Operation story: 7-5

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RI Operator icon.png
Engineering Operator
RI Operator icon.png
RI Medic icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
RI Operator icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
RI Bridge
Aircraft A

After operation

After a series of twists and turns, the Doctor, Amiya, and a group of operators arrive at the core city of Chernobog.
<Background black>
<Background 1>
Doctor We won't have much time after we take out that recon team.
Kal'tsit You're right. We're on a tight schedule.
Doctor The operators aren't going to climb into the city from the sand.
Amiya Um... we do that sometimes.
But the core city is on the move. It will be hard to get into the foundation levels.
Kal'tsit If the operators stand on the sand and wait for the city to pass over them, both height and speed are going to be an issue.
If they can't open the maintenance hatches and waste chutes on the underside, our distraction and our camouflage won't be worth anything.
So our five teams will take a vehicle and use the cover of the sandstorm to approach the city, then employ special equipment to climb into the city superstructure.
Doctor We only sent five teams?
Kal'tsit We're in no hurry to get the attention of the local Ursus brass.
And we wouldn't want them to send out an attack ship to smash Rhodes Island in the wilderness and kill our employees.
Even if they did that, you wouldn't see a single report on it in any newspaper. The bankers and insurance executives will quietly cross out your name and shove all the lucre into their own nest eggs.
No one will speak of you. No one wants to upset Ursus.
Our neutrality gives us some freedom to move in the cracks between forces, and that means we can't be backed by any power.
We survive by working in secret. Just like when we sent those teams to save you.
Five teams. Leave tracks, cover the tracks; objective complete, objective failed. No matter what, Rhodes Island only ever deploys five teams.
Doctor But more teams means more firepower! / ...... / Even if they're not enough?
Kal'tsit Even for a city-state like Lungmen, wiping us out would be a trifle.
You saw the L.G.D. They're as strong as any country's special forces. They certainly have a pharmaceutical company beat.
Doctor So why do they need us?
Kal'tsit Because this is about the Infected.
Rhodes Island has departed Lungmen, and we're bearing on the next trade port at fifteen kilometers per hour.
We'll be in the wilderness for a few weeks before we get there.
Aside from some nearby Rhodes Island communications specialists and some trusted vessels, no one will pick up our signal. We'll plot a course around all the nomadic cities' known paths.
Even if Lungmen decides to betray us, they won't be able to find us.
Doctor But that's not enough, is it?
We need more oomph! / Need to be sharper. / We must have more to stake.
Kal'tsit Right. We will need something else to tip the scales.
Amiya ......
The both of you turned pretty gloomy, huh?
I know how serious this is, but you don't have to... smile like that, do you?
Kal'tsit Amiya... did I smile?
Amiya I know you did. Your lips may not have moved, but I could feel it.
Kal'tsit So here we are.
Amiya ...Yay!
Kal'tsit No, I have to say this: I do not intend to rebuild any sort of relationship with this person.
Doctor Heh. The feeling is mutual. / ...... / You may be forgetting there's two sides to this.
Amiya *Sigh*...
Kal'tsit Myself, Amiya, and three of our elite operators will lead the five teams.
We have three combat teams, one recon team, and one spec ops team.
You may want to meet the leader of one of those teams.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 2>
Blaze Rosmontis! Wait!
Rosmontis Oh... Blaze.
You're badly wounded. Why are you here? You should go back. Go on.
Blaze Are you going to sortie this time?
Rosmontis Yes.
Blaze I'll get someone to replace you. How about Misery? He's better at assault ops than you.
He'll wave his hand and it'll be all done. Let's have him go.
Rosmontis You don't want me to go?
Blaze Yeah. You shouldn't.
Rosmontis You're giving me a weird feeling, Blaze.
Blaze This isn't like the missions you went on before!
Rosmontis Because I might die?
Blaze Watch it!
You can't just... like... you can't just come out and say it like that!
You're too young for such a dangerous mission. It's not right!
Rosmontis But Amiya's going too.
Blaze That's because she...! She's...!
Rosmontis She's just like me. She's Infected. She's an operator.
And I checked the logs. Ace and Scout are both in Chernobog. They didn't come back.
That means they're gone.
I want to see. I want to know what happened. I want to see who's running Reunion. I want to know who did what.
I want to know what happened to Ace and Scout.
Blaze Rosmontis? You don't have to record... that kind of stuff.
Rosmontis ...Blaze?
Blaze Shit. What the hell am I saying...?
No, sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Damn my big mouth!
But, their deaths... They...
Rosmontis Blaze.
Blaze I'm the one who's wrong. We have happy memories, and painful ones too. You have to remember them both.
Rosmontis You're weird, Blaze. Your words are all scattered and broken.
Blaze ...I don't want to see you hurting so much. Why do you have to look back at them? You... you can let go of those memories.
You can put them there, leave them there, and don't look back.
Rosmontis If I don't look... then what's the point in recording them?
If I don't look... then they're forgotten.
I won't forget. I definitely won't forget a single death.
Blaze Ha. Right. You're like me. You're a Rhodes Island elite operator.
I can't go in your place. Really, I...
Nng... ugh...
Rosmontis You're bleeding again?
Blaze It's fine.
Rosmontis I'll take you.
Blaze Oof.
Rosmontis... You and Amiya look after yourselves.
Rosmontis Right. I will.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 1>
Doctor Do I have to? Meet her...?
Amiya Dr. {nickname}...
Rhodes Island's elite operators, for whatever reason, dedicate their talent and energy to the Rhodes Island project.
The teams they bring with them fully support their work. Because our elite operators, to a certain degree, can directly determine how we use a certain tactic.
