Adventure in the Spinward Marches

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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