Chapter 4 adventures on the Lazy Susan.


Adventures on the Lazy Susan

The group arrive Back at Biter, 105 days since leaving Date 129-1504, having travelled on a fast courier ship. During the time away they have been studying when time allowed.  Urgen-  learning maritime law as pertaining to space ships while travelling trying to increase his education and Advocate skill but not rying hard at either. Nerdus – Robotics using self learning software this required 17 weeks of study. He has done 13 with a plus 4 weeks bonus for the work he did with the robot, so he has increased his skill level. He has decided to continue to work on his robotics skill and has started another 35 week course. Shan – medicine, using a self learning program to improve his medic skill, this will take him around 48 weeks and he has done 11 weeks.  They then quickly catch up with the latest News:-

–         Trager, Ripper the Vargr;  Orri, & Yance, have all been tried and sent to prison for life for armed robbery and attempted murder.

–         A statue has been raised to the dead of the disaster with there names on it as heroes.

–         There has been extra activity on Biter II, an outer planet of the system, with more imperial ships arriving, including at least one cruiser sized ship. The government has pointed out to the Imperials that they are only allowed to use the base for there scout service for communications purposes. No official reply has yet been realised.

–         There are rumours of some discontent within the dukes of the Imperium. This might lead to them talking there eyes off some of the non-core systems and be an opportunity for others. Particularly the Sword worlds.

–         The Artist formally known as Elton, has changed his name again to John Doe and is touring the inner systems of the Sword worlds.

Once they let Lady Inovoa know you are back she tells them that her ship has been repaired and refitted and is just finishing its trails, although she has lost some of her crew to another ship while waiting, she still has Alfredo the captain, Rita 3rd officer as well as her support staff of Gordon the chief, and one steward Freeda.  The heroes will be filling the jobs of 1st officer; 2nd officer/engineer; business adviser; and secretary now to fill out the posts. You will be paid at 5kcr a month including food & lodging. Dag takes on the 1st officer post; Nerdus takes the 2nd officer chief engineer post; while Urgen takes on the business adviser post leaving Shan with secretary. All of them have the skills required for the post they are filling as well as the extra thing Lady Susan was looking for of experience and adventurousness and capability to act as her guards when needed.  Lady Susan says that they will visit Durendal & Dyrrwyn systems and various planets there first and then move on out of the confederation. It takes a week jump to each and they will spend three weeks in each system, running the ship and taking part in social events and escorting her round factories etc. a day after arriving at Biter they leave on the Lazy Susan and jump towards Durendal.

The Lazy Susan arrives at the Durendal system on 137-1504 and the ship moves into orbit and then lands at the star town.  This is a low population planet, with nothing happening on the other celestial bodies in the system, it is ruled by the Sabat Corporation with input from various nobles with estates here. With a dense atmosphere its oceans produce some interesting minerals which are mined in the flats as well as deep bore mines for rare minerals. The planet is manly flat scrub land, with 2-3 m tall bushes and rolling hills due to the high pressure and frequent storms which has levelled most mountains. With air pressure up to twice standard storms pack a lot of power. Most accommodation is low level and well dug in to withstand the storms.  There is plenty of wildlife here, most harmless and small to medium sized, and the rich come here for hunting parties on noble’s estates. They hunt the Scorp-raptor a large 400kg carnivore. Most life forms on this planet have three eyes, two on traversing stalks to see over the brush, and some use Bio-electric attacks to stun, most try to dodge attacks rather than be hit, there high dexterity is made possible by the low gravity of the planet.

Susan stays with Lord Barker an old family friend who is his hundreds but looks 60ish, who is very friendly and jolly, his youngest, 25 year old, grandson Dorrian and his Fiance Amy Kid,  and his elderly infirm wife Hilda, who has paralysed legs due to hunting accident she looks80ish but is in her 90’s. While there she and the group spends the first week meeting with various administrators of Sabat Corp and attends a public holiday party for the workers. She is also shown how the mining operation is run and checks over the books with Urgen. He says that all is in order as far as he can see. The mining is mainly done by mining robots with workers using remote control to guide them.  Most of the estates have a number of robot servants as well as some living ones. Which Nerdus takes a great interest in, using any opportunity to examine them.  While there they notice, ships arriving each day to load the ores and bring in workers and supplies, most of these ships are small traders but at least twice a week large Freighter’s arrive to take ores to Sacnoth & Gram and bring in good’s from there for on shipment. Dag notices as is his way that nothing above Tec Level 11 is on sale in the only mall in the main town at the starport.  This is where everyone comes to buy there needs. Most slug weapon ammo is as is most non weapon stuff any other stuff is by mail order.

Susan and the four spend the second week hunting some large buffalo sized 6 legged carnivores called Scorp-raptor.  These creatures have 6 legs and the normal 3 eyes, it is armoured and can move quite fast and agilely, it has a long sting tail which it can use to deliver a bio-electric stun attack. They also run in packs and rip there prey to pieces.  They go hunting with Lord Barker & 5 others; Dorrian & fiancée Amy, two hunting staff under Hans, this is done on foot with support, food etc on 10 Grav-caravans, 1 for Susan 1 for Lord Barker & Hans, 1 for the couple, one for the staff, and 2 for you and 4 for support staff of cooks etc.  This means there are 11 hunters and 8 support staff, the hunting support only fire if needed to so act as cover. Grav-Caravans can not withstand storms but can rise above them most of the time. They are pressured and heated and can survive a day in orbit.  One support caravan has an auto-doc in it in case of injury. Each of them are given a singled barrelled, 3 round magazine, fancy well made and balanced, with gyrostabiliser, sporting shotgun firing High-Explosive-AP rounds, it is suggested that they shoot at the head to drop it in one.  For the first 3 days of the hunt all they manage is a few small animals and lots of social time, which Dag loves as it is a good time for socialising. On the fourth day Hans finds a pack of four, Scorp-raptor’s and Lady Susan with the four heroes are given the honour of shooting them. Nurdus say’s he will cover Susan just in case and Lord Barker and the others will take up covering positions. Guided by Hans the firing group move slowly forward to take up position behind and upwind of the massive creatures. Once within 12 meters they line up one per creature and take aim, waiting for Lady Susan to fire first. Once she is ready she pulls her trigger and nothing happens but a large click and a surprised look on her face. Urgen and Shan both fire and, taking the head shot option, hit and down there prey blowing its head off with the HEAP round piercing the creatures armoured head. Dag fires but misses the head and hits the shoulder of his target. Nurdus also takes a head shot at Susan’s target and although at a longer range hits and knocks down the target. The remaining injured Scorp-raptor charges forward swinging its sting at Dag and knocking him out with a massive bio-electric charge to his body. Then moving on towards Lady Susan, Urgen grabs Susan and drags here clear of the enraged beast, it continues towards Nurdus but misses him. As it continues to charge onwards it is engaged by the rest of the group lead by Lord Barker and shot dead.  With the stingers cut off and given as prizes to the hunters, Urgen, Shan and Nurdus a party follows with the dead creatures supplying the meat. Shan, Nerdus and Urgen think its funny that the social climber is unconscious.  Next day they all head back to the estate for rest and relaxation which continues for the third week as Susan spends time with her old friend and his son. They, the group, have the freedom of the estate so Nurdus uses it to look over more robots. After this week of rest they board the Lazy Susan and head into orbit and then out to the jump point. They power up the drives and lay in a course and jump heading towards Dyrrwyn system one week away.

The Dyrrwyn system, date 166-1504 the Ship comes out of jump and a course is set towards the main world Dyrrwyn which is a water world, with lots of islands, with mainly small villages on each one. Each island is owned by a company and they are used for company retreats/holidays. It also has some research centres on more isolated islands. With a thin atmosphere and high gravity there are some great mountains for climbing as well as some great scuba diving to see the fish and reefs.  Commercial fishing is the main occupation and export of this low population world, it is warm and dry with only infrequent storms. Lady Susan is going to use her time here to fish & relax in the sun and look over the fishing operations. Susan is staying on the island of Lady Christine Dyckhoff and her family. Christine is 83 and looks 40ish with long red hair and green eyes. The group has time to do some diving and relaxing between helping her out in her work staying for 2 to 3 weeks. One day, Lady Christine asks Lady Susan if the foursome could go and investigate a strange killing for her. It has happened on one of the islands, Heston 150k away, with a few farms and an open cast mine. As the nearest law is back at the starport and from what she has heard about them she thinks they would do a better job. Christine will deputise them and then they can use Susan’s air car to get to the island.

The Mystery of Heston Island, it takes around 15 minutes to get there in the 600kph aircar, and they land just outside the village where they met the Mayor, a Miss Swallow who takes them to the house where the crime took place. The house is undisturbed and unexceptional except for the remains of what you take to be a human. The body has been drained of all liquid and all that remains is a collection of bone and dust. The victim is a Mr. a Mr Granit, Shan uses his biology to investigate the remains while the others take sensor scans of the area. After a few hours Shan comes to the conclusion that the body was drained of fluids by a set of punctures in the bones, looking a little like a vampire bite if they existed. They ask the robot back at Lady Christine’s if it knows of any occurrences like this, it doesn’t. Urgen also checks out Mr G’s computer and doesn’t find anything odd about his life. Looking for clues as to what did this or where it went Shan realises that he has destroyed the evidence on the floor by walking over it. However making use of the scans they had taken and a few more hours they find traces of a wet mixture trailing towards the back door. The scans say the mixture is body fluid and various minerals.  These minerals appear to only come from the mine area in the hills. They then check out the aircar pool to examine the one Mr G used yesterday. That doesn’t show any sign of the mineral mixture inside and any outside would have blown off. Miss Swallow says the miners don’t mine they use remotes to do so. Also the mine has been shut down today as they have just opened up a set of chambers which have round rocks in them. The operation has been put on hold while they are checked out which will happen in 3 days once a expert Dr Vigen, gets in from star town. Mid afternoon they fly up to the mines to look around and check out these rocks, having watched such retro films as Alien lately. They take out a life sensor from a med kit to detect life and find none so Shan uses his recon skill and find more of the fluid dust mix amongst the rocks. So Nurdus and Dag set up an in depth sensor scan of the rocks which will take a few days.

A report comes in to them in the early morning about another body which has been found like Mr G’s. This one is found lying in the street having been on her way home. Urgen and Shan go to investigate and this time set up the med scanner to follow the trail, the other two abandon there scan and rush to join them. As they follow the trial they discuss what to do if they find whatever it is. Kill or not, is it protecting its eggs? Or is it just a killer? So they contact Susan and ask her and Lady Christine what they should do? “The best you think in the situation” is the answer. Realising they have been left to make the decision and the consequences they continue to follow the trial and end up in the foothill with a set of caves in front of them. Shan exclaims ‘why does it always end in the hills?’ looking around they decided that the caves and tunnels are not man made but look natural possibly made by water.

The group stand outside the cave and discuss what to do and what equipment they might need.  They find out that sensors do not work inside the hills due to some interference of the minerals which are being mined. They talk about going in to capture or kill the creature, waiting in ambush either near the hills or near the village. after about an hour of talk they decide to go back to the village letting Shan find a ambush sight on the way, as he fails to find a good place they decide to use the miners cameras and lights to set up a over watch on the village, this system which takes most of a day for the villagers to set up covers around 90% of the village. They radio to Lady Christine to see if she can get more and she says they will arrive in a couple of days after Dr Vigen does, they also have the robot and some air masks sent over.. Talking to Miss Swallow they agree that everyone should only move round in pairs for safety. They then talk to the doctor on a com-link telling him what they know. With night falling they all move into the camera covered area and leave Dag and the robot to monitor them.

