Session 4 3

The battle rages all around the party. The reactor, which is the battle's target, lies in front; beyond that lies the vats.
[OOC] WC GM: So, how are you getting over there?
[OOC] Ingenue: We have a hall pass.
Spyboy Pearson grimaces and checks his pistol's battery level.
Spyboy Pearson: "This…could be tough."
Alexander Morello: "You uh, wouldn't happen to have another one of those on you by any chance?"
Abraham: "Okay our job is to clear the area long enough for the marines to airlift the reactor back to The Roland. Let's get to it."
[OOC] Abraham: Spending a Fate Point to exposition.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Can I roll Assets to see if I packed a spare pistol?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: WC?
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - 0 - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Assets to see if I packed a spare pistol)
[OOC] WC GM: That's a no, without a FP.
Spyboy Pearson grimaces.
Spyboy Pearson: "Sorry, looks like I just brought a spare battery pack."
Alexander Morello shrugs
Spyboy Pearson: "Talk to Zinda - she's probably got a spare in that bag of hers."
Alexander Morello: "I should start bringing a sidearm…"
Abraham thinks to himself, "Okay. They're plants. Plants 'see' via hormones rather than via raidant light. So smoke won't blind them. But…" Outloud, "Everyone's suits still intact?!"
[OOC] WC GM: Actually, you've seen evidence that they can see via light.
Abraham: "You have a side arm. Literally."
Alexander Morello: "Ha. Ha. Ha."
[OOC] Abraham: Ah.
[OOC] WC GM: Though not necessarily exclusively.
Alexander Morello: "Did any of the fighters survive the crash intact? An airstrike would be nice right about now."
Alexander Morello chuckles
Alexander Morello: "It would bring a new definition to 'daisy cutters'."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yeah, though I think we want to be careful about how and where we use them. We don't want the plants to start thinking of us as a worse enemy than each other."
Zinda Tegram looks out towards the battlefield and tries to determine the source of any anti-air fire.
Abraham finds the wettest most smoke-inducing plants and aims at them, trying to set them on fire to create a smokescreen. ((Maneuver Energy Weapons to add 'Smokescreen' to the scene.))
Alexander Morello: "I think they're gonna notice that we're a threat once we steal a reactor out from under them."
[OOC] Abraham: roll it?
Zinda Tegram: "Probably."
Abraham: "I think we should not be here after we do."
[OOC] WC GM: Sure, roll it.
[OOC] WC GM: And yes, the fighters came through just fine. The Roland might not be going anywhere soon, though.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 + + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 5) (Energy Weapons Maneuver to add 'Smokescreen')
[OOC] Abraham: The plants deliberately dodge. Bastards.
Abraham: "Okay, the reactor should be large enough to poke through the smoke, but the smoke should blind the plants from firing at the marines."
Abraham knows his flammables. Soon there is a nice, smoke-inducing fire. Between light and pheromone fouling, the battle gets confused over there.
Alexander Morello: "I think we might want to think twice about stealing this reactor just now. The plants are probably going to retaliate. We should prepare for that."
Airlifting the reactor would be a challenge, due to the tree-fortresses attempting to grow around it.
Abraham: "It's better we steal it now rather than blowing it up inside one of their tree-forts."
Abraham: "Okay, people. Let's trim some hedges."
Zinda Tegram exhales and pulls her torch.
Zinda Tegram: "On it. Keep me covered."
Alexander Morello: "Good point. Let's do it."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 - + (Base: 5 Total: 6) (Cut!)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Tagging tool with which she…
Zinda attacks - and NOW the battle pauses.
Many eyes whirl upon the party.
You have been Noticed.
Abraham: "I think we have been Noticed."
Zinda Tegram: "Yes."
[OOC] WC GM: Combat time! Alertness for initiative.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: - 0 + + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Alertness)
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 5 Total: 3) (It's Initiative Time)
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + 0 - + (Base: 2 Total: 3) (Alertness)
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Alertness)
[OOC] Abraham: I tripped over a root. That's my story, and I'm sticking too it.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - - 0 0 (Base: 6 Total: 4) ((alertness for init))
[OOC] Abraham: So…one roll for Mother Nature?
[OOC] WC GM: Four, actually.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: To be clear here, we're gonna purge the planet right?
[OOC] WC GM: And hidden rolls.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: That's my vote.
[OOC] Abraham: k
[OOC] Ingenue: That's pretty much a given, though it may not be our goal.
[OOC] WC GM: …you're not purging it this session. Eventually, perhaps, that is one possible goal.
