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The Turbulent Tides pt. I
Topic Started: Jan 10 2018, 07:28 AM (162 Views)
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^ Mood.

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0300 hours.

"Corporal Gudleifr. Come in, Corporal Gudleifr."

Ruslan woke from his slumber aboard the airship, having nodded off while trying to review the file that lay upon his lap. The gentle sway of the vehicle as it soared above the Boscan clouds, combined with the almost obscene time of the operation had been conducive to his nap; before he had realized it had gotten the better of him.

"Time to wake up, corporal. Ten minutes before the jump."

Having said what he needed to say, the loadmaster left the knight to his thoughts.

The mass formations of infantry deployed by ship or train and the lines of cavalry that pushed onward had been foregone in this instance for a new doctrine: parachute maneuvers performed by small, rapid-insertion forces at low altitudes seemed the most expedient way of deploying units for the objective at hand. The passenger hold in which Ruslan and a select few sat was lined with rows of canvas rucksacks, like makeshift cushions, and the maintenance staff were primed and ready to go.

"You'd think they could have made this more comfortable," groaned a soldier to his right. Of course, Ruslan thought, that was a given. It was a small military transport meant to accomplish the singular purpose of loading and offloading cargo and people, not some luxury cruise liner or a ship such as the Edelweiss. The actual technology involved in these transports may have improved by leaps and bounds, but amenities for the comfort of the poor infantry who actually had to ride on those things remained rock-bottom priority.

"Five minutes until drop. Check your parachutes and altimeters, and stow your equipment for the jump."

"Here we go." Ruslan affixed his altimeter to his gauntlet and slung the rucksack behind him, watching as other members of the strike team deposited their items in coffers. Weapons, armor, vox-casters, ammunition, anything remotely heavy was ensconced within padded coffins, to be dropped down below while they jumped. A fall, followed by a scavenger hunt. Just perfect.

One by one, they lined up in single file facing the well deck and donned their breathing apparatuses, buffeted to and fro as air current began to stream in after the ramp began to lower. Ruslan struggled to remain in formation as the vessel rocked back and forth, and out of the corner of his eye he could see others suffering the same issue–if not worse than he–as well.

"One minute until drop. Commence countdown."

The loadmaster heaved with difficulty as he hurled the coffers of equipment off into the pitch black abyss, forests overlooking the coastline. And in that span of an instant, the Seveni could only wonder, as those small oblong caskets were swallowed up by the night, whether he too would suffer that sort of fate.

"All clear! Go! Go! Go!"

He heard the dull thuds of his boots on wood and steel, saw for a brief instant the ethereal moon as it peeked above the clouds. And then he was falling, a single soul out of a handful at the mercy of gravity.

Edited by ajimeister, Jan 10 2018, 07:37 AM.
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A pair of grey eyes stared at parachutes, while the mind behind them was toiling away. Damien only wished his airstep ability was a bit more effective at such a high altitude, so he could forgo using the bulky equipment provided, altogether. Tonight, he was going to have to deal with using the parachute.

During the flight over Boscan territory, Damien did his best to read a book. The shakiness of the craft only served to make the man nauseous as he tried. Upon giving up, Damien returned the book to his pocket dimension with the flick of his wrist. There was little else to do until they approached the drop zone. The man he knew in the group, Corporal Gudleifr, had been asleep, meaning conversation with him was not an option. The other passengers were either busy talking already, or strengthening their nerves for the mission to come. Damien was already mentally prepared. He didn't fear the height of the ship, nor did he fear the jump he would have to do. He was confident in his ability to recover from any mishaps that could happen during the fall, as he had run mental simulations many times already. At this point, he was just ready to get started. The boredom had begun to set in.

After what felt like an eternity, the ship had reached the drop zone, prompting those onboard to prepare to jump. Damien grabbed his gear and got in line with the other knights, ready to get started. With the opening of the ramp, the ship rocked a bit more violently than it had been, causing Damien to catch himself and remain balanced. His hands went out on either side, rocking with the ship. Directly afterward, the unit's gear was tossed off the ship. Then, it was his turn.

