Olympus RPG Blog

Olympus Role Playing Group Blog

We had little time to plan the rescue operation, given the constraints of the situation, and availability of mission equipment was limited, so a great deal of improvisation was required. Our intelligence indicated that there were three agents in the target room with the hostage, one in an adjacent room, and one keeping covert watch in the hotel lobby. It was decided to use a zip-line approach from the outside, rather than go through the wall of an adjacent room as originally desired. The operation was to be split into two teams, one to observe from our hotel room, provide support if required, and operate the climbing equipment, and the other to enter the target room, neutralize any resistance, and secure the hostage. The basic elements of the plan were as follows:

  • Climbing equipment was procured, as was our escape vehicle, prior to the operation, via Bob’s dummy identities; the vehicle was to be parked in the parking area adjacent to the front of the hotel building along our egress route
  • Bob was able to provide the team with silenced slugthrower pistols and SMGs, and nanoweave protective vests, along with other un-silenced firearms at individual request
  • ChEng Adler was tasked to hack a hotel keycard, to provide quick access to the target room; done in advance, and tested
  • It was decided to perform the rescue operation at 03:00 Local Time, to provide night-cover for our egress, and to increase the likelihood that any hostiles present would be asleep, or otherwise less than fully-alert
  • The “Window Team,” to consist of ChEng Adler, and Crewmen Ekala and Dae-Jung, would take up position at our hotel window, and observe the target room via hyperspectral scope, both before and during the clearing operation
  • The “Door Team,” to consist of ChSecO Vik (myself), Crewmen Prudhomme and Reid, and Bob, were to take up position in the target hallway, having approached separately so as to not raise suspicion
  • On Go-signal, Window Team was to fire the zip-lines, securing them above the target window, while observing the behavior of the occupants via the hyperspectral scope, expecting that any conscious occupants might detect the strike of the pitons and move to investigate
  • Immediately after, Door Team was to enter the target room via the master-key, neutralize any enemy agents, and secure the hostage, who, according to our reconnaissance, was being held in the main bathroom; if heavy resistance was met, the Window Team was prepared to cross over to the target window via the zip-lines and provide flanking fire from the window, entering as necessary
  • Once the room had been pacified, the Window Team was to secure the climbing rigs for rapid descent, while the Door Team secured the room and prepared themselves and the hostage for descent
  • Both teams and hostage would then descend by twos to ground level, and egress to the escape vehicle

Pre-operation reconnaissance by the Window Team indicated that there were at least two more hostiles than initially observed, in another adjacent room, and that the agent in the lobby had come up as well. All hostiles appeared to be sleeping, except one guard in the target room. The heat-signature believed to be the hostage had not moved, remaining in the main bathroom of the target suite. As conditions in the target room had apparently not changed, the plan was not modified.

On the Go-signal, the Window Team fired the pitons and secured the zip-lines, reporting that the lone room-guard had responded to the sound, as expected. The Door Team then entered the room. The alert guard reacted quickly, and was shot multiple times, but appeared to have been wearing a concealed protective-vest; he managed to verbally alert the others to our presence, and return fire (one shot, only), but was shot in the head and extremities, incapacitating him before he could reach his communicator. The other hostiles, who had been asleep, attempted to reach their weapons and return fire, but being unarmored, were quickly neutralized. Overall, the room-clearing operation resulted in four hostiles dead or incapacitated, no injuries to the assault team, and taking 10-15 seconds at most.

The Window Team was immediately called over, and they prepared the descent rig, with Crewman Reid, being the most experienced climber, supervising the descent operation. The hostage was located in the main bathroom, bound, beaten, and determined to be heavily sedated, such that he would need to be carried; he was placed in a harness and was lowered to the ground first, along with Bob. Crewman Prudhomme, who was securing the hotel-room door, reported that a number of hostiles were gathering outside the door, presumably having awakened and approached from the adjacent rooms; the hostiles knocked, then called out what we assumed was a pass-challenge, at which point Crewman Prudhomme disabled the locking mechanism with pistol fire. ChSecO vik (myself) and Crewman Reid pulled rear-security for the descent operation, as the rest of the team descended, and then followed. The hostiles were in the process gaining forced-entry into the room as we escaped to the waiting vehicle, without further incident.

