Star Key

Session 5
A Wild Quest Appears

The crew of the Crimson Raptor is still recovering from the loss of Chel and the battle of the previous day. The evening was spent recuperating and resting as best they could from the wounds of battle. After a rest period the captain began to rouse the crew and set them about the tasks of the day, albeit a tad more gently than normal. With the help of Thing 2 a small examination room was set up in the Storage room of mid-deck and the bodies of the salvage ship crew members from the battle were laid out for inspection. Sir, due to his expertise as physician was put in charge, though the rest of the crew was present except for those with queasy stomachs.

Two tables stood side by side with the bodies laid out for Sir’s inspection.

Sir puts on an apron to keep any mess from getting on one of his few pairs of clothes he owns. As he does so he addresses everyone present, “This will not be the most pleasant of procedures but I assume that since you are here you are comfortable with what you will see. Unless you have something useful to say about please remain quite for the duration of the exploration. At no time will anyone who is not directly involved will approach the table without my expressed permission.” He puts on long rubber gloves that extend up to his elbows. “Any questions?”

Dilaziepier leans against the wall, out of her armor and into her stiff attire once more. Her heavy pistol still rests on her hip. She looks over the bodies warily, seemingly entirely at easy despite the cadavers. She shakes her head casually at the questions.

The crewmen in the room stare silently and the captain nods Sir’s way. “Proceed. Let’s see what these bastards were made of.”

Sir moves to the first creature grabbing a tray of various medical tools like clamps for holding organs aside and scalpels. Starting just below the left sternum he makes an incision across the chest stopping beneath the right collar bone. He makes a similar incision just beneath the belly button. Next he makes a perpendicular incision connecting the two lines. Setting down the knife he takes two clamps and very carefully peels back the skin to either side and as is his procedure he first takes account of all the organs for anything obviously out of the ordinary.

GM (GM):The bodies are human males, their insides, though injured in several places by weapon blasts, seem more or less right where they should be. Sir doesn’t discover any anomalies in their organ structure. In fact, the insides seem perfectly normal. The bodies themselves are slightly emaciated, as though they had been starved or poorly fed for several weeks. However, a wiry strength remains in their frame as they were obviously capable enough to fight. Each has a scorch mark on their chest as if something was molded to their flesh and burned off.

GM (GM):As Sir is making his incisions and checking the inside of the bodies, Gloxria was scanning the bodies from her viewpoint. She noticed something peculiar about the bodies, both of them had a strange pattern on the sides of their heads, in the same exact place.

Gloxria: After the doctor began I was looking at the bodies and noticed something on both of the heads. Gloxria turned to the captain and asked if he noticed it.

GM (GM):The captain looks over at Gloxria and shakes his head. “See what?”

Gloxria: Gloxria turned to the doctor and asked permission to step forward.

Sir turns to Gloxria holding a flat metal arm that curves like a cane. He stands hovering over the body as though he were just about to the messy part of the procedure, “Speak first and use your words.” He raises a brow inquisitively wondering what she has already spotted so early that he missed.

Gloxria: As Gloxria stood there kind of wondering why she even bothered to speak up this time. She said to the doctor and partially to everyone else to break the eye contact – “I noticed that they have markings on their heads, approximately in the same area.”

Sir takes a closer look at the markings pointed out, “Excellent catch Miss…? I don’t believe we’ve been introduced.”

Gloxria: “Gloxria. And you are?”

Sir:You may call me Sir. But a more formal introduction shall wait until later.
GM (GM):As Sir looked closer at the area pointed out by Gloxria he saw what she was referring too. Both of the heads had a mark slightly behind and above the left ear. They were star-shaped and appeared to have a hole near the center that was now clotted over with dried blood and scabbing skin. They were obviously made some time ago. The holes seem to have come from some sort of tool that dug into the skulls and brains of the two men.

Eveline: Eveline interrupts, “Those holes in their heads appear to bore through the skull into the brain…that has to mean something.”

Sir puts down the tool he was holding, “I believe I have started the search in the wrong area.” He casually flips the skin back onto the cadaver’s torso. Moving to the head he cuts away any hair that my get in the way and begins to cut a small patch of skin around the marking. Using various tools he drills into the skull and cuts away a small square of the skull being very careful to not damage anything unnecessarily.

GM (GM):As Sir begins looking at the brain and examining the area of the marking he sees that the areas of the brain responsible for higher thinking have severed and cauterized in several places and the area responsible for aggression was enlarged. Whatever tool did this to the men, it must have been extremely advanced. This definitely looks like the source of the men’s strange and aggressive behavior.

Sir frowns as he studies the various “alterations” the man’s brain. Speaking to the whole room while gingerly shifting things around to get different views he describes the findings. “There is extensive damage in here and from the size of the markings it had to have been done from extremely advanced technology. That or some sort of mechanical parasite which would still be quite the feat. It does however explain the mad behavior whether that was intentional or simply a byproduct.”

The captain shakes his head at Sir’s findings. “Someone messed with their brain? Well, that would make them mad for sure. I think we’d better get over to that ship and see if we can figure out what did it. Let’s grab our gear and head back over.”

Dilaziepier gathers up her weaponry, this time meeting up with the other spacers, a large, heavy rifle slung over her shoulder and her armor being worn once more, gleaming slightly in the florescent lights on the ceiling. She removes her pistol from the holster on her hip, removing the clip to check the bullets casually as she waits. Pleased with her findings, she removes her rifle from her shoulder.

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: IAP sits upright in the private quarters shared by his master and a platoon of lesser slaves that had rotated in and out of usefulness at one time or another, The stern lines of his unmoving face are illuminated by the terminal screen as his fingers fly across the interface. APO floats in the darkness silently behind him, the recovered data disc loaded and decrypting on a secure private terminal.

GM (GM):The data from the disc opens onto the terminal. It seems to be the crew log from the salvage ship. There are several entries starting from their departure to the last entry reported nearly 2 weeks previous. The files are not encrypted and can be opened at any time.

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: “Start at the beginning?” IAP asks in a cold monotone, eyes fixed on the screen. “Do not waste our time with the meaningless drivel of human concerns.” APO sways slightly, sing song voice contrasting with the shadows laying over them. “Begin with the last entry, where they are itchy zombies.”

GM (GM):As the IAP shrugs and hits the last entry for playback a video log begins playing. The recorder used was obviously in the hands of someone either very unskilled in the camera’s use or was operating under some sort of strange conditions as the picture was jumping erratically. A voice was heard and then a man’s face came into frame. It was disheveled and covered in sweat and grime, apparently one of the salvage ships crew. “Crazy. They’ve gone insane. Ever since we found that thing. I’m glad I wasn’t there. I think I’ve stopped it, but now they’re hunting me.” A sound was heard off screen, someone obviously pounding on a door nearby. “They’ve found me dammit. No place left to run. Hopefully someone will find this. Be careful! Don’t let it…” A shot was fired nearby and the man yelled. The video went dark as the recorder was thrust into a pile of discarded papers and left. More gunfire was heard for several seconds and a scream, then silence and the video ended.

GM (GM):The IAP plays the second to last log which seems to be a written inventory of things found on the ancient ship. Nothing really stands out among the listed items until halfway down the list when the APO sees an item listed as mechanical man. Something about that seems very strange as nothing remotely like it has ever been discovered, to his knowledge, from any ancient ruins.

Aboard the Ancient Ship

GM (GM):As the crew once again gathers in the first room on the Ancient Ship, the mood is a bit more subdued than last time. The captain looks around and hesitantly asks Dila, “Would you mind blazing the trail for us? I believe that you are now ranking security officer.”

Dilaziepier offers a nod to the captain, slinging the rifle over her shoulder again before drawing her sidearm, looking through the opening and looking through the doorway before slowly starting into the room in a ready position, checking the corners and keeping an eye on the entrances.

Eveline:Eveline follows Dila out into the hallway, turning towards the left.

Sir decides this time after the last incident he would follow the captain and not step out on his own.

GM (GM): As the captain steps out into the hall behind Dila he looks to the right where the madmen had attacked them. “Should we go right or left first to investigate these rooms?”

Sir: “Should we split into two search teams or stay together?”

Eveline: “Why not split up? I think the danger is passed.”

Dilaziepier: “Splitting up would ensure that we were at less strength were there to be survivors still within the ship,” Dila notes, her voice coming through her suit, electronically harsh and distorted.

GM (GM):The Captain nods. “There were three crewman on the salvage ship, so at least one is unaccounted for, whether they’re alive or not I don’t know, but I would err on the side of caution and stick together.”

Eveline:“All good points. But why would the final crewman wait to attack, if he wanted to attack? At any rate, we should move forward to check the rooms.”

Dilaziepier: “You are assuming the last, if capable, is not simply waiting in ambush.” Dila comments, before starting toward the doorway the two crew members had charged from previously.

GM (GM):The Captain shrugs and follows Dila to the right towards where the attack occurred.
Dila comes to the first door to the right.

Dilaziepier:“Hardly; to launch an attack on unsuspecting hostiles is the surest way to combat greater numbers.” As she reaches the door, she slowly and carefully opens it, peeking within the room.

Sir rubs the palm of his hand against the pommel of his rapier nervously as he spots the evidence left over from the battle.

