• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Chapter 2: The Ruins Are Alive

With trained efficiency the building was swept with anxious, eager, scared weapons sweeping every corner for the faintest trace of the unidentified and vicious threat. The structure hadn't been punished by the same ravages as the rest of the city; it was stable and standing. Most of the surrounding buildings looked like a family car could crashing through would reduce them to another unidentifiable rubble pile.

"He can make his jokes at a less inopportune time." Jurgen replied as the bipod scraped lightly against the dust-covered blocky ventilation pipes, imagining one of those long barreled chitin-guns sticking out from every still functional window. "Vlad, any luck?"

Mere seconds after he asked, a chirpy buzz could be heard from the ground team, wafting through the dust-filled air that wafted through the hole in the wall. Korofi and Rafael could almost hear the source; some kind of mechanical scrape, a high pitched whine, and a whirr of small motors.

This coincided with a signal on Vlad's end: a positive ping, a rough sense of location. It was a faint signal but not faint enough to be dead as the continued buzz whines indicated. 500 or so feet past the hole, back into the hollowed out mess of withered, skeletal structures and whatever could be hiding inside.

Jurgen attempted to see if he could swing over to face the same side of the building as the exit wound before he stopped.

"Movement, front-side, something large, human sized, 10 blocks down, red building on the opposite side of the street..." Mentally he cursed as he hastily swung the weapon around, tracking its motions. Had it somehow picked up the signal? "Can't make out shape but it's moving through the windows and..."

More flashes of shadowy movement and vague forms, slipping out of the ruins and into the rubble that covered the road.

"Shit, Vlad, is that confirmed one of the drones? We don't have much time." There were buildings connected to this one, enough that they formed a sort of path backwards parallel to the one leading out of the hole. Covering fire could be provided... at least if some of these rotting, ravaged roofs didn't collapse. "We can split between a covering team and a retrieval one! Start assembling!"
 
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Trell0

Member
Korofi caught the noise of the mechanical scrape, that high pitched whine, and that almost fear inducing whirr of small motors. Apart of him knew full well this was starting to seem far too easy, but what made this worse? It wasn't a matter of just defending against them and kicking them out of the building, but also retrieving the drone? Sure he made jokes about this being a movie, but in real life? The attempt at being those action stars who charged in through pain with grit and determination? It was painful except some poor ol' sap had to sign up for it and given his wound? Better him than the others, if he had to pick.

"My recommendation is for me to join the retrieval team, since I am in pain and if something does happen? Better I take the brunt of those shots than the healthy ones sir. Besides what can the enemy do? Make me lose more weight on their Burn Fat program? Make me some kind of famous actor burning with fame?" Korofi couldn't help but chuckle at that one, as he moved his M17 assault rifle in the direction of the noise; unintentionally bracing his body in preparation for more pain he was to endure in this firefight. "Someone point me in the right direction and I'll fill them up with as much as lead, as I go through bad comedy routines!"
 

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
"Retrieval team on me," Vlad said, sighing as he moved down the stories that he'd just climbed up. "I'll have you if you want to come along, comrade Korofi. But it'd honestly be better if you stuck behind with the medic, both because you're slower because of your injury and it's harder to take care of you when you're on the move."
 
Rafael, in the process of gathering a covering team, narrowed his eyes and nodded at Vlad's statement. "You're staying with me," he said to Korofi. He sure as hell wasn't going to let Korofi jump out there like fodder just because he was injured. Not on his watch. "No seas un héroe, pendejo," he muttered, forgetting to turn off his comms. His team organized covering fire, preparing for another fight.
 

Silence3726

New member
Douge watched from his vantage point when he heard the sarges response thankful he could roll his eyes behind his helmet without being seen. however, when he yelled contact, he was alert and looking peeking up over the crumbling wall he used as cover from his vantage point he began providing overwatch as he looked where the callout was situated. as vlad called out for the retrival team to fallow him he sighed.

"fuck it if im going to die at least it wont be waiting here like a gift wrapped present." Douge said aloud as he climbed down from his pirch. possing by Rafael and Korofi Douge turned to his wounded teammate. "hey when we get out of this you need to teach me your funny jokes you got that? ill be back, hopefully." Running to catch up with Vlad he called out on his comes. "Okay moving on your six Vlad."
 
"I need every gun I can get alive especially seeing as we're outnumbered." He all but snarled at Korofi, the security guard's big mouth trying his patience with every mishap. "Especially since we're using up more ammo and we have no guarantee of resupply. Conserve those shots before I have Rafael confiscate your weapon."

He was definitely going to have his ass tossed in court if the creatures did not get to him first. A part of him wondered if he should even bother dragging him out of harm's way if the bugs got lucky the second time around. In many ways, he might simply prove to be a drain on resources, willpower, and their numbers. He motioned for Rafael to get ready to move across the rooftops; with the large blocky air conditioner pipes and short walling they had a good deal of cover and concealment, perfect for whatever they might be facing.

