Wednesday, July 3, 2019

GalDate: 3-7-4216
Enroute to Onlanyt-7 aboard the Invictus, the crew found that while they were not quite prisoners, they had limited access to the ship. After a week of observation and limited interaction, the group were approached again by Col. Matsu and the other officers. Col. Matsu briefed the group again on the Sathar and gave a general plan of the operation.

The Sathar had an unusual form of mind control, where they could overcome an individual’s will by oral commands. This could be broadcasted, or amplified in volume, but recordings appeared to have no effect. The Sathar could give complicated commands. Some which could be executed months later, triggered by the occurrence of specific events. Even more nefarious, the individual would likely have no idea that they were under control as the Sathar could give commands for the memories of their interactions to be buried deep within their victim’s subconscious. Only once the person was free from any mental domination would they possibly recall events of meeting the Sathar.

Their intelligence listed Onlanyt-7 as an independent system with a balkanized government. There would have to be some deft maneuvering within the system to avoid agitation from various government forces. Colonel Matsu suggested once in the system the Scalawag decouple, the crew land on the planet, and bring a large amount of attention to a series of ruins being excavated. They suspected that if the group could potentially highlight the research being done there, particularly if it were broadcasted sector-wide, it might induce any Sathar presence to act.

The second aspect of their role would be to relay any unusual activity from higher public officials. If there were any drastic events at the excavation site, or unusual occurances with local politicians (such as a murder-suicide or an abrupt policy decree), the crew would to activate special transponders each would be carrying. This would in turn activate a relay installed in the Scalawag. The Invictus would arrive in high orbit, monitor craft traffic and planet communication, and deploy a platoon of marines in power armor. The Invictus had the speed and weaponry to intercept any ships that departed the planet. While the marines in power armor had the defense and capability to neutralize any threats from the local military. Additionally the power armor suits utilized closed communication lines which could avoid any verbal commands from the Sathar. The marines could sweep the planet and find any hiding on surface.

Roxie and the group latched onto the idea of holding a concert at the event. It would broadcast the site’s location and significance as a means to bring sector-wide tourism to the planet. Col. Matsu agreed this could be a sufficient cover story for their presence as well as bring an undue amount of attention to the excavation site. It might be enough so that any potential Sathar were on the planet, they’d force their hand.

Weeks later the Invictus jumped into the system and the Scalawag launched towards the main system planet. The Invictus in turn headed to a tight orbit on the far side of a different planet’s moon, hiding its presence within the system. The group landed on the planet and began to work contacts among the three main governments. They were able to get permission to have the concert at the historical site and actively promoted the event across the planet and also utilized x-boat couriers to spread the news to holo-entertainment channels. Roxie and the crew went about making preparations to hold the event including promoting it heavily in the system media entertainment streams.

Days before the planned concert a courier delivered a small package and a holodisk addressed to Roxie. Playing the holodisk she saw both Bori Trova and Tannis Ortiz with Jan, secured to a chair behind them. Bori leered and told Roxie he wanted her to board their craft, alone, without any law enforcement presence. He assured her no harm and safe passage, but wanted her to testify publicly to judicial authorities on Blenavursai prime that she had orchestrated events to disparage his character. Upon doing that he was willing to let her part ways. Boris was also willing to let Jan go free. He waved to Tannis Ortiz, stating his associate had been eager to assist in tracking them down and was able to efficiently extract information from a former crew mate of theirs. Tannis hissed that it was a difficult, but fruitful interrogation. Roxie looked through the package and was aghast to find a human finger likely from Jan.

The crew discussed what to do and agreed to reach out to local authorities. They hoped to approach the docked ship supported by hidden law enforcement units. That evening they crossed the sparse field which served as a crude starport for the planet. A loading ramp descended and Tannis appeared with two bodyguards in tow and Jan as a captive.

