Earth from space Earthrise

Earthrise Campaign: Year 6

This page just covers the story so far in year 6 of the Earthrise campaign. For the story from the beginning, see:

War of the Parallel Worlds, continued

Session 80 (Played Jan. 10, 2013)

Declaration of Martial Law, Feb. 17, 2060:

Beginning 00:01 UMT Feb 18, 2060, the entirety of Mars and its orbits is under martial law until further notice. Brigadier General Julianne Smith or her deputy is in command. The following initial orders are instituted:

  1. All non-resident civilians remaining on Mars are to be evacuated. Any non-resident civilian remaining beyond the termination of evacuation procedures is to be held in custody until deportation is possible.
  2. Resident civilians may evacuate or remain on Mars at their choice.
  3. The area in the vicinity of Olympus Mons is now restricted. In particular, Parthenon Base is to be evacuated of civilian personnel until further notice.
  4. Communication with Earth is restricted to official purposes only and requires prior consent from General Smith or her designate.
  5. All surface and air transportation outside designated city zones requires an official logged travel request and prior approval from military authorities. Any unapproved vehicle may be considered hostile.

Quantum Warrior talks to a soldier in Hellas Station and gets kicked up the chain of command, eventually ending up in Parthenon Base talking with General Julianne Smith, in charge of the mission. After a thorough debriefing, Quantum Warrior is called into a planning meeting with General Smith. The plan is to send a small strike force, consisting of Quantum Warrior, Lou, Human Force, and another SWEAT agent with powered armor, in through the old human base and try to take and destroy the power supply in the portal chamber. Then the strike force must prevent the dinosaurs from restoring power to the base defenses until a full-scale human attack can capture them.

Catalyst and Rico spend a few more days as slaves. With the bomb still in Rico's head, he is reluctant to do anything overt against the dinosaurs. Catalyst investigates the portal chamber, hoping to cut off power creating an opening for soliders outside, but he finds that it is guarded even in the middle of the night.

After a couple of days' delay while the main assault is organized, the strike force flies to Olympus Mons and stealthily makes their way inside the caldera. The human base is still occupied by an entropy monster, but it is quickly defeated, and the strike force infiltrates the dinosaur base and attacks on schedule. They defeat the two tyrannosaurs guarding the portal chamber and set charges to blow up the power equipment. The power goes out, but the destruction is not complete. Catalyst hears the explosions. He wakes up Rico and goes to investigate.

Session 81 (Played Jan. 31, 2013)

Cutaway, May 26, 2060:

The Tyrannosaurus Imperator gives a long growl of awakening as his radio begins making noise. The roars of another tyrannosaur come from the device. "Great Terror, forgive me for the interruption. Do not tear open my belly and feast on my entrails." Formalities completed, the guard continues, "The humans are attacking! A group has snuck in and taken the power chamber, and swarms of them are approaching the outer entrance."

The Imperator stamps angrily. "Collect the new slaves' weapons and meet me in the slave quarters. I will punish these rodents for their presumption."

Catalyst arrives to help as the strike force defends the portal chamber against an attack by 3 tyrannosaurs and an ankylosaur. The ankylosaur's missiles worry the heros, but they manage to take it down with a series of accurate long-range attacks, and defeat the tyrannosaurs as well.

Meanwhile, the Tyrannosaurus Imperator arrives at the slave quarters. He orders Rico into his armor to fight the intruders, indicating that he will detonate the slaves' bombs if the dinosaurs are defeated. The other heros use some of the destroyed power generation equipment to barricade the north corridor entrance. A second assault on the portal chamber begins with tyrannosaurs bashing against the machinery from the north, with Rico and two more tyrannosauruses charging from the south corridor.

Session 82 (Played Feb. 13, 2013)

Operation Red Comet, Sitrep summary, 0800 local time, May 26, 2060:

  • Strike team reports taking portal chamber. Currently holding against counterattacks and requesting reinforcements.
  • Base defenses confirmed inoperational, but enemy fighters still active.
  • Heated air battle above Olympus Mons caldera. 3 planes destroyed, 2 more damaged and returning to base. Estimated 15 enemy pteranodons downed.
  • 3rd company 1st battalion, in caldera, has experienced light casualties from stray air attacks. Some squads pinned down. 2 squads have reported successfully reaching old base entrance.
  • 1st and 4th companies, 1st battalion, on W flank of outside slope, have suffered severe casualties from ankylosaur bombardment and have dug in.
  • 2nd company, 1st battalion, and 1st and 3rd company, 3rd battalion, center of outside slope, currently engaged with tyrannosaur ground troops. No report yet on casualties.
  • 2nd and 4th companies, 3rd battalion, on E flank of outside slope, have advanced under fire and estimate securing outer perimeter defenses within 15 minutes.

