Duty Roster:

Ella Stanbridge (Melissa)
Ertrane “Buck” Buckner (Herodian)
Henri Haank Makruus (Gigermann)
Ibrahim “Abe” Nouri-Abbood (Rigil Kent)
Sam Turner (Winston)
Sae Rraetheg (CommJunkee)

Last Request

Old Man Torelle

As the Crew put the Spinward Star through her final pre-flight checks, Haank heard a rapping on the port-side airlock door, and checked the viewport for the source of the sound. He opened the airlock door for the lone old man outside it, and asked his business. The old man introduced himself as Torelle, and was going door-to-door looking for passage to Equus. Haank cleared the late notice with Captain Stanbridge and accepted the not-quite-full amount the old man was able to pay—he was uncomfortable with low-berth travel—and sent Sae to assist the old man with his luggage. The friendly old man chattered away with Sae as they went, telling stories of days gone by, and upon their return, Abe took him to his stateroom and got him settled in. The old man showed Abe a medium-sized case and asked if they had somewhere it could be secured; Abe offered to lock it in the ship’s locker for the trip, and the old man agreed—he said he was returning after many decades to Equus to give the contents to his estranged son there.

With no further surprises, the ship put out to the Black once more, and some hours later, entered jumpspace for Equus. That evening, the old man insisted on cooking dinner for the gracious Crew; he showed a gift for making more with less—the meal was excellent—and he accompanied the meal with a bottle of very old, very fine wine, from Terra herself, and more entertaining stories of his many travels. On the following morning, Abe went to wake Torelle for breakfast, but there was no answer; when he didn’t respond for lunch either, the stateroom was unlocked, and they sadly found that the old man had passed away in his sleep—Abe determined his death to be of “natural causes.” Beside him, they found an old undelivered letter, begging forgiveness of his son for the grievances that had resulted in their separation—which included his son Anthony’s address on Equus. The death was logged, and the body placed in low-berth stasis, to be delivered to his next-of-kin on arrival at port.

The Spinward Star exited jumpspace and entered Equus’ orbital traffic, and was directed to its downport, a bubble of glass and steel in the middle of an ocean that covered most of the planet’s surface. Once landed and settled in, and fees paid, the Crew immediately set about researching the possible comings and goings of the Black Star; their search of public records revealed little, so Buck resorted to less-reputable means, and hacked into the SPA network—his digging led him to a local police blotter detailing a violent incident between Adric Mason and one of his crew, a woman he had recently hired, with whom, according to her official statement, he would not willingly part ways. In the meantime, the rest of the Crew attempted to locate and contact Anthony Torelle, with no real success save to confirm the address on the old man’s letter, a well-to-do plantation in a small farming town of around a thousand souls in one of the many swamplands on the surface. After twenty-four Imperial-standard hours with no response, the Crew decided to take to the field, and took a scenic underwater train to this town to see if they could catch him up in person. They took the old man’s case along, just in…case; they were only lightly armed, not expecting a fuss.

In town, the Crew started asking around after Anthony Torelle, but everyone they spoke to seemed to shrink away at the mention of him, denying any knowledge of a man by that name. They went to the local constabulary’s office to inquire after him there; the sheriff claimed ignorance of the Torelles’ whereabouts, though at the mention of important items to be delivered, offered to take those things and hold them on the Torelles’ behalf, should they turn up. The Crew weren’t buying his story. They had about four hours before the last train back to the downport arrived in town, so they wandered around town “seeing the sights” while they searched the local network for more information—Anthony had a long-time wife, no children, and was a pillar of the local community. His parents were both dead, his mother more recently, and the Crew found her memorial in the square, with flowers no more than a week or two old—someone had been here.

The Crew decided to “wander” down the road a mile or two to the Torelles’ estate, and peeked through the windows, to find it vacant—the state of the house suggested it was lived-in, but the piled-up hardcopy mail indicated there had been no one home for a couple of weeks. The Crew noticed a neighbor down the road had been observing them, and started toward the property to see if they might be willing to shed some light on the Torelles’ whereabouts, when an open-bed air/raft sped down the road toward them, full of armed yokels, intercepting them at the end of the neighbors’ drive. The yokels disembarked, brandishing their weapons, and demanded the Crew leave, “or else,” but the little-old-lady neighbor emerged from her home, brandishing her own gauss shotgun, and scolded them, shooing them away. Once the yokels had left, the lady invited the Crew into her home, where they asked her what all this was about over tea. She revealed the little that she had seen, saying that an offworld mega-corporation had been buying out all the landowners in town for some unknown purpose, and the Torelles’ had refused to sell out to them, then two weeks ago, they disappeared; knowing much of the town was in the corporations’ pocket, likely including the sheriff, she had no one to turn to for help. The Crew asked if the Torelles’ owned any other properties in the area they might retreat to and hide out, and she mentioned they had a boat-house out on the lighthouse point; her husband, Arden, offered to take them to it, took up his gauss rifle, and showed them to the garage, where his air/raft waited. To be continued…


  • The GM never described what was in the old man’s case; we imagined when he showed it to Abe, it went something like this
  • Buck has been settling in, more and more, as the group’s designated h4xx0r; but making use of that presents a problem for Haank, who has the Honesty Disadvantage—he can’t legitimately ask for it, or tolerate it if he knows it’s going on, so the hacking has to be done without his knowledge
  • It was at this point that the players started to realize that the information we were finding regarding the activities of the Black Star isn’t exactly “linear”; we had to start organizing our notes, which took a bit of time to sort out
  • Sae’s player was asked to describe the underwater train ride; he did a really nice improvisation, including annoying kids and chatty old ladies—unfortunately it wasn’t recorded, so I can’t reproduce it here
  • The GM originally only mentioned a boat-house, but the players immediately associated the situation with a Scooby Doo episode, including the typical creepy lighthouse, and the GM just rolled with it
  • The GM included a stinger at the end of the session, a cutscene where, as the crew sped across the wetlands in Arden’s air/raft, another air/raft was seen following them unseen at a distance