[OOC] Abraham: Yes we are, because I see no reason to have the vegetarian answer to the Tyranids in this universe.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Someone fetch a black hole.
[OOC] WC GM: Initiative: Native Swarm 1, Alexander/Zinda, Ingenue/Native Swarm 2, Abraham/Spyboy, Native Swarm 3, Native Swarm 4
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: That or we convince it to move through two more systems to Mu Cephei and let it fight it out with Elles.
One of the swarms bombards Zinda with seeds!
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Or we, you know, actually TALK with it.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - - (Base: 4 Total: 2) (Gunnery)
[OOC] Ingenue: …what is this 'talk' you speak of?
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I'd watch that on pay-per-view
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Resolve.)
Zinda Tegram Plasters herself against the reactor so that firing on her would mean hitting the reactor.
[OOC] Abraham: Using Resolve to resist being hit? Where have I seen that before?
The shots indeed go wide.
[OOC] WC GM: Alexander & Zinda!
Alexander Morello runs over to Zinda at the reactor.
Alexander Morello: "Cover me while I prune some hedges?"
Alexander Morello points at the tree fortress trying to grow over the reactor.
Zinda Tegram continues cutting through the tree, focusing on reducting the strength of each apparently distinct section equally.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - 0 - - (Base: 5 Total: 2) (Cutcutcut)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Tagging for reroll.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + + 0 + (Base: 5 Total: 8)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Vindication!
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Stamina)
Ker-SLICE! These trees do not appear to have been bred to resist plasma torches, for some reason.
[OOC] WC GM: And Alexander's move is?
Alexander Morello begins to singe and sear the branches and roots that are attempting to absorb the reactor.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: What skill would this be… engineering?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure. Though, advance warning: if you succeed, the results won't quite be what you think.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Eh, it's worth a go.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 3) (engineering to reinvent fire)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Tag.
[OOC] WC GM: …good enough.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Or not. : P
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Aww… I was all ready to tag, haha
The branches and roots regrow almost as fast as Alexander can singe them back. This isn't working…
Zinda Tegram: "Regenerators huh?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Well duh!"
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue & Native Swarm 2!
Alexander Morello: "It was worth a try. Look, they're growing towards the access ports!"
Swarm 2 tries to mosh pit Alexander, for his troubles.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - - (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Agility)
Alexander Morello swats at the plant swarm
[OOC] Ingenue: Do we especially want this reactor, or just want to ensure the plants don't have it?
[OOC] WC GM: The latter, I thought?
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: - 0 + 0 (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Resolve)
[OOC] Abraham: Actaully, we do want that reactor. Emergency power won't hold out indefinitely.
Alexander successfully copies Zinda's tactic.
[OOC] WC GM: The Roland's reactors are still working.
[OOC] WC GM: They're just severed from most of the ship.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: It's gonna be hard building everything back together under constant assault.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I have some plans for it.
[OOC] Ingenue: So don't cripple it. Got it.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Could be useful for some planet-sanitizing.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Wait, we didn't pack the giant Round Up?
Ingenue opens up the sensor array, studying the locations of the plants and relaying the information via neutrino communicator. ((Placing aspect: Virtual Eye In The Sky vis alertness))
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: + + - - (Base: 6 Total: 6) ((Alertness maneuver))
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Honestly the Roland is shattered. It's a friggin' carrier.
[OOC] Ingenue: No. We can rebuild it!
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: The only way to repair it would be to dust the planet, haul a thousand workers over from Armstrong, and wait for six months to a year…
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Or get the plants to help us fix it.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Yeah, I have no idea how we're gonna be able to put it back together.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Or…become hive-leaders…
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Because anything that kills the plants will destroy it as well.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Hence why I was so pissed when SOMEONE decided to shoot the plantnue.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah we sort of needed it in one piece.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Hey, I only killed the first one. The second one was not my fault.
[OOC] WC GM: Hmm…that's actually a tough call to see what they'd resist it with - eh, they're not actively resisting being studied. Aspect placed.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham & Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson taps into Nue's feed, analyzing it for patterns among the chaos.
[OOC] Ingenue: If they were going to resist, I'd say tactics. That or Agility, moving too quickly/randomly to be analyzed.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Tactics to identify the command nodes…this one's probably resisted, though
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Tactics to identify the command nodes…this one's probably resisted, though; I'd expect Tactics to be the resist.
Abraham reconfigures the settings on his handgun for less penetration, but more heat, and fires almost at random over a wide area, trying to ignite as much of the area as he can. ((Energy Weapons Maneuver to place the aspect 'It's on fire and it's Abraham's Fault'.))
