ILTC Cold Frontier Episode 20

(This is it people… the finale of Season 1. It was… quite memorable.)

Characters: Snow Plough, Fa Tsu, Mei Tsu, Tweak, Nemo

Friendlies: assorted heating and waste workers (9 in total), Amelia, Dr Mya Ross, Dr Stapes, Fredrik, Berthold, Lucy, Anyu, Nick Ryan, Phil, Kaleigh, Gottlieb, Dean and Cara

PRE-CREDITS SCENE

The scene begins in pitch black. There is the sound of an alarm klaxon. Yells of “he’s gone that way! After him!” There is the sound of heavy breathing. Then the light kicks in. The intro is shown from first person perspective. Hands are shown, tugging themselves along mag-rails, as the person flings themselves down the corridor in zero-g. Steam sprays out from various vents as they fly past. “There he is!” The camera rotates, as it shows none other than Nemo hastily making his way along the ship, pursued by two men in blue security, full combat armour, each with a mag-shield and a stun baton. Their armoured boots are magging to the floor as they pursue the psychic at great speed. They are right behind Nemo. “Get back here murderer!” one guard yells. “I didn’t do anything!” Nemo screams back… it seems in all honesty. He looks frantic, afraid, but not guilty. “Give it up, you filthy Psychic!” the other guard yells. “I’m telling you, I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!” Nemo hits a dead end. An airlock. As he screams, the corridor shudders, and cracks run along the floors and ceiling. The two armoured guards approach. “Tell that to all the people you killed”, one of the guards retorts. “I didn’t mean to do anything. I was trying to save her!” More cracks continue to form in the metal around them. “That’s why you blew out the cargo bay, eh?” one of the guards scoffs. Then they charge Nemo, ramming the stun baton towards him, as the end of the weapon charges with electricity. Nemo reaches out a hand. The end of the stun baton explodes, blasting electrified fragments into the chest of its wielder, sending him pin-wheeling down the corridor, accelerated by the zero g. Massive chunks are torn out of the wall, and decompression begins to suck the air out. The other guard is sucked towards the cracks, plugging the leak. “You bastard!” he screams, as an incredibly frightened Nemo climbs into the only safe place… the airlock.

ROLL OPENING CREDITS

“Day 20.”

The episode opens with the motion tracker beeping wildly. The camera cuts to Fa Tsu’s panicked face.

“Uhhhhhhhh everybody GET UP GET GET UP!” He frantically shouts.

Snow Plough, already awake, and surrounded by his drones (as usual) yells back “What is it, Fa Tsu? What is it? Are they coming? ARE THEY COMING!?”

Fa Tsu confirms “They’re coming! Everybody get ready!”

“Where? WHERE!?” Snow Plough says, entering Panic Mode (as usual).

“That way!” Fa Tsu says, pointing towards the south wall.

“All right. All right.” He surveys his drones. “Ready, boys?”

“Crusher: weapons engaged.”

“Blinky: ready.”

“Jeeves, ready to lend a HAND!” Jeeves, says, flexing his cybernetic hand.

“Oh COME ON Jeeves! You’ve said that one… honestly, I need to program you with more lines”, Snow Plough says, mostly to himself. He turns to survey the amazing survivors. “All right people, they’re coming. Get ready! If you’ve got weapons, then, uh, good! Get ready! If you haven’t got weapons… what are you doing here? Get out of the way!”

“Okay, ye heard him people!”Amelia says, trying to fit on Haye’s shell armour; the helmet is of no use, but the mag-plating of the armour allows her to refit it to fit her shorter, bustier size. She cocks her pump-action shotgun as she surveys the rag-tag, and mostly incredibly ill, heating and waste workers. “What ye standin’ there for! There’s a big, empty vehicle airlock behind ye, why don’t you get yerselves inside tha’! Stay quiet, an’ ye won’t get eaten!” The workers follow the ex-landlady’s instructions and head into the vehicle airlock. Berthold hefts his meat cleaver looks to Amelia and says “I got your back.” Fredrik, still practically shivering, says “Screw this!” and heads to the vehicle airlock. Then he looks back; “Ah, crap… can’t l-leave Berthold!” Then he heads back, hovering behind his two fellow ex-bar staff. Amelia turns round and glares at Fredrik.

