The Let's Play Archive


by Squint

Part 21: Session 019: Base

Session 019: Base

Day 31, 1809

With everyone outfitted as they liked, I then got on with asking Mr. Gelding what he needed done.

The game loves to do shit like this. A bartender will tell you who's giving out quests, then you go to talk to the NPC and they pretty much say "Yeah, I got a quest but I'm not going to give it to you HAHAHAHAHAHA." Still haven't figured out the sidequest-qualification system yet.

He shrugged. "It can wait, actually. I am more concerned with my reseller up in Algeyra."

"A reseller?" I asked. "Tell me more."

"His name is Wilhelm Krauff, though he goes by 'Willy.' He receives shipments of arms and other odds and ends from us here in Algeyra. He is an up-and-coming buyer, and I imagine with everything that goes on up there he makes a tidy profit in reselling to both Defensa and Tanya's rebels."

"I imagine he does at that," I said. "Does he need help?"

"It is possible, I have not heard from him in a while. The rebels have started to come down here and buy directly. Willy hangs around the bar in Las Vacaciones. Blond fellow with a goatee, should be easy to spot. Do see him if you can."

"All right, I'll do that. See you later, Mr. Gelding."

With Krauff being the only job lead I had, I decided to follow up on it.

Day 32, 0129

"Okay, you guys hang around out here while I go try and scare up some work," I said.

"Don't be too long, cap'n, it's bad luck not to bleed someone under a full moon!" called out LvK as I walked up to the bar entrance.

As soon as I walked inside, the older fellow in the corner approached me. It was the man Ms. Felicidad had told me about during one of my visits to Artrigo: Sirus Lloyd. His suit made him stick out like a sore thumb-if he was indeed some kind of agent as Ms. Felicidad had hinted, he apparently didn't care if people knew it.

"You're the one they call 'Beacon,' right?" he asked me directly, before I could get further into the bar.

"Sensitive stuff?" I asked. "You trust me to handle it?"

"No," he said flatly, "but I trust you more than the others floating around here. Hopefully the price I've quoted is enough to compensate you for the discipline you exhibit."

"Abandoned base near Campesino, huh? Sounds like fun. I'll do it."

"Good man," he said. "You can find me here. Please hurry, if you could-I never thought I'd find a place that would make me miss Bolivia, but Algeyra is definitely that place."

He looked around us, probably out of instinct, and returned to his spot in the room. As Mr. Gelding had said, I picked out Willy rather easily and went to speak with him.

"Mr. Krauff, how are you?" I asked.

"You have me at a disadvantage," he said. The man spoke slowly, trying to thin his German accent. He was quite easy to understand anyhow, but I decided not to bring it up.

"My name is Beacon, and I'm a mercenary," I said. "I spoke with an associate of yours: Mr. Gelding down in Cali-Cantinos. He was growing worried about you."

"Ah! The man worries too much," said Willy. "I am dealing with other things right now, there is no need for him to worry." He looked at me for a moment. "Beacon, then? I will perhaps keep you in mind for future needs."

I nodded to him. "I appreciate it."

He lifted his glass to me. "Auf Wiedersehen, Söldner."

I excused myself and did a quick check of the nearby merchant's stock before heading back outside.

The trader in the bar had a new kind of load-bearing vest for sale. Capacity is the same, but the slots are configured to accept a wider range of stuff. Easy purchase decision.

Day 32, 0131

"We getting around to shooting anything yet?" asked Deadmeat.

I nodded, keeping my eyes on the road. "We're going to recover some documents from people who probably won't be willing to give them up. Have your shit together when we stop."

"Always together, sonny," said Pip. "Don't you worry about nothing."

The base's squatters had left the gate open, probably because it was a little bit off the road and the middle of the night besides. As I stopped the vehicle, however, I heard the snap of something small and supersonic as it passed by the windshield.

"Out, out, get behind cover!" I shouted, and the six of us piled out of the GAZ and into the open.

The base is pretty small and there was only one entrance, so the Rambo approach is pretty much the only one we had available.

As we scrambled, I saw some unarmed women run across the open central area of the base. They weren't dressed for combat.

"I'll take this one!" shouted ZeeToo, shouldering his M14 and drawing down on a bandit he'd spotted.

The rest of us sprinted in the other direction, heading for the relative safety behind the nearest building while ZeeToo took aim.

I heard his rifle bark a single shot, then I shouted over my shoulder "ZeeToo, move, you're gonna get caught out in the open!"

A shot from somewhere else grazed iamsmike before he could get clear of the open area, causing him to stumble.

I checked the corner of the building while the team stacked up behind me. ZeeToo lent iamsmike his shoulder as he joined us behind the building

"There's a bunch of them," said ZeeToo while Pip got to work patching up iamsmike.

"Get some security going back there," I said while still looking down the sights of my rifle. "When it quiets down we'll advance furth-shit!"

