Mustered Out on Mertactor

130-1106

Arrival at Avastan

The tedious journey onboard the Sunwise Star ended up taking even longer than expected. It was only a chance conversation with the navigator a couple of days into jump that informed them that, as Avastan is a moon of a large gas giant rather than a planet, there will be another two days of travelling once they are out of jump. This information leads to groans all round, but they realize that there is nothing they can do about the situation. So everyone just knuckles down to carry on with their training during the day while attempting to get through as much of the ship’s supply of alcohol as possible at night.

The party members are having a late night session when the steward mentions that they will be landing in a couple of hours. They ask her to change the lame holovid that they are now watching for the third time for the forward viewscreen image. He rolls his eyes but then changes the channel.

Knowing that the mission here is to make off with a ship, everyone is keen to see what kind of traffic is in the system.

The small planet before them appears mostly white – it’s going to be another cold one by the look of it. There’s just a smallish strip of green, brown and blue around the equator. Fortunately this is where they are heading to.

They break through the atmosphere and can see the lights of Avastan City below them as dawn breaks over it. It’s a similar size to Newland City – around half a million, with some farms dotted around it. The city is located on the western coast of one of Avastan’s larger seas. The starport is to the west of the city, away from the sea. It’s built very close to the city, with the startown area merging straight into the downtown area.

The party members are more interested in the ships that are around though. Worryingly, the first ship they see is a Gazelle-class SDB in orbit over the city.

Getting closer, they see the starport below them. The rambling starport is relatively well lit. It appears as if the shipyards are to the south of the starport. There are around a dozen ships dotted around the starport, of which five are Far Traders. The Grisst Falcon could be any one of them. There are also a couple of Type-S scouts around plus a ship that none of the party members have seen before. A 200-tonner, it is flat and wide, looking a little like an elongated manta ray.

The Sunwise Star lands at an allotted bay at 0600 and the party members collect their baggage. A ground vehicle with comes to dock with the ship and two scruffy looking individuals enter the airlock. The stewards cycle the locks and the two guys enter clutching a bag of respirators.

“You will be needing these, senors and senoritas,” one of them says flashing a smile. “You no can breathe and you will die. Will not be nice welcome to Avastan!”

The two laugh.

“How much?” asks Max.

“To you, amigo, just Cr.500 each.”

“Cr.500,” Max exclaims. “You are ‘avin’ a bleedin’ laugh. They’re only worth a hundred.”

The guy shrugs and laughs. “But without them I don’t think you will get to the terminal.”

“I’d rather where me friggin’ vacc suit than pay you bastards Cr.500 for each of them.”

“OK, muchacho, I make it Cr.400 each.”

Max haggles a little and gets the price down to Cr.250 each for the respirators.

“Fuckin’ ’ell,” he moans as he keys the credits over. “We ain’t even got off the ship yet an’ I already ‘ate this fuckin’ planet.”

The party members don their overpriced respirators and leave the ship. The air is crisp, but the sun is only just creeping over the horizon so it should warm up later. The cold weather gear shouldn’t be necessary.

“I better stay ‘ere an’ sort the cargo out,” Max says. “I don’t trust these pillocks not to mess it up.”

“Or the thievin’ locals to nick it all.”

“So where are the rest of you goin’?”

“The only information that we have is that Captain O’Neill is under house arrest at the Miramar Hotel,” William reminds the others.

“We need to stay somewhere, so we might as well stay there,” he suggests.

No one has any other suggestions and so they head out of the starport. They are immediately accosted by a bunch of swarthy looking individuals.

“You need taxi, senor? I give you good price!”

“No, you come with me, senor.”

The taxi drivers start to jostle with one another. If it gets any worse, then a fist fight is going to break out.

The party members eventually agree to be bundled into a large, beaten up air/people-carrier and the driver sets off at such a speed that the G-forces push them back into their seats.

“Miramar Hotel, please,” William says.

They have been travelling for over half an hour. The city looks quite new, but it seems as if no one has bothered to maintain anything at all here since the day it was built. The cheap buildings are all crumbling; the roads either compacted earth or potholed. There is no sign of anyone on the streets, but it is still early in the morning.

The figures on the meter flashing so fast that it’s difficult to read them when Arvor realizes that they’ve pretty much been going around in circles ever since they left the starport, a fact that he mentions to Jie.

Calmly, Jie gets her laser carbine and points it at the taxi driver’s head.

“Hotel. Now.”

“Si, si, senorita,” the taxi driver says, quaking with fear.

The Miramar hotel turns out to be only 2km from the starport. The driver points to the meter and says that the journey came to Cr.200. Jie offers him a deal – Cr.50 and none of his limbs get surgically removed by her carbine. He reluctantly accepts Jie’s offer.

The Miramar is 10 floors high, the shape of a three-pointed star. Arvor looks around. There’s a grav pickup parked opposite with a couple of bored looking heavies watching them and the entrance to the hotel. They pick up a radio and are calling someone.

The group heads through the simple airlock which keeps oxygen in the hotel. The hotel has seen better days. The lobby is empty apart from two more toughs carrying ACRs. They study the party members carefully as they come in, but don’t make a move.

There is someone behind the counter dozing, a trail of drool down one side of his mouth. Arvor rings the bell, startling him awake.

Six rooms are negotiated. The price is Cr.100 per night – too much for a shithole like this really, but no one can be bothered to start yet another argument over it, especially with the two heavies watching their every move. The receptionist hands everyone keycards and tells them that their rooms are on the third floor.

Everyone heads to their rooms to freshen up. William spends a little time on his handcomp getting a little information that will be of use for the mission.

An hour later and William calls everyone into his room so that they can discuss their options, not wanting the heavies in the bar area to overhear anything.

William tells them all that he has found out about Avastan in general.

He then shows them some satellite images of the starport, although they are not terribly high resolution. Launch pads and runways are in the centre of the starport; passenger terminal is on the east side; freight terminal on the north side; API’s offices and all of the administration on the west side, and the shipyards on the southside.

The shipyards are able to take ships up to 600-tons. The repair yards never seem to have really taken off though as most lines in the region prefer to make them in Collace. So the operators started working the same scam that they worked on Grisst – offering discounted prices and then upping the price so as to seize the ships when payment was not made. In the past they have only pulled this stunt on tramp freighters, knowing that the owner/operators would not have the resources to do anything about it. It seems as if they are upping their game though by taking on a small line like Grisst’s – or else they didn’t do their homework to find out how large a company Grisst Enterprises is.

The Grisst Falcon looks like she should be a nice ship – a totally standard A2 Far Trader which is around 20 years old – still pretty new for a ship. She has been regularly serviced throughout her history and passed all her tests – backing up what Ana Pyriem said about it being impossible that she needed so many replacement parts. She is armed with twin triple-turrets, each loaded with a beam laser/missile rack/sandcaster.

Captain O’Neill seems like he’s an excellent captain. He’s pushing retirement now – well into his sixties, but his resume is good. He’s repelled a few pirate boarding attempts in the past and received a couple of medals for his services to the Naval Auxiliaries during the Fourth Frontier War. He seems like the cantankerous sort who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

William has found a small advertisement in a recent edition of the Avastan Reporter – that the ship will be auctioned on 140-1106 by API. The ad is such a small one that it looks as if they are deliberately wanting as few people as possible to know about it.

