Prior Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3146125/Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Maverick%20Hunter%20QuestThe IRC: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com, #MHQThe Twitter: https://twitter.com/HunterCommandThe Recap (thanks to Scarab): http://pastebin.com/wMtuXJM2Character sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18-L31ukeOd_0XvfqErwY7GogqiwMU8zyIYfXxjTUb-c/You are Corporal Kallio, 1st Advance Unit, and things just popped off.
>>3177117You were just in the middle of your third argument in an hour about 10th’s detachment being too quiet when they finally broke radio silence to let you have the last word.“--ny allied forces receiving, this is Pratt, under heavy fire from maverick ground forces, please respond.” The line cracks and pops viciously--if you didn’t know better, you might mistake it for a warzone. “We read you,” the Warrant Officer replies. “Ruffo with Advance. What’s your status, 10th?” “Two damaged, one KIA,” he replies immediately. “Visual on three maverick officers, at least one VWES in play. Retreating Southbound, on foot by way of Fraser Delta Thruway. Need anything you can give us, First.”“Copy that, we’re coming in force. Ruffo out.” He guns his motor, the message clear: Mount up and move out. White armor gleams in the rising sun, faceplates snapped on and tinted visors down. “Wing?” Dirtwake asks, as your Chevals rise aloft with a familiar thrum.“Wedge,” Russo replies. “Eye for an eye.” You grin beneath your mask. This isn’t a rescue, it’s a rout in the making. The five of you take to the roads, taking the nearest ramp--wending expertly around the closure signs--and fan out across Highway 99, ignoring the neon signs warning you about unnecessary things like “wrong lane” and “wrong direction.” “What are we looking at, Pratt?” “Multiple Reploid infantry, commandeered civilian ground vehicles,” Pratt replies crisply--though you don’t miss the faint signs of relief at friendly contact. “Speeder pads, flatbeds, two Road Attackers.” “You hear that?” Slight asks, and you can hear the glee. “Road Attackers.”“Be advised,” Pratt continues. “Enemy has jamming capabilities and a JLT. Not sure if he’s tasked after us or our lost man.” That explains the radio silence--and it doesn’t take a Replibrain to work out the ‘lost man’ bit.The highway glides by beneath you as you hit the redline once, twice, and finally hit your max cruise speed--chances to actually use it on a combat op are few and far between. You relish the wind whistling through your helmet ports as your bike settles into the ideal hundred-sixty. “Link check,” Ruffo comms. “Slight aye.”“Corgi aye.”“Dirtwake aye.”“Kallio aye.”“Ruffo aye,” the WO finishes. “Engage by rows and fire for effect. 10th, we’re coming in hot.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-4JvhKG60cYou thumb the link and your Cheval quickly handshakes Dirtwake’s, the beam tripwire between your chasers crackling alight. Ahead, Slight and Corgi’s do the same, the team in perfect formation.
>>3177124The distance from ‘visual’ to ‘contact’ evaporates in a Cycl0P5’s eyeblink, as the team hunkers down and into combat posture. Your nose-mount blasters wink alight and send shining blue lances of plasma fire downrange as you absolutely scream by two Berets and a civ-model, hunkering behind a divider. You’re past them and into the enemy before anyone has a chance to act. “Enjoy your Hoth!” Dirtwake crows as your tether snaps a hapless Muzzle Crash off his skimmer, slingshotting him a good few hundred feet back and to the floor, reducing him to a dumbass with a lanky arm and awkward treads. You thumb the firing studs and lace a Road Attacker, sniping your favored prey’s engine out as you streak by and unhorse another from the neck up. Explosions bloom around you as your speedy charge crashes through the enemy. A Crash Roader literally flips over the top of Ruffo’s windscreen, cartwheeling off in three pieces as it’s smashed apart under the ‘wheel.’ Corgi and Slight enact a precise waggle of their handlebars, wending around the truck in the center-right lane, then shearing its tires off in one pass of their linkbeam. You’re through them in less than it takes to process the thought, already turning back in for another pass. The repulsors sing as the capacitors recharge, and you accelerate right back at them from behind. 10th’s beleaguered infantry spring from cover and deliver a withering crossfire, cutting down that dumb, slow Muzzle Crash as he tries to pop off one last shot. Shots crisscross the dividers, holograms fuzzing in their wake. Your team falls into loose, lazy circles around Pratt’s squad, snap-shots warding away the few survivors of your barrage. “First to Captain Anode,” Ruffo comms. “Tenth has been recovered, one down. Advance is in good health, enemies are routing to the old George Massey Tunnel. Requesting orders.”“Break off,” comes the reply. “Get them home safe.” “Acknowledged,” he replies, slowing his bike and letting the whine of the engine fall back to what civilians call ‘safe.’ “First, be advised Pratt is precious cargo.”“Room for two,” Corgi offers, slowing and sliding forward to offer the Beret a seat.
>>3177130Watching the last of the battered maverick forces vanish with their tails between their legs, you list off to the side and cut the pulse, settling down and dismounting. Pulling your faceplate aside mid-stride, you offer one of 10th’s men your hand, helping the half-burnt Beret rise. “Let the World Never Falter,” you offer, clapping him on his undamaged arm. He nods in appreciation, before tapping his own earpiece. “Captain, Mastiff. We made some noise. Civilian response is inbound. What are our orders?”You turn at the distinct sound of choppers in the air, a distant pinprick of a spotlight already in view.Mastiff pauses for a moment before nodding again, turning back to you with Anode’s orders. >”First should scram while they can. Take Pratt and RTB, 10th will remain on station for the meet and greet.”>”Tenth is heading back to base ASAP. Captain wants First to establish contact with local law enforcement.”>”All of us are beating feet before they know we’re here. Let’s go before things get any hotter.”>”We’re blown. Civilian air response en route; orders are to stay put and meet them when they get here.”>Other?
>>3177137>”Tenth is heading back to base ASAP. Captain wants First to establish contact with local law enforcement.”10th should give a quick debrief before they split off, especially about what seemed suspicious.10th with 1st backup is still plausible for keeping up the weak response charade. If were lucky, the Mavs will think that was the extent of the forces sent, and then we'll still have the Bravely Broken in reserve as a surprise, and then Spider and Grach and Anode in reserve if they try to come in for heavy retaliation. Basically, I say we play a card and let them think they've seen our whole hand, rather then try to be completely hidden at this point.
>>3177211Thirding. Going public won't have much effect if we show off the guys who are already half dead
>>3177211I'll back this
>>3177211Thirding this. Given the mavs might have a way to know the First was involved anyway, trying to keep this hidden might only tip them off that we're being tricksy about this and provoke more questions.
>>3177137>>3177211>”First should scram while they can. Take Pratt and RTB, 10th will remain on station for the meet and greet.”I don't see the significance of leaving 1st there to explain as opposed to leaving 10th there to explain. I know the vote is going the other way, but I want to advocate for this one.If 1st stays, 10th has no escort on the way back, and local law enforcement might take less kindly to the Advance Unit showing up on their doorstep. This might waylay the 1st for long enough to diminish tactical deployment.If 10th stays, not only will they be safe with the cops, they can explain things more gently and in ways tailored to civilians, that being their specialization. Plus 1st can be on its way to redeploy from home as needed.
>>3177325...Yeah, alright, that makes sense. 10th would be more equipped to share information anyway, since they were there firsthand. Switching from this >>3177238 to this >>3177325
>>3177325I wasn't assuming that we required the entire 1st unit to stay behind and make contact. If it's a matter of leaving the 10th to go home alone if we have the 1st make contact, then of course keep the 10th on-scene to make contact instead.
>>3177137>Send the injured back with some 1st escorts.>Leave some 1st AND 10th to address the public
>>3177137Gonna drop my vote in for>>3177325
>>3177137Gonna vote for>>3177325
Writing shortly. Just gotta take out the trash.
>>3179044... or not, we tied again. Mix of both, or tiebreaker?
>>3179143i'll go ahead and alter my vote here:>>3177211to one for keeping someone from the 10th behind with some 1st guys to do the talking, while the majority head back to base.
>>3179159That oughta do it. Stand by, etc.
>>3179159“...10th, you’re bugging out. We need one to stay and meet the neighbors.”“That’ll be me,” Mastiff says--it makes sense, given he’s got the worst of it. “Pratt, Red, scoot. Get that intel home safe.”The two of them salute--the lighter-armored civvie model sporting a distant look in his eye--and skid down the side of the overpass, vanishing into the streets below as the spotlights sweep closer.You instinctively straighten up, your unitmates following suit as your posture morphs as one from ‘hotshot ride jockey’ to ‘respectable maverick hunter.’ Mastiff holsters his pistol as Ruffo orders engines cold. You move well away from your bikes and adopt the most nonthreatening poise a purpose-built fighting Reploid can, the WO waving open-handed at the encroaching police chopper. Out tromp a quartet of identical law enforcement models, clad in crisp blues and whites cut with fire engine red highlights. They’re well armed and armored--for civvies--their expressions neutral and unsmiling… and also almost expectantly wide-eyed, in a cat-waiting-for-a-lunge sort of way. Cardies, that’s the nickname for the line. A pistol with a foldout stock rests on each one’s hip, some sort of projector on the other, and a grey crossed tablet on one arm, the slits suggesting field emitters. “Good morning,” says one of them, a badge decal indicating his role as a police sergeant. “Please disarm yourselves of any weapons on your person with slow movements.”Ruffo nods to you all, and the squad goes about carefully drawing and setting down your cable-cutter knives and sidearms. Mastiff does the same with his pistol, his buster rifle somewhere else. Around you, Earth Commanders bob low, rising and falling in syncopated beat to the helicopter. Their inner cores weeble-wobble back and forth on their own gyros, the red lenses sweeping you and your crew. “Link Rider Vans have a hardpoint and integrated weapon, sir,” Ruffo directs to the Cardie. “Hardpoint is vacated. Clamp for the buster?” He offers, raising his arm nonthreateningly. One of the police steps forward and fits him with a cuff, the two halves mag-locking to eachother, fittings screwing themselves into place, and then going active. Instantly the Warrant Officer’s arm goes dead, falling to his side limply as the new bracer buzzes and cracks.“Please identify yourselves,” the Cardie asks politely. “You are not yet under arrest.”
