PART 13- COLD STEEL
This page continues the chronological log of our Second Votoms Campaign.
7212.11.03- MOUNT TAGREN, GRATTAN
Perdas Grane and Ramoh Harken have fled the ruins of Tagren Base,
and boarded the War Train with the DEFCOM MCU. Only by
catching up to them and destroying the MCU can the Stray Dog
Squadron members hope to restore freedom to the peoples of
Grattan. If Grane and Harken make it to the DEFCOM
backup base on the moon, the planet Grattan could once again come
under the control of the ruthless DEFCOM Artificial Intelligence.
Fortunately, Mick Wansboro and Burt Buton commandeered two Scopedog
Turbo Customs from Tagren Base, and catch up with the War Train,
with Maxim Hiflen not far behind. Mick's brother, Rotweil,
departed the group to help their family and friends recover from the
DEFCOM tyranny and put their lives back together...
The two must approach the train cautiously but quickly in order to
stay out of the firing arc of the train's rear cannon turret.
Burt tries to slow the train down, but only manages to hold on long
enough for the squad's pet Kizzard to board the flatbed.
Unfortunately, one of Grane's men was also manning the last Astrad
Tank aboard the flatbed, which nearly misses Burt's AT! While
Burt distracts the train, Mick manages to come up behind the AT car,
and fires rockets into the Rusty Goat ATs inside.
Meanwhile, Camo the Kizzard has climbed onto the back of the tank
and scrabbles for a way inside. The Rusty Goat ATs return
fire, forcing Mick to swerve and dodge while trying to keep up with
the speeding train.
On the other side of the train, Perdas Grane has activated his
green, bulbous-headed Calamity Dog and engages Burt in a running
duel alongside the moving train.
Mick has an idea- blasting away at the coupler between the flatbed
and AT cars. The back half of the train comes loose, and
drifts further and further from the front of the train, making it
harder for the Astrad Tank and Turret Car to engage the
attackers. But the train's engine still has its own turret,
and fires on the Turbo Customs as they come into view!
Passing the engine on the right, and enduring machinegun fire from
the point defense turrets on the engine, Mick empties his rocket gun
into the tracks ahead, causing a break in the rails...
Meanwhile, Maxim Hiflen finally arrives with his Rising Tortoise,
and must dodge fire from the rear turret car.
Grane's attention turns to the newly arrived Tortoise, and boards
the flatcar for a better vantage. Maxim blasts the flatcar
with rocket fire, hoping to dislodge Grane's Calamity Dog.
Meanwhile, the Kizzard has managed to squeeze inside the Astrad
Tank, and wreaks havoc inside. The panicking crew bail out,
leaving the tank empty.
As the engine hits the break in the rails caused by Mick, the train
catastrophically derails, kicking up plumes of snow and throwing
Rusty Goat ATs out of the train like dolls.
Maxim and Grane engage in a deadly duel along the rails...
... and Grane closes in for the kill, ripping at Maxim's heavy AT
with a deadly claw.
But Maxim manages to roll out of the way, and with Mick's help,
manages to pin Grane's Calamity Dog on the tracks.
With the engine and AT car stopped, the back of the train catches
up, and crushes Grane's AT in between! The Astrad Tank is
thrown loose in the crash.
With Grane still putting up a fight, the Stray Dog squad is suddenly
joined by a mysterious blue AT. The customized Berserga
finishes Grane's Calamity Dog off with a pile bunker to the
chest. The Quentman Pilot inside reveals himself as Quain
Hiflen- Maxim's father! He has come all the way from Quent to
recover the Lawman AI that was used to make DEFCOM, knowing how
dangerous it would be.
With Grane dead, Ramoh Harken ejects from the train wreckage in a
Zwerg light AT, intent on escaping with the DEFCOM MCU and making it
to the train's original destination...
As Ramoh speeds off in his Zwerg, the others set off in pursuit.
But one of the Rusty Goat ATs is still active, and deals a fatal
blow to Mick's Scopedog!
Burt destroys the Rusty Goat and resumes the pursuit.
Mick bails out before his Scopedog explodes, commandeering the
Astrad Tank with his pet Kizzard to continue the chase.
The Battered team catches Ramoh Harken at his destination- a Shuttle
Launch Pad prepared for Grane and his men.
Burt threatens to blow up the shuttle, but Ramoh pleads with them,
explaining that they must use the Shuttle to reach DEFCOM's backup
base on the moon. Only there can DEFCOM finally be stopped, as
the MCU unit taken from Tagren Base was just a relay
station. The actual Lawman AI unit is installed in the
base on the moon! Quain destroys the MCU anyway, and then
takes Maxim with him to his Quentian dropship. Mick and
Burt take control of the shuttle and its cargo of advanced ATs, and
launch into space, leaving Ramoh Harken behind.
Maxim, reunited with his father Quain, return to Quain's
dropship. Abandoning his burnt out Tortoise unit, Maxim takes
the spare Berserga SAC that Quain brought with him, and the two load
up and launch into space, to their unknown fate on Grattan's Moon...
TO BE CONTINUED!
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