Xenonautical Adventures – Part 37: Wherefore Art Thou Harridan
12th of January, 1980, 20:22 Charlie-3 have reached the Landing Ship in France. We can’t be sure what’s down there, so I wish you the best of luck, soldiers.
Charlie-3 Response Team on the ground. Night-time mission. Flares have been distributed. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
We all read the Charlie-2 report, so we know to expect a heavier calibre of alien. Though we don’t know the type as we spill out into the darkened farmland. The soft earth seems to absorb a lot of sound, so we don’t hear much as we divide into two groups.
Cpt Dima leads Cpts Spectre, Wulf and Young east, while Cpt Kittan leads Cpts Campster, Mumbles and Ruts north. Cpt Ruts is the first to spot anything, as he throws a flare that lands by a dead human being across the road. At the edge of the light of the flare Cpt Kittan spots movement, and we hear some heavy footsteps crossing the road.
[And this is where for whatever reason Fraps stopped taking screenshots, and it took me several minutes to notice. So I can’t show the first couple of aliens we fought.]
We round the hedge, shield-first, and see it. A blue robot. It seems bulkier than the green ones we’ve fought so far. Weren’t they mentioned in Charlie-1’s base assault report? We unload on it, and it takes almost all our combined firepower to bring it down.
It seemed like its body automatically dispersed a lot of the laser charge, much like our armour is designed to do. Makes sense they’d make it a walking piece of armour, we suppose.
While the rest of the team are proceeding east without incident, we head into the northern area where the dead body is, and see a shed on our left. Something pops out from behind to take a pot-shot at us, and we dive into cover. The thing comes running out to try to get a better shot, which lets us get a better look at it. It is… not a robot. It slightly resembles one of the grey aliens put in a ridiculous suit of armour that covers most of it except the arms and legs.
We decide this is probably worth trying to take alive, so we ready our gas grenades. Considering its head seems entirely covered, we’re not sure how much gas will get through that helmet. Cpt Kittan throws first. The thing grunts and growls, but doesn’t fall, so Cpt Mumbles throws next. It’s still standing inside that purple mist. Cpt Campster throws, and still it stands. Cpt Ruts throws last, but the thing is still on its feet. Were we wrong? Cpt Mumbles reaches for her second grenade while the rest of us raise our weapons, but then we hear a clatter as the thing’s rifle drops to the ground, followed shortly by the thing itself.
We can see the outline of the UFO a little further north, and there’s a dried-up field to our east. Cpt Kittan sets up at a safe distance to watch the door, Cpt Mumbles volunteers to check around the UFO, and Cpts Campster and Ruts get started on the field.
It doesn’t take them long to spot another blue robot trampling about out there, and Cpt Ruts raises his scatter laser.
The salvo is enough to fell the thing, if only just.
We proceed into the field, the dead stalks making it tough to move efficiently while throwing flares in all directions. The rest of us in the east have found the southern fields clear, so we move onto the road and follow it north, making sure to cover our backs as we go.
Cpt Kittan’s vigilance is uneventful, while Cpt Mumbles quickly found the UFO’s surroundings clear and goes to help search the remaining fields. Several minutes pass with nothing occurring as we each progress in our respective directions.
Cpt Ruts spots a barn to the east and heads for it, while Cpt Campster heads north-east to get out of the stalks. Just as he passes the fence, something takes two shots at him. Both miss, but he can’t see what fired at him, only the direction the bolts came from. Cpt Dima’s group are closing in from the other side now, and we try to trap whatever it is between us.
Oh, it’s another one of those things. We’d take issue with how both of them have been carrying plasma snipers, but they haven’t seemed terribly accurate with them yet. It tries to shoot Cpt Mumbles next, but Cpt Spectre is aligning her sights on the far side. The shot flies true, and pierces a hole through that metal suit it has. It tries to turn to see who shot it, but Cpt Campster finishes it off.
Okay, so we now have one live one, and one dead one. The researchers should be thrilled.
We complete our sweep, but that seems to be the last one on the outside. We expected more, meaning most of them are probably holed up in the UFO. Close quarters combat against several of them at once really benefits them, not us. Our strength lies in singling them out and taking them down with overwhelming force. Not going toe to toe on their terms. The base assault was pretty tough on those involved, after all.
So we gather at the door to the UFO, setting up on the sides, and finding a good position for Cpt Spectre to snipe anything we see inside. Once we’re ready, Cpt Kittan triggers the door. It is supremely dark inside, which takes us by surprise. Apparently they don’t have lighting in the cargo bay. We can faintly see the glow of the teleporter pads in the back, but they illuminate nothing. However, there is one robot close enough to the door to be seen, and Cpt Spectre takes the shot.
The shot goes straight through the head of thing, and it drops like a rock.
We try to get some better vision in there, and throw a flare. Unfortunately it hits the ceiling and falls short, but it goes far enough that we spot another two robots. We try to fire, but they’re well in cover, and our shots don’t even reach them, so we close the door again and wait for the rest of the team to catch up.
We attempt to look inside once more, but the robots seem to have retreated. We try to throw more flares, but it’s hard to find a good throwing arc that gets them far enough back into the cargo bay. After several attempts, Cpt Kittan finally gets a flare back far enough that we spot one of the robots guarding a teleporter platform. Cpt Spectre manages to hit, but it’s not enough with one shot this time, so Cpt Campster has to follow up.
With that threat dealt with, we hustle inside. The whole team this time. We keep to the sides as much as possible, advancing slowly with weapons ready in case something comes from the teleporter pads. We throw flares until both pads are lit up properly. The side rooms are quickly cleared, since we expected anything in there would come out to meet us as soon as we stepped inside.
Once we are all about a third of the way into the room, a robot comes down and charges down the left-hand side, but a couple of quick shots from Cpt Mumbles causes it to pause, giving Cpts Ruts and Spectre the chance deal with it.
We set up to guard the teleporter pads while we plan our assault upstairs. Cpt Kittan goes up there to have a look at things, and quickly comes back down. There are no aliens in the immediate room through the teleporters, so whomever is left must be on the bridge. The aliens have destroyed most of the cover up there though. Trampled, it looks like.
There’s also that big reactor up there, and there’s a fair bet that at least one alien carries a grenade, so we can’t get too close to that.
In the end we went up just a few people first, trying to secure the room, while the other stood ready to rush in from the teleporters when things were ready. It was a fierce fight, and one it would be hard to describe in detail. It was quite chaotic. Know that we faced two blue robots, one pink one, and one of those new aliens. We stayed near the edges, darted forward to trigger the doors and fire a few shots before retreating, and the aliens did pretty much the same to us. When the last shot was finally fired, the shields of both Cpts Dima and Kittan were barely holding together, and we were all somewhat worse for wear, but no real injuries, just minor scrapes and blisters.
The closest to catastrophe was Cpt Spectre whose armour took a glancing hit from a plasma sniper. It will need repair, and her uniform got singed, but it didn’t directly touch her skin, thankfully.
After securing the bridge, we dragged our new prisoner to the dropship, and left the rest for the clean-up crew. Charlie-3 head home.
12th of January, 1980, 21:06
That was a tense wait, but I hear Charlie-3 are heading back with a new guest, and everyone in one piece.
They sounded kinda weary. Maybe the report will shine some light on that.
For now, Charlie-1 are about to set down at their crash site. I hope they’ll be okay too.