Part 9: Old "Friends"You know, its been too long without an update. I'll fix that, right now:
When we left off, Isabella informed Brenner's Wolves about a secret bunker filled with food and other supplies. It's a bit of a hike, but the Wolves move out.
: Swarm and plunder! And don't come back without something to ease my pain!
: Um... It's not that easy. We're low on fuel and ammo. And most of our weapons were destroyed in the last battle, so--
The Raiders the Beast talk to have the exact same image as the Rubinelle soldiers. So while it looks like the Rubinelle army is talking to the Beast here, I assure you he hasn't joined our cause.
I like to think The Beast just decked this poor raider before saying this line. Wouldn't be out of character for him.
: Y-yes, sir!
: My leg's on fire! I can't believe those soldier boys hit ME! GYAAARRR! Gotta kill this infection and then kill me some dogfaced do-gooders!
Suddenly, this eerie music plays as the next line is spoken:
Hello... Caulder. Why are you named? We never learned your name before, and they specifically made it unknown. Oh well. At least now I can actually call him Caulder.
: HEY! Wh-where did you come from, you freakin' ghost?
: My dear Sergeant... Wait, you have no name now, do you? You're just The Beast. How appropiate. Your propensity for violence saw you expelled from the military, yes? And these past few years, you've spent each day slaking your thirst for blood and mayhem.
: B-but...how do you...
: All in good time, my friend. When the meteors came, you knew just what to do, didn't you?
: For most, the world was a living hell, but for a man like you, it was paradise. At least until Captain Brenner and his good samaritans arrived...
: GYAAARRR! I hate him! He ruined everything! When I find him, I'm gonna rip--
: You desire chaos and destruction, yes? I shall see you are equipped to sate that desire.
This... This isn't good. Caulder had War Tanks before. That he was just willing to let a six year old use. Though his face looks more like a grimace of "crap, I have to let THIS guy use my resources?" than a grin.
: So we'll be passing by Freehaven again, will we? I doubt they'll be happy to see us, but we should check to see if the people are safe.
What? No we won't. Freehaven is to the west of us, back at mission 3. We're not going that direction at all.
: Permission to speak out of turn, sir, but I believe you're too forgiving. How can you be concerned for their welfare after the way their mayor behaved?
: That doesn't mean we can abandon them.
: Doesn't it? They insulted you, sir. I for one couldn't care less if they were wiped from the earth.
Well, just the Mayor would be good enough for me, but Freehaven is siding with him. Guilty by association?
: That's enough of that, Lin.
: Captain Brenner!
: What is it, Will? Are we under attack again?
: Huh? No, it's those villagers. Remember the ones we met before? They say they want to speak with you, sir.
: Is that so?
: We can't survive without assistance.
: And what has this got to do with me?
: Please, Brenner... Captain. We need your help. You have my apologies for any past--
: Understood. Pack your things. You're coming with us. If we can locate that factory, there should be enough food for everyone.
: All I can tell you is, it's key to getting the food we need to survive. Clear?
: Yes, of course. You have my gratitude. Speaking of food, my people haven't eaten in days. May I ask--
: If we'll feed you? Ask away... All right. We're running short ourselves, but I'll see to it.
Oh Lin. Never change.
: I-I beg your pardon?
: I'm rather curious as to what your villagers are carrying in all those trucks. It wouldn't happen to be provisions, would it?
: N-no, it's merely...
A politician? Lie? Never!
: I said no such thing. I merely inferred from your robust condition that you've been eating--
: Enough! You...you uppity--
: Attack! We're under attack!
: Gather your people and take cover in the rear. We'll continue this later if we survive.
: And they're using this poor visibility to cover their attack. Someone must be helping them... All units, advance! Keep your eyes peeled!
Battle time with Lin, but I see a couple new things. Let's take a look.
First, the T-copter. Transport copters have no attack, minimal defence, and a movement range of 6. The upside is they're transports for infantry and mechs, allowing them to reach out of the way places faster, or help in advancing them towards the enemy HQ. Very useful in larger maps, due to being flying units.
And fire. Fire is a terrain item, granting vision in a 5 tile radius around it. It's still subject to the rules of fog of war, so it won't identify enemies inside forests of cities. Because it's a terrain item, both sides get it's vision range. Keep that in mind if you're playing, because the enemy can and will use opportunities to snipe your units they can see in the fire's vision.
Here's the northwest. We can see one infantry, and two bases. We can't let the Beast get that location, so we'll load up an infantry and mech into our transports and fly them over here. Our B Copter will also come across in a defensive move.
Like so. I also moved the recon to give a bit more of an idea of what's east of that area, which thankfully is nothing. Our bikes do the turn 1 capture thing, and the tank takes the bridge.
