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The Synthetic War: Prelude
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Samara Tamblin
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 05 Sep 2017
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Can Be Found: USM Victory-Class Warship "The Andoran"
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weapons fire whipped past overhead, Samara crouching low behind cover. The rest of the team were with her, K’tan blind-firing over their cover at the enemy. Echo company was laying down heavy fire upon the Marauders from their position. It was all non-lethal, of course, but combat against the living was an entirely different beast from a sim.

Merichak was cool, calm. This was practically nothing to him. “Alright, boys and girls. We are up **** creek, looks like.” He checked his weapons heat sink, venting the excess build up. “Echo’s got us pinned, outnumbered and there’s no way around this fireline.”

“Great pep talk, Top.” Duster said.

“Stow it, soldier.” Titan told him firmly.

“But they made a mistake today.” Merichak continued, a smirk forming across his lips. “They showed up.”

Samara felt a swell of adrenaline, she and Tyke exchanging grins.

“We’re the Marauders. We don’t lose.” Merichak said. Confidence ran wild through the Company. Merichak had a plan. They were about to spring it!

“So.” Merichak said. “Ideas?”

Or...not.

Titan looked confounded. “I...we kinda thought you might.”

“What? Hell no. Best I can figure is going out in blaze of glory.” Merichak said. “So. ideas?”

Silence. K’tan dropped one of them but was forced back into cover. “Death under fire IS an honorable end.” Everyone shot him a look, making the Buldari uncomfortable. “Sometimes.”

“Thanks, Tank, very uplifting.” Duster sighed.

Axios checked his scanners. “They’re advancing, on our position, sir.”

On each person’s HUD they saw red dots heading their way. That was when Samara perked. “Sir. I have an idea.”

“Make it fast, Private.” Merichak said, suppressing a smile.

“The enemy are tracking on the radar, right? “

“Go on.” Merichak nodded to her.

“What if they get here...and we aren’t?”

Titan’s brow furrowed. “I’d like to know exactly how you hope to accomplish that, Private.”

Samara’s eyes flicked her way, a confident grin flashed across her features. “The tracking works using our suits. So…”

“We abandon our suits….” Axios said, figuring it out.

“Yeah, but aren’t they gonna notice we suddenly stopped shooting?” Duster pointed out.

“Sometimes death under fire is an honorable end.” Samara said to K’tan. The Buldari grinned his sharp teeth and ejected a power cell and slammed another into place.

Echo company moved forward when suddenly one of the massive Delta Company frames leapt up, laying down rapid fire upon their numbers. All weapons turned on him, but the massive alien grabbed the nearest Echo man and wheeled him around using the suited man as a living shield. He traded fire with them, dropping one and then another….but eventually, he felt a blast catch his shoulder, sending him stumbling back. The arm of his suit was suddenly disabled, dropping his main weapon. He dropped his shield and drew a scatter blaster. The remaining Echo company troops had to dive for cover. But the distraction didn’t last. A blast caught Tank square in the chest and his suit completely shut down.

The alien lay there, unable to move and cursing up a storm as the remnants of Echo stepped over his body. They prepared to lay waste to remnants of the famous Marauders. On their CO’s command they brought their weapons to bear, finding only empty suits….with their weapons removed.

“What the ***?” one of them uttered.

The Marauders came up from behind without a sound and opened up, absolutely laying waste to their opponents. Samara fired until the weapon was dry, her team standing right beside her. When it was over, every Echo trooper lay “dead”.
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John Merichak
Wyrmling
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Joined: 16 Jan 2018
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Can Be Found: USM Victory-Class Warship "The Andoran"
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bottles popped, music played, and laughter filled the air. The Marauders were gathered all around, dressed down. The day was theirs and the enemy had been defeated. While K’tan seemed a little less thrilled, spirits were high.

Byron climbed up on a table and brought his fingers to his lips, letting out a loud whistle. Gradually, conversations stopped,the music turned down and all eyes landed on him.

“Ladies, Gentlemen…” He announced, “Tank.” Byron nodded to the Buldari with a joking, dubious expression getting a little laugh from the group and a grumble from the large alien.

“I have an announcement I’d like to make. Get up here, you two slugs.” Byron pulled Serles and Samara to him, arms draped over their shoulders. “I’d like to extend an official welcome to the two newest members of our weird...dysfunctional little family. Let’s raise our glasses in salute to the two newest Marauders. Tommy ‘Tyke’ Serles…” He tightened his arm around the young man and then rubbed his close-cropped hair. “...And the brains of the Op today...Samara “Washout” Tamblin.”

