Session six kicks off with shopping. You may recall that the GM asked us to think about supplies. Girlie swot that I am, I was the only player to do this. I had already paid for training and tip. I bought a number of survival-type items, ammo for my handgun and carbine, a needler and plenty of practice ammo. I also tucked a few k away as savings.
Having heard what I bought, Pip also purchases a few survival items, while Iceman buys ammo and sets most aside towards heavy combat armour. BJ follows me down the needler route. We will both need time and space to practice.
Spelling: for ‘Roysian’ read ‘Rowsion’ throughout. Widow hears the word as a nasal tone.
In the hop to Fellan, the semi-feral planet that marks the waystation to Roysian, the following conversations occur:
Widow, checking on how Dr. Schmidt is enjoying high passage, finds herself [partial fail on Interaction] deep in conversation about Roysian’s seven moons and the research he hopes to do. “Still a system in flux” is something to think about.
Pip finds plenty of common ground with Charo when she talks about kids. It seems that though her body is built for speed she would like nothing better than to settle down with more than 0.5 of a child. Unluckily Dr. Schmidt has already blown his child ration on his previous wife, so the research may be needed to raise their joint allowance… then presumably Charo will lock him down to wedded bliss.
BJ splits his beer stash with father-of-six Bill Guntham. The Gunthams are going to visit the wife’s folks on Roysian 2.
Iceman has more chances to speak to passengers than most, since he is backup steward. He doesn’t use the option. He does ask old Mitch what he’s going to Fellan for, and learns a bit of useful background about the lethal plantlife there.
When Pip calls her handle she is called in by her cousin, name of Scopie. They seem real good friends. My sensor array tells me all’s clear so I pass on word to the passengers we’ll be docking on the main Fellan dome soon. Bex works back over sales pitches for the ATV – it’s something she’s hoping to make a good price on here. The ‘luxury goods’ (which are pretty much all whisky) are certain to sell here. As far as I can learn – Bex being busy – she has no plan to buy up any of the local product, which is ground out of the sponge weed plant as a base for cosmetics.
Scopie seems a happy go lucky type, who has somehow goofed his way from wherever he was last employed to head ganger in this expanding spaceport. Some guys just get by on looks I guess. But I’m saying this from what I later heard and saw. Meanwhile I’m back on bridge and watching the landing, on a landing pad that’s kept flamed clear of sponge weed. A trac u pulls the Bad’n’Ruin into a decontam tunnel and she’s scrubbed clean, then we are through to the new starport dome and I send the dc. [Disembark Clearance]
We mostly disembark too, though Rhonda stays aboard. Choi heads into the main dome quick. It’s a small port. There’s two other ships in and an empty bay for one more after us. One is a Tukera-flagged ship name of Radius Squared, or r2. The other is a Varag trader – maybe a corsair judging by the array of weapons. [Alertness: Iceman makes natural 20, Widow and BJ roll well above their score.]
Iceman: those guns on the Vargr ship…
Iceman: those are the same guns we sold back in Altara
Widow: ksss. Check right, merc guards machi familiar
BJ (wanders over): Natty Chipper uniforms… Tukera ship… are we going to have to hide?
[The rules of the game include the ‘in space no-one can hear you google’ rule which means in this instance it will be a major coincidence of fast travel if someone from either Tukera lines or the Natty Chipper mercenaries has travelled by ship from Pavanne to this point quicker than we have. In any case, we did not quarrel directly with Tukera and not at all with Natty Chipper. So, all good.]
It’s around this time that Pip is chatting to her cousin Scopie (and getting herself and Bex invited to free meal and drinks), and BJ is settling the engines and consarning Pip for the way she yanks the stick, that me and Iceman see three townies heading over from the admin dome the mercs are guarding.
Widow (offers paperwork): Bad’n’Ruin, requesting life support and fuel for the Roysian leg
Hick #1: Ah-hyuk, sure
Hick #2: Yuh see hyar, we got rules, ah-huh
Hick #3: That we does, sure do
Seems like the rules allow as how we’ll be in a mess of trouble if we use anything that could breach a dome, so pulling a face I track back into the Bad’n’Ruin and stow my pistol. Iceman stashes his carbine, pistol and you name it. BJ stashes something in engineering and waves after us.
BJ: say, Choi was back already
Widow (suspiciously): that was quick
BJ: he told me that he spotted some street gangers, Tarans, further over towards the process dome they call Little Altara
BJ: just had the look, he said
The whole port holds maybe 250 folk, not including mercs and miners, or farmers as they like to be called hereabouts. Me, if I see a moyss wandering chopping wild plants up for process, he’s a miner. Farmers dig and plant and water and such. But Dome City is built over deep mine workings so maybe that’s why they say different here.
