The Network

Session 1

The game begins in Barnett. Everyone has just left their careers and thrown in their lots with Mr. Henry Jones Jr. Henry has convinced everyone that with a ricketty old lab ship, and the spirit of adventure – there is fortune and glory to be had amongst the stars. 

Incoming transmission from Vice President Alana Van Straten , Director of Risk Management – Ultra Prime Concepts….

Erik Erikkson recap:

So after meeting everyone in our old lab ship, we got a message from Ultra Prime about a job. The next morning we head over and are tasked w taking 10 scientists and their habitat modules to a possible Agri-world. On accepting the job and some thorough deliberation we decide to trade in our oversized vessel for something a bit more manageable.

Thanks to an old friend of Cobb's we head over to a naval base and discuss potentially buying a re-purposed ship. After calling a local shady used ship dealer we offloaded our lab ship w some profit and bought our new ship.

We came out 5M credits ahead and used some of that money to buy an ATV plus upgrades, 6 high end Vacc suits, weapons for those who need them, a robotic ship corgi, and plenty of good food and fuel for the yet to be named vessel.

We have since made 4 jumps, 2 gas giant refuels, 1 purchased refuel, conned our way away from BVP, gained some piloting experience, picked up the scientists and landed on Maikagunn 3 at hopefully a prime location for our guests.

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Session 2
Maikaguun III

The good ship Heinlein has identified a landing zone on Maikaguun III. The crew prepares to begin colonization the new world. Some of them, having lived out their entire lives on a hive world, subtly ask Erk Eriksson for a sedative – having never before seen grass or trees.

Employment Contract crib sheet:

Pick up supplies at Arurship and transport them to Maikaguun. Return to Arurship with initial reports and soil samples.
- 10 scientists
- 10 hab modules
- Gear and equipment
- Communications and Recon Satellites
Locate a suitable location and establish research base. Assist scientists in setting up base, assembling hab modules. Install 6 monitoring stations in surrounding hexes.

Produce holographic brochure of key geographic areas for promotional purposes to recruit colonists.

Ashley Madison Investigation Notes.

Crisis Looms

Investigations by the new ruling authority, Ultra Prime Concepts, reveal the depth of incompetence, perhaps bordering on criminal negligence, of the previous regime. Our home simply cannot feed itself. Without imports starvation would be endemic. Ultra Prime is paying simply to feed the people, but this is a recipe of doom for our economy. Catastrophe looms. (instill panic)

Important figures at Ultra Prime have recognized this worry and are implementing a far-sighted plan to address the situation. At least one possible agri-world has been claimed by Ultra Prime to be developed to solve this problem. A rag-tag team of independent contractors, drawn from a variety of backgrounds has been brought together to explore this new world, the hope for our future. (human interest, character sketches?)

On the planet Arurshim the crew of SS Heinlein pick up their frozen science people (learn some science) and transport them to explore Maikaguun III.

The world is lush and full of potential (see holo), but also has mysteries (archaeology stuff), and dangers (real animals of death!). (extended description for upmarket media source). The heroic crew starts an extensive fact-finding mission while protecting the science people. Fully flushed with excitement our intrepid explorers return with the news to Aroshim.

(separate investigation) Government corruption on Arurshim Mysterious government contact known only as Jacqueline Q. requests an independent investigation into a "business partner" (personal too?) Jennifer Quallare. Insinuation of possibly shady rewards. Subject located on Aroshim surface at remote mountain villa. J.Q. wants the "problem" to go away. Ashley Madison will investigate this wherever it goes to bring the truth to the people.

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Session 3
The Jaqueline Q dilemna

Incoming Transmission…. Attn: Ashley Madison: An audit of the images you provided have shown some alarming irregularities regarding the records for the property in question. This little problem is far more serious than I anticipated. I need all records on that site recovered and delivered to me immediately. The site should then be sterilized. Be discrete. …Message purged.

