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.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

GalDate: 1-5-4216

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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

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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

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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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

GalDate: 4.5-3-4216

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As the crew of the Scalawag left orbit from Blenavursai-2 and plotted a course to Blenavursai Prime, Rom contacted Jose Sonad with two separate USIN messages. He provided copies of the information on Bori Trova skimming profits from mining operations which were intended to go towards terraforming Blenavursai-2. Informed of this Jose Sonad quickly replied with generous thanks for providing this proof of his criminal wrongdoing.

Rom also sent a message with video proof of Project Lightfoot teleportation in operation and stated if they needed help for fighting against corporate oppression, he and his comrades could provide the tech to help. Jose replied in a very carefully stated response that he was not interested in this. Regardless it seems that Jose Sonad made no hesitation contacting law enforcement with information on Bori Trova, for when the Scalawag landed on Blenavursai prime. news reports were being broadcasted of Trova’s criminal activity. Reports stated Trova couldn’t be found as well as his close associates and there was a system-wide manhunt for him. Initial reports indicated that he also had some financial dealings with organized crime on Blenavursai Prime.

Roxie met up with her local criminal middleman contact,Tomono, to pay a promised cut of their heist. She also picked up additional dosage of pacrosynth which seemed to be losing its effectiveness in helping with her narcotic addiction. The other crew members took the opportunity to utilize the improve starport facilities to send out x-boat messages. Deek sent a message to Dame Vera McAllister, asking to know more on the outcome of her nephew’s trial (current news was that he is being held to a lesser charge due to medical reasons). Deek wanted to also know if the information they sent had any bearing on case and if there was any work for them.

Syn made contact with a Torgue representative to drop off the suit and (copied) data on the following day. She was surprised to find her Torgue handler, the enigmatic Ms. White, would be contacting her directly and in person for the meet.

The following day the exchange was made in public outside the Torgue building in a central plaza. Ms. White accompanied by a cyborg technician and security approached. The data was confirmed after the technician scanned through the portable drive (and sparked some worry from Syn that such an enhanced individual might accelerate the process of discovering she made a copy of the data) as well as presence of the suit itself. An envelope full of credits (30,000) was handed over to Syn and Ms. White walked off to return to the building.

Roxie and Grog atop of a building overlooking the hand-off saw a group of men approach with guns drawn. A firefight broke out, with Ms. White and the security team falling back to the Torgue building taking the teleportation suit with them. The crew managed to fight off their attackers, taking one unconscious man with them. As they sped off in their ATV crawler, everyone noticed they were the focus of passerbys recording the event on PDDs, not to mention the likely public camera network in the plaza.

The group quickly loaded up into the Scalawag and broke orbit, seeking to make a jump into empty space. As they were en-route to the 100 DT, USIN programming broadcast local reports of the crew being wanted by authorities for questioning regarding a shooting in the city. The unconscious thug brought with them was loaded into a low berth for cryosleep. While leaving the system, an unmarked craft pursued and fired on the ship. They destroyed the attacking craft taking heavy damage in the process, and were able to finally jump out of the Blenavursai system.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

GalDate: 4-3-4216

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The crew of the Scalawag landed in Blenavursai prime and refueled. With a copy of the Lightfoot data, they uploaded it to encrypted, cloud quadrant storage via the x-boat network, so that it could be accessed in the future while in other nearby systems (using their encryption key, it could be retrieved from USIN). Some of the group were eager to do a test run using the teleportation suit, seeing it as an ideal tool to do some illicit activity.

Roxie reached out to system criminal contacts and met a mid-level fixer, Tomono. He told Roxie of a local criminal that was known to have a soft spot for jewelry and precious metals. A likely target for a burglary. His only request was a percentage of any stolen goods as a means to appease his higher-ups within the criminal network. The target in question was a crime lord on Blenavursai-2 named, Bori Trova.

Bori Trova was a large man, thick, muscled, with little bit of a stomach more solid rather than flab. Slicked back hair in his late 40s, with pierced nipples and a love for wearing excessive jewelry, Bori was a walking contradiction. His wardrobe consisted of casual track suits and gaudy furniture adorned his home, but he was known for his excellent taste in art. He appeared uncultured, but had an animal charisma and was capable of being quite charming.

Bori was heavily involved in controlling labor activities for the mining on Blenavursai-2, along with other criminal activities on the thin atmosphere planet. He was known by the system criminal network to be skimming off colony mining profits, hindering funding for terraforming efforts. For the group, he was a likely target not to clamor too loudly to authorities if his home was burglarized.

Landing on Blenavursai-2, the crew went to work casing the target. Rom discovered a local leader and terraforming scientists, Jose Sonad, that was well liked among Blenavursai-2 residents and likely a good contact if any proof of Trovi’s dealings with the terraforming project could be found. They discovered Bori’s love for betting on skulk fights, a local fauna of the planet. They developed a plan to cross paths at a local fight, with Roxie seducing him in order to go back to his home. Once in Bori’s compound, the plan was to make an excuse to leave, dropping off one of the Lightfoot nodes. Syn would jump in, take what she could, and teleport out making away with the stolen goods.

The plan went into action with Roxie successfully using her charm to garner the attention of Bori. They retired to his domicile where the operation began to skew some. Conversation was made and Trova produced some narcotics which Roxie took. Time was lost with Roxie waking up later, clearly doing more with Bori than she had originally considered. She dressed, left a teleportation node behind, and stepped out of the house, leaving the crime lord snoring peacefully.

Syn ported in and went about stealing what she could, including making a copy of incriminating evidence of skimmed profits from mining operations. She ported out, with Deek capturing the use of Lightfoot with a video unit. As Syn ported in there was a flash of light and a dull rumble of thunder. The group realized that the teleportation suit wasn’t as stealthy as expected. Regardless, they left orbit for Blenavursai Prime with a small haul of jewelry, some cash, and computer files of his criminal dealings in their possession.

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.