|Subject:||RS: Mateas - Part 2 - Emma|
|Date:||Thu, 8 Jan 1998 18:00:08 +0000|
Access Archive: Gates, Red Shift. RS-A/DG44-A7/4-T
Set Command: STOR
Authorisation: Red Shift, Gates ***/***/*****
Emma crouches behind a tree, waiting. The dim predawn silhouetting the
south edge of Mateas' compound, the two sentries at the top of the shale
embankment will be looking down into shadows and darkness. She glances
to her side, sees a soldier with a Barrett 121 set up on a fallen log:
the sniper nods once. Other forms are visible, indistinct in the poor
light, poised with nervous tension.
Four faint metallic _thunks_, a short burst of machinegun fire, and Emma
says "Now." Softly: the sniper fires, hitting, missing and then hitting
the sentries as the first four mortar bombs explode. Flame boils into
the sky for a moment.
"Oscar Two, stand by." she says, as another salvo crashes down and the
intensity of the firefight rapidly grows: then on the third salvo she
punches forward and snaps "Now!" again. Her fireteam surges forwards up
the slope. Emma, Gates and the sniper wait behind: she covers the crest
with her MP-9 as the team advance, before leaving the sniper to that
task and she and Gates follow.
They reach the crest unopposed, her dozen soldiers already spread out
and shooting it out with the compound's defenders. Emma holds fire,
surveying it carefully: her briefed targets have already been hit and
hit hard, the barracks fitfully burning in places, and now she studies
the outer defences as Oscar Two continue to riddle the barracks with
gunfire and occasional minigrenades, the mortar fire slackening off. It
sounds as though Shado is in an intense fight, the ridge team offering
her more support.
A Steel Lynx drone skids out into the open from a small bunker, firing
its minigun up at the ridge, bullets sparking off its armour: before
Emma need speak, a bolt of lightning hits it - from near her, probably
Dewey - and it grinds to a smoking halt.
Another follows, sweeping Oscar Two's embankment and forcing everyone
down: a smoke trail lashes down from the ridge and the drone is torn
apart by the direct hit from a LAW. More scuttle out from the bunker,
scattering around the compound searching for targets.
She calls "Ricardo!" and the sniper - breathless - crawls up beside her
as she changes magazines. "Paint the bunker, watch my tracers." Three
red fireflies leave smoke trails behind as they ricochet off the
bunker's roof, and Ricardo must be using the laser under his rifle as a
marker. "Kilo, hard target painted."
"Kilo. Shot, out." A second later the bunker is shrouded in smoke: a
sharp bang, and the bunker explodes, hit shortly after with HE rounds
from the mortars, flame and smoke mushrooms into the morning sky.
"Target. Check fire, stand by." She marks a machine-gun nest with
tracers, and the same trick is repeated, though only one round is
necessary: a second nest needs two shots.
"Okay. Stay here with the rifle, cover our backs. Amelia! Spot for
Ricardo. Gates, Dewey, here in reserve. The rest of you, on me!" She
rises, sprints down the other side of the shale embankment, skids to a
halt beside a smouldering and shrapnel-torn car. Someone fires from the
door of a low stone building - that the machinegun nests had defended -
and Emma shoots back, aimed single shots, before someone's minigrenade
erases the gunman in a black cloud of smoke.
"_Mierda_," she mutters, realising she's the closest, and runs to the
thinning smoke. Firing at it as she moves: crashing against the wall,
she pulls something off her web gear and throws it through the door:
cries of alarm audible. As Emma drops the clip out of her weapon and
jams in another, the grenade explodes with a sharp crack and more smoke.
A pair of mercenaries pass her as she visibly braces herself, and she
lets a second pair enter into the deafening, echoing gunfire before
following: directing the rest of the fireteam to cover her back with two
curt hand signals.
Inside it's carnage, in the light of the MP-9's tactical flashlight:
Ruined electronics, torn bodies, and four of her team: one holding a
terrified young man at gunpoint.
"We got a prisoner, sir!" one says proudly. Emma puts the flashlight
beam on the PoW's chest, fires a short burst. The boy collapses, choking
and gagging, and dies rapidly.
"No prisoners, remember?" she says. "Main computer?"
Slightly shaken, the corporal in charge of the group points. "In the
corner. Survived okay, we haven't touched it."
"Good." Emma keys the mike. "All teams, this is Emma, Oscar 2 has
cleared the security centre. Gates, the computer's waiting for you.
Bring Ricardo and Amy, they can watch the door while you work."
She moves outside - the rest of the group have moved up, using the
security centre's robust walls for cover. Two are wounded, one badly,
but he isn't in immediate danger. Emma and peers around the building
(one of her men is prone at each corner, trading fire with the
castillo's defenders, and she has to be careful not to tread on one).
Her camera doesn't pick up what she sees, but she leans back and signals
Several loud cracks. The two towers on either side of the gate explode,
concrete, stone and other materials showering into the rubble and crater
strewn courtyard, the decapitated shells collapsing, crushing troops
cowering around the foundations. Oscar 1's LAWs have spoken an
irresistable song, and the fortifications followed by their defenders
answered the dirge by dying. An intense rolling explosion and sheet of
flame blasts into and through the courtyard, shattered wood and stone
creating a hail of shrapnel, shredding those unfortunate enough to be
caught in it's blast, tossing bodies like straw.
