Sunday, January 13, 2013

CAtS Noir: The Arcturus Rangers And The Wreck Of The Somnolent Rose

Unit Log Transcript 1stSquad/EchoPlatoon/2Company/ArcturusRangers [Reporting Officer Rank: *ERROR*Corporal Jes]

Embarkation Day

This is dumb. Sergeant Dudley says I need to keep our unit log. I wasn't trained on this, I think he's supposed to be doing it but just passed it on to me like everything else. I guess being insubordinate in an official record might not be the smartest thing I've done today. Still smarter than signing up for this in the first place.

He said I was supposed to log pertinent information here about our missions, sort of a double check for deployment orders and after action reports. Well, today we embarked on the ASV Redeemer. We left Reges starport at 0830 local, actually on time for a change. We're supposed to pass Arcturus tomorrow. I don't know if there are any inhabited planets orbiting Arcturus, but if there are I hope they don't get mad that we're a bunch of posers for using their star's name. I guess the 'Reges Rangers' doesn't sound as cool. Anyway, our Battalion banner says 'We Own The Night.' Funny motto, isn't it always night in space?

E Day + 5

Finally got orders from Fleet handed down from the Redeemer's skipper. I guess it came through an hour or so ago, and finally trickled down. I heard from Dudley that we're supposed to board some ship orbiting a planet called Dekko or something. It's a rock world, like Reges. I don't understand the science of it, but Dudley said only silicon based life could survive there. Dustin asked if that meant it could kill Grizz. Grizz said that a planet had tried to kill him once before and that it was now an asteroid belt. Everyone was sort of quiet for a sec. Ah, sociopath humor.

We're supposed to find out what happened there, and recover some sensitive material. Sounds easy enough. Wonder what the deal really is? The Redeemer has C-bombs...why do we have to put boots in?

Somnolent Rose Incursion Day 1

The Battle Of The Dark Corridor
Well, that sucked. The Incursion went badly. I suppose they always must, Redeemer's crew looked pretty grim as they were prepping the drill pods for us before we crossed. I was in a pod with Sgt. Dudley, as well as troopers Grizz and Dustin. Dustin was crying the whole slithing way, and I think Grizz was laughing. Dudley just sat there, with that 'you should do something about this' face that he always gives me whenever there's, you know, leadership to be done.

I think our pod hit debris on the way, because we hit pretty far from the rally point with the rest of our company. We'll have to hoof it a ways bef...

They came out of the dark. Grizz was on point, Dustin drogue, because I just don't know what else to do with him, Dudley and I were in the middle and we were moving toward the RP. There was sort of a wet sucking noise, then these things came out of the dark. Good thing they make those noises, that was all of the warning we had. Even so they hit us pretty bad right out of the gates. Grizz was ready, and got in close. Probably not smart, with a slug rifle, but it's hard to argue with him when he beats them to death with the stock...then blows them apart with grenades. Dustin was firing all over. I don't think he even hit anything.

It was madness. Like one of those nightclubs in Capital City, muzzle flashes strobing, only able to see when someone's lighting up. Then getting blinded when Dudley finally decides to use his E-rifle and an E-beam glitters down the hall. I swear, each of his shots is still burned into my retinas. We all came through it alive, though. Some cuts and scratches. Dustin was a mess, but I patched him up alright. Nobody's armor ablated, which is nice. Hate for someone to have to spend the rest of this trip with no plates.

Weirdest thing though, we couldn't find any of the bodies.

Somnolent Rose Incursion Day 2

The Ambush At Bulkhead 227
What a morning! After fighting whatever those things were on the way in, we did make it to the RP, but 2 Company had already moved up, so we got attached to 4 Company as outriders. I don't know why it's called that, since we're not riding anything, but basically, the four of us were moving in the same direction as the main body of troops, but one passage over. I guess they were hoping that if any of the aliens tried to flank the main force, they'd make enough noise killing us that 4 Co. would know something was going on.

The aliens came from the other side, though , and hit 4 hard. Casualties were pretty much total, from what I heard over the net. What I could make out between the screams and gunfire, anyway. Gave us time to be ready, and this time we sprung it on them.

We were set up covering a hatch, the only way through the bulkhead for hundreds of meters in either direction, when the things started coming through. None of them got to us. I got a better look at them this time, though there were still no bodies left when the killing was done. They looked sort of like gutterfish...they grew big like that in some of the sewers back home, people say, a mass of tentacles and shining eyes. Except these were walking. And spitting acid.

