After confirming where the theathre troupe was headed, our BlackOps team headed to the surface of Diave Prime. Marianne, Jean, Hune-Boo, BB and McGibbs were chosen to descend while Jim and Lidia remained to sort things out in VGT.
Due to dangerous substances and equipment embargos, transporting weaponry was technically illegal, but Meek-Ria arranged personal weapons to arrive in the next shipment. This meant, however, that the heavy equipment they were fielding would not get to the surface and our soldiers would have to do without powersuits and other force multipliers.
The descent itself was uneventful, with the exception that Marianne got to witness anxiousness from Meek-Ria. The former spy just siad that she doesn't trust the space hook containers and other unpowered methods of travel. It wasn't as if their cabin couldn't fall from the sky at any moment, or wasn't technically already doing it.
Diave Prime, the capital world of the system itself, was a cool planet being terraformed from an ice ball state. With toxic, cyanobacteria-ridden seas and too high atmospheric carbon dioxide content, it was just becoming habitable, but not quite there yet. What was most interesting about it, however, was the focus on very ambitious civil engineering projects, the most importantof which was the equatorial railway. Of course, tourism was low priority, so they waited for their munitions shipment and set on their way west, towards Kukawa – The City of Expressive Art.
Various strategies were discussed and some of the team members even suggested assaulting the train Du'an would board, but this was deemed too risky. In the end, Marianne still opted for efficiency and immediate action, planning to hit the very first performance of Ms. Lynn's troupe. BB was chosen to deliver a fake secret message from Sheryl to Mr. Xu and get him to head backstage after the play, while the rest would ambush him and his bodyguards on the spot. McGibbs would be the getaway driver waiting on the street.
The first part of the plan went admirably and Du'an swallowed the bait whole. However, everything else did not. Not only did Mr. Xu choose to shock the audience by inviting the entire troupe to his mansion in the countryside, but this caused enough of an uproad that the backstage became filled with fans and press immediately afterwards. However, when given the choice of pulling out or going forward, Marianne hesitated only for a split second, giving the order and kicking the rear doors of the theathre wide open.
Mr. Xu had the pleaure to see Lynn smash the door on his face mere seconds before the players pounced on his bodyguards, eliminating them all in the matter of seconds. Rambeau got a bit excited about the situation and let loose, wounding a bystander, but hopefully not fatally.
The chinese gangster, however, was not fazed by the situation, having encountered numerous assassination and usurpation attempts over the years. He simply kicked the door in and ran through the dressing rooms, finding a back door that lead into the wardrobe and storage. The players gave chase, and onlookers got to witness a truly epic escape scene, while Marianne and Jean were forced to admit that they had seriously underestimated the physical fitness of their middle-aged target. It didn't help that Hune-Boo was completely inexperienced with firearms and BB, in her vanity, had chosen a ridiculously elaborate and impractical dress for the occassion. At first, both foreign legionnaires were reluctant to shoot towards Mr. Xu, but when it became evident that they couldn't catch him otherwise, Marianne gave the order to shoot him in the legs. This final decision, however, came too late, as even if Jean managed to impair him, Xu's hecnhmen arrived with their own car to pick their boss up in the nick of time, forcing the players to retreat.
Before this open display of firepower, Kukawa had been one of the least violent cities in Diave, so understandably tensions were high and the players tuned in to listen to special broadcasts of their exploits. McGibbs drove like mad to find a reclusive location while Marianne phoned Meek-Ria for further orders. Such followed promptly – the players were to find a motorboat in the docks and head north to a riverside camping ground, where they would stage the next part of the operation. The mission was still active, and operational time would be very limited – the city grounds were swarming with police and more were expected to arrive from nearby cities.