Saturday, September 7, 2019

Edge of Night Session # 12 - Death Station

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
PC's
Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0, Vacc Suit-0

Scout  Dante Flynn - 4 terms - B7AA56
Pilot-1, Vacc Suit-1, Air/Raft-1, Navigation-1, Mechanical-1, Jack-o-Trades-1

Marine Captain Noac Sumter - 5 Terms - 82C9A7
Cultass-1, Revolver-2, ATV-1, Gambling-1, Admin-1. Vacc Suit-1, Tactics-1, Computer-1

Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1

NPCs
Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3



Yasmin arrives from the Superfly, leaving Sylvanous in charge of the ship! The party takes their  unconscious captive (who turns out to be Tibereous Dupont, one of the engineers), gag and securely tie him to one of the acceleration couches on the bridge before moving on. Nothing of note in the hard point or drive bays. Air raft still in place in bay #1. Cargo bay is filled mostly with empty crates and animal cages. Most for various types of delicate scientific instrumentation (labels say Icbani Scientific and Research Instruments Corporation). There are also a large number of cages broken open, and blood spray and smears on the wall. Ms. Sumter  lay down on the floor to see beyond the curve of the ship and notices a large number of critters scurrying around at the end of the cargo bay. A tranq grenade is tossed in the animals direction and everyone clears out of the compartment, returning in  few minutes. They find a half dozen small, unconscious creatures they do not recognize. Lab animals obviously.  Lock them back in the cages and move on.

Next stop is the main lab. It shows signs of disturbance with lab table out of place, equipment abandoned plus spills and stains all over. The party moves slowly along the curve of the ship, turning on lights as they go. At they halfway point is the research computer, which Ms. Sumter starts to examine. Recovers basic information about a range of experiments being performed on the ship:

  • 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 after ten minutes, but at the cost of a reduction of dexterity . There are no undesirable side effects other than a period of fatigue after thirty 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 or hits 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 for thirty 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.
Further digging in the computer uncovers some encrypted files which Ms. Sumter is able to crack. They seems to refer to some 'special' testing which the party surmises is human testing.

Moving further down the lab the party finds a shelter built out of lab benches, mattresses and sheets.  They chuck a tranq grenade in the door, then tear the structure apart. Inside they find a man in a lab coat, crouched over in  a fetal position on top of a couple of mattresses. He is no immediate threat, but Mr. Flynn jabs him with a traq dart just in case. The dart knocks him out, and tie him up (turns out to be Dr. Johann Courville, one of the senior scientific staff). The party decide to take him back and secure him alongside Tibereous on the bridge. But when they get there, they find someone or something has ripped Tibereous' head off, leaving a gruesome blood spray all over the place. A blood trail also leads back towards the reception area iris valve before petering out to nothing.

The party sets up a trap. Places one of Mr. Fiskers lights on the floor and attaches a tranq grenade to the bottom, hoping to tranq anyone who comes to deal with the blazing light. Ms. Cheung and Mr. Fisker then hide in the hard point, and Mr. Flynn and Ms. Sumter in the nearest stateroom (drilling  hole in the wall  to better observe the bridge.) After some time a feral figure appears, and slinks towards the strobe. And smashes it with a large iron bar. Mr. Flynn opens fire with the tranq gun but misses, and a messy melee of tranq grenades, SMGs and gun butts ensues. Their attacker, however, is of superhuman strength and endurance, shrugging off the tranq grenades and darts as well as gunshots and blows. In time the party knocks him out, only after Ms. Cheung goes down first. But she recovers and their attacker (Oscar Hoyle, the navigator) is triple bound and gagged. Ms. Cheung runs some basic tests on both Oscar and Johann, and finds neither of are enhanced as per the research data. Actually much over enhanced in Oscar's case. Maybe the drugs work different in humans? Or something else is affecting them?

The two are securely locked in separate rooms this time before the party  moves on to check the rest of the ship; there are still two unaccounted people to worry about. In the auxiliary lab they find chaos; an explosion has wrecked the place. Ms. Sumter and Mr. Fisker examine the scene but can't quite figure out exactly what happened. But can tell the explosion occurred in the lab and whatever caused it was either destroyed in the process or removed from the space. They do find another table and mattress fort, which is dealt with in the same manner as the last. But it is unoccupied. As they party moves through the rest of the ship, they find two other similar forts (maneuver drive pod and a stateroom) that are likewise unoccupied. Also unoccupied is the second air/raft bay, which makes them worried someone else may recently have been on board with them and escaped. They radio Sylvanous on the Superfly, who reports no one has left the lab ship.  Close investigation shows the raft has been missing for a week or two.

