The session begins with a cut-scene…
The flak explosions and weapons fire in the kill zone between the two Clan cruisers is so thick, it’s filling the bridge of Normandy with a pulsing, flickering orange glow. The ship is rattling constantly with the turbulence of so many detonations.
“Faro, let’s squeak out ahead and put a shot into that missile blister.”
“You got it, boss.”
“Major,” calls out Spunkmeyer, “looks like a flight of bombers approaching from 213-karem-one-two.”
“Yup, I see them.” You wave you hand over Normandy’s virtual controls, switching your communication channel. “Dire Wolf Blue – a flight of bombers is about to crest that cruiser to your starboard.”
“We’ll be waiting for â€˜em, Normandy.”
“We’re heading to 179 once we’re clear of these cruisers,” comes Summerville’s voice over the flight channel. He seems calm, relaxed. You’re not sure you would be if your positions were reversed.
The larger of the two Clan cruisers begins to roll, and time stops as you see the massive naval particle cannon come to bear on Agamemnon. The maths start running through your head – the cruiser’s roll rate, Agamemnon’s velocity, the weapon’s devastating potential against Agamemnon’s compromised hull – and for the second time this year, some deep academy training has you jump in front of the grenade.
“FARO! Quick stop! RCS Z-plus-five NOW!” Normandy lurches in the impossible maneuver, the gravity drive turning the move into a gentle nudge. Agamemnon rockets past to your port, and the massive cannon discharges into Normandy’s starboard beam.
The ship is sent into a tight, uncontrolled spiral – hurtling away from the battle at incredible speed. The gravity drive is the only thing keeping any of the crew alive, and that is taxed beyond its ability to function properly. Across the compartment, Spunkmeyer is crushed to a pulp again the port bulkhead, high-pressure rivulets of blood coursing through the nooks and crannies of his station. Faro is faring better, crushed against her harness, the skin of her cheek starting to peel away. On the starboard side of the cabin, the drive is compensating well, making you feel as if you are undertaking an incredibly high-g maneuver, and but little more. The master alarm klaxon blares in your ears, and in the background, Becker’s voice is carrying on about remembering Kerensky’s dream.
There’s no way the ship survives this spin, you think. The maths run through your head – it would take too long to counteract the spin with the RCS thrusters – eventually the computer won’t be able to keep track with the gravity drive, and you’ll end up like Spunkmeyer.
You make the decision in an instant. Nudge your head against the seat to align the augment glasses properly on your face, and swipe your fingers into the air as much as you’re able – releasing safety after safety, and then, with what you’re sure is your last breath, Faro screaming in pain over the wail of the master alarm, you trigger a jump.
Everything goes black.
Minutes or hours later, you regain consciousness. The ship is completely powered-down. The air is still and thick with the smell of gore. You reach out and feel around until you find Faro’s hand.
She squeezes your hand and draws in a long breath.
“Did we do it?” she asks.
“I don’t know.”
“Where are we?”
“Heh…I don’t know.”
Just then, a blinding light shines in through the starboard bridge viewport and the emergency radio scritches to life.
“Normandy, Normandy, Alabama S-A-R – we’ve got ya little brother – we’ll be aboard in two minutes.”
Faro lets out a half-chuckle, half-cough. “Gonna pass out now, boss.”
“Yeah Faro…me too.”
Six months pass.
Janks, you, Corbett, Geers, Gerst, Jack, Madge, and Ian…are in your cells.
Three Agamemnon escape pods carrying thirty survivors landed in the middle of a massive corporate grain field, leaving the marines nowhere to go, and the party was picked up within a week of the invasion. During the first month of their capture, the non-League personnel were winnowed away, never to return, leaving only Janks, Jack, Geers, Gerst, Corbett, Laura Millet, Hudson, and a Captain Ian Colson from signal intelligence. After the first month, the survivors were transferred to a permanent facility somewhere beneath the capital city of Shinzan.
Three months after their capture, a very tan, somewhat feral-looking Stella is delivered into a cell int he same block, having been captured after undertaking a one-woman guerrilla war.
The party is interrogated, almost politely, and never about anything terribly critical. Once they clam up and give only name/rank/serial number, they’re taken back to their cells. They do manage to discover that the Clan forces have captured more than just these original Star League soldiers, and that the non-League personnel had been “processed”. There was one Warrior stationed in the facility, they find out his name is John Hubble, and he’s incredibly effective in preventing the party from fashioning weapons or otherwise facilitating an escape.
For reasons no one can fathom, Ian and Hudson are kept in the same cell, where they find plenty of ways to while away the days, much to the rest of the party’s dismay.
Six months into their imprisonment, their dinner is served to them by Simms – looking extremely worse for wear. He so completely avoids acknowledging the party that some fear that he may have turned traitor to save his skin.
A week after the mysterious appearance of Sims, during the party’s self-imposed morning calisthenics, all of the magnetic locks in their cell block release.
After a moment of confusion, the party snaps into action. Janks disables the lone guard outside the door of the cell block. Ian takes the guard’s clothes and, along with Hudson, talks his way in close to the guard int he next cell block over, allowing Hudson to subdue him. The party examines the occupants of the second block, but doesn’t recognize anyone.
Up on the interrogation level, Ian again talks his way through the security checkpoint, allowing Hudson to, in a really quite spectacular display, disable the three Clan marines stationed nearby.
Now mostly armed, the party exits the prison level and enters an administrative area. Ian encounters an office worker and occupies her while trying to scope out the nearby kitchens. Several members of the party hear Simms’ voice coming from an equipment room nearby. Stella bursts into the room to find a Clan officer about to execute Simms, and neatly dispatches the officer.
The gunfire brings Clan marines to the scene, and a very brief firefight ensues. Simms leads the party through the kitchens and out into a delivery truck that was standing by. Simms introduces two men int he back of the truck, Case – who appeared to be plugged into a computer – and Billy, who had been acting as a lookout. Sims tells the party that he’d been hired by a man named Bigend who has a vested interest in getting the Clans off of New Samarkand.
After an hours-long trip through several checkpoints, many of them guarded by Battlemechs, the truck finally arrives at an underground bunker built from a converted waste water transfer system. The party moves through a small crowd of people, and encounter a small shrine against a wall of a passage – containing flowers, candles, small wooden carvings of the Agamemnon, pictures, and other such mementos, above which the words “Becker Lives” are spray-painted.
A large man greets the party, saying “Well then…Welcome to the Resistance.”