Spinward Reach

It Tastes Like Purple Hair
Season 1 : Episode 11

[1118:038-40]
Squanine (2536), Trin’s Viel

The crew have their first mid-jump Captain’s Dinner. And thus, a new tradition is created. Not least of which, because the food at the Captains’ table is much tastier than the normal crew fare. Captain Ryre and and Mr. Katsu discuss what needs to be done when they reach Squanine. Mr. Katsu will make some calls, call in some favors, get himself and the crew in to watch a game of Little Sacrifices, make contact with the Iron Duchess, and arrange for her to take custody of the bioroids. Ideally, the Iron Duchesses favor will get Mr. Katsu out of the professional hole that the fiasco in Bendor system left him in, and the bioroids will no longer be the Red Queens’ problem. Sounds easy enough.

The crew of Red Queen exit jump space in the in the Squanine system, but end having to wait in a holding pattern for two days. While awaiting landing clearance, they observe the trader Dawn Treader skip ahead of them through the holding pattern. Capt Ryre noting this with great annoyance. Feeling a little stir crazy, Ryre agrees to fly Mr. Katsu down to the planet in the ship’s gig. He does, and drops him off at a hotel in the Xanadu Startown district.
Two days later, the crew disembarks the Red Queen for some much needed rest and relaxation. The crews first stop in the Xanadu district is a spacer-friendly bar and restaurant specializing in large portions at reasonable prices. As the crew chows down on Angus-like Beef Product-R, and woolly lobster tails Capt. Ryre spots an attractive women all alone at the bar. Never one to ignore an attractive women in the distressful position of having to drink alone, he hitches up his gun belt and heads off to the rescue. Several minutes later, he brings her back to the table and introduces her as Jessy Vash. Jessy has recently arrived at Squanine, aboard the Dawn Treader.

As dinner comes to an end, Miranda, Jessy, Jadda and Ryre decide to head off in search of more excitement. While Lyta, Artur and Tam finish dessert prior to heading back to the Red Queen, another woman approaches the table from the bar. Attractive, and heavily armed, she produces an image of Ms. Vash and immediately starts asking of her whereabouts. Finding the woman rude, annoying, and impressively threatening, Artur offers the information for a price. After an initial offer of 40cr, Artur wastes time by haggling her down to 20cr. He then offers to take her to see the Captain and Ms. Vash. By this point, Lyta has begun actively monitoring the womans’ thoughts. She is indeed looking for Jessy. As her kit would suggest, she means her harm. And, most disturbing of all, she believes Jessy to be a dangerous Sworld World agent, suggesting that she and her Captain are Imperial Agents. She confirms this, by openly stating her intentions and warning that if Jessy feels threatened, she might attempt to inject her “package” into one her current companions. She declines to elaborate on the nature of the “package,” but states that its removal will most likely result in the death of patient. After paying their bill, and a quick call to Ryre, the remaining crew escort the heavily armed woman, who has identified herself as the Dawn Treaders purser Francis, to the local shooting range.

Meanwhile, the partiers, having been warned of Francis’ coming by Arturs’ call, leave the shooting range and head to the free-fall dance club. With a little skill, a little bribery and some fast talking by Miranda, Ryre gets past the dance floor weapons check with both his holdout laser and his cutlas. On the dance floor, Mirandas’ lack of zero-G experience is more than offset be her enthusiasm. By contrast, Jessy displays amazing skill as she disappears up into the crowd. She returns shortly, bearing <cocktail name="true">s for everyone. By this time, Lyta, in a display of amazing mental agility, has scanned Jesse, determined that she has drugged the cocktails in an attempt to ditch her current companions, and warned Ryre of both women’s’ intentions. Ryre prevents his crew-mates from drinking the cocktails, warns Jessy about Francis, and offers Jessy protection from their pursuers.

Back at the shooting range, Francis is getting annoyed. Francis is drops less than subtle threats aimed at the crew, including young Tam. It is at this point, that Artur’s parental instincts are aroused and he decides that he will probably have to kill her. Meanwhile, Lyta continues her mental acrobatics. Until, she “overhears” a telepathic warning, to Francis, that warns of another telepath scanning her. Instantly on her guard, Francis starts visually scanning the nearby crowd. She spots two persons, one in a large red hat whom Artur mistakenly declares to be the person who tracked them while on the Glisten high-station. Without pause, Francis draws both lasers and fires, around Lyta, on the two men. Both fall, one dead, one wounded. Artur decides that f the time comes, he will have to shoot her in the back. Francis and Artur approach the two men. While Francis applies a little improvised torture and questions the survivor, Artur searches the dead man for clues to his identity. As it turns out the two men are professional body snatchers. They had mistakenly interpreted the group to be an important personage, Lyta, with her son, Tam, and two bodyguards, Francis and Artur. Lyta confirms this telepathically. Artur recovers a med scanner, DNA sampler and palm injector from the dead man, before the local law enforcement show up. The four make a hasty withdrawal, confident that the officers are more concerned with avoiding a spectacle than making arrests. As they head off to the free-fall dance club, Artur contemplates the best course of action, fast-draw on Francis from behind and issue a stern warning; fast-draw on Francis from behind and kill her; or, wait to get on board her ship, fast-draw on Francis from behind, and kill her and her crew. Uncle-hood can be so complicated.