Recap

After some discussion – the crew decides to 'borrow' a work van from the slums of Settlement 53.  Dressed as a cleaning crew some of them ring the doorbell at the estate while the other try to disable the security systems.  Their target is immediately wise to what is happening and immediately makes a run for it.  She bolts thru to the back the house and leaps from a second floor balcony, landing expertly, she continues running for a garage in back withoug missing a step.  As the crew some around the side of the house, they manage to tempt her into a fight.  She turns out to be a master in martial arts but the crew is able to knock her unconscious.  Jin finds a G-Bike in the garage and makes it his own.

The group cleans the house, assembles documents and other evidence still present in the house.  It was clear that she was not only skimming money from her partner, but was in fact conducting corporate espionage on behalf of BVP.  They make contact with JQ, turn over the materials as well as their unconsious spy the following day.  JQ rewards them with everyone in the group with an experimental Neural Link being developed by Cook Computer Hardware.

The party packs up and heads back to Barnett for the next phase of their mission.  They make contact with Sallah provides them with some intel on odd things happening with Navy contracts.  All new ships are being outfitted with enormous amounts of compute power.  Far more than would ever be needed unless you were trying to automate the entire ship.  Further, many of the ships were being ordered to a system Coreward even though they hadn't been finished.  Sallah offers to install an experimental holographic bridge on the Heinlein.  It will give them enhanced reaction times during emergency situations.

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Session 4
Square Pigs

Incoming Transmission…

Mr. Jones, we appreciate your partnership in conducting research on Maikaguun III.  The preliminary results shown in your reports are quite impressive.  The board has authorized the immediate initiation of colonization activities.  We are in the process of securing a Super Hauler, but it's unlikely we will be able secure usage of any vessel over 100,000 tons in less than a year.  For this reason we would like you to jump start colonization activities by transporting a seed base to prepare the way. 

We have also petitioned CAIN for additional rights beyond that of our original Agricultural Contract.  Until that is complete, please do not discuss with any outside parties the bounties available on this new world.

Please see the below for a manifest.

Return to Colony Site with 150t of additional equipment.

Fusion Reactor w/fuel processors, needs a water supply.  30 ton
2 Air/Rafts (1 cargo, 1 personnel)
4 G-bikes
1 ATV  (all vehicles together 18 tons)
Cargo container with kit to assemble greenhouse building – 10t
Cargo container with kit to assemble barn – 10t
Cargo container with lab equipment – 10t
Unassembled Hab Shelters:  15  – 15t
Food, feed, misc gear:  (3x 10ton cargo container)

Personnel:  (17 tons)

1 Colony Administrator (not frozen, will require a cabin)   Jarl Backe
6 Security
4 Engineer/Mechanics
6 Scientists
18 Professionals (farmers, botanists, etc)

Livestock:

20 square pig (5 ton) (not frozen)
Chicken incubators/hatcheries (5 ton)

Compensation Schedule:  1.2 million

GM Recap

The Heinlein does not have sufficient cargo capacity to make this run in one trip.  The crew elects not to invest in cargo pods, instead saving their credits for other upgrades to the ship.  They make arrangements to pack up the Reactor, Livestock, and a few vehicles and make there way back to Maikaguun III.  The guy running docks states that it will take several days before their cargo is ready to be loaded.  Some of the more highborn members of the crew try to negotiate but the union man, Finn McGee, is insulted.  Cobb is able smooth things over, but it will still take a few days.

While the crew is waiting they have an encounter in a space station bar.  They witness a yakuza type group execute someone in the bar (beheaded by katana).  The boss tips the bartender a 100 credits and apologizes for the mess.  The crew (wisely) keeps their heads down and doesn't interfere.  The crew also manages to pick up some scattered intelligence about happening in The Network.  When the crew returns to the Heinlein their are immediately greeted by the robo-corgi – Ein.  Ein sends a video feed that shows an intruder breaking into the Heinlein and walking past Ein's inverter mat in the ships gally.  The time stamp was just a few minutes prior.  The intruder has some predator style camoflage and is very difficult to see.  It was heading toward the bridge. 