“What are  ye doin’, Fredrik?”

“Um… ah… staying with y-ou…”

“With what!?” Amelia looks beyond fed up with the young man. “Ye ain’t got nae weapons, and I wouldnae give yer one if ah had one to give, cos yer shiverin’ like a leaf! Go, ye idiot!”

“Uh, yeah… o-okay.” Fredrik heads to the vehicle airlock. without further fuss.

Fa Tsu urges Mei Tsu to head into the airlock. “Go on, Mei. I’ll be okay.”

All Mei has is a kitchen knife. But she has a look of frightening resolve. “No Fa Tsu. I will stay with you. I’ll help.”

Amelia strides over to Mei, and proffers Hayes’ machine pistol. “Want a gun?”

Mei is incredibly unsure. “I.. uh… well.. I don’t how to use…”

“Come on Mei, it’s just point and click”, Fa Tsu encourages.

“But… where I do shoot!” Mei starts to panic at the very notion.

“Well, as long as ye’re pointing at them, that’s a start”, Amelia adds.

“But where do I aim for?”

“Look, I think that’s not worth worryin’ about. As long as you hit them, you’re helping.”

“Okay, fine.” She takes the machine pistol from Amelia.

Anyu asks if she and Lucy can be of help to anyone, despite the lack of weapons, but when no-one gives them a definitive answer, they head into the vehicle airlock with the majority of the others.

 

Tweak opens his eyes. Dr Ross and Stapes are stood over him. “Where… where the hell am I?”

“Safe, behind a barricade, unlike them. The bugs are coming. You need to get on your feet.”

Without any encouragement needed, Tweak leaps to his feet and gets his automatic shotgun ready, loading the explosive rounds. “Where are the others? We need to get to them.”

Ross doesn’t seem convinced by the need to help the others. “They’re just going to get themselves killed. The safe place is in here. “She points at the small air-lock behind her. “As long you stay quiet.”

“No. I need to help the others”, Tweak resolves.

“All right then. Good luck.” Ross turns to the airlock, and pauses. “Snow Plough’s program isn’t running is it?” she asks Stapes.

“Not yet. Once we’re in the airlock, I’ll be able to activate the program. That should keep us safe.” Ross nods. The two get into the airlock.

 

Tweak heads into Central Water Heating, loading his explosive rounds into his automatic shotgun when he finds out that the bugs are on their way. He positions himself behind a boiler pipe a few feet from the south wall, keeping an eye on the closed door into the room, in order to put his allies out of potential blast range. Amelia and Berthold position themselves at the other end of the same boiler, not far from the northern wall of the room. Nemo is not far behind them, against the wall. Fa Tsu stands in between the two boilers, with the damaged, permanently open door into Waste Purification not far behind him. Mei Tsu and Snow Plough take cover behind the pipes of the boiler on the west side of the room. The three drones hover in front of and above Snow Plough. Crusher hovers near the top of the east boiler, Blinky near the west, and Jeeves is between the two, hovering above the main firing zone. Those with guns ready them towards the firing zone. Nemo has guns, but he gets a cryo-grenade in hand and waits. Berthold is also lacking a firearm, so keeps out of sight (as much as he can with his considerable bulk), and hefts his meat clever, kneeling down right by Amelia, ready to back her up if she needs it.

