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Series Finale – 28 April 2013

Series Finale – 28 April 2013

The evening before the team heads back to New Samarkand, they’re all given grav-leave on the makeshift station.  While planning the operation, Master Chief Chapman requests to join the assault on McKenna’s Pride as he is, for he has the most experience of anyone on the CiC of a McKenna-class battleship.  Janks accepts.

The next morning, the Davion Guard and Wolf’s Dragoons give a salute as the crews of Alabama and Normandy board their ships.  A moment passes between Vail and Natasha Kerensky, indicating to the squad that something more intimate was happening there.

Normandy and Alabama jump to New Samarkand – Normandy dead-sticking it into the planet’s atmosphere to remain hidden while Alabama creates a distraction.  To the observers on Normandy’s bridge, Alabama seems to be staying in the fight far longer than she should have.  Vail contacts Montenegro, who informs him that a lucky shot has taken out Alabama’s K-F drive.  He says his goodbyes to his old friend, and Alabama tears into the Clan fleet and takes out several cruisers her own size before being overwhelmed and destroyed.

On the ground, the party meets up with Mr. Case and Jane Sagan.  They hand over the gold doubloon to Case, who visually scans it, and then, without further ado, informs the party that the Alexander AI has been released.  There’s an uncomfortable silence for a time.  Bigend, imprisoned in a nearby tent, begins cackling.  The party finds out that he had been manipulated for years by the much-diminished Alexander expert system, who had been manipulating him in an attempt to be released.

The team discusses their plans.  Sagan asks what she can do to help, and it’s determined that she should go with the Vail, Sergeant Major Barret and the ground assault, as securing the HPG uplink is critical to the mission.

Moment later, every electronic device capable of beeping…does.  The party establishes communication with the Alexander AI through Vail’s pocket computer.  The AI confirms their battle plans, stressing that it’s vital that Mckenna’s Pride be removed from the battle, preferrably by jumping it clear of the system.  It promises to do everything it can to aid in the liberation of the planet.

The time for moving out arrives, and the ground team and Normandy team say their goodbyes.

In orbit, Normandy docks against the Pride’s command deck, the party finds sympathizers at the airlock – some of them the same people from the ambush in downtown Shinzon (they toss a chair into the airlock yelling “chair” as Hudson did to them).  The sympathizers identify themselves with red armbands, but the party is encouraged not to put too much trust in it.

Moving toward the CiC, the party is attacked by Clan marines, including John Hubble and another warrior.  Janks attempts to convince Hubble to join their side against the invading aliens, but fails.  A pitched firefight ensues in which Gerst is grievously wounded.  Finally, Hudson gets the kill shot against Hubble.

The campaign ends with a cutscene:

Corbett-

You rush over to Gerst, pull his kit, and start working on his severe wounds.  Like many critically-wounded soldiers, Gerst is muttering and weakly pawing at your vest.  Over the years you’ve developed a way to keep working in the midst of it, a sort of slow-motion Aikido to gently brush aside delirious hands.  It takes a second, but when you realize what he’s doing, you’re stunned into stillness.  Your hands drop to your sides.  Gerst looks at you solemnly while he unclips your PDW and tucks it under his arm, he pulls two magazines and a grenade from your vest, then replaces them with two of his own pistol magazines.

He pats your cheek none-too-gently, then hauls himself to his feet and stumbles over to Janks.

“Top, you all go hit the CIC.  I’m gonna make these motherfuckers find another way around.”

Stella shouts over the gunfire, “We’re not leaving you!”  He grins.

“Hell, you’re just going down the hall.  I’ll be here when you get back.”

He and Janks lock eyes for a moment, then Gerst turns and begins firing down the hall, and Janks motions the unit to move on to the CIC.

As one, the unit sweeps around the corner.  Janks and Jack take out the two marines guarding the door to the CIC and take cover nearby, while in a single fluid motion, Madge moves up to the door, sets a small charge, ducks out of the way, blows the charge, and pulls her pistol in time to put two shots into the first face brave enough to look through the crack.

Janks in the lead, you charge into the CIC and find quite a bit of chaos.  Clan crewers with hurriedly-affixed red armbands are subduing the others, herding them back into the damage control alcove.  A man with officer’s knots on his lapels lies dead against the map table with a gunshot wound to the head.  Jack moves to corral all of the Clan personnel while Janks and Madge begin barricading the door.

