Unfortunately, our little venture was off to a rough start. A crew needs time to gel, to catch their stride, to understand each other’s strengths, and to realize it’s very, very hard to properly prepare Korolev Sandworm. Sometimes they’re not offered the chance before people start shooting.
I mean, a lot of things can go wrong in an off-the-grid arms trade, but this was on a new level of batshit, even for me.
The Memoirs of “Gentleman” Jack Cartwright
15 February, WY602 – Myrr, Roberts
The crew continues to go about the business of survival, attempting to maintain radio silence in the process. Roland, Din, and Dirk work on the crawler, Julian continues on the filtration media, and the rest take stock of supplies and attempt to keep watch. Angelica correlates some disparate information about the Myrr flora and finds three plant varieties that, when combined and boiled, produce a paste containing a simple carbohydrate.
The overhead aircraft begin broadcasting on a universal rescue channel, advertising that they are SAR from Guardian, a semi-private corporation licensed by The Council to act as a sort of coast guard across nearly every colony world. There is a brief debate about whether to respond to the request, but the crew decides to keep their silence. Angelica goes on to decrypt the private comms between the search craft, and everyone listens in while they work. After a time, a new voice breaks in on the radio, identifying themselves as WDF Strike Group Bravo Sierra and ordering the Guardian flights to stand down. After they verify with their dispatch, the sound of aircraft fade. Angelica monitors an active military band, but cannot decrypt it, despite several attempts.
A short while after the SAR craft leave, the party witnesses another military dropship landing several kilometers away, and the crew increases their vigilance until Roland notices some flashes of light out in the swamp. The crew prepares an ambush, including communications jamming. Three soldiers in military combat armor emerge from the swamp and a brief firefight ensues. After two of the three soldiers are rendered unconscious, the third executes his fallen comrades and attempts to escape, but he is overwhelmed and immobilized. The crew stabilizes the prisoner and brings all three inside for inspection.
All three men are in their mid twenties, their armor is military issue Maxim Defense combat armor and their rifles standard issue infantry kit, all of which has been made anonymous. One of the dead soldiers has a WDF Marines tattoo. Aidan takes the soldiers biometrics telemetry and rigs it to some of the suits of the crew, so when Angelica drops the jamming there’s a chance of some confusion with whoever is commanding the soldiers.
As Julian finishes up the CO2 scrubbing medium, Roland makes enough progress with the crawler that he feels they could roll out within hours. The crew doubts they have that long before more soldiers arrive.