Now departing - Platform 306 3/4

We got back into the city and starting moving in.  Eventually we got hailed by the crew of the SS Spirit of Sionoro who threatened to kill the SS Nu Gua if we didn't hand over what the rogue bastard Nicholas was looking for.  We said too much, then we were given a deadline - get upstairs in 8 hours or the Nu Gua eats a missile. 

7 hours later, we used 300+ kg of plastique to crash a landing platform onto the Spirit of Sionoro, which convinced Nu Gua that we were *crazy* - and they left.

We're alone on this planet with our ride due in a few days, a crushed starship in front of us, and possibly the pissed-off crew of a newly-flattened starship.

November 27, 2016

Find the other starships? 

Well, let’s circle the city to look for a place to get in and try to spot starships.  We’ll putter around at a distance of 15 km or so.

Walking speed is 3.2 km/hr.  We move radially for 1 hour, then start to circle at 15-20 km distance.  Jina, Osler, and Sellie go up to look.

It will take 3-4 hours to finish the scan; we only have that much sunlight.  Four rolls, one for each quadrant.  First quadrant, spot 20, 18, 5 – Jina and Sellie see a freighter.  Judging from where it sits, it is probably the 200 ton Far Trader Nu Gua.  This is probably the Shiny Scrappers.  We saw the ship before but didn’t get it up to it.  We know it’s got a Sim…and there are figures moving around on it.  From what we know, they are mostly interested in salvaging computers.  They’re about halfway up the city. 

Second quadrant: 20, 8, 16 – Jina and Osler spot something starship-like…but it’s clearly a hulk.  It’s not on its landing gear.  It looks intact, and higher than the other hulk we found.  We see an open port in the side, and one of the stubby little wings is obviously damaged.  It’s hurt, but not sure how badly. 

Quadrant 3 (delta):  17, 13, 17 – Jina and Sellie see a scout class ship near the top.  Could be our pursuers.  We call up Bob to take a look.  He recognizes this as a Nostri-class science ship.  Used by universities scouts, etc.  Can handle a crew up to four, 7.2 tons of cargo, jump 3.  Normally has two laboratories.  Passengers 1 high, 4 low (5 total breathing with 4 more in the cooler).  100 ton, TL 13, 3rd Imperium design.  This is *not* marked with the Imperial Scout Service marking.  It’s level on its gear, but from here we can’t see if it’s trashed. 

If that boat is from our pursuers, that means there are no more than 9 of them. 

That ship has one hard point – can’t see from here if it’s occupied.  We were definitely on the level that ship is, but we were not on the same side of it. 

Quadrant 4:  22, 11, 3 – Jina sees one other burned-out hulk…200-ton ship, may have been a Far Trader.  The hull’s open.  Not sure if this is the same ship we found before, but it’s the same quadrant.

We have spotted four ships, two of which are hulks.  We saw 3 transponders before. 

Lucas disables our transponder, and Bob pings the comms.  How many ships are here now?  3 pings…SS Light of Vongi, SS Spirit of Sionoro, SS Nu Gua.  Same three ships.  Two have recognizable 4th Imperium codes…Light of Vongi does not have a full code.  Spirit of Sionoro only provides the barest required data. 

As far as we can tell, the Light of Vongi is the closest one – looks like the closest ship, a burned out hulk.  The fact that the ship is still transponding may indicate the ship’s leaking and at low power. 

We attempt to triangulate the two ships.  Meanwhile the air gets stiller at night.  We have located the Nu Gua, and the one at the top is the Spirit of Sionoro.  SoS has a universal transmitter with minimal information.  Nu Gua actually showed Imperial registration. 

To put more distance between us and our pursuers we’d like to hole up in Gamma.  We’ll land in Beta. 

Looking around, we find some observation decks near the waterline.  The waves have washed in, so if we got there and went out the top hatch we’d be able to board.  There are at least three places we could get in from there. 

One last idea – if we wanted to head for Duvante (the city being scrapped out actively) – we might be able to find where it *was*, but not where it is. 

How to find where Duvante?  Wait for radio traffic and hail it, or ask the Nu Gua. 

We’ll stash the sub here chained up in case we need it, knowing that in high seas it’s history.  We cut the railing and head inside to a nice restaurant and bar. 

We search for liquor – 19, 20, 26.  We spot a bottle of top shelf whiskey – formerly 300 credits/oz…and still in a sealed shipping crate.  It’s from the western spiral arm a long way from here.  It’s old and rare.  We also find a couple cases of vodka (which we start drinking). 

Osler thinks the whiskey is worth a megacredit…the rest of us laugh at him.  Probably worth 5-10k. 

Do we want the molecular printor?  Well, we’re in the wrong quadrant and dozens of decks away. 

We say goodbye to the printor and head out. 

This level has been watersoaked, so there isn’t much of value here.  If we want another cart, we’ll have to get it on a different level.  Lucas finds some serving carts we can use for our stuff for now. 

We go up a level – 2 hours.  We are getting pretty tired, but going up one level will be pretty dry.  At first glance, one of the best areas to hole up is an old bank with a vault.  There’s a secure area behind the lobby.  T Mechanical to break in – no problem.  Lucas picks the locks and we head inside.  We have a nice open area to relax in.  We won’t see anyone coming, but they won’t be able to just kick in the doors either. 

There are security cameras but they appear connected to the main computer.  We don’t worry about it, but keep watches and get some sleep. 

Watches…the night is uneventful. 

We do some comms monitoring…Bob gets 16 encrypted signals, none of which are coming from ours.  Looks like they are team communication (like ours) and there’s a Sim involved – like the Shiny Scrappers.  If our tails are from the Vilani, they don’t do Sims…but their bounty hunters might. 

Osler listens as well – encrypted personal comms traffic a long distance away.

Sellie looks over his stuff for bugs…he finds nothing he didn’t already know of. 

Morning comes and we dine on protein paste.  Time to look for cargo handling – either go to landing pads up two levels or down into cargo areas a few hours down.  It’s easier to go down but many more levels.  We decide to go up one level, hauling all of our stuff. 

First closest pad looks badly scarred and damaged.  The handling area is empty – it looks very cleaned out.  Next pad – this one looks weathered but intact.  In that area we find a fork truck, a lot of manual equipment, and some lift carts.  Time to start construction.  We get two sets of usable batteries that we plug in.  Lucas starts working on making a usable cart while the rest of us keep looking. 

Pad 3 – unoccupied.  The passenger area has been tossed.  Looks like a computerized towmotor broke through the doors before raising hell; it shows signs of gunfire and the computer has been removed.  There are some cargo crates that we peek into – old, worthless bulk goods.  We do grab the asswipe. 

Pad 4 – We find another lift cart and disabled lift truck.  We grab one more cart battery.  This area held an entire shipment of light bulbs. 

Pad 5 – More miscellaneous material handling.  Pad shows the remains of a lift and air car.  Hard to tell after the impact and fire.  Warehouse is empty.

Pad 6 – One large secured crate in here strapped down to a pallet.  It says, “Guanas New Machinery”.  Inside we find a batch of TL 14 diamond hard machinist tools.  You use this to work starship parts.  This is the good stuff.  It’s no printor, but Sellie thinks it’s worth 100k credits.  Nice thing is that it fits machinery all the way back to TL 5 and 6.  Great trade goods worth something *everywhere*.  We throw it on a hand cart and wheel it back. 

Sellie does recommend we all check our stuff. 

JIna takes 20 (for 26)…we all check (24, 25, 26, etc.)  - nothing suspicious. 

Our cart is functional and charged, and will go up and down stairs.  We have piled on our machine tools as well. 

We decide to assemble *another* cart.  4 hours.

The cargo area adjacent to the landing pad is an area with 3 doors.  Is there another spot to hole up? 

We stay in the area and sweep communications…Bobhears the Nu Gua and some other encrypted personal communications – just a fast burst; it’s faint and far away.  Sellie hears faint radio chatter. 

Lucas gets a little bit of occasional Nu Gua chatter and a ping / transponder response.  SS Nu Gua, SS Spirit of Sionoro, and Light of Vongi.  Someone is in orbit, or someone here is pinging for other ships.  Sellie hears only traffic from the Nu Gua. 

Morning breaks…we dine on vodka, space syrup, and glop.  Then we head out…same level, just cross the station.  Anything tempting along the way?  Best = 24.  Osler spots the metal trader’s shop.  There was a firefight here that included a WP grenade, but there are glints of metal inside.  Doors into the back are warped and off their hinges. 

As everyone goes inside, Jina stays outside to look…nothing out of the ordinary under pris view.  Then she heads inside.  The others have already found a safe hidden inside.  There’s something hanging on it – Demolitions 23 = a large shaped charge that failed to go off.  It has a mechanical timer on it – like 2 seconds.  Bob immediately leaves the room, and before anyone else can do so Lucas pulls the wires out.  Suddenly, his feat, “Don’t touch that!” goes off.  Whoever put that charge there looks to be some kind of cobble-job (timer is an egg-timer), and this thing is stuck. 

This safe would have to be blown open or cracked open…the demo job appears to be pretty good other than the timer. 

We discuss and figure we have time, so Lucas makes a small tool kit to at first disable the timer.  Demo 12 is enough, and he removes the explosives (3 kg).  Then he begins to Defeat the Safe.  Take 20 = 3 days…how about a roll?  19…something breaks and falls inside.  The handle moves freely…  No longer any way to pick this. 

What’s inside?  Drill a second hole...we see the door of the safe.  Can we go all the way through?  After a 30 minutes of drilling total we can look inside.  There is a rack.  We need a camera. 

Eventually we decide that we’re going to brute force this safe door, working in shifts.  In the area are other consumer goods stores and touristy things like weights for people who want to stay in shape in the low gravity.  Coffee shop does have a small prep area with a walk-in fridge.  That would be a decent place to hole up. There is also a branch bank that we’ll attempt to loot.  There is a secure holding area but it’s been opened…someone was already in here, and it’s mostly cash anyway.  We’ll keep someone on watch around the coffee shop. 

Bob watches and listens to the Nu Gua working hard.  They are stronger so we’re getting closer.  Our night goes uneventfully. 

We eat and spend the day drilling.  Good progress.

That night, we seal up and sleep. 

On Bob’s watch, he hears a hail:  Attention SS Nu Gua.  You are to turn over the people you found on this city, or face destruction.  Answer! 

T Comms 30 – This is a starship frequency, strong, clear, and coming from outside on a traffic control frequency.  In the background is the tone of a missile lock. 

He pings to see who showed up – T Comms 25…SS Light of Vongi, SS Nu Gua and SS Spirit of Sionoro (close to the Nu Gua). 

Bob wakes us up and patches the signal:

My Name is Sim Holt, I am the occupying entity of Nu Gua, owned by (ZX),  We have no one but our own employees on board.  Let us know the nature of our business; we are not hostile, so do not fire!

You have something we want – you have them or took it from them.  You will turn it over now.  Those from Eddum! 

Will you be willing to hold for Captain Othello Brindle? 

We will wait two minutes – if you move your ship, you will be fired upon.

OB:  What is this piracy?  We have nothing you want.  Who are you looking for?

We are looking for the lawless scum…these animals in the employ of Nicholas Rory Delarm.  He will not be allowed to escape his current punishment and take into his possession that which he should not have.

OB:  We don’t know what you’re talking about.  We are not here for that…we are just scrappers with Imperial registry…

We don’t care about your “fourth imperium” registration.

OB  We found some people down below…we sold them some scrap.

Lucas:  We’ve got what you’re looking for.  Leave them alone. 

Is this Cochini?

Osler answers.

Them:  Are you on the other ship?

O:  No, we’re in the city.

Them:  We require you to surrender to us.

O:  What are your terms, and what are your demands?

T:  Who is irrelevant.  Surrender everything for your lives.

Jina:  Tell them we have a problem with Nicholas.

T:  Is he paying you?

O:  No.  He’s blackmailing us.

T:  For an invaluable artifact?

Us:  We have no intention of delivering it to him.  Sounds like you may be who we were going to look for.

Bob:  Someone to keep Nicholas from putting a mark on our heads?

T:  What would we do that for?

O:  Did you get the other item from him?

T:  There’s another one?  Perhaps this information will help your cause.

They say they want to blow up the Nu Gua.  We say not to. 

He says that we now have half of what he wants. 

T:  Where did he get the other piece?

O:  The planet he’s overseeing. 

T:  He’s never done an honest day’s work in his entire miserable life…so he had someone do it for him.  That would probably be the quasi-pirate heretical crew of Garace Cochini – which you are members of. 

Lucas:  Land and stop threatening the other ship, or I’ll sink your item to the ravine.  If you never find me, you’ll never know if it’s gone. 

T:  How about this – I’ll give you four hours to turn up on the docking bay of the Nu Gua, or I kill everyone there. 

L:  That’s not how it works.  If you harm them, you never get what you want.

T:  You found it, so I can find it again.  You have no way to leave.  The Light of Vongi…well, you might be able to fly it but the radiation will kill you in under a day.  See, I can ping transponders too. 

He tells us we have four hours…we can’t get there that fast, even if we want to. 

It would take us 5 hours if we left our stuff, 7 if we didn’t. 

Osler:  We need 8 hours.

Us:  None of the elevators work.  It takes a long time to move around in here. 

Them:  I didn’t have too much trouble.  You may need to leave your things behind.  Four hours.

Us, internally:  we don’t have time. 

Lucas – tell him to pick a different platform. 

Jina:  If our toes are wet because we’re at the bottom, we can’t get there in 4 hours anyway. Tell him 8 hours.

O:  We need eight hours. (bluff – chip – 20).

T:  Very well.  Not a minute longer.  Stand in front of the Nu Gua and bring the item in front of you.

O:  Then does the Nu Gua walk away?

T:  Then you and the Nu Gua continue with your scrapping expedition. 

Then we get an incoming encrypted comms…it’s Sim Holt.  The power of the communication is absolutely minimum…comms 19 – Bob barely makes it out, trying not to be noticed.

SH:  stop messing with it.  I’m not going to be able to communicate with you much or ofen.  Can you make it back in time?

Us:  Yes

SH:  I don’t know what you’ve done to piss off these Vilani assholes, but this isn’t our fight.

US:  It’s not.

SH:  Hurry and bring what it is that they’ve asked for.  I do not want to be blown up by some Viliani asshole.  I will try to calm Captain Brindle down.

SH:  How were you planning to leave?

O:  We have a ride.

SH:  Armed?

O:  No, just a shuttle.

SH:  Very well.  Hurry.

Jina:  We have several items and he doesn’t know what he wants.  Do we give him the right item?

Sellie doesn’t think we should give him the hoop, mostly because while he may not trust Nicholas, we may not trust him. 

Can we give dude a fake?  Can we give him the Morson’s Ball instead of the hoop? 

Does this guy have any reason to leave us alive?  Sense motive, best is Lucas at 21.  He figures that there’s not much to be gained by killing scrappers or other people.  He *did* say that he wants to do something more in line with Vilani principles. 

We start to walk and talk.  We can’t really stop from going up there but we don’t have to give them the hoop. 

We haven’t said we have the hoop, and we’re not saying jack.  We will admit to the ball. 

BTW we didn’t check for ships on our way in.  So we don’t know if the Spirit of Sioloro followed us here or just beat us here. 

One risk is them shooting the landing pad, killing us and the Nu Gua, then taking our stuff from the wreckage. 

If we can get all of them outside the ship so the missiles weren’t a threat, it’s a different story. 

There is a trust issue – we don’t know what they are doing, but it’s going to be real hard to figure out.  Sim Holt may be helpful.  One option would be to bluff that it’s fragile or droppable.  Lucas finds himself a pair of 12” tongs. 

5 hours and 15 minutes later, we are 1 level above the Nu Gua.  This is our opportunity to look outside.  Leave our stuff behind?  What are we taking behind?

No communication from the Nu Gua.

We are stashing our stuff in a janitor’s closet.   We bring the ball.  The rest of them will go upstairs to look. Jina hides the hoop in its box in the explosives (6 bricks into a desk drawer). 

We sneak out and do not see a ship outside without going outside.  We do not hear the whine of repulsor lift motors. 

Bob slithers out onto the deck to look out to the edge…hide 21.  He looks…two down and to the right is the Nu Gua.  Up in the air, no starship.  Parked on the edge with the missile rack open is the Spirit.  It’s one deck above (right below us).  The two ships are no more than a hundred meters apart. 

It would be difficult to get the explosives into the missile bay, and that’s protected.  We can see the cockpit but can’t see into it.

Could we blow this platform off and onto their ship?  Hard to say if we’d damage the ship, but it would block off the missile shot.  Demo 23…we might be able to drop this platform onto their ship. 

