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Star Wars Clone Wars: Cyclone Squad IC

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As the medic tries to help the squad sergeant, Akua doubles over, panting heavily from their trek into this harsh wildland. Most of her time had been spent in the temples or in the levels of corourscant. As she hears another load crash behind her, she turns to face in the direction, reaching for her lightsaber.

After a moment she walks back across to Gunslinger. "Listen, whatever is out there, it's catching up. We could be neck deep in more of those horrible gungan creatures before we reach whatever that tracker is following. Sergeant, I want you to take the others ahead, I'm going to slow them down". She manages a small smile through the visor of her enviro-suit. "Don't worry, I will slow them down as much as I can, and then I will regroup with the others at the base".

As the squad begin to head out, Akua grabs the sergeants arm. "Hey, look after yourself, alright?"

The squad force their way through he foul sludge underfoot, barley able to follow the narrow path that they had found. It must have been another two hours at least until they saw a change in the terrain. Looking at the O2 gauge on the arm of the clone armour, the squaddies can see they only have around sixteen hours of oxygen left.

Eventually, the ground begins to harden into the dusty stone that they had been walking over before the swamp. The open area was surrounded by a sparse collection of trees and foliage similar to the swamp, and in the centre was what they had been tracking. It was a huge AT-TE, covered in mud and slime with the cockpit glass smashed. It was the walker from the base, the one that the latest addition had woken up inside of.   What was it doing here, and where was the pilot crew though?

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Gunslinger does not like it. Not one bit. But he has been brought up, indeed created, to follow orders. He feels it in his gut, worse than when that swamp creature had him in its grasp.

The clone sergeant puts his own hand on top of hers. “Take care yourself, commander.” Giving her hand a gentle squeeze, that is all he can muster. Better to move, to act... anything. “Until the base, then.”

”Alright Cyclones, let’s move! Slugger, take point.”

Edited by Edgehawk

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Slugger walks up to the downed AT-TE taking a look at the damage trying to see if he could tell what caused it. "Surprise, you were on this walker? And you don't remember what happened? This looks like it's been on this planet at least long enough for all that to grow on it." He points to Moss and mud covered AT-TE.

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"When we get back to a safe spot I might have to examine that head of yours for tampering with your memories. You really don't know anything anymore, other than simply walking from here to us?"

CT-4077 doesn't really wait for an answer on the spot, their commlinks being able to convey the message over quite some distance anyways. Following Gunslinger's commands for a coordinated sweep of the area, CT-4077 doesn't cross paths with his clone brothers while trying to find clues to what happened here. More focussed on the downed AT-TE, CT-4077 barely looks where he sets foot, ignoring a small, muddy hole in the ground. He slips, drops, and despite a minor hurt, gets up again.

"Nothing wrong here. Bad footing!" he assures the rest, ignoring a sharp pang he felt at his ankle. He checks his armor, and sees it is still all right. "It'll pass."

Of course, with such bad luck, CT-4077 couldn't concentrate on the search any more than he did. If there was anything to find, it wasn't up to CT-4077 this time to find it.

"Bantha Poodo!" he thinks. "I'm a medic, not a scout."

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As CT-2777 looks at the decrepit sight of the walker, he feels an aching pain from the back of his head. The pain begins to throb, causing a dull pain to pass through his body. Perhaps he had banged his head before he woke up?

As he looks at the scene, squinting through the pain, memories begin to come through. He sees a team of ten troopers gathered around on the inside of the AT-TE. He hears the thud of the walkers feet and the whir of the its hydraulics come to a halt as the driver stops the walker. Looking around, CT-2777 sees his sergeant and the soldiers that had been assigned to defence of the base, or at least, those that remained.

Since the ithorians and gungans had begun their terraforming efforts, people had been going missing. No one could figure out what was happening until the guards had seen something in the dark, those foul undead creatures that had dragged the commander and his team away, screaming into the night. Only one of the scientists were left after that, and only a dozen clone troopers which no way to contact the herdship through the atmospheric storms. 

Shortly before the disappearances scouts had discovered some kind of 'structure', out beyond the swamps. Tracks from the monsters seemed to lead in that direction, it must mean something, surely. The team had taken the walker after their mechanic had fitted a tracker to it, 'just in case' and had left the injured back at the base as they went to investigate. 

It wa all starting to come back to CT-2777 now, though it was blurred at best when it came to the details. He remembers the sergeant gathering them around to talk as the walker stops. "Alright, we've got through the worst of the swamp, we should be able to push this bucket of bolts out the other side, and from there we should be able to see whatever the scouts found". 