By the time the two groups meet up at the free-fall dance club, Jesse has left. Francis, too, leaves in pursuit of Jesse. Free of the troubling ladies, the reunited crew decide to finish the night off at another dance club. Miranda, Jadda and Ryre dance the night away. Miranda and Jadda sans the nose filters necessary to avoid the effects of the mild hallucinogen pumped into the dance club. Artur, having been presented with a rare opportunity, in the form a drunk female patron hitting on him, passes Tam to Lyta and disappears into the evening. The night ends with Jadda trying to taste, what he believes to be, Lytas’ purple-flavored hair.

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Farewell to Bendor
Season 1: Episode 10

[1118:027-38]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

  • The crew safely returns back to the Bendor Highport.
  • They decide to take Gori Katsu offer to charter the Red Queen for immediate departure for the pleasure planet of Squanine. Gori offers to get them clearance by using a hacking/ communication forgery technique, but he’ll need unrestricted access to the commutation systems. Its’ only a matter of minutes before Gori sets up a false clearance report from “Lt. Weeks” to free the Red Queen from lock-down, much to the frustration of Starport Authority officer Arles Vane.
  • Gori Katsu is going to set up a meeting with the Iron Duchess for the crew to get the bioroids off their hands without any Imperial entanglements. He is fairly certain that the Duchess will look after the bioroids rather than exploit them.
  • More important to him is getting to Squanine in time for the Small Sacrifices tournament, bceause Miranda saves his life and the crew harbored him after his recent betrayal he offers to take to the extremely exclusive event. After hearing a description of the game Miranda is not so certain she wants to attend.
  • Lyta’s amenable to giving the bioroids over to the Duchess if she can be convince that they will be treated as individuals and not slaves, servants, or animals/machines. Though she do not ask plan to for payment much to the chagrin of her shipmates, but perhaps the Duchess will assisting the Red Queen with the transportation and docking fees.
  • Artur and Lyta plan to do some research Iron Duchess, Nixx, and some of the history behind Jatta’s family House Kydett, before they commit to a plan.
  • As the Red Queen departs the Bendor system Lyta receives a message from Lt Weeks who just arrived. Ha apologizes for missing her and tell her all about his first out of system assignment when he sees her again.

End of Session.

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Blood Harvest
Season 1: Episode 9

[1118:027]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

Excerpt from Artur’s log

…With only a few crates left to load, the bots reported a small vehicle with four persons exiting the compound, and a grav-carrier with ten persons approaching the shed from the direction of the landing pad. I ordered the bots to continue patrolling, track both vehicles and report any changes. The carrier dropped off four armed persons between the landing pad and the shed, and began to swing to one side of the shed. I few seconds later, the big clamshell doors in the front of the shed opened remotely. At this point, I ordered the nearest bot to fire on the four merc’s on foot, and the other three to converge on the carrier. The bot engaging the merc’s on foot reported several explosions, before going offline. The carrier continued around the side of the shed, slewing into another of the bots, and scattering it across the compound. It then pulled up in front of the open bay doors.

At this point, Ryre, piloting the grav-truck, came roaring out of the shed, hopped it up in the air and landed on the front of the carrier, driving its nose into the dirt. After dropping a crate into the empty space that used to be the bed of the truck, I dismounted from the exo-skeleton. Very smoothly I might add, very Ryre-like. As Ryre ground his way over the carrier, scattering bioroids behind him, and headed off towards the woods, a merc with some sort of heavy weapon piled out of the carrier. He took aim, fired, and barely missed the truck as Ryre swung it back toward the shed. I fast-drew one of my hand-cannons and snapped off three shots. Two shots hit, one blew his brains all over the grass, the other hit him in the leg and flipped him over onto his back. Being my first intentional kill, I would have thought it would have affected me more. But, my blood was up and the action was thick, and two other mercs hopped out of the carrier. One land on my side of the carrier, pulled two pistols and opened up on me. He hit me twice with gyroc shells, but neither penetrated my trench. Blubber is good padding. We proceeded to trade shots for a few seconds. He blew the crap out of whatever equipment was behind me, and I staggered him with a shot shell, then put a slug through his leg. Tough bastard wouldn’t quit, though. So, low on slugs, and no confidence in shot, I started firing off single slugs and put one through his chest. He went down and didn’t get up. I’d have kicked him, if I hadn’t been so far away.

