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 Talarin, 05J.

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Alien



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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:02 am

Marine Base Nemesis (Talarin Outpost)
Hangar Bay


The Coalition's military architecture was centered around one idea: function over fashion. Every single design choice, every single color and every single shape on the walls or floor had a purpose, a very practical, critical purpose. The metal grille on the floor allowed liquids and contaminants to flow through to the sensors and decontamination systems below, the evenly spaced lights were placed in such a way that they provided the maximum level of illumination with the least investment in energy, the frequent bulkhead frames housed enough blast doors to segment each corridor into multiple isolated spaces for quarantine and confinement. Several lamp-like devices, secondary to the ones on the walls and ceiling, were humming steadily but produced no light: indeed, these were ultraviolet lamps, allowing contaminants and liquids to be revealed while also destroying bacteria.

Even the frequent turns had a purpose: the base was built to withstand nuclear attacks, and as such much attention had been paid in focusing defenses on a small section of land, hence why the base's size was focused downwards, not to the side. The wide corridors linking the hangar bay to the various barracks, vehicle maintenance chambers and storage rooms were perfect for rapidly moving cargo, as was happening at that moment. Conventional forklifts, power loaders and even a full-sized truck worked in perfect harmony inside the underground caverns, ferrying crates, ammunition, fuel and even nuclear weapons between the hangars and the storage rooms. Soldiers (and civilians) in work fatigues accompanied them, or performed maintenance, or patrolled around to inspect for damage.

After several minutes of walking and two elevator rides later, the group finally arrived at the conference room.


Built during the initial expansion of the base, the look of the chamber was distinctively different to the cold metal corridors. Hell, the Coalition had placed some wooden furniture inside, and that was almost a first. "Please, have a seat." exclaimed the State Secretary, bowing politely at the aliens.




Surface of Talarin
Distance from Catabomb Entrance: ~500m
GUARDIAN Unmanned Area Denial Patrol 187


ERROR: NO TARGET


As the two machines advanced towards the entrance, they (and the officers watching behind the video feeds) were met with absolutely no resistance; a strange fact, considering that someone or something must have activated that underground beacon. After a few seconds of searching around the site with the optical, RADAR, ultrasonic and infrared sensors, the machines declared it clear: no movement, no contacts, no hostiles to fight. Idly they set up a patrol path around the tunnel entrance...

...and then one of the machines froze in place, its primary sensor array focused on the skyscraper the Praetorians had escaped to. Something had set it off, but even the operators behind the screen couldn't figure out what had caught the machine's undivided attention. It waited for a few seconds, as if having a 'eureka' moment, and then the datastream to the Kennedy became overflowed with tracking data from a sensor nobody even bothered use any more.

Wind speed sensors.

Within seconds, thousands of vectors displaying the different speeds of air currents around the skyscraper were projected on the screen and analyzed, and slowly but surely, the machine seemed to have figured out what was going on. Stealth on a dropship could hide it visually, it could hide its heat signature, it could hide it from RADAR, but it could not hide how it interacted with the wind: it was basic physics. Action and reaction. Gravity and lift.

The drone's powerful primary optical camera zoomed in at the building as the wind speed simulation formed the crude outline of a dropship in bright red behind the skyscraper, with each rapidly sweeping scan line acquiring a more detailed image. And the drone waited, and it waited, and then the dropship was moving again, taking off for the skies. That very movement was the last thing the machine needed to confirm.


TARGET ACQUIRED: IMPERIUM 'RAVEN' ENDO-EXO ATMOSPHERIC TRANSPORT CRAFT
DESIGNATION: ROMEO ZERO ZERO ONE
ACTION: DESTROY


The mech's rocket launcher activated, firing dozens of small 'Patriot' Surface-to-Air Missiles that immediately linked with the machine's guidance computer and achieved locks on the escaping dropship: the missiles thankfully lacked a nuclear warhead, but their sheer numbers and speed made them a lethal threat to the escaping Praetorians.





