Swan Song

Adventure Log 1/15/12

En route to Persephone, the crew picks up a news bulletin that sheds a bit more light onto the recent events on Wayland Station. Three of the crewmembers of Ellandri’s Dagger died in the explosion. The captain and first mate are bound by law at Wayland Station. The crew sends the article on to Elias Windgate.

Although Laramie’s offices are in Demeter, Mad sets down Acorn at Eavesdown Docks. The crew has some supplies to pick up (and some weaponry to offload), some of which will need Mo’s black market contacts. Mo also starts asking around for any information about the frightening man that assaulted Sebastian in Wayland Station.

Using the Nut House (Acorn’s shuttle), Mad flies herself and the crew to Laramie’s office building in Demeter. As soon as they land, Laramie’s assistant, Liz Torval, is there to meet them along with two security guards. Torval escorts them into an elevator which they take to Laramie’s penthouse suite.

Laramie greets the entire crew and gestures for them to sit down. Taking turns, the crew relates the recent events on Rio and the trap that awaited them there. Is it possible that there is a leak in his office? Laramie is quite adamament that Rejovic (and thus the crew of the Ellandri’s Dagger) could not have learned about the supply run from his office. The only person who knew about the business in Rio was Laramie himself. As it was Jim Biggby who approached Laramie about the job (as an independent contractor working specifically with the Rosen Group), Laramie belives the leak is with either Biggby or the organization.

As the discussion goes on, Laramie’s “business only” attitude causes Sebastian to become noticably cooler towards the man. Eventually, Laramie asks that the crew cut off all business relationships with him until their “problem” is dealt with.

The crew re-boards the Nut House and heads back to Eavesdown Docks and Acorn. As they try to determine what to do next, tempers begin to flare. Sebastian and Colt get into a heated argument about taking Rejovic on head-to-head. If the trail eventually leads to Rejovic’s actual location, Sebastian wants to turn the information over to the authorities and let them deal with it. Colt, however, doesn’t trust the authorities. Sebastian tries to get Colt to promise that he won’t try to take down Rejovic by himself. Colt, knowing that once he gives his word he will not break it, can’t make that promise. Finally, Colt agrees that he will abide by the ship’s vote. He will not hunt down Rejovic until the crew says “yes.”

Still feeling frustrated and angry, Colt heads off ship to buy a scope for his weapon. Not wanting him to be by himself right now, Mad accompanies him. She suggests that getting laid might help him blow off some steam. Colt is able to find a young woman who is interested in taking him back to her place. Mad heads back to Acorn.

Sebastian, meanwhile, starts an entire search of the ship for bugs or other transmitters in case that is how Rejovic is tracking their movements. When Mad gets back to Acorn, she starts searching the Cortex for information that will connect events and people together.

Mad’s searches turn up little more than is already known in regards to Wayland Station. At this point, most of what is available on the Cortex is speculation. On searching Biggby, she finds a bit more information. Biggby is listed as a registered independent contractor that “negotiates trade contracts” and “procures transport.” He has recently closed up his business, however, and is pursuing retirement on Beaumonde. His list of clients is long, as he was in business for many years, but Biggby did work with Iskellian Technology Solutions, a group that often has weapon contracts with the Alliance.

When Mad searches for information on the Rosen Group, she finds that it is a large corporate conglomerate based in Demeter. The company has multiple interests and developments, including a philanthropic division called Human Services. Interestingly, about a year and 1/2 ago there was a lot of shifting of assets in some of its holdings dealing primarily in the Hera system.

Sebastian eventually finds no devices on Acorn. When Colt comes back later on that night, Mad relates everything that she found on the Cortex.

The next day, Mo goes back out to talk to his contacts and put out some feelers about possible job leads. Mad, feeling the need for company that evening, gets Colt to go with her to a local bar. While they are gone, Sebastian is able to find out a bit more information about Biggby on the Cortex. He purchased his retirement ranch (a “modest” 250 acres), while the crew was on Rio. Sebastian also remembers a comment that his assailant from Wayland Station made about capturing another “dwarf,” one that liked fire. On doing Cortex searches about a pyromaniac little person, Sebastian finds an old wanted poster for a Shelby Tenyer who was wanted for assault and arson. He cannot find any information on who collected the bounty, but Tenyer is now serving a 20 year sentence.

Another day goes by, and Mo finally has some good news. While Acorn should be able to pick up some passangers to whatever destination the crew heads towards next, Badger may also have some salvage work that needs done. Mo also finds out the bounty hunter that brought in Tenyer is known as Early. Apparently Early was last working for the Feds, some big job that went really bad, and has now disappeared off the grid. Early also has a reputation for being a really bad character who would seek out only the hardest jobs to take.

The entire crew heads to Badger’s place of business. He remembers them from their last encounter on Eavesdown Docks. The salvage job he has in mind consists of an abandoned Alliance freighter that has been lost since before the war. Badger is particuarly interested in a specific part of the cargo: any crates that are marked with Alliance Medical stamps, particularly anything that is marked G23-PH. These crates must be delivered to him sealed and intact. With a bit of haggling, he agrees to split the procedes from the salvage 40/60 with the crew, with the crew getting to pick the fence. He will provide the coordinates.

The crew agrees to Badger’s offer and he hands them the coordinates. Mad recognizes it as a point that is deep in Burnham Quadrant, far from civilization.

The crew heads back to the ship where Mad plots out the course. It will take 100 days to get to Badger’s coordinates, and they’ll hit several planets en route. Before leaving Eavesdown Docks, several passengers are found for paid transport.

