Adventure: Return to Starmist, Part 2
This adventure was in part inspired by the John Wayne movie The Fighting Seabees. I wanted to place the players in a situation similar to the one in the movie, where they are forced to use whatever is at their disposal to defend their ground, including construction equipment. Like many of these adventures, I took my original map sketches and photoshopped them to something a little more usable.
The Shri’ikki Arise
Once the PCs arrive in the Sundown system, they will receive a report that pirates from the Pirate Alliance have started a blockade around the planet and engaged in a guerilla war on the surface around the excavation site. Recent rumors are that the pirates are seeding the planet’s upper orbital plane with Thor artillery satellites (satellites armed with large ceramic and metal bars that are dropped from orbit, about half of which survives re-entry and causing massive explosions and damage on impact.)
The Pirates have a small task force of frigates and a assault carrier with a strong contingent of fighters enforcing the blockade. Penetrating the blockade would be difficult but not impossible. The MEAR assault will include two frigates (one of which the PCs are on) and a group of drone fighters used to delay the pirates. The shuttles, containing with the PCs and the supplies, will launch from the frigate once the drones have engaged the pirates. Once landing is confirmed, the frigates and surviving drones will disengage.
MEAR had a security staff of about 85 fully armored and armed combat veterans but now they are down to 28 security. There is also 24 excavation personnel (dig-techs) who have picked up arms and defending the site. The PCs will have the rank of Security Chief Commander. The following are important personnel (NPCs):
- Security Deputy Chief Adrian Dalondan ([Torani]) – [former pirate]
- Security Deputy Chief Aldof Dannings ([Utoran])
- The rest are consider Security Field Rank.
The dig is primarily automated, operated and maintained by the 24 dig-techs. They also have access to heavy dig equipment (dozers, shovels, drillers, and the like) as well as work walkers. They have redirected the river and tapped it for some hydropower/steam power. The transport has a much needed shipment of supplies that will go down in a separate shuttle, including with food, water filters, medical supplies, weapons, tools and batteries. They are to escort it down in a separate shuttle.
The blockade run plan is risky. The GM is encouraged to present a tense situation with lots of thrills. Maybe a fighter broke through the assault and goes after the shuttles or maybe one of the frigates explodes send debris all over the shuttle. Both shuttles should make it through to the upper atmosphere but that’s when things go wrong. The Pirates use the Thor system to attempt to destroy them. The PC’s shuttle is not hit, however the supply shuttle is hit. It crash lands somewhere deep in the jungle north of the excavation site. They later find out that the shuttle crashed deep in pirate territory (See Mission Supply Retrieval) .
Current inventory on the ground: BH-21 Work Walkers (x3). 6 cases of MEAR 1001 Assault Rifles. 4 cases of MEAR 2190 Support Rifles. 10 cases of 25 ARMA round clips (MEAR 1001). 10 cases of 200 ARMA round belts (MEAR 2190). 1 EMA cannon with 3 cases of 20 shells. 2 vehicle flamethrowers with two cases of flamer ammo (20 shots each). The MEAR personnel barely have enough food to feed themselves, occasionally relying on game and fauna. Their water filtration badly needs replacing and they are short on medical supplies as well. People are getting sick from unfiltered water and local food. They really needed those supplies.
The encampment is regular bombarded by light Thor shells. The pirates goal is to harass them enough to get them to leave, perhaps even leave their equipment (as they have none of their own and need the MEAR equipment to uncover the ship).
Various Missions will be available while on planet:
Mission Supply Retrieval: First and foremost, the retrieval of the supplies is key. The comm station had a fix on the crashed shuttles beacon when it crashed but it has since been silenced. The PCs and a team of security soldiers will be asked to go out, find the supplies, and take out any threats to those supplies. At the same time, the pirates are planning an expedition to retrieve the supplies, although the PCs won’t know that right away.
The location of the supplies is up to the GM, but it needs to be strategically challenging. Examples are a deep ravine where the shuttle is precariously perched, or in a fast moving river on the edge of a waterfall. Both teams (pirates and PCs) should arrive at or around the same time. A battle will ensue.
