Frontier War Campaign
Operation Arcturian Crisis
In the Alpha Bootis System
A murderous bioterrorist cult has taken hostages in the Arcturian Grand Kivas (the cultural center) on Arcturus (in the guardian belt equatorial region). The 2nd platoon (Kilo company) is once again called in to restore order. Known as the Children of the Two Divines, this cult is accused of being xenophobes (they fear alien life).
The PCs are supplied with rebreather masks (air supply 2) and armat type 4 assault breaching charges. They have access to their APC and standard gear for this mission. MU/TH/UR 9000 has decided to give G2 electroshock grenades to the group. These grenades are called "electronic ballbreakers", releasing a mega-voltage electric pulse. This will freeze a person's central nervous system for one round in the target zone (hard stamina roll minus 2).
A new Cheyenne dropship (D-Day Doll) has been transferred to the USS Tambitam shortly before this mission with the lost of the dropship (No Guts No Glory) on NN-4374. Corporal Giler joins the 2nd squad as new leader. Corporal Gale (pilot) and private first class Cobb (crew chief) had little time to get to know the platoon.
The Mantis multimission transport UAS El Diablo team made a deal ($125,000 per mission) with Mr.Ganon to provide logistical support for Sergeant Matthews'team. Mr.Ganon also remains with the platoon as liaison for General Vaughn's directives.
Making an unscheduled emergency stop over Arcturus, the PCs are quickly brought up to speed by their CO platoon commander Lieutenant Hope. "The main settlement on Arcturus (the planet's cultural center) has been seized by xenophobic bioterrorists called the Children of the Two Divines. These extremists are led by a crackpot Jannes Ruedi. Intel says they intend to wipe out Arcturian culture. Their ship made a low approach over the planetside and landed in the main settlement (it's a Corvus salvage Vessel that's all we know)", (says Lieutenant Hope).
"They dropped a drum of QTC on the USCMC Mesa Canyon base (killing 27 of our own). They've massacred over 240 Arcturians and humans at the central Grand Kivas. They've flooded the area with CN-20 nerve gas and taken three dozen locals hostage as shields. On top of that, we think they have a nuke", (says Lieutenant Hope).
"So get in there with our 2 dropships (D-Day Doll and Surprise Attack) and the Mantis El Diablo. You have to secure first the USCMC base and bring back the 23 marines with the dropships. Platoon section B will remain on site and defend the base. Platoon section A and the El Diablo crew will go to the cultural center, land your ship near the residential gate (it's safe and quiet there), free the hostages and take Jannes and his top lieutenants alive for questioning. We need to keep civilian casualties at an absolute minimum. One of the hostages is a Geholgod Institute brain (scientist Ms. Tejal Ahluwalia). She's connected to UAAC Command projects and she is the responsibility of Mr.Ganon who joins the team. We want all hostages to come home but protecting her and whatever sensitive data she carries is paramount. Don't fuck this up marines. When the hostages are free, call us and 2 dropships will come back to evac everyone, (says Lieutenant Hope).
The dropships "D-Day Doll" and "Surprise Attack" are going down to the surface with the UAS El Diablo (Mantis) following. The region is composed of arid, rocky terrain punctuated by spakling mica-flaked buttes, mesas and placid mirror lakes. Large symbols are seen on the ground from the air. They are the flatland star teacher signs we've been told. Corporal Biehn, Sergeant Matthews and Synthetic Lance are seated in the El Diablo cockpit with Captain Wincott and Pilot Flowers. Near the USCMC Mesa Canyon base, they see a pair of roving XT-37 Stinger vehicules engaged in a fight with the local marines. "We do the comms jamming and shoot maneuver", (says Pilot Flowers). "Yes", (says Captain Wincott). Captain Wincott fires 2 warhawk missiles programmed for each vehicle. These are "fire and forget" guided missiles. They never miss. The 2 stinger are eliminated.