Early morning the com-link comes to life ‘it’s after me..’ Dag asks were are you but only gets static so uses cross referencing to locate the source. He then wakes the others and they arm and armour themselves before heading to the source of the call. Arriving at a house and going in they find two more bodies, again they detect the trace of the creature and quickly explaining to the mayor they grap an aircar and go in pursuit towards the hills. ‘Hills again’ says Shan. Nerdus uses the Grav-cars sensors to try and locate the creature while Dag fly’s it. Nerdus finds a very low heat signature much lower than a human body and they move to intercept. Shan says we need it alive but Urgen gets out his rifle and says its dead. As they drop the car to under 50m away and to the side of the creature they can see that it is Bipedal with 6 webbed limbs. Bluely gray in colour with no obvious eyes. It also seems to be wearing some sort of black body armour. Taking aim as the car wobbles in place, Urgen slumps down dropping the rife out of the car as he does so. Dag tries to side swipe the creature with the car but fails just putting it on the other side of the creature instead.  Seeing his chance Shan fires a singe round from his Assault pistol and misses, he then feels as though he is about to get a headache and realises that they are under a Psionic attack and that is why Urgen has collapsed. So Dag hits the power and then flee from the creature and land near the caves, with Neruds taking a good photo of it as they go. After arriving at the hills they decide that it would be better to return to the village and so do so, picking up Urgens rifle on the way.

Once back at the village they send the photo and an update to the two ladies and let the mayor know what happened.  And put Urgen in the local auto-doc to allow him to recover from the mental blast which fried his mind. They then redeploy all the mining vehicles round the village to use as a weapon and keep all the villagers in a large group. While that is going on Dag jury rigs a bombing rack system on the side of a aircar using mining charges, these are modified to go of on impact and have fins added to make them fall straight. They will count as a small mortar bomb each so giving a blast area of around 10m.  Next day Dag starts work on adapting some sensors to work in the hills so that they can track the creature in them. Next day Dr Vigen arrives and goes with some of the group to check out the egg like rocks, he decides that they do appear to be eggs and takes two of them and goes. The group report to the mayor that they have 5 options.

1/ relocate the village

2/ do nothing.

3/ draw the creature out and kill it.

4/ suspend mining and call in experts.

5/ try to negotiate with it.

As 1 and 4 basically mean giving up the island and 2 is  not practical they are left with 3 and 5 and so to see what happens and as no attacks have happened since they moved the mining equipment they take 4 eggs and a bowl of water, having decided that as the creature appears to be an amphibian maybe the eggs only hatch in water. They reach the cave again and lay out the offerings and retire to the aircar and wait, after a few minutes they start the car and start to head back to the village  ‘? Why now’ becomes a thought in there minds. Realising that they are being communicated with they reply ‘just thought about it’ ‘didn’t know’, ‘what do you want?’  ‘I want the eggs’ they hear the creature say in there minds. After a short time of thought including the heroes talking to each other about what to do, forgetting that a telepath will hear them they agree to pass on the following. Either the island will be left alone or they can stay and after moving all the eggs to here continue mining the hill they have been using. The creature is insistent that all the eggs must come back. It also says that it is only one of a few of its kind left and it does not know about other eggs. Using the aircars com-unit they link to Lady Susan and update her and wait to find out what Lady Christine and the colony government deci

Next day 177-1504 the government gets back to them. The local government is a controlled by the company’s that set up the colonies here. It used to be a co-op but is now ruled by small elite of company managers.  There response to new problems is to see how they affect business, and also the control and growth of the colonies. Lady Christine is one of the government members and she and they think that making friends with a new life form is in the colonies interests. Shan heads to the mine and picks up a few of the eggs and takes them to the hills in an air car. leaving them there he thinks ‘The Government has agreed to bring all the eggs from the mine here, the locals will continue to do that while we go and find the other two.’ While Shan is doing that the others ask Lady Christine about Dr Vigen, they find out he is from off world and just happened to be here, unfortunately Dr Vigen has fled the planet taking the eggs with him. Vigen has used his aircar to reach orbit and enter a merchant ship waiting for him. They are now heading towards a jump position. The free trader ship ‘Daisy Train’ is registered to Omni Corp and will take around 50 to 60 hours to get to a safe jump point.  Its captain is Amos Sabat, and the ship is a standard Free trader with a thrust rating of one G. With a thrust 4 ship like the Lazy Susan they can get there in half the time however the DT has a 12 hour head start. Urgen decides he would like some legal papers waiting for them at the starport, when they arrive in three hours, to show that they have the planetary government’s authority to reclaim the rocks.

While travelling to the starport they find out what defences the planet has to intercept Dr Vigen, Dyrnwyn has an old System Defence boat in orbit at the moment it is the only war ship the system has. It is a second hand Tech Level 9 fission powered craft slightly bigger than the yacht they travel on. At the moment it has no crew except 2 local engineers working on getting the drive to work; once they have it working the government intend to employ a crew to protect the system. The only other defence the planet has is a grid of 10 Orbital Defence Satellites and two squadrons of 10 fighters. The fighters are limited to 6 hours of operation and so can not chase the ship. Nurdus asks wither they can have a fighter pulse laser to fit to the Lazy Susan. With an answer in the positive they find out a little about Ommni Corp, Omni Corp is a Gungnir based company with links to one of the many states on the planet. Gungnir is a SWC world 15 parsecs away it is a balkanised world with many states and wars.

Once at the starport Nurdus starts work on installing the laser in a fixed external mount and ricking up the power couplings. Meanwhile Dag goes off and collects four thrust packs for zero G work; one breaching charge; four gav-mag clamps, for attaching themselves to the hull of a ship; one laser cutter and 8 stun grenades. Most of these customs hold but a few are held by starport security. Dag also gets himself given his customs authority back for this job. Shan grabs a shuttle and heads out to the orbital defence boat to see if he can get it working quickly so that they can use it. However although he finds out what is wrong he suffers some severe plasma burns doing so, this leaves in no condition to actually make the repairs or to find out what’s wrong with the drives.  Nurdus takes 10 hours to fix the cannon but as it is going to take longer to finish the power couplings and transfer control to the pilot station they decide to launch anyway and let him finish it while accelerating to catch up with the DT and Dr Vigen. Picking up Shan as they pass the defence boat and putting him into the auto-doc to heal the burn damage, they push the engines to the max and start accelerating at 4 G’s. The Daisy Train has a 27 hour head start and it will take the Lazy Susan 24 hours to catch and match velocities.  By this time Nurdus and the laser mounting working and Shan is out of the auto-doc feeling better.

As the LS closes to within 3,000k of the DT, under Urgen’s skilful piloting, Nurdus takes the sensor position but fails to determine if the Dt has any weapons. Shan and Dag suite up in there vac-suits and prepare for any boarding action. While waiting Dag takes other the communication station. Dag hails the Dt, ‘this is the Lazy Susan, stop for customs inspection!’.

Amos on the DT replies ‘this is inter stellar space and I refuse to stop, you have no jurisdiction here!’.

Dag ‘we are after stolen eggs in Dr. Vigen’s possession, stop!’.

DT, ‘no!’.

Dag, ‘you are carrying illegal objects under Imperial law.’

DT, ‘there is nothing illegal on this ship under any laws’.

Dag, Quotes Urgen, ‘ you are in violation of the Terrain slave trading laws of 1895, in transporting sentient beings against there will.’

DT, ‘there are no sentient beings over than paying passengers on this ship. I will not stop for you.’

Dag, ‘prepare to be boarded.’

DT, ‘like to see you try I am not stopping.’

Urgen, realising that they will need to force the ship to halt, lines up the cannon for a shot. The others had told him to make it a shot across the bows but he aims to hit, knowing that with the make shift weapon fixture and no software support this is not going to be easy and he will properly miss. Balancing the grav thrusters to get the LS in the best place behind the DT he fires at 3,000k. With a solid hit, the laser pulse punches through the armoured hull and explosive decompression blows a hole into the left rear of the ship, according to standard plans this is a  low birth area, which gives iris access to the cargo bay.

Amos, ‘what the hell! What do you think you are doing? We do have civilians aboard you know.’

Dag, ‘now you know we are serious about you stopping.’

DT, ‘we can not stop you have hit our controls.’

Dag, ‘then we will board you.’

DT, ‘fine but I can not slowing.’

Urgen, moves the LS closer bit by bit keeping some power in reserve in case he needs to dodge incoming fire. After 24 minutes of manoeuvre he has the LS within one k of the DT and close enough for Dag and Shan to try to board through the hole in the hull, by using there thrust packs.

Shan manages to board at his first attempt having had some zero-g experience, however Dag who has never done this before, even though Shan talked him through it first, misses. The DT starts to weave making it harder for Dag, who misses the hole again. Nurdus, ‘stop manoeuvring or else.’ Amos, ‘no!’

Urgen lines up for another shot this time getting above the DT, targeting the front of the ship away from his mates. Again although it’s a difficult shot he hits and seems to hit the sensor array.

Amos. ‘stop firing!.’

Dag tried to board again and fails, however he gets close enough for Shan to grab him. Shan is unable to hold his place and is dragged out of the ship snagging his Vacc-suite on the sharp edges surrounding the blasted hole. He applies a quick patch before losing containment of his suite. As the DT stops weaving, Dag manages to enter but losses his breaching charge and clamps as he does so. Shan also gets back into the ship once it stops weaving.   With both Shan and Dag in the airless compartment they move forward and open the iris value to the cargo bay and quickly shut it behind them. The cargo bay is full of pallets of ore with narrow passages between them, over the over side of the airless bay you can see another value which should give you access to the bridge area.

Dag starts to move slowly and stealthily forward, with 6 stun grenades fixed together, while Shan covers him, as Dag stops after about ten meters Shan see something and aims at it. All hell breaks out then and for the next three quarters of a minute, as bullets start to fly. The three crew at the other end all fire there snub smg’s at Shan hitting him with a couple of rounds out of the 18 fired, but the bullets bounce of his armoured suite. Shan fires back on full auto, 12 rounds, and hits, with no idea how effective his shot was. It fact it just bounced off the armour of the crew member. Then Dag throws the grenade bundle and lands it right amongst the crew, it goes off and the flash blinds two of the three. However as he throw it Shan was hit and his suite holed. Dag fires in response and after one shot which misses his guns jams and he has to clear it. During in this lull while Shan tries to patch his leaking vac-suite and Dag unjams his gun one of the crew clears his eyes of the flash and joins in the fire fight again. Once Shan’s auto repair on his suite kicks in and stops up the hole he moves forward stealthily and then charges in with his sword in his bionic arm.  Dag and the crew continue to fire until Shan hits the blinded crewman and the other two grab him and pull him through the iris valve into the accommodation section of the ship, followed by a bullet from Dag’s gun.

With Shan and Dag in control of the cargo bay and all the rear of the ship, the ships crew are limited to the front and upper part of the ship. Amos decides that its time to give in to the demands, although he is not happy about it as he hates being told what to do, but even he see’s that they can not do much more to resist. The iris value opens again and the two rock like eggs are shoved through, over the comm. System ‘there you have the eggs! Now go.’

