Clarke and Tycho joined up with the Saurian Psion Tai after accepting a request to protect his convoy. Tai shared worrying visions of the future with the crew, asking them to join him in averting the possible disaster.
Having agreed to help him, they all made their way to the planet T-77/4 with the help of the Cormorant, a ship that used to belong to the nomad space pirates.
Last time our heroes broke into a Union outpost to try and find the location of the alien artefact. After a botched infiltation, the crew shot their way out, having learned all they could.
The location known to them, our heroes prepared for a tough battle..
"There's a lot of them boss" Tycho whispered under his breath.
"I see that Tycho." Clarke gave him a pointed stare.
"We must avert that terrible future, at ANY cost!" Tai proclaimed.
On the other side of the site, you could just see robed figures crawling towards the perimiter.
Time against them, Clarke crept up through the fungi patch.
The armoured vehicles being the biggest threat, he unslung his plasma rifle and took aim.
A brilliant ball of plasma shot across the open ground, splashing superheated gas around as it his the fender of the apc. sadly it only melted some external armour without doing any real damage.
A rustling among the mega-beets was the only warning the Unity troopers got before the cultists opened fire.
Taken by surprise by the sudden attack, troopers dive for cover, too late for some. One soldier falls over into his cover, but another is spilled over the ground.
Following up Clarke's attack, Tycho steps forward, both pistols booming.
The Union squad commander falls down with a gaping hole, but his subordinate at least have time to get behind the wall into relative safety.
A fierce counter-attack hits back at the cultists, the Unity machine guns cuts into the beets and men alike. Panic breaks out as two cultists fall into pieces.
Out of the fungi north of the ruins more cultists appear, firing on the Union troopers as they come.
The hail of bullets reap a single victim, but it serves to keep the others heads down!
The Union counter-attack doesn't keep the cultists waiting long, even if it fails to do any lasting damage.
Undistracted by the harassing fire of the blood cult, troopers on the other side of the ruins find another target, our heroes!
Clarke and Tycho hugs the ground as Union automatics fire a storm of rounds their way, forunately our heroes are unscathed.
Following up the apc's assault, Union troopers follow up with withering fire of their own.
Picking their targets, the troopers have better luck than their vehicle, taking out two cultists while forcing the rest to dive for cover again.
As Clarke and Tai creep ever closer, a trooper rushes forward with a grenade in his hand.
In his eargerness he forgets to compensate for the slighty lower gravity, and his explosive fly well past his targets and blow up a patch of dirt..
..His brothers in arms fare little better, shooting up a lot of mega-beets, but failing to hit a single cultist!
The Union reinforcements arrive from the west, speeding to relieve their comrades.
Time seems to be running out for our heroes..
Clarke knows they don't have long before they'll have to fall back, so he makes a decision: Crossing the open area into the thorny stalks, he fires directly on the artefact! The ball of plasma hits the stone, and for a second it's brightness obscures the artefact. As is fades however, it's clear that the stone, or whatever it is, has only suffered minor damage.
"Damn, need a bigger gun" Clarke swore.
"Sure thing, hang on.." A series of shots hits the interposed trooper knocking him into the dirt.
"The disaster must be averted!" the psion cried as he the heat-waves of his powers started rolling off him.
"What are you doing? Tai" Clarke suddenly had a bad feeling about all this.
"Thank you both for your assistance, I would not have made it this far without you. They may never know, but the world is in your debt"
Tai charged the strange artefact at lightning speed, his staff glowing with power. As he hit it a projection of a undescribable horror appeared in the air over the stone, chattering and screaming in an alien language. As it did, the saurian struck the final blow, the creature bellowed in rage and dissapeared in the earth-shattering explosion as the artefact released all it's stored energy.
When the smoke cleared, the was no trace of the artefact of Tai, just the crater where they'd previously been..
"Boss, what the hell just happened?" Tycho asked groggily as he got back on his feet.
"I believe that Tai just saved us from something quite nasty" Clarke replied.
Shocked but undeterred, the fresh Union troops disembark and open fire on Clarke, pinning him inside his thorny cover.
Determined to fight off the invading forces, the Union AFV fires a AT rocket at the oncoming cultist pickup.
The explosion shreds one tire and covers the vehicle in dirt, but doesn't stop it from speeding onwards.
The pickup drops off it's passengers, and the slaughter begins. Their machinegun rip through the thinnest part of the Union armour, wrecking it.
Two troopers meet a grisly end as the auto rifles of the cultists do their grim work. One cultist is lost to return fire, but it's of little concern to the blood cult.
Their victory is short-lived however, as the Union apc opposite the ruins swing around and open fire with it's machineguns.
Three cultists are killed outright, the last one is saves only because of the walls of the ruins that hide him from sight.
The apc on the northern side manages to break away from the cultist assault, and turns it's guns on them.
The cultists lose two more members, while the rest of the assault party drops to the ground, hugging what little cover there is.
"We have to move now boss, before you're surrounded!" Tycho shouter over the comms
"I don't think they'll take kindly to us destroying their find, even if it would have been a disaster if they ever activated it!" He added.
"Be ready to move" Clarke replied.
Crouching in the beet patch, he took aim at the newly disembarked troopers, and fired his plasma rifle.
The ball struck amongst them, incinerating three of them on the spot.
Then he was on the move. With no one close enough in any shape to follow, he quickly got away and rendevouzed with Tycho.
"We need to get to the ship, before they send patrols after us" Clarke looked at his companion.
"What about Tai boss?" Tycho asked, even though he'd seen it happen as well.
"You saw it, that blast left nothing. We need to get out before they catch up. Come on, back to the Cormorant" was the bounty hunters only reply, before turning towards the ship.
Second fly-over by the surveillance drone, as our heroes were leaving the site.
Some time later, on the Cormorant, in space between T77/4 and the Strike systems:
"So what now boss? We saved the day, even though nobody knows it. Or at least that what Tai seemed to think" Tycho had just stepped onto the bridge.
"Now we mourn our dead, and celebrate our victory, such as it were. Then we get back out there, there is always another job waiting somewhere"
"I'll get the glasses and the hootch then, shall I?" Tycho left and came back with a pair of glasses and a bottle of something vaguely amber in color.
"To Tai" Clarke raised his glass.
"To Tai" Tycho emptied his glass, and poured them both new ones.
"So where are we headed next?" Tycho finally asked.
"My sources say that the USS is on the warpath. Hardly surprising, I know, but the interesting part is who their fighting with. The NIJA." Clarke replied.
"In such a conflict, there's bound to be plenty of contracts arising, so we are going to the outer rim of the USS controlled space, that's where the action is rumored to be."
A grim smile spread across his face.
So that's the end of our journey with Clarke and Tycho for now, but who knows what the future hold?
I want to thank everybody who have been reading and commenting on these reports, it's been great fun playing and writing them, and I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I have!
Til next time!