Star*Drive 2525: Hunting for Fun and Profit

Session 13 & 14 -- To the End
A conclusion of sorts...for now

About 6 hours after we first interrogate Tigerlord a vessel comes into sensor range that we detect on approach to pirate island planet. We can tell it’s slightly smaller than we are and is using induction engines. It’s not trying to hide as it’s using active sensors to sweep the area. We’re unsure if it has detected us. We elect to drop into the atmosphere, away from the city, to hide, leaving the ship on autopilot to circle safely. We track the ship until it begins decelerating, assuredly to enter orbit, when we lose tracking.

We wait 24 hours and try to mind rape Tigerlord again for his access codes as those are rather integral to getting to Pirate Island. This time we are successful at getting his codes to access Pirate Island. We keep in mind that we’d be appearing to be him in this case. While we have him we try to extract more information; Sinon tries to get access codes to his financial accounts. Unfortunately he’s not able to extract the information and he’s kicked out of Tigerlord’s mind. We promptly put him into stasis to make sure he stays asleep during the visit.

We decide to pose as Tigerlord’s lackeys as we’re showing up under his access codes. Hilo-chai offers to alter the ship’s appearance with tiger stripes to help with the convincing. We consider it and decide to utilize a high-TL disguise kit to make Blake look like Tigerlord; Gargoyle ends up doing a good job of it, making his roll by 5. Blake watches some video footage of Tigerlord to get a good feel for him to best emulate his behavior.

Holo-chai establishes contact with a gruff man who looks the part of a space pirate. He notices that it’s not Tigerlord’s ship and wants to know what’s up. Blake indicates there was a change of plans and Tigerlord’s normal ship is not available. He states that we’re here to pick up more supplies. The man is confused but Blake tries to verbally muscle past him and states that his time is being wasted. The man accedes and sends docking coordinates. It’s a challenging landing but Blake is able to negotiate the descent successfully. The station is made of a large array of interlocking hexagons with a large structure built on top. There appears to be some kind of structure below the surface as well as above. Our docking area, once we land, descends and a covering to our docking pod closes above as our vehicles wings fold upward. We find by connecting to the local grid that there are several levels to the complex including temporary living quarters, a place to stay for the more permanent staff. We find ourselves in a dimly lit docking bay on Pirate Island.

Nobody comes to greet us. Trying to think like Tigerlord we decide to go and find a casino on-station. We gear up in our combat equipment and leave the ship. There’s a loud, constant hum from the environmental systems to the complex which work overtime to keep the habitat comfortable from the extreme heat and humidity outside. We quickly arrive in a large concourse – a piratical bazaar of many individuals milling about in various no-good activities. Fortunately all of the occupants are armed and armored as we are, showing little trust for each other. In short it’s a bad place to start a fight. There are six levels to the huge complex made of concentric circles of vendor’s stalls. We’re able to identify standing crew of the station by black armbands.

We want to move quickly through this large area towards the casino/brothel/etc, which is on the third floor – down two from our current location. We ignore the hawkers screaming for our attention from nearby stalls. Less traffic is present in the casino although it’s still populated. About 50 piratical folks are present. We get a private room to plan our next move. After observing a large number of folks taking the brainbug drugs one option we consider is looking for a concentration of addicts to start our work. Instead we decide on the plan to go up to one of the retailers and let them know that Tigerlord wishes to speak with them. We can try and get them to give up their supplier with some fast-talk from “Tigerlord” or Sinon to just mind-rape him for the information. Aiden and Seamus go up to fetch one. Unfortunately the first one is rather resistant to talking further about their supplier.

We head back to the ship and dig into Tigerlord’s mind some more. Sinon is able to find out how Tigerlord goes about obtaining his brainbug supply on Pirate Island. He normally arranges to sell his captured loot on the top level where the illegal sales and brokerages are. After then he waits around for a while and a crate of them shows up in his docking bay. We ask how his relationship with his supplier started; apparently he was approached by a grey-faced man in a flowing coat with shark-like teeth; the man asked him if he would want to make extra money when he arrives. He doesn’t have knowledge of any means with which to contact the supplier. The delivery always happens when he and his crew are not present and not watching. Three or four random station workers bring in the crate and then leave. Sinon tries to extract details about the suppliers from inside info he may have; he’s unable to do so. We are able to get information for some financial accounts that he has on the station. Apparently some of the lower levels of the station may contain the individuals that we want to talk with to obtain access to lower levels of the station. We unfortunately aren’t able to gather further information and decide to end the mind rape.

At this point with the collected information we have we elect to go up to the merchants’ level and purchase a few doses of the brainbugs for later analysis, then elect to take what we have to the Concord and to turn in our bounty on Tigerlord. Gargoyle, Aiden and Seamus go up to make the purchase. Upon their return to the ship they find three station crew loitering by the entrance to our docking bay. They appear to be tense-looking. When approached by our group they state that they’re supposed to inform us there’s some kind of problem with our ship. He states that there’s some sort of problem with its registration or ownership. Aiden looms over the poor station worker, who already looks nervous but looks much more so after. Unfortunately he states that he must lock down our docking bay. Gargoyle lets Seamus know that he’ll take the one on the left if he takes the one on the right. Seamus stares at his target and demands he unlock the docking bay. He refuses instead. The crewmembers indicate that we must go see the station administration to have our ship released. We indicate that they need to talk to our captain, who is inside; they finally relent and let us in; we can apparently now use communications. Seamus, Aiden and Gargoyle explain the situation.

Blake, posing as Tigerlord, gives a call to admin and tries to throw his weight around, but to no avail; they state that they think we’re bounty hunters posing as Tigerlord. Blake repositions the ship so that plasma cannons are facing down the ingress corridor; we threaten to begin shooting the docking area if they try to board us. Station control states that we should leave and never return, opening our bay doors. We take off very quickly and leave; the station unsurprisingly starts shooting at us. Blake fires up the deflection inducers and dodges wildly; all their shots miss. As we ascend into orbit, however, the ship that we previously detected come in to orbit is waiting for us and moves to attack. It’s slightly smaller than we are and appears to be some type of customized pirate freighter that looks to be well-armed. We move for a direct confrontation.

We all receive three character points.

Session 14

Space combat commences! We are between 200 and 20,000 miles from the enemy ship (our current range band). The enemy spacecraft’s transponder reads as the Cruel Moon and appears to be slightly more heavily armed.

Aiden begins barking out orders to get the crew organized. Benton heads back to the engine room to doctor the engines. Holo-chai takes navigation and communication. Seamus grabs a gunner’s seat, as does Aiden. Gargoyle and Sinon strap in for the ride.

Blake begins by accelerating hard towards the target, managing to out-maneuver him early on and moves in on an attack vector. Our mass cannon fires but misses the target but the plasma cannons manage to hit! One of the twin plasma cannons takes out their deflection inducer completely while the second cannon shot disables one of the main weapon batteries of the attacker. A secondary explosion takes out their secondary sensor array.

The enemy pilot panics and takes evasive action to avoid further hits and expands the range between the two ships. They wheel around and try a long-range shot but miss in pathetic fashion.

Blake takes the ship in a vicious turn and bears down directly at the ship at an aggressive vector; the enemy manages to evade him at first but Blake is able to get into an advantageous position by giving up his defensive posture. The mass cannon hits this time to incredible effect as the ship’s flank is presented to the Talon. It’s plasma beam batteries are destroyed and the armor severely weakened. The hull stress is severe enough that the ship shears and its drive pushes the ship apart; it disintegrates into some quickly-moving debris. The plasma cannons are also dead-on but fire through the empty space the hull previously occupied.

We begin moving out-system to jump away. Holo-chai gathers some detailed sensor readings of the target ship in case it had a bounty on it. We spend a few weeks travelling to Acheron and drop him off with the Federation of Acheson, netting 195,000 credits. We celebrate. Next step is to go travel to the Concord to inform them of our findings on Pirate Island.

On that we end for now. We receive two character points for our brief and bloody space battle.

Session 12 -- Tigerlord Subdued
What now?

Smoke has erupted from a fire in the center of the room from the plasma grenade. The fire suppression system kicks in and white foam covers the floor quickly. A blaring fire alarm sounds. We realize that the room has security cameras so likely building personnel just watched us decimate the room.