The party members discuss various ideas – they realize that they need a lot more information before planning any action. To cover more ground, they decide to split up – Jie and Grim will buy a bottle of cheap booze on the way and head to the grungiest part of the startown close to the API offices in the hope of chatting with some off duty members of the security division. William will head to the auctioneer’s office posing as an interested buyer. Taeva and Arvor will see if they can find out how to contact Captain O’Neill.

They agree to keep in commo contact and then meet up at 20.00 at a cantina which they saw a couple of blocks away from the hotel.

Under the pretense of going for a stroll, Taeva and Arvor look around the building. The two heavies in the grav/pickup are still parked on the opposite side of the street from the hotel, keeping watch.

They look up at the building. They see that trying to sneak in through a window is going to be practically impossible. Because of the thin atmosphere, all of the buildings in Avastan are sealed so that there is a breathable atmosphere inside. As a result none of the windows open. Although it could be possible to break a window with some force, the leak in oxygen would surely set alarms ringing immediately.

They head back inside and head for Arvor’s room where Arvor puts a call into reception:

“Hi, can I speak with Captain O’Neill, please?”

“No, senor,” the receptionist replies. “Is no possible. No one is to call with Capitano O’Neill.”

He puts the phone down.

He thinks for a moment and then calls Max. Max sounds very flustered.

“Is everything alright?” Arvor asks.

“No it ain’t alright,” Max says angrily. “That facking dickhead of a purser facked up the facking paperwork for some cargo of fruits they were carrying and so the Port Authority has seized the whole cargo – most of which is ours. I’m trying to sort it all out, but it ain’t easy because they’re all a bunch of thievin’ shysters.”

“Ah,” Arvor says. “I was hoping you could rustle up a pizza guy’s uniform and some pizzas.”

“You should be able to ’andle that yourself,” Max replies. “Everythin’s for sale on this planet it seems. Order some pizza and then off ‘ooever comes to deliver it a month’s salary for ‘is uniform. Tell him to tell his bosses that ’e was tumbled on the way. If ’e still don’t want to do it, then tell ’im that you really will tumble ’im for it.”

Arvor puts the plan into action and a pizza delivery boy arrives within the hour. As Max suggested, Arvor offers money for the uniform. The boy is worried that he will get into trouble. But the offer of Cr.300 he decides is worth being shouted at for a while. The pizza boy departs and Arvor gets dressed in the uniform.

Arvor starts searching for some heavies from the top floor working down. He finds what he is looking for quickly, on the 9th floor. There are a couple of goons lounging around outside the door to one of the rooms, dressed in cloth with SMG’s.

“Hey, hombre, you no allowed ’ere. This floor is closed.”

“I have pizza for El Capitano,” Arvor says.

“Is no possible,” the guard says. “He no have phone in there.”

“Mr Jiminez sent it for him. And some for you two also.”

The guards look at one another. They seem to find it odd. They shrug.

They beckon Arvor to come closer and ask for the pizzas. They look over them carefully, checking to see if there are any messages hiding under the pizza, but find nothing.

“OK, senor. We take it in for him. No one allowed inside the room with El Capitano. You can go now.”

Meanwhile, William takes a cab to the address given for the auctioneers. He’s dropped off some 20 minutes later outside a dingy looking office block. He studies the nameplates outside. Most of the offices here belong to lawyers. He goes through the airlock and makes his way to the address of Domingo & Cruz S.A – the company handling the sale.

After waiting in the lobby for half an hour, he is led through to the dingy office of Manuel Domingo. Manuel is not exactly overly welcoming.

“So Senor, you are the gringo who is asking about the Grisst Falcon. Why you wanna buy her? She big lump of turd. Everything is a wrong with her. You use her – you misjump – you end up in middle of star and burn to death like my wife’s chimichanga. Is-a this what you want?”

William humors him, saying that his company only has a small budget and is looking for a fixer-upper. He asks whether it would be possible for his engineer to take a look at exactly how bad she is.

Manuel shrugs and is silent for a moment. He seems to be looking for an excuse to say no. But he can’t find one.

He shrugs again:

“OK, si,” he says. “She sitting in maintenance bay dos.”

He scribbles something down on a piece of paper, signs and stamps it.

“Give this to Head of Maintenance and he will let you and your engineer take a look at her.”

“Have you got any other ships for auction currently?” William asks.

Manuel shakes his head. “No, just this uno. You come back in another month or so and maybe we have another.”

“Is the Grisst Falcon secured in any way?” William asks.

Manuel studies William carefully. He didn’t like that question at all.

“Why you ask that question, senor? What is it to you?”

Meanwhile, Jie and Grim ask the taxi drivers where people go for a good time in the startown. The taxi driver delivers them just 3km away, just a block away from the main admin building of API in the starport.

They’re in the right place – on this street every building is a bar, a tacky looking disco or a bordello. But it’s still morning and so it looks like a ghost town. They head to a cafe to drink some coffee while they wait for the place to start to come to life.

A little after midday and the shutters to a couple of the smaller bars open and the pair of them wander inside. They order a couple of cervezas and wait until there’s a bit of trade. A handful of security types in scuffed navy blue cloth armor come in and take their respirators off.

Jie sits at the bar trying to look slutty. And easily succeeds.

“Hola! Niña! You want come sit with us? Your pimp – he can come too!”

Jie and Grim sit with the guys and make small talk. Grim clicks his fingers and asks the waiter for a bottle of tequila, which the guards willingly help them to drink.

As they get more and more drunk, the pair of them tap the guards for information.

They learn that the CEO of API is Jiminez Garcia, but most people on Avastan call him ‘The Pigeon’.

Why ‘The Pigeon’?" asks Grim.

“Because every three months he fly here, he shit on everything and he fly out again!” the guard says, the others laughing loud.

Jie and Grim learn that the expression ‘while the cat’s away, the mice will play’ most certainly applies to API. It sounds like a complete shambles of an organization. Although it owns well over half of the assets of everything on Avastan, every division of the company seems to be out for what it can get, constantly trying to out do one another to feather their own nests.

The company has entered a vicious cycle. It’s been corrupt since day one and so profits were never as good as they hoped they should be. API tried to cut costs by reducing salaries, which led to greater and greater corruption as everyone tries to make a living.

“He who does not steal from API, he steals from his family,” laughs another of the guards.

Jie and Grim get the idea that pretty much everyone is for sale on Avastan. But whether they stay bought and don’t doublecross their buyers is another matter completely.

A little while later, Grim gets a call. It’s William. There’s a strange click on the line and then Grim answers: “What!” in a very loud voice. William hears salsa music in the background and thinks he detects Jie belting out a tune with an all-male chorus.

“We’re all set to visit the ship so you can check it over. I, ah, take it that you’re, um, engaged right now? I’m a bit worried that the brokers, a law firm called Domingo & Cruz, might change their minds. They didn’t seem too happy to have a potential buyer. I think we should act fast. Are you sober? No, scratch that, can you pretend to be sober?”

