Start date: 168-1121.
Rebecca Bach-Delgado takes the job through a law firm, to "recover" the ship 'Agatha Dinmont' from Utoland, and hires the party (including a female Vargr gunner named Gharli) - Nicolai as security/supercargo/big gun; Yvette Smith as pilot; Cassandra as steward/medic. The ship was impounded for unspecified breaches of local safety regs., and is being used by the planetary gov't. The ship must be returned to Inthe (in the Imperium) w/ in the next couple of months. Trip to Utoland takes 2 weeks, in a pod attached to a huge ore-carrier.
Five days into the trip to Utoland, a somewhat scruffy (although) clean individual asks to join the group of civilized people - Andrew Magesfontain Trilby. A self-described "gentleman adventurer", who brings a full-sized keyboard, a tin of paté, a bottle of wine, and some other odd essentials. Nicolai doesn't trust him; neither does anyone else really, but there's no reason to be impolite right away.
The party makes a beer run during a refueling stop on Tionale, and gets news about a converted civilian gunship being used by the gov't on Utoland. Other than that, nothing really interesting.
Andrew reappears once in jump, and asks to be allowed to join the group - 'working passage'. There is some discussion as to what to do with the guy, but Rebecca decides to not turn him in, and Yvette offers to find "productive work" for him to do. Her goal is for him to feel he's really earned his keep, and not by singing a few songs - cleaning featuring prominently in the schedule. Interestingly enough, Andrew does a pretty good job, and does not bitch and moan. Yvette also takes the opportunity to make sure everyone's vac suits are in really good working order.
Utoland is hideously expensive, as all food must be imported; nonagricultural planet. It's really easy to go into debt, and you are not allowed to leave if you're in debt; can you say "indentured servitude"? Rebecca is hoping the females in the party can maybe get an invite or two on board the ship. The search begins at the spacer bars. Evidently Utoland is just one big company store, and the party is warned repeatedly to just get off planet before they are "robbed" or something else that results in indebtedness.
The local police are extremely bribable (just like home), so the party will have some leeway, but it's going to be expensive. There is an enlisted level bar, and an officers' class restaurant, just outside the base. Nicolai, Andrew (who got a job as the bar's piano man), and Gharli stay at the bar, and Rebecca, Yvette, and Cassandra go to the restaurant, after getting all freshened up like. Nicolai observes the post, for security intel (set up sort of as a prison would be).
Yvette is chatting up a couple of junior officers, telling them about her brother who works on a far-trader on another planet, and listening to them talk about their big ships, etc. She finds out that the jump engines have been disabled (good thing - that would have been really embarrassing!) on the ships, to save fuel, etc.
Rebecca and Cassandra end up w/ a couple of more senior officers, who evidently are used to having to resort to chemicals to get dates. They leave for the base in the officers' car, giggling hysterically. Rebecca starts to come out of the drug fairly soon, but Cassandra is having a really fun time. They stop at one of the stripped down ships, go in, and the officers kindly assist the ladies by removing all those confining clothing. Cassandra's date has evidently been drinking out of the wrong glass, and he's giggling too, so the two of them actually have quite a good time trying to remove each other's clothing. Rebecca takes out her guy, after a long, drawn out brawling match (low damage, many missed swings from both parties). Cassandra starts coming out of the fog, and finally realizes this was not her idea. At about this time, several things are happening... Andrew has been taken to the base by a lusty female (who doesn't need to drug her dates thank you), who takes him to another part of the same ship and bangs the hatch shut, distracting Cassandra's officer; Yvette has left her officer w/ a promise to see him later, and after he gave her several little pills to use to make sure her chaperone/retainer didn't prevent her from sneaking out later, she realized while bringing Nicolai and Gharli up to speed that Rebecca and Cassandra are in trouble, so they put on their working clothes, and try to find a way to get in and get the others out, and wind up taking the access ways underground in to the base. Rebecca, who has since gotten dressed and tap dancing all over the annoying little bastard she came with, is going after the remaining male with Cassandra, who has dogged the door shut to keep the crazy lady w/ the pipe away from him; Cassandra is still foggy enough to not be able to do much. Rebecca takes him out eventually (w/ her trusty pipe), and then kicks him in the head a little bit too hard. She rounds up Cassandra, hears a scream from below, and charges down into the lower level of the ship to, she believes, rescue yet another female in distress; turns out to be Andrew, who has left the female unconscious w/ bliss (she's the engineer on the ship we're after, so we need her).
