Operation Icarus

Pride and Prejudice

Summary
In a remote corner of Chechnya, a beast preyed upon the local farmers and villagers, striking during the night with no witnesses and no body to be found. Strike Team One agreed to assist the UN Peacekeepers in tracking and dealing with the creature.
Heading south from Itum-Kayle, the team ventured into the foothills of the Caucasian mountains, escorted by peacekeepers and a local guide. Basing their hunt upon the creature’s prior movements, they were able to discover a recent victim. His body, along with that of two of his goats, was found battered and broken, floating at the bottom of a waterfall. His neighbour was seen safely returning to the village.
Ascending through the rapidly deteriorating weather, the team carried on as night fell, hoping to catch the creature before it could strike again. Panicked goats alerted them to its presence, preventing a potential ambush, and the creature was rapidly trapped and restrained by a volley of adhesive grenades. Informing Icarus Command of their accomplishment, the team settled in to await collection.
Arriving silently and invisibly, its presence marked only by the deflection of the driving sleet covering the mountains, an alien craft killed the creature and landed to inspect the kill. A member of the crew disembarked to analyse the creature’s corpse, and was also captured by Strike Team One when it responded in alarm to their presence. Attempts to then board the alien ship were thwarted by its departure, although this allowed contact to be regained with Icarus Command to update them regarding the team’s accomplishments.
The remains of the dead creature, and the captive alien soldier along with its equipment, have been returned to Geneva for investigation.

Items Recovered
Corpse of Alien Creature
– Bisected by heavy railgun fire, much of the creature and its armour remains intact and suitable for investigation.
Restrained Alien Soldier
– Recovered alive along with several items of equipment and weapons.

Intelligence Gathered
Alien Vessel
– Contains at least one crew member, either with others yet to be seen or equipped with intelligent or remote control flight systems.
– Primary armament is turret-mounted.
Alien Soldier
– Tool-using and apparently intelligent, was capable of (non-English) communication and logical behaviour when trapped.
– Utilised a scanning device which affected the team’s implants.
– Equipped with a rail rifle.
Alien Creature
– Revealed to be a terrestrial wolf, altered by unknown biochemical compounds, cybernetic enhancements and implants similar to the teams’, then sealed within a suit of the alien bioplastic armour. The animal was clearly ill and distressed, perhaps leading to its bizarre behavioural patterns.

Dramatis Personae
‘Zelimkhan’
– A local guide / freedom fighter of dubious reputation, he assisted the team in tracking down the creature but was clearly overwhelmed when faced with the aliens.

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Use of Weapons

Summary
Members of the Strike Team have been introduced to the new Frame systems developed by the project in conjunction with Lockheed Martin. Feedback from the team, along with experimental testing data, have been fed back to the manufacturers for integration into the first production units. These should be available in approximately a month, along with the advanced textile armour used by Maxwell that is being sourced for the entire team.
The Strike Team also deployed to Hawai’i in response to a request for assistance from the United States government. Deployed alongside a USMC combat team, they investigated another entrance to the alien portal hub previously identified by Maxwell, acquired several new locations to investigate around the globe as well as many off-world locations.
A second alien vessel was encountered using the portal system, leading to the death of seven Marines in a retaliatory strike after a missile was fired at the vessel. Following discussion between the United States and Project Icarus, the Strike Team returned to Geneva for debriefing and ten days compassionate relief from duties.

Intelligence Gathered
Portal Network
– The portal hub is connected to at least one other hub, which in turn connects to a number of alien locations – not all of which are terrestrial in destination. Specialised equipment will be required to proceed.
Alien Vessel
– The alien ship has proven itself to be both extremely resilient and lethally capable. Its full capabilities and limits are yet to be determined, but caution is advised. It is notable that thermal tracking systems seem to be at least somewhat effective at penetrating the alien cloaking system.
Alien Technology
– A considerable amount of data has been acquired from an inactive portal in the hub. It may shed light on the problems the research teams are having with decoding the alien computer architecture.
– The sensor systems used by the alien point defence have proved more effective against a target matching the profile of the cephalopod infiltrator than that of a normal human. The ramifications of this are to be explored.

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Intermission

Following last session’s return to Best Korea, it’s become clear that the alien’s presence on Earth is substantial, and that escalation is likely if not inevitable. In the three weeks since you’ve returned to Icarus Command with the image generators and information about the alien portal hub, the base has become a hive of activity.

Several science teams are now dedicated to analysing the portal locations in the hope of detecting some type of energy emission that might help them to find more of the portals around the globe, to no avail as yet. Two more are investigating the image generators, which by this point apparently requires some fairly heavy-duty engineering equipment judging by the hardware being transported into the science wing on a regular basis.

You have all had the pleasure of another round of extended medical testing, including 24-hour periods of tracking of vital statistics, comprehensive sample-giving, and various athletic testing sessions. Maxwell is unsurprisingly the focus of the medical team’s attention, following his stint in the hub area. Happily, none of the tests return anything notable.

Lastly, expansion of the base facilities has picked up in intensity. Major construction projects are taking place all around the base, upgrading facilities and stripping out redundant CERN equipment. You’ve all become used to the smell of wet paint and the sound of construction equipment, and may have even ended up on escort duty to construction teams. Most relevant to your interests, one of the larger, building-sized chambers within the base, previously occupied by one of the older collider hubs, has been completely stripped and is being converted into a combined firing range and combat training area.