Roxie walked towards the ship with a squad of law enforcement nearby, disguised as dockyard maintenance workers. Before Roxie could speak with Tannis, some of the law enforcement members drew their weapons and fired on other officers. The group suddenly realized that this could be the work of hidden Sathar agents. After triggering the transponder to the Invictus, a firefight broke out with Jan being able to escape. Roxie was stunned by a shock grenade deftly thrown by Tannis and dragged aboard. Looking over his shoulder, Tannis produced a small detonator and flipped a switch.

A small explosion was seen off in the distance, Grog and the others stood agape as it had to have been the Scalawag. Bori’s ship shot off into high orbit. The crew relayed the Invictus to pursue. However Captain Winters stated that the Invictus was actively intercepting another craft which had left orbit. The group quickly went to the Scalawag to assess the damage.

The explosion was small and the tough ship’s hull was still intact, but the damage to the engine was significant. Grog realized that even working around the clock it would take weeks to get the Scalawag jump-worthy. Meanwhile on Bori’s craft, Roxie was lead to a cryochamber for low passage. Bori reiterated if she was willing to offer her full cooperation, he would release her without harm (and not actively promote her other activities, such as the killing of Dr. Brintt). She complied for now and let the cryofluid wash over her, slipping off into a dreamless sleep as the ship jumped out of the system.

Back on Onlanyt-7 days passed and the remaining crew members tried to go through their limited options to pursue Bori. The Invictus was not responding and no other local craft seemed to have ship which could make multiple parsec jumps. However fortune shifted for them. A DSS Federation Scout craft landed and two familiar Yazarians unboarded. Loni and Tano gave friendly waves. They had picked up a priority message to all Federation craft to assist in transporting a group of individuals to the Blenavursai system. When they saw Grog was among the crew needing assistance, they made their way to the planet as soon as possible. ‘After all,’ grinned Loni, ‘We weren’t going to abandon our favorite Federation scout.’ They boarded the scout craft. It would be an uncomfortable low passage, but the cramped ship was all engine and fuel, easily capable of 6 parsec jumps. They would be able to reach Blenavursai prime before their quarry, and formulate a plan to save their friend.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

GalDate: 5.6-6-4216
Roxie dropped her pistol in shock as Arilee Farthen wailed and cradled the remains of Dr. Brintt. The crew moved forward to secure Roxie’s firearm. With armed men suddenly approaching the Scalawag, everyone did their best to keep control of the chaotic situation. Rexan Rin demanded an explanation, of which Roxie could not respond.

Roxie was able to piece together through fragmented memories she knew what she was doing in a mechanical sense. But somehow it was as if her actions were buried away within her subconscious. A type of automatic response or hypnotic state where she was conscious, thinking, but not engaged with what she was doing. She thought back to times in the past recent weeks where she felt like she had experienced lost time. She now realized during these times she was interacting with others and conducting tasks as if working through reflexive action, almost like an automaton but with more nuance.

Rexan admitted to the others that Roxie had told him their destination. He had wanted to stake a claim to the excavation site before Dr. Brintt to steal the glory (and was prepared to back up his actions with force). However he didn’t seek to cause Dr. Brintt harm. He demanded the crew remain in their quarters as a skeleton crew of his men piloted the ship to Usenedar Prime. He was adamant this had to be reported to local authorities.

Tense hours passed with the ships leaving Usenedar 6 to the prime planet within the system. The group were able to cleverly take control of the ship and secure Rexan’s men without violence. As the Scalawag broke off on a different vector to make a jump pursued by Rexan, a large ship entered in proximity space warning both vessels to power down and prepare to be boarded.

Invictus, an Imperium frigate, docked with the Scalawag and strangely a squad of Federation marines boarded. Securing everyone they separated the crew from Rexan’s personnel. Each member of the crew were isolated and subjected to a thorough medical examination. Roxie overheard medical personnel making a comment she had some unusual brain function, but was otherwise in good health and not under the effects of any altered drugs.

