Ok, so check here for where we last left our intrepid group. Me? I’m PANICING. As best I can figure, my cadets just walked into a court martial situation. So, since this was before the internet was a REALLY good resource, I called one of my buddies from college, Jeff Price, who was going into the army. As I recall, the conversation started something like this:
“Hey Jeff, It’s Scott.”
“Hey Scotty, what’s up?”
“How do you run a court martial?”
After he picked up the phone off the floor, I explained the situation, and he let me know that it would be an informal inquiry, not a court martial. We talked for a bit, and I think he could tell that I was a bit overwhelmed. When he offered to come up and assist, I jumped at the chance, and that got my wheels turning. You can see the results below.
The 48-hours of shore leave is almost over, and the PCs are looking forward to… an informal inquiry.
The events at the mud wrestling bar ended with Tony yanking off the g-string of Janice McMurray (of Blue Squad) at the end of her wrestling match with Jackie Phillips. As a principled character, this disturbed Janice deeply, enough to warrant an insanity check, which she made. Lucky for the PCs. Instead of facing a court martial, they now only face an informal inquiry.
Why? An aide of Edwards was tagging along behind the members of Blue Squad. Therefore, there is an impartial eye-witness to the whole thing. The PCs were doing nothing wrong or out of the ordinary until the end of the wrestling match..
Ok, I know you’re asking. “Who’s Edwards?” Edwards is T.R. Edwards, an official Robotech continuity character from the Sentinels saga as a “bad guy,” but his history has him as a rival of Roy Fokker. My players were familiar enough with Robotech continuity to make this a fun throw-away, and it fit what I needed.
Upon learning of this, Edwards has Janice report immediately for psych evaluation, which she passes. An immediate return to duty and support from her team are deemed the only treatment necessary.
Blue Squad spends its Sunday getting the third-degree from Edwards, who matches their testimony to the aide’s report and security videos. He then calls in Ecker and proceeds to tear him a new asshole. Once having heard the positive results of the psych eval, Edwards softens a bit, but still recommends that no matter what the evidence and intent, that the three perpetrators be removed from contention for squad leader and a note placed into their permanent records.
Luckily for Ecker and the squad, the head of Agressor Squadron is assked to serve on the board of inquiry. He takes the matter out of Ecker’s hands, both to silence Edwards and take the pressure off of Ecker having to dole out punishment to his own squad.
Blue Squad will be very icy toward the PCs in further confrontations, with the following exceptions: Janice will speak with Jackie – the only person she knows didn’t do anything. Jake will give the PCs a chance to explain themselves, but will remain angry.
UNTIL FURTHER EVENTS CHANGE THINGS, BLUE SQUAD WILL GAIN A +1 BONUS TO ALL ROLLS, OR 5% ON SKILL CHECKS VERSUS RED SQUAD.
For the players – it is now Sunday. The big-wigs are just getting wind of things and setting wheels into motion.
Any attempts to contact Blue Squad by the PCs are met with icy silence. They will NOT be allowed into Blue’s barracks – the desk sergeant will see to that, at T.R. Edwards’ behest.
At approximately 1800, the PCs will be summoned to their briefing room – uniform: full dress! Ecker looks harried, and he sits the squad down. “The events of last night have landed you – and me – in a heap of trouble. This is an informal inquiry proceeding. You will each be questioned individually and then brought together for a ruling.” He stands and leaves the room. A few minutes later, an aide arrives and calls Calvin Meadows.
As each character is brought into another briefing room, they note the long table. Seated at it are six officers (10% to recognize Roy Fokker). An aide stands, holding out a Bible to the PC…
So, my wheels were rolling. Jeff and a mutual friend, Kyle Bryant, arrived early Saturday morning before the session, and over breakfast, I went over what I had planned. Jeff would play the role of Major Johnson, actually conducting the questioning. Kyle would be the adjutant, escorting the players in and out of the separate room I would use for the questioning.
When my players arrived and saw the two of them present, they got very, very nervous. What followed was probably one of the most fun gaming sessions I’ve ever participated in, and I didn’t have to do a lot of work. Jeff had rudimentary knowledge of the situation (as Major Johnson would), and so he was asking the characters what happened, and just looking over to me to verify the fact with what had occurred. I truly got to referee the session, without having to do the split personality thing.
