Union Presence

Once the true nature of Storm Valley's contents became known, the Union mounted a massive effort to gain a substantial foothold in the valley, going so far as to use explosives to widen one of the larger mountain passes so ground vehicles could enter. Unfortunately, this intended highway is frequently blocked by landslides, most of which seem to be due to the lightning striking the mountains. Others seem to have been deliberately caused by certain members of the animal life, pterosaurs and small, agile dinosaurs alike, while a handful have been attributed to human agents (i.e., the Confederacy). As a result, although the Union has a major military base in the southernmost portion of the valley, the unreliable supply route means that no more bases will appear for quite some time, while the soldiers stationed there are frequently

Broncosaurus Rex Ironclad

short-handed on rations, ammunition, and other supplies.

Fort Phil Kearny, the Union's "foot in the door" in Storm Valley, on paper has a garrison of perhaps 1,000 men. In reality, the number is often as low as 300, or even lower, due to a combination of high casualties and the frequent interruption of reinforcements. Nor is this due only to the "natural" resistance of the local fauna, even though the fort has been under a virtual state of siege from the wildlife as soon as it was founded. Although information coming from explorers of Storm Valley is by no means comprehensive, it was realized early on that the dinosaurs and other beasts here were more advanced, more highly evolved, than those of either prehistoric Earth or the Main Valley. At the same time, the Union knows only too well that the Confederacy intends to use giant dinosaurs in battle to counter Union superiority in tanks and ironclads.

Thus, the primary mission of the fort's commander, aside from maintaining the Union's foothold here, is to capture large numbers of the local dinosaurs so that the Union may start its own program of military utilization of dinosaurs, a bigger and better one than the Confederates can boast. Of course, the Union can't even do a competent job yet in capturing and training ordinary dinosaurs, particularly en masse, so trying it with the more highly advanced beasts of Storm Valley is equivalent to running before one can walk.

The result has been massive casualties among the Union forces stationed here, and with precious little to show for them. What few animals have been taken alive invariably either escape or die in captivity, the latter usually as a result of the Union troops being forced to shoot them in self-defense. But Major Robert Harrison Foley, commander of the fort, has his orders, and as soon as a fresh batch of replacement troops fights its way to Fort Phil Kearny, he sends them out into the jungle to try again. This has led his surviving men to nickname him "Major Folly," in a clever play on his name, or simply "the butcher," while Fort Phil Kearny itself is referred to as either "Foley's Folly" or "Hell on Cretasus."

Rumors concerning conditions at Fort Phil Kearny have leaked out, despite all Foley's efforts, and most Union military men would willingly do anything to be stationed anywhere else in the universe but there. Not even the promise of rapid promotion and an increase in pay has tempted anyone to volunteer for this post, at least not after word of the first few massacres of soldiers got out. Now the rumors are starting to spread about a planned major expansion of Fort Phil Kearny, sparing no expense in either money or lives, so that the operation may go about "on a proper footing at last." Although the Union's news services treat this as ordinary, unspectacular news, military commanders are alarmed, predicting mass desertions and mutinies among their troops if this mad scheme is put into effect. If the Union Government - or at least the Cabal - insists on going ahead with this project, it could prove in the end to be the straw that breaks the Union's back, at least on Cretasus.

Fort Phil Kearny is well-equipped with heavy weapons. Square in design, it has a high tower at each corner equipped with a howzer and a pair of heavy machine guns (one on either side of the cannon). Originally, they were designed only to fire outside, with the towers themselves bulging out from the main wall so as to provide flanking fire against any attackers. After the first six months, though, these towers were redesigned with swivel mounts so that their heavy weapons could be turned about to fire inside the fort. The standard explanation is that this was done to increase the garrison's firepower against captured animals that managed to break loose, but the rumor mill suggests that they have been used on occasion against mutinous troops of the garrison. Certainly every Union officer present is equipped with his own mutiny gun, with a small arsenal of "spares" in a special storeroom adjacent to the officers' quarters. Each officer also has his own automatic pistol, while Major Foley himself sports a laser pistol. The rank-and-file are heavily equipped with "Absentee Voter" or "Marionette" rifles, a handful of ROGUE rifles, trank guns, heavy trank guns, and an assortment of flamers, piledrivers, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns in the hands of heavy weapons specialists. In spite of all this armament, and the fact that the troops often go out clad in armor of some sort, even powered armor, the local dinosaurs have inflicted massive casualties. Not only must the troops often "pull their punches" in the interests of trying to take their opponents alive, but the entire neighborhood is heavily forested, providing even giant dinosaurs with so much cover that the soldiers are unable to get much mileage out of their ballistic weapons before being ambushed at close quarters.

Fort Phil Kearny is built on a heroic scale, even considering the size of the garrison, for remember that this place is supposed to be a depository and training center for captive dinosaurs as well as a home for the human soldiers. As such, most of it is empty space that has largely gone to waste, due to the Union's inability to handle captive dinosaurs. (Not even wild ones of Union citizenship have been willing to help out at Fort Phil Kearny.) In addition, the frequent heavy losses of soldiers means that much of the barracks area is also empty or sparsely-inhabited. This lends the entire post a "ghost town" air that wreaks havoc with the already low morale of the troops. Add to this the fact that the fort is far too large for its limited garrison to properly defend it, even on those rare occasions when it's at paper strength, and it is easy to understand why every soldier who has been stationed here at least a short time is oppressed by a conviction of inevitable doom.

In the center of Fort Phil Kearny is a large well filled with poisoned water. Originally, this was a natural spring, and its presence was the reason this site was selected for the fort. Naturally, it wasn't poisoned when the Union troops first showed up; even "Major Folly" isn't that stupid! But shortly after the walls went up, a large flock of giant pterosaurs showed up one moonlit night and subjected the spring to a steady bombardment of decomposed animal carcasses. So many rotting corpses were dropped in (leading Major Foley to suspect the pterosaurs had the cooperation of some of the valley's dinosaurs in preparing this attack) that the well water is now hopelessly contaminated.

As a result, a convoy of tracked water trucks must leave the fort every day to fill their tanks at the river a mile away. The first time this was attempted, several "wolf packs" of the local carnosaurs ambushed the truck and annihilated it, reinforcing Foley's suspicions of a joint operation. A second water party was driven back with heavy losses, and the third succeeded only at the price of leaving the fort itself with a skeleton garrison. Now the need to go to the river for water is a steady drain on the garrison's strength in its own right, as the troops must leave the safety of the fort's walls and expose themselves to attack by dinosaurs, pterosaurs, giant snakes, and crocodiles and other large aquatic reptiles. Fort Phil Kearny has hosted a number of representatives from the Union's various chemical companies, as Major Foley has frantically tried to find a way to detoxify his post's well water, but so far, nothing has worked. Deaths from making the water run occur almost daily, even among troops wearing power armor; some predators have jaws powerful enough to crack this armor, while the crocodiles (which can grip the men firmly without actually penetrating their armor) simply grab the men and hold them underwater until they run out of air.

Major Robert Harrison Foley, a.k.a. "Major Folly": The commander of Fort Phil Kearny is a large man in his forties, with the body and limbs of a boxer and only the slightest touch of gray in his black hair. His clean-shaven face shows stern discipline and a stubborn determination to succeed, no matter what the cost. An officer of average intelligence and skill, he would be competent enough at most posts, but the radical nature of affairs at the Union's foothold in Storm Valley has proven too much for him, at least for the moment.

A pugnacious man who "joined the Army to fight," he is not above leading his troops in battle against dinosaurs or their own rebellious comrades, and the day after the pterosaurs poisoned the well, he personally led the third sortie that finally secured water, albeit at a heavy cost. It is in part this behavior that has prevented a general mutiny on the part of the entire garrison. All too aware of the low morale here - he suffers from it as well - Foley punishes mutineers and dissidents with a firm hand, but no firmer than absolutely necessary, for he is no martinet. In fact, he would like nothing better than to wash his hands of this entire mess, but his pride will not let him admit defeat and submit either a request for a transfer or his resignation. Aside from that, he has a sneaking suspicion that the radical nature of the problems at his post are such that no regular military officer would have more luck than he would at solving them. Since he has been commander for so long, he realizes what the Union is up against here better than any other officer in the army, and is reluctant to leave "his" men in the hands of a rank amateur who must learn all over again at a heavy cost in lives. Currently, all he can do is constantly scream for reinforcements and attempt to carry out his orders on the infrequent occasions they arrive.

Major Robert Harrison Foley, Union Sol8: CR 8; Medium-size Humanoid (6'2"); HD 8d10; hp 72; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 20 ft.; AC 21 physical, 19 energy (+2 Dex, +7 reactive armor, +2/+0 kinetic field); Atk +8/+3 ranged (2d10/crit x2, laser pistol), +8/+3 ranged (1d10/crit x3, automatic pistol), or +8/+3 (1d10/crit 18-20/x3, mutiny gun); AL LN; SV Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +4; Str 13, Con 11, Dex 14, Int

Skills: Bluff +5, Drive +7, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (strategy and tactics) +9, Listen +4, Sense Motive +2, Use Technical Equipment +12. Feats: Combat Placement, Combat Tactician, Iron Will, Leadership, Sense of Vulnerability, Weapon Proficiency-High Tech (Laser Pistol).

Possessions: Laser pistol, automatic pistol, mutiny gun, reactive armor, kinetic field, binoculars. Most other gear is carried by aides.

Infantryman: This is a typical infantryman of the garrison at Fort Phil Kearny. Regarding armament, at least one squad (sometimes two, depending on the number of reinforcements that have arrived recently) will have the "Absentee Voter" rifles replaced by ROGUE rifles, while every fifth man has skill with at least one heavy weapon (piledriver, flamer, heavy machine gun, etc.). A tenth of the garrison may wear reactive or powered armor instead of flak jackets.

Infantryman, Fort Phil Kearny Garrison, Union Sol1:

CR 1, Medium-size Humanoid (6'); HD 1d10; Init +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 16 (+5 flak jacket, +1 Dex); Atk +2 ranged (1d12/crit x3, Absentee Voter rifle) or +1 melee (1d4/crit 19-20/x2, bayonet); AL LN; SV Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0; Str 12, Con 11, Dex 12, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 10.

Skills: Drive +5, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (strategy & tactics) +4, Listen +4, Use Technical Equipment +4. Feats: Improved Initiative.

Possessions: Absentee Voter rifle with four magazines (20 bullets each), bayonet, flak jacket, cash $1d6. Many infantrymen who go on capture sorties will carry trank guns instead of assault rifles.

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