|APAGear II Archives||Volume 1, Number 3||February, 1999|
[Note: In preparing this document, which can also be found on Bernard's personal Heavy Gear Web page, I formatted a great deal of all-caps text into standard English-rules sentence capitalization. Unfortunately, during the process, which was automatic (and therefore not very clever), words that ought to be capitalized, such as proper names, were not. I tried to correct for that manually, but these sorts of things can easily be missed. If you find such a thing in the first part of Bernard's document here, it's my fault. Kindly let me know. Thanks! -Ed.]
The Jolly Rogers
Mission One: Shiver My Guns!
The Jolly Rogers
Singapore's First Heavy Gear Unit
Established In 19-2-97
Galahad "Doomfist" Lips (Squad Leader)
Ivy "Repins" Imanaya Senave (Sniper)
Siegfried "Kampfer" Sigismund (Hvy.Wpns Spec.)
Pierre Esquire (Commando)
Johnny Ogilvy (Grunt)
Ray Vahn (Grunt)
The unit was formed in late '96 when the first Heavy Gear rule book came in mid '96. It reached full operational status in early '97 when the team's members decided their various aspects of warfare they will be dedicated in.
The Jolly Rogers mostly is made up dishonored Heavy Gear pilots and hired guns. However that does mean they are scumbags or some trigger-happy jerks who pissed everybody they meet off. They have honor, intergrity and a sense of justice, it's just that by pure dumb bad luck they were dicharged by the military. In order to support themselves, they band together and formed a mercenary group.
Spec war or navy seal style ops are their raison d 'tre. Galahad Lips is an ardent fan of dick marcinko; a navy seal who makes tom cruise in "mission impossible" looked like a weenie. Marcinko's spec war law includes "thou lead from the front not from the back" is just some of Lips personal credo. In addition, he 's quite a pyromaniac. He just loves thing going apart with bang and a mushroom cloud!
Up to date, the 'Rogers have completed two missions. One inthe badlands and another in the skavaran emirate. They are currently in the Vahallan campaign..............................
Name: Galahad "Doomfist" Lips
Vehicle: Pilot Of The Fire Dragon Strider
Rank: Squad Leader Of The Jolly Rogers
Background: Galahad is the son of arthur Lips, a tycoon that made his fortune as a shipping magnate of terra-nova. Not willing to laze around and idle his life away, he joined the ast for a life adventure in the military. He found Heavy Gears particularly fascinating; he enlisted as gear pilot but was rejected due to his gargantuan built (1.8M). So he found an alternative job as a strider pilot. During the war of the alliance, he singlehandedly pushed a grel infantry assault out off ast lines. Though sucessful, his strider was reduced to junk and he took an agm in the cockpit. The two soldats survived with minimal injuries but he got his faced scarred and lost an arm as a result. The injury prevented him from participating for the rest of the war. The ast discharged Galahad out of the MILICIA consequently, the two fellow soldats felt he had gotten the raw end of the deal decided to pull off a daring plan: steal a strider and spirit Galahad into the badlands. Well, they did it.
Galahad's battered body had a least half of a dozen cybernetic system implanted in it. That includes an arm and a steel skull cap, the metal cap made him looked like the phantom of the opera in some ways; a constant source of joke among the 'Rogers.
Name: Ivy "Repins" Imanaya En'Senave
Vehicle: Snakeye Mamba
Rank: Sniper-Marksman Of The Jolly Rogers
Background: Ivy Imanaya is the MILICIA's legion noire deadliest sniper in her time. Then 16 year old teen when she was first spotted by a srid agent at a trideo game fair playing " Mamba strike". Her uncanny accucracy, the ability to shoot through the thickest cover and firing on the moving platform made the crowd stared in awe of her. Smug with her handiwork, she strutted out smiling like a chesire cat. Only to be stopped by a trio of shadowy agents, they are asked her weather if she would "play" a lifetime of "Mamba strike". Being a naïve and adventurous girl, she said yes without giving a second thought.
