Friday, 25 November 2016

Bastet's Corner - Operation: Helping Hand

Mission Entry: Zone Scouting
Log Entry N°: #01/001

Day 1, Hour 0335

Successfully deployed. Minor hiccup with the dropoff coordinates, so the landing wasn't exactly smooth. The pod hull sustained minor damage, but nothing I should worry about. All the sensitive equipment is in working conditions. Rendezvous is in 48 hours. Since the main task is to make sure that the citadel is free of enemy threat before the main rescue platoon drops, I should have plenty of time to try and make contact with the survivors - provided I manage to locate them, of course. The distress signal is fleeting at best. Well, tough luck for them, but I'll see what I can do. Let's move out.

Day 1, Hour 0405

I add this log with quite the dismay. I'm starting to feel concerned about my Brothers up at the lab. The hiccup wasn't exactly minor, in hindsight. After a mere couple of steps the soil got extremely thin, it crumbled below my feet as if it was paper. I got out of that hole, but now some of the sensors are busted, and I don't have spares to repair them. Gah, might as well leave the suit behind me... again. Not exactly amused about it. Well, pointless to complain now. I'll do my part with or without the tech toys, mark my words, or my name isn't Bastet McPaw. I've wasted enough time playing Digdug, better moving out for real now.

What's this noise? Strange, I don't seem to recognise it. Seems to come from quite the distance. Odd.

Day 1, Hour 0640

I'm not exactly sure about what happened here, but whatever hit these guys, it hit HARD. Buildings, streets, monuments, everything is in dismal conditions. The decay is serious at every step. Chaos marines maybe? I mean, usually the green dudes have a different M.O., and it doesn't really match with what I've found around here. So far, I've got no contact whatsoever, neither with enemy forces nor with our guys. The only recurring thing is this intermittent, random noise I still haven't figured out. But it seems... out of place. Otherwordly, for lacking a better way to define it. And yet, it seems to start fitting the scene by the minute. It ruffles my fur gives me the goosbumps, and I don't like it.

Not exactly Pleasantville...

Day 1, Hour 1155

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. This place is a ghost town. I haven't checked every nook and cranny of course, but so far my general idea is, population: Yours Truly. Which is utterly upsetting. I mean, ok, the rescue platoon could waltz in without thinking twice, merrily hopping and skipping around and smelling the flowers, but to what avail, I ask? There's literally nobody. And I haven't managed to pick up the distress signal, so far. It's not exactly a good sign, poor chaps.

Day 1, Hour 1310

I should add for the record, when I mean nobody I do mean nobody. That includes, uh, casualties. Either full bodies, or parts of them. This excludes the Orks for sure, had there still been any doubt - unless they hired some top notch cleaning service to wipe after their job, but for some reason I'm not putting my money on it. I'd love to have some insight about what happened here, really... damn this noise, seriously. Sometimes here, sometimes there. I wonder-

Uhm. This place seems familiar. I'm not totally sure, though. Granted, my own sense of direction and positioning is top notch, even assuming that my portable gear isn't fully working... so I suppose it's just these buildings. Damn it all, they look alike one another. Just to be sure, I'll mark this rock.

Day 1, Hour 1620

I guess my job here is over. I've been scouting around for hours now, and I haven't seen anything but destruction and ruin. Signal's nowhere to be caught, either. This whole place is deserted, and I really have no more busin-


This... the signal! Goodness, the signal is on! Someone must have activated it, for there was no reading just a moment before! I should hurry! Quick, before I-

This is unmistakably my mark. The size, shape, odor color, everything matches. How can this be possible? I am absolutely certain I have at no point taken a turn that could bring me back here! Have I been deceived all this time? What could have fooled not just my keen senses, but what sensors and trackers I still have with me?

And again this noise! This damned, obnoxious noise... it's almost crawling in my brain from all around me, and so strong now! CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M TRYING TO THINK HERE!

...oh. Ehm. Uh... hello there, mates. Fine weather, innit?

(Quick, McPaw! Do something! Improvise!)


Bwahahahaha, suckers. As if.

Keep searching, cretins. I'll see myself out.

That should have done the trick. Close call, though. Very close. So that's what was causing that noise... and, uhm, possibly what caused all this mess? But why now, of all the possible times? Why not ambushing me before? Does this have anything to do with the sensorial misguidance I've been experiencing? Or the signal? Goodness, I should find a secure shelter, they are so many... how could have I missed them all along... and yet, no bodies! No fallen comrades, anywhere to be seen! Why? Why? What's hap-

Day 1, Hour 2220

I... seem to be conscious now. According to my surroundings - or what little I can make of them, with my scarce light source - I must have fallen into a pit of some sort, ending up in this dark, secluded underground structure. I have no idea how deep this can be. The air is barely moving, and it's quite chilly. For some reason, the creatures haven't followed me.

And unless this charade is still going on, the signal here is STRONGER. Maybe I should proceed, see what I can find...