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The Final Frontier

Summary
Upon returning to Icarus Command, the group submit to further medical tests to confirm suspicions about the alien implants. Exploratory surgery reveals them to be constructed from the strange alien alloy, and to be connected directly to critical nerve clusters throughout the body.
Once recovered, the group along with Doctor Fernandez are requested to return to the Korean Peninsula, to more thoroughly investigate the site of their mysterious awakening. Following their first sub-orbital flight, they are dropped near to the cave.
The cave is undisturbed, allowing them to enter safely and check the aircraft within for possible clues or useful equipment. Becoming aware of anomalies in the cave, careful investigation reveals an illusionary rock wall concealing a strange mirrored portal constructed from the alloy, all protected by small pyramids emitting the illusion.
Maxwell reconnoitres and then enters the portal, finding himself in a portal hub and floating in zero gravity. Portals are visible around, only a few of which are active, but all are marked by curious runes. One nearby portal leads to a cave in Hawai’i, looking out over the ocean from a high mountain cave, while another lies beneath the Arctic icecap looking down in to the freezing sea.
The party’s speculation regarding the possibility of extracting from another portal is interrupted by the supersonic passing of an alien vessel, encouraging them to leave the portal system and seal the cave behind them before arranging for transport home.

Items Recovered
2x Image Projection Device
– Large blocks of the strange alloy in a twin pyramid shape, originally anchored into the rock face. In a large group, provide a flawless visual illusion, but alone seem inoperative. Around 80kg each, the metal is razor-edged and very dense
Area Samples, Mulitple
– Many samples of soil, plants, air and blood were taken during the mission, which may cast light on the alien materials present.

Intelligence Gathered
Portal Network
– The invaders seem to be using a network of portals located in isolated locations around the world. The connection to the alteration of the found aircraft is obvious, and the lack of gravity in the hub area suggests a non-terrestrial location. The runes marking the portals should be analysed for possible meaning, as they are the first evidence of an alien language we have seen.
Alien Vessel
– We now have confirmation that the invaders are using some form of vessel to travel around the planet, limited observation suggests a high top speed and advanced stealth capabilities.

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First Contact

Summary:
Following medical assessment, it seems likely that the players have been experimented upon by the invaders – strange metallic objects sit adjacent to nerve clusters throughout their bodies. They seem to have no effect upon the players, but the medical team have expressed an interest in examining them more closely.
Induction has been completed, and the players are now officially members of the Operation, assigned bunks, and issued with equipment.
Within a week, the first request for assistance is received. Following reports of data corruption by the International Space Station, NASA has identified an intrusion at the Madrid Deep Space Network site. The players are transported to site by Icarus One.
Carefully advancing across the site, an unexpected movement draws the players’ attention, allowing them to quickly deal with a concealed enemy before it can make its move. Secured for transport, it is left behind as the team surrounds the data centre suspected to be under attack.
Two infiltration drones are quickly located, assaulting the servers within the data center. The first is easily disabled with an adhesive grenade, followed by a volley of fire to a vital component, while the second is damaged beyond its ability to bypass by a barrage of explosives.
The enemies are transported back to Icarus One, and the players head for home, interrupted by an unexplained burst of pain preceding the restoration of communications with Icarus Command.

Items Recovered:
2x Infiltration Drone
– One with a vital component destroyed, leaving it powerless; missing some manipulators.
– One showing multiple minor points of damage, no obvious points of failure but also disabled.
1x Unknown Alien Corpse
– Similar to a four-limbed octopus in general form, lacking the suckers and beak. A deep, almost neon blue in colour (when not actively disguising itself), leaking an inky black fluid. Squamous.

Icarus Command have been advised to recover the attacked servers, and to clean up / recover materials from where the enemies have been attacked.

Dramatis Personae:
Commander McDonnell
– Commander of the Icarus Project. A tall man with a fine moustache and a vaguely Texan accent.

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An Unexpected Journey

Summary:
En-route to Geneva from London Heathrow, another aircraft is lost in mysterious circumstances. The Icarus applicants on board awaken some ten days later, to find themselves alone and isolated in the foothills of North Korea.
Through a combination of preparedness and technological improvisation, they are able to retrieve an alien artefact, avoid run-ins with the local military, and successfully make extraction to resume their journey to Icarus Command.
Following up on the strange experiences and unexplained injuries they have suffered, the applicants are escorted to Medical for examination.

Items Recovered:
Alien Point Defence System
– Unknown materials and method of operation. Resilient, powerful, and demonstrates animate traits. Has a rudimentary concealment system, affecting visual and audio senses.

Intelligence Gathered:
Aircraft Graveyard
– Two other aircraft were also present in the cave, in similar physical condition, and the cave was well protected against casual discovery. Its geographical location suggests distinct efforts to conceal it from the world.
Returned from Abduction
– Only the applicants have returned, with no sign of the hundred or so other passengers. If their memories are at all accurate, the fate of the other passengers seems bleak. Why have the applicants been allowed to leave/escape?

Dramatis Personae:
TSgt Jackson
USAF, seconded to Operation Icarus as a signals expert. Head of the Comms and Electronic Intelligence team aboard Icarus Two.

XP Awarded: 2 points

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