The scream of a tortured engine breaks over the explosion as Nemesis
hauls the Huey back, flaring hard to stop the onrushing machine, smoke
spinning in whirwinds under the thrashing rotors - grabbing altitude,
the rebel flag, insolently replaced on the nose bright against the dark
camouflage. He dips the nose of the chopper engaging the miniguns
sweeping the courtyard clean of life. Clouds of dust, body parts,
shattered wood and stone twist and spin into the air from the wall of
bullets laid down by the flaming cannons. Sentry guns, up till now
firing steadily from the north wall fall silent, "All teams, Gates. I'm
in and cooking."
"Oscar 1. GO!. GO!. GO!." Several loud cracks. The two towers on either
side of the gate erupt, concrete, stone and other materials showering
into the rubble and crater strewn courtyard, the decapitated shells
collapsing, crushing troops cowering around the foundations. Oscar 1's
LAWs have spoken an irresistable song, and the fortifications followed
by their defenders answered the dirge by dying.
An intense rolling explosion and sheet of flame blasts into and through
the courtyard, shattered wood and stone creating a hail of shrapnel,
shredding those unfortunate enough to be caught in it's blast, tossing
bodies like straw. The scream of a tortured engine breaks over the
explosion as Nemesis hauls the Huey back, flaring hard to stop the
onrushing machine, smoke spinning in whirwinds under the thrashing
rotors - grabbing altitude, the rebel flag, insolently replaced on the
nose bright against the dark camouflage. He dips the nose of the
chopper engaging the miniguns sweeping the courtyard clean of life.
Clouds of dust, body parts, shattered wood and stone twist and spin into
the air from the wall of bullets laid down by the flaming cannons.
Sporadic fire reaches out form the main building, engaging the invading
mercenaries at the main gates. The high pitched scream of jet engines
overrides the general bedlam, the three remaining members of Sentinel
break over the compound, turning round and flying out over the
mountains. Returning shortly, lined up for a strafing run. The three
aircraft roar in towards the compound, 30mm rotary cannon spewing a
truly horrific hail of explosive and AP rounds into the two storey
building, shattering walls, breaking supports, starting fires. Nearly 2
thousands rounds smash into the building destroying large sections of
the structure within the space of a couple of seconds. The three
aircraft bank away from the compound, waggling their wings as they bid
farewell to the attackers, leaving to refuel and rearm.
Emma looks at Dewy, fastidiously brushing dust from his fatigues, "Can
you breach the wall from here?" she asks.
"Easy." The magician responds.
"On my word." She points to two others of her fireteam, motions them
closer. "When Dewey breaks the wall, throw smoke at the castillio." Emma
sighs, and adds "And then everyone except Ramon follow me, I'll take
point. Ramon, trade with Amelia, she can run, you can't. We go in, we
start killing everything that's not on our team. Ready? Dewey, do it!"
Dewdrop staggers back, as if from recoil, as an almost-visible wall of
force smashes into the castillio's stuccoed exterior, smashing a
generously-sized hole. Smoke grenades burst into obscuring clouds, and
Emma rushes forwards through the fog: throwing a grenade into the gaping
hole in the wall, following through into the ruins of a storeroom. The
dust and smoke is choking, and the room is empty of life.
Oscar Two follow, piling in, two pairs of mercs going to the door: they
open it and at once begin a firefight with whoever's out there, though
automatic weapons and grenades end it quickly and the mercs break out
into the corridor.
"Room by room! Amelia, cover the back!" Emma snaps, advancing rapidly:
the doors are unlabelled, and closed, the lights are out, smoke filterrs
through, marks from the aircraft cannon fire evident in scattered holes.
The corridor dead-ends at one last door, this one reinforced and locked
and evidently a fire exit dating to when people cared about such things.
Gunfire and explosions mark the clearance of the rooms, and Emma glances
back to check progress.
Amelia is shooting at something, before being thrown sideways, Emma
drops to one knee to fire a fast string of singles at the onrushing form
and its thundering rifle. Bullets whipcrack past her head, her own
rounds are punching the man's life out and he staggers, stumbles, and
Emma shoots him twice in the head almost pointblank, the muzzle flash
setting his hair smouldering. Amelia is dead, and Emma takes her place,
as the clearance continues.
"Bedrooms, storerooms, junk rooms." The merc who joins Emma says
tersely. "We lost Jean-Pierre, and Ricardo's got two in the gut, he's
bad. Nine of theirs down, in the bedrooms still trying to get dressed.
"Dead." That reduces Emma's force to five. "Get their ammo and
especially grenades." She continues. "We're pushing on ahead."
The shattered building shudders, echoing to the sharp crang of an
explosion on the far side, followed rapidly by the sharper cracks of
grenades and automatic weapons. Oscar 3.
-- Gates <15:50:32/01-08-59>