Star*Drive 2525: Hunting for Fun and Profit

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.