Monday, October 13, 2008

Preparations 1

"Alright people, listen up," Kelly's sous-sergeant voice rang out in the open space between all the Longrunner trucks, "we've got a full week ahead of us," she looked around at the assembled caravan crew, her gray-eyed gaze settling on each of them for a moment: just long enough to leave an impression. It was a talent well-honed on this crew.

"A really tough, long week. I'll read out the roster assignments and you'll get to work ASAP."

Everyone fidgeted. Ari scratched himself and grunted.

"Brom, you're on trucks. Same goes for Trishaw," everyone knew Kelly meant business when she addressed the crew by their last names. It meant that she alphabetized and categorized the list on the datapad she now held in her hand, "Imashen, you'll be helping them."

"Knox, get your medical supplies in order. You'll be liasing with Jarlson's people to establish a casualty collection point."

"Mendelbaum, you'll be prepping gears. I don't know how many of ours will be involved, but you had best get them all stocked, fueled and ready to roll."

Kelly looked down at her datapad and nodded, "Meredine, you'll be doing some optimizing on the Spit. Link the rocket packs. Then see if you can't scrounge us up a Target Designator for the Iggy."

Natty nodded, taking down notes on her own electronic notebook.

"Trishaw, once you and Brom are done trucks, go help Mendelbaum."

Then Kelly took a deep breath and read off her list: "Cantor, Dragushan, Meredine, Nandy, Pearce, you'll be doing small unit infiltration techniques and some range time with me," she looked at Prabal Nandy while tried not to sneer, "joy."

"You've got your chores. Meet me back here in ten minutes for some calisthenics," Kelly LeBeaux frowned. Everyone departed.

Everyone but Prabal Nandy.

"Er, excuse me, Kelly," he began, nervously looking over his shoulder as he approached her, "I think you made a mistake."

"Oh?" that statement brought an eyebrow up. Kelly was already checking another list on her datapad, and hadn't yet looked up at Prabal.

"Yeah, want me to do infiltration tactics and ... calisthenics? Range time? With you guys?" Prabal didn't know if he should be terrified, indignant or possibly flattered.

"No," Kelly began, still looking down at her work, "I don't want you anywhere near a firing range, Nandy. But Delacroix thinks that you might be useful on this job, so if he decides to take you along, I figure you had better not get me killed," Kelly's angry eyes were leveled at Prabal.

"..." the hapless computer hacker was in over his head.

"What the fuck do you want, Nandy?"

"Do I get to carry a shotgun? I think I'd like a shotgun." Prabal was in over his head, but he didn't know it yet.

"Oh fuck me," Kelly growled. Then she stomped off.


The plan called for a small fleet of trucks to be loaded with explosives. It made perfect sense to her. There was some hair-brained plan to use trucks with ramps built over top of them as a way of driving trucks over the walls too, but that didn't concern her.

No, Avatanya Brom's only job was to rig trucks to explode. It was strange, she thought, that she had never actually done this before. The last time she drove a truck like this, someone else had rigged the charges. They didn't go off, thus sparing her life as she collided with a CEF convoy truck during the Battle of Baja.

She chuckled as she worked on the detonator of the first truck that was delivered to her. The irony of the situation was not lost on her. She thought back to Emil Brahms, the other Regulator with any real demolitions experience. When he heard Avatanya's story, he nodded sagely, and then calmly explained why the charges had failed to fire.

"I should have cold-cocked him right there," she mumbled to herself. Instead, Avatanya had listened intently: professional interest. It was entirely rational to know why she had lived. It meant that if it were to come to suicide trucks again, there'd be no misfires. Entirely rational, back then, in the aftermath of the War.

"I've gone soft," Avatanya shook her head ruefully.

"Yeah, I bet you have," a gruff male voice replied.

A scowl already formed across her face, "Carmichael, didn't expect you to be here yet," she said without looking up from her work.

Carmichael leaned on his cane, looking over the collection of trucks small and large. He grunted and wordlessly walked over to a lawn chair near one of the trucks. There was a little twinkle in his eye as he considered making trouble with Avatanya. But there was real work to be done. He took out a small portable computer and double-checked the designs he had drawn up. Ramps on the backs of trucks. He shook his head and smiled. This was his sort of plan.


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.