Part 11: This is a Sneaking Mission, BeastLast time, we found the bunker Isabella mentioned, and also had the security code for. We also got lucky in that the door gave us two chances, because a security program for a secret bunker must have some sort of flaw (beyond only needing a 10 digit number). Today...
We go... north? What? Why are we moving northward? We just found the bunker. There should be no movement! I don't get it.
: How about the medical facilities?
: The medical bay's in D Block, Sector 1, sir!
: It's filled with antiviral medicines and the latest medical equipment. The government spared no expense in its preparations to safeguard the political elite.
: I hear you, Lin. Now let's get Isabella and the rest of the civilians in here. On the double!
: Right away, sir!
: Captain! The rear guard's under attack! Looks like those raiders are back again!
: What? Someone want to explain how they snuck up on us?
: That's just great! What are you standing around for? Let's move!
: Calm down! Just follow the evacuation procedures we practiced. Do as you were told, and you'll get out of this just fine.
: It's all right, Isabella. Try thinking of something pleasant. That should help.
: I-I'm OK... If we never give up...
: Yes, of course. We must never give up. That's the key. Of course, some reinforcements would help raise my spirits, but...
: GYAAARRR! Ungyaahh...graar... Gwar har har! GYAAARRR!
Oh crap, he's gone rabid!
: The raiders are closing in on the civilians! They're going to attack!
: GYAAARRR! Civilians? You're worried about them? Gwar har har! That settles it! KILL 'EM ALL!! War lesson number one, punk! NEVER CARE! GYAAARRR!!
: Leave them alone! They're not soldiers! THEY'RE CIVILIANS!
: It doesn't matter! They're weak! They're defenseless!
: But why? Why would you... I'm not letting you touch them! We're going to stop you!
: Gwar har har! I'd like to see you try! Do your worst! GYAAARRR!!
Well, our worst isn't that good to start with. The Beast completely outmatches us in pure firepower, though we're closer to the middle bases. We also have a factory under the rig, and an airport under the mech.
The Beast, meanwhile, has a war tank sitting on his HQ. That infantry close to it? Totally screwed. No matter where he goes, he's still in range of the tank, and he can't quite make it up onto the mountain for some extra cover. My priority will be getting the other two units out.
Like so. Infantry over the mountains, recon using it's superior speed to flee along the road. The soon to be dead infantry takes some shots at the mech, to delay the building capture by a day.
You may have noticed the Beast has an anti air already made. This is why. We have an air force as well. The problem?
So does he. While not a huge problem, removing that fighter will be a pretty key factor in my victory here.
For now, I rush towards the middle. Getting this area held securely will be integral, since most of the fighting occurs in this general area.
In the mean time, I start bringing down our air force to the main body of the army. Strength in numbers and all that. On his turn, The Beast kills that infantry with the war tank. Complete overkill, but it's what the AI loves best.
: Take them all! Don't let them die easily!
: NOOOO! Get out of there! Do you read?! You have to evacuate now! Dr. Morris? Isabella? Please, someone answer me! You've got to get out of there! Hello? Is anyone there?
: Gwar har har! They're all dead, punk! Your pretty little girlfriend too! You couldn't save 'em. How's it taste? Burns, doesn't it?
: WHY? Why did you do that? There was no reason...
: And now I'm gonna kill the rest so I can hear you cry some more. How's that sound? What's that? I can't HEEEEAAARRR you! C'mon, punk! Don't you have anything to say? I wanna hear you beg!
: You threatening me, boy?
: You were right. I had no idea what war was really about. But I get it now. It's about anger and fear. It's about hate! My friends weren't looking to fight. They were innocent...
: Gwar har har! Now you're talkin', punk! Now you're worth killing! GYAAARRR!
Will, we never knew you had it in you. In my eyes, this is when Will really becomes a character, showing real emotion. Before now, he was more background to Brenner and fleshing out Brenner's character. This won't be the last we see of this type of outburst from Will, either.
