Mustered Out on Mertactor

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Leaving Dallia Again

Grim is the first one up today as he has the busiest day.

By the time that the others are up, he has written up a shopping list of spares that he hands to Max for replenishing the consumables that he will be using during the day.

Max, Autumn and Miranda head off shopping. Max heads off to the bank to make the latest mortgage payment and then goes to the shipyards and places the order for Grim’s stocks, while Autumn and Miranda restock the galley. By lunchtime, everyone is back and the ordered goods arrive during the afternoon.

With no cargo that needs to be loaded, everyone can afford to relax during the afternoon. Between reprogramming the cleaning drones, Autumn keeps an eye on the numbers that have booked passage. With just a few hours to go, middle passages have been selling well, although there are no high passengers yet and low berths aren’t selling too well either.

Miranda prepares an early dinner and then everyone puts on their dress uniforms in order to welcome the passengers onboard.

The passengers start to arrive at 21.00.

First to arrive are a family of three, a husband and wife in their late forties and their surly teenaged son who just grunts as he plays a game nonstop on his holopad. They are natives of Dallia and, from the quality of their clothes and luggage, they seem like they are a cut above the usual standard of middle class passengers. The wife is quite friendly, but the husband is not terribly chatty.

The two low passengers arrive together – another couple – although these are younger in their early thirties. Again they look too well-dressed to be the usual type of low passengers. They are travelling on Collace passports. Both of them seem scared witless by the idea of going into the berth and it takes a lot of reassurance from both Will and Autumn to settle them in and send them off to a chilly Land of Nod.

The fourth middle passenger arrives just after 22.00. Suzie Brinks is a rather bookish-looking girl in her early-twenties and she too is travelling on a Collace passport. She’s an ecology student who is heading to Pagaton to study the native aquatic lifeforms there.

There is just one passenger remaining now and it’s getting close to the time that they need to close boarding to start the pre-flight routine.

Stian Lokkeberg arrives just before 22:30. Slightly shorter than average (1.75m), slim, brown hair, slim wiry build. Wearing a grey tailored vac suit, non descript, low profile logos but the velcro ID panels are all empty. The suit looks as if it’s been lived in, for some time. He’s carrying a small day pack on his back (which has the helmet for the vac suit attached to the outside in a protective case) and towing a rented U-Haul cargo grav sled on which are several black, locked hard cases, 3 approximately 1.2 × 0.4m x 0.3m and one 2 × 0.6 × 0.5m plus several smaller hard cases and a large duffel bag. A cargo net secures it all to the sled.

He introduces himself, apologising for my last minute arrival. His accent is hard to place but he is well spoken. He’s looking tired and rushed but not stressed.

“Guys, I have a problem, this U-Haul is telling me my baggage is weighing in at 140kg. I’ve been trying to find a decent rate to ship some of it on to Windsor but it’s been proving harder to find something affordable. Can we come to an agreement to get it all on board please?”

“You’d better speak to our stewardess, Autumn,” Will says.

“Max looks after the cargo bay,” Autumn says. “I’ll have a word with him.”

“I dunno Captain. The Princess is older, more careworn now, and the strain of the extra weight might cause her hull to collapse. I don’t know if we can even move with the extra mass given that no one’s bothered to upgrade the Manuever Engines.”

Grim looks around in exasperation, then inspiration strikes.

Hurrying away to the crew quarters, he comes running back a few minutes later, groaning under the weight of five or six large dusty tomes he’s carrying.

“Here we go, we can save the space by dumping Arvor’s Pavabidian Guide to Behaviour for the Righteous Penitent, How to Weave Your own Hair Garments, Out of Your Own Hair, Vol IX, and these three copies of Showing Disdain for Nonbelievers without being Insulting. That’ll cover the gentleman’s overage I think.”

Autumn speaks to Max. Max is already flirting with Suzie:

“Yeah, I’m doing somefink similar actually,” Max is bullshitting. “Advanced sexual mating habits of sentient species. That’s my speciality. I need someone to give me a little help with the practical tests though. Maybe you’d like to pop around my stateroom/laboratory later?”

He seems irritated by Autumn bothering him:

“Yes, yes – we’re a good five tons under so that’s OK,” he says. “He’ll need to stow it ‘imself though as ’e’s only a middle an’ I’m busy.”

Autumn directs him to the cargo hold. Stian is about to enter when Taeva suddenly calls out:

STOP!”

Stian looks confused.

“Sorry,” she says. “Max is obviously so tied up right now that he forgot that I have already activated the robodog and spiderbots which are trained to shoot anyone entering the cargo hold that they don’t recognize on sight.”

Stian raises an eyebrow and waits for the ship’s security to stand down. Taeva and Jie help to stow his luggage as Max seems far too occupied with Suzie to be of much use and Autumn is still not 100% over her mauling by the Aslan yet.

