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- [QUOTE="SirLagginton, post: 13172757, member: 1688"]
- She saw the charge, a block of sodden, mundane brown amidst the shadowed rockcrete, the second before it went off. In desperation she attempted to interpose herself between the flag-head and the charge, but before she could so much as grasp at the haft her world was replaced with the scream of thunder. Ilana had the brief sensation of weightlessness before reality returned to her in the form of a painful reunion with cold, hard, rockcrete. She stared blankly up into the sky, stunned, with only part of the reason being her close encounter with death. The remaining part of the reason waved in tatters before her, the remaining half-head of the violated Aquila stared accusingly at her, demanding why a champion of the Emperor had failed so miserably to protect one of His holy symbols.
- She had no answer to give it.
- "The Aquila is lost." Ilana forced out bitterly. "The heretics chose to desecrate it with a democharge."
- You hear the violent whine of another power armour's reactor and the clatter of rasping plates and look up to see your Sister-Superior. She looks at you, then at the crater blown in the road, then back at you. She offers you a gauntleted hand.
- "I think, Sister, that they were more concerned with trying to blow you up than desecration," She says, clasping you by the hand and helping you rise to your feet. She checks your armour for a moment, than claps you on the shoulder. "Well. I'm glad you're alright, Sister. I was worried for a moment. But by the Emperor, if I didn't want to slap you for not paying attention rushing in like some sort of-Well. Like I used to. Derosa would be saying there's a lesson in patience here, and she'd be right of course," She says in a soft sigh. "The Drill-Abbots would've hammered you for a stunt like this. But I share some of the blame. I should've seen that it was bait: Taunting us into their killzone and booby traps. I'm sorry, Ilana."
- She shakes her head for a moment, then bends down to scrape up up the tattered remains of the banner. She looks at the water-logged piece of cloth for a moment, then chuckles darkly. "But you're alive, and we have the Aquila, so it could've worse," She says, chuckling at your look. "So it's ripped up. That's not desecration, no more than this is." She gestures at the scrapes and gouges across your armour's plate is. "I've seen the Order's most sacred banners torn to scraps by shot and blast, but they were always restitched and restored. There's no dishonour in a bit of damage. But there is in allowing it to be taken. The militia are disgraced for allowing the enemy to claim the honor of their standard, however makeshift it is. But there's no disgrace for us in it being damaged."
- She lowers her head, shoulders slumping. "But there is disgrace in being idiots who play into the enemy's hands. You could've died or been crippled, your armour lost. It's only because the Emperor protects that nothing happened. After this, Sister, I think we'll our rosaries will be a bit heavier."
- Palais suddenly turns as a retort of a heavy gun rumbles somewhere down the street. She peers around the corner of the building, clearly confused. "Caelia, was that what I think it was?"
- OOC: Sisters of Battle wear Rosaries made out of heavy Adamantium beads. Each heavy bead is meant to represent a sin or failing and is added in penance for the Sister's deeds.
- [QUOTE="greendoor, post: 13159478, member: 394"]
- "Confirming your Kill, Sister." Caelia voiced to Maria. She confirmed Eriko was merely stunned. Then she strode forward, firing, towards the Demotrooper's position, scanning for a corpse.
- (OOC: Full Auto Move and fire (full move) towards the location of the demo trooper, firing on enemies to hasten their retreat. Confirm the kill, then regroup with Palais.)
- You turn to fire on the cultist who'd aimed for your gorget but she leaps into the tenement through a side door, disappearing within. Disappointed you move up, scanning for other targets. The heretics are making retreat at good speed, covered by clouds of smoke, but they are not blind grenades. Your helm systems see through them clearly, and you manage to spot a pair of heretics as they break across the open. You fire as you advance, catching both of them. One's head pops satisfyingly, whilst the other you catch across the legs and drop to the ground.
