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 THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE

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The Real Shade
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PostSubject: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Sun May 25, 2014 11:59 pm

ACT ONE
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

-Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley

Tayibe, Afghanistan
November 9th, 2015
3: 28 P.M., Local Time


THE STRIKE TEAM
Featuring
K009 "Sarge"
Staff Sergeant Samuel Harvard
Colonel Ivan Petrov
Jirina Kovac


...twelve hours earlier...


Belroth stood before a large screen, showing a map of Tayibe and the surrounding region-of particular importance was the Al-Qaeda camp located roughly twelve miles north of the town. The status of Tayibe as a town was questionable-it had around six thousand people, and was only a few miles in diameter, but was tightly clustered and built up on top of each other. Changing weather patterns had gradually reduced the ability of farmers to turn a profit-and then even subsistence farming was made impossible. Most people in the village were either involved in opiate farming-as much as the hostile climate would allow-or wound up enlisting in the ranks of the terrorist camp. Of notable importance in the village was the local imam, who wielded considerable sociopolitical power over the entirely Muslim village-and, coincidentally, was closely tied to the local al-Qaeda cell.

Belroth walks across the map, dressed for business. Black fatigues cover his legs, with worn yet reliable combat boots echoing across the floor of the War Room. His usual trench coat-supposedly taken off the corpse of an SS officer his grandfather had killed-hung off a hook by the entrance, leaving his aged yet muscular upper body covered with only a simple t-shirt and chest rig. Two automatics hung in the rig, heavily embossed and designed yet surely functional-the mercenary leader could appreciate the beauty of a weapon, but it was a weapon first and foremost.

"This is Tayibe. You'll be dropped in around 15:30, local time, by a single Osprey. We don't have much in the way of air support on this one, and shouldn't need it. We're fast-roping about sixty of you into the village, but you four are tasked with the most important role. While the others are busy defending the Plaza-Belroth tapped the center of Tayibe, which appeared to be a bombed out, dried out fountain, surrounded by derelict waist-high walls and broken benches-you four will be locating and extracting a high value individual. He's codenamed ICEMAN." A picture of Iceman, who appeared to be slightly older than Belroth, scarred and beaten, flashed up on the screen-but the picture quality was low. However, to put it bluntly-he was likely to be the only Caucasian in the entire village, so picking him out of a lineup wouldn't be too difficult. "ICEMAN is a high priority to our contractors-the United States Government. This op isn't, as per usual, something they want the whole world knowing about. The specifics of why Iceman's valuable are unknown to me, however, the Americans are willing to pay quite a bit for him, and we're willing to do the wetwork. You will find Iceman, more than likely, in a small prison in the southwestern quadrant of Tayibe." The map changed to a picture of the prison, a small, one-room stone building manned by four or five locals, wielding Kalashnikovs and looking generally bored. "There's, unfortunately, only way in and out of that hotbox they call a prison. You're going to want some firepower for this mission-but, being lightweight is more important." The map reverted to an overhead view of Tayibe, with the prison being about a mile southwest of the Plaza. "Iceman may be in poor condition or uncooperative-one of you may wind up being forced to carry his ass back to the Plaza. Extraction from the Prison is possible, but we're going to try and avoid it. We can cover the helicopter far more easily from the Plaza. Now, your route to the Prison, I'll leave up to you. As you can see, Tayibe wasn't laid out ahead of being constructed. The Afghanis threw up buildings as it suited them. You're looking at a bunch of alleyways, blind corners, and general close quarters fighting conditions. You may find it useful to go through some of these homes to stay off the streets, which will probably be full of insurgents who are none too happy to see you. This, however, runs the risk of you getting civilians caught up in the cross-fire." Belroth paused for a moment, his voice growing more serious. "Avoid that." He continued. "As you can see, there are four main roads in Tayibe-stretching northwest, southwest, southeast, and northeast. In theory, you could take that road straight to the prison-but, I think you're all smarter than that. You'll be wide open and easily picked off. Again, speed and efficiency are crucial on this mission. I've included Sarge for a special reason-if Iceman's not in the prison, he may be able to help you locate him." Belroth procured a patch of clothing in a plastic bag. "I doubt even he can track the scent through the city, but it's the best we have. Satellite imagery, however, points towards Iceman being in that prison. Godspeed. Dismissed."