The missing crew/staff are located in separate staterooms, both dead and badly decayed. And each missing a limb. Ms. Cheung notes neither died of their trauma, but of some other cause which left no obvious wounds or damage. In one room a reference library is found. The educated members of the team (Mr. Fisker and Ms. Sumter) sit down at the microfiche readers to review; it's mostly academic journals covering the field of  pharmaceutical research. They find one interesting reel tucked away in the back of a drawer, with old papers detailing human experimentation of performance enhancing drugs. This does not seem to be part of the 'standard' library. Curiosity piqued, they go back to ransack the senior scientific staff staterooms. The only thing of interest is a short note in the desk of the senior researcher (Dr. Helvetis Franck; now dead): "Discuss special project advances with 'O' ". Might 'O' be the Vordenhaven naval officer they noted in the visitors log, Lt. Oscar Atteberry? Very curious; what exactly is going on here ....

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Edge of Night Session #11 - Crazy

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
PC's
Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0, Vacc Suit-0

Scout  Dante Flynn - 4 terms - B7AA56
Pilot-1, Vacc Suit-1, Air/Raft-1, Navigation-1, Mechanical-1, Jack-o-Trades-1

Marine Captain Noac Sumter - 5 Terms - 82C9A7
Cultass-1, Revolver-2, ATV-1, Gambling-1, Admin-1. Vacc Suit-1, Tactics-1, Computer-1

NPCs
Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1

Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3


Checking atmospheric composition and pressurization once more, the three decide to get out of their vac suits. Mr. Flynn is worried about tearing or getting bullet holes in his suit, making the return trip to the Superfly difficult. They descend the well lit and fully operational lift to the reception area. Except for one light directly in front of the lift doors, the rest of the room is dark. Closer examination shows the other fixtures have been smashed. Apart from  plaque giving basic information on the ship (leased from Scientific Charters LLC) and a paper sign saying "Lysanni Laboratories" beneath it, the room holds nothing of interest. The party moves out in skirmish order down a dark hallway towards a distant dim light. They examine three rooms they pass; a neat stateroom with packed boxes, a conference room with a shelf of binders and scattered papers on the table, and a private dining room. They then emerge into the faintly lit mess hall. Mr. Fisker shines his light around, revealing a figure crouching at the kitchen door. The figure (a petite woman in tattered lab coat) first screams and covers her face, then turns in rage and rushes the party. Ms. Sumter, fearing an infection of some sort, moves to don her combination filter and is shocked to find she has a heavy nose bleed. Mr, Fisker and Mr. Flynn open up with SMGs; bullets smack into the woman but she miraculously continues to rush forward. She attempts to claw out Mr. Flynn's eyes before he is able to get the woman in a choke-hold and she drops into unconsciousness.

They whip out zip-ties and bind the unconscious figure. As the adrenaline rush drops, both Mr, Fisker and Mr. Flynn notice odd symptoms as well; one starts to cough up blood and the other's eye's begin to bleed. Ms. Sumter noted her symptoms started before their attacker got near, so the three curse their decision to break vacc suit discipline. There is obviously something in the air. The three make their way back to the suits and then to the Superfly post-haste, bundling their prisoner (who needs another wack or two from the butt of Mr. Fisker's SMG to keep her unconscious and compliant) along with them. Calling ahead to tell Yasmin to be ready with her medical kit, the four enter via the air raft bay and remain there in quasi-isolation. Yasmin suits up and checks them out, discovering they have been exposed to some unknown chemical that is causing severe internal bleeding. She tells them that without help, they'll all be dead in a day. But she does give them all a dose of fast drug to slow their metabolism and hopefully give them enough time to get back to Vordenhaven  and better treatment. Curiously, their captive has a similar blood composition but is not bleeding out.

Radioing ahead and explaining everything, they ask their contact with Lysanni (Rasim Meyer) to meet they at the starport with high end medical care. Rasim is late in arriving and has with him just an older gentleman with a black bag, a Dr. Sanchez. This doctor confirms Yasmin's diagnosis, and says it should be treated with a long bout of gene therapy to rebuild the dissolving cell walls which are gradually liquefying their insides. Vordenhaven Critical Care and Research Hospital certainly has the equipment necessary, but would be expensive. Do you have medical insurance? At this point a vicious argument ensues between the party and Rasim, who is insistent  that Lysanni Laboratories is on the verge of insolvency and cannot afford to pay for medical treatment. The disagreement ends with Mr. Flynn's hands wrapped around Rasim's throat, and a new deal is struck. Lysanni will foot the bill for treatment and increase their fee to 20000Cr each, but only if they go back to the lab ship and finish the job. Specifically, account for all the crew, find out what happened, and recover any research data without causing undue destruction (it is a rental, you know).

Deal made, the party and the captive (who they now know is a lab technician by the name of Asuka LeClair) are whisked off to the somewhat less prestigious Downtown Charity Health Services hospital for a week of being injected with fluids and drugs in an autodoc. But the treatment works and all recover. Asuka, however is not responding as well to treatment and still goes through cycles of rage, exhaustion and ravenous hunger. The party questions her and learns there are at least three other survivors, all like her. Asked what she ate on the ship, she mumbled something about the lab animals and refuses to say any more.

