Adventure in the Spinward Marches

There's a slight problem...

Everyone arrives back in their respective groups from planet-side. As Victor goes to his room to get cleaned up, Jinix updates Dr. Kelvin about the whole situation with her singing doppelganger, Bacia. Concerned that Bacia might accidentally leak information about her whereabouts, Jinix gives her a call. Bacia inquires about Victor, and reveals she has doppelgangers herself all about the planet to misdirect rabid fans and such. Victor gets brought into the call and is informed by Bacia that she intends to “peel you like a banana, my friend.”

At a crew meeting, it’s revealed that there’s a problem with the jump drive. According to the repair foreman, there’s only a 30-40% chance that the ship will successfully jump the next time the jump drive is used. Our options are to jump anyways and see how lucky we are, stay in this wonderfully low-tech dung-heap of a world for at least another month while a parts request is sent out and returns, or contact someone down on the planet that may or may not have a serviceable part that would last long enough to get us to our refit station. And as tempting as options 1 & 2 sound, we opt to go find the foreman’s father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate (or whatever the relation) Jorjack Miilaki, who is coincidentally somewhere around our next stop on the mail pickup, the Liberty Alliance.

Aside from Victor, everyone decides to head down together, for if the last couple of jaunts planet-side taught us anything, it was that this wonderfully low-tech dung-heap of a world (sorry, not remembering the name of the planet, and this sounds like a fairly accurate description) has teeth and it’s constantly trying to bite us on our asses. Jinix is spotted by a nosy little girl, who tries in vain to turn her in to her mom, who steadfastly ignores the little troublemaker. Jinix’s luck then almost runs out when customs finds some error in her paperwork and brings her off to a more secure location. Jiro tries to follow, but is stopped by a bureaucratic stonewall.

Jinix is told that her visa has not been properly stamped and that there will be a 5,000 credit processing fee. Not having the money on her at the moment, she asks for them to contact her captain, Jiro, as he would surely want the pilot to actually be able to depart with the ship. She also makes references to sleeping in e captain’s quarters on a regular basis, implying a special relationship. Officials Finn & Joir approach Jiro, explain the visa situation and the need to pay a 10,000 credit fee for streamlining all the paperwork. Rather than leave Jinix at the mercy of the bureaucracy for too long, Jiro pays the fee, commends the officials on their attention to detail and customer service, and gets their names for any future “incidents.” Jinix gives Jiro a peck on the cheek as they walk away, whilst behind them Finn & Joir can be seen high-fiving in regards to their new income.

Meanwhile, back on the ship, Victor has been tracked down by Bacia, who asks for and gets a guided tour of the ship whilst Aisha attempts to fleece Bacia’s bodyguards in poker, who are flabbergasted at having an AI player. Victor hears Aisha say, “How about we make this more interesting?” as he starts Bacia’s tour. Much playfulness and flirting could have been heard throughout the ship.

On the shuttle down, the little girl again can be found stalking her Noble prey from two rows up. As our intrepid adventurers depart, they find themselves bumped up to first class, supposedly by officials Finn & Joir. They find out that the next shuttle isn’t for another two days, and are tasked to either complete all their business in four hours (brief pause here for hysterical laughter) or taking two days to complete said business.

Kelvin finds himself splashed by his and Jinix’s share of something that is better referred to as mud, since she managed to duck behind him at that fatalistic moment. Not used to such a primitive lifestyle, Kelvin makes some disparaging remarks and opts to burn his soiled suit rather than get it cleaned. He’s avoided areas like this before and is now even more intent on avoiding them more. He and Jinix get into an argument about this and she takes off in a huff to the nearest bar, where she succeeds in attracting everyone’s attention, as she was dressed in a Catholic schoolgirl outfit and not in old-west appropriate clothing. Ken follows her, trying to stop her or at least keep her out of trouble (again, brief pause here for hysterical laughter), and Jiro and Kelvin soon follow.

Back on the ship, the tour is heating up with flirting back and forth. Victor catches her coming through a portal with a kiss, with the claimed concern that he thought she was going to fall. A brief contact with Aisha reveals that she is surprisingly losing, though not by much. She checks a transmission that Bacia has made to someplace off the ship.

A Can-can dancer, Jade, runs up to Jinix at the bar, shouts “Lily!” and gives her a hug. Jinix does her best to play the part and chats up her “old friend.” Jiro jokingly makes a request for “a shot from that bottle with the skull and crossbones on it,” and receives a few gasps and then a loud ringing of an old-west triangle by the bartender. Five minutes later, the bar has been packed with 75+ people and the bartender announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a challenger.” Jiro starts wondering if this is better than keeping a low profile in this city. The drink is served, the crowd starts counting down and Jiro slugs back a shot. It’s tasty and it burns on the way down, but Jiro seems to come out of the experience alive. There is much celebration as the bartender announces that it’s been 8 months since anyone man enough tangled with #7 and came out alive. Jiro gets many slaps on the back and is approached by Jorjak Miilaki, the Vargr the group is looking for. JM, Jiro and Kelvin go get a table to talk.
Back on the ship, Victor playfully stops Bacia from passing him in the tight corridor by kissing her (the fiend!). When they get back to the common area, the bodyguards and Aisha seem to be pretty evenly matched as the stacks of chips have not changed much. Bacia starts shedding clothes as she and Victor leave, with Victor telling, over his shoulder, to take her poker program to the next level.

Jade mentions interest in Kelvin to Jinix, who mentions he was just a casual plaything. Jade approaches him, but her gives her a verbal brush-off, the brushes off the shoulder she touched when he thinks she isn’t looking. Jade gets a little irate and go gets a nice thick bottle to bash him on the head with. Jinix yells her name and stops her, and offers to do something suitable to the doctor later.