As the soldiers formed up on Vlad, a few of them glanced and raised their weapons towards the flittering black shapes. Whatever they were exactly, they were not moving with blind instinct. Hints of trailing larvae-like bodies and multiple bending multi-joints flashed behind dust and hole-filled ruins but definitive shapes could not be made out with how much they were sticking to cover.

One thing was for certain; they had been alerted by the same buzz the squad had been.

As the retrieval team moved through the hole, Jurgen's bipod set up again, giving him a mostly clear view towards the rapidly approaching spindle-blurs. This time, he did not wait.

"Open fire, try to aim in front of them if you can, force them away!"

The machine gun roared and a storm of bullets slammed through the stilt-like protruding ruins of the city, pinging through scorched metal, and biting into the pavement. The skittering creatures sped up and zig-zagged, blurry in their forms but a few of them were forced to abruptly stop behind cover, the bullets ripping away at turned over jeeps and half-collapsed piles of debris.

The problem was that they were moving much, much faster than they could be expected to aim.

As the retrieval team moved across the layers of crushed debris and junk, they could see the ones the storm of gunfire hadn't been able to stop. Blurs of furious twitchy motions, vanishing and reappearing through the hole-filled structures and shattered windows off to the side. One of them landed on top of a windowsill and for a brief second, they could make out some of its features. A body that seemed fat and grub like, armored with interlinking black plates, slit-like red streaks where eyes might be on a semi-flattened mandible-wielding head, long legs like a grasshopper with multiple jointed limbs sliding into one another, socketing almost to reduce their length.

What stood out was that they were a completely different colour scheme from the ones they had faced before.

A blink of a moment and the creature lept away, clinging to the ceiling of the ruin it travelled through, beelining with a few more of its kin parallel to the retrieval team.

Up ahead, a building leaning backwards, its floor visibly sloped from what could be seen through torn-open walls, seemed to be where the drone's signal originated from. From the look of things, the mysterious insects were just a few metres ahead of the retrieval team.
 

Trell0

Member
Korofi in response to the negatives of him going there? Were met with sighs mixed with part relief and part disappointment, as he didn't care for staying in the cover fire team. There was more good he felt could be done out there instead of here, but his health wasn't the best at least not anymore. However his health had to be good enough to at least get them through most of this, if not all of this weird alien dilemma. "It doesn't feel good to be benched from being an action star, but I'm going to do what I can to cover all of you. Also Douge don't say hopefully we'll have your back to get you through this, but don't smile too much at the enemy. We can't have them selling your mug for what counts as alien credits for their gods know what." A chuckle emanated from him as he moved up while pressing into the trigger selection to Semi-Auto for his M17 assault rifle.

"I'm going to conserve as much ammo as possible!" He moved into as much cover as possible onto the roof and started to take aim and fire his weapon at a few of the creatures, which he made attempts to go for the creatures who seemed to be zig zagging opposite of the machine gun fire in the hopes of at least distracting them if not scoring a couple of hits on them to slow them down. The fortunate news was his body didn't seem to be in any pain worth noting, and less force of the kickback on his weapon was helping. However a thought came to mind and with it a late reply, "Lieutenant Rafael? I don't know what that P word means, but thanks for calling me a hero! I think?" He chuckled once more while staying focused on the enemy and trying to sight their locations.
 

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
Vlad took one look at the flitting shadows and shook his head. "Hold your fire until they're right on top of us, comrades, I don't think we'll hit them otherwise," he said, jogging towards the building. "Unless they're attacking the drone, then light them up when you see that."
 

natsumushi

New member
Leif steadied his breath. Since their arrival the whole ordeal was as a blur. A blur akin to one of these skittering nightmare's zig-zagging movements. It was difficult to keep his sights trained on one of them for any extended amount of time. Obediently, he re-shouldered his gun and awaited their next order.
 

Silence3726

New member
Sticking close to Vlad douge was white nuckling his rifle as he ran. "join the army they said it'll be a advenutre they said, worste Idea every." Douge said as looked down the site of his gun. when Vlad said to only shoot when they were right on top of them. Douge snapped his head in the mans direction. "I would rather not die...so no." turning his attention back to the building, hearing the scuttling a few meters away but no clear shot.

"this is a bad idea." Douge stated but moved in anyway.
 
Rafael positioned covering fire from the rooftops, distracting as many enemies as they could while the recovery team beelined for the drone's signal. With how difficult these grub-like beings were to hit, the conservation of ammo wasn't helping, but Rafael sure as hell wasn't going to be caught empty out here. He calmly lined up his shots to cut off easy avenues for the enemy to advance, anticipating the bugs' next moves like a wack-a-mole game. He opened his mouth to quip at Korofi's comment, but for once his sarcasm reserves were coming up dry. The medic simply rolled his eyes, muttering a soft "ay," and motioned for the group to move up.
 

natsumushi

New member
Moving up, Leif fired a few short, controlled bursts. Hoping that one of the abominations got hit, but kept moving regardless.