Stocking up on some new equipment (massive banks of lights, bacon, tranquilizer gun and tranq grenades, combination masks), the group heads back out to the lab ship. They don masks before descending the lift this time, and continue their exploration. In the kitchen they find a walk in freezer where a dozen of the crew (10 scientific staff, plus the captain and medic) hang dead from hooks. Closer examination reveals most are missing a limb of two, and show signs of bite marks. The party decided to try luring survivors, so Ms. Sumter fries up a pile of bacon on the stove to draw them in while Mr. Fisker and Mr. Flynn prepare a trap out in the mess hall. But no one comes, so the party moves on, leaving a trail of trip wires behind them so they don't get surprised from the rear. Passing though an iris valve, they follow an old trail of blood that leads into an otherwise non-descript stateroom. Checking out other staterooms they find a mix of neat/tidy and torn to pieces rooms. Some have had the mattresses and bedding removed, and in one they find nest or pile made of said items. They reach the bridge, which is mostly lit except over in front of the computer banks.. Ms. Sumter checks the computer and finds the usual routine communication transmissions from the ships to head office; summaries of research progress, maintenance data, personnel information and so on. Curiously there are a series of other encrypted data packets going to another address, but Ms. Sumter is not able to crack to code. A check of the visitor logs reveals nothing unusual, except recent visits from a pair of Vordenhaven Naval officers (Lt. Oscar Atteberry and Lt. Asha Tang).

Firing up the ship's comm system, the party transmits a "we come in peace to help you" message over the intercom, hoping to draw more survivors into the ambush they set up on the bridge. After awhile, one does arrive. Light averse and in a wild rage just like Askua, the man rushed to attack Mr. Fisker. Once more, the lieutenant hits with his SMG but does not slow the attacker, who in the end falls unconscious to a combination choke-hold from Mr. Fisker and a tranquilizer dart stabbed in his back by Mr. Flynn ...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Edge of Night Sessions # 10 - New Blood, New World, New Patron

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
PC's
Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0

Scout  Dante Flynn - 4 terms - B7AA56
Pilot-1, Vacc Suit-1, Air/Raft-1, Navigation-1, Mechanical-1, Jack-o-Trades-1

Marine Captain Noac Sumter - 5 Terms - 82C9A7
Cultass-1, Revolver-2, ATV-1, Gambling-1, Admin-1. Vacc Suit-1, Tactics-1, Computer-1

NPCs
Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1

Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3


Back on the Superfly, Mr. Fisker is worried. Several days have passed since the rest of the crew left to meet Fletcher Bristow. The lieutenant sat down in front of a monitor to binge watch SNN (Symera News Network) and soon comes across a news report describing the gruesome gun battle which killed his companions. Realizing he is now in charge, Mr. Fisker goes looking for new companions. He recuits a retired Hegemony Marine Assault Corps Captain (Noac Sumter) and former scout (Dante Flynn) to round out the Superfly's crew, and fill vacant positions at 'Tacyon Advantage Security Solutions'. And there is unanimous agreement within the new board of dircectors that leaving Symera would be the best course of action. The whole deal with Fletcher Bristow now seems a bit fishy given the rest of the crew were ambushed on the way to take the job Bristow had on offer.

The group sells four of their gravbelts (at a 10% loss) to fund the purchase of a Navigation program for the ship computer, allowing travel wherever their jump drive could get them without needing to buy jump tapes all the time. They also, having done a little research on their destination, lay in a small speculative cargo of  fine lab chemicals (10 x 100kg @8000Cr per lot [80% of list]) and two cases each of fine scotch and cigars (5000Cr per case). Discussion on installation of smuggling compartments onboard the Superfly ends quickly when initial estimates come back at 400000Cr for a 4.5m3 space.

Business at Symera complete, Mr. Flynn settles into the familiar surrounding of the Type S pilot chair, plots a course for Vordenhaven, and hits the jump drive. A week in jump space passes without incident and they emerge 100 diameters from Vordenhaven. The sensors come alive, and shows a ship on a crossing course, headed their way. It is making no hostile moves, and a friendly hail identifies her as the far trader Limited Liability out of Vordenhaven, heading out to the jump point and on to Symera. The two ships trade recent news of their last ports of call. The party, looking for information on where to sell their cargo, learn there is a "Research Materials Exchange Corporation" which acts as a clearing house for such materials. They also learn to stay away from the GERIA Corporation; they are in bad financial state and just stiffed the Limited Liability out of their profit on this trip. 