Following up as the last person in the line, Damien made his leap off the ramp, and was then at the mercy of gravity and the wind. The feeling of free-falling wasn't completely an unpleasant one to Damien. The worse part was the sound of the rushing wind as you fell. Had this been a jump for leisure, Damien surely would have executed a few flips, but they were behind enemy lines. This was not the time or place.

Upon reaching an acceptable altitude, Damien pulled the chord to his parachute, and finished his fall slowly. The man floated quietly through the cold night air, a mere shadow in the already dark Boscan land. Executing the landing gracefully by walking out the initial contact, Damien released his parachute and waited for the others. Gathering their gear was next on the agenda for them, however, Damien had no gear to gather. All of his weapons were stored in a pocket dimension. Lucky him.
Edited by Sachio, Jan 26 2018, 12:10 AM.
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500 meters. 400 meters. 300 meters and descending.

For a few seconds the corporal could sense the harsh shear of the wind tearing at his garments as he plummeted from the ramp of the airship, completely at the mercy of the laws of physics. It was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying to experience for the Seveni; after a rather uncomfortable but manageable nap aboard the flight, the distinct feeling of falling to one's objective–and in the unlikely case of error, death–pervaded every fibre of his being.

200 meters, 150 meters. Now.

Ruslan tugged at a ripcord on his rucksack, and immediately unfurled a parachute of strong, light silk, ending the free-fall section of the operation. The others too did the same upon reaching the same altitude, deploying their parachutes in a ringed formation loosely guided by external stability cords, adjusting the canopies of their equipment to land adjacent to one another at the target radius. But parachutes were a fickle thing.

Out of all things it just had to be a tree that broke his fall.

The knight stumbled and hung limply from his parachute, entangled in the boughs of the aforementioned tree. Just a ways away, another parachute had landed in a comparatively graceful manner to his own; while the other parachutists remained scattered within a 100 meter zone encompassing the landing point. Even with the stability cords, perhaps it had been too much to expect at least half of them to fall in the landing point. The technology they had for precise insertions was about as good as it would get. Precision insertions. What a load.

Tightly woven webbing was promptly undone, and the harness's clasps that bound the soldier to his chute were released, as the corporal fell to the muddy ground with a distinctive squelch, armed with nothing and garbed in a utilitarian jumpsuit. All that was left to do was to link up at the RV point before procuring their armaments. Granted, the mere task of regrouping was easier said than done.

Between the pitch black darkness of the forest and the disorganized state of the unit, a nighttime stealth march wasn't easy. Special operations fiction and covert espionage novella back in Fiore tended to depict such instances with all of the grace and no-frills efficiency that such characters within tended to provide. Of course, they probably neglected to take into account such excursions without any means of seeing in the dark. Simply put, they were all probably stumbling and tromping about these forests like water buffalos, completely and utterly lost without the rudimentary equipment they carried to guide them on their way. A few meters worth of walking was bad enough; a brisk 3-hour march to the village toting rucksacks and equipment was punishing.

Following the compass and the noise emitted by allied signal clickers, Ruslan trekked out of the dense cover of the woods and continued toward a clearing, vaguely filled with coffers and a single figure that stood among them. The equipment, and the figure of Corporal Damien Belmont, whom had, alongside himself and Artorius Sidonis, fended off an Alpha Lycanthrope just months prior. He was a capable fellow, and for that the soldier relaxed a little, taking slight comfort in his comrade's abilities.

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It didn't take long for the group to reconvene once they landed. Despite the darkness, these were trained knights who excelled in missions such as this. For Damien, it was a mix of intense training, and the fact he could see quite clearly thanks to his contacts. His magically enhanced vision allowed him to not only see in the dark, but also let him see heat signatures. He could see the others on this mission, as they trekked through the wooded area. All of them showing up to him as bright oranges, greens, reds, and yellows. With a thought, the heat vision was turned off, letting him rely only on the night vision.