The helicopter was a fireball of smoke and flame and then shortly thereafter it went from flying to falling to crashing. The city of Tayibe around you pulsates with life-frenzied, chaotic, and furious. You were told only a few hundred inhabitants were capable of combat, and even then, that they weren't exactly disciplined-but you are beginning to suspect the legitimacy of your intelligence. The locals seem...inhuman. There's screams from all around, and while you don't speak Farsi, they sound furious. Gunfire booms on all sides, as rifles are shot in earnest. Battle cries and bloodthirsty shouts echo down the streets.

And your only means of escape is a smoldering wreck half a mile away.

You are now faced with quite the dilemma. You could continue with the original mission and move to extract ICEMAN as you were ordered. However...things have obviously changed. With Belroth out of commission, the absent chain of command in the Dreadnaughts is a somewhat glaring weakness, and you're left with no clear goal of what to do. You could choose to follow through with the mission-or, you could go to see if either Molly or Belroth survived that plane crash. It's very unlikely they'll survive the Tayibean mobs without assistance-however, it seems equally unlikely they lived through that crash.

Decisions, decisions.

Thankfully, you are not alone-you have MARIA assisting you. Maria is the Dreadnaughts' communication manager. She works with a small team of intel agents back at the base, assessing the intel from satellite feeds, radio chatter, and reconnaissance teams to update the soldiers in the field as needed. Maria is by no means a master strategist, but can offer you courses of action throughout the RP. If you have any questions regarding the climate, the enemies you're facing, the status of the other Dreadnaughts, or the nature of the mission, you can radio Maria and ask in the OOC. Similarly, any non-essential discussions can be communicated in the OOC, and will be conducted in the IC as a series of quick and efficient hand motions or lightning-fast radio conversations; there's no need to block up the IC with a bunch of chatter. So, as long as you have Maria/comms working, you're able to take advantage of these features. If that comlink falls out of your ear or something happens back at the base, obviously you'll lose your connection to the outside and have to rely off what's in front of you. Similarly, in missions where air support, artillery, etc is available, you can contact Maria and request help.

Using Maria to contact other Dreadnaughts outside of your Strike Team would normally be possible, but the other PC's seem to be a bit preoccupied at the moment.

THE INSIDE AGENTS
Featuring...
Baron "Barry" Moreau
Tanis


....three weeks earlier...

"You two are being sent in ahead of time. This mission is your normal fare-deep cover, limited outside assistance. Any weapons you bring with you are going to need to be light and easily concealed-al-Qaeda doesn't take kindly to heavily armed outsiders, surprisingly enough. Your mission is to gather intelligence on both the fighting capabilities of the Tayibeans and to what extent the jihadists are a threat. Anything you can do-subtly-to hinder the terrorists' fighting capability is approved. Most importantly, do not blow your cover. You're going to want to make contact with this man-" a picture of Imam Hakim, an elderly Afghani, appears-"and assess the capabilities of this town. The jihadists will likely think we're Americans whenever we come swooping in-if we can keep them from the city, if only for an hour or two, it'll make extracting the target that much easier. Furthermore, do not approach the target. ICEMAN's a well-known prize for the Americans, and they may very well come looking for him before we do. If the locals see you sniffing around the prison, they're going to get suspicious. Barry. I trust you're familiar with Farsi from your time in that extremist sect. If not, there's time for Rosetta Stone on the flight over. Maybe bare that tattoo a little more openly for this one. Work your magic on the imam. Assess his stance on the militants-is he open to them, being manipulated, coerced? Find what his angle is and try and sever it-if he's looking for salvation from al-Qaeda, there's this wonderful mercenary corps working pro bono lately. Tanis. You're going to be accompanying Baron. To what extent, I'll leave up to you. Given the extremist nature of this village, you're not going to be able to use your usual means of persuading targets. Stay hydrated-Afghani women's fashion isn't very conducive to the heat. You will, however, be able to move about mostly unseen during your stay. Without arousing suspicion, keep a close eye on Baron and support him however possible. A woman could never approach the imam-or the terrorists-directly. An indirect approach may be more suitable. Regardless, you're the only backup the other has. Comm systems won't be possible, as they'll be a dead giveaway, but you'll need to stay in touch. Extraction plans are as follows..."

Even for two hardened, trained agents of the Dreadnaughts, you feel a trickle of sweat run down your necks.

You are in some deep sh*t now.

There's a huge roar outside as the Dreadnaughts' helicopter gets knocked out of the sky, and the entire room begins to grow very, very tense. The imam-the unwilling vassal of the local al-Qaeda cell-glances nervously from you to Tanis to the armed men within the mosque. The mosque is small, with you and Tanis located only a few feet from the imam and the terrorist's leader, Faheem. He pauses for only a moment before turning to you-and the woman you have dared to bring with you into the mosque, to discuss matters with men-and grins.