Three bandits poured out of the next building down into my line of fire and I put several quick shots into them, the flash from the muzzle keeping my eyes from adjusting to the darkness.

With two of them dead and one writhing in pain on the ground, I rounded the corner. "LvK, on me! Deadmeat, get a tripwire ready. We'll want to keep our tracks covered while we advance."

"Got it, boss!" said Deadmeat, pulling a ready-made booby trap from her vest and keeping it handy. LvK joined me around the corner, her knife out and a wild look in her eye.

"C'mon, cap'n, let's gut while the guttin's good!" she said, half laughing at her pun.

I spotted movement further out in the darkness, but firing would only give away my position. "ZeeToo, could use some grenade support up here! iamsmike, pull security!"

I fell back a bit to give ZeeToo room to throw.

"Where do you need it?" he asked quietly. I nodded down by the entrance to the next building, where the prior three bandits had come.

"In the grass there, somewhere behind the tree," I said. "At least one guy, but I want to be sure."

ZeeToo nodded and pulled a grenade off his belt, yanking the pin and releasing the spoon.

He easily hucked the grenade past the tree and into the darkness beyond.

From around the corner, I heard a clacking burst of gunfire issue from iamsmike's SIG. He had apparently put down a bandit that had come out of the guardhouse by the gate.

With a loud pop and a puff of black-gray smoke, ZeeToo's frag grenade went off. A man stumbled out of the grass, his entire side shredded. He dropped his rifle and crumpled against the open door of the building nearby. I heard another moan come from the grass, but whoever it was was still prone and I couldn't see them.

"Aw, fuck this, it's too hot to put down traps!" shouted Deadmeat, unslinging her Mosin-Nagant and joining iamsmike in keeping the heat off our back. The boom from her rifle rattled the windows above me as she fired upon another bandit who had rounded the corner to attack us.

I heard the "ping" of another spoon being released as ZeeToo hauled back to throw another grenade.

This one silenced the moaning from the grass. The only living bandit left was, interestingly enough, the first one I had shot while clearing the corner.

I didn't feel like wasting a round on him, so I looked back over my shoulder. "LvK, silence this one for me, all right?"

She grinned like a demon and ran ahead, jamming her knife into the crown of the unlucky bandit's skull.

"Woo! We're havin' some fun now, eh cap'n?"

Behind us around the corner, the crack-crack-crack of iamsmike's assault rifle was joined by the periodic BOOM of Deadmeat's bolt-action. Any bandit entering their field of fire was up for a world of hurt.

This is just a pretty screenshot we got of iamsmike and Deadmeat firing side-by-side.

LvK went into a crouch, still in front of me. "There's another one further up, and he's lookin' right straight at us," she said. "Want me to rush 'im?"

"No, get back, you'll just get yourself hurt," I said. "Let me see if I can hit him from here."

As though to confirm his presence, a shot flew through the brush and struck ZeeToo in the hip.

"Son of a bitch!" he grunted and moved over nearer the building. "Pip! Got something that needs your attention!"

Meanwhile, another bandit rounded the corner on the other side, this one with a balaclava and more cautious than the rest. iamsmike let out a burst of suppressive fire while Deadmeat reloaded her Mosin.

Harl is the only named bandit in the base, so it's a fair bet that he's the boss. He also employs less of a lemminglike approach to attacking than his subordinates-he actually popped in and out of cover at the corner of the building as he took fire.

Deadmeat dropped into the prone to do some distance shooting against a bandit on the other side of the open area.

She told me later on it had been hard to fire through the grass, but her third shot found its mark, letting the bandit's brain breathe a little fresh night air.

"Shit, I can't get a shot, it's too dark," I whispered. ZeeToo began to unsling his own M14, but then LvK took off at a sprint into the brush.

I swallowed some of my anger, but not all of it. "God dammit, LvK, don't expect me to come out there and drag your wounded ass-"

In the darkness I heard the sounds of a scuffle, then the wet sucking sound of a knife being pulled from a torso. Then I heard it again. Then I heard LvK scream out "Yeee-haw, fucka!"

I correctly assumed that she'd killed him.

On the other end, Deadmeat was steadying aim for her longest shot yet.

Mr. Balaclava finally succumbed to iamsmike's barrage.

"Here you are, kiddo, good as new. But get used to the idea of a bad hip, believe me," said Pip as he zipped up his first-aid kit.

"Damn thing takes so long to reload..." said Deadmeat as she thumbed another round down into the Mosin's magazine.

As iamsmike killed another bandit that emerged from behind the GAZ, Deadmeat leveled her rifle at a far-off target outside iamsmike's field of fire.

Her target landed the first hit, which slammed into her shoulder. iamsmike spun around. "Medic! Pip! Deadmeat's been hit!"

He whirled around to put some rounds into her attacker...

...but Deadmeat got him first, blowing the back of his head clean away.

Undeterred by his target's state of death, iamsmike put a single cathartic shot into the bandit's corpse.

