The Hunt

The Tor and Hilda Story // Follow up to the Andor Cobalt Incident // Report to the Cobalt Accord

[The following after-action report was presented to the Cobolt Accord by Ronald Solon after the incident on Andor]

The Tor and Hilda Story

Follow up to the Andor Cobalt Incident

Report to the Cobalt Accord

Thirday Week 43 1106, by Ronald Solon

Introduction

While there are still many mysteries surrounding the Andor Incident, I have managed to sort out one of the most unexpected incidents of the whole affair and draw some conclusions about Hilda’s state of mind. I have already shown you the relationship between Hilda and Tor was of a romantic nature (See the Report: Coded X-boat Messages). In light of this relationship, Hilda’s sudden killing of Tor was all the more brutal. This report seeks to explain Hilda’s action using eye-witness accounts of the Marine Lead Sergeant, Kurk Matson , a mercenary identified as Jos Illinch, and an engineer and jump specialist Liggu, all three have finally recovered from wounds received during the incident. The two prisoners’ reports were given to me while they were recovering in a secure hospital room. All times are only approximations and should only been seen as an ordering of events.

11:30 IST The INI team makes its orbital insertion making land fall on the Island of Eskayloyt at 11:47 IST:

The beginning of our investigation, according to the witnesses, was simultaneously the beginning of the chain of events leading to Tor’s murder. My original report to the C.A. Membership details our actions over the next 2-3 hours. The rest of this report follows the actions of Hilda’s forces.

Jos and Liggu confirmed the arrival of the pinnace altered the the force within the volcano. Hilda gave Liggu and Frank Kaven, the other engineer, the order to begin refueling the Teleport Drive. This activated the aqueducts and fuel processing equipment. Additionally, both Liggu and Jos heard Hilda yelling at Tor, “You idiot! You lead them right to us!”

13:23 IST The assault on the entrance:

Jos informed me that the combined orbital and ground assault on their front porch further inflamed Hilda’s anger. Realizing the base was no longer secure, she ordered all documents destroyed and everyone to prepare for evacuation. According to Liggu, she once again let her anger out on Tor. “Make yourself useful! Get you and and your security team to meet me in the physics labs storage area now!”

3:40 IST Psionic Storage

Jos, one of the members of the security team, recounted the shock of Hilda’s total betrayal to the Imperium:

Once everyone was assembled with weapons and armor, she [Hilda] ordered us to unpack two large crates. The security team was shocked to see two ZW 280’s. Tor expressed all of the team’s shock. “Hilda, where did you get these and why do you have them?” Hilda replied with, “What? You think all of this has been just another get rich scam? Typical of an Imperium inbreed, money is all you think about! I’ll have you know there are greater things out there! This is about a quantum leap in Zhodani teleportation abilities, you fool! Now stop those Imps and get those prisoners to the pad.”

Jos explained Tor’s plans:

He split us into Fire team Alpha and Fire team Beta, each made up of 2 men and one ZW 280. Alpha was assigned to getting the bots in place and leading the first charge. Beta was to retrieve the prisoners and follow up Alpha’s attack.

Jos was assigned to Beta team.

14:07 IST The Prisoners

Jos continued the story:

Tor took the Beta team to recover the prisoners. Once there, the three jumped us.

Interviews with Kurt informed me that he and his fellow prisoners had heard the explosion outside the volcano and knew it was then or never to get away. So they made preparations but were surprised by Beta and a scuffle occurred.

Jos added his side:

Tor wrestled with Samantha, Keven the other member of Beta pistol-whipped some already-injured marine several times and I was forced to shoot the Aslan Far Strider crew member.

14:14 IST Defeat at the ramp

Jos continued:

With Samantha in tow, we worked our way back to the pad. Hilda again let out her anger at Tor for not bringing all the prisoners. By this time she was shouting that she wished we were all Zhodani troops not some Imp merc low-life scum. Beta moved back to the ramp; unfortunately, by the time we got there Alpha team and our Beta team’s bot were destroyed. We fell back to the pad to provide security for the evacuation.

14:20 IST Tor’s Death

“By the time we got back to the pad,” Jos continued, “Tor was setting up the explosive charges on the fuel tanks. Hilda had flipped her wig. She was swearing revenge and the death of all the Imperials when Operation Traveller made the Five Sisters Subsector hers.” Jos was pinned down by the firefight for the passage to the pad.

Liggu picked up the story:

I saw Hilda place Samantha behind her swearing to kill her slowly and then took the remote control from Tor. Hilda followed this up with an order to start the Teleport Engine. It is at this time that Tor moved to get on the pad. Tor was moving to the pad and, Hilda pulled out her automatic— stopping Tor in his tracks. Tor said something about “Aren’t we lovers to be married?” Hilda responded “No, you’re just Imp tool,,, no, an Imp beast of burden, and when those go lame like you did, there is only one thing to do.” At this point she shot Tor in the face saying, “You put them out of your misery.” Hilda activated the Teleport Engine and set off the charges. “I realized she had killed us all, or at least thought she had.”

Hilda’s Psychological state:

Hilda, surprised by our appearance, proceeded to lose control of her facilities. I believe she is now insane and therefore even more dangerous. Samantha’s life is in grave danger as she has become the focus of Hilda’s anger at the Imperium. Any mission to go after Hilda and rescue Samantha should proceed with caution. It is likely that Hilda has become obsessed with her plans to conquer the Spinward Marches. Therefore, she is more likely working to make her plans to come to fruition, rather than to be running away. I would look for her either in the Sword Worlds or the Trexalon Main.