>>3179390Ruffo nods. “Warrant Officer Ruffo, First Advance Unit of the Maverick Hunters. The Riders are Kallio, Corgi, Slight, and Dirtwake.”The Cardie turns to the lone Beret of the bunch. “And you…”“Mastiff, Tenth Civic,” he replies.“May I ask your business in Vancouver?”“10th deployed to support civilian evacuation operations in the Richmond area,” Mastiff replies, not dishonestly. “We had hostile contact with maverick ground forces.”“And we went in for priority response,” Ruffo adds primly. “Command deployed us to provide hunter assistance to civilian law enforcement.”“I can confirm contact with at least three maverick commanding officers and the presence of a fourth,” Mastiff adds. “One Muzzle Crash, an A-Cruise and armor, an unidentified Jetlight Tommy…” The Cardie’s gaze doesn’t so much swivel as oscillate between the two of you, expression unchanging, features set but not quite cold. “Would you be willing to submit to questioning?” He asks. “Yes, sir,” Ruffo says. “We’re here to help.” “Thank you for your cooperation,” The sergeant says. “We will return your equipment to you at the soonest convenience. Your vehicles will be impounded--” You barely restrain a groan. “--And brought with you to the precinct.” “Understood,” Mastiff says. You share a side-eyed glance with Slight through the visor that swiftly confirms that, no, he’s not exactly understanding about it either.As you’re filed into the helicopter one by one, you can’t help but spare a look back at your baby--hoping against hope they don’t confiscate the slush in your saddlecase. “The Richmond area is under cordon now,” the Sergeant says. “The aggressors have retreated at this time.” Mastiff’s expression dithers for just a moment. “Did you recover my unitmate?” “We did. You have my condolences.”“Mm.” Mastiff nods, expression cool and guarded.The pall fades quickly enough--you’re all soldiers, and most of you have done this dance at least once. The rotors spin up again as Ruffo is brought in last, the Cardie graciously helping him board with his deadened arm. The copilot cranes his head back--a civilian Gomeister, given his paintscheme and lettering--and grins at you all.“How's it going, eh? So you must be here about that ‘big score’ thing, huh?”You blink. “...The what?”
>>3179396>“How's it going, eh? So you must be here about that ‘big score’ thing, huh?”Uh oh, sounds like cops could be compromised.
>>3179483Nah, that's just Gus.He's doing his best.
> So you must be here about that ‘big score’ thing, huh?I've seen this episode of SVU.
Right, back at home. Need a little windup time for errands-like things again before I get cracking.
>>3179396You are Captain Anode, and things are already off to a bad start.You’ve already had heavy contact--what was supposed to be a reconnoiter turned into a full-scale engagement with multiple maverick team. You’ve already lost a Beret under your command.You’re lucky you had the First on standby to avoid things getting any worse. That had its own tradeoff, of course--rather than antagonize the already-jumpy police, you ordered them to come in and approach law enforcement to provide mutual support. Costly though it was, you gained a lot from stumbling into that hornet’s nest. Iris was quick to remind you that if the mavericks had placed such a disproportionate amount of their resources into the attack, it must have been a major component of their strategy.“What if they’re that thick all over, though?” You groused to her, that old paranoid cynicism settling in like a strangling mantle.“If mavericks could deploy in that kind of force everywhere at once, this city would be burnt to sea level by now,” Iris replies.“You sound sure.” A rare showing for her--confidence has not exactly been Iris’s strongpoint.Her voice carries just a trickle of good-natured mirth, lifting you out of your funk. “If I’m wrong, I’ll eat my hat.”“...You have a hat?”“We all have hats,” Susan interjects, “sir.”Flak barely restrains a cackle, launcher slung over one shoulder, as you make your way closer to a shoreline you can’t yet see.“All right, focus,” Susan says. “We’re big, loud, and obvious. We don’t want to get jumped like 10th did.” “Corporal Pratt indicated signal isolation,” Iris adds, starkly back to business at the mild admonishment. “And none of us picked it up. That suggests sophisticated capabilities.” “I ran into a trick like that in the Himalayas,” you note. “Bet you we’ve got one of those jammer specialists kicking around.”“One of those at least,” Susan offers helpfully.As if right on cue, your line falters and dies, Iris’s signal strength falling by bars before she can muster a word of warning. “I’m gonna need you to stop saying things,” Marx says lightly from the back, rifle up and at the ready.“Focus. Anything?”You sweep the area. “Nothing.” “So they’re not hitting us. At least not yet.”“Do you think they know we’re here?” Flak asks. “Doubt it.” Derby turns and keeps his rifle sighted the way you came, in the maze of city streets. “You can hear people. And no one’s screaming.” “Meaning no one’s gone loud.” Marx scoffs. “Plainclothes mavs. What a time to be alive.”That, of course, begs the question--what are they doing here, if not gunning for you or blowing shit up? Your question is answered, you think, by a faint shimmer on the edge of your vision.
>>3181275You hold up a hand and point to your eyes, and Susan gets the picture. Nodding, he signals to the rest of the crew as you creep forward, hand hovering over your misericorde. Ahead, two armed and armored masspros--you can’t tell which model from the back, but none you recognize--are walking, unconcerned and almost lackadaisical. “--ng you, it’s a bullshit duty for a bullshit job.” As if passing through a curtain, as you draw closer, you suddenly hear the conversation in full, from nothing. Sound suppression? “No, they’re bullshit orders from a bullshit commander. But hey, if you wanna pick a fight…”The first one snorts, letting a mismatching, bolted-on buster clang against a signpost. A quick glance behind you suggests your Berets didn’t hear a thing. “Buddy, I’m six months old. I’d rather not stop there.” “Then quit complaining and be grateful you weren’t in Sisiutl when it got hit,” grunts the second--you think maybe a Cycl0P5 with a custom paint scheme and some modular armor pieces.It’s not terribly hard to get the measure of these two--undisciplined and stuck on a crap duty no one wanted. They’re patrolling for active threats--not doing a very good job of it--and passively watching for something, rather than out with a goal.>Not their lucky day. Waste them.>Remain concealed and move past.
>Not their lucky day. Waste them.Let us not pretend that we are at all stealthy.
Okay, so Sisiutl is the hydrocity district, and he wasn't talking about the 10th and 1st kerfuffle. If we're going for intel...>Listen in a little more, then stealth kill.
>>3181280"At six months Baby is ready to be shot into the Sun"Actually we should focus on our main objective and find those Victoroids. Keep quiet and hope those two conveniently drop relevant information.>Remain concealed and move past.
>>3181280Did Anode or any of the BB ever happen across one of the signalfuckers in person?If they can ID one of those unknowns as that, then I say take that one out as priority. Otherwise... I dunno.
>>3181280>Not their lucky day. Waste them. I have a feeling attempting stealth will get us into a bad place
>>3181280I know splitting the party is bad, but I'm gonna put this one on the table early so there's time to shoot it down.>Leave a BB to listen in and keep a gun pointed at their backs>everyone else keep goingIf the alarm sounds, whoever we leave can shoot them down, and from there everything's going loud so they're free to run to join back up or just evac with the intel.We're pretty sure these guys are mavericks or at least mercenaries, right?
>>3181280>Remain concealed and move past.These two, are they being hit by their own jamming? Anode couldn't sneak through a Blue Idiot factory on a holiday weekend.
>>3181348This. I would consider sneaking past them, but if the rest of our squad cant even hear them, let alone see them, Im not willing to risk it.
>>3181280>>Not their lucky day. Waste them.Likely more of Phantom's custom units. We have weaponry designed for quick take down with our rifles, so waste them quick before they alert anyone.
N5 Slfer on the wiki looks... concerning.
Cain, do we really need live obituaries as we order our units to death?
>>3181952What, you don't like reading the Irish sports page?
>>3181280>Not their lucky day. Waste them.Flak has chaff to silence and Susan can snipe, we should be able to pick them off without alerting too many enemies.
>>3181952Obviously I won't put **all** of them on there. Amending the wiki is just my way of ensuing you have additional information when warranted. I'm sure you know how it is.
>>3182616So there's a decent amount of traction for gleaning info before a stealth kill. Any objections to me going with that? If it's in question for your decision, these guys have shown no indication they know you're there.
>>3182705It works. We have several means to stealth kill alongside Susan's rifle and either using our wire or our own lock on hunter.
>>3182705No problem here. Observing these guys might also help us establish how the noise cancelling works.
>>3182777Did we ever vote on VWES loadout?
>>3182805Not really, but the issue is what to bring. Wire is a given and we want to hit moloch's weakness which can either be Mortarphant(blowing up the material) or Wrenades(erratic, wind burst, could send him flying and cut his stuff up).With how things are, lockon hunter allows us to start fights at an advantage. Tumult shells allow us to handle fire fights better and cover for our team.Our lance is also pretty dang handy with shot erasure so we can still defend, and I don't think Tumult will help against moloch's spikes which are physical.
>>3182805Let's knock that out, actually. Remember your mission parameters and environment.
>>3182854Tension Coil and Lockon Hunter for precision and collateral minimization, Hurricane Bomb and Shell Driver for when big things need to be extra dead.
>>3182825Tumult shells would also be useful for preventing collateral damage in the leadup to Moloch.Hurricane Bomb does well against more lightly armored targets, which it doesn't sound like Moloch is. Currently I think that Moloch's weakness is either Gibbon, Atlantica, or Foxfire; we haven't fought the first two, and we didn't exactly get a weapon from Foxfire. We could have better luck with weapons from our first roster, though.I'd go with>Tumult Shell>Blackout Rocket>Lockon Hunter>Shell Driver
>>3182881I will agree with this.>>3182893We have other soldiers with shields and defenses. The shells are also slow and not designed to intercept as shown when we used them for X's defense. We would need to be close or in the path of the shots for it to have a chance and they are not good against solid projectiles. Also, you are removing our option to get in the air fast and keep that way against a guy who can summon death spikes from the ground why?As for weaknesses, Gibbon's weapon seems likely for Wren. Invisible shot or freezing would slow her down and Gibbon himself seems weak to foxfire(OPAL cancels the invisibility of the lasers and she had items that are good against the cold)
>>3182854I'd meant to write tonight but since you don't get a second chance to pick loadout for the entire run of the operation, I'm going to let this sit.
>>3182854I'll support >>3182893Really seems like mortarphant is the more likely weakness compared to wren.
>>3182893I'd say drop the temult shell for the tension coil. A hookshot is just way too valuable an asset in a city.
>>3182854Wait sorry, head not yet all here.change >>3183172to>Tumult Shell>Lockon Hunter>Shell Driver>Tension CoilThere are humans here. The chaff is painful to REPLOIDS.
>>3183194Acutlly, yeah. That's a good point.Changing my vote>>3183185to >Tumult Shell>Lockon Hunter>Shell Driver>Tension Coil
>>3183194Actually that's a good point, I would change my vote too
Also Flak has that chaff gun if we need chaff.
>>3182854>Lockon Hunter>Shell Driver>Tension CoilAnd I'm open to pretty much anything else for our fourth slot
>>3182705No objection here.>>3183123>Tumult Shell>Lockon Hunter>Shell Driver>Tension Coil
>>3182705>Tension Coil>Shell Driver>Lockon Hunter>Tumult Shell
>>3183808>Tension Coil>Shell Driver>Lockon Hunter>Tumult ShellPretty much the ideal loadout, too bad we can't really afford to take the wrenades as a nuclear option. Maybe best not to have the temptation.
