DoWL Side Stories: High Impact Testing

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DoWL Side Stories: High Impact Testing

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 19 Mar 2014 - 16:41

High Impact Testing


It was a clear late evening. A few scattered clouds dotted the sky, but the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of Sardinia was otherwise unfettered. A small airplane buzzed quietly over the island’s southeast side. At five thousand feet, it offered an excellent view of the sunset and much of Sardinia. 

Caterina turned away from the view to her screen in the backseat of the aircraft. On it were Rico and Henrietta’s biometrics and a camera feed from the GoPros strapped onto their foreheads. The video feeds were dark, but from their heart rate monitors, they were getting increasingly nervous. 

Then again, anyone would be if they were locked in what amounted to a metal coffin with nothing but a handgun and an SMG. 

More specifically, Rico and Henrietta were about to test the Air Dropped Personnel Capsule. The engineering team had put it together based on a cluster bomb casing and a JDAM’s guidance package. Somehow, the concept had proved not tremendously stupid, and had progressed to the point that it needed to be tested live. As such, Rico and Henrietta had been volunteered as the first cyborgs ever to be dropped off of an airplane onto a target. 

The aircraft was an Aurora Flight Sciences Centaur. James had acquired it, with a bit of wrangling, from Vladimir after the last job he and Caterina had been on for the Russian. At the James’ request, the back seats had been removed and the entire passenger compartment re-configured to be a small AWACS unit. A marine radar had been attached to the bottom of the plane, making it possible to track multiple non-transmitting targets. It wasn’t a massively long range radar, only out to about twenty five miles, but if the Agency needed to track something that far away shit had already gone up the creek. A somewhat adhoc sensor pod had been attached under the nose, acting somewhat like the targeting camera attached to the front of an attack helicopter. 

Most important to Caterina, however, was the comparatively massive radio/cellular transmitter, with accompanying receiver, installed in the aircraft. It was ten times larger than anything she had been used to dealing with in the past, and let her monitor the entirety of Rome. Additional avionics and processing units were wired into the aircraft as well, allowing Caterina to crunch through masses and masses of raw data. She and James had gone up for a test flight a week ago and managed to stumble upon a Padania safe house just by running their standard algorithms. 

Section One was monitoring it now, but using an aircraft for just the one purpose would be a bit of a waste. After some head scratching, James had suggested that they drop a cyborg onto a target from it. One thing had led to another, and here they were now. It was a training mission, a test of the concept. If all went well, or at least well enough, actual planning to use this device would begin. 

“We’re nearing the drop zone,” said James from the ground. Their pilot was one of the GIS’s contacts, since James didn’t know how to fly. “Caterina, how’re your avionics?” 

“The board is green,” said Caterina, glancing across her panels and finding nothing amiss. “Tracker’s on and kicking, we should be able to vector in easily.” 

“Good. Pilot, you know the flight plan.” 

“Affirmative. Engine shutdown in T-minus three minutes.” 

“Rico, Henrietta?” 

“We’re ready to drop, sir,” reported Rico. Caterina couldn’t see her, but she sounded tense. 

“Alright. I’ll switch you over to Jean now.” 

“Roger that.” 

Jean reported in a moment later, but the flight was otherwise quiet. Three minutes passed in silence, before the engines cut and the silence became deafening. Apart from the sound of wind passing over the canopy, there was no sound inside the aircraft. 

Caterina keyed the intercom. “Hey, Henrietta, Rico.” Their responses came back a moment later. Caterina continued: “What uh, what tea is Triela serving tonight?” 

“Um, I think she said that she was going to brew something from France today,” said Henrietta. “She said Hilshire got it for her once, during a business trip.” 

“Do you know anything about it?” 

“Claes said it was a special blend,” said Henrietta. “It’s, uh, it’s kind of rare, she said?” 

Rico hummed in agreement. “I think she said that it was usually sold only in France.” 

“That’s interesting,” said Caterina. “Do you guys think they’ll be enough for one more, later?” 