GM (GM):The room is revealed to be some sort of sleeping quarters. What appears to be some sort of bed and a table of unknown material is revealed. There is litter and debris on the floor.

Dilaziepier: Assuming she can see no hostiles, she moves into the room carefully, signalling for the others to follow behind. She keeps an eye out for any other doorways, assisting in the search if possible.

Eveline: Eveline enters the room to see if anything of note is contained within.

Gloxria: Gloxria felt compelled to search the room considering this was the whole intent of her boarding in the first place. She doubts there will be anything useful, but she must try.

As the room is searched all that is found are several small personal items; worn clothing of strange fabric, papers degraded and unrecognizable and little trinkets that may once have been toiletries of some strange nature. Gloxria finds nothing of note in the room.

GM (GM):Nothing to be found in the first room the captain suggest they move on.

Dilaziepier:With the search completed, Dila moves back into the hall, before moving to the next doorway before opening and peeking again, cautiously.

GM (GM):Eveline stands before the second door to the right.

Eveline:Eveline enters the next room in the hallway and looks around.

Gloxria: Gloxria again following everyone takes a deep breath and goes into the next room.

The second room also seems to be a sleeping quarter of the same kind as the first. The same type of bed and table are found, along with the various trash and litter accumulation. However, both Gloxria and Eveline notice some items have been disturbed and moved in the room. Most likely by the crew of the salvage ship. Something valuable may have once been here, even if it’s not anymore.

Eveline: “Some of things in that room have been moved around, and recently at that,” Eveline mentions to the others.

Gloxria: Gloxria nods as they move on.

GM (GM): Dila stands before the next door. This one however doesn’t seem to open. Some sort of blast shield seems to be in place, probably due to the room being exposed to vacuum.

Dilaziepier moves to the next door.

GM (GM):As the crew nears the next door they see that some equipment is attached to the opening panel.

GM (GM):The door apparently is locked, which is why the equipment, a standard electronic pad is attached to the door’s opening mechanism. A program seems partially completed on the pad.

GM (GM):Eveline spends a few seconds looking through the program to notice that it is almost completed, needing only the algorithm to find the unlock code. She quickly finishes the program and runs it.

After a few moments the program runs and the door makes a soft click, unlocking.

GM (GM):After opening the locked room Eveline steps in to find that it is some sort of alien bathroom. Sinks are recognizable and toilets, for some alien physiology, in common stalls are obvious.

Gloxria, feeling completely obsessed at this point follows Eveline into the next room.

Dilaziepier glances into the room as Eveline steps into it, before simply starting for the next room in the hallway.

GM (GM):Looking through the room Gloxria finds that this room is much cleaner than the bedrooms and she finds several bottles of what may be some sort of soap.

GM (GM): Dlia stands before the door that the madmen had come from.

Gloxria:Feeling agitated Gloxria reaches into her pocket and pulls out a piece of candy to suck on.

GM (GM):As Dila peeks through the door she sees that this room is much larger than the others and contains much more trash and debris.

Eveline:Eveline enters the room and looks around.

Gloxria: As does Gloxria

GM (GM):As Gloxria and Eveline enter and begin searching the room They see several tables of the same strange material as in the sleeping quarters.
As they continue searching they also see what appears to be a body.

Sir walks over to the body and checks for a pulse or signs of life.

Eveline:Eveline moves to examine the strange material, completely ignoring the body.

Gloxria:Gloxria stands there waiting for something.

Dilaziepier steps into the room, pointing the gun at the body as Sir checks it, paying little attention to the materials.

Gloxria:Gloxria glances towards the body to see if the same head marking is present.
GM (GM):As Sir approaches the body he sees that it is obviously dead and beginning to decompose. The man, in the remnants of the salvage crews uniform, has been shot several times and sports many other injuries that look like they were made with human nails and perhaps even teeth.

Eveline, examining the tables material finds that it is some strange composite beyond her understanding, but is not natural in origin.

Gloxria, looking at the bodies head, doesn’t see the strange markings that were on the others.

Eveline:“This material is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m not sure what it is, but it isn’t organic.”

Sir moves back into the group waiting for them to move on.

GM (GM):The Captain holding his nose near the body waves his hands forward. “Well I guess that accounts for the crew, though not what happened to them, let’s check the rest of the room and we’ll take him back to the ship later.”

GM (GM):As they move to the back of the room they see that a table is set up against the back wall like some sort of shrine. On the table are several things, most notable of which is a body of some kind. There also appears to be a tool or weapon and a faintly glowing crystal with electrical leads on it.

Eveline:Eveline approaches the table and looks closely at the crystal.

Dilaziepier approaches the table cautiously, lowering her weapon as she inspects the curious device (or gadget), carefully avoiding disturbing it from its seat.

GM (GM):The crystal is small and round, about 5 cm in diameter. The electical leads seem to be imbedded within it and look like they would fit into some sort of machine. The faint glowing seems to indicate some internal energy.

The device Dila examines seem to attach at one end to some larger machine. At the other end is a drill like bit with a five pointed socket that probably holds what ever is being drilled into in place. Obviously this was the device that created the holes in the madmen’s heads.

Dilaziepier carefully retrieves the device from the table. “We should retrieve these,” her synthesized voice states, “as we may be able to discover something from them.”

Eveline picks up the crystal and looks at it closely, trying to determine what it might be used for.

GM (GM):After looking a bit more closely at the crystal Eveline sees that the crystal itself is a power source and that it must have been removed from whatever it powered.

GM (GM):As they examine the body, it is quite obvious that it is a robot or android of some advanced design. Equally obvious is that it is no longer functioning. It is humanoid in appearance, though not exactly human in appearance. It’s skin is a soft silver material and the limbs are too long. It’s chest however has been torn open and a gaping hole is seen, something having been recently removed. One hand also ends in a stump, something haven been removed there as well.

Eveline: Eveline, realizing the crystal is a power source, examines the android body to see if the power source appears to fit anywhere on it.

Sir flexes his own prosthetic had sub-consciously seeing the missing hand.

GM (GM):The captain sees the machine and asks quietly, “Should we maybe call Thing 1 and 2? Or take this back to the ship?”

Dilaziepier: “It may be unwise to bring an unidentified artificial lifeform back aboard,” Dilaziepr responds, calmly. “However, it may also be of interest; if not to us, then perhaps a robotics engineer. It would appear, however, that it is related to the fates of the crew members.”

GM (GM):Looking in the chest cavity Eveline sees the likely place where the crystal should probably fit, but several leads and brackets have been bent out of place and would need to be repaired before attempting to replace it. In her search she also notices what looks like a data recorder of Ancient design. That could probably be removed and accessed with the proper tools, which she knows are on board their ship.

Sir: “I agree, as benign as it may seem right now it should be contained in a locked vessel until we know more about it.”

Eveline: “Let’s bring Thing 1 and Thing 2 over, to take a look. They may be able to offer more insight.”

GM (GM):The captain nods to Eveline and pulls out his comm. “We need an engineer over here. We may have found an Ancient robot of some kind, but it isn’t in the best shape. Bring some tools and we’ll see if we can do anything over here.”

A response comes back over the comm that Thing 1 and 2 are both on their way, excitement was evident in their voice.

Meanwhile the APO bored with the others investigations decides to check the rooms to the left.

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: Positioning themselves near the doorway, IAP triggers the door and peers inside the exposed room.

GM (GM):A third sleeping room is revealed by the APO’s investigation. It’s similar to the others in most respects… GM (GM):However, within the debris the APO found a electronic tablet or alien origin, most likely Ancient, as it was their ship. Such an artifact would be worth quite a bit to the right buyer.

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: IAP slips the tablet into his suit, the pair moving back and joining the others.

GM (GM):It takes only a few moments for Thing 1 and 2 to get to the ship. Spying the APO hovering into the room on the right, they rush there and towards the crew, hesitating only briefly past the body they came to the robot. “Wow, look at that.” said Thing 2. Thing 1 said, “Move aside, let’s see what we have here.” They both begin to examine the machine.

The APO seeing the body for the first time recognizes the crewman’s face from the video on the data recorder. This was the man that was attacked, most likely by the two men that attacked the crew yesterday.

Thing 1 and 2 take only a minute to report back to the captain and crew. “Well, it looks like that power source will fit in there and most likely reboot the robot, though we have no idea what that will do. Otherwise we could probably remove that data recorder and open it up to see what’s on it. Either way, just let us know.”

Eveline: “Let’s try to reboot the robot.”

Gloxria: Gloxria nodded.

Sir: “I don’t think that is wise…”

Dilaziepier: “It appears to be unarmed,” Dilazierp notes, moving back into the room to draw her rifle casually. “If it is a threat, I doubt we would be unable to overpower it if these crew were capable of such.”

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: In the midst of the debate, the APO and his personal assistant gradually appear to be further and further towards the door, almost without moving, until they are alone in the hallway.

GM (GM):The captain looks dubious at the prospect of restarting, but acceded that the threat was probably minimal. “Ok then, let’s try the reboot, but I want you all ready to attack or run if it should turn hostile.” He pulls his weapon and takes a defensive position as he signals Thing 1 and 2 to reboot it.

Sir inches backwards drawing his rapier and knife and thing 1 and 2 do their work.