>>3184326It's not that we absolutely CAN'T afford it, Tumult Shell will take a lot of deliberate effort to use when we could just kill the thing faster.But I'm not so sure about shrapnel working on Moloch, and if we use it on our mystery flyer that's heavy ordinance going in every which way and leaving metal fletchettes all over the floor.
Okay, rather drastically shit afternoon today. Trying to desalinate enough to get some writing going, next update should be an important one.
>>3184911Or not. CL got kidnapped and we need to hash out some major details of the post that's coming up next, so no joy tonight. Sorry, folks.
>>3185268>CL got kidnappedHuh usually it's you that get kidnapped by team jerkassWhat a strange reversal
>>3185842But what mysterious figure has the power to kidnap robo-Satan? And will they live to regret it?
>>3185910I hadn't even thought about what forces could contain Robot Satan So CL has been kidnapped by SUPER Robot Satan or Sigma Either way truly dark times lay ahead
>>3185949What if the Maveick Virus turns him good, like Zero?
>>3186010>a good Cain Labs>Hey guys, you're getting some new allies!>You're getting double the effective number of friendlies to sortie>What are they? Well, I had to modify them from old notes, so...>THEY'RE ALL BIRDSwehavetogoback.png
>>3185910Obviously it's robot-metatron coming from up high to challenge him to duel for humanity. So poker night.>>3186249Now let's be fair. They wouldn't all be birds.Some would be bats.
Came home sick. Going to post this and then go facedown for a few hours.>>3181280>Tension Coil>Tumult Shell>Lockon Hunter>Shell DriverYou mull it over, raising your busters before comming the Berets. “Testing.”“Hm?” You wait and watch. Neither maverick so much as twitches in their patrols. “Just checking for eavesdroppers. Two hostiles, unknown models. Learning what I can.”“Copy.” Susan clicks off, the squad slowly following in your wake.You’re not stealthy, but like Schwarz (god damn it) taught you, most of stealth is not being where they look. And these guys aren’t looking much at all. Still feeling secure in their cloaking whatever-it-is, it’s clear they’re as green as Mister Six Months sounds--hand some rookies new toys and they think they’re invincible....Shit. You’re starting to SOUND like Schwarzhund, too. Forcing that not-so-pleasant thought down, you focus on their chatter.“... Dalet. I haven’t heard a damn thing from him since he went under.”The other snorts. “Yeah, and you’re not gonna. Whatever he had in mind isn’t happening without boots on the ground. Don’t expect to see him again for months.”“Shame. He was a good boss. Better than the lizard, anyway.”“Watch it with that,” warns the other.“Yeah, yeah. So what the hell happened?”“You don’t live as long as Dalet does without--”“No, no,” his friend irritably waves him off. “I mean, what happened in Sisiutl?” “Tell you the truth? I have no idea. Thimble’s crew were having some fun, then they were yelling about an attack, and then...”“And then what? Hunters?”“Nah, can’t have been. Not their style. No traces. No plasma, no sabers, just… burns. Burns and bodies.” “Plenty of hunters use fire.”“Not a lot of hunters don’t leave any signs whatsoever,” Lefty returns. “They’re big, they’re loud, they’re obvious. This was… I don’t know, some vigilante or something.”Guilty as charged, you think, cycling through your VWES and sizing up how you want to open up on them. They take another turn again, this one with a dumpster--perfect, you can use it for cover in case they return fire.“I don’t know. With Richmond, too?”He waves it off again. “They sent, what, one squad of infantry and one of riders? To our biggest, loudest, most obvious operation? If that’s all we’ve seen, I bet that’s all they’ve got.”“Bad bet, fellas,” comes a third voice--you pivot to lock busters on the source--Only to realize he’s standing right in the midst of your squad.
>>3186565The two mavericks jump with you, wheeling at the intrusion. The figure is very tall--taller than you--and seems incredibly thin but for draped fabric hanging down around his shoulders asymmetrically like a mantle, the ends terminating in raggedy petals that go white, like a shaggy extension of his pink hair. Contrasting the loose material is a tight crisscross of bandoliers beneath. On one hip rests a long-barreled heavy buster pistol, worn but well-kept furnishings. He looks very carefully, decidedly unkempt, rounding the corner without so much as scraping Flak as he walks by. You realize, keeping your guns on him, that just like your Berets haven’t seen him, the two maverick goons haven’t even seen you.“Take a powder, boys. I could use some fresh air.”The two exchange a glance, before one elbows the other in the side and nods. “Uh--yeah, sure.” The Reploid chuckles and walks on past you, not so much as a twitch of aggression in your direction. He settles against a wall like he belongs there as much as the slightly bent “no parking” sign beside him, arms folded and head down, masking his eyes. “Hey there, Livewire.” You raise your busters again. He doesn’t twitch. “Ah-ah. You’ll wake sleeping beauty.” He raps his knuckle on the wall behind him, which--strangely--yells at him.“God damn it, Pink,” someone inside shouts, from what sounds like a room away, “I told you to keep. Quiet!”The stranger glances up at you with one eye almost lazily, mouth obscured beneath a tented cloth wrap around his neck, adorned with a paisley pattern. The sleepy, laid-back expression reminds you firstmost of Spider. Your squad rounds the corner--then pauses, seeing you staring at seemingly nothing. Marx blinks. “Uh…” ‘Pink’ chuckles, still making no aggressive moves whatsoever. He seems… completely unhurried. Unhurried, and unthreatened.>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside. >Eyes on a bogey. Grab cover and stand by.>Team, prepare to engage.>Other?
>>3186568>>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.He gave us the same courtesy, might as well.
>>3186568>>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.And there is the next Phantom. Those guys can find the victoroids if need be, and worst comes to worse, if we go loud, we serve as a distraction.
>>3186568>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.
>>3186568>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.>>3186592 took the words outta my mouth
>>3186568>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside
>>3186568is there a way we can instruct them to take out the 2 patrollers once things get hot?
>>3186568>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.Here's hoping we have a squad to come back to once this is over.
>>3186568>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.fffffucking Phantom. At least this one seems to be real chatty.
>>3186568>...Take five, guys. Go check the Harborside.'Cause yeah they're not going to contribute much against this fella.
>...Take five guys. Go get some burgers for me.
>>3188817They're in Canada, it should really be coffee and donuts from Tim Hortons.
>>3186568“...Keep moving, guys. I’ll catch up.” You say out loud, still locked on Pink. “Make a lot of noise if you run into something.”“Uh…”“A lot,” you emphasize. “In case I don’t pick up.” “...Copy. Let’s move.” Susan gives a wide berth to the ‘empty’ patch of wall you’re boring a hole in with your stare, and the rest soon follow. After a tense moment, Pink chuckles again.“There you go. Grab some grass, I’m not going anywhere.”“I’m good,” you reply warily. “Suit yourself,” Pink replies, stretching languidly. Beneath the raggedy poncho of petals, he seems gangling, ropey even.“Are we going to have a problem?” You finally ask.“Now that’s up to you. Me, I just wanted to get the lay of the land, size up the guy who made it past Stylist and Collide.” “Yeah?” You ask, still on guard, though you slowly lower your busters.He gestures loosely. “Collide thought you were in over your head. Now Ink, he hates you. Good job,” he adds as an afterthought.“...Thanks,” you settle on. “Trouble in paradise?” “Just some very different people, doing things very different ways,” he replies lazily. “So why let the Berets go?” You ask. He shrugs. “Didn’t rightly seem fair.”For someone at war with planet Earth, he sure doesn’t act like it. “What are you doing here, Pink?”He jerks a thumb at the false wall beside him. “Babysitting. You’ve got your job to do, I’ve got mine. Long as you don’t step on my toes, I won’t step on yours.”“Kind of runs against the job description, is the thing,” you note, though you don’t take any hostile moves yourself.He chuckles. “There’s always tomorrow. Tell you what, I don’t have much against yon fair city. So what say we chat a bit, maybe I let a thing or two slip?”You raise an eyebrow. Is he stalling? Trying to get a feel for you? “Can I trust you?”He shrugs, the question rolling right over his shoulder. “Much as I can trust you. What’s your gut say, Livewire?”>...All right, you’re on. And it’s Anode.>It’s a risk you can’t take. Part amicably.>Engage the maverick.>Other?Feel free to write in what to do or say next.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on. And it’s Anode.Has Anode noticed the Pac-Man naming scheme in-universe? If so let's finally get an answer to why these mysterious mavericks are named after an 80's video game.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on. And it’s Anode.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on.>See if we can wrangle what number he is without giving up anything in return.Let’s keep him calling us Livewire for now. Anode is a little too familiar.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on.It's nice having a nom de guerre among the Mavericks. Weren't we called "Double-A" or something at one point?
>>3189232>>It’s a risk you can’t take. Part amicably.Guy is good. Seems like the sort of person you can have a drink with.. which makes him the sort of person we should avoid. Remember, Seven was slippery himself and the damage he did was high. Unless you are really confident in your ability to get info from a guy who has our number, we best be on our way.
>>3189274Seven was deep cover, though. That was his job. This guy is clearly a ringer and makes his allegience known almost immediately. He knows he's talking to the guy who beat the fuck out of two of his mates, yet he still likes his odds.
>>3189277Beat one, escaped the other. Both alive. He has intel on us and just because he admits he is a mav does not mean he is out of options. Right now its a trade for intel for intel. He doesn't know about spider or Grach, but we now know he is baby sitting rookies both can see. That means we can plan around that.We are more likely to lose on this exchange and we really cannot afford it.
>>3189290There is also something you must consider; what >>3189234 said.If that sticks to it, then Pink might stick with another aspect of his ghost; 'Ambusher'. We don't know what happens when Sleeping beauty is awake. We don't know what aces he has and him revealing them already means the situation is FUBAR.Collide knocked our shit in because we underestimated how damn tough he was. Stylist we had a combo of things on our side that worked together. Do not underestimate Pink.
>>3189234Blinky is going to test everything Em and Schwarz has taught us......it says there exists a pacman ghost named KINKY. Is this really going to be a thing, Cain? HC?
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on.>By the way, I don't suppose I could get that name changed to Triple-A? Do I need to fill out a form or something?Right now, OPAL is only barely getting anything on this guy, but whatever it gets could be important. THREE samples of superstealth have to be good for SOMETHING.And taking him on won't help the hunters track down PHANTOM, not unless we get a lucky shot on a weakness and rush a kill. Assuming all that, autopsies on the body might take too long to even snoop around and stop the actual subplot they have going on.