By concentrating their fire on a few of the charging tyrannosaurs, the heros take out a couple of the attackers before they reach the defenders, and severely hurt a few more. However, Rico, General Carnosaur, and some additional tyrannosaurs close and attack hand-to-hand. General Carnosaur gets in a powerful attack on Lou. Ignoring most of the attackers, the heros try to take out General Carnosaur, who tries unsuccessfully to flee. Finally, only Rico is left. Rico insists on fighting on, explaining the Tyrannosaurus Imperator's threat, but he cannot last long against all the other heros.

Reinforcements arrive through the old human base. They take over guarding the portal chamber, freeing the heros up to go after secondary objectives. The heros head south, the direction from which Rico came, and discover two iguanodons waiting there. One speaks English and explains that the Imperator is fleeing. The heros direct them to surrender to the soldiers in the portal chamber, indicating that they may be able to set up shielding to protect them from the remote bomb trigger.

The heros go after the Imperator, finding him halfway across the pteranodon cave accompanied by another iguanodon. Quantum Warrior teleports with Human Force, Catalyst, and Lou to stop the Imperator at the mouth of the cave. They destroy the remote and damage his spacesuit, then flee back to the machine room.

Session 83 (Played Feb. 26, 2013)

New York Times top headlines, Tuesday, June 1, 2060:

Metro: 5 dead in firebombing of outpatient clinic
Metro: Levee repair begins
Nation: Rodriguez fundraiser raises eyebrows
Nation: Hurricane Cordelia makes landfall near Charleston
World: Congo refugee crisis grows
Galaxy: Mars dust storm receding, NASA says

The heros head to slave chambers, intending to bring the human slaves to relative safety in the portal chamber. Most of the group guards the room while Quantum Warrior teleports with groups of slaves. She has taken two groups away when the Imperator assaults the room. Human Force's force walls stymie him for a bit, but the Imperator is able to mentally dominate Lou through the barrier, forcing Lou to attempt to kill all the humans in the room. Lou begins with the slaves, attempting to disintegrate them one by one.

The Imperator breaks through the force walls. Human Force, Catalyst, and the SWEAT agent in powered armor focus their attacks on him, ignoring Lou for the moment, but with a powerful slap of his tail, the Imperator stuns Human Force and the SWEAT agent. Meanwhile, Quantum Warrior has misteleported on her way back to the room, and ends up facing the iguanodon chief scientist, who is working to repair the Imperator's spacesuit. When interrupted, he shoots some sort of electrical weapon at her, but she dodges it.

The Imperator turns his attention to Catalyst, injuring him with a powerful bite. The heros counterattack, wearing away the Imperator. Quantum Warrior escapes the iguanodon and returns to the slave chambers. She teleports away another group of slaves, including the one nearly killed by Lou. Lou turns his attention briefly to the last remaining slave before he is able to break free of the mind control. The Imperator, badly injured, attempts to flee, but the heros are able to shoot him down and knock him out before he gets too far away.

The heros spend a few more days on Mars. Quantum Warrior, Catalyst, and the rescued scientists close the portal. Rico and the other slaves have their bombs removed by SWEAT surgeons. General Smith offers the heros a ride home on a military spaceship, but cautions them that everything about the dimensional nexus and the events on Mars is classified. The cover story is that a months-long planetary dust storm knocked out communications with Earth and necessitated the evacuation of civilians from the planet.

A few weeks later, the heros return to Earth. On the trip, they have a conversation with Wanderer about the nexus and his species. Quantum Warrior travels back in time to inform Tommy Scalia that they will be stuck in an alternate dimension and unavailable for 2 months. Tommy recruits some replacement heros to fill in. Quantum Warrior travels even further back in time and, masquerading as an aid worker, acquires a sample of the Kenyan Flu during the original outbreak, which she passes to Unfolding Horizon when he emerges from his cocoon.

Shock Treatment

Session 84 (Played March 12, 2013)

Excerpt from decision, Biocode v. NuGene, May 18, 2060:

In summary, the court finds that plaintiff's patent 12419832, "Regulation of the LSH Cycle" is valid. However, it does not apply to the NuGene product known as Magic Face, as the techniques used in Magic Face are covered by prior patents 11933004, 86307115, and 10789356. We therefore find for the defendent, and assuming defendent's representation that they have reached an agreement with the holders of said prior patents is correct, NuGene is free to bring their product to market, subject to normal regulatory approval.

