Log:A Show of Force
Delta Squad's briefing room is standing-room only. It is only a few seconds after the soldiers have assembled that quarter-size hologram of General Hux appears above and to the front. "Your target is a checkpoint defended by a misguided militia of Serenno natives. They have the impression that a battery of Clone Wars era turrets would prevent us from entering the capital city. You-" The redhead clasps his hands behind his back. "-are going to prove them wrong." A map appears next to him. "You will be inserting beyond a nearby hill. Momentum will be your best ally, and surprise is a close second." The map shows arrows progressing down a narrow ravine to end up past the enemy's front line. "Destroy the turrets and their generators and then call for extraction. This is a show of force. I'm sure you will not disappoint."
SOON: The landing craft rattles slightly as it swerves around treetops and hugs the terrain. There is no sound of opposing fire before it drops with seeming suddenness to the ground. The ramps hit the grass, and room for all the columns to progress suddenly opens. Ahead is the ravine up between two hills - and it would be foolish to expect there to be no sentries. You have about half a mile to reach them.
"Quick and quiet, and stay sharp," FN-4126 says as the ramps come down, peering at the terrain through her rangefinder scope as she gestures the troops to disembark. "They'll have pickets up just to prevent what we're trying to do. Walk soft and take 'em down the same way. Let's show these Serenno scum what /Stormtroopers/ can do!"
MC-0607 nods as he hears 4126's orders, "Understood." He keeps quiet besides that as he brings his rifle up as he comes down the ramp of the landing craft his helmeted gaze sweeping left to right and back again as he scans for enemy and non combatant targets.
GT-7066 was a young man of average height - the features beneath his helmet unknown to most. Nor did they matter. Standing parade-ground straight as Hux gave the briefing - he turns and exits the room afterwards, only to board the transport on the path towards the target zone.
The man was silent - he was known for it. Known for standing quiet and short only to have bursts of explosive energy when he needed to. That was well-suited for what he specialized in - demolitions.
GT looks to FN-4126 briefly - following her lead for the time being. The pistol he held as he moved to the side of the trooper - crouching near her and canting his head to the side as she gives the orders. His reply was one word, and one word only: "Affirmative." Fingers clutch the blaster pistol tighter, his heart pounding in his chest. Excitement? Fear? He didn't know - but he liked it.
The squad disperses around the hill into defensive positions, staying out of sight from up ahead, leaving FN-4126, MC-0607, and FN-4126 to be point. Though mostly crouched up against cover or low behind trees and boulders, they are paying keen attention, ready to move as soon as the order is given. The drop ship's ramps raise with a hiss as the vessel rises, yaws, and returns the way it came, still keeping low. So far the landing has not been betrayed.
Up ahead there is one tree three times as high as the others, thick with green. There are two smaller ones, and then the ravine proper. A recon trooper's voice comes softly through the helmet radios: "Two contacts in the high tree. First eight meters up, second four meters higher and three to the left." There is also a small glint of metal on the rock to the left of the ravine. No report on what that is; recon may have missed it.
"Copy, Eyes," Fan says softly. "Mick, take the high one," she whispers, referring to MC-0607. "Gat, take the low one," she adds, meaning GT-7066. "Fire on my go... there's something odd up there. I'll check it out; we don't want any surprises that aren't ours." Stowing the chatter, Fan lifts the heavy quadnoculars to her eyes, peering at the glint of metal on the rock just left of the ravine.
GM Private Message: Rho, the quadnoculars reveal what looks to be a small contraption of metal and glass, aimed to see anything that passes into the ravine. It's clearly a camera or detector of some variety. (to FN-4126)
Mick nods as he gets his orders from Fan sighting in on the high target in the tree and waiting for the fire order from Fan knowing that Gat will have the lower target.
Helping take point, GT-7066's stance was hunched forward - holding his pistol in a double-fisted grip, the barrel of the weapon pointed downwards. He let FN-4126 take the lead proper - settling somewhere to her right flank, with enough space - as terrain permitted, to afford her all the movement she needed. Turned slightly right, his eyes were watchful and wary.
