Off to Cawa

We embarked on our voyage to Cawa and got there.  This is a big, empty floating city.

October 16, 2016

We have tickets on the Star of Dagudasheg (sp).  Upgrade to 1st class is 2400 credits.  Some of us upgrade (Sellie, Bob, and Osler).

The ship was once pretty swank…it is middle-aged now. 

First jump is to Sheaspyn.  8-hour planned stop.  Jina calls home.

Next jump is Nimuin.  TL 8, charismatic dictatorship, no weaponry allowed.  Sellie visits his folks. 

Next jump is Ishimakilikamaki.  Something like that.  0509.  Direct control of the Duke.  Law Level 2 – portable energy weapons not allowed. 

Next jump is to Bolivar.  No attempt to stop – scoop and go.  Tribal government, no law, and they aren’t quite up to nation-states. TL 7.

Next jump – Karu.  The ship docks at Mon Karu up-port.  The planet is nothing to write home about…we are now in Gushemege Delta.  Imperial naval base here – the bottom of the immense up-port is the Naval Base.  Dates to the 3rd Imperium but it’s upgraded.  This is on the X-boat route and a prime base on the edge of the wild.  Home of the 77th and 34th fleets.  World is TL6, thin atmo, 3/8 gravity.  However the starport is B-level.  Planet is a participatory democracy…Imperial rep is Viscount Stein Oldsdottir.  The pictures are old and so is the Viscount. 

Rooms are 25 credits per person per night. 

We are not really allowed in the Naval base, but lots of other places go to – hives of scum and villainy, professional bars, a trading bazaar on the retail deck, etc.  We are going to Cawa, which is 2 hexes away.  We could stop at Lairdpence if we can only get a Jump 1 ship. 

Osler is going to a mid-level free-trader bar.  Jina wants to go to a sports bar and Lucas goes with.  Sellie tries to do more research on Cawa.  GI 29…there are two scrappers working the planet.  One of them is obviously mining something, possibly a drowned city – lots of fine scrap metal selling to the Navy or starport.  No records because no one is in charge of Cawa. 

There’s another group operating out of Cawa but we’re not sure what they’re doing…maybe they aren’t selling their scrap here, but they are passing through once a week. 

Cawa is a dead world teeming with marine life and at TL 12.  Now it’s a wasteland. 

Major cities are (list).  We will be going to Oran.  As far as we know it’s the only city left. 

Jina and Lucas don’t hear anything about Cawa. 

Our cover story is that our distinguished professor Sellie wants to research ancient history on the dead city of Oran. 

Osler and Bob get to the equivalent of a Space Denny’s.  This bar is made of metal and given the floor drains, it’s meant to be hosable.  Several waitresses, two bartenders, and loud music.  No dance area. 

It looks like nearly everyone in here works in the transportation industry…ship’s patches and workman’s overalls. 

They order drinks and get a menu…then Osler asks about who to talk to for a ride to Cawa. 

Bartender:  Why would you want to go there?

O:  A researcher is looking to study the place, I hear.

B:  You found a mark you’re taking?  Is he going to expect flowers and crap?

O:  I don’t think so…he’s a bookworm.

B:  In here, it’s free traders and some small corporate guys.  I don’t know exactly what you’re looking for – no one’s going to Cawa for trade so you can’t ride along…but that guy in the corner – his crew is playing pool right now.  He’s with the Wander Wagon (a ship)…I hear they don’t have a set route – but your buddy is going to pay some money here.  No one goes to Cawa because there’s nothing there. 

O:  Anyone else?

B:  That group over there, I happen to know has lost their contract recently.  They’re on the She Abides Me.  There are other ships in here, but I don’t know them.  Go talk to the Wander Wagon first. 

O:  Thank you!

Osler tips the guy a hundo. 

Osler makes his way over to the captain of the WW.

O:  Mind if I sit with you for a minute?

Bob notices Osler wander over…two of the guys from the table detach and position themselves fairly near Osler.  One of them’s got a pool cue. 

Captain: Business or pleasure?

O:  Business.  I have a client looking to book passage to Cawa.

The captain looks off his boys who return to the pool table. 

C:  Cawa?

O:  Some weird professor who wants to research one of the cities.

