The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
The soldiers were coming closer, rapidly. There was little time to think or act, and it was all Crystal could do to go to ground, resting her submachinegun awkwardly on the floor, braced to her shoulder.
Just in time. An Orkish head peered around the corner. Immediately sparks and chips flew around, dark pits appeared in the walls as bits and pieces were chewed off. Crystal's aim was, as usual, terrible, but the Ork marine had to duck back around the corner anyway. A sign clanged down off the wall, dislodged.
"Fragginsh hellsh!" Yelled the Ork.
"What? You okay?"
"Bisch gotsh my toosh!"
"Grenade her. NOW!"
But Crystal was too quick for them - One of her own grenades sailed down the corridor, bouncing off a post trolley. A shout of alarm, before the deafening detonation. The blast wave washed over Crystal, her fingers in her ears, mouth open, and the corridor was suddenly darkened as the lights failed.
Crystal rose, backing away. Had the grenade got them?
Had it frag..
Four bruised and battered UCAS marines, armour still smoking from shrapnel hits, screamed around the corner unleashing holy hell. A grenade from and under-barrel launcher fragged the precise spot where Crystal had been lying - But she wasn't there any more. She'd used her hrenade to give herself time to get back to the others.
Forbeson went to the door, with two Chief Petty Officers by her side, pistols holstered. Said door slid back, revealing a terrified-looking rigger, and both the youngest-looking and biggest-looking UCAS marine guards she'd ever seen, wearing wildly ill-fitting uniforms.
She detected the hostile intentions of the big one right away. If she'd been using astral perception, she would probably have detected them halfway across the fragging building.
Her yell of alarm was drowned out by automatic gunfire as Iceman mowed down the two Navy men, spraying blood and intestines, Plugin dragging the rigger to the floor for cover.
Iceman sprayed the whole room with gunfire from the belt-fed light-machinegun he'd ripped from the chopper - Consoles and screens exploded into showers of sparks, operators slumping dead or being thrown over their computers. In seconds, only Forbeson remained, surrounded by a glowing nimbus. Bullets fell from where the shield spell had suspended them and clattered on the floor.
"Nice try, love" Sneered Forbeson, the woman's shield spell-lock holding firm. Iceman grinned back, an odd moment of mutuality seemed to exist within the two.
"Lets talk for a moment."
"Why?" Asked Iceman.
"Just curious as to why a Russian in UCAS Marine uniform would make an attempt on the President's life. We may not be the country we once were, but we could still buke you back to the Iron age.
"I'm on vacation." The Russian grinned, still holding the big gun on her.
Forbeson pondered her next course of action, deciding she'd fry the fragger's mind with a mana-blast spell: Affecting only his spiritual slf, but still very capable of killing him instantly. She just hoped the fragging Dragon wouldn't follow her back astrally and nibble on the room's ward while she was occupied...
"Wait, what are they doing?" She screamed, enraged. Plugin had sneaked the Rigger over to the rigger's console and was on the verge of plugging him in: Once done the guy would be able of doaing anything Plugin wanted him to: Open doors, set off the halon anti-fire systems, flood the building with Neuro-Stun gas, etc - He seemed quite resigned to the young man with a gun to his head.
Crystal got back to the others, where a defensive position was being formed. They alnmost shot Crystal, in fact.
"Sounds like they're coming alright." Chance murmured.
"Shame... We're only two corridors away from the elevator to the power room, too," Werrick sighed. "But we've no time to cut through these doors..."
Dressed in their appropraited clothes, Rei and Alex stood out in the corridor, having neatly hidden the bodies In the morgue, of all places.
The two tenses-up - A young looking Elvish Marine came running down, pale with fright, rifle at port-arms, and not ready to fire. He seemed to be delivering a message, and was in a hurry.
"They're in the control room! RUSSIANS!" He screamed. "Come with me, and get guns!"
*Plugin thought for a moment. There was a lady holding a magical barrier up, preventing Iceman from killing her, Iceman had his gun aimed at the lady, and he and the rigger were at a rigger station...*
"close and lock the Control Room door" Plugin said to the rigger, who was in no position to argue, with a gun pointed at his head. The doors shut with a clank and a hiss.