Sebastian starts researching G23-PH and connects the reference to a substance known as “G23-Paxilon Hydrochlorate”. The chemical is integral to a major scandal known as the Miranda Incident or the Pax Wave. Apparently a broadwave went out across the ’verse and implicated the Alliance in the gassing of its citizens with “the Pax”, causing them to either die by complete apathy or by creating Reavers. This revelation triggered another long discussion of whether or not they would let Badger have that shipment, if it was indeed what he was after. The crew came to no clear decision on that point, especially after Mo pointed out the possible consequences of crossing the man.

Acorn dusts off, heading into the black for a hundred day journey to the raggedy edge of space.

Adventure Log 12/18/11

The crew of Acorn finally arrives at Wayland Station. Miracle Mike is let out of the brig and immediately escorted off the ship. O’Reilly still tries to apologize to Mad, to tell her that he didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt. She keeps her back to him, refusing to respond.

The crew realizes its Christmas Eve, what with the way Wayland Station is decorated for the holiday with wreaths and colored, blinking lights. As the crew tries to get their bearings, they notice a bit of a commotion up ahead. Three Federal Marshals are leading a grizzled spacer away. Another man, dressed in the manner of a Shepherd, stands next to a large pallet of crates. He is clearly trying to engage people from the passing crowds, but is rebuffed each time. As the crew gets closer, they are able to make out that the crates are stamped as heading to the New Melbourn‘s Children’s Home.

The Shepherd is a youngish man, with swarthy skin. He introduces himself as Shepherd Patara. He is trying desperately to find a ship to transport the crates of toys and goods to the orphans on New Melbourn by Christams Day. The Federal Marshals just drug away his cargo pilot (a man by the name of Ives), who was discovered to have untaxed pallets of tobacco upon his ship. Since Shepherd Patara had already paid the cargo pilot, he has no more money to hire another ship. It is currently the morning of the 24th.

With a bit of light grumbling from Sebastian about taking another job without pay, the crew agree to transport the toys for the Shepherd. Colt especially feels strongly about helping out the orphans, being as some may be from Shadow or other worlds devastated by the War. In order for the toys to delivered before Christmas, the crew decides to move quickly. The pallets are moved onto Acorn. Everyone agrees to meet at Ling’s Tea House by noon, then splits up to take care of business.

Colt & Mad deliver their package from Jiangyin. Colt also picks up some large boxes from his mailbox, smiling. Both decide to do a bit of last minute holiday shopping. They drop off their goods at the ship, then head to Ling’s.

Sebastian, Mo, and Shepherd Patara head to the Federal Marshal’s office. They talk to Marshal Bryson Cartegan about the situation and how the Shepherd’s money is now gone. Cartegan is sympathetic, but says there’s nothing they can really do. Sebastian breaks in, talking about how the Marshals would love to “avoid paperwork,” and such, using his legal knowledge to sway their decision. While sympathy for the Shepherd’s plight didn’t work—Sebastian’s ploy does: the Marshal excuses himself and then returns with 50 CR of cash in hand. He tells them that this money was “all that was NOT found” on the pilot’s person. In addition, the pilot had apparently already spent some of the fee and the Marshals chipped in the rest.

Next, the three head to the market so that Mo can buy food to resupply the ship and also pick something up for a nice Christmas dinner. Sebastian parts from the group to make some purchases of his own in the busy marketplace of the station. Suddenly, he is grabbed by a pair of strong gloved hands and pulled into the shadows. There is a sickly sweet smell of something spoiled surrounding his cloaked assailant. A creepy voice speaks: " Louis Sebastian Necker, calm yourself or you will die very messily." He removes the earpiece from Sebasian’s ear and crushes it between his fingers. The unseen opponent goes on, waxing philosophical about the souls men being proportional to their physical size, asking the terrified mechanic if “that seems right to you?” The man was not expecting to encounter Sebastian yet, as he has other business to take care of. But he does relate that their “mutual accquaintance” doesn’t want Sebastian, Colt, or Mad dead yet, but his employer didn’t include Mo in that edict. The unseen man tells Sebastian that he could kill Mo from here, and that Sebastian wouldn’t even do “a damn thing” about it, taunting the little man into near hysterics. He then pulls out a gun and aims it at the unsuspecting Mo.

Meanwhile, Colt and Mad make it to Ling’s Tea House a bit early and go ahead and get a table. At the same time Colt hears a tiny electronic pop on his earpiece, he also hears a nearby voice in the tea room that sounds familiar. The last time he heard the deep male voice, Colt figures he was on Sihnon. Turning, Colt notices two people sitting a nearby table. He instantly recognizes them as from the crew of Ellandri’s Dagger. Cursing, he explains the situation to Mad. They need to get out of here quickly and without being noticed. Mad calls over a waitress and indicates a table of folk close to the crew from Ellandri’s Dagger. She tells the waitress that it is the birthday of one of the people sitting there, and pays the waitress to get a large group of staff to sing “Happy Birthday.” As soon as the waitstaff converges, singing and drawing attention, Mad quickly leaves Ling’s. As he will be able to blend in more, Colt remains behind to keep an eye on the two crew members.

Sebastian, in the meantime, decides that he cannot passively stand by while the unseen opponent threatens Mo. He gathers up all of his courage and tries to simulanteously get away and throw off the gun aimed at his friend. While he is not able to break away, he does managed to surpise his opponent and break the man’s aim. “I’m impressed, Louis Sebastian Necker…” the man says, clearly amused at the smaller man’s actions. However, Sebastian also manages to hit the ship phone so that the entire crew hears the last words that the unseen man says to Sebastian: “Unfortunately, I have other business to attend to.” The diminutive mechanic senses the man holster his weapon and activate another device as he is pushed back into the crowds thronging the station’s market place.

All of the crew suddenly feel the ground rock beneath them as the entire station shakes, then slowly rights itself. Confusion ensues.

