Shakti maneuvered her fireteam into position. The Xaraks Battery was in clear view from their position on one of the pre-fab buildings that were built to provide housing for the garrison troops. They timed the schedules to the second. They knew that an exhaust vent for the dome vented gases every 6.5 minutes. That was the window they needed to drop their netrod into position.
The dropped started perfect. The netrod blasted through the opening. The calculations on the landing accounted for the blast of exhaust and the change from zero-g to micro gravity. Every variable was accounted for. What wasn’t accounted for was the vent malfunctioning and it only opened partially. The netrod course corrected and missed the half-opened hatch. Unfortunately, this small correction caused the netrod to land out of position.
“Course correction shifted the landing. Netrod is reporting functional.”, the Yadu Communication Officer relayed to the team.
Shakti sighed loudly. This wasn’t a major setback but she wasn’t comfortable. She was short on actionable intelligence for this drop. It was also short notice and she didn’t have the normal prep time she liked to have. It was a luxury that she often didn’t have but she didn’t have even the normal rush of data that Aleph Officers were used to receive as they were arriving on site.
“Signal detected. Tight broadcast stream. Mayanet connection detected.”
“Damn. A Warcor? Get eyes on the target. What are we dealing with?”, Shakti barked.
“Warcor spotted at 12 o’clock. No other troops spotted.”
The Mk. 4’s voice interrupted, “Gamma moving toward my position. Firing.”
Shakti could see the exchange of HMG and rockets flying through the night. They didn’t expect O-12. It was a possibility but the movement orders didn’t have O-12 arriving for three more days. There was also no mention of a Warcor being detailed to the team. This looked more and more like a setup. Somehow Ariadna must have suspected this and switched the orders but now was not the time to figure out where things broke down. She watched the Proxy’s health meter hit the red. She was landing some shots but the Gamma was shrugging them off. The weight of fire was quickly going against her.
The Proxy’s icon changes to a red X on the team’s HUD. Before Shakti could think about the loss, the Gamma was targeting her. She scored one hit and she could feel the adrenalin kick in. Her joy didn’t last long. She felt the sting of the HMG punch through her armor. Reflectively she fell back.
The mechanical roar of a Siriusbot can be heard below Shakti’s team. The Siriusbot took aim at the netrod. Unfortunately, Dart was standing directly in the path of the Riotstopper. She decided to take a chance in her enhanced reflects and toss E/M grenade to isolate Team Sirius. Things didn’t go as planned. She was caught in the blast of the Riotstopper and stuck in place. The grenade reflected harmlessly against their shielding.
It wasn’t looking good. Dart being glued in a spot meant that Ariadna could prove without much effort that Aleph is operating outside the normal bounds. Shakti knew that something had to happen quickly or else it would be a PR nightmare. As this was happening the Team Sirius managed to active an antenna.
Shakti’s HUD pulsed as a Gangbuster Hacker moved into her hacking area. She dialed up Sucker Punch and let it loose. A Naga materialized in front of the Gangbuster and dropped a mine between it and the Siriusbot. The Gangbuster new that the mine threat needed to be dealt with but the attack from Shakti needed to be countered. His attack worked well to prevent Shakti’s assault but she was still a threat.
Shakti knew her actions needed to be quick and decisive. The Naga acted first. His shotgun took out the Gangbuster and the Siriusbot but not before he was glued to the spot.
“Two targets visible. Taking the shots.”, the Yadu Heavy Demolitions Expert fired a volley at the Gamma and the Warcor. Both shots scored the outside of the cover.
“Correction. Third target spotted.” She barked as she fired at the Gamma, Warcor and the visible Alpha. The two shots find their targets. The Gamma takes another wound and slides deeper into his cover. The Alpha is engulfed in flames. Unfortunately, the Warcor flashed a laser into the eyes of the Yadu causing him to curse her bad luck.
The Yadu HMG chuckled as he moved into position, “When did you become camera shy?” She let the HMG fire at the Warcor silencing his broadcast for good.
Shakti moved her troops into position. The Mk. 1 retook the antenna and went into suppressive fire next to the door that Team Sirius used to hide. The Yadu link was spread thin but not enough to worry. Things were looking up but Shakti was still a long way to victory.
With the command structure broke, O-12 took some desperate moves. Their hacker guided their Delta Unit behind Yadu link. The team didn’t react. The Delta moved into position and let his riotstopper fly. The enhanced reflexes from the Yadu allowed them to dodge out of the way and re-position.
The Gamma re-appeared took shots at Shakti and the Yadu HMG. In multiple exchanges the Yadu scored one wound but so did the Gamma. The Gamma dropped but O-12 positioned his Omega unit and took shots at the Yadu’s FO, HMG and Shakti. The FO took a wound but carried on.
The Team Sirius moved out to try and break the link. Shakti laughed as her team dropped the agent in a hail of bullets.
Shakti began to move her team again. The initial maneuvers were to take out the Omega directly in front of them. The HMG sent several volleys of fire toward the Omega.
“Target down. Move to clean up.”, Shakti barked. They moved toward the enemy command console. As they entered one of the storerooms, they saw another Gangbuster lurking near an antenna. The HMG let loose and dropped her target.
The HUD lights changed to green as the view from one of the drones watching the battlefield showed the remaining O-12 falling back to their transport. Shakti looked around. “Let’s get an engineer here to breakout our ‘elite’ agents.”