Operation Torch: IC

Started by stewartsage, May 17, 2011, 01:44:50 PM

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In the Air

Now the vague black shapes of Neuroi were visible, dodging through the flak bursts, on a bearing that would take them right over Rabat.


Celia, who had been concerned before, entered a state of near-panic at the sight of a sober Eléonore - Damn, things must be bad if she's quit hitting the bottle - and hastily followed Inga out the tent. The hot air hit her like a brick wall, however; as Inga moved toward the hangar in literal leaps and bounds, she lagged behind, limited by her heat-weakened body and slightly dazed mind...

Jumping into her striker, Celia took off through the open doors and down the runway; by the time she took to the air, the others were mere specks in the sky - Inga was the only distinguishable one, and that was only due to the rainbow she seemed to be trailing. Mumbling a few exasperated words under her breath, Celia began her ascent toward the others.


Inga, Abigail, & Celia
Now a large type Neuroi, with a long thin body and evenly spaced 'wing' stubs was clearly visible as it hurried towards Rabat.  At its flank were two smaller, almost barrel like 'fighter' Neuroi.  As if to remind the witches of it's presence, a beam lanced out from the 'large' Neuroi's fuselage and passed cleanly through the group.

With the rest of the squadron sortied, Eléonore revved the engines of her own Dewoitine as she taxied onto the field.  The regular fighters that weren't out supporting the advance were being turned over by their own scrambling pilots as the base siren began to wail and would soon take flight join her witches in the air.  Hefting her Hotchkiss, she rushed down field before practically throwing herself into the air.  One of her ears twitched.  Not a good sign.  As she climbed towards the direction of the flak fire she could see the rest of the detachment was still observing the oncoming alien war machines.  Her eyes widened as the beam passed through the formation.  Without a second thought, she pointed her machine gun to the side and fired a burst to hopefully attract their attention.  Waving an arm towards Rabat, she turned herself towards the wide open city.


As the beam streaked across the sky, Inga revved her engines on instinct as the rainbow trail behind her was vaporized by the passing ray. "Get a move on!" she shouted at her companions, before raising her Bofors to aim. She took a shot on one of the smaller neuroi before lowering the barrel slightly; if all was as she believed, her old tactics needed a bit of a refresh. Slowly raising her speed for a few seconds, she took a clear heading on the smaller neuroi she had just fired at; then, she drew her sword, meshing her shield into it like a massive spike. She fired a few shots at the bigger neuroi, to serve as distraction; then, her engines roaring like an enraged lion, she charged - raising her throttle as fast as she could.



The Bofors was a cannon with substantial range, being able to pick off targets miles up (or across) the air from where they were fired.  Inga's aim was true over the comparatively short two miles; her first shot tore into the lead 'fighter' Neuroi.  For a brief moment the core itself was exposed, cracked and weakened by a fragment of the shell!  However it's side was already knitting back together when the followup volley dug into the shell of the biggest one.  It gave a brief rumble but seemed otherwise unaffected by Inga's attack.  As the witch charged on the unharmed 'fighter' pulled up above the top of its fellow.  In that instant a dozen beams lanced out from the three Neuroi.

A few were targeted at the group that hadn't yet begun to move; these lacked any real power though.  Abigail's and Celia's shields deflected them handily.  Still climbing behind her witches, Eléonore was missed completely by the beam attack.  Inga wasn't quite as fortunate.  She'd closed the range to about a mile when the first beam hit the left striker unit and smashing the corresponding leg.  Inga pitched over on her side with the loss of power, nearly loosing her grip on the sword.  Several more beams passed overhead.  A pair from the damaged fighter's followup volley stayed on target; one turning the Bofors breech into slag while the other struck her hard in the torso just above the belt.  The black and red trio kept up their fire with the two fighter's concentrating return fire on the smoking, diving, Inga.  The rapier slipped from her grasp, finally allowing her shield to return to protecting her body from any more hits.

Spoiler: ShowHide
Sorry Nej, but charging level at three healthy opponents without shields on call isn't really a good course of action.  Consider Inga, if not unconscious, no longer capable of flight or fight but potentially able to redirect her shield into cushioning the eventual impact.


Celia's heart sunk when she saw Inga get hit and go into a dive. She considered making an attempt to catch up with her and pull her out the the nosedive; but Inga was simply too far away now, there was no way she could close the gap between them in time. With hesitation she turned her attention back to the neuroi; raising her rifle, she took aim at the now partially-healed crack Inga's Bofor had formed, and fired.


A flash of bright red, burning her chest.
Then, the sky, streaking by.
Well. That's not how it should've worked.
Inga's mind was fuddled; she mentally tried to take note of the course of events, but nothing quite seemed want to stay on her mind, as it were. Very confusing.
Something was annoying her, however. She couldn't see properly. Something must've happened to her vision. Or has it? Inga wasn't sure, but it was all very much annoying. This was a battle situation, she needed to be able to function properly!
Then she was reminded of something; a considerable chunk of mass hanging around her neck, that had taken the Neuroi beam head on. Yet, it was intact. Somehow. More importantly, however, it was a pair of spectacles. She fumbled about for a second, ignoring the beams streaking by her, and slid the spectacles on.

