When last we left off our dubiously titled ‘heroes’ they were in the midst of a parlay with a group of Tohaa accompanied by a PanO liason, James Donally and scientist Adela Green. Suddenly the Tohaa seem agitated and start moving with more urgency. Tkazi backs towards the exit as a mighty pano knight comes out asking, “what’s the meaning of this?!” The former Knight of the Holy Sepulchre turned Hexas agent, Markus Suparman marched out to interrogate James Donally as to why his comms just cut out. Tkazi, Shadow, and Kirk have noticed now too. All comms seem to be cut out, including the link to Izzi and Executive Noodles. They’re on their own for the moment. In the mean time Tkazi does a close inspection of the security door. In fact it looks a lot more like an airlock or some sort of quarantine door. He relays this information to the Tohaa and they manage to disable the first lock.
Meanwhile Shadow and Kirk are still on the 14th floor and working on a way to get down. They have climbing plus, so there’s plenty of options. Looking at the stairs, the stairs up are still intact, but down they’ve crumbled away. They elect to head down the elevator shaft, but find the elevator jammed between floor 12 and 13. They unfortunately fail to get the door of the elevator open, but they find a hatch into the elevator itself. Luckily for them the floor 12 door is already open. They sneak out and hear some noises that sounds like more remotes and they spot two automatic turrets! So they decide on the most logical course of action possible. Go back upstairs to the Mulebot they wrecked, hollow it out and use it as a two man costume to get into the 12th floor. What can I say… they rolled well and the illusion was perfect. A mulebot went tac-tac-tac-ing down the stairs and moved into the turret room on floor 12.
Meanwhile on the 11th floor, the Tohaa manage to unlock the airlock. James asks Tkazi and Knight Suparman to check it out. The door seals behind them and the atmosphere changes, Donally knocks on the airlock window and tells them that the Tohaa are having difficulties with the environmental controls. Suddenly the window turns a bright red and Donally slumps forward dead. Behind him stands the female Tohaa Taros Alai with a pistol in hand. Knight Suparman doesn’t notice yet, but Tkazi starts to feel light headed as the atmosphere is drained from the room. Tkazi manages to spot weakpoints on the airlock exit door, and by combining the sheer might of his Titan LHost and power armor, Suparman breaks the seal of the exit airlock, not wanting to go back and face the Tohaa he’ll gain this objective himself! Unfortunately, Suparman also damages his right elbow actuator. He’ll self repair, but for now it’s much more difficult to move his arm freely. Tkazi can breath again, but now there’s a new problem! The Tohaa have triggered the built in security and a posion gas is being pumped into the chamber.
With another mighty push Suparman cracks through the door completely. He manages to soak the poison with his Titan LHost and Tkazi makes a good resistance check and doesn’t feel its effects at all. Thinking on his feet, Tkazi turns and blasts the pipe carrying the toxin to vent even more of it. Suparman then seals the airlock, but unfortunately can’t find anything to brace it. That said, if the Tohaa want to come after them, they’ll need to get through the poison gas themselves. Once again, Suparman heavily damaged his elbow actuator. Now the joint appears completely locked, though he can still use the fingers.
Rejoining Kirk and Shadow, they managed to bluff their way…in a robot costume up to the first turret and destroy it silently. Unfortunately for them, when they destroy the second turret (still in a Mulebot costume), it sets off an alarm! Looks like they sliced the wrong wire, and two security doors on the sides of the room open up as two Armbot Bulleteer’s stride out and begin searching for enemies.
That is about the time that Suparman and Tkazi make it up to floor 11. As they open the stairwell door they see two armbot bulleteers, two damaged turrets, and a mulebot. Before they can do anything the mulebot tac-tac-tacs its way, in a suspiciously fluid manner, over to one of the Bulleteers and… mount it?! That of course was Shadow popping up the front end of his costume and thoroughly knifing the bulleteer, which took a serious hit, but isn’t down yet. Spending some heat the bulleteer reared back and kicked its legs at Shadow and Kirk. Kirk sidesteps past Shadow and defends the blow, but at the expensive of their beloved Mulebot costume.
Moments later Suparman took a flying leap at the second bulleteer and soundly slashes deep into it causing it to die instantly. Tkazi fires a quick burst at the injured bulleteer to shut it down and the party is rejoined!
At the back of this room is another airlock, so Tkazi stands guard at the elevator shaft and shadow heads through the airlock. He searches around for the device they were hired to find and actually it looks completely intact. Also on one of the bodies in the room he finds a T2 pistol. He heads out of the airlock, but suddenly the outer door jams and he feels very lightheaded!
He starts to pound on the door and Knight Suparman comes to his aide. Effortlessly the knight swings his Sword of St. George in a complicated pattern, and an exact outline of Shadow slices away from the door and shadow comes with it.
