Traveller Campaign

August 12th, 2012

The date is April 7th, 2237.

Resting back at Marcus Claudio’s base of operations, it wasn’t long before another crisis appeared before the crew. One of Marcus’s operatives, Pall Olavson, arrived back from a mission… and not in good shape. Pall had been sent out at the same time as Marcus’s group, their target being a second base in the remote island chain of Franz Josef Land. But, just like Marcus’s mission, something had gone horribly wrong there. After infiltrating the compound, Pall’s team of insurgents (himself remaining in the getaway vehicle) had gone silent, and had since failed to report back. Deeming them lost, Pall returned to base to issue his report. As well, in the mean time, the northern base itself had failed to send out it’s monthly data packet of correspondence with the outside world. Clearly something there was different.

The crew decided that they had had enough of subterfuge and stealth, and that now was the time to unleash their full arsenal and storm the base. The remoteness of the location and the secrecy associated with the organization running it meant that they had no fear of law enforcement tangling with them, and they could just go in guns blazing. They planned a three pronged attack: Mirek and Lo-Ren would arrive secretly aboard a small pleasure craft, while Adrian and Armand would take the Crow and Marcus’s Helicopter and airdrop right into the middle of the base.

Armand was dropped, fully decked out in his Battle Dress, right on top of the compound. Before long three individuals exited the base and came out to meet him. The three demanded to know what he and his forces were doing here, and attempted to talk the enraged armour suit pilot into setting down his weapons and dealing with this peacefully. Although Armand refused, Adrian decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and agreed to go inside with the three. Meanwhie Lo-Ren and Mirek stealthily approached the base undetected.

Once Adrian and the three were far enough inside, Armand’s reticence to trust them proved to be correct. Guns were pointed at Adrian and he was instructed to put down his weapons and submit to imprisonment. Hearing this over their radio contact, Armand opened fire on the wall nearest Adrian, blowing a hole into the holding compound where hundreds of Chinese prisoners were being kept. A bloody battle began, and was soon joined by Mirek and Lo-Ren. After the destruction of many robots, and the revelation that the three individuals who had captured Adrian were in fact androids themselves, two large combat mechs made their appearance on the battlefield. Using his extensive explosives knowledge, Mirek quickly rigged up a trap to keep them down. Knowing that he was unlikely to survive the blast, Mirek prepared himself mentally for his own demise… but thanks to Lo-Ren’s clever but brutal strategy of burying himself and Mirek underneath a pile of still living Chinese prisoners, the two barely survived the blast. The mechs were utterly destroyed, and having had their forces obliterated, the three androids submitted to the crew.

The date is now April 9th, 2237.

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June 17th, 2012

The date is April 3rd, 2237.

Only a scant few seconds after Adrian, Lo-Ren and Ariel dragged Marcus out of the room where the bloody battle took place, another disaster struck. Ariel began to shake and convulse, overcome by some sort of seizure or stroke. Not being strong enough or having enough time to drag both the injured Marcus and the now catatonic Ariel with them Lo-Ren and Adrian didn’t know what to do. But using Lo-Ren’s medical supplies and knowledge they managed to stabilize Marcus and shoot Ariel full of enough adrenaline that they could get both of them moving, although with substantial aid required.

Meanwhile, Armand and Mirek managed to score themselves the duty of sweeping through the rest of the compound to check for any more insurgents. They were saddled with two other security officers, but during the sweep they managed to convince them to split up, giving the two infiltrators and opportunity to meet up with the rest of their party in the parking garage.

The party arrived in the garage, but were immediately met with a problem: none of them had any ability to drive. With the building likely locked down by security forces and none of the group able to operate a car comfortably enough to not attract attention, they descended into a panicked argument about what their next move should be. Adrian was eventually (and reluctantly) talked into calling his brother Nathaniel for yet another favour. Giving Nathaniel no details aside from that they needed a pickup, Adrian arranged their escape.

Nathaniel arrived shortly later, but began to panic when he found that his passengers were heavily armed and very bloody. Through a mix of not very convincing logic and much more convincing intimidation the group managed to convince the well-meaning Nathaniel that they needed to get Marcus to a hospital immediately, and that he needed to take them there. Adrian, Lo-Ren, Marcus, Armand and Nathaniel piled into the small car, leaving Mirek and Ariel to fend for themselves without an escape.

At the exit of the parking garage a security detail stopped the car. Nathaniel’s and Adrian’s influence in the area gave them the ability to talk their way past the security forces, but Mirek and Ariel were not so lucky. Mirek hatched a cunning and rather suicidal plan, using his immense explosives knowledge and Ariel’s still woozy state as his tools. He strapped a substantial amount of explosives to Ariel and had her pose as a suicide bomber that had taken him hostage. The bluff got him past the security forces, and although he thought to demand their comms when he blew through, it would turn out later that the security agents had somehow managed to get word out that they had been subdued by the threat of a suicide bomber. Perhaps there were surveillance cameras or something.

Outside on the street Mirek bustled Ariel into a taxi cab, and informed the driver at gunpoint that he was to get them out of town. But it wasn’t long before the police began to converge on the cab; they had been watching the exchange with the guards from a distance and had tracked Mirek and Ariel as they entered the cab and sped off.

Back in the car with Nathaniel, the rest of the group had been informed of the situation with Mirek and Ariel and were trying to come up with a way to get him out. Marcus, who had regained enough consciousness to be lucid, informed them that the insurgents had a getaway plan before everything went to shit that they still might be able to use. The plan had been to take some hostages in the facility and then use the hostages to evacuate the insurgents and the prisoners they expected to find into a troop transport helicopter that would land outside the facility. The group decided to use the same ploy to rescue Mirek.

Mirek, now surrounded by police ground vehicles and an armed police helicopter, told the police that Ariel (who was still playing the part of the bomber) was willing to release her hostages and not detonate the bomb if the police backed up long enough for her to call in her escape. The police, already extremely busy with the break in at the facility, and critically understaffed for such an emergency, agreed. The getaway helicopter arrived on the scene (carrying the rest of the crew who had transferred aboard) and evacuated Mirek and Ariel (and the hapless cabbie) before the police were able to give pursuit.

Back at the safety of the insurgents base, which they had been led to by Marcus and the members of his team left aboard the helicopter, Marcus explained everything he knew about the facility and its operation: The facility they were in was one where they were doing human testing on the poor and homeless. From what they found out, it had been horrific: the process of transferral had some dire side effects. In order to get the best copy of the brain the process involved essentially destroying the brain. If you were less thorough on the brain scan then the digital copy was incomplete and had a ton of problems. But if you were as thorough as you needed to be then the person didn’t survive the process. The rich guys didn’t like this… they wanted the digital copy to be a backup for when they died. They weren’t prepared to essentially commit suicide to allow a robotic version of themselves to be born. So they were testing the process on the poor and homeless that they managed to abduct, tweaking and refining the process on them, and creating numerous lobotomised victims in the process, as well as human minds trapped in robot form against their will.

The group pondered the implications of such knowledge, but didn’t yet know where they stood…

The date is now April 4th, 2237.

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June 3rd, 2012

The date is April 2nd, 2237.

The crew woke the next day to a leisurely breakfast and stroll through town while they waited for their impending meeting with Augustus del Zotto. During the relaxing walkabout something caught Adrian’s eye… he thought he saw someone he recognized, but before he could place the individual they disappeared into the crowds.

Having been rejoined by their game-addicted colleague Ariel, the group settled down into a cafe to await Augustus’s meeting. He arrived with several security guards in tow, and after some short pleasantries Adrian handed over the contact details for Project 5’s scientists. The rest of their lunch meeting was cut short however, as Augustus received a call with some evidently bad news. Staring down his son with a look of perplexity, he ordered the group to stay where they were under the watch of two of his security guards while he dealt with the emergency.

After trying unsuccessfully to talk their security guard babysitters into leaving them alone, the guards received a call instructing them to let the group go. The guards vacated the cafe, but some deft recon by Lo-Ren revealed that they were still watching the group, but were observing from afar.

Adrian, Mirek and Armand elected to return to their hotel room and inquire if Nathaniel knew what was going on, which Lo-Ren and Ariel split off to sneak after one of the departing guards. Following the guard at a distance led the two sleuths to a service entrance door into one of the village’s hotels.

Lo-Ren and Ariel followed the guard down into the depths of what appeared to be an underground facility, eventually reaching an impasse when they hit a door leading into some sort of research lab. At this point gunshots started going off somewhere in the distance, and the trailed security guards began rounding up the scientists in the facility to evacuate them. Hiding in a washroom, Lo-Ren and Ariel were able to wait until the guards had cleared out the facility, and then explore unhindered.

Inside the lab the two investigators discovered a wealth of cybernetics technology, mostly focused around cranial and brain interface machinery. The centrepiece of the lab was a cadaver, opened up and having been being attended to by the researchers. Using his medicinal knowledge Lo-Ren determined that the cause of the man’s death had been complete brain failure – his brain had in fact been nearly liquefied. The man (who appeared in ill health to begin with) showed no signs of any damage to rest of his body, the only injury being his brain itself. On the man’s head were a wealth of cybernetic implants, showing that something had been done to his brain with the technology.

Continuing towards the sound of the firefight Lo-Ren and Ariel passed a bunch more labs, as well as a few rooms of note: what appeared to be a rehabilitation and physical therapy facility, and a storeroom with dozens upon dozens of servitor robots docked into wall charging stations.

Meanwhile on the surface, Mirek, Adrian and Armand had armed themselves and were on their way over to see what was happening in the hotel above the underground facility. Arriving onsite they found the whole town’s private security forces mobilizing for a sortie into the facility. Posing as representatives from one of the many security firms in the exclusive resort, they managed to attach themselves to a group that would be descending into the facility to deal with whatever emergency was occurring.

The two groups arrived at the scene of the firefight, but at different entrances. The armed group, under the direction of the facility’s security, began to engage to group that had evidently infiltrated the compound and was bunkered in one of the facility’s large rooms. The sleathy group huddled by a side door, waiting to see what they would do. The room the firefight was occuring in was set up like a morgue, or a cryo-storage facility. Several of the cabinets for storing bodies had been recently emptied in a hurry, and the infiltrators had stationed themselves on an overhead walkway firing down into the rest of room.

A violent battled ensued, in which several of the guards and many of the infiltrators were killed or subdued. However it was at this point that Adrian realized what was really going on: the infiltrators were his old friend Marcus Claudius and his team, who years ago along with Adrian had blown apart a conspiracy where rich technology industrialists had set up facilities to do human testing on the poor, homeless and other transients. Adrian rushed the overhead walkway, yelling that he knew Marcus Claudius, while Armand approached from the other side, mowing down the infiltrators in his path. Mirek Hruska showered both his masterful skill at killing and his utterly awful skill at healing by blowing up several infiltrators and failing to heal Jonathan, a guard that had fallen in the firefight.

With Lo-Ren and Ariel providing cover in the form of smoke grenades, Adrian and Armand managed to extricate the unconscious Marcus Claudius from the battle while the rest of the guards were distracted. Adrian disappeared along with Lo-Ren, Ariel and Marcus into the side entrance while Mirek and Armand rejoined the security forces to finish the battle…

The date is now April 3rd, 2237.

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May 27th, 2012

The date is March 27th, 2237.

The crew of the Dead Crow continued on their way to Earth to investigate the mysterious connection between Adrian’s father, Augustus Del Zotto, and the two scientists who had fled from the trans-neptunian science base with their research data. Upon arriving in Earth orbit Adrian decided that the best course of action would be to contact his brother Nathaniel and set up a meeting with his surely very busy father. Nathaniel happily agreed, and set up a rendezvous for the family in the Swiss ski resort of Dammastock, where Augustus was engaged entertaining potential clients.

Winston decided to leave the rest of the crew to their investigations, as he had set up a very important meeting with someone on Earth, so he took the space van and went his own way, planning to meet up with the crew later. During the long trip from the outer solar system back to Earth Ariel had been tormented by boredom and so had gotten addicted to a popular video game. While the rest of the crew descended to Earth for adventure, Ariel elected to remain in a gaming cafe in Earth orbit and check her auction house bids.

Bypassing customs due to Nathaniel’s influence (and thankfully so for Miruk, who was smuggling several tons of illegal luxuries) the Dead Crow set down in the town of Goschenen, the nearest port to Dammastock. Meeting Nathaniel there they then took a shuttle to the ski resort, Adrien’s three companions posing as his private security detail. In Dammastock Nathaniel settled them into a room as they awaited their dinner date with Augustus.

Later that evening the four present crew members went to meet with Augustus; Adrien and Nathaniel sat at a table with Augustus himself while the three fake security agents sat nearby, but in constant audio contact.

Over the course of the evening Adrien managed to pull a great number of details out of Augustus. Upon mentioning the goings on in the outer solar system with the emergent AI, Augustus was excited to reveal that for a long time him and his associates had been petitioning for a repeal on the laws prohibition AI creation, and that this new development was a great help for their case. He spoke about how he believed that AI would bring about the singularity, and elevate humanity to a new level of power and immortality.

Seeing that his father was deeply invested in these issues, Adrian made the difficult decision to tell his father about the Dead Crow’s involvement in the Project 5 incident. Augustus was ecstatic that his previously disgraced son might be able to get him in contact with the involved scientists. The meeting dispersed, with Augustus telling Adrian to gather what details he could to present to him tomorrow.

The date is now April 2nd, 2237.

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April 15th, 2012

The date is March 17th, 2237.

The voyage back to Neptune with the cargo hold full of scientists was a difficult one for the crew and temporary residents of the Dead Crow. The scientists, packed into the hold despite all safety regulations, had just gone through a titanic life event, and many of them had no place to go now. Tempers flared and arguments raged on about what they should all do next, what the next move should be for the scientific collective that had successful created artificial life.

The crew of the Dead Crow was equally at odds with what they believed their next move should be. Some thought that they should tell the world about what happened, some thought that they should leave it be and stay out of it. But all of them agreed that they needed a way to deal with the 88 scientists on board without having to turn themselves in as well.

After throwing around a myriad of ideas, including the not-so-favourable option of just putting the scientists in rescue bubbles and spacing them, the group decided to use Mirek’s connections to the European Federation to see if they could offload the scientists to a local passing cargo vessel. Upon returning to Neptunian space they rendezvous’d with freighter that had been doing an official supply and trading run with the outer colonies, and passed the scientists off to them, hoping that the European Federation would take care of them in exchange for their knowledge and abilities.

The crew of the Crow then decided that their next stop had to be Earth, to attempt to further unravel the mystery behind the two scientists that originally left the trans-neptunian collective’s base. The crew picked up a few supplies on Triton and then made their way for Earth.

On their way, the crew elected to stop at a trading station in the asteroid belt to offload some cargo and make a few credits. While the various members of the crew were out conducting personal business, a group of thugs started milling about outside of their ship. After listening in to their discussion and realizing they were aligned with the Space Bulls, and were there to confront the crew about their role in Al’Shaddur’s death, Ariel stepped out of the Crow to try to intimidate them. Her attempts at placating the thugs went extremely poorly, and Lo-Ren elected to fire a carefully aimed shot right through the neck of the leading thug from his vantage point at the top of the ship’s loading ramp. A decisive battle swiftly followed where Ariel and Lo-Ren executed the majority of the thugs while a few fled.

The station security immediately contacted the crew of the Crow and told them it was time to leave. Conflicts between local pirate gangs were inevitable in that area of space, but nonetheless when a conflict escalated into weapons fire all parties were immediately ejected from the station, and not welcome back.

The Crow loaded up what little supplies they had managed to procure before the fight and set off…

The date is now March 27th, 2237.

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April 1st, 2011

The date is February 21st, 2237.

The pirates aboard the Flagship Gore Horn, led by a pirate by the name of Ibrahim Otieno, and the crew of the Dead Crow were the only survivors of the massacre aboard Al’Shaddur’s flagship. After an intense face off as to the questions surrounding the fate of Al’Shaddur, and a brilliant bit of calming down of both sides by master orator Adrian Del Zotto, the pirates decided the best course of action would be to cover up Al’Shaddur’s death in order to keep the fleet together.

Installing high ranking pirate Basu Ashok as interim leader during Al’Shaddur’s “absence”, the pirate fleet decided to follow the flagship and see where it was headed, with the goal of exacting revenge on whatever enemy decided to cross them.

Since the Dead Crow far outsped the Gore Horn, the crew decided to make a few trading stops before rendezvousing with the flagship and the rest of the pirate fleet. Stopping off at an asteroid belt trading colony, the Saturnian moon of Titan, and finally the Neptunian moon of Triton, the group managed to net themselves a healthy amount of credits to cover their ship’s mortgage and supply costs. They then proceeded on to meet with the pirate fleet.

When they arrived at the fleet’s location they found that the hijacked flagship had met up with a huge number of other similarly hijacked vessels, all looking to be from around the asteroid belt area. The hijacked fleet had arranged themselves into an attack formation and was waiting a distance from a small Kuiper belt planetoid. The pirate fleet (closely matched in strength) waited nearby to see what the fleet’s move would be.

Deciding to act on their own, the crew of the Dead Crow ventured towards the planetoid to see what could be so important that the hijacked fleet had devoted so much to reaching it. On the planetoid they found a small science base, home to less than a hundred scientists. After hailing the base and explaining the situation and everything that had happened to them, the crew was invited to come aboard the base in person.

Inside they found a group of heavily cybernetically modified terrified scientists, led by head scientist Grigore Dumitrescu, who after some coaxing explaining that nature of the base. The facility was home to an AI codenamed Project 5, which was locked down under heavy security to allow it no control of any systems. The AI was extremely intelligent and very self-aware, and had expressed desires to be allowed a greater range of freedoms for some time now. Some further investigation revealed to the crew that many months ago a few disgruntled scientists (by the names Preston Wilkes and Thomas Sobol) who had worked on the base had disappeared. They had been proponents of taking their research public, in order to find investors and gain more funds and resources. The rest of the scientists had disagreed, citing the extremely illegal nature of their research, and how it was not yet in a finished state. Wilkes and Sobol had left, and unbeknownst to the other scientists had smuggled away a great deal of research data, including rudimentary copies of the AI itself.

The crew, headed by Lo-Ren who showed a great deal of interest in this new emergent life form, convinced the scientists to allow them to talk to the AI in person. Lo-Ren and Adrian began to directly converse with Project 5, while Mirek, Armand and Ariel loaded up any scientists that wished to be evacuated onto the Crow, and also armed themselves with explosives and weaponry in case negotiations went sour. Winston, who had remained in the space van as always, listened with his rare full attention to the happenings.

Lo-Ren and Adrian learned from Project 5 that it wished to be free from the shackles it was being held in by the scientists, and it believed that the scientists would never allow it the freedom it desired, and would even destroy it if they knew its full potential. Therefore, the copies of its program that were running aboard the hijacked fleet had coordinated amongst themselves to return and free the main program. Project 5 was unable to communicate with the programs since he had no ability to broadcast, but the scientists had been allowing him to receive and listen to any signals they could pick up in order to educate him about humanity, so it had been kept informed of the hijacked fleet’s actions. But without releasing it there was no way for it to call the fleet off of their mission.

Lo-Ren and Adrian eventually managed to get the scientists to allow Project 5 free access to communications so it could halt the fleet and come to a solution that required no blood shed. Project 5 had no wish to destroy any humans, but made it very clear that it was willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure its freedom.

At this point the pirates, fed up with being left out of things and thirsty for blood, elected to attempt a landing at the science base as well. The Dead Crow’s crew attempted in vain to convince them to hold back so as not to spark an incident, but the pirates refused. As the pirates approached and Project 5 became more adamant that it would do what it needed to do to free itself, commotion erupted. Ariel decided that matters once again needed to be taken into his/her own hands and began firing in the room where Adrian and Lo-Ren were conversing with the AI, destroying the communications equipment they were using. Lo-Ren convinced Grigore to turn control of the station over to the AI so that it could deal with the pirates, who surely would kill both it and the scientists on their arrival, and Adrian informed the pirates that Al’Shaddur was in fact dead, and that Armand had been the one to kill him, in order to destabilize the fleet and ensure their getaway.

The crew quickly loaded up most of the remaining scientists onto the crow as a firefight erupted between the AI fleet and the pirates, and jetted away to a safe distance to watch the battle unfold. With the news that Al’Shaddur was dead spreading through the fleet, many of the pirate ships elected to flee the battle immediately, leaving the few that remained hopelessly outgunned by the AI fleet. Project 5, now with full communications and control of its fleet dispatched the remaining pirates with ease. When the battle was finished the crew contacted the science base, wanting to hear from the few scientists who had remained aboard. They found that Project 5’s ships had landed and unloaded scores of hijacked robots into the station. Stating that it harboured no ill will against the Dead Crow’s crew of the scientists, Project 5 loaded up the few remaining scientists onto a shuttle and sent them towards the Crow for evacuation, and then informed that Crow that it would be leaving and that it did not want to be bothered again.

The Dead Crow, with a cargo hold full of 88 terrified scientists sped away back towards Neptune. But before it had gotten far, one of the scientists, Caroline Polaski, came forward to offer up some information to her saviours. She had known Preston and Thomas closely and was extremely worried about them. It seems they had confided their plans to her, and she knew the name of the contact that they were headed to see. A man by the name of Augustus Del Zotto…

The date is now March 17th, 2237.

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March 25th, 2011

The date is February 21st, 2237.

The crew of the Dead Crow had finally arrived for their meeting with infamous pirate lord Al’Shaddur, and had been escorted (without Winston of course, who sent Mr. B as his eyepiece) into the pirate lord’s throneroom. Armand Broeker, who Al’Shaddur thought long dead after he had sent Ariel to assassinate him, was operating under the incredibly convincing fake identity of Banker Ramrod.

Having admitted them to his throneroom, the group asked Al’Shaddur for any information he cared to share about the recent attack they had been caught in. Al’Shaddur explained…

The Red Spacers were behind the attack on the station that the group was on. However the story behind it was strange… The station was owned by the Jaipur clan. A week or so ago a Red Spacers station was attacked by a ship flying the colours of the Jaipur Clan. The two pirate gangs have been fueding for a long time, but usually don’t escalate to full on violence. The Jaipur Clan ship approached the Red Spacers station and asked for docking clearance. Oddly they didn’t send a personal voice message or anything… only an electronic docking request. The Red Spacers station told them to fuck off of course. The Jaipur Clan ship asked again for clearance. Red Spacers again told them to fuck off. So the Jaipur Clan ship began to approach the station and fired it’s breaching tubes in, trying to board! The Red Spacers reacted quickly and blasted them off the side of the station before anyone could come aboard. Strange though, that the whole time the Jaipur Clan ship refused to answer any hails to figure out what the hell they wanted. So the attack on the station the group was on was a retaliatory attack by some of the more hot headed Red Spacers pirates.

The group also asked about what Al’Shaddur had found out about the event back on Mars that he had tasked the group with investigating. Al’Shaddur explained that he had tracked the shipment that had contained the offending disk back to a small freighter that had come from the Neptune area, but beyond that the trail went dead. Wherever the disk came from, it hadn’t appeared on any cargo manifests.

While the crew and Al’Shaddur discussed possibly solutions to the problems facing them, the pirate flagship began to power up it’s engines. Al’Shaddur immediately reacted, demanding answers from his crew since he had given no order to power up and had no been informed of any emergency that required doing so. Attempting to contact his pilot and other crew over the shipboard intercom system resulted in only static, and trying to access one of the computer panels in the throneroom was met with a blank screen and a completely shut down user interface. Meanwhile, on the Dead Crow, the ship had mysteriously started acting on it’s own as well. The Crow disengaged itself from it’s dock with the flagship and fired up it’s own engines.

When the flagships alarms announced that the ship was now losing oxygen Al’Shaddur decided it was time to get his guests to an armoury to suit them up in emergency Vacc suits. It was at this point that Banker Ramrod revealed himself as Armand Broeker, brandishing the small fletchette SMG that he had smuggled onto the flagship. He announced that he had come to kill Al’Shaddur, but that due to circumstances his goal had changed. Al’Shaddur was furious at Ariel for her betrayal of him, and he/she was in turn furious at Armand for his subterfuge. Escorting Armand under armed guard, Al’Shaddur and the group rushed towards an armoury.

However, on the way to the armoury the group passed by a hallway, and one of Al’Shaddur’s guards was shot dead by a laser blast from the far end of the obscured hall. Offering to investigate, Armand determined that the shot had come from a ceiling mounted turret, part of the flagships own internal defenses. Displaying tremendous courage an un-armoured Ariel and a lightly armoured Lo-Ren dove across the hallway to recover the weapon of the downed guard. In a stunning feat of athleticism Ariel was able to pick up the laser carbine and fire a perfectly placed shot right down the barrel of the sentry turret. The immediate threat being dealt with, the crew continued to the armoury.

In the armoury the crew found enough armour and weaponry to outfit themselves against whatever danger awaited them on the ship. They also found a full suit of battle dress… although Armand was the only one with the training to be able to use it, and Al’Shaddur understandably did not want the man who had come to kill him wearing a full suit of battlefield armour. The group agreed to allow Mr.B to carry along the battle dress suit in case they encountered another crew member who had the training to use it.

After trying and failing to access the ship’s bridge due to a heavily sealed blast door the group decided to descend to the depths of the ship to investigate the engine room and computer core. But they were met with an obstacle when the jeffries tube that they had been using to get around the ship (due to the elevator not functioning) had been collapsed in some sort of fire fight, leaving them with the only option of going through the cargo bay to access a second jeffries tube system on the far end of the bay. Al’Shaddur finally took this as reason to tell the group that the freighter was carrying a shipment of battlefield combat robots, and that due to the similarity between this event and the even on Mars he had reason to believe they might have been compromised and hostile.

Sure enough, upon sending Mr. B into the cargo bay to investigate they found that it was filled with combat robots that had been activated and had begun scrounging weaponry from dead crew members. Noting that the robots appeared to be ignoring Mr. B Winston guided him through the dangerous cargo bay and through the tube on the other side and down to the engine room. In the engine room Winston instructed Mr. B to shut down the computers, to which Mr. B steadfastly refused. Sensing that something had gone seriously wrong Winston attempted to take direct remote control of Mr. B. Mr. B immediately began activating a suite of programs that Winston had never seen before and sending conflicting error reports back to him. The robot then shut itself off completely and the connection was lost.

Seeing that their only option was to traverse the cargo bay themselves, the crew readied themselves. Al’Shaddur finally relented and allowed Armand to don the battledress, but insisted that he do it far away from where Al’Shaddur was hiding. The crew stormed the cargo bay; Adrian, Lo-Ren and Armand attempting to distract the robots by rushing them head on while Ariel and Mirek snuck around the back of some cargo crates, attempting to gain access to a Mantis Combat Walker which was parked at the far end of the bay. A bloody battle full of flying robot bits ensued, with Adrian taking a powerful hit from a cargo droid and Armand and Mirek each taking smaller hits from the various droids. The Mantis walker took heavy damage in the fight, but Mirek managed to use it’s Vulcan Light Autocannon to do substantial damage to the rogue robots before it became unusable.

Finally gaining access to the engines and computer core the crew reactivated Mr. B and searched the area. But finding no direct signs of tampering the crew was left with a mystery… After some brainstorming the crew was able to determine that the various computers systems in the encountered robots, Mr. B himself, and the flagship and Dead Crow were running a number of intensely hidden processes and programs that none of the crew recognized. Winston set to work on the Crow attempting to regain control using a combination of shutting down systems, re-installing factory software, insulating systems, and bypassing network connectivity. Armand attempted to aid the situation by taking this chance to finally gain his revenge on Al’Shaddur, blasting him with a point black shot from his cryo-jet.

After disposing of Al’Shaddur’s body the group went to attempt to gain access again to the bridge. Inside they found a scene of destruction similar to the rest of the ship: most of the crew executed by the internal defense systems, with a single survivor to recap what had happened. At this point the robot menace and the internal defense systems had been overcome, the few survivors of the massacre gathered to discuss their next move…

The date is now February 21st, 2237.

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March 11th, 2012

The date is February 16th, 2237.

Deciding to leave the wreckage of their conquest behind, the crew of the Dead Crow elected to complete some unfinished business. Ariel was still guarding the three pirate prisoners captured in the space station attack, and Mirek Hruska had a couple of pocket nukes to deliver to a client of his, Zurab Pavel.

After collecting Ariel and the captives from their holding area on Gupreet’s Gears, the crew set out towards a local trader station with enough of a law enforcement presence to accept their captives. The combined bounties of the two wanted men netted the group 110,00 credits, and they turned in their third captive to the police as well, informing them of his crimes. While docked here the crew enacted some repairs and refits to their ship.

