Session 4 14

Three down, two to go. An inconclusive psych eval. And anti-air fire is detected well before the Roland is in range.
ExecutiveOfficer: "If I didn't know we weren't getting reinforcements, I'd say the cavalry got there ahead of us."
Spyboy Pearson: "There have been locals in opposition at all the volcanoes we've visited so far today - it's just that the ones at the last one were already pasted."
Spyboy Pearson: "Awwww crap. If they're firing at local birds, that means that they have local birds."
Zinda Tegram: "Since I seem to not be the, uh, best one to talk…y'mind if I just start setting up the, uh…'interpreters'?"
Abraham: "They don't, even before the Kilrathi decided to muck with things. This planet has not had animal life above the microbe level since before it was surveyed."
Spyboy Pearson isn't gonna touch that one.
Spyboy Pearson: "Metaphorically, Abraham. I mean they've built fighters."
Abraham: "Sounds good."
Abraham: "Ah."
Spyboy Pearson: "Well, no reason to hold off on scrambling fighters - unless you want to keep a reserve in the ship, but they'd be better out there. Permission to launch?"
Abraham: "Granted."
[OOC] Ingenue: Is there anything on the sensors to say what they're firing at, if anything, instead of us?
Zinda Tegram nods
Spyboy Pearson watches as Heggy flexes the turkey vanes, ensuring the damage from the earlier fight has been repaired.
Zinda Tegram: "I guess that's my cue."
Zinda Tegram walks off the bridge.
After a bit of observation it becomes clear: the anti-air fire is being directed at ordinary fliers - apparently back in use, to try to get over whatever that mass is on the…
…the ground WRITHES with slitherers. Easily a hundredfold denser than seen before, mostly united assaulting the volcano, which is churning out slightly lesser but tactically advantageously positioned numbers to hold them off.
Spyboy Pearson: "Man, I really, really, really want to know who's on who's side now."
Ingenue: "This is why biologics developed uniforms."
Abraham: "Are the Slitherers in range of The Roland?"
Some of the anti-air fire lances into the ground forces, but most of it is busy fending off the fliers who keep divebombing the installations…which get repaired quickly after being taken out, but at least remain offline for a few minutes.
Spyboy Pearson: "Yeah, but these are very aggressive evolutionary fighters. If one color offered the slightest bit of advantage, they'd all adopt it rather than be left behind."
Abraham: "They almost certainly have some pheromonal identifier so they know who's on which side, which we are poorly equipped to detect, at least from The Roland."
[OOC] Ingenue: Are they using anything resembling a formation other than 'big ball to throw at other side'?
[OOC] WC GM: Not even "ball", so much as "massive wave".
[OOC] WC GM: They do seem to be trying to pack in maximum numbers that can fire at once, at least.
[OOC] WC GM: The result is not totally unlike Roman tortoise formation, minus the shields.
Spyboy Pearson: "Zinda, how many more FAEs do your fighters have?"
Zinda Tegram: "With my manufacturing ability now? As many as you need."
[OOC] Ingenue: …so extremely close and bunched up, vulnerable to explosions and area effect, no room to effectively maneuver? Because the testudo only worked by the shields enclosing the formation.
Spyboy Pearson: "Copy that. I may call for strikes, then."
[OOC] WC GM: Pretty much.
Abraham: "Zinda, can you talk to them from this distance?"
Zinda Tegram: "Uh…not really."
Spyboy Pearson: "Well, we'll try machine translation, then."
Spyboy Pearson: "Punch it, babe!"
Heggy: "B-4, preparing for launch…..launch!"
[OOC] Abraham: Won't Heggy get jealous when you call Zinda babe?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Copy that.
As B-4 launches, Spyboy sees the threat indicator light up. Incoming gunfire! Easily dodged…wait, that wasn't even aimed at them…
Abraham: "Track that weapons fire. I want to see what they're targeting."
One of Zinda's translators is impaled against the far wall by a seed pod, some of it melting - pheromones. The other translators quickly append, "Message for you."
Heggy pushes the fighter fast and high, getting closer to the scrum than the Roland, but staying high enough not to be that threatened by anti-air.
The translators then grow quiet, processing…
Zinda Tegram walks over and grabs the seedpod.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, I don't think we can yell loud enough here. Word's gotten around about our objective, so the volcano is already under assault in…I think an attempt to, uh, 'cooperate' with us?"
Zinda Tegram: "I don't think they give a very big damn about us, other than not fighting us though."