"What are the odds? A few weeks after the...what country did you say you were from again? A few weeks after the American shows up, they come and invade." he turns to one of his soldiers and barks out an order. "Radio the camp. Tell them to get ready. The Americans have come. Be at the village as soon as possible, watch the skies." Faheem turns back to Baron and draws a Makarov, racking a round back into the chamber. "I suggest you start talking. How many Americans did you bring into my town?"

The other militants begin moving in, rifles raised and ready to open fire. You are clearly outgunned-and barring a miraculous display of gunslinging, unable to shoot your way out. Fortunately, this isn't new for either of you. I will let you decide what personas you have adopted, and adjust your relationship with the imam accordingly-perhaps you came openly as a mercenary, seeking to gain new clients with the village-or more subtly as an arms dealer, looking to strike a deal with the insurgents and using the imam as the middleman. Regardless, you've developed a relationship of some sort with him over the last few days, Baron-with Tanis playing the careful observer, gathering intel and keeping an eye on you. However, it seems now there is very little that Hakim can do for you: he's visibly terrified of the militants, and any of the locals whom he might hold sway over have long since left the building. You're going to need to talk your way out of this one, by any means necessary-perhaps a familiarity with Sharia law could prove useful, or a knowledge of Arabic culture in general-something both agents have been briefed on thoroughly.

Further, you know the leader of the militants-Faheem, as a man infamous even amongst the groups here as cruel. He is polarizing-to some, he is a hero for fighting the shackles of Western oppression that many feel are to blame for Tayibe's abject poverty. To others, he is a fate far more cruel than any the West ever brought down upon them. He's known for his rather brutal torture of any Westerners that wander into Tayibe, and an equal disregard for orders from Afghanistani officials to stop. His efficacy as a military commander is questionable, but the troops underneath him have a fanatic loyalty both to Faheem personally and the cause as a whole. Attempting to dissuade the soldiers will be next to impossible-you'll need the head of the snake to make the body cooperate.

You will need to decide what armaments you have brought with you-small and concealable, obviously-and what relationship you have the imam. The militants entered shortly after you came to speak with Hakim, intending to intimidate the imam out of delivering a more moderate message to his congregation that week. Any further information you need on Hakim, Faheem, or the village in general, I can provide.

THE CRASH SITE
Featuring
Molly Vice
Belroth Daemond



Something hits the back of the helicopter and the world around you begins to surge up to meet you. Its spinning fast enough to give you nausea, but you've hit the ground before your stomach has time to react, the impact crushing the back half of the chopper before slamming the cockpit against a wall.

For a few seconds, you fade in and out of consciousness. Ugh. Christ. Your vision's hazy, your muscles don't seem to want to reply, and you're only vaguely aware of your body-which, mercifully, means you're only vaguely aware of the pain your body's in. You take a deep breath and try and assess the damage done.

CHECK: HELICOPTER CRASH
Given the rather impromptu nature of your return to the ground, your body has undergone a significant amount of shock. You'll roll based off CONSTITUTION, determining your body's resistance to pain and trauma, and HEALTH, as you will sustain injuries.

Check (to determine damage from the crash): 19.
Modifiers:
...STINGS LIKE A .44: your lightning-fast reaction time allowed you to prepare for impact and relax your body, improving your chances for not dying. -1
18-[(10/3)+(2/2)]
14


Check (to determine damage from the crash): 14
Outcomes:
-Critical Success: (19, 20) Molly emerges totally unscathed. Helicopter crashes into a building full of militants and cripples a sizable portion of the enemy forces. Nice work!
-Success: (14-18) Molly emerges with minor injuries.
-Failure: (4-13) Molly emerges with some damage
-Critical Failure: (1-3) Molly emerges with severe damage

d20 rolls an 11.

Check (to determine damage from the crash): [FAILURE]

You blink and try and force the sluggishness out from your body. Christ, this is NOT how things were supposed to go. You turn your head as quickly as you can-this causes a surge of dizziness and some pain, so you go slowly-and check the other side of the cockpit. Your co-pilot is, well...were his head still attached to his body, he might be able ot be saved. You're too weary to be nauseous. You look down at yourself and try and assess your condition. There's blood on you, but you're not sure if it's yours or someone else's...no, wait, some of it seems to be yours. There's a gash on your left forearm, which is nothing fatal, but will hinder your MELEE COMBAT and UNARMED COMBAT capabilities. Additionally, your toes on your right foot seem to be in a ton of pain, indicating they're broken or fractured. Furthermore, your entire body is sore and you have a minor concussion. All in all, you should be grateful, but it's going to be make getting out of here pretty damned hard.

