Bakunin special Clockmaker Zoe Nemova paused in her low-crawling across the structure adjacent to her target console. Interventor Lt. Donatello had finally registered opposition showing up in the HAS area, and it wasn’t PanOceana. Initial SIGINT showed the telltales of an ALEPH response team. Zoe smiled. The presence of ALEPH’s puppets meant they were on the cusp of crippling some seriously crucial PanO air support. The opportunity to show some prejudice to Big Brother was going to be icing on the cake.
Zoe took a moment to register the Nomad combined force and ALEPH force distribution on her visual overlay, being careful to lay as flat as possible to avoid attracting attention. Of course, the Interventor was well to the backfield. If he planned to do any advancing, he probably expected to push his STEMPLER remote out to do his dirty work. She could see the camouflaged form of the team’s Intruder HMG expert on top of the third structure over. An Alguacil forward observer crouched behind the same structure, ready to respond to flanking maneuvers. Lurking behind Zoe’s structure was an Alguacil paramedic within comforting proximity, and on her left flank, another Alguacil forward observer was keeping watch among the industrial crates. Somewhere close to the central core, she knew a Tungusgan Spectre was lurking with the mission of denying the crucial structure to anyone else with antipersonnel mines. Zoe had never met the Spectre, and had never even been told his name. His IFF signal only registered his general presence; he apparently didn’t expect to rely on any team support.
Pi-well’s sensors registered an attempt to connect a console on the far side of the bay. The attempt failed, and was repeated, which brought a smile. The second attempt failed, and was repeated again. Zoe held her breath. Another failure. Yet another attempt registered. Zoe clenched her teeth and held her breath. Four failures in a row. Zoe checked her visual overlay again. Fate seemed to be smiling on her team. The sensors then registered a form advancing behind the core structures. Zoe’s smugness dissipated as an ALEPH puppet moved to secure the central console, quickly putting an ALEPH signature on it.
It was time to seize some initiative of their own. Lt. Donatello ordered the right flank Alguacil up the structure held by the Intruder to secure its resident console. At the same time, the intruder broke cover and began laying down covering fire, clearing the structures across the bay. Zoe directed Pi-Well to start doing the same, and the little remote started drawing information from the abundant local sensors to prepare some triangulated fire. In a few moments, the Nomad team had unchallenged avenues to advance on the central core. Unfortunately, Lt. Donatello seemed too enamored of his original plan, and he ordered the Spectre to begin mining the core structure.
Almost immediately, a mine was triggered into the core, but the density of the interior protected the occupant. On one flank, Zoe registered a rescue attempt being made to save the puppet that was put down by Pi-Well. On the other flank, an ALEPH signature finally registered on the far console. They might be incompetent puppets of an evil AI, but they were starting to get the job done. A final puppet showed up on the flank that was supposed to be guarded by the forward observer securing the right console. Zoe mused that he must have been lying down on the job, but given her current prone position, she figured there was no sense complaining.
Lt. Donatello sent the remote around a building to outflank the flanker, and ordered the paramedic forward to secure Zoe’s remote. The remote easily triangulated its fire on the flanking puppet and put it out of commission. Meanwhile, the Spectre continued laying mines around the entrances to the core structure. Unfortunately, Zoe started to hear some Spanish swear words coming from the vicinity of her console. She registered a failed attempt to connect. Followed by another failed attempt, accompanied by more swearing. Well, this is what happens when a paramedic tries to do a hacker’s job. Zoe used Pi-Well’s amplifier to forcefully invite the Alguacil to get into cover before he got his incompetent butt shot off.
The ALEPH team decided that the Spectre’s sabotage had to end, so they started flanking him. One puppet popped up from cover on an adjacent structure, and was quickly shredded by an antipersonnel mine. The inhabitant of the core hit the area with smoke, and before the bomb-happy ghost knew what was happening, he had been shredded by a close combat puppet.
The window for the team’s mission was closing, the team had failed to secure enough consoles, and the core structure was in the wrong hands. Lt. Donatello ordered all available hands to converge on the forward entrance and politely requested the team clockmaker to secure the final console. Zoe sprinted to the edge of the structure and jumped down. The paramedic had left the console in a query state as he obviously didn’t know what he was doing. A quick hack to finish the job left the second console in Nomad control. Zoe rushed to the core opening where the Intruder and paramedic were waiting. Following the intruder’s quick hand signals, she nodded her assent to the plan. The intruder would pass to the left, the Alguacil would run up the middle, she would jog to the right, and everyone would spray the interior with fire as the intruder launched a grenade to the far side of the room. A deep breath and everyone jumped to it. The grenade flushed a puppet with an ODD device from its cover, and what fire that didn’t end up ricocheting around the infrastructure quickly put the abomination down.
Zoe scanned the interior for a breaker box; she didn’t have time to get to the console, but maybe she didn’t have to. Quickly identifying the necessary connections, she broke a few as the mission timer on her overlay announced time was up. The central console sputtered as it tried to handle the data throughput, but failed. Nomads held the core; the PanO close air support requests would not reach their destinations today.