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - 0 - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Energy Weapons Maneuver)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ouch.
[OOC] WC GM: Assuming you're shooting up the jungle and not the mobile plants, that still works.
[OOC] WC GM: Scene aspect
[OOC] Abraham: Ah. K. then.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy: roll it
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - + + - (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Tactics to place 'Command Nodes: Flagged')
Abraham: "Did anyone think to bring marshmallows? I didn't."
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - - (Base: 5 Total: 3) (Culture/Tech - command nodes in an alien environment aren't the same as terran ones)
The basic principles of information warfare serve Spyboy well. Best transmission is…there, and there. They're relays for some command center higher up, but good enough: take out these relays and the troops will disentigrate into nothing more orderly than a bar brawl.
Likewise, they seem to take fire as a Threat. That would explain why fully half of the natives suddenly concentrate fire on Abraham!
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Gunnery)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + + - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Gunnery)
[OOC] Alexander Morello: BRB
Abraham calmly ignores the incoming attacks, continuing to apply heat to choice spots to ensure the blaze grows.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + 0 + + (Base: 6 Total: 9) (Resolve)
[OOC] WC GM: Take two Spin.
[OOC] Abraham: ty
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Returns triumphantly
…there are times when merely being Badass enough seems to be sufficient defense. These moments have not been fully analyzed; they lend some credence to theories of psi. This is such a moment, for Abraham. Though perhaps it helps that the heat cooks the incoming seeds enough to warp them, altering their aerodynamics enough to throw them off course - and then there's the thermals the fire generates.
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah, let's go with that.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I'm imagining that there's an outline of Abraham on the wall behind him all made of seeds
Zinda Tegram: "Air-cover, please tag these two spots for us."
[OOC] WC GM: On the trees behind him. On two trees, to either side of him.
Zinda Tegram marks the two suspected command nodes before returning to cutting on the reactor.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: 4 factions and only 2 command nodes? Curious.
A sudden burst of - this is new. Non-combat units, apparently. Drones carrying some kind of rich sap? They swarm in, piling into one of the tree-fortresses, which begins to grow faster.
[OOC] WC GM: 4 nodes.
[OOC] WC GM: 2 of the factions fired at Abraham.
[OOC] Abraham: I'm a popular guy.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ah, OK.
[OOC] WC GM: Remember, the natives get 4 spots on the initiative. That's 1 per swarm.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Haha, they're reverse sappers.
[OOC] WC GM: Which should suggest one of their weaknesses. ;)
Abraham: "I want samples of that…sap."
Alexander Morello: "Stop those sappers! We won't be able to keep up if they get through."
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - - + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Resolve to heal up)
[OOC] WC GM: Any one PC - Zinda would be most appropriate - can oppose this attempt.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yep. I am.
[OOC] Abraham: If you would, Dame Tegram.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Alertness to notice and cut the healing-sap)
[OOC] WC GM: And take a Spin.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: My action then?
[OOC] WC GM: Presumably to spend now. Alexander & Zinda!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Abraham, can I use your spin?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 0 (Base: 8 Total: 7) (SpinnyCut)
[OOC] Abraham: Um… can she?
[OOC] Ingenue: I'm pretty sure spin can be passed if it makes sense.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Y'know, I forgot to use some of those freetags.
[OOC] WC GM: You have 3 free tags you can use, if you wish to use them all.
[OOC] WC GM: And the 2 Spin Abraham got can be passed in this case.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yes please. Tag 'tool with the utmost proficiency' for another +2, so that's…15.
Zinda Tegram starts slashing away at the tree with amazing speed!
Zinda discovers just how excellent a dab of plasma can be as a firestarter. As in, the dab that gets applied to each point along a long line when you slash a plasma torch at high speed.
Alexander Morello climbs across the reactor to get to a better position to interdict the sappers
The Trees Are Alight.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 - - (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Intimidation to look like a badass backlit by flame.)
[OOC] WC GM: Alexander: Maneuver?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Awww c'mon chessa
[OOC] WC GM: Or something else?
Alexander Morello attempts to prevent any sappers from coming near the reactor, at least within reach.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Also, surprised they're still standing after…like, what, 30 stress?
[OOC] Abraham: Well, they are trees.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Not quite sure what to roll, alertness, maybe?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Just do medical for brawl, tear the thing up!
[OOC] Alexander Morello: RIGHT! I keep forgetting about that.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Medical for Brawling)
That is now a Defended Reactor.
[OOC] WC GM: More than trees - they're small armies. They have ginormous stress tracks. Out-stressing them will be difficult.