Low Talarin Orbit
USS John F. Kennedy, DDGN-97
Patrol Sector E-C-118


"We have reached the sector from where the transmission originated, but I can't get a fix, sir. Might be jamming, or they just went silent."

The Commander absentmindedly tapped his fingers on the command table a few times, sweeping the holographic display with his eyes. The contact had gone silent: the Kennedy would have picked up electronic jamming, and with its RADAR banging away at full active mode, it was easy to reach the conclusion that they were dealing with a specialized stealth warship. The uplink from the ground similarly pointed to a covert operation, and while the drones had engaged and had a 50-50 chance of shooting down the dropship, the information gained was invaluable.

"Pull up everything we have on Imperium stealth systems, stat. Do we have any triple A teams on the ground nearby?"

"Yes sir, there's an aerospace denial detachment nearby, inventory includes two anti-air MLRS vehicles and a surface-to-space TELAR."

"Get that TELAR to go on hot stand-by, have the MLRS shoot down the dropship. Even if it is Imperium, they will HAVE to deny such an unlawful intrusion into Talarin. Oh, and launch the UAVs, sweep the sector. I am not giving up just yet."


Soon after the conversation ended, several 'Sparrow' Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were literally launched out of electromagnetic catapults in the Kennedy and established some kind of fractal-based patrol pattern: unpredictable, efficient and fast. Each of the drones used a powerful sensor suite to attempt and find the Imperium stealth ship; they were unarmed, but their laser designators and direct uplink to the Coalition destroyer allowed them to be used as remote tracking stations for the Kennedy's missiles and guns.





Surface of Talarin
Distance from Catabomb Entrance: ~4000m
Aerospace Denial Company 188
M648X1 TELAR / Commander's Vehicle


"Commander, we have a properly formatted Combat Action Request from the USS John F. Kennedy, requesting permission to authenticate."

Sitting in the commander's chair of the M648X1 Transporter, Erector and RADAR vehicle, US Air Force Major Drake Foster did not seem to be particularly enjoying the assignment he had been given. Forced to spend weeks in a cramped vehicle with several nuclear warheads in its ammunition compartment, sleeping in one of two cots shared by the entire crew and using a chamber that barely had space for two men as a toilet, shower and changing room, the crews mostly sat around doing nothing all day. They were on ultra-silent, having disabled their RADAR, outbound transmissions and even the fusion engines, allowing the convoy to remain undetected. Apart from the TELAR itself, two SAM launcher vehicles, a tank, a Recovery/Repair/Towing vehicle, an APC and a fuel tanker, the unit also had an M577 cargo vehicle modified to launch a UCAV for recon and defense.

"Permission granted, authenticate." answered the Major to his communications officer, a lowly lieutenant, who in response cracked open one of many authentication card casings to compare the text on it with the code provided by the Kennedy.

"Request is authentic, valid combat action request received." came the response, with the Major snatching the paper from his subordinate.

"Combat action? What the hell for?"

"The order doesn't say."

"...alright... Deploy the TELAR."


There was a silent exchange between the two men as the communications officer nodded, passing the order to the executive officer: the Major repeated the order, and the Captain, after a brief 'aye', turned to address the two dozen people inside the vehicle.

"Set condition 1SQ for nuclear missile launch, deploy erector pods and secure vehicle for nuclear sortie. Set RADAR to active."

The piercing sound of the klaxon filled the room as the lights shut off, only to reactivate in an ominous blue: the operators buckled down, put their helmets on and begun punching down orders to their consoles while the driver froze the vehicle in place, activated the handbrake and then turned a key marked 'RECOIL COMPENSATOR'. The entire machine shook as powerful stabilizer legs emerged from the back and sides of the vehicle, digging into the cracked soil and thus ensuring perfect accuracy.