"Now the way I see it ,miss, is that this person is the only way out of here" Said plugin, motioning to the rigger.
*plugin then, mustering all the courage he could, stated* "Also, if you make so much as a magic spark, I'll shoot the rigger jack out... it's as simple as that"
*plugin thought to himself again, just to be on the safe side, he decided to tell the rigger to arm the ceiling guns outside of the control room, preventing people to come in with explosives*
" It seems we have reached a stalemate, miss... your move Ice..."
"Frag" Mumbled the rigger, seemingly to himself. "Picking up intruders... They're right near the power plant!"
"Sleg! They're coming! Crystal!"
Crystal came running back towards them. "Four guys, heavy weapons. Didn't manage to take any out. They're a bit dazed though."
"Sleg." Silvia turned to Chance. "Two teams of four. Heavy guns. One there, another from the side. I'll check the side."
She ran into the side corridor. The fire door at the end was still closed, but the soldiers doubtlessly had security cards to open it.
She could sense them getting closer, and waited, her sword ready to strike.
One of the soldiers walked forward to open the door. Silvia closed her eyes, scanning the astral plane to make sure she knew exactly where the man was.
When he stopped, she immediately returned her focus to her body and stabbed the sword through the door, towards the lifeform she felt behind it. As she pulled it back she heard the man fall to the floor. The small green line in the door faded away immediately, not leaving any trace of the damage done to it.
"I'll keep 'em busy here for a while!" she yelled to the others.
She just hoped they would try again there, and not move away to find another way to them.
But the short time she was focussing on the Astral plane she had felt mana being used... a spell being cast, or reinforced. She wasn't really sure which, since she had been focussing on the soldier behind the door and on keeping her own body standing while scanning the Astral. But if the mage woman was performing magic, and not on Silvia's team, that meant she was probably being attacked.
Sleg. I gotta do something now.
"What?!?" said plugin, keeping one eye on the lady and another on the rigger
a building scan would take to long, and by then, they would reach the core and deactivate everything... Plugin had no choice, whether the intruders be friend or foe...
"activate the nero-stun...."
Silvia sensed the presence of the gas before actually breathing it in. The decision took only a split-second... she had to stay awake.
While her body slumped down on the ground, her spirit was already on its way to the room where she had felt the magic.
She hoped Chance had been fast enough to do the same, but had no time to scan for his presence now.
(GM: Everyone in the control room is safe from the gas: In fact the building is designed so that seperate sections can be flooded with gas while others are safe. All the 'runners in that section, as well as the UCASers will be KO'd, everyone else is okay... Unless Deso gets the rigger to flood the whole buildign with gas. Btw the gas is odourless, colourless and tasteless - The first your average (meta)human will know of it is when his or her head hits the floor... But I guess Sil would be okay due to her dragon blood.
The wards are barriers encapsulating the control room: They can be broken while Forbeson is distracted, though rememebr you can't attack directly from the astral plane: You must manifest back on the physical plane like spirits do... but then they can see you and attack)
First Crystal was trying to rig breaching charges on the heavy door, footsteps of approaching UCAS Marines echoing in her ears.
The next second, everything went dark.
Not far off, the 8 UCAS Marines all clattered to the floor, almost in unison - The hardy Orks ran on a few seconds before their bodies realised they were unconsious, but then they too succumbed. Though they carried gas masks in their kit, no-one had bothered to tell them the gas was being used.
Rei and Alex chose to follow the young man... Getting to the control room seemed like a good idea.
They knew something was wrong as soon as they heard the gunfire (Iceman with the machine gun earlier). The door was slighly ajar, and they could hear voices from within: One female, stern and angry, the other loud, booming, and unmistakably Russian...
