Mercenary Guild Zealand
- 1 Shipped to the 2nd Galaxy
- 2 Plot Infliction 1 - So it begins
- 3 Game Night 11/11/2010 - Destroying a turret
- 4 Plot Infliction 2 - To the fleet
- 5 Game Night 11/18/2010 - Death To All
- 6 Plot Infliction 3 - Tactical Deconstructions
- 7 Game Night 11/26/2010 - Diversions
- 8 Plot Infliction 4 - Portents of Doom
- 9 Game Night 12/02/2010 - Battle Kvankii
- 10 Plot Infliction 5 - Much Wreckage
- 11 Game Night 12/09/2010 - Rescuing Slavakirek
- 12 Plot Infliction 6 - Towards the planet
- 13 Game Night 12/16/2010 - BoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoom
- 14 Plot Infliction 7 - Vacation on Stanislav
- 15 Game Night 1/6/2011 - Tough Massetin
Shipped to the 2nd Galaxy
The Evil Group of Robots: Myxo, Torres, and Bruce are smuggled off of Sarin in shipping containers and after many days are opened by a Takolee. He says: "I'll lead you to the fold space where you will be assigned to a Mercenary Guild known as Zealand.
He pauses and looks you over again. "I'm guessing at least one of you is an assassin. Word of advice. Don't acquire on the Batori."
He meant it in its plural form. The facility you are in is obviously owned by the Radicals and is quite busy with various people bustling everywhere. The hub of the facility is the 1 variable fold space. It's about 2 meters in diameter. There's a boarding area and you need to wait a few hours in a queue.
Eventually it's your turn and you are ushered into the portal. On the other side you are greeted by a humanoid robot.
"Hello. My name is Smilodectes. I'm your guide for the time being on station Beta 230. A ship from our guild will be arriving in a few days to pick us up. I'm also to provide basic gear, though it's likely you'll be specifically equipped depending on the particulars of any given mission."
Plot Infliction 1 - So it begins
Three days to kill... Any plans?
- range weapon - the bigger the better
- patches - the more the merrier
Okey-dokey. 3D Blaster Rifle, Tool Pack with 40 patches, and a 50 point shield - duck buffer 5.
Torres has his patch robot building armour for him.
Right. Armour. Let's get that going too. Vitals, then limbs.
AND, armour-penetrating or better for the weapon, if possible.
Game Night 11/11/2010 - Destroying a turret
Hive Time Index - 374387
Just got promoted to sub-sub-sub-specialist and given a long-zap. The fleet has gloriously withdrawn to allow us to prove our worth against the vile hordes of dissimilar freaks. Let them come. We will earn our place in the after-hive with stacks of their corpses and feast upon their discordant souls.
Hive Time Index - 374392
Sub-sub-commander GURKLYX informed us that the large wave-sense detected a Horde vessel approach, and it cowardly creeps upon us under the horizon. It is probably soulless anyway, and is right to fear extinguishment from our giga-zap. We are to keep watch for hordes of Horde trying to attack the giga-zap with lowly tactics.
Hive Time Index - 374394
Two shiny black Horde machines have appeared almost upon me! I shall zap them until their soulless carapaces are indistinguishable from things that have died from being zapped.
Hive Time Index - 374394_a
They seem to be very difficult to zap. They dance with terrible Hordely quickness and what zaps we do land do not slow them fast enough. Still, we are winning.
Hive Time Index - 374394_b
The horribly ugly one hurts us with its unfair attacking-then-riding-on-the-other. We hate it, and will kill it first. The other one is less ugly, and stares at us as though it might want to mate with us. We intend to fill it with eggs.
Hive Time Index - 374394_c
The more-normal-looking Horde machine is an assassin! It does not want to mate with us at all! We hate it, and will kill it first.
Hive Time Index - 374394_d
They are still not dead. We hate them, and will kill them. Victory is assured.
Hive Time Index - 374394_e
The giga-zap has been killed! BLOODY VENGEANCE MUST BE HAD!
Hive Time Index - 374394_f
More of us have come to exact bloody vengeance with their zipple-zaps upon the Horde machines. They will die.
Hive Time Index - 374394_g
There is another one of them from out of nowhere! It is just like the more-normal-looking Horde machine - is it an assassin too? We will kill them all.
Hive Time Index - 374394_h
They have killed another of us! For that they will die.
Hive Time Index - 374394_i
We have been victorious! One of them has fallen. While it was picked up, its doom is sealed. They will all die.
Hive Time Index - 374394_j
They are still not dead, and many of us are near to earning a place in the after-hive. The soulless Horde ship taunts us from the sky and sends our brothers on the far side of the hive to the after-hive. Still, these Horde Machines will all die. Brother kilo-GRUMXLIK comes to ensure our victory.
Hive Time Index - 374394_k
The vile abomination Horde ship sent brother kilo-GRUMXLIK to the after-hive, and now looms over us. We go next. They did not die. We were not victorious in this battle. I hope I am sent back from the after-hive to kill them and lay eggs in their heads.
