The NPC crew of the Bad’n’Ruin, currently up on the shuttle station above Rowsion II:
- Bex – merchant and banker
- Rhonda – steward
- Choi – computers
The PC crew of the Bad’n’Ruin, currently trapped on Ranui Island:
- BJ (DL) – point man and engineer
- Pip (AL) – driver and pilot
- Iceman (DB) – marksman and cook
- Widow (AM) – tactician and burglar
The GM spreads out the maps he sent round so we can compare the before and after and get some thoughts going. In terms of the characters, the maps are sent through towards the end of BJ’s watch, which wakes us all up.
We move to roleplaying.
Spelling: for Jundi read Junidi
In a truck, barely
Widow: so, yeah, I like the idea of a raft if BJ thinks this [slapping truck canopy] can be fixed for it. You’ll need to come up with a list of materials so we can decide if it’s viable. But it’s the end of your watch so get some shuteye. Pip, I think you’re up ain’t you?
Pip: yeah, I won rock paper scissors and picked second watch remember?
Iceman: tell me again how I got dawn shift?
Pip: you can prep MREs so they don’t taste like MREs.
Come dawn or near enough we’re woken by Iceman rushing back to the truck from outside somewhere, at the same time the truck is hailed. Sticking my piece over the gate and sighting along it I see four or five moyss straggling in all anyhow.
[From his vantage point some distance uphill, Iceman makes a decision to scramble to the truck once he saw them, but not yell or fire. An excellent Athletics roll, and a good Alertness roll to overhear their wary discussion of the truck, and a second good Alertness roll to deduce a lack of armour, follow.]
They come in peaceable like. They’re all off a Councilwoman’s estate and are trekking upriver back to family. Mixie their leader allows as how they are all servants, and the estate is now empty. Reason they left is, fear of some faction or other hitting the place. We watch them go.
[OOC I point out that this proves we are not the murderhoboes last session may have implied, otherwise we would have shot them and stolen their supplies. If ‘not a sociopath’ is commendable, then I commend myself.]
From a height
Widow: belay breakfast Iceman, if we are on rations then it’s a meal a day. Just a sip of water each too. I’d like a look at the lay of the land, see what materials we’ve got to work with. BJ, work up that list of what we need. Iceman, wanna come with?
Iceman leads me back up past his picket point and onto high ground. We’re in light woodland with some hunting potential, plenty of timber for crappy raft-building. I can see a lot of the road has been washed out in the river flood, and beyond, the river is still swollen high and whole trees are milling in it. A raft would be barely viable. Looking further east, we can see a turnoff roughly heading south off the road, that will be where the five servants came off. It will lead to the estate they allowed they came from. We head back.
Widow: how’d you do on the list BJ?
BJ [scratches, looks blank]: grmmph? I was mostly thinking about tools.
Widow: well get on it, we need to make a decision. So we need to forage, and we need water. I shoulda gotten onto that last night but I was pretty tired. BJ, rig a cape, and clothing to filter the mud, and get the canteens filling. And work on that list!
Into the woods
Pip: I wouldn’t mind hunting, we’ll need to supplement rations
Widow: do you know your way around this kind of country? I thought I’d guide Iceman, he’s best shot
Pip [slightly hurt]: how hard can it be? Scouts train for all sorts of terrain. And I’m a better shot than you
Iceman: well… OK I don’t mind guarding
BJ: I can rustle up some tools off this truck too
We each check a shotgun for loads and head up into the woods. We mark a herd of a local goat-like critter named Nunarope, but something niggles me and I index the thing, finding that it’s well known for toxic flesh syndrome.
[With +2 on the skill, Widow proves a lot better than Pip in Survival based hunting, as expected, and makes a 19 on Survival again to check the prey before shooting.]
We track on, closing on a big panther-like critter as I figure it has to be hunting something, and as it moves off we spot the game herd it was following. These are big horned beasts, too big to carry but we can carve some cuts off one. I close in – someplace back I lose Pip – and line one up, but the buckshot doesn’t do the job and they all run away.
[More fine Survival checks from Widow and inadequate checks from Pip. We are not permitted to average them, so Widow ends up alone. Her shot’s button dice is a 9, which does little more than scare.]
Up to the estate
Back at the truck we report failure. BJ’s got some tools, some belonging to the truck and some makeshift. But he declares they ain’t near enough to convert a truck top to a raft, and anyhow, it ain’t gonna be sturdy enough to stand off floating trees, nor to reach Rogan before sinking. The idea of the Councilwoman’s estate has been on my mind, and on Pip’s, and she pushes for it. We heat and eat, and march.
