Colonial Marines

Season 3 Episode 3 Run!!!!!!!!!
Guns FPS POV

I look wistfully at the canoes as they paddle away from the beach. I so do not want to go back to check out the village, however a jobs a job. ICC Marines are fearless, yes however whilst uneducated, I am not stupid. This is so not going to end well.

Ash has rigged one of the transceivers to be a squelch sender we will squelch when we want the canoes to come back for us so at least we don’t have to worry about making a rendezvous.

I am point, my eyes are still blurry at too long a distance however I am also still the most experienced point we have. Copper is walking wounded, we thought we would send him back however he wouldn’t hear of it, he would hold up his end he reckoned. I doubt it, I think he will get killed

Up the mountain heading for that original ridge we were going for to get a look at the green guys village. Green short polaynesian looking guys, Doc says, dunno, I never got liberty on Poylaynasia so just look like a bunch of funny green guys to me.

Hmm big birds they have here..actually real big bird. Actually im sure that looks like ah…“Oh Frack ME!” Crossbow up sight fire! Miss it jinked past the shot damn it!! “AAHAHAA” Freaking Pteranodon has got me!!!!!!!!!!

Boom, Doc hit its wing with the shotgun and yeh. Right on top of me, sheesh that sucks. Boot Knife, stick this sucker. Damn beak oh that hurts!!!!!! ‘Stiuck it Stick it! Finally the thing is down and I’m loose and its winner winner cicken dinner, white meat or dark guys?..We stick its brain, don’t want this coming back on us. Did I mention that? yeh it seems dead aint necessarily dead round this planet. A parasite that colonises the brain of the deceased.

Well that sucked, i am in some serious hurt here now. Do we bug out or push on. Doc thinks that even with the shotgun them drums mean they won’t have heard it. We push on.

Watching the village from the ridge, Lots of Women Greenies, Kids, few adult males, attending celebrations, Where are the men?? Probably under the mountain. Great we are going to have to go in.

There is no way in from this side, too exposed and too easily to be spotted. So back tot eh tunnels from earlier.

We drop back in this time the lads are searching the sarcophagus. Some odd artifact and some gold bangles in one, that may come in handy, and a Composite bow and Arrows in the other.

Copper is going to carry that lot. I am not up to point too crippled so Pilot and Doc are up front Ash and Vet to rear myself and Copper in centre as we head on down. We explore the rooms already seen then continue down.

Open the door an oh for fracks sake, guard room with 5 wallies. All with a mad on and spears and Sharks teeth clubs. We feather a few with bolts weakening them and then its spear time lads, One down however so’s Copper and he doesn’t look good. We drop the bugger who took Copper down then its flailing about with clubs, and spears and a general brawl. I take another hit. I’m not well now armour saved me but I am seriously hammered.

Finally we drop the last, most of us have a few scrapes and bruises from their clubs. Doc gets to work on Copper hopefully he can get him back up with an adrenaline shot, we loot the bodies and spike the brain pans. Not having zombies behind us.

We push on find a primitive armoury and secure some spears that look like they will be able to be thrown.

Further in we emerge int o a cavern,, Guys on drum a frenzied crowd and tow robes on a platform… with a Boar Headed leader!! the main bad guy!! we have him now ….or not as all his mates see us, snarl and rush towards us and there he goes damn it!!

Oh hell….“RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

We scarper, Doc trys to drop his remaining grenades as we dash throught he tunnels however sadly no satisfying crump. We burst out onto the platform, doc tries a few combo but can’t lock the door so we keep runing oput on the walkways we cross between them then head out of the swamp. We spot another circling Pteranodon however it seems t like the idea of green food and stoops on them in the distance, yay something went our way. We make it back to the abandoned tower village and hide there from some groups a little too close on our tail and then head on to the beach, we sent the signal some time ago however the Ursa wlll still be a while and the Greenies are still looking out there.

Pilot hits on the idea of chopping a few trees and improvising a raft and we get his ready, As the greenies burst onto the beach we push the logs out and lash up in the water and climb on. Its a few hours however eventually the Ursa canoes return and we head back to their Island.

We debrief with Grizzard the big Ursa boss and decide we are going to hang here for a bit and heal up. During the night Doc comes in and does some mystical stuff and starts healing both me and Copper. Wow, thats….new.

Apparently doc has talked with their medicine shebear and picked up that maybe some of us can develop ‘talents’ and he has grabbed em with two hands.

Healing happens much quicker and we rest well the next couple of weeks restoring ourselves and talking with the various bear leaders about what we found and what it means and what to do next.

Decision time. Do we head to Human colony lands or do we try and see if we can finish the secondary objectives and or explore the possible dungeon under the tower.

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S3 Ep2 A short canoe ride. GUNS POV 1st person shooter.
Come with me if you want to live..

We spent two nights and a day with the bears, well, Ursa i suppose we should call ’em.
They showed us how to use a few of the crossbows and we sold them a Vespa in exchange for cash and gear. Then promptly had to buy more gear so they got some of the money back. We still have a lot but it looks like it will be our stake to get set up here ongoing. I am of the opinion that I am not going to see my back pay any time soon.

Copper filled us in on some of what had been happening back home before they shipped out and all the talk of Sathar invasion, riots, food shortages and rumours of insurrections and colonial insurgencies. Really not feeling confident.

