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Game Log 4 - "Scramble Home"

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago

 


Please use your vivid creative writing as you describe what happens

 


 

Chapter I - "Man Down!"

 

"BANG!"

The sound of a blaster bolt crackling the evening air was unmistakable. Just when everything was calming down too. Neal was the only one still inside the burning forcehoops arena. Through the doorway the team could see, in slow motion, a growing pink cloud of blood and particalized flesh expanding from Neal's back as he crumples to the ground. He had been searching the bodies of the League snipers just in case they might have something of interest on them. He fell unconscious on the body of his opponent.

 

The rest of the ISI Black Ops team sprint into action, rushing into the burning arena to defend their friend, but the damage was already done. Dirk Randal unloads a terrifying barage of burning plasma into the body of the enemy sniper as Aleth pulls Neal off to the side.

 

Neal's wounds are very very serious. His eyes have rolled back in his head and volumes of bright red warm blood are pulsing from his chest and back. When he is rolled over, Aleth discovers an exit wound the size of a pie plate. His ribs and spine are damaged and nothing they do seems to be able to stop the bleeding. Dirk packs the wound with every bit of material from his meager first aid kit and everyone is searching for something to help. Dirk manages to slow the bleeding down some, but there really is not much time left. What he needs is professional medical help.

 

The sound of approaching emergency equipment can be heard as Turk says "Come on, we gotta go!".

 

"We have to get him back to the ship." Dirk says "If we can get him into the cryogenic chamber alive, we can stabilize him until we can find help."

 

Dirk and Aleth grab Neal by his harness while Turk tries to maintain pressure on the bandages. Simon and Val have the grav-van loaded and ready to go.

 

From their vantage point in the parking lot, they can see that the city has been plunged into darkness. The only light is from the flicker of the fire consuming the inside of the force hoops arena behind them, and the sliver of a amber moon descending toward the horizon. The air is still and eerily quiet. There are no compressors or air conditioners running, no adverts or buzzing street lights. In fact there is no electronic noise of any kind.

 

About three blocks to the west, the underside of a large yellow cloud rising from the ground is lit by the flicker of another fire, stretching off to the north. In the distance, far north toward the fusion reactor, a large black plume of smoke is silouetted against the dark Aurthurian night by flashes of explosions and electrical arcs.

 

Simon appears to be sitting very still and concentrating. All that psionic mumbo-jumbo gives the team the creeps every time. The expression on his face is very grave. "There is a tremendous swell of primitive emotion going on out there. Pain, fear, and especially anger."

 

 

Dirk feels the weight of his responsibility as driver and pilot. Their ship is only 5 kilometers away, sitting all sealed up on a landing pad, with everything they need to save Neal's life on board. It had been a simple matter of driving 10 minutes to arrive at the forcehoops arena, but that was a different world then. In that world there was security, and light and traffic controls. It had an orderly momentum to it, even if there was a rising tension seething below the surface. But this world,... this city, is nothing like it was just fifteen minutes ago. The pent-up anger and fear of the citizens, carefully planted and cultivated by the numerous demonstrations of the Doomsayers, was now being unleashed on the city like black water from a breaking dam.

 

Turk, up to his elbows in Neal's blood, says "He's got twenty minutes, twenty-four tops! We gotta get to the ship NOW!"

 

Simon, sensing the territory between them and the ship describes the emotions he feels from the city in various directions. "There are no good options. I sense danger down each road."

 

Then Dirk announces "Then forget the roads, there is only one way to go,...up."

 

Chapter II - Lose My Inhibitions and Soar

 

Aleth jumps into the passenger seat and picks at a mole under his left wrist. The mole easily comes loose and Aleth extends the full length of his neural interface cable and jacks into the direct neural interface port on the center console. In an instant he is reviewing the manufacturer schematics for the grav-van.

 

Dirk throws himself on his back in the footwell below the drivers seat. "Look for something called an 'altitude inhibitor'".

 

"Got it" Aleth says, "it has 5 green, 1 blue and 1 black wire going into it".

 

Dirk quickly finds the box and tears it loose from the bulkhead. "No time for a proper scan" he says as he yanks out the 5 green wires. The van drops 20 centimeters and impacts the ground hard.

 

"This is not improving our situation!" Val says, clearly not convinced of Dirk's technical abilities.

 

Dirk begins touching different green wires together and the van leaps into the air as a small shower of sparks falls in Dirk's lap. "It's not pretty, but it'll work for now". Now hovering 5 meters off the ground, he engages the motivators and tears down the street heading north.

 

 

From the higher vantage point the team can see that the city is falling apart fast. Looters are flooding out of stores with all that their arms can carry. Vehicles litter the streets, some with doors open and engines running. One shudders to think of what happened to the drivers. One particular situation comes into view as the players fly overhead. A woman is struggling under the hood of her car, clearly frustrated. In the back seat of her car can clearly be seen 2 little heads, one with pigtails. The last thing the team sees as the fly over, is a group of 5 men strutting toward her.