Spyboy Pearson: "Best bet is allow the assault to succeed, then."
Abraham: "Well, I think we can work with that at least."
Abruptly, roughly 45 degrees of the volcano-assaulting wave vaporizes in a flash of fire.
Spyboy Pearson: "…..And by 'allow' I mean 'ensure.'"
Abraham: "Of course that happened. Of course it did."
Threat indicators belatedly beep about FABs detected.
Spyboy Pearson: "I'm actually surprised it took them this long. They're practically custom-made for it."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, that's not a huge issue for us."
Spyboy Pearson: "Shyeah, easy to remember you don't have all that much actual *air* time."
Spyboy Pearson braces as the shockwave passes over his fighter.
Abraham: "Okay, take aim at the volcano above where the defenders are staged. If we're lucky an avalanche will inspire some second thoughts about not surrendering."
[OOC] Abraham: Um… Gunnery to lay aspect 'unstable ground' on the defenders?
As the fire subsides, it appears that not all of that eighth was destroyed. Thick-shelled chunks of now-charred wood crawl along, apertures opening up, large seed pods firing…tanks. They have tanks.
[OOC] WC GM: Go for it.
Abraham: "Low power only. We don't want to blow the top off the volcano, just knock some rocks loose."
Spyboy Pearson begins to vector fighters to vulnerable targets.
Spyboy Pearson: "….They have tanks."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Tactics to place 'Fighters under my beck and call'?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Time for me to drop out.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Gunnery to lay 'Unstable terrain' on the Defenders)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Give me a cue?
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy: go for it.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda - pretty much now. If you're working on translating/setting up for the next one, go for it.
[OOC] Abraham: If that's not enough, I'm not too attached to my fate points.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - + + + (Base: 6 Total: 8) (Tactics to lay 'Fighters under my beck and call' on….well, myself.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Resolve to resist Gunnery)
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy succeeds. Abraham, what are you tagging?
Zinda Tegram: "Do you want me to patch you through to our, uh, allies?"
Zinda Tegram: "I'm not sure I can do much else if I do, though."
Zinda Tegram: "Maintaining production of that much noise'll take, uh…"
[OOC] Abraham: Tagging 'I am needed here' and 'Math Geek' for a +4
Zinda Tegram: "Well, I won't be moving."
Spyboy Pearson: "There's enough allies here we need to be able to coordinate. I say do it."
Ingenue: "You will be safe."
Bits of the volcano begin tumbling down upon those who would defend it. It makes their work just a bit trickier.
Spyboy Pearson: "I mean, uh, 'that's the worst idea you've ever had, you should stick with cutting holes in metal plates.'"
Zinda Tegram: "Alright. Uh, this might be a little unwieldy, but uh…."
Zinda Tegram mulches her slithers inside one of the forward facing cargo bays and starts erecting a huge water gun.
Zinda Tegram: "Pop the lid on bay 2. You'll need to orient the ship at whatever point you want to get the message, and, uh…"
Zinda Tegram: "We might need to stop for water later."
Zinda Tegram: "But it should get through. I'm going dark now."
Abraham: "Understood."
[OOC] WC GM: Alright, going by rounds now. Ingenue, your action?
[OOC] Ingenue: Zinda is still within the Roland, yes, and therefore not under any direct line of fire?
[OOC] WC GM: Correct
Ingenue keeps a watchful eye on Zinda.
[OOC] Ingenue: Alertness maneuver 'Got my eye on you'; prepared to tag for effect to redirect errant shots from Zinda to Metis.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 + (Base: 6 Total: 6) ((Got my eye on you))
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's inside the Roland. She can't be fired upon for this combat.
[OOC] WC GM: And she's not in an exposed part either.
[OOC] Ingenue: That doesn't prevent bad things from happening from /inside/ the ship. Such as someone usurping her slitherers.
[OOC] WC GM: Alright. It succeeds. Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson watches the swirl of troops below. Something down there has FAE capability - that's gonna be a priority target. It'll also be protected…..which means it can be predicted.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Tactics to find where the FAE shots came from?
[OOC] WC GM: It came from the volcano, but Tactics to find out where in the volcano, sure.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Kay, then.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 - + 0 (Base: 6 Total: 6) (Tactics to place "Launcher ID'd!' on the Volcano)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - - - 0 (Base: 2 Total: -1) (Stealth)
Rarely has Spyboy had targets lit up so well. It's like they don't even KNOW about camo on these frequencies. Which, to be fair, they probably don't. There are four main production sites on a ring around the volcano, with a fifth under rapid construction.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham: "All right, let's limit their options a bit more. Fire at these locations to force them to move where we want them."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - - (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Gunnery to lay aspect 'Herded' on the Defenders.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Tactics to resist)
[OOC] WC GM: Tagging?
