Cloak and Dagger

After Sam alerted the rest of the Crew to the presence of the intruders in the lower hold, they all sprang into action, fetching their personal weapons in expectation of combat. They had no idea what it might be that the intruders were looking for, except for the knowledge that the ship might have been involved in military operations during the Fifth Frontier War, and could easily have something hidden away. Ella headed for the bridge, to contact port security, but immediately saw telltale signs of computer-hacking underway on one of the terminal screens—all systems were locked down. At the same time, Haank used the intercom, and in a calm, diplomatic manner, asked the intruders to identify themselves and state their business, even offering to help find whatever-it-was; the intruders responded that the Crew should remain where they are and, “Don’t do anything stupid,” as they had taken control of the ship. The Crew then called port security via personal communicator; the message was received, but earned them an intercom-delivered scolding by the intruders. Some moments later, they heard approaching sirens, and saw the flashing lights of port-security officers en-route. They arrived to find no intruders on the ship—they had vacated. With nothing really to be done about it after-the-fact, statements were taken, and assurances given that it would be looked into.

Haank and Abe spent a good deal of the day researching what could be learned about their new ship’s past on the planetary info network. They dug up quite a lot of records; manifests, flight-plans, and heavily-censored accounts of missions on behalf of the Imperium during the War, to places unknown, for purposes unknown. From what they gathered, the crew that was buried next to the ship, on Kegena, was the same crew that conducted these clandestine operations—they would not be revealing any secrets now—and that some of the ship’s upgrades were paid for, covertly, by the military. Cross-referencing manifests and logs left them with a reasonable assumption that those black-missions were based out of Jae Tellona and/or Porozlo, probably into a number of systems in the Rhylanor sector that were under Zhodani occupation at the time. Ella was unable to reach Cpt. Gloval for any assistance on that account, still away on Navy business.

Sometime during the research process, the port-security investigator assigned to their break-in case came by the ship to let the Crew know that there was no camera-footage available, and that they wouldn’t be able to do much of anything to resolve their case. A few of the Crew were not convinced he was giving them the truth; Abe turned on the smooth-talk, and convinced the guy to, very-reluctantly, admit to the fact that some “Navy” suits came in and confiscated all their data, and told them to forget the whole thing.

imagesThe Crew decided, for a number of reasons that included the ship’s connection to operations there, that they would go to Porozlo next. Haank set about getting some freight and passengers for the trip, and spent the rest of the day dealing with the particulars, and getting it all loaded. They also decided that it would be a good idea to get a security system installed on the ship; Abe and Buck would see to its acquisition during the freight-loading. Later, during the freight-loading process, Haank was approached by a port security runner who handed him an OSD on behalf of parties unknown. Haank checked it on his datapad, and it contained camera footage and stills from the break-in, featuring the masked intruders, including the unmasked face of the one assumed to be their leader, at the gate to a Navy logistics center at the docks. Haank relayed the information the others before getting back to work.

Abe and Buck went to check out the logistics center, surveilling it from a safe distance; they saw nothing of interest, except to note that security there was rather inadequate, enough to allow a covert team to easily operate without notice. The two left their brief stakeout to purchase the security system for the ship, and they were soon able to determine that they were being followed by someone they presumed to be one of the “Navy” men—they led the guy around a bit, in a successful attempt to prove he was following them. They went to a public terminal, as if to make a call, and left their tail a note with their contact information and a message to, “Call us.” A few hours before scheduled departure, after Abe and Buck had returned to the ship, the call came; it was put on speaker-mode for the whole Crew to hear. Ella, in her new official role as Captain, spoke for the Crew, and offered to allow the agents to come search the ship providing they display proper Navy credentials, although there was a limited time-window before departure, and a full load of freight had already been loaded, so it would be tight quarters. The voice demanded to be allowed to search freely, and insisted that they were not “Navy.” Ella would not back down from her demand for Navy credentials, and ended the call, though the voice warned that this was not over.

The Crew neverminded the warning and finished prepping the ship, departing on schedule outbound for Porozlo, and jumped out without incident.

During the jump, Abe was exercising his new duties as Steward, and attracted the interest of one of the passengers, a secretive woman of unstated profession. She inquired about the cargo hold, and how she might retrieve some of her belongings stowed there…


  • Ella’s player was out for vacation, so the character was run by Herodian in her stead
  • The lead commando having been revealed as Keanu Reeves resulted in some inevitable remarks about him being back at the base, eating a sandwich, alone (for those unfamiliar with that meme)
  • The “OSD” term comes from Mass Effect—I’m not sure what the canonical storage device is for Traveller; I just like that term