For the duration of act one, Molly will suffer from the COULDN'T GET TO DA CHOPPA debuff, resulting in a +4 to Melee Combat, Unarmed Combat, and Marksmanship checks (for two-handed firearms) due to her arm wound. Additionally, her ability to run will be impaired as a result of her wounded foot. Due to the shock, she'll suffer a +1 to Intelligence-related checks. Finally, she is bleeding out-albeit, very slowly, and not a rate that she should be too worried about. I mean, she's probably gonna get shot to death before she can bleed that much, anyways. Her Health has been reduced to 5, and she will lose 1 Health every three of her posts unless she staunches the bleeding in some way.

You hear something from the back of the chopper-it sounds like cursing, albeit in a language you don't recognize. If your head was clearer, you might be able to hazard a guess. "This is Belroth," someone, presumably Belroth, coughs out. "If any of you are still alive, get your asses up." He seems to be checking the wreckage for survivors-perhaps you should shout and make your position known to him or something. Or, you could lay there silently and die. I normally try and offer you all choices in this RP but you really don't have that many at the moment. A few seconds of silence pass as you try and find your voice. "...damn." Belroth mutters. He fumbles with something and speaks, presumably into a phone or radio of some sort. "Glasgow, do you read? My chopper's been shot down. Secure evac, then head for the prison. ....yes. Belroth out." there's another brief pause as he puts whatever it was away. "Anyone alive in there?" Belroth asks, attempting to reach into the wreckage and search for survivors.

____________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Mon May 26, 2014 4:17 pm

Spoiler:
 


Ivan, Sam, and Sarge

"Son of a b*tch!" As the chopper falls, all Sam can think of is that day three years ago, the day that ended his SEAL career and dropped him into two years of suicidality. Immediately, the mission is forgotten. Screw ICEMAN; Sam would rather have a living Belroth than a sack of meat that has been marinating in the Tayibe sun for a few weeks Now it is about one thing; getting to that f*cking chopper. For a moment, he stands in shock, along with some of the other Dreadnaughts. Good lord; they knew we were coming. Ivan begins calculating the chance of their survival in his head. It's surprisingly low. Belroth was in there, as was poor little Molly, but it doesn't bother Ivan so much. People die in war, and all you can do is deal with it. He had learned that many years ago.

Immediately, Sam thinks of the undercover agents they had sent in. Had the idiots busted them? He lowers the mic on his MICH helmet and yells loudly over the comms to drown out the Farsi cries and the chatter of gunfire. He is crouched behind a wall with Sarge at his side, growling menacingly Both are rather well-concealed. Ivan is a few segments of wall down, also crouched down behind cover. Occasionally, he holds his gun up and inaccurately fires a few rounds to keep back the oncoming mob. Knowing their lack of discipline and training, he probably hits a few, but doesn't really care.

"This is Striketeam One! Is anyone there? I'm moving towards the helicopter to triage any survivors! Does anyone copy? Ivan, lay down some cover fire! I'm moving! Jarina, scan the rooftops! Take out any would-be snipers! Arthur, Michael, David! With me! I lost thirty-eight men in a helicopter crash once, and I won't lose any more!" Ivan is prepared to protest, but then he remembers what Sam had said before about his friends dying in that crash a few years ago. Though he thinks it's a F*cking stupid idea to move away from the target, he understands Sam's pain.

"Da!" Ivan replies "Don't get killed!" Ivan raises up just enough to get his gun over the edge of the wall and begins to fire at the group of Afghanis. Sam sprints across the plaza, keeping his head down and his body tucked. Sarge runs at his heels, titanium fangs gleaming in the burning sunlight. He reaches the end wall segment, a corner-shaped piece, and turns to see if anyone he called out had followed him. With all hope, they would. Sam was not in the business of going lone wolf. That's how you got killed really quickly.

