Seattle Side Mission 07: The Bleeding Edge, Chapter 3

Written by: Marius           Played on: 10 Nov 2012
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 06 – Heart of Darkness – Part 4
NEXT: Mission 14 – Magnum Delta Theta P.I. (Part 1) – Part 1

This was the final chapter in a trio of adventures we started during the Denver campaign. We never got around to finishing it after the first two, but many of the players were interested in rounding out a final chapter. As revealed during the second chapter, this whole thing is an AR video game Detrius is working on.

I awake in a long dimly lit room. The roar of industrial equipment is near deafening. No, not equipment, a generator? Armed guards are standing nearby, they are in chem suits.

“You lot have been found guilty of Genocide and Terrorism by the UCAS, There is no appeal. For your crimes you have been sentenced to death. You have two choices. I can shoot you dead right now; or you can do something good before you die, and perhaps undo some of the damage your plague has caused. What will it be?”

Bear is the first to speak “What did you have in mind”?

“The UCAS sent in a plague stopping piece of tech, however the plane carrying it went down, and the crash site is overrun. We need a team to go in and fight their way to the device, get it to the objective, and activate it. You will need to protect it while it does it’s thing. You will have no support once you drop into the LZ. This is a suicide run from which you will not return. What do you think?”

I hear a low voice from my right, “Why the fuck not.” It’s Jade, our battle happy troll.

“Good.” The guards toss backpacks over towards us. No, not just backpacks, parachutes. Parachutes…? Oh.

This run was largely inspired as a Call of Duty style game. As is the fate of many horror video games, they become more action oriented by the third chapter. Since all the players were aware this was a game at this point, it opened up the possibility for ridiculous, over the top set pieces, crazy technology and action.

I feel the floor fall away underneath me. The generator sound becomes the roar of turbine rotor wing engines. We all drop from the copper, as does a giant crate. The next 3 minutes are spent fighting our way to parachutes thrown by the wind and rotor wash. Everyone manages to get a chute on before the point of no return except Chekov, who catches himself with levitation, slowing just enough before striking the ground to not hurt himself. Our gear crate lands on a nearby roof.

“Everyone all right?” Cho asks.

“Fine,” I answer back, the rest of the team sounds off; Chekov, Bear, and Jade.

“Six infected close FAST,” Chekov announces. “Get to roof.” Jade pulls ahead quickly with her long legs, Bear manages to keep up with her. Chekov and I slip through the kicked in door into this building, just as the infected reach us and slam into an invisible wall.

“The doors, NOW!” I yell. Jade shuts the broken doors, Cho and I drag a large couch in front of them. As we reach the staircase to the third floor I hear the door give way. On the fifth floor landing we run into a Pimp Zed and a Hooker Zed. Jade and I knock the pimp to the floor and Jade stomps him, crushing his sternum. Bear lifts the hooker up and over the balcony with his wrist blades. We all start up the stairs.

“Bush League, you guys,” Bear says, as he stabs the pimp through the eye socket. “Bush league.”

“Two Zeds,” Cho calls out as we break onto the surface of the roof. I tackle one to the ground, crushing its skull on an exhaust vent. Cho smashes the other with the pimp’s cane she found in the lobby. We gear up, unfortunately my combat armor is not in the box. Bear no sooner has his bow in his hand when a Zed comes onto the roof from the fire escape. The dwarf’s arrow is loosed, finding a new home in the creatures brainstem. I unload a few bursts into a pterodactyl that swooped down. We take out a few more, it’s clear that the fire escape is not the way off this roof.

The pterodactyls mentioned were mutated infected that had developed wings as well as the ability to spit acid. In addition to several other special infected that showed up, these were all new creatures to ratchet up the challenge and provide some variation from the traditional zombies.

Over our comms, we receive a surprise message.You assholes have attracted every Zed for a mile, We are going to thin the heard, then you need to get moving for the objective. The chopper makes a few strafing runs and rains artillery shells down on the area. The building begins to tip.

“The next building, GO!” Cho yells. We all sprit, leaping onto the next building just as the first crumbles against it. As I am standing up I feel this one start to go too. The fourth building manages to stand long enough for us to leap to a fifth structure. As we exit it at the ground, it falls back into the fourth leaving blocks of rubble behind us now. Zeds are coming from all directions. We run for Central Park, just a few blocks away, where the plane went down. After making it through an alley we make stealth our protection, making it all the way to the nose section of the plane before running into any more infected.

“The fuck is THAT?” I say, coming out of the nose section is an infected troll with about ten infected metahumans.

“Stay behind me,” Jade says as she steps to the front of the group, Cho takes a shot from the safety of the Trolls left side. The metallic movement of the action is all that can be heard. One of the Zeds is now missing a head. The rest of the team opens fire. The Troll Zed charges Jade. It brings both fists down. Holding up her axe, Jade stops the blow. Throwing the arms up she swings her axe, striking the creature in the leg. We all begin dropping Zeds, pausing every few shots to shoot the Troll Zed. Bear hits it with a stun ball. The Troll and Jade continue trading strikes. Three Zeds remain when Jade strikes the right knee of her Troll, dropping him to a kneeling position. The next swing breaks his skull open. We spend a few more seconds cleaning up.

We find the “object” in the downed cargo plane. It’s a huge, metal crate. In addition to the objective we find six military exo-suites. Two are heavy combat suits, with Panther cannons and heavy machine guns. Jade and I take these. Two are close combat suits with a shotgun and a spear, a little less armor than the heavy suits, which Bear and Cho climb into. The last two are scout suits, machine guns and the ability to jump high with boosters, Chekov grabs one of those.

These suits were described as small mechs, but for simplicity they were basically heavy duty military armor with mounted heavy weapons that didn’t suffer recoil. Rather than making tests as drones or vehicles, the players were able to use their regular skills and operate the mechs as an extension of themselves. Naturally, giving the players such powerful gear meant I had to drastically increase the power of their opposition during the obligitory Call Of Duty vehicle sequence…

Jade and I carry the crate toward the objective, JFK Airport. Along the way we cut through Zeds like butter. Our only major challenge being 4 Trolls that we ran into at the same time. Had we run into these guys without the mech suits we would have surely died. We make our way to the center of the runways and plant the device.

Ok, nice job so far you condemned souls. Now, the device needs time to charge up, about 10 minutes. Once you activate it all the Zeds for about 100 miles will be heading your way. You need to last that long, because you still have to trigger the device. We form a  perimeter.

“This is it,” Bear says. “The final battle.”

“Life, try you might, no one get out alive,” Chekov states in his eastern bloc accent.

“Well, they say this city is rough… lets see…” Cho muses.

“I haven’t taken a pounding like this since grade school. I’m ready.”

The whole team turns towards me. “…What?…” The team exchanges blank looks. Cho activates the device. Immediately from around the city the roars of the infected can be heard, along with the trampling of footsteps, growing louder until is is all that is heard. The zombies pour in from all directions, Cho remains perched atop the device, taking out anything that makes it past the ever shrinking perimeter. Just as the infected herd begins to thin, the pterodactyls and Trolls arrive.

“This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” I point out.

“Better? This ends with us DEAD!” Bear reminds everyone.

I didn’t actually intend for the players to know they were all going to “die” by the end of the session, but apparently I tipped my hand early on. Either way, they were all good sports about it and had fun.

“Kill the talk,” Chekov says as he shoves his machine gun into the mouth of a Troll that had beat it’s way to the front. Soon the bodies form a makeshift barricade. There must be hundreds, perhaps thousands. We begin pushing the hoard back a bit, gaining ground. Acid rains down from above, the hoard thickens, reaching critical mass a few minutes later. We start launching the limited grenades into the hoard between blasts at the nearest Zeds. Just as we are being over run Bear ignites the largest tank, who takes out many as he falls. Chekov levels a large section with a fireball, Jade and I launch grandes and, just like that, we can see ground for the first time in nearly five minutes.

A dark shadow settles over the land. A Great Western Dragon flies overhead. For just a moment I am filled with hope; thinking an ally has come onto the scene. As it turns in front of the sun I see that portions of its torso are rotting away. “Fuck, an infected dragon, this is not fair.” I open up with my canon, striking it with two rounds, as the rest of the team divides their attention between the Zeds on the ground and the Zed in the air. The dragon seems unaffected, making a low pass I can see fire welling up in it’s throat. As its mouth opens wide, Bear leaps upward driving his spear into its face.

The dragon attempts to get to higher skies but Bear leaps into the air a second time, levitating with more speed than ever before. He strikes the dragon’s belly with a second blow and is batted away by a wing. As the dragon levels off Bear changes direction, charging the dragon once more. He makes a third and fourth strike on the way into and then down the dragon’s throat. He has been eaten. The dragon continues upward as the rest of us return our attention to the Zeds rushing in from all directions.

We have all been pushed back that we are resting against the device. a crackle comes over the comm channel, “Grenades, for upset stomach, indigestion and diarrhea.”  A load pop is heard from above, looking up I see the dragon falling with a smoking crater in its gut, Bears exosuit is falling along side, blown into two pieces.

“Flawless victory, old friend. Flawless victory.” I say as Cho lifts the panel on the device.

“I’ll be in hell before you start breakfast!” Cho yells.

The shell falls away and a blinding flash gives way to the whitest white I have ever seen, accompanied but the loudest bang giving way to the quietest silence.

You Won. Digital text appears in front of me.

I slide the VR goggles off.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 06 – Heart of Darkness – Part 4
NEXT: Mission 14 – Magnum Delta Theta P.I. (Part 1) – Part 1

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