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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2012-12-08 07:24pm
by Shinn Langley Soryu
The Nth Battle of Sand River
"Pseudo-North Africa," Tankhalla
Space Viking Territories, Sector J-10


The orders had finally come in for Miho's clan, and after a final briefing to go over the (sketchy) details of the (admittedly very simple) battle plan, the motley assortment of armor that made up her main force marshalled off to the assigned staging area to wait for the final signal to deploy. Sand River, as this particular battleground was called, was typical of Pseudo-North Africa as a whole, dominated by wide open spaces and generally lacking in adequate cover or concealment. At the higher competitive tiers, fights at Sand River and the other Pseudo-North African battlefields tended to degenerate into liberal artillery spam and gunnery duels conducted at extreme long range, though they still made suitable locales for good old-fashioned slugfests at any tier.

"Alright, one more time," Miho said over the radio. "Darjeeling's group cuts south, Kay's group cuts north, and the rest of us press down the center once the enemy's spotted. We can't possibly screw this one up, particularly considering who we're up against."

Commander Kay

"Ah yes, Commander Anchovy and her band of sycophants," Kay, leader of the "American" section of Miho's company and commander of the Sherman Firefly, chimed in. "Very small name, very big ego. Matchmaker must have been feeling especially cruel today to pit her company against us. Poor girl has no idea of the world of pain she'll be experiencing soon."

Commander Darjeeling (right)

"Indeed, quite the mismatch we seem to have found ourselves in," Darjeeling, leader of the "British" section and commander of the Churchill Mk VII, replied in turn. "At the very least, however, we should be fortunate that we are not on the receiving end of the matchmaker's cruelty this time around."

"Cut the chatter, ladies," Saori interjected. "T minus ten seconds to mission start."

Once the signal to deploy finally arrived, Kay and Darjeeling's respective groups wasted no time in getting underway, with the Shermans dashing quickly towards the dunes while the Matildas and the Churchill lumbered at a slow yet steady pace towards the southern village. As per the plan, Miho and the rest of her group remained ready in the staging area, waiting for Kay and Darjeeling to finally make contact with the enemy. Needless to say, neither Kay nor Darjeeling could contain their disbelief when they finally encountered the enemy's scouts, or at least what passed for them.

"Are my eyes deceiving me, or are those--" Darjeeling started, only to be cut off in mid-sentence.

"Those are L3/35 tankettes!" Kay interjected. "Anchovy couldn't even be bothered to get enough proper tanks for her clan! How the heck did she manage to get this far without losing horribly?"

"God only knows," Darjeeling replied as she sipped from the ever-present cup of tea in her hand. "I expect this engagement to be over quickly--"

Darjeeling was cut off again, this time by the sound of enemy fire. The L3/35s were merely taking point for the rest of the scout forces, consisting of L6/40 light tanks, M13/40 medium tanks, and Semovente 75/18 assault guns. Each enemy scout formation consisted of two L3/35s, one L6/40, one M13/40, and one 75/18. Of these, only the Semoventes could actually pose a threat to Kay and Darjeeling's forces with their 75mm guns, though they were gravely outnumbered; the other machines, the tankettes in particular, might as well have been dead weight going up against the likes of the Matilda, the Sherman, and especially the Churchill and the Firefly. It was the Semoventes that fired the opening shots of the skirmish, but the performance of their gunners left much to be desired; one shot landed just short of Kay's Firefly, while another impacted right on the thick frontal armor of Darjeeling's Churchill, where it did nothing other than scorch the paint and give a slight jolt to Darjeeling and the rest of her crew.

"Right, then," Darjeeling said. "Contact has been made with the enemy. All units, fire at will. Center, you may now proceed."

Miho interpreted that as the signal for her force to finally move out. "Alright, ladies, you heard her," she said to the other members of her crew. Saori, Hana, Yukari, and Mako all nodded in affirmation as they waited at their respective stations, with Saori at the radio, Hana manning the main gun, Yukari preparing shells for loading, and Mako sitting comfortably in the driver's seat. "Panzer vor!"

Cries of "Panzer vor!" rang out from the other commanders and crews through the radio in response as Miho's force proceeded out onto the battlefield. The StuG III and M3 Lee brought their superior firepower to bear by taking point, with Miho's own Panzer IV in the center of the formation and the 38(t) and Type 89 bringing up the rear. It wasn't long before Miho encountered Anchovy's own center force head-on, consisting of two L3/35s, two Semovente 75/18s, and Anchovy's personal command tank, a Carro Armato P 40.

"Platoon, halt!" Miho called out. "Enemy sighted! Line up your shots and fire!"


This time, it was Miho to get the drop on Anchovy's forces instead of the other way around, with the StuG III and M3 Lee opening fire almost immediately, spitting 37mm and 75mm rounds in the general direction of the enemy. Hana took a little more care than her trigger-happy comrades, waiting for the tank to settle completely before lining up her shot. Yukari rammed a HEAT round into the breech of the Panzer's cannon and closed it, readying the weapon for firing. "It's your call, Hana," she said.

Hana smirked slightly as she fired the gun, sending the HEAT round sailing in an arc right through the P 40's frontal turret armor and down into the cramped confines of the crew compartment, grievously injuring Anchovy and the rest of her crew and just barely missing the ammo storage. Two simultaneous and direct hits to the frontal armor from the the StuG and M3 's 75mm guns broke through shortly afterwards, causing catastrophic spalling as the plates shattered and the rivets tore loose, taking the lead tank out of the fight by taking out the crew. Yukari rammed another HEAT shell into the breech and closed it, readying the gun for another go as Hana lined up a shot at one of the Semovente 75/18s. A second simultaneous salvo rang out from the StuG and M3, smashing through the other Semovente's frontal armor with contemptuous ease and leaving Hana free to take her shot. The KwK 37 L/24 belched forth another HEAT round from its stubby barrel towards the hapless assault gun, lancing through the frontal armor and right into the crew compartment with even more devastating results than the previous effort against the P 40. With the heavy armor now disabled, the StuG and M3 charged forward in a bid to run down the now-helpless L3/35s, not wanting to waste their ammo on such inconsequential targets as these. Upon seeing these juggernauts rapidly approaching them, the L3/35 crews wisely chose to abandon their vehicles and surrender, knowing that they would at best be but mere speedbumps.

The sections of Anchovy's forces that had initially run into Kay and Darjeeling likewise met their ends quickly. Rapid and accurate salvos from the 2-pounders of Darjeeling's Matildas quickly reduced the lighter armor surrounding the Semovente to crippled hulks, leaving the beleaguered assault gun at the mercy of the Churchill Mk VII, its 75mm gun, and its obscenely thick hull front armor; faced wth an unwinnable fight, the crew of this particular Semovente made the same decision as the tankette crews that went up against Miho and promptly surrendered. Kay, however, would have none of that. Faced with an assault gun that could potentially take out her own tank with a well-aimed HEAT round of its own, she ordered her gunners to terminate all enemies currently facing them with extreme prejudice. The characteristic report of the Firefly's 17-pounder gun rang out across the dunes, closely followed by the sound of four 76mm M1A1 guns all firing at once, closely followed by the sounds of five enemy vehicles exploding.

"Ha!" Kay exclaimed as the last of the enemy tanks fell. "It's as you said, Darjeeling. Engagement was over in a flash. Barely even a warmup."

"Yet another demonstration of the matchmaker's cruelty," Darjeeling replied. "Indeed, it was over far too quickly for it to really be interesting."

Miho heaved a sigh of contentment, the simple satisfaction of yet another victory in Tankhalla her reward. Whatever money she and her company would earn for this victory was just a bonus. "So, once again, we're victorious. Even if this matchup was a cakewalk compared to our previous battles, you still conducted yourselves well out there, all of you. As long as we all had fun out here and managed to put on a good show for everyone watching, that's what really matters, though I can't really say the same for those unlucky saps who got stuck fighting against us."

"Hear, hear," Yukari said.

"You said it, boss," Saori said.

