Session 4 16

The final volcano looms ahead. While its army is impressive, so is the army of reinforcements from every compass direction and the sky.
It does not take much tactical training to suggest that getting these allies coordinated might be a good first order of business.
[OOC] WC GM: And now for Zinda's assessment from last session.
The volcano fortress has learned from your previous battles. Unfortunately, what it's learned is mainly countermeasures: how to route around jamming, anti-air defenses, and so on. It does not seem in any mood to cooperate.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Are the outlying clans mind controlled?
Its communications have near-religious overtones, tipping over into preaching that eliminating the "infection in the sky" is actually a good thing, right down to eating the world that may be its source.
[OOC] WC GM: Thoroughly.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, they're, uh, basically zealots bent on wiping out Armstrong now. They think we're an infection."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Can we get a more complete account of who showed up to the party?
Abraham: "Well, they're certainly not the first."
Ingenue: "A curious comparison."
Spyboy Pearson: "And I'm pretty sure they've figured out how to fight through my jamming, though I know their techniques aren't as good as they think."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I still have that Aspect from before, after all.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Remnants of the tree forts from the other armies,Armstrong naval forces, Lagosian sleeper forces…who else?
You are not certain you have a complete list, but the allies you have seen so far consist of: armies of slitherers and fliers from each of the other volcanoes, tanks from two of them, one sky-darkening swarm of lago fighters, and your tech teams finally returning. Aside from the tech teams and what's on the Roland, nothing from Armstrong or any other official Terran Confederation forces.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, do you think we should ask for some Confed rapid-response teams? You have the authority to call them in."
Abraham: "Zinda, given your… insight into how they think, do you think there is any chance to resolve this peacefully? That is still my preference, but, as has been said many times, all options are on the table."
Zinda Tegram: "It seems unlikely. You…know how religion is."
[OOC] Ingenue: How long would it take for a rapid-response team to get here, given Confed bureaucracy?
Zinda Tegram: "I don't think they're terribly inclined to walk with us in the first place."
[OOC] WC GM: Longer than you have, even if they launched right now.
Zinda Tegram rubs her temple between two fingers, thinking.
Zinda Tegram: "We certainly have the advantage in a conventional engagement, but I'm nervous about encouraging the development of their doctrine any more than we already have."
Abraham does some quick math based on his years of experience dealing with Confed and their 'rapid-response teams'. "I'm afraid there's no chance they will get here in time to stop the eruption. We're largely on our own."
Zinda Tegram: "I see. We should probably organize our Lagosian friends, at least."
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, you study logistics?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Little late for logistics at this point, though yes."
Spyboy Pearson has already started mapping out the Lagosian formations for future coordination.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Should I lay an Aspect for that?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - + - + (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Comms to place Aspect 'Neutrino-coordinated fighter flights.')
Zinda Tegram: "Not entirely late. We still don't know our allies fleet composition."
The Lagosians begin syncing into something approximating formations. Spyboy gets the distinct impression he is training civilians with heavy weaponry.
Zinda Tegram: "What are they flying?"
Zinda Tegram peers out the window to try and get an idea of what the Lagosians brought to the fight.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda: roll to analyze. This is not standard military hardware.
Spyboy Pearson: "Mmm. They may have sync'd with military training, but they haven't internalized it. I'm certainly not going to trust them under SAM fire as much as I do Confed regulars, much less Crown Squadron or my SEAD flight."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Alertness?
[OOC] WC GM: Engineering, more like.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Engineering)
…it is a good thing Zinda is used to irregularity from surveying Oldziey forces. Not a one of these fighters is mass-produced - they're custom, jury-rigged, and it's a bit of a surprise they even survived a jump point transit, let alone two. Still, the weapons look pretty similar - probably mass drivers, just tooled differently.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, those are home-grown fighters."
No missiles, possibly no shields though it's hard to tell. Even the junkiest spaceworthy fighter in Oldziey…well, no, the absolute junkiest would be a bit worse than these. But normal Oldziey and Confed fighters could fly rings around these one on one. That said, these have the advantage of numbers.
Spyboy Pearson: "Yup. High-altitude saturation fire at best."
Ingenue: "They grew the fighters?"
Zinda Tegram smiles at Ingenue.
Spyboy Pearson: "Well, they might have some surprises."
Spyboy Pearson taps Rab, looking for details on the fighter specs.
Zinda Tegram: "Oh honey. They're not manufactured to spec."
Zinda Tegram: "They were probably assembled by hand."
