By the time I had reached our base and entered my suite of armour, the squad I had called for stood already assembled at the elevator that would lead us to our dropship.
The Aleph A.I. Node in The Pearl Turtle was too far away from our elevator system, so we had to deploy by Dropship, and thus the briefing for the rest of the squad was done while we where already in the air and on our way.
By the time my boots hit the ground everyone was briefed and knew what was at stake. Mere minutes before the Dragon Lady Onigokko had informed me about the supposed Haqqislam Attack on the Aleph A.I. Node, one of our Field Agents had sent a distress call regarding this matter as well. Apparently the local Haqq Corporation Branches were having trouble with some of the regulations and taxes regarding their products, and it seems like they had decided to do something about it by altering the local A.I. Node Database.
I have to say I was a bit alarmed about the strange grade of details we had about this plan of attack, but I guess that’s IS Agents for you, or maybe some of Haqqs commercial enemies have spilled the beans after a failed deal? It really didn’t matter.
What mattered was that my squad and I seemed to have arrived just in the nick of time. No sooner had my squad taken up position than the first Haqqislam Troopers where already advancing on the A.I. Node.
An enemy trooper that had apparently advanced before the rest of their force came rushing in from the flank, hoping to get the drop on us, but Kanren Umibozu who had concealed himself via several Holo Echoes, instantly spotted the ambusher, and since he was a skilled Holo Echo user himself, he quickly spotted the real person among the ambushers Holo Echoes and took him out with his gun.
Basically at the same time on the left flank some crazy Haqqislam woman on a bike came dashing towards us, hoping for her speed to cover her advance, but the Bao Sniper that Pheasant Agent Fu Bao had deployed on the nearby tower wasn’t going to let her pass that easily, and instantly dropped her with his Multisniper rifle.
With their initial rushed attack taken out instantly, the Haqqislam Commander decided to go for sneakier tactics as he advanced some sort of Jammer Unit that instantly tried to damage Kanren Umibozu equipment to cut him off from the rest of the squad and mess with his Hacking Device. But Kanren Umibozu was quite skilled at cyber and technological warfare and thus he managed to prevent any real damage to his systems by activating the systems safety reboot system just in time of the attack.
The enemy tried to repeat this for a while longer, before realizing that it was no use, and then tried to relocate to search for better targets. By this time however the rest of the squad had noticed Umibozu’s predicament and the same Bao Sniper that had taken out the Biker Girl before, now was already waiting for an opportunity like this, and as the enemy trooper advanced into a nearby building, he took the shoot just as the trooper entered the buildings door and shoot him down.
At that moment the Haqqislam troops coordinated a push forward and took control of one of the A.I. Nodes Connection points while remaining hidden from my troops. While Kanren Umibozu was still busy with restarting his Hacking Device a metallic “clank” could suddenly be heard next to him, and as Kanren turned to take a look at it, his freshly booted Hacking Device suddenly beeped a loud warning for an incoming hacking attack. Realizing too late that the enemy had just pitched some sort of Repeater near him Umibozu’s neuronal connection to his Killer Hacking device suddenly went haywire and sent Umibozu unconscious with excruciating pain.
At this point my troops finally managed to find the momentum to swing the initiative in our favour, and no sooner had Kanren Umibozu hit the ground that Sophotect Akaseni came dashing around the corner to heal him with her Motherforge.
Out for Revenge Kanren Umibozu instantly hacked into the enemy repeater in search for the Haqqislam Hacker that had just attacked him, but he had to realize that there where more than just one hacker, and even though he tried to take them out all at once, he was overwhelmed and ended up wounded again.
This time Sophotect Akaseni healed him even before he dropped, and thus Kanren Umibozu was able to use the enemies confusion and frustration at their failed attempt to kill him, to start another attack.
This time Umibozu’s long experience in Cyber warfare prevailed as he killed both enemy hackers, one after the other. Apparently the enemies weren’t as lucky to have a healer right next to them as Kanren Umibozu had been.
But Umibozu got a little too focused on hunting down the enemy’s killer hacker, and just as he fried his enemies brain his hacking device suddenly went blank. Apparently another enemy hacker had been lying in ambush and Umibozu had failed to notice him in time. Luckily this one didn’t appear to be a killer hacker, so Umibozu was spared a worse fate.
Meanwhile Celestial Guard Shen Jing, this time in a role as Forward Observer without her Kuang Shi, managed to take control of a nearby A.I. Node Antenna, preventing the enemy from taking over control of the system.
Apparently the enemy commander had gotten wary of our Sophotect by now and thus was sending out another Jammer trooper to take care of her, but it seemed like her sophisticated systems where save enough to withstand this attack without any damage.
Frustrated by that failure the enemy commander decided it was time for more physical means of dealing with my troops, and he thus sent a trooper through a nearby building to flank my units.
Luckily Sophotect Akaseni wasn’t going to have any of that, and with an almost cheerful “Gotcha Sucker!” she planted a bullet into the ambushing trooper the moment he showed his face in the nearby doorway.
Meanwhile the hacker that had just isolated Kanren Umibozu used the distraction to crawl past my Wu Mings field of view and under the watchful eyes of the Bao Sniper to take control of a second A.I. Node Antenna, tipping the control of the node back into Haqqislams favour.
Pushed by his success the trooper then decided to advance a little further, but as he did so he came within one of my Wu Ming’s field of view and was attacked. But the enemy trooper was not only a skilled hacker but also quite the marksman, managing to wound the Wu Ming and forcing him back into cover, while reaching his desired position himself. I knew right away that this guy would continue to cause us trouble, and just as I thought so he somehow vanished from our satellite lock once more, most likely by reactivating his thermo optical camouflage system.
