Rock and a Hard Place

A Heavy Gear RPG Scenario

Double Play

Kayoko reread the dispatch once again, frantically searching for a way out. Once again, she could find no salvation hidden within the black type of the page, just the three short sentences that doomed her.

Facility audit will occur Autumn 14.

Ensure all appropriate records and personnel are readily available for inspection.

Do not leave the compound; your presence is requested to justify various inconsistencies, which have become apparent in the facility’s management.

Signed and authorized by

Junko Tanaka

Sous-Chef MDC Guidance Section, Loyang Prefecture

A ‘request’ from MDC’s guidance department was tantamount to house arrest. Luckily, Kayoko still had some influence among the paper pushers back at head office, one of whom had sent her an advance copy of this order while feigning equipment problems with the communications array.


Good girl, Mika Kayoko muttered to herself, her mind still reeling from the implications of the message. I hope for both our sakes that Tanaka is unaware of your little trick. But you’ve bought us a little time. I pray it’s enough.

Her course of action now clear in her mind, Kayoko rose from her desk and strode across her opulent office, stopping only to retrieve her desert wear before leaving.

In the now empty office, her compad urgently signaled an incoming message, while thousands of miles to the south a single shot echoed through the halls of MDC’s headquarters.


This adventure drops the Players into a situation which has the capacity to destabilize an entire region of the Badlands. MDC executive Kayoko Shimizu has been secretly diverting funds from an MDC research facility near the frontier settlement of Pioneer’s Folly. Director Shimizu is hiding herself among the population of the settlement in an effort to elude the wrath of her employer, hoping that when the dust settle she’ll be able to slip out of town. Unfortunately, she has also taken with her copies of the facility’s research. MDC is quite concerned that this research not fall into the hands of foreign powers (or even other Dominion corporations) and has dispatched Junko Tanaka to expedite the return of this sensitive data.

Tanaka is well aware of the sensitive political situation in the area. he has hired a gang of Mekong brigands with whom he has had previous dealings with to aid him. Under the guise of bandit raids, Tanaka has been searching convoys leaving Pioneer’s Folly and the surrounding farms. This has been ongoing for the past four weeks, and the searches are beginning to escalate in violence as the bandits lose their patience.

(For more information on MDC, the Mekong Dominion and the latter’s complex society, see the Mekong Dominion Leaguebook.)

Playing The Scenario

Between a Rock and a Hard Place provides the Gamemaster with a basic setting and enough background information to play the scenario. Rather than set out a number of objectives required to complete the story and then force the Players to complete them, a framework for the Players to operate within is provided instead. There should be enough background information provided on each site to allow the Players to determine what is happening in the area and respond accordingly. Badlands characters may simply turn Kayoko over to the Flame Serpents and receive a reward from the brigands. Teams loyal to the north or south may turn her and her research over to their respective governments and be likewise rewarded for their loyalty. More altruistic characters may find other solutions to the problem, such as negotiating the return of the research material to AC-27 in exchange for Kayoko’s freedom (and likely subsequent defection to the North). The specific of the adventure are best left to the Gamemaster and the Players.



This information is important to the Gamemaster, but the Players should be allowed access to some of it. To aid the Gamemaster in this, the data is separated into three categories, which may appear in following sections. General Info is common knowledge available to all Players. Specific Info is knowledge which Players may have access to, provided their character’s background can justify such knowledge or they take appropriate action where indicated. Covert Info is knowledge that the Players will not have access to before this scenario but may learn during play, at the Gamemaster’s discretion.




MDC Agri-commune VC-27

General Info

  • The Agri-commune VC-27 (Victor Charlie 27) is 25 kilometers to the east of Pioneer’s folly.
  • MDC maintains a number of isolated R&D facilities in the Badlands.
  • MDC or the Mekong Development Corporation is a major corporate entity from the Mekong Dominion.

Specific Info

  • MDC maintains facilities within the Badlands to avoid the scrutiny of corporate rivals.
  • MDC takes the security of such facilities very seriously and believes any breach of security to be an affront to the honor of the entire corporation.
  • Agri-commune VC-27 is engaged in a research program to engineer a hardier strain of Springer beast.
  • VC-27 purchases much of their supplies from Pioneer’s Folly, but no one from the facility have visited the settlement for over two weeks.
  • VC-27’s director is well known in Pioneer’s Folly. Her name is Kayoko Shimizu.

Covert Info

  • VC-27 is engaged in Webbling experiments to determine the capacity of various Springer breeds for grafting to Webbling systems.
  • Tanaka of the MDC Guidance section has recently arrived to oversee a corporate audit of the facility.
  • Director Shimizu has been missing for three weeks.


Pioneer’s Folly

General Info

  • The settlement is midway between the Badland City/State of Nineveh and the border of the Mekong Dominion.
  • Pioneer’s Folly is an important waystation for travelers to either nation.

Specific Info

  • Last season there was a violent clash between a patrol from Nineveh and a MILICIA esquade from Olduvai. There were six casualties, two fatalities.
  • Pioneer Hostel is one the nicest of three local hotels.
  • The MILICIA and their northern counterparts have decreed that neither side is allowed to patrol the area surrounding Pioneer’s folly until political negotiations determine who has the right to do so. Military tensions in the area are high.