 

Dirk says "We can't stop." In fact, they increase their altitude to 15 meters by adding another green wire to the bundle. "If we stop to help every person in trouble, then Neal surely won't make it in time."

 

Chapter III - "Mayday, Mayday We're Going Down!"

 

The street below them bends to the left and passes between 2 tall blacked-out buildings, difficult to see against the darkness. The buildings are just an intersection apart and passing between them will have to be done carefully. Dirk takes a careful bead on the gap and steadys the flight of the van. About 100 meters away from the gap, the left side 'glass' of the van shatters, sending rounded shards of plexi bursting into the cab, quickly followed by a burst of sparks and flying shrapnel from the dashboard. In the distance to the left the report of the rifle is finally heard over the rushing wind now flooding the cabin.

 

What lights still work are flickering and the cabin is filled with buzz-buzz-buzz of alarms screaming for attention. Dirk frantically tries to maintain his control, but nothing he does has any effect. Through the windshield of the grav-van, the windows of the office tower can be seen spinning by like a slot machine on steroids. Slowly the sidewalk and the centerline of the street come into view through the front window, and the sickening speed of their descent becomes obvious to them all. "This is gonna leave a mark!" Val screams from the back seat. Mercifully the cabin fills with smoke before the inevitable impact happens.

 

It must have been bad because no one remembered the actual impact. Everyone "came-to" about the same time, choking from acrid smell of burning electronics. The team is able to get the door open and spills out from the smoldering hulk. Turk is the first out, followed by Simon, carrying Neal. Val is screaming in pain. It appears the impact forced the front row seats up against his legs, breaking his hip. Turk starts looking around for an alternative means of getting TWO wounded men back to the ship. He's happy to discover that they have crash landed right next to a rental car facility.

 

After taking a few steps to the back of the van, he feels something tug sharply at his left shoulder. He looks down to see what was tugging on him when he hears the report of another rifle shot. He looks up in time to see a glint of a scope in a motel room window. Dropping to his knees behind the van he withdraws his hand from his shoulder and discovers it drenched in his own sticky warm blood.

 

"Tall building! Half way up, on the left!" he cries out as the first waves of pain finally reach his brain.

 

Aleth responds "That's at least 400 meters away!".

 

"Aleth!", Val cries, "Use my MLA rifle!"

 

Aleth picks up Val's magnetic linear accelerator. "Geez, can they make it any longer?" he thinks to himself. He may not know how to use one of these but the guy in the motel room won't know that. He picks an open window that matches Turk's description and lets loose a barrage of super-accelerated aerodynamic pellets toward the spot, with narry a bang. The only sounds are the micro sonic booms of each pellet breaking the sound barrier on the way to the target. Needless to say, there are now a lot more open windows in that part of the building.

 

Dirk makes a break for the nearest vehicle, a wheeled van with sufficient room for all of them. Simon is doing his mystic thing and Val manages to make it out of the grav-van on his own. Turk grabs Neal and starts dragging him to the wheeled van, ignoring the pain just like his Force Recon training conditioned him to.

 

Aleth is amazed at the MLA rifle. "This thing can really reach out!" After a life full of close quarters combat, the value of a good rifle finally becomes appearent to him.

 

Chapter IV - New Wheels

 

Aleth takes a second shot, covering the team as they load into the rental van. Simon taps him on the shoulder. "He's alone and surprised! Time to go!" Simon and Aleth sprint for the rent-a-van. As soon as they are in, Dirk gets the vehicle creatively started, and they tear out of the lot, through the gate, and left onto the street, resuming their northerly route.

 

They pass a building which now comes between them and the motel. Dirk is laying on the power as they try to put some distance between themselves and the sniper. Turk is back on compression duty, trying to keep what blood is left in Neal from spilling out. It is a losing battle. Val is crying out in pain as the adrenalin begins to wear off. Simon seems to be trying to regain his strength. His forehead glistens with beads of sweat. Aleth, sitting in the passenger seat looks ahead and sees movement. Lots of movement.

 

"What is that?" Aleth asks Dirk.

 

Ahead of them lies the Aurthurion Ministry Building, the headquarters for all the government agencies of this province. Coming south, down the road ahead of them, backlit by a bond fire at Pythagorian Park, is a large mob of people carrying torches and flashlights and who knows what else. The ministry building sits on an intersection that was coming up fast.

 

"Are we gonna make it?"

 

"We'll make it" Dirk says with confidence that he didn't feel.

 

"Uh,...are you sure?" Aleth asks. His brain was doing the mental math and he could tell this was going to be a hard turn.