>>3189232Sure, let's chat. >>3189353If we don't get thrown a curveball, probably a kinkajou reploid.
>>3189353Blinky was considered a chaser in all the games, following behind pac man. Going to go out on a limb and say him catching us is bad, Just like trying to directly confront collide is bad, and letting the guy who's job is to get in front of us to stay in front is bad.Also, why are we leaving the berets alone in a area that might have more invisible enemies and victoroids?Kinky was a combiner and fused with others to make stronger ghosts.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on.Pinky's already sprung his ambush, and he doesn't have that streak of overt sadism that our first 2 phantoms have shown, so we'll play his game for a bit. Seconding >>3189250>So, what's with the flashy color schemes if you guys are meant to be invisible?>>3189363Foxfire did give us that lead regarding the cloaking tech company.>>3188817>Take as many peanuts as you can carry too, 13 Zenny is far too much for a combo meal>>3186565Did either Grach or Spider bring fire weapons?
>>3189686Never assume the enemy has but one way to ambush us or that we are the only target. We just sent our team away on a mission where Anode was going to be the one pulling the weight. All 4 of which cannot detect invisible traps or mavs.He doesn't need to do much to win, just slow us down, block our path, and let others do it for him as we're boxed in.
>>3189232>It’s a risk you can’t take. Part amicably.Our team is going after a shipment of Victoroids in an area with major stealth shenanigans. Getting tied up with Pink doesn't seem worth it..>>3189353I'm now worried about Cathode dealing with her own PHANTOM, a Reploid named Sue.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on. And it's Anode. I'm torn, because even though first name basis is a little chummy, it oozes with style, and this guy seems like he respects some style. If he won't bite on that then definitely engage in witty repartee regarding nickname as >>3189363 suggested.
>>3189232>...All right, you’re on. And it’s Anode.The Maverick Virus can't be talked at us, can it? We can potentially neutralize a potential threat by not shooting it.
>>3190277why do they have drilltiddies
>>3190285Things are different in 22XX!
>>3190299>Everyone in 22XX has drills on their chest.Talk about unreasonable and unattainable standards.>>3189232>...All right, you’re on. And it's Anode.
>>3190299Or 24XX to 25XX-ish, as the case is here.
>>3190320Hey, not my problem you don't have drill bits on your tits. Look at zero, he kept with the times when boob lights went out of fashion.
>>3189414Sleeping on this, I think this might be a bad idea... If only because we're in the middle of something. But I can't say I'm not tempted to chat.Maybe, if he really wants to talk, for whatever reason he wants to talk, we can set a time and a place.
>>3190320If everyone has them, are they really unattainable? Clearly these aren't so much a fashion statement or cosmetic treatment as a necessity. In conclusion, drill titties are how one vaccinates against the Maverick Virus. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
>>3189353That's the phantom assigned to D-team.
>>3191469It's probably never going to be actual MHQ canon, but in our game, Scatter Seelie was instrumental in combating the maverick virus.A drill titty inoculation system is absolutely, 100% on brand for them.
>>3191469But what if you're a ranged fighter
>>3191579then you go the tunnel rhino option and have drill missile tits.
>>3191566Zero lacked the booblights in x1, but when Serges rebuilt him in x2 they were installed so he could be a viral transmission vector. It all makes sense!
>>3189232>It’s a risk you can’t take. Part amicably.Seriously Anode, do your job and stop trying to romance everyone who will talk to you!
>>3191566Would Sleeping Beauty be Kinky, HC, or someone else? I could see a support unit reploid or the like
>If there ever was a time to try for the old 'joybuzzer handshake' trick, now is it.
>>3192211Adding this to my vote. Adding it SO hard.
>>3192211He's a fucking Phantom. Are you suicidal?
>>3192478depends on how much joy we buzz. Pinkie here might get a kick out of a friendly light jolt
>>3191916BUT IT WARM
>>3192677Yeah, and then he might return the favor with extreme prejudice. Look, we have not a single clue what this guy can do, and are in the middle of the city. I'd rather talk to him for potential info than risk starting a firefight in a populated area, especially when we're not guaranteed to win swiftly.
>>3192911Look, I'm not even saying we should necessarily initiate the handshake. But if he's stupid enough to shake hands with a guy named "Livewire"...
Let's talk while he's not hostile. Maybe ask how many of these Phantom assholes there are.
>>3193011So you would risk the mission, our cover, our squad, and the lives of the humans in the city, just for a bad joke? We are already risking a lot just talking to him and letting our team go first when it is very likely the man will lie to us or not give us info we need.
>>3189232“...All right,” you decide carefully. “And call me Anode.”His shoulders fall another millimeter, which you suppose counts as relaxation. “Pink Rhomphaia.” Huh. “So what brings you here, Pink Rhomphaia?” “Business trip. Same as you.”“This wouldn’t have anything to do with a shipment of high-end mechaniloids that might turn up in this area, right?” He chuckles. “Not a thing. But this one’s free--me and my compadre are here today and gone tomorrow. If you want to stick your nose in, now’s not the time.”Given his laid-back attitude, you opt not to take it as a threat. “Yeah?”“Me, I’ve got nothing against you and yours.” He tilts his head back at the wall. “Now, him? He’s a little… high-strung.” “So who is ‘he?’” You try.“That’s old Blink,” he answers immediately. “Dear friend and ally. We got us a real spirit of cameraderie thing goin’. Ain’t that right, Blinky?” He calls over his shoulder, rapping a knuckle on the wall again.“Pink, I am going to tear off your bandana and shove it straight up your--” “You get the picture. Boy’s never seen a fight he let pass by. ‘Specially not one with someone on our hit list.”“Who, me?” You ask. “I’m flattered.” “It’s a big list.”“Do a lot of headhunting, do you?” It makes sense--stealth operatives can take a strong fighter out of the running fast. Though Pink seems to lack the motivation or mindset to gank and shank. So far.“In more ways than one. Guessing you’re here about the bushwhacker?”“Safe guess.”“That one’s trouble,” Pink says. “Bad seed. Can’t say as I’d mind if he turned us down.”It makes sense, given where Moloch’s been getting his toys from. But that’s… an interesting pattern. “Seems like PHANTOM runs interference for a lot of mavs they don’t think much of.” “Price of doing good work’s more work,” he drawls. “But a job’s a job.”“Speaking of jobs,” you try, “you heard any rumblings about a ‘big score?’” Pratt’s data came at a heavy price--time to see if you can make it worthwhile.He raises an eyebrow, genuinely curious. “Can’t say as I have. But I know the heat’s turnin’ up, and soon.”
>>3193136“Oh?”“Anyone planning somethin’ big for Vancouver up and picked the wrong week. Truth be told, I was expecting company a little bigger than you. No offense.”“None taken. Anyone I know?”He shrugs. “Couldn’t rightly tell you. All I know is the cavalry’s coming and Doc Dopp’s plans here have an expiration date.” “Is that so?”“It is. Which brings me to our next point’a contention.” He looks up at you a little more sharply than he has so far.“I’m listening.”“Heard Dalet’s little get-together had some bad luck this evening.”You nod slowly, waiting for him to continue.“Now, what’s funny about that is no hunters were anywhere near his neck of the woods. Just a scruffy lookin’ human, rushin’ about with some mighty fine incendiaries.” You don’t miss his implication. He knows about Grach. “What do you want, Pink?”“You call it a night, I forget we ran into each other, and tomorrow’s another day.”>... Okay, deal.>No deal.>Other?As always, writeins welcome.
>Just outta curiosity, you guys do commission work? I'd pay you a fiver to punch Seven in the face.
>>3193143>... Okay, deal.Us plus four masspro units vs two PHANTOMs and those rank and file grunts Pink waved off. Not liking those odds.
>>3193143>... Okay, deal.When we're out of the signal interdiction, we have to warn Grach to clear out if he hasn't already.
>>3193143And there comes that boot.. fucker has way too many bluffs to figure out and the info is pretty basic. He's given us an incentive to back off and will likely use that now. We fight him, we will take damage and be forced to go loud, losing our stealth.So we have two options back out or find another way.>Other "Can't leave on my own. Got my own kids to baby sit and they went to get me some snacks. I'll pick them up, then be on my way. Don't want them to get in trouble now."Be sure Opal is working as well. If Blinky is a bluff, find out. So long as he does his mission, he doesn't seem to care.Also, keep in mind something; Pink only cares til tomorrow so we can use that to set up a proper counter with intel. Either a trap or a counter.
>>3193143He's basically saying they have us all outgunned and dead to rights. We need to regroup and get more men. Whether that's today or tomorrow depends on if we'll be more or less coordinated tomorrow. >>3193011>>3193189What is it about talking to mavs that brings you goons out?
>>3193585Probably just how if you can get a guy to laugh, they might be a bit more amicable to you or let something slip.
>>3193585Well, not just that. He's been telling us what exactly he's doing. 'I am guarding something. Don't cause trouble or we'll come for you and yours.'Right now the situation is tricky, but we can salvage it. We also need to read what he says carefully. He said Anode should leave. Not the berets. We leave them here then shit goes bad for both groups.So, go and pick them up and escort them out. Use this to find locations where they could hide the victoroids, have Iris mark them down, get the possible routes down, and use that to figure out how they could attack.
>>3193585It's a goof, but it also digs out whether they're hired mercenaries, and what type of contact they have with the maverick command structure.Plus there's a chance he'll take anode up on the offer, which makes it a win-win.
>>3193143Assuming that he doesn't mean we abandon our boys and the Victoroid mission, I'm fine with leaving him and Blinky to their devices. He's already said it doesn't have anything to do with the Victoroids, and this is valuable intel that we need to get home.Like, even if I didn't like this guy (and I do, Maverickism aside. What is it about cowboys?), it just seems like a bad idea to tangle with two PHANTOM units at once, in hostile territory, during what should be a stealth mission.
>>3193827Well, I will say that I think, all things considered, i'd feel the least bad about the Victroids getting away out of all the stuff that could go wrong on this mission. Like, Between bombings and major terrorists action, and mavericks maybe having a foothold in the government.
>>3191566Why can't it be actual canon, it's not like anyone would ever actually know with how many different clearance levels someone is gonna need to see the files on it.
>>3193143I have to wonder why a pink cowboy is named after what appears to be a Grecian polearm.>>Other"So Ink, Pink, Blink, Collide. Seriously, there wouldn't happen to be a big yellow guy around too called Pack or something, would there?"
>>3193143>Other?"I'm pretty reluctant to leave a group of stealth Mavs alone for a day with a shipment of Victoroids with just the promise it won't move. How about you let my team at least make sure your neighbors stay in tonight?"According to Grach, this area's ready to pop off. I don't know if we can afford not to deal with the threat, though I understand getting into a brawl with two PHANTOMs with little preparation has a good chance of getting us or the Bravely Broken killed.Also, we should at least acknowledge that if we make a deal with this guy, somebody above Gopher's paygrade is going to start up the "Secret Mav Anode" train again. To say nothing of how Rezador's going to view it. Don't think it should change what we do, just calling the dick kick.