Jorjak relates his troubles to Jiro and Kelvin. Apparently he’s a landowner and his tenants (farmers & homesteaders) are stuck in a jam. The Artath clan is a friendly tribe of human riders/nomads who trade with the tenants and share festivals. A second clan, the Carval, have moved into the land and are causing problems for the farmers & homesteaders. He has a shipment of TL8 Carbines (60 of them, with 6 magazines each and 6,000 bullets) that he needs delivered to the tenants (with 20 of the guns going to the Artath) and someone to teach them how to use said guns and how to improve their defenses. At some point in the conversation, old #7 starts showing some side effects, as Jiro blinks and starts seeing double and inadvertently focuses on the wrong Jorjak. He’s offering to pay us 1,000 to each of us as well as a 10,000 credit bonus. When we mention the need for the part that we were told he might have, Ken gives him the specs for the piece we need. Jorjak says he does have said part and he’d be happy to include it in the deal. Jiro somehow manages to shake hands with the correct Jorjak to seal the deal.

Jade and Jinix, for some strange reason, start comparing bust sizes, much to the delight of every male in the joint. Even stranger, and as much delight, they kiss and Jade makes Jinix’s toes curl. The resulting applause is deafening. Jade offers to outfit her with some more appropriate travel clothes, and they head back to her room. Ken is having issues as he feels responsible for Jinix, keeping an eye on her for her father, but the display with the other woman is causing him to blush and focus intently on his drinking. Kelvin decides to head back to the ship and send Victor in his place, as he’s more likely to be able to teach how to us the guns than he, plus he still has not taken a shine to the locale. Jiro’s vision clears and he rebuffs Kelvin’s attempt to get a blood sample, to find an antidote to what Jiro drank earlier, insisting that he’s fine… just as the next side effect manifests itself, and he sees this blonde angel that he must simply get to know better.

While Jiro and Angel chat and drink, Jinix comes back, dressed in appropriate travel clothes… and Jiro is totally clueless as to who she is. Entranced, he invites this second beauty to drink with them, and she accepts. Meanwhile, Kelvin is contacting the ship via radio to request Victor’s presence, but instead gets Victor and Bacia’s sexual gymnastics broadcast back over the radio for all to hear. Most of the adventurers either turn their radios down or off.

A bit later, Kelvin is playing cards rather badly, Ken is drinking heavily and occupying himself with his notes on the repairs instead of Jinix’s state of dress or her “playing” with Jade earlier. Victor and Bacia finish things up and Bacia departs. Jiro asks his two lovely ladies if they’re interesting in continuing the festivities somewhere more private, and the blonde agrees, but Jinix declines, whispering to him that she’s still a virgin.

Jinix chats with Victor about Ken and Jiro, and Victor prepares to come down to assist in Jinix’s ship, but the trip will take around 8 hours. Ken is drinking even heavier and Kelvin is being a bit snippy for some reason.

Jorjak approaches, asking if the group is ready to leave. Jinix informs him that they’ll be ready within an hour, then goes to get Jiro, who’s a bit occupied with Angel at the moment. He still doesn’t recognize her and asks if she’s changed her mind about joining them. Jinix declines and tells him to be ready to leave in 30 minutes. Not really paying attention, he says he’s all hers in 30 minutes.

Jinix tries to get Ken to stop drinking and tell her what’s causing him to act like this. She takes the bottle he’s drinking and he blurts out that he shouldn’t see her doing the sexual things she was doing earlier, because he’s supposed to be looking after her as she’s the admiral’s daughter, the admiral being given by name. This attracts unwanted attention from wannabe bounty hunters looking to cash in on her capture. She gives Ken back his bottle and calls Victor for help. A scruffy bar patron starts speaking sideways to his compatriots while eyeing Jinix. Sensing trouble, or just because he’s been frustrated and is now well on his way to being drunk, Ken yells at Scruffy, inquiring if there’s a problem. Scruffy and his compatriots get up, and Jinix goes for the gun in her boot. A bar fight ensues.

Ken and Jinix do most of the fighting for the group, with Kelvin pitching in and drugging someone that tried to get him involved in the bar fight. Upon hearing the start of the fight, Victor does what he can to squeeze all speed possible from Jinix’s craft – Ken, you might need to be patching this ship up as well. And Jiro is still otherwise “engaged” for the duration of the fight. Minor injuries on our side, our opponents are mostly down (Go Team!), and Jiro and Angel stop fornicating like rabbits to see what all the ruckus was about. Angel looks out the door, sees a man coming their way, and quickly shuts it again.

The local constabulary appears, fires off a shotgun and commands everyone to get down. It’s established that we’re all going with the cops, and then Kelvin antagonizes the cops by sitting down on a chair instead of lying down on the ground like he was told. Fun is sure to ensue.

Marc – Side note;
For the side-effects of the Old #7, there were 5 rolls, (81,90,96,37,16) of which the first two have been used already (81, double-vision; 96, feeling randy)

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Sorry this took so long to post
We wake up in jail with everything taken off us. I am handcuffed to the call, apparently, separated from everyone else. Jenix is in he female cell, and Ken s in the drunk tank. The sheroff frees Ken, Jeiro and Jenix, but leaves me in my cell for now. Jenix is being called Lily here. He tells us to stay out of trouble. Ken taes the sheriff to the side and explains my actions to why I didn’t obay when told to get on the ground. He frees me and tells us to leave.

Victor lands and grabs his rifle and seeks out the party. He finds the bar and is directed to the sheriff’s office. As he walks up, and we are all coming out of the cells. As he comes up to us, his leg gets stuck in the mud due to the weight of his equipment. The locals around the town notice his armor and are grabbing their loved ones and weapons, wondering what he’s going to do. When we are walking to Victor, trying to avoid the nasty dirt road, and I step in a mud pile and lose my shoe. As I try to reach in and find my shoe, Jenix pushes me from behind and I prevent myself from falling in, I find my shoe. I am able to pull it out, tho Victor offered to help with a grenade. As Jenix walks away saying “Oh good you have it”. Victor shields Jenix from the mud I tried to throw on her. It hits Victors armor insted of Jenix, and Victor flings it back on me.

