S3M 1×08: “Fight Fire With Fire”

Dramatis Personæ

We resume in media res but, like all great “cliffhangers”, we back up a few seconds. The Blue Neptune guys (and their hired thugs) have surrounded the Crew in a darkened alley and their leader begins to issue his proclamation but Calista is having none of it. Before the guy can even finish – he gets out ‘You mi tian gohn killed two of our guys’ – she fast-draws her heavy laser pistol and pumps five shots into his center-mass. While the would-be ambushers were intending violence, they clearly weren’t expecting to not be the ones who kicked it off and the man goes down; he’s not dead but is very badly injured. Calista then springs toward her husband, intending on shoving him to safety, while both Tulk and JoJo dive for the cover. Unfortunately for poor Tulk, his attempt to draw his blaster while jumping over an obstruction results in him fumbling the weapon and dropping it. Meanwhile, AJ aggressively attacks an opponent who is directly in front of him, utilizing his Krav Maga skills, but the man dodges out of the way before bringing up his urban assault weapon (in SMG mode) and spraying wildly. Being so close to him, AJ is able to parry the weapon away to avoid getting hit which, luckily for him, nails one of the thugs squarely in the head, killing him instantly, a fact that no one is entirely aware at the moment.

Jerking out of their momentary surprise, the two remaining upright hostiles react quickly, with one of them spraying a full burst at the two Moss’. Calista recognizes the danger in time to jerk out of the way but Zennith is caught flat-footed and takes two Gauss rounds, one to the chest and one to the arm. His armor holds but his arm is crippled and he goes down to his knees with a pained cry. At the same time, another hostile backpedals to cover where he switches his UAW to shotgun-mode. Furious at her husband’s injury, Calista reacts on instinct and dumps a full burst of laser-fire at the shooter, taking her squarely in the chest; as with Zennith, the woman’s armor holds but she is staggered and badly wounded. Tulk goes for his holdout laser rather than jumping back out of cover to retrieve his blaster as does JoJo, but neither are especially good at that so it takes them a second to draw their weapons. AJ presses his attack, opting to thrust his still-sheathed cutlass at the throat of his target; despite the attack being clearly telegraphed, the man fails to defend and AJ slams his weapon – his scabbard, really – home. Gasping for breath and badly injured, the man drops his weapon and goes to all fours. Seeing that most of her allies are downed, the grievously injured shooter who Calista had just nailed scrambles toward cover just as the first man Calista shot – the team speaker – recovers his wits sufficiently to start crawling away. He won’t get far before Tulk starts spraying wildly with his holdout laser; the shots are ineffective but certainly cause the man to exert himself more than he should, which results in him passing out. Calista spares a second to give Zennith a once-over before calling out for a medic, which Jojo reacts to immediately but jumping out of cover and sprinting toward the two. AJ then knee strikes his kneeling foe, which results in another KO. The woman that Calista shot also succumbs to unconsciousness from her injuries, though she is out of sight at the moment, and the last man still standing tosses in a smoke grenade to cover his hurried (and likely panicked) retreat. The shooting has stopped.

AJ secures his foe’s urban assault weapon once he realizes that the grenade was a prismatic smoke which significantly reduces the efficacy of lasers and then moves to protect JoJo and Zennith, while Calista moves in on the woman who shot her husband; she ends the woman with a shot to the head while, at the same time, Tulk retrieves his blaster and does the same to the first man shot. He also quickly and efficiently loots the bodies, securing their weapons, datapads and spare fundage they may have. With Zennith stabilized, AJ makes the call for them to relocate to somewhere ‘calmer’ to avoid any police issues, no matter that Calista knows the local law enforcement is sluggish to respond at best. Once in a more secure location, JoJo takes a more in-depth look at the now thoroughly drugged up Zennith and declares he requires surgery to remove at least one of the gauss rounds. While AJ briefly breaks away from the group to obtain a spacer’s duffel that they can carry their new firearms in, they discuss their best options and defer to Calista’s superior knowledge of the colony so it’s onto a clinic they go. Tulk takes the lead with the medic on-call, using monies taken from the Neptune thugs to bribe their way into the surgery suite. He and AJ will remain outside while JoJo operates and Calista attempts to assist; fortunately for Zennith, JoJo is skilled enough that he can work around Calista’s “help” and an hour or so later, he’s stitching Mister Moss. In that time, Tulk has hacked one of the retrieved datapads and identified the Blue Neptune’s berth; he suggests that he and Calista go “have a look” while AJ takes JoJo and the drugged out Zennith back to the Omen. Despite thinking this is probably a bad idea, AJ agrees.

