Inti is a reasonably large planet with a rigid caste system and king considered to be empowered by the gods, according to the state religion. They have recently undergone two major events: the first being a population boom after the end of a rather bloody civil war; the second being that their capacity to generate food has been undermined as a result of wide spread scorched earth campaigns. Things are fine for now, but the leaders of the planet, as well as the magistar that watches over that planet and the rest in the system, expect that food will run low within the next 6 months or so. And when food runs low, tensions run high.
In other words, they expect riots, uprisings or worse. The mission is go in and provide some backup to the native forces in the capital. Well, sort of. the HMRC is more there as boogeymen. Or scapegoats, should it come to it. Thanks to the fear mongering of the UWM, the people are scared of the HMRC and your weaponry will be fairly advanced by their standards. So you're to hang around the capital, to provide a nice, faceless specter of potential violence. Hopefully it will deter any violent raids on the capital itself, at the very least. Still, you may want to pack anti-crowd weapons. That and your scariest Halloween masks.
|MISSION BRIEF||MISSION START||MISSION DEBRIEF|
- Feyri Nirel
- Faith Valentine
- Renen Averius Von Raptum
- Grate Worm Gold
- Lyra Arden
- Cecil Stillwright
- Charles Leroux
- Skylar Niabs
- Stacy Buttle
Ostensibly, this should be a peace keeping mission: the team should simply show their presence to prevent possible food riots or a popular rebellion; if it came to that, the local god-emperor's palace was to be defended at all costs... Given HMRC's less than sterling record in dealing with civilians, the team considered whether someone: a) was a complete idiot, b) wanted a bogeyman to scare the populace into complacency, c) wanted an excuse to start the said rebellion, or d) any combination of the above.
The team members meet the native inhabitants as the stasis pods re-open in the shuttle, they wear loose black clothes and androgynous masks with slightly feminine aspects and lengthened brows. They wear strange metallic armour that is scale like in it's construction and they are all armed with a pair of needle thin blades. The team also encounter a representative at this point who wears red and purple robes and whose hair is rolled into a crown by a golden hair ornament. May and Faith have a nude screaming match about who is and isn't in charge, their respective (in)sanity, and a philosophico-histologico-philological debate on which is best: sodomy or cannibalism (to which several other members join in, gleefully egged on by Stacy).
Feyri is quickly pushed forward by the rest of the team as leader. The team are instructed on polite behaviour within the palace; those in orange or yellow are of higher rank then them and they should not look at them or cross their path. The team are then escorted to the guards quarters where they are instructed as to their duties and given local uniforms to don over their armor. The emissary tells the team that part of the populace has defected from worship of the Radiant One (their god king), these people number several thousand within the capitol and millions worldwide. The resistance has begun with attacks on government buildings and on representatives and temples to the radiant one. He also relates the armaments of the guards; outer guards use Tull glaives and firearms, inner palace guard (the emissaries guards are of this variety) who wield rapier thin blades and other hidden weapons. The holy guard (personal guard of the Radiant One) are armed with weapons that are not identified. The rankings of the palace are explained with the brightness of clothing indicating the rank; guards (such as the team) wear black or silver, clerics (such as the emissary) wear purples and reds and those of the upper ranks wear orange and yellow. Even knowing the proper method for greeting the Radiant One is a mark of considerable status for a guard and above the team's station in the local caste system. The representative asks Faith to follow him to get the map and a phrase book. As soon as they leave, some members suspect that their new uniforms are infected by a xeno-parasite, and end up incinerating it and starting a fire; meanwhile Stacey goes off on his own and attempted to spray a palace servant with xeno spit (hallucinogenic alien enzymes).
The team was supposed to keep two members at the gate, and patrol the main market daily, but some members went off on their own even before Feyri could determine the schedules; while Renen took position at the gate, Charles set up a turreted gun and Skylar looked for a good vantage spot for his scout eye, May and Xan (clueless about the market's location) actually managed to step outside the gates before causing the first civilian casualty (according to May,it was a double-tap suicide) still on the gates' stairway. Unable to leave it just at that, they also kicked the body down the stairs and incinerated it.
Needing time to plan, Feyri temporarily passed the command to Faith, with Lyra as second. Faith scanned and sent a map and a phrase book, and requested everybody to report on their inventory. Stacy had in the meanwhile managed to catch up with May and Xan, and instead of keeping them under control, he ended up joining in with the harassment, questioning, threatening and generally terrifying of the locals; when they do find suspicious people, they let them escape and instead May shoots at an innocent and Stacy shoots half of Xan's foot off. Xan then incinerates several city blocks and most of his wounded limb, serendipitously stopping (and half roasting) the man May was chasing. Calling it a good day's work, the trio begin their return to the palace.
At the gates, the members standing guard stopped some suspicious persons, but aside some linguistic difficulties and a large explosion in town, they managed the affair without casualties.
The members who were still in the palace start mobilizing when a crowd is seen coming from the flaming town, and are reinforced by a few hundreds palace guards; meanwhile the culprits go for a well deserved down time.
May returns to the gates, threatens the populace with a bullhorn, then proceeds to open fire; the situation is quite well resumed in this pearl by the squad's bureaucrat Cecil:
"Dear general populace.
I offer my sincere condolences and apologies regarding the recent acts of intimidation, disturbing the peace, arson, mass murder..."
You hear the rapid series of pops as May opens fire into the crowd.
Faith issues some orders and leaves the team to their fate, running off to secretly meet with the emissary at top speed. Stacy attempts to use a microwave field manipulator to create an ice cylinder the width of the stair and roll it downhill, but bungles the parameters and overloads the machine; he just barely manages to throw it down into the fray between the guards and the mob. The results were catastrophic, as a small anti-sun of eldrich endothermic ice explodes into existence and keeps growing, expelling bits of itself as the hypercool surface bursts. Faith and the emissary see the unfolding tragedy, and decide to abandon the surreptitious plan and go for a frontal assault against the Radiant One's guards.
After briefly considering to use the nuke to fight the super ice, the team decides that it was more likely to malfunction or outright kill them all than help, so, team and palace dwellers alike, everybody scampered for safety as fast as they could. Feiry flew off carrying Grate and Lyra, was trespassed through the chest by a flying super ice shard, but managed to land with her passengers before her Mk.III suit decapitated her, separating the head from the increasingly frozen torso. Lyra also was scratched by the same shard; despite her injury, Lyra grabbed Feiry's head and kept leading Grate to the palace itself, where everybody were headed; meanwhile Renen half-carried, half-dragged Xan up the palace's stairs. Cecill was hit in a shoulder and not only lost an arm (the amputation froze up) but kept running, he even managed to pick up Stacy who got hit on the ankle. Panicky calls for extraction are denied by Steve, on the grounds that the mission parameters are incomplete (but being taken care of).
As the team approaches the palace, a mighty cry of HALLELUJAH was heard, parts of the palace's top floors start exploding into falling rubble, amid which is the one of the High Guards in bulky ceramic armor. He wields an amp-studded club and promptly attacks the team, Meanwhile Faith, exhausted and damaged from abusing the berserk button, completes the assassination, drops down from the tower, and explodes him with her own amp. Steve finally sends a shuttle, plus a large nuke to be planted on the palace. After doing so and plundering anything nearby that's not attached to the ground (including two High Guards' corpses and what was left of their equipment), they are extracted from the planet along with civilian survivors in other shuttles.
- A burning wooden city
- A planet's population
- A petty god-king's rule (and life)
- The universe's heat (in the long term)
- Xan's leg
- Feiry's body
- Cecil's arm, plus a few other injuries
- Stacy's foot, along with a chilled hand
- A light wound on Lyra's arm
- Faith's ruptured synth-skin.and muscles
This operation marked the beginning of Steve's revolution and formation of ARM.
Ice-9 refers to a fictitious form of hyper-cooled ice that appeared in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle. At normal pressure, it only liquefied at 45.8ºC and could seed any liquid water, rendering the planet completely inhabitable. There is a real water isomorph called ice-nine, but it doesn't share any properties of the fictitious one.