Wins and Losses
June 2035 (continued)
We have ended the threat of the Chosen Shadowblade, but not without cost.
Thanks to the hard work of the Skirmishers, we tracked the Chosen down to her lair in India. Not knowing what to expect, I suited up my best and brightest. I even got Shen to experiment with some of the Elerium cores to see what new tech we could bring it. We emptied the bank, and got access to a few new grenades (Acid, gas and fire), Venom rounds, and a really cool holographic projection beacon. All the shiny new eq would prove invaluable soon enough.
Our insertion of the initial level was stressful, but not disastrous. It was a by the book slow creep through dangerous territory, facing unknown enemies. Constant leapfrogging and keeping good lanes of fire. Saved the team a few times, including once when a swarm of chrysalids came bursting in through the doors.
The most frightening thing was close to the end, when the team encountered some sort of hulking Big Daddy of a Xenos, together with some Vipers. It came busting through the doors and pummeled ‘Monoxious’. Good thing Arissa was wearing armor. She took the brunt of it, fell back, dropped an incendiary grenade on the snakes to distract them, and the rest of the team laid waste on the armored dreadnought.
Which promptly proceeded to explode in a shower of acid and CONTINUED to run around.
Cue more falling back, and grenades and frenzied shots to clear the room.
When the dust settled, most of the medical supplies from BOTH my specialists were emptied, but everyone was still up and we had only used one of Shen’s fancy new toys.
The teleportation into the Shadowblade’s personal chambers was a disconcerting experience. The empty quiet of the chamber even more so. We dispatched the few guards around the chamber, and the ease in which we did so made it feel like the calm before the storm.
That guess proved accurate when the Shadowblade spawned. Learning from earlier encounters with the assassin, our fireteam kept in close contact with each other in the middle of the room so that she would have nowhere to run.
Cue surprise number one:
Summoning reinforcements in flanking positions.
We decided to ignore the reinforcements to focus fire on the Chosen. Once she was down, it’d be easy to clean up the reinforcements, right? An assault shotgun to the face and some sniper venom rounds and she was down.
Cue surprise number two:
Her vanishing in purple light to get healed in that giant monolith that looked something out of 2001 A Space Odyssey. And MORE reinforcements. Godammit. I knew there was a reason why they were coming back so many times.
We grit our teeth. The key here was eliminating the assassin. Her removal was the only reason why we were here. She had to take precedence. Viv dropped our only mimic beacon to get the heat of our other personnel and we continued to pour fire into the the Chosen sarcophagus.
On the upside, we managed to destroy the Sarcophagus. On the downside, we had been taking injuries all the way and had to face one Assassin, two Archons and one Heavy MEC in very poorly defensible positions. Most of the troops were wounded, and Doom was barely clinging on to life.
I made the decision that we had to distract our enemies. An acid grenade into the Chosen was a good decision. Pushing Ivory Fox up to hack the MEC was a good decision. A gas grenade into the Archons would be a bad decision.
The MEC was shut down, and the acid steadily helped damage the Chosen. Unfortunately rather than distracting them, the acid only riled up the pair of Archons. They rushed out of cover (utterly unexpected), and cut Michelle down. She was behind cover and mostly unwounded, but cover doesn’t exactly protect against battle staves.
We were subsequently able to wipe the rest of the troops. We let the Assassin dissolve into a puddle of goo. She deserved that much. It was a win, but flying back to the Avenger with one empty seat… it sure didn’t feel that way.
We also found some esoteric items with the Assassin. Her blades and gun will be useful, but strangely enough, she had a stash of some other things. Trophies of earlier kills? Some strange ice bomb and a pair of axes, that said… ‘Bee Sting’?
Technically the Alien Hunter eq wasn’t WITH the Assassin, but considering I only had enough supplies to complete the research after the Assassin, it’d be more interesting to write them in this way.