Gloxria: Gloxria gets into position.

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: “Precautionary measures.” The Attorney Protectorate of Operations states, hovering for a moment before jamming a tentacle into the door controls and sealing the door to the room.

GM (GM):Thing 1 uses some pliers and bends parts inside so that the crystal can fit inside once more. Replacing it and connecting the leads they jump back and run behind the captain and Sir as diagnostic sounds begin going off within the robot.

A few moments of lights flashing from the chest cavity and limbs twitching, the robot finally lifts it’s head staring at the weapons aimed it’s way.

In a strange language the robot says something.

GM (GM):After seeing that nobody understands it, the robot begins cycling through languages, presumably repeating itself. After several it finally speaks a recognizable, though ancient form of Vilani, which the captain can kind of understand. He hesitantly responds to the robot and then looks at the crew. “He’s asking for instructions.”

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: Bashing its tendrils against the door controls repeatedly, as well as several times against the door itself before IAP slips in silently between the APO and the door, punching in the alien locking sequence with relative ease.

Sir: “Ask him why he killed that man and what he did to the rest of the crew.”

GM (GM): The captain shrugs at Sir. “Those aren’t really instructions, let me see what he says.”
Speaking hesitantly in the ancient dialect the captain translates the questions. After a moment the robot replies to the captain. “He said that the information was not found.” The robot began to speak rapidly and the captain translated “It seems that it’s memory is corrupt and several sections of data is missing. He wants to know if we are taking it to the Secret.”

Gloxria: "What is the “Secret?”

GM (GM): The captain asks the robot and translates the response, “He says it is the place prepared for his master and that it is where they must go to be safe.”
The captain gets a gleam in his eye as the robot continues speaking. “He says that his master has secreted away all of his wealth there. I think that this is a place that we should find.”

Gloxria: “Lead the way.”

GM (GM): “Good idea.” the captain asks the robot if it can give them the coordinates of this ‘Secret’. The robot continues speaking and the captain’s eyes lose some of their gleam. “Damn. He doesn’t know the way. He only knows where to find the ‘key’ as he calls it.”

Sir decides to take a different approach and talks directly to the android, “Do you understand me robot? Do you speak my language?”

GM (GM):The robot looks in Sir’s direction. Sounds begin to emit from inside it’s body. It says something again in ancient Vilani. The captain translates, “It says it cannot understand, but it is learning. I don’t think it really knew what you were asking, but recognized you were speaking to it.”

The captain looks to the rest of the assembled crew. “Well, it looks like we’ve found something valuable here. I don’t know if I fancy flying around looking for keys and what not, but we could make some money by turning this thing in to the Empire. Any ideas?”

Eveline: “You don’t have a thirst for adventure, do you captain? I say we find the key.”

Dilaziepier: “The Empire would unlikely be willing to search for it, given their superstitions in regards to artificial life forms,” Dilaziepr comments, giving a sideways glance to the nearest alive Solani. “The Collective may be interested in such a prize, however.”

Gloxria: Gloxria wanting to get traveling again for her own selfish reasons thinks this robot may be a great asset in finding more possibilities for her search. “Lead the way…” And smiles, kind of.

Sir against his better judgment speaks his thoughts, “I think we need to keep this all to ourselves. Speak of it to no one and learn what we can from him. Money is not going to be worth nearly the knowledge we might gleam from his mechanical workings. That and I do not feel we are anywhere near qualified enough to judge this man’s sentience enough to simply sell him.” He pauses for a moment thinking the last bit through, “Lets find the key.” Sir grins standing up a little straighter feeling a sense of excitement.

GM (GM):Thing 1 and 2 looked at each other briefly, silent communication flashing between them. “I don’t know about selling this stuff off captain. Think about the advances we could make with some of this technology. Plus, if this ‘Secret’ is really the depository of wealth, it might be worth far more than what the Empire or anyone else might give us.”

The captain thinks everything over. The robot sitting quietly at the table listening to everything. “Ok, I think you’re probably right, I think the Empire might do something drastic to keep this sort of find quiet anyways. Plus, we can use what we find to make more than they could ever give us. Alright then, let’s find this key.”

Thing 1 and 2 smile happily to each other before they notice that the door is closed. Moving to and examining it they see that the lock must have been tripped by something. They use the panel inside to try and open it back up.

After fiddling around with their tools inside the panel the door slides open revealing the APO floating quietly. “Oh, hello. The door was locked.”

Attorney Protectorate of Operations: “A precaution to protect the ship, should the room have suffered explosive decompression due to a structural failure in the hull in no way related to me or my associate or the battle that we predicted would be triggered.” The APO says, ear to ear smile almost audible in her voice.

GM (GM):Thing 1 looks uncertainly at the APO before smiling and nodding. Her and her sister both edge past them and begin exploring some of the ships other rooms.

With the captain’s decision final, the crew spends a few days stripping the two ships of valuables and useful components. Mr. Woosillet was very upset at having his questions ignored, at the captain’s orders, and spent his time trying to find out what had been found on the ship. The captain had him and his goons locked in their quarters. The crew was ready to set off on an adventure. Thing 1 and 2 studied the robot in detail, learning from it as it learned from them and it was soon fluent in their common tongue. It had given them the coordinates of the key and they were prepared for the next step of their journey.

