TRU Echo

Season 2. Episode 1: The Sickle and Star (Part 2) [Session 29]

Session 29
Session Date: 11 December 2012
Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex, TJ

Game Date: 15 November 2012
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

  • Adrian manages to convince the Transwisata tourist company to rent the group a Super Puma AS 332. Though much larger than the group’s cargo needs – with a capability to hold 24 passengers and 2 crew – the group needs the Super Puma because of its range (851 km). They expect the interception of the Sickle and Star to occur at the eastern extent of the Malacca Straight, which is more than 400 km away.

  • While Hawkeye pilots the Super Puma toward the Sickle and Star with Lincoln assisting as a co-pilot, Martin, Jack, and Adrian prepare repelling gear for the assault on the ship. A short time later, just as the sun is setting, the group spots the Sickle and Star exiting the Malacca Straight. Hawkeye calls back to the group to prepare themselves. Hawkeye prepares to fly over the ship for a reconnaissance pass before returning to lower the rest of the group down on their repelling gear. However, the plan is interrupted, as the group spies a single person manning a crow’s nest on the ship’s superstructure.
  • Hawkeye suddenly tastes a bitter metallic flavor and calls out to the group to see if anyone smells anything unusual. Meanwhile, Jack is hit with a powerful wave of vertigo and collapses, unconscious for a moment. When he comes to, he screams maniacally, “The Basement! The Basement!” He startles the rest of the group with his behavior. They try to settle him down as Hawkeye closes the distance with the ship.
  • A couple hundred yards away, a few members of the group realize the man on the crow’s nest is holding a man-portable air defense system (a handheld heat-seeking missile launcher). Hawkeye, having flown in warzones where these missile systems have been fired against him, feels naked, as the Super Puma has no countermeasures. He prepares himself for the inevitable and sure enough, as he closes within about 100 yards, the man fires the missile launcher. The missile goes screaming past the helicopter, missing by inches, as Hawkeye pushes the Super Puma past its limits by evading the missile. Adrian, Martin, and Jack – who had been preparing to repel down to the ship – are tossed around like rag dolls as Hawkeye tries to regain control of the helicopter. Amazingly, the helicopter sustains only superficial damage from the missile’s fragmentary warhead. As Hawkeye regains control of the helicopter, he positions it over a group of twelve 40’ long shipping containers that are stacked two-high.
  • As Hawkeye is stabilizing the helicopter, he and most of the group spot another man; the man is standing on the shipping containers and looks identical to the man in the crow’s nest. In fact, he is carrying a portable missile launcher and mirroring the man in the crow’s nest’s every action. “The Basement,” Jack whispers, suspecting the man on the containers may be an illusion or some other similar manifestation with ties to the Basement. “The guy on the containers is just a hologram,” Jack warns the group. “Ignore him.”
  • The group prepares to repel down just as the man on the crow’s nest fires another missile. Hawkeye’s ability to evade the first missile had been amazing, but nothing compared to the miracle required to evade the second missile. He is less than 100’ away from the launcher and essentially a sitting target as he hovers over the containers, and yet he somehow manages to once again maneuver out of the way, taking only minor damage from the missile. “Get him!” Hawkeye screams to the group as they began to repel.
  • Martin and Jack are the first down, leading the way with shot after shot from their pistols. Adrian follows, also wielding a pistol. Jack is the last one out of the helicopter, but he too comes out shooting – first using a hunting rifle and then switching to a shotgun. The group concentrates fire first on the man in the crow’s nest and then on two thugs that appear from a door leading into the ship’s superstructure. As the group descends down to the containers, their suspicions of the illusionary man and their proximity to him seems to overcome any mental influence the image has, and it slowly fades out of their vision. Before the illusionary man fades away, the group notices he mirrors the pain the man in the crow’s nest feels when he is shot. They also notice he has Hawkeye’s rifle – Jenny – slung over his shoulder. The man in the crow’s nest gives a good fight before going down, firing a few shots from Jenny at the Super Puma. The shots ring true, hitting the Super Puma’s tail, but Hawkeye is able to maintain control. The man is armed in a bulletproof vest and tough as nails, as he takes shot after shot from the group, but he eventually succumbs to their barrage, and falls lifeless out of the crow’s nest.
  • Hawkeye keeps the helicopter flying, hovering over the ship, as the rest of the group enters the ship’s superstructure to investigate. Lincoln leads the way into what appears to be a passenger area. There the group encounters a couple more thugs but quickly dispatch them. They start to head up a set of stairs to the ship’s bridge, when another man kicks open a door to a side room in the passenger area and opens fire on Adrian. She takes bullet through the stomach before she and the rest of the group return fire, dropping the man.
  • Martin leads the way up to the ship’s bridge. When he throws open the door, Kuchma and two bodyguards are waiting. Kuchma cowers, hiding and pleading for his life in a nasally, trembling voice. Martin and the bodyguards exchange fire. Martin fires two shots which tear through one of the bodyguards but don’t drop him. The bodyguards respond with dozens of rounds from their submachine guns at point blank range. Nine bullets rip through Martin’s body, and blood, flesh, and splintered bone go flying in all directions. Lincoln leads the response, charging into the room, standing defensively over Martin’s prone body, and firing at the bodyguards. He takes one down and injures the other. Jack is next into the room, racing in with his cain and knocking the remaining guard unconscious. As Jack enters the room, he notices his old cain leaning against a computer console next to Kuchma.
  • Kuchma drops to the floor, pleading for his life.
  • Meanwhile, Hawkeye, who had been monitoring the firefight as best he could from the helicopter, looks down to check his gauges and notices the Super Puma’s fuel tank is half empty (or, I suppose, half full).

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