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    1. redbaron1234 9 yrs ago


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Simone flinched at the cannon shot, shoulders drawing up for a moment as she tried to cover her ears with her occupied hands. Bits of plaster fell onto her and Dorothy, bouncing harmlessly off them. Chancing a peak out of the window, Simone gasped. Even with the haze rolling through the battlefield the carnage was clear. Hecht's orders got the pair moving again, and after a quick prayer for Herman, she and Dorothy followed behind their sergeant.

Switching to her carbine like the rest of the dragoons, she rushed to the bridge. The scent of gunpowder and viscera filled her nose as they neared, the Rhaetians already returning fire against the cannon crew. Simone took cover behind a low wall, resting her barrel on it as she scanned the treeline for where to shoot. Spotting a short man with a broad mustache scrambling for cover, she took her shot. With the movement, range, and sheer nerves she couldn't tell if she hit home, but the soldier fell a few steps later.

Ducking back into cover to reload, adrenaline made reloading difficult, especially as a bullet ricocheted off a stone a foot from her head. Powder, wadding, ball, a simple order but by the time she got the pan filled with powder again, Kraus had started his charge, and she couldn't rightly risk firing back into the melee. Keeping an eye out on their flanks, both girls let out a cheer as the gun crew was wiped from the battlefield and reinforcements filled the town. After less than half an hour of combat, their first battle was over.

Minutes later, once it was clear the fighting had ended. Before the blood had cool in the streets, the two girls had found their horses again. They walked them upstream of the bridge to wash them of the muck of the battle and inspect them for injury. "You know, I feel like one of us shouldve spotted the cannon," Dorothy said, bringing over a bucket of riverwater to scrub with.

"Yeah we walked right into that," Simone replied, doing her best to remove some poor soldier's skill fragments from Mandel's back without actually touching them. She glances downstream. "Thanks for having my back."

Dorothy nodded. "Same to you." She got to work scrubbing down her own horse, a dappled mare named Ingwer. "Too bad about Herman. I liked him."

Simone sighed and reflexively placed a hand on her own belly. "Yeah, he used to go easy on me back home. Certainly deserved more than to be taken out like that."

"At least it was quick. From what I saw they are still dragging dying Canaries from the water. Certainly deserve it for what they did to that family."

Simone took a deep breath, turning back to Mandel to hide her twinge of knotted emotions. "Fuck the Canaries," she says. Scrubbing Mandel's flank, she adds "May our jaws clench around their necks, and make us heroes worthy of an aria by Materna." With that she rinses her horse off with the bucket of water and heads back to the river to refill it. "Now if we could find some soap for my breeches," she grumbles.
Simone did not like the quiet. The silence of the woods as a bear or wolves stalked about popped to mind, and the accuracy of the comparison did nothing to calm her nerves. Mandel, her horse, picked up on her nerves and had a hard time standing still. However, she was confident Kraus and Hecht knew what they were doing, at least enough to let some of Teddy's infectious bravado sink in as she stroked Mandel's mane. For all she knew they would catch the enemy stuffing their faces with some ill gotten bread, relieving themselves with their pants down. She was going to chime in when the woman screamed, and her blood turned to ice.

The bugle blared, and the world blurred. Before they had entered the village proper, she had her saber in hand. Her horse , barely trained to take a rider let alone combat, barely followed the rest of the group in it's barely controlled state. Following Hecht into the frey, her saber felt heavy in her hand, the long blade's momentum doing much of the work as she swung. She wasn't sure if she had made proper cuts or just clubbing her foes. Within the first few minutes of combat her blade was bloodied, her pants covered with the splatter of someone else's gore.

Gunfire rang in her ears and she spotted the soldiers taking aim from the windows. Without thinking she jerked Mandel's reigns to the side, sending her down someone's yard just moments before lead rained onto the street with the cries of more wounded. Heart pounding, she took quick stock of herself and Mandel, thankful to find no wounds yet. Another set of troopers joined her in taking cover, including Dorothy's familiar face. "You know what the plan is?" Dorothy shouted.

