Saturday, December 20, 2014

Classic Traveller - Lament for Oretroos

Between the last session and this another radio intercept was picked up...

Radio Intercept

The session started with the PCs and thirty of their mercenary company standing on the riverbank as a horde of writhing fish/frog-like things rolled towards them.

Keeping out of reach they split up to see how wide-spread the horde was. As far as they could tell it was all along the river. They rejoined the unit, formed a defensive circle and started pouring out the fire. A rough calculation showed them collectively doing around 1600 points of damage per round.

The horde of creatures just didn't stop, they kept coming, and an hour later ammunition was running low and even the FGMPs were overheating, but still they came. During the combat they PCs noticed that the creatures were attacking each other as well as coming for them and that they were cannibalistic too.

They decided to pull out and head for the nearby (ish) native village and the caves there that they thought would be more defensible. In wedge formation with the FGMPs carving out the path they headed for the village. As they moved away from the water the animals thinned out until soon only the odd one or two had to be eliminated. Behind them the horde was destroying everything, buildings trees and even each other.

They spent the night unmolested in the cave, and dawn, ever the hope of man, showed bright and clear with no sign of pursuit by the horde. They started to head back towards the camp site and called down a shuttle from the King Richard. The shuttle swept high over the camp reporting the devastation and then came by for closer pass. As the crew were reporting what they found at the camp the radio went dead. Fearing the worst the PCs hurried onto the camp and could soon see that the shuttle was burning on the ground.

As they moved towards it they suffered from another of the EMP-like pulses and a third of the team found their power armour powering down. At the same time they came under laser fire from the woods. The team went to ground and started returning fire at unseen targets.

After a few rounds of blind fire, two of the company were down, and the first of the enemy were seen. At first all the PCs could see was silver reflect-like shields and the snouts of laser rifles . When they hit them with the FGMPs which would normally melt through reflec, they found the the plasma beams were near useless! In a heartbeat they commanded the mercs to switch to projectile weapons and a suppressing fire of Snub rounds was sent towards the enemy.

More of the shields appeared as the team split into three. Jocko lead his squad straight-in with Bear and Kepler's squads flanking to either side. The enemy turned out to be a small squad of lightly armoured Aslan. The battle didn't last long, but two men from each team went down to the Aslan lasers, bringing the total casualties to eight. The last two Aslan made a break for it, running with the shields held behind their backs. For our intrepid heroes, shooting enemies in the back has never been a problem, the last of the Aslan were therefore cut down without concern. They looted the bodies discovering a few interesting things. The Aslan were dirty and grubby, obviously having been in the field for some time. They were also carrying iron-claws the Aslan equivalent of swords, but of most interest were the shields they'd been using. they were thin foil like devices that folded easily into a pocket and "popped" out to form the reflec-like shields.

It seemed to the players that the Aslan invasion of the sub sector had obviously reached this world and that it was time to get the heck out.

As Kepler the medic went to work (and only losing two of the casualties) the team spread out to search the area. They located an Aslan mortar and took possession of it. They advanced to the downed shuttle and sent out patrols to secure the area. The only survivor on the shuttle turned out to be none other that the head steward from the King Richard who had got caught on the shuttle went it emergency-launched.

Once the area was declared clear of enemy forces they called the remaining shuttle to come and pick them up. As it entered the atmosphere those on the ground caught sight of something...

On a distant ridge line a huge biped could be seen, when examined it was revealed to be large Aslan robot, much bigger than the one's the team had previous appropriated. It appeared to be carrying a large dual barreled weapon. It became obvious that the thing had seen them and as it raised it's gun, then melted it with their FGMPs. As it crumpled a group of 10+ Aslan were seen to come running over the ridge and down into the trees with another robot. They set up the mortar and fired off the remaining rounds in the general direction of the Aslan forces, hoping to disable the Aslan force with what they hoped were EMP mortar rounds.

As the shuttle swept towards them the Aslan fired at it, the PCs could see the laser beams skimming past but missing the shuttle. They rushed all of their people onto the shuttle and headed space-side at the double quick.

Once on board the King Richard the PCs had some trouble convincing the Captain to jump out of system ASAP as he was still thinking of completing the passengers "holiday". This was however given short shrift and a few "kill him and take the ship" asides were swapped. The next question was were to go.

The ship was scheduled to rendezvous with the refueling ship in the deep dark between systems as it had on the way out, but the PCs seriously wanted to head to one of the nearby planets, one of which had a Navy base. The Captain was dead against this. He didn't have funds to refuel the ship at an unscheduled port and sending for funds could take months. The passengers would be screaming blue murder if they did that. In the end it was settled to make the jump out into the dark.

The refueling ship however had been attacked. It was right where is should have been, but there was no life sign. Investigation showed that the ship had been hit with scathing laser fire. The PCs boarded and ensured there were no enemies aboard and then shunted some of the King Richards engineers across to look at the situation. The main transfer pumps were out of action but after getting one of the generators online they were able to jury rig a new pump. Unfortunately this new system would be like filling a swimming pool with a garden hose, it would take days.

Back on the quiet peaceful King Richard a day or two later there was a minor explosion in the engineering section that rocked this ship and upset the passengers. The engineer reported that the jury rigged pumping system had been the root cause but that he would watch it carefully from now on.

A good while later a fire was reported in a cabin. The crew took care of it but when the PCs wandered down to take a look at the situation, they found bodies amongst the debris. They were the bodies of the Montaski's. The PCs immediately went looking for the Curdelets. The men of these families had been at each other throats on the way out. They found Mrs Curdelet in her stateroom, and she thought her husband was in a bar somewhere.

They pounded down to the nearest bar, found one of their Vargr troopers struggling to drink from a human pint-glass. He indicated that the man they wanted was in the corner booth. In the booth they found a well sozzled Mr Curdelet. After a brief inquisition they didn't get anything out of him and he tried to walk away. Out came the Snub pistol and tranq rounds. The first round went into the Vargr and the second into Mr Curdelet. There was more panic and screams from the nearby passengers who only saw men with guns shooting people down in the bar.

As you can imagine the passengers and crew of the King Richard are becoming jumpy and scared. The trip out was dotted with missing people and talk of Vargr monsters attacking people. Then the visit to the planet had turned into a series of animal attacks, bloodshed, Aslan, and death. And here on the return trip, explosions, attacked ships, and now the guards shooting people in the bars.

The man was locked into his room with the pass-key and the Vargr dropped off with the other Vargr troopers who had a good laugh at his expense.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

No comments: