
-------------
"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
------------


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:39 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:32 am
Posts: 6675
Location: 'Murica
Comment: Avid Cyborg and Braka Braka enthusiast.
If I could figure how to make skype work on my phone I would start a campaign based around this guy. Too cool.
I have actually done the flying without wings trick. Lmao


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:20 am
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
taalismn wrote:
Rifts noir, with the right attitud'ed banter giving a report from the edge.
Groovy. 8)


That was basically the idea. I'd just read Fields of Fire (Vietnam war novel) and felt inspired to translate that old game into a story.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:10 am
  

User avatar
Explorer

Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 145
Alric, that was incredible. That is the kind of stuff I was looking for from my earlier post. Thank you! I wish more people would have posted in that thread but this was enjoyable to read. Thank you again!


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:41 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
You're welcome, Lao. Glad you enjoyed it!

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:02 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:02 pm
Posts: 3808
Location: new york
Comment: NEVER QUIT..... I got lucky
well done man going to use and throw my PC
it will throw a monkey wrench on top of there heads LOL

_________________
let your YES be YES and your NO be NO but plz no maybe


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:12 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Glad I could inspire. :ok:

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:52 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 5:01 pm
Posts: 2284
Rewrite this for the Rifter. It's great stuff. One or two more drafts and its ready for publication.


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Dead Lift
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:13 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Heh. I might! Thanks for the encouragement, pal. Actually working on the next one, which involves some of the old characters from this story.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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