In any case, we still have a fight to win. The majority of his forces have moved up, and that mech will spend an extra day capturing (and took valuable cash repairing) because of our brave infantry. There isn't a whole lot we can do this turn, so I just advance everything forward and continue the capturing of the center.
Like so. I'm not moving that northern duster yet. I want to see if I can lure the fighter over that way to be in range of the missiles. A tank is built back at home to join the effort up ahead.
Sadly, The Beast caught on to my ploy, and kept his air force clumped together in the north. His tank also attacked mine at the northern choke point, which I guess will have to be dealt with soon.
To begin with, I send the bike, who finished capturing the airport, up to the noth to capture that lone city. The other infantry units all finish capturing their respective buildings. The "survivor" infantry in the east will be shelled as a result of not fleeing that city and instead capturing, but he won't die this turn. A B Copter is also built at that new airport, and the rig finishes building a Temp. Air at the northern choke, just in case I need it.
The duster continues moving in the north trying to be as attractive as bait can be for the fighter, and everything else clumps up awaiting the impeding enemy movement.
As expected, the infantry got shelled by the enemy artillery, and my own artillery gets nailed by the anti air. Still, that AA needs to go.
The new tank rolls down to deal with it, and the two infantry units join together. The bike also finishes up north, providing an extra 1000G a turn.
The artillery retreats to heal up on a city, and our own AA comes in and wipes out the Beast's.
I briefly consider doing this to remove the threat of the T Copter stealing my stuff, but realize I'd be leaving the duster at the mercy of the Beast's own duster as well as the fighter. While I really don't like Duster's, I'd rather have as many units alive as possible. In other news, our recon goes and harasses the south infantry, preventing the city capture this turn.
I also have no idea why I put my mech onto the mountain under the arrow, in range of the artillery. A moment of insanity, I guess. One of my many derps, with many more to come, I just know it.
Nothing major of note happened between turns. The tank rolled south and attacked our recon, and everything else moved up. Our mech took a hit it didn't really deserve.
To start, I retreat the recon, and move in a tank and the artillery, leaving the enemy tank at 3HP.
The Beast also left the T Copter in range of the missiles. I rectify this error on his part.
Playing bait again, this time with TWO dusters. All squares he could attack from are in view of the missiles. Meanwhile, they plink away at an infantry and the artillery.
I fly the B Copter north a bit, and build a bomber. Soon, it'll be able to roam freely, once that fighter is gone.
Finally, a little movement of my forces. Up at the top, you can see our fighter primed to strike at the B Copters.
The bait was taken this time. The fighter is in range, and nothing else has really transpired this turn for The Beast.
Fixing the fighter problem, so I can begin roaming with the flying units.
With that dealt with, I pull the damaged Duster back to be a drain on my resources by healing it on a Temp air.
I see the problem with this move instantly, but I didn't until afterwards when I did this. What follows is a series of "Oh shit, I left that bomber in range of an anti air"
First things first, I build another bomber, just in case.
Next, I bring down the fighter and full health duster to block off the bomber. With next to no air force left, the fighter is kind of just... there. May as well put it to some use. Elsewhere, our AA takes out one of the B Copters that came towards our main force up in the northern end of the battlefield.
Finally, the southern tank takes out the capturing infantry, and the artillery weakens the mech primed to begin capture.
To further weaken the Beast, our B Copter weakens his remaining one.
And the bike decides to get in on the action, taking out the infantry capturing in the north.
Well, that could have been worse. The bomber lives, damaged by the duster. Our own duster takes a massive hit from the enemy AA. Up north, the bike gets punished for killing an infantry.
First thing, I take a page out of the AI code and beeline for a transport. This is more to clear up space for everything else to retreat, though I'll likely lose the AA in the process.
Next, the missiles take out the remaining B Copter.
The fresh bomber advances and takes out a 3 HP infantry in a show of real overkill, and the artillery takes out the Beast's weakened tank in the south. The weakened bomber goes back to the airport to heal up. Finally, a tank is built back near the HQ.