Mitch strides into the CIC and takes position at the head of the map table, assessing the lidar and ship’s disposition.  Stella and Chapman dive into the helmsman seats, Millet takes position at the engineering station, and you hop up to gunnery.

“Alright,” Mitch says after a beat, “clear all moorings.  Weps, establish a torpedo plot to targets Sierra Two and Bravo Nine, let’s see if we can’t do some harm on our way out.”

It takes you a second to realize he’s talking to you, but you begin giving the computer its orders.

Chapman calls out, “Emergency release, all moorings, we’re clear to maneuver.”

“Very well, helm, burn dorsal aft rcs, I want a ten-degree per second rotation on our axis.”

“Aye!” replies Chapman, while his and Stella’s hands dance across the controls.

Millet says, “Alexander’s linked up.”

“Very well.  Stella get ready…aaaaand…all-ahead one-half.  Take us tight around the facility and give me a shot at those parked destroyers.  Corbett, fire, and open up the flak cannons, it won’t be long before someone takes a shot back at us.”

You release two torpedoes at the two Clan heavy cruisers, nothing more than two dots heading to two other dots on the gunnery display.  You begin to isolate a cluster of parked destroyers for the next salvo.

Alexander’s voice comes over the CIC speakers.  “I’ve taken the liberty of changing our IFF transponder.  We now broadcast as Star League Defence Forces Battlecarrier, Agamemnon.”

The CIC goes silent, even the assembled Clan crewers.

The brief reverie is pierced by a small explosion outside the CIC door.  Janks and Madge continue piling anything not nailed down in front of it.  “There’s no way this is going to hold up!” Janks calls over his shoulder.

“Alright, Alexander, plot us a K-F jump.  Corbett, fire away.  Stella, when the torpedos are free, make your heading three-two-oh mark seven-nine karem five-eight, all ahead flank.”

Far below, New Samarkand goes dark for the briefest moments, as every microprocessor on the planet spikes to maximum capacity, then returns to normal.

“K-F jump plotted,” says Alexander.

Stella calls out, “The helm just got really sloppy, what the hell?”

“I’m afraid I may be losing direct control of the ship’s systems, the crew seems to have responded very rapidly to my intrusion.”

Millet grumbles, “Then what good are you?  One second…okay I’ve overridden them for now, but it won’t be long until they get to engineering and take control of the ship back.”

Madge shouts out, “I don’t think we have that…” and then the CIC door explodes inward with an earsplitting bang.  It shoots across the room like a bullet, taking Madge with it and crashing into Jack and the Clan prisoners in the fire control alcove.  There’s so much force in the explosion that it blows you out of the gunnery station down behind the astrogation controls.

Your ears are ringing, you can see, but can’t hear as Janks bellows and unloads his M-41 into the open doorway, then jerks like a marionette as he’s riddled with return fire.  You try to pull your sidearm, but your hand keeps slipping from the grip.

Stella and Chapman are returning fire from behind the helm across the room.  She’s got a wild look in her eyes, but she’s squeezing the trigger methodically – one squeeze, one kill out in the hall.  A rocket is fired from outside the door and the helm station explodes.  You can’t see much through the smoke anymore.

You look up at the console you’re crouched behind, Mitch is draped across the top of it, his face bloodied, dead eyes staring, his hand reaching for the jump key.

“Off the field…” you whisper to yourself, “have to get her off the field…”

You reach up, your hand is covered in blood, you’re not sure how or from where, you grab the jump key, and twist.

Everything goes black.


Epilogue

The disruption caused by the Alexander AI, combined with the damage done to the two Clan battleships by McKenna’s Pride on its way out of the system tipped the scales enough for the combined fleets of the Inner Sphere to break the siege of New Samarkand.  The battle on the ground was more one-sided, as Alexander hacked military communication channels and essentially drove Clan combat units to the slaughter.  The battle took less than a week.  On January 1st, 3022, the Clans surrendered their position at New Samarkand and retreated.  Their fleets and troops were scattered to the periphery.

None of Agamemnon’s original Star League crew survived the battle.

Two weeks later, New Samarkand’s HPG surged and fired for a record-breaking three minutes.  After it closed down, Alexander was gone.

