Current mission: Called up from Reserve status to defend Psyadi’s penal colony from Klackons
Recap: Following revelations that the ‘primitive’ Klackons of Lewis possess beam weaponry and fully modern craft, the Bad’n’Ruin flees Lewis cram full of refugees to the Imperial penal colony on Psyadi, within a double jump of the Aramis system. The Bad’n’Ruin crew – or at least the four ex-service people – are promptly moved from Reservist status to Active and serve as part of a scratch planetary defense. The planet’s patrol ship the Jervis and a Far Trader the Deacon Jones comprise the other defense ships.
They successfully see off a wave of invading Klackon craft.
All save one, that lands somewhere near the penal colony.
The Surplus Heroes for this session:
Pip: The Bad’n’Ruin’s helm. Displaying her skills (!) driving a combat car this session. Pip is at least as good a shot as Widow but tends to shoot a little luckier.
Widow: The Bad’n’Ruin’s sensors&comms, and ship’s doctor. Colonial Marines Lieutenant (Reservist), in ground action she takes the lead tacticals.
Iceman: Gunner and if you got more guns he can use ‘em. He gets to shoot a lot, which makes this session a fun one for him.
Big Jim/BJ: Engineer on the Bad’n’Ruin. BJ is now also as good a shot as Widow. His favored combat is close, but that’s never a good idea against Klackons.
Also featuring in order of least-red-shirtedness:
Ralph, Vargr security guard: Ralph’s past intertwines with the Surplus Heroes so he gets to display his good (and lucky, which is more important) shooting skills and excellent running-away speed.
Hart, Deputy Warden on Psyadi: Hart gets to display his command presence and surprising ability to know when not to interfere.
Jess: Male guard, able to drive a combat car, and listen to instruction at the same time.
Tony: Male guard, able to operate a combat car turret-weapon.
Thea: Heftily-built female guard, qualified on Gauss weaponry.
Sears: Male guard, no special abilities.
Mags: Female guard, no special abilities.
Experience valued… but not essential
Pip sets us down on the hot pad real sweet. We can see clear over to the Jervis, she’s chawed-up, crawlin with fitters and armorers, and over to the near side of us, the Deacon Jones has a chunk taken out of her hide but shipshape otherwise.
Whilst we fuellin up Captain Decker and the Gov, Cowan, come a-walkin over to us, with a colony guard escort. Turns out they grateful. Gov invites us to the admin block and mentions whisky.
The Gov allows as how all of one hostile landed, and we agree. The colony sensors place it around 100k, nigh enough to South as makes no difference.
Governor Cowan: And as I understand it, you four have experience fighting Klackons
Widow: We got experience runnin’ away an’ not dyin’ is right
GC: And that counts as valuable combat experience. While work’s proceeding on the Jervis, you get to check the ‘crash’ site. We’ll armor you up and you’ll fly out on our main combat vehicle. Decker there [nods over to Decker sipping his whisky ] will station experienced Jervis crew aboard your vessel, as interim planetary defense flagship.
Pip: Oi? Er, the Bad’n’Ruin has some… unique features that make it hard to pilot…
Decker: Oh, good, I’ll make sure my lads have plenty of test flight time
Iceman: Does this combat vehicle ship missiles? Because Krabbies
GC: It’s a regulation penal riot suppression vehicle, but with Decker’s armorers I’m having a heavier kinetic weapon installed in the turret… the M51.
Iceman: Oooo… but not Gauss?
GC: We have three Gauss weapons on strength, I’ll make them available to you and the guard complement we have detailed for this
Widow: Ralph – that the doggy – know about Krabbies too
GC: Yes, I’m aware of Ralph, he’ll be aboard as well
Widow: So let’s talk bounties
GC: Bounties? You do know you’re on official strength now
Widow: An’ you sendin us to hunt Klackons. Thing is Cap… eh, Gov, this been a dry hump for us. An’ ‘less you payin us to tote refugees, yeah bounties
GC: I may be more able to arrange things in that regard… well I’m sure you all have things to attend to…
Each to his own
The GM now asks us what we are all heading off to do.
ICEMAN stays to speak to Decker and ask about heavy armor. [His Interaction skill is dusted off, and he rolls 7 under, a terrible result] Decker refers him to the Governor… who has already closed his door and is busy.
WIDOW heads out to the bar (the Pisser, or Portside Tap to give its official name) to find Ralph and the six burly penal staff detailed off for the Krabby hunt. (See top of post for roster.) The G-carrier, as the combat car is classified, is out back.
Widow checks it out with them and finds it has a good complement of weapons: aside from the M51 [which is the squad support weapon used in Aliens but with a belt feed and turret mount] it is well stocked with M41s and spare ammo. [M41 is the standard heavy Colonial Marines personal firearm, again see Aliens.] And the armor the Governor has organized is already there. Widow chimes Iceman.
Widow: Iceman, once you off your knees and got the taste of Navy Salt out your mouth come on out, we got armor out here
Iceman: [rude gesture]
PIP hustles to the Bad’n’Ruin and explains to Bex, who is noticing Naval ratings moving aboard and taking over. Bex decides to stay aboard to defend her investment. Pip wanders off to find the others, because apparently there is armor to fit.
BJ also walks to the Bad’n’Ruin. He is about to head to engineering, then stops and goes to the bridge. [BJ recently improved general Tech, so is highly competent at that.] He activates sensors and scans around. No new enemy. He activates comms and listens for a while and picks up nothing.
BJ: Eh? Oh, this way…
There are a lot of things you need to know here, to not kill yourself
Choi: Psst! [Gestures BJ aside]
Listen, I gotta sumpin I don’t want noone seeing
BJ: Well, we heading out on patrol… I was thinking I maybe bring me drones out. OK no I wasn’t, but I thought I getcha re-programmin’ thoughts, ideas?
Choi: Oh, you mean to fly around on command? Yeah she’s just voice activation. And yeah that would be a good way to get my shit out. So who do you wanna be the voice they fly to?
The downed craft
It’s another grey day and a hundred klicks south. Pip slide herself in driver seat so fast ain’t no one got a chance of sayin they’s a better driver. I get as far as waitaminnit then give up. Consequence being, me an’ half a dozen others like to chuck our ration back up. [Pip rolls 1 under her Air Raft skill, uncomfortable but does the job]
We roll out a half-klick from the shore and set to cover. Iceman swivels the M51 and calls he don’t see no life. I check locator, nothing around. BJ he send out his drones off the top of the G-carrier, they come back without no problem, so we push forward. [Pip now makes a great roll to keep low and at walking pace]
We get to the final rise, like a super-tide mark, and hit to cover. The Krabby saucer is half-in the ocean, ramp open on far side. Iceman reports he see a floater at the ramp. BJ sends one drone to put some lead into it, no result. So it’s time to shake out to squads.
Widow has picked up Hart’s willingness to leave the on-ground command to her so she splits the duties to four.
- Tony is on the M51, Jess drives the G-Carrier, Ralph by implication stays near them as link
- Hart and his guards Mags and Sears form one fire-team
- The Surplus Heroes minus BJ form the other
- BJ and Thea remain back in cover as long-range sniping
The G-carrier and long-range pair stay back, the other two teams move to flank the saucer. After some locator work right to chest height in the waves, Widow brings in the support, has the G-carrier positioned ready to evac on the shore, and orders the now-strengthened teams inside. There are two possible passages, so both ways are explored.
Widow finds exactly what she expects: a double-back outward, to a wider space and weird alien controls. She tells the other team to expect the same. This time with more light she and BJ attempt to unlock the controls. [+7 for her Intrusion, and +9 for BJ’s help on Engineering] It works, and a grav-car-sized bay swings open to the outside. So the wider bay each side is to carry onboard grav cars! Widow orders a withdrawal and the colony contacted.
We missed them! And they’re on their way in!
Widow: You ain’t put us through the clouds, we’da seen them, bitch!
Pip: So I oughta flew under the ground-level clouds, ya dumb Jarhead cunt?
I order us on a straight low course back to the colony, Iceman takes over from Tony, and thanks to that, sees a dark furrow in a spit of land we pass over. Making back around, sure enough it’s where a grav car pushed nigh the ground. There’s another spit across the bay, so we make over in a straight course on from the furrow. Nothing.
Widow: Take us back around, set us down on this spit’s end at the rise. We get us set up.
Most of the spit – which is just raw shingle – likely gets covered in spring tide, but nigh the end there’s dominant ground say 6m high. With the notion that our front is south, facing where I expect Krabbies to come up from, I order the G-carrier behind hull-down, Guards and Ralph are reserve by it, Jess is on the stick and Tony on the turret again. I walk us over the crest and down a mite, we are forward picket where we can see the sweep of sea and bay.
Widow: Rock paper scissors, one in two on watch, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em
Iceman and me we catch some Zs then BJ and Pip they yell. Krabbies incoming!
Klackon raft rises out of the surf and makes over the spit. Our G-carrier runs closer in, Tony sprays the raft with the M51 and it stalls. Widow uses Locator to check nothing is flanking us.
The raft rabbit-hops on a little. Then a large squad of Krabbies rush out of the surf in a bulls-horn style formation! Widow orders the picket back; BJ pauses to let them know our position, and drops one with a very lucky las-rifle shot. As he legs it back to cover and dives, whistling munitions burst along our position, and he is rather lucky again. Widow orders full dispersal along the crest – about 4m apart each. The guards are also dispersed, angled back to the carrier.
The Krabby raft is smoked permanently by the M51. Widow orders the G-carrier behind the mound again, but Jess is excited or fumbles the stick, and it blunders north a little, before retiring in good order.
The Krabbies continue rattling forward, firing, and all present behind the crest make Fort checks, all succeeding. Only Widow’s return fire has any perceptible effect. Then the M51 targets in and a Krabby explodes. About a dozen remain.
Krabbies are now coping with rising shale ground and do not fire as they rattle forward. But a second wave of around the same number rise from the surf! Our bursts do little, though between us and the guards we drop two. Thea’s Gauss fire is superior.
Widow: Female guard in a penal colony? Itch in her pants for Pip right now
BJ deploys his drones as suppressive fire, and a lucky hit from Ralph drops a third Krabby. Widow sees a moment to take the initiative and yells a new command!
Widow: Pull back! Jess, roll the car in!
Hart: Officer Mags! Pull back!
At a walk, we pull back, some firing. The drones are holding two Krabbies away, the others rush to close quarters!
Mags, too excited by the firing, stays where she is. A Krabby catches and skewers her! Iceman too is reached, but ducks the expected strike. [Close combat rolls, Iceman’s is just higher]
The G-carrier stays where it is.
Widow: Bail! All in the car! [runs, +3 on Athletics even with gear penalty, boards]
Pip shoots Mags along with her Krabby attacker. Sorry Mags! Pip and BJ fall back clumsily, Iceman shoots his attacker enough to force it off him and breaks contact. Ralph, off on Iceman’s right, blasts the Krabby – accurately and with full effect – then sprints to join Widow, bounding into the G-Carrier.
Ralph: Got the java on?
Thea seems inclined to help Mags.
Hart: Thea, pull back now!
Then Jess slams the stick forward and rams Mags and Krabby both! This now places the carrier in the correct position for boarding.
The three Guards, Iceman Pip and BJ board; and the G-carrier races across the spit, shooting at the second wave, to the higher ground on the inland end.
GM: Looking back you see Mags trying to crawl as the two other Klackons close in
Widow [ignoring GM]: I want .2, .25 klicks on them, then we lay a fire line again. We gonna make Krabby life miserable
Lead Krabbies come within range of the long guns and Krabbies begin dying.
Six Krabbies have been cooked or burst open, but the remainder – maybe eight including the two survivors of the first wave – fire their hand-mortars and shells burst along the line. Fort saves all round: Sears, BJ and Pip are all out!
[This effect takes place under the area fire rules, under which a Fort save comes first, then if failed, a cover check. Cover takes account of the armor worn. Our armor is average, with 11 rating. Cover is worth maybe 2. So at least 9 is needed, preferably 10. A too-low check results in the effect being, based on weapon burst or volume or caliber. Given these results I imagine the hand mortar rounds are like grenades with a high chance of a ‘mortal wound’ result. Much complaining from the 2 players affected]
Widow checks Pip’s vitals [her usual excellent Medic roll] and she and Ralph drag Pip back to the G-carrier. [Athletics, roughly against Athletics of body modified for size] Iceman struggles with BJ’s body, it is not sized or shaped for easy toting. [A terrible roll against a Hefty body] Hart and Thea drag Sears back out. Widow orders a general pull-back.
[Once a medic roll has succeeded the GM gives the player the option of rolling for actual effect, or leaving it to him. Both give the roll to the GM and he rolls uncharacteristically badly for them. Sears comes through OK, comparatively speaking]
Widow stops BJ bleeding out [good but unspectacular Medic roll] and with he and Pip needing med-bay surgery, urgently, tells Hart to call through for med-bay to be prepped:
We’re heading back!
GM: Ha ha, you thought you were headed back, but at this point nitrogen bubbles form in your blood and you all die horribly! MWAHHAHAHAH!!!
- No in fact that does not happen. I’m just throwing it in there because instead of the vac-suits I expected last session, we were allowed to wear armor and a respirator, but no-one was inconvenienced by a respirator– as though we did not wear one! I wanted to ask if we ought to speak through our fingers or something, but dared not in case we were suddenly hit with penalties.
As noted last session’s intro the Button d10 has both positive and negative aspects. There were two instances of the ‘perfect raspberry’ of 10,10,10 meaning the shot certainly hits but with no effect. One for Pip, one for the GM. No jams at all, which is unusual and nice. Bursts with a Gauss rifle are highly lethal, I regretted not pushing Pip to accept one. Widow needs a hand free to swap between locator and Gauss pistol so happy with my own loadout.
Next day the GM sent an email congratulating us on the combat decisions.
Some really good humor and exchanges, sorry I can only recall my own line to Iceman, and the Widow:Pip insults. Oddest point was suggesting to BJ the drones would be helpful, then watching him move from ‘no way, nuh-uh, I have to keep them patrolling the Bad’n’Ruin endlessly’ to the opposite. The GM managed to riff Iceman re: Thea into Iceman finding the perfect woman, we’ll see where that leads. Nowhere is my guess.