Shan and Dag pick up the eggs and stuff them in a survival suite hanging by the cargo bay doors. With the eggs safely  sealed up they ask Urgen to close the LS up again and leaving the DT the way they came try to enter the LS airlock. Nurdus quickly don’s his Vacc-suite and goes to the airlock to help them in. Shan being the better in Zero-g goes first with the eggs and with Nurdus help enters the airlock. Once it has cycled and Shan has left, Nurdus awaits Dag. Dag tries a couple of times and eventually with Nurdus help gets in, they cycle the air and enter the ship. With everyone back on board, Urgen offers aid to the DT as per normal space rules of giving aid to a ship in distress. He makes sure that the recorder log picks the message up and the response of ‘FO’. With there work done and having covered themselves with the offer of help Urgen swings the Lazy Susan around into a parabolic for the planet. Decelerating first and then accelerating before decelerating again to land. During the day or so this takes they put Shan back into the Auto-doc to heal his wounds again.

Once back at the Dyrrwyn starport they are all invited to a party in there honour, during it they meet many important people and are told ‘if we can ever help you please ask’. During this social they also get to know the rest of the crew better.  Alfredo Petra is the captain, a 40ish male with greying hair, brown eyes and hair, non-descript and of average size. Always wears a blue tie with a gold pin of a pig, [given by his wife]. He is a quite peaceful person who avoids all conflict.  Dag gets Alfredo to agrees to help improve his zero-g abilities. Rita Barker, the 3rd officer, a late 20’s woman with long fair hair brown eyes and a slim fit body. Good looking and a bit of a flirt, always wears her clothes with an extra button open to show a bit of leg or cleavage. Also hard working but again dislikes conflict.  Gordon McNeil, Chief, Gordon is a 40ish male who is a great chief. He can create wonderful dishes all with a bit of flair. Tall and overweight he has black hair cut short and is always in his custom whites, with a series of dishes in black woven into them. Then there is Freeda Cox, the steward, Freeda is around 20 and eager to learn from Gordon. This is her first real job and wants to please. Until now she has tried to make a living as a singer. She is always humming a song to herself; she has a soft Celtic style. She grew up in a hard area and has learnt to defend herself. Always wears a pair of soft long fingerless gloves [some think it’s to cover scars].  Then there’s Lady Susan, who then have found to be loyal, though forgetful, she likes shooting, ridding and enjoying her life. She has various business interests and income from them. Family based in Gram with interests within and beyond the sector. She likes to hire oddballs who do not conform to the norm, as they make her life interesting. Shan didn’t go to the party as he went into the hills on Heston to try and communicate with the creature but he had no luck.

Nurdus wants the laser left on so as not to mess up the ship removing it, as no one has asked for it back Lay Susan doesn’t see why not. Although as it stands out rather at the moment could he fit a fairing around it. Shan after spending the party with many beautiful women remembers his love Petra back in Biter. He arranges to send a message to her after asking Lady Susan if she can join the ship. With Susan’s agreement he sends off a space mail, telling Petra to met them at Gram in a months time, he also adds a money transfer of 30kcr to cover her travel costs to get there.  Susan then decides as she is carrying a laser she will get to shoot up asteroids when they are travelling, Dag and Nurdus mention that they will need to upgrade the sensors to do that and that fitting two turrets each with a laser and a sand caster would be much better as she could then engage in competition with another guest. Also it will make the ship safer as the sand will protect against missiles and lasers while her lasers can drive off any attackers. Susan loves this idea and say’s they can get it done when they reach Gram as it has shipyards there.

They then move on to Tavonni, an imperial leaning, mining world in the Vilis sub sector, this is a Jump 2 distance away they arrive on 197-1504 and are paid for the last 2 months each receiving 10kcr.  Tavonni is a small planet with only 045g gravity and a population in the hundreds. The system has 2 gas giants, three other planets and the usual asteroids.  Lady Inovoa has family business interests/investment in mining and just wants to get an update from bunny her god daughter a 23year old blond, tall and athletic, quick witted and nimble outgoing and very flirtatious, who is supposed to be meeting her here. Bunny has been travelling as part of her education and was going to look into the future prospects for family business operations here.

After landing, at a small landing pad with only a few buildings around it, Lady Susan is welcomed by Match Striker the mining station manager.  Due to lack of accommodation they are going to have to spend there time here based in the ship. Bunny, having been here a couple of weeks, joins you and updates Lady Susan on the opportunities for business here. There are various options: – increasing the mining work; setting up a town with the entire infrastructure that needs, to support farming; to start up some production facilities which also need a small town; to harvest some of the local fauna and flora for exploitation.  All options require mayor investment and long term work before seeing any return. Upgrading the star port would also needed to be done.

After spending a day looking around they jump towards Gungnir which will take two jump 2’s, this requires a non star system empty space jump. The Lazy Susan is capable of doing this as long as it’s refuelled after the second jump. These jumps will be harder than normal as the crew will not have the usual system fix points to work with. However with the Captain working with Nurdus and then Nurdus working the drives all goes fine, even if they had a few moments. After two weeks the ship arrives in the Gungnir system at 212-1504. Gungnir is an low gravity, low presure, agricultural, TechLevel 8 world with many local states, around a dozen or so, the biggest are Wotan; Freeze-land & Loki some of which are normally at war. The system is guarded by a SW patrol of 4 ships to try and prevent weapon importation from off world. Each state has a starport and the LS is heading for Junín one of the smaller states.  On approach to the planet the captain is hailed by a Sword World confederation patrol ship and asks for destination and cargo. Lady Susan has given the captain her ID code and the LS are allowed to pass and land. They are reminded that all weapons are illegal and that local law varies in each state and that they will need filters when outside because of the tainted air.  Once landed they all book into a hotel at the starport for a week, during this time they will be escorting Lady Susan round various business ventures in the state. She gains permission for them to each carry a small weapon to defend her with but no obvious armour.  The people here are all tall due to low gravity, with a yellow taint to there skin colour. The locals wear light flowing robes which float in the low gravity, there colours show your status. Lady Susan hires the right outfits for you. [Red for security; Blue for Admin; Yellow for leaders, brown for workers. All enhanced by extra colour to mark standing within the group].

Over the next few days they meet various business people and attend various functions.  As they are kept busy they have no time for training as well. There are obvious signs of the military here, wearing red and brown uniforms, with lots of military personal moving around with side arms. They also notice that the local police, who wear red robes, are armed with slug pistols and body armour. During the first few days there they meet Mrs E Collins and go to see the tenor singer Jantezn Holbert, after the performance the group escort Susan to met him and find out that as he needs to get to Gram he will be travelling with them as will his friend Astrid. They also realise that most buildings are tall and elegant, all have air conditioning so save having to wear the filters you need outside.

A few days later, the group are left waiting, when going to meet Mrs Emma Collins again, after an hour Lady Susan has had enough and although Emma’s assistants say they do not understand it Lady Susan leaves. She has already had two meetings with her, and she was helping Susan look at opening up a new research base in the capital city of Tor working on new anti scan armour enhancements.

Later that day Emma’s friend Elli contacts Lady Susan and the group and says that Emma’s, flat has been broken into and she fears for Emma. [Emma is single having lost her husband a few years ago in a Grav Flyer accident] she is 38 and has dark brown hair. Elli doesn’t want to bring in the corrupt local law and would rather trust Lady Susan to handle it. She can not go to the press as it is controlled by the state as it is in most of the states here. Bunny thinks this could be fun and says of course we will help. Once Elli has given the key to them, they head for her apartment with Bunny and Lady Susan in tow.

The flat is in a very tall 600 story building on the 341st floor, the door shows no sign of break in, as its an electronic lock, Nurdus uses his electronic and computer and finds out it’s been hacked open. The flat itself, which has been well turned over, has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living area. It is very expensively decorated and has a broken servant bot scattered on the floor.  Dag uses his psychological skills to see if he can determine what has gone on, while Nurdus checks what’s left oft the bot and the others look around keeping Susan and Bunny from disturbing anything.  The  search reveals;

  1. A piece of a black robe.
  2. In the bot memory – 1/ video clip of a plain blue robed biped smashing bot. 2/ sound clip, “that’ll keep him quite.”
  3. A damaged data chip in the bin.
  4. A gambling slip.

Putting the evidence into some sandwich bags to protect them, and finding no evidence of a struggle blood etc, Nurdus hacks into her computer. Unfortunately that is just a terminal as all data is kept on the server, which is the servant bot.

Bunny and Dag go and talk to the doorman and look at CCTV recordings, find out that two males in blur visited Emma earlier; he has not seen Emma today. Cameras show the two men in blue but do not have a good face shot.  They also find that Mr Argo living upstairs entered and left Emma’s room. Nurdus and Susan head back to the ship to do background checks and forensics using the ships sensors and computer. Shan decides to monitor Mr Argo using his motion sensors and watching from a café adjacent.  Meanwhile Dag and Bunny head off to D Grubber & son the gambling shop the slip came from.  From these lines of investigation they find out this information. The material is of Aslan make no one local wears black, the data chip holds the names of J Deere a local research company and D Pythches an off world electronics corp. with links to Omni Corp. J Deere Research works on advanced weapon targeting systems and D Pythches electronics deal with holo projectors. D Grubber is a long established betting company it owns 4 shops and internet sites, Emma’s bet is for 5k. background checks on Emma revel she is overdrawn by 60k that she has a liking for load music, going out and appears to be a gambling habit. D Grubber seems to be honest, no loan sharking, the gambling slip only holds a number and no details about the bet, Bunny, having flirted with the guard found out the amount the bet was for.  Susan is updated on the information they have gleaned and they discus there options;

1/ was Emma playing false or was she an honest good partner?

2/ was she setting Susan up and the gambling debts caught her up?

3/ did the neighbour just smash the bot because of noise or is he involved more?

4/ is there any link to there egg adventure as Omni Corp is involved?

5/ was the black robe used to wrap a body in?

Urgen and Dag head for the streets for a day of information gathering, Dag is trying to find out about J Deere while Urgen is trying to find any info relevant to the mystery. Dag finds out that Deere are known to use underhand tactics in business and needs a new government contract or it will go bust. Urgen’s search comes up with the fact that D P has recently hired a warehouse in the city in an industrial area. The warehouse is not being used for anything as far as your informants know. Shan watching Mr Argo fins he does nothing out of the ordinary during the day.  So after updating the others Dag and Urgen visit Mr Argo, they pretend that they are corporate security inquiring about the destroyed robot.  They ask if he knows anything about the wrecked bot, he lies and says no but they know he is lying so tell him so.  They get him to open up with some quick and cleaver talking and he admits to breaking it. He however didn’t break in as the door was unlocked when he passed it. They accept his story as it seems true and leave him. Meanwhile the guard Bunny flirted with phones and tells her that the boss is wondering where some of his muscle has gone. The group who were dealing with Emma has disappeared. CCTV shows her entering one of his betting shops but before she could get to a counter two of the thugs escorted her out and that was the last he has seen of them. The group decide that it looks like she was going in to sort out her debt and that she was then grabbed, presumably by the thugs whpo have been hired by J Deere to break up the  chance of any competition to there deal.