Sebastian uses the ship phone to summon help. Mad goes in search of him. Colt trails after the crew from Ellandri’s Dagger who have quickly left Ling’s. Mad finds Sebastian, who has fallen onto the ground amidst a crowd of people. She helps him up, then they find Mo and Shepherd Patara. Colt follows the Dagger’s crew to the lifts leading to the docking ring. The man notices Colt just as the doors shut. Realizing that he’s been spotted, Colt heads back to the rest of Acorn’s crew.

Over the speaker’s system comes messsage from Station Command. They are taking steps to correct the situation. The docking ring has been locked down and will remain so until repairs are finished. All inhabitants will be kept posted. It is not long before the announcement changes. The docking ring will be opened in approximately 2.5 hours.

Not wanting to discuss all of the recent events in the middle of the street, Shepherd Patara suggests following him to a nearby shrine. Once there, the crew goes over the events of the last hour. The unseen man is the object of much speculation. It seems obvious to the crew that Rejovic was behind it. Mad also checks Sebastian for electronic bugs the man may have planted on him. Sebastian also reasons out that with the man’s obvious extensive strength and the smell of rot, he may have had cybernectic enhancements and he suffers from Cybernetic Rejection Syndrome (CRS), a not-uncommon malady of those that have such expensive enhancements installed.

Finally, the docking ring is re-opened. The crew makes their way quickly to Acorn. They also reasoned out that apparently the two crew members from Ellandri’s Dagger never returned from being detained on the command ring. One of the docking areas is still being worked on, but much to their relief, the ship is unharmed. Upon boarding, the crew notices that a large Independent flag has been added to Wellfounder’s shrine. It is a gift from Colt. Mad pilots the ship away from Wayland Station and toward surface to New Melbourne. Colt sees a tug that is also departing the station, towing another ship. Sebastian is able to tell that it is a Knorr-class freighter. The crew speculates on whether or not Rejovic had Ellandri’s Dagger taken out. On route to New Melbourne, Mad sends a wave to her brother, wishing him a happy holiday. Colt looks through security tape footage, making sure that none of the Ellandri’s Dagger crew or Sebastian’s unseen assailant tampered with the ship.

Acorn arrives at New Melbourne, docking fairly close to the orphanage. Mad sends a wave ahead to the director, Katelyn Bagby. Bagby is thrilled about the delivery and will send people to the ship to collect the gifts for the children. Shepherd Patara thanks the entire crew for helping him, paying them the 50 CR he received from the Marshals. He tells them that is is very important for everyone to remember the children spread out through the stars this time of year. And for everyone to be our best selves.

Bagby and the folks from the New Melbourne Children’s Home arrive at Acorn. The pallet of crates is unloaded. Bagby takes Mad aside and thanks her profusely for the gifts for the orphans. Mad explains about Shepherd Patara hiring them to deliver the presents. Bagby looks confused. She tells Mad that “Shepherd Patara” is a story told to children all over the Rim. Every Christmas he travels on a comet to deliver gifts to boys and girls, helping people across the ’verse. However, no matter who hired them, Bagby invites the crew to visit the orphanage.

Mad quietly tells the rest of the crew what Bagby said. The crew look around to ask the Shepherd and find that he is not there. The Shepherd is no longer on the ship. Colt runs to the cockpit and checks the security tapes. There is no sign of the Shepherd: it is as if he was never there.

The crew, still a bit stunned, decides to go visit with the children for a while. Upon heading back to the ship, Christmas gifts are exchanged. Mo prepares a nice dinner. Colt presents the crew with custom jumpsuits and flight jackets. Afterwards, the crew departs Rosetta, heading to Persephone and, perhaps, more answers about the recent events.

Adventure Log 11/20/11

As Acorn sets off into space, Mad estimates that it will take 12 days to arrive at Wayland Station, where the ship will need to refuel.

A few days into the journey, Sebastian notices something “odd” attached to the ship’s engines. While he is not quite sure what it is, he knows it is not supposed to be there. Sebastian carefully removes the device and then immediately contacts Colt on his multiband.

Colt heads to the engineering room, where Sebastian explains the situation. The two look over the device again, determining that the object is a regulator, a device that will keep Acorn from using the full extent of her engine power. Immediately, suspicions turn towards “Miracle Mike” as the only person who would have had recent access to the engineering room. Colt tells Sebastian to lock himself in and start a full diagnostic search of the engine system in case of any other “surprises.”

Colt puts the regulator in his coat, then goes straight for the cockpit to do a quick search. Upon finding nothing out of the ordinary, Colt starts going through security tape footage. He also gets on the ship’s intercom system and asks Mad to come up to the cockpit.

Mad, although engaging in some “alone time” with O’Reilly in her cabin, manages to hear the summons. Murmuring apologies, she reluctantly begins to disentangle herself, but O’Reilly reaches up a hand and tries to draw her back down. Mad doesn’t resist for long.

Some time later, Mad makes it to the cockpit. Colt, still searching security footage, describes the situation to date. He asks her to do another search of the cockpit area. She does, not quite ready to believe that O’Reilly was behind the concealed regulator. Just as Mad completes her search, coming up with nothing unusual, Colt catches a bit of footage showing O’Reilly leaving the engineering room. The footage is dated from the day before they left Rio, while the crew was having an impromptu meeting. Colt calls Mo to the cockpit and shows the footage to Mo and Mad.

Suddenly, Acorn’s proximity alarms go off. The ship receives an incoming message from a man introducing himself as Captain Jackson Thibadeux of Ellandri’s Dagger. The crew is ordered to stand down or be disabled. The decision is made to try and escape. Over the intercom, Colt orders everyone to strap themselves in.

