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 Swept as with a Broom

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whilaroo
High Priest
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Number of posts : 604
Location : In the back of this junky old station wagon...
Registration date : 2009-04-04

PostSubject: Swept as with a Broom   Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:54 am

...ACTIONABLE EVIDENCE RECEIVED CONCERNING THE CASE REQUESTED IN OPERATIONAL TRANSMISSION BEGUN AT 1:23:45 ON THE NIGHT PREVIOUS HAS BEEN RESOLVED. THE DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE TO CONTACT THE AIRSHIP DUAT WITH ORDERS TO RESPOND TO THE SITUATION IMMEDIATELY. REPEAT TRANSMISSION LOOP WITH THE INSTRUCTION THAT THE BARRACKS AT LION'S GATE AND THE MILITIA OF THE RECLAIMED CITY OF GOMORRAH WILL BE DISPATCHING AGENTS FOR WHOM THE DUAT WILL BE PROVIDING SUPPORT. THE DUAT IS NOT TO DIRECTLY ENGAGE. REPEAT LAST LINE. UPON RECEIVING CONFIRMATION FROM THE DUAT, BROADCAST ENCODED PING CONTAINING TIME STAMP RECEIPT. END TRANSMISSION. LOOP.

He received the gentle nod from the tall dark figure which stood behind him and spread a scattering blast through the transmitter which would disperse the incoming message. "Continue jamming until we reach the coordinates embedded in the recorded string," the order was followed by the sound of heavy boots hitting the metal catwalk of the bridge. All around the sound of hissing steam and hurrying workers resounded through the encased dome of the airship's bridge. "Helmsman," the booming voice one again rose in volume, this time from the command chair, "You have received your coordinates. Chart a course that will keep us low and hidden within the mountain passes. Boatswain, inform lieutenant Rainer that we will be running under the influence of his adapters." The man complied immediately with first a salute and then a repetition of the orders into the tube system meant for communication to the rest of the ship. It was an arcane and somewhat ridiculous system, but the captain preferred what he felt was the security of simplicity.

The crew on the bridge watched with a certain amount of apprehension as the view through the glass canopy which surrounded them was progressively obscured. This early in the morning, there was not much light to be had, but add the mountains in between you and the horizon and you were in a certain amount of shadow even yet. Despite the spotters topside, they would be flying relatively blind, reliant as they were on the competence of the helmsman's ability. No matter how many times they went through this procedure, it still felt rattling to the very bones, to the very core. Then they heard it ramp up and they could breath more easily. The gentle pinging sound resounded throughout the bridge. It seemed somewhat ridiculous perhaps to install such a system into a ship that most generally traversed the open sky thoroughly alone, but nonetheless they were indeed outfitted with a sonar array. The use of sound waves for detection had, like most of the ship's equipment, and even the ship itself, not been used for countless years, since long before the advent of the clonoid, and yet, here they were, employed in the warfare of the present day with lethal effect. The blend of new and old technology was a form of adaptation that took the other warlords by surprise, predominantly focused as they were on the advancement of science and the superiority of their technology, they never would have considered a giant sluggish machination to be anything but a relic toted around by a dinosaur more interested in nostalgia than in winning battles. Thus underestimated, the Duat had a certain amount of advantage in the element of surprise.

The man at the radio looked up at the captain of the vessel once again where he sat immovable like some colossal statue that voiced the oracles of a god. His strategy was incredible, his way with his men was unparalleled, and his very presence was like having a scion of righteousness and power aboard the great ship. Every man and woman on the ship believed in their captain, even knowing what he had willingly done to each and every one of them. They didn't care. They would follow him straight to the very dregs of Hell and soaring back again if he asked them to do so, and they would do it with more passion and fervor than any other group of individuals that you might be able to find among the clonoid forces. And so now they followed him into a situation that may have been equated to a dive into the depths of the underworld. They followed him into not merely the danger of a risky flight maneuver, nor even the battle which would follow, but rather they followed him into a direct defiance of the clonoid command, a defiance of 9 and of the council. They followed a man whom each one of them knew had betrayed them individually. They followed him without question, each making their choice not only to stay, but to obey of their own volition. You would be hard pressed indeed to find such a devoted band of men and women anywhere, on the fields of Arcana or in any other universe. These soldiers had not forgotten with their memories but rather learned this most important quality of life itself, loyalty.

LION'S GATE BARRACKS: Neoclonoid bodies moved hither and thither, around and about each other, preparing for the operation at hand. Armor and weapons were being selected and donned in lieu of the upcoming skirmish which would undoubtedly not end without bloodshed. On of them had been present for the actual reception of the original transmission that had brought them their orders, and was discussing his misgiving thoughts on the subject. "I just don't know how wise the decision to send us out there is. I understand the logic behind the orders, sure, but... I mean, we only caught a couple bits and pieces of the whole message. The rest was static," he tightened the straps on his combat vest, festooned as it was with auxiliary magazines of ammunition and numerous implements to be used in combat.
"They're probably just jamming us. After all, they are close enough to the Barrack's now that we can reach them in under a day on foot," came the answer from a lower ranking individual who was ramping at his own pylonic motivators.
"And you really think a ragtag bunch of humans running for their lives after being blown to pieces off the riverfront are going to be carrying the necessaries to jam a military grade transmission from the capitol?" the first one was wearing a rather incredulous expression, "Come on, Valentine?"
"I dunno," the reply came simply, there were reasons this guy wasn't an Alphaclonoid, "But I do know that I've dug myself into a deep hole before by underestimating my enemy because they were a bunch of desperate humans. Think about it, they are sending a whole squad of Neoclonoids after them, Bertram..."
The officer nodded with a sigh, running his hand through his hair.
"And who else would have a reason to jam us anyway?" Valentine scoffed as he checked his pylonic blades emitters once again, cleaning at the exhaust vent.
"My point exactly," Bertram replied in a dark tone, his face cast towards the ground.
"Oh come now! You don't honestly think another clonoid division would jam the signal?" the gung-ho member of the pair looked thoroughly incredulous, "What, do you think that someone wants to get to these people before us? What for?... or do you think they're coming for us?"
"What do I know, Val? I just follow orders," the officer jammed his helmet on in such a way that he might have stoved his neck, "And so do you. Now get off your a** and get the squad to the outlanders."
His subordinate only smiled and jammed a magazine into his sidearm before hauling off to yell at his own compatriots.

GOMORRAH: Three clonoids gathered together in the town square. It was night and the whole place was thoroughly deserted. It was cold, but then, that didn't really matter to clonoids, not nearly like it did for humans. They stopped in what could have been noted to be a perfect triangle, each one forming a point exactly a meter's distance away from each of the others. To them, it was an unconscious action.
"The call came in approximately ten minutes ago," the first to speak did so in such a casual tone that the precision of his words sounded almost like a neighborly 'hello', "When I decrypted it, I found that they had left us a special bundle." He tossed a literal packet at the second of the two who proceeded to open it with a methodical manner that left the sealed notes and their packaging completely undamaged as he opened the thing. Slowly, the papers inside were slid out and perused at a rapid clip.
"Traitor?" the second's eyes narrowed as his single breath turned vapory and cloud-like upon itself in the cold, night air.
The first one nodded with a gleam in his dark eyes.
The third member of the circle, a female, was the next to receive the information. Her light hair blew in the chill wind, but she neither shivered nor showed any sign that she could feel the bitter gusts. Her eyes went a little wider, nostrils flaring as she read. "The Shiva!?" her voice was about a degree or two colder than the snow crunching underfoot. "And they've summoned the Duat? What do they think we are? Miracle workers?" she spat into the powdery flakes, watching them melt before her saliva began to freeze into a tiny coat of ice.
"My guess is that Nine had this one figured out a while back, or the council," The first one drew his coat tighter, more out of convention than necessity, "It was only a matter of time before the Shiva would have to go, and I warrant they would just love for the Black Mind to give them a reason to blow him and his pathetic excuse for a circus sideshow out of the sky."
"Who do we have on hand?" the second member of the triad queried.
"Fortinbras, Jacobs, Valourin, Plaeterda, and Boshkin are all stationed round and about at the moment," the woman breathed, still scanning the materials.
"I think Utubo is in town, and we might recruit ourselves a few of the real militia just in case we need backup," the first offered.
"The less what know about this, the better," the woman looked almost scornful, but then turned more to thoughtful, "A retired detachment of Neoclonoids was sent here for some rehabilitation weren't they?" The second one nodded slowly. "Any prospects?" the female interestedly flipped a page, not looking but nonetheless paying perfect attention.
"Merolus perhaps..." the first one rattled off what he had found, "Oh, and I think there's a veteran, took some damage a while back, but she's good. Akito, I think she's called. She's got a history."
The lady clonoid's eyes flashed up off of the paper, narrowing in slight disbelief.
"She's got no great love of the humans. Apparently, they left her for dead after inflicting her injuries," the first one expanded.
"Barbarians," the woman hissed.
"She was picked up and fixed up as best as could be while still keeping her body," he continued, "She isn't specifically loyal or thrillingly skilled, but she's got a fire in her, and since the Shiva technically IS on the human side of this affair."
"Good, see if you can get her then," the woman ordered.
"I'll arrange the rest of the lads," the second one sniffed at the night air before breaking the triangle by drifting off. The first fellow dashed off after a moment's pause to wait for the possibility of further orders. The third figure of the woman remained for a moment in the square before glancing up at the stars above, brightly shining down in this cold night. She squinted at them questioningly. Why now, she seemed to be asking, but the skies callously glared back without answer. So she slowly spun on her heal, still rereading the documents in her hands and with a slight limp, hobbled off into the icy darkness, away from the light of the square.


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"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allen Poe
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