Sensing weakness after the loss of Admiral Ling and Kojiwa, Hans Davion led the Federated Suns in invasion of the Draconis Combine in March of that year and made significant progress until morale issues and overwhelming opposition from the other great houses caused the advance to stall.

Fervor for Agamemnon and her crew ranged from idolatry to the nearly religious across the Inner Sphere, radiating from New Samarkand, where a substantial piece of the mighty battleship’s superstructure was brought to the ground and converted to a memorial.

In the spring of 3023, the great houses of the Inner Sphere, along with ComStar, the remnants of the Clan invasion, and a very persistent and influential periphery Gentleman, signed the Agamemnon Accord at New Samarkand and formed a new Star League – ending the Third Succession War.

Peace reigned.

In the fall of 3029, HPG nodes on the edges of the Inner Sphere began to go dark.  It wasn’t long before the swarm descended on the more densely-populated worlds.  They never communicated, they never took prisoners, they simply…consumed.  The newly-formed Star League Defense Force put up a fair fight and slowed the advance for several years, but they too were overwhelmed.  Within fifteen years, all of the garden worlds known to man, including Terra, had been taken; and within thirty, the human race was, for all intents and purposes, extinct.


Coda

Corbett-

You’re obscenely drunk in Lizzy’s tiny billet, the room is thick with the smells of sex and booze and the sweet smoke of what passes for weed on Persephone.  She’s straddling a chair next to the bed, naked, covered in a sheen of sweat and fiddling idly with the joint.  It’s the night of the K-F repair celebration – you can hear the occasional band of revelers in the corridor.

“What they don’t like telling people about the drive,” she continues, “is that none of us are where we started.  Flung hundreds and hundreds of times through nth-dimensional probability on a string of numbers so obscure they’re indistinguishable from witchcraft.”

You try to sit up, but your arm doesn’t seem to be working right.

“Am I dreaming?” you ask.

“Not this time, no,” she says softly.

“Are you alive?”

She sighs, a little sadly.  “No, baby, I’m sorry.”

“They’re coming, Corbett.  This is your last chance, we won’t be able to help again.  Don’t forget, please don’t forget again.”  She leans the chair over until her face is next to yours.  “Listen…remember…they’re coming.”

There’s a muffled thud in the superstructure of the ship and you jerk upright in bed, the words “they’re coming!” on your lips.

“What was that Stim?” Bramer asks.

You look around, you’re in Agamemnon’s medical ward.  Bramer’s in the next bed over.

“You okay man?” he continues, “That was just the Marathon coming in.”

He looks pretty beaten and bruised.  The rest of the team are in their beds in various states of disrepair.  Geers is sleeping.  Jack is playing a game on his tablet.  Janks is looking at you curiously over his book.  The ship’s battle stations klaxon is ringing outside the door.  You feel as if you’ve woken up from a dream so vivid you can’t quite tell what was real and what wasn’t.

Cottle has the CIC channel on a small radio on his desk.

“Doc…” you say, “Could you turn that up?”

He gives you a withering look, but obliges.

You hear Captain Anderson, “Con, Marathon and Cynae secure.  Umbilicus are connected and they’re reporting ready to jump.”

“Very well.”  Colonel Becker’s voice on the radio pierces you like a knife, and memories flood in.

You feel like you’ve done ten rounds with a heavyweight boxer as you struggle out of bed and into a pair of shitty disposable hospital slippers and pull on a shitty disposable hospital robe.  You stumble forward, snatch the radio from Cottle’s desk, and head out the door.  His angry yells are drowned out by the klaxons in the hall.

You make your way to the lift and hit the button.  Your heart is racing, pulse thundering in your ears.

The radio crackles to life again, “Con, Lidar, torpedo, torpedo!  I have three high velocity targets detaching from Tango group and accelerating.  Time to impact, one minute!”

Becker again, “Major Summerville, order the fleet to jump.”

After an eternity, the doors open and you race down the hallway.  The marine guarding the door to Locker 17 looks at you curiously until, without breaking stride, you viciously elbow him in the chin and he drops.  You plug in the access code of the day and press into the room.  You pull the tarp off the large black cylinder, and tap a few keys on the controls at the top.

You kneel down next to the cylinder and growl into the microphone.

