With the Immortals
1227hrs 09 December
It had taken some doing but the smoke combined with the stepped up fire from available Immortals allowed Spanac and his men to get to the door and blow it open. Once breached, the troopers entered the entranceway and eventually made it into the tunnels it connected to.
A few random exchanges of shots occurred as the Immortals worked to push defenders back and away from the breach. And they were successful in doing so- as it was here the training the renegades had showed itself.
A flashbang down the hall followed by a frag, the enemy troops moved down the tunnel. Getting to the entryway that led to Central Ops, they paused to assess defenses. A trooper moved up with a small anti-armor rocket and after a fast conference on potential back blast, it was decided to use it on the reinforced hatch. In theory, it should do the job.
Eric and his techs had relocated some of the chairs and the movable tables to areas near the escape tunnels to the Armor Bay and the north eastern residences by the drone garages. No one expected to defend the building for long but they would make it look good.
Justin worked at a terminal near the exit, setting up kill codes for the primary servers and databanks. It was kind of a slash and burn defense but at least there was backups. One of the things he and his dad had done when creating this base was set up a remote backup of everything electronic. There were three of them- one here on the base under the facility cantina and the other two off site- One out in Mordor (there was a joke there somewhere) and the other actually in a building on Cromwell not far from the main Operations building. The scratch program being generated right now would scramble the mains and cut the facility backup from the network. Unless you knew where to go, physically accessing the Cantina site would be a royal bitch for anyone bigger than Coins.
“…aaannnd done.” He muttered aloud. “Electronic lock set and Primaries set to scramble at command from you or me.” Justin picked up his rifle and moved towards the accessway selected to retreat from.
Eric commented. “Good… if they are here for the data, they are going to be mad as hell.” Glancing up at the monitor screen that showed the hallway towards 11, he noted the anti-tank launcher about to be deployed. “Shit…. Everybody down!”
Justin sprinted to cover as the doorway on the far side blew up. Spinning as he got to cover, he lifted up his rifle to aim in the direction the enemy was about to come from. He didn’t have long to wait.
A pair of grenades bounced up into the main dais area and exploded, sending fragments everywhere. Two seconds later, several Immortals scrambled through the hatch and up the short staircase into the central areas. A few were hit by shots from the defenders and went down while others managed to gain cover and return fire.
And the shooting was intense, at least from the defending personnel. While the technicians weren’t trained infantry, they could shoot and there was casualties among the invading enemy. The damage wasn’t all one-sided by any means, as two of the Operations techs fell from wounds. Once of Kim’s security troops died to a head shot, which elicited a slight shocked yelp of fear from Coins.
Spades pulled the trooper down from the firing point and practical-like, grabbed the man’s grenades. She immediately pulled pins and gave them a toss in the direction of the attackers. As they exploded, she grinned slightly- the carnage being exciting to her. Or the danger…. In either case, she was laughing as the explosion of curses from the other side told her the random tosses hurt someone.
Eric lifted his SMG and blind-fired a few bursts. “Alright… Justin! Scramble the boxes and let’s get out of here.” He called out as he reloaded. “Also issue the bug-out orders; no need for anyone else to get killed if we can help it.”
His son lifted his omni-tool and after activating the code, he confirmed the instructions were being carried out by the servers. “Dad! Codes sent and successfully activated. In two minutes, they are big paperweights.” Justin called out. “Case Echo Evac orders sent….” Case Echo was a pre-set plan for defenders to make their best way to the Armor Bay if able or best means to escape the base and get east to the village of Bree.
“Good… ok- everyone out of here… Sergeant Kim!”
Charlie Kim, his shoulder bleeding from a hit taken a minute or so ago, pulled a flashbang of his own. “On it… Noisemaker deploying….” He said and lobbed the now active charge.
Five seconds later, the disorientation device detonated. The defenders, knowing it was coming, used the loud distraction to fall back. Within fifteen seconds, everyone who could leave, did so. Three defenders remained behind, their lifeless bodies being testament to the efforts to keep the Immortals out of operations….
It would be a similar story throughout the base, as various bunkers fell silent and Immortals investigated, only the dead would be left to show anyone had been present. The dead and empty casings or powerpacks, at least.
Testudo Base Operations
Vanatov investigated every single remaining active terminal left in operations once the facility was secure. As he finished up with the latest one, he turned to Spanac as the commander entered. “Colonel…. I have some bad fucking news….”
Spanac looked at his electronics expert. “Can it be any worse than the state of our transports?” he asked. The Immortals vehicles had taken a beating from the aerial drone defenses with ten of the vehicles being immobilize and the remaining four retaining some ability to move. That there was ability to use tools in the recently vacated Armor and repair bays was something.
