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  • 2551: The Daego Operations are a complete failure.  Yet, be it by the hands of stubborness or persistance, Operation Eureka has yet to be cancelled.  As the battle-weary Task Forces head back to Earth onboard the Sword of Giants, humanity's borders continue to shrink, eroded away by the unstoppable power of the Covenant onslaught.   There is no time to rest, not when an artifact of uncontested power can fall into enemy hands.

    They call it the "Casket", an ancient machine devised by a primordial race of super-beings, who possessed such a mastery of the universe that they were almost universely likened to gods.  The Covenant calls them "Creators".  ONI calls them "Forerunners".  Recent information suggests the Caskets were designed to remove worlds that were no longer of use to these Forerunners.   Worlds that they saw as "unclean".  It is assumed that in their godliness, the Foreunners has little need for solar systems which they deemed uneccesary.  

    But many questions are left unanswered.  Why are these Caskets so powerful?  Why are the Covenant so uncertain of their locations?  And, if they were used to remove unwanted systems, why were they left intact?

    Questions would have to wait, as the Eureka Task Forces prepare to dock with Borneo Station, eager for a few moments of serenity before they inevitably enter combat once more. This time, they won't go down so easily.

    Enter your character as so:

    Name:

    Age:

    Species:

    Gender:

    Weapon:

    Affiliation:

    Homeworld:

    Rank:

    Bio:

    Rules of Engagement:

    1. Sabotage and Godmodding is forbidden. No exceptions. 

    2. Please try to stay with the story.  Posts that don't make sense with previous posts will either be deleted, or edited to make sense.

    3. Plot armor is at 0%, mortality is at 100%.  This is a dangerous operation, and people will die.  If your character is killed, you may continue to control enemy forces until you have the opportunity to introduce a new character.

    4. Generally speaking, double posting is frowned upon.  However, if nobody else is posting and you have a follow-up action, double posting is permitted.

    5. This RP follows an action-reaction combat system.  In combat, the result of an attack is determined by the target.  Please use common sense, and no unfair judgements.

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    • (Why do we have rules of engagement? We all know how to RP here...)

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    • (Suppose people like Drouse return...)

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    • Grey moaned in pain. He tried to sit up--which lead to the first surprise. He was secured to a stretcher with two straps. Not a stretcher, a bed.

      "Hi there. How are you?" The voice came from his left. Grey turned his head and looked at the doctor. He tried to speak, but no words came out.

      The man spoke again. "Sergeant, as you know, you've lost your larm below the elbow. We tied you down because you were convulsing, we think seziures from the pain or faulty nerves. Either way, you need a new arm. You're lucky we're headed back to Earth, or you wouldn't get the fancy new thing they've got in store for you."

      The speaker system blared out news. They were coming out of slipspace. "Okay. Time to sleep. We'll wake you up when you get the prosthetic."

      The man pushed a button, and Grey fell back into an anesthetic-induced sleep.

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    • (Most likely medbay. The only real reason for putting someone in cryo when they're injured is if the ship doesn't have the facilities to treat the injury, e.g. when Linda was clinically dead at the end of Fall of Reach.)

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    • (Thanks. I'll edit the previous post so as not to take up space.)

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    • An almost overweight crewman steps into the cryo bay and presses a button to open all of the pods.

      Crewman: Morning, people. Grab your things and get to Deck 15, the Captain wants to do a briefing before we dock with Borneo Station.

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    • Dab1001 wrote:
      (Why do we have rules of engagement? We all know how to RP here...)

      (You would think so)

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    • Name: Mykola Vovk

      Age: 31

      Species: Human

      Gender: Male

      Weapon: M125 ICWS Assault Rifle: Rapid firing, easy to transport and maintain assault rifle that uses a 6mm ammunition standard. Prone to barrel melting and notorious for terrible stability, it still proves mighty in the field.

      Affiliation: Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST), UNSC Marines

      Homeworld: Novo Oymyakon

      Rank: Private

      Bio: Born on the ice planet of Novo Oymyakon, Mykola Vovk was part of an anti-UEG movement on the planet. Eventually overtaken by the extreme cold, Mykola abandoned his position in the insurrection and was essentially forced into the UNSC. Serving as a reserve for a few years, Mykola was eventually put into action on Skopje—where he showed qualities worthy of and ODST. Eventually graduating training, Mykola was returned to Earth.

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    • Foxtrot quickly oblige, reporting to Deck 15, where Captain Croft awaits them. Several other Task Forces are there already. The main sight to behold, though, is not the very pissed-off looking Admiral Chetner in the corner of the room, or even one of the few very badly injured ODSTs in medical beds, who'd been wheeled up from the medbay for the briefing, but the Elite in a golden Officer Combat Harness, standing at least a head taller than the tallest person in the room.

      Task Force Bravo stand around the Elite, and seem to treat it like an everyday occurrence - it was, for them - but the Sangheili warrior received many sideways glances from people around the room, including Thompson. He didn't seem to mind, though, or he was too unfamiliar with human mannerisms to notice.

      Croft clears his throat as the last members of Foxtrot take their seats, and then begins to brief them.

      (Someone else want to take the briefing? I have no idea what to say.)

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    • Croft: I know you're all still upset about what happened on Daego -- and trust me, I am too. Circumstances forced us to pull back before we could even acquire the objective of our mission, but to be honest, I don't think our objective was there in the first place. Thus, Operation: EUREKA has not been cancelled yet, and will be resumed once ONI figures out what our next best bet is.

      A couple of ODSTs in the room protest, forcing Croft to raise his voice.

      Croft: However, thanks to Task Forces Bravo and Foxtrot, the Daego Insertions weren't all in vain. I'm happy to inform you that Private Stephen Hartley and eight other survivors from the Battle of Daego were safely extracted from the planet, and are currently in the medbay of this vessel. If anyone wants to pay them a visit, go right ahead.

      He sighs.

      Croft: Still, this doesn't make up for the dozens we lost, and I have no doubt that this will be classified as one of the most unsuccessful UNSC operations in recent history. There'll be a funeral for the casualties on Hangar Bay C of Borneo Station in roughly an hour.

      A crewman walks up to Croft and hands him a data pad.

      Croft: Now, once we dock with Borneo, you will be receiving some new members:

      He proceeds to list the new members of the Task Forces.

      Croft: Foxtrot, you're getting PFC Percy Holden as a replacement for Kraft, as well as an additional member, Private Mykola Vovk.

      After he finishes listing the new members, he hands the data pad to the crewman and turns back to the Task Forces.

      Croft: Dismissed, Eureka Division.

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    • (One last thing: Jokinen is now an NPC.  Having one person control the leader character is problematic.  If they aren't active, the rest of the team is frozen.  Since you all now have control over the leader, anyone can advance the story.)

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    • (You probably aren't checking this thread anymore, but may I ask if you'll at least be visiting occasionally? It already feels emptier here without you.)

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    • (We'll see)

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    • (Promise me this: come on the chat at least once a week. You spend an average of roughly six hours a day gaming on Steam (87 hours in the last two weeks, 87/14= about 6), so don't tell me you don't have the time.)

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    • On Borneo...

      A group of ODST's laugh, sitting in the middle of the barracks as the four tap bottles in cheers. Sitting in a seat, Mykola adds into the cheers.

      Mykola: Za vas!

      Taking a long drink from the bottle, Mykola sets it down onto the table. He lazily reclines into the seat, as the rest of the ODST's chat.

      ODST: I heard everything changes for the better, never true for alcohol.

      Mykola: Give it too much time, begins to taste like salt and piss.

      The ODST's laugh, as Mykola takes another swig from the bottle. The door to the barracks open, as the ODST Sergeant enters. The demeanour of the room changes, as the group stops laughing as eyes turn towards the Sergeant.

      Sergeant: Take one final swig of that 'piss', Vovk—because I want your ass out in five minutes.

      Mykola's expression changes, sort of a look of confusion.

      Mykola: Sir?

      Sergeant: You heard me, Vovk. Collect your gear, then get your sorry ass over towards Hangar Bay C. You just got a transfer.

      Mykola nods his head, taking one last sip from his bottle before he slams it back down onto the table. Standing up, he offers a sharp salute before he was waved off by the Sergeant. Heading over to his locker, he opens it and begins packing up.

      Sergeant: Changed my mind, Vovk. One minute!

      Mykola swears under his breath, quickly moving through the motions as he packs the rest of his gear and shoulders it.

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    • ReDquinox wrote:
      (Promise me this: come on the chat at least once a week. You spend an average of roughly six hours a day gaming on Steam (87 hours in the last two weeks, 87/14= about 6), so don't tell me you don't have the time.)

      (Because I always leave things open in the background.  Now stop flpping out, Red, the world isn't ending :P )

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    • (*looks out window*

      *sees this*

      Shit)

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    • ReDquinox wrote: (*looks out window*

      *sees this*

      Shit)

      (For the record, that's on you, Sean.)

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    • The Sword of Giants approaches Borneo and docks with the station. The Task Forces collect their gear and cross the umbilical to Hangar Bay C, where most of the recruits await them.

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    • A group of stretcher bearers carry Grey to the medbay.