Doc and Ash talked to the Old Medicine Bear and found out something disturbing. Apparently dead ain’t necessarily dead, in a The Walking Dead Season 5th revival season 1 sort of way. You know what I mean. looks like its brain pans all the way. Good thing I popped that Big Lizard right in the head. Oh, and we are to tell em if we get bad headaches. They wouldn’t exactly explain why however I am assuming its not good.

Ok so the morning we set out, loaded for bear so to speak, with our new segmentata, spears, crossbows etc. We get paddled across in some really big canoes by four of the Ursa and landed on the beach. Ugh sand, not my friend, damn stuff gets in your boots.

Trekking inland stalk stalk stalk carefully looking point all good…not much int he way of bush knee high grasses and low shrubs except for…a giant redwood style cut off tree trunk. Huh now thats odd.

Ill circle round the bare cleared area cause that’s not gonna be good.

Oh frack me thats one damn big Scorpion..and its looking right at me. Yeh this is not gonna be….AAAAARFHHGHGHGHGF|SHHDGFU!! It hurts! It Hurts! its shot me in the face with some toxin ah its in my eyes it like mega mace!

Twang Twang Twang, Crossbows going off, it squeals. Wow Pilot can shoot sometimes. Ash and Copper look like they potted it too. Its down but i still can’t see too fine. The boys dismember it and we move on, im still a bit blurry but i also the best point we got…

Abandoned village and tower. Well this looks like some time ago. Checking the tower its go a dungeon.Oh hell no. I am not going down there and besides did you see any torches in that stuff we salvaged from the pods? no. So not going in.

Pushing on now there’s a path and it looks more travelled than just a game trail. Ill walk off set standard soldier fashion. Its funny only two of us Marines left . Its leading to a swamp. Ick factor not interested. Checking the map Grizzard gave us I think we can head up the Caldera, ill lead the guys that way.

Huh, walkways through the swamp leading to the back of the Volcano. and a funny landing at the back of the volcano. oh this is gonna get interesting.

Ok Clever chops Doc, Pilot and Vet is playing with the symbols we found on this landing, reckons its a way in. Bloody ’ell. It is

Ok creepy tunnel and a coupla side doors…lets open this..huh. If they ain’t like them Gyppo Sarco things ill eat a baby bear. Oh your kidding me your going to open it!! I’m standing out in the hall. HAHAHAHAHA Told ya, icky mist stupid gits. And arrow traps sheesh so saw that coming. Oh your kidding me they want to do the other one…

Right humping down a tunnel hump hump hump ho ho ho ’ere we go.. allo whats this then. Wall, looks like a plaster and lathe type thing with eye holes. Right big cultural activities room this is in it. Right knife out carefully right the wall so we can slip through . Two doors?? yeh all right this one corridor, bend s back and your mohers your uncle its womens and bears in pits. Woohoo this is doddle this mission, much better than that scout ship one that went so wrong this is going well. Right we will have them spikes out of the way, climbing rope down and out in a jiffy.

‘Go check that door, thats as short cut back tot he cultural activities room I reckon’…

Why do I always do that. Right into the grand poobah’s dressing room and warmup crew.

Oh well done DOC you splatted the git right intot he bear pit. Oh and another. Aiming Crossbow, shuff, got him. Yeh this is the way to go. Crap this takes some reloading.

Right they is dead we is mostly intact, the Copper don’t look so good,. Hope Doc can patch hium enough to get walking. Stim him thats what I say, some decent combat stims and you can keep going with both your legs just stumps and an arm off at the elbow.

What was that bit about sticking a metal shank in the brains or they will fracking what!!!!!!!!!

gah this is a nasty world in some ways.

Hump through the boonies back to the beach, mostly uneventful, worrying however is the tracks that look like they followed us fromt he way in. Well hand over the Women and the bears to the waiting Canoe boys. however..we have to go back. We need to find out whats stirred up these green fellas and made em so belligerent. (big word that, heard Doc use it)

Copper to stay with the bears, and the rest of us are going to head back to the Green vill. We either have to resolve whats making em so fired up or kill enough of em messily enough they get the hint that Bears and Humies aren’t good fun keep orf.

Good luck with that. …….

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Awakening...
S3 Ep1 Guns POV 1st person shooter.

The seals crack and over pressured gas hissed from the slowly opening tube as my eyes open, and I drags in the first air from the pod in a gasp before dry retching over the tube side.

Gah I hate cryo. I rub my chin and i’m startled. A full beard… Uh oh that worrying. I was clean shaven when we piled in here . 3 other pods have popped . Judging by the lack of lights on the others some of them are failures. I hope we found a civilized spot I hate graves reg.

Pins and needles, I pound my leg muscles and get the blood flow going, feels like the massage unit did the job and prevented blood pooling and atrophy. Good. I dread that shit. Too much risk of clots. Give you a brain blow out.
Shit what’s with the gear. I paw through it. Half this shits degraded. Might be able to hack some of it back together depending what’s in the stasis bins. How long we been in this pod?

“Guy this is seriously fucked, something’s not right”

Doc and Pilot are trying to undog the hatch they looked out said its open savannah. Shit gimme a mountain range anyday.

Ash looks unperturbed. Also no beard or hair growth. He handy to have round but sheesh can you really trust em.

All the comm units are dead, shit so’s my MiPad. Damn I want to know how Eternal Soldier 47 finishes, will have to wait till I can get charge.