Another side effect hits Jiro and he starts to feel very paranoid. Jorjax approches us in the road and wanted to move out sooner, but we are going to leave in the morning and dawn. Feeling intimated by Victor, Jorjax asks him to remove his mask but Victor doesn’t comply. Jiro starts backing out and freaking out thinking Victor is trying to take over his authority. Jenix stops Jiro and trys to find out why he’s freaking out and he trys to slip away from the party. I tell Jenix to leave him alone he’s a big buy, and Jiro takes off running trying to get away from her. She takes chase after him. As they leave, I ask Victor where he left the speeder and that I need to get out of this area. Ken agrees with this decision and we go walking back to the speeder. Jiro is running away from Jenix they duck around buildings. As Jiro tries to jump over a fence, Jenix jumps on top of him and asks what’s wrong. He struggles for his sword, but is unable to draw his weapon. Ken hears the ruckus and runs over to see what the two are doing. Jenix sees the speeder flying away and starts yelling at everyone as she threatens to shoot me. Struggling with all his might, Jenix is able to stay on him, but Ken gets kicked by Jiro.

Victor takes me to the speeder and I inform him about how the missions needs him to stay around and teach the people how to shoot and that the caption needs to have him around to have more than one teacher about guns. He decides to stay around and I close up the speeder and take off back to the ship, using Jenix speeder. Heh, and she doesn’t know it yet, but if she likes her wild west, then her speeder can get a taste for it too.

Jiro finally gets a good buck on Jenix and is able to throw her off him. She tucks and rolls and lands back on her feet. Ken reaches in for Jiro’s sword. Victor coms to me to come back to the ground to help Jiro. I don’t want to go back down, but with a shot that hits the front of the speeder and destroyed the shielding, cracked the windows, and made the power plant unstable. I take the shuttle down and Victor starts tracking my landing spot.

Jiro is still trying to grab for his sword, but is unable to do so. Ken falls on his face, Jenix tries to grab Jiro, but he slips away and RUN THE HELL out of there. (who would blame him?) Victor flys over one of the buildings and lands in front of Jiro and stands in his path. Jenix gets up with flair (kipping? flipping?) and takes off running. Ken just gets up and follows along. Jiro tries to do a slide to get past Victor, but Victor is able to plant his foot on Jiro’s chest, stopping him in midslide. Ken surrenders his shirt to gag and hog tie Jiro.

Victor comes over to the ship, disables it from flying and then walks away. I am able to keep the windows of the speeder fogged, close the door, and relock the speeder. I look up some music choices finding classical and jazz to listen to.

Victor, Ken, and Jenix drag Jiro back to the saloon where the fight broke out. They get a room for the night and have to be out by the morning. As they are moving to the room, Jiro keeps headbutting Ken in the chest, trying to escape from his grip. Going up the stairs, Jiro gets up on the stairs, he gets ready to spring off the step and knock Ken off balance, but fails his attempt and slips on the edge. Ken throws Jiro over his shoulder to prevent him from trying to escape again. As being on his shoulder, he tries to knock Ken off balance again but can’t seem to get the leverage to get anywhere.

Jiro’s 4th symptom hits and starts to feel and see lumps under his skin that feel like bugs going up his body to get up to his brain. Over coms, Jenix plees with the crew to get someone to come to Jiro and try to save him, fearing that he is going to die if he doesn’t get medical attention. Getting out of the shuttle, its a bit chippy, so I start heading to the saloon. Jenix pays for a shot of #7 for me to analyze and see if I can find out what caused his symptoms. When I got there, I was handed a shot of #7, and I use my field kit to try and figure out what might be in this strange liquid. Getting in the room we find Ken getting off Jiro as he had just finished knocking him out with his fists. With the right body chemistry, this drink will bring on hyper psychotic trips. Victor is still no where to be found, but Ken and Jenix find places to sleep in the room as I take first watch.
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The beatings will continue until morale improves

I grudgingly make my way to consciousness, as my face feels nothing but pain. I can barely open my eyes, they’re so swollen, so I can’t see the damage. I try to move my hands to feel it, but I find they’re restrained. A quick check reveals the same of my legs and torso. I try to speak, to call out for assistance, but my mouth is gagged with what feels to be a shirt, and my mouth is dry as well from being open for too long. So far, things are not looking up.

I try to remember what happened to put me in this situation… and nothing. Where am I? Aside from being tied up and beaten probably bloody in bed, not a clue. Name? Nope. Age? No idea. Favorite color? Hmm. Average wingbeat per minute of an unladen swallow? African or European? Well, at least I still have my sense of humor. At least I think I do.

I try to force my swollen eyelids open and take in my surroundings, only to have some dirty but prim man lean over me. He checks my vitals and inquires as to how I’m feeling, but leaves the gag in, giving me no chance to reply. The sick feeling developing in my stomach that things are going rather badly for me only gets worse when he smiles and says, “Stay quiet now,” and then walks away.

I notice a man off to the side, sleeping on a chair with a blanket sort of covering him, his bare chest and arms exposed. Something about him screams military at me. My face throbs a little harder as I notice blood on his knuckles and I suspect that it’s mine. I am so effen hosed.
Prim has made his way to the other side of the room, and seems to wake someone on the floor. An attractive, exotic-looking woman gets up and they have a short whispered conversation, with a couple of glances my way. I groan softly, anticipating that my day is not about to take a turn for the better.

Okay, so let’s assess the situation. I’m bound and being held hostage in what looks like a low-tech bedroom. There’s electricity, but at a basic level, and nothing to indicate it’s merely for look, so I’m probably on a low-tech world. The aches and pains I’m feeling lead to me to believe I was beaten, and the strong aches in my face think a number of them were head blows, which is probably why my memory pool is so shallow at the moment. The guy sleeping was probably the one doing the physical grunt work of my incarceration (let’s call him Grunt), but Prim seems more intellectual, probably in charge of whatever torture or interrogation I’ve been undergoing. And the woman? Most likely the “reward” portion of the interrogation, good cop to the two men’s bad cops. Grunt beats me and she comes at me all sugary sweet (Let’s call her Sugar), trying to get me to cooperate so Prim won’t sic Grunt on me again.

