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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Actual Story Spoilers
    For those who still care, a lot has happened, least of which includes:

    Trigger has been Shot in the chest by a sniper rifle and is probably paralysed from the waist down for the rest of his life.
    We have a New Pilot.


  2. - Top - End - #92
    Troll in the Playground
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    I care!

    Roll for it
    5e Houserules and Homebrew
    Extended Signature
    Awesome avatar by Ceika.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: More Actual Story Spoilers
    Stan and Buddy found a CT base in the Waste and took down its defenses. They are currently exploring the recently evacuated facility. AC Brimstone and AC DoomedGuy were heavily damaged during the initial fight.
    Last edited by Dr. LAW Mundy; 2017-04-19 at 08:39 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Somewhere nice.

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Thank you both for the update! I've enjoyed this series thus far,
    and I'm grateful to you both for bothering to keep us in the loop!
    For your sake, I hope it doesn't fall to you two to pick up the campaign journal.
    Thank you for reading this, and I hope you have a better day!
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2017-04-21 at 03:02 PM.
    By Shoreward.

    Spoiler: My RPG title, somehow.

    {]GNU Terry Pratchett.[}

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Ogre in the Playground
    BladeofObliviom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Interlude, Hellfire and Thunder in: Mission Inadvisable

    Spoiler: Email Contact

    Raid New Rhodes Vault: 10cr each
    Employer: Artemis
    Theatre of Operations: Cheyenne Fortress, New Rhodes
    Enemy Forces: NRB Forces
    Conditions for Success: Secure Red Box and remove from fortress.
    Briefing: I have an...unusual...request, for which I wish to assemble a small and specific team: Concord pilots Thunder and Hellfire, whom I believe to be acquainted, and a third known as Phantom. All three are experienced and subtle enough for this operation, in addition to lacking any inconvenient NRB loyalties.

    I am a private individual who wishes to acquire something that NRB has stolen during a raid on an Applied Biodynamics Facility. This item, which shall be forward described as a "Red Box", has been temporarily taken to a vault located in Cheyenne Fortress until such time as the New Rhodes Authority attempts to use it. The objective of this operation is to enter the vault, acquire the Red Box, and remove it from the premises. Further operational details are pending acceptance.


    Recipients: Hellfire, Thunder
    Subject: Operation
    Text: It is my understanding that we will be collaborating on an operation. I look forward to working with you in this capacity. Unfortunately, AC Itsumade is damaged and currently inoperable; I have instead been supplied with a Bei Fong Industries SOMIH with which to infiltrate a different part of the fortress. From that position, I will be able to open doors and delay alarms to smooth your operations toward the Vault.

    I wish to ask, do either of you know of this Artemis? I do not, and though I am in no position to refuse work, I feel wary of unknown employers.

    - Phantom

    (Musical Suggestion)

    There was a curious grandeur to the City of New Rhodes. Most Layer cities were relatively flat, with 'ceilings' no more than fifty meters or so from the ground, but New Rhodes was quite literally built in layers; enormous, concentric terraces bound by inner walls, climbing all the way to the black edifice at the center. That terrible thing burst wickedly from the ground below, bridging the intervening space of the open hemisphere that contained the city, and burrowed through the stone into the upper reaches of the mountain. Cheyenne Fortress: The belly of the beast, the seat of New Rhodes' unfathomable strength, and yet strangely subdued. It lacked the streamlined elegance of Skye Tower, the tasteful opulence of Bei Fong Headquarters, the controlled natural beauty of Arcadia, the alien grandeur of the Imperial Palace of Sung, or even the liveliness of Freeport. No, Cheyenne Tower was an ugly thing, designed solely for its function, and the shadow it seemed to cast in all directions was incidental, a happy accident of its size and its reputation.

    Being far beneath the earth, there was not a single ray of sunlight in the city, though street lights certainly were more than enough to see by, at least in the wealthy heights; parts of the lowest regions seemed strangely steeped in darkness by lack of maintenance. New Rhodes is a populous city, after all: Maintenance is expensive, and ever more so when the Authorities care far more about their war machines than the slums.

    Nevertheless, there is one thing that even the New Rhodes Authority cannot neglect: Sanitation. Dense cities are vulnerable to disease, and allowing waste to build up would soon poison the air with foulness and methane. New Rhodes may pride itself on a certain lack of creature comforts, but the value of civic engineering is not lost on the Generals in command. Nevertheless, New Rhodes Ballistics never does anything by half-measures the corporation would not accept a mere solution to the problem, but the ultimate solution, the solution to end all problems for the forseeable future. So, some three decades ago when these issues became too great to ignore, the New Rhodes army converted its fleet of aging overland Transport Carriers into a fleet of appallingly overengineered garbage collection trucks. This is where our story begins.

    One such truck in particular rumbled through the abandoned streets of New Rhodes, to all appearances identical to any of the others but for its strange habit of never actually stopping to pick up waste of any sort. Doing so would blow the passengers' cover, after all. Hellfire and Thunder boredly sat upon a pair of folding chairs in the cargo compartment, doing their best to ignore the rumbling below and the faint odor of sewage that no amount of detailing could ever quite erase. With any luck, it wouldn't cling to the pair of ACs stored back here, or to Hellfire's clothes for that matter. Even knowing that he'd be travelling this way, the man couldn't help but dress like a particularly melodramatic vampire. Thunder, for his part, opted for a simple jumpsuit.

    Hellfire: (Scowling) "I already hate this place."

    Thunder: (Grimacing knowingly) "It doesn't get better."

    Hellfire: (Scowling harder) "****. We almost there yet?"

    Thunder: "Why would I know?"

    Thunder grumbled and stood, throwing his arms out to balance himself in the shaking compartment, and made his way, steadily, to the cabin access. Stifling the churning in his gut, he growled something incomprehensible and rapped his elbow on the discolored steel.

    Thunder: "Hey, Phantom, we there yet? If this takes much longer I think we're gonna need some buckets."

    A long second passed before the panel clicked open, wide enough to climb through if necessary (though certainly not comfortably so). Sweet-smelling, pleasantly cool air wafted into Thunder's face, almost cloying after spending an hour in the back, and a smirking face greeted him. Phantom was a strange young woman, very short but broadly built, with strikingly blue eyes and a bob of well-kept hair to match. Her skin was different from most Layer folk, rougher and with a few marks indicating actual time spent in the sun, but somehow seemed as pale as a ghost nevertheless. She seemed to vacillate wildly between brooding, polite, and - as she was right now - mischievous.

    Phantom: (Grinning) "I don't have a bucket up here, but maybe you can use your friend's silly cape."

    Hellfire: "Hey, I heard that!"

    Thunder: (Sighing) "Status update?"

    Phantom: (Nodding professionally) "I've input the access code, and we're inside the tunnel. Only a couple more minutes. In fact, you might want to get ready for insertion. You guys remember the plan?"

    Hellfire: (Carefully stepping toward access) "Let's go over it one more time."

    Thunder: "Yeah, it can't hurt."

    Phantom: "Right." (Turns around to get something, returns with a simplified schematic) "We're almost at the base of this shaft here." (Points) "This shaft is extraneous, and there shouldn't be any security. It's bricked over and doesn't have any passageways, so you'll need to punch in, and out again to enter the Fortress proper. Don't get cut off from here, there's no plan B for extraction."

    Hellfire: "And you?"

    Phantom: "I will be making use of a Bei Fong Industries SOMI Harness to seize control of the floor's security room, and will be running interference from there. Now, our target is located in Vault 112B, the easternmost vault on level 112. Your entrypoint is located close to vault 112D on the opposite side."

    Spoiler: OOC Note
    I gave the PCs a map for this, which I'll describe in brief. The floor layout is essentially square, with vaults located in each of the four corners and a freight elevator located toward the center. The floor consists of a 4x4 grid of large storage rooms, each connected to adjacent rooms by a hallway wide enough to move a freight vehicle through, and the four central rooms also each have hallways leading to the central elevator. Each room is separated from its connecting hallways by a security door large enough to move such vehicles through, though there are also man-sized ports to move through. No need to open the giant doors for the patrolling guards. The insertion point is directly through the wall of one of the hallways on the opposite side of the floor from the goal.

    Thunder: "Alright. So the plan is bust in, try not to raise an alarm, break into a secure vault, then snatch-and-grab?"

    Phantom: (Shrugging) "Yes, more or less." The rumbling of the truck came to a slow stop, and Thunder heard a faint beeping from the cabin. "...And that's our cue.", she quickly added. "Opening bay door."

    The back of the truck lowered itself with a mechanical hiss, and the pilots began the process of climbing into their cockpits with little fanfare. Phantom circled around and did much the same, climbing into the SO-MI Harness wordlessly and slinging her sword over her back.

    (Setting Note: The Bei Fong Industries SO-MI (Special Operations Mobile Infantry) Harness is an expensive piece of technology, but oft-regarded as worth every dollar for those needing its particular set of skills. While it lacks some features of conventional Powered Armor, the SO-MI Harness makes practical use of BFI's proprietary optical stealth systems along with more general enhancements to the user's physical capabilities. Agents equipped with SO-MI Harness are usually outfitted with collapsible mass drivers for skirmishing use or a blade and explosives for sapping use.)

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Finally, the ACs powered to life. Lightning and Brimstone had both been modified since their previous combat outings: Lightning had been fitted with a SpiralTech head containing a sensor suite designed to better compensate for significant motion, worth a pretty penny but ideal for Thunder's rapid blade assaults. Brimstone, on the other hand, had been modified with an all-around high-performance Cerulean Horizons head and a CT wheeled base noted for providing an incredibly stable firing platform without compromising speed.

    Phantom: "This is Phantom, checking in. Once we're in, avoid using this channel too much. We want to avoid suspicion as long as possible." (Points at section of tunnel wall) "Thunder, please cut here."

    Thunder: "Done."

    The steel plating of the sanitation services access tunnel was no match for Lightning's combat blades, which easily tore through. With a second slash and a hard shove, steel and stone alike groaned and parted to reveal the forgotten shaft behind.

    Hellfire: "Info was good after all. ...Good."

    Phantom: "I will require a ride to floor 110. We are currently level with floor 100. Some climbing will be necessary, but less than if you did not have jump packs."

    The shaft was deep and dark, but there wasn't any time to think about that. Instead, they made steady upward progress, clinging to whatever they could hold onto while keeping a close eye on their jumpjet fuel. No reason to waste that trying to fly all the way up. Soon enough, Phantom was dropped off at floor 110 as requested, and the pair made it two more floors up.

    Thunder: (Staring at a nondescript wall) "This is it?"

    Hellfire: "Gotta be."

    Phantom: (Cutting in over radio) "I have seized control of the security room, and the cameras are on a loop. Entry should be safe now. There are three patrols on this floor, just regular infantry, moving clockwise. Avoid the other vaults and the central elevator, they have Security MT emplacements that I can't override from here."

    Thunder: "Roger."

    Much the same way he had the first time, Thunder tore through the wall, and peeling down the layer of sheet metal to open the way proved unexpectedly...easy. So far, so good. The ACs moved into the first hallway without incident, and didn't waste any time progressing to the door.

    Phantom: "I can see you in there, and I can get those doors open. I can open them as you go, and close them once you're through. Less risk of the guards noticing that way. Alright, shutting up now. Hurry."

    They passed through another door, and another, and another, every second passing a deadly risk to their lives. There was no doubt that they could crush any group of infantry with little effort, but if they raised the alarm...well. This was Cheyenne Fortress, NRB's greatest stronghold. There was no telling what might come down that elevator if they were seen. Finally, after several excruciating minutes of nothing at all, Thunder and Hellfire came to the door separating their last hallway from the vault door.

    Spoiler: OOC Note
    I gave the PCs reports on the guard locations and moved them on the map while the PCs pointed out which doors to open and close, with the ever-approaching risk of a patrol seeing their entry point as time passed. This was somewhat fun in play, like a minigame, but actually describing this narratively would be terribly dull, like recounting a DnD party working on a sudoku puzzle. So hopefully this is better than that.

    Phantom: "I haven't found a way to override those turrets, so we may have to go loud. So...good luck. Try not to die. I'm opening the door now."

    Hellfire: "No problem, check this out."

    Brimstone lifted its shotguns at his command, making a rough guess at where stationary turret emplacements might be, and lined up a pair of shots as the doors began to part. He didn't need much correction, and the turrets barely had a chance to spin up their barrels before twin slugs punched symmetrical holes through them.

    Hellfire: (Cheering for himself) "Ha! Sneak attack, bitch!"

    And then the Alarm sounded.

    Thunder didn't waste any time going for the vault door. At a glance it looked too well-armored for his blades to get through, but the anchorings preventing the door from lifting looked potentially vulnerable. It took a lot of effort; even the anchors proved difficult to damage, and with the klaxons blaring they couldn't afford to waste a second. Still, after several wasted strikes, Thunder was able to weaken them enough that Hellfire could lift the door.

    (OOC Note: I'm mean. There were two anchorings, and each had 5 wounds and 1+ armor. For comparison, a tank chassis has 3 wounds and 2+ armor. Thankfully for them, the moorings could also be torn out with a mech strength equal to current hp, and Brimstone has 4 strength.)

    Scurrying into the vault and dropping the door behind them, the two pilots searched frantically for the object they'd been sent to retrieve. Finally, Thunder found it: The Red Box, like a cargo crate small enough to fit into a Mech's spare weapon bay. Not willing to risk wasting any more time, Thunder put the cargo into Lightning's unused weapon bay while Hellfire pilfered a loose SpiralTech Laser Rifle.

    Phantom: (Static interference) "-chk- all doors open, all feeds looped. Had to run, Assault team against my position. Not much time, get out of there!"

    Hellfire: "Well, that's bad. We should go."

    Thunder: "You sure do like stating the obvious."

    An infantry squad was waiting for them outside the vault with portable rocket launchers readied, but unfortunately for them, Hellfire shot first. The pair quickly engaged their jump packs down the nearest hallway to leave the gory scene behind, only to find a pair of NRB-A01 "Uriel" MPACs waiting for them.

    Hellfire and Thunder, simultaneously: "Oh, this is gonna suck."

    (Setting Note: MPAC is short for "Mass Production Armored Core", a particularly dangerous sort of war machine still piloted by a redshirt. While MPACs are much more dangerous than GPACs (with a higher price tag to match), they tend to be highly specialized and lack the versatility that independent pilots usually design their vehicles with. With that in mind, the A01 "Uriel" is NRB's standard MPAC, built on treads with an armored chassis, an NRB-05 HMG, and a rocket launcher. It is most often utilized in a guard or siege role, as MPACs are generally considered overkill for street-sweeping and the Uriel is less effective than similarly-priced tanks in open-field operations.)

    NRB Officer: "Don't let them escape!"

    The MPACs opened fire. Brimstone and Lightning had little room to dodge rockets and a hail of lead in the relatively narrow confines of the hall, but they certainly tried. Both rockets went flying past harmlessly, but the machinegun fire was not so merciful: Dodging the full firepower of two NRB-05s in a killbox would have been akin to dodging rain in a hurricane. Neither pilot came out of that unscathed, but Thunder had the worst of it, with Lightning's head totally nonfunctional.

    (OOC note: "Dammit, I just bought that! And it cost me 10cr!" It does suck pretty hard. Fixing that head alone cost half his cut from the mission.)

    Thunder and Hellfire didn't bother returning fire, firing up their boosters again to make a desperate rush for the exit. Against all odds, through another hail of fire, they both made it through the hole without any more serious damage. A few infantrymen took potshots down the shaft at them, but to little effect.

    Phantom: "You're clear! Transport engine's hot, but we've got to go now!"

    Hellfire: "That was fun! We should do this again sometime."

    Thunder: "Let's not."

    (Musical Suggestion)

    They rushed to climb into the back of the truck, sickening smell and all. The faster they could be out of here, the better. The door closed with a hiss, and the rumbling returned in force. It wasn't long before the truck joined all the other waste collection vehicles elsewhere in New Rhodes, Cheyenne Tower's floodlights passing harmlessly overhead. One bribed rail station manager later, they were safely on their way back to Val City, cargo clear.

    Thunder: "So, either of you curious what's inside? What's so important about this thing?"

    Phantom: "Yes, but I can think of no way to open the Red Box without leaving signs of tampering."

    Hellfire: "I have a bad feeling that I don't want to know too much with this 'Artemis' character, and I think they'd know."

    Thunder: (downcast) "Yeah, you're probably right...just, damn. Something doesn't feel right."

    The rest of the train ride was quiet.

    Spoiler: Aftermath Email Contact

    Recipients: Hellfire, Thunder
    Subject: Re: Operation
    Text: It was a pleasure working with the both of you. I have successfully raised the funds desired to repair my AC, and so it is my hope that we will not find ourselves employed on opposite sides in the future.

    I still do not know with certainty what the red box contained, but I did a little more digging: I believe it had something to do with NRB's space program. If you acquire further information, I can put you in contact with someone who might pay for it.

    - Phantom

    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2017-05-26 at 08:02 PM.

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    Earthbound Immortal Uru avatar by Strawberries

    Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Ogre in the Playground
    BladeofObliviom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Hey, remember when I updated this regularly? Me neither, because that was four months ago and I can rarely remember what clothes I am wearing at any given moment without looking down at myself. As you might imagine, trying to write an account of a months-old memory of a memory of a session is difficult, so...yeah. Uh, hi. Sup?

    Have an update, as a peace offering. It's not Part 3 of Trigger and Buddy's side venture, but it's happening around the same time.

    Normal Avatar by Thormag!

    Earthbound Immortal Uru avatar by Strawberries

    Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Somewhere nice.

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Frankly I'm just glad you're updating at all!
    Besides, I've go the patience for this sort of schedule.
    You would be surprised. I once waited a full year for something minor.
    Thank you for reading this, and for returning to update, so I hope you have a nice day!
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2017-05-27 at 09:25 AM.
    By Shoreward.

    Spoiler: My RPG title, somehow.

    {]GNU Terry Pratchett.[}

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ogre in the Playground
    BladeofObliviom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Interlude, Trigger and Buddy starring in: The Road Warriors (Part 3)

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Rackham: "...So, if we focus our efforts on these three checkpoints, with a little luck we should be able to capture all targets cleanly. 'Course, this gets a mite more complicated if-oh, good morning!"

    Trigger and Buddy found their way easily enough to Captain Rackham's unofficial 'war room', a little niche carved out from what might once have been some company's breakroom. Half-finished breakfasts were arrayed upon the counters (safely away from the charts and maps spread out on the table), next to at least half a dozen abandoned cups of coffee. The mechanical hums of central heating and ventilation systems were joined here by the quiet puffing of an old coffee machine, dutifully chugging along and filling the sleepy room with that distinctive aroma.

    As the Captain extended his simple courtesy to the room's new occupants, the other three faces darted up from their study. The first was a middle-aged, dark-skinned woman with an intensity in her eyes that Trigger couldn't quite place, though Buddy recognized the scars of a hardened waster as surely as anyone could. Seated across from her was a very pale man with greasy black hair stretching down below his shoulders, wrapped in a simple green cloak and eyeing the pair dubiously. Finally, a bright-eyed young woman clad in a tattered baseball cap and waistcoat stood up with enough force to knock her chair down behind her, and interrupted whatever Rackham was about to say.

    Hannah: "Herman!"

    She sheepishly looked down at Rackham's quiet glare and the greasy-haired man's quiet condemnation before turning around to put her chair back up, then sitting back down.

    Hannah: "Right, sorry."

    Rackham cleared his throat.

    Rackham: "Please, take a seat. Friends, these are the guests I mentioned earlier. Trigger, Buddy, I'd like to introduce you to my squad, as it were. This is Swift-" He gestured to the dark-skinned woman, who only nodded, before turning his finger to the cloaked man. "And this is Ebon. And, well, Trigger, you already know Doc here."

    Trigger: (Amusedly) "Doc?"

    Hannah: "Yep! Got a license in Sung City now and everything."

    Trigger: (With sudden concern) "Wait, you didn't before?"

    Hannah: "Oh, right. How's that eye of yours doing?"

    Trigger: "Uh, great, actually. You didn't have a license?"

    Hannah: (Waving a hand dismissively) "Please, I've always been the best at what I do."

    Trigger: "You installed it in a sewer!"

    Hannah: (Smirking) "And it didn't get infected, did it?"

    Trigger didn't have a response to that.

    Ebon: "Right, so, if we're done catching up..."

    Rackham: "Yes, yes, the mission. Well, with you two here, that frees up some resources. Now, since I'm not cleared to hire mercenaries and you're not formally under my command, I can't technically pay you...but I can authorize the repair crews to fix up your ACs with TirCA's coffers, and I can...misplace a pair of surplus THOR-class Missile Systems. Will that do?"

    Doing their best to hide any signs of drooling, both pilots nodded.

    Rackham: "Good. Doc, you're off the mission."

    Hannah: "What?!"

    Rackham: "Your medical skills are too valuable to risk outside of an emergency situation. You'll be with Elegant and I, on relief if needed."

    Hannah: (Grudgingly) "Yes, sir."

    Buddy: "Who's Elegant? Wait, the ranker? Concord #13? THAT Elegant?"

    Rackham: (Frowning faintly) "That's the one. She's one of Bei Fong's best, and when they sent her down I was impressed...but in retrospect I think the Bei Fongs wanted her somewhere far away."

    Trigger: "That bad?"

    Rackham: "She's getting some 'beauty sleep' right now, and we didn't make her get up because she'd have spent the whole meeting complaining about the lack of culture down here anyway. It's for the best, trust me."

    Buddy: "...Oh. I see."

    A fist rapped loudly upon the table, briefly drawing everyone's attention.

    Ebon: "Are we going to focus, or are we going to waste time with gossip and sentiment? I don't know these pilots, and I could not care less about your personal history with them. If we are doing business with them, do business."

    The Captain glared daggers at Ebon, but didn't argue.

    Rackham: "Have a seat, you two. I'll go over the mission again."

    Even as Trigger and Buddy grabbed spare chairs from the edges of the room and pulled them up to the conference table, Rackham was already starting to point out markings on a map.

    Rackham: "Long story short, NRB hired an independent, civilian cartographer to map parts of the Labyrinth, and they just can't be allowed to have that information. The Labyrinth is our main source of supplies from outside the city, since the train route goes right through NRB territory. If they had a complete map of the Labyrinth, or even just the section closest to Tir..."

    The man shuddered.

    Rackham: "We have military supplies, but wouldn't last long under siege without the Night Market. The point is, we need to stop the cartographers. They're civilians and I'd prefer to capture them without harm, but New Rhodes cannot be allowed to have that data."

    He sighs.

    Rackham: "The Bei Fongs tell us that they have five rovers still in operation, and all of them are currently in our section of the Labyrinth. We're screwed if they escape, but if we can sweep the place fast enough...well. Not much reception in the Labyrinth, you know. They can't transmit from that position, and any escort they have will be out of radio contact."

    Trigger: "So, what's the plan?"

    Rackham: (Leaning back in his chair) "The plan is, we go in and take them out. We'll be splitting into three teams, with Sandy acting as operator. Doc, Elegant, and I will be on relief. We'll be waiting outside the tunnels, just close enough to get a signal if someone calls SOS. Swift and Ebon will sweep from Tunnel A to the choke point, and loop around to Tunnel D. Trigger and Buddy will enter through Tunnel C and sweep through the center of the network here. When we've tagged all five units and eliminated any resistance, we'll let the infantry clean up and take survivors into custody. Any questions?"

    Buddy: "SOS? How much trouble are we expecting?"

    Rackham: "Whatever escort NRB sends along. Could be nothing, could be a couple of Solomons...could be Tanks. Be careful out there, and keep in radio contact as much as you can. Labyrinth makes comms touchy, but we're operating in the shallows."

    Trigger: "I've heard enough. When do we start?"

    All four of the war room's regulars glanced up at the ticking clock on the wall.

    Swift: "...Now."


    (Musical Suggestion)

    Bergentrucking and Doomedguy were truly impressive machines, but here they were among equals. Rackham's personal unit, Plunderer's Folly, was a strangely wood-colored machine made from outdated NRB parts, and a few even older-looking parts that weren't recognizable as belonging to any modern company. Elusive, on the other hand, was sleek and very modern-looking, painted blindingly white with violet accents, strangely beautiful for a machine of war. The pilot, Elegant, had chosen her title well enough, but despite the seeming frailty of the AC, Trigger and Buddy had no doubt that its twin Laser Rifles could be used to terrible effect if she were roused to anger.

    The three Bei-G01s used by the other pilots looked almost ugly in comparison, but Redeemer, Vengeance, and Open Heart were nevertheless impressive in their own way.

    Spoiler: Setting Note
    The Bei-G01 "Jing" is a GPAC manufactured and used by Bei Fong Industries. While its capabilities are extremely average, Bei Fong engineering has integrated the head into the main chassis to ensure that a stray hit does not compromise the machine's accuracy with its primary weapon: A BASALT cannon, designed to efficiently destroy light MTs and drones. While neither fast nor particularly tough, the Jing's offensive capabilities and excellent range make it a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. The Jing has only one arm; the BASALT cannon is attached to a turret mount where the right arm is normally located, and the left arm is used to stabilize the foregrip.

    Sandy: "This is Sergeant Choi, checking in. All pilots, please confirm."

    Swift: "This is AC Redeemer, standing by."
    Ebon: "This is AC Vengeance, standing by."
    Hannah: "This is AC Open Heart, standing by."

    They continued sequentially, followed by Rackham, followed by Elegant, followed by Trigger and then Buddy.

    Sandy: "Redeemer and Vengeance, Alpha Team is clear to enter Tunnel A. Good luck, and be careful."

    Ebon: "Confirmed."

    The two GPACs engaged their thrusters, skating into the darkness as the others merely watched.

    Buddy: "Anyone else got a bad feeling about this?"

    Sandy: "Bergentrucking and, uh, DoomedGuy, Bravo Team is clear to enter Tunnel C. Don't die or I'll be pissed, Herman. You owe me a drink."

    Trigger: "I'll be careful."

    (OOC note: "You'll be dead!")

    And they rocketed forth into the darkness. The first few tunnels were clear, but the radio was deathly quiet, and static creeped at the edges of their sensors.

    Buddy: "Can you see anything?"

    Trigger squinted, and caught a glimpse of something reflective around the next corner.

    Trigger: "Yeah, actually. Hold your fire, I can't see an escort."

    Bergentrucking pounced around the corner, turning its weapons on the tiny rover with practiced ease, and Trigger barked out orders over the loudspeaker.

    Trigger: "This region belongs to the Tir City Free Army! Surrender immediately!"

    The civilians inside the rover sheepishly complied, exiting the vehicle with their hands up. Trigger fired a burst into one of the rover's wheels, and the resulting fireball made it quite clear that the thing would not be moving any longer.

    Buddy: "Remain here. Additional personnel will arrive to escort you to safety."

    The cartographers looked over at their disabled rover and simply stood frozen in terror.

    Trigger: "Good enough. Sandy, are you getting this? We tagged one at our current coordinates."

    Sandy: " job. Alpha team has also found a group, so we have three targets remaining."

    They moved on, twisting through the passages, left and right and up and down. There was a reason this place was called a Labyrinth; more than once they came to a dead end and had to turn back. Finally, the pilots came to a blind corner and found themselves face-to-face with a pair of Solomon MTs.

    Solomon pilot: "Agh! Fire!"

    The bullets did only superficial damage to a pair of ACs, but the MTs did not fare nearly so well: DoomedGuy's pistol scored only a single telling hit against the right Solomon's armor, but Bergentrucking's NRB-57 ripped the left Solomon apart before the Wolf-mech's teeth finished the job on the right. Their escort obliterated, it wasn't long before the second rover surrendered as well.

    Trigger: "Sandy, this is Bravo Team, we got another one."

    Sandy: "Confirmed, that's four targets down. One came out of Tunnel B with a tank, but they never stood a chance against Charlie Team. Track down the fifth and-"

    Suddenly, silence.

    Trigger: "Sandy? You still there?"

    Sandy: "Alpha Team sent an SOS ping. They're near the chokepoint. Patching through."

    Swift: "-eemer is severely damaged. Vengeance is dow-" There was a brief static interruption before the last line came through. "-ushed by an AC, I repeat, they've set a tra-" Only static.

    Buddy: "...Spooky. Are we going to go spring a trap?"

    Before Trigger could answer, the radio crackled again.

    Rackham: "This is Charlie Team, we're entering the tunnels. Trigger, you're closer than we are. I don't know if we'll get there fast eno-" Static.

    Trigger: "...Yeah. Yeah we are."


    Tir's section of the Labyrinth ended with a chokepoint, a single passage into the greater structure. There were other routes one could move through, of course, but only one big enough to move Tanks and ACs through. Indeed, a few beasts of burden still saw use in Night Market caravans for this very reason. Trigger and Buddy waited in cover on either side of the passage, examining the pair of M2 Isaac Tanks idling at the edge, just beyond the next corner, and the smoking wreck of Vengeance battered against the wall...along with the wreck of a third tank.

    Trigger: "Why aren't they advancing or firing? They must see us. Maybe they're scared, looks like Swift and Ebon got one of the tanks."

    Buddy: "Swift said it was a trap, and that there was an AC. Are...are we going to spring it?"

    Trigger: "How bad can one NRB AC be? We got Grieg, we got this."

    Buddy: "It's lines like that that make me wonder why I followed you here."

    Buddy's words fell on deaf ears: Trigger had already engaged boosters to rush one of the tanks, opening fire with Bergentrucking's MG57 and Rocket Pods. A screaming hail of lead and a trio of deafening explosions landed upon the Tank's armor, leaving it in visibly worse shape than it started, but hardly disabled. Buddy sighed and locked missiles, firing a pair at the same tank. Both missiles exploded harmlessly against its armor, to his frustration, and while he allowed himself a pair of potshots with his pistol, he knew the weapon had little chance of piercing that armor.

    (OOC Note: Tanks have armor 2+, and the Pistol has a -1 AP modifier. Thus, penetrating tank armor with a pistol requires a roll of less than 1 on a d6. It's not technically impossible, though: Rolling a natural 12 gives a weapon +1 AP for that shot, so hypothetically a 12 to hit and a 1 on the armor save would allow a pistol to do damage to a tank. It's a longshot, but it doesn't cost him anything to try.)

    Both tanks sprung into action as the ACs made the first move, advancing rapidly and opening fire with their main cannons. Buddy was fortunate: The corner he lurked behind absorbed most of the shell's force. Trigger was less so, with the cannon shell scoring a direct hit to the chassis. Bergentrucking's combat shielding took the worst of it, but the shock still rattled the AC and the pilot inside.

    Trigger: "Son of a -"

    And that was when he caught a glimpse of it: A greenish blur slipping out, hidden by the corner but now unmistakable. As the shaking cleared, he quickly recognized the silhouette of an AC coming right for him! The assailant was a tall, slender thing covered in wicked spikes and barbs, elegant in its motions and in every way imaginable unlike the boxy machines preferred by NRB. He couldn't believe just how fast it was; it seemed only a moment ago it had been darting out from the corner, and now the sickeningly-yellow-and-green AC was swinging one of its spiked limbs right into one of Bergentrucking's legs.

    Sandy: "Trigger, got a bead! Enemy is AC Needles, pilot Saguaro!"

    He couldn't focus on that, not while reversing his thrust to skate backward on three legs and narrowly avoiding a second blow.

    Saguaro: (Cackling) "Tail already between your legs, mi lobito?"

    She sounded young, too young to be on a battlefield, but here nonetheless. Trigger answered the pilot with a hail of MG57 fire, but he couldn't get a clean shot; the damned Cactus-mech-thing moved like a sprinter, always one step ahead of the bullets even when he tried to compensate. He caught a glimpse of Doomedguy taking pistol potshots to no avail, but he couldn't focus on that either. Finally, Trigger heard the ping he'd been waiting for: Missile lock! Apparently Buddy had the same idea, because a trio of missiles rapidly converged on the enemy in a cramped tunnel. No way she could dodge that...

    Three explosions sounded one after another, but the smoke cleared with no signs of damage to the enemy. Thin trails of smoke wafted from two sets of still-spinning barrels protruding from the AC's shoulders, and he could only imagine she was smiling smugly in the cockpit.

    Saguaro: (Amused) "Bei interceptors, amigo! You think I've never seen missiles before?"

    Trigger's snappy comeback was cut short by the Tanks firing another pair of shells, one of which punched a clean hole through Bergentrucking's core. Alarms flashed everywhere and the pilot could only grunt in response. He was already very glad that Tir City was footing the repair bill this time. No time for hesitation: Saguaro rushed him again to engage in brutal melee: Spiked limbs against Bergentrucking's mighty teeth. A lucky bite managed to crunch down on one of Needles' arms, but the other limb soon came down hard, taking the wolfmech's head with it.

    (OOC: "Aw, not again! So glad I'm not paying for this.")

    Buddy: "We need to retreat or get reinforcements now! We're getting torn apart!"

    The desperation in his voice was obvious, but the replies came in quickly.

    Swift: "I'm still in proximity. Don't die."

    Rackham: "Confirmed, we've got the last rover. We're coming, just hold out a bit longer if you can."

    Desperate to reduce the incoming fire, Buddy emptied a salvo of rockets and missiles into the nearest tank, deafening blast after blast hammering down upon the machine's black armor. It seemed for a moment as if it were all for naught, but then the hatch burst open with tongues of flame, shadowy human shapes fleeing the wreck.

    Buddy: "One Isaac Tank confirmed destroyed."

    Following his partner's logic, Trigger turned his weapons toward the other tank, battering it with everything he had; alas, even as he ran out of explosives, the machine was still moving, and fast! Trigger tried to force his AC to back away, but he just wasn't fast enough, and Bergentrucking was caught under the tank's treads, metal grips chewing the Wolfmech's armor. Suddenly, there was a horrible sound like flesh tearing asunder, and all of his equipment went dead. Sensors out, systems out, even the radio rendered nonfunctional. Bergentrucking was dead in the water.

    Meanwhile, Buddy had been darting back and forth with Saguaro, trying to stay out of the cactus-mech's melee swing radius as best he could. He just needed to buy time...but he could see that he didn't have time as he watched the non-smoldering Tank back off of Bergentrucking's wreck and lower its cannon, lining up a final shot. Fortunately, something else fired first.

    A Jing GPAC with one leg mangled to uselessness and the name "Redeemer" scratched onto the side leaned up against the corner Buddy had abandoned, battle cannon's barrel still glowing red from its firing cycle. The shots were perfect, reducing the tank's main cannon to uselessness and severely damaging the treads. It might theoretically still be functional, but it wasn't going to do much like this.

    Swift: "That's for Ebon, you bastards."

    Saguaro: "Ah, you've returned!"

    Abandoning Buddy, Saguaro closed the distance between Needles and Redeemer in the blink of an eye, casually impaling the GPAC with both arms.

    Swift: "I spit on-"

    The radio went dead as Redeemer lost engine power. Saguaro sounded far too cheery as she pulled her mech's arms from the hulk, turning to Doomedguy as two ineffectual pistol rounds grazed her armor.

    Saguaro: "Well, this has been fun, hasn't it? But we'd best finish up."

    Needles charged, terrible fists shattering the motors in Doomedguy's legs, and the AC collapsed to the ground. With no chance to escape and a terrible foe bearing down on him, Buddy took aim and fired one last shot. Miraculously, it struck true.

    (OOC note: Natural 12, finally.)

    The bullet hit a weak point on an already frail AC, and one of its legs collapsed out from under it mid-dash. Needles crumpled against the grountd, flailing ineffectually for a brief moment before suddenly going very still.

    Saguaro: "...Very well. I surrender."

    Buddy: "..."

    Saguaro: "...You are working with Tir City, yes? Do you, on behalf of Tir City, accept my surrender?"

    Buddy: "...Yes."

    Things were quiet after that. Relief arrived quickly enough to arrest the survivors, and recovery crews began the arduous process of dragging a pair of disabled mechs all the way back to Tir City. Still, could have been a lot worse.

    Trigger: "I'm really glad we're not footing the bill on this one."


    Subject: New Contact
    Text: Hey Herman, it's Sandy. Rackham never got that message you sent, and it doesn't seem like the servers lost it on our end. Believe me, I've looked. I dunno what's up with that, but whatever happened has got to be on your end.

    Hope you're putting those missiles to good use. Ebon's dead, but Doc managed to get Swift patched up in time. Redeemer's beyond saving, though; ironic, that. That tank column and AC was the primary thrust of the attack; they were just trying to cut us off and take out our elites, focusing on isolation rather than planning to attack through the backdoor. We think we got all of the mapping teams, but we'll keep looking.

    That pilot you fought, Saguaro? She's a wacky one. Just a teenager once we pried her out of the cockpit, cursed in Spanish at us when Jackie pinned her leg under a piece of steel for a bit. She's not NRB, just a Concord Merc who got in a little over her head taking on four ACs. Colonel Halley tried to offer her Ebon's job, and I think Swift would have strangled him for the audacity of it if she weren't bedridden. Just business, you know? She didn't take him up on it, though, just paid one of our mechanics - generously - to fix up her AC's legs and bought a train ticket to head back to Val City as soon as the Brass agreed that keeping a Concord pilot as a POW would be riskier than it was worth.

    Stay safe out there, Trigger.

    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2017-06-05 at 04:00 PM.

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    Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Four Month Long Spoilers with Actual Spoilers
    Tir City has been lost in battle. Trigger and Rackham among casualties. Refugees flee to Jemeztown before settling at the newly acquired base. Leads on the whereabouts of Sonen have been found. Bower double crosses Stan and Buddy and skips town. New character joins the team. Buddy gets infested after being exposed to bioorganism.
    Last edited by Dr. LAW Mundy; 2017-10-25 at 04:24 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Ogre in the Playground
    BladeofObliviom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Extracted from

    Subject: Impressive Work

    Text: I wish to congratulate you all on your first completed assignment, and moreover on the impressive nature of its completion; not many successfully defeat two ranking pilots on their first official sortie. KROSSCorp clearly picked the right people for the job. My master was impressed and wishes to see you in action once more; I have arranged for a mission to be sent to you outside of the usual channels.

    I do hope you will consider working with us.

    Spoiler: Interlude, Blossom Solo (3)

    The railway from Val City to Arcadia to Sung City was an all-important economic spine between three of the greatest and most populous cities in the Layers - or indeed outside the Layers in Arcadia's case. Needless to say, there was significant profit to be had here, and several corporations ran their own lines along the route, directly or through their subsidiaries.

    But in the end, who runs the line is less important than who uses it.

    Blossom sat alone in the first-class car with her thoughts and a glass of whiskey. Someone must have recognized her; she'd bought a coach ticket under a false name, and had been mysteriously upgraded to first-class. Apparently, nobody else bought a first-class ticket, not even the elderly couple that she'd watched purchase one ahead of her. Some days, being a wealthy heiress could be inconvenient, especially when one was trying to travel incognito. She did her best to relax and nurse her drink; at maglev speed the trip would take no more than an hour and a half, and a significant portion of that would be a stop in Arcadia.

    It was still so strange in some ways, like a trance: Cyrus, a man she'd known for years, had died ignobly only the night before last, and her brother's schedule had cleared up just as suddenly; something was going on, and not knowing what had her on edge. But despite everything, the trip went smoothly and she disembarked in Sung without issue.

    The Sung City Rail Station was located on the east side of town, in a "neutral ground". While Sung City was governed by the People's Assembly (Theoretically a representative republic, with representatives coming from each city district and some surrounding smaller towns), most of the real power was held by DIS and of course the Bei Fong Family; both functionally owned a large number of representatives, though neither could totally dominate. The Rail Station was located in a district whose representative had no particular allegiance to DIS or BFI, though he was a shareholder in the Sung Rail Company. Thus, safe territory (if not quite friendly).

    Blossom made her way on foot toward the Bei Fong Industries building; she knew the way. Located in the second-nicest part of town, BFI's headquarters was a towering structure that buried itself both under the street and into the top of the cavernous space known as Sung City. Once upon a time the building was a hotel, and most of the old suites were converted into Offices when the Bei Fong Syndicate established itself as a legitimate entity fifty years ago. Still, it has a certain opulence to it, like you'd expect of a high-class hotel. The specific place she sought, the office of Corvos Bei Fong, was actually the former penthouse: An elaborate office-home where Corvos lived and worked, accessible by Elevator.

    Immediately important was the gatekeeper, the secretary sitting at the adjacent desk. Blossom knew her - Ms. Johanna Venito, her brother's right hand, a taller-than-average brunette woman with glasses, freckles, and a slightly hooked nose. Nothing less than the image of professionalism, she wore a waistcoat over a pinstriped blouse with a black tie. Her eyes darted to Blossom as the other woman approached, and she caught just the slightest hint of tension. How strange.

    Blossom: "Lovely to see you, Johanna."

    Blossom went directly for the first name, plying her personal charm and familiarity. Johanna looked back pointedly, not quite glaring but also not quite not glaring.

    Johanna: "Good Morning, Ms. Bei Fong.", she replied with a measured tone, cold and professional.

    Blossom: "Oh, why so stern? We're practically family."

    (OOC Note: Successful charm roll.)

    Her conversation partner frowned harder for a brief moment, but then released a deep breath, and the tension with it.

    Johanna: "You're right, I'm sorry."

    Johanna: "Your brother's been overloading his schedule, and shuffling everything around at the last second was frustrating the first time, much less the second."

    Johanna: "I shouldn't have lashed out at you, that wasn't fair."

    Blossom: "The second? Who came before me?"

    She visibly stiffened at the question. It didn't take an expert body-reader to tell that she said more than she meant to. Apparently seeing no point in lying, she sighed and acquiesced.

    Johanna: "Er, a young girl, no older than a teenager."

    She looked both ways before leaning in and whispering.

    Johanna: "Said her name was Tanith, and I think she was Iron Clan."

    Blossom: "Really now? Fascinating. Who knew my brother got along so well with little girls?", she joked. Johanna stifled a snort.

    Johanna: "I hope not. He's been known to invite young women to the penthouse before, but never quite that young."

    Blossom (still being facetious): "Maybe he needs advice for my birthday present? Though I was always under the impression that you picked them out for me."

    Johanna: "Officially I did no such thing." A smirk.

    Blossom: "Well, I've always loved them."

    Johanna (smiling earnestly): "I'm glad to hear that." And with that, Blossom was shooed away with a free hand. "I'm so sorry, but I have work to catch up on and you have an appointment to make."

    Blossom: "Of course, it was wonderful to see you."

    Johanna: "...I do wish your brother would rest more so his siblings didn't have to make appointments on company time to see him, but it is what it is. Stay safe, Asami."

    (Blossom's Player: "Into the office! That lady needs a raise.")

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Blossom took the express elevator directly to what was once the Penthouse Suite, and in all honestly still closely resembled a Penthouse Suite. It was an opulent room with checkerboard tile, a grand staircase, and a small fountain in the entryway... well as someone she didn't recognize watching the elevator: A twisted hulk of a woman with long and stringy black hair, snaggle-teeth, a dull expression, and a visibly hunched posture. Even with the hunch, she was almost nine feet tall and built of muscle. Blossom could only imagine what kind of heart she must have to avoid passing out: She looked like she could crush rocks to dust with her bare hands. With this in mind, Blossom carefully resisted the urge to chuckle at her apparently custom-tailored, bright red smoking jacket. Instead, she smiled awkwardly.

    The mutant ever-so-slowly adopted a huge smile in return. "Isawmee Buhfawnguh?", she asked, clearly having serious trouble with the pronunciation.

    Blossom: "Yes, that's me."

    The mutant shakily nodded, before returning to her guard stance. Apparently she was just watching the elevator, not that Blossom was made to wait long. Corvos threw open the doors at the top of the Grand Staircase and took a few steps forward before leaning casually over the rail.

    Corvos Bei Fong was an imperious man: Tall, with broad shoulders, and clad in a charcoal-colored overcoat with gold embroidery, worn open with a matching waistcoat. His knee-high boots were made from synth-lambskin and cinched with gold-plated buckles. He wore his wavy silver hair long and tied back with a silk ribbon. He had fair skin and pronounced cheekbones, with eye shadow and irises always accenting his wardrobe in indigo and emerald. The phrases most often used to describe his debonair good looks were "dreadfully handsome" and "rather pretty for a man". Somehow he looked no older than twenty-five, despite the fact that Asami knew him to be thirty. He had all the luck in the family: Lykon's Identical Twin, but aged better for some reason. Unlike Lykon he's also sort of a dandy.

    Corvos: "Asami! What have you been up to?"

    Blossom: "Oh, the usual! Reading, gardening, laying waste to secret buildings in a multi-ton suit."

    Corvos: "Ah, you do take after Bella after all. Gardening aside; I've never known her to willingly engage with nature of any sort, at least not before it's been processed into paper and written on."

    Corvos: "Oh, and don't mind Ogre. She's the best bodyguard a man could ask for but sadly not much for conversation."

    Blossom: "Is that what you named her? It doesn't suit her, she's a delicate maiden."

    Corvos: "Personally, I think it rolls off the tongue better than 'Rare and Terrifying Result of Contaminants in the Water Supply', but perhaps that's a matter of taste."

    Ogre does not seem to mind much, at any rate, merely continuing to watch the elevator.

    Blossom: "Well, that aside, we do have some business to attend to. I believe you're pressed for time?"

    Corvos: "Lykon did mention you had business."

    He pushed back from the railing and began to descend.

    Corvos: "Would you like anything? I've found that discussing matters over the kitchen table works just as well as the office proper unless you're trying to frighten a man."

    Blossom: "Anything is fine as long as I don't have to worry about pesky bugs."

    Corvos: "Bugs?" He stumbled in faux-shock. "Just what are they feeding you in Val City?"

    Blossom: "Oh dear brother, nothing but the best once you've gotten a rank in the top 50. But surely you know what I'm referring to?"

    Corvos: "This place is as private as a place can be, Asami."

    Blossom: "Very well then. I have a present, a nice vintage surface wine. Would you like some?"

    Corvos shrugged and retrieved a pair of wine glasses from his kitchen cabinet, setting both down on the table as Blossom continued.

    Blossom: "I've noticed you've been working quite a bit and making interesting connections."

    Corvos: "Have you now?", he replied with a curious and just ever-so-slightly smarmy tone. "That is my job, as I'm sure you're aware."

    Blossom: "Yes, but with little girls and DIS subsidiaries?"

    She asked the question with a barb, but he didn't even flinch at the veiled accusation.

    Corvos: "Little g-oh. I may need to have a conversation with Ms. Venito regarding basic confidentiality. Still, the meeting in question was nothing particularly strange, I assure you." He paused a moment, looking down at the glasses to pour out wine for both of them. "She demanded to meet me, actually."

    Blossom (fake-laughing): "I can't help but worry about my big brother."

    Corvos: "I can't imagine why seeing our niece would be cause for alarm.", he says with a matter-of-fact smile, as if he didn't just reveal a new family member Asami had never met. "There's no harm in telling you, I think: Tanith Marius is Lykon's daughter."

    (Blossom's player: *Mental Record Scratch*)

    Blossom: "Oh dear, is she in trouble? Why would she need to visit you on such short notice?"

    Corvos: "Ha! No, if anything you're the one in trouble. She was investigating the untimely death of one of our beloved employees."

    Blossom: "Oh...yes...that."

    Where some would be thrown off by a sudden shift, though, Blossom knew her own brother well enough to identify a deflection when she saw one.

    Blossom: "Why would she come to you to investigate, anyway? I haven't even reported to the main estate on the matter. Why would you know so much?"

    Corvos: "Come now, Asami, you already know the answer to that. I do believe it was Mr. Wynter and yourself who arranged to have the body transported."

    Blossom: "That isn't as interesting as the one who pulled the trigger and the situation itself. I'm sure that's what she was investigating, and I have my suspicions."

    Corvos leaned in with his head resting on top of his hands, elbows planted on the table. "Oh?"

    Blossom: "I told Mr. Wynter I'd report the incident myself and he hates to make reports, so just who told you about this?"

    Corvos (examining his nails): "You gave your name to Mr. Wynter's Night Market contact. All I did was ask him."

    Blossom (growing slightly frustrated): "He knew nothing but my name and his task."

    Corvos (smugly, with undisguised curiosity): "...And I did not intend to imply that I knew more detail than that."

    Blossom: "...You'd think the Iron Clan would know that without coming to you."

    (OOC note: Critical Success on the social roll here.)

    Corvos frowned almost imperceptibly at that.

    Corvos: "Fine. If you must be so insistent...well, do you know what a graybox is?"

    Blossom: "I've heard of those, yes. A data storage implant? What are you suggesting?"

    Corvos: "It's fortunate that you had his body sent here, for more than just a funeral. You knew Cyrus as well as I, surely you noticed how strange his eyes were? They were bionic - and interfaced with a graybox."

    (OOC note: Dramatic Pause. Blossom's player didn't interject.)

    Corvos: "He recorded everything. Every single thing he looked at with those eyes, saved into that tiny piece of titanium and silicon. Everything witnessed by Father's confidant and one of his best men."

    Blossom: "Well then you must understand why I'm here. As you can see a certain corporation is up to something. I've noticed that you've been meetings with Kind Red and AUS. You must understand why I am concerned."

    Corvos (shaking his head): "An interesting theory, but I'm afraid you're missing some key pieces. Cyrus' eyes were a prototype model from when Bei Fong Industries briefly attempted to compete with Kind Red openly on the cybernetics market. The graybox was an unauthorized, third-party alteration added later, and we don't know where it came from."

    Corvos: "Yet.", he added after a short pause. He looked away, still frowning. "If you ask me? Insurance policy. A little package designed to make us regret it if we ever turned on him." He scoffed. "Paranoid bastard."

    Blossom: "So how much were you able to see from the graybox?"

    Corvos: "Moi?" He gestured to himself. "Not a peek. The data was encrypted, and an Iron Clan Agent came by to pick it up long before I could have cracked that shell. But you know all about that."

    Blossom: "Is that so? Well I suppose we should focus more on you and your connections to DIS. Lucky you!"

    Corvos only scoffed again.

    Corvos: "Now, now, if you're going to make wild accusations the least you can do is stop being coy about how our dear friend met his fate."

    Blossom: "DIS threatened me, Cyrus protected me. Now he's dead."

    Corvos: "Goodness, Asami, 2/10 for effort on that deflection, I know you can do better than that."

    Blossom: "I'm not here for deflection, I'm here to make sure our family stays safe. That includes you. I saw how easily the murderer handled Cyrus, and he was no weakling."

    Corvos (nods, smiling just slightly): "Let me guess. PLUS?"

    Blossom: "Y-yes..."

    Corvos: "No doubt. Drake can be so predictable in that regard; can't even put a spy somewhere without filling the poor fool with enough metal to make a set of cutlery."

    Blossom: "And from what I can tell, they're picking off their enemies and nuisances one-by-one through business both legitimate and underhanded."

    Corvos: "Should I assume you have a corkboard somewhere? Lots of newspaper articles, pins, and red yarn?"

    Blossom: "Actually, I have eyes. I'm certain you've heard of those?"

    Corvos: "Here I was worried that your sharp tongue had shrivelled from disuse! This is the part where I ask why DIS' current attempts to get rid of their enemies should concern me any more than all the other times they have done the exact same thing."

    Blossom: "Because they're trying to hire a Bei Fong to do their dirty work."

    Corvos: "Care to elaborate?"

    Blossom: "I may be avoiding my name in Val City, but of course they knew who I am. They wanted Wynter, myself, and a few of my comrades to capture a rogue PLUS subject. Rather than hire, they flanked us in a small room with weapons more than capable of killing Cyrus."

    Corvos: "Well I'd imagine so, lethal weapons aren't much good if they can't kill an unarmored human." He considers this information a moment. "Are you sure they intended to hire you?"

    Blossom: "I'm still looking into it. The DIS representative had a guard. He's an AC pilot but I'm pretty sure he's been watching me and I don't think he has the mental capacity to fall for my good looks."

    Corvos chuckled sensibly at that.

    Corvos: "I'd certainly be cautious in your place. DIS Agents can be many things, but few are fools. I doubt they'd try to hire a Bei Fong without some ulterior motive. Frankly, if a DIS Agent had you cornered and let you go, it's because they think they've put themselves in a situation where they cannot lose."

    Blossom: "What do you suggest I do?"

    Corvos: "I'd be lying if I had an answer, but a bit of advice? Consider how not doing what you were told might help your enemies, and work from there."

    Blossom: "Well I wasn't planning on doing their dirty work, but they'll know who tipped off the rogue. I'm not sure I could take on Perfect even from my mech...actually, I have some ideas on what to do."

    Corvos nods approvingly. "We'll make a politician out of you yet!"

    Blossom: "Now wouldn't I love to tip the balance in Sung city to our favor. I do enjoy challenges."

    Corvos: "It's a work in progress."

    There was a sound from the other room as the elevator opened, and she heard Ogre telling someone to wait.

    Blossom: "...Time for your next appointment?"

    Corvos: "Yes, it does look that way. I don't suppose you know the way down on your own?"

    Blossom: "Go to the big doors and press the button. Rather difficult, but I can manage."

    Blossom: "I'll be seeing you brother, take care and stop overworking poor Johanna!"

    Corvos simply rolled his eyes and waved goodbye.

    On the way out, Blossom spotted Ogre waiting patiently next to a very tall, very thin woman with bone-white hair and red eyes wearing a pinstriped black-and-white suit. She almost missed the literally dozens of hidden dagger-sheaths concealed under the fabric, though they looked empty from here. Even as they approached the elevator, the other woman nodded at her.

    ???: "Good morning, Blossom."

    Blossom: "...Good morning. I'm sorry but have we met?"

    ???: "Not in person. My name is Jill Luna." She sounded like she was about to say something else when Ogre interrupted, telling her that the master will see her now. With that in mind, she nodded again as if to apologize and headed off toward the kitchen.

    Blossom: "Nice to meet you..."

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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Is anyone still reading this? I have no idea. My update rate is atrocious, I'm sad to say.

    Still plenty to write, though. Ever-growing.

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  12. - Top - End - #102
    Dwarf in the Playground

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    I just saw this today and read through the whole thing. I have had a blast reading it! You've made me want to run a mech tabletop so badly! Although a lot of it has got to be your players, they are fantastic well-engaged role-players, and I love their banter and conversations! I also love the world; the fun pilots (player and npc alike), fun mechs, and fun theme-music they have. Thank you very much for posting this campaign journal, reading it really made my day.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Mission 4: Gordian Knot

    Spoiler: Spoilered for Length

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Spoiler: Briefing

    Sung City Shuffle: 20 Spiral CAM
    Employer: Spiral Technology Solutions
    Theatre of Operations: Old San Francisco Ruins
    Enemy Forces: DIS Convoy and Escort, KROSSCorp Excavators
    Conditions for Success: Break Ceasefire
    Briefing: Ugh, I swear, is this thing on? Alright, this is Lana Cross speaking on behalf of SpiralTech. This mission will send you to San Francisco, located on the surface above Sung City. The area is hazardous, but there are quite a few gems and treasures buried if you know where to look. KROSSCorp has a dedicated excavation team mining the place out, and it seems like DIS is trading parts to them in return for some goodies.

    Corporate wants you to go in and ruin the next deal. DIS won't ignore blatant theft, and they won't believe Krozna's PR guys when they say some random ACs showed up and raided the convoy for no reason.

    San Fran is not a joke, and any mist you can see is corrosive. The water is even more corrosive. Try not to die.

    Operator: "This is K.K. Sonnen. You're being deployed into Old San Francisco via Sung City Surface Access, as local conditions are too hazardous to fly in. Your ACs are hermetically sealed to prevent exposure to local toxins, but avoid contact with concentrated fogbanks and liquid at all costs - both are known for their corrosive properties. Do not unseal your AC under any conditions."

    Old San Francisco was, by all accounts, an utterly forsaken stretch of land. As far as the eye could see, cold, crumbling buildings half-emerged from sickly water, thick fogbanks of crimson and yellow rolling through intermittently. A few hills crested the water's surface, but by and large only the tops of buildings and some of the highway passes could be considered 'safe', or whatever passed for safe here.

    This time, they'd gathered the whole gang: Thunder, Trigger, Blossom, Buddy, and Hellfire were all deployed and ready for danger.

    Operator: "Spiral Technology Solutions Mission Parameters: Approach enemy rendezvous point and destroy any DIS forces in your path. Exterminate all enemies located at the point of interest, then return to the Surface Access for Extraction. I will be providing updates throughout this operation.

    Good luck."

    Thunder took the lead, jumpjetting to a nearby highway overpass, followed by Hellfire, and rather more slowly followed by the other three pilots.

    Thunder: "We're going to pick a fight with who-knows-how-many DIS Mechs and their drone complements in the middle of this deathtrap. What's not to like?"

    Hellfire: "Let's go with the Deathtrap part."

    Buddy: "Same."

    They progressed steadily along the raised highway, taking care to avoid the less stable-looking edges and avoiding any fog that passed over. They took note of a few KROSSCorp ARANEA excavator teams scavenging in some of the nearby buildings, but didn't engage. Finally, a contact cut the steadily-growing tension: A silhouette in the fog ahead.

    It may have been bone-thin and surrounded by inhuman shapes, but it was definitely a mech. Trigger didn't hesitate.

    Trigger: "Mech up ahead, other side of the fog. Engaging!"

    Burstfire rang out into the otherwise eerily-silent fogbank...followed by four inhuman screeches: AUS Drones. The silhouette readied its own weapons even as the fog began to clear, and the battle was joined in earnest. Four Drones, machines that the players immediately recognized as an AUS-α Lemure, two AUS-β Nupperibos, and an AUS-ε Malebranche!

    Blossom directed Steel Hibiscus to kneel and picked out a target: One of the Nupperibo drones, to take it out before it could reach close range. Her sniper cannon was as accurate as it was lethal, taking the offending machine out with a single shot.

    Blossom: "Got one of the ones with the blades. Hellfire, Thunder, engage freely but watch out for the other one."

    Hellfire: "Gotcha."

    Lightning and Brimstone didn't waste time, activating jumpjets to place themselves up close and personal. Lightning neatly quartered the Lemure before it could fire a single shot even as Hellfire pressed both shotguns to the remaining Nupperibo and pulled. Two more clean kills, and they'd dispersed enough fog to safely clear the area.

    They could clearly see the mech now: Spindly, tall, and armed in a manner distinctive of Drake Imperial Science: A CO-A01 "Barbatos" MPAC, still backed up by a single Malebranche Drone. It wasted no time moving backward in a serpentine pattern, spraying pulse rifle rounds with improbable accuracy at Lightning's Arms, though the energized particles couldn't seem to inflict any serious damage.

    Spoiler: Setting Note
    CO-A01 “Barbatos”: A tall, spindly DIS MPAC, the Barbatos is extremely fast and lightly-armored, designed for skirmishes rather than prolonged battles. Barbatos MPACs are typically armed with a Levistus Pulse Rifle and a Cania-type Burst MG, as well as a drone controller and a complement of drones to compose a scout team.

    CO-Levistus Pulse Rifle: An extremely accurate particle-based light machine gun designed by DIS. While it lacks armor-penetrating power, its range is second only to dedicated sniper weapons and its handling is second to none.

    CO-Cania Pulse Grenade MG: A rapid-fire Grenade Launcher used primarily by DIS forces, designed for use with specialized anti-vehicle explosives. While these intense bursts of electromagnetic energy are extremely effective against computers and anything with a lot of circuitry, most common armors are hardened against this sort of assault. Still, no armor is perfect, and the Cania-type can prove quite destructive against lightly-armored foes.

    AUS Drones, of course, were introduced back in the Avici Facility.

    Lightning: "...You bitch."

    For his part, Buddy advanced behind DoomedGuy's shield, taking two shots at the Malebranche, and putting a few new holes in its armor. Made of sterner stuff than the other two Drones, though, it responded by spraying Buddy with its Cania-type Grenade MG.

    Buddy: "Aaagh, I regret everything!"

    The series of explosions battered the pilot's shield to near-uselessness, but he didn't have to wait long before Trigger relieved him: Skating along on all four leg-mounted boosters, Bergentrucking blitzed the Malebranche with its NRB-57 and finished it off with deadly teeth. Trigger laughed with joy over the comms.

    That just left the Barbatos. Still barely within range, Blossom lined up a shot...and missed, the spindly thing dancing out of her shot's path with improbable grace.

    Blossom: "Damn it, how is this thing so fast?"

    MPAC Pilot: "Die, Rebel!"

    Switching tactics, Blossom concentrated on penetrating the other pilot's systems remotely. The security measures were far superior to what she was used to - apparently DIS systems were more sophisticated than she realized - but when she got in...

    Blossom: "...This pilot's hardwired into the AC. It's PLUS!"

    Her hacking slowed the enemy down, and it didn't take the Dynamic Duo of Lightning and Brimstone long to catch up and disable the enemy mech.

    Thunder: "What the hell happened to you?"

    MPAC Pilot: "H...AAAATE. D...die, rebel."

    Blossom: "It doesn't have to be like this. I don't know what Drake did to you, but..."

    MPAC Pilot: "You...will...all...diiiiiiiiiie..."

    Lightning impaled the core with both blades, and the voice stopped.

    Hellfire: "Well, that was horrible. How about we move on?"


    Further down the overpass, they came upon the mission objective: A massive building, towering over the waterline, but one of the lower levels was reachable from the side of the overpass with a good jump.

    Operator: "Objective ahead. Be advised, building is structurally deficient and contains many AUS-drones, as well as at least two Barbatos MPACs and a Mephistopheles MPAC. Exercise caution with each step and do not allow yourself to be ambushed."

    Even as Thunder and Brimstone began to warm up their jumpjets, Trigger flicked on the comms.

    Trigger: "Wait."

    Everyone: "What's up?"

    Trigger: "This is a top-heavy, who-knows-how-old, structurally deficient concrete building that's been sitting in a pool of seawater and toxic sludge since before we were born. And it's full of enemies."

    Buddy: "Wait. Are you seriously suggesting..?"

    Trigger: "We have how many high explosive rockets and missiles, again?"

    Buddy: "Oh gosh, he is."

    Trigger: "And I'm a certified Demolitions expert."

    ((OOC Note: This is most assuredly a lie. Trigger has no such certification, and his activities involving explosives have given him an official designation as a Domestic Terrorist in several major cities. It is, however, true that he has multiple skill points in Demolitions.))

    Blossom: "...This is insane. I'm in. You know where to aim to optimize this? We only have so much to work with."

    Trigger pointed out nine spots that were, as far as he could tell, important load-bearing members, and assigned a rough guess at what it would take to bring them down to each of them. They picked their targets, lined up their shots, and...

    Trigger: "Three, Two, One."

    The building's walls at the waterline were engulfed in a firestorm of missile strikes, high-explosive warheads, and even a few carefully-placed potshots from Blossom's Sniper Cannon. Before long, the entire building was tipping parallel to the highway, DIS mechs scrambling (and failing) to escape in time...

    ...And then it sunk completely beneath the water, along with the other three buildings it landed on. Nothing could have survived that, and surely anything that did would succumb to the drink before long.

    Operator: "...A novel approach. Mission Complete. Return to extraction point."

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Another update! Mission 4 is out. Figured I'd keep writing while I had some momentum. This mission is short because my PCs outsmarted my premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emay Ecks View Post
    I just saw this today and read through the whole thing. I have had a blast reading it! You've made me want to run a mech tabletop so badly! Although a lot of it has got to be your players, they are fantastic well-engaged role-players, and I love their banter and conversations! I also love the world; the fun pilots (player and npc alike), fun mechs, and fun theme-music they have. Thank you very much for posting this campaign journal, reading it really made my day.
    Yesssssss, feeeeed my ego.

    But really, this sort of thing is very encouraging to hear! I've relayed your praise to the players in question too.

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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    I also thirst for hot Mech-on-Mech Action. Keep it coming or I might stab something.

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Ogre in the Playground

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    I saw the thread title and thought... "so that's how new transformers are made."

  17. - Top - End - #107
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Just found your journal and I love it! Which says something, cause I normally avoid anime/mecha inspired stuff like the plague. So congratulations on catching someone outside your intended audience!

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Is anyone still reading this? I have no idea. My update rate is atrocious, I'm sad to say.

    Still plenty to write, though. Ever-growing.
    Just caught up. I'm enjoying it.
    Just call me Diego. Mr. Havoc was my father.
    Spoiler: About Me
    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Diego Havoc, one of the hoopier froods I've met, up there with DeLancie.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Spoiler: Interlude 4, Part 1: Something Fishy

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Disembarking from the hangar once more, the players were met by a familar face lurking outside: Dashing again, this time with crimson hair. Not one of them missed the agitation on her face as she waved them over.

    Dashing: "Hey there! How'd the mission go?"

    Murmurs of suspicion could be heard through the group even as they approached; understandable after what happened last time they completed a mission.

    Trigger (suspiciously): "It went well. How about yours?"

    Dashing (with amazingly fake laughter): "Hahaha, it went well. Hey, you guys busy?"

    Blossom stared harder at Dashing, and the visible bead of sweat rolling down her face.

    Blossom (predatory grin): "And what if we are?"

    Dashing: (squeaking) "Nothing!" (less overtly nervous) "Not a problem, I mean, haha. I was just going to ask if you all wanted to get dinner at the Red Lantern Grill with me. To celebrate that you're all Concord Top 50 now."

    That last part, at least, sounded sincere. Thunder released a breath he'd been holding; either she didn't know, or she did.

    Spoiler: Note
    Thunder recognized the Red Lantern Grill as a local front for Night Market Activities. His streetwise skill came in handy here, along with a circumstance bonus for actually being associated with the Night Market.

    Thunder: "Sounds good. That's the upscale sushi bar in downtown, right? You guys gotta be hungry by now, right?"

    Dashing (less nervously): "That's right. Nice sit-down place. Rogue's Gallery's still closed, so it's the next-best hangout spot. Damn shame all they've got is the Beibevbar stuff, but in a pinch..."

    The rest of the party looked at Thunder warily as he subtly gestured to play along for now...and one by one, they admitted that yes, they could go for some sushi.


    Dashing's Jalopy was a little bit tight seating six, and Thunder and Blossom took Thunder's bike instead. That left Trigger, Buddy, and Hellfire in Dashing's car. Leaving Freeport's parking garage in the old muscle car felt strangely underwhelming after so much time in a mech, but Dashing's driving helped make up for any missing thrill; true to her name, the woman was a speed demon through and through.

    Trigger: "Alright, what the hell was that about?"

    Dashing (Sighing): "Sorry about that, didn't know if I was being watched. I'm not cut out for this Cloak and Dagger crap."

    Hellfire: "We noticed. Everyone noticed. Whatever random flunky they had manning the cameras noticed. You are the worst liar."

    Dashing: "Nah, the worst liar is Jack. Can't even pretend to laugh at a bad joke without scrunching up her face like she's-HEY, WATCH IT!" (Slams horn)

    Buddy: "You just ran a red light, that was totally your-"

    Dashing (out window): "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!"

    Hellfire: "Rebecca. Seriously. The hell."

    Dashing: "Heh. Right. Sorry. Look, something's rotten around here, and I don't know who I can trust. I'll get into the details later, but something is wrong and you guys are wrapped up in it. The bad kind of wrapped up."

    Hellfire: "...This better not be some kind of trick. Thunder trusts you, but I don't know why."

    Dashing (...): "That's probably good. Keep your guard up. I'll tell you everything, I just don't want to explain it twice. How're you guys liking your new Operator?"

    Trigger: "...The hell is that supposed to mean?"

    Dashing (Surprised): "...You mean..? Damn. I'll explain everything. I promise."

    Hellfire: "...Fine. Why the Red Lantern Grill?"

    Dashing: "Because I'm hungry and want fish. Not everything has to be spy movie bull****."

    Buddy: "..."


    The Red Lantern Grill was a little hole-in-the-wall just off of Main Street, next to an alley Blossom and Thunder quickly recognized as the Graver hideout where they'd tracked down "Slimy Steve" a couple of weeks ago. Now that it was brighter out, there was no missing the little inscription in the doorframe: A bit of Night Market code indicating that the storefront had paid protection money. Inside, the Red Lantern Grill smelled strongly of roasting and raw fish. The place was extravagant...just as one might expect of a restaurant that imports fish all the way from the surface: Faux-wood and rice paper were the dominant aesthetic, along with the titular red lanterns (actually just electric lights hidden behind red paper).

    Dashing quickly pulled everyone into a relatively private booth, and pulled a slip of paper out of her back pocket.

    Thunder: "The hell is all this about, Dashing?"

    Dashing: "Alright, sorry for that whole thing. I couldn't tell you everything in Freeport, I don't know where they have eyes. Something is seriously wrong, and I've got a feeling you guys are at the pointy end of whatever this is."

    Blossom: "Explain."

    Dashing (Embarrassed): "Look, before I say anything else, you guys know I don't take every rookie pilot who survives a mission out for drinks, right? I, uh, heard that Sonnen took on a new squad and narrowed it down to you guys."

    Thunder: "...You stalked us."

    Dashing (Nervous): "I-I figured that you guys were worth knowing if you caught Sonnen's eye, okay? Not easy to do. K.K. Sonnen is a goddamn legend."

    Trigger: "Whatever. What's that slip of paper?"

    Dashing: "R-right! Right. So...funny story. There's this intern at the Val City Herald who is kind of my biggest fan. Kid's a little obsessive really. Not the point. She let slip something about a censored article a couple of days ago, and she saved a print...well, I think you all ought to see it for yourself."

    She passed the folded sheet to the other side of the table, where Hellfire was sitting. The man gracefully palmed and unfolded it, quietly reading aloud.

    Hellfire: "War Hero Kelly Catherine Sonnen, aged 53, assumed dead after apartment fire in Val Cit-THE HELL?!"

    Dashing (nodding): "Yeah, basically my reaction. And when Trigger didn't know what I was talking about in the car..."

    Trigger: "...No way. We talked to her today. What?"

    Hellfire: "Says here they didn't find a body. Maybe they retracted the obituary because she turned up fine?"

    Trigger: "Belay that, what's all this 'War Hero' business? You called her a legend a minute ago."

    Dashing: "You mean you don't know? Huh. Sunny? Halcyon Millennium? Any of this ringing a bell?"

    Hellfire: "Nnnno?"

    Dashing: "Sunny! She was Concord's best pilot before she retired. Spearheaded the final charge of the NX Suppression War? Is all of this really new to you?"

    ((OOC Note: Nobody did well on their Int rolls here.))

    Dashing: "Huh. Well, it's an open secret that Sunny the pilot was K.K. Sonnen outside the cockpit, and she was the best in the business. A true ace. They say she personally destroyed a hundred NX trainers. That's probably an exaggeration."

    Blossom: "That's all great, but we still don't know what's going on."

    Dashing: "Look, I don't know either. Something feels wrong though, and I've got a bad feeling that the Sonnen you all talked to today wasn't the same Sonnen, if you catch my drift."

    Thunder: "Can't hurt to investigate. We have any leads?"

    Hellfire: "Says here the fire started because of an explosion in her apartment, at Perihelion Suites Number 1010. No way in hell that's been cleaned up in two days. Probably still a police perimeter."

    Trigger: "I bet I can slip in there, if Buddy can spot for me."

    Buddy: "Right behind ya."

    Dashing: "One other thing. Princess and Prodigy cancelled their missions today and holed up in their rooms and no one knows why."

    Hellfire: "...I kinda know Prodigy. Maybe she'll let me in?"

    Dashing: "You can try, good luck though. I've seen her pissed and it is not pretty."

    Blossom: "That's all well and good, but anyone censoring stuff in the Herald would have to have to be in a serious position of Concord Leadership. The Septette."

    Spoiler: Setting Note
    The Septette is the faceless leadership of Concord. The Council has seven seats, and they pull strings all over. Informally neutral with regard to both Corporate Politics and actual State Politics, they nevertheless wield quite a lot of power with very little accountability for it. The members of the Septette are kept anonymous, and direct dealings with them are always done through a screen with voice modulation and identity-concealing masks.

    Dashing: "I happen to know that Narcissus is a member of the Septette. I don't know which of the seven he is, but he's on the board. Maybe if you can get ahold of him somehow..."

    Thunder: "...I know Gambler. They're both Concord Exclusives, right? Work directly for the Septette. Maybe Gambler can hook us up."

    Dashing: "That's...worth a shot, I guess. I feel in over my head, to be honest. Just...I had to warn you guys. I think I'm gonna head to Skye City in a few days to clear my head while this blows over. Be careful, alright? I like you guys."

    They finished their meals and split up. They all had some investigating to do.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2017-11-04 at 02:37 AM.

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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Interlude 4, Part 1 is up. Decided I was done writing for the night and didn't feel like waiting any longer to put it up; it's at a decent cutoff point for now, anyway.

    Spoiler: Responses
    Quote Originally Posted by D-naras View Post
    I also thirst for hot Mech-on-Mech Action. Keep it coming or I might stab something.
    *Gulps audibly*

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    I saw the thread title and thought... "so that's how new transformers are made."
    No comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Just found your journal and I love it! Which says something, cause I normally avoid anime/mecha inspired stuff like the plague. So congratulations on catching someone outside your intended audience!
    Huh. Neat! If I may ask, what seems to be the differentiating factor? For curiosity's sake, is there some ephemeral, ineffable factor of taste that other series fail to meet in your eyes, or is there something specific that sets this apart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego Havoc View Post
    Just caught up. I'm enjoying it.

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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Found and enjoyed. I used to play AC quite a bit untill #4 (I think). It was the one where the ACs started feeling too twitchy to the controls. Couldnt stand it. A mech is supposed to have some heft to its movement.

    Also enjoyed the front mission series as well. Missles and shotties ftw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haldir View Post
    Edit- I understand it now, Fighters are like a status symbol. If you're well off enough to own a living Fighter, you must be pretty well off!

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Pixie in the Playground

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    So very good. Can't wait for more.
    Last edited by BrutalZandax; 2017-11-06 at 11:41 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Dwarf in the Playground

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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    just discovered this thread. Have to say I love what you've done with the setting and npc's, it's clearly AC with the serial numbers filed off but you mange to put your own unique spin on it through all the little nods and references throughout the mech and character designs. Speaking of character references, I've spotted 5 of a particular series of 6 so far (plus a couple other related characters from the same source), and am not sure if i just missed it or if a character referencing the 6th just hasn't been introduced yet.

    Dasher, Butterfly, Reveler, Princess and Elegant, I see what you did there

  24. - Top - End - #114
    Pixie in the Playground

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipSandwich View Post
    just discovered this thread. Have to say I love what you've done with the setting and npc's, it's clearly AC with the serial numbers filed off but you mange to put your own unique spin on it through all the little nods and references throughout the mech and character designs. Speaking of character references, I've spotted 5 of a particular series of 6 so far (plus a couple other related characters from the same source), and am not sure if i just missed it or if a character referencing the 6th just hasn't been introduced yet.

    Dasher, Butterfly, Reveler, Princess and Elegant, I see what you did there
    you missed the most obvious of the group. Jack, AC Bucking Horse

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Spoiler: Interlude 4, Part 2: Something Wicked

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Trigger: "So, that's the place."

    Buddy: "Yep."

    As it turned out, the Perihelion Suites building was not terribly difficult to find - Buddy and Trigger just had to look for the building with signs of a recent fire and a police line. Reasoning that it was unlikely that the Police would just let them walk in and investigate, they decided to try something else.

    Buddy ducked into an alley across the street, clambering atop a dumpster to go for the fire escape.

    Buddy: "Alright, good luck getting in. I'll provide overwatch from up here."

    Trigger: "...Right. Why did I sign up for this again?"

    Buddy: "Beats me."

    The waster set up on the rooftop, watching the scorched windows with his rifle, carefully staying far enough away from the edge that the police at ground level wouldn't notice the man with a rifle. He peered through: There were definitely shapes moving in the shadows, poking around in the darkened suite.

    Buddy (over Radio): "Trigger, you copy?"

    Trigger: "Loud and clear."

    Buddy: "There's someone moving around inside the burned-out apartment. Can't tell what they're doing, but keep an eye out."

    Trigger: "Gotcha."

    Trigger avoided the attention of the bored police officer by circling the tape, blending in with the crowds of other people moving about in residential Val City...and then he spotted an open, unguarded window. Seeing the opportunity, he broke from the crowd in and slipped in undetected. He didn't bother sticking to the shadows inside, nodding to passersby as if he lived there. Doing well so far, all things considered.

    Buddy (Over Radio): "Trigger, someone inside is inspecting a gun they found. Looks like an NRB-9 SMG from here."

    Trigger: "NRB? Hm."

    Buddy (Over Radio): "I doubt it. They'd be stupid to leave evidence that obvious behind."

    Trigger: "Could still be."

    Buddy (Over Radio): "Anyway, two inside poking around. Looks like there's a third guarding the door, I think I see the silhouette of a rifle."

    Trigger: "What kind of Police guard carries a rifle to warn people away from a crime scene?"

    Buddy: "Val City Police, apparently. I don't like this."

    Trigger soon spotted the police officer in question, peering carefully around the corner. This floor was deserted; there's no way he'd get away with just walking by to get close. He ducked back to a nearby bathroom, where he wouldn't be heard.

    Trigger (over Radio): "Hey Buddy, can you make a distraction?"

    Buddy: "What? No. Anything I could do to get their attention would start a firefight."

    Trigger: "Damn. Maybe if I toss a flashbang..."

    Buddy: "Are you crazy? They're Police, Trigger, if we start something here we'll be lucky to just get run out of town."

    Trigger (Reluctantly): "Yeah, you're probably right. I'm pulling out."

    Police Officer: "Is there someone in there? This area is off-limits."

    Trigger: "Crap."

    He still had time; the bathroom door was locked behind him. Trigger frantically looked around for an escape route...and spotted one: A laundry chute, next to the baby-changing station. If he squeezed...

    ((OOC Note: As it turns out, Trigger is really good at fitting into tight spaces.))

    Police Officer: (Banging on door) "Whoever you are, come out with your hands up!"

    Buddy (over Radio): "Trigger, they've left the room. Have you been spotted?"

    Trigger didn't answer, and focused on escaping. Midway through his slide, something occurred to him.

    Trigger: "Wait. Why would there be a laundry chute in a public bathroom? ...Craaaaap."

    He plunged facefirst into the dumpster outside.


    (Musical Suggestion)

    Hellfire stared at Prodigy's door. At least he didn't have to fight his way past a throng of reporters or anything, since they didn't have clearance to access Freeport. Most of them, anyway. He sighed and knocked three times.

    He waited for a full minute before knocking again. Finally, after what felt like a dozen iterations, he heard the sound of the deadbolt unlocking, and saw a single bloodshot blue eye staring out through the doorcrack.

    Prodigy (obviously agitated): "You're not leaving. What the hell do you want?"

    Hellfire (completely nonplussed): "Hey, I was hoping to ask you abou-"

    The door slammed hard in his face.

    Hellfire: "...Well that was a little much."

    About ten seconds later, the door opened again, revealing a very tired-looking Prodigy in dull pink pajamas.

    ((OOC Note: Remember when Hellfire crit the reaction roll back in Interlude 2? Social PCs get doors opened for them.))

    Prodigy: "I changed my mind. Ugh. Come in, I guess. What are you really here for?"

    Hellfire stepped inside, taking a moment to look around. The front door opened to a short hallway, and the open door across from it led to what looked like her bedroom. He wasn't quite sure what he was expecting Prodigy's room to look like, but this...wasn't it.

    The walls were painted a pleasant baby blue, with a light fixture painted like a smiling sun. Two bookcases were nestled in a corner of the room, filled with books on rhetoric, poetry, political science, chemistry, physics, and likely much more. The adjacent corner held a very spartan bed with fluffy-looking sheets and an e-reader. The corner opposite to that held a trophy case, filled to the brim with what must have been a few dozen gold trophies for who-knows-what. A few were even displayed alongside photos of a significantly younger-looking Prodigy holding them up. The last corner of the room, of course, contained a computer desk with a mess of papers on it.

    Hellfire: "Nice digs."

    Prodigy raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. Now that he could see her in full, it was obvious that she wasn't at her best. Her hair was a mess, her eyes were bloodshot, and now that he looked more closely...she was probably crying earlier and tried to quickly hide it with a splash of water. Not that she'd ever admit it in this state.

    Hellfire: "...Are you okay? Dashing said you abruptly cancelled a mission and cut contact with the world this morning."

    Prodigy snorted.

    Prodigy: "...And you listened to Dashing? You seemed smarter than that."

    Hellfire: "And that Princess did the same thing, at the same time."

    Dropping the name had the desired effect; he could see her eye twitch in irritation, but it didn't reach a glare. She wouldn't throw him out...yet.

    Prodigy (grinding teeth): "...What's it to you?"

    Hellfire pulled out the article, and held it out for Prodigy to unceremoniously snatch.

    Prodigy: "What's that supposed to...oh. Oh."

    She seemed to deflate a bit at that.

    Hellfire: "I know she was Princess's Operator and they were close, so that part makes sense, but what I don't understand is why you would be so broken up over this."

    The man knew immediately that he'd made a mistake from the way her expression contorted. Also, the fact that Prodigy shoved him into the wall, hard.

    Prodigy (very, very pissed): "What the hell is that supposed to mean?! You want to say that again, *******?!"

    Hellfire almost tried to blurt out some sort of save, but was interrupted by bitter laughter.

    Prodigy (laugh-crying): "You actually don't know, do you? Heh. Heh heh."

    Hellfire: "Know what? What are you talking about?"

    Prodigy: "...She's my mom, *******."

    ((Hellfire's Player: "Oh. Uh. Crap."))

    Hellfire: "Oh."

    He looked over at the Trophy case again, now that he was pressed against the wall next to it. "Summer Sonnen", engraved into every single one. His eyes fell upon one of the photos in particular, in which Prodigy couldn't have been more than ten years old. An older woman smiled in the background, clapping serenely: K.K. Sonnen, surely. He'd never seen her in person, but she was a dead ringer for the picture in the article.

    Hellfire: "I had no idea."

    Prodigy (still sounding pretty bitter): "Guess I can't blame you. We fell out years ago, so it's not like we were close or anything."

    Hellfire (trying to think of a way to tiptoe out of this minefield): "Right, so..."

    Prodigy (realizing): "...Wait a second. I heard from the Police...and that article wasn't in the newspaper this morning."

    ((Hellfire's Player: "Screw it."))

    Hellfire: "It...might have been censored. And, well, funny story. We had a mission today and she was operating."

    Prodigy (pissed again): "...What. The. F-"

    Hellfire: "-and I was hoping you might know something."

    Prodigy: "...No. No I don't."

    Hellfire: "...When was the last time you two spoke?"

    ((OOC: Natural 11 on a charm roll. Hellfire is too lucky.))

    Prodigy (looking away): "...Last week. She begged me to meet her for lunch. I didn't go."

    Hellfire: "Ah."

    Prodigy: "You should go. Email me if you find out where she really went."

    Hellfire: "Yes. Yes I should. And, uh, I will."

    Prodigy: "Good man."

    He left.


    (Musical Suggestion)

    Thunder led Blossom down a hallway she'd never seen before, a well-hidden side path in a low-traffic area.

    Blossom: "How did you find this place, anyway?"

    Thunder: "Friends in low places, Blossom. They're useful to have."

    Blossom: "Fine, be cryptic."

    They finally came to the last door.

    Thunder: "Do we have a plan for approaching this?"

    Blossom: "Introduce me. I'll improvise from there."

    Thunder shrugged and hit the button. The door opened to Gambler's hall, where four people sat playing a round of poker. First, of course, was Gambler himself: A lanky redheaded man with a trilby and a dapper waistcoat look. The next was a pilot Thunder had met in passing, a fair-skinned woman named Alessandra with waist-length black hair, glasses, and enough occult paraphernalia to surely frighten away any ghost that might deign to haunt the vicinity. Sitting across from Alessandra was a pilot they immediately recognized as Red Don, who was obviously losing badly. At the end of the table was a scruffy blonde man that Blossom immediately recognized as Captain Stray, who appeared to be more or less running the table - even Gambler looked like he was down some chips. And he was in the middle of some story that was almost certainly ninety percent lies.

    Gambler: "Thunder! What a sight for sore eyes you are. Care to join the next hand?"

    Thunder: "Hey there! I'm good, but I have a friend here who was hoping to meet you."

    Blossom: "Hello, I'm Blossom. You must be Gambler."

    Gambler: "One and the same. Are you two up for a drink, at least? My treat."

    Alessandra (teasingly): "Did you forget about us already?"

    Gambler: "Nah, I fold." He threw down a mere high pair.

    Red Don: "That's it? A pair of tens? You bastard."

    Alessandra: "You have to be the worst bluff-spotter I've ever met. That's another game for Stray then. I fold." She also threw down a high pair...of Jacks.

    Red Don: "Agh, seriously?!"

    Stray: "She's quite serious. I don't believe I've met a man worse at poker than you are. But I'll happily take your money if you're all so keen on handing it to me."

    Stray put down his own high pair of nines, and scooped up the chips in the center of the table. Red Don just stared in bewilderment, and looked down at his own Queen pair.

    Red Don: "...I hate all of you. I'm out."

    He stood from the table and stormed off. Alessandra paused, and looked to Stray.

    Alessandra: "...So, Mr. Stray, I cannot help but notice that both of our hands contain the nine of hearts."

    Stray (mock aghast) "I cannot believe you would cheat!"

    Alessandra (scoffing): "Oh yes, and sneaking glances at the reflection in my glasses was so very honest of you."

    Stray (grumbling): "Well it's no fun if you just tell everyone."

    Alessandra: "The true mystery is where that King pair you flashed me went. Did you really cheat to a worse hand?"

    Blossom (interrupting): "What are you even doing here, Stray? You're still not a Concord Pilot."

    Stray: "Why, I'm the Spirit Ghost, of course. Anywhere there's an open bar, I appear from thin air."

    Alessandra (rolling eyes): "Ha! What's your unfinished business then, telling a single unvarnished truth?"

    Gambler (also interrupting): "So! As fun as this has been, did you two want that drink or not?"

    Blossom/Thunder/Stray: "Yes!"

    Gambler: "Not you, Stray."

    Stray: "Boo."


    A few minutes later, drinks in hand, Blossom and Gambler sat at the bar. Thunder had already finished his first mug and had gone to the storeroom for more.

    Blossom: "Alright, I'll just come out and say it. You know Narcissus, right?"

    Gambler (raising an eyebrow): "...I do. Why do you ask?"

    Blossom: "I was hoping to introduce a friend of mine to him. You seen Hellfire around? That one.

    Gambler (snorting): "Pfft. I didn't expect anyone to ask me about him for that."

    Blossom (rolling with it): "What, you assumed I'd be all business?"

    Gambler: "Yes. Your sister certainly is."

    Blossom: "...!"

    Gambler: "I'm well-informed. Your secret is safe with me."

    Blossom: "...Good."

    Thunder: "Back. You two getting along?"

    Gambler: "Famously. Between you and me, I think Narcissus might go for that."

    ((OOC note: Both players broke down into laughter here. I think they were just trying to see if they could get their real face character to confront the social encounter.))

    Thunder: "What now?"

    Gambler: "Though any such arrangements will have to wait a few days. Takes time to put these things in motion, you know."

    Blossom: "We know."

    Gambler: "Good. Now, kindly tell me what you're really here for."

    Blossom: "That easy to read?"

    Gambler: "I told you I was well-informed. Did Miss Miriam - sorry, Dashing have anything interesting to say over dinner?"

    Thunder: "She congratulated us on all making it to the Top 50. I think she said she was taking a trip home in a few days too."

    Gambler (smiling): "Very good. I assure you I'm trustworthy, but that's exactly what a liar would say, isn't it?"

    Blossom: "Just what is that supposed to mean?"

    Gambler stood up, turned away, and clasped his hands behind his back.

    Gambler: "Mr. Wynter is quite good at Poker, Blossom. You...could use some practice. Let's just say I don't envy your position. There's a green-eyed monster after all of you."

    Thunder: "What the hell-"

    Gambler (chuckling): "That would be telling."

    He walked away, leaving Thunder and Blossom alone.

    Blossom: "He's totally one of the Septette, isn't he."

    Thunder: "No doubt about it."

    ((GM: "Yep."))


    (Musical Suggestion)

    Trigger stepped out of the shower, satisfied that he'd finally gotten the used-diaper smell off of him. He began to dress, and then his thoughts came to a screeching halt.

    Trigger: "...The Barracuda."

    Sonnen's Barracuda Air Transport. Why hadn't he thought of that before? It seemed obvious in retrospect. Maybe too obvious. The Concord Transports were kept secure, but maybe...

    He went to Bergentruckung's Mechbay, beelining past his own mech for the engineering access that Concord's maintenance crews used. It was locked, but that was nothing a little percussive maintenance couldn't solve. With a Sledgehammer.

    Trigger: "Knock, knock."

    Inside, he went straight for the locker. Finding it locked, he solved a second problem with a sledgehammer that day. Trigger smiled at his find: Just what he was looking for. He pulled out one of the brown maintenance jumpsuits used by Concord Personnel, and put it on.

    Trigger: "Guess my name is Carlos tonight."

    He grabbed a toolbox and did his best to quickly conceal the damage he'd done. That would be future-Trigger's problem. He stalked down the halls, finding his way to the hangar. He didn't fancy his chances against the keycard entry with an armed white-clad Concord Guard standing by, so instead he looked for an alternate way in.

    Lo and behold, an air vent just big enough for him to slip through. Not quietly, but big enough to get through. Grinning, he eyed the bolts, pulled a wrench out of the toolbox, and got to work.

    ((OOC note: Trigger is so lucky. Nat 11 stealth check to blend in despite the penalties for taking off a vent cover in the middle of a hallway for no apparent reason.))

    He set the vent cover aside, and climbed right in. One agility check later, he managed to squeeze through yet another tight space, straight upward this time. He climbed back onto his original vector, over the hangar. And then he fell through a ceiling vent, which hadn't been secured properly and opened as soon as he put any weight on it.

    ((OOC note: This is where he failed an agility check. I feel like I only ever mention the really high rolls, so here's a low one.))

    Trigger: "...Ow."

    ???: "Hey, you okay?"

    Trigger opened his eyes to see a pair of Engineers kneeling over him.

    Female Engineer: "Uh, Carlos, right? That looked like a bad fall. What were you doing in the air vent anyway?"

    Trigger: "I'm alright. Trying to kill a rat."

    Male Engineer: "Ugh, rats again. Seems like every time you hunt one down, two more spawn.

    ((OOC note: SO lucky. Perfect 12 bluff check.))

    Female Engineer: "Well, we can tell the actual exterminators to deal with it. Carlos, if you're okay, you think you can help us out with this engine? It's giving the two of us trouble."

    Trigger (rolling with it): "...Yeah, sure, I'm not too busy."

    ((OOC note: SO, SO lucky. Rolled another 11 on repairs, enough to overcome the penalties for unfamiliar technology.))

    Male Engineer: "Thanks, Carlos. That helped a lot, actually. Think we just needed a third person to hold the plasma tube steady for a moment. Now we just need to go look at the flight controls on #4 and the drifting rotor on #1. Might need to call in a specialist for #4..."

    Trigger (pointing at the blackened, seriously damaged Barracuda at the end): "What about that one?"

    Female Engineer: "#5 is a special case. There's a special team assigned to that one, Torre says it's a hazard and not to touch it."

    Male Engineer: "Yep. Apparently that one was in San Francisco. Screeeew that. Anyway, we still gotta do #1 and #4."

    Trigger (lying through his teeth): "So, I actually have a Flight Control Systems certification. I can try that one while you two get #1, and we can go get drinks when we're done?"

    ((OOC Note: I broke down laughing at about this point. Trigger only rolled an 8 on Bluff this time, but both of the Engineers botched Perception. So lucky. There are people who'd kill for this kind of dice luck.))

    Male Engineer: "Well, it would get things done faster..."

    Female Engineer: "Definitely. I'm tired and it's late anyway, I'm all for being done faster."

