Spinward Star, LLP

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High Speed Pursuit

We begin in media res, with the crew already in hot pursuit of the Kalamanaru vehicles leaving the compound. Following Ella’s … “discussion” with Dyrin Byard, they snuck closer to the dig site where they subdued some guards and retrieved a pair of vehicles in the form of a large truck and an off-road dune buggy. It was originally their intent to make a night rescue using these vehicles as their escape route with the hope that the Kalamanaru guards are less prepared. This is not to be, however, as the entire compound suddenly erupts with gunfire and explosions, thus forcing the vehicle convoy outside to leave abruptly. The crew promptly follow – Ella drives the ATV with Abe and Buck in it, while Eddy handles the flatbed truck with Aris and Haank in the back – as several of the crew saw Lorain being forced into the front vehicle. Behind them, an immense explosion levels the compound, making everyone quite happy that they didn’t go in after all.

Now in hot pursuit of the kidnappers, the crew closes in on the convoy just as it comes alongside a train. The convoy itself is comprised of an armored-up truck which is in the lead, a single ATV identical to the one that Ella is driving, and a pair of flatbed trucks like the one that Eddy is behind the wheel of. On Ella’s command, Aris, who has joined the crew under the cover of a drone reporter, sends Jim ahead on an attack run.

Jim the drone, which is faster than the convoy, races forward and opens fire with his minigun; the gauss rounds tear into the rear vehicle, inflicting only negligible structural damage. The eruption of gunfire counts as the signal for the rest of the crew to engage. Ella immediately guns the engine of her ATV and closes in with the intent of drawing close enough for Abe to use his gyroc pistol currently loaded with EMP rounds.

As the Kalamanaru personnel react to this unexpected assault, the crew continue their attack; Jim’s next burst of fire rips apart one of the tires of the rear truck , causing it to dramatically slow and swerve erratically as the driver struggles to control it. From the ATV in front of them, a Vargr takes several potshots at the crew but the unstable platform and the haste in which he shoots ensures that none of the laserfire comes even close; at the same time, Jim is able to detect several other Vargr move to the back of the other truck which drifts into the path of Eddy’s vehicle. Ella, seeing a narrow opening, guns her ATV engine once more and they briefly go airborne; this unexpected maneuver catches Ibrahim completely by surprise and his carefully aimed gyroc shot strikes the middle vehicle instead of his intended target. The EMP round immediately shorts out the engine of the truck – while this is only temporary, it effectively removes that truck from the chase. Buck simultaneously unloads a sharp burst of fire at the Vargr in the ATV ahead of them, but his weapon badly misfires.

As all of this takes place, several of the crew observe Taren briefly pop up out of the armored vehicle to see what is going on; Jim unloads a sharp burst of fire into the cabin of the rear-most vehicle, but in the drone’s haste, all of the rounds go wide. At almost the same time, Jim takes fire from one of the Vargr. Ella angles sharply toward the armored vehicle and Abe fires a quick, unaimed shot with his gyroc at it as, but grimaces when he sees the round ricochet off the armor plates; even the EMP burst cannot penetrate the armor.

Suddenly, Lorain is shoved out of the top hatch of the armored vehicle – Taren is forcing her out as the driver creeps closer to the train. Everyone immediately recognizes his plan: he’s going to transfer Ms. Messandi from the APC to the train!

As Jim continues to fire on the driver of the rearmost vehicle, badly crippling him, Ella continues to draw closer to the APC where Lorain is and, as she gets alongside it, Ibrahim surprises her by springing out and onto the truck’s exterior; while clinging on the outside, he begins shifting along it toward the train. Buck begins to crawl to the back of the ATV in preparation for a jump himself, though he’s obviously less enthusiastic about this than Abe appears to be.

