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[Jakob 7] - A Change in Plans

 Post subject: [Jakob 7] - A Change in Plans
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Location: Somewhere on the fringe of the Hive
“The mutt has to stay”, was all the Sergeant had to say on the matter. Jakob had been going back and forth with the stubborn man for twenty minutes and he was out of time. He had to hoof it fast if he was to meet Corporal Harkim as ordered.


“Coosh, sit.” The Cyber Mastiff did as it was told and planted its tail on the floor and looked up and Jakob waiting for the next command. Before his own attachment overwhelmed his common sense any further he squatted down and locked eyes with the constructs cameras that it used as eyes. He reached down to the collar and slid the locking mechanism that covered the power switch to prevent unintentional shut downs up and to the left. With a sigh he said, “sleep” and toggled the power switch simultaneously. He stayed squatted, looking into the constructs eyes until the light in the “eyes” faded to black and the gyros no longer made any sounds.


“Don’t worry kid. I’ll wipe its memory before I re-issue it out.”


“Thanks”, was all he could say as he turned and walked away.


It was not that he cared for the construct beyond a mechanical curiosity. It was a machine and nothing more. It did not care about him. As soon as it was turned on again it would just re-imprint itself with whoever happened to be sitting in front of it. So, why had he fought so hard to keep it?


-=-=-=0=-=-=-


Jakob felt a blast of hot air and could hear the roar of the Valkyrie’s engines as soon as he entered the hanger. Corporal Harkim was at the end of the open ramp waving frantically for him to get on board. Jakob accelerated his pace jumped into the troop compartment. Eight other men in Enforcer armor glared up at him. They were already strapped in to five point harnesses awaiting take off. Turning around Jakob tried to ask Corporal Harkim where he was to sit, but the roar of the engines drowned out all of his attempts at communication.


Harkim stood to the side and depressed a button to close the rear hatch. No sooner than the latches locked the ramp in place the Valkyrie lurched up and forward causing Jakob to fall head first against the now closed ramp. He felt the warm blanket of unconsciousness wash over him as everything went dark.


-=-=-=0=-=-=-


When he came back around Jakob could still hear the roar of the engines through the hull of the Airborne Assault Carrier. The right side of his head was throbbing, and when he reached his hand up to rub it, it came away wet with some blood. As he stared at his hand he noticed that it had dripped all the way down the front of his uniform.


“YOU CAN GET THAT LOOKED AT WHEN WE GET TO HIVE OCTAVIOUS!”


Jakob craned his neck to the right and forward to look around the harness now holding him in place.


“I’M SERGEANT HARKIM! I’M YOUR NEW PATROL SERGEANT! WELCOME TO THE TEAM!”


Jakob realized his new Sergeant was shouting over the dull roar permeating throughout the cabin. Instead of trying to shout over the noise himself Jakob just nodded and gave him the thumbs up sign.


“I TOOK THE LIBERTY OF DRAWING ALL OF YOUR EQUIPMENT! IT”S STOWED IN THE BACK!”


Craning just a little farther forward Jakob looked past the Sergeant to see a stack of duffel bags and footlockers strapped to the ramp door. He also noticed for the first time, a heavy frame crate containing a pristine Enforcer Construct secured to the floor in between the squad of men.


Jakob gave the Sergeant another thumbs up sign and sat back and let his head rest against the restraint. He looked around at the other Enforcers. Most of them ignored him, while two of them just shook their heads while they returned his gaze. It was obvious that he was the FNG. The last four weeks of Enforcer training is devoted to being introduced to your Patrol team members and new Sergeant. The time was dedicated to team building and getting to know one another. Jakob had bypassed that when Colonel Thios had fast tracked him and ordered him to report to Corp, er, Sergeant Harkim. He was going to have to start from scratch.


“WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR LAST HANDLER SERGEANT!” Jakob shouted to the Sergeant.


“TRAINING ACCIDENT!” The Sergeant shouted in reply. He thumbed over his shoulder towards the crate, “ THE RAZOR FANG TOOK HIS HAND CLEAN OFF! HAD TO SEND HIM TO MEDICAL, AND WE COULDN’T WAIT FOR HIM!”


“WHAT DO YOU MEAN, TOOK HIS HAND OFF!?!” Jakob was a little alarmed.


“I MEAN THAT THING JUST SNAPPED ITS JAWS AROUND THE MAN’S WRIST AND REMOVED IT! DAMNDEST THING I EVER SAW!”


Jakob realized the two men who had been shaking their head earlier were now chuckling softly. Glancing back at the crate, Jakob wondered what had caused the construct to malfunction, or was it an error on the handlers part?


BWONG!!


