26/06/2017 at 13:25 #65701
In the far reaches of human space, colloquially called the fringe. Specificly on the planet Vestra II, a small war is going on. Unlike other places in human space, Unity, the pan-human government, has little interest in interceding unless there are some major strategic or economic concerns for itself.
The rare elements and valuable crystals on Vestra II is not substantial enough to interest Unity, so several interested parties the hired mercenaries to claim the treasures of the planet.
That is how Pax Korbin, Sergeant in the Corvi Headhunters merc unit, ended up on Vestra II.
His unit was sent to the deserts around the equator to claim a mine found a few months earlier, ordered to re-take the site from a rival Corp, Warg Industries.
Warg is of course a big merc company with deep pockets, and the battle was woefully short..
Pax didn’t know how long he’d been walking through the desert. The suit AI had lost comms, and he had rebooted the unit a half-dozen times since he woke up, locked in the coffin-like cradle of the HARD suit.
Temperature suddenly spiked, and alarms started going off inside the armor. “No,no,no! Don’t die on me again!” Pax wheezed hoarsely.
Wiggiling out of the suit as it triggered another safety shutdown, Pax opened the external storage and got the tools out. Without the suit climate control, He’d be dead in hours in this heat.
Wiping the sweat from his brow with the already dirty cloth in his belt, Pax dove into the guts of the suit. A few minutes of searching and testing located the faulty connection and bypassed it.
Looking out over the desert streching out infront of him, a nest of swarm xenoforms could be seen amongst the rocks up ahead.
The rocky outcroppings seem to indicate that he is nearing the edge of the desert. Finally!
The beasts seems to be unaware of him as of yet. If he was careful, he might be able to sneak past them..
There was also a big crystal deposit in the middle of the rocky outcropings. This might mean that this area could be assigned to a rival company. Pax would have to be careful, he wouldn’t want to get shot now that he had gotten so close to civilization again!
Getting back into the suit, Korbin said a silent prayer before flipping the master switch:
..Power plant online..
..All secondary systems online..
It had worked, the patchjob held!
Feeling that familiar power, Pax started off in a run. With the HARD suits power coursing through him, he decided to smash through the Xenos.
Lining up the machinegun on his arm, Korbin squeezed his hand inside his armor. The armor-piercing rounds slam into the nests and the closest beast, ripping them apart.
Scurring out of the nest to avoid destrution, the second Swarm monster looses a flurry of spikes from it’s tail. They all smash into the MK III armor, but break against the dura-steel plate.
“Alright you giant bug, let’s see how you like this!” Pax smirked, happy to be back inside the conditioned atmosphere. Auto-fire smack off the armor of the Xeno, pinning it in place. The shoulder cannon fires, smashing the monster into bits.
Looking through the outcropings, Pax manage to find a small alcove to set down the suit while he got his survival gear out and set up a small fire. Night was falling, and so was the temperature, so he decided to make camp and wait for morning before continuing.
As the early rays of the morning sun comes streaming down, the sergeant is woken by a rumbling sound. A truck has just pulled up!
The truck stops, and a bunch of soldiers disembark.
“Shit” Pax cursed lowly to himself. He needed to try and cold-start the suit. The soldiers hadn’t seen him yet, so he sneaked up to the suit and tried to fire it up.
START-UP SEQUENCE SHUT DOWN, PLEASE INITIATE POWER BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANOTHER START-UP.
The suits warning carried in the early morning, alerting the soldiers. One of them fired his rifle at Pax, punching through his armor and causing some bleeding!
Crawling in behind the HARD suit, Korbin managed to coax the suit back to life, as bullets and plasma bolts smack into the stone.
..OPERATOR DAMAGE DECTECTED, ADMINISTERING FIRST AID..
“Thats great, at least I won’t bleed to death right now.” Pax thought as the suit AI stabbed and injected a cocktail of drugs.
Throwing him across the open, Pax fire on the truck, attempting to blow it up. At the same time some of the soldiers sneak around the rocks to attempt to flank our hero.
A few bullets ping off the back of the armor as one flanker found a shot, causing Pax to swing his machinegun around. A quick burst silenced the soldier, just as he launched another shot at the truck fron the shoulder cannon. The earlier shot had nicked a fuel line, and the result was explosive!