Stian returns the U Haul and takes himself and duffel to his stateroom:

“What time’s the safety brief?" he asks upon his return. "Have a copy of the ships rules?”

“Ummmm – safety brief,” Autumn ponders. “Usually we wait until everyone is assembled for cocktails and then Taeva drops some subtle hints that, if the passengers do anything stupid, then she will probably kill them.”

“You can find full details of the ship’s plans and evacuation routines in a book which is in your bedside cabinet,” she continues. “It’s the one with the pink cover entitled When Bad Things Happen To Good People.”

Autumn shrugs.

“Sorry, that’s a throwback to the Princess’s previous owner.”

“You’ll find it next to the copy of the Horkalite bible/cookbook which Miranda has helpfully supplied every stateroom with.”

“I am going to need to check your hand luggage too,” Taeva says. “All weapons and explosives need to be handed over for secure stowage.”

“Hey, I asked for the rules,” Stian replies.

“These are standard rules for passengers on all commercial starships," Taeva replies. "They apply to Imperial Agents as much as to Passengers. Your weapons please.”

“Apologies, its been a while since I was on a commercial ship,” Stian says. “The locked cases have my weapons, my permits I have here.”

Jie’s ears prick up as she hears mention of her favourite word – ‘weapons’.

Once Stian’s possessions have safely been stowed away, he heads off with the other passengers to the welcome cocktail party arranged by Autumn while Jie joins Will on the bridge as he finishes his pre-flight check.

By 23.00, all is complete and they pull away from th Heaven’s Gate starport once again, heading for jump distance.

Comments

Stian Lokkeberg arrives just before 22:30. Slightly shorter than average (1.75m), slim, brown hair, slim wiry build. Wearing a grey tailored vac suit, non descript, low profile logos but the velcro ID panels are all empty. The suit looks as if it’s been lived in, for some time. I’m carrying a small day pack on my back (which has the helmet for the vac suit attached to the outside in a protective case) and towing a rented U-Haul cargo grav sled on which are several black, locked hard cases, 3 approximately 1.2 × 0.4m x 0.3m and one 2 x 0.6 × 0.5m plus several smaller hard cases and a large duffel bag. A cargo net secures it all to the sled.

I introduce myself, apologising for my last minute arrival. My accent is hard to place but I am well spoken. I’m looking tired and rushed but not stressed.

“Guys, I have a problem, this U-Haul is telling me my baggage is weighing in at 140kg. I’ve been trying to find a decent rate to ship some of it on to Windsor but it’s been proving harder to find something affordable. Can we come to an agreement to get it all on board please?”

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Hello Adventurer. You look like a trustworthy soul. Would you like to join our party? Oh, wait! Wrong low-budget but hilarious holovid. Never mind—speak to the Purser (points to Autumn).

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“I dunno Captain. The Princess is older, more careworn now, and the strain of the extra weight might cause her hull to collapse. I don’t know if we can even move with the extra mass given that no one’s bothered to upgrade the Manuever Engines.” Grim looks around in exasperation, then inspiration strikes.

Hurrying away to the crew quarters, he comes running back a few minutes later, groaning under the weight of five or six large dusty tomes he’s carrying.

“Here we go, we can save the space by dumping Arvor’s Pavabidian Guide to Behaviour for the Righteous Penitent, How to Weave Your own Hair Garments, Out of Your Own Hair, Vol IX, and these three copies of Showing Disdain for Nonbelievers without being Insulting. That’ll cover the gentleman’s overage I think.”

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Stian raises an eyebrow and waits for the ship’s security to stand down…

I’ll stow my gear when instructed, return the U Haul and take myself and duffel to my stateroom.

“what time’s the safety brief? Have a copy of the ships rules?”

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Gawd bless the Horkalites.

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Stian muses to himself that maybe stowing his best friend in the cargo bay may not have been wise…

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Stians cargo is checked.

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and hand luggage.

“All weapons and explosives need to be handed over for secure stowage.”

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Hey, I asked for the rules…

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“These are standard rules for passengers on all commercial starships. They apply to Imperial Agents as much as to Passengers. Your weapons please.”

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((Same routine for all passengers but obviously Stian’s emergency bulky cargo of special interest; this is normally just assumed rather than played out))

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Apologies, its been a while since I was on a commercial ship. The locked cases have my weapons, my permits I have here.

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If Jie is anywhere nearby this trade of words the mention of weapons perks her ears up.

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Ack – I forgot that GT only keeps records of so much text and it cut off the start of today’s session.

Can anyone remember all the hits that the Princess took during the combat? I was keeping tabs on the Aslan ship but forgot to keep a record of the Princess’s damage.

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Trying to remember:

2 Hull hits

1 turret(Jie), 1 Mdrive

1 armor, 1 Sensors

1 Mdrive, 1 Sensors?

I know MDrive got hit 1, maybe 2 times. Sensors, Hull I’m sure got hit twice each. Armor got hit once. Then there was the turret hit that saw Teava replace Jie.