The largest dome is old central, where the best dining post is. That’s where I head, and BJ and Iceman allow as how they’ll tag along. Bex and Pip have already headed in with Scopie since they didn’t have to push papers.
Central is the oldest and biggest dome, plenty of space, and Central Pillar Hotel is machi swanky. Pip Bex and Scopie are already chowing down and yakking it up. I pick a less central table. After we are settled, three Varags introduce themselves. The pack leader is Morgan, the others Israel and Nigel.
Widow: Nigel. Where I come from that is a name of much dignity and fame
Nigel: ? [I can’t tell if the female is lying!]
Morgan: ! [It’s not your real name anyway!]
They are working for an Aslan [lion-like race] who is looking to stake his territory somewhere out by Jesedipere where I saw action against Corsairs, maybe these same. We swap yarns, we agree we might have fought each other a few years back, I pass on our call-sign since we need satisfied repeat business. Nothing much is happening here, and I get the idea there’s maybe gambling later on, but BJ and me need to put in some hours of needler practice so we sign out. Pip and Bex are going well at their table, looks like Bex will have made a profit as expected.
[Bex is an NPC handled by the GM so this is all off-screen. She isn’t able to move the ATV as she hoped but all else goes well.]
Practice and peeking
We find out that as you might expect, the great out-dome is where you go to shoot, so we rent still-suits and go through a familiarity course, then hike back to the Bad’n’Ruin, get the gear and head out. Iceman loads up with laser and pack, since he wants to make sure it’s fully functional. We all three put down a lot of rounds.
Back in the dome, and back at the Bad’n’Ruin, I get to thinking about the Choi boy. Pip comes in while I’m stowing gear, tells me Q4k was pulling aggro from the street kids, seems like they might have known her at that. She’s travelling on to Roysian so I shrug.
It’s a fine thing when your crew-mates don’t like you spying on a rookie. Fills me with something or other. Anyhow once I get Choi safe in town with Rhonda I break into his quarters and toss his bunk and stowage, leaving it all shipshape. Apart from the kind of skin mag I would worry if he didn’t have hidden, he has a whole ID-maker kit and blanks.
The following day while we’re out wasting the local weeds again, I pass on what I found. BJ and Iceman don’t see any reason to take action yet, so we leave it there. When we are finishing up and in decontam, Pip calls me.
Pip: anyone seen Bex?
Widow: not out this way
Pip: I looked all over when I got back to the ship, she’s not here
Widow: why where you been?
Pip: I tried to follow some Aslans then got talking to a Tukera… point is no sign of Bex and no-ones seen her for about four hours
Widow: sensors ain’t gonna pick her up neither
BJ: here’s a wild thought, did you call her?
Pip: she’s off line
Widow: OK grab my armour and Iceman’s armour, meet us at central, work around counter-clockwise to that point
BJ came out wearing his armour on so no need for Pip to fetch it. Maybe ‘cause it gives him more of a chest.
Well, we get to Central Pillar Hotel without seeing hide nor hair, and find she’s playing cards below. I don’t waste no time on cussin’. We stow equipment up at the hat-check desk and me and Pip head down.
Bex is sitting pretty with a huge winning pile of creds in front of her. The crowd is pretty thick but I ease through, Pip trailing on my six, and get an idea of the risk. It’s Aramis Holdem, and a hick miner, a Tukera and a merc are sitting in. They all have sidearms.
Widow (sotto voce): it’s real tense. Too many losses, they going to call Bex. If you get the chance, take a hand and start moving the creds around.
Pip gets in Bex’ eyeline so she knows we are here, I stand off the merc so I can stick him before he draws. The Tukera folds after another hand, and Pip asks to sit in. It’s a 3k floor but they are willing to wait, sink a round and get a new deck.
Iceman is told off to fetch the creds, and he calls me to let me know that Taran gangers and admin hicks are both headed to our 20. The hick is the long tall yokel, Narrow is his handle. But he’s not got no reason to fuss, once Pip takes a hand.
Pip: here’s the cash, let’s play
Bex: you think you can take me?
Pip: you pays your money you finds out lady
[The GM runs a simple 2d10 variant of holdem based on gambling skill. Roll secret dice, show one, bet whether you will win, show the other plus skill. Pip rolls, gets double 9s, shows one and bets she will win. But Bex wins on a 6 then 9 – her Interaction must be 9 or lower.
Pip can easily read the yokel (a separate gambling check) and she wins a little, enough so that Bex winning the overall next two hours still leaves her with a small profit. The presence of a new player eases the tension enough. The yokel is cleaned out and the game wraps.]
With our Bex and Pip heading back to the Bad’n’Ruin loaded down with creds it’s right psychic of me to have our gear all ready. BJ Iceman and me armour up load for bear and sit on them in a 3-man, back off the gangers and see them nice and safe aboard. Then I tear a strip off Bex, who is shaking. Then after I’m done Pip and BJ and Iceman say their say. She gets the message.
