This page continues the chronological log of our Second Votoms Campaign.
PART 9- HOMECOMING
7212.10.26- TARTARUS CITY OUTSKIRTS, GRATTAN
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
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,
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
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...
CONTINUE TO PART 10!
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