Campaign of the Month: December 2016
Gamma World 2754
Omega Team Five
Team Five suffered casualties and dissension during a futile struggle between hostile factions in post-apocalypse South Africa.
Name: Jarnigan Langreen
Position: Team Commander, Alpha Section Leader
Previous Experience: SADF 27 yrs (attained the rank of Brevet General before retiring in 2496) – recruited 2493
Age: 52 (as of 2499, 54 as of 2755)
Skills: ENERGY-125/MELEE-100/POWER-ARMOR-100/GUNS-80/SURVIVAL-60/SPEECH-50/UNARMED-40/PIL-30/REPAIR-30/MED-20 (ZERO-G:3)
Bio: Jarnigan Langreen was by far the most experienced military man among the Omega Teams. Langreen became aware of the Omega Project through contacts in the British Defense Ministry, which had been infiltrated by Omega operatives of Thyssen Vandermonde. Normally a staid and conservative career officer wouldn’t give the time of day to a freakish cult like the ‘Project’, until his son disappeared under mysterious circumstances while exploring caves in South America. Vandermonde showed Langreen something about the fate of his son that shook the general to his core. Within three months Langreen attained a seat on the ‘Omega Council’, a kind of ‘board of directors’ for the Project, where Dr. DeSoto and Vandermonde served as co-chairmen. Langreen lobbied successfully for a bunker to be fast-tracked in South Africa. Fortunately for Langreen, he chose to command Team Five in his native South Africa rather than assuming overall command of the three Control Base Teams, as his rank and experience would normally dictate (to the secret relief of DeSoto and Vandermonde).
From the Omega Project point of view, Langreene’s main faults are a sentimental attachment to his native homeland and a tendency to focus on winning battles rather than building coalitions. But the Project could not afford to turn away someone of Langreen’s caliber and personal commitment.
Name: Matthias Armbruster
Position: Section Leader (Security Detail)
Previous Experience: Germanic Alliance KSK Kommando 10 years; various merc companies 7 years – recruited 2495
Stats: MS13/IN11/DX17/CH7/CN16/PS17/PE14/HP-58 (various legal and illegal modifications)
Skills: EXP-125/ENERGY-125/POWER-ARMOR-120/PRECISION-100/UNARMED-80/STEALTH-80/GUNS-75/PIL-60/SURVIVAL-60/MELEE-40/BARTER-40/MED-30 (ZERO-G:2)
Bio: ‘Captain’ Armbruster was handpicked by Langreen early on as his future right-hand man in the Project. The two worked together professionally during brush-fire wars in southern Africa between 2492 and 2496 when the SADF secretly sponsored various mercenary actions in the region. Armbruster was originally lured away from the Germanic Alliance by the highly lucrative mercenary market in the chaotic years running up to world war 3.
Armbruster is totally loyal to Langreen and would follow his commander anywhere including 250 years into a post-apocalyptic future, but has little patience for or understanding of the Omega Project. Langreen’s sponsorship is the only way a man like Armbruster could ever get past the Omega Council and into a field Team. That said, the brutal ex-mercenary is not necessarily depraved or evil, but certainly amoral.
Name: Rachel Cromarty
Position: Beta Section Leader, Science Specialist
Previous Experience: PhD in Genetics & Pathology – Imperial College London; UN CGDC for 16 years (fighting global pandemics) – recruited 2497
Bio: Cromarty was one of the highest caliber scientists to join the Omega Project. She first became aware of the ‘Project’ while investigating a mysterious outbreak in Lesotho. Later she discovered from a Project recruiter that Dr. DeSoto’s team had predicted this specific outbreak with accuracy (by monitoring hyperspace activity through their illicit access to the GHA). After a year of grappling with the impossibility of this fact, she gave up, disappeared from normal life and entered the shadowy world of the Project.
According to Cromarty, things went wrong from the start of operations in 2753. Other than stitching up mutilated tribal warriors, there was little use for her advanced scientific knowledge and skills. Life became a series of harrowing battles. Her trust in Commander Langreen deteriorated rapidly as the factional warfare continued with no end in sight, taking first the life of her technical specialist and then A-Team’s security specialist. In early 2755 Cromarty herself was mortally wounded in a Basotho ambush and only survived thanks to advanced medical technology and Dr. Shephard’s superlative skills. From that point forward her only goal was to find a way out for herself (and Dr. Shephard if she could manage it).