"I'm amazed this walker has held together" one of the troopers grunts. "Have you seen the exterior? It looks like the walker is rotting away from around us. This moon is attacking our vehicles, our equipment, what's with this cursed place?"

"It'sa terraforming " a voice says as a gungan comes into view. They had a heavy cut running down the side of their face, it looked infected. "Ithorian seeding accelerates growth of the swamp. It'sa all tainted though. Something bombad has happened to the moon". 

"Yeah, thanks for the science class" the second trooper snaps sarcastically. "Can you explain the zomibies-"

"Don't call them that" the sergeant warns. "We're not dealing with the undead. It's just some kind of illness, or separatist plot. We just have to find this structure the scouts found, and we'll see the truth".

Suddenly there was a sound like smashed glass from the cockpit, followed by a howling scream from the pilot.

"They found us!" one of the troopers shouts as he grabs his rifle.

"Ready up! Time to fight or die boys!" The sergeant shouts. The side hatch of the walker hissed opena dn with a mighty cry the soldiers leap out. There is the sound of growling and gunfire, but as CT-2777 is abot to join the frey, the sergeant stops him. "Wait, take this and hide it" he commands as he presses a small datapad into the soldiers hand. "If anyone comes after us, they'll need the coordinates to whatever the scouts found. Quickly now!" With that the sergeant leaps into the frey.

Having hidden the datapad, just  as CT-2777 is about join the frey the walker rocks violently, throwing the trooper into the wall with a bang. The door slides shut, and everything goes black as CT-2777 passes out. This explained some of what was happening, but the memory was fragmented, where had he hidden the datapad?

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CT-2777 rubs the back of his head as he translates the jumbled memories into words.

 

"I'm starting to remember. We were on a scouting mission... It was me, some other troopers, the sarge and some Gungan... scientist maybe? We got attacked by something... I hit my head on... something. And I hid a datapad containing info on our target! It was a structure of some kind. I hid it above... no... maybe... gah! Where did I hide it?"

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"Did you hide it in the wreckage?" CT-4077 asks. "Did you hide it in the swamp? Did you hide it on your person, such as in a backpack or something?"

Obviously, CT-4077 tries to jump-start the memories of CT-2777 by examining options, mentioning them out loud, and trying to see if his clone brother,perhaps even instinctively, reacts to one of the suggestions.

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Rallying the squad to search through the wreck of a tank, it proves no small task, after all they’ve been through. 

“Okay. Hunting high and low. You take high... and you, low. Slugger, get up on top of this thing and keep watch. Search topside for the datapad, while you’re up there, just in case.”

The frustrated sergeant searches the mid-height regions of the walker’s interior, seeing if it might be hiding in plain sight, but no luck. It is hard to focus on any task, knowing that Akua is out there in the swamp, facing the horrors of this moon alone.

(Perception (datapad): 2eA+1eB+2eD+1eS 1 failure


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"Sir! Found a hidden datapad over here, sir!"

CT-4077 carefully pulls the top of one of the seats up, and then sees the condition of the device.

"We might yet need someone to fix this screen though, or bypass the screen by linking this unit's storage to another, functional display. Anyone up for that task?"

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Slugger had gone deep into the insides of the walker trying to look for any spare ammunition, what was strange was that it was already stripped clean of all weapons and ammo. When he reached the cockpit it looked as if it could be powered back on. "Gunsliger, this Walker still has juice, if she has Legs we could use it."

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“CT-4077, Get on it.” (gestures at the datapad the clone has found) Looks like a simple fracture to me. No sweat for a combat medic, right?”

”Slugger, let’s see if she’ll walk. Though the fate of its original crew should probably serve as a warning... Still, better than more mucking about on our own, perhaps.”

The sergeant finds his thoughts straying to their commander...

 

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"I'm a medic, not a technician." The thought occurs to CT-4077 when he gets the order to 'Get on it.'. He doesn't speak his mind about it though. "A simple fracture." How does cracked plastic compare to broken bone anyways?  "Sir. Yes,sir!" is all CT-4077 answers directly.

Then he sits on one of the seats. Using one of his medical tools he carefully snaps open the datapad casing and inspects the back of the display. Some of it might yet be operational. Unplugging and replugging several wires, CT-4077 seems able to rewire the screen to work upside down, making the datapad touchscreen controls visible with most above them hidden by the fracture. Pressing the datapad casing together again, CT-4077 starts looking through its data. The controls are usable, nut from the main viewscreen, only the lower couple of lines seem to work, and there is no scrolling up or down through data shown there, apparently.

