Chapter 5 Adventures aboard the Empress Iolanthe


Adventures aboard the Empress Iolanthe

The Empress Iolanthe our travellers newly acquired old Free trader is hauled to Gram where they intend to have it fixed up and modified to their requirements.  This costs 3mcr and 20 weeks during which time they all rest and go about learning skills.

253-1505. with the Empress Iolanthe in dry dock, and already 3mcr in debt the group start the work on its transformation and the beginning of a new chapter in their adventuresTthey intend to make the ship faster and equip it for salvage work as well as carrying cargo, also they want military sensors and weapons just in case. Their contacts help them get access to the military grade stuff they want and help them gain a mortgage from the RBoG [Royal Bank of Gram].

It cost 3Mcr to haul the ship to Gram and 21.27Mcr to refit and upgrade total cost = 24.77Mcr and another 60 days. They are upgrading the drives and power plants, adding self sealing to the hull, turning the low berth area into a medical bay, adding a sword-world fuel processor and storage for the additive; adding 2 turrets with some weapons and sensors as well as refurbishing all other areas of the ship.

They need to pay for their living costs for these 30 weeks plus other spending on travel, entertainment etc.

Petra – 20,000;            Nerdus – 20,000;        Shan – 20,000;                        Urgen – 20,000;

Dag – 30,000.

Training time –

Urgen continues in Advocate 3 [97 weeks left to go]

Shan finishes Medic 2 and started on training his Dexterity using a computer trainer 3 hours a day,  [31 weeks to go]

Nerdus finishes learning Robotics 1, and then learns – Melee 0

Petra used her 30 wks to learn Steward 1so she can take care of passengers.

Dag  Steward 0 start on Carouse 1 [60weeks]

Their 8 ship shares [worth 400,000cr each] = 3.2Mcr which paid off the haulage cost of getting the ship to Gram. The remaining cost, which Urgen failed to reduce, is 21.07Mcr is covered by the mortgage, which Urgen reduced to 87375 a month from 89,875cr a saving of 2,500 a month.  They need to form a company to get the mortgage and to be able to trade, see below.

Insurance – comprehensive ship & passenger 1% of value..  = 1% of 22Mcr = 220,000 PA = 18,333 month Urgen reduced this by 4% to 211,200 PA = 17600 a month a saving of 733cr.

Cost will fall or increase depending on past record, also invalid if ship engages in non basic trade operations.

Basic costs –

  • Fuel cost = 500cr ton +100 for Additive        =          15000 + 3000 approx 15,600 month
  • Mortgage = 87,375 month
  • Insurance = 17,600 month
  • Maintenance  = 5,506 a month
  • Life support = 25,000 a month
  • Docking Av = 3000

Total monthly costs = 154,081

Possible Income =      4 high passengers @ 12,000 month    =  96,000 as you only have a steward 1.

2 middle passengers @ 6,000             = 24,000

8 low berths @ 2000                           =  16,000

60 ton cargo @ 2,000 month              = 120,000

Total = 256,000cr

Possible income of 200,000cr month at ¾ cargo & occupation, with care you can make a working profit of around 50,000cr a month before taxes.

 

 

 

Company name – Interstellar Bees

Company statement of intent – The premiere Sword Worlds versatile deliverers

Owners – Shan; Urgen; Dag; Nerdus; Petra

Assets – 1 Free Trader –

Share holders – each ship share = 1%; each 0.2Mcr invested = 1%

Petra 2%;

Shan 2%;

Nerdus 4%

Crew positions –        Nurdus is Navigator and Engineer

Urgen is chief pilot [Dag is backup]

Turret 1 gunner is Dag

Turret 2 worked by fire control system

Sensors Shan [who can also pilot and help with engineering and medical]

Medical & passenger care Petra

 

Other staff-                Lizard Robot [power plant]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Ship should be ready 313-1505.

Will they have cargo and passengers ready for their first trip and where will they be going?

Based on a departure date of 315-1505 and a route to Colada and then to Tizon, 2 parsec away, and then  to Hrunting Urgen another 1 or 2 parsec away heading for Untrope where there are the remains of many wrecked spacecraft from a long ago battle. Urgen has lined up the following passengers and cargo.

4 high passengers needing a DT of cargo space each paying 12,000cr

Gareth Ford elderly gray haired man taking ship for a holiday to Colada.

            Lady Helen Alsford middle aged woman

Von Mauler middle aged man

Lt Von Hess  officer on way to Colada

2 middle passengers each paying 6,000cr

Chloe Strongersdaughter – a young lady & Hans Berman young man

8 low passengers each paying 1,200cr

A mail drum of 1 ton paying 5,000cr

3 Major cargos of 20Dt each paying 72,000cr

Total of 146,600cr a good start as this pays off most of the first months costs even after import export taxes of 14,660 which leaves 18,060 to pay.

 

 


News updates – the imperials have responded to the SWC’s concerns over Biter II and all non scout ships have left the area. They said it was a local commander doing some exercises which caused the problem.

There are rumours of civil disturbances deep in the Imperium and there are rumours of military assets being moved away from the outer rim to help deal with this unrest. It is possible that the unrest is caused by economic and or religious difficulties in the empire. While offering their condolences the SWC are hoping this will mean that the Imperium will take its eyes off areas of interest to them.

The GWDL [Gram workers defence league] have staged a couple of strikes one of which has delayed work on your ship, they are also rumoured to have links with Darian terrorist groups. Some of the recent big bank robberies are believed to have been staged by the GWDL to gain funds. The GWDL wants more workers rights and more help with dealing with the atmospheric taint, their strikes have been broken up by the world Government using force where needed.

Imperial merchants have been buying up food supplies over the region it is possible that there is a famine somewhere in one of the nearby sectors.

Some border worlds have been buying in weapons and mercenaries.

Neutral worlds have also been buying planetary defence equipment as well as trying to get guarantees of help, mainly against any grab for control by hostile forces like a coup, commercial concerns or pirates

The imperial system of Flammarion has received a new cruiser squadron, consisting of 1 large [50,000dt] and 4 small [10,000dt] cruisers as well as around 20 escorts [under 800dt] this is a normal redeployment.

The SWC has launched its first battleship, the ‘Queen Ingrid’ is a 100,000dt ship armed with a new spinal Particle Gun weapon, with secondary weapons based on Darian Power Gun tech, she is to be the first of four Royal class ships. Scientists are working on using this Power gun technology for other military weapons, although they have yet to work out how to make small personal sized gun barrels and as ammo and new barrels for the captured ones are not in production in the confederation the captured guns are of no military use.

SWC Power Gun Barbette Med to VL range fires two shots nanoseconds apart, the first shreds armour for the second 3d6+3 UAP[-9 arm].

SWC Power single Gun Turret medium range fires two shots nanoseconds apart, the first shreds armour for the second 2d6+2 UAP[-6 arm].

306-1505

Our travellers have all decided upon a weekend out together as a break from supervising work on the ship or studying. Gram is not the most relaxing place to be as an air filter must be worn outside at all times due to the atmospheric taint, this combined with the dense atmosphere and with the weak sun leaves the sky a dull grey all the time. So for a change they are going to the Warner pleasure dome for some fun, using the rides, the machines etc. the dome is staffed by robots in general except for the men and women there for entertainment & pleasure. This is not a place that the common man can come to as its quite expensive.

Dressed in their best casuals and carrying blades as is allowed they head off to the dome a couple of hours away, on the monorail, for a few days fun.

The Warner pleasure dome is as large as a city with accommodation for around 40,000 people as well as various forms of entertainment. Moving stairs and walkways take you around short distances while there are various shuttle monorails to get you to the more distant spots. There is a artificial beach with sea  for bathing snorkelling and surfing, mountains for skiing and climbing as well as sports fields, adventure parks, combat zones and an a zoo. Accommodation is from good to spectacular with many types of restaurants and food outlets to eat in or from.

Layout

A central command tower is surrounded by 8 domes, each supplying a different activity. The Domes are – Sea world; Mountain world; animal world; adventure world; sports world; combat world; pleasure world; fantasy world. Each dome world has various zones so for example in Sea world there are a number of beach zones, a scuba zone a fishing zone, a reef zone etc. The domes also house the various accommodation types, from towers to huts. Any domes that require weapons have ones which will only fire on non organic targets, so guests can’t hurt each other only the targets.

Each zone in a dome is connected by service ways to admin areas for it and to the central tower.

These connecting service ways have storage rooms with all the gear needed for that area as well as the storage for the food outlets in that dome.

They spend their first night getting to now their way around and seeing all what this pleasure dome has to offer before each retiring to their own rooms with or without a companion. Getting up late next morning they enjoy breakfast together and then head off to the Sea world dome to do some surfing.

By mid afternoon they notice a stir amongst the people around them and hear all the robots make a funny noise and then the whole place shuts down. A few minutes later it all comes back on line and all at once the robots say. “You are now prisoners of the GWDL and DLM [Darian Liberation Movement] please keep claim and you will be unharmed, any attempt to escape or resist will be met with force.  As they speak all the fire & security doors close shutting of this zone. There are around 1000 people in this area along with 10 servant bots and 3 security bot. The GWDL & DLM have obviously gained access to the control area and reprogrammed the robots as guards as well as controlling all exits.

As Shan, Nurdus and Urgen are all surfing when this happens Nurdus and Urgen head to shore to dress and investigate with Shan following a while later. Shan goes off to see if he can find a way out moving as innocently as possible. After around 30 minutes he finds a air vent covered by a grill in a hidden position and goes to get the others. They notice that the domed area is well covered by cameras and sensors so that the control area can keep watch over everything.

Making sure they are not noticed they all reach the vent, which Nurdus uses his universal tool, a small tool kit like pocket knife, to open. With it open they all slide into the shaft and pull the vent back over the opening. The shaft is about 3 foot square and they crawl along it with only Urgen not making a noise doing so. After about 100m they come across another vent which looks like it opens into a corridor. Shan uses his sword, which is in his cyber arm, to cut the vent and they all pop out into the corridor. Shan takes a quick look around but he sees nothing but some doors.

Knowing they need to get to the control area to turn off the robots and open the doors, they intend to head for the central tower. This is the robots are commanded from as they only have limited autonomy.  One of the doors looks much tougher than the others and has ‘Staff only A.R.W’ marked on it in red lettering. Deciding this looks like a good door to try to open as it must hold something important Nurdus gets to work with his universal tool to try to bypass the electronic lock. After a while he manages it, but only just. He wonders what he might have missed in doing it. Inside the heavy armoured door is a rack of 10 rifles with underslung grenade launchers along with grenades and magazines.  Checking them out they realise that the rifles are Advanced Combat Rifles with 2 Magazines each as well as a grenade each, the grenades have EMP stencilled onto them. So they finerly work out what A.R.W. means, Anti Robot Weapons. As the rifles appear to have secure firing systems Nurdus gets to work again with the others watching his back. After around 10 minutes of work using electronic and computers skills he has success and has the code to unlock them all.  Now armed with weapons to deal with any robots they prepare to set out and secure a way out.

With Shan scouting 15 yards ahead, followed by Nurdus and then Urgen at the back our group moves off keeping slow and listening hard. After a while they come to some more doors and hear noise from behind them. ‘Let me out’, general chatter and such, deciding anyone locked in will be safer they they move on. Meanwhile Dag, who was in the bar restaurant area of Sea World hobnobbing with the elite, also finds access to the air vents and has escaped into the complex of corridors.

A while later, as they are moving towards a junction in the corridor a security robot comes round towards them.  ‘What are you doing here? Please follow me back to a safe area’ its mechanical voice booms.  Shan relies as it gets within 20 yards of him by firing a EMP grenade at it. He over shoots and the blast radius misses the robot. Who fires its gun back at Shan and misses as Shan hits the deck. Shan try’s to responds with a shot but his rifle jams. Nurdus goes prone and aims while Urgen fires hitting the menacing bot, the slug hits the right arm and the gun it holds passing into its body, causing it to smoke a bit. Shan un-jams his rifle while nurdus fires and damages the outer part of the robot. Urgen also fires after aiming and destroys the bots broad sword in its left arm. The robot doesn’t respond and continues to smoke. The bot then fires its gun at Nurdus, though the energy bolt misses, while backing up unsteadily. Those hits must have caused some damage. Shan fires a aimed shot smashing into its head, followed up by Nurdus whose round hits dead centre and causes the smoking bot to blow up scattering bits over a 12 yd area, luckily none of them was close enough to be hurt.

Dag hearing the shots and then the explosion heads towards it aiming to come round from the over direction if he can. Meanwhile the others continue down the corridor heading towards the command tower, about a mile away. Dag comes upon the wreckage and checking it out decides it was a robot and follows the oily footprints left in the mess, speeding up to try to catch them up.

Urgen still bring up the rear hears the clump clump of foot steps coming up behind him from round the corner they have just passed. He drops to the floor and prepares to fire on burst. They had decided that that will help them stop a bot quicker.

Round the corner comes….

Urgen fires without waiting and fires a burst of 6 rounds into the robot, hitting its left arm and body. Urgen fires again shredding its skin and exposing its structure. Shan fires a quick burst hitting the bots head and taking out its sensors, followed by Nurdus firing a burst which misses. Between them the wall has many bullet holes in it now. The robot fires its gun at Urgen, who rolls away causing it to miss, although he feels the energy blast pass him and hit the floor. Dag meanwhile hearing more gunfire slows his rushing down and continues with more care towards the corner the firing is coming from.

Shan fires again and this burst of 6 slams into the innards of the robot smashing it apart and causing it to explode right beside Urgen. The blast wave causes bruising, cuts and concussion to Urgen, Shan rushes across to give first aid but makes it worse instead. Just then Dag comes round the corner and having picked up a first aid kit on the way stanches the bleeding and brings Urgen round, he is battered and bruised but capable of moving by himself.

Picking themselves up the reunited group of four move on, they reach the end of the corridor and see before them the moving pavements. These anti grave pavements allow you to step on and then accelerate you down them at up to 10 miles an hour. Stepping on the one to take them to the command tower, they arrive in less than 30 minutes.

Ahead of them rises the 11 story tower with shut doors, Nurdus moves forward and breaks the electronic lock in a minute. Entering the reception area they can see anti grav lifts to the various floors as well as escalators. Looking at the tower floor chart they see that the second floor is a medical centre, so they decide to go there first to give more aid to Urgen. They see that they need the tenth floor for the command area and that the eleventh floor is for the executives. Taking the escalator up they reach the second floor and ahead of them is the reception desk and corridors leading off of it.

Wondering where everyone is they look over the desk and see a hot receptionist in a pool of blood; they quickly see that there is a lot of blood running from under doors. They find bodies everywhere, patients and staff, they all appear to have been shot and Dag says they were shot with a 9mm pistol. While Dag, Shan and Urgen look for a Auto doc and drugs Nurdus tries to break into the computer system to gain information. After 30 minutes he decides that going any further will set off more security and deists. Meanwhile the others have been checking out the medical bays and have found an Autodoc but unless they put Urgen in for a day it will be of no help. They also find various drugs and supplies and use them to clean Urgen up. They also find a supply of Anagathics anti aging drugs and start to work out how to smuggle them out as they are worth a lot on the black market.