At this point Knight Suparman is determined to go after the objective on the 15th floor. The Tohaa have betrayed him and he wants to get this information for mighty PanOceania. He was originally sent to guard the Tohaa group from hostile Trolls and any other dangers. Their mission was to retrieve Adela Green’s research results and notes. She had been developing a nanotech projectile, capable of being launched, then emmiting a cloud of nanorobots to damage and disable anything in the vicinity. Her research data is on the 15th floor.
Per the teams standard operating procedure Shadow and Kirk once again, gut a robot to use as a robot costume. They then tac-tac-tac their way up to floor 15. Just as they heave themselves up onto the floor 15 landing, Knight Suparman pulls a bit too hard on the elevator cables and the reel above comes loose, dropping the elevator down to the 11th floor along with the winch mechanism. It’ll be tough going to get through that on the way back down. It’ll also be a natural bottleneck for any assault.
Up on floor 15, bulleteer that is Shadow and Kirk tac-tac-tacs its way into the room. They see more ceiling turrets that have been destroyed, the cubicle area here has been destroyed as though a mine or two went off. In the back in the lab area, they see a posthuman working at a terminal. Leper the posthuman hears the gentle tac-tac-tac of dronebot feet. Gets up from the terminal he’s been working at and looks at the Shadow and Kirk bulleteer. He draws his pistols and says, ‘Oh another security bot. I thought I was rid of you all…” Just then shadow and Kirk leap out of their disguise and take massive slashes into Leper.
Leper’s nearly gone in an instant, but before he goes, he jabs Kirk with a wetspike Tkazi finishes him off with a burst of spitfire, and as he dies he croaks ‘I have more of these you know…’
Suparman marches into the room having missed the entire fight, and looks to the terminal leper was using. Looks like about ⅓ of Adela Green’s data is missing. That said, now that their on the 15th floor they seem to be outside the Tohaa’s jamming bubble and they get a message from Izzi. It’s on repeat, but apparently Trolls have entered the lower floors. She and Chief Executive Noodles are hidden for now, but they need help!
Rather than go help them, the team searches the room and finds an unprogrammed remote. Specifically a Boarding Shotgun Armbot Peacemaker variant. They successfully reprogram the bot and insert Tkazi’s geist into it to run it. After some deliberation about whether to save Izzi, face the Tohaa, or just leave them all for dead, the team decides a plan. They’re going to send the Peacemaker down the elevator shaft to attack the Tohaa from that side, then they’re going to rig rappelling lines and assault the Tohaa from outside the building.
Naturally, Shadow and Kirk with climbing plus, hull the final bulleteer as a brand new costume! They then sprint down the side of the building tac-tac-tac-ing away somehow. The rest of the team rappel down and as soon as they arrive, Knight Suparman takes a leap to swing out then comes crashing into the windows of Floor 11. Unfortunately for him, his broken right arm catches on a support beam tumbling him face first into the room.
Shadow and Kirk follow next deftly (somehow) sneaking their remote into the room without the Tohaa noticing. In their defense a 10 foot tall knight in power armor just crashed face first into the ground. Tkazi strides in the room calmly and opens up with his flamethrower! Now I made a mistake here and the Tohaa, two Makauls lit on fire and I misread their soak value. They wouldn’t have taken a wound though, so I don’t think it made a difference in gameplay.
Kirk and Shadow then leap into action assaulting the Ectros. Shadow’s cuts deep into the Ectros’ Symbiont armor and then Kirk follows up with a second strike, dealing a bit of damage to the Ectros but destroying its armor. Finally Knight Suparman manages to get back to his feet and fires a fusilade of bullets at the nearest link team. Unfortunately with his damaged arm he misses.
The surprise round is over for the NPCs so they spend heat to all activate before the PCs have a chance! The Ectros takes a massive swing with his spear at Shadow, kirk tries to block it, but fails and the blade punches a wound into the dogface…who then goes full werewolf mode! The female Tohaa, Maakrep Tracker Taros Alai, and her link team open up on Knight Suparman and manage to land a wound. The last team, a group of all Makauls were unfortunately staggered by Tkazi’s flame attack, so they just recover.
Round 2 for the PCs, Tkazi starts things off right away, but unleashing his spitfire on the Makaul link team. He manages to kill two of the Tohaa leaving a single Makaul in that team. Meanwhile Shadow and Kirk take two more massive swings at the Ectros and cut him down. Two Makauls left in the Ectros link. Finally Suparman marches forth and with a swing of his mighty blade of St. George, he fells two of the Makauls in the Taros’ link team.
Unfortunately it was getting late, so we had to end midcombat yet again. One of these days I’ll get the timing right.