Current mission: get Sid and Annie clear of Heguz, travel to the mining world of Heguz
This session falls into three parts
In part one, the GM narrates our clean getaway. You can argue that he could just start with ‘you are now in jump space’ and get on with part two, but there are a few decisions and rolls to make. I can suppose that if something goes terribly wrong with one of those, we find out how cross Mr. Invincible Overlord, The OverBluff Dubgee, is when he finds out we have removed his favorite forger and psyker. I narrate this rather than writing as Widow. Since most of the blog this week is narrative I’ll use plain text for parts one and two, and write Widow’s record in dark green.
In part two, the GM hands over a small sheaf of paper that reveals the key details of alterations Sid made to various logs, histories, and occasional papers. Since ‘I read the paper, the other players read the paper, then the GM asks us what we want to do about it all’ can’t be roleplayed I cover that off with a straight narrative. Hats off to the GM for prepping the papers. But great drama it ain’t.
In part three the action really picks up, and it is mostly of the laugh-out-loud sort of cross-table chaffing that is really hard to convey. Take my word for it, there is a good deal of laughter, not to mention rude guffaws and near-hysterical giggling. I will do my best to depict it. Having said that, it is all about guns, which is not the point of the blog. So feel free to skip the silliness and go to the final section.
Part one: a smooth exit
Widow leads Choi, Sid, Annie, BJ and lastly Iceman to the tram stop, and they leap on a just-arrived tram. It’s night-time in Dub Crater, so as planned, the tram takes no time at all to loop around to the next stop. Annie and Sid hold hands, seated near the front.
By that time Pip has athletically [+2 Athletics] bounded down the fire escape off the back of the building she had been on, and, rifle now safely back in her gun bag, boards at that stop. Widow reminds Choi to have the jammer broken into its components by the time the elevator is reached. The tram rolls easily and quickly through town to the Transit exchange, and the team board the Transit.
Annie senses that one of the guards has woken up. Widow checks her chrono and shrugs, it’s within parameters.
Widow checks resources, as they are alone on the Transit – or at least not overheard. Few weapons are carried and fewer loaded. She tucks her empty mini-needler back in its garter-holster. She still has electro-knucks, Pip is easily best armed with a rifle in a bag. BJ worries about a close search linking her shot to the gun. But this is Caseless, there is no cartridge.
Iceman is restless and Widow checks the media panel on the Transit. Media is updating on the ‘shooting incident’ to upgrade it to an assault on Dubgee-affiliated Strongarms. Repercussions among the Bluffs are expected, and ruptures possible, come council time.
At the Elevator base, the team passes through routine numbers of Beyavin guards without incident, and ride up. As it’s a long ascent there is plenty of time for fears to grow. Widow counsels patience, the decoys should be there but time will tell. Iceman spots some air movement far below over the city, and media says nothing much: we deduce the hunt is scaling up, possibly in the wrong direction.
At the Port at last, the team disembarks the Elevator and scans the terminal lounge. Sure enough Shaz and Tone (her male companion) are waiting. Sid goes to get his 20kg case of gear, and Choi and Iceman outfit Shaz and Tone with gear that will get them to the Scout base out on the surface, and similar gear for Sid and Annie. Sid comes back with the case, and BJ wheels it for him, Widow reassuring Sid that he is safe with her. Making sure everyone is mingling so the overall shape of the party looks like a whole group, the team passes uneventfully through customs, helped along by Annie who plays a psyker mind-trick on the official, ‘convincing’ him it is all routine.
After we clear, Shaz and Tone, now as indistinguishable from Sid and Annie as they can be, head out to the Scout base. We all wish them well. Then, we head out to the Bad’n’Ruin and find Bex is aboard now. BJ [+2 Engineering] readies the ship swiftly and Widow in particular greets the miners who are ready for their Carsten career. Then she hurries to the bridge and scans for clearance, [+2] with no problem. Iceman readies the turret gun, just in case she is wrong about that. Pip makes [+12] a smoothly perfect departure. About the same time, a Scout courier ship heads off bound to Fociline. Widow’s plan has worked as well as could have been expected.
Half an hour later Dub Crater requests a passenger manifest, Widow sends it through. Sid has assured her their papers are as good as legit so she has no concerns about that.