The crew is able to trap the intruder in the front part of the ship but is hesitant to engage in combat.  They end up asking Ein to engage a ships security system.  Ein responds by temporarily increasing the gravity in the front portion of the ship manifold.  The intruder drops dead – he had a suicide capsule that broke under the increase gravity.  The armor immediately drops off the intruder on death.  They are able to tell that the mans name is Othi Jabir and that the suit was manufactured by BVP.  It has biological components that graft themselves to skin when worn and receives it power directly from the wearers body.  On death the suit released itself.  Requires Vac Suit 1 skill to wear.  Multiple components – arms, legs, chest, etc.  Armor is powered by the biological link to the user.  Can run indefinitely, however the operator's daily nutritional requirements increase 4 fold.  Missing a meal = instant Fatigue.  Every hour of fatigue = -1 temporary Endurance Damage.  Daphne equips the armor and is immediately hungry.  The crew finds that the intruder had been going thru ships records on Maikaguun III and had zoomed in specifically on a small island.

The crew collects it's cargo and sets off for Maikaguun III.  They drop off the cargo with the scientists, who are fine but complain about the square pigs.  They then head on to investigate the island.  They note one of the rivers is unnaturally straight.  At the mouth, they find the remains of structure – long since destroyed.  It appeared to have been destroyed by some sort of orbital attack.  The river is found to actually be a subway that has partially collapsed and filled with water.  They trace the river back to a mountain where it appears to run underneath.  They use their ATV run the rest of the submerged subway system and find the entrance to a base.

They manage to gain entry to the base and find that it clearly hasn't been disturbed or utilized in thousands of years.  8 robots are found in work rooms constructing some sort of biological based computer.  All frozen in time at the point where they ran out of power.  Erik recognizes some of the components as similar to work he was being asked to do with BVP earlier in the year.  The crew also locates a vault with a number of other artifacts present.

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Session 5
Maikaguun III - Research Facility

Opening Scene

The crew begins the session in an underground lab. Cobb, tripped over his own feet trying to open the door to a vault, and faceplanted onto the security keypad. By sheer chance his face happened to make contact with the right sections of the pad in the right order. The door opened revealing 3 black globes, 107 bio-computers. 1 similar bio-computer that appears to be far more advanced than the other 107, and a weird looking glove which bonded to Daphne's skin when she equipped it.

GM Recap

The crew continued explore the facility.  They found a room that housed a room that housed a reactor, charging stations for the robots, various other mechanical systems for the facility, and a computer system.  The reactor was damaged, Cobb tried to repair it but only caused further damage (in addition to dosing everyone in the room with 100 rads).  A lift going up a very long tunnel was also located.  

The crew decided to run back to Arurshim for reactor parts so that they could get the facility up and running again.  After two weeks in space and another week making repairs the the reactor, they are able to power up the facility.

When power is restored, the security alarms immediately start going off.  Daphne walks by a very large weapon emplacement.  Luckily it is designed to fire down the main hallway towards the entrance and not down the adjoining hallways.  Henry manages to pull off a minor miracle and hack the computer system gaining access to the facilities, he was unable to gain control of the security systems but was able to lock the weapon emplacement to some degree which reduced it's target anything but what was directly in front of it.  Daphne slipped underneath the emplacement and dodged fire enough to cut the power using her <s>shiney new</s> black really really old bracer.

Jin used his G-bike to take the trek up the long tunnel up into the mountain.  Everyone else took the lift which now has power.  The tunnel ran several km gaining altitude as it twisted and turned.  Eventually it ended up near the top of the mountain and opened up into a cavernous hangar.

Inside they find some fuel tanks, various bits of equipment, small maint droids that have been dead for millenia, and a heavy fighter – approximately 70 tons.  The fighter has much of its guts on the deck as they were trying to integrate new systems – a weapon and bio computer.

The hangar was large enough to accommodate a 1000 hull class vessel.  The roof of the hangar is solid rock but has the equipment in place necessary to open – the top of the mountain can swing open allowing a vessel to enter or leave the hanger.  When closed, even the most determined scan will find nothing but rock.  Apparently whoever built this facility was really into security and privacy.

Ashley Madison Investigation Notes

I think something big is going on here.

Item #1 Sudden appearance of military base under direct Kane control producing high grade military tech.