Although the operation itself went according to plan, and mostly without incident, the situation dictated some less-than-ideal conditions; for example, although all the hostiles that had seen us were, or were likely, deceased, the remaining enemy would probably be able to identify us via the hotel staff, or possibly security recordings, since masking our identities, given our limited capabilities, might have aroused suspicion amongst the hotel patrons (though our extensive use of Bob’s false identities and locally-cached equipment throughout the operation will likely prevent any connection to the ship). It would have been preferable to have had the opportunity to rehearse the operation beforehand; most of our prep-time was taken with gathering the needed gear. Once again, we were less-than-prepared for encountering armored foes, and likely should have attempted to procure armor-piercing ammunition, though the reduced take-down capability might have been an issue, and the matter was easily enough overcome. The room-clearing operation went relatively smoothly, no doubt, owing to our experience and training with boarding actions. That said, it could have gone more smoothly had we succeeded in taking out the lone sentry in one silenced shot, not allowing him to alert the other hostiles to our presence. It would be advisable to focus a bit more on initial accuracy in our upcoming boarding drills. With the exception of Crewman Reid, none of the crew are experienced climbers, tactical or otherwise, resulting in a near-catastrophe, as ChSecO Vik’s (myself) descender-coupling was improperly secured, and failed upon descent; were it not for his quick reflex and the timely intervention of Crewman Reid, the 13-story fall would surely have been fatal. This lack of experience should be remedied through proper training, in case we are called upon to perform similar missions in the future; inquiry will be made into the possibility of securing appropriate training gear and software.

01-Jul-2173 (18:25:42)
Ships Status: All systems normal
Navigational Status: APISHLUN SUBSECTOR (0825), DURIIM

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13th June 2173 (1024-E Fomalhaut)

After our rescue and securing of the Betty, we began repairs to her internal systems.  Her maneuver drives were shot (literally) and could not be repaired locally.  The plan is to tow her to the system’s gas giant were we can refuel.  On the way I will try and make repairs to as much of her internal systems as possible.

Once at the Gas Giant, the Emerald Monarch can refuel then tow the Betty to the 100au mark in order to jump to a system with repair facilities.  I plan on making the jump with the Betty to ensure that everything goes fine.

Since I had all the tools with me on the Betty, I took some spare time during the tow to finish the machining and assembly of the first production B.E.A.R. system (in 7.62mm).  I forgot to mention it before, but the prototype worked quite well and I only had one minor bug.  It turned out to be a small problem in the mechanical ignition sequence that presented itself as a 3% dud rate.  A redesign of the ignition coil solved the problem.

Here is a photo of the first one:

22nd June 2173 (1024-E Fomalhaut)

We are almost done with the refueling and a ship has just shown up on long range sensors.  We do not know it’s intentions, but we are preparing for the worse.

Having already assumed computer control of the Betty’s systems, initial reconnaissance indicated three hostiles aboard, and at least two crewmen as hostages, which we expected to be held on the upper deck, locked in staterooms. We planned to feign a docking action as “requested” by the hostiles, in order to draw them toward the Betty’s engineering section, aft; once in place, Cpt Brierfield was to announce his intention to board, the signal to begin the operation, and then withdraw back to the Emerald Monarch. Immediately upon receiving the signal, ChEng Adler was to lock down all compartments on the Betty, trapping the hostiles in engineering and mid-hold, at which point the security team was to enter the ship via the breach in the lower hold, and sweep the ship for any remaining hostiles, while retrieving the hostages. The security team would consist of six individuals, per standard doctrine, based on the expected number of hostiles: myself (ChSecO Vik), XO Matthews, ChEng Adler, and Crewmen Prudhomme, Ekala, and Quaid.