Hours later they were greeted by the newly commissioned Captain Tina Dillon of the Federation Marines, Captain Miles Winters of the Imperium Navy, and Colonel Mura Matsu of the Imperium Intelligence Service. Colonel Matsu explained days after the Scalawag had left the Etudques system, a local operative observing the work of Dr. Brintt had destroyed the excavation site, eliminated all the local researchers involved with the project, destroyed any evidence of Dr. Britt’s research, and then killed himself. This had matched a pattern of past sabotage and destructive behavior of higher status citizens among both the Federation and Imperium.

Both governments were convinced it was the work of an alien species called the Sathar. Little was known of them, however their actions appeared to hide the discovery of a new stable jump dimension. It was projected that this could potentially reach 20 parsecs in distance. With such a stable jump dimension proven, it would lead to rapid development of ship drive technology.

Although such a discovery would clearly provide an advantage to either respective galactic power, the Sathar was deemed such a threat, each government was willing to work together to stop them. The Sather appeared to have psychic powers with a form of mind control. It has been suspected these aliens were directing powerful individuals both in the Federation and Imperium to enact sabotage and acts of subterfuge. Worries of bringing forth another galactic war, or potentially allow the Rezolians an opportunity to strike, was simply too great a risk.

They asked the crew to willingly participate in Onyx Snow, a joint military operation to travel to the Onlanyt-7 system. It was suspected that another site of ruins were located in the system. Col. Matsu had intelligence the Sathar might travel to that system and destroy evidence of newly discovered research being conducted there. Capture of the species and potentially any technology they employed was too great an opportunity to slip by. The crew discussed their plan of action among themselves as the Invictus slipped into jump space.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

GalDate: 5.5-6-4216
The crew of the Scalawag entered the Usenedar System without incident. Under the direction of Dr. Brintt the ship went into orbit around Usenedar 6, a small planet on periphery of the system. Grog was able to utilize her skills in planetary sciences to highlight potential sites on the surface. Entering the atmosphere, they went to a priority location and began more thorough scans.

Sure enough, initial scans and desomoter readings from the Scalawag indicated that roughly 10-20 meters underground were areas of far denser material than the surrounding terrain. The group landed the ship down, set up a temporary laboratory protected from the thin atmosphere, unloaded excavation equipment, and began to explore the tundra. Over several days they were able to uncover stone ruins set in a circular pattern, each etched in intricate symbols and logographs.

One stone section was removed for further study in the temporary laboratory and over dinner Dr. Brintt explained his exciting discovery to the crew. Initial isotope dating of the material indicated the site was very old. However in depth scanning of the removed stone section showed the engravings were etched using advanced tools and then the surface section was molecularly bonded to the standing rock frames, a sort of stone ‘dry wall’ procedure. This was far more advanced than what would be expected for the technological period at the time. More interesting, it is quite possible these written sections were prepared at a different site and then added to the structure.

Further, the engravings proved Dr. Brintt’s major hypothesis. There was a universal framework of mathematical concepts which provided a foundation of discipline knowledge to all species. This would lead to a working primer of quantum physics and eventually jump drive technology. Could it be that the same aliens which spread humanity and other uplifted species from Sol also imparted the primer of higher level math and physics too? He continued with an even more exciting discovery, there was indeed a seventh dimension which can be traversed. This opened the possibility that other drives and means to travel beyond 6 parsecs was possible.

The following day the group continued their excavation when disaster struck. Bren while boring holes for explosive charges broke open a small chamber that was teeming with aggressive alien creatures. As Bren was brought down with the insect-like creatures teeming over his body, the crew managed to destroy all the beasts. But Bren was dead. With no close relatives to send his remains to, Dr. Brintt suggested he be buried near the site. It was a somber evening and every crew member spent their time alone, with some even getting off ship to walk the icy surface in quiet contemplation.

The following morning a proximity alarm went off at the Scalawag’s bridge. A sleek craft entered the atmosphere and touched down. Several figures emerged, most in tactical HEV suits sporting hefty automatic weapons, save for one figure. A high rez image scan displayed a recognizable face through the suit helmet. It was Rexan Rin.