____________________________________
"How strange it is to be anything at all." -In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel

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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Mon May 26, 2014 4:36 pm

Molly never liked flying the helicopter, but it was a task she was often stuck with. She knew that every time she got into, or piloted, a helicopter they would be getting to the ground in one of two ways. Either by crashing or by landing. And for poor Molly it seemed more common to have a forced landing then a nice touchdown. This certainly wasn't the first time her helicopter had been shot at, she was often put in dangerous situations such as this, but it had never happened this quickly or with this much destruction. Normally a helicopter could put up with a bit more damage. To make it worse, Molly was under the impression that the area she was flying over wouldn't be able to even shoot at her. She had been informed that the firearms were nothing more then primitive and the locals weren't trained. Given this misinformation, Molly assumed they wouldn't have the firepower to damage her.

The initial hit and jolt forward really knocked her off guard, she might have hit her head off of the control panel but at this point she couldn't really remember. She found herself panicking for a brief moment before regaining her professional composure. If she panicked, more people were more likely to die. Molly and her co-pilot frantically, but with extreme precision, try to regain some control over the helicopter, but most of the controls seem unresponsive. Molly switches on her ear piece, trying to communicate with Maria and the other communicators at the base. "Base control? Can you hear me? This is Molly Vice piloting the Dreadnaughts helicopter. We've been hit and are going down fast." She tried to keep her voice even. She was only hearing static, was she even getting through? "Mayday mayday. This is Molly Vice requesting backup! We're goin-" Molly's voice was cut off suddenly by the helicopter slamming into the ground.

And Molly's body being thrown forward, only being stopped by her seatbelt.

She dipped in and out of consciousness, the shock and crash doing a number on her body. It took a few moments for Molly to even realize she was still alive. Her headset had slipped down around her neck, quite clearly crushed. She struggled to remove herself from the tangled headset, as well as her seatbelt. It only took a glance to her side for Molly to realize what had happened to her copilot. She felt a horrible stirring in her chest and head, but there would be time for mourning later. Molly was just thankful she didn't throw up or faint. Once some feeling returned to her body Molly tried to asses the damage done to herself. Diagnosing injuries was not Molly's strong point, but it didn't take a doctor to be able to tell what was wrong with her. Molly guessed she had some sort of head injury, hopefully not too extreme, from the pounding in the back of her skull.  

After this, Molly discovered the gash on her arm. She cursed silently, hoping she would be able to find the first aid kit stashed within the helicopter. She hoped equally that it wasn't completely destroyed. And then she heard a voice, an extremely familiar voice. Molly found herself relaxing for just a moment. She hadn't killed Belroth. He was calling for survivors of the wreck, luckily he sounded to be in one piece himself. Molly started to work her way out of the wreckage that was her pilots seat, often finding different parts of herself trapped or stuck. She also found herself struggling to form words, maybe the shock of crashing was finally catching up with her. She continued to struggle, being mindful of her arm and head, but her foot was another story. The horrible pain in her right foot, something she knew as broken toes, forced her to shift most of her weight onto her left side.

"Commander Belroth, Sir." Molly said, trying to stand at attention best she could. "It appears we have crashed. The last reading I received stated we were several miles away from the plaza, but we might have been thrown off course. Sir."

____________________________________


Last edited by Dragonbud on Wed May 28, 2014 9:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Mon May 26, 2014 10:23 pm

Kaboom.

Jirina's gaze snapped to the sky, held for precious moments by the very image of searing failure.

Nobody had better blame her for that.

The plaza promptly comes alive with screaming and gunfire. Ironic? Time to take cover, obviously.

Not all of the screaming is unintelligible. "That's not my name, Sam," Jirina natters back, scanning the rooftops all the same. Then she's serious again.

"No - dispatch your team to the copper, and get back on mission! If they've made their sacrifice, don't waste it." Over the comlink, her digitized voice is oddly gentle for also being loudly annoyed.
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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Mon May 26, 2014 11:36 pm

Staff Sergeant Samuel Harvard

CHECK: FORMING A POSSE
In an attempt to put together an ad hoc squad to go after Belroth, Molly, and anyone else who survived the crash, you try and get a few of the Dreadnaughts assigned to defending the Plaza/what used to be the LZ to accompany you.

Check: (to determine who comes with you): 10
Modifiers:
-2, various Leadership perks

8-[(4/2)+(6/2)]=3.


Check (to determine who comes with you): 3

Outcomes:
Critical Success: (19-20)3 Dreadnaughts accompany you.
Success: (3-18) 2 Dreadnaughts accompany you.
Failure: (2) No Dreadnaughts accompany you.
Critical Failure: (1) No Dreadnaughts accompany you. Their refusal causes you to suffer a Morale loss and consider turning back.
[/i]

d20 rolls a 19.

