Mustered Out on Mertactor

153-1107

Ransacking of the Restaurant/Monastery

It’s 08.00 and Autumn, Taeva and Grim are having breakfast with Autumn’s mother, planning the itinerary for the day when Autumn’s commo rings. She looks very concerned as she listens, finishing with the line.

“OK, calm down, I’ll tell the others. I’m sure that we can help you.”

Grim and Taeva look at Autumn waiting for an explanation:

“It was Miranda,” she says. “She was pretty hysterical. She says that there has been a terrible tragedy at the Horkalite Monastery/Restaurant while she was away. The place has been totally ransacked and the local police seem to be totally stumped as to who was responsible and what to do about it.”

“I promised her that we would help,” she says. “The place is only half an hour from here.”

Grim and Taeva are more than willing to help. She calls the others to explain what has happened. Max is not answering but Will, Jie and Arvor agree to help and say that they will be on the next shuttle to Daydah.

Autumn, Grim and Taeva are waiting with the AGC as the others arrive off the 10.37 shuttle from Searcheard. They all get into the vehicle before Autumn takes them on the short journey to the Horkalite Monastery/Restaurant, which turns out to be a vast cathedral building located in a large expanse of cleared jungle, filled with ornate herb gardens surrounded by greenhouses.

Miranda is there to meet them. She is not hysterical any more – she just appears pale-faced and numb.

Arvor instantly spots CCTV cameras around the building:

“Do you have footage showing what happened?” he asks.

She just nods and leads them to an ornate office – or at least what looks like it was previously an ornate office – there are empty places on the walls where it is obvious that artwork would have been. The room contains practically no furniture any more and so most of the party members have to sit on the floor to watch the footage.

The footage shows a black shuttle landing and also black clad figures descending from the skies using grav/belts. It’s hard to put a total number of the figures, but it looks to Jie like a company of 50+. The few security guards are quickly taken down by shots of laser fire. The other Horkalites who are unarmed are quickly taken out through gas grenades and tranq rounds.

Once all of the Horkalites are taken care of, the figures start to ransack the place with military precision. Large pieces of artwork, sculptures and furniture are quickly taken out and deposited in the awaiting shuttle. An unconscious form is also seen to be bundled into the shuttle.

“That’s the Connoisseur,” Miranda says, tears streaming down her face. “They took him away as well.”

After an hour, the pillagers have just about finished their looting. The local police force finally arrive on the scene just as they are finishing. A brief firefight ensues. Several of the police force are taken down, totally outclassed by the intruders, but they do manage to take down two of the pillagers.

“What happened to the two that were taken down?” asks Arvor.

“They were put in an ambulance and sent to Daydah,” Miranda explains. “But somehow they managed to escape as the wreckage of it was found in the jungle ten minutes from the city. All the ambulance crew were found dead and the guards seemingly disappeared.”

“Have the police managed to find out anything about them?” Arvor asks.

“Very little,” Miranda replies with a shake of the head. “They said that a Type-M was seen speeding for jump distance immediately after the intruders left. They are pretty sure that this is how they arrives and departed.”

“Who would have a motive to do anything like this?” Taeva asks. “Did the Connoisseur have any enemies?”

“Not really,” Miranda replies. “We went through all of his bookings over the previous year. He has been booked five times in the past year. Two of them were local and a third was an annual event on Overnale which went fine. There were a couple of jobs that the Connoisseur did not care for though.”

“One booking was on Trexalon about eight months ago. The Connoisseur said that the booking took place in a rather seedy part of startown – far from the-five star luxury surroundings he is used to. His client was a Mr. Gurrinkay Wrorble. The Connoisseur’s Aide said that Mr. Wrorble was no native of Trexalon and seemed like a rather unsavory character.”

“His last booking was also one that the Connoisseur did not care for as well. He was catering onboard a luxury Sky Cruiser travelling around Tarkine for a client called Mr. Kasrinknin. The Connoisseur was incensed that the client kept him onboard for an additional week. Although the client paid handsomely for the additional time, the Connoisseur was incensed at the lack of respect that was shown to him by this action.”

“The only other strange happenings is that we have been visited several times over the past year from unsavory looking characters trying to sell us a narcotic called Philatric, which enhances the sensitivity of the tongue. Naturally the Church of Horkalie wants nothing to do with such narcotics and they were sent away.”

“The police found a gauss pistol under the Connoisseur’s pillow,” she adds. “The Connoisseur loathes all violence and so he must have been really fearful of someone to have warranted buying a weapon.”

“What was the value of all of the items that were stolen?” Taeva asks.