Both Grog’s and Syn’s minds raced. They had sent off a communication to Rexan telling him the system Dr. Brintt would be exploring, but this was on Qasanzaia prime. Even by the fastest x-boat communication it would take a week to get to the Etudques system. It was impossible that he would have been able to travel here so quickly. Had one someone else informed Rexan of their destination weeks earlier?

Their thoughts were shattered a moment later. Roxie cooly put her body pistol to the side of Dr. Brintt’s head and fired two shots. With practiced ease she produced a detonator, activated it, and the entire site and laboratory shelter were demolished as a ring of fiery explosions went off. The stunned crew stood motionless as fine stone debris rained down on the hull of the Scalawag and Dr. Brintt’s steaming corpse lay sprawled out on the deck before them.

Monday, April 1, 2019

GalDate: 4-6-4216
The group made preparations to depart the Etudques system. Dr. Gavin Brintt, his assistant Ms. Arilee Farthen, and Bren (a security specialist) would travel with the crew. Grog, Syn, and Roxie all had their own various tasks before leaving the planet.

The two weeks in jump space were fairly uneventful. Bren was deemed a capable ex-military soldier by Hadrian and Bren ended up having some interesting personal time with Grog. Tensions flared with some of the crew, particularly Grog, after Dr. Brintt talked more of his work and expounded on some topics that bordered on speciest, disparaging her alien lineage as an uplifted race.

Landing on a stopover on Qasanzaia prime, the crew all sought personal space from their patron passengers. Trying to keep a relatively low profile as Qasanzaia prime was operated by Atlas and Dahl, Rom and Hadrian spent some time at the starport terminal bars. Rom quickly fell into the company of a group of asteroid miners and as the evening wore on, exposed his negative opinions on megacorporations a tad more loudly. Grog and Syn agreed to send off some communications by x-boat (including a polite greeting to Grand Dame Vera Allister).

A day later Syn enlisted the aid of Roxie, Hadrian, and Bren to sell their remaining copy of the Project Lightfoot Data. Syn had concern keeping the data and thought it best to unload it on the market as soon as possible. Her reasoning was bolstered by getting a fair price before free distribution of the data by Rom spread too far throughout the sector, and also to muddy the trail if Torgue was seeking to find who else was distributing copies of Project Lightfoot data to competitors. They managed to find a subsidiary company that was eager to purchase the data and arrange their own sale of the developed technology to different megacorporations.

While most of the crew were away for the transaction, a newsflash from the planetary media stream showed Rom being taken into custody by Atlas security. A long wanted instigator and industrial terrorist, Atlas news media claimed that security footage of a loud patron at a starport terminal bar led to a chain of events confirming his identity. He was promptly taken by megacorporation authorities and detained in a secure facility.

The group was torn on what to do but Dr. Brintt reminded them of their obligations. The crew decided to complete the task at hand. With further planning and investigation they felt they could better devise a course of action to free Rom, whether through addressing his charges formally by judicial procedure, or possibly attempt a jailbreak. The crew boarded the Scalawag and arranged to make their jump to the Usenedar system, their final destination.

As the craft made its way to the 100 DLT of the system, Roxie talked with Grog on their decision to sell the Project Lightfoot data (which Grog agreed was a prudent action). Syn scoured through USIN what she could about Rom’s arrest. Most reports echoed what was on the news, Rom was identified after patrons reported of his brash behavior at the starport terminal. But buried deeper within the secure Atlas security reports another line of information was discovered. Rom was arrested due to a direct communication to Atlas security by an anonymous source.

Friday, January 11, 2019

GalDate: 1-6-4216
The Scalawag spent 3 weeks in deep space making multiple jumps which finally leading them to the Etudques system. Jan decided that she would depart the ship. She had enough credits to spend some time scouting for employment with a new crew, or at least low passage to more prosperous systems. The Scalawag crew went about looking for employment opportunities themselves.