The fireball blew apart the thug hiding behind it, and sent the remaining running for the hills.
As the Soldiers move past the burning wreck of their transport, another vehicle came speeding towards the battle.
“Great, now what?” Pax didn’t like the look of the armored vehicle that just pulled up.
Especially not the heavy gun on it’s roof..
“We are the appointed peacekeepers for the sector. Cease all hostile action and surrender!”
Wounded and exhausted, Pax saw little reason to refuse. Maybe they had some answers even..
“I’ve deactivated my weapons, I’m coming out, don’t shoot” The external speakers broadcasted.
A few minutes later they were all ready to be loaded up and transported to New Thebes, the closest hub with capacity for detainees while their interrogations were being prepared.
Pax’s armor couldnt fit inside the transport, so they lashed it to the top, after he obliged them by climbing onto the roof before shutting it down.
“What outfit do you belong to son?” Asked the captain in charge as he was leading them up the ramp.
“I’m a sergeant in the Corvi Headhunters sir. Do you have any news about my unit? I’ve been out of the loop for a while.” Korbin replied.
“I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but that outfit is no more. You lot got taken apart by the Warg, those who lived either signed on with others or left a few weeks back. The dissolution was announced over two weeks ago.”
“As I said, been out of the loop.”
Pax was in a bind now. Without officially belonging to a fighting unit he’d technically just committed two murders and some destruction of property. On the bright side, the soldiers were deserters stealing from a claim that didn’t belong to them, so he wasn’t all doomed just yet.
He’d just have to make his case to the tribunal judge, and hope that it was enough..
Not off to a great start for my latest adventurer, but there is still a chance for him!
Next episode will come as soon as I find time for it, but I have a few projects fighting for my attention at the moment.
Thanks for looking!26/06/2017 at 13:37 #6570526/06/2017 at 15:20 #65717
Cheers Mike 🙂
The original malfunction was story, but the failiure to cold-start when the soldiers showed up was all game mechanics. Pax was close to being knocked unconscious because of it!26/06/2017 at 16:04 #65723
Darkest Star GamesParticipant
Lucky that shot he took before he could start it up didn’t do more damage, would have been a short campaign!
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."26/06/2017 at 16:44 #65726
It was lucky, but had he been knocked out I had an idea or two how things could progress.26/06/2017 at 22:03 #65757
ThuseldParticipant29/06/2017 at 04:22 #65969
Cheers James, nice of you to say so 🙂01/07/2017 at 21:38 #66187
Cool story! I’m looking forward to reading the next bit 🙂
You’re using KR 16 rules yeah?
"You will NOT call me sir! I actually WORK for a living"
- Every drill-sergeant ever01/07/2017 at 21:40 #66188
Cool story! I’m looking forward to reading the next bit You’re using KR 16 rules yeah?
Starport Scum rules01/07/2017 at 21:45 #66190
Ah, I’d made an assumption based on the miniatures. I should know better 😛
"You will NOT call me sir! I actually WORK for a living"
- Every drill-sergeant ever01/07/2017 at 21:53 #66192
ThuseldParticipant03/07/2017 at 09:00 #66295
Cheers Bozz, glad you like it!
Now to the 2nd part of the adventure:
The closest settlement to the edge of the desert, New Thebes . It started out as a small outpost for the peacekeepers, the mercenary company contracted to uphold the local laws and handle any disputes that occur. A small town soon sprung up around the base, traders and workers as well as the local watering hole, Krangs bar.
This is where we find Pax.
The base courtyard is quite crowded, even if there is only the six of them along with the apc and Pax’s suit.
The deserters are led off into one of the small structures under the guns of the peacekeepers.
“Let’s go sergeant, we are taking you to the magistrate.”
“Let’s go then, get this over with.” Pax replied.
Inside the big structure is the main offices and barracks for the stationed troops.
Pax looks around as they walk through the corridors and rooms, before stopping at a desk into what he can only guess is the magistrates office.
A captain stands guard at the door. “Is this the one?” he asks the peacekeeper escorting Korbin.
“Good, bring him in, the magistrate is waiting.”
Korbin is led into the room by two of his escorts, who keep their weapons trained on him.