We will apply our 300 kg plus 3 kg from the safe, and Lucas’s personal stash of 3 ¾ kg.  We set up platform 306 ¾ with its explosives. 

We have a technical challenge with rolling 1227d20.  We need two dice rollers.

Can we use Osler in the battle dress to bluff them?

Size of the armor:  Mitch rolls 7 and 1.

The armor is sized for a freak…180 cm human male x 49 kg.  Maybe not…Wait, this book is all weird.

Height – human male is 1.40 + 2d6 x 5 cm = 1.60 m.  4 x d8 = 1 = 4.  53 kg total.  No way can we wear the power armor. 

Demolitions check – 29.  Based on the platform above, we’ve got it as good as we can.  There are a few things in unusual positions based on the suspected supports. 

This has taken us 90 minutes.  We have one hour.  It would take us 10 minutes to get down there if there are guards.  We set the timer for 12 minutes and run…

Our plan would be to kill these guys because they’re jerks.

12 minutes…go!  And we run down to the departure lounge for the level below us.  Guns drawn...Sellie has none; Osler has two. 

We get to the edge of the departure lounge.  Listen 20…we hear nothing.  Peeking around the corner is a battered departure lounge.  The glass is partially gone.  The entrance to the lounge is glass with metal posts. 

Lucas hangs out outside the departure lounge as the rest of us take cover behind.  1227d20 = 13256 damage as we feel the whole city shake.  The platform snaps off and suddenly slams to the platform below in a huge cloud of dust.  No ship is obviously visible.  All the glass from the outside windows is shattered.

The rest of us run back towards the cloud of dust.  The Pris can’t see through the dust cloud.  Bob slides in behind a couch to look in the lounge. 

Jina:  Someone call Sim Holt.

Sim Holt calls:  I see you have taken action.

Lucas:  Our answer was no.

SH:  Is everything stable up there?

L:  Moving may be a good idea.

SH:  Understood.  Holt out.

And Aaron rolls d% = 95. 

As the dust settles, there is a lot of rubble come down over the top of the ship about 4’ thick.  Her landing gear is collapsed and she’s belly down.  We can barely see the ship.  If her missile rack was open, it isn’t now.  A ship like that would have top, belly and two side exists.  Right now we can see the bottom of one airlock. 

We head into the departure lounge to wait for them…whether coming out or going in. 

Aaron rolls d% = 03. 

We do not hear the other ship moving – so unless their engines were hot, they couldn’t take off yet.  No more communications…still 3 ship pings. 

Aaron rolls d% = 74. 

Board or wait?  Jina wants to board while they’re still knocked out. 

Lucas looks outside and notices a bunch of damage to the plascrete.  The expansion gel where it’s connected to the building looks to be gapped a little bit. 

Suddenly our comms light up – Mayday mayday mayday.  It’s an automated signal from the Spirit of Sionoro.  We are experiencing contaninment failure.  Emergency venting.  60 seconds! 

Time to run…we call the Nu Gua, and they already heard.  We run…Lucas, Osler, and Jina run in and up.  Sellie and Bob did.  As we run, we hear repulser lifts whine and a full takeoff. 

Some of them are across the core, and Jina and Lucas keep going up (one up to two floors).  Bob goes down from the core with Sellie. 

SS Spirit of Sionoro – plasma core dump in 10, 9, 8…1 – and we hear a tremendous whoosh.  No ear splitting explosion, and we’re not blown up.  Lucas figures it must have vented successfully.  It shouldn’t be terribly radioactive. 

Lucas heads down to the gear to grab a Geiger counter.

Nu Gua:  Crazy people, did you survive?  WE have a small heat signature.

L:  Looks like the plasma vented.  I haven’t blown up. 

NG:  Our engineer says probably. 

L:  Are you too far away to check radiation? 

NG:  Can’t tell between a core release…we’re burning hot for orbit.

L:  Are you coming back or are you done?

NG:  You asking for help?  It would be uncordial to tell you no.

Osler officially asks them for Assistance, and they tell him to go to hell. 

NG:  Wait for the next freighter  and accost them.

L:  If we ever meet up in a bar, rounds’ on me.

O:  Where is the other city? 

J:  Safe skies.

L:  Is there any other good stuff since…

NG:  Screw you!

Next week, we start with getting the Geiger counter and seeing what happened.

700 XP.


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