I would rather you not switch mods at this point, but I think your drone can probably identify potential combatants and do some counting. Whether it relays that by scratching marks into the sand or waving its arms is up to you.
Once you give Sparky the command he nods once after a pause and then skitters off. Some time later he returns and indicates that he counts four outside the ship.
"Charging in is possible. But getting close without being spotted before charging in is just better tactics," Zyzzy says. "Let's circle toward the back of the ramp and use the ramp as cover before engaging the squatters."
Leaving the buggy in a spot where it has some protection from line of sight you take a circuitous route around the perimeter of the ship to avoid being seen. As you approach you get a better picture of what is going on: the ship is not sitting on any landing gear, or if it is, it has been partially buried by time and sand. As such there is not much room to approach from 'behind' the ramp, though Skitter could likely squeeze into the space behind it. You could, however, make your way up behind the engines which would keep you out of sight until you round a corner.
The ramp is fairly wide, maybe forty feet, leading up to the open cargo bay doors, but there are two makeshift barricades at the bottom splashed with a bit of paint in a similar fashion to the other buggy earlier. One guard stands in the middle of each of these, a man and a woman, both human by the looks of it. Sitting on a crate at the top of a ramp is the ysoki from earlier, and standing next to him is the mean looking vesk. The driver is no where to be seen, but it is dark inside the hangar.
As you get closer though something begins to nag at Zyzzy. The android has seen plenty of Merchant-class vessels in her time, including the austere entry-level model sold by the commercial wing of ATech. And even compared to those the Viridian Horse seems to have something... missing. In fact, as you get in close behind the engine wells she can see it as clear as day: they have been stripped of their functional parts. Bulk heads or some other kind of sheet plating appears to have been welded onto the inside ends of the wells to prevent anyone from simply walking into the engineering bay (or what is left of it). The Horse will not be leaving the stable any time soon.
[sblock=Factory Standard ATech Merchant-E (Economy)]
ATech Merchant-E - Tier 4
Large heavy freighter
Speed 8; Maneuverability average (turn 2); Drift 1
AC 12 +piloting; TL 12 +piloting
HP 140; DT -; CT 28
Shields light 60 (forward 15, port 15, starboard 15, aft 15)
Attack (Forward) light particle cannon (3d6)
Attack (Port) light laser cannon (2d4)
Attack (Starboard) light laser cannon (2d4)
Power Core Nova Light (150 PSU); Drift Engine Signal Basic; Systems basic medium-range sensors, basic computers, crew quarters (common), mk 3 armour, mk 3 defences; Expansion Bays cargo holds (7), escape pods; Modifiers +2 Computers; Complement 6 (max 20)
The commercial line of vessels offered by ATech all share aesthetic similarities with their military-issue cousins such as the ATech Immortal (you can Google for that). ATech mostly deals in military hardware but any company with Abadar in the name would be remiss not to include trade options among its offerings. As such the venerable commercial line which includes the Vendor-class light freighter, Merchant-class heavy freighter, and the Tycoon-class bulk freighter continue to sell steadily.[/sblock]
Zyzzy nods to Skitter. "If we are to be ranged support we should split up. When they go in, I will try to reach that rock over there (ooc: assuming there's a large enough rock to hide behind within 30 or so feet) so they can't hit us with a grenade."
There is a conveniently placed rock about thirty feet to the left of the ramp which some enterprising starship owner could use for cover. And with a little luck you have managed to get the jump on the troublemakers!
I hear group initiative is generally faster though we can try it either way you like. The enemy has the higher average initiative so they will go first after the surprise round if we do it that way.
M Human 16
F Human 8
You guys are all free to post your actions now. To reiterate the ramp is about forty feet wide and twenty feet deep up to the bay doors. At the bottom corners are two fifteen foot barricades, with the middle sections being half as tall so the sentries would be exposed from the waste up while on guard there (which the humans are doing). At the far end of the top of the ramp are the ysoki and vesk. You are starting maybe sixty feet from the ramp around the corner of the ship, and there is a rock that will provide some cover to someone thirty feet from the ramp and thirty feet from you.
Sobec starts running towards the other vesk, shouting a challenge in their shared Vesk tongue. "Your blood or mine will bring glory to clan and empire," he starts with a customary line, but then adds derisively, "But your blood will be nothing more than just another stain in the sand on this distant rock!"
He shoots his lazer pistol once before the tiny star orbiting around his head starts to swing faster and closer, preparing for a fight up close.
Move towards the vesk, attack with the lazer pistol: [roll0] versus EAC, for [roll1] fire damage
Next round I will form the weapon (which is a move action; hopefully my opponent has closed in by then) and start melee.
Zyzzy moves over to the rock. She traces a line on the exposed circuit of her forearm and points at the nearest guard at the end of the ramp, a bolt of electricity flies from her fingertip to toward the guard but the guard moves at the last second. Aiming with her finger is not the same as piloting a ship.
Zyzzy casts Energy Ray. Attack vs EAC [roll0] Lightning Damage: [roll1]
Skitter pops up and fires off a blast from his laser pistol. He concentrates his fire on the same target as his companions. He then taps some things onto his prosthetic arm and Sparky bounds off towards the ramp.
I think I am in range if not I will move within 80 ft of the enemy. Laser pistol shot and fire damage: 1d20+291d44
Sparky will move 40 feet towards the ramp trying to stay in cover if possible.
Laser bolts and bullets fill the air as the bandits take fire from the party and then, dismayed, draw their weapons and lay down some fire of their own. Tara and Sobec both score their foes with burning hot rays, the man letting out a gasp before drawing his pistol and taking aim at his attacker, while the vesk suppresses the pain with a grunt. The man fumbles his weapon and nearly shoots himself in the foot, but the woman aims true despite despite the greater distance, and Tara feels the stinging pain of a bullet just grazing her arm.
The vesk returns Sobec's ire in kind. "You came a long way to die, runt!" he hisses angrily as he pulls a grenade from his belt and tosses it into your midst. "Don't think I don't see you back there!" cries the ysoki at Skitter as he takes his rifle off his shoulder and takes aim his fellow in the back. Despite the snap shot the bandit gunner aims true and Skitter is left thanking his lucky stars he jerked in the right direction or else he might have taken the bullet right in the chest.
Tara takes 5 damage from a pistol. Sobec, Tara, and poor Sparky all take 2 points of damage from the grenade with a DC 11 Reflex save to take half damage. Skitter takes 8 damage from the rifle, ew. You guys are up.