While this is all going on no one is keeping watch and two patrolling terrorists have been told to check the area out. They arrive at the top of the escalator, they call on Nurdus to surrender, he answers back ‘who are you?’ they answer ‘in charge surrender’. Nurdus dives for cover behind the desk as they open fire with a four round burst from their sub machine guns. They punch holes and smash the top of the desk but miss Nurdus. Nurdus putting his rifle on auto fires at the desk back hoping that the rounds might hit the terrorists. They return fire with another burst scattering rounds all around Nurdus but luckily non hit him. The others hearing the gunfire move to the doors and see the pair firing at the desk, they are around 30 to 45 yards away.

Nurdud moves to behind a filing cabinet for more protection while the gunman empty their guns with a full auto burst, two of the rounds hit the cabinet but fail to get through. Urgen 35 yards away aims and pulls his trigger but nothing happens, they remember that all weapons in the complex have systems in place to stop them being used on living beings. The sights have a life signs sensor built into it and will not engage the firing system while pointing at a living target. Dag realising this quickly and clearly disables the sights and fires a burst but misses, its not easy to fire without using the sights. Shan decides it is easier to throw something with his bionic arm but misses anyway.  Nurdus stands up and fires over the filing cabinet but of course his gun doesn’t work either as its now pointing at living beings. So he ducks behind it again. The terrorists lie down and reload, while Urgen moves 25 yards closer using doorways as cover. Dag shouts about the guns and fires a burst this time hitting one of the gunman, Shan fails to get his gun to work.

Nurdus and Urgen both fail to get their guns to fire, but Dag gets hit by return fire from one enemy the other seems to be doing nothing, Dag’s would is just a flesh one, he returns fire and hits the remaining gunman and the gunfight is over. Both gunmen are badly injured but they make a truth drug from drugs in the centre to get information out of them. They find out that their were 24 terrorists 2 in each of the 8 dome control rooms while the rest patrol the tower in pairs. They are armed with SMG’s and a foil blade and are wearing Protec cloth armour shaped as a business suite. They are asked for prisoners to be realised and will kill hostages after 6 hours or if attacked. Urgen and Shan take the armoured suites and Shan and Dag take the smg’s and ammo, while Dag disables all the rifles sights so that they can be used.

Wondering about how they are to disable the robot controls and open the doors they realise that opening the complex to the atmosphere will cause lung damage as no one has filter masks in here. They also wonder if disabling the robot controls will leave them on automatic and that might cause problems as well. So with many potential problems to deal with they wonder if they can contact the authorities, who they assume will be outside.

With Nurdus keeping a watch out Shan goes looking for some small laser pointers or surgical ones to attach to the Combat rifles to help with aiming as they no have no sights. Meanwhile Urgen is still thinking about how to steal some drugs. With Shan failing to find any lasers in the 15 minutes he gives to look they decide after a 20 minute discussion to go to the engineering floor to look for anything they can use or to be able to get help.  As they head up the fire stairs the two floors to engineering Shan takes the lead trying to spot any cameras and smash them, as he goes. They eventually realise that this will give away there position and so leaving the others on the engineering floor after 25 minutes, Shan carries on for 2 more floors to the 5th floor, taking out cameras as he goes. As Shan is taking out the camera on the corner of the stairs covering the stairs and corridor on the 5th floor a burst of fire which miss him, as he falls to the floor he sees 2 gunmen 15 meters away down the corridor in a position to cover both sets of stairs the escalators and grav lifts. Shan returns fire with full auto on his captured SMG hitting one terrorist with one of the 12 rounds he fired. Both of the terrorists burst fire back and hit Shan, luckily he is wearing the captured light bullet proof suite which gives him a little protection from the bullet hit. Nurdas and Dag hearing the gunfire head up the stairs to help while Urgen covers the rear, They hear more auto fire as the 2 terrorists open up with full auto causing Shan, who is still trying to regain control of his jumping SMG, to roll behind the wall to reload and change hands to his cyborg arm to better control the heavy recoil of the gun on auto.  Dag realising there is a need for speed tries to run up the stairs but fails to go any faster while carrying his Combat rifle. Once Shan has reloaded he moves down the stairs and over to his right as far as the wall will allow and watches the top. He hears heavy foot steps behind him and dropping his smg falls to the floor and swings the sword blade in his cyborg arm out ready. The dropped smg bounces down the stairs and past Dag and Nurdus who shout at Shan about dropping guns with the safety off. As the Nurdus and Shan get angry with each other Dag tries to keep watch. Meanwhile the uninjured terrorist has crawled to the top of the stairs covered by his injured mate. Hearing the shouting he pops round the corner and empties his magazine down the stairs, hitting Shan, Dag returns fire with his rifle. While Dag does first aid on Shan, Nurdus crawls’ up the stairs at the top he pokes the bleeding man who is unconscious, he then looks over the body to see if anyone else is around.

The other injured terrorist sees him and fires killing her mate but missing Nurdus. Nurdus fires back and misses, and then fires again before the female terrorist can respond but his gun explodes due to the damage done when disabling the sights. The terrorist manages to contain her laughter and fires again but her gun jams. Nurdus searches the body by him to find any other gun but remembers that this terrorist dropped it down the stairs when Dag shot him, however he is wearing a foil, which Nurdus draws free as well as 3 magazines for the smg. With these he moves down the stairs to retrieve the smg and load it. Shan does first aid on Nurdus injured in the gun explosion while Dag keeps watch. They then decide it is best to get back to the engineering level and see what they can do there. they arrive back there 40 minutes after setting out in the first place.

Meanwhile the terrorists have decided to just secure the control floor, and ignore the hostages which are causing trouble, over the com dot links, which they assume the heroes have gain now they say, ‘Hunt them down just keep them away from the control area’.  Urgen overhears this as he is monitoring the com dots they liberated. So he arranges himself and Dag cover the two ways in to the area they are in, both are about 10 meters back from a door, which Urgen traps with a EMP grenade. Meanwhile Nurdus is busy hacking into the computers system from a room away from this, while Shan acts as reserve. They are concerned about the number of wounds they are carrying between them and that there are still 20 terrorists out there.

Time moves on and after about 50 to 60 minutes, the door near to Urgen swings open and the EMP grenade goes off, shutting down the security robot which was coming through it. The trap worked. However Urgen can see another robot 10meters behind the door coming his way as well. He fires a burst at it with his rifle which takes off its left sword carrying arm. However it does not stop the robot which using its grav belt rather than its legs pushes past the shut down robot and approaches Urgen.  Urgen fires again smashing the robots sensors as well as hitting its right arm and body. The blinded robot careens into Urgen as he tries to get out of the way causing more injuries to him. Just then Nurdus manages to hack the system, shouting eureka, he finds the emergency robot shutdown and deactivates all the robots in the complex. He then finds the door system and opens all the closed down entrances’ and exits. Just then he notices that some one is trying to reactivate the robots, and realises that the terrorists are trying to regain control.

Nurdus gets busy trying to lock them out, its hack and counter time after time till after 8 minutes Nurdus has changed the passwords and locked everyone else out. He then sends a electronic message to all police, security and government offices telling them the situation and asking for help.

Now chaos ensues as the hostages pour out of the complex into the hands of the waiting rescue and security forces aligned outside. Our heroes are all arrested as being the only ones with guns and taken to be interrogated.

Nurdus and Urgen take the hump at this and get into a shouting match with whatever official they can shout at. Eventually once claim has prevailed and forensics and crime scene officers have looked at the security records and how things had happened they are released and sent to hospital for medical care. The police are not happy at them trying to be cleaver, as it could have cost the lives of many important people in the centre, but in the end let them off. Urgen is glad he did not take any drugs as he would have been in trouble if he had, but he and Nurdus are both talking about taking the complex to court for compensation as well as the robot company for dangerous machines. However with their refitted ship and passengers due to lift off in 5 days they decide against it. However Urgen does sell his story to the press and gets 60,000 credits for it if he supplies pictures of them all and their injuries. As Shan doesn’t want to be in the press due to his cyborg arm he declines but Urgen takes a secret picture anyway. With his pictures taken and the story told Urgen pockets his 60k.  A couple of days later the local and national news feeds have the story of the ‘cyborg horror at the adventure park’ the facts are all there but mixed up, Shan is labelled as both a victim and subject to the horror of the day, the police make the statement that they had it all under control until these amateurs stuck there noises in. The participation of the GWDL and DLM is glossed over and the situation put down to a few staff and malcontents.

Dag sends a message to his contacts letting them know what really happened, while trying to keep out of the limelight.

So now out of hospital they are ready for their first flight……

First flight

Due to strikes as well as their last adventure, the ship is not ready till their departure date, so they have limited time to check the ship out. However in the last days before all is ready and they are due to blast off various companies offer their finishing touches supply services.

1/ Ship Chandeliers John & Sons offer a good deal on cheep and exotic alcohol.

Urgen negotiates a deal for 2 cases of normal wine, 1 case of mixed spirits and 1 of exotic spirits also 2 cases of beer all for 1,000cr which he pays. Plus 1 to passenger satisfaction cost.

2/ Personalized Ship fittings – offer pillows, linen. Kitchen stuff, gifts to sell all with the ships name and picture on they decide to fit the 6 passenger staterooms out with this at a cost of 30,000cr.  Plus 1 passenger satisfaction

3/ Personalized Air conditioning – aromatherapy add-ons for the AC – cost 1, 000 a month per stateroom, bridge etc.  This is declined and some cheep plug-in’s bought instead.

At this point they realise they have no working capital and so all 5 put in 20,000cr to give a cash balance of 70,000 once the fittings have been taken off.

On the day of departure before take off the PSCC {Planetary Space Control Commission} sends a message that they want to check and inspect the ship for safety regulations, as will as also checking for weapon safety protocols – this allows weapons lock down by space control. It will be a day or 2 before they can manage an inspection though.  Again Urgen uses his ability to bypass admin and gets them to accept a memo from the shipyard as prove that all is in order this also proves that they have a weapon lockdown system in place.  While he is dealing with this The Department of Hygiene decide that they will also need to check the galley and its staff’s qualifications. Again they use they ability to deal with admin problems by sending a copy of Petra’s steward qualification over along with the ship yard info, this suffices and they are passed for flight.

Their passengers start to arrive along with the cargo, Petra and Shan deal with the low birth freezing taking their time working together and think that only one passenger might be at risk later. Dag settles the other passengers into their rooms while Urgen and Nurdus make sure the cargo is loaded properly. Once all is aboard and ready Nurdus plots a course to the jump point and starts work on the jump plot, meanwhile Urgen takes the ship up into the atmosphere and then into space with great ease. It is at this point that things start to go wrong…

First the auto pilot system goes down, Nurdus stops what he is doing and uses his computer to diagnose the problem and then fix the minor fault, as he is doing that the internal comms go down in the middle of various passengers complaining of stuck door, or doors just opening as well as other small things. Other things start to go wrong with great speed, visual and thermal sensors go down, and then the Air conditioning system plays up with the ships air supply being smelly. Nurdus decides to do first things first and he has about 12 hours before they reach the jump point to do it. He works hard and gets all the important systems working in time and uses extra air and filters to try to clean the small out of the system, this works to an extent. Once at the jump point they decide they had better check the weapon turrets and find that they are sluggish  and need bedding in, the laser guns work fine but the sand caster ammo feed is not working. He decides that they can be fixed while in jump space and so finishes working out the plot for the jump.

Nurdus fires up the jump drive and diverts power to it successfully, Urgen then engages the drive and they jump into jump space.  Nurdeus then spends the rest of the journey fixing and testing systems until they all working as fine as he can get them with no spares. The rest of the crew spend their time with the passengers keeping them happy and getting them over the annoyances of the first hours, with lots of drink.

167 hours later [6 days 23 hours] the EI drops out of jump space in the Colada system about 2mKm out from the planet. This will take about 10 hours to cover at full thrust. However before you can even power up the drive engines Shan on the sensors notices a blimp, for a brief moment than all goes back to green. Checking the recorders he thinks something jumped out just after them and about 20,000km away. Just as he is digesting this information the comms system has a message coming in. ‘Heave to and power off, we want G Ford to be handed over’. The either is then jammed around them. Our crew then argue over what to do, some want to hand him over to save the rest, others say that will hurt their reputation, in the end they decide to refuse. The hostile ship becomes clear once they refuse as it powers up its weapons and drive. Urgen thinks it is a Rokghiok class stealth runner and that is why they did not see it at first. He also thinks that as it only has one turret, they might be able to beat it even if it has higher thrust ability.

Shan tries to punch a message through the interference and succeeds telling Colada of their problem that the Sword World ship EI has been ordered to heave to so that they can hijack a passenger. As Shan is doing this the enemy ship fires its 2 beam lasers which hit the EI but only scratch the paint work, this upsets Urgen and Nurdus who like her nice Bee like surface.  So starts a 45 minute combat with the EI trying at first to close the range while evading and firing, and the Vargr ship using its superior thrust to line up shots and dodge. The first eight shots by the EI all miss while the enemy ship hits twice more but the sand caster stops most of the effect and the ships armoured hull the rest. After 24 minutes of this Urgen decides to give up trying to close and use the thrust to help the gunner line up the shots. This pays off as the next 2 shots score 2 hits  which cause the enemy ship to stop firing  and start to run away, the EI continues to fire but only gets 2 more hits before letting the enemy ship go.

The crew of the EI are jubilant they have damaged and driven off a raider while suffering no damage to their own vessel.  As they turn towards Colada and apply thrust they pick up a patrol ship speeding to their rescue, it would have arrived in another hour. With this situation dealt with the go to find out about Mr G Ford and why others would go to such trouble to get him. It turns out he worked on the prototype SWC Spinal mount and Royal class ship and so would be quite valuable to the right people. He and the other passengers forget about their complaints about things going wrong and thank the crew for saving them. In 10 hours they will be on Colada – a Rich, Agricultural, Non Industrial world

Starport Quality                                 Good Quality Starport, 1d6 x 500cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel, Shipyard (spacecraft) and Repair Facilities;

Size                                                        4,800km, 0.25 Surface gravity

Atmosphere Type                               Standard, 1.39 Pressure

Hydrographic                                     41%, Wet world;

Population                                           Millions, 1,000,000+;

Government Type                              Civil Service Bureaucracy. Ruling functions performed by government agencies employing individuals selected for expertise. (Technocracy);

Law Level (illegal possessions) Personal Concealable Weapons,  Expert Programs, TL11 Items, Citizens must register offworld travel, visitors must register all business, Psi-powers restricted to government psionicists;

Tech Level                                           (Early Stellar) The first true A.I.’s become possible, as computers are able to model synaptic networks;

Bases                                                     Sword World Base;

Trade_1                                                Rich worlds are blessed with a stable government and a viable biosphere, making them economic powerhouses.;

Trade_2                                                Agricultural worlds are dedicated to farming and food production. Often divided into vast feudal estates.;

Trade_3                                                Non-industrial worlds are too low population to maintain an industrial base;

Gas Giant Present                              around 400mKm out from sun.

NOTES: Its main exports are food stuffs to Tizon & Hrunting. Most of the population work remote farm machinery rather than do manual work.

Star port Kansas City – is also the only large city on the planet, it has a small but growing mutant population due it is thought to the widespread use of recreational drugs along with implants.

The high atmospheric pressure cancels out the low gravity as far as str goes. The low gravity helps plants grow and the high pressure means that the air is always damp.

