Part 128: Venezuela
from the Journal of Marcus Gordon, Former Defense Minister, UCS
November 27th, 2150
A god damned week chasing shadows.
I'm such an idiot. I should have never deviated from my plan. Now I'm running out of time and still no closer to getting the Dynasty and Lunar Corporation to believe that I'm not affiliated with GOLAN. Hell, the Dynasty have already started packing up their equipment for the move back to Europe. I've seen them massing together all their South American forces in Venezeula. There are shipments every day or so of materials from deep in the Amazon...containing who knows what. But as far as I can tell this is the only route available to me. Only those trucks would be able to clear the security checkpoints at GOLAN's remnants. And while I'd love for there to be something closer, there simply isn't time any more to be picky. The oceans are beginning to evaporate off and according to my sensors it's a death sentence to be outside for more than a few minutes tops. I can't imagine we have more than a fortnight or so until the planet is completely inhospitable. I've got to make a move now or I'm going to be stuck here.
Let's hope it works out, or this is going to be my last entry.
Briefing Video: video link
I have no idea what these trucks are transporting, but Marcus is right. Without them we have no hopes of getting anywhere near GOLAN until well after the ED and LC evacuate, and by then it'll be too late. The bit about being stealthy is interesting...
Really interesting. The game isn't kidding here. If anything sees you the convoy will be called back and you'll fail the mission. Good thing I invested in all that SHADOW tech!
We'll need to hold out for a day and a half while we wait for the trucks to arrive. In the meantime, this base is entirely too visible. We need to cloak it in the event a Dynasty reconnaissance flight comes our way.
Much better. Now all of our units and buildings are cloaked. I'll have to keep building things up, but this should tide us over for the time being.
The ED is well south of us so we should be safe to do some very, very minimal scouting to see if there are any additional resources. It looks like not, so we'll head back to base.
1 day to go and everyone is nestled nice and snug in the base. It's a bit cramped though, everyone needs to be extremely close to the SHADOW towers for it to have an effect. So let's work on that a bit.
Research: Shadow Generator upgrade mk II
By far the worst part of stealth operations is the need to run lights off. The mining is arduous and units take ages to get out of each others way.
This will give us a little more room. Or at least enough that the army doesn't have to sit on top of the minerals patch.
You know you've broken the game when you create a unit so large that its model runs off the little box provided. Quad 120mm cannons, a heavy rocket launcher, and a SHADOW generator. This thing packs a wallop.
1 hour to go. I've hesitated about sending out any scouts, but as soon as the convoy is in range we'll need a route to the base. I'm guessing they won't be sticking around for long.
Right on schedule, there's the convoy, and it's super zoomed in! Glad I could see every single pixel on these tanks instead of getting an idea of where the hell they are...
2 days 7 hours? Jesus. Okay, we're gonna have to do this one real quick like. Get moving!
Our scout has discovered the base. No time to await the rear of the army, open fire!
The initial bombardment takes out the few towers in the jungle, but it's alerted the mobile defenders in the base. I believe we're about to have a fight on our hands...
They forgot shields! You're going up against the UCS and you forgot shields!? I mean, I guess they thought this was a pretty secure location, but still! B team, Dynasty. B team.
With no shielding of any kind we tear through the ED units. And now we can begin our grenade bombardment...
By morning most of the base's outer defenses are smouldering ruins. The ED has no mobile units left to send at us, so now it's just a matter of destroying this base before the timer runs out.
And we have quite a force to do it. So long as I'm smart with my units this should be enough. Of course, I'll need to be extremely smart because there's only going to be one shot at this. Even a slight defeat will be enough to allow the Dynasty to evacuate the trucks while I regroup.
Our heavy rocketeers are able to engage at a favorable distance thanks to the hills. So that's nice.
Took out that whole guard post while the grenadiers were reloading. Good work guys. Er...robots. Machine. Things.
This line of small towers over the the west worries me (this screenshot is facing south so that's why it appears to the right). If they clip one of the Condors it's going to slow down the whole assault. My 120mm cannons don't have the range to engage without getting melted by lasers, so this is the perfect task for them while my grenadiers and rocketeers work on the second line of defenses.
We're making good progress...can't complain about much.
except that! The Dynasty apparently has finally figured out we won't get in range so they've brought out mobile artillery. Quick, kill it! It's the only thing capable of engaging us!
The base is on its last legs now. Or well the productive parts of it at least. The trucks however are holed up in the western part and may take some time to crack open. Time I don't have.
Nothing to do except wait though. In the meantime, let's do some science!
Research: AA Plasma Cannon
With only about half a day to go, we're not much closer to knocking down the truck pen. It's dangerous but I have no choice. The truck escorts at the very least must be destroyed. Everyone charge in!
Our charge has taken them completely by surprise. They're not sure who to aim at and are just firing willy-nilly into our general direction. Good. This is the exact sort of thing we needed.
With the convoy escort destroyed we just need to destroy all the cannons surrounding the truck pen. Or more accurately, destroy the power to the cannons surrounding the truck pen.
I love grenades
Thanks to our grenades we can move in to the center at no risk. Now we must hurry and level the rest of the base.
