g e a r s
[OOC can be found here]
The Parvan's Claw cut across the dusty flats of the Badlands. In the distance, mountains vented black smoke in lazy drifts into the air, while closer in to the sleek, small Landcruiser, ground-birds squawked their irritation and loped away in great strides as the vessel rumbled past, gliding on geo-magnetic currents under the light of the twin moons.
The night was deep and still, despite the violence the ship and its' onboard personnel had left behind only a few short hours ago.
The hull of the ship bore the scars, as much as the people within. Exhausted of ammunition, spare parts, supplies and of their own energy to continue, the ship had been summoned home to the Landren Capital on orders from the central command of the LDF, to perform some new mission based on the information their earlier missions had obtained.
Within the cruiser, Silverwind Blade, the leader of the Roughriders GEAR squadron assigned to the Claw was laid abed, due to the terrible injuries he had received in the mission just gone.
Higher in the ships' decks, the ships' captain faced the faces of the Roughriders, and the POW's they had rescued on the same mission. Showing the same signs of fatigue as the rest - though not their injuries, and noting the members of the unit who were not present because of them - she took a breath and began to explain the situation, meeting eyes with Reinier, who had been named commander in the absence of Silverwind, due to his injuries.
"We've been ordered to report back to Ourven, where the Claw is due to dock for extended maintenance - including, apparently, a refit. You, though - the Roughriders - have got orders to go onward, across Ourven to the Andreana base where you'll be receiving further information about what's going on.
"I've been informed that the situation with the people of Hope's town has been taken into account, and the Spirit of Courage is mounting an extensive rescue operation for them, and has been embarked with additional personnel and equipment for the task. They've taken all of the intelligence and information we recovered in order to do so, including all the battle data footage from all of your GEARs, so they should be prepared for fighting those monsters if they rear their ugly heads.
"In terms of you guys" - she indicated the POWs "-I've been instructed to tell you that you've been reassigned for the forseeable future to the Roughriders in place of your original units, and that your GEARs will be re-stocked and re-fitted when you reach Andreana, as will all of your GEARs. I haven't been told with what, before any of you ask."
She hesitatd, her expression growing grim before she continued, and let out a brief sigh, rubbing her tired eyes with her fingers, and removing her Captains' hat before she continued, appearing more the stressed and fatigued woman she was than the resolute, vigourous and determined individual she'd been every other time.
"...Landren has been attacked," she said wearily, and with a note of disbelief she still couldn't overcome. "Undercover Imperial agents sabotaged key defence structures and facilities with bombs, wounding hundreds and killing over fifty people of all ages, before in the following chaos, Landcruisers and strike aircraft hit bases and other key infrastructure with missile attacks, causing even more casualties.
"The LDF, LDF Reserves and the Militias are overwhelmed with both managing the wounded and the rescue operations, as well as trying to drive back and contain the forward shock elements of the Imperial Forces. And on the other side, the Alliance Military are... extremely insistent that we let them in to assist in the fighting, but the Council aren't letting them in, since they know as soon as they do, it'll turn into the Alliance occupying the country.
"We've also got some evidence rolling in that those... things... you fought have been sighted in other areas, and corresponding reports to those of the Northerners we captured that they've been present in large numbers in the North, which is apparently something to do with their attacking Landren".
She shook her head and grimaced. "I never thought I'd see it, and I never hoped so, either - but it looks like we're about to see the war everyone's been dreading. The North against the South... and whatever else those things are, they're involved, somehow. I hope whatever mission they have in mind for you, it'll do something that stops this. Or else everyone is going to be suffering".
In the medical bay of the Claw, Silverwind sat in one of the beds, curtains drawn around for privacy for the people on either side who had also been wounded in the battle. He'd heard that both Dmitri and Reeza had been wounded, with the big Lupine more so, but not to the same extent as him. Both had already been discharged under 'observation' with strict instructions to report back in the morning after a minimum of eight hours rest to check over their injuries and their general state.
He, on the other hand... he almost snorted in laughter at that. Other hand - his artifical left arm had been blown apart below the middle forearm in the battle earlier, and had been removed to the elbow awaiting a replacement. Worse, he'd suffered a broken ankle, which was now in a gel cast, and the debilitating sever wound to his abdomen had resulted in lacerating damage to his spleen. Thankfully, Shoth's quick action in finding and recovering him, and applying emergency first aid had stopped him bleeding to death, and the Doctors' efforts had kept him from the boundary of death.
But now, coming around and with a system still full of drugs, he was utterly exhausted.
Unable to sleep, he sat up in the medical bay bed, watching a old show on a 'net terminal and half-paying attention to it as he caught murmured voices nearby, before Ray shuffled into view, a book clutched under one arm.
"Ray," he croaked, coughing a little as he cleared his dry throat, and took a sip of water. "Ray," he tried again, and managed a weak smile, his tail thumping just as weakly on the mattress. "Come on over here," he said in a soft voice, and gestured to a chair beside the bed. "Nice t' have a visitor. I was hopin' ta see more o' the others. Bein' bed-ridden ain't much fun, y'all. How's things goin'?"