So the bane of the northern guard was created. At first, skirmishes between both sides ended with the victory of the southern MILICIA once too often. Commanders leading small forces were stopped dead in their tracks by an extremely accurate laser shot into the gear's head, this is followed by several leg or arm shots onto the other gears; disabling them or leaving them immobilized in the heat of the battle. Then as the conflict escalated, command posts and company commnders became her prime targets. She was able to halt a massive enemy force advance by just using the Mamba's sniper laser only; she calmly picked off the senior commander and subsequently the junior commanders. That move threw the invading force into chaos. Needless to say they were routed.
She was too prominent a figure both in the northern guard and the southern MILICIA. An elaborate plan was formed by her enemies to trap and destroy this thorn which was been on their side for too long. They first purposely broadcast a false message of a visiting general to a base named "geria" at the borders of saragossa. The MILICIA high command bit the bait and send her to elminate this general. Upon arriving the site, she was jumped by a horde of Grizzly Heavy Gears. Two hip shots from her black Mamba stopped two of the Grizzlies. She weaved and swerved like a real snake, striking the opposition in their weakest positions. Though they were beaten, her gear was shot to pieces. With a barely functional engine and a destroyed onboard computer, there wasn't much for the gear to make it home, she thought, "this is it."
But her career as ace sniper is not going to an end, a passing air transport spotted her and picked her up.
The transport is a gear carrier belonging to the mercenary group called "the Jolly Rogers". ..........................
Name: Siegfired "Kamfer" Sigismund
Rank: Heavy Weapons Specialist
Background: Siegfried is basically a failure of a man. Rejected by his boss as too gruff and ostracised by his friends as a "clut". He soon found his place in the world of warfare. He signed up in the northern guard as an infantry man. Posted to the borders of umf after basic training, he at first complained about being "watchman" of an backwater outpost then things started get a bit of interesting. Skirmishes between MILICIA at the borders began to intensify from gun battles to a full-blown assault in a matter of five days. Artillery pounded the outpost like a hailstorm, reducing it to rubble in matter of minutes.
The worst is yet to come. A wave of southern infantry advanced with a cry, "yaaaah!". The surviving northern troops fled for their lives but not Siegfried. He cooly searched for a machinegun among the shattered hulks. His mates urged him to make a run for it, he merely glanced at them foolishly and continued looking for the machinegun. Thinking he was driven mad by the earlier artillery barrage, they abadonned him; leaving old "sic" to the hands of the incoming forces. When he found it, the massive infantry column was meters away from him. He cocked, took aim nonchalently and fired. The familiar rat-tat-tat of the machinegun soon developed into roar as men were cut down left and right. The advancing troops almost immediately stopped in their tracks as their ranks were savagely mowed down. Siegfried guffawed with pleasure, "hahaha! Come on ! Come on ! Keep them coming!"
The enemy's rank swiftly became disorganized and were routed in a twinkling of an eye. Siegfried was eventually awarded the northern star medal for extreme if not insane bravery in the face of overwhelming odds.
Since then, his rise of position in the northern guards became meteoric. From a lowly infantry man to a much revered Heavy Gear pilot. He left service eights years later to go freelance with his trusty Heavy Gear, the Peacemaker Razorback. "Peacemaker? More like warbringer!" He once remarked. "This jerk brought down more bogies than a man could squish the amount of ants in his entire lifetime!" He snubbed.
During the period of freelancing, he worked as an security escort for a convoy, personal bodyguard to several ceo of big companies and a hired gun for a small nation. The pay was good but his reputation as an one man army scared would-be so much agressors that when they saw his trademark (that humongous six barrelled cannon slung under his gear's left arm). They turned and ran like rabbits. "Boring job when those thugs see me and they disappaered like magic........" Sic mumbled. One day, he saw an advertisment, Jolly Rogers............Shiver me guns! Hired gun needed . If you got a man with a big guns and all. Contact Lips at xxx-xxxx. Or just turn for an interview at doghouse junkyard at 0900 hrs. Sic pondered for awhile and without delay, he turned at the place.............In his Heavy Gear, "the rock and roll". "Hey! Tough guy, you want big guns ? You got it, sir! Yes, sir!" The gear 'demonstrated' by blast a nearby derelict to pieces in matter of three seconds. Needless to say, the Rogers were impressed. Lips asked his mechanic, "mac. Is my jaw down or on the floor ?" Siegfried came out of his looking as pleased as punch and smiling like the cheshire cat. "Soldier! You are hired!" Lips howled.
