Campaign of the Month: January 2011
Honour Among Thieves
Hagan's Pirate Base
Hagan and his stable of “pet pirates” operate out of an old decommissioned Alliance missile base deep in the swamps that ringed the rainforests, a leftover from the costly Battle for Greenleaf during the War for Unification.
It is distinguishable from the swamp that surrounds it, but only barely – its edges are getting fuzzy as the plant life and water reclaim ground first dredged and cleared nearly a decade ago. The base is supported by a thick concrete underpad, but it is breaking down at its perimeter, chunks of concrete supported by twisted, rusted threads of rebar leaning down into the murky wetlands, a controlled collapse in slow motion.
There is only one road to the base, a barely-maintained, rutted affair built on an embankment that has all but been swallowed up by the swamp. Emerging from the foliage like an abandoned sandcastle is a weathered checkpoint not far from the fence line. A chain-link gate has been erected across the main path into the base, topped with fresh razorwire and sealed with a knotted nest of heavy chain.
The fenceline itself is more or less intact, running around the base grounds in a rough triangle. The fence is as dilapidated as the rest of the base, but the razorwire spiraling atop the chain-link barrier looks plenty new, and sharp at that. Spaced at strategic observation points are thick concrete pylons, some fifteen feet high, atop which are positioned rusty platforms, partially enclosed by leaky roofs and railings.
The road from the main gate is only slightly better preserved than the road leading to the gate. It follows a generally southerly course, and then curves eastward. At the bend in the curve is a cracked expanse of asphalt that at one time was probably a parking lot, and overlooking that is a dilapidated three-storey building, its walls pockmarked with either bullet holes or areas where plaster has fallen away in chunks. Reddish-brown water stains run down from the dodgy-looking roof, and a drainpipe is connected only by association to one of the walls. There are a few narrow windows on the first and third floors, like firing slits.
One corner of the base had almost been fully reclaimed by the shallow waters of the swampland, so much so that the fence line itself sags beneath the waterline only to emerge again a few meters away on the other side of a stagnant pond. Parked near the nasty weed-choked lake are a few flat-bottomed airboats – low tech scows with large propellers encased in cages, with steering vanes attached to them.
There are only three other buildings of note still standing on the base. They are simple, prefab warehouse units that have definitely seen better days – their corrugated roofing has been peeled back by the wind, and they are almost completely rusted through. One of them looks to have been heavily damaged by fire in the recent past, but the other two look weatherized at least, with patches welded into place on the walls and roof, likely salvaged from the remains of the burned module.