Afterwards:

Both the prisoners finished their statements, and I finished a light lunch. Amazingly, both Liggu and Jos then suffered acute and sudden cardiac failure. Kurk, along with the other three members of his team, have become members of the Cobalt Accord and are serving as members of the Admiral’s personal guard until follow-up plans are made.

View
The Cobalt Issue

In the Droyne University still

We went to another classroom. We discovered that the pre-Droyne professors figured out that Vanishing Elements and Jumpspace seem to be blending together in that very strong telepaths are affected by being in Jumpspace— they get headaches.

We fought two ZX-280 Zhodani warbots and a couple of bad guys (looked like mercs) and also found a part of the university that showed that the pre-Droyne professors found another area like this on Candory. We blew up the warbots and killed the mercs.

We found a Droyne bathroom with some faint moaning coming from behind a partition. We saw a Human male moaning, an Aslan male with a patch from the Farstrider. The human is Kurk Matson. He passed out “she was just here, Samantha, they just took her” Ronald patched up Kurk but said Kurk’s wounds are too severe to move him. Niar stayed behind with Kurk.

We scouted the area and found Tor’s and just a moment later, Hilda’s room. Many items on the walls were quickly torn off, with a

blue arrow going from the five sisters to district 268 spinward to rimward, and then out to Mora/Mora. There is a circle drawn covering several parsecs “locate supply base somewhere here” It shows Zhodani troop movement . There is another arrow on the other side of the Sword Worlds, much smaller, that says “Diversionary attack here.” The entire map is called “Operation Traveller.” The map also has Andor/Candory marked as “must capture”

Looking around the lab, Edward noticed through the video cameras tracking 10s of thousands of jump fuel to do a jump one. We also know the pre-Droyne people had different tech levels.

Otto rigged a stretcher for Kurk— we went up.

We encountered Hilda and Tor at the top of the stairs. There was a big room with a large science apparatus and two computer consoles with a technician each. There was a giant set of three globes on the south and the whole area was open to the sky. The apparatus was large enough to stand in. Samantha was there.

Hilda shot Tor in the face and then the apparatus activated. There was the sound of a jump engine firing up. A golden globe spread out and Hilda & Samantha disappeared.

Jim tried to use the sensors but was stuck in the toilet at the time.

We called for a rescue from another pinnace and had Jim take really good pictures of this complex.

In Jumpspace to Candory

Niar started recovering
Jim started computers
Otto continued working on Intelligence
Brian continued working on strength
Edward continued working on computer

At Candory

An Imperial SDB came out to meet us. They got our IFF and they agreed to help us. We asked for high-resolution photographs of the planet surface to compare our complex pictures. Jim when through them.

Jim also went through life detection for humans versus Droyne on Candory. At the same relative spacial coordinates as the pre-Droyne base, we found an asteroid with a huge crater with ice/water . In the center of the crater there was a mountain. Jim searched for the complex duplicate on the asteroid and found it. There was no life on the asteroid.

We asked the SDB if anyone jumped out of the system in the last 24 hours. The last ship to jump out that we didn’t get was a long-term Scout class— larger than the Donosev. This ship left almost a week ago. It was registered to Hilda. She told them she was doing some work, and then she left— the SDB said she was going to Karin.

Roland said she’s breaking many laws. We have a lot of evidence— the Zho warbots, Operation Traveller. We have video of the whole adventure, including her murder of Tor. We went down to the complex to check for evidence.

We found a newly-constructed place to land. There’s a hole blown into the wall, which allowed Hilda’s team to go right into the transport room. There is a lot of equipment laying around, like they just got the complex working. This was an Ancient base. It has instantaneous Jump-1 capability. It enhances teleportation and telepathy with the Jump bubble and you need both psionic skills.

We found a map of paired worlds that had Droyne colonies. They are scattered throughout known space, with the majority of the within the Imperium. One is in the Zhodani Consolate, and one is in the Aslan area. Only the Zhodani base has real coordinates. The others have huge ? over the map locations.

(All of this is on Cobalt Lockdown).

We found computer consoles and fuel tanks. Otto thinks that Tor sabotaged the fuel tanks to explode them so we couldn’t follow. The fuel tanks are intact at Candory.

We refueled and went to Karin.

In Jumpspace to Karin

Niar continued recovery
Jim continued computers
Otto continued working on Intelligence
Brian continued working on strength
Edward continued working on computer

We talked to Kurk. He made it to Karin. He made his appointment to talk to Hilda. He got in and got the crap beat out of him. The next thing he knew, he was in the shower on Andor, getting the crap beat out of him again. He is also now in the Cobalt Accord.

At Karin (Scout base, Imperial patrol ships)

Another SDB. Jim talked to the SDB crew. He gave the secret word. We declared that we need to talk to someone in charge. We recognized the guy— “Doctor Sully Essen” “We’re looking for Hilda. She’s committed crimes.” He said “She jumped in, gave me her retirement papers, and left. She took her Jump 3 ship and left.” “She left 3 days ago.”

We refueled and went to Iderati.

In Jumpspace to Iderati

Niar continued recovery
Jim continued computers
Otto finished Intelligence
Brian finished strength
Edward finished computer

Iderati, again


As we arrive, an alarm was going off throughout the system— a fast courier from the Marquis of Mertactor has recently arrived.

We hailed the courier. At the same time, Fran hailed us. Fran told us to get to the base to get to the base. She suggested we go to meet with the Marquis. The courier landed aerodynamically. We flew down in the cutter. Roland flashed all kinds of badges. We were going to the secure black globe room.

The entrance to the secure room was guarded by two of the Marquis’ Hussars.

We were in the room with Fran, the Admiral, the Marquis, and us. Fran and the Marquis asked what was going on. Roland looked at the Admiral, “this is a Cobalt issue” after which the Admiral dismissed Fran. Fran moped her way out. The Marquis and Admiral did NOT leave so they are also Cobalt Accord members.

Roland told the tale. We called the instantaneous jump teleporters “The Cobalt Issue” to be able to talk about this problem in front of Fran. The Marquis treated Otto with pure disdain.

After the briefing, we called Fran in. “Hilda’s not here; she’s gotten away. We can try to track Hilda down. She either went to Zhodani space or to the Sworld Worlds. We have to know what the Sword Worlders are up to so we have to send a force there. We also have to break up the Trexalons— and we have the Cobalt issue. If the bad guys are setting up a forward supply base, we need to find it.”

The Admiral, the Marquis, and Fran dismissed us. “We’ve at least got to reinforce the Drill sector,” said the Admiral. And the Marquis chimed in with “That explains Efate, too.”

Denouement

Big Jim got the Michael Westin as booty. Everybody else got squat.

Otto wants Hilda pinned to the wall.
Niar stands in stunned silence.
Brian would have shot Hilda on sight.

The end… for now

View
An Ancient Complex

Coming out of Jumpspace

Blue Shark 1 to the Michael Westin: We have your IDF, please follow the Beyon to the High Port. We see a split-screen communication with a normal Human and a Droyne, who introduced himself as Krayet. We followed him to the High Port – it took about a day.

Let’s get Roland to help us. His plan:
1) go to the high port
2) let’s get the Navy
3) then let’s interdict the down port
4) then let’s go find Tor and Hilda
5) We kill them
6) We take their bodies to Fran

Roland suggests we go to the High Port
The Crystal Roxy is docked at the High Port
The High Port was commanded by Lt Cmdr Riley Jones

Jim wants to take control of the Crystal Roxy. However, the Marines took control of the Crystal Roxy and they do not have Tor or Sam. The cutter is not at the High Port. The Marines have 3 former crew members. The crew say that Tor and Sam and “a couple of other people” went in the cutter. They got down to Home and the at that point the Imperial database of ship movements show the cutter is at the Scout Base at Home. Tor’s and Sam’s positions are not known at this time.

We told Riley about the potential for a hostage situation. Riley said he would sent three assault pinnaces to the surface to help secure Home. There are flying Droyne everywhere and even Droyne vehicles, which effectively jam our space

We will meet Lt Cmdr Riley Jones : 5 Imperial SDBs and 3 newly-constructed Droyne SDBs
1 fast courier J3
3 newly-constructed 500 ton merchants equipped for military operations

Home – the Downport is made of 5 areas
A downport
A maintenance area
A scout HQ
A university research center (cultural exchange)
A residential area

There is a connection to the largest Droyne Oytrip nearby via an aerial superhighway.

Home/ Ador Downport


When we landed, we locked the base down. Dean Illya Petrovich came out angry, asking why we are locking the place down. We took her to a secure area and told her what is going on about Tor, Sam, and Hilda. She hasn’t seen Hilda or Tor, and is angry about Sam’s kidnapping.

We found out the four people from the cutter got an air/raft and took off north to Yothvotdyo. We need approval from the Droyne Council to pursue off the Scout base and to see if they know anything that’s going on. Illya got us a meeting with the Droyne Council. We took some air/rafts to the meeting. (2 air/rafts + 2 police escort fliers)

Droyne High Council Chambers


The Droyne city was ringed by glass & steel towers hundreds of meters high with ledges for Droyne to alight. Then there was a residential ring, and finally a central forest area with the council tree in the center. We parked the air/rafts on a ledge in the tree.

The council chamber, called the Palyo, is in the middle of the meeting hall. The meeting hall is a large space with an entrance guarded by combat armor Droyne with Gauss rifles. The hall is lit by fire. There are cliques of Droyne standing around and we see a dais with three chairs:
Field Marshall Twoyrot
High Priest Pyao
High Leader Nisky

Illya did the introductions. Jim explained our needs— that two air/rafts of scouts are wanted for murder and treason, and asked for their cooperation. Nisky gives the loyal subjects schlemiel and offers cooperation. While we are talking, the oldest-looking Droyne we’ve ever seen comes into the room—he’s walking with a cane. The old Droyne speaks up, growing to a crescendo “Niksy you fool! You pledged assistance to the HUMANS? How many children have to go ?

“Deathless one! You speak to me when dealing with humans? You sat in this chair and made the Pyao will help you.

(The old guy never committed ritual suicide. If they don’t, they are usually obsessed with something that they believe is important enough to avoid the suicide)

Nisky offered the Grand Library. We asked for law enforcement folks to help us find humans mixing with Droyne. Nisky said sure but go to the Library.