End of part one
Part two: the Lewis papers
It’s a week jump to Carsten, because it is a double-hop away. The Bad’n’Ruin crew stay as busy as they can. BJ puts his drone back the way it ought to be. He is not helped by Choi, who is seated at the feet of the master, improving his forgery skills.
Widow has been given a pile of documents (in hard copy) by Sid and has to work her way through. Now she is not one of the officers that liked paperwork, and makes heavy weather of it [I’m basing this on how much of a chore I find reading documentation] but emerges with updates for the others, and hands round dog-eared, much-highlighted texts for them to read over java breaks.
I summarize by saying that Lewis, planet of the Klackons, has a lot of now-removed documentation pointing to the existence of very advanced technology, possibly an entire alien civilization, and some of the tech is undoubtedly wielded by Klackons. Whether it originated with the Klackons themselves or from some now-unknown race seems immaterial. Or at least, something that only becomes relevant if we ourselves need to manipulate those strange icon-controlled doorways, and de-materializing beam weapons, at some future date.
The GM asks us what we want to do about it. After all this is a sandboxy campaign, if we wanted to invest the funds (very adequate, Bex tells us) from people-running, in tomb-robbing and treasure-seeking, he would need to know that.
BJ and Pip would like to ‘tell the world’ partly in order to embarrass the Junidi-based Power behind all this deception. Iceman thinks about selling the information directly. Widow is very ‘meh’ about the whole revelation but does chip in to think about constructive ways of telling the ‘verse while not being killed and not getting Sid killed. The best idea she comes up with (seeing Pip’s enthusiasm) is to use Pip’s large collection of relatives to multi-cast the information and slate it all back to ‘old Rogers’ family files’. But still put it mostly out on the ‘black’ net, using sub-law contacts.
Mid-season skill gains:
The GM gives us each an improvement based on observed behaviors. For example Widow gets a criminal contact (Seddon the mobster on Altara, and his mob) while Pip gets a proficiency in Air Raft.
Then we drop out over Carsten.
End of part two
Part three: shopping and sordid Marine humor and espionage
By this time Sid and Annie gotten their next hop lined up, and you dam’ well know it’s right smartly. We’re bound for Claim Haul, one of three start-ports. They allow to be lined up for next jump out.
An auto-feed welcomes the Bad’n’Ruin and feeds us shipping news. Before I get a few minutes in I’m thigh-deep in competing feeds from the big mining boys. All carrying plenty ads!
I idly flick through feeds looking for talk about Lewis, seeing as how Iceman’s all up in our faces about what’s happened there. They’s all manner of puff pieces for research, nothing about exploration of ruins. Well there wouldn’t be, would there?
Other news catches us up what’s been happening whiles we been on Heguz. The Jundy fleet’s on maneuvers, now near Fetterman which ain’t exactly home defense. More like a quick few hops to Lewis or Arramanx. Arramanx is still on the brink of war but trade is viable. Pavanne seems to have a law and order issue. Altara is still booming.
Pip slams us down hard on Claim Haul’s hot pad, and we wait for atmo to be pumped. Local gravity is 0.3 outside grav-drive areas so the pads are left black, then seals are closed. Seems to work for them. I make sure to farewell our miners personal, then it’s farewell to Al Wainwright (ain’t bothering to insist he’s ‘Mr A’ no more) who allows to set up a shyster office with one of the big mining boys here maybe. Finally Sid and Annie shuffle away, toting the heavy case, to a connection to Zilla.
We set to, getting the cargo off, then tool up. We been told Claim Haul is frontier law, so no point heading into town bareassed. I strap on a loadout like I would for scouting a hostile zone. I hear Pip and BJ planning to spend some time out on the surface loosing off rounds, and remind them we ain’t planning no short-turnaround. Plenty of time to relax and spend our pay we just got. Choi comes in from cargo, and allows as how he wants something bigger than his hideout wheel-gun.
Widow: Something bigger huh? SMG? Or how close you like to get? (draws lupara as example of ‘close in’)
Choi: hmmm no an SMG sounds best
Pip: Hey! You get a red-dot sight, give you bangin’ aim
BJ: Or just point’n’spray, works for me
Iceman: but if you really wanta get size, boy, he heh he (fondles laser rifle)
Choi: I ain’t got nothing to compensate for, SMG be fine (ducks hastily out)
Note – all of this takes place on the bridge, which is where the gun lockers are. The crew DO NOT wander around the ship with weapons, nor do they sleep with them. This is important, as you’ll see in the final section.