Ok pod open. Ugh sunny out here. Stasis boxes stasis boxes there. That’s them. Crap what did that to reactor housing. Uh… Yeh that’s a long furrow in the ground I think that explains the housing. Bugger. Hmm two pods. Colonist models… Not what I expected to see.

Well the stasis pods look good. What we got… Ah mule nice solar converters if I put that together I can get chargers up and running . Schweet Eternal Warrior ending yay!

Grumble grumble tab a in slot c and what the hell is this thing for meh who knows. Ok mule up and charging good ill slot some weapons pack and genpows in and get them up too.

Yeh I’ll help dig soon as I finish the bikes.

Ok bike 1 is good but bike 2 I’m fairly sure shouldn’t have a handful of parts left over. Pity driver seems to have had his pod crap out. Coulda used him but Ash can take a look and fix it.

Dig dig dig to put the deadens in it . Ick .

Oh WTF now! A freaking Raptor like in Jurassic 12!!! Hmm looks like I shoulda checked those guns before the boys headed off.

Ok drop the bipod sight in aim aim , gosh get out of the way Pilot sheesh .. Breathe out pause .. Shot. sweet lizard for dinner. Got to love a head shot.

Mmmm tastes like chicken. Ok one of these colonists fellas has picked up a beacon on his survival radio. We are going to check it out tomorrow. Odd pair these two. Reckon there ship set out 2191. That’s a year after we had the run in with the Sathar I reckons. Worrying on the plus side some back pay coming aye . Doc pilot and Ash figure there pods were ejected from the Botany Bay IV after a calamity. It designed to do that, pop a few if it will help the ship. Musts caught onto our pod as we came in and deorbited with us. Colonists is a good sign ain’t it.

I’ve checked the gear and broken the ammo down into the good lots from the stasis bins and the dodgy stuff we dumped on the pod floor when we piled in. Think I’ll keep the sniper ammo for myself these fumble fingers ain’t up to it. They can have most of the shotgun rounds that are good though. Most of the rest of this stuff might be good for fire lighting but that’s about it. And the MiPads won’t charge . Crap no eternal soldier for me then.

Morning another day in the corp, where every meal is.. Some sort of big lizard mixed with survival rats. Hmmm sounded better in my head.

Ride ride the mule … What the fig is that.

A log walked town. I’ll scope it up… Hmm ‘hey colonist, you know anything about why I’m looking at some big arse bears with crossbows?’

Uplifted animals well frack me.

Doc negotiating we going in. They pop us in a sort of hit den thing. Mm good grub, yeh yeh Bossman you and te other go checkout the shrine I’m gonna stay hate and Gaurd the gear.

Chatting with the smith they have. Seems no high tech here at all. I discuss gunpowder and how to make shotguns and brass rounds he is interested but really wants to trade for a hover bike.

Ok turns out its a good 600 years plus than we though. Man I hope the ICCC still exists I want my back pay.

In short seems the planet has devolved tech wise, and now the bears are being attacked by some short green guys and we need to help em get. A in cub back and a delegation back in exchange for some good will and ongoing help. Fair enough.

They seem a good sort these bears maybe try will teach me how to fire and maintain a crossbow. They look pretty good.

You know if we put our heads together we can prob help these bears out a lot…

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Re-Entry

The escape pod’s engines cut back from their controlled burn as the nose of the pod dipped slightly, small spurts of vapour gasping from directional nozzles around the craft as the small vessel’s computers made tiny last-second adjustments to its entry trajectory as it angled into the planet’s atmosphere. Entry into an atmosphere is a precise art; too shallow and the pod would bounce off the atmosphere and back into space. Too steep and the pod would very quickly be buffeted into pieces from the friction of the air it passed through and burnt up as its ablative shields failed.

The pod’s more complex short-range sensors confirmed the data the long-range sensors had acquired several days ago about this planet; breathable air, acceptable gravity and indications of human habitation. The _Harrier_’s escape pod continued to angle towards the repeating beacon it had zeroed in on…

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Where No One Can Hear You Scream...

Silently, inexorably, the Harrier’s escape pod micro-jumped through the vacuum of unknown space from where it was deployed towards the galaxies and solar systems charted on its star maps.

However, inside the pod all is not well…

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The Sathar Mothership

(The last few sessions have been leading up to this session, which is the end of the current campaign).

After securing the Sathar scout ship, the group spend a couple of days on the planet. This allows Doc to fully heal Drive. It also gives Pilot, Sergei and Ash time to familiarise themselves with the Sathar vessel and its controls. Pilot also rigs up a miPad to remotely control the CSV Harrier. He can initiate micro-jumps and some basic piloting remotely, now.

Once Drive (and Sergei) are healed, Doc announces the group are ready to lift off to try to capture the other Sathar ship.

Their take-off and jump to the co-ordinates of the other Sathar ship is uneventful. They drop out of jump in deep space some distance from the Sathar ship so as not to be detected. They put the Harrier into silent running mode and all board the Sathar scout ship and head towards the larger Sathar vessel…

As they approach they are able to passively scan the vessel. It’s large; easily twice the size of the Captain Flak, but narrow. It’s not a dedicated freighter. It has two atomic engines on pylons, and sensors pick up a number of missile and gun batteries. It’s not a dedicated warship, but it’s well-armed. Suddenly Pilot loses control of the scout ship, and it begins to maneauver towards the underside of the mothership. His concern is only momentary, however, as he realises some sort of auto-pilot from the mothership has assumed control. Free to leave the bridge, he and Sergei join the others in the cargo compartment and check their weapons prior to boarding. Due to their being an insufficient number of space suits, only the Corporal, Pilot, and Drive have elected to wear them.