      Medic: Make a hole, wounded comin' through!

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    • As the team leaders went to greet the new blood, Thompson walked straight past, quietly remarking that it was only one mission in and he'd already been succeeded as newbie to the team. He was still the rookie though. Both new members had been ODSTs longer than him.

      He heads for the bunk he and Foxtrot had been assigned in Barracks B. Once there, he begins to polish his weapon once again. He'd returned his M19 SAML and BR55HB/S to the armoury on the Sword before he went under, but he'd been allowed to keep his SOCOM for as long as he was attached to the Sword.

      While staring out of the window in the bunk, he absentmindedly fought to get the dirt out from within the dents and scratches that covered one side of his gun. The view out of the window - while undeniably beautiful - he found lacking compared to Tribute. Luna was tiny compared to Emese, and where Earth had just black nothingness, Tribute had a beautiful blue-green ring of the coloured corundum dust so commonly found in the inner Epsilon Eridani system, which manifested itself as a glow that tinted the black sky.

      Still, he couldn't help feeling a certain affinity with the blue planet below him. It was where it'd all started, and continued to be the center of humanity's empire, rivaled only, perhaps, by Mars or Reach. He was glad he'd gotten here before everyone else, as it'd earned him some time to be alone with his thoughts, which he needed direly...

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    • (Can we skip to the next briefing, unless there's something else to do first? I can only keep this 'character development' malarkey up for so long :P )

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    • Name: Percy Holden

      Age: 34 (excluding cryo) 39 (including cryo)

      Species: Human

      Gender: Male

      Weapon: BR55HB SR, M6C/SOCOM

      Affiliation: ODST

      Homeworld: Reach

      Rank: Private First Class

      Bio: [WIP]

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    • (Just waiting for Inq and Fire to properly introduce their characters, Dab.)

      Berlinsky and Torres enter Barracks B after Thompson. Berlinsky throws his bag onto one of the bunks beside Thompson, while Torres simply stares through the window.

      Berlinsky: First time you see her, Torres?

      Torres: Yeah. My old man always wanted us to live here. Have to say she's not as pretty as I thought. There's a strange sense of rottenness.

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    • Grey walked into the room.

      Grey: Hey there, Berlinsky. How're you?

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    • Berlinsky unpacks his bag.

      Berlinsky: I got lucky. Those plasma burns were nothing. One more shot and I'd have lost the leg, though. Did you get that prosthetic?

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    • Mykola walks through the station, searching for where he was meant to be transferred to. Carrying his bag in his left hand, he stops infront of a section labelled: Barracks B.

      He knocks on the door to the barracks, waiting for a response.

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    • Just as Mykola knocks on the door, Poole walks around the corner.

      Poole: Ah, you're the new blood, right? Private Vovk. I'm Warrant Officer Alan Poole, Foxtrot's second-in-command. Come on, I'll introduce you to the rest of the Task Force.

      Poole opens the door and steps inside.

      Poole: Alright everyone, meet Private Mykola Vovk. He's one of our rookies. Vovk, this is Thompson, our rocket guy. Those two fellows in the back are Grey and Berlinsky. They act tough, but they won't bite. That's Cooper and Torres. Those two over there are Thérèse and Rubin. Lieutenant Jokinen isn't here, but I'm sure you'll meet him later. Everyone, say "hi" to the rookie.

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    • Torres: Hi to the rookie.

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    • (I guess we use last names.)

      Vovk looks around the room, familiarising himself with the members of the Task Force he was now a part of. He nods his head as Poole points them out, before looking back towards the Warrant Officer.

      Vovk: Thank you, Warrant Officer.

      Vovk sets his bag down at an empty bunk.

      Vovk: Allo, everyone.

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    • ("I'm leaving Bravo, goodbye bitches"

      *continues to post*)

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    • Commando Trooper wrote:
      Berlinsky unpacks his bag.

      Berlinsky: I got lucky. Those plasma burns were nothing. One more shot and I'd have lost the leg, though. Did you get that prosthetic?


      Grey: Yeah, but it's more than I was expecting. I'll demonstrate.

      Grey flicks a switch and points at Berlinsky.

      Grey: Pull my finger.

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    • (We can use Mykola's first name if you like, Fire, but we do tend to use last names for most characters.)

      Thompson approaches Mykola.

      Thompson: Welcome to the team. Nice to have someone around who doesn't outrank me by a million ranks. This your first assignment as an ODST too?

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    • Cooper: Heya there, Vovk! Welcome to the team!

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    • Thérèse, sitting on her bunk, looks from the window to the newcomer as he enters the room, but turns back to the view after a moment.

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    • Grey drops his hand and flicks the switch to the off position.

      Grey: Yeah, smart choice. The arm's got a stun function built in. It carries a charge of 1.2 million volts, so it takes a really long time to fill up with electro juice. I can dial the shocks between minor ache to dead, and they think they might be able to add in the ability to dial it with my mind. Neat, eh?

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    • (Why would they give Grey, an Army ranger, something they didn't give Noble Two, a highly trained supersoldier?)

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    • (And 1.2 million? Fifty thousand is already enough to kill a man. Just when we thought Bristow's prosthetic was OP, you come up with that.)

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    • (Well, technically, it's not the voltage that kills, it's the current, but they're linked by the equation V = IR, so I'm just being pedantic.)

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    • (On top of that, it essentially becomes useless when your victim is wearing something like rubber boots.)

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    • ReDquinox
      ReDquinox removed this reply because:
      why it double posted, I will never know
      18:56, April 11, 2016
      This reply has been removed
    • Rubin looks up from his data pad at Mykola and gives the newcomer a nod, before looking down again.

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    • (1.2 million volts means absolutely nothing if you don't have the proper ampage. Grey could have 1.2 million volts traveling through .0001 milliamps and he wouldn't even tickle anyone. Whereas 20 milliamps is considered enough to give a lethal shock. So either Grey's prosthetic is ridiculous laughable, or incredibly OP.)

      Vovk nods to the individuals who give him attention, as he waves back to Cooper. He then looks back over to Thompson.

      Vovk: I am glad I am not only one to notice this. And I guess you may say that this is my first assignemnt, but I was recently transferred here to start in my first team before I was called to join my second. It also sounds as if you just got off mission, if you don't mind me asking: what was it?

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    • FireDrag1091 wrote:
      (1.2 million volts means absolutely nothing if you don't have the proper ampage. Grey could have 1.2 million volts traveling through .0001 milliamps and he wouldn't even tickle anyone. Whereas 20 milliamps is considered enough to give a lethal shock. So either Grey's prosthetic is ridiculous laughable, or incredibly OP.)

      (Well, V=IR and I doubt the resistance of the human body varies much, so a high voltage would correspond to a high current - meaning it would be lethal - but that doesn't change the fact it would be extremely wasteful.

      Anyway, Red's point about insulators in the footwear is the most important, I think. Unless the conductor (in this case the person) is grounded, the current has no reason to flow through it, and so it won't. All that money and tech wasted on a prosthetic that could be foiled by rubber shoe soles.

      However, Locke, the solution might be for it to be a Humbler or a military variant thereof. I'm not sure how they work, but we definitely know that they do from canon.)

      FireDrag1091 wrote:
      Vovk nods to the individuals who give him attention, as he waves back to Cooper. He then looks back over to Thompson.

      Vovk: I am glad I am not only one to notice this. And I guess you may say that this is my first assignemnt, but I was recently transferred here to start in my first team before I was called to join my second. It also sounds as if you just got off mission, if you don't mind me asking: what was it?

      Thompson: Huh, guess I'm still the rookie.

      He sighs, then continues.

      Thompson: And yeah, we just got back from Daego - the planet in Arcadia's system that got hit about a year back. It was an absolute bust. We went en masse to find some artifact, and came back with nothing except less men than we deployed with. Our next deployment is shaping up to be more of the same, too.

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    • Vovk laughs.

      Vovk: I haven't even been deployed as ODST, but you have.

      He waits for Thompson to conclude.

      Vovk: Artefact? I believe there are more important pieces to war than just rocks, tovarisch.

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    • Poole: These "artefacts" aren't rocks, Private, they're Forerunner superweapons known as Caskets. When activated, they make the nearest star go into a supernova, eradicating the entire system. Needless to say, they are extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.

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    • (Okay, here's what I've got:

      -Uses the same technology as a humbler, like DAB suggested, to get around the grounding issue.

      -The switch on Grey's arm controls amperage. It can go from 50, enough to cause severe shock, to 150 miliamps, enough to kill, and dials in increments of 10 miliamps. My source on this is the Ohio State University Physics Department.

      -The battery contains 1.2 million volts, but is only released at the rate corresponding to the amperage, to give it a prolonged usage time during combat where resupply may be an issue.

      -The reason Grey has it is because Noble Two wasn't assigned to stop solar-system destroying artifacts. Also, it could, low probablility, but possibly, spectacularly backfire and kill Grey, and Rangers are a dime a dozen. They're basically Army troopers who can parachute and know survival skills, like eating snakes. Tech wizards that have super-high clearance AND are Spartan-IIIs? Not so much. You don't really take that chance.

      Is all of that okay?)