Item #2 Massive increase of Executive Orders by Kane.

Item #3 Direct intervention in control of planetary systems

Item #4 Weird computer stuff involved with Kane

Provisional conclusion: A serious, high technology military threat has been discovered. Kane is preparing for this confrontation and is seriously alarmed by the technology level of the threat. Also preparing for dramatic increase in citizen unrest to be met with strong authoritarian response.

Questions: What is the threat? How much danger is this? What exactly is Kane's response? Is the release of information helpful or harmful to the people?

Item A Unexplored planet suitable for life.

Item B Evidence of ancient alien culture and it's destruction from major impacts from space. Asteroid? Military attack?

Item C Discovery of high level alien tech in hidden location.

Questions: Is this alien technology from the same source as the new threat? What does it do? Who owns this tech? Ultra Prime? Us? Could it be useful in Kane's defense plans? Is there more of it on this planet? What happened to the civilization that built it?

The Aftermath

With the facility now powered up and the security protocols on the computer systems miraculously compromised, the crew is a able to access to a number of programs and records on the system. First, an inventory of the system shows the following programs present:

- Translator /1
- Universal Translator /4 (TL14)
- Security /2
- Decryptor /3 (TL14)
- Database /1
- Computer /3 (TL13)
- Profession (manufacturing)/3

The system itself is specialized for translating and decoding alien languages in support of the activities there. After Henry bypassed the security protocols, he was able to extract and replicate the core program of the system.  Further, utilizing the facilities computer system, you could start manufacturing additional bio computers or reprogram the robots to do some other type of task.
(everyone can add Translator /1 to the computer running their Neural Link)

Ashley Madison elbows Henry out of the console chair and begins her investigations. A few of the other crew members attempt to access the system as well but find themselves the object of a stream of curses and long lectures before being sent to retrieve a Skinny Soy Chai Mocha Acai Half Whip Latte.

Ashley's investigation is quite fruitful. She is able to determine that the facility was constructed by a government known as 'The Second Imperium' based out of a planet called Terra. While there are no star maps present, there are references that indicate this installation was constructed far spinward of Terra, off the beaten track of an established trade route to another government known as "The Two Thousand Worlds". Based on Ashley's best reckoning, ~3000 years ago they were ordered to scuttle the base and return to the Imperium for reasons unknown. Apparently the scientists conducting the research disobeyed orders and only scuttled the coastal facility.

The facility itself was constructed to try and reverse engineer artifacts recovered from a nearby site, location unspecified. These artifacts were manufactured by a race they refer to as 'The Ancients'. Apparently, this race lived ~300,000 years ago and achieved an extremely advanced level of technology. Terrifyingly advanced. During their time, they were believed to have seeded the galaxy with the primitive natives of Terra which they refer to as Humaniti. At some point, the Ancients disappeared but the decedents of Humanti continued to evolve and ultimately develop technology of their own.

At this point, Ashley Madison faints as she realizes she could be breaking the biggest story since, well, ever. Erik, shaking his head, administers a stim and asks her to skip to the sciencey bits…

Information available on recovered artifacts is as follows:

Assassins Brace: Stats and nature – you already know. They did conduct and store a number of high resolution scans of the object, but seemed to stop research after those scans were completed in order to focus on the other artifacts recovered from the vault. Incidentally, there is a scanner in the computer/reactor room. While it's a completely alien design, the technology isn't radically different than what Erik had access to at BVP. The scanner could be integrated with a medical diagnostics table with a little engineering work (it's not something you can carry around) When utilized, it could give some bonuses to rolls on certain types of activities at the referee's discretion.

Black Globes: They believe it is some kind of shield designed for use in starships. They accidentally activated the one found by the crew in the spherical indention. When they switched it on a spherical energy shield emanated from the globe which vaporized everything in it's path out to a radius of several meters – this included a robot, a table, and part of the floor. They were unable to penetrate the shield in order to turn it off. It was still active with the facility was abandoned.

