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Aliens Adventure Game: Forced Entry 1 (Part 0 - Intro): 2010-07-30

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I finally was able to run a second game of Aliens and finish up where we left off in July 2010. As it was so long ago, I'm first publishing the last game for easy reference. The new entry should be up within the week.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

(After playing the Aliens Adventure Game scenario “Forced Entry” by Roman J. Andron from Challenge Magazine #62 with Steve Turner and Erik Huffine Friday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.)

On October 14, 2179, a small squad of U.S. Colonial Marines had been summoned to the offices of General Arthur Simms at the marine base on the planet Aerodyne in the Borodino Sector. Aerodyne was originally called Chalmer 3 but renamed when Aerodyne Corporation established its headquarters there. It had been terraformed and was a cold planet with a thin but breathable atmosphere and vast open steppes swept by constant winds. There was little water on the world but the population of over 23 million was self-sufficient and led a fairly comfortable life.

The Borodino Sector had not been developed by any one corporation, unlike the other sectors. It had been begun by a Corporation called Borodino which went bankrupt generations before. Since that time, dozens of corporations had tried their luck in the area and many fortunes had been made exploring the sector.

Corporal Harold “Hal” MkVenner was a very handsome, solid man of 24 who had been in the Colonial Marines for about five years. He had mostly served on off-world garrisons though he had, for 12 months, been part of a tactical team stationed on earth a year before. He had received a commendation and been promoted during his last tour of duty

Private Andrew Simmons was neither as handsome nor as solid as MkVenner, but rumor had it that he had received an exceptional education prior to entering the corps. The private had a checkered past, being court-martialed after his first tour of duty with the Marines but, for some reason, not being drummed out of the service or receiving a dishonorable discharge. He had followed that first year with tours on a corporate raid strike team, corporate extradition strike team, had done some off-world security, and even been part of a hot patrol. He had earned a service ribbon during his second year of service and been part of a group award his third year.

In charge of the squad was Lieutenant Oliver Smith, a motivated young man of 20 who had only been in the service for two years, leading corporate investigation strike teams his first year and serving in the military police on Earth during his second year. He was a combat officer and, though it was against protocol, suited up and went into combat with his men rather than stay in the safety of an APC or bunker. He also had the annoying habit of calling MkVenner “McVeety.”

Corporal Leo Brobski was a good-looking and perceptive young man of 20. He had served two years in the Marines, receiving a service ribbon and a promotion after his first year on a strike patrol hot team. He’d been assigned to off-world garrison duty for the last year. Brobski was proudly Jewish and enjoyed chess.

Wilson Kemps was a black man with the agility of a tightrope walker. He was from the colony world of Argos in the Micor Sector and had been in the corps for five years, mostly serving with strike teams, either on patrols, hot patrols, or dealing with a colonial revolt on Lobo. He was 25 years old and an excellent card player.

Private Michael Anderson was a Marine Auxiliary who specialized in starship repair. He had served six years in the service, working with the military police on Earth the first year but spending the next four years on various off-world garrisons. He had spent the first year of his second tour in the marines on a strike team hot patrol and earned a service ribbon by the end of that year.

Finally, Private Mark Henson was a young man straight out of basic training. He was nervous but quite willing to learn whatever he could from the more experienced Marines.

The entire squad had been together since September, training in the frozen wastes of Aerodyne and waiting for an assignment.

General Simms told them they were needed for a covert mission and he wanted volunteers. Lt. Smith told him that his men were ready for a mission.

“We are trying to get some dirt on a Hyperdyne executive named Winston Coombs,” Simms said. “We have some information that he’s involved in some illegal activities.”

He pressed a button on his desk and a video monitor clicked on, showing a picture of a good-looking man in a corporate suit. The photo was obviously taken candidly; Coombs looked like he was reaching down to open a transport door.

“Coombs is hiring mercenaries for a mission,” General Simms went on. “He’s paying the standard mercenary fees. Your cover is a typical mercenary squad. Go in, get any dirt on him you can. This is not to be confrontational unless it is in self-defense. He is a very important executive at Hyperdyne but is also involved in some highly illegal and probably dangerous things.”

He talked primarily to the lieutenant, telling him they’d be put up at one of the local hotels and given a small stipend to cover expenses there. He also gave a packet to the lieutenant.

“Mc … MkVenner,” Lt. Smith said after they left the office. “Simmons. I want you to check up on this.”

He gave MkVenner a piece of paper with the address of a safe house that doubled as a mercenary bar in the bad part of town.

“Side arms only,” he told them. “Find out what they need and bring word back.”

The safe house and bar had a gaudy neon sign over the door that read “Smashed Face.” The neon formed a picture of a man with his tongue hanging out getting his face smashed with a beer mug. Small circles around the head made it look like the face was already drunk. Most of the patrons of the place were scruffy and scared. They paid no attention to the two men, preferring to watch the video feeds mounted on the ceiling showing sports programming. Everyone in the bar was armed, usually with pistols but sometimes with knives or clubs. The men were rough and showed signs of old injuries and scars on their faces and heads. One man had a chunk of hair apparently ripped out of his head.

Both men bellied up to the bar. MkVenner got a beer and Simmons ordered scotch. The latter seemed to surprise the bartender but, after looking under the bar for a few moments, he pulled out a dusty bottle and poured the man a drink, neat. Simmons opted to purchase the bottle and was surprised when he found it cost 20 credits. He was more pleasantly surprised to find that the scotch was actually very good and the date on the bottle dated it at over 30 years old.

After about 15 minutes, MkVenner got another beer and asked the bartender who he could talk to about finding work. The man looked at his carefully.

“You got any specific work you’re looking for?” he asked.

“Yeah,” MkVenner replied. “Me and my buddy are out for hire.”

“Okay,” the bartender replied. “You looking for anyone in particular?”

“We heard from another friend of ours that there’s some big shot executive has some space rock that he’s sending out teams to.”

“You got a name?”

“What was his name?” MkVenner turned to Simmons. “You remember? Toombs? Coombs? Is that right?”

The bartender pointed towards a slatted canvas curtain over a doorway into the back of the place.

“Coombs?” he said. “He’s in the back.”

“Oh yeah?” MkVenner said.


“All right. You got any tips? Give me an edge?”

“He’s a corporate exec. Just kiss his ass, you’ll be fine. That’s what they like.”

MkVenner dropped a couple more credits on the bar and picked up his beer.

“I wouldn’t take my drink,” the bartender said to him. “I’ll keep an eye on it for you.”

MkVenner looked at him and then drank down the contents of the mug. The bartender shrugged and took the glass, dropping it in a sink behind the bar. He reached over and took Simmons’ bottle of scotch.

“It’ll be safe right here buddy,” he said. “I’ll recognize your face.”

They went to the back of the bar and found a man standing on either side of the slatted canvas curtain.

“He in there?” MkVenner asked one of them.

“Who?” the man replied.

“Whoever we’re supposed to talk to, to deal with this Coombs guy.”

The man just pointed at the curtain with one thumb and the two marines went through. They found a small, dirty office with a fan slowly revolving overhead. They recognized the man behind the desk as Coombs. He asked them if they were for work and when MkVenner said they were, for their credentials. After looking over them and typing something into a small computer, he asked if was just the two of them.

“Five more,” MkVenner said.

“Any officers?” Coombs asked.

“Ex-officer,” MkVenner said.

“Whatever. I can offer you employment with standard contract rates.”

The pay rate for each of them was more than 10 times what they made in the Colonial Marines. Coombs said he needed information on the rest of the men and if they were up to spec, they’d leave in the morning. He handed back MkVenner and Simmons’ paperwork and two pieces of paper came out of the side of the computer: mercenary contracts for each of the men. It was a standard mercenary boilerplate noting that the mercenaries would provide their own equipment and any damages they did to Hyperdyne equipment would be deducted from their pay. MkVenner tossed it over his shoulder.

“What’s the op man?” he said. “This is all irrelevant until you tell us what we’re doing.”

“I need …” Coombs started to say. He looked around. “I can tell you at the port facility. I don’t want to speak here.”

“Where else can we talk then?” MkVenner asked. “Because my team and I don’t go in blind.”

“That’s fine. But we can meet at the port facility, I can give you the mission stats, and you can decide then and there if you’ll sign that piece of paper.”

“Fair enough.”

He gave them the address of the port facility and told them to meet him there at 6 a.m. They left, Simmons getting his bottle on the way out, and returned to the hotel to tell the lieutenant and the rest of the men.

* * *

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