Silent Storm — Mission 13, Part 2: Everyone Dies!

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ss_portrait_sookA panzerklein… It has to be.

ss_portrait_dougTwo of them.

ss_portrait_bogeyViper — you see what I see?

ss_portrait_viperYep. For once, boss, I’m right there with ya.

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ss_portrait_viperTakin’ the shot.

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ss_portrait_bogeyBullseye!

ss_portrait_zinaidaDon’t pat each other on the backs yet. Look!

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ss_portrait_zinaidaThey’re still standing…

The whole front of the building is gone. We’ve brought the roof down on them — and not a scratch.

Like, literally, you can even see it in the previous shot: the unarmored soldier gets wasted, but the panzerkleins take no damage. Zero.

And then the onslaught begins.

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The first shot soars over our heads and hits the ground behind us — hard.

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Explosive rounds. If that wasn’t enough, enter stage left:

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We unload on the panzerkleins. Honestly, my hopes aren’t very high, but I’m curious to see if we can do anything to them.

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More zeros. Great.

Actually, the occasional shot does seem to find a chink in their armor, but even then only does single-digit damage. Maybe in the teens. And these things seem like they’ve got hundreds of HP.

Gator closes in. Maybe a sustained, point-blank machine gun burst will do something more substantial.

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He takes cover here under the rocks and waits for the panzerkleins to walk past on their way to the rest of the squad.

Meanwhile… plan B.

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In the chaos, Zinaida snagged one of those laser cannon things.

ss_portrait_bogeyWhat the hell is that thing, anyway?

ss_portrait_zinaidaOur ticket out of here, I hope.

54-66 isn’t that amazing for damage. It’s about double what our sniper rifles are outputting, but given you can only fire the “BHLG 1Z” once before reloading, I’m not sure that’s worth much. Still, there has to be something useful about this gun. The devs wouldn’t give it to us right before our first panzerklein fight for nothing, right?

We’re about to find out when —

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Direct hit. She and Doug both get hammered by the lead panzerklein in the same turn. She’s hurt — bad.

ss_portrait_zinaidaI can… still make the shot…

Before she falls back to safety, she equips the new gun and is about to fire… except it’s out of ammo. Damn it.

We’ve got to pull her out. On the way, though…

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Why, is that some ammo lying on the ground there? She pockets two of the weird green canisters and keeps running.

At the bottom of the hill, everyone (except Gator) regroups for healing.

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The panzerkleins begin their slow, relentless, terrifying Terminator walk down toward us.

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ss_portrait_viperThey’re comin’. Any bright ideas, boss?

ss_portrait_zinaidaYeah, how about this?

Before Bogey’s even done with her wounds, Zinaida turns, takes aim, and pulls the trigger.

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ss_portrait_zinaidaWas that bright enough for you?

Okay, so now we know what the Big Deal with these beam weapons is. The blue numbers we were seeing earlier were for damage done to the panzerklein itself. The laser bypasses the armor and hits the pilot directly — and 61 damage to a human target is pretty dang good. It may be looking up for us.

Up the road a bit, one of the other panzerkleins has been snared in Gator’s trap.

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Three grenades later…

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…the thing’s taken over a hundred damage.

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After that much punishment, “lightly damaged” just isn’t going to cut it. We’ve got to use the beam weapons if we’re going to survive this fight.

Gator, um, learns that lesson the hard way.

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Sorry, Gator.

Shockingly, he’s not dead, though! If we can get him out of the combat area, he should be fine.

And while all that nonsense is playing out, something encouraging happens:

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Zinaida managed to hit this panzerklein twice. Before we even got to the third shot, it grinds to a halt. The pilot bled out between turns. That’s one down.

Two to go — both of them lobbing rockets at us.

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But our aim is better.

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We push forward. I’m so focused on the panzerkleins — and so overconfident now that we can bring them down — that I don’t even pay any attention to the lowly engineer who runs out of the base and mans the mounted gun.

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…We’re not out of its reach anymore.

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One shot — and Zinaida is a few HP away from death.

We fall back again, taking constant fire.

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The unarmored soldiers go down without any trouble, but the panzerkleins inch closer every turn. Another appears over the ridge to replace the one we disabled.

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But then — mercifully — the pilots of the original two bleed to death almost at the same time.

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From that grey one, we hear a transmission:

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ss_portrait_dougI don’t particularly like the sound of that…

Whatever’s about to happen, there’s no time to lose. The team rushes the hill. Bogey grabs another one of the beam guns and he and Zinaida blast the last panzerklein to hell.

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ss_portrait_bogeyI guess green technology really is the future!

ss_portrait_viperUgh.

That’s it. All opposition nearby is out of the picture. Now the question is: do we risk running in to grab whatever intel might be inside the base? There’s no telling when the place will blow.

I can’t resist the allure of the facility. I need to know what’s in there. But to summarize how that goes, well…

Everyone dies.

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The whole place explodes a few turns later. Which I sort of saw coming. What I didn’t see coming was that it doesn’t matter if your main character is outside the base when that happens. It doesn’t matter if your whole squad is safe at the bottom of the hill. Once the building goes, it’s Game Over!

So for the first time in this LP, I’m going to reload an older save and undo a terrible command decision. I hope you’ll forgive me, but it doesn’t seem very satisfying to end with Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies.

So, rewinding a bit…

ss_portrait_bogeyI guess green technology really is the future!

ss_portrait_viperUgh.

ss_portrait_zinaidaWe need to go, you idiots!

ss_portrait_sookWe have nothing we came for. The mission is a failure.

ss_portrait_zinaidaNot yet! See if you can get the enemy commander out of that armor.

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Sook finagles the body out of the panzerklein and hoists him onto his shoulders.

ss_portrait_viperAh’ve got Gator.

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ss_portrait_zinaidaNow, Doug, do you think–

ss_portrait_dougI would be delighted!

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Doug pops another pilot out and climbs into one of the panzerkleins. A few seconds later, he’s stomping around like a pro.

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ss_portrait_dougIt’s actually quite a bit easier than I expected.

ss_portrait_bogeyI… not leaving without one of those things.

ss_portrait_dougI could walk you all through it if you’d like.

ss_portrait_zinaidaDo it, but do it fast.

It takes some juggling of gear (characters in panzerkleins can’t hold weapons, so you need to store them somewhere else), but in the end we’re able to make off with three of the four panzerkleins. We would have taken the fourth, but our last two team members were both carrying bodies.

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And just in time. We’ve made it out of the area right before the whole base goes up in flames.

ss_portrait_sookSo much intelligence… lost.

ss_portrait_bogeyYeah, but look at this robot suit! And these ray guns! Our enemies will be green with envy.

ss_portrait_bogeyI suggest we change the name of our team to the Green Party.

ss_portrait_bogeyThe grass is always greener–

ss_portrait_viperShut it!

On to the next episode!
or return to the Table of Contents

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