That evening while they are all in the hotel having dinner a inspector Callaghan turns up wanting to know why they have been asking questions around town?   There answer is that they were doing background research for Lady Inovoa for a business project. “Well you don’t have the paper work for that”, Callaghan says. They pay up 500cr to get the paper work in order and another 1kcr for him to do a little consultancy work. He is to look into Emma Collins, D Grubber and the other two companies; he says he will report back tomorrow evening.

The next day the group go and scout out the warehouse, the warehouse is part of an industrial area; it has a main door as well as a back door and a sliding cargo bay door. It has CCTV and alarms linked to a central computer at reception, near the front door. It has two stories with offices on the second. They get a copy of the general layout from the net and then spend most of the day discussing options. These range from trying to grab the reception man to assaulting the place by driving a truck in to the front. They also contact D Grubber and tell him they might know where his guards are. With a bit of diplomacy they find out the names of the guards and that Mr Grubber thinks they might be free lancing. He sends over some photos in lieu of later help. From these photo’s they work out that Ken is in the reception area so the other three must be around the building as well. They eventually decide that Emma will be in the meeting room on the second floor as it’s the biggest room with space for extra people. In the end they decide to attack through the roof getting Bunny to drive the air car and landing it on the roof. Shan will then use his arm mounted static sword to cut a hole in the roof and they will drop down into the meeting room.

By evening time the inspector is back, he has nothing to add to what they already know so they decide that they will attack at 3am. The plan goes as they hoped except that in the fire fight Shan gets badly wounded by being hit by fire from an assault shotgun and a smg. However within a few seconds all the thugs have been dropped two by sword attack as there pop guns fail to penetrate the thugs armour.  Grabbing Emma and the SMG, 2 Heap pistols and the Assault shotgun as well as any ammo they quickly leave the scene before the local police turn up leaving four wounded thugs behind, two of them seriously wounded and bleeding badly. They find out from one of them before they leave that they were hired by Isaacs to hold on to Emma until told otherwise; they were paid 10kcr with the same to come later.

[SMG Assault 2 x 20rd mag’s; Assault Shotgun 2 x 20 rd mag’s; 2 x HEAP Gun 6 x 4rd Mag’s of heap.]

Once back at the ship they quickly prepare for take off and leave before any questions can be asked. Susan is pleased that they have rescued Emma although the deal is not going to happen now as she, Emma, needs to leave the country for now. With Bunny, Emma, the singer Jantezn Holbert and his friend Astrid they have an extra four on board the ship. They head for Gram there next stop the capital of the Sword World Confederation where they drop of there quests.  226-1504 Gram Susan looks around the orbital space yards and during that month she starts to have her ship refitted. Having the sensors and turrets fitted. The group get paid again and Petra joins them as a nurse. From there they move on to Sacnoth, which has the highest Tech level in the confederation and there have the lasers and sandcasters fitted to the turrets that had been fitted at Gram.

They leave Sacnoth behind them after paying there taxes and head towards Excalibur which they arrive at 300 – 1504. They now are crewing a armed yacht with better sensors and a new paint job. So wondering were there future journeys might take them they head towards the stars again……

Leaving Excalibar behind them, they head towards the Vilis subsector again and Tavonni 2. Taking the mining expert Dr Spartacus with them.  They are now crewing an armed yacht [each turret has a pulse laser and a sandcaster] with better military sensors and a new paint job.  Gain Pay for 2 months 10k as well as 6 weeks training.

335 – 1504  arrive Tavonni, an imperial leaning, mining world in the Vilis system.

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

Size – 8,000km, 0.45 Surface gravity

Atmosphere Type – Standard, 0.71 to 1.49 Pressure (Earth)

Hydrographic % – 66% to 75%, Earth like world

Population hundreds

Government Type None.

Law Level (illegal possessions) No Restrictions

Tech Level – (Primitive) No Technology

Political Imperial Affiliation

Trade_1  – Barren Worlds are uncolonized and empty.

Trade_2 – Non-industrial worlds are too low population to maintain an industrial base.

Gas Giant Present – 2 Gas Giants T 5 & 6 In System

Other planets – 3 – Tavonni 1 3  & 4 plus asteroids T 7.

While still waiting to reach orbit Bunny receives a call from Teal Esuace the agent for Lysani laboratories, she knows from her time on planet, who is based at the local mining camp he is concerned that he has not been able to contact the lab ship ‘Newton’ in the system somewhere near Tavonni 4, for the past 3 days could you please check the ship out for him. Usually they check in every day, the last contact put them in orbit around Tavonni-4 around 75m km away [1/2 au] from your present position. At thrust 4 this is around 24 hours away once you change vector and increase velocity. Using a 400-ton hull, the laboratory ship is a movable research and development station used for routine commercial experimentation. The ship has one 40-ton pinnace and two air/rafts. Cargo capacity is around 19 Dtons. An additional 50 tons are available within the ship for use as lab space. The ship is unstreamlined.

The lab ship requires a crew of four: pilot, navigator, medic, and engineer. The pilot also operates the pinnace. Gunners may be added to the crew if the Ship is armed, and additional crew are carried to execute the research functions. In this case there are two security guards and 12 scientists on board with the crew.

The lab ship is built as a ring structure which is rotated to provide centrifugal gravity simulation. Although the standard grav plates and inertial compensators are installed, they may be turned off and centrifugal force used instead in order to remove grav forces as a variable in experiments. Two drive pods are mounted on the rings and contain drives and the power plant; on the forward face of the pods are hardpoints for turret weaponry if called for although this ship is unarmed. Two air/rafts are carried in a compartment on the ring hull. They provide access to world surfaces, both for specimen gathering and routine errands. The 40-ton pinnace is carried at the end of a central spoke, making mating easy even if the ring is rotating.

As they speed towards the Newton Shan mans the sensors to scan the area and can find no other ship contacts, meanwhile they try to contact the lab ship with no success.

336-1504 Urgen takes the controls and swings the Lazy Susan round Tavonni 4 rather than close directly on the lab ship. Shan uses the sensors to check for hostiles behind the planet as they circle it. As they move back towards the Newton the slow down and once at 10km stop and try to communicate again with no answer a scan shows ho external damage to the Lab ship and the pinnace in place. Deciding that entry though the pinnace cargo bay which will allow them to use its air lock connection to the Newton’s docking shaft to enter the lab ship is the best bet Nurdus gets to work and crafts a whizzer to cycle through the standard door codes to open the bay doors. This work takes him 3 hours during which time Shan, Dag, Urgen and Petra prepare there vac-suites for a space walk. Each of them, expecting some trouble, take weapons with them blades and small arms except for Dag who also takes a heap gun and Petra who carries her target rifle with her.

Captain Alfredo moves the Lazy Susan closer to within 500m and Shan taking the whizzer and tether ejects himself in the direction of the pinnace. Moving around and up the pinnace Shan gets to the cargo door and starts to use the whizzer from a few metres away, after a minute he finds the right code and the bay doors start to open and Shan quickly moves out of the way of the ramp and the escaping boxes and other junk,  looking in all Shan can see is blackness and 2 flashing red lights, moving in a bit he finds a place to attached the tether. This allows the others to cross without needing any zero-g experience. Before they close the bay doors they attach the tether to a sucker, which Dag brought with him, on the outside hull.

While Shan works the manual door shutting Dag sorts out re-pressurising the cargo bay. With two iris values leading out of the bay one forward and one aft they decide to check the engineering area first. With the iris value showing locked they contact Nurdus on board the Lazy Susan and Shan follows his instructions to open the value. Shan looks round the engine area and see’s nothing unusual and so they go to the forward value which is also locked and Shan again opens it.  They enter the lounge area check the bridge and try the internal comm. System and again get no answer. They also check the ships log and find out that it has missed out the last to fuel runs. This pinnace is used to skim gas giants for hydrogen which is used as fuel. With the pinnace looking clear they move to the airlock and access the lift to the lab ship. Shan and Petra go up first followed by Dag and Urgen a minute later.

Arriving in the reception area of the lab ship Newton they are ready to check out the ship for its crew. This area is dark except for one light fixture near the lift shaft; the remaining fixtures have been smashed. This large foyer is the initial entry point for visitors arriving by pinnace. The reception area includes a large plaque on the wall, several comfortable lounge chairs, and a communicator. The plaque on the wall indicates basic information about the ship, including its owner, Scientific Charters. The essential information is presented on the deck plans. Beneath the information is a small bulletin board. Individual letters have been attached to spell out Lysani Laboratories.

Heading away from the lift they reach a corridor with life pods on the right and doors on the left. These doors lead into staterooms for the crew. Moving along checking each as they go they find that the life pods are in working order and all there. Urgen and Dag having taken there helmets off can hear scratching noses coming from around the area. Dag assumes that they are some sort of space rat. The first two staterooms are dark with the light fitting broken and all the furnishing are missing, in one of the rooms they find a pole which they assume has been used to smash the ceiling lights. A little puzzled by this they check the slightly ajar closet door in the second room and a body falls out. The body is severely decomposed and an arm id missing. A quick superficial autopsy by Petra, shows that it had its arm ripped off and is fast decomposing due to the high temp and humid air.

Moving on they find that the next room is undisturbed, while the next has been stripped and there are signs of a body being dragged from it. The next one is also dark and stripped. The next has been turned into a library, deciding not to spend the time required to look through the files here the group move on.  The next room is in darkness and has been stripped again. The next stateroom is dark and the ceiling lighting fixtures have been smashed. The bunk is torn from the wall, and materials have been piled in one corner into a barricade. Harris the navigator is found hiding behind the barricade, the following conversation show that he is paranoid and scared. He keeps going on about the others eating the crew but that he hasn’t. Eventually the group claim him down enough to get him to agree to go with them once they have found the others. Behind the barricade is a hole cut in the floor leading to the fuel tank. The hole is concealed beneath a mattress, and the edges of the hole have been padded with bedclothes. Leaving they lock the door to his room behind them and move on.

The next room is lit and untouched while the one after that is dark with its light fittings smashed and all the cloth and bedding has been removed. The next room is the same but a body is lying in the centre of the room. Again Petra does a quick autopsy and finds no obvious case of death. The group discuss this and the state of the ship, and wonder. The next room has working lights but has been stripped again. The next room has an iris value door in a bulkhead and the name Auxiliary Bridge above it. This is good think the group we might get a handle on what is going on from here. Entering they find that the room is well lit. This small room also connects with iris valves to drive pod two. It serves as a stand by or emergency bridge for the ship. It holds complete operating controls, and accesses the main computer through a local terminal. They spend the next 50 minutes scanning the computer records

• Regular, routine communicator transmissions of lab reports have been made daily to Lysani Laboratories, the registered chartering company for this ship. The transmissions, sent to the mining company on the world surface below for forwarding, are coded, but can be easily decoded by the computer.

• The same lab reports have been transmitted in batches of six to the mail reception point at the mining camp for posting by the mail boat when it calls. The reports are encrypted in a more complex code (although still readable through the computer) and addressed to the Butler Chemical Company.

• The visitor roster for the last four months lists several mercenary officers. This fact should serve as a hint that combat drugs are involved in the lab research.

