This thread has moved to close to the bottom of the page, so it's time to revive it with an overly wordy post:
Revolution on Acrid. . .the more mercenaries, the better!
So where were we?
The bloodshed has abated for the moment at PDQ Acrid. Our heroes used explosives to collapse the backside of the security ring tunnel, and both sides have makeshift defensive positions on the front side, and also at their respective entrances to the main terminal “Grand Central Station”.
The travellers held a quick meeting with the leaders of the miners, either in person or via secure comm for those trapped in their residential quad, and quickly came to the following decisions:
- The miners have enough portable equipment in the mines to fairly quickly dig a tunnel from the security ring into the residential quad, thereby connecting the two separate groups of allied travellers and miners, so that process is immediately started.
- Next they quiz the miners for knowledge regarding the facility and the citizens and security forces.
o Do the citizens have their own equipment that they can use to dig new tunnels? “Well, we don’t know why they would have mining equipment up in their fancy citizen quarters (they do), but there are certainly those among the citizens who have worked their up and would know how to use the gear.
o If we try to dig our way into position for a surprise attack, will they know we are coming? “We’ll, don’t know why they would have that kind of scanning equipment up in their fancy citizen quarters (they do), but they would certainly know how to use the scanners if they do.
o If they try to do the same to us, can we detect them before they break through? “We have lots of scanning equipment down in the mines that we can use to detect new tunneling activity. “ By god, go get it, and have teams continuous scanning every level of the residential quad (once you get there) and all other areas we hold!
So with that settled, back door access is finally achieved to the residential quad, reuniting the surviving Vespexers and Junior, with Chad, Leroy, Hima, and the rest of the crew. The travellers quickly decide that the PRQ forces almost certainly have another way to get into the bio dome quad and therefor all the food beyond the couple of days supply that the miners have in their quad already and what the travellers brought with them (which was a lot, but we’re talking about 5,000 miners to feed). So that’s a problem.
The scanners are set up, and quickly detect signs of multiple tunneling operations, but none immediately close to their positions. (PRQ knows the miners can detect any new tunneling activity, so they are using their gear to make a few tunnels in areas that could conceivably be points of attack, all in an effort to distract the sensors from their actual planned counterattack, a tunnel into the miner’s residential quad. Given PRQ’s superior numbers in terms of experienced troops, an undefended breakthrough could quickly lead to a rout).
Communications are established with the local PRQ Citizen leadership. After a few insults and accusations are exchanged, the Travellers offer to allow any and all citizens and security who wish to leave the facility safe passage to the GeDeCo port. “We control the exit, the skies, and space.”
PRQs official response: “None of those things will keep you from starving”. Point. Counterpoint.
Next effort is to establish a dialogue with GeDeCo. GeDeCo’s local exec, the Starport Director, is open to a dialogue but far too experienced to be seen taking sides. She agrees to facilitate safe passage for any non-combatants who have the means to purchase passage off planet. She also agrees to allow use of the Starport’s medical facilities for the treatment of wounded. A GeDeCo shuttle meets the heavily damaged PRQ SDB, now under control of the travellers, and offloads its seriously wounded and radiation sickened crew. Their condition has the effect of turning some GeDeCo personnel against the travellers, but hey, war sucks.
GeDeCo’s director also agrees to arrange for a secure meeting at the GeDeCo downport should the combatants wish to sit down and talk. She makes it clear that they will not take sides, but they will defend GeDeCo interests vigorously. The traveller’s again pledge to not interfere in any way with any ships or commerce entering or leaving the system or the GeDeCo facility.
To that end, the travellers are denied permission to enter or land/dock at the Highport or the downport. They travellers aboard Rao’s Revenge are contacting star ships as they enter the system from jump space, trying to recruit more crew members. Should have thought about that one ahead of time. They are also looking to purchase food, but little speculative traffic comes through the Borderlands, and the margins on foodstuffs don’t pay a tramp trader’s bills.
After the initial flurry of post-shooting activity, another leadership meeting is held, this time in the residential quad. Our travellers and their allies are well positioned with everything except food, which will be critical within two days. They decide to send the Mendina to Tanith, a garden planet with a significant interstellar traffic, to place orders for imports of food. This requires a minimum of two weeks, of course, but that can’t be helped. The Mendina is going instead of sending messages via other ships, as she can prepay in cash for several deliveries, lowering the risk that traders might not want carry low value cargo into such an uncertain situation. Mendina’s cargo hold can carry significant amounts itself as well. The basic deal is that Acrid will pay for food with equal amounts of basic raw materials (if they can get the smelter going) or uncommon raw materials (if they can’t). A good deal for any trading vessel. Word is also sent on the first available trade ships heading to Arunisir, Cordan, and Umemii. One actually has a lot of choices for food close to Acrid.
The Tanith system also has the advantage of being home to Pylkoe City, with its many mercenary companies. (Mongoose Third Imperium Supplement: Borderland Profile: Tanith). The travellers don’t trust the inexperienced miners to hold their ground alone, and the lack the manpower to both support the miners and capture the smelter, which is on the PRQ space station. This station is currently embargoed by the travellers, and is also running low on food, so its capture may just be a matter of time, but more troops seems like a good idea regardless. Four members of the B team: Alaina, Gemma, Junior, and Benedict, along with two NPC gunners they picked up a month or two ago, depart on the Mendina
With the medium term solution to the food situation underway, a short term solution is needed. Everyone goes on ½ rations to stretch the food to four days. Odds of buying significant amounts of food before the Mendina’s return are low, so that leaves one obvious answer: The bio quads controlled by PRQ security. PRQ has to know this as well.
The travellers make their plan: Drill multiple tunnels, one at each of the of the security ring for diversionary attacks, and several into the top level of the bio quad. The top level of the bio quad is a couple of levels lower than the top level of the residential quad, and is picked because it is easier defended once taken. All assault tunnels are rigged to be collapsed if need be, indeed that is the plan for the diversionary attacks. Multiple tunnels are started into the bio quad under the assumption that PRQ can hear them coming (correct).
Good tactics rolls mean the food fight, which takes place two days after the initial assault, begins according to plan. The diversionary attacks in the security ring are well defended by regular PRQ security forces and get nowhere, which isn’t an issue. PRQ are not fools: they know the real attack needs to be on the food supply, and their elite rapid response teams are positioned accordingly. Two holes are blown into the bio quad’s top level, and Vespexers, behind hasty constructed shields and wearing boarding suits, engage the PRQ forces, who are slightly better armed and also behind their own makeshift defenses.
So with three relatively minor firefights amounting to a whole bunch of nothing underway, the real assault begins: A huge third hole is blown into the bio quad, and Gecko thunders through the breach, driving straight down the center aisle toward the PRQ redoubt, its autocannon roaring (Hey, I said they had a lot of mining equipment! TL 13 tunnel digging is pretty efficient). The lightly armored Gecko and its crew is almost immediately cut to ribbons by PRQ lasers, however.
The crew, fortunately for our heroes, consists of a couple of makeshift dummies, dressed in blood stained PRQ security uniforms, carapace armor, and mining helmets. The Gecko was piloted Porter (Remote Ops 2). Because the autocannon is a simple pindle mount, the remote setup could fire the gun but not actually aim it, as there was no time to build and install a proper remote turret. As the destroyed Gecko crashes into a hydroponic avocado producing area (the guacamole!), several packs of aerosol grenades mounted on its roof are set off by Porter. (the travellers engaged in an ironmongery orgy many moons ago back on Theeve. I don’t think they know what everything they bought did. Someone on the team has spent some time with the Central Supply Catalogue since then).
The aerosol almost completely negates PRQ lasers being fired in the direction of the large breach, through which has now rolled a hastily welded together firing platform, which provides a small amount of elevation and near perfect hard cover for one sniper. Hima: Gun Combat (Slug) 4, Dex 9, firing a scoped gauss sniper rifle (5D damage, AP 6), at what for it is short range. That’s +7 in total. Hima laughs at your hard cover. As the well trained PRQ forces switch to slug rifles and pop back up, Hima picks off the first one (head shot!). Then another. Other traveller and friends forces unleash their competitive advantage in every firefight with PRQ: heavy weaponry, in this case frag grenades. PRQ’s response teams are very well equipped, but they have no man portable or vehicle mounted heavy weapons, and their grenades are limited to baton and tranq grenades: useful in crowd control, not so much in real combat.