Taren, now fully out of the APC, grabs Lorain with both hands and hurls her onto the train. She screams. A lot. Abe continues to crabwalk along the back of the APC, cursing steadily in Arabic under his breath as he does so. Once he’s in position, he makes the ill-advised leap onto the train as well and manages to expertly stick the landing; only as he’s crouching and realizing that Taren has followed suit does Abe realize that, in his haste, he left his pistol behind on the ATV! Nonetheless, he springs up and charges Taren.

Now in position, Buck makes the jump as well, though he lands alongside a cargo hatch on the side of the APC and opts to try it; to his delight, the hatch comes open easily, revealing an armed (and quite surprised) Kalamanaru goon crouching there. Before the man can really react, Buck seizes his rifle and pulls. Hard. The goon goes flying out of the APC and Buck scrambles in, now armed with a seized rifle. He jams the weapon’s barrel into the driver’s neck and demands the man move. The driver does so with alacrity.

Haank opens fire with his shotgun at the trailing vehicle’s tire and his fire shreds it, immediately causing the driver – who is already badly injured thanks to Jim’s fire – to lose control and crash; unluckily for Eddy, the truck’s roll puts it squarely in front of him! He swerves hard, narrowly escaping what would no doubt be an explosive collision

At the same time, the other ATV swerves closer to Ella’s vehicle while the passenger opens up with his laser rifle, tearing into the body of her buggy. Smoke begins spewing out of her ATV but she easily manages to maintain control while drawing her pistol and then opening fire with it at the Vargr. She hits both the driver and the shooter; for a moment, it seems as though the driver is going to be able to maintain control, but that moment passes quickly and the ATV is soon tumbling end over end.

Atop the flatbed train, Ibrahim and Taren exchange a flurry of blows, each attempting to get the other into an arm lock in order to force their opponent from the train. Ella, seeing this scuffle and not being able to get a clear shot at Taren, opts to sling her pistol onto the train near Lorain; her throw is a little off, forcing Lorain to scramble for it. She then slides into position in front of the APC, now driven by Buck. An instant later, Taren badly overextends with a kick, giving Abe a perfect opportunity to retaliate with a push kick that sends the man tumbling off the train.

Ella has a momentary jump-scare as Taren strikes the ground in front of her; luckily for him, he manages to avoid getting hit by her ATV and Eddy’s flatbed truck. She looks up with wide-eyed surprise to see Ibrahim standing there, looking at least vaguely badass as Lorain rushes to hug him. Later, when they circle back to where they saw Taren last, they are unsurprised to discover there is no sign of him.

Once the crew manage to get Ibrahim and Lorain off the train, the rescued woman is very vocal in her gratitude but (amusingly to all of the other members of the crew) doesn’t let go of Abe. She tells them that she’s discovered the next clue about the location of the Sky Raiders’ base but managed to avoid telling her captors. The crew is, for the first time, one step ahead of Kalamanaru’s men.

Player Notes:

  • No game next week on account of five players being at GenCon. Whoot!
  • Per the GM, all PCs had the Daredevil advantage for this scenario only so as to ramp up the cinematic feel for the chase. Hence, Ella taking us airborne briefly and the like.
  • The result of Abe’s fight with Taren was a surprise to all of us, including me (Rigil) as Abe’s player. I was expecting to delay him long enough for someone else to swoop in and finish the job, but the dice gods were being generous. Following the kick, Abe critically succeeded on his parry, which resulted in Taren rolling on the Unarmed Critical Miss table. This caused him to end up one hex past Abe and with his back to him; one hex beyond put Abe literally on the edge of the train platform. Abe succeeded on the push kick roll (All-Out Attack (Strong), Telegraphed) and then rolled maximum for the damage (total amount 9.) A push kick (per Martial Arts) does no actual damage, but you double the normal damage to determine knockback, so this is 18 points which was enough to send Taren flying from the car. Rather than have Taren splat against one of the pursuing vehicles or get run over by them, the GM had him react quickly enough to flatten himself so the vehicles went over him without smooshing him. We all expect to see him again …
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.