Mustered Out on Mertactor

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Doublecross at Mine #602

The party members are up for 07.00 and head into the restaurant for breakfast Before they can depart, they discuss what to do with ‘Axle’ and ‘Bomber’. They struggle to decide what to do with them. Max makes a suggestion to knock them out with a Fast Drug which will keep them in hibernation until they can be taken to the ship. The others agree and so Autumn heads off to the local pharmacy to pick some up while Max heads to the hire company to pick up the ATV he hired the previous evening.

The pair of them arrive back an hour later. While Autumn knocks out Axle and Bomber, the other party members check over their weapons and armor and then everyone heads out for the ATV. Max drives them to the eastern airlock and they are allowed out of the hab without a problem. Grim then navigates towards mine #602.

Grim’s navigation is fine and so is Max’s driving and so, three hour’s later, shortly before noon, they are close to the mine’s entrance. As usual, they park the ATV a couple of km from the entrance. Max stays with the vehicle while the others advance on foot. Upon getting closer to the mine, they see that there is an ATV parked outside the entrance. Obviously this mine is not as disused as it should be. Grim disables the vehicle in case the occupants try to make a fast get away.

Cautiously they cover the entrance while Taeva sneaks up to the entrance. She sees that there are two airlock doors, both locked with keypad entrances, covered by cameras. Swiftly passing through the camera, she checks out the lock. She finds it pretty simple to hack into it – after all there’s nothing of great value contained within and so, a couple of minutes later, she is inside the outer doors. Once inside, she disables the camera for a while and beckons for the other to join her inside the airlock. Once everyone is in the airlock, she returns the camera to use and then cycles the airlock.

Upon opening the door, she sees a guard sitting on a chair supposedly keeping an eye on the door. Taeva is fast though and quickly takes him down before he has chance to sound the alarm. The party members then start to advance through the dimly lit shafts until Arvor rounds a corner and is spotted by one of the guards. The guard immediately fires a burst at Arvor, which nearly brings him down. Arvor manages to take him down in response though. The stealthy intrusion is off now as the remaining guards rush around to ambush the intruders.

While Will comes forward to heal Arvor’s wounds, Grim readies his grenade launcher and fires a volley of grenades into a bottleneck. By the time that the smoke has cleared, a large new area of the mine has been excavated and three more of the guards are dead.

On the left flank, Jie and Taeva wait for more of the guards to appear. Three of them appear and, as they do so, the two women take them out one by one.

Now feeling much better after Will’s healing, Arvor advances on the largest of the chambers in the mine and blasts another of the guards.

“Nicht shooten!” comes a voice from someone cowering behind a pillar in the main chamber. “Ich vill give you wass Sie is looking for.”

“Throw the disk forward and then come out with your hands high in the air,” Arvor shouts.

A few seconds later a disk comes skimming from behind the pillar and then someone slowly moves forwards with his hands in the air. It’s the same guy from the photo album; it is Magnus Svensson."

With the others covering Magnus, Arvor comes forward to retrieve the disk.

“What’s on here?” he asks.

“Ich know nein,” Magnus replies. “Ist password protected.”

Arvor takes the disk and pops it into his handcomp.

He types in “P-A-S-S-W-O-R-D” and, much to his surprise, he’s inside it.

The file is a video file. He fast forwards through it and sees that they are videos of some Swordies being interrogated. He listens to it for a little. It’s mostly in Sagamaal, but the word ‘Broughton’ seems to come up a lot.

Arvor is about to mention this to the others when Max’s voice comes over the commo.

“Hey guys, looks like you’ve got company,” he says. “An ATV has just pulled up outside the entrance. Seven people coming out and going for cover, armed with ACRs.”

“Broughton,” Arvor says. “I knew it.”

The party members discuss what to do. There is no back entrance to the mines and so Broughton’s men have them trapped. They decide to wait to see if they will come in.

Both sides spend the entire afternoon waiting for the other side to move. This gives Arvor plenty of time to look through the tapes. As it’s mostly in Sagamaal, he asks Magnus to translate. Keen to ingratiate himself with the party members and also interested as to what is on the video himself, Magnus gladly helps out. It comes as no surprise to Arvor now to discover that the Swordies are telling how Broughton has been taking back handers from the rebels for information, for dropping investigations – pretty much anything he can do in order to make some extra cash – a lot of extra cash.

It gets to 18.00 and neither side has made a move yet. Dusk will be falling soon and Broughton loses patience before the party members do. He orders his guards to take out the airlock doors and they begin firing RAM grenades at them. It takes them half an hour and a lot of grenades, but they finally batter down the first set of doors. Another half an hour and a heap of HEAPs later and they are through the inner doors too. No sooner has the first guard entered than Taeva has cut him down. On the other flank, Arvor and Jie take down a couple more.

With three out of seven down now, Broughton calls his men back as he knows that he doesn’t have the numbers to try and root the party members out. The party members discuss their options and decide that they need to come out and finish off the fight.

Grim is bravely the first to come out, taking one out with his grenade launcher. It was a brave action, but one of the guards cuts him down in response. Arvor and Jie come forward, with Jie hiding in a crater. One of the guards throws a grenade in but, miraculously, her armor absorbs all of the damage She reaps some quick revenge by taking him out, leaving Arvor to take out the other.

The last of the guards realizes that the game is up now and leaps into the ATV that he spent the combat hiding beind. Jie shoots at it with Black Betty which damages the engine. As the ATV reverses, Grim, who has now made a fast recovery thanks to Will, blasts the vehicle with his grenade launcher, which pretty much takes the back of it off. Arvor damages the vehicle some more with another grenade as Taeva and Jie rush forward to try and get inside the damaged vehicle.

It looks as if the ATV might just get away, but then Arvor loads another RAM grenade. The grenade smashes through the windows into the cockpit and the ATV careers into a boulder.

Taeva leaps into the vehicle through the exposed rear and sees that Arvor’s grenade has pretty much cut the driver in two. She pulls his mask off.

“Yes, it’s Broughton,” she confirms. “And he’s very dead.”

The party members use the cops’ handcuffs in order to secure them and bring them all into the mine shaft where Will takes care of their medical needs while the party members discuss what they should do now.

Jie has a chat with Magnus, asking him for more information on the disk. He tells her that it was Broughton himself who had hired Magnus to steal the disk, which was being kept in a different precinct out of his jurisdiction. Magnus guessed that there might be something incriminating to Broughton on the disk. His plan was to find out exactly what was on the disk and then blackmail Broughton for some more cash before handing it over to him.

The party members continue to discuss their different options for a while, and then decide what to do. They decide to leave Magnus and his companions with their ATV, for which Magnus is very grateful.

He shakes their hands:

“Das ist sehr gut of Sie. If I can be of any more help to you while you’re on Weiss, then I owe you a favour.”

He swaps commo numbers with the party members.

Jie then turns her attention to the bound cops.

“Luckily for you, my companions have decided that you are to live,” she growls. “But I have to tell you that I voted to kill you all. Once we are safely back in Schwartzstadt, we will tell the police where to find you.”

“Just don’t think about coming after us once you’re back and have recovered. Any more trouble from any of you and I will be getting my way and the results are not going to be pretty.”

The look on Jie’s face tells the cops that she is not bluffing, and they all nervously mumble that they are in agreement with the deal.

With all outstanding matters at the mine now resolved, the party members climb into the ATV which Max has brought to the entrance to the mine and Max drives them back to the city.

After an uneventful journey back to the city, the party members reach the main airlock to Schwartzstadt a little after 22.00 and are waved through without incident. They head straight for the Odin’s Arms Motel where they find a rather bored looking Autumn sitting reading while ‘Axle’ and ‘Bomber’ continue to sleep on the bed next to her.

Will stays with Autumn for the remainder of the evening, the pair of them spending their time reading through news items, trying to determine which senior cops could be clean and which could be dirty.

Jie, Arvor and Taeva take a cab back to the worst Swordie ghetto area where the Silver Goblet and Magnus’s slum are located and start to schmooze around the dive bars, looking for some useful information.

Having now ditched all of the lower class members of the party, those two cultured, middle-class boys, Max and Grim, get changed into some more respectable outfits and Max drives the pair of them to the Impie part of town, where they mingle with the wealthy gliterati in the cocktail lounges and wine bars located in the area, also looking to pick up some useful information.

Having headed out so late, it takes until the small hours of the morning before the two groups have all returned to the motel, with many of them looking much the worse for wear. Will and Autumn have both turned in by the time they arrive, and so everyone decides to leave it until breakfast the following day before comparing notes in order to discuss what they have learned.

Comments

OK, so that brings us up to date.

As I said, I will probably be off air for the next three days or so, but you will need some time to discuss what you do now that Broughton is dead.

If you can come to some decision while I am offline, then I will move things forward as soon as I am back online again.

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Thsnks for the post Nick! Again, have a good flight and my friends who have been to Thailand say you have to try the Taeng Thai Kati, a melon stuffed with custard. God Speed!

Ian

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In case we forgot, we need to put masks on the Swordies as the mine is breached.

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Thanks Nick, Bon Voyage!

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Safe journey Nick.

On an unrelated front, the wife and I just watched “Paul”. Is there anybody on the planet better at humour than Nick and Steve’s countrymen? Brilliant. Gotta love Simon Pegg.

Jay

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Good Luck Nick!!

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@Swamped, I’d figure that in the hours of ‘waiting it out’ for Broughtons men to attack we patched up any wounded and told them the situation. Magnus can translate your appologies (not Jie’s…that 21 damage hammer strike against her left boob has left her sore and uneven from last Sunday) about killing some of their pals.

I wish there was a way to impersonate Broughton. No one knows he’s dead, he can sign for repairs to our impounded ship, he can un-impound our ship and he has, quote ‘a lot of extra cash’ stored some where. If only some one with deception had hours to study the mans looks and manerisms. Hell, we got his wallet, his retna and finger prints for I.D.

Afterward we can turn the disk into the proper authorities and say that Broughton got wise and ran. Then, for a price, we could bring him back to justice. (dead and a little blown up.)

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Of course I liked Simon Pegg in the old radio plays of the 2000 AD character Johnny Alpha (‘Strontium Dog’). He did Johnny well as his and Wulf’s plans went increasingly wrong.

Not seen Paul but I think Hot Fuzz is very amusing.

((Taeva not actually apologising they are just not really the enemy -I think THOSE Swordies were probably professional insurgents: these guys are just chancers who had a blackmail plan which went wrong and we were set up to ace them).

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We CAN impersonate Broughton. Arvor can use deception, and commo skills to radio back to base casually – “I have resolved the difficulties, release impound on those offworlder’s starhip, the uhh… ‘Seguin Princess’. I am out of town for then next couple days, have my secretary hold my b… I mean hold my calls” while one of the ladies is feigning excitement in the background “ohh, oooh, ooooh your soooo….” as he calls (to distract and mask and voice discrepancies).

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Seriously, though – we can do some research to find some judge or magistrate who can be trusted, and give him the whole scoop on Broughton. The criminal element often know which judges are actually fair and unbiased – or a good local lawyer who should know who is trustworthy in the police / judiciary.

We can either bluff our way out, or try to do things the legitimate way.

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I vote (dependent on the actual “incrimination” value of the disk) that we stay legit. I agree we need to know who to trust, official/judge/magistrate wise, but, if we can locate a relatively honest one, I vote we turn over the evidence against Broughton, spill the beans, and hope we can get our ship released!

Grim/Ian

(loved Simon Pegg and Co in “Sean of the Dead”, have yet to see “Paul” or “Hot Fuzz”. Steve’s mention of the radio play got me curious though, will look those up if I get the chance..)

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The radio plays are still on the archived ‘BBC Cult’ website. This used to be a great site but it was archived when the BBC ‘improved’ their website a few years ago. Search ‘Johhny Alpha’ or ‘Strontium Dog’ for background on the strip.

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Thanks for the info Steve! I snagged a couple today from the BBC site and will listen to them tomorrow!

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OK, so now the water festival is over and I can take my laptop out of the room, I can get fairly regular internet access so we can move forwards.

So I need to know what the plan is now. There are two plan on the table as far as I see it. One is for Arvor to try and impersonate Broughton to try and get the ship released. If you want to try this, I will need Arvor to make a Deception check through a secure dice roller.

The other plan is to head back to the city and try and find an uncorrupt cop. Exactly how will you look for one?

What to do with Magnus and his merry men and what to do with Broughton’s men? You can assume that Will gave them some medical attention. Roughly half of them are walking wounded and the other half are still seriously wounded. Only Broughton is dead.

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“The other plan is to head back to the city and try and find an uncorrupt cop. Exactly how will you look for one?”

This is the plan Grim votes for. We use a two pronged, three team approach.

One, Will, assisted by Autumn, accesses the main planetary crime news database and does a search for stories involving corruption, questionable shootings by officers, convictions on shaky evidence, etc., which he then cross references with the police personnel database (Will can hack that, lol). Any cop whose name comes up frequently is probably dirty. The cop whose name comes up least is either clean or he’s the planetary criminal mastermind, lol.

Two, the remaining Princess crew break up into two groups, with rented cars if needed. The first is Jie (driving_), Taeva (streetwise, deception_), and Arvor (investigate, deception_). The second is Max (_driving, deception, investigate, streetwise, carouse) and Grim (investigate, streetwise, persuade). Both teams search for evidence among the bars, around the “hoods”, and in the general “street scene” as to which cops are clean and which are dirty.

Finally, both of the investigation teams will consolidate their findings and see how those mesh with Will’s results…

Answer, one cop, trusted by the locals and untarnished in the media. As I may have mentioned, he’ll either be trustworthy…or the local “Moriarty”, lol!

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You currently have two ATVs at your disposal. The rental that you arrived in (at Cr.150/day) and the one belonging to Magnus. The police ATV probably isn’t going to make it back to Schwarzstadt after your smashed it up so badly.

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I don’t know, Grim…Jie driving around- hitting the bar scene night after night getting drunk off her butt so no one would suspect she has ulterior motives…sounds risky. However, Jie is a team player and if she has to drink 10 gallons of rum and dance with countless men in order to get the information- then by God that’s just what she’ll do!!

Hey…who paid Magnus to steal this disk in the first place? Not the Sword Worlders, Broughton was their paid man. Did I miss something last Sunday or on the boards. What was Magnus going to do with the info once he got past that tricky password protection?

I can’t tell if Arvor is willing to disguise himself as Broughton in order to get our ship repaired and returned to us. He would have to be the one to do it because of his skills and his studying Broughton on the disk (manerisms, accents, ect.) If so we tell Magnus’s men that Broughton is alive and they better run for it because everyone is going to jail. Then we tell Broughtons’ men (no of whom were awake when Broughton bought it) that we had cut a sweet deal with the dirty cop and we now work for him (Arvor can call to confirm it in Broughtons voice) and he has ordered them to lay low for a couple of days.

If we don’t impersonate Broughton then we tell everyone to stay the hell away from us or we will kill them next time they cross our path. (Blood thirsty? Perhaps, but effective.)

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Broughton kept telling us he had no authority at the SPA (which makes sense). Maybe we can just go get the ship. If the SPA really is holding it at the request of planetary authorities (i.e., Broughton), perhaps we could just file the necessary paperwork on Broughton’s behalf (i.e., Arvor forging his signature).

In terms of turning Broughton in, why limit ourselves to the cops? What about the planetary government. The corporate governors aren’t going to be too happy that their chief constable was in league with Swordie rebels. Should we consider going higher up the food chain?

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True about going higher up the food chain, plus, if it turns out everybody’s on the take on this rockball maybe we can bribe our way out?

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Jie thinks on Wills’ and Grims’ points of veiw. She believes Grims plan of going out and getting a feel for this place has merit. Jie prepares for a night of information gathering.

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I had to improvize with regards to what you wanted to do with Magnus and his merry men plus the cops. Please feel free to change what I came up with if you had some better ideas.

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No, that seems cool, Magnus might make a nice ally!

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NickPendrell

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