Syn was notified of a USIN message from her Torgue handler, Ms. White. Accessing the message system at the starport terminal she received a succinct text. ‘Your services with Torgue megacorporation have been terminated. Please take this payment as your severance package. - Ms. White.’ Along with the message was a script for 6,000 galcredits.

Meanwhile, the remaining crew sought some R&R and job opportunities after being cooped up on the ship for weeks. Roxie worked her contacts with the planet’s underworld to find a supply of pancrosynth. A contact directed her to an new crime syndicate player which dabbled in narcotics, an enigmatic Mr. Sin. Roxie arranged the buy leading her to an old industrial zone. Weaving through an abandoned office building, she entered a simple room with a one way mirror and a voice comm unit. The voice told her to sit and make a simple exchange of money for the pancrosynth.

She was offered a small dose for sample which she eagerly did to ease her encroaching withdrawal symptoms. She came to hours later finding herself wandering doing some shopping with the dosage of drugs in her bag. A quick analysis of the remaining drugs from the ship’s autodoc system indicated the pancrosynth was pure. However she suspected that her ‘sample’ dose was laced with some manner of narcotic.

The group were able to get two potential leads for employment. One was a Ms. Arilee Farthen that represented a renowned anthropologist and physicist, Dr. Gavin Brintt. Dr. Brintt was investigating a recent excavation in the system and needed a crew to transport a number of wall sections from some ancient ruins for further analysis. For 15,000 credits they would pick up the engraved walls from a moon within the system, and leave them at a secure warehouse on Etudques prime. Time was of the essence as well as discretion keeping the operation secret.

After being offered the job, Hadrian was approached by Rexan Rin. A wealthy industrialist and admitted amateur archaeologist, he also was interested in the stone structure engravings and offered twice what Dr. Brintt was paying. Hadrian was non-committal and said he needed to confer with this comrades. Deciding to stick to their honor of agreement with their initial employer, they never replied to Rexan Rin’s offer.

After prepping the ship, the group made their way to a remote moon in the system. Apparently independent miners had stumbled on a series of ancient ruins buried under the surface over 6 months ago. For nearly a month now Dr. Brintt offered his skills in assisting the local university, overseeing the excavation and survey of the site, all the while maintaining a more active cover of providing guest lectures on Etudques prime. The group met a local graduate student and loaded several large sections of walls that were removed from the structure. Each stone wall was engraved with a series of intricate symbols and patterned dots. The student said that Dr. Brintt had studied the wall sections intensely, but wanted to do a deeper analysis of the material composition of the walls.

The Scalawag launched and returned to Etudques prime, only to be attacked in transit. The crew were able to disable their attacker’s ship and landed safely, depositing the goods to Arilee and her assistants. Learning of the attack, and the proposition by Rexan Rin, Dr. Brintt contacted the group directly. He wanted to employ them to leave within days and travel to the Usenedar system. He requested they assist his travel and oversee his safety as he explored another suspected site within that system. With an offer of 75,000 credits as well as fuel and starport berthing fees, the group decided the offer was enticing enough and began their preparations to get off world.

Monday, December 24, 2018

GalDate: 2-5-4216
The crew had landed the Attica at a colony port. Fortunately the remote system planet was effectively an X class starport, with little oversight from authorities provided they made sufficient ship berth payments for the week. In order to clear the Scalawag from the main system port they required proper documentation, or at least some good forgeries. The crew decided to see about getting some fake ship docking clearance papers. Hopefully of enough quality to get the landing gear restraints removed and the ship cleared for offworld launch.

They decided to leave the remaining Attica crew in stasis and offered Jan an opportunity to join the crew for at least a system jump. Jan was adamant that she wanted nothing to do with any violent crime, and was seeking an opportunity to make a clean break from the crew of the Attica and possibly see about signing on with another. The company tabled any decision about her joining formally for now, but were willing to align with Hadrian's wishes that at the very least they see she got to another system.