The USCMC Mesa Canyon base
All ships land outside the base. This station protects the Colonial Rig, the Fungi farm settlement, the Arcturian colony and the trading post. 2 platoons of colonial marines are stationed here but the terrorists have dropped a barrel of QTC on them right before they landed. The station is a burning torch. Cargo Hangars, fuel depot, ammunition depot, staging area, vehicle garage and the generator are destroyed. The 23 marines still alive secured the 2 remaining buildings (Operations & Comms and Sleeping quarters & mess). Corporal Mac Mcdonald is the highest ranking officer. "They took us by surprise. To tell you about the local people, the arcturians are hiding in their houses in the hills and they are huddling in fear. We have done some recon and there is a large pass between the buttes that leads to the Grand Kivas Residential Gate. You can bypass the Children's patrols using this path. One other thing. there is a sonic fence that protects you from hostile lifeforms. These are the arctura apes. Do not approach the barrier without ear protection otherwise this will knock you out for a while. The Arctura apes are timid. If you don't attack them, they won't attack. Good luck", (says Corporal Mac Macdonald to PCs).
The Grand Kivas
The UAS El Diablo lands in the residential sector north of the Grand Kivas. The acturian houses in the hills are silent and curtains are closed. The mantis crew goes to the gate with section A. The 1st squad (Corporal Biehn, private Ricco, Smartgunner Jenette and first-class Paxton) leads the way. Mr. Ganon, Sergeant Matthews and Synthetic Lance follow. The 2nd squad (Corporal Giler, private Tipping, Smartgunner Rolston and private Steedman) is last. PCs decided that only Captain Wincott and Mercenary Perlman from the mantis crew would accompany the marines. Pilot Flowers, Chief roughneck Pinon and synthetic Winona will remain aboard the El Diablo (in tactical support). As expected, the entrance is unguarded.
The tactic is simple. Paxton and Steedman do scans with motion trackers. Ricco and Tipping are the snipers (M42A rifles). Biehn and Giler will throw G2 electroshock charges as needed and Jenette and Rolston are smartgun support (in case things go bad). "I have maps from the Grand cultural center. Remember not to shoot hostages or civilians", (says Mr.Ganon showing his P-Dat mapping device to everyone). "OK there are 4 landing platforms. 2 platforms are occupied by vessels. They must be watched. The central section, that must be where everyone is", (says Sergeant Matthews). The marines hear sounds of small explosive charges coming from the east. "I detect 4 people moving in the eastern section. I don't know what these guys are doing but we should deal with them first and do an interrogation", (says first-class Paxton).
The group enters the north-east large kivas. This pit accomodate starships and is connected to the Arcturian carved roadways. Everyone positions themselves to take the Children guards by surprise. Tipping and Ricco will shoot 2 and keep the other 2 for questioning. 4 Children members enter the kivas. They have as expected rebreather masks. They are equiped with F903WE Assault Rifle and breaching charge (armat 4) strapped to their chest. Snipers shoot their guys and they fall. Tipping'shot hits a Armat 4 charge and it explodes. The blast hits 2 children and kills them on the spot. " It's military enforcement pigs, we shoot to kill", (says one of the Children member). He fires in direction of the 2nd squad and hits rolston badly. Biehn throws a G2 grenade to neutralize the 2 remaining Children. They are freezed unconscious.
"We need a defensive position. We gonna go to the south kivas on the vessel there and ask the Mantis for medical help. We can question privately the guards there too. We move in silence, bring the 2 guards and Rolston", (says Corporal Biehn). Tipping and Ricco enter first the south kivas and see an old corvus model vessel (it's called SS Penitent Man). There are a dozens of arcturian and human dead bodies on the ground. there are no guards and the ship's hatch is closed. PCs decide to bypass the hatch's lock and enter in silence. "We are lucky. It must be the terrorists' ship. Paxton, call the Diablo over a secure channel and ask they wait for us at the north entrance. Rolston is stabilized but he's out of the dance", (says Sergeant Matthews). PCs decided that Wincott will bring Rolston back to the Diablo. "The ship is secured. there is no one on board. We have checked with mother and the vessel is in dry-dock mode for repairs. Not ready to take off", (says Synthetic Lance). "Let's see what the guards have to tell us", (says Mr.Ganon).
