Flashback: 18 Mar 2405 CE
Back on Zernebog Radical, Rostya is pulled out of the line to board the people-mover and herded into an interrogation booth where discovers his contact waiting for him, anti-eavesdropping gear already activated. The contact asks about the progress of Rostya’s mission, then informs him that something major is going to happen within the next month…
25 Mar 2405 CE
On Basildon, Baefre is about to be cut down by criminals but he loudly points out that he’s been challenged. Ilik quickly backs this up and a grizzled old man none of the PCs had really noticed before comments that Baefre’s right. He (the guy they thought was the street-captain but probably wasn’t) should do it correctly. A challenge is issued for one hour hence and is accepted.
After hooking back up with Rostya who has just arrived, the crew enter the small dueling arena after paying the expected fee. Ilik decides to get in on some gabling action and convinces Anya to join in, while Baefre (with Rostya as his second) gets prepared. Immediately before the signal, Ilik hits Baefre’s foe with some distracting psionics that cause him to momentarily hesitate. There is an exchange of gunfire … and Baefre collapses, unconscious. His foe goes to a knee but barely clings to awareness. The duel is over and Baefre has lost.
Deciding to check Baefre into a clinic to recover, the rest of the crew continue their digging … okay, Ephraim continues to dig while Anya and Ilik go clubbing and Rostya keeps an eye on the injured Taareh in case someone comes looking for revenge. Ephraim eventually isolates who he needs to talk to on Nyx as well as reviews the autopsy report which indicates Roberts was drunk and had recently breathed Nyx air unfiltered, so he likely wasn’t thinking clearly. Ilik’s clubbing goes poorly, but Anya has a blast and runs into an old associate from when she was a scout.
During the day, the crew catch up on their local news: the Elpis Ministry of Defence has executed an admiral for ‘not doing his utmost’ in an engagement with pirates; talks between Houses Malik and Nelson break down, prompting many to fear conflict again; the SpaceFarer’s Collective continue their lawfare against the duke; and the PKF is rumored to be pulling out of Moros any day now. This time for sure.
26 Mar 2405 CE
Despite his needing to spend at least one more day in the clinic, Baefre checks himself out and the crew get shuttle tickets to Central Lake on Nyx. They have their secured belongings transferred to the “bus” and board along with three other passengers. After some time, the “bus” disembarks.
A little more than two hours later, as they enter the planetary atmosphere, the shuttle abruptly goes evasive and the pilots announce that there is a big fight going on with many ships. And then, the pilot shouts, “Strap in NOW! Missile alert!”
The second-rate freight hauler pilot does a good job, completely evading a missile launched by a vessel coming down from high orbit. A second does not even come close, and they almost manage to dodge the third.
The shuttle limps over the ocean, managing a controlled crash that sends it skidding along in a deep furrow. It smashes against a rocky obstruction with a horrible crash and power flickers before failing completely. They’re down.
As the other passengers react, the crew spring into action, ensuring their masks are secured (since Nyx has a thin, tainted atmo) and then turning to survival. Anya saw the large battle taking place in the sky that the shuttle stumbled into (although it seems likely that the battle erupted as the shuttle was passing through.) Comm channels are clogged with panic and confusion, though they can glean that this is evidently a flare-up of the conflict between Houses Malik and Nelson.
One of the pilots is completely gone, either vaporized by the missile that struck the bridge section or blown free and lost over the ocean, while the other is clearly dead, hands rigidly locked on the flight controls. One of the passengers – Karine Lukowiak, a Nyxian native based on her accent, identifies their location as Zone Six, a dangerous no-man’s land controlled by renegade partisans operating as tribal groups who wage a guerrilla war against the Families who encroach upon their territory.
The crew parcel out the survival gear and decide to get clear – night is falling and Nyx is frigid when the sun is down. As they trudge down an easier route, one of the other passengers hears the noise of an airborne engine. Just as it looks that they might be saved, a streak of light indicates a portable missile of some sort has been launched from the ground at the approaching craft. It veers away, spraying return fire wildly in many directions.
And Rostya, the veteran of much combat, recognizes that the missile was likely a shoulder-launched version instead of a ground emplacement. They’re not alone out here…
- Man, there was a lot of joking and cross-talk going on tonight. We did not get as far as expected.
- The duel was amusing. As a honor duel, they faced off with Shot Pistols (so 1 shot, 3D damage) and gained the full +6 Aim bonus to the shot (which meant Baefre could not miss), then rolled initiative to determine who went first. I decided that Ilik’s psionic actions would cause Bane on Baefre’s opponent, which allowed the Taareh to shoot first; he hit but rolled miserable damage, even with all the bonuses – if he’d have been able to eke out 1 more point of damage, his opponent would have been knocked unconscious. On my turn, I shot and did exactly enough damage to knock Baefre unconscious (END + STR damage.) Duel over.
- We encountered some rules questions that I have to look up – how much does medical treatment actually cost post-creation? Or does it cost the same (5000 per point healed)? Plus, how much do the PCs get paid by LFC?
- I didn’t control the “what are you doing while Baefre is recovering” montage very well and tried to push Ephraim’s character to finish up more than I should have. He’s the admin guy; he should have his moment to shine.
- The crash went fine but I also didn’t quite manage the immediate aftermath very well. I’m going to have to review how to do that better.