First night's adventure is paused here, w/ Rebecca, Cassandra, Andrew, and the engineer together, and Yvette, Nicolai, and Gharli together and poised to burst into the ship to rescue the rest of the party.
The adventure continues.
Because Andrew's engineer friend is rather more than we can carry, Rebecca decides to nick out and grab a pallet, and pallet jack from outside, to help carry her. Nicolai sees her, and is watching her back. Cassandra is sent to fetch Nicolai and the others from the enlisted bar (as they don't see Nicolai in his current position), so she goes to leave the base, but is intercepted by Nicolai.
Nicolai spots several people in orange jumpsuits, being guarded by a couple of guards, who Nicolai takes out. The prisoners tell him where the ships' parts are, but they want to go with us. Rebecca suggests that maybe they can liberate a second ship for their escape, which will act as a distraction from the party's escape (if all goes more or less as planned). The ship parts are under guard, on the lower level.
A call is made to the spacer bar on port, and the word is given that there is a bus ready for departure, some assembly required. Shortly thereafter, an officer shows up @ the scout courier to fetch the errant officers that brought Rebecca, and Nicolai disposed of him after Rebecca answered the door w/ a big grin and no top. Two others were w/ him, to round up the officers, and truck out the noncombatants. Yvette's hand is broken in the short fracas, but the party gains control of the truck, and are off to the warehouse w/ the ship parts. Keys and keycards are removed from various officers, and Cassandra medics Rebecca and Yvette en route (using up Nicolai's small med kit). As the party found several engineers amongst the prisoners, Andrew's 'date' is left behind, still unconscious (Cassandra checks her, and sees that some one very efficiently choked her out....hmmm).
When the party arrives, and starts to open the doors, a shot is fired through the side door. The party charges in, w/ Nicolai taking out the entire side door w/ his surf gun, seriously distracting everyone on the inside. Nicolai triggers, shots are exchanged, the bad guys (i.e., not the party) are disposed of, and Nicolai is (of course) lightly shot. The engineer-like people are grabbing the necessary parts, and 9 ship's missiles also go w/ the party into the freight elevator back up.
The main area of the base is a battleground - groups of people trying to escape Utoland, and the base personnel, as well as the party members are all shooting, and the party uses laser weapons and a large paint can to make concealment smoke to add to the melée. The party fights it's way to the Agatha Dinmont, and gets on board, w/ Nicolai providing covering fire (and taking additional damage). The parts and missiles are loaded, as is the new crew. The party's stuff was also brought from town by one of the misc. escapees.
The A.D. boosts, w/ multiple engineers working frantically in the engine room, and Yvette takes over the ship to evade the bad guys, w/ Rebecca as copilot and nav. Evasive action is taken, including through an ore-carrier, along the spine. This is what happens when you let the squid fly. When the ship takes out one of the ore carrier's antennae, we briefly hear "They're insane! Send life pods!!" from the ore carrier; Rebecca's comment: "Yvette, I like your style."
Nicolai goes to the engine room to remove the demo charge on the drives, and finds a hidden panel behind a bracket, that contains a cloth bag like for Crown Royal, that he sees contains something black and oval shaped, about the size of a domino; he's going to worry about that after we are in jump. The ship actually does make it into jump, although it's not the smoothest.
On the way to Zircon!
Now the party just needs to survive a week in jump w/ several total strangers, 30 cases of domestic beer, and 144 Twinkies (individually wrapped), in addition to the food processor; that's 8 cans of beer and 1 Twinkie a day (w/ a margin of spares for the Twinkies). The ship is searched and inspected, and a gauss carbine, spare laser cartridges for a full-size laser carbine, 9 small 9mm revolvers, ammo, some good beer, some good hard liquor, some personal stashes of spices, and some other odds and ends are added to the supplies. Nicolai shifts back to sergeant mode and assigns duties. The ship's safe is carefully opened for Rebecca, and it contains a bottle of good brandy, charts and call signs, a couple of days' worth of diff. IFF chips, an auto snub pistol w/ HEAP in easy reach, and a bundle of papers (the A.D.'s ownership papers, confiscation papers from Utoland, and the maintenance record). The confiscation paper Rebecca burned. The old data crystal that Nicolai found in the Crown Royal bag was put into the safe, and the brandy was divvied up after dinner, when Rebecca told the new crew members that she considered them hired (cr/. 1,500 for the week in jump to Zircon, and they could decide to leave or stay @ that point). Ship repairs continue during the ship, but some things will need to be repaired @ Zircon.
Arrival @ Zircon.