Session 4
Shock and Scream

Sir is the only one who has made it into the hallway when the screams start. The IAP quietly steps back into the room, taking his place in front of his master to protect him. Captain Ern swears under his breath. “Every damn time.” Chel nods to him and takes a step forward, placing himself before the door motioning Sir back towards the room.
Chel’s Turn:
Seeing Sir out in the hall, Chel moves forward, preparing to face the unknown foe.
Dila’s Turn:
Dilaziepier: Stepping back into the doorway, Dila raises her pistol effortlessly at the open entryway, readying an action to shoot the next thing to come through that she doesn’t recognise as being part of the crew. The safety of her gun snaps off.
GM (GM):Madman’s 1 Turn.
As the only people in the hall only Sir witnesses the man jump through the doorway down the hall brandishing a heavy blaster. He only takes a step before unleashing a barrage down the hall towards Chel.
GM (GM):The Madman manages to keep his aim hurling through the door and hits Chel in the chest before he could react. Though the initial damage was mostly absorbed by his armor, Chel is reeling from the sudden attack, looking seriously wounded.
GM (GM): Madman 2’s Turn:
Following the heels of the first figure, another runs through the doorway, though this one doesn’t seem as intent on hitting anything and runs wildly as he attacks.
Still reeling from the first hit Chel is staggered once again as the second figure hits him once more with more blasts to his chest. Chel is knocked backward from the force of the impact.
Gloxria’s Turn:
Gloxria: Gloxria moves towards the room, and just slightly inside and finds a spot to take defense.
GM (GM):APO’s Turn:
Attorney Protectorate of Operations: “Hmm.” APO vocalizes, the girl’s voice sounding genuinely inquisitive as the Inyx floats by the doorway, unmoving, despite the sounds of weapons fire exploding from the hallway of the ship.
IAP’s Turn:
Attorney Protectorate of Operations:IAP glances towards his master for a moment, reading intent and orders into the subtlest movement of tendrils and inflections of sound. He moves to the lower left corner of the room, opposite Dila, drawing his blaster pistol and aiming it down the door.
GM (GM):Eustace’s Turn
Eustace: Eveline whispers a command to Eustace, instructing him to fly out into the hallway and prepare to attack.
GM (GM):Captain Ern’s Turn:
Sir sits down.
GM (GM):Captain Ern draws his pistol and moves to the doorway following Gloxria into the hall. “Silly girl,” he mutters under his breath, “we run away from gunfire, not towards it.”
Sir’s Turn:
Sir watches as Chel takes two shots to the chest take a bad wound. Trying to bandage him at the moment didn’t seem like the best option so taking off at a dead run he charges at the closest creature and aiming a knee. In the darkness he ends up running completely past it.
GM (GM):The end of the hallway is revealed as a large blast door, tightly shut against the vacuum of space in the damaged sections of the ship.
Eveline’s Turn
Eveline:Eveline moves through the group congregate at the door out into the hallway. She positions herself so that she has a clear line of sight towards the threat and readies her laser pistol.
Chel’s Turn:
Chel is still reeling from the impact of two attacks, but manages to make his way back up to one knee. The rest of the party has begun entering the hall behind him and that crazy man, Sir, has run into the fray, Like the professional he is, he takes careful aim at the closest madman and aims his heavy blaster.
Dila’s Turn:
Dilaziepier glances briefly toward those running out of the room with a choke point, her expression hidden behind the distinctive Zhodani helmet. She waits for a half-beat before quickly moving to the other side of the door to get a better field of view down the hallway.
GM (GM):Madman 1’s Turn:
The first figure is now revealed to most of the party in the half light of the hall as a man wearing the tattered remnants of the salvage crew’s uniform. Still exultant from his successful attack on Chel, he now rushes towards Sir firing wildly.
As the man fires wildly at Sir he is distracted by the rest of the party that has spilled out the doorway, missing entirely he runs past to the other side of the hall.
Madman’s 2 Turn:
Focused wholly now on his intended victim, the second man, also revealed in the tattered remains of the salvage crew’s uniform, smiles eerily as Chel struggles back to his knees. He takes another step forward and fires.
GM (GM):
Chel tries to dive to the side, but the blaster manages to hit his side tearing a new patch in his armor.
Gloxria’s Turn:
Gloxria felt that now was the time to try and earn her way onto this ship and that it was good practice for what may be to come, but there were so many people in the way that she couldn’t get a good idea of what she was up against. In a sudden moment Gloxria was lifted off the ground and could see over everybody and saw what could only be described as a “bad guy” so she quickly took aim… The shock of being in mid air was astounding, but a bad roll of the dice so-to-speak did not result in hitting the “bad guy”
GM (GM):APO’s Turn:
Attorney Protectorate of Operations:As the screaming and gunfire continues to echo in the adjoining hall, the Inyx twists back and forth somewhat irritably before eventually growing bored and floating out the broken airlock door into the salvage ship to search for trinkets to steal.
GM (GM):IAP’s Turn:
Attorney Protectorate of Operations:IAP watches his master leave, glancing at the armored commando before moving and taking cover on the opposite side of the doorway.
GM (GM):Eustace’s Turn:
The Falcon continues down the hallway picking up speed. Seeing the strange man with a weapon aimed at the quiet one, he braces his talons to strike.
Captain Ern’s Turn:
Captain Ern sees Chel down on his knees, his sides smoking from wounds already sustained and moves forward to attack. Aiming under Eustace he fires.
As his fingers close on the trigger however he’s distracted by the floating form of Gloxria behind him, his attack goes wide and misses.
GM (GM):Sir’s Turn:
Sir was a little flustered with his complete clumsiness and instead of turning to face the original creature he instead does an about face to the other creature who ran past him. Still not having his legs under him yet he swipes his rapier three times missing all three.
GM (GM):Eveline’s Turn:
Eveline: Eveline moves a bit more to get a clear view of the madman attacking Chel and Eustace. She takes aim at him.
Chel’s Turn:
Chel, determined now to make up for lost time decides to ignore any pretense of defense at this point and fires determinedly at his attacker. As his blaster hits home however a strange bluish aura covers the man temporarily. Enough force from the attack goes through however to stagger the man and bring him to his knees.
Dila’s Turn:
Dilaziepier glances over to the snazzily-dressed man standing opposite her. Sadly, her position is fairly blind, so she steps into the doorway, smoothly lifting her weapon at the wounded raider before squeezing a single shot.
GM (GM): Dila’s shot echoes down the hall in a momentary hush. The single bullet strikes the man before Chel, briefly flashing the same blue tinged aura before plunging through and striking the man in the chest. As the drops his weapon the aura suddenly reappears, this time a violent red color building in intensity before exploding in a soundless shockwave some 2 meters in all directions from the body. Everything caught within gets thrown violently.
Sir was furthest from the blast and only sustained minor injuries, getting shoved to the side. Chel was much closer however and got thrown violently away, like a ragdoll landing in a heap several feet away. Poor Eustace took the full force of the impact in the air and was slammed against the nearby wall, crumpling to the ground.
Madman 1’s Turn:
GM (GM):The crazed man before Sir didn’t even flinch as the shockwave rushed outward. He took advantage of Sir’s situation however and launched his own attack.
He hits Sir point blank in the chest sending him reeling from the smoking blast.
Gloxria’s Turn:
Gloxria: Gloxria just stood there…. stunned.
GM (GM):APO’s Turn:
Attorney Protectorate of Operations:Floating through the devastation of the salvage ship’s bridge, the APO begins activating the ship’s communications, sensor and internal systems looking for crew logs, automated security reports, and archived sensor and communications information. It is vocalizing something, musical, half words and half hums. Something about ashes and posies that can’t quite be made out.
GM (GM):IAP’s Turn:
Attorney Protectorate of Operations:Witnessing the devastating effect of death upon their first attacker, the Indentured Assistant Protectorate leans into the hall, watching the close quarters fight between the gentleman and the second likely rigged attacker. For a second, maybe two, he evaluates his options and after weighing the pros, and cons, and risks of them all, stretches out his arm as he leans out the door, and carefully aims at the madman.
GM (GM):Captain Ern’s Turn:
Captain Ern Sees Chel flung violently from the blast and rushes forward to his side, not seeing Sir getting shot in the chest.
Sir"s Turn:
Sir catches the blast of one of the creatures as it explodes and see’s both Chel and Eustace throw like toys. Distracted he takes a shot from point blank range in the chest from the closest creatrue. Re-evaluating his close combat strategy he takes two quick stabs landing the first and missing the second and starts to fall back into the group and stumbles away towards the opposite wall.
GM (GM):Sir hits home with his rapier, the supple sword piercing the man’s chest. The expected blue aura-like shield didn’t appear with the melee attack however and the man stepped back against the wall clutching the wound with one hand.
Eveline’s Turn:
Eveline: Although the first madman she had initially aimed at was dead, the second attacker was still within her line of sight. Eveline shoots, taking advantage of the aim she had already taken.
GM (GM): Eveline’s shot strikes the man as he leans against the wall, Her laser pistol strikes the blue tinged aura however and must of the laser’s power seems to be dissipated. Enough get’s through to burn a section of the man’s side though and further wounding him.
Dila’s Turn
Dilaziepier Steps further into the hallway, calmly tracking the barrel of her pistol toward the second combatant. Her dark armor catches the light and gleams, shining in the muzzleflash as her weapon fires again.
GM (GM):Dila fires only a second after Eveline, whose successful hit staggered the man enough to make Dila’s shot miss by a hair.
Madman 1’s Turn:
Feeling the wounds, but ignoring the pain the madman gives out a shout filled with crazed hateful energy. He rushes forward taking shots wildly down the hall as he runs towards the group near the door.
Dilaziepier ducks back into the doorway as plasma fire rips down the hallway, checking her clip in the momentary reprieve.
The shots miss however as the madman trips his way forward.
Gloxria’s Turn:
Gloxria seeing the bad guy running towards her instinctively takes aim to shoot this … thing … and misses again! Disappointed and fearful she knows it is time to practice more if she survives this.
GM (GM):IAP’s Turn:
GM (GM):The IAP fire’s three shots towards the running madman hitting him with all three. The blue aura again flashes red and begins to build in intensity. The party recognizes what’s going to happen though and try to drop and dodge away from the coming shockwave. All of them manage to get out of the way except for Captain Ern who get hit by the tail end of the wave and flung forward several feet.
Both the madmen have now been killed and the party, battered, injured and wary are now catching their breath.
Both the madmen have now been killed and the party, battered, injured and wary are now catching their breath.
Sir immediately rushes over to Chel to evaluate his condition.
GM (GM):The results of Sir’s diagnosis shows that Chel’s injuries are extremely severe, even if he wasn’t already dead. Without serious medical facilities there’s no way that Sir can help him, much less revive him.
Dilaziepier: As the last madman falls to the ground, Dila makes her way into the room, lowering her weapon in order to move to the bodies, checking their vitals quickly to appraise the dead, before glancing toward Sir. “You are in no position to be exploring,” she says, voice faintly artificial through her helmet. “I insist that you report to the medbay for evaluation and treatment.”
Eveline: Eveline gathers the body and various parts of her falcon that have been scattered about, looking to see how difficult repairs will be. Eustace has taken beatings before, but this was substantial damage.
Sir hangs his head in defeat seeing Chel’s wounds are beyond repair with the facilities available. A wave of guilt rushes over him as he realizes Chel had been throwing himself into the gun fire to protect him and his foolish mistake. He then turns to Dilaziepier, “Of course…” he gentle touches the blaster wound on his chest, “I would like to assist in handling Chel’s body but I do not think I can get him back to the ship by myself.”
Gloxria: Gloxria was still stunned and not knowing what the next move was.
She would usually have some desire to look around, but she was still in the air and not wanting to draw attention to this odd ability. She lowered herself and had her feet back on the ground. Noticing that the captain had been blasted in the blast that just blasted she would hope that the conversation about this would wait to a better time and place. She waited until others moved towards the exit and followed, trying to remain in an open stance in case anybody needed assistance.
Attorney Protectorate of Operations: As the others examine their wounds and rush to the aid of the dead, IAP quietly slips out the doorway towards the bridge of the salvage vessel.
Dilaziepier:“Of course,” Dilaziepr says, calmly. “Let us get you to the medical bay, first; untreated blaster weapons are prone to infection.” She slips an arm below Sir’s shoulder, lifting him gently. “Would you cover him, please?” she asks Gloxria, softly.
Gloxria:“Of course”
GM (GM):Captain Ern picks himself up off the ground and looks quietly at the aftermath of the battle. For the first time he notices his com buzzing and picks it up. “Ern here, we’ve had a problem. Two of the salvage crew attacked us. We’re coming back to the ship with injured… and… casualties.”
On the bridge of the salvage ship the IAP stands before the APO.
GM (GM):The APO’s search for logs was mostly unsuccessful. Much of the controls of the salvage ship were completely destroyed, the only instrument still working was the emergency signal. In a corner under a pile of rubble though, the APO managed to find a data cube that seems to have been recorded recently.
Attorney Protectorate of Operations: IAP takes the data cube, pocketing it as they return to the Crimson raptor with the others.
GM (GM):The crew gathers in the cargo bay of the Crimson Falcon. The body of Chel is placed under a shroud with the crew assembled around him.
The bodies of the two madmen are also placed under a blanket for later examination by Sir.
The captain clears his throat and steps forward. Looking around at the crew he begins, “It’s difficult to lose someone on my crew, even more difficult to lose a friend, and today I have lost both. Chel has served on this ship for more than four years, he put his life at risk to keep the rest of us safe many times. Today he did his duty and we are here because of it.”
Dilaziepier had little time to change out of her armor, tending to the wounded within the medbay. Her helmet is removed, resting on a bench to the side, and she stands at attention.
GM (GM):“We will honor his memory by completing this job and finding out why this happened.”
Looking at Sir the captain says, “Once you’ve seen to yourself and the others, I want you and Dila to examine those bodies, see if you can find out what happened to them.”
“As for the rest of you, tomorrow we’re going back to that Ancient ship and exploring every room. I’ll be damned if a member of my crew gets killed for no reason. Dismissed.”