The Superfly continues on to land on the planet, clearing starport control and inspection with no trouble. Though there are a few tense moments as the officials question their dodgy transponder settings. A trip to the "Research Materials Exchange Corporation" identifies two potential buyers for their cargo; Lysanni Laboratories and Aegis Biopharma Corporation. Both are in the business of developing/manufacturing physical performance and mind enhancing pharmaceuticals. Perusing the business news reveals that Lysanni Laboratories is in some sort of difficulty due to problems with their R&D. But making contact with both entities, the party receives a better price from Lysanni Labs  (12000Cr per lot) and decide to take their chances. It turns out that the  Lysanni procurement representative (Rasim Mayers) is, thanks to budget cuts and layoffs,  doing double duty as the off-world security and research director. Learning a little more about the party over a few drinks (of the party's scotch), he  offers them a job. It seems one of the company's lab ships, currently in geosynchronous orbit over the largest moon Kalstat, has been out of communication for a few days. Likely just a radio failure or similar problem, but due to all the cuts, Rasim can't find anyone with the company to go check it out. And due to the intense commercial rivalry that dominates the planet, he can't just hire someone local and risk putting a corporate spy on board his research station. Would the party, as unconnected offworlders, be interested in an easy job? He offers 10000Cr each [45000Cr total] to simply go check it out. If it's no big deal as expected, the party makes some easy credits and can move on in a matter of days. In the event it is more complicated and hazardous, Rasim has a contingency find he can draw on to sweeten the pot. 

The party takes the job, first squeezing 4 doses of combat drug out of Lysnnni's stock. Just in case of course. Mr. Fisker also goes looking for explosives. Thankfully, he avoids getting picked up by the police for trying to purchase illegal weaponry, and manages to get his hands on 20kg of plastic explosive. Everything then gets loaded aboard the Superfly and they take off for the lab ship. 

Approaching Kalstat, they note that the lab ship is in orbit over the south pole, while the main Vordenhaven naval base is at the north pole of the moon. They get no flack from the Navy though, and arrive at the lab ship without incident. The torus shaped vessel appears to be in good shape, still rotating normally and with all navigation beacons operational. But attempts to raise the vessel by radio elicits no response. So Mr. Fisker, Mr. Flynn and Ms. Sumter don vacc suits and grab weapons, then transfer over to the lab ship pinnace docking collar. Opening the manual hatch releases a spray of ice crystals as the airlock vents, suggesting life support systems are still operational. Getting inside, they close the hatch and re-pressure the airlock. Ms. Sumter checks the computer controls for the life support system and confirms all is well.  But just in case, the trio maintains vacc-suit discipline and prepares to descend into the ship ...

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Edge of Night Session #9 - That Was Easy ... Urrgghh

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
PC's
Navy Lieutenant Raj Kundra - 4 terms - UPP 758C8C
Mechanical-1, Pilot-2, Medical-1, Jack-o-T-2, Computer-0

Other Durjan Hammill - 3 terms - UPP A69467
Gambling-3, Forgery-1, Brawling-1, Shotgun-1, Streetwise-0

Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0

Navy Lieutenant Alexi Kurigane- 2 terms - UPP AB8579
Vacc Suit-3, Ships Boat-1, Sword-1, Tactics-0

NPCs
Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1

Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3


The party questions John Smith 7 to uncover more information on what or where Mentad might be, and why he is so focused on returning there. Not much to be learned from their new friend, and computer searches by Baron Kundra doesn't uncover any known star systems or planets under that name. Further questioning reveals a flight plan from Vodenhaven [1724] via Onur [1522] but uncertainty of where he started before that; others took care of those details for him on the outbound journey. Best they can tell Mentad is a location, building, or complex of some sort and John Smith 7 wants to return because it is 'home' and where he is supposed to be. They do get the name of his contact on Symera, the one who was to have met him upon arrival on the planet surface. Baron Kendra searches the name (Inga Malone) in the news databases and comes up with four hits on that name; a stripper, little old lady, a police constable and a research scientist. Thinking the scientist is their best bet, the party sends a message to Dr. Malone at the University of West Randa to tell her they are looking after John Smith 7 and can she come meet them at the up-port? They then head for a local hotel to take rooms and hide the existence of their ship, leaving Mr Fisker in charge back on the "Superfly".

After two days there is a reply from Dr. Malone. She is unable to come met them, but her associate Dr. Alphonso Trask is on the station and he can take care of the matter on her behalf. Not sure they like that idea, the party agrees none the less. Dr. Trask appears within an hour of being contacted; a well dressed gentleman accompanied by two muscular men in hospital orderly uniforms. Dr. Trask is a little disappointed that John Smith 7 is not present, but is quite willing to answer questions. While vague on details, he explains that John Smith 7 comes from a very, very wealthy and influential family and suffers from some unspecified mental illness. The family has him set up in a very comfortable and respectable mental health facility, from which John Smith 7 slipped away some weeks ago. Dr. Malone is an old family friend, and John seems to have gotten it in his head to come visit her, even though he has no recollection of that decision. The family simply wishes to have John back safe and sound; the party is welcome to keep the plasti-card with 1.1MCr (drawn on a Symera bank incidentally).  Dr. Trask assures them all will be clear once he sees John Smith 7. Could they please take him to him?