[The GM checks encumbrance and gear fairly carefully at this point. Keeping weapons in preference to things like the camp stove means no-one is super-encumbered but Widow is at -3 Athletics with backpack, med-kit and shotgun. Others are at -2 I believe.]
We walk downriver the short step to where Iceman and me saw the turnoff, and head up south into higher country. It’s a good sealed road so we make good time, keeping in formation [same as last episode] up to the estate wall and main gate.
Pip [Alertness]: look! The estate runs left, down the side of the slope
Widow [Alertness]: facing east… good feng shui. OK look sharp for a generator, antenna, landing pad. Let’s have a look at this lock… mmm pretty high tech…
[Some time and two Intrusion rolls later…]
Widow: say BJ, hand me that ballpeen you found in the truck…
[Finally a great Intrusion roll]
kano yarrrro!!!! [destroys lock-pad with numerous frenzied blows]
…OK all good, let’s climb over the wall now.
There’s an equipment shed up top near where we climb over into a fine white-pebble courtyard. Over yonder is a tilted statue. Iceman covers while we check the shed.
BJ: quad bikes!
Pip: I’ll check the tanks [taps fuel tanks] mmm… not much though we could pool what’s here into one
BJ: funny those five didn’t take them
Widow: couldn’t ride maybe
BJ: not much else here, I spotted an antenna on the house so that’s next
Iceman [calls]: I think I can see a landing pad or something like it down the bottom, too
In the lap of luxury
I guess the outer gate lock told me enough that I don’t find the house door lock no trouble. [+4 over Intrusion] It’s a big, smooth-floored chamber with a couple doors off the sides and big double doors up ahead. We drip our way in. Lights come on and warm air pumps down. I shed packs, slicker and clothes as I head to the double doors, push them open and find a huge entertaining space with maybe a view in good weather – leastways there’s a balcony – and plenty of exits.
Widow: I call first shower
[Iceman’s paranoia is rising and infects BJ and Pip. They remain in the lobby, debating how to secure such a big place, or even forting up there.]
Widow [wanders back near-naked]: you found comms or kitchen yet?
Iceman: haven’t checked. We were thinking of pulling out and finding an LUP nearby
Widow: this is a senator or some such’s place right? You don’t get to sack out in this kind of place too often. Take the chance
I find an office off a side waiting room and sure enough, a good comms unit. I begin scanning for the Bad’n’Ruin call-sign. Meantime the others pretty much get the idea and Pip finds a kitchen and pantry off left-ish of the main room, and BJ hunts right-ish downstairs and finds showers, rooms and an air-raft hangar. Iceman just stands cold and wet under his slicker. I bring up the Bad’n’Ruin and Choi happens to be on duty. He rustles up the other two and I update them. They update me, and it’s hard news though not unexpected. I set up frequencies that we’ll get in touch by at set times.
BJ reports on the air raft, it’s top of the line Jundi work, practically unlimited range as it’s fully charged. It’s even full-body so if we had vacc suits – big if – we could take it up to orbit range. I hear most of this in passing as I’m heading for where he says the showers are. Man that hot water feels great! Warmed by hidden air jets I search maybe half a dozen rooms for clothing. I pass up the chance to wear hippo-size silk in favour of things that fit me, so meet up with the others wearing boy-pants.
Smoke’m if ya got’m
While I’m servicing my autopistol, I see Iceman’s finally shed some gear and searched. He brings in three data slates. I ask him where’s the food, he gives me a look but heads out to the pantry. I stroll back to the waiting room, open a humidor and select a stogie, light up, head back to the entertainment room, flick on the sound system and wallow in luxury.
[There is a lot of cross-checking, each of the other three seeming not to trust the others’ judgement on security, air raft, food etc etc. I’m going to break out of sequence here. I’m also naming the huge entertainment area the ‘lounge’ from here on.]
BJ: after providing the general lay of the right- and downward wings and the fact of the air raft, BJ stands guard for a while, then fiddles with a slate that Widow hasn’t been able to unlock, without success. He showers and changes, and rejoins the group late for the meal.
Pip: after passing on what she found, Pip checks back over what BJ about the air raft. She finds a little more detail about its capabilities. Then she walks back up, showers, and joins in the meal.
Iceman: checking the desk, Iceman finds a handle or grip under it. He pulls on it while comically menacing the desk with his autopistol, but fails to notice any effect (3 on Alertness). More importantly he locates the desktop computer and three data slates that Widow later uses. He leaves the slates in the lounge and heads off to cook, scoring an excellent Steward roll.
Widow: mighty fine meal Iceman, you been holding out on us.
Pip: yeah if we knew you was this awesome we might not of hired Rhonda
Widow: maybe she can cover guns while you just steward
Iceman: over my dead body… check that, over your dead bodies
Checking the details
After sinking some nice booze to top off the meal, I get to work on the two slates I opened. The first is mostly media feed stores about the Councilwoman, but the second one looks more useful as it’s a diary. Doing some searches for ‘shuttle’ and such, I find a mention of Disclin Mining, and a couple names. Even so there ain’t none of what we need, an alternative shuttle port. Bex’ main point was that there ain’t no shuttle service out of Rogan now.
I set down at the desk, boot up the desktop, and look around for passwords. It is pretty routine, and I get in real quick. But it takes me a power of searching and cross-checking [Admin, only makes it] before I find those same names on a donation to the Councilwoman – with an address. I head back out and ask the three, who are pretty much sacked out in the lounge, to cross-check the address on the slates. Then I head down the hall and hit the best bed.
BJ: After the meal he rechecks Iceman’s search and locates the trap – the grip triggered a needle-spray from the front of the desk, peppering the wall. He checks the security of the whole estate and gets the basic idea of it. He heads back to the lounge, ignores Widow’s suggestion to search the slates, and sacks out on a sofa.
Pip: After the meal, she searches further downstairs and finds servants’ quarters, a generator room, and a security set-up. (Inadequate Tech roll to decide how it works) She decides not to push buttons to see what happens. She heads back to the lounge, ignores Widow’s suggestion to search the slates, and sacks out on a sofa.
Iceman: After the meal, he returns to the kitchen and loads portable preserves. It’s quite late by the time he finishes. He’s about to go to sleep in the lounge, when he decides to double-check Pip’s security report. He walks down to the security station, and like Pip, makes very little of the set-up. He’s about to push a button at random when BJ interrupts him.
Iceman [guiltily]: nothing! uhh, hi, your watch is it?
BJ: you should get some shuteye, the ladies will want a good meal
Iceman: the who now?
BJ: har har!
Call to action
It’s a quiet time on my watch after my rostered call to the Bad’n’Ruin. I walk the corridors and rooms, feeling real good. I see the security set-up Pip mentioned downstairs by the generator room. After I rouse Iceman for his watch I let him know where I’ll be, set to and map out the security settings. I write them up idiot-proof, making a mental note to watch while an idiot actually tries to read it. Then I head up, loot the pantry for a few edibles, and set to an early meal.
After, I find out none of the others actually did look for the site of Disclin Mining. I set to the slates again and the media one gives me a base in the south of Ranui.
It’s right after that Bex comms in again. She’s been able to speak to some of the Disclin types upstairs, and has coordinates for me. She’s bought passage on their shuttle for us, and it will be expecting us in 2-3 days.
Widow: hope you ain’t peddled our asses for the next few years to get those seats Bex
Bex: do you want me to ask for a refund?
Widow: no, no, don’t take me wrong, I’m surely grateful
Q4K: breaker breaker, is this the Bad’n’Ruin?
Widow: breaker this is the Bad’n’Ruin, what’s your handle over?
Q4K: this is Q4K… can you help? We need to get out!
I get the details off of Q4K, it sounds pretty rough where she, her kid Tangle and two others are, a place called Umar south of here and on our way to the shuttle site. I head out to the lounge.
Widow: hooraw! Pack ‘em up and load the air raft! We move asap!
A session which seemed to race by. Sometimes a no-combat evening can be great fun. This was a ‘puzzle’ session, the principal one of course being the elements needed to locate the secret mountain shuttle base, or Hidden Fortress to use an indirect reference. (Bags me being the heroic daimyo!) I could see the GM’s face twitching in annoyance when the other three failed to search for the Disclin cross-reference and I deliberately signed out as being too tired to continue, but sometimes that’s roleplay. To his credit he didn’t just phone it in from Bex. I enjoyed luxuriating in character, the other three acted more like a visit to the Caves of Chaos by sacking out together on sofas. Plus the bizarre cross-checking of each other’s searching. I should also note that in a second roster check-in with the Bad’n’Ruin I learned that Rhonda is banging Choi.
Next session we are all packed and ready to air-raft to rescue the Princess (or at least, a young mother, a disturbed child and a couple mooks) so stay tuned!