“You can’t do this,” you say.

The radio crackles to life, “Radiological alarm!  High yield warheads on those torpedoes!”

“Listen to me you high-and-mighty tin can,” you continue, ”there’s something you don’t know.  We’re not alone…  There’s an enemy….”

Becker shouts through the ship’s intercom, “All hands, prepare for combat jump!”

“Please…”

Anderson’s voice on the radio, “Yes ma’am, all our men, living and dead are off the field, my board is green.”

“I swear to god, if you do this, I’m going to melt your ass all over again.  Put that through your fucking probability engine….”

“Now, Major!” Kim shouts over the radio.

Reality twists as Agamemnon jumps.

There’s a moment of silence as the klaxons turn off.

Major Summerville’s voice comes over the ship’s intercom, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Persephone.  One more milk run and we’ll be joining General Kerensky and the First Fleet.  Sergeant at Arms, report to Captain Colson for classified Delta Seven mission briefing.”

You let out a shuddering breath you didn’t realize you were holding and pat the top of the cylinder.

“Thank you.”  You pull yourself to your feet painfully and head for the door.  “Alright partner, we have a lot of work to do.  Oh…and if I see a light on this boat so much as flicker funny…MELT your ass.”

You come out of the locker in time to see Admiral Tokugawa race into the corridor, a sheen of sweat on his forehead and eyes, slightly crazed, and wide with surprise.  He stumbles to a stop.

“What…what happened?”

At the other end of the hall, a group has gathered.  They all look as if they’re not entirely sure why they’re there, blinking as if waking from a dream.  Mitch and Stella, both still in their flight suits.  Janks, Jack, and Hudson, Gerst, Geers, and Bramer.  Even Blake, twirling that lucky antique gold coin of his between his fingers.  Kim and Summerville come from the corridor behind Tokugawa with the same curious and solemn looks, their fingers brushing the other’s subconsciously.

You look back to Tokugawa and breath a deep sigh.  Your paper robe crinkles, reminding you of a crumpled and bloodstained flowchart.

You smile.  “Sir, we have to talk.”

And thus ends the first chronicle of The Last Legion.

 

 

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Armageddon Session Notes: 13 April 2013

Armageddon Session Notes: 13 April 2013

The next morning, Janks was exercising on Normandy’s lower deck.  His injuries from the previous day cause him to slip and nearly drop a heavy barbell on himself, but it was caught by Jeremy Blake.

Blake took a seat next to the stunned Janks and pulled the gold coin from Janks’ pocket.  He observed it for a moment, twirled it in his fingers, and replaced it, saying “you people and your fascination with antiquity”.

Blake then continued, “We call them the Rix.”  He went on to explain that the aliens that were driving the Clans back into the Inner Sphere were originally synthetic, and a fundamentally ruthless plague on the galaxy.  He mentions that his own people developed ways to avoid them rather than face them in open conflict.  When asked if the human race had any hope, he demurred slightly, but went on to say that humanity had a lot of “viciousness and cunning” going for it – he just didn’t know if they’d have time to prepare.  When asked why he was helping, he said he wasn’t sure – that perhaps it was because of the identity he created.  He did mention that he was breaking the rules, but wouldn’t elaborate.

When the bridge announced an upcoming K-F jump, Blake chuckled.  He said that after forty-thousand years, the Consu had seen many ways to travel the galaxy “folding space, warp bubbles, and the like”, but said “Leave it to humanity to develop something so absurd, so vulgar, so accidental” as a means of travelling the galaxy.  He mentioned that he cannot follow through the jump.  Janks asked several more questions that netted him cryptic answers, and when the ship jumped, Blake was gone.

The same morning,having been plagued with repeated dreams of Liz Fagan telling him that “there’s something to the K-F drive that they don’t like talking about”, Corbett approaches Millet and asks for an explanation.  Millet outlines how the K-F drive actually works – not by moving an object through space, but traversing parallel universes and probabilities until the ship is simply where it’s supposed to be.  The distance of travel is essentially limited by the navigation computer’s ability to calculate the probability tree.  Some speculation occurs about how an exponentially more powerful computer could conceivably move a ship through not only space, but perhaps even time and causality as well – in fact there are tales of mis-jumps that do just that.  Agamemnon’s own mis-jump caused the human crews of the Marathon and Cynae to simply vanish.