Day 1, Hour 2320

No wonder they chose not to follow, this place is a bloodfest. Cadavers at every step, either mutilated, disemboweled, burnt. I guess the survivors are keeping hold around this area, fighting with everything they've got whenever those crawlers try a sortie. Good sign, probably I will be capable of returning up with them and secure a place for the pickup, instead of having the platoon drop off. Much more efficient, and definitely safer. Hell, if it were up to me, fire and brimstone and a few hundreds megatons should rain from above, well before anyone were to lay a foot on the ground.

I think I see a faint light, a bit further ahead. While it could be a welcome sign of friendly activity, I should approach cautiously, nonetheless. I don't want to risk unnecessary bloodshed, but I am not fully certain of what I'm about to find... who goes there??!!?

"Look, Jonesy. Seems you've just got yourself a friend..."

Log Entry N°: #01/002

Day 2, Hour 1320

I'm in awe. It's not exactly typical of me to say that, but I genuinely am. Credit where it's due, the humanoid female is apparently the sole survivor in the whole citadel, ans she's been like that for a whole week. According to her tale, the distress signal pod was active when she got here to investigate, but she found no trace of friendly living beings. Plenty of those crawlers though, seemingly attracted by the signal noise, so she began switching it off and back on intermittently, fending off any hostile that might show up while it was active. She has no idea about whether there might be other survivors. Perhaps they managed to flee somewhere, perhaps they all got caught by the crawlers. For sure, I'm the first humanoid she has seen since.

Day 2, Hour 1545

We repelled an assault. Around a dozen of creatures, enough to keep us on our toes, but not enough to overcome us. It was an interesting time, though. Helped me understand a few things about them. The noise they use affects in some way the neural waves, so that our senses get obfuscated. While on the surface, my sensors were giving the correct readings all along, but I wasn't capable of interpreting them correctly. And they seem to harvest the bodies of their victims, dead and alive as well, but preferably alive. Which gave us quite the tactical advance - they fought to incapacitate, we fought to dispose.

And this, this is the peculiar and fascinating part of the story. I've witnessed people combat in possibly every kind of environment and situation, but I am genuinely impressed at her prowess. She handles flamethrowers, rifles and grenades in a very competent way, and has no fear of, or reverence for the enemy. Her identity and background are a bit of a mystery to me. I've tried inquiring, but with little luck... at the question "What's your story, Sister?" she stared blankly at me and answered "Me no speak teenager, sorry". I made a few more attempts, but I barely got her name. I guess it will suffice.

We've decided to leave the underground structure and get to the surface. I mentioned the pick up, and offered her to leave with me, but she said she has comrades coming for her as well, due in a day or so, and politely turned the offer down. She agreed to come with me, though, to assist me in keeping the route straight and to look for another possible shelter for the time being. Perhaps I'll point her to my drop pod, as it's sufficiently armored to withstand those crawly goons for a good while. I think, at least. We're leaving soon, but first I will let her rub me behind my ears a bit longer preparations must be made.

Day 2, Hour 1945

We're close to the exit of this maze. I hadn't noticed it while approaching the structure, but the underground tunnels are extremely vast and twisted. I'd wager that even with a proper map it would be pretty easy to get lost, so once again, yay us! Not only we're about to return to the surface, and pretty close to the extraction point coordinates, I might add (hoping for no more hiccups, of course...), but we've managed to thin out the hostile numbers in a pretty effective way. She truly is a fierce warrior, no questioning. Whether from strict training or innate talents, she knows how to deal devastating blows to the opposing force, and she does it without hesitation. I am starting to think she works undercover, like me. This must be the reason why she was so reluctant to open up about her. Oh well, chance given, we'll meet again, somewhere, somehow, sometime, and then I'll ask her once more to rub my belly tell me her story.

I can see the faint light of the sunset, in the distance. The air is fresher, too. We must be close, thankfully. We dispatched the last few goons that tried to stand in our way a good while ago now, so I guess this ordeal is about to end, and I welcome the idea with a sigh of relief.  It's about damn ti-'s behind me, isn't it.


Log Entry N°: #01/003

Day 3, Hour 0105

As I watch her waving her hand at me, I salute her as a fellow, a comrade, one of my kin. I owe her my life, there's no shame in stating that. That juggernaut would have quickly dispatched me in the given situation, and even with a fully functional suit it would have been a fierce fight. And she's currently standing on its corpse, rifle in hand, smiling. I have rarely seen anyone fight with such furor, such sheer appetite for destruction. There's a name recurring in some old tales, from beyond the time, of an everlasting guardian demon, whose only aim is to bring wrath over its opponents. For good or for evil regardless, an unmovable bastion for the fortunate ones under its protection, an unstoppable force against those standing in its way.

That female is called Heleen Reeply (if I got it right), but to me she will live forever under the name of DahnaZuu'l.

Gur guvatf V qb sbe zl neg

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