Session 3
Trails of Blood

Star Key: Session 3

“The morning dawns with the launching of the ship. It lifts languidly from its berth and rises quickly through the air, getting to space in less than a minute. The Jump Drive can’t be used close to a strong gravity well however, so it takes a day of travel before the engines can transfer the ship into the ‘empty’ void of jump space. The ship itself glides through the nothingness effortlessly, like the birds of ancient Terra would glide on the breeze. While outside the ship nothing was happening, inside there was a bustling of activity during the week long voyage.

With so many new additions to the crew, there was a burst of exploration and training of new skills and ideas. The old crew helped as much as they could, explaining systems and concepts to bring Sir and Eveline up to speed and to further train Dilaziepr on the ships systems. The Attorney Protectorate of Operations of course spent his time haunting whichever parts of the ship struck his fancy, his manservant never to far away. They were slowly becoming true crewmen, though there was training still to do.

It wasn’t all work however. The crew was getting to know each other as well. Though most of the old crew were still cautious in manner, the newer crew members began to form various bonds of respect, understanding and friendship. The passengers too were interacting with the crew in various ways. While they soon learned that their client, a Mr. Woosillet and his two goons would talk little about who they were or who they worked for, on various other topics, finances, travel, even further job opportunities to some crew members, they seemed more at ease discussing. Sometimes the two goons would even join in some of the games of chance played around the mess tables at night. Of the other passenger, Gloxria, all of the crew soon came to know and appreciate. The first day after lift off the captain brought her to the mess to test her claimed skills at cooking and was not disappointed, after accidentally setting a pan of filled with eggs cascading down front of the stove she quickly found her rhythm in the small kitchen area. He immediately engaged her services in making meals in exchange for a hefty discount on her passage.

Eventually the ship reached it’s destination and transitioned back into normal space. The stars returned and the view outside was that of a large space devoid of stars, but rich in rocky debris. The question now was whether or not the salvage ship they had been hired to find was hiding somewhere amongst the rocks in the inky darkness.”

As ship exits jump space the crew is working around the ship. Ace and APO are both on the bridge. As normal space emerges Ace picks up the intercom to call the captain.

“Captain my captain, the little twinklies have returned. A big black void is out with no burning masses in sight. What’s our next move.”

The Attorney Protectorate of Operations hovers gently over the Raptor’s sensor controls. His bobbing shifts every slightly at Ace’s report, and although the body language of the Inyx was often lost on the uncultured aliens they found themselves amongst, anyone with even a passing familiarity would feel the contempt for the pilot almost rolling off the APO.

The captain responds that he’s on his way and that anyone else who wants to help should report to the bridge.

As Ace and the APO wait for the captain a small light starts blinking on the panel for sensors. Looking closely the APO sees that there is a signal being detected nearby.

Eveline stops at the captain’s interjection and begins to head to the bridge.

Sir was heading into his room just as the announcement comes over the speakers. He was really hoping to get a nap but just couldn’t go not knowing what was going on.

Pulling up the data the APO discovers that the signal is in fact an old fashioned distress signal, but it has been garbled so badly that it is almost unrecognizable. Someone with more skill than him is going to have to make some sense of the mess.

Hearing the captain’s summons to the bridge Thing 2 decides that she’s played with her newest experiment for long enough and needed to stretch her legs. She races down the corridor and begins moving up towards the bridge.

Captain Ern enters the bridge looking at the two already there. He can hear some others coming up the corridor behind him, but doesn’t turn around.

“Well fellows, what have we got, any sign of this lost ship we’re looking for?”

“We have a distress signal.” The girl’s voice is alert and matter-of-fact. “Older than what our target should be, however. In fact, it is so old the signal has degraded to the point where I cannot even tell if it was automated or not, let alone what language it was in. No other sign of activity outside the ship. Captain.” There is a small pause in the girl’s voice as her tone shifts to something sweeter, and far more peppy. “Dear, sweet, sir Captain.”

Sir and Eveline enter the bridge a few moments after the captain, just in time to hear the APO’s response.
Eveline tries to repress a shudder at seeing the APO and hearing its voice. Her falcon reacts to the shudder and flaps a wing irritated and squawks loudly.

Sir stops taken aback for a moment looking confused, ‘That poor… thing has me mistaken for the captain,’ He thinks to himself, ‘No wonder with no eyes to see.’

The captain looks back at the squawk and shakes his head. He’s still not sure about that crazy bird, but Eveline was a likeable enough woman, if a bit eccentric. “Well, I’m sure we can get that cleared up, let me call one of the Thing…”

At that moment Thing 2 slunk into the bridge, panting slightly from her short run. “You called captain?” she said with a smile.

The captain looks at her and smiles to himself. “Yes, I was about to anyway. There’s some garbling going on with the signal we’re picking up could you… you know… fix that?”

Thing 2 looks over the data and begins typing rapidly. After a few moments she looks back to the captain. “Yes, yes I can. I can also tell you where the signal is coming from.” She reads off the coordinates to Ace and the Captain.

The captain asks Sir if he’d like to try and plot the ship, but seeing the confused expression on his face thinks better of it and let’s Ace put in the course.

A quick burn of the ships engines sends them moving towards a large cluster of rocky asteroids and what appears to be some sort of wreckage.

As they move closer towards the debris a large object begins to take shape in the distance. It looks like some sort of ship of unknown design.

Moving closer to the ship Eveline is able to identify it from records taken from some Ancient ruins and databases as a ship of Ancient design.

“That ship’s Ancient,” Eveline says, matter-of-factly. “Erm…of Ancient origin, I guess I should say.”

The captain looks a bit startled at that news. “Are you sure? This could be worth a fortune, I’m not sure any pieces of an Ancient ship as large as this has been recovered. Whatever wiped them out did a damn good job of it.”

As it rotates about it’s invisible axis the signal on the sensor board suddenly becomes stronger and the reason becomes clear after a moment, the salvage ship can be seen attached to the least damaged area of the hull.

“I’m positive its Ancient”, Eveline replies with confidence.

The alien ship, mostly destroyed, seemingly smashed by weapons of incalculable power, is scorched and pockmarked over most of it’s surface. The salvage ship clings to an area that looks untouched however. The salvage ship looks undamaged, though the signal is still relatively weak.

Captain Ern:“Well, it seems that we’ve found the ship, but the question is, what do we do now.”

As the sentence begins to leave the captain’s mouth Mr. Woosillet unobtrusively enters. Standing quietly in his finely tailored suit, he looks small, yet somehow very menacing. He listens to the conversation.

“Mission parameters would dictate that we dock with the salvage ship and ascertain the state of its cargo and of its crew, as was our original intention.” The girl says chirpily, as if reciting the lyrics to a schoolyard poem. “However, an Ancient vessel of this size and relative intactness could be reasonably said to represent an entirely new set of mission parameters all on its own. I would recommend we ask the corporate representative.” APO turns, unnecessarily, towards Mr. Woosillet.

Mr. Woosillet nods towards the APO with a slight smile. ”You must dock at once and find out what they’ve found on that ship.”

There is something ominous in the disregard of the salvage ships crew and lack of response from all forms of communication with the ship. Mr. Woosillet only seems to care about what they may have found on the ship.

Captain Ern looks coldly from Mr. Woosillet and the APO. ”You’ve heard our employer’s request, any ideas or suggestions from you (the crew)?”

Sir turns to the captain very intentionally, “Captain, wouldn’t the well being of those upon the salvage ship be priority number one?”

“From the looks of it…I don’t know that there would be many survivors?” Eveline asked.

“Even if there are,” the girl’s voice speaks up, “they are not part of the mission we were hired to undertake.”

The captain licks his lips slightly nervous. Nodding his head he says, “Normally, of course, lives would be our number one priority… but under these circumstances, it might be best to investigate the ship and see what happens. Let’s form a boarding party and go over to the ship, if we come across the crew we’ll do what we can.”

Eveline scowls, a bit concerned over the captain’s nervousness. “A boarding party is a good idea…my falcon may be able to scout.”

A few minutes later the captain has gathered all of the crew except Ace, who is currently docking the ship, and Gloxria together in the cargo bay. Looking around at them all he says, “Alright, we’ll be docked in a moment with the salvage ship. It looks rather quiet, but we need to be cautious nonetheless. Anyone who wishes to come over to the ship grab your gear and meet back here in 5 minutes. Dismissed.”