Tweak jerks back in surprise. He hears blasting sounds, explosives, hammering the other side of the wall. Or perhaps not explosives. He is the only one who notices that the wall starts to smoke. He can smell the chemical burns. He decides to abandon his position, and runs to the other side of the north end of the eastern boiler, on the opposite side but the same end as Amelia and Berthold. Tweak, knowing that the enemy are hammering against the walls themselves, ducks under a pipe and aims right at the wall itself, and waits. And then the first Worker bursts through the south wall, right in Tweak’s sights. There is a straight line in between him and the hole, as there is a slim gap between the east boiler and the east wall, though there are several pipes in the way. Soldiers climb over the Worker and storm forward. Tweak opens fire, blasting away soldier after soldier, and tears his small-scale explosive munitions through the worker before it can enter room. Within seconds, he has already eliminated nine of them. Another worker breaks the corner between the west and south walls, where the ants climb over a pipe that leads into the wall, and climb over the pipe onto the western wall. Mei Tsu looks up at the first two crawl into sight above her. She lobs the kitchen knife in her right hand. The knife tears through one of the first soldier’s many eyes and splits it down the side of the the head. The knife continues to fly and spin, planting in the head of the second soldier, as it dies. A completely uncharacteristic look of utter murder crosses Mei’s face. She screams as more bugs come, but not a scream of fire. She cuts loose with the machine pistol and kills at least three more. Fa Tsu is shivering, despite the successful fight so far, and being the most well-protected by far. His AI controlled, shoulder-mounted mining laser fires, nonetheless, blasting two of the top of the boiler. The first wave is repelled.

“Oh god, they’re coming, they’re coming! We’ve gotta get out of here!” Fa Tsu yells, panicking as he looks into the room to the south through the ruined walls. The walls from maintenance are already open enough to let bugs in, and there are more and more holes appearing in the floor, where soldier after soldier are appearing. And at the rear of the force are the slow and steady Spitters, slower than the soldiers but larger, and making their way towards the holes leading into Central Water Heating. Fa Tsu retreats into Waste Purification, taking cover partially behind the opening, but with enough room for others to retreat and for him to see into the other room. Tweak holds fire, waiting for more Hostiles to cluster together near the hole into the room before he fires again. He shouts back to Fa Tsu. “Fa Tsu, come back! Your dynasty needs your protection!” Fa Tsu is… unconvinced. “Fuck that! I’m EMPEROR. My dynasty is supposed to protect ME!” He yells back from his hiding place.

Nemo decides to see if he can freeze part of the wall with his cryo-grenade and slow the enemy down. He throws the grenade, and concentrates on it, hurling it further forward. But the grenade catches the top of the boiler he has to hurl it over. The grenade detonates. The entire boiler freezes over. And Crusher is caught in the edge of the blast and entirely frozen. With its plasma engines non-functional, the battle drone falls to the floor and smashes to pieces.

“NOOOO! CRUUUUUSHERRRR!” Snow Plough, assault rifle ready, but still having not fired a single shot, spins about. “WHO DID THAT? WHO DID THAT!?” Mei Tsu immediately turns and points at Nemo. “He did!”

“You? YOU!!? Fa Tsu was right about you you BASTARD PSYCHIC! HE WAS ONE OF MY ONLY FRIENDS! JUST LIKE YETI! YOU WON’T TAKE MY FRIENDS!” Snow Plough, who seems to have completely lost it, turns away from the encroaching bugs as he yells at Nemo. “Uh-oh”, Nemo mutters and runs. He slides under Fa Tsu’s legs, getting into Waste Purification, attempting to keep out of the firing line. Snow Plough moves a few feet to his right, so he can see Nemo. “Blinky, get him!” Snow Plough activates the remote control. The recon drones hurtles at Nemo and blasts him in the face with red hot steam. Nemo screams as his hair melts and his face crisps. He roars in both agony and rage, pushing out an open palm at the drone. The drone pin-wheels back towards its operator, carried by telekinetic force. Blinky collides with Snow Plough’s chest, driving the breath out of him and cracking his armour, possibly cracking a few ribs too. But Snow Plough is not down yet, and neither is Nemo, despite hideous burns. Their eyes lock. The rest of the fight is forgotten to them.

