Otters aka Roadkill
First thing, the team decide they need their van back, and that the increasingly chaotic fight may have created the opportunity they needed. Otters does overwatch from the Dustoff while Creep and Locke head over on foot. Unfortunately, Locke gets spotted by an alert ARES gunner holed up in a ruined building, and nearly felled with an auto burst. Creep manages to chuck some smoke grenades out and they make their escape, with Otters providing some pathfinding for them and hot pickup via the van once she gets the drone close enough to leapfrog in and hot-rig it out.
They get back to the base, and convince Zennia to set up a radio at the Tin Can, but convince them not to use it too much to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Zennia brings them a little further into her circle of trust, showing them up to where she keeps her birds on the roof and revealing that they are messenger birds! She says the team can bring them with on missions when needed to send offline messages back to get relayed, but says that Myrryr (a Pidgeon shaman) is one of the few in town who can get birds to flew to destinations as well as back from.
The team head north to Vendor’s Row to finally see what happened with that nuke, with most of them doing overwatch while Creep sneaks up to the blast site accompanied by the fly-spys.Radioactivity is real bad, as is astral space- Dig and CG have to hold way back, and the Wealth vibe that had previously dominated the area is now overlaid with a nasty toxic aspect. Creep hangs back at the edge of the blast site after getting some visuals, and acts as a comms relay to the drones until Otters gets the Dustoff positioned high up over the blast zone. From what they can tell, something tunneled up from underneath the reserve line, and one or more APC’s entered/fell into the tunnels.
Otters pushes the drones further in, having to max out her signal strength on her RCC to counteract the bad interference.She finds blasted wrecks of 3 APC’s down some side tunnels, and the team recognizes these as part of the command group of the reserve force from previous recon- seems like a targeted tunneling attack! She pushes the drone a little further and finds the blast’s epicenter, getting some data before it fries. It is likely the worst background count area any of them have seen, and it looks like 3 more APC’s got stuck in the main tunnel further in and detonated as either a failsafe or desperate last resort.
The team surmises that the Alphas up here, already amped up from the pheromones let loose by other Alphas in combat, likely fully broke loose after the tunnel break out and nuke detonation, as the ARES reserve line seems to have totally crumpled and fighting seems rampant throughout the district. Not having any ability to get better data currently due to the high rads, they head back to the safehouse to regroup. Iva is still working on patching up the van armor, after having needed a long sleep following a long day patching up Tabasco and Locke’s armor. CG heads over the Magic Bean, has a weird convo with the new age proprietor Penelope Bean, and orders a summoning focus.
Otters then flies in the Dustoff down to Windsor, surveying the extensive damage to Hendrick’s former position on the north shore, and drops another radio off with the ghouls at Neverland, who seem eager to dispose of more bodies the team may come across. Otters return with this info, but decides to swing by the Plat Zone on the way to get paid, and gets some followups and further intel while there. She also sees that a bunch of Neo-A’s from Berlin and Boston have answered the call and come to town, and a big crew of radical bug fighters/Black Star/Midway vets from Chicago have rolled in as well. They’re setting up heavy duty anti-air defenses on/around the Plat Zone, and Otters also spots some merc patrols headed out- the leadership seems to be trying to integrate mercs and runners into small squads with perhaps mixed results.
Otters reports in, gets paid, and hears that they need a tunnel rat to physically head into the tunnels off Vendor’s Row and try to pull any surviving data from the not fully obliterated APC’s- the command group might have useful intel. Also, some toxies or possibly members of Hendrick’s force have been spotted trying to salvage explosives from the various downed bombers, and Otters get the impression that Vogel/Carol managed to get a message through to the bomber wing commander to get aloft just before the attack, which was ignored by the main base command, to their extreme detriment.
Tabasco, overhearing all this, volunteers for tunnel rat duty, surprising many, and Stitches and Rifleman send Otters home with some equipment to help Tabasco and Otters’ new Mule drone get into the radioactive zone while minimizing risk and exposure.Otters flies back with all that and starts modding the Mule while Iva tunes up Tabasco’s armor. Tabasco gets flown over to the Metal Maniacs clinic and gets a few mods that Creep reco’s for navigating an underground tunnel system, and also snags a MM bandana for Iva, a gang memorabilia collector, as the local implant junkies seem to have formed a street gang around the clinic.
Otters starts flying herslef over for some mods as well, but overhearing the bizarro transhumanist banter dominant at MM decides better of it and turns back, which gets a chuckle from MAMA, which also worries Otters a bit. With Tabasco loaded up and ready to go , the team rest up and prep for another mission north, while listening on the radio to the day’s broadcast- Julia Pesina, using her new street named “Deadline”, on “Radio Free Detroit”, giving the threats and recon update to any and all listeners. It seems ARES forces have been ordered to hunker down and hold position, so most of the civilian rescuing and bug fighting is falling to the Irregulars so far. There’s been some cooperation from ARES forces in a few Zones, especially the ones with heavier casualties and more command level losses, so the team gets some good ideas of where to distro the next few radios. However, a few other Zones, including Downtown, have gotten extra fascist and paranoid, with summary executions common, so travelers beware….