Mass Effect: Dark Horse Rising

A Long Haul: Part Two

Save the colonists…and try not to get killed in the process.

The boarding party has been divided. Delta and Turhan are boarding the ship from the front, using the stealthy approach. Turhan’s tactic has overloaded the shields and dampened the Beloc’s sensors, allowing Delta to crawl along the surface of the Beloc undetected. Turhan is able to keep pace with the lithe geth, using compresses air jets and mag-boots to join Delta at row of Beloc lifepods. Their luck get’s even better. The third pod bay is empty. Apparently the Beloc has seen trouble in the past and didn’t have the finances to replace the deployed pod. The two Vindicators makes short work of the rudimentary airlock designed to join the Beloc to the lifepod and make there way into the Beloc undetected.

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Meanwhile, Diallo, Sicarri, together with Lt. Carmine and the Krasnya brothers have deployed a boarding tube. Carmine is one of the crews better shots and is no slouch when it comes to electronic countermeasures and security systems. In less than a minute he has interfaced with his omnitool. His eyes roll back into his head as his mind drifts into the Beloc’s security systems. There’s a loud pop as the Beloc airlock opens in the blink of an eye, revealing a sudden flash of light that plays havoc with sensors and the naked eye for a split second.

Carmine is immediately shot dead.

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Shortly after Delta and Turhan board the Beloc through the life pod air lock, Delta seeks out the nearest system conduit and directly interfaces with the data cables, looking for basic life control and the ship’s crew manifests. “This one is attempting to locate the prisoners and determine the composition of the Beloc’s crew. By calculating the current use of life support across the ship and cross-analyzing with crew composition, we should have an accurate description of both location and disposition for friendly and enemy units.”

A Long Haul: Part Two
 

As Artyom watches the stream of blood, grey matter, and helmet shoot out of the back of Carmine’s head, he Immoderately crouches down, using a crate full of machine shop parts for cover. As he regains his composer, Artyom looks up towards the ceiling to see streaks of white fire passing over and to the side of the crate….he is under fire. Peaking up over the crate, he catches a glimpse of Sacarii, nestled is a small corner near the end of the boarding tube where the “Vidicator” ends and the “Beloc” begins. Artyom tries to shout to Sacarii before his is forced back into cover by another volley of bullets. Sacarii was alive, but what about the Krasnya brothers, where they dead too? And if not, where the hell were they? No matter. It’s only a matter of time before whoever was shooting at them realized that they were pinned down and started using grenades to flush them out. Artyom unclips the RAINY DAY duffel from his suit and sets it on the ground. He unzips the main fold to reveal a key pad, and after inputting a series of commands the duffel emits a pleasant chime. As if in response the torrent of bullet fire stops, followed by the all to familiar sound of metal rolling down a hallway. Before Sacarii can finish shouting “GRENADE!”, Artyom picks the duffel up and throws it as far as he can down the hallway, towards the sound of clanging metal. Artyom watches the bag float through the air as metal appendages sprout from it almost faster than the eye can see. When the G-R-I-F-N turret lands it immediately deploys a biotic shield around itself that absorbs most of the blast from the grenades and starts firing indiscriminately into the assailants. While shielded from the brunt of the explosion, the kinetic energy from the blast, combined with the fact that Artyom had stood up from his cover behind the machine shop parts, sends him flying into the side of the hull, where he drifts in and out of consciousness

A Long Haul: Part Two
 

My own breath is the loudest thing I have ever heard, next to the ringing in my ears. Artyom Lifts his arms and flexes his fingers weakly. They still work, well that is a good thing. My head rolls to the left. I open my eyes.

“Check that one, over there behind the turret! Now!” A Cerberus thug calls out.

Following the leader’s direction the two operatives approach Artyom with their weapons at the ready.Step by step they expertly divided their pairing to take a ninety degree offset from one another.

“Sir, this one is moving slowly. I think he is still alive!” The soldier standing closest to Artyom’s head says.

“Do you think, or do you know? Whatever, is he human, cause if not put a bullet in it!” He ordered.


The soldier lifts his boot up to tap disoriented man with his boot to the head but stops immediately.
“You! Freeze, drop your fucking weapons! Now!” He commanded, as the second soldier spun and dropped to his knee aiming in at the corner just beyond to door. The soldier steps over Artyom’s head and tactically walks forward.

As Artyom starts to regain his hearing he starts to make out the buzzing in his ears, through his helmet.

“Okay, they see me. Get ready…” Sicarii says.

Sicarii sitting in his nestled corner stands up, as his continues to interface with his omni-tool.