A loud metallic echo reverberated around the cabin and Jakob felt the Carrier lurch to the left. Before he could figure out what was going on the cabin lights all turned to red.


When Jakob leaned forward to ask Sergeant Harkim what the hell was going on the man just waved his left hand at him to get him to shut up, while holding his right to the ear piece in his helmet.


“BRACE FOR IMPACT! WE”RE GOIN’ DOWN! PREPARE FOR CONTACT ONCE WE ARE ON THE GROUND!


A hundred questions sprang to Jakob’s mind all at once. Going down? We are out over the Wastes aren’t we? How far out are we?


Jakob could feel the Assault Carrier slowly rolling over to the left. At least it felt like it was. It was impossible to tell in the windowless cabin. All he had to go on where his own senses, but they were definitely going down.


The Valkyrie hit hard on its left side causing Jackob's head slam into the headrest. The assault carrier somersaulted several times before it came to a rest on its roof. As it came to a stop industrial resins and dust that make up the Ash Wastes rushed in from the now rent troop hatch in the rear.


Coughing and movement could be heard in other parts of the cabin, but Jakob could not tell how many were now working to free themselves. His mind and body were working in slow motion to get himself free. It took both of his hands pulling up and away on the latch on his chest to open up the harness that held him in place. Before he remembered that he was hanging upside down the unceremonial collapse on the ceiling reminded him.


Righting himself he heard a muffled call for help to his left. Moving on all fours he crawled until he found the bulkhead separating the troop hold and the crew cabin. Reaching up through the dust Jakob fumbled with the inverted door latch to get it open. When he finally got it to release one of the crew stumbled into him knocking him off his knees, and then rushed on past without another word.


“Your welcome,” Jakob thought to himself and followed along as fast as he could.


The air thinned out significantly the closer he got to the troop hatch, but it wasn’t much easier to breathe than the dust further in. It smelled of formaldehyde mixed with bleach, and about as easy on the throat as it was on his nostrils. Just as panic was setting in he remembered that the Sergeant had stowed his equipment in duffel bags strapped to the now broken door. Fortunately several of the bags had ripped open dumping the gear into the wastes that had spilled through the gaps. Unfortunately it was all intermixed. Jakob plowed through the mess until he found a full face respirator. Without a second thought he threw the straps over his head and secured it in place. With that finally accomplished he sat back on his rump and concentrated on breathing for a minute.


Not too distant shouts drew him back to the here and now. Suddenly an explosion against the hull of the Valkyrie rocked his world. Afterwards the sounds of sporadic gun fire both near and far told him he had better get moving.


Rummaging through the spilled equipment he couldn’t find a single weapon. As the gunfire grew more urgent he gave up searching for a side arm and instead turned his attention to the crated up Cyber Mastiff that was now lying on its side.


He started in with his bare hands. These were ineffective, doing nothing more than causing a few splinters to shoot up under his fingernails as he scratched at the edges. Frantically he spun around to renew his search through the pile of gear. As he turned his eyes caught a glimpse of a discarded Power Maul in the ash. Reaching down to pick it up he noticed the troop harness closest to the door. The Enforcer never made it clear. His head was slumped forward and his hands still grasped a steel rod that pinned him to his seat through his lower abdomen.


Jakob winced, but didn’t hesitate. He secured the Power Maul on his belt and then, with both hands, grabbed the pole and began to tug it free. On the fourth yank it came free. Jakob nodded his head in thanks towards the corpse and then turned back to the crate.


Using the bar like a spear Jakob began striking at the crate where pieces of wood came together. Splinters chipped off with each strike. Whenever the bar did not immediately pull free Jakob would pry back and forth trying to find enough leverage to split the seam.


Sweat started dripping from his faceand collecting around his chin inside his respirator. Finally he managed to get one complete side of the crate open. He had to tug several times in order to get the seventy five kilogram construct free from its packaging.


The Cyber Mastiff was heavy, and hard to maneuver, but he got it to sit up right, just like it was sitting down on its hind quarters. As he unlocked the sliding door to the recessed power switch Jakob heard a man cry out very close by. There wasn’t enough time. Securing the bar like a spear in his left hand, he reached down and snatched up the power maul and activated it. He wasn’t going to go out with a fight. With determination on his face he stepped out into the ash wastes.


Jakob’s nerves nearly faltered as he stepped into the wastes. It was brighter than he had anticipated, and the sounds of battle were all around him. Holding his right hand up he shielded his eyes from the unexpected glare. Pieces of the Valkyrie were strewn all around. Sergeant Harkim had taken cover behind a torn off engine and was returning fire out into the wastes. Jakob closed the distance with his Sergeant and took cover next to him.