I see BJ ain’t about to be talked off of his vac-suit kick, so I leave be, though him wearing a suit gives rise to me thinking about vac suits, which gives rise to a whole chain of events later. We head out.
The dock is crowded, lots of mining flashes on uniforms here and bye. The SternMetal yards – or barracks – seems a sturdy power and I head thataway and chat with the guards. I get directions on shops such as a recommend to a gunsmith name of Collin, and a mention they’s pawn-shops round the gambling halls in-center. Iceman near gives up about this point, not seeing much in the way of pussy on show I guess. But he got ammo to buy so he stays the course.
We head in-city, I guess in-center, through tunnels that branch off in different directions, ‘til at last we reach a big central dome, uneven surfaced as though the mining boys can’t agree whose job it is. It’s flashing with all kinds of neon signs, and I stop and admire. Being in a domed vault really gives it something Heguz don’t got.
Then amongst the neon I spot Collin’s Armaments and head over. It’s open for business all right. Only, they got kind of cut-rate specials on show, which I ain’t excited about. Still and all the inside looks better so we check if we needs to stow our gear – we don’t – and step in.
Right off I ask about narco-darts for my mini, and fork over 450creds. I stowed most my creds back aboard and only brung cash money I can afford to enjoy losing, so that takes a mean bite out of it. Then I head out in-center, looking for a pawn-shop. I don’t get to see what the others buy until later.
Iceman has a number of ammo items and Pip wants a full range of gun options, so they are there a while. Pip also buys Choi a routine-type SMG and red-dot sight, and on BJ’s recommendation, four spare 30-round clips of ammo. BJ has some SMG ammo to buy, then turns back towards the port gate. On more sensible thought, he realizes he has to pass near the dock and re-boards the Bad’n’Ruin, sweating gently in his vac-suit. He could easily have left it until now. He gives Choi the SMG and then begins a strange di-bate (that’s the debate where two parties are on different wavelengths) about practice.
Physics and laws and stuff
Choi: Great! Can’t wait to try a few rounds
BJ: Well maybe you needa wait
Choi: But it free outside, right? I just suit up like you have been… this whole time
BJ: But I planning to fire needler rifle. You planning to fire a SMG
BJ: It 0.3G out there. Ye canna change the laws of physics [they both make the secret starship-engineer genuflection at this point] so you be firing yourself backward
Choi: Ah, I just dig myself in
BJ: Not bad. I was planning to lie down
Choi: Yeah that be easier
BJ: But those solid rounds, they come down on your head
Fortunately this di-bate is saved by BJ receiving a vox from Widow.
A find, no, make that two finds of a special kind
I swing into this pawn-shop and look around. Right away when the guy – a Bayvan – asks, I say I could be interested in a better class of vac-suit than what I got. He shows me a fine-looking number, and it’s 6K askin price. Only EVA ain’t never been my specialty in the service and for all I know it could be wasted. So I chime BJ and ask can he come over. Seems he never made it out of the dome, and will be around soon.
I tell the guy since I’m awaiting my friend, if there’s one thing that would stop me buying the suit, it would be if he had a hand-cannon type thing that will blow holes in a Klackon’s armor. A Klackon, he says, looking thoughtful, and in a little brings out a Gauss-rifle. I’m trying to get a heft of it, and BJ arrives about then.
BJ: Hey, a Gauss rifle! Hold that pose… no, look sexier, I’m taking a shot and sending it to Iceman
Widow (puts Gauss rifle down, strokes it lovingly): OK, how’s this?
BJ (takes shot, sends): Yeah, he’s gonna explode
Widow: I gotta improve that. I’m texting him a little message…
me an BJ done got your bitch an less you pay us 10k we gonna work her all night an she gonna love ever minute
The passion of the Iceman
Iceman, by this time, is long back at the Bad’n’Ruin, probably having gotten there before BJ. Mercifully his contribution to the di-bate is limited to comments like ‘or it could leave orbit’. Happily polishing his guns (again) before stowing them, he receives the pic and text in quick succession. He explodes out of the gun-locker area and up to the purser’s seat where Bex is in negotiations with a Main Haul merchant.
Bex: I’ll call you back. Right, talk soon…
Iceman: Bex! Bex! I need money!!