We move quickly back the way that Seamus and Gargoyle came to head back through the hole in the ceiling. Sinon directs Benton to give Tigerlord something to sedate him for the trip and he falls unconscious shortly thereafter. Tigerlord is bleeding a bit as well so he tries to make some hasty fixes. Unfortunately he does it a bit too quickly and bungles the job. However he’s unaware and has no reason to think otherwise so we move on.

20 seconds elapse while Benton works on Tigerlord. Meanwhile Aiden and Seamus work on putting together an easy way to get upstairs via the hole. Blake watches the door to the room they’re in while Sinon climbs upstairs to watch that room. We make our way upstairs into the guest room. Gargoyle removes our chair we used to ascend up the floor to make it less obvious that we went up that route. We don’t see a heat source through the door. Sinon grabs a bedsheet and wraps Tigerlord in it to disguise his identity.

We get set to move. Seamus will carry Tigerlord. Aiden, Blake and Gargoyle take point so that Gargoyle can find the way out with his enhanced spatial sense. Sinon guards the rear. We still have our assault weapons out as we’ll either encounter security personnel in the building who will kill us or we’ll meet people we can intimidate with our weapons. We make our way out of the room.

Seamus shall henceforth always be referred to as Sharknado because it can be no other way.

We realize that we can easily exit by going to any exterior wall and cutting a hole in it, then dropping down via rope. We begin to make our way through the hallways. Down the corridor a ways Blake sees two casino guards beginning to round a corner up ahead. We notice them first. They’re decked out in combat vests and carry 6mm autorifles. Aiden elects to talk first; Blake and Gargoyle follow his lead. Blake complains about the fire suppressant foam, acting like a disgruntled guest (despite our automatic rifles and the guy in a sheet carried by Sharknado). They respond with confusion initially. We don’t stop walking and move past them. We take the first turn that comes up and they don’t bother following.

We make our way to an exterior room. It has a window but it’s not designed to open so we fix that with some laser torches. Sinon retrieves a rope from his backpack. Gargoyle goes out first to take a look around and takes a look around the area to make sure it’s safe to egress. Aiden barricades the door. While handing Tigerlord down we realized that he’s still bleeding heavily. Benton fixes his previous error and confirms that Tigerlord is now stabilized.

We’ve emerged into an alleyway. We take a moment to put our heavy equipment into our duffel bags. Aiden walks out of the alley and takes up a position in the area beyond – the front of the building, watching the scene. Prior to us leaving Sinon directs Aiden and Gargoyle to take a good look at the alley and the front of the building to try and locate cameras; we’re able to find a few spots. As we do so some guards come by the alley but they aren’t able to detect those who don’t go to look for cameras. We’re able to make our way away from the building safely.

Our next goal is to locate a safehouse to hole up in while Blake goes to retrieve our ship. We do some research and are able to locate an abandoned building not far away. However we realize that they likely have enough facial information to cause Blake to be easily recognizable. We decide it’s a good time to go out and obtain a disguise kit while Gargoyle works on downloading mad skillz. Sinon finds a good place to hide and keep watch in our safehouse while Benton and Sharknado monitor our captive. Benton sets up a drip of sedative to keep Tigerlord asleep. Gargoyle disguises Blake and Aiden and gets them ready to move. He then also goes off and finds a good place to hide and keep watch.

Blake and Aiden head out into town. The notice that casino guards are out and about, travelling in groups of three and obviously looking for someone. It’s clear from being around town that our profiles have been distributed and we are now wanted. Blake and Aiden manage to move through the crowd unnoticed. They wait several hours for a train and are able to ride it to Port Royal. All in all about 6-7 hours elapse and Blake and Aiden are able to make their way safely to the ship. Holo-chai verifies the safety of the ship while we were gone.

Blake and Aiden take our ship over to Santiago and park at the decrepit and uncontrolled spaceport. The law of the land involves whoever has the biggest weapon taking the prime parking locations. As we come in for a landing Blake detects two other ships trying to angle for the same parking spot we’re going for; only one space is available. As they see our approach one ship decides it’s not worth the trouble while the other accelerates to try and get there first. Blake is, of course, not to be outdone and he revs the engine in a mad dash. Aiden’s fingernails put new furrows into his command chair as Blake’s crazy flying unsettles him slightly. However he expertly pilots the ship down, managing to get position on the competitor and handily box him out. Blake is able to claim his landing spot without issue.

Now that the ship has arrived we prepare to move. Gargoyle disguises Sharknado and Benton while we keep Tigerlord wrapped up in his blanket. As this is a highly uncontrolled area nobody seems to particularly care as we walk out. We make it to the ship without incident.

As we take off for orbit we discuss our next move. After consultation we decide that we have time before delivering our bounty to Rogue, Inc and elect to go visit Pirate Island to try and track down what’s going on with the brainbug trade. Blake plots a course and we begin the relatively short trip to pirate island (26 hours). We get about a day of downtime.

During the day we take a bit to wake up Tigerlord so that Sinon can mind rape him for information. We’re able to determine that specialized codes are required to make a comm call to the island as well as special protocol available for the call itself (which we’re able to get). Unfortunately we’re not able to obtain any codes to use as Sinon is unable to maintain the psionic link.

Once we arrive Sinon is able to use his psionic abilities to triangulate the position of Pirate Island. He gets a bit lucky in locating the position, taking an educated guess on the second try, but is able to come up with the position.

Thanks to the excellent streamlining of the Talon Blake is able to easily pilot our ship down through the atmosphere. We alter the transponder and are able to employ some smart paint on the exterior to change registration numbers and coloration. The air is around 203 degrees F so some kind of environmentally sealed suit will be needed.

We end for the night and all receive three character points.

Session 11 -- Crazy Motherf-----!!
Plan? Who needs a plan??!?!

Sinon establishes a mental link to Seamus in order to determine the proper location for the ambush to take place. Meanwhile Seamus takes off for the club to contact Phil. Phil meets him and they head through the bar to a large casino, encountering a few well-dressed and well-armed guards. He’s lead to a back room where Tigerlord lounges with a large contingent of his crew, probably twenty of them or so. Tigerlord nods and brings him over, indicating that they don’t want to let any bounty hunters through and that someone is going to ask Seamus some questions. He’s taken into a backroom with an older human woman who invites him to sit; Seamus declines. The woman asks for his hands, identifying herself as a mindwalker. Seamus refuses, indicating that he doesn’t deal with psionic stuff and doesn’t want someone else in his head. The two of them appear to be getting slightly fidgety at his reluctance, stepping backwards warily and reiterating that this is a mandatory part of his employment. We try to get Seamus to find a way to leave.

At this point the two guards have drawn their pistols. Seamus tries to get them to allow him to walk. One of the guards gets on the radio for instructions; Seamus observes that he seems to be tensing up, perhaps about to attack.

Meanwhile Gargoyle begins trying to sneak through an upper window in the establishment.

Seamus realizes that the room must be soundproofed – the casino outside is very loud but he can’t hear any of that. He decides to act first. He quick-draws his sword and strikes twice quickly at the weapon arm of the one that isn’t on the radio. One of the two blows lands but it’s enough to sever the arm; it plops to the floor uselessly. His buddy stops talking on the radio and tries to bring his weapon to bear, firing. Seamus is able to smack the weapon away and avoids being hit. The psionic woman begins screaming futilely in the soundproof room. With his remaining hand the wounded guard draws his sword awkwardly, as if he’s holding it in his off-hand.

Seamus flies at the other guard, striking twice at his weapon arm and hitting both times. Another arm joins the first on the ground with another dull thud. His second strike hits the man’s chest, dealing a painful wound. The man joins his arm on the floor, unconscious. The first guard slashes at Seamus with an awkward swing but fails to connect. Sermons responds in a much more adept manner, taking two shots at his chest. However the man somehow evades both strikes. He responds with another wild swing that doesn’t connect. Meanwhile the psionic woman has stopped shrieking and has pulled a small pistol from somewhere. Seamus maneuvers to keep her as well as the armless guard in view together. He takes another swing at the guard who once again somehow evades; his responding attack yet again is inept. The psi woman aims awkwardly at Seamus.