The PCs will be questiioned individually about the previous evening’s events by Major Johnson, better known an Agressor One, the leader of the instructor’s squadron – strays from the truth will not be looked upon favorably.
Tony and Wolfgang will have a TOUGH time absolving themselves of their actions. David’s will be slightly easier, but not much. Chances are that Tony, at the very least, will not be able to.
Based on my notes, the characters acquitted themselves quite well under Johnson’s questioning. The memorable moment was during the interrogation of Von Hammer – Johnson asked if he saw what happened. I knew that he had been right there near Piazzalini, so his answer would be pretty critical. Straight-faced, he answered, “No, sir.” I cocked an eyebrow, which Jeff caught, and asked “Are you sure?”
VH: “Yes, sir.”
MJ: “You were right there, cadet! How could you not have seen?”
VH: “The mud sir – it got in my eyes.”
Jeff: (blinks, looks over at me)
After we all picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard, I allowed it, and we moved on…
At minimum, anyone determined to be guilty in this matter will be removed from contention as squad leader and be on restricted duty during the next 2 leaves. During that time the characters will perform any tasks ranging from manning the duty desk to KP to simple check-ins. Also, those characters will have their next month’s pay cut completely, and reduced by half for the next three. They will also be on probation for the forseeable future.
After the investigation:
Another week passes in simulator training. Ecker is busting your asses, and only progress pleases him in the slightest. It’s going to be a long road to get back in his good graces.
Finally, the next Monday arrives. You note that Ecker is waiting for you in the briefing room, sans projector or overheads. He gets right to the point. “Head to your lockers and grab your gear. Meet me on the tarmac in 20 minutes.”
At their lockers, the PCs find the additions to their flight suits that make them spaceworthy – g-harness, oxy pack, and breathers. Out on the tarmac, Ecker is waiting for them. “Let’s go, people!” He directs you into the passenger bay of a waiting shuttle, and as soon as you are strapped in, it blasts off.
Ecker remains still and silent during the ascent, but ass soon as the sky outside the windows darkens, indicating that you are in space, he is on his feet. He taps a control in front of him and the viewscreen at the front of the compartment comes to life, panning around a real-time view of an ARMD platform.
“This is Armor 3 – your target.”
(allow time for reactiions)
“Relax. Your’e not taking it on alone. The is a concentrated strike by five squads – thirty Veritechs.”
“Armor 3 is a fully equipped ARMD platform – that includes ammunition and fighters.” The viewscreen switches to the familiar clean green lines of a schematic. “As I stated, Red Squad is one of five, including Purple, Green, Yellow, and Blue. Each squad has an assigned mission. Here’s yours.”
The schematic cycles, and a quadrant of the platform turns red. “Your job is to disable the defenses on this quadrant of the platform, to include both missile launchers and lasers. Each of three other squads have their own quadrants to take care of, and the fifth squad will try to take out as many of the fighter defenses as possible. Once enough of the defenses are down, you will begin striking the platform itself. Your overall mission is to destroy the platform.”
(Handle questions as necessary
You note that an ARMD platform is looming outside the window now. Ecker continues, “We are at Armor 4. Your Veritechs are combat prepped with a standard missile load and full ammunition. They have been flight prepped. This is a scramble, so don’t waste time.” At that moment, there is a loud clang as the shuttle docks. “Let’s go,” Ecker opens the airlock, “Move ‘em out!”
(Characters scramble – head to combat!)
More GM Notes:
- Two defensive squadrons (your choice) will meet the PCs before they can get through to the platform itself.
(I used a flight of Lancer Is, and a flight of QF-3000Es)
- Targets to be eradicated
2 main laser cannons (300 MDC each)
1 Main Anti-Warship missile launcher (400 MDC)
2 Medium Anti-Warship missile launchers (200 MDC)
12 AA Lasers (!00 MDC)
- Harry the squad with one more defensive unit – add air support if needed.
- The PCs need to deal a MINIMUM of 500 MDC to the main body
Targeting the flight deck is pointless, as all craft are up.
Targeting the foredeck – where life support is – should be frowned upon for Scrupulous or Principled PCs