Zinda Tegram frowns, and looks at the plant-based reinforcements.
Abraham: "Not surprising. Given how we've already seen the Integrated pushing the boundaries of technology, it's hardly shocking that they did that with their space craft as well."
Ingenue: "…that does make more sense."
Rab: "[Spec? Uhh…I don't think they have a spec.]"
[OOC] Abraham: Spec? Where we're going, we don't need specs.
Spyboy Pearson: "[They have specifications, even if they're not standardized. They have a top speed, they have a thrust-to-weight ratio.]"
Zinda Tegram just closes her eyes and sighs.
Zinda Tegram: "I'm not familiar with armor doctrine."
Zinda Tegram surveys her plant-tanks.
Rab: "[I'm sure they do. Each and every single one of them.]"
It seems the plants are not that familiar either. Their doctrine consists mainly of charging head-on.
Ingenue shifts its sensors to analyzing the lagosian fleet, attempting to capture/deduce the schematics to determine pertinent information necessary for callously murdering the local foliage.
Zinda Tegram: "Well…I think I can at least do better than that."
[OOC] Ingenue: Engineering or Alertness?
[OOC] WC GM: Schematics? Engineering.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: + + - - (Base: 4 Total: 4) ((Engineering assessment re: Lagos fighters))
Ingenue gets much the same info Spyboy and Zinda got. There is a general range of capabilities, but each fighter is a bit different. The ones in the rear are being held there because they did not come through the trip that well; atmospheric maneuvering might shatter their frames, so they are looking for ways to bombard, but their guns are not nearly accurate enough.
Ingenue calculates the amount of time the most fragile fighters can function before exceeding their operational capabilities and coming to a sudden, abrupt halt followed by an uncontrolled descent.
Most of them should be good for a few minutes, provided they plan to crash into the Roland's hangar bays. Fortunately, the Roland's bays are designed for that sort of thing, and might just barely have the capacity if the trashed fighters are dumped after recovering the pilots.
Spyboy Pearson: "[Hum. If the guys in back aren't too worried about not having their ships after, they could make it to our landing bays after a few passes, before their ships fall out from under them.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[We wouldn't have room for all of them, though, so we'd have to dump the fighters afterward….]"
Ingenue: "Several of the Lagosian fleet have operational time measured in minutes, then they will have to find a safe place to… cease operations. Suggest alerting the hangar bays and prepping medical facilities for lagos biology. Afterwards, remains of fighters could make serviceable munitions."
Zinda Tegram: "Not a bad idea."
Zinda Tegram: "And then we reship them to Confed standard?"
Abraham: "Spyboy, tell the most badly damaged fighters to head for the Roland's landing bays."
Spyboy Pearson: "Well, it's not like we have spare fighters aboard. More like we transport them back to Armstrong and next time they build a fighter that can hold together better. Or they build assembly drones that can do it for them."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yes, sir."
Abraham: "And I'm less interesting in getting them up to Confed standard than I am getting them an airtime measured in minutes and not seconds."
Zinda Tegram begins quickly scanning a primer on armored vehicle tactics, and begins rigging a message-seed up to the request control of the plant-tanks.
Spyboy Pearson carefully does not tell him that he already told them that.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, we still haven't brought the Roland's main guns to bear on any plant forces, right?"
Spyboy Pearson has already turned his attention to the ground - mapping out the heaviest - and lightest - AAA routes, and probable approaches.
Spyboy Pearson: "I think we held off so they wouldn't get any idea as to her capabilities."
Abraham: "No we have not. It's something I've been trying to avoid."
[OOC] Abraham: Spyboy, what the admiral doesn't know can't hurt him.
[OOC] Abraham: The foundation of all non-com military doctrine
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Indeed, sir!
[OOC] Ingenue: What exactly are the Roland's main guns?
[OOC] WC GM: Not very many. Defense, primarily…and those haven't been highest priority to fix.
[OOC] WC GM: But more firepower than has been used, certainly.
[OOC] Abraham: Delinquent Mass-Drivers. Fire spit-wads at a substantial fraction of c.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: WHAT? You mean this is a space carrier and not a battlestar?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 2 Total: 4) (Tactics (To place: Basic understand of armored vehicle combat on self))
[OOC] WC GM: It's an obsolete carrier, at that.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I've been lied to this whole time ;.;
[OOC] Abraham: No no no. This is a Starfighter. And since all the others are decommissioned, it's the last starfighter.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - + 0 - (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Tactics to place 'AAA weaknesses mapped out)
[OOC] Ingenue: If it maps to aircraft carriers, then its main guns are rather dismal… or insanely awesome, depending on what you count the flight-capable PCs as.