>>3194732Oh, actually, let's solve two problems at once>To say nothing of how Rezador's going to view it.So we tell Iris to tell Emerald to tell Rezador that there's a couple of super strong stealth mavs here, and let them be his problem. No way that guy is gonna say 'no' to a fight.
>>3193143>... Okay, deal.Victoroids come first. If when we get trashed fighting them, much of the events in Canada is going to happen while we repair.I think we have a bigger shot of winning than it might seem, since Ink had our weakness and they can't be ALL tanky like Collide, but I wouldn't mind a few extra advantages like, say, a couple Victoroids to fight them with.
>>3194740I... Man, this is gonna sound harsh... But that might be one of the worst ideas I've ever heard, for several reasons, even if it was possible.
>>3194792"... and that's how we blew up Vancouver. But the important thing is, the Mavericks are dead!""So's the entire population of Vancouver.""Haha, and my career!"
>>3192478>>3193585These two posts are me, and I've decided that >>3194732is probably the smartest course of action.Better to have a stalemate to see where the enemy stands than let them press the advantage.
>>3194732Yeah, I can get behind at least TRYING for this, If only to see what the response is, we could gauge how bad this might be about to go.
>>3194792Iris ends up being part of Repliforce Command. I've played x4, there's no friggin' way she'd ever cooperate with a GOOD plan.
>>3194966Doesn't she stay with the Hunters but then she goes crazy or starts dying because of some weird soul link with Colonel and that's why you fight her in Final Weapon?
>>3193143>>3194732Urgh, with two of them... Yeah, we can't exactly bend on the mission, even if it's a little risky. This seems like the best approach.
>>3194732Depends on how you spin it, thinking about it.We're not making a deal, we're making an tactical decision, taking into account enemy intel, likelihood of mission success, calculated downtime for repairs, and target priority.
>>3195280You forgot 'and not wanting to die'.
>>3195145Being that I'm at work for a while yet, I'll go ahead and say now that you're basically trying to negotiate "What if we take your deal and then don't abide by the term you set."
>>3195699That was my thinking, if I'm reading that sentence correctly.“You call it a night, I forget we ran into each other, and tomorrow’s another day."We call it a night, they move on, then we call it a day again the instant we're confident they've moved on too. Make a gentleman's agreement and then swiftly reneg the hell out of it.
>>3195723The trouble with reneging is that it might (and I mean MIGHT) work out great short-term, but the Maverick takeaway will be that Anode isn't trustworthy to make deals with, which will likely screw us over in the future if we need to negotiate a surrender or the like.Honestly, unless HQ can spare a couple of S or G's to come and hit them (which will definitely blow all stealth), it might be safer to cut our losses and deal with the twenty-million other local problems. Pink's given us enough useful information to call it a worthwhile possibility.
Hey. Thought.What if there isn't a second PHANTOM? We've already seen that he's got some kind of sound fuckery. What if this is some kind of bluff?
>>3195736It's possible. Rhomphaia only refers to a weapon, so his special tricks could be all sorts of things.My money's still on getting those Victoroids first. We need a solid encirclement to at least prevent the thing they're defending from escaping, otherwise it's just a resource trade.
I think I'm gonna change my vote. Apologize, but reject, and prepare for battle if we need to.I think we can take him, or at least give him enough damage to make him pull back. Whenever we've come across these guys before, it's never been when we're fresh. This is our best chance yet.
>>3195761Even if we can take him, you think he won't call Blinky out for a two on one?
>>3194732>>3195280Frankly the act of making that request hands the PHANTOMs more information than I'm comfortable with giving up. They're gone tomorrow, but there's no reason for them not to forward intel to our objectives in the meantime. Ultimately we need feet on the ground to handle the Victoroids, and just waiting to engage is a viable option for that.I'm not certain whether we need to withdraw our Berets for their safety, but they or Iris should focus on observing from a distance, looking for signs of assets being moved.
Just to clarify, taking the deal does not mean abandoning the Berets. Pink is asking that the *collective* "you" leave the premises.
>>3195832Is he seriously expecting us not to even report the Phantom presence? It's not like we can say no if Halcyon butts in and says he's sending a bunch of 0th over.
>>3195839>Is he seriously expecting us not to even report the Phantom presence?Where did you get that from?
>>3195840I just don't see how we have the authority to say we're going to stand back and let the Pink-Blink duo do their thing tonight, without any interference. This is the kind of thing we'd be reporting back asap, which surely means the kind of thing the brass would make the call on, seeing as it's two S-classes.The only way we could 100% guarantee no interference is if it doesn't get reported, which would be a stupid move. I doubt Gopher has enough faith in us and our still shiny, new Captain rank to make such an important decision/deal when there's potentially so much to lose. Unless we have a lot more negotiating power than I thought?
>>3195852Who do you think is watching? If you don't tell the brass, the brass doesn't KNOW. This is an offer from one professional to another, in the field. No big bosses, no reporting to Doppler, no calling in 0th. Would you prefer to not have this fight, or would you prefer to have this fight right fucking now?Which, related story.> ... Okay, deal.
I just now realized that the Phantoms are an elaborate Pac-man reference. They're all named after the ghosts.
>>3195857When all this is over and done, out Berets are going to report we saw someone stealthed up, and sent them away. One of them already reported we yelled weird shit during the Sabomole mess, so it's not like they're discreet.If we get dragged into another interrogation, I'd rather Anode didn't have to admit he made a deal with a Phantom and didn't report it.
>>3195869Or we could take our men into our confidence and talk to them about what we did and why. Y'know, like some kinda officer.
>>3195910I'm fine with that, just don't want to get blindsided by pissed off superiors later on because we didn't cover all the angles.
>>3195910Deal or no deal, we should tell our men what's going on.
Lets consider here:If we choose not to take the deal, or betray them, we can expect a whole bunch of murder. We almost certainty lose a bunch of Berets, and we put the mission at severe risk... However we may be solving a WORSE problem for ourselves, though we have no idea what that is. Any later betrayal, etc. probably just changes our starting circumstances, but we have the same problem.On the other hand, if we do take the deal and keep our word, I'd expect that they expect us to phone in PHANTOM, which might bait in someone bigger to come deal with them... which likely they really want to take down instead of you. They also probably get their primary objective in the time before the big force gets here.Based on my read of the situation, the best move is to take the deal and make sure no one else gets sent in.> ...Okay, deal.
>You don't give a shit about those Victoroids? Well, I've got orders, and the sooner we find them, the less poking around here we have to do. Throw me a bone and I'll be out of your hair.
>>3193143>>Other?What would your price be to get me a grid on a certain mav that comes between 6 and 8?( The answer can well be no, but how the answer comes can speak loads about internal alliances and attitudes. Merely answering the question is enough. )
No post tonight, but taking the deal has won.Please tear yourselves apart accordingly.
>>3196751I reject this provocation
>>3196751MAVERICK ROUTE UNLOCKED, RELATIONSHIP POINTS WITH PINK +10
>>3196930Rezador disapproves (-10)
>>3196938That's true for virtually any statement you could make, though
>>3196967>Rezador blushes (+5)>He also disapproves (-10)
>>3196967>Rezador saw you beat the Sigma sim without taking damage! (+20)>He also disapproves (-30)
>Rezador affection underflow [+255]!!!!>He also approves (+1)
>>3193143“I dunno, Pink,” you say honestly. “That’s an awful lot to ask.”“Sure, sure,” he replies. “Though that runs both ways.”You look up at him, trying to read his reaction. “Until tomorrow.”“Until tomorrow.” The same old placid, inscrutable calm. “And that’s it, that’s all?”“That’s as far as she goes.”You chew on it another moment. “I’d have to get my boys out.” He gestures loosely, mantle shuffling across his shoulder with the move. “‘Course. Wouldn’t expect or want ‘em left to our delicate embrace.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Itv4HYJPLsYou fall into silence again, thinking it over. Too many moves and variables, and a call you’re not sure you really have the authority to make. But then, that’s the point, isn’t it? Gopher told you to be self-reliant, and right now, you’d rather not risk minus four Berets (and one Anode) on a fight you’re not sure you can take. “So what do you say?” Rhomphaia asks. “We got ourselves a deal?”It’s his body language--or lack of--that sells it. He’s not tenterhooks over your decision--no tensing, no standing up or drawing himself up to full height. He just leans against the wall, head down and arms folded, looking for all the world like he honest and truly just doesn’t care. You think you believe him.“...Deal,” you finally say. And then… hell with it, why not. “Shake on it?” You offer, holding up a hand.He chuckles. “Has that worked on anyone in your life, Anode?”You grin, snapping a few joules from your palm. “Had to try.” “Well all right, then. Pleasure doin’ business with you.”“I definitely didn’t mind not fighting to the death for a change,” you admit. He straightens up and brushes his mantle off lightly. “Right. If we’re finished, I’m gonna resume my little stroll. You go round up your boys.”“And as for me?” He closes a hand around the no parking sign and yanks it free, laying it over one shoulder as the aging signpost melts away into a long, dark green polearm, capped on one end by a beam emitter and the other by a flat solid alloy spade, petal-pink opening into toothed edges like his fraying mantle. “I’ll be around.”He walks away, exit stage right, and the wall evaporates with him, revealing a heavy, reinforced door laid flush to the existing stonework.
>>3198439He’ll be keeping an eye on you until you and the Berets are out of his pink hair. As he walks off, cool as you please, your comms crackle and Iris’s now-desperate voice filling your ear. “--is message will repeat. Captain, are you there? Please respond--”“I’m here,” you comm her. “I’m all right, everything’s fine.”“Oh!” She exclaims, relief flooding her worried tone. “Thank goodness.”“Got some… interesting news to share, when I get home,” you tell her. “But right now, I need to get my squad and scoot.”“Roger that, they just returned to the grid as well. Patching you through.”“Captain,” Susan greets--no stress or urgency to his voice. “Seen anything since whatever that was?”“You might say that. Pack up, we’re bailing out.”You hear the confused look on his face. “Sir?”“I’ll explain on the way home,” you tell him. >Check on Grach.>Check on Spider.>Other?
> Check on GrachPink's hints might have been a professional not-threat but his friends might not be as forgiving. And Grach needs to know he's been compromised.
>>3198442>Check on Grach.One worries about the Russian.
>>3198442>Check on Grach
>>3198442>Check on Grach.Grach entered a firefight, while Spider's task might yet have a peaceful resolution. Either way, Grach went loud first, so he'll be higher priority on the Phantom list.
