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Awakening Session Notes: 31 March 2012

Awakening Session Notes: 31 March 2012

Meanwhile, on the Agamemnon, Becker examines surveillance video of her quarters from the previous night and finds nothing unusual except a strange flickering in the lights in her quarters.  She also finally inquires of Summerville of the curiosity in the CIC – which he explains is a screen at the signal intelligence station that no one can seem to remember.  It is simply a text input prompt named R.A.S.P.U.T.I.N. – the most they can discover is that it’s a piece of Ares Arms software seemingly designed to aid in tactical analysis.

Back at Persephone 2 – Captain Montenegro gives the order to transmit the wake-up call to the hidden Star League facility.  After several moments, the facility responds with its location, and Colonel Vail along with a fighter escort drop from orbit to secure the area.  When the Thermopylae finally makes it to the ground, the strike team takes an APC into a series of canyons with light battlemech escort to find the facility.  A number of combattants arrive from around the planet to attempt to secure the facility as well, but Vail’s mechwarriors easily keep them at bay.

The find the entrance to the underground facility and with a bit of larceny manage to open the door to the long ramp down to a motor pool.  Some computer legerdemain by Mitch gains the team access to the facility proper.  They quickly discover that there seemed to be a mutiny within the facility several hundred years ago, followed shortly thereafter by a biological contamination.  After gaining access to the facility administrator’s logs, they discover the following:

  • The facility was a secret League laboratory dedicated to advancing military biotechnology – the main lines of research involved biological computing and storage as well as advanced myomer materials for battlemech applications.
  • Shortly before the Agamemnon made her fateful jump from Bernard, Tokugawa sent a message to the facility informing them of his imminent arrival.  He encouraged all of the facility’s personnel to join the Agamemnon in the Exodus.
  • Some of the personel of the facility mutinied – likely in a loyalist attempt to stop the rest of the League personnel there from giving Tokugawa access to the research data and the holocaust archive stored there.  At some point in the mutiny, the biological compound was released and the computer locked down the facility until the contagion was no longer detected.
The team rapidly makes it to the lower levels and secures the research data core and the League holocaust archive.  They go up into the labs to see if there is any important equipment to salvage and send Jack back to the motor pool to check in with the ground team.  When he arrives, he sees movement on the ramp to the surface and hears a pitched battle on the radio – Vail shouting for the team to get out because he’s being attacked by a superior force.
The team rapidly returns to the motor pool and engages hostile forces supported by extremely large and dangerous suits of powered armor a type of which no one had seen.  After neutralizing the enemy, they narrowly make it back to the Thermopylae under fire from yet more strangely-designed and highly-advanced war machines through the sacrifice of several of Vail’s mechwarriors.
Thermopylae makes it off the planet, but is pursued by several enemy dropships for nearly two days until finally, with little fuel remaining, Montenegro turns to make a final stand.  Just as the ship is about to succumb to the attackers, the Agamemnon arrives and drives the enemy away.

 

 

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Awakening Session Notes: 24 March 2012

Awakening Session Notes: 24 March 2012

Early in the morning of July 8th, 3020, Becker finds the words “GET OUT” written in small, precise handwriting on the wall of her personal lavatory.  The door to her quarters having been locked from the inside the entire night.  She calls Cottle to her quarters, but he has little to add except some memories of Tokugawa becoming increasingly unstable and Fagan “being the same as always…a little odd…”.  Becker procures a surveillance camera and recorder from Janks in order to monitor her quarters.

First Sergeant Margaret Hudson from the marine contingent is transferred to Janks’ command to help replace the special forces losses.

Corbett continues to explore a relationship with Chief Fagan.

Becker gathers the survivors and makes an inspiring speech, informing the crew that she intends to staff up and try to bring civilization back to the Inner Sphere.  She also announces a set of honors created in the absence of the Star League, and grants several awards to those who served in retaking the Agamemnon from Cooter’s forces.