This is not how it's supposed to work.
The world was sharp, sure enough, but it was a brighter red than a tomato. Everything, the sky, the ground - even the Neuroi themselves! - were; or so she thought, until another beam streaked by her.
The beam didn't have any color at all. It was just heat - supercharged heat - visible to her eyes by years and years of magical practice, manipulating the substance with with her magic.


Another beam came, falling square on her face; layering her shield to the glasses, she took the hit.

In all of half a millisecond, she felt it; the tremendous, ridiculous temperature kept between the double lenses of the specs. Instinctively, she reacted to it like she always had done with extreme heat - yet this time, focusing it, shaping it as she forced it away. Reflect.

From her eyes, as it looked, tore through the sky a blinding red beam, one that made the ones fired around her seem pale in comparison. And it shot back square at the neuroi that had fired it.
This is most definitely not how it's supposed to work.
Oh well, screw that.

Dr. Kraus

"Bloody snow queen had to go and be stupid, didn't she?" Abigail was not impressed by Inga's actions and started her sharp decent toward her. "If I have to use THAT today, i'm seriously going to give her a beating!" Abigail was refuring to what she called, "One Shot, One Kill", an ability which charges a single bullet to fire at a speed access to hypersonic (mach 5). Abigail continued toward Inga watching her 6 o' clock for enemy fire, she gave some covering fire for Inga as the enemy concentrated its fire on her "If this gets out of hand I might just have to use it..." Abigail was about 50 Km out from Inga at this point, she was cutting it close.

The distance between Abigail and Inga was closing fast but the distance between Inga and the ground was closing even faster "Her velocity is to high and gravity is taking effect, I'll have to use it to close the gap if I want to make it in time..." Abigail was pretty smart when it came to physics and mathmatics. She figured out that by using "One Shot, One Kill" she could propel herself with the recoil and close the gap in no time if done right, causing them to fly at a speed close to 80 Kmh when magic suppressers are in place. "HERE WE GO SNOW QUEEN!" Abigail screamed as she charged and fired her "One Shot, One Kill" at nothing but air causing her to propel just as planned and at the speed she wanted, "Thank you Mr. Einstein! Thank you Mr. Galilei!" Abigail yelled as she caught Inga and did a sharp turn toward base.


With a loud thump, something crashed into Inga's back with incredible force - almost knocking her already-fuddled mind out entirely. She didn't regain her senses until well half a minute later, when she realized that Abigail was carrying her. "You know," she said dryly as she was coughing a bit from the shock, "I appreciate the thought and all, but one, that was unnecessary as I can *cough* land on my own, and two would you mind making it less of a tackle in case you have to do this again? Also," she continued, coughed again and wriggled out or Abigail's grip, yelling upward as she started falling, "MIND THE ENEMY FIRST, I'VE GOT SOME FALLING TO DO~"

However sure her words had made her sound, however, her magic reserves were not very well-filled, that was for certain; the maneuvering window was tight if she was going to escape without any further wounds than those she had already sustained. This stuff is gonna hurt like all the hells when I land, Inga thought grimly, before focusing at the task at hand.

Theoretically it was a pretty simple thing to accomplish; now that she was almost square above the base, it was even simpler. Just harden her shield, heat up the air and swivel down in a combination of hot air balloon and parachute.
Theoretically, that is...
The practice of it, however, involved advanced balancing acts and physics, staying conscious despite the shock of breaking a fall from terminal velocity in her state, as well as the sheer insanity of opening the chute barely 40 meters above the ground due to her low reserves. Well, she thought as she saw the ground approach at an alarming rate, it's gonna be a close ca-
The feeling of her magic and her body trying to force themselves apart was indescribable. The pain wasn't particularly bad, but worse was the entire thing about all the blood in her body deciding to reside in her footsoles for a good number of seconds. The shield-chute had taken the brunt of her fall, though - and now she vented as much magic she could straight into the air between her and the shield, heating it up for the second stage.
A hard pull turned into a light yank, before finally settling into the slight touch of lift she had been aiming for. Good, she thought tiredly - a reminder of how low she was on power - Now, where's the gro-

Just as she looked down for the first time since she started falling, her legs hit the dusty ground. It wasn't too much of an impact, but she was totally off balance; thus, she stumbled and fell well and hard, dropping her cannon in the sand with a dull thump.

She lay there, head in the dust, for a good minute before she started feeling the blaze of the sun, prompting her to rise and drag the cannon with her. Her walk was a stumble, until she realized her striker was still fastened to her legs; unclasping the unit, she took the entire package and started lumbering toward the hangar.