Sure enough, Sugar comes up to me, checks my bonds while murmuring soothing platitudes and how she doesn’t want me to hurt myself. I avoid looking her in the eyes directly, not wanting to give away that I know about their game plan, even with amnesia. Instead I look pointedly at my bonds, hoping she’ll take pity and loosen them for me so I might have some chance at escape eventually, but she doesn’t fall for it. She instead gets a cold washcloth and tries to sooth my aching face and wrists.

Her attempts at ingratiating herself to me are thwarted, however, with a knock at the door. Grunt awakens, and the group is alert all of a sudden. Okay, so they’re not in friendly territory- that may be useful. Sugar moves to the door and opens it a crack, positioning her body so as to block any view of the room through the crack. There’s a whispered conversation and all I get is a request for ice. I think they just want to get the swelling down so they can move me without causing too many questions.

The door’s closed and they start settling down again, at least until Grunt gets up and heads out the door, apparently to use the bathroom. He comes rushing back in a few moments later all worked up. He says some people are coming, armed with guns, and something about a reward. I get the impression that someone’s coming for me, but it’s not a cozy feeling. He then starts untying me as the others gather their stuff. He starts talking to me, and he’s expecting responses from me. After a few non-responses, he asks me pointblank if I remember him. The others notice as well. Damned amnesia.

I ask for a gun, Sugar refuses to give me one, clearly not trusting me. I get a wrench out of a toolbox for my troubles though. It’s heavy and has a nice heft, but doesn’t feel right in my hands, so I’m probably not used to repair work. Still, in a gun fight, the wrench is lacking. I decide to bide my time.

Grunt heads out the window first, preparing the way for Prim, obviously. Sugar, meanwhile, is rigging the doorknob with an electrical cord ripped from a lamp. She’s quick and precise in her movements, professional. She’s the one to worry about.

We hear Prim trip, cry out, tumble, fall and thud as he lands in the dirt. Sugar remarks, “The window may be a problem, as our stupid doctor is a klutz.” So, no love lost between the two of them. I file it away for later, if there is one. Just then we hear some fool grab the doorknob on the other side, as he screams out what air he had in his lungs as the electricity causes his muscles to spasm and lock. She hands me the aforementioned toolbox and urges me out the window just as two shotgun blasts rip through the door. As I step out, I see Grunt standing over Prim’s prone form on the ground, guarding him with a wrench against two locals, presumably. I look and see the fire escape leads up as well. Better to take my chances alone, since they were foolish enough to let me loose. I hurry, hoping that once she’s done with the ones coming through the door that she’ll follow her compatriots down.

Once on the roof, I avail myself of the toolbox, sticking a flat-nose screwdriver in the back of my pants and grabbing a nice, solid mallet to go with the wrench in my other hand. I hear footsteps come up the fire escape and, sure enough, it’s Sugar. We hear a loud conversation carry up to us, apparently a local maid sold my captors out to some ruffian and ended up on the wrong end of a shotgun herself. Amusing, but even though it seems the ruffian was looking for the reward money himself, his betrayal of the woman doesn’t scream trustworthy. I still need to find a way out on my own. Fortunately, Sugar gives me the opportunity when she insists we take a running jump over to the next building’s roof and find an escape route from there. Then I hear Ruffian come out the front of the building, yelling, “All right, I sure would hate to shoot her,” and then he calls out, yelling for everyone to drop their weapons and give themselves up. I eye the toolbox and smile on the inside, as smiling on the outside would hurt too much. I let Sugar go and make her jump, rather happy that she was foolish enough to leave me on my own. I walk to the front, look down and see Ruffian and two other men holding what seems to be a barmaid at shotgun-point. I open up the toolbox and heave it over the side, letting everything fly, and then turn and walk away. I hear some solid hits and people crying out.

Next thing I know, someone new hits upon the scene, start shouting with authority in his voice. As I get ready to jump to the next building over, in the opposite direction to Sugar, I hear Prim yell something at the barmaid and then grunt. Obviously Mr. Authority takes as kindly to him as he and his friends were to me. I consider turning myself over to Authority, but I’m still not sure I can trust anyone at this point. I need to break free and head out on my own until I can figure this all out. I make my dash and leap off of the rooftop and see things go badly rather suddenly, as I miss the roof completely and get a face full of window just as I crash through it and get knocked out in the process.

As I come to in the local jail, I find my mind is once again whole, whether it was the leap through the window (Was I really that stupid?) or Old #7 getting cleared from my system, to find Keziah tending to my multiple bumps and bruises. The good doctor updates me on the situation, how Ken defended him after his fall the local goons, only to get injected with a hypodermic that Keziah had prepared in their effort to escape, how Jinix turned herself in and informed the Sheriff as to what had happened, at least most of it was the truth. She, in turn, found out that her speeder was missing and so was Victor, presumably together. The barmaid, Jane Marie Carlson, apparently had sold us out to Shorty, the local ruffian, for 50,000 credits, far more than the 200 credits Jinix had given her for our private room and her silence. Jane was then betrayed by Shorty when things didn’t go smoothly. She was taken into custody by the Sheriff along with Shorty’s men until everything could be figured out.

Shorty starts shouting about being double-crossed by Jane and gets electric-cattle-prodded for his troubles. Jane then gets taken out of her cell and interrogated. She explains how our group came in, ‘causing trouble earlier in the day, then came back that night and paid extra for the room and any trouble we were causing due to my own paranoid actions. And she mentions Shorty’s offer of 20% of the 250,000 credit reward. We wrongly assume that it is Jinix that the reward was for— the wanted poster that the Sheriff shows us is for Keziah. The Sheriff reprimands Jane for believing Shorty and taking him up on his offer and has her put back in her cell.