The issue at hand was to get enough funds to secure fake ship berth clearance forms for Prirmagarus prime. Roxy worked her criminal contacts and obtained an offer from a local representative of the criminal underworld.

The planet law enforcement were about to transfer evidence from a district enforcement office to a central storage facility. This was evidence that the criminals this fixer represented wanted to recover. They offered to forge the needed papers, provided the crew could recover the evidence in approximately 4 days. After that, the evidence would be in a high security storage facility, unlikely to be obtained (and then probably entered as evidence for trial). The contact suggested the group strike the district facility soon, where there was more lax security and less officers, or potentially in transit while it was being moved in an armored vehicle.

The group set about a plan to hijack the ground vehicle as it made its rounds to district units before finally returning to the central evidence storage facility. Under the cover of the weekly religious pilgrimage that went through the starport, the group was able to get on the Scalawag and recover their gear. Jan was emphatic about not getting involved with the hijack. She was willing to watch the ship and dissuade any inquiries from the port security though.

After some planning and preparation, the group made a quick strike against the vehicle as it went through a remote section of the capital. The crew were able to secure the ground vehicle and evidence while inflicting no casualties on the law enforcement guards. They decided to take more evidence than their intended prize. Later that evening, the crew offered the underworld fixer the requested evidence, plus additional files and materials recovered during the hijack. With sufficient payment received the criminal representative produced fake port clearance papers.

With the papers in hand, and not too close inspection from security, the group was able to gain access to the Scalawag and launch into orbit. Before risking another run in with Prirmagarus system law enforcement, the group quickly plotted a course to a different quadrant seeking opportunities to refill their dwindling coffers.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Low Lottery

Cryostasis is an exceedingly safe medical technology for humans and a vast majority of alien species. Repeated cycling through cryostasis via continual low passage jumps can be lethal however, with the patient usually suffering a mishap during stasis resulting in immense cellular and tissue damage once the person is brought out of stasis. Official Traveller Society statistics claim this is a 1 in 2.7 million chance. However poor maintenance of equipment, reuse of cryostasis fluids, and other poor operating practices increases this probability (although most would claim it’s still within the range of 1 in a million). Because of this rare chance of mishap, most passengers see low passage as a cheap, but somewhat desperate means of travel. Mid to high passage options are more preferred among galactic travelers.

The military however doesn’t have much of a choice in using low passage. It is no surprise then with soldiers going on multiple jumps, long deployments, and few opportunities to spend paychecks, that creative opportunities to spend cash are practiced. One such tradition is the low lottery.

Every jump, soldiers contribute 1-5 credits into a company pool. If there ever is a mishap and a soldier dies during cryostasis, 75% of the pool would go to the soldier's family and loved ones, while the remaining 25% would be spent by the company for a wake in remembrance of the departed. Given the frequency of jumps, number of personnel, and rare occurrences of fatalities, these pools could end up being quite a fortune.

However as the low lottery made its way over to civilian circles, it took a darker form. Like the military practice, a crew would contribute to a pool however they would also wager on a particular passenger. If a mishap occurred and the passenger died, the ‘winning’ choice would claim the pool or split among other crew members that made the same passenger selection. This dark game is kept off any official records, but anyone spending enough time in star ports among ship crews and merchant marines will find the occasional ship that runs a low lottery.

An even darker practice are captains and crews that actually fix a low lottery, randomly selecting a low passenger to have some misfortune during a jump. This criminal activity is practically considered an urban legend. The Traveller Society views this in addition to homicide as a form of traveler insurance fraud (where beneficiaries would collect insurance for an improperly claimed accidental death), and aggressively conducts a thorough investigation if a person dies during low passage. However get a Traveller Society insurance investigator filled up with enough drinks, they might let slip that this type of crime does indeed happen, even if it’s tremendously rare.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

GalDate: 1-5-4216
The company woke groggily from cryosleep to be hauled from the pods, hands bound, and thrown to the floor of a ship. They saw themselves surrounded by the crew of the Attica, the passenger freighter tasked with returning them to Blenavursai Prime. In addition to the crew was the bounty hunter, Tannis Ortiz, with two tough looking mercenaries in tow. Tannis asked where Deacon was. Sure enough the group failed to see their pilot and instead saw Hadrian, an old acquaintance of Syn and Rom. The retired Imperium space marine had booked a low passage on the Attica by chance and for some reason was revived with the rest of the group.