At the same time, the topside of the vehicle started moving on its own as two massive missile launcher pods revealed themselves from beneath the digital camouflage, and a smaller panel slid open to reveal a deep space RADAR tracking array. If anyone were to scan the contents of the missile launcher pods, they would find a disturbing result: they housed nuclear missiles, surface-to-space 'capital killers' like the ones the New Terrans had tried for years to develop. Of course, the project had been less ambitious: the warheads' primary purpose was 'depth charging', using the nuclear explosions to force stealth ships into surrender.

In front and behind the TELAR, two other missile launcher vehicles activated, but these ones opened fire immediately: several surface-to-air rockets locked on to the escaping Imperium dropship, using data from the drones on the ground, and started homing in.
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Planet Surface of Talarin;
Abandoned City in Eastern Hemisphere


The dropships advanced AI tried to read the threat quickly and react. The dropship suddenly launched what looked like a small cloud in the direction of the incoming missiles. The cloud was really a bunch of small balls, that as soon as the missiles began passing through began popping and exploding. They destroyed most of the rockets, but two got through, and struck the dropship on the side. As soon as they did, the dropship came into view of the walkers and with two rotary dual cannons begin firing 7,000 rounds per minute at the two walkers. While the walkers were sure to withstand some of the high powered rail rounds firing from the six-barreled cannon, the 4 cannons firing at the walkers would be a very dangerous threat. Red lights and sirens began to go off inside of the crew cabin of the ship, and the ships AI came on over the intercomm.

"Minor damage sustained. Several incoming surface to air missiles.The agent folded gripped the safety harness tightly. They couldn't afford to get captured, especially the Medusa, and this data had enough in it to make it very useful to the Imperium. The agent knew what he had to do at this point.

"Cairo, upload all the data we collected here on Talarin to the Medusa, then tell them to get out as soon as possible. We'll find a ride with someone else. Then, I want this dropship as far away as it can get us, let us off, and then engage in a self-destruct sequence."There was a slight pause before the AI responded, as though accepting the reality of the situation. Agent 14 felt the vehicle lurch as the dropship ignited its engines and began at jet-like speeds accelerating from the walkers and the missiles.

"Understood, sending data now. Done." With that, the Agent leaned his back into the dropship's seat. He felt the vehicle descend and as it did the doors open. Most of the squad was jumping out before the ship even got close to the ground, and Agent 014 was one of the last ones off. They had grabbed all the emergency gear and rations that they could. As they escaped to a nearby vaccated and destroyed building, the dropship rose back up into the sky, only to get hit by several larger missiles and explode. A second, larger explosion followed destroying any of the RSI tech onboard the Raven to prevent the USC or anyone else obtaining the data.

And just like that, Delta Squad was stuck on Talarin.  





Low Orbit Over Talarin;
Imperium Hermes-Class Stealth Frigate, Medusa, Command Bridge


"Data uplink complete. Engaging warp drives now."

The ships AI knew it as well as the Captain did. The data transfer would be sure to show the location of the Hermes-Class frigate, and the Imperium couldn't afford to lose a Praetorian Squad, a stealth frigate, and all the data they collected in one day. Even though he hated it, he knew he couldn't stay. It wouldn't do anyone any help. The Medusa was lucky to stay cloaked this whole time. They were lucky that having a spy inside of the Imperium was next to impossible. It was impossible to get someone on Olympus who wasn't originally born there to begin with, let alone get them into the Navy. The development of these stealth ships was highly classfied and they were rarely used. Captain Argan planned to keep the USC from getting ahold of any more information than they could about the Imperium.

He felt the pull of the ship as it entered warp space. The USC was sure to detect the Medusa at this point, but it likely didn't matter. The Imperial stealth ship was already entering Faster Than Light travel and soon it was gone from the planet's orbit like it wasn't even there to begin with. The Medusa was equipped to make such quick escapes into deep space to avoid being destroyed or captured. The lack of armaments left for a lot of other tech to be place on, including advanced FTL drives. The ship was gone, and the data achieved, but they had to leave the squad behind on Talarin. A partial victory for both sides.


