SH1.13: Boom! Surplus heroes farewell moral obligations!

Welcome back! The crew of the Bad’n’Ruin are now in Altara City, where their mission is to free Q4K and Tangle from their life-debt to the Jackal gang.

Widow (PC) and Heath (NPC, Q4K’s uncle): the ‘raid’ team. Their job is to remove Talban, oyabun or boss of the Jackals, in his perfumery underground. Underground Altara is law-abiding and security-filtered.

Pip, BJ and Iceman (all PCs): the ‘ram’ team. Their job is to remove Eyeball, the accountant of the Jackals, in his counting-house aboveground. Aboveground is relatively non-secure, similar to any C20 western urban environment with few security cameras.

Curso, number two man of the Jackals, is expected back from Fellan, and will also need to be hit.

Other Bad’n’Ruin crew involved (all NPCs):

Bex: just making sure business goes on…

Choi: providing fake papers for Q4K and family, and seeing to a gang regalia so that a false trail is followed after the hit on the counting-house. Uses his own fake ID for buying and hiring.

Rhonda: mainly finishing regalia but also keeping an eye on Curso’s arrival.

The conference

It’s the next day, and I get some odd looks around the galley when I show up with my new hair in. First up, with Q4K off keeping the kids busy, Bex reports, then the others.

Bex: I’ve lined up a full cargo for Junidi, with a window of one week to leave. I’ll be working on the turnaround today: progress has been good but I’m aiming higher. Also… I’ve put a line out to a reliable temp agency to provide us with suitable crew profiles… in case circumstances require them.

Pip: a new pilot?!?

Widow: could be new ever’thing

Heath: hem. I did call into the officers mess here at the spaceport but there is no gossip of this Jackal gang. On the other hand, policing an influx of a drug known as Tunbiddy was being talked about… stemming it, where it could be coming from, and so on.

Widow: we know where from, we seen foxy on Fellan – Curso – and he Talban’s number two

Iceman: haw, number two is right, soon to be zero

Widow: yeah we got to watch for him in this window we got, expect we see him at Jundy Coffee

Rhonda: I’ve set up the computer to ping me when any flight arrival from Fellan is logged

Widow: that’s good work!

Choi: the papers are all in hand and coming along well. Meanwhile I get to runway my new season’s line of gangsta coats and dew-rags. (Affects slightly camp accent) Now here in plain heavy twill is the coat, as you can see concealable body armour will be no problem, as well as handguns… sporting a lively gold orb with black hand insignia, I present the Black Hand watch-coat.

Widow: Black Hand Gang?

Choi: no-one is using the tag hereabouts

Widow: OK I like it

Iceman: I’ve got a list of updated equipment to give to Rooso based on what BJ worked out and the other details we worked through yesterday. Hidden ballistic armour will go better with the coats. We won’t need vision aids since this will be daylight. But we will need some chassis-work on the crash truck, and some protective gear like crash-helmets and mouth-guards. So, if someone can hire a garage…

Pip: BJ and me will do that, we know what gear we’ll need. Some cutting and bending gear as well

Choi: since I’ll have the paper soon, I’ll go with them, hire the garage and buy the two vehicles we need

Pip: and you can drive the getaway, because I think it will be you leaving it in the target neighbourhood for us

Widow: speaking of protective, someone find out if Tunbiddy is powdered, if it is you-all need breathers

BJ: I got a respirator already

Widow: and Iceman if you’ll kindly bring me along I’ll want to meet Rooso when you discuss the incinerator. He allowed as how he got into Talban’s without no camera on him, I want to know how

Iceman: uhhh think I can manage that. Only with you instead of Pip he’ll probably want to know where the hot one is

Widow: you sayin’ I ain’t hotter than Pip in full getup? Vixe! I was guaranteed tenting on any straight male if I wore that fancy perfume!whynotenting

Iceman: no reaction here, too long in cryo

Pip: don’t tell me that froze too?

BJ: big heap little frozen knob, haw

The final details

There’s a few other details we work out, such as it’ll be me as decides where Choi needs to park, and me as sketches out where the ram team need to get out to. That’s mostly around who’s busy doing what, and who’s already been through the neighbourhood.

I don’t see nothing Pip ain’t already told me, and best place to park seems like it would be less than a block clear. Not too far away, I also find me a good vacant lot and drain where things can be dumped. That’s on account of how Rooso tells Iceman the industrial incinerator is too complicated but if we dump gear in an agreed spot he’ll see to its disposal. I don’t rightly like leaving evidence in other hands but seeing as how we are working on trust anyway, I OK it.

Rooso ain’t got more than half an idea how Talban walked him in past security cams, but mostways I can work out, head for the front door right smart, once the camera over Jundy Coffee is swinging back.

