[meanwhile, back on Fpozz...]
I'm not going to worry and instead I will try to focus on lining up a cargo to move when Orneev gets back. Diula said she'll show me how she kept sane when we were away. But I think it was just hitting the habitat bars in numerical order.
[Week 1 of Travelling Alone starts with Upkeep
Inty has Soc 4, so pays 4x4x10= cr160
Diula has Soc 8, so must spend another cr640]
Day 111 [Buy Equipment]
Diula said she wanted to take me shopping in habitat 027. Foolishly I agreed, thinking she would lead me to a bazaar or food market. Instead she bought surplus ammunition off a guy I'm sure was squatting in a disused office [Diula bought 3 clips for her body pistol @ cr20each].
I guess she's just paranoid about the stuff in the hold, and I don't really feel like getting into it with her. But I did make her agree that next time I get to choose the outing. That was a long shuttle ride out there, and it kinda put a damper on the rest of the day.
[Event: Planetary event - using Mythic to determine the nature: Extravagance / Energy (1d6=3days: 112-115) ]
Well that was some excitement I didn't need. A brownout in the docking habitat had everyone scrambling for fuel and life support refreshes so we could live in our ships. For two whole days couldn't even go into the habitat without a vacc suit on. Had to splash out cr4000 for emergency life support supplies just to keep ship habitable and 40t fuel for the power plant. I thought of just skimming from the gas giant but I think our power would've run out mid-trip. As compensation for everyone's inconvenience, the port authority waived all berthing fees for the three days. Like that cr300 was going to make a difference.
[Options: cargo search]
Didn't find any good cargos this week either. Probably not surprising, seeing how everything else went.
There's no real law enforcement around here [Law Level = 0], so I'm starting to wonder if murder is technically allowed. Diula was in fine form today and nearly started a brawl in the "spacers' lounge" at Habitat 17-b.
[Encounter: religious group - Hrknrr Machine Cultists
# encountered: 2D=7
special rule: the cult is insular, but also pacifistic; thus, when rolling for reactions, all 1s on the dice are counted as 2s, but all 6s become 5s. When meeting people with cybernetic enhancements, there will be a ±2 reaction modifier depending on how mechanical it appears.
Reaction roll=5, hostile, may attack]
There was this group of machine cultists that came in the lounge. I've heard of them, everybody has, but I never saw any in person before today. They were weirder and creepier looking than I expected. Metal teeth, metal on their arms and hands, metal hair... hard not to stare at them, but they just go all sullen and stare back. I was surprised to see them in the lounge, I thought that liquor was against their religion and all. I said this to Diula, and now I wish I hadn't. Seems that she used to see them all the time back when she worked for Veegint port authority. I was a bit surprised at this because my captainly memory of the star charts tells me that Veegint doesn't have any planetoid belts, so it shouldn't have any belters. Oh, no, she says, they got 'em, and plenty. They do all kinds of zero-g construction, and some even go prospecting in the Oort clouds. Apparently a whole family of about 100 machine cultists were hired by the port to build additions to the highport, and they were always getting in fights with the other workers and there were strikes because no one wanted to work with them and all sorts of stuff. I sort of tuned her out after a while. The woman can't tell a story without a drink in her hand, and this one got pretty long, and I wasn't paying attention to how much she was putting away (it was her tab). Eventually she had to go visit the little spacer's room, so she had to walk by the back corner where all the cultists were sitting, and minding their own business. But on her way back she stumbled into one of them, and got mad for him sitting in her way, and she started yelling and then they started yelling and it was all I could do to drag her out of there before someone got hit! or shot...
Back in the ship now. She's passed out and snoring with her door open. I still can't sleep, and I've been putting off doing the accounting. Might as well get it done...
cr148382 ship's fund
-4000 life support
-4000 Power plant fuel (unrefined)
cr139982 new ship's fund
I guess it could be worse.
[End week 1
Week 2: days 117-122
This week ended up being really dull, so there were no captain's log entries.
Upkeep: Inty cr160, Diula cr640
...Options: cargo search, with nothing available...
Port event (ST): Bunch of asteroid miners in port causing trouble all week for port officials and other travellers. Other belters share Diula's hatred of the cult. There were sporadic fights, and one of the habitats suffered decompression when shots were fired (2d6-2=5 injured, 1d6-1= no deaths). Some passing mercenaries stepped in to end the disturbances for the public good, and the cultists retreated back out to the uninhabited reaches of the asteroid belt. Mythic was uninterested in having the PCs present for any of this.
