You! Are an enterprising young person who has just had some WONDERFUL NEWS!
But before we deal with that! There are some THINGS we need to know about you!
What's your name?
Chapter 1- Leaving Home
In chapter 1, we learned about Cog, and Gear. They lived in Silverhame, a small mining town which digs for rare earths, and they harvested the old battlefield for parts. Finally they got together a pair of fully functional fusion plants and thereby gained their own mecha. These mechas were swiftly put to the test when Silverhame was shelled by bandits.
Piloting the mecha with relative aplomb, Gear and Cog were paid well for their time, but refused a job before leaving Silverhame to get the totally sweet ride Gear won in a contest.
Chapter 2- Of Hunters And Genics
Chapter 2 opened with hot hailstorm on mecha action. Getting the mecha in from the horrible storm surrounding Ephraim City at the time, Cog and Gear decide to take shelter in a movie theatre.
It's here they meet Dr. Elise Mordoba, or "Mordy". Mordy offers them a job, involving eliminating a nascent hunter-genic colony. Eliminating the front-guard, they head into the depths, where they discover the colony has taken residence in the ancient bioweapon, Jotun.
Gear destroys the hunter-queen with a well-placed sniper shot, earning her the title Avenging Angel.
Mordy confronts the mayor of Ephraim City with his malfesance, but the police are on his side, so they are forced to make a hasty retreat rather than stay and destroy the entire police force (A dishonorable act).
2.5- Interlude- The Champ
We had a brief interlude in which the Arena Champion, Michael, the one responsible for saving the Federated Territories in the Abhorrence of Life Incident, going into a cabin and dealing with a corrupt marshal and a human trafficking ring.
Chapter 3- Dead Man's Hoard
In Chapter 3, Gear, Cog, and Mordy happen upon a cabin where they will be staying for the night. Gear scents juniper incense and instantly assumes her father was there, and goes looking for a shrine, where she lights incense.
There she has MONSTER
CHILD OF MONSTERS
BLOOD UPON THY HANDS- Ahem! What was I saying? Oh, yeah. She enters a trance and comes to half an hour later, seriously creeped out, to the point where she insists on sleeping outside.
The lance did not fully figure out the mystery of the cabin, though they are fairly certain some shady, shady shit went down there, nor do they find any sort of treasure to take with them. They might want to visit it later.
Chapter 4- An Obligatory Hot Springs Episode
The group enters San Peligro perfectly aware that there is a trap waiting for them.
Gear decides to go on her own to the Fire Temple, which she is somewhat aware is here.
In the meantime, Gear starts putting the moves on Cog. Cog eventually sees through such shenanigans (Much as he doesn't want to) and correctly identifies the false Gear as a robot. They quickly convince the false Gear, who they name 'Axel' for convenience's sake, to help them find the real Gear.
In the meantime, Gear attains the Enlightenment of Fire and gets jumped by Sprocket, who knew her father. She eventually manages to slay Sprocket, but rather than leaving a corpse, he instead dissolves into orange Tang.
Sprocket left other surprises, including a Marlowe-Dryden Security Net in the already geologically unstable Hot Spring Caves.
They eventually defeat the Dryden and refit Axl. Mordy and Gear decide to mess with Axl's core personality and hope that that changes her Motivation, which can only end well and certainly won't have any side effects.
And then Aegis Overlord Luna decides to orbital drop on San Peligro, because they're looking for a fugitive...
JACQUELINE "JACK" "GEAR" TEX: Jack has a mysterious father who seems very well connected- or quite rich. She used to be a mechanic before she became a Cavalier. She specializes in personal combat and sniping.
Currently: Insensate Honor: 88 Avenging Angel Lawfulness: 30 Lawless Ruffiene Reknown: 33 Gear, the avenging angel
BODY 11 RFLX 17 KNOW 16 CRFT 17
CHAR 24 SPD 16 PERC 16 EGO 12
Tech Vulture - Increases chances of getting usable parts from things you blow up.
Sharpshooter - One shot is all you need. Increases DC of one-shot ranged weapons by 5.
Even The Girls Want Her- Flirtation works on both genders, adding half its skill bonus to your Conversation.
BILLY "COG" CZERNOBOG: Cog is Jack's childhood friend. They've been there, done that, had gotten the proverbial t-shirts though. Cog specializes in personal combat and things that pur out a high volume of fire. He seems to have a Morale problem. Before he became a Cavalier, he was a handyman.
Currently: Working. Honor: 88 Hero Lawfulness: 33 Thug Reknown: 33 Cog, Personal Combat Ace
Body 11 Rflx 16 KNOW 16 Crft 14
Char 11 Spd 16 Perc 14 Ego 8
Tech Vulture- When Things Die, You have a higher chance of scavenging things from them.
Luck Of The Devil- When Morale is low, Critical Hit Chance increases. When Morale is high, Critical Hit Damage increases.
[REDACTED]- As yet unrevealed Talent. WHAT COULD IT BE :Itisamystery:
Martial Arts +5
Armed Combat +4
Small Arms +4
General Repair +4
Mecha Piloting +2
Mecha Gunnery +2
Mecha Artillery +3
Spot Weakness +2
Drum-Fed Shotgun: Damage 12, Shots 28/34, Acc +2, Range 50, BV 5.
[No melee weapon]
Reflex Helmet 16/20 AP
Reflex Armor 14/20 AP
[SHELL DRUM x1]
[MINIGRENADE DRUM x1]
[MECHA REPAIR KIT]
DR. ELISE "MORDY" MORDOBA: Dr. Mordoba joined the lance in Ephraim City. She has been Trained by a Master in both mecha and personal combat and has a penchant for biotechnology and... odd taste in food. Before she joined the lance, she was a biotechnologist.
Currently: Mentally Exhausted. Honor: 70 Ethical Lawfulness: 40 Vandal Reknown: 30 Dr. Mordoba, Ethical Scientist.
Body 14(+5) Rflx 16(+3) KNOW 18 Crft 18
Char 11 Spd 16(+3) Perc 14(+3) Ego 10
Trained By A Master- Increases damage when using 'barehanded' weapons (Fists, Feet, brass knuckles, etc.) May have other effects!
Tech Vulture - Increases chances of getting usable parts from things you blow up.
Biotechnologist- You Know Genetic Engineering. Bonus to dealing with biotechnology and generating status effects on living targets.
FAX-04 REASONABLE ROBOTIC FACSIMILE "AXL": Axl just joined the lance after disguising herself as Gear. She still looks like gear, but seems to know what she's doing.
Currently: Rebooting Honor: 50 Middle of the Road Lawfulness: 0 Maverick Reknown: 0 Maverick
BODY 20 RFLX 23 KNOW 16 CRFT 16
CHAR 10 SPD 23 PERC 28 EGO 23
Robot Traits- Axl is a robot~! She can do all the roboty things! ALL OF THEM.
Sharpshooter- One shot is all you need. When attacking with a single shot ranged weapon, increase DC by 5.
Infiltrator- When subtlety is necessary, you've got the skills to supply. Bonus when acting in a stealthy manner.
The ancient and proud name bestowed upon me by my loving parents is Roberto Domingo Sanchez Don Juan Ranchero, but you can call me Jesus for short (pronounced hay-SOOS).
You're pretty sure Ranchero isn't a proper noun. And where's the secondary name? And why not- ARGH why are you talking about the proper construction of Spanish names in an MSPA DIE IN A FIRE
Originally Posted by Telamon
Now that's just hurtful. Just because you put on some weight once in the seventh grade... *sniff. Sniff.*
Originally Posted by FirecatFG
Jack "Gear" Tex
Oh. Right. Now I remember. They call you Jack. Which you're kind of peeved at, since you're a girl. But you suppose they can get away with it, seeing as you're Jaqueline and all. But everyone calls you Jack.
Actually, everyone calls you Gear, because you go out to the OLD BATTLEFIELD and scrounge 'Mech parts with- What was his name, again?
... Either you need to be less meta, or need to have less of a scat fetish.
Originally Posted by sporb
Freedy Johnson IV
Freedy? Did someone make a typo? And who would be 'the fourth' in this Podunk town? That's like trying to find a 2300-year-old tree in the middle of a wasteland.
Originally Posted by Raitzeno
Oh, he WISHES he could live up to that name.
Originally Posted by Raitzeno
Billy "Cog" Czernobog
Ah, that was it! Billy had always had "Cog" as his nickname, ever since you, apparently in the time when you were very young and don't remember, mispronounced his last name. You deny it every time the story comes up. And it comes up an awful lot. Like every time a MECHA PILOT or TRUCKER rolls into town and asks about it.
And yes, you are both perfectly aware of the irony of being called Gear and Cog.
Speaking of, you should probably tell him this excellent news! But FIRST!
You are inside your room, on the top floor of your family's TWO-STORY JUNK SHOP. All around your room are MECHA POSTERS. There is a DESK, with a COMPUTER on it. Various SALVAGING EQUIPMENT litters the area. An PRE-WAR MILITARY BACKPACK sits in a corner, and will serve as your inventory. To the north is the UPSTAIRS HALL. To the east is YOUR BATHROOM.
You can't afford cyber-ware! And even if you could, you certainly wouldn't detach it and store it in your desk! Besides, you'd probably spend it on better augmentations than just the arms, unless you've lost one or something.
Originally Posted by FirecatFG
>Jack: Wear backpack
>Backpack: Serve as Jack inventory
The backpack's weight feels familiar to you, as you heft it and look inside. Huh, looks like you didn't unpack when you came in from your run yesterday. You check the contents.
[3x EMERGENCY RATIONS]
[1x PDA with ADDED PROGRAMS]
[1x WATER FILTER]
[1x CHELATION TABLETS]
[2x ANTI--MECHA GRENADES]
[1x CHANGE OF CLOTHING]
[2x CLEAN UNDERTHINGS]
[1x TEN ESSENTIALS]
[1x SNIPER CLIP]
[1x SURVIVAL KNIFE]
Deciding you should probably get on with it, you quickly grab some items from the kitchen. A couple sausage links- those fully cooked ones that you can eat cold- a couple slices of cheese, some fresh fruit.
You start eating them on the way down the [ELEVATOR] to the [UNDERGROUND HANGAR], which is where your family keeps the mecha on sale as well as all the salvage jobs and repair work. Unsurprisingly, there's really only one mecha that's really fully operational and "On Sale". You've checked it on Infolink, you're offering it at half list price. Of course, only really big corporations and maybe the Solar Navy could afford an OGRE... And they generally have better artillery platforms. So it sits gathering dust, in pieces.
As you finally hit the bottom of the hangar, Cog is there to greet you. "Little late getting up this morning, Jack?"
"Never mind that," you say, taking a bite out of the sausage. "Take a look at this."
You show him the [MESSAGE FROM BLACKWELL HEAVY INDUSTRIAL].
He whistles. "A Shiva, huh? Well, I don't want to bother with Blackwell, I'd rather take a Greensec Corporation 'Mech."
Ah, yes. The Greenzone Security Initiantive. They do a lot of good work based on the old Pre-War designs. Some of the stuff is actually surprisingly up-to-date, even now. "Let me guess, Cog- you decided most of the other 'mechs weren't worth it."
Cog nodded. "Yeah. I've narrowed the choices down to these five." He hands you his PDA. "You pick one, and I'll pick one."
The first one is the [YORKE]. Primary armament appears to be some kind of LASER CANNON, though it has a FIELD ARTILLERY PIECE and a backup ANTI-MISSILE VULCAN CANNON. Very well-rounded. Even you admit this is a decent choice; it's a standard mecha still used by law enforcement. It's the only model here to have the WHEELED MODE option, which allows it to SKATE instead of RUN.
The second is the [PATTON]. It seems to have a lot of big guns, and a lot of space for extra big guns. the centerpiece is the PAIR OF 200 MM MORTARS. You're pretty sure that if you don't pick this, Cog might. Big, a little sluggish in the controls as might be expected, but has enough firepower to take down just about anything, and it does have plenty of armor.
The third is the infamous [NAPOLEON]. The smallest Size 4 mecha on the market, the Napoleon earns its name by being tiny and massive. It's built to slam and take down other mecha, and is terrifyingly good at its job, including several BEAM KHATARS and a HEAT AXE to bring bigger things 'down to size'. It has no ranged options.
Next, there's the [SIMON]. This speedy little bastard is the 'fencer' to the Napoleon's berserker. Light on its proverbial feet, this is probably the fastest of the selections- at least in terms of pure maneuverability. Armed with a HEAT HALBERD and its devastating, if disappointingly short-range, FLECHETTE CANNON, it can advance on many heavier mecha and lay them to waste.
Finally, there's the [BURNS]. You've always had a thing for this model. Maybe it's just the connection with snipers. It uses a SHOULDER-MOUNTED 150MM RAILGUN to lay down ACCURATE, ARMOR-PIERCING fire. It also has a backup RAPID-FIRE 80MM CANNON, though this is DIFFICULT TO AIM. It's actually remarkably maneuverable. It has weaknesses- LOW VOLUME OF FIRE, and LIGHT ARMOR, to name two- but when you can knock an OGRE to the scrapyard, what's to complain about?
You look them over, dithering between the YORKE and the SIMON for a while, before settling on the SIMON.
The SIMON is middling tall for a Size 4 'Mech, at about three and a half stories. It has a head, but the cockpit is in the torso compartment, generally a mark of Post-War modifications to Pre-War 'cockpit in head' designs.
As you're installing the power core, you think it prudent to check the other systems. At least the motive systems seem to work out okay, and a brief check at dock power proves the control systems are fine. The radiation seal is completely intact, and that's really all you need to know.
The HEAT HALBERD is not quite an energy weapon, but it still tears things apart in MELEE. It also has REACH.
The FLECHETTE CANNON is a SHORT RANGE ENERGY WEAPON. Think of something like a sawed-off flack cannon using plasma instead of lead. It has a decent RATE, but the HEAT LOAD is absolutely terrible- if you want to use this for any appreciable length of time, you'll need to find a way to install more heat sinks or spend all your time underwater.
As you suspected, Cog selected the PATTON. He's always had a thing for artillery. Men and their explosions...
You may now control either-
A rumble shakes the underground garage to its foundations!