Mad throws herself into the pilot’s chair. She quickly pulls Acorn though an impressive series of evasive maneuvers. Ellandri’s Dagger fires two missiles at Acorn, but both go wide. Mad calls down to Sebastian to open up the engines. Acorn takes off in a burst of speed, quickly leaving the other ship behind. Ellandri’s Dagger gives chase, but soon gives up. When it is clear they are no longer being followed, Mad replots the course to Wayland Station. The ship is set to autopilot.

Colt calls Sebastian to the cockpit, then summons O’Reilly. When O’Reilly arrives, Colt asks him if he knows about the ship, Ellandri’s Dagger. O’Reilly says no, but Colt knows that he is lying. He then asks O’Reilly to check out some footage caught on tape. The tape is queued to show O’Reilly exiting from the engineering room.

When O’Reilly turns back to the crew, Colt pulls the regulator out of his coat and confronts the man with it. Although O’Reilly at first tries to protest his ignorance, Colt is able to use his military bearing to persuade the other man to tell the truth.

“No one was supposed to get hurt,” O’Reilly pleads, trying to meet Mad’s eyes. A week before Acorn arrived in Rio, a Knorr-class ship arrived. A man approached O’Reilly with a business proposal that would make him a bit of money, maybe even land him a ship. The man said that a Swan-class ship would be coming in and that O’Reilly needed to get on it and install the regulator. The plan was that the Swan-class ship would be hijacked and the crew dropped off on a rock somewhere. There was a beacon installed in the regulator so that the ship could be tracked.

Colt tells O’Reilly that he’d just as soon shoot him, but asks Mad what to do with the man. Arms crossed, Mad tells him to throw O’Reilly in the brig. Turning to O’Reilly, she tells him that he’s getting dropped off at Wayland Station; if he still wants to get to Persephone, he’s on his own. As he’s being led to the brig, O’Reilly tries again to protest that no one was supposed to get hurt. Mad just turns away.

Now knowing that there is a beacon in the regulator, the crew decides to jettison it out of the airlock. They also send a wave to Elias Wingate to appraise him of the recent situation. The crew starts to discuss how Ellandri’s Dagger could have known they were heading to Rio. They wonder if Laramie’s network is compromised somehow.

One day out from Wayland Station, the ship receives a wave from Felecia Knight. The crew is to receive reward money for their help with the kidnapped team members of Hands Across the Stars. Mad sends her bank information in return so that the money can be deposited directly into her account.

The crew then continues through the The Border Belt toward their destination.

Adventure Log 11/6/11

Morning dawns on the small town of Rio. Colt and Petra are laying together in her bed, the madam languidly smoking a cigarillo. At a sudden knock at the door, Petra calls out for the unseen person to identify themselves. It’s Bill Tucker. Petra tells him to come on in, and leans over to her side of the bed. Colt’s nose for trouble suddenly tells him that something’s not right about the situation. Colt makes a quick grab for his weapon. With his firearm pointed at the two, Colt takes stock of the situation. Petra has pulled a small derringer from under the mattress and it is obvious that she and Tucker were planning to rob Colt.

Colt tells the two would-be-thieves to drop their weapons and get up against the back wall. Trying to pull on his clothing and keep his gun pointed at the madam and her henchman is difficult, but Colt manages. He takes both guns, and, at the last moment, decides to take back the money he paid Petra the night before. Petra tells him not to ever come back. Before heading back to the Southern Star Hotel, Colt calls Mad to make sure she wasn’t also staying at Petra’s.

Mad is awakened by her wristband alerting her to an incoming call. She answers it to learn about Colt’s run in with Petra. After making sure that Colt is safe, she asks if they can talk about it at breakfast. She has “company” right now and would rather talk later.

As the group meets at the breakfast table, Mad introduces Colt to “Miracle Mike”. During breakfast, it becomes obvious that the crew has a lot to talk about, privately. O’Reilly heads back to Sanson’s General Merchandise, where he has been working for room and board. The crew decides to meet up in Colt’s room.

The crew discusses Mad’s offer to give O’Reilly a lift to Persephone. Mo has slight misgivings, because he doesn’t feel something quite fits about O’Reilly’s story. Mad insists that he has always been a good man from her experience. The decision is that O’Reilly will be given a ride, unless something arises that would change the situation.

Next, the crew bring up the issue of the Hill People. Colt and Mad are for investigating the disappearance of the workers from Hands Across the Stars. The fact that these bandits have been preying on the town of Rio for years, and that they have just recently kidnapped more people, doesn’t sit well with the two. Sebastian and Mo feel that the authorities are better suited to handle the situation. Sebastian is particularly ready to get off planet. It is decided that the group needs to find out more information. A fly-by is also planned to try and locate the Hill People’s base of operations.

Colt also shares the events that took place at Petra’s. Everyone agrees that it will be best to keep a sharp eye out. It seems sure that more trouble will head their way.

The crew decides to head to Doc Yu’s place to find out more information about the Hill People and the events of the recent kidnapping. On the way, it becomes obvious that the group is being watched. Colt notices several men keeping an eye on him specifically. As the group passes Petra’s, Tucker is waiting in the doorway. He calls Colt out: he owes “the lady” some money. Colt squares off with Tucker, and the tense mood suddenly skyrockets. Sebastian bolts for cover and the sound of gun hammers being cocked echoes through the street. Unfortunately, his landing behind the nearby horse trough lands him in a pile of horse dung.

While Colt and Tucker try to out-intimidate each other, Sebastian decides to high-tail it to Doc Yu’s. When she hears what’s going on, Yu pulls off her apron to reveal her sidearm and heads for the street. She tells Sebastian to go get MacPhereson and to tell him to bring Nellie.