You can see the tank I just moved at the western edge of the screen. The east is illuminated by fire, but there's a lot of forests and cities there to give cover. We'll have to tread lightly.
: Ungaah...my head...so dizzy... Must be the medicine that freak gave me... But it feels good! My blood's on fire. The rage is burning me up! YESSSSS! I am reborn! The Beast will not be denied! GRAAAARRR!!! The Beast will hunt! Prepare...to...DIE!
Oh boy, the Beast is now in full roid rage. Wonderful. He moves a couple units around, that's about all. Can't see a whole lot thanks to the fog.
I've got the cursor where it is because in the Beast's phase a recon went through the fire, and finished somewhere down there. Something to keep in mind as we move around.
General movement in the south, as the bikes finish capturing and our other units start traveling the bridge. But what about the north?
Nothing fancy. Copter and infantry take out the Beast's full health infantry by the fire, and the mech begins capturing the factory.
In the south, I build a flare. Hopefully it'll see some use in this map.
Day 3 in the south, and a recon has come up and blocked the bridge. Thankfully the artillery hasn't moved, as placing it behind the recon would have crushed movement in the south end. I can only assume if the Beast doesn't have the factory in the east, he does now.
We'll start with the north first, as there is nothing of note happening up there. I use the T copter to scan the factory before moving my infantry towards it. The Mech also finishes capturing the other factory up there.
In the south, the tank attacks the recon, everything else moves up, and an artillery is produced. That's all for this turn.
Day 4, and nothing major happened. The recon fled, leaving the artillery open to attack. Again, we'll deal with the north first, as less is happening up there right now.
Infantry begins capture on the second factory, and the mech moves back to get the neutral cities. Our copters begin blazing a path to see if anything is worth hunting.
In the south, the tank attacks the artillery, and discovers a missile platform. Suddenly I'm glad my flyers are in the north
The remainder of the army begins making the slow move forward along the bridge.
Day 5, and a random tank strikes ours. I have other priorities for it though.
Weakening that artillery will prove more useful than anything else, since it blocks the bridge rather effectively.
With it near dead, I feel safe throwing units into it's range. Nothing bad should come of this.
In the north, T copters are again used as crappy scouts, and the weakened infantry from Day 1 is located. We should rectify this mistake.
Much better. The northeast is tentatively ours, at least for that mountain path. The B copter should be able to handle anything that comes through there.
Back at base, An anti tank (behind the info panel) and a bike are produced, and capturing occurs. That's all for this turn.
Well that's embarrassing. The RECON took out our tank. The artillery also attacked ours, to no effect. Vengeance must be had.
Not quite a favourable exchange, but a kill is a kill. That artillery will deal HP damage to our arty next turn, so we need to deal with that...
The flare gets into the action. While not having much armor, it'll survive a single hit from a half health tank. That's about all for the south.
Nothing going on in the northwest. A tank is made to help secure that path easily, and more capturing happens.
In the northeast, the B copter covers the entry and attacks the recon that attacked our T copter. The T copters, meanwhile, go scouting the forests, and find nothing hiding.
Day 7, and we start with the base area. Captures and another tank are all to speak of here.
At the choke point, a T copter goes scouting the factory, and runs into heavy resistance. Godspeed brave copter, you shall be missed.
That mech is the biggest threat there, so the B copter weakens it down a little, taking another point of damage in the process. Everything in the south is bottle necking at the bridge, as I moved the flare away from the tank after taking a shot from it.
Day 8, and the T copter somehow lived. It'll die this turn, as it's not worth risking the B copter's health for. We begin in the north, as it's a little more clear cut what needs to happen.
Our bike takes out the weakened mech, and reveals the weakened infantry from last turn.
I decide to weaken the other infantry, for whatever reason. The bike would have been safe with the weakened infantry's death, but this'll work out fine too.
Using the flare as it's meant to be used, I launch a probe forward to see if anything lurks in the shadow.
I strike true, and the B copter attacks. The recon rolls forward to observe the city and maybe get a hit on anything that comes through. The tank has to die though, and I feel like vengeance is required.
Yes, the Bike got the kill. My tank's death is no longer as bad.
With the bottleneck in the south cleared out )with the exception of the missiles), everything rolls forward.
Day 9, and one infantry to the north have decided death is a good alternative. The second one decided the woods would be a good hiding place. I have other priorities first though.
Using the flare to get sight on the missiles.
Then combining the strength of the anti tank with the B-copter to take it out.
The southern force moves forward at an alarming pace when unimpeded by The Beast. That Bike is in range of the HQ, so this is almost over.