Name: Pierre Esquire
Vehicle: Panther (Stealth Jaguar)
Background: Pierre was a member of the elite 1st battlion of the legion noire. They like their old eurogerman counterpart; skorzeny's commandos are a daring lot. There was nothingthey would not dare: assassination of high level officials, sabotage and infiltration of ultra-secret facilities. You name it, they probably done it before.......
It wasn't until he found out about the "stridor" project. The "stridor" project is the construction of a device that could turn an average run-of the-mill soldier into a frothing psycho-killer. Using a series of highly potent combat drugs and sublimal indoctrinations, the "stridor" machine could churn out a company of super soldiers whose morale and bravery rivals that of a grel. Unfortunately, it had a side effect; the poor soul would lapse into a coma and slowly waste away. But the high command had no qualms on using it, the tactical value was overwhelming. Their best unit could even take on a Heavy Gear company wit their bare hands and come out the victor. His unit was the first to be tested on. For that 5 mintues, Pierre fought with himself. Should he follow as ordered or rebel? No. I will not end myself this way. With these words, he deserted the legion. 2 Weeks later, he infiltrated the "stridor" facility in a stolen panther stealth gear.
Inside, he saw with his quivering eyes how his former teams became crazed berserker when they entered a machine that resembled a pea plant with it's pods suspended from the central stem. With a heavy heart, he tore himself away from the hideous scene and loaded a fresh clip into his machinepistol, cocked it. Taking a deep breath and a silent prayer to the poor souls he's about to release from eternal madness, he swung in to action. Two hours later, the facility was left a burning hulk with Pierre in his gear speeding into the setting sun. The high command was furious about the event, who was the culprit? No one knew. Those who knew and saw him were dead.
Pierre met Galahad Lips and John Ogilvy in a bar, he overheard of their plans to found a mercenary unit. "Excuse me.... Mind if i join in?" He said in his heavily german accented english. The duo opened their eyes as big as a beer mug as they sized him up. "Oh......Please." Said Pierre as he opened his leather jacket to reveal a hefty looking pistol with the words, "legion noire: ein Kampfschwader." With that, he was recruited as the Jolly Rogers' jack of all trades; master of sabotage, lord of espionage, number two sniper and resident tactical advisor to Galahad.
Pierre is best described as a saxonphile (german); he wears a monocle over his right eye, smokes expensive terran-made cuban cigars and dresses up like a german officer of world war ii. Even his Heavy Gear resembles a german soldier: head unit with sloped neck guard, grenades made to look like stick grenades at his insistence, the gear's main weapon: a medium autocannon modified into a shape of the mp-44 german assault rifle and finallly a shade of german grey and an iron cross emblazoned on the Heavy Gear's left shoulder plate.
Name: John Ogilvy
Background: John Ogilvy or Johnny as he wanted others to call him is the son of a high ranking official in the northern lights confederacy, winston Ogilvy. The Ogilvys whose roots traced back to old terran earth served in the courts of english rulers for generations were proud people who prided and revelled in their assigned jobs. John from young had always dreamt of heroic deeds in the military weather is it spearheading an assault force or defending an objective from a determined foe. He got chance when he was 18. John enlisted himself as a pilot in the norlight forces but due to his color-blind condition, he was subsequently rejected and assigned to be a Heavy Gear pilot.
During his training period, John placed his mind , soul and heart into the effort. His instructors think much of him and recommend him highly for transfer to the valeria officer cadet school for furthering his training as a Heavy Gear pilot. John is often aware of what others think of him; he tries not to be too snobbish of his abilities. His father taught him from young: remember son, "pride is goeth before a fall." Many a time, he offered help to those who were not up to the norlight forces standard and brought them on par to the set standard.
Upon finishing his basic Heavy Gear pilot training, he was sent to the valeria officer school. There he was in his natural element: bold, innovative and an open mind for new tactics. "I could have sworn i have see no one like John Ogilvy. This man is the personification of heavy gear warfare itself!" Remarked lieutenant gunther von falkenhein, John's instructor. Just before his commissioning, he approached by two members of the famed gear unit, " terror tigers" to command a Heavy Gear squad. Which valerian have not heard of the "terror tigers ?" They were capable of many feats which an average gear pilot would go green with envy; they could make their gears roll, tumble and bound like it is a part of their bodies.
John agreed to join them. To his suprise on commissioning day, he was given the rank of captain. The highest rank in his cadre. His stint in the "terror tigers" has took him to many places: the humid jungles of the southern territories, the blistering desert of the badlands ,the freezing north pole and the murky depths of the subterrannean rivers. He had a stormy love affair with the infamous now renegade "desert vikings" officer, lieutenant anna matthews. John fought with her back to back at the siege of gumstein when his company was whittled down to a handful of men and anna, isolated from her squad was cornered by rebel forces.
Later, his unit was given the dreadful of hunting the "desert vikings" down. The vikings' commander, viktor tykane has turned renegade, along with a large of portion of the unit. It was heart-wrenching battle to be as fellow soldiers fought each other with sense of deja-vu. For they knew what the other was going to do. In the end, the remnants of the rebel forces was cornered. Tykane was about annihilated by John's guns until suddenly anna appeared. She shoved herself between John and tykane just as he fired his rapid-fire bazooka. A fullisade of rocket shells slammed onto her jaguar like hailstones on a scarecrow; John's mind went blank as he mumbled: what have i done? Using that moment, tykane and his men made his escape.
After the battle, John resigned his position in the norlight forces. He became a changed man; boozing, wallowing in self-pity and muttering to himself incoherently. His former comrades often visited him, consoled him and tried to talk him out of his pathetic stupor. But it was all for naught, he turned violent, behaved like a wild beast, shutting out his ears and closing his eyes tightly as if never to accept the reality. One day, his forays at the bar had him bumped on what looked like a huge man. This man was nearly made of up cybernetic implants. With a booming voice: " John!"
John looked up and saw Galahad Lips. He and Lips had seen some actions at the war of the alliance. Lips was looking for suitable candidates for establishing his own mercenary group, he asked him if he's interested. " I left my skills behind a long time ago. It was my skills that i have brought such misery upon myself." He lamented. " I am fully aware of the tykane business. It's useless to sigh to oneself and do nothing about one's problem." Lips said. Then he grabbed John, looked at him in the eye and said: " John Ogilvy. Snap out it!" With this words, he hauled John in to the toilet. What happpened inside nobody knows, but one thing's sure for that matter. The old John Ogilvy was back. Now he seeks for greater feats of heroism to wipe the stain of cowardice away.
Name: Ray Vahn
Background: Ray Vahn was a character shrouded with air of mystery around him. It seems that he lived only to fight and challenge others.
From his teens, he had mastered the art of wargaming. Even the most seasoned wargamers could not stand up to his skill. Cool and nearly emotionless, he utilizes a unique combinations of psychological warfare and manuevering the onboard units. Many opponenets were convinced he had throughly controlled the game whenever he made such move.
He was also John Ogilvy's buddy in the valeria officer school. After commissioning, he was posted to the northern guard command hq when his talents was fully used. Not eager to a " desktop commander" , he often ventures out to field to lead the troops in his Heavy Gear, a shimmering green jaguarundi known to all as the " viper". Ray Vahn slowly savoured the art of gear combat like a man drooling over a haunch of beef, it became his new focus. From the art of wargaming to the art of fighting, he never felt so much challenged before! Towards the end of the war, something happened. A grel patrol stumbled onto the command post behind the norlight lines. Ray was amongst the command staff when a grenade was tossed into the post. It was destroyed instantly.
Ray survived the explosion but it left him several crippling injuries. He had to walk with pronounced limp on his right leg, his facial nerves were severed so he could not exhibit facial expression and severe internal injuries caused him to cough uncontrollably sometimes. Because of that, he was honorably discharged from the norlight forces after the war. He tried to assmilate into civilian life but his condition made him somewhat hard. "Stone face, reptile and sicko" were some of the unkindly remarks made by many to his condition.
He went back to his old hobby of wargaming soon after. Ray never looked for any jobs. He had amassed a sizable amount of fortune in the war and now is using them to maintain the "happy times" as he called it. His skills remained as razor-sharp as ever. Ray Vahn's crippled condition made him even infamous as the "crippled general."
The "crippled general" on one evening after his one of his wargaming sessions hobbled home when he met two figures waiting at his apartment. One tall and brawny like a teutonic knight, the other a head shorter with shiny black hair . Ray narrowed his eyes with caution as he drew his pistol. " I have no business with the government anymore." He hissed. An ominous 'click-clack' sound is heard. "Ray Vahn. It's me, John Ogilvy." " John ? How did you find me?" Ray asked. " Eh......It's a long story." John sighed as his wiped his brow with his sleeve.
John asked if Ray is interested in joining a merc unit. He pondered and said: " what could i possibly be of use to you people ? I am already a cripple." Galahad Lips interrupted with a 'ahem' ; " well. I can make arrangements for your leg to be well and your coughings to be stopped.........Forever." Lips made his point clear by pointing at his cybernetic implants. " Okay. Then count me into the team." Ray declared.
[Return to Top]
"Galahad Lips! For the umpteenth time, I must tell you. Would you mind not making some modification to you strider ?" MacDonald Devin screamed at the two huge size 13 boots under the Fire Dragon strider. " Hey! Deafy! Do you hear me?" MacDonald Devin was the mercenary team, Jolly Rogers' chief mechanic. 'Mac' or 'Dev' as he known as to the techs and the 'Rogers. " Mac, I just making repairs that's all ! Look, her mortar went haywire yesterday. Instead of pointing to the sky, those useless shafts twiddled like a cockroach's feelers! That's not all only. My HUD would just go blank in the heat of combat !" Lips explained as he crawled his way out the strider's undercarriage. " Aha! So it's payback time now, eh? Trust you to cramp so much systems into it." Mac gloated. Galahad scowled at his remark and stared at the blue-white Fire-Dragon strider. Her armor was pocked-marked with autocannon fire with any occasional basketball sized crater on the top carapace. He turned his attention onto a patched section somewhat on the piloting compartment. That section had armor plates that looked newer than the rest of the strider. Galahad Lips winced with an imaginary pain for that area was once hit by an anti-gear missile. Behind the armor was the pilot of the strider. He remembered during the War of the Alliance when the AST lines he was guarding was being overrun by GREL infantry. The enemy kept on coming, nothing short of death could stop them on their tracks. He stood firmly, firing whatever he has to the approaching GREL troopers. Opposing fire was so intense that he swore he could hear shells hitting his strider and bouncing off her tough armor. Several times, he was shaken by a dull 'thud'. Mortar shells, no doubt about it, Galahad mumbled with a smirk. The frenzied attack went on for an hour until the CEF forces was reduced to pockets of GREL troops making hasty retreats. Only then, Galahad allowed himself the luxury of relaxing himself.
A flaming arrow streaked towards the lone Fire-Dragon strider from a hidden position at an eye blurring speed. It exploded on the 'head' of the strider. The strider wobbled for a few seconds and straighten itself almost immediately. Galahad wheezed laboriously as he fought with the mangled controls to keep the strider up. He had been reduced to a mass of redden and blacken flesh by the missile. Painful memories indeed, he thought as he walked towards to the showers.