In the mean time, one of the bots engaged the merc who rolled out of the other side of the carrier. It shot the crap out of him, but couldn’t penetrate the merc’s armor. Eventually, the bruised merc blew its’ head off and pushed it over, but not before my headless toy blew one of the bioroids heads off with a blind shot. A female, too bad. The last bot showed up around then and, under orders to aim for the face, took out the merc. Ryre was also busy, firing from the cab of the truck as he swung it around and pulled up next to the shed. He hosed the inside of the carrier with that hellacious laser pistol of his and then opened up on something out behind the shed. Only one more merc made it out of the carrier, and he took off into the woods. I was in no mood to pursue him. I reloaded, put a round into the drivers head, one into the bastard with the gyroc, and collected up the big-ass gun the first merc had.

In the aftermath of the gunfight, I had my one remaining bot pick up the headless one and load into the grav-truck. Dr. M hopped off the truck and started checking out the bioroids. For a spoiled rich girl, she’s got some spunk. Two of the bioroids were DOA, one from my bots wild shot, one from falling out of the truck. A couple others were injured. Lyta returned from the remote pilot control cockpit and tunnel to the residential quarters, which she had found, finally, giving me the evil eye for some reason. She also did some brain-voodoo on the couple survivors. I think she wiped their memories. I hopped back into the exo’ and loaded the last couple crates onto the truck. Then we took off for the gig. I drove the grav-sled back.

It was pretty anticlimactic after that. Ryre slipped us into a high station bound convoy, and we docked with the Red Queen without a hitch. The station was crawling with Imperial Navy, though, and the Golden Holiday was under quarantine. Clearly the Navy knew something, and the quarantine was bullshit. But, we had our own issues to deal with. Katsu was all hot to see us, so we left the bioroids and bots in the gig, and I went to change out of my play clothes and wash the planet off me. That dick with the gyrocs scorched the front of my favorite coat.

End of Session (+9 pts Session Pts total for current Story Arch).
End of Story Arch (+10 pts XP Pt).

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Mommy, Where do Bioroids Come From?
Season 1 : Episode 8

[1118:027]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

Apparently, they come from nut orchards…

After reviewing surface satellite images, traffic control records and speaking with local speculative trade brokers, the crew discovers the location ot the bioroid cargo. It is at the Stone Pine Orchards of the Katterson Province, a nut orchard.

Excerpt from Chief Engineers’ Log: After an excessive amount of debate, Ryre, Lyta and I, decide that we would not be able to outrun our involvement in the bioroid conspiracy, nor would we be able to sit in the high station and wait for the bioroids to come back up. Our best option was to play commando, slip down to the surface and steal the bioroids. We also determined that we would need a competent medic to deal with any bioroid stasis related issues that might come up. So Ryre promised a slightly inebriated Dr Miranda a trip to a rave down on the surface. I don’t know if she really bought it, but she agreed to come.

We piled into the gig, with the air raft, and disembarked from the Red Queen. With Ryre piloting and me operating the EW system on the gig, we slipped down to the surface. Where we landed 150km from our intended landing site. Apparently Ryre isn’t as good a navigator on planetary surfaces as he is in space. One too few dimensions, I guess. But, he managed to get us to the correct site on the second try.

We landed about 5km from the farm. Drove the air raft most of the way through the woods and walked the last 100m, or so. From the edge of the woods, the nearest structure was a agromech shed. Behind it to the right were a couple silos and a landing pad. And, behind it on the far side of the farm were living quarters. There were also two robot sentries that we could see. One to the far right and one walking around the left end of the robo-shed.

We waited until the left hand sentry was around the end of the building, then we all ran for a door on the near side of the shed, which was locked. Fortunately, among Lytas unsavory skills, she’s a talented lock picker. She got us in just as the sentry was coming around the again. Inside, there were a bunch of remote-piloted nut picking agromechs and some other vehicles.

Lyta sensed two persons in the back of the shed, to our right. So, Ryre and I snuck back until we could see them. One was an off-worlder, and armed, the other was a local. Ryre opted for a bluff, and called out to the two men, identifying himself as Imperial law enforcement. We both approached them. They didn’t buy it. The off-worlder went for his gun and the local dove out of site. This being my moment, I stepped out and drew on the guy, but my pistol caught on the holster. Before either of us were able to draw a bead on the other, Ryre drew and hosed the guy with laser fire. The off-worlder dropped, sans head. By this point I was high on adrenaline and frustrated so I march into the office ready to empty both guns into the local, only to find him cowering in the corner.