C:  Any freight?  How many people?

O:  Five.  Should be a month or so total.

C:  Geez.  Alright…the Wagon can get there in a week.  Any freight coming back?

O:  Not really.

C:  I don’t have a skiff so I need to land you.

O:  If we find anything you can get a piece of that.

C:  The professor’s not going to find anything…he’s got a research grant, and he’s going to poke around on a dead water world.  Forgive me if I’m not excited about that.  I doubt he’d know a diamond if it bit him.

O:  That’s why I’m here.  We’d need a watercraft while we’re there.

C:  The Wagon floats for the most part.  If it’s stormy, I don’t land.  Two weeks to sit around there…I gotta get paid – I can’t get anything else to do…120k.  You are offering me a bad run, and I’m taking any better work if I get it.  Standard work – I won’t provide security, and if you don’t answer your beacon I’m leaving. 

O:  How about 85k?

C:  No.  I can’t do this any cheaper.  I can’t even scrap on Cawa – last I heard there’s nothing above water there.  You are talking about the ass end of nowhere.  Nothing personal – I just can’t get anything.  Only thing I could do is drop you off and head back to Lairdpence.  Otherwise, maybe talk to the scrappers but they don’t normally take passengers – you are space and oxygen they could fill with metal.

O:  If I can’t get anything else, I’ll be back.

Osler checks out the other crew and their apparent leader. 

O:  You the captain?

C:  Yes.

Three crewmembers surround Osler. 

O:  I’m looking for passage to Cawa.

She shoos off her goons and offers him a seat.  She pulls out her handcomp and punches it up…a hologram of a middle-aged man appears. 

C:  Proposition?

O:  I’ve been hired to help a professor from Eddum.  He wants to do research on Cawa. 

The hologram blinks rapidly.

Osler introduces himself.  She introduces herself as Capt. Milenovich, co-owner with the hologram (a Cim).

H:  Cawa is a dead world and not in the Imperium.

O:  Yes, this is purely for research and study.

H:  Seems to be little profit in that.

O:  Most likely, none.  But there is always a small chance.

Captain looks at the hologram and then to Osler.

C:  You want us to take you there and then back?  How long do you need?

O:  Two weeks on-planet.

C: Do you need planetside assistance?

O:  No, but we will need to be taken down.

They have a skiff they won’t leave with us.

C:  There is no trade there, and it is going to be expensive.  How much cargo there and how much back?

O:  Five people…not much cargo.

H:  I have calculated the profit-loss ratios…if we can make a scrap run, we would need to extend your stay to two weeks and five days in order to load and unload. 

C:  Contingent upon me being able to secure scrap run, I can do this for…citizen?

H:  Profitabilty requires 60000 credits, assuming we can secure scrap.

O:  The professor did mention a city, Oran. 

H:  Historical references suggest it was the last floating city to survive on Cawa.  A landing location and what you do when you are there is your problem.  WE can land with the skiff and drop you where you request, then return in two weeks and five days.  We will give you a generous 72 hour window.  We will not take any cargo requiring multiple trips with the skiff.  Outside that window we will not be obligated to rescue you and will have to charge more.  You will be required to assist defending the ship. 

O:  What kind of watercraft fits on your skiff?

C:  I don’t know…we are not nautical.  If you had some kind of large hard-sided boat, it will not fit.  The skiff holds 10 people and a small amount of cargo. 

Cost for delays – 20k/day, minimum. 

They will take advantage of us badly if we screw up, but they say they won’t sell us into slavery – because it’s illegal in the Imperium. 

Jina and Lucas – 16 and 18 Liaison. 

Bob goes down to the Navy section of the base.

Jina and Lucas get friendly with the crew of the SS Harry W #6.  They are scrapping and on contract to Cawa.  The #6 is a freighter – lots of space for cargo modules and precious little else.  The ground operation is filling containers and throwing them into orbit; the #6 stacks them and moves them. 

Sellie tries to find more information on the planet and finds precious little of it.  No one’s sharing what they know because there’s no money in it.  What can he find out about the scrappers?  Bureaucracy 29:

Harry W Materials, Inc. – they specialize in refined metal recovery.  Known for up-port salvage and specialize in starship-grade and rare metals.  They keep a small fleet of freighters but may contract that.  They have a contract with the Navy to bring in hull metals – high TL alloys, mostly.  However, he can’t find out how they’re getting metal and the Navy doesn’t care. 