 

"We'll MAKE IT!" Dirk said, as he looked at Aleth. His expression filled in the rest of his reply "I hope...".

 

Chapter V - "Speed was a factor in the accident."

 

As the headlights of the van began to light the leaders of the crowd, Dirk slams on the brake and spins the wheel to the right. The van leaps to the right as every occupant is slammed against the left wall. It was too much for the simple street tires to handle. They reluctantly release their grip on the road and the van is changed from a vehicle of escape, to a spinning top of certain doom.

 

The dark city spins around the vehicle as it slides across the road. Fortunately the van misses the angry mob, bounces over the curb, through a chain and post fence, over a statue of the mayor and slams rear first through the glass entryway doors with its passenger side pinned up against a platicrete wall. The engine sputters and stalls. Through the front windshield the lights of the arriving mob can be seen as they fill into the building's courtyard. Aleth tries to open his door, but the plasti-crete is too close. He's pinned. Same goes for the sliding door on the passenger side. The only two functioning exits are the rear hatch and the driver's door.

 

The protestors don't seem too happy.

 

Turk leaps out of the back of the van, into the lobby. Dirk instantly disappears under the dash, penlight in his mouth.

 

"Don't you think it is a little late to hide?" Val says.

 

"Just buy me 30 seconds" Dirk replys. The space in front of them is filling with the angry mob.

 

Turk grabs a chair and flings it against the glass in a (rather obvious) attempt to appear to sympathize with the mob. Dirk is busy under the dash. He notices that the fuse box was knocked loose and many of the fuses scattered. Hopefully that is all that is wrong with their "new" van.

 

One of the big guys in front, carrying a bat, starts yelling "These are the guys who thought they could run us off the road! Thought they could run us down like road kill!"

 

"Dirk, come on man, let's go!" Val says, never taking his eyes off the approaching crowd.

 

Then something strange happens. They all stop at once. Some look confused, some distracted.

 

Simon Goyle is completely still, his eyes closed and sweat dripping down his brow. A vein by his temple is clearly throbbing, his jaw is clinched tight.

 

The crowd, suddenly unsure, begins to step back from the building, making a path just big enough for the van.

 

Simon grimaces with the effort as Dirk slips the fuse box back into place. Dirk yells over his shoulder to Turk, “Get in, we’re back in business!” The engine cranks for a second, stopping the hearts of all on board, then starts. Dirk eases the van forward as the crowd continues to back away, expecting the path ahead to disappear at any moment.

 

 

Chapter VI - Traffic Cop

 

 

After clearing the crowd, Dirk floors the accelerator in an attempt to put as much distance between him and the crowd as possible. Turk looks at Neal, whose face is beginning to take on an ashen color. Val’s eyes are tightly shut as he focuses every effort to keep from crying out as the van bumps over debris and takes hard corners.

 

Choosing a “safer” route, Dirk skirts a military base/police complex. Just as he thinks the coast is clear, a lone policeman steps out of the shadows and blocks the road. Dirk nonchalantly pulls up and says, “Is there a problem, officer?” The policeman shines his flashlight into the severely damaged van and says, “What are you doing out on the street? There’s a full-blown riot going on!” Dirk’s pleas fall on a heart of stone as the policeman directs him to a nearby hotel to wait out the situation. Dirk pulls into the parking lot of the hotel, takes one look at Neal, and knows what he has to do.

 

With a sudden burst of speed and a squealing of tires, Dirk pulls out of the parking lot, takes the corner, and heads directly towards the policeman. The policeman stands his ground as Dirk barrels toward him, speeding by close enough to nick him. As the van speeds off, Aleth sees the cop raise his pistol to fire. “Turn here,” he yells. Dirk swerves around the corner as the bullets impact the buildings and road around him.

 

 

Chapter VII - "Tell me that orange thing was a traffic cone."

 

 

After the reports of the policeman’s pistol fade, the street becomes eerily quiet as the van eats up the last half mile to the spaceport. Simon appears exhausted and barely conscious. Turk, his hands shaking from his own pain, notices that Neal’s heartbeat is getting weaker. “Move it, Dirk! Neal’s in trouble!” Aleth looks back at Val. He looks pale, but manages a grim smile and a thumbs-up.

 

Rounding the last corner before the starport, Dirk notices a figure dressed in a flame-colored robe, carrying a candle, standing by the side of the road. Aleth brings up his pistol, prepared for the worst. The Doomsayer doesn’t move, so Dirk accelerates to pass him. At the last moment, the man calmly steps in front of the van. Without blinking, Dirk compensates for the impact, shakes his head, and without looking in the rear-view mirror, continues on to the spaceport.

