Spinward Star, LLP

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Things Get Worse

Having been captured by the waiting lowlifes and betrayed by Lur, the crew are divested of their arms and equipment, though the pirate types don’t bother removing their armor if it was just a bodysuit (as most of the crew wear.) Herded into an already erected camp by the armed Vargr, they are then forced to wait until Bren, the woman that Eddy and Haank met earlier, arrives; she is accompanied by a beat-up and emaciated Professor Messandi. Bren speaks to the scarred-face man – the crew learn his name is Taren – before turning to her prisoners so she can gloat. She did warn them, after all; Eddy being Eddy tries to turn on the charm, though it does not get him very far. She is quite pleased that Lorain is here since they’ve exhausted the professor’s capabilities.

While she is threatening them, one of her guys approaches, whispers something to her which causes her to look toward Taren and then nods to Lur. One of the crew, she says, is an Imperium spy. Lur, who is looming behind Ibrahim, draws his pistol and shoots Hal squarely in the head. The Imperium isn’t going to help them here, Bren says, before ordering that the crew be secured in one of the prefab buildings; she takes Lorain with her. Once inside the prefab module, the crew can hear a restraining bar being lowered into place, thus locking them in.

Immediately, most of the crew begin looking for a way out. Kelso is infuriated as two of his employees weren’t actually working for him. Ibrahim simply collapses against one of the walls and stares in the distance; Harmon’s blood is on his hands and Hal’s blood is on his face (since he was sitting next to him when Lur shot the spy.) Most of the crew seek out sharp edges to cut through the cuff-tape binding their hands. Seeing that Ibrahim is checking out, Ella crouches down alongside him and gives him a brief pep talk – they need him functional, not staring off in the distance – while Eddy and Haank interrogate Professor Messandi, learning that there’s nothing actually here. The professor says they also referenced another system that might be their next goal: Corfu.

Having been successfully motivated to participate, Ibrahim seeks out a long, thin piece of metal with an eye toward working it though the door and under the restraining bar; Buck likes this idea and assists him, so the two alternate between trying to worry the metal free. While this is going on, Aris closes his eyes and tries to use his implant to assist the shutdown Jim the Drone successfully reboot; he also utilizes the wireless capabilities of his cybernetics to access some unsecured hand terminals scattered throughout the camp where he gains a bit of intel, including some notes and local coordinates. In addition to the fact that Bren considers Professor Messandi an idiot who is not as smart as he thinks he is, he confirms the Corfu alternate site and learns that the pirates have identified a gap in the planetary sensor net that they’re abusing to fly in and out of the region. He now has coordinates for a landing field, but they’re across the bay on a small island to the north-west. This gap will open in a day and appears to remain open for three.

Night sets in with several members of the crew dozing off while Buck and Ibrahim keep working on getting the piece of metal free. During this, Abe persistently quizzes Professor Messandi about all of the Sky Raider stuff, mostly to compare the professor’s theories against those that Ibrahim has heard from Lorain; in the process, he sort of decides that the professor is not as smart as his daughter, though he does not verbalize this guess. Being a smooth operator, Eddy makes an attempt to engage a passing guard in convo but as he does not understand Vargr, nothing comes of it.

Buck finally works the piece of metal free and hands it to Abe who goes to the western door that opens up into a small space between the prefab and another exactly like it; there he works the metal through a small gap, then discreetly utilizes his half-trained telekinesis to lift the bar free while Eddy crouches next to him and offers lockpicking suggestions. The bar falls free … and in that moment, chaos erupts outside! Sudden explosions shake the ground and are promptly followed by lots of gunfire and shouts.