The other company isn’t based here…all he can find is a number.  It’s called Shiny Scrapping Inc.  They deal in exotic metals. 

Bob goes to the scouts – someone says they fly to Cawa every five years or so.  Mostly water, very little land and one remaining city (Oran).    Some scrappers.

They find out that the Harry W is doing most of the scrapping – hiring them keeps the vampires at bay and the planet supplied with metal. 

He does get the latest (4-years-old) scout report including the approximate location of Oran at the time.  Not sure if the city moves. 

Liaison – anything about the ground ops?  We had heard it was a dead planet.  (best is 18) – one of the floating cities wasn’t on the bottom – Duvante achieved neutral buoyancy a few hundred feet down…it was hooked up to some rocket motors and beached.  It tipped over so it was damaged, but it was already damaged…it’s in 300 feet of water so most of the city is available.  This is pretty dangerous, especially because they’re taking hull plating.  They figure that once they get to the waterline, they’re done…after a year or so, then Oran’s next…but Oran would have to be pushed a long way.  The city’s probably still anchored.  The other cities are underwater far enough…Recksham (on the Duwanga Rift) is undetectable. 

Operation on planet is to get flat chunks of metal, heat it up to help pack it, and launch it. 

They say the other scrapping crew is staying out of their hair.

The guy running the ground crew is Majas Rioto. 

We reconvene and discuss prices and our information.

In the morning we discuss our need to get some high TL diving/boating gear…motor…

Swimming equipment is cheap and easy (TL 3).

Gills are TL8 – 4k, deep dive suit, heated dive suit.

Today’s Zodiac inflatable boats are 77 lbs for a 10’2” plastic one. 

11’6” model holds 1300 lbs. 

Jina:  We should all learn to dive so we don’t die. 

A trip to and from the planet is 200 credits, and a day’s dive training is 250 per person.  Do we have a day?  Yes…

Portable folding solar cell – 40 credits, 1 kilogram. 

We land on Karu and discover low gravity.  Jina is at home.  We find out that we need to use environmental masks on the planet even in the air.  We go for a ride in a strange wheeled vehicle and meet our instructor, Kelly O’Shaughnessy.  He’s middle-aged and has a lot of weather damage to his skin.  He treats us like idiot children and while he disdains our lifestyles, he is happy to take our money to teach us. 

We mention we’re going to Cawa, and he says he’ll light five candles for us to remember us by. 

K:  Salvage diving?

J:  Hopefully not…better to know how than to learn on the fly.

We get the distinction that he’s taken us out longer than we expected, but he teaches us what we can – and we get +1 to Swim.

We get back to the station…Jina and Lucas go out and get another night’s quality drinking on. 

We head for The Paper Clip, which is where many of the administrative professionals go – if this place sucks, we’ll go back to the sportsball bar. 

Gather Info – Lucas hears a guy, Hans Oldsdottir, is here.  He’s the son of the Viscount and is whining that the family title is not inheritable – and administrative work here pays like crap.  He’s complaining to Rkkgm, the rear admiral.  Hans is whining to the adjunct.  They both whine about the elected president of Karu (Nora Johnston) interferes too much with the station politics.  The Viscount is elderly and feeble so his son does most of the work.  The Imperial rep also reports to the Station Administrator (Michael Hong). 

Apparently the fleet is planning to deploy soon and the support fleet will head out soon afterwards…but someone else will be coming in. 

Carrying weight:

Jina:  130

Bob:  140

Lucas:  190

Osler:  120

Sellie:  90 + stuff

We will not be able to carry everything in a single trip. We all chip in for a fusion still. 

Second day, Captain Milonovich asks us if we’ll be ready in 2 hours – yes!  We transfer money, and Sense motive…Osler’s pretty sure she we won’t leave with our money. 

The She Abides me – 400 ton subsidized merchant, older than our last boat.  It’s still original and is in rough shape.

We take off…the ship is old and worn and strangely, we can talk to Cognizant Citizen anywhere on board.  WE head off for jump…Mitch rolls 47.