The Rose:
Sergeant Lance Geers
Sergeant Darryl Gerst
Gunnery Sergeant Jack Richardson
Sergeant Major Hollis Janks
Captain Stella Ives
Major Justin Summerville
(The additional dead marines)

The Bronze Star
Gunnery Sergeant Jack Richardson
Sergeant Major Gabriel Barrett

The Silver Star
Chief Petty Officer Elizabeth Fagan
Lieutenant Mitch Casey
Chief Petty Officer Robert Kim
Major Justin Summerville

 

Shortly after the ceremony concludes, Agamemnon receives word from Jameson in response to Becker’s ultimatum, claiming to be in charge of Cooter’s men.  He agrees to surrender under the terms of the Ares Conventions in exchange for transport out of Persephone.  Becker informs him to await pickup.

The Thermopylae with all MechWarriors, six fighters, the special forces unit, and a detachment of marines, sets off.  It stops at McTavish’s Hope and picks up Vail and his lance before proceeding to Persephone 2.

Cooter’s men had made their base in an ore transfer facility, where forty-six men surrender to Janks without incident.  Jameson implies that Cooter won’t be joining them, as he was insistent on continuing to fight.  In the process, the Thermopylae crew secures Cooter’s remaining two Leopards, four aerospace fighters, eight battlemechs, and miscellaneous spare parts from a remaining four.  They also discover a shielded warehouse containing a small supply of Strontium-7.

The session ends with the Thermopylae lifting off to find the location of the hidden Star League facility.

 

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Transmission From SLDF Agamemnon – 7 July 3020

Transmission From SLDF Agamemnon – 7 July 3020

“This is Colonel Becker of the Agamemnon.

By now, I am sure you have realised that the ship you sent to the station to signal Mr. Black is not coming back.  And you are probably also aware that your attempt to take the Agamemnon failed.  You have, so far, lost four ships to us.  You do not have sufficient food to make it through another year, and by now, your men must have started to feel sick from radiation poisoning.  Unless your team got the message off, you have no way out of the system.  And even if Black did get your message, there is no guarantee he’ll bother to pick you up.  You did, after all, fail to find the treasure you are looking for.

I am willing to make you another offer.  Once.  Think very carefully about your answer, because there will be no second chances.

I am offering you a chance to surrender.  If you do, when we have successfully concluded our business in this system, we will take you with us when we leave, and drop you off somewhere less rural.

Think about it.  The alternatives are either that you are stuck here for the rest of your lives, or, if the message went out, that Mr. Black arrives, expecting you to have something for him.  Which you don’t.

Don’t answer yet.  Think about it.  Consider your options carefully, and the consequences of each choice.  In 24 hours, I will listen at this frequency, and you can give me your answer.

Agamemnon out.”

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Awakening Session Notes: 10 March 2012

Awakening Session Notes: 10 March 2012

The session begins with a cutscene.

Mitch-
You’re a little stunned, your ears are still ringing from the numerous explosions and roar of automatic weapons in close quarters.  You’re still holding your sidearm at your side, Becker’s across the room at the lavatory door, Summerville’s bruised and bloodied head in her lap.  She’s stroking his hair idly, probably not even aware of what she’s doing, while collecting reports from across the ship.

“Faro, Strike Team, Report.”

Corbett is working furiously on Jack next to you, who is riddled with bullets and still bleeding from several places.

“Corporal Feeney, Strike Team, report.”

“Mitch.  Doc, I have no idea if the ship’s secure yet, but I have four VIPs for your trauma suite and they are very, very impatient.  Mitch.”

“Huh?”

“Sergeant Chambers, report.”

“Goddammit Jack, stop fucking dying!”  Corbet jams a button on a device he’s attached to Jack’s wrist and his whole body jolts slightly.  “Vagabond!”

You finally snap out of it.  “Stimson?”

“Ives has a trauma pack, just like this one,” he holds up Jack’s limp arm, “I need you to go check it, lift this cover, look at the second number, the one in green, if it’s below 100, hit the blue button.  Got it?”