Seamus charges at the woman, swinging his sword; her arm joins the guards’ on the ground. She falls to the floor in a heap along with her severed arm. The remaining guard tries to run up behind Seamus to attack him but as he’s missing an arm he’s off-balance and can’t hit. Seamus turns and attacks, landing his blow and cutting into him savagely. The guard somehow maintains consciousness and even is able to mount another attack on Seamus that yet again swings wild. Seamus’ response takes him through the chest with another nasty wound; he passes out shortly after.

Meanwhile Gargoyle has made his way to a lift and is working to cut his way through towards Seamus. He does so in short order and a chunk of ceiling falls into the room. Seamus is able to hop up to the second floor with Gargoyle. Seamus updates the rest of the party. Seamus waves to Gargoyle with an arm.

Outside Sinon continues to update the rest of the party on Seamus’ situation. The three of us outside walk up to the entrance and try to indicate to them that we’re requested by Tigerlord. Blake indicates to the guard that we’ve been asked to deal with Sharknado within the building who is raising a disturbance. The guard buys it and we’re let through quickly. Sinon demands the guard communicate to the other guards to let us come through without trouble; he complies and the four of them move quickly through the casino, readying weapons and gear. Out of game we briefly stop to realize that we’ve effectively kicked down the door prior to considering whether this was the plan of attack we wanted to take. We of course continue.

We prepare to breach the large private room that Tigerlord is within. Seamus takes a quick look inside the room from the opposite side, seeing a slice of the room and relaying it to the other side. Seamus keeps the guard’s hand with him in case it’s needed for security scanners.

Aiden slaps open the door. Gargoyle, coordinating with Sinon via Seamus and some telepathy, tosses a grenade in from the opposite side of the room. A table in the center of the room, along with its dealer, incinerated from the blast. Aiden looses a burst at each tigress who are both sitting next to Tigerlord in a corner. Somehow the two tigresses were already up and in motion as we kicked in the door. Both of them fling themselves wildly out of the way. One takes three rounds, her chest exploding as APHEX rounds hit her. The impact from the bullets sends her in the completely opposite direction despite her rushing forwards; she hits the ground, not moving. The second tigress is more fortunate and dodges all the rounds, still prone on the ground. Seamus moves up in his hallway. Blake fires a burst at one of the guys at a nearby table with his laser rifle; his chest disintegrates and explodes outwards. He expires messily. Benton also looses a burst at the nearest bad guy and badly violates his Hippocratic oath as the man’s chest explodes, flying backwards. The same story occurs with one near to Sinon.

The tigress hops up acrobatically but remains in place. Gargoyle steps forward and fires his grazer pistol at one of the injured men in the center of the room. He strikes once in the man’s back, dealing severe damage but not knocking him out of the fight. Aiden fires off another burst at the remaining tigress. Her chest explodes in its entirety and she also thuds to the ground, now quite inert. He also sends a tangled grenade at tigerlord but he manages to duck out of the way and avoids the attack. In response he quick-draws his pistol and fires off a few rounds at Aiden. Aiden flings himself wildly out of the way to avoid the attack and the shots miss. Seamus charges in directly at Tigerlord, leaping over a couch with some terrified and blood-splattered chicks on it, and misses as Tigerlord is barely able to pull out of the way in time. Blake takes a shot at another target, sending three shots across the room, but the man manages to avoid being hit. Benton does the same but with a few more shots, causing the man to explode through and through. Sinon takes aim at one of the veterans across the room with his rifle.

Tigerlord quick-draws a vibrokatana, stands up (apparently he was previously sitting on the couch). Gargoyle steps up and flicks his monowire whip to ready it. Aiden fires another tangled grenade at tigerlord but again tigerlord dodges, despite his use of luck to avoid missing. The burst of fire that Aiden also sends his way is dodged. He is not so fortunate against Seamus’ sword, however, which takes him in the sword arm. The floor claims yet another limb form Seamus’ sword as Tigerlord’s joins the party. That makes four arms on the evening so far. Amazingly Tigerlord is a wuss; he stares blankly at his stump of an arm and promptly passes out! Blake shoots at the same target across the room, this time doing much better. He takes bad wounds across his chest but somehow remains conscious. One of the vets across the room fast-draws his longarm from a holster and sprays Sinon and Blake with a long burst of fire. Sinon dodges out of the way dexterously, managing to keep his sights aligned on the man; the shooter misses Blake entirely. The man who Blake just shot passes out. One of the other nooks fires sixteen shots at Sinon, who can’t quite get out of the way. Fortunately his armor is more than up to the task. He returns fire to his target across the room, landing three shots to the torso; the man promptly passes out.

Gargoyle steps up a short distance and fires at the one remaining member of Tigerlord’s crew; he expires messily.

With his crew dead Seamus pulls his gun and covers Tigerlord, demanding he surrender. We begin to ponder how we’re going to manacle Tigerlord as he’s without one arm now. We demand the noncombatants lock themselves in the back room.

With that we end for the night. We all get five character points.

Session 10 -- Treading Water

We resolve some betting question regarding Seamus’ cage match.

We review video of the cage match and our recording of Tigerlord and his entourage. Tigerlord looks mostly unmoved with the exception of a wry smile at the throat-ripping. The tigresses swish their tails repeatedly but otherwise don’t make any special moves.

As Seamus waits in the ring to be let out the cage handlers let him wait for a few minutes to ensure he’s cooled off, then let him out. They direct him to a waiting area to see to any wounds he received. They also reuite him with his clothes.

Time passes for the rest of us, who are hanging out in the bar. About 25 minutes pass; Tigerlord walks out of the bar with two Tigresses and one of his henchmen and heads towards the holding area that Seamus was taken to.

A short time later Seamus gets a knock at the door; he opens it to admit one of Tigerlord’s crew, stating that Tigerlord wants to speak with him. Apparently he doesn’t speak to all the winners but wants to talk with him. He pulls out a handheld scanner and checks over Seamus, proclaiming him safe enough when done.

Two seductive tigresses walk in and circle him once or twice, obviously inspecting him. Seamus quips, asking if they’re his victory presents. That earns one frown and one toothy grin and a purr from the other. They’re clearly armed with both a pistol as well as some kind of curved monosword. They ask Seamus to take a seat.

Tigerlord comes in shortly after. Seamus finally gets a good look at him. The man has quite a few tiger tattoos with some wild hair. Physical build is good but not remarkable. He’s wearing a nanoweave bodysuit, carries a heavy laser pistol and a katana. He takes a seat and introduces himself. The tigresses stand to either side of Tigerlord.

He states that the cage fight was impressive and asks if he enjoyed himself. Seamus remarks that it would be better with salt, eliciting a laugh. Tigerlord offers him a position in his crew, stating in so many words that he could use him as a hired thug to intimidate people. Seamus indicates that he’d be interested in accepting. Tigerlord states that if he’d like to accept the position to return to the bar and ask for the manager of the bar, Phil. Seamus indicates that he very may well accept. Tigerlord also states that he’ll be on-planet for the next three weeks. The two chicks and Tigerlord then leave.

A short time later Seamus’ remaining possessions are returned to him with a word that he could return to fight again any time he likes.

Seamus takes off separately from the rest of us; we agree to meet elsewhere to talk.

We discuss the plan a bit more, talking about how Seamus is going to conceal his actual job, how we might take advantage of this development, and such. We estimate that the amount of time it would take for a drivesat message to be sent and then received gives us about two weeks time before conceivably Tigerlord could find out what’s up.

Benton analyzes some of the remaining goo left over from the two melted aliens and indicated that it’s beyond him but the obvious product of some advanced biotechnology. Gargoyle indicates that he knows someone who might be able to fill in that gap. He lives on Bluefall, however. Gargoyle decides to send a shadow over to Bluefall to make the inquiry on his behalf, encrypting some of their sample data too.

Seamus purchases some fancy explosive ammo.

In thinking about it more we know that Tigerlord leaves to go to Pirate Island and returns with money and the drugs we’ve found. Given that there’s an obvious link between the drugs and the externals we fought (based on their desire to get their hands on the body we found) it would stand to reason that the externals may be on Pirate Island.

Considering that our objective is completing the bounty, not tracking down the source of the drugs, we consider ways to gather some more information about Tigerlord as well as try to plan out how we’d go about ambushing him or otherwise getting into a good situation to capture him alive. We discuss different methods of delivering drugs to incapacitate him.

