Saturday, 22 October 2016

Bastet's Corner - Operation: Lurking Shade

Mission Entry: First Contact
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day 1, Hour 0100

Mission Starting Zone clear. I got out of the portal without any sign of enemy activity. Actually, almost no sign of life around me, save for some small local fauna. After glancing briefly at my surroundings, I chose a secluded small cave as first base camp, to review my gear's condition and determine how to proceed. Atmosphere and temperature are both nominal. Dawn is nowhere near, but my Night Vision is excellent. As usual. Some sensors, though, are seemingly malfunctional.

Day 1, Hour 0300

Part of the suit seems busted, for reasons yet to be ascertained. Before opening the gate every system was green, so something must have happened either during the jump, or shortly after my arrival. No big deal, though, not yet at least. Immediate surroundings are clear, and any light or noise that could be traced back to Ork activity is well far from here, with no sign of approaching. Might consider leaving the suit in the cave and begin a winding exploration of what seems a moderately tall hill with a few natural caves.

Day 1, Hour 0600

It's definitely a hill, and offers excellent coverage of the land below. The first light offered a welcome boost to my already adequate knowledge of the area. Made first visual contact with what seems an enemy structure, a few miles south. Starting the approach.

Day 1, Hour 1100

Got a preliminary overall idea of the structure. It seems an outpost of some sort, even if some of the buildings aren't exactly military. Then again, we're talkin' Orks, hardly organised and efficient. At a distance, their equipment seems unusual, too. Anyway, now the real mission begins. I'm going to infiltrate the outpost and get all the valuable info I can, before moving on.

Log Entry N°: #01/002

Day 2, Hour 0800

I'm beginning to feel perplexed. The scouting of the structure revealed an unprecedented low tech level, even for Ork standard. No facility, armor, weapon, or vehicle, is of so far known grade. Even everyday tools are in similar conditions. Everything feels... primitive. Rough. Coarse. Hardly worth any effort from a manipule of Brothers, let alone a whole legion or - I smirk at the mere idea - the plan behind my covert operation. Even the flora and fauna are seemingly off. Nothing like what was described by the intel. Second hand intel, though, not Raven Guard. Thus, unreliable. But still. Truth be told, if these weren't Greenskinz - as they unquestionably are - one could think the jump failed miserably. Which can't possibly be, for the Guard isn't accustomed even with the mere thought of failure.

Time to put the cloaking device to test.

Log Entry N°: #01/003

Day 5, hour 2300

Three days have passed since the last log, and they still think I'm one of them. The device worked flawlessly. My skills did the rest. I made visual contact with a grunt. He startled for a moment, then unleashed some sort of intimidating war cry at my person. According to the intel, it was supposed to be some sort of salute, so I cried back at him. He looked puzzled for a second, then screamed at me again. I returned the intimidating salute a second time, and the creature returned to that puzzling look, this time for a good while. Eventually, he started what seemed some sort of gross, vulgar chuckle, and went back to his activity. He must have been convinced by my interpretation. He seemingly mumbled something between his teeth, but the translator still isn't fully working. But that wasn't the end.

What truly convinced me I had got accepted happened later. I was roaming in the refectory, when that very same grunt came back to me, bringing a handful of his kin. He waved his hand at me and mumbled something about "performance" and "bravery", then yelled at me once again. For a moment I got defensive, fearing a failure of the device, or a spark of common sense from one of those underdeveloped brains, ready to engage combat. But the grunt seemed to incite me to just yell back, and so I did. Twice. The result was a striking burst of general hilarity, and someone spoke of "impressive performance" - just not in those terms, I extrapolated. Since then, they all gaily and merrily greet me whenever we cross paths. It's unlikely I will have issues of any sort for the rest of my mission.

Log Entry N°: #01/004

Day 8, hour 0730

I must review my preliminary assessment of the enemy's capabilities. They are seemingly competent in combat, and have notions of strategy as well. As rudimental their technology could be, after having assisted to, and eventually joined, some of their training maneuvers and daily scoutings, I can estimate them to pose a non-zero threat for infantry squads. The sheer numbers make up for the lack of tools they might have, the combat style is as aggressive as unpredictable, and the best units are seemingly aided by rudimental spiritual boosting - something dangerously close to psychic power, only differently ribboned. It feels somewhat uneasy.

Log Entry N°: #01/005

Day 10, hour 1345

Threat level raised. Again. A day ago the outpost got reinforcements, and they are anything but trivial. G'urk (the first grunt I made contact with) and his kin were screaming excitedly when their "aldur", some word for commander or similar, arrived with what appears to be his contingent of choice. Their tech level is over 200% of the general standard I have so far witnessed, and their awareness and competence outmatch by far the best units this outpost has. But there seemingly is more, stationed out of the perimeter. Something... noisy. And big. Potentially dangerous. They call it Cart Art scrap it, Orks are no painters or artists. I must find out what it is, and soon.

Log Entry N°: #01/006

Day 12, hour 0400

I record this with an unmistakable, flamboyant, and justified smile of triumph on my face. The info I gathered so far are exceptionally precious, and still none of these uneducated and vulgar brutes is aware that I am not of their kin. My infiltration skills are, once again, proven flawless. But enough boasting, as legit it might be, for the threat is indeed serious.
I have witnessed what can possibly be the biggest weapon the enemy has at its disposal, and it's nothing artificial.
I have witnessed what the Orks call the Maw Krusha, or Kartart (I thank you, G'urk, my valuable informant peasant, for the clarification).
It is a beast of unprecedented cruelty, a lizard of impressive size and matching strenght. It packs quite a punch, and can stand a real beating. A true behemoth. It cannot be contained or tamed, and the rider, that "aldur", governs it only because he's actually stronger. As difficult it can be for me to record this, ranged suppressive fire is not recommended, but required, if this unit is to be engaged in combat... by infantry, that is. By melee, mindlessly charging, crude infantry. Like the Blues. Or the Loyal Ducks. For, you see, cunning and deceiving maneuvering can definitely have the upper hand.
The beast is, in fact, as stupid as ferocious. Fast, but not swift, and with limited peripheral sight. I got to approach it at very close distance without it noticing me. That's how I got a portion of a scale, and could roughly deduct its protection value. I estimate that anything swift enough to outmaneuver it should have little problem in dispatching it.

My only fear is, what if there are many?

Log Entry N°: #01/007

Day 14, hour 0500

Time to wrap it up. My assessment here is most likely done. Save for surprises, I can move further into enemy territory, compare what I gathered here with any other useful piece of information I can find elsewhere, and return to my Brothers with a full report. I have fourteen more days before I must return, more than enough for my task. Plus, I have finished repairing the suit. In the end, it was some hair in one of the air intakes that caused an overheat of a couple of boards. I thought I had been fully prepped before the mission, but I guess a patch must have eluded even the keenest eye.
The situation isn't trivial at all, but my estimate is that the odds are in our favor. Including the ball and chain, I mean, even if the temptation to give them... uh, "second hand intel" is great. It would just be returning the favor, after all, wouldn't it?
But all considered, it's much better this way. What better smack in the face than owing their successful assault to the Raven Guard? It would be... priceless, and so savory, to see them grudgingly admit between their teeth that it was MY intel that led them to victory! Taggart! You arrogant, pompous, incompetent buffoon! So apt at kissing your Primarch's honorable and loyal behind, how's owing your success to Sissy Pussy and his valuable report? How's having to admit that it was the "Applicant Watcher" who saved your ass? YOU SHOULD ALL -

That was close. I got so carried away that I almost risked ruining everything. After all, I am literally standing behind the Mew Maw Krusha's right clawed fist. Not exactly the best choice to let go of self awareness. I'll just pick another scale, for testing purposes. After that, I'll just leave this dust and rock dumpster, and move on with my mission. For I am Bastet McPaw, and my Brothers count on me.

For the Mewmperor.