But not all of them are... exactly as we imagine them.
You've met Elite Operator Blaze, Doctor. There are a lot of rumors about her, maybe you haven't heard. The truth is, they're a little exaggerated.
But everyone has a different impression of her.
But Doctor, I think... I think you're capable of understanding her choices.
Judging by your reaction, you may have already met the one we're talking about.
Amiya Oh? Huh...
Then... we're okay?
Doctor Anything else I should know?
Amiya That's the basic plan. Honestly, um... it's practical. A plan's a plan, an operation's an operation.
Kal'tsit But the op is what matters. A plan is just a basic outline of an operation. And a misstep during an operation can shatter a plan.
Doctor I hope we don't have any bad omen specialists here.
<Background fades out and in>
Engineering Operator Uh oh... that ain't good! We have a problem!
Dust density is still too low. This isn't going to work with that light angle.
We're in the open here! If they look down from the bridge, they might spot us before we're fully operational!
Rhodes Island Operator But we can't cover the machine any more than it already is. If we block the airflow, we won't get enough of a current going to kick up the dust!
Engineering Operator What do we do? Should we keep moving back...? We might not have time!
Nearl ...I'll take care of it.
Firewatch, keep an eye out, and tell me which way to adjust.
Firewatch Lady? What... are you doing?
Nearl Fixing the angle of the light
To mitigate the suffering of the world... I believe even the sun itself will bow to me.
[Nearl uses her Arts to redirect the light elsewhere, which attracts Elysium's attention.]
Elysium Oh? Who's that on the dune? Nearl? They're not saddling up and not falling back?
What's she doing? Meditating? Posing... is she posing here?
...No, wait, what's that light? Her whole body is glowing... No, uh oh! Too bright!
<Background black>
Elysium Um, thanks, Captain...
Thanks for covering my eyes, but it would be great if you weren't squeezing like you wanted to crush my skull.
What is Nearl doing?
She's okay? Well... you say that, Captain, but that light is brighter than the sun. What is she up to?
<Background 1>
Elysium Huh? No way... she's pulling in all the light around us?
Captain, all the light is starting to form together.
I know. I'm just saying, could anyone but the Radiant Knight do something like this?
Captain, look at the shadows of the sand dunes. Can you even tell what time of day it is?
*Sigh*... I'm just trying to brighten the mood here. And once we kick up that sandstorm, we won't be able to see the shadows, right?
Shutting up. Sorry.
<Background 3>
Dobermann Take us up! We've got some weird-colored balls clipping us!
Pilot Don't be scared, Instructor. Reunion casters aren't good enough to shoot us down.
Dobermann We're just a distraction, no need to put on an air show for Reunion!
Pilot Put on a good enough show and Reunion might just surrender, huh?
Isn't that what they call a show of force?
Dobermann Aerial acrobatics isn't a show of force!
Pilot Hold on tight, Instructor!
Dobermann –I need a barf bag!
<Background 1>
Nearl The device is fully functional! Amiya, we're ready to move!
<Background black>
Amiya Roger!
Kal'tsit Drivers, maintain a steady speed! Check your maps. Use the sandstorm to cover your approach to the core city until you're in range to deploy boarding gear! Engage!
Amiya The sand will cover our tracks. Remember your protective gear, and don't let sand into our sensitive equipment!
But... I can see the sun. Why is the sunlight breaking through the sandstorm?
The underside of the core city is so clear, it's like... Arts.
This wasn't... part of the plan. Is that natural light?
Nearl ...Don't worry about it!
Amiya Roger that! Grappling hooks, prepare to fire! Operators, make sure the cables are securely fixed to the underside of the city!
Once all our operators are aboard, the vehicles will depart at once! I don't usually say things like this, but I'm pretty sure that light just now is a good omen for us!
Nearl ...Definitely!
(I made it a little too intense and had to aim it at the ground, but let's not tell her that part...)
Hold on, the core city is speeding up?
Our machines are wind-driven, but they can only keep the sandstorm up within a one kilometer range! If they break that range, they'll spot us for sure!
Amiya Hurry up, everyone!
[The R.I. strike team drives their vehicle through the sandstorm.]
<Background 1>
Pilot We're out of time! We have to slow down!
If we drive out of the sandstorm,, Chernobog's optical detection system will pick us right up and blow the whole op!
How many people do you have left? Hurry up and...
Doctor There aren't any left.
Pilot Huh?
Doctor I'll do it myself! / (Silently put on a dust mask) / Pass me the carabiner. I'm going myself.
Pilot It's too dangerous, Doctor!
You've never had operator training! We can't send you up there alone!
Didn't Dr. Kal'tsit assign you any battlefield support?
Doctor Nope. What of it? / ...... / Maybe she thought I could use the exercise myself.
Kal'tsit I did.
Doctor ?!
Kal'tsit Me.
Kal'tsit grabbed by the waist with one arm and pulled you onto the zipline with the other.
Kal'tsit Seize your own fate next time, Dr. {nickname}.
<Background 1>
The sandstorm was ferocious, and the "arm" holding you was very hard. You couldn't be certain it belonged to Kal'tsit.
Chernobog Approach.png
Amiya All squads, take your positions!
There is no room for error in the operation to come!
<Background 4>
10:30 a.m.
Core City Foundation
[The R.I. successfully enters Chernobog.]
Rhodes Island Operator Yeah, this is definitely a sign of someone breaking in here.
Confirmed one infiltrator.
Amiya We can't be sure if that bloodstain over there is Reunion's or someone else's. It hasn't turned yet.
It very well could be Officer Ch'en's! We have to hurry.
Oh, Doctor!
I'm glad you made it here safe.
Doctor You call that safe...! / ...close. / I had help. You were this close to losing me.
Amiya ...Oh? Huh?!
Th-that dangerous, huh? Did you get hurt, Dr. {nickname}?!
Doctor I'm fine. Let's go. Just some psychological trauma.