Thursday, January 10, 2013

2300AD: Star Marines - Episode 3

As part of the Earth Forces' raid against the Kafer facilities on Dunkelheim, Lt Boomer and 1st Squad had been “recruited” to aid Ms. White, a representative of the Uranus Corporation, to recover corporate “property” at Site Beta which lay some 800 kilometers from the Marine drop zone.

Based on information from the local resistance, the maglev line originating in the Republic of Texas settlement at New Lubbock still seemed to be operational, under Kafer control however. A spur of the main line linked to Site Beta.

The group came up with the plan to drive overland the 500 klicks to New Lubbock and seize control of one of the trains and use it to infiltrate Site Beta.

They set off in the corporate scout vehicle. About an hour out, they encountered a single Kafer recon flying vehicle only to observe it fly into a hill side due to error on the part of the unawakened Kafer pilot.

Pilot Error

The next eight hours of the trip went uneventfully, except for Ms. White’s growing irritation at the endless puns on the Uranus Corporation name.

Further annoyance was caused by Biff (they can’t pronounce his full name) the Sung assistant the corporates had with them. The Sung are an intelligent reptilian race that was discovered in the Chinese Arm. After a brief war, they submitted to human domination in return for their “uplifting” to human technological levels. From a practical standpoint, the process of uplifting consists of making endless non sequitir inquiries into the nature of humans and their biological processes.

Then they saw the bug.

They grow them big around here

It was a perfect example of the indigenous kamelinsekt only instead of being a couple of centimeters in size, it was almost as big as the scout car. The group speculated from DNA modification to nuclear mutation as the cause of this prodigy but left the thing alone. The bug did not spot them and soon scurried out of their path.

The group then arrived at the outskirts of New Lubbock, around noon of the 40-hour Dunkelheim day. New Lubbock was a small Texan settlement of only a few thousand people. Before the Kafer invasion, it had been a penal colony with the prisoners being used to develop the petrochemical resources nearby.

The colony seemed deserted with a number of the buildings showing considerable battle damage. The group skirted the settlement to get to the maglev facility which appeared much more intact than the rest of the colony although it seemed equally deserted.

New Lubbock

Lt Boomer sent Fireteam 1 (SGT Korand, Gaylord, Machine-gun Lenny, and the Noob) and the resistence fighters, Jutta and Naci, to recon the settlement while he, Fireteam 2 and the corporate group remained with the vehicle in hiding some distance back.
Fireteam 1 took position on a mesa overlooking the rail facility. The mesa also contained a relay for communications satellites. Gaylord attempted to access the relay to determine what if any communications were occurring.

At the same time, a human figure appeared on one of the buildings and seemed to have observed the fireteam. His ragged appeareance suggested either a resistance member or refugee. Therefore Sgt Korand and the Noob approached him.

They seemed friendly

Several more of the ragged but well-armed locals appeared. Assuming they were resistance fighters who might help, Sgt Korand asked to be taken to their leader. The Noob volunteered that the rest of the team were on the mesa and Ms. White was “in back with the truck.” The locals told them to bring the rest of the group in.

While this was going on, Gaylord failed in every attempt to access the communications site, being able to determine only that a flash message had been sent out shortly after the locals spotted the team. He also couldn’t download any of the memory, track where it was sent or even shut it down.

Any job is easy with the right equipment

Machine Gun Lenny rectified this last point by urinating on the circuits. He noted that this is the way they turn off the TV at home. Gaylord then booby-trapped the relay station with a large piece of plastique.

(A new PC joined the group for this session and played one of the squad’s SSW operators, Machine Gun Lenny who had recovered from wounds suffered in the landings battle. He was an experienced Marine who loved to tell stories that no one believed and was from LA - Lower Alberta - there having been considerable changes to North American borders by 2300AD).

After this, the remainder of Fireteam 1 and the corporate folks join SGT Korand and the Noob in the maglev rail facility center. The LT and Fireteam 2 held their position out in the desert but listened in on coms. Jutta and her lone resistance fighter stayed in hiding on the mesa with a clear view of what was going on in the facility.

Once the corporate scout car was driven in, a very large group of heavily armed locals appeared from hiding and surrounded the group. It was then that they noticed that many of the wildly attired locals were sporting the bar code forehead tattoos that marked convicted felons in the Rep. of Texas. Although not disarmed, the group had slung their weapons and so were forced to follow the locals’ directions to see their boss.

They were taken into a large building that had been converted into a bar of sorts where they were introduced to the boss: Governor Happy, a huge, genetically modified serial killer in clown make-up. He let them know that had an arrangement with the Kafers to ensure that oil was shipped to the Kafers and that any resistance fighters would be killed or turned over.

He must be one of those "crying-on-the-inside" type of clowns

Although the Marines were not disarmed, their weapons were slung. Any attempt to draw them would result in them being blasted by the more than two dozen assault rifles and pair of a flamethrowers that were pointed in their direction.

SGT Korand, who is adept in …fabricating the truth, attempted to convince Happy that they were there to steal gold and other precious minerals being kept at Site Beta. With Happy’s help they could overcome the Kafer guards there and steal all that treasure. Korand even hinted that some of the more important convicts could be gotten off planet in a corporate starship.

At first Happy seemed inclined to merely torture the group into revealing where the gold was kept at Site Beta until Korand warned him that if the group didn’t return successfully to the Marine drop zone, a massive aerial strike would hit New Lubbock.

Happy seemed to buy into this whole notion when he remembered that he had alerted the Kafers to the Marines’ presence. Of course when he attempted to rescind the warning, he discovered that communications had been shut down Alberta-style.

So Gaylord was sent back up the hill to fix what he and Lenny had broken. He was escorted by two of the less bright convicts. Jutta was able to remain hidden and Gaylord was able to easily remove the booby trap he had placed and hide the explosive in his fatigues. He also fixed the relay station as well as sending on to Brigade HQ the fact that New Lubbock was being controlled by collaborators and producing petrochemicals for the Kafers.

Unfortunately, he unwittingly caused New Lubbock to move up on the Earth Forces list of targets to be destroyed.

Gaylord was the returned to the bar. He walked up to Happy and tossed the explosive into the clown’s lap….

This is not going to end well.

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