“Ives, green number under a hundred, blue button, got it.”  You roll around the corner into the hall.  Ten yards down there are still tiny smoking impact craters pitting the walls, and there’s blood…everywhere.  Splatters of bone and gore on the wall behind the CIC hatch, streaks of blood across the floor from where the bodies were dragged.  Stella and Geers, bleeding and broken on the floor, Private…Private…you can’t even recall his name….on the deck, the back half of his head missing.

Over the team radio channel you hear Gerst’s half-grumble/half-whisper, “Top, Willis has gone dark.”

You get to Stella and check the trauma pack on her wrist.  The green number says 73, so you press the blue button and the number starts slowly climbing.

You watch as Gerst and Bramer move further down the hall – Bramer dragging one wounded leg behind him – and close in on the door to the enlisted lounge.

Time seems to slow to a crawl.

Corporal Willis…or rather…the body of Corporal Willis is flung out the door.  Even at this distance you see every detail.  His throat is slit so deeply his head is nearly severed…and every pin of every grenade on his vest is missing.

Bramer sees it too.

With a roar, he shoves past Gerst and vaults off his one good leg, tackling the corpse in the air.  You see Blake drop over the top of Janks, and some long-forgotten instinct baked into your psyche by SLDF drill instructors surfaces and you throw yourself across Stella and Geers.  Willis…and Bramer…explode with a series of literally deafening bangs.

With a shudder and a groan, you start to pull yourself upright, the only sound you can hear a high-pitched buzz.  The end of the hall is a scene straight out of hell, covered in gore, you can’t even tell if Gerst was blown apart in the explosion or is simply buried under the mass.  Out from the rec room strides one of the largest men you’ve ever seen, wearing a full suit of combat armor he must of raided from a locker on the ship, and carrying an M-41 in each massive hand.

 

Mitch snatches up Bertha from Stella’s side and fires a single shot, felling the massive Victor.  Corbett rushes forward and finds Gerst alive, but in shock.  Becker calls up the marines who had been guarding the primary reactor to escort Cottle and Millet from the sleeper bay.  While they’re waiting, Faro calls in and informs the party that the intruder’s ship had vented into space, and she counted three bodies.  Shortly thereafter, Chief Kim calls in and takes credit for the sabotage.

Cottle arrives and all of the wounded are transported to the medical center.

Over the course of the next five weeks, the following occurs:

  • Becker orders the remainder of the crew roused, a process that takes the majority of the month.  Nearly six hundred of the thousand sleepers do not survive.
  • Faro takes the Coyote and a contingent of marines to the abandoned jump station to disable or destroy the emergency HyperPulse Generator located there.  After the three week journey, they follow their orders and destroy the station when they find a ship docked there.
  • The Agamemnon’s sensors, communication systems, and weapons are brought online.  The ship’s transit drives require substantial additional effort to repair before they can be fired.
  • The Thermopylae is made ready to fly.
  • Using the Rusty Bitch over the source of several weeks, the Agamemnon’s stores of water and air are replenished.
  • One member of the crew commits suicide during the height of the resuscitation failures.
  • Jonah and Flannery McTavish are brought to the ship and given a tour.  Becker negotiates with Jonah – who seemed to have been testing the virtues of the sleepers – for all of their surplus foodstuffs in exchange for the Dervish and Rusty Bitch and a promise to not attempt to recruit Bob, who is the settlement’s only trained pilot.  The supplies provided should hold over the Agamemnon crew for nearly a year.

 

 

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Awakening Session Notes – 25 February 2012

Awakening Session Notes – 25 February 2012

As the party approaches the main reactor, they encounter an unknown man floating in the hall with his throat cut.  A little further along, they encounter two of Cooter’s men talking.  They overhear mention that one of them is a former member of the Ryoken – the elite guard of the Draconis Combine.  The man in question, Lev Arris, hears the marines approaching and surrenders on behalf of himself and a young man named William.  The party disarms them both, and shortly thereafter Sergeant Major Barrett drifts out of the dark, having been stalking the two intruders.  He informs Becker that he’s fairly certain Torres is dead, and that Millet and Cottle are holed up in the sleeper bay.  He had no knowledge of the whereabouts of Chief Fagan or Chief Kim.  He also mentions that he and Summerville parted ways several hours previously, he to secure the reactor and Summerville to disable the ship’s computer.