The sheriff explains he is getting tired of seeing the lot of us in his cells, and says he will send us out to the homesteaders in order to get us out of his hair. When we’re ready to head back through town in order to get to the local starport, Jinix is to head into town to obtain an escort for us. The Sheriff plans on keeping Shorty and his crew incarcerated until we’re back in orbit. He gives Jane 10,000 credits (minus refunds to us and charges for damages, makes it 4,00 credits) and encourages that she go on “vacation,” & go with our crew to the starport and then get a ship out of the system… or she can take her chances in town. Jinix starts voicing her opinion about Jane joining us, but then I interrupt and tell Jinix that Jane is now her apprentice and Jane’s teaching and reprimands are at her sole discretion. (Pause for evil grin.)
We’re given time to clean up and get clothes and supplies, which Jinix pays for, then we’re given a few horses and a cart. Ken’s toolbox is dented and noticeably lighter. I think I need to get him a new set. I ride in the back of the cart under Keziah’s watchful eye with Jane back there as well in case there’s trouble. Ken drives said cart while Jinix uses her horse to scout the path ahead.

We get out of town, venture our way across the open country and grasslands, using whatever footpath or wagon-path is available as our guide, and reach the homestead near dark. Members of the Sarragh family greet Jane as we approach and pump her for information, but the Carvel clan hasn’t reached town just yet. And we get a better idea of what we’re up for. All Vargrr, about 20-30 of them adults (Not being overly familiar with the race’s age groups, I’m guessing how big they have to be for adulthood.) and we’re told members of the Artath clan will be there in the morning, doubling that number. It quickly becomes apparent that morale is low, as well as basic education in defense and first aid. People seem to walk around the compound in armed pairs, armed with muskets that is, and the flock of Arcath (some cat-like sheep) is brought in.

Jinix takes charge, since the captain is still recovering from his drink of Old #7, asks Keziah to tend to an injured person and train anyone interested in learning some first aid, and assigns Ken (to be assisted by Jane) to inspect and care for the weapons before they’re distributed. Me, I get to sit around with a gun and try to look as hopeful as possible. And as the Sarragh family leaders look to Jinix for a hope-inspiring, rousing speech that will rally all against the evil Carvel clan…

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It's not mine.

(we’re missing a post with the training, the foray with the scouts, my character getting blown up and the first wave of the attack, just FYI)

Jinix & Ken go and speak with a representative of the Carval clan, who approach the Sarragh homestead, waving a white flag. The rep offers a parlay, offering our dead for burial – the Carval are down 60 warriors and we’re down 15 homesteaders (and fortunately no crew). He also offers the homesteaders a deal— leave the homestead, taking a minimal amount of goods and cattle, and we won’t kill you— and gives a mere hour for the decision to be made. The Carval claim to be holding back the Grand Theocratic Republic, which has been taking their seasonal lands, so they’re expanding out into other areas, much like this farmland, and seem to consider themselves the lords of the area. It comes up during conversation that the farmers can move to a new area if they want, and that the Carval may go after that new land as well at some point in the future, but that is the way of life on this planet.

The Carval dropped off 6 bodies before they left. Jinix & Ken each put 2 on their horses and walk them back, and while Jinix goes back for the last two, Ken tells the homestead off the Carval’s offer. A radio message is received from Jorjak, saying that help is on the way and to hold out for as long as we can. Without the specifics of how long to hold out, Jiro takes an elder Vargrr landowner, Fafgh, with him to attempt to negotiate another arrangement or at least buy the homesteaders some more time. They chat on the way and arrive near the Carval camp using a bloodied white sheet to announce their intentions.

The Carval rep says he will consider the offer of the homesteaders staying and offering tribute every so often and makes a counteroffer— the homesteaders can be slaves to the Carval clan or they can flee or die. He also offers our crew the opportunity to just walk away from it all and leave the homesteaders to their fate. The diplomatic skills of Jiro are sadly lacking this time around (and maybe mouths ran off more than they should have). They ride like the wind back to the homestead, and Fafgh’s head explodes, thanks to a sniper in the woods. Someone shouts out, “That was our answer! We are coming!” as Jiro somehow manages to avoid getting shot 3 more times, though he does flee from the situation wearing bits of and the blood of Fafgh.

Jinix tries to check Jiro as he reaches the farmhouse, but he brushes her off, saying that “It’s not mine” and that the Carval used his death to announce their latest attack. Carval pour from one of the captured buildings, #2, firing at and killing one of the homesteaders at a window.

As the fight begins, Jiro joins Kelvin on the roof this time, hoping to do some sniping of his own. Jinix sets up the final clothesline wire, opens the cattle pen and causes a stamped towards Building 2 where the aforementioned Carval are pouring out of. Shots are fired, people are being killed on both sides again, and just as the Level Boss starts to aim his grenade launcher at the group on the rooftop, 5 aircraft strafe in and blow his ass up with superior technology. The Carval flee in a panic and our group shoot after them, hoping to take out more bastards. Apparently Jorjak called in a bunch of favors, and owes some new favors, in order to get help and the aircraft.

Cleanup is performed (including taking the aircraft out to look for more Carval), the wounded are again treated and the dead found and buried, including Fafgh. Jorjak provides a letter of introduction and credit for the part we need from his cousin. We’re told we’re always welcome back at the homestead for our assistance in the fight.

We are sort of welcomed back into town, and continue straight through to the spaceport. We can’t leave for the Highport until the next day, so Jiro springs for high end hotel rooms for the crew for the night. Jinix locates her speeder and weeps at the condition of it, vowing to kill Victor if she finds him. She makes arrangements for it to be held so she can speak with Jorjak’s cousin and see if he’s in the market for a fixer-upper. Then the group heads up to the Highport and go their separate ways.

