Thursday, April 21, 2011

Digital Immersion - Part 6.

"Well, Jeffers, you failed your lesson with amazing incompetence." Querent was honestly surprised, as rifleman, she had counted on Jeffers having at least the sense to have covered his squad-mates and at the first sign acted/ Even if that meant drawing fire to allow his peers to suppress and bring their artillery to bear. "Pay attention class," she began, "we will now move on to our next lesson." Engaging her command protocols, Evelyn reached out to manually activate the drones that had been meant for their maneuvers and issue a new battle plan for them.

"You first chose to engage an enemy blind, without considering strength first. A grave error that cost you your rifleman. Now you are calculating the strength you think you know, but what will you do when that proves false as well? Will you adapt your strategies, or have you hopelessly locked yourself into a singular tactic?" Calming her mind, Querent centered herself and relaxed, her mecha responded as well by crouching down and lowering it's power output. In such a state she was certain her thermal signature would be greatly reduced helping ensure she remained hidden in a cloak of brush and rocky stone. Her adversaries own units would never have been able to easily traverse such train, a merit to her own flexible choice of chassis as the squads tactical officer.

Patiently she waited from her vantage point as smoke cleared to reveal her two remaining wary foes. They might have closed their comm channels that linked her to them but at this range they neglected caution and forgot how easily their own channels can be intercepted. Especially when it is a superior officer with all the proper codes to do so. Querent listened in as she checked on her automated allies approach, immediately catching the surviving squad members chatter.

“This was supposed to be easy, Everett, now we have to explain Jeffers as well,” Farrow pleaded. “How we going to explain this along with the untimely demise of our renowned lieutenant?” Already trapped by the deeds already done, Farrow knew he was committed. It still didn’t stop his nerved from getting frayed as worry set in about what might befall him if things continued to diverge from their plan.

“Relax,” Everett’s voiced was cool purring whisper. “No plan lasts first contact with he enemy, right? Jeffers never was the best soldier anyways, we’ll just call it a accident. Maybe the poor fool misplaced himself into a friendly field of fire and became an unfortunate casualty. A sad error in the heat of battle, nothing more. We can heroically mourn his loss, and be acclaimed when we return. Besides, Farrow, we can always sell his scrap for salvage and split the coin. At least in death he can be a credit to our pockets and we’ll go down as the brave soldiers who survived. Might even spin it off as a victim of a freak bioid that we had to stop.”

Social interaction had always eluded Querent, she just never could quite understand how people felt or what was expected of her when they interacted. But combat roles in squad she had come to grasp, and she could identify dissension easy enough.  Marking that the drones had managed to get into position, a Cheshire grin lit her face.

She was still grinning as she gave the drones the command to commence their new orders.