Once the Betty was locked down, the security team entered the main deck through the cargo office hatch, and proceeded forward, clearing the staterooms, while Crewman Quaid secured the rear. A hostile was encountered on the bridge, holding a crewman hostage. ChEng Adler bumped the artificial gravity, causing the hostage to fall to the floor and the hostile to break his aim, at which point we immediately engaged and neutralized the hostile. Most of our fire was ultimately ineffective, due to the hostile’s armor, although XO Matthews did manage to destroy the hostile’s pistol, forcing him to un-sling his rifle in close-quarters; Crewman Prudhomme’s gauss rifle was the only weapon able to penetrate. The hostage was unharmed, but shaken. Having no further contact forward, ChEng Adler convinced the hostage to indicate the number of hostiles and crewmen remaining, and their probable locations; she indicated that there were four hostiles, not three as initial intelligence suggested. Crewman Quaid was to remain below with the hostage, as the team proceeded to the upper deck, where we were met by a second hostile at the hatch. We engaged the hostile, who then retreated from the hatch. We pressed through to the upper deck, flanking the hostile, who was attempting to take cover in an open stateroom. After his primary weapon was destroyed, the hostile threw out his sidearm, to surrender, and XO Matthews and Crewman Prudhomme immediately moved in to subdue him, while I cleared the remaining staterooms and released the other hostage, the Betty’s captain. Afterward, Crewman Quaid observed the two remaining hostiles as they attempted to bypass the hatch. It was decided to remove the hostages from the premises, and attempt to convince the remaining hostiles to surrender themselves, rather than risk further open confrontation. The hostiles refused to leave the ship, believing that the authorities would sentence them to death, and continued to attempt to escape. ChEng Adler sneaked through the hold to the engineering section behind the hostiles, observing them unnoticed, and once the security team had secured themselves on the upper deck, violently fluctuated the mid-hold gravity until the hostiles were rendered unconscious. All hostiles were remanded to the Betty’s stasis pods to await her captain’s discretion.

The operation basically went according to plan, although there were a few areas that could use some improvement. Our anti-armor capabilities need to be enhanced ASAP; at the first opportunity, the ship’s ammunition stores need to be supplemented with armor-piercing rounds, and boarding SOP and training adjusted to include its use. Crewman Prudhomme acted recklessly on the upper deck, firing on the hostile who had already indicated surrender, causing the hostile to struggle; Crewman Prudhomme was verbally reprimanded afterward, and has promised to control himself better in the future. Some hand-held sensor packs might be a good investment, and might prevent further blind-corner surprises (such as the hostile at the hatch to the upper deck); SOP to be reviewed once that equipment becomes available. I have also suggested that we review our own security procedures with regard to artificial gravity access, to ensure similar tactics are not used against us in the future.

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26 May 2173 (1222-A Dingir, near Dasadi)

Well, we finished the outfitting and are making our way outbound to test the guns.  We will not be doing any test firings of the missiles as they are too expensive.

Later – Testing went off without a hitch.

We started to analogize the data on the memory stick.  It was quite sparse and only included a set of coordinates in the Fomalhaut (1024-E) system.  We copied them down and jettisoned the memory stick out the airlock.

29 May 2173 — 4 June 2173: Transit from 1222-A Dingir (Dasadi) to 1224-C  Kinunir

Spent the trip doing my std language study and continuing the development of the B.E.A.R. weapons system.  The rest of the crew was doing the norm or training on the new weapons system.  We stopped at the locate go-juice joint for a quick refuel (unrefined).  Woot, payday.

6 June 2173 — 12 June 2173: Transit from 1224-C  Kinunir to 1024-E Fomalhaut

Spent the trip doing my std language study and continuing the development of the B.E.A.R. weapons system.  The rest of the crew was doing the norm or training on the new weapons system.

13th June 2173 (1024-E Fomalhaut)

We approached the given coordinates and can detect a 200-ton Hero class vessel adrift.  Preliminary scans indicate loss of power and some external hull damage.  We also detect an S.O.S. from the Hero (her name is Betty) class ship.

Since we know that the ship was jumped, boarded, and ransacked, we can only assume that most, if not all, of the crew had been killed and the the S.O.S. is more than likely automated.

We were wrong.  As we get closer we are detecting signs of life.  We even establish radio contact.  However, the story we are getting does not jive with what was overheard in the bar.  This smells like a trap.  I would like nothing better than the open up with all our lasers at point blank and vaporize the pirates on board.  Unfortunately, during the radio conversation we discover at least one Terran female is on board.

Our initial plan is to have them EVA to an air raft then transfer to us.  But, they are claiming airlock damage and the inability to EVA.  They are claiming the need to do a physical connection with a docking ring in order to succeed.

I was smelling a rat, now it’s a dead elephant as there are numerous airlocks in the Hero class that could not all be damaged.

I talk the Captain, and the Hero crew, into allowing an air raft flyby in order to do a physical inspection and plan for the requested physical hookup.  I think after I finish with the B.E.A.R. prototype (and a few guns) that I need to build some surveillance drones.

