Mission 1: Kidnappers! Game Summary 11/15

Johann Schmidt (mH), Slade Lockjaw (mH), and Tichat-Ka (mV) signed on with the Clarion Royal Marines and graduated basic training together. Johann had a past career as an EMT but found himself constantly in trouble, Slade was a holo-journalist from Dramune who had an uncanny knack for hurling things with accuracy, and the vruskan Tichat-Ka served as a troubleshooter with a sense of humor that could be linked with dralasites. The motley trio didn't seem like the types that would meld well, but they found camaraderie during their training period. Upon completion they were immediately given the entry rank of Crewman and subsequently assigned as boarding crew for the CMS Falcon, a Liberty class assault scout in the local militia staffed by the Marines.

It didn't take them long to find the action they were searching for. On their first time out together, the Falcon was diverted from what should have been a normal inspection routine on the inbound freighter SS Dark Shadow (which was summarily assigned to the CMS Osprey, another assault scout patrolling the space lanes of White Light). As it turned out, Princess Leotia Valentine XX had been abducted by unknown assailants and forced into a shuttlecraft on the surface of Clarion. The shuttle was seen docking with the SS Stothgard, a Timeon Clipper class freighter, which departed Clarion Station without clearance. Once local authorities put two and two together, it was apparent that the vessel was operating under the Clarion Liberation Party.

Clarion Station Flight Control tracked the Stothgard and ordered the nearest Royal Marine vessel, the CMS Falcon, to investigate. Lieutenant Vincent Shirrah, Commanding Officer of the Falcon, immediately jumped into action. Not the typical dull day he'd been anticipating, but this is what he had been trained for all those years ago. He briefed the rest of his crew en route, eventually acquiring the Stothgard on radar. The ship did not answer any of the hailing frequencies that Executive Officer Jr. Lieutenant Rollie McMickels had been trying. McMickles called this in to Clarion Flight Control to confirm the permitted use of force. Finally the Falcon recieved a reply, albeit not quite the kind they were seeking: a searing laser blast came within centimeters of taking out the Falcon's beak!

Mishipman Bluto Goorhud was ordered to take out the Stothgard's drives and weaponry. Bluto was the newest crewmember to be assigned an officer position, but he wasn't the naive one in the combat arena. He efficiently dispatched the Timeon Clipper class vessel's single laser weapon in short order, only requiring two passes to do so. The third pass yielded a direct hit on the craft's drive system, shutting it down. Shirrah maneuvered the Falcon in between the clipper's twin holds to attach itself to their airlock. Time to get down and dirty...

Bluto was ordered to meet the boarding party in the Falcon's loading deck. The loading deck is the stern-most deck on a Liberty class assault scout, with the airlock is located just aft (below) of it. Bluto fired up the laser powertorch and cut into the clipper's outer hull hatch in no time. Then he moved inward and checked the atmospheric guages within. 100% atmosphere on the inside. He cut into the inner hatch and soon access was granted for the boarding party. He led them in, and they encountered their first wave of resistance: a pair of security robots to challenge the might of Bluto and his new boarding party: Johann, Slade, and Tichat-Ka.

A battle erupted immediately. Slade took a good hit that knocked him to the deck momentarily. But the robots were overcome by the Falcon's boarding party, they were soon reduced to smoking toasters. Slade and Johann each helped themselves to the 'bots' weapons, a pair of laser rifles each sporting a slightly used powerpack. Bluto called the elevator car down for disabling as the others began searching the deck. This was obviously a crew deck as was apparent by four unmade but obviously used cabins and a fresher/sanitation unit, along with a small galley and common area. The elevator car arrived and Slade smashed the control panel. Tichat-Ka followed up by ensuring that it wouldn't be functioning for a while. The upper maintenance door was opened and one by one the Falcon boarders scurried up into the shaft.

They found a ladder running up the length of the shaft and could see the elevator doors to each deck above, one situated 10 meters above them, the next another 60 meters up, and a thrid & final set 10 meters higher. They climbed up to the first set, and pried the doors apart. As they figured, they found themselves staring into the forward hold. It was empty save for some leftover debris from prior loads, and Johann grabbed a piece to keep the doors from closing behind them. They ascended upwards to the next set of doors and could hear faint commotion beyond.

Slade maneuvered himself above the door with two doze grenades handy while Johann pried open the doors. When the doors opened, Slade hurled both dozers which found their marks, efficiently sending half of the baddies into slumberland. Tichat-ka and Johann lit up the other two mooks with laser fire and gyrojets. The opposition returned fire with little effect. Slade swooped into the door with his laser rifle blazing and was joined by his comrades, the skirmish was short and one sided. As the others filed into the deck, they heard the sound of something metallic moving behind them. The deck layout was similar in design to the first crew deck which they entered the ship, with the elevator shaft centered in a cylinder-like area encircled by a curving wall with five doors spaced around.

