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Doctors Without Sectors

Having arrived at Corfu and docked, the crew has realized that the far trader which escaped Focaline ahead of them is berthed next to them. It bears unmistakeable Kalamanaru Enterprises markings, so the crew immediately set about gathering information about its arrival date and crew. First, regarding Corfu itself, Haank digs into recent events via available news sources and learns that the planet is currently experiencing some planetary strife related to a recently discovered archaeological site; the planet itself is heavily balkanized, especially in the wake of the recent viral outbreak, and the population is around 30% Vargr who dislike the very strong Imperium presence due to the before-mentioned dig site. Due to this strike, non-Vargr are warned to only visit the Imperium controlled regions as their safety cannot be guaranteed.

As this is most definitely Eddy’s area of expertise, he takes point in this and quickly identifies the lead traffic control officer. Upon discovering that this individual is female, he puts into action a plan that is surprisingly bold in its implementation: first, he purchases flowers from one of the highport’s small kiosks, then seeks out the woman in question at a cafe before presenting them her, claiming that he has been paid to deliver them from a secret admirer. The ice successfully broken, he then promptly segues into a very discreet interrogation where he eventually learns that the Kalamanaru ship arrived several days ago and most of the crew disembarked to go dirtside. He flirts with the middle-aged woman nonstop throughout the entire conversation and successfully gains a great deal of information.

While Eddy is social engineering, Buck – who has discreetly accompanied him to ensure his safety – notes the arrival of several Kalamanaru crewmembers, including a Vargr he recognizes from Focaline. He later uses his more than capable computer hacking skills to penetrate the higport’s firewall which is easy enough; he then attempts to access the systems of the Golden Dreamer (which is the Kalamanaru ship), but this is quickly detected and countered, so he disconnects and retreats from his hacking location. After relocating, he then re-accesses the highport’s systems, downloads all related data to the Kalamanaru ship, and then wipes all records of his presence. From the data he pulled, the crew is able to determine that Lorain was taken dirtside.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim, who has spent the entire trip from Heya to Corfu interacting with the ‘Doctors Without Sectors’ physicians they are escorting, makes several inquiries about joining with them and, when he is given an enthusiastic response, he approaches Captain Stanbridge with this as a possible legitimate reason to go dirtside. The DWS angle will get them much closer to their target site and, from there, they can formulate their next step. With a dearth of alternate options and a concern that the entire hacker issue earlier could be problematic, Ella decides that this is the way to go.

Dyrin Byard

Once the supplies are secured aboard the Pilgrim’s launch, the crew (plus the three passengers) lift off with Armin at the controls and Aris assisting. They land at the Imperium landing pad soon after and accompany the passengers to the nearby ‘Doctors Without Sectors’ offices where they fill out the appropriate paperwork; fortunately, a caravan is heading out in the morning to the small Vargr city that overlooks the dig site, so the crew manage to obtain slots on the transport. They are warned by Dyrin Byard, the lead ‘driver’ and primary bodyguard, about the general xenophobia of the Vargr with regards to ‘Imperium spies’ and, during this safety briefing, he eyes the crew askance, clearly not buying their story about them being proper Doctors Without Sectors employees. His suspicions are only worsened when Eddy accidentally reveals on a poorly hidden rifle case; if I can find it, Byard says, so can the Vargr. The weapons are hidden again, this time much better. Armin and Aris remain behind with the launch so as to stand by should an emergency extraction be required.

During the trip, Ella (who is listed on the manifest as a Nurse) converses with Byard, having already deduced that he is a former marine. They exchange war stories with both of them talking around the things they don’t want to discuss and Ella ends up strongly suspecting that Byard never actually left Imperium service but is instead on a deepcover assignment. Haank will later engage Byard in conversation once Ella has stopped and inquires about the lay of the land around the medical compound.

Upon arrival at the Doctors Without Sectors clinic, Ibrahim is put to work almost immediately and easily impresses all of the other physicians with his skills. This gives the other crewmembers plenty of opportunities to poke around and discreetly observe. They are actually able to see the dig site from the clinic’s spot, though there is a considerable Vargr presence between them due to the location of a small town. That evening, when the crew gathers together once more to discuss their options, they note that none of them have seen Byard all day. When Abe briefly mentions his absence to his new physician friends, they mention that he disappears frequently.

At this revelation, Ella opts to dig further. With Buck keeping an eye out, she first cleans up and changes into some better-looking clothes before she seeks out Byard’s sleeping quarters and knocks. When she discovers that there is no one home, she enters and promptly begins snooping. What she discovers is that the quarters seem very Spartan, with everything in its proper place and no clutter at all. In this process of this, she discovers a case under the bed that she recognizes from her Navy days as belonging to Marine Force Recon units; it is missing the longarm and a pistol. Her theory that he’s on assignment seems confirmed.

Outside, Buck is caught by surprise when he noticed Byard suddenly appear around a corner and head toward his quarters. He is too far away to intercept the man and Byard’s unexpected appearance catches Ella in the middle of snooping. Fortunately, the man does not overreact and instead has a friendly conversation with Captain Stanbridge, especially once she reveals the real reason they’re here: to rescue Lorain Messandi. As that is the only thing that they have in mind, Byard is inclined to assist. He provides with some extremely detailed images from close up, which Ella takes to indicate that Byard has someone on the inside; he will confirm this but doesn’t go into further detail about the individual’s identity. On the off chance that someone (other than Buck) saw her enter Byard’s quarters, Ella stays for a while, especially when the marine reveals that he can cook quite well. Fortunately, what happens on Corfu, stays on Corfu.

Player Notes:

  • Andricus unexpectedly missed the game tonight.
  • The whole ‘Doctors Without Sectors’ thing started out as a joke a session or two ago but we’ve run with it and Ibrahim is no doubt going to look into actually joining the organization. Not sure if it’d be an Ally Group, a Contact Group, or a Patron just yet … mostly, though, it’s going to end up being a good cover for him to go places.
  • It is currently up in the air whether there will be a game on 5 August; we have two players who are a definite miss – Herodian and Mel – and originally, the GM thought he was going to be out due to work, but that turns out to not be the case.
  • 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.