A older man stands before him.
“Sergeant, I’d like to hear your explanation for operating a restricted weapon system in a off-limits zone.”
Pax takes a deep breath, makes his case and tells the story of the attack on his company, being knocked out and wandering through the desert before coming upon the deserters and being found by the patrol.
“I am sorry for your loss, mr Korbin, but you now have a problem. No, not the dererters, we would have delt with them much the same way as you. The HARD suit, now that is only allowed to stay in your possession if you are a registered mercenary and with the dissolution of the Corvi Headhunters, you no longer are.”
The magistrate pauses for a bit before continuing: “However, we find ourselves with an opportunity, if you are so inclined.” Pax nods for him to continue. “We recently lost a member on patrol, he was taken by the same deserters as you encountered. If you could help us rescue him, we would be inclined to offer you a freelancer charter.”
With other options thin on the ground, Pax accepted.
With the Mk III seriously in need of an overhaul, Pax decides to leave the armor in the Peacekeeper’s base, stopping only to grab his beam pistol. Along with the three mercs that had brought him there, Korbin gets into the apc and they are on their way to the deserter camp.
A bumpy ride later, the team arrives outside the rocky hills where the other merc is being held.
It’s a good defensive position, high rock-faces on all sides exept for a small opening and that has been reinforced with some rockcrete barriers.
The deserters clearly outnumber the party from earlier reports, something that is quickly confirmed to still be true, as the captain of the Peacekeepers survey the area with a spy drone.
“There’s our man.” a thin smile disappear as fast as it came, when he sees that they are still outnumbered. “I hope you have a better idea than frontal assault..” Pax was starting to feel less sure this was a good idea.
“They haven’t noticed our precence yet, we sneak up, take out the guards at the entrance. Then we get the ones around those buildings with these.” he opens a small crate that they brought, labled “Explosives”: inside is a dozen grenades. Everybody grabs a few each, and get ready for action.
Sneaking forward, Pax soon takes the lead. The deserters doesn’t seem to notice any of them as they get into position..
A brilliant beam of light shoots out of the shadows, narrowly missing the guard on the right.
It’s close enough to set fire to his sleeve however, sending him rolling on the ground, both to avoid the next shot as well as to put out the fire!
His shot acting like a cue for the rest of the team, the Peacekeepers now open up as well.
Knowing that they have been discovered, the mercs release a torrent of full auto fire against the gate guards, sending the heavy weapon guard on the left into cover. His rolling friend is less lucky, taking several hits before stopping completely.
“That will do it, corporal. Get the apc before the rest of the enemy come up to reinforce!”
His subordinate took off in a run after a prefunctory salute.
The gate was soon swarming with the deserter soldiers, laying down a fearsome barrage of fire in all directions. The captain is knocked over then a bullet slams off his armor, but is mostly unharmed.
This assault gives the plasma gunner at the gate time to line up a shot at the apc as it swings around the big rock, the ball of incandescent fury slams into the vehicle, boiling off armor before dissipating.
Reeling under the fury of the attack, Pax and the other mercs doesn’t manage to hit any of the new arrivals. Even the corporal seems to have a hard time with the heavy machinegun, blasting rock and dirt but little else.
Pax attempts to throw one of the grenades, but it bounces off the protective wall and explodes harmlessly a dozen meters from his intended target..
Having finally zeroed in on the gate proper and it’s defenders, the apc’s gun starts reaping a bloody harvest, downing both the plasma gunner that injured it as well as the man next to him.
A lucky pistol shot from one of the deserter leaders manage to strike the Peacekeeper captain between two armor plates, throwing him bleeding and cursing to the ground.
The man next to him administer first aid, stabilizing the captain, but he is out of the fight for now.
At the same time, Pax charges forward to capitalize on the disruption in the enemy defences.
His beam finds it’s mark this time, burning straight through the deserter it hits, dropping him like a bag of rocks.
His headlong charge allows for the accurate leader the brought down the captain to wing him as well, but Pax still manages to reach the cover of the rockcrete barrier!
With all visible targets down, the apc grinds to a halt, as the captain orders the corporal to go in on foot to avoid killing their man with fire from the heavy mounted gun.