I’ve picked out the two sites by about 5pm that same day, with my pants afire, seeing as how Rhonda already called us at 2pm saying as how there’s an inbound from Fellan. I’ve briefed Heath on a go-word and an abort-phrase, and me and him – me with my getup on – sashay over to an officer’s club past where the scout craft disembarks. Sure enough it’s foxy and two usu.

[I gather the GM kind of signals Heath’s lack of buy-in to the plan, but no check required, and I decide not to ask for a read on whether Curso picked up our walk-by. It will make no difference.]

Right away I can see as how we got to be moving. We head back to the Bad’n’Ruin, and brief Choi who’s ready to roll the getaway to the countinghouse block.

Widow and Heath

Next morning early, with a last makeup check, I collect Heath who is looking right fine in suit-coat, pants and formal shoes. He gets the scanner in a briefcase, I pack light spare clothes, shoes, knucks and power pack in the big shoulder-slung purse I bought, and we head out from the spaceport to an entry to underground farther afield.

Reason is, the spaceport security is top-notch. The one we pick is more visual scan and e-gate, and the concealeds we’re toting don’t set nothing off. From the entry, we take slide-tracs out to the perfumery’s area and head for Jundy Coffee.

Team Ram!

The two combats are run interleaved, and I’ll start with the Black Hand Gang, who have the duty of signalling Widow when they are ready to move. They’ve driven from the garage in their modded cruiser without incident, engine straining against the extra weight of the reinforced cab and engine compartment. Pip is alone up front, BJ and Iceman seated in back. The explosives are packed securely in the rear compartment.

{Below: Team raid pays its tab at Jundy Coffee and steps outside.

Widow: hard left. Stop a while. Wait for the camera…}

Revving the engine a little, Pip hustles the cruiser down the ‘main’ street leading to the count-house, and at the last second swings the wheel to hard right, ramming the vehicle under the count-house’s balcony and partway through the wall.

[Pip rolls 5 under her drive, very poor – the GM allows a hit roughly where intended but various load-bearing walls stop the vehicle before it can burrow through to the weaker interior next to the stone tower. None of the doors are jammed.ramraid

Fort checks are called for all round: disastrous! Snake-eyes from BJ, a 3 from Iceman, Pip scores 2 under.]

AL: isn’t there some advantage? We were ready!

GM: the advantage is, you got to simply roll Fort checks to walk away

{Below: Team raid watches for the security camera to complete its traverse and start swinging back right}

Round 2: The trio are stunned, but Pip is at least beginning to move. Small-arms fire begins to sporadically pepper the vehicle’s rear.

{Below: Team raid walks quickly across the mall and over to the doorway of Talban’s perfumery}

Round 3: Iceman (with a good Fort check) wrenches the left-rear door open and slides out, bringing his SMG to bear. He definitely does not have edge.

{Below: Team raid reaches the door. Heath opens it for Widow. She enters, finding only Talban and his well-dressed goon present.}

Round 4: Pip slides out (right-hand since this is that kind of world) followed by BJ. Both are more inside than out of the ruined wall.

Across from them and more out than in, Iceman is coming under fire from a window above, but makes a great cover check, and returns fire in a long burst that drives the Jackal away or clips them.

Handgun fire from the ruins above them prompts BJ to send a burst up there, with no particular result.ramraid_firefight

{Below: Talban and goon’s eyes are leaving Widow and tracking Heath, who is walking purposefully forward, lifting a handgun out of his briefcase! Seeing things have gone off-mission, Widow yells the go word and jumps sideways to cover. Heath fires three shots while approaching serving counter, button dice modifies to a 1, Talban’s cover roll 14, makes it.}

Round 5: Pip and BJ both hose the area above, forcing the enemy to cover. Iceman (great Alert check) spots an armoured Jackal charging at him from around the front side of the building, and sends him back into cover with a second burst. His SMG is empty.

{Below: Widow misses the goon, who is in partial cover behind a counter. Heath’s athletics roll is a staggering five over, so he springs over the serving counter separating him from Talban, removing Talban’s combat cover. Goon draws mini-needler. Heath fires a further three shots, empties the mag of the Body pistol, and gets a modified 4 (clip) button dice on Talban as Talban leaves room for his residence. Talban has no cover roll. Goon chooses to shoot the man attacking his pay-cheque, and fires his mini-needler into Heath’s back, modified 2 button dice (floored), no cover roll allowed.}

Round 6: Iceman uses the chance to pull back inside the ruin and around the nose of the cruiser, getting the engine block between him and the last opponent as he reloads. He makes his cover check against the handgun fire from above. Pip hoses the armoured Jackal while BJ reloads, dropping the man with a deadly burst. Her SMG is empty.