Outside, clamshell bay doors open and two pairs of mechanical arms reach out and grip the scout ship, guiding it inside. The Marines hear the clang of the doors closing and the hiss as the docking bay is pressurised. Doc is first out of the scout ship. He finds himself falling gently from the ship’s hatch through the open bowels of the docking bay towards an airlock. It seems the Sathar have only a quarter gravity here to assist the crews move about. Next to the airlock that Doc is floating towards is a large observation window. As he’s about halfway towards the airlock a Sathar technician appears in the window. It stares at Doc for a second before fleeing out of sight. Doc brings up his M41A1 Pulse Rifle and fires a burst at the window, thoroughly shattering it. Doc attempts to adjust his trajectory to aim for the window instead.

In the meantime, Guns is next out of the hatch. He’s barely left the ship when the Sathar appeared at the window. Doc ‘falls’ through the window and easily checks his fall, landing in the control room. The room is roughly triangular, with various consoles and terminals. Only one door leads out, and it’s closed. Guns lands behind him, so they signal their intention to each other to go through the door. Doc opens it. Beyond, the sathar is at a computer terminal. He slaps a button and reaches for his pistol, spraying a burst as both Doc and Guns fire their weapons (Guns is using his pump-action shotgun). Their shots hit the Sathar and he’s instantly killed. However, some of his shots also hit Doc, dropping him with serious damage.

By now, all the others have piled out of the Sathar scout ship and have floated through the shattered window into the control room. Sergei goes to attend Doc’s injuries whilst the others secure the immediate area. This room has another door leading to the other side of the airlock they saw in the docking bay, and two elevators; opposite each other across the room. There is no gravity within the control room, either.

The Corporal assumes command and breaks the team into two groups; Ash, Sergei, Doc and Drive are to descend to the engine room once Doc is fit enough to move, whilst the Corporal, Combat Engineer, Pilot and Guns will ascend and try to capture the bridge.

(The GM didn’t expect the group to split up (should have, really, they do it all the time!) or for them to bypass decks. He needs a way to slow them down, as there’s important clues on various decks they need to discover).

The elevators are not enclosed car-type conveyances traditionally favoured by mankind, but floating anti-grav discs. The Corporal’s squad quickly figure out how to operate the elevator disc and begin to ascend, bypassing two doorways to other decks without slowing… Suddenly, a blue light starts to flash; an alarm has been triggered. This brings the elevator to a rapid halt. As there is no gravity, the squad begin to try to continue ascending to the next deck…

Meanwhile, Sergei has pumped Doc full of steroids and they have boarded the other elevator and descended towards, they assume, the engine room. The elevator stops and the doors open onto an open deck with a large central work hub in a chevron shape, with four computer terminals/workstations on it. Two Sathar are working on it, with a third off to one side. Sergei and Drive are first out of the doors and firing at the Sathar. Sergei’s opponent goes down, but Drive misses, the Sathar firing back and hitting Ash, who is still in the elevator. Drive fires again, killing the Sathar, whilst Sergei fires at the final one, killing him, too. Doc treats Ash, who has been hurt badly (almost a TPK) and is unconscious. (The running joke through this campaign is that Ash is secretly really an android; he’s referred to be a couple of players as AI – Artificial Intelligence. They start telling Doc’s player to “just rip his head off, he can still talk and we can plug him straight into the ship’s computer.”)

It’s at this point that the blue lights start flashing. Sergei tries the computer consoles, but they all seem to have been locked out…

The Corporal and his squad have made it to the next door in the elevator shaft. (The Corporal is just walking up the wall, as his space suit has magnetic soles). It takes a bit of effort, but they open the doors manually… and find they are looking at a row of six “cryogenic berths, not too dissimilar to the damaged ones you found in the abandoned Sathar installation. They all appear to be empty.” As Guns and the Corporal venture out of the shaft onto the deck, Guns notices an empty gun rack next the the elevator shaft doors. He also realises that there are several rows of these cryogenic berths! He hears a noise and turns to see two Narn (bio-engineered bipedal lizard humanoids – a more successful experiment than the lizardmen they encountered in the sewers under the research building) looking at him and raising their assault rifles! As luck would have it, Guns rolled a higher initiative than the Narns, so got to fire his shotgun first, hurting one, but not killing it. The Corporal also got to shoot, but only managed to hurt his target as well. Both Narns fired but missed their targets. Another burst from both the Corporal and Guns (and also maybe Pilot – I forget) sees the Narns killed. There is little of interest on this deck so they elect to travel up to the next one…

Ash is still being worked on by Doc, and Sergei is pulling apart a console and trying to jury-rig it to bypass the console lock-out. (The GM points out that he’s trying to disassemble and then re-assemble alien tech. Whilst there would undoubtedly be some comparisons, there would be little recognisable hardware for him to do this successfully on the fly. Sergei considers this for a bit and then states that he will remove and bag up anything that looks like hard-drives or data storage). Doc breaks radio silence to politely ask for a live Sathar prisoner, if possible.