The rounds after Hima starts shooting, the PRQ forces are staying behind cover as they fall back. Hima knows he got three of the rapid response members (identified by their combat armor helmets, which did not save them), and the team saw several more security forces go down either injured or dead, but the PRQ teams are disciplined enough to take their dead and wounded with them. The travellers and friends take few injuries, but nothing Sofiya can’t patch up.
The travellers, Vespexers, and miners enter the bio quad’s top level cautiously, searching and scanning for explosives and other traps, and are surprised to find none. Explosives are detected in the corridors moving from the dome back to the security ring and the lifts to the lower levels, but PRQ can blow those all they want. The travellers would actually prefer if they do. Immediately work starts on building/rearranging fortifications, followed quickly by moving stored foodstuffs, and also harvesting the fruit, vegetables and starches growing on the level. Each level of the bio quad was built to be fully functioning on its own, as they were built sequentially as the facility expanded, and in case of power failure or contamination on any one level. So the miner forces, who have 4/5 of the facility’s population, now control ¼ of its food production. But hey, that’s a big improvement over this morning.
Meanwhile, PRQ plans its counter attack, but the citizens are growing more nervous, their faith somewhat shaken. Small groups now talk of asking GeDeCo for safe passage, but citizen leadership silences this for the time being.
Meanwhile, up in orbit, Willow is trying to talk some sense into the PRQ citizens manning their small space station, which is little more than an orbiting smelter. Without supply shuttles they don’t have much food left either. They do have one shuttle currently docked. Willow repeatedly enjoins them to take their shuttle to the safety of the GeDeCo highport. Communications between the station and the PRQ facility on Acrid are difficult due to Artemis’s jamming activity, but those countermeasures cease long enough for the station crew to verify Willow’s claim that the rebel scum have taken control of part of the food supply. Willow also informs the space station crew, as nicely as possible, that there will come a time when her ship is commanded by her leaders to back up her “request” to vacate with a particle beam. She doesn’t want to do this, of course, but she reminds anyone listening that “we always keep our word, both our threats and our promises”. The station crew begins to relent, first asking for a GeDeCo SDB to ferry them off the station. The travellers refuse any notion of GeDeCo docking at the PRQ station, but “we would agree to have any number of GeDeCo or other neutral ships escort your shuttle from the facility”. GeDeCo agrees to provide escort in an effort to keep the peace. The travellers insist that a few of the miners who understand smelting operations are allowed to come aboard the station first, to inspect it for any sabotage. “Should any harm come to our friends, particle beams will be our response”. One very tense nickel tour of the smelters later, the first group of PRQ citizens take the offer of safe passage, abandoning the space station.
The space side travellers dock the captured SDB at the station, and quickly set to patching the ship back together. Manpower for ships remains a problem however. They barely have enough personnel to run the ships they arrived in. They have to decide whether to keep Artemis manned, or to move its crew to the SDB. Artemis is sneaky and its particle beam deadly, but the SDB carries a whole lot more armor, and can launch more missiles than anything this side of the Imperial Navy can handle. For now it’s decided to keep Artemis flying, partially because it has the ability to jump out and fight another day if things go poorly. PRQ’s other SDB, which was undergoing maintenance planet side, is not flyable, as the necessary parts remain in PRQ control.
After all this excitement, on Acrid, Mendina arrives in Tanith system. They jump in close Pylkoe-10, not Tanith itself. Although food is the top priority, it can be ordered via comm, whereas mercenaries are best recruited in person.
Our travellers, unfortunately have made one potentially fatal mistake. A representative from PRQ’s liaison office on Acrid’s GeDeCo highport has arrived first, departing in a PRQ owned ship (via a dummy corporation to disguise ownership) during the initial assault. This PRQ rep is short on details, having not waited around very long, but is long on cash and given full authority to act as necessary in event of emergency, as is typical of any far ranging corporation or government due to the lag in communication times. Mendina approaches Pylkoe City to find some mercs, not knowing that a group of star mercs have already been hired by the opposition. . .
Last edited by Old School
on Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.