Mass Effect: Dark Horse Rising

A Long Haul

The rogue Cerberus freighter shouldn’t have guns that big…but no one bothered to tell them that.

Your ‘tour’ of the Galaxy was supposed to be over. It was time to get out of the action and put your heads straight. However, the Alliance managed to convince your Captain, a willy old Salarian named Vesser Gax, to take one last mission…Korith.jpg

The mission was a simple run of critical medi-gel components to a small human colony in the Hoc System would mean the difference between life and death for hundreds of colonists and wouldn’t hurt your bank accounts either.

Unfortunately, Cerberus splinter cells had plans for the colony as well. With their leadership in tatters, this cell has been reduced to slaving. Your crew managed to drop off the supplies minutes after the Cerberus freighter left, having abducted almost three dozen colonists to sell on the slave market or experiment on. Cerberus_squad.jpg

Captain Vesser spent all of ten seconds assessing the situation and then ordered the Vindicator to chase down the enemy freighter in a dangerous attempt to save the captured colonists.

Vesser paid for his nobility in blood. A sickeningly powerful blast from the freighter tore through the Vindicator’s hull and fatally wounded Vesser and his second in command. The emergency containment fields are holding, but your ship is terribly damaged and in a stroke of terrible luck, the Vindicator command structure was ruined.

cerberus_cruiser.jpg

You have approximately 30 seconds to decide whether to commence the boarding action in an attempt to save the colonists or peel away and surely save more, if not all, of the Vindicator’s remaining crew.

How to play:
1. Remember the rule of yes. Build off of what the last poster wrote, avoiding contradictions or corrections.
2. Briefly describe your characters appearance, career path on the ship, and current location on the ship.
3. Decide among yourselves who is assuming control of the ship for the time being, both physically (i.e. in the cockpit) and as far as giving commands.
4. Move the action forward as much or as little as you want; there’s room for character development, narrative descriptions of the setting and the team’s history, and action. Go with whatever strikes your fancy.
5. Don’t worry about mentioning that your character has certain bits of typical equipment.
6. Feel free to invent NPC crew members (I’ve decided there are between 10-20 at a given time) and/or locations and abilities of the Vindicator.
7. Post in the ‘comments’ section below. If it doesn’t work, advise me and I will upgrade and we will try again in the currently locked ‘forum’ section.
8. A new GM posting will be up sometime before Friday night/Saturday morning, ending Round 1. If you missed out, don’t fret and just jump in when you have a chance.

Comments

Turhan is a Drell physicist working as a scientist on the Vindicator wearing mainly black with green trim clothing. He is currently working in his lab near engineering bay of the Vindicator. No one else works in his lab. He does not like to be disturbed while conducting research. As he notices the attacks going on he springs to his com near his desk and yells, “What is going on up there!”.

A Long Haul
 

Hunter-35D was burrowed deep inside a nest of fiberoptic cables near the ship’s core when the hull shook violently. “Turhan, this one would like to inform you we are under attack.” Rousing from his dream of electric sheep, Delta extricates himself from the pile fluidly before moving to a nearby interface console. “It appears we have lost primary navigation and have sustained serious damage to the Vindicator’s infrastructure. This one is rerouting power to secondary propulsion and will commence evasive maneuvers.”

A Long Haul
 

Delta calls over the intercom system to raise Monso, his Elcor companion, from a deep sleep. They had both stayed up late the previous night trading commodities on the Tuchankan Exchange. The TSE ran 7 hours behind Citadel Median Time, and CPT Vesser had refused to reset the ship’s chronometers just to assist the Geth and Elcor as they attempted to corner the market on Thresher Blubber.

“Monso, this one requires your assistance with artillery. Please reach the nearest interface console and return fire on the enemy ship off of our starboard bow.”

Monso replies flatly “[With great annoyance] Understood. Give me a moment to mensurate the targets. In the mean time, conduct preparatory fires using the Fires VI, file set ARC-45.13.” With that, the grumpy elcor shakes off the blankets covering him to reveal twin Armax Recoil-less Cannons mounted on his shoulder. With a stretch and a yawn, he pads out of his room and down the port hallway on deck 3, headed for the gunnery systems a few hundred meters aft.