Still not certain, the party sends Dr. Trask away for now. Mr, Kurigane trails them and discovers they are staying at another hotel just a short distance away. They decide they have to talk directly to Dr. Malone, and call her up from the comm link in the hotel lobby. It takes some time to reach her, but the irritated and brusque faculty member largely confirms the story told by Dr. Trask. While still not convinced, the party sees no other option but to go ahead and bring John Smith 7 and Dr. Trask together to see what happens. But, afraid the funds on the plasti-card will disappear as soon as they turn over John Smith 7,  they first go shopping to blow the million credits on 11 grav belts. They figure some they can keep for personal use and the others can be unloaded on a lower tech world for a profit.

They bring John Smith 7 to the hotel, then call up Dr. Trask. He arrives in minutes with his two companions. The doctor walks up to John Smith 7 and simply says: "Do you know who I am John? Are you ready to come home with me?" To which John Smith 7 simply replies "Yes", and the party is left standing there with mouths agape as the doctor thanks them for their help and the four go on  their way.

A little off balance from how well that all went, the party decides to look for more work before leaving Symera. Scanning the posted want ads, they see one from their old friend Fletcher Bristow. Calling him up, they find he is delighted to hear from them again. This time he has a job that is, how do you say, a bit "below board". Are they interested? When the party answers yes, he gives them directions to a discrete location in a decrepit storage area on the station. He wants to keep prying eyes away from this one, ja?

The party follows Fletcher's directions, weaving down narrow and junk filled corridors into an obviously ill-used and largely unused section of the station. Proceeding down one passage, Mr, Kurigane senses trouble. The lieutenant catches a glimpse of figures hiding behind piles of junk in the corridor ahead.  He signals to Mr. Hammill to power up his grav belt and have a look from above. From that vantage point, he spots real trouble. At least two armed men lying in ambush. At this point the men notice Mr. Hamill, and suddenly raise their SMG's and open fire. The party returns fire and takes down one of the attackers, but another steps into the corridor behind and they are caught in crossfire. Mr. Hammill and Baron Kundra each take a gunshot and collapse into unconsciousness. Mr. Kurigane, made of sterner stuff, takes a couple of rounds before he too drops. As he starts to fade into blackness, one of the attackers comes over. Holding a blade to Mr. Kurigane's neck, the man says simply "Greetings from the Mentad Foundation" before cutting his throat and ending his adventures ...

Friday, May 31, 2019

Edge of Night Session #8 - An Honest Job

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
PC's
Navy Lieutenant Raj Kundra - 4 terms - UPP 758C8C
Mechanical-1, Pilot-2, Medical-1, Jack-o-T-2, Computer-0

Other Durjan Hammill - 3 terms - UPP A69467
Gambling-3, Forgery-1, Brawling-1, Shotgun-1, Streetwise-0

Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0

Navy Lieutenant Alexi Kurigane- 2 terms - UPP AB8579
Vacc Suit-3, Ships Boat-1, Sword-1, Tactics-0

NPCs
Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1

Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3


The hailing vessel is the SDB 'Vengeance'. The captain questions their origin, destination, and business in the Symera system, orders the 'Superfly' to maintain current course and speed and to prepare for boarding by a quarantine inspection team. Which upon boarding proves to be a very heavily armed and armored half squad of Symera marines. They examine the ships papers in detail, and access the ship's computer to confirm Mr. Fisker's story regarding their itinerary.  After a brusque but professional interrogation, the marines leave with a warning that there have been a rash of pirate attacks around the 100 diameter jump radius recently and the characters should watch out.

Relieved that their forged documents and re-programmed computer pass muster, the party docks the 'Superfly' at the massive orbital up-port and immediately get a ground crew busy refueling and purging the environmental syste. Just in case they have to make a quick exit. Mr. Fisker, Mr. Kurigane and Mr. Hammill head for a local dive, the "Rusty Bollard" to look for work. Preferably something reasonably honest and above board, and that might pay enough to at least cover their fueling costs. They learn about problems with refugees and travellers trapped on up-port, unable to go planet-side because they failed nanite screening, but unable to leave as they have no money. They also hear of the presence of a small delegation of Thr'a, a slug-like alien race early encountered outside their own worlds. There is nothing hopeful in terms of a job though, but the bartender arranged a meet with one Fletcher Bristow, a Symera businessman who acts as a go between to get cargoes from the up-port down to planet-side. Seems he may be in need of some 'alternative' assistance with a problem. They meet with the corpulent and mildly incoherent gentleman at a much more upscale establishment. He explains an unscrupulous business rival (Xiang Lemaire of the Xiang Trading Corporation) is making his latest job a bit difficult. He usually has a warehouse and berth for his shuttles in the same location to make transfer of cargo quick and easy. Xiang, however, booked his usual berth to keep him for using it, forcing Fletcher to use one miles away in another hub of the up-port. Fletcher suspects some sort of shenanigans, and wants to hire competent guards to  make sure his cargo (spices, alloys, and computer parts) get on his shuttles with no interference. He'll pay 15000Cr for successful completion of the job, which should take just a few days. But everything must be above board, ja?

