Arion, Episode 26: Boarders

Outbound from Irbev, 176-3401

  • Starport Encounter leaving Irbev (p. 39): Ship limps into port with damage and crew casualties. Fortunately the next roll tells me what it is…
  • Starship Encounter leaving Irbev (pp. 40-46): 3 – nothing. I already know there’s a ship limping in so I roll again; 400 dt trader, must have a J-2 drive or it wouldn’t be here, so it’s non-standard – fortunately it’s not likely to fight us so that’s all I need to know for the moment.
  • Onboard Events in jump (p. 56): Well, not quite; a patrol ship boards and conducts a routine search. The Old Musky campaign has established that Confed has Type Ts nosing around the subsector looking for trouble, so I select one of those rather than rolling for it.

“Archive Surveyor Dolphin, this is Confederation Navy patrol corvette T-514. As per the terms of the Treaty of Kamat, we will exercise our rights to board your vessel and search for contraband. Cease accelerating and prepare to be boarded.”

Arion mutes the microphone and asks the others: “Is that a real Confed corvette?”

“All the emissions check out,” says the Dolphin. “But we know one or two have gone rogue. I don’t know if this is one of them. Something shot up that freighter we passed earlier, it may have been them, or they may be looking for whoever did it.”

“Do we have to let them board?”

“Legally? No. However, they have four times our mass, ten times our crew, a 50% edge in acceleration, and lots of weapons. We really need to get a laser or something, you know.”

Arion shrugs. “They’d still outgun us, and they may be able to tell us something useful.” He toggles the mike back on. “Corvette T-514, Dolphin. Ceasing acceleration and transmitting course data.” Toggles the mike off.

“Dmitri? Coriander? You have anything incriminating?”

“No,” says Dmitri. “Nothing I can’t explain.”

“Just my brain,” says Coriander. “And I can kill them with that if I have to.”

“Mmm, let’s not use that as our opening move.”

Boarding party reaction roll: 8, so it’s just a job for them. (I would’ve interpreted a very low roll as the Type T being a pirate ship in disguise.)

It takes the marine squad several hours to search the Dolphin, but they find nothing untoward, and a compliant attitude and a present of gourmet coffee for the corvette’s mess are exchanged for some advice from the corporal leading the boarding party; on Bulan, they should stay close to the starport, which has the best bars anyway; steer clear of Changa (full of pirates, some of whom they suspect shot up the damaged freighter which arrived at Irbev as the Dolphin was leaving) and Karpos (interdicted).

“Interdicted, eh?” muses Dmitri, once the airlock has closed behind their guests. “Frankly, that just makes it more tempting. What are they hiding?”

Jumpspace, 181-3401

  • PC Reaction Tables in jump (pp. 19-20): Coriander is overcome by remorse, most likely about leaving her family and friends.

Dmitri again finds Arion sitting alone in the crew lounge as he comes on watch.

“No Coriander?” Arion shrugs in response.

“In her stateroom. Sounds like she’s crying. One minute she’s showing me some pictures of her family, next minute she’s gone.”

“You should go to her.”

“Tried that. She told me to go away. I think she meant it. This is about as far away as I can go, without a spacesuit.”

Inbound to Bulan, 182-3401

  • Starship Encounter arriving Bulan (pp. 40-46): 6, nothing.
  • Piracy warning arriving Bulan (p. 40): 9, nothing.
  • Starport Encounter arriving Bulan (p. 39): 33, find a great place to chill.

Just finding a great bar didn’t seem like a good place to leave this particular episode, so I’ve pulled forward the onworld event from the next one; 64, meet a potential Contact, reaction roll 11, Corporate Boss. Good Lord, it’s not Anderson is it? A 10 on 2d6 suggests it might well be…

Coriander has cheered up by the time the Dolphin lands at Bulan; she genuinely has been looking forward to seeing the place. Following the corporal’s suggestions brings the three to the Birdwatchers, an open-air beach bar thatched with local vegetation. Cori insists on an outside table, and drinks are taken to it. The clientele is an eclectic mix of dieselpunk Indonesian locals, Arabic-looking Confed marines, multicoloured spacers of the Kith, and the occasional saurian ithklur from Gazzain – these last basking in the sun on nearby rocks.

It’s all going well until Captain Anderson walks up to the table.

“May I join you?” he says, sitting down immediately to make it clear that he may, regardless of what the Dolphin‘s crew might think.

GM Notes

My initial plan was to split the Arioniad into 26-episode seasons. That has never worked before, and it looks like it’s not working now, either. However, forcing things into a Procrustean bed generally causes more problems than it solves, so I’m rolling with it.

Continue reading...