Wednesday, March 22, 2017

GalDate: 3-3-4216

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The crew of the Scalawag made their way to the Dedsyere System. Dedsyere Prime is a mountainous, bitterly cold planet with sparse vegetation, but has a high population in densely packed cities. The planet is run by a council established by 4 mega-corps (Atlas, Dahl, Eridian, Kisuton) and Dedsyere United Corporation (DU Corp), a national conglomerate of planetary companies.

Some communities spiral out of the mega cities, but the majority of the population lives in networked hive city/industrial complexes. Almost everyone is a corporate employee of one sort or another. There is little private commerce. The exception being eateries which are the most common private businesses, as all other goods are sold from various company vendors.

The group set about planning how to infiltrate the NovoHaas corporate headquarters located closer to south pole. The building was on the periphery of a smaller city among other industrial buildings. Its entrance was limited to outside traffic through two main tunnels; one for larger vehicles and one regulated to passenger rail and foot traffic. There was an aircraft landing pad for visiting VIPs and about 200-300 yards of clear ground surrounding the building which rested next to a frozen channel.

Investigating the company, Syn discovered that security was tight and would require extra effort to get through various areas within the building. The headquarters had limited outside access with high security, and unofficial visits would be very difficult to arrange. The building itself served as both headquarters and also as a research facility. Interestingly, more dignitaries and social visits were arranged by aircraft landing on the roof rather than through the light tunnel traffic on the ground.

Additionally, the USIN link to NovoHaas was limited. Hacking security would have to be on site as outside network traffic was regulated to simple communication and on different servers from the NovoHaas mainframe. Internal communication which needed to be directed outside would go through PUSIN used to communicate with other NovoHaas company facilities. Syn identified PUSIN as a likely weak link they could exploit.

They decided to work in two teams. One team would try and infiltrate NovoHaas directly in a synchronized effort with another team hacking into the orbiting PUSIN node. Some preliminary legwork indicated that there would be a visiting delegation from another company at the end of the week. Syn also identified the local food company that would cater the event. Some hacking of the food business system (with its paltry network security) allowed her to successfully forge delivery manifests and information on uniforms and vehicle decals that the company used.

Roxie successfully reached out to her criminal contacts which led her to some individuals that could help with obtaining a transport truck, as well as uniforms and containers that could pass as catered food. The general plan would be that Deek would ‘deliver’ the food carts holding both Roxie and Rom. He then would drop off the truck and take a rented flier to NovoHaas HQ for extraction. To help with the flier rental and coordinating the truck drop off, a local criminal alien named Karo assisted Deek.

The team prepared a few days for their operation and early in the morning just before sunrise, they began their infiltration. Syn and Grog flew the Scalawag up to orbit and then made an EVA to the orbiting PUSIN node using a light sled. They hacked into the PUSIN and managed to reboot the security, just as Deek dropped off the food delivery to the HQ. He then went about dropping off the truck to the huge, fur covered alien, Karo at the airfield to switch into the flier.

With the security system in reboot, the team inside used altered security passes to find the Project Lightfoot hardware and hack into a mainframe server. Using a multikeypass crafted by Syn, this device could be used to help decipher the encryption keys that the corporation used. Meanwhile in orbit, Syn began a remote backup of the encrypted data through the PUSIN node. The team on the ground began to make their way to the roof landing pad.

At the airfield, Deek dropped off the truck for Karo, only to find the lumbering, thick-furred alien was flanked by a pair of criminal comrades. They figured that the group was likely going to break into the corporate building and steal something. They decided it was an opportune time to let Deek’s group do all the work, while they ran off with the stolen goods. With a gun as his side, Deek piloted the flier to the extraction point (but a subtle shift during a pat down meant his pistol was still under his bulky arctic jacket).

In orbit, Syn triggered a defense system during the hack. Remote drones clambered about the surface of the PUSIN satellite node, as Grog fired off laser rounds. Syn was finally able to complete the download. The pair took the sled to the orbiting Scalawag and eventually headed back to the surface starport.