During the flyby, I could see at least one additional female Terran on board (in the upper deck living quarters.  As we come around and under the Betty, we found a large gash in her lower cargo area.  I make the snap decision to insert myself to do some recon.  Without stopping, I let my pilot (via suit-to-suit radio) that I am getting off.  He slows down just enough so I can jump off safely.  He then returned to the Emerald Monarch.

As I enter the cargo area, I see that most of the cargo is there and the power is off.  Gravity is still on however.  I look around the cargo area and found the local terminal.  It is in intruder lockout mode.  We may be in luck and the Vilani may not have access to the computers,  comms, etc.  Double luck, they left the default maintenance password enabled and I am able to access the whole system.  I setup a computer modem radio link with the Emerald Monarch so we can access the Betty’s systems, change all the passwords, and re-lock the system.

I headed over to the gash to report in, now that I know they cannot use the ship’s comms to detect me, and we formulate an attack plan.

1.  Using the pretense that the Betty’s normal airlock is not accessible (due to the fuel scoop protrusions), plan on joining at the rear airlock.

2.  Lure all the pirates into Engineering and the rear cargo areas.

3.  As the Emerald Monarch approaches, and air raft with the assault team enters through the lower cargo gash.

4.  When the assault begins, lock down all doors to trap the pirates in the rear areas and jam all radio traffic that is not on our freq using the Betty’s own comm systems.

5.  The assault group will enter the main deck through the hatch in the airlock area.

Well, the assault started ok.  We did not see any pirates until we got to the bridge.  We could see one pirate, in space combat armor, on the bridge, facing the door, with a pistol to a female Terran’s head.

Quick plan:

1.  Mr Mathews and I will lay prone and aim at the bad guy.

2.  The others will brace against the bridge bulkhead.

3.  I write a quick program to increase gravity to 3g, open the door, then normalize gravity.

4.  Mr Mathews and I are to shoot as the door opens.  Hopefully the max gravity pulse will make the pirate drop teo the floor.

You know what they say about “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”, they are right.  As soon as gravity kicks in, on of our guys collapses.  It gets worse from there, as I take a shot at the pirate’s face (he is still standing with the pistol in his hand), the bullet embeds itself into the face shield and does not penetrate.  That is one luck SOB.  Mr Mathews gets off a good burst from his laser pistol and turns the pirate’s pistol to slag.  Remi lets off a burst from his rail gun and turns the guy’s arm into hamburger.

Second problem, gravity does not normalize and the guy ducks behind a bulkhead to get the rifle off his back.  Considering the arm, that is going to take a while.  The Terran is crawling to wards us.  I take some time to manually restore normal gravity.  Remi carefully moves forward to finish off the pirate while the rest of us clear room and assist the Terran to the safety of the crew area behind the bridge.

—more to come as we look for the second (or more) Terran–

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25 May 2173 (1222-A Dingir, near Dasadi)

Today we started the weapons install at Dasadi.  It should take about 60 man-hours to complete.  I will stay on the ship, even in the off shifts, to make sure the install goes smoothly.

25 May 2173 (1222-A Dingir, near Dasadi)

Remi and the guys apparently had a fun time at the bar tonight.  As I heard, some Vilani were spouting off about killing some Terans and stealing their ship, or something.  From what they told me the Vilani had a memory chip that contained info on the attack and the current location of the ship.

It was a hands-only bar brawl and our guys did well and came away with the memory key.

We are done with the weapons install and all seems fine.

24-Apr-2173 (06:25:18)
Ships Status: All systems normal
Navigational Status: DINGIR SUBSECTOR (1222), DINGIR

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13 May 2173 (1222-A Dingir)

After some preliminary research, we still have yet to ID the bandits who jumped us at the last system.

On a better note, we have a lead on putting some pop-guns on this boat.  We are headed to see a Mr. Iishugi in Gershumse about getting some lasers, missile launchers, and some sand-casters.  He has scheduled a meeting to view some samples and make arrangements for payment.  We took a shuttle to a warehouse and met with a representative who showed us a sample of the items.  They will need some minor hardware and a bit of software changes to make them compatible with our systems.

