District 268 Back Roads Jaunt

"Welcome Hotep. Would you like the usual?"
(Noctocol)

After making an uneventful refuelling dive into Tarkine’s gas giant, the team headed to the 100 diameter limit and safely made it into jump space. Over the intervening 6 day breather, they checked over the ship. Durion dealt with a nagging screen prompt of some kind appearing on a console on the flight deck, discovering that it was a program of some kind connected to the ship’s transponder equipment after much swearing and effort. He figured it was some kind of dead-man’s-switch and Rus T Knives disconnected the computer from the transponder, crossing fingers that it was shut out.

Del found the ship’s very nicely stocked bar. Rusty found the crumbled remains of two zombies in the engine room. One of the team discovered a person in an unopened low berth pod and Durion decided to pop it open and revive the occupant. The occupant turned out to be a journalist escaping from the unpleasantness back on Klinger’s Mine (Tarkine). Due to a flub in the revival process, he experienced freezer shock and spent the entire remainder of the trip on his back recovering slowly.

Some of the activity in the cargo bay elicited animal noises from the far end. Cages containing cute, healthy, big-eyed and three-eyed alien mammals were found. Under the cages were label placards with odd names like “Somnicaine”, “Hyperviagra”, “Psicose”, “Sarcophagene”, “Draculin”, “Flogaine”, and “Fucitol”. This was assumed to be part of more nefarious activity by the previous owners.

After popping back in to normal space at Noctocol, the previously disconnected console began trying to squawk a mayday-hijacking signal through the transponder and couldn’t now.

Upon arrival in normal space, a distress signal was immediately received by a spacecraft configured as a free trader. Rusty had the ship bracketed at a comfortable distance with his sensor skills. Durion determined through his career experience and comms skills that it was identifying itself with a badly-forged signal. The ship continued pleading for air and fuel as the team veered the Hotep away from the craft.

Further scanning of space revealed a powerful radio station-like signal being broadcast from the exact coordinates that Durion had received from the dying old man back on Klinger’s Mine (Tarkine). It was a signal informing all visitors in the system about the “What Luck Casino And Freeport” and to come and visit. Very little radio noise was detected coming from Noctocol’s inhabited main world, consistent with its status as a known insular settlement.

Deciding to not waste precious time and spend 20 days stealthily jetting across the system to a gas giant to refuel, the team decided to fire up the engines for 1 day to head to the What Luck Casino signal and investigate.

Identifying themselves as the Hotep and contacting the “What Luck Casino” yielded the reply, “Welcome Hotep. Would you like the usual?”

They came upon a smallish, glitzy-but-tacky, disk-shaped space-city having buildings rising off of it on one side. The other side being less glamorous and more utilitarian, contained a Class D-level starport on that side. A large chunk of comet ice floated nearby with attachments running to the space city.

A check of the ship’s logs by Durion for any clues on what the destination was expecting by “the usual” revealed some facts: the ship has passed through here and stopped here routinely. Also the ship was involved in a battle a number of weeks ago and insurance was payed out by a group called “Executive Outcomes, Inc.”

Docking, they were met by monks of the Universal Brotherhood requesting donations for stranded travellers on Noctocol’s dead-end main-world slums. Later, they were then met back at the ship’s airlock by a VIP asking for Direktor Zil. The team sent Shane Holliston, the journalist, to fast talk and delay him a couple of days. Del released one of the strange creatures in the cargo bay to cause distraction and urgency at the encounter. Succeeding exceptionally with this, Shane also got the VIP to reveal he wanted to talk to “whoever is the captain of the ship this time around”, making things a little easier for the rest of the team when or if they wanted to deal with this individual.

Playing things very cautiously, the team got the ship refuelled, resupplied, and got some basic maintenance handled, only to have the VIP return again. On the bright side, they managed to charge the refurbishing to the Hotep’s account with the starport, a pretty stiff sum.

88 days remain on deadline.

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"Hair! Lots and lots of hair!"
(Tarkine)

The team fired up the Hotep, took off, and began planning a refuel operation at the local gas giant. Del said that they had better get control of the escaped stewardess because she was in the owner’s suite, a place to possibly control the entire ship. He was right. No sooner than he said that than did the video feed from there go dark. He went to check it out.