Opening the door, Abe sees a fallen Vargr just outside and quickly snatches the pirates laser rifle which he hands off to Ella (who then promptly hands it off to Buck.) Across a loudspeaker, an Imperium officer orders everyone to lay down their arms and surrender; Kelso, however, knows that this is just CYA and the Imps have no intent on taking prisoners given their notorious corruption. They’re just going to shoot everyone and keep whatever they find. This alone is enough to convince the crew to gamble everything and make a run for it. At that moment, the door to the other prefab opens, revealing Lur and two armed pirates, all three of whom are momentarily surprised to see them. Kelso bellows a battle cry and charges the nearest of the pirates, tackling him to the ground where he begins pummelling him. Buck promptly takes aim at Lur and the other guy even as Abe once again discreetly using telekinesis, this time triggering the magazine release on the nearer of the two’s weapon. Eddy springs into the fray himself, darting closer to where Kelso is wrestling with a pirate who receives a swift kick to the face. Firing on full auto, Buck hoses his two targets with a burst of laserfire, killing one instantly and mortally wounding Lur. Recognizing that he’s outnumbered, Kelso’s foe surrenders.

As the crew quickly snatch up gear, they realize that Lur is still alive though only just and, to the surprise of everyone familiar with him, Ibrahim coldly tells the dying man that Hal says hello before turning away to retrieve the assault rifle that Lur’s now dead partner was holding. To those who have memories of Abe braving hostile fire to save wounded enemies, this is momentarily shocking, but no one cares enough about the traitor to try and save him, instead leaving him behind to Kelso’ less than tender mercies. The surrendered smuggler-pirate is shoved into the prefab module that the crew just vacated and locked in. Now geared up, the crew rush the smugglers to the north where they presume that their gear is kept. To their horror – especially Aris who can vaguely sense Jim the Drone – something detonates against the pre-fab that is their destination, causing it to explode in a violent flash of pyrotechnics that throws everyone to the ground. All of their gear – all of it – has just been blown up.

They press on, still angling toward an untouched hovercraft. En route, Aris finds Jim the Drone, smoking and damaged but repairable. The crew scrambles into the hovercraft with Buck and Ibrahim taking the exposed outer seats while Ross climbs behind the wheel. With a muted roar, the hovercraft peels out and races away. Almost instantly, they are immediately pursued by two small military scout-skiffs. There is a rapid exchange of fire – Ibrahim concentrates his shots on the vital areas of his target while Buck nails the pilot of the other vehicle with a carefully aimed shot; unfortunately, the return fire from the pursuers’ shooters is particularly efficacious, riddling the crew’s hovercraft with rounds and badly damaging it. As the second scout-hover careens out of control (as it no longer has a driver) and crashes into a tree, Buck shifts fire to Abe’s target and repeats his previous shot, once more killing the driver; unfortunately, the retaliatory fire from the Imperium troopers rips apart great chunks of the crew’s hovercraft which sputters, coughs and then fails entirely.

Now powerless, the craft slams into the dirt and comes to a sudden, abrupt halt. Knowing that the first hovercraft spun out of control but did not crash, the crew seize what gear they can find and sprint into the jungle. Moments later, a dropship roars by overhead and unloads heavy fire into the crew’s now abandoned hovercraft. It explodes violently, which means the crew now have to walk from here.

Moving deeper into the jungle to evade the Imperium, the crew eventually confirm that no one appears to be following them. Ella decides they will set up camp and wait until the morning; it is her intent to head back to the smuggler camp and try to locate some sort of vehicle. As Abe is the only one capable of seeing in the dark thanks to his hyperspectral contact lenses, she does not want to just stumble around in the dark and this will give them an opportunity to rest. They erect the tent snatched from the hovercraft and then set up a nightly guard rotation.

That morning, the crew crawl out of the tent, confused as to why they overslept. Ross evidently failed to wake anyone up and, fearing the worst, they look for him but find him and Professor Messandi missing. When they find the tracks of several natives, everyone knows what happened.

Things have officially gotten worse.

Player Notes:

  • The evil GM took all of our stuff. All of it! And then he blew it up!
  • Loki joined us briefly and ran Kelso since her regular character, Armin, is still on the Aimless Pilgrim. She had to duck out early, though.
  • The chase evidently did not go as expected; per the GM, he was expecting us to get a lot further away than we did, but then, we screwed up the Chase rules anyway because the shooters were allowed to Aim when they shouldn’t have.
  • 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. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.