“Roger ’dat, Perfesser Dingle Pants. Commencing Operation Sober, er, Soberiety?” Grim chuckles. “Yeah, that’s right. Hey Jie, come say hi! The geek is on the phone…what? No, keep singing then…wait, I’m fergettin’ something…oh, yeah…”

There is the sound of a medicine bottle cap being unsnapped, pills shaken out, a hard swallowing noise follwed by the sound of liquid being gulped. A long pause, then a still slightly slurring voice…

“Roger that Will, good thing I brought some AlcAway pills at the liquor store. They won’t make me sober but they weaken the buzz pretty good. These boys are almost out for the night. Let us say our goodbyes, then I’ll get one of these pills into the lounge singer formerly known as Jie and we’ll meet up with you. Damn, says here on the label that the price of using these things is “an extraordinarily strengthened hangover”…

“Meet me in front of the passenger terminal in thirty minutes,” Will says.

Grim and Jie say farewell to their new friends and leave the bar. Jie heads back to the Miramar to meet up with Taeva and Arvor while Grim gets a separate taxi to meet up with Will. Once they are together, they head to the southern entrance which leads to the maintenance yards.

A couple of hours later and they return to the hotel. They head to Arvor’s room to reveal what they discovered.

William brings up a satellite image of the starport and fill in the blanks as to what buildings are what.

Grim then goes into more detail:

“The south side of the starport has a high fence around it – it looks electrified and there’s razor wire on the top as well. There are guard towers every couple of hundred meters with a couple of guards in each of them, one of which has an LMG. They didn’t seem too alert though.”

“Entry to the maintenance yard is through a gate located between the drydocks and the fuel tanks. There’s a squad of five on guard here, armed with ACRs checking documents of everyone who comes in.”

“The Grisst Falcon is in the second of two pairs of drydocks. There’s plenty of cover around in these things. There were two squads of five guarding the ship – one squad inside the ship and one squad outside, again armed with ACRs.”

“The ship looks spaceworthy. There’s some fuel in the tanks – maybe half full. It’s easily enough to get us to the gas giant, but not enough to make the jump.”

“The only way that they’ve immobilized the ship by the look of it is to take out the fusion plug for the maneuver drive.”

This news is met by looks of confusion from most of the party members.

“They are like spark plugs on a ground car,” he explains. “You need them to jolt the M-Drive into life when you start it.”

“They are glass tubes about 1.5m long and about 30cm wide. They are fragile so need to be kept in padded boxes. The tube and box together weight about 10 kilos.”

“Are they easy to get hold of?” Arvor asks.

“Yes most ships would keep a spare as they burn out after a few years. New ones cost around 10k a-piece.”

“How long to put one in?” asks Taeva.

“Five to ten minutes roughly,” Grim replies.

“The API barracks are on the southside of their office block, maybe 600m from the dry dock” Grim continues. “We didn’t see much sign of activity while we were there. But there are vehicles parked outside – we saw a couple of G-carriers and five semi-armored air/rafts.”

“Any more questions?” he asks.

Max arrives back, looking not at all happy.

“Bastards,” he shouts. “Absolute facking bastards.”

“They won’t release the cargo on the Sunwise Star. The idiot purser on the ship screwed up the paperwork for some consignment of fruit that they had on board – only 10 tons of it – and so they’ve seized the whole cargo – 60 tons of which is ours.”

“The Captain of the Sunwise Star is saying that he can’t pay or won’t pay the fines and so there’s a stalemate going on. I don’t know what to do about it.”

“This bloody planet – should never ’ave come ’ere in the first place.”

The others discuss the options for getting into the starport. Arvor suggests that taking out the generator should be a key part of the plan. Grim explains that it can’t just be taken out with a single RAM grenade. It’s going to mean getting inside the generator building and planting a significant sized charge.

He tries to pick up the Port Authority radio messages and is able to pick up the channel within a few minutes and can listen in to the chatter. There doesn’t seem to be a lot happening there at the moment.

He gives some thought to the problem of the SDB in orbit overhead, very much aware that it would make light work of the A2. He suggests a diversion.

Max nods in agreement. “At least there’s only one of the fackers. If we can arrange for it to have already been sent off on some mission and is well away from the starport when we go in,then we should be OK.”

“It will need to be a long way from here though. They’ve got a Gazelle. All we’ve got is a lumbering old cow. And it will take us days to get to the gas giant and then out to jump distance again so we need a bloody good head start on them.”

William is concerned about the danger of harming the guards, worried that it will make their actions criminal.

“This ’ole bloody planet is corrupt,” counters Max. “If I ‘ad a nuke I’d wipe the ‘ole bloody thing off the map. API ain’t the most popular company in the subsector because of all of the stunts they’ve been pullin’. I don’t reckon that we’ve got nothin’ to worry about as soon as we’re out of the system.”

Max stifles a yawn, remembering that no one got any sleep the night before due to the Sunwise Star’s arrival in the night. He looks at his watch.

“I need to head down to the starport again,” he says. “The ship that’s carrying the other 30 tons of Nobble Leather should be arriving soon. I need to be there to check all the papers carefully so we don’t ’ave problems with that one as well.”

“I’ll see you all for breakfast tomorrow. Don’t expect me too early though – I reckon I ’ave a long night ahead of me.”

Max heads out and grabs a taxi back to the starport.

“I want to head back to the bars where we were earlier,” Jie says. “It was too quiet at lunchtime. The place should be more lively now. Anyone else want to join me?”

Having nothing else better to do and realizing that there could be more useful information to obtain, the others decide to all head with her.

Jie was right. The place is completely packed now, full of off-duty security guards plus spacers from the adjacent port.

They head for one of the busiest bars – it’s heaving with patrons and girls of the night, dancing to the sound of a mariachi band. The party members all grab bottles of cervezas and watch the entertainment. After half an hour though, the mariachi band takes a break and the entertainment changes to a live donkey show.

Everyone in the room is transfixed by the show and so there’s no point in trying to engage anyone in conversation until it’s over.

Once it has finished, Jie smiles at a table full of drunk guards and is invited over to join them. They don’t seem to mind when the others join them too, especially when they order a couple of bottles of tequila to share with them. Everyone is feeling pretty chatty.

“What’s with that ship in the port?” Jie asks one of them. “The one that looks like an elongated manta ray? I’ve never seen a ship like that before.”

“Eez good you no see ships like that before,” the guard says with a grin. “Eez Pirate Interceptor, Black Panther belonging to Captain M’tanga Bulawezi. You see that ship out in midspace and eet one of the last things you gonna be seeing, senorita!”

“Have you any idea where Captain M’tanga might be staying?” asks Arvor.

“No, senor,” the guard replies, “But he is sure to be around here somewhere enjoyin’ the fun of the startown. He is very easy to spot. His skin is black like ebony, he has long dreadlocks and his mouth is full of gold teeth.”

Arvor nods and thanks their new friend for the information.

“Let’s split up,” Arvor suggests. “This area is not so big and he does stand out by the sound of it.”

The party members split up and start searching the bars for M’tanga. Arvor’s hunch was right – it takes only ten minutes before Taeva calls in to say that she has spotted him in the Lucky Lucky Club. Everyone meets up again and then they enter the Club. It says ‘Disco’ on the sign, but inside it’s obviously a bordello. There’s a dozen in M’tanga’s gang – an evil-looking bunch who seem to be spending money fast and furiously by the amount of bottles on their table and the attention they are getting from the girls who are hanging all over them.