Two minutes later, she had commandeered a desk, and placed upon it her broken cannon and the spectacles; as well as returned the striker to its holder. As she sat down in the folding chair she'd brought along with the desk, her magic went clean out.

Her horns popped away, and as the strength her form brought with it left her, she felt pain. Thirst, hunger, tiredness - but most of all, pain. Her chest bore a massive burn, her leg felt like someone had stabbed it with a hot poker - and her head was steaming. She reached out - a glass of water was on the desk as well - and managed to gulp the whole thing down before everything went black. With her last inch of sense holding on, she put the glass down somewhere - she couldn't see, it didn't matter - and slumped back on the back rest of the chair.
I hate it...when...this...



In the Air
Celia's burst reopened the previously healing wound, leaving the cracked core exposed.  She was taking increasingly accurate fire from the other two Neuroi.

Inga's reflected beam bore straight back at the 'Zeppelin' blasting straight through the lower left front and out the top.  The Neuroi stopped dead for a moment, then with a squeal shattered into thousands of glass-like fragments that rained down over the desert.  It's two companions continued on without stopping.

Abigail was out of position now, far below the enemy and only taking sporadic fire.

Eléonore had climbed high and above the action, cursing the disintegration of her command.  The Balt was down, crawling off back to the field, hopefully not too badly wounded.  Something to attend to once she got back on the ground, before pestering command for a few of the new portable radio sets she'd heard were coming down the pipe.  For now, she positioned herself above the remaining two Neuroi.  Hefting her ancient machine gun up the Belgican tipped forward into a dive.  As if on cue the trailing fighter began to disintegrate, hundreds of miniature black diamonds reforming out of the material.  For several seconds a soft red glow was easily visible among the mass.  Eléonore didn't hesitate to pull the trigger, hosing the glowing patch with 11mm Lebel rounds.  Her minimal effort was rewarded when the tide of diamonds stopped cold.  Then burst as the exposed core shattered, blood red slivers falling to the earth.

On the Ground
"Bloody hell!" the RAF Aircraftsman exclaimed.  Pretty much everyone else had already dove for the air raid bunkers and slit trenches when the sirens went off; LAC Peters wasn't the sort of man to run off and leave a job half complete.  Especially when it was leaving one of the detachment's big transports a hanger queen.  Instead, he now found himself facing a different sort of problem.  Peters hastily recalled the edicts issued by the witch DCO in preparation for their arrival... 'if found injured, take to the field hospital and summon me'.  Peters eyed the girl suspiciously, "Right.  Hospital."


Something was touching her back.

I told them to stay away from me when I'm working. This subordinate didn't seem to have gotten the hint, though, so she made an effort to explain her stance on the matter.
"Bort...från mitt skrivbord..."
She didn't get any further than that. Speaking was hard, but even more than that - it hurt, even the mumble she just about managed.
Even so, the touch remained; perhaps somewhat jolted for some reason. This wasn't ordinary. She opened her eyes - or tried to, at least. They resisted. She pressed on. A few seconds later, the world lit up - and her mind was dragged out of her dreamland back home, pulling itself back to reality's African warfare.

Black spots covered her eyesight like giant flies, but she managed to get a decent overview of the situation. I am being carried. By a repairman. I am not some broken piece of-
Her thoughts trailed off as the massive burn on her chest reminded her of its presence. Fine. I am...wounded. This... She didn't finish the thought, mostly due to the fact that she wasn't quite able to formulate any complicated sentences in her current state, even in her head. Instead, she opened her mouth and drew a ragged breath - before using her every bit of energy to force the words out of her mouth. "You. Rank. Name. Need to know. You. Responsible for my equipment. While I am. Down. Tell me. So I. Know who. To force into serfdom. If anything breaks. Or is. Gone. When I. Back. Up. Understood, soldier?" Focusing her every bit of consciousness, she managed to find the man's eyes, and stared into them with every bit of officer spirit in her body.


On the Ground

"Airman ma'am," Peters wasn't terribly impressed by the injured girl's threats.  While an officer, and one with a fierce glare, he still remembered the tiny Captain's laconic warning, "Leading Aircraftsman Hamish Peters, No. 4 Air Ambulance Detachment, RFAF ma'am. Orders from Captain-Commandant Petrise ma'am, take you to hospital and inform her.  Nobody'll touch your equipment, t'isn't our job after all."


"Your word. On that. If. So much as one screw...is...gone..."

The swarm of black flies finally overtook her vision, and her consciousness shut down.


Celia, who had landed and hurriedly uncoupled from her striker unit some time ago, was currently on a mission to find her commander and Abigail, who she had lost track of during that melee in the sky. The current condition of Inga also weighed heavily on her mind; imagining what damage may have been inflicted on her body and wondering if she'd pull through intact caused a sick feeling of unease in her stomach.