The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

This is the end, my friend
The.... final countdown

The End

*********

What comes after that we deem as life as we know it?

A game set in the End Time of Michael C. LaBossier.
2-5 players

Moderator: Dave

The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:32 pm

November 2, 2055

You have been on station for the past four days and your relief crew is just minutes away. In a few minutes, you’ll be out of this whole in the ground and back on the surface. True, McKerna is in pretty bad shape, but it will be good to breathe some fresh air and see some people. The situation can't be that bad, right? The conditions in the base are good at best, the areas were not made for living, as they are now used. The personnel are taking turn sleeping as there are only two beds. Besides, the life support of the base is limited.

Reports from the ground tells of patrols around McKerna having seen a strange fog rolling towards the city. Shortly after the fog is sighted, the city in completely enveloped. Several people are reported found dead in the streets. twenty minutes after the fog arrives, contact is lost with ICCM Launch Station #8.

Also, emergency transmissions are received from three American and two Russian submarines, reporting that they are under attack. The transmissions can't be traced. It seems they were attacked simultaneously.

At this state you are not thatl hopeful to get relived.

You all sit around the control room, waiting to hear the distinct hum of the elevator coming down. Major Larken is looking anxious to get back to her new husband, but she looks a lot better than she did a few months ago. You both remember how she had told you some crazy story about her first husband getting torn apart by something horrible from the sky. At the time, you had all been hammered out of your minds on the finest from the local stills, so you had chalked her story up to the drunken ramblings of a very sad and lonely person. However, the deep lines in her young face, and the terrible haunted look in her eyes had awakened some primal fear in you as she told the story. You all were happy and relieved when she met a pilot and married him, primarily because it dimmed the madness that seemed to lurk deep in her eyes.

When the time for your relief to show up arrives, the room becomes quiet as you all wait for the hum of the elevator. Minutes go by, and you hear nothing...

Larken scoots her chair over to the communication station to see if there are any news from up top.

Then, sirens go off inside the station.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:17 am

Image

Sergeant Bill Parsons has been looking increasingly worried as the situation has gone from bad to worse. "I sure hope this is all some sort of drill," he says, "because I'm wearing my only clean pair of underpants." In his heart, however, he is sure this is the real thing. He monitors the incoming transmissions and checks the console for any indication of why the sirens have sounded.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:00 am

The console gives the following alert message: "ICCM LS #8 - Down. ICCM LS #6 - Inconclusive. Full Lockdown of ICCM LS designated areas. Integral Stability Untrustworthy. Launch Systems on Standby. Manual Override disabled. Shutting down Exterior Life Support Vents."

At this message, the situation which the 'Government' has given about the tilting of the moon's orbit and the changes in sea level rise and all that become a thing of little concern. The micro cosmos of the Launch Station is all that matters. The 'Government' or rather 'Governments' around the states have been fighting an uphill battle against anarchy for years. The fact that McKerna has been doing alright is due to the remote location and low inhabitation density.

Image
"Those bastards at Orbital Defense Command think they can man-handle us as they please. Hold on to your knickers Parsons, I'm bypassing the egg-heads." Larken jabs a flash-drive into a neuro-jack port and the red cycling light in the ceiling is accompanied by a blue steady light of the external drive.

"I'm muting the sirens and letting you and Chambers catch some Z. This seems to be a hick up in the watch-dog protocol, I'm on it and will be alright with Summers serving me coffee while you two nap."

Image
"You'd better serve me Larken..." Summers comments as he flicks through surveillance cameras on his console. "No breach in the up top area. Looking good, so far."
A number of video feeds are received showing military check points reporting in while defending their positions against unruly civilians in the fog outside.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby RonaHattingh » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:01 pm

Image
Lieutenant David Chambers doesn't argue with Larkin, he has learned this lesson the hard way. He walks off to find his bed. He knows Larkin will do everything she can to get to her new husband. So he need not worry she wont try her best.
"With friends like this, who needs dynamite?"
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:22 pm

Image

Parsons lets out his breath, which he hadn't been consciously aware that he was holding. "Well, that's a relief, ma'am," he says. "There's a pool on when the world will end, and I bet on next Thursday. If it had been today, I'd have been out twenty bucks. Not quite sure how I'll collect if I win, though." Like Larkin, he heads off to his bunk, grateful for a chance to sleep.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:07 pm

Image
"Come on! Parsons, grasp the severity of the situation. People are dying like flies up there. And you crack jokes. Go to sleep already" Summers clenches his hands on the table where his keyboard rests.

Image

"Hush, now honey. No need to get in to a fit. I'll get you your coffee in a jiffy. I'll call on Addie." Larken pushes the intercom on the wall and commands, "Get us two cups of Java, Addie. No milk."

The sliding doors between the control room and the quarters are padded and insulated to ward off the work area from the rest area. Only the recyclers are humming as the exterior air pumps are shut down. The bunkbeds in the corner are holding regular military sheets. Only the top bunk sports Hello Kitty and Prometheus pillowcases.

1900 hours 2 November
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:53 am

Image

Bill climbs into his bunk, not even bothering to undress, and pulls the sheets up to his neck, suppressing a yawn. "If you need help falling asleep, sir," he says to Lt. David Chambers, "I've got a copy of the base operations manual in my footlocker."
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:38 pm

1910 hours

In the control room-
Larken looks at a hard copy picture of Jeff, her husband, she whispers, "I'll see you soon. Promise." She wipes a tear from the corner of her eye and mutes the sirens. With the up top situation being what seems like a full on covert attack by a rivaling force, she makes sure their signature and electronic imprint is close to nothing. Shutting down the back up power and relaying power consumption to the incinerators at the bay area close to the river inlet. Any scan for activity will show a bright indicator at the edge of their grounds. Nothing should be visible down below ground. The missile silo would appear shut down as the rest of the six active ones. With a few key strokes she effectively cuts off Orbital Command from the structure of communications. She fries the land wire as well.

No news from now on would be good news. And she can't melt down again. As she know she will if she gets the news she fears are coming.

Then, no news at all is preferred.

She studies the last five logged vid calls and three messages from Orbital Command. She selects them and presses the delete key.


At her opposite side, Summers turns around to Larken. "What are you doing? We're losing power and those orders were unread. We must follow our orders, Major!" Larken pulls her flash drive and drops it on the rubber flooring and puts her heel down on it hard.
"Heel, Captain - you know I'm in command, and I'm telling you to obey my orders. Now, sit your sorry ass down and purge that station of yours. Or I'll put you out of it and erase you from this station." She unbuttons the holster for her CTP (Colt Tactical Pistol).

Face towards the console, Summers sighs. "Jeez. Your coffee is here at double speed, I hope. Erasing the drive in a sec."

In the quarters-

Image
As Chambers wonders if Parsons' offer was genuine. The reinforced doors to the access tube opens and Addie enters the quarters. She turns to the small galley work bench and takes the freshly brewed thermos of coffee. Adding two cups with The Simpsons motifs, she winks at the two men preparing for some shuteye. "Sweet dreams, boys." She whispers with her best temptress voice.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:50 pm

Colonel Ling, the base commander would be one of the officers that would be relieving the four personnel currently on duty in ICCM LS #4. After having secured the McKerna air strip, they were scheduled to swap with Larken and her officers. Now, that plan seems to have been postponed.

What's really is disturbing is the report about the five subs under attack. They were positively all carrying ICCM:s.

Larken's strategy at the moment seems to be play dead and not risking to be killed. What options are there?

Assume, there's an all out nuclear war. The ICCM:s at their disposal require two sets of keys - which are available. Also, a launch code must be received from Orbital Command, if not hacked. With the base in "moth-ball mode" the base can't receive messages from external parties.

There are eight radiation suits on the base, in the storage and missile area.

Not being built to be populated for long periods of time, two weeks of water and food rations is what's a good estimate - for four people. It would be extended should the crew be smaller.

An option could be to exit the station, to see first hand what is happening up top. That requires a breach of the heavy elevator. In the event of a nuclear strike, being up top would be unsafe at the least. If the team can find a secondary location with radioactive protection, it could be preferable. Being a launch site, they most certainly will be hit among the hardest.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:28 am

Image

"Damn, that smells good," says Bill with a contented sigh. "Thanks, Addie. Do you ever have dreams?" He is genuinely curious, wondering how Synths actually think, if they truly think at all the way humans do.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:57 am

"I dream of tomorrow, Bill. A generic answer, I agree, but to dream of something incalculable is futile." Addie says as she waits for the sliding doors and then enters the control room.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:28 am

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"Just how does one calculate tomorrow?" muses Bill. He lies back and closes his eyes.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:35 pm

The camera pans up through the layers of concrete and dirt as well as reinforced metal sheeting.

Up top -

On McKerna Airstrip, the fog eats up the tarmac at a steady pace. Outside the air traffic control tower, Jeff Larken raises his MP5 and gets ready to stop whatever is coming from inside the fog. He can hear it clearly. Something is dragging over the hard ground. Scraping.
He lays a burst of three rounds in the general direction of the sound.
No hesitation in the movement.

He flips to fully automatic and braces himself, on one knee, supporting his elbow on the raised knee. Any second now. At that position a jagged disc whizzes past him, after having passed through his throat, severing his head from the body. The body still in perfect balance topples down first after the MP5 clatters to the ground.

"Larken?" The coms of Jeff's helmet asks.

Then, something huge comes out of the fog, walks over the corpse of Jeff Larken and razes the air traffic tower with a green, scaly, muscular arm. Over the mayhem, two streaks of flame passes over towards the waste disposal station. They hit with an immense force.

All goes pitch black.

Quarters -

19:40

Bill and David are awoken by a rumbling of the station. A direct hit?
Dust falls from cracks in the interior plaster of the small living area.

The door to control opens and Summers shouts at the two colleagues. "We're hit! We're launching a response strike. That's what we're supposed to right?" Apparently, Summers has become unglued from the real experience of being in this sharp situation. WHat's right isn't always what's the easiest.

Larken shouts from inside the control room. "Get your ass back here, Summers! I told you what to do!!"

Summers stands perplexed and undecided watching David and Bill come to their own faculties.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby RonaHattingh » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:47 pm

Getting the last bit of sleep out of his eye, David looks perplexed at Bill.

"What is happening, Bill? And why is Larken shouting at Summers?"
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:42 pm

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"Damned if I know what's going on, sir," says Bill, swinging his legs over the side of the bunk and lowering himself to the floor. He is glad he had slept in his uniform, because it saves time now. "You can take your pick of reasons the major is shouting at Captain Summers. The rod up his ass has a rod up its ass. It's a telescoping rod." He knows he's on safe ground with David, as there's no love lost between him and Summers.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby RonaHattingh » Sun May 01, 2016 8:19 pm

"Well, let's go and see what is going on."

David gets up and hastily swipes at the crinkles in the material of his uniform. When he hears another shout in the other room, he quickly makes his way to where Larkin and Summers are.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon May 02, 2016 12:32 am

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Bill nods and follows David to the control room.
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Dave » Mon May 02, 2016 2:41 pm

Control room-

19:41:10

Summers is not returning to the control room, he stands cemented, mumbling about authority and the wrong people at all the wrong places.
When David and Bill enter the control room, Summers shouts to Larken. "I'm taking my leave off shift now! You got two new grunts to boss around."

Larken sighs and turns to greet Parsons and Chambes, "Morning'! Scuse the mess." She indicates the scattered files all over the tables in the crammed space. "I did some calculating while we¨ve been off grid. It seems like there must have been a hit close to us, probably the waste disposal yard." She pokes at one of the terminals. "I rerouted the main part of our electrical feed to that site in hopes for any incoming missiles to hit a hot target." Pointing to the ceiling, where a meter is slowly climbing, she adds. "The radiation level is rising so, it must have been one of the war enders. Now it's time for us to repay the courtesy. The question is where to hit. My suggestion was Beijing but Summers is adamant we target Moscow. I have only control of our two missiles. All other silos are off service. And are under orbital command. They attempted to shut us down, but I've managed to get in to the manual override. By disconnecting us to all external input I could wire the connection from the flash drive to the main frame and mimic orbital command's protocol. However, there's no way of getting an external read on what is happening up top."

She has inserted her launch key in the launch pad socket. Next to her key is her tactical pistol resting on a pile of files. He right hand is resting on a keyboard awaiting input. "China or Russia, gentlemen? I need one of you to use your key and insert it in that socket over there. Do what Summers failed to do. Please me, boys."

"You know we must do this."
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue May 03, 2016 5:56 am

Image

Bill lets out a low whistle under his breath. "Do we know anything about the trajectory of the missile that hit us?" he asks. "If we could find out which direction it came from, that might give us a hint as to who fired it. If it came over the pole, that would suggest Russia, but if it came from the Pacific, it could be either one. We only have one shot, and hitting the wrong target is worse than not firing at all. I think we ought to hold our fire until we can identify the enemy. As far as they're concerned, we're already dead, so we've got time to think this through."
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Re: The beginning of the end [Actual Play]

Postby RonaHattingh » Wed May 04, 2016 5:07 am

"I am with Bill on this, we need to know who it was, before we launch, I do not want innocent blood on my hands and I do not want to go down in history as the man who started the end of the world."

David cannot help his eyes going in the direction of where Larkin's hand is resting on her pistol.
"With friends like this, who needs dynamite?"
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