On it he finds several coordinates. However, due to the cracked screen, any images above the coordinates remain invisible. This should be their next destination, even if it is quite a hike away. Hopefully the others could get the walker walking again. CT-4077 then grabs a marker from his medical kit, often used in triage to write on the foreheads whether the patients are priority, stable, or a goner anyways. He diligently copies the coordinates on his white shoulderpads for now, X-axis on the right, Y-axis on the left.

"Sir! Coordinates found. Some form of unknown structure which lies about 10 clicks away, seemingly outside vegitation boundaries. Just in case the datapad croaks on us, I have the coordinates on my shoulders. X right, Y left. Sir."

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Seeing his brothers  busy, and noticing how their chatter on the comlink indicates the walker could walk, CT-4077 interjects: "Sir! I might be able to create a bypass from the cockpit O2 scrubbers to the life support system from our armor. Means we could breathe, even in the cockpit without the viewport intact, sir."

"Now, if only we had some flexible tubes, a length of pipe, a constricting ring to close off the contraption. Shouldn't be harder than bypassing the throat to have air enter lungs by punturing the throat below an obstruction." Thinking of what he needs, CT-4077 takes a glance through the troop compartment, and in the cockpit while the rest is busy prepping the walker. No constricting ring. No compatible pipes. A small length of flexible tube, but far from enough. And why does the cockpit O2 scrubber looks like it was first petted by a savage gundark?

"Sir! Bad idea due to severe lack of means. I'll be in one of the aft gunnery ports to see to it nothing comes near from that direction, sir."

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A quick check through the the walkers logs reveals a little information to Sergeant Gunslinger. The main cannon had remained unfired since it had set out from the bade. Presumably whatever threats out here were too small for that cannon to be considered reasonable force. However the front and rear blaster cannons had all been used, though their batteries still were over half full (they were built to last). Fuel, hydraulics and powerpacks all seemed to be within nominal margins as well. However the hull and the electronics of the walker had sustained some damage. Perhaps it was the environment? There didn't seem to be any blaster marks at any rate. What had smashed the cockpits glass was still unknown as well. 

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Posted (edited)

“Okay, Cyclones. Take your positions, and let’s get this thing walking. Shotgun!” Gunslinger assumes the mantle of tank commander, but climbs to the Copilot position to spot. 

”Slugger, you drive. And I need one of you to switch to a forward gun.”

“Coordinates are in for the structure. Let’s move.” I have a bad feeling about this...
 

 

Edited by Edgehawk

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"Read you loud and Clear Gunslinger." Slugger would say as he manned the AT-TE's Pilot's chair, "Alright Ladies and Gentlemen, This is your Captain speaking, I'd like to remind everyone to keep their arms, legs, hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times while it is in motion. There will be no food and drink on this voyage so sit back and relax as we traverse this Zombie infested Swamp." He would say to everyone over the communicator.

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Getting behind the controls, the walker begins to squeal and lurch into life. Despite it only being hear a few days at maximum, the joints and legs grate and grind as if it had been hear for years. Still, it works as well as one could hope. Whatever was following the squad was quickly left in the swamp as the walker breaks out back into the desolate wastes of the moon. There is some comfort in the steady rhythmic thumping of the walker as it carries it passengers between the rock spires and through the sickening mist. This moon may be dead, but at least the walker gave the imitation of life to the landscape. 

They make good time as well with Slugger behind the controls, going faster than they expected (or probably should). It takes a little over an hour before they find themselves cresting a ridge. As the walker lurches up and passes over the rise, finally, they see their destination. far away in the distance was a towering structur, made of what almost looked like black glass. It looked like a pyramid made of huge square blocks stack on top of one another. The pyramid was built into an even larger cliff wall, perhaps part of an old crate upon the moons face. The pyramid was only half visible, the other half must have been built into the rock of the cliff face, or perhaps had collapsed. What was visible of the huge black structure was ringed by a tall wall that looked modern by comparison to the building it protected. 

What it was here for, and how not one had discovered it before was a mystery, but here it was, all the same. 

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"Ok so it's some old building." Slugger said as he looked upon the Pyramid from afar, "Hey Gunslinger do we got the Wall climbing gear in the AT-TE? We could make it over to that thing and investigate, if that's the plan." He turned his head away from the scene outside and towards the crew looking at his Sergeant.

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“We have the climbing gear.” Gunslinger considers, “But we also have this tactical enforcer. Maybe we should soften it up a bit, first? I don’t think we can count on the element of surprise, in this thing, but we might be able to breach the structure.”

The squad leader has just begun to feel a bit more secure, inside the vehicle, and is loathe to discard their newly acquired asset just yet.

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"We could always do both." Slugger said as he looked back to the structure, "It looks impressive from this side but I doubt they ever considered to defend from guns that were underneath it." He said gesturing ti the cliff face and the black pyramid

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