Siegfried's Heavy Gear, a Razorback-Peacemaker sped through the sands of the Badlands trying to catch the silvery, black Snakeye Mamba. The Black Mamba fitted with stealth systems weaved left and right silently like a ghost in flight. Impatient, Siegfried squeezed on the "Fire" trigger, a volley of heavy duty slugs flew from the Razorback's Very Heavy Autocannon. The shot went wide and sands below was stained red by the practice rounds. Ivy let off a wry smile as she accelerated her Gear to full speed, guides it towards a high sand dune and turned around to face olde Sic' s Razorback. Siegfried muttered a curse as he lost Ivy's Snakeye Black Mamba over the dune. Stopping just meters from the dune, the Razorback Heavy Gear cocked it's head left then right, scanning for that elusive "enemy" Gear. Unknown to him, a black barrel peered out of the base of the dune. Ivy giggled as she trained the sniper laser on Siegfried, " Always so direct in his fighting techniques. Mono e mono...........somebody better tell him to update on the latest tactics on warfare." Then a dull thud shook her Gear and another and another. On the surface, an apple red Jaguarundi Heavy Gear had dropped grenades on the sand dune. Explosions threw geysers of sand into the air as the Jaguarundi readied it's medium autocannon. When the sand had settled, a silvery shine was spotted by the pilot of the Gear, John Ogilvy. He switched the autocannon to single fire mode and discharged a round into the area. Almost instantaneously, the Snakeye Black Mamba bursts out from the sand, snapping off shots after shots at the Jaguarundi. Being a highly advanced Heavy Gear, the Jaguarundi swerved like a martial arts master to avoid the in coming shots before lunging forward to deliver a shoulder block. Out of nowhere, a round slammed into the Jaguarundi's head, staining it with bright red ink. " Damn!" John swore as his Gear shut down, his HUD flashing three red giant words: YOU ARE DEAD!
A mottled grey Jaguar Heavy Gear standing on top of a sand eroded hill put down it's heavy rifle from standing shoulder position to it's side. The Snakeye Black Mamba turned to it, stuck up a thumbs-up sign. The grey Jaguar raised it's left hand as a sign of acknowledgment. " Okay, guys. Exercise cut!." Instantly, everyone tuned their comm system to the Jolly Roger's command channel. "Ray Vahn here. Lips ordered us to head back to the base. A.S.A.P. Seems that we got an interested party who want kick us some unfortunate's butt." "Roger, Ray. We will be there in say.........10 minutes time. Hunter out." Upon finishing the message, all the Gears started up their V-engines and sped into the horizon.
The Northern Intelligence officer looked immaculate in his uniform. Medals adorn his left chest of his pressed suit. To a hardened veteran like Lips, he has seen too much of such a character: A table top commander, no doubt about it. From the his smooth, white skin to his hardly callused hand, the officer tried his best to maintain an air of command while Galahad Lips sized him up, he spoke in a dignified but trembling voice: " Mr. Lips, the reason I am here is that the CNCS military two weeks ago discovered a Southern Surveillance outpost in the vicinity of your area. The outpost holds sophisticated, state of the art surveillance equipment capable of intercepting and decoding classified signals belonging to the CNCS. That outpost............" " That outpost has to be destroyed but since the outpost is in the Southern territories and sending Northern units in would be a act of intrusion. We decided to engage a neutral party to assist in our mission. Am I right to say so?" Lips finished it for him. "Yes.....and we will pay you 2 million dinars and an entitlement to 40% of the captured equipment. Now if you agree to our agreement, sign here." The officer was beginning to show signs of nervousness. With a somewhat sweaty hand, he gave Lips the contract. Lips gruffly took the contract, raised his cybernetic arm. A silver nib whirled out the index finger. Using it, he scribbled his signature on the paper and shoved it back to him.