Sophotect Akaseni used the disappearance of the enemy hacker to reactivate Kanren Umibozu’s Comms Equipment, but with the enemy Jammer still within range, her own Comms systems got isolated in return.
Having had enough of the enemies jamming shenanigans I ordered Celestial Guard Shen Jing to take care of the enemy trooper, which she promptly did by popping out of her cover and wrecking the enemy Jammer with her Boarding shotgun.
There where however more enemies hiding in the corridor below and Shen Jing was thus forced back into her cover by the enemies return fire, barely managing to survive thanks to her armour.
Knowing that the Central Control room and it’s A.I. Node terminal was of critical importance I now ordered the Wu Ming Duo Team to take said room at all costs.
Advancing under heavy enemy fire the two troopers entered the room, and one of them tried to take out the enemy troopers shooting at them from the flank. The enemy trooper was quite the skilled shooter though, and thus the Wu Ming was forced to block the entrance of the chamber with his own body, to allow for his comrade to take over the Central A.I. Node Console.
It seemed however that security was tighter in the central control room, and thus the Forward Observer Wu Ming didn’t manage to take control over the console before the enemy started his counterattack.
A camouflaged enemy trooper with a spitfire that had been sneaking around the right flank used this opportunity to down the Wu Ming Forward Observer through the opened doorway, and another enemy trooper with a Heavy Rocket Launcher that had been creeping on a nearby rooftop decided to change his position and shoot down the other Wu Ming through another open door to the Central Room. What a disaster.
Noticing my strategy the enemy commander changed his tactics and sent an agent into the Central Control room, who took over the A.I. Node Console and took up suppressive firing position in the room. He had been trying to finish of the unconscious Wu Ming Forward Observer in the room as well, but Kanren Umibozu’s Boarding Shotgun had forced him to dash for cover instead.
The remaining Haqqislam troopers took up firing positions to cover both the central room as well as the last Antenna; apparently the enemy commander wasn’t going to make this easy for me.
“Father Anderson” decided it was time to change from covering the right flanks to attacking it, and he quickly dispatched of the enemies Spitfire Camo Trooper that had just taken out the Wu Ming Forward Observer.
Having watched the enemy commanders movements for long enough I decided it was time for myself to act. Dashing to a nearby corner I opened fire on a Flash Pulse Drone and the hidden Hacker that had been hiding nearby, taking both of them out, and with a direct line of sight to her I managed to order Sophotect Akaseni to try the unthinkable.
Dashing forward into the now free space to the door of the Central Control Room, and with one swift motion she raised her arm, firing an Adrenalin Dart from a hidden compartment in her right hand at the unconscious Wu Ming Forward Observer in the room.
Twitching back to life the Wu Ming in the Control Room rose like a fictional Zombie, and driven by duty, hatred, revenge or whatever drove those lowly Wu Ming Criminals, he punched in the command codes to take over the Central Control Room’s A.I. Node Console, countless enemy bullets riddling his body as he did so.
With a blood smeared satisfied smirk on his face the Wu Ming dropped dead to the ground, knowing that he had fulfilled his duty and stuck a wrench into Haqqislam’s plans all the same.
Knowing that this sacrifice had basically secured the A.I. Node for us, I still decided that such a brave act deserved to yield more than just a small victory, and thus I dashed forward, right into the Central Control Room, and aiming my Spitfire at the enemy trooper that had just taken out the Wu Ming with his suppressive fire, I took revenge for the Wu Ming and his partner, one bullet at a time, until the enemy trooper was little more than a bloody bullet riddled pulp on the ground.
While I did so I could feel the impact of a high velocity sniper round bouncing off my Crane Armour, from a nearby Sniper, but it was already too late for Haqqislam, the A.I. Node was save, the control room belonged to us, and most enemy troops were defeated.
Realizing his defeat the enemy commander ordered a general retreat, while I made sure that my troops secured the remaining area and take back control of the A.I. Node until an Aleph representative arrived.
It had been a close call and Haqq had almost succeeded in corrupting the A.I. Node, but we had made it in the end, thanks to the two Wu Ming who had in the end managed to redeem themselves to Yu Jing society with their brave sacrifice.
Snapping around to the sudden sound of clapping, I could see the recognizable shape of Dragon Lady Miyu Onigokko leaning in the Control Room’s doorframe I had just come through, clapping in acknowledgement and nodding “Not bad indeed…you’ll definitely make a fine commander for this IS branch, I look forward to working with you…”
Before I could answer she had left through the doorframe and back around the corner though, and I was too busy with the coordination of the operations aftermath to go chasing after her. Next time I’d meet her however, I decided it was time for her to answer me some questions….whether she wanted to or not…
This battle was another first for me, first time playing against this opponent (My community seems to be blessed with awesome players, and its always a pleasure to play against them!), and my first time playing against Haqqislam.
As I feared in advance I was heavily outnumbered and really didn’t know how to start my advance against such an array of guns and specialists , but then luck was on my side and the first imperuous movements of my opponent lead to him losing 2 models, followed by yet another one as his E Mauler fauled to isolate my Kanren and he decided to reposition.
From then on I got more confident and managed to turn things in my favour, although it was really close until the last round. Had my suicide charge with my Crane Lieutenant not worked, things could have become really ugly really fast, but luck stayed on my side during most of the game, and thus I ended up winning.
Thanks again to my awesome opponent, I love games like this where the result can swing either way until the very last second!
It was also my first time trying out the new Wu Ming, but even though they saved me the game, I really don’t think I did them justice…I basically just used them for a suicide mission…which ended up working and was quite fitting, but I think didn’t quite play to their strengths ;-P