A group discussion comes up with the fact that someone has been taking backhanders to let another company know how the research is going. Looking at the files seems to indicate some sort of combat enhancing drug is being worked on. Having been in the ship for nearly 2 hours they move on into the drive pod.  As this is empty they move back into the corridor and check out the turret space which is empty. So they move on into the number two air raft bay. The air raft is missing but two vac suites hang on the wall waiting for use. Going back to the corridor there is another iris value in front of them labelled Auxiliary Laboratory. This area is dark and all ceiling lighting fixtures have been smashed. The entire area is completely wrecked, and most of the equipment and apparatus has been destroyed by what appears to have been an explosion. The force of this explosion has shattered various pipes and conduits in the walls, and has buckled the floor. Although pressurization has not been lost, the integrity of the hull may have been compromised, making this area in need of inspection and possible repair before the ship is used for any purpose. At one end of the lab near where the group has entered, a pile of wrecked lab tables and benches is stacked against the wall.

Shan covered by Dag approach this area cautiously, with the lights of there vac suites shining ahead of them. Suddenly with a growl a flask sails over the barricade and lands near Shan splashing him with acid. While Dag shouts ‘halt or I shot’ Shan pulls his helmet back on   covering his burning face.  Hollo the enraged crew member leaps the barricade and attacks with a pipe, Urgen moves up to attack and hits so Hollo bounces over the lab tables to attack him with the pipe the blow of which staggers him back. Shan and Urgen fire in response and both hit although this doesn’t seem to slow the crew member down much. However the next shot from Petra does stop Hollo in his tracks, Dag tries to save the crewman but as he treats him he dies in his arms while Petra heals up Urgen but can do nothing for Shan’s acid burnt face. Dag finds the hole in the floor behind the barricade and cuts his hand on the jagged edge even though it is covered in clothes. At the other end of the lab is another iris value with Min Laboratory written above it.

Entering carefully they see that almost the entire laboratory is in darkness. The end nearest them is still lit by ceiling fixtures; the rest of the laboratory is dark and the lighting fixtures are smashed. Much of the laboratory is outfitted with various chemical apparatus. Experimental tables line the walls, and form two rows down the centre of the laboratory. Two aisles lead down the length of the laboratory; occasional breaks in the tables allow shifting from each aisle to the other every ten meters or so. Many of the tables are outfitted with various chemical apparatus. Some (about one table in ten) are knocked over or broken; the rest stand in various states of use or disuse. None of the laboratory equipment is currently operating, and many examples are stained from lack of attention, or dirty from lack of cleaning. In approximately the centre of the laboratory, a small scientific computer occupies part of one table; this is not the ship’s computer, but merely a scientist’s research tool. Small flickering lights on its console indicate that it is operational. The screen is constantly flashing data and altering it. This computer is processing elementary data about the lab’s experiments. Each of five experiments (numbered randomly) is momentarily displayed, and then is replaced by the next, Only by watching the screen flash through several times will an individual be able to note the exact data being shown.   Petra stands looking at the screen and eventually see’s the following. 1067. Combat Drug Location: Main lab.

Effects of standard combat drug as a control for other tests. This drug is used as a standard against which the other drugs will be judged. 1077. Improved Combat Drug A Location: Auxiliary lab. Effects of improved combat drug A on small animals: This drug appears to increase personal Strength and Endurance to 15 after ten minutes, but at the cost of a reduction of Dexterity by – 5. There are no undesirable side effects other than a period of fatigue after 30 minutes. 1079. Improved Combat Drug B Location: Auxiliary lab. Effects of improved combat drug B on small animals: This drug appears to mimic combat drug, but produces no effects on users when it wears off. 1101. Improved Combat Drug C Location: Main lab.  Effects of improved combat drug C on small animals: This drug increases personal Strength and Dexterity by +5 for 30 minutes. There are no side effects. 1103. Improved Combat Drug D Location: Main lab.  Effects of improved combat drug D on small animals: This drug has no observed effect, but 20% of animals used as subjects die after three days. This seems to confirm that this Lysani ship is involved in battle drug research for some mercenaries. With at least two experiments having been going on in the wreaked auxiliary lab it is possible that they have been mixed into the air supply causing the madness of the crew. While Petra is looking at this data Urgen heads back to the air raft bay to replace his acid damaged vac suite. This leaves Dag and Shan to explore the rest of the lab.

In a darkened far section of the laboratory, several tables have been overturned to create a small den or lair. It is padded with bedding and trash, and just outside the tables is a pile of garbage, including bones and excrement.  Again as they approach with there bright lights a person growls at them and throws a flask which explodes in fire around Dag and Shan damaging Dag’s vac suite and him. The crew member Jan then bounds out of his lair swinging a knife at Shan which doesn’t penetrate his environment suite. Dag fires his Heap gun at the crew man and misses while Jan bounces from bench to bench towards Petra, using them as cover. Shan having missed with his first shot turns his gun to auto and fires a stream of 12 rounds at Jan and in the direction of his fiancé Petra. One round hits Jan and along with Petra’s shot and Dags brings Jan down.  However eleven rounds bounce around in various directions luckily all missing Petra.

Once Urgen returns they move on though the iris value at the end of the lab and enter the cargo bay. This area is dimly lit, but all lighting fixtures are intact; local wall switches can raise lighting levels. This cargo storage area appears to be a standard chamber, with bare metal walls, and tie down fittings on the ceiling and floor. The far wall between the cargo bay and the air/raft hangar beyond is a large sliding door. This door allows trans-shipment of bulky cargo from the air/ raft if required. Within the cargo bay are many large crates and storage containers. Some are empty, and markings on them indicating scientific instruments were brought aboard in them. One section of the cargo bay contains a large crate which is air tight, and appears to have been used for the transport of live animal specimens. Scattered behind the craft are the remnants of some small specimen cages. Close inspection will reveal some blood smeared on the walls and floor, but no sign of the animals themselves. Other than this the area is empty. Opening the sliding door into the number one air raft bay Dag takes one of the two vac suite to replace his damaged one and seeing nothing but the air raft here move on into the corridor to the second turret area which is also empty and the Drive Pod number one area. This drive pod is also filled with engines and plant and nothing else. Leaving this area and going back into the corridor they see ahead an iris value with Main Bridge above it. The bridge is well lit, with the exception of the end farthest away from the drive pod; there, the last three fixtures in the ceiling have been smashed. Two control couches are positioned in this large room: one is for the pilot and one for the navigator. Surrounding the couches are the basic instruments for ship operation, and all appear to be in operating order. The forward edge of the bridge chamber is a large vision screen providing images of the ship’s course and nearby bodies. On the wall near the drive pod is the ship’s computer, and a software library is kept in a cabinet near it as well as an arms locker. Looking round the group find 5 SMG’s and ammo in the locker but nothing other than that of interest. Leaving the bridge by the other iris value they enter another corridor with life pods on one side and rooms on the other.

The next four rooms are the pilot’s; navigator’s; medic’s and engineer’s staterooms, again some are wrecked and others untouched. Passing through another iris value the corridor continues with more life pods and rooms. The first one they come to is dark and the ceiling lighting fixtures have been smashed. The bunk is torn from the wall, and materials have been piled in one corner into a barricade. Urgen turning his lights off tries to persuade whoever is behind it to give up without a fight. Eventually Shan getting fed up of no response uses his sword to pull the lair apart, no one is there.  Behind the barricade is a hole cut in the floor leading to the fuel tank. The hole is concealed beneath a mattress, and the edges of the hole have been padded with bedclothes. This seems to be the end of the quarters and ahead of them they can see a mess and galley area which they explore. This area is dark; all but two lighting fixtures have been smashed. The centre of the area is occupied by long tables and chairs. The place is obviously a dining room. The tables at one end have been pushed aside, but no large barricades have been created. This area is dark, and the lighting fixtures have been smashed. This room is a food preparation area; facilities are available for cooking both large and small meals. To the rear of the room is a large frozen food locker…

Inside, on hooks, hang 12 crew members, dead. Some have limbs missing; all seem to have been chewed on somewhat. The teeth marks look human. Grapping a few meal pouches they move on in this ship of horror.  This leads them past three more rooms, one is a stateroom which unpacked cartons and a private lounge and dining room with nothing of interest seen.  The corridor leads them back to the reception area and they have circled the ship. There still appears to me one crew member missing and so they realise they need to check the upper drive pod areas for him…..

So our gallant band head back the way they have just come to the darkened kitchen area and see that they have left the door to the body filled freezer open. With Shan leading they move into the area to shut it and see a large group of small rat like creatures feeding on the bodies. However before Shan or the others can do anything the rats notice him and swamp towards him in frenzy. Dag, Petra, Urgen and Nurdus all head for the tables and overturning them use them for cover while aiming at the critters. Shan being a bit slow today falls to react before they reach him and start swarming over him.  The next minute is a flurry of gunfire and teeth as Shans friends try to shoot the rats off of him while they try to crew through the tough skin of his environment suite. The highlights of this was Dag firing heap rounds and blowing the freezer door off; Petra killing two with one shot and Shan shooting himself and the critters while hosing himself down with auto fire from his machine pistol. Eventually all 13 critters are down either dead or stunned from the impact of bullets. Of course Shan has also been beaten in a few places holing his suite and possibly infecting him with any disease they are carrying.  After this fight Nurdus notices his vac suite monitor telling him of a increase in background radiation. Initially they think that this must be from the critters but soon realise that it has been increasing for a while and must be for some other reason. Petra mentions the missing engineer possibly in the engine room area and they realise he might have caused a reactor leak. With Shan in need of some medical care they head back through the pinnace and then back to the Lazy Susan.  Once there they put Shan into the auto-doc for his wounds and any infections to be healed while the others get hold of a few items they think they will need.

About an hour later all but Shan are back on the lab ship, again entering through the pinnace and then to the reception area. Heading back towards the bridge and Drive pod number one to check out its upper part for the missing crew member they find that the iris value to the bridge has been locked shut from the other side, it wasn’t the last time they came this way. Nurdus gets his laptop out and tries to bye pass the iris lock, after five minutes and four attempts he gets it to open. The others stand to either side covering the exit just in case while Nurdus is beside the value. As the iris opens a salvo of rounds going off and hitting the bulkhead ring out, it seems that Pent the missing engineer has grabbed a snub smg from the locker and is firing with it. With all the rounds missing they manage to talk him down from his anger and get him to throw the gun out and be rescued.  They take him back to the Lazy Susan right away as he is wearing a vac suite anyway. Once there they get Petra to sedate him and then lock him into a stateroom. Only once they have done that and are about to return to the lab ship does Nurdus remember that they ought to strip and search him.  Just as well that he does as they find that he had concealed another snub smg and magazine in his vac suite and with it he might have taken control of the ship.  Realising just how paranoid these surviving crew are they head back to the lab ship.

This time once aboard the lab ship they head for room 24 where they left Harris the navigator, the motion sensors they left monitoring the locked door have not picked up any movement and so they pick them up. Dag and Urgen watch and wait while Petra and Nurdus go to Raft Bay 2 to get the vac suite left there. However once they get there they can see that it is missing so maybe that was the one Pent was wearing. So going back to the others at room 24 they head of in the other direction to get the suite left at Raft Bay 1, however although they encounter nothing as they move through the silent gloomy ship  they also find that this suite is missing as well. This suprises them and they realise that there might be someone else aboard who might be trying to borad the Lazy Susan. So the contact Lady Susan herself and warn her and the crew to be on the alert for any boarding attempt. Fearing that this person might be hiding on the pinnace waiting for a chance they check it out again before returning to the Lazy S themselves as they need a spare vac suite for Harris. Having picked up a suite they return yet again to the lab ship. Having decided that downloading all the research data would be a good idea that is what they do first, carefully moving round the eyrie ship. Having put this data onto Nurdus’s laptop and isolated it after checking for virtues they prepare to go and get Harris. At this point all there suits announce that they have barely one hour of air left and that the radiation has reached 44 rad’s this does not give them long before those in vac suites start to take radiation damage themselves.  So going back to Harris room they unlock the door after knocking with no reply.  They enter calling out still with no answer so after a few minutes of calling Nurdus pulls apart the den and see’s the hole in the floor. So Harris must be in the fuel tank tunnels. Deciding they have no intention of going into the tunnel and with the danger of lack of air and radiation poisoning they decide to head back to the pinnace and then home. Once in the pinnace they use the internal tannoy to give Harris 10 minutes to join them or he will be left behind. They make sure to mention all the others are either dead or have left the lab ship and he will be the only one left. Nine minutes later he turns up in a vac suite carrying a torch, so that was where the last one had gone to after all. Nurdus orders him to strip to be searched and tied, he refuses looking around him anxiously and sees Urgen moving towards him with a baton. Harris just points his torch and activates it as   Urgen comes close. A white hot laser beam appears instead of light, this is a cutting torch for cutting holes etc in metal. Urgen walks straight into it having a hole burn right through his vac suite and into him. Ignore the pain he strikes with the baton, a stun stick, and knocks Haris out. With him out for the count they cuff and search him and then its all back to the Lazy S using the cutting torch to seal the pinnace airlock to the lab ships elevator.

With all of them back aboard as well as the two rescued if slightly insane crew members they set course back to Tavonni-2 to land and report to Teal Esuace of Lysani laboratories. They realise that with Scientific Charters who own the ship and Butler Chemical who have been spying there are three Imperial companies involved in this ship.  With two days to planet fall they heal up and prepare for the report. Once they land at the simple and basic starport the five of them head over to the Lysani offices in the terminal and met up with Mr Esuace. He offers them drinks and nibbles but rudely they decline, thinking it might be a trap. He then asks for there report and they recount all about there experiences. In particular, that a bomb had buckled the ship in part, that there are two survivors both mentally ill as well as the radiation leak. He expresses his concern at the loss of most of the crew and at the parties injuries, he is genuinely sad at the loss of life and the damage the party suffered in the mission he offers them 10kcr for there trouble. They also inform him of Butler’s involvement and that they were getting data sent to them here on planet. He is dismayed by this and also Dag see’s him flinch when they give him the research data and tell him about the combat drugs. Teal arranges for two cryogenic units to go aboard the Lazy Susan to collect the two surviving crew so that they can be kept frozen until they can be picked up. Nurdus makes an offer of there future help if needed and Teal says they will find free access to drinks etc at the refreshment areas.

Shan, Petra, Urgen and Dag all head to the bars while Nurdus heads back to the ship Dag and Urgen avoid drinking any heavy drink while Petra and Shan do but Petra has no bad effects from it. Lady Susan tell Nurdus that Dr Spartacus wants to spend around a month or 2 here and he will catch a transport back to Gram then. Getting a report back to lady Susan as soon as he can after that.  Next morning [date  339-1504] Teal contacts the ship and asks to see the group again.  Dag arranges for them to met at around 11.30 and making sure to bring some hardware and being very cautious they go to his office.  Teal informs them that he has decided that the Butler agent needs to be found and taken care off, so he offers 10k to them to find and eliminate him or her. The group are not sure and say that they will think about it and Esuace says he will give them two hours to let him know if they will do it.  After talking it over with Lady Susan, who says it is not in her interest to take sides; with Nurdus finding from hacking the starports computers that Teal had been her over a year and came in on the lab ships air raft and has not been in any trouble, Butler however is a Bio-weapons research group trying to punch above its weight in economic terms. Mean while Petra hits the bars and finds 3 rumours which might have something to do with this affair. The rumours are Teal has deals on the side; Lamb, an starport administrator, is on the take; Hannah runs shop 2, has things going on @ night. With all this info they decide not to get involved in this inter company war.  So after letting Teal know after the 2 hours are up and with nothing else keeping them they take off and head for jump space. Lady Susan wants to head towards … JAE TAELLONA  in the Rhylanor  sector a desert mining world in Imperial space.   Via Lanth; D’Ganzio; rift space; Ivendo; Equus; Vreibefger in the Lanth subsector, then Gileden; Porozio; and Jae Taellona in the Rhylanor sector.

As they take off and thrust to orbit they reach 10,000km and Urgen piloting feels the ship shudder and they all feel the shock of explosions on the hull. Urgen superb piloting skills stops them losing control and dropping into  an uncontrolled re-entry. Once they have recovered there wits the examine the ship and find out that they lost all sensors and comms from external damage to systems, also the various recreation area’s and dinning area have taken a lot of furnishing damage. Urgen goes out on to the hull to check for external damage while they continue to accelerate towards the jump point. While outside he records the damage and takes samples of the residues, these turn out to be from simple mining explosives. Realising that without sensors or comms  they will be in trouble when they arrive at Lanth, they prepare the emergency beacon and Urgen hashes  up a temporary repair to the comms so that they can ask for help when they come out of jump.

After a simple if busy jump journey they arrive at – Lanth –   the capital of this Imperial subsector  which has part of the 18th fleet based here. Size, 12,800km, 1.0 Surface gravity (earth); Starport Quality, Excellent Quality Starport Refined Fuel, Shipyard (all) and Repair Facilities; Atmosphere Type, Standard, Tainted, 0.71 to 1.49 Pressure, Filter Required; Hydrographic %, 86% to 85%, only a few small islands and archipelagos; Population, Hundreds of Thousands, 100,000+, Average City;  Government Type, Self-perpetuating oligarchy. Ruling functions are performed by a restricted minority, THE MILITARY  no input from citizenry; Law Level (illegal possessions), Heavy Weapons, Combat Drugs, Intrusion Programs, TL15 Items, Landing Only At Starport or Authorized Sites, Telepathy restricted to government-approved telepaths; Tech Level, (Early Stellar) ; Bases, Both Navy and Scout Bases; Political, Imperial Affiliation; Trade_1, Non-industrial worlds are too low population to maintain an industrial base.

At this system they need to refuel the yacht and as they no longer have access to Sword world fuel+ using the element called M-SW-1 the yacht will be limited to only 2 jumps per tank of refined fuel instead of 4. As they exit jump space they fire up the hashed up comm. Unit and send “no comms sensors damaged and blind please help”. They soon get a reply which informs them of the approach of a cutter who will guide them in till a tug can aid them. As they approach the planet and its orbiting stations the cutter captain wants to know who you are and your reason for being here?. They want a list of all personal and remind the captain that they can only land at the starport and all heavy weapons are banned, Captain Alfredo conforms to all requests and you are allowed to land. Being towed to a landing repairs and then refuelling takes 2 days as does Urgen dealing with the paper work and legal aspects of travelling without sensors and comms he accepts the 10k cr fine which lady Susan gets paid. The repairs are speeded up so that a day later you are ready to jump onwards, however  Alfredo Petra the captain decides to leave the Lazy Susan here he is not happy about captaining an armed ship and being bombed and shot at, after all he is a quite gentle man not used to conflict. This means that the ship now has no captain and Lady Susan asks that Urgen takes on that role as well as he has the diplomatic skills for it. While the ship. While the yacht is docked some of the group go shopping for ammo and other odds and ends while Nurdus looks into Lysani and Butler by accessing the starports systems.  They leave Lanth and jump towards D’Ganzio   – 2 parsec away – which is another imperial naval base watching the border area.  Starport Quality Good Quality Starport, 1d6 x 500cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel, Shipyard (spacecraft) and Repair Facilities; Size 1,600km, 0.05 Surface gravity; Atmosphere Type Very Thin, Tainted, 0.1 to 0.42 Pressure, Respirator and Filter Required; Hydrographic % 0% to 5%, Desert World; Population Tens of Thousands, 10,000+, A Small Town; Government Type Company/Corp; Law Level (illegal possessions) No Restrictions; Tech Level (Average Stellar) ; Bases Naval Base; Political Imperial Affiliation; Trade_1 Hi-technology worlds are among the most technologically advanced in the Imperium. Trade_2 Poor worlds lack resources, viable land or sufficient population to be anything other than marginal colonies. Trade_3 Non-industrial worlds are too low population to maintain an industrial base. Gas Giant Present Gas Giant In System.

Again they need to land and refuel for the next stage of there journey.  Again they are approached by a cutter and asked there business here. Urgen sorts this all out and they are allowed to dock and refuel which will take 2 days.  They jump again this time into the rift of empty space. This time it is more dangerous because they do not have any fuel reserves on the second jump if it goes wrong.

Upon coming out of jump into rift space the scanners pick up a lot of debris fields near by. The sensors under Shan find that they be seem to be the remnants of a planet and ships. It is possible to salvage from the debris but not with the ship and equipment they have. There must have been a solar system here long ago before charts were made.  Moving to a clear area after recording as best they can the coordinates they plot the difficult jump to the Ivendo system. 2 par secs away, which Shan plots ok and a week later they arrive in the Ivendo system –  Another imperial military base covering the rift.

Starport Quality Good Quality Starport, 1d6 x 500cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel, Shipyard (spacecraft) and Repair Facilities; Size 4,800km, 0.25 Surface gravity (Mercury, Ganymede); Atmosphere Type Very Thin, Tainted, 0.1 to 0.42 Pressure, Respirator and Filter Required; Hydrographic % 36% to 45%, Wet world; Population Millions, 1,000,000+; Government Type Feudal Technocracy. Ruling functions performed by specific individuals for persons who agree to be ruled by them. Mutually beneficial relationship. Law Level (illegal possessions) Any Weapons, All Drugs, Any Data From Offworld – no free press, TL3 Items, No Offworlders permitted, All Psionics. Tech Level (Early Stellar) With the advent of jump, nearby systems are opened up. Bases Both Navy and Scout Bases. Political Imperial Affiliation; Trade_1 Hi-technology worlds are among the most technologically advanced in the Imperium. Gas Giant Present Gas Giant In System.  Again as they close on the planet they are approached by a cutter who checks them out. Landing, refuelling and moving back to jump point takes 3 days and then they jump to Equus.

A frigate of the local system navy warns you away directing you to the gas giant if you need fuel which you do as no landing is allowed to anyone. Starport Quality Good Quality Starport, 1d6 x 500cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel at gas giant tankers, Shipyard (spacecraft) and Repair Facilities; Size 8,000km, 0.45 Surface gravity. Atmosphere Type Thin, 0.43 to 0.7 Pressure; Hydrographic % 96% to 100%, almost entirely water;  Population Hundreds of Millions, 100,000,000+; Government Type Feudal Technocracy. Ruling functions performed by specific individuals for persons who agree to be ruled by them. Mutually beneficial relationship.  Ruled by various noble families. Law Level (illegal possessions) All bladed weapons, stunners, medicinal drugs, information technology, any non-critical data from offworld personal media, TL5 items, Landing permitted only to imperial agents, psionic-related technology banned. Tech Level (Early Stellar) The first true A.I.’s become possible, as computers are able to model synaptic networks. Bases orbiting Scout Base and small local military base.  The Gas giant has tankers in orbit for refuelling at double cost [1k a ton]. Political Imperial Affiliation; Trade_1 Water-worlds are nearly entirely water-ocean. Large part of population is native amphians. Gas Giant Present Gas Giant In System.  After heading to the tankers which takes 2 days and refuelling you jump to Vreibefger.

