FHD Remix Chapter 17
Previous: FHD Remix Chapter 16: Cancel That Transmission!
Chapter 17: Seven Weeks Without Toga; Transmission Received
Haibane Tatakai waits at the Great Gate, as does Yaiba and Shimoni. The abandoned cart with the broken super-cannon and defibrulator still sits beside the gate. The gate does not open.
"It's been seven weeks," Shimoni weeps, "Are the six Toga locked in the tower the last Toga we'll ever see?" She gets down on her knees bawling, "I'm now in charge of a total pooch screw ... Glie is doomed without trade from the outside."
Tatakai kneels beside her, "It must be so near the time of the Saviour's return ... don't lose hope, my friend."
The raven comes over the wall. It is struggling, barely able to fly, and exhausted. Tatakai reaches out and catches it. It is very warm.
"Campbell, are you alright?" Tatakai gasps. The bird taps her watch twice, then nods. It struggles to lift a foot into her hand, a foot from which a plastic tube dangles.
Tatakai untangles the thread of the container from the raven's toes and then sets the bird gently down. It finds itself a crack in the tile of the road and rests on its keel, panting. Tatakai pulls out the message inside the container, growing surprise as she unrolls it.
FROM: Operation Tatakai
TO: Featherwing Brotherhood; All Chapters
DATE: 1125Z, 15 November 2145
SUBJECT: I Mars: Battle Report 1
ATTENTION ATTENTION: DO NOT SEND REINFORCEMENTS NOT EQUIPPED WITH SOURCE X OR FACTOR; IF NOT EQUIPPED, HUMANS WILL BE VULNERABLE TO REMOTE CAPTURE
Current Status: I have engaged the enemy codename EP6_12 on Mars. Mars City and all other facilities have suffered extensive damage and casualties. Civilian casualties, captured and killed estimated at 99%. Military casualties, captured and killed estimated at 97%. Mars Sublevel, Mars City, Administration, Mars City Monorail, and Communications Transfer are not operational. Alpha Labs (all Sectors) remain operational, but lack maintenance personnel. Energy Processing remains operational but lacks maintenance personnel. Delta Labs (all Sectors), Central Processing, Site 1 and Site 3 are believed to be operational and under the control of the enemy. Failure or deliberate shutdown of Communications by E. Swann expected shortly. All corporeal enemies are highly vulnerable to scratch. Scratch-laced weapons and ammunition are an estimated five times as effective against these creatures as normal weapons and ammunition.
Timeline: 0916 Disembarked Darkstar (Transport 4409)
0922: Source X confirmation of imminent enemy attack; location Mars City female washroom
0927: Reported to Marine Command; Sergeant Kelly gives order to locate and apprehend Dr. Jonathan Ishii, who had gone missing in the Sublevel
0945: Contact with Jonathan Ishii, who had established CP at Sublevel Communications; Dr. Malcolm Betruger observed entering Delta 4 Extradimensional Portal with Artifact U-1
0946: EPC failure observed from Sublevel Communications; enemy attack begins with first wave of Soul Stealers. I immediately begin a retreat to Mars City after observing a Soul Stealer capture Jonathan Ishii, leaving behind his body operating under wildly altered nervous and metabolism
0949: Encountered first Imp
0955: Exit Sublevel for Mars City; estimated 97% casualties captured and killed based on direct observation and radio communications.
Tatakai slowly sinks to the tile of the square, her hands shaking, "WAAAAAAAAHHH!!" she cries. "How could I make this so sterile? ... so ... so clinical and lacking passion ... and how did I find the time?" she bawls.
"Th - that's you?" Yaiba gasps.
"I wrote this," Tatakai confirms, "All these names ... Mars, Swann ... I can place them ... I can remember them. This is so sad. In the first nine minutes of the war, the enemy killed," Tatakai finds it very difficult to say, "more people than we have left in Glie today."
She returns to reading
1006: Ordered by Sergeant Kelly to join with Fire Team Bravo, then located in Alpha Labs 2
1012: Exit Mars City for Administration
1016: Encountered first Kitty
1017: Observe Swann in Admin IT nest (Note: continuously about 2 to 5 min behind Swann impeded by access difficulties, progressive damage, and enemy resistance)
1020: Exit Administration for Alpha Labs 1
1026: Encountered first Maggot
1032: Exit Alpha Labs 1 for Alpha Labs 2
1034: Bravo enters Alpha Labs 3
1036: Encountered first Spider Trite
1045: Exit Alpha Labs 2 for Alpha Labs 3
1053: Bravo enters Alpha Labs 4
1057: Exit Alpha Labs 3 for Alpha Labs 4
1059: Learned 1110 Bravo ordered to proceed to Communications, given false report by Kelly that I was killed while traversing EFR system in Alpha Labs 4
1100: Encountered first Spider Queen
1101: Exit Alpha Labs 4 for Energy Processing
1101: EnPro reactor damaged by Bravo, Bravo radio contact lost (Coolant Rod 2 damaged)
1102: Encountered first Wraith
1103: Encountered first Lost Soul
1104-6: EnPro reactor repaired
1110: Encountered Pvt. Grant of Bravo, KIA Wraith after he reports that Bravo was lied to by Kelly about my status at 1059; acquired distress signal card
1111: Exit Energy Processing for Communications Transfer; encountered first Chomper
1114: Encountered Berserker artifact
1115: Exit Communications Transfer for Communications
1117: Main Communications room equipment destroyed by Swann
1124: Entered Satellite Communications; destroyed distress signal card
Report on enemy creature types:
1: Soul Stealer: A non-corporeal skull shaped entity able to capture souls from body, leaving body in highly modified zombie form under enemy control. Encountered ones armed with pistols, shotguns, Enforcer rifles, and Beavertooth chainsaws. Soul Stealers are not vulnerable to ballistic and mechanical weapons, plasma vulnerability is unknown. Only countermeasures are Source X and Factor.