Just as the airship landed, upper floor security was notified of the break in, and a trail of opened doors and elevator lift trips with a particular set of keycards. They pursued the pair first demanding answers, then firing off rounds as the pair fled. The criminals stepped out of the ship and Deek saw his opportunity to take control of the flier and shot his opponent in the cabin. A firefight erupted and the group managed to get rid of both the security and the double-crossing criminals. The outgunned Karo lept off the building roof to land in deep snowdrifts below. His hairy form likely allowing him to survive on the surface of the planet while he skulked away.

With automated anti-aircraft guns blasting, Deek deftly piloted the aircraft back to the main starport. Hours later they disembarked and quickly boarded the Scalawag. With the coordinates of Blenavursai set, the ship jumped to the nearby system. While in jumpspace, Syn decrypted the data and the group forced open the sealed container to determine what Project Lightfoot exactly was.

They discovered a portable fusion reactor the size of a backpack attached to a belt and metal conduit webbing. Along with the exosuit webbing was two slim, handheld devices. The suit could teleport the wearer between these two devices, arriving within meters of their proximity. Syn discovered the teleportation device would eventually cause irreparable cellular and genetic damage to the user. Interestingly, much of the original research for the device was obtained by espionage efforts against an Imperial military research facility. Speeding towards Blenavursai, the group grappled with what to do with this technological treasure in their possession and the decrypted data on the device.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

GalDate: 4-2-4216

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The crew of the Scalawag returned to Syroma Prime and went about securing a supply of laser rifles. Syn was contacted and she said her contract work was being wrapped up, and that she would join them on the ship shortly. After obtaining the weapons, Rom returned to the ship with the cargo. Roxie, Deacon, and Grog put their efforts into tracking down Garret Bechtel, their former employer for the first weapons run, to find out why the shipment to the miners was shortchanged. This lead them to a more seedy division in one of the cities. Confronting Garret, heated words were exchanged that exploded into a firefight.

The group escaped and deftly avoided any law enforcement. However as the Scalawag broke orbit, already the local newsfeeds were putting out a notice they were persons of interest in a homicide. The ship landed on the remote moon colony and the crew delivered the weapons as promised. Securing their payment from the rebel miners, they left the station just as Atlas corporation security were alerted of their presence.

Several Atlas Security SFACs went in pursuit of the Scalawag, but the ship was able to escape, making a jump to Flerenoria. During the week in jumpspace, Syn talked about her contract work. She was asked from Torgue to decrypt some data and send it to her employers (which she did). Being curious, she investigated part of it and found information related to some type of military technology using an exoskeleton or a suit. The technology also involved human experimentation which had some complications to the user.

The crew jumped into the system and landed on Flerenoria Prime with no incident. The crew set about maintenance and refueling the ship. They discovered that 5,000 credits were delivered as a secure payment from the Imperial Navy for information provided during the investigation of the research base in the Syroma system. Syn also received the following message:

Urgent Communication: Travel to Dedsyere system. Infiltrate NovoHaas corporate headquarters and obtain prototype and all data regarding Project Lightfoot. Data and all obtained material are to be delivered to local Torgue office in Blenavursai. Hiring of personnel to assist in operation is acceptable. 12,000 credits are being provided to fund operation.

Monday, November 28, 2016

GalDate: 3.6-2-4216

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The crew decided to land on Syroma to refuel, restock, and contact Col. Matsa Toshi with their findings. En route Syn seemed preoccupied with USIN messages, and when landing, she told the company she needed a few days on planet to handle a private contract request. Leaving the group to get a local spaceport hotel, the remaining crew went about securing supplies and following up on potential USIN job opportunities. They also decided to send a brief of the recent events to Grand Dame Vera Allister on Sasiria

The crew finally agreed to take a load of SMGs to a mining colony within the system as a courier for delivery. The mining colony was settled with approximately 500 plus Gangi. They are thin but very strong, bug eyed, lizard-like aliens that had settled in the system during 100 year war when it was under Federation control. Now that Syroma is a neutral system, ATLAS mining corporation is re-negotiating terms of ownership looking to add time and expenses to their existing agreement, delaying the process of Gangi autonomy. A minority faction within the Gangi are seeking weapons to seize control or foment dissent.