Check (to determine who comes with you): [CRITICAL SUCCESS]

A few Dreadnaughts quickly exchange glances, signal to one another and rearrange their positions. Three Dreadnaughts follow after Sam and Sarge-hardly enough to hold off the Tayibean horde, but it's better than absolutely nothing. Given their presence, Sam and Sarge will gain the COVERING FIRE buff, making Tayibeans less accurate when targeting them. Sam moves to the corner of the wall and glances around-he only peeks for a second, but takes in quite a bit of what he sees. The streets of Tayibe are chaotic. Women and children scream, running for cover, and men, ranging from just-barely-teenagers to middle aged adults, come pouring out. They appear to be wielding Kalashnikos-cheap, rugged, and efficient. There don't appear to be many professional soldiers-they're all trying to figure out what's going on, and they aren't getting organized very quickly. The fog of war at its finest. You could try and move up the street-but, it would cause tremendous collateral damage and likely get the Dreadnaughts who accompanied you (not to mention yourselfa and Sarge) torn to shreds. Untrained or no, guns are guns. Eventually, one of them will get lucky. Not to mention, the roar and gunfire of the mob, from further back in the city, sure is getting closer-and it's coming down the main streets. Your best bet would be to tuck into a side alley and try and find a way to the crash site-but, you notice, there's also a window facing the Plaza, which, futilely, has a curtain drawn over it. You could sneak through the houses of Tayibe, which would take longer, but expose you to far less fighting-not to mention, Sarge would need a boost. Of course, going through someone's home could have disastrous results...but the alternative is opening yourself and your newly formed squad to enemy gunfire.

A few bullets kick up dust and dirt near you, but it's unlikely they're directly aiming at you-rather, the Plaza group in general. Regardless, decide quickly. Your lives and whoever-if anyone-survived the crash hangs in the balance.


Molly Vice

"Might've been thrown off course? What gave you that impression?" Belroth muttered, drawing a large, curved blade (one familiar with the Gurkhas might recognize it as a kukri) and began sawing through the seat belt holding Molly in place. Before sheathing it, he very gently drew a drop of blood from the back of his hand and quickly tucked it back into its holster. He glanced over her, giving the young pilot a chance to see him up close rather well. His hair was salt-and-pepper, leaning towards salt, and his grizzled face looked older than it probably was. He wasn't a stranger to scars, either physical or mental-that much was apparent in his face, and his blue eyes looked weathered, but cold. He grabbed Molly abruptly and brusquely, pulling her out of the helicopter and laying her down on the ground outside of the wreckage.

"We can't stay here very long, for obvious reasons," Belroth said, tearing off his shirt in one swift motion and beginning to wrap it around Molly's arm, staunching the bleeding and fashioning a sling around her neck with it. While Belroth was by no means underwear-model material, it was impressive how toned the man was, given his age. He had to be somewhere in his fifties, but he looked like he could hold his own in a fight with someone half his age. The leather jacket ruffled in the breeze, and Belroth paused to look up and glance around momentarily. The screams of the Tayibean mob were growing ever closer.

"Storm's coming in," Belroth muttered, returning his attention to Molly. "There's not much time. Can you walk?" Belroth began to lift her up, holding her weight as she got onto her foot. "...damn, didn't see your foot. There's not much I can do about it, I'm sorry." Belroth reached under his left shoulder and drew out a pistol, a .45 that-under less strenuous circumstances-would've been a marvel to behold. It was ornately designed and inlaid with various designs, but nevertheless looked entirely capable of the harshest fighting one could throw at it. Carved neatly into the slide was the name ADRAMMALECH. Belroth flipped it, holding it by the barrel and offering it to Molly. "Don't know how good of a shot you are, but you're probably going to need this. Not much spare ammunition that I can give you right now, so don't waste any. I need you to cover the alleyway for a moment." Belroth gently, but hurriedly, placed Molly against the wall, where she could prop up against the wall and not stress her wounded foot. Belroth moved back into the helicopter and began to remove a rifle from a fallen Dreadnaught, slinging it over his back and sliding two magazines into his pockets. He drew several thermite grenades and clipped them onto his rig. Belroth moved back to Molly, either unaware or nonchalant of the oozing wound on his forehead. No-nonchalant. Some blood dripped down onto his mouth and he casually spat it on the ground next to him.