>>3198442>Check on Grach.I'm a little worried about Spider, but he's a big boy and we know Grach's been spotted for sure.
>>3199933Don't touch her ride, got it.>>3198442>Check on Grach.
>>3198442You are Chernyee Grach, and you are about to have a very productive afternoon.Below you, the pump facility chugs along in near-silence, the steady thrum-pulse of rushing water in the pipeworks falling into a drone just on the edge of your hearing. More immediate are the footsteps of the two mavericks you lured in here.“--went this way,” one says--looks like a civilian. “I’m sure of it.” “I’m not crawling under pipes to drag out one human and cull it,” the other, a Disk Boy, replies bitterly.“Dalet said no witnesses. You wanna forfeit your pay?”“We could burn the place.” “Dalet also said no damage. Not yet,” warns the civilian model. “We’re not even all set up yet.” “Yeah, yeah.”Nothing to be gained from these two. Too low on the totem pole, in it for the money. Knocking some heads is probably just a bonus. In fairness to the two of them, no human could possibly have scaled their way to where you’d taken to hiding. You can’t blame them for not looking up. The hothead is likelier to do something stupid--and heavier armed besides. You drop down behind them in silence and approach, wrist springing free and unlatching the barrel beneath. Your elbow blade snaps into his spine and rakes up and out, shields taking the brunt with that telltale shock of resistance. He tries to turn, shouting, but you simply steer him with the exiting blade around, hooking his leg and throwing him as it slips free. The point-blank shotgun blast finishes what you started as it cores through his weakened back and severs a few crucial lines. The civilian hesitates, eyes wide, only starting to fumble for his pistol as you round on him. Your blades biting through his elbow joint and midsection tell you that he has no shields to speak of, and you simply shear him down without fuss. The dull thrum-pulse settles back in like a creaking floor as the last sounds ebb away, and you slip out the back exit.Your findings have been promising, so far--a muster in progress, and a few quiet chats that helped you pull a little more information on this Dalet. You’re not sure if he’s working alone, but you’ve heard not one mention of Graverend Moloch for hours. He also seems to be prudent. No one seems to have seen him in person. You suspect that they won’t, either. You could hunt him down, but ultimately, he’s just one operative with some very opportune timing. Instead, you opt to spend your time whittling away the complicating variable on your wider Moloch operation--his entire planned attack on the SkyLoop.
>>3200458You’ve burned a few barracks in your life, and this, sadly, is shaping up to be the easiest yet. The gathering point is a warehouse--abandoned only in the most recent of senses, as you suspect its owners have turned up dead and the police just haven’t had the resources to investigate. Two dozen mavericks--civilians, combat models, and all manner of mechaniloids--are slowly amassing their forces here, in preparation for their attack. They’re not ready for it.They’re not ready for you.The crated-up attack drones burn first, a pair of WP grenades sailing high overhead like falling stars and catching tarp and crates alight. A second pair clang off the roof and straight down, burning a hole through them from the top. The shouts begin to chorus as grenades five and six splash among the crowd. The civilian builds die quickly--those few that have shields stagger a few extra steps, clawing at fires that won’t burn out before succumbing. The combat models make it further, and you quickly determine the rookies from the veterans. A veteran grabs cover when another goes down. A rookie panics. You step out from behind a burning pyre of Jammingers as a rare shieldless Hoganmer sprints past, and nonchalantly pump a round of buckshot into the back of his skull. He crumples as your second shot sweeps back the way he came, the full spread catching a LTB in the chest and knocking him off his feet. Fire begins to streak in towards you as you break left and vault high, springing over the head of an advancing hostile. You fire down at him, adjust your angle, and take another off at the knees. You land atop his chest and sink a blade through it, standing upright and turning with him pinned to your shoulder, soaking up fire for a critical instant before he boils away from within. You snap your shotgun up and finish off the rising LTB before he can take another shot. From there, it’s simple psychology. You let them surround and box you, and as they close in, loose a single grenade into their strongpoint and tear through it. Morale breaks as you gun down the one who rallied them, a weathered Comm Logis with extensive combat overhauls that don’t do a thing to save her. The rest trip and stumble and fall and flee, out into the street. Your last grenade catches one in the small of his back and blazes in the middle of the street, three more of his fellows caught in the blast. You lunge and shotgun a straggler, then hook and cut down one blindly running past you. You unsling your rifle and sight on impassively as the last handfuls scatter, silently taking one, two, three more. ‘Low collateral,’ indeed. You size up the damage--one warehouse (no longer) full of maverick combat mechaniloids, and a scorch on the street and some awkward questions. About the best you could hope for, with so many in so tight a space. Looking up at the top floor, you crack a thin smile--didn’t even scratch the glass.
>>3200460-----The cleanup behind you, you tap your comms, only to find them already in use. It’s Anode."...Iris, that repeating message, were you... repeating it?" His young navigator flusters over the line. "Um..." "Don't they have record and playback hardware?" "... It just seemed so impersonal," she offers lamely. “If I may interject,” you say gently, mercifully saving her. “Grach? Good timing, I was just about to check in. You okay?” “Contact made and dealt with,” you tell him promptly. “No damage to the hydrocity facilities in any way.” “Good, ‘cause you’re blown. I just ran into a guy that knew you wear a disguise to look like human guys.” You blink. “Captain, are you making references in an active theatre?”
>>3200461And, y'know, apropos of nothing.<Hunter_Command> How's it read?<Cain_Labs> I feel like Grach should neither know that reference nor be willing to look it up.<Hunter_Command> Oh he totally doesn't<Hunter_Command> But it's so intensely stilted<Cain_Labs> I feel like he should just know Anode is referencing something, know it's almost certainly dumb<Cain_Labs> and be deeply offended somehow<Cain_Labs> spiritually<Hunter_Command> pfft<Cain_Labs> I might be projecting<Hunter_Command> I feel like you might be projectyes<Cain_Labs> you fucking monster
>>3200458So if we let the Dalet thing wait around, we'd have put Skyloop at much greater risk but have a shot at actually tracing the hacker.Right now, we've de-escalated a high priority conflict. We may not have gotten any info on Moloch, but we've also done a significant push to force him to show himself if he wants to wreck the city.This really doesn't look like Maverick Hunter work so far, at least.
>>3200474<Cain_Labs> dalet this
You are Spider, and this is your kind of hunt.A fact-finding tour of Vancouver finds you settling in to your favorite pastime--getting a drink and looking for trouble. Mavericks are drawn to the dingy corners of polite society, and the overlap between their places and yours is probably a lot closer to a circle than the people signing your checks would prefer. Fortunately for them, you’re a professional, and an off-the-books speakeasy that doesn’t ask questions is where you do your business.There’s a few in every big city, and a few more anywhere mavericks feel like they can dare to show their faces. Right now that encompasses Vancouver, and it’s not hard to find your way to an old restaurant in an older ex-residential district. You check your bracer and adjust your silver cufflink--a signal spoof, all but mandatory for a den of mavericks, murderers, and mercenaries. The doorman checks you out and admits you with a nod--you’ve never been to this particular place, but you’re a regular in a dozen like it, and it’s not uncommon to meet someone you recognize. Spoof blocking your transponder header, you leave Spider outside, and come in from the cold as your calling card alias, “Itsy.”The place is more lively than most, as they tend to be when the lid gets lifted on the local criminal element. You belly up to the bar, laying your arms over the top as you wait for the barman to wrap up his conversation with a bouncer.“I’m telling you, these new guys, they just don’t get the rules,” he gripes.“I know, Decker, I know. Who is it this time?”“Who do you think?” “Baphomet? Okay, yeah. I’ll talk to him again.”“Talk, nothing. You tell him to cool it with the real names or I swear--” “My drink, innkeep!” Someone booms from the other side of the bar. “Dammahnation awaits!”“Ugh.”You make the barkeep’s day with an easy order and a prompt tip, netting you a drive-by whiskey with a grateful nod on his way over to the large, loud goat. The most important task done, you can turn your attention to getting the lay of the land.Plenty more mavericks than your usual dive, but that’s no surprise. Any chance to flash the insignia in the light of day is something they relish--plus, there’s a campaign underway. The atmosphere is surprisingly subdued, cheery even, in a way--usually this many guns in one place means trouble, but either they had their pointed discussions already, or the problem children of the local flock don’t fancy their chances against a mob of combatants. And speaking of… aside from Big and Tall over there, most of this group seem to be locals. Not a lot of outsiders, you think--they’re too comfortable here. You take a sip--Canadian rye, you reckon--and eye the clientele, roaming from face to face until you find someone you recognize.It’s Hutchins.
>>3202142You don’t fancy a tangle with him. You’ve seen his work, the G005E a longtime maverick. He boasts some lethal fighting skills, especially up-close and personal, having lived long enough to rack up some impressive kills and near-escapes from the Hunters 14th unit, commanding and demanding respect from allies and enemies alike. He’s also the second-snappiest dresser in the place after you, his customary white-on-top, red-on-bottom paintjob replaced with his custom “tuxedo” motif of blacks over greys, suggesting a full three-piece and vest. He’s a long way from his stomping grounds--and it takes top dollar or major incentives to buy his presence. Someone of note, in a place like this, and a cut above all the rest of the motley band assembled.So naturally, you follow him. The trick is to cash out first--easy enough--and make yourself scarce. The doorman is wary, but it’s pretty clear this place has only just gotten off the ground. Security’s still spotty, and you know all the places they won’t have cameras yet. Hutchins leaves fifteen minutes later, and sure enough, he makes his way right to Envision’s doorstep.>Burn some time to scope the place, get the lay of the land.>Walk right in the front door like you belong and be chatty.>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.>Other?
>>3202154>Burn some time to scope the place, get the lay of the land.
>>3202154Flashy unique appearance+long rapsheet=Envision's fucked the moment this goes public. Get in and out of there fast, record everything, possibly remotely, and don't let Hutchins notice you at any point.>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.
>>3202154>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.we don't necessarily need to be close enough to get audio, but some recorded evidence will go a long way.
>>3202154>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.What >>3202206Said.
>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.
>>3202154>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.(As a note, Talon Sparrow's wikia article says '8th Overland'.)
>>3202542The units as they exist today weren't there at the inception of the Maverick Hunters as an organization. The pages for the founding 14th members reflect their status at the time of their entry into service.
>>3202154>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.
Possibly no post today, still up in the air. That said, today was a good day at work and well worth celebrating. Time for booze.
>>3202154>Take the stealthy approach and sneak inside from a window.Anode said to be stealthy. Be stealthy.
>>3204560>Anode said to be stealthy. Be stealthy.What Anode said was 'make friends.'>>3202154Stroll right on in this place. Get hired. They seem to need the help.
>>3205664>What Anode said was 'make friends.'So we should have voted for Spider to get himself onto the local bowling team or something?