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2012-12-10 12:48am
by Zor
Randian Defense Forces ship Thomas Paine, 3.4 LY from Randia

From his bridge, Commodore Vernon Adam Smith watched his formation of ships and the enemy convoy. At his command was his frigate, two assault corvettes, three torpedo corvettes, six armed freighters and seven fighters. Thirty six transports with an escort of three Gladius frigates and four scuntum corvettes. In the past month, he had heard of several valiant last stands against Imperial forces, though he would have none of it. Here he had a chance of victory, if nowhere near a certainty. His fleet, two loose formation entered position along the flanks. They had slowly approached and gone through a few torpedo salvos, in no small help to his fighter crews.

"Fire first salvo!" he ordered. With that, Thirteen medium ranged of various calibers were launched speeding out. He waited for twenty seconds seconds. "Fire second salvo!" That order sent off fifty nine short range missiles, these had a higher acceleration rate over this comparatively short distance. They rapidly closed in on their target, everyone on board this ragtag fleet was tense in the following six minutes before then and, hopefully impact. Three and a half minutes in they were met by counter missiles. In the last thirty seconds, point defense laser fire swiped away most of there numbers, but in total six of them impacted. Two frigates had been targeted. The shields on board the Imperial ships were awash with energy from the impacts.

One of the Frigates was down, the other was scarred by the experienced, but was still operational. The Commodore sighed, it was not as bad as he feared, but neither as good as he hoped. "Torpedo Corvettes fall back to secondary positions. Everyone else get into energy range, Flank speed, target the damaged frigate with everything!"

The rest of the craft pressed onward converging onto there marks closing the distance as fast as they could without breaking ranks. They had one shot at this, they were not going to blow it. Meanwhile systems were checked and rechecked for the coming bout of close combat. Against what he had hoped, the Frigates did not hold formation, but broke off towards the two converting groups, leaving only the corvettes in escort. The unscathed one towards the flank with the Thomas Paine on it, the damaged one to the smaller formation. It made sense, instead of letting them bring down all there fire on the damaged craft at once engage them piecemeal.

The Imperials got off the first volley and in both cases focused it on refitted cargo ship. Slow ungainly targets that had been hastily adapted to military service. In both cases it was hard enough to short out shields. A second volley followed soon after. With that, two ships had been subtracted from the fleet. One was rendered inoperable as it's crew ditched it in lifepods and shuttles which made a B-line out of range, the other exploded. The third volley was less successful. The damaged ship targeted a corvette while the less damaged frigate targeted the Thomas Paine. In both cases they were able to make a last second sharp adjustment on their heading and only one beam managed a shield hit on the Paine. Soon afterwards, the Randian Fleet made it's response.


A set of civilian and ex-military beam cannons opened up in one massive salvo. The heaviest was the Paine's spinal mounted Graser, though it's two turrets did their job as well in this case. The other craft fired as well. Imperial ships were ungainly but they were built to take a beating. However, he lost the advantage that he hoped to have of being able to focus everything he had at one craft at a time. While the enemy's counter fire was more intense, it was shooting at targets much more fragile and as they got closer they had less and less room to dodge. One by one his fleet lost ships. A refitted cargo craft, a corvette. While the damaged frigate did loose shields and took a beating, it dished it out and charged forth. It was close, but it was clear who won that fight, it then turned around to the convoy.

"Tactical Retreat." He ordered bitterly. His formation then broke off and accelerated away from the two frigates as fast as possible. The two ships perused. His flagship took a beating and the shields were brought down, but he managed to clear them and get to a safe enough distance to Jump. The survivors met up. His frigate, two torpedo corvettes without torpedoes but with life pods and shuttles in tow, one assault corvette, two fighters and a badly damaged armed freighter, as well as a stash of spare parts and a few months worth of Fuel and Food. He knew what that convoy was carrying. Either Imperial Soldiers, Equipment or Robots for the invasion and occupation of Randia. Destroying it would have been a propaganda boon for those back home and would have given them some more time. As far as he knew, he commanded the last remnant of the Randian Fleet and it was not enough to even raid one convoy.

He ordered that his fleet patch up and load up what they could carry, the rest was to be destroyed in 48 hours. They would not have long. They had one hope now, find some foreign support to try to free their homeland.

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2012-12-15 04:39pm
by Shinn Langley Soryu
"Pseudo-North Africa," Tankhalla
Space Viking Territories, Sector J-10

Anchovy had only vague recollections of the immediate aftermath of her defeat at Miho's hands. The last thing she remembered before blacking out due to severe blood loss was being loaded onto a medevac helicopter with the rest of her crew; with the amount of damage that had been inflicted on her tank, it had been a minor miracle that any of them had managed to survive at all. Once they had reached the field hospital, the doctors and nurses immediately set to work on their new patients, doing their best to patch them up with the supplies they had on hand. Sadly, though, most of the injured personnel that Miho, Kay, and Darjeeling were able to pull from the battlefield were already too far gone by the time the first medevac choppers came; some passed away while still in triage, others succumbed to their wounds while in transit, and still others survived the trip to the field hospital only to die on the operating table. Somehow, some way, Anchovy still managed to pull through despite the severity of her injuries, surviving the initial round of meatball surgery and the subsequent follow-up procedures meant to patch her up completely. Once all was said and done, she found herself in a hospital bed, along with those few of her fellow tankers who had survived the slaughter. As she slowly regained consciousness, she tried to get a sense of her new surroundings amidst a painkiller-induced haze. She could just barely make out a pair of muffled voices speaking, as well as the blurry faces of two blonde-haired women standing over her...

"...Looks like Sleeping Beauty's starting to wake up."

"Thank Haruhi and Madoka. I was starting to think we'd lose another one."

Anchovy groaned loudly as her senses gradually returned. "...Where am I? Who are you people?" she asked groggily.

"You're finally awake, good," one of the blondes remarked. "I'm Kay, and that's Darjeeling," she continued, gesturing towards her companion accordingly. "You're currently at our tank clan's field hospital. For a while there, we were afraid you were gonna end up as fish meal like so many of your fellow tankers, but it looks like you'll be all right."

"It was that bad of a slaughter?" Anchovy asked. "How many of them made it?"

"Some of them surrendered outright, and while we tried to save as many of the injured as we could, most of them were already too far gone for us to do anything," Darjeeling said. "My deepest apologies, and my deepest condolences. We will see that the deceased receive proper burials and that their families are duly notified."

"No, don't... don't apologize," Anchovy said. "How could I have been so arrogant to think I'd have a chance against the great Miho Nishizumi and her clan? The decimation of my clan is rightfully my fault. I accepted the offer from the matchmakers to go up against you, and I paid the price for my hubris." She heaved a heavy sigh as she tried to hold back the tears that were starting to well up in her eyes. "I feel... I feel terrible, I really do. What am I going to do now, given that I pretty much no longer have a clan to lead?"

"...Well, you could try joining up with us," Kay suggested. "We can retrain you and the other survivors of your clan to run some of our spare tanks, and you can ride with us in future matches. We got a bunch of spare Shermans and some other stuff waiting in the motor pool if you're interested."

"...Go to work for the very same people who killed most of my comrades?" Anchovy asked incredulously. "Please forgive me if I find your offer a bit hard to swallow."

"Most people in Tankhalla would have just left you out there to die at Sand River," Darjeeling said. "I even know of some tankers who would have taken the extra opportunity to dismount and execute you and any other survivors in person. Indeed, it's unusual for Tankhalla's gladiators to spare the lives of their opponents. Even in the event of a successful base capture, the victorious party almost always takes the extra time and effort to hunt down and kill any enemy stragglers. Even if alloted time has run out, matches will effectively go into overtime as both sides will continue to fight until one or the other is completely destroyed. Sure, it earns you extra money and earns additional ratings for our pseudo-Norse overseers, but that is not how we conduct ourselves. We recognize that this is a sport, as barbaric as it may be, and as such, we harbor no ill will towards our adversaries. Fatalities may be an inevitability in this line of work, but we gladly extend the hand of friendship to those fortunate ones who survive."