Ancients Site: Very little is mentioned regarding the Ancient's site. Mention is made, however, that it was secure and not normally approachable. They were only able to recover these few artifacts due to some sort of temporary power loss caused by a solar flare. While the location was not explicitly listed, Ashley believes the site to be in the Maikaguun system.

Bio computer: This was the focus of most of their research while the installation was operational.
While the technology in the recovered source computer was ridiculously far in advance of what they were able to reproduce – or even fully understand, they were able to extract some valuable lessons on construction techniques and materials which they then applied to the a new design of their own. The new computers being developed were thought to be at least one order of magnitude more powerful than anything they had been able to produce thus far with the added benefit of being extremely lightweight as well as secure. That security was desperately needed as they increasing had border disputes with a race called the Vargr, who had technology able to disrupt the systems of Imperial vessels.

<<—   Begin July 2017 updates  —>>
GIG Fighter, 20t – (High Guard p86.)  
Hullpoints:  8
Thrust 7G (gravimetric) (14 power)
Armor 0
Power Plant: 30
Fuel: 1
1 turret (1 ancient weapon (not installed)
Cargo: 6.6 Tons
Crew 2 (pilot/gunner)

Computer and power plant removed and in pieces at the facility. 
Computer (25) is one of the biological based systems being constructed here.
    – Library, Manouevre/0, Fire Control/5 , Evade/3
     * note, unable to run all programs at full capacity at the same time.

<<—   End July 2017 updates  —>>

Energy weapon: An energy weapon was recovered from the Ancient site. They mounted it to the fighter in the hangar bay and tried integrating it into the ships systems but had been unable to get it to work by the time the facility was abandoned. The two pulse lasers have been detached and are in the hangar. Again, while an alien design – they are not that dissimilar from what you are familiar with around The Network. This craft is not terrifically advanced by your standards – just different.

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Session 6
Return to Maikaguun III

GM Recap

The crew decided to head for Barnett for the next phase of the contract with Ultra Prime and to visit their buddy the computer specialist, Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir and possibly get this new computer integrated with the ship.  They elected to bring all their recently found tech from the underground lab and stow it in the hidden shielded compartments on board.  On their way thru Arurshim they noticed most of the ships were gone or leaving the system.  It appeared as though many of the staff of the starport had evacuated the system for reasons unknown.  The crew elected to press on toward Barnett.  

Arriving in Udibi they were headed toward a gas giant to refuel when a hyper accelerated ship swinging thru the gas giant hit them with a tight beam communications laser.  They started loosing control of all ships systems when the experimental holographic bridge crashed.  Both ships lost power.  Jayne was able to quickly bring things back online, they found 2 people had left the other ship and were making their way toward the Heinlein.  The crew secured the 2 people who were in a complete panic.  They reported that an intelligent virus had completely taken over the ship computer systems.  They were effectively prisoners onboard for the last month.

A BVP destroyer and 3 small fighters came on the scene as soon as the 2 people from the other vessel had come on board.  They immediately destroyed the other vessel as soon as it was in range.  They then ordered the Heinlein to follow the escort.  Any attempt to communicate using a high band transmission would result in their immediate destruction.  

They were then led to a very large rickity prison barge.  The Alkatraz.  

Hull class 300,000.  Looks like it's a zillion years old and might have accidentally crashed into a moon or two.  There is a greenish gas which intermittently vents  They are given orders to dock midships.  Cobb, gazing through a viewport mentions – 'what a flaming piece of shit, how is that thing even still space worthy'.  Jin is quite familiar with this prison.  It's reputation is legendary in the underworld.  No one leaves, ever.  Conditions are rumored to be pure hell, but no one knows for sure since no one has ever been released.  Largely political dissidents and military prisoners.

Docking, the crew is disarmed and escorted inside.  The interior was not as expected.  Gleaming, polished and sofisticated looking.  No evidence of anything resembling a prison inside.

The are brought to a door labeled The Obi Wan Room and escorted inside.  The room was cavernous, it had trees growing inside, a garden, rocks and waterfall features.  At the center sat a stone conference table at which were seated two of the crews largest adversaries:  Loe Che, Dr. Else Schneider.  

