We learned that Ryan and Sam came through Zephyr. Sam was hurt and her ship was very damaged. The Zephyrs fixed her as best as they could and she left. Ryan needed fuel and left seconds before the Trexalon guys came to attack.
Our plan: Send two Marines with super-encrypted versions of the travel logs to the senior naval person and the senior scout person at Karin (Karin Five Sisters 0534) and the same people, as well as the Marquis, at Mille Falcs (Mille Falcs District 268 1637)
Kurk Matson (Karin)
John Aryan (Mille Falcs)
The tramp freighter was named The Ludwig. We told them to split up at Singer. We gave them a pile of credits and the encrypted messages, and a hand-written note from a bunch of formerly high-ranking Imperials.
Then we are going to Marseilles to look for Sam and Ryan.
As we were leaving the Zephyr Station proper, we were talking with Davos over the communication system about the plan and we saw the camera shake and Davos leave the frame. “Oh no, we’re too late!” he cried. We were at the 100D limit to jump. We switched the screen around to see the aftermath of an explosion in the bottom part of the station. We used our sensors to watch the explosion in detail. The bottom part of the space station, a huge dome, was blown off to soon enter the atmosphere and kill all within. The gunnery ring was demo’d off by microcharges and it spun off. Niar coldly commanded that we just leave because the best way to save Zephyr is to bring the Imperium to Zephyr. Jim jumped the ship.
During jumpspace time, Big Jim worked on his Sensors skill, Edward worked on his dex, and Niar completed his dex training (raising his UPP to B658DC). Otto is working on dex, and improving his instruction skill – he trained Edward in Battle Dress. We re-watched the final minutes of the exploding Zephyr station, but steeled ourselves against feeling too depressed.
As we headed into Marseilles, we got comm’d, “Howdy Visitors! This is Charley’s World. Why don’t you get in line for fuel?” We scanned for our friends— looking for a Scout-Courier or another Donosev-class ship. We found only one Scout-Courier. We contacted him. The captain of the ship was a guy named Drake.
Drake said that he talked with Ryan and a Charles Hedrix in command of a Far Trader called the Osprey. The Osprey was ahead of Ryan for refuelling. They both mentioned going to Allemagne. The Osprey itself jumped ahead of Ryan’s Donosev, The Crystal Roxy.
We queued up at the refueling pump, moved out to 100D, and jumped for Allemange.
Jim was working on Sensor and he made it to Sensors 4 this jump.
Allegmange is a water world , orbits a twin star. The planet seemed abandoned to nature. We saw no starships in orbit. We could tell that there were cities on a planet— but there was just overgrown tarmac and city where the planetside starbase was to be. Jim’s new sensor skills showed us that all the original settler places were abandoned to nature— maybe there was a war, or scavengers. We detected a lower-tech city but not much greenhouse emission. We scanned all around and found a crash site. We scanned the crash site and got a pretty good overview. We realized we would have to go down to the planet to figure out the crash due to cloud cover.
Otto, Brian, Niar, and the two remaining Marines went down in the cutter. Otto brought the Battledress and our PGMP-13.
Edward and Big Jim stayed aboard the Michael Westin.
We made our flyover in the Sam Axe. We determined the area of the crash was radio-jammed.
That’s a scout-Courier and the Osprey Far Trader in the bottom half.
We saw several dozen bodies outside the barricade. The northern bodies are wearing combat armor styled in the Middle Ages. The southern guys techless, aboriginal guys and they made it past the barricade to the ship— that said something.
We could see some hasty graves + buried bodies. At the back end of the Scout Ship, we saw a woman sitting its back. She was using a winch to haul the jump drive out of the ship. We could tell this woman is a brunette— Sam was a blond so it wasn’t Sam. A bunch of people ran back to the Osprey and one guy with binos was checking us out— waving us down. We told Edward to keep his guns ready.
There was radio jamming happening within a mile of the crash site. Jim figured out that there were some buoys in the water. He can triangulate once per hour.
We fly over again the ships again to check out the serial number on the Scout-Courier. We missed it. The ship is beat up. The guy with the binos was really waving us down. Brian spied the ship and verified the ship’s tail number. “That’s Sam’s ship, all right! Who the hell’s the brunette?”
Later, Big Jim figured out the power source of the jamming— it’s remotely transmitted from the remote farmland area north of the crash. Edward created a firing solution on the power transmitter just in case Jim wanted to talk to us when we land. Jim is working on a counter-signal to deal with the jamming
We landed the Sam Axe north of Sam’s Courier— we were jammed the second we touched down. Niar left out to the south. Marines left out the north, hidden from the view of the crew of the Osprey.