Colada 1A a small moon circling Colada1 at 1m Km which also has 2 small moons, X & Y, orbiting it at 50,00km.

1A size 1 [1,600km]  1A X & Y size 0 [800km]

The main Jump points are 2m km out from the planet.

This is also Urgens home world and he has not been back to it since he was made bankrupt by N Gleason, what might await him here now 6 years or so on?

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Colada Trouble

Shan and Petra use the 10 hours transit time to work on defrosting the low births, only one of the 8 has any after effects spending an hour being sick and another day throwing off the nausea. It pays they say to fly with good medical support and this lowly ship has two doctors on board. Once the ship approaches the planet Kansas space port locks down their weapons and clears them for landing, warning them of the high turbulence due to the dense atmosphere, telling everyone to prepare for a rough transit Urgen pilots the craft down, losing control briefly but stopping the swirling before it flips over. Once on the ground, the passengers disembark and customs come to check the ships cargo. Dag as an ex customs officer handles that part of the landing and gets them cleared quickly, so that the cargo can also be unloaded and payment confirmed.

Meanwhile Nurdus & Shan check the ship for damage from the attack using the remote arm, Nurdus operates the arm while Shan checks the cameras and records any damage. They just find a couple of patches of burnt off paint. This report along with the logs of the attack, are taken by Dag and Urgen to the local KBI office where they have been summoned to. KBI – The Kansa Bureau of Investigation is the primary criminal investigative agency of the city of Kansas and the starport. The KBI’s mandate includes the investigation of significant crimes, public corruption, cyber security and counter intelligence and space port control. The Agency has a reputation for aggressive investigation and fairness in the service of justice. They explain to Sebastian Brendel about being hailed and told to hand over a passenger, when they refused they were fired on and returned said fire, driving the attacking ship off. Agent Brendel checked all their logs and the report of the local system ship which had responded to their call, as this all ties up and it seems they did not cause the incident Agent Brendel closes the case. However he then says he has a few things he needs to say to Urgen and asks if Dag would like to leave, but Urgen says he is happy for him to stay.

First off he asks if he is Urgen Strunberg of Colada, which Urgen confirms, well then I must tell you that it has been brought to our attention that you have outstanding civil claims from your bankruptcy, these amount to around 500,000cr in fines and costs. Until they have been settled you will not be allowed to leave the planet also your license to pilot is revoked and if you try to leave on the EI it will be impounded as you are part owner of said ship. Urgen is incensed at this and says he had no outstanding debts because he went bankrupt, that their must be something wrong. All in all he is in a right strop over this. Agent Brendel says it is not his domain but he has been told to let you know, you will have to deal with the courts to sort this out, until then he is grounded. A very unhappy Urgen and Dag leave the KBI offices and head back to their ship. Once their Urgen soon finds out that he can get no customers for outgoing cargos and he has been black listed.

While Dag and Urgen are telling the others about this change of events they receive a call from Kepler Reese a KBI Agent in Kansas City itself. He says he hears that you have a slight problem and as he has one as well maybe you can help each other, particularly as he has heard about Dag and his ability to sort difficult situations out. Agent Reese says that maybe they could help each other and if they would like to help him out to contact him at HQ. After a discussion between the 4 of the Shan, Nurdus, Dag and Shan agree that this might be a way out of Urgens trouble. So contacting Agent Reese they ask what the deal is? Kepler says that if they can help him and the KBI deal with a drug problem he will make sure that the civil cases go away. Kepler needs tham to infiltrate a night club and gain access to the info on its owners private computer to find out where he is getting a new drug Somnium Mundus, which although non addictive and gives wonderful dreamy highs, is being cut with more addictive drugs. This night club, ‘Club Alchemy’ is the only place this drug is available and if they raid it all records of the supplier will be wiped. Dag says they will talk it over and get back to him.

After another long discussion our brave heroes realise they have little choice or be stuck here for some time as Urgen sorts his mess out, this they can’t afford. So Dag contact’s Agent Reese again and asks a few more questions. 1 – Do the gang have access to psonic abilities? Kepler says he has no idea but doubts it as they are not that plentiful on Colada. 2 – What type of weapons might they have? Mainly light assault guns comes the reply as they are the most common illegal weapons. 3 – How many gang members are their? Maybe 6 or so plus as many customers as the club might have. 4 – What is the normal type of vehicle in use?  Their are a lot of Grav cars around as well as wheeled ones. After hanging up, our intrepid bunch talk about wiever to try to keep the drugs for export as they must be worth a lot on another world and Dag should be able to find the right people to sell them to. They also talk about the many ways of doing this job.

Eventually they decide to go and see agent Reese and accept the job but only if he makes sure that Urgens name is cleared so they can get customers, and put all this down officially.  This Reese does and explains that once they have found out where this drug comes from, they will need to shut it down as well. Urgen wants to know about medical backup and is told that like all security units they have a very good medical wing which specialises in implants, so agents can have all the help they need. From Wafer Jacks to targeting eyes implants, from enhanced vision to body armour, from hidden weapons to Neural Comm units. So happy that they will have any backup they need they have an agreement they will do this job and the KBI will allow Urgen to leave and deal with the outstanding court cases.

Nurdus asks for and gets access to the KBI data base with the oversight of Tasha Francesca Jarlong, the KBI’s own geek. While Nurdus searches the DB, Urgen and Dag ask about being allowed to take this drug off world, Kepler says that that would not be allowed although they do come to an agreement that a small amount can go missing for research and information purposes. After a few hours of work Nurdus and Tasha find out who owns the club, Anton and Christov, however there are only there names and the club as information on the database. Nurdus ably helped by Tasha back searches and decides that all the information has been wiped and by a very proficient hand, as there is no trace of interference but there must have been. Nurdus takes this information to Reese, who does not seem to be surprised by this and Nurdus deduces that maybe he knows more than he is saying about this job. He challenges Kepler on this thought and Kepler says he could not possibly say. This decides Nurdus who does some more research, and finds out that there is another security agency here on Colada and that is the CSS, Colada State Security, who have planet wide security responsibility whereas the KBI have a more limited brief. Nurdus comes to the conculsion which he shares with the others that maybe this is an interdepartmental fight and that they will have to be careful not to end up on the wrong side.

So with all this information they make their plan, Shan will go with Petra and start a fight with Urgen when he starts to ogle up his girl, Dag will use the distraction to access the computer and plug in a remote access port so that Nurdus can access the information from nearby. The KBI will stand by ready to raid the joint as needed. So off to the Alchemy Club they go, with open swords but hidden guns, Dag taking his small Heap gun as well as the 7mm auto they all have. However they go vis a few clubs first carousing, and getting the word on the street about places to go for drugs etc. during this Urgen picks up a couple of high class escorts. Eventually they reach the club and are allowed access by the door security. Inside they can see one large room full of people, the dance floor takes up about a third of the area with the rest occupied by a bar with stools and some tables, in the corner are the washrooms. There are various 3D holo projectors, one behind the bar and 2 by the dance floor. These project sight and sound and the music is heavy and catchy. The 6 of them head to the bar and order drinks and are offered SM in them, the bar staff say it enhances the evening and the music and is normally taken in drink. They all accept the drug but only Urgen and his girls take it. They then get taken up by the music and head to the dance floor, while Dag, Shan and Petra watch what is going on. They see that Urgen and the girls are following the lyrics of the song as are many other dancers. It seems that the drug creates an auto suggestive state where the imbiber will do what is suggested to them. Dag sees that this might be why the security forces are involved in it and could see its use by other government agencies.

Realising that Urgen is lost to them, Dag asks the bar staff about being able to buy more of this SM stuff for export, they are told to go to the basement and ask there. So Dag, Shan and Petra head outside to prepare to go into the basement. Will they be able to get back on plan or is this job a bust?

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Dag helps Petra hide his 7mm pocket auto under her skimpy dress and then Shan see’s if he can spot it which he can’t. The Petra helps Dag hide his Heap body pistol in his boot and again Shan checks if he can see it. So down the stairs to the basement they go. The basement to Club Alchemy is just below street level with a separate entrance, four concrete steps lead down to an over-sized metal door that could withstand a few good kicks from a decent quality robot. They ring the bell and a gruff voice says, ‘yes what do you want?’ as the door opens a little. “We want to talk to Anton about a supply of drugs to take off world” they reply.

‘Oi Anton some people here want to buy drugs’ the gruff voice shouts. ‘Ok enter the voice says back to them and the door opens wide.

Directly on the other side of the door is a stool where the muscle of Anton’s crew sits, Shubby. A hulk of a man displaying the classic mutation pattern, Shubby has loaded up on specialized biotech on top of being a mutant. He has sharpened teeth, increased strength, reptile skin, and can see in the dark.

The room opens up into a large single room, with two bedrooms and a small bathroom connected to it by simple plasti-wood doors which the heros will explore later. A futon and an assortment of couches are scattered about the main room. A large 3-D vid projection in the middle of the room blares the music and vid for the latest techno metal sensation. Several other tri-dee sets around the room display the action from the club upstairs. A metal desk whose surface is plied with 3-D chips and used plates and glasses sits in one corner. A portable computer sits atop the mess. There are 3 windows that could be crawled through if the glass was broken, and the person going through them would have to shimmy through and pull themselves out on their belly to the street outside. Twenty plus people are crowded into the roughly two hundred-square foot room, and they are dressed in a variety of different fashions depicting vastly dissimilar social classes. Some sit on the couches, some stand, but all of them have a far away look in their eyes and wry smiles on their faces. Currently, two men are lifting a third onto their shoulders under the command of Anton in an effort to entertain Christov.

Christov isn’t actually a mutant, but is just a wiry, skinny man in his early twenties. He’s wearing typical club-going attire and has dyed his mohawk an iridescent blue. He’s the front man of the drug dealer-partnership that has developed between the three criminals and is currently being entertained by asking Anton to tell the addicts to perform more and more debasing things to each other. Anton is a skinny mutant who has orange tinged skin, whether this is the result of choice or not is unknown. When the travellers enter the basement, he’s dictating into a handheld device which transcribes his words onto his computer. Dag, Shan and Petra move through the crowd and approach Anton and Christov, who asks ‘what you want?’ Dag explains that they want to buy some MS to take to other markets on other worlds and that they have a ship and a little about Urgens troubles. Anton says ‘ you could be cops for all I know!’ ‘I will just check your story out’ and starts work on his palm computer and they can see it connecting to the lap top on the messy desk. Actually Anton is scanning their surface thoughts he can’t read Dag but has no trouble with Shan and Petra who are both worried about the other one.

Realising that he is being set up Anton orders the “Zombies” (Those under the influence of Somnium Mundus), who are now following his every spoken command, to “Get ‘em!” Of course, the zombies take the order literally, but some are hardened street criminals and some of them are up-scale club-kids, so their armament will vary wildly. Four of them pull concealed pistols, six of them draw knives, and the rest settle for pulling the skin off their foes with their bare hands and teeth.

A wild fight is about to start who will get the jump?

Petra with her highly honed athletic reactions moves first and with amassing agility, draws the automatic from under her dress and fires at Anton. It is a good snap shot which unfortunately misses Anton.  Christov drags his assault rifle from under his chair while Anton draws his Gauss pistol and unleashes a full burst of fire at Petra. Petra sees this coming and does a backwards flip over the desk to get its protection. Unfortunately she still gets hit by two of the needles, propelled by electromagnetic effect; they punch into her causing bad wounds. Some of the other rounds hit the computer smashing it apart.  Shan incensed at the danger to his future wife moves towards Anton and swings with the static sword in his bionic arm this slices into Anton bring him to the ground bleeding from the gashing wound. The ‘Zombies’ start to close towards Dag, Shan and Petra. Dag draws his Heap gun and fires at Christov. The explosive round smashing into Anton  nearly taking his arm off and the explosion hitting the nearby Shan badly damaging him.

The fight over the next 30 seconds becomes a whirl of bodies and blood, as Nurdus starts running towards the club with the KBI officers. With Anton and Christov both down Shabby tried to jump towards the heroes but fell instead. He never does get to Dag and co as he is distracted by Nurdus when he turns up. Petra firing calmly and quickly shoots at 3 approaching ‘Zombies’ downing 2 of them and then continuing to fire until she ran out of ammo. Dag fires at other approaching ‘Zombies’ hitting some and missing others, but due to his low skill only fires once at a time.  Shan meanwhile is hit by gun fire from other ‘Zombies’ which take him to the ground bleeding from serious wounds, he is dying. Nurdus arrives, having realised he can travel faster than normal in this low gravity, pushing open the door Nurdus aees the large number of people closing on his friends and fires a burst from his Heap smg into them. Most of the explosive rounds hit the ceiling but he does draw attention to himself. Shabby moves to fight with Nurdus, swinging with his brass knuckle covered fists at Nurdus getting one hit, while Nurdus backs away firing his smg. Nurdus hits time after time but still the monster comes on, until the KBI officers catch up and bring him down in a wall of shots. Nurdus and the police enter the club and find a room of blood and chaos. Anton and Christov have both managed to regain their feet, Anton was killed before he could do anything by Petra and Christov threw down his gun when Dag called upon him to do so, but only after firing a grenade at Dag and Petra, Petra again showed her athletic ability as she caught the projectile and threw it to the end of the room, the stun grenade had no effect that far from anyone. The ‘Zombies’ with large numbers of them injured and bleeding the others are shocked out of their drug induced anger.

With the KBI agents gaining control, Petra and Dag rush to pull the bodies off of Shan, bodies who have been tearing and clawing at his broken body. With their quick care and the arrival of medical support he is stabilised just short of death. His left arm has been destroyed and he will need a prosthetic arm which will mean he now has two. This will take a couple of weeks of surgery and healing, before he is fit again. Nurdus and Dag find the broken remains of the memory of the computer, they hope this will have some of the information they were after. Dag also grabs some of the SM drug for analysis with Shan heading for the medical centre with Petra keeping an eye on him while her own wounds were treated, Dag and Nurdus have their wounds treated and then collect Urgen and head back to the KBI offices for a debrief and deciding on their next move.

Tasha Francesca Jarlong manages with Nurdus to recover info from the memory device which tells them where the drugs are collected from, confirmed by Christov now in custody. They learn that their is a drop off arranged with a distributor later on in the week. The meet-up is to take place in a warehouse in an industrial district just outside of the Orcish ghetto along the river, in 3 days around midday. Out-of-date heavy construction and farming equipment is being stored in the warehouse. Little else is known about the location.

While Dag, Nurdus, Urgen and the KBI are getting this information, Shan and Petra decide that they have had enough of adventure and intend to marry and settle down. They will keep their interest in the company but put their other money around 130kcr into a farm to live on. Shan with his good all round skills of admin, computers, engineering, and good education should have no problem learning about plants and he can already control the remote farm equipment.

Next time the attack on the warehouse…………

During the next three days our heroes spend time planning and getting information, they make sure that their is no media report of the club raid this is easy as Kepler assures them is no problem as in this bureaucrat state they are state controlled organs and only approved stories are allowed out to the populace. With this under control they move on to what to do next and how to do it. Their discussions range from hacking into communications and trying to follow the money/people they would met at the warehouse to storming the place or sneaking in. after tossing a lot of ideas around they had forgotten what they had agreed to do in the first place. To raid the club find out were the drugs were collected from and bust those involved. Having been reminded that they did not need to track the drugs or the gang further than that to get their ship and Nurdus free from court troubles they settle on raiding the warehouse as sneaking in ran to many risks of it going wrong.