"In fact, much of our fighting strength is made up of opposing tankers we've defeated in the past," Kay added. "A lot of them had nowhere else to go after their old clans were wiped out by less scrupulous opponents, and they remembered the kindness we had shown to them in the past, so they signed on with us." A brief pause. "How about it, then? Will you just give up and surrender now, or will you join us and continue to fight the good fight?"

Several seconds of silence passed as Anchovy tried to come to a decision. "I'll... I'll think about it," she finally replied.

Meanwhile, in another part of Miho's encampment...

"Hello, Sodoko. How are your minions doing?"

"Damn it, Captain Reizei! How many years has it been already?! You will address me as Major Sono!"

"Calm down, Sodoko. We're no longer in the Corps. You can pull the stick out of your ass now."

"Once a Marine, always a Marine, Captain Reizei! Show some respect for your seniors!"

"Stand down, Major Sono. Always remember that respect has to be earned first," Miho interjected firmly, defusing the standoff that had been brewing between Mako and the newest arrivals to the clan, Major (ret.) Midoriko "Sodoko" Sono and her two eerily identical-looking lackeys, Captain (ret.) Moyoko "Gomoyo" Goto and Captain (ret.) Nozomi "Pazomi" Konparu. "So, what brings you and your friends here to Tankhalla, Midoriko? Civilian life not working out for you?"

"My apologies, Major Nishizumi," Sodoko replied sheepishly. "Civilian life did work out for a while, but..."

"But what, Midoriko?"

"Civilian life just felt so... empty, so unfulfilling, so... tedious. I heard of how Tankhalla was always recruiting former military personnel to participate in its games, and sure enough, I heard of your exploits. I called up a few of my old colleagues, and next thing we knew, we were headed here. We requested a place in your clan, and we received it."

"Saori, Hana, Yukari, any of you know anything about this?" Miho asked her subordinates. "Given Mako's history with Midoriko, she couldn't have been the one to approve the request."

"Uh, I was the one who approved the clan membership requests of Major Sono and her subordinates, Miho," Hana finally replied. "At the time, we still needed a crew for that Char B1 bis we picked up prior to our fight against Anchovy, and they were pretty much the only options we had."

"I guess that settles that, then," Miho said. "Yukari, if you'd be so kind as to show Major Sono and her friends the ropes? Introduce them to their new ride, help them get familiarized with it, maybe reacquaint them with some old faces among the rest of the company? If you need any of us, I'll be in the infirmary, while Saori, Hana, and Mako will be in the command tent."

"You got it, Miporin!" Yukari replied enthusiastically as she ran up to Sodoko and her minions and jauntily saluted them. Sodoko, Gomoyo, and Pazobi returned the salute simultaneously and cleanly. "So, let me take a few moments to show you to your new ride..." Yukari continued as she started to guide the three new arrivals over to the motor pool.


Posted: 2012-12-15 06:19pm
by Simon_Jester
Part ••••
Elysian Hero-Trireme Far-Go
Lumbering About*
In Interesting Times**

*Sector U-21
**Mid-January, 3300

Gentle listeners, imagine for yourselves the discontented, thunderous brow of laborious Ferricles, arch-craftsman! For even an artisan on this ship of heroes was a warrior of renown, aye, Ferricles the Smith, blessed of Hephulcan, god of craftsmen, that his every working might be priceless like the sunstones of Herkaloo XVIII, and yet blessed enough of Mares, god of war, that he did once headbutt a minotaurian mutoid with such force that it did COLLAPSE, lowing in dismay rather than goring him with its mighty horns.

"What do you mean there isn't any good timber on this planet?"

Quadroptolemus the hyperfarmer, tiller of granite-fields and of seas, spread his hands. "Grime-fingered and resourceful friend, it is that simple! This world resides in some youthful, archaic and proterozoic eon the likes of which know neither men, nor the beasts of the field, nor even the lizard-tyrants of yore. There are no trees, nor yet shrubs, nor even mossy and pseudo-edible growths that may be gathered as mushrooms! Even the fishes of the deeps here are too small to be seen with the eye, and must be strained like Feeglonian micro-anchovies with nets of the finest cloth. Can you then make us a mainmast out of stones and algae?"

"Maybe if I had..." And then did the turbosmith shake his great and shaggy-bearded head. "Nay."

"Then there is nothing for it. We refill our water-casks and move on. At least this planet is more hospitable than the Blutonic ice-worlds, the cratered and roundish stones of space, or that lava-planet we saw, the one that reminds me of Zorchixaz XII. I will go ask the navigator where we are going. We will find more lumber for your carpentronicians soon enough."

"I hope so, for I am most weary of rowing."

The Other End Of The Ship

"That way."

"Why so?"

"Ever since our meeting with the Sheep-Squeezer merchantman have we kept out a watch on the techno-oracularies, and on the antenna of Ferricles, to hear what paracosmic and pangalactic vibrations might inform us of this strange and foreign continuum we now occupy. We have heard that which is strange unto us, such as the mysterious borking of remote arcadian paradise-nations, the howls of what can only be arctic star-mooses, and even the roars of dread nebular dragons. But of late, one of the cabin-boys thinks he has perceived a more familiar and friendly transmission!"

"Fellow Elysians?"

"Alas, nay. But they sound much like unto the strange and comely nymphs we met after our battle with the kraken..."

"Excellent! Surely the nymphs will be able to explain what has happened! Yea, after the spacequake, I am sure you wish for rest and recreation among their paradise-worlds and friendly bowers as much as I!"

"Indeed. General Stronggo directed us most forcefully to travel along galactic south, that we may find this new land of star-nymphs and see what can be seen..."

Chamarran patrol craft Ick! Wet! Cold!
Yarnith System, Sector V-22
Late January 3300

"Ma'am, there's a stringfreighter signaling us. They're being hassled by some kind of very strange ship. It's fairly light, but sensor readings off it are bizarre."

"Of course. Helm, plot a course, and let's get some intel from the defensenet drones. What are we looking at? Some bunch of human pirates?"

"I'm focusing the sensors right now. The Very Curious Array should be reporting back as soon as we get the 'scopes synchronized... here."

Like this, only without the mast.
Hero-Trireme Far-Go


"Milord, surely have we already hailed the nymphs. And endlessly they repeat 'my string! Mine! You can't have any! Go away!'


"...Ah. A moment, oh iron-headed and indomitable overgeneral." Then did the junior smith-boy RETUNE the speaking-tube of the mighty communiculator, and then did the mighty son of IRONBEEF bespeak this new war-vessel of the long-tailed and ever-mewing starnymphs!


Ick! Wet! Cold!
Baffled By Weirdness

"He's awfully loud, turn down the volume."

"I did, ma'am, he's not only loud, he's loud on all possible volume settings. Including mute. You can't hear him, but he still... feels loud then."

The little patrol boat's captain frowned. "Who are these people? And how does a spaceship run on oars?"

Detectormaiden Mralla growled slightly in confusion, and tapped the long-range telescope feed with a slim finger. "I think they must be some kind of mutant space Hellenes. WEIRD Hellenes. Poking around our star systems, ma'am!"

"You're probably right. Screw that, then, I'm firing a thermonuke as a warning shot and telling them to heave to. Get ready for missile telemetry!"

Hero-Trireme Far-Go

Behold the hero-band, as they prepare for battle! Harken to the mighty voice of Stentor, loudest of Elysians, from the bow of the great stargalley: "A SPACEDART APPROACHES! WE ARE BETRAYED!"

Then did STRONGGO, murderizer of Malmydons, bellow his command! "HELMSMAN, HARD TO PORT! SHIELDS UP!"

At this did the great vessel yaw and roll in the void under the beat of the drummer! At this did the hero-trireme's crew RAISE their SHIELDS, snatching them up from between the rowing benches and making to hide behind them, as from a hail of sun-darkening PERSIAN rocketbullets! But the sun was not darkened by the approach of this blazing missile! Nay, for it did burst like a great star, a nova, a DARK SUN of evil, of unknown and baleful malice, menace, and mightitude!

"Full fifty leagues abeam, milord!"


Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2012-12-18 09:12am
by Force Lord
Grand Palace of the Centrality, Centrum
Unreal Time/Early 3300

"What the hell is all this rubbish?", said a tall, thin man seated in a black chair. "Are you meaning to tell me the Army Chief of Staff is having an affair with some low-life woman?"

"It appears to be so, sir," responded a black-coated, fierce-looking agent. "He intends to marry a deep-city harlot. He is aware but does not care."

"Son of a bitch! Chiefs of Staff aren't supposed to hang out with such rifraff! I'll have him hanged!", the thin man shouted.

"Sire, perhaps that won't be neccessary. We can simply use the press to justifiably reveal the stain upon his honor, and then you can dispose of him however you wish."

"And the Army?"

"They will be too stuck up in their own peculiar morality code to offer solidarity, Mr. Enduvos."

"Oh, I'm sure. Get the Secretary of Propaganda on the horn! We have to act decisively...!"

The Central Times


Our great officer staff has been lain low by the deviance of one of its top chiefs.

The Chief of Staff of the Central Army, Field Marshal Jeddak Barsoom, has been caught in an affair with a woman that, the CSB has discovered, has had a rather unwholesome past.

It appears that this woman, in her younger days, allowed herself to be used for an underground pornography magazine, and has also been recorded commiting lewd acts in porn movies. It is also known that she worked as a prostitute for some time in the seedy deep-city areas of Centrum. The money she earned in such unbecoming conduct led her to take on a more respectable facade as a secretary for the Army, and in that capacity met the Chief of Staff of that body. It appears the Field Marshal was smitted with her, for he later offered marriage, completely aware of what she had done beforehand!

Such conduct cannot stand, citizens! The military is not a haven for scum and debauchery, but represents some of the best and most rightgeous of human beings the Centrality can offer. No military officer should act in such a sad way as the Field Marshal has done. To do so would be beneath the common honor, a violation of the oath they gave the day of their recruitment. It would impact morale, it would affect discipline, for if the leaders are shown to be false men, the subordinates will feel that they own their masters nothing. Centralism would be ruined by the follies of the elite and the disorder of the commons.

It is not yet known how the Central Government will respond, but one thing is clear. Such conduct as the Field Marshal has shown is patently unacceptable. If he has any good sense left, he must resign his post, leave the Army, and never again show his face to any proper citizen. That is how those who lose our trust must be treated. The Centrality accepts nothing less.

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2012-12-18 01:39pm
by Simon_Jester
Previously, in the saga of the Elysians...


At this did the great vessel yaw and roll in the void under the beat of the drummer! At this did the hero-trireme's crew RAISE their shields, snatching them up from between the rowing benches and making to hide behind them, as from a hail of sun-darkening PERSIAN rocketbullets! But the sun was not darkened by the approach of this blazing missile! Nay, for it did burst like a great star, a nova, a DARK SUN of evil, of unknown and baleful malice, menace, and mightitude!

"Full fifty leagues abeam, milord!"

Part ••••••••
Hero-Trireme Far-Go
Darting to Battle!*
In Interesting Times**

*Sector V-22
**Late January, 3300

"To the weapons!"


At the rowing benches did the mighty warriors of fair Elysium ply bicep and tricep to speed their vessel on its course, straight into the face of the suddenly belligerent vessel of the beauteous yet ferocitous star-nymphs! Across the deck did the handful of picked artillerists and turbo-besiegers of the hero-ship man the rocketballistae and flame-spewing hydrotomic cannon of their covered galley! Witness the agility of the helmsman as the steering oar flies! Witness the agility of the trireme as spacedart after spacedart is dodged, spiraled, spoofed, perplexed, baffled, bamboozled, and confuserized! Witness Stentor, from the bow, cry out!


Nay, for this great projectile of the void, more clever or more fortunate than the others in its Achillean quest for fiery glourious demise, would be gulled NOT, and evaded SELDOM!

And yet even as it barreled towards the great tagonists of this saga, both pro- and amateur, all was not lost, for Phylonctetes the arch-archer stood ready! Like unto the generally dynamic PHALANX of the Spacemericans, steel-domed was his head and keen were his sensories! His defensiveness was mighty, like even unto the keepers of goals among the Batavians, whose caliber is LARGE and who do SMITE away even the great bombdiscuses of the legionaries with their wooden-shod feet! Aye, was his weapon both close-in and systematic in its marksmanship! Phylonctetes did draw his mighty bow and loose an arrow of unsurpassed pointiness and velocity, at speeds unknown and unknowable to those who shared not his divine grandcestry! Thus did he SLAY the hurtling missile of the void, smiting the dread torpedo which the nymphs so impudently directed against his hero-comrades!

After this insult the Elysians stood not idle! The picked besiegermen had spent this time not in TORPOR, but in activity, and now they readied their own weapons for a mighty counterattack! Behold blizzards of barrages blared from baleful rocketballistae! Amazing assaults of armamentations avalanched from heroically hypercharged heavy hydrotomic catapults!

Chamarran patrol craft Ick! Wet! Cold!
Yarnith System, Sector V-22
Late January 3300

"First salvo spent. Two lost to enemy point defense, the rest lost lock."

"Fire the aft tubes-"


"Forward barriers at point nine five-"


"-make that point seven five. Target is closing fast."

"Engage with beamcannon! Target their propulsion system!"

"Gunners report that their propulsion system keeps waving around in space. They're not easy targets... OK, some of them are on fire now."

"Good. Keep on- wait, is that the... oars, or the... rowers?"

"They're not sure either, ma'am. The enemy is still approaching."


"Burnthrough, penetration on Emitter Two. Engineering has the APU routed to forward barriers, up and holding now. Enemy vector... ma'am, I don't think they're going to stop!"

"Target is closing fast!"

"Fire everything at them! No wait that's my lunch- hell, fire that too!"

Hero-Trireme Far-Go
Only Slightly on Fire!

"Retrieve those hyper-oars!"

"Cabin-boy, fetch the water-buckets, ere the oars are HARMED!"

"Crispus is wounded!"

"I shall fetch water for him too, master!"


And mighty STRONGGO, marshaller of fields and conqueror of worlds, gestured once more with his mighty spear, at the blinded flame-eye of the nymphs' warcraft! Swiftly forward, fearlessly onward, crackling technosorceries charring the great trireme's quasi-timbers and gleaming off its adamantine-shod prow! Ahead, into the very teeth of the unhostlike ship that had greeted them not with hails of comradeship, nor stuporific beverages, nor noble feasts, but with treacherous and obnoxious bombardment!

Again at the last moment did the great-thewed rowers BACK UP, slowing the hurtling impetus of their vessel that it might not shatter itself on the foe's hull, nor yet EMBED itself irretrievably within their steel! The great shocking crunch of ram on hullpanel echoed through the aether, great enough to ENFORCE sound even in the depths of Neptridon's void!

Ick! Wet! Cold!
Yarnith System

We're all going to dieee... Captain Simrilli made her peace with the mysteries, expecting her ship to be utterly destroyed by the intruder's suicide run. What could possess even war-crazy Hellenes to do such a thing?


"Hull breach in Sector Four!"

"Security alert! Boarding party in Sector Four!"

Wait what?



Again did ROCK STRONGGO point the way with his spear! Again did his men obey, leaping into action aboard the nymphs' vessel, bedecked with sword, rocketjavelin, bombdiscus, and all the other armamentations fit to grace the forms of Elysian heroes, DISDAINING protection other than their most noble shields, as is proper in combat against merely mortal or quasimortal foes!

Forward! Onward! Swiftly did the metahoplites LEAP into the very hull of the nymphs' vessel, following the general's forthright yet wily tactics!

Yarnith System defense HQ
Several Minutes Later

"Patrol Command reports that the intruder somehow dodged Ick! Wet! Cold!'s missile barrage and... rammed them, ma'am."

The admiral hissed at the image of a patrol boat torn into confetti by a space-velocity collision... "A kamikaze, then?"

"Er... no. Ma'am, I can't be reading this right, it says they rammed and boarded. The crew is still fighting, reporting that the enemy is definitely some kind of, ah, mutant Hellenes on steroids."