As many exterior repairs as possible are made the first day after jumping in to Zircon, including the removal of a really big section of antenna, that Rebecca keeps as a souvenir. Second day into system, a systems defense boat 'interrogates' the A.D.; Rebecca says to play nice. Standard refueling station Up Port, so the ship is refueled, and repairs are made. Rebecca checks in w/ the local broker to see if any cargo can be picked up. The next destination is Tremous Dex, a desert world; 12 tons of frozen and canned nice foodstuffs, and 34 of mercury are acquired for trade. The ship's food and medical supplies are replenished (Cassandra manages to score hydroponic veggies, spices, tea, synthe-caff, chocolate, and proto-carb for the food processor). The crew gets 6 hours shore leave, w/ pagers provided by Rebecca, just in case. Yvette and Cassandra go off to get cleaned and pampered, and take a real bath. Andrew is trying to get Rebecca to worry about the other new crew members, by saying they're complaining a lot; seems more like an Andrew problem. Nicolai plants several locators on his stuff, just in case.
On to Tremous Dex.
The crew will all be continuing with the party, at least until this next jump, as Tremous Dex will be a better place to find other employ.
A day out of Tremous Dex, the gravs develop a 'lope', that turns out to be caused by a Pop Tart wrapper in the gravs. From this point on, no food or drink in engineering.
Tremous Dex is a pit, but lots of really big ships come through here, so some of the extra crew may be leaving here. Yvette encourages Andrew to leave, as politely as possible. The primary engineer, and the second gunner are encouraged to stay.
Just before docking, the PCs check to make sure all of their personal belongings, and the ship's stuff (especially the safe contents) are all where they should be. Everything except for a couple of mugs that have the Utoland ship's designation is still there, but the safe's dial is just a bit off where it should have been - nothing is missing though.
Docked @ Tremous Dex.
A B class starport! Yea.
The mercury moves well, and the food is marginally profitable. The next jump destination is up in the air, as the group has more than one option on the way to Inthe. The engineer and gunner will stay w/ the party. There is an ore trader that can take us 4 jumps to Jenghe (in 1 week), @ a cut rate because one of their crew is one of the people the party got off Utoland, so that looks like the best route. The captain will have to be awake to make these decisions, so here the adventure stops for now.
Current date (on TD): 198, 1121.
Part the Second.
Cassandra finds a machine that can play the 'dictaphone' crystal. It contains info on "Operation Fleidermaus", sort of a mission aftermath, by some one who sounds like he's not doing really well. He mentions casualties, some people who he would like to see receive posthumous decorations, and some other stuff that sounds like some kind of code. Write it down, deal w/ it later.
A group contracts w/ the captain for cargo (radioactives) and 3 minders to go w/ it, and the party's ship is hitching a ride on an ore carrier bound for Jenghe. The captain also puts in a bid additional cargo for trade - 30 tons of projectile forms, to be delivered to our bay 6 hours after we are scheduled to leave. And she filed a flight plan for Tionale. The latter was because of some people who really, really, really wanted passage on our ship, and didn't want to take no for an answer. After the party leaves, the cargo pod w/ the forms is moved around, finally loaded onto a ship, and then a bunch of heavily armed people leap out and attempt to take command of....a cargo pod. Five weeks later, they are arrested for stowing away, and theft of the cargo. Oops.
Nothing happens en route. Jump into system 205-1121. Make planetfall on 208-1121.
While out and about on Up Port, Yvette, traveling w/ Cassandra, is accosted by a man who seems intent on getting in her face. Snide comments are exchanged, and swords are drawn. Cassandra invites the man's companion to step aside so as to not interfere, he misinterprets this and gets handsy; Cassandra takes the hand offered, and holds him in place (pain compliance hold). Yvette rather neatly attempts to provide a schlager scar, and ends up inserting her blade between the guy's jaw bone and muscle. When she releases him he does move towards a gun, but the cop racking the slide on his shotgun and making "tsk-tsk" noises. The annoying people leave (the one Cassandra was dealing w/ appeared to be the brighter of the two, and did not try anything stupid). A fop then showed up and congratulated Yvette on her training and style, and extended an offer to meet in the salle. A Rana invites the characters for a beer, as he approves of the way they handled the 'ruffians'.
When Yvette and Cassandra are returning to the ships w/ packages, Rebecca sees that 6 bravos are following them. Rebecca calls out the crew (the engineer stays to defend the ship) to help. They all meet in a pedestrian tunnel. Yvette turns, drawing her snub gun. Nicolai triggers and goes past Yvette and Cassandra, taking down the front large guy. One of the other bad guys takes Nicolai down w/ a stainless steel billy club (fires out a bolt, sort of like a 'humane killer'), and Yvette just misses his head w/ her shot, which distracts him enough for Cassandra to leave a boot print on his throat; not good, even w/ armor. Yvette is hit in the right hand w/ an asp baton, and she drops her weapon. Yvette is not used to firing load guns, or getting into brawls, so she's a bit out of her element.