I've split the group into teams. The team to the west will work on the western towers. The grenadiers in the rear will handle the towers to the north and a small group of remaining 120mm cannons will take out the remaining buildings in the east.
And there goes the last building! That should do it!
Research: AA Plasma Cannon II
YES! THE TRUCKS ARE OURS! THANK GOD
3 undamaged trucks? That's cake. The ED is completely wiped ou-
Oh...oh no. Oh no!
The LC are here as well! If they spot us we're in deep shit as they'll know what we're trying to do. But even worse, they might destroy the trucks! Everyone!
Well at least they can't tell the rest of their army what's going on here. But that jamming isn't going to last forever. How much time do we have?
translateTimeToDestroyLC time? Uh...ok then.
Run trucks! Run! Your only hope is to make it back to the LZ and get airlifted out of here.
The LC have spotted the trucks and are making a beeline for them. Our interdiction is their only hope of survival.
Shit! Some of them are getting through! They'll rundown these trucks in no time at all. Focus all your fire on the furthest unit! Force them to double back and engage!
Yes! It's working! They're pausing to end the harassment. Go trucks go!
One last hovercraft must have figured out what we're up to and is breaking off to pursue. Our walkers aren't fast but they have range. Will they catch it in time?
Yes! Thanks to the terrible terrain even the speedy LC units couldn't completely outrange us. Thank god.
But things aren't over yet. We've taken a hell of a beating and we don't know exactly how long we have to destroy the LC base. We'll need to quickly heal up and move out.
On the plus side, at least I'm able to set up a small mining outpost. Should give us enough credits to fill in the gaps that our interdiction created in the ranks.
And our scout has found the LC base. It looks...pretty easy to break into actually. Sure there are a terrifying number of Main Bases, but we've got range. And we have something else too.
With our rocketeers and grenediers hitting their forward defenses we'll be able to move the army in en masse in just a bit.
There we go. Sadly night is about to fall so our movement will be hampered, but once again the LC seem to have forgotten detector units. This means we can just waltz right in and pummel them.
We've blown the doors off the place but they can't figure out where our attack is coming from.
Interestingly, they can attempt to shoot down our rockets with their own. It's just about the only thing they can do but with the grenades and plasma they don't have a prayer.
With the HQ gone, I'm guessing their communications problems will persist for a little longer.
Yeah, its basically open season now. The only thing they can even try to touch are our Condors, and if they're relying on that it's already too late for them.
All defenses are down. We just need to shut down the power and this thing is over.
First power plant down.
And there go the other two. The Xyrex plants still work, but they're made of tissue paper. One solid barrage from the grenades and they're done.
These last two missions have given me an idea. A wonderful idea. You see, the one threat to our stealth attacks is that our units move out of range of our Spiders. But what if we didn't have to worry about Spiders? What if we could build a unit that we could move into the base and carry out a stealth attack without any support? No Spiders, no Condors, nothing but themselves.
Well folks, we can. Here it is. The Jaguar II hP with SHADOW Generator. Or the most hilariously broken unit in the game. No ammo so it doesn't need to reload, no support units that can be destroyed. Just walls of plasma smacking the enemy in the face. I love it
The last few Solar Batteries go down and...
We've done it! It was very dicey, but we managed to pull it off. Now to use these trucks to infiltrate GOLAN itself!
The trucks are safe. 5 should be more than enough to sneak into GOLAN.
The name of this mission is speed. Be quick and you'll win. Be not-quick and you'll lose thanks to translateTimeToDestroyLC. Still have no idea how long you're supposed to have, but there's gotta be some sort of timer on it.
Next time...we prepare for our crossing of the Atlantic!
from the Journal of Marcus Gordon, Former Defense Minister, UCS
November 29th, 2150
The inventor's journal had some more details buried in the back. Details I cannot figure out. It definitely was not written by the inventor as he was certainly well dead by then...but there's no other possible source. The author writes that this virus wasn't a normal sort of virus but "an attempt to not throw the baby out with the bathwater." I don't know what that means, but he never mentions the virus was again. The entire rest of this other journal is mostly about something called Project Icarus. I...I think I'd know about a Project Icarus, I was Defense Minister after all, but I can find no record of the thing.
I've scoured all my sources but there exists no record of Project Icarus...anywhere. The journal I'm able to piece together as it's just writing on paper the old-fashioned way. Which in itself is odd. I can't even remember the last time someone wrote things on paper. There's no point now, what with everything being digitized. So why go through the trouble of even finding paper and pen, much less actually writing on it?
There's something else too. I also found a series of files all seemingly named around this "Project Icarus". Things like "Project Icarus Interview" and "Project Icarus Design." Even something called "PROJECT-ICARUS.EXE". They're locked up extremely tight with a form of encryption I've never seen. I'm no NEO, and I'm not about to become one now. Getting these mechs online was about the apex of my skill with a computer. Plus I don't exactly have time to deal with mystery documents now with the end of the world coming. But they must mean something. What sort of secrets was GOLAN running that none of us are aware of? First the tunnels and now this Project Icarus. And the physical writing...
It's all deeply troubling. I fear I've uncovered a puzzle that will do nothing but yield more pieces, never revealing its answers...