In the Shadows of Venus

Session 17 -- The Battle Continues

When are explosives NOT a good idea?

Just to get it out of the way we determine the results of the next 30 minutes of the overall battle. Satori works to disrupt communications of the enemy forces but is unable to make much of a difference. IQ directs his forces in some low-risk defensive actions while the enemy commander attempts to use short skirmish encounters to delay and harass and is able to hold his own. Satori makes preparations to leave his location and make way for the exit once the rest of the group is ready to do so.

Meanwhile, down in the construction area, the group plans our next move. Hunter begins cutting down the “secret” door, which will be about a ten-minute process. Spencer returns to the elevator to disable it so only we can use it. Carlos stays at the intersection to guard Hunter while Aleksy engages his stealth suit and goes to scout through the right-hand door. Inside he finds a storage area. Based on the labels on the boxes he’s able to discover five additional pounds of plastic explosives, very useful for blowing holes in things. The storage room dead-ends.

Meanwhile Spencer disabled the elevator so that only we can reactivate it. Afterwards he engages his stealth suit and goes with Aleksy to scout into the next room in the remaining two minutes to cut through the door. The next room has three large cybershell maintenance bays and a very large cyberswarm hive, capable of holding many swarms. Likely they’re construction swarms but we don’t have a way to control them. There doesn’t appear to be an easy way to disable it besides using plastic explosives. Spencer trades places with Hunter, who goes in to wire explosives onto the hive, which he’s able to do with about two pounds of explosives. We put them on a remote detonator. That room dead-ends as well.

A short time later we’re finished with the door. Aleksy is able to push it in with a small assist from Carlos while the rest of us cover him. They push the door inward as we’ve effectively cut out its outline. Aleksy and Spencer enable their stealth suits beforehand in case someone is on the other side. Inside the mystery door is a corridor made out of roughly-hewn rock, likely with construction swarms. We all step inside for cover and Hunter blows the explosives, causing a loud explosion to sound. The door in front of us is to an elevator, which we take down.

The elevator is fairly small so Carlos and Hunter take corner at the front corners while Aleksy and Hunter, stealthed, are in the rear in a crouch. After going down about two floors the elevator door opens. At the far end of the corridor is some kind of phallic-shaped turreted Gatling gun. As the door opens the device doesn’t open fire immediately. Aleksy is able to observe that the caliber of the weapon isn’t huge, for all the good that does us.

Aleksy feels full of confidence and decides he’s had enough thinking of how to solve this problem. He begins inching forward at about 1yd/sec. After moving a couple of yards forward Aleksy prepares to yank out his shotgun and take a shot at it; at that point the rest of us are prepared to fire at the same time. Aleksy whips out his shotgun and fires off two rounds, striking it squarely with both and ruining it. We all advance out of the elevator after verifying that the turret is in fact dead.

The end of the hallway terminates in a “T” junction. Aleksy looks over to his side of the hallway and sees another turret next to a corner turning left, which fires off several rounds that whiz by his and Spencer’s heads that peek around the corner; they quickly duck back. Spencer is able to see another corner, moving around to the right. Spencer tries to move his arm around the corner and shoot without exposing himself but fumbles the weapon, dropping it as he tries to bring it around the corner. The turret takes a shot at it but fails to connect. Spencer quick-draws his pistol and tries to snap off three shots at the turret but misses again. The turret takes a second and aims at the SMG, firing off a burst and striking it with a couple of rounds. The SMG looks fairly non-functional afterwards. With a sigh Spencer steps back and makes way for Carlos, who leans around the corner for a pop-up attack, firing one round and striking it squarely. The device sparks heavily but doesn’t immediately go down. Carlos advises giving it a few seconds to see if it shuts down but it remains operational. Aleksy tries the same maneuver and is able to hit it with Hunter’s pistol. He connects with a round but still can’t disable the device. The turret fires back at the pistol but misses. Carlos makes another wisecrack about it and Spencer tries his luck again, popping out of cover and back again quickly but failing to hit. Spencer steps back and Aleksy tries again with Hunter’s pistol. As he tries to reach his hand around to take a shot the weapon fires, as if it was anticipating the next shot. Aleksy pulls his weapon away just in time to avoid being shot.

We all consider the situation briefly and Aleksy finally breaks the deadlock by leaning his shotgun around the corner, attempting to lock-on with his missile pod; he’s successful in doing so and doesn’t immediately take return fire as the turret aims at him. Aleksy then fires the missile and destroys the turret utterly. Spencer recovers the destroyed SMG and slings it, sneaking down to the end of the hallway opposite the turret to take a look around the corner. He’s faced with a small square room with a turret in it. He briefly considers running underneath the turret to disable it but decides against. Rejoining the rest of the group, they have turned the other corner and come to a secured door, which Spencer breaks into. It leads to a short hallway, terminating in an open door leading into a large room. Four men are kneeling on the ground with a phallic turret mounted on the ceiling. The men are yellow-skinned construction workers, three of them armed with PDW’s and one with an unidentified weapon. The doorway yields no cover and thankfully the only ones in the hallway are Spencer and Aleksy whose stealth suits are both activated. One of the bad guys is able to make out Spencer anyway, even with the stealth suit, and all four of them noticeably take aim at him. The others back up and Spencer scrambles around the corner to safety.

Hunter begins trying to wire explosives to toss around the corner in an effort to hurt/disorient them. Meanwhile Spencer begins to try and talk to the bad guys to stall them. He tries to bluff that they have wired the main control tower of the Arcology with explosives and that if they don’t accept our demands that we’ll set them off; we have nothing to lose. After stalling for a bit Aleksy lobs two pounds of plastic explosives around the corner blindly, hitting the target spot and disrupting the people inside heavily and taking out the turret.

Carlos steps around the corner and shoots at one of the targets in the center of the room, hitting him with one out of two shotgun slugs and striking him squarely in the torso. Aleksy also leans out and fires, also hitting with one shot. He seems to strike a vital spot, actually punching a hole through his body for some of his vital organs to explode out of in a nice blood streak in the opposite direction. Hunter begins trying to talk to them, with no response; Spencer begins sneaking down the corridor. We shout for them to surrender.

Someone responds that the woman we’re after is being held here with a gun to her head and threatens to kill her. We argue with the voice that killing the woman serves no purpose, that not only would she no longer be available to him but we could easily get away with all the same information. Aleksy threatens to shoot a missile into its server room and destroy it and informs the AI that it has no option if it wants to leave.

We begin discussing with the AI that its option is to leave in storage cubes. It seems to warm up to the prospect of leaving the Arcology. It asks to leave in Carlos’ body; Carlos and Spencer discuss the matter, as it bears resemblance to Carlos’ previous situation. Spencer indicates that he doesn’t yet trust this AI and that allowing him to co-inhabit Carlos body may not be wise. Spencer agrees that helping the AI to leave would be a good thing but in an inactive state might be best.

Meanwhile Hunter talks to the AI further and is able to convince it to leave safely. The AI downloads itself into a cybershell body and agrees to leave after us, and we both will go our separate ways and that we can take the woman with us. Hunter goes and retrieves the girl.

A few minutes later the AI downloads itself to a humaniform body and leaves ahead of us. When the elevator back up doesn’t return for us we message Satori of the situation and advise him to stop the cybershell.

Satori is able to intercept it and declares that he can’t allow it to leave. The cybershell charges him but Satori is able to get three shots off, hitting with all three and dropping it. Satori turns off the cybershell and copies the AI to a data cube. We end there for the night and each get 3 character points.