So with an objective they get to work planning, Nurdus brings his former military training into play while Dag knows that good planning means a good outcome. First they find out if vehicles have a GPS system, which they do but most government ones are disabled or can be if needed and most criminals also disable those in the vehicles when they need to. They are also concerned about any moles, giving away their plans but Kepler reminds them of the use of telepaths like Tasha makes that unlikely. They know investigate the warehouse to find out about guards etc, they arrange a fly over by a KBI vehicle and using sensors check the area out,

Then they find out that it has a security guard on duty monitoring CCTV on its outside, there are 3 shifts of guards. Interestingly the security is not connected to a police centre but is entirely self-contained. It turns out that the guards leave early and start early occasionally to leave the warehouse clear for a few hours on various days and various times, they assume that these are the drop off times and Christov confirms that they now have confirmation of the drop off as the guards will not be on duty then.. It looks like they will only have a little short window to raid the place and it will be difficult to pre set up. Nurdus has the suspicion that they are expendable and doesn’t like it.

Now with more idea of what they need they send Tasha to do a life signs scan on the warehouse to see if it has a basement workshop. She detects one human sign and multiple animals.  These they assume are guard animals and so work on how to disable them. They get Kepler to get hold of some anti animal noise makers to drive them off. They also realise they need to stop the bad guys trying to escape so arrange for a directional EM pluse weapon which is used by the police to disable Grav-Cars. This will allow them to disable any escaping units while not taking out everyone else’s.  They arrange for a dozen KBI agents to be backup and a clean up crew, two of them will be snipers to provide cover if needed. From Christov they find out that there are two drug members inside who take the payment and hand over the drugs. Later they find out from him that there are also two more outside and Nurdus’ military background assumes that there will be some on the roof as well. They will be the snipers target to take out if they go for any weapons.

Having decided on a raid they want to do a smash and enter using an old agricultural vehicle so that it looks like it belongs in the area as the warehouse has old ones stored in it. As these are remote controlled they have a agent with them to drive it while they do the rest. They make sure that they have their weapons cleaned and ready and take some stun grenades with them supplied by the KBI, who also supplies them with body armour. So they are ready to go.

328-1505 the raid.

A little after the guard has left his shift early they send Tasha past the warehouse to scan the area for life signs again. This time she comes up with 7 human and multiple animals, so they were right 2 on roof two outside two inside and one? plus some animals. Their snipers from over a kilometre away confirm two on the roof with mounted Gauss rifles.

So with nervous anticipation thy get into the vehicle and head towards the front of the warehouse. As they approach they are told that the roof guards are watching them but not looking to fire. Then they reach the area of the warehouse and turn towards the two front guards. Urgen calls out ‘this is a police raid drop your weapons’. The two guards caught unawares take a second look before talking into their comms units. They then dive out of the way of the massive vehicle and open with full auto fire along the side of the oncoming vehicle. Theses two bursts of 12 rounds from their smg’s punch into the truck and hit Urgen who decides not to dodge like Nurdus and Dag, but keep his aim onto the guard. In their return fire Dag misses both times while the other two manage to hit a the same guard and he stops moving. The other guards second burst hits Urgen again, just as well he borrowed KBI body armour he is injured but not badly yet.

Then the combine hits the door and smashes through, throwing bits of door and wall around. This debris obscures their vision and only Dag can see the thugs and he opens fire with his heap round firing smg, while Urgen activates the anti animal sonic maker. Dag’s burst hits Jones whose return laser pistol fire hit Dag, lucky for him he had put on his anti laser armour underneath his body armour, this took away the sudden heat build up and dissipated it, Smiths return fire with his Gauss pistol hits Nurdus punching through his armour. With Dags next shot hitting Smith and both Urgen and Nurdus joining in the fire fight they hear the call of Kepler shouting ‘cease fire, cease fire, they’re CSS’. As the shooting stops the paramedics rush in and KBI agents swarm over the area, Kepler arrives and the heroes witness an exchange between Kepler Reese and the CSS team leader Agent Smith. This exchange consists of lots of swearing but also the following Kepler ‘you bleeping idiots had no right to be bleeping around in my jurisdiction without bleeping telling me. And what the bleep were you doing distributing such a bleeping dangerous drug to the general population.’ Agent Smith ‘you bleeping idiots have ruined a long term bleeping operation. Why would we tell you about our ops you’d just bleep it up like you’ve bleeping done here? You bleeping mute [a derogatory term for mutants] loving yokels wouldn’t understand a national security problem if it bit you on your bleeping bleep’ said with real contempt.

While this exchange goes on the paramedics take our wounded heroes in hand and whisk them off for treatment, none of them are seriously wounded and treatment will be swift. Our heroes realise that they have been used as they suspected in an inter agency war and have gained an ally in Kepler but an enemy in the CSS.

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329-331-1505

Our travellers heal with the help of the KBI medics while trying to find cargo and passengers for the next stage of their journey to Entrope. Tizon is their next stop on the journey; Tizon is just one parsec away. Urgen finds that the normal lines are difficult for him to find passengers and cargo on as Nick Gleason is undercutting his prices and reminding people of his reputation, he also has a ship ready to go and another to take its place. Nurdus gets Urgen to buy some software for the ship which Tasha can also use, 6 expert programs, Recon, Medic, Steward, Chemistry, Electronics and Physics. Nurdus will use the recon program to help him learn how to do it in the field.  Our travellers have to leave soon or pay more for using the star dock so Urgen go off and buys some food grade vegetables but with more than the ship can carry sells some off again. Meanwhile  a assorted bunch of passengers come a calling looking for transport, their is Michal Higgins a young intense brown haired man, will talk to all around him about Gods will for them and their need to repent. He needs to go to a small mining colony to take Gods word to them. The colony is in the asteroid field of the system around 4 days away at full thrust. Also their are 2 miners Richard & Andria who will share a room. A happy tired looking hard working couple, mid 30’s obviously in love. Talk a lot about their various homes and mining in general.  The Miners have also requested – 5 tons of food stuffs, 1 T of medical supplies, and various parts taking up 10T of space total 16DT.  Total Payment will be 4dt of Tungsten picked up when you get their.

Then there is Prof Fran Sue Kenten [brown hair, around 40, slim and short] plus 5dt cargo plus bed in medical bay. Fran and her badly injured male passenger Adam need to leave here and get to Tizon where she is seeking help with his injuries. She will work as your doctor for the trip plus 2kcr. Adam is in a medical pod and needs to be connected to the power and the medical bay is a good place to so this it also allows her to watch over him while doing her duties. Hans Emden Hans Emden is the last passenger he is a smart young man well groomed and Happy to travel anywhere just for the fun of it. Wants to travel with you and will pay normal cost.

So now with a 6 passengers and carrying 21dt of their cargo and 45dt of vegetable matter they are ready to go. Just then Erwin Claus and his young daughter Sharon [12] – wanting to travel to Entrope turn up he will pay 30kcr and wants all food delivered to their rooms.

So Urgen gets clearance from space control and fires up the drives to push up into the atmosphere leaving the planet behind them at last.  Accelerating at 2g or 20m per sec squared they soon are travelling at thousands of Km per hour heading to the belt surrounding the gas giant 4au away around about 600mKm away this trip will take about 4 days. The belt has a small number of mining colonies each around 100 strong. Mining crystals, gems, radioactives, and uncommon ore’s these are mined refined and then collected by a bimonthly inner system transport for transport to Colada where most of it is used or sent for on shipping. There is one refining processing ship which also acts as a basic home to those miners not working elsewhere. Most others live in small container sized bio domes which hold a couple of miners each. That first day the quests get to know each other except the Claus’s who stay shut up in their rooms, Fran is very quite unless people talk about her work which is very boring to most, Michal is very open and will talk about life in general and where God fits into it, Richard and Andria talk a lot about mining and their life together, while Hans will listen and join in Dag particularly gets on well with him as they are both well cultured and have similar interests. During the day Nurdus realises that Hans is always popping up in odd places on the ship and seems to be able to get past locked doors so Dag sets the robot to following him around. After a late dinner they all head for their rooms for the night leaving the auto’s to run the ship as it hurtles through space.

They are awoken in the early morning, or it would be if on a planet rather then in space, by a female scream….

When they get to the common area, the lounge/dinning room, they see Richard in a pool of blood, his arms and legs have been ripped off, and Andria is weeping over him.

Dag as captain takes control ordering everyone out and  gets Tasha to read the surface thoughts of Hans and the Claus’s, both of whom he is suspicious off. Hans is wondering why he has a reptile shaped robot following him around and Sharon is wondering ‘where we are going’, while her father is only thinking of her. With Urgen back at the controls and informing Colada space control of the situation they continue speeding through space while Dag and Tasha investigate the scene, it is handy that they have her aboard. After an hour pouring over the grizzly scene they decide that Richard died from the shock of having his arms and legs pulled off. There is no sign of a struggle or of another person, no foot prints in the blood and no foreign items on him or around the area, the crime scene is a bust for clues. Having done that and put the body and parts in a cryo pod and clean up. While Tasha rests and comforts Andria with Fran Dag sets up interviews with the rest of the passengers.  He starts with Andria, using his psychology skills he distrustful, distant but not involved, she has no idea who would want Richard dead and hadn’t met any of the passengers before. He then moves on to Erwin Claus, he is fleeing his ex wife’s family, he says they are dangerous to them both; he demands protection and a gun. Dag gives him a gun and sets the robot to watch over the quest area and watch over Sharon. Dag then talks with Hans, he is a happy go lucky and enjoys new experiences; however he is visibly disturbed by this event and pats his hidden gun to comfort himself. Fran is next on Dag’s list now she is very professional and matter of fact, she expertly parries Dag’s questions but is open about where she was. She is asked about Adam and his injuries and then Dag asks about Psionics and she shares what little she knows. Finely he talks to Michal who is distressed at the crime seems to peaceful to have done it and thinks its all Gods will.

With many hours now past Dag with Tasha search the habitat areas of the ship, looking for blood etc, they find nothing incriminating. They also set up Dag’s bug to watch the passenger corridor and send the audio visual to the computer. Then Dag talks to Erwin and convinces him to let them talk to Sharon, he agrees but only if he is their as well. Sharon is very skittish and always looks to her father before answering, but again Dag doesn’t think she was involved. In fact by now he is sure that this isn’t something any of them could have done, it would take super strength to rip off arms and legs and then there is no trace of foot prints. He bundles up all the interview transcripts and has them send back to the KBI on Colada.

Thinking that they must have a stowaway Tasha, Dag and Nurdus grab their weapons and body armour and go and search the cargo area. Tasha does life sign scans on it detecting nothing and then they check the containers and cargo. They open each container including Fran’s medical bay, this is a small doctor’s area with many drugs etc in it. They then move on to search the engineering area and the luggage cargo. These searches turn up another blank and they still have no idea who brutally killed Richard. Dag and the rest now decide that they need to check for drugs or implants which could give a person the ability to rip off arms and legs so each person is put into the medical scanner with Fran watching and overseeing it. They are looking for enhancements, drugs, brain activity, non humans or mutations. Urgen shows drug residues which are mind changing, Andria has signs of the caiming drugs Fran gave her and Tasha can’t have it used on her due to her jack implant in her head. Other than this the scans come up a blank, no super mutations or passengers with cyborg implants. With a long day behind them and night coming they all have dinner those who can eat and retire for the night. The Claus’s room together, Hans and Michal share a room and Fran shares with Andria, with the robot reptile outside the rooms and a audio visual bug watching as well they all feel saver than being alone, also Hans and Erwin are armed.  Our crew also split into twos with two on the bridge and two resting together, swapping over as needed.

No one sleeps well, there is a murder on the loose somewhere but all are safe come morning. While manning the bridge Dag sets up a computer search for similar killings, eventually it comes back with the result of similar deaths on Colada, Gram and Excalibur in the past month or so. Dag sends this info back to Colada as well, but now they are 2 days out there is no hope of any help or a quick reply.

Day 3 from Colada, our travelling crew has spent time talking together trying to work out what might have happened overnight. They are sure that unless someone could boost their strength their is no one on board who could have ripped the arms and legs from a person, they remember that Shan could have done so. The crew decide that this crime is possibly Psionic based and talk to Tasha about what Psionics can do, she tells them about enhancing strength and teleporting or using telekinesis to move things, she points out that any of these activites weaken a user and they would need time to recover, she also reminds them that a Psionic can not be life scaned and so might still be hidden. However they are confident In their search they also discount, the stories of space creatures which can enter a ship, but they are sure that they are now looking for a Psionic user, and as this is more likely in a female that narrows down the field.

They ask the professor for Adam’s medical records but she refuses on confidentiality grounds, but does tell them that he was badly injured in a farming accident, losing arms and legs, and although some experimental drugs of hers have helped restore him his mind is badly damaged and he needs to be kept in a medical pod. He is on constant drugs and can not leave the pod. They wonder if the doctor is the one responsible, maybe unconsciously doing this as it was done to her Adam, however they do not know how to move on with this line of thought. They decide that with the current crises the captain, Dag has the authority to do what he feels is needed, they are after all outside of the planets authority. So Nurdus and Tasha write a hack program to enable them to access the computer onboard Adam’s pod to see what that will show, this will take them most of the day. Meanwhile Dag while looking after the passengers decides that they are looking for a pathological killer properly mentally damaged, with his robot in tow he keeps on eye on Fran and Sharon the two most likely women to be guilty, even if unconsciously. As they are approaching the mining colony and now slowing down they send a message there to check on Andria and her story. A couple of hours later a reply comes back. ‘She and her husband belong here, we don’t expect to see her back for a while, we have no need of her services.’ This perplexes our crew as it doesn’t make a lot of sense, why don’t they want her back? So they send a picture to conform that she is who she says she is and ask what services? The answer comes back ‘This is her; they are miners and were expected at any time.’ This doesn’t make sense with the info they already have and leaves them confused.

With the day nearly gone Dag rustle up dinner for all and the passengers all retire in there twos for the night. Once all is quite Nurdus goes into the medical centre to hack into Adam’s pod. This takes him most of the night but even though the hack program isn’t much good he manages it and downloads the files. Once back with the others they go through them, Adam has been in this pod for 3 months his arms and legs were injured and he is on drugs to keep him alive however these drugs are not any there medics recognise. With morning here Tasha takes on the steward program and gets on with looking after the passengers breakfast.

After breakfast Nurdus sets the ship computer to do a search on what the various drugs Adam is on would do to a normal human. The answer some time later is that these are unknown combinations’ and as the ship does not have a medical or biology database it can do little more than that however some parts of these drugs are not good for humans and they are definitely not licensed.  Dag has all this info passed back to Colada which is now hours away for a signal to travel.

By midday they are 2 hours and 300kkm away from the mining ship, and their sensors pick up the heat of the processor ship and another one near by. This second ship appears to be pointing at the miner’s ship rather than being docked with it. Urgen with his military background thinks this might spell trouble as it could be a ship in a position of threat. So could this be pirates they wonder, particularly as it doesn’t have an ID beacon. Urgen is all for closing on them and shooting it out but the others think this is a bad idea when they have passengers aboard. They do think that leaving the cargo with the pirates would be amusing if the killer was among it.