Dilaziepr: Standing stiffly, Dilaziepr half-lifts a hand from her side before offering a nod toward the captain. “I would be honored, sir,” she says, before starting from the cargo room without looking to see whom else volunteers for the likely violent mission. She heads toward her quarters to gather the entirety of her possessions.

“We would be most eager to assist the mission.” There is a smile in the girl’s voice, though it sounds oddly tinish. “The IAP and I will, of course, do whatever we can to ensure our good friend Mr. Woosillet gets exactly what he and his corporate friends deserve.” The Inyx raises ever slightly higher in the air. “And the good, dear captain as well.”

Gloxria thinks to herself… this could be something of use.
During her homeschooling she recalls her fathers passion for history, including ancient ships.

Sir is a bit unsettled for the lack of concern of any passengers aboard the scavenger ship so he heads back to his room grapping his weapons and strapping the rapier to one side and the knife to the other, “Seems a bit contradictory to a rescue but might as well be on the safe side.” he says to an empty room. He also grabs his first aid kit as well as a couple antibiotics incase any of them are wounded or sick.

Eveline grabbed her necessary things and prepared to go over to the ship. Seeing that the ship was of Ancient origin had piqued her interest, and she couldn’t NOT go over. It may lead to some clues….

With a small shudder the ship docks with the salvage ship and the airlock cycles through it’s check. The seal holds and the doors open. The captain looks back at the reassembled boarding party, he nods to Chel who moves forward into the ship first. Ace and the two Aslan sisters will remain on board to keep an eye on Mr. Woosillet and his two goons, while everyone else boards the salvage ship.

The captain follows Chel onto the ship and signals the rest to move in behind him.

As you exit the docking port into the salvage ship you see what seems to be, in simplest terms, a complete mess. There are containers everywhere, contents dumped on the ground and odds and ends strewn about messily. The lights flicker strangely, but you can make out a door straight ahead of you that would seem to lead onto the ancient ship and another door to the right that leads towards the forward end of the smaller ship.

D: Dilaziepr’s features are completely obscured by the armored suit she is wearing, very obviously of Zhodani design. A heavy pistol rests at her hip, which she draws and holds in a ready position as she steps into the foreign ship. Her face may be hidden, but her body looks as a coiled spring, tense and watching the entire area with a carefully honed caution.

APO floats into the room behind the two armed security soldiers, its Indentured Assistant Protectorate walking carefully by its side, cybernetic eyes scanning over the interior of the salvage ship for any out of place thermal readings. He appears to be unarmed, as does the Inyx he leads.

Chel looks back at the captain as the rest of the party enters the cargo bay of the smaller ship. “It’s a mess sir, but it looks clear, I haven’t checked out the doors yet though.”

Eveline puts her hand on the pistol holstered at her hip. Her falcon’s eyes dart around, taking in the surroundings. Eveline looks around as well, trying to see if anything seems out of place or unusual.

Sir starts to move towards the door to the right currently more concerned about the crew of the salvage ship than that of an Ancient ruin.

Gloxria scanned the area – with a photographic memory in tow this was an easy task to see if there were any signs or anything of use. There wasn’t, at least not on the surface. She tried to figure out where the place would be to make her mark, somewhere in plain sight without being obvious.

The APO’s thermal scan reveals nothing within the room of the salvage ship, however a slight reading is indicated when facing the slightly ajar door leading into the Ancient ship.

Eveline notices that there is a trail through the trash on the ground leading from the door on the right into the ancient ship. It looks like it was probably made by dragging something across the floor. A closer inspection of the path might reveal more.

Eveline points out the trash to her companions. “That might be worth investigating…” she says, trying to draw their attention. She looks more closely at the trail and begins to follow it, slowly.

Dila faces the door to the right first and, concentrating sends her sight into the forward area of the ship. Her vision reveals a very short hall with several doors. Three doors line the wall to the right, probably crew quarters, and another door to the left. One more door leads straight ahead to the front of the ship. A trail is visible through the trash down the middle of the hall leading from the front door towards the cargo bay. After a moment of viewing she returns to her normal sight and begins again focusing on the far door straight ahead. This time her vision is less helpful though as her sight simply reveals a room completely dark, though a sense of some space exists around her.

Sir reaches the door to the right and the captain yells out to him, “What do you think you’re doing? Wait for everyone else, you just can’t go running off on strange ships. Didn’t your mother teach you anything?”

The Indentured Protectorate reaches towards the APO and begins pressing his pale, bony fingers against the Inyx’s skin at various pressures and intervals, a language closer to the Inyx’s own tongue than any verbal communication could ever be. Several brief, static jolts signal the APO’s acknowledgement. “There is someone beyond the airlock door.” The girl’s voice echoes through the disarray. “Or something, anyway. A monster, perhaps. Or a hot lamp.”

Dilaziepr glances toward the others, her voice muffled by the armored suit. “Someone has carried something into the bridge through there,” she notes flatly, gesturing to the door, “while the lights appear to be out through that doorway.” She moves toward the first door, carefully picking her path through the garbage before pressing herself against the wall next to the door. “It would appear we know where our target resides.”

Sir stops, “Yes, but… of course Captain.” He thought the salvage ship was still the priority if not the crew and had figured everyone else would be right behind him but the presence of the Ancient ship seems to have changes the plans a bit. After a second he decides it best to fall into the group and instead see where the captain directs.

Eveline gets a closer look at the trail and notices a strange smeared discoloration on the floor in the middle of the trail, but she has no idea what to make of it. The other crew members make their way to the door on the right and once more Chel leads the way, opening the door and stepping quickly through.

The other side reveals the sights seen already by Dila’s psychic vision. 3 doors to the right and one to the left with another straight ahead, the trail is still visible between the forward door and down the hall.

Eveline notices that no one has taken note of her comment. Not wanting to engage a potential hostile entirely on her own, she makes her way back to the group. “Hopefully that wasn’t something important…”

Dilaziepr glances over the hallway, gesturing the sidedoors for someone to open them while she prepares outside of each. As each door opens, she lifts her weapon to clear the rooms quickly, proceeding down the hallway silently. She begins with the smaller bedrooms, before proceeding to the recreational room, leaving the bridge to be last.

APO and IAP remain in the cargo hold, hovering literally and figuratively near the airlock that leads to the ancient door.

Sir begins to feel a bit uneazy as Dilazeipr heads down the hall weapon drawn. Not wanting to be caught off guard he draws his own two, “Is there any sign as to what became of everyone?”

The doors to the right reveal small disorganized bedrooms, about 3×3 meters square. A squat ugly bed and table are the only recognizable features as the rest of the rooms seem to be trashed. The rec room reveals a similar mess with food packages torn apart and thrown everywhere.

Chel calls back to Sir as they look briefly into each room. “No sign of crew yet, but they certainly were messy.”

All the doors except the bridge have now been opened, revealing the empty chambers within.

Looking into the rec room Sir can see that along with the scattered food packages there are also several broken pieces of exercise equipment and a small box of overturned entertainment discs, which can’t be seen clearly from where he stands. He also see several undisturbed shelves with food packages.

“None that I can see,” Dilaziepr notes softly, only quickly sweeping the rooms for signs of life before standing before the door to the bridge. She notes that Sir has wandered off, keeping her weapon at a steady ready position. Once he has rejoined her, she prepares to breach the room and clear it. “Whatever happened must be in there,” she comments flatly.

Safely out of sight of everyone for the moment, IAP accesses the airlock control panel, checking to see both if the airlock has been locked and if there’s a breathable environment on the other side.

Eveline casually walks up to the Bridge door. “We should go in HERE.”

Gloxria looks at everyone that has been standing around looking perplexed. Wondering what we are really even doing here she moves with the group, maybe something useful will come about, or something unexpected.

The captain nods towards Chel and he moves to the bridge door, pushing it open a crack to look within. Though the lights are low something has clearly happened in this room. What can be seen looks like a battle took place on the bridge, scorch marks and burns are seen everywhere and control panels seem to be completely ruined.

While the APO hovers besides the IAP who is checking the control panel for the airlock he notices that the door isn’t even sealed all the way. In fact, it seems to be slightly warped and in all honesty, won’t ever close properly again. Either way, the panel reveals the atmosphere to be intact on the other side of the door and inside the ancient ship.

Dilaziepr moves slowly into the room, lifting her weapon slowly to scan the room. She quickly looks for any operating terminals or evidence of what had occured once she is sure that there is nothing moving within the room. Once she is sure that the room is safe, she lowers her weapon slowly. “Must have gone into the other ship,” she notes flatly.

Looking about the room both Chel and Dila can see that a battle took place here. The control panels all seem to be completely ruined, the signal they received being some kind of automated distress beacon activated when the controls were destroyed.

IAP attempts to electronically open the airlock the rest of the way and, if that fails, or would be disastrously loud, APO will attempt to pry it apart as quietly as they can.

Looking Gloxria notices that the APO and his assistant haven’t followed the rest of the crew. They’ve gone someplace else in the ship. She wonders if she should point this out to anyone.

Eveline follows the others onto the bridge.

