Part 22: Battle 10: In the Belly of the Beast
Fires and Effects
The enemy's super weapon, a biological airship, has been detected approaching our position and must be stopped at any cost.
Terrain: The control area, if it can be termed that, of the enemy's weapon is made up of a cavernous internal space within the creature itself. While the terrain is relatively open, there are pools of noxious biological fluids in the area of operations and a general miasma in the air. Of special notice are two narrow passages that appear to open and close at regular intervals. These passages are simultaneously an obstacle and a possible avenue of approach if their use is timed correctly. As a result, the openings of these passages are key terrain.
Disposition: Due to the toxic nature of the environment and the confined surroundings, the enemy has chosen to utilize irregular troops including the undead and various trained creatures at home in similar environments. These forces are scattered throughout the battlefield in 3 main concentrations along the path to the enemy command post. Most of the enemy's capabilities are short-ranged, giving us a significant advantage to exploit.
Enemy's most likely course of action: The enemy will most likely remain in their defensive position, and are unlikely to mass their forces decisively in order to exploit the close confines in the area.
Enemy's most dangerous course of action: Enemy operations to trap our forces utilizing the collapsing passages could successfully isolate small groups and place them in a situation where they will be heavily outnumbered and can be defeated in detail.
The KRF will conduct a breach and clear mission on the enemy's secret weapon in order to disrupt the enemy's control of the creature before it can become a threat to our
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: Dependent on the opening and closing rhythm of the nearest passageway our forces will split into two components. Dependent on time and position whichever forces are able to move through the passage will engage the enemy group directly to the south of our position and fix or destroy them if possible. While they are so engaged the primary group will make a looping motion around that area to defeat all enemies in that location so as to not leave an active force to our rear. Decontamination teams will be utilized in order to clear the route of poisons and noxious fluids during the maneuver. The two forces will link up outside the second passage and continue the attack on the enemy's command post.
From the depths of the "ship" we could hear the enemy general screaming invectives at us. I take back anything I said about his sanity... how can someone in an organic ship complain about people getting it filthy? You couldn't pay me enough to ride in this thing!
As soon as we set out, the immediately obstacle was the pool of... goo... in front of our forces. Zora's group started the process of cleansing it, but the sheer surface area ensured that there'd be no easy way across.
Lukia's group started laying down fire on the undead as soon as possible. I can only imagine that the poor creature we're fighting inside is going to have some massive indigestion by the time this is all over.
The crossing was aided by Sendak and Yoyo's group, who still weren't quite able to brige the gap. The delay on this action might be substantial...
Getting bored with the entire process Clyde simply flew over and attacked a group of creatures.. I'm not sure what those are, but they're unsavory. I'm almost wondering if they couldn't be some kind of parasite.
As we surged forward Pinky ended up out ahead of the rest, sitting in acid. Luckily Zora's group was able to achieve the objective of making a crossing of the pool and healing him at the same time.
The smaller needle-like dragons were able to take advantage of our disposition to get in close with Lukia and the mages, but the results weren't in their best interest.
Worth noting is that the robe-wearing undead in this area are an exception to the enemy's general lack of long range magic. Their ice spells are actually very powerful, enough so that they put Frenze and Reeve down for a few minutes.
Clyde by himself is doing a grand job of holding off the lower group of enemies, but even though they're mostly harmless there are enough enemies to weaken even him.
Luckily the distance wasn't so great that Flammie couldn't come in and give some aid.
Finally on the third go-around Clyde is able to vaporize the parasitic lifeforms with lightning and clear the way a bit.
Matelite and company finally make their way through the passage and mop up the second group of undead magi to the south of the passage.
As our forces mass by the second passage, Clyde takes it in his head to go and antagonize Persona directly. As it's Clyde I'm not so terribly worried.
Flammie goes along to keep an eye on him and demonstrates a peculiarity of the undead. Healing magic, rather than restoring their injuries, is actually directly harmful. It says a good deal that as a dragon Flammie can grasp this concept.
Unfortunately Flammie succeeds a bit too well in capturing the enemy's attention, as the entire remaining compliment of the ship starts to move in his direction.
Deep within the enemy's headquarters another kind of creature presents itself. I don't really want to speculate on the biology of the creature we're inside at the moment, but could it be the kind that keeps its young inside until they're old enough to survive on their own?
As they try to reinforce the dragons and Matelite, Lukia and her group are trapped within the passageway. While the passageway isn't closing enough to injure them, they're gripped too tightly to move.
Another danger of the undead lies in their ability to use techniques to drain our vitality and add to their own. A dragon is strong enough to make an excellent target for such tactics.
Pinky and the other dragons end up rushing forward as the collapse of the passage means that there is no way for aid to reach Flammie, Clyde, and Matelite in any other way.
At the same time Persona is trying his level best to spear Flammie, although Flammie is strong enough to make that a losing proposition at the best of times.
Flammie ends up having to pull back and heal himself as a result.
We haven't heard much from Sue during this battle, but she's certainly doing well enough for herself destroying the skeletal spearmen around Persona.
As well as taking the lead in roasting the monstrous potential progeny of this ship.
We barely make it through the passage as Matelite, unable to close with Persona, blasts him with lightning to continue softening him up.
The enemy general has been so battered that we actually give him a moment in order to eradicate the smaller versions of the secret weapon. The last thing we want is for the empire to get their hands on more of these.
A series of lightning elemental smashes finally finish off Persona.
He died as he lived, obsessed with cleanliness.
Having accomplished our objective, it was time to get the hell out of this creature.