“Depends…” was the reply. “The Lancer techs scrambled their servers or at least the links; I can’t find an active connection to a databank ANYwhere… Granted, I’ve been using their consoles but it seems like whatever they were using to store data has been fried. System query has a connection to something but whatever it is, it’s indicating a ton of faults.” Sergi shook his head. “No connection to anything else in their networks at all, actually. I can get commercial Sat feeds- at least what ever hasn’t been dropped due to invasion but nothing within their network that isn’t Public Domain. And that’s a small stretch.”
“Fuck” Spanac cursed.
“Sir….” The tech acknowledged. “I can try to brute-force the connection I do show here, but it will take a bit of time and my own deck to do it.”
Spanac nodded. “Do it… we’re gonna be here a while; As long as we aren’t hit again in the next six hours, we should have more tracks up and running. Their repair garage is operational….”
Sergi nodded. “Well… at least we got that. We gonna try and occupy here or go retake the drop ship?”
“I’m considering options, Sergi. Right now, those are among the choices,” The colonel replied. “I’ll have an answer sooner or later- hopefully sooner. This is already a bust…”
“That’s an understatement…”
Village of Bree Meeting House
As the last of Testudo Base defenders arrived, Justin looked at his tally sheet and grimaced slightly. Of the base’s 50 permanent party personnel, 39 reported in as they arrived; the three suit teams all made it but some of them weren’t healthy. Not as bad as it could have been but not exactly wanted either. Turning towards the back of the village Meeting house, a large-ish rustic structure meant for annual holiday feasts, village social gathers or the occasional visit by the Governor on a tour.
The role of Governor had fallen to his dad and for the life of him, Justin could not remember if his dad had even been here before. If he hadn’t, well, what a time to pay a visit.
Walking up to where his father was in conference with his Uncle Stan, Justin waited for an opportunity to butt in.
“… so we have a bunch of SUVs, a few motor cycles and a dozen carryalls?” Eric questioned Stan.
“Yep,” Stan replied as he looked at a datapad. “A few personal VTOLs too. On the plus side, everyone has weapons and not just small arms. Half dozen manpack PPC and about the same in machine guns.”
A shake of the head. “Better than what it could have been. At least the ODAs still have their weapons and the spare suits are out.”
“Better than hoped, I guess. We never practiced the evac drills so….” Eric paused and looked at his son. “Yeah?”
“Thirty-nine checked in,” Justin said. “That doesn’t include the special forces teams or battle armor squads but they aren’t normal residents. All suits are accounted for but will need refurb. The handful of injured are over at Doc McCoy’s clinic”
Eric frowned at the news. “That’s shitty…” He said. “At least Doc McCoy is here and knows combat injury treatment… Yes, I do pay attention to who lives near us. You never know when a social or not so social call might be needed.” The older Harvie smiled at his son. “Now that we know, I need to update Auburn.
Coins was nearby working on a portable terminal, a bandage on an arm from a round taken during the battle in Operations. “Chief… I will have this piece of-“ She slammed the table she was on, bouncing the terminal some. And the jarring seemed to stabilize. “-shit operational in a second…. There we go. Sorry took so long- I grabbed the older box when we left.”
Eric smiled. “Don’t worry about it, Coins. You have it working and right now, that’s what matters.” Stepping over to the terminal, he went about raising Auburn.
Some ten minutes later, Eric ended his conference with the main Lancer facility and sat back. “Well fuck…” he breathed. Turning to his son, he motioned him over along with Stan and Kim. “Ok… here’s the deal…
“Counter offensives are ongoing; so far the counters are driving them back towards Zathras and there is a few missions planned to mess up the Word backfield assets. We’ve been promised four squads of Battle Armor to bolster us and some Strikers; they should be out by the captured dropship by the morning… If possible, a few platoons of regular troops will be sent to us too here in Bree; provided the Immortals choose not to pursue.” Eric paused. “The reinforcements aren’t exactly what I would want but at least we are getting them AND we are getting supplies to re-equip. All things considered, it seems the Lancers got extremely lucky with all this… and while a side show, we’re doing well.”
Justin pondered his father’s words. “What are the chances the Word take to their drop ships and try for out here? Easy to hide all sorts of troops if a chance is given. I mean, the Grey Mountains have tons of hidden passes to be unseen in.”
Eric shrugged. “Beats me… but not my problem. At least not yet… right now, the bulk of things are over *there*… and we have our problem over *here*…” He paused. “And also right now, I think we need to see if we can spy on the unwanted guests back there.” As he got up, the elder harvie motioned to the terminal. “Justin- you, Coins and Spades work with this and what ever the pads and Omnis can do to try and get a camera or something operational remotely back at Testudo; I’m going to go do the leadership thing right now…”
Coins looked at the Chief Warrant. “Leadership thing?”
Lifting his submachine gun and slinging it, Eric answered. “Yep… time to go check on our people and reassure them that we ain’t beat yet. Good leadership is getting out of the office and getting involved instead of delegating everything. Even if it’s just showing my face, it will be a help…” Looking to Kim, he motioned him to lead the way. “Sergeant Kim, after you….”