“Status report.” commanded Sireen Barakat as she walked into the bridge of the Desert Duchess. It had taken nearly six months for PanOceania’s investigators to release her ship; but she finally had it back and wasted no time to take off from Paradiso, even if the desination was a nearby station on an asteroid. As a Caravansery child, Sireen felt more comfortable in closed spaces and artificial gravity than planetside; so any excuse to go to space was good enough for her.
“No bugs or malicious programs on the ship or its systems.” replied Turret Spider, who took it upon herself to scan every inch of the Desert Duchess until she was satisfied that they couldn’t be tracked.
“And our retrieval squad?”
“Still inside the station, Ma’am.” said Alguacil Tyrone, who now served as pilot. The attack from PanOceania on the Desert Duchess had been too much for some members of the crew; which left Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC working with minimum personnel. Fortunately for Sireen, Alguacil Tyrone was not just a good Field Operative, he was also a decent pilot and a true gentleman; a trait extremely appreciated by the female staff. Alguaciles Mona and Marisa had taken over as Comms Officer and RADAR Operator, respectively, and doubled as REM Operators when necessary. Alguacil Ashley, her Second Officer, remained as the Desert Duchess Navigator; which meant that the ship’s bridge was fully operated by Nomads, a very welcomed and reassuring thing in Sireen’s book.
“What exactly are they retrieving?” asked Alguacil Ashley in a jovial but conspiratorial tone.
“A Scientist.” replied Sireen. “One Dr. Orton who’s willing to cooperate with the Sultanate in a case against Blue Mirage.”
Alguacil Ashley raised an eyebrow. “Miss Swan’s company?”
Sireen nodded ceremoniously. “They’re finally making a move.” She then sat on her Captain’s chair and slumped comfortably while admiring the stars outside. *Sigh* “We do this one simple job and it’s Bye-Bye Paradiso space and hellooooo Bourak and your beautiful juicy contracts.”
The dark corridor resonated with the echo of stampeding Combat Heels TM, as the Wrecking Belles zoomed to the blast door at the end of the hallway. Doc Starlight, the nimblest of the team, hammered repeatedly the control panel and slipped first through the slowly opening door. Obliterette and Agent Valentine followed her while Battle Charmer and Apple Pie came in last, shooting in panic into the darkness behind them. When the last of them passed through, Doc Starlight closed the door and slumped on the wall.
“What… was… that?” she panted, exhausted.
“A bio-weapon of sorts,” answered Agent Valentine holding her side, while gasping for air.
“Stay sharp, we don’t know if the blast door will stop that thing.” interrupted Apple Pie, one arm still slung around her chest and the other pointing her submachine gun at the door, as if waiting for it to burst open. “Holly, we made it to the second level safely.” she said to her comm-link. “How are things on your end?”
“Lebetine Viper got pierced by a tentacle.” came the reply on everyone’s comm-link.
“I’m fine!” interjected Lebetine Viper, the Janissary Akbar Doctor, annoyed. Whatever it was that had drop on them, and split the team in half, had managed to spear her with one of its appendages, and destroyed her Nasmat Remote.
“We’re on level two as well.” continued Holly, the Mobile Birgada Lieutenant.
Suddenly, heavy machine gun fire dominated the hall, as Desert Wasp, the Djanbazan opened fire on unknown assailants.
“What was that?” prompted Holly with a tinge of annoyance in her voice.
“Armed troops incoming from one of the hatches ahead. I counted four and downed two.” replied Desert Viper, who was seriously questioning not bringing her Sniper Rifle.
“So, two hostiles still at large.” said Holly while she scanned the area. “Alright, Gamila, with me, Rattlesnake, advance with caution.”
As the Moblie Brigada and her Ghulam companion advanced, a SAS moved out of the corner and tried to blind Holly with a Flash Pulse, but ended up burned to a crisp by the Mobile Brigada’s flamethrower. A few seconds later, Sand Wasp shot down the last of the incoming hostiles.
