The other ships in-system continue to move towards the planet still about two days out. About a half-day later Holo-chai informs us that the Star Mule looks to have made starrise and will arrive in about three days to the planet. We all retcon ourselves some stutter pistols. Blake works with some of the locals to acquire a significant supply of starshine. Gargoyle spends some time getting the lay of the land, of which he discovers there’s isn’t a ton to look over. We also spend quite a bit of time carousing with the locals and getting to know them. Over a few drinks Blake gets to be friends with some of them.
The Borealan administrator contacts Blake regarding landing pad space. His concern is that there are two other ships in addition to the Star Mule that are inbound to the planet and there will not be enough landing pad space available if all three ships land. Blake let’s them know we’ll think about it and informs the rest of us for discussion. We elect to – upon the arrival of the Star Mule – to take off but leave our own personnel in place to intercept any arrivals. We also realize that likely our mark isn’t going to leave the ship willingly and we aren’t just going to be let onto the ship easily. We begin to consider ways that we might be able to get onto the ship.
We decide to use the friends that Blake has made to try and get a good introduction to the crew of the Star Mule and maybe get on good enough terms to be let onto the ship – maybe by way of wanting in on the captain’s supply of quality booze. They agree reluctantly, so long as we don’t damage the relationships between them and the Star Mule’s captain.
The Red Hook lands, a couple days later. Four crewmen arrive and immediately seek us out after arriving at the station. Arden Rackham. introduces himself, a gruff and grizzled person with appearance of about 40 years old. He’s dressed in similar gear to us, also sporting an armored clamshell over his own tacsuit. A T’sa with a very large head-crest accompanies him; he speaks very quickly and then runs off. Arden introduces him as Yelk, their pilot/tech. He also introduces Gorbrog, a Weren with a large scarred patch of face, tusks, and seven feet of muscle and fur. He’s dressed in Weren-sized combat armor of Orlamu design. Rounding them out is a 5’8 130lb human woman who is strikingly beautiful and sports unnatural purple eyes; she introduces herself as Shanna. She’s wearing some sort of form-fitting bodysuit that looks to provide mild protection. She stays close to Rackham’s side in a platonic sort of way.
Rackham indicates that their drive has to recharge anyway and so since we’re here first they won’t interfere with us and will be on their way. He states that he’s going to head to the cafeteria. Blake offers to share some of our starshine with the guy. The Weren grunts in a friendly sort of way.
Half a day later the No Equal shows up and lands on the planet. They haul a portable bar into the station cafeteria and set up shop. Thaddeus Burns tips his hat. He and his crew all dress in an old west “cowboy” manner; all of them are humans. They cast suspicious glances towards the crew of the Red Hook. Aiden notices their captain making a gesture towards him suggesting he wants to chat outside the cafeteria. They go out to speak. Aiden comes back to the group reporting via a text message that Rackham apparently may have forces outside the settlement that may still act. He was trying to keep us all in the cafeteria for a time, for an unknown reason. Also they mentioned something about the No Equal being very eager to betray us. Aiden gets the feeling that Rackham was lying quite a bit.
The captain’s buddies have somehow already started gambling using some kind of paper cards and small chips. Blake is immediately drawn in to their activity; they send him the rules to a game of chance called “poker.” Blake acquits himself well and somehow manages to win the first hand, spending some time socializing with the crew as well. The Weren comes over Seamus and looks at him oddly, muttering something about him not quite being human. They discuss Seamus’ genetic heritage and the Weren is rather amused by his shark DNA and finds Seamus’ fangs an improvement over the standard human canines.
Meanwhile Gargoyle notices that in his movements around the dome the Tsa is following him. He heads out of the bar area towards the trees, noticing that he’s still being followed. Eventually Gargoyle hides in the trees and the two meet, allowing them to converse. Gargoyle mentions something about it being good that their crew is not interfering with our hunt. The Tsa just nods and changes the subject to talk about nothing.
Shanna the chick comes over to talk with Sinon a bit. As it turns out she has a thing for Fraal and telepathy and asks Sinon to talk into her mind. He even gets into reading some of her surface thoughts, for which she projects some very naughty images to him. A bit disgusted by this, Sinon drops a comment about their two crews seeming to cooperate after theirs gave up the bounty they were after, trying to get her to leak out some revealing thoughts as to their true motives. She seems relatively controlled of mind, though, and doesn’t give up anything. She eventually bores and goes over to hit on the space cowboys.
Later in the evening suddenly the floor of the facility begins shaking from a minor earthquake of about ten seconds; we manage to avoid losing our feet, as do most of the others in the bar. The techs and scientists look completely unfazed. We question one of the local techs who indicates that seems to be a weekly or bi-weekly thing around here.
Everyone begins packing up and heading back; we end up heading back first. Sinon plants a bug at the end of the tramway so he can monitor when the other crews begin returning. When the Red Hook arrives he is able to use his psionic abilities to look inside the other ship and hear their conversation, of which there is nothing remarkable; it sounds like some routine conversation. Unfortunately when he tries with the No Equal he isn’t able to see/hear inside it.
After talking about it to the crew Sinon and Gargoyle go outside their ship for the rest of the night to keep watch for any foul play, appropriately camouflaged. As the surrounding terrain is fairly rough Gargoyle takes his rifle with him. Sinon also makes like a rock and hides, along with his rifle.
In the middle of the night the No Equal takes off from its landing platform. Gargoyle peeks in a porthole to the landing area to see if any of the crew remained behind. As it turns out yes, three figures are walking down the jetway. The bug left earlier by Sinon notes three Stetson-bearing figures walking by with some kind of elongated rectangular case and wearing clamshell armor. They seem to be hanging out in the terminal area. In the morning Gargoyle returns to the ship while Sinon remains outside, still hidden. We wake the crew to alert them to the development. Sinon psionically shifts his point of view and hearing inside. He looks all over the inside but cannot locate them; he does report hearing a hissing sound coming from the area that he can’t locate.
With that we end for the evening. We all receive three character points.