June 6th, 2020: 0830 PST
The lone figures for dozens of miles in all directions, you scoured the cliff face and discovered three sea cave entrances, two of which were connected and one of which showed signs of more thermal energy venting out than the other (the north entrance). Swingerson secures her line to the cliff’s edge and slowly descends into the mouth of the southern tunnel, peering into the dark for signs of life and receiving a volley of automatic fire from a boat camped inside.
With everyone’s adrenaline now kicked into high gear, Run Papa dispatches the cave’s perimeter watchmen with well-placed grenades from his launcher, taking chunks of sediment into the surf with them. SCKUG maneuvers skillfully, going from a landing on the uneven rock outcropping of the coast sustaining only minor gear damage to navigating the narrow confines of the cave’s snaking tunnels with only meters to spare in all dimensions.
More gunfire loosens more rocks as a pontoon boat makes a desperate charge at the AV; A demo expert barely manages to attach C4 to the underside of your raging jet inferno before Kojo tackles him into the water and Swingerson quickly goes about disarming the explosive. Run Papa picks off targets in rapid succession and SCKUG faces down a plebby grunt through the windshield, firing a 20mm Gatling burst in self defense.
Those able to spare a moment to glance into the cave see a high ceiling shrouded in darkness and amorphous shadowy edges as the distant lights on the cave shore spill over a clanky-looking troop transport beached across your tunnel. The figures on board train their sights on you quickly but without the group’s massive killing capacities, falling to Run Papa’s smart-targeting FN-RAL bursts.
And then . . not so much silence but a pause. The scream of the AV Jets melds nicely into the surfs rhythmic pounding of the freshly scarred coastline. The bodies begin to sink, their blood spreads, and while your rampage has faced soft outer defenses without a wince, that sense of impending doom becomes all the heavier as the stakes continue to rise and the water beneath your wings churns and boils.
Kojo clamors back aboard the AV-6 and with his advanced cyberoptics spots a painting laser shearing across the inner cavern from some mechanical spider in the upper recesses. Despite his skilled aim, Kojo’s pistol burst misses the laser-guiding spider and SCKUG spurs the Aerodyne forward over the inner cave’s pool. A moment before the coming storm Run Papa sees a lurking shadow beneath the waves approaching from the northern edge, but before he can bring the Gatling Cannon to bear the water erupts:
FWOOSH. A burst of shrapnel and fletchettes pierce the surface of the pool, the floor and ceiling of the AV, and shriek into splinters on the cave ceiling. SCKUG defiantly wrestles the groaning aerated vehicle into a steady position so Run Papa can unleash with automatic fire at the lurking ACPA, shredding the Power Armor’s chestplate and riddling the Trooper with holes.
A quick check around the wrecked cabin confirms that miraculously none of the crew were injured. Before the others can even ask what nearly killed them a pack of Smugglers charge down to the beach in what was your blind spot until now. The first to the shore raises a Pulse Rifle at the limping Aerodyne and unleashes an invisible EMP beam which causes the vehicle to drop like a rock, splashing down to the sandy bottom of the cove.
SCKUG and Run Papa scramble to the punctured steel roof of the AV to spray lead back at the beach-bound Smugglers. As the party make it out of the water they realize what the Smugglers were trying to get away with: a fiber optic rainbow unicorn and 3 rare horse breeds were making a giant fuss at all the gunfire. Dispatching with the straggling survivors was easy enough.
But getting a bio-engineered Unicorn and three horses to cooperate wasn’t as simple as murder. Despite Kojo’s chipped out enthusiasm to prove his worth with the equine beasts the Unicorn neighs and stamps and wards him off with a glowing crystalline horn. The Doc manages to get “Rainbows” and the other horses onto the troop carrier, Kojo sheepishly turns his attention to the haphazard pile of contraband and supplies across from the horse’s makeshift paddock, Run PaPa chases down the RDAK across the cave to a narrowing crevice behind the generator/ACPA charge station and smashes it to pieces, Swingerson recovers a microbattery from said pieces, and SCKUG shouts out that he sees a survivor rowing away up the coast to the north.
A well-placed shot incapacitates the man’s left cyberarm, freezing it mid-paddle-stroke, giving the group time to collect themselves into the troop transport and go scoop him up for questioning. The guy calls himself Tiny and he’s a nervous motormouth. He spills the beans on just about all he knows on this setup, which isn’t much given their secrecy. They were all given Water Rats crest rings (Swingerson swims over to the sinking paddle boat to collect a bag of them) when they arrived to this cave weeks ago and had to have them on when the black ship arrived to drop off the horses as well as when the Lollipop 5 came to pick up Napoleon. Further interrogation on this “black ship” which some of the others called “Bloody Wake” reveals that it’s a large transport of some kind that approaches from out to sea on a coded schedule. Everyone’s roles were highly specialized and no one knew much about their employers or business partners in crime; Tiny was hired to maintain the Grasshopper ACPA now lying at the bottom of the cove.
While out of the cave Kojo makes a call to Daedalus Tower for a cleanup crew. They are told to herd the horses up to the top of the bluffs and move any other assets they can. Swingerson notes there’s a working forklift next to the pile of contraband and makes use of it.
June 6th, 2020: 1045 PST
Daedalus Reapers touch down on the barren cliff by the cave’s sloped secret entrance in their V-22 Ospreys. The pilots shoot the shit with the crew as everything gets loaded up; one of them notes that they see a lotta shit and this is gonna be one for the rumor mill for sure.
The flight back is uneventful, giving everyone a head start on their rest. Once word reaches Nha Kaller of your blind suicide mission’s resounding success she immediately promotes everyone involved: their own new Search & Seizure department with onsite labs, workspace, and luxury apartments, as well as a 2.55 Million Eurodollar payout for each member with Kojo getting an even 3 Million.
Macho Vendetta 3000 Run Papa immediately takes his earnings under the knife with him; he’s the first in the party to take advantage of Daedalus’ obscenely good cybernetics health plan which matches work-related upgrades (a 50% discount).
Not bad for a day that could’ve ended with all of your corpses stuffed into a cave crevasse.