The crew soon realized that their original patron for the job, Garret Bechtel had provided less guns and ammunition than what was previously agreed with by the Gangi. Calet, an alien rebel leader only offered half the promised payment of 3,000 credits. The group came to a settlement of 1,500 credits, another 500 credits worth of raw ore cargo, and a promise to purchase 10 laser rifles for 10,000 credits. The crew launched from the interior system mining colony towards Syroma to see if they could find a weapon dealer to fulfill their part of the new agreement.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

GalDate: 3.5-2-4216

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The crew of the Scalawag began a tense negotiation among the three parties. They discovered the Imperial ship had gotten a call for military help on a humanitarian mission, while the Federation ship was following protocol entering the system to check up on an overdue message from the research station. Official orders were circulated and appeared as if no one was lying. An agreement was struck for delegations from each ship to board the Scalawag and get a debriefing from the staff and marines from the research station.

During that time, Lt. Dillan took Grog and Deek aside. She asked that they return to the moon research station and track down the fate of her soldier that took the ATV. She emphatically stated for them not to risk boarding the station, but instead see if the marine had gone to some other abandoned structure in the old mining facilities. She requested they report anything they found back to a Col. Mats a Toshi in the Imperial Navy, and they would be compensated for their actions.

With all parties satisfied with the debriefing, the Imperial officer left a package for the crew containing Galcredits as payment for their services fulfilling the supply run and a small bonus for their help. The crew discussed their options and decided to return to the moon and see if they could track down the lone marine.

They picked up his trail and a faint energy signature within an abandoned mining complex. As they approached they came across a figure sitting in an ATV. Exiting the ship and on food they investigated further only to be attacked by a laser sentry. Destroying the sentry, they found that the figure was the missing marine. For no apparent reason they sat in the ATV, and opened up their face mask to the vacuum of space.

This was outside a habitat that was the focal point of the energy signature. Investigating inside it appeared to have been abandoned, but someone was living inside for what appeared to be several weeks. Deek found the debris, patterns of food and water consumption, and general state of the habitat unusual. It was not something that appeared to be living conditions typical of a human and instead be an alien. Syn managed to link into a buried network security feed that captured snapshot images outside the structure.

The grainy black and white footage confirmed Deek’s suspicions. Footage was found of a human in a vacc suit driving up to the compound and entering the habitat. They viewed images of the person apparently speaking to an alien with two dark bulbous eyes and an elongated snout. The alien appeared to have an thin body with two arms that appeared tentacle-like. Unfortunately they could only make out the upper chest and head of the being through the habitat window. The human exited the habitat and began to set up perimeter sensors and the sentry gun. Then the figure sat in the ATV and opened his helmet, with the footage of the camera system going offline shortly after (likely from running out of power).

Scanning through the footage, the camera came online several weeks ago. The crew saw the marine private come into the habitat, and afterwards wandering around the old outpost moving different gear. Another figure had approached the complex and the private waved for both of them to enter the habitat. After approximately an hour they both left, concluded moving some equipment around the mining facility and drove away. This event happened the day of the orienteering exercise where the private was apparently lost, and several days before the incident at the research station.

The crew decided to secure some of the leftover food found in the habitat, copied the found footage, and left the old mining base. They decided to land on Syroma and send off this information to Col. Matsa Toshi, the Imperium naval officer Lt. Dillan requested they debrief if anything interesting was found.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GalDate: 3-2-4216

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The crew of the Scalawag obtained more details of their contract. They were to drop off supplies on a moon base at Syroma 6. The moon was one of three in orbit of a Mars-like planet. It was an old mining outpost with deep mining facilities on the far side opposite of a tiny research base. The medical research facility based an under strength platoon of Federation Marines (20 men) and about 30 researchers. Because of the treaty agreement to keep both Federation and Imperial navies out the system, the base relied on private contractors for supplies.

Syroma is a balkanized system, historically under long term Imperial control. During the war it was occupied by the Federation and afterwards became a neutral system. System governments are split over galactic alliances (including some wishing to remain neutral). Right now there is a moratorium on any major power navy within the system and each respective power has a very minor presence.

The Scalawag jumped into Syroma and was soon hailed by a local power police cutter demanding they cut their engines and be boarded. Suspicious of their intent the crew spurred the ship onward attempting to evade the police cutter which attacked and pursued. Eventually, the Scalawag was able to fend off the ship and slip away, heading to Syroma 6.

The company approached the base which appeared powered down. Not responding to any hails, they discovered a faint automated SOS signal emitting from the base. Conducting a scan, it appeared the power to the base was shut off.