Alyssa Hart summons the heros to help her with a case: 3 high-ranking employees of NuGene have died under suspicious circumstances in the last day. NuGene is a biotech company about to go public, having recently won a patent lawsuit allowing their new product, a cosmetics pill, to go forward. Two of the company's vice presidents were killed by an electric shock shortly after answering their phones, and a third died when his car veered off of a bridge.

The heros go to the NuGene headquarters, where police are questioning employees of the company. Ghost discovers some glitches in the computer system and the building's power supply, and a source of radio noise near the room where the company's CEO and two remaining VPs are waiting. Catalyst, with his entropic vision, is able to see some increased magnetic activity lingering near the power lines at the same location. At the end of the day, Quantum Warrior teleports the CEO, surviving VPs, and some of the company's top scientists to their homes. Police are detailed to protect them, and the heros split up to provide additional security. However, the other two VPs are attacked by some sort of energy creature coming out of the light fixtures. Ghost is present at the second attack, but is unable to stop the energy creature from killing its target.

Quantum Warrior contacts the Galactic Police and learns that the creature is in fact an alien, known as Thunderbolt. It is wanted on a number of planets, where it has committed murders for hire. The heros gather at the home of NuGene's CEO, Gloria Machego, who is hysterical when she hears of the new murders, and set up to protect her in case of another attack.

Session 85 (Played March 28, 2013)

Galactic Police incident report, July 18, 2057 (translated):

Apparent attempted murder: Quawlthoon multisinger Swak?koo-ver attacked at home during his daily meal by an energy creature. Two Grak bodyguards were present. One managed to interpose herself, suffering minor burns, but only briefly deterring the creature, which grabbed the victim and began shocking him. The other bodyguard attempted to trap the creature in a large soup pot, but it fled. The victim was somewhat burned, but responded to medical treatment.

The attacker has been tentatively identified as a paid assassin known as Thunderbolt. Possible motive is unpaid debts by Swak?koo-ver. Further investigation of assassin's employer to be handled by local police force.

The heros question Gloria's husband, looking for leads. They follow-up with the CEO of a rival company and a former employee of NuGene, hacking into their e-mail, but don't find any clear evidence.

The burglar alarm goes off in the Machego house, and the heros hear some sounds from the kitchen. Catalyst goes to investigate and finds the appliances on while the others retreat to the backyard. A car alarm goes off in front of the house. Catalyst locates Thunderbolt, but it attacks him, knocking him unconscious. Ghost and Quantum Warrior arrive for backup, but Thunderbolt doubles back to the backyard and attacks Gloria. Alyssa Hart attempts to defend her, but the CEO is badly burned.

Ghost and Quantum Warrior return to help while Catalyst recovers. The heros are able to keep Thunderbolt occupied until Catalyst returns. After some inconclusive fighting in the backyard and house, Thunderbolt attempts to retreat. Catalyst and Ghost pursue. It attempts to hide in a car, but Ghost sets the gas tank on fire. Thunderbolt counterattacks, knocking out Ghost, then enters another car. Catalyst blasts the car, but is unable to force Thunderbolt out. Thunderbolt flees down the street, and escapes. An ambulance arrives for Gloria.

Session 86 (Played April 9, 2013)

Flashback, Tuesday, September 12, 2045 (Earth Calendar):

The lighting in the lab flickered. Gereth Hek looked up uneasily. He fluttered his top eyes, communicating with his mate: "I'll check on Experiment 8."

She fluttered in response, "Yes, the Revered will be angered if it escapes in a blackout."

Gereth made his way through the tunnels into the holding chamber. He released the hatch on the metal door, disconnecting it from the secondary magnetic containment fields surrounding the room. He opened the door, but only had a moment to notice that one of the primary containment pillars had toppled, undermined from the inside by a small pit in the stone floor. Then there was a flash of light. Gereth Hek involuntarily wailed in pain from the powerful electric shock striking him in his hub. It must have taken months of effort to make that pit, he thought, and then passed out.

Gloria Machego arrives at the hospital and is treated. The heros set up a guard rotation while she remains under observation. In the early morning, while Ghost and Catalyst are on guard, they notice some signs of Thunderbolt's presence, followed by a crashing sound getting closer. They wake Quantum Warrior, who teleports Gloria and Ghost outside the hospital to a fire hydrant, where they have prepared a fire hose to fight Thunderbolt.

