This page continues the chronological log of our Second Votoms Campaign.


A captured Freight Train carries Lieutenant Fugue and his leashed squad of AT pilots towards the lower city of Tartarus, where they hope to make contact with survivors of whatever fate has befallen planet Grattan.  Encountering an obstruction on the track, Burt, Maxim, and Mick deploy in their Fatty, Turtle, and Octova ATs to clear the way.

But they are ambushed by Bandit ATs!  A Brutishdog makes a swift drive-by attack on the train, hitting Maxim's Standing Tortoise but failing to penetrate the armor.

But a much heavier bandit AT, a Rising Tortoise, unleashes a triple Solid Shooter, hitting Maxim in the back and seriously damaging his AT!

Burt circles around behind the Brutishdog, and with a well aimed shot, hits the PR tanks, exploding the bandit AT!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Train, Mick's Octova comes under fire from the Iron Monger, a modified heavy Bandit AT.  The Octova evades successfully...

But then a Scorching Turtle opens fire on the Train with a flamethrower, catching Mick and Maxim in the blast!   They sustain minor damage...

While the Rising Tortoise blows Burt's Fatty apart, Burt barely escaping before it explodes.

Mick Wansboro aims a well placed shot at the Iron Monger, incapacitating it.

Maxim jumps out of the train and takes out the Scorching Turtle with his Rocket Gun.

From nowhere, another bandit in a souped up Purple Bear races in, attacking  Maxim's exposed Standing Tortoise.

...but exposing himself to Burt and Fugue's attack!  Burt had climbed into the train, and the two hurl grenades at the back of the Purple Bear, its rear armor failing to stop the blasts.

But  the Rising Tortoise, still on the loose, swings around to the front of the train, bearing down on Mick's Octova.

Camo, the squad's pet Kizzard, sees an opportunity and pulls the train's accelerator, crushing the massive engine into the Rising Tortoise and pinning it against the obstruction.

Fugue and his squad finish off the bandits, most of whom have fled or been killed.

With the ambush halted, Maxim captures the Rising Tortoise and assists Mick's Octova in clearing the tracks.

Burt salvages the Purple Bear, and the three pilots board the train, moving slowly into the dark depths of Tartarus City.

Inside the city, the train stops at an empty cargo dock.  A voice over the loudspeaker instructs them to leave their ATs at the dock and proceed into the city on foot.  As an act of good faith, the squad complies (but they bring their personal weapons just in case).

The squad meet their hosts... Including the mayor of Tartarus City, Bernard Wansboro!  At first Bernard doesn't recognize his son Mick, but he does recognize the Kizzard... it used to belong to the family when Mick was younger.  Mick explains everything that has happened, but Lieutenant Fugue insists that all three pilots are criminals, and are serving sentence as penal legion troopers.  Bernard inquires about Rotweil, but the last time the pilots saw him was before the attack on the Balarant missile station.  Bernard then reveals that Rotweil is in fact Mick's older brother!  Bernard didn't approve of his violent methods, but now wishes he could just see his son again.    

Bernard explains how, after the DEFCOM system was activated, the planet's defenses were flawless- no enemy attacks could get through.  But then DEFCOM extended its influence to include law enforcement, and set about destroying anything that it considered a threat.  Police and Military forces were unable to stop DEFCOM from taking control of their ATs, using a virus that affected any M-class AT computer. 

Nearly every Gilgamesh AT uses this type of computer, and ATs went rogue, attacking any threat against DEFCOM without even a pilot on board to control it.  Without a functioning government or police force, Grattan fell into chaos, with rogue bandit gangs fighting civilians for resources and survival.

As Bernard finishes his recount of the fall of Grattan, something stirs under the tarp- the two Scopedog ATs the quad had found on their way to the city have activated on their own, and begin attacking the survivors of Tartarus City!  Fortunately, the squad members are quick to respond, taking cover and working their way into positions to attack the DEFCOM-controlled ATs.

Even Camo the Kizzard pitches in, jumping onto one of the Scopedogs and smearing the lenses with its sticky tongue!  Lieutenant Fugue and Burt Buton lob grenades at the rogue ATs, while Mick and Maxim fire their rifle and Armor Magnum at weak spots in the armor.  The squad manages to stop the Scopedogs before they can do too much damage. 

The inhabitants of Tartarus City, grateful for the supplies brought by the train and the containment of the Scopedog threat, agree to help the squad.  Lieutenant Fugue insists they must find  Major Perdas Grane and scientist Ramoh Harken-- the men who might have an idea how to stop DEFCOM.  Bernard Wansboro gives his blessing, hoping they might find Rotweil on their quest, and his chief mechanic looks over their ATs to make sure they are safe from DEFCOM control.

Heading out on the train, the squad begins their new quest- to find the men responsible for installing DEFCOM, in the hope of finding some way to stop it...


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