- There is a sudden bark of heavy weapons fire from far down the street, heavy rounds detonations rumbling in your ear as powerful rounds-Perhaps even shells from a man portable autocannon-rip into the road way to your left, one low shell sending up a spray of sand and tattered flak-cloth as it strikes the barricades ahead. You fall to one knee, returning a burst of fire at the weapon flash, but it's hard to tell if you struck anything. You duck into the shelter of the enemy barricade. Barbed wire prevents you from easily moving past it, but you peer over the barricades to spot the target Maria was speaking of.
- There's no question that the heretic you see his demo-trooper. His satchels are laden with fuses and arming wires, blocks of plastek explosive and improvised krak charges hanging from his belt, along with an entrenching tool and several leaper mines. It's a miracle they didn't go off when he went down. His head is gone, along with his collar and a good chunk of his upper chest. One arm is hanging on by a few strings of meat and flesh, and a pace away, you see a trigger device locked in the cold dead grip of his detached his hand. Whether it's for the bridge charges, or if its the only one, you don't know.
- A second burst of fire whips out. This time the shells are on target. The sandbags in front of you cease to exist and for a moment all your can see is wet dirt as it patters off your armour. Then, you are smashed back by a series of heavy impacts. One jars your shoulder, a second sends you in a spin as it glances across your cuirass and a third deflects off your waist and punches a crater into the ground beneath. You shift into cover, feeling bruising beneath your plate, but your rune remains green. You see a bit of movement from a building a bit over a 150 meter meters down but hold fire, unable to get a clear shot. After a few moments, it's clear that the hidden heavy weapon is gone, having done its job of protecting the retreat.
- [Lore (War) +40 check bare pass] You are initially surprised that the Heretics held such a weapon in reserve, but then you've not seen or heard of much heavier than a krak RPG being used by the heretics. They must be wary of risking such a valuable weapon, and you doubt they'd have many shells. The only question is where and how they got an autocannon into a quarantined district in the first place. Was it here before the quarantine? But now you have to wonder where the damned thing has gone.
- Palais' voice crackles in your vox. "Sister Caelia, was that what I think it was?"
- [QUOTE="Zeitgeist Blue, post: 13160984, member: 10163"]
- Yet she found herself sprawled on the ground, her head spinning, not even two dozen seconds after she had ran forward.
- Embarrassing, if anyone were to see her.
- She could already hear Sister Sophiya from the Schola screaming at her to get her skinny buttocks up and running again. There'd be no screaming here but she could easily just imagine the whispers, barely audible, behind her as she walked through the Mission headquarters. Chin up, back arched as if she could not hear them, or if she could then as if she did not care.
- So head lolling she pushed her decidedly not-skinny buttocks out of the ground. Storm of Summer helped but the sudden movement still made her want to puke. She saw Caelia stride forward, firing from the hip as the heretics ran. Near the flag Ilana struggled with the same situation Eriko had been in.
- Yet the battle was done. All it needed was a good push.
- Eriko unclasped her bolter from its mag-lock. It was still unused, anticipating heretic blood, and she was about to indulge its holy inclinations.
- (Prone. Then free Ready her Godwyn-De’az Bolt Gun.
- Full-Auto Burst at Cultists.
- BS 40 + Full-Auto Burst 20 = TN 60 without any other modifiers)
- OOC: -15 for disoriented, -5 for fatigue, -20 for enemies running. +10 prone. TN 30.
- IC: Ears still ringing from the hit across your helm, you pull your boltgun from its mag-holster and turn your sights down through the rain. Moving as they are, the protection of their cam-cloaks has faded, but speed grants them a protection in itself. Hands wavering, vision flickering, you spot a group of hostiles fleeing for the safety offered by an alleyway and open fire. It's a difficult shot in your condition, but you manage to catch the last heretic in the group across the back, the ensuing blast ripping him in half at the waist. A clear kill, even over the distance.
