Welcome back! To kick off I’ll cover off the GM’s decision on Iceman’s Strange Impotence.
GM: I’ve reviewed this over the week, and in light of Iceman being horny for various NPCs over the entire season, I will offer you this: you may work towards being impotent, which will involve some major catastrophe rendering you that way, with the possibility that there is more at risk than just your willy.
DB: in light of your not-so-veiled threat, Iceman will stay the course and stay horny thanks.
And now we return to our regular broadcast.
Overall Mission: assist in establishing a scientific research station on Lewis, planet of the Klackons
Current mission: detect who may have sabotaged one of the satellites stored in the cargo bay of the Bad’n’Ruin
Bad’n’Ruin’s PC crew:
- Widow: Master detective, Sensors/comms
- Pip: Pilot
- Iceman: Gunner/Steward
- BJ: Engineer
The NPC crew:
- Bex: Merchant, beginning to act like a captain
- Rhonda: Steward/Computer
- Choi: Computer/Engineer’s mate
Where we are up to: The Bad’n’Ruin is carrying over 30 University of Junidi employees. On the second leg jump-space of the voyage, Widow takes on the role of security duty officer when the satellite techs discover their satellite has been tampered with.
GM: and I must say Widow jumped at that role quite forcefully
AM: it was either that or sit watching you talk to yourself as six different NPCs
It is early morning. Widow has brought Rhonda into her security detail and they have scanned enough camera feeds to detect when the sabotage occurred and what degree of technical knowledge would have been needed.
I get up, stretch a mite, and knock up the expedition boss men, Fuse Floyd and Tone Wik. They allows as how they heard about this from their own security, and what am I doing about it. I tell them I’ll be interviewing their expedition folks, and they throw in with me and cooperate.
First up, me and Rhonda clear Pip as best we can, then we bring Iceman in, update him, and now we got two pairs of eyes and ears. [Iceman was cleared based on him only ever hanging out in the gun bays, whereas Widow rolls a mighty 3 in interviewing Pip.] We question BJ about what Choi been doing, and Choi about what BJ been doing, till we get a lock on them two. Then BJ is told off to check how the cameras been switched off and how the satellite was interfered with while we other two pair get on with interviews on the real targets.
Thing is, between our own recollection and the cameras, we got some clusters of activity. The sabotage happened not long after 3.am. Round about that time, long as anyone can reckon, they was one group making a fair amount of noise in the rec room. About an hour earlier, the air raft pilots came out into the corridor and set up a game of sliding, until one of the docs got up and hollered at them. About an hour before that, a couple of people, hard to see, went from the mechanics and researchers end of the corridor around to the galley to fix some food, and came back not long later. And most folk were to bed by that time or earlier. The one group in the rec room turns out to be a set of card players, mostly youngsters: Ares, Eddie, Troilus and Voles from the menfolk and Rachel and Sauce from the researcher womenfolk.
I set up the first set of interviews with the idea to be filling in a “dance card” for each card player. I allow as how if we are patient, we can fill in the whole session and see who went where and who said what.
[This was pretty painful, because role-playing a genuine cross-examination is flat-out not possible. On the other hand, just making a series of interaction rolls would be pathetic. So this section of the session was a combination of both. Enough talk to give the GM an idea of approach, then a roll if needed. But it did tease out what proved to be the vital flag.]
Meanwhile BJ investigates. Looking at the satellite, he is somewhat alarmed to discover its power is on. He knows little to nothing about satellites and blunders round trying to see evidence of tampering, then calls on Choi to help. They find little – BJ may or not remember hearing Widow say she can’t trust Choi. BJ then checks back along the corridor to see if he can pin down what happened to the cameras. He finds two things: one, an entire wing of cameras are all on the same circuit (which flaw he quickly fixes with an excellent roll; he also installs a surge protector) and two, a disc-shaped gadget was used next to the camera outside the construction crew and researchers’ end of the corridor. Later, BJ also checks both the boat bay door and cargo hold door security logs (yes, apparently each door keeps a log) and finds the window of sabotage can be narrowed down to 3 minutes.
Folks are getting hungry by this time, what with Iceman and Rhonda both helping with the interviews, but Floyd and Wik keep them peaceable, making scratch breakfast in the galley into a diversion.
With BJ’s report on the camera and doors, and a small flag raised off the dance cards, I send Iceman away to check on meals, and focus all the rest of us on the three non-playing construction crew, Gibbs Dorsey and Reed. See, the flag raised was how around midnight, the card players seemed about to break up, then Voles, the only construction crew playing, started big-noting and got a higher stakes game going, which went on until after three. But the thing was, Voles was no great shakes as a player, and the player that did most of the winning, Troilous, said he was telegraphing his hand. So why does someone who couldn’t expect to win much start a higher-stakes game? Ain’t just to show off to the cute girls maybe.