Back on the street, it seems like bullets are going to fly at any moment. Neither Colt or Tucker give any sign of backing down. Suddenly, Yu arrives. She threatens to not treat any of Petra’s girls unless Tucker backs down. However, it is not until MacPhereson arrives bearing Nellie, a huge modified piece of weaponry, that Tucker retreats back into the brothel. His parting to shot to Colt is that this “is not over yet.”

The crew follows Yu back to her office. While Sebastian cleans up, the crew asks a few questions. When the three members of Hands Across the Stars were kidnapped, Yu sent a message to the Federal Marshals at Wayland Station. She got a return wave that the situation would be investigated. In regards to the Hill People, although no one knew specifically where they were based, the times that they attempted to kidnap Yu, they tried to drag her northward.

The crew decides to spread word that they will be lifting off soon and that they will be willing to take on passengers or cargo. It is arranged for interested parties to leave word with Ilsa Bornhaldt at the Southern Star Hotel. While Sebastian and Mo wait with the mule, Colt and Mad talk to several establishments. They pick up O’Reilly at Sanson’s General Merchandise. They also arrange to drop off a package at Wayland Station for the proprietor at Bradshaw’s Mercantile.

Finally, the group heads back to the ship. While Colt talks to Wayne K. Douglas about possibilities for transporting passengers or cargo, Mad takes O’Reilly with her to ready the shuttle for a fly-by. Mad also sends a wave to Hands Across the Stars to make sure that they are aware of the situation. Meanwhile, Sebastian and Mo, extremely curious and a tad worried about what might be in the package, take the package to scan with their medical equipment. It appears that the item inside is probably a clock. When Colt gets back to the ship, he sees Sebastian and Mo coming out of the sick bay with the package. An argument ensues about the amount of discretion needed in shipping cargo.

Eventually, the rest of the crew meets up in the shuttle. With Mad piloting, they search the hills for the Hill People. About 12 miles from the road, they come across an encampment built on top of a hill. The buildings are simple, but seem to be centered around a church-like structure at the very center. They see at least 20 armed men, with the highest concentration around the church. Sebastian gets lots of pictures (“captures”), plus a capture of one of the missing NGO members. When the crew gets back to the ship, Mad sends the captures to both the Marshal’s office and Hands Across the Stars.

While O’Reilly retreats to Mad’s quarters, the crew has another impromptu discussion in the cock pit. There is discussion about ensuring the crew’s safety in regards to bringing passengers and cargo on board. Also, about ensuring the privacy of the jobs that are more “in the grey.” It becomes apparent that trying to “vote” on issues when there are only four crew members and no captain may be problematic , but the crew will do the best they can.

An incoming wave from Hands Across the Stars arrives. The dark-skinned woman, Felicia Knight, thanks them for their report. They had been contacted by the Federal Marshals, but their organization has already taken steps to secure their missing team. Knight asks them to please contact her if any more information is discovered.

The crew soon beds down for the night. The next morning, Colt and Mad start preparations to head back to town to check to see if anyone was interesting in shipping cargo or passengers. Mad also wants to make sure that Yu gets copies of the captures from the Hill People encampment. Sebastian and Mo really don’t think it’s a good idea to go back to town when Petra and her cronies really want to get revenge on Colt. Everyone is finally convinced, albeit a bit reluctantly, that it is time to leave Rio. Colt pays Wayne K. Douglas to deliver the captures to Yu and pass along his regrets for a “last drink” with Ilsa Bornhaldt.

The crew leaves Jiangyin for Persephone to collect their payment from Laramie.

Adventure Log 10/9/11

The crew finishes up last minute business on Ariel, stocking up on supplies and preparing for the months of travel ahead. Francis Alvere contacts Mad and Colt with the legal document prepared by the Ministry of Transportation. Both sign, although Colt does so somewhat reluctantly.

Finally, the crew departs for Rio. Two and a half months later, Acorn enters orbit around Jiangyin. The ship receives a transmission from the Wayne K Douglas Airfield. A voice tells them that for a credit a day, the ship can park in his field. Clearly, Rio is as small a settlement as was described.

Even though the surroundings are primitive, Mad manages to land the ship “on a dime.” The crew opens the cargo bay doors to find a young man approaching. He introduces himself as Filo Basquez as he hooks up Acorn to the septic line. Colt and Sebastian decide to go talk to the owner of the “airfield” and get a sense of where to meet their contact, Dr. Imogene Yu. The owner, Wayne K. Douglas himself, tells the two that it’s a seven mile trip into Rio. This strip of land is the only place within miles that is flat enough to allow ships to land.

The entire crew heads into town on the mule. As they progress through the hills, both Sebastian and Mo see a flash of movement up above them. Colt actually sees a flash of metal. However, the rest of the journey is uneventful.

It’s not long before the crew enters Rio. The settlement is surrounded by hills and they can both catch the smell of a river and see glints of water through the buildings and trees. The buildings of Rio look fairly worn and faded. Two buildings fly a flag that looks like the tail of tiger, indicating that Faro is played within their walls.

Dr. Imogene Yu’s place is in the center of town. Yu is a plain-spoken woman with a tight bun of hair who clearly wears a firearm under her surgical apron. She believes that she can get Mac, a fellow business owner, to lend a mule to help transport the medical supplies from the ship. When told about the strange events along the road, Yu says that the townsfolk has had trouble with bandits.

The townsfolk refer to the group of bandits as the “Hill People.” Apparently, they are part of a weird religious cult that hides somewhere outside of Rio. They had tried to capture Yu herself several times. A few weeks ago, however, the Hill People managed to capture three people from a NGO organization.

The crew discuss with Yu how to safely get the supplies (and themselves) back to town. By this time, night has fallen. The plan is made to use the two mules to transport the supplies, while the Nuthouse flies overhead with lights blazing, keeping an eye out for Hill People. Yu arranges for another townsperson, a large bald man named “Egg,” to drive one of the mules, while she drives the other. Much to the surprise of Yu, when Mad and Colt get back to the ship, they suit up in black clothing and load up with a impressive array of weaponry.

As Sebastian and Mo fly the Nuthouse overhead, the group heads out with the first run of supplies. Sebastian and Mo do see some lights in the hills surrounding the road and fly closer, searching the terrain. Although the two do see about 10 figures in the hills, the trip to town is otherwise uneventful. It appears that the presence of the small craft is enough to discourage the bandits. Upon re-entering Rio, the group heads for Mac’s place to unload. The crew notices that Mac, a formidable man in his mid-40s, has a high-tech holographic pocketwatch.

The final runs of supplies go smoothly. Sebastian and Mo notice that the number of Hill People have gone down. The crew decides to stay the night at the Southern Star Hotel. The proprietress, Ilsa Bornhaldt, is an older woman who was probably stunning in her youth, yet still maintains an air of sexiness. The crew takes their meal in the dining room.

Mad and Colt, both itching to find some companionship after the long ship journey, ask the waiter about suitable places in town. The young man, after a bit of hemming, admits that Petra’s is the best place to go for that sort of thing, although one has to pay for the pleasure. The whole crew heads out, although Sebastian and Mo are clearly not as excited.

Petra’s is doing fairly brisk business when the crew makes their way through the door. Amongst the patronage, young men and women clad in shifts or otherwise revealing clothing move through the room. Mad and Colt head up to the bar for drinks, but, noticing the mean-looking man tending bar, Sebastian decides to set at a table. Mo keeps him company.

While at the bar, both Mad and Colt spy a beautiful red-headed woman sitting at a corner table, a silver-topped cane at her side. The way she looks over the room like she owns it, seems to indicate that this is Petra herself. Colt quickly calls “dibs,” and Mad grudgingly passes up her own chance to try and seduce the gorgeous woman. As Colt heads over, Mad orders herself another drink.

As Colt approaches her table, Petra looks him over with a cool and appraising eye. Colt, turning up the seductive charm, asks if he can join her. Petra allows him to sit at her table, but frankly tells him that he will need to impress her in order to keep his seat, otherwise Bill Tucker, the man tending bar, will “escort” Colt out of the establishment. Over the next hour, Colt uses his considerable seduction skills to win over Petra’s opinion. When it becomes obvious where this evening is headed, she tells Colt that she doesn’t think he can afford her. When finding out that Petra’s rate is 7 credits, Colt gives her 10. Soon after, the two of them head upstairs.

Meanwhile, while Mad sits at the bar nursing a glass of whiskey, a young man wearing a toga and a wreath on his head approaches and begins reciting poetry. At Mad’s less-than-impressed reaction, he changes tactics. Just as the subject of payment is broached, a raspy and yet familiar voice speaks in Mad’s ear: “What’s a colorful young thing like doing in a dive like this?” Mad turns and is surprised to see a russet-haired man in a flight jacket standing behind her. It’s Michael O’Reilly (“Miracle Mike”) whom she has not seen since she left his employment years before. Over a bottle of drink, the two catch up. O’Reilly tells Mad that he had eventually lost his ship, the Minstrel, since the “creditors caught up.” O’Reilly was here on Rio as part of a job for Hands Across the Stars, an NGO that was set up to deliver food and supplies, but that fell through when the Hill People started dragging people away. O’Reilly managed to free himself and get back to Rio, but his ship had already taken off without him. When Mad is incredulous that his ship abandoned him, O’Reilly embarrassingly admits that he had been sleeping with the captain’s girlfriend which may be why she had no problems leaving him behind.

Meanwhile, Sebastian and Mo have wandered over to the faro tables. Sebastian wants to try his hand at cards, counting on his math skills to help him win some money. Mo tries his hardest to convince his crewmate not to gamble, insisting that the house “always wins.” Sebastian cannot be persuaded, however, and spends the next hour betting (and counting) at cards. At the end, however, Mo’s predictions prove true and Sebastian has lost all the money he started with. As the two head back to the table, Sebastian continues to go over and over the plays in his head. He cannot believe that he lost. Although he first thinks that he must have made a mistake, Sebastian becomes more and more convinced that the house was cheating somehow.

When the two reach the table, Mad introduces her companion. The group sits and drinks for a bit, (although Sebastian goes without since the bartender refused to even answer questions about water or other non-alcoholic drinks). Sebastian relates the story of the Ice Dragon run. Eventually, the group is ready to head back to the Southern Star Hotel. Mad invites O’Reilly back to her room to help her finish the bottle of whiskey and he readily agrees.

Adventure Log 7/24/11

Worried about their friends and the possiblity of terrorists on the loose, Colt and Mad quickly head to the now vacated maintenance hub to try and locate a security guard. Soon they are taken to the Central Command Center of the Nazaret Space Port to pass along their story.

The two shipmates are brought before Commander Walker, who listens to them with obvious distaste for Colt’s very clear support of the Browncoats. Tensions rise between the two men, despiteMad’s attempts to keep everything calm. Colt’s breaking point is reached when Commander Walker informs the two that they will be held here at the Command Center while his men look into the situation. Colt begins to argue and asks what charges are being held against him, and, after assault rifles are drawn & pointed at him, they are forcibly escorted to a holding cell.

Meanwhile, Mo and Sebastian are led through increasingly bad parts of town by Drakeand his thugs. Upon arriving at a trashed-out house, Drake tells Mo and Sebastian that a big party is being thrown in honor of his return. Apparently, Drake got out of Perdition on account of an “early parole.” Sebastian is bullied into drinking some rice wine. As Drake greets each new person that arrives, Sebastian tries to come up with ways to escape. Feigning first that he wants to dance, then that he needs to use the facilties, Sebastian soon realizes that there will be no easy escape through a back door or window. One of the guards is revealed to be Drake’s brother.