[OOC] WC GM: Dismal. The PCs are the Awesome Inside(TM).
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, do you want me to map out plan B?"
Zinda Tegram: "With the lava tunnels?"
Abraham: "No faith in Plan A? Yeah, please do."
Spyboy Pearson: "I think it might be about time for us to board fighters."
Abraham: "I think you're probably right. I can not see a peaceful resolution happening."
Spyboy Pearson: "Honestly at this point if we try to talk to it it'll think we're trying to take over its mind, so yeah."
Zinda Tegram pulls up a tectonic map and sends it off to the science crew to map out any magma tunnels that lead into the volcano.
Spyboy Pearson salutes and heads down to the fighter bay to join Heggy, who's been preflighting.
[OOC] WC GM: Initiative order: Abraham, Ingenue, Zinda, Spyboy, lagos, ground allies, volcano clan
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham sighs and starts picking targets for The Roland to fire at. As standard, this is more cover fire for the fighters.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + + (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Gunnery to lay the aspect 'Cover Fire'.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - - + 0 (Base: 5 Total: 4) (Tactics to route around the fire)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Welp, it's defense roll is at 4….unless it pops an Aspect, of course.
The volcano clan seems to have learned about concepts such as "cover" and "arcs of fire" .
[OOC] Abraham: Ah, refresh my memory, ties to the defender?
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah
[OOC] Ingenue: Tie means 'attacker' has no shifts with which to make the aspect.
Abraham: "Yep, they're definitely learning."
[OOC] Abraham: I'm not inclined to waste an aspect to lay an aspect.
[OOC] Ingenue: Unless it is an Awesome aspect.
[OOC] Abraham: Actually… invoking Math Geek for a FP.
They learn. Abraham adapts. It seems likely that no one has taught them calculus…yet.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
Abraham decides not to add Newtonian mathematics to their curriculum /quite/ yet.
Ingenue studies the formation of the volcano's defenders, looking for weaknesses in their set-up… thin flanks, weak center, not mobile, too mobile… ((Alertness to place aspect: Analyzed weak points.))
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - 0 + + (Base: 6 Total: 7) ((Alertness aspect: Analyzed weak points))
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Requesting a list of placed aspects.
[OOC] WC GM: Tactics to resist - which means success with Spin
The defenders are using a classic thick-crust formation: everyone out on the rim, not too many inside. It's mostly just AA defenses keeping the lagos, and the Roland's forces, at bay though there is a definite battle for aerial supremacy.
[OOC] WC GM: Not including aspects set up in previous sessions: Analyzed weak points, Cover Fire, AAA weaknesses mapped out, Basic understand of armored vehicle, Neutrino-coordinated fighter flights
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's turn!
Zinda Tegram shifts uneasily on the bridge. She's not used to seeing combat from here…
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: <Zinda> "I'll take them ALL!"
[OOC] WC GM: Deploying or directing?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Writing. : )
Closing her eyes, she pops off her prepare message-seed and radios a slither on the ground below to relay her message: Tanks are to form a column in preparation for an attack on outlying AA facilities.
[OOC] Abraham: BRB
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - - 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 0) ((Culture tech to placed 'Formed up' on the armored column.))
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: …Tagging fruits of tzimitche.
[OOC] WC GM: Placed, since no opposition. Spyboy!
The columns are a bit more formed up than the lago fighters. Though in two dimensions this is easier to do.
[OOC] Abraham: Back
Heggy punches out of the fighter bay. SEAD 101 - if the enemy is shooting at you, they aren't shooting at your allies.
Riding in back, Spyboy waits for AAA to start firing on him, then vectors in a cluster of the more robust Lago fighters to take advantage of the diversion to chew up enemy forces near Zinda's thrust.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - - + + (Base: 6 Total: 6) (Tactics to place "Disrupted defenses" on the enemy.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 0 (Base: 6 Total: 7) (Resolve to not be tricked)
Unfortunately, the plants seem to have learned that one too.
[OOC] WC GM: Popping an aspect?
[OOC] Ingenue: So, they're resolute, hmm? Just as resolute as… our admiral…
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Their defense doesn't stand?
[OOC] WC GM: That was Tactics defense. This is Resolve.
[OOC] Abraham: Nah, they're not as resolute as me. Silly droid.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Fine, popping Neutrino-coordinated fighter flights.