Fort saves!  Anyone not making a 17 means some of us are space sick (even the crew). 

Jina:  Here’s some white soda and a little toughen the fuck up.  You will feel better.

Even Cognizant Citizen realizes the ship needs to fix stuff.  It’s got a maintenance debt problem. 

When we come in system, somewhere near the ship is a long,  thin ship – Harry W #5…  That means the #6 is probably coming soon. 

Lucas starts looking for things to scavenge from the city for the ship.

We scan from orbit and find Oran. 

This world – 5/8 gravity, thin atmo.  The flooded city is…

Duvante is also easy to find based on the beacon and cargo containers above it. 

Oaran appears intact from above.  No ships on planet at least in the city that we can see.  We skiff it down…

No ships identified or life on the city, and hardly any power to boot.  We tell a crewmember that we’re going for research and he doesn’t believe us, but it is what it is. 

The captain takes us down in the skiff herself and it’s an uneventful ride.

We approach Oren and think it’s 2/3 submerged based on old pictures.  It’s been hanging from 1 of 20+ chains…and we have no idea why the city didn’t sink.  Was the hoop holding it up?  Probably not…no power available right now. 

There are some landing platforms on upper platforms.  Think they’re any good? 

Captain:  Where do?

Us:  Where do you feel is ok to land?

C:  Starship platform should be plenty stable.  I’ll land but leave the anti-gravs on and hopefully don’t need a rescue from the starship.  Abides-by-me doesn’t go into atmo anymore. 

We land quietly on one of the pads, and unload all our stuff. 

C:  Two weeks, five days!  Don’t die on me!

Us:  You too!

The skiff sputters as it rises through the skies.  We watch until she’s just a black dot…

It’s about 60 F (not C).  Feels like a breezy spring day; should be birds flying overhead and it’s just quiet.  The door here next to the landing pad has been pried open.  It’s been open for a while so it’s soggy inside.  But if nothing else, we’re out of the sun.  We move in and close the door as best we can.  Upper Sky-Port Lounge.  This seems like a pretty high-class place in it’s day. 

How centrally-located is the skyport?  30 decks from the first commercial deck.  This is leisure for the wealthy or city control.  (above us is airport tower and control). Sellie wants to go up there to look for central controls. 

The whole city is 2 km+ across and hundreds of decks high.  This is really cool! 

Do we have a name?

Professor Hadius Amagadine found this item in the 2nd Imperium. 

Prof Arnold A Wimpfheiner was the last known possessor.  If it isn’t here, his notes or data may say where it went.  We had no prior information on this guy and need to find the University.

Door to Flight Control is locked.  We break it open and head up two flights of stairs…locked Operations Management office.  We pop the door open and check it out.  Large open plan office with one doored office.  Lots of junk in here but no bodies.  Nothing too interesting in the ops manager’s office either. 

Looking out the window, the city is a lot more submerged than we wanted.

We head to the last upstairs room…computerized controls weather, lights, and a couple bodies.  They’re dead.  We find ID’s, hard credit etc.  Forensics 18 – no significant bone damage.  There is a big holograph tank in the middle, etc.  It’s all dead.  There is also a ladder and hatch going up – Lucas gets it open and climbs out to look…antennas and comms arrays aplenty up here. 

We return to the lounge and eventually find elevators.  No signs, just display boards. 

Jina starts looking at the board for burn-in and finds a faint map.  Next level down – security…we find offices and two more departures.

We head for Security via the stairs.  We get down and find a lock heavy metal door.  It’s an iris door and the manual opener is covered.  This is a very heavy door…everything inside is gray and black with soot…fire suppression went off in here.  We put on masks.  Fire appears to have started in an old armory…when something exploded.  Lucas checks it out and finds a hole in the floor.  All the equipment is destroyed. 

Farther down the hallway will be lockers, showers, gym, etc.  As we check things out, it appears that the armory room *was* the fault of the explosions.  That said, there shouldn’t have been anything in there that could have done this kind of explosion. It blew up and forced the blast down for some reason.  There is an office, “Head of City Security” secured separately.  Looks it was isolated by heavy doors and wasn’t damaged by fire. 

We will break into the Head of City Security’s office complex next week.

500 XP! 

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