Scorched Earth

The Escape

In our last session, the characters were at the bottom of a darkened research facility with an unknown quantity of enemy forces descending on them. As they prepared to depart and the elevator arrived, they were surprised when the elevator doors opened not onto an empty room or a squad of armsmen but a single, well muscled man carrying a claymore (sword) over his shoulder and with a pistol on his hip.

There was a brief standoff in which each side attempted to discover the intentions of the other but in the end it was determined all had the same goals and in exchange for Swain’s aid in escaping they agreed to share the information they had just obtained.

While they were gathered in the elevator, determining what to do next, the doors shut and it began going up. Quickly they hit another button (for floor 2) and exited as soon as it opened, allowing the elevator to continue on without them. As soon as it stopped, they hit the call button again and prepared to ambush the hapless occupants.

The ambush didn’t go so well at first. Capt. Melosa was hit again and Plato took a lethal wound which laid him out in round 2. Swain stepped in from his hiding place beside the elevator and decapitated one of the armsmen in a single swipe and causing the victim to accidentally shoot his buddy as he attempted to defend himself.

With this fortuitous action, the party was then able to mop up the survivors and begin laying their plans. As they did so, the other elevator at the end of the corridor arrived and there was a brief gunfight in which none of the PC’s took any additional wounds but from which they emerged victorious, aided heavily by one of the armsmen fleeing inexplicably back into the elevator while Malar grinned triumphantly.

Seemingly trapped on the 2nd floor with no escape, the party decided to pile the bodies in the elevators and send them up, with a few choice messages written on the walls (“Who’s next?”).

No one was next. The PC’s sat and stewed for a while until Dai’wen, the SoT agent, stepped in to remind them they had blue prints for this facility on their Data-Card. It was determined that the best route was to climb down a level to 3F and attempt to take a passage labeled “The Bridge” to another section not appearing on their blue prints.

Plato, normally the muscle of the group, was too injured too directly assist Swain in getting the elevator doors open forcefully on their current level as well as 3F but did happen to have exactly the item they needed to proceed safely . . . rappelling equipment. For this the entire party was particularly grateful as it insured they did not risk falling 60+ feet to their deaths.

Upon arrival at “The Bridge” they found an iris door shut tight in light of the fact that the power to the facility was not operational. Dai’wen was the only one with any skill in the C^2 programming language necessary for interfacing with nano-technology and, though he had no nano-bot specific knowledge or experience, managed to get the program on Malar’s device to input the metal-cutting instructions. They quickly loaded the nbots into the nano-tool (looks like a hot-glue gun) and proceeded to direct them along the iris to cut it open.

Once on the other side of the bridge they found themselves in the living quarters of a semi-abandoned vault which also appeared to be missing power. The party maid their way down the hallways and eventually reached a set of stairs and another stand-off with the Heralds armsmen. It should be noted that in this process the party had a single, precious, flashlight and the Heralds were running around with torches (as in, fire on a stick). After another standoff in which Melosa once more nearly died as he was still suffering grievously from the wounds sustained on the 4th floor and his last bullet wound but Swain came through again, decapitating 3 of the 4 armsmen and allowing Lantus to take out the last after she unjammed her rifle.

At last the party was able to reach the first floor, which was temporarily deserted (and thankfully lit) and grab the elevator to the surface. They came out in a well preserved greenhouse behind the facility and fled into the hills. After meeting back up with their SoT companions the group returned to TF 28, healed up and began planning their next move.

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Diurnal Investigation

In the latest adventure we were missing Rednar which affected the some of the decisions of the group though we did background his character for when he returns. On to the story now…

Lantus, Plato and Malar (and Red) were last awaiting the arrival of an agent and reinforcements from the Sons of Tolaris. Their ally, Capt. Melosa of the Earth Preservation League was also anticipating this meeting. They had a week to kill while they awaited the arrival of their new allies so Capt. Melosa returned to TF28 (an abandoned underground Tolaris Facility the Preservers are using as an outpost) to report to his superior. Near the end of the week he returned and the group was joined near the end of the week by a man in a tan suit but without a tie. He introduced himself as Daiwen, the agent promised to them and after the group was re-gathered from their various personal outings they departed for a town called Piklas, which is supposed to house Diurnal Facility 94 and the prototype Diurnal Vault 1. Accompanying them in the three refurbished SUV’s provided were nearly a dozen SoT armsment.

En-route Daiwen explains that the town of Piklas has a heavy New Earth Heralds presence, somewhere in the range of 75% based on their research, in a town of about a thousand people. He also gave a brief history of the SoT interaction with the Heralds and explained that due to past negative encounters between the two, the majority of his armsmen would be remaining in a hidden camp outside of town. Daiwen, however, would accompany the party into town in search of the information.

On that point, Daiwen explained that in their search for the location of the Renaissance Project they discovered that it was a joint venture between Diurnal and Tolaris and they are hoping to uncover more information within this facility regarding its storage location. The Heralds have been here awhile but they have little concern over their computer skills and figure any locked or hidden information would have remained that way even with their occupation of the town.

Once in town, Malar simply announced to the market square at large that he wanted to join the Heralds and after some brief interrogations he and the party were admitted and given rooms in the facility until they could get proper homes built in the city. During the process, all weapons were confiscated from them, but their pistols were returned to them upon admittance to the ranks.

After being told to explore the town and settle in for the day while leadership decided how best to utilize their skills a few members of the group took brief survey of the area while others settled in for meditation and/or relaxation. During their admittance interview the group got to hear the Heralds side of the story, about how the Renaissance Project is capable of successfully terra-forming the planet to restore plant and animal life to normal routines without killing all current life on the surface despite the claims of the SoT and the Preservers. He also told them of the Heralds past encounters with the SoT and the Preservers and how each encounter has ended in bloody massacre on the side of the Heralds. During their break, Lantus and Malar took Capt. Melosa and Daiwen aside (separately) to inquire about these events. Assured of there exaggeration they decided to stick to the plan.

Somewhat later, Daiwen comes to the group to tell them of zero guard presence on the second floor and an oddly guarded elevator shaft on the third floor … none of the elevators on the second floor were guarded. On the way up they stopped on the second floor armory and Lantus picked the lock with ease so they could re-claim their weaponry.

On the third floor they did indeed discover a guarded elevator shaft. Just as they were preparing to investigate further, perhaps approach the guards, one of them flipped out and went insane screaming about voices, ran down the hall, fired his rifle at the window and leapt out of the building. The second guard freaked out as well but retained enough wits to draw his weapon on the unknown intruders when he rounded the corner. His fear got the best of him though and he surrendered easily enough.

In an attempt to stop pursuit, Lantus set up a grenade trap on the stairs (with on of the two grenades she had brought) but it was spotted and intentionally (and safely) triggered by the Herald armsman that were coming to investigate. With little time left, the group quickly descended the ladder in the elevator shaft which descended one floor, skimmed over about 20 feet and then descended another 150 – 200 ft to an underground lab.

In the lab the party turned up several supply closets of wire and various computer components, a nano-tech reserach lab where they acquired a little information unrelated to their task and several nano-bot programming cases (which they immediately added to their inventory). In Maintenance they found a few more items worth picking up as well as schematics of the facility which led them straight down to the fourth floor in an effort to access the mainframe directly.

The fourth floor was a large dark room with thigh sized pipes and bundles of cables runing vertically up the walls and horizontally across the ceiling. In the center of the room was a large round room in which they presumed the mainframe to be housed. Before they could reach it, however, the party encountered a seemingly insurmountable automaton of gray goop what was slow but hard hitting. Lantus used her second grenade with little effect, but the resulting damage to the cables on the wall revealed a source of electricity. After some luring and positioning, the group was able to jam a live power cable the Plato had pulled free into the body of the creature, shorting out or burning up whatever it was. Afterwards the creature collapsed into a pile of gray and black powder.

Inside the mainframe Lantus and Daiwen worked at accessing the necessary files while the rest of the party used local fire extinguishers to put out the fires popping up due to the damage from the grenade in the previous room. They handled this easily and were soon on their way out after Lantus copied the files over to Malar’s data card and powered down everything except the elevator’s to keep the mainframe from overheating and causing more fires.

Now, they must make their way out of the facility which is pitch black, with only a single flash light and an unknown number of angry opponents descending towards them.

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The Story, Continued . . .

At the end of the previous post the party was exploring a secret basement in TF44 with the Preservers but had been unable to make any progress with all the power off in the facility.

As they were working on that problem, the elevator activated again and the party was soon in a Mexican Standoff with unknown, but well armed, soldiers. As negotiations opened the party learned that these newcomers were operating under the authority of the Sons of Tolaris (SoT), a group they soon learned is attempting to restore the lost technology of the pre-apocalyptic days in order to ease the burden of life for the remaining people everywhere.

Little headway was made in the initial meeting but the party and Preservers present agreed to depart the facility and leave it in the hands of the SoT. In exchange, the commander of the SoT troops agreed to arrange a meeting between an SoT agent and the party since they seemed to be working towards similar goals in their search for The Renaissance Project.

After returning to TF28 and informing Imelda of their encounter, the party headed back to Salem to meet with the SoT agent. Back in The Broken Glass ( Locations ) the party meets up with an incredibly arrogant and controlling agent of the SoT who is clearly contemptuous of the surroundings in which they are meeting. Eventually and begrudgingly he agrees to partner with them in their mutual goals. He provides a handful of troops to accompany the party and several vehicles which, while at the party’s disposal, still ultimately belong to the SoT. The troops and vehicles are supposed to arrive in a few days or so.

At the end of the session, the players learn that Dal has gone missing. The party had originally left him there when they left to investigate TF28 to keep him safe while they scouted the area and developed their next plan. Now they’re back, and Dal is missing.

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The Story so far . . .

I allowed myself to slack off for a couple of sessions and suddenly it was all too much work to get everything added. Despite the fact that we’re on an extended (indefinite) break I want get at least a summary of events posted so that we have a record of the story so far.

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Storming the Vault: The Adventures of Malar
Shifting Shadows

While Plato, Red and Lantus descend to level 4 of the vault in order to retrieve the water chip, Malar remains above in the security office. He has just familiarized himself with the security cameras, intercom and several door locks when he spots Red and Lantus pinned down by a security bot in one of the corridors on level 4.

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On the road again
Leaping coyotes and scorpion men!

After spending a year recuperating in the ex-slaver compound with Richard and the freed slaves who decided to stay and make it their home the party decided to act on some of the information Lantus had acquired over the course of the year.

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The Assault
Corpse Ramps

When last we left our . . . heroes . . . they had just finished massacring around 25 slavers (in groups of 3-6) patrolling the outer walls of the compound where Richard’s wife was being held. Due to poor communication plans among the slavers (they are slavers, not ex-military geniuses) there was no check in protocal and, as a result, many, many slaver patrols were killed by Lantus, Sal, Malar, Plato and Red with the help of silencers and scopes. Not until one lucky slaver got a shout of warning out did they encounter any real danger. Shortly a group of 12 came stalking cautiously around the compound wall and the ensuing un-silenced gun battle gave the remaining slavers clear warning of the danger to come. Our heroes escaped this battle mostly unscathed except for a Lethal wound to Sal.

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Getting On With It
Meeting people and killing slavers

April 28th, 2420-

Lantus, Plato, Red, Malar and Richard made their way across West Salem and the Willamette river into Salem itself. The guards at the gate between West Salem and Salem didn’t trouble them any and in just a few hours they were standing in front of The Broken Glass at high noon. Typical, really.

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Getting Under Way
In which the characters come together

It is April 27, 2420, Plato, Malar, Red and Lantus have each drifted into the scraptown of Willamina, Oregon, between 6 months to a year ago to lick their wounds and lay low, though only Plato and Malar knew each other at the time. While they have become acquaintances, they have not formed solid bonds of friendship, . . . until now.

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