Miranda shakes her head. “Well to us they are priceless – all commissioned from some of the greatest artists from the Spinward Marches over a period of 200 years. To a collector I would imagine that they are worth tens of millions.”

The party members continue to question Miranda, but she seems to have little additional information that is of use.

“What happened to the ambulance?” Arvor asks.

Miranda shrugs:

“As far as I know the wreckage is still lying where it crashed in the jungle,” Miranda replies.

“Might be worth our while taking a look at it,” Arvor replies.

The others agree, having few ideas where else to look for clues.

Autumn reassures everyone that she will call Miranda as soon as she has more information and that they will do whatever they can to help find the missing Connoisseur and their missing riches.

“The Connoisseur is a very generous man and I am sure that you will be well rewarded if you can bring him and our artwork back,” she nods.

Autumn gives her a reassuring hug and then they all climb back into the AGC.

The downed ambulance is not hard to find, having cut a swathe through the jungle some 200m from the main highway. Autumn brings the AGC down behind the wreckage and they all peer into the remains of the ambulance.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot to see inside, just some patches of blood. They clamber all over it, looking for anything of interest. Then, all of a sudden, Jie stoops down and picks up a small, ornate button.

She looks at it for a moment and then her eyes grow wide with realization.

“What is it, Jie?” Taeva asks.

Jie removes the top of her armor to reveal the armband that the others have noticed her wearing since the day they met. She lifts up the armband to reveal a jade teadrop which is attached to her arm by silver thread. It looks very similar to the object that Jie is now holding in her hand.

She grins: “Looks like it’s my turn next to return home – to Pagaton.”

The others just look mystified and so she explains:

“It’s a caste symbol from Pagaton,” she explains. “It denotes people’s rank on the world. We are a warrior-world and the system there is not far from Aslan or Vargr society where status is everything and gained by duels – either by power of will or force of arms – usually the latter.”

“Each of these symbols is very precious to us and totally unique. I can see that it denotes a rank of Armbreaker First Class. I’m guessing that someone like this would be some kind of mid-ranking NCO in a merc company.”

“Any jeweller anywhere on Pagaton would be able to tell which country it came from; any jeweller in that country would be able to tell which jeweller created it, and that jeweller would keep records as to who he created it for.”

“So all we need to do is get to Pagaton and, with just a little investigation, we should be able to trace it to its owner.”

She folds her arms in satisfaction, looking forward to a long-awaited return to her homeworld.

“I had better call Miranda and tell her what we have discovered,” Autumn says, flipping on her handcomp.

She has a brief conversation with the Major Savory before reporting back to the others:

“Miranda wants to come with us,” she says. “She will pay for her tickets. She says that it will be hard to identify what belongs to the Church if she doesn’t come.”

After checking the wreckage one last time to make sure that they didn’t miss anything, they get back in the AGC and return to the Church to collect Miranda. En route, Autumn calls Max. Eventually he picks up sounded tired and exhausted. She fills him in with what’s happening. The news that their stay on Mertactor is going to be cut short does not go down well with Max, whose initial response is a torrent of abuse.

It’s like water of a duck’s back to Autumn who continues to nag him until he agrees to cutting his vacation short.

“Bleedin’ ’ell, all right then,” he replies with a sigh. “But I’m bringin’ a bird wiv me – at least for the first leg. I’ll pay her ticket and for her to get back to … where we goin’? Pagaton.”

He brings up sector plans on his handcomp.

“It’ll take two jumps to get to Pagaton. Best to route via Dallia then – there’ll be fack all money to be earned if we went via Mellior or Binges. Them Aslan we helped out on Glisten have a base there. They owe us some favours so maybe there’ll give us a good price for some cargo.”

“Alright then, I’ll get started on buying some trade goods then. See you when you’re all back in Searcheard.”

By the time the party members arrive back at the Restaurant/Monastery, they find that Miranda is all packed and ready to go, discussing plans the Church’s other Major Savory who has been in command since the Connoisseur was taken.

Once Miranda is onboard, Autumn heads back to Daydah in order to see her mother. Both of them are obviously disappointed that they won’t be spending longer together, but Autumn promises to get back to Mertactor as soon as possible to spend longer with her. After a tearful farewell, they head back off to Searcheard, arriving early in the evening.

Miranda is emotionally drained from the revelations of the previous 24 hours and so heads straight to her stateroom. The others all assemble in the passenger lounge where Jie tells them all about what to expect on Pagaton. It sounds like a pretty dangerous place – like a more primitive watery Avastan. Knowing that Mertactor is the best place to buy supplies ready for their time on Pagaton, they spend the rest of the evening compiling a shopping list to give to Max the following day.