There were cheers and laughter. Samara and Serles exchanged bashful grins. For the first time they truly felt like they belonged. Byron gave their shoulders a squeeze. “Raise ‘em up, Marauders!”

The team rose their glasses and let out a loud “Ah-Roo!” and upended their drinks.

Byron patted them on the back and caught sight of Merichak entering the room, Wei at his side. “Now, I believe our fearless leader would like to say a few words. Top?”

Merichak stepped into the room to cheers as Byron stepped down from the table. The old warhorse held up a hand and everyone went silent. “You all did well today. You faced overwhelming numbers, you stood together and you came out on top. You should be proud.”

That got a few whoops and hollers, but the old man silenced it. “But let’s keep in mind, if this had been a real op, we’d be draping a flag over Tank’s coffin right now.”

A moment of quiet fell over everyone, the solemn nature of the moment filled the room. Merichak’s gaze swept over every man and woman in the room, letting the weight of that moment sit. “One death is acceptable by USM standards. It is never acceptable by mine, copy?”

There were murmurs in the affirmative and Eaton patted K’tan on the shoulder.

Merichak eyed Samara. “Tyke, Washout. Celebrate today. You’ve earned it. But tomorrow...you’re Marauders.”

“Hell yes, they are.” Wei said, to Samara’s surprise. The stoic instructor let slip a barely perceptible smile come out.

A satisfying chill ran through Samara’s entire being. She couldn’t stop the ear-to-ear grin that spread across her lips. Merichak held up his drink. “Alright enough of this sappy ****! Duster! Hit the music! Drink up, Marauders!”

Serles threw an arm around Samara as he and the others let up a cheer. Tey’lani was the first to reach her, wrapping her arms around her in tight hug. One by one, the team came up to her to offer their congratulations and support. Stick stepped aside, revealing Wei. For some reason, Samara suddenly felt nervous. Wei regarded her with that same cold, calculating, judgemental stare that the girl had become so used to.

“Sir.” Samara said with a bow of her head.

Wei stayed still, making Samara visibly uncomfortable. Her hands left from behind her back. A glass of beer clutched in one of them. Samara glanced down to her hands then back up to her, a smile sneaking out onto her face.

“Congratulations, Tamblin.” Wei said. “Your brother would have been proud.”

A pleasant chill ran through to her core, a swell of emotion threatening to bring out a few tears. She fought them back and instead, clinked her glass to Wei’s. “Thank you.”

Wei smirked, raised her glass and took a drink from her glass. She moved off and offered her congratulations to Serles as Samara caught sight of Merichak leaving the room. She moved as quickly through the room as she could, moving past a few of her new comrades, setting on his trail.

“Sir!” She called after him. “Sir!”

Merichak stopped in his tracks and turned slowly. That stern, powerful presence and tall, broad, and muscled stature could be intimidating to say the least, though there was something about him that set her at ease. A smile formed on that craggly, scarred face of his. “Tamblin. What can I do for you?”

“Sir,” Tamblin began. “I just wanted to thank you. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I wanted to let you know, I won’t let you down.”

Merichak let out a little laugh. “I know you won’t.” He said simply and started away again. Samara stared after him but something ate at her.

“Sir.” she called again, bringing her new CO to a halt. “I have to know…”

Merichak turned to her. “What is it, Tamblin.”

“What happened to the training program?” She asked. “Will we ever get it back?”

Marcus. He was never far from her mind, even now in this moment of honor and accomplishment. The one piece of her brother she still had, the one chance to be near him, hear him, talk to him...and they were just ripping it away.

Merichak lumbered toward her. “USM Intel is looking into it, determining what kind of threat, if any, it might possess.”

“You mean they’re going to bury it.” Samara said, a bit of acid in her tone.

Merichak didn’t deny it. Usually when Intelligence Officers came for something, it was never seen again. He looked her in the eye and put a hand on her shoulder. “Tamblin...you want my advice? Forget it. Forget you ever saw it. What’s done is done. Celebrate your victories. Learn from your failures...but let the past die. It’s the only way to survive the battles to come.”

Her eyes lowered a moment and slowly she nodded. Samara hated losing, and this was a big loss. “Yes, sir.”

“Buck up, Marauder.” He grinned to her. “We got a long road ahead of us. This is just the beginning.”
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