To make everything legal and 'above board', the trio head off the the local Office of Firearms Control and Mercenary Licensing to register 'Tacyon Advantage Security Solutions' on Symera and get the necessary permits to carry weapons. It unfortunately is a bit of an eye-gouging bureaucratic nightmare, but Mr. Kurigane's charm and the careful application of 150Cr to the little old lady behind the desk gets them their incorporation papers and gun permits [250Cr] without too much delay or frustration.   Their permits only allow tasers, pistols, shotguns and SMG; however, Mr. Kurigane feels justified in stuffing an auto rifle down his pants leg as higher firepower backup. They also choose to rent a pair of gravbelts (1500Cr) to allow them to fly high cover if needed.

Reporting back to Fletcher Bristow, and joined by the surly engineer Yasmin,  they start escorting the first load. A half dozen high-capacity gravlifters run by a half dozen low-enthusiasm teamsters  work their way down raised cargo lane in the main transport corridor to a hub miles away. Dull but honest work, and the first couple of trips go off without a hitch.  On the third one, things get exciting. Halfway to the shuttle they encounter an incipient riot. A line of security in riot gear is herding a rag tag group of station-bound travellers down the main passage. Then suddenly things get ugly, as the travellers become rioters and fighting begins. As things get heated, the party notes one blandly handsome fellow right in the middle of the crowd; as they watch, he picks up another man and hurls him about 50 meters down the passage and into the advancing guards. And then, after looking around somewhat dazed for a moment, he suddenly disappears! 

They have little time to ponder this new development. though. Trapped by the baton wielding security, some of the rioters start to climb up onto the cargo way to try getting around them. This gets the party involved in the fight, and several rioters are tasered before the grav-belted Mr. Fisker and Mr. Kurigane lift Yasmin out of danger and  the rioters begin to get contained. Mr. Hammill, standing guard at the front of the column, is suddenly attacked by three of their own teamsters! They try to knock him off the cargo way as the rest of their compatriots hit high speed on the grav-lifters and make to break away. A well aimed auto-rifle shot drops the lead driver and blocks their run, followed by a few taserings for their trouble. At which point all the fight and flight leave the remaining teamsters and they surrender.

While Yasmin tends to the one who was shot, the others are zip-tied and questioned.  They were hired by someone they didn't known to take off with a load of cargo, dump in in a side passage and then get paid for their trouble. Fletcher's decision to hire guards put a damper on the plan, but the riot made for a good chance. Mr. Kurigane radios Fletcher to tell him what is happening; the business man tells them to turn the teamsters over to security and guard the cargo; he is sending more (more reliable) men to finish shifting the cargo. The interaction with security is generally good, at least once the troopers have examined their TASS documents and permits. However, one trooper noted the use of a military weapon in the fight, which is clearly not allowed under their permits. Somewhat reluctantly,  but determined to stay within the law this time, Mr. Kurigane turns over his rifle in return for a summons to appear before a magistrate at a later date if he wants to try getting it back. At least the trooper waives the fine. 

The rest of the cargo transport goes without a hitch, and Fletcher Bristow offers his praise, payment and promise of additional work at some time in the future. Later everyone is back at the 'Superfly' to plan next moves. Suddenly, the mysterious stranger from the riot appears. He awkwardly introduces himself as John Smith 7, and asks for their help getting him back to Mentad. No one knows where that is, and neither does John Smith 7. He was sent here to go down planetside (he doesn't know why) on Symera, but for some reason failed the nanite scan and was trapped on the station. He doesn't know what to do now. The party asks questions about what is is; android, robot, human, something else? But John Smith 7 does not know. Asked if he bleeds, he rips open the flesh on his arms to show them he does. Mr. Hammill asks if he needs help to staunch the wound, but John Smith 7 simply closes his eyes and in less than a minute is fully healed. The party is somewhat reluctant to get involved with the mystery man(?), until he brandishes a plasti-card loaded with 1.1MCr and offers to pay for their help getting him back to Mentad. Well, now maybe they can help after-all ...

Friday, May 3, 2019

Edge of Night Session #7 - Free at Last!