The Children members are coerced to speak. The hostages are being held in the Center Kivas by 4 or 6 firstborns. The firstborns are the elite members of the Children and they have a blue scarf around their neck. Grand Seer Jannes Ruedi and more firstborns are looking for an entrance into the underground tunnels. They are looking for an old buried temple. Children of the Two Devines worship the star teachers (The engineers), an old alien race. There are 8 arcturian roughnecks locked down in the cryo chamber on B-deck. They were used by guards to repair the damage to the vessel."Great, more secrets again. What is your little agenda now Ganon", (says Corporal Biehn). "hey guys give me a break, I work for General Vaughn and some information are confidential and very sensitive. We are here to free the hostages right but it's an "Engineer" temple down there. We are also here to collect data and artifacts for the Project Life Force if we find something. I have my orders and you have to follow them", (says Mr.Ganon). "All right sweethearts, you know the drill", (says Sergeant Matthews). "Hope we don't see the Dragon from Robert Morse's book for real down there", (says Private first-class Jenette)."Let's see if the Arcturian roughnecks can help us with this", (says Corporal Biehn). Corporal Biehn, Sergeant Matthews, Synthetic Lance and Mr.Ganon go to the cryo chamber and free the Arcturians. The leader is called Kewkwaxa. They are willing to do whatever they can to help with the crisis. They suffer a lot and they are ready to fight. 5 will wait at the vessel and 3 will come with the marines (including Kewkwaxa). They equip themselves with the terrorists'weapons.
The Center Kivas
The center Kivas is a domed structure within an open Kivas pit. The interior walls and ceillings are covered in colorful symbols and paintings. A stepped fire pit is carved into the center floor and flames are blazing. 4 large windows provide a view from the roof. Corporal Biehn hides there and he's watching. 6 firstborns are in the chamber. There is no CN-20 gas inside. 28 hostages are seated here in the center of the room (The Audience Chamber). The trick will be to take out the Children without harming the hostages. Biehn realizes that scientist Tejal is not there. Snipers Ricco and Tipping join Biehn. Corporal Giler arrives. They take action. Giler and Biehn throw 6 G2 electroshock grenades in the chamber. At the same time, Ricco and Tipping shoot the 2 terrorists in charge. The idea is to knock everyone out even the hostages so that no one is hurt. The 2 leaders are down. The grenades explode and everyone is on the ground. The operation is a success. The rest of the marines arrive from the vestibule. Firstborns are brought to the vessel (SS Penitent Man) and locked up with the others in the cryo chamber. The hostages are waking up. One of the Arcturian hostages approachs the PCs. He says that Jannes Ruedi and his main lieutenant Mother Mishka took the remaining 8 hostages through a tunnel they opened in the Annex. The temple is underneath the Kivas. There is a scientist amongst the hostages named Tejal. The fanatics are looking more like thieves and he believes that the hostage situation is a ruse. And it looks like Jannes Ruedi took a real bomb into the tunnels. "Paxton, please inform the Tambitam that they can start the rescue with the dropships. And call Wincott to come back, He's going to protect the hostages with Perlman while we go in the caverns", (says Corporal Biehn).
The Temple of the Engineers
PCs arrive in the Annex. A large hole has been blown into the wall, leading into the underground tunnels. "I know where to go", (says Arcturian Kewkwaxa). PCs are ending up at the entrance to a long-buried temple. There is another hole blown in the wall. A ten-meter-wide stone stairway descends into a vaulted hall. A fountain is fed by water that rains down from fissures in the ceiling above. A seven-meter-tall green crystal is at its center. 2 firstborns with F903WE assault rifle hold 7 human hostages here. They cannot hear the PCs enter due to the running water. PCs decides to shoot the 2 guards with the M42A rifle equiped with silencers. Tipping and Ricco position themselves and shoot. The 2 men fall. One of the hostages confirm that the leader Jannes Ruedi, his second in command Mother Mishka and the scientist Tejal are ahead. The hostage says Mishka seems to be running the show. Steedman is designated to bring the hostages back to the surface. Six massive nine-meter-tall heads serve as pillars in this vaulted cavern. There are three dark tunnel at the end.
