Published: 26 March 2020
Written by Super User
Page 3 of 5
The New Mississippi Blues
The colony was the last world to fall in the sector as part of the Shohan Advance. Unfortunately, during the final push into the system, the Shohan were able to ambush the transport fleet sent to evacuate the system before they were able to reach the planet. This has left most of the population trapped on New Detroit.
As the last fleet elements were forced out of the system, a Shohan occupation force settled into orbit around the planet. This is where things went awry for the Shohan. In their first act, the Shohan sent a force to the Biogenesis headquarters. Reports are sketchy but by all indications, the Shohan rapidly retreated from the installation and the installation was destroyed from orbit shortly after.
If the Shohan hoped to prevent subsequent events by destroying the Biogenesis facility, it’s clear that they failed. In the months following the event, the Shohan mainly stayed in orbit around New Detroit, aside from a few raids intended to destroy weapon caches and disrupt the surviving marine contingents on the surface. In the meantime, the colonists began to notice strange plants blooming in their midst. These plants had sharp, shiny blue-black leaves and pale, iridescent stalks. At first this was only a few plants sprouting in the ruins of the Biogenesis base and the surrounding environs. The invasive organisms have spread exponentially since then. Half of Fort New Detroit has now been consumed by strange forests that echo with the cries of dangerous feral beasts that have sprung up from nowhere.
Worse still, the Blue Zones, as the colonists have come to call them, have been spreading up and down the New Mississippi river system, threatening the rest of the colony. In the months following the Shohan possession of the system, the colonists have found themselves pressed between the Shohan and the Blues, and it is cold comfort to many of them that the Shohan seem to struggle against the Blues as much as they do. From what colonists have seen, while they can subdue the Blues and even exert some control over the strange ecology, it has also been clear that doing so requires their full concentration; if it wavers, they’ll be viciously attacked.
Beasts of a Different Color
Most of the organisms found in the Blue Zones are not inherently dangerous, just seemingly voraciously invasive, but there are some genuinely dangerous organisms to encounter in the alien forests that have taken over many parts of Fort New Detroit. Fortunately, many of these are seemingly late stage creatures, only showing up once a Blue Zone is well and truly established in an area. Here is a select sample of some of these creatures.
A rodent like creature with dense fur, these creatures live in tree top colonies. While otherwise harmless, they possess acute senses and their sentries can detect even stealth suited soldiers, raising ear piercing alarms that can betray a unit’s position.
Tasks: Detection 24, Athletics 18, Melee 15 Tags:
[I Know You’re There 3]
This otherwise unassuming waist-high stalk sprays highly corrosive acid when disturbed.
Tasks: Melee 17
Caustic Spray: Area: Small, Bleed: 5x (Major)
A parasitic vine that lives high in the forest canopy, these blocky looking flowers will occasionally blast high intensity radio waves that interfere with communications and sensors.
Tasks: Jamming 19
Communications (Minor), Area: Large
An antlered creature standing some 2.5 meters tall, the Trample Elk is covered in a mix of fur and hardened bony plates. The males also sport an antler system that can reach almost 3.5 meters across. The bone and antlers of the Trample elk are so tough that militias have sometimes used it in place of proper armor kits for their troops when materials are scarce. The beast gets its name from the trails of beaten and broken vegetation they leave behind while they forage as well as the extreme territorial response of the males who will charge and attempt to gore any perceived threat, including soldiers moving through the Blue Zones.
Action Points: 2
Armor: 3 Battlefield
Melee Attack: 4x (Firefight)
Tasks: Athletics (Ground Only) 18, Melee 18, Detection 17
[Rack ‘em up]
These monstrous creatures are found only in the deepest interiors of the Blue Zones. Capable of downing a Trample Elk in one swing, the Quake Snake is an enormous burrowing snake-like creature that can erupt from its subterranean lair and drag down large creatures in a few seconds. The longest confirmed creature was 14 meters long and nearly 3 meters at its widest.
Action Points: 2
Armor: 2 Battlefield
Melee Attack: 4x (Battlefield)
Tasks: Athletics 18, Melee 20, Detection 20, Stealth: 18
[Drag And Drop] Free: On a successful Hard Melee Check, may move the target to a zone it occupies. [Tremor Mortals!]
There are repeated reports of elusive humanoid shapes moving through the woods. So far no one has been able to capture any kind of reliable sensor recordings of these supposed creatures, and they are the subject of all manner of tall tales and wild claims. Some say that they can leap from the forest floor to a branch some ten meters up. Multiple sightings also claim that they were protected by some kind of innate force field. There’s one Militiaman who will swear sober and drunk that he saw one “just fade into existence, like his skin was some kinda damn stealth suit!” Whatever the truth is behind these rumors, we leave to the GM to determine.
Since the Terran Sphere was pushed back from the system, the defense of the planet has fallen to militias raised from the large number of former fleet personnel that have retired here. Thanks to the prior military background possessed by a significant fraction of the planetary population and the myriad training stations on the planet, the militia is fairly large, well organized and decently equipped. The local R&D facilities have even turned out arms and armor customized for their use. Unfortunately, many of the militia members are older, even by the standards of the Terran Sphere, and a significant percentage of the industrial G3Ps and other manufacturing capacity was lost to the Blue contaminated areas of Fort New Detroit. Overall command for the planetary defense is held by Commandant Maximillion Tanaka, formerly Commandant Emeritus for Fort New Detroit and widely regarded as one of the most experienced ground forces commanders in the Terran Sphere. Ironically, for a man hoping to enjoy a quiet retirement, he now finds himself in command of one of the largest ground force operations ever mounted in the Terran Sphere.