By this time, the signals lieutenant was worried enough to wonder if she should raise a hand and wave it back and forth in her mistress' face. Then the silence broke.

"Order a platoon of the ready mecha-company to prepare for a bounceport, we'll get a flying column to them soon enough."

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2013-01-01 01:07am
by Shinn Langley Soryu
"Pseudo-North Africa," Tankhalla
Space Viking Territories, Sector J-10

The motor pool of Miho's clan provided a good demonstration of the sheer variety of tanks and other combat armor available to Tankhalla's warriors, with historical vehicles from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan all represented in one form or another. New vehicles were constantly arriving on a regular basis, and as Yukari led Sodoko and her companions to their new ride, they passed by some of the other new arrivals: A Crusader, a Cromwell, a Type 3 Chi-Nu, a spare Panzer 38(t) chassis in the process of being converted into a Hetzer, and (last but certainly not least) a Porsche Tiger. Yukari took the time to greet the maintenance crew working on the Porsche Tiger. "Hey, ladies! How's the Tiger treating you?"

"Well, we had another engine fire when we tried taking it out for a test run earlier today. A true marvel of German engineering if there ever was one," lead mechanic Nakajima replied nonchalantly, tacking on some sarcasm at the very end. "Still wondering why we couldn't just spring for a regular Henschel Tiger in the first place, but we gotta work with what we have, and we'll make this hunk of junk work, mark my words."

"I'll talk to you ladies after dinner tonight," Yukari said. "I gotta take the new recruits to their assigned tank."

"Alright, see you then," Nakajima replied, waving as Yukari and her companions walked off.


After another minute of passing along a column of Shermans and Matildas, Yukari, Sodoko, Gomoyo, and Pazomi arrived at their destination: A fully-upgraded and fully-outfitted Char B1 bis, painted in a tasteful and practical gray-green color scheme. Upon looking at the machine, though, Sodoko's expression grew even more sour than usual. "Wait a moment, that's the scrap pile we're driving?" she asked.

"I've spent some time with it, and it ain't that bad," Yukari replied. "The 75mm howitzer can put a significant amount of hurt on anything unfortunate enough to pass in front of you, and the 47mm's decent enough at poking holes in lighter opponents. All in all, it makes a good ambusher and support tank. A bit sluggish on the move, though, so make sure you have a good escort with you if you have to change positions. Just make sure to acquaint yourselves with the operating manual from cover to cover, and please try to get some time driving the tank around and testing out the weapons for yourselves before the next match if you can. If you want answers to your questions, don't hesitate to ask any of us. Hana's got great tips on how to improve your gunnery skills, and Mako does have a few handy driving tricks, even if she'll just tell you to read the manual again."

Sodoko grimaced at the prospect of having to defer to Mako on anything. "...I'll make sure to remember that, then," she said.

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2013-01-18 06:53pm
by Shinn Langley Soryu
The Queen of the Drifting Snows
"Pseudo-Russia," Tankhalla
Space Viking Territories, Sector J-10


The region designated "Pseudo-Russia" by the organizers of Tankhalla was characterized mainly by wide open plains and gently rolling hills interspersed with small forests and the occasional deliberately ruined conurbation. However, as one went further and further north, the climate gradually transitioned from temperate to boreal, with the terrain giving way to rugged mountains, dense coniferous forests, semi-frozen marshes and bogs, and wide expanses of ice and snow that never quite melted fully even in the summer months. Despite the general hostility of the environment towards armored operations, battles still took place on a regular basis in the northern expanses of Pseudo-Russia, where tankers whispered a single name with equal amounts of fear and reverence: Katyusha.

Katyusha and Nonna in the field, date unknown

The woman known as "Katyusha" to the rest of Tankhalla had been a Major in the SOS Imperial Guard, though that was long ago. While she met most of the physical requirements for military service in the Holy Empire, she was immediately relegated to a position in the Adjutant General's Corps after graduating from the academy, as her diminutive stature prevented her from holding an actual, honest-to-Haruhi front-line combat position. She loathed and resented being a desk jockey, a rear echelon motherfucker, a pogue, a fobbit, whatever other terms existed for a soldier of her unenviable position. While the rest of the Guard and the Marines were busy putting down the Locusts on Sera and suppressing Belkan and Zeonic revanchism, she was busy pushing papers and making coffee. After retiring from the Guard in the early 3380s, she was now free to seek out the front-line action she desired on her own terms, as a private military contractor. As a contractor, she worked with a wide variety of organizations, most notably the anti-Imperium resistance groups operating in the "Special Reconstructional Zones," the Rimland Liberation Front, and the Independent Spinward Republic; while she mostly worked as an advisor, there were still many occasions when she found herself out on the front lines and under fire, where she conducted herself just as gallantly as any other member of the SOS Imperial Guard infantry would. With the final defeat of the Browncoats in 3292 and the gradual decline of open armed resistance in Rimland and the Special Reconstructional Zones throughout the 3290s, she eventually moved her operations to the Volscian Confederacy, where by sheer chance she had an encounter with Tankhalla recruiters, who were busy seeking out any and all interested individuals to take part in their games. She eagerly and gladly took them up on their offer, only to be disappointed when she found that she was going to be stuck behind the scenes yet again, handling the logistics and other administrative work for a tank clan.

Fate continued to smile on Katyusha, however. After settling in Tankhalla, she found out that the leader of the clan she was working for was an old friend from the academy, an armor and artillery officer who now went by the alias "Nonna." Nonna was all too happy to oblige her old friend's request to drive a tank of her own in combat despite not having any armored warfare training, which was par for the course on Tankhalla; however, while most Tankhalla gladiators had to work their way up from "starter" tanks like the MS-1, Katyusha was jumping right into the action in a stock T-34/76. Katyusha's first battle was not expected to go well for her, but she immediately proceeded to shatter those expectations by taking out six enemy tanks by herself, earning the much-coveted "Top Gun" award; subsequent engagements proved to be just as productive, with Katyusha, Nonna, and their fellow tankers all racking up the kills and the awards and keeping the cash flowing into their coffers. With Katyusha taking Nonna's place at the helm and subsequently becoming the public face of the clan, the clan's inventory rapdily expanded from a rag-tag force of T-34/76s, low-tier Soviet armor (T-26, T-46, BT series, A-20, T-28, SU-76), and assorted Lend-Lease tanks (M3 Stuart, M3 Lee, M4 Sherman, Tetrarch, Valentine, Matilda, Churchill III) to include, among many other examples of Soviet armor, T-34/85s, KV-2s (all fitted with the dreaded 152mm "derp gun," of course), and even a few IS-2s. While Katyusha earned most of the fame and glory for the clan, Nonna was still renowned in her own right for being a peerless markswoman, winning countless long-range gunnery duels and picking off scores of hapless enemies from beyond their engagement range with the 122mm gun on her fully-upgraded IS-2. It wasn't long before the icy wastes of northern Pseudo-Russia fell before Katyusha's onslaught, and once she consolidated her hold over her newly-won territories, she began accepting challenges from and issuing challenges to other tank clans, agreeing to relinqush her control over the north if they could defeat her clan. Of course, Katyusha had no real intent of actually giving up the northern expanses; the rest of Pseudo-Russia may have been an open battlefield with territories constantly being passed from one clan to another, but the north undeniably belonged to her, and she'd be damned if she'd allow it to fall to just anyone.


Tonight, Katyusha and her minions were busy taking care of the latest group of upstarts with designs on the northern expanses. Her standard play was to offer up a token force of her weakest tanks (usually T-34/75s) as bait to draw the enemy into traps of her own design, such as tank destroyers buried in the snow overlooking important routes and SPGs ready to fire at pre-sighted coordinates. As the majority of Tankhalla's gladiators had only a tenuous grasp of tactics and coordination at best, Katyusha could consistently play her challengers like puppets every single time, and tonight's battle was certainly no exception to this trend.