Jinix visits the Jersey Shore Girls again and gets another makeover, this time into a redhead pixie bob and spends her time gossiping. Kelvin visits a casino and gambles. Keziah burns his suits from planetside in engineering and goes out shopping for new unsullied clothes, and hopefully more medical supplies. Ken & V get to work in engineering and Jane considers working in the cargo bay instead of engineering. Jiro spends his day pampering himself in the local spa.

Jinix meets with Jorjak’s cousin, and we get our new part delivered, and a horrible crash is heard as Jane ferries it into the ship. Jinix’s ship is beyond the cousin’s ability to either purchase or repair, and so arrangements are being made to ferry it up to the Highport so that it can be brought along to a higher tech system where Ken can get the parts needed to repair it.

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"Start of a New Day" (or "And So It Begins... Er, Again")

It all starts with a bunch of strangers, each embarking on a new path from the life they once knew to new adventures. Leedor, the capital city on the planet Aramis (famous for its underground mining and acidic atmosphere, much like the Musketeer), is the gathering place… or more specifically, The Oasis (a faux British pub with a tropical-sounding name, located in the crosstown area near the starport hotel). Citizens of the planet and well-wishers have come to the capital city to celebrate the new year and enjoy the most fabulous festivities this sector has ever known. Then there’s these folk, who seem to have washed up with the galactic flotsam and jetsam this day…

Maqueda as Tegan O’Reely, Captain
Chris as Erik Grimes, Security
Bob as Joseph Westin, Pilot
Richard as Gerhard Reardon, MD
Patrick as Horace “Higgs” Thomson, Engineer/Co-pilot
and Nick as… ?? (to be introduced later)

With their packs and/or luggage stowed in their lockers or hotel rooms, our intrepid band of adventurers step out into the night, in search of fresh food and drink and a possible way off this rock, the sooner the better. Tegan, Higgs and Gerhard are the first to arrive, answering the Fates’ siren song. With their separate orders of nourishment placed, they each check and place themselves on the job posting service (for a nominal fee) and commence to sludge through the hardest part of any traveler’s journey— the waiting. Joseph and Erik arrive shortly thereafter, and join the group… separately but still tantalizingly close together… far close than any of them realize. (insert ominous crash of lightning here)

Anyways, Tegan is contacted by Jiro Takahashi, representing the Takahashi family’s business dealings in this sector, about captaining and finding a crew for a retrieval mission in a local gas giant. A ship is ready, payment is waiting to jump into her hands, and through her fingers, ours (hopefully). She starts researching and contacting the various party members as she waits for food and Jiro to show. Drinks are bought, fresh food is procured, and there are many sighs of relief and appreciation for the cooks’ due diligence to their profession.

Jiro shows and the details are gone over. The ship Vraidercalt was lost in a local gas giant. It had been attempting to refuel from the planet’s atmosphere when something went bad, very very bad. The ship was unable to make it back out of the giant’s gravitational pull without aid, so the crew set her to orbit, jerry-rigged the low berth to a shuttle and made their escape, but ended up dying in the process anyways. Jiro has a ship retrofitted for a deep dive, a Type 2 Fartrader named Grendelsbane, and he wants us to take it.

Tegan listens to his offers, gets a copy of the contract and calls the rest of the group in from their job postings. They all turn as one, their collective mouths watering at the chance to fly out of here. Jiro warns that he does not know the state of the ship, but if the ship can’t be salvaged, then we must expend all due diligence to get as much of the cargo onboard the Grendelsbane. He also warns that there are two competitors wanting to reach the ship as well, though he’s reasonably certain that they are nowhere near as prepped as his company is. The group agrees to meet Jiro early the next day to go over the ship and make preparations to leave. The rest of dinner is spent getting to know one another, and Grimes had some interesting tales to tell of encounters with pirates, one in particular catching everyone’s interest— the Screaming Magpie. They eventually break and go separate directions— some to continue the New Year celebration, others to sleep for the big day ahead.

Meeting the next morning at the starport dock, they check out the ship, sign the contracts and with a couple of false starts, manage to head on their way to the gas giant without much further ado. It’s three days journey there, so the crew goes about their duties, relaxes, and try to learn more about the people they’re trapped with in a powered tin of space sardines.

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First Mission Fulfilled
Here we go...no deaths

I do not know why, but I’m looking up at the ceiling of my brand new ship. Oh, now I understand why— I’m training with Joe. Let’s see, I started this because, well, face it, I am smart, I have daring, but I don’t know how to hold a gun or hit a guy properly and that damn gift my prior captain gave me won’t open. Therefore, I really need to blow off some steam. Joe on the other hand, has all that and then some, and who knows— maybe doing a little one-on-one, hand-to-hand may keep me from having thoughts that I’m not supposed to have. After all, my former captain told me, “You’re going to be a captain, and there’s three things to remember: One, always present yourself as someone who knows what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, or can at least get the right person to give you the information; Two, never mix business and pleasure; and three, if you need pleasure, make sure it’s far away from your business.” Now that I’m not taking any more tumbles tonight, I think I’ll hit the hay. First need to finish setting up the day & night shifts, so everyone should be okay while I sleep.

Now that I think back, it was all too easy and I should of known it. It started when the doctor heard some creaking so Higgs went to investigate. Then I wake to hearing some creaking of my own, but unlike the guys I look around, tell myself, “Well, it is an older ship,” and go back to sleep. Nevertheless, this doesn’t sit well with the crew as someone makes an announcement they plan to take a look outside. Dammit, my ship, so I need to be the one making those decisions. I get up and tell Mr. Grimes to check the ship sensors to see if there is anything unusual. Thinking to myself, “After all, we’re getting ready to head into a gas giant. Have to be ready for anything and because we still do not know what happened to the ship, Vraidecalt, we are heading toward.” Then everyone hears more creaking. That same somebody, Joe, decided to get on the comms and make it sound as if the ship is falling apart. I can’t have people freaking out just because I want to sleep, so I grabbed Joe, we put on some vacc suits, and I guess we’re going to check the ship from the outside. If we don’t see anything… it’s just an old ship letting us know she still has a little bit of life in her or could be trouble. So we start heading out and start searching. Mr. Grimes notices on his sensors smiley faces on the good side of the sensors and a smiley face with a bullet hole in its forehead on what would be the bad side of the sensors. Mr. Grimes is not amused, so he rips off the faces. He mentions the faces to me over the comm, and I mention to him it was probably Joe and that you’ll have to do this quite a few more times until he stops it.