[OOC] WC GM: But there are at least three paths to victory y'all have identified.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue & Native Swarm 2!
[OOC] Alexander Morello: We should take out the nodes
One of the swarms rallies its sap-carriers to put out the flames!
[OOC] Abraham: But where do you take a plant out to?
[OOC] Ingenue: We should take out the planet! Big boom!
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone going to oppose NS2's action?
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Isn't sap flammable?
[OOC] Ingenue: Depends on the sap, and the flame.
[OOC] WC GM: :3
[OOC] WC GM: Thus why I asked.
[OOC] Abraham: What Ingenue said.
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone opposing?
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Eh, we're fire proof, aren't we?
[OOC] Ingenue: Depends on the person, and the flame.
[OOC] Abraham: ish.
[OOC] WC GM: Fire resistant. Certainly far more than the plants are.
Zinda Tegram radios the air cover.
Zinda Tegram: "Do you think you could lift the reactor in it's present state?"
Shuttle: "Lifting isn't the problem. Clear the skies and we'll get it out of there."
[OOC] Ingenue: Nue does not plan on opposing NS2; interesting data to be had there.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - + (Base: 3 Total: 3) (Resolve)
Spyboy Pearson tosses some suppressing fire at the fire brigade.
Abraham sees how congested the skies still are.
Sure enough, high energy sap burns quite well. The Flames Got Bigger.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Opposing with Energy Weapons.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I thought the smokescreen was good enough for the lifters to come in.
Ingenue turns back towards the reactor, running the sensors over to find the extent of the damage and if the mechanical fail-safes could still be triggered.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: If needed?
[OOC] Abraham: That's what I was hoping.
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, sure you're opposing?
[OOC] Alexander Morello: If they're jets, then the smoke screen would make it more difficult for them. But I assume they're probably not jets….
[OOC] WC GM: I went ahead and did their action when I saw no opposition.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Well, I was just gonna zap the sap =p
[OOC] WC GM: The smokescreen isn't enough by itself.
[OOC] Abraham: So long as you don't turn it into a rap.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Honestly it's apparently bursting into flames anyway. Apparently they're not used to dealing with fire here.
[OOC] WC GM: Also, the plant fliers are ornithopters, not jets.
Spyboy Pearson: "….That has to be the single worst job of firefighting I've ever seen."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Of course, I mean the shuttle
Spyboy Pearson: "…….I wonder how long it'll take them to understand fire."
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue, your turn
Alexander Morello: "I" m surprised they haven't faced it before, do they not have lightning here? "
[OOC] Ingenue: Points up at 'analyzing reactor'.
[OOC] WC GM: Ah. Roll it?
[OOC] Ingenue: Alertness, Engineering?
[OOC] WC GM: …actually, don't bother. Autopass.
Abraham: "They should have already seen fire before. Most natural wildfires are ignighted by lightning strikes, and this atmosphere certainly conducts electricity well enough for them."
[OOC] Ingenue: or none, yay!
Alexander Morello: "Maybe they don't consider fire 'fire' unless it was started by lightning. They've never dealt with non-lighting fire before."
Zinda Tegram: "Air Cover, If you can't get to the reactor, what about the marked command nodes?"
Shuttle: "Checking…they're not as guarded, but we're unarmed. Want us to tell the hangar jockeys to warm up the wings for some strafing?"
Zinda Tegram: "Please do. I'll also fire up Sterne Lanze in drone mode to help them out."
Zinda Tegram does just that.
Shuttle: "Alright! Just hold out as long as you can."
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham & Spyboy!
Spyboy Pearson immediately pulls out his computer and starts developing strafing runs for the fighters.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 - + + (Base: 5 Total: 6) (Tactics to place "Prepared Strafing Runs")
Abraham coordinates with the flight crew to keep them on the safest path.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - + + (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Bureaucracy to light a fire under the flight crew's asses (metaphorically. I've lit enough actual fires already))
Two of the swarms fire on the most visible defenders - Zinda and Alexander.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - + + (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Gunnery)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 0 + + (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Gunnery)
Between Abraham and Spyboy, things come together quickly. Just a little longer…
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: + + - + (Base: 3 Total: 5) (agility to dodge incoming fire)
Zinda Tegram again positions herself to use the reactor as a hostage.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Resolve)
Zinda and Alexander are winged, by a few seeds at just the right (wrong) angles.
[OOC] WC GM: 1 stress each
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Hooray for injuries.
The swarms suddenly back off, gathering together…
[OOC] WC GM: Alexander & Zinda!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yes?
[OOC] WC GM: Your turn.
