The admin staff going up to the top floor last time had locked Ripps out. He forced his way up and followed them, only to find a group of security bots ready for him: They opened fire, and due to their superior numbers they managed to get him pretty good. He noticed quickly that this was a losing battle and dropped down through the hatch.
Outside at the crossroads, the battle was still going on, shots flying back and forth to little effect. Then Iceman shot one of the cops hard. The robo-dog and a security bot duked it out at the northern curb.
Booster went ahead to go towards the cops he assumed were about to flank the group, and indeed, while he was on the way in the ally, a trio of tactical cops came around in front of him, and a second front got hot.
Holding on to Initiative
Jeff followed him and saw how the Ronin took the cops under intense burst fire while still moving forward. They returned fire, but then the first of them fell, and the other two lost morale and retreated, dragging their comrade after them. Jeff turned back at that point, but Booster remembered all the tactical training from his time in the army. He needed to hold on to initiative until the threat was neutralized!
So he pursued, followed around the corner and found them trying to revive their comrade. He took them under fire from the corner, they fired back, both sides sprayed ammo like crazy, until the second cop dropped. The last one had been very lucky so far, got missed or grazed a lot, but when Booster offered her to take her captive, Officer Giona Luella dropped her gun and he had a hostage.
Meanwhile, 3 Tactical officers and 2 beat cops attacked the junction from the north, while six cops came out of the comms building to fire at the same spot, and a mecha carrying a heavy machine gun came from the northeast. Theo cooked the mecha with a particle beam, frying the pilot inside extra crispy, but he took hits from the cops in the east, while everyone else started battling with the newcomers from the north.
The team fell back quickly, out of sight from east and west, hoping to draw the six comms cops closer so Huang could blast them with the mines. Alas, they stayed put where they were, frustrating Huang’s plans. But at least the retreat got everyone out of their sights.
Despite the quick loss of the mecha, the northern cops saw their advantage and advanced to the junction, firing and wounding Richard, but Iceman dropped one tactical officer with three slugs from his shotgun. Jeff sniped another one with one shot, and smirked: “See, Iceman, and learn: One shot, one kill. That’s how it is done.”
Theo took even more hits, but he bit through it. And Richard’s shots finally dropped one of the beat cops. The last two survivors ran away. And the six retreated back into the comms building.
Iceman wanted to use that opportunity to hack the jammed security stalkbot, dubbed “Sparky” by Emmet. Iceman and Theo plugged in. There was no active security system in it! They quickly rigged the machine to follow Iceman’s command. Meanwhile, Emmet, Jeff, and Richard fired west towards the HQ until everyone there was either down or fleeing back into the building. For good measure, Richard still fired a handful of shots at the building itself to make sure the survivors didn’t get any funky ideas.
Then Jeff joined Huang on sniper duty, covering the front of the comms building. Booster entered OP 1 with the hostage and chained her to a reiling. “Stay put and keep quiet and you will make it through this”, he promised. Then he used her radio to keep tabs on cop activity, sitting behind the door right opposite from the comms building.
Theo, Emmet, and Preston went through the gardens to the back of the comms building, ready to support Ripps, who informed everyone of his situation: Security bots and admins up top, one cop spiked in his room on level 2. Of the six armored cops he knew nothing.
Iceman and Richard collected the mines, useless as they were, and took position at the front of the building — then Iceman sent Sparky in, now known as a “Bravo Sentry Bot”.
Sparky the police bot kicked in the front door, kicked in the next door, and the next, and the one after that, until the six cops came out of hiding to attack the bot from behind. Sparky turned around and fired at them with his medium machine gun, even took down two of them. Iceman gave them a taste of their own medicine: Letting humans fight against a bot they themselves used to unleash against wasters. But the outcome was never in doubt: Their numbers were too great and Sparky the Bravo Sentry Bot perished under their concentrated attacks.
Booster opened his door across the street and shot all the way across and straight through the whole series of smashed doors, while team Theo came in from the back side. Caught in the crossfire between Booster and the intruders, the police unit went down in bloody mayhem.
Then Booster and Icemen moved in from the front, and Jeff followed them as well, while Richard watched the street and Huang stayed on his sniper perch.
And finally someone showed up in a window! Huang saw the cop on level 2 look out, preparing to shoot at Jeff as he crossed the street. He fired — and missed rolling a 2! His only shot after a whole battle for build-up.
But at least the cop dropped into cover and Jeff could cross the street safely.
Inside, Booster quickly went through the ground floor, finding no threats. So everyone picked up some loot and went up to level 2. Remembering his success getting Giona to give up, Booster offered the cop in the room to capture him alive if he gave up.
The cop answered with gunshots. Booster shot back, and then kicked down the damaged door. The cop shot him right in the chest. The armored chest. Mr. Hero Cop made an impressive last stand, holding out three rounds and wounding both Booster and Iceman (Iceman’s first wound on this whole mission), until Theo came in and broke the man in half with his sledgehammer.
Bloodied Booster gave the dead cop a grim salute of respect, warrior to warrior. Under different circumstances….
Then they checked on Ripps. The sniper was in a bad way, bleeding heavily. He described the security bots upstairs, and then the others went up to confront them. They went right into melee with hammers and swords, took a couple of hits, but then scrapped the bots fast — especially Theo, who’s mighty, sledgehammer-wielding cyberarms wrecked every bot with a single swing.
Thank you for your cooperation
Talking through the locked door with the hiding admin people, Theo explained to them once more that we were still hoping for their cooperation, like Ripps had told them: It was unfortunate that so many good people had had to die, but we were really only after these hard drives. If they were to hand them over, we would just go away and this whole nightmare would be over.
Reaction Roll made with a 9, the admins accepted. Most of them hid, one brave one went ahead and opened the door a tiny crack to hand out the hard drives.
Booster was not happy with this, he wanted to make sure, so he put his boot into the crack in the door and explained that we would come in and check the computers ourselves, but there was no need to be alarmed, we were just making sure. Bloodshed was not necessary.
Booster pushed the door open against the contract admin who was shaking with fear as the grim, blood-specked fighter with the smoking assault carbine rolled in like doom. But Booster was true to his word. He let the admin lead us and followed him to take a look into all the rooms, checking the number of computers. All was as it should be. And the admins even warned the group of a trap securing the last computer.
Thanking them for their cooperation, the group retreated and slunk off, to get away before the police would get their ducks in a row and sent helicopters or tanks full of SWATs and bots.
On their way back, with their obvious signs of a hard battle won, nobody dared stand in their way.
Picture: Photo by Specna Arms on Unsplash