The captain mumbled something about a low lottery and Tannis immediately shot him. He growled for the cryologs. A stammering technician produced them and for tense minutes Tannis pored over them. He threw the PDD to the first mate and said there was a backdoor on the cryologs. Obviously the tech was throwing the lottery for winnings, and even worse, would likely produce the logs as evidence against the crew whenever he mustered off ship. Tannis shot the technician and demanded to know more about this stranger in place of Deacon.

Tannis roughly got a DNA sample from Hadrian and ran a biometrics check through his database on known felons. Sure enough, Hardian was wanted for questioning by Omnidyne megacorporation regarding industrial espionage. Tannis told the first mate that the Attica would wait in deep space for a week. He needed time to return to Bori Trova and explain the situation, and hopefully leverage Hadrian’s warrant by Omnidyne for leniency in failing to secure the entire crew of the Scalawag.

His last order to the remaining crew was that no one be returned to the cryopods. The prisoners should remain locked in crew quarters until the ship would make it’s final jump to Blenavursai Prime. Tannis left abruptly and the group were detained in different ship's quarters.

Days past and the group sought a means to escape. Both Hadrian and Roxy were able to sway crew members to be more sympathetic to their situation. While Syn and Grog were able to get control of ship systems when released by the crew to help with emergency repairs. After nearly 4 days in deep space, they made their move and commandeered the ship, with the aid of one of Attica’s crew, Jan, a former merchant marine.

The group decided to return to the Prirmagarus system, but land on a remote planet. Attica’s crew, save for Jan, made the trip in low passage. They landed the old ship without incident paying unregistered docking fees at the sparse port.

Having proof of the crew handing them off to a bounty hunter instead of authorities, as well as evidence of running a deceitful low lottery gave them some leverage over Attica’s crew. Jan wanted away from her old crew and off the ship, while another of Attica’s crew, Tormis, was enamored by Roxy and sympathetic enough towards her to likely do something foolish for her.

But the Scalawag was still impounded on another planet in the system. Even worse, Tannis had now probably realized the Attica did not make the jump to the Blenavursai system and would likely be heading their way. At the worst, they’d have a week and a half before the dangerous bounty hunter would arrive in the system. With a measly 3,000 credits and a full tank of unrefined fuel, they contemplated their next move.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

GalDate: 4-4-4216
The group discussed a plan of action to retrieve the blackmail material. Additional research on Phoebe Tameron indicated some increase of her security for the company, roughly the time Mason Pratoria was contacted by the blackmailer. The crew decided to first investigate the company with the entire group acting as a mining corporation seeking a supplier related to chemical engineering products that Phoebe Tameron’s company provided.

With Rom playing the part of the CEO and visiting Phoebe, Syn and Roxie were able to step out during the meeting allowing Syn an opportunity to get into a server room. Once inside she deftly was able to install an override to the security system that could be accessed remotely (provided she was close enough). Later that evening the group returned and made a successful break in, retrieving physical photographs and a portable memory tab from a hidden safe within Phoebe's office.

Back at the Scalawag the crew looked over the contents of the memory tab in more detail. It depicted Mason Pratoria in an ugly sexual tryst with a young woman. Clearly this was something that would damage the reputation of the candidate who ran on a platform of respectable values. However the group debated what to do with it. It was decided to see about getting a better offer from a third party that might benefit from the truth.