The metallic sound reverberated along with several servo motors whining in harmony, and while it sounded like it was originating beyond the elevator shaft inthe recess they couldn't immediately see into, it also appeared to be stationary as well. Slade whispered out, "Tichat-Ka and I will go left, Johann and Bluto go right, slowly boys."

Both groups eased around the shaft, nerves and muscles tightened and ready for anything. Simultaneously arriving into the unseen niche, they found themselves poking weapon barrels at a stationary robot that didn't immediately appear to take notice of them. Its head unit rotated slowly to its left to face Slade and Tichat-Ka, followed by some electronic warbling, and then rotated right to repeat this with Bluto and Johann. Beyond what appeared to be a scanning mode, it did nothing.

Bluto noticed the robot was positioned to face a door directly across the way. Sein ghtis he said to the group, "Guardian 'bot. It'll probably just sit here until we either attempt to manipulate it, attack, or enter the door that it's watching." Slade decides to attempt a point blank maneuver to immobilize the robot. The plan was for he and Bluto to stuff tangler grenades into its visual receptors in order to blind it and then proceed with an attack pattern.

At this point Johann opts to section off some of his rope to incapacitate the two unconcious guards. After all, he didn't want any unwelcome surprises from behind later on! Meanwhile Bluto and Slade readied themselves for the maneuver. Nodding, the two simultaneously pulled pins and stuffed the tanglers toward the robot's face.

Surprisingly, the maneuver doesn't work at all. The robot leaps into action in a blur, crossing the hall to block the door while simultaneously firing at the group with its automatic pistol. The burst goes wide and sends steel rain over Johann's head. Johann drops prone and the group returns fire, all working in tandem to defeat the metallic menace.

Several of them push the beast away from the door, kicking its loose weapons away as well. Johann continues to bind the unconcious guards while Tichat-Ka collects their ammuntion. One never knows how much they'll need, and it's better to have too much than not enough! Slade presses an ear against the door and hears a faint yet muffled voice, followed by two distinct sets of footsteps and a gruff but inaudible reply. The other two regroup, Slade and Johann take point as Bluto and Tichat-Ka cover the sides of the door.

Tichat-Ka slides the door open, and a yazirian and dralasite within leap into action. A bound and gagged female human can be sen in a bunk off to the right as the duo rush the door. Slade and Johann cut loose with their newly acquired laser rifles. Both miss and the targets press forward. They make it to the doorway and go for point blank gunshots. The yazirian goon sticks his laser pistol towards Slade's abdomen and blasts away. Slade twists just enough that the beam misses by millimeters. The dralasite goond shoves his automatic pistol into Johann's face and squeezes, only to hear the sound of...silence. A jam, how fortuitous!

Slade returns the favor with his laser rifle and dispatches the yazirian thug. Johann wounds the dralasite with a second laser blast. The dralasite swipes his stunstick at Bluto nearby and tags him, but the stun setting has no effect. Bluto responds with his electric sword and connects with a clean hit that sends the goon into dralasitic afterlife.

Catching their breath, the quartet peers into the room. The bound female form within twitches slightly, and all of them recognize her as Princess Leotia Valentine XX of the Clarion Royal Family! "Untie her," Bluto barks out. Slade slings his rifle and rushes in to remove the bindings. "Clarion Royal Marines, your highness," Slade calls out softly as he unties her. "Are you alright?" Leotia rights herself and stretches, joints aching from the awkward position she had been in. "Thank the stars, " she answers. "Your promptness is appreciated."

Bluto taps his chronocom, raising Lieutenant Shirrah. "Midshipman Goorhud here, prize recovered. Returning with prize immediately." He turns to the other three. "Secure this deck, I will return in ten minutes." He assists the princes into the elevator shaft and both soon disappear within.

Johann and Tichat-Ka search the other cabins in the meantime, as Slade takes watch. Nothing else is found, the other three cabins were vacant but otherwise showing signs of use. Bluto returned in the alloted ten minutes, crawling out of the elevator shaft. "Okay boys, are ya ready to mop up?" The assembled trio respond and Bluto finishes. "Alright, back into the shaft Marines. Time to take the bridge!"

Scooting up the shaft to arrive at the uppermost doors, the foursome can hear activity beyond the closed doors. They pick out four voices, all shouting out to each other indistinctly. Johann whispers to the group, "Same course of action?" The others nod in agreement, after which Slade whispers back "Someone gimme a dozer!"