“I’m sure that Triela can brew a little more,” said Henrietta. “Are you going to come by tonight?” 

“Well, it’s not like I’ll have much to do,” said Caterina. Technically speaking, that data she had to crunch wasn’t due for another couple of days, though it made her itch just thinking about putting it off. “It just seems like a good time, since I don’t come around often.” 

“That’s good! I’ll be sure to let Triela know,” said Henrietta brightly. “I’m really happy you’re planning on coming tonight, Caterina!” 

Caterina huffed but didn’t say anything further. 

“Drop is in sixty seconds,” said the pilot, breaking into their conversation. “Final go/no go poll?” 

“Guidance is go, signal is go, telemetry is go, comms—,” Caterina clicked her mic and received responses from everyone on the network “—are go. EECOM is go, Network is go. We are go for the drop.” 

“Roger that, all personnel be advised, we are beginning final approach,” said the pilot. 

Caterina could almost hear Rico and Henrietta gulping. 

“Thirty seconds.” 

Caterina clenched a fist, glancing her way through the panels. Everything was still green. 


A final breath. 


The aircraft clunked twice and lurched, the sudden loss of weight making it tip from the unbalanced trim conditions. The pilot corrected quickly and continued gliding, the flight plan calling for him to turn the engines on after he was five miles past. 

Caterina monitored the falling projectiles. As soon as they had started falling, Rico and Henrietta had experienced huge jumps in heart rate. Their breathing was increasing too, but following predicted levels for falling from several thousand feet in free fall. There wasn’t much to do except wait and hope that the chutes opened. 

Ten seconds later, right on time, the large main parachutes registered as popped. The short yelps of shock from Henrietta and Rico give confirmation. It took only a few more seconds until the capsules popped open. Further yelps followed this. 

Now Caterina could see things on the video feeds. Both Henrietta and Rico were falling feet first from a hundred feet up. The capsule was designed to pop open high enough that it would be out of the way by the time gunfire began to track it, but low enough that a cyborg could fall out and land safely. As she watched, Rico and Henrietta had just enough time to brace themselves before they hit the ground and rolled. Both had spent weeks jumping off of increasingly high buildings at the SWA compound, until they were ready for this. Immediately, both popped upright, weapons leveled at imaginary foes and sweeping back and forth to clear the area. 

Rico reported in first. “Area is clear,” she said. “Unit-01 has landed safely on target.” 

“Unit-02 has landed safely on target,” said Henrietta. From the video feeds, Caterina could see that Henrietta was nearly right on top of the flag planted in the field that represented the target. “Proceeding to secure objective.”

“Stand down,” ordered Jean. “All units return to base. Mission is declared successful.” 

“Good job, Henrietta,” added Giuse. “I’ll take you out for gelato tomorrow.” 

“Thank you Giuse!” said Henrietta, all smiles. 

“Caterina, anything to report?” asked James. 

“No sir,” said Caterina. “All systems behaved as expected.” 

“Very well, I’ll see you when you land.” 

“Understood, over and out.” 

The aircraft’s engines kicked back on as an ATV made its way towards the girls in the field below. To the west, the sun set behind the mountains of Sardinia.


"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

- President John F. Kennedy
Il Direttore


Forum Posts : 1003

Location : Chicago, Illinois, United States

Fan of : Henrietta, Triela

Original Characters : Lieutenant James Spettro/Caterina

Comments : In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?’ -Horatius

Registration date : 2012-07-03

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Re: DoWL Side Stories: High Impact Testing

Post by PolosElite23 on Fri 30 May 2014 - 9:58

Just read this brilliant lol


In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

-Stanzas 2+4 of Invictus by William Earnest Henley


Forum Posts : 923

Location : Ohio, USA

Fan of : Triela, Hillshire, and Angelica

Original Characters : Various

Comments : A journey of a lifetime starts with a blinking cursor.

Registration date : 2013-06-05

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