The Wrecking Belles decided to advance and try to reach the meeting point with the defecting scientist. Obliterette noticed a Caledonian Volunteer and used her Nanopulser on him, given that he was too close to effectively shoot him with her Spitfire; and was treated to taking down a Foxtrot Ranger and a Spetsnaz hidden in camo.
Apple Pie noticed an advancing Kazak and shot him down with her submachine gun. “We’re advancing to target area.” she said, when a shotgun hit Obliterette and the entire team, wounding them heavily. Apple Pie managed to see their assailant, an Ariadna 112 Volunteer with more guts than brains.
“I’m on it!” shouted Doc Starlight in the heat of the moment and blasted the 112 Volunteer with a Nanopulser barrage, but not before the hapless man managed to shoot his shotgun and blast away Obliterette, Battle Charmer and Agent Valentine; who were barely recovering from the first assault. “Oops.” said the purple haired Odalisque merrily. “They’re not gonna be happy when they resurrect.”
“You’re sick.” replied Apple Pie in a disapproving tone. “Seriously, you’re just as bad as Valent-“
Apple Pie gasped and sat bolt upright. Her hand no longer held her submachine gun, and she was wearing the skin-tight suit of a Hecatec LHost. “What happened?” she asked confused and noticing her teammates similarly dressed, with he exception of Doc Starlight, who was still wearing her yellow Odalisque uniform.
“You got shot down by a Foxtrot Ranger” replied Doc Starlight a little too excitedly for Apple Pie’s liking. “And Holly had a Close Encounter of the Van Zant Kind.” she said drawing a collective sigh from the entire group. The legendary Roger Van Zant was a big crush of almost every female Sand Cat.
“Lucky her.” said Obliterette, stretching on the Med lab’s couch. “What about the target?”
“Dr Orton didn’t make it.” replied Sireen sternly. “And on top of that, I have Bourak breathing down my neck, because my trigger happy Operatives,” she said pausing to give them all the stink eye; “opened fire on a O12 Task Force!”
“What?!” came the collective reply of the dumbstruck Wrecking Belles.
“If it hadn’t been for Doc Starlight’s diplomacy, we would have been in bigger trouble.” continued Sireen, giving a one-armed hug to Doc Starlight, who stuck her tongue out devilishly to her teammates’ stares. Doc Starlight was always willing to parley when she was the last Odalisque standing. The fact that she was usually successful, cemented her reputation as a conniving little weasel in her teammates eyes.
“And the thing that attacked us?” asked Apple Pie slowly putting both feet on the cold ceramite floor. “The one with all the tentacles?”
“A mystery for another time, unfortunately.” replied Sireen not happy with the answer. “The Sultanate has requested us to return to Paradiso and stand by for further instructions.” she said dreading what that message would mean. The last time they had been given similar orders, they ended up front and center of Operation: Flamestrike.
This was a 300pts, Biotechvore Mission. I decided to implement a Special Narrative Objective. In this case, I chose to do Secure the HVT with Agent Valentine (no other mini would count for a success). I’m planning on using these to guide the story. For now I will keep them as Personal Information, but when relevant, I’ll give my opponent the heads up about stopping me accomplishing the Special Narrative Objective.
My opponent this time was @Jotadg, the Mad Kazak and his team of Vanilla Ariadna. It was his first Biotechvore mission so I had the advantage in terms of experience. He chose deployment and I chose going second.
I decided to burn a Command Token to forbid him from using more than one Coordinated Order on his first turn; a dickish move, now that I analyze it in hindsight. I did managed to move most of my units on turn 1, except for the Akbar Doctor and her stupid Nazmat (grumble, grumble, can’t participate in Coordinated Order if linked to a G: Servant), who lost a wound because of that. In the end I won because between my girls and the Biotechvore, his team was decimated.
However, I didn’t manage to complete my Special Narrative Objective and got the Wrecking Belles wiped out because I had been too stupid to break the darn Link Team, shoot with Doc Starlight alone and then reform the Link Team. Instead I activated the whole Link Team twice and gave the 112 2 free shotgun shots to kill my Odalisques.