(( great... I KNEW THIS WAS GONNA HAPPEN! crystal's never gonna forgive me...unles...))
plugin looked at the rigger... and then said... "activate the security cameras in that section... i need to see where the marines are... and if I gassed our allies..." the rigger, thinking *our allies? the only reason I'm here right now instead of somewhere else is because of that gun to my head....* but activated the security cameras nonetheless... some screens in front of them blinked on. On one of the screens was a bunch of marines, unconcious... the orks were farther away than the humans, but they succumed to the gas later... then... reluctantly, plugin looked at the other person on the screen... it was crystal... "D'ARVIT!" yelled Plugin, while forbeson had somewhat of a grin on her face... "It seems your plan did not work out as well as you think, boy..." she said, almost mockingly. Plugin, ignoring the urdge to unload all of his ammo into the lady, shielded or not, said to the rigger "seal off the area where the marines are. Close all air ducts in the area where the gas is. ok, now open the ducts between where crystal is and where the marines are.... good, now turn on the fans and suck the gas in the room where crystal is out into the room where the marines are locked in. I want surveilance every moment on that room. if they even so much as stir, unload the gas into that room ONLY... ok, now close the ducts between the two rooms and get some antidote into that room... this place should have it... just in case something like this were to happen... only into the room where crystal is in...
Alex thought for a while. Putting his heart onto simulating a fake UCAS accent he then spoke.
"There's a russky boy there, matey. Maybe I can snipe him out from this position once i take down. Cover me."
He then leaned back in the wall, and made some gestures.
The metallic click of the rifle set it to single shot- and therefore more accuratte shots.
Alex's sixth sense provided a fast reaction, and was able to waste the ceiling gun without retaliation.
"Hey, buddy, you got C4?"
He faked american accent once more.
Rei had just fallen off. Asleep. Frag it... it was gas... He...
Lightning fast, the gas mask slided in alex's mouth.
Alex bent a knee. His quick reaction putting the gas mask on had probably saved him for being asleep... but he was already half stunned, and that was no good...
The other dude was knocked down, too.
Silvia suddenly sensed something else... another magical presence of some kind. She went towards it, only to find out it was a ward barrier protecting the place where the mage was. Through the barrier, she could sense Iceman and the mage... and the shield the mage had cast around herself.
Sleg. I have to get through.
She didn't attack the barrier. She knew it was too strong to get through as long as the she-mage was controlling it. And the mage knew she was in the building. The last thing she wanted to do was alert the mage she was right there, and not unconscious like the others. But the mage's focus on the wands had to be broken somehow.
Silvia looked around in the astral plane, and found something very interesting....
Odd. Why have I never noticed that before?
She was looking at something that was most definitely Awakened and magically active... and it was unmistakably bearing Alex' astral signature, even though it looked somewhat... distorted. But it was weakening... even though he was awake the stun-gas was affecting his body.
"Alex? Stay with me, Alex, I need you awake!"
But Alex lose consciousness... His limbs weren't answering.
He thought of everyone... of each people... of each buddy...
He was about to fail...
A new force grew within. He stood up.
He felt himself numb... and he could sense he was floating ABOVE his body.
"Oh no... Weird shit... I think I have just gone astral!"
But he wasn't a mage... Or maybe he was...?
It didn't matter. He needed to return to his body, as soon as possible.
He then noticed a very confused weird astral signature.
Silvia sighed. "That wasn't exactly what I meant... but it should do the trick."
Alex' astral form floated over his unconscious body.
"What's happening to me? I'm not supposed to... eh..."
"You mean you've never done this before?" Silvia replied. "Odd... I could sense quite some magic in you. Although someone or something did a really good job in hiding it. I never sensed it before..."
"How can I get back?" Alex asked.
Silvia laughed. "Your body is unconsious, Alex. Just like mine. We're pretty much trapped here until the effect of the stun gas wears off."
She spread her arms and looked up. "Welcome to the Astral plane, Alex! World of thoughts, magic and a total lack of clothes!" she said, mockingly imitating a tour guide. "On the left, you see the astral forms of our unconscious friends. On the right you see the ward barrier we have to get through to save Iceman's hide. Behind the barrier you might see the magical bitch that's about to kill out glorious leader."
Silvia floated around him, focussing her normally quite hazy astral form to the appearance of a real dragon.