While waiting on the issue of some self-defense weaponry, we did get the 4 Low-Birth modules and bulkheads I need to complete the isolation of the passenger section that I planned out a few weeks back.  I had the low-births strapped into the Eng section while I work on fitting the bulkheads.

After a couple of days, a Mr Enshii cam on board to arrange for payment.  The deal has us acting as transport for “Misc Freight” (the weapons in disguise) that we will take to Dasadi (in system) for installation.  Payment is due before takeoff.

We lifted off without issue, but seemed to have picked up a tail (a local cruiser) on the way out.  Instead of heading straight for Dasadi, we have decided to try and fool them with an in-system jump and arrive far enough off axis to sneak in.

16 May 2173 — 23 May 2173: Transit from 1222-A Dingir (main)  to 1222-A Dingir (Dasadi)

We had enough time while in the jump to install the bulkheads and 2 of the Low-Birth units.  I plan on doing the other two when I have some more free time.  While at the last station, I was pondering the issue of I need a better weapon system.  This old semi-auto 7.62 ain’t going to cut it any more.

Being the tinkerer that I am, I have begun work on a modular bullpup weapon system that I can make multiple calibers (and different cartridge types – ie std, caseless, etc) for.  I am also working on a method to add Electro-Thermal (ETC) enhancement to normal ammo.  The name of the system will be based on the acronym B.E.A.R. (Bullpup Enhanced Adler Rifle).  It will come in a few different basic sizes like Black B.E.A.R. (Sub-Machine gun based cartridges), Griszzley B.E.A.R. (5.56 carbine to 300 Win Mag), and Kodiak B.E.A.R. (the really big stuff like 50 cal).  The ides is to have a basic frame and each caliber would just need a barrel, magazine and bolt change in order to change ammo.  To help with accuracy, it will use a “floating” barrel system, electro-mechanical primer ignition system, and an internal recoil buffering system.

Here is what I plan to be the first Grizzly B.E.A.R. in 7.62mm.  To save time I am going to use the barrel, magazine, and a few receiver parts from my Self-Loading 7.62mm rifle.  To help on the Legal front, the pistol grip can be interchanged so that it can only fire semi-auto.  It will also have all the standard “smart rifle” enhancements, accessory mounting points, and mountable brass caters if needed.

First Grizzly B.E.A.R. in 7.62

24 May 2173 (1222-A Dingir, near Dasadi)

So much for planning to sneak in.  As soon as we popped into normal space and focused our passive sensors toward Dasadi we detected the same cruiser that followed us to the jump point.  Soon after they began to hail us and the jig was up.  We were instructed to meet her and prepare to be boarded for inspection.  The ship turned out to be the Cruiser Shimluur.  The boarding party was led by a Lt. Shapkupi.  The captain met with Lt. Shapkupi privately while the rest of us were being watched by the rest of the party.  They seemed to be a bit too relaxed.

After a while, the Lt. and the Captain came out, shook hands and the boarding party left.  It turns out that this system, being the first major Terran-friendly system from Nusku, is a popular place for Terran ships to arm up on their way into Vilani space.  It cost up all our Iridium, but we were allowed to continue to Dasadi and finish the weapon installation.  Nice little business they have going here.  I bet that crew retires rather well off.

13-Apr-2173 (14:05:10)
Ships Status: All systems normal
Navigational Status: DINGIR SUBSECTOR (1222), DINGIR

12 May 2173 (1222-A Dingir)

We arrived on Dingir without any issue.  Our instructions were to deliver the kids to their Uncle, a Mr. Enshii.  The kids were very happy to see him and he was not expecting them.  After the introductions, he invited us to a party.

While we waited for the party to start, I bought a slab of tri-metal alloy to replace the docking ring that was damaged on the 5th.  Since I bought a square slab , yet only needed a doughnut, I was able to save a lot of metal for later projects.

We had a lot of fun at the party and our host actually had wine from Paris, Terra.  Unfortunately, since I had to work later that night, I had to skip on the wine.

We found a side benefit to knowing Mr Enshii.  He is very well connected and will be able to be a conduit for some ship weapons.  The plan is to outfit us with 6 lasers, 4 sand-casters, and 2 missile launchers.  The Captain also approved my plan to isolate the passenger compartment and buy 4 low births for emergency medical service and passengers.

Well, it is the 13th and the ring is about half complete and we are waiting to hear about the weapons.