A week later when Jack is out of intensive care, the  party meets to discuss all they’ve learned, but arrive at no clear conclusions or path forward.

Three weeks later, Stella is helming Normandy when they make their final jump to rendezvous with the fleet.  The emerge into a flack cloud and barely miss crashing into the side of McKenna’s Pride.  The massive Clan battleship is raiding the fleet.  Normandy makes a pass at the Pride, severely damaging its maneuvering thrusters, but the battleship fires off two large and extremely fast misiles at Kojiwa and Dire Wolf.  Normandy intercepts the missile headed for the Dire Wolf, but the other strikes and destroys Kojiwa, killing most of her crew, including Admiral Lin.

The party meets in war council with Vail, Montenegro, Natasha Kerensky, and Prince Hans Davion of the Federated Suns.  After some debate, the plan laid out involves a strike team sneaking back onto New Samarkand and releasing the Alexander AI for the purposes of disrupting the Clan communications and control.  From there, a ground assault must secure the ComStar HPG relay and use the facility there to create a gravity distortion allowing the fleet to jump into orbit.  A strike team will be required to take McKenna’s Pride off the battlefield, as no  tactical simulation seems to be winnable with the Pride in the battle on the side of the Clans.

Vail accepts volunteers for the mission, and the entire original Agamemnon crew step forward.

“The Last Legion of the Star League makes its stand at New Samarkand,” Vail says quietly.

 

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Armageddon Session Notes – 9 March 2013

Armageddon Session Notes – 9 March 2013

Corbett vaults over the table, tackling the Librarian.  The rest of the party holds off the increasingly-large and threatening band of locals until finally a shot is fired from the back of the crowd, triggering a massive firefight.  Corbett shoots and kills the Librarian, and as he’s being dragged out of the line of fire by Jack, notices his name on one of the White Queen’s predictions.  He grabs a handful of the flowcharts and shoves them in his vest.

A brutal running firefight ensues, in which the party slays dozens upon dozens of the facility’s enraged inhabitants.  Eventually, some heavy hitters arrive, including a sniper, and several members of the team are wounded, Jack critically so.  During the fight, the team has several exchanges with the young girl on the radio, who identifies herself as Alice.

Once the majority of the locals are dead or scattered, Normandy comes in to evacuate Jack (after an aborted run in which she was fired upon by some old anti-air defenses).  The remainder of the party heads down to sub-level seven.

Corbett gets a chance to look at the sheaf of predictions, which have become blood-soaked.  The entry with his name on it says simply “85.3BT.39710.3245-A:  Stimson convinces Tokugawa”.  He cannot see what comes before or after this branch due to damage to the printout.

Vail contacts Normandy via the entanglement device.  He informs Mitch that the resistance has made contact with Bigend and they’ve gotten the details of his plan, including his fascination with the Ares Turing project.  He relays that Ares attempted three medium for hosting AIs.  Rasputin was hosted in a synthetic biomass.  Bigend’s “data bomb” is likely the third, meant to use the infostructure of an entire planet to attain sentience.  The first, however, was hosted in a human brain.

The party enters the security office, where Alice is supposedly hiding, and finds a damaged an emaciated young girl in a cryogenic chamber attached to an entire room of computers.  Alice can’t seem to look into this room, and experiences some cognitive dissonance attempting to understand where the party is and why they’re not where she is.  Corbett tries his best to understand the nature of the device, but comes to the conclusion that this is both the White Queen and Alice, and could not be removed from the Ares facility without extraordinary care and expertise.

The party opens locker nine to find a photo of a young girl, presumably the one in the chamber, and the jewelry box they were sent for.  Within the box is an ancient gold coin, marked in Greek with the name Alexandrius upon it – presumably a coin from Alexander’s reign.

The White Queen begins speaking over the facility’s loudspeakers as well as on Normandy – rambling a constant stream of predictions.  Normandy detects a radiation spike beneath the facility, indicating a meltdown.  The party flees to the surface and boards Normandy.  The voice of the White Queen begins chanting “all of the warriors, none of the poets” for several more moments, and finally, Alice speaks, asking “hey…where are you guys going?” before the Ares facility detonates.