"Did I hit one? Anyone else getting lucky?" He asked enthusiastically, trying to keep a bead on it
 
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Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
Sticking close to Vlad douge was white nuckling his rifle as he ran. "join the army they said it'll be a advenutre they said, worste Idea every." Douge said as looked down the site of his gun. when Vlad said to only shoot when they were right on top of them. Douge snapped his head in the mans direction. "I would rather not die...so no." turning his attention back to the building, hearing the scuttling a few meters away but no clear shot.

"this is a bad idea." Douge stated but moved in anyway.
"You want to waste ammo, go ahead," Vlad replied, bringing his rifle to bear as they neared the ruins where the drone had crashlanded. "And if you had a better idea, comrade, you should have brought it up earlier."
 
The reaction times on the skittering grubs was either nightmarish or impressive. Their bodies did not look like something that should move that fast even if they were not particularly large but they moved almost as if they anticipated where bullets might fire. That or they were just so jittery and frenetic it create the illusion of such. They were not getting any easier to hit the nearer they approached the structure even as the troopers sprinted with all their tenacity.

Insectoid as they were, they did not approach the partially collapsed front door instead bolting to the wall and latching onto it iwth their spindly limbs. That was the slight delay that was needed for a few rounds to perforate two of them, sending a spray of yellow-green juice and meat spraying into the air. A third was hit and staggered almost off the wall, its compatriots momentarily dispersing. The momentary confusion created the perfect opportunity for Rafael's rifle fire to tear open another duo, tearing through joints and bodies with equal tenacity, reducing them to a pulpy mess against the dusty floor. Leif's rifle tore through the thin, flexible armor of one of the creatures, another behind it, a third caught by a few stray rounds.

The momentary confusion and piling of bodies was all the time they needed to make it to the entrance, nearly knocked off of its hinges by the rush of manpower and fury. The mechanical whine of the drone greeted them, as did the sound of scratching and skittering against the outside of the structure. Inside, a half-collapsed stairway rose up a backwards-falling wall, the actual surface of which with all its cracks and crags able to be scaled. Something large and winged, mechanical in origin and matching an SSM recon drone's profile, sat on a cabinet that looked like it might slide their way if the jutting bits of broken framework and walling emerging from the slanting surface were nudged the right way.

It stood precariously on the wall, likely something once used to hold clothing but landed onto its door, its handles seemingly also snagged against the insides of an empty window.

"Get the drone and get out! Once we grab it they're going to turn their aggression on us!"
A burst of machine gun fire, the sound of ripping meat and shattering chitin - the time was now and their opportunity for any information on the situation imminent!
 

Trell0

Member
Their reaction times were annoying to deal with to say the least and seemed to make him question his judgement with his aiming, even to question if he was doing any good providing covering fire here instead of rushing into that place and being a potential distraction. Soon enough he started to take a few deep breaths and prepare himself mentally for their aggression to be turned on them he assumed within seconds if not minutes. This was no time to be loud unfortunately and make a joke or two. He started to tighten himself up and adjust his aim towards the creatures who seemed to be untouched and still trying to gain entrance towards the drone.

Apart of him was afraid they might be missing something concerning these enemy forces. Maybe some kind of infiltrator who snuck off from the group? He hoped not as those little drones could run interference from the behind them. He hoped it was just a healthy dose of paranoia in the back of his mind trying to instill some fear at the situation.
 

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
"How'd you wind up there?" Vlad asked, raising an eyebrow as he ran to the drone. "Well, what do the Americans say? Don't worry about gift horses? Oh well," he continued, picking up the drone and putting it under his elbow.

"Go, comrades, go!" he yelled, running back the way they'd come, awkwardly aiming his rifle at the grubs and firing a few bursts.
 
There was no time to relax as Vlad's ground team snatched the drone and dashed back towards relative safety. He watched the grubs' formations and attempted to keep them from flanking the soldiers. They were in a tricky position, to put it lightly, and Rafael didn't need to be reminded how capable these creatures seemed to be.

With a face as unaffected as could be during this situation -- only his eyes betraying the intensity he felt -- Rafael breathed out and silently pleaded that Vlad's team was fast enough.
 

Silence3726

New member
as the rest of the team grabbed the drone and began fallling back he turned to make his way back but weather due to being in a hurry and not paying attention or due to the ruins of the battlefeild, Douge misplaced his footing and tripped falling on his face. "damnit" he swore aloud as he tuned to shoot while prone on his back hoping to blow away a buglike scrapheap before it got too close but he wasnt too sure if hed be quick enough.
 

natsumushi

New member
Leif saw one of his fellow soldiers fall and strafed to help him to their feet in-between his own burst fire.

"C'mon!" He urged, quickly offering a free hand to help up Douge.
 
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