Alexander Morello: "We're a little exposed out here, Zinda."
[OOC] Abraham: They gather together Alexander and Zinda?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh.
Zinda Tegram: "A bit. Just keep lighting fires."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I think it's our turn
[OOC] WC GM: Native Swarm 1 delayed. It's up to something.
[OOC] Abraham: Are you really saying that the native are restless?
[OOC] WC GM: You've yet to see them sleep.
Alexander Morello examines the swarm for any signs of what they're up to.
Zinda Tegram slashes at the tree again, using her torch to ignite rather than cut this time.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - 0 (Base: 5 Total: 4) (SCIENCE!)
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 - - + (Base: 5 Total: 4) (Fire!)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - 0 0 (Base: 3 Total: 3) (Tactics)
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Tag: I've Blinded You with Science!
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 0 (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Stamina)
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Or not.
Zinda manages to lop off most of the remainder of one of the trees.
Alexander easily sees what they are up to: gathering for a mass strafing run. This is going to hurt.
Alexander Morello: "Zinda, we need to take cover, now!"
Zinda Tegram: "Just a bit more…"
Indeed, even as he studies them, they line up, sky-darkening swarms in formation…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Defense freetags pls
Alexander Morello looks around for ANYTHING to take cover behind, in, or next to.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue! Then Spyboy & Abraham!
[OOC] WC GM: Native Swarm 2 delays as well.
Alexander is on top of the reactor. "Exposed" is a good summary.
Ingenue looks towards Zinda and Alex. Ah, they're busy. Nue turns back to the reactor, studying the botanical interfaces bolted onto the outside. Removing them shouldn't require too much effort. ((Engineering? Or Repair, since this is basically taking the reactor back to factory specs?))
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Alexander Morello looks over the edge of the reactor, looking for the smallest shred of cover.
Alexander sees one mobile small shred of cover. To wit, Ingenue.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 4 Total: 3) ((Engineering to return the reactor back to factory specs; that is, without all those plant interface geegaws))
[OOC] WC GM: Which pretty much is the smallest shred around.
Removing the interfaces will take a bit, but Ingenue sees what to do.
[OOC] Ingenue: Hey! I'm just young!
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Hiding behind a child-robot just seems cowardly!
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy & Abraham, you're up.
[OOC] Ingenue: Note that 'looking for cover' in Fate is really 'using a skill to place/refresh an aspect related to cover'.
Abraham does some arithmetic in his head. Okay, if they're following order, they'll drop the bombs here here here and here, making the safest place to stand… right here.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 + + + (Base: 5 Total: 8) (Science! to find the best spot to be when the bombs fall.)
Alexander Morello takes note of the direction the swarm would be approaching from and runs towards the other side of the reactor.
Spyboy Pearson takes a close look at those plant formations. Do they look like they're aiming more against the incoming strafing runs, or are they preparing a concerted rush?
[OOC] Abraham: Psychic powers only go so far. If you /really/ want to look cool and just stand around while bombs fall all around you, that takes science.
Spyboy easily sees they're preparing a concerted rush.
[OOC] WC GM: Alexander already got that info.
[OOC] WC GM: So no action needed for that.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I'm out of FP, so I need a defense free tag. : P
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Also, a bigger FP pool.
Alexander Morello prepares to jump over the edge and hang on by his finger tips at the last possible moment.
[OOC] Abraham: I still have some spin if you need it.
[OOC] Ingenue: Have you already burned through 6 FP?
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy's action?
[OOC] Abraham: also that.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: 6?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I thought I had 3.
[OOC] Ingenue: …our current refresh is six, I believe? Refreshed at the beginning of a session unless otherwise noted?
[OOC] WC GM: Yes.
[OOC] WC GM: Started at 3, +1 for each chapter midpoint. There've been 3 such midpoints so far.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Sorry, was distracted…
[OOC] Abraham: If Zinda's really out, I can compel her and give her one of mine.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh. OK. Then I have some.
[OOC] Abraham: I thought that might help you find some more. :P
[OOC] WC GM: Not that it's going to matter, if Spyboy does what I think he's about to do.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: …what are you expecting me to do?
[OOC] Ingenue: Defeat the bad guy, save the world?
[OOC] Abraham: Solve the hunger crisis, solve the overpopulation problem. Solve it without making it look like a miracle.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Cuz I was NOT planning on shooting Zinda, no matter how she may tempt me.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: First he has to save the cheerleader, then he can save the world.
[OOC] Abraham: Sounds like a compel to me.
[OOC] WC GM: In short: seal up the combat.