      Grey: Naturally, there's a pair of wrong hands. They have enough world-killing tech, we don't want them getting more.

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    • (Your reasoning for Grey having it instead of Kat is entirely, 100% backwards. Grey is, like you said yourself, a dime in a dozen. Completely expendable. That's exactly why you wouldn't give him extremely expensive and advanced technology that not even Spartans are issued.
      As a comparison, I'll take Bristow. Now, Bristow, as you know, has always been pushing the edge of being over-the-top. As an ODST, he is just as expendable as a Ranger is, although better trained and equipped. Yet, despite being better equipped and more over-the-top than Grey, you don't see him walking around with a super expensive shock-arm.)

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    • (Yeah, that's a fair point. Let's retcon the stun part, unless anyone wants to keep it, though I doubt that.)

      Grey walks up behind Poole, flicks the switch, taps him on the top of the head, and...nothing.

      Grey: Uh, what?! (Thinking) Wait, then what does that switch do?

      He tries to move the arm's hand, but can't.

      Grey(Thinking): Oh, come on!

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    • Poole turns around, and stares Grey in the eyes.

      Poole: Trying to shock me, huh? Well, we'll see how durable that fancy prosthetic of yours is under extended duress, because you're going to drop on the floor and give me a hundred pushups. Now.

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    • Grey: Yes, sir.

      He drops and starts going, but after thirty he starts visibly cramping.

      Grey: Point...made...sir.

      At forty-three he collapses.

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    • Poole: I have only counted 43 pushups, Sergeant. You still have 57 to go.

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    • Grey grinds his teeth and goes back up for fifty-seven more. He collapses again, but keeps going.

      Grey: Anything else, sir?

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    • Thérèse, watching the scene with Poole and Grey, rolls her eyes and shakes her head deprecatorily, before facing the others.

      Thérèse: So what happened to our other rookie - Pierce, or Peter, or something?

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    • Poole: Dismissed, Grey.

      Poole turns to face Thérèse.

      Poole: Private Holden was already supposed to be here. He'd better hurry up.

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    • Vovk: Bozhe... you would think glassing planets is enough? Better get these weapons before them, then.

      Vovk watches as Grey attempts to tase Poole, fails and then has to do push ups. He simply shakes his head as he watches. When the name of the other Private is mentioned, he looks up.

      Vovk: I am not the only one joining, then?

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    • Poole: No, we got two new members. Private Holden should have arrived before you, but he evidently did not.

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    • (Well this stagnated. I think we were all waiting for Sven.)

      Thérèse: Well, I'm off to the canteen. (standing up) Even their pitiful attempt at coffee would be welcome now.

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    • (Christ Inq, get your ass in here!)

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    • Jokinen: Just hope it doesn't get up and walk away.

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    • Thérèse smirks, before walking to the door. Before she can push open the door, it swings wide to reveal a blonde-haired ODST, his helmet held under his arm.

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    • The ODST steps right past Thérèse and enters the room.

      ODST: Good day to you all. I'm Private Percy Holden, and I believe I'm a bit late. Sorry about that.

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    • (Took you long enough.)

      Poole: Indeed you are. Twenty-six minutes, in fact. Now, would you care to explain yourself?

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    • Holden: I apologise, but I was attending a briefing regarding the operation and recent events on Daego.

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    • Thérèse lingers by the doorway, watching as Holden enters the room, and shuts the door behind her.

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    • Jokinen gets up, and walks up to Holden.  He examines the ODST as a collector examines a painting.  After a long silence, he speaks.

      Jokinen: You just going to stand there, Private?  

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    • Thompson, already asleep in his bunk by this point, misses the introduction.

      (Can we skip to the briefing now?)

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    • (Dab pls, this is the best part of the RP)

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    • Vovk folds his arms, watching the scene as Jokinen approaches Holden. He waits patiently for a response.

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    • (Yes, the part where we lounge around in the dorm room is the best part. The part where we basically RP real life.)

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    • (Yes, the part where our characters have some actual interaction instead of mindlessly moving from target to target. Then again, you wouldn't understand, as you separate your characters from ours and make them do shit on their own.)

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    • (No, I very rarely do that, Red. It happened this time because I stopped checking the thread. Before that, the most recent time was when I took DAB away from the group so I could kill him off, because I didn't like him as a character. And before that, it was all the ONI bullshit that happened in early 2551.

      Plus, just as much - if not more - character development can come out of the high-pressure battle scenarios than moping around an ODP. Also, do I need to remind everyone what happened last time we sat around the Sword too long in the Battle series?)

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    • (You could take an example from the people on the Sandbox - where they have a nice balance between combat and interaction.)

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    • Jokinen: Private?

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    • (Sandbox? Anyway, there's not much I can do to develop Thompson's personality while we're not in the field, given that he's meant to be an eager-to-impress rookie. I don't see any situations on the ODP to further that trait.)

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    • (Fellas?  We have limited posts now, remember?  Be frugal, use the discussion thread.)

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    • Holden: No, of course not sir.

      Holden makes his way to the closest bed and sits down, putting his helmet down beside him.

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    • Jokinen: So why are you here, Private Holman?

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    • Holden: I am to serve as the replacement for Ari Kraft, a matter I had assumed you were already notified of. And my name is Holden.

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    • Jokinen: That's all well and good, Private.  But why are you here?  What are you here to do?

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    • Holden: I came here to introduce myself to the unit and meet the soldiers I will be fighting with in the field.

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    • Jokinen: No, Private, that's what you're doing.  I want to know what you're going to do.

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    • Holden: I'm here to help with the task of finding the Forerunner artifacts named Caskets, and by doing so defend humanity, sir.

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    • Jokinen raises his head a bit, then nods.

      Jokinen: Well you can pay attention well enough.  That's good.  Spotting targets, finding exits, paying attention will do you well in the long run.  Stick close, and I'm sure you'll do fine.

      Jokinen paces to the front of the room.

      Jokinen: You see Private, there's two kinds of people in this world; the ones who learn by doing, and the ones who learn by watching.  I already know which one you are, but it's up to you to find out for yourself.  

      He turns to Vovk.

      Jokinen: How about you, Soldier.  What are you here to do?

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    • Vovk looks over to Jokinen and then over to the window with a view of Earth, before turning back to Jokinen. He smiles, having listened to the conversation between Jokinen and Holden.

      Vovk: Well, certainly not here to admire the view. It would be more accurate to say that I am going to kick some Covenant ass over some artifact to make sure they don't blow up suns. But then again I am willing to kick any ass trying to blow up suns.

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    • Jokinen: What about daughters, would you defend those too?  

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    • (I am assuming this is to Vovk, but he never said 'defend'.)

      Vovk: Willing to defend a lot, sir. Daughters, the innocent... a distillery or a pub.

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    • (Twas a pun, Fire.  Cause "Suns" sounds like "Sons".  Eh?  Ehhh? :P )

      Jokinen: Well you seem eager enough.  See any combat before?

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    • (Could clarify, say something along the lines of 'Sons, eh?' before following it up.)

      Vovk pauses for a minute, as if trying to decide on a response.

      Vovk: Be honest here, I sat on my ass long enough in UNSC up until Skopje. The battle there is really the only reason I am here.

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    • As Holden finishes speaking, Thérèse turns and pushes the door open, making her way to the canteen.

      (Or: how to get out of RPing, method 2.)

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    • Poole: So, Privates. With those formalities out of the way: what do you specialise in?

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    • Holden: I was the best marksman in my unit before I joined the ODSTs. I'm assuming they assigned me here because you need a sniper.

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    • Vovk: Specialty? I specialise in assault or reconnaissance, sir.

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    • Jokinen: Now, I understand you both have you're preferences, but in this unit you're going to have to be adaptable.  Holden, you're going to have to get your boots dirty every once in a while.  And you, Mr. Comedy, you're going to have know when to use violence and when to use discretion.   But both of you are going to have to work as a team.  Stay quick, stay together, stay alive.  Understood?

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    • Holden: Understood sir.

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    • Poole: Very well. Why don't you two pick a bunk and get to know the team?

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    • Holden: Well, I think I'm satisfied with this one.

      Holden lies down on the bed he's sitting on, using his helmet as a pillow.

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    • Vovk: Got it, sir.

      Vovk turns to Poole.

      Vovk: Well, depends on who wants to talk then.

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    • Cooper shouts again.

      Cooper: Yo newbies, I'm Cooper! Have you got any CovvieAttack trading cards?! I really want the Hellbringer one!

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    • (Wat)

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    • (I have no idea why I put that "CovvieAttack trading cards" shit over there. D'ya want me to remove it?)

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    • Coolbuddy379 wrote: Cooper shouts again.

      Cooper: Yo newbies, I'm Cooper! Have you got any CovvieAttack trading cards?! I really want the Hellbringer one!

      (I hear the Jews also made trading cards out of the people who persecuted their race during WW2.)

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    • Holden: What? Since when did they let ten-year olds join the ODSTs?

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    • (Lelel :P)

      Cooper: Nothing like that. Just something that grabbed my attention recently. So, uhh, welcome to Foxtrot. I gotta go now.

      Cooper leaves the room, awkwardly, tripping over some boxes.