It was crap week: -700cr berthing fees leaves cr139282 ship's fund
Week 3: days 123-130
Upkeep: Inty cr160, Diula cr640
Event: Opportunity to buy exotic item
I took this as an opportunity to try out the Small Cargos & Special Handling article in JTAS#18.]
"C'mon," said Diula, "Lets go to the bazaar." "Why?" I asked. "Cause this place is deader than a durneel and if we don't do something we'll go starkers!" I asked what a durneel was, and she said she wasn't sure, it was just an old solomani expression.
But that woman must have the gift of prophecy or something. Amongst all the tat and stuff that Diula insists must of "fell off Uloryy" (can't be another of her solomani expressions? can it?), we found a guy selling 6 crates of blue valonaise wine for well under what they must be worth. We bought all 6 out of the ships fund, @ cr45each. Even if it isn't going to net us much of a return, I figure we can always drink the stuff!
[...Options: find cargo]
There was actually a cargo lot that came up this week. 6t of gems @ 1Mcr each...
If I had 6 million credits in my account... well, I still couldn't fix the ship, but things would be a lot less desperate, that's for sure!
Orneev should be back soon. I wonder if he's doing any better than we are.
Orneev's back, but he's being a bit cagey about his trip to Pa'trix. Diula says they must have tortured him for information about our business, she's heard they do that there. I told her not to believe everything she reads in the sensationalist press. Still, he's being weird.
[Orneev told them they were in the black, but he wanted to sell off the speculative cargo before getting them too excited about the earnings, just in case.
selling the electronic parts: roll 10+3= 200% (25t x 200000 = Mcr5)
selling the armour: roll 6+3= 120% (8t x 60000 = Kcr480)]
"I brought you something" said Orneev, "I hope you'll like it!"
It was a folder full of all his receipts -- like a literal one, in hardcopy. It seems they're really particular on Pa'trix. I wasn't sure what to make of it, and then he says, "for your accounting. I know how you like to keep the numbers up to date. Did I do good, Captain?" "Gee," I said, "you really do know the way to a girl's heart!"
But when I looked inside I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or jump his bones right there in the airlock.
One more run like that and we can fix the ship!
+2800000 sell silver
-640 room & board
-1000000 buy elec parts
-200000 buy body armour
-10000 passage to Fpozz
-33000 33t cargo space
+5000000 sell elec
+480000 sell body armour
cr7036360 Orneev's total
Later: We had a crew meeting to discuss our next move in light of our sudden change of fortune. Diula's first reaction when we told her was to say that she was surprised he came back. I was afraid she was going to ask for her share right then and there and leave us on the next ship out. Instead, she said that maybe we should see if those gems are still on offer.
[Q: Are the Gems still available? 50/50: 20, Yes.]
Turns out they were, so we bought them up. And whist we were waiting for the transactions to all go through and the delivery time to be posted, we came up with a plan.
Even if we had Mcr10, we can't fix the ship at Fpozz. I think the repair facilities are a screwdriver tied to the wall by a cord with a sign above it saying "please do not steal" [Class D starport]. Diula thinks she can rig the jump drives for one more trip without doing undue harm to them. Whilst she's working on that, I'm going to go out in search of more cargo to fill the hold, we'll have 38t empty once the gems are delivered. We're not going to take on any passengers this trip, just in case the drives don't like being forced to make another trip. Besides, we'd get in trouble for flying into Imperial space without a medic, and I don't like our chances for recruiting one here.
cr139282 ship's fund
+7036360 Orneev's total
-275729 mortgage (late again...)
cr759231 new ship's fund
[... End of Travelling Alone
Now that everyone had reassembled, it was time to roll Diula's 1d6 from the end of Part 3 to see what happens. It will occur on (131+1d6=) day 136.
cargo search failed (Star Trader mods for class D starports are not good for speculation)
Diula needs to roll 10+ to jury-rig the drives, with a +1 DM for her engineering skill. She can roll once per day. She didn't manage the first two days...
cargo search fails again.
Diula gets the jump drives back on line, but only just.
Diula's die = 4: Orneev suspects her and confronts her about it.
(1-3 she calls his bluff as there's no evidence. 4-6 there's another murder attempt...)