But not as watchful as those of the recon troopers.
It wasn't his place to affirm the contact. Fan's acknowledgement of something odd causes him pause. But only a moment. Blaster pistols had less range, the trooper was weaving his way through the brush to get into position for the ambush, his eyes turned upwards towards the low one. He had a laser focus upon that contact, moving to still, with blaster pistol raised up at the man, hopefully shrouded by the brush he kneeled beside.
"In position," Gat says, his voice gravely with the murmur. He doesn't move, kneeling still as a stone.
So far, so good, or at least no audible response. From his closer position, Gat can make out the contact far better: a spotter, armed with his own set of quadnoculars but only raising them occasionally. He looks a bit distracted, and occasionally makes a grab at something not visible. Small flying biting creatures are a constant across many worlds. The topmost individual has a sniper rifle, whose sight he uses to scan the area slowly. He has a black beret, and bits and pieces scavenged from a Republic army uniform.
"Looks like our Serenno friends have spy-eyes," Fan murmurs, lowering the quadnoculars and taking aim with her F-11. "We won't get close without being spotted. Fire on my mark..." "Three..." "Two..." "One..." "Mark!" Fan pulls her own trigger on what she hopes is a three-person simultaneous snipe.
Mick has the sniper lined up in his sights ensuring that when the call to shoot is made that he's ready. He's moved into a kneeling position to have the most stable base and be a bit mobile still as he settles his rifle onto his offhand. At the command from Fan he squeezes the trigger sending a bright blaster bolt from his rifle at his target.
"Contacts are two Serennos. Makeshift uniforms, Republic insignias," snaps Gat, his voice crisp as if he were loathe to waste even a single syllable. Fan starts to count, though, and he silences. Breathing starts to grow heavier and heavier, his focus narrows in like a laser. 3. 2. 1. At the mark, he squeezes the trigger of his pistol, aiming for center mass. He fires twice if he can squeeze the shots off, hoping at least one of the strikes find a mark. After, he relaxes, feeling the shiver of adreneline rumble down his arms and through his heart. Yes. It was beautiful.
Four flashes, two kills, one exploding camera. The body of the sniper falls forward onto his rifle, his upper chest blackened by the laser bolt. The spotter falls straight out of the tree with a sickening crunch after the Gat's second shot catches him in the face. The device along the ravine entrance is down, bits of glass and metal decorating the ground in front of it. If the enemy is disciplined enough to treat every perimeter monitor's failure as an incursion, then time is short. The ravine could change from being a useful shortcut to being a confined death trap if the militia move some heavier weaponry to cover the exit.
"Neutralized," Fan confirms. "We have to move. They might not know what's coming, but Mister Surprise is no longer our friend. Eyes, we'll need your help. Gat, Mick, let's double-time it!" Nodding to Gat and Mick, Fan takes the lead, weapon held loosely to her shoulder and ready to fire. Glancing up at the walls as if having a moment of doubt, she enters the ravine, her space-eating stride covering the ground between them and the Serenno strong point. "Hurry! We have to get there before they bring those turrets online!"
Gat doesn't respond in the affirmative to what Fan says. Lowering the barrel of his blaster towards the ground, he breathes out the last of that rush, and rises from his kneel to a stand, smoothly taking pace at his original position of flanking Fan.
Taking a moment to close his eyes and breathe, his toe stumbles against a stone, but he doesn't fall - hunching his shoulders forward as his eyes return forward again, clods of dirt kicking up by his boots as he charges alongside Fan, matching her speed as best as possible.
"Ridgeline clear," the recon trooper reports softly into the squad's ears. The hill, previously silent, is suddenly alive with stormtroopers rushing forward, though with strong communications discipline, section leaders directing their soldiers with gestures rather than speaking. The ravine has room for three abreast, and that's how Delta Squad takes. It's almost parade ground, since each trooper leaves space to not step on the boots of the one before him.