Dag decides they need to re-interview Andria and then pop the information about this ship out and let Tasha read her thoughts. This they do and Andria confirms all her background story even though she is still visibly upset. Dag is still certain she had nothing to do with his death. When he brings up about the ship she is disturbed perplexed with no recognition of it. This puts the crews mind at ease as at least she is not part of what is going on and they do not have a mole aboard. A while later they get a message from Poppy II the ore processor ship from Hans the captain, ‘Stand clear do not approach.’ Urgen asks Andria who Hans is and she says, the captain, father in charge of the families there.  Dag orders a change of heading and they head down to pass beneath the horizontal plane. They also stop slowing down and stay at around 140k KPH they are around 200k km away now.

They send another message, ‘what do you want us to do with your cargo? Wait in orbit or leave?’

Hans comes back an hour later ‘please dock and transfer cargo’.

At this point they are 50k km below the pair of ships and speeding away. This allows them a closer scan and they can detect the EM hot spots that are weapon points, the ships seems to have 4 turrets and a forward facing bay or similar which properly carries a bigger weapon than a turret. This seems likely as it is facing the unarmed and fragile ore ship. Again they talk with Andria about this situation and ask her thoughts. They say that with no ID it is proberly a pirate and even though they have been asked to dock they are not minded to do so. She likes the people there although she has no family there now, agrees it is not good to help pirates but can they do anything to help?

So Dag informs Colada about this situation and then moves towards the gas giant to swing round around it, while trying a deception. An hour later when they are nearer the giant and could send and recive a message to a ship the other side of it they mimic a message from a patrol ship, using their jammers and comm. System. The message reads, this is the patrol ship C-101A under Captain Cook, we understand that you have a pirate ship near by; we are responding and full thrust. Please confirm and identify yourselves. Dag then sends a response from the EI and continues on their course.

About an hour later just before they pass behind the gas giant the EI detects the pirate ship powering up and moving off and then jumping, before it does however they hear the plaintive cries of Hans on the comms ‘bring our children back, they have taken them’. Dag and the others realise that their is nothing they can do, they are to far away and travelling in the wrong direction. Six hours later they are back near the ore ship and preparing to dock. Once they have done so they transfer Andeia and the cargo and Urgen offloads 10dt of his vegetables and receives 2dt of tungsten to join the 4 they got from the trip. They then use ship funds to buy 10dt of Quartz for 75kcr to carry to Tizon. The trip round the giant and the delay of dealing with the pirates as well as loading the new cargo means another day has gone and it is now 336-1505 and the vegetables are now 6 days old.  The ship pulls away from the mining colony and once far enough away jumps for Tizon one week away.

Company accounts

Item Date

Outgoing

Incoming

Balance

Starting cash  

 

100,000

100,000

Personalisation of non crew staterooms 315-1505

30,000

70,000

Drink

1,000

69,000

Passengers & Cargo Gram

146,600

215,600

Birthing cost Colada 322-1505

1,000

214,600

Software

3,600

211,000

Colada passengers 330-1505

38,000

249,000

Colada cargo 45dt food grade Vegetables

—–

Colada Asteroid miners 336-1505

4dt Tungsten

10dt Quartz 336-1505

75,000

174,000

Monthly costs 340-1505

134,648

39,352

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336-1505

The EI jumps from the Colada system heading for the Tizon system, leaving the grieving miners behind weeping for their lost children. Their journey will than take them to Hrunting another 1 parsec away eventually heading for Entrope 2 parsec away. They still have Prof Fran Sue Kenten & Adam; Hans Emden; Erwin Claus [35] – and his daughter Sharon [12 left on board. Also they have 35dt of food grade vegetables [bought 329] & 2dt Tungsten belonging to Urgen; 4dt tungsten & 10dt Quartz [75k] belonging to the company.

The passengers complain about the discomfort of sharing rooms and want to go back to their own rooms now the danger is over. Dag says that is fine but it is up to them the danger might not be past as they still haven’t found the killer of Richard. As usual Dag suffers from jump sickness and is not able to come up with a plan for 24 hours also Urgen realises he made a mistake with the power diversion to the jump drive and he thinks they will be off course when they reach Tizon.

A day later Dag is feeling better and outlines his plan to finely unmask the killer, this involves reducing the atmosphere and gravity in certain areas. After explaining it to the rest of the crew he puts in into operation.  First he makes an announcement to the passengers saying that as they are having a safely drill all but duty crew need to be in the common room. He then has Urgen and Nurdus on the bridge, both in armour and with weapons near by, reduce the atmosphere in the cargo bay to nil and reduce its gravity to ½. Then they lock off the engineering area and reduce it to zero air and gravity.   The whole passenger area except the area just outside the door to the medical bay is reduced to zero gravity, this includes the common room were Dag and Tasha are with the passengers except Fran who is in the medical bay. Dag has planted his bug in the medical bay so he can see what is happening there.

Once all this is in place Tasha and Dag move from the common room to the Medbay door, once there Tasha spends time looking at the doctor through the bug lining up and preparing for a mind probe to determine if Fran is behind the murders or if Adam is.  The answer is no she is not, the probe detects no knowledge of her or Adam being the killer.

Just then Tasha is hit a powerful blow by a fist, a monstrous sight has appeared a naked male. He is covered in scars as it looks like his arms, legs and others parts have been stitched together, not all the parts match either. Although not unusually tall this man is powerful with muscles bulging all over his body. Dag assumes that this is Adam and shouts out. Tasha has been driven back badly injured from the blow.

Urgen always quick to respond to danger uses his palm to open the palm print bridge door so he can see down the corridor to the med bay area, while Nurdus restores the gravity to the passenger areas. Adam uses his mental power on Dag turning him  into a mindless animal, Tasha draws her laser pistol and fires at the monster hitting him but not slowing Adam down. Urgen fires into the melee with his Snub smg, only a single shot, but hits Tasha causing serious wounds and leaving her nearly dead. Dag staggers into the medical bay, they only way to move away from the threat. Nurdus now in the bridge doorway aims at Adam with his laser pistol.

Dag as he staggers into the medical bay grabs hold of Fran and uses her as a shield, Adam follows Dag into the medical bay and tries another mental assault but this one fails, Adam had very little power left. Urgen runs down to the med bay door with Nurdus right behind him. Adam punches at Dag forcing Dag to back up more with Fran shouting out ‘Stop what are you doing?’

Urgen moves in drawing his Mono sword, ‘let’s do this like Swordworlders then’ he says as he swings his weapon. Urgen is highly skilled in blade use and is please to see a good deep cut where he hits Adam, so he can be hurt. Nurdus aims his laser pistol and fires, but hits Urgen in the back.  Luckily Urgen has good armour on and takes little damage from this hit. Adam swings back at Urgen and hits the armoured briefcase he is using as a shield driving into him, hurting himself as well as Urgen. Dag cowers in the corner holding a struggling Fran in front of him, ‘Adam what have you done?’ she calls out.

Urgen swings again and misses this time, Nurdus draws his sword, he is not good with it, and wades in swinging, but misses. Adan hit Urgen again but Urgen’s armour protects him from the mighty blow. Fran calls out ‘Stop it this minute you will kill him’. Which is exactly what happens, both Adam and Nurdus miss but Urgen’s blade slices into Adam and kills him?

‘You beasts’ roars Fran, you have killed my love, Nurdus thumps her and then ties her up and gags her. Erwin calls from across the way, in the common room, ‘will you defend us like that as well?’ Yes comes the answer from Dag it’s what we do.

Urgen tries to help Tasha with his limited medic skill but makes things worse so puts her into the medical unit and turns on the autodoc. Dag is another matter it will take days for his mind to recover and they put him in his room for rest. Urgen has only light wounds and will recover quickly.  Nurdus is in command for a while and tries to claim the other passengers down telling them it all over now. He is glad when Urgen is back on the bridge, however the passengers have to fend for themselves as both Dag and Tasha, the only stewards, are out for a while.

344-1505 the ship leaves jump at Tizon system 10mkm out of position. Tizon is a Civil Service Bureaucracy and requests reports on the killing in multiples, the delay caused with police and security checks as well as form filling add a day to landing clearance. Other bodies in the system – Two stars, the primary El Cid, and its companion Bucar; 1 – [hot planet] 3/4au; 2 – 2au Tizon two small moons A & B, though neither have significant installations;   3 – [dry planet]; 4 – 2 gas small 3au plus asteroid belt; 5 – gas plus asteroids.  Although this world can produce TL10, mainly jump 1 ships and house hold stuff, it limits imports to protect its economy. This encourages some smuggling particularly from Darrian space via Cunnonic just jump1 away. As a rich planet and member of the Sword Worlds Confederation, historically Tizon has been one of the most important of the Sword Worlds, and in the past it has built an empire big enough to make it a power almost comparable to Gram, today Tizon pours its energy towards trade, science, and art.  Tizon was subject to a fairly successful terraforming program by the Darrians before being abandoned in the wake of the Maghiz disaster. As such, Tizon actually supports some of the last surviving populations of native Darrian species that are extinct on their own home-world.  A dense wet atmosphere, no birds but lots of flying fish types. Lots of fishing and sea sports. Imports a lot of its food as land is at a premium. Due to this it has food import price controls holding all import prices at their base price plus or minus 10%. Urgens food cargo will lose 5% value per day after 14 days down to 50% and it is already 15 days old. Tizon has two continents: the larger one, Treskaginir, covers most of the northern hemisphere, while a smaller one, Noeglen, takes up half of the south.  The world is rich in minerals, with mining communities scattered all over the planet these miners have little freedoms and have formed many unions to fight for more freedom.  The capital city is Ny Eital; its Downport is Osgihamn Starport. The Tizon system also supports a Sword Worlds military base, which is part of the starport it hosts fights groups as well as system defence ships and a small squadron of warships.

Coming out of jump causes more distress for Dag putting back his recovery for a while. Tasha is moved to a hospital to restore her body due to the damage it took, loss of strength due to shattered limbs. Urgen takes the opportunity to have his historical damage, caused in his fighter crash in his early life, restored as well so both of them will be there for a week. Urgen pays for his own treatment after selling his cargo while the company pays for Tasha’s. Hans Emden leaves the ship with a passing comment to Dag about how he enjoyed the trip and will report on their keeping to the law, it turns out he is an undercover customs agent, checking out a new company.

Urgen finds a buyer for his Veg after two days and manages to get 34,600 after tax for the 35dt he has he also finds a buyer for Tungsten & Quartz. This buyer wants to buy it all and because he needs to head to the hospital he agrees, they get 27k for the Tungsten 9 for Urgen and 18 for the company and 200k for the Quartz. Urgen pays his 900 in tax and has come out ahead on this deal; the company has to pay tax as well as its monthly mortgage payments, life support cleaning, maintenance, insurance and refuelling, as well as docking costs. These all come to 161,600cr then the shareholders have their cut of 1% so Petra and Shan get 4% = 4200cr while Nurdus also gets 4% and Tasha 1% = 1,050cr. Once all this has been paid for the company has 195kcr on its books a profit of 95k in just over a month. It is unlikely that they will always be this lucky.

With Urgen and Tasha in hospital Dag and Nurdus try to find passengers and cargo for the next leg of their trip, they still have the Claus’s on board and so have space for 4 more passengers as well as cargo. After 6 days they find cargo to haul a 50 and a 5 dt load at a price of 900cr a dt = 49,500cr, this with the 5dt med bay of Fran, she is now in a low birth till they can find a place to leave her, 4 high passengers require 4ft of space takes up 64 of their 66DT cargo space. The high passengers pay 24,000cr for the trip to Hrunting one parsec away.

With a prospective full ship they are ready to go to Hrunting, they just need to pick up Tasha and Urgen and a few last things.

————————————————–

Dag & Nurdus while in the starport are contacted by representative of a mining union wanting some help; Fernando [a Noeglen native] the contact says they want weapons and will pay in gems for them. Any guns will do but energy ones are better as then they will not need to worry about ammo supply, ammo guns need to come with 500 rounds each, they are happy to pay above the market price. Drop off will have to be in the countryside but they will give them a drop off point once they return with the weapons. They will be given a secure comms channel to contact them on it only works for a few seconds each day if they agree.  It doesn’t take them long to decide to reject this offer.  While heading back through the starport they run across an old man dressed in very shabby (but once very fine and colourful) clothes who obviously hasn’t had a bath for a while. Without warning the man points at Dag and says ‘I see doom ahead for you, your gun will cause you harm’. Dag responds to this by finding a good local firing range by spending time at bars customs personal use, once he finds one he takes his weapons and goes to practice. As soon as he fires his 7mm auto it explodes lightly injuring him, the people there take care of him and patch him up and Nurdus inspects what is left of the gun, after analysis he suspects an ignition fault which set off all the case-less ammo. Doing a database search he finds out that this is aremote fault with this version of the gun a 1 in 10m chance. After this shock Dag and Nurdus will check out all the guns of the crew and make sure they are all in good order. They also set about buying a few upgrades for the ship, a anti boarding gun to cover the outside airlock from inside the airlock, anti hacking software security 3 internal and external, internal sensors motion and electro-magnetic covering all area’s with a remote feed to the ship computer, these will pick up all movement, bugs and other electrical devices in use. The gun is a light auto cannon [6d6 SAP auto 6] with 2 magazines controlled from the bridge using remote operations. They also buy an upgrade for the jump software Engineer Jump 1. these plus an improved cloth uniform for Tash set them back 39,300cr. Dag also replaces his lost gun with a Tizon hand Laser, a gantlet based weapon along with a spare small battery pack.

A few days later they are contacted by Grafilie [Darrian native from Treskaginir] who will say they have arranged weapons to be dropped at Entrope, they can be picked up in the debris field at these coordinates, if you could pick them up and drop them over these coordinates as you come in to land we can retrieve them. The package is 5dt and has a grav unit so it can guide itself to the ground, they will pay 20k for this. Dag and Nusdus discuss doing a double cross and telling the authorities but in the end just reject the offer, they want to keep their trust level up, a trust level Dag has from his past and their working with various organisations.

As they prepare to leave Tizon they are contacted by Adolf an agent for her  Chloe Strongersdaughter’s family, she has gone missing and we know she travelled with you where did you drop her off, where did she go?

You carried her to Colada. But their is no evidence of her leaving there, as she comes from an important family you will be held for a day while the security services check your records etc. there is no trace of her on Colada although she did disembark from the ship she never left the port. You are being held responsible for her as you carried her off world without her families’ permission.  Adolf the agent is the assigned guard for Chloe, it is his fault she got away and he has made it his job to return her to her family. Nothing will stop him he has permission to do whatever he needs to and wear his combat armour as a guard.

With all what has gone on they carefully check the hull of their ship before departure just in case, and then the inside. They then lift off for Hrunting with Dag using his new software to help with the jump management. Dag as usual ends up feeling sick from the jump and they realise that they need to plan for this and have Tash apply some medicine each time to help with this.

001-1506 – To Hrunting another 1 parsec away heading for Entrope 2 parsec away. Arrive 170 hours later 008-1506.