The next door the Corporal and his squad reach is already open. Opposite it is a blank grey metallic wall. Pilot recognises it as the end panel of a computer bank. This means they must turn immediately right when exiting the elevator shaft. The Corporal pokes his head out to look around the corner, and sees that the deck is teeming with Sathar! He counts eight crouched over computer consoles or in front of screens, plus at least two Narn guards. The Narns are armed with assault rifles, whilst most of the Sathar have those viscious little assault pistols. Not one for subtlety, the Corporal quickly maps out an attack plan with Guns and Pilot (Combat Engineer keeps failing his Free Fall rolls and can’t get into position in time) to shoot at as many of the enemy as they can and try to draw them into the confines of the elevator entranceway. So the three of them all float out of the shaft, shoot at whatever targets they see first, and then propel themselves back into the cover of the elevator shaft before the Sathar can return fire. However, the Sathar aren’t as accomodating as the Corporal had hoped, and instead a concussion grenade is lobbed into the doorway of the shaft! Thankfully, it causes minimal damage. But the flashing blue alarm has turned into a solid blue one.

At the same time, Drive, who is kicking about the engineering deck, notices a strange symbol on a screen. After a few seconds the symbol changes for another symbol, which changes again after a few seconds. He calls Sergei’s and Doc’s attention to it. Doc realises that this a A Bad Sign! He points out over the radio net that the Sathar always self destruct if they feel they are losing a fight and are about to be captured or boarded. He orders both squads to get back to the Sathar scout ship immediately! (It had been noted previously that there was a boarding hatch on the engineering deck. Pilot suggests using his MiPad to bring in the Harrier as a back-up. He easily succeeds on his astrogation roll and the Harrier micro-jumps to a position very close to the Sathar vessel).

(The GM would like to point out that if the Corporal and his squad pushed their attack and secured the battle deck (and not the Bridge as the Corporal had assumed), they would have had time to discover the Big Secret and still make good their escape. However…)

Doc tells everyone to make for the engineering deck instead and to get aboard the Harrier. Most people comply, except for Combat Engineer, Drive and Sergei, who all want to save the Sathar scout ship. However, it is firmly locked in the grip of the mechanical arms. Combat Engineer realises that his hand-held plasma torch will never cut through the arms in time, and as there’s no other obvious way to release the ship, he heads for the engineering deck and the CSV Harrier. Segei and Drive board the scout ship.

With Pilot behind the controls, the Harrier begins to race away from the Sathar ship. Sensors show the atomic engines as white-hot on the screens, when there’s a massive white flash and a shock wave rushes out towards the Harrier. Pilot can’t dodge or outrun it, and the shock wave (complete with debris) hits the ship, knocking it out of control and tumbling through space. The controls become alive with flashing or solid red and orange lights as the ship takes damage and various systems go offline. There’s a faint high-pitched whistling sound – the hull has been ruptured! Pilot (rather calmly, it has to be said) orders abandon ship and the team all pile towards to access hatch in the engine bay that leads down to the escape pod.

The escape pod is a nine-man vessel, where the occupants go into cryogenic suspension whilst it micro-jumps its way to a known ICC planet. Space is at a premium and the berths are barely large enough for the party members to get in; they need to shed their armour and dump all their weapons and kit on the floor outside of the cryogenic pods. Pilot is the last to enter the escape pod, and no sooner than locking the hatch closed, the pod automatically ejects itself from the stricken Harrier, which explodes seconds later…

[And that is where we leave the Colonial Marines and their Navy colleagues for this campaign. Obviously, Drive and Sergei are dead; killed when the Sather mothership exploded.

A new campaign is planned for April/May next year. Tune in then to see what trouble they have gotten themselves into this time!]

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The Sathar Ship

(Due to some absenses (Ash and the Corporal), the GM thought the rest of the group should explore the Sathar ship instead of breaking into two groups as originally planned. The GM had to alter the adventure slightly, but it all played out well).

Picking up from last session, Doc and Drive find themselves being sucked into the airlock as it fills with water. Once full, Doc manages to work the controls that remove the water and unlock the inner door. They’re in! They emerge into an area full of cargo containers; a cargo hold, most likely. The room seems to extend seven or eight metres to (what Doc thinks is) the entire width of the ship’s hull, and length-wise, maybe a quarter of the ship’s length. There are two doors leading out of this area: one forward, one aft. Doc instructs Drive to cover the door leading forward whilst he cycles the airlock and then covers the door leading aft.

Outside, nobody else seems to be able to open the outer hatch; instead of the indentations illuminating with a purplish colour, like when Doc played with them, they keep going orange. On the fourth attempt they light up dark blue and remain so. They’re locked out, so they start looking for a manual override. Pilot finds a removeable panel with a handle inside, which he soon figures out how to operate to open the door.

Whilst this is going on, inside Drive sees the door he is covering open up and a Sathar with an assault rifle of some kind step out. Obviously, the Sather must have been alerted as to the intruders trying to get in. But Drive isn’t thinking about this; he just tightens his M41A1 pulse rifle into his shoulder and squeezes off a five round burst. Four of the rounds hit the Sathar and he’s dead before he hits the floor. The door is still open and Drive can see a flight console in the area beyond. He keeps his pulse rifle tight into his shoulder and ready in case there are more Sathar in there.

Sergei and Guns are the next two into the airlock. Doc cycles it from his side and soon they are in the cargo compartment. Sergei is immediately drawn to the cargo containers, which appear to be made out of some sort of heavy plastic. He gets out his knife and starts trying to pry it open. Guns cautiously approaches the dead Sathar whilst staying out of sight of any other possible occupants of the flight room. He grabs the Sathar and hauls it aside, checking to ensure the creature is dead. He then grabs its assault rifle and quickly checks it over.