With my gun in his face, I began asking the local questions, while Lyta scanned him for the truth. Little bastard was a sneaky liar. We were able to determine that the off-worlder controlled the sentry bots using his data pad and a key disguised as a lighter. That the off-worlder had been checking in with someone every 20 minutes, or so.
Being new to this sort of activity, and more than a little on edge, we decide that we should get the bioroids loaded and back to the gig as quickly as possible. We decided that we would simultaneously load crated bioroid and wake others, meeting in the middle. Specifically, I loaded crates onto one of the farms flatbed grav-trucks, using the farms exo-ekeleton, while Clontarfs’ niece, Dr. Miranda, was waking the bioroids from stasis. Meanwhile, Ryre was getting the grav-truck ready and Lyta was in the back office hacking the computer system for the harvesting complex.

I ordered the security bots to continue patrolling and report any activity to me. In addition, I was sending false check-in signals to whoever the guy Ryre splattered had been reported to. These things are sweet! But in the end, I would rather the bots take a bullet than one of the crew. I was neither here nor there on the bioroids, though…

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Blood Trail
Season 1: Episode 6 & 7

Blood Trail, Parts 1 & 2
[1118:026-027]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

Artur and Lyta, having isolated the hijackers, rush to the bridge. Artur “relieves” Tam shuts down the engines, pumps sleepy gas into the space the hijackers currently occupy and lowers the main cargo ramp. As Ryre and the Security Officer march up the ramp, Ryre asks Heith to plug into the ship query board, and get a status of the people onboard. He’s surprised when Heith locates fourteen people, not including them. Undaunted, Ryre proceeds into the Red Queen, but asks Heith to remain outside the ship and keep watch at the docking bay door, for fear that there maybe more hijackers.

In the medical bay, Miranda, assisted by Jatta, is closing up Gori Katsu. After placing Katsu in the care of the auto-nurse, she and Jatta head to the passenger lounge to attend to the recentely thawed Imperial Marines.

The Starport Authority (SA) soon arrive, led by Officer Arles Vane. An officious, status-contious little man, SA Officer Arles Vanes takes an immediate dislike for Captain Ryre. To express his dislike, he orders an extensive inspection of the Red Queen. Fearing what the scanner crews might find, Artur and Lyta attempt to maneuver the crews away from “sensitive” areas of the ship. They’re efforts are wasted, though, as Artur finds the crews taking an extended smoke break beneath the Red Queen. Artur is more than happy to look the other way, and joins them. The scanner crews, having found nothing, Officer Vane orders the ship grounded, citing various starport berthing violations. The ship will be unable to leave for one week. They take the hijackers into custody and leave.

While the scanner crews are going about their business, Lyta scans Gori Katsu. She discovers that he is certain who betrayed him, Sorin Knixx. But, he’s no longer certain that the man he was working with, was the real Sorin Knixx. The man he knew as Knixx, went off the radar a couple of years ago. He then returned with, what Gori thought, was a great deal. Katsu also believes the crew to be “little fish” swimming with “sharks” and are in way over their heads.

The crew is left with many questions: Should they hide Gori Katsu? Will more assassins follow? Where are the Bioroids? Will the Imperial Navy arrive to investigate?

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Blood on Bendor
Season 1: Episode 5

[1118:025-26]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

Enter Miranda Clontarf, niece of Rogan Clontarf, doctor and party girl. After disembarking from the retirement cruise ship Elysium Fields, Miranda is thrilled to say goodbye to her chaperone, Jill Holiday. A former repo-person, Ms. Holiday is now employed by Rogan Clontarf. Miranda now heads off to find the ship, Red Queen, that will take her to her new position as the Medical Director of the CT End Route Facility at Colony Six. A Bendorian dockworker escorts her to the docking bay holding the Red Queen, but when she sees the weathered tramp freighter she is not amused. Even less so, when she sees the pool of blood at the bottom of the personnel ramp and a trail leading inside. The dockworker seems skeptical that it is indeed blood, after all, such things do not happen on Bendor. Miranda warily ascends the ramp and activates the ships intercom. A frantic Jatta answers. After discovering that she is the niece of Rogan, and a surgeon, he begs her to join him in the ship’s sickbay. When she gets to the sickbay, she finds a man with multiple gunshot wounds bleeding out on the examination table and an anxious Jatta hitting buttons on the medical console. Miranda quickly takes charge of the situation, begins stabilizing the patient and directs Jatta to prep for surgery. She also suggests they close the ramp, so who ever shot this man doesn’t come on board to finish the job. Jatta tells Tam to go to the bridge and activate the internal security program. Shortly thereafter, alarms go off in the infirmary, warning that the low-berths have begun reviving their occupants as part of a “Frozen Watch” emergency protocol, initiated by the internal security program. Miranda sends Jatta to deal with the low-berths, while she handles the surgery on her own.