The intelligence officer hastily inserted the contract into his briefcase and scuttled away to his transport. Just his vehicle left in a cloud of dust, another cloud of dust was approaching from the horizon. A squad of five Heavy Gears was moving at top speed at SMS mode: The apple red Jaguarundi on the left was John Ogilvy's. Next to him was a shimmering green Jaguarundi whose was Ray Vahn. Side by side speeding was a German grey mottled Stealth Jaguar and a silvery black Snakeye Black Mamba. The pilots are Pierre Esquire and Ivy Imanaya. Leading the foursome is Siegfried Hunter in his sand colored Peacemaker Razorback Heavy Gear. Stopping meters away from the maintenance shack, the gears unloaded their practice ammunitions. Several camel supply trucks rushed forth laden with real ammunitions towards to gears. The Gears picked the ammo with gusto, loaded them into their weapons. A resounding thump was heard from the main hangar as the Galahad Lip's modified Fire Strider emerged from it's shelter. The strider retracted it's legs from the ground. At the same time, tracks from the machine's underbelly touched the tarmac. The tormented engine wheezed and thrums as the strider rolled forward into the blistering Badlands with the rest of the five Heavy gears behind it.
"Okay. Team, listen up. I have just accepted a mission from the Northern military. Seems that they found this outpost at this particular spot eavesdropping one too many times on their classified stuff. So they want us to do their dirty job of destroying it for them. I plan to move to point alpha and then to point bravo. Why the long way? Like I said earlier, the listening post got super big eyes and ears for eavesdropping. If we move straight to point bravo. We risked getting detected by the enemy." Lips explained over the comms system.
"Lips, Jamie and I would like to volunteer to take the most direct route there as we are in stealth gears. We are far from being easily detected." Pierre said over the comm system. After pondering for a while, he agreed to Pierre's plan and allowed both of them go forward. " Gesundheit." exclaimed Pierre in his best German. With that he and Ivy sallied forth into the dusk.
At night, the two stealth Heavy Gears has reached their designated stop at least half an hour. Meanwhile, the main force plodded slowly to along the desert sands. Lips ordered them to switch to walker mode and move at slow speed. This is to avoid huge amount of sand being kicked up and get spotted by enemy patrol from afar. An agonizing one hour has passed. Before the Jolly Rogers stood the first way point, the famed pillars of Lotto. Huge basaltic pillars that were 10 to 20 meters tall in height, 4 to 6 meters in diameters. Unknown to them, a cadre of Jaegers supported by 2 Spitting Cobras romp the around the pillars silently, preparing themselves to ambush the Jolly Rogers. The Southern Outpost had spotted them long before they reached Lotto's pillars. A barrage of rockets climbed into the skies and crashed into the 'Rogers in an arcing trajectory. "What the heck?" John shrieked as multiple rockets rained down. He and Ray Vahn had barely enough time to move their Gears out of the line of the fire. However being an extremely advanced Heavy Gear fitted with advanced NNet, both Jaguarundis zipped around the explosions effortlessly, dodging the incoming rockets. Several rockets slammed onto the Razorback. Thick choking, black smoke enveloped the Gear. But when the smoke clear, the Razorback stood fast where it was. Siegfried shook his head violently, trying to shake some sense into himself after the concussion delivered by the rocket hits. Swearing in his mind, he activated the Razorback's VHAC with a flick of his finger on the controls. The Gear raised it's ominous six barreled autocannon. The barrels slowly evolved into a blurred circle as it's motor whined. A blinding flash lit up the pitch dark desert, bathing the area with white phosphorus flash. Siegfried swept the weapon in an arc across the pillars. It looked like an invisible saw had appeared and cut several pillars off their base. The pillars came crashing down onto others like dominos. Forced out their positions by the falling pillars , the Jaegers ran for their dear lives. They were able to make out in one piece but for the Spitting Cobras, they were crushed by the collapsing pillars. Lips hung back his strider during that wild melee so that he was practically unscathed. Training his dual autocannons at the two unfortunate Jaegers emerging from the dusty debris, he fired a fusillade of shots at them. Both Gears fell in the resulting hail of slugs.