Covert Info

  • The Guest book of Pioneer Hostel contains one Kay Chang, who is in fact Kayoko Shimizu.
  • Kay Chang has not left her room for over two weeks, she orders room service and does not greet any of the staff.
  • Kay has purchased a desert survival suit and enough rations to last two weeks in the desert. She intends to set out for Nineveh in three days’ time.


Pioneer General Store

General Info

  • The settlement’s largest general store, specializing in desert survival gear.
  • Tracy Stevens is the store’s sole owner and only employee.
  • The store is closely affiliated with ICP (another Dominion corporation), Paxton and Northco.

Specific Info

  • Due to the recent brigand attacks, there has been a marked increase in small arms sales.
  • A man by the name of Junko has been looking around for a specific woman.
  • Junko left a picture of her (Kayoko) just in case she came in.
  • VC-27 purchased an extraordinary amount of surgical apparatus from Pioneer’s Folly. Employees will explain that there was an outbreak of Sandrot (a notoriously lethal Springer parasite), but the type of equipment purchased isn’t used for the treatment of Sandrot.

Covert Info

  • Stevens has been keeping Northco’s UMF HQ appraised of all happenings within the city.
  • He (Tracy) is a covert operative of Northco who has been in contact with Kayoko over the last half cycle and is prepared to purchase the datadisk containing AC-27’s research for 100,000 Dinars.
  • If the opportunity arises, Stevens will approach the Players to smuggle Kayoko and her data out of the area, giving them coordinates to rendezvous with a heavily armed UMF convoy three days from now. If appeals to the Players patriotism (where appropriate) are unsuccessful, Tracy will offer 5,000 Dinars in cash and a further 10,000 Dinars worth of stock from the General store, to entice their cooperation.


Flame Serpents

General Info

  • The Flame Serpents have been raiding farm houses and convoys for the past week and a half.
  • Appeals for assistance to the AST and CNCS have received the same response. “It would be politically unwise for our forces to aid Pioneer’s folly as military tensions are high.”
  • The Flame Serpents are a small brigand/rover gang usually operating within the Mekong Dominion.

Specific Info

  • Survivors of the brigand’s attacks report that the gang seem to be looking for a specific person, whose description matches that of Kayoko Shimizu as well as Kay Chang.
  • The Serpents will easily reveal that this woman escaped from their leader and he demands her return and is even willing to pay 20,000 Dinars for her safe return. Only then will the gang will leave.
  • The gang is only stealing a small amount of supplies from the farm houses in the area, as if they are not in need of them.

Covert Info

  • The Flame Serpents are working under the direct command of Junko Tanaka and MDC.
  • They have been leaving many survivors during their raids to ensure that the residents of Pioneer’s Folly know who they are looking for.
  • The Flame Serpents will stop any convoy leaving the settlement even if it means destroying them.
  • AC-27 has been supplying the Brigands with supplies and arms.


Flame Serpent inspections

A typical Flame serpent patrol consists of an infantry escouade riding within a Camel truck and escorted by two Elan jeeps. This force is usually more than adequate to search a typical convoy or farm house. If the patrol is repelled, a second force will be assembled from the remaining forces to complete the inspection. The Gamemaster should review the Flame Serpents forces within this adventure to assemble the best force to complete the second inspection. Note that if the Flame Serpents are convinced that Kayoko Shimizu is hiding at an isolated farmhouse or is in a specific convoy, they can call upon the MDC forces at AC-27 to assist them. In such situation, the Flame Serpents will leave no survivors.



Military Forces in the Area

Pioneer’s Folly

  • The settlement has three towers (SDP 50) for defense, each armed with a LMG + LRP(16);
  • 1 x squad of local police, Infantry lvl 2;
  • 3 x Elan armed with LMG — 1 x lvl 2, 2 x lvl 1.


  • 3 x Std infantry escouades — l x lvl 2, 2 x lvl 1;
  • 3 x Jagers — all lvl 1;
  • 1 x DartJager — lvl 2.

Flame Serpents

  • 4 x std infantry escouades — 2 x lvl 2, 2 x lvl 1;
  • 1 x hvy infantry escouade — 1 x lvl 2;
  • 4 x Elan armed with LMG — 2 x lvl 2, 2 x lvl 1;
  • 4 x Camel Trucks armed with LMG — 1 x lvl 2, 3 x lvl 1;
  • 1 x Camel Truck armed with LAM — lvl 2;
  • 1 x Jager Command — lvl 3.


Important NPCs

Kayoko Shimizu (female, age: 45)

  • Director of MDC R&D center AC-27;
  • She has stolen 120,000 Kronars and two cycle’s worth of research into Springer Webbling Technology;
  • She is hiding at the Pioneer Hostel under the assumed name of Kay Chang;
  • She will make a break from the settlement in three days’ time, with the aid of Tracy Stevens.

Tracy Stevens (male, age: 32)

  • Owner of the Pioneer General store;
  • Covert operative of Northco, who is Kayoko’s Northern liaison.

Junko Tanaka (male, age: 38)

  • MDC guidance agent assigned to locate Kayoko Shimizu;
  • Leader of the Flame Serpents, a brigand gang which does ‘odd jobs’ for MDC.