Outside, Pilot is again using the manual override to open the hatch so that he and the Combat Engineer can enter the Sathar ship. Once in, Doc again cycles the airlock to allow them entry.

In the meantime, Sergei’s attempts to prise open the container seem fruitless, and a critical fail sees his knife slip, embedding itself in his arm. The yelp of pain surprises a jittery Drive, who spins on his heels and almost lets off a burst at Sergei. Luckily, a good roll of the dice has him in check of his emotional state before his finger fully depresses the trigger.

Doc sees to Sergei’s wound, which has gone through his space suit. The air inside the Sathar ship seems quite breathable, although having a faint sulfur tang to it. The Combat Engineer has a look at thhe cargo crate and quickly finds a control console hidden behind a panel. Randomly pressing buttons, the cargo container’s lid lifts up, allowing the Combat Engineer to push it off. Inside, the crate is full of bags of long purpley worms…

Guns and Drive cautiously approach the door of the flight room. Guns enters but finds there are no other Sathar hiding in here. The room contains two crew consoles and lots of screens and monitors. Once patched up, Sergei spends time in here trying to figure out what useful data he can get off the ship’s memory.

With there being no other areas forward of the flight room, Doc commands the group to advance through the aft door. Drive and the Combat Engineer cover it whilst Guns opens it from the side, staying out of line of sight and line of fire(!). The room beyond is again the full width of the ship’s hull. It contains two slightly sunken ovoid-shaped ‘baths’ (for want of a better word). The baths each have a trough running along the inside edge which are full of purpley worms. The Combat Engineer and Guns remember seeing something similar before (in the sewer complex below the R&D centre) and identify them as Sathar sleeping pits. (They also saw them at the Sathar complex on the desert world of Dega, but nobody mentions those). The area seems empty and there is little of note, so the party cautiously approach the only other door; again leading aft. This time it is Pilot and Drive who cover the door whilst Guns opens it from the side, but this time a burst of fire comes through as soon as it’s opened. Drive takes four shots to the chest, dropping him. His armour took the brunt of the damage, but enough kinetic energy gets through to leave him unconscious and bleeding on the floor. The Combat Engineer fires a burst at the Sathar, which kills it instantly.

Whilst Doc works on Drive, Guns, Pilot and the Combat Engineer advance throught the doorway. This area is more of an access corridor, with removeable access panels on either side. At the end of the corridoor, behind the dead Sathar, is another door. Pilot opens up the access panels and discovers an engineering console and readouts behind one, and (what he assumes to be) life support behind the other.

Sergei catches up with the group and reports to Doc that he has accessed the Sathar navigation computer and has found co-ordinates of another Sathar ship. The group take a little time out to discuss what this other ship could be. Thoughts that it could be a dreadnaught or other heavy combat vessel are discounted as unlikely, as this vessel is a light, two-man scout ship, so presumably the other ship is its home base.

After this discussion, Guns and the Combat Engineer carefully open the door by the Sathar body. They find themselves in a smallish, curved room with a double-door hatchway straight ahead. In front of them is a strange looking rocket car, with rocket nacelles underneath the vehicle pointing downward. This area also contains a gun rack (containing two pistols. The slots for two rifles are, unsurprisingly, empty) which Guns inspects, while the Combat Engineer opens up the few lockers in here the find a pair of Sathar space suits and some tools.

Declaring the ship safe, Doc lays out a plan of using the Sathar scout ship to observe the other Sathar vessel and, depending on what they find, either heading back to the ICC fleet for backup, or attempting a boarding action themselves. Whilst the plan isn’t met with universal praise, it is acknowledged that Doc is the officer in charge.

Pilot and Sergei are able to mate up the navigation data on the CSV Harrier to the Sathar ship and (after a bit a firewall-cracking) vice-versa.

[Session ends here]

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A New Mission

The ships jump back to the Polar Star system, where the ICC’s 2nd Fleet is stationed. There, they dock with the Cruiser Saratoga and undergo medical attention and individual debriefing. However, after less than a week, the group are all summoned to a meeting room. When they enter, they find BDU’s and combat armour (for the Marines) and flight uniforms (for the Navy) waiting for them, along with standard issue equipment and weapons (Pulse rifles, standard side-arms, etc). Any requests for personal equipment located aboard the Captain Flak are refused. Two Majors from CMIC (Colonial Marine Intelligence Corps) inform them that a situation has arise and that they are to be deployed to investigate, as they have previous experience in this type of mission. The debriefings will be suspended until after they return.

They are assigned the CSV Harrier, a Courier-class ship and given the basic background on the situation: Some months ago, an ICC scout found a new Earth-type planet. This is only the third such planet so far discovered, so its discovery has been kept secret whilst ICC scientists investigate its potential. An ICC supply ship has not returned from the planet, and is now two days overdue. The mission is to travel to the planet (the co-ordinates are already loaded in the jump computer) investigate as to the fate of the supply ship, check on the science camp and then report back. Nothing more.

The jump to the planet is uneventful, and nothing appears to be in range of the ship or, as they approach, around the planet. Going into high orbit, the ship’s sensors soon pick up a metallic object on the surface which could be the supply vessel. It’s in a heavily wooded area, so the Harrier lands several kilometres away and the party treck to the crash site. The Corporal takes (the only) grav-bike (a Honda Tornado). Guns scouts ahead and soon finds the furrow the ship carved in the landscape as it crash-landed. He’s not too far from the rear of the vessel and immediately recognises it as a Toyota StarAce light freighter. It looks like it was damaged by an impact to the rear. The Corporal goes into overwatch above the site whilst the others tactically approach the ship.