The crashing sound turns out to be a truck barrelling through the hospital. Catalyst stops it and destroys the truck, but he is prepared for a physical attack, so when Thunderbolt leaves the truck and attacks him, Catalyst is badly hurt. Meanwhile, Quantum Warrior remains with Gloria while Ghost re-enters the hospital, following the path of the truck. Alyssa, having been slower to wake, arrives and stops Catalyst's bleeding, but there is no sign of Thunderbolt at the truck, so they head back outside.

Quantum Warrior turns on the hose in preparation for Thunderbolt's arrival. Thunderbolt jumps into a car some distance from Quantum Warrior, but she douses the car with the hose, while Ghost shoots the car from a distance. Thunderbolt leaves the car and is immediately hit by a bullet from Ghost. As Thunderbolt lies on the ground, beginning to dissipate, Ghost shoots it again, destroying it. With Thunderbolt gone, the police take over the remainder of the investigation.

Defensive Game

Session 87 (Played April 23, 2013)

Report for USAF Contract #115-436-09H, prepared by Liandri Corporation:

The Y-BGM-343 Sabertooth missile system has now passed all performance benchmarks:

  • Visual targeting demonstrated in daytime, nighttime, and shadowed lighting conditions, and under light mist or rain conditions.
  • Radar targeting demonstrated against up to rating 3 stealth coating.
  • Anti-missile counters 90% effective against standard test array.
  • Penetration vs. hardened armors demonstrated, achieving an 80% kill rate against tested heavy tanks.

Ghost faces a police review board for the killing of Thunderbolt, and they clear her of wrongdoing. Unfolding Horizon contacts the heros with his progress. He is able to perform a genetic transform on a Warchild to remove the genetic markers identified by Liandri, and he gives the heros a test for the presence of a modified version of the Kenyan Plague. He cautions them to be very careful with the design information for the test, so they decide to hide it in the base for a short time, with the assumption that Quantum Warrior will retrieve it from the future when they need it.

Rico escapes. The other heros find that the base's security camera footage has been looped. Quantum Warrior goes back in time to set up extra cameras to see what happened to Rico, and discovers he snuck out with the help of a hacker from outside, then drove off on his motorcycle. Quantum Warrior attempts to plant a tracker on his motorcycle before he leaves, but it shuts off when he gets a few miles from the base. Meanwhile, Ghost reviews the computer system at the base, trying to determine the extent to which it is compromised and to close the security holes.

The next day, Alyssa tries to arrest the heros. She accuses them of breaking into Liandri computer systems and stealing some data, and suspects them of helping Rico escape as well. After some negotiation, the heros agree to turn themselves in and submit to a limited interrogation. They deny stealing the data, and are charged and let out on bail. Ghost returns to her audit of the base computer systems.

Session 88 (Played May 7, 2013)

New York State Police confiscated item #155837:

Case File: #83551RD, Rico Dredd
Description: One space vehicle, size 12'3" diameter at base, 26'7" tall. Plasma exhaust engines, design appears to be based on a heavily modified 2029 schematic for small shuttle craft, seats for 4 passengers, automated controls.

Ghost and Quantum Warrior continue in their efforts to secure the base's computers. This is interrupted by a call from Alyssa Hart, who asks for Quantum Warrior's help. There is an altercation going on at the warehouse in upstate New York where Rico's spaceship is stored, and Quantum Warrior is the only one who can get there in time to intervene.

The heros and Alyssa teleport to the roof of the warehouse, and Catalyst's entropic vision reveals that a fight is going on inside between the warehouse's guards and most of the Defenders of Humanity, who are accompanying Rico. The heros enter the warehouse and join the fight. Rico heads for his spaceship while Mindstorm and Smokescreen begin fighting the heros. Mindstorm is hurt, but not knocked out, and Smokescreen throws a smoke bomb covering part of the battlefield with a thick cloud of smoke, obscuring vision.

Blue Lightning, Robo-Shocker, and Whiplash take out the rest of the guards and join the fight against the heros. Robo-Shocker shoots a rocket-propelled grenade, badly hurting both Ghost and Whiplash. Alyssa is knocked out by Blue Lightning, Catalyst is critically injured by Smokescreen, and the tide of battle starts to turn against the heros. However, as the engines of Rico's spaceship begin powering up, the Defenders retreat outside the warehouse, where they are picked up by a plane. Ghost gets a parting shot in against the plane, damaging it but not downing it, as the others teleport back to the base.

After a session in the base's medical room, Catalyst receives a communication from Rico. Rico explains that he went undercover with the Defenders in order to learn their plans. He says that they have a major attack, "Wildfire", which they want to execute tonight at someplace called "Olympic". The heros inform Alyssa, and they realize the likely target is the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Toronto, starting in only a few hours.

Session 89 (Played May 21, 2013)

Excerpt from report, Pasteur to Galileo, June 11, 2060:

Mass production of the wildfire virus is proving more difficult than expected. Isolating it from our 10 test subjects has not been possible so far, and the virus will not grow in non-human hosts. That leaves direct synthesis. We have quadrupled production and are running the machines around the clock. We expect to be on track to produce the 4000 cc of aerosolized virus planned for the initial release, but will need more time to rebuild our stocks for any secondary release.

Ghost gets repaired, and Catalyst heals in the base's medical room. Ghost and Catalyst search the stadium before the Olympic opening ceremonies. They do not find any devices, but an investigation of the ventilation system's computer suggests it has been previously hacked into. Meanwhile, Quantum Warrior retrieves information about the planned schedule of events for the opening ceremonies. As the ceremonies start, Ghost shuts down the ventilation system and erases the control software to prevent it from being restarted. Catalyst and Ghost take up positions monitoring the event looking for signs of trouble.

A bit over an hour into the event, they hear a brief transmission, quickly cut off, over the police radio indicating trouble in one of the machine rooms. Catalyst locates the source of the problem as the main room for the ventilation system, where Whiplash, Smokescreen, and Blue Lightning have knocked out two policemen and a maintenance worker and are currently hooking two canisters into the system. The heros surround them and attack, managing to knock out Blue Lightning in the initial assault. However, then Smokescreen fills the hall outside the room with smoke, interfering with Ghost's attack. Whiplash fights off Catalyst and Quantum Warrior while Ghost suffers from Smokescreen's choking smoke. With both sides badly hurt, Whiplash and Smokescreen decide to retreat, taking Blue Lightning with them. In the process, they indicate that there is another component to the planned attack.

Session 90 (Played July 16, 2013)

Cutaway, July 23, 2060:

Sergeant Jonathan Howland massaged his temples. Being in charge of security at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics should have been a huge career opportunity. Now he was wondering how long he'd still have a job.

The corporal continued to explain the situation. "They seem to have been down in the central ventilation room. Perhaps they were there to stop the repair crew."

Sergeant Howland shook his head. "That doesn't make sense. This is way too much effort just to make the stadium a bit uncomfortable." He sighed. "Get a new maintenance crew down there with a good security team and figure out what they were doing in there. And we'll need to sweep the whole stadium again, and make sure there are no more intruders hiding away. How in the world did they get down there without anyone seeing them?"

With little time left to find the rest of the Defenders of Humanity, Ghost and Quantum Warrior hack into the stadium's security cameras. They discover, however, that Technophobe has subverted the security cameras and is filtering out any image of intruders. They manage to briefly defeat the filters and learn that Robo-Shocker, Kite, and Mindstorm, along with an oblivious technician, are in the fireworks control room, which has part of its ceiling open to the field.

The heros confront the Defenders as the fireworks show begins. Ghost is badly hurt by one of Mindstorm's illusions. Catalyst and Robo-Shocker trade attacks, with Catalyst getting the better of the exchange, knocking out Robo-Shocker. Quantum Warrior slows Mindstorm and Kite some, but both are still able to fight. Ghost recovers enough to grab Kite in a choke hold, which eventually knocks her out. Mindstorm catches Catalyst in a powerful mental illusion, making him think Quantum Warrior is actually Mindstorm, but seeing that Robo-Shocker and Kite are both out, Mindstorm opts to retreat. Quantum Warrior is able to fend off Catalyst long enough to retreat. Catalyst grabs the technician, who was knocked out by some of the area effect attacks used, while Ghost also retreats to a safe distance and starts shooting fireworks. One of them sets off a chain reaction, burning up the virus the Defenders had planted in some of the fireworks.

The heros strip Kite and Robo-Shocker of their armor and bring the two villains back to the base. There, Alyssa learns that they left the country and brings Catalyst and Ghost into custody again, Quantum Warrior fleeing and contacting a lawyer. However, there is enough evidence left at the stadium in Toronto to show that the heros did avert a major attack, so the FBI declines to press charges against the heros. In addition, they re-open the case file against the Defenders, and using some information gathered by Jack in his spare time, are able to raid the base where the Defenders cooked up the virus. In the process, they capture the Defenders' small remaining stockpile of virus and the equipment needed to make it.