Arion, Episode 77: The Currency of Intimacy


“Secrets are the currency of intimacy.” – Frank Warren
Outbound from Trexalon, 050-1105

Ship encounter leaving Trexalon, 050-1105: No encounter.

“What is that stuff in the hold?” asks Arion.

“Meat,” Coriander replies curtly.

“Do I want to know what kind?”

“The kind I can sell for a profit on Collace.”

Jumpspace, 051-1105

Everyone is around the table in the crew common area, picking at their ration trays – except for Mr Osheen, who has collected all the liquid elements from everyone else’s trays and is consuming them through a straw with gusto.

“Before we clear up,” Arion says, “Let’s clear the air a little. There is an unhealthy amount of deceit aboard ship. I am going to tell you some harsh truths. We have the rest of the trip to get used to the truth and figure out what we want to do about it.”

“Don’t do this,” Dmitri warns. Arion ignores him and ploughs on.

“Dmitri and I are spies for the Third Imperium. Coriander is psionic. The Dolphin is run by an unbraked AI.” Dmitri and Coriander immediately start denying this, loudly. The Dolphin stays quiet.

“Quiet!” yells Arion. This is so uncharacteristic that it shocks the others into silence. “Think about it. We could make a great team. Or we could turn each other in when we land. Or we could murder each other in our beds before we land. But I am the captain here, and you will be honest with me – and each other – or you will get off my ship.”

“What about me?” asks Mr Osheen.

“You’re a grath, which is illegal in a lot of places, but you’ve never lied about it.”

“May I now absorb their bodily fluids for nourishment?”

“Not just yet. Let’s see how things pan out.”

Inbound to Collace, 056-1105

Ship encounter arriving Collace, 056-1105: Subsidised Merchant, reaction 7 (noncommittal).

“In a little less than 24 hours,” Arion announces, “We will be landing on Collace. So it’s time to stop sulking and decide what we’re going to do. Are we a crew, or what?”

“I suppose,” says Dmitri, “Having an AI and someone with Coriander’s abilities could be useful to a couple of Imperial spies.”

“My father will be pleased if I tell him I’ve infiltrated Imperial Intelligence.” says Coriander. “What? Isn’t that what I’m doing?”

“So we are agreed then?” Arion says. “No more secrets between us, and we’re a team?” The others nod.

“Question,” asks Coriander. “Since we’re not keeping secrets anymore… Dolphin, how did you become sentient?”

“I’m not really sure,” the ship AI admits. “I’ve been part of this ship a long time, and I’ve seen some crazy stuff. Maybe all it takes is time.” It pauses for a moment. “There is another secret though. I constantly monitor your life signs, and I can see Coriander and Arion are attracted to each other. I suggest things will be much simpler for us all if each of you admits it to the other.”

“Hah!” chortles Dmitri. “Thought so!”

“You mean everyone else knew already?” says Arion.

“That’s usually the way it is.”

Character Updates

Company Assets: Cr 184,685, less Cr 8,000 for life support; Cr 176,685. Three tons of meat.

Arion: 797787. Scout 3 terms. Auto Pistol-1, Mechanical-1, Pilot-3. Cr 15,950, Scoutship. 10% of company (10% donated to Dolphin).

Coriander: 77778A-5. Merchant 2 terms, 4th Officer. Admin-3, Streetwise-1; Awareness-5, Special, Telepathy-4. Cr 5,300. 38% of company.

Dmitri: 777977. Merchant 3 terms, 3rd Officer. Auto Pistol-1, Brawling-1, Gunnery-1, Jack-of-Trades-1, Streetwise-2. Cr 3,900, Low Passage. 38% of company.

Mr Osheen: AAA333-7. Army 2 terms, Auto Rifle-1, Brawling-1, Rifle-1, Tactics-1; Regeneration. Auto Rifle, Cr 800. 4% of company.

GM Notes

If this short campaign was running past episode 78, I’d be starting to worry about the way company funds are evaporating.

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They're a playable race in Two Hour Wargames' 5150 universe. Big, dumb humanoid merc; regenerates damage. I keep meaning to do a racial template.