      Another ODST: That guy's too clumsy.

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    • Vovk looks towards Holden.

      Vovk: Ohoho.

      Vovk then sits at his bunk, looking around the rest of the room.

      Vovk: I assume you all have lungs. You heard us talk, now let us hear you talk. Where you from?

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    • (If Cooper is 38, he was born long before the HCW started, and was 12 when the Battle of Harvest occurred. ONI kept the Covenant a secret for a good while (at least past the Battle of Circinius IV, when Cooper was 13-14). Hence, not only would the 'CovieAttack' trading cards have not existed, but they could not have existed.)

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    • Berlinsky: Reach. I guess you could say I was the typical gung-ho 18-year old eager to join the military and kick some Innie ass. Didn't regret that decision once, even after the Covenant showed up a few years later. That's it for me, really.

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    • Jokinen: At least your hometown is still around, eh?  Daego...didn't very last long.  And I hardly remember how it looked at all.  There used to be trees, you know.    And there were trees up until last year, there were trees when those split-lipped savages decided to stop by.  There were tees when the sky turned red and night lasted forever.  There were trees when their forests were burning.  But trees can't move, trees can't run away.  But an air force ground crewman can.  You don't regret leaving your home to fight, Berlinsky, and I envy you.  But at least you get back home at the end of all of this.  Daego's gone.  There used to be people, you know.

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    • Dab1001 wrote:
      (If Cooper is 38, he was born long before the HCW started, and was 12 when the Battle of Harvest occurred. ONI kept the Covenant a secret for a good while (at least past the Battle of Circinius IV, when Cooper was 13-14). Hence, not only would the 'CovieAttack' trading cards have not existed, but they could not have existed.)

      (Aight, I changed it. Man, that was a weird idea.)

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    • Thérèse walks in just as Jokinen begins speaking and waits, holding a cup of coffee, in her left hand, by the door. When Jokinen finishes speaking, she makes her way to her bunk and sits down, sipping.

      Thérèse: Surprisingly, it's better than I remember. (sipping) Perhaps the Navy's had a shortage of merde since I last tried it.

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    • Poole: Reach is not all fun and games. Growing up in the big cities like New Alexandria is rough. I joined the Army to escape from it. For me, it's not home anymore.

      Poole sighs.

      Poole: Not as if ONI grants me a lot of shore leave, anyway.

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    • Jokinen: You know, Thérèse, it's not just the Navy.  I remember finding a dead deer on the runway and radioing up to the tower.  (In Muffled Radio Voice) Roger that, we'll inform the caterers.  

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    • Thérèse chuckles, before lying back on her bunk with her hands under her head.

      Thérèse: So how long do you all plan to stay with the UNSC?

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    • Holden: Well, I have no idea to be honest. As long as this war continues, I guess I'll be here, just as everyone else.

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    • Grey: If there is a war, I'll fight in it. That's basically all I wanted to do since I was six, and it's all I've been doing since I was eighteen. Cause, pay, enemies, doesn't matter. All I've known is war, and all I've done is war. If we win, I'll find someone who needs some soldier for something. Maybe I'll stay, do some things against Innies. Maybe I'll do some things for Innies. Point is, I just wanna fight and fight and then fight some more.

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    • Rubin: Call me chickenshit, but I'd like to go back to Gannick 22 soon. Maybe reunite with my family and get a job in my hometown. Unless, you know, the Covies glass the planet first.

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    • Jokinen: Well aren't you an optimist, Chickenshit?

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    • Poole: With how things are looking right now, it wouldn't come as a surprise to me if it happens.

      The ONI officer stands up, and walks to the exit, but turns around in the door opening.

      Poole: Sooner or later, they'll come for all of us. Might as well kill as many of them as we can before then.

      With that, he leaves the room.

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    • Rubin watches as Poole leaves the room, then looks back to Jokinen.

      Rubin: Can anyone be optimistic these days, Lieutenant?

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    • Vovk looks at Thérèse.

      Vovk: No clue how long I will stay. Don't really have any place to go, no connections to anyone and no shit other than this to do. It's this, or freezing my ass off back home with nothing to drink.

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    • Admiral Baker puts his face in his hands.

      Baker: So...you're telling me...you lost twenty men...for a lost boy...and a glowstick.

      Croft: Correct, sir.  I hope that-

      Baker: This is not your fault, Captain.  There are certain things we cannot avoid.  Such as poor preparation, and that damn Naval board.

      Croft: The board, sir?

      Baker: Yes.  They're far too jingoistic for times such as these.  We are looking extermination in the face.  And it's not getting better.

      Croft: You sound like a nihilist, Admiral.

      Baker: Perhaps I do.  You're being sent to New Jerusalem.

      Croft: I, you, it, what?

      Baker: You heard me, Captain.

      Croft: Sir, but that's on the front lines.

      Baker: Which is where you belong.  We need you and your men to contribute the war effort and do this little scanvenger hunt.  One day we may abandon the latter.  Understood?

      Croft: Yes, sir?

      Baker: Dismissed

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    • Sword Control (loudspeakers): All complement personnel to the cryobay. Repeat, all complement personnel to the cryobay. Prepare for jump.


      Two months later

      The Sword exits slipspace above New Jerusalem. Foxtrot's cryopods open with a hiss as they wake up.

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    • Poole coughs up some gel as he wakes up.

      Poole: Agh, damn cryopods... You'd think that after all those years, they'd have come up with a better solution.

      He climbs out of his pod and heads for the showers.

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    • Berlinsky climbs out of his pod and, after coughing a few times, walks towards the cryobay's window, overlooking New Jerusalem.

      Berlinsky: No Covies to fight... What the hell are Helljumpers supposed to do if there's nothing to kill?

      Rubin: I heard the locals have been having trouble with Jackal pirate groups, so there's that. And if they're here searching for the same thing we are, that might mean ONI's right about this one.

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    • Holden slowly steps out of his pod, shaking his head.

      Holden: Bloody hell. I think I'll never get used to these little trips.

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    • Vovk pulls himself out of the pod with some difficulty, before he turns his head down and coughs out gel. He laughs somewhat, before drawing in a deep breath.

      Vovk: Just like home...

      Vovk listens to what Rubin has to say.

      Vovk: Pirates? We are on front lines to deal with pirates? Better be worth trip, then.

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    • Thérèse grips the side of her pod and pulls herself out, stretching her arms and yawning as she steps onto the floor; the yawn turns into a cough of thick gel. After opening the locker beside her pod, she pulls her fatigues out.

      Thérèse: It's a shame they have no baths, only these maudit showers. Dieu, when did I last have a bath?

      With her pile of clothes held around her waist, she slips into the showers.

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    • ReDquinox
      ReDquinox removed this reply because:
      #foreign
      23:06, April 23, 2016
      This reply has been removed
    • Torres: Dieu, when did you last speak some fucking English?

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    • Poole: Dieu, when were you last told to shut it? Show some respect for the lady.

      Poole dries himself off and starts dressing himself in ONI's black fatigues.

      Poole: Alright people, get dressed. Command wants us in the briefing room in ten.

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    • Thompson, already in the process of dressing in his fatigues, suddenly splutters, having not completely spat out the bronchial surfactant yet. He coughs out the remainder of the liquid, with a disgusted look on his face.

      Thompson: Fucking cryo...

      He proceeds to finish getting dressed, then rinses his mouth out at a nearby water fountain.

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    • Berlinsky walks past Torres, hitting him on the back of the head as he does so, opens his locker and dresses himself in his fatigues, before walking out of the cryobay.

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    • (Red, do you realise that "dieu" is French? That's right - feel the white side of the flag grow stronger in you! Give in, no, surrender to it!)

      The shower door swings open and Thérèse, dressed in her fatigues, emerges, slipping her boot onto her right foot bent behind her. With it on, she takes another step, ties the laces and exits the cryobay.

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    • (Woah, really? I thought it was Spanish!)

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    • Now dressed, Thompson walks out of the cryobay and enters the briefing room, where Captain Croft is waiting for them.

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    • Croft: Now that we're all here, I'll begin. First of all: Daego was an unprecedented failure. However, we have learnt from our mistakes. Chief among these was the breaking up of Task Forces into teams, which were too easy targets individually and separately. Henceforth you will be kept together. Fortunately, little threat is posed, since the only expected Covenant resistance is - as many of you have heard - from pirates, the majority of whom are Jackals.

      He gestures to the hangar door.

      Croft: In the hangar, you will find Albatrosses fitted with Elephants, which will take you to the surface. A crewman will also explain each Task Force's mission. Dismissed.

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    • Poole: Sir, no one has even told us what we are here for. What is the purpose of sending Task Forces to this backwater planet when there are regular divisions available?

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    • Croft: You are here, Officer Poole, to continue Operation: EUREKA. If ONI's intel is right this time, the Casket is located in the deserts of this planet. It may be the reason for the pirate activity in this system. And since New Jerusalem is located on the frontlines, we should expect a Covenant attack soon. Which is why we should find this artefact as soon as possible, assuming it is here.

      Foxtrot walks into the hangar, where a crewman awaits the troopers next to their Albatross.