Once deciding the area is secure, the Corporal and Sergei announce they will search the ship. Pilot and Ash say they will inspect the damage and check the engines. Sergei and the Corporal discover lots of cartridge cases on the ground as they approach the open ramp of the ship. Stooping to pick a few up, Sergei declares they are not of a calibre he recognises and reckons they’re alien – most likely Sathar. The Corporal finds lots dried blood on the ship’s ramp. Venturing further inside, they find the ship deserted and no bodies or obvious signs of fighting (though the place is in a bit of a state due to the crash-landing). They enter the cockpit and try to power up, but the ship seems to be dead, so they locate and remove the black box. They also find the ship’s cargo is still aboard and seemingly untouched. The contects of which all seem to food, medical supplies and scientific supplies and equipment. Sergei checks the manifest, but is disappointed to find there are no explosives listed amongst the cargo.

Outside, the Combat Engineer finds trace of another vehicle; four burn marks on the ground, presumably left by rocket nacelles.

Pilot and Ash inspect the damage and conclude the ship was probably hit by a missile. They can’t tell for sure, but they think the hull may be ruptured. One of the sublight drives is definately beyond repair. Ash advises that standard protocol in situations like this is to dump the nuclear core; hence why there’s no power. They even hypothesise that the ship was shot at as it was entering the planet’s atmosphere.

In the meantime, Guns has been taking a perimeter walk and discovered tracks leading away from the crash site. It was difficult to tell due to the deep carpet of woodland foilage, but he reckons three bipeds (he wouldn’t identify them conclusively as Human). He continues to follow the tracks whilst the others are checking the ship, until he gets to the 3km range of his communicator. The others soon start to catch up to him, so he continues forward. He starts to see a plateau sloping upwards above the trees and tracks the trail up the incline. It’s not too steep and he makes good progress. At the top he soon comes across a single strand of electrified fencing at about waist height. It looks to be of Human manufacture. He waits for the others to catch up (and resists the urge to pee on it).

Guns and the Corporal crawl under the wire and carefully continue ahead. They soon see silver-skinned tents through the trees. Going around, they hear voices in English, a woman’s and a man’s. They make themselves known to the voices; the woman being Professor Parkinson, and the man Dr. Williams. The rest of the party approach once Guns advises it’s safe. Doc converses with the two scientists and basically confirms what they’ve already figured out; that the ship was hit by a missile as it was entering the atmosphere, and that the Sathar shot the crew. The scientists do not know where the Sathar are, but do not think there are many of them. They assume they do not know about the science base on top of the plateau. Prof. Parkinson believes the Sathar are based somewhere near the river to their south-west. Prof. Parkinson also tells Doc that it was her team that retrieved the three dead crew members from the crashed vessel, and that they are in cold storage. Doc inspects the bodies and confirms they all died from bullet wounds.

Doc tells the group that they need to find the Sathar and eliminate the danger, so they head back to the Harrier. The trip is uneventful, with any small woodland creatures in their path moving away from them. Pilot, Sergei and Ash power up the Harrier and start scanning the river area for anything metallic. They soon find something and quickly identify is as a ship. However, what they find is that the ship is hidden several meters underwater, in the river itself!

The Corporal and a couple of the others are all for taking off, locking a pair of missiles on it and destroying it. But Doc points out that this is a Sathar ship, and no Sathar ship has yet been captured intact. “Think of the intelligence it will provide. They will wipe the slate clean and forget about the incident on Paradise if we can give them a Sathar ship” says Doc. It takes a while, but the others are eventually talked around. It is decided to use space suits to enter the water and try to gain entry to the ship. The Harrier only has two space suits, so a quick trip to the crashed freighter soon doubles that number. Doc, the Combat Engineer, Ash and Sergei either volunteer or are chosen to break into the ship.

The party cautiously approach the area of the Sathar ship and prepare to break in. Although the current is moving at a lazy pace, Ash and Sergei are dragged along with the current for a few meters. (Bad Swim rolls). Doc is the first to reach what he believes (correctly) to be an external hatch, some six meters under the surface. There are a group of indentations, so Doc just randomly puts fingers against a few of them and the hatch opens! (Critical success roll). the rush of water into the chamber beyond carries both him and the Combat Engineer inside…

[Session ends here]

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The Exchange

About an hour before the meet is supposed to take place, Guns (who is hidden in a copse of trees behind the warehouse) observes a black van pull up and five males pile out. He can see that they are dressed in combat armour and carrying military-grade assault rifles. He starts to radio this to the others when suddenly he loses the link. He’s being jammed! So he decides he will move positon to the roof of the warehouse, as he really can’t see much from the back. He quickly climbs an access ladder is is stealthily making his way across, when his foot goes throught the thin ferrocrete roof panel. He cuts his ankle whilst pulling his foot out, but the occupants inside don’t seem to be aware of him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team are preparing for the meeting and travelling by van to Warehouse 13. The Corporal takes his grav-bike and skirts out and around to the back of the warehouse, meeting up with Guns on the roof. Sergei has manned the dorsal 100mm gun turret of the Captain Flak.

Using the hole he has inadvertantly made, Guns tried to scout out where the five occupants of the warehouse are, but he can only see two. Comms are still down, with white noise jamming all frequencies.