Lev Arris is of no particular help to the party, he insists that he is an Outreach mercenary under contract and will not betray his employer until his contract is concluded – but, he adds, he’s under no particular compulsion to escape captivity, especially if said captivity gets him out of Persephone.  He does mention that the leader of the boarding party is a man named Victor, who he mentions is “violent, dangerous, and stupid”.  Becker leaves three marines to secure the reactor, and then drops off the two prisoners at the Wild Card on their way to the centrifuge.

They find Millet and Cottle in the sleeper bay, none the worse for wear, and move on to the CIC.  In an attempt to break out of the small lounge they used to enter the deck, Janks accidentally make a noise, but as the guards approach, there’s a burst of gunfire from down the hall, distracting them.  The party uses the distraction to invade the deck.  During the ensuing firefight, an intruder attempts to flank the party and take out Becker, but is stopped by Summerville, who definitely looks like he’s had better days.

The party engages a number of men int he process of securing the CIC – in the process several marines are killed, and Jack, Janks, Stella, and Geers are all critically wounded.  They also find Chief Fagan, naked, raped, beaten, and nearly catatonic.  Corbet and Barrett rush to stabilize the fallen while Becker checks in with all of her men.  The session ends with Gerst and Bramer noting that one of the marines who went forward to secure the rest of the deck hadn’t returned.

 

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Awakening Session Notes – 4 February 2012

Awakening Session Notes – 4 February 2012

In the aftermath of the battle, Jonah informs Becker that, in exchange for continued protection until Cooter is neutralized, McTavish’s Hope offers ten crates of miscellaneous foodstuffs.  The implication is there that they do not intend to sell the additional five hundred crates that the Agamemnon survivors were hoping for.

After stashing the Dervish and the Rusty Bitch (the cargo-hauling Leopard) in a field several kilometers away from the settlement, the party heads back to the Agamemnon, leaving behind Vail and his three mechwarriors as well as Warrant Officer Spunkmeyer to pilot the Dervish in defense of the settlement if necessary.

During the trip back to the ship, Becker questions Cooter’s men, their de facto leader, a man named Rance, speaks for them.  Becker offers a trip out of the Periphery in exchange for their help.  After an exchange, he informs Becker that he needs to speak with his men about their willingness to betray Gentleman Roderick Black before he’s willing to offer up any additional information about the disposition of Cooter’s forces.

Upon arriving at the Agamemnon, they do not receive a response from the crew in the ship.  Upon further investigation, Jack discovers a small interplanetary craft docked with their home.  The party docks the Coyote at the Agamemnon’s ventral dropship collar and leaves Lieutenant Ferro in Mitch’s Shiva on patrol outside and five marines on the Coyote to guard the prisoners (who Corbett sedates for good measure).

The party is ambushed in the embarkation area and a spirited firefight with a dozen well-armed intruders ensues.  The party comes out victorious, but Stella is seriously wounded, and Becker leaves her and an additional marine behind to guard the Coyote.  The party moves off towards the primary power plant.

 

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Awakening Session Notes – 28 January 2012

Awakening Session Notes – 28 January 2012

As the interrogation of Sims continues – Colonel Vail radios in to inform the party that two Leopard-class dropships were coming out of the star’s radiation shadow and were twenty hours out from Persephone 3.  The party scrambles to prepare for their arrival.  Vail’s mech lance and Janks’ marines deploy around the landing strip in the event one of the dropships attempt to make a landing.  Stella and Mitch in their Shivas and Becker commanding the Coyote engage the dropships and their fighter escorts.

While waiting for the action to come to the ground, Janks has a flashback.