"What exactly did they send us?"

"A map, Captain."


Last edited by RetroRobot on Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:44 pm

Surface of Talarin
Distance from Catabomb Entrance: ~500m
GUARDIAN Unmanned Area Denial Patrol 187


GUARDIAN mechs were some of the most formidable medium tonnage war machines in the Coalition's arsenal, and it was not just because of their impressive weapons: their armor was the result of hundreds of years of research into projectile weapons, allowing them to withstand a few shots from anti-tank weaponry without suffering any serious damage. They were also pretty much small arms proof, and small caliber weapons were useless against them. But sadly for the two robots, they were unable to escape the bulletstorm that had been unleashed upon them: the first drone, the one to fire the first missile salvo, succumbed to the torrent of projectiles within a few seconds as its composite armor was shattered into pieces by the repeated impacts. Letting out several screeches, as if screaming for mercy, the machine was forced to its knees.

<"WARNING. CRITICAL HULL DAMAGE. ATTEMPT... RETR... COV... DE- ES...">

And with that the machine collapsed 'face-first' onto the ground. The Artificial Intelligence within was erased from existence as the quantum processing core took its final hit, the crystalline chip structures shattering like simple glassware: the drone was gone.

Its compatriot, however, was faring significantly better: it had recognized the threat sooner and, due to its distance from the scene, had managed to take cover behind a collapsed building before the dropship could turn its sights on the machine. It only emerged from cover when it detected the craft's departure, more or less running after it in order to keep up: revenge was not part of its programming, its logic core, but the shackled AI within was not all that happy that its partner had died.





Low Talarin Orbit
USS John F. Kennedy, DDGN-97
Patrol Sector E-C-118


"The dropship is fleeing from the drones, surface to air missiles will catch up in ten seconds! Nine, eight, seven, six..."

"Contact! Frigate-sized vessel just appeared within weapons range, turrets are achieving lock now! Wait, the frigate has engaged FTL... Contact is gone, sir."

"The dropship is descending back into the ruins, it... Optical telescopes have a fix on several soldiers departing. Target is ascending again... Impact, target destroyed!"


Not exactly what the Commander had in mind, but it would do. His fingers danced on the holographic display as he ordered the units on the board to move: he was surrounding the city block to which the soldiers had fled using the nearby soldiers and machines, including several UCAVs, but most importantly, he was having a mechanized infantry platoon investigate the caverns the Imperium had fled. They were just ten minutes out on foot, running in their power armor while an attack helicopter cleared the area in front of them from Blackshark mercenaries.

"Sir... Drone B is down, but A is moving to last known target location! It can be there in less than five minutes!"

Several Imperium special forces versus a single GUARDIAN was not exactly amazing odds, but it could work: the drone also had the advantage of air support, reinforcements and most importantly, a complete disregard for mutants. The Imperium's soldiers would soon be fighting a three-sided battle on the ground between themselves, the Coalition and the native creatures, and the drones could just ignore one party entirely. "Let it proceed. We've got a tank company inbound anyway, it just needs to hold them in one place until we get there, and then they will have no choice but to surrender."
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:45 pm

It almost seemed as if the Familiar began to have trouble moving itself forward, its attendants moving closer to its flanks in advance. Noticeably, it began moving slower. But beyond that it maintained its posture for most part.

As they entered the conference room, the shorter attendant was quick to pull back a chair for the Familiar, to which it slowly lowered itself into its comforts. And as it sat, the two associates took it upon themselves to remain standing behind the Familiar, silent.
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:54 am

Planet Surface of Talarin;
Abandoned City in Eastern Hemisphere



Delta Squad rushed into the building. They began activating their stealth gear once again and begin moving from building to building, looking for any escape they could find. The Imperium's special forces could have taken the USC walker, these soldiers were trained for war since their birth, they were more machine than man, and their genetics had been altered to make them the perfect soldier. However, this wasn't their fight. Evade and escape, that was their goal at the moment. The last thing they wanted was to get caught by the USC. The mission had already gone wrong in so many ways.

The squad, thirteen in total, darted between the old crumbled ruins, their chameleon camo matching their surroundings before they found what they were looking for, a sewer grate. What lied below could have been anything from thugs, to blacksharks, or even worse mutants. But all of those were better than getting into a firefight with the Coalition walker. It would be a political disaster, and they wanted to avoid a war for the time being.

Delta two was the first one down into the dried out sewage network, and it expanded for quiet a while beneath the city. The rest of Delta Squad jumped down into the sewer system and began to fan out through the tunnel, stealth gear fully activated. Hopefully they would have evaded a potentially deadly conflict with the USC.
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:14 am

Marine Base Nemesis (Talarin Outpost)
Conference Room


The State Secretary quickly glanced at the three aliens, motioning for the soldiers that had escorted them there to wait outside. "First of all, allow me to officially welcome you to Talarin. As the planet now falls entirely under Coalition control, it is my duty, and pleasure, to inform you that you have been granted a high priority salvaging and exploration pass. You will have no interference from our men, you have my word on that. We have prepared a library of information for you to study if you wish to know more about the planet." he exclaimed proudly, taking a seat on the opposite end of the table.[/i]

"I must, however, ask out of pure curiosity: what are you looking for on Talarin? You do not have to reply, of course, I will not think less of you, but your people have been very isolated in the past."




Surface of Talarin
Catabomb Entrance
Marine Rapid Reaction Company 28


A few minutes after the Imperium's special forces retreated, the silence around the cavern entrance was finally disturbed by the roaring of hydrogen combustion engines, the clacking and whirring of tank tracks and the thumping sound of mechs, all converging on the tunnel's position. The Marine RRC was actually competing with a, Army Mechanized Infantry unit and a National Guard tank battalion to get to the cavern first, but they had the clear advantage: theyr M37 'Hornet' APCs could outrun most sport cars, using its rocket boosters to reach top speed within a mere five seconds and then stop to a complete halt in less than two.

Three M137s suddenly stopped in front of the entrance, forming a line, while two modified M137A1 Infantry Fighting Vehicles and an M137B1 Tank Destroyer secured either side of the street; almost immediately, a cacophony of whirring and the bashing of boots against the soil filled the air as the APCs' doors slid open and almost fifty power armored soldiers stepped out, carrying deployable roadblocks, tank traps and prefabricated machinegun emplacements. Five Humvees followed the formation, each towing cargo carts behind loaded with equipment such as automated turrets and a minefield deployment robot.

By the time the Mechanized Infantry platoon arrived, the RRC had already secured the perimeter, put guards by the tunnel entrance and established a cordon zone. The tank company arrived last, with a total of six Mammoth Main Battle Tanks, three Sherman Heavy Battle Tanks and a 'Tiger' Titan Tank securing the area. Whatever it was that the Imperium had found down there, the Coalition wanted a piece of it.





Surface of Talarin
Cavern Near Turret Station 82


<"Voodoo Lead, this is Ops, please report.">

Commander Damien Forge, also known as 'Voodoo Lead', was one of Defiant Security Solutions' best officers: formally a Navy SEAL, the Commander had gone private after being headhunted by Defiant and offered a much better salary, benefits package and retirement fund, including 401(k) matching. He had seen action on Talarin before, which was why he had been picked for the assignment, and frequently served as a liaison between DSS and the Coalition's military due to his past ties with the latter.