Vreibefger – small primitive world with no refuelling area and as they do not have fuel scoops they can not use the gas giant for fuel, so they jump right on to Gileden – another small planet with little here except the starport. As you can only get unrefined fuel here you will have to refuel again after the one jump. This system has no ships in it when you arrive and the space port is the only habitation on the planet. So you arrive a week later at Porozio – a balkanised warring over populated planet. Starport Quality Excellent Quality Starport, 1d6 x 1,000cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel, Shipyard (all) and Repair Facilities; Size 12,800km, 1.0 Surface gravity (earth); Atmosphere Type Standard, 0.71 to 1.49 Pressure (Earth); Hydrographic % 66% to 75%, Earth like world. Population Tens of Billions, 10,000,000,000+; Government Type Balkanisation. No central authority exists. Rival Governments compete for control. Law Lvl = government nearest starport. (Civil War). Law Level (illegal possessions) Light Assault Weapons and Submachine Guns, Addictive Narcotics, Security Programs, TL13 items, Landing only at starport. Use of Teleportation and Clairvoyance Restricted. Tech Level (Early Stellar); Political Imperial Affiliation; Trade_1 Hi-population worlds have a population in the billions. Gas Giant Present Gas Giant In System.

With many minor starport’s to choose from they select the main imperial one and head in to land to refuel. As they approach the planet and start to enter the atmosphere the sensors start beeping they have pick up 4 incoming craft scanning you.

The four fighters of around 10 dt each are about 2k km away and closing at 5g thrust.  As dag and Nurdus head for the turrets to man the weapons Urgen prepares to dodge any incoming fire. Within moments the fighter open fire at around 1,500km range and use there superior thrust to keep at that range with circler attack routines. In the first pass the fighter hit and damage the manoeuvre drive of the Lazy Susan with Urgens piloting making 2 of them miss and defensive sand depleting the other near hit. In return Dag and Nurdus hit the weapon of one of the fighters putting it out of the fight. Realising they will not be able to reach the safety of the star port quickly enough so concentrates on avoiding attacks instead. The next pass wreaks another fighter with no hits on there ship. During the third pass again the yacht avoids any hits and manages to hit the fuel tank of a fighter causing it to run with the forth flying escort. With a final parting shot the Lazy Susan’s gunners hit the cockpit of the escorting fighter. So four fighters hit and damaged for one minor hit on there ship the crew breath a sigh and head in to land to refuel and get the hell out of dodge. However they are quizzed by the starport authorities about the incident, particularly for not asking permission to fire. Again Urgen the advocate sorts the legal mess out and even avoids the fine for using weapons without permission. So once the damage is repaired by the port at there cost, Urgen was very good, they take off  and head out for jump point next Heading for Jae Tallona.

date  51-1505

Jae Tallona – 11 + weeks after leaving Tavonni they arrive here.

Starport Quality Excellent Quality Starport, 1d6 x 1,000cr Berthing Cost, Refined Fuel, Shipyard (all) and Repair Facilities

Size 8,000km, 0.45 Surface gravity

Atmosphere Type Standard, 0.71 to 1.49 Pressure (Earth)

Hydrographic % 0% to 5%, Desert World

Population Hundreds of Thousands, 100,000+, Average City

Government Type Captive Government. Ruling functions are performed by an imposed leadership answerable to an outside group. (Colony, Conquered Area)

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

Tech Level (Pre-Stellar) At TL8

Bases Naval Base

Political Imperial Affiliation

Trade_1 Non-industrial worlds are too low population to maintain an industrial base.

Trade_2 Desert Worlds are barely habitable.

Gas Giant Present Gas Giant In System

During the last months they have continued there training – Urgen maritime law advocate 3; 127 weeks left;                                                    Shan medic 2; 11 weeks left;           Dag Soc 7; done so has improved his standing and Nerdus Robotics 1;  8 weeks left.

As they approach the planet they are directed to the Stargate Artica and informed about the weapons law, no concealed weapons, no paramilitary weapons or military weapons allowed. All weapons must be registered and a permit for there open carrying issued, cost 50cr per weapon. In the same way only light armour [def 5 or less] for personal defence against blades or the outside environment are allowed, each such piece must be registered at a cost of 25cr each and marked with a red patch on the shoulder. As they come in to land they are instructed to back off and wait an hour for a magnetic storm to pass.  Powerful solar winds charging the densely-packed ions in the atmosphere sometimes cause great problems in with sensors, contragrav function and communications and it is very dangerous to try to pilot in them.  After a couple of hours the all clear is given and permission to land.  Lady Susan tells the group to take the time to explore for the next few days while she meets some mining experts, she would like Urgen to accompany her she also points out that this might be her last stop on her journeys.

So what does the future hold for our intrepid adventurers and they penchant for attracting danger?

Late afternoon 15-1505, Arctic Stargate on Jae Tallona planet, our famous five register there weapons and armour with Shan having to wear a lurid pink warning sign on his cybernetic arm with dangerous weapon on it.  Booking into the stargate Hilton they have retire for the night and rest ready for the day ahead in this strange underground city. So next morning Susan and Urgen head off to see some mining equipment while Nurdus stays in his room working on computer programs. Meanwhile Dag goes shopping and carousing, while our love birds Shan and Petra spend the day travelling the city sightseeing and spending time together alone.

After a day on the town Shan and Petra are exhausted, as they wait impatiently for the evening’s last monorail, as they muse angrily over how silly it is to have a losing time for public transportation in an underground city where the mines operate in round-the-clock shifts and it is going to be night for six more standard months anyway. Finally, the train arrives and they take they seats, stopping to briefly brush away the thin coating of metallic dust that covers everything in this godforsaken city. Looking about, they see that the train is fairly crowded with workers on their way home from the mines (presumably, the source of most of the dust) as well as a couple of other offworlders from the starport, who also look as though they would rather be anywhere but here. Finally, after about 15 minutes, they hear a hiss and barely catch themselves yet again as the primitive electric train lurches to a halt. The doors open with a clumsy screech and five people step on board.  Two of them appear to be a couple, obviously offworlders, judging by the simple woven tunics of vegetable fibres and the colourful headbands that they wear. The third, dressed in a similar manner, is a child, a beautiful girl with big, brown eyes and a thick, flowing mane of hair who, despite her beauty, looks pale and shuffles along as if she were not feeling well. The remaining two are dressed in business suits and sport glasses with mirrored lenses. Shan wonder briefly if the glasses are offworld lenses fitted with microUV detection and thermal imagers, then decide that it is probably none of his business.

Suddenly, the travellers’ world is thrown into chaos as a explosion resounds, partially collapsing the tunnel. The windows of the train shatter as it is thrown from track, lurching sickeningly on its broadside along the tunnel. Finally, with the gut-wrenching squeal of steel, the car turns over on its side. Shan is shacked and stunned by this sudden throwing about while Petra’s athletic ability helps her keep her head and feet. They are not sure what just happened. With there ears still ringing and the world around them has lost its focus. Petra become increasingly aware of the fact that she are laying on her side on top of Shan who is also on top of someone else. Petra hears the sounds of screaming. It is dark but her eyes are already beginning to adjust to the dim emergency lights that illuminate the vaulted subterranean passage that she can just barely make out overhead between the jagged shards of thick safety glass where the window used to be. She is not surprised when becoming aware of the sputtering, carefully controlled rat-a-tat burst of automatic gunfire somewhere to your left. The crowd panics, trying all at once to get out of the railcar.  Petra then sees a burst of coherent light lance through the darkness and cut down one of the two smart suite wearing men and another blast cuts down the girls father while he is trying to get her out of a window while standing over his dying wife. As he tries to push his daughter out two tall lithe figures in black carrying laser rifles try to grasp her.   As the father falls and these men grab for her, Petra stands up drawing her gun and orders them to realise her, the response is ‘this is nothing to do with you’ and in her head ‘ put your gun down lady or else’. Realising she is dealing with psychics and being out gunned Petra hesitates while the men grab the girl.  Then all hell breaks out as every electronic item explodes including the comms units in Petra’s and Shan’s ears. As Petra looks around she sees the girl running into the tunnel and then all is black, Seconds later just as Shan stats to move a grenade goes off stunning them both.

Coming round Petra and Shan see the emergency services are there, recovering the injured and dead. Once they have both been cleared as ok they are allowed to leave but before then Petra goes to help a medic help the person she thought was the father. Helping to get him onto a stretcher as Jaye, the father,  is being led away in a stretcher, he grabs one of Petra’s hands with the strength of a desperate man. He asks that she visit his hospital room as soon as possible, for he is certain that he does not have long to live and even if he survives his wounds he is certain that “They” will return to kill him as soon as possible. His need is of the utmost urgency, he claims. Meanwhile Shan works out that although his artificial arm took a jolt from the EM burst  it appears to be ok.

So Shan and his girl, shaken and with some minor cuts and bruises, head back to the hotel to inform the others of what has happened. Petra says  she is going to the hospital to see what the man Jaye wants and Urgen agrees to go with her, while Dag says he will follow them just in case.

The hospital room is cold and sterile and the dying man is attached to a breathing machine, so he cannot speak. A well-dressed man sits in a chair next to the bed, pouring over a data-pad and rises to meet the pair as they enter. He introduces himself to them as Jeel Tormé, a litigation specialist whose primary field is Interstellar Processes. He hands the pad to his client and Petra and Urgen look on as the data-pad shakes violently in Jaye’s hands. Eventually, though, Jaye manages to outline his proposition for the group on the rather primitive holographic display. The details are fairly straightforward – the Empress Iolanthe for the rescue of Shalini and her safe delivery to a specialist on Vanejen. The first catch that the players notice, however, is that the ship is warehoused on Regina, which means that the adventurers will have to get themselves there. Once the group has fulfilled the terms of the contract, the lawyer will issue the new registration documents for the ship, which can be done, if necessary, via Xmail.  Urgen and Shan agree to take the job,  and Jaye downloads the family’s last Cr8,000 into their accounts to cover any expenses that they may have during the search. Also, Jaye gives thm the girl’s ragged teddy bear and his religious symbol (the Belizan Triple Cross), so Shalini will know that the group is acting for him. He also gives them a data chip that contains a single audio file: the short, pained final message of a dying father to his daughter, since the doctors have predicted that he will not survive the night. Finding out from Jeel that Shalini needs a rare op for a brain tumour and that the family came here from Belizo to get help, they see the need to speed in rescuing her.

Going back to the hotel, see Lady Susan and make sure she is ok with them doing this and letting the others know about this deal, they wonder how this girl ended up being hunted. Once they explain to Lady Susan and the others, Lady S says ‘well I have no problem with you getting involved its not going to hurt my business and its unlikely that either the Zhodani, for that is who they think the tall dark agents were or the Imperium will want to make taking a child public knowledge. Its really up to you and I know you want your own ship at some point, also as I said this is likely to be my last stop before heading home and a good rest.’ So with Nurdus saying he is going to spend all night searching online for info on the company Sternmeatal who is in control of the planet while Dag decides he is going to the star port to find out how the family got here. Dag finds out that the came aboard the agricultural transport ‘Rainbow Sun’ from Belizo. The others go to bed to recover from there busy day.