 

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Armageddon Session Notes – 23 February 2013

Armageddon Session Notes – 23 February 2013

Corbett dreams of Chief Fagan, he can barely make out the words she’s attempting to tell him.  She says, “the funny thing about the K-F drive…the thing they don’t like telling people…Corbett?  Corbett stop staring at my tits, this is important…”

Corbett wakes as an uncomfortable effect of the Normandy’s gravity drive passes through him.  He notices that Gerst is missing from his bunk.  He finds him in the passage between the CIC and the bridge, where Blake had been revealed to be a false memory, where he presses Corbett with his photo of Bramer, Geers, and himself in which he insists he still sees Blake.

Later that morning, the team assembles their geer and examines the Ares site from orbit.  During the First Succession War, several nuclear weapons had been detonated on the planet, causing the already harsh environment to be even harsher.  The Ares facility is in ruins, but orbital reconnaissance shows several cook fires and activity in the area.  The team lands several miles out and approaches on foot.

Ian and Hudson approach a lone man cooking over an open fire in a burnt-out building on the outskirts of the worker town.  Once the man notices the Agamemnon insignia on the pair, he informs them that they’re late, and asks them if they’re original crew or “series 7”.  When asked what “series 7” is, he starts speaking of how a man named George owes him money.  He seems quite in the know about the fate of the Agamemnon and the Exodus and speaks regularly of stories told by the White Queen.  He asks if they’re alone, and tells them the Librarian will be overjoyed to see them.

The rest of the party approaches, and the man leads them into the facility, announcing to everyone he passes that they are original Agamemnon crew – the party gathers quite a crowd as they move several levels deep into the Ares facility and finally into a large cafeteria that is packed literally full of stacks of paper and filing cabinets.  In the center of the chaos they meet a wizened man, the Librarian.  He immediately begins asking questions, tracing the journey of the Agamemnon crew from the time of the misjump on.

Through inference and a few direct questions, the team discovers that the White Queen, presumably an AI, has been making predictions for two hundred years, and the caretakers of the facility have catalogued them and waited until the true predictions can be revealed.  As the questions are asked, the Librarian eventually has to turn to documents in a cabinet that appears separate and revered from the others.  His mood becomes very somber as he continues asking questions and tracing the branches of the predictions.

During the conversation, the voice of a young girl breaks into the team’s radios.  She informs the team that she’d been trapped in a security closet for some time, having been brought to the facility by a fanatical father.  She also makes the obvious statement that the Librarian is not entirely stable and that he’s currently reading from a “very bad cabinet” and that the team should be ready to act.

Finally, the Librarian asks a few seemingly innocuous questions, and ends finally by looking up to Corbett – having reached a path that ends with the destruction of Rasputin – and asks him why he felt he had to do it, and pulls a sidearm.

 

 

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Armageddon Session Notes – 9 February 2013

Armageddon Session Notes – 9 February 2013

The party finds itself in a second prison in nearly as many days, this one is a few levels above ground and audibly near a flight path.

John Hubble comes in to speak with the prisoners.  He explains to the party that the entire invasion was designed to end the Third Succession War – which obviously back-fired.  He explains that the Clan assault isn’t an invasion, it’s a retreat.  He says that the human race probably only has five years left to it.  As he leaves, he mentions that even if humanity had a few centuries to prepare, it may not be enough.  The team infers from this that the Clans are being driven home by an alien race, perhaps the Consu that the party had previously encountered.

During the subsequent conversation, Millet reveals that the League base on Persephone 2 was researching ruins believed to be alien in origin.  She mentions that she was told of them by Ian.

That night, the voice of Mr. Case comes from the intercom in the cell block.  He explains to Janks that the key to the data bomb could be found on “Sub-level 7, locker 9″ and that it’s a small gold jewelry box, approximately 6″ by 2″ by 2”.

The next day, the roar of LAM engines precedes the hand of a Phoenix Hawk tearing open the wall – outside, two Phoenix Hawks painted in the black of the Black Knights with Star League insignia begin laying into the surrounding area.  A tilt-rotor craft hovers into position, and a squad of marines piles into the cell block, tossing smoke grenades and laying down covering fire.  Sergeant Major Barret strides into the fray and works to break the party from their cells.  As they begin to retreat for the aircraft, an unseen soldier with a handgun begins firing out of the smoke.  Three marines drop with three shots.  The team retreats into the aircraft and flies clear under cover of the Phoenix Hawks.