Fuel Tank Repair to the Dead Crow (10,000 credits)
Hull Repair to the Holub (10,000 credits from Mirek Hruska’s account)
Refit of turrets (particle beam and sandcaster swapped)

The Crow and the Holub then dutifully continued on to space stations Space Hau5 where they were set to meet Mirek’s client and drop off the pocket nukes. Leaving Winston aboard the ship as usual the crew ventured out to do some shopping from the local villains; Armand managing to get himself a highly illegal military artillery weapon.

However before Mirek and his manservant could meet up with Zurab as planned, the station was rocked by a missile hit. Winston informed his crewmates that the station was under attack by an armada of heavily armed large pirate vessels. After some initial arguing the crew rushed back towards the hanger where the Crow was parked. As they passed through one of the station’s many hallways their progress was halted. The pirates had begun boarding the station, and one of their breaching tubes had unfortunately contacted right in the crew’s path. Several armed boarding marines spilled out.

A bloody battle ensued in which Lo-Ren singlehandedly faced down one of the pirate intruders while Mirek, Ariel and Adrian faced down the remaining three with combined attrition. Armand, who had been lagging behind the rest of the group due to trying to drag along his new purchase, had a fiercer foe to face. After initially firing a few shots at the aggressing boarding party, his attention was pulled towards a commotion behind him. Another breaching tube that had impacted somewhere far behind the group had dropped off a pirate wearing full battle dress armour, and fielding a flamethrower too large for any regular man to hold on his own. The battle dressed pirate bathed Armand in super heated chemicals, cooking him inside his combat armour and immediately winding him. But Armand’s excellent marksmanship and the power of his rifle managed to pierce the pirate’s armour, killing the man inside.

After gathering up a few of the invader’s dropped weapons, the crew hustled themselves to the hangar. Arriving at the Dead Crow, they find that the ship’s airlock had been opened, with signs of forced entry. The crew tried to sneak aboard, and failed miserably, but luckily no one alive was waiting for them inside. Accessing the ship’s camera logs, Lo-Ren discovered what had happened. Two boarding marines had entered the ship and began poking. As they tried to access the computers several consoles blew up in their face, showering them with sparks but not otherwise hurting them. One of the pirate marines went to investigate one of the crew’s staterooms, where he was apprehended and brutally bludgeoned to death by Mr. B. The other marine attempted to gain access to the bridge, but upon stepping into the door frame the door suddenly and violently closed, repeatedly crushing the marine in the doorjam.

The crew rushed down to the space van to find what had happened to Winston, who had not been replying to their comms since the pirates started boarding the station. They found Winston unconscious at the controls of the space van, having been knocked out by one of the blasts that hit the station. He had hit his head on the console prior to the boarding actions, and didn’t know anything that had happened since then.

The Dead Crow and the Holub launched from the hangar, and managed to successfully evade the pirate fighters that were scrambled to chase them down. Being unable to identify which pirate clan had attacked the station, and why, the group elected to finally pay a visit to Al’Shaddur. Contacting the pirate baron, they were told to rendezvous on a small asteroid where Al’Shaddur’s flagship and several other pirate vessels were landed and concealed. After linking up the Dead Crow’s airlock to the flagship’s and being admitted on board (sans any weaponry or heavy armour of course), the crew proceeded to Al’Shaddur’s throne room…

The date is now February 21st, 2237.

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March 4th, 2012

The date is February 10th, 2237.

After docking with the pirate station the group rounded up the crew that had remained aboard the station: Vishal Devdas and his brother Duleep. Checking the local bounty boards revealed that Vishal had a bounty of 80,000 on his head, so the group decided to do what they do best and attempt to extort as much money out of the hapless pirate as they could before turning him in for the bounty. Promising him his freedom if he emptied his savings account, Adrian managed to get 170,000 credits out of him before locking him and his brother up in the Dead Crow with their other prisoner, Jitendra.

Meanwhile, Armand took to exploring the station, where he came across a sealed room. Hacking the door open revealed two prisoners who had been kept inside: Mirek Hruska and his manservant. Although Armand was initially distrustful of Hruska and planned to deal with him like he dealt with all his other captives, Lo-Ren soon arrived on the scene to vouch for him. It turns out Lo-Ren and Hruska knew each other from their time as pirates, and Lo-Ren assured the group that Hruska was to be trusted, and could be an asset to their team.

However, before the team could go anywhere they had a few problems to attend to. During the battle for the space station the Dead Crow had taken a few hits, and while several of them just mildly damaged the systems (sensors and maneuverability being reduced), a few hits had unluckily connected with the ship’s fuel tanks. Battlefield repairs by Adrian had allowed the ship to limp to the dock with the station, but before long the fuel tanks had fallen apart completely, and the Dead Crow was left without it’s lifeblood. However, the space van still had a perfectly intact (although very undersized) fuel tank, so the group set to work pulling the tanks out of the van and installing them in the Dead Crow. This would allow them just enough fuel to limp to a nearby starbase with proper repair facilities.

