Monday, January 23, 2012

American Women

"Aurora-9, we have a SRR-A 20 (Semiautonomous Reconnaissance Robot- Army) UGV sending us visual from the middle of the Gobi Desert. Its missing its sister UAV and its machine gun appears to be broken. Its also currently not moving. It seems to be the same SRR we lost contact with two days ago."

Captain Gregory Archer knew the importance of recovering this UGV. It was most probable that the UGV had lost contact as a result of weather or technical oversight, but if the Chinese had figured out how to hack into one of these robots then the USA's increasing reliance on drone patrols and support could leave America up the creek. Not to mention that the lack of Sarah's sister UAV and machine gun gave Archer a slight headache. Figuring out what happened and how was worth risking his men's lives.

"Overlord, I'll send a team for retrieval and extraction. It'll be back at base by sunset."

He quickly assigned a squad for the mission:
---Aurora-9 Joint Special Forces US Military
--Sergeant Ben Eli
-Corporal McSherry
Specialist Rodriguez
PFC Mahan
PFC Rivera
-Corporal Reich
Specialist Smith
PFC Medina
PFC Fisher

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"Need a quick recap, boys?" Sergeant Ben Eli shouted to his squad over the Osprey's whirring engines, "We've got word from Sarah."
"She sent us a Dear John?" Corporal McSherry said.
"Nah, sounds like she wants a second date."
"Huah."grunted PFC Fisher.
The pilot's voice came clearly over the soldier's helmet radios. "We're just a few klicks out from your drop zone, you'll be humping the rest of the way."
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Aurora-9 marched through the sand dunes. "Everyone keep your eyes peeled," said Sgt. Ben Eli, "This whole mission is just begging to result in an ambush."
"Yessir!" Specialist Smith responded.


"Regroup behind that dune," Sgt. Ben Eli ordered his squad, "Sarah is only about 100 meters south of this position."
"Looks like Sun Tsu wanted a close up ambush." PFC Fisher mumbled.

"Alright, Reich, move up to the larger dune over there."

"Contact front!" Specialist Rodriguez called into his radio as a bullet whizzed over the dune.
"One, two, three, I count three behind the brush." PFC Mahan, the grenadier, responded.
Corporal McSherry stepped back from the dune and knelt, putting his hand up to his headset to make sure what he said was clear. "Sir, do not engage with the missile launcher, I doubt this is all of them."
"Affirmative, Corporal. By the visuals your team is sending me it looks like they're just guerilla fighters anyway, not even frontline PLA."

(Quick technical note: the grenade launchers that each fire team has one of-- Fisher and Mahan-- are on carbines and can be shot at any time but go through the ready grenade process, therefore requiring a moment to reload. The Missile launcher is equipped by PFC Medina who carries a carbine as well. The Missile launcher is a development of the Javelin but targets can be painted by any soldier's helmet cam. It is twice the blast radius of a grenade and Impact 4/3 against HBA. It has only one shot and misses just deviate by 2d6".).

PFC Mahan and PFC Rivera both crouched low behind the dune avoiding fire while Rodriguez opened up on the guerillas with his SAW and McSherry tried to pick off targets with his rifle. The guerillas all fell, though it looked like only one of them was actually hit.... at such a close range, only 60 or 70  meters, the elite soldiers could tell when they'd hit their marks.


Sgt Ben Eli waved to Corporal Reich to move towards the hill to the south as he scrambled over the small sand dune and took up position behind a large boulder. "Mahan, hit those bushes with a grenade."
Mahan perfectly placed a grenade in the center of the bushes, kicking up small shrubs, sand, and dirt.



There was a moment of silence. "Okay, Reich, hold position. McSherry move up to the crest of the hill.

"Guerillas right on top of us!" McSherry cried as he poked his head over the hill crest and was greeted by a hail of gunfire from a small group of guerillas on the hill.
"I'm hit!" cried Rivera as he was thrown back by a hit right in his chest armor. Mahan calmly aimed his carbine at the man closest to him, only 15 or so meters away, and sprayed two bullets into the man's chest and another right between the eyes. "Huah!" he shouted as he ducked back down to avoid the response. Rodriquez, in a frenzy, spewed all of his ammo into the bushes and then laid down behind the crest of the hill to reload. At least his fire made the guerillas duck their heads. McSherry managed to graze the left arm of one of the guerillas. The two remaining guerillas, including the injured one, grabbed their fallen comrade and fell back off the hill.

"You alright, Rivera?" Mahan crawled over and checked Mahan's hit.
"I think it didn't do anything but bruise me. Lets keep going."

Sgt. Ben Eli ran up to McSherry's fireteam. "Looks like Sarah is just on the other side of this hill. Go left and around the hill through those bushes over there. I'll cover you with the missile launcher."