The airlock door leading to the ancient ship whirs halfway open from the panel, leaving enough room for them to squeeze through.

Eveline, stepping onto the bridge notices the strange substance on the floor at the beginning of the trail and a splash on one of the panels and now recognizes it for blood.

“There’s blood on the floor…” Eveline points out. She points to it in case the rest of them miss it.

IAP stands, checking behind them as the eyes sunken into his gaunt face suddenly ignite in a cool blue light as he slips through the airlock door into the entry room of the ancients, searching the area and the item he noticed earlier in infrared. APO slowly hovers away from the airlock door, floating towards the salvage ship’s crew quarters and hallway and a very, very relaxed pace.

D: “It looks like they were wounded,” the Zhodani comments as Eveline points out the stains, “so they must have gone into the other ship to seek medical aid.” She pauses for a beat. “Or they were dragged into there by their assailants. Either way, it appears we shall have to investigate further.” She turns from the room to start back toward the cargo bay.

“Perhaps there is still someone alive. Unless we can salvage some sort of log from the control system we need to move on and get to the source of this… disaster.” Sir crouches down examining the blood to see if it gave any hint as to the species of origin or length its been there.

Sir isn’t able to determine anything from the blood to ascertain it’s origin. However, it is completely dry and starting to discolor, so it is at least a few weeks old at this point.

The Captain gets on the intercom back to the ship, “It looks like at least one member of the crew was injured or killed. Their bridge is a mess. I don’t even think the ship can be repaired, a salvage crew will have to come for it. Irony huh? We’re moving on to the ancient ship now to look for more clues. Ern out.”

Chel and the captain both move out to the cargo bay to see the APO hovering there as nonchalantly as a giant floating squid creature can be.

The IAP steps into the room beyond the lock onto the alien ship. The first room on the alien ship is filled with different debris and litter from the ship and salvage crew. It seems that a lot of the garbage has been brought from other rooms on the ship and examined here, most of it tossed aside as worthless. The floor is some type of rubber substance that is covered in a light coat of grime. The walls are a strange metal that seems to glow slightly, dimly illuminating the interior of the ship, not enough to examine in detail, but enough to make out outlines. One door is seen on the opposite side of the room, it is slightly ajar, and a hallway made of the slightly luminous metal can be seen through it.

“No bodies on the ship, alive or otherwise, I hear?” The young girl says, an unmistakably disappointed note in her voice. “Awful luck. Truly awful. I assume we’re to check the Ancient vessel now?” The Inyx says as the IAP slips out behind him. “The airlock has, upon examination, suffered severe damage. The metal framing appears to have been battered, either out, or in, and the electronic controls are also malfunctioning.”

“I could send my falcon here onto the Ancient ship to investigate things. That way if there’s anything….questionable, we won’t be in immediate danger.”

The captain looked at Eveline questioningly. “You want to send Eustace ahead to scout?” He rubs his chin for a moment. “I suppose that would be ok, Chel?” He looks to the security officer who shrugs. The captain nods to Eveline who releases her falcon into the air. With a strange whirring the falcon heads through the door into the ancient ship.

As Eustace wings through the door into the dark room beyond the IAP spins around at the rustling noise of wings but recognizes just in time what the flapping must be coming from the salvage ship. The Falcon passes close over his head and out into the hallway beyond through another door. The IAP shrugs and passes out behind the falcon who is nowhere to be seen. He comes upon a long hallway that stretches both left and right. At the end of the hall to the left a lamp is burning illuminating three doors, to the right in the dim light several more can be seen, though emergency bulkheads seem to have sealed off the section of the ship beyond in either direction.

The captain shoulders past the floating Inyx towards the ancient ship’s entrance. “Where’s your assistant gone APO? Did you already send him ahead? Alone? That’s dangerous you know.”

“After the airlock malfunction, we determined it was prudent to ensure there was no hostile boarding activity from the Ancient ship.” The girl says, positively bubbly. “As the IAP’s place is to die in my stead, it was decided he would guard, or possibly hold off, the entryway of the ship while we, the humble Attorney Protectorate of Operations went to warn you, our lovely Captain.”

The Captain ignores the APO’s explanation and heads towards the door. “Ok, let’s check it out, we’ll wait in the next room for Eustace to return. The party follows Chel and the captain into airlock and the first room of the ancient ship beyond.

The first room on the alien ship is filled with different debris and litter from the ship and salvage crew. It seems that a lot of the garbage has been brought from other rooms on the ship and examined here, most of it tossed aside as worthless. The floor is some type of rubber substance that is covered in a light coat of grime. The walls are a strange metal that seems to glow slightly, dimly illuminating the interior of the ship, not enough to examine in detail, but enough to make out outlines. One door is seen on the opposite side of the room, it is slightly ajar, and a hallway made of the slightly luminous metal can be seen through it. The IAP stands in this doorway looking out into the hall, but looks back as they enter the room. Over his head Eustace comes flying back towards Eveline to land on her arm.

Without a word Sir walks toward the entrance to the nearest room across the hall slightly to the right, sticking his head in and calls out, “Hello? Is anyone here?”

Eveline removes her computer from her bag and starts it up in order to download Eustace’s most recent video file. “I really need to get a better computer next time I’m in a major city so we can have a wireless link….” She mutters to herself as she prepares the download.

As Eveline opens the video file both the captain and the remaining crew gather around to see what the Falcon was able to find. The view moves rapidly as the falcon flies, beginning with the darting into the ship and over the head of the suddenly startled IAP. Out into the corridor the Falcon banks sharply left in the narrow hall beyond and down the way. There is a lantern on the floor at the end of the hall that illuminates the doors there. There are 3 of them to the left of the entry room, though one seems to be damaged. The Falcon’s vision stops for a moment as it lands near the lantern and hops in a circle to turn around, then, with a flap of it’s wings takes off in the other direction passing 6 doors, a few damaged like the other, and one with some equipment attached to the door. The last door in the hall however is partially barricaded behind a mountain of trash. The Falcon turns around and comes back down the hall through the door and over the IAP’s head to land on Eveline’s arm and the video cuts off again.

As Sir calls out his voice echoes down the hall. The IAP stands behind him shaking his head at the strange man but stops suddenly when a call answers Sir. However, the answer is not in any language used by man. Instead it is a scream of pure madness. A second later it is echoed by another inarticulate yell and a shuffling can be heard down the hall to the right as two somethings begin to move towards the hallway from one of the rooms.

Session 2
Horse Meat

Star Key: Session 2

Both Sir and Eveline were taken in tow by Captain Ern, the affable man leading them up through the ship to the top deck and their new quarters. He pointed vaguely as they climbed the stairs giving general idea of what each deck contained, but told them that they could always explore later. He seemed quite relaxed at taking two complete strangers, not just onto his ship, but into his crew. The way he avoided asking any questions left a feeling of uneasiness in the two however, like getting on the ship was the easy part. After a few minutes of climbing the stairs the captain showed each to their quarters and told them to make themselves at home.

The quarters are sparse, but spacious enough to fill out with some personal belongings and a touch of home. They’re about 3 meters by 3 meters with a bed against the wall directly opposite the door. Inside the room you find that there is a small desk and dresser. The desk has a chair for seating. There is also a small wash closet (tiny bathroom basically).

Sir takes about three seconds to glance around the room then turns back to the captain, “Quaint.” He steps out ready to move on.

Eveline enters the room and looks around. Her hawk adjusts its wings, then flies over to the desk and perches on it. She puts her bag on to the ground, and opens the drawers of the dresser to see if there’s anything in them.

The dresser drawers seem to be empty, in fact, if the dust in the bottom are any indication, they’ve been empty for some time.

Eveline notices the dust and cleans it out. Once it looks clean enough, she puts her things in one of the drawers. After making herself at home, she takes out a book and sits on her bed to read until it is time for dinner.

As Sir steps back into the hall the captain takes him by the arm and steers him back inside. “Please familiarize yourself with your quarters for an hour or so before dinner. Don’t go wandering about until later.”

“Oh, uh… If you insist.” Sir walks over to the bed sits down on the edge and kinda looks around awkwardly. “Thank you, Captain. I shall uh… put away my stuff.” He smiles obviously looking like he would rather explore the ship some.

The captain smiles and closes the door on the strange little man.

The Attorney Protectorate of Operations hovers in its quarters, tendrils darting across forms and papers, trailing over Inyx script before shoving them in one of a wide array of appropriate files. The Inyx preference of physical manifests over audible electronic translations had a tendency to slow the myriad of legal tape even a mid level Inyx would have to process on a regular basis, though you would never know it to watch them work. As it read and sorted, the APO hummed in a somewhat unsettling tenor as its personal slave finished the less demanding legal work of an interstellar conglomerate.

“I’ve been studying the creature that’s come onboard.” It says happily, barely above a hum.

“The creature?” The gaunt man across the table asks, looking up.

“Oh yes.” The squid replies in sing song. “Oh, yes. I’ve learned a great deal indeed.”
The young girl sees the ship sitting in it’s port. Like a great hunting bird it stood, unwieldy on the solid ground, yearning for the freedom of the skies and the great dark beyond. Once it may have been a gorgeous red, now it was faded, weary, comfortable with itself. The back of the ship lay open, a large cargo bay revealed half-filled with containers strewn about haphazardly.