[OOC] WC GM: And no, that doesn't involve shooting Zinda.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Aww….
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: ETA till the fighters get here?
[OOC] WC GM: Directly depending on your action.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I'm now thinking of the end of that Mel Gibson Vietnam movie….
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: "Fighters, the enemy squadrons will ignore you. Go directly for the marked nodes!"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: "I can't tell you that, it's classified."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: It's being examined by top men. TOP men.
Alexander Morello stops at the edge of the reactor.
Alexander Morello: "Zinda, what are you doing? Take cover!"
Spyboy Pearson gets an idea.
Zinda Tegram: "Just a bit more…just a bit more…"
Alexander Morello: "You won't have a bit more to give unless you take some damn cover!"
Spyboy Pearson yanks out his computer and switches his energy pistol to a very, VERY low power mode he configured some time ago….
Spyboy Pearson: "Fire mission, painted target!"
Spyboy Pearson fires his pistol - now in TAD mode - at the largest concentration of plants.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: ….huh. What skill would be good for that? Energy Weapons seems obvious, but I think I could swing Tactics…
FighterLeader: "Acknowledged."
[OOC] WC GM: Either of those, yeah.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: ….Tactics seems more legit, since I don't have to worry about armor or direct fire cover but rather air cover.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 - (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Tactics to place "FIRE MISSION" on the enemy megaswarm.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + + 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 6) (Tactics to figure out what Spyboy is up to)
[OOC] WC GM: Using any of your freetags?
Spyboy Pearson tags "Information: First Principle of Warfare."
[OOC] WC GM: That works too.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Also, thanks to Aer yesterday, perfectly willing to tag 'First Triad of Victory.'
The mass of fliers, thus painted, gathers up, ready to strike…
…and thus in one concentrated formation when the missiles arrive.
The remaining, ground based, forces pause. You can almost hear their collective "what" .
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Or, perhaps, smell it.
Spyboy Pearson: "MUAHAHAHAHA!"
Which gives enough time for four explosions - the strafing runs, taking out the command nodes.
Spyboy Pearson: "This is why Zinda does what she does!"
The fighting ceases abruptly.
Spyboy Pearson stops, thinks about it for a moment.
Spyboy Pearson: "…Which is a strong enough reason for me to calm down. So."
[OOC] WC GM: Not quite what I was expecting, but it works.
[OOC] Ingenue: And now, when the mutalisks, guardians and devourers are created by the swarm, we will know whose fault it was.
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda's.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yes, clearly.
[OOC] WC GM: Well yeah. The swarm didn't think it needed much anti-air.
[OOC] WC GM: Though, to be fair, that was basically mutalisks.
Spyboy Pearson sighs.
[OOC] WC GM: Just - gathered up, after a nuclear launch was detected.
Alexander Morello relaxes. That was a close one.
[OOC] Abraham: It wasn't nuclear.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I should hope not.
[OOC] WC GM: By analogy. :P
Spyboy Pearson: "Hey, Metis. Are you picking up anything around here that's vaguely pea-shaped?"
Abraham: "Let's get that reactor out of here before they shake it off."
Shuttle: "Roger that. Hey, get on it and we'll give you a lift back to the carrier too."
Ingenue absently notes the series of explosions, watching the pretty lights flash over the sensors, but continues working on the reactor, separating the unnecessary extras one piece at a time. "Pea-shaped or pea-shaped and pea-sized?"
Shuttle: "Unless you have anything else to do here?"
Spyboy Pearson: "I dunno, I'm just thinking we should give peas a chance."
Alexander Morello stands atop the reactor to guide the incoming shuttle into position.
Zinda Tegram cuts off the rest of the trees and looks out to the remaining ground forces, trying to spot a Speaker.
Speaker is long gone.
Zinda Tegram frowns.
Spyboy Pearson: "How about a scan for something roughly Metis-shaped and roughly Metis-sized, but plant-based?"
The fighters take their time strafing the unmoving ground forces.
Alexander Morello: "Something the matter? You just narrowly avoided being swiss cheesed by a swarm of flying plants. I don't see what's left to be upset about."
Ingenue pauses, recalibrating the sensor array towards acquiring the location of the metis-plant. "Initiating scan." ((Alertness for that?))
Zinda Tegram looks back at Spyboy.
Zinda Tegram: "I never took cover because I trusted you, by the way."
Ingenue confirms that Speaker is not in the vicinity.
Alexander Morello rolls his eyes.
Spyboy Pearson: "Yeah, well, having a hard time predicting each other has never been our problem."
Zinda Tegram grins.
Zinda Tegram: "I guess not. Just don't shoot me next time, yeah?"