Comments

OK, this is pretty much where we ended up last session, so I will leave it there as we only had Russ and Steve by the end of the session and so I’d like to give the others a chance to contribute at this stage.

153-1107
 

Yippiee! Sun, Surf and Speargun play, water worlds are great. I’m packing my gel-Cloth bikini!

153-1107
 

Hmm I’ll pick up some armored scuba gear on Mertactor

153-1107
 

Perhaps we should also buy a semi rigid it won’t take up that much space?.Water survival gear too.

153-1107
 

Muahaha! This is the bastardverse we’re talking. This ain’t gonna be no Gilligan’s Island!

Can someone work out a shopping list? With Mertactor being such a trading nexus and Max having contacts all over the city, you should easily be able to pick up pretty much anything you want up to TL:13. Over that, there is a chance of his finding it, but there will be price supplements to pay.

153-1107
 

Notes:

Scuba uses either Athletics (Swimming) or Seafarer: Scuba depending on how Ref plays it. A couple of us have Athletics. None have Seafarer as far as I’m aware.

Which brings us to vehicles-a semi rigid or a hover? Will these give us extra functionality over the G Carrier in this environment? Might be advisisable to keep G Carrier as rescue backup, and short range travel in something else.

Underwater Air Tanks (TL 5): Equivalent to oxygen tanks but designed for use underwater. Two tanks last two hour. Cr. 800. Refill of proper atmospheric mixture for race and expected depth costs Cr. 20.

Comment: we would need a compressor for refills also

Dive Suit (TL 6): A basic wet or dry diving suit designed to give a swimmer some protection from cold water. Cr. 60.

Comment: would like armored version if possible

Artifificial Gill (TL 8): An artificial gill extracts oxygen from water to allowing the wearer to breathe for an unlimited time while submerged. Functions only on worlds with thin, standard, or dense (type 4 through 9) atmospheres. Artifi cial gills are used with a mask of some kind, such as the life-support mask. Wt 4 kg, Cr. 4,000.

Comment: will this work on Pagaton? Better option

Dive Suit, Heated (TL 8): An insulating suit fi tted with small heater coils powered by a belt battery unit. A heated dive suit allows the user to operate without harm in very cold water for several hours.
Cr. 650.

Comment: more expensive alternative to above

Survival Kit, Personal (TL 6): A small backpack or belt pack containing personal survival equipment. Contents include:
Small knife
Fire-starting equipment
Blanket/poncho
4 days’ preserved rations
Water bottle
Compass
Light cord or string
Mirror
Water purifi cation tablets
Survival manual
Higher-tech versions include more advanced equipment but basic
functionality is the same. Cr. 50.

Flare Launcher (TL 5): A simple pistol or tube type launcher for use with signalling or illuminating fl ares. Used as a weapon, a fl are gun is highly inaccurate, imposing a –2 DM on all hit rolls and only does 1d6 damage, though it may set fl ammable objects on fi re. Cr. 75.

Flare, Signalling (TL 5): A coloured fl are designed to be highly visible but which casts little light, launched from a fl are launcher. A signal fl are can last for a few seconds to several minutes, depending upon its design. Cr. 5.

Flare, Distress (TL 6): A free-standing incendiary fl are giving off a bright light and large amounts of coloured smoke. The distress fl are is designed to fl oat upright in water. It is triggered by a lanyard
and is very diffi cult to extinguish once lit, lasting for fi ve minutes
duration. It will burn underwater. Cr. 12.

Water Purififi cation/Distillation Kit, Group (TL 7): Designed to provide safe drinking water for four persons, the kit contains chemical tablets and fi lters, plus a collapsible still (which requires a heat
source; normally this is heat tablets provided with the kit) to distil liquids. Cr. 75. The tablets and fi lters are suffi cient to last a month,
replacements cost Cr. 25.

I don’t have any books with small vehicles in so soeone else will need to help out here.

153-1107
 

A hover would use Drive (Hover) rather than seafarer so that might be better. Sounds a lot more expensive than a small boat tho.

153-1107
 

Very nice list Steve. Well thought out. Although ‘I’ have nothing to add, Jie (who lived 18 years on the place) may know some needed supplies as per the Referee.

153-1107
 

Neato! Patagon here we come!

153-1107
 

I’d add that basic powerboat skill is easy (2-3 day course). Of course that is just basic control in fairly safe waters: sea hazards and difficult condotions, also troubleshooting, would be a whole different ballgame. Mind you we used a boat a little before didn’t we?