A Long Haul
 

Artyom wakes up coughing up what he hopes isn’t blood on to the helmet of his environment suit. As he stumbles to his feet he realizes he is on one side of a biotic containment field, while the remains of his cockpit and captain are on the other, floating in zero G. Artyom removes his helmet and dashes towards the closest interface console. From here he only has access to the ship-wide comms and the security camera feeds. While frantically darting between camera feeds, Artyom notices Turhan running though the hallways towards Hunters quarters. He powers on the comms.
Thrhan, Delta, We’ve just been attacked by a Cerberus destroyer and the Captain is dead. I repeat, Captain Vesser is dead. Delta, i need you to give full pilot controls to the aft interface terminal, closest to the cockpit. Thran, I need you in full combat gear to meet hunter at the forward air lock ready to commence a boarding operation. Cerberus has over 30 people from the colony on their ship, and I want to try to get them back. I need someone on artillery targeting anywhere the colonist might not be. We want hits on the engine room and cockpit. No galleys or storage bays. And if it looks like we can’t overtake the ship delicately. Nuke it.

A Long Haul
 

Turhan turns his comm open and asks Artyom to give him a second before he goes and joins Delta for the siege onto the Cerberus ship. Then Turhan says " I want to try and use our detectors to create a feedback pulse that will lower the Cerberus ships shields and hopefully shut down their weapons. "

A Long Haul
 

Thirty seconds. Half a minute. Doesn’t seem like a long time at all. But it’s long enough for the crew of the Vindicator to make the hard decision to risk their lives for thirty strangers. It’s long enough to bring hope.

Stephanie Belcourt is one of the thirty. She’s sixteen years old and, until today, she’s been in the full throes of adolescent rebellion. You can count the number of syllables she’s said to her mom in the past week on one hand. But today, as the Ceberus freighter CVC Beloc shakes as its engine room is compromised, Stephanie shrieks and reaches for her mother in the dark of the cargo bay.

“Oh god, we’re going to die” she whimpers, squeezing her mother’s hand for the first time in years.

“No baby,” says Diane Belcourt, “That sound is the good guys, the Alliance is going to save us.”

Diane doesn’t know how much of that is true, but in the darkness she smiles and strokes her daughter’s hair, praying fate doesn’t make a liar of her.

A Long Haul
 

There’s a comm system wide squak as the detectors create a massive feedback loop that temporarily knocks out the Cerberus shields. With the shields down and quick thinking on the counter attack nailing the engines, the Vindicator is positioned to unleash a boarding party.

In its approach, the Vindicator took additional severe damage, losing five more crew members and sustaining enough core, structural damage that it will not be able to use a mass relay without extensive work.

Within the next minute or two, your boarding party will enter the Cerberus ship Beloc. Please describe who is going over, who,if anyone, is staying, and what equipment the party was reasonably able to bring on short notice.

A Long Haul
 

“Mr. Diallo, Monso will take care of further targeting as we board. This one has also rerouted thrusters and trim to the requested terminal. You will be able to maneuver us, but I believe inter-system travel will require repairs.” Delta then logs out of the interface, grabs an Elkoss Combine shotgun, and heads for the forward airlock.

Delta enters the airlock and de-pressurizes the compartment. He floats silently through the airlock door and positions himself just outside, magnetically attaching to the Vindicator’s hull before closing the airlock again. “Mr. Diallo, this one has visual contact with the enemy vessel. Hull markings indicate it is the Beloc.” Delta pauses for a moment as his neural net interfaces with the Vindicator’s systems. “A quick scan of ship registries for nearby systems does not reveal any home berth or port of registry. Salvage without legal interference might be possible.” Far better a haul than 30,000 shares of crude Thresher blubber, thought the Geth.

“I recommend this one and Mr. Ryker cloak and approach the enemy ship from the bow and attempt to use their forward life-support pods for concealed ingress. The remaining party can attempt to access the Beloc via damaged airlocks in the rear. The chaos there should aid in the attack. This one will now begin radio silence.”

A Long Haul
 
(Breathing heavily) Sicarii feels the hiss and slight numbing of failing systems throughout his body. The heads up display flickering from disruptions in his power systems. He hits his helmet a few times. Looking down at his weapons while crouched behind what is left of his small transport vessel, another explosion vibrates under and through his body. He loses his footing and falls. Darkness clouds his vision.


Unintelligible chatter comes through his helmet as he regains his vision. Sicarii checks his omni-tool for a systems diagnostic, as he sits upright. The glow of his hand brighten the area immediately around him, as the Omni tool boots up he glances at the the grey-blue sky of Palaven.


