Iota 4’s second official assignment was also fairly sophisticated. In order to tap into terrorist and other insurgent communications around The Valley, the group was ordered to plant a small receiver probe deep in the ruins of Tradition. While the remaining inhabitants aren’t overly hostile, they consider any disturbance of the city’s structure an outrage punishable by death. This is where things get tricky.
In order to mask the placement of the probe, Iota 4 intended to rip a large statue from its housing, masking their true purpose with an attempt to steal an ancient but worthless relic and starting a conflict that would allow the probe to be dropped unnoticed.
Upon entering the city, the squadron was greeted by distorted evacuation orders and the final screams of the dying, repeating infinitely on communications devices that survived The Death of Tradition with their power source intact. As planned, they ignored all of the natives’ attempts at communication, planting their dropship firmly above the statue in Delan Square.
The second G.R.A.V.’s kinetic beam grabbed hold of the statue, rocket fire erupted from the buildings around the square. The group immediately entrenched infantry, preferring to fell buildings and force the inhabitants to flee rather than fire directly on the fragile combatants. A small number of Runners hurtled out of the surrounding area to intercept, but were promptly disabled and destroyed by the group’s superior firepower.
As the fight wore on, a wing of Aerospacecraft deployed from a nearby pirate carrier supported the insurgent forces on the ground, and Iota 4 began taking damage. To make matters worse, a colossal Crawler roared out of its hiding place in an old government building, raining concrete and shards of rusted metal as it barreled towards the group. While the massive vehicle had no real weapons of its own, it quickly launched a small group of strange Synths, apparently bought from Worker and Thinker scrapyards. Under bombardment from the pirate craft above, the squadron struggled to hold off their new adversaries. Streams of molten metal ran off the deck of their dropship as the scavenged Lynx bombarded it with plasma weaponry, while a pair of Boars and a single Warthog class Synth tore away at close range.
After many smashed weapons, severed limbs, tons of melted deck plate, and rounds of ammunition, the mangled remnants of Iota 4 stood victorious. The shattered remains of the statue were tucked into their dropship’s cargo bay alongside what was left of the Lynx, with the lifeless hulk of the Crawler hanging from the kinetic lift to be sold for scrap. The probe was deployed quietly by Lenne during the firefight, lost in a storm of debris and mauled Synth appendages.
No native militants or pirates challenged their exfiltration.
Iota 4 also took the time to attend their award ceremony, each quietly accepting the Medal of Justice (and the 50,000 credit/year stipend that comes with it) with the exception of a depressing testimony from Rayne Will-Step and brief speech by Adrian Reicher. Robbie Burns was strangely absent.