Clad in Defiant's signature power armor and armed with a SCAR battle rifle with a dedicated flamethrower attachment, Forge's eyes were locked on the motion tracker display on his HUD: the device, which operated much like a SONAR, was a marvelous invention originally used to track down escaped Nasari inside the underground caverns of Europa. Since its conception, it had been integrated in most of the Coalition's power armor systems and linked to the heads-up display. Amongst other features, it was capable of overlaying the motion tracking image onto the operator's regular vision or nightvision, making it very effective against even human enemies.


"Ops, Voodoo Lead, no sign of the Marines yet. The tunnel is covered in some form of organic residue, closest Earth-based analogue I can come up with is a bee hive, but the material is extremely porous and is confusing our motion trackers. We are getting sporadic readings from all over the place, but have no visual confirmation." he explained, taking another look at the minimap: they were getting closer to the location of the Marines, according to their emergency transponders.

<"Copy Voodoo. We are getting some data from the Marines' suits now that you are closer, including EKG and EEG tracking, but the IFF codes are garbled. At least one of the Marines is alive, but the interference is too strong to tell on the other two. Continue on your current path.">
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:19 pm

The Familiar seemed tired. He wasn't panting or anything of the sorts, but its body seemed slow and its mind even more so. Idly, after a significant silence, it replied. Not in voice, however, but in whisper. An awful, disorderly whisper; its long, low-toned sound a manifestation of ambiguity and obscurity. Swiftly, the shorter attendant rushed forward, moving close by the entity as to heed its words. And after the whisper concluded, the attendant rose, speaking in the figure's stead.

"We are a people best left in secrecy."
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PostSubject: Re: Talarin, 05J.   Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:53 am

Marine Base Nemesis (Talarin Outpost)
Conference Room


"Understandable, of course. Now, as you may have noticed, the Coalition is currently in the process of fully annexing this solar system. We are expected to be in full control within the next few weeks, after the Blackshark mercenary group is annihilated, but as far as we are concerned, this planet is ours." Eyeing the three aliens with as neutral a glare as he could, the State Secretary tried to ignore the chills the voice had sent down his spine: it was not his place to judge, after all. "So let me ask you this. How can we help you? What can our forces do to help you find what you are looking for, whatever that is? If all you need is for us to stand out of the way, consider it done, but our troops are already combing the surface of this planet for any relics of importance. It would be much easier for you if you let us assist."




Surface of Talarin
Catabombs


"Go, go, go!"

The Coalition's entrance into the catacombs stood in wide contrast to the perfectly silent insertion the Imperium's special forces had performed earlier. A full platoon of Marines in power armor breached the entrance, complete with heavy weaponry and accompanied by a Unmanned Combat Ground Vehicle the size of a horse, pouring inside the structure like heavily armed locusts. The presence of the UGCV had become a common sight on Talarin. Officially, the robots were there to assist with search and destroy operations and breach reinforced emplacements, but unofficially, they were a deterrent: if the Blacksharks dared attack a Coalition unit, the UCGV had orders to sacrifice itself in a nuclear explosion to destroy the attackers. For that purpose, it not only had its own nuclear reactor to overload, but a multi-kiloton nuclear warhead was carried in its trunk.

The team advanced deeper into the dark corridors of the facility, which had already been cleared by the Imperium's team, and even came across the several dead Blacksharks. In response, the officer speaking to them from the distant command vehicle instructed them to keep going, and that an EOD team would be sent in to recover the bodies and disable any failsafes. They then reached the elevator shaft, navigating through the caverns while the National Guard moved in from behind to fully secure the complex. By the time they reached the ancient elevator, only half of the platoon was left, the rest left behind to guard the route.

<"We have reached an elevator, it looks like it was used recently. Please advise?">

<"Take two men and head down. Judging by the size of the Imperium team, the elevator should be able to carry three men in power armor. If you believe that it can not, you are authorized to cut through it and rappel down.">


The Captain and two Marines stepped inside the elevator and activated it, exploiting the fact that the Imperium had left in such a hurry that they had not disabled the facility. Slowly but surely, the team descended further down into the planet's crust.
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