- Scanning for additional targets, you pick yourself up. You still can't hear over the ringing, but your head is no longer pounding. As you stand you witness the road beside rip apart, chunks of rockrete raining down from-what an autocannon? Where did they even get that? You fire in the direction of the shots, a building a little over a hundred and fifty meters down the road, but you don't register any kills. Then the barricade in front of Caelia explodes, showering her in wet sand and scraps of flak cloth, heavy shells spinning her around. She regains her feet, ducking into cover. You catch a flash of movement, Caelia firing after it, but then its gone. The enemy position must have been abandoned.
- [Lore (War) +40 check 1 DoS pass] You are initially surprised that the Heretics held such a weapon in reserve, but then you've not seen or heard of much heavier than a krak RPG being used by the heretics. They must be wary of risking such a valuable weapon, and you doubt they'd have many shells or the equipment to keep it in good condition. They wouldn't dare risk it by placing it in the open, or pushing it into a prolonged firefight. The only question is where and how they got an autocannon into a quarantined district in the first place. Was it here before the quarantine, or perhaps smuggled in piece by piece? But now you have to wonder where the damned thing has gone.
- Your helmet visor registers a comm from the Sister-Superior across the channel, but the ringing in your ears blots it out. Thankfully, its starting to fade. You should be hearing again in a few moments.
- @SirLagginton @greendoor @Zeitgeist Blue
- [QUOTE="Mina, post: 13155530, member: 4718"]
- Skirting wide of mines and wreckage she trudged back the way they'd come. She ran her fingers over the groove in her armor, halfway between annoyed and resigned at the need to consider patching already. The hand dropped the instant she recalled Eriko's vainglory and Vayneth's awe at her own...stubbornness.
- "Lieutenant," she called, "My sisters are confirming the enemy's ability to take the bridge down has been neutralized, but we'll need a trained demolitionist to disarm their charges and the mines will need clearing before we can move the supply lockers forward."
- There is a momentary pause before the PDF officer replies. "Acknowledged. We're moving up to secure the bridge," She says, her voice a cold rasp through her gashood.
- With the last of the enemy fled, you regroup and secure the area. The cultists abandoned some equipment and their dead, but they took most of their wounded. Those that were left behind are too mortally injured to be saved, unless Eriko is willing to expend her rejuvenation system. It's clear that you didn't wipe out the unit of heretics, but given the numbers you saw, you did perhaps decimate it. You doubt they'll soon recover from the casualties they suffered. The PDF have moved to secure both sides of the bridge, but it is slow going. They have no dedicated minesweepers and rely on a scant few auspexes, and the unit only has a handful of men and women with much expertise in demolitions work.
- The Lieutenant looks over the slow but steady work of her platoon to clear the bridge, standing tall and imperious in her rain slick coat. She turns to regard you as you approach, glancing at a digital chrono on her wrist.
- "Lieutenant, how soon can we move?" Palais asks.
- "You?" The Lieutenant asks. She glances at a digital chrono strapped across her vambrace. "Right now. We've cleared a route for your Servitors. It'll be a bit bump for the Witch-finder and his taurox, but they're built for it. But I'm afraid that I'm unable to offer any further assistance to your unit,"
- Palais pauses, armour creaking as she straightens. She glances down at the officer through her fearsome helm. "And pray tell, why would that be?" Palais asks.
- The officer gestures a hand toward the bridge, damaged and covered in explosives as it is, but nonetheless intact. "The explosives are well placed and rigged with at least some counter-tampering devices. It'll take at least six hours for my combat engineers to clear the explosives out, and I'd frankly prefer to hold for a dedicated EOD unit. Given that this a major arterial bridgeway, built for handling emergency use of superheavy promethium transport, it's a priority for my unit to ensure the bridge is secured and in no danger of being destroyed."
- Palais glances across the long bridgeway, before returning to consider the officer. She leans forward, her armour's reactor growling violently. "And what of your assignment with us?"
- The PDF officer holds her ground, though a twist in her hand reveals her nervousness. "My unit was attached to your squad, but we were not placed under your command. In my best judgement, this bridge is to be secured." She hesitates a moment, before continuing. "Per the Decree Passive, you have no authority over us."
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