Currently, the militias are roughly the equivalent of 2 TSN divisions of personnel. Structurally, the bulk of this are infantry, but they’ve been able to put together an understrength wing of air support, and a larger group of river patrol vessels that are primarily tasked with monitoring and containing the spread of the Blue ecosystem. Somewhat ironically, the River Patrol actually has one of the lowest percentages of ex-Fleet personnel. A large portion of its manpower is actually drawn from the planetary forestry and firefighting services. Its members grimly attempting to burn out new growths of the Blues before they become too deeply rooted or inhabited by more advanced organisms. One of the challenges that the Commandant and his staff face is that while his officer cadre is strong up to the company or even battalion level, there’s a lack of experience running larger ground forces. The militias have compensated to some degree by utilizing more intercompany networking, but it remains a work in progress and the Commandant is looking for personnel that can fill some fairly large holes in his org chart.
The militias may be well organized and well armed, but they are facing some significant threats. In addition to the environmental hazards posed by the Blues, the Shohan still retain the orbitals and have spread a heavy ground presence on the planet. No one is sure if they’re working to spread the Blue, contain it or simply monitor it, but their forces are most concentrated in the regions where the Blue ecology has established a foothold. Whether because of their soldiers’ proximity, or some restraint regarding the contaminated regions, the Shohan have refrained from orbital strikes in the areas where the Blue has established itself. Other places have not fared so well, and the city of New Baotou has been reduced to craters by the Shohan dreadnaughts. As a result, a large portion of planetary population has holed up in areas like the edges of New Fort Detroit and the outskirts of other Blue zones. The Shohan periodically attempt to dislodge these enclaves or attack the militia teams sent to contain the spreading Blue Zones.
Despite the twin threats the Colony faces, there’s at least some good news on the horizon: they’ve held on long enough for the Terran Sphere to regroup and win some fights for a change. At long last, the cavalry's here.
Category: Alistair Sector
Sample Militia Gear
Designed by the Wellspring Armory subsidiary on planet, this enhanced armor suit is adapted to the resources available to the militias. Because they are largely cut off from outside supply, the ability to construct modern protective materials is limited. Instead, the Ranger Armor focuses on stealth, mobility, and force fields which were just starting to be developed by the Terran Sphere when the colony lost contact. However, their force field technology is somewhat more primitive than the version that the Terran Sphere would eventually field. While the suit has a low innate armor, the designers did include an attachment system to add additional armor plating as material becomes available. The suit contains a limited life support system, mainly intended to protect the users operating in the Blue Zones.
Armor Rating: 2 (Firefight), Body Track: 25, Force Field: 30 Drive - Exoskeleton Assist (Minor), Maneuver: 2
Power Supply: Coil 2 (20 Rounds), Power Slots: 3 Minor, Strain: 5
Psi Link, Weapon Link
Armor Link - Use linked armor rating by default, aimed shots can use the suit value.
Communications: Radio (Minor)
Computer: Minor 3 (18 Target, 5 Tasks)
Life Support (Minor) - Limitation: 6 Hour filters
Athletics +2, Stealth +3, Firearms +1
[Nobody’s Here 3] - Free Condemn Against Detection
Prototype Tech: force fields only recharge halfway after being depleted. If the character can make it another round without being hit, the force fields will restore to full. Character may spend an action point for full restore in a single round.
Armor Kit (Ranger)
A set of reinforced plates that can be inserted into Ranger Armor to increase its armor rating.
Armor Rating: 3 (Battlefield)
Infantry level plasma weaponry was still on the drawing board when New Detroit fell. The local weapon designers have done their best, but the lack of materials and access to the knowledge base of broader research community has hindered their efforts. The end result is the Plasma thrower; a short range weapon with two modes: a continuous burning stream or a single heavy blast.
Plasma Blast - Attack 5x (Firefight), Bleed (Minor) 2x, Counter: Armor
Plasma Stream - Bleed (Moderate) 6x, Area (Sustained): Small, Hungry
Range Limitation: Short Range Only
[Burn!] The player may spend an action point to edit that the fire spreads to an adjacent Zone. All characters in the zone or moving through it must make a new defensive roll against the attack’s margin of success to avoid being set ablaze.
Slave - requires 2 power slots from a power supply
[Fire Has No Friends] - When consequenced, the GM chooses a new zone for the fire to spread. As with [Burn!] the characters must make a new defensive roll.
Acoustic deterrents have long been used to scare away nocturnal pests on New Detroit. Militias initially found success with the technology against the various beasts of the Blue Zones, but have unexpectedly discovered that the sound waves used in the technology can place additional stress on a force field operating in an atmosphere.
Area (Sudden): Medium
Counter: Force Fields
[Can’t Hear Myself Think 3] - Free: Condemned against the target’s next action.
[Reverberation 3] - Free Edit: if a target has successfully been affected by the acoustic bomb, the next attack against them gains the Counter: Force Field attribute
One Time Use
Usage Restriction - Requires Atmosphere