Janks Remembers 1

A brief battle occurs in orbit – the four Stiletto fighters launched from the dropships are destroyed and the armed Leopard – the Dervish – is damaged, with its transit drives destroyed.  Both dropships surrender and land at or near McTavish’s Hope.

 

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Awakening Session Notes – 14 January 2012

Awakening Session Notes – 14 January 2012

The party travels to Persephone 3, where the Wild Card and Mitch and Stella in their Shivas land several miles from McTavish’s Hope.  The Coyote stays in orbit to perform orbital surveillance in order for Colonel Vail to plan his ground assault.  Janks and the marines assemble the long-range drone and Mitch makes several surveillance passes until the party identifies the likely home of Sims and Richter.

Janks, Corbett, Ives, and Sergeant Gerst hike in to McTavish’s Hope under cover of darkness and attempt to secure the home.  They prevent the men from using the radio and capture Sims, but Stella is forced to kill Richter when he produces a submachine gun.

While Stella was lining up a shot, she has a flashback.

Stella Remembers 2

The gunfire wakes the citizens of the town, and Becker and Mitch race to the scene in the APC and explain to Jonah the situation.  When searching the house they find a set of four frequencies written on a scrap of paper, three of which correspond to the tracking devices that Janks found planted on the Wild Card their previous visit.

They proceed to interrogate Sims with the aid of a drug cocktail from Corbett and learn the following:

  • Cooter was sent to Persephone by Roderick Black to find a League Holocaust Archive rumored to be held in a secret facility predating the Ares Arms mining operation and isn’t likely to spend the astronomical expense to send a jumpship to retrieve him until he’s found it.
  • Cooter feels he and his men may not survive another year on Persephone 2 – their only hope would be to settle Persephone 3 and try to survive their radiation poisoning.
  • Cooter’s unit consists of “150-200 men”, six Leopard dropships, six to eight fighters (though one may be broken down), and a company of Battlemechs, the heaviest being a Warhammer assault mech.
  • Cooter plans to report back to Black via an emergency HPG in the now-defunct jumpship anchorage at the nadir of Persephone’s gravity well.
  • Cooter’s people usually call in when they’re on their way to pick up the supplies.  He has been expecting the call and says it should just be days until it’s made.
  • Sims mentioned that Cooter’s people monitor for jump signatures in system – which makes him suspicious about where the party came from.
The session ends with Becker revealing to Sims an Agamemnon shoulder patch and making him an offer.

 

 

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Awakening Session Notes – 10 December 2011

Awakening Session Notes – 10 December 2011

The party returns to the Agamemnon and begin to unload.  More than half of the air bottle is used to bring the great battleship back up to its proper pressure, and the food brings a welcome meal to the awakened crew – who get briefed on the mission from Becker and the others.  While they were away, the secondary reactor was brought online and Agamemnon’s power systems refurbished and inspected.  The crews also performed make-ready work on the Coyote, the twelve Shivas of Alpha squadron as well as Stella and Mitch’s fighters.  Furthermore, Summerville mentions “a curiosity in the CIC” to Becker and informs her that she may want to investigate it at her convenience.

Captain Millet and Chief Fagan had inspected the K-F drive.  A drive filament could be fabricated in sections using a nanofiber loom in the ship’s workshops.  The loom would require a pattern not currently stored in the ship’s archive, as well as roughly half a ton of Strontium 7.  It would take several weeks to fabricate, install, and splice the filament sections, but it would at least be possible without a graving dock.

Becker orders several other people woken, including the entire crew of the Coyote, Sergeant Major Barret, Colonel Vail of the Black Knights, and three of his mechwarriors, and a platoon of marines – as expected, some heavy losses occur during the thaw process.

The next morning, Jack has a flashback.

Jack Remembers 1

Becker briefs the assembled crew on the mission to secure the food supplies from McTavish’s Hope and protect the settlement from reprisals from Cooter’s men.  The Wild Card with Becker and the entire marine contingent and the Coyote with Ives, Mitch, Vail, and his mechwarriors depart for Persephone 3.  Major Summerville, Sergeant Major Barret, Captain Millet, Chief Fagan, Chief Kim, Doctor Cottle, and Petty Officer Torres remain behind on the Agamemnon.