The party members continue chatting with their new friends for several more hours until tiredness and drunkenness get the better of them and they head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Comments

Arvor says to one of the guys – hey, listen friend. If you can help us with some information from time to time, it might be much more lucrative than peddling respirators to suckers. You can show your interest by telling me where I can get a local sim card without being ripped off.

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{Uses recon to check for vending machines etc. while asking}

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“He’s the last person I’d trust to show me where to buy some simcards,” Max sneers.

You find simcards on sale in the lobby for Cr.20, including enough credit for what you hope will be a very brief stay on Avastan.

I have deducted it from the party funds.

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Ever since that last drunken night in Plainsville, Jie has been even more subdued then usual. She paid the 30,000 ImpCreds from her cut of the Tarsuline trade to Max without a word. Her 27,000 creds also was paid silently. William can tell Jie is getting low on funds because the only thing she bought at Tarsus was a brand new sleeveless Nobble hide over cloak. When confronted, Jie bursts into tears and says the coat was an apology gift from a young Nobble rancher she had meet in Plainsville. Further inquiries lead Jie to tell the horrible story of the “_Nobb-Hide Cloak_” (Please refer to the Items page)

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LMAO!

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I guess the first thing to do is find some accomodations (presumably the Miramar). William will then do a computer search to see what he can learn about the shipyard, the ship, the Miramar Hotel, and Cpt. O’Neill.

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Oh, and second all of Ian’s LMAO’s.

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That was hilarious, Jie!

Max only needed the 30k from the Tarsuline sale and 23k from everyone’s savings so Jie should be 4k better off than she thought she was.

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So this could be tricky. I don’t fancy a takeoff under fire followed by a confrontation with an SDB – unless that becomes our only option – and even then I still don’t fancy it. I also don’t much fancy an ill-prepared jump, or any other desparate trick to get away.

“I suspect this mission will require some sleight of hand to pull off. We will see what our options are once we have gathered all the information, starting with the good Captain O’ Neil. We may not get unfettered access to him – so perhaps only a couple of us should make an overt attempt to communicate with him – reserving the rest to make a covert attempt should that prove necessary.”

As the others have become accustomed to, Arvor’s eyes take on a far away look as he starts accessing the comm-net via his ’Jack. He searching for references to API, and following them up. Also useful (to explore) would be the local judges who rubber stamp the repo orders, and the local history of any fights over repos in the last while – any local news-blogs, the Avastan Reporter etc. Basically, immersing himself in the local blogosphere to find out what is going on.

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Jie takes out a multi-pen and starts scribbling numbers on a napkin. If her calculations are correct {Arrived on Tarsus with practically nothing, Plus 23K from the Tarsus cargo sale Plus 5k from JJ’s vault plus 30K from SuSAG minus 2k to boost the kitty (pay drivers and hotels) minus 23K for the kitty minus 30K for cargo investments minus 2.5K on personal supplies, air filters and to restock her Medi Kit with anti-virals (Thanks Grim!) } her cash on hand is about 500 Imperial credits, more then enough to make herself useful. As arvor scans the neuro-net for information Jie plans to visit the area where API’s Security Division (a light infantry battalion equivalent) hangs out and parties. Her main goal is to gauge their official stance on off-worlders who liberate wrongly seized foreign space craft. She will not carry Black Betty with her so not to offend the locals, but her duel cutlasses and hidden body pistol are always present. She would also like to gain information on the Gazelle-class System Defense Boat in orbit over the city. Knowing her social status impinges on her non-exist ant carouse skill she asks if anyone else wants to come along.

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William spends some time researching the particular body-shop that has the ship, other ships in port (looking for potential allies or threats), and other ships impounded and to be auctioned, if any (more potential allies).

He also wants to find out about the auctions: are the vessels really freely sold or is this whole thing an organized crime thing to “acquire” more (cheap) pirate vessels? He’s also looking for info on how the auction will be conducted. I.e., will they let potential buyers onto the ship, is it somehow disabled (wearing a boot so to speak)?

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Grim will be more than happy to accompany Jie, he’s also ex military as well as not being a stuttererererer…;-) And Grim would like to remind Jie that she has an extra 100 credits from that extortion dance routine the space gypsys taught her, lol.

{Grim spits on his hand and slicks back his hair. He straps on his 10mm autopistol. On the way to visit the security detail Grim stops by a local market to pick up a bottle or too of good local hooch, just in case Jie and he manage to make closer acquaintance of some of the Security types}

Grim adds his Recon skill to the party efforts, as well as scoping out the main power and communications grids for the starport online and (where possible, by observation) in person. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nonlethal power outage at the starport just as we’re leaving?

{Ever since leaving the ship, Grim has kept his eyes open to the idiosyncracies of the local infrastructure, particularly the power and communications grids…wires, relay towers, control and fuse boxes, etc.}

I agree with Arvor, though, the SDB is more problematic…

Grim/Ian

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{Grim pauses on the way out the liquor store door. Looking back at the condom display rack, he thinks to himself, ‘nah, the girls around here seem pretty clean, though it would be nice to be able to offer them a “ribbed” alternative. Well, no time now, maybe later.’ Whistling a little Army marching song to himself, he continues on his way…}

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Jie shakes her head exasperatedly at Grim Like a kid in a candy store

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{Grim, before he leaves the hotel with Jie to see a few rentacops about ‘the extra bottle we can’t finish on our own’, glances at Will, and says, “Hey Will, while you’re at it, check online to see if that repair yard needs any Engineers. I can always use the extra cash while we’re planning and the opportunity to recon them would be great. Even an interview would allow me to scan the basics of their facility in person.”}

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“Jie shakes her head exasperatedly at Grim Like a kid in a candy store”

{’That’s another thing to consider’, thinks Grim, ‘those things come in candy flavors the younger skirts like…I’ll have to make a shopping list for the next trip to the store’}

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Great idea with the Engineering thing Grim! William adds that enquiry to his work, planning to check not just engineering jobs, but other shipyard-type work such as computers, comms, sensors, admin/finance (maybe Max?) etc.

We should also check on the bribability of the local navy. Maybe for a “few” credits the SDB could be on the far side of the star at a certain time?

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One issue: we have a lot of luggage. We need that on the ship before we pull anything off. I guess we won’t be buying any trade goods here for the same reasons.

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Taeva scopes out access to Captain O Neil; including from adjacent and above hotel windows.

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Can’t we hire a shuttle to meet us in orbit, when the time is right, with our luggage? It’ll be pricey, and we might have to miss the rendezvous if we’re on the run from other ships, but it beats sneaking up on the ship to retrieve it with a noisy baggage train behind us!

Alternatively, we could come up with a reason for our luggage to be on the ship. Maybe we crate them up and label them as spare parts, and, if Grim or another of us gets work near her, legtimatly load them on?

Maybe we should pull the ultimate sting and “fake” the ship purchase at auction. Then we could load our suitcases on without needing to be covert, as we made our way skyward legally in our new ship?

Grim/Ian

(doesn’t wanna leave his pricey Engineers tools behind…)

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Although Max isn’t with you at the moment, if you brought up the luggage question in front of you, he would remind you that to send up to a ton of cargo to Collace is only going to cost you in the region of Cr.600, so it shouldn’t be a problem to send it all ahead. Problem solved.

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Arvor will check front desk for Captain O’Neils room number, and if they oblige, he will make a phone call. If that works, he will introduce himself as an employee of Grisst’s lines, here to negotiate a settlement, and to find out what is going on.