In the distance fire and smoke distort the horizon, then a small flash of purple. The chatter over the comms becomes louder, more distinct! The whip-boom and flash comes faster and faster, ever threatening. What is that? He attempts to focus while standing, leaning heavily against his downed ship.


“…We… under… Att…” he shakes his head trying to make sense of what is occurring. The flashing becomes clearer now. It is a morphed Assari two times the height and tortured-like skin grey as death itself. “AAEEEEEERRRRRRGGGGghhhhhhh!” That scream! So shrill, and piercingly full of fear! Whip-boom she closes in! It is a Banshee!


“…Pulse….Cerberus…” Wait Cerberus here? This can’t be! A few more feet, and… Sicarii activates his omni blade and jumps in anticipation of the Bnshee’s movement.


As the banshee re-enters this world she immediately reacts to the threat by grabbing the puny human out of the air by his throat. Chokingly “YOU ARE MIIINNNEEEE!”

Thrusted awake by the memory of his own death, Sicarii wakes drenched in sweat with his sheets somehow braced around his throat. Laboriously breathing under the realization he is no longer in his dream state, his eyes adjust and senses come to.


Sicarii’s room is modest with barely only the necessities, except a small very plush pillow. It is pink with purple inlays. The ship’s alarms are blaring, and the coms chatter is ever clear. “Thurhan, Delta, We’ve just been attacked by a Cerberus destroyer and the Captain is dead. I repeat, Captain Vesser is dead. Delta, i need you to give full pilot controls to the aft interface terminal, closest to the cockpit. Thran, I need you in full combat gear to meet hunter at the forward air lock ready to commence a boarding operation. Cerberus has over 30 people from the colony on their ship, and I want to try to get them back. I need someone on artillery targeting anywhere the colonist might not be. We want hits on the engine room and cockpit. No galleys or storage bays. And if it looks like we can’t overtake the ship delicately. Nuke it….” Not even half way through that last transmission, Sicarii dons his armor from a secret compartment underneath his rack (bed/bunk) and begins assembling his armor blindingly fast.


With his armor on and systems checked, he darts over to his personal head (bathroom). He activates his omni-tool and sends a remote command. The full body mirror separates seamlessly down the middle to reveal a small, but very impressive, personal Armory. He grabs the Claymore and his N-7 Hurricanes, the shotgun collapses smartly at the small of his back as well as the Hurricanes at his sides in the drop position.


He inputs commands into his Omni-tool and dons his helmet. As he leaves his room the Armory locks and all transmissions from the last five minutes play through his headset.

If Gax is down, how am I to know what am I supposed to do next? He was my last living contact after…. Can’t think about that! I will get back to the council eventually… hopefully. Until then concentrate on helping everyone getting out of this mess, ALIVE. If we really are boarding Cerberus, Gax must of had a change of heart after our discussion, but why? Well, I got what I wanted, better not second guess it.


Sicarii is in full sprint to rendezvous with some crew he has only seen, but has never met. “This will be fun.” He mutters to himself as he beats-feet toward Delta’s position.

A Long Haul
 

Artyom looks down at the terminal and sees a green trim around the screen alerting him that full ship navigation has been routed to his omni-tool. Before firing the ships main thrusters, he checks to make sure Turhan and delta have cleared the aft airlock. 2 signals, one organic one either scrap metal or geth are seen floating from the ship towards the front airlock of the Beloc. Artom, once more frantically flips though the security camera feeds, looking for Someone. When he finally finds Sicarii he is relieved to see he is already in full battle armor looking more tank than human. He takes out a comms earpiece from the terminal and shouts as he walks over to a loose panel at the adjoining wall .Sicarri! Sicarri, this is Diallo. I need you and the three best shots we have to meet me up at the cockpit. Delta and Turhan are boarding the ship from the front, and if we have any hope of getting anyone out alive we need to hit them from the rear as well. Artyom rips off the loose panel off the wall and pulls out a large duffel bag with the words “rainy day” stenciled on the side.

A Long Haul
 

NEW POST TONIGHT IN A SECOND ADVENTURE LOG (FOR EASE OF READING); LOOK FOR ‘A LONG HAUL, PT. 2’ AND PLACE ALL NEW POSTS THERE.

A Long Haul
Misterkimball

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