McSherry and his team moved out. "Sarge, we have a visual on Sarah." Mc Sherry said as his team moved through the brush. "It looks like we're all clea-" suddenly the sound of several rifles firing at full auto came from directly in front of McSherry as four guerillas popped out from behind some bushes on the hill in front of the soldiers. McSherry took 3 bullets to his chest but all were just bruises and cracked ribs because of his armor. He would be able to keep going.
But Rivera was hit 3 times as well. Though two of the bullets didn't do anything significant, another bullet cut into his calf muscle, and he fell to the ground grunting in pain. Rodriguez and Mahan couldn't see their target, only the results. They grabbed their comrades and pulled them to safety.


"Medina, fire the missile!" Ben Eli called into his radio as he saw, through his soldier's helmet cams, the guerillas pin down his friends.
"Ready. Backblast clear. Firing." Medina said. The missile jumped forward a few meters, lept into the sky, flew over the hills and ridges, and came crashing down on the enemy position. The guerillas soared over their cover from the blast. One of them came down in two pieces. Another came down headfirst. Even 30 meters away Rodriguez could hear the sickening crack of a fatal breaking of bones.

"Whoa. That's all she wrote, Ben." McSherry said over the radio.
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There was a lull in the battle as the retreated guerillas and any ambushers who had not sprung their attack regrouped and the Americans regrouped around Sarah and begun repairs.

Medina was able to get Sarah under control again, and Sarah seemed able to move. He was also able to fix (more like build from spare parts) the SAW that Sarah carried. Unfortunately, to prevent any interference by the Chinese, Medina had to set Sarah to manual control-- not so semiautonomous.

After an hour of waiting and fixing, the squad was ready to move out. Little did they know that in that hour the guerillas had been reinforced...

By a PLA recon team sent to retrieve Sarah!

In an attempt to prevent the US force from moving the guerillas made one last close range assault on the squad from two flanks.

McSherry and Rodriguez quickly killed both of the guerillas that charged out of cover to assault them at close range. Meanwhile Ben Eli and Mahan were attacked by three guerillas poking their heads up over some dunes Northeast of the squad. Ben Eli quickly ran out of ammo as he tried to lay down covering fire with his rifle.  Mahan shot a grenade that took out one of the guerillas. The others ducked back.

Ben Eli ordered his squad through his headset, "Everyone get down and watch our flanks, Sarah will take out these guerillas."

(Sarah shoots as his controller, Ben Eli, at -1 Rep, so Rep 4. It moves 6" a turn. It has a SAW. It acts as Rep 5 for moral tests but In Sight tests are at -1 controller Rep. It counts as Exo Armor but NE becomes "0". The controller must spend his whole activation controlling it. For reactions the controller may choose to put the controller down and be incapable of reacting with the UGV or continue controlling the UGV and not be able to take In Sights (he still takes moral type tests but can't get a result of "return fire." He may try to use both at the same time in reactions but then he is at -1 Rep for both. Any hits against the UGV resulting in stunned are ignored, the bot keeps going. OOF is repairable but OD represents the machine exploding. )

The squad huddled together behind a hill while Sarah loyally drove forward to the guerilla's position.


Sarah rolled over the dune that the guerillas hid behind. The guerillas hammered the UGV with bullets which did nothing. Sarah's machine gun swiveled mechanically from one target to the other spraying bullets. Both guerillas fell over with multiple bullet wounds.

Hearing the gunfire the PLA recon team tried to sneak around to flank Aurora-9.

The Americans moved up to Sarah. Ben Eli helped Rivera limp along with the squad.

The PLA began their attack, attacking from the hill North of the Americans. Luckily, the Americans had kept their eyes peeled. Reich gunned down the PLA SAW gunner while SPC Smith pinned down the rest of the squad. A lucky shot from his SAW as he laid down suppressing fire caught the PLA leader square in the chest and took him out of the fight. Mahan failed to hit with his grenade launcher, however. The PLA grenadier hit Fisher with some shrapnel and the soldier collapsed injured. The other two PLA rifleman ducked back out of sight. The grenadier paid the price of not hiding: Smith carefully aimed while the grenadier shot and hit the grenadier right in the head with his SAW.

Seeing an opportunity to clear the hill and provide overwatch to create a landing zone to extract from, Ben Eli took control of Sarah and moved her up the hill. The PLA soldiers pathetically tried to stop the machine with their rifles while Reich, Medina, and Smith flanked the unknowing PLA soldiers. Amazingly, one of the bullets hit Sarah just right and Sarah broke down-- nothing too bad, but enough to stop her for now. Just as they realized that they'd stopped the machine, Smith quickly shot both of them in the back of the head with his pistol.

Ben Eli called Reich with his radio, "Can we give our transport the all clear to extract?"
"I can see for miles and miles, sir. We're all clear."

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