As they landed in docking bay, the research base looked deserted. After some Investigation, the crew found remains of eaten bodies. They were attacked by some alien species and made their way to the administration section. There they found a large pile of alien creature corpses with the entryway covered by an automated sentry laser minigun. Roxie fired off a precise shot and disabled the automated sentry. As they approached they found it covered what appeared to be a hastily barricaded room. Inside they found the remaining survivors.

Lt. Tina Dillon along with five other marines and four other scientific staff were the only ones left alive. They stated the base was medical research facility which harvested unique parasites from an alien species native to a planet with a thin atmosphere. The species is highly aggressive and can rapidly multiply if there is ample food sources (such as the dead station staff). The parasite had unique genes with high medical significance and the scientists used the alien creatures to propagate these parasites.

For some reason the isolation barrier fields for the alien pens were shut down, and almost immediately after power for the station was taken offline due to some unknown catastrophic event. Communications were also taken offline. In the havoc the marines were unable to gain access to the armory for more sufficient weaponry and armor, so they holed up in a room. As there was only one vacc suit, they have no means to safely escape. The marines knew if they were overdue for regular communications to superiors, a Federation navy craft will arrive eventually, so Lt. Dillon decided to hold tight in barricaded room. They expected that ship will arrive within a few days.

Syn was able to access more of the computer system and discovered that a sergeant Hamm had gotten access to explosives from the armory, followed by access logs indicating entry to the station power generator. Shortly after this, she found video footage of him entering alien pens, powering down barrier fields, and overriding main doors to remain locked open. He was almost immediately killed by the aliens after doing so, and then the security data goes blank (presumably after the power went down). There was additional footage and access log records indicating at the same time a person wearing a vacc suit took the communication array offline manually outside the station, and then planted a small explosive device to damage it. Finally logs show an ATV rover was taken out of the vehicle bay.

One marine will offer that sergeant Hamm was acting a little strange after recovering a lost marine on a training exercise. A private Snipe was assigned to conduct a remote solo exercise on the moon surface, as he always had problems with orienteering. Snipe had gotten lost in old mining base on far side of the moon. Sergeant Hamm went out to recover him and was overdue to return for several hours. This was about three days before the aliens escaping. The marine was adamant that Hamm was acting a bit off. All of them agreed that Snipe was an okay marine, just always a bit off and nothing about his behaviour indicated he had any issues. Lt. Dillon will emphasize that all the marines and personnel have thorough and recurring psych evaluations.

They decided as a group to work through an air duct, reach the Scalawag via EVA, and then return with more vacc suits. They could then ferry all the survivors to the ship. The company went to their tasks and were successful, leaving the abandoned research base behind.

En route to Syroma they were overtaken by an Imperium cruiser, requesting that they hold position and prepare to be boarded. Minutes later a Federation cruiser arrived in the area, stating that the crew of the Scalawag hold position so that they could transfer the survivors of the station. As this developed, a large Syroma system navy destroyed entered that sector and demanded to know what the Imperium and Federation ships were doing in the system. The crew of the Scalawag found themselves in a tense political situation, staring down the guns of three warships.

Monday, September 5, 2016

GalDate: 1-2-4216

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The crew of the Scalawag arrived at the Qarav system without incident. Enroute to the main planet, Syn began to browse USIN to find any potential jobs once they landed and one particular employment opportunity stood out for her. There was an individual seeking to have their mining craft broken out of a megacorp port facility.

Landing on Qarav, the crew first set about finding a buyer for their goods and with some shrewd negotiating with a broker, sold their cargo for a tidy profit. Afterwards they began to track down their potential patron, meeting them at a local bar. There they met Sally Weathers, a chain smoking belter in her late 40s.

Sally explained she was the sole claim owner of an asteroid, and after years of thorough surveying confirmed it had a rich vein of minerals. After docking at a system highport that was under primary control of Hyperion, she requisitioned to purchase deep core mining equipment. After a night of celebrating with too much alcohol and too much frolicking at a megacrop brothel, she found out the next day that her mining craft was under lock down due to fraudulent, unpaid docking fees.