Plot Infliction 2 - To the fleet
Capt Nigel gives you a thumbs up when you board.
"I believe that qualifies for one completed mission in your contract. I'll let your c.o. know when we get to the fleet. You'll likely be required to transmit all sensor data of the mission to him when we get there."
You and Torres each earn 1 skill and Bruce earns 3 (or 5 if you give him your skill).
All skill funneled to Bruce until he's seasoned too. Then we'll see. That should just be 5 more, after which I can resume my epic amassing of assassinification.
I assume that Patchita is working continuously to repair me and to rebuild my armour. Also, it's probably worth chatting with Bruce to see if he can cooperate with one of our 2nd-stage technicians to conjure me an armour-penetrating weapon. Although, it sounded like I might be able to requisition something from the fleet shop to be built, but it would be nice to know if a backup could be had if necessary. If such a thing is possible, and we can only ask for one technical boon from the fleet shops, I'd like to be able to also ask for move boots.
Note to self: also top up patch supply before heading out again.
"Torres, I think we also need for you to make us a supply of smoke grenades. While we are fairly-impressive war machines, we are much more terrifyingly effective if we can bring our stealth capabilities to bear. Should we find ourselves presented with another no-cover scenario, I'd still like the ability to force our victims to have to spot us."
There's not a lot of spare material on the ship to make stuff with. The crew indicates that there will be materials available at your destination. The patch robots are able to fix you up though.
After a number of hours you arrive at the fleet. It appears to be one frigate, a bunch of strike class, and a bunch of other smaller craft. You fly to the frigate and dock with it. You and all the other recruits are ushered off and led into a briefing room. Eventually an old looking X47 robot comes riding in on his Rabid Centurian steed. Another small robot follows.
X47: "Welcome to Mercenary Guild Zealand. I'm Commander Red-C and I lead the ground forces division. You lot - " and he looks at the large group of obviously freshly minted robots " - are probably all going to die. But since you wouldn't have been created if it wern't for the war, you should relesh your brief existance. Take as many Xoids down with you as you can." He turns to look at you, Torres and Bruce. "You three are going to have an interesting time here. Between you and a few other sappers we've been able to recruit we're at full strength for a big assault. You're probably going to die too, but you have the potential to take a lot of Xoids with you."
He gustures at the other robot that followed him in. "This is Ordway. He'll be your contact point on this ship and will be giving you your orders. Also, he's your technician and will gear you up." He then turns with his steed and leaves.
Ordway steps forward: "Ok, you clone-bots already have optimized gear, so there's nothing I can do for you. You have access to basic ships systems so use the map to go to holding area 8." They all march out.
"You three... I understand you're already had a battle. Please submit your sensor data of the entire thing. I'll review it while I work."
He then starts fitting all three of you with x5 move boots.
Myxo happily transmits her log of the events from touchdown to pickup.
With the advent of the super-move capabilities, the remaining requisition list is as follows:
- armour-penetrating range weapon
- smoke grenades
- a pony
I'm curious about the capabilities of the clone-bots, especially if we're going to be interacting with them on the battlefield.
Ordway glances at Bruce while he's working. "It's not often someone who comes here is smarter than I am. That should help matters. I'm transmitting a file of everything we know about the layout of a Xoid cruiser. Study it."
Once he's done with the move boots he instructs you to follow him. He's got similar movement capabilities so you can test out your newfound obscene speed. It feels awesome to be going that fast.
He seems to be taking the long way around to whereever you are going. At one point you pass by a bay filled with corrivals that look like giant spikes with an impressive looking weapon mounted at the end. Eventually you end up in the armoury. Here is the gun you are given:
- Plasma Rifle 2D+4
- Scope +4 to hit
- Stamina: 30, Armour 30
- Shield: 20
Ordway starts working on fitting it for you such that it has an additional +5 to hit.
Torres is given a bunch of grenades and a 2Dx10 Blaster Rifle. Bruce is given 2 2Dx10 Blaster Rifles. They are both scoped and fitted as well. He'll work on armour next.
OK, that's obscene… but in a good way.
Bruce seems perturbed. He tight-beams to you. "We're not going to earn much skill using these weapons."
I tightbeam back to Bruce. "You know, considering Red-C's thought that we're probably going to die, it's entirely possible that they may be throwing us against some pretty ugly odds. I propose an adaptive methodology: we use the obscenely-awesome gear provided, and if it seems to be overkill we can switch to more moderate weapons for training purposes. In the mean time, it looks like they mean to be using us for boarding parties with those stabby-looking corrivals - how well do you think you'll be able to help your tech tamper the portals and equipment inside a megaXoid?"
"Ordway, do you know if will we be working in conjuction with any other non-clone-bot teams, or adjunct to the clone-bot troops, or if we'll be separate?"
Bruce: "I think having both Biologist and Physicist will be advantageous when dealing with Xoid technology."