Fun is had
I don’t see no reason not to enjoy my ownself after a hard day of range work, search and bodyguarding. I head back to the Hotel with the change out of the 500creds I started yesterday with. I get myself into a nice little low-stakes game with a few guys including a good-looking, clean-shave young Tukera name of Andy. A few drinks and a little gambling to put an edge on. Then after the game I take Andy up to one of the Hotel’s suites and whittle him down. Hooraw!
Let’s just wait…
Next day I make my way back to the Bad’n’Ruin with a dirty grin on my face, to find the doggies have gone already and the r2 is being towed out.
BJ: We’re fuelled
Rhonda: I’ve checked the passengers, they’re all aboard
Widow: no new passengers?
Rhonda: no, seems no-one wants to get to Rowsion II from here
Bex: manifest check done, we are good to go
Pip: thought you still rolling round in your cabin on top of that pile of creds
Bex: you can only do that for so long before throwing them up in the air and letting them hit you on the head gets painful
Iceman: I could take away the pain
Pip: and there is Iceman’s best pick up line. Ever.
Widow: so we’re good to go but let’s just wait a while. The doggies with their guns are upstairs. Let’s just make sure they really are gone
To say goodbye is to die a little
We drop out near Roysian and my sensors pick up a wall of shit. [Widow makes a truly awful roll, fails by 6] Schmidt and his system in flux be damned, there’s a whole other universe of drifting junk, asteroids and satellites. It takes me a good long while to get a good read on the system, by which time Miss Heavyfoot is squinching around like she ain’t had a man in months, which come to that is probably true.
[Widow makes a poor sensors roll – luckily this is not a system where pirates hang out – and a repeat roll is barely a partial success. The penalty is time. Pip also needs two rolls to make up for the difference, one for eyeballing the path.]
Finally I get a good beacon and Pip is talked in. We vector through to an outstation in the seven moons. It’s from this depot here we can shuttle down with the cargo. The traffic control tone is firm! No cheesy cousin here.
We get more of the same theme as we handle the protocols on the outstation. It’s rule-heavy, plenty of men in suits or uniforms to watch us. The good news is that our ‘agricultural parts’ move through customs as promised, no problems. We ain’t allowed anything that looks like a real weapon, cept for our knives.
I say goodbye to all our passengers while Iceman watchdogs Bex who handles the selling. Schmidt and Charo roll out quick, the Gunthams slower since they got plenty of kids. Rugman heads out with his rug skewed, finally Q4K and her kid Tangle. I got to chat to her on the last jump one time when the kid had a bad dream about his old man.
Widow: remember – martial arts – ain’t never gonna regret it
Q4K: uh yes, thanks
Widow: and remember sometimes the best way to see your man off is with a gun
Q4K: right, well, goodbye
[Meanwhile there’s lots more happening. The ATV is not a winner but Bex still offloads it, the ground vehicles fetch a good margin, and she makes deals for the alloy that we need to haul back to Altara. Pip sees to life support and fuel: it’s going to be quick, and we could be away in three days (our delivery allowing). Iceman arranges a truck hire down below, and the ‘correctness’ of the guards is reinforced. BJ acts as supercargo.
One challenge the GM throws at us is to think of a way of getting weapons past the strict Rowsion II security. Aside from smuggling one hideout gun through, I suggest we can open the crates and assemble weapons.]
By the time we are ready to take the shuttle down to Roysian, we have a fair handle on who’s doing what and where we and the crates are heading. Bex Rhonda and Choi are safe to be left aboard.
Down at the starport, BJ and me stay with the crates, while Pip and Iceman catch a local ground-cab out to the truck hire. They report plenty of os homi, both paras and town beat. Just about everyone is grounded, only the rich have air rafts.
They arrive back with a truck. Pip jumps down grinning.
Pip: could have cut ten minutes off that time really
Iceman: you said you weren’t going to push the law
Pip: I said I was going to avoid trouble, meaning, I went through quiet streets
Iceman: really fast
Pip: you have met me right
We load up and start listing camping gear we’ll need. It’s a long way out.
So ends our Labour Weekend session. Iceman picked up best roll with double-ought Alertness to spot that the doggy ship is fitted out with the guns he sold. I made my worst ever roll, a 3+2 on sensors. Overall I thought we handled every challenge well, the exception being BJ claiming he would ‘naturally’ armour up after being told Dome Town was not that kind of place. But we didn’t get penalised for it. The need for weapons on Rowsion is yet to be tested.
Next session should see us on the road for a 600k journey to deliver Seddon’s illegal small arms to something illegal, and not one of us with anything larger than a hideout gun. Stay tuned!