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Hey here’s an idea. Could Arvor mock up some ID papers so Taeva could look like Captain O’Neils grand daughter? Then she could DEMAND to see her Pop-Pop and threaten to pull strings at her job at SuSAG if denighed. She could get a good recon of the layout, maybe plant some bugs and alert the good Capt of our existance.

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OK, that will have to do from me for tonight.

There was such a barrage of suggestions earlier, apologies if I missed something out. If there was something on the list of things you wanted to try and so bearing the new information in mind, then post it again and I will cover it in the next update.

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William calls Grim. There’s a strange click on the line and then Grim answers: “What!” in a very loud voice. William hears salsa music in the background and thinks he detects Jie belting out a tune with an all-male chorus.

“We’re all set to visit the ship so you can check it over. I, ah, take it that you’re, um, engaged right now? I’m a bit worried that the brokers, a law firm called Domingo & Cruz, might change their minds. They didn’t seem too happy to have a potential buyer. I think we should act fast. Are you sober? No, scratch that, can you pretend to be sober?”

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“Roger ’dat, Perfesser Dingle Pants. Commencing Operation Sober, er, Soberiety?” {chuckles} “Yeah, that’s right. Hey Jie, come say hi! The geek is on the phone…what? No, keep singing then…wait, I’m fergettin’ something…oh, yeah…”

[sound of a medicine bottle cap being unsnapped, pills shaken out, a hard swallowing noise follwed by the sound of liquid being gulped. A long pause, then a still slightly slurring voice…]

“Roger that Will, good thing I brought some AlcAway pills at the liquor store. They won’t make me sober but they weaken the buzz pretty good. These boys are almost out for the night. Let us say our goodbyes, then I’ll get one of these pills into the lounge singer formerly known as Jie and we’ll meet up with you. Damn, says here on the label that the price of using these things is “an extraordinarily strengthened hangover”…

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Ah – sorry Nick, I meant to check front desk by phone, not in person – I was assuming I was still in my room doing this. I wouldn’t have wanted to ask in front of the goons – it reduces my options for later.

Anyhow – I have another idea. I commo max, and tell him before he gets back, to get a local pizza logo-cap, a cheap and loud jacket, and half a dozen pizzas, and arrive with them.

He should go up to the desk, and say pizza for Arvor. He can then go up to Arvor’s room, and from there they can systematically visit each floor, looking for goons standing in the corridor. If we find them Max can approach them while Arvor goes round a corner to wait and listen (posing as a guest in another room). Max will claim he was sent to deliver pizza to the capitano, he can make a fuss about losing his job if the capitano does not get his pizza, and how the boss will want to know why, and how he is in trouble since last time blah blah blah, and how Jiminez send a second one for the guards – since he say something about it not getting to the capitano otherwise. He can add that the boss wants him to take it in, but if they want to do it, isa alright – he won’t tell the boss about it.

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OK, so scrap the bit about talking to the receptionist face-to-face with the following …

Arvor and Taeva head for Arvor’s room where Arvor puts a call into reception:

“Hi, can I speak with Captain O’Neill, please?”

“No, senor,” the receptionist replies. “Is no possible. No one is to call with Capitano O’Neill.”

He puts the phone down.

He thinks for a moment and then calls Max. Max sounds very flustered.

“Is everything alright?” Arvor asks.

“No it ain’t alright,” Max says angrily. “That facking dickhead of a purser facked up the facking paperwork for some cargo of fruits they were carrying and so the Port Authority has seized the whole cargo – most of which is ours. I’m trying to sort it all out, but it ain’t easy because they’re all a bunch of thievin’ shysters.”

“Ah,” Arvor says. “I was hoping you could rustle up a pizza guy’s uniform and some pizzas.”

“You should be able to ’andle that yourself,” Max replies. “Everythin’s for sale on this planet it seems. Order some pizza and then off ‘ooever comes to deliver it a month’s salary for ‘is uniform. Tell him to tell his bosses that ’e was tumbled on the way. If ’e still don’t want to do it, then tell ’im that you really will tumble ’im for it.”

Arvor puts the plan into action and a pizza delivery boy arrives within the hour. As Max suggested, Arvor offers money for the uniform. The boy is worried that he will get into trouble. But the offer of Cr.300 he decides is worth being shouted at for a while. The pizza boy departs and Arvor gets dressed in the uniform.

Arvor starts searching for some heavies from the top floor working down. He finds what he is looking for quickly, on the 9th floor. There are a couple of goons lounging around outside the door to one of the rooms, dressed in cloth with SMG’s.

“Hey, hombre, you no allowed ’ere. This floor is closed.”

“I have pizza for El Capitano,” Arvor says.

“Is no possible,” the guard says. “He no have phone in there.”

“Mr Jiminez sent it for him. And some for you two also.”

The guards look at one another. They seem to find it odd. They shrug.

They beckon Arvor to come closer and ask for the pizzas. They look over them carefully, checking to see if there are any messages hiding under the pizza, but find nothing.

“OK, senor. We take it in for him. No one allowed inside the room with El Capitano. You can go now.”

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If need be would it be easy enough for Taeva to get past the reception sneaks etc to wander the hotel? No plans for doing so yet just checking.

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Ok, so Arvor has the captains room number (where the goons took the pizza in on the on the 9th floor). We know he has no phone access. They (the goons) also don’t know what Arvor really looks like (no-one pays too much attention to the pizza guy). So we can spring O’Neil when we need to.

Arvor is going to assume that API is too cheap to take both the ajoining rooms, so he calls each room adjoining the guarded one to find out if it is occupied – posing as the pizza guy calling to confirm an order – if someone answers, he is going to say “confirming special pizza delivery for Meester Aranjuez in room xyz”. He will play dumb and ask again for Mr Aranjuez hoping the occupant will reveal their real name – but not press too hard.

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The guards did actually say to Arvor:

“Hey, hombre, you no allowed ’ere. This floor is closed.”

So none of the other rooms on this level are occupied (the hotel is pretty quiet in general you have discovered – total occupancy is probably no more than 30% so the hotel can afford to keep one of the ten floors free).

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Get a fiberoptic camera and a silenced electric drill and we can drill through the floor or ceiling from adjoining floors near the wall studs to check out the situation? Do you have any bugs left? Can we purchase these here on TL 10 Avastan? Should we plan on getting the Captain out well before we try to spring the ship, or closer to simultaneously? If we free the Captain too soon, they’ll suspect someone might make a move on the ship. On the other hand, it will be harder to pull off two near simultaneous operations. We’ve got ten days before the ship sells, right? Nick, what we’re doing is legal right now as it basically constitutes a billing dispute (if I understand right?), but what about after the ship is auctioned? Are we still ok then or are we stealing from the new owner?

Grim/Ian

(p.s. Will, forget about getting Grim a job at the shipyard, he’s too likely to be burned as he went to do the “buyer inspection” with Will, which is ok as we got the Recon data we needed. Instead, see if you can get him a job with either Avastan Power or with Avastan Telecom. Shutting off their power and/or comms as we’re leaving would help slow any response…)

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Yes, you should be able to get hold of some simple type of bug here. There is definitely a demand for them as everyone is backstabbing everyone else and would love to know what their rivals are up to.

After the auction, the ship will legally belong to the new buyers at the auction and so you would be common thieves in that case, so the job has to be done before the auction.

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Either sabotage as employed engineer, or with a ram grenade – we know where the generator is. Perhaps we can figure out how to get on the comm channel between the spaceport and the SDB?

I think we will need to move sometime before the auction – I am pretty sure API won’t let themselves be outmaneuvered or outbid in an auction.

Arvor tries some communications sweeps looking for ground / orbit traffic with his TL 13 transceiver and his Sensor program (0 + 1 int). He will try a sweep every local hour or so until he finds something.

Ideally, we can pick up on a crew change for the SDB – or they may go for a pit-stop or something that would provide us an opportunity to make our escape. Either that, or we can provide a diversion of some kind.

In a worst case, if at lift off time we can prevent them from communicating with the SDB, we can communicate ourselves to (hopefully) forestall any attack by the Gazelle on our vessel. Something along the lines of “fires and explosions on the ground are posing a risk to our assets, so we are flying up to orbital parking as a precautionary measure”.

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“It will take more than a single RAM grenade to take out the generator as there are several of them in the same building,” Grim clarifies. “It will need something like a well-placed satchel charge to take out power for the whole port.”

“I imagine that the building is locked and there were a couple of sentries walking around the building.”

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We may need to be careful with a broad power outage as we may cause injury to innocent people or businesses, which really would make us criminals. As for legalities, our undoubted murder of numerous guards will ensure we’re criminals, and probably Grisst too. Our plan should involve minimal harm to persons and property—even the guards may be innocent independent contractors of the shipyard or star port. Grisst is entitled to regain his kidnapped ship, but only by doing the minimal harm necessary and by not hurting anyone or anything in the process.

Ideally, we find some way to get us all on board in a way that lets us prep the ship and take off. If we can do that, ground-based forces are likely irrelevant ( unless API has a grav tank), and we only need ensure the SDB is unable to intercept us. It was a 2 day journey to safe jump distance (probably at Thrust 1), but even if the Falcon is faster, the SDB will be Thrust 5 or 6. I doubt we can outrun it, so we need something to occupy it for at least a day I should think. Hopefully Arvor can get the specs on the SDB.

Unfortunately, my suggestion of sneaking or tricking our way onto the ship makes getting the Cpt. challenging. Hmmmm…….w

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Well, I had thought of the potential harm from a blackout/commo shutdown, but most of that will be nonlethal. The facilities which need power in emergency stuations, say a Hospital, will have backup generators (as will the Starport, something we have to take care of as well ;), so casualties should be light to nil. We might be on the hook for the economic costs of an outage, but only if they can pin it on us, and, by the time those linkages are made, we should be gone? Can Arvor and or Taeva get false papers for Grim so he can apply for a job under a different ID? Also, the power plant employee idea extends to Avastan Comms as well, rather than (or in addition to) the power outage we could black out their spaceport comms (or redirect them as Arvor suggested)?

As to rescuing the Captain, we have to get him before we go after the ship, so we may as well try to time the two as close together as possible. For both these operations, we will need to use some force, the question is how much? Does our “property reclamation” mission, with it’s ex post facto establishment of legality, allow us to Stun (carbines) or gas (Will, what can we get there?) guards, or do we have to wait until they attack us and then act in self defence? Also, will gas be effective outside the hotel? Nick, how well sealed is the repair bay? I’m pretty sure the hotel is “overpressured” and “filtered”, so patrons (and guards) can roam respiratorless, but what about the shipyard? If those guards are wearing masks, gas won’t be very effective. If that’s the case, what can we do about getting Arvor a Tranq Rifle? What about flash bangs and concussion grenades? In any case, we will probably have to use some force; I think we’ll be ok if nonnlethality is our byword!

Now, we have two otions regarding the rescue of the Captain. We can go in stun carbines blazing or we can try stealth. I favor stealth, preferably with a “tranquilizing” component, primarily because unconscious guards are slower to sound alarms and we’ll need all the lead time we can get to move to the ship. Arvor and Taeva, backed up by Jie are well suited for this phase. Max can be our getaway vehicle driver “in training”! Meanwhile, Will and Grim can be set up to take down the power grid (or jam comms or infiltrate the ship or whatever we decide) before joining the others in grabbing the ship. At the ship, we’ll have to move fast, but a combination of Stun grenades, tranqs, stun carbines, etc, should do the trick. As Arvor pointed out, the SDB is more problematic. However, the SDB will not attack a merchant leaving the starport without orders, so sabotaging/overriding the Comms would buy us some time. Remember, all we need to do to be “legally” in possession of the ship is to:

“Once you have seized the ship, Captain O’Reilly will release the originally agreed amount so that there can be no accusations of theft on your/our behalf. This is a completely legal operation.”

So, we needn’t make it out of the system, this is more a matter of “Possession (plus a modest compensatory sum) is nine tenths of the law”, with the last tenth being getting off planet and out of reach, lol! The primary slow down will be the five to ten minutes Grim and Will will need to replace the Fusion Plug, but once we have that, a commo/power shutdown at the port will keep the SDB in the dark until we can get to orbit and release the funds? We just need to hope the SDB commander hasn’t been bribed to “overlook” the niceties of a legal “repossession”…;-)

Having said all that, if we can come up with a completely covert, non violent method for doing all this, I’m in favor of that and withdraw any violent suggestions that may be contained herein!

Grim/Ian

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(as far as infiltration of the ship by Will and Grim prior to the party joining them with the Captain, why don’t we just ask for a “second look” by the interested buyer (Will) and his Engineer (Grim)? We’ve already established a relationship with the sellers, no? Timing will be crucial here but we can set the commo power outage on a timer, and then arrive for our “second look” just as the other party members are rescuing the Captain. This would even give us a reason to be in the Engine room…we just need an idea as to why we’d be carrying a spare “Fusion plug”…lol)

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The repair bay is completely open to the elements, so no problems there. You can assume that all of the buildings are pressurized though so that people can take off their respirators inside.

It’s correct that gas is not going to work on anyone wearing a respirator. The stun carbines and concussion/tranq will work fine though.

Having another look inside the ship posing as the buyers having a second look shouldn’t be a problem. They made you leave your weapons at the gate though. Taking the fusion plug in with you is also going to lead to a lot of difficult questions being asked as well!

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I am thinking the sequence needs to be:

1. SDB is distracted / off of station.
2. Team A heads for starport, use deception (buyers visit) to get inside ship, secure position. On the signal, use pulse laser to take out generator and radio/radar mast and wait.
3. Team B springs Captain O’Neil, make for starport. On arrival, signal team A to blow the generator and cover storming the entrance (using pulse laser), so Team B can enter along with the fusion plug.

As far as the SDB is concerned – I assume it needs to refuel periodically, and change crews. Can I ascertain when that might be from the comm chatter I am getting? I will collect all chatter on the freq. and store, so I can process for keywords etc. offline.

If the SDB switches crews at the highport – perhaps we need to go there first. We might sabotage its fire control, or somesuch thing, or we can sabotage its fuel.

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The SDB crews work month on/month off and aren’t scheduled to change for another 16 days. It’s using practically no fuel while in orbit so the fuel will just get topped up next time there’s a crew changeover.

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“I’ve uh, got 10 breaching charges” says Taeva. “They’re meant for for smaller stuff than the generator but several of them might do. Need to know what you’re about though.”

“It might also be possible to get some civilian explosives on this shithole i can try to find out if you like”.

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“I get the feeling that pretty much everythin’s for sale ‘ere as long as it’s not too ‘igh tech as it’s such a centre for stolen an’ smuggled goods,” says Max. “Prices might not be too cheap, but Grisst did say that ’e’d cover any reasonable expenses.”

“So if you give me a shopping list, I’ll get it sorted.”

Assume that everything (within reason) up to and including TL7 is available.

TL8 has a 75% chance of being available.

TL9 has a 50% chance of being available.

TL10 has a 25% chance of being available.

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I like Arvors general timeline! As far as the Fusion plug is concerned, could Will and I make the point to the seller that Grim, in order to fully certify the ship, requests a “full power” test? They would then have to use their own plug to let him run the tests? We’d be under guard of course, and there would only be two of us, neither one in the control room of the ship, so they’d still be “safe” allowing the test. That way, even if our timing was off and we ran the tests before team B got to the ship, their plug would still be aboard, maybe even connected…

Grim/Ian

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We need clarification from Nick re:Arvors idea to use Pulse Laser on ship against ground targets?

Can we? What are ramifications?

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I have added the diagram of the dry dock to the map that I put up yesterday. Unfortunately the turrets are on the lower level of the ship and there is machinery on either side of the dock, which means that the turrets aren’t going to be of any use while the ship is on the ground. You’d need to get it about 20m off the ground before you can start using them to blast targets.

As for taking the the fusion plug with you, they might agree to it – you need to do a bit of ‘Persuading’ for it to work though.

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Williams’s liking the plan too. Query:
1. How do Grim and I deal with the guards who accompany us into the ship for the power test? Unless we can smuggle in a stun carbine, you’ll have to be the heavy Grim.
2. Can Grim operate a turret weapon? Note that I’m too lazy to look at your character but, oddly, not to lazy to type all this out. Weird huh?
3. We’ll need a good plan to get the rest of the crew on board. If we seize the ship, perhaps we just hop out of the starport and pick you up outside town somewhere? Might mean less fighting??

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@ Nick, I meant let them use their Fusion plug. To quote Grim, “Why would prospective buyers be carrying around something they could use to hotwire spaceships?”. Besides, using theirs will put them more at ease as they’ll feel in control of the situation.

Also @ Nick, in regards to Will/Jay’s query #3; does the Captain have to be on board to “take possession” of the ship, or can he relay the payment info while Will and I pilot the ship? If he doesn’t have to be present physically on the ship, why not send him back with our luggage on a commercial liner? Will the baddies have any reason to stop him if the ship’s out of the system and the bill is (at least to the authorities satisfaction) paid? If this is the case then could team B’s operation could be handled separately from team A’s entirely, with team A returning on the ship and team B returning by freighter?!

Of course between them Will and Grim can do everything on a ship EXCEPT Astrogate and (answering Will’s question) man the Turrets, skills which neither of them have…So, if we go with separate departures, team A will need to add Jie as Navigator.

In answer to any question about weapons already in place for Will and Grim on the ship, as well as the answer to why the SDB would be moving away from the planet in the opposite direction from the Gas Giant, I refer you to our two more nefarious types, Taeva and Arvor. Can you guys bribe the guards (a guard, whatever) to leave a weapon or three in the ship’s Engine room where we (team A) could get at them? Further, how much to bribe the dispatcher to move the orbit of the SDB? That might cost a bit…

Grim/Ian (hardly anybody’s “heavy” though Will. Without a firearm, Grim reverts back to an average strength, average endurance, somewhat dexterous alley brawler with no formal skill, not even level 0, in anything resembling any hand to hand discipline. Jie, on the other hand, with her physical attributes, can throw a hulluva punch ;)

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Oh yeah. WTF is up with impounding our trade goods? That’s a lot of cash rolled up in those Aluminium bars and Nobble hides…!

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Yeah, we have to sort out the trade situation first. We need a way to get some more combat power onto the ship while ensuring we have enough to free the Cpt if we’re going to try the do-two-things-at-once plan. Does anyone else have a starship skill we could use to get them onto the ship as part of the detailed check it out crew?

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OK, This one is gonna be tough and I don’t know how Nick is going to run Sundays game without exploding, but he’s tough and doing tough things is why he gets paid the big bucks! I understand Williams’ admirable concerns about native lives being snuffed out and us being viewed as criminal, but I’m OK with that. On Tarsus we ambushed clueless moss gatherers and packagers and I felt bad. Here however I second Max’s opinion and vote we nuke the place (figuratively) based on the fact that these guys are being paid to kill anyone who tries to stand up for doing the right thing (Us!). Plus, if we are viewed as criminal, it would only be in Avastan eyes, hell, everywhere else we’d be hailed as heroes of free enterprise! And I guarantee you I will never willingly step back on Avastan soil again (unless the price is right) besides, I like shooting things. That done with I move to the 4 steps.

*(This might be long and is just my ideas that are very open to suggestion)
*Gain control of Grisst Falcon
*Gather our cargo from Sunwise Star
*Free Captain O’Neill
*Escape the SDB and jump to Collace (This will be the easiest part)

Firstly I am very against splitting the party. It creates more of a headache for the referee and limits playing time for ½ the players. Plus Jie is all about group tactics and truly believes that this team cannot fail if united. Therefore when Grim and William and their bodyguard Jie do another inspection of the ship Arvor, Taeva and a spare Fusion plug will be clinging to the under boards of the ‘modified Taxi’ that Max is driving (we have to drive right up to the ship entrance due to Grims’ equipment being soo huge!) A fight breaks out and as Grim sets the Fusion Plug in place we cripple the 5 guards in the ship and probably the 5 guards outside the ship (or just close the doors). By remote the dock generators and Comm links will be destroyed by satchel charges set the night before by Taeva and Arvor then BAM we have control of a jump ship with turrets.


We then take a leisurely float over to the Sunwise Star as Purser Glen Kwouk has his team ready to load us up on our aluminum and his nobble hides while the towers shoot futilely with their light machine guns and no power. You see, earlier Grim used his persuade and Taeva used her street wise to convince the purser that his mistake with the 10 tons of fruit will end his career on that ship. We will give him our nobble hides and a free trip to Collace if he transfers our aluminum cargo AND steals the spare Fusion Plug from the Sunwise Star and gives it to us to place in the modified ‘Taxi’. By now the full force of the API and the SDB in orbit above the city will be converging on the docks. That’s OK because we’re on our way to the Marimar Hotel as Arvor and Jie warm up the Laser Turrets.


If we leave Captain O’Neill here Grisst might be angered, but more importantly Jiminez Garcia CEO of API will be infuriated by our actions and more then likely spend his wrath on anyone left behind. The noble and honest Captain would be decapitated. We know he and his guards are on the 9th floor of the 10 floor air tight building and that that floor is totally empty of civilians. We fly over the roof depositing Grim, Max and Taeva in her climbers harness then Arvor and Jie er…gently?? blast one side of the 9th floor. The alarms will go off and the security detail will investigate. But, a couple of nights ago Taeva put a satchel charge to the opposite side of the hotel and now detonates it making a nice Captain sized hole. She climbs down, tosses him a filter mask, grabs him and climbs back up to rejoin a guarding Grim and Max as Will then pilots the ship to pick them all up. By now the Gazelle-class SDB will be right on us ready to blow us out of the sky. That’s when we let “The Pigeon” on the Comm to beg for his life.