Intense discussion regarding the viability of mini-nuke weapons and dial-a-kiloton functionality ensues. The plan of nuking the city and sending some ashes in an envelope to the bounty hunting board is seriously considered and then, after careful consideration, rejected.

After a couple of days Seamus goes to speak to Phil to get ahold of Tigerlord, who indicates that he’ll get in contact with him soon and will call Seamus.

In that time we return to the ship to retrieve our heavier armor, weapons and other gear.

At this point we have completely derailed ourselves and we stop for the night.

Session 9 -- Viscious Fights All Around

Nearly 15 minutes elapse while we treat Seamus’ wounds and secure the area. Sinon re-locates the two hostiles, finding they have moved into the stairwell, which Aiden is now guarding. Sinon waits ten seconds after getting their location the first time and then does so again, determining that their position has not changed. He then sits down, asks Blake to keep an eye out around him, and begins using his psionics to look in on them. Unfortunately while he’s able to adjust his view to see them it’s pitch black in that area of the stairwell; he’s unable to make anything out. He quickly restores his vision to normal.

We hatch a plan for Gargoyle and Sinon to sneak downwards from above, about six to seven floors; Gargoyle will fly them both up several floors to that point. Meanwhile Seamus and Benton will take the elevator up to that floor while Aiden and Blake will go up the stairs to confront them.

Benton gets to work hotwiring the elevator to take them up to the desired floor and is able to do so successfully. They wait to take it upwards until Gargoyle and Sinon get into position, as Gargoyle begins flapping upwards. They arrive on floor 30. Gargoyle makes short work of a lock on the stairwell door. Gargoyle and Sinon begin quietly making their way downward, Gargoyle taking point and handing off his graser pistol to Sinon. The two of them, from a small amount of emergency lighting in the shaft, can make their way downwards. They proceed down several landings to floor 26 and can see, near one of the stairs, an armed grenade of some kind. Gargoyle examines it and sees it’s a standard plasma grenade. He alerts the rest of the group. After observing the situation a bit Sinon tries to hop down to a nearby landing to use a rope to set it off from a distance. However in doing so he sets it off. He manages to dodge backwards but is still hit by the blast, although not badly. He then feels a heavy “thwack” in his head and is stunned briefly by some kind of psionic attack, slumping to the floor.

Gargoyle hops down to try to reach Sinon and can hear something coming up the stairs quickly towards him. Sinon shakes himself and begins to come to his senses; he’s able, at the bottom of the next landing, a hulking Bareem coming up the stairs. He flicks some sort of device at Sinon, who barely pushes himself out of the way in time for the attack to miss, sparking off the concrete next to him. Gargoyle is able to bounce a grenade down the landing Sinon is on and it lands on the landing of the bad guy. Sinon stands and, while doing so, is able to determine that the door is unlocked. The Bareem runs down the stairs to escape the blast. Benton and Seamus emerge from the elevator a few floors down to an empty landing. Aiden and Blake proceed up the stairs cautiously, hearing the sounds of combat above.

As Blake and Aiden move upstairs Aiden is able to just make out, in the darkness, a shape in the darkness watching the area for approach. The creature snaps off a shot at Aiden who is just able to get back in cover in time. Sinon is able to book it up the stairs and get out of the blast radius of the grenade. He makes sure to thank Gargoyle for covering for him. Seamus and Gargoyle activate their enhancements as time feels to slow slightly. Aiden and Blake peek their head around briefly; Aiden notes that the bad guy is no longer present where he was before. Blake covers the landing above in case the guy pops out again.

Gargoyle descends a flight of stairs, carefully checking the corner. Seamus emerges from the elevator, going to the door to the stairwell and opening it. As the door swings open he comes face to face with the Gardayhi who is about a yard away. Seamus tries to strike him with his sword, wildly swinging at him and somehow connecting with its upper left arm, severing it completely. It looked like the arm’s hand was holding a non-activated grenade. Blake stays still, continuing to cover the landing above. Benton steps to the side of Seamus and fires at the Gardayhi but misses. Sinon follows Gargoyle down the stairs, pistol at the ready. The armless Gardayhi moves up the stairs, getting about halfway up the next flight.

Aiden books it up the stairs. Gargoyle proceeds down the stairs in a flying leap and can make out the Bareem on the next flight down waiting for him. The creature looks to have been waiting for him, holding some kind of two-handed weapon that it fires at him. He manages to dodge away from the blast but the weapon strikes the wall behind him, catching him in the splash damage as a bunch of plasma explodes behind. Hurts like burning! Seamus books it up the stairs again after the Gardayhi who, this time, is able to dodge out of the way of the attack like he’s made of rubber. Blake follows quickly after Aiden to the next flight of stairs. Sinon charges down the stairs firing his pistol. He trips slightly going down the stairs but is able to somehow recover his balance just in time to land all three shots (luck time 7:54). Two shots to the creature’s torso don’t seem to have any effect but one that hits its leg causes the Bareem to fall over to a sitting position as the injured limb buckles under him. The Gardayhi that Seamus was chasing whips around, trying to fire a weapon. Seamus is barely able to dodge out of the way as he flings himself to the side. Aiden runs up another flight of stairs and Blake follows behind. They emerge a few steps below Seamus.

Gargoyle tries to use his monowhip to attack one of the creature’s limbs, snaring its right arm. The whip cuts badly into the arm but doesn’t quite sever it as a small amount of bone and sinew keep the limb attached to its body. The arm falls limp at its side. Seamus tries to attack the Gardayhi’s other arm but he can’t quite land the blow as the creature twists its arm away. Benton follows after and is able to fire off a spray of shots but can’t seem to land them. The large Bareem, now wounded, reaches for a weapon at his belt but can’t seem to bring it to bear fast enough. Sinon stays in cover and tries to draw a bead on the target. Meanwhile the Gardayhi runs up the steps. Aiden continues ascending the steps as quickly as he can, stacking up behind Seamus. Blake, on the way up, looks at the disconnected arm of the Gardayhi but doesn’t try to grab the grenade as the flesh around it is disintegrating.

Gargoyle tries to monowhip the Bareem’s other arm this time and hits, again badly cutting into the arm, which also falls limp at his side. Seamus moves up again behind the Gardayhi, this time choosing not to attack. The Bareem, now disarmed, does nothing but chuckle at his poor fortune he kneels on the stairwell. Benton fires off another shot at the Gardayhi and this time is able to hit but without discernible effect. Sinon again takes aim, this time bracing against the nearby stairwell.

The Gardayhi again runs up, this time firing blindly behind him. Seamus thankfully dodges out of the way as the weapon swings around and narrowly avoids being hit. Aiden and Blake continue their rapid ascent of the stairs. Gargoyle’s whip flashes out and catches the Bareem around the neck, badly slicing into it. While ascending the stairs rapidly Seamus whips his pistol out of its holster and fires off a few rounds, the massive charge pistol thundering up the corridor. The creature tries to bend and twist out of the way but doesn’t do so quickly enough and a round takes the creature in the skull. Despite the bits of brain and skull that spray forward past his eyes the creature somehow maintains its balance and is able to continue up the steps. Benton tries to do one better and looses a few shots, hitting with them all. The hand, leg and chest all take rounds with the one to its hand causing its weapon to spin away. Still it continues on. Sinon pulls the trigger and his graser pistol takes the still-chuckling Bareem square in the forehead. It stops chuckling as he finally passes out, slumping to the ground.

The Gardayhi soldiers on, continuing to ascend the stairs. He suddenly stops and whips around with his leg, landing a vicious kick to Seamus’ chest that doesn’t do much to get through his armored coat. Aiden continues to charge up the stairs and is able to reach the location of Seamus and the Gardayhi’s sudden mêlée. He’s able to take aim and fire off a few rounds at the creature. Gargoyle runs down to the unconscious Bareem and eyes its weapon. However he’s able to recall accounts of their weapons exploding upon those other than their owner trying to use them. He’s now able to see the Gardayhi on the landing below, just as two large-caliber rounds slam into the concrete near him. Aiden’s shots manage to hit in a sensitive spot and go straight through its armor, alien blood spraying out the other side. The Gardayhi finally collapses to the floor, unmoving.