A lone figure waits just inside the cargo bay, sitting upon one of the cases. As he sees the young girl approach he stands and waits for her at the top of the ramp.

As Gloxria stood there thinking this may the best option for the time being and the circumstances that were handed to her and headed towards the ship. Her dark hair was covering part of her face when she realized it was highly unlikely anyone would be able to place her. Gloxria came upon someone and requested permission to board, she attempted to suppress her desperation, this was the only option and had no idea what else to do, she had to leave soon.

“Hello, is there something I can do to help you? Are you looking for a ship?” The man looks around, but seeing no one else nearby looks back to the young woman. “Let me call the captain for you, he can help.” He speaks into a small communications device and a reply is heard. Looking at the young lady once again he says, “ The captain is coming back down. Are you looking to take passage?”

“Yes.” She stood there awkwardly, waiting.

After a few moments, in which the man inside the ship appraised Gloxria appreciatively, another man entered the cargo bay from the stairs. He came to stand before her with his hands on his hips. “Aww, another guest I see.” He looks the young lady up and down, “And what can I do for you? Looking to get off world?”


“Great! Well we’re heading to Mertactor, the system capital. If that’s acceptable to you, we can arrange something. Do you have fare to pay for your passage?”

“How much?”

Thinking quickly the captain answers, “Well, normally the passage would be 3500 credits, but since the trip might take a little longer, 2-4 weeks actually, I’m willing to set the price at 3000.”

Gloxria thought to herself. A voice inside her head said this man could be persuaded, and it may be time to use what little charm she may possess. She thought of what her mother would do when she was trying to be seductive, but in less of a mom way. Gloxria stood up straighter and stuck a hip out, which felt completely unnatural. “2-4 weeks is a bit longer than I had anticipated…” She tried to sound like she was really going to say no, hoping this man would not see straight through her. She stood there a moment looking thoughtful and expectantly for him to respond.

The captain senses that she really needs to get off planet for some reason but she doesn’t want to pay full price. He decides that maybe she can help around the ship some other way while she’s there. He’s sure he can find something for her to do so decides that he’ll give her a little better deal. “How about this then, I’ll set the price at 2700, if you help out around the ship. Maybe in the mess hall or something while we travel. Deal?” He sticks his hand out waiting.

“I can cook!” she blurted out. She quickly shook his hand and headed onward.

The captain smiled and nodded to Chel. “This is Chel, “ he told the young lady, “He’ll show you to your quarters. I’ll notify you when it is time for dinner. Try to stay out of trouble til then.”
The intercoms buzzed in the rooms of Dila and APO. “Dinner in 5, got some fresh fish to fry.” The voice was that of the overly energetic Pilot Ace. “Oh, and captain says to be on your best behavior, so don’t try to enslave anyone.” The last was added only to APO.

D: Dilaziepr glances over to the intercom, a stripped weapon resting on a small desk folding out from the wall. She grabs a dirty rag from the tabletop, wiping her hands of the grease adorning them before slipping her gloves back onto her hand. Lifting an arm, she rubs her left shoulder for a minute before slipping back into her blazer. Glancing into a small mirror, she straightens her clothing before starting out the room, locking it behind herself habitually.

“As if we would have to try.” The voice of the young girl chuckles to itself, genuinely amused at the prospect. “Do you wish to engage in the… how do they say… ‘Face stuffing of the horse meat’? I understand you choose to participate from time to time.”

The personal slave glances up towards the APO, then at the door, before returning to his electronic tablet. “Thank you,” he begins, “But I have a lot of work left to do. If you need anything, be sure and let me know.”

“I have never once hesitated to let you know of any inconvenience to my person.” The girl sounds almost dumbfounded. “Why would we begin now?”

The slave stares at the Inyx for in awkward silence until the APO assumes their conversation is ended and it floats out the door.
A soft knock comes upon Eveline’s door pulling her attention back from her book. A few seconds later another knock echoes on Sir’s door. “It’s about time for dinner.” says a slightly accented voice, “Captain said to come fetch you.”

Eveline jerks awake, realizing she had drifted to sleep in the few hours of downtime she’s had. She mutters “ok” to the voice that had come through her door, and stands up drowsily. Her hawk, Eustace, flies over to her shoulder and perches there. She combs her hair back with fingers and adjusts her clothes to look at least moderately presentable. She makes her way out the door and sees the small alien. “Hi,” she says, hoping not to strike up conversation but wanting to look somewhat engaged in the crew members.

They see a short alien covered in a tan fur, but wearing overalls that were caked with grease and other fluids from various mechanical and electronic devices.

Sir tries to busy himself about his quarters. Really all he does is hang his backpack up on a hook and tries to dust off some of the furniture and get into a hacking fit in the process. He hears the call for dinner and unhooks his rapier and knife and lays them upon the bed heading for dinner. Sir nods politely to the creature as he turns for the stairs.

The alien nods and smiles widely to Eveline and to Sir as they come out of their rooms. Both notice that she’s a typical looking Aslan female. Eveline notices that the Aslan is missing a button on her overalls and also has some grease in her fur above her ears, like she was wiping the fur back repeatedly. The Aslan dashes ahead of the two and into engineering rather than down the stairs to the mess.

Eveline watches the alien run away. “Strange creature….” she remarks. She smiles at the other person walking with her. She doesn’t follow the alien, instead going down the stairs to the mess hall.
As Sir and then Eveline enter the mess hall they see that they are, seemingly, the last to arrive. Both are taken aback by some of the stranger members of the crew, and by the Aslan female that had called them both down having beaten them to the table. The captain motions them to some of the empty chairs at the longest table in the room and clears his throat to speak.

Eveline notices that the Aslan female sitting at the table, while nearly identical in appearance and dress isn’t the same one as before, as she has both buttons and no grease above her ears.

The captain is standing at the head of the table, looking at each of his crew in turn. “Well we have a few new faces with us today, so I thought it would be a good idea to introduce everyone before we got down to a bit of business. I’m of course Captain Ern. This is my ship, the Crimson Raptor. Those that have been with us awhile know that I do what I can to keep the ship and the crew happy, taking whatever jobs come our way. It’s a good life if that’s what you enjoy. If it’s not, well, then you’re welcome to jump ship at the next port, no hard feelings. As long as you’re here though it is MY ship, and if I tell you to do something, you do it, no questions asked, at least not until later.”

He turns to Dila next and nods, prompting her to go next.

D: Sitting stiffly in her chair at the table, black glove’d hands folded in front of herself, Dilaziepr offers a nod to the captain at his gesture. She is dressed severely in dark blues, a high collar nearly reaching her chin. Physically, she is somewhat imposing, even sitting she is easily the tallest of the humans in the room, her skin a dark coloration and black hair cut short.

“I am Dilaziepr,” the Zhodani starts evenly, “and I am here to ensure that there is no undue trouble.”

The captain considers Dila’s brief introduction but thinks better of asking for any more from the powerfully built woman. Instead he turns to the strange yellow alien and asks him to introduce himself. Both Sir and Eveline can see that the strange creature is a Hlanassi, though they aren’t that common in this part of the galaxy.

Ace stands up, his tall Hlanassi frame unfolding to his full seven foot height. Covered in shiny yellowish short fur. His large ears stuck out from the sides of his head at a less than appealing angle. He smiled widely and spoke with a melodious voice, sounding too musical for such a tall creature. “I’m an Ace, I’m the Baron. I’m Ace Baron, the pilot. I take us where I want to go, where the captain tells me I want to go.” He smiles again, even more widely. “This ship has taken me places I’ve never dreamed. I’ve never dreamed of the places I’ve gone. I just want to keep going.”

Ace sits back down with a great effort, folding himself back into his chair, the smile never leaving his face. The captain, also smiling, turns to the Inyx, who bobs in place at the table, rather than sitting in a chair designed for the bipedal creatures.

“I am the Attorney Protectorate of Operations, Paralegal treaty injunctions, copyright claims and violations, conglomerate starship activities, OSH 7, Affinity Interstellar.” The nine foot alien monstrosity practically sings in the voice of a young human girl. “On this ship, I am more colloquially known as a ‘Fixer’. Because it is my great pleasure to fix things. Contracts, treaties, sensors, arrays…” The singsong voice of the girl fades into a low, electric hiss. “…People.”

A little hesitantly the captain, unnerved as usual to the APO’s strange mode of communication, motions for Chel to stand and introduce himself.

The human male stands up. He was also tall, about 6’ 4” and heavily muscled. Surprisingly, when he talked, his voice was rather soft. “My name is Chel. I’m Answerin. Captain Ern took me on to help keep the ship protected, I’ve been doing that for several years now. Between myself and Vila, we keep the ships operations running smoothly.” He also sits back down.

As the captain motions toward the Aslan female sitting at the table, the door to the mess opens and another Aslan female enters. Sir is surprised because to him, they look identical, though Eveline saw that they were most likely sisters.

“Aww,” said the captain. “Just in time, well why don’t you and your sister introduce yourselves.”

The Aslan sisters stood together. While they looked nearly identical, seeing them standing next to each other showed that one was a few inches taller than the other. The taller spoke first. “I’m Hylikeasus and this is my sister Hylikeasