Snips and the Wasters XIX – Land of Broken Bots

Picking up where the group left off from last time: Noticing a malfunction at her combat droid, Wispa turns back at the entrance of the target area, and only the others keep going.

They reach the deadly building quickly and notice a rival group at the front, complete with a cart and wearing pretty good, heavy armor. Damn! The others are here already. The team decides to avoid them and get to the building from the back side. Through the window next to the fire door they spy some good loot and Snips breaks in to get it. Everyone is extremely cautious and a whole hour is spent checking for various traps. Then Snips opens the door and the team loads the loot into the rikshaw.

Meanwhile, Randal sets up the sentry gun and primes it against any movement not from our group, to protect the rikshaw, loot, equipment, and our backs while we are maybe occupied.

We can hear no sound from the other group so we remain quiet as well, hoping to get in and out without ever being noticed. However, Snips’ plan of opening up the wall to get to the stash is already out, because we lost our Engineer on the way. RIP Yvonne.

Several team members consider going up through the stairwell now that we cannot go through the wall, but Snips reminds them that we are dealing with 16 bots, and one of them a minigun-wielding dreadnaught like the one that killed her first retainer, Pretty Boy. No, she opposes the straightforward attack. Instead, she seizes up the windowless wall of the building and plots a course to climb it.

Snips pulls herself up all the way to the roof, finds it unoccupied, and fixes her grapnel to the ledge so the others can climb up the rope. Soon, they all are on the roof and look through skylights. Lucky for them: The stash room has one skylight, and the dead inside lie undisturbed (although, of course, rotting. It has been several weeks.)

First point of order: The team climbs in from the roof, takes apart the dead where necessary, and remove the stash, packing it up and lowering it down to get it to the rikshaw.

Attack!

Suddenly our sentry guns whirrs into action: It gets approached by four combat droids. The sentry gun kicks some robot butt, and the team supports it from the roof. After a couple of volleys against the machines, they go down crackling one by one, ripped limb from limb, and the fight is won… although the stealth advantage is lost. The other team cannot have missed the sound of repeated shots and bursts.

But as we listen, we can hear that they are busy as well: shots are fired inside the building, maybe somewhere on level 2. Fine. All the power to you, bros, as long as you fight dangerous bots. As you were.

Then the next step:

The mission!

There is this annoying communication hub that connects and guides the bots. It looks sturdy like a tank, apart from its antennae, and it is bolted to the roof. Although, it has a maintenance lid. The sneaks try their hand at that, and fail. The power-tool also has no answer to this problem. We consider the pros and cons of smashing the thing to bits with brute force over an extended period of time, even though that will draw attention.

Rivals

Suddenly our sentry gun shoots again. We race over to the other end of the roof and witness how it is under fire from inside the building, and how two wasters in medium and heavy armor storm out to attack it even in melee. They are going for our loot! And they are attacking the sentry gun that is worth 6000 dolares!

Snips does not hesitate and shoots the heavy armored dude, getting him from above, right through the trizeps and into the torso. Mr. “I smash this valuable piece of property” goes down. The others also fire, and the second smasher also bites the dust. But the rivals are relentless! They employ functions, and hack our sentry gun. The first attempt only mildly damages the auto-gun, but the second hack hits hard: Our gun smokes and falls, hit by a hack that is several levels higher than it.

Still, the death of their companions at least keeps the rivals from digging into our stuff. They do not react when they hear peace offers shouted down … maybe because Snips always adds “and you must pay for my sentry gun!” The whole situation is ugly. It makes them cautious. They send out a drone that circles up to us.

Kathi

The drone makes contact with a speaker, and it recognises Snips. “Snips? Is that you? Where is Messy?”

Snips hesitates to hand out info, but the drone introduces its user first as Balli, then as Kathi – Messy’s old flame, the girl he liked so he gave her a home, and who finally moved out when she found something of her own. Snips was never too fond of Kathi, but fine, she deserves to know. And so Snips tells her of Messy’s end.

Kathi expresses sadness about this development. She explains that Snips’ insistence on reimbursement for the sentry gun is unreasonable, but she offers the group a better deal: She will help them overcome the rivals – her own new outfit – in exchange for a double share in the combined loot.

A disturbing offer, but it makes sense. Snips is up for it. She is pretty pissed about the destruction of her sentry gun and the theft of the party cart. Friends have died over that cart, it is not up for grabs. The other members of the team debate it for a bit, they do not trust Kathi. Neither does Snips, fully, but she sees the wisdom of the offer, and that Kathi can only win if she sticks by the decision.

The group finally decides in the positive, and they ask Kathi to send the rivals out on the other side of the building, supposedly as a way to out-flank Snips’ party. Kathi does just that, the group prepares (only three remain to watch the loot in case of a double cross, which Snips does not expect, but she is fine with them doing it).

Kathis treachery works out: Her friends come out on the south side of the building and fall in a blitz of concentrated fire from the rooftop.

Secrets

That done, the group finally destroys that obnoxious bot-hub with an orgy of barbaric low-tech violence and throws the wreck off the roof. Then they climb down and collect all the loot. They also inspect the fallen sentry gun: It is still salvageable. So they pack it onto the rikshaw as well.

Looking at the floor plan it becomes obvious that there are some rooms unexplored, or even, unexplorable because they have no door. Snips also scans the building and finds out that there are not 16 bots active, but 29! So watching out is the first duty.

They inspect the walls and knock at them from every angle for nigh an hour, until finally a secret door is found … at the same time, though, Snips has lost patience and asked Randal to open a weaker wall with the power tool.
A mistake, especially with failure to scan that exact part of the building in a detailed manner. Because that last little nook of the building houses 11 (!!) working bots who immediately attack.

There is a wild fight including melee, burst fire, and hacking attempts, and in the end, more through sheer luck than anything, nobody dies. Most of all, five of the bots are hacked and turn on their own, so bot attacks bot in a battle to the wreck.

In the end, only bots controlled by us are left standing, the rest are scrap metal. The group finds that under the room with the 11 stacked bots is a stairwell down into a basement. Snips raises the idea to send the hacked bots down to explore, just in case of booby traps. Better them than us.

The bots go down indeed and find a sentry combat drone that does not react to them. But it might react to humans. There are no doors apparent, there might be secret doors, there might be traps, or more stacks full of broken bots. Overall, the basement sounds less profitable than it is risky.

Snips says No.

Moving out

We have already got a lot to carry, and our carts are full. What are we going to do with more loot? Stash it so someone else can come and pick it up? We see that the experience of having rivals grab our trusted stuff has had an impact.

Still, her point is valid, and the others agree. They let the hacked worker bots utterly stamp the bot-comm-node into dust and loose screws, then start moving out, going home to Club Lavender … next session.

Snips 1 – Fighting Dogs
Snips 2 – Fighting Robots
Snips 3 – Fighting Swordsmen
Snips 4 – Fighting Kids
Snips 5 – Fighting Dreadnoughts
Snips 6Fighting Running from the Boss
Snips 7 – Fighting Cops
Snips 8 – Fighting in the Pharmacy
Snips 9 – Fighting Cats
Snips 10 – Fighting Lions
Snips 11 – Fighting Code
Snips 12 – Fighting Chaos
Snips 13 – Fighting Words
Snips 14 – Fighting Mechas
Snips 15 – Fighting in Cubicles
Snips 16 – Fighting Fire
Snips 17 – Fighting Frogmen

Snips 18 – Fighting Raiders
Snips 19 – Fighting Rivals

Snips Special: Messy Mission
Snips Special: Gentlemessy

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

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