Damien turned to look at Ruslan, who had addressed him with a simple greeting. "Almost thought I would see you stuck in a tree." Damien laughed and approached Ruslan to offer a handshake. "Only joking. Good to be working with you again. Hopefully there aren't any werewolves here." Damien hadn't seen that Ruslan had indeed been caught in a tree. "We all made it here in one piece. Good." Damien set about opening the various coffins, assisting people in retrieving their gear for the mission. Since he had none for himself, it only made sense to expedite the process by helping the others. It made him start thinking that the knights should start funding pocket dimensions for their soldiers. He wasn't sure of the logistics, but it made sense as a nice investment. Damien certainly was glad he got himself one, at least. With his veritable armory of weapons and tools, it was almost a necessity.

With everyone prepared and geared up, it was time to start their mission. Their objective was to gather information in a small village, about a weapon that could prove disastrous to their war effort. It was said that Bosco held a weapon that would ensure their victory against Fiore's naval forces. It was something they needed to learn about as soon as possible. While espionage wasn't Damien's strong suit, he was decent enough in stealth that he figured he would be able to do well in this mission. His superiors obviously felt the same way, or else he wouldn't be here right now.

The hike to the village wasn't an unpleasant one. The silence of night, and the glow of the moon and stars, made it rather peaceful. The crisp winter air added to the enjoyment for Damien. He didn't mind a little cold. It wasn't cold enough to be bundled up, but it was surely something that could be felt. Their trek helped in keeping blood pumping however, making it bearable for everyone most likely.
Edited by Sachio, Jan 30 2018, 09:09 PM.
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(Tired post is tired post. My bad.)

One by one did they emerge from the woods, soldier after soldier, drawn to the clearing where their gear lay secured in coffers. Arms and armor, maps and compasses, heliographs, vox-casters, and all manner of tools for reconnaissance; ensconced were they within their receptacles as Damien began to help his fellow comrades don their gear in preparation for the long trek ahead. And so too, following his example, did Ruslan follow suit.

"Here we go."

He grunted, before affixing spaulders and cuirasses onto his allies with slight difficulty. The process to donning armor had been streamlined somewhat with those present at the clearing; in the interest of quick deployment did straps of webbing line the interior of the plates, to be quickly affixed and detached to the harnesses that they wore. Nevertheless though, it was still an insufferable process–affixing burnished plate and mail. His turn.

The vambraces and sabotons were the first to go. Then did the cuirass and spaulders come next, a set of finely crafted yet utilitarian armor wholly streamlined in comparison to his previous equipment. Last but not least, a full-face helm, replete with goggles for enhanced low-light conditions.

Under the starry night sky did they march, a wedge of soldiers sneaking through dense underbrush and the cover of the forest as they kept a vigilant lookout on all sides. The occasional deer, a few hares, nary a single person other than themselves could be seen. Save for the tromping of boots upon the forest floor, nary anything could be heard save for the soothing sound of babbling rivulets of water and the nocturnal noise of native wildlife. One could almost envision a sense of tranquility; indeed, the corporal himself found himself almost captivated. But reaching the end of the woods and overlooking the location was his attention soon drawn back.

The village was half a klick away as the crow flew, and nestled in the adjacent fjords would they scour the location for the weapon that had hampered their naval forces so. It was a quaint, almost mundane seaside town from what he could initially surmise; save for the occasional sentry illuminated under the fluorescent light of streetlamps, not a soul could be seen.

Ruslan held his position and crouched in the brush, scrutinizing the townscape from afar. Any other vantage points of interest, potential locations where they could obtain valuable information, he could not initially glean. In that regard, he turned toward his comrade, before activating the vox-caster in his helm.

"Hey, Damien. Take some troops and reconnoiter ahead. I'll try to take the left flank and search the town from the west. If you find where the enemy's keeping their comms, notify me."
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