After threats of torture, a discussion takes place.  They learn that CAIN was infected by an intelligent virus quite some time ago.  It has been quietly building an armada coreward of the sector.  A few months ago that armada launched.  Any ship that comes in contact with the armada is either infected and joins the viral fleet, or is destroyed.  Most of the systems coreward of their location have now fallen.  It's genocide.  They believe the the biological based computer is the secret to resisting infection by the virus, but they had not been able to produce anything usable.  They had found the same source technology as the Humaniti scientists in Maikaguun but hadn't had the years and years of research required to even begin reverse engineering.  The lower tech versions discovered by the crew could be exactly what is needed.

Business is business.  The crew negotiated to sell 87 (all but 20) of the biocomputers computers to BVP along with the plans and scans they obtained from the Humaniti base.  The crew will be compensated with a 5% cut of all future sales.

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Session 7
Intro to Slug and Tomi

GM Recap

Tomi and Slug have just arrived in Udibi aboard Slug's scout vessel, The Naughtia.  They had been contracted for a special courier job in which speed was of the utmost importance.  Having completed their mission, they are unwinding a the lounge on board the Alkatraz where they met Ashley Madison.  After some conversations about current events, all three are summoned to the office of Lt. Asha Loo.  Lt. Loo hands Tomi and Slug encrypted orders from the Scout service:

<!—StartFragment—>

Due to the imminent threat to the security of the sector, your vessel is being recalled to active duty.   As you have already retired, you will be granted hazard pay at twice the normal rate:  24,000 / month.

In four weeks time, representatives of the largest systems of The Network will be meeting in Barnett to determine how to deal with the military threat that CAIN now poses to our civilization.  CAIN has, for many months now, been waltzing through territory unopposed.  An eighth of the sector has already been compromised and that figure continues to grow daily.  The crew of the Heinlein has provided BVP with technology which could at least slow the rapid expansion of infested systems.  Unfortunately, manufacturing this technology and installing it in our fleets will require time.  Time which we do not have.  To make matters worse, this technology will provide no aid defeating the infested fleet under CAIN's command.

We desperately need intel.   How, precisely, this virus is spreading?  What is the composition of the infested forces?  How are these forces moving? 

The Kimudkagi System, which neighbors the compromised system of An Ting, is likely to be targeted soon.  Due to that system's limited value, we do not believe CAIN will make much of an investment in it's capture, if any.  Proceed to the Kimudkagi System.  Conduct reconnaissance, deliver the data to Barnett in advance of the summit.  To aid in your mission, your ship is being outfitted with Stealth technology designed to make your detection very difficult. 

<!—EndFragment—>

Lt Loo goes on to say that they have an unregistered listening outpost in the system.  She recommends that they visit this outpost and pull whatever data is available – it should be relatively safe regardless of the disposition of the space station and planet.  She recommends that they bring along the renowned Investigative Journalist, Ashley Madison, to assist in endeavors.

The crew makes the jump to the Lagar System and is able to expertly come into the system immediately adjacent to the listening outpost.  They are able to extract the data from the outpost and learn that an infected freighter had entered the system a week prior.  It docked with the space station and shortly thereafter a massive explosion disabled both the space station as well as the freighter.  Both are currently powered down and exposed to vacuum.

After some debate they decide to quite while they are ahead and set course for Barnett.  Sadly, they lack the fuel for the jump and are forced to head toward the station which is essentially a fuel depot for the mining operations in the system.

The crew docks with the space station, which is built into a large asteroid, on the far side as the infected ship.  Slug and Ashley head into the station to try and work out how to pump some fuel into the ship.  They determine that the best course of action would be to travel several miles down corridors to command and control with the hope of getting the reactor turned on.  Meanwhile, Tomi temporarily removes the pump the captain's latrine and one of the batteries from the life support system and uses this to refuel the ship.  Oblivious, Slug and Ashley try but fail to activate the reactor.  Tomi let's the off the hook and the trio agree to meet at the infected ship.

