arrive at Chabloha/Foreven (2837 E733884-2 Na Po)
Seems like there's no traffic in-system at all. Not a peep on the comm, nothing even on the long-range scanners.
Put down on the surface. The port is barely a thing, just an automated beacon amidst some flat concrete landing pads, one of which is covered in crap. A hand-painted metal sign which read "settlement" in Galanglic and Vilani pointed to a trail leading off to a nearby hill with a rocky outcropping. Beyond that there's a big red sun in the sky, and sandy desert as far as the eye can see.
Time to suit up and get walking, I suppose.
[world event: Holiday or festival celebrations slow things down, but become an enjoyable diversion.
it takes 1d6=4 days to unload & sell cargo
Total sale DM of +7: +3 Orneev's broker skill, +3 Poor world, +1 quality (from Star Trader event); roll 7+7=300%, Kcr30/tonne
But Chabloha is primitive and lacks a real port facility, so the payment may be unusual (1d6): 1-2 barter, 3-4 gold, 5 Imp. credits, 6 other hard currency
roll: 5! What luck.]
Seems we came in the middle of a the annual Lab-20c Festival, a two-week long celebration commemorating the scientists who came up with the plan to harness the oxygen-producing cave plants to produce an artificially habitable environment, thus saving the original colony. There's music and dancing and games and some sort of fungus liqueur which goes down super smooth. We're taking turns guarding the ship, because no one -- not even Diula -- wants to miss this.
Orneev found a local merchant who was very interested in taking the blades off our hands, to the tune of cr300,000. She even paid in Imperial credits! But, and there's always a but, she said it will be at least three days before she can send her people to collect.
No one's seen the new medic for a couple days. She didn't leave a message on the Hekabe either. If we don't see her before it's time to go, well, we can always find another medic.
. . .
Later: Hadn't seen Diula for a while either, and she hadn't been answering her commo. So I called Heldamin, and she just laughed. "Not to worry," she says, "she's back aboard. She brought a new friend back to, er, play with." "Really?" I asked, "Diula? I didn't think she had it in her. Did you get a look at him? her?" "It, I think," she said laughing, "Just kidding. Diula just knocked on my door and asked if I could mind the shop for a while. Honestly, I'm glad I didn't see. Less chance of terrifying images haunting my dreams. She's a good one and all, but there are some mysteries I'd rather leave unsolved!" Well, good on her, anyways.
Heldamin has actually started getting anxious about how long we've been here. She asked if I could hurry up the blade deal so we aren't late. Never seen her so businesslike before.
Got everything unloaded and paid for, then Heldamin insisted we dust off immediately, the second we closed the cargo hatch. She rattled off some coordinates, and we headed halfway across the planet, to some ancient impact crater far away from all the cave cities. In the crater was a pair of ships, a fat trader and some other ship with a custom 200t hull.
Heldamin said she needed to have a talk with her associates, so she suited up and went aboard the merchant ship. She was gone a good while, and when she came back there were 8 others with her. I was a bit suspicious, looking at the hardware they packing, but then they came in the airlock and the helmets came off and there was a familiar face smiling out at us.
"Nakko!" called Orneev and Diula in unison.
"Looks like I'll be flying with you guys," he said.
"Nakko," said Caidro, a bit more seriously, "I didn't expect you'd make it."
"And miss all the fun?" said Nakko. "Though you almost did. You're late."
"Hardly," said Heldamin, "We're right on schedule."
"We don't got any time for testing."
"You don't need it. I've got grade A merchandise. It'll work a dream. You just need to trust me." Then she got all official on me. "So, Inty, there's been a little change of plans. You can probably guess that three freighters won't carry a whole army. We need to get to the new rendez-vous on Dimmul. We need to go now."
Well, she is chartering the ship. And she bought us all presents at the festival. So we found room for everyone. Some of the staterooms are now double-occupancy, but they're soldiers so they're used to it. Heldamin was expecting them so she got the extra provisions & life support when she filled the ship with necessaries at Yk spaceport.
We're almost at the gas giant now.
"See you all on Dimmul," said Heldamin over the comm and us and the two other ships went into jump space. I did warn her that we're no space fleet and so the odds of us all coming out at the same time are ridiculously slim. She said that she understands, and that we have a nice place picked out to wait once we get there.
Mercs are spending a lot of time in the cargo hold, and except for Nakko, and sometimes Caidro, they aren't mixing too much with the rest of us. Heldamin says we shouldn't mind them, they're gearing up for a mission and don't have time for "us civilians". Besides, she thinks they're being boring.
Later: I think I preferred them boring. Two of the mercs had a screaming row [jump event] in the cargo bay that spilled out into the common area. I was afraid they were going to go for their guns at one point. Nakko came out and actually sent them to their rooms!