The next wave comes. Tweak’s shotgun rapid fires, tearing down another torrent of bugs, blown to pieces which each blast.But there are far more in the second wave. And they are not slowed or deterred by the frozen boiler. Tweak keeps down, blasting the ones in front of him with efficiency, but more keeping coming and leap off the boiler to try and get behind him, Amelia and Berthold. As two leap through the air, Berthold tosses his meat cleaver, which decapitates one and slams into the face of the other, as their bodies fly into the east wall. Soldiers start to sweep in between the boilers, straight up the middle of the room, where Amelia has covered. She fires the pump-action shotgun with as much rapidity keep, killing nine of the creatures. She steps back a few feet, ending up back to back with Snow Plough and reloads her shotgun. More stream over the western boiler leaping through the air, one and after the other. Mei fires over and over. Due to her lack of training and the rapidity of the weapon, quickly runs out of ammunition, but kills three more. Then another three follow, leaping behind her, landing right in front of the gaze of the injured Snow Plough and the damaged Blinky. “Leave Blinky ALONE!” Snow Plough screams. He fires his assault rifle as the creatures snap at him. One shot. Two. Three. They die. The second wave is defeated.

“Come on, is that the best you have?” Berthold screams. He uses his brutish strength, his Iceworlder genetic heritage allowing him to ignore the cold metal and climb without slipping as he climbs to the top of the boiler, looking for where his cleaver few. And then two of the four Spitters in the Accommodation rooms spit out chemical globs that ignite as soon as tget meet the air. The two fireballs hit Berthold. One strikes his chest, the other his stomach. He is hurled from the top of the boiler. There are smoking holes where his chest and stomach once were. “BERTHOLD! YOU BASTARDS!” Amelia screams towards them. Two more spitters open fire towards Mei and Snow Plough, but they don’t manage to score any hits due to the cover, though this does scorch the metalwork of the boiler they hide behind. Tweak sights the spitters in the other room, switches to Burst Fire mode and blasts each of them apart with ease, catching other soldiers and workers in the blasts. But yet more Soldiers are coming. And with that, he runs out of ammo. Nemo pushes out his hands towards Snow Plough. Snow Plough starts to slide backwards, in the direction of the encroaching bugs. “NO YOU DON’T, YOU DAMN PSYCHIC!” He takes control of Jeeves. “JEEVES, SAVE ME!” The support drone flies at Nemo. Ramirez’s old cybernetic arm unfolds from underneath the drone, open palm aiming for Nemo’s throat. And then a blade pops out of it. Jeeves repeatedly stabs Nemo in the throat. Nemo pushes Jeeves out of his way, and runs back into Central Water Heating, blood leaking out of him. He runs into the frozen boiler at sprinting speed. Then it shatters. Freezing water pours over Nemo as his blackened skin steams, cracks and falls away. He collapses to the floor as the water freezes around him, his face now a frozen mess of muscle and sinew. As the boiler cracks apart, Tweak is doused in the tide of frozen water. The metal of his armour freezes over. His movements are limited by the freezing of the mag-plates, and he grimaces as the cold burns his skin. The water makes a pool where the boiler was once was, as Tweak’s cover falls apart. The water doesn’t spread very far as it freezes to the floor, but makes an island of ice around Tweak. Fa Tsu stomps back into the room, taking up position behind his cousin, Mei. He lifts up his arm with the flame-thrower attached, ready for the next wave. As they come, Fa Tsu spreads the reach of his flames as far as possible, roasting the first ten or so of the next attack, as he expends a napalm canister, defending those who’ve already run out of ammo and not yet had the time to reload. Amelia fires over and over, tearing down the bugs that come across the centre of the room, running out of more ammunition. But it is not enough, despite Fa Tsu keeping the west side clear (where that boiler is now glowing red-hot). As they snap at her, she swats the nearest with her shotgun and keeps them back from her, Mei and Snow Plough. Tweak is surrounded, with no chance to reload as they rush him, and no-one else to defend his side of the room as Berthold and Nemo lie dead and frozen at his feet. The ice does not slow creatures designed to live beneath it. Easily, they skate across it. Five surround Tweak, and there are more behind them, surrounding him in a circle. “Fall back!” Tweak yells as a set of mandibles punches into his chest plating, tearing through, ripping into the flesh. “Fall back!” Mandibles lock around his right arm and tear it off. “Fall back!” A third set punches through lower torso plating, and pulls out his intestines in a long rope. “FALLLLLL BACCCKKKK!” A fourth set tears off his left leg as he falls to the ground. He is swarmed as blood and flesh fly.