It would seem Belroth was planning on incinerating the remains of the helicopter-and the fallen Dreadnaughts within it-as soon as he and Molly could clear the blast radius. This, while seemingly callous, was a far more dignified means of disposal than whatever the al-Qaeda militants had planned, one would imagine. Molly, however, would find herself feeling quite better-as a result of Belroth's presence and collected mannerisms, she gains -2 to Morale and Willpower checks. Attempting to walk on your wounded leg will eat away at your Morale and Willpower, while taking rests will restore it. Of course, taking rest really isn't an option with seemingly half of Tayibe about to eviscerate you, so perhaps just take it easy for a few weeks once you get back to base.


Ivan Petrov and Jari Jirina

It would seem that approximately one half of your strike force has gone off on a suicide mission. This elicits a bit of worry from the both of you-enough to dock one point of Morale from Ivan, but Jirina's stoic nature allows her to shrug it off. Achieving the mission goals were still possible-after all, the Dreadnaughts were elite soldiers, and the majority of the village would be focusing on either the crashed helicopter or the sizable force intentionally making quite a bit of noise back at the Plaza. Due to wisely taking cover, you avoid any significant threats to your life, albeit a few shards of brick and haphazardly aimed bullets fly over your head. Perhaps you should consult with each other and see if you're going to try and wrangle Sam and Sarge back into doing the mission-or maybe reduce the size and firepower of the Plaza force a little more by getting a few others to accompany you. Alternatively, you could risk it and head straight for the prison now without wasting anymore time.

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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Tue May 27, 2014 12:21 am

Sam, Ivan, and Sarge

"No soldier left behind, Jarina!" Sam replied into his mic "I'm not going to leave them. I'll bring the team back around behind enemy lines and meet back up with you at the compound! Just proceed with the mission!"

"This is stupid, Sam!" Ivan yelled over the comms as he tucked back behind his wall "The probability of a man surviving that crash is under ten percent!"

"Bro, this is Belroth Daemond we're talking about! That man could get hit in the chest with an RPG and survive!" Ivan cursed in Russian over the comms as a bullet whizzed over his head. Sam was being an idiot, but this did present a tactical opportunity. The villagers would want to check out that helicopter, and Sam's squadron would distract them a bit as well, causing less soldiers to follow himself and Jirina.

"Fine whatever! If you die, I'll kill you!" Sam smirked and replied "Roger that, Commie! Harvard, out!" Sam pushed his mic up away from his mouth and looked back up at the window. The "soldiers" running amok would be too concerned with the fight outside for there to be someone of a thread inside, and while a soldier could kill an innocent, Sarge was trained only to kill enemies with weapons. Sam gestured towards the window with his head and aimed his gun. He moved to hug the wall and, gun on his lap, held out his hands.

"Sarge," he said. The dog's ears perked up "Attack!" Sarge snarled loudly, immediately switching into combat mode. Sarge's vision began to tunnel as he focused on the window. His awareness of the world around him exploded. Gunpowder, brick dust, sweat, blood. Oh, the smell of blood; it was like an old friend. He ran towards the window and Sam pushed him up, boosting him up over the wall and into the room. He entered with a roaring "BARK!" (I suppose I'll let le GM decide what he's going to be attacking) As Sarge hit the floor Sam stood up and fired into the room, high enough so that he wouldn't hit the dog. "Let's go!" he yelled to the other three. Ivan looked over to Jirina, a grimace on his face.

"Let's just keep going." he said "There's no point in trying to stop him. We have other soldiers, and his running off will present a distraction to the enemy. Prison's to the southwest. Let's get the Hell out of here."

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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Tue May 27, 2014 1:11 am

Molly found herself flinching when Belroth pulled out his knife, but immediately relaxed when she remembered it was attached to her commander. She relaxed a bit more, despite being in this dangerous situation, when he began to free her from the wreckage of the helicopter. She looked up at her commander with a sudden, and strange, feeling of understanding. As if it suddenly came to her that she almost died. Again. And that she was likely to die very soon given the predicament she was in. But she wasn't dead yet. But if she had chosen to copilot today instead of flying it herself, she would be headless and the lifeless man sitting next to her would be getting cut out of the helicopter. Molly felt a shiver run up and down her spine.

And when Belroth lifted her so easily out of her chair, she felt even smaller.