You see, this will be the easy part. With Jiminez Garcia CEO of API as our hostage the SDB will never harm us. It will shadow us as we refuel and make for jump, but as long as we have their boss on board we are golden. When we get to Collace we can dump him off in the nearest empty field along with Purser Kwouk and let him fend for himself. How did this happen? Earlier the team modified a taxi with designs thought up by Grimm using black market armor and tools from Max while Jie, Arvor and Taeva looked for ways to kidnap Mr. Jiminez. William can do research into Jiminez’s enemies and when we all abduct him (I’m thinking pulling up alongside him in our taxi and saying “Heeey, do you want some candy?” then tranq him) we can make it look like it was them who took him. This will of course start a feud and not a lot of gun toting goons will be thinking of ships, cargo or Captains. In the chaos we tie him up and put him in a signal dampening room on the 10th floor of the Marimar where Grim and Max will gather him up as Taeva retrieves the Captain.


Yes this is complicated and I am in no way good at theft, demolitions or kidnaping (otherwise I’d be in politics) but I think it can work if we work together.

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@Nick, Jie heads back to gab with her new drinking buddies and ask about that funky ship in port…a ship that none of the party members have seen before. A 200-tonner, it is flat and wide, looking a little like an elongated manta ray.

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Jie, isn’t it just as easy to sneak in and shoot the 2 guards? A quite simple distraction could get us past reception.

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@ Taeva. Yes, but we would have a 200 ton floating space ship to hide while half of us would have to man it and the other half would do the Captain and Jimineze extraction. If we just hovered above the Miramar that would work to get us past the receptionist desk and both teams would be pretty close for support.(I do love the collateral damage aspect and the more I reveiw the plan the more it looks like an action movie) again this plan is very subject to change.

Now that I think on it, depending on how tight security is at the entrance to the docks we could load the ‘modified taxi’ with explosives and a remote controlled driver. After we fight the guards on and around the ship one of us can remotly drive the taxi to the docks generator complex, sound a pre-recorded alarm to clear out the workers then BOOM! no need for a previous night bomb rigging expedition.

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Well. Simple =works. Complicated =goes wrong. Although cinematic it also warns the party not being affected at the time (either the guards or the ship guards) that trouble is afoot. I don’t honestly think rescuing the Captain will be that difficult for a couple of people. All the trouble will be at the starport.

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I like Jie’s plan but have at least one concern. Who “owns” the SDB? API strikes me as just a shipyard-one of thousands of commercial enterprises on the planet and unlikely to control the SDB. If it’s their vessel, then the Jiminez kidnap plan could work; but if it’s someone else, they may not care about Jiminez but only about a bunch of damn foreigners busting up their home.

William will do some more research into the SDB, including ownership. Maybe we’re lucky and it’s someone who is happy to have Jiminez out of the way and who hates the food at the hotel.

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1. OK, again it should be possible to ask them to use their fusion plug but will probably take some persuading. It would thus be a little dangerous to plan the whole mission around them saying yes as you would be totally screwed if they said no.

2. I can’t see any way that you can leave Captain O’Neill to make his own way back. Although legally he might be in the clear, you’ve already learned that the guys who are holding him aren’t playing by the book and so could very easily keep him as a hostage, even if the ship was gone.

3. All bribery is going to be subject to rolls. Like in real life, the higher the danger of someone getting into trouble or being found out, the lower the chances of their accepting a bribe. If there’s no danger to a bribee of getting found out, then they will almost certainly say yes as long as the amount of the bribe is reasonably incentivizing.

4. Unfortunately Jiminez Garcia is not on one of his flying visits on Avastan at the moment, let alone staying in a shitty hotel like the Miramar. Everyone would be a lot more alert he was in town at the moment. So hostage taking is not an option.

5. Further to Taeva’s comments, you know that there are only six guards watching over the Captain – two outside the door to his room, two in the lobby and two watching from a pick up over the street. The odds at the starport might be very much against you without coming up with a few tricks to even them up, but I think you’re making more of a big deal out of this part of the operation than is necessary. The population on Avastan is so laid back that casual observers aren’t going to lift a finger to get involved in any squabble that’s nothing to do with them.

6. The SDB does belong to API, but it is part of their security division. The Head of API Security and the Head of API Shipyards are both equal in rank and both report to Jiminez who, of course, is not there to issue orders to either of them at the moment.

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@ Jie, you’re right about splitting the players making it harder on Nick, although I don’t mind the group having split locations and waiting for my turn, but that’s just my personal view! In any case, I withdraw the tentative suggestion of two separate departures (I thouht Nick would nix that anyway ;), but still remain committed to the idea of a separate extraction team. Let’s get the info on the guards holding the Captain and see if we can’t bribe the starship keepers to smuggle in some weapons before we start shooting up the spaceport with Megawatt Lasers and pissing off whoever owns the SDB. One thing we can all agree on is that SDB up there wasn’t put there to sit by while people attack Avastans downport and “luxury” hotels. lol!!

My vote is we see what the intel shows us, then, if possible, go with Arvors “team A/team B” timeline…remember, the timing on that has both teams attacking to free the ship, just after team B gets the Captain, so there is minimal “down time” for team A while they wait?

Grim/Ian

(I agree with Jies suggestion as to motives of the SDB. Anything Will can find out about that can only make our job easier! Also, I really, really like the visual of threatening the Banana trader and friends with a spaceship to get our cargo back!)

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(that’s what I get for not “refreshing” the page! Missed Nick’s post)

1. Re: Fusion plug- Ok then, Grim will try to persuade them, assisting his roll will be Engineering skill and Edu, as he attempts to come up with “real” reasons he’d need to see the engines all powered up and coupled to the drive. As for a backup plan, team B will be bringing a plug with them.

Grim/Ian

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Let me know if you have any more questions for any guards or spacers while you’re out on the town.

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Arvor wants to meet with the Capt. M’Tanga Bulawezi. He will ask the patrons if they know where he is staying or how to get in touch with him – Arvor may have a mission for him.

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“Have you any idea where Captain M’tanga might be staying?” asks Arvor.

“No, senor,” the guard replies, “But he is sure to be around here somewhere enjoyin’ the fun of the startown. He is very easy to spot. His skin is black like ebony, he has long dreadlocks and his mouth is full of gold teeth.”

Arvor nods and thanks their new friend for the information.

“Let’s split up,” Arvor suggests. “This area is not so big and he does stand out by the sound of it.”

The party members split up and start searching the bars for M’tanga. Arvor’s hunch was right – it takes only ten minutes before Taeva calls in to say that she has spotted him in the Lucky Lucky Club. Everyone meets up again and then they enter the Club. It says ‘Disco’ on the sign, but inside it’s obviously a bordello. There’s a dozen in M’tanga’s gang – an evil-looking bunch who seem to be spending money fast and furiously by the amount of bottles on their table and the attention they are getting from the girls who are hanging all over them.

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Yeah! Pirates!

{Grim shops for an appropriately floppy hat with a large white feather}

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NickPendrell

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