The crew enters through a gaping hole in the cargo section and salvages a few random crates to help pay the bills.  They proceed through the ship to find the ships computer core with the intention of physically removing it.  They encounter an infected astromech on the bridge but are able to dispatch it with a well placed shot from Slug's laser carbine.  Carefully removing the computer core, they head back to the Naughtia and set course for Barnett.

During the jump back to Barnett, they determine that the salvage from the infested ship included 12 units of TL12 Neural Comms and 29 tons of illegal drugs. 

 

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Session 8
Back to Barnett

GM Recap

The session opened with the crew of both vessels underway to Barnett.  The crew of the Naughtia arrived a few days earlier.  On their journey, they cataloged the salvage discovered on board the infected merchant vessel.  The contents were 12 (TL12) Neural Comms and 28 tons of illegal drugs.  On arriving in Barnett, Tomi made use of her underworld contacts to find a buyer with deep pockets.  They decided to sell 27 tons of the drugs, keeping one back for themselves.  They also sold 10 of the Neural Comms and had the other 2 installed.  All told, they netted just just shy of 3,000,000 credits after paying for ship maint, and the like.  They delivered data cores recovered from their mission to the Scout service and are told to wait a few days while it is analyzed.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Heinlein reminisced about their brief holiday on Udibi.  Erik E. took a contract position with BVP to get their new computer manufacturing division online and running.  As a parting gift, he used company resources to outfit the crew with some experimental cybernetics that had started human trials:  Terminal Stabilization System will immediate inject a cocktail of drugs into a person who's vitals reflect that their endurance has dropped below 0, giving them an immediate boost of +6.  Cobb, master of dexterity, broke and arm riding a giant sandworm.  The crew also speculates on what 'big story' Ashley Madison had stumbled upon and looks forward to finding out the details when they meet again on Barnett.  Since Erik had left the crew, a new quartermaster was needed.  Fenton Cobb, the crew member with a gambling problem, was wisely elected.

When the crew of the Heinlein arrives in Barnett, they make arrangements to meet Ashley Madison for coffee at a GalaxyBucks in orbit.  Their they are introduced to Tomi and Slug.  Tomi had somewhat recently purchased ship shares in the Heinlein from the Heinlein's former crew member, Frankie – small galaxy indeed!  

Both crews, finding themselves a bit bored, get into a bit of trouble.  Tomi experiments with the illegal drugs and ODs.  They all head back to the Heinlein for medical treatment.  She is revived with some interesting effects.  Additional investigation may reveal what the drug may do in more controlled dosages.

Ashley and Slug head back to the Naughtia to 'collaborate'.  Ashley is seen arriving the next morning back on the Heinlein in her same clothes.  

Everyone heads to the shipyards to see Sallah.  He is very interested in 'saving the universe' but is still a company man and negotiates a very shrewd and lucrative contract between UPC and the Heinlein.  He states that it will take at least several days to install the biocomputer in their ship.  The crew is left with a few days to kill while the install is done.  They are also waiting for word back from the Scout Service as well as the formal meeting between representatives from the major corporations in the sector.

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Session 9
Grand Corporation Summit

GM Recap

Both crews are recalled to the Scout Service's offices in orbit.  There they meet with a Lt Col Boone, Sallah, and representatives from the delegations of the major corporations in the region.  The Lt. Col explains that the Scout service has contacted Sallah and requested assistance in extracting information from the data cores recovered by the Naughtia safely.  Sallah, using his newly acquired biocomputer and the scans made available by the Heinlein is able to develop a crude interface capable of pulling some information from the device.  They determine the following:

  • The infected merchant vessel entered the system and bypassed all other vessels, heading directly for the station
  • The station seemed to start having problems when a tight band, high density transmission occurred at a range of 10,000km (medium range).
  • Moments later, the other ships in the system seemed to start loosing control as well.
  • As the ship closed in on the station and settled in to dock, a large explosion then damaged station as well as the merchant vessel.
  • Analysts believe that the standard distance at which an infected ship may infect another is 10,000km.  This, however, may be variable based on the strength and capabilities of the sensors and communications arrays involved.
  • While the infection seems to paralyze a target vessel almost immediately, it seems to take some time before the AI is able to transfer itself fully
  • The infected ship detailed information on the Lagar system, specifically a refining operation there.
  • Analysts believe that the infected fleet is only able to make use of Jump 1 technology for whatever reason.  They believe an attack on Lagar is imminent before moving into the densely populated central core of the sector.