"Yeah, I know... doesn't really seem worth saving... but he's doing quite a good job distracting the mage."
She looked at Alex' naked form. The Astral form was a bare representation of the body, unless they were manipulated to look like something else. Silvia had found out she had no trouble taking a real dragon form on the astral plane, and any kind of hybrid she imagined, but if she didn't focus her form it kept shifting between them.
She changed to her normal Elvish appearance. Alex sensed a change in her mood... she was more serious now.
"It's weird, eh? Being so bare... so vulnerable... but you'll get used to that quickly."
She glanced at the ward barrier. "I was hoping to pass the barrier by linking my astral form to your body, so you could pull me through just by walking inside... but well, guess we'll have to think of something else."
"Hold on. I think I am not... yet fully disabled."
No you don't, my Alex. You have been always quite strong...
A third spirit had appeared. It irradiated kindness... and majesty.
"mother!? But... you... you died..."
No... not exactly... my body passed away... but I felt i needed to stay a bit more here... To watch all of you over...
Now Alex understood everything. The katana he wore... was the source of the magic he had used earlier... It was bonded to his mother's spirit.
And now, Alex... return back.
"But I can't"
"OK, OK... I'll do it..."
The last lines faded out, as a whirl sucked Alex back in his body...
"Thanks." Silvia said to Jade.
Then she frowned. "I sensed you before..."
Jade smiled. "Yess... I've seen you before too."
Silvia smiled. "Now I remember... you were hanging around Dragon!"
"My best apprentice. He needed my guidance."
Jade's astral form disappeared. Silvia could sense her spirit go back to the object she bound herself to; the katana, lying in a nearby storage room. She made a mental note not to forget the location of the sword.
Alex slowly got up, walked towards the still stunned Marine and took the the elf's keycard out of his pocket.
"Well now, Alex... show time!" Silvia whispered in his mind.
She immediately went to the opposite side of the wand barrier; she'd have the most chance getting through just opposite of the distraction.
His mind felt like a herd of giant pandas had been having a college party in it.
Scratch that... Make it "still having a party" instead.
Chance rolled over, groaned and sat up, the effects of the neuro-stun wearing off. He had been stricken by the gas before, during previous 'police actions' in his service days when riot gas rounds discharged by police launchers had gone astray. That small measure of experience with its effects allowed him to recover his senses a bit quicker than the rest of his team, sprawled out around him.
He was in a section of corridor, together with the rest... It seemed like someone had cut off the marines from them using the fire doors. Fans hummed loudly in the background.
Someone's drained the neuro-stun from this room...
It took a moment for the implications of that to sink in...
This means that someone from our side is in control of the building.
A quick look around revealed Alanya flat on her back and unconscious... And the only other available decker was Plugin. So the van team was alive! Which meant that Alex would be as well... Chance didn't think that Plugin could pull off a hijack of the UCAS building without proper fire support.
The others were stirring... Ash sat up first, Chance supporting her as she got her bearings. He began to examine the ceiling for a camera... He had to let Plugin know that his team was back in action. In the background, Rusty swore heartily as he pulled himself to his feet, checking on the stirring Crystal. Silvia seemed out of it... Chance decided to examine her after establishing contact with Plugin.
He spotted the glass dome of a concealed camera, and waved urgently to it, pointing at the doors.
Rusty was still groggy, leaning against the wall he pulled himself to his feet and looked up. Chance was hopping about and waving at a security camera.
"Whatcha doin', Chance?"
He slurred, Rusty hadn't grasped the implications of his return to consciousness yet. Chance, still frantically waving, answered the query:
"Plug-in must have disabled security, he's got control of the building now. I'm trying to get his attention and have him open the doors."
It took a solid few seconds for the Australian to put two and two together. Rusty stumbled over to Alanya and began shaking her softly;
"Wake up, we gotta move soon and I aint gonna carry you."
Jessica Hayes awoke in a pile of discarded trash, still outside of the building. Her eyes watered as a sharp pain raced along her right arm. Her shoulder had been dislocated in the fall.