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
Navy Lieutenant Raj Kundra - 4 terms - UPP 758C8C
Mechanical-1, Pilot-2, Medical-1, Jack-o-T-2, Computer-0

Other Durjan Hammill - 3 terms - UPP A69467
Gambling-3, Forgery-1, Brawling-1, Shotgun-1, Streetwise-0

Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0

Navy Lieutenant Alexi Kurigane- 2 terms - UPP AB8579
Vacc Suit-3, Ships Boat-1, Sword-1, Tactics-0


Back on the Wasp, Yasmin grumps off to the engine room to size things up while Sylvanous gets to work reprogramming the ships' transponder and getting rid of or hiding/disguising and telltale digital trace of the "Wasp". The computer junkie informs the party that he is actually uploading a real transponder code for a real ship; less likely to get caught than with a fake one. As long as they don't inadvertently run into the original ship somewhere in their travels. Thankfully space is big ... Meanwhile, Mr. Kurigane heads outside to do what he can to disguise the look of the ship and hide any telltale features. 

All the reprogramming and disguise work takes about six days, and then the moment of truth. Baron Kundra pilots the newly christened "Superfly", flagship of "Tacyon Advantage Security Solutions" into port at Mouser to refuel and refit before jumping out of system. The ship clears landing control with no trouble, settles into a hanger bay. Soon fueling is underway [4000Cr, unrefined fuel only] and environmental systems are being scrubbed and recharged [8000Cr]. The servicing takes a few days, and even though lying low to avoid getting caught is a primary concern, the party decides to go shopping for some additional weapons (and a new fridge for the galley). Some reloads for their missile rack (12 x 5000Cr) are readily and legally available. But military grade personal laser and projectile weapons are not. Leaving Baron Kundra and Yasmin aboard ship, everyone else heads into the depths of Mouser. Mr. Hammill uses his skills to track  down a fellow who calls himself  "The Association". His connections with the teamsters ensures a few crates being transshipped between vessels go 'missing' every now and then.  He has no laser weapons, but is able to set them up with some additional armor (4x Cloth [4x250Cr], 4x Reflec [4x1500Cr]), guns (2x SMG [4x750Cr], 2x AutoRifle [4x1500Cr] and 50 loaded magazines for each [100 x 20Cr], a pair of stun guns [2x50Cr] and a half dozen blocks of plastic explosive with blasting charges [6 x 100Cr]. Sylvanous meanwhile sneaks off the get enough 'Green Khef' from his dealer to get through a week in jump space. 

Upon arrival back in the hanger bay, the shopping party is surprised to see a pair of guards standing by the ship, and a long cable extending from a wall panel connected to their engine room. Ducking out of sight, they call Baron Kundra and learn Clinton Jager got wind of their arrival. He can't prove the ship is the ex"Wasp" at this point, but had a magistrate issue a port lock order to keep them from leaving until the question is resolved. Questioning their resident computer expert, Sylvanous notes the lock can be removed either at the main hanger control room computer or by physically severing the cable. He warns that many locking cables will be trapped to prevent the second option, exploding if cut and doing severe damage to the ship (and whoever is doing the cutting). So the party decides to try getting to the control room, several levels above and accessible by a couple of ladders and a catwalk. From the hanger floor, they can see at least one guard inside plus at least one technician. Challenged by the two ship guards as they approached the ladders,  the party tries to discretely and non-lethally  take them out with stun guns and shotgun butts. Unfortunately, there is some gunfire and the alarm was raised. With the two hanger guards unconscious, everyone rushes for the control room and uses the fallen guards' key-cards to open the locked door.  To face a trio of rifle muzzles pointed in their faces. Thinking fast, Mr. Kurigane offered the three guards 10000Cr each to let them release the port lock. The three glanced at each other, and then greedily take the offer. The leader tells the party to tie them up, but only after handing over the credits. Then Sylvanous (aided by Mr. Kurigane's bulk) has the technician help lock down the hanger access door to delay pursuit, then disable  the port lock. They then tie him up and race back to the ship, where Baron Kundra is running up the engines to make a getaway. 

The "Superfly" makes it to the 100 diameter jump point without being intercepted, and the Baron hits the jump drive. A week in jump space, and having burned their bridges behind them, they emerge at their thankfully non-Concordance destination; Symera. And are immediately hailed by a patrol ship on picket duty ...

Friday, April 19, 2019

Edge of Night Session #6 - To Keep the Ship (and Their Necks)

DRAMATIS PERSONNAE
Navy Lieutenant Raj Kundra - 4 terms - UPP 758C8C
Mechanical-1, Pilot-2, Medical-1, Jack-o-T-2, Computer-0

Other Durjan Hammill - 3 terms - UPP A69467
Gambling-3, Forgery-1, Brawling-1, Shotgun-1, Streetwise-0

Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0

Navy Lieutenant Alexi Kurigane- 2 terms - UPP AB8579
Vacc Suit-3, Ships Boat-1, Sword-1