[OOC] Abraham: I'm gonna let that one pass.
Another 45 degrees of the attackers goes up in flames, leaving only a handful of tanks - and those are not looking too hot.
It proves a little more difficult to herd the volcano defenders than thought - but then, they are already herded upon the volcano itself, as wide an area as that is.
[OOC] WC GM: Back to Ingenue.
[OOC] Ingenue: All that's left is a handful of tanks? Is action necessary at this point, or are things pretty much wrapped?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: That means we're losing, Nue.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: The volcano is the enemy.
[OOC] Ingenue: Yes, I was interpreting the 'attackers' as the volcano.
[OOC] Ingenue: Okay.
[OOC] WC GM: The horde on the ground is down to 6/8ths, plus the tanks. You apparently want to help them.
[OOC] WC GM: Unless you'd rather help the ones on the volcano?
Ingenue taps into the longer range sensors of the Roland, studying the layout of the air/ground conflict. Any defense consists of a balance of pressures, carefully modulated to deflect and return assault… which reduces down to an engineering problem. Where are the stress points located? ((Alertness to place the aspect 'Stress analysis' on the volcano forces.))
[OOC] WC GM: Roll it
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - 0 - + (Base: 6 Total: 5) ((Stress analysis))
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 - - (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Tactics to resist (since their turn has passed))
The FAE factories, and the tree fortress, seem to be the most heavily defended points - and the foci of the ground forces' assaults. Everywhere between is lightly defended, but also only lightly attacked.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson: "Let's try some hair of the dog, shall we?"
Spyboy Pearson vectors in a few fighters from Crown Squadron on an evasive route to FAE the FAE factories.
Abraham: "No thanks. I'm not thirsty."
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - 0 + - (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Tactics for the attack roll.)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: If more success is good, then I'll free-tag 'Fighters at my beck and call.'
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 - (Base: 4 Total: 2) (Resolve)
[OOC] WC GM: More is good, yeah
That's one factory down…
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham: "Let's see if we can't keep some of those tanks around a bit longer. Lay down covering fire on the tanks."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 0) (Gunnery to lay 'Covering Fire' on the tanks)
[OOC] Abraham: this has officially gone past bullshit.
[OOC] Abraham: Tagging Military Family for a reroll.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Gunnery to lay 'Covering Fire' on the tanks Reroll)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - - (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Gunnery to counter-fire the incoming covering fire)
[OOC] WC GM: Tagging?
[OOC] Abraham: I thought laying aspects could only be opposed by the person you're laying the aspect on.
[OOC] Ingenue: A maneuver can be opposed by anyone who can interfere with the maneuver.
[OOC] WC GM: ^
[OOC] Ingenue: Though only the best roll carries, of course.
[OOC] Abraham: No. Let it go.
[OOC] WC GM: And in this case, Covering Fire doesn't mean you're firing at the tanks.
[OOC] Abraham: True.
[OOC] Ingenue: Note that, according to how things work, the defense roll would happen, /then/ fate points would be spent for rerolls and such because otherwise you spend blind.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Hence why WC asked if he was tagging.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham rerolled because he got a 0, which wouldn't have worked unless the defense got negative.
[OOC] Ingenue: I'm talking about the one he spent for the reroll. That should have waited until after defense. Technically.
[OOC] WC GM: And maybe not even then?
[OOC] Abraham: I'm pretty sure the target for an unopposed roll is a 1, which is what I thought it was going to be.
Another flash of yellow-orange - they must be pouring it out just as soon as they get to a threshold, or perhaps the fuel was already en route. Regardless, only 5/8ths of the main attack force remains.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
[OOC] Ingenue: How many factories are left?
[OOC] WC GM: 3 functioning, 1 under production
Ingenue builds on the previous analysis, analyzing the patterns of return fire and defense emplacements, incorporating the production of the new facility. ((Alertness to place aspect 'apply pressure here'.))
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - 0 (Base: 6 Total: 5) ((Alertness maneuver 'apply pressure here'))
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Tactics)
The patterns shift - and the volcano clan isn't even trying to disguise their deployment.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy! BTW, might want to tag Ingenue's aspects.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yup.