"Yes sir." Molly responded simply when Belroth stated they couldn't stay put for long. A tiny portion of Molly just wanted to lay there and give up, but a much larger portion of her wanted to get the f*ck out. The screams of the mobs, most likely coming for their heads, would normally send Molly into a panic. But this wasn't a rare sight to Molly. She had been in several dangerous situations before. And being with Belroth almost made it better. This man was pretty much the human embodiment of badass. Despite his age and everything he had gone through with his work. Molly had mad respect for him. And having the man you respect, as well as the man who signs for paychecks, bandage your arm is a huge moral booster.

But she could already feel it dropping when she attempted to stand up. She had to rely mostly on Belroth to pull her to her feet, as her head was still spinning. The pain in her foot was practically unbearable. Molly contorted her face slightly, trying to keep from complaining. "It's alright commander. I'll figure out a way to keep up." She just hoped she could. If her foot was her undoing Molly was going to kick herself. Molly attempted to keep some of the pressure off of her toes by leaning back slightly on her heel. Man this was going to make for some clumsy walking.

And then Molly was being handed a gun, and while it was absolutely beautiful, she became immediately nervous. Yep they were in some deep sh*t now. Pistols weren't anything hard to shoot, but she just didn't like shooting. But hey, if it's life or death, Molly would easily be able to put aside this uneasiness to keep herself alive. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that. She didn't recognize the name, ADRAMMALECH. She would have to ask Belroth about it later. Molly leaned up against the wall, removing some of the pain from her foot for a few moments. She nervously glanced around the wall, into the alleyway. Her eyes darted from the place she was watching, to her commander rummaging through the remains of the helicopter. Man that guy had guts. Molly felt if she had to see her dead copilot one more time she might vomit.

Luckily, Belroth returned before she could get too deep into her train of thought. She rubbed her bandaged arm anxiously. "What do we do now commander?"

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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Wed May 28, 2014 6:06 am

[Assent. Wait.] Jirina signals to Ivan. She takes a moment to pinch her brow, letting the chaos of the plaza put her problems in perspective.

Being shot at? Sure. Civilians running amok? No big. Squaddie mislearned your name? Pitiful. Squaddie won't stay on mission?

"F*ck Belroth for assigning him to us," she mutters off-com, looking back up at the war-worn Russian. If he can't hear her, then maybe he can read her lips.

A bullet kicks up a puff of dust on the opposite side of their cover. She releases her grip on her mic. "Disciple, Arseniy..." Lana? No - the wounded will be here.

"I'm reassigning you to the strike team. Regroup in the southwest corner. We'll proceed by side street to the prison."

Rifle back in both hands, Jirina gives the empty rooftops and windows (only to the plaza's north?) another look-over. She seems satisfied, and adjusts her weight, about to run.

This signal doesn't require a hand gesture. [Let's go.]

---

"Please, he is innocent! Please explain this to them, brother."

Tanis draws closer to Baron, resisting the temptation to cling, nor indeed touch. Somewhere in the crowd, her erstwhile husband may take offense regardless - but all she needs is his attention.

She does not think herself beyond harm, of course. But he does have a certain obligation - and incentive beyond that - to help keep her from it.
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PostSubject: Re: THE RECKONING OF LESSER MEN: ACT ONE   Wed May 28, 2014 1:06 pm

"Silence, sister, this is neither the time nor the place!" Barry insisted. Surely that would have come off as blunt, and in some respect, disrespectful and sexist. But given al-Qaeda's stance on womanly affairs, it would appear as though they preferred there were little to no womanly affairs to begin with! As such, he had to maintain cover, even if it came at his partner's expense. A measure that he felt Tanis was understanding of. He turned back to face Faheem. He was somewhat of an intimidating man. A little enigmatic, thus somewhat of a challenge to work around. Barry stood tall, wrapped in local attire - that of a jellabiya, which was wide cut and covered every bit of his arms, legs, and torso, but his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, and the tattoo on his right arm was bared. On top of that was an appropriately donned keffiyeh, a scarf fashioned to protect himself from the harsh middle eastern sun.

He had also brought with him the guise of an Arabian al-Qaeda agent, who has supposedly made his way well into the American government, for the color of his skin was akin to the others. And there was, of course, wine brought with him from the UAE. It was only the proper etiquette of a visitor.

"As-salamu alaykum." Barry chimed, but the cheer from his face had left after his greeting. Instead, a look of feigned and yet half-genuine concern. That was a helicopter crash. That couldn't be good. "I apologize, emir, for my sister's discourtesy - and I apologize again, but I do not know why they are here... I do not think these are Americans. They had no such plans, and they sound sloppy. I am afraid we are under attack from someone else!"

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