At the Neptune’s berth, Calista and Tulk find it absent of any hostiles so Tulk decides to try and hack in. He’s successful and the two manage to gain access to the empty ship, then decide to make a statement. Using their knowledge of shipboard systems, they blast away, effectively crippling the vessel for a while. As they depart, they lock the airlock door in the open position so anyone who wants to board her can. This is dirty pool but these two low down dirty scheming schemers excel at that and it sends a pretty damned effective message. Of course, a new Enemy might have been generated, but who cares?

It is well into evening when they return and discuss their options. Zennith is asleep, sleeping the sleep of the heavily medicated, but JoJo is satisfied that he’ll be back to full health within twelve hours thanks to the drugs and nano-boosters. Having obtained “Carter’s” coordinates earlier, AJ, JoJo and Tulk decide to take the Coffin to scout out the area while Calista remains behind and keeps an eye on her husband (and the ship should any Blue Neptune morons decide to come looking for payback. It is a relatively short jaunt in the Coffin and, upon approach, they are able to detect multiple heat signatures in and around the hidey-hole. There is also a contragrav vehicle present that Calista, monitoring the feeds from the Omen, identifies as the model that LunaSecure cops on LB tend to use. The Crew opts to loiter for a bit, just out of visual, and are able to deduce that the LEOs – if they are law enforcement officers – are looking for something … or someone. At a certain point, when all of the heat signatures believed to represent the LEOs are inside the the habitation module, another heat sig climbs out of the roof and starts bounding away. Within moments, the LEOs scramble out as well and head toward their vehicle. Having far superior speed, maneuverability, and just a better angle on the target, AJ is able to bring the Coffin down in front of him while Tulk throws up the hatch and gestures with his intimidating-looking blaster. The vac-suited guy – who is Jake (or Carter or whatever he’s calling himself) quickly realizes he’s stuck between a rock and a very hard place, and climbs aboard. With the flashing lights of the “police” cruiser well behind them, the Coffin races down a few canyons, goes dark, and then burns toward vacuum.

Player Notes:

  • More paperwork at the beginning! Established payment plan for partners and employees – percentages, not regular payments.
  • Most of this session was taken up by the fight, but that’s okay ’cause it was a pretty amusing encounter.
  • AJ’s parrying of the UAW and the round taking out one of the mooks was sheer luck and I doubt I could have managed it if I actually tried. First, the initial full 10-round burst (I think?) by the GM had a horribly crappy roll so only like three rounds would have impacted AJ; because I’d already moved up to him, I was able to parry the SMG/Shotgun combo and did so with Extra Effort, obtaining a result high enough to avoid all rounds. Then, the GM calculated effective skill of the UAW to hit the “friendly” in the bad guy’s line-of-fire and it was 8. I rolled a 7, then followed up with a 4 on random hit location which is skull. GM determined the damage and it was insta-death. Amusingly, the shooter is the only one of the four who were downed that survived.
  • Tulk’s decision to break into the Blue Neptune and the ease with which he did so is making us rethink our own security protocols. Tulk already has Steg as an Ally, but clearly, he needs to buy up his frequency of appearance so we can have Steg stay on the ship while we’re off it.

Leave a Reply