With that dealt with Seamus walks back to retrieve his dropped sword. Blake walks down to the next flight (floor 24) to begin trying to pick the lock to enter. About fifteen seconds later what’s left of the Bareem has melted through the stairwell. We elect to head back to floor 19 to recuperate. Benton is able to scrounge some medical supplies on the floor and patches up Seamus quickly. He also is able to treat Gargoyle and Sinon.

After healing up and resting we head over for Seamus’ cage match, taking seats that happen to have a good view of Tigerlord’s seating area. Ivan the Terrible is the opponent. The rules are announced as an “escalating lightning cage match” with increasing shocks resulting from contact with the walls of the cage. Ivan is a cyber freak with double-jointed cyberarms. The venue goes through a holographic display of the various capabilities and such of the two combatants. The fight starts amid roars of “Sharknado.”

Seamus steps to the center of the ring, evaluating his opponent. Ivan does the same, his arms raised in guard position. The two repeat those movements, sizing each other up. Separated by a few feet now Seamus waits for his opponent to take the next move; Ivan stops and continues to evaluate. Seamus stays still, waiting for his opponent to make the next move, which Ivan does, stepping forward.

Seamus leaps into action with a vicious kick but Ivan is able to parry the attack; he tries but fails to grab the leg as it goes by. Ivan returns the favor with a kick that Seamus isn’t quite able to get out of the way of, hitting in the torso. Seamus steps into him and tries to bite Ivan but can’t quite make contact. Ivan responds with a bear hug but Seamus is able to step backwards and pull away from the attack. Seamus steps in, again trying for the bite but he can’t seem to get in position properly. Ivan, frustrated, tries a feint as he attempts to grab Seamus but again can’t quite make contact. Seamus turns with a wicked punch that Ivan can’t quite get out of the way of in time, feeling ribs crunch under his fist. Ivan responds by turning and finally manages to grab ahold of Seamus. Seamus responds with a vicious bite, this time one that Ivan isn’t able to avoid. He sinks his fangs into his chest painfully for the both of them as he gets a mouth full of sweaty man chest.

Ivan has had enough and tries to use his hold on Seamus to wrestle him to the ground, which he manages to do. As they both hit the mat Seamus tries to gain the advantage in the wrestling contest and is able to get a deep hold through Ivan’s armpits. Ivan furiously tries to respond but Seamus masterfully counters his movements and deepens his hold on poor Ivan. Ivan again does everything he can to try and break the hold but can’t make headway, exposing himself to further attack. Seamus once against sinks his teeth into Ivan, drawing more blood. Ivan’s pathetic attempt to break free fails badly while Seamus yet again viciously introduces Ivan’s internal organs to his enhanced fangs. Ivan begins yelling his displeasure with the bites, but to no avail. Ivan wriggles and struggles but can’t get any leverage against Seamus’ holds. Ivan’s frantic head movement somehow avoids a bite to his face. During the struggle Ivan is able to suddenly gain a bit of leverage and is able to miraculously get free of Seamus grip. Seamus is able to quickly secure a hold on him again, although not a strong one at first. Ivan counters, again wrestling for position, but can’t quite make headway.

Seamus is able to sink a deep hold in on him again, this time succeeding. Ivan again can’t muster the proper leverage to get free and gets bitten for his troubles. Despite bleeding quite a bit now Ivan manages to stay conscious but can’t get free. Seamus has had enough and goes in for the face this time, biting at him once, releasing and doing it again in quick succession. Unfortunately Ivan can’t muster a defense from his previous fierce efforts. This time it hurts him badly; Ivan looks a bit dazed and doesn’t take any defensive action as he tries to comes to his senses.

Seamus suddenly gets a crazed look in his eyes and goes after Ivan with renewed vigor. In a bloodlusted rage he goes for the throat wildly. One hit goes low and hits his torso but the other sinks deep into the exposed neck. A spray of blood amid the ripping flesh signals something important just gained a new hole in it. Ivan finally, mercifully, passes out. Seamus continues attacking Ivan’s ruined neck, tearing into it further and laying all of it out down to the spine. Ivan expires messily, his head effectively disconnected from his body.

Shortly later Seamus snaps out of his haze of bloodlust to the roar of the crowd, who very oddly like this kind of thing quite a bit. The cage is deactivated and Sharknado is announced officially as the winner.

That’s it for tonight. We all receive four character points.

Session 8 -- Yes, They Are After Us!
Part 1 of "Big Fight in Partially Abandoned Building"

We resume!

There are 5 heavily armed men converging on our building, where we’re set up in a makeshift medlab on the 18th floor. Sinon is across the street, set up in his camo gear. Seamus is taking the elevator up, and presses all the buttons for every floor. He changes his mind and elects to take the stairs from the 14th floor onward. Gargoyle sneaks out of a side window and flies down to street level. The armed men make it through the lobby, and decide to take the stairs as well.

The group sets up some cover out of furniture and rubble on the 19th floor. Gargoyle picks up Sinon with some effort and flies him up outside to the 19th floor. He gives Aiden one of the two grenades he had smuggled in his flesh pocket.

We hide, redecorate the floor a bit, set up positions, and wait.

We hear signs of them attempting to quietly approach, with some heavy breathing from the trek up the 19 floors. One shape quickly moves up, not stopping on our floor. A second moves in a very odd manner, using 4 limbs to climb up the center of the stairwell. A shape gets to the staircase, stops, gets to the door, and stops. Its face is not visible, they have a form-fitting greyish-black plasticy substance covering it. Their cloaks have moved to form around them.

A monotone voice asks us for the body, any evidence we collected, and any data, and that then we will be free to go. We respond by (hopefully) giving them a body, and chucking a plasma grenade. Much like Ricky Bobby, he is on fire, though he dodged and dropped with surprising grace.

One of our adversaries moves in. Very quickly. He’s got a pistol-like thing that’s surrounded his hand, and a haze / smoky shortsword-like object. It looks reminiscent of Kroath bio-tech. He tries to shoot at Aiden. He misses, with some kind of quantum discharge.

We start shooting / stabbing / etc. Gargoyle slices one through the wall in the neck, Aiden shoots a burst off at one of the enforcers, thudding high-powered rounds into his chest. All attacks so far seem effective, but these guys are tough! Seamus slices one that moved through with a deceptive attack, but the enforcer dodges. Blake takes aim at ones vitals. Benton shoots one, but it grazes off its arm for minimal damage.

One of them slashes at Seamus, but the swing is poorly timed and whiffs.

The enforcer who got sliced through the neck takes one step forward and collapses. His buddy barely sees him collapse out of the corner of his eye. He attempts to fire at Aiden, and then unfortunately meets the business end of a monowire whip to his neck. His shots fly over his intended target as Aiden hits the deck. Aiden returns to a crouch. Seamus delivers a nasty slice through the torso of the enforcer who initially ate a plasma grenade. Blake follows up with 3 precisely aimed grazer pistol shots to the vitals, leaving some holes in critical places. It takes a moment for his body to realize precisely how dead it is about to become, and he then falls backward. Sinon follows up by shooting his laser pistol 3 times to the [RANDOM], which results in a hit to the right arm, the abdomen, and the chest. One of these is quite effective, rendering his right gun arm useless. He runs towards Seamus, shortsword arm swinging at him to the [RANDOM]! It lands, after Seamus fails to dodge. The" blade" is more of a corrosive attack, which hurts like hell, seems to eat away substantially at Seamus’ coat. Gargoyle makes a mighty swing at the adversary’s neck from behind. Blood is pouring down his body, but he’s still standing even after Aiden fires 3 rounds at his vital organs!

Seamus feels the curse of Rex from beyond time and space and fails his roll to remain conscious.

Sinon fires 3 quick shots, hoping to land somewhere that hurts. It’s enough to get him to finally fall over. Benton runs over to bandage Seamus, who is quickly conscious again and healing like a champ.

The enforcers start disintegrating! Seamus grabs a sample vial full of the disgusting gray ooze, and it corrodes through like blood from Aliens. Gargoyle attempts to collect some data with zoomed in visual recording. Sinon focuses his senses and attempts to find the large enemy with his Seeker Sense. He critically succeeds. Both are above us, spread out slightly. We end for the night there.

We each get 3 character points.

REMINDER OF MINOR RETCON: the guys, when they dissolved, WERE liquidy at first, but dried out to dust by the time 10 minutes had passed. But definitely wet at first.

Session 7 -- Bodies and More Bodies
And a cage match!

Sinon elects not to head back to the ship to grab equipment as nobody else feels the need to. We proceed from Port Royal to Santiago via train, about 5-6 hours via high speed train. As we pull into the station we notice groups of well-armed, organized security forces run by the Jamaican Syndicate. The city is made up of a series of interconnected domes, several of them smashed and dead. Santiago itself is in poor repair, the capital heavily damaged after fighting with the Kroath several decades before. The exception is the HelixTech complex which was not damaged in the fighting due to their collusion with the invaders. A constant hum of combat and altercation pervades the air, making the heavily-armed security forces guarding the station stand out that much more. Despite patchwork armor and equipment used by the guards they do move as a coherent, organized force.

For the last part of the train ride Sinon closes his eyes and concentrates, reaching out with his mind to try and locate Tigerlord. As it so happens Sinon is able to discern that he’s within the city but can’t determine where exactly as of yet. He lets the rest of the group know. We query the local grid for mentions of Tigerlord, researching available media feeds to find mentions of him. We’re able to see that he’s been sighted a few times at the Bloody Weren, a fight club in the city. It’s in a subsurface area so we take a large elevator downward.

Stepping out of the huge lift we emerge into a large underground cavern. It looks like a shabbier, more lawless area of the surface. Aiden does his best impression of an intimidating person and manages to keep the vermin at bay, a number of street punks lounging around. Aiden discreetly puts us into a tactically advantageous formation for our transit.

While heading to the bar we discuss what we’re actually going to do once we arrive there with our target. We quickly agree that now isn’t the time for action, that we instead want to observe and size up the target. Sinon mentions that if we had something of his or one of his retinue’s it would be much easier for him to locate them.

The Bloody Weren is of recent construction, an amalgamation of several other clubs in the area. A massive Weren head is the entrance, built with scrap metal and other discarded materials. We note a camera system around the exterior of the building along with imposing-looking guards wielding human-sized chuurk’nahs as well as more modern weapons. The size of the club means no line to enter. A few street bums line the perimeter. One of them, a filthy street kid walks up to Blake begging for money and offering favors. Sinon talks to him briefly, asking him whether he knows who Tigerlord is; the kid doesn’t quite know. A couple of other urchins try to sneak up behind us; Sinon and Gargoyle manage to hear them coming. Sinon comments loudly that he can’t pay the urchin if his friends rob us. That scares them off. We go inside for now, leaving the kid.

Heading inside the club we emerge into a large open area akin to a stadium. In the center is a big cage, nearly 10’ by 10’, currently empty of combatants. In its place are hologrammatic images of previous fights. We discern from watching that the cage is electrified. A countdown of a few hours is displayed prominently, announcing the next fight in the ring. Some places to make bets are easy to pick out as is a dance floor and several actual bars to purchase drinks. A VIP area with an excellent view of the cage looks populated with a group; those of us with magnified vision can see a large group with tiger-themed body mods; we’re able to pick out the man himself as well as his crew. We also can see one of the tigresses in the area. As we look around a couple of us are able to see a couple of tigers in a lower-level VIP lounge; they seem to be in the middle of some kind of business transaction, taking a payment of some sort for a nondescript box with a bio-lock on the outside. The buyers look to be some kind of partygoers. We take a look around and try to identify as many tigers that we can see. Ten appear in the main VIP area. We also catch a glimpse of Tigerlord himself. He’s a human of Asian descent with a large mane of hair, heavily tattooed and sporting cat eyes, claws and fangs. He’s carrying a tray of some kind of beverages that he gulps down, one after another. He’s about 5’8, roughly 160lbs, and wears a duster, a heavy suit of armor, and a sword poking up above one of his shoulders. The tigresses look around alertly, not drinking anything and otherwise hang out looking attractive in a cat sort of way. All of his crew have some kinds of body modifications in a tiger style. Everyone in their group is well-armed. They seem to have brought in some sort of large trunk with them as well.

Suddenly a burst of gunfire erupts from one of tigerlord’s crew members. A random patron looks to have been making a run for the trunk but was dispatched by one of the guards. Little heed is paid. We decide to go and check out the recently-deceased body to see if we can gain any post-mortem information from him. Sinon mentions that we should not assume the man is dead yet, that we may be able to render aid.

Blake and Benton go to check out the body while Gargoyle and Sinon go to shadow the recent purchasers we just saw heading their way out. Aiden and Seamus stick around to keep an eye on the area. Apparently there are divisions of cage matches, mainly an unarmed and a mêlée division, unaugmented and augmented, as well as divisions by body weight. An “Open” unrestricted division also exists. Fights are to the death, although technically you can tap out of the fight before then. It seems that the crowd is the larger determiner of whether a combatant lives or dies.

Benton and Blake make their way over to the body, confirming that the man has in fact expired. Benton examines it briefly and covertly takes a blood sample. He’s able to locate what look like hypospray injection points all over his arms. Blake goes over the body but finds nothing. The man is in poor physical condition with some discoloration and translucense around his skin, hair falling out and teeth rotting. Aiden observes from a distance to see if anyone takes an unusual interest in them but doesn’t note any. Benton indicates that if they could get the body away for more examination that could provide valuable information. Nobody seems to be paying much attention to them so Blake heft the body himself to take the man away on the pretext of a cleanup job. Benton indicates that if they could find an abandoned medical facility of some kind that might have the necessary info, apart from returning to the ship. Aiden does some electronic research and is able to locate some old buildings that we might be able to utilize with some repair to the technology. As it turns out Benton is incredibly skilled in all of the necessary areas.

Meanwhile, Sinon and Gargoyle shadow the group of recent purchasers from Tigerlord. One of them clutches their box closely while the remaining three gather around closely, moving away quickly to what looks like a crumbling building out of the way. The two follow them as they make their way into the building, sneaking behind. The building is old and is in very poor repair. Faded lettering indicates this formerly was some kind of Solar colonial administration building. The four revelers ascend an internal staircase and head to an internal room with no windows.

From a nearby location Sinon attempts to project his vision into the room but fails the first time, taking a minute. Meanwhile Gargoyle is able to see that they are taking some kind of objects out of the box, apply them to their arms, twitch slightly and then lay back, now relaxed. Gargoyle goes over to the room and opens the door, getting no response from the people as he does so. Sinon abandons his attempts to see inside the room and instead sneaks over by the stairwell to listen, providing security for Gargoyle as he investigates. The box is a container for some kind of disposable injection devices, now laying next to the people. He’s able to take one of the devices easily; the people seem to have no awareness of his presence. They look in poor shape, similar to the dead body from earlier, with skin that’s slightly translucent. By the light of a small portable source they brought in Gargoyle is able to discern that this is probably where these people live from various objects strewn around. A dead human woman is also present, decomposing. He pokes it slightly and the skin looks a bit odd, almost slightly hardened unnaturally. He pulls out a small vibroknife and takes a sample, cutting it with difficulty. He notes the same injection marks on the body as with the others. It also seems as though only a section of its skin was hardened.

Back at the club Benton and Blake egress by the main entrance. As they prepare to carry out the corpse they notice that it’s bleeding heavily still. Blake talks him into applying spray bandage to the corpse while Blake jokes that the guy might pull through.

As Blake and Benton walk out Aiden notices one of Tigerlord’s crew watching them exit with the body. The crewman, after awhile, taps Tigerlord on the shoulder and points them out, looking over at the corpse-haulers. We coordinate to meet at an abandoned hospital we’ve located about a quarter-mile away. The dead body is unnaturally heavy, however, so Blake and Benton have to carry the body together. Gargoyle and Sinon approach a bit later, keeping an eye on anyone who comes after to follow Benton and Blake. The group makes it to the hospital just fine. Sinon packs a good vantage point across the street from the hospital, conceals himself and keeps watch. Aiden and Seamus decide to head back to the Bloody Weren so that Seamus can sign up under the moniker “Sharknado” for a fight in the unarmed, augmented division. He’s scheduled for a fight in 27.5 hours against Ivan, a Narac cybersoldier.

