After a moments hesitation Riley sent an open inquiry across the radio, identifying himself as 'Sergeant Riley,' and asking for identification of the unknown forces outside the building.

Seconds after his transmission the troops outside came to a dead stop as their commander crouched down near the front wheel well and keyed his ear mike, apparently taking orders from someone further away. A minute more of tense silence ensued before a commanding voice broke across the radio, demanding Riley identify which unit he was part of and to give a current 'sit rep.' (Situation Report)

A brief discussion ensued between the group as they debated what to tell the unknown forces outside, a second, more demanding inquiry putting a stop to their discussion as the group decided on telling the forces outside the truth. Keying the mic, Riley told them he was a lone solider with four civilians who sought temporary shelter after a wild animal attacked one of them; and that they do not seek conflict with military forces.

A few more minutes of tense silence follows, as painfully Heather dressed herself and strapped on her weapon belt, the group keeping a careful eye on the soldiers outside, two of the unknown militia having moved out of their sight around the sides of the building. Moving quietly Renee carefully moved from room to room, trying to get a better view of the soldiers from the second story windows, quietly reporting back they had taken up position at the rear door of the farm house.

A burst of static filled the radio for a heart beat before the same commanding voice informed Sergeant Riley he was now returned to active duty and part of Charlie Company effective immediately, and for him to instruct the civilians to lay down their weapons and exit the building at once for processing and return to base camp Bravo.

As the group sat in stunned silence the voice continued, informing them, the military vehicles outside the building had been rightfully repossessed by remnants of the US Army for military use, along with any other needed supplies to be determined after assessment by Commander Braddock. In the distance the group saw a M1 Bradley pulling away from the convoy and slowly down the dirt path towards them, followed by a cargo truck.

A heated argument immediately erupted among the group, who were reluctant to relinquish their transportation, as Riley suggested they may be able to convince the Army to assist them with the gang problem back in Ruthton. After Renee pointed out the military convoy may well take most of their supplies and leave them stuck at their compound, as well as taking Riley from his pregnant wife, the group agreed unanimously not to submit to military command.

Gm note: I was expecting them to lay down their arms and submit, and had an adventure involving a splinter faction of the military at base camp, unhappy with their commander's leadership going rogue with the groups help; but alas the side plot went unused and cut this session somewhat shorter then planned.

Thinking quickly Riley told everyone to follow his lead and take turns with the only radio they had (They had smaller hand held sets but didn't consider them having enough range for the military to get a clear signal) usiea separate radio channel,  and work with him to convince the approaching military forces they were about to be ambushed. (Which got a lot of confused looks around the table before everyone nodded in agreement,)

Grabbing up the radio and setting it to a different channel Riley began to speak:

Riley: 'This is Echo-Four to Spearhead, the recon force is parked right over the surprise package, and they got two more transports about to enter the KZ, (kill zone) are we cleared to proceed?'

Jessy taking the radio from Riley: 'Hold fire until both transports are in the blast zone, we want this diversion to keep their attention.' A pause as Riley motions for him to keep talking. 'Hammer and Anvil are you in position to hit the main force with the party favors?' 

Renee, quickly snatching the radio from Jessy: 'Hammer here, ready to pop the party favors on your go. Are you sure this stuff won't take us out too if the wind shifts?'

Riley Taking back the radio and giving her a thumbs up: (and making a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Warfare skill check) 'This is Echo-Four, risk from sarin exposure minimal in current atmospheric conditions, stand by to-' He stops speaking as Heather slaps his shoulder to get his attention and points to the window.

Outside the group notices the approaching APC and cargo truck are quickly reversing course, with the convoy in the distance suddenly being covered by a smoke screen, obscuring the vehicles from view.

Down below the smaller force surrounding the hummer is quickly falling back as smoke grenades erupt around the hummer, the soldier manning the machine gun falling over the side of the vehicle in his haste to get away. Riley gives the group a thumbs up and mentions they need to keep selling it, tossing the radio to Heather before running off down the stairs. (As Riley's player passed me a short note with his plans, which I greeted with a smile and a note back telling him the requisite skill check and difficulty)

Heather on the Radio in a panicked voice: 'This is Anvil, main target is a bust, I repeat, main target is a bust, they're rabbiting, what are your orders?'

Jessy taking the radio back from Heather: 'Spearhead to all engagement forces, go to radio silence and pursue convoy with MBT's (Main Battle Tanks) at distance, and wait for rogue element to update with convoys new position and status; I say again, maintain radio silence and pursue convoy with main battle tanks at range and wait for rogue element info.'

(The former bit of improv was pulled off surprisingly smoothly by the group, with them using a near by empty juice bottle as a prop for the in game radio; and playing off each others convos without a hitch once Riley's player got things rolling.

I was originally going to call for a few knowledge: military etiquette or performance skill checks to see if their bluff worked, but with how well everyone did with this bit of unexpected bluffing I decided to let them succeed without a skill check.)

As Jessy moved to pass the radio to Renee, a loud explosion outside the building knocked them off their feet, several windows shattering from the concussion wave. As they picked themselves off the ground they noticed the wrecker truck in flames just outside the garage, a coil of oily smoke erupting from the wreckage.

As Jessy, Renee, and Heather looked at one another in bafflement they saw Riley outside giving them a thumbs up next to the hummer, where they all quickly rejoined him. Riley grinned and explained he used a welding tank from the garage and a little improvised demolitions (and demolitions skill check which he scored a critical success on) to make it appear from a distance their surprise package had taken out the hummer.

Their morale bolstered by the brilliant plan, the group agreed not to stick around long enough for the military convoy to see through their diversion, and decided to abandon the damaged cargo truck in favor of the well maintained hummer the recon force was kind enough to leave behind in their haste to withdraw.

Wasting little time the group piled into the Hummer and undamaged cargo truck, (Dubbing the hummer 'Hammer' and the cargo truck 'Anvil')  Jessy taking a couple extra minutes to spark a cheery blaze inside the farmhouse, hoping the ensuing fire will further cover their retreat. As the group drove away in a south east angle through the cornfields, Heather making a startling inquiry: 'Anyone seen Thomas around since the military arrived?'

* * * * *

Will the groups newly acquired Hummer and .50 caliber machine gun prove helpful in their upcoming trials? Will Thomas's whereabouts be revealed? Will Charlie Company find them again? Find out in the next adventure synopsis #23!

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