Ordway: "The clone-bots will be the distraction. The basic plan is to pierce the Xoid crusier, deploy the clone-bots to keep the Xoids busy, and sapper teams will carry bombs to sensitive portions of the ship. You'll be given small thrusters so you can get to the exterior of the ship and launch off to be picked up after the battle. Typically each spike ship will have one sapper team and a contingent of goons. We try to hit the target with as many ships as we can at once, then the sappers that survive can take out multiple targets on board. Once the ship is crippled, the frigate comes in and finishes it off."
"Do the clone-bots also have thrusters to escape the megaXoid after the battle? I'm just formulating tactics to suit different potential scenarios, and thinking about how best to maximize effectiveness. "
"Yes, they will have them. Everything is timed precisely. When you pierce the ship, you'll have a certain time to deposit the bomb, a certain time to flee, and then the bomb goes off regardless. If all goes well, all of our robots will be launching off the ship at the same time moments before the bombs go off."
Shared privately with Bruce and Torres: "Precise timing to wage a battle while carrying explosives? That's worrisome in how it forestalls adaption to anything unexpected. "
Torres: "I wonder what their turnover is..."
Bruce: "Probably quite high."
Game Night 11/18/2010 - Death To All
Now at full strength, the Mercenary Guild Zealand sought out a target. One was found quickly and they went to engaged. Myxo's sapper team boarded one of the pierce ships and eventually they flew towards the Xoid cruiser. Luckly they were not shot down and soon they found themselves inside the Xoid ship. Torres was equiped with a huge bomb strapped to his back.
The clone-bots burst forth and battled the Xoids that were send to counter the invaders while the team snuck towards their target - a massive turret. They killed a couple of Xoid sentries blocking their path. Once was beaten down by Bruce's massive assault weapons, while the other was assassinated by Myxo. A large 2 tonne bug attempted to eat them shortly after, but couldn't spot the stealthy robots. They continued on to their target.
The corridor to their target was blocked by 3 Xoids, while another 3 were within line of site down another corridor. Battle commenced - it was long and grueling, especially after Bruce got assassinated by a Xoid sniper. The Xoids went largely on the defensive, to give the 2 tonne bug beast time to get back. Which it did. And it almost bit Bruce in half with it's immense mandibles, shook him like a dog toy and threw him a goodly distance away. Fortunately, it was easily assassinated a moment later and never got back up. The rest of the Xoids were eventually brought down.
With the Xoids dead, the crew contined to their target. It was booby trapped with an explosive, but Myxo's armour took it all easily. The backup gunner crew inside didn't last long. The explosive was planted and the crew snuck off, past two more of the bug beasts. They found an airlock and made their escape.
The only sapper teams that didn't succeed were the ones that were shot down before reaching the ship. The cruiser was disabled by the numerous internal explosions and the frigate swooped in and finished it off.
Plot Infliction 3 - Tactical Deconstructions
You each earn 1 skill. Or, Bruce earns 3. The mercenary group is paid for the successful mission, they they go about building more ships and bombs for another. It could take a while. Ordway eventually finds you, requests your sensor data, and goes about rebuilding your armour.
Bruce earns 3.
We hand over the sensor data to Ordway. "May we have access to some of the other generalized battle data? I'm curious to know the progress of the other groups, sapper and clone-bot, and to have our handy mathematician to crunch the array of resistance they faced." While Ordway works on the armour, I make sure to keep my current helmet so I can have it fixed up - but maintain some of the more impressive wear marks.
Tightbeam conference with Torres and Bruce: "So, guys, what do you think of our current existence so far? Seems like the advanced gear is pretty necessary for survival in these circumstances. We almost lost Bruce there - might that have been partially a failure of tactics? Because I think we could bend the fights more to our favour if we were willing to be a bit more patient, and to use more stealth tactics coupled with extreme movement capabilities. Not that we seemed to have a lot of time to spare with this last scenario."
Ordway says sure and he shows you how to access the ships archives. "This one was a cake walk. Sometimes we encounter a ship that's obviously been warned of our tactics. This one wasn't."
Torres: "I probably could have snuck right up to those three Xoids in the corridor and opened the door. Maybe with a smoke grenade or two, we could have planted the bomb without battle at all. Though the smoke grenades might have impared my ability to effectively plant the bomb."
Bruce: "I should jump on Myxo more often after all agressive attacks. Her duck is way better than mine."
By the way - your patch robots are slowly earning skill too. Eventually they'll be 3rd stage techies.
"Bruce, can you peruse the archives and give us some idea about what sort of countering tactics Xoid ships employ. We want to be able to recognize them before we run afoul of them, and if we can be ready with a strategy to take advantage it if possible."
"While I agree that Torres could probably have stealthily gotten to the target, the failure mode is kind of unacceptable. If he were to be spotted by some fluke, those military grade Xoids are pretty deadly. As for Bruce jumping on me after an all-aggressive attack, I agree that can be useful, but getting fully behind cover a good distance away is pretty effective too."
3rd-stage techies sounds good to me.
Bruce goes through the archives.