      Crewman: Over here, Foxtrot. Alright, this is your dropship. You'll land two klicks south of Echo's LZ, then proceed to search the Mafirat desert using Warrant Officer Poole's tracker.

      A Marine with a scar on his cheek approaches the group and stands, arms folded, by the crewman's side.

      Crewman: This is Sergeant Major Ferdinand, who'll be an unofficial member of Foxtrot during this mission. Sergeant Ferdinand is an expert Elephant driver, particularly in desert environments.

      The crewman gestures to the M312 Elephant in the Albatross' cargo bay, with the words "Desert Fox" painted on its side.

      Crewman: Alright, gear up, Foxtrot. You'll leave in ten minutes.

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    • Vovk nods his head. Retrieving his gear, he begins to pack a variety of tools into his rucksack before Vovk closes the rucksack. He pulls it over his shoulders and attaches it to the back of his armour, the magnetic click making a sound as he then secures four extra magazines under his chestplate in the pouches present.

      Vovk reaches towards the weapons rack as he removes his M125 ICWS Assault Rifle, the slim and long rifle seemingly weightless in his hands. He points the weapon away from the rest of the group, pulling back the dust cover to examing the ejection port. Satisfied the weapon is clear, he attaches a rifle strap around the weapon before securing it to his own harness--allowing it to dangle from his person.

      The M125 was a pain in the ass, if Vovk was being completely honest. Its range was shit and it always overheated like hell. But there was a charm of completely filling the cavity of any nearby enemy without it having time to react. It was as simple as going fast, pointing in the general direction and keeping the trigger pulled until the enemy dropped.

      Vovk taps Thompson's arm.

      Vovk: We are using an Elephant? I don't know about you, but I move fast. I don't like doing slow.

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    • Thompson: Agreed. Elephants take forever to do something a 'hog could do in seconds. Plus, I hear they're about as reliable as the Waypoint postal system, so I expect we'll be sitting around in the sun a lot more than we'll be actually moving.

      Ferdinand appears to overhear this exchange, and walks over to them.

      Ferdinand: If you don't like my Elephant, smartasses, you could always get out and walk, through the hot, dry desert...

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    • Vovk turns his head to one side, folding his arms over his rifle.

      Vovk: Must be luxury, hot, dry... get to sit and go slow. Because where I am from, you freeze to death unless you move.

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    • (Just realised, I forgot to ask: is Ferdinand an NPC?)

      Thompson: This is pretty much the opposite extreme. You'll get dehydrated in a desert if you move too much. I'm gonna stick to shade in the vehicle bay if I get the choice.

      Ferdinand: In that case, you get turret duty.

      Thompson: Dammit...

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    • (Yeah.)

      Rubin finishes attaching his armoured vest to his fatigues, and grabs the MA37 he found on Daego.

      Rubin: Well, I don't know about you, but I'd rather be inside an Elephant rather than a 'hog when a sandstorm hits.

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    • Thompson: Fair enough. They have those APC 'hogs though...

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    • Vovk: Sandstorm? Blyat... hot desert now sounds as bad as cold one.

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    • After pulling her helmet on, Thérèse clips an M6G to her side and carries a BR55 onto the Albatross. She takes a seat inside the dropship and knocks on the side of the troop bay wall.

      Thérèse: Let's get this show on the road, people.

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    • With everyone onboard, the Albatross' thrusters fire downward, lifting the ship into the air.  It wasn't the most graceful take off, but it wasn't the most graceful craft either.  The entire fleet of  11 Elephant-bearing transports form a queue at the hangar door.

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    • Poole: I don't like this. All these Albatrosses are easy targets. We're sitting ducks in here.

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    • Jokinen: Sitting ducks, maybe.  But from what I've heard, these dropships are pretty rugged.

      The transport lists to the left, and the Elephant shifts as mush as its chocks allow it to.

      Jokinen: Still a bit clumsy, though.

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    • Thompson: They're just Jackal pirates. I don't imagine they'll have much anti-air capabilities... I hope.

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    • Jokinen: Thompson, think about what you just said for a moment.

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    • Holden: Well, if everything goes just as command hopes, we're going to get out of here just fine, with no pesky Covenant pirates noticing the large convoy of easy to hit dropships.

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    • The Albatrosses fly out of the frigate and swoop down towards New Jerusalem. As they approach the massive desert below, a heavily-modified brown Phantom suddenly approaches the fleet from the side, firing its cannons. One of the Albatrosses gets two of its thrusters blown up by the plasma fire and begins losing altitude fast.

      Berlinsky: Holy shit! Was that Bravo?!

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    • Jokinen: Good eyes, Chickenshit.  (COMS) Did you all see that?  Do we have some sort of contingeny plan for this?

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    • Confused, Berlinsky looks at Rubin, who shrugs.

      Pilot (COM): We got one on our tail! Get inside the Elephant, I'm opening the cargo bay doors!

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    • Vovk finds his hands around the shape of the M125 rifle, as he steps onto the Elephant. He shakes his head, as he then places the palm of his right hand around a handle found in the vehicle.

      Vovk: Seems as if the Pirates have found their hunting season. Sitting ducks hunted by moving birds. Let us move!

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    • Thompson: Of course! Because Foxtrot cannot ever deploy without some form of crash...

      Thompson puts his helmet on and then hops into the Vulcan turret atop the Elephant. He opens fire on the Phantom's turret, but the Kig-Yar modifications seem to have included some form of additional armour plating. His bullets just ping off the vehicle, not doing any form of damage.

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    • With everyone aboard the Elephant, the Albatross slows down and tilts upward, its ramp lowering. The Elephant slides down the cargo bay and lands in the sand now only a few metres below the dropship, which immediately flies away, still being chased by the Phantom.

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    • Grey: Let's roll.

      He runs to a machine gun and mans it, searching for targets.

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    • Thérèse: At least we had a soft landing. So where's our destination?

      (Does the Elephant have a roof?)

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    • (I believe we're using the Wars variant, so yes.)

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    • Ferdinand (calling from cockpit): I see another Elephant up ahead. Hotel's, from what I can tell. Seems they missed their LZ too. I'm gonna get us close. Also, there's a rocket launcher in the armoury. Somebody grab it and get up here; that Phantom might be back.

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    • Poole: Rubin! Get that rocket launcher before the Phantom fries us! Thompson, what'd you do with your launcher?

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    • Rubin runs to the weapons rack at the front of the Elephant and grabs the rocket launcher, before inserting a fresh pair of barrels into it. He sprints up the ramp to the top of the transport and takes position beside the Vulcan turret.

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    • Jokinen makes his way to the Elephant's bridge and stands next to Ferdinand.

      Jokinen: I think I see some action around Hotel from here.  Are there supposed to be ground troops in the area?

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    • Ferdinand: Not sure...

      The COMs suddenly buzz to life.

      Brown (COM): This is Lieutenant Julia Brown of Task Force Hotel! We're surrounded! Jackals... coming out of nowhere with fuel rods! I'm... I'm not even sure where we are, we missed our landing site! If anyone can hear this, I'm setting a beacon!

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    • Jokinen: Bring us up close, the guns up top will come in handy.  (COMS) This is Task Force Foxtrot, we read you Hotel.  On the way to assist.  Out.

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    • Thompson: Got it right here, Poole. Someone wanna man this turret so I don't get domed by a Jackal while I use it?

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    • Thérèse steps through the door and hastily makes her way up to the turret and, with a nod at Rubin, takes hold of it. In the distance, above the drone of the engines, a series of explosions can be heard, and green blasts and sparks seen flying.

      Thérèse: Fuel Rods, no mistaking it. We should--merde! Over there!

      A Phantom appears over a dune in the distance, going in the same direction as the transport.

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    • Thompson: Oh no, you don't.

      Steadying his M19B SAML, Thompson acquires a target lock on the Phantom and pulls the trigger. The missile flies in an arcing motion before slamming into the back of the Phantom. It doesn't seem to do too much damage - thanks to the armour modifications - but it does make the Phantom notice them. It turns its attention away from Hotel and moves onto an intercept course with Foxtrot's Elephant, preparing to drop troops directly on it.

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    • As the Phantom turns, Rubin fires his SPNKR, and the missile impacts the dropship on the side. One of its troop bay ramps falls off and it wobbles for a few seconds, as several dead Kig-Yar fall onto the dunes below. Rubin acquires a lock on its front cannon and fires again, damaging the weapon. He removes the empty barrel unit from the launcher and reaches for another one. Meanwhile, the damaged cannon unleashes a barrage of plasma.

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    • Thérèse opens fire with the Vulcan, although at the distance the Phantom is hardly hit: a few sparks on the hull is the only sign of hitting her target. As the Phantom returns fire, Thérèse swings the turret round to shield herself. A few Jackals jump out, land on the soft sand near the Elephant and leap towards the transport, attempting to climb into it.

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    • Thompson, having reloaded his launcher, locks on to the turret and fires. The rocket swoops into the damaged cannon, blowing it off the hull of the Phantom. Meanwhile, inside the troop bay, one of the Jackals brings the T-52 DESW from the other troop bay door of the Phantom and sets it down so he can fire on the Elephant.