Hrunting/Sword Worlds

Starport Quality                    Good Quality Starport, 2000cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel, Shipyard (spacecraft) and Repair Facilities;

Size                                         6,400km, 0.35 Surface gravity (Mars);

Atmosphere Type                  Standard, 0.9 Pressure (Earth);           the small atmosphere and closeness to the sun means that the sky is always full of colour [like the northern lights]

Hydrographic                                    30%, Small seas and oceans;

Population                              Tens of Millions, 13m+,

Government Type                 Representative Democracy. Ruling function performed by elected representatives, (Republic) an elected Queen as head of state [for life] an elected senate [every 5 years] with a government of the mayor party, with its leader as consol.            All local affairs are run by the elders of the clan area.

Law Level (illegal possessions) Shotguns, All Narcotics, Library programs, unfiltered data on other worlds, Free speech curtailed to election years. TL8 Items, Citizens may not leave the planet, visitors are restricted to starport. The use of psionics is forbidden.

Tech Level                             (Pre-Stellar) the defining element of TL9 is the development of gravity manipulation making space travel safer and faster.

Bases                                       Sword World military Base.

Trade_1                                  Rich worlds are blessed with a stable government and a viable biosphere, making them economic powerhouses.

Gas Giant Present     2 far planets within a scattered asteroid field.

Satellites –  a group of asteroids in a geo-stable orbit, with a mining operation in it.

NOTES:    Hrunting has a cold climate and a standard oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. Hrunting orbits its primary, Beowulf, in a 3:2 orbital resonance at a distance of 0.10 AU. Thus the small atmosphere and closeness to the sun means that the sky is always full of colour [like the northern lights]

Hrunting’s location on the Darian border makes it a natural staging area for expeditions into the Darrian Subsector, but also makes it vulnerable to espionage — which is why the Hrunting system has regular military patrols. Hrunting contains a military base designed to serve as a central command for coalition fleets. The base was built to accommodate a much larger staff and many more vessels than are normally stationed there.

Hrunting’s most prominent native life form is the stone trees, a diverse mollusc-like order of animals that have invaded the land.

Hrunting’s capital and starport are at Brennistein, located on the coast of the Kina Sea.

Although this world produces TL9 stuff it limits incoming tech to level 8 to allow its industry to develop. This encourages some smuggling, particularly of drugs, and high tech personal household stuff and information tech.

This is a xenophobic world which distrusts all Offworlders. Any found outside of the starport will be arrested, penalties are high. However it does have some stunning rock formations as well as its colourful sky so some people are always trying to get here away from the starport.

There is a small rebel force, who wants the state to be freer and more open, they import information/news to spread around.

The government security forces have access to some TL 10+ equipment and the government also has 2 squadrons of space fighters, a flight of system defence boats and shuttles etc to service the port, it has no jump capable ships of its own nor do any locals.

 They off load the cargo and the passengers except for the Claus’s who are travelling on to Entrope, and sell the medical pod of the professor, who is still in cold storage. They can find only a few passengers wanting travel to Entrope a very closed world, 1 high, 2 medium and 5 low class but no cargo, as Entrope is 2 parsecs away these passengers pay 30,000cr for the journey. They also fill up the tank with 11dt of fuel costing 6,600cr they also buy a salvage trade program as that is going to be what they are doing next when the get to the next system.  They then spend some time searching for leads to help in their junking mission, Nurdus, Urgen and Dag hit the streets and bars talking to other travellers, while Tash access the local Data base. Between them they find 4 reasonable locations to start looking for salvage. [pool totals of 7, 9, 10 & 8]

Now they are ready to go, what will await them at Entrope and the fields of spiralling space junk?

—————————————-

 015-1506 – leave Hrunting heading to Entrope after a week in system, Tash works with Dag to overcome his jump sickness this time,she prepares the medical needs so he has a plan. Nurdus works out the course and then starts the power diversion to the jump drive. Then Urgen fires up the jump drive having brought the ship to a halt. The EI shakes and the lights go dim before the ship is thrown into jump space, Dag feels the usual sickness hitting him but this time the preparations pay off and he suffers no ill effects. For the next week they continue there training plans and do the normal checks needed around the ship.

Severn days and 11 hours later, having realised that this jump has taken longer than usual, they suddenly fall out of jump space. As they do the sensors scream a proximity alert at them.

Tumbling past them is a ship.

Again Dag has taken the planed precautions and suffers no effect from the jump back to normal space it looks like this plan works. Nurdus man’s the sensors and records the ship as it travels away he also works out where they are in relation to the planet Entrope. It turns out that they are 1,000 million km out from it a slight miss-jump which could have been a lot worse at least they are still in system even if over 5 days away. The sensor scans of the tumbling ship show it to be travelling at around 1million km an hour, it is also tumbling in all 3 axis at a slow rate, it is around 500dt in size so over twice the size of the EI. The ship is of alien design and not any ship known to be used by the Imperium, the Darrians, the Sword Worlds or the Zhodani, the marking on it are similar to the ones found at the pyramid on Walson 2 years ago.

Tash wants to know if its boardable and does a computer check to find out, while Urgen decides to chase it, heading after it and applying full thrust. Tash’s computer check says it is boardable but will take around 2 days to match velocity, then you will need to match its spin, with Urgen as a pilot this should be possible. Meanwhile Dag as captain informs the passengers about the need to delay there arrival due to having to mount a rescue mission. Peter Peppard there high passenger makes quite a fuss about being late for important meetings and a party but Dag reminds him they are not responsible for unavoidable delays, he is not happy but can do nothing about it at this time. The other passengers see this as an adventure and look forward to it.

While Nurdus plots a better course than just following, he gets a straight intercept course which will save them 6 hours however it takes him 6 hours to work out and check, the others analyse the sensor data on the ship. This shows a triangle shaped ship with twin prongs at its front, it has taken a lot of damage as most of its outs hull is gone and some of its internal structure, also a lot of the damage was to its back end where the engines are. They also manage to see that it has had 5 turrets 3 of which are destroyed, the other two do not seem to be tracking them. They also hail the ship on all frequencies getting no response. There is no EM signature from it or much of a heat signature other than the minor differences dues to solar warming.

During the next 2 days they push the engines to match catch and then match velocity with the ship, meanwhile there make sure the robot is fully charged as it might be of help if this ship does come from the same lost culture, they also check and service all there vacc-suites and other equipment they will need. Nurdus selects the tools he thinks will help him gain entry. They have decided that Nurdus and only one of them with zero-g experience will be sent over on the grappling arm once Urgen has manoeuvred them within 200m. Nurdus will then leap across the last few feet and grab the airlock handles and go to work from there, he will be tethered to their ship by a line going along the grapple arm.

24-1506 they at last catch up to the alien ship, Urgen takes them to within 5km ,while Dag man’s the guns just in case, and then Tash uses her psionic abilities. She wants to check for life signs which she does but finds none, she then uses clairvoyance to spy out the inside of the ship. They have decided to use the airlock on the front of a prong as it should be easier to reach, she chooses a point 12m in and 3m over from the airlock. Her minds eye appears there and in the dark of the ship she can make out containers and barrels, the only light is a very faint glow from lettering near where she thinks the airlock is. She can make out nothing more than that in the short time she has in vision.

With this information they decide to go ahead with there pan to get Nurdus aboard, Urgen starts to move the EI in closer trying to match the spins of the alien ship as best as he can with computer help. His first attempt fails and he pulls away and comes back for a second try, this time he manges to get the rotations right and lines the ships up 200m apart. Dag uses the remote arm to move Nurdus to the airlock. Nurdus is suspended from the arm on a sling and once within a few feet throws himself towards the airlock getting a hold on to it. The first part of the plan has worked.

Nurdus connects the safety line to the hand hold by the airlock so others can get over easily, and Urgen backs the ship away to 500m for safety. The airlock seems dead but Nurdus finds that he can use his laser power pack to give it a burstof power to use the manual override. The airlock slides open, Nurdus keeps out of its direct line just in case of any thing being ejected from it. Nothing comes out and he enters the airlock, he looks around and tries to see through the window in the inner door, but can only see himself until he switches off his helmet light, then he can see nothing except darkness with a slight glow above the window. Nurdus switches his light back on and makes sure the camera is recording and transmitting so the others can see what is going on. The quality is very low but it can always be slowed down and enhanced later on the computer. He know opens the inner airlock and in his light can see containers and barrels filling up the area. This is obviously a cargo area.

After checking his communications with the ship Nurdus slowly and cautiously explores the area. Dag takes his robot and starts to work along the lone to join Nurdus, this wobbles a bit as Urgen has to change course to keep in line with the airlock. Dag uses the robot to open the airlock by supplying power to it and enters the ship. Meanwhile Nurdus has explored the cargo area finding the access to 2 turrets the one on the flank and the one above of the prong they are in. the flank one seems to have a twin pulse laser in it while the dorsal one has twin missile launchers. The racks are empty as was the magazine in the cargo bay. Nurdus also finds the cargo bay door on the inside of the prong as well as the iris value to the rest of the ship.

Going through the iris value Nurdus sees a corridor running in front of him and them across to form a T, with a door to each side of him. He checks out the door to his left which opens into a room which appears to be a stateroom. The door to the right opens into another corridor with another door opposite, the corridor seems to run back the way he came and so towards the gap between the prongs, maybe the bridge. Nurdus heads towards what he hopes will be the bridge.

Will he be right?

What else will they discover on this derelict?

Will they find things to salvage and sell?

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 Nurdus finds the bridge, there are odd things floating around in here and a slight frost on the surfaces, it is also dark except for his helmet light. Dag and Ronney the robot are in the cargo bay, exploring the cargo there. Nurdus although he can not understand the symbols he believes that his knowledge of ship computers and controls will allow him to try to bring power and gravity online. Spending  little time he is sure what he needs to do and gets on with it. He brings the reserve power online which fires up the exterior lights much to Urgens surprise back on the EI, then the interior lights flicker on illuminating the bridge and he sees the items floating fall gracefully to the floor, the gravity is back on. Nurdus’s sensors on his environment suite tell him that the air is now breathable and so he cracks his helmet and removes his gloves to work better. Obviously he has also got the environment controls working as well.  Nurdus then looks to see if the life boats have been ejected, for internal sensors and the status of the power plant and engines. He has no idea if the life boats have been ejected  and can not find any internal sensors but he does find that they have battery power even if it is low,  the main drive is offline, however the axial thrusters are ok and just need a pilot to use them, which could stop the ship tumbling.

Dag meanwhile is looking through the cargo with Ronney who can translate the cargo writings, the containers consist of uncommon ores and the barrels are full of biochemical’s. He then heads to join Nurdus on the bridge. Now with Ronney to guide him Nurdus brings up the schematic of the ship, but there are still no sensors. He then gets to work on the computers while Dag investigates the ship exploring. In one of the staterooms he finds the remains of a humanoid alien body trapped in a clothes locker. The locker itself has several deformations to the door where the metal has been forced outwards due to the unfortunate crewman hammering his fists against the inside of the door in an attempt to escape his tiny prison. Clad in a blue cloth uniform, the almost skeletal remains still retain some vestiges of darkened skin and internal organs. Decomposition was in an advanced state before life support systems powered down allowing the ambient temperature to drop below freezing which preserved the last of the body’s soft tissues the restoration of life support now means that it is decaying again. The remains are humanoid, about five feet and three inches tall, with a slightly stooped stance, overlong arms that reach to the knees and looks like Ronney the robot it seems these might be his makers. Using his skills of investigation Dag decides that there were signs of fighting most properly between the crew.

Dag then heads to the ships locker, where there are no vacc suites or weapons but most of the normal things you find in there. Then he wanders over to the low birth area, but stops at the door seeing big red letters over it. He then heads back to the bridge and the CiC area. In this area he see’s many monitors and thinks that these might be the ship monitors, calling Nusdus and Ronney in they agree that they are and check them for movement round the ship. There is none. They wonder about why the monitors are in the captains centre and not anywhere else, they decide it was either for control reasons or lack of trust.

Dag then gets a body bag from the locker and goes and puts the body in it, getting some slime and juices on to his suite, which is not a hostile environment suite, he had made sure that he had his gloves and helmet on first. He then goes to clean up.

Nurdus still on the bridge with robot Ronney, brings up data on the engines, checks over the ships damage and how it happened and access the ships log. The damage to the ship mainly happened after it had been abandoned, the log was interesting. The date system is not standard Imperium and means nothing to Nurdus or Ronney, The d’chaell was on a routine run to pick up a cargo from a mining colony and return it home. Captain v’llant reports in the log that some of his crew believed there might be a stowaway or stowaways on board and reports that strange happenings had befallen several crew members during the previous few hours. There are no details in the log that might give a clue as to what these strange happenings were. The next entry reports that a’keeda had gone crazy and attacked one of his shipmates; it took four of them to overcome a’keeda and calm him down. Later he had gotten into another fight, this time with a crewman who had begun shouting and screaming at shadows or maybe something in the shadows. However, nobody else could see what it was he was shouting at. There would appear to be a  gap in the log reports because the next and final entry is very abrupt: ‘Taking the lifeboat. Abandoning ship. Having to leave a’keeda behind, his mind is  broken’. It appears there was a crew of 8 aboard and the ship was a Repti Horde Voracious class Gunship being used as a trader although it had been used as a warship on other missions. Nurdus with Ronney translating spent a fair amount of time working through this stuff.

Nurdus informs the othrs of his findings and Urgen asks Tash to do a visual check of the d’chaell exterior to check the damage and wither it was incoming or outgoing. Tash uses the visual sensors and comes back with it appears that some 70% of the damage was blow outs and 30% or so was from external effects. He finds that the power plant is ok but has been manually shut down and so needs to be manually reset again. The manoeuvre drive is damaged but reparable, to a point where it will work, given a few days and the right parts. The Jump drive is useless to badly damaged to repair in space.

After around an hours work Nurdus calls on the Captain Dag and gets no reply. He goes to look for him and finds him in the suite cleaning area just stood there, as soon as Nurdus touches him Dag turns and says what! Nurdus explains that he had gone quite and Dag realises that after reaching the  cleaning area he seems to have lost time. They think that he lost around 3/4 hour of time with no idea what he was doing.

After finding the captain they go to the drone bay and find some small versions of Ronney there. Small 1′ tall reptile robots, who appear to be shut down. Ronney points out that this is the repair drone bay one of 2 and they realise that these could affect repairs to the ship but do not trust what might happen if they do. The two of them then head for the low births, which are all empty, they assume there was no need for marines on a trade trip.

Dag now takes Nurdus and Ronney to where he found the body, Dag and robot stayed in the corridor while Nurdus went into the room and before long begin to feel that he is being watched, a claustrophobic oppression overtakes him and the room in which he stands begins to darken. The shadows around him grow and lengthen with strange angular shapes that reach toward him. A snaking tentacle begins to form in the shadows which takes on a solid form of putrid flesh and exudes a nauseating aroma of death. The tentacle lashes out at the PC followed by another and the full form of some alien nightmare manifests before him. A heaving, bulbous body with no discernable head, just a gaping slavering maw filled with rows of jagged teeth. Around the body, its tentacles writhe and make ready to strike again. A second creature rises up from the shadows, behind him, to cut off any hope of his escape.

The monster in front and behind strike out with 4 tentacles each hitting Nurdus with some wounds being caused even through his suite, those from the front hold onto him and start to squeeze. Nurdus drawing his laser pistol starts to fire at the monster in front, firing into the maw of the creature. Calling for help at the same time. Dag again realises he is not outside the room but in the shuttle cargo bay on top of the ship about as far away as he could be. He and Ronney start to head back to help Nurdus. As he goes he checks the bay out and sees that it is empty.