Del knocked on the owner’s suite door, pouring in the sweet talk. He heard the intercom open and a woman sigh as if she changed her mind that she didn’t want to speak. The intercom went quiet.

An alarm sounded from the low-berth bay. Low berths thawing and opening, revealing strange hairy beings rising from the creches. Caffran ran to check it out.

Suddenly the lights all go out on the ship, replaced by dimmer, red emergency lights.

Del sees the owner’s suite door open to reveal a person in a serious-looking space suit, with some kind of fancy rifle. The figure, a she – she apologizes to him, raises it to attack him with the butt of the thing and misses. The figure runs into the dark corridors of the ship.

Caffran spies strange bizarre hairy things rising from the low berths in the cargo bay area. They are bipedal humanoids with much hair, the hair points and sees around sensing its environment. Backing away he locks the door to the cargo bay only to see four hairy things go up and down the access tube to other parts of the ship.

A tense standoff ensues between Durion, Del, the stewardess, and Caffran. The person in the suit with the fancy rifle makes her demand to escape with Direktor Zil, claiming she is his bodyguard. Further maneuvering occurs and an agreement is reached to allow her, Zil, and the assistant (her choice) to leave aboard the ship’s launch. She slays the hairy space-zombies and tells how to deal with the remaining ones.

They leave, the crew makes to begin jump to Noctocol.

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On The Road (Tarkine)

The Payoff

- Players plotted a way out of the predicament of being a long way from a way out
- Del seems to have deceived Direktor Zil to cooperate by playing polite and offering fresh meat for his experiments
- Rusty reconnoitered the corporate offices for suits (vacsuits)
- They donned some nice courtesy suits to sneak across the station/town posing as corpdrones
- The space yacht Hotep was discovered to be only half refueled due to the urgency of the request received to refuel it (workmen apparently off trying to find more fuel)
- Crew boarded yacht through a maintenance airlock in the engine room that they left open earlier
- Caroline the stewardess was encountered on board the ship, successfully fled and locked herself in the owner’s suite
- team dealt with an approaching mining laser on tracks making ready to cut the ship open or disable it
- Del tried playing recorded video of the nefarious deeds of the corporation over the town’s common video feeds but only got a brief image through
- Direktor Zil and assistant locked in a state room; Del smashed and fried the computer access with his stun baton

- Take off, space scan, dodged ice asteroids nearby, setting course

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Throwing Down The Cards (Tarkine)

- Durion revived his bug from the static incident. He noticed it had passed through some kind of shielded zone.
- Caffran was gone so his probe drone contracted some kind of religion because of the damage it sustained. It doesn’t believe in technology.
- team recalls that a star-going craft like the Hotep sometimes has an escort hanging around
- Del met up with a member of Hotep’s crew, Caroline the steward. While doing so, he briefly met the crew of the Hotep.
- During the date, Del learned a few things about the Hotep’s operations
- During the date, the free belters of the town tried forcibly shaving the team’s heads in the middle of The Dive because the team openly flaunted the custom of Klinger’s Mine which is that everyone shaves their heads on Haircut Day, due to all the lice
- Direktor Zil, through Granzh the vargr, interrupted the confrontation, invited the team to his office only to try kidnapping them. He monologued that he was going to exchange them for the old prisoners for his fresh new biofactories. The team fought back.
- The team killed at least one thug, and dropped or subdued the others who expected passive, docile former passengers.
- The team made the Direktor their bitch and have the Hotep refueled in order to bug out towards Flexos by way of Noctocol. The team plans to bring the Direktor with them as a hostage and are going to try causing a riot as a diversion.