Annoyed with that duster for touching my bomber, I strike back with my fighter, crippling it.
Then I take the two B Copters and strike the recon that attacked our bike. The bike retreats to the safety of the central base location.
Finally, I join the two dusters together to get a 7 HP unit. While not the most powerful thing out there, it's still better than a 3 HP and a 4 HP pair.
Day 8, and the Beast's duster took a quick shot at my veteran missiles. I move them southeast, and let the joined duster take it out. The low health fighter also pulls back, having done it's job.
Now I roll the bombers out to begin the offensive on the AA's.
Then finish the job with the southern tank and one of the B Copters.
Another B Copter is built, and the entire army advances. the infantry in the south jumps into the T Copter, in the event an HQ capture is needed.
Just intimidating. The tank is in range of the War tank, and it may think one unit will make a difference.
It does indeed think my 5 HP tank will make a difference. The enemy infantry, not having suicidal thoughts, decides capturing is a much better alternative to death. Silly infantry, I can see you there.
But first, that tank needs to pay for the civilians it killed off at the start. The artillery takes a chunk of HP off it, and the bomber takes it down to 1 HP.
The B Copter in the south flies over and finishes the job. Our remaining bomber goes flying into the heart of the Beast's territory and strikes the AA that was just built. The tank I built two turns ago rolls up and damages that infantry capturing. The T Copter covers itself over a mountain protected by the B Copter, the duster makes another appearance and takes out a weak infantry. The other forces continue the advance, and one last tank is built in the center.
Our bomber took some damage from the AA, which repaired itself. Infantry moved up and attacked our northeast B Copter, and a recon as well as a mech were built. Shouldn't be too bad now.
To start, our bomber circles around the mech and finishes the AA. The T Copter delivers the infantry payload. At most, we should have two turns remaining beginning tomorrow.
The bomber flies in and heavily damages the enemy recon, and provides the cover on the northern flank for the infantry.
Somehow I don't think we'll need to capture the HQ to end this map. To recap: the full health B Copter in the north finishes off the recon, the duster blocks the factory to prevent anything bad coming out this turn, and the two remaining B Copters box in a 1 HP mech.
Day 11. Should be evident that the Beast is dead in the water here.
Tank rolls up and kills the infantry, artillery shells out the mech, B Copter and Duster take out the newly built, and even more newly destroyed, T Copter. Victory is ours. But at what cost?
: It seems my little experiment has come to an untimely end. Oh well... You served your purpose well, my savage beast. I am quite satisfied.
: Hello! Is anyone there? Did anyone manage to survive? Hello? HELLO? It's...it's no use. They're dead. I failed them all...
: We were just lying low until we could be sure it was safe.
: Dr. Morris!
: No time for lollygagging! I've got wounded coming out of my ears! And Isabella is faring poorly!
: We must never give up hope.
No we mustn't. S Rank, which in all honesty isn't too hard once you secure the middle of the map.
: Where's Will?
: He's with Isabella. Her condition has deteriorated badly. She was hurt in the skirmish, and the virus is continuing to develop.
: Will she make it?
: It's touch and go. She's in Dr. Morris's hands now.
In the Medical Wing...
: Come on, come on... What's taking so long?
: Will. You're still here? It's been hours.
: How is she, Doctor? Is Isabella all right?
: I'm...I'm sorry, Will.
Oh no! Not Isabella!
: Oh no... Please, Dr. Morris! It can't be! It can't!
: Listen, I... No, I don't have the words...
: Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho ho!
: I'm going to be OK, Will. I owe it all to Dr. Morris's help and to everyone's kindness.
: That's great news!
: It is, isn't it?
In the Control Center...
: You're a real piece of work, Doc. Why didn't you just tell the boy she was better?
: Come now, Captain! Where's the drama in that? Did you see the joy on Will's face? I felt like the director in one of those TV medical dramas. Oh ho ho!
: May I assume Isabella's no longer contagious?
: You may. The virus incorporated the nucleoside analogues into its genomes, halting its life--
: Stop! Is she OK or isn't she?
: You are a most impatient man, Captain. Yes, yes, she's fine. Although I must confess I had my doubts there for a while.
: While I was recovering from my surprise... Voila! I can offer you no explanation for it.
: Why not just call it a miracle? Sounds to me like Will's prayers were answered. That's all the explanation I need right there.
: I'm a man of science, Captain. Miracles are not something I deal in. However... Truth be told, I feel rather superfluous in that I truly did nothing to heal her. The one thing I can say for certain is that she's cured. So... Hip hip hoo-rah!
In the living quarters...(We move around a lot here, don't we?)
: Where've you been, Brenner? I've been waiting to hear your report for hours!
: Calm down. Everything's fine. The girl made a full recovery.
: The girl? Who said anything about her? I want to know about the food! Is the factory in working order? Will we be able to grow crops?
: Yes. That's what I've been told. You'll be happy to learn you don't need to worry about food anymore.
: That...that is good news. Now, we've got some additional business to attend to... As the civilian representative, there's something I need to discuss with you.
: Go on.
: It's about this shelter. Do you think it can sustain this many people living here?
: You can't be serious. Do you realize how big this place is? There is more than enough room for all of us.
: Listen, Brenner. This is the collective opinion of the entire civilian population, understand? And having soldiers living here is problematic as well. Are we supposed to live in fear of being attacked?
: Is there a point to all this?
: You're soldiers. You have the weapons and training to survive anywhere. But we civilians are powerless. This shelter is our only chance for survival. We believe the solution is clear.
: That's not a reasonable proposition. In terms of numbers, you civilians have an overwhelming majority. Additionally, a large number of our people are incapacitated by their wounds. Would you use that to your advantage? Is that the type of people we're dealing with?
Yes you are.
: This new world should be built on democracy. One person, one vote! That's what I say! Or would you rather threaten us with your guns and bully us into submission?
: ... ... ... ...
: Stand down, Lin.
: Very well, then. We vote, and majority rules. Does that sound fair to everyone? All in favor of having the soldiers leave the shelter, raise their hands. ...Come on! Lets see hands!
: Wh-what are you doing? Get your hands up! I gave you the plan! Now do as I told you!
: But...they fought for us. They risked their lives for us.
: I want them to stay.
: I'll second that!
: You listening, Mayor?
: B-b-but, how can you...? Wh-what are you thinking?! Fine! Do as you please! I don't care!
: Thank you, everyone. You have my gratitude. As you know, my people and I have been on search and rescue 24-7 since the meteors struck. But most of the folks we've "saved" didn't last too long after the fact... To be honest, there've been times when I've questioned the value of what we're doing.
: Well said, Captain.
Back in the medical wing...
: So we're going to stay here for a while. There's plenty of food, and there's safety in numbers.
: We can stay here together? Me too? I...I had nothing. I didn't know where I was or what I should do. I didn't even know my own name. Yet you took me in and cared for me, and now you say I can live here with you. Are you sure? Is it truly all right?
: Of course! And now that you've recovered from the virus, I'm sure you'll get your memory back.
: Perhaps... But I really don't need my memory back. I'm fine not knowing what happened before.
: Really? But...
: I'll never forget the kindness you've shown.
: Isabella, listen. I want to...
Lin: The sneakiest recon.
: GYAA! How do you do that? And why are you eavesdropping on our conversations?
: Are you talking about something you don't want me to hear?
: Well, no, but... That's not the point! It was a private conversation, and--
: Whatever. Captain Brenner sent me. We're to report to A Block immediately. If we're going to be living here, we need to set up rules and regulations.
: Fine. We'll be right there. C'mon Isabella. It's time to go!
: Yes, sir!
Delicious, delicious canned bread! And they all lived happily ever after. Except the Mayor. Because fuck that guy.
Uhh... we shift forward some amount of time. Roughly a year, even. And things happen again.