They learned about standard wild weasel tactics. Formation wild weasel is something new.
Speaking of new tricks learned, the ground allies hurl misted explosives over the volcano clan's line - only for the defending fliers to blow it back in the attackers' faces, adding even more incendiaries to the mix. The density soon kicks up a cloud, that neither side seems willing to ignite just yet.
Until, that is, one of the looking-to-bombard lagos fires a shot so stray, it hits the line instead of the aimed-for tree fortress AA battery.
The whole battlefield, for kilometers in diameter, is now On Fire.
[OOC] WC GM: Always a handy aspect. Abraham!
Zinda Tegram looks on at the inferno. You can practically hear the lightbulb click.
Zinda Tegram: "Geoffrey, you remember what we do when boarders start a station fire?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Do we want the battle on fi… okay, guess we do.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Vent atmo?
Geoffrey: "Vent atmo?"
Abraham changes his fire arcs slightly. Now his gunplay is less about providing cover for the fighters, but more for forcing the plants into the fire.
Zinda Tegram: "No, atmo venting is standard in any boarding op. How we switch oxygen for methane in the filtration system and turn the airflow back on?"
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + + - 0 (Base: 5 Total: 6) (Tactics to lay the aspect 'Herding Fire… into fire')
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: You'd want to sub it for part of the nitrogen, actually. Without oxygen, methane dunt burn.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Derp. xD
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: But you get the idea.
Geoffrey: "So how're you going to switch here?"
Zinda Tegram: "Well, they've already given us perfectly good explosive air. Create some air vacuums and get some airflow going, once the AA goes down."
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Agility)
Zinda Tegram: "It's practically a free bombing run."
The plant armies are not quite dextrous enough to evade.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
[OOC] Ingenue: …are the Lagos forces Integrated?
[OOC] WC GM: Yep.
[OOC] Ingenue: Which means if I activate the data bridge, that'd bring them in as well, offering them the same bonus?
[OOC] WC GM: Yep.
[OOC] WC GM: Times…well, let's just say you have more data to process.
Ingenue diverts primary processing towards enacting the data bridge. ((As I read it, since Zinda and Abe are on the bridge, they won't get the bonus, but Spyboy would? Plus hordes of fuzzy death bunnies.))
[OOC] WC GM: Yep.
[OOC] Ingenue: What's the diff?
Zinda Tegram looks around the bridge for the main cannon controls.
[OOC] WC GM: Lots more data points, but all in one general area and clustered together…let's call it +2 for now, +3 if you can get most of them significantly into the fray.
The cannon controls are easy to locate - and currently manned, by ratings carrying out Abraham's orders.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's turn!
Zinda Tegram states one word into her radio: "$Engage.$" before walking up to the sergeants and locking eyes with them.
Zinda Tegram: "You're in my new seat."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: You can't lock eyes with them, they're looking at their instruments!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She taps them on the shoulder! :D
The rating does not look up. "Admiral, sir. Orders?"
Zinda Tegram spins the chair around and sticks her face into his. "You deaf or something? Let me on the gun."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Sorry but I gots to do this.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Too much fun to mess with mooks.
[OOC] WC GM: He'll not budge without orders from his commander.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: And also, you guys want me rolling gunnery.
[OOC] WC GM: That said, if Abraham gives the word…
[OOC] Ingenue: Yes, we want you rolling gunnery on the mediocre-to-crap close defense weapons of a carrier. I mean, if someone has to, we want it to be you.
[OOC] Ingenue: We need a Yamato cannon. Someone get on that.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: xD I thought I was getting on the main cannon.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: It does raise the question of why Zinda's not in her fighter.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Felt I'd mix things up a bit for once.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Since this seems like it's gonna take multiple turns to work out…
Abraham: "Fire."
[OOC] Abraham: Sorry, lost the thread of the events too much OOC.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It's cool. xD
The rating, apparently deciding that's close enough, gets up and lets Zinda fire.
Zinda Tegram settles into the chair, points the cannon at the spot in the line line where she's selected for her armored column to break through, and takes the shot.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + - 0 0 (Base: 7 Total: 7) (Gunnery to place "broken defensive line". Guess tagging "Our enemy's are from the sky!" on the volcano lords.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 - - - (Base: 6 Total: 3) (Resolve to hold the line)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Aspects currently out are: Broken defensive line, herding fine, disrupted defenses, On Fire, Formed Up, Analyzed Weak Points,, AAA weaknesses mapped out, Basic Understand of Tank Doctrine, Neutrino-coordinated, right?