The Deathless One’s name is Kiyo

The Library


We went to the Library.
Abnormal activity
Children leaving – we discover Children means the next generation, it’s not kids. Children leaving refers to Children leaving to join the Imperium.
High rates of crime or missing persons or fatalities
Hyper-secure areas
The old guy was the leader before Hilda: he was a pro-Imperium leader who helped boost the Scouts and helped the Droyne to build their own starships. His name is Kiyo

The Imperium were researching Droyne sites that existed before the nuclear war and that the deserts are nuclear wastelands.

As we are talking about this, a young Droyne appears— walking, hopping, and flying. He hands us a hand-written note. “It’s from the Deathless One.” The note says “Please follow the child. My heart is willing but my wings refuse to let me.” We followed the young guy.

Kiyo’s room is completely disorganized. He explained who he is (we already know). Kiyo was unimpressed with the general military guys. He schmoozed with Niar and was nice enough to the bureaucrats. “Well, you don’t know the whole story, do you?”

“When Hilda came here, 15 years ago or so… she asked the legend of Eskayloyt— which refer to the Lost Lands.” “Hilda constantly badgered me to talk about this place, left and right. This place is so radioactive that no Droyne ever goes there. It is the heart of the nuclear war that occurred 300 years ago. There is a desert on its north tip, a ring of mountains, and a forest in the center. As Kiyo talked about the Lost Lands, he mentioned that the term Lost Lands mean Vanished One in ancient Droyne. A long time ago, there was magic here and anyone who ventured here long ago would either die or come back insane. I think you should look here.”

We agreed. We got a remote link to the Micheal Westin’s sensors to look at Eskayloyt. The area is highly-radioactive. There is 75-100 yr old foliage. There is no sense of an Imperial dig here at all. The mountains look like they have been turned upside down (the sediments are inverted) There are some Droyne settlements towards the south and away from the radioactive desert— villages, deep in the woods and deep in the mountains. All, or a lot of the water, seems to artificially drain towards the south side of the island.

We looked harder at the lake and the place where the artificial drainage is going. The lake has two Oytrip with ~100 inhabitants each (fishing communities) but the drainage area has mountains and a volcano in the center with the water draining towards the volcano. We can’t fly to the island due to religious taboo and we will be stopped.

Kiyo’s son led Hilda to the island and never came back. Kiyo really hates Hilda. The son’s name is non-descript. We have his picture.

Ronald suggested a space-based insertion from the pinnaces (sub-orbital). Jim went back to the ship on a pinnace with Edward. We waited for them to get up there and undocked. Lt Cmdr Riley Jones was not very happy because this could start an interstellar incident. Ronald said we should go without permission anyway. Edward wanted to blow away all the sensors, but we conned him out of it. He decided to put down his annoyances by calibrating the guns.

From orbit, Jim was able to spot an overgrown ruined city. There are no inhabitants.

Sub-orbital assault


Niar flew in the pinnace along with a Marine ship’s gunner. We got in. Two Droyne fighters flew past us but didn’t see us. They came from the west, flew a pattern to the east (probably an ocean search pattern).Niar and the Marine gunner took off to fly CAS. Ronald, Otto and Brian made a perimeter and discovered that the lower level of the ruins has been cleared out (lasered?) and we can get in the lower levels. They found a bunch of Scout MRE wrappers as trash. As they went in and out of the buildings, they discovered they were at a college. They noticed there was a mixture of tech, some 300 yrs old and some a little bit older. They were in a history section with heavy-duty transparent enclosures that were intact despite numerous attempts to beat the cases apart. The characters used their comm units to translate the writing on the enclosures as “Museum of the Old/Ancient Ones.” This means they were researching ancient Droyne technology (no distinction between ancient Droyne tech and Ancients technology).

Brian noticed the university is heavy on science. They may have been unearthing something to reverse engineer it. Otto found a path leading away from the city towards the volcano. The path is relatively new. Jim scanned that area and Niar flew the pinnace up the path with the leg team. Jim couldn’t get a good scan . He suggested that the next mission should have atmosphere probes!

On the way up there, the ship took a fusion hit from the cliff face and we went down! Jim guessed that somewhere in the area was cammo netting. Niar piloted the ship to a safe spot and followed the normal exit procedures for a combat area (dump crypto, ruin hard drives etc). Otto estimated a 20-30 min trip up the side of the cliff.

They went up the face and guessed the approximate location of the fire. They didn’t come out of the foliage immediately but instead scanned the cliff face for abnormal features. As they started to go up, they heard a giant waterfall echoing throughout the entire area. Brian called out “Duck!” as Sgt Knox hit Otto on the head to force him down— all in the face of autorifle fire. Niar took glancing blows on his armor. We were all prone. Niar called for orbital fire support.

Edward blew away the cammo netting, an air/raft, and a bit of a body. Otto spread us out with the PCs in the rear. We got up there, it was like a big cliff area hanging out over the volcano ridge. Against the wall inside the cliff is a sealed steel bunker door. Outside there is an encampment with a fusion gun emplacement with the parts of two destroyed air/rafts. Just to the left is a bunch of rough-hewed entrances to the cliff face all at ground level surrounded by moss or little trees. The age of the entrances correspond to the time when Hilda showed up. The bunker door is a TL10 door, but it is pretty old. Otto said, “I suspect that this cavern goes to some Ancient tech and that Hilda created the other doors to get in— and that we will find what we want behind the doors.”

It looks like someone got in and put an Imperial security system. Ronald shot the door with his Gauss pistol and blew the metal plate off. He then stuck his hand in there and hotwired the lock. Otto was ready to blow the daylights out of anything with the PGMP.

Into the Complex


This hallway is twice as big as normal (maybe for flying Droyne). It’s dark and we can’t see the end of it. We noticed there is something accidentally buried there that is white and kinda shiney. He found a bone! Otto put it right back. He then saw a piece of an Imperial vacc suit by removing more dirt. It looks like a scout vacc suit of the model before ours— it has a bullet hole in it. The bone is probably that of a murdered scout. We eventually found 3 dead scouts and a dead Droyne. We collected the info for later. Our best guess on the Droyne is he is the Deathless One’s son.

20m in was a cave-in. The place is a mountain bunker. We reached another Imperial lock— which Ronald unlocked in the same way. We entered a wide, wide hallway. To the right was a bunch of cave-ins that block much progress. The left has a cave-in that might not block us off. We sent two marines to check out the blocked-off area. We checked out some rooms
a kiosk/student lounge
classrooms
We saw more casings, this time with skulls of different races. We saw Human, Droyne, and Vargr skulls along with posters to explain dissections.

We found more rooms with doors broken off their hinges either by time or effort. One room has a table with a divide between two seats and a table. The Droyne appear to be the most psychic.

We found another classroom. They were studying teleportation and telepathy.

We found a ramp that makes a u-turn and then up, and then a ramp that goes down. We went up. We found more classrooms. There is a periodic table on the wall. We found 5 extra elements, listed in Droyne as “vanishing elements.” We went into some office spaces.

… and called it for the night.

View
You say you wanna Revelation?

Big Jim called a conference

He is a telepath (!!!) and he has been enhancing the interrogations with his skills. He has 180s of mind-reading skills per day.


  1. to Jim, the Imperium Spy in the Trexalon— it sounds like Psionic Interference.
  2. He doesn’t interrogate us at all
  3. Hilda is a telepath; she shields her mind. Remember she is the scout leader on Karin
  4. When we interrogated the Trexalon colonel, he didn’t tell us the complete list of their allies. He thought of the Zhondani. When we asked about the contact, he didn’t think Scout, he thought Navy.

  • 875-496: Jim used his powers to ask the right questions.
  • Ochecate: Jim doesn’t remember if he read Mewey minds or Aslan minds.
  • 975-452: No bad guys to read. He didn’t sense any living people by us when the sensors when down. He has a range of 50kkm.
  • Zephyr: Stopped the fight when I accidentally kicked the captain in the bar fight. Allowed us to get into the gunnery control area when we attacked.
  • Marseille: nothing
  • Allemagne: Thought surrender thoughts to the Osprey crew as we engaged them in starship combat.
  • Szirp: He did not use the thought power to influence our situations.

Edward saw the psionics skills as a contagious disease
Niar saw this as a lie of omission for 14 weeks against all of us
Niar told Edward that lying about Sam for 12 weeks, another lie of omission, was the same thing. Edward “got over it” right then.

Arriving at Raweh


SDBs orbiting the planets.
We got a TAS alert. See the JTAS page ( http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/the-hunt/wikis/jtas ) Read these entries:

  • Iderati Five Sisters (0732-A887798-C) World News
  • Aulryakh (Aslan Hierate 0507-A242AA4-E) Science and Technology
  • Iderati Five Sisters (0732-A887798-C) Business

Raweh’s main planet has a very thin atmosphere. Ships actually park there.
The Imperial Navy Base has pressurized buildings on this world with docking ports on some for ships.

The Commander of the Naval Base is Lt Cmdr Binghamton. He leads a small flotilla of ships of the 208th fleet:


  • 1 Midu Agashaam
  • 2 Gazelles
  • 1 Huluuga
  • 2 Thunderbird
  • 1 Xboat tender
    3000 Navy personnel, 100-150 Scouts.

We looked for Cobalt Lockdowns in Navy records; we could only get records from branches tied to Gunnery and Commandos. There are many more Commandos with Cobalt Lockdowns than Gunnery sailors…. and 3-4 Commandos who died and are yet still alive but are in positions of power. Nobody on the base. None of the active Naval personnel on the downport are actually rebirthers.

Our ship has an IFF that identifies us as a Scout Intelligence vessel if we want it on.

We went to visit Lt Commander Binghamton. We turned on our Naval IFF and the Naval base rolled over on its belly to help. We asked for fuel and they gave us instructions to dock with their fueling tender. We left two Marines aboard. Then, we landed the cutter next to the Lt Commander’s office. The base was quite hospitable to us.

Edward introduced us to Lt Cmdr Binghamton through the officer of the watch. Jim expended all his psychic power in one 10-minute segment of intense mind-reading. We spilled the whole schlemiel to Lt Cmdr Binghamton. He went from being scared, to “I’m just a Lt Cmdr” to “This could make my career!” He’s bewildered by the situation. His first thought is to arrest the ambassador. Nobody ever interacts with the ambassador so there’s no like or dislike for the guy. We also talked about Tor, and the Cmdr looked up Tor on the computer. Tor is a pain in the butt— he picks fights all the time with his ego and temper.

Tor did come through Raweh just last week. He used Hilda-issued credentials to refuel. He turned the comm unit to Brian— Ronald set up a “Forward all Tor’s messages to Ronald Solon.” order Normally, this would be a problem due to privacy concerns because Ronald set up the forward. We looked for other interception orders: for Hilda and for a couple of random scouts— all of whom have Cobalt Lockdowns. We suggested that the Marine guard that arrests Ronald should wear psi shields.

When we got there, Ronald is waiting for us. His secretary announces that “Ronald, your visitors are here.” He shows up with food and a soda in his hand. He doesn’t resist. He asked the secretary to bring his tablet— of which we took possession. The tablet has a genetic lock on it too. We told Ronald to take a nap. Ronald wasn’t blocking psionic thoughts.

We needed Big Jim for Ronald’s interrogation. We took a nap on the base at the BOQ.
24 hours later, Big Jim was recharged and we were ready for the real interrogation.

Ronald’s Interrogation


We asked Binghamton to leave so he didn’t hear questions above his pay grade. We worried that maybe Ronald was on the up-and-up so we didn’t want the government exposed to a “low-life” Lt Cmdr. We met Ronald and he had more food. We told Ronald who we were and why we brought him here, and asked him to explain why he is dead yet rebirthed. He told us that he needed his tablet to explain to us the problem and we let him. He was thinking that “these people need to see and sign the Cobalt Accord.” He mustered up lots of bravado and we saw he is made of muscle and not fat (bigger than Big Jim!)

“Everyone needs to sign the Cobalt Security Accord. Failure to do so can result in your immediate execution, telling anyone you signed it can result in your immediate execution, and so can revealing anything we discussed to anyone other than Cobalt Accord signatories. In fact, this meeting never took place, you all understand!” All of this done is with a smidgen of Gyros on his face.

Niar, Jim, Otto, Brian, Edward signed it, in that order.

We were flagged when we searched for Tor’s mail situation. He’s been following Tor and Hilda’s emails for a while. The most recent email read “The wedding plan has been accelerated. Bring the present to me at the alpha site. I want to unwrap it myself.” Ronald doesn’t know what the code words mean. Throughout the discussion, Ronald was trying to place Hilda and Tor’s actions within the context of the conspiracy in his mind. We think the present is Sam. We explained the whole mission to Ronald— it’s not just a wedding. If you are who you say you are, then you are the one to help us out he.

The messages begin mentioning The Present at the point where Ryan was sent to find Sam. Other emails stretch back to when Tor was active with Hilda. We tried to correlate Tor’s actions with other piracies but it would take a long time and databases to do.

Jim mentions Tor’s contact is The Witch. We returned to Ronald’s office, where it is secure. He has a black globe privacy screen in his office.

“There is definitely a conspiracy in progress. The “alpha site” is probably Andor. We should go there and take charge.” Ronald has a rack of disguise kits in a huge file cabinet-style wardrobe— he picks his own uniform out of his kit. Lt Cmdr Ronald Solon.

He explained he was killed to go under deep cover. He was upset that we got the records of his death and didn’t understand how that worked.

We decided to take Ronald and two more Marines. We left his secretary to finish up paperwork. We explained that “we jumped to conclusions” to Lt Cmdr Binghamton.

We stocked up on supplies and then we jumped for Andor.

In Jumpspace to Andor


The Cobalt Accord is the Imperial Official Secrets Act— we cannot talk about the Ancients unless they are also in the Cobalt Accord. These are the guys who protect the Ancients’ secrets for the Imperium. They know what a black globe generator actually is. All rebirthers are active deep cover agents involved in the Cobalt Accord.

Training:


  • Niar jumped his dex by 1
  • Jim’s sensors went up by 1
  • Otto began working on Intelligence
  • Brian began working on strength
  • Edward began working on computer

Waiting to finish this jumpspace bit on the 17th!

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Cobalt Lockdown!

Starting off

When we tried to dock the passenger module to the ship to swap it for the fuel module to take the fuel, the passenger module wouldn’t dock. We had to check it out.
We needed to make a part. We looked up the part in the ship’s computer. Sgt Knox made it out of pieces of the fresher by the dining room. Otto and Brian worked together to place the part. Unbeknownst to us, Otto was in Brian’s way. They couldn’t get it to latch on. Knox had to make a clamp that wasn’t in the ship’s plan. Sgt Knox failed to make the modified clamp properly on his first try. He tried again but failed— but on the third try he succeeded.

About an hour later, Knox showed the working clamp to Brian and Otto outside. Otto tried to help and this time wasn’t telling Brian to put the docking part in backward. Brian and Otto put the clamp on properly that time. Otto’s vac suit was running out of air and Brian helped him back into the cutter.

Niar tried to get the cutter back in there but failed— “DON’T BEND IT!” we yelled. The second time, he failed again. Brian went underneath the ship to figure out what was wrong with the docking— he realized we forgot to jumper the fuses. Brian took care of that with a simple wire. Nothing happened properly the third time. Niar was controlling the cutter too much and the ship failed to dock due to too much motion.

The alarms in the ship went off due to the lack of “true” docking. Edward tried to shut the alarms with his computer skill— and failed twice. Brian came along to shut off the alarms with his electronics skill. It seems like it worked— the passenger module didn’t fall out. This total repair time was four hours of repair.

Niar refueled the ship with the fuel module from the Osprey in 4 hours. (Any time we use the passenger module in the future, we’re at -2 to use it until it is repaired).

We then decided our jump destination. We tried to figure out Trexalon’s connections to Szrip and Jinx. We remembered SuSAG is larger than Trexalon, with plants throughout the Imperium instead of just on the Trexalon main.

We picked Szirp! We jumped:

In Jumpspace…


We looked over the “ipad.”
First image: To Samantha, may this contain all your dreams. Love , Mom & Dad
Basic college stuff next. There are lots of pictures of Edward. Edward started blushing. Nair renewed Edward’s commitment to the Imperial navy and the mission, and then gave the ipad to Edward so he can skip through the photos.

Edward went to the most-recent pictures to find out what she was doing. Sam’s personal log showed she signed on with Fran to do intelligence work for the travel opportunities. She logged information about going up and down the Collace main— we could tell she was keeping a separate top-secret log. “Fran sent me on another mission— hopefully this one won’t turn out as bad as the last trip to Mewey.”

Edward examined the ipad for other data and found nothing encoded.

We looked over the super-secret thumb drive with a genetic lock with a requirement that the person must be alive. The only other person who can open it is Fran. Niar put the thumb drive in a baggie and then in the ship’s intelligence-only safe.

Sam left us 330,025cr , hard currency, added to our accounting system. Otto suggested that the money is trackable or less-trackable than the money we got when we left.
Big Jim worked on Sensors. Otto worked on Dex. Edward worked on Dex. Niar worked on Dex again. Brian worked on Strength.

Szirp…


We made it to Szirp. The Crystal Rose wasn’t there. There were some yachts in orbit. A SuSAG ship was landing. We took the learjet module down to the Downport at Ocean Heights. We went down on the ruse that our module needed repair (and the bathroom did, too). Then we needed to negotiate a repair and refueling.

We landed near the sound north of Ocean Heights. It’s brackish to freshwater. We got out of the cutter and it smelled really badly. Workers have masks and buildings have filtration systems. There is low gravity— great for older people with walkers. There is no Imperial presence at Szirp. Niar, Otto and Brian went down in the cutter’s learjet module.

Brian looked for the guy in a white uniform like a doctor’s smock. He has a welcoming yet fake smile. Brian asked about repairing the module. “Jake’s garage” Jake can work on the cutter. He asked about refueling. “Estina’s” will refuel the ship for a fee. Brian asked about the retirement homes. “They’re by the poles. You can get an apt, a townhouse, your own house, or a ranch— progressively higher fees. SuSAG can help us live a little longer. We have 500,000 people staying here.” He handed us brochures for retirement on Szirp. He gave us some vouchers for a ride up to The Heights. Get on the grav train and go to The Heights. He gave good service.

We wanted to make an arrangement for another data dump. We went with Imperium Express and another company, “.” They would send it to Raweh (2 jumps + X-boat transmission. 8K per message.)

Estina charged us 3000Cr per jump for refined fuel. Estina said the minerals in the water were strong and that a regular purification plant might not be able to handle it. It was straight up 10kCr. Estina said the Michael Westin will be refueled in 24 hours. She won’t talk to Niar about another Donosev-class ship because all Barons need yachts and he doesn’t have one. Otto tried again (Don’t mind our ship, it’s the driver because “the yacht is in for service.”) Brian tried again (the honest angle “We just wanna know”) She answered that the family didn’t have to refuel a Donosev. They don’t watch every ship that comes in, but they didn’t touch one.

We went to Jake’s Garage to fix the modular cutter. Jake’s was a worked-in was a mess. All five employees wore filter masks. There was a purple & blue Zebra-class yacht being fixed. Jake was in an office. We ask about our ship. They had the part for 500Cr. The fuse box was 50Cr. “Good luck!” The clamp is an A-frame thing made of metal pipes and takes two to carry. We fixed the cutter while it was grounded. The Sam Axe is whole again. Niar went up to get Big Jim and Edward.

We still had a night to use our vouchers. We went on the grav train (a ski lift without hooks). There was a big hospital, a big administrative building saying “SuSAG” on it. Down the cliff face were houses and stores. The nicer buildings were at the bottom (by the gasses from the ocean). We hit the Early Bird Special at the Old Folks’ City Cafe. We could get any almost cuisine— even Trexalon or Darrian. (Brian said “I can’t have Darrian – I’m lactose-intolerant” ha ha). The people are nice. They are actually not on a nice drug.They told us that living long was based on a few things. “It’s the doctor, your initial health, and so on— but I’ve known people who got in the 50 years they claim in the brochures. You live pretty good, too. If you weren’t in bad shape before you got here, you’ll live a while.”

We made it back to the Ocean Heights downport and left at 1:30PM. The Sam Axe was fine and we docked without a “hitch.”

We jumped for Raweh to find Tor Kumaki.

In Jumpspace… (again)


Big Jim worked on Sensors. Otto worked on Dex. Edward worked on Dex. Niar worked on Dex again. Brian worked on Strength. Otto’s dex, Edward’s dex, and Brian’s dex went up by one. Yay!
Niar made an argument for Carousing-1 (and won)
Brian made an argument for Mechanical-1 (and won)

To get fuel on Raweh, Tor must either have his own base, or have Imperial military contacts. We looked for Tor in our Scout records for Tor Kumaki. He was a Scout! He got out at 38. He had no formal education. He spent 20 years as a specialist in site surveys for archeological digs. He was not an officer. He had many disciplinary actions for assault. One assault was on a fellow scout in the line of duty. Tor spent 3 terms as a dig foreman. He went looking for a long-distance Solomani colony on a mission. His last term was noted as “Cobalt Lockdown.” We can’t see the data. He reported to Hilda for his last assignments before the Cobalt Lockdown. We’ve never seen a Cobalt Lockdown before in a Scout record.

Tor’s records show that they made it far rimward, but there were too many inhabited planets to figure out with one expedition. Their last planet was She (class A starport. It would be like going to Core/Capital to have a dig.)

We scanned the Scout records for other Cobalt Lockdowns.
Hilda has a lockdown.
A bunch of other scouts have lockdowns.
There are no lockdowns on worlds.
Most lockdowns are on people who went to Andor and Candory.
None of the player characters have Cobalt Lockdowns.
Sam does not have a lockdown.
Ryan does not have a lockdown.
Fran does not have a lockdown.
There are people above Hilda with Cobalt Lockdowns.
The councillor on Raweh has a Cobalt Lockdown and they are not associated directly with the scout base. This person’s name is Ronald Solon. Solon wasn’t in the scouts, but the Imperial Navy as a line officer. And he’s dead. He’s overweight, on the fat boy program.
The lockdowns seem to occur whenever people go to certain systems, and then eventually it gets lifted. These lockdowns occur in the middle of a service records like a redaction.

There are a lot of dead people with Cobalt Lockdowns and who are ambassadors and or governors.

We should come out of Jumpspace at Raweh at the beginning of the next adventure.

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Interrogation #2

Much easier this time. These people were nearly complicit. Got a lot out of them and now we need to get on the road to finding Sam. Must review data retrieved from Sam’s intelligence cache before jumping outsystem— compare notes. Can we make “The Witch” before we find Sam? Szrip, Jinx, or Sam’s World.http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/the-hunt/previews

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Jim's diary #8

Jim’s Diary
Another fire fight! Damn I knew this was going to happen with all the killers assigned to this mission. At least this one only lasted one exchange of fire and no one got killed. Those murdering bastards killed Ryan though. It would be nice to take all of those pirates prisoner but we are not equipped to do so. I’m glad though that I was able to stop the fight before things got out of control. We could get into yet another fight while we try to rescue Sam and we need to keep the ship in top repair for that. I hate all this fighting. Oh well I should have expected it when they recruited me to be a spook. Sent messages about the conspiracy as wide and far as we could think of. Hopefully the messages will bypass the bad guys. Could get in trouble for bypassing the chain of command but events have shown that the chain is compromised so we’ll do what we had to. If it was up to me I would make sure every citizen in the Imperium knew about it because that would force action. Now we need to figure out which star system we should jump to if we want to catch Sam’s kidnappers. On the way I will continue to polish my sensor skills

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Ryan's Dead, Sam's Alive

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)
We sent:
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.
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/the-hunt/wikis/allemagne
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.

  1. Who’s the boss? Tor Kumaki, a Vilani
  2. Where did he go? Tor took the Crystal Roxy back to Raweh with Kumaki through the Sam’s World main.
  3. When did he leave? 1 week and a few days ago
  4. Was he fully-fueled? Tor was probably fully-fueled but he may have gone to Marseilles
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Did the woman explain who she was? Sam wasn’t broken.
  8. 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.

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Otto's Not to self

Well that was an exciting little action. The plan was successful and executed nearly flawlessly with a couple of exceptions…2 wounded. Note to self. "Remember to watch your six. Damn Bastard shot me in the back from below. Well that won’t happen twice. It was nice to be back in action again. Sure beats sitting in retirement. Might not have retired to begin with if they hadn’t put me behind a desk. Oh well. We have more information on Sam and have some evidence of a traitor in the Imperium. I’ve been down that road before. Time to kick butt. But first I need to get Edward up to speed on BattleDress for the next action. He’s coming along nicely and seems to accept…or tolerate the training techniques I’ve been picking up from Steven. Edward is getting into pretty good shape clomping around the ship running drills in his battle dress gear for 4 hours at a wack.

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Zephyr

Well, wasn’t that an adrenaline shot? After being brought in as a retread, I thought my role on this mission would be a bit more limited than it has been. We have a great crew who seem to really know their stuff.

But I do feel somewhat useful, at least. BSed our way into some info about the lost pilots. I made some necessary (and exhausting) repairs on our vessel. This being caused by what I saw as a danger and nuisance to ALL (heh, heh) which had to be destroyed. And now I actually feel a bit like a space cowboy for at least ONE day. Just call me CK for Confirmed Kill. Not bad for an admin desk jockey turned space station “house sitter” who sat for years wondering why he took that left turn at Albuquerque.

So hopefully we are a huge step closer to finding these lost folks, completing our mission without too much other excitement. Yeah, just keep thinking that, Brian. Oh well, at least I’m getting in shape while we’re going through jump. Need to get rid of this pony keg. Just hope I can hold my own and contribute what I need to our mission.

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