Mustered Out on Mertactor

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15 Minutes of Fame

Shortly after midnight, the party members arrive by police shuttle at Collace Downport police station. Compared to the brusque nature of the Highport cops, the Downport cops are much friendlier, quickly reuniting them with their personal items, but not their weapons, which they are informed have been taken to the Port Authority Security Desk back up at the Highport.

All of the party members are offered coffee and the police are happy to chat and offer any assistance that is asked of them. They tell the party members that they will be able to find out what happened to the cargo at the Highport’s Cargo Handling Office.

The police are happy to tell the party members what really happened onboard the ship. The boarders were all terrorists from the Right of Collace Coalition. Their plan was to kidnap Alamen Grisst the merchant in order to ruin his negotiations with the government of Collace, the POC in order to harm relations between the world and the Imperium. The Police Sargeant tells them that there is a reward of Cr.2,000 for each of the eight terrorists that the party members were able to bring to justice. The cop does warn the party, that it will take several days and quite a lot of paperwork to collect the payment.

“No worries, mates,” Max interjects. “I know a bit about the law and I’m good with forms. I can sort it all out for us.”

“But anyway, there’s no hurry to get that sorted,” Max continues. “First thing we need to do is to get the rest of our gear back and to get the cargo delivered to Djim. He’ll be pissed off enough that a third of it’s gone missing already. I’d ‘ate to think what ’e’d do if we managed to lose the rest of it too.”

“So I guess we need to get back up to the Highport as soon as possible. There ain’t much else down here that’s useful for us.”

Max asks directions to the shuttles that connect the Downport with the Highport and the Duty Officer is only too pleased to provide directions. The party members thank the cops for their help and then head off out of the police station.

That was the plan at least. Upon opening the door from the police station to the public area outside, the party members see that there is a barrage of reporters outside. Temporarily blinded by photo strobes, buzzing drone cameras and a push of humanity starts thrusting microphones and tri-dee equipment in their faces asking for comments and quotes about the party’s role in fighting off the ‘murderous pirates’.

Arvor leads the party members into a tactical retreat back inside the police station in order to discuss the situation, as neither he nor Taeva want their faces plastered all over the media.

Taeva sees an opportunity from this though.

“Max, can we nominate you Press Agent? We should make money out of this.” Taeva has now donned a blonde wig, sunglasses and a woolen skull cap. “Keep the names vague-know what I mean? There are people on Collace I’ve bad memories of.”

Max’s chest swells with pride at being given the opportunity of representing the party members in their commercial matters.

“I’d be delighted to, darlin’.”

The party members spend a short while discussing the situation – deciding upon how much information they want to give to the media and what details they would prefer to keep to themselves.

Once all has been agreed, Max takes a deep breath and emerges alone onto the police station steps in order to speak with the throng.

“Awwight folks, listen up,” he starts. “I know a bit about your business and know that this story’s going to be worth a lot to you as your punters are goin’ to lap it up. As you’ve probably ‘eard, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch in this life, so ’ere’s the deal. We’re goin’ to sell our story to the ’ighest bidder as an auction.”

The throng of journalists goes quiet for a moment as they listen to Max’s words. Then a voice calls out from one of the hacks.

“Typical bloody greedy Mertactan,” it shouts out in disgust.

“Yeah,” another hack agrees. “Bloody Mertactans would sell their bloody grandmothers if the price was right.”

There’s a hubbub of agreement from the other hacks.

Max looks crestfallen. He decides to make another tactical retreat to confer with the others.

“You sure you want to do it this way still?” he asks. “We might make a bit of easy cash but it looks like those who don’t end up with the story ain’t going to be too happy about it.”

“So what d’ya want me to do?”

The party members discuss the situation among themselves. The majority state that they would rather just try and make a quick and smooth exit from them police station rather than spending too much time and effort trying to play the different media outlets off against each other.

Max agrees to tie up the media for as long as he can do by making vague statements to the press. Taeva suggests keeping in contact with them in the hope that some of them might approach the party members later on with offers for more detailed information. He swaps comm numbers with the others so that he can catch up with them later.

With the plan agreed, Arvor asks the Duty Sargent if he knows where Alamen Grisst can be reached. The Duty Sargent, now very helpful, tells Arvor that Grisst was also brought to the Downport for questioning but was released after just a few hours. He is now apparently staying at the Celestial Chariot hotel back up at the Highport and is being guarded there by the police in case the terrorists from the Right of Collace Coalition try another kidnap attempt upon him.

Arvor then asks if it could be possible for the police to escort the party members out of the station in an unmarked van so that they can avoid the press. The Duty Sargent sadly shakes his head and tells him that, unfortunately police assets cannot be used to make people’s lives easier. Grim then tries his luck in trying to Persuade the Duty Sargent, but he is unfortunately resolute.

The party members will have to try their luck and hope that Max is able to distract the media long enough for them to make a clean break. Max heads out the front to face the crowd while the party members heads out the back.

Arvor looks out of the window to see if any of the press is covering the back door. There are a couple there but, once they hear that Max is starting to speak to the throng they run round to the front and the coast is clear.

The party members take advantage of this by quickly running out of the police station into the warren of passageways and moving walkways which comprise the Habs which cover most of the crowded and industrial world of Collace.

The layout of the Habs is confusing, but luckily the party members were able to get directions from the Duty Sargent to the shuttle area which Grim keyed into his datapad. With this information and his navigation skills, they are able to get to the shuttle docks after half an hour.

It’s the middle of the night by the time the party members arrive at the shuttle docks and so they are quiet. While they wait for the next shuttle to depart, they see Max’s very flustered face on a giant holoscreen attempting to answer the barrage of questions thrown at him by the media. It’s obvious that he’s not going to be able to keep them at bay much longer.

The shuttle finally arrives and cost Cr.200 per person in order to take the flight. The shuttle is half empty, most of the other passengers being sleepy starport workers. After a 30 minute flight which penetrates through Collace’s smoggy tainted atmosphere, the shuttle docks with the highport.

Even at this time of the day, the highport is a bustling hive of activity. Fortunately there does not seem to be any media waiting here and so the party members are able to disappear into the crowd.

First priority is to try and track down what happened to the containers and so the party members head for the Cargo Handling Desk, which is quite simple to find. They are met with a rather bored and officious employee who seems to resent having drawn the short straw in working the graveyard shift on the deck. The employee is not at all helpful when the party members ask him to help them find the containers. He just sighs, points them to the terminal and goes back to watching holoTV.

With none of the party members having any trading experience, it’s not immediately obvious what they need to do. William is the first to try his luck with the terminal. It takes him thirty minutes to figure it out but eventually is rewarded with an announcement that they have been confirmed as the legitimate handling agents for the cargo. The bored CHD employee hands them a datachip and tells them to go to the Requisitions Office where they can find out exactly where the cargo is.

The highport is a vast, sprawling structure and so it takes them 20 minutes to reach Requisitions Office via grav-tube. During the journey, they see Max’s flustered face on giant TV screens – it would appear that Max has run out of ways of stalling the press any longer, a fact confirmed by text messages which the others receive telling them that he is making his way up to the highport with a gaggle of reporters in tow, unfortunately.

The staff at the Requisitions Office are as unhelpful as the one at the CHD. William tries his luck again with this system, which is even more Byzantine than the last one. William seems to pick up the process like a natural though and, thirty minutes later, their datachip has been updated and they are informed that their cargo is being held in Quadrant Four of the highport.

Feeling increasingly naked without her weapons, Jie successfully lobbies the others to take a quick break from the cargo collecting exercise in order that everyone reclaims their weapons. The party members head over to the Security Desk, which takes them another half hour to find. In comparison with the bored pen-pushers in cargo, the officer manning the Security Desk is a lot more helpful. It would appear that he has heard all about the party’s heroic actions and is only too happy to help them out. He asks everyone for an autograph for his kids. Once the party member’s have obliged, he is happy to hand everyone their weapons back.

Jie’s delight at being reunited with her laser rifle is short-lived, however, as she sees that it has been fitted with a trigger lock, as has any other military grade weapons. The guy at the desk tells her that this is unfortunately starport policy that live military grade weapons are restrained while on the highport and on Collace’s surface and that the trigger lock will be removed when she leaves the world.

It’s 6am now and the highport is starting to get busier. Wanting to finalize the cargo situation, the group heads off to Quadrant Four. They find that there is a line of people waiting to access their cargo and so the party member have to wait their turn. Eventually, after some 90 minutes of waiting, a cargo handler escorts them to the warehouse and they are shown the three containers. Although it doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s still disappointing to see that one of the containers is opened and now completely empty. The other two containers, while having been battered and dented as a result of all of the collisions while floating around unsecured in the zero-g of the cargo hold are, at least, still secured and sealed.

William asks the cargo handler how to get the containers to Djim’s warehouse on the surface of Collace, as per the address which they were given. The cargo handler replies that he can take care of this, but it will cost Cr.500 per container in freight charges.

Taeva’s commo rings.

“Oi, doll it’s me, Max. Where are you all? I’m wanderin’ around the bleedin’ starport tryin’ to find you. I still got 20 bleedin’ journos followin’ me – the bastards still won’t leave me along because they want to meet the rest of you. I dunno what to do with them. Every time I start talkin’ money with them, they just start callin’ me a ‘greedy Mertactan bastard’ and rabbiting on about ‘journalistic integrity’ an’ ‘payola’ an’ all that crap. What d’ya want me to do wiv ’em now?”

Taeva passes Max’s message on to the others as she is not too keen on having her face plastered all of every holoscreen on Collace. Grim agrees to speak to him. He arranges to meet with Max on the largest concourse on the highport while the others deal with Djim.

William puts the call in to Djim. He sounds very agitated. He’s obviously heard about the “pirate attack” on the Vindaar’s Gambit and is anxious for more information about his cargo. Not wanting to break the bad news to him over the commos, William says that it is better to meet up and discuss the situation then.

Djim tells him to arrange delivery of the containers to his warehouse at Collace downport as soon as possible. He will be waiting there until everyone arrives so that he can inspect the containers.

Wanting to get the matter over and done with as soon as possible, everyone apart from Grim heads back to Quadrant Four in order to escort the cargo down to the warehouse.

On the way, Arvor uses his wafer jack to send a message through to Grisst c/o the Celestial Chariot Hotel explaining who they are and suggesting a meeting in order to pool intelligence.

Grim makes his way to the concourse. Some ten minutes later, a flustered Max arrives with a gaggle of perhaps forty journalists in hot pursuit. Max looks very relieved when he sees that Grim is there to share the burden of trying to deal with the press. The press are very excited to have some new face to put on the screens, having tired of Max and his lack of information over the past few hours.

All cameras are now on Grim as he comes under a barrage of questions. He sees his face appear on several of the large holoscreens around the concourse as the TV stations break back into the scheduled programming with Breaking News.

“Over to you now, mate,” Max says with a grin, happy to take a back seat as press spokesman now.

“Gentlemen, please, one question at a time.” says Grim, glancing over the assembled throng and then nodding to a pretty blond reporter in the back row, “Who are you with and what’s your question? And would you like an exclusive?”

{laughter}

“Moira O’Malley, Collace Nightly News. Can you tell me, weren’t you scared when the attack took place?” she asks, perfect white teeth gleaming.

“Well, of course there were others involved and I can’t speak for them, but, to me, it was like my Combat Engineer days all over again. Only this time there were civilians in harm’s way. After seeing to their safety, I made my way to the lounge, where the heaviest fighting took place. Seeing the disarray there, I rallied the troops and, with a cry of ‘for the Imperium!’…” Grim goes on…and on…

Finally the conference wears down to a close.

The remainder of the party arrives back at Quadrant Four and William arranges transportation for the containers down to Djim’s warehouse. He keys over Cr.1500 as requested. At least for this amount they are all allowed to escort the cargo in the shuttle for free rather than having to pay an additional Cr.200 each for passenger tickets.

An hour later and the shuttle is making its way down to Collace downport. During the journey, Arvor gets a message through his wafer jack. It’s from Alamen Grisst.

Would very much like to catch up with you all to thank you for your quick thinking onboard the Gambit. As a thank you, I have booked you all suites here at the Celestial Chariot. Shall we meet for dinner in the Belle Epoque restaurant inside the hotel at 20.00?

Half an hour later and the shuttle has landed at the downport. More cargo drones arrive to transport the containers to Djim’s warehouse on the outskirts of the complex.

As expected, a worried looking Djim is there, anxiously pacing around while waiting for the containers to arrive. He looks relieved as he sees the three containers arriving in the warehouse. He rushes towards them to check on them.

His look of relief starts to fade, however, when he sees that all of the containers are a little battered. It fades even more when he sees that one of the containers has been opened.

He opens the container and a look of horror appears on his face when he sees that the containers is completely empty.

“They’ve gone!” he cries. “There’s nothing there!”

The party members start to tell their side of the story about how they bravely held off the attack of the pirates, omitting the minor detail of Arvor having opened the container in zero-g. Djim seems totally uninterested in the party’s tale of heroism, however – all he cares about is his previous cargo.

“You weren’t being paid to start fights with pirates,” he says, his face darkening with fury. “You were paid to look after these containers and escort them safely to Collace and you have failed. Failed, failed, failed, failed.”

“Failed dismally.”

“In fact the word ‘dismally’ doesn’t begin to describe how dismally you’ve failed. You’ve failed dismally and abysmally. Even that’s not enough. You’ve failed so badly that I can’t even think of words to describe how badly you’ve failed. Grammarians are going to have to come up with a completely new word to describe how much you’ve failed.”

“Your failure has cost me a million credits.”

“Well don’t think that you’re going to get another credit from me after this … this … ‘failure’. Check the contracts which you signed. Even the most useless lawyer in the world would see that you have broken the terms of the contract and you’re not entitled to a single credit extra. In fact you should forfeit the money I paid you in advance and reimburse me for the cost of your tickets.”

“But, I’d rather forgo the money just to never have to deal with you ever again. Now get of my warehouse before you screw something else up.”

He stands with his hands crossed in front of him, looking not at all happy.

William tries once more to explain to Djim what happened and apologise.

“But really, there was little any of us, including Max, could do under the circumstances. And Max was dealing with the terrorists the whole time so please, at least don’t hold anything against him. He did a great job for you.”

“For our part, we’d be pleased to take on any other tasks you might need us for although we all understand if this is the end of our relationship. We appreciated the opportunity to help you out and are sorry it did not work out for the best. I would imagine the shipping company’s insurance will see you whole and we’d be pleased to provide any supporting documentation you might require to help recoup the loss.”

“Best wishes for the future Mr Djim.”

“The goods weren’t insured,” Djim replies in the same bad temper that he has been in since he saw the empty container. “You were supposed to be my insurance. If I had told everyone the true contents of the containers, then my competitors could have beaten me to market, which is why they were labelled as heavy metals. That’s why I was prepared to pay you so handsomely.”

“I hold Max equally responsible for this fiasco. When you see him, tell him that I never want to see him again.”

There is an awkward pause.

“I think it’s best if you leave now so that I can at least try and recoup some of my investment by selling the other two containers that you didn’t manage to lose.”

Djim turns his back on the party members to bark orders to some of the warehouse staff, giving the party members no choice but to leave the angry merchant and make their way back to the shuttle docks where it costs them another Cr. 800 to return to the highport.

It’s lunchtime by the time that the shuttle docks back at the highport. William gives Grim a call and finds out that he’s having lunch in the food court with Max. The group all meets up to compare notes on what transpired later in the morning.

Arvor, Jie, Taeva and William are relieved that the media are now off their backs as a result of Grim boring them for well over an hour. But Max is not at all happy when he hears how the meeting with Djim went and that they will not be receiving the rest of the contracted payment.

Furious, Max gets on his commo to give Djim a call. The conversation quickly turns into a shouting match and all eyes on the food court are upon Max as he screams into the commo at the top of his voice, calling Djim every swear word under the sun (and several that the other have never heard before).

After a five minute tirade, Max pulls the earpiece from his ear and tosses it on the table.

“That f&*%ing, *(%%$ing, $%&$ing, ^%$%$ing piece of “:{}!” Max shouts in frustration to the others.

He pauses for a moment.

“Let’s kill him.”

The others are not quite sure whether Max is serious about this or not.

“Well I guess that’s me an’ ’im finished then,” he continues. “Don’t know what I’m gonna do now. Can I ’ang around wiv you guys for a while?”

Arvor tells Grim and Max that Grisst has paid for suites for everyone at the Celestial Chariot and would like to meet them for dinner – at least something positive has come out of their heroic actions onboard the Gambit.

Everyone is feeling tired now as no one has had a proper sleep since the night before the Gambit emerged from jump. Everyone finishes their lunch and then they had to the hotel.

Grisst was good to his words as, upon arrival at the hotel, there is indeed a suite waiting for each of them. Porters arrive to take everyone’s meager belongings up to their rooms. Grisst has not scrimped on the accommodation – they are some of the best suites in the hotel, and it’s probably the best hotel at the highport as well. The party members unpack and get some rest prior to dinner with Grisst at 20.00.

Grisst and Ana Pyriem are waiting for them when they arrive. The party members spot what appear to be some plan clothes police hovering in the background keeping an eye on him.

Grisst welcomes everyone and they sit down. He thanks everyone for their quick thinking during the hijacking. As the meal arrives, Grisst asks about Djim. Max immediately tells Grisst about his refusal to pay them what was due upon completion of their job. Grisst asks about the cargo and Max is only too willing to tell him the details.

Grisst says that he is sorry to hear of the party’s plight, but his body language tells a different story – he is obviously reveling in hearing about Djim’s misfortune.

“I am sorry to hear that,” Grisst says. “So now you see that what I was saying about Djim and his methods were not just sour grapes on my part – they’re true.”

“So are you just going to let Djim get away with this?” he asks. “What are your intentions now that you have broken up with him?”

“Well, Mr. Grisst, I would say that on the one hand, anything between us and Djim is not personal – it is – as you say, just a matter of business," Arvor replies. "On the other hand, we find ourselves suddenly available for hire.”

He turns to take in his comrades with an upraised brow – seeking agreement.

Busy checking his pocket for Moira’s number, Grim looks up at Arvor’s words and then nods his assent. The other all nod in agreement.

“Well I commend you on your loyalty,” Grisst replies, “Even if it is misguided loyalty it is still a rare and noble quality. Maybe I could have use of some people like myself within my organization.”

He pauses.

“I will be on Collace for two weeks concluding my business here and will then head for Glisten via Mertactor. If you are still at a loose end by the time I leave, let’s talk again and see if there are some ways that we can work together. In the meantime, I will be happy to continue to provide accommodation here as a continuing way of showing my thanks to you. And if there’s anything else that I can do to help you during your stay, then please don’t hesitate to ask.”

The meal continues pleasantly for another couple of hours until Grisst excuses himself. He too has slept little over the past 48 hours and has important meetings the following day. The party members are also in no mood for partying and so they too head for their rooms.

Comments

OK, please let me know what the intentions are from here.

Thanks everyone for playing today. With hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best scenario to start with as there was a lot of fiddly little details to it, but I think we all got through it pretty well.

Next time should be easier. Live and learn.

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LOL! The more “fiddly” details, the faster those of us who haven’t played (only read) MGT will learn. Thanks to Nick for running things, and to William/Jay for the flowcharts…

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Seconded. Nick, you did a fantastic job.

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“Max, can we nominate you Press Agent? We should make money out of this.” Taeva has now donned a blonde wig, sunglasses and a woolen skull cap. “Keep the names vague-know what I mean? There are people on Collace I’ve bad memories of”

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I don’t give a F**k about hurting their feelings. I’d rather have their cash than their goodwill.

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But obviously everyone needs a say. We’ll all have to put up with all this crap either way.

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Can’t we get a black maria to drive us out a back door, and leave us at a taxi stand somewhere?

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That’s not a bad idea. Playing hard to get might make them come to us.

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Oh, and ask the police if they can help us get in touch with Alamen Grisst – I am sure he can deal with the press for us. After all, he owes us something.

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How about Max goes out to give away the story – the one we want them to have, while we leave by a back door in a closed van. All we need to do is to agree on what the story is.

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I’m a bit confused now. First decision is whether your primary aim is to just try and escape from too much media attention or to try and profit from it.

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Profit.

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William is certainly not averse to some extra coin from the press, but frankly he’d rather get on with his life of adventure. He will leave the whole press thing to others, even forfeiting his “cut”, and speak with Djim about other possible work.

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Wait, did someone say “profit”?

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Arvor is disinterested in direct profit. I would argue that we may get some opportunity with Alamen Grist, but he may also value discretion. If we play it cool, we may be better off. So no profit for me, and sneaking out the back door is my preferred option. Max can make a statement to the effect of “the villains attempt was foiled when a drone malfunctioned in the cargo hatch, killing several of them with flying debris, and allowing some ex-military passengers to take control of the situation.”

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Very nice Arvor. I like the anonymous sound of the “allowing some ex-military passengers to take control” line. I’ve changed my mind, let’s go after new work. After we see what both Grist and Djim have to say?

Grim/Ian

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My thinking is if we do a bunk now they’ll go home to their editors and then approach us independently (with cash) for a story. Max could give them a basic bare bones story now but thats frankly optional- he would need to leave lots of unanswered teases they would want to chase (and pay us) for.

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I fancy a quick escape. Jie has been poor many times and it is not uncomfortable to her. Plus she has had her small share of the lime light and each time has somehow been able to turn a good media opportunity into a fiasco. Like that time on Binges where she accidently shot a cammera man while showing the reporters a standard issue laser carbine. She is smart enough to know she is not very social. She will side with Arvor and Grim about finding out about the next job.

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I will pause here to get some new intentions from you

So what is the plan here? What do you want to do about Max and the gaggle of reports which won’t leave him alone?

When do you want to call Djim in order to arrange a meet up with him? Before or after you have delivered the containers to his warehouse?

Do you still want to meet with Grisst? If so when do you want to meet with him in relation to your other tasks?

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Re: Max – I’m Ok with allowing Taeva to take the lead on any press negotiations, with the caveat that he does not want any identifiable mention. Obviously if that is Ok with Taeva. Also, Arvor is willing to make contact with his ex-employers to see if they can assist in covering (or covering up) the press angle. Taeva and Max together should be able to stall the reporters while the rest of us complete the delivery.

Re: Djim – We should continue to work to get his containers to Djim ASAP.

Re: Grisst – Arvor wishes to (using his Wafer Jack link) send a message to Grisst, c/o Celestial Chariot, explaining who they are, and a return number – “..to pool intelligence and discuss the possibility of working together to eliminate possible future threats..”

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I concur with Arvor except one thing. Taeva seems to be as shy of the spot light as Arvor is, perhaps another charismaitic, non SOC 2 team member should step in to add Max. Contacting Grisst for further jobs is excellent but we should keep Djims intrests in the fore. I suspect Grisst has got to the point of success where he would want to hire “professional” body guards as a status symbol rather then us lowly band o’ misfits. Heeeey, now that I think on it, wouldn’t Ana Pyriem- Grisst’s Executive Assistant be next in line to inherit the bussiness if he came to a un untimely end. Hmmmm

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Also as a side note, Jie had a run in with the press on Collace about 5 years ago due to her platoon of Marines failed attempt to assassinate a diplomatic party of high ranking Collace nobility. With facial recognition programs and the long memory of computers it might be a good idea for Jie to borrow Taeva’s blonde wig and sun glasses.

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William is with Arvor on this. Max, and Taeva if she wishes, can handle the press. William thinks we should contact Djim asap as the story is obviously in the news and he will be anxious about his cargo. We could simultaneously be delivering that cargo to its destination. Arvor’s approach to Grisst seems fine to William—Grisst will find us if he wants to reward/thank us or hire us. And we don’t yet know what else Djim might have for us.

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Russ is right: Grim will help Max with the press.

Looking over the Stats, you guys really do suck at anything SOC based ;-) I still can’t believe Grim has the highest SOC at 8? And by a full 4 points? LOL! Anyway, he’s handsome in a rough way and Persuasive (and “Leader-ry” looking, lol), so he’ll be our “face” to the press (even though Arvor and Will were the true heroes). If he can’t think of anything to say, he’ll let Max do the talking while he stands there stoically (and maybe a bit buzzed…wher’d I put that flask?). Seem ok to everyone?

Grim/Ian

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On the other issues, I agree we should finish/extend the relationship with Djim ASAP, but prefer a more proactive approach re:Grisst, i.e. we should contact him. No harm in having mulptiple plot lines going (except to Nick’s mental health…).

Grim/Ian

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Ok, so Grimm works with Max, and the rest of us proceed to deliver cargo to Djim. Meanwhile, Arvor sends the message to Grisst:

(using his Wafer Jack link) send a message to Grisst, c/o Celestial Chariot, explaining who we are, and a return number – “..to pool intelligence and discuss the possibility of working together to eliminate possible future threats..”

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FINALLY!:talking to microsoft tech all night, and then couldn’t log into obsidian. If you ever need to reset Obsidian password don’t cut and paste the emailed word thye send you-it doesn’t work. You have to actually type it in))

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Taeva has mad eit prettty clear she wishes to avoid the limelight. Grisst might not be too pleased with us as we’ve hardly safeguarded his cargo-I doubt we’ll get the other Cr 7500.

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‘Journalistic Integrity means " we sell more papers" and “I get a bonus” so don’t buy it. We book into a dear hotel and heavily tip the staf to keep the bastards out? Probably best to hole up till they come to their senses and we can get down to surface.

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Not clear on this fascination with Grist when we currently have an employer. You finish one jon before you start another, or your reputation plummets to zero. Ditto if you rat out your previous employer.

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job

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Concur that we need to finish up with Djim as best we can (and I expect we should be just fine—no evidence that WE tampered with his cargo). Let’s see what happens with Djim—so far all he’s done is lie to us about what was in the containers. Why? Could be worth finding out what he says. I also agree that putting feelers out to Grist won’t hurt—trust me, as a contractor, it’s either feast or famine it seems…

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Agree wholeheartedly with Jay’s last comments (we waiters know your pain). Again, the only risk from multiple plotlines (Grisst + Djim + Media Frenzy) is to Nick’s mental status ;-)

Grim/Ian

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Well, that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but at least Nick doesn’t have to worry about multiple plot lines. I wonder what happens to Max? And how are these button/badges worth Cr1M? Oh well, doesn’t appear to be our problem any more. I suggest we leave Djim to his tears asap…

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“Gentlemen, please, one question at a time.” said Grim, glancing over the assembled throng and then nodding to a pretty blond reporter in the back row, “Who are you with and what’s your question? And would you like an exclusive?”

{laughter}

“Moira O’Malley, Collace Nightly News. Can you tell me, weren’t you scared when the attack took place?” she asked, perfect white teeth gleaming.

“Well, of course there were others involved and I can’t speak for them, but, to me, it was like my Combat Engineer days all over again. Only this time there were civilians in harm’s way. After seeing to their safety, I made my way to the lounge, where the heaviest fighting took place. Seeing the disarray there, I rallied the troops and, with a cry of ‘for the Imperium!’…” Grim went on…

Finally the conference wore down to a close.

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There were a million badges/button/little round things with a pin stuck into the back which retail at one credit a piece, which is how each container was valued at Cr. 1 million. You can get an awful lot of button/badges in a 10 ton container.

Please let me know if anyone has anything to say to Djim, otherwise I will assume that you are heading back to the highport to reunite with Grim and to check in at the hotel. You could probably all do with a sleep as you’ve been up two days apart from some napping at the police station.

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Yikes, a million pins floating around!

William will try once more (using his Diplomacy 1 skill) to explain to Djim what happened and apologise. “But really, there was little any of us, including Max, could do under the circumstances. And Max was dealing with the terrorists the whole time so please, at least don’t hold anything against him. He did a great job for you.”

“For our part, we’d be pleased to take on any other tasks you might need us for although we all understand if this is the end of our relationship. We appreciated the opportunity to help you out and are sorry it did not work out for the best. I would imagine the shipping company’s insurance will see you whole and we’d be pleased to provide any supporting documentation you might require to help recoup the loss.”

“Best wishes for the future Mr Djim.”

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Arvor will be happy to call it a day and head for the Celestial Chariot. That reserved floor sounds pretty good right now, as what with his (still untreated) wounds, and sleep deprivation, he is in no mood to argue with a Metactan merchant, especially not one with a temper.

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“Well, Mr. Grisst, I would say that on the one hand, anything between us and Djim is not personal – it is – as you say, just a matter of business. On the other hand, we find ourselves suddenly available for hire” as he turns to take in his comrades with an upraised brow – seeking agreement.

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Busy checking his pocket for Moira’s number, Grim looks up at Arvor’s words and then nods his assent.

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Thumbs up to Arvor from William.

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Sorry to leave you at a point in the story with nothing for you to do. I need to do something solo with one of the players and hope that this won’t take too much time before it’s opened up back to the group.

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That evening, Arvor messages everyone that he wishes to call a group meeting over breakfast in the morning – in his suite.

After everyone is comfortable, he begins:

“I doubt it will come as any surprise to anyone here, that I have done some work for Naval Intelligence. What may come as a suprise is that I have been given an opportunity for us all to be involved on a mission of importance to Collace and the Imperium. It will pay well, but require absolute discretion and secrecy.

Before I proceed, I must ask that anyone who has any misgivings please air them now. I cannot divulge any details of the mission until each of you have agreed to absolute secrecy about anything related to the mission (even this conversation), and accepted that you are indeed interested."

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NickPendrell

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