Tichat-Ka maneuvers to the top and jimmies the doors open. Johann & Slade toss the obloids in and they find their marks, popping at the feet of a female yazirian and a female vrusk respectively. Both inhale the sleep gas and slump to the deck. Tichat-Ka drops in and bolts left, swatting at a female human with his stunstick but only catching air. Bltuo pops up from below and arcs a laser beam across the bridge at a male human, just missing his head and causing a small sparkfire behind.

Both react by jerking pistols from their holsters, and there is a moment of hesitation. Slade shouts out "Surrender and live, resist and die!" Johann reinforces the command with a raised laser rifle. Tichat-Ka raises the stunstick for another swing whike cocking his head to one side, as if sizing up his opponent. "Nice pants," he says to the female human waving the electric baton. Bluto crawls out of the shaft to level his laser pistol. The opposing duo toss their sidearms to the deck, and slowly raise their hands upward. "Wise move," Bluto retorts. Johann begins measuring out 1-2 meter sections of rope.

The informal briefing the boarding party recieved prior to entering the Stothgard listed its owner as one Captain Chaison Masting, a male human that has alleged ties with the Clarion Liberation Party. Turning to the male human, Slade calls out "Chaison Masting, I presume?" the human nods. Bluto snorts out "By the authority of the Clarion Royal Marines, you are hereby under arrest for kidnapping a member of the Royal Family and subsequently treason against Clarion's government."

As if in reply, a bellowing voice comes over the intercomm panel near teh female human. "What's going on up there? I need those reports you dizzy dame. I can't fix these drives on just my good looks, charm, and grace!" Johann pauses while binding the female human, and looks toward the captain. "How many crew are aboard this boat?" Tichat-Ka scurries over to the mainframe computer. "Answer him!" Slade commands.

Tichat-Ka's evenly spaced vruskan fingers begin to dance across the keyboard. The captain, clasping his hands atop his head, calls out "Just us four on the bridge, six on the fore crew deck, one more in engineering. And three robots. That's it, I swear!" Tichat-Ka looks up from the monitor and nods in confirmation. "Ship's log backs that up."

Tichat-Ka's fingers continue the graceful keyboard jitterbug, and he raises one of his forelegs to prop open a drawer underneath. One hand darts away from the keyboard and returns with a datacube. The vrusk places the cube within his mandibles and continues to peck the keys, and soon he retrieves the hexahedron and attaches it to a databank port.

Meanwhile Johann has bound all four crewmembers, both concious and sleepers alike. "Watcha got there, Tichat-Ka?" Bluto calls out. The vrusk disconnects the datacube and pockets it. "Everything we need," he responds. Bluto grins. "Okay people, double time. Everyone grab a crew member and into the shaft." He clicks his chronocom and raises the C.O. once more. "Midshipman Goorhud to Falcon, returning with four prisoners. We still got one more live one roaming the lower decks, we'll pick him up and two others that are stashed away after the drop. Repeat, four comin' down!"

One by one the Falcon boarding team members re-entered the shaft, Johann carrying the unconcious female yazirian and Slade escorting the bound female human. Tichat-Ka began lugging the unconcious female vrusk and Bluto gave Captain Masting a hearty shove toward the opening. As Slade entered, he asked Bluto "How can the bound ones move down the opening?" Bluto grinned slyly and offered "Not my problem," as he violently shoved Masting into the opening.

Moments later the quartet found themselves back in the elevator on the mid crew deck, slipping into the car one by one and lowering prisoners one step closer toward their final destination. Working their way back to the main airlock, Lieutenant Shirrah greets them along with the ship's dralasitic astrogator, Jr. Lieutenant Dugknar. "Well done," Shirrah says to the boarding party. As Dugknar begins herding them into the storage locker on the loading deck, Tichat-Ka hands the data cube over to Shirrah. "What do we have here?" The C.O. inquires. Tichat-Ka cocks his head to one side and says "Computer data on the crew, and more importantly details of the abduction dating back to several months ago." Shirrah smiles brightly. "Impressive. Remind to tyo commend the training program director, these recruits just keep getting better."

Bluto waits for the right moment and interjects. "Sir, with your permission there's one more straggler aboard the Stothgard. The chief engineer we suspect, holed up on one of the lower decks." Shirrah nods. "Have at it, Midshipman Goorhud." Bluto leads the three back into the freighter, grabbing the laser powertorch along the way. "We'll need ol' Gutter here to get through the elevator floor."