"Seems the most common tactic is for the Xoids to install small ship scale shields on some of the interior corridors of their ship. They attempt to trap the sapper teams in a non vital part of the ship and have them explode with the bombs. When this happens some of the teams escape by blasting through the corridors themselves to get to an adjacent corridor - seems some of the interor walls are intermediate scale. But this really slows them up. I would estimate that 75% of the time there isn't an intermediate scale wall to blast through and the team is toast. Of all the attacks Zealand has performmed, this has happened 8.2% of the time, though the occurance seems to be increasing. On these ships, the Xoids often have their varient of sonic weaponry as well."
"In 14.5% of the attacks the ship has a large population of 200 kg hand to hand bugs, similar looking to the flea Mega-Xoid. They make short work of the distraction robots and make life very difficult for the sappers. The sappers are usually more stealthy, but there are so many of the bugs that if combat starts, the team is often overrun."
"Once, shortly after the ship was pierced, it exploded. There was no build-up of the drives, it just exploded. It must have been filled with some kind of chemical explosive. Zealand's entire robot contingent was destroyed. Two more Xoid cruisers were lying in wait a couple parsecs away and the frigate barely got away."
"And the creepiest encounter seems to have been fairly recent - about 8 battles ago. They were part of a larger Reich assault on a group of Xoid cruisers. They decided to try and take down one of the enemy destroyers that seemed to have wicked turret gunners. The enemy was attacked, the pierce ships all successfully got in... and then nothing. As is typical there's jamming, so they lose contact while the teams are inside. The pilots of the pierce ships ejected ok, but none of the sapper teams or other robots got out. And there were no explosions. The sappers were defeated and the bombs were all disarmed before they went off. The frigate attempted to get the pilots, but had to leave many behind because the attack was really going sour."
"Interesting. So, we should develop a methodology of systematically checking for large-scale shield emitters as we proceed through a megaXoid. As for the 200kg fleas, I'm not sure if there's anything we can do, really. The explosive variant almost sounds like it was a baited trap; that's something for the Zealand mathematicians - best avoided ahead of time. If we're on a ship and Torres notes some trace explosive compounds that are out of place, perhaps we should consider aborting mid-mission?"
"The creepy encounter sounds sort of like they blundered into a ship full of high-skilled combatants. Not much to plan for there, really."
Incidentally, what occupation is Bruce working on?
The Frigate (let's name it...) Kinghamia flys back to Reich controlled space. It's stopped and inspected about 8 times on it's journey until it arrives at a city planet called Xerez. This is where Zealand's main shipyard is. They continue the process of building new pierce ships. You note that they are also building another Frigate, though it's in it's beginning stages of construction. You can hang out at the shipyards or you can explore Xerez. You'll be called back when they are ready for another mission. They say you need to leave your awesome weaponry behind, but they give you access to more modest guns if you want them.
I wouldn't mind a backup cutting laser or needle beam...
I'll tag along with Torres and Bruce if they are so inclined. Otherwise I'll meditate on the koan of instant death.
Torres is going to stay behind, but Bruce wants to go cause some trouble. You can get a 2D cutting laser. Bruce gets a couple of 2D blaster rifles.
Righty-ho. I tag along with Bruce to keep him from getting into too much trouble. My intention is to travel stealthily, such that Bruce seems to be acting alone. I'll acquire on everything that moves, but will try to refrain from shooting anything unless Bruce needs help.
Game Night 11/26/2010 - Diversions
Bruce found some bounties he wanted to persue - something about a mercenary guild betraying the Reich to the Xoids. The guild was mostly toast and the bounty were for some stragglers that got away. Bruce was able to navigate the web with various connected sensor feeds to track some of them.
The first targets were a trio - a Groten, a Felinid, and a Takolee. It was a fairly easy fight - Myxo let Bruce do most of the battle, though she did decapitate the Takolee medic with her cutting laser. The Groten was questioned briefly and he spewed some barely intelligeble conspiracy theories about the Reich, though it seemed that he was telling the truth when saying they didn't betray anything to the Xoids. Bruce earned 300 credits for the kills.
Another person, this time a Mavvice, was followed to a ship. On the approach, however, Bruce was assassinated by a nearby Anurian who quickly dropped behind cover after taking his shot. Unfortunately for him, he was within range of Myxo's move boots and she trotted over and returned the assassination. Bruce got up a moment later and faced off the Mavvice who was emerging from the ship. The Mavvice with the 2Dx10 assault laser. Bruce and Myxo were able to bring him down, Bruce earned another 200, and Myxo claimed the weapon.
Bruce has now earned his second stage of Weapon Specialist and is now seasoned.
Plot Infliction 4 - Portents of Doom
Time passes. Torres spends it making grenades. Bruce decides he's going to continue his scientific studies along with his combat skill and starts working on a second stage of physicist. He borrows the two other patch robots and together they build more robots for the raiding parties... no skill, but he makes them good at hand to hand.
At a point when about half of the pierce ships are done, Red-C informs everyone that the Reich has requested assistance. There is a contested planet that the Xoids have taken an interest in and the Reich is going to set up an ambush. Similar m/o - pick one of the enemy ship and pierce it. This time there will be two sapper teams per pierce ship.