“Where’s your Mastiff Enforcer?”


Jakob looked across to his Sergeant and was about to answer when a man emerged from around the engine yelling at the top of his lungs, a massive bar with a block a ferrocrette attached to the end of it held over his head with both hands poised to plummet down on top of Jakob’s head.


“BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBALM!!!”


Jakob’s ears were now ringing from the sonic booms of his Sergeant’s Bolt Pistol being emptied while held less than a meter from the side of his head. The monster of a man dropped into the wastes with several gaping wounds to his chest and stomach.


“Where’s your Combat Shotgun!?! You’re no use to me here! Get back to the weapons locker on the Valkerie on the double! I don’t want to see you again unless you’ve got a real weapon in your hand dammit!”


Jakob moved the apparently useless power maul to his left hand where he also clutched the equally ineffective improvised spear, and then shifted his weight to make a dash back to the downed transport. As soon as he perceived a lull in the incoming fire he took off at full speed.


CRACK!


Just as Jakob got within two meters of the shuttle a bolt of static-lightning arced from the chemical clouds above and struck the metal bar in his right hand, it then arced over to the hull of the inverted shuttle where it completed its circuit to the ground. Instantly every muscle in Jakob’s body contracted, this along with the rapidly expanding ozone around the electrical arc launched his body the twenty meters back to the dislodged engine.


For several moments Jakob sat there with the world moving in slow motion. Every nerve ending in his body tingled, and he could see smoke wafting up from all four of his limbs. His mind had not fully grasped what had just happened when a Combat Shotgun was thrust into his field of view. Looking up one of the other survivors was shoving his personal shotgun and bandolier of ammunition into Jakob’s lap.


“I want it back when this is all over.” Was all the man said as Jakob took the offered weapon. With that done the survivor ran back across an open stretch of ground to another piece of debris.


Looking around, things were not going well. He counted three other survivors returning fire from an as yet undetermined number of enemies.


“Shoot you fool!”


Jakob turned and saw Sergeant Harkim looking over his shoulder at him. Jakob glanced down at the shotgun, and then out into the wastes. Everything had a blue hue to it. Without warning the Sergeant grabbed Jakob by the collar and shoved him into the ash behind the engine.


“Now shoot dammit, or the next person I kill will be you!”


Jakob peered through the smoke and dust, but still couldn’t see anyone. Without thinking he braced the shotgun across the engine and sent two rounds out into the waste. He didn’t expect to hit anything, but at least the Sergeant would think he was doing his duty.


“That’s more like it!” Sergeant Harkim said behind him.


Suddenly Jakob felt the presence of something behind him. Whirling around he saw a nomad with a vicious looking knife that had a blade both above and below the grip poised to strike his now kneeling Sergeant, who was unaware of his impending doom as he reloaded his bolt pistol.


Jakob reacted instinctively. Using the butt stock of his borrowed shotgun he knocked the kill strike harmlessly away from his Sergeant. The Nomad then turned his attention to his new opponent.


The nomad became a whirlwind with the knife. Jakob could not put any distance between himself and his attacker in order to bring his shotgun to bear. Slowly the nomad pushed him across the wastes towards the downed shuttle. Finally Jakob’s back made contact with the hull of the ship. In desperation Jakob performed an uppercut move with the butt of the shotgun, connecting with the man’s chin, sending him tumbling backwards into the wastes where he landed like a rag.


Jakob stepped forward to gloat over his prize when an awareness of something coming from his right interrupted him. Turning to the side his eyes caught a glimpse of yet another nomad, just before he landed a vicious haymaker into Jakob’s cheek. He had used the iron knuckle grip of his own double bladed knife. Jakob’s head spun quickly back to the left from the impact to the side of his face. His body quickly followed. All sense of up and down quickly left him, but before he lost his footing complete Jakob both heard and felt the shots from the man’s second weapon – a customized heavy caliber semi-automatic pistol held in his right hand. Jakob staggered under the assault, but managed to turn and face his opponent. Sluggishly he raised his arms up to bring the shotgun to bear.


“You hive maggot. You’ve got no place out here. We own the wastes of Necromunda!”


The nomad thrust his double bladed knife into Jakob’s side to emphasize his point. Jakob wanted to cry out in pain but found that he couldn’t catch his breath enough to scream. When the nomad pulled his blade back free Jakob no longer had the strength to stand and sank to his knees. The taste of metal filled his mouth. As the world faded to black he was wondering why he had ever listened to that voice in his head.


-=-=-=0=-=-=-

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"Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up pursuit." ----- Thomas Jacskon


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:26 pm 
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you keep me coming back for more s4G.... and you never disappoint !

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