The quartet arrives back at the elevator. Bluto starts hacking into the floor of the elevator car, melting through it like a hot laser through Gran Quiveran gelatin spread. Tossing the torch aside, the four pile into the shaft once more. The shaft stretches down about 80 meters, terminating at two sets of doors: one 70 meters down and the bottom-out point 10 meters further.

The group collects themselves at the first set 70 meters down. Preparing for the inevitable, Tichat-Ka once again forces the doors open as Johann & Slade ready their weapons. The doors slide open to reveal the aft hold, vacant save for a few crates labelled "FOODSTUFFS" and "WATER". Slade begins inspecting them for their actual contents as Tichat-Ka locates an intercom speaker/mike adjacent to the elevator doors. In Pan-Galactic Common, he rattles off into the microphone "Clarion Royal Marines to whomever remains in the maintenance deck. We have taken your craft and crew, surrender peacefully and make it easy on all of us."

A voice bellows back, "Joke's on you guys, I'm not buyin' it!" Bluto calls Shirrah on the chronocom. "Sir, if possible can you get Captain Masting to divulge the Stothgard chronocom frequency and order his engineer to surrender?" A brief pause is followed by Shirrah's response. "Copy that boarding party. It's worth a shot."

Johann scurries down the chute to arrive at the final set of doors, and can sense activity beyond. Slade, satisfied that the crates are legitimate, joins him. A few more minutes pas and the chronocom crackles to life. Captain Masting's voice can be heard, "Chief Engineer Grotter, this is Captain Chaison Masting. Game's over, old friend. The Royal pain in our butt marines have taken the ship."

A brief pause follows and a voice bellows back, "Alright, come and get me." Tichat-Ka scuttles down the shaft to join the other two, and pries the doors open as Johann & Slade raise their rifles. The doors open and a husky dralasite decked in grease stained coveralls turns to face them. He tosses a laser pistol to the deck and raises his pseudopods. Johann and Slade enter cautiously, surrounding the dralasite. "Don't move," Johann warns. "My friends are decent shots." The dralasite turns to face the doors. "Well c'mon already, I ain't got all day!"

Tichat-Ka enters, facing the dralasite with a pair of gyrojet pistols drawn. He cranes his neck, tilting it to one side, and looks down. "Nice shoes," he comments, looking back up at the dral's eyespots. "They even curl inward at the right angle." The dralasite bellows softly in laughter. Slade shakes his head, offering "You're an odd one, Tichat-Ka." Johann binds the drals pseudopods and guides him toward the shaft. "Let's go, cowboy."

They meet Bluto at the aft hold doors and the group moves back up to the elevator shaft to the disabled car. One by one they crawl up into the car and make their way back to the Falcon. Once the prisoner is turned over, Bluto orders the other three back into the ship to recover any weapons and useful items. Half an hour later the trio returns lugging enough to fill the ship's weapons locker. Shirrah orders all hands to their stations and prepares to disembark. The three new recruits make their way to the recreation deck and take travelling positions.

Soon afterwards, the Falcon disconnects from the drifting hulk and fires RCS thrusters to maneuver away from the twin holds. Once the craft pitched about, the main drives fired and gravity soon returned as the ship reached 1G acceleration. Several hours later Princess Leotia Valentine XX entered the rec deck to greet the new recruits, escorted by Midshipman Goorhud. "Thank you again, " she offers. "A banquet will be held in your honor, brave and noble Marines. You have earned the respect of the Royal Family as outstanding members of Clarion.

The three of them looked at each other, and couldn't help but thinking the same thing: "Real food!" Survival rations and auto-galley meals just don't hold up to the real thing. Shortly afterwards, their newfound hunger was replaced by thoughts of the distinct possibility of a monetary reward as well...

AFTERMATH --- During the banquet, it was learned that the Falcon crew was not the only group to see some action that day. The Marines' flagship frigate, the CMS Leo, delivered two vessels into impound. In addition to the Stothgard, the SS Dark Shadow was brought in after the boarding crew of the Osprey discovered contraband Streel-furnished firearms hidden within the robots that were being carried in the vessel's hold. As it turns out, the Falcon encounterd both vessels...originally assigned to the Dark Shadow inspection and later detoured to the Stothgard. Between the captured crew members of both craft, it is theorized that this smuggled shipment was intended for factions of the Liberation Party. Both scout crews recieved commendations for their actions, with the higher honor going to the Falcon boarders who recieved the Royal Medal of Honor. Johann, Slade, and T'chat-Ka later returned to the Falcon and were greeted by Lt. Shirrah, who shook hands with each and handed them their official promotion plasticards and epilette pins denoting the rank of Corporal.

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