Into the black in a ship with no name... What could go wrong?
For the introduction, read this posting. I am using the High Space rule set and playing in the FireFly 'Verse.
As mentioned previously, the ship is unknown to the crew. I provided them with a blank ship sheet (well, they knew the size of the ship, a displacement of d8) and they filled it out as they made their escape through an active space battle between the Alliance and Reavers. Not only did the crew have to navigate safely through a battle scene, they were discovering the capabilities of the ship they just stole.
As the action unfolds, the ship attempts a direct course to get out of the battle area ASAP. The plan is to go FTL when they get to the appropriate distance away from the planet. The space station they just escaped from was orbiting around the planet. In game terms, the ship should be able to hit FTL in 10 combat rounds. In that time, they managed to attract the attention of 2 Reaver ships, one of which they destroyed, and ignore comm requests from the Alliance. Alliance fighters were dispatched to "escort" them back to the space station, but a confusing round of cross fire had the Alliance fighters exchanging fire with Reavers, instead.This confusion led to our heroes' escape.
Finally in FTL space, the crew has found out several things about the ship during their plight in the battle:
- It's got a leftover AI that seems much like a Jewish Mother. The ship is very concerned for their well being, diet and relationship problems.
- The ship makes disturbing mechanical noises that are untraceable.
- Although some weapons are equipped, the ship is built more for speed and stealth.
- The ship has no ship's log, records, name or signage.
The plot so far is that the truth about the Reavers has been revealed through the Cortex vid channels (ala the Serenity movie) and it has yet to really sink in to the public for any sort of outcry. However, there is the major Reaver / Alliance battle that has been hushed across the 'Verse, and the crew of the 'Duck' witnessed it first hand. This is just one more coverup by the Alliance that the crew might want to reveal. In the meantime, Saul has shared his information about a new drug that the Alliance is testing / manufacturing that is supposed to be similar in quite a few respects to the failed Miranda drug. Many of the crew decide that if they can do something to blacken the eye of the Alliance, then it might be worth doing. Problem is, they know nothing about where this production facility is or really what they can do about it. First things first, the crew needs money and that means a job. Persephone is their decided destination. As an added incentive, one of the characters has Badger as a contact, so this might actually work out.
On Persephone, the crew do some talkin' and dealin' but get right on getting to and talking with Badger. To start off the meetin', the crew shows Badger some of what they found in a hidden hold of the ship. Weapons, though small arms to be sure, but at least they didn't come hat in hand, so to speak... He says they can work out a sale for some pocket money. It helps to get the ball rolling for the second part of the conversation: finding a job. Badger says he's got something a might dicey, and so far no one has taken up the offer. He can provide them fuel and supplies if they do a job for him. The payment terms are left a might vague as far as the return goes, but he's willing to fund them. For now. He tells them of a braggart that came through a while back talkin' about a great new drug that was sure to hit the Core sometime soon. The fella says that folks will be linin' up for it as it's got a great high. Unfortunately, the info was limited and Badger finds it hard to believe. After some time researching, Badger has managed to figure out a location; a planet that some of Skeeter's people, Native American Indians, colonized a few decades ago, that is far out on the rim and who want to be left alone. Badger thinks that he traced the bragging fella to the same planet, although to or from, he doesn't rightly know. But he's willing to gamble on the crew to find out. The job is simple. Bring back some product, and he'll pay 'em for it. The more, the better, and the sooner, the better. He wants to be the only supplier for as long as he can.
The crew talks over the deal and accepts it. Saul thinks the job and the Alliance drug might be connected or even one and the same. Time isn't wasted as the crew prepares The Duck for flyin' and tries to launch before anyone really takes notice of her. Fortunately, they launch with no questions from the docks. Maybe Badger had something to do with that, too. To the Black they go.
Ever paranoid, the crew decides on a route that will take them to an agriculture planet close by the planet they are heading to, to try and throw off any scent or suspicion. I decided on Whitefall as their destination. The crew spends a day for some information gathering. Skeeter cultivates some information from the well-experienced of the town, while others find gamblin', drinkin' and fightin'. The crew ends up with some idea of folks who come here looking for supplies, always buyin', and never sellin'. And they're a heap a trouble, too, causing folks all kinds of issue. Fortunately, they only show up once a month or so. The local waterin' hole is still cleaning up from their last visit from a few days ago.
Tanned, rested and ready, back into the black they go. They approach the colony world (I called it Terra Ariel - and yes, for you who are in the know, I am using that adventure). They completely avoid the orbiting ship and land near the colonists. They spend a few hours talking with the colonists (mostly Skeeter, as these are his people and some are distant relatives) about what they may know. The colonists are reclusive and avoid any contact; the fact that they have Skeeter on the crew is the only reason their presence is tolerated. They don't gather much information other than that occasionally folks come up missing. They suspect the Others, but any scouting party sent out have never returned. They've never been attacked or confronted; there have been no dealings with the Others at all, except that they both know the existence of each other. The crew voice their intentions of investigation and two young warriors volunteer to help.
The planet is void of any mammals; all of the local fauna is insect-based, and everything has a red hue to it. The Warrior guides help the crew get to within a few miles of the Others' compound, where they decide to stash the Mule and continue on foot. The Warriors are wary, being unfamiliar with this territory. The ground is soft and spongy in spots, leading to one of the crew, Lock, the engineer, falling through the ground and into a giant underground tunnel. A few seconds later, a loud chit-chit-chit sound appears to be approaching the crew. In the dim light, Lock sees a giant bug rushing at him, apparently to get what looks to be a tasty meal for it. Lock pulls his laser pistol and fires at the approaching bug, causing no damage to its hard shell. Bulldog, Steady and Eliot jump in to help. After a few shots and a twisting attack, the bug is still going strong. The electroblade that was pulled from the weapons stash is most effective as Bulldog nearly cuts it in two with one swing. Just in time, too, as another bug is approaching from the opposite direction. The crew has time to set up a concentrated attack, and that bug is dispatched fairly quickly. They climb out of the tunnel and are able to rest for a bit.
That's where we ended the session; next session will be in the compound...