Lyta and Artur arrive at the Red Queen’s docking bay to find three men loitering near the bay doors, wearing Bendor dockworker jumpsuits. Both notice that none of the men sport the characteristic faux-hawk hairstyle so popular among Bendorians. After Lyta spots blood at the base of the ramp she and Artur make a beeline for the ship. Two of the dockworkers follow, and as Lyta and Artur reach the personnel ramp, draw body pistols and demand access to the ship. Artur turns to the would be high-jackers, with his arms raised and his hands clenched, in feigned surrender, blocking most of the ramp. Lyta quickly dashes up the ramp to get to the interior doors. She’s quite surprise when they fail to open for her. One of the assailants becomes suspicious of Artur before advancing up the ramp and demands he open his hands. To punctuate his demand, he fires a round into the ramp. The slug from the modified body pistol slams into the deck near Artur’s feet. As he watches unflinching, milky-white tendrils spring forth from the impact point, they almost seem alive as they reach out from the impact point, before collapsing back on themselves and dissolving. Artur recognizes the special ammunition as the deadly assassin’s weapon, “Spider Web.” A “Spider Web” round delivers a genetically engineered neural parasite that moves rapidly through the body, voraciously consuming every neural pathway, until it reaches the brain. Death is almost certain and extremely painful. Artur opens his hands, letting two large ball-bearings fall to the deck. Lyta completes overriding the inner door as Artur and the two hijackers crest reach the top of the ramp. As she leaps through the opening door, Artur tries to block the hijackers view of his crew-mate. One of the men opens fire on Artur, while the lead man dashes past Artur in an effort to catch Lyta.

Ryre’s Legal Advocate, Iain of Dermott, informs him that the charges have been dropped by the opposing party. It appears that Ryre’s two attackers were not in fact employees of Quine Corporation and were on Bendor high-port illegally. As a part of a plea for deportation leniency, they agreed not to bring charges that would appear on public record, hence the charges against Ryre have been dropped. Though Ryre is a free man, he is not given back his equipment. Iain states that they will be sent to the ship later that afternoon. Ryre will also have an escort back to his ship, and is advised to stay out of trouble for the remainder of his stay. At first Ryre mistakes his escort as a special security robot armed with a long sword and a pistol, but when it strikes up a conversation, he soon realizes it is a Bendorian Landmate. A Landmate is a sophisticated robot body, controlled remotely by a Bendorian security officer, through the Grove. But, unlike the telepresence inputs, its physical actions are created through a direct linear motion capture articulation frame that the security office wears. Ryre and Security Officer Heith of Katterson exchange fight stories on their walk back. It becomes evident to Ryre that physical violence is a rarity on Bendor and the Bendorians lack a true understanding of it. While Heith is an accomplished combatant, Ryre is not convinced that Heith would do as well in a face-to-face fight. Regardless, the security officer seems completely enamored with Captain Ryre and his hair-raising exploits.

Jatta returns to sickbay exasperated. He explains to Miranda that the six Imperial Marines are no worst for wear for being revived early, and that they are settling in nicely in the passenger lounge. With out looking up, Miranda demands he change in order to assist her in surgery. Despite his initial protests, Jatta quickly slips into some surgical scrubs.

A volley of bullets arc across the wall missing Artur. The second gunman, with the Spider Web gun, slips through the doorway after Lyta. As Artur turns to pursue the second gunman he’s struck in the hand by a bullet, fortunately is not enough to penetrate his vacc-suit, but it stings none the less. Lyta’s assailant is surprise by a sudden compulsion to relinquish his weapon the woman standing before him. He lacks the will to resist, and drops the deadly weapon into her waiting hands. Realizing the gravity of his position he retreats back out the doorway, slipping past Artur who has come through behind him. Artur punches the door control switch leaving both assailants trapped outside the inner door. Lyta accesses the ship’s computer and uses sleepy gas to render the two hijackers unconscious.

Having heard the sounds of gun fire coming from one the audio pick-ups, Tam panics and starts the maneuver drive ignition sequence. Normally he would be locked out, but is now recognized by the internal security program as an authorized user. He closes the personnel ramp and soon the maneuver drive engines fill the docking bay with the roar of thunder.

Captain Ryre and Security Officer Heith enter the docking bay to see a dockworker with a assault rifle readied, watching the Red Queen rocking on her landing gear with the maneuver drives blazing a way. Ryre motions for Heith to wait by the bay doors as he moves up behind the gunman, who is unaware of their presence due to deafening sound of the ship’s engines. Captain Ryre tries to distract him, by throwing a large hydro-spanner across the man’s field of vision. Unfortunately, the gun man simply spins and levels his gun at Ryre’s face. But before the gun man can fire, Heith cleaves both the man’s arms off with his vibro-sword. Ryre is covered in a spray of blood from the severed limbs.

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Welcome to the Grove
Season 1 : Episode 4

[1118:022-25]
Bendor (2336), Glisten

The time in spent in jump is interesting. The towering Gashiini Ambassador, who, like most members of his minor race, displays little understanding of personal space or privacy. Fortunately, Jatta is able to keep the half-ton ambassador out of the crew’s hair. The Gashiinis’ diplomatic entourage dominates the passenger areas.

Upon arrival in-system, while waiting for landing clearance, Artur confirms that the Golden Holiday is holding station just off the Bendor high-port. Only through the intervention of the Ambassador, is the Red Queen able to avoid the three day health verification quarantine instituted by the hypochondriac society of Bendor. Having arrived four days earlier, the crew assume that the Golden Holiday has already been cleared.

No sooner than the ship settles into her berth, the crew is met by a local dock worker followed by a Bendorian diplomatic contingent sent to receive the Ambassador. Once the Gashiini diplomatic missions disembarks, some of the crew set off to find out more about Bendor. Artur and Jatta both remain behind to off-load the cargo and replenish passenger stores. Jatta mentions to Artur that the low berth systems on the Red Queen have different resuscitation hardware than most standard units. Het assures Artur that he is fully capable of operating them, and that the Marines in cold sleep are safe. Artur says that he will take a look at them later. Lyta is the first member of the crew to encounter the virtual interactive telepresence network, more commonly referred to as the Grove. The Grove is used for all interpersonal contact, business or otherwise, by the local Bendorians. While the Grove system is efficient and easy to use, the long distances involved and lack of face-to-face contact makes utilizing Lytas’ telepathic abilities difficult. Ryre slips off the ship to avoid the cargo unloading. Bypassing the Groves he goes straight to the non-Bendor region of the starport know as the Full Contact Zone (FCZ). In the FCZ, Doss reluctantly relinquishes his flare grenades, but is allowed to keep his cutlass. The Grand Concourse is filled with various stores, casinos, bars, restaurants and hotels that cater to foreign visitors and, like the weapons check point, it is all protected by gleaming white security robots.

While reviewing various cargo options on the Laurel Groves Exchange, Lyta encounters a virtual Jatta looking for supplies through the local Ship Chandler. As they compare notes, Artur calls, wondering if they have seen Tam. Tam has taken the opportunity to explore the Bendor high-port while Artur was busy off-loading cargo. Despite promising to stay in touch, the boy’s wrist-comm has been left behind in engineering. After several inquires Tam is found, in the Apple Grove, in the midst of a group of children enthralled by his stories of mud-pies and the virtues of dirt in general. Jatta offers to look after and return Tam back to the ship, once his session is done. Lyta returns to the Laurel Grove to finish up the ship’s business. Back in the FCZ, Ryre stops at a bar for a beverage, but before he can enjoy a single drink he is harassed by two men wearing Quine Corporation jumps-suits. Both men claim to know of him from Belt-9 system, and are from a hostile camp. The harassment quickly escalates to violence, and the lone Ryre soon finds himself on the receiving end of an ass-kicking. As Ryre begins to feels his consciousness falter, he chooses to release what his mother called the “Rage of Huri,” and goes into a berserker rage. When he wakes from the frenzy he finds himself in a virtual detention cell. Lyta, Artur and Ryres’ Bendorian legal advocate, Iain of Dermott, are with him. Iain informs him that he stands accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a possible attempted murder charge. Iain is currently in negotiations with the parent company of Quine Corporation to have the charges reduced, on the basis of mitigating self-defense evidence. Although, the savagery of Ryres’ attack during his uncontrolled rage has made things rather more difficult. When Rogan arrives he is displeased with Capt. Ryre, but tells him not to worry, if the negotiations fall through, he has a company lawyer on the way. When asked how good of a lawyer, Rogan states “The best that money can buy…for the money I’m willing to spend.” While Artur dresses down his Captain for getting into a bar fight without him, Lyta’s wrist communicator chimes. It’s Jatta and he sounds apprehensive. “That man from the Golden Holiday cargo exchange is here and…" Lyta never hears the rest of the message as the signal is suddenly cut off.

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Packaged Suspicion
Season 1 : Episode 3

[1118:011-022]
Glisten (2036), Glisten – Sorel (2137), Glisten – Glisten (2036), Glisten

Immediately upon exiting jump into the Sorel system, the crew scan for nearby vessels. Present, are the far trader Unsung Hero, refueling at the nearby gas giant, and the immense Oberlindes Lines passenger liner Golden Holiday. Paranoia runs high as the crew of the Red Queen heads in system for its rondezvous aboard the Golden Holiday.