[Iceman actually tosses Choi’s quarters again, finding nothing out of the ordinary. And he checks the armoury.]
This time, our questioning is got to be more like a cross-examination. I have BJ prep a technical question, which same will be sprung on each suspect; and I throw in a real lie that will force them to re-evaluate their account of their movements. The tech question is to allow us to watch their face when asked something they do know the answer to, but will have to pretend not to know.
Reed shapes up to be genuinely asleep. His answer to the tech question also comes across as the most genuinely dumb. For the other pair, Dorsey and Gibbs, I got to say they are slick. But they did both leave their quarters around midnight, long enough to prep the camera take-down.
Finally I sit back from my notes and look around. We all look pretty tired.
Widow: I’m ready to just execute one person as a lesson to all, and give up
Iceman (who has rejoined us by then): sounds good to me. I checked the armoury by the way, and all’s safe there
Rhonda: but we do have to report to Fuse Floyd remember? What do we say?
Widow: (groans) yeah, I’ll have to do that (heads over to the boss quarters)
Tone Wik: ah, any news? There’s a lot of talk and it’s hard to keep a lid on it
Widow: nothing conclusive, but overall we seem to have three of the construction crew working together. I think it’s time to toss quarters
Tone Wik: I can get our security detail on that
Widow: sounds good. I want the construction crew, researchers and air raft pilots quarters all tossed. Meanwhile, we going to get late mess going and keep as many folk in the galley as we can
[Iceman and Rhonda are obviously tired because the steward rolls are poor.]
By the time the pilots start hollering about their bunks being trashed, Ralph and Hook have found evidence in the construction crew quarters. They got a disk the right size, and a remote control. BJ confirms this is the right type of stuff.
We cold-sleep Voles, Gibbs and Dorsey and finish the jump no further problems.
[Cold sleep is the Bad’n’Ruin’s fall-back for passenger travel. We previously only used it for Derns. I’m told that technically we have room for 20. The homebrew uses something like Traveller’s chances of cold sleep being fatal.]
Dropping out over Arramanx, I see the convoy is building up around the Jundy U flagship, the Hixus. There’s also a really big Crystal class converted for freight. We’re joined by boss-lady Andrea Young, and two minders. After listening to me describing our cockamamie efforts she decides it could be industrial espionage. Reed, the remaining construction crew, will transfer over and she puts a trusted man on the Bad’n’Ruin in his place. She plans to let the three roam free on Lewis, see what they do.
The Great Expedition! (Building phase)
The final hop goes fine, we drop out over Lewis, and there’s a bustle and hurry as all the passengers get set for their jobs. The construction, security and shuttle teams are to be first out while we orbit for a couple days. Voles, Gibbs and Dorsey come out of cold sleep OK [Widow rolls a 3 for revival but it’s not a fumble so they are still alive] and head off with the other lead teams.
[The GM hastily draws an encampment up. It’s atop cliffs overlooking a river, set well back from the coastline. It has a landward side away from the cliffs, where a dry ditch is cut across. A physical and force barrier runs right around. Key strategic buildings are spread well apart. The landing pads are well away from the prefab living/HQ low-rises.]
We touch down gentle like, Pip allowing to impress someone or other, and I get my first sniff of Lewis as I oversee the passengers disembark. It smells clean and fresh. Plenty of birdlife. I can feel a sunbed calling me.
[The individual players again make a call on what they want to do with some downtime. Widow has decided to work on Interaction and stays on friendly terms with the medical staff Cooke and Maureen. She sets up a sunbed area atop their hab and encourages them to start a roof garden. BJ patrols the perimeter and then gets back to work on his drone. Iceman sets up a firing range and works on his sniperism. Pip chats to a security team member (i.e. guard) and learns about the Gauss weaponry they use, then continues to polish her interaction skills.
Pip advances Interaction, moving to 12 same as the others; BJ advances his Tech to 10, and the drone is now fully weaponised and flying properly. Iceman and Widow do not advance.]
The next two weeks are all about shuttling freight from the Crystal. When Tone Wik joins us one morning and allows as how he got a job for us going outside the perimeter and out to the site of the Fetterman fiasco I jump at it, and the others do too.
That’s all we have for the year, but the season will resume in early January so watch out for an update around Jan 9-10.