[It takes a while before he can make himself understood, as he rolls 8 on 12 Interaction, with+2 Persuasion]
Bex: So this on top of the 4k you just got? How much advance?
Iceman: As much as you can give me. Don’t make me beg, baby
Meanwhile, back at the dome, Pip is soon done shopping, because while this is not an up-market place prices are high.
Agent Wells: Excuse me, Pip Rogers?
Pip (recalls Agent Wells): Hi, you’re here Agent Wells?
Wells: Yes, here I am. Well, you’re looking well… are you looking to spend some time?
Wells: The coffee’s good. Well that is it’s not, but this place nearby is OK and food’s not bad, if you were thinking of lunch…??
Pip enjoys being treated to a lunch date and mildly flirts with Wells, who does question her about Lewis and events there, but is willing to be diverted by ‘bad memory syndrome’ and a glimpse of cleavage.
BJ takes advantage
Meanwhile back at the pawn-shop
BJ don’t make nothing of the vac-suit. So I’m none the wiser. I ask the guy put it aside for me and if I don’t find something better I’ll buy it. He says sure, but no guarantees.
I check over the Gauss rifle and is in good working order. [Widow makes a respectable +3 Personal Weapons Armorer check] I’m looking to see Iceman any second so I got the Gauss rifle cradled up between my thighs and like to hump it a little, as Iceman comes a-doggin’ in.
Widow: Oh yeah baby, do it for me, that it girl
Iceman: I GOT MONEY HOW MUCH IS IT OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD GAUSS RIFLE HOW MUCH????
Trader: Well now…
Iceman [rolls 3 on Interaction]: DON”T TELL ME IT’S MORE THAN 10K???
Trader: How much you got son?
Iceman (frantically tallies): 14,150 creds!!!
Trader: Ah, if only you had 850 more she could be yours now
BJ (adroitly): Say, now, I got 850 here, sell me your laser-rifle and the 850’s yours
Iceman: SOLD!!!! THAT’S 15K GAUSS RIFLE GAUSSRIFLE GAUSSRIFLE GAUSSRIFLE GAUSSRIFLE GAUSSRIFLE
Laughing like a sick drain BJ goes back aboard to fetch the universe’s cheapest laser rifle outside the port for a test-fire. Iceman suits up and brings the sector’s most expensive Gauss rifle out for a test-fire.
I amble round the shops a mite, don’t find no better vac-suit, and I get back to the dome and see Pip, so we head back aboard too. Plenty of time to look around other days, I guess. Pip allows as how she knows her EVA gear so we make a semi-date to go back around together. She allows as how she’s interested in good vac suits too.
The security works, kind of
BJ wakes as his security codes are tripped. He fumbles over the display and works out that the disturbance is at the Rec Room hatch – the main hatch appears to have already been jacked.
BJ’s squawk goes off on my vox and I hit the ground a-running, get to the bridge and slap open the gun-locker. I’m yelling one thing at BJ, Pip another and Iceman a third thing. Pip’s next through, I toss over her pistol. Then Iceman, shouldering the kid out the way, I let them tool up whiles I listen to Pip on comms to the port, reporting a break-in.
[BJ runs through to engineering, the drone active in the corridor above him.
Iceman OOC: What he needs now is a red shirt
He checks lock status, all is normal. Mysterious! He reports this.]
BJ allows as how the alarms ain’t a problem no more, so I call a search pattern.
Party order: Iceman, Widow, BJ, Pip. Iceman covers each port with Gauss, Widow opens, BJ goes through with SMG, Widow follows, Pip operates as follow-up if need be. Iceman covers back, and goes through last then leap-frogs to set the sequence up again.
Near the rec room BJ hears the door there shutting. I leave Iceman on alert there guarding that corridor, I take BJ and Pip and we race round, out the service hatch, up the gantry to the hatch that leads there, but no sign. It could have been a decoy door-rig, at that, meaning we got to re-search the passenger quarters. Which we do, but no sign.
Meanwhile Choi allows as how the cameras are all snide. Another search of the rec room later, Iceman finds a little black freeze-box that locks the cameras in one frame. Choi and BJ aim to take it apart, and see who might have built it. But nothing much to be done meantime. We check locks again and get shuteye.
That’s where we left it, with various notes by BJ to re-work security, and various thoughts from the rest of us as to whether we had a stowaway all along, or have one now. We may not have a game next week, so stay tuned but have patience!