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    • Rubin finishes reloading his SPNKR and hastily aims it at the side of the Phantom. He pulls the trigger just as the Jackal begins firing the T-52, and only a few plasma bolts impact the metal in front of him before the T-52 is engulfed in a fireball. As Rubin prepares to fire again, he hears a snarl behind him, and turns to see a Needler-wielding Jackal climbing onto the Elephant. He raises his right foot and brings it down on the Jackal's hand, crushing it and causing the alien to fall off the transport with a screech.

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    • As more Jackals leap from the Phantom, Thérèse opens fire again, and several of the pirates fall lifeless to the sand. More, however, land alive, and begin boarding the Elephant, so she turns from the turret and pulls out her SMG. A pair of Jackals climb over the side closer to the ODSTs and open fire with, whilst another appears on the farther side.

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    • The Phantom begins to spew purple flames which give off a thick black smoke. The aircraft looks like it can only survive a couple more hits. It seems to know this, as it pulls away from the Elephant. While frantically loading a new rocket into his launcher, Thompson shouts:

      Thompson: Don't let it get away!

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    • Just as the newly arrived Jackals open fire, the door out of the troop bay is flung open. Holden walks out of it, carefully taking aim with his Battle Rifle. The closest pair of Jackals fall dead, each with a bullet in their heads. Holden turns to the third Jackal and fires. The bullet hits its shoulder, and it is thrown over the edge of the roof.

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    • Rubin looks back at Holden and Thérèse, then turns to the fleeing Phantom, before acquiring a lock on it and firing. The rocket slams into the back of the flaming aircraft, which immediately begins losing altitude. Rubin then drops the launcher, pulls out his MA37 and turns his attention to the boarders.

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    • A Jackal wielding a glowing energy cutlass pulls itself over and onto the Elephant, leaping towards Rubin. Meanwhile, a hail of purple, glassy needles flies towards Holden, emanating from a Jackal near the front of the transport. The Jackal is safely shielded by the point-defence gauntlet of its companion, standing next to it and covering it firmly.

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    • Rubin hastily fires his MA37 at the Jackal. The bullets strike the alien as it is leaping, and its corpse crashes into Rubin, pushing him off the roof. He manages to hold on to the edge, however, and pulls himself onto the Elephant, grabbing his MA37 as he does so.

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    • Vovk approaches, raising his M125 as he fires a torrent of rounds towards the Jackal at the front of the vehichle firing towards Holden. With the angle he manages, the bullets manage to hit the target just barely past its shield.

      (Damn, ninja.)

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    • A Jackal scrambling up the side of the Elephant meets a gruesome end as Thompson brings his combat knife sideways through its head. He then draws his SOCOM and lays some suppressive fire down on a couple of Jackals climbing up. One manages to get a Plasma Pistol shot off at him, though, and he is forced to back away from the edge.

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    • Whilst kicking a Jackal off the Elephant and watching it get crushed beneath the treads of the vehicle, Holden suddenly finds himself grabbed from behind by a pair of Jackals, slowly being pulled to the edge of the Elephant.

      Holden: Hey! I need a little bit of help over here!

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    • Rubin turns around as soon as he hears Holden shouting, and carefully aims his MA37 at the legs of the Jackals grabbing Holden from behind. He fires a short burst at each Jackal's legs, making them fall and releasing the ODST.

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    • Upon being released, Holden turns around and pulls out his SOCOM. A single shot to each of Jackals' heads finish them off. He holsters the handgun and kicks the corpses off the Elephant.

      Holden: Thanks, Rubin. I'll remember that whenever you get in trouble.

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    • Thérèse sees Vovk firing at the Jackal to no avail, so, stepping forward, she opens fire with her SMG. A hit to its unprotected leg makes the shield-bearing Jackal flinch and swing the point-defence gauntlet wide, but before she can fire again a plasma bolt forces her into cover.

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    • As the Jackal opens itself from the gunfire provided by his fellow ODST, Vovk takes the opportunity to fire at the Jackal. During his M125, tearing open the armour and chest of the Jackal.

      Vovk: Bozhe... spasibo, tovarisch.

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    • Fuel rods fly over the Elephant as the transport approaches Hotel's position. Rubin immediately sprints to the roof of the driver's cabin, where he left his SPNKR, and begins reloading the launcher.

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    • Following Rubin's lead, Thompson reloads his launcher too.

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    • Picking his Battle Rifle up from the roof, Holden suddenly notices five purple spikes lodged into his right leg and arm.

      Holden: Oh, bloody hell...

      He immediately drops his rifle and begins tearing the spikes out.

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    • Vovk: I don't do slow...

      The ODST kicks the dead body of the Jackal he killed over the side, just as Fuel Rods errupt overhead. Vovk ducks, as he makes his way over to a better concealed position. As they near the range of Hotel's position, Vovk chekcs the ammunition reading on his M125: 37 rounds left.

      Casting his head to one side, Vovk spots Holden and his injuries. He wasn't any sort of doctor, but Vovk assumes that removing the needles would also require sealant lest there should be severe bleeding. He removes a small canister of biofoam, and rolls it over to Holden.

      Vovk: Use to fix your wounds, we do not want bleeding.

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    • A Skirmisher wearing Murmillo armour (including the point defense gauntlets) scrambles over the side of the Elephant, onto its roof, and then draws a Mauler. It sprints over to the area around the turret where Rubin, Thompson and Thérèse are, and fires a couple of shots at them before using its agility to disappear behind cover before they could retaliate.

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    • (Why does it have a Mauler?)

      Poole, who was previously still downstairs, now also climbs on top of the Elephant. The Skirmisher, who is distracted by the others, does not see him coming and is thus caught completely off-guard when he is suddenly grabbed by the neck and thrown off the Elephant.

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    • Grey rotates left on the turret and fires at an oncoming Phantom. He manages to kill a few troops as they fall, but a few make it onboard.

      Grey: Second wave, guys!

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    • (Because why not? Jackal pirates presumably get their weapons from the black market, so they can have any type of weapons we want to give them.)

      The Skirmisher walls on its head and its neck breaks with a loud crunch. Thompson nods, in thanks, to Poole, then gets back to filling the boarders with bullets.

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    • (*Gives all the Jackals Spartan Lasers*

      What? I wanted to give them lasers.)

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    • Vovk sees Poole from the corner of his eye wrestle the Skirmisher off the side.

      Vovk: Good fight, sir!

      Spotting the Phantom open its troop bay, Vovk raises his M125 as he fires into the crowd of Jackals. The bullets spread wide from the range, managing to only really hit and wound the enemy.

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    • Holden: Thanks Vovk...

      Holden grabs the biofoam with his injured arm and tears the first two spikes in his arm out. Throwing the crystal needles away, he quickly takes the biofoam canister and sprays its content over his wounds before the bleeding gets out of hand. He then starts doing the same to his leg.

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    • An orange beam hits Cooper in the leg, prompting Thérèse to take cover. Surrounded by a hail of plasma, it lands again on the roof; Thérèse assumes she hasn't been noticed by the sniper and peeks over cover through her rifle. As she does so, however, the sniper turns to her and fires. The barrel of her gun is struck, and as she ducks it falls from her hands. More plasma rains down on the Elephant's hull.

      Thérèse: We can't move at all with that turkey watching us! Vovk, can you distract it?

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    • Vovk looks over, seeing Therese is pinned. He nods his head, looking from his cover as he aims his rifle at the sniper Jackal as he fires towards it to catch its attention.

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    • With a fresh layer of biofoam covering his wounds, Holden sits down on the Elephant's roof. Holding his breath, he takes aim at the Jackal sniper. Two shots quickly following each other puts the pirate down, and Holden turns his attention to the next target.

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    • With the sniper down, Thérèse rises to aim at the gunner beside the sniper. The Phantom rocks as she fires, causing her shot to go wide, but the second burst connects with the Jackal's leg. The Phantom rocks again and before she can kill the Jackal, it rises and tilts; the underside of the dropship is all that can be seen. It drops back, but at the angle it's impossible to see the targets on board. Flying back the way it came, it disappears under a dune. Thérèse warily looks for Jackals around the Elephant but finds only a few bodies far behind on her side.

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    • Rubin steps towards the edge. Hotel's Elephant can now be clearly seen; multiple Jackal squads surround the transport, some firing fuel rod guns and others trying to climb onto the vehicle. Rubin takes aim with his rocket launcher and fires at one of the fuel rod squads.

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    • Thompson decides it would be best not to fire a powerful anti air rocket at a friendly Elephant, and so slips his M19 SAML onto his back while taking out his silenced BR. He lies flat on his front in an area where he hopes no Jackals will spot him, and fires several bursts until one falls, then switches his focus to the next.

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    • Rubin fires his SPNKR again, before dropping the empty launcher and switching to his MA37. Meanwhile, Ferdinand lowers the Elephant's ramp, and Berlinsky and Torres rush out of the transport firing their rifles at the Jackals.

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    • As his squadmates charge the Jackals, Thompson lays down some suppressive fire on the more major targets, like a Jackal with a Fuel Rod, and a few snipers with Focus Rifles and both varieties of Beam Rifle.