After a few moments, Lance Geers mutters, “Oh…oh hell…”, and dies quietly in his seat from small arms wounds.

They arrive along with several other similar flights in an empty field outside the city.  Colonel Vail is there, directing the evacuation to a number of small military drop-ships.  Stella is given a small interceptor to fly escort.  The party boards a dropship piloted by Rance along with Vail and the evacuation takes flight and makes orbit.  In the distance, the party catches sight of a McKenna-class battleship and its distinctive centrifuge.  Vail identifies it as McKenna’s Pride – Kerensky’s flagship.  He says it was brought in a few months after the battle.

Vail notes, “the way I see it, the motherfuckers owe us a McKenna-class battleship.”

The dropships are pursued by a number of system patrol craft and a squadron of superiority fighters.  Stella attempts to fend them off, but her fighter is severely damaged.

Vail activates one of the Clan gravity devices, and a few moments later, as the dropships are about to be overcome, Alabama jumps in ahead and begins laying down covering fire.  The dropships make emergency landings in Alabama’s recovery bay, and Normandy swoops in and rescues Stella.  Both ships jump free of the combat.

Aboard Alabama there’s a warm homecoming celebration, and the team is debriefed by Vail and Montenegro.  After telling their story, they’re informed that a sizable fleet has been gathered from many of the houses of the Inner Sphere, but it’s still not enough to break the siege of New Samarkand.  With so many heads of state involved, the situation has become extremel political and it’s very possible that the message of unity in the face of invasion would fall on deaf ears.  Also during the conversation, Millet reveals that she has a majority of her memories, but had stayed silent.

The team decides to split off from Alabama in the Normandy and head to Cromwell to pursue Bigend’s key.

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Armageddon Session Notes – 26 January 2013

Armageddon Session Notes – 26 January 2013

The team returns to the bunker and compiles a list of supplies for Bigend.

The following day, Ian and Janks head back downtown and strategic place projectors around the office building – the plan being to project a Cameron Cross, the symbol of the Star League, upon all faces of the building at the conclusion of the operation.

The next night, the team infiltrates the building adjacent to the Ares building.  They leave Stella on the 37th floor with a sniper rifle and proceed up to the 42nd floor, where they use a zip line to cross the span between the buildings and break into the former Ares office on the 37th floor.

After a few seconds plugged into the local network, Mr. Case reports that the data he’s looking for isn’t there, but his “intelligence is unimpeachable”, and that the data bomb, several petabytes in size, must be there, likely hidden in something at least the size of a bread box.  The team fans out to search the office space, which has been very thoroughly cleaned out.

In an executive suite, Ian and Corbett stumble across a coffee machine looking very out of place in the abandoned and stripped office.  Nearby is a painting that Corbett recognizes as identical to the one in the heuristics creche on Cromwell.  Ian snatches up the machine and Corbett the painting just as the emergency lights blaze to life and a troop of Clan marines takes position at the other end of the suite.

The troop is led by the Warrior John Hubble, who attempts to get the team to surrender before Stella snipes one of the marines and starts a firefight.  The Clan troops use non-lethal drugged flechettes, and the Agamemnon crew attempts to stall them using non-lethal (and occasionally comedic) tactics.

The non-lethal tactics seem to work on the Clan troops, who begin firing very sporadically and without enthusiasm for hitting their target – all except Hubble.  The team sends another zipline to the neighboring building and make their escape and everyone makes it to the other side, except for Janks, who as the last one out, is hit by Hubble and loses consciousness.  Unable to rescue him under rocket attack from the Clan Elementals on the ground, the team makes their escape.

Upon returning to the bunker, the team finds it in a state of evacuation.  Bigend receives the coffee machine and its massive data cargo happily, and informs the team that Janks’ capture isn’t as dire as it may sound.  His next task is to get the team off-planet to retrieve the key to the data bomb from the Ares labs on Cromwell.

“Cromwell again?” exclaims Millet, “These guys almost died last time.”  A few wonder how Millet recalled the pre-jump event.