Okay, we’ve been out here for almost 3 hours and found nothing. Then again, we’ve only checked the top side of the ship. Then we notice—it seems like we’re out of time. I thought we had more, but the Grendelsbane just turned around for the burn and is getting ready to dock, which means we need to get into the ship, anyways the gravity had been increasing as we had been examining. We get back inside the ship, Joe takes his place in the pilot’s chair in time for us to dock, which means ready or not, we board. Mr. Grimes prepares the boarding crew and goes over last minute instructions. Joe decides to start singing and whistling on the bridge, and I threatened him severely if he doesn’t stop. I tell him we need the comms clear and then order all comms stay open. He says it won’t be a bother as we can tune him out….DAM Joe. Everything is easy for Joe. Joe doesn’t have anything to worry about. Joe isn’t a captain, I am. Joe can be such a PAIN and he will stop. I have to keep telling myself I can’t say too much, but I can remind him that I know a thing or two that he really doesn’t want his girlfriend or anyone else to know. Note to self: Remind Joe of this when this is all over.

Upon approach, it is so easy to tell we can’t save the ship, so we’re going to just do a quick snatch and grab. Mr. Grimes and Lurch will be we going to the cargo bay while the doc and I will be going to the bridge, and Mr. Higgs and Joe will stay on Grendelsbane. Before we board, we got a good look at the ship, which looks like there was an explosion of some sort as you can tell from the gaping hole. When we enter the Vraidecalt, we can see that some passengers and crews are in the vacc suits, quite a few more not. The ones in suits look like they have been breached which I must say is almost always, not a good sign. Not that I have to tell him Mr. Grimes makes sure his gun’s at the ready, while the doc and I race quickly to the bridge. Personally, I want to see if we can save any information or at least find out what’s the most valuable thing on this barge.

While we are on the Vraidecalt, the Grendelsbane gets hit by lightning, most of its sparks off the hull, but there is some structural damage. Everyone must be careful and be quick. The doc and I are having trouble getting to the blasted bridge as the door is STUCK. Luckily, Mr. Grimes has no trouble getting down to the cargo area, where he finds 9 occupied low berths, great news (yes…this wasn’t going to be hard enough) three of them are still alive. I look at the doctor before we try one last time to get the door open (which it finally does) and tell him to head down to where Mr. Grimes is and help him with the people who are still alive. I can handle the bridge and the good news is I have my computer, Benny, which I made sure it is a nice almost sentient one. Benny can do a lot of things that I cannot and well, the doc’s needed elsewhere. While he’s heading down, I start checking out the manifest. I find the most valuable thing is 10 boxes of electronics, which are down in the cargo hold, so I make note of it. While I’m checking the ships systems and downloading some of the other things, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Better investigate, but first, let me finish having Benny tap into the logs of this ship and set up a few little protocols. First thing, have it tell me how much power we still have left, which is 8% so I’ll set up an alarm for when we’re at half (4%). Next, connect Benny to the computer so that I can control things ship actions like gravity on each of the individual floors- never know when that could come in handy.

“What the heck is that out of the corner my eyes?” Double check, everything seems to be okay here so time to investigate. Now the storm is hitting faster and harder than we were prepared for, happy I got two good pilots onboard, so hopefully they can handle this. Unbeknownst to me, down below, the doctor has reached Mr. Grimes and they’re moving one of the low berth capsules. The doctor is attacked when my warning comes thru the comms and his’ helmet is enveloped by a tentacle-like creature, and everyone hears hissing- not a good sign. Grimes tells the doctor to throw off his helmet, after taking a deep breath that is, and he tries shooting into the creature. Unfortunately, his’ shots hit it sort of like ballistic gel.

Meanwhile, on the bridge, I noticed a cloud and I wish I could say it was pretty and wonderful, however this one seems to have tentacles and is floating. It seems to start floating towards me- not a good thing. I scream out over the comms to everyone else, “We have a floating cloud with tentacles here,” and Joe sees something really huge approaching the shipside. (Note: Chris makes a deal with the devil to save the doctor.) It is now a race – the doctor tries to get to either the airlock or something else to get him air, and Mr. Grimes tries to get this space cloud jellyfish thing away from him. Before the doctor or Mr. Grimes get too far, the creature hits both of them with a tentacle and then shoots an electric shock through them. This is not a good way to start our first mission. The doctor eventually breaks free, makes his way to the ladder, but ends up going unconscious at the bottom of it. While Mr. Grimes watches in horror and tries to find a way to get to the doctor to save him before it’s too late.
The weather starts getting worse, and the ship slams to the side and everyone starts feeling it. Joe screams, “Mama cloud thing is approaching,” now that he has a visual and she’s throwing lightning at the ship NOT the storm. Thinking quickly Mr. Grimes gets a helmet from one of the floating corpses onto the doctor and he’s yells at him to step away from the light. Joe is on the ship-recording mama. My thoughts are as follows…" I will not die on this ship! I will not leave with nothing!! I will be dammed to lose people on my first job!!!" with everything else happening, I am screaming to everyone to head to the docking port. By this time, I had reviewed the map and decided to do something crazy, risky or both as I reached one of the lower cargo holds on the third level and I notice the electronics boxes. Bollocks, they’re too big for me to move all at once- I can maybe take one of them in the time we have but there’s 10. Then I see it- a cargo hauler. I check the schematics and see I could use it to move the 10 boxes to an opening that is near our ship but then I’m going to need some help getting it onto our ship. So I get on the comm, tell Mr. Higgs to get ready, I have a delivery. This delivery, of course, stops Mr. Higgs from getting to the gunner area where he was going to try to stop or at least slowdown mama. So he makes a beeline to the cargo on my direct order to haul but to the cargo hold to take on the new cargo, as I get ready to launch it into space, hopefully on a trajectory close to our ship and then run to the airlock.

