Vohon' Vorota

Session 1 - Jiāojiè
Into the frying pan...

Over the preceeding 2 weeks of evacuation of Jiāojiè:

  • Jana is among the first to assist in settling the planet.
  • Over the next few days, Tylers and private contractors are brought in to help secure the site – including Poole and T3.
  • Work begins on excavating the second gate on the planet – under a nearby mountain range.
  • Work on the colony is complete. Shuttles are launched to begin construction on the space platform around the Supergate in orbit.

From the begining of the first session:

  • Crowbar, James and Liu arrive on Jiāojiè.
  • Jana gives James a tour of the complex and surrounding area. Crowbar escorts the two, Liu goes to make a delivery to the scientists at the labs.
  • Poole and T3 meet the Ploughs on patrol. The two go back to the bar at the Barracks, and Poole “seduces” a Tyler caled Julie.
  • James, Jana and Crow arrive at the Bar shortly after the patrol shift change. Poole drags himself back to the bar, and the two mercs meet the rest of the group.
  • The Ploughs also meet the group and war stories are exchanged
  • A general low-level security alert is anounced at the dig site when the Gate is discovered. This is soon upgraded, and the group sets off to investigate.
  • The level is raised when a what appears to be a mapping missile is launched from the site, and gunfire is reported.
  • The group’s truck narrowly avoids a 12 ton truck landing on their flatbed that had been launched from the excavation site. They soon arrive to discover the perimeter set up, and bodies are reported in the quarry, and a survivor is seen being dragged into the mine shaft by a metalic tentacle.
  • Liu and Jana go to look closer, and Poole sets scout nanos out. A group of long-jump Synths and flexbots emerge from the tunnel followed by a number of unknown morphs. The longjumps head off toward the Habs.
  • The rest of the group at the blockade shoot down one of the jumpers, and all but Liu follow the rest back to the habs.
  • A second group of Longjumps launch toward the habs and gate, and Jana blows up the flexbots outside the tunnel entrance. The group head off to hunt down the jumpers, and Liu stays to keep an eye on the tunnel.
  • During the hunt and destruction of the two scout groups, the emergency alert raises from high alert to evacuation. The last view of the quarry and tunnel before the Tylers and Contractors escape is a tidal wave of Synths pouring out of the catacombs.
  • The group oversee the evacuation of the planet at the Gate, and Crow discovers a set of his power armor had arrived on the planet days in advance, and was waiting at the habs – now overrun by the attacking army. He witnesses the suit itself walking out of the complex and hails the new owner. It is Janus. The Ex-human taunts the group, and launches a salvo of missiles at the gate, forcing them to finally flee.
  • On Rén, the survivors are held in quarantine and undergo inspection. Kendra, who is waiting for Liu to arrive along with his sister Kathryn, are appauled that he was left behind and angrily order Crowbar to return to the planet – Something he is very happy to do.
  • Crow learns tht they can return through the orbital gate and the group get ready to return. Words are exchanged with Administrator Harden, and he finally agrees to allow the mission to go ahead – giving them a number of Tyler squads as backup, and a number of Collapsar mines. A synth called Cassius is waiting to arm the group, and from him James discovers news about his grandfather, learning he has been living under the name Turing since the fall.
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Apex
Crowbar thinks.

In this moment of time, I am at the apex of the world, looking down from the Gate installation onto the surface of the world we’ve lost.

Even from this height, through my optics, I can make out formations. Machines. Things building, things moving, things doing. The enemy.

A soft tremor runs through the morphic cable musculature of my powered armour. Anticipation. Amon wants to be down there; Amon wants to fight. The intent with which the suit is donned is carried through in the cerebral control mechanism. Not content with haptic response, the brain itself is a mechanism for control; subconsciously at times, very conscious at others.

I flex my own muscles. The flight surfaces all over the suit ripple and shift, the wings sighing softly as they disengage their locks. Atmospheric conditions are fed through to my optics, and I plot the route down to the selected drop zone, seeking clear weather for a clean fall.

Liu is down there somewhere. Liu and the Plough.

And worse. What Harden’s barked orders and casual shrugs can’t ignore, what the sneering tone of the detractors slide around, the elephant in the room. It is down there. The legendary foe, the exhuman. Janus. Some whisper his name with terror, others spit it like a curse.

For a heartbeat, I am afraid. I have seen what Janus is capable of. Terrible things, massive acts of destruction. The horror instilled by tiny acts; the little things he leaves behind because he knows that human beings, and human psyches, will be disturbed and upset by them. I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve found one myself.

I swallow, and clench my fists.

I am not afraid any more. I have seen Janus. Janus stands on the ground as anyone else does. However potent the destruction he has wrought, however complete his pyschosis, however deranged his whims, he stands – and he obeys the same laws as everyone else does. Not the laws of the Tylers or the Conglomerate, or even the laws of logic.

The laws of physics.

A physical object can be unmade. A string of data can be deleted.

Janus is not a ghost, he is not a phantom, he is not the very spirit of vengeance. Janus is a thing, a physical object, a string of data. Not only Janus, but the vast army below – metal, plastic, ceramic, electronic pulses of information. Physical objects and strings of data.

I may not win. But at least, at the very least – I can fight. Maybe that is enough.

I look down and contemplate the laws of physics: specifically, gravity.

I take a breath.

I check my left and right shoulder plates, my wings flexing in time. I slap my chest plate to register the shock absorbers, then my helm to ensure it is fast. I punch one fist into the other, all the flight surfaces of the Amon armour flexing at once; then I throw my arms out to the side and fall forwards, and down.

Jiāojiè rushes up to meet me like a lover I haven’t seen in a decade.

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