By the time the far end is reached, there are no heavy weapons on display, and the turrets of the outer perimeter are looking _exactly_ the wrong way to stop you. Before you, two generators surrounded with prefabricated walls and the sort of barriers one finds on the sides of highways are separated by about twenty yards. The four turrets they power are far too large to be effective against infantry, but they might do a number on spacecraft or vehicles. You face surprised hostiles: There are eight at the first generator and nine at the leftmost one, and you will eventually have to worry about the ones manning the front turrets leaving their post to flank you. For now, the advantage of first strike is yours.
The plan is coming together... sort of! But for right now, the Stormtroopers have the initiative. "Take 'em, Deltas!" Fan shouts, opening fire on the first generator. "Take down those generators!" Without power, the turrets are just large decorations. And generators always explode so messily... with all those Serennos clustered around them, they might not even need grenades!
Mick nods as he'd rejoined the formation as they double timed to the target area. He brings his rifle up to bear and sights in on the marked target, "Roger that focusing on the generators." He squeezes the trigger rapidly as generators aren't the smallest of targets and he wants to put a massive ammount of firepower onto the target as quickly as he possibly can.
They might not need grenades, but there was a reason that Gat preferred his particular kit. Into a quickdraw holster at his thigh, he slips his blaster back in, before taking two steps before Fan and falling flat on his front. He had heavier ordanance in his little pack of fun, but right now - he dips his hand into the bag.
Fan didn't care about the flanking - neither did he. He presses the thumb trigger to the thermal detanator, twisting the button for a detenation two seconds after striking ground. If he did his math right. With a deceptively easy toss from his lying position, he flings the thing towards one of the generators.
The militia may have had a minute's warning, but they weren't ready for a column of the First Order's finest to emerge past their first lines of defense. A signalsman by the first generator can be heard screaming into his comm, "-NEED reinforcements, they're past the-" The fusillade of blaster fire rips through the first generator's defenders and burns through a section of the shoddy wall, revealing the generator itself, electricity arcing between its top and bottom.
Fan and Mick's shots pepper the device, but it seems even aged technology is reinforced against small arms fire.
The thermal detonator Gat tosses through the gap in the wall to land a meter away from the generator is another story. The stormtroopers are fortunate to have eyes shielded by their helmets as the initial flash and bang causes the generator to explode in a bright blue ball of fire. It forms a miniature mushroom cloud from the strength of the detonation, and the defenders are certainly dead. The shockwave knocks the nearest stormtroopers backwards, and the walls around the second generator rock back from the blast.
"Gat? Did you just..?" Fan doesn't have time to finish the question before the thermal detonates, and the resulting shockwave pitches her onto the turf! It's a second before she can move again. Groaning softly, she levers herself to her feet. "A little warning next time would be nice, Gat," she says. "Think you can do the same to the next one in line? Mick, Deltas, let's give the man some room to work!" Without waiting for a response, she takes up a position near one of the walls, using the thing for cover while opening fire on the potential flankers near another generator.
Mick shifts his fire from the generator which didn't seem to be effective anyways and onto the defenders, "Roger that shifting fire onto the defenders to keep them off Gat." He adjusts his position to take advantage of the cover as well.
"Affirmative, FN," says Gat, clearing his throat a bit. He got excited. He should probably say sorry or something. Probably. A hand lifts up to clear his helmet of dust and debris - from his prone position he missed a lot of the blast, but the dust and dirt was a real thing. A brief bit of mental calculation. "Twelve seconds to detentation," he says, pulling the second detonator out of his bag. Like the first, he sets it to detonate two seconds after impact, but unlike the first... he has to pull himself up to his feet and jog to the wall, before attempting to toss it up and over the thing into the generator.
This leaves him vulnerable - and moving with a detonator - even if he would wait to prime the thing until the moment before throwing it.