 

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Awakening Session Notes – 12 November 2011

Awakening Session Notes – 12 November 2011

Jonah scolds Flannery and she storms off.  A number of inquiries go back and forth between Becker and Jonah, interrupted by a local man delivering peppers for the evening’s dinner, who instantly assumes that the players are defectors from the nearby Draconis Combine.  Shortly thereafter, Flannery finds a photo in an encyclopedia picturing Becker and points it out to Jonah.

Before the conversation can go further, people begin to arrive for the evening’s post-harvest celebrations.  The party learns a few things by prying slightly with the townsfolk:

  • Kerensky did leave for his Exodus with over six million people and vanished beyond the borders of human space, never to be heard from since.  Kerensky and his story have become a thing of myth and legend, and the story of the Agamemnon, her charge across human space collecting technologies and subsequent mysterious disappearance.  The power vacuum sparked two (maybe three by now…) “succession wars” where the five major powers of the Inner Sphere essentially bombed civilization back to the stone age.  Many technologies taken for granted during the Star League era can no longer be manufactured.
  • Shortly after the First Succession War started, Ares Arms found vast resources of Strontium-7 on Persephone 2.  Strontium-7 is a key ingredient to K-F Drive components.  Within a few decades, several million company workers had been relocated to Persephone 2.  In the middle of the war, Ares signed an exclusivity agreement with the Draconis Combine, which was seen as a terrible threat by the other four Great Houses.  House Marik sent an assault force to Persephone 2 and blanketed the planet with high-yield nuclear devices, decimating the populace and altering the Strontium-7 isotope remaining in the planet’s crust.
  • Just ahead of the assault, Angus McTavish, Jonah’s great-grandfather, and a number of other Ares employees saw the writing on the wall and founded a small colony on Persephone 3.  Over time, many people who heard about McTavish’s Hope and its sister-city Thatcherville on the other side of the planet immigrated there, hoping to escape the war.  The community has thrived in its way for two centuries.  Angus also bought out his Argus heavy battlemech in the deal, which Jonah stil has hidden near McTavish’s Hope.
  • Three years previously, Cooter had arrived – sent by Gentleman Roderick Black with a half dozen small dropships, a handful of Battlemechs, some fighters, and a few hundred men.  They’re attempting to find something – Jonah knows not what – on Persephone 2, but haven’t been having much luck.  Jonah suspects that Black won’t pay for a Jumpship to pick Cooter up until he finds it – which may force Cooter into more and more desperate measures as his men slowly begin to succumb to long-term radiation sickness.  They haven’t particularly ill-treated the people of McTavish’s Hope – though the threat of violence has been there.  They take just a tiny bit more food than the townsfolk can spare, and have, on occasion, taken priceless bits of technology – such as an old medical scanner and other components.
At a point during the gathering, there’s a loud clatter as some pots are dropped on the floor, and it triggers a memory in Stella:

During the party, Flannery, under cover of drunken flirtation, manages to inform Janks that two men, Sims and Richter, are Cooter’s men and the party should be careful what they say.  She also mentions that Sims has a high band transceiver that is capable of interplanetary communication.

After the get-together has wound down, the party heads back to the Wild Card and offers Jonah a medical scanner (like the one stolen by Cooter) in exchange for the offered supplies.  The party also begins to seriously consider the question of Cooter – who is due to arrive within four to six weeks to pick up the stockpiled harvest.  Previously, a Leopard-class dropship converted to carry cargo has been sent with a dozen men to transport the supplies.  The party also finds two homing devices planted on the ship and the supplies – presumably planted in order to track the Wild Card to its base of operations.

The sleepers depart Persephone 2, burn for several hours in one direction, discard the tracking devices, and then set course for Agamemnon.

 

 

 

 

 

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