Session Three, Operation Three – Part One.
Day Seven, 12:00
The remainder of day seven was spent on interrogation and other post-operation activities after the second operation. Lt. Samara Hellstrom liaised with the local authorities, briefing them on the non-classified aspects of the second operation. Layne-Lars Kinnesson discovered from one of the captives that he had belonged to a long-term community but more recently a new faction had arrived there and led to the current militant approach.
Day Eight, 10:00
A mining mech travelling the streets of Argyre was detected by the command-post scanners, and the base went to yellow alert.
No-one in Lt. Samara Hellstrom’s command had seen or heard of a mining mech active on the streets of the town.
Ruin Dmitar knew from the reaction of the children (who he had nearly stepped on with his mech when setting out on Operation Two) that a mech was a rare site for the children in the Old Quarter of Argyre.
Jacques Dubois contacted his mining mech pilot contact Ken Tyler who confirmed it was unusual to have a mech travelling through the town like that.
Lt. Samara Hellstrom led her forces into an ambush position for the rogue industrialmech closing on the base.
Layne-Lars Kinnesson isolated the communications frequency the mech was using and monitored the communications to and from the mech, revealing it had allied units somewhere in the area and that it had been detected early, ruining some ambush they had planned.
The rogue mech close from town-side then charged when challenged. The fast scout mechs easily kept their distance, avoiding the slow heavy mech and its makeshift melee weapons (mining tools), until the mech attacked their base building and forcing them to close and engage. Like their namesakes the locusts swarmed the target and picked it appart, until a shot from Jacques Dubois penetrated its rear armour and set-off a load of inferno-fuel it was carrying in place of water. The raiders had planned to use the fluid gun (normally for dust suppression) to torch the two buildings of Lt. Samara Hellstrom’s command.
The mining mech was the anvil, intended to prevent the locusts fleeing into the town. The hammer was a lance of hover-jeeps with SRM2 launchers backed up by a modified (militarised) mining mech. The fast jeeps closed first, moving too quickly for the mech pilots to hit, though they were ineffective when they fired on the mechs as well. After this demoralising start the locust lance stood its ground and polished off the hover vehicles, which had fallen into the same trap intended for the locusts, they had gotten bottled up and prevented from using their speed. The hover vehicles peppered the mechs with return fire as well.
The harassers had blocked the line of fire from the modified industrialmech which was mounting a LRM15 launcher and some small weapons. The locusts swarmed the industrialmech, after being forced to choose between its long range missiles or close range weapons. In the melee the enemy charged for Layne-Lars Kinnesson but Jacques Dubois rushed to her assistance, presenting himself as a target. The enemy split his potent close range arsenal between the two, badly damaging Layne-Lars Kinnesson’s mech and slicing off an arm with the rock-cutter before being taken down by the concentrated fire of the whole lance. It was finally felled by a kill-shot from Jacques Dubois that hit the LRM ammo hopper, causing an ammunition explosion that gutted the target.
Day Eight, 11:00
Salvage operations began. Between the incinerated unmodified Dig Lord S6 and what turned out to be a standard-template-construction militarised modification of Dig Lord S6 enough could be salvaged to rebuild the Dig Lord S6 Mod-A. The mech could only be partially re-armoured and Lt. Samara Hellstrom’s force had no replacement LRMs since none of the mechs or the infantry force used them.
Salvaging the combat vehicles was conducted by Jacques Dubois and they recovered five of the SRM2 launchers.
Day Eight, 12:00
Lt. Samara Hellstrom visited Mayor Kent McAlester and managed to pass-off the raid on her command as a training exercise for acclimatising to lowlands conditions. Being based in the New Quarter, he had only rumours of the events in the Old Quarter, the major bought that story.
At this point the AP for the first three sessions was awarded. All four characters chose to increase their mech gunnery and some their mech piloting, making the lance a lot more formidable. The team also increased a lot of ‘background’ skills and broadened their overall capabilities. As GM I was very pleased.
Day Eight, 18:00
Layne-Lars Kinnesson finished repairing her Locust LCT-1E and investigated the origins of the industrialmechs. She found the militarised one to belong to New Cairo Mining, which had been on the land train New Cairo Mining had lost to raiders. The non-modified one had belonged to Sheffield Incorporated Mining, and been booked in to the company repair facility that morning.
Jacques Dubois discovered that the SRM2 equipped hover-vehicles were a type of light hover-jeep used for short range fast scouting of the midlands and near-lowlands. They are lightly armoured, able to carry seven passengers (one squad) in addition to the driver and gunner, and not intended for any serious combat.
The source of the vehicles was not identified.
Day Nine, 8:00
The group set out to investigate the Sheffield Incorporated Mining headquarters and found Sherif Matthew Lee and his people investigating the site. The lower floors were a warehouse and mech repair depot, the upper floors were used for company offices and administration. The building had been raided and looted, all staff killed, and the industrialmech stolen. This mech marching on the base was a diversion that let most of the raiding party escape with what they had looted from the company headquarters. It was assumed the prospector teams had met a similar fate.
Investigation revealed a nondescript truck had arrived and carrying the raiders who had attacked, then looted valuable parts and supplies. They left but it was not clear if the militants had remained in Argyre or left in the truck.
It was further discovered that Sheffield Incorporated Mining had been attacked for exploring and prospecting too close to Stanton Company Mine Eight.
Day Nine, 10:00
Wasting no time, Lt. Samara Hellstrom led her lance from Argyre towards Stanton Company Mine Eight. The first two thirds of the trip was fast, following a beacon-pylon path. At this point the team had to seek out the next pylons and discovered a series of about eight pylons had been manually deactivated, roughly two years previously and about seven months after Stanton Company Mine Eight was closed down as an active mining operation.
The team proceeded, followed the beacons using passive systems only, so as not to alert anyone monitoring the beacon path to their presence.
Day Nine, 17:00
Using the map coordinates Mayor Kent McAlester had provided the lance closed upon the site and then Ruin Dmitar was sent forward to scout. The conditions were miserable, fog-shrouded, dark, and raining. His skill and the cover of the fog allowed him to approach the settlement built around Stanton Company Mine Eight.
Ruin Dmitar discovered the settlement included a lot of greenhouses, some were growing food crops but others were growing the Strata native plant used as a key ingredient in the illicit drug Twilight.
The scout identified the main building, which housed the main fusion reactor used to power the network of smaller satellite buildings around the original mine and also serving as a vehicle and industrialmech hanger.
On the way to investigate a second site of interest Ruin was spotted but he exploited the element of surprise and overcame the unprepared sentry. He clipped the man in each arm and managed to incapacitate his right arm, shortly before the man succumbed to the trauma and fell unconscious.
Ruin Dmitar cut his losses at that point and exfiltrated the settlement, and was surprised when no alarm sounded before he cleared the area.