Myxo gets Patchita to perform the minor repairs required from the fight with the Mavvice.
"Ordway, do you have time to fit this assault laser for me? It's good to have a backup."
OK, time to take stock of our team plans. Bruce is going up in more scientist - hopefully his hand-to-hand beasties are useful, but it does mean a downward trend in our specific team combat effectiveness. Myxo is planning on continuing building up epic levels of assassin - scary potential, but will continue to rely on stealth and movement to face large groups of opponents. What is Torres planning on training as?
Does Red-C assign the sapper teams that are to ride together? And, more importantly, are the sapper teams meant to coordinate?
"Say, Torres... if we had a massive supply of pin communicators that we left behind as we proceeded through a megaXoid, how much would that affect our stealth? If it's not too much, it might be worthwhile in order to be able to coordinate combat information across teams."
Ordway indeed has time. He fits the weapon for you such that it has +5 to hit.
Bruce is going up in scientist in his spare time, but that won't take away from earning combat skill when fighting. As it will take him a month to earn his second stage of scientist, he'll likely go up in something else first.
Torres is a bit undecided what he wants to go up in... maybe more munitionist, maybe more scout. Maybe weapon specialist - with switch so he can toss a grenade each turn.
Red-C does assign the sapper teams. They will be given different targets.
Torres: "It will affect our stealth if I don't spend time hiding each one... though it depends on who is doing the looking. If it's like the last ship I doubt anyone will see them."
Game Night 12/02/2010 - Battle Kvankii
The next attack is a large one - multiple Reich ships and multiple Xoid ships. The Kinghamia flies into the battle and picks a Xoid ship that is holding back somewhat. The pierce ships are deployed and the one EGOR is on makes it through and pierces the ship.
The clone-bots are deployed and the sapper teams sneak after them. Xoids are quickly there to meet them and it appears they are being helped by a robot. It has a body shaped like a centaur with it's torso having arms and multiple tentacle like limbs. It also seemed to have three vital areas and Torres quickly figures out that it's actually three robots in one. What is highly disconcerting is that the enemy robot spots the sappers immediately and aims at Torres.
Not able to immediately flee the battle, the two sapper teams attempt to seperate. The enemy robots briefly focus on the other sapper team and slow it down enough to allow some of the Xoids to go after it. Meanwhile Myxo's team started to move to their objective.
Torres figured out that one of the enemy robots was actually a Kvankii-Lood.
Bruce and Myxo attempted to slow it down while Torres went and planted the bomb, but the Battle-Kvankii equaled their movement and was able to keep up with Torres. Briefly the steed robot was disabled and the Kvankii was forced to fight on it's own... and was destroyed by Bruce's twin 2Dx10 blasters. The steed and remaining robots fled.
Torres planted the bomb while Bruce and Myxo gave chase. The steed-bot was too quick and got away. Meanwhile, another Battle-Kvankii showed up and assassinated Torres just as the two others were returning. Torres was rescued and the group fleed to the exterior of the craft. They launched off, didn't get shot by the ships turrets, and flew away.
Plot Infliction 5 - Much Wreckage
The battle rages around you. With the speeds that the ships are all going it's hard to keep track of much, especially all the fighters. Torres flies you in a random direction away from the battle and you all hope that you look like debris.
The Xoid ship you were just on seems to have trouble maneuvering, but you see it position itself and then open a large bay door. About 200 huge missiles fire out of it, not at any ship, but towards the interior of the star system you are near. Noteably no large explosions were apparent in the ship when your bombs should have gone off.
Bruce: "It's likely those missiles were intended to be launched much closer to the target. It's actually a good sign they are launching them now - must be desperate"
As the battle continues, it moves away from you and you are left in the void watching the various flashes and explosions from a distance.
"Bruce, what is the probability that those weren't missiles, but instead were escape vehicles for the battle Kvankiis?"
Not that there's much to do as we drift through void. While the scale of space battle means we're unlikely to be harmed, it also means that we're likely to be stuck here for a while.
Indeed. Time passes. Eventually the battle seems to end. A number of ships head in towards the system, but at this range it's difficult to determine if they are Reich or Xoid. A number of ships also left the battle in a direction away from system and a short time later a smaller number came back.
All is quiet.
Torres: "I think it would a bad idea to just try and call the Kinghamia. Let's slowly head back and see who won."
"Heh. Like we have an option about the 'slowly' part. I propose that we head towards some Reich wreckage after we've ascertained that the fight is over and we aren't in immediate risk of being Xoided, and see if we can hack together a working set of long-range comms and sensors."
"I'm still puzzling over the significance of those large missiles. What's the probability that they're some sort of stellar bomb that's going to eventually burn away this sector of space by prompting the star to go nova? Or perhaps destroying evidence of some facility when they saw that this battle might be lost?"