Sung (the human gunner) yanks Yvette back, and Gharli performs the perfect bayonet lunge in and just below the rib cage of one of the bad guys (in-twist pull!). Cassandra drops and draws. One of the bad guys is coming forward w/ an axe handle, and Rebecca lunges forward, and impales his foot, through his boot - this throws him off rather seriously. The two remaining bravos stop @ the far end of the bodies, and Nicolai pops up and rams his CRI knife into the groin of one of them. Oooooh. The other bravo also has an axe handle, and hits Nicolai in the right hand, but doesn't break any bones. Sung throws his short sword into the second axe man, who drops his handle, clutches his chest, spins (spraying blood over the wall - heart shot), and runs off. Yvette is not used to all this up close and personal violence, not to mention the blood, so she's gone all white (even more than usual, and the cops are starting to show up, so Cassandra bundles up Yvette and their packages, and go to the ship; the captain sends back the people w/ shotguns, too.
Yvette decides to vent CO2 into the tunnel, which creates lots of fog, and removes some of the oxygen. The cops trank Nicolai (but as far as the PCs know, he's been shot w/ a splinter gun), thinking he's on PCP or CrackNip or something. Yvette wants to rescue Nicolai, but fortunately, Rebecca is outside, and cooler heads prevail. It's fairly obvious what happened, and they can get info on the earlier incident from the cop who was there, and since the locals were known troublemakers, and the party looks like they can afford expensive lawyers (Rebecca does, in fact, have legal skill), things are smoothed over. It didn't help that the few alive and conscious bravos were still making threats w/ the cops there.
Nicolai spends 2 days in hospital, until 210-1121. Everybody else gets $1,000 credits and told to not get into more trouble. One fight per port.
Rebecca decides to go via Regina from Jenghe.
Regina - Yori - Treece - Inthe.
A gentleman in a very fake beard, traveling w/ 4 females in chadurs, and 2 large guys (eunuchs?) w/ swords book passage. Rebecca acquires seafood and a large amount of 'SeaBreeze Cosmetics' products, for trade and speculation purposes.
Jenghe to Regina - 1 week.
No real problems except for the women, who bitch and demand a LOT. The foods too cold, or too hot, and they want attention @ all hours of the day and night. And the Prince is getting petulant because there are no male officers for him to speak with. Nicolai is just a deckhand, and women aren't worth much. After listening to Cassandra complain about the annoying people, Yvette comes to dine w/ them. The Prince is obviously not used to being out in the real world. The conversation is highly entertaining, and evidently the Vizier has recommended that the Prince, who is of the ruling family on his planet (Knorbes - do NOT go there if you're a female), visit the Laughing Cadaver while on Regina. Cassandra has to leave the room for a while. Yvette has a bit too much wine, and starts getting really sarcastic, and starts going off on a tangent w/ a rather personal tinge. Nicolai provides an excuse, and then escorts Yvette to her cabin. When he returns to the dining room, he's sent off in search of yet another piece of their luggage. And this is only day 3 of the trip...
Gharli spells Cassandra for a while, which helps for about a day; then it's back to the bitching and moaning. Not to mention the fact that the Prince keeps hitting on Cassandra. Yvette wears a slinky, little black dress to dinner, and invites Carlton Sung as her guest. Sung is a very fascinating man, and the Prince of course is miffed that there is a member of the crew in the same dining room w/ him (although not @ the same table).
3 days before the ship gets into Regina, the Prince decides he must "service" all his wives. So each gets quality (if not quantity) time, and the rest of the people get run ragged. Sigh. The captain gets fed up, and the next time they complain about the service, the next meal is bred and water. Surly and unhappy passengers get off the ship.
Arrive on Regina 217-1121.
Nicolai checks his msgs., and he has offers for work, etc.
Cassandra introduces Yvette to her menagerie; no one is eaten. Yvette decides to stay @ Claridges, so Cassandra goes there w/ her. Some one is following them, and really checking out Yvette very carefully (shopping, or searching?).
The ship is going to get checked out thoroughly here, so the crew will be here for several days, @ least, assuming everyone continues. Yvette and Cassandra go off shopping. Nicolai is taking Christie (his girlfriend) out to the Savoy Grill. To be continued...?
End date: 218-1121.