      The Fuel Rod Jackal falls to fire from inside Hotel's Elephant, but the Jackal snipers survive and turn their attention to Thompson, who instinctively rolls to his left. While this does get him out of their line of sight, it also sends Thompson crashing painfully down the stairs into the troop bay.

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    • A group of Jackals from a rocky palisade to the direct left open up on the Elephant.  Some pieces of the transport's armor begin to smoulder from the constant heat.

      Jokinen (COMS): Alright, this is going to have to do. Torres, Berlinsky, Thompson, with me. (Not COMS) Come on, Thompson, get up!  They're waiting outside! (COMS) The rest of you, cover us.  

      Ferdinand rolls the Elephant forward for a few more moments, then squeaks its tracks to a halt.

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    • Blushing at his own idiocy beneath his helmet, Thompson pulls himself up, and follows Jokinen, with his BR in hands, and his SOCOM holstered on his leg.

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    • Jokinen leads Thompson out the back ramp, quicky looping around to the side of the Elephant which isn't being shot it.  He waves Berlinsky and Torres over.

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    • Vovk (COMS): Sir? Should I accompany? I am trained Assault.

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    • Jokinen (COMS): As a matter of fact you can.  Torres, we don't need you here any more.  Take position up on the Elephant.

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    • Thérèse ducks from her position at the edge of the Elephant as a beam flies over, before pulling a grenade from her belt.

      Thérèse (COM): Sir, if I throw a grenade into their midst, Rubin and I could keep the bastards down so you can fuck them up.

      Thérèse looks over to Rubin, awaiting a response from Jokinen.

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    • Rubin looks back at Thérèse, before stepping away from the edge, crouching and reloading his MA37. Meanwhile, Berlinsky runs over to Jokinen's position, whilst Torres makes his way back to the Elephant.

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    • Jokinen: Alright, here's how this is going to work.  Vovk and Thompson are going to move up to that ledge there, and hold position and provide covering fire.  Then me and Berlinski are going to head to next one a bit further on.  Then we'll do the covering, and you two move on.  We're all going to leap-frog our way over to the Hotel, get the survivors, and leap-frog them back.  None of you rush, alright?  We skip a piece of cover, it means we're out in the open for twice as long.  Ready?

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    • Knocking out the empty magazine of his M125, Vovk loads in another magazine as he follows Berlinsky to Jokinen's position. Spotting the Jackal horde surrounding Hotel's Elephant, Vovk raises his rifle.

      Vovk: Ready to run, sir.

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    • Jokinen: Alright, we'll provide cover.  Remember, do not stop.  3...2...

      He cocks his carbine.

      Jokinen: 1...Go go go go go go go go!

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    • Vovk runs from cover, modifying his running path stride to stride in order to make it more difficult to hit him. Plasma bolts trace him, as many miss by just a hair. Nearly making it to the ledge, Vovk is stuck by a plasma bolt to the upper right arm.

      Vovk: Gah! Vy cyka blyat'!

      Rolling behind cover, Vovk bats out the sizzling plasma as its intensity fades. He could feel burns on his skin, but luckily the armour reduced the impact—but it wouldn't survive a second strike.

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    • With one swift motion, Jokinen hits his carbine's fire-selector, and enables the smartscope.  He fires in the direction of the Jackals shooting at Vovk, and the plasma barrage begins to thin.  Torres, now on a turret, targets the hot zone as well.

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    • Looking at Rubin, Thérèse shrugs at the lack of the response from Jokinen, before firing at the Jackals distracted by Vovk. One falls, squawking as it dies, whilst the rest are torn into by Torres; the few who duck behind the rocks survive the onslaught. One which gets too cocky has its throat punctured by Thérèse, prompting the others to stay down.

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    • Steadying his aim by lying down on the roof of the Elephant, Holden starts taking shots at the remaing Jackals, having a good view over their cover.

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    • Vovk: Blin! Thompson, do not really want to sit here! Move!

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    • (*brushes cobwebs off thread*)

      Thérèse reloads her BR as Holden begins picking off the Jackals. Since the turret would tear through them should they stand up, it's the ideal time for Jokinen's assault team to move.

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    • A Jackal wielding a needle rifle peeks over one of the rocks, and opens fire in the general direction of the turret before Torres can turn it towards the sniper. Torres immediately lets go of the turret and backs away, but in doing so he loses his footing. He slams into the Elephant's tread cover below, cracking his visor, before rolling to the side and landing on the sand.

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    • Thérèse: Merde... (COM) Torres, respond!

      As she asks, Thérèse finds the sniper and fires a burst at it. Two rounds strikes it into the arm, and she can see the weapon fall, but the Jackal hides behind the rocks before Thérèse can fire again.

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    • Rubin steps towards the edge and looks down at Torres, who takes his helmet off and examines it.

      Rubin: He's fine.

      He makes his way to the turret and mans it, before tearing through a couple of Jackals who stood up from behind the rocks.

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    • Still maintaining what's almost like a bird's eye over the Jackals' cover, a bullet from Holden's Battle Rifle puts an end to the Jackal sniper as it tries to pick up its rifle. Another sniper turns its attention to Holden, but it falls to the ground as a single shot to the head kills it before it can fire.

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    • While some of the Jackals flee from the rocks, one sniper steadies his needle rifle and takes aim at Torres. As he approaches the ramp of the Elephant, the first round lands in the back of his foot. He falls, and the Jackal fires again; this time the crystal enters his thigh at a shallow angle. Before it can fire again, however, a trio of bullets impales in its chest. Looking down, Thérèse rushes down the ramp to pull Torres on board.

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    • Rubin fires the turret at the fleeing Jackals.

      Rubin (COM): Now would be a good time to move up, LT!

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    • With his carbine, Jokinen dispatches a prowling Jackal that went unseen by the Elephant crew. He leaps over the rock cover, followed by Berlinsky, and sprints to the next pile.

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    • Suddenly 45 banshees, and 30 phantoms come down, the banshees focuse on covering the phantoms.

      On a rock shelf at a similar elevation as the height of a elephant the phantoms deploy 60 Kig-yar with focuse rifles, 10 with point defense gauntlets and long pink blades. A phantom puts down a mini spire to give them cover, the Kig-yar form lines the ones with shields up front, then, they toss deployable cover in front of the ones with shields. Behind the shielded ones Kig-yar with focus rifles form 3 lines, each line able to point their rifles a click higher then the others...

      The mini spire's bubble shield collapses for a moment, allowing them to open fire. The riflemen up front fire first, half a second before their rifle over heats then the ones behind them, 2 seconds before theirs over heats the 3rd line fires, then, the bubble shield comes back on.

      The Kig-yar shout and squawk angrily, pointing at the elephant crew.

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    • The banshees and phantoms then go to attack the elephant from air.

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    • Berlinsky leaps over a rock and lands behind one of the Fuel Rod Jackals firing at Hotel's Elephant. As he draws his knife, the Jackals turns around, but it has no time to react before it is stabbed in the throat and falls onto a pool of its own blood. Berlinsky then picks up the Fuel Rod cannon and fires at the nearest group of Jackals, allowing some of Hotel's members to emerge from behind their cover and start taking out the remaining hostiles.

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    • From the gunfire provided, Vovk looks from over his cover and sees Berlinsky charge up. As he shoulders his M125, his upper arm begins to feel as if it burns. Ignoring this pain, he closely follows Berlinsky as the assault group heads up towards Hotel's position. Approaching a two Jackals, one with a Fuel Rod and the other with a Carbine, the ODST aims his M125 towards the Jackal holding the Fuel Rod and opens fire. From the close range, the majority of the 6mm rounds that tore through the Jackal as blood spirts free from its body as it drops its Fuel Rod.

      As the recoil from the rifle bounce into his arm, Vovk drops his rifle as he bites his lip. But considering how close he was to the Carbine Jackal, this may appear to others to be a legitimate move. Grabbing the barrel of it's rifle, Vovk shoves the weapon out of the way as he gains the upper-hand, throwing a powerful kick into the chest of the Jackal as ribs broke from impact. The alien cried in pain, dropping its weapon as Vovk then seized its wrist, stepping behind the Jackal with it as he turns the arm with a painful crack. Now behind it, Vovk then grabs it by the head as he tears to an angle that breaks its neck. As the corpse drops to the ground, Vovk shoulders his M125 to his left arm now.

      Vovk (muttering): Featherweight...

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    • Thérèse drags Torres up the ramp onto the Elephant. Her hands grab at empty air as she reaches for a can of biofoam, then she looks around for a cabinet: nothing.

      Thérèse: Rubin, biofoam!

      Pressing her hands against Torres' wounds, she looks to the other ODSTs by the wall.

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    • (Fix your shit, Wikia! I just wrote a 4-paragraph post and it didn't send. I cba to rewrite it all, but I will post a short post.)

      Seeing that Torres is injured, Thompson proceeds to the roof of the Elephant and approaches the turret.

      Thompson (COM): Rubin, get to Torres. I'll take over 'til you're done!

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    • (Rubin is manning the Elephant's turret, Dab.)

      Rubin steps away from the turret and hurries down the stairs to the troop bay. He approaches Torres and Thérèse, pulls a biofoam canister from his belt and hands it to her.