Sally figured that word had gotten out about her claim and Hyperion saw an opportunity to steal it from her. In a few weeks time, her asteroid claim would need to be renewed, and if it wasn’t a working claim others could buy it. Hyperion had to just sit on her ship, Mother’s Milk, until that time, and then release it back to her claiming the charges were a clerical error (while stealing the mining claim out from under her legally). She wanted the crew to break into the docking facility and steal back Mother’s Milk.

The company set about a plan which involved stealth and an EVA into the ship from outside the station. They were able to steal the craft and return it to a local miner-friendly way station. Getting a modest amount of cash, the crew decided to take any job that would get them out of the system and agreed on a freight run. For double the rate and a bonus, they were asked to deliver a load of supplies to a small outpost of Federation Marines in the Syroma system. The catch was that Syroma is currently an Amber travel zone warning of extra caution while traveling there. A course was set and the Scalawag jumped to the distant system.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

GalDate: 5-1-4216

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The crew were pursued by two System Fast Attack Craft, hailing the Scalawag to power down so a police cutter could board. The system law enforcement stated that they were harboring an Imperial fugitive. A third SFAC arrived on a different approach vector. It cut through the communications, identified themselves as Tannis Ortiz, and told the ships to attack the Scalawag. Being in a non-jump capable ship, Tannis said he’d reclaim the bounty from the escape pod recovered from the hull wreckage.

The company recognized the voice as one of the men they met on the train leading into the city of Rylandas. Remembering the small, scarred man that appeared to be a ball of muscle, things clicked for Syn and she realized this dangerous individual was not only a bounty hunter, but also a cybernetic augmented individual like her (however with higher priced stealth augments to hide his condition). A chase ensued with the Scalawag fleeing to the 100DTL of the system, finally able to make the jump back to Sasira.

The 5 day jump went without incident with Winston keeping to himself. Landing at the starport they were greeted by Grand Dame Vera Allister. She politely demanded the crew accompany her and Winston back to her estate, guaranteeing their safety and payment. Days passed and arrangements were made for Winston’s trial to start. Given that he surrendered himself and would be able to explain the unusual memory loss, Vera Allister was hopeful that he would be able to secure a lenient sentence. She paid the group the agreed contract amount and gave them their leave.

During the final few days in the system, Grog sought about doing monthly ship maintenance, while the others investigated the odd points of Winston’s experience. They dug through hotel logs and news items of note during that time. They discovered that a guest at the hotel of interest named Simon Vee had checked out the following day after meeting. The night after an apparent John Doe had slipped into the starport, climbed up an exhaust intake of a freighter and waited there until the ship launched, incinerating himself. Officially this was listed as a bizarre suicide but the crew had thoughts it was linked to Winston’s crime.

Days passed and USIN offers dried up. Flush with some GalCredits, the crew decided to take a stab at speculative trading. Picking up 4 loads of manufactured industrial goods, they headed off to Qarav to see what fortunes they could find.

Monday, July 11, 2016

GalDate: 3.5-1-4216

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Arriving at dusk in Rylandas, the company attempted to tail the other suspicious travelers at the station. The men split off into different directions. The lone smaller, scarred man managed to slip away in the crowd of traffic however the group was successful tailing the others. One of the three men secured an ATV rental. The other two checked into a business class hotel.

The crew secured some surveillance equipment and went about trying to track and bug the men’s ATV vehicle while also attempting to record any conversation they had in their room. The reasoning was that likely they would know where Duke Winston Allister was hiding. Certain enough, in a few hours all three men left the hotel and drove to another Rylandas dome district.

The crew tailed them, aided by the placed tracker. The group of men stopped near a run down hotel and met what looked like a burly local. They entered a bar and a few minutes later exited. Three of them walked to the hotel, while the last man parked the ATV across the street of the hotel, and waited in the driver’s seat.

The crew sprung into action driving into the area and initiating a firefight. They won the gunfight and quickly made their escape to avoid getting caught by authorities. Using guile and stealth a few sneaked back to the hotel and managed to convince Duke Winston Allister to come with them off planet and return to Sasiria.

Making their way back to the capital using a rented personal flier, they slipped off planet and quickly traversed to the 100DLT of the system. In transit they spoke with Duke Winston Allister. He said he had no memory of what had happened. He was approached by USIN message to meet a Simon Vee at a hotel. It was a business opportunity and likely something very lucrative. He distinctly remembered speaking with someone and hearing a person’s voice. Then he woke up from his bed the next day and found out that he killed someone.