{Below: Widow kills the goon with a head-shot. Heath hits the deck. Talban opens a concealed doorway, Widow moves to the main counter. Talban rolls a wound roll, snake eyes, minus 3 for 3 rounds fired, very bad result. The clip result turns out to be a mortal wound. Widow sees Talban collapse just through the doorway. Talban hits the floor, rolls 3d10 -10 for minutes lingering. The result is below zero, and he dies.}

Round 7: Pip and BJ squeeze back out through the ruined wall and race past the twitching corpse back up the street they drove down. Iceman (whose understanding of the plan matches the GM’s, but not of the rest of us) weasels through the ruins to a sturdy corner room.

{Below: Widow moves around the counter and checks Heath. Heath’s wound roll is mortal, he is on the way out with no hope of medical aid. Lingering for only a moment (3d10-10 was unkind to him too) he smiles and points at his dying foe. Widow partly catches Heath’s last words.}

Round 8: Pip and BJ reach the corner and look left, seeing the getaway car parked where it needs to be.

Iceman detonates the bomb


The entire building jumps and shakes, dust and smoke are driven everywhere.

Iceman puts in his respirator, and realises he probably should have included earplugs – he has gone deaf.

{Below: Widow collects Heath’s briefcase and peeks outside. No alarm has been raised.}

Round 9 to 11: realising Iceman has not emerged and the stone tower has not collapsed, Pip and BJ head back.

{Below: Widow finishes reshuffling gear, checks that Heath is definitely dead, and moves back to the door to watch the camera. The shop stinks of perfume and blood.}

Round 12: Iceman is now scrambling over a variety of wreckage, still on the ground floor. He makes a successful Alertness check and chooses the correct entry way to take him to a tower entry point. Ahead of him, he sees a dust-covered, ragdoll figure that matches Eyeball’s description. A steady rain of creds is trickling down from the floor above. Following this his eyes catch a shatei and kyodai weaving into some form of activity, and Curso between the two drawing a piece. Firing from the hip with a D burst Iceman adds further to Curso’s shock but the No. 2 Jackal is tough and returns fire, cowing Iceman back to cover. (His Fort check is fine, so he will be ready to act next round.)

Round 13: Pip and BJ skid to a halt in some cover outside the main entry inset. They have a good view of the entire interior of the first* floor, including those three targets. They hose Curso and he falls. Iceman yanks his mini-needler out and executes him.

{Below: Widow leaves the shop and heads for the main shopping district.}

Round 14: Iceman also executes Eyeball in case he is not quite dead. All three leave!

The neighbourhood is taking an interest, but the three are still safely dressed in Black Hand regalia, so all the witnesses see is three gangbangers jumping into a car and driving off fast. (Drive check is +6) Removing re-usable gear such as red-dot sights, the “gangsters” dump their incriminating evidence at the agreed drain and drive away. After a wipe-down they leave the car and rendezvous at the Bad’n’Ruin.

*English and NZ use: start at the ground floor, then 1st floor is above that. 

Widow alone

A media feed tells me I’m already outside the police cordon when I hear sirens. Seems as how tracs are OK to take from here. I zip back along to the topside exit and walk through security no problem. I get some funny looks, which ain’t hardly surprising: been about ten years since I cut my own hair and I used the shears mighty fast.

My hair and extensions, plus clothes, shoes and such, are in a bin in the main shopping area. I changed and shaved in a public convenience, and used the toilet-cakes to shift the shop’s stink off of me.

The scanner and power-pack in my bag don’t attract no more than a straight question and get a straight answer. Being a Reserve, it’s stuff I’m rightly entitled to carry.

The knucks are strapped close, where the mini-needler used to be. Ain’t no search worth calling the name, and I get by fine.

I left the mini-needler in Heath’s hand, with his prints on it.

He died how he wanted: shooting the dirty oyabun as killed his niece. Only I wished as how he had told me he was going to go for Talban straight off, no talk. Could be I could have got the goon before he got Heath, not after.

Goodbye Q4K

By the time the taxi drops me to the spaceport the media feeds are telling me all good things. Gang-related violence has taken out a drug-related building,gangrelated and a robbery gone wrong accounts for three dead underground.

I get aboard and ask for a sitrep from everyone, and the news is still all good. Bex has the turnaround she wanted so launch is real soon. I tell her I’ll break the news to Q4K.

I’ve done this a few times both as NCO and Warrant Officer. I tell her the usual lie, that it was very quick and he could not have felt a thing, only I wasn’t lying when I tell her Heath died doing what he wanted and with a smile on his face.

We all bid Q4K Tangle and Eskip goodbye with fake papers that will see her in good stead.

We’re 40 minutes from off when our friends Cole and Marty from the IPA show up. They show me a picture of old Sid the forger, ask me about him, I tell them something of what I know and allow as how I think he stayed on Pavanne. Then we head off for Jundy, richest and highest-tech world in the whole sub-sector.

This concludes the ‘regular season’ of Caseless: Surplus heroes. A side-plot adventure should take us the next 2-3 sessions. Our GM tells us he is going to keep thinking about play balance and any tweaks that seem needed. Stay tuned!

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