Name: Ronald Bhekumbuso
Position: Beta Section, Social Specialist
Previous Experience: Criminal underworld of Lesotho and Johannesburg 6 years; Lesotho government 3 yrs; SA government 5 yrs; numerous tribal dialects – recruited 2495
Bio: ‘Ron’ grew up in the sprawling slums of 25th century Maseru and initially made a name for himself in the criminal underworld as a negotiator and fixer. Later the charismatic youth managed to lift himself by his own bootstraps to a position in the Lesotho government, finally emigrated to South Africa where he rose to a mid-level position in the foreign service. Ron spent much of his time in field negotiations between rival gangs, tribes and the government. However, he never entirely gave up his various illicit activities, especially his lucrative drug trafficking operation.
Ron joined the Omega Project by way of a fluke run-in with a Project operative working on the recently-completed Team Five bunker located south of Johannesburg. He was recruited in exchange for keeping the new bunker location secret for yet another year, but in fact Ron turned out to be exactly what the Project was looking for in a Social Specialist. It was thought that criminal elements were more likely to survive the apocalypse than standing governments, making Ron’s knowledge of the South African underworld ideal. Ron also worked inside the SA government to keep the Team 5 bunker location secret.
Ron correctly concluded that Team Five was in over it’s head from the start of operations in 2753. Calls to Omega Control Base went unanswered and the worst had to be assumed. For reasons Ron didn’t understand until much later, Langreen permanently switched off the standard Omega Project communications gear and insisted on using only scavenged archaic ‘radio’ sets from then on. Ron was totally unable to negotiate any kind of lasting peace in the area, but did manage to win the Zulus over and secure the Team’s survival for at least a bit longer.
Name: Angela Shephard
Position: Beta Section, Medical Specialist
Previous Experience: MD Imperial College London; Orthopaedic Surgeon 6 yrs – recruited 2498
Bio: Shephard was a close friend of Cromarty and recruited into the Project on this basis. Despite this, she became a dedicated Project member and actually recruited five additional members. Two of these went on to become part of the Omega Control Base teams (now unfortunately dead).
The non-stop conflict since 2753 kept her too busy to really think about how desperate the situation was. She didn’t wake up until Cromarty was critically injured. After that she began to come apart psychologically. News of the loss of Control Base and most of the other Team bunkers has hit her particularly hard. It may be some time, if ever, before Doctor Shephard is able to contribute anything more to the 28th century.
- Vulnerability to Radiation and Poisons
25th century humans do not have the high natural resistance to radiation and poison found in all surviving inhabitants of the 28th century. Radiation and poison intensity is doubled for Omega team members. 1 Rad is gained per day spent outside an Omega bunker or other protected space – this can be blocked by rad protection gear, such as the Omega Jumpsuit and respirator. Rads are not lost naturally 1/daily as they are for 28th century natives. 1/1 Poison/Rad is gained per man-day of impure food and water consumed.
- Artifacts and Technology
25th century natives can immediately understand and use most 25th-28th century technology. Experimental Shadow-Years or Alien tech must be figured out normally, but at +4 in addition to any intelligence bonuses. All 25th century humans are treated as ‘pure strain humans’ when figuring out unknown artifacts. They can teach others normally.
Omega Project Team Five was activated in February 2753 after expiration of a 250 year fail-safe period (itself a terrible mistake, as the fail-safe periods were supposed to be 15 or 25 years). After a few weeks of initially optimistic results, including location of a small Tech-I/II enclave near Pretoria, the Team became locked in a hopeless struggle between opposing Amose Basotho and Bongani Zulu warlords. The situation spiraled downward from there. Ultimately the team had to take sides and thus embroil themselves in a permanent quagmire. Were it not for the arrival of freedom-fighters from Utah and their amazing revelations, Team Five would have shortly become no more than a thin layer of dust in the history of Africa.
Sreelathan intelligence never detected the activation or subsequent activities of Omega Team 5, in large part due to having long ago written off the ‘Omega Project’ as no longer a threat (a more or less correct conclusion if not for the meddling of certain unidentified natives). That and the insistence of Commander Langreen on using scavenged non-Omega radios and clunky military-style communication protocols (never adopted by the Project at large).