HQ, StarSlayer, requesting extraction.
Bradford, scramble the ready team and tell them it's Exalt.
Operation Silent Hunter, Caen, France, 4:30 am, 19 June
Deployed: Micheal "Gipsy D" Sanderson (MEC-2, mission commander), Deathfun "Fabulous" (support), Mongoose "Strobe" (heavy), Irina "Casino" Ignatyeva (heavy), Euclidean "Spitfire" Geometry" (assault), MP-Ryan "Spike" (assault)
"What are they like?"
"Aggresive. They're still using projectile weapons, though, so your armor offers pretty good protection. Watch out for grenades or rockets. Tough, too, moreso than most aliens you'll have fought MP. You may not be able to stop them with one shot."
Strike, the contact area is a mess. It looks like somebody hit it with multiple car bombs or something similar. Still have a beacon from StarSlayer, though.
"We're going in as long as there's a beacon."
In position, Strike.
"Star! You called?"
"Yeah! They didn't like me uploading the data, and bombed the place, but I set up the transmitter and encoder in spots they couldn't get at. Their next step will probably be to try and get to them physically and hack them."
"Got it. Defense in depth people."
"Here they come! One down."
"I know you said they were aggressive, but closing into CQC range with a MEC? These guys are crazy."
"That is entirely possible, MP. Armor scratched only."
"Target negated." You know, these screenshots make fighting EXALT a lot more brutal than it seems in the game, because you can actually see the gore effects...
"Missed him-no, scratch one!"
"Kill. They're not even firing as they close..."
"The hell they aren't!"
"Winged one!" I think you said something about a Russian heavy, Mongoose?
"This is getting kinda hairy here!" See the desk Deathfun's at? It'll burn away in a moment, when the turn flips. Wish I'd know that.
Strike, Sky, radar contact moving over the site-squawking civilian.
"Sky, negative, negative, contact is not civilian, it's dropping EXALT."
"Surprise! Damn, he's still up!" I was terrified this heavy would fire his rocket launcher at us, but instead he just charged ahead to try and hack.
"Vest stopped most of it! Gah, I need to move!"
"We got a bunch dropping out front, I could use some help!"
"Mongoose, hold this down, I'm gonna go help Star."
"Kill." The movement range on a high-level MEC is amazing; he ran from the back of the building to the front and killed a guy.
"EXALT popping smoke! Firing-target down!"
"Second target down."
"Heavy is down. Think they popped smoke to try and disrupt our lasers?"
"Got some moving through the building!"
"That one's not going to make it in."
"Exalt trooper down."
"Last one at the back is down."
Strike, Sky, we have Exalt dropping in from a helicopter, they're on the roof. Will attempt to interfere.
"Star, get inside. I'm going to the roof. Mongoose, cover the front door!" Jetboot Module. Normally a little bit superfluous, but occasionally a must have, like now; there's no normal way to get the to roof here.
"Target is spatter."
"Sky, if you're going to do something about that helo it's dropping more so do it! Scratch one!"
Wait one-helo down! He just hit a warehouse!
"More moving through the building! He's hurt bad, but not down!"
"I got one running for the edge of the roof! He's gonna break his legs-" This guy decided the correct response to a MEC-2 was to take the quickest route out of its LOS. Which is actually pretty rational.
"No, he's still on his feet, moving! Firing-target down!" Unfortunately, he dropped in front of Irina. Whoops!
"Last one is history. These guys push hard, but they weren't very smart."
"Considering what they do to themselves squicks me right the hell out and I gave up my limbs for this job, are you surprised?"
"Yes, dammit, even the aliens have some basic self-preservation instinct!"Star got a promotion too; apparently it IS a fast route to promotion
Sky got an air-to-air kill; he hit the helicopter EXALT was using with a close supersonic pass and knocked it out of control, and it went in. Frankly, I'm not sure how to take that one; it was always believed that the Skyranger would have an escort in any situation where there would be any kind of air opposition. We're going to have start deploying Interceptors for cover; if they can get a helicopter and a sufficiently large set of bombs to do the damage we saw, then we need to consider the possibility they'll try to interfere with Sky.
They pushed hard...it was like the Chryssalids, in the previous mission. They just charged, straight at you, straight into your fire. Not a hint of hesitation. It's stupid; not as if they can win charging into our prepared kill zones. There weren't enough of them for that. I guess on some level, if this group was civvies in real life like the last one...they might not have known
But the fact they had an EH101 Merlin...that's a military helicopter. And it's not in French service, either. They had to bring it in from the UK or Denmark, maybe Italy or Portugal. Any of the other operators is far too unlikely. The French haven't been able to determine where it came from, but they were quite insistent it was a military version.
That said, we did uncover another cell, active in Russia. Proactive approach, this time. The Commander sent Trash, but there's also a UFO over Argentina...no rest for the weary.