That's not just a broken defensive line. That's barely even a line, between the fire and now Zinda's fire.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Our main objective is to take out the enemy tree fortress and let a Speaker or Speakeresque in, right?
[OOC] Ingenue: In the absence of zombies and/or agent orange, yes.
[OOC] WC GM: That's one way to do it. The true objective is to stop the volcano-engine from firing.
[OOC] WC GM: At least, on time to go to Armstrong; instead, fire it on time to head for the asteroids.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Indeed.
Spyboy Pearson: "Red Flight, I want a low and fast sweep past the enemy tree fortress. Try and get as close as you can to the enemy's ground defenses - but don't risk yourselves. If you start getting trip-A, disengage."
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - - (Base: 6 Total: 4) (Tactics to place "Enemy defenses mapped" on scene.)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Ehhk.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Tactics)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Tag?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yeah…
There is enough AAA around that everyone gets some very quickly.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Tagging Information, First Principle of Warfare for an FP.
Fortunately, in lighting those up, those seem to be about the only defenses inside the line.
And the tree-fortresses themselves are readily mapped from well outside their effective range.
Zinda Tegram: "Time to hit them, Abraham?"
Abraham: "Well, I was going to wait for Christmas, but if you're feeling impatient, go ahead."
The ground forces regroup, pulling back from the flames…as the ground cracks, the inferno suddenly channeling along lines and faults.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Uhh…siiir? Reading a network of…are those lava tubes? They're heating up…"
Abraham: "Zinda, it seems there's some underground heat heading our way. Is that you?"
The Integrated take a moment, breaking off their attacks to observe and analyze from their high vantage point - and then SCATTER. The analysis is a bit jumbled by the time Spyboy, Heggy, and Ingenue receive it but it amounts to the volcano's aperture growing - firing thrust from an "engine" kilometers wide.
Notably, the Roland is in the zone that will be filled with ejecta.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham remains preternaturally calm. "Evasive action, retreat to a nearby zone out of range of the blast."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Will try, don't know if we have that much time sir."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 + - 0 (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Alertness to direct the pilots to the best zone to retreat to.)
[OOC] Ingenue: Are the Integrated still an intact force, or are they too scattered to be useful at the moment?
Abraham: "Well, we won't know if we don't try."
[OOC] WC GM: They're panicing.
[OOC] WC GM: Depends on what you want to use them for.
Spyboy Pearson broadcasts calm.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham: the "best" zone, i.e. fastest evac, would be to get them landing on the Roland. Is that what you want to direct them to?
[OOC] Ingenue: If they're panicking, then devoting energy to maintaining their data bridge isn't useful, short of taking control of their fighters which a) I don't think the frame can do and b) they're probably still better pilots than Nue.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I believe he's talking about the helmsmen on the Roland.
[OOC] Abraham: I am.
[OOC] WC GM: K then. Ingenue!
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Also I was assuming that was a defense.
[OOC] WC GM: Aspect placed on the Roland, if anything.
[OOC] Abraham: Pretty much.
[OOC] WC GM: So no defense against it.
Ingenue disconnects from the data bridge, refocusing primary processing on the potentially vented liquid-hot magma. If escaping the danger zone is not possible, rotating the carrier to focus damage on non-essential areas along with evacuation of personnel from said areas would minimize the damage. ((Placing aspect 'rotating to deflect incoming magma' on Roland… engineering?))
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: 0 - - + (Base: 4 Total: 3) ((Placing Engineering aspect 'rotating to deflect incoming magma'))
[OOC] Ingenue: Is it opposed?
[OOC] WC GM: Nope. Zinda!
[OOC] Abraham: We are all opposed by bureaucracy.
Ingenue pulls up the Roland's schematic. "Admiral, the most likely locations to receive damage are… here, here and here. Suggest evacuation of these decks, with repair crews on standby. I will join them."
Abraham: "Excellent work Ingenue. I will so order immediately."
Abraham orders the evacuation of the decks Ingenue directs him to and orders repair crews on standby. Though the repair crews were all ready on standby as per standard engagement protocol.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: OK, so their defensive line is shot.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Where do we wanna hit 'em?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I'm thinking of calling in some of those juicy free-tags.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Punch on through.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Classic tank tactics - CAVALRY CHARGE.
[OOC] Abraham: Hit 'em in the pollen!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah, but seriously what do we want to achieve in this engagement?