The Hall of crypts
Those six-meter-wide corridors all connect to the Ampule room and the Orrery. The Ampule room is condemned and completely burnt down. In the Orrery, several artifacts were pushed into a corner. A large arch opens at the end. The smooth passage is completely devoid of hieroglyphs. They arrive in a massive chamber built in natural rock. There is a massive waterfall in the east. There is a sanctuary crypt to the west with intriguing lights. Six standing stone covered sarcophagus line the walls (three on either side). The crypt is guarded by 2 firstborns who are more interested in what Jannes is doing than in guarding. Jannes, Mishka and Tejal are inside. Light comes from the last sarcophagus at the far end. A deep steady heartbeat can be heard coming from it. Inside is a towering three-meter-tall humanoid (an engineer). Jannes stands before it, wearing a neuro visor (of some kind). There are wires connecting the visor to the humanoid. Jannes screams (his eyes, ears and nose are bleeding as he rips the helmet from his head). He's going berserk and overwhelmed. He attacks Tejal with his knife, killing her violently. PCs decide to act. "Ok drop your guns and surrender", (says Corporal Biehn). Tipping and Ricco have the 2 firstborns in their sights. They put down their weapons and lie down. They are being handcuffed. Jannes calms down.
A feedback from Jannes' neuro visor causes the 4 sarcophagus-cryopods (still working) to malfunction and burst into flames. 4 humanoids (engineers) are tearing through the santuary, covered head to toe with flames. PCs gain stress. One burning humanoid is running to the waterfall and throw himself off the precipice into the chuming river below (his body swept away). 2 humanoids are burning literally to ash. The last humanoid grabs Jannes and tears his head off. "Come on let's rock guys, we kill those assholes" (says Smartgunner Janette, she opens fires at the humanoid). The engineer is ripped apart.
A dozen of arctura apes take advantage of this moment to make a surprise attack (sensing that the Kivas' defenses are down and aware of all the activity in their tunnels). They are coming from the caverns above. They are coming fast from everywhere. Everyone is shooting in all directions. Synthetic Lance walks towards Mother Mishka. She immediately surrenders. They take cover with Mr.Ganon and Arcturian Kewkwaxa. Matthews, Biehn and Giler protect themselves and shoot all the apes they see. Ricco and Tipping stay together. All their shots are effective. Jenette and Paxton are back to back firing on everything moving. "Go kick ass pendejo", (says Smartgunner Janette talking to Paxton). "Anytime, anywhere", (says Paxton). Sergeant Matthews activates an air horn (fog horn) that one of the marines gave him at the USCMC Mesa Canyon Base. All the arctura apes disappear suddenly as if driven by the wind. "Whoopee-fuckin do I'm impressed Sergeant", (says private Paxton).
Mother Mishka offers to lead the PCs to the nuke (it's hidden in the santuary near an altar over the waterfall). Paxton and Biehn take charge of neutralizing the bomb. Mishka leaps into the waterfall. They see her hit the rocks below and being swept away by the fast moving river. It's impossible for her to be alive.
A blackguard Bravo team arrives in the santuary with more marines. It's Lieutenant Jeremy Lance from General Vaughn's commandos. " Thanks guys all hostages are secured away. We are going to take charge of the situation from now. You did a great job. Tejal, Jannes and Mishka are dead but we have the p-dat computing device from Tejal with all the scans", (says Lieutenant Jeremy Lance). Everyone goes back to the Tambitam safely. Corporal Biehn is looking down at the planet and sees the giant pictographs depicting arcturians bowing before giants with enormous heads. He closes his eyes.
This is Game Mother signing OFF.