Rogan, having accompanied the crew out of fear for his own life, somehow finds the time to hire professional steward Jadda Kydett in an effort to increase the profitability of his other trader, the Lucky Deal. However, Rogan assigns steward Kydett to the Red Queen for the time being, much to the ire of the troubled Captain Ryer.

The crew is met in the Golden Holiday’s cargo dock by a man named Sorin Knixx, on behalf of his employer Gori Katsu, to make arrangements for the cargo exchange. During the tension filled exchange, Artur subtly scans the incoming cargo of Sorel tribal costumes and verifies that the cargo is what it appears to be. More importantly, not a thermo-nuclear time bomb. During the course of the exchange Lyta telepathically scans Mr. Knixx’ surface thoughts, though he believes she is blissfully unaware of the true nature of the cargo, he suspects that Artur knows. Armed with the information that Lyta has gleaned, Doss agrees to join Mr. Knixx and his employer, Mr. Katsu, in the dock masters’ office for a brief meeting, upon completion of the exchange. Doss feigns ignorance about the cargo being anything other than wine and leaves, confident that he has convinced Mr. Katsu. However, Sorin Knixx may be another matter. Regardless, Rogan believes the immediate danger has passed and chooses to stay aboard the more luxurious Golden Holiday.

With the exchange complete, and Rogan gone, the Red Queen heads back to Glisten. While in jump space, the crew reflects on the moral implications of their actions, the crew decides to surreptitiously inform the Imperial Navy of the cargo now headed for the Bendor system. Back at Glisten, using their criminal contacts, they have a zeroed computer, loaded with various details, readied to deliver to Capt. Ulred of the INS Nigata, an Imperial Navy Carrier currently in system. The computer is to be delivered after the Red Queen enters jump. In addition, after a quick debate, the crew decides to take more direct action. The possibility of being party to a Sword World terrorist plot, even unintentionally, is something they are unwilling to take a chance on. Besides, Bendor is their next stop anyway.

Upon arrival back in the Glisten system, Lyta sets off to the Freight Docks and Speculative Cargo Exchange to fill the holds of the Red Queen. She arranges for a mixed cargo of 85 tons of scientific equipment and vacc suits. New Steward Kydett heads off to the starport concourse to find passengers for the next flight. He manages to book a Gashiini diplomatic mission, and six Imperial Marines in low berths. Ryre and Artur stay aboard, just in case.

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Doss takes Queen
Season 1 : Episode 2

[1118:002-005]
Glisten (2036), Glisten

When it comes to light that the cargo is not even explosive gel, but something far more disturbing the crew begins searching for answers. There is usually only one reason for disguising human cargo for something else, slave trade. The interstellar trade of slaves is one of greatest violations of the High Law of the Imperium and the crew of the Red Queen was up to their necks in it. They needed answers and quick. In the course of their investigation the crew crosses paths the Ignovia Youngblood the infamous “White Queen” of the Rose Garden district known for its criminal element in the Glisten system. In a wild scheme to meet the primary cargo broker black-market freight, Doss decides to jump uninvited onto her private gravitic-platform floating above the Exchange Concourse of the Rose Garden. Normally such intrusions are met with a swift death, but the White Queen spares the daring Captain Ryre and asks him to join her for a private dinner later that evening. Dinner with the Queen is nothing short of frightening as Doss ascertain that she has her own fears about the cargo he’s carrying on his ship, not to mention her sudden crazed obsession with him. The crew quickly relies how dangerous the situation truly is after hearing of Doss’ misadventures and decide to confront Rogan about the job. Rogan is rather upset once he is informed of the true nature of the cargo; he becomes truly terrified when Doss told him he had dinner with Ignovia Youngblood. After all it was members of Youngblood’s organization who approached Rogan about smuggling the explosive gel. The crew of the Red Queen decides to carry out the deal as if they’re unaware of the cargo of humans. Should nameless unscrupulous parties involved in the deal become aware that the crew knows what their carrying it things could become deadly. As the Red Queen heads out to her jump point in order to leave the Glisten system she intercepted by the Imperial Navy light patrol ship the INS Wolfhound for customs inspection. Once the inspection party comes onboard it quickly becomes apparent that it is social call. Arranged by Lieutenant Beknel Weeks a naval officer who became infatuated with Lyta after what she considered a less than noteworthy date. After a haphazard inspection and a promise of a second date the Red Queen is off to Sorel system rendezvous.