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    • (Good. 4-paragraph posts aren't exactly good for RP progression.)

      Poole shoots some things, because that's the only thing this RP allows him to do at this point.

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    • (My apologies, CT, fixed.)

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    • Jokinen gives some orders, advancing the group.  Because that's what's needed right now.

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    • Holden headshots the last Jackal sniper, and then decides to read a book, because with nothing important to do, he gets bored.

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    • Thompson sits around like the bland character he is.

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    • Jokinen makes a cheesy pun to make the combat almost interesting.

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    • Vovk pulls out some vodka and drinks it. The KGB then shows up and arrests him for being in a desert. He is then shot for being a traitor to the state.

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    • The KGB yells "woop woop" as they sprint across the desert for the rest of Foxtrot.  One of them turns a flashlight on and off reapedly, a siren.

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    • As the KGB sprints across the desert, the Ultra KGB man stands up and shouts: "Not one step back!"

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    • A Latvian man is arrested.  "Why am I here!?", he cries.  "Well, what did you do?", asks the Ultra KGB.  "Nothing!", shouts the Latvian as he is loaded into their truck. "Fool", laughs the guard, "Everyone knows.  The punishment for doing nothing is 20 years."

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    • Poole tries to resist the KGB, but his capitalist-made weaponry jams and fall apart. Disheartened, he drops to his knees.

      Poole: Why were we not issued shovels? Whyyyy?

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    • The Ultra KGB unloads a ballot box, and hands each member of Foxtort an evelope.  Jokinen opens his.

      Ultra KGB: WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?

      Jokinen: I just wanted to see who I was voting for...

      Ultra KGB: IDIOT!

      He slaps the envelope out of his hands.

      Ultra KBG: This is a SECRET BALLOT!

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    • Suddenly two KGB members run up with wheels in their hands.

      KGB: Hurry get in car!

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    • (Deep in the Amazon, hidden from civilization, lies a forgotten realm of stone and gold.   Massive cyclopean blocks stack themselves into polygonal forms.  Carved into the stooping, angular walls are windows to another time, an earlier time.  A simpler time.  The canopy above insures that these ruins of a once great people see only darkness.  But today, they are alight.

      "Theez way", a dark man in a green nylon sunhat says with a shaking voice.  He often fiddles with the straps on his shoulders as he leads the party through the damp jungly landscape.  "Come, come", he usures them along hastily, not because they have no time, but because it is better to be in a group this deep in the jungle.

      Another man behind the guide wields a machete, and creates a parting in the sea of green.  He scowls as a mosquito the size of a tennis ball flies into his face.

      To the rear him is another figure, taking photographs of every ruin, eagerly scrubbing reliefs onto thick paper, and jotting down every detail into a notebook.  As the photos release from the rear of his camera, he slides them into a brown shoulderbag that dangles freely in the forest.

      As they progress, the vines begin to flee, leaving the stones naked in the heat.  Ahead, far, far ahead, is a cave.

      "Theez eez eet", says the guide, "I breeng you here, now you pay me".  The man with the machete turns around expectingly as well, but their client is busy examining an engraving of some form of diety with pupil-less eyes and puckered lips.  "How deep do you suppose the cave is?", says the explorer as he pulls out his camera.

      "I do not now, Señor Brass", says the guide, "Why do you ask?"

      "Because you're coming with me", Brass says with an air of nonchalance.

      "What?!  Theez was naught the deal!", as the guide speaks, the silent man with the machete reaches for a metalic handle poking out of his belt.  The guide continues, "I promised to breeng you to the ruins!"

      "And", Brass hold up a single finger, "Show me the secret gate."

      "You!", the guide thinks frantically, his moustache twitching, "You can see eet yourself, eet is just over there!"

      "Is it?", Brass slips another sheet into his bag, "Where?"

      The larger man begins to pull the shiny handle from its holster.  "There!", the guide points repeatedly, "Right there, how can you not see eet!?"

      Brass scratches his head, "Where?"

      "There!"

      "Where am I looking?"

      The guide submits, and signals his friend not to attack.  Brass smiles, "Don't you want to be paid?"

      "Fine, pendejo", he fixes his hat, "I will 'show you'."

      "Yes", Brass whispers exuberantly.  He grabs his guide around the shoulders, "Come on, Campos, it'll be fun.  Where's your sense of adventure?"

      "Gone.  With my dignity"

      "Aww, don't worry, now.  It'll only be slightly dangerous."

      They enter the jaws of the jaguar shaped enterance, and begin to descend the steep stone steps.)

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    • (The torch sends beams of light through the sea of dust, reflecting strangely against the dull stones.  There was a coldness here, a dark coldness found only in churches and ruins such as these.  

      "Mind", Campos steps over a wire, "Theez place is still alive"

      The carvings on the walls become more than just contours, but majestic scenes of battles and ceremonies.  Unlike the murals outside, these pictures convey a much greater sense of effort.  More care is put into the details of the grand design.

      "There", Campos' voice was reverent, "There ees the place"

      Before them lied a pedestal with a diagonal top, angled towards them.  On its tip was a stone plate depicting the sun god, a typical symbol in this part of the world.

      Brass approaches cautiously. "Is this...?"

      "Yes."

      He lays his hands on it in awe, and brushes some dust aside to admire the shimmer of the many gems. He grasps the sun's face, and twists it.

      Behold the lights, behind the console, which ignite into blue along the seams of the stone. All the carvings glow and sparkle with blinding grace. The wall behind the sun disk clicks and clacks. Like a jig-saw puzzle it splits along its marks, and the stones fold and fall into place. Behind is a blue portal. Deafening winds rush out from it.

      "Thank you all!", Brass calls to them over the sound of the wind, his legs bracing against the floor, "It had been an honor!"

      "Yes!", Campos holds his hat on with one hand, "To you as well!"

      With a hand in front of his face, the explorer approaches the portal. "Wayback!", he shouts, "Mighty Wayback! Today...you live again!"

      Against the wild wind's rush, he charges into the portal. There is a flash, and the ruins are dead again. Brass is nowhere to be found.)

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    • Commando Trooper wrote: Rubin steps away from the turret and hurries down the stairs to the troop bay. He approaches Torres and Thérèse, pulls a biofoam canister from his belt and hands it to her.

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    • Jokinen: Chickenshit, get on that turret!  A charge of two isn't going to work well with no support!

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    • As the two Jackal's drop dead, Vovk raises his M125 to be prepared to fire at anything. Suddenly, a burst of plasma makes a way towards his shape. Rolling out of the way, Vovk sighs in relief as he discovers nothing hit him.

      Vovk (COM): Yes, let us get someone over here!

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    • Jokinen: Thompson, get your ass over here!

      Jokinen ducks from a purple needle.

      Jokinen: Alright, Berlinski, Vovk.  Soon as he gets here, we're moving to that ditch in the sand over there.  From there, I think we can get to Hotel.  Might be a stretch, though.

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    • Vovk (COM): Will be strech. Do we have angle of any tangos, Holden?

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    • Whispering "merci" to Rubin, Thérèse takes the canister with shaking hands and turns to Torres. Two needles protrude from him: the first juts out from his boot and doesn't appear to have penetrated far; the second, however, is almost buried flat against his thigh. With trepidation, Thérèse grips the thin length of needle she can and begins to ease it out. Torres yelps through gritted teeth as the shards scrape against his flesh, prompting Thérèse to let go.

      Torres: Just fucking pull it out!

      She takes hold again, her grip so tight the needle digs into her white-knuckled hand. Muttering "sorry", in one swift movement, she yanks free the dart, fortunate that it came out cleanly. So dumbstruck by the shard she's staring at, she forgets Torres's danger.

      Torres: Gonna get round to the hole in my fucking leg?

      She drops the shard and forces the nozzle of the biofoam canister into his wound. Sighing with content, Torres leans back as the foam bubbles over his leg.

      Torres (drowsily): There's a good girl... That wasn't too hard, now, was it?

      Thérèse (muttering): Might leave it in next time.

      Pulling the other needle from Torres' boot, she puts down the biofoam: fortunately, it had only stuck in his boot. Torres takes her extended hand and is pulled to his feet, before picking up a Magnum and making his way to the roof of the Elephant.

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    • Jokinen fires at the some Jackals ahead with his Carbine.  One of them falls backwards and screeches.  A few others are forced into cover.

      Jokinen: Get your grenades ready, we might be able to move up with no support.

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    • Holden (COM): You got a trio of Jackals holed up behind some rocks, 2 o'clock from your position.

      Holden turns his rifle to the left, takes aim, and fires. Not soon after, an almost headless Jackal body tumbles down a sand dune, with its Plasma Rifle sliding down after it.

      Holden (COM): And you had a sniper above you. The bastard's gone, move up and I'll provide cover.

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    • (Un-banned ;) )

      Jokinen (COM): In the nick of time!  Outstanding, Private.  Vovk, Berlinsky, we're gonna have to make due without Thompson.  The ditch over there.  Nades out.  Clear and move up, yeah?  Ready...?

      Jokinen pulls the pin on his grenade and throws it.  He then gets up over the rock.

      Jokinen (COM): Go go go!

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