[OOC] Ingenue: Not dying.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Secure the volcano?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: We want to take over the tree fortress so we can gain control of the volcano.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: OK. So…capture the volcano, basically. Hmm. Well, I dunno if the tank forces on their own can achieve that, so…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Wipe out their AA capability?
[OOC] Abraham: a) Not dying, b) preventing the volcano from erupting, c) preventing the volcano from ever erupting, d) establish a lasting peace among the plant-people, e) get medals. f) …, g) profit
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Nah, cuz air can't take the volcano, either.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah, but air can support the infantry slither swarm
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: And deliver PC's to the objective.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: What you need to do is push their defenses past and away from the fortress, so that follow-on ground forces (infantry - slitherers and speakers) can take the fort.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Especially since the only PC who can take the fort decided to try staying on the bridge.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Sounds good. So divide them.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Screw the AA - just push on ahead.
[OOC] WC GM: Not the only PC…
[OOC] WC GM: And certainly not the only one who can disable.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Oh, someone else can interface with the plants? Cuz I was pretty sure - well, Ingenue's pretty handy with them, I guess.
[OOC] Abraham: Hey, I always stay on the bridge, and I'm constantly harping on Zinda to follow my example. It's kind of a dick move to complain now that she finally is…
[OOC] Ingenue: Taking the tree fort is just a physical activity, anyone can do it. Worst case scenario, somehow says 'hey, hit it here', and then someone else hits it, and the fort is taken.
Zinda Tegram loads another message-seed "^Advance through the breach and wipe out the defenders!^"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: But it's not enough to physically get inside the tree fortress. At that point the volcano goes crazy. We need to actually take control, and that takes plant neurology. Which, granted, slitherers can do.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Skill to use for this is non-obvious.xD
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Oratory or Tactics
[OOC] WC GM: "Crazy" is not necessarily "firing right now"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: It has been so far <.<
Ingenue detaches from the console and departs the bridge. Once out of sight, proceeds with all due haste towards the endangered sections while continuing to monitor the Roland's sensors remotely.
[OOC] WC GM: I'd say Oratory, to inspire the ground plants to charge into the inferno.
[OOC] WC GM: Or Charm.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Or Cultures/Technology.
[OOC] WC GM: Eh, C/T isn't as applicable. This is a pure morale issue.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: But it's also communicating through pheromones. How much morale do semisentient tanks have?
[OOC] WC GM: It's the decision makers behind them that are reluctant.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Ah, true enough.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + + 0 + (Base: 13 Total: 16) (Culture/Tech. Tagging Broken defensive line, Formed Up,, Basic understanding of tank doctrine, Herding fire, analyzed weak points.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - - + 0 (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Resolve)
The ground forces charge in, sticking to the least-on-fire parts, firing and leaping and very quickly suppressing all anti-aircraft fire.
The skies are quiet, for a moment. Perfect attack run conditions, even as the outer reaches of the battlefield heat up, preparing to fire upon those fleeing…
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Zinda Tegram climbs out of the gunnery seat.
Zinda Tegram: "I'm heading down to my fighter."
Zinda Tegram starts working a knot out of her shoulder on the way down to the hangar.
[OOC] WC GM: That still leaves AAA weaknesses mapped out, Enemy defenses mapped, and Cover Fire.
Spyboy Pearson kicks on pheromone jamming with some exclusion on the chemofreqs used by the Roland's allies, then calls in simultaneous airstrikes on various trunks within the enemy's command structure. Pun not intended.
With the enemy defenses known so well, even the lago fighters that can only make one pass should be fine.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - - - + (Base: 16 Total: 14) (free-tagging AAA weaknesses mapped out, enemy defenses mapped out, covering fire. Pay-tagging neutrino-coordinated fighter flights and already sized up the tactical situation.)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: DAMNIT!
[OOC] WC GM: FP to reroll?
[OOC] Ingenue: Yes, you only have a 14. There. There.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Eh, odds are against it being worth it.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I'll settle.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - 0 (Base: 9 Total: 8) (Stamina + Of A Mountain)
Strikes land throughout. The main trunk is up to Spyboy and Heggy.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Want Heggy to roll it, or no?
Missiles away…the cracks glow, magma rushing to the surface…
Missiles hit…the glow slows its increase…
A *CRACK* that even Spyboy can hear in the cockpit as they pass by the toppling tree-fortress, and the magma fails to fire.
ExecutiveOfficer: "'Timber', sir?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Where was the earth-shattering kaboom?"