As Gat makes his run towards the wall, those defenders who see him know they're staring death in the face: a demolitions expert with a thermal detonator in hand. But this death is not an invincible one, and they know what's coming. Almost as one, the Serenno militiamen and -women turn to shoot at him. The coordinated cover fire from Mick and the rest of Delta squad through every aperture in the walls cuts down every one of them before they can get off a shot. An engineer leans out from a wall with a blaster pistol in his hand and fires wildly, then tries to line up the second shot with feedback from the first's trajectory. Before he can squeeze the trigger, the blaster splits from a blaster rifle shot from FN-4126. He cries out, holding his hand, but the engineer's pain is cut short by another blaster bolt from the corporal, directly into the man's open mouth. He falls limply to the ground.
Gat has all the time in the world to lob the detonator where it needs to go - and everyone has time to clear the blast zone, this time around. The explosion and shockwave knock down all the walls remaining and rock a few soldiers who didn't count the second right in their hand, but most are braced and ready.
"Good job, Gat!" Fan switches her aim again, gesturing the Deltas forward. "Deltas, let's mop up these 'Renno rats!" Coordinating fire with the squad, Fan sets her sights on the next group of makeshift resistance and lets the squad be the awesome fighting machines they are.
Mick nods as he shifts his fire onto the next group of resistance, "Roger that Fan. Gat are you planning on blowing anything else up before we push forward more?" He sights in on pockets of enemy fire as he squeezes his trigger to return fire even if he misses its still suppressive fire...
After releasing the detenator, he starts to count in his head, twisting in place, and starting a run back towards the others. One... two... steps, and throw himself forward, landing on the ground and covering his head.If Gat could laugh, he would be cackling right now. But the man was too disciplined to laugh. Heart rate was pounding - his eyes were wide open, and he was making a choking breathing noise - his concession to the joy he felt.
A handful of moments to gether his wits, and the man reaches back - touching the handle of his blaster. His faceplate turns towards Mick. "Negative." he says, crawling on hands and knees to push himself back to the Order line.
Some Serenno militiamen make their way closer and are duly slaughtered. The gunners in their suddenly-lifeless guns are easily neutralized. Eventually none dare come close enough to contest the center of the battlefield, staying in their fortifications and waiting. The checkpoint is yours, as are the two small charred craters and damaged turrets.
Fan takes cover next to Mick, switching to the command frequency. "Sledgehammer, this is Saber Delta. The checkpoint is ours. Repeat: The guns are silent. You can begin landing the main assault force for the capital," she says, peeking over the barrier at the fortifications. "No casualties to report."
<GM> "Copy, Saber Delta. Prepare for extraction." It isn't long before the same landing craft that brought Delta Squad to the ravine returns, flying more directly and less low than before. It rotates down so that the hull of the craft provides cover against small arms fire as the ramps lower with a hiss, ready to take them home.
And Gat was ready to go home - he kept his blaster out of course, and he would be one of the first troopers to barrel into the transport - knowing that at the ranges they might be ambushed at, his pistol would be more of a liability. He was safer to get out of the way and deep into the transport, and come down from the high of the mission.
Mick climbs into the transport after Gat ensuring that he's still got the ability to cover down out of the ramp as the rest of the squad loads up his rifle being an asset with ranged attacks. "Such undiciplined enemies I don't understand how they thought they could stand against us."
Fan moves slowly, trailing the squad and covering their extraction with her own weapon. "Gotta give 'em A+ for guts, though. These people were fighting for their homes, they thought. That can stiffen up a womp rat's spine," she observes on the squad frequency. "Maybe they were stupid, but they were brave, too." She turns for the ramp, stepping from the Serenno turf onto hard, gridded Imperial durasteel. First in, last out, in the traditions of ancient air-mobile infantry. "We're on board, Evac. Let's go home."
The craft's repulsorlifts whine as it lifts off while the ramp is still closing, charting a course back into high orbit, where the dark bulk of the Finalizer broods, blocking the stars. Mission accomplished. Welcome home, Delta.