Mr Kurigane, listening to the deal offered to the pirate (Marco Danielson) over his com link, decides the deal is not quite right. And worries about how they will pawn off the gas without getting lynched by the Crimson Wave. So he initiates a renegotiation by locking missiles on the cutter and threatening Macro (and the rest of the party) with destruction. The pirate calls his bluff by threatening to shoot Mr. Hammill (replaced shortly by Mr. Fisker when Mr. Hammill points out he has more useful skills) and risk that the navy lieutenant is not really keen to kill his friends with a missile launch. A lengthy Mexican standoff ensues, with varies offers and threats passing back and forth. In the end a new plan emerges: they will deliver the gas cylinders to the Crimson Wave and be done with those homicidal maniacs. They want to keep the 'Wasp' though, so the plan is to tell Clinton Jager that the 'Wasp' and the pinnace were destroyed in the battle with the pirates. And they would offer the cutter in replacement for the destroyed pinnace (and get paid out for greater value of the cutter vs the pinnace). Marco was brought on board with a promise of half the profit from the cutter, and new identity papers courtesy of Mr. Hammill. The ex-pirate agrees, but to protect himself he insists anyone not busy flying a ship (Mr. Hammill and Mr. Fisker) be locked in the cutter cargo bay. He will then program the cargo bays doors to open automatically in 72 hours, spacing the pair, unless Marco is alive and able to enter the override password. To protects themselves, the party will hide the cylinders (until they are turned over the Crimson Wave) in a location unknown to the pirate so he can't double cross them. 

Plan made, Mr. Kurigane heads off to the next inner planet (the gas giant Cat's Claw) and hides the gas cylinders on one of it's moons. He then proceeds further in system to hide the 'Wasp' on the surface of the next rocky planet (Cif). The cutter, piloted by Baron Kundra with a gun to his head, takes one gas cylinder (as proof they have been recovered) and heads into Mouser. They dock without any problem [100Cr docking fee], but immediately run into trouble while trying to clear starport security and customs. Marco's new papers are flagged as suspect; as the erstwhile pirate is being hauled away for questioning, he panics and yells out "I'm innocent. These other guys are who you want! They're smuggling dangerous contraband!" That gets the officials attention, and the port warden decides the cutter needs a thorough safety and customs inspection. Baron Kundra, however turns on the charm (and palms over 1000Cr) and convinces him there is nothing to see and Marco doesn't need further questioning.  The port warden concurs, carries out a very superficial inspection of the boat, and re-examines Marco's papers before releasing him from custody. 

That hurdle overcome, the party goes looking for Clinton Jager. He is on the one hand relived to hear the cargo has been recovered (Crimson Wave is really staring to lean on him), but not happy to hear of the loss of the 'Wasp'. He calls in his lawyers and has everyone sign an affidavit swearing the 'Wasp ' was lost to pirate action; this way he and his employer can claim the insurance on the ship at least. He also takes ownership of the cutter in place of the pinnace, paying out 750000Cr to an account registered to "Tacyon Advantage Security Solutions" to pay out the difference in value as well. And let's the party use it to now go back and collect the rest of the gas cylinders ('don't get this one blasted to Hell!'); he will make contact with Crimson Wave and arrange to have the cutter land at one of their docking bays on it's return, so they won't have to worry about another inspection. 

Before leaving port, however, the party decides to hire some extra help to man their new ship. First of all, a hot shot engineer to lesson the risk of mis-jumping and to keep the scout humming along. Second, a computer genius to reprogram the transponder and generally help out with the hgih tech stuff for a bit. After interviewing a number of candidates, they hire on:

Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1
Short, round, and grumpy
4000Cr / month

Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3
Frail, ponytail, ugly tattoos, looks like a junkie
5000Cr / month

Passage out to the Wasp and the cylinder stash is uneventful. Yasmin and Sylvanous are left abroad to Wasp to start work, overseen by Mr. Fisker and his SMG. Everyone else heads back to port with the gas, and there are guided to land at a Crimson Wave platform. Met by a shady looking fellow, who has a quick look at the cargo and tells them to get it on a nearby grav-lifter and follow him. He leads them on a winding path into the depths of the base, to a nondescript warehouse section. Inside it is typical warehouse; shipping office, pallets and shipping modules, grav-lifters, and so on.  Plus another half dozen shady guys standing around a well-dressed gentleman who is obviously in change. To one side is a pair of figures, keeling and bound hand and foot with bags over their heads. Though tense, the handover of the cylinders goes off without a hitch. The party then watches horrified as the gentleman has his men fit one of the kneeling figures (who are now obviously warehouse workers) with a helmet, into which they pump a tiny bit of the gas. As they watch, the warehouseman dies a horrible death from the nerve toxin. But the gentleman is pleased, and announces he will have the payment for the gas transferred to Clinton Jager within the hour.  As the party leaves the warehouse, they hear a gunshot ring out behind them; likely the second warehouseman being eliminated. 

Making haste to get away from the lunatic fanatics ('I told you they were nuts' says Marco) the party makes contact with Clinton and gets their payout for the job [40000Cr]. Paying off Marco [394000Cr], who happily dances away with his riches, they then charter a shuttle [5000Cr] to get away from Mouser and back to the 'Wasp'.