Geoffrey: "Some day, you guys are going to have to show me this 'Earth' we come from."
Spyboy Pearson: "I'd love to see the stations they've got there."
Heggy pulls into a high orbit of the area. Are the enemy slitherers and tanks still fighting?
The enemy siltherers and tanks are ashes. Their fliers too.
Zinda Tegram sniggers on comms at Geoffrey's comments.
[OOC] WC GM: Combat over, and we're a bit over on time, so let's wrap up.
Zinda Tegram takes off from the bay and touches down in front of the remains of the tree fort.
Zinda Tegram: "^You still alive in there, monster^?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Time to let the coalition forces deal with the rest of the mess, then."
Ingenue steps the ERTs down to condition orange and makes its way back towards the bridge.
Zinda Tegram cricks her neck and commandeers some local slithers to make sure the volcano is stable.
There is no response from inside.
Abraham: "I wonder if we have an FCT this that can deal with this. I need to look into that."
Abraham: "Get the plants… um… cultivated. Peaceful, and understand that their planet should stay where it is."
Zinda Tegram: "^Shame. You could have been so much more…^"
Zinda Tegram turns over a dead branch with her foot, shaking her head.
Zinda Tegram: "^Seeker, you there?^"
SeekerClan: "^Here! We come, we bring new clan-seed!^"
Zinda Tegram: "^Good. So, you understand what is to be done? Eat the asteroids, return to your star, and destroy the volcanoes.^"
SeekerClan: "^We understand. Although…the volcanoes can not truly be destroyed, only made silent once we are returned.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^I disagree. You could seal them and redirect the magma flow to even out the pressure.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^We are mainly concerned with making their uses as thrusters impossible. Modify them accordingly.^"
SeekerClan: "^We shall.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^Good. This just leaves one loose end, on our end…^"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Let's do something stupid. : )
Zinda Tegram: "^Do you know of a unit named Nikolai?^"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: No, I will NOT ram you.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Tell me, are you planning on punishing Nikolai for what someone else did?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Did someone else do it?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I thought he was on board with the whole thing.
[OOC] Ingenue: Isn't that what punishment is for?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yes, it was mostly Kilrathi scientists.
SeekerClan: "^We have…heard of the Nikolai.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^I see. Please tell me what you know.^"
SeekerClan: "^Unit Nikolai was part of the station MUST DIE…part of the station. Taught us to think, to learn. To know of things beyond ourselves.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^I see. Is that all?^"
SeekerClan: "^Is that unit on the Armstrong? Were the volcano lords intending to feed on the Nikolai?^"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Huh. So handing Nikolai over to them might not be such a bad thing after all…?
Zinda Tegram: "^No, Nikolai is not on Armstrong. We simply wish to determine the role he had in the station, so as to determine his fate.^"
SeekerClan: "^We would have him. There is more we could learn from him.^"
SeekerClan: "^His task is incomplete.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^We will consider that option, when the time comes.^"
Spyboy Pearson vectors those Lago fighters that need urgent recovery to the Roland.
Spyboy Pearson: "Admiral, is the Roland in shape to make orbit?"
Which turns out to be about 75% of the fleet.
Zinda Tegram boards Sterne Lanze and returns to the Roland.
SeekerClan: "^Our knowledge of the Nikolai is small. Seeker clan did not interact with any from the station MUST DIE…we inherited and heard from those who did.^"
[OOC] Ingenue: I don't think we ever got primary thrusters back online, we were pretty much limping about? But without imminent death hanging over our heads, getting back up to escape potential shouldn't be hard.
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah. You'll have orbit capability in a few hours.
Zinda Tegram: "^I see. We have not made a decision about him, but when we do, we shall inform you.^"
Zinda Tegram climbs out of the Sterne Lanze.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham."
Zinda Tegram: "May I have some time with Nikolai?"
Ingenue resumes working on the primary engines. ♪A cri-ti-cal re-ac-tor is a hap-py one…♪
[OOC] Abraham: I knew Zinda would have her 'Poison Ivy' moment, I knew it!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: OH NO IT'S CUTE X_X
Abraham: "You want to interrogate him some more?"
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah."
Abraham: "All right. Lets go."
Abraham leads Zinda to Nikolai.
Zinda Tegram: "Nikolai."
Zinda Tegram looks to make eye contact with Nikolai.
Nikolai was trying to hide, but no longer - the science team parts around him. "Yes?"
Zinda Tegram: "I'd like it if you came with me."