In their holding cell at Nazaret Space Port, Colt and Mad are watched by two guards. The more professional of the guards, Bailey Doman, approaches the two to get information for a legal advocate. A message is composed to Elias Wingate, detailing the situation and mentioning the missing crew. Doman asks about Mo and Sebastian. Mad explains the situation & Colt expresses his doubts about the capabilities of the force. Doman rebukes Colt and tells him that there are some very good people working in the guard. It is revealed that Doman had a sister who died in the war. Doman files a missing person report on their behalf.

Sebastian overhears Drake and another man mention “quiet” and “10 blocks.” Soon after, Drake tells the two that they are all going for a walk. Sebastian tries to make a break for it, but is seized by Drake’s thugs. As Mo and Sebastian are led out of the building and along the streets, they both begin to get nervous about their destination. The shipmates suspect that Drake is trying to get them into a secluded area to kill them. Sebastian begins to desperately bluff about Perdition, Rejovic, and the fact that the crew has platinum bars. When it becomes obvious that Drake is listening, Mo takes up the story. He tells Drake that they have 5 bars that might help make things even. Just as it appears that Drake may go back with them to the ship, a police air car appears overhead with its lights blazing. The thugs scatter. Drake tries to drag off Mo, but Sebastian grabs on tight to his friend. Drake makes one parting threat, then flees the scene as well.

As Colt and Mad continue to wait, Mad notices a slight shivering of the cell walls. Alarms suddenly go off and a blast shield drops, closing off the room. Doman relates that an explosion has gone off in the “F” terminal. After a tense 45 minutes, the blast door opens up and Nazeret security forces enter. Colt and Mad are summoned back to Commander Walker. As they leave, a man in a jumpsuit is escorted in. It is one of the men who went into the ducts, but not Jonathan Crane. In Walker’s office, the shipmates find a man in a suit plus several Alliance guards. The man is Kelly Stark, representing the Alliance Ministry of Transportation. Colt relates the story again, trying very hard to remain professional. Mad leaves briefly with a guard to retrieve the ships papers. Stark agrees to let the two go as long as they do not pursue legal action until their advocate can talk to the Ministry and make arrangements.

Meanwhile, the police take Mo and Sebastian back to the station. One of the thugs captured is Drake’s brother. Mo and Sebastian give their statements to Detective Phonan. They are then released to head back to the ship.

Still not knowing what has happened to their friends, Colt heads to the ship to talk to their business contact while Mad heads to the closest police station. She is told that Mo and Sebastian were found and released. Soon, all the crew is back on the ship. Mo relates the story of how he knew Drake. When Mo was younger, he and a friend went to a party. Unfortunately, Mo’s friend began talking to a woman that Drake fancied. There was a fight, one that Mo’s friend was going to win, but Drake pulled a knife. Mo testified against Drakewho was sent to Perdition for life.

Colt tells everyone that he has been in contact with Jim Biggby and that the ship will be loaded up with cargo the next day and should be ready to fly by sundown. The crew contacts Doman who relates that Elias Wingate has given the name of an advocate, Francis Alvere. Domanagrees to meet for drinks that night and the crew enjoys a break from the grueling events of the day.

Adventure Log 6/7/11

A month & 1/2 passes since the crew left Sihnon. Laramie feeds the crew milk runs over this time. We end up breaking even with the monthly costs of the ship’s expenses. In addition to shopping & restocking supplies, the crew takes care of personal purchases as well. Mad gets another arm tattoo in honor of the Ice Dragon run; Colt does more gun modification on his special “franken-gun”; Sebastian builds a super-computer.

The crew decides to alert Laramie about the complications with Rejovic. Sebastian finds a news article about the follow-up investigations on Sihnon. He is unable to find any other information on Ellandri’s Dagger or its crew.

The crew heads to Ariel, a planet well known for its medical facilities & also Moe’s homeworld. On Unification Day, the crew debarks & splits up to accomplish several tasks. Mo & Sebastian go off to resupply. Mad & Colt head to Nazaret Spaceport to meet up with a job contact.

In Nazaret Spaceport, Mad & Colt wait in the lounge area to meet with Jim Biggby, a procurer for Rosen Group. Rosen Group contracts to a colony in the Regina System to provide medical supplies. (The colony is Rio, on the planet Jiangyin)

Meanwhile, Mo & Sebastian head out for supplies. Mo wants to make an extra stop at a sizable cemetery. He visits the graves of his parents (Alison & Charles II) and his uncle (Kelvin). He tells Sebastian the story of how the war affected his family & how he lost them. After leaving the cemetery, a guy named Twitch approaches Mo & tells him that Cullen Drake is in town.

Back at Nazaret Spaceport, Mad & Colt notice a lot of Alliance soldiers around. They are notified that Biggby will be an hour late. They also notice a small security checkpoint nearby. When an alarm goes off somewhere in the vicinity, one of the guards from the checkpoint leaves. Then, after touching his helmet, the other guard leaves. People in spaceport jumpers approach the unattended checkpoint. The door is opened & a man enters that looks a lot like Jonathan Crane.

Meanwhile, after trying to head to the ship, Mo & Sebastian realize there is a person hiding in an alley up ahead of them. They try to turn, but are suddenly surrounded. The leader, Cullen Drake, is insistent that they come with him & his men to a party. Sebastian, nervous about how the situation is going, tries to contact Mad & Colt on his wrist phone, then his other devices. Drake & his group become suspicious & take all communication devices from both men.