Spyboy Pearson pores over his screen, and listens with the back of his mind to Ingenue's datastream. The additional perspective is odd - unrefined, but no less useful.
Spyboy Pearson: "….Red flight, vector on 341, get me some air cover, but don't overexpose yourselves. Blue flight, strafing run on 142, again, don't commit if you can help it. And…Crown Two, I need another FAE run….come to 113 for three seconds, then punch to 350."
Geoffrey: "You heard the man. Let's go!"
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 12 Total: 14) (Tactics for another bombing run, free-tagging 'Apply Pressure Here,' pay-tagging 'Fighters Under My Beck and Call' and 'Information, the First Principle of Warfare.')
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Resolve)
Not only does another FAE factory go up, but the strafing run is extended and touches off the in-production facility too. The volcano is on fire, in a good way.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham: "Maintain cover fire."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 + (Base: 6 Total: 6) (Resolve to lay 'Covering Fire' on the tanks in the face of misfortune)
[OOC] Ingenue: 'Stress Analysis' is still untagged, I believe.
[OOC] Abraham: Can you tell I'm kinda done with putting up with Chessa's shit today?
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - 0 + 0 (Base: 6 Total: 6) (Gunnery)
[OOC] WC GM: Tagging Stress Analysis to get Covering Fire laid?
[OOC] Abraham: No. Tagging 'Distrusts Non-vets' instead. There's no point in blowing a free tag to lay a free tag.
[OOC] WC GM: …appropriate aspect indeed.
[OOC] Abraham: I'm going to change it to 'Distrusts Chessa' after session.
The FAE explosion this time is more scattered - rather than a clean section, multiple pockets of ground forces explode. Still, they are clearly down to about half strength.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
[OOC] Abraham: BTW: the 'Distrusts' tag was for a +2, not a reroll. Just FYI.
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, got that
Ingenue runs through the numbers, sifting data for 'imbalanced variables', as the equation for the conflict is not yet solved. What other information is available about how this foe is employing its force? ((Either Archeology (alien culture) or Culture/Tech as an assess to try and get one of the volcano clan's aspects.))
[OOC] WC GM: Culture/Tech would be more appropriate.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: + + - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4) ((Assess on volcano clan))
[OOC] WC GM: Results PMed
Ingenue: "Initial analysis of 'volcano' clan internal hierarchy suggests a startling level of symmetry, down to structural development of plasma exhaust units. There is a strong correlation that volcano clans will move in concert if a majority can be swayed. There is significant majority in our favor, is there not?"
Abraham: "Depends on how large the final two clans are I guess. It's not impossible that the last two are together bigger than the other three."
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson: "Either way we still need to take out the last two FAE here."
Spyboy Pearson vectors in another few Crown squadron fighters to take care of the job.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - 0 - + (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Tactics for the attack)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 - + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Resolve)
This FAE factory proves a little more strongly protected - or perhaps that's just the mass of defenders, reallocated from the other factories, providing ablative armor.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Free-tagging Stress Analysis, then.
A second run, slicing through and between the stream of reinforcements, manages to hit it - but not completely knock it out.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham: "Follow up on Spyboy's run. I think I might have spotted something he missed."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - + + - (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Alertness to finish off the weakened factory.)
[OOC] WC GM: Resisted with the same Resolve roll. Tagging to boost?
[OOC] WC GM: Also - Alertness for an attack roll?
[OOC] WC GM: Aspects, sure, but the actual attack?
[OOC] Abraham: I can change that to the aspect 'too damaged to resist another attack' if you like. Thought that would require a different def roll, I would think, so I'll hold off on tagging anything until you say I need to.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: He 'spotted a vulnerability.' He's not actually aiming, after all - that's what gunners are for.
[OOC] Abraham: Technically, I haven't fired a shot this fight.
[OOC] Abraham: I've just said 'Shoot him goddamnit!' a lot.
[OOC] Ingenue: Yes. We are innocent of all but malice. Or at least I am. You're still in charge.
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, if you're placing the aspect, that'll work.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - + + + (Base: 2 Total: 4) (Stealth)
Perhaps they are trying to cover up their weakness. Perhaps not. Either way, the damage analysis shows exactly where to hit it to finish it off.
But not in time to prevent another FAE explosion. Three more, and the attackers will be reduced to tanks and fliers.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
[OOC] Ingenue: Is communicating with the attacking force possible?
