20 November 2008

++ S19 - Into The Breach (Part 2) ++

"Scoop" Yurik, freelance News-agent

The conclusion to the account of The Breach follows. -"Scoop"
Wasting no time, Get Right cycled the action on his autopistol and sighted on one of the large vermin below him. The juve loosed a quick burst at the rat, which would have proven quite messy, but the rodent dodged the shot with a burst of speed that seemed impossibly for such a massive animal. Unfortunately for the rat, its speed exceeded its sense of self-preservation, as the quick movement had carried it past the edge of the platform and into the abyss. The plaintive squeals of the rat were drowned out by guffaws from Get Right, who was nearly doubled over with laughter.

Still unhindered by any carriers, Tex ran further into the depths in search of the supplies crate he had spotted. Leader Orion, meanwhile, had managed to spot a carrier across a gap on the remains of a former hab-floor. The Van Saar leader drew his shotgun and cycled the action, then took aim and blasted the zombie with a man-stopper round, severing its arm completely and dropping it to the floor. Unfortunately the powerful round had fouled the action and despite his best attempts to clear the jam, Orion was forced to retire his scattergun for the duration of the scavenging mission.

Get Right, determined to explore the air-filtration tower, took aim at the remaining Necromundan Rat, but his aim was off, and the creature defiantly hissed at the trenchcoated juve.

Pius's booted footsteps echoed loudly as the juve continued toward the remains of the central tower, but no targets presented themselves.

Similarly, Tex finally reached the crate he had noticed and busied himself with finding replacement ammunition for his pistol. The sounds of clattering metal and dropped brass cartridges continued for several minutes, along with the occasional exasperated sigh.

Tired of trying to exterminate the final rat, Get Right wheeled about and slid down a nearby ladder, landing at the platform below. He spotted a catwalk as he turned, and jogged quickly along the metal plating only to be smashed to the ground by the rate he had chosen to leave alive. Again, the speed of the huge rats had taken the juve by surprise, but Get Right utterly failed to see the humor in this turn of events. The Delaque juve grabbed the rat by the throat as its snapping jaws flung bits of frothy saliva all around, and moved to draw his knife. For several tense seconds, the man and rodent strained for superiority, when suddenly a flash of sharpened steel signaled the end of the combat. The blade of Get Right's knife had punched up through the rat's maw and out the top of its head. Get Right pulled the knife free and with a grunt, rolled the corpse over the edge of the gantry. Thus freed of the mangy burden, Get Right got to his feet and happened to notice Pius as the NMI juve ran for the central tower platforms. The Delaque juve stealthily followed the crimson figure through the darkness, readying his pistol.

Meanwhile, Tex had finally found the proper ammunition for his pistol and slammed a magazine into the grip, then chambered the first round. As he glanced around for any curious zombies or rats, the Van Saar juve happened to spot a glint of light off of an ancient-looking box, and trotted over to pick it up. Unfortunately, this swag was apparently much heavier than it looked, as Tex could be observed leaning heavily to his right as he jogged along, obviously counterbalancing his cargo. The juve would likely need to return to his comrades and deposit the haul before venturing out again, or be unable to maneuver safely whilst laden with loot.

As the unwitting Pius made for an access ladder at the base of the central tower, Get Right took aim with his pistol and at nearly point-blank range fired a single shot aimed at the NMI juve's hooded head. Amazingly the shot missed Pius and ricocheted wildly off a rung on the ladder. Pius, surprisingly level-headed under such pressure, shoved the Delaque away from the tower's shaft and scrambled madly up the ladder, climbing up two stories to the top of the tower. As he reached the peak of the shaft, Pius was rewarded with what appeared to be a very solidly-built lockbox, featuring a Spyre crest of some sort.

Get Right had clearly not expected his shot to miss, and so was caught off guard by the Cawdor's defensive moves and sudden burst of speed, and so decided to wait at the very base of the ladder for his quarry to return. The juve could be seen reloading his pistol and unsheathing his knife, preparing to ambush Pius when he descended.

During the altercation at the base of the tower, Tex had made the short journey back to the 7th AWR staging area, handing over his prize to Orion. We observed Orion tucking the box into his pack, and with a series of efficient gestures, the Van Saar leader ordered the juve back into the darkness to try his luck once more.

The old seals on the storage box were entirely beyond the Cawdor's ability to breach, so Pius tucked the box under one arm and steeled himself for what he knew was to be a dangerous fight. Our group watched with bated breath as he slid down the ladder, attempting to break past Get Right with his prize. As he landed, Pius was surprised to see no sign of his opponent, and he began to run toward his scav-team.

Get Right suddenly and silently emerged from the shadows behind the ladder and in keeping with the Delaque ethos, clamped a hand over Pius's mouth, then expertly stabbed the Cawdor in the back. Get Right dropped the wounded man and sheathed the blade. He paused to retrieve the lockbox, and only after the package was secure did we observe the goggled juve firing three carefully aimed rounds to finish Pius off. With a flutter of coattails, the lockbox was gone and Pius lay dead on the decking.

In the meantime, Tex had encountered another zombie as he hurriedly scoured The Breach for more riches. This time, the Rifles juve was careful to take precise aim, and after lining up a shot on the carrier's head, pulled the trigger only once. The shot boomed out with surprising volume, simultaneously exploding the carrier's head and forcing the gun to recoil back into the juve's face. Our guides chuckled, explaining that the ammo Tex had found was most likely loaded by an amateur hand, and with a faulty gunpowder. The Van Saar fell in a heap, bloodied and unconscious.

Bound by the rules of the parlay, the scav-teams of the 7th Ash Wastes Rifles and Nex Manus Imperator called out several times to their respective juves, and hearing no answer, were permitted (under close watch and at gunpoint) to locate their comrades and take them back to their hideouts, leaving the rest of the loot to the Voodoo Posse. The taunts and jeers of the Delaque gang echoed within the ancient walls of The Breach, only fading as our party emerged from the entry tunnel into the relatively bright lights of the surrounding clearing.

Once again, the cost had been high for Benedictus and his crusading brethren, and despite a strong showing, the Van Saar leader Orion was frustrated by yet another close loss to his rivals. Both gangs made their way back to what they called home, most likely cursing their foes and vowing revenge.

As I said before dear readers, the Underhive houses incredible wonder alongside terrible violence. By the end of this day-cycle, this reporter had begun to feel the strain of witnessing the seemingly endless clashes. I do not know how much more I wish to know about this place.

-Yurik out.

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