The major corporations are extremely concerned about this information.  Representatives from the delegations go on to remind everyone of their lines of business and the imminent threat:  An AI virus infested fleet of ships is closing in on two of the largest shipyards in the sector, one of the largest robotics manufacturers in the sector, and the single largest weapons manufacturer in the sector.  The crews are 'voluntold' to go to Lagar, evacuate the system, and destroy any an all means of refueling the infested fleet possible.

One of the members of the delegation happens to be [[:tammy1 | Tammy Swanson]] , an ex lover of Slug.  The last time he was with Tammy, he was found floating in deep space with no memory of what had occurred.  He is virtually powerless to resist her demands.  She explains that her delegation is in great need to return to their home system in great haste and will be needing to borrow his vessel.  She milks him for an extravagant dinner and a shopping spree.  Slug returns to the Heinlein the next day completely spent.

As the crew is about to disembark for Lagar, they decide it may be prudent to arm the vessel.  Tomi and Ashley put their heads together, comparing notes and contacts, and are able to able to make contact with a black market arms dealer.  Ditzie Spofulum was thought to be merchant selling reactor processing equipment but this turned out to be a front for his arms business.  

The crew is able to meet Ditzie that same morning at a hotel in the slums.  The level of squalor really takes the high society members of the crew aback.  Walking past the police outline of a severed arm, they enter the hotel room as directed by the instructions and find it has an adjoining door.  The comms ring and they are granted permission to enter.  The room next door is extremely lavish, it doesn't look like it belongs on the same planet as the rest of the hotel, much less in the building.  Ditzie greets them, they conduct some business, and are given vouchers to retrieve weapons from a man named Rocko in customs.  

Rocko delivers the merchandise after extracting his cut and the crew is on their way, deciding to install the weapons themselves while enroute rather than paying and extra 5% for installation.

As The Heinlein arrives in Lagar, they note that there are refugee's from Glengarry lined up at the refueling station.

 

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Session 10

GM Recap

As The Heinlein enters the system, the first thing they notice is the line of ships waiting to refuel at Michaels and Michaels  They set course for the skimmer and broadcast a propaganda package prepared in advance by Ashley and Slug.  The journey in from the jump location takes 1.2 days.  During this time, Tomi is able to intercept communications chatter from refugees waiting to fuel up at skimming operation.  The talk is as expected – they can't wait to leave this system after what they witnessed in Glengarry.

Tomi also makes note of an additional vessel docked to the operations space station: a mobile factory owned by Dark Sun Equipment Rentals.  As they approach they can determine that a steady stream of mining drones is bringing in raw materials as the ship appears to be cranking out 1000 ton fuel bladders.  Captain Jonio Jamill indicates that he has been subcontracted by Michaels and Michaels to build these bladders.   He is quite anxious to complete his job and be on his way.

The Heinlein makes contact with the CEO of Michaels and Michaels, Sir Sammel Brownback.  At first, he is completely uninterested in vacating his family's operation.  Several months ago he had taken on a fuel contract with Cain for the Navy and it was almost due.  The operation will be in the black for the first time in years.  The orbit of the gas giant is littered with fuel bladders for this contract.   After some extremely smooth talking and wild promises, he ultimately relents.  The crew docks with the station and signs paperwork guaranteeing the corporation in the event of any financial losses.

The mining drones are set to start puncturing the fuel bladders, allowing them to leak their loads into space.  The crew retrieves some cargo from the space station and arranges for most of the staff on the space station to be frozen and transported back to Barnett by Dark Sun Equipment Rentals.   The CEO and his attorney are given crew accommodations on board the Heinlein.

Once the station is evacuated, Sir Brownback programs the colony ship to gently push the station into the gas giant.  As they are pulling away and turning their attention to the moon, Tomi makes note of a new sensor contact – it's a scout vessel, similar to the one she and Slug had been traveling in…

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