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I think Ian’s got it with the following changes:
3+ hull hits, most of which were repaired.
1 M-drive hit.
1 Sensors hit.

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Ian’s list is the closest to what I remember.

I too can’t remember whether the M-Drive was hit once or twice though.

Steve – can you shed any light on this? I know you were most active on damage repair and you have a great memory for the details.

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who has a copy of the text from last night?

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Pretty sure it was hit just once. Grim fixed it and we could limp again. We had 1 pt of thrust thru end of battle.

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I’m feeling a little shy about being the noob who posts the most recent log so in order to start the conversation rolling about what to do next, here’s what I remember from yesterday’s session, posted as a comment which can be deleted as and when the log updates (or if you’re all happy with this as the log then copy it into a new log entry but frankly, I lack the creative skills to do it justice)

With crew and passengers safely aboard we left Dallia.

5 hours out (of a 7 hour trip to the jump point, yes Grim, we know it could be shorter if…) we were intercepted by an Aslan 300dt trader, did we get a positive ID?

The Aslan launched a stack of missiles which took an age and a day to close in on us and in the mean time they hit us with laser fire.

We returned fire with Jie in one turret.

The call went out for assistance from the passengers, I suited up and after some confusion was strapped into the second turret.

The combat proceeded with the Princess taking damage (as noted above) including a turret hit injuring Jie. Taeva took a break from d con duties with Grim to pull Jie from the wrecked turret and administer first aid. After doing the d con on the turret she strapped in and had at the Aslan with her amateur gunnery skills

Or not so amateur as it was her final hit that reduced the trader’s structure to zilch and the Aslan ship was destroyed The incoming missiles made for easy fly swatting.

With the Princess damaged we chose to return to Dallia (rather than risk further combat in a damaged ship in a system without an adequate starport to facilitate the repairs) where we were tractor beamed in as the pilot got his cardi sleeve caught on the controls and nearly slew us into the high port, Will complained that it was the damage to the sensors that caused the fluke loss of control but no one believes him.

A week of repairs ensued, keeping Grim hard at it and allowing time for Jie to recover from her injuries.

On a somewhat quieter note we left Dallia yet again and arrived safely at Pagaton. Does max set about selling the cargo?

At the high port above Pagaton a jeweller was bribed/threatened and gave up the country of origin of the pendant.

Taeva set Autumn to hiring a guard for Unguin’s Princess.

Planetside, the jeweller who made the pendant was found and again bribed/threatened but yielded the pendants owner as X, a member of Y merc unit. Merc unit’s HQ was located and we sat in a rented car outside it debating how best to assault it. With the appearance of a map in front of us, the red mist descended over one or two of the group but common sense prevailed and we used a probe to recce the building. There was some church spire climbing (how very rural England) and Jie set up overwatch. I think she shot someone but maybe Nick ignored the die roll cos it failed to kick off. Approximately 20 goons were ID’d with 4 guards outside in combat armour and gauss rifles. I don’t know if the goons inside were suited up or not.

There was talk on what we were actually trying to achieve with the new guy being the sensible one. (or perhaps the only one with no death wish?) Jie was agreeing but its unclear at this point on whether or not her hormones are playing a part in this.

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Our M drive was hit once only

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out (of a 7 hour trip to the jump point, yes Grim, we know it could be shorter if…)

Out of Character, I believe I speak for the group when I say that snarky comments directed at my character automatically remove your “Newb” status. Back in Character, let Grim just say, “On behalf of the massive, hard working, and fastidious Engineering staff of the Princess, let me welcome you to the crew!!”

In other news, Sir Stian has been promoted to Chief Chronicler of the Pirate Hunter Unguin’s Princess, due primarily to his combination of peerless memory, sobriety, and excellent personal hygeine. And, if I might be so bold, when the chronicles are written, please be so kind as to mention Grim’s imposing height, classic good looks, and piercing gaze. Thank you in advance.

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Before the new guy takes all the credit for virtually everything that happened, let me say:
1. Will does not wear cardigans with sleeves. As even the new guy should know by now, he wears sweater vests, which don’t have sleeves. Now, if the new guy had mentioned that the excessive starch in Will’s button-down dress shirt cuff had caused said cuff to catch in the lateral gravitic thruster control, well then we might believe the rest of his personal hagiography.
2. Will has long been the anti-anarchy voice in this sad violence-mad collection of adventurers and, joined by the new guy and, unusually, by Taeva, advocated a more cautious approach to the mercenary fortress. As usual though, nobody listened to him. Perhaps the excess starch in his shirt collars prevents him raising his voice sufficiently.

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Wow, you really rate Newb, when Will gets frustrated at Grim he just uses his Zho mind control powers to make him forget to change his underwear for a week, reinforcing Grim’s status as the lone pariah at the A** end of the Princess.

You got two whole bullet points! The “Newb” label is most defintely off, lol!

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NickPendrell

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