The most amazing thing here is that I'm the only one that got hurt. Vekking machine gun gets hot if you forget to let go of the spoon. Grizz slapped a dressing on it and spit on the ground. I wonder if that's how nutters say 'get well soon.' Still no armor ruptures. So far so good.

Somnolent Rose Incursion Day 3

The Final Battle For The Laboratories.
We caught up with 2 Company this morning, in time for the final push on the labs. I guess this was some sort of science ship. We got restocked, which is good, I was a bit low on slugs for the MG, and I know Grizz always wants more grenades. Plus, if I can get food in Dustin's mouth, it muffles the whimpering a bit. Dudley went to some briefing, no doubt regaling the intel staff with stories of his brilliant maneuvers and bravery pulling us through. That guy is so good at self promotion. Maybe I can sort of slide up the chain along with him, I play this right.

Anyway, when he got back from the briefing, he told us about the assault on the labs, which are pretty heavily infested. They are in the bow of the ship, and it's going to be a hard fight. We're just waiting now for the green li...

I was right, it was a hard fight.We ended up needing to get close, using the grenades to clear them out of every nook and cranny of the slithing place. Good thing we had Grizz along. Even with his expertise for havoc, we all ended up coming out of it the worse for wear. Dudley got messed up pretty bad. Dustin too. He ended up freaking out when his armor got slagged, and took off for base screaming that it was just like when he lost his life jacket or something. I don't get him. If he wasn't a trooper I'd demote him. Maybe I'll let Grizz kick his teeth in. I know Grizz would like that! It'll have to wait until they flash clone Grizz another hand I guess. One of the vekking things ripped it off with one of the tentacles. I guess those things have spikes inside the suckers.

Oh, I guess it's important to mention that the things weren't aliens. When we had killed the last of them, and finally had corpses for the tech heads to scan, they told us that it was the science ship's crew. They messed something up, and all turned into spiny, acid spitting gutterfish. Hopefully we got what we needed here. We're scheduled to go back to the Redeemer. They're finally going to C-bomb this wreck.

Author's Note: Hey all, Counterfett here. This was a bit longer than I meant, but there was a lot of 'intro' I felt had to be made for the characters. I think for the most part this series will be done in character. I picked Corporal Jes to be our narrator, since anything Dudley would write would be self serving, Dustin is too lowly and useless, and Grizz while amusing, is too crazy to be a coherent voice. I know death is a very real possibility in this game, but since I am controlling all of the PCs, I will do my best to keep Jes alive. She's unflappable and sassy, and has a wry sense of humor. I rather like her. Dudley is important to the plot, at this point, but shouldn't be irreplaceable. He makes a nice counterpoint to Jes' competence and integrity. Grizz is a lot of fun to write, and while he's a bit one dimensional as a character, I have some plans where I want him to go. Dustin is a bit of a throwaway. He is an interesting element, but his long term prognosis is not good. Folks who can read what is happening in the game between the lines of my writing know he has already used a weakness, so he's running out of lifelines, so to speak, and we're only 5% through the planned length of the series.

I'm interested to know whether you all think I did a decent stab at noir. If not a good noir, was it at least a good read on its own merits? Also, do you think I even need photos of the game play? I thought it was a neat gimmick when I was planning the series, but there's not going to be a lot of variety due to the nature of the game itself.


Captain Kellen said...

If I may be off topic for a few lines...

In your pictures you are showing some flaming skulls.

I was wondering where you got them?

Always a fan of this corner!


CounterFett said...

It is from the Halo Reach Team Objectives Action Figure Three Pack. If you have a store near you with old backstock from the Halo toy line, you might still be able to find them. Probably not worth the price for just that unless it's clearance though.

paws4thot said...

I enjoyed that; particularly "A planet tried to kill me once, and it's now an asteroid belt."

MIK said...

We fought one of those 'living planets' once, they're hardcore.

Loved the writeup, as for photos, it's a lot more work mind you, but how about staging the battle pics after the game has played itself out?

Take notes in game, play it, and later set up some great dioramas or what-not depicting the action. That way you can focus on the game while it's happening, then worry about pics later.

Also, I was thinking 3:16CatS solo play, do you (would you) randomize the number of blips per encounter somehow?

Off to a good start!

CounterFett said...

Thanks Paws...I was pretty proud of that.

MIK: That's a really good idea, I'm kind of surprised it didn't occur to me. It would be a little more work, but the in play pictures just really are not that epic.

CounterFett said...

Oh, I do randomize the blips. I use a d10. And I only play 3 encounters.

Makes it a little harder of a fight, since I am only one player, it's real easy to coordinate their attacks, otherwise.

Captain Kellen said...

Thanks for the response CF.

I appreciate it and the articles!