Bigend has been informed that a massive jailbreak is underway to get the Agamemnon survivors off the planet – but unfortunately he’s been unable to communicate with the resistance to inform them of the party’s whereabouts.  In a fairly oblique chain of logic, Bigend concludes that the easiest way to reunite the team with Janks and get them off the planet so they’re free to travel to Cromwell (not to mention netting a significant reward if he plays his cards right), is to simply subdue the party and turn them over to the Clan authorities.

Which he does.

The session ends in jail.  Again.

 

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Armageddon Session Notes: 12 January 2013

Armageddon Session Notes: 12 January 2013

The party and Bigend retire to a private room to dine and talk.  When asked about himself, he is very elusive, insisting that he’s simply an entrepreneur affected adversely by the occupation, but the team is suspicious, and Jack is sure he’d overheard the name in conversation during his leave in Shenzhan during Agamemnon’s refit.

Bigend introduces the team to Jane Sagan, a Clan Warrior who had defected to the resistance.  After answering some speculation about the nature of the Warriors, the following points are discussed:

  • There’s a considerable rift in the Clans about the nature of the Agamemnon heroes.  Many see their fighting on the side of the Inner Sphere as a sign that the Khans have been grossly misguided.  Indeed, many thought that the mass driver was just to be used as a threat of force, and it wasn’t until Persephone that they realized the horrifying truth.  By and large, the Clan personnel “trained to think”, such as engineers, scientists, officers, have tended to be much more susceptible to sedition than the rank and file.
  • Clan Wolf has taken over securing New Samarkand after the Ghost Bears were severely bloodied in the battle.
  • To Jane’s knowledge, only one of the mass drivers was built.  She also states that only one came in the passage across the void with them.
  • When asked about technological doodads, she states that the most advanced thing she knew of was Normandy, and that had been stolen by the Agamemnon crew already.  The Normandy was a closely-held secret, the only reason she knew of its existence was that she had been stationed on it briefly during the passage.  She didn’t know what Normandy’s ill-fated mission to the storage cache was about.
  • The strategic situation is that there are a number of powerful battleships and cruisers stationed at New Samarkand now, and even with the combined forces of Houses Steiner and Davion with the Combine, there’s little chance of them being able to secure the skies above the planet without the target being softened first.
  • A very strong resistance movement is still fighting in the planet’s southern continent.  Led by a man referred to as “The General”, they’re meeting with some success, but don’t have access to the planet’s valuable assets to the north.  The common assumption is that The General is General Hsu, from the Combine Defense Forces stationed on the planet, but the Clans claim they’ve executed him.  Attempts to make contact with cells of this resistance movement have so far failed.
  • Bigend notes that unlike most planets of the Inner Sphere, New Samarkand retains a majority of its infostructure, which has the potential of allowing cyberwarfare, such as the type Mr. Case engages in, to delay or disable some of the fleet.
  • Furthermore, he believes there’s an opportunity to gain defectors, or at least lower the morale, of the Clan fleet by using the Agamemnon crew as figureheads.  Since the crews had been aboard ship for nearly three years, they’re being rotated to ground duty, which should allow the party a chance to affect some hearts and minds before they’re shipped back to posts in orbit.
Bigend’s mission for the squad is to infiltrate a series of Ares Arms offices in an office building downtown that has been secured by the Clans and get Mr. Case access to their computer systems, all the while “being seen” – and making an impression on the impressionable – hopefully earning some recruits at the same time.  Case will download the cyberweaponry expected to be on the central servers, and the team will make an escape.
That night, when attempting to find the head, Ian stumbles upon Bigend’s quarters and witnesses the man changing his shirt.  His torso is covered with tattoos of all different fonts and sizes, all of which reading “All of the warriors, none of the poets”.  He doesn’t mention the sighting to the rest of the party.
The next day, the party gets some civilian gear and heads out to take a look at the office complex.  The building in question has been secured by the Clans, all employees wear security badges, and the building is guarded by a star of Elementals – two at the front entrance, one at a rear loading dock, and two on the roof with a small specialty jump craft.  Ian swipes a badge from an employee approaching the doors and infiltrates the building.  He finds that the elevators and the stairwells all require propert authorization to get through, and is unable to get to the Ares Arms offices in question before being pursued by security.  As he slips out of the building barely ahead of pursuit, he notes that the security apparatus of the office building have captured a photo of him.
The party heads back to the bolt hole to plan the breach.

 

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