2: Imp: Humanoid, always encountered nude, always female gender. 1.8m 95kg with little variation, very strong skin behaves much as ductile armor, able to form ballistic plasma discharges from hands, 9 eyes able to see NIR and UV as well as visual, very accurate ranging and throwing of plasma discharges. Plasma discharges are approximately three times as powerful as Series 3 plasma rifle. Also able to climb sheer vertical and inverted surfaces without any apparent handholds or footholds. Beware of crouch, they use a jumping attack from up to 12m away.
3: Kitty: Approx. 3.5m long, 250kg, encountered six so far. Cybernetic pelvis and legs, with large quadruped forward limbs and very large mouth. No eyes, apparently limited vision, relies on scent, possibly limited hearing and Factor special. Melee only. Quick on their feet, but limited ability to jump.
4: Maggot: Approx 1.4m tall, 65kg, two heads with two eyes each, five limbs. Moves very fast and very effective in melee combat. Like Imp, able to climb sheer walls and ceilings. Very dangerous at medium range, jumping attack up to 20m.
5: Spider Trite: Approx 1.0m tall, 20kg, body 0.5m long, legs span 2.4m when fully spread, attacks with jumping bite from about 5m away, slow when walking. Able to fit through gaps as small as 0.15m. Not very strong, but tends to attack in swarms.
6: Spider Queen: Approx 2.5m tall, 650kg, body approx. 5m long, legs span 15m, biting, and slashing attacks, also remote telekinesis. Very strong, very difficult to kill. Only one encounter so far.
7: Wraith: Approx. 1.6m tall, 60kg, very long claw arms, very quick on their feet. No jumping observed, however they have an ability to either turn invisible or teleport. If invisibility, they are not vulnerable to mechanical or plasma weapons while invisible, but are vulnerable to both during the transformation sequence of approximately 1 second. They are apparently unable to attack in invisible form.
8: Lost Soul: First observed was captured form of Theresa Chasar. The enemy has the ability to capture just the head of a vulnerable human, and the captured form has the aiblity to fly and uses a flying biting attack. They are weak, but very difficult to hit. They can be easily observed, especially in the dark, because of plasma leaking from their neck interfaces.
9: Chomper: Roughly spherical Approx. 1.5m diameter, mass unknown. Flies using ground recoil telekinesis, large mouth used for biting and launching gravitic plasma discharges slightly more powerful than those of the Imp. There is an vulnerable opening to a convoluted internal organ, possibly its brain, above the mouth..
Note: Attacks may be laced with a poison that I am invulnerable to because of X Source, Factor, or both.
Current mission is to retrieve the U-1 artifact from extradimensional territory via the Delta 4 Portal and use it to destroy the Delta 4 Portal, any other operational extradimensional transportation systems (either UAC or enemy) and all remaining enemies.
Action continues, Tatakai out.
Tatakai winces as she comes to the end, "My Cacoe," she sobs, "I've seen-" then she looks around at the curious, unarmed humans in Glie. Better not to tell of the battles she's had inside the wall.
The raven is rested up, and quite happily munching on the millet spray brought along by Shimoni.
"What are Source X and Factor?" Shimoni asks.
"The former is code for the love of the Saviour, the later for the large flying wings," Yaiba explains, "I don't think I met an actual flyer in my old life, but I knew of them."
"Campbell isn't mentioned," Tatakai sighs, "and whatever my old name is, if it was anything other than Tatakai, is also missing.”
Shimoni suggests, "What if Campbell was your old name?"
Tatakai, says, "I doubt it." Turning to the bird, she says, "Campbell!"
The bird lifts its head with a soft caw.
"Was my name always Tatakai?" she asks.
The bird nods.
"Did I ever have another name?" she asks.
The bird nods.
"Did I ever have the name Campbell?" Tatakai continues her interrogation.
The raven cocks his head, then picks up the millet spray and flies away, as though to say, "I'm not telling."
"That sure helps," Yaiba moans.
Holding up the rolled battle report, Tatakai says with earnest, "This sure helps, I can attach these names to about half of the enemies I've drawn from my dreams over the last year and a half."
"And I'm going to have to figure out how to feed this town," Cupping her lips and aiming her voice at the bird as it sits on top of the wall, she yells, "Hey Campbell, find me something on farming, please!"
The raven dives on her, snagging a loose thread at the hem of her coat.
"Hey!" Shimoni protests as the bird flies straight up, busily flapping, unravelling the thread from the bottom of her coat.
Tatakai grabs the thread and rips it off, leaving the raven to fly away with about five yards of thread. "I think that's his promise," Tatakai says, "He needs something to tie it to his feet."
Next: FHD Remix Chapter 18: Not So Lucky; Bubba's New and Used; Power Failure