153-1107
 

Around 17.00, the boat is 50km east of Nilshaven there is an almighty jolt which knocks everyone off their feet. Jie tries to restart the engine, but the boat is not moving and there is a horrible grinding sound from the rear of the boat. Captain Billy, awoken by the jolt, comes to check on the situation. He tells them that they have run aground on a sandbank – always a problem when navigating without charts.

That didn’t go so well!

Anyone with Ground Car -0 would be able to maneuver a power boat on calm waters without a problem.

I will write up the background to Pagaton later, but to give you a little taster Jie would be able to tell you that there are no petrochemicals on Pagaton so the locals are using sail and steamboats only. Think ‘steampunk’.

There will be other options available but imported tech is hideously expensive so best to bring everything you need with you.

153-1107
 

yup, we did on Pavabid, when we were escaping after the assassination. Seems to me Jie drove, with Nick giving her a milder “default” penalty due to her ability to drive ground vehicles?

153-1107
 

Ok I make it 2 characters with Athletics and hence swimming: Jie and Taeva. Life jackets and some spares also a must, and some inflatable rescue dingies.

I found some other gear in FASA’s ‘Undersea Environemnt’ I corrected CT typos….):

Llft Bags: A Iift bag is basically an underuater parachute that is tied to an obJect and tilled wlth afr to llft the object to the surface. Weight of the lift bag is negligible, but bags with greater than 100 kg lift are bulky. C& of the llft bag is CR 10 for each 25 kg of lift.

Comment: potentially very useful -if we need them, we need them.

Bangstick: A short pole tipped with an explosive cartridge, used to discourage underwater predators, Use of the bangstick requires a fencer’s thrust to set off the charge against the hide of the predator. Each stick is good for one attack before reloading which takes one
combat round. The bangstick is I meter in length, weighs 250 grams and costs CR 20.
Ammo prlce is as given for shotgun shells. This weapon is available at Tech Level 5.

Gas Spear Gun. An undersea weapon using compresed air or C02 gas to firing gas spear. Is available at Tech Level 6. It welphs I kg (spears weigh 250 grams each), measures 500 mm, and costs CR 125. ExWa spears (including cornpressed gas carbidges for firing) cosf CR 20
each.

Powered Tow Sled: A self-propelled, torpedo-shaped (actually modern ones wedge shaped…), one-diver propuklon device. The diver gips twin handles (which house propellor during plane, and rudder controls), and is pulled along by the torpedo. A t Tech Level 6, when these devices are first introduced, the limited battery power available holds perfarnance to a maxium speed of I5 ineters per combat round, with a total operating time of one hour between
rechargings. Weight is 10 kg, price is CR 150. A t Tech Level 9, introduction of practical fuel cells reduces the weight of the propuislon syd-em while increasing performance and
endurance. Speed is increased to 25 meters per combat round, and endurance to 5 hours between recharges. A cargo capacity indde the twpedo of 5 kg is provided. Total weight is 10 kg, price is CR 250.

Comment: we should get a couple of these with blue green lasers mounted in the Housing.

Sandgun: A portable version of the airlltt, the sandgun is used to clear sand away, but not to carry it to the surface for siftlng. Unlike the airlift, no Mechanical skill is required for operation. Use of the sandgun will stir up bottom sand and mud and reduce visibility
dra#tcally. It wetghs 6 kg, costs CR 250, and h available at Tech Level 7 and up.

Water Jet: A portable device which sprays a high-pressure water stream. This could also used In salvage and archeology work underwater to displace sand or mud. Use of the water jet stirs up sand and mud and drastically reduces visibility. It welghs 5 kg, costs CR 200, and is available at Tech Level 6 and up.

We would have to do any decompression using slow ascent rather than a chamber. I assume the ship can handle decompression without a diving unit anyway (?).

I would suggest we buy a few lasers with a blue green mod. for underwater use. No specs for these but in Gurps I recall they have a reduced range used on land. Alternatively assume that with a converter unit any laser can be modded underwater/ terrestrial use with a conversion kit and half an hours work. A custom sold underwater laser might have special protection vs. corrosion etc.

Taeva will invest in a laser pistol using her own cash for underwater use.

153-1107
 

Well some of the typos anyway….

153-1107
 

At Nick’s suggestion I’ve submitted a ‘final buy ’ list. I’ve basically taken only the cheap options- while advanced gills would be great they cost a lot.

We could equip the two sleds with gyrojets rather than lasers and reduce cost significantly: vote on it. I’ve suggested laser pistols in sled because these are cheapest laser type but Jie might outvote me: I’m easy.

Taeva will buy her own blue green laser pistol or maybe launch pistol, and possibly a special HUD pickup and visor for her dive suit.

153-1107
 

It’s on wiki page someone may want to tidyfile it into the correct place on the wiki.

153-1107
 

While a boat would certainly be fun (and undoubtedly attract a lot of babes), isn’t the Grav vehicle more, ah, practical what with unlimited mileage, sailing against the wind, TL13 broadsides, and possibly some submersible features if it’s pressure resistant (I seem to recall earlier traveller versions allowing spacecraft to submerge…). On a TL5 planet we’re pretty well equipped for a piracy career! Plus we can really quickly get to all those secret party beaches from Jie’s younger days. Not that I’m against a boat—just asking if we really need one.

Of course some customs jackass is likely to ban the grav vehicle.

153-1107
 

The answer is: I don’t know. It depends pretty much on the planet. I imagine our ship will be at the starport and not avialable on planet, as usual.

I envisage a boat in much the same way as a a car, which we use fairly often Grav Vehicle or no. It might be better to hire one if we need one.

There are possibly some things you can use a boat for, but not a grav vehicle easily (eg diving). But I don’t know if we will even need to dive. It’s just ‘Be prepared.’

153-1107
 

I’ll rule that the AGC is good down to say 50m – any deeper than that and the pressure would start to crush it. Speed would be greatly reduced, but you could travel submerged.

Jie would tell you that grav vehicles are not uncommon on Pagaton. With no planetary navy (i.e. space navy) they have been powerless to stop ships coming and going as they please so it is a common stopover for pirates. There are many merc companies based here as well.

With the local TL4 tech, the natives are powerless to do anything against TL10+ aggressors – one old Type-S with a pulse laser could hold a whole country to ransom – most nations have developed a symbiotic relationship with offworld bad boys – the mercs and pirates offer them protection from rival nations in return for being given a safe haven and being allowed to pretty much do what they want there.

153-1107
 

Interesting! Wouldn’t use of pressurized suits and breathing gear cross-default to VaccSuit? I’m thinking here of something more “sealed” than simple SCUBA gear. This would also serve Steve’s “armored” request. We might be able to buy something like this, a “diving suit”, before we go, that would in effect be a VaccSuit for high pressure underwater use. It could have thrusters, either Grav or Reaction?

153-1107
 

I’m thinking cheap Grim. Taevas vacc suit has submarine funtion but if eg we’re going to dive to Doctor No’s island and sneak up on the beach, I am happy to dump a Cr 1000 scuba suit but not a 12K 300k vacc suit.Sea water also hammers gear probably a complicated vacc suit more than a neoprene suit and aluminium tanks.

I abandoned the armor idea as TL7 gel cloth would have increased scuba suit cost by about 3k each, and I didn’t think this would be well received. We may not even use them, they re just stuff in the Locker in case we do need them.

153-1107
 

Dunno what happened there. Oh well you get the gist hopefully.

153-1107
 

As Nick says, “No worries!”. Just a thought!

I like the ‘safe haven’ Pirate theme goin’ down; bummed I’m gonna miss next weekend!!!

153-1107
 

Steve: If you put a hyphens immediately in front and behind text anywhere in a post then it interprets it as a strikeout. If you make sure that there is a – space – between the hyphen and a word then it doesn’t happen.

All: I need to give you advance notice that I don’t think that I will be able to run a game on Sunday. My employers want me to get up in the middle of the night (OK, well it’s 10am to be precise, but that’s the middle of my night) to sit in a totally empty non-smoking shop for eight hours with absolutely nothing to do. So I don’t think that I will be in a fit state to start running a game 14 hours later after having had three hours of sleep.

In any case, Pagaton will not be the next session. It’s two jumps to Pagaton and, as I am sure you are now aware, I can’t let you land on a world without InterSol getting involved in at least one adventure!

So we’ll have to do some serious stuff on the boards for the next 10 days instead.

153-1107
 

Probably a good time to advise that I’m away this coming Monday until the following Monday so I’ll miss the session on the 16th plus all the board stuff between the 9th and 16th. Hopefully there will still be an opportunity to use such terms as “avast”, “lee shore”, and “Mister Jie” after that!

153-1107
 

loling at “Mister Jie”…

153-1107
 

Ok then we’re shooting for the 16th (without Jay) for the first jump, then Patagon on the 23rd? Cool, calender marked!

Grim (practicing his mouth breathing for SCUBA. Don’t say it…;)

153-1107
 

I too will be missing the Sept 16th game session. Ironicly enough it’s because the Missus and I are vacationing at an ocean beach! Hmmmm speed-o time!

153-1107
NickPendrell

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.