Mad & Colt catch only parts of Sebastian’s transmissions, but become alarmed. They decide to go to the security guards to alert them of Jonathan Crane, and then quickly try to find their friends.

Trojan Horse Wrap-Up
Tying up loose ends while staying on the job

After the events of Episode 5, the crew decided to hang around the Core for a while, picking up various milk runs from Laramie and making some purchases. Fortunately, the legitimate work allowed them to break even, money-wise.

First of all, the crew made a point of contacting Laramie, Wingate, and Colt’s sister Delilah and letting them know that Rejovic is active and to be careful. Further, they warned their friends and family to look out for a ship called Ellandri’s Dagger as they believe the crew of that ship is in league with their old enemy.

Colt put in an order for custom flight-suits for the crew, sporting new logos that he designed. Bomber jackets are also on the way. Hopefully they’ll be waiting for him in his drop-box on Porthos Station later on down the line. He also spent some time to complete a small arsenal of homemade tear-gas grenade and managed to purchase some silencers on the down-low. One of these he modified to fit his “Franken-pistol”.

Mad decided to make some improvements to her tattoo sleeve, incorporating an “ice-dragon” motif in celebration of their record-breaking run back on St. Albans. She also purchased a crate of yarn to keep up with her knitting.

Necker was busiest of all (as usual, if you ask him). He had to take some time to make a new Neckerbug, since his prototype was used and never returned after the crew’s surveillance on Sihnon. He also decided to invest in a “test system” to use to test incoming softwares and such, and to do so in an environment isolated from the ship’s systems. He decided to splurge and buy what is essentially a mini-computer with a fair amount of computing power. It’s fully independent of Acorn’s systems, including running on power cells so that it doesn’t drain on the old girl’s grid. Necker also decided that he needed to work on a program to help guard his “back-door” when he’s hacking, essentially shadowing his presence during a hack. He’s going to spend a lot of time on this, creating a HEROIC-level program. Later, he’ll work on an equally impressive anti-virus/firewall program for the ship’s system. He also decided to buy some crates of spare parts—both technical and mechanical.

After a bit of debate, the crew also decided to have their tech-guru check into Rejovic’s current bounty and any information on Ellandri’s Dagger. Rejovic is worth 5000 CR to the Alliance. Colt was hot to try to use their lead to try to find Rejovic and cash in instead of continuously running from him, waiting for him to hurt someone else they care about. The rest of the crew just didn’t think that they head much of a lead to go on. Necker could only find one mention of Ellandri’s Dagger on the Cortex, a news story from the Sihnon Daily News detailing the events of their past visit:

12 May 2519
Lu’Weng Underworld Takes Revenge Against Neighborhood Watch Leader
—Layla Komenescu

According to a recent MetroPol report, Silk District community activist Travis Dawson has spent the past two months as a prisoner in a warehouse where he was fed illegal narcotics in an act of revenge perpetrated by local drug pushers. Dawson led a group of concerned citizens dubbed “The Dragon Silk Tong” which worked to remove the White Dragon gang from their neighborhood. The White Dragons have alleged ties to the Ghee Kong tong, which past reporting by SDN indicate are a major supplier of narcotic “drops” to the Silk District. Dawson, a worker at the Golden Loom, disappeared some two months ago, according to missing person reports filed by his co-worker and fellow watcher Nancy Yao.

However, there may be more to the story.

Dawson was rescued from this warehouse and taken to a local hospital by unknown persons. MetroPol was given information by this anonymous source, identifying the warehouse and requesting police protection for Mr. Dawson. Police tactical teams found a sealed building containing five injured men and one corpse. The warehouse exits were sealed with a common chemical weld used on starships. The dead man has been identified as Calvin Traynor. According to medical reports obtained by SDN, their injuries were consistent with those associated with blunt force trauma. Several were also treated for respiratory issues due to exposure to toxic chemicals. MetroPol reports that the men have been positively identified by Travis Dawson as his assailants and that they all bear the identifying tattoos associated with the White Dragons. The warehouse men, currently detained by Lu’Weng MetroPol on charges of kidnapping, assault, and possession of narcotics, identified their assailants as being dressed in black and wearing breathing apparatuses.

According Titus Mengyao, alleged leader of the White Dragons, speaking from a Silk District MetroPol precinct house, the men captured by police have never been associated with the White Dragons. “I don’t know who those ung jeong jia ching jien soh are, but they ain’t Dragons.” Mr. Mengyao is currently being questioned for his connection to Mr. Dawson’s abduction.

Further, Calvin Traynor is known to local police sources as a petty criminal with no history of association with the tongs.

The question remains that if the men apprehended by MetroPol are not members of the White Dragons, then who are they and why would they commit such a heinous act against a stranger?

All of the apprehended men from the warehouse have pleaded “not guilty” to the charges placed on file. According to the Ministry of Justice, all of the assailants have been cooperative in the course of the investigation.

Further exclusive sources indicate that yet a third group may have been involved in the kidnapping. The same anonymous sources who reported the kidnapping, and possibly enacted the dramatic rescue of Dawson-xisansheng, also report that the crew of a ship called Ellandri’s Dagger played a part in the plot. MetroPol would not directly comment on this allegation, saying only that all avenues of inquiry are being pursued.

Travis Dawson is currently undergoing rehabilitation at an undisclosed location off-world.

SDN will continue to uncover the specifics of this story.

So Traynor was apparently the man that was taken out by a mysterious sharpshooter as Mad and Colt rescued Mad’s brother. The others must have subsequently survived the ordeal.

Some discussion was made as to whether or not the crew ought to slip Layla Komenescu some information about Rejovic’s probable involvement in the plot. However, they decided that if they really wanted to keep their names out of it, bringing Rejovic and the events surrounding the break-out of Perdition to people’s attention again would be a bad idea.


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