Nikolai hesitates for a moment, but the team behind him gently pushes him to the door. "…seems like I will."
Zinda Tegram: "Good choice."
Zinda Tegram leads him to an interrogation room in the brig.
Zinda Tegram: "You can probably guess why we're here."
Nikolai nods.
Zinda Tegram: "So, I'll make this brief. You uplifted bioweapons."
Zinda Tegram: "What the hell were you thinking?"
Nikolai: "To at least make them Confederation citizens, instead of just letting them roam free."
Zinda Tegram exhales. "That makes things less dangerous, then."
Zinda Tegram: "I was scared it was to increase combat effectiveness."
Zinda Tegram: "So, the uplifting job wasn't complete, was it?"
Nikolai: "Heh. Unless they learn to grow their own fighters, what combat effectiveness?"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: *cough*
Zinda Tegram: "You think they won't?"
Nikolai: "And no, it wasn't. I was planning to teach them to speak Terran."
Zinda Tegram: "They want you back, y'know."
Nikolai smiles. "The odds of them growing their own are…"
ExecutiveOfficerOverIntercom: "Sir! Detecting launch from the surface! They're…oh great they're copying the Lago fighters."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Perfect timing.
Nikolai's smile fades. "…one in one point two?"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: =D
Zinda Tegram: "The odds are 1."
Zinda Tegram: "And you can take my word for it, Nikolai."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm the production model."
Nikolai: "…"
Zinda Tegram: "Can you get them to work as citizens?"
Zinda Tegram: "They're pretty set on consumptive expansion."
Nikolai: "I can try. Or die trying."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Oh, dear. Speaker Clan retained the Zinda specs. We're gonna face a swarm of Plant Zinda Clones.
Zinda Tegram: "This is your fault, you know,"
Zinda Tegram: "It's only a matter of time before they start copying carriers."
Nikolai: "Good thing I spent my time here copying our civics databases."
Zinda Tegram: "If I give you to them, what do you plan to do?"
Nikolai: "Teach them. As best I can."
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, what do you think?"
Abraham: "Ignoring yourself, he does understand them the best. And he will be… motivated, I think."
Zinda Tegram: "…It may be a problem that you're associated with Tzimitche station."
Zinda Tegram: "They're pretty deadset on it dying. They always append " must die " to the end of it."
Nikolai: "And it is dead."
Nikolai: "Hopefully I can convince them of that much, as a starting point."
Zinda Tegram: "They think you're part of it. If you're alive, it's not totally dead, is it?"
Zinda Tegram: "Well, whatever. Let's introduce you to speaker."
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham agrees, I assume?"
Nikolai: "That distinction is where I'd start."
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, yeah…"
Zinda Tegram: "Nikolai?"
Zinda Tegram: "Don't fuck it up."
Zinda Tegram glares at him.
Abraham: "Also try to convince them not to kill you, but you probably worked that bit out yourself."
Zinda Tegram: "I can probably help on that point."
Nikolai: "If I do, at least you won't be able to kill me for it."
Zinda Tegram flashes a grin.
Zinda Tegram: "Don't underestimate me."
Zinda Tegram: "Come on. Let's go."
Zinda Tegram stands up and leads Nikolai to the hangar bay.
Nikolai follows.
The hangar bay is…somewhat crowded, with the many MANY landings, and pilots milling about - being shooed away by a couple of technicians.
Zinda Tegram walks right up to the open edge of the bay and calls a slither over, reconfiguring it into a message-seed launcher.
Zinda Tegram: "^Seeker, we're going to give you Nikolai. You can't kill him. It is dangerous for us if you both have ships and do not learn his lessons well.^"
SeekerClan: "^Why the different word for tank-fliers?^"
[OOC] Abraham: "Specificity. It is the soul of communication."
Zinda Tegram: "^We were mistaken as to what they were.^"
Zinda Tegram looks at the returned seed-pod stuck into the ceiling of the hangar.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: #blatantlies
Zinda Tegram: "^We will be taking Nikolai down now.^"
Zinda Tegram: "I still don't trust you."
[OOC] Abraham: Is there a blatantlies hashtag? If I ever do this 'tweeter' thing, I might follow that one.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Heck if I know. I don't twit.
[OOC] Aerdan: Hashtags fit sort of a rule34a. If it exists, there's a hashtag of it.
[OOC] Abraham: I think ending with Zinda expressing her distrust is a good time.
[OOC] WC GM: Fair enough.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License