Allister had escaped off planet with the aid of his aunt. He agreed if he would turn himself in, he'd fare a better fate in the public eye. Eventually bounty hunters would find him. He despises his father but realizes that likely the Duke just wants a quick end to this situation to ensure a smooth transition of power to his older brother. As the crew listened, scanners indicated that two system defense craft were quickly approaching.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

GalDate: 3-1-4216

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The company landed on Onususorus without incident. Registering the Scalawag they discovered the more restrictive firearms laws on the planet, something not quite unexpected given the high population and thin atmosphere. Many of the dwellings were encased in atmospheric domes to provide breathable air and the potential threat of puncturing walls from firearms was too great a threat to public safety.

They began their investigation tracking down Duke Winston Allister and made some headway. He was found to be on the planet and his craft still docked in the spaceport. Speaking with locals they learned of another neighboring city, Rylandas, that was known for being a place to lay low. A smaller city of 200-300K people, it was remote and had somewhat less surveillance than the capital.

The company during their investigation discovered two other small jump craft that also arrived from Sasiria but came in after the duke had arrived. What stood out was that these craft did not list any passengers (likely a bribe to the right people, not unusual being an X class port). The group took the only mass transit option to Rylandas, a train that ran once a day to the remote town. On the train they discovered some other travellers. A group of three rough looking individuals, as well as a smaller, scarred man that appeared to be a ball of muscle, were among the many train passengers.

The train stopped at its final destination and the company exited. All wary that likely competing bounty agents had arrived on the same train as them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Galactic Credit

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While some worlds issue their own currencies, they are usually only accepted within that home system. The universal currency accepted in both the Federation and the Imperium is the newly founded Galactic Credit (or GalCredit). This currency is modeled after the old Imperium Credit.

Once the 100 year war ended, it was recognized that having two different currencies would be problematic. Talk was made to maintain the Imperium Credit as the monetary standard, but hardliners from the Federation balked. The Imperium was willing to compromise on issuing a new form of currency, but with a catch. The Federation would be responsible for printing and distributing this new money note. Both governments agreed and with a considerable expense, the newly minted Galactic Credit began circulation 18 years ago.

Credit notes are almost impossible to counterfeit. Made of plastic fibers woven under high pressure and temperature, they compose of a variety of anti-counterfeit measures such as various colors, holographic images, and DNA tagging all of which is incorporated into the material of the credit itself (instead of being printed). The resulting credit note is rectangular with the texture and thickness of paper along with a 21 digit alphanumeric code. Credits as plastic notes are issued in 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 10,000 denominations. For smaller value transactions, plastic coins are used in denominations of 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, one, and five credits. Credit coins utilize similar anti-counterfeit technology during production as seen with the plastic notes.

Most commercial transactions within systems do not utilize physical currency. Instead digital commerce using electronic transfers through established accounts are used instead. Individuals which primarily deal in credit notes are travellers. As they jump from system to system, they have a delay in digital financial records catching up with them. Because of the potential for criminal activity, most systems will not take any digital currency from travellers, and insist on credit notes instead. Starports will always request fuel and expenses be paid in physical credits. Only long established local system residents have the luxury of paying expenses through USIN financial transfers.

However, local systems can readily open USIN bank accounts for travellers. They recognize some may be hesitant about about possessing large amounts of GalCredits on their person. While credit loans are impossible to attain, banks willingly open USIN debt accounts if a traveller desired (as long as they provide cash up front as a balance). However they will have to close out the account once they leave the system, with the financial institution charging a modest fee. These accounts are always non-interest and banks charge a small fee (1/10th credit) for transactions. Because of these limitations most travellers rely on carrying credit notes and only bother opening an account if staying in a system for several months (or if worried about theft of their credits on hand).

The Federation has contracted printing and distributing galactic credits to almost every megacorp over the years. Because of these efforts the GalCredit is now a commonly seen currency throughout the galaxy. However Imperium notes still can be seen in circulation. Since money is difficult to destroy, they are slowly being removed from circulation as established banks collect older Imperium credits and replace them with the new GalCredit. As tracing of Imperial credit bills is nearly impossible but still recognized as legal tender, they are highly desired by criminal organizations.