The hanger-type doors are only open wide enough to allow one person in at a time. Pilot risks entering first, followed by Drive, Ash and Doc. Ahead of them they see one man with a sportsbag on the floor besides him. He asks Pilot if he is Vorkrewal, to which Pilot confirms. They agree on a simultaneous exchange, the box of chips being slid across the floor as the guy tosses the bag at Pilot’s feet. The guy inspects the chips and seems happy, so Pilot opens the bag to check the money… and a flash-bang explodes in his face, immediately stunning him (but, somehow, not rendering him unconscious)! Then all hell breaks loose…

The Corporal, hearing the stun grenade go off, kills the power to his bike, sending it down through the ferrocrete roof. An excellent roll ensures he re-starts the anti-grav plates before hitting the ground, whilst also letting off a burst from his IMI TAR assault weapon.

At the same time, the guy with the chips, pulls a pistol and shouts out for everybody to drop their weapons as they are under arre- he never finishes as the Corporal’s burst kills him dead. His colleagues, stationed at various places around the building fire at Drive, Ash and Doc. All three get shot in the chest, taking all of them into negative health. Drive is barely clinging onto life. Guns fires at the other bad guy, dropping him.

Pilot is staggering about, blinded, shouting (or at least trying too, as he can’t hear himself) for his guys to drop their weapons. The Corporal has shot straight up on the bike, through the hole in the roof.

(At this point the GM is wondering what has happened to his adventure and wondering if it’s salvageable. This is, after all, just the opening act).

Sergei, watching the roof of the warehouse through a pair of binoculars, sees a flash and the Corporal drop through the roof, and decides it’s a good idea to send in an artillery strike on their position, so he fires off five rounds of 100mm HE. Three shells land behind the warehouse, but two hit the rear of the building. The shock wave blows Guns off the roof. A critical fail has him dead before he hits the ground. The corporal is also knocked sideways by the concussive force, but manages to regain control of his bike and does not suffer grevious injuries. Pilot is hurt, but not badly, whilst Drive, Ash and Doc. are all steadily losing their fights to stay alive.

The Corporal rides into what’s left of the warehouse and immediately goes to Doc, pumping him full of stimulants and trying his best to staunch the bullet hole in his chest. Somehow, Doc regains consciousness and is able to get to his feet. The corporal tells him to find and revive Guns then moves onto Ash, whilst Doc stumbles off outside. He quickly finds Gun’s body, pumps some stimulants into him, dumps him in the back of the van and speeds off to the Captain Flak, where he puts him into the autodoc.

In the meantime, the Corporal has revived Ash and Drive, helped Pilot and also the last surviving member of the ‘bad’ guys, who identifies himself as a Colonial Marine.

Segei soon pulls up in the van and before long everyone is loaded and heading back to the Captain Flak. Of course, the citizens of Paradise are not a very lawful lot, and the artillery strike has kicked off a mass evacuation of starships, whilst rival gangs and ship crews fire at each other or just at random. Sergei takes the last surviving Colonial Marine back to his ship, and both ships leave together…

(As an aside, the GM had a whole adventure planned out which would have lasted several sessions, with the possibility of a side-quest as well. He was mightly annoyed at the gung-ho nature of a couple of players for killing the adventure before it even got started).

[end of session]

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Back in the Cluster

Fleeing the New Eden system for Polar Star in the Captain Flak, the group find they all have personal correspondence in their inboxes. Upon reading it, the Colonial Marines all discover they have been promoted to Corporal. Doc has had his medical degree confirmed, granting him an automatic promotion to Captain, making him the defacto OIC. The Navy boys have both been promoted to Lieutenant and been awarded medals, as has Chief Engineer Ash.

The jump from Polar Star to Dega is uneventful, as is the jump from Dega to Toril. Exiting jumpspace into the Toril system, however, the Captain Flak is confronted by two customs corvettes belonging to the Church of the Chosen Ones. A fast-talk roll by Pilot means they don’t have to undergo an inspection – a good thing considering the highly illegal chips they have on board! Sergei has been thinking about the chips, and the consequences of them falling into the wrong hands. He plans to have lookalike chips produced with an older targeting system program and pass these off as the cutting-edge chips they were paid to transport. Sergei also installs one of the chips into the Captain Flak’s tageting system.

Toril’s main planet, Derilyn, is an ocean world with two orbital spaceports. The Captain Flak docks at one and Sergei goes about getting chips made up as planned. The others have a look about, but generally stay out of trouble. 14 hours later, the fake chips are ready and the Captain Flak is heading out of system and jumping to the planet Paradise in the Yorbin System.

Paradise is a lawless world. Within minutes of landing at the makeshift spaceport outside the planet’s capital, Pleasant City, they are being shanken down for protection money by bikers. Ash crews the dorsal 100mm turret and trains it on the bikers, which encourages them to be on their way. Drive is left to guard the ship whilst the others go to the bar where they are supposed to meet their contact.

Not long after entering the bar a spotty youth tells them to be at warehouse 13 at midnight. It’s currently mid-afternoon so the boys have several hours to do what they want. They decide to ‘casually’ check out warehouse 13. Guns breaks out Betsy, his sniper rifle, and sneaks into a position covering the rear of the warehouse. Sergei rides past the front several times, but the place currently appears to be lockeed up tight. Midnight is not far away…

[Session Ends]

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