Zinda Tegram calls Sterne Lanze down and hops in.
Spyboy Pearson: "I make no promises."
Ingenue resumes fixing the reactor. "I do not detect the target within the range of my sensors. I cannot scan further without access to long-range sensors, such as on a fully operational carrier."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm gonna go look around for our Speaker."
Spyboy and Ingenue feel a twinge of jealousy from Heggy, before she can surpress it.
[OOC] Ingenue: But not Zinda? Doesn't she have the radio?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: : 3
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Funny. She should be able to recognize the undercurrent of annoyance. =p
Alexander Morello: "I think it's either long gone or in many little pieces."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda has the radio too. : P
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: The radio picks up directed verbalized messages. Not unvocalized emotion.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I don't think jealousy works over the radio
[OOC] WC GM: Right, but this is pure emotion - no content that's translatable to words.
Ingenue: "Terran plants can flourish from very small clippings. There is no reason to expect these are different, and given the rapid rate of their cellular division, it may reform within a short span."
[OOC] WC GM: Re the undercurrent: that's why it's only a twinge.
[OOC] Ingenue: Is enough of the extra bits removed that transporting the reactor to the Roland won't just draw all the plants back towards us?
Spyboy Pearson: "Mmm. Much as I'd like to try to talk to the natives, I think we probably need to get to the biovats."
It is short work to remove the extra bits before transporting the reactor. The plants may be drawn back here, to the now-inactive parts, but it will be a false trail.
Alexander Morello: "Agreed."
Abraham: "I would also love to talk to the natives, but I would rather do it from a position of strength."
Ingenue steps back. "It is now safe to transport the reactor. However, it is currently critical, so please do not disturb it unnecessarily."
Alexander Morello: "I'm not sure what position of strength it would be possible to have."
From above, it is not readily possible to scan for small, ground-based contingents, such as Speaker and its bodyguards. That said, several minutes of recon nets Zinda the locations of the four tree-fortresses that probably originated the factions fighting over the reactor. For some reason, they are very busily increasing their anti-air defenses; it is not safe to get near them in the skies.
Alexander Morello: "Looks like that plan probably won't work a second time, lieutenant."
Spyboy Pearson sighs
Spyboy Pearson: "Too bad. That was the most badass thing I've ever done."
Alexander Morello: "I'm sure you'll think of something."
Spyboy Pearson reconfigures the energy pistol back to blaster mode.
[OOC] Abraham: "Zinda, I hereby appoint you to the position of 'Queen of Blades'. Go negotiate."
Heggy pecks Spyboy on the cheek. "Third most."
Ingenue resumes scanning the removed parts, storing the schematics within memory. "A position where we can modify reactors to be accessible or inaccessible to the plant-life is a position of strength."
Alexander Morello: "And why wouldn't they just double cross us? I don't think plants have ethics."
Spyboy Pearson: "They may feel the same way about animals."
Abraham: "I feel the same way about animals."
Spyboy Pearson: "But I wouldn't call it a position of strength, just a bargaining chip."
Ingenue blinks. "Ethics is an emergent principle of a mind. It is not yet determined if these plants have minds, but if they do, then they have ethics. Determining what those ethics are will be necessary before attempting to bargain."
Nikolai: "It's gotten quiet out there. What happened?"
Spyboy Pearson: "….Fair enough."
Alexander Morello: "We've secured a reactor, Nikolai. We're on our way to the bio-vats."
Nikolai: "Could you get me out of here, when it's safe?"
Nikolai: "The door's jammed. Do you have a boarding torch?"
Alexander Morello: "Absolutely."
Alexander Morello nods at Zinda.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's currently airborne.
[OOC] WC GM: Doing recon.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yep.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Ah, I didn't notice that she got picked up.
Spyboy Pearson: "Yes, but it's in flight."
Zinda Tegram flies back in.
Zinda Tegram: "You need a rescue, Nikolai?"
Spyboy Pearson pulls his energy pistol back out - but honestly, trying to burn through the hatch would burn through his battery AND his spare.
Alexander Morello: "How's the situation outside look, Nikolai?"
[OOC] WC GM: She picked herself up.
Nikolai: "You tell me. I'm barricaded in here."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: He's in the bridge, right?
Nikolai: "Just cut through. I've disarmed the security systems."
[OOC] WC GM: Right.
[OOC] WC GM: Which was behind one of the command nodes.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Right
Alexander Morello climbs down the reactor and approaches the door.
The hatch is melted and twisted.
Almost as if it had been right behind the target of a high-power airstrike.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: What a strange coincidence…
Zinda Tegram frowns and pulls her torch out.
Zinda Tegram: "Why's the door slagged?"
Zinda Tegram sets to work cutting her way in.
Alexander Morello helps Zinda.
Spyboy Pearson: "Cuz SOMEONE wasn't willing to go to cover."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: INB4 Nikolai is Speaker
[OOC] Abraham: The thought has crossed my mind.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I could see that. But so far they've just repeated.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: : P
[OOC] Alexander Morello: He may be plant-controller or something.
Zinda Tegram finishes cutting the outline of a door in and kicks the piece of metal in.
The door is cut through in short order. A musky smell emerges - Nikolai has been trapped in here for a while.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: hitting Nikolai in the face, killing him instantly
Alexander Morello steps into the bridge.
Alexander Morello: "Nikolai?"
Nikolai himself is pale, not quite albino, with long, black hair and features Alexander well remembers.
[OOC] WC GM: And yes, not a vampire.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Looks like Vlad the Impaler
Zinda Tegram: "You've got a lot to answer for, Nikolai."
Alexander Morello runs up to Nikolai and examines him for injuries.
[OOC] Abraham: Look for Chlorophyll as well.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Yup
Nikolai does not seem injured. Just tired.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: + 0 - - (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Medical)
[OOC] Abraham: But is he animal, mineral or vegetable?
[OOC] WC GM: Animal. And not a vampire.
[OOC] Abraham: That's good. The undead are in a different franchise.
Nikolai's blood is a bit low in iron - perhaps his diet is off.
Otherwise, he seems fine, though his clothes and hair are a bit singed, as if he'd been wreathed in fire recently.
Alexander Morello punches Nikolai in the shoulder.
Alexander Morello: "That's for this."
Alexander Morello points to his mechanical arm.
Nikolai: "Would you rather have been an amputee?"
Alexander Morello hugs Nikolai.
Nikolai hugs back.
Alexander Morello: "And that's for being alright. It's good to see you alive, Nikolai."
Ingenue: "…that is a perplexing series of interactions."
Nikolai: "Trust me, it is good to BE alive, friend."
Nikolai: "And that may be more than I can say of my colleagues."
Alexander Morello: "What the hell happened?"
Alexander Morello jabs Nikolai in the finger with a blood-testing device.
The party can hear a bit of an accent - not much, but perhaps tracable to the Balkans on Earth…perhaps the Transylvania region.
Zinda Tegram: "About your colleagues."
Zinda Tegram: "They fucked up. Real bad."
Nikolai: "I'd have to agree. They got greedy."
Nikolai's blood sample confirms Alexander's earlier readings: low in iron, generally fatigued. A synth-blood transfusion back at the carrier might be the quickest solution.
Nikolai: "Let us get out of here, and I shall fill you in." He gestures to the door.
Alexander Morello: "Admiral, do we have time to head back to the medbay?"
Abraham: "I believe so."
Alexander Morello helps Nikolai to his feet.
Nikolai walks out, flinching a bit upon entering direct sunlight.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: As long as he doesn't sparkle
Though that may be just because the lights were dim in the bridge.
[OOC] Ingenue: If he sparkles, apply incendiary rounds.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I've gotta go precisely at 5, sorry
[OOC] WC GM: Actually, if you look at the sweat on his neck at just the right angle as he enters the sunlight, there is a sparkle.
[OOC] WC GM: NP, we can wrap this session soon.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Or AP wooden rounds
[OOC] Abraham: Or we can just give him a tasty thermite grenade and tell him it's a spicy pepper and triple double dog dare him to eat it.
Alexander Morello helps support Nikolai as he walks.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: That's a good question. If you blow a vampire to pieces, does he still come back to undeath?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Depends on the version of vampire.
[OOC] WC GM: Depends on the vampire. Anyway, what else do we want to do today?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: In I Am Legend, yes, but it's very hard to actually do.
[OOC] WC GM: Or logend, and start next time w/Nikolai's briefing?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I wanna hear what he has to say.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: We can hear what he has to say next week?
[OOC] Abraham: I go with logend. I wanna go in depth in Niki's debriefing. Little do we know he's now wearing briefs.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Damn. I could swear he was a boxers kind of guy
Of the station staff, it does indeed turn out that Nikolai is the only one still present.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I agree with Ren
[OOC] Abraham: Because he ate them BECAUSE HE'S A VAMPIRE!
[OOC] Abraham: I timed that well :D
Backup marine squads scour the area, for information and to take out unguided slitherers (one might almost think the marines were looking for revenge), as the party returns to the Roland.

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