Whilst Inty is out looking for cargo, Orneev and Diula are sitting in the common area of the ship. He starts asking pointed questions about the doc leaving the ship, and she realises where the line of questioning is headed.
"Look," she says, "You don't like me: fine. You don't have to. We're business partners, not like you and captain kissy-face. The doc wasn't happy here, so he left. No warning, no note, no goodbyes, just cleaned out his cabin and left. People do it all the time. Space is pretty fucking vast, and honestly, unless they make the news, once someone's gone you'll probably never hear their name again. Now, you think on that, before you start accusing me of anything criminal, and before you say anything we're both going to regret hearing. He's gone, and I don't know where, and I don't care why. If you got some sort of evidence to the contrary, you'd have brought it out already, but you you don't, and these veiled accusations are getting on my nerves, so I suggest you shut the fuck up before something bad really does happen aboard this ship."
Orneev shuts the fuck up.]
Finally found some cargo. 60t of polymers were on offer @ cr5600/tonne. We only had space for 38t, but they were willing to split the lot. For a fee, of course.
I had time to kill between shuttles, so I went round the bazaar a little. There was a new stall open selling all sorts of rare fruit and meat and liquor and candy. I made my first executive decision as captain and bought up way too much of the stuff. And it was seriously overpriced, but still... haven't seen fresh fruit in ages. And cheese! And flestok! Real flestok, not that reconstituted crap, either.
When I got back with the loot and told them that it was paid for with ship's money, the pair of them saluted sharply. Diula confined herself to a single joke about wanting off the ship now with her share of the cheese whilst she was setting the table. But the rest of the night was passed in proper camaraderie. Orneev and her didn't even squabble once!
We even had a reasonable discussion about business over the after-dinner eenhoi', about where we were actually headed. We've decided to try Uloryy. It's nothing special, and might not net the best price for our cargos, but Orneev reckons it won't be hard to find buyers. And despite the, shall we say, rustic character of the mainworld, they got a first rate Imperial shipyard.
cr759931 ship's fund
-6000 life support
-1000 creature comforts
It was almost a solemn event, finally decoupling from the habitat docking ring and setting off from the asteroid. And it was a long trip out to the gas giant for fuel. Orneev and I didn't feel much like talking, and Diula didn't want to leave the engine room unattended.
[no port event, no ship encounter]
Skimming fuel was routine, no in system chatter over the comm. Now we're heading out to 100 diameters, and saying a silent prayer to the gods of our various homeworlds, or whatever...
Dimming the lights... jump...
Hey, it worked!
[Jump event -- had to reroll this a couple times as the table expects a full crew and passengers. But on the third go I got a result that made sense, with a little interpretation: Passenger declares he has seen a gun in another passenger’s stateroom.
= Orneev is getting nervous about Diula's pistol. Rolling a d6 to decide what he does about it: 1-3 tells Inty, 4-6 confronts Diula.]
Now that the elation of actually getting in to jumpspace has worn off, we're all starting to wear on each others nerves being cooped up in here. I almost suggested we open a couple bottles of the blue valonaise, but really I want to save it for the proper celebration of getting the ship back in real working order.
And Orneev is now all paranoid about Diula having a gun. I did point out that if she murders us in jump she can't fly the ship at the other end. But he thinks she's not likely to take that into consideration. I told him he's just being paranoid, she needs us as much as we need her right now. But he wouldn't let it go.
So I came up with a "grand scheme" involving filling the ship's locker with more than just shabby old vacc suits. So I started cleaning it out thoroughly (which it needed anyways) and making a big show of it, and sat in the lounge drawing up a list of supplies: medkits, carbines, breathers, maybe a shotgun. When it's nice and clean I'll approach her. "Hey, Diula, why don't you keep your gun & ammo in there. It could be the inaugural inhabitant of our all-new fancy ship's locker. You can even pick the first shelf!"
[What happens when Inty actually does talk to Diula?
1. Diula shoots Inty in a fit of pique
2. Diula starts an argument (attacks on 5+)
3. Diula starts an argument (attacks on 8+)
4. Diula says she'd rather have it in her room in case pirates attack.
5. Diula puts her body pistol in to be nice, but keeps the revolver.
6. Diula falls for the ruse completely, and puts both guns inside.
to be continued...]
(adventure continues here)