Spinward Star, LLP

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Six Months Later

It has been six months. Six months stuck on Porozlo since Monsaanti-Neogene Corporation brought some legally ambiguous charges against Spinward Star LLC. Apparently Monsaanti-Neogene Corporation, now the parent corporation for Rhylanor Capital Protection Services, found “improperly documented records” regarding the transfer of crew’s ship The Spinward Star, once called Proud Mary.

Everyone – the crew, the lawyers unleashed by MNC, even the courts – could see that this was corporate lawfare waged by Monsaanti-Neogene against the crew that had interfered with their interests and the presence of a smug Breyon Sodhii was simple icing on the proverbial crap-cake. Whatever dealings he had with Colby Dowe on Equus has been disrupted, so Sodhii was retaliating. While the case made its ponderously slow way through the courts, the Spinward Star was in impound, unable to even light up their engines, and even worse, the crew could not risk leaving the system, not with the legal sharks unleashed by Sodhii waiting for an opportunity to get a summary judgement that would result in them forfeiting the ship. Lawyer fees alone cost the Crew a million credits and that comfortable profit margin they’d been looking at was vanishing.

In the interim, the crew has scattered across Porozlo, seeking out whatever work they could manage to pay the bills. Ella somehow found herself driving a cab, while Haank acted as an independent freight broker who taught golf on the side. Buck easily found work in the star port as an independent starship repair contractor. Sam managed to land a ferry pilot job, though rumor has it that he’s already collected some serious fines for his showboating and aerial escapades, while Sae vanished almost completely after spending a few works working as a security contractor. Ibrahim seemed to land on his feet by finding work at a dirtside clinic, but he’s been mostly incommunicado since then, popping up every now and again, but always disappearing again. Crewman Jones cashed out of the company and left Porozlo, claiming a need to return home to his wife. Somehow, Eddy managed to show back up but then, bad pennies always do.

Six long and miserable months … and suddenly, things change. While on duty in her cab, Ella picks up a new fare and is surprised to recognize Admiral Henry Gloval, though he’s not in uniform anymore and Risek is a long way from his usual stomping grounds. He reveals that he’s actually been looking for her because he’d heard of her troubles with MNC and he needs a crew he can rely on. Unwilling to go into a great amount of detail in the cab, he instead offers to meet with her (and her crew) about a potential job.

The meeting takes place a day later in a restaurant where Admiral Gloval, now retired, introduces his niece, Lorain Messandi. As to the task itself, in addition to serving as crew for the Aimless Pilgrim, his niece, who is a xenoarchaeologist, needs some backup for what amounts to a treasure hunt on Focaline in the Aramis Sector. Gloval has some contacts in the local government that will assist in the legal proceedings; he even has some high-priced lawyers that owe him some favors who will counter the MNC legal sharks. Why does Lorain need protection? Gloval turns to his niece who gives what amounts to a lecture on Focaline, the local natives there, and a tablet that her father discovered that seems to show a local wearing a vacc suit and possessing an energy weapon of some sort. The tablet predates Imperial contact with Focaline by more than five thousand years and Lorain’s father believes this ties the “Gogs” (as the locals are known) to the Sky Raiders, a semi-legendary organization of stellar pirates who were said to have operated throughout the Aramis Sector of the Spinward Marches. While Buck and Haank immediately focus on the more financial aspects, Ibrahim engages Lorain in discussions about the “Gogs” and all of the relevant scientific stuffs; evidently, she’s extremely pleased that someone is more interested in science than potential financial gains. During Lorain’s pseudo-lecture when she uses “ancient” in reference to technology, both Haank and Ibrahim note that Admiral Gloval grows very wary, but neither man reveals their knowledge. Gloval admits that he’s principally interested in the crew acting as a protective detail for Lorain and, eager to get starside again, the crew agree, especially when Sam offers to remain behind to keep an eye on the Spinward Star and act as the liaison with Gloval’s team of lawyers. Also? He’ll keep an eye on Mia, the ship’s cat.

Several days pass as the crew put their affairs into order and assemble at Admiral Gloval’s ship, the Aimless Pilgrim, a 400-Ton Garretson-Class Recon Scout that all of the crew admire. There, they are introduced to other members of the crew: Enzo Arabejo, the chief engineer; “Lee” Uta’i, the pilot and navigator; her younger brother Marco who serves as a junior engineer; Armin, who acts as the passenger services officer; Aris Jelnan, the sensors operator; Kendal Easting, a senior engineer; “Jewels” Dawes, the master gunner; and the gunners’ mate, “Rad” Sherit. Ibrahim is greatly impressed by the presence of an actual science lab and intends to spend a lot of time there. Everyone settles into their new roles and learns the feel of the ship.