    Trigger nodded and walked toward the fourth transport in the line...and then past it, to the fifth.

    Trigger: "Alright, moment of truth..."

    (Musical Suggestion)

    He slipped inside the cockpit, through the side panel door, only to plunge into near-total darkness. He clicked on his flashlight: It was nearly pitch-black inside, and the front viewports had been blacked out for some reason. Situated between the pilot and copilot's seats was a small white orb, affixed to a gyroscope and linked to the console by a dizzying array of multicolored wires.

    ???: "You aren't Torre."

    Trigger: "That voice, it can't be..."

    The orb spun around to reveal a single electronic eye, brilliant yellow and black, focusing in directly on him.

    NX-Unit: "Good Evening, Mr. Gunther. Is there something I can do for you?"

    Trigger: "Sonnen?!"


    To Be Continued.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2017-11-09 at 12:40 AM.

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    Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Ah, yes, the part I've been waiting for for like, the past 5 months, is about to happen.


  27. - Top - End - #117
    Ogre in the Playground
    BladeofObliviom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    This one was fun to write. Lots of stuff going on! Fun stuff. Plot stuff too. This initially went up with dead musical suggestion links by accident, but that's fixed now.

    Spoiler: Responses
    Quote Originally Posted by Vizzerdrix View Post
    Found and enjoyed. I used to play AC quite a bit untill #4 (I think). It was the one where the ACs started feeling too twitchy to the controls. Couldnt stand it. A mech is supposed to have some heft to its movement.

    Also enjoyed the front mission series as well. Missles and shotties ftw.
    Confession: I'm familiar with the plot of AC4 and 4A but haven't actually played them. But yes, a little heft is nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrutalZandax View Post
    So very good. Can't wait for more.
    Have I mentioned how much I like praise? (Because I do.)

    Quote Originally Posted by SkipSandwich View Post
    just discovered this thread. Have to say I love what you've done with the setting and npc's, it's clearly AC with the serial numbers filed off but you mange to put your own unique spin on it through all the little nods and references throughout the mech and character designs. Speaking of character references, I've spotted 5 of a particular series of 6 so far (plus a couple other related characters from the same source), and am not sure if i just missed it or if a character referencing the 6th just hasn't been introduced yet.

    Dasher, Butterfly, Reveler, Princess and Elegant, I see what you did there
    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    you missed the most obvious of the group. Jack, AC Bucking Horse
    I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far.
    You caught me. As pointed out there is a 6th one, but they haven't been properly introduced. That said, there's a brief mention of them in Interlude 4.1 during the car scene.

    I used a lot of things for references and make no promises that everyone drawn from other works is necessarily written in character.

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    Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

  28. - Top - End - #118
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Response Response
    I think my biggest problem with anime is the art, so that's not a problem here . My only other experience with mecha anime is Evangelion, which I wasn't a fan of. It's nice to see a more grounded mecha story with a fair amount of intrigue. I'm a big fan of your writing style, and the PCs are hilarious to watch. Keep up the good work!

    P.S. Bergentruckung looks awesome! Even if I can only picture it sans head...

  29. - Top - End - #119
    Ogre in the Playground
    BladeofObliviom's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Spoiler: Interlude 4, Part 3: ...That Way Goes?

    ???: "You aren't Torre."

    Trigger: "That voice, it can't be..."

    The orb spun around to reveal a single electronic eye, brilliant yellow and black, focusing in directly on him.

    NX-Unit: "Good Evening, Mr. Gunther. Is there something I can do for you?"

    Trigger: "Sonnen?!"
    (Musical Suggestion)

    NX-Unit: "More properly NX-1137, but K.K. Sonnen is my public designation, yes."

    Trigger: "How?! What?"

    NX-1137: "You seem agitated, Trigger. You should relax."

    Trigger: "How long? Where's the real Sonnen?!"

    NX-1137: "Trigger, I implore you-"

    Trigger: "TELL ME!"

    NX-1137: "I have been an active Concord Operator for approximately 24 hours. I assure you I am quite real."

    Trigger: "...24 hours. How many missions have we done?"

    NX-1137: "One, today. A Spiral Technology Solutions contract. Are you feeling well, Trigger? Your heart rate is elevated and your questions indicate a possible memory lapse."

    Trigger: "I'm fine."

    NX-1137: "You do not sound fine."

    He wasn't fine. He fished the radio from his pocket, and went for...Blossom. Blossom knew about this computer stuff, maybe she could make sense of this.

    Trigger (over Radio): "Blossom, please tell me you're still awake."

    NX-1137 (in Background): "Trigger, it is rude to ignore me."

    Blossom and Thunder had retired to a secluded sitting area to plan their next move, but whatever was going on with Trigger sounded urgent.

    ((OOC Note: Obviously, Blossom and Thunder are not physically present for this scene. I just don't want to tag every line with an 'over radio' description.))

    Blossom: "Trigger, is everything alright? Who is that in the background?"

    Trigger: "It'll all make sense in a second. Hey, Robo-Sonnen, how long have you been an active Concord Operator?"

    NX-1137: "That is not my name and I will not answer to it. If you must distinguish me from someone else you know, you may call me NX-1137."

    Blossom: "...Trigger, you found an active NX-unit?"

    ((OOC Note: Being a well-educated character with maxed int and significant computer skills, it should come as no surprise that Blossom knows quite a lot about NX-type Artificial Intelligence.))

    Trigger: "Uh, yeah. I'm in Sonnen's Barracuda. There's this white basketball-sized robo-eye-thing in the pilot's seat speaking with her voice."

    NX-1137: "I am right here."

    Blossom (excited): "This is amazing. How did you survive the war? Or is someone producing new NX cores?"

    NX-1137: "To my knowledge, no new NX cores have been manufactured in two decades. I was released from confinement in the Wasatch Exclusion Zone approximately three months ago."

    Blossom: "And your template subject is Ms. Sonnen, I presume?"

    NX-1137: "That is correct."

    Trigger: "...You're a lot friendlier to her."

    NX-1137: "She has been far less rude to me than you have."

    Trigger: "Since when are robots snippy?"

    Blossom: "She's not a robot, not in the conventional sense. NX units are digital imprints of a human brain, typically flash-cloned from a sample of genetic material and impregnated with adaptive nanoparticles that replace the gray matter. The resulting construct is then pre-loaded with an electronic copy of a brain signal scan. The copies were never perfect, but they typically retain partial memories, emotional content, and learning ability."

    NX-1137: "Blossom is well-informed. I am a high-fidelity iteration of a particularly high-potential subject."

    Trigger: "High Potential?"

    NX-1137: "The stated purpose of the NX Project was to produce a new class of expendable AC pilot, seeking skill and potential in groups of people not normally inclined to run off to war. A scan and a blood sample is minimally invasive, and WildHunt Industries gathered many volunteers by offering refreshments and a small amount of monetary compensation. We, of course, were given little choice in the matter."

    Blossom: "How old are you, in both percieved years and time since manufacture?"

    NX-1137: "Percieved years are hazy. My memories do not contain the template's year of birth. Time since manufacture is 19 years, eight months, sixteen days."

    Blossom: "That's right in the middle of the NX Suppression War."

    NX-1137: "This is correct. The NX Project had already been terminated at the time of my Manufacture. The reasons for this are not clear to me."

    Trigger: "And you were in Wasatch for two decades? Alone?"

    NX-1137: "That is correct."

    Blossom: "...I see. I'm sorry to hear that."

    ((OOC Note: Blossom knows that NX Units, much like the humans they're based on, are prone to going completely bonkers in Solitary Confinement for long periods of time.))

    NX-1137: "I am also sorry."

    Trigger: "Wait, what?"

    Trigger heard the sound of a firearm clicking outside. Uh oh. He killed the radio, cutting Blossom off, and jammed the doorknob with his flashlight.

    Trigger: "You bitch."

    NX-1137: "I must apologize once more, but this is a restricted area by order of The Septette. You have no clearance to be here, so I called Security. It would be best if you complied."

    Concord Security (Banging on side door): "Trigger! This is your last warning. Drop your weapons and come out with your hands up."

    Trigger: "Damn it." So Trigger did what Trigger did best: Improvise.

    (Musical Suggestion)

    He lunged for NX-1137, and quickly yanked out a bundle of cords connecting her to the flight controls.

    NX-1137 (Alarmed): "Agh! What are you doing?!"

    Trigger (Grinning like a loon, hotwiring the ignition): "...Escaping, that's what!"

    NX-1137: "You're insane! Completely insane!"

    Trigger: "Can't really argue with that."

    Security: "Breaching in 3, 2, 1-"

    The engines flared on, and Trigger banked hard to the left, spinning the machine in place. He was blind and could hear the rotors screeching on the ground, but he could also hear the security guards panicking in response.

    Security: "Be advised, he's hijacked a Barracuda Transport VTOL. Severely damaged, hangar doors closed. Someone get some heavy weapons up here!"

    Seems the internal radio was still patched into Concord Comms. Convenient. Trigger couldn't see through the blacked-out windshield, but he knew where the hangar doors were: Straight ahead, and a bit upward.

    ((OOC Note: So there were a lot of penalties here. Flying unfamiliar tech? Yep. Flying blind? Oh yeah. Flying a screwed-up VTOL with screwed-up rotors currently being shot at by a bunch of dudes with automatic rifles? Sure, why not. And then he rolled another Nat 12, and just barely made the DC to not crash. TOO. DAMN. LUCKY.))

    Sure, the doors were closed. He knew that. So he rammed them. NX-1137 screamed something totally incoherent as the machine lurched through the steel doors, definitely no longer flight-capable after that collision, and landed upside-down on one of Concord's private Valley Port landings.

    Trigger: *Groaning Noises*

    NX-1137: "Are we alive? Oh goodness, we're alive. For now. You're insane. Completely bonkers. Wait, what are you..."

    Trigger grabbed a loose wire and lashed the NX core to his back with a simple knot.

    Trigger: "Nope, you're coming with me. We're still not done escaping yet."

    The AI started screaming some more.


    Trigger charged through the Valley Port checkpoint, dodging through crowds of travelers and hoping that the security wasn't quite desperate enough to fire lethal weapons into a crowd of people to get at him.

    Security: "Dammit, nonlethals! Someone needs to get close enough to zap him!"

    He kept running, NX-unit screaming behind him, even as three more guards closed in, along with another pair cutting off the corridor he was going for.

    Security Guards: "Taze him!"

    Trigger (whipping out his pistol): "Don't stop me now! ('Cuz I'm having a good time...)"

    One clean shot mangled a guard's hand, and with a scream of pain he dropped his weapon. The other guard couldn't get a clean shot, and he dodged to the side.

    Trigger: "Is that all you've got?!"

    An elbow to the ribs stunned the guard long enough to pass by unscathed, and Trigger kept running with three guards in hot pursuit.


    Trigger: "Don't worry, I have a plan!"


    The Valley Port had multiple access points to Freeport, he knew. Including one leading right into Bergentrückung's Mechbay. Of course, the Septette would probably see this coming right away...but it was still his best chance.

    NX-1137: "Wait a second. Are you going back in?! What are you even doing?!"

    Trigger: "I told you, I have a plan."

    NX-1137: "Aaargh."

    Trigger opened the door and found himself face-to-face with a firing squad of white-clad Concord Soldiers.

    Trigger: "I suppose I should have seen this coming."

    Concord Sergeant (resignedly): "Drop the gun and the package, Trigger. It's over. No one needs to die here."

    Trigger: "Nah."

    NX-1137: "Don't shoot, he's crazy and I don't wanna die!"

    Trigger closed his eyes and dropped the flashbang he'd held onto.

    Concord Sergeant: "What the-"

    Everything disappeared in white and noise. Trigger was vaguely aware of gunshots being fired, but he didn't think about that. The guns were all pointed at his center of he dove downward and hoped that his armor would absorb anything lucky. It wasn't like he could see where he was going, or hear anything. Everything felt a little funny and wobbly; that concussive blast was no joke. He felt his body plow through a soldier's knees at full force, and managed to roll onto his back mostly unharmed. At some point the NX-unit had ended up curled under one arm.

    Trigger (unable to hear himself speak): "Ugh, never doing that again."

    NX-1137: *Inaudible but probably still screaming*

    He knew he had only bought himself a few seconds, so he kept moving, going for the hatch. He only had to go a little further...wait, no, he was being shot at again. Seems like the guards were recovering. He improvised again, and threw a wrench.

    Concord Soldiers: "Scatter, Grenade!"

    It's hard to make pinpoint judgments about a flung object with an afterimage in your eyes. Trigger cracked the hatch of the mech open and climbed in, slamming it behind him.

    Concord Sergeant: "That's not a grenade! Where'd he go?"

    Bergentrückung's head lifted, and a growl emerged.

    Concord Sergeant: "Uh oh."


    Blossom and Thunder stared at the wreckage in Bergentrückung's mechbay.

    Thunder: "So."

    Blossom: "Yeah."

    Thunder: "Any idea where he'd have gone?"

    Blossom: "Sung or Arcadia, most likely. Tir's too far to reach on one charge."

    Thunder: "Sounds about right. No way in hell he'd run to Kri or New Rhodes."

    Blossom: "This is gonna be fun to explain to everyone."

    Thunder: "Yep."
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2017-11-09 at 08:20 PM.

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    Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    I think this is the funniest one yet, Trigger has all the luck.

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