Bruce: "From the brief glimpse of the missiles I got, they didn't appear to be protected at all. You'd think if it was a stellar bomb, they'd make it so that they would be difficult to destroy before impact with the target. I'm guessing that if there were ships in the system, the missiles were destroyed long before they got to their target. They looked like nukes for orbital bombardment."
"All of my guesses have low probabilities. We need more data."
There's a single small ship approaching your vicinity. Difficult to tell what type.
"Right - probability of nukes to destroy traces of one of their own facilities that they didn't want us to find traces of? If we get rescued, and if the Reich has established control of this system, perhaps we can suggest a scout team follows the vector of those missiles to look for remnants."
Since there isn't really anything to do about an approaching vessel other than to just wait and see what sort of type it is, that is what I propose we do. I was toying with the idea of sending out a small comm to bounce hails without giving away our location, but that just doesn't work at this scale. The maximum range of such a device (to maintain secure tightbeam contact with us) would be trivial for a ship to search with active sensors. We might not get a lot more chances at this, though, so any information that helps suggest whether it's Xoid or Reich should be carefully watched for. Not that I can think of what that might be since ships more than short short range will just look like featureless dots on our etheric sensors. Hopefully they send out an E/M hail checking for survivors.
"Probability low... I didn't get the specs on this system, but got the impression that it was Reich controlled."
The ship approaches, and then sweeps the area in an active scan. It checks on a couple small items of debris before it gets to you and as it approaches you see that it's a Maggot MegaXoid.
Torres: "This is it. We're all going to die."
Bruce: "Don't be so pessimistic."
Torres: "Maybe they'll try to interrogate us... then I can blow them up." He starts preparing all his grenades so they can be detonated all at once.
Bruce: "That's the spirit!"
The MegaXoid stops about 20 meters from you, it's mandibles looking hungry.
It hails you. "You help now... side on yours... salvage surgery need crush robots... rescue Slavakirek if nasty. Gah." It lets out a frustrated Xoid howl and then the hail turns to text. "Your language is annoying to learn. Though it may be difficult to accept we're not exactly on opposing sides. I'm going to take you back to the ship you tried to disable. We're going to attempt to salvage it, and it would be easier if we could clear it of the robots aboard. If I did it, it would cause additional damage and it's on the edge of salvagability as it is. Also, one of our operatives is still on board - Slavakirek. You need to go in, kill the remaining robots, and escort Slavakirek out. He's trapped in an aft engine compartment. I'll take you back to the planet when you're done."
It opens it's mandibles and moves forward to grab you.
Text response: "How do you know we tried to disable a ship?"
"Slavakirek was watching you on the ship's sensors."
Game Night 12/09/2010 - Rescuing Slavakirek
Inky blackness can be peered through only by benefit of highly augmented sensor gear, and all that can be seen are organically alien shapes that are the internal volume of an immense space-faring insect-like being. No air. No gravity. No helpfully reassuring signs indicating that anybody or anything ever intended a being to be here safely. It feels like a mechanical gut of a horrific war machine is supposed to feel.
Black shapes scuttle. They could be big, but they can't be seen directly. They're too fast. They're stealthy.
But something sees them. Tentacled segmented centaur-like robots lash out with deadly purpose, and the black shapes dance - two huge arachnids and a smaller clean-limbed battle robot with its torso atop a sleek insectile thorax. Two Eliminators, and a Gavahg. One Eliminator disappears into the shadows, while the other snaps out single bolts of searing, penetrating death. The Gavahg washes down the arrayed robots with a pair of heavy assault blaster rifles.
They all move so fast that they are suddenly gone. The blazing, flashing fight turns into a distant flickering glow reflected down serpentine corridors off of gleaming ropey stanchions. Military-grade hardware clashing with seasoned purpose... somewhere.
Eventually, it stops.
Plot Infliction 6 - Towards the planet
Slavakirek moves to lead you out of the ship.
"I'm not authorized to tell you much. You'll be taken to our headquarters. I'm certain they have no intention of just killing you, especially after helping me. I'm guessing they'll try to convince you to work for them."
Tightbeam to Torres and Bruce: "Let's disable the scout, including communications and anything potentially explosive, and interrogate him. We can evaluate the patch robots later. Bruce, which is probably more dangerous - doing the interrogation in here with the battle kvankiis, or outside where with the ship scale bugs?"
Torres: "It's disabled. I can wake it up, but it will be paralyzed."
Bruce: "It's a close one. There still may be battle Kvankii's here, and we know that two of the scout robots survived. They may be going to get help. On the other hand once we exit the ship with the Xoid, the MegaXoid may decided that we've outlived our usefullness and eat us."
"Probabilities say it's slightly safer to stay put for the interrogation."
"Right. Let's make this quick. Torres is on watch, Bruce you interrogate the scout, and I'll try to stall the Xoids."
To Slavachrkklkghfflickmeister: "What is the likelihood that we're going to be killed or kept as prisoners if we don't comply?"
