Friday, September 3, 2010

Fumbling blindly

This wing of the palace looked as though it had been out of use for some time. The Doc figured it was for visiting officials or an ambassadorial wing. Given the civil war in the ESE, it looked as though diplomacy was temporarily on hiatus.

The five man fire team, or to be more precise, four man fire team plus one woman support team had immerged from the hidden tunnel system on the northern end of the palace. Just moments before their assault on the tower had revealed that their target, the Emir, was not where they had anticipated and all their well laid plans had been for naught.

They were running southward trying to find a path to the courtyard separating them from the presumed location of the Emir: the vehicle hangar. They had already suffered some wounds, but what was more debilitating was that they had lost the element of surprise.

In fact, the Doc was thinking their attempt had failed because of heightened security and so they had never really had surprise on their side at all. The enemy knew they were coming; at best they had had the initiative.

The only chance they had, as far as the Doc could see, was to take the initiative back. Speed had been on their side, he thought to himself: only moments before they were clear across the compound assaulting the tower and the last resistance they came across was mobilizing based on the belief that they were still up there.

The Doc tried to assess his opponent’s strategy. The enemy had clearly been expecting an attempt on the Emir’s life and now they had had it. This gave him and his team time because the adversary would now be shifting their attention to their next plan, especially if they were proceeding on the false assumption that the assassination team was bottled up across the compound in the tower.

That reassured him, if the Emir’s people did not yet know where they were and what they knew, than maybe they had regained the initiative, albeit if only briefly. ‘So what to do with it?’ The straightforward approach would be to attack the “tool shed” and try and regain the element of surprise, but the Doc felt that was fool hardy at best.

Kain and company were a small force coming up against a larger force in a secure position. That was assuming their information was correct and that the Emir was even there. They had already severely damaged their chances of success by getting wounded and loosing some of their offensive weapons. In his view, a head-long assault was the wrong tactical approach and the wrong strategic decision.

They didn’t know for certain the Emir’s position, they didn’t know his escape routes, they didn’t know his guard detail and they didn’t have any asymmetrical advantage to help balance those handicaps.

It occurred to the Doc that the guard station would give them much of the intel and strategic edge they lacked. He considered that the guards were probably dispersed to protect the facility thanks to Kain’s organized revolt, leaving internal security manageable.

A well coordinated comm. jamming by Kessler and Sam’s quick shot made the goal of assaulting the security station feasible. From the guard room they could confirm the Emir’s position, his guard detail, secure his escape routes as well as manipulate the main doors and communication frequencies of the enemy as force multipliers in they’re favor. Everything Kain would need to come up with a tactical assault on the Emir.

They had a few minutes while the enemy assumed that the assassination had failed and got their act together, the Doc thought those moments had to be used in the best possible way.

“Kain wait!”

Kain who was leading the assault came to a halt and assumed a defensive position pulling his weapon to eye line to gauge any threats, he checked his quadrants and after a two seconds’ scan realized they were still secure. He let Gade take his place in front and moved back the line of his team to the Doc.


“We need to assault the security building, not the vehicle hangar”


“We don’t have eyes on the target, we don’t know his lines of retreat, we don’t have the advantage of numbers we need a force multiplier and we have a few minutes to get all this while they think that we have failed before realizing that we can try again.”

Kain mulled this over briefly, quickly assessing the implication of each element presented to him is summary but which he had to unpackage in his mind to fully evaluate, it gave him pause.

“Go on” Kain felt there was merit in the proposal, but his instinct was to take advantage of the confusion to strike as quickly as possible while there might still be surprise on their side.

“If we go in the hangar it is guaranteed there are more of them than us, guaranteed they know all the exits and have planned how to use them, guaranteed we will not have time to sneak in covertly if we are fighting the clock and pretty much guaranteed we will fail and die.”

Kain nodded, not necessarily in agreement with the Doc’s dire estimations of their chances but at least with the enumeration of the tactical concerns and let the Doc continue.

“They may be on the move now or soon, assuming they have foiled the assassination attempt they were clearly waiting for. From the security room we can ascertain where they are and where they are going, we can jam comms and keep quiet the fact that we are no longer in the tower. We can use their own security against them to find the best place to ambush the Emir. Finally, when we feel the time is right, we can use the security room to open the gates and let the masses in. The Emir is certainly better guarded than the security room right now, we don’t know for sure where he is but the security room can’t run away. It is the achievable goal and in taking it we can regain the advantage, whereas going after the Emir now, like this, only underscores our tactical weaknesses.”

Kain eyed the Doc for a second. As much as he had been listening to the reasoning put forth, he was making a decision based on how sound the planner was and not just the plan. Although Kain could debate some of the points, it was clear to him that the Doc had thought this through and was reassuringly resolute.

“OK Doc, If I had more assets I would split us up and send a team to the security room and another to cover the hangar but there aren’t enough of us so I’ll give your strategy a go. Right everyone, new plan.”


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