Nurdus is hit again and the maw bits him as well as the tentacles squeezing, Nurdus hits with his laser again and the monster dissipates dissolving into the deck. The other monster continues its attack scoring more damaging hits. Nurdus is now in a bad way and backs into a corner fires and misses, he is just to shaky now to fire straight. Hit again and near to death he gets into the cupboard, the one the body was found in. Tash now finally detects life signs and comes up with her two friends and two others, Urgen wants to know if that is before or after Nurdus got rid of one but they have no way of knowing.

Nurdus is not safe in the cupboard the tentacles reach through the door and attack again, finally finishing him off, he falls forward half in and half out of the cupboard dead.

Dag races through the unfamiliar ship trying to reach his friend, he finally reaches the room and opening the door expecting trouble sees Nurdus slumped out of the locker. He goes to investigate and finds an uninjured Nurdus in an undamaged suite but very much unconscious. Meanwhile back on there ship Urgen and Tash are on the bridge with there passengers at various places watching the two ships spin through space. Just then there is a BEEP BEEP a proximity alert. Ship’s sensors are tracking two inbound missiles that have ‘locked on’; though there is no sign of a hostile vessel on the sensors. The Missiles are at a range of around 15,000 kilometres, travel at thrust 5 and will impact in two turns. Urgen doesn’t believe these are real, particularly having just picked on Dag saying Nurdus isn’t dead. Even so he is about to dodge when Tash reminds him that the ships are tethered together. So activates the weapons controls and fires anti missile sand into there path. The two misses flare as they go through the sand but are not stopped. There is two bright flashes and the ship breaks in half as it takes the double explosion of the missiles.

Dag losses his communications  link  to the ship and Ronney says ‘Its gone’. Dag starts to drag Nurdus to the airlock.

45 minutes later.

Nurdus comes round in a corridor, with no idea how he got there from the room he died in, meanwhile Urgen, Tash and the passengers all come to in the ship. The ship is intact around them even though there all experienced its destruction. Dag is in the other cargo bay the one on the other side of the front of the ship, they have not explored this one. Here he finds he is holding onto a pyramid shaped stone. The stone is black, like polished obsidian, eight inches tall and weighs about four kilograms. He was drawn here by beautiful music and feels drawn towards the source of it. Amongst the cargo of the main hold, there is a crate that contains the black, stone pyramid. Dag becomes charmed by the stone pyramid and will take it and want to keep it for his own.

With this deep need to keep the pyramid Dag heads back to join the others. He says they all need to return to there own ship and leave this one alone. He and Nurdus and Ronney each take one of the small robots with them and put them into a net on the grapple arm, so that they can be taken over to the EI. Dag then gets the body bag and sends that over as well. Nurdus has downloaded the ships logs and Data base into Ronney so that they have all that information as well. Once they are all back in the EI they break the tether and head back towards the planet Entrope now 8 days away.

With 8 days travel on top of the 7 to get to the system and the 2-3 spend chasing the ship and exploring it the passengers one week journey is turning into nearly 3 weeks. The crew have some very unhappy passengers particularly as they also suffered a death experience, Urgen uses his diplomatic skills to calm the passengers down, and help them realise it was not there fault and there was nothing they could do but respond to the ship being there, he says they are sorry for the  delay but there is nothing that can be done about it.  Once they are a day out Tash and Dag will set about unfreezing the low berth passengers. they take there time and all 5 passenger are alive even if all but one is suffering terrible pains and sickness for a few hours and all of them will suffer aches and pains for a few days. At least something has gone right this time. Urgen explains to them about the delay and how sorry they are about it. Once the five low births passengers are out Dag puts the recovered body into one of the births, they now have two occupied one with the Professor and one with the dead body.

Entrope/Sword Worlds [Querion 0710]     a Hi-Pop; Hi-Tech world

Starport Quality                       Frontier Starport, Zero Berthing Cost, No Fuel or Facilities

Size                                            4,800km, 0.25 Surface gravity (Mercury, Ganymede)

Atmosphere Type                    Very Thin, 0.1 to 0.42 Pressure, Respirator Required

Hydrographic %                      56% to 65% [underwater farming]

Population                                Ten’s of Billions.  In 22 mega domed cities.

Government Type                    Charismatic Darian Religious Dictator. Ruling functions are performed by agencies ruled by a single leader who enjoys the overwhelming confidence of the citizenry. He surrendered to the SW during the war rather than suffer destruction. Larrian is getting old and has nominated his Son Laran as his heir.

Law Level (illegal possessions)         Any Weapons, All Drugs, Any Data From Offworld – no free press, TL3 Items, No Offworlders permitted, All Psionics due to pop density.

Tech Level                                C (Average Stellar) Weather control revolutionizes terraforming and agriculture.

Political                                     Sword Worlder Affiliation

Trade_1                                    Hi-population worlds have a population in the billions.

Trade_2                                    Hi-technology worlds are among the most technologically advanced in the universe.

 Other bodies – Sun; 1 Entrope,  3 moons; 1 asteroid group 2 au;

 NOTES:         Captured in the 4th frontier war claimed by the Darians. The system has loads of space junk from wars floating around. This is a heavily populated planet that has switched allegiance between the Sword Worlds Confederation and the Darrian Confederation several times in the last five centuries.  It does not want to be part of any union but bows to the situation, has little desire to repair the starport. Entrope’s infrastructure was heavily damaged in the latest fighting and its starport was destroyed. Due to continuing internal struggles, rebuilding has been impeded. Each of the mega cities holds around a billion beings, powered by fusion reactors, some are underwater. The locals have access to Darian weapons and use power gun tech, which has just been fitted to the latest SWC battleship. The cities have good defence systems using fixed powergun bases these can also defend against ground attacks.

Each city is based round a religious leader and the people are deeply religious this has come about due to the nature of society so many living close together, religion is what holds this society together unfortunately new prophets rise up from time to time challenging the status quo. Larrian at the moment holds the various religious groups under his power but another group under a new leader could rebel or rise up at any time. The weapons found here belong to the religious guards and those left when the Darian military left, many people have access to weapons which are kept hidden until they are needed.

Swordworlders can land at the SWC military base on an old industrial ‘D’ spaceport limited imports and exports but you can refuel there. This base is not part of a mega city but has become a confederation military base, holding fighter groups, ground forces, small craft and acts as the planetary base for the system squadron of half a dozen warships. These warships patrol the system to deter pirates and Darrian raids and monitor the debris fields.

Most high tech is of Darian design and is slowly being disseminated to the confederation.

There are 3 very small terraformed moons, around 1m km away, which supply ores to the factories. The asteroid belt has robot mines working in it using rail guns to shoot the ore into orbit.

Despite the widespread belief that the Entropic Wars were primarily between the Darrians and the Sword Worlders, the truth is that neither part ever had the strength to conquer Entrope in the face of united opposition. Unfortunately, Entrope has been a deeply fractured society ever since a civil war in 587. In each instance when Entrope has been invaded, most of the “invading” has been performed by native Entropians, with either the Darrians or the Sword Worlds merely tipping the scales.  Control is now in the hands of a religious group, how long this will last is open to debate.

36-1506 – Once they land and disembark the passengers they resupply with drink, new sand caster barrels, 13dt of fuel, food etc and recharge the  Vac and environment suites. Dag then sends reports on the ship and what they found out about it to Lt. Colonel Meyr [rtd], he also sends one of the repair robots and a memory crystal with the downloaded info in a separate package. It will be some weeks before this gets to him and even longer before they get any reply.

During this to and fo from ship to base and back, Dag takes the pyramid, which he smuggled aboard with the body and leaves it on the planet. However he has no memory of doing it. So now the object is on a planet of 22billion rather than a small ship.  The resupply costs them 7,800cr for fuel, 2 sand caster reloads, food & drink 2,000cr, they also have the monthly costs of 135,000 to pay as well leaving them with 101,800cr in balance. Nurdus also buys a laptop to download all the info they had put into Ronney, so he has a copy, which is not in the ships main computer. They also still have two of the small robots the Professor and a body on board.

With all this done they are ready to strike out for the debris fields to do some salvaging, it takes them 41/2 days to fly to the first area they had intell on, once there they start to scan for recoverable things. 36 hours later they have narrowed down the area and found some lose containers. Urgen pilots them to each in turn while Nurdus goes EVA to help Dag on the remote arm to haul them in. This haul is around 10dt of containers holding recyclables worth 1-5,000cr depending on how they refurbish them. This refurbishing will take 27 days with Tash and Nurdus working on it, once done the 9dt will be worth 13,500cr. One of the containers held 2,000 ovoid 1cm diameter copper shapes, a search  of the ships Database throws up Darrian Power gun ammo. It seems that the Darrian power-gun  tech used the effect of the proper combination of heat and magnetic fields properly aligned metal atoms can be converted directly into energy, which can fire directed down a barrel. They create a lot of heat and even with their barrels being made from iridium they need cooling after firing. The advantages of the weapon is range and damage, only line of sight limit the range of the weapon and all of its energy is released on the first item it hits. The new Sword world  Confederation battle ship uses guns of this type as its secondary weapon system. Now all they need to do is find or acquire some guns for the ammo to fit.

While Nurdus and Tash started work on this load Urgen guided the ship to the next point to search, this journey took another 2 days. This time the field was more spread out and it took them 5 days to track down and another to haul aboard. This time they found a spent torpedo which once Nurdus had checked out and disarmed turned out to be a basic one with no fuel left. the other 6dt was of nearly intact Plexiplate sheets worth around 500 a dt so about 3,000cr they decide not to try to refurbish these as it will take a long time for little gain.

49-1506 having only spent 2 days on refurbishing so far, due to Tash and Nurdus having to do the sensor work, they now have 10dt of recyclables [2 of 27 days work on them], 6dt of Plexiplate, a torpedo and 2,000 1cm power-gun ammo in the hold.

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 Our group now head towards the next junk location they have, this will take them 2 days and Tash and Nurdus carry on refurbishing the recyclables [4 days done 23 to go]. On the second day a proximity alert goes off, no one is manning the sensors as both Nurdus and Tash are busy. With the loud computer alarm deafening him Dag calls for a sensor operator and Nurdus responds. The ship is around 1500 km away and the sensors have detected a power surge. As Urgen thinks about dodging a laser bolt hits the ship while a second passes it by. The first bolt hits the rear of the ship and damages the manoeuvre drive. reducing there thrust to one G. Dag shouts into the communicator who is this what do you want why are you firing on us? and makes sure that the computer is recoding this.

Dag now takes command and using his leadership and Urgens tactical knowledge gains a slight advantage over this hostile ship and responds quickly. He puts there one point of thrust into dodging mans the main gun turret leaving the computer to fire the other with anti weapon munitions, commonly called sand, at incoming fire. Dag fires his twin pulse lasers and gets one hit on the enemy ship stripping some of its hull away. Tash has now come to control the sensors while Nurdus heads to the engines to try to repair the drive. The enemy ship fires again getting one hit which has no effect due to the sand and ships armour.

Nurdus manages to get the drive working at full potential again with a temporary patch, and Dag uses the two G’s of thrust to dodge and help line up the guns. Unfortunately Urgen, piloting, fails in each endeavour so Dag has to fire without his help. Again he gets one hit and even though the enemy ship also starts firing sand manages to puncture its fuel tank. The enemy ship in response manages one hit as well which causes part of the hull to be ripped away and a leak in the fuel tank as well. Dag fires again this time with help from Urgen but misses with both shots as the enemy ship starts to dodge around. In return they suffer another hull hit, this means that half of there outer hull has now been damaged.

Tash on sensors has now identified the enemy ship it is a S-class scout, armed with twin pulse laser’s and a sand launcher. Knowing that this ship is smaller than these and can take less damage and properly has less sand ammo the heroes decide to duke it out. Tash sends out a under pirate attack message on general frequencies. Urgen lines up the ship while dodging and Dag fires again. However yet again he misses with both weapons, the enemy manage to hit them once but there sand and armour defeat the energy blasts.

With knowledge of the enemy ship now Dag aims at its sensor array but his one on target shot is stopped by the enemies sand defence. They also manage one hit which is also stopped by the EI’s sand and armour. Urgen uses his tactical knowledge to try to cancel the enemies evasive manoeuvres, which he manages to do, he also manages to line up for a good shot, Dag again manages one hit which again has no effect. There return fire gets another ineffective hit. meanwhile Tash tries to fake a message from a customs cutter, saying it is on its way to help them, this has worked for them before, but this time the pirate ships scans ships nothing in the area at the moment.

Over half an hour into the combat and both sides have taken damage but are still fighting. Urgen fails with his tactics but does manage to line up the guns and dodge at the same time, good piloting. Dag fires and gets another hit which can not get through the enemy defences due to there evasive zagging as well as there  other defences. All the return bolts miss. after some more missing on both ides Dag with Urgens piloting help manages to hit the pirates manoeuvre drive slowing them down, while receiving no more hits themselves. The next series of exchanges are all misses on both sides, but Dag starts to use his knowledge of Psychology to see how he could put extra pressure onto them. He decides after over an hour of exchanging fire to call on them to retire, he tells them that they will let them withdraw if they turn there weapons off and move towards a jump position. By the way we also have lots more sand. The pirates answer OK and power down there weapons and start to move away once in position they jump away.

The pirates were down to one more sand defence shot whereas our plucky heroes had 7 more left and so would have had an advantage in a continuing fight. Urgen was not happy with Dags decision but as he said he is the captain and he would rather not risk further damage.  With the Empress Iolanthe having suffered 2 hull hits a damaged manoeuvre drive as well as a slight fuel tank hit, this is going to be expensive to repair.

Having driven off the attack they go back to scanning for what this junk field might hold. It takes 4 days this time to hunt down a haul, and in it they find a probe satellite, taking up 8DT mass. There is also one DT of assorted spare parts, which they should be able to use themselves. This satellite will take Tash and Nurdus 48 days to refurbish so they activate the two repair robots to help them under the ships computer control. This cuts the time needed to 8 days for the satellite and another 8 for the recyclable goods. Urgen also tries to download the data on the probe but unfortunately it is to corrupted to do so.

With this all on board they head off to the last of there known hoards which takes them two more days, it then takes them a day and a half to locate a derelict cutter. This takes them most of a day for Nurdus to check out and disarm the nuclear warhead from a missile which is on board. He also finds a damaged container with guns in it, another with more powergun ammo and some sandcaster ammo. Eventually they manoeuvre there ship next to the cutter and attach it to there side with the remote arm. After bringing the containers aboard they find that the ammo is 2cm as against the 1cm they already had, they have 6 sand reloads meaning they are only 7 down now. Tash looks at the guns and they find out that they are IISP pistols, Darrian power guns using 1cm rounds with an electronic interface. They need some cleaning and repair and the batteries and nitrogen tanks are empty put they do have 20 of them with holsters kits and 40 empty magazines.

With all of there gains aboard or on tow they head back to Entrope 5 days away, they use this time to finish refurbishing the Satellite and the recyclables ready to sell them on. Arriving at Entrope on 070-1506 30 days after leaving it, as they close they are ordered to dock with the small orbiting base as they have lost contact with the military base below. They also find out that the planet is in turmoil with religious unrest, Dag thinks about the pyramid.  Adolf has also left a message for them requesting a meeting. They agree to met him before doing anything else.