Simone looked around and saw Hecht dismounting, pulling out his carbine. The Sergent shouted something but she couldn't make it out over the din, but it was clear he was trying to give some orders. Before she could even get off her own horse, she pointed at him. "I'm following the Seargent," she said, hanging her carbine over her shoulder, and drawing her pistol. Hecht was already advancing into a nearby building, Trooper Jager hunched over as if hit in the gut. With Dorothy behind her, the duo dashed across the open street, ready to aid their two comrades in clearing the building.

Simone barreled through the door in her haste to get out of the open. Letting out a battle cry she thrust her pistol forward, her eyes were wide for any sign of yellow to shoot, but Hecht was the only one in the room. Dorothy came in a moment later, carbine at the ready. It took them a moment to register the scene in the room. Simone blanched, and felt her blood drain. She stood there, feet planted as Hecht finished pulping the soldier at his feet. Dorothy, moved first, having the sense of mind to move to push Simone out of the doorway. Sense knocked back into her, Simone moved to cover one of the interior doors as Dorothy dragged Jager off the street. Simone turned to call to Hecht, but her voice was drowned out as a cannon went off, loud enough to make the room shake.
After days of uneventful riding, Simone was glad for a task to occupy her attention. The excitement of her first deployment was already wearing thin under the constant grind of the march. It was certainly something the great bards of the stage had neglected to include in their performances. Still, the day itself was pleasant enough, and with some distance from the main body of the group the air had cleared of the worst of the dust such a large mass of men stirred up. Quickly patting her breast pocket to check for the umpteenth time she had her cigarette case with her, she rode ahead of the rest of the squadron.

With Wesler and Schuseter to her right, she kept her head on a swivel, looking for any sign of a path towards the river or danger. The smoke in the distance seemed like a promising place to find a village with a ford, or at least people to ask where to find one. On the other hand, this was the closest the group had been to Imperial forces, and it was entirely possible the village was already occupied. For all they knew, there were Imperial scouts in the woods near the river watching them. All she could do was keep her eyes open, and hope that any sharpshooters missed, and hope the knot of nerves in her belly didn't develop into anything worse.
@The WyrmIM still in!
@The WyrmCool, good to know. How much do you have on the history of Rhaetia? It would be nice to have some bullet points at least when doing the backstory.
Im interested as well. How does this culture view women soldiers? I was thinking of playing an extremely poor character,like part of their incomes comes from collecting scrap metal, and this dragoon thing is partly motivated by the potential pay.

Mentions: Brooke

Margot looked at the spot Jaden was a few momments ago, and let out a sigh. "Merde" She looked over to Brooke and then the tower. "Sounds like he can get his own ride back to the mainland." She did have to give him credit for not leaving footprints she could see. Her best guess is that he had some sort of technique to avoid breaking the crust. That or he simply jumped from rocky outrcopping to outcropping.

Looking off in to the distance, she saw the lasers and explosions of the fight already happening. "If we're lucky he's going to get distracted showing off to someone else. But it looks like someone's already gotten there." She pulled her cape around herself, grateful for the extra bit of warmth it added. "Better see if we can go help them." Grinning, she pushed through the snow, rushing to catch up to the fight that had already started.


Jamie followed the explosions over the icy terrain, the tracks of the carrier letting the squad speed along. The scorch marks made it easy, but after a while the driver called out to Jamie. "Sir, over there, 1 o'clock on the ground." Jamie spotted the grisly note from yards away, the dark red stark against the icy blue snow. He ordered the driver to stop, and he got out to read it.


"Of fucking course," he thought. Dossier after dossier sprung to mind going back months. The MAVRICK Mangler, the Bunney Eared Butcher, among a dozen other names. He took a closer look at the message. The blood was unclotted, and a few feet away he found the severeted arm. Still unfrozen. "She's still nearby," he said to himself."Cranton here. We have two known murderers nearby. Parsnip, and The One."

Standing up, he easily spotted the blood flecked footprints heading in the general direction of the tower. He pulled his whip out from his jacket, and signalled for his men to dismount. Within minutes he led the group forward, creeping along with the carrier behind them. Soon enough he spotted the girl's distinct pink headgear ahead of them hiding in some rocky terrain. There was no thoughts of trying to take her alive, especially after the trail of bodies. With a simple wave his his hands, the squad, and the carrier's autocannons, opened up on the Nomad
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