Arion, Episode 74: Reactivated

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“When God hath ordained a creature to die in a particular place, He causeth that creature’s wants to direct him to that place.” – Frank Herbert, Dune
Behind the Scenes

Collace has a high population and a very thin, tainted atmosphere, so I ignored animal encounters here. I did check for legal ones, but with law level 3 I wasn’t surprised when there were none. I checked for person encounters, and a patron encounter for Arion, while Coriander sold the cargo.

  • Patron: Success – I’ll force the actual encounter to be a spy, and introduce Dmitri.
  • 030-1105: 6 researchers with a vehicle, reaction 6. Leader has revolver. Probably the ones from episode 68.
  • 032-1105: 13 bandits with swords and pistols, reaction 5, 2. Leader has revolver. 2 sounds low enough not to attack.
  • 034-1105: 5 thugs with daggers and jack. Reaction 6.

Cori rolls 2D = 10, +3 for her Admin skill, +1 for Collace being Industrial = 14; she sells 3 tons of liquor at 300% and gains herself and Arion Cr 45,000 each.

Off screen, for reasons that will become clear later, Cori looks for another cargo, finding a batch of silver going at 300% normal price. She passes on that, because even with her skills she’s not likely to sell it on Trexalon for more than 120%.

Collace, 029-1105

Arion says goodbye to Coriander, who leaves for home with her share of the trading profits, and presents himself at the scout base. The touchscreen at reception tags him in, and posts a route in his AR visor which leads him to an out of the way part of the base. The sign on the office door reads AKSUNAR KARAGOZ – DETACHED DUTY LIAISON. The door flashes green in the visor overlay, signifying that Arion should enter, which he does.

Karagoz is sitting at a desk, prodding at the icons on its surface. There are two seats opposite him, and one of them is occupied by a nondescript man in his thirties.

“Arion Metaxas, mustered out on Mertactor 001-1105, detached duty with constructive possession of a scout/courier.”

“Yes, Mr Karagoz.” Arion grins. He is no longer in the official chain of command and doesn’t have to call Karagoz “sir” as a result.

“I am reactivating you with immediate effect, and…”

“No. No no no no no. I’ve done my time. I want to see the frontier!”

“You’ll get your chance. However, the contract you signed allows the Imperium to reactivate you, and the Imperium has done so.” He takes in Arion’s crestfallen look. “If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined.”

Arion sulks, but says nothing.

“Your reactivation will remain a secret, known only to the three of us. You can call this man Dmitri; your job is to do whatever he tells you.” Arion is interested despite himself; he has heard rumours of covert intelligence units squirrelled away in dark corners of the Scout Service, and it looks like he has just found one.

“So then, Dmitri, what do you want me to do?”

“Mr Karagoz here has developed a sudden interest in Trexalon. Let’s start by you taking me there.”

“Can we call that a charter? Because my rate is…”

“No. We cannot call it a charter.”

“What about a middle passage then? Nothing is free aboard ship, not even the air you breathe.”

“Let’s call it a working passage. I’m a reasonable gunner.”

“The Dolphin has no weapons.”

“That’s no reason to let standards slip. Come on, let’s go; you can show me to my stateroom.”

Collace, 030-1105

Arion is sure he recognises the noble he saw at Mertactor downport wandering through the caverns of Collace Downport, and when he raises a hand in greeting, the fellow waves back; but he has his own concerns to attend to.

Collace, 032-1105

The underground hangar where the Dolphin is parked gets an unexpected visit from a dozen or so armed men, who give Arion a predatory look and start across the concrete towards the ship. Arion calls for Mr Osheen, who emerges from the ship. The grath and the men size each other up, and the men decide this particular ship is not as interesting as they thought at first. They saunter off, trying unsuccessfully to make it look as if that was their intention all along.

Collace, 034-1105

Arion is already starting to prepare the Dolphin for launch when a group of half-a-dozen leather-jacketed heavies turns up, escorting Coriander.

“Hi Cori,” says Arion. “Welcome back. Have you reconsidered my offer?”

“No. Is Dmitri around?”

“Yes, he’s in the payload bay – wait, how do you know he’s here?”

“I move in mysterious ways.” She turns to her escort. “Thanks boys, I’ll be fine now, I’ve got a grath on board for protection.”

“Quite often,” Arion mutters, “I wonder who is in charge here, and what is going on.”

“That’s easy,” Coriander laughs. “I’m in charge, and I’ll tell you what’s going on when you need to know.”

Character Updates

As well as the income from trading, everyone has expenses; Cr 800 for upkeep for two months, which I forgot earlier. Everyone already has combination respirator/compressors from Talos, although I forgot to charge Mr Osheen for his and have now done so. Dmitri buys one too, but he only pays Cr 400 for upkeep as he has only just joined the party.

Arion: 797787. Scout 3 terms. Auto Pistol-1, Mechanical-1, Pilot-3. Cr 57,750, Scoutship.

Coriander: 77778A-5. Merchant 2 terms, 4th Officer. Admin-3, Streetwise-1; Awareness-5, Special, Telepathy-4. Cr 81,850.

Dmitri: 777977. Merchant 3 terms, 3rd Officer. Auto Pistol-1, Brawling-1, Gunnery-1, Jack-of-Trades-1,
Streetwise-2. Cr 80,450, Low Passage.

Mr Osheen: AAA333-7. Army 2 terms, Auto Rifle-1, Brawling-1, Rifle-1, Tactics-1; Regeneration. Auto Rifle, Cr 8,900.

GM Notes

The human mind is obsessed with finding patterns, and if – as in the case of random encounters – there are none, it will make up its own to fill the gaps. Thus is the emergent story created.

What is going on here? Fear not, all will be revealed once we’re safely in jumpspace, out of reach of prying ears.

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