Meanwhile the second merc come up from behind in support of Korbin, allowing the latter to dispatch another deserter with a searing shot.
With all his underlings dead, the deserter’s leader scrabble for the captive, draging him out along with the two men set to guard him.
“That’s far enough! If you want your man alive, you will let us through. When we are safely away, we will let him go!” The leader yells, the tension in his voice evident. “Do you think you can make the shot?” Pax whispered to the Peacekeepers. “Take the shot!” came the captains voice from behind them, still powerful even with the blood-loss.
“Silence you fool!” Cried the leader in response. “We’ll kill him!” He was about to snap.
With an almost impreceptible nod Pax signaled the other two.
As one, they all raised their guns and fired.
All three deserters fell, wounded but very much alive. The trio dashed forward, finishing the job before the wounded men could try to carry out their threat.
The battered and bruised captive, along with the wounded captain, where helped into the waiting vehicle. “Fine job mr Korbin, I’m glad we had you along for the ride.” The captain smiled before a cough sent him into a fresh wave of agony.
A few hours later, after getting back to New Thebes, the Peacekeepers upheld their promise, granting Pax Korbin a Freelancer mercenary charter, allowing him to take on contracts and to keep the HARD suit, as he was once again a registered merc.
This was all well and good, but it didn’t change the more basic problem our adventurer has: He is pretty much broke. Restoring the Mk III, resupplying it with ammo and fuel, transportation and lodging would all cost a pretty penny, money he simply didn’t have as the last Headhunters contract was null and void, even if he could have found somebody to honor it.
So he did what many men do in such a situation. He went to the bar.
Krang’s Bar is the only one in town, so it was not only to drown his sorrows. It would probably be the best place to find a contract or two so that he could get back on his feet.
The bar was somewhat dirty and the lighting poor, just like you’d expect. A few patrons arguing over the results of a Battling match in a corner booth, the bartender polishing a dirty glass with a dirtier towel.
As he sat down at the bar, he ordered a shot of synthahol. The real stuff was out of his price range right now. After a few shots, a shadow fell over him. Pax didn’t turn around, he wasn’t looking for company right now. Later maybe, after he found some work. “I believe that it’s customary to salute a superior, don’t you sergeant?” the shadow spoke in a raspy voice, one familiar to Korbin. Could it really be?
He turned around, and found himself staring at Gibson Law, formerly of the Corvi Headhunters.
The Old Man, he survived!
Pax stood up and gave his comrade in arms a bear-hug, while both of them laughed at the improbability of the situation. Two men surviving that firestorm, what were the odds?
“I don’t know how you got out kid, but I’m sure glad you did.”
“Likewise, I thought I was the only one!” Pax smiled and ordered up a shot for Law as well.
The Old Man wrinkled his nose at the smell of the synthahol, commenting on it’s foul taste as well.
“It seems we have fallen on hard times indeed when we are reduced to this stuff.”
“Well, with the Headhunters dissolved, I guess we are both out of a job.” Pax sighed.
“With that charter of yours you’ll do alright, there is plenty of work to be had on Vestra after all.” Law offered.
“How do you know about the charter already, that was only hours ago?” Pax asked, surprise evident on his face.
“I know some people, and it always pays off to be in the know in this business, you know?
The Old Man smiled sadly, before starting again: “Say, you wouldn’t be interested in a contract? I just so happened to come across one that seems like just our sort of thing..”
“Why aren’t you already out there then?” Pax asked.
“Needed another man, and I believe I just found him.” Law smirked.
“Ok, so tell me more..”
Things are looking up a bit for our adventurer, having found a old comrade and a possible job as well!
Next time we will find out just what the job entails, and more adventure is bound to follow!
Thanks for looking!
03/07/2017 at 10:13 #6630203/07/2017 at 21:30 #66387
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by Alexander Wasberg. Reason: photo trouble
That is pretty much how it goes, fuel and ammo for those HARD suits ain’t cheap you know 😉
Thanks for the kind words!05/07/2017 at 16:20 #66520
Darkest Star GamesParticipant
Good stuff! Keep it coming!
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."12/07/2017 at 11:04 #67260
"You will NOT call me sir! I actually WORK for a living"
- Every drill-sergeant ever12/07/2017 at 11:33 #67276
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