Take out the Tunnels: The pirates have been harassing the excavation via tunnels they have dug along the perimeter of the encampment. A mission is devised to take out one of the main junctions of the tunnels in hopes of taking out the network.
Gain Control Of Thor: Scouts have gained intel on the location of one of the Thor satellite relay stations. These are heavily camouflaged mobile stations that the pirates move around a lot. They need to act fact before it moves again. With this station, they can gain control of the Thor satellites and turn it against them. This needs to be strategically challenging and epic. This can turn the tide of the situation on the planet.
Attack Nearby Pirate Base: Taking the battle to the pirates is an option. There is a pirate base a few kilometers southeast of the excavation (see map of Outpost).
Final Assault: At some point, the pirates will be forced to attack the encampment in an effort to take control of it. The PCs will have to arrange a defense plan.
Wispee Swamp: Nearby the encampment is something the locals called the Wispee Swamp. It appear like a black tar swamp but as most know by now, it is more than that. It is a living creature that engulfs its victims in a black ooze cocoon and hangs them from the trees above. Digestive juices consume the victim and the nutrients drip down to the main body of the creature. [Possible byproduct from the crashed ship evolved over thousands of years]
There is a Mole: Planted within the group are two people sympathetic to the pirates. They are anti-corporate activists that would be just fine if the pirates got ahold of the alien tech. Two married [Tor’Drani] – Drillan and Kellri Manar. They will try their best frame Security Deputy Chief Adrian Dalondan seem like the mole if suspicion is obvious. They pose as pacifists and refuse to pick up arms to help the corporation. Kellri is in fact attempting to seduce the Deputy Chief so as to make it easier to manipulate him. Meanwhile, Drillan is an accomplished mentalist. They have recently made contact with the pirates in the tunnels and are feeding them information. Helping them is Drillan’s personal robot Harper. Ways that signs of a mole will come up. Planned missions will walk into a trap. Patrols will be ambushed. Thor strikes are a little too precise.
Walking Landmines: The pirates incorporate a new technique at some point. They have acquired through their pirating a Wartech failed super soldier serum. The serum actually much like the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde serum – it awakens a monster within the recipient that emerges under times of stress. The victim’s body transforms into a mutated beast and savagely rampages any living being it comes across it fits of uncontrollable rage. The pirates are injecting prisoners with this serum (while they are unconscious) and releasing them to be found by the excavation security. Their hopes is to kill enough within the camp for them to surrender. Finding a cure: A mission is formed to raid a pirate camp to steal the serum and find a cure with it.
Artifacts found: The security have full reign over the encampment and its operations except for one area – the dig itself. The dig techs are under strict orders to keep whatever they find secret. ONce anything is found, it is boxed up and sealed. Security is to take it to the hold and guard it, but never know what is found. The dig techs are even supposed to minimize the number of dig techs exposure to the finds.
Everyone knows when something is found because of the change in the dig techs operations and demeanor. Despite all efforts, the Deputy Chief has had a look at the various items. In the artifact hold – a place called the Reliquary, a huge steal cargo box with secure doors – are various alien artifacts found on the ship. They are slowly running out of room and will need a new Reliquary before too long. [The GM is encouraged to use this however he sees fit. Some items are weapons, but they may not function the way the PCs expect. Others can be wondrous items that perform amazing feats. It’s up to the GM]
The Shri’iki Await: A small ship with a team aboard of Shri’ik and Clikk is hidden on the edge of the system. It awaits the end result of the war on Starmist. Having no desire to fight a two front way, the Shri’ikki wish to wait until one side or the other wins this conflict, then take out the depleted forces before reinforcements can arrive. Their end goal is to take the ship back before anyone frees the Cli’ik and Shri’ik inside.
Shri’ikki Arise: Within the bowels of the crashed ship are stasis pods containing Clikk, Shri’ik and more. If the GM sees fit, some can escape and cause havoc to the players. These Shri’ikki represent a faction that was considered renegade or rogue. So if they can be communicated with, they may become allies.