Adolf has news of Chloe and also news for them, he wants them to help him rescue her and has important news to share with them.News – there is a bounty out on them and their ship, destruction will net the person 1/2 mcr. He points out that those who steal a ship really should not then get there faces into the media for being heroes. Lady Susan has  sent a letter to them, basically it says that Bunny while investigating a cult has gone missing and is assumed to be a captive, she would appreciate you helping to free her. Seth says that if they don’t help recover Chloe, they, who he and the family blame for transporting her off world, will find powerful forces used to ruin them. It turns out that both of them have fallen in with a cult based on a moonlet in the asteroid belt at Colada; the two of them and others will need to be rescued.

The Cult of Seth, is a death cult based on old earth Egyptian myth. The local system is not capable of dealing with them nor have they broken any rules so far, after all he owns the moon. The Strong family will pay 100k for her rescue, Lady Susan’s note says that her family will also pay 100k, this is not a confederation matter as it’s a planetary issue and this moon is owned by Seth.  Our intrepid heroes say that they will help and will set out for Colada via Hrunting as soon as they have finished here. Urgen sends off an insurance claim for the damage the pirates did along with all the documents and video to support it. He then looks for a buyer in the limited market of the space dock for there salvage. He finds one and manages to talk him into a 5% increase to the selling price. He gets a total of 28,000cr for the Recyclables, the Pexiplate, the Satellite and the torpedo. This will not even cover the costs of the last month, but maybe the cutter which they intend to take with them will make up for it later.

Needing to have some passengers to help pay for the trip to Colada they look around and find one other person, other than Adolf, who will go high passage and 6 middle class which nets them another 48,000cr. Two of the middle class have to use the medical bay though, however as they are quite eager to get away from this system they except that. on the journey to Hrunting Tash and Nurdus start work on the power guns, butDag insists on no ammo while on board.

085-1506 arrive at Hrunting, where they need to repair there ship, refuel and resupply, this will take around 7 days. The damage will cost 1/2 mcr for the hull, and another 1/2 mcr for the drive this is the cost of using spares etc rather than making it as good as new. The drive will work but will need a lot more attention than it had before. They also 17dt of fuel @ 600a dt = 10200cr all this now means that the company is in debt for over 1mcr.

092-1506 repairs done awaiting passengers and cargo before take off for Colada.

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 While the ship is being repaired our heroes do some planning, they decide they need a medical trolley, modified with three tiers a curtain covering the lower ones and a secret storage place. They also want enough nickel bars which when gold plated look like a million credits worth of gold. A large old painting in a fancy old frame. fake property portfolio. A fake bomb, some traq gas, a vomiting pill and some froxen seafood, some armour for Tash and some flexi cuffs. Some of this they need to buy which costs 6,000cr the portfolio Tash makes up, With the parts they bought Urgen makes up a bomb. Nurdus works on getting passengers for there trip to Colada, he finds 6 low, 4 middle who will share rooms and 3 high class passengers who pay 67,200cr for the 2 parsec jump. He also manages to find a 60DT cargo requiring haulage to Colada. He manages to negotiate a bonus to the cost and they will receive 72,000cr on delivery.

092-1506 with the repairs done passengers and cargo loaded they take off for Colada, which they reach on 99-1506 with no mishaps. Two days later they are about to make orbit so they contact Kepler Reese of the KBI to arrange a meeting. Tash meanwhile hacks into the planetary Database to input details of Uncle Albert. Uncle Albert is there dead relitive they are going to use to gain access to Chloe and Bunny by bringing there inheritance to them at the moon.

As they approach  orbit to land they are hailed by an approaching Customs cutter, they verify where the EI has come from and that they are on the look out for high tech imports which are illegal. They board and examine the cargo and due to some of it being tech level 12 electronic say that it will be impounded if they try to land. So Dag changes there pat to dock at the space dock instead, where the cargo can be kept on board or in a secure lockup. He does this to avoid losing the cargo and give them time to contact the collector and get new instructions.  The contact number they have turns out to just be a holding number and it takes Urgen some time using his street smarts to fins out the actual person they need to talk to. This person turns out to deal in the black market and is happy for them to deliver the good to an asteroid, then pass on the coordinates to him. Dag makes sure they get half the money up front and the rest after sending the location.

Tash and Nurdus take a shuttle to the planet and Nurdus meets with Kepler, he asks about the cult and the moonlet. Nurdus also tips Kepler off about the cargo and say they will also send the location to him once they drop it off. It turns out that a Mr Donneroy has a contract to supply supplies to Seth and arrange for the onward selling of the gems they mine. Tash meanwhile spends 2,000cr asking around about Seth and the cult, she finds out that he has bought and installed at least 3 twin pulse laser turrets on the moon, and has about 60-70 people there. Any ships getting to close are warned off and fired upon if they do not keep at least 5km away. She also manages to get copies of his likeness and the sound of his voice. The two of them then head back to the shuttle and the starport.

Dag with Tash in support goes to see Mr Donnery, Tash will read his thoughts while Dag talks to him. He does work for Seth, Tash realises that he is on drugs and his mind nearly messes up hers. With this info Dag pressurises him into contacting Seth and saying they have an inheritance for Chole and Bunny, after a two day delay they get the answer they want from Seth’ happy for you to come orbit at 100km and contact me for directions, will then send a ship up to you’.  Tash hacks into the trade records of Seth and confirms the twin turrets as well as two armed pinnaces used to ferry goods and people about. She also finds out that Seth has recruited a dozen mercenary guards who can  control the turrets and pilot the ships. It seems that he travels to recruit new members and a lot of them have money.

With this information and the location of the moon they set out on 107-1506 to drop off the cargo, which goes without problems, they send the location and receive confirmation of payment. As they approach the moonlet area they pick up other ships. A confederation Close Escort 100,000km out, scanning the area and keeping a watch on the moon, they will pass the normal pleasantries to each other.  A CSI Police Cutter – armed with 2 missiles and a caster. Again they will ask there business but take no action. Finely orbiting the moonlet at 20,000km is a Pinnace which they ignore, thinking it belongs to Seth.

They come to a stop at 100km from the moonlets location, it is around 50km across, and a careful sensor and tactics check shows that the three weapon emplacements have blind spots and do not cover the ground. There is an airlock by each weapon which appear to have a video EM signature showing electronic surveillance of some sort. They hail Seth’as per message we have come to deliver inheritance to Bunny and Chole in person who we believe are here’. Seth replies ‘board the craft and come on down’. Dag convinces him that that will be difficult and it would be easier  for him to land and bring the items over where he can check the girls ID.

Seth agrees and Urgen prepares to pilot there craft down, while Dag, Adolf and Tash prepare to deliver the goods. They then hope to put there plan of one of them becoming ill and needing medical help from the ship into play. Grab the girls and possible Seth and leg it.  Will it work out that easily?

————————————

           So Urgen pilots the ship down and lands 100meters from the airlock, this puts them out of the fire arc of the weapon turret above the airlock. The others get ready to take the gold inheritance over to the airlock, they need to pack it onto a trolley and then don there Vac suites ready to leave the ship and move out onto the surface. This is airless and gravity less so not a good place to get things wrong. Tash and Dag are going to carry the gold over and even though they have been told not to bring weapons they both carry an obvious one as well as there sword or dagger, as sword-worlders, Dag has his assault SMG on his hip and also has his HEAP derringer loaded with traq gas, which looks like a dagger, and a couple of hidden weapons. Tash has her laser and a power gun hidden on the trolley.  The two of them start to make there way across but struggle as neither of them have Zero-G skills, so Nurdus goes out and puts a line across to the airlock for them. When Urgen explains this to the control centre the person there laughs and there tension eases.  Obviously people who can not operate in Zero-G are not a threat.

Dag and Tash reach the airlock eventually, and are told to drop there weapons, they say they will in the Airlock, They can see the laser weapon and camera tracking them as they move around near the airlock. They open the airlock with a simple push button and enter it. As the airlock cycles they look around and see that there are no weapons in here, they put down there open weapons and open the inner door. They are welcomed by four black suited black helmeted guards with guns over there shoulders but ready to swing onto them. Behind the guards is a corridor, this corridor is light and has gravity, so the metal floor must be Grav Plates, the walls seem to be covered in some sort of plastic surface painted in a light neutral colour.

The guards surround them and lead them into a room just down the corridor on the right, this is the harem it is also a reception area and is  very opulent with wall hangings, carpets, loungers and a dais which is occupied by a male. Obviously Seth, he is an imposing person and beckons them forward. As they come forward Seth reads there minds or at least Dag’s as Tash also being a telepath can’t be read.

So this is the inheritance is it, he smiles, ‘Yes’ Dag and Tash say, can we see the girls and get there thumb prints and then we can go. Two women come forward and stand scantily dressed in front of them, Dag knows Bunny from before and the other looks like the picture of Chloe.   Dag singles to Tash who takes the sick tablet and then throws up the seafood and colouring, she looks really ill. Seth says ‘take her to the medical area’. Dag says no we will treat her ourselves, the ship will send a medic over with a trolley to return her to the ship. Seth agues with Dag for a while and then with a smile says fine send for your medic.

Adolf and Nurdus respond and head over to the airlock enter and are confronted by another four guards in black. Meanwhile Tash is reading the guards minds, not Seth as she has already realised he is also a telepath. The guards are a little concerned but mainly thinking about girls and being disturbed on there off duty shift. Adolf and Nurdus with the medical trolley turn up before Seth and proceed to treat Tash.  Seth says so when are you going to draw on me then?

Dag realises that they have been rumbled and says what!, we have just come to deliver this inheritance. ‘Of course you have’ says Seth, ‘so lets get it done then, here are the girls get there authorisation and we are finished’.  Dag points out that they still have the painting to bring across, Seth says fine off you go and get it then. So the four of them head back to the ship, there plan didn’t work but at least Seth thinks they are not much of a threat.

Dag talks to Adolf and they go to the alternative plan, they will distract and annoy, showing there annoyance at things not going to plan and acting like a bunch of passive aggressive’s. While doing this Dag will try to deliver the painting by the grab arm. Meanwhile Adolf, Nurdud and Urgen will go on a trip, to the furthest airlock from them about 20km away on another side of the rock. They hope to disable the laser camera but firing a laser beam at it. Then enter the airlock and see what they can do from there, if it comes to combat they have Adolf whose combat armour suite should be prove against the Snub Smg’s the guards are carrying. They hope that his auto laser and there power-guns will be more than enough to deal with the guards and they have there swords as well.

While they travel across the rock, taking care not to be seen, Dag starts distracting them. He uses the grab arm to move the painting to the airlock, at the same time trying to hit the anti-personal laser and camera. He fails first time but on his second go hits the weapon s he moves the picture in and drops it. He then uses the arm to punch the airlock open button. The door is shut by the control area with a remark of we will open it when we send someone to collect the painting thank you. Dag then fires the arms mining laser at the airlock laser missing and drawing a ‘stop that now’ from control, who then fires the laser at the ship, it can not harm them as it is not an anti-ship weapon. However Dag uses it as an excise to fire back and with the ships main guns smashes the laser weapon. ‘Now you can’t fire at me again’ he says. To create a bit more trouble he tries to make some dust by using the ships lifters, however he mistimes it and lifts a bit high into the fire arc of the anti-ship turret which fires at him but misses. Dag drops the ship back down and continues to chat with control, saying they will leave when they are ready to and only when they are sure they will not be fired at. He gives a good impression of someone who is pissed off and has no intention of going untill he has vented some of his frustration.

It doesn’t take more than an hour for the attack party to reach the airlock. Once there Adolf from a distance uses his helmet holo display aims his laser and takes out the airlocks covering laser. Nurdus moves up to disable any electronic device which monitors the opening of the airlock but opens the door and sets the signal off by mistake. Assuming that control will now know that someone is using the airlock they rush in and cycle it. Exiting in the complex they see a long corridor ahead of them, with limited lighting and no gravity as yet. Nurdus notices two access ports which he assumes is for the anti-ship turret and opens them to disable the weapon.

With there backs safe they move down the corridor, which they assume will be at least 20km long and with the cultists knowing that they have broken in. They put Adolf at the front as he is wearing the heaviest protection and with guns in hand jog down the weightless corridor. As they travel down the corridor they pass a few temporary airlocks which seem to give access to mining area’s. Eventually they reach an area where gravity has been established, and there is more light. Ahead they can see a barricade of furniture etc with guards behind it. Stopping there forward progress they use Adolf as a shield and Urgen and Nurdus use there power-guns to blow the barricade apart. Power-gun shots dispense all there energy onto the first thing they hit unlike bullets which pass through, this means that eight power-gun shots blow it apart. As this energy blasts the cover apart the shocked guards fail to react until Urgen has hit one of them, they them scatter to either side out of sight.

With nothing to shoot at our heroes draw there swords and with Adolf in the lead charge the eight guards hiding at the junction. Adolf reaches the X junction first and is attacked by four guards firing there SMG’s those that hit just explode harmlessly. It seems they are using HE rounds for the guns which are good against light or no armour but not much good against what Adolf or the others are wearing.  The combat then turns into a sword fight and it takes just seconds for the three of them to take down four of the guards, with Nurdus having his suite damaged and a slight cut to him. The other guards flee, taking the one injured by the power-gun shot before with them. Our heroes have got in now to find the girls and then get out.

As they follow the fleeing guards they see a wall of unarmed and un-armoured men and woman filling the space between them and the harem. It is a stand off, they do not want to hurt these people and can not get past them.  Seth calls out to them and says ‘now what we have a mexican stand off, I have the self destruct for the generator and the girls. You may have dealt with some of my guards but are stuck in here as well. Nurdus says ‘so let us have the girls and we will go, you have the gold and I doubt you will blow yourself up for two girls you can replace.’

After a short negotiation, they strike a deal, they can leave with the girls but leave the gold behind. This is fine for Nurdus after all the gold is fake. By now Adolf and Urgen have both fallen to Seths control and do not want to hurt him, a type of love for him is in there minds. Dag sends over two vacc-suites for the girls by the remote grab while Nurdus repairs his ready for going outside. As they leave by the same airlock the ship is parked by Nurdus disables the gun turret just to be sure.

Back on the ship, they lift off quickly and make sure they stay out of arc of the last turret. Once away they are contacted by the three ships they saw on the way in. The Confederation escort asks if they have the package, Dag replies in the affirmative. The CSI cutter, complains about them not getting permission  to interfere and says they will be watching them. The pinnace has a load of voices all calling out at once, did you get our loved ones out as well? Dag replies ‘no that was not what we were here to do’, the voices, families of others on the rock start crying.

With the girls under sedation till they can be snapped out of  the mind control, they head back to Colada. There they pick up more cargo and head for Gram to drop the girls back home to there families. Once back at Gram they receive their payment and 1/2m cr from the insurance claim they had put in. Hailed as savours by the two families and feted as such there social standing rises. With more passengers, having dropped off the professor and the alien body to the authorities, and new cargo  they head off into the black to see what time will bring them.

The end for now……


One response to “Chapter 5 Adventures aboard the Empress Iolanthe

  1. Pingback: Traveller campaign – Adventures aboard the Empress Iolanthe – current part | Christian Warrior

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