Speaking of stories, it may need a bit of polish, but here's the next timewar update.
It was a long winded, irritating task. The team had split up into pairs, Ecem and Aret covering the weapons labs, Bugi and Koth the bioresearch. Koth and Aret went out of thier way as they planted the charges under or on the side of unoccupied desks to rig tripwires out of the Mr Frog's mines on the fire extinguishers, and when they stumbled upon it, cut the water and power to those sectors' fire fighting systems, though two janitors were stuffed into a locker with thier throats slit first. For good measure Ecem left a charge rigged to the door. AFter hours of dodging and hugging the wall, and where needed commiting another murder, the group sent a quick two blip message to Mr Frog's PEA. The charges were armed and they were on thier way out. Mr Frog, satisfied Joseph should be delayed, armed thier timers.
"Guys, this is Ecem. I need a sitrep, over." Ecem said quietly as they left Mr Frog's old room in Lokumokab. "We got a slight problem boss. Someone's on to us." Came a shakey voice. "What!? Who??" Ecem demanded to know. Unless someone found the bodies, the charges shouldn't have gone off yet for another 25 minutes, unless Mr Frog tricked them....
"Well the mog hopper's scanners picked up two platoons of troops bearing Eris IFF Transponders and two IFVs with unknown weapon composition." Ecem let a slew of obscenities fly at this before going on. "THAT FUCKER KNEW THE WHOLE TIME!!!" He bellowed. "TOPSIDE. NOW."
By the time the panic stricken team arrived they found two contractors ducking in the wagon entry, both clutching railgun inflitced wounds."How bad?" Ecem said flatly. "We'll live... The stims just haven't kicked in yet..." one of the contractors replied. The quartet headed out into a firestorm. While the enemy armor was nowhere to be seen yete, much of the immediate area was on fire because of the mog hopper gunner's overzealous application of incindiary rounds and rockets, much to both sides' dismay. Ecem and Bugi ducked behind a strange steel slab while Aret and Koth split off and joind a group in a fresh crater. "Why don't we just switch on the optic camo?" Bugi asked, nudging Ecem. "From the looks of things they might be using thermals to track us. The fire's messing up thier aim, see? It won't matter what we do in terms of visibility.... I got it. Everyone, polarize visors!" Ecem yelled into his comm and the open air. Thankfully none of the enemy seemed to hear over the shooting and roaring blaze. A few flash grenades caused a break in the stream of railgun fire and the pair bolted out of the fighting to an unoccpied dip in the ground on the enemy's flank.
Then, two missles whizzed by the mog hopper and prompted the pilot to freak out, who deployed his flares when two more were shot at him, causing them to whiz about erratically until one slammed into the ground, having misfired and the other exploding as it smashed into the already decrepit tower with the strange bridge leading off it. The tower came down, unsuprisingly, and the area was shrouded in thick grey dust, at which point Ecem grabbed Bugi by the collar of her armor and shouted at her "On me! Follow my lead!" They darted into the smoke, taking advantage of the chaos while Koth told the mog hopper to waive off until the fight was done.
The pair darted into some bushes, the shooting having resumed just a moment or two ago, though now it seemed to just be aimless erratic firing because of the smoke and fire. Then they saw them: The IFVs. They bore the symbol of the madman, [insert whatever the hell it is here.] "Bugi, I got the far one, you get the near. Good?" "Sounds good." Bugi said, bringing two large fighting knives to bear. She sprinted over to the first, grabbing one of the Eris troopers and effictivly decapitated him when she cut his throat, a little flap of meat being the only thing holding his head onto his body. A second, who'd turned when he need to reload while in a small dip, was horrified to see his comrade drop, blood gushing from the open wound. He raised his weapon, only for it to inexplicably get yanked upward and a knife blade's shape appearing in his chest.* He was gone before the knife even left his chest, his body going limp as both his spine and heart were destroyed by the oversized blade. Bugi clambered aboard the warmachine, that seemed to have suffered a weapon malafunction with its launchers being unable to autoload. And unfortunatly for the victims inside operating it, Bugi threw a phosphorus grenade into the cycling hatch of the launcher. She dove off and rolled into a crater, watching her handiwork as the IFV exploded violently, extra missles cooking off and going in random directions, largly exploding harmlessly in the air. A simple"What the fuck!?" When she relaized she'd rolled onto another trooper prmpted him to be shot in the head with a sidearm as he unknowingly struggled to get up with the contractor on top of him.
Ecem yanked his knife out, and watched Bugi climb up, knowing full well her intent when he saw a little hatch opening and closing in a nonsensical cycle. He slid into the next crater, carving out one strange creature's throat and ramming his knife into the other's skull through his visor when he panicked and tried to run out of the pit. A thrid wounded trooper met the same end as the secodn, an oversized knife blade being sent up into his head from the joining point of his throat and head. When the first IFV exploded, Ecem knew he had to act quickly. Even moreso when he heard the his of another rocket's exhaust. He climbed out of the crater, drawing his sidearm and sending a few rounds into a dwarf and a human, both of whom's inards were more or less turned into paint on the IFV. He hopped onto it, shooting another trooper in the back of the head who was running by before flinging himself in front of the driver's port. The he decloaked, rifle in hand.
"Hey do you hear something?" Rakust asked absentmindedly while he initiated the missle cycling program. "Besides the shooting I mean." "Not really.... Wait.... Yeha I do." A slight clanging could be heard from the driver side. "What the hell is that?" The other trooper siad, the claning being sporadic but still annoying. Them out of the blue, a man decloaked, a rifle ready in his right hand while his left held him in front of the driver's port. "WHAT THE FU-" was Rakust's last statment when the port shattered, the sound of a railgun firing on automatic bouncing around the armored hull. The other unlucky human, now scared and horrified at the remains of his friend, which had not but twisted metal and shreded meat between the shoulders of his armor. Then to add insult to injury, a grenade, with a bright and cheery blue "WP" on it bounced in and clattered to the back of the IFV. The poor trooper was left dumbfounded when the IFV erupted ina brust of flame and secondary iginitions.
The remaining Eris troopers, with a number of them known to be dead and thier IFVs exploding for no appearent reason, finally broke and fled the field, leaving the dead and dying to the mercy of the Ballpoint Contractors.** "Morul, come back in. Situation contained." A contractor said over the comm. A few more railshots could be heard, indicating executions being done as the Mog Hopper came back in for a landing. "On, sitrep." Ecem said, taking his helmet off. "We lost Ozi, Osp, and Arin. Ilpi, Liru, Tod, Asri, Hasor, and Suku were injured, the first four bfrom that tower getting knocked down, while Hasor Suku took railgun rounds to the upper and lower body respectivly. All in all, we did pretty well. Killed 34 hostiles, excluding the IFVs, although to be fair most of them were exectutions." Ecem nodded as On wrapped up. His midsection was sore, and his arms ached from the climbing and one handing a rifle on full automatic. "Good... Get the wounded loaded up.... I'm gonna take a nap in the cockpit with Morul and Lokum..."
After another ten or so minutes, a series of explosions echoed into the area, indicating that perhaps Joseph hadn't known about the charges. Ecem however, like the rest of the survivors, didn't care. He simply slept the whole way back to corporate.
** These two have fought off far worse at Shockedtowns. Plus a bunch of random flatlines and the IFVs exploding behind you can't be good for morale.