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Re-orienting at Klinger's Mine (Tarkine)

- Ghost of the dead captain Warner haunts the wreckage of the Duchess Selene
- Duron talks to Chester, a indentured-prisoner who, on a lame-ass death bed confession, gives the location of a treasure stashed away in a beat up freighter orbiting around Noctocol star at such-and-such coordinates
- Duron noted via the bug he placed that Direktor Zil asks vargr sleezebag (name of “Granzh”) for a favor in return for a spot on his space yacht
- Del & Rusty reckoned the yacht to be in “refurbish mode”
- Del jammed the aft hatch open from the flight deck
- Del has a date in 2 hours with Caroline the steward(ess!)
- the engine room HATCH-IS-OPEN event has been logged in the ship’s computer with no corresponding HATCH-IS-CLOSED event following
- Director & Rusty Knives have frosty conversation as Rusty yuks it up
- “Haircut Day” coming up, got lice?

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Picked Up (Tarkine)

Klinger’s Mine offers the use of the posh corporate cell-baracks for the newly arrived refugee passengers of the Duchess Selene, instead of the noisy hangars and hammocks in the ore areas. PCs said we go to common area, the rest of the passengers can go to the nice cells.

Durion sneaks a bug onto Granzh the comatose vargr, their rival, during the ride away from the wreckage.

Listening in on Granzh:  He’s schmoozing folks.  Talking about the indentured folks.  
Durien find that company Zoloft Biotech is shipping out medicine from this location.  Earned 1250 credits doing some interesting administrative side work while waiting for pick up.

Caffran finds himself in The Dive confronting a drunk.  He attempts to use Luthar as his threat. It works.  While working he finds some folks in a quarantine area that aren’t looking so good and have hair growing from their mouths…

Grace helps Del get to feeling better.  She also realizes that what we’re seeing is some folks getting used as drug factories.

Del rests up then gets in good with a guard-employee of the Red Shirt Sectorwide Security Sevices agency.  He has seen “people sized boxes” getting stored for transport.  

5 days until Hotep arrival

Curly Oz the vagrant

- Belters coming in quit salvage operations of the wreckage because of a ghost sighting

next ride out is on a resupply freighter due in 4 months, find another way off this rock?

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Scrambling At The Wreckage (Tarkine)

Players hijacked the ship’s shuttle, scrambled out of the way of the crash landing star liner as it crashed into a moon of the pesky ringed gas-giant.

Belters begin showing up and claim the wreckage. Players have twenty minutes to find any of their old stuff from the ship before trouble.

Debris scattered everywhere. Luthar found packages of scalliprawns… with sauce. Del found his underwear. Some of the team cracked open the ship’s locker.

Del is trapped under some wreckage in the danger zone. He spots someone: it’s the captain, waving at him. The captain turns around and disappears into the shadows. While further searching, the captain is later spotted, a burned skeleton in a space suit, strapped to a pilot console.

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Home Free Cruising (Jump Space)

Hobnobbing in the lounger before Captain’s Dinner, last night of the flight
Rusty → card game with some of the passengers, stiff stakes
Del got scammed by a fellow thief who scams high passengers; she later disappeared in the commotion
Durion picked up 8k from gambling, Rus, Luther lost 2k. (As did Kevin and Granzh)
Del noticed the Captain appearing to have troubles working with some numbers or figures. Del later sweet talked May a bit.
The alarm sounds. People start getting sick all over the place. Sickness rapidly eases.
Durion – Had a chat with the assistant engineer. They didn’t seem very impressive and said “Well nothing wrong with MY drive.” Durion found a vac suit in a locker near an air lock and then reported his fun to his friends.
Nye – Had a little fun spreading panic but then helped people & cubs into their rooms.
Caffran – dove in the hole and helped fix the hull breach.
Rus – had the confrontation with the captain and found himself a bubble.
Del – Got pick pocketed by May and then had a stunner pointed at him and left to find a soft suit belonging to the (male) cargo master
Luther – Had a chilly chat with the captain and 1st officer. Threatened an old lady out of a bubble at gunpoint just before it became known that the hole was patched.
Durion wants to hack email logs, or anything to give him indications of trouble and tension within the crew before he heads off to help the low berth people
people are going to help with the doc in the low berths or with damage control
Luther Cross tried heroically swapping places with an old lady in a rescue ball and gain infamy amongst the passengers
Caffran helped the engineer and made friends
Durion wants to search the servers somehow for evidence of sabotage by the crew before he heads below to help

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