Moving quietly, Jessica crawled through the musky garbage and looked out and examined her surroundings. The van she had tried to enter the compound with had been dragged aside, the helicopter was a crumpled mess still smouldering a hundred meters away. Soldiers were taking up positions all around the compound, encircling it as best they could.
Jessica looked about for something, anything of use, she felt terribly alone. There appeared to be a rifle a couple of meters away from her, it didn't look like there was any serious damage to the weapon but Jessica assumed it had been thrown from the crashing helicopter and had suffered a serious fall. She contemplated slowly crawling out of the safety of her garbage haven and collecting the weapon. Would she be spotted and gunned down without a second thought? Probably. Jessica Hayes chose the better part of valor and made her self as comfortable as as person could be when one had a dislocated shoulder and was lying in filth...
"drain the Nerostun from that room they're pointing to... wait, activate the camera in that room... can't risk it..." said plugin, as he looked through the new live footage from the room. The room was empty, no gun droids were activated, everything seemed safe "ok, now drain the nero stun and then open the room" While the rigger was doing this, Plugin looked back at the lady... "why no reply yet? I thought you people were supposed to be good at negotiating, at least to a point..." looking at the lady, noticing her hand was moving slightly towards her holster.
"We got contact with the rigger?" Alanya asked Chance, while hastily getting up.
"Sure seems so. He cleared the air here, but the areas the attackers came from are are still locked."
"Wait, ah got an idea!" Alanya said. She walked towards the camera, took a swiss army knife from her pocket, clicked it open and cut the cables.
"What are you doing?!" Chance replied. "That was our only connection!"
"Yes. and ah'm optimizing it." Alanya said, and took a wire out of the small backpack holding her deck. She clicked a screwdriver out of her pocket knife, grabbed a kind of small connector box and screwed the wires into it. Then, she plugged the cable into her 'deck.
"Uh... the camera's... eh... disconnected." the rigger said to Plugin. "I'm getting a strange data stream here... wait, it's audio!"
"Plugin, can you hear me?" DINA5's matrix-generated voice said through the control room speakers. "Alanya here. I have software to control a building like this. If you can link the main rigger control through to this camera connection we own this place."
"Don't you dare!" the mage yelled to the frightened rigger. "If you make that connection, I'll make you wish you were never born!"
The rigger looked from Plugin to the mage, both threatening to kill him for opposite reasons. He was as good as dead, unless...
He could only do one thing... overriding all warnings, he flooded the control room with stun gas.
Plugin had just enough time to yell "FRAG" and then he passed out, gun clattering to the floor. He had never had Neurostun used against him, and that is why he fell quicker than anybody else. Later, he would wake up with the worst headache ever, unless he didn't wake up...
"Ugh... frag..." Slurred Forbeson. The moment she faltered, Iceman gave her a quick burst of MG fire, before he too slumped to the ground, fighting the gas all the way, but losing. However her spell was locked into one of the many precious pendants she wore - She was saved from the projectiles which whined off around the room.
"Commander!" Yelled the young Marine just outside the door. His thin, reedy voice trailed off, he drew a breath in - With lungfuls of Neurostun, he missed, slammed his head on the door frame and went out like a light, helmet and assault rifle clattering to the ground.
It took a few moments for Alanya to get the doors opened - She was bulling her way through unfamiliar routines with the aid of her translation software. It was slow, ugly work, but she managed to work out a way to open doors from here to the control room, and to isolate all the marine units and ONI Officers who were by now milling around, confused, filling the comm-nets with questions and disjointed information from all around the building.
With but a few well-timed commands, Alanya would be able to either gas anyone, or set drones on them. The near-impenetrable net the building had posessed was now hers to control and use against the building's owners. But there was no time top appreciate the irony.
She also had access to the drone and sensor network outside - Delta Force men were prowling round seemingly everywhere, and more Helicopters were on approach vectors.
Luckily Forbeson had shut off most communications from outside - The Admiral had been pissing her off royally.
In minutes, the 'runners were free to travel to the the control room... And to the power plant. Crystal split off from the 'runners and went there, while they travelled to the control room.
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