Abraham: "Spyboy, next attack run change your vector to 251 by 637. You blew off most of the… shell I guess… on that side and should be able to finish it off easily."
[OOC] WC GM: You can try, but likely not. There is enough pheromone message traffic that your messages stand a good danger of getting lost.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: That's why Zinda is literally standing by a hose - to get the message through.
[OOC] WC GM: There is that.
Ingenue takes the chance to study the inner workings of a not-yet-but-almost-destroyed factory… most are either whole or annihilated. This is a rare opportunity, given the lethality of the munitions employed. ((Alertness to place 'structural analysis' on the remaining fortresses; that is, using the information gleaned from the damaged one to intuit what the others are like))
[OOC] WC GM: Go for it.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - - 0 - (Base: 6 Total: 3) ((Alertness aspect: Structural analysis on fortresses (so on the scene?)))
[OOC] Ingenue: …ow.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 2 Total: 4) (Stealth (new round))
[OOC] WC GM: Tagging?
[OOC] WC GM: Or rerolling
[OOC] Ingenue: Tag Volcanic Solidarity (I know the cannons have identical structures, the factories likely do as well).
[OOC] Ingenue: …, yes rerolling. Where is my brain?
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: 0 - 0 0 (Base: 6 Total: 5) ((Reroll. I am asleep at the wheel.))
Indeed, the last factory seems like it would be very similar to the damaged one, which means hitting it…there, and there, would work best.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson: "Red Flight, low pass, spray some rounds, attract their fire and just evade. Crown Squadron, vector to 156 for eight seconds, come to 261 and engage target with FAE, disengage and return to barn for rearm. Green Flight, 251 by 637, strafing run. See if you can finish off that factory before they take any more of our advantage away."
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - 0 + - (Base: 14 Total: 13) (Tactics for attack, free-tagging 'Shoot him goddamnit!' and 'Structural Analysis,' pay-tagging 'Studied AWACS Doctrine' and 'Fighters at my Beck and Call.')
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Zinda levels of Aspects there.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + + + (Base: 4 Total: 7) (Resolve)
The strafing run apparently hits the FAE being shipped down. Explosions ring the volcano. The remaining attacking hordes advance, much less hindered!
The anti-air fire soon shuts down as the mass swarms up onto the volcano…but the fighting does not stop.
ExecutiveOfficer: "SIR! Energy signatures going erratic. Looks like they've knocked the controls offline again."
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
Ingenue processes the incoming data from the Roland's sensors, mixing it with the data gained from internal arrays and stored data. Is there enough evidence of similarity between the three known and this reactor to issue a efficient plan of action? ((Placing aspect 'Plan for preventing reactor apocalypse'. I could see Archeology, Engineering, Culture/Tech, maybe repair (with this being a known…
Ingenue …design)…))
[OOC] WC GM: Yep, I could see any of those, especially Repair for the reason you note. Pick one and go for it - and, heck, let's say +2 for each of the others, just because you know how this engine works.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - + - 0 (Base: 9 Total: 8) ((Place aspect: 'Plan for preventing reactor apocalypse', using Archeo+4 then?))
Abraham: "I think we've removed most of their anti-air. Move in. We need to get Zinda in to disable the volcano."
The plan: step 1, clear out existing interference (the attacking hordes), step 2, get a tech team in position to stabilize things until another, loyal clan can take control.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Step 3: ????? Step 4: Profit!
[OOC] WC GM: Step 3: secure volcano 5. Step 4: don't suffer the loss of Armstrong - which is a profit, relatively speaking.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson is scanning for any of the attacking slitherers heading into the tree fortress. Presumably the locals are gonna put one of their own in here now that the previous occupant is kaput.
Perhaps they are - but at the moment they're just fighting one another.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Infighting over who gets to plant the new one? Or are they fighting volcano lord remnants?
[OOC] WC GM: More the first than the second
[OOC] Abraham: Do you want a piloting roll for us moving in?
[OOC] WC GM: No need. No one's shooting at you now.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy's action?
Heggy flies closer to the tree fortress.
Spyboy Pearson: "I think….pick one slitherer and let it through?"
Spyboy Pearson: "….No, that's a Zinda strategy."
Spyboy Pearson: "….And we don't know the locals well enough to talk to them…and we don't want the local lord coming up with Zinda strategies…"
Heggy: "We could grab one with the restraining hook and carry it over?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Nah, we'd incinerate it with the thrusters…"
Spyboy Pearson: "Well, we can get started on the repairs, at least."