 

 

Emergency generators give some light to the security gate and some of the pads at the spaceport. The guards, wearing riot gear, cover the vehicle with their weapons and keep the barriers down. Dirk slows to a stop at the security officer’s directions. Aleth hides his pistol to the side of his seat and smiles nonchalantly. The officer speaks gruffly, “I’m sorry, gentlemen, we’re not letting anyone into the port until the riot is contained.” Seeing Neal’s salvation so close and yet so far, Aleth begs the guard to make an exception. The officer’s heart of stone seems impervious to Aleth’s pleas so Dirk tries. “Sir, we have some sensitive equipment on our ship that we have got to secure because of the riot. We’ll only be a few minutes. Give us a break, we’ve just been through hell.” The guard looks over the condition of the van and the hard looks from Dirk and Aleth and says, “Alright. You got 10 minutes.”

 

Chapter VIII - Shootout at the Falarucci Freighter

 

The team quickly speeds ahead, not waiting for the guard to change his mind.  On the way to the landing pad they pass a very intimidating looking MIRC which silently holds watch over the entrance.  After another 500 meters, their ship is in sight.  Neal looks dead except for the fast and shallow movement of his chest.  All the bandages they had could not absorb all the foamy blood now pooling on the back seat of their "borrowed" van.  Just as the engine is turned off, and the team exits the van, a movement and a sound catches Dirk's attention.

 

At the next pad a small freighter is surrounded by a group of men and they sound like they are arguing.  A man and a woman are standing in the doorway between the gang and the interior of the spacecraft.  Dirk catches the glint of a side arm and realizes there is going to be trouble next door.  With rushed urgency he dismisses the idea of getting involved with other people's problems.  This crew is going to have to fend for themselves.  "Perhaps once they are airborne, he can radio for help for the crew of the...."  he looks up at side of their vessel for the name and his heart sinks.  "Falarucci Shipping".  Dirk's real name is Donatello Falarucci, and this, he realizes, his his parent's ship.

 

Funny how things can change so quickly.

 

Immediately he informs the team of the situation using his sub-vocal communicator and all agree the gang has picked on their last ship.  No one speaks.  Training takes over and the team quickly begins to move into firing positions around the Falarucci Freighter, as the situation at the loading ramp escalates.

 

Aleth begins to make his move, quickly closing the distance to the fracas.  Using a loaded luggage cart as cover he moves as silently as a shadow in the night until he can hear what is being said.  Clearly the brigands do not intend to leave empty handed and the firepower being brandished is formidable.  The rest of the team is in place and Aleth rests his weapon on the cart for the perfect first-shot at their leader.  Unfortunately, the luggage was very oddly shaped and poorly packed, and the mere shifting of the load causes the whole cart to tip and cascade loudly onto the tarmac.

 

The gang whirls around, weapons drawn and easily spot the whites of Aleth's eyes as his jaw drops in abject horror of his misfortune. 

 

Funny how things can change so quickly.

 

The scene erupts in fire and people dive for cover and the sizzle and crackle of energy weapons fill the air.  Aleth takes a hit directly to his gut and the blow knocks the wind out of him. He falls back toppling over the luggage and grasping at his belly.  He can't breathe and he can't get his footing.  Most of the gang disperse and fall prone, but the ringleader darts inside, chasing the couple into the craft before they can shut the doors.  The ISI team lays down a blistering barrage of fire and because of their superior position and training, begin to neutralize the gang members.   Everyone except Aleth.

 

Aleth finding himself standing on a piece of luggage, attempts to return fire but is hit yet again, this time in the left shoulder.  It sends him spinning and he realized that he was hit not by a beam but by a bullet.  Falling and leaping off the pile, Aleth instinctively rolls, tucking in his weapon and as his feet come to be under him again he rises, weapon ready and drawing a bead on the shooter.  The moment he has his target at the end of his barrel, his sights are silouetted against a bright white flash and followed by searing pain and a sickening crunch under his left ear.  The bullet passed clean through his shoulder, breaking his clavicle and reminding him again that he should have been wearing his kinetic armor.

 

As he falls back he spots Dirk finishing of a rogue with a point-blank shot from his plasma pistol and leaping into the freighter.  "Was he smiling?" he wonders.  Moments later a flash and a crackle erupt from inside the freighter.  The smell of ozonated air and burning flesh fills the air, as Dirk soon emerges, splattered with body matter and with a strangely satisfied look on his face. 

 

 

Appendix - Thoughts / Comments / Surprises

 

I thought the way everyone helped with keeping the combat organized was great! Albert handling the initiative and Joe handling the charts and even Bryan doing my villans helped! I felt sorry for Aleth who had a string of bad luck there and wish things had worked out differently, but that is the way it goes. Dr Payne ought to have that clavicle healed in no time.

 

Well that was quite a bomb Turk dropped on Aleth as a last game action! I bet Dirk is wondering what all that fuss was about! No doubt Simon is wondering as well....

 

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