Benton, Blake and Gargoyle head over to the hospital to take a better look at the body. The hospital building looks to be partially repaired, power being active in some sections. Two guards in shabby uniforms stand at the entrance as Blake and Peter walk up to them carrying a dead body. The guards immediately inquire what they’re doing. Benton and Peter explain they’re trying to do an autopsy on the body but the guards don’t seem to care much. Gargoyle and Blake try to talk some sense into them but they eventually respond by drawing their pistols. They state that the building is people’s residences and that we can’t just walk in carrying the body.

Finally Gargoyle asks what it takes to get a room in the building. The two guards indicate that they might accept a one-day payment of 100 Concord dollars per person, which sounds relatively reasonable to them. They fork over the sum and are allowed in. Benton, Blake and Gargoyle head to the lift, which they find doesn’t actually reach the floor that has the medical equipment on it (floor 19). Benton does some quick hotwiring and is able to rig the elevator to take them up to floor 19, which the elevator does. The door opens to a completely dark and emptied floor. They’re able to locate a small medical office; Gargoyle turns over the samples he procured earlier. In the office is a diagnostic bed but it’s currently unpowered. About two hours of work fix that by hacking into the floor and locating a live power feed and another couple hours pass before the diagnostic bed is operational. Aiden and Seamus come back to join the rest of the group and meet with much less resistance at the door. They have no problem meeting with the others, encountering a deconstruction of the floor in progress.

Benton is finally able to activate the bed, bypassing initial analysis that the person is actually dead. He’s able to see many large tumors around the body at the main nervous system joints. He extracts one and takes a look, analyzing it over the course of a couple more hours.

Towards the end of that time Sinon, from his vantage point across the way, is able to see a group of humanoid figures moving towards the building who don’t look like they belong. One is tall and balding with pasty white skin while the remaining three look to be standard humans. A fifth looks like a Weren with too-long arms, wearing a hooded cloak as are the rest of the men. They’re headed straight for the guards, pulling some kind of weapon about 20 yards away and shooting the guards with some kind of well-placed shots from quantum weapons – pistols, from their appearance.

That’s the end for tonight; we all receive four character points.

Session 6 -- Pirate Island!
Also, "game called on account of humidity"

We return to the ship to confer regarding our next move. We all agree that we would like to extract information from Rufus Reynolds in search of Tigerlord. How we would go about doing that is up for debate, whether we use coercive options to try and get what we want from him or whether we decide to accept his offer (whether we intend to actually carry it out or not) as a lead towards Tigerlord.

Gargoyle messages Rufus for more information about the task to help us make a decision. Rufus responds that Tigerlord is going to a pirate enclave orbiting Dione around Lucullus C; the area is called Pirate’s Cove. Rufus indicates that we won’t be able to find it without their com codes. The planet is 2-3 times the diameter of Earth but is nearly completely covered in water with a surface pressure of 5 atmospheres and an average of 95 degrees C with a high rotational period. As such environmental gear would be required to operate on the planet. Additionally the planet’s high temperatures, steam-filled atmosphere and the radiation of the Lucullus system makes visual detection and analysis by normal means not possible. Rufus indicates that he may know who has the codes, if we agree to his deal.

Gargoyle is interested in potentially taking on Pirate Island on Dione to rid the system of lots of pirates and to remove an option for Tigerlord to sell his loot. Sinon is of the opinion that perhaps Pirate Island might represent biting off more than we could chew and that perhaps we should focus on capturing Tigerlord at Santiago.

We finally elect to turn down Rufus and go to Santiago to look around, gather intelligence, and plan how we’re going to snatch Tigerlord. We can take a shuttle down from the station we’re docked at; we go back to the ship first to grab beaver arms for our expedition.

For that we stop for the night as it’s super humid and super warm and uncomfortable. We each get one character point while Gargoyle earns two for pushing the investigation.

Session 5 -- The Pirate's Den
A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

We spend a few weeks traveling to Lucullus. Sinon’s leg finally finishes healing and we learn quite a bit more from the teachings of Holo-chai. Blake is able to plot us a jump that gives us about 11au to travel to our destination of Penance. On the way we consider that Lucullus is a former Solar penal colony that revolted a few hundred years ago and is now independent. As it’s a binary system the two stars create a significant amount of radiation between them. Penance, where we’re heading, is a rather unpleasant place and is damn cold. There are “a lot” of people on the planet and it’s rather crowded. As is befitting the rest of the system, a wretched hive of scum and villainy that’s run by six different gangs. The Jamaican Syndicate is the major power on the planet. The Picks are a super-violent gang of nihilists. The Technospiders are sort of good and sort of neutral and maintain the technological infrastructure that makes the planet livable. The Free Trade guild controls Freeport, the large spaceport on the planet. The Union Penates are effectively a labor union, as their names imply. Finally the Supervisors are the last of the Solars who use psionic enforcers to get their way. They give Mindwalkers a bad name and those caught using psionics using their powers on others are killed. The Lucullun League is a kind of United Nations of the gangs, still not a very nice organization.

Port Royal is effectively the planet’s capital and is run by the Jamaican Syndicate. Unsurprisingly there is no centralized law enforcement on the planet. Unsurprisingly Bounty Hunters are also not looked upon well. Upon landing at The Spoke we all go about locating appropriately concealable armor for us to use. We also all gear up appropriately as Blake expertly pilots us to our landing platform. We note several weapons platforms tracking us on the way in, which apparently is a matter of course. Once landed Sinon concentrates for a period of time and reaches out with his psionic senses attempting to locate our target. He’s able to reach out to about 1,000 miles but cannot sense him within that range; he informs the crew of his findings.

We also hear a bit more about how this town is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Not knowing a specific location that Tigerlord frequents we decide to hit the Golden Quarter in town, the most likely spot for information on the guy. We head to that area in a group, for security, to find a bar to gather information. Drinks are ordered from the scantily-clad serving winches; Aiden pays for the quite broke Blake. Seamus manages to get his hologram on the wall by drinking a brew that’s particularly foul smelling and tasting and rots away the first few millimeters of his stomach lining. Gargoyle and Sinon manage to notice we’re being watched by quite a few groups as we enter, although the assumption is that everyone is watching everyone else in this place. We notice a number of concealed weapons, again unsurprisingly. Sinon tries to ask the waitress who we can talk to and purchase information; she’s clueless and rebuffs him. He tries to communicate with the ship but seems to be out of range as we’re underground. Gargoyle and Seamus go and asks around, finally locating a fence on-planet that we might be able to get some information from. He goes by the name of The Vulture. He’s had some cosmetic work done to gain some feathers and some hair so he looks the part somewhat as well.

Gargoyle indicates to him that we may have come into possession of some Rhodium and are looking to unload it; The Vulture apparently rolls a very good reaction check for Gargoyle and likes him. He indicates he might know some potential buyers that he could connect us with. Gargoyle tries to bluff that we have about a medium-sized freighter’s worth but Vulture doesn’t buy it and asks him for the truth. Gargoyle indicates that we’re looking for someone who stole some Rhodium and names Tigerlord. Vulture immediately realizes that we’re bounty hunters and advises that we not waste our time and our lives and not bother with the bounty as he’s a very dangerous prey with an extremely nasty crew. Vulture indicates that he’s usually in Santiago or Kingstown or the Highport. However because he seems to like Gargoyle he hesitates briefly and, with a bit of prompting, Gargoyle offers to purchase something to try and make it look like they’re not just chatting for information. Gargoyle forks over 1,000 credits and in return Vulture whispers to him that Lucullus is showing up on-planet already wealthy, as it would seem he’s selling his goods elsewhere. Gargoyle thanks him for the information and then flies off; he and Seamus go back to the group.

From Vulture’s information much of his crew has been cosmetically modified to look like tigers. We briefly consider either purchasing many tiger pets or make ourselves look like tigers to draw his attention. We consider our next move, to either track down the different location he’s fencing his goods at or we could still try to nab him when he arrives. It’s possible that whatever the other location he’s going to is that could mean a more favorable environment to make our grab, especially how crowded and lawless this place is.

We decide trying to talk to one of the grounds crews who might have serviced Tigerlord’s ship on its last visit and could have information on where it came from. Alternatively someone who’s close with the crew would be a good resource. Additionally we consider that Highport could be a good location to gather information, especially considering that the people there would be most negatively impacted by losing business from him going to a different fence to sell stolen goods. Blake is able to sell some bodily fluids in order to pay for the transport up to Highport as he’s still dead broke.

We hop a ride on a shuttle and in about 90 minutes we arrive at Highport, a wretched hive of scum and villainy with a much higher elevation. We’re immediately surrounded by people selling junk and trying to scam us. Seamus is able to force us a path through the mass. No security is to be found anywhere. Blake is having trouble controlling himself from taking out a loan to purchase the huge variety of things around him. Gargoyle notes a slightly higher number of Sesheyans in this system as opposed to elsewhere he’s gone. Seamus gets a wide berth from the teeming throng. He’s able to locate an appropriate vendor, someone who may now be selling less Rhodium than previous. The dealer’s name is Rufus Reynolds. We head up to deck 17 which is not tremendously different than our previous location. We’re able to find Rufus rather quickly in his office, a converted apartment with “Reynolds Brokerage, Ltd” on the door.

Inside we’re greeted by a woman who was clearly cosmetically modified to be very attractive; Samantha Wright is on her nameplate. We indicate our business is Rhodium and magically he becomes free to speak to us at just that time when he was previously busy. We’re ushered into his office and meet a very sleazy looking businessman behind the desk. Samantha Wright leaves us to talk. We indicate that we heard a rumor that he’s being cut out of the Rhodium business; he downplays it and asks us what we want. We scan his inventory via a display in his office and find that his supply is fairly low at the moment; we indicate that we’re looking to sell him services, including solving supply chain issues. He asks us to speak frankly; we indicate that we’re looking to take out Tigerlord.

Rufus indicates his frustration at being cut of business by Tigerlord going elsewhere and asks what we want; we indicate we’re looking to find out where Tigerlord is offloading his catch. Rufus indicates that he would also like to know but states that he’s not sure he wants Tigerlord taken out of the game, that it would stop business. He offers us 200,000 (20k more than the bounty) to simply disrupt wherever the new place he’s offloading his catch is so that he returns to doing business at Lucullus. We indicate that we’ll consider it. As we leave his office we notice three thug-ish guys hanging around the outside of his office; the sigil on their clothes is of a security company the station employs. We decide that likely our presence inside his office triggered some kind of silent alarm but they should pose us no harm.

We end for the night, receiving two character points each.

Session 4 -- Clean Up on Aisle 4
And a new bounty!

Psi chick looks as though she’s going to pull through although the Weren expires messily. We’re reminded that the hibernation pods on the ship won’t prevent death a la freeze field; a dying person will still expire inside. Benton looks over psi chick and determines she looks to be save-able. He’s unsure if he wants to do it but some encouragement from the rest of the party causes him to relent; he patches her up and she’s now stabilized. Gargoyle checks over the dead people and finds that they do not have bounty hunting licenses, indicating that they were probably not bounty hunters at all and were more interested in just killing us. In any case Psi chick gets put into stasis. Benton decides to go through the belongings of the dead people to see if there’s any loot; we’ve already planned to take their weapons and add their distinctiveness to our own; they oddly have next to nothing else, including no identification or other conspicuous possessions.

We turn our attention back to our original objective, the bounty, which has yet to arrive. We contemplate moving the ships to make it look like everything is normal but considering that the Iron Mule has already seen our vessels we decide that’s not worthwhile. Our deliberations end up being cut short. The Star Mule contacts the planet. Thankfully we give the local authorities a good story to tell about the other ships in dock. The No Equal and the cowboys take off and plan to meet us on Tendril to collect the bounty.

The ship finally lands. The Star Mule’s captain disembark along with his crew, for a stretch. Local security forces check them out as well. Our plan is first for Blake to feel out the captain about handing the guy over, despite all of his bad burns from the plasma grenade that have miraculously healed thanks to some good drugs and medical care. We also plan to work on getting them all as drunk as possible in the cafeteria with booze procured from the No Equal. If that doesn’t work Gargoyle plans to be ready to sneak on board their ship to look for the fugitive.

Blake applies some silver shine to his tongue, pulls the captain aside and sweet-talks the captain fairly well. The captain mulls it over, considering the implications to his reputation. We try to convince him that a number of other bounty hunters will be after this guy and that it might be in his best interests to unload him sooner. The captain indicates that their next destination is there last one and that he could easily unload the guy and let him take his chances. We offer to pay him off about 1,250 credits which will also save the captain a trip to the next system and the associated expenses. The captain finally agrees, indicating that a side airlock door to the ship well be mysteriously unlocked when they unload cargo in about six hours. We talk him into providing payment after we make the grab. As we now have six hours prior to action we rest up while Benton works to treat injuries. Benton’s natural healing manages to make astounding progress in the time, thanks to some fantastic healing rolls. Seamus’ [un] natural healing powers also cause him to recover greatly.

In six hours Seamus, Gargoyle and Blake stand near the main airlock, ready to infiltrate the ship. They keep open a communications channel to make sure we’re all aware of our activities. Conveniently the rest of the Iron Mule’s crew is on another level entirely. They quietly makes his way to the passengers area of the ship, locating the single passenger’s compartment that is occupied (based on the light on inside). The three of them try to approach quietly; Gargoyle sneaks well but Seamus and Blake fail to approach quietly. They walk up to the door and find that it’s locked. Blake goes to work on the door using his lockpick and makes short work of the mechanism and opens the door. Our target, Tag Morris, is inside and looks rather surprised at seeing some burly strangers at his door. Seamus does nothing more than stand there and look at him and Tag is quickly cowed into submission, accepting his fate. He offers little resistance as he’s cuffed. Seamus goes through his things looking for anything pertinent to his crime and is able to find a hidden box of X3D’s, likely data that’s pertinent to the case. Seamus also kindly packs up his belongings for him and brings them along. We show him to his new quarters, in the brig, and give him a new set of clothes to make sure he’s not concealing anything.

We take off from the planet and head towards Alaundril to drop off the bounty. We have about 21 days of total drivespace. We continue our studies. During the trip Sinon spends some time talking with Tag to hear his story, find out about his crime, and inquire as to the circumstances to verify, to his own satisfaction, that the guy actually did commit the crime. He seems more interested in spinning falsehoods and stringing facts together to form a story of his innocence. Based on that as well as his easy capitulation to us at his door, Sinon seems comfortable turning this person in to the authorities.

Between jumps Blake takes his time to check and double-check his astrogation calculations and manages to put us far outside the orbit of Alaundril. Space traffic control directs our flight path to a landing area. Ion Productions representatives and government representatives meet us at our landing area, as do the Red Hook crew. Burns demands to only take 25% of the bounty instead of the 50% we originally negotiated for upon seeing that we kept our word; we decide to take him up on it. We now have some time to let our drive recharge.

Holo-chai looks over available bounties and offers us our choice of three; we end up choosing to go after a pirate leader that’s attacking shipping targets; he’s wanted dead or alive, offering twice as much money for him being alive (180,000). We also have the opportunity to pay ourselves and do some shopping while on-planet. We decide to pay ourselves our normal salary, $6,000, and remaining money after expenses will go into a general operating fund for rainy days. We spend some time shopping as well to gear up. Gargoyle helps us navigate the mean streets to find marginally-legal equipment as we want it.

We put psi-restraints on psi-bitch and wake her up to ask her some questions. She’s surprised that she’s still alive and wants to know what we want from her. Sinon, with some help from interrogation drugs, is able to get into her mind and extract honest information from her. The mission was to extract and safely transport Tag Morris, the bounty guy, to extract and safely transport him to Thorn shipyards. After digging further we find, though she’s very reluctant to tell us, she’s a part of the Securtas mercenary group. Apparently her captain negotiated the deal with their client, Thorn Shipyards. After questioning her further we eventually decide to turn her over to the local authorities. We’re able to get an honest answer from her that she doesn’t plan to seek revenge as this is “just business.”

Holo-chai does some research on our next target, a piratical captain. He’s apparently wanted for a number of counts of murder, property damage to ships, and for the last ten months or so he’s been targeting Rogue, Inc ships hauling rhodium out of Acheron as well as freighters coming from Tendril carrying starship parts purchased from Ion productions. We consider different methods of intercepting him. While we know a few spots in space that we might find him we also consider that his party’s reputation for partying in the Lucullus system is also known. They normally stop off there to sell captured components and celebrate. Considering that it’s an easy intercept to find the guy we decide to head to the Lucullus system to set things right.

That’s it for the night. We each receive two character points.