They reached out to representatives from opposing political parties and negotiated a 20,000 credit payment for the material that would be given to each faction. It would take some time for each political party to obtain a payment in galcredits however. As the group waited, they overheard on their communication line of Syn being arrested as the Scalawag was raided by starport authorities. Quickly wrapping up the negotiation, the group returned to the starport to find out what they could only to be arrested themselves.

They were led to a detention facility at the starport. Their personal effects carefully categorized, they were told by authorities they were wanted for an inquiry related to the shootout and kidnapping in the Blenavursai system. Fortunately the individual was found only injured in the Scalawag’s medbay. Nevertheless, they were requested to be sent back to Blenavursai to answer questions officially. The Scalawag still would remain on planet. The group several days later were escorted onto a small passenger freighter and taken to the lower berths. As the liquid gel matrix washed over them and they fell into cryosleep, they wondered what final fate would befall them on Blenavursai Prime.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

GalDate: 3-4-4216
The Scalawag jumped into deep space and the crew decided to make another jump to the Prirmagarus system. With a high population planet and D class starport, they felt it a good system to potentially offload their unwilling passenger in cryosleep. After another week in jumpspace they landed on Prirmagarus prime without incident.

The crew split off each seeking to get some R&R and handle pressing tasks after being on the ship for several weeks. Roxie under the protective watch of Deke managed to find a supplier of Pancrosyth, but was only able to secure a two week supply. Grog began work on the ship, but the limited resources of the starport and extensive damage would impede quick repairs. Her estimate was that it would take roughly two weeks to make the Scalawag ship shape.

Being a Federation controlled system, aliens were more commonplace on the populated world. Grog found herself the object of attention from a pair of Yazarian Scout Service crew that were in the system for the week. Everyone else also enjoyed the forced downtime with Rom and Syn also getting to know the people of Prirmagarus better. Both of them got a better feel for local politics and understood that a major capital election was mere weeks away with it likely having a larger impact on the system as a whole.

Syn idly browsing USIN came across GENN, a celebrity entertainment network and found a shocking report. Roxie was in the news, even worse, their exploits on several systems were highlighted, including the shootout on Blenavursai Prime and their involvement in exposing the criminal activities of Bori Trova. Even more distressing was the angle of Roxie working with Rom, a reported industrial terrorist wanted by Atlas Megacorp.

Complications began to ramp up for the crew. Nearing the second week on Prirmagarus Prime, the cryosystems began to falter. They pulled the unconscious thug out of sleep. Deke using his medical expertise was able to maintain the man in an unconscious state within the medbay, but this was a temporary solution.

With Grog overseeing ship repairs (now simply occasionally confirming the status of automated repairs to structural damage), mounting repair bills, topping off with unrefined fuel, looming maintenance costs, as well as an encroaching second week of starport berthing fees, the group felt it time to seek out local employment. A USIN post asked for individuals that could conduct a break in to obtain sensitive data. Following up on the employment offer the crew met a popular local politician, Mason Pratoria. Well liked and a family man, the young gentleman had an established successful career in public service. He claimed that he was the victim of blackmail regarding some sensitive personal affairs but assured the crew it was nothing criminal. He suspected a rival of the same party which he had beaten in primaries earlier in the year was the person responsible.

His primary suspect was a young, driven, company owner, Phoebe Tameron. She was new to politics and known to simply not accept failure. Likely she had made it a personal vendetta to sink his career. He was unsure of where the blackmail material was, but suspected it at her private residence.

The crew did some preliminary recon of the woman’s home and found a well secure structure with surveillance and security from both protection droids as well as a pair of burly servants. The home itself was on a relatively expansive property in a restricted community. Not quite the easy smash and grab, the crew set about planning their break in and hopeful recovery of the wanted blackmail material.

One interesting event happened to the crew. They observed a multitude of the city population walking through the starport. After questioning the locals and some digging of information on local customs through USIN, they found that most residents practiced a religion that required they make a monthly pilgrimage to a holy site located on the starport grounds. Every three days they could expect nearly unrestricted access to the entire port as a multitude of people visited.