Six Mercs enter...
Sat Nov 5, 2011 7:06pm

The Albatross came in low over the Siberian Tundra. In the dead of winter the only color for any number of miles was white. White snow, white ice; pure unrelenting white. For someone like Lina who had never travelled outside the freezone and rarely beyond the Stomping Grounds, seeing such icy terrain was something of a wonder to her. Her eyes were glued to her viewport as the ungainly aircraft maneuvered on an approach vector to the city. Towers jutted through the ice baring comm relays, weapons clusters and landing pads. Jim eased the ship towards the one designated for them.

Demios yawned a bit and stretched his arms over his head. "Alright kids. Grab your gear."


The Mercenaries, all six of them, descended from the belly ramp of the Albatross. This hiss of pneumatics was swallowed by the loud winds that swept across the upper spires of Troska City. To meet them was a squad of six soldiers flanking an official. The soldiers were all human with grey jumpsuits and helmets, with automatic plasma rifles held at attention. The official wore a grey wool uniform trimmed in silver with a peaked cap and a scowl. He turned immediately to Jim and nodded crisply, "Good to see you arrive, Freelancers. I see you brought your combat reploids along. They look quite expensive. Excellent." His voice was a scathing alto and had a crispness to it that felt military.

Jim blinked then smirked slightly before looking up towards Demios. Demios was much less amused, "I'm Demios, acting commander of the mission."

The man looked confused a moment then frowned. "Of course you are." He turned on his heel and moved towards the covered alcove protecting the lift. The soldiers turned and marched beside him.

"Quite the charming bunch, aren't they?" Liska muttered under her breath.

"Stow it." Demios grunted before leading the group in his wake.

The group arranged themselves on the lift, a moving disk maybe twenty feet across. The disk shuddered before it began descending into the city. The official briefed them, "My name is Harl Strakenkoff of the Troska Internal Affairs department. I will be your liaison while you are here. If you need anything in order to do your jobs, you will come to me. You will be escorted to a secure barracks that has been reserved for your use while you are here. You will be expected to prepare yourselves for the Baron's reception this evening."

"Reception?" Cocker asked, curious.

Harl's scowl deepened, "The Baron has decided to use you as propaganda tools in addition to executioners. The reception will be his chance to show off his new hired guns."

"Better make sure to put on my make up." Lina muttered darkly.

"Yes, you should, Mercenary. You will be expected to appear in formal uniform." He turned his head just enough to eye Demios and Glaive, "The Freelance Reploids have a formal uniform, do they not?"

Demios looked at him like he was stupid. "No."

"Very well." If it was so possible, Harl's scowl deepened even further, "The Baron's tailors will be notified and we will fit you with formal attire. Tomorrow we will bring you up to speed on the rebel activities and will integrate you into our operations."

Demios frowned, "We tend to work better operating independently."

"That will be determined by Security and Internal Affairs. For now, you will need to prepare yourselves for the Baron's reception."

The lift continued down through the thick layer of ice and duracrete shielding before breaching the top of the domed city. The nearly uniform look of the buildings down below and their precisely spaced form made a near perfect grid to the city below. The grid was punctuated by the occasional city square or motor pool. It was dull gray and looked very much like someone had pushed clay through a steel mesh. Along the walls of the dome were more interesting buildings. Factories and power plants ringed the outside of the dome at floor level and many crawled up the walls when they needed extra space it seemed. Judging on the factory below him, this lift probably spent most of its time shuttling finished omnium up for departure. The telltale sign of the massive electron smelters were clearly visible below them.

However, what dominated the city and illicited a whistle from Cocker, was a massive castle hanging from the middle part of the dome. It was two shades darker than any of the buildings of the city and extended downwards from the top of the dome. Perfectly symmetrical, it had four massive main spires and sixteen smaller ones, all jutting down like they were going to stab the city below. Heavy cannon were apparent along the spire, their barrels pointing downwards. The message was clear! Stay in line or the baron would obliterate your homes! The main body of the castle was enormous, easily a dozen kilometers in diameter and dotted with windows and landing bays.

The lift stopped early, near an internal shuttle bay and Harl led them to Strakenkoff led them to a large shuttle. "Do not disappoint us, Mercenaries." Strakenkoff warned as the shuttle ramp descended, "The Baron can be... Unforgiving."

  • Thunder DomeZeo, Sat Nov 5 12:51am
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    • Six Mercs enter... — Demios, Sat Nov 5 7:06pm
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