Fire Storm

The artificial sun of this artificial day of this artificial city on this hollow asteroid space ship zooming between the stars through inconceivable dimensions at two hundred times the speed of light burns brightly. The scorch marks, bullet holes, and artillery craters which mar the LCD panels that line the ceiling prove it to be synthetic, and reveal the bleak, cold iron behind them.

Dr. Steven Ritenrong, age unknown but over 50, is out of breath, having run two blocks under mortar and machine gun fire from the security forces of this Pirate-run space ship. He is less than a hundred feet from his friends and the relative safety of the FastTrack train station.

"Thunderhorse! Get Steve! Mark! Coverfire!" Dr. Lucas "Doc" Shaw, Time Operative, shouts over the heavy gunfire. He throws himself behind the heavy asteroid-extruded steel wall of the wide train station entrance. Mark does the same, on the opposite side of the entrance. Doc leans out and fires a Pulse Ion Particle Pistol, which emits a beam of purple light. The particle beam hits its target, a large, hovering Armored Personel Carrier which is levelling a machine gun at his friend Steve, and out of which six heavily armed Pirates have just jumped. The thick armor glows red from the impact of the high-speed charged particles, but resists any further damage from them.

A brave man from the crowd of rioting passengers wielding a Magnetic-Accelerated Compressed Gas Assault Rifle stolen from a previous encounter with pirates stays with the Time Operatives. He's obviously used a gun like this before, perhaps in the Earth Defense forces, but has no tactical sense, or really common sense whatsoever. He stays between Doc and Mark, in the middle of the entrance. He fires the thing on automatic randomly into the universe, making a lot of noise but not accomplishing much besides further scoring the fake sky black.

Captain Mark Daniels, formerly of the Michigan Militia circa 1835, fires a railgun assault rifle at the tank. The pulse of light-bending micro bullets redshift as they slam hard into their target at a quarter the speed of light. The blast glances off the armored vehicle, collapsing a side panel in on its self and ejecting it from the vehicle

Meanwhile, Thunderhorse, the Nordic horseman from ages long forgotten and unknown, races towards his employer. The chains on his Hot Topic jeans jangle, and the railgun he carries slapping against his back. He pulls his goat-skull mask down over his face. He runs as hard as he can, as hard as a horse.

The APC ignores the damage it's taking from the future weapons and continues to vomit metal from it's .50 caliber machine gun turret. Steve is pinned by the lead rain. Thunderhorse reaches him in time to be caught in it, too. At first the bullets creep towards them from behind, then a few begin to impact their gel-filled reactive armor, leaving welts and bruises. Then, a blue substance explodes from out of Steve's back, at first in jagged shatters, but then jellifying and oozing out, turning purple as it mixes with blood.

Steve hits the ground.


The pirate security forces from the APC approach, firing their assault rifles. Thunderhorse ducks and weaves towards Steve, but cannot avoid the pelting from the .50 cal. His reactive armor stiffens, constricts, and pounds against his muscles with every impact. He imagines being flogged with a python by a frost giant.

The pirate security forces fire at Mark and Doc as well. The walls they hide behind are far too thick, and the Time Operatives are much too fast to be caught out in the open.

The whole area is a cacophony of richochets and automatic fire bursts, glass breaking, things exploding.

Mark ducks back out and returns fire. This time his railgun penetrates deep into the APC's armor, causing a minor explosion in the engine compartment. The hover system fails and the whole thing drops the 18 inches it was floating very violently. Smoke pours out the hatch as its pilot and gunner make their escape.

The plucky rioter refines his aim, this time causing the left flank of the pirate forces to scatter. A purple beam of particles blasts through the space where a pirate Sergeant's head used to be. Doc mumbles to himself as he tries to steady his aim.

The pirate forces are undeterred by the loss of cover fire from the APC. They return fire to the exposed, inexperienced crowd member, cutting him down. The right flank continues firing at Thunderhorse as he tries to collect Steve. More bullets bruise his muscles beneath his armor. Thunderhorse lets out a roar as he uses almost all of his reserve to endure the pain. He lifts Steve over his shoulder as he is pelted and pelted and pelted, then starts the hard run back to the train station entrance. Steve leaves a red trail behind them.

The pirates continue firing at Thunderhorse as he runs, carrying Steve. He jukes and serpentines, escaping continued pummeling from assault rifles. Running as hard as he can, he finally dives behind the train station wall where Doc is taking cover. Bullets bounce off the steel walls in front of them. Mark returns fire, his railgun on full auto. An incredible deafening and blinding burst of light and explosion seals the fate of the left flank of the approaching pirates.

Doc speed-holsters his pistol and drops immediately to tend to Steve. The back-left gel pad failed and shattered under the stress, allowing a .50 calibur bullet to slide through his body, shatter on the backside of the chest-plate. The pieces then bounced back into Steve's chest cavity.

Doc plugs the hole with a torn piece of Steve's lab coat and puts enough pressure on it to stop the rampant blood loss. He's going to need immediate surgery. It's been years since Doc has done this level of combat medicine, and he never was too great at meatball surgery. It's going to take several hours, and he's pinned down by gunfire in a train station.

"Veronica!" he calls into the air.

"What now?!" responds an irate female voice.

"We're pinned in the FastTrack! Steve's been shot. I need to get him to the Pear's medical bay IMMEDIATELY! Steve was going to hack the trains to get us out of here. Can you do it?!"

"Let me try." There's a brief delay as her android brain connects remotely to the ship's computer systems. "I can't get through the firewalls. I'm programmed to fly space ships, not disable network security systems. Why the hell did you let him get shot?!"

"Now is not the time!" Doc shouts as he pushes down on the soaked lab coat, trying to keep the blood at bay. His knee lands on something in Steve's coat pocket; a device the size and shape of a large pen or small vibrator. The word time echoes through his head as he frees a hand, works it into the pocket, and withdraws the Quantum-Temporal Interference Projector.


ERR said...

Initiative: Mark 13, Doc 19, TH 16, Steve 3, APC 9, Pirate Strike Force1 4, PSF2 7, crowd member 18
Doc takes cover (1/2); attacks APC w/ PION: 13(8+5) vs. 8, Hit. Dmg 8 - 8 hardness, HP 10
Crowd Member attacks PSF 2 w/ MACGAR Full auto: 7 vs. 10 miss
Mark takes cover (1/2); attacks APC w/ RGAR: 20(15+5) vs. 8. Dmg 14 - 8 hardness, HP 4
Thunderhorse runs 70' to Steve
APC attacks Steve, TH w/ Machine Gun 10(5+5) vs. 10 area. Steve Reflx 4 vs. 15, failed. 17 Dmg. Hp -5. TH Reflx 12 vs. 15, failed. 17 dmg, HP 9
Elt Pvt 3 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, Full auto, 12(8+4) vs 10 area, TH Reflx 17 v s. 15, miss
Elt Pvt 4 attack TH w/ MACGAR, Full auto, 8(4+4) vs. 10 area, miss
Elt Sgt 2 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, 12(7+5) vs 17, Miss
Elt. Pvt 1 attacks Doc w/ MACGAR, 15(11+4) vs. 19(15+4 cover), miss
Elt Pvt 2 attacks Mark w/ MACGAR, 12(8+4) vs. 21(17+4 cover), miss
Elt Sgt 2 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, Full auto 9(4+5) vs. 10 area, miss
Steve Fort Save 9 vs. DC20, failed. Dying. HP -6.

Initiative: Mark 17, Doc 11, TH 3(11), APC 3(17), PSF1 4, PSF2 10, Crowd member 12
Mark attacks APC w/ RGAR: 17 (12+5) vs. 8, Hit. Dmg 15 - 8 hardness, HP -3. Destroyed
Crowd Member attaks PSF2 w/ MACGAR full auto: 16 vs 10 area hit, Saves 15,18,20, all missed
Doc Attacks Elt Sgt 2 w/ PION: 11(6+5) vs. 19, Miss
Elt Pvt 3 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, Full auto: 16(12+4) vs 10 area, TH Reflx 7 hit dmg 8 HP1
Elt Pvt 4 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, 13(9+4) vs 17 miss
Elt Sgt 2 attacks Doc w/ MACGAR 17(12+5) vs. 19(15+4 cover) miss
Elt Pvt 1 attacks Crowd Member w/ MACGAR, 23(19+4) vs. 10, Hit 10 dmg; dying
Elt Pvt 2 attacks Mark w/ MACGAR 17 (13+4) vs 21(17+4), Miss
Elt Sgt 1 attacks Doc w/ MACGAR 13(8+5) vs. 19(15+4) miss.
APC disabled; Crew escapes
Thunderhorse Picks up Steve, Strength check 11(8+3) vs. DC 10, Success;Move 30', 40' remain
Steve Fort check 13 vs DC20, Failed. Dying. HP -7

Initiative: Mark 13, Doc 7, TH 17, PSF1 16, PSF2 19
Elt Pvt 3 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, Full Auto: 7(3+4) vs 10 area, miss
Elt Pvt 4 attacks TH w/ MACGAR, Full auto: 17(13+4) vs 10 area, TH Reflx 20, Miss
Elt Sgt 2 attacks TH w/ MACGAR: 18(13+5) vs. 19(17+2 running), Missed
TH RUNS to cover, Carrying Steve Str check 15(12+3) vs 10, Success
Elt Pvt 1 attacks Mark w/ MACGAR, 11 (7+4) vs. 21(17+4) miss
Elt Pvt 2 attacks Doc w/ MACGAR, 5(1+4) crit fail
Elt Stg 1 attacks Mark w/ MACGAR, 15(10+5) vs 21(17+4) missed
Mark attacks PSF1 w/ RGAR, Full auto: 23(18+5) vs. 10 area, Pvt 1 Reflx 22 vs 15 saved, Pvt 2 10 vs 15 failed 14 dmg Dead, Sgt 1 14 vs 15 failed 14 dmg, Massive Dmg, Fort save 8 vs 15, Dead.
Doc Treat Injury on Steve 20 vs DC15, Stabilized;
Steve: Unconscious

Summary: 3 rounds, 18 seconds passed
Mark: HP 6/16, Ammo: 12 used, 73 remain
Doc: HP 19/19, Ammo: 2 used, 73 remain, XP+15
TH: HP 1/26, XP+52
Steve: HP -7/12, Stabilized; Unconscious. XP+5
1 APC destroyed
1 Elite Pvt Killed
1 Elite Sgt Killed
1 Friendly Killed
Party XP+775
Mark Level up!
HP up 14/24
Attack up
Reflex up
Light Armor Proficiency

Veronica Hacking attempt: 17(7+10) vs. 30, failed

Doc said...

Thank God we are time travelers! Click the button and go back to our room where we saved it last. No one will have been shot and we can rethink the whole plan.

Son-of-a-Bitch, this went bad in a hurry. I had some small, vain hope that we might pull this off but it never occured to me that they would have tanks and mortars. No amount of pistols and pissed-off crowd is going to stop armor.

Go back to the room and think of something else. Perhaps Steve can invent a computer virus or we just grab our stuff and book and come back here later.

Riveting adventure!

ERR said...

Unfortunately, the magic wand doesn't work that way. Remember, the Q-TIP creates a wormhole in any concave space that links the creation of that space with its end. Entering the wormhole at any point in it's timeline takes you to a the point in it's timeline opposite of the zenith (the precise middle of its existence).

You've got a few wormhole options:
1. The teacup from your room.
It was manufactured on Earth before the Marriott was completed. Who knows how long it will survive, although you would be abandoning it in a train station currently being attacked by pirates. Also, Steve has a number of small explosive charges that can crack the cup on a timer.

2. The camping cup from the Python
It's origin is a mystery. It could have been made on Earth, Mars, or anywhere or anytime the Exkoreans might have come from. All you know is that at some point in it's history it was on the Python and now it is in Thunderhorse's backpack.

3. A small plastic ball in Steve's pocket.
It is hollow and seperates in half. No idea where this came from.

4. Start a new hole
You can use the Q-TIP on any surface as concave as a spoon, as long as it doesn't have holes. A sink works if you plug the drain or something. You can use it on anything you can imagine you might find in a futuristic train station on a hollow asteroid. The walls inside the train station are pocked and cratered, much as the origional surface of the asteroid, but have been polished and shined.

ERR said...

PS Steve once mentioned something about the unpredictability of the wormhole when it is created within a metal surface or in a liquid-filled vessel.