This page continues the chronological log of our Second Votoms Campaign.
PART 8- HOMELESS
7212.10.24- GRATTAN, NORTHERN CONTINENT
As the damaged A.T. Lighter ABEL plunges into the
atmosphere of Grattan, Mick Wansboro struggles to keep the ship
upright and brings her in for a rough landing. The Mongrel
Squad inspect the damage- everyone survived (Maxim Hiflen's mild
concussion notwithstanding), but the radio just picks up static, and
the navigation computer is smashed. By Lieutenant Fugue's
estimates, they have crashed somewhere in the wastelands of the
Northern Continent. The crew (and Kizzard) set to scavenging
supplies from the burning wreckage.
Inspecting the hangar, Mick and Burt find their captured Fatty ATs
survived, but the rest of the ATs were sucked out of the destroyed
hangar during reentry... all but one Standing Tortoise. They
pull the heavy AT free of the wreckage, mostly intact except for a
smashed computer. Mick is still suspicious of the attack from
inside the hangar that brought the ship down. Lieutenant Fugue
encourages them to focus on the task at hand- getting out of the
wastelands. He also reminds everyone is still leashed, and
they need to follow orders and stick together to survive.
Setting out on foot, Burt takes one Fatty, Mick the other (with the
Kizzard snug onboard), and Maxim and the Lieutenant squeeze into the
patched up Tortoise, able only to respond to basic controls without
a computer. But walking is all they need to do, and they soon
come upon another wreck. It looks to have crashed days
ago. The squad's attempts to contact Grattan Military Command
are fruitless, and they continue their journey across the wastes.
Mongrel squad finally comes across a glint of metal in the distance,
which turns out to be freight rails. Following the tracks, the
team is hopeful of rejoining civilization before they run out of
But low on fuel, they have to abandon one of the Fatties. The
Balarant space ATs were never meant for this kind of punishing trek,
and the fuel is consolidated down to the remaining
units. Darkness falling, the squad agrees to set up camp by
the tracks for the night.
Next morning's trek brings them to an apparently abandoned Freight
Locomotive. The squad carefully inspects the train, but it
appears to have been looted already. The Lieutenant and the
Kizzard find some food and water in the Caboose, and a damaged
maintenance AT stands in one of the cars. Tracks from
another AT lead away from the train...
Following the tracks, which crisscross several others, the squad
come across a modified Octova Light AT huddled behind a rock.
The Octova's pilot accuses the squad of being Balarant invaders...
but Mick Wansboro pops his hatch to reveal he is a member of the
Grattan military (if not willingly so). The pilot is an
elderly man named Craddock, who is badly injured, but croaks that
his train was attacked by Bandits, and warns the squad that they may
return. Before they can ask any more questions or aid
Craddock, he passes away...
Lieutenant Fugue insists on a burial for Craddock.
Returning to the train, the squad find there's just enough fuel left
in the reserve tank to get the Locomotive running, and the squad
climbs aboard, dumping out scrap to make room for their ATs.
Although a much older model, the repair AT's computer is salvaged
and installed into Maxim's Tortoise so it can be used to defend the
train from Bandit attack.
Not long after setting off, an explosion announces the bandits are
back! Sustaining minor damage, Burt's Fatty returns fire.
Maxim takes cover in the sturdy rail car, adding to his Tortoise's
already impressive armor.
Mick jumps out of the train to make good use of the Octova's speed.
The squad makes short work of the two attacking bandits...
But a third bandit ambushes the Locomotive with a
flamethrower! The Lieutenant slams the windows shut, and the
Kizzard spits out the flames in the cab.
As the train rolls forward, Maxim gets a killing blow on the Bandit
heavy AT, ending the would-be attack.
Later, the train comes across a siding with two railcars, one with a
load under a tarp. Investigating, the crew find two brand new
Scopedogs are the cargo! Surprised by their good fortune, they
add the new rail car to their train and continue their journey, not
sure what awaits them...
ON TO PART 9!
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