>>3205794Well THIS quest took a turn...
>>3205794That would have made for an interesting check-in over the comms.
>>3206131>Hey Iris, do you think you could decode these messages for me? I can't figure out if the bowling pin refers to our mark, the evidence, or Moloch.>....with all due respect sir, I believe Mr. Spider is engaged in an ACTUAL game of bowling.>Oh. Well, nice shot. I didn't know it was possible to handstand and roll a strike WHILE building a house of cards with your feet.
>>3202154No sense announcing yourself. You make a lazy walk around the side of the side of the building, though it’s almost not even worth bothering--there aren’t exactly a lot of eyes out and about with the pall hanging over the city. Envision’s offices are up off ground floor, the place built facing outward in an existing, crowded block of buildings--shorter than most by virtue of its age. The world’s had a couple decades to figure out historic districts, but there’s always cracks an enterprising spider might climb its way in through. Especially one with a world-famous SkyLoop and buildings just scraping its bottom.The climb is the easy part--just a few patrols of civilian Sine Fallers and police-paint Jammingers. There’s likely been no trouble on this side of town, for lack of armed response presence. Even this much is elevated, but it’s still only eyes, not guns.You make your way from rooftop to rooftop, stopping and getting a good look at the easiest (and thus most obvious) approach. The cameras on the outdoor patio sweep a wide arc, but you’re wired to the gills in sensors--and you’ve jimmied a few locks besides. You could pick your way through their cones of vision in your sleep. The rest comes down to timing. You’re not the most agile off the ground, but you’ve got more than enough time to slip between the two cameras before they overlap, rolling neatly over their arcs and into their blindspot.The doors will be locked this time of year (and be better monitored, besides), so the window it is. Old panes have old locks, and older alarms. You fish out your whistler from under your collar, gently line the bracket against the windowpane, and the ultrasonic click does the rest. You carefully slide through (harder than breaking in, this window was not built for Reploids), and your boots kiss the carpet of the sixth floor.“Heading out, Cherie?” You wrap yourself around a corner at the sound of a voice down the hall.“Yes, I have a few errands,” comes a second voice--both female--this one with the lift of a French accent.“Do you want me to get an escort?” Concern, hesitation. “It’s dangerous out there.”“You’re too kind,” Cherie says, rounding the corner as she finishes tucking something into her bag. Human, on the younger side, long, straight black hair, framing her very pretty features. “But I’ll be okay.”“Are you sure?” The other voice, a Reploid--a CCord, you think, Canadian make--follows after. She looks a little more frazzled, body language reading tension and nerves. The fact that she’s wearing a nametag (Olivia) suggests she has a public-facing role. You imagine there’s a lot of grievances to air in a city under siege, and you don’t envy her.Cherie stops and gently places a hand on her fellow’s arm. “I’m sure. I’ll take the patrolled routes home. I promise.”Olivia sighs and nods. “Be safe, Cherie. See you tomorrow.”
>>3206268Cherie steps into the elevators, and Olivia heads back the way she came. You glide after her quietly, counting the steps and mentally sizing up the building in your head--no getting around this one, you think. You take a quick turn at a stairway and leap down to the base of the flight, quieting your fall with a hand on the wail and fingers perched on the wall. You turn back and begin to step, step, step your way back up--loudly and conspicuously--and it works perfectly as Olivia rounds the corner just as you emerge.“Can I help you, sir?” She asks.“Evenin’, ma’am,” you reply, giving her a warm smile and pinching the brim of your hat between finger and thumb. “Could you help me find the Councillor’s office?”She frowns, eyes darting to the side as she checks her office logs. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you on the appointment list.”“I s’pect you wouldn’t,” you say honestly. “I’m guessing Mr. Envision has the next hour or so blocked off?”Her expression, just the faint twitch of an annoyed grimace, tells you that you’re right on the money. “Yes, that’s right.”Your own expression turns into a guilty, knowing grin. “I take it I’m not the first off-the-books visitor you’ve had today.”“Or this week,” she admits, just the barest hint of frustration clawing through her poised tone. “But the councillor is already meeting with someone right now.”“I’m sorry to have done it to you, Miss,” you say earnestly. “Maybe you saw my partner? Dressy paintjob, bit like mine…?” You gesture down at yourself, once again thankful for your upper-crust builders and their sense of style.“Ah. Yes, that’s him,” she replies. Bingo.“If I could trouble you for directions,” you ask, sheepish, “and I promise I’ll get out of your hair just as fast as I can.”Olivia gives you a thin, tired smile at that. “I do appreciate that, sir. He’s right down the hall to your right, but his secretary just left for the day.”“That’s all right,” you say reassuringly. “They’re expecting me.” “Maybe it’s not my place, but… Truth be told, I’m not sure why the casino lobby keeps trying,” she says, eyeing your riverboat motif. “Especially now, of all times!”“Me neither,” you agree candidly. “But you know how it is. They say jump, you say how high.” She heaves a sigh. “Don’t I know it.”Olivia bustles off to put out another few fires that sprung up while speaking to you, leaving you free to drop eaves on the Councillor. “--told you to warn us if the cops encountered Hunters.” That’ll be Hutchins.
>>3206271“I am telling you, I didn’t know,” comes the Councillor. He sounds flustered. “That report came in while we were speaking. You told me there wouldn’t be a major incursion.”“And there hasn’t been,” Hutchins replies hotly. “Two squads is a patrol, not a response force.”“I don’t know--”“You don’t know? Don’t get cold feet on me, Envision, you knew the deal.”“You told me you’d focus on evacuated areas first.”“And we have,” Hutchins snaps, patience gone. “The hunters forced our hand.”“This isn’t what we agreed on.”“This is exactly what we agreed on.”“You come in here, you threaten me--”“No one is threatening you. Some of us aren’t built soft and sweet, like your staff here. Three days, Envision. All we need from you is three days.” Hello… Envision doesn’t respond. Hutchins keeps going.“We get our end, the mayor is humiliated, and the city’s yours--if you do what you’re told. Can you do that?”“I--””Can you do that?”“...Yes. Yes, I can do that,” Envision says.“Good,” Hutchins finally relents. “Claxton will be in touch.”>You got what you came for. Time to head for the exits.>Envision’s brittle--wait for Hutchins and then shake the Councillor down.>Other?
>>3206275>Other?Time to see where ol Hutchy makes his bed and let our Hunty friends know about it.
>>3206293I don't think we should push our luck, if Hutchin's been in the game this long he'd definitely notice a tail.
>>3206275>>You got what you came for. Time to head for the exitsWe have a time limit, a connection, and what they plan on doing along with I hope recorded evidence. Its not much, but we have enough information to set up a base line battle plan and how much time we have to prepare.Now we just need Spider to return with the information.
>>3206275>You got what you came for. Time to head for the exits.Frankly questioning Envision is the police's problem, not ours>>3206293Only if we can keep our cover seriously secure, following him has a good chance of leading us into deep shit.
>You got what you came for. Time to head for the exits
>>3206275I want to shake him down for more. What happens in three days?
>>3206275>You got what you came for. Time to head for the exits.No pushing luck.
>>3207334Not hard to figure out. So far the areas being targetted is the harbor, the airport, and the skyloop. If they close those down, getting out of the city becomes difficult due to how big it is and the fact its vancouver island. You now have a island full of hostages alongside a bomb.That is a pretty big bargaining chip right there and can be used in so many ways. A trap, a way to get the UN to back off a bit, or even make the hunters look bad. Control destruction of certain spots will crowd them together and makes it easier.Once the hostages are released, the mayor resigns due to fucking up and letting the city be mav controlled, and Endevour gets in the seat instead.This of course, relies on the mavs keeping to their word.
>>3207376>Implying Mavs can be trustedBig Iron Hopper, ace Hunter, doesn't buy that for a second.
>>3207394Yup. You know it, I know it, but Mr. Envision doesn't. Seriously, when one of the big names for the operation is named Graverend Moloch, you would think that you shouldn't trust a guy, but here we are.
>>3207376>and Endevour gets in the seat instead.What a twist that would be
>Kill him, and the secretary that spotted you. Leave enough evidence to implicate his mav friend. Tell Anode you weren't able to stop him in time.Spider is the type of guy who willingly took out a bounty on *X*, dude can play both sides of the game.
>>3208560I think it is important to point out that the Spider we know and the "Spider" that X will meet in the future are not necessarily the same guy.
>>3208560Aren't exploding throwing cards kind of an easily traceable weapon
>>3208560Oh I like you.
>>3206275>You got what you came for. Time to head for the exits.Complete the mission. Do exactly as paid. No fancies, no risk of recording devices clicking back on once Hutchins is out of the room.
So your first phase is done. Rather than a proper "update" today, we're going to give you the status update. Later today we'll be presenting you with your dossier information on major mavericks encountered. Take the day to discuss what you've learned amongst yourselves, and plan your next moves.>>3206407>>3207209>>3207221>>3207374>>3209450You weigh your chances of either tailing Hutchins home, or forcing a confrontation with Envision. Neither prospect seems too likely to go well for you, though, so you opt for the discretion part of valor and slide out of there before trouble can find you.For a brief and terrible moment, you’re pretty sure you’re made--out on the streets, you hear the heavy footfalls of Hutchins on your heels. But you duck a corner and wait, and after a long, tense moment, cards in your hand and ready, he turns back with an irritated huff. You steal away, heading first away from base to make sure you’re not followed, and then carefully wending your way home.-----UPDATES• 10th has been recovered with considerable casualties (2 wounded, 1 KIA.) Intel awaiting perusal. The unit is currently unavailable during maintenance and repair.• 1st has made contact with the Vancouver police. They have submitted to questioning, but will obey orders to keep operational secrecy. The unit is in voluntary custody and negotiating for police assistance. This leaves the unit unavailable through at least tomorrow morning.• Police coordination of assets, intel, and resources will be available starting tomorrow morning.• Rumors have begun circulating of something the mavericks are calling “the big score.”• Possibly related, Spider has returned with word that the mavericks are planning something in three days.• Envision has been caught in collaboration with local maverick elements for political gain.• Mavericks are aware of a small hunter presence operating within Vancouver. Expect escalation.• The Richmond attack revealed the enemy has sophisticated reconnaissance capabilities. Expect an enemy officer.• Contact has been made with one suspected PHANTOM, Pink Rhomphaia, and possibly another, “Blink.”• Communication jams in the Harbor area suggest a maverick SIGINT specialist in play. • Baccarat’s remains have been flagged for recovery.TASKS/LEADS: Can be completed by one person/unit.OTHER/OPTIONALDIRECT ACTIVITYWARNING: While scouting for intel will be necessary, sending recon out to all corners of the city may attract unwanted attention and reveal your presence quickly. Some operatives (e.g. yourself) are more overt than others (e.g. Grach). Bear this in mind when deciding on activity. >Anode: Available.>Spider: Available.>Grach: Available.>1st: Unavailable.>4th: Available. >10th: Unavailable.[u]AVAILABLE ASSETS[/u]OFFICERSAnodeSpiderGrachENLISTEDThe Bravely Broken (4th Overland Steel Beret squad)
>>3209496How do I always fuck that up?>>3209496ACTIVITY/INTEL• Dalet’s attack on the SkyLoop has been called off. While the hacker remains at large, his mustering force has been cut off at the knees and the survivors scattered.• The Richmond district has seen the heaviest of the fighting. The combined work of 10th and 1st’s squads repelled a maverick attack with considerable casualties. Evacuation efforts were thus freed to safely clear threatened spaces and reassign assets to other hotspots.• After a standoff in the Harbor, the Victoroid shipment remains in play.• Councillor Envision has been caught and surveilled by Spider meeting with a maverick GOO5E model named Hutchins.• A well-known local pianist has been kidnapped by a Reploid named P1C0, who is believed to have gone Maverick. The attack occurred in Gastown and the attacker is not believed to have gone far.• A handful of Mavericks are believed to be sabotaging food deliveries in Burnaby, destroying delivery Mechaniloids and in at least one case leaving behind a dead delivery operator. Food deliveries have been suspended in the area pending further study. • Local Maverick activity seems to have spiked chatter about a "bomb" under development which is planned to be used in a major attack. A device which could be used as an accelerant component is being moved by police away from UBC and into a safe storage facility until further notice in hopes of preempting an attack on the campus to steal it. Police are expecting a Maverick attempt on the transport and will be using decoys.