It takes about a month to reach Focaline but the transit is uneventful. Upon landing, the crew find that the 1.22G is rough and the planet itself is extremely humid which is no surprise given the tropical swamp nature of the world. As expected, the atmosphere itself blocks most scanning, but landing at the appropriate location is easy enough. Haank, as is his tradition, hits a golf ball off the ramp into the jungle upon touchdown, while Ibrahim gets a small collection of dirt to go into his collection. Much of the crew immediately scatter, either for liberty or other destinations, although the Spinward Star crew gather their gear to escort Lorain to meet with her father; Aris joins them.

At the Customs entry point, the crew encounter an irritating bureaucrat seemingly intent on screwing them, but Eddy works his smooth-talking magic and manages to get them through the checkpoint without paying through the nose. Weapons are allowed, but must be checked in. Lorain grows increasingly concerned at her father’s lack of response via comms, so they head to the hotel where they discover he has already checked out and headed to the dig site ahead of her! This complicates matters somewhat as the archaeological permits her father was supposed to have obtained are with him … which means the crew now has to obtain those same documents for themselves. Eddy heads out immediately, intent on seeking out some fellow ne’er-do-wells for the appropriate paperwork, while Ella takes Haank with her to try the legal route, thus leaving Aris, Buck and Ibrahim behind at the hotel to keep watch over Lorain. As she leaves, Ella makes some leading, suggestive remarks to Ibrahim about him and the pretty professor-in-training; for a smart guy, it takes entirely too long for Ibrahim to realize what she’s hinting at.

While Ella and Haank encounter roadblocks, Eddy ends up at the cramped, dirty office of one Jen Kelso. The two scoundrels go back-and-forth before agreeing upon the price for a proposal … which Eddy gets an okay from Ella via comm for. Kelso promises the proposal in five days.

In this time, Admiral Gloval takes the Aimless Pilgrim (flown by Lee and engineered by Enzo) to the closest gas giant in the system to refuel. Upon returning and being informed that Ella has everything under control, he then takes on several passengers/tourists with plans to jump to the nearby systems since running a ship costs a lot of money and having a yacht inevitably attracts high-paying customers. He expects to return in one month’s time to check on progress.

Several days later (and ahead of schedule), Kelso provides them his proposal which Haank promptly starts tearing into by identifying massive overcharges and unnecessary expenses. Sliding into the smooth operator mode, Eddy argues down the costs before they reach an agreed upon amount. It is still a considerable amount of money, but is no longer an insultingly high number.

While this is going on, back at the hotel, Buck notices a suspicious-looking dude talking to the hotel concierge with regards to Lorain before ducking out; without hesitation, Buck ends up following him after a brief detour to have a pseudo-threatening convo with the concierge. Ibrahim, who is sitting with Lorain as she argues archaeology with some random stranger, observes Buck’s departure and then suggests that Aris send his drone after the engineer. The presence of the drone ends up causing Buck to abandon his pursuit (as he fears it would be too obvious) and he thus loses his quarry.

It takes several more days to gather the appropriate gear. Late one evening, while Eddy and Haank are returning from coordinating with Kelso, they hear a woman’s voice that most definitely sounds like Lorain crying out in pained surprise! A couple of men appear to hustle a woman around a corner and the two immediately give chase with Haank automatically sending an alert to all members of the crew. Disturbingly, he gets a Do Not Disturb flag on Lorain’s line. They round the corner to find a number of armed thugs waiting for them and a woman who is definitely not Lorain removing her wig and peeling away a voice modulator from her throat. “I didn’t think that would actually work,” she says ominously…

And with that, we FADE TO BLACK…

Player Notes:

  • And so, Traveller resumes once more, although CommJunkee has taken the reins as GM for this “season” instead of Ronnke (although that gives the latter an opportunity to play again. And Eddy is always amusing…)
  • Not only is this the first time we’ve played Traveller with the new Fantasy Grounds GURPS ruleset (I think), but this will mark the first time we’ve livestreamed an entire story arc so … huzzah.
  • Although it is currently a Secret from the other PCs, in this six month period, Ibrahim was “recruited” by an Imperium agency and has been forced to become one of their operatives. His psionic abilities are no longer latent (although, to be fair, they’re not especially impressive at this point). In fact, he was specifically instructed to say “Yes” for this mission (Duty activated.)
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy.