Monday, June 24, 2019

What Does HOT Hot Mean?

Cryotechnology progressed in leaps and bounds in the last century; even so, like almost anything else, most ships use last gen tech, and the military uses the generation before that. The ship they got a ride in, though? Top-of-the-line pleasure vessel, with cutting edge cryo chambers and comfortable, padded seats. Even closets for their gear, and a pre-flight cocktail served with real fruit and an authentic tiny umbrella. Rather than a sudden sense of panic and light-headedness, the marines gently drifted off to peaceful sleep.

Just as gently, they awakened, refreshed after your long nap... just before a momentary headache. One of the marines was hit a lot worse than the others, losing his lunch. The lights in the room flickered, then turned on with a bit of a hum, revealing a sandy-haired man in a white ship's captain's uniform, his brow furrowed, his hat under his arm.

"Well, good news is, you made it home. Bad news is... you missed your interview with the president. Good news, I guess, you all got the medal of valor awarded... bad news, it was posthumous. Yeah. welcome to 2748, boys, you've come a long, long way, and you've still got a long way to go. Funny how 55 years of waiting doesn't help that we're all in a hurry... I am Captain Seth Grainer, of the - well. We'll get to that. For now... you've got some catching up to do."

The man explained that the ship was destined to be flown into the sun, but that his organization had boarded the ship and redirected it to an orbit around Saturn. The others were not so lucky; Lt. Commander Thawar and the Ghost were assassinated. The Lt. Cmdr because of what he discovered about the Duul'Tlak - wholly separate from the Kchurg - and the Ghost, because of the Ghost Initiative, and what it could have meant... The ghost technology is dead and gone. Which means no more upgrades for those with the Ghost tech in their head.

Meanwhile, defeating the Kchurg and the Duul'Tlak resulted in the Duul'Tlak surrendering and returning both Quern and Melba - which has become L20's new base of operations. The Duul'Tlak have actually joined the UEA, as have the Kchk'Trrs; between the two of them, the UEA gained a lot of new technology, and have even opened a joint research facility with the Kchk'Trrs.

"But that brings me to why I am here. You are... no one. You are 200 years out of your time, dead twice over; no one knows you exist. In point of fact, as far as the UEA is concerned, you no longer do; your biometrics have been scrubbed from every database, down to the ancient paper copies. You simply don't exist. Which means you are perfect to talking, fighting, and blowing things up - all the things you are good at. However... Alliance Security, or AlSec, is growing too bold. They have far more power than they ought. They built a new class of stealth ship, one that could signal dark days ahead. There are forces working in the background to destabilize the UEA..."

"A new initiative has begun, a galaxial survey mission. That initiative absolutely must succeed. There are, as always a few dissenters, but some seem more... entrenched... than others. Your first mission is to "convince" one of these dissenters to change her mind. Legally, I'm afraid - no disintegrations!"

After a few days of rest, the team loaded up on shiny new gear - lasers and sonic grenades and shoulder-fired missiles, oh my - and set off on their... er... latest first mission. The team experienced their first running insertion - as their dropship flew over the drop location, they were fired from man-sized cannons, along with a blast of gel; they hit the gel to slow them down, then the gel dissipated. Overall, very exciting.

After a quick firefight (resulting in one of their members gaining a few new holes in her armor), they managed to burn a hole through the door of the mansion and break in. Inside, after a quick search, they located the safe room, and quickly set to knocking on the door with their shoulder-mounted missile. After some back and forth, they came to realize that one, the senator and her husband thought that they were someone else, and that two, that someone else had taken their daughter, and was using her as leverage. Now this was something they were prepared for - assaulting a hardened bunker! The senator sent her daughter's location - using a beacon she had kept hidden from the kidnappers - to her desk upstairs. "Oh, that's a heavy desk, but I guess we can..."

"Oh, uh... check the drawer. There's a pad inside. Use that. Please... leave the desk here."

Calling for their drop ship and apologizing for breaking the senator's house and killing her security squad, the group headed towards the signal. A few miles out, the copilot relayed that the facility was heavily armed, and asked, "Do you want to go in hot? Like, HOT hot?"

The party agreed. Twice, actually, because the pilot asked in a somewhat disbelieving tone at first. As it turns out, HOT hot means instead of firing the marines at the ground, the dropship would fire a barrage of bunker-busting rounds, then fire the marines at extremely high velocity at where they hoped the hole was. With the warning, "When you land, MOVE!" the marines started their very rapid journey. Everyone landed and moved, except for the overweight sniper, who rolled into the wall in front of him and bounced back; lucky for him, the last member bounced off the wall above his head, having not actually been fired before, and entirely unsure of what to do. She pinwheeled through the air, bounced around through the hole, and slammed into the wall, sliding down somewhat disoriented.

After killing half the personnel in the facility (not that they skimped - they only met half the facility), the team finally located the girl - Annalise - and with a few well-placed shots, took out her captors. And rescued a bulky suit of mechanized armor:
Heavy Armor 10; weapon hardpoint; pace 10; built-in targeting system. Oddly... the sonic grenade they threw had no effect on the girl. Hmm.

Returning her to her parents (and freaking out the police), they bid them farewell, refusing to tell them how to get in contact. Later, during debrief, Captain Grainer explained that he had gotten in contact with them afterwards, and offered his support whenever they needed it.

And then, for once, everyone got a real vacation - a whole week with nothing to do. What could go wrong?

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