Bruce: "I've determined that the 3 battle Kvankii's were the only ones left here after the, um, good guy(?) MegaXoids attacked the ship. 77% chance that the remaining ones evacuated. Also, the scout appears to be 3rd stage scout, 1st stage guerrilla. All imprinted stages, so the Kvankii's have a 4th stage mathematician working for them. It's likely the other individual robots of the battle Kvankii were imprinted as well. Haven't been able to determine anything about the big picture with the apparent Kvankii/Xoid collaberation... 80% probability he doesn't actually know anything."
Slavakirek: "Um, I don't know. I guess that depends on if you're going to cause us trouble or not."
Torres: "If there's no more battle Kvankii's, that means we might be getting a major influx of Xoids very shortly. Keep your sensors swivelling."
Bruce: "Probe to see if we can learn about the Kvankii's relationship with this megaXoid - they appeared to be functioning and interacting with the resident fauna just fine. Were they tricking it, or is there more explicit Xoid involvement?"
Slavakhanirickymarten: "Might we be expected to operate against Reich forces?"
I had an amusing thought. What if the Kvankii's are entirely parasitic, able to exist amongst the Xoid fleet in secret. Perhaps because the megaXoid instinctively obeys the instructions of whomever fondles some sort of Control Uvula in a command chamber somewhere.
Bruce: "The scout has elected to remain silent on the subject of Xoids. Slightly higher probability they were working with the Xoids instead of tricking them."
Slavakirebadabadabalabamba: "I really don't know... I would be inclined to say no. We're not really having trouble with the Reich as far as I know. Xoids are being a pain in the ass. By the way... I'm guessing there are a couple more scout robots still here... any chance you could find them before we leave? They might cause trouble for the salvage crew."
Torres and Bruce: "Did you hear what I heard?"
Slavakokomobeachboys: "What do you mean 'Xoids are being a pain in the ass'? YOU'RE a Xoid."
Torres: "I'll go take out the scouts. I'll leave a breadcrum trail of comms to call if I need help."
Slavy: "Um... right. I'm really not the one to be explaining all this. I'm just a tech."
Bruce: "Highest probability at this time is that he's more or less an Insectizoid made to look like a Xoid. Might be some kind of Reich infaltration scheme."
Torres and Bruce: "I got the distinct impression that he belongs to a group that does not affiliate with either the Xoids or the Reich. Interesting. Bruce, how about you ride along with Torres on the mop-up sweep, just to be careful. Let's get this done and find out who we're really dealing with outside. Let's leave the incapacitated scout in the middle of this room as bait, I'll keep watch over it and our Xoid-ish friend."
Slavacrepuscular: "We'll do a sweep to get the other scout robots. How did you end up on this ship?"
Disabled Scout Robot: "Do you have any strong desires to stay alive, even if it means never returning to the Kvankii operations?"
Slavapendix: "I'm not authorized to discuss my mission."
Scout: "Yes... I offered to work for you guys, but the Gavagh didn't seem interested."
Bruce & Torres head off. It takes about 20 minutes to find and kill both scouts.
Slavathabasca: "What can you tell us to ease our anxiety? You've already acknowledged that you're not a Xoid or with the Reich; what are you? Insectizoid made to look like a Xoid, or a Xoid with a different non-hive brain?"
Scout Robot: "You understand that we can't trust you in these circumstances. But it might be possible to keep you alive for release in some other setting - if you can provide us with sufficient reason. Once my comrades finish hunting down and killing your scouty compatriots, your time will be up."
Once the boys are back, I look expectantly at the Scout Robot. I'm probably going to kill him by crushing its vitals with one pointy spider-like leg.
Torres and Bruce: "So, head out onto the surface of this beast, and see what fate has in store for us?"
Scout: "You have the ability to 'kill' me so that my memories are toast. My imprinted stages will be intact. You could then let me go as an independant robot somewhere. That's about all I got."
Slavakirek stares for a moment. "You don't seem the type to suffer from anxiety."
Torres and Bruce return. "Let's rock."
Slavajustinbeiber: "We overcompensate by killing things."
Torres and Bruce: "Agreed." We make our way to the exterior of the megaXoid.
You make your way to the exterior. You spot the Maggot that brought you there as well as numerous other Xoid ships. You also spot one non-Xoid looking ship - a hopper, and it's heading towards you.
"Hello!" It hails. "I've been instructed to give you a ride to the planet. Hop on in." It pivots around and the back doors open up.
Y'all are flown through the battle wreckage. You don't spot the Kinghamia, so either it escaped, or was destroyed so thouroughly it's unrecognizable. You leave the scene and fly into the system and eventually arrive at a planet. It appears to be a city planet, but the massive decks seem to have collapsed on about 40% of the surface. You fly to a spaceport and are let out. There's a Zygroten and two Crocaloids waiting for you. The Zygroten seems to be quite startled by your appearance.
"Sorry... they said to meet some rescued robots. They didn't say two Eliminators and a Gavagh. I've been ordered to escort you to an audience with the Emperor."
He pauses, and looks quite uncomfortable.
"Um... they don't allow guests to have assault weapons at court. Can I ask that we deposit them in a locker nearby? I can get you some more modest weapons."
You don't spot any Xoids. Of note is that both Crocaloids have significant looking armour, and Bruce let's you know that it's Psudian.
Myxo automatically hands over the large assault laser. "I'll want that back. " Hopefully the obvious angst of Bruce giving up his epic firepower will let them not be too inclined to ask for bitchslapper.
"What planet is this? What is your empire called?"
Torres hands over his assault laser, and apparently all of his grenades, though you think it's a safe bet he still has some.
Bruce refuses to hand over his guns until he has replacements. He's given a couple of 2D+4 Blasters.
The weapons are deposited in a nearby locker and you're given the codes for it. And it's off to court...
I prepare to face Emperor Wapner. Or, if it's Night time, Emperor Harry T. Stone.
Bruce, Torres: "Let's not demonstrate any of our tactical abilities. Torres - no mentioning to others about what you notice, Bruce - no brandishing paired weapons (though that might be moot now), I won't acquire on anything, and none of us should move more then 5 meters per turn."
The Zygroten/Crocaloids lead you to some public transit and eventually you arrive at a guarded corridor. You exit the public transit, some guards let you in and you continue on foot.
Eventually you are met by a couple other guards (again, with psudian armour). They appear to be in a tight beam conversation with your guards. You don't know what they are saying, but from their facial expressions, the guards you are with seem annoyed.
The Zygroten turns to you and says: "One of our scientists would like to meet you. Something about examining your construction. Normally I wouldn't humor him, but we've been ordered to keep him happy... You ok with that?"
Engaging full willpower, layered with withering übercool: "How about we don't. Let's get on with what we need to do at court. Your scientist can satisfy his fanboy urges with remote sensor data for now. Because if he insists on wasting our time before we can establish certain tactical parameters regard our longterm mission protocols, he's going to have firsthand view of us being fully fucking functional."
The two new guards look at each other briefly, then hastily go back the way they came.
You are led to court.
Guards are everywhere, though they all look professional. Much annoying fanfare is present and eventually Emperor Hikaru is introduced. He's up on a raised platform, complete with throne. You are led to the obvious spot below the throne where he meets guests. The Zygroten/Crocaloids stand off to the side. Imagine Jabba's palace when Luke first went there (without the trapdoor to the rancor pit.)
Hikaru: "Greetings noble robots. On behalf of the Stanislav Kingdom, I would like to thank you for your recent assistance defending us against the Xoids."
The door you came in closes and two others open, one to the right and one to the left.
Hikaru: "I would also like to thank you for the generous donation of your skills for our robots division. Your imprints will be invaluable in continuing the war effort."
10 heavily armed, seasoned combatants come through the side doors, along with a couple of Interrogator robots. The doors close behind them.
Torres: "I hid a grenade on that Zygroten's crotch... just give me the word. Got some smoke grenades too."
One of the Interrogators says: "Drop your weapons."
Game Night 12/16/2010 - BoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoom
The 10 seasoned combatants definitely had the upper hand... until Torres blew them up.
Plot Infliction 7 - Vacation on Stanislav
Ref Note: Obviously it's been a few years since the original Stanislav game.
You've cleverly hit all the high points already, such that most of Myxo's socio-political insight to the damn planet is now conveniently in line with how Garou's was. Back-stabbing Hikaru in power, and some sort of Xoid-tech crossover action. Well done.
First things first: paranoia. Check ourselves and all the gear - especially Stanislav-sourced weapons - for any forms of tracking or tracing or whatever.
There is indeed tracking devices on the weapons, but they are easily spotted and removed. You don't find anything on yourselves.
Bruce: "Desicions... descisions... kill the planet, or escape the planet. Seems wrong to stay and fight these guys since technically we'd be fighting against our own side and not the Xoids... Not that I have a problem with being 'wrong' or anything."
Torres: "It would be more in line with what we'll eventually be doing back on Sarin, if we ever get back there. Maybe we should establish ourselves as the 'dominate underground establishment' here like Ares and Artimis want to do back there."
Bruce: "But then we'd be stuck here... seems like a planet full of dickheads."
Torres: "Well, there is that. Anyway, short term, let's find somewhere to hide for a while so we can repair."
"Personally, I'm inclined to make our target to be to escape this miserable world inside of our very own megaXoid. That emperor douche has probably made some enemies here that we might be able to exploit to accomplish our escape. You never know - we might be able to contribute to a coup, and actually get to kill the unclefucker."
Game Night 1/6/2011 - Tough Massetin
After an hour of healing the trio was intercepted by an Kiloxoid Flea with a Human and a Massetin riding on it. The Flea was easily dealt with, and the Human was mostly non-combatant. The Massetin however was another story. He was an impressive hand to hand combatant and his weapon was an assault laser that had a force bayonet on it. He would use hand to hand to drive the bayonet into the target and then pull the trigger on the assault weapon. It was most effective.
Myxo was driven down and Torres went to pick him up. Unfortunately, the Massetin was more than a match for Torres's duck and was able to land the final shot into Myxo's vitals.