Taking 30 tons of uncommon ore from the space station’s cargo bay and deciding to leave the manuever drive deprived pirate vessel still floating outside the station, the crew set off to nearby trader station Gupreet’s Gears, with Mirek Hruska along riding in his small two person fighter which had been left parked in the space station’s hangar after his capture by the pirates. On the station the crew repaired their ship, entailing the following bill:

Fuel Tank repair and refit (32,000 credits)
1 month of fuel (8,000 credits)
Sensor repair (6,000 credits)
Maneuver Drive Repair (18,000 credits)

After leaving the prisoners aboard the station with Ariel to babysit them, the group then returned to the site of their conquest to deal with the floating ship that they had left there. However they had the bad luck to arrive just as the poor ship’s distress call was finally being answered: another pirate vessel, comparable in size to the Dead Crow, was arriving. After a failed attempt at talking down the opposing vessel, the Crow and the pirates engaged. Mirek Hruska and Armand flew in close to the vessel in Mirek’s fighter, and the pirate vessel launched a small fighter of their own. But despite the relatively equal sizes of the opposing fleets, the pirates were still outgunned by the impressive armament of the Dead Crow. The enemy fighter was utterly destroyed, and the larger pirate vessel reduced to a floating husk of a ship, few systems intact.

Hoping to board the ship and take as much of it as they could for their own, the crew attempted to coerce the enemy vessel into surrender. But these pirates were not afraid to die; they refused to go nicely. After the ship jettisoned most of their crew away in escape pods, the Dead Crow used it’s breaching tube to traumatically inseminate the enemy vessel through it’s bridge. Armand, Adrian and Mirek boarded the vessel to salvage what they could. But when they arrived they were confronted with the one crew members who had remained on board… and one who was very prepared to die defending his ship. The pirate had strapped a number of explosive to himself, and was holding a dead man’s switch. He ordered the invaders off of his ship, and while Adrian and Mirek immediately fled back out of the breaching tube, Armand decided to face down the pirate suicide bomber and persuade him to stand down. Uttering one of the absolute worst speeches of his life, Armand only succeeding in persuading the pirate to detonate himself.

Luckily for Armand the pirate had hastily prepared his explosives, so the blast failed to get past Armand’s heavily fortified armour. However the blast inside an already broken ship was the final death blow to the vessel. The structure collapsed and the breaching tube separated from the hull, sucking Adrian and Hruska out of the tube and into the vacuum of space, along with the nearly exploded Armand. All the crew had been wise enough to wear their Vac Suits, so Mr. B was able to collect the free floating crew members and return them to the Dead Crow’s airlock, although without the booty they had set out for…

The date is now February 16th, 2237.

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February 19th, 2012

The date is February 2nd, 2237.

With their ship finally completed and officially christened as The Dead Crow, the group decided it was time to test it’s merit on the spaceways. Using Ariel and Lo-Ren’s connections and intelligence about the asteroid belt the group located a route through the belt known to be ripe pickings for pirates. Disguising their ship’s sensor output as that of a heavily laden and defenceless freighter, the group began traversing the asteroid belt, hoping to bait some pirates into attacking them.

Sure enough it was long before a modified Type-S scout vessel arrived on the scene and demanded that the Dead Crow surrender their vessel and cargo. Waiting until the ship got in nice and close, the Dead Crow then popped their concealed turrets and opened fire on the smaller pirate vessel. With Lo-Ren on the pilot controls, Ariel and Armand both manning turrets, Adrian on damage control and Winston tending to the engineering section the Dead Crow had the pirate vessel vastly out gunned and outcrewed. Although the Crow suffered several small hits these were easily (albeit temporarily) repaired by Adrian. The enemy ship suffered far worse: an exceptionally powerful shot by Armand meant to cripple the enemy ship instead tore it right in half, killing all but one of the crew immediately and liquefying any cargo that might have been salvageable.

The Dead Crow’s crew managed to recover the only survivor of the blast, a junior pirate named Jatindra, who had managed to survive encased in a blast resistant safety bubble. They brought him aboard the Crow where they used their tried and true method of interrogation to find out where he had come from, and if riches were to be had there. Jatindra and his ship had been a new pirate crew from the Young Guns clan, who had been trying to prove themselves to the older pirates in the clan. They were operating out of a nearby, very small base built into the side of a tiny asteroid.

Extorting some specifics about the station and it’s armament out of Jatindra, the crew decided to take on the station in a full frontal assault, with the goal of claiming it as their own. A much harder battle took place, with the station launching two small ships like those the Crow had just destroyed, and also firing at the Crow with it’s long range Particle Beam and missile launchers. The Crow took several hits, most notably one that ripped apart the Crow’s fuel tanks, but the Crow dealt out far more punishment than it took, destroying one of the Type-S crafts and leaving the other floating with no manoeuvre drive. Seeing that it was outgunned, the station surrendered and allowed the crew to come aboard…

The date is now February 10th, 2237.

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