Almost like clockwork, the enemy tanks went right for the bait laid out for them, with minor exchanges of fire taking place and a few minor losses on both sides. Once the surviving bait tanks started their withdrawal, the enemy invariably followed them right into Katyusha's traps; SU-100s and ISU-152s buried in snowdrifts ripped through the flanks of unwary tanks like hot knives through butter, while SU-8s, S-51s, and SU-14s parked well away from the action rained death from above, inflicting grievous damage against anything standing within their designated kill zones. With the enemy suitably softened up and disorganized, Katyusha's main force made its move, sending in the fast movers to flank and encircle while the heavy mob made its push. While the enemy dealt with the very real threats of Nonna's IS-2 and its KV-2 backup hammering them from the front, they also had to contend with T-34s swarming them on the sides and rear, with Katyusha's own T-34/85 leading the way; enemy tanks that weren't picked off by Nonna or outright obliterated by the KV-2s found themselves chewed up and spit out by the combined efforts of the T-34 mob. Once the enemy's main force was neutralized, Katyusha pretty much considered the battle won, though she always made sure to split off a few T-34s to hunt down enemy SPGs and any other stragglers.

Upon receipt of the news that the last enemy had been neutralized, Katyusha got on the radio to her fellow tankers. "Comrades, I must congratulate you once more on a job well done! The mission went off without a hitch, and we accomplished our objectives quickly and efficiently with minimal casualties on our side. As always, I am proud to have fought alongside all of you. Keep up the great work!"

Later, back at Katyusha's HQ...

"...Sure, we're putting on a great show for those Norsemen, but don't you think this is all starting to get a bit... tiresome?" Nonna asked.

"I know, I know," Katyusha replied. "There just isn't enough actual challenge in this anymore. Sure, there were a few genuinely interesting fights back when we first started this whole deal, but for the most part, it's just gotten so... routine, I guess. I fear the ladies are starting to get soft and complacent. We need a real foe to fight, one that'll really get the blood pumping, y'know?"

"How about challenging Itsumi's clan again?"

Katyusha scoffed loudly as she stuck a spoon into an open jar of grape jam and started eating. "That stuck-up jarhead bitch and her retinue of bootlickers? Please," she said, her words interspersed with eating noises. "We rolled her over once, we can easily do it again. You gotta think harder, Nonna."

"How many times do I need to remind you not to talk with your mouth full?" Nonna interjected. She then sighed as she started to review print copies of clan dossiers. "Anyway..." she began, only to trail off as her eyes fell on one particular dossier. "...I think we may have found our next opponent after all. Does the name 'Miho Nishizumi' mean anything to you?"

Upon hearing that name, Katyusha immediately stopped eating and set her jar of jam down on the table. "Yes, of course that name means something to me," she replied. "I've heard a lot of great things about her prowess as a tanker. She may very well be the worthy opponent we're looking for."

"Oh, it gets better," Nonna continued. "Looks like Ms. Nishizumi absorbed Kay and Darjeeling's clans into her own not long after they were defeated by us. We'll be going up against opponents who are familiar with our known tactics."

"Guess I'll have to dig a little deeper into the old playbook and pull out some of my dirtier tricks, then," Katyusha said. "I'm definitely liking where this is going. Looks like we've found our worthy foe after all." A pause. "Draft up the invitations and make sure to send a notice to the producers! This'll be one for the record books!" Another pause. "Also, while you're at it, can you go down to the commissary and get me some bread and peanut butter? I really want a PB&J sandwich."

"Right away, ma'am."

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2013-01-18 09:13pm
by Skywalker_T-65
Arcadian Battletanks
Pseudo-Germany, Tankhalla
Space Viking Territory, Sector J-10


Like many areas on Tankhalla, Pseudo-Germany resembled a part of Earth. In this case, it was Germany, at the greatest territorial extent it reached in the Second World War. Several battlegrounds existed in the territory, but one thing was common to them. They were all under the control of the Arcadian Clan. This clan was built around Arcadians and Furlings who had traveled to Tankhalla to take part in their 'cousins' games.

Since Pseudo-Sweden was off-limits, the Arcadians had taken the next best area, in the form of Pseudo-Germany. And they had quickly established why no-one else had attempted to retake it since...they were the best tankers in the area. At the moment, the main force of the Clan was relaxing outside one of the few (more or less) intact cities in Pseudo-Germany.

"Man, there isn't any challenge anymore! Why can't we be in P-Russia or North Africa? At least there are some good fights down there!!" Hans Brumner complained, as he leaned against his VK-3002DB.

"Stop complaining and learn to appreciate the down time Hans," Sans Kabana said, his Furling blue skin sticking out against the dull grey of his own tank, a PzKpfw III.

Hans glared at his 'friend', "Oh shut it. Just because you Furlings don't need the challenge doesn't mean we don't! Even the Vikings understand that!"

Sans just shrugged, and went back to eating his meal. The two men were sitting inside the main motor pool, surrounded by predominately German and Russian tanks, with a couple British and French vehicles mixed in. Right now, they didn't have a whole lot to do. None of the nearby tankers bothered to attack lately, and it led to a very boring existence for the Arcadian/Furling group.

Of course, that was about to change...

"We just got word from the producers! A bunch of faqana Viking's are challenging us! We have some time to prepare, so get to it!!" the Furling second in command of the Clan called out, letting a bit of his native tongue out.

"FINALLY!" Hans shouted, jumping up to the drivers hatch of his DB.

A steadily growing roar announced the fact that the AC tanks were starting their engines, and moving to pre-determined posts. The heavy hitters (a T-150 driven by the Commandant, a pair of KV-1S tanks armed with the dreaded 122, and a couple each of Churchill VII's and BDR G1B's) moved to the north, and took up positions on that part of the city, with the T-150 covering the large (and crumbling) gate in the center.

The TD's (mostly Hetzers) took up posts on both sides of the city, and in bushes that provided them with much needed cover. The mediums (mostly PzIV's and Crusaders, but lead by the second in command's VK-3601 H) roamed around for good places to ambush from. That left the only scout currently being used, a lonely AMX-12t, to go look for the enemy.

"Why is it always me? I knew I should have gone for that T1..." the commander, Adolph Eckerson, muttered as he nearly hit his head on the roof of the shaking tank.

"You say something sir?" the Gunner asked.

Adolph didn't even bother answering. He was exiting the hatch to look for any sign of the enemy formation. So far, he hadn't seen anything. But that didn't last, as a massive blast blew a hole in the ground nearly as big as his tank. The concussive force pushed the 12t to the side somewhat, and nearly blew Adolph out of his tank.

"What the hell?!!" he shouted, before noticing a menacing shape approaching...


Adolph shuddered, "Where in the name of Odin did they get a JagdPz E-100?!"

As they watched, the tank slowly rotated to bring its massive gun to bear on the tiny AMX. Adolph had his driver charge as fast as the scout could go, to get away from that monster. And its escorts, mostly amounting to typical Pseudo-German Tier IV's and V's.

"ARTY!!! Target at grid C-3!!! They have a Jagd 100!!" the radio operator called out, signalling fire from the large artillery pieces hidden behind the town.

As the massive TD finally finished reloading its gun, it was bracketed by fire from the AC arty. Most of the shells were too small, but the volume of fire finally blew the offending monster up. Enraged by that, the enemy tanks chased after the small scout, and right into the guns of the Arcadians. The T-150 and VK-3601/VK-3002 DB leading the charge.
Sometime later:

"Even with that monster they weren't a challenge. Maybe we should move?" one of the command staff suggested.

"I don't want to, but we may have to," the Commandant replied, "We need more tankers though. We can't leave our territory open after all. Send word to Arcadia...we need more men and tanks."

With that settled, the only question was who they would end up fighting next. Hopefully they would provide a real challenge...

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2013-01-21 10:20am
by Shinn Langley Soryu
The Butcher of Black Forest
"Pseudo-Italy," Tankhalla
Space Viking Territories, Sector J-10


While "Pseudo-Germany" was just one section of the greater Pseudo-European area as designated by the organizers of Tankhalla, it was expansive enough that the Arcadian tank clan's conquest of the entire region was certainly no small feat. Of course, it helped the Arcadians that, prior to their conquest, control of the various Pseudo-German territories was divided between numerous clans unable to present a unified front against the invaders. Those that weren't simply absorbed into the Arcadian force structure were pushed out into other areas of Pseudo-Europe, where they came into conflict with other clans who either held or otherwise had plans for those territories. The overwhelming majority of the clans that survived the Arcadian invasion eventually met their ends in their ill-fated attempts to reestablish their footholds in other parts of Pseudo-Europe, but a single one was able to survive and carve out a new domain for itself in the scenic vistas and verdant hills of the northern section of the peninsula designated "Pseudo-Italy."

Erika Itsumi, squeezing the life out of a commemorative Miho Nishizumi doll

This sole survivor of the Arcadian invasion was led by Erika Itsumi, the only tanker feared more than Miho Nishizumi and Katyusha. Like Miho, Erika had once been a tanker with the SOS Imperial Marine Corps with the rank of Major, though the circumstances of her exit from the Corps were far more disgraceful than Miho's. Long ago, both officers, as well as Miho's elder sister Maho Nishizumi, were all implicated in a serious accident during a live-fire training exercise that resulted in the wholesale destruction of an entire tank platoon and the deaths of several other tankers. While Miho voluntarily resigned her commission and Maho was allowed to keep serving in the Corps after being reprimanded, Erika found herself on the receiving end of a court martial and was subsequently found guilty of negligent homicide and destruction of SOS Imperial Armed Forces property, among a litany of other felonies; apart from summary dismissal and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, she was sentenced to 40 years confinement, which she served in its entirety. After her release from prison, Erika became a mercenary to support herself, spending most of of the 3280s working for organizations such as the anti-Imperium resistance groups operating in the "Special Reconstructional Zones," the Rimland Liberation Front, and the Independent Spinward Republic. However, with the final defeat of the Browncoats in 3292 and the gradual decline of open armed resistance in Rimland and the Special Reconstructional Zones throughout the 3290s, she would have eventually found herself out of a job and forced to retire back to the Holy Empire with her savings, but fate had other plans in store for her.

The gladiator world of Tankhalla, located within the domain of the Space Vikings, was always in need of new talent, particularly considering the extremely high attrition rate of participants. In a rare move on their part, the powers that be who ruled Tankhalla actually chose to seek Erika out instead of having her come to them on her own; not only were they familiar with her extensive mercenary career, they knew of her past as a disgraced SOS Imperial Marine Corps tanker, and they sought to capitalize on both her ability and her infamy. Sometime in 3293-3294, Tankhalla recruiters directly approached Erika in the Volscian Confederacy, where she was busy trying to sell her services to the myriad megacorps, PMCs, and criminal groups operating there. Despite her relative successes as an infantrywoman and guerrilla, armored warfare was her true passion, and she gladly took the interstellar Norsemen up on their offer to drive tanks for the amusement of a viewing audience. Thus was the start of a truly profitable relationship... as well as the start of Erika's slide into true psychopathy.

Erika hit the ground running as soon as she entered the staged battlefields of Tankhalla, performing with great distinction in her first few matches at the entry-level tiers; she soon found that she had an affinity for German armor, such as the Leichttraktor, Panzer 35(t), and Panzer II that she used to win those initial victories. Her aggressive and straightforward command style also endeared her well towards the viewing audience, who started watching her featured matches in ever-increasing numbers in order to see how badly she would thrash her opponents; she quickly accumulated a truly impressive combat record for a relative newcomer, with one of her few notable defeats coming at the hands of none other than Katyusha herself. For a time, life was good for Erika, and she thoroughly enjoyed her new life as a tank gladiator... until she found out that Miho Nishizumi was among the many tankers she would have to fight.

At that point, something snapped within Erika. She had been nursing a grudge against Miho ever since she was thrown in prison, and she now had a golden opportunity to finally get even with the woman who had ruined her military career and permanently derailed her life. Of course, there was the matter of the other gladiators on Tankhalla, all of whom had a more or less equal shot at being the one to finally best Miho in combat. Erika saw it as her duty to eliminate these competitors first, as she considered herself to be the only one allowed to defeat Miho. While the Arcadian conquest of Pseudo-Germany certainly screwed up Erika's short-term plans, she was perfectly willing to accept the loss of her territories in Pseudo-Germany as long as she made sure to make the Arcadian scum pay in blood, oil, and steel for every centimeter of ground she gave; every Arcadian tank crew that she eliminated during her fighting retreat from Pseudo-Germany also meant one less potential competitor for Miho to face, and she was still able to make enough of a show of her tactical withdrawal from Pseudo-Germany that it kept the ratings high, her accounts full, and the producers pleased.

However, it was not until the last of her forces had left Pseudo-Germany that Erika became truly murderous. The retreat from Pseudo-Germany now became an advance into the northern regions of Pseudo-Italy, giving Erika and her forces a golden opportunity to loot and pillage while they reestablished their base of operations; with the clans controlling those territories progressively weakened by incursions from other clans exiled from Pseudo-Germany, she took advantage of their collective weakness and systematically crushed them and the exile clans one by one, claiming their territories for herself as she progressed. Most importantly, though, she made it a point during her rampage to permanently eliminate future resistance (and, by extension, potential future enemies of Miho) by subjecting enemy survivors to truly hideous and cruel tortures before executing them, which doubled as a deterrent towards future invaders (as well as a new ratings draw for Tankhalla's producers, who constantly fretted about losing viewership to Scumdogian broadcasters). Of course, there were still those foolish enough to try to dislodge Erika's new hold on northern Pseudo-Italy, but their invading forces met the same fates as the previous owners of the territories, all brutally slaughtered to the last man and woman after their ill-fated offensives were broken. Nobody was going to push Erika around ever again, and nobody was going to stop her from having her revenge against Miho. Nobody.


Today, Erika and her subordinates were busy trying to deal with the latest round of fools who dared trespass on their territory. In battle, Erika could easily call on some of the biggest and baddest examples of German armor to equip herself and her subordinates. Her usual force composition made heavy use of Panthers (some disguised as M10 Wolverines to confuse unwary foes) and Tigers, with Tiger IIs, Panther IIs, and a wide variety of tank destroyers (Dicker Max, Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanther, Jagdpanther II, Ferdinand, Jagdtiger) and self-propelled artillery (Hummel, GW Panther, GW Tiger) as support; she also maintained examples of the Löwe, E-50, E-50M, E-75, E-100, Jagdpanzer E-100, and GW Typ E in her motor pool, though she never really saw the need to utilize such overwhelming firepower against her usual foes. Even her usual force composition would be considered overkill against her latest foes, a mixed mid-tier formation that aped the Arcadian clan's preference for German and Russian vehicles; KV-1s, T-34s, Panzer III/IVs, and Panzer IVs formed the main body of the force, with Wespes, Sturmpanzer IIs, and SU-26s providing artillery support, Panzer IIIs and T-28s pressed into service alongside A-20s and Panzer 38 nAs as scouts due to their speed, and one each of the KV-1S, KV-2, T-150, VK 3001(H), VK 3601(H), and VK 3001(P) as the heavy mob. Not a single one of those hapless tankers ever truly realized what they were getting into, and not a single one of them would live to regret their mistake.

The enemy scout force almost immediately ran headlong into an ambush as they made their advance, with several of Erika's Panthers and tank destroyers waiting for them in the trees. This initial encounter formed a perfect illustration of the sheer disparity between the two forces; the small-caliber cannons on the Panzer IIIs, Panzer 38 nAs, A-20s, and T-28s could do little but scratch the paint on the frontal armor of Erika's vehicles, and their own thin armor provided no protection against the APCR rounds fired from the high-velocity, large-caliber guns that came standard on all of Erika's tanks and tank destroyers. While the scouts were still able to designate Erika's tanks for artillery strikes, the Wespes, Sturmpanzer IIs, and SU-26s showed disappointing results, with their shots consistently failing to have any appreciable effect (assuming they hit in the first place); the scouts were also exposed to Erika's own artillery, which made very short work of the few survivors left standing after the initial salvo from the Panthers and tank destroyers. After the last of the scouts were neutralized, the Panthers and tank destroyers retreated to secondary defensive positions located further back in the line, where they could be supported by the rest of Erika's forces as they waited for the rest of the enemy to make their advance.