The remaining two tried to fight it out with the two Jaguarundis. But both proved to be no match for the elite grunts, John and Ray Vahn. They were quickly dispatched by vibroblade slashes and stabs. After the carnage, the Jolly Rogers regrouped and proceeded to way point bravo: their primary objective. The 'Rogers were 2 km from the enemy surveillance outpost when Lip's strider bottom hatch opened and a small, saucer shaped probe dropped out. The probe is an Obelisk electronics Ovni type drone. It floated eerily, it's sensors scanning for enemy in the vicinity. Once all clear, the drone zoomed towards the outpost and stuck itself onto the wall like limpet.
A blast of electromagnetic energy erupted from it. All sensors within the area had been disrupted by the blast. A skull & crossbones symbol appeared on the enemy's HUD laughing, "Ha ! Ha ! Ha!". The force that was guarding the outpost consisted of 4 Jaegers, 2 Black Mamba & 2 Nagas were stunned. They immediately perked up, weapons at ready position. A crimson laser beam lanced from a nearby sand dune impaled one of the Naga's cockpit. It fell like a drunken ostrich, head first. Simultaneously, a bang resonated through the sky. A tracer round sped out of nowhere hit the other Naga. A fiery red flash briefly lit the strider's side up then a tumultuous explosion tore it apart.
Both the Jaguars and Jaegers suprised by initial attack retreated. Falling back near the outpost, they took up defensive positions with their auto cannons ready to fire at the first sign of hostile contact. From a distance, Lips observed the attack with gusto. Ordering the strider crew to switch conventional mortar rounds to anti-structure round, he zeroed the cross hairs, adjusting the correct trajectory till the HUD blinked red. "Anti-structure round, loaded and ready!" The strider's gunner declared. "Fire." Lips said coolly. Tongues of fire licked the dark sky as the mortar round screamed down, guided by the friendly signals emanated by the Ovni drone. "Artillery! Take cover!" shrieked the Black Mamba pilot through his comm system. No sooner he warned his teammates, two mortar rounds penetrated the Outpost through the roof, shattering it like eggshells. The doomed structure came crashing down on it's roof. The Southern Gears stumbled around blindly in the resulting chaos, firing their guns at random direction desperately in hope of bringing down at some of the attackers. From the still choking debris, a pair of Heavy Gear that looked like Jaguars came charging in, followed by a Razorback Peacemaker. Bursts of auto cannon fore from both sides ensured. A volley of fierce auto cannon fire roared from the defenders for 30 seconds then it was silent. A Jaeger peered out to scan the surroundings. Out of a sudden, a single slug shattered it's head like a light bulb. His buddy turned to see what happened was made to do the nefarious " Dance of Death". That is the result of being hit by multiple auto cannon rounds and the body rattles and shakes from the impact. Peppered with holes, the stricken Gear tried to raise it's weapon to fire back. The Green Jaguarundi stormed in, delivered a high kick on the Jaeger's chest, crumpling it like foil. The Gear flew quite a distance away before crashing into the sands. The Razorback broke away from the Jaguarundis to do find it's own targets to hunt.
Like a tiger on a prowl, it crept up from the Black Mamba's behind. Using his forearm spike, he drove it deep into the Mamba's engine. Geysers of engine oil and a somewhat grisly shower lubricants sprayed all over the area. The remaining two Jaegers instinctively fired the assailant but Siegfried being a grizzled veteran has a trick or two up his sleeves. Using the Mamba as a shield, he blocked the incoming shots then he heaved and lifted the Gear over his Gear's head and flung it towards the two Jaegers. It exploded in mid-air over them throwing the two to the ground, stunned. The last Black Mamba planted its' feet firmly into the sands and fired single shot bursts at the apple red Jaguar. It swerved left and right like a martial artist, confidently avoiding the incoming shots with ease. Desperate, the enemy Gear drew it's vibroblade and charged towards John's Gear. The Jaguarundi intercepted the charging Black Mamba with an elbow smash in the Mamba's back. With that he sent the enemy to the sands, crashing. The duel was over and so was the battle...............
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The Jolly Rogers go for R & R in the Skavara -- or can they?!? Find out!
|APAGear II Archives||Volume 1, Number 3||February, 1999|
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