Next morning as the others get up and breakfast Nurdus gives up his search, he has been able to reach some areas of the company but most is to well protected for him to break into. So he heads to bed while the others start on there search for Shalini and any clues about what is going on.  Petra, Shan and Urgen head back to the scene of the tram crash and using the need of closure for Petra they get access. While Urgen talks with a transit authority worker, the other two look over the tram wreak. Urgen  finds out that all the camera’s and other recording devices were all blown and useless  and the authorities no not understand why a miner blew it up or why there are signs of laser fire in the carriage and on some of the bodies including a couple of IIS [Imperial Intelligence Service] agents. Petra and Shan find tracks outside the area they were in, adult tracks which they follow to a ladder to a surface access hatch. However with the dangerous nature of the outside they doubt the girl went that way so look around a bit more and find her tracks only went a little way and then cease.  It looks like she must have teleported. Maybe the tumour has activated some latent Psionic powers and this might answer why the Zhodani are after her, also why no one is saying so as she would be dead under Imperial law. Meanwhile Dag went back to the hospital but found that the father had died during the night.

For the rest of the day the group split up and visit various places, finding where the family lived, talking to the doctor they visited and picking up various rumours from people they chatted to at the Steller wind and Lion’s Den as well as other places, gleaning the following information.

  • Dr. L’eel Thorne was the doctor they saw, he said family was told that a treatment did exist and that although it was experimental, that there was still some cause for hope. Thorne immediately referred them to a doctor on Vanejen who, the family were told, was the man who had developed the original treatment and was therefore the most qualified to perform the surgery. Further, Thorne assured the A’ssyniis that public funds existed to assist cases like Shalini’s. The family were told that time was of the essence and that the funds had already been approved by the local Ministry of Medical Affairs and two of there men would escort them to the treatment centre. They left here together.
  • The family had stayed at the Steller Motel above the Steller Wind bar.
  • Captain Granhault was a well-known alcoholic and sex addict. He frequented a place called the Lion’s Den, known to be a front for the local underworld. They say he dabbled in smuggling and had plenty of underworld contacts, including one N’ort Tume, who killed himself, under mysterious circumstances, while under arrest recently. He was captain of the Rainbow Sun and was killed when his air raft blew up a day ago and N’ort was arrested for the crime.
  • A petty criminal tells the group that a crew of Vargr Corsairs is looking for a security hack or a mining expert help him cut or break into a security-sealed ship buried halfway in the sand somewhere in the desert, a pretty good ways off. Only Captain Klaargh and the Corsairs know where it is, and they’re not talking, because they want whatever loot may be aboard. If nothing else, the ship is said to be in good shape and the spare parts alone would make a decent haul.
  • The miners are planning a revolution very soon (within the month) and it will not be a good idea to be around when they rise up.
  • There is Something Big going down in Purple Sector and the government and Sternmetal are behind it; else, why all the secrecy? Why are only miners on an active shift allowed down there? What is behind all of the sudden, mysterious and last-minute changes to the work schedules of Sternmetal employees? Theories range from the sudden discovery of a hidden cache of alien technology to the planning of a secret defence strategy that involves killing all of the workers and their families involved in the coming uprising.
  • Both Imperial Internal Intelligence and Naval Intelligence reports agree in the belief that there is an active deep-cover cell present on Jae Taellona, known as The Zhule Sodality. The Sodality is spreading money and influence to establish itself amongst the Jae Taellonan criminal element, in the hopes of eventually adding Jae Taellona to the Consulate’s growing list of allies in the upcoming war.
  • The Zhule Sodality’s best operative is codenamed The Spectre. Although it sounds incredible, Imperial Intelligence believes The Spectre to actually be the same battle-dress wearing operative that somehow infiltrated the Naval base here in 984, sabotaging several key battle cruisers and made the repair facilities all but useless for several weeks. It was not enough to cause the Imperium to lose the War but it certainly did not help us win any. Reliable sources confirm that The Spectre is very real, however legendary his exploits have become. The Spectre is old and wily and most clearheaded folk believe that a regimen of anagathics combined with cold sleep is responsible for his longevity. It is true, however, that his mental powers are formidable and he can defeat nearly any security measure imaginable.
  • The people in the Lion’s den didn’t seem to want them around although they were very friendly, Urgen paid to spend some time with a very sweet young lady.

By midnight they are all done in and head home for a rest and sleep. By now Nurdus has repaired Petra and Shan’s comm. Units and found out that the star port is under heavy security due to the bombing.

So what next they wonder, they need to find this young girl, before the Imperial’s; the Zhonani or the Zhule Sodality get her. Where to find her, well it is possible she has gone somewhere she knows and feels safe in, she was not in there old room so its possible she is on the Rainbow Sun, but getting on to it to find out will not be easy.

——————————————————————————

17-1505 after a short nights sleep our valiant group awake in there hotel rooms and over breakfast they discuss how they are going to get aboard the Rainbow Sun. eventually they come up with a plan for getting 4 of them aboard to look for Shalini. So Urgen contacts the chief engineer of the  Rainbow Sun a Yardin Anois and tries to convince him that he has a  client who can help with there repairs. However Yardin is sure he can do the job and although he appreciates the offer he is sure that he has better qualifications and it would be up to the 1st officer anyway. Urgen thinks he sounds like a kindly grandfather person.  So as that approach didn’t work Urgen contacts the space port officials and makes the offer to them, they agree to employ Nurdus plus one grease monkey at 200cr per day. His id pass will come during the day and he and Petra can start tomorrow.  Meanwhile Dag is working on getting some chips to make a customs electronic pass, hitting the streets he tries to find a black market contact. He spends the day spreading money around but eventually is offered two custom id cards made fro him and Shan. These cost 2,000cr and will be waiting for them in the morning.

That evening Dag and Urgen, go on the town again to see if they can pick up any more rumours. Buying drinks and talking to various people they pick up two rumours they have already heard and two new ones. 1/ The Rainbow Sun was carrying an expensive cargo and Captain Granhault was forced to eject it into space near to the gravity well of a moon of the system’s large gas giant while being pursued by a customs vessel. It is said that the cargo was worth millions and was packaged so it could have possibly survived re-entry. He was killed because he arrived without the cargo. Whoever finds that cargo will become rich.  2/ Over 200 miners a month are killed or injured because of the deadly working conditions on the planet and the Imperium refuses to give compensation or medical care to the disabled.

18-1505 having spent the night on the Lazy Susan rather than the hotel, mainly for security reasons the group awake to a new day and the chance to find poor Shalini. So Nurdus and Petra are going in as repair workers with Shalini’s teddy on the top of His tool box and no weapons except a knife. While Dag with the necklace and Shan are going to do a instant inspection, they are armed. As Urgen and Petra have to start early they arrive at the space port and report in and are sent to help on the Rainbow Sun, being directed to work on the left side jump drive. While Urgen starts to look at the drives he then uploads his test routine to the comms unit’s in the ship. This has a picture of Petra holding the teddy while clips of Shalini’s father’s voice are played. Somewhere in the ship Shalini hears her fathers voice and creeps out of hiding to see the woman who tried to rescue her and her teddy. Around midmorning Shan with his arm in a sling to conceal his cyber arm and Dag arrive at the space port and are let in by the security guard on the gate even though he says “you are new here aren’t you?” “Yes” says Dag “normally I am in the office”. Having passed into the port they head for the Rainbow Sun and Yardin meets them at the air lock. After showing there id’s he lets them in saying that they have passengers in two of the cabins please do not upset them. So our fake customs inspectors start looking through the passenger cabins finding nothing of interest and being very polite with the two passengers. Then the request permission to check the crew cabins and recreation area, which is given and the Iris value unlocked for them. The first cabin they check is the Chief engineer Yardin’s. As Dag enters he see’s a small girl sat watching the comm. Unit. Seeing him enter, she scuttles towards the back of the bed. Dag calms her a bit and she says, “who are you?” Dag explains that he is with the woman on the screen and they have come to help her. Shalini says she recognises the girl on the picture with her teddy and will go with her. So Dag calls Urgen to send Petra up with the bear and the data chip. Petra shows the data recording from Shalini’s father to her while Dag and Shan go to see Yardin who says he will only let her go if she wants to as he has been looking after her. So they arrange to have Yardin and Shalini to come over with Urgen and Petra for dinner after they have finished work. Dag and Shan leave the ship and return to the Lazy Susan where they find Nurdus flirting with Rita again.

Evening on  the Lazy Susan, Shalini and Yardin arravie for dinner just as the starport sends a urgent message  that due to another severe storm there will be no take offs or landing for a few days. Yardin asks if he can accompany Shalini and be her guardian. Dag is not to sure about this but later the others convince him it’s a good idea as she trust Yardin.   Petra asks Yardin how Shalini got to the ship after the bomb, he answers she just turned up and as I liked her and she was now family less and being hunted for some reason I hid her in my cabin.  She also asked what he knew about her special abilities and he quickly responds “Nothing not here” he was obviously worried about the anti Psionic laws of the Imperium.  They all stay on the Lazy Susan overnight waiting for Susan to return so they can ask if its ok for them all to travel together.

Next day while waiting for Susan’s return the ships sensors beep an alert and the outside cameras show up four tall thin figures all in black clothes  approaching the airlock by stealth. It was just as well that Urgen had set up the sensors for this task. Nurdus contacts the port authorities who say they will send over a security team in about 10 minutes and that they can use the ships weapons if they are fired on. Just then they hear a scream and realise its Shalini. Petra and Shan run to her and see a tall figure stood behind her holding her shoulders.  This figure is shimmering and starting to fade out. Shan dives for Shalini while Petra fires her rifle and the man. They assume it is the Spectre. Petra hits Shalini’s shoulder and the bullet carries on to hit and wound the Spectre. Shalini in pain as she collapses and fires off a telekinetic blast which throws the Spectre, Shan and Petra into the walls, while also damaging all walls and equipment in the area. The Spectre disappears as he hits the wall and Shan and Petra both are knocked unconscious.  The security team arrive and deal with the terrorists who all suicide rather than be caught.

Dag, Urgen and Nurdus but Shalini into the autodoc and Shan and Petra into there beds and explain to Lady Susan all that has happened once she returns. By the time the storm has cleared they are all feeling much better and have agreed that Shalini will have to travel in the auto doc under petra’s supervision to avoid her messing up the ship as her talents manifest. They also decide that they are not going to the imperial doctor on Vanejen but will take her to the Sword worlds where she will be safer. So once they are able to take off they do so and head back towards Biter in the Sword Worlds. This trip takes 15 weeks and at the end of it Lady Susan pays them all off with her thanks and 100kcr each, she has had enough adventures for a while. The group then arrange to have the Empress Iolanthe there new old Free trader hauled to Gram where they intend to have it fixed up and modified to there requirements.  This costs 3mcr and 20 weeks during which time they all rest and go about learning a new skill.

So ends the adventures on the Lazy Susan and the start of there new chapter.

253-1505. with the Empress Iolanthe in dry dock and already 3mcr in debt the group start work on its transformation and the beginning of a new chapter in there adventures. It looks like they intend to make the ship faster and equip it for salvage work as well as carrying cargo, they also seem sure that they want military sensors and weapons just in case.

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