Swan Song

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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