>>3209498Right, so:>Dalet cleared with small costs and medium rewards. We won't be worrying about that until Iris can get a new lead on him. At most, we can speculate some other way to cutoff the megacity from outside intervention or evacuation.>Richmond is far from over.>Sometime between now and three days, the bomb materials are going to get hit. Assuming a non-negligible amount of time to actually install the part, it's happening now or tomorrow.>Food deliveries are likely part of the hostage plan. By cutting the supply route off, the hostage takers set a starvation timer with or without any bomb.>Victoroids and P1C0 remain unsolvedWhile we don't know for sure how involved P1C0 is with all this, Spider has the best chance of acting like he's involved in the whole maverick operation and finding any connection with Hutchins. Also you know, saving the hostage.Grach is doing good work, but considering how PHANTOM is keeping an eye on him, I'm not so sure about sending him to the Victoroids. Putting him on food duty should further aid overall progress, but risks aggroing something big and graverendy.My tentative plan right now is:>Spider on pianist>Anode sitting in either a decoy truck or the bomb truck, hidden from action until they actually try to open itthen>A: Grach on food and BB as walking bomb escortsor>B: Grach AND BB going for the Victoroids
>>3209498Hooo.. bomb is going to be a big one, no matter how you cut it. We are down 2 units and some of the bigger ops are opening up. While Richmond was a vital spot, we lost valuable manpower really damn early. Going to have to play catch up.See with our 1st if we can safely delay the transportation of the accelerant for a bit. Getting 1st operational is important for this alongside the 10th since in the of chance the cargo gets taken we need interceptors or retrievers.Its hard to tell if P1C0 is important or not. A side mission, but one that can help bring a bit of morale.We have 3 days total and by the sounds of it, it is still night. Trying to go after everything now is a bad idea. We need intel, data, a way to gauge the situation so we don't send rookies into threats they can't handle.
>>3209703Don't forget Pinky and Blinky saying "don't do shit until after tomorrow, or we're coming to make a house call."
>>3209721No, they said until the morning. It was still 'night' before. We can assume this is late night because the Advance are not back from questioning(having them be out for a day is bad for us) and it was in this area. We could have anode act as a sniper/surprise attack for the accelerate.But yeah, Grach is sort of compromised. He did damn good, but it might be better to make use of his human skin to blend in with other humans and have them serve as camo. It doesn't sound like they have his face, just that a 'human' did it.
>>3209738It's unclear how "made" Grach is.
>>3209742Human looking guy in a time where every human looking person is in their home when the sun comes down. Narrows down the search a bunch if even the lower guys were talking about it. They might not know him by sight, but it'd be better if we use him in places his disguise makes sense. Actually, this is an idea; see if any of the food delivery companies have a higher preference for human employees.
Anode and Spider on the Harbor.Grach and the Bravely Broken on Gastown.
Thread's getting near the end of the board, but here's the second half of your first intel foray. Depending on how fast it falls down the board we may open into another thread to continue on.MOLOCH GANG MEMBERS AND POSSIBLE AFFILIATES: • Crewd: A known Maverick who favors an Ox Ride Armor in battle. Wanted for an assault on Los Llanos Air Base in Spain wherein he stole a classified Hubara Fuertaventura low altitude subradar carrier and murdered several personnel during the escape. Crewd is known for working with others for planning and coordination and is currently a target on Firestar Aardwolf’s dossier. The 3rd Deploy out of HQ5 consider Crewd to be on their personal shit list as the prototype had been destined for them. No distinctive combat characteristics, but custom gear on his Ride Armor is a virtual certainty.• Claxton: Name matches a defector from the Royal Airforce - a Jetlight Tommy who worked as an urban stealth paratrooper. RAF reports no unusual equipment or specs outside of his camouflage pattern being designed for city operations rather than wilderness, though he’s been at large for some time.• Dalet: No active intel as he never showed up in the Hydrocity, but what we’ve heard suggests a competent hacker who matches records from Shadow Hunter communications of a Maverick with a similar name. Dalet is likely a Shadow Hunter himself and may be coordinating with Moloch or his group - that signal drop suggests someone with some counterintel skills and hacking ability was working the job.• Dammahnation Blade: Per Spider’s reporting, there is zero chance Blade is working with Moloch. When asked why, Spider explained “because you haven’t found Moloch yet and Dammahnation’s still alive.” Blade has all the subtlety of a freight train at a tea party.• Hutchins: Via Spider: A real piece of work, don’t let the tuxedo paint job fool you. Mercenary, Maverick, would-be crime boss; Hutchins is a violent criminal in a business suit. During his time as a Hunter Killer, he was known to take trophies from his kills - expect him to be packing grenades and other utilities and tools commensurate with a kitted-out Hunter.• Pink Rhomphaia and “Blink”: We’ll have to open new dossiers for this intel. Anode suspects that at least Rhomphaia, and probably his unseen counterpart as well, can be linked to PHANTOM, the RUDRA special forces group that has caused problems for him in the past. Rhomphaia’s manner suggests that he’s not affiliated with Moloch, though we can’t put too much stock in the words of a Maverick. Apparently possesses PHANTOM-grade optical camouflage and some capacity to project illusions, per Anode’s report.Cont.
>>3211490• Raschen: An ex-Hunter with the 15th, expelled for insubordination and conduct unbefitting an officer. Psychological profile indicates recklessness, fascination with explosions, short temper, and extremely poor socialization. Appears to have rearmed himself with a stock Muzzle Crash cannon limb in place of the civilian arm he was issued when he was dishonorably discharged. No surprise to have found him in Richmond; bombarding the airport and surrounding area would be right up his alley. Still a bit hard to contemplate that he’d be working with anyone trying to keep a low profile, as he’s unstable.• Unidentified flying contact: Joined Crewd and Raschen at the attack on Richmond. Profile matched a Jetlight Tommy; likely Claxton going by coordination of reports.• Unidentified jamming source: Possibly Dalet; something disrupted communications both at the Harbour and in Richmond. There may be more than one contact responsible.• Unidentified spotter: Pratt’s analysis on the attack on their unit suggests a spotter calling shots, though no contact was ever made. It is possible that this was the result of discipline and training among the maverick ranks, but given the scale of their operations, it is not unlikely there is a dedicated intelligence officer. This may have been Claxton or some other unidentified party.It would be safe to assume these contacts will make themselves known again.
Can we contact Foxfire regarding help with Dalet? At the very least, she might have an idea how this guy usually works.
>>3209703If the "in 3 days" plan is to steal and set off the bomb, we may want to rush the shipment instead. If we can complete the other objectives quickly and relatively unhurt (this is a big if), and we have a liaison with the cops, we might be able to reschedule it at least a day earlier and catch the Mavericks unprepared.>>3209758Agreed. Assigning him tasks that can't easily be connected is the best way to keep anyone from figuring him out.
Does that mean Collide is Sue?
>>3211900Sue's going after Cathode
>>3211900Collide is Clyde.
>>3211905>>3211907Oh yeah, I forgot about Clyde.
>>3211883Its not just using the bomb, its cutting them off and forcing them inwards. We aren't just dealing with the accelerant, we are dealing with them trying to increase pressure and forcing them to evacuate into particular areas.Right now we are down TWO units. The ones that are good with this sort of stuff(low collateral) and the ones who are good at persuit and interception.Our first 'day' had enough for 3 different parts. And our second will likely have 4. I want to get intel, secure our men, get them fixed up, and ready because if we keep trying to rush in we are going to end up with our men slaughtered.As is, as a direct combat unit, the 10th is done. They should be used as support and not against faster, mobile, or armored foes. Their busters lack the punch and they lack both experience and numbers now.
>>3209498I want the 1st to receive Spider's surveillance intel so they can hand it straight to the police and cook Envision for breakfast. It would cut off any help the corrupt official might give to the escalation. While they're there, 1st can support the accelerant transport.Send the Bravely Broken to bravely break the Victoroids before they can be used in tandem with anything.I think Grach can track P1C0 better than Spider and also deal with any surprise enemy assistance better. That would leave Spider free to investigate the food sabotage and potentially take out a portion of the "handful of Mavericks" responsible.Anode ought to stay in reserve at the home base this time. His presence on the field will constitute a significant escalation, and with the 1st assisting the police right now, I think he's best spent playing reaction-offense.
>>3213318Grach may be able to track him, but he is also more exposed at the moment. Spider is pretty good at smooth talking, and is still an unknown.We really should not have anyone go to the victoroid until its morning unless we want to lose them and I'd rather have any possible support be closer to the operation than just at base. Last time we did that we took more injuries than we should.
>>3213318Aren't we advised not to send everybody to different corners of the city?
>>3213719The bigger a net we cast, the more obvious our operation is.
How is voting being done for sending people out, anyway? Is it like... A cumulative, a la carte thing?Because I feel like that's asking for a repeat of 10th getting caught out in an area we knew was going to have something go down in it. We're very lucky that 1st was on standby.
>>3213852Broadly, I'm taking the majority per individual tally by officer or unit, and taking writein data into account where possible.On that note, given that we're falling off the board, the next thread is up at >>3213870.