Ingenue studies the factional infighting, looking for any observable differences.
Spyboy Pearson hops out and starts moving inside as soon as Heggy has the fighter on the ground.
[OOC] WC GM: Where are you landing?
[OOC] Abraham: That was to Spyboy, right? The Roland isn't landing.
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham's action, while Spyboy's landing?
[OOC] Abraham: Landing *or* crashing. Just want to be clear on that.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Close enough to the Tree Fortress to get inside.
[OOC] WC GM: So in the middle of a firefight?
Abraham: "Get me as much data on the volcano as you can. If we can figure out a way to remotely disable the reaction, that will save us a lot of hassle."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - 0 - 0 (Base: 5 Total: 3) (Science to see if we can streamline the volcano disarmament process)
[OOC] Abraham: No huh?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: No big, any of them aim at me, Heggy'll shoot them.
There are no true remote controls - but Abraham does manage to identify control signals that Spyboy could try injecting into the remains of the tree fortress. The fortress seems merely crippled, not wrecked like the previous ones. This would only be a short term solution, but it would stabilize things until a suitable replacement clan could win out.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: That'll work. I guess. Not as dramatic, though.
[OOC] WC GM: What are you going for?
Spyboy Pearson closes the canopy just before stray seedbullets start glancing off it, monitoring pheromone signals for the patterns he knows so well.
[OOC] Abraham: Drama gets really old really fast when it's happening to you though.
Abraham relays the appropriate signals to Spyboy.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 - - + (Base: 9 Total: 8) (Communications to stabilize the reaction, free-tagging Streamlined Disarmament and Plan for Reactor Apocalypse.)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I mean preventing. Preventing Reactor Apocalypse. Yeah.
[OOC] WC GM: Suuure you do. ;)
[OOC] Abraham: Of course.
[OOC] Ingenue: They're basically the same plan. You just redefine the 'profit' part.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Power levels subsiding. Looks like we got it just in time."
As Spyboy works, a leathery balloon rolls through the fray and toward him, its destination unmistakable.
Not far behind it, one of the wood tanks smashes through the slitherers, making a path toward the fortress.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Um.
[OOC] Ingenue: Leather?
[OOC] Ingenue: Do a head-count…
[OOC] WC GM: Leathery. As in, made of skin.
Heggy gooses the vectored thrusters, taking the fighter off the ground. If Spyboy's staying in the fighter, there's no need to stay on the ground….
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy: Alertness
[OOC] Abraham: … it's a giant owl pellet.
[OOC] WC GM: +2 for Heggy - she's better at this particular bit.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Spyboy, or is Heggy okay? That works.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + + - + (Base: 5 Total: 7) (Heggy!Alertness + 2)
[OOC] WC GM: This is specifically listening.
The balloon rolls up and deflates. Barely audible over the fighter's thrusters comes a, "Friiiiieeeeennnd…"
Heggy: "There's a speaker in there?"
Spyboy Pearson: "In where?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Oh, in that thing?"
It is not the same design - not even humanoid. On further examination, it is mainly one big lung, with a mouth.
Spyboy Pearson keys the speakers on the fighter.
Spyboy Pearson: "Friend?"
Balloon: "Seeeeekeeeeer Claaaaan!"
Spyboy Pearson: "Uh, Ingenue, you might wanna see this."
Ingenue: "The benefits of remote optics. I am observing."
Abraham: "We all are."
[OOC] Ingenue: Though I need to vanish; we're over time by a lot.
[OOC] Abraham: ^
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, trying to wrap this up.
[OOC] WC GM: Or we could just end here - basically: that balloon is substitute Speaker, so install it then help secure it?
Abraham: "Though it's obviously not based on Metis's design, which is in and of itself, very interesting."
Spyboy Pearson: "Right. Well, it looks like Seeker Clan has control of the Tree Fortress, or someone would be shooting up the tank. And the speaker."
Abraham: "Help the… Speaker Mark 2 get settled in then."
The balloon rolls into the center of the tree fortress and begins to grow over it. Bits of the tree fortress try to peel it off, but trees are not known for mobility.
It soon becomes clear: the balloon is infecting the tree, taking it over.
Spyboy Pearson: "I think it's good, though we'll stay hovering here until we start running low on fuel, ready to shoot any enemies…"
Abraham: "All right. If you encounter any opposition, radio the Roland immediately."

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