“You heard him! We need to get the hell out of here!” calls Fa Tsu. With a few feet between them and the encroaching horde, Fa Tsu, Amelia, Mei, Snow Plough (finally come to his senses with Nemo’s bizarre suicide) and Blinky flee into Waste Management. As they look back in at the dozens of bugs not far behind, the remaining boiler explodes, showering the bugs near to it in boiling water, causing them to flail and squeal, buying the survivors a few moments. “What do we do now!?” Amelia yells, as, Tweak is so thoroughly torn to pieces that a mandible pierces one of his many incendiary grenades. The feeding frenzy of bugs around him is caught in the blast which melts the frozen floor, causing the entirety of it to collapse, as the boiling water from the other boiler and the now-exposed pipes pumps into the room. Where the chamber and the bugs once was is now a steaming pile of rubble. And then there is a tremendous explosion beneath the ground that rocks the entire building, as the piles of excrement dumped into the maintenance shafts explode, filling the shafts and the bug tunnels cut into them with a torrent of fire. Outside, the very snow in between the two buildings is blasted into the air, kicking up earth, as the tunnels leading up to the surface are burst apart by the shockwave in the maintenance shafts. The back-up generator explodes,  cutting off the remaining power in the buildings. For now, Fa Tsu’s motion tracker is silent, except for the motions of his fellow survivors.

Snow Plough fully seems to snap back to his senses. “We need to get everyone the hell out of here. Jeeves, Blinky, find Dr Ross and Snapes… Stapes… and bring them back here!” The drones fly over the ruined room into the Accommodation area. The drones report that they cannot find them, so Snow Plough contacts Ross over the comms. Ross gets Stapes to disengage the trap protocols wired into the airlock and the two exit the airlock. Jeeves carries them one by one over the remains of Central Water Heating. Amelia reminds Snow Plough of the other survivors in the vehicle airlock and he has Jeeves carry them one by one to safety. Lucy busts open a crate containing spare environment suits kept in waste management that Mei directs her to and they get the unequipped survivors ready to go out into the cold. They all agree that they can’t stay where they are, and there is only one habitable place left: the hydroelectric plant. Fa Tsu radios through to Ryan at the plant. They mock each other in the customary fashion, especially due to all the recent explosions and the fact that Fa Tsu is somehow still alive, in defiance of all odds. Ryan makes it pretty clear that there is no room for anyone else, so Snow Plough cuts in, and tells Ryan to empty out anything they don’t need: the ship should be coming to rescue them the following day, so they should be able to survive one night together with minimal room and supplies. Ryan reluctantly agrees, radioing Gottlieb to organise the others into emptying out the plant. Gottlieb doesn’t like the idea of being ordered by Ryan, until Ryan reminds him that he is the one with  the gun. Gottlieb then manages to avoid any work as he orders the others to empty out equipment. When Phil criticises him for not helping, Gottlieb reminds him that they need someone to organise them, to ensure they don’t remove the wrong thing. Phil grumbles, but carries on working with the others. Meanwhile, the remaining survivors of Frost make their way across the snowy ground to the hydroelectric plant.

“Day 21.”

As the sun rises in the sky, Fa Tsu’s hulking Mech stands atop the hydroelectric plant roof, watching the ruins of Frost and for signs of activity. Nothing. Ryan lies on the roof as normal, assault rifle out. Amelia stands with them, one of the last few survivors with a gun. Inside the plant, the illness from the settlement has continued to spread with everyone closely packed together. Many are unconscious, those who’re awake are largely incredibly feverish, and there is a lot of vomiting. Mei is not looking well, but is conscious. Stapes and Amelia are not particularly ill. The previous inhabitants of the plant are well enough, having only just been introduced to the sickness spread amongst the others. Dr Ross is tending to the injured Snow Plough who is unconscious, eyes flickering. Fa Tsu sees the two blue-bright glows of the plasma engines of a drop-ship. It is heading straight down towards the colony, not towards the plant where the distress call was sent…

The marines in the dropship are incredibly surprised by the devastation of Frost as it comes into their view.

“What the hell happened here?”

“Maybe the ‘Emperor of Frost’ was right, and there ARE aliens, here.”

“Yeah fucking right. Probably just a nutter who killed everyone himself.”

“Hey what’s that?”

Meanwhile, Fa Tsu is watching the ship in confusion. “What the hell are they doing? Didn’t they get my message?” An explosive blast hits the side of the ship. Spitters start emerging from the snow. “This is Emperor Fa Tsu! Pull up! Get some distance! PULL UP!” More explosive blasts barrage the ship.

“What the fuck are th-”

“There ARE aliens!”

“They can’t hit us from h-”

The dropship crashes into the ground in between the ruins of the two main buildings that made Frost. Fa Tsu slaps a metallic gauntlet across his face-plate in disbelief.

The dropship doors open as two bleeding marines stumble out. They are pulled under the snow. There are two more dead marines in the carrier section of the dropship. The remaining marine in that section hefts a minigun and opens fire, raking it across the snow. The noise causes the creatures to burst out of the snow, allowing the marine to start taking them down. The pilot is dead but the co-pilot is still alive. “We’re under attack! By some kind of giant alien… insects! One other marine still alive… no sign of survivors…Frost is dead… we need back u-” A razor ant smashes through the windscreen and rams its mandibles through the pilot’s neck, dragging him into the ground. The minigun wielding marine is blasted repeatedly by spitters and is blasted to the ground.

“Awwwwwww, screw it, we’re dead” says Fa Tsu as he hears the sounds of destruction and death. He radios into the plant and asks connects into the comm array, boosting his signal to reach the cruiser. “This is Emperor Fa Tsu of Fr-”

“Who the hell is this?” comes a deep rumbling voice.

“I told you, this is Emperor-”

“There are no DAMN EMPERORS on Frost!” the voice booms back. The camera cuts to the bridge of the approaching ship to show that the admiral is both hulking and massively obese. He has jowls upon his jowls.

“Uh, didn’t you get my distress signal?” Fa Tsu responds.

The admiral turns and glowers at his comm officer. “WHAT bloody distress signal?”

The comm officer looks somewhat embarrassed. “He announced himself Emperor, sir. Like you said, there isn’t one. Figured it was just a prank, sir. Especially when he mentioned aliens. That’s why I didn’t report it.”

The admiral turns back, looking down at the planet as the cruiser hovers above it. “You hear that, man? If you want to send out a GOD-DAMNED DISTRESS SIGNAL, you use proper procedure! You just got a bunch of my men killed, because they weren’t prepared for what was coming!”

“Well, I did warn y-” The Admiral cuts off Fa Tsu’s call.

“What do we do, sir?” the comms officer asks the Admiral.

“We turn round. I’ve no idea where this idiot is, but he is likely the only one left. The marines said the town was dead, and now we’ve lost them. I’m not losing any more squads to find this moron.”

Fa Tsu, very much aware that his actions have likely resolved in them all being left to die, decides to hack through the communications. “Hi, I just needed to clarify that I have people down here-”

“What the hell? WE blocked you! How did you get through our comms system!”

“Look we really need your hel-”

“HELP!? Because of your lack of procedure, you got an entire squad marines killed! Why should I risk more for you?”

“Look, I’m just doing my best because most of the marines YOU sent to help us are dead. But, the Sergeant… Fentington… might be awake now. He was injured. Can I see if I can patch him through?”

The Admiral looks through to the comms officer. She says “There is a marine of that name who was sent to the colony, sir.” The Admiral nods. “All right, patch him through, see if you can convince me I am not just risking my men for a mad-man.”

Fa patches through to Dr Ross. “Is Snow Plough up and around… cos if not, we’re all going to be left behind. I need him to tell the Admiral not to leave us behind.”

“He’s on his feet”, Ross responds. She looks to Snow Plough, just pulling himself to his feet. “Its Fa Tsu. I think he pissed off the Admiral. Apparently he’s going to leave us all to die. He needs you to talk to him.”

“This is Sergeant Fentington calling from the hydro-electric plant 2 miles north of the Frost colony. I have approximately thirty people in need of rescue. We need you now. We’re dealing with giant insects… and they’re likely coming.”

“All right… I’ll take your word for it, Fentington. Next time, don’t let idiots have control of your comms. I nearly left you behind. What can you tell me about these aliens?”

Snow Plough looks to Ross. “Uh…”

Ross grins and patches into the comm feed. “This is Dr Mya Ross, I’m the GeneTech biologist here. Let me tell you, I’ve done some studying of these creatures. If you want to kill them… well they really don’t like fire. Most of them won’t hurt your ships if you bombard them. But some of them have explosive spit… I don’t know the maximum range of it, but if you keep at least 500ft above them.. you should be able to bombard them.”

“All right then… this is what I will do…” As the Admiral explains what he intends to do, there is a montage of images showing what he describes. “I’ll send a majority of my dropships, those equipped with rocket launchers, down to Frost.” The dropships are shown, around thirty of them, dropping through the clouds. “They’ll remain around 500ft above the settlement of Frost and bombard it.” Droves of bugs are blown to pieces along with the last remnants of Frost. “Hopefully that’ll keep the enemy distracted if not exterminated. Meanwhile, I’ll have five dropships sent to your position to collect your survivors. I’ll have them approach from over the Frozen Sea to attract minimal attention whilst they reach the hydroelectric plant.” The wedge of dropships flies over the sea with engines on low burn, only a few feet above the ice, as it partially melts over where the dropships pass. “Then, we’ll get everyone off that planet.” Fa Tsu climbs into the first dropship from the roof, followed by Amelia and Nick Ryan. Snow Plough directs the remaining survivors who aren’t too ill, using Jeeves to carry the sick onto the ships. Dr Ross comes out of the plant with an unconscious person slung over each shoulder, quite easily. Snow Plough looks gobsmacked. “So yeah, we need to talk. I’m a Dupe.” She shrugs and gives a nervous smile. Snow Plough’s own open mouth turns into a smile, though a shocked one.

Four of the five dropships depart. The last one hovers above the roof of the plant. Ross and Stapes have climbed into the ship. Snow Plough is the last on the ground. There is a horrifying shriek. Out of the crack in the ice over the sea, a newly seen species of razor ant emerges, covered in spiked quills, a shining blue, all with elongated mouths and short, spiked mandibles. As they scream, the sea before them begins to crack. The dropship starts to take off. Snow Plough runs and leaps. He falls short. A hand catches his. A metallic hand. Jeeves carries Snow Plough. “Never leave a marine behind”, the drones says, and hauls Snow Plough into the dropship. It takes off.

“3 weeks Later: Planet Avalon.”

The UCMC cruiser approaches the snowy, but beautiful, advanced and heavily populated planet Avalon, surrounded by ships and orbital habitats. The camera cuts inside the ship, to a room full of stasis pods and lab techs. The first pod opens, and Snow Plough rises out of it. “Welcome back to Avalon, Sergeant Fentington”, a lab tech says to him. Snow Plough says very little. He sees Amelia rise out of the pod, clearly a little too busty for the white medical garment she was frozen in. “Ken someone get me somethin’ that fits a little better!” she shouts, as her clothes and other belongings are passed to her. Fa Tsu and Mei rises out of pods, followed by Dean and Cara, Gottlieb and others. Stapes is demanding a cup of tea. “What do you mean, you don’t have any tea? This is Avalon, for christ sakes! We need a good cup of tea, isn’t that right, Fentington?” Snow Plough still fails to muster a response. Mya Ross enters the room, followed by several orange jump-suited engineers. The back of her head is open, show a several blue glowing power cores, as one of the engineers shuts the hatch and pulls her wig over it (which none of the survivors see). “Ah you’re all awake” she asks. “Lets go for a walk.”

The small group of survivors (Snow Plough, Mei, Fa, Mya, Stapes, Amelia, Fredrik, Gottlieb, Dean, Cara, Anyu and Nick Ryan) are lead through the ship, past a laboratory where other survivors remain in stasis. “The other survivors are suffering from the kind of sickness you’d expect from medieval times. They were on death’s door, but we’ll be able to make them better. They need to remain frozen for now” says a female doctor guiding them through the ship. “I’m taking the rest of you to a shuttle down to the planet. The Corps want to speak to you about what happened on the planet, of course.” Mei scowls. The innocent young woman seems to have changed vastly from her hard experience. “Oh, of course they’ll want to know. And we’ll tell them. But they won’t like what we have to say. Oh no.”

The camera cuts to show three cruisers approaching the planet where Frost once stood. Hundreds of dropships leave for the planet. “What the hell, the wind is going crazy, can’t see a thi-” One dropship is mashed into another. The others disappear from sight, consumed by the storm. The camera cuts to the surface of the planet, shaking intensely. Cracks run across the glacier. The Moss Mountains begin to collapse as it appears the entire planet is shaking…

A shuttle flies over New London on Avalon. A high-tech city of skyscrapers and spires, buildings connected by tubes connected between them at various heights, trains travelling up the tallest building on vertical mag-rails. But the shuttle passes over the metropolis, over a beautiful, wintry countryside. The shuttle flies over the forest, reaching a landing pad near a set of laboratory buildings.

“UCMC Avalon Science Division.”

The Frost survivors well enough to make the trip step out of the shuttle. And then the ground begins to shake. Violently.

“Earthquake!” someone yells.

“But we don’t get quakes on Avalon…”

“Quickly, to the bunker!” Marines from the ship and nearby science staff run with the colonists into the aforementioned bunker. Fa Tsu looks back to New London in the distance, where some of the tallest towers start to collapse…

The Frost survivors sit together. “What the hell is going out there?”

“I dinnae know” says Amelia. “But whatever it is, ah feel whatever it is, is gonna make our time ohn Frost look like-a piece’ a cake.”

The camera cuts back to Frost, where the land that once was had been torn apart. The camera zooms underground, to show the tunnels deep beneath the earth where Bones met his maker have been destroyed, as molten lava bursts through the rock…

ROLL CLOSING CREDITS.

(Mid-credit scene.)

One of the marines breaks off from the group at the rear of the bunker. Some of them are in black armour with red visors. The marine is particularly huge. “Don’t worry. We’ll get you through this.” He raises his visor to show a scarred, middle aged face. “Lieutenant Jonathan Greyjoy, at your service.”

END OF SEASON. (A different campaign will follow this, but I hope to return with Season 2 in the future.)

NOTES

  • The waves of bugs had a lot more due to arrive (the first attack was going to be 140 total, but they managed to get out of there before they had to kill or be killed by that many. They got through around 60 in three beats though). The players managed to stop further death (beyond that of Nemo, Tweak and Berthold) through using two Glory Points. One player spent a GP to allow to move the players out of reach of the razor ants and then to have a boiler burst to slow them down, and after Tweak died, his player spent  posthumous Glory Point to have his incendiary grenades explode which ended the scene by dropping the ant through the floor. Their fight with them was even closer than the write-up may even indicate.
  • Due to the incendiary explosions, I decided not to bring on any more bugs in a later scene due to the events of previous episodes. The shit packed into the maintenance shafts gave a decent narrative reason to assume that hundreds of bugs would have been killed.
  • Mei’s player spent a GP to save a load of Friendlies from death with MORE dramatic editing, in this case, ensuring that the Friendlies had gear to get through the cold without more death, and that there was room for them at the plant… Ryan nearly opened fire on them to keep them back, but the GP changed events.
  • The characters nearly all died, due to the distress call malarkey. Snow Plough was not revived to the third and final beat of that scene, allowing him to (barely) convince the admiral not to turn around with a high Chutzpah roll. Had he failed, they would have ALL died in the episode’s final moments (despite my season 3 plans).
  • It was a good thing Snow Plough ensured he saved Ross, for there would have been no-one to bring him to consciousness to convince the Admiral to not leave them all to die.
  • Snow Plough only had a passive ability left for the scene to get into the ship, and would have failed to get in, had his drone not saved him. He very nearly got left behind to die, even after getting everyone else off.
  • When the game ended, each remaining player decided to give me a massive hug…

 

 

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