The crew has just arranged for the skimming operation to deorbit itself into the gas giant. As they are shoving off, Tomi makes not of a scout vessel approaching their position from 50k km. The scout ship hails them with a text only communication. They indicate that they were attacked by pirates and are seeking assistance. They took damage in the attack and have not been able to fully repair their comms yet. The crew waffles for a bit before responding back with a distress signal of their own and a . The two ships close in on each other rapidly, the Heinlein then decides to set course for the moon. The scout ship asks if they still require assistance and provide it in the form of a missile salvo.
The two ships engage in combat, the scout vessel under armored and heavily armed; the Heinlein heavily armored and under armed. The Heinlein only has one weapon that can fire at range and opts to bide their time dodging missiles and taking pot shots when possible. The scout vessel closes the gap as rapidly as possible and then hits the Heinlein with a high density data transmission …. no effect. The biocomputer recovered by the crew from the archeology site and then installed by Sallah was successfully able to prevent intrusion into the ships systems by the powerful AI Virus. The Heinlein is able to score a lucky hit and damage one of the turrets on the scout ship. The scout ship, attempts a boarding run at the Heinlein but is unable to maintain a lock. The Heinlein spins around and surprises the scout vessel with 3 direct hits with mining lasers fired at point blank range. The Heinlein finishes off the scout vessel but notices that a cutter had separated from the scout ship earlier in the battle and was making it's way toward the moon at high speed.
The Heinlein sets off after the cutter and sees the orbiting lab ship around the moon break orbit and head out of the system. The Heinlein pursues the cutter and arrives at the moon an hour or so behind. Following the cutter's movements on sensors the entire way there, they note that it appears to deploy some sort of satellite in orbit before it heads into the moons atmosphere.
The Heinlein cautiously approaches the satellite and are surprised to see that it disappears shortly after being deployed. Being wary of the possibility of a stealthed orbital weapons platform they decide on the most logical course available to them. Mining drones and mind altering space drugs. After the mining drones are destroyed, they consult documentation on the planet and learn that it has a mix of lakes made of ammonia and hydrazine. Believing they could ignite an ocean by firing on it they attempt to circumvent the satellite by giving it a wide bearth and keeping it beyond the moons horizon. Finding only ammonia based oceans below. Another round of space drugs really gets the crew going….directly into firing pattern of the cloaked satellite. After a couple rounds of taking heavy damage the crew sobers up and takes cover.
Obviously the hydrazine based lake is collocated with the mining installation. The Heinlein approaches as closely as it dares using mountain ranges for cover. From their they set out in the ATV. They find an Anti-Aircraft gun on the roof being manned by a droid and little else outside. Opening the installation's garage door is a Centurion waiting on their arrival. Combat ensues, Slug and Fenton are injured. The centurion is obliterator in a massive explosion at the hands of Daphne's PMP. The crew sets the reactor to overload and spends a few moments investigating the facility. They don't find much of value below. On the roof they find the AA gun being manned by a fairly advanced droid. Fortunately that droid was only proficient in heavy weapons and related tactics – it was easily overcome started showing up on the roof. Daphne investigated AA gun and found it was quite simple to lock onto the 'friendly' satellite target above and the satellite was dispatched in this way. Ashley and Henry remove the data core from the cutter and they had back to the Heinlein.
The Heinlein is just leaving the atmosphere when the installation blows in a brilliant spectacle. The ship rides the shockwaves all the way into orbit.
The Heinlein sets course to leave the system by the most direct route possible when they are hailed by another vessel. A Missile Cruiser has entered the system and explains they are there to assist. Sallah has installed the extra bio computer they left behind and the vessel has been updated with a new torpedo based weapon system. On the opposite side of the planet a very large infected fleet is approaching. The fleet consists of dozens of frigates, a 500k ton fuel hauler, and a command and control vessel. The Missile cruiser bids that the Heinlein leave, they know they are here on a suicide mission, the Heinlein must carry the word back to the rest of the sector. Missiles and torpedos start flying furiously as the Heinlein makes it's way to a safe jump distance and leaves the system.
After 11 sessions, +1 Character Gen session, the crew is awarded 12 weeks of training/xp. The game will be on hiatus for the next 2 months.