GREAT!!! The power level alarm goes off, this ship has 4% power left. I don’t need this. I don’t need more stress. I am doing perfectly okey-dokey as I am screaming on the Comm, “Don’t care what you think you need to save, just get off the ship,” to everybody and then- funny, at this moment I’m really thinking I should follow my own advice, but I’m the captain, and the captain’s allowed to go down with the ship. Then again, I’m still a young captain. Do I really want to go down with this particular ship? I decide the answer is “Hell no.” I’m going to need to make it a little bit easier to start moving, so I start turning off the gravity field, as I am moving so that I can move a little faster with a lot less effort. Along the way, I made sure to grab a gun and a briefcase, just in case some of those tentacle things decide to try to intercept me. Mr. Higgs gets out of the cargo – well, quite honestly- is launched towards the top of the later after securing the doctor to Lurch and with Mr. Higgs tapped into Lurch the doctor is on his way to the air lock. Good job, Mr. Higgs. Note to self apology to Mr. Grimes about not warning him about the lack of gravity suddenly. Mr.Higgs gets the doc over to the med bay, while Joe cycles the airlock.

Joe stresses we better get to the air lock on comms and for us to get ready. I think to myself, “We may be cutting it close, but it’s not like it’s that close.” Then again, you should never say, think or hope for that, because that’s when Murphy’s Law takes over. Mama starts enveloping the ship that Mr. Grimes and me are still on- at which time, our ship is also being hit with another barrage of lightning, which of course causes us to lose power, which means that Mr. Grimes s at the airlock with no power and we have no comms as I’m racing to get to the airlock, unbeknownst to me that it has no power.

Well, Mama is eating the ship I’m currently on with Mr. Grimes. I can tell because I can hear the crunching and things being enveloped not far behind me. I really don’t want to be space food. I race to the airlock just as Mr. Higgs evidently gets power back to our ship, and me and Mr. Grimes jump into the airlock. We detach and try to get moving as Joe fires the engine, full-burn, but we’re not moving. Now it seems Mama is holding us in place with one of her tentacles. Yeah, I know, it is just not our day and mamma is hoping for desert. Grendelsbane is taking more structural damage so someone needs to get on the gun and hit mama. Mr. Grimes does a nice race to the bridge and mans the guns and being a true military man, he fires on Mama’s tentacle, which she isn’t glad of and then lets us go- thank God or gods or whatever you want.

On the way back, Mr. Grimes manages to stabilize the doc. I investigate my briefcase just as he investigates his- I find within a hidden compartment a note that says, “Trust no one.” Yeah, I have a feeling whoever was supposed to get this note is so long gone, but on the upside, I have a briefcase with a false bottom and a new gun I happen to pick-up. We also have 10 boxes of electronics and no one has died yet, but the doctor could look better. Luckily, the trip back is uneventful and gives me time to write this up so I can give it to Nakamura Corporation, which has people waiting for us when we dock. They welcome us, the doctors is whisked way, because he still hasn’t awaked or looks any better. Joe decides to start talking to Hiro about the creatures in the mission and continues to step into it until he notices my stern look. Tell him “I’m just going to let you keep going. I mean, after all, I thought I was captain but if you want the job…”— and that seems to silence him. Going to remember that for future to hold over him. We provide Mr. Hiro the information that Joe was able to record on mama, along with the breakdown all the things we found out about the creatures while we were on the ship, what we think happened, and a detailed outline of what actually happened to us, along with the 10 boxes of electronics. Then I ask him if our hotel, medical and everything else is going to be taken care of, which he says of course and it will take about two weeks for the ship to be repaired.

I tell him that is great, because if we’re going to continue working for him, I’m going to need at least one more combat capable person, which will take time to find. He tells me that he will review the information we gave him and I’ll get back in touch with us on if our contract will be extended. Note to self next time make sure the crew gets paid no matter if contract is extended or not before taking a break. As Mr. Grimes is the least injured and the one with the most combat experience, from what my findings say, I asked him to look into finding a combat-ready person for us, in case we do get picked up for more permanent missions. He decides to investigate from the TSA lounge and ends up finding Koractu “Ragnorok” nar Kesnyx of the Aslan military, along with 5 others.

He ends up providing me the list. Of which I recognize one of the name immediately in regards to the Aslan. Unbeknownst to Mr. Grimes, both Joe and I have met him before. On a more personal note, I need to meet up with him along with Joe at the Oasis prior to him meeting the crew. Four days later, the doctor’s released and we are scheduled to meet our benefactor, hopefully to find out the status of what’s going on with us. We meet and discussed our mutual past, which it is agreed that certain information is best-left unknown. He agrees and I offer him a position, based off if we get picked-up. I plan for our new teammate, prior to us meeting our benefactor, to meet the crew. I introduced him during the meet and greet and getting-to-know-you. Words are said, some feelings may have been a little bruised, but overall no guns were drawn, no shots fired. All in all, pretty good. Now what time do we meet with the Nakamura Corporation and do I have time for a little me time away from these guys.

Another side note: After the gaming session, we as a group took one of the group traits that you can get. It breaks down as following:

Chris’ character is picking up Pilot
Bob’s character picked up Gunner
My character picked up Engineer
Nick’s character picked up Mechanics
Pat’s character picked up the Sensors
My character also picked up Medic
Bob’s character also picked up Comms
Richards’s character picked up Astrogation

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