Artur’s Log

  • We made an appointment to meet with Rogan later, in a secure location.
    In the interim, we have decided that the Rose Garden Market is a good place to start our investigation. The Market is located in a hollowed out asteroid in Glisten system. After passing through the “locker room,” the cavern that contains the Market is roughly oval in shape, with tiers rising up the sides toward the cavern roof. Grav-platforms of various sizes float in the space above the Market.
  • I went with Tam to get information from a merchant who sells crio-tech. Other than finding out that the stasis-crates our cargo is in are fairly common, and considered an acceptable step below low berths for passenger transport, it was a waste of time.
  • In the meantime, Ryre and Lyta determined that all transactions within and without the Rose Garden were overseen by Ignovena Youngblood (She looks like Anne Hathaway as the White Queen). They located her floating platform, the only one with red running lights, the others being either blue or green.
  • We rejoined the others just as Ryre decided that jumping to Ms Youngbloods’ platform from one of the terraces would provide a fitting introduction. Thinking that it was a very Doss Ryre Swashbuckler Extraordinaire thing to do, I heartily encouraged him. Lyta was not so encouraging, pointing out that Ms Youngblood might simply have him shot out of the air in transit. Fearing that Ryre might have second thoughts, I pointed out the positive impression that it would undoubtedly make. To back up my words, I bet Lyta 10 cr that Ryre would make it, which she accepted.
  • Moving back from the terrace edge, Ryre waited for the platform to drift near. When it did, he took a running start and leaped, landing neatly on the platform deck. Ms Youngblood did not have him shot. I collected my winnings from Lyta and ordered Tam never to do anything he saw Ryre do.
  • From the terrace, we watched Ms Youngblood repeatedly not kill Ryre. Apparently, she was quite taken with him. Ryre did not get much opportunity to feed her the line of BS he had prepared, as she just started volunteering information. In short, she was well aware of what our cargo really was, she knew were Ryres’ fathers’ ship was, and she invited Ryre to dinner that evening. He declined her dinner offer, siting our meeting with Rogan. In as much as I live vicariously through Ryre, and would have killed half the population of Glisten for the opportunity to do the Ignovena Youngblood, I was very disappointed. She had Ryre escorted from her platform, had two copy-cat entreators shot pre-leap, and we headed back to the Red Queen.
  • On the way back to the Red Queen, I noticed that we were being tailed. Apparently, by two station screws and a lady in a big hat. , Date, Scanning the cargo
  • Meeting with Rogan Clontarf at the ? on Glosberg Rock. Clontarf freaked and insisted on coming with us.
  • We left the station and headed out to our jump point. On the way, we were hailed by an Imperial patrol craft and ordered to heave to, to be inspected.

News Item: A small ship was seen in Tanif system. It is rumored to have possessed a Black Globe generator. The increased naval activity in Glisten system appears to be related.

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Making a Fresh Start
Season 1: Episode 1

[1118:002]
Glisten (2036), Glisten

The crew gets their first look at the Red Queen and their reaction is not the resounding cheers Rogan expected. But the chance to own your tramp freighter outweighs the crew’s initial reservations. Rogan in hush tones gives them their first assignment. Shipping a meager fifteen tons of cargo consisting of gel explosives used in asteroid mining masquerading as crappy wine to the nearby system of Sorel to exchange for lucrative clothing that is all the rage among local nobles. The exchange is to take place on board the interstellar line Golden Holiday. Rogan states the reason for the deception is to avoid the exceedingly high hazardous material transport tariffs imposed by the neighboring system. Since this trip will function as the ship’s shake-down cruise, Lyta chooses not to book any passengers. Doss is in complete agreement, but mostly because of his concerns about the volatile nature of the cargo. In an effort to everyone’s mind at ease and ensure the safety of the ship Artur does a meticulous scan of the cargo. When he discovers what the cargo truly is the idea of transporting disguised explosive gel seems far more appealing. Each of the crates contains two humans of Darrian decent in a form of cryonic suspension. Avoiding tariffs is one thing; slave trade is while another matter.

Artur’s Log

  • Met with our new employer Rogan Clontarf. The crew consists of pilot and Captain Doss Ryre, the Face Lyta Alexander, and, me, engineer/cargo master Artur Hyrothal and his nephew, 10-year old Tam Kabram. We were introduced to our new ship, a 300-ton ASP-class deep trader we have named the Red Queen.
    First assignment is to transport a cargo of wine from Glisten to Sorel and exchange it for a cargo of clothing. The wine is the last of a very popular vintage. The clothing is native to Sorel, and currently in high fashion among the upper classes of the Empire. We have been given the other ships call number, and are to rendezvous at the orbital platform at Sorel. When the exchange is complete, we are to return to Glisten and off-load the clothing.
  • Further questioning of Rogan revealed that the cargo is actually a gel explosive. This has served to inspire a certain amount of paranoia in the crew. I scanned one of the crates, and, after working my way past shielding and spoofing technology, determined that each crate contained what appeared to be a male/female set of adolescent humanoids, in a state of semi-hibernation.
  • Now, faced with the possibility of participating in sentient trafficking, we have decided to investigate.
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