With the south under control, focus shifts to the north. A tank rolls by the woods en route to attacking a full health infantry, exposing the weakened infantry. The Bike then strikes that one down too.
Day 10, and the recon took offense to me parking an artillery beside the HQ. Bad move.
The north tank rolls down and takes it out, also forming a barrier in front of the HQ. The artillery rolls to the east to try and absorb any hits from that end, though it would have been better situated in the woods to the north.
The recon clears the way for the bike by heading north and taking shots at the Beasts few infantry remaining. The northern bike and remaining tank finish them off. The other southern bike feels like taking over a city for no real reason.
Surprises abound. A mech was hiding in that northern woods and attacked our tank, and a tank rolled off the factory and attacked the HQ capturing bike. Guess we're going an extra turn. There is one flaw in that tank attacking us though.
Namely, it sat in range of both our indirects. They team up and take it down.
Up in the north, our recon deals enough damage to take out the mech.
The Beast's lonely remaining unit is safe this turn, however no matter what, we've won the mission next turn, since it can't reach the bike capturing the HQ.
The tank opts to instead attack and destroy the artillery before Day 12 dawns. Once more, vengeance for fallen men.
Much better. I can't deal enough damage to the flare, so I just capture the HQ for the win.
: Now that I've got a weapons supplier, I'll be making your lives miserable. Sleep lightly, soldier boy! The Beast rules the night! GYAAARRR!
: All enemy units have been accounted for. This battle's over.
: Somebody tell me where those raiders got all that firepower?
: I can't understand it, sir. We destroyed everything they had...
Gross. Do you know what's in piles of corpses? Nothing I'd be willing to share a moment with, what's for sure.
: That doesn't bode well... I'm sure we'll see his ugly face again. But we've got our own goal to reach. Let's move out!
: That went just as I planned it.
Yes Lin, you clearly planned a tank dying to a recon. S rank. Willing to bet I'd have 100 points in speed if the bike wasn't attacked.
: Isabella? Is something wrong? Are you feeling all right?
: I d-don't know...
: Isabella! Talk to me! What is it?
: So...dizzy...my head...
: I feel... funny...
Well, you DID just spout off a random 10 digit number. Maybe it's her social security number? Let's not forget the repeating of the letters "IDS". Something's not quite right here...
: Wait a minute...
: Curiously, the virus seems to infect only young people. You're in the right age range, Will, which means you're at risk. If you met anyone suffering from this you must stay away! Is that clear?
: No! It can't be!
: I'm going to get Dr. Morris! Wait here, Isabella!
: What's all the commotion over here? Oh no... Get the doc over here! On the double!
: Judging from the symptoms, there's a good chance Isabella's infected with Creeping Derangea.
: The plant virus?
: Yes. I've placed her in a quarantine in a temporary laboratory. She must stay there for now. There's no danger of us getting sick, but young people like Will are at risk.
: What are you doing for her? How long until she's cured?
: Will's right about you, Captain. You truly are a caring man. But to have any hope of curing her, I would require highly specialized equipment and facilities.
: You've got what you've got, Doc. Do your best.
: If I may, Captain? I have a thought.
: Go ahead.
: The shelter the girl told us about. If it truly does exist... Perhaps it contains the medical equipment Dr. Morris requires.
: You may be onto something there. A shelter like that would be completely airtight...
: Yes, they must have considered it. It's very possible they would have a contingency plan for a situation such as this.
: I see. Good work, you two. As long as there's a chance, we keep moving.
: Nothing. I'm just...
: I know you're worried about Isabella. That's a normal reaction. But listen, I don't want you to lose hope. As long as there's life--
: I ran away. I... I ran away from her.
: What are you talking about?
: When I knew...when I knew Isabella was sick. I didn't go to her.
:She was really scared, you know? I could see it in her eyes. She wanted me to help her, but... ...I ran away.
: You did the right thing, Will. If you'd gone to her, if you'd come into contact with her, you'd be in quarantine too.
: But you would have stayed with her, Captain! You help people. That's what you do. You're committed. You're not like me...
: I've spent more time running than you'll ever know, kid. Hell, I'm still running.
: What do you mean?
: All the people I couldn't help, all the soldiers who died because I wasn't good enough...
: That's just the sound of me running, Will. Running from a past I'll never escape...
: You disappointed? I was hoping I could protect the illusion for you. No matter how I grieve or regret my actions, the men who've died because of me will still be dead. But Isabella's still alive. You've got nothing to regret. There's plenty you can still do, right? For her?
: Sir... Yes, sir!
: Just remember, Will. Where there's life...
: There's hope!
Will sure seems easy to cheer up, at least. Just throw a mantra at him and he's chipper again.
The Mayor does what the Mayor does best. Also a battle occurs, I guess.