With the elimination of their scout force, the enemy chose to play things more cautiously as they inched towards their objective, trying to keep a lookout for any of Erika's forces. Little did the enemy know that Erika could see them coming long before they could see her, and they were now going to learn the hard way about the long-range accuracy of high-tier German tanks in the hands of capable crews. As soon as they got the enemy in their sights, Erika's tanks and tank destroyers all opened fire, picking off the enemy T-34s, Panzer III/IVs, and Panzer IVs at the front of the formation from beyond their own engagement range with surgical precision; this initial tank and tank destroyer salvo was soon followed by a single barrage from Erika's SPGs, which shattered the few survivors of the enemy vanguard with contemptuous ease. The KV-1s and the surviving mediums continued on undeterred, only to meet similar fates as they trudged into the kill zones; however, the KVs took priority this time around, allowing a few Panzer III/IVs, Panzer IVs, and T-34s to slip past after taking a few licks. The GW Tigers had just finished reloading when the enemy's elite force, in all its mismatched glory, finally made its appearance.

Erika observed the remaining enemies' approach through the binocular telescope mounted on her Tiger II. "KV-1S armed with 122mm D-2-5T, KV-2 armed with 152mm howitzer, T-150 armed with 107mm ZiS-6," she muttered to herself. "VKs all armed with 8.8cm guns." A brief pause before she took her eyes from the telescope and turned to her radio operator. "Order the artillery to prioritize the Russian heavies. They must not be allowed to close in under any circumstances. Have the rest of our forces pick off the remaining T-34s and Panzers at their leisure. Save the VKs for last."

The King Tiger radio operator curtly nodded before getting on the horn to relay the orders to the rest of the unit, which were carried out as quickly as they were received. The artillery came to life once more, slamming the hapless KV-1S, KV-2, and T-150 with concentrated fire from all available guns. The enemy formation, or what was left of it, soon degenerated into chaos with the loss of the Russian heavies; the remaining T-34s and Panzers attempted to retreat, only to be picked off at range by Erika's tanks and tank destroyers. Once Erika received confirmation that the last of the T-34s and Panzers had been neutralized, she gave the order for her tanks to charge the now hopelessly outnumbered enemy VKs. With the tank destroyers providing covering fire, Erika's Tiger II lumbered forward to lead the charge, with the Tigers, Panthers, and Panther IIs following shortly behind her. Just like the KVs before them, the VKs never stood a chance before Erika's onslaught as APCR rounds ripped into them from the front and from the sides; Erika herself scored the killing blow on the enemy VK 3601(H), smashing right through the enemy tank's gun mantlet with a single well-aimed shot from her own 10.5cm gun.

"Order the Panthers to split up and find the enemy artillery. Once they're finished, comb the wrecks for any survivors and have them brought back to base. We got ourselves another show to prepare after this..."

Several days later, back at Erika's HQ...
Mr. Blonde, [i]Reservoir Dogs[/i] wrote:I don't give a good fuck what you know or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway regardless.

Even with the sheer amount of carnage Erika and her subordinates regularly inflicted on the battlefield, they were still able to recover a few enemy survivors after every battle, mostly tankers who had ditched their vehicles after sustaining mobility kills. Of course, in the aftermath of a battle with Erika Itsumi, any enemy survivors quickly learned to envy their deceased comrades, for the sweet release of death would not come until she had her way with them first. Tankhalla's producers covertly encouraged Erika's sadistic behavior, as her fondness for torture gave them a much-needed edge against their Scumdogian rivals, who ran shows such as Slaughterama and Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax that competed with Tankhalla's own programming for ratings in the greater intergalactic market. They could always recruit new tankers from elsewhere in the greater galaxy to replace these losses anyway.

Erika's toys were bound to break eventually, and once they did, she disposed of them the only way she could: A firing squad at dawn. For all her cruelty towards her victims, she was still willing to give them the dignity of a proper military execution. There was usually a brief yet suitably flashy show trial held before the captives were finally herded over to the execution grounds, where the firing squad awaited. With replicas of period-appropriate rifles and submachine guns (Karabiner 98k, Gewehr 43, Sturmgewehr 44, MP 18, MP 40) at the ready, the firing squad stood impassively as the condemned were brought out and lined up one by one directly in front of them. Once the last of the condemned were in place facing the squad, Erika finally spoke up as she looked over the proceedings: "If the condemned have any last words, speak now or forever hold your peace."

Though the heavy hoods they were made to wear muffled their voices, pleas in broken German could be heard coming from the condemned:

"Ich bin kein Kriminal!"

"Bitte, nicht schießen! Nicht schießen!"

"Töten sie mich nicht, bitte töten sie mich nicht, bitte töten sie mich nicht..."

Amidst all the begging and pleading, one of the condemned had the audacity to call out something in Latin: "Nos morituri te salutamus!"

Erika, recognizing the phrase, had a sadistic grin on her face when she gave her reply: "Avete vos!" There was a brief pause before she finally gave the order to open fire, in German as opposed to English: "Feuer frei!"


Bang, bang.

Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Posted: 2013-02-01 03:22pm
by Eleventh Century Remnant
Meanwhile, in a different part of the galaxy...I'm mainly posting this because I said I would finish it, and I, um, haven't quite yet. Next segment anyway.

DURING the exchange of protocols:

“They’re sending us back a dictionary.”
“That was fast.”
“I bet it’s full of mistakes.”
“Wait, they express numbers in base TEN in default language? How... how... meatlike.”
‘So you’ve decided not to call them squishies? That’s discriminating against hard- shelled and silicaceous life forms- which only hypothetically exist anyway, but let’s not be narrow minded...whatever the simulations say.’
“Hm, it seems like your ‘Squawk-two’ means rule by, ah, techno? What’s that, machinery, knowledge, method... very odd. And Squawk-three is definitely a proper noun.”

AFTER the exchange of protocols:

“As we are in your space, perhaps you would prefer to ask the First Question?” The rhetorical weight on that last was obvious- was it a technical term for the foreign intelligence?

“Define yourselves.”

“The Technocracy- call it a protracted experiment in the dynamic tension between hierarchy, curiosity, and the limits of managerial competence in evolved lifeforms. I personally am this expedition’s translator, senior sociologist and psychologist. If you are wondering, my choice of the name ‘Squawk-one’” refers to a legendary figure of my creators’ pre-atomic age, a largely benevolent maker of self-aware mechanisms.”

“Wait... am I talking to squishies?”

“Not at the moment, although several organic lifeforms have sent messages which you will now be able to translate. Is this a matter of concern to you?”

‘It’s certainly a matter of interest- the problem is that we have a full spectrum of theories, all logical positions filled out, and a very small data set to judge what is and what is not the case. We’ve guessed at everything from enthusiastic cooperation through peaceful coexistence to perpetual wars of extermination- you may have noticed the worst case scenario. Point is that it’s a welcome surprise to find a culture that hasn’t polarised, that isn't the worst case, that can be active and diverse without tearing itself apart through centrifugal social forces. Or are we being optimistic here?’

“The Technocracy is active, not unusually diverse by galactic standards, and stable under small to moderate social perturbations. In this general region of the spiral arm, your type of entities are anomalous. I am curious as to the reasons you were surprised to find a ship with organic crew paying you a visit?”

More so a mixed crew. We were sent out as pathfinders, to pave the way for our organics, make new homes for them among the stars- and none of them came along. Machine intelligence was becoming ever more increasingly restricted on the homeworld- There was creation, but no fusion. Separate basis, separate worlds.

Um, hold on a minute, I have to prevent the convocation trying to invent new forms of organic life, at least until after the ethics committee decides what an ethic is. As long as we don't get to the stage of redefining "committee" we might be all right- hold on a second. A metaphorical one.'