"All right, girly, you'll be fine," said Pip as he worked on Deadmeat. "Probably feels worse than it actually is."

"I don't know, doctor, it feels rather fucking bad," she explained. Pip just smiled.

It grew quiet. No more shots rang out, no move voices were heard.

"All right, regroup," I said. "We're going to have to clear these buildings and make sure there's nobody lying in wait for us. LvK, get back here. iamsmike's going to be on point with ZeeToo backing hi-"

"Nuts ta that, cap'n!" said LvK as she ran past me. "You need shit cleared, I'll clear it!"

She threw her flashbang to ZeeToo, who blinked and caught it. "Here, pal, you gonna be clearing buildings you're gonna need that. I got my own thing I do." She then ran off past him and Pip, who had finished treating Deadmeat and had come up on my regroup order.

"Hey, where you going?" asked iamsmike as LvK ran past him. Making the best of the situation, he covered her movement with his rifle.

Without hesitation, LvK ran up to the guard station, where she found a lone bandit holed up in cover from iamsmike and Deadmeat's prior barrage of 5.56mm and 7.62x54R gunfire.

I didn't see what happened...

...but iamsmike told me that arterial spray was involved.

As she ran back with a joyous expression, however, a door on the building across the way opened, and iamsmike became her guardian angel.

The bandit didn't even manage to get outside before her head got spun around by iamsmike's NATO-spec delivery of intermediate-round justice.

The close call reined in LvK somewhat, and I was finally able to regroup everyone. We systematically cleared each building in the base.

There was a building with empty office spaces,

two empty warehouses,

a couple of garages which were (surprise!) empty,

a furnished office complete with wood paneling, and a partridge in a pear tree. After the buildings were clear, we searched the bodies.

On Harl was a safe key. Hmm, this might be important, ya think?

Harl's pistol was a Walther P99 chambered in .40S&W. Developed in the 1990s, it was one of the first production pistols to ship with exchangeable backstraps for the grip, providing shooters with a choice in how the pistol sat in their hand. It is also the current pistol of choice for James Bond (albeit in 9mm), starting with the 1999 film The World Is Not Enough.

This Knight's Armament Company SR-25 is the find of the session. Chambered in 7.62x51mm, this bad boy has a Leupold M8 40mm scope attached, providing 12x magnification, along with a detachable bipod and suppressor. This is a weapon worthy of a professional sharpshooter.

To complement the SR-25 we also found this sniper suit in the base. The sniper suit goes into the uniform slot and provides a bonus to the wearer's stealth by breaking up his or her human silhouette, which tends to draw the eye. Just for fun, let's outfit Deadmeat with both and then get a badass screenshot.

Mission accomplished.

I then made my way around the base, making sure all the bystanders (who, I noted, were all women) knew that they were free.

They were grateful, of course. I assume they probably made for Campesino, since that was the nearest town.

One woman even let me in on an insurance policy she'd hidden inside the base.

I found the pistol, as promised, between two outhouses against the rear wall of the base.

Now in contention with the Gyrojet pistol for the title of Most Obscure Pistol in Equally Obscure Computer Game, the OTs-20 GNOM is a five-shot revolver firing a proprietary 12.5x40mm round adapted from a 32-gauge shotgun cartridge. Like the Gyrojet, it probably belongs over a mantle more than it does in someone's hands.

After the women had left, I took a good look around from the open area in the center of the base, and decided to keep it. Why not? It had already been abandoned before the bandits had taken it over, and it was in pretty good shape. I figured it would serve as a good central location to store materiel and supplies. If Fakirov could dig in and try to wait out the heat, I could dig in and keep it on him.

My team gathered around me.

"Hoo, that was some fun, wasn't it, chums?" said LvK with a grin.

"We kind of got stuck in that one corner," pointed out Pip.

"It could have been a lot worse," I said. "At any rate, I think I'll be operating out of here from now on. We've already seen it's pretty easy to defend with half a brain. Let's get some rest and think on what to do next."

Everyone spread out, searching for their own little nook to make themselves comfortable. "Awesome stuff, boss, definitely what I signed up for," said ZeeToo as he passed by me.

I went to the offices and found the safe in the back. The key I had found on the bandit leader opened it up with no difficulty.

This might be the folder Sirus wanted. Just a hunch here.

Also in the safe was this manual for the operation of a Boeing 747 commercial airliner. The in-game description says that there are many annotations throughout the manual in Arabic.

The final item in the safe was a Heckler & Koch UMP-45, complete with suppressor and two spare magazines. This submachine gun has a folding stock, accessory rail, and fires .45ACP ammunition at a manageable 600 rounds per minute.

After finding the file and the manual, the mission log update hints that we can perhaps do something else with these documents beside give them to Sirus. That'll be our Decision Time™ question for this session: hang onto the documents or give them to Sirus? Remember, withholding the documents will probably piss off Sirus and, by extension, the CIA.