20 November 2008

++ S19 - Into The Breach ++

"Scoop" Yurik, freelance News-agent

I humbly present my second part of the story of The Breach. -"Scoop"
The three days leading up to the return of the gangs' scav-teams passed without major incident. I say "major incident" as there was a particularly spirited (and inebriated) display of ignited flatulence that resulted in superficial burns to the posterior regions of juve Angus, but I digress.

It will suffice to say that before we knew it, Liam's keen eye had spotted the three parties on approach to the gates of The Breach. The groups clustered together at Parlay Crossing and quickly drew their lot to determine who had first choice among the four entry portals. The Voodoo Posse scav-team drew the fortunes of the first choice, and set out to the portal on the northwest quarter of the former hab dome. The second choice went to the 7th Ash Waste Rifles, who moved to the southwest door, and finally the Nex Manus Imperator gangers headed to the northeast entry. Such was our luck that the door nearest to our observation point, and camp, was the door passed over by each gang's scav-team!

The agreed-upon signal from each party was shown; a member from each team set alight a signal flare and allowed its smoke to drift above the dome, and then the teams disappeared into the yawning mouths of the portals. This reporter quickly gathered my pictographist along with Liam, Cillian, and Ugly Sean of the OI-FU, and we moved quickly from our camp to the unused southeast door of the hab dome.

Both my pictographist and I have procured a firearm during our travels (at the insistence of our bodyguard), and now we carried them in shoulder holsters as we entered The Breach. The unfamiliar weight of my Necromunda-pattern laspistol was admittedly welcome as the light quickly faded away and the sounds of creaking metal and scrambling feet echoed in the treacherous darkness. As we emerged into the dome, our progress was halted suddenly by Liam, on point at the front of our train. He whispered quickly for the group to move up and as we did, I was astonished to see just how this place had gotten its name.

The Breach was once a fairly typical hab-dome, as I mentioned, but one thing had set this place apart from so many thousands like it; the utility systems (power, water, air-handling) were all contained in heavily reinforced and shielded conduit housings roughly 4.5 meters in diameter with ceramite walls nearly 90 centimeters thick. It is not known exactly why such extensive structural reinforcement was provided to the utility systems, but it had obviously been done with great care of craftsmanship. These shielded system conduits still link the various towers and buildings within the dome below what had once been the ground floor, and remain there, suspending the structures in midair, over what appears to be a very long drop indeed. This "floating city" is apparently a unique occurrence in this sector at least, and indeed none of our escort from the OI-FU (emigrants from Sector N-UH-847) could recall a similar encounter
during their escapades.

However, our speculation and wonder was soon forgotten as the sound of shouts and stomping boots echoed through the still air of the darkened hab-dome. My pictographist's night-filter lenses were employed once more, and ultimately showed the flared tails of a trench coat, as Posse juve Get Right, via low-burning flare light, made his way quickly across a catwalk, unfazed by the immense depth of the drop below him. His sure-footed progress seemed unlikely until this reporter considered his heritage in House Delaque; his sensitive eyes must have been a boon in such ghastly darkness.

In the adjacent corner, Rifles juve Tex advanced at a noticeably slower pace, due partially to the darkness, but also the presence of two plague carriers, which lurched out of the shadows just at the edge of the circle of flickering flare-light. Thankfully for the young fighter, his more experienced team-mates quickly spotted the ambulatory corpses. An intensely bright ball of energy lit up the dome like a day-cycle as leader Orion took a full-power shot with his plasma pistol, but the blast went wide, slagging a length of handrail nearby. Orion's pistol vented steam as the older Van Saar cursed his poor luck, but this did not stop ganger Lazarus from taking aim at the carrier. The las-bolt zipped across the gap and impacted the carrier in the shoulder, spinning it like a child's top back and off the edge of the platform. The zombie disappeared instantly from view as it plunged to its doom. Forewarned by his team, young Tex raised his autopistol and opened fire on the remaining carrier. Several shots struck the zombie and carried it backwards off the ledge, trailing bits of flesh and thick threads of coagulated blood. Tex's victory cry was cut short as he realized he had entirely used up his ammunition whilst dispatching the creature, and the juve quietly holstered his useless firearm, drawing his knife in its place.

At the opposite end of The Breach, NMI juve Pius set out, running along a catwalk towards what was hoped to be the central tower of the former hab-dome. As the juve carried his home-made torch deeper into the dome, another carrier was revealed by the light. Ganger Urbanus quickly took aim and fired off a burst from his autopistol, missing the zombie completely, earning only a seemingly-irritated moan from the undead abomination.

Posse heavy Replay suddenly opened fire with his massive stubber with an uncharacteristic yelp of surprise: a movement in the shadows had spooked the normally stoic man. Much to Replay's embarrassment (and to the great amusement of both the Rifles's and the NMI's teams), his long burst of fire yielded no kills of any sort, and the heavy could be overheard muttering about "...a fraggin' sticky trigger needs lookin' at."

After verifying the cease-fire from Replay, Get Right ran ahead once more, moving onto the upper platform of an air-filtration tower and spotting two massive rats on the story below. The rodents had caught the juve's scent and snuffled hungrily at the air as they turned toward the walking meal above.

Despite his desperate ammo situation, Rifles juve Tex found himself snickering at the panicked reflexes of the Posse team. As he advanced, text found himself utterly without opposition, and quickly made his way across a connecting platform and onto another dark catwalk, heading toward what appeared to be a stash of supplies in a crumbling hab-unit.

Determined to shame the other scav teams, Pius scrambled up a nearby ladder, glancing at the plague zombie staggering about on a nearby tower. Fortunately for the Cawdor juve, the creature was entirely too stupid to find a connecting walkway and was forced to merely moan hungrily as his intended quarry scampered past. Taking advantage of the zombie's distracted attentions, Urbanus opened fire and once again missed his target with a growling curse. Encouraging his fellow crusader to remain faithful, ganger Vigilius raised his trusty autogun and snapped off two quick bursts at the undead creature. Nearly all the rounds punched into the zombie's chest and neck, bursting out its back and tumbling the creature to the floor with a wheezing gurgle. The walking corpse was dead once again.

Due to the complicated nature of this particular battle, I will present the third and final part of this account in a separate report. Thanks for your patience, dear readers.

-Yurik out.

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