“If we do not live another day, say this over our pyre:

Posted by Daljit of NORN on November 25th, 2005 filed in After Action Report

They died like High Guard Lancers with their faces to the fire.”
–Regimental Hymn of the 13th Imperial Lancers
CY 4233

The lovely quote above appeared as an episodic opening quote during the second season of “Andromeda.” As I headed out earlier today to face those barbarians, those agents of the darkness, the scourge everlasting, those foul creatures known as Black Friday shoppers, I thought of that hymn in hopes it would give me strength for the hordes I would face. After a tumultuous ride to the filthy mall, den of depravity and inequity, I arrived only to find my mettle tested from the start. I headed towards the parking lot I always park in, only to find it overrun with zerglings/soccer moms. Driving around the backside was an utter failure due to the giant semi who decided it would be a goodness to park across the lanes of travel and completely block access to the secondary lot through that access point. I managed to double back and cross a horribly busy intersection to get to another lot, which was as far as I could be from my target (the eyeglass place where I had to get my glasses fixed) and still be on Earth. Some fucking LZ.

After setting down my ISSCV, I proceeded to make my way to the installation, dodging large scale vehicular homicide all the way. After no loss of life or limb, but a slight shortening of my lifespan due to stark terror, I made it to an insertion point and began my assault. I manage to dodge the interceptors (read: cart vendors) and make my way to the target, where I presented the equipment requiring repair. I had been previously assured by the mission briefing that this operation would take no more than five minutes.

This intelligence was wrong.

I was appraised that repairs would now take 30 minutes. As remaining in my current position for that long was untenable, I left the equipment in the capable hands of the tech and headed out to make my fortune. Seeing a veritable tide of humanity rolling towards my position from the direction I came, I fell back to supplementary position alpha, codenamed “EB Games.” This position was thought to be hot, but there were enough marines here to control the swarming chaos. I hid in plain sight, as the saying goes, and searched amongst the flaming wreckage for anything that would add value to this forced diversion. My search was not in vain. I found two anthology sets, one which contained the Source versions of Half Life, Half Life: Blue Shift, Half Life: Opposing Force, and Half Life: Team Fortress Classic and the other housing Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII, Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome, and Battlefield Vietnam. All of this was mine for a minor fee of $25. It would seem that Black Friday’s rampant consumerism was a benefit to me for the first time in 25 years. Using the enemy’s weapons on themselves is an exhilarating feeling.

By this time, the recent OMG ZERG RUSH KEKEKEKEKE!!!1! had broken momentarily, and I was able to maneuver my way through the chaos back to the repair facility. I retrieved the equipment, which has now been restored to fully operating status, and made my way to the nearest exit. Once there, I had to navigate the fields of vehicular manslaughter once more in order to make my way to the waiting ISSCV (my car). Retrieval operations were successful and the trip back to home base was uneventful.

This concludes the after action report for 25-11-2005 “Operation Black Friday Repair/Retrieval.”

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