The soldier fires a shot just past Sicarii’s face as he was working on his omni-tool. So much as a matter a fact Sicarii stops interfacing and slowly, with both hands dropping to his sides resting on his N-7 Hurricanes.

“What the fuck did I tell you, get ready to drop this guy!” The Soldier commanded.
Sicarri, without moving says, “NOW!”

The Krasnaya brothers pop from the other corner across the boarding tube from Sicarii emptying their weapons at the Cerberus thugs. The Soldiers drop to the prone in vain as an immediate reaction to the brother’s engagement. The soldier who fired at Sicarii was shot several times before he even hit the ground. The second soldier began firing at the brothers holing the youngest brother in the chest killing him with a well aimed shot to his heart.

The commander of the small cerberus fire team takes cover behind Artyom’s turret and fires expertly at Sicarii. Devastatingly, the shot takes away his shield with a blast from his Eviscerator.

Sicarii standing tall after the shot, seeming un-phased, reached behind his back to pull out his Claymore. Then Starts walking. The Commander pops from his corner and fires another shot. Only to realized that Sicarii was walking in place as the sound of the other gunfire died off. As the realization sets in as he slowly takes his eyes out of the sights of his weapon. Sicarii stands aimed in at the same distance he was at the beginning of all of this firefight. His muscles loosened, and for the last time the Cerberus commander relaxed, for he knew the grave mistake he had made.

The Older brother pulled his mortally wounded sibling closer to him out of the fire. With hatred fueling his rage, he jumped brazenly from his covered position and stood there firing his weapon and placing round after round through the soldier’s helmet. The Cerberus soldier collapsed under his own weight and lay there; twitching rhythmically. The older brother then falls to his knees collecting the failing body of his younger brother holding him close. Slowly, his tears stop falling.

Artyom was gaining consciousness again when he winced as he could hear and feel the resounding gunfire and the snaps to follow as the pass over his disorientated body. After the fire stopped. A few seconds passed and then a final shot was taken. Artyom opened his eyes and gazed at the headless corpse of the Cerberus commander laying but a few feet from him, the soldier’s body draining the last of it’s blood in vain. There stood Sicarii stowing his claymore, and continuing to access his omni-tool.

“This is Sicarii to Delta, Oscar-One Kilo is down and so is one of the Krasnaya brothers… Entry is a success, standing by for orders and your sitrep.”

A Long Haul: Part Two
 

Part one (three may be several hours off)

Sicarri, Artyom, and the surviving Krasnaya brother look at the aftermath, regaining their bearing after the skirmish.

The carnage is daunting. In addition to the two crew members the Vidicators lost, about a dozen Cerberus renegades lay dead or unconscious.

Sicarri’s holographic ploy and the brothers cross fire took the lives of the three members of Beloc’s defense team that were able to sidestep the turret, but the wholesale firepower of the GRIFN turret laid waste to nine others. Any remaining force fled down the halls during the chaos.

As the smoke clears the GRIFN chokes, sparks, and shuts down, having horribly overheated. It’s job is more than done though, and Sicarri notes that the tungsten rounds the turret fired blew holes in the corners of the Beloc that several of the Cerberus slavers were taking cover behind.

Three of the GRIFN’s victims have survived, but are in no shape to fight. One whimpers, his backed pressed against a wall. A second is stunned, trying to get to his knees and failing. The third, having taken cover behind a corner when the turret deployed, now tries to comprehend the damage done to his now useless right arm.

Krasnaya suppresses his rage and moves to secure the prisoners with low tech zip ties, the type the Vindicator usually uses to help secure cargo.

“Go help the tin can and the scientist,” his says coldly. “I will hold this point and make sure these dogs live to see a life sentence by the Alliance.”

A Long Haul: Part Two
 

Part two (part three to come after Phil has a chance to post)

Delta notes Sicarri’s transmission as his analysis of the life support systems continues to frustrate him.

He notes that the cargo bay’s ambient heat and CO2 emissions clearly indicate that the human colonists have been stored there. However, he cannot locate the Cerberus crew.

What’s confusing is the fact that the system is telling Delta that there are several compartments with zero life support systems engaged, and I indicating total vacuum. However, none of these compartments are air locked, meaning that they should have pressurized based on the adjacent, regulated, neighboring compartments. Instead, the vacuum status maintains its status quo.

Delta displays the contradiction holographically for Turhan’s input and tilts it’s head quizzically in a proud attempt at anthropomorphic non-verbal communication.

A Long Haul: Part Two
Misterkimball

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