PARTIZAN 07: Ambush in the Sand

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Episode Description[edit | edit source]

Before Cymbidium died, he asked the labor machine Thisbe, whose deerlike design drew from the form of his own people’s, for a favor: Deliver a final message to Mourningbride, initiate of the occult group the Sable Court and former Elect. On hearing about this goal, Thisbe’s squad members Broun and Valence encourage her to pursue it, and travel with her deep into Columnar territory to meet with the Hyphan witches of the forest. But when they arrive, they find a less welcoming host than expected...

This week on PARTIZAN: Ambush in the Sand

///Operation Dossier\\\[edit | edit source]

//Organizations\\[edit | edit source]

Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.

Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it.

301st Appraisal Unit: Before the Columnar commits the resources necessary to take something for their own, this small reconnaissance unit comprised of soldiers, engineers, and academics needs to find it

21st Voluntary Composite Division: Unlike most other Stels, Columnar doesn’t segregate Hallow and Hollow units, and instead assigns Hallow pilots to officer roles in combined arms divisions like this one.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

//People\\[edit | edit source]

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect.

Cymbidium (he/him): The deceased Elect of the Divine Past. Gave Thisbe a message to deliver to Mourningbride.

Kenzington “Kenzi” Be (she/her): Commanding Officer of the Columnar 301st Appraisal Unit. Has legs that can fold down into tank treds--in some ways, she looks like the humanoid version of Broun’s mech, the Three Cheers! Has a long oval torso and a totally spherical head with dozens of cameras on it that sort of extends from her torso.

Cobra Junction (he/him): Humanoid pilot in a flashy, vinyl bomber jacket with gold stripes and is often “smoking” synthetic cigars. This facade reflects an insecurity, as Cobra’s initial assignment was due to his geological expertise, not his aptitude as a pilot.

Dina Dash (they/them): Wheeled synthetic who carries a clipboard and has magnification lenses that can independently move lower in front of their optics.

//Places\\[edit | edit source]

The Memoria Teardrop: A range of mountains and high plains, dense with mineral resources. Named for “memoria,” a rare precious material with a high, natural storage capacity.

Vigil City: The capital city of of Columnar on Partizan. Sits on the southern end of the “Teardrop" on a high plateau. The densest city on Partizan, Vigil City is also the most automated city on the moon.

Lake Timea: A small lake to the north of the Memoria Teardrop, surrounded on the north side by a dense forest. Home to the Sable Court.

Red Soil: A small beach on the northern side of Lake Timea

//Things\\[edit | edit source]

The Perennial Wave: Invisible to the naked eye, the Perennial Wave is made up of a seemingly endless amount of nanomachines which flow out from the center of the galaxy and which deactivate or destroy complex machines and electronics. At any moment, the Wave can be at various degrees of density, which are colloquially referred to as “high tide” and “low tide.”

Bing 32: Broun’s floating, cat sized drone able to use a variety of tools.

Sable Wards: Through a combination of Memoria and control over the Perennial Wave, the Sable Court is able to create simple, seemingly-invisible wards that alert them of intruders.

Zenith-A Kathēkon: Often affectionately called “Cathies” by Apostolosian pilots, these medium sized, humanoid mechs were originally designed to be the Zenith Fund’s answer to the Troop. Specially built for Apostolosian needs (including night, underwater, and orbital combat), the Kathekon is a flexible fighting platform with fully articulating hands, advanced imaging, and jumpjets designed to allow low, fast horizontal hops. While the Troop still makes up the bulk of the Apostolosian hollow forces, you’ll often find Cathies deployed on special ops missions or by unit commanders. Their dark green color, bulbous armor, and large orange “eyes” give them an amphibious look--which is (part of) the reason behind Kesh soldiers referring to their Apostolosian foes as “frogs.”

Zenith-C Wedge: Kathekons recolored in the dark blue and gold of Stel Columnar, and maintained with much higher quality (and experimental) materials. Unlike the Kathekon for Apostolos, the Wedge does make up the bulk of the “frontline” hollow squads, and provide security for more vulnerable hollows (and support for more powerful ones). These have flexible armaments. In this case: One wields a flamethrower and an electro-net launcher and one has a heavy machinegun. Both have weaponized, hollow sized chainsaws, as well.

Zenith-C Obscura: Wide shoulders that lead down to treaded legs. Can launch dozens of drones into the air for reconnaissance and observation, which will quickly locate anything nearby, but must remain stationery to do that. Can launch micro missiles at locked targets, has small vulcans for infantry and small armored counter attack--does little to close range mechs.

The Divine Asepsis: Vigil City is the densest urban settlement on the moon, and yet, every morning, it is spotless. Give thanks to Asepsis’ swarm of robotic servants.

The Divine Vernacular: Sometimes a divine wields a blade, incomparable in sharpness. Sometimes, as in this Stel Nideo divine, it allows thousands to speak instantly, at distance. You decide which is more frightening.

//Additional Notes\\[edit | edit source]

The Rapid Evening’s Mission Objectives: Primary: Drive the 301st away from the the path towards the Sable Court. Secondary objective: Capture their equipment.

Rules of Engagement: Do not trigger any of the Sable Wards which have been placed.

Opening Narration[edit | edit source]

When Kenzington Be was assigned to Columnar's 301st Appraisal Unit, it was as a punishment. She was, in a literal sense, being told to go kick rocks. Her years of unblemished service in the 21st Voluntary Composite Division were erased. All because she had a moment of weakness. A moment of conscience.

She had spent a half dozen deployments commanding the Emerald Eskadrille, fearlessly and joyfully. There was nothing Kenzi loved more than being in the shit, breaching some pirate vessel's hull, busting into an illegal Orion listening station, or going one-on-one on whatever mercenary team had been sent to disrupt her Stel's march to the future.

And then, a special assignment. The sort of operation that turns a job into a career. Her squad was to be the vanguard of the Divine Asepsis, a machine of purity logics, which saw blight where others saw only bruise. Dissent where Kenzi saw only difference.

And so, insubordination. She refused to be the trigger for that thing. And so, demotion. If she wouldn't be a trigger, they'd make her a scope instead. She was given this reconnaissance unit, 301, and told in no uncertain terms that she would pay back the state for the investment they put in her. And she'd do it by finding something more valuable than a good soldier.

It stung when they said it but it didn't break her, didn't even make her unloyal. So yeah, she'd dig in the rocks until she found diamonds. She'd scan horizons for contraband shipments, ripe for state reappropriation. She'd even wander into the woods in search of witches and ghosts. Let the scientists figure it out if she found some. She'd do anything it took to earn her honour back. And once she did? She'd work out the best way to kill a Divine.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Cast[edit | edit source]