The guy with the binos waved to us and we yelled “Hidy-Ho!” Binos guy is Captain Hedrick of the Osprey. “Man, we need help! We came down here to salvage this scout ship and we got attacked by crazy natives with bows and then we got attacked by guys wearing medieval armor from ancient Sol and they had laser spears (like Krull).”
They lost 5-6 crew members. The Osprey’s gunner took out natives, at least once a day they got attacked by natives. They noticed the jamming. They are taking the jump drive out of the Scout-Courier because they are worth their weight in gold in this subsector.
Otto and the Marines got in position on either side of the cutter. Otto looked beyond the barrier and didn’t see much.
Niar introduced himself as “Steve” and Hedrick offered 3000 credits to have us help them winch out the jump drive. Julian, the engineer said there was nothing left in the ship but we were welcome to look inside.
Big Jim finally was able to check the site out with the sensors because the cloud cover moved away.
The Courier was stripped out. There was blood, someone took a fall or there was a fight. There are four cabins in a courier. 3 were storage areas, one was a room. The storage rooms were tossed good. Niar took a look in the Secret Stash where Intelligence Scout-Couriers have a secret safe installed. The safe had:
- a money bag,
- personal tablet computer (bigger than a comm unit)
- pen drive
We got the stuff from the safe and offered to help with the jump drive extract. The Osprey people didn’t notice. They asked us to move the jump drive up, over to the Osprey, and then back into the Osprey’s open cargo bay. While lifting the drive out of the Courier, the Sam Axe was struck hard and shuddered. Niar crashed the Sam Axe while trying to regain control after the strike.
Big Jim saw a fusion bolt shooting out of the forest. He relayed the coordinates to Edward, who lasered the fusion gun from orbit. Edward also shot the jamming device out by shooting out two of the Keep’s towers.
Hedrick was shaken and concerned. “You guys got hit by a fusion gun from the woods, which later got struck by lasers from orbit. Wow!” The cutter was fine but we couldn’t tell if the jump drive was on the cable or not..
Hedrick yelled over the radio “Get to the barricade, get to the barricade!” Big Jim saw a fire fight beginning at the barricade. The Osprey began to fight with lasers and the Michael Westin came heavy with missiles.
Niar got the Sam Axe up in the air and it felt heavy enough that they must have had the wet jump drive on the cable. Julian helped direct the deposit of the jump drive into the Osprey’s cargo bay. Niar asked Julian about the graves; Julian said there was one female buried among them.
Big Jim suggested we return to the site— we landed as the Osprey left. The Osprey hesitated and then left out of there. The Osprey headed to 100D. Jim told them about owing us 3kCr and Hedrick mentioned the money is on the ground.
Niar and Brian returned to the site to look for Sam. They raked the graves; there were no females. One guy in the graves was Ryan— but the Crystal Roxy was nowhere in system.
Edward shot at the Osprey’s engines; lasers hit the engines and hull. The missiles missed. The Osprey missed with one return shot and the Michael Westin’s sandcasters deflected the other.
Jim raised the Osprey “You guys double-crossed us! You better get us our girl or we’re going to fight it out right now and you’ll lose!” A different guy appeared on the screen “I’m uh, Dan! The third officer! e don’t have her— our boss took her in the other Donosev-class and told us that our only payment would be what we got out of the Scout-Courier…” A jump drive is worth about 1MCr. (Wow)
The Marines searched the Far Trader and swept it clean while the crew of the Osprey waited in the passenger module of the Sam Axe. The crew was cooperative and the ship was clean. We returned the crew but interrogated Julian.
- Who’s the boss? Tor Kumaki, a Vilani
- Where did he go? Tor took the Crystal Roxy back to Raweh with Kumaki through the Sam’s World main.
- When did he leave? 1 week and a few days ago
- Was he fully-fueled? Tor was probably fully-fueled but he may have gone to Marseilles
- What happened that the captain of the Crystal Roxy? We came in disguised as a wounded tramp freighter. We boarded her and took her. We lost a few of our crew too.
- What’s their connection to the Trexalons? I don’t know anything about the Trexalons, we work on messages from the X-Boat route as clues from Tor and Hedrick followed his orders. Sometimes she’s heard “The Witch is sending us here…” but she’s never met the Witch.
- Did the woman explain who she was? Sam wasn’t broken.
- What was the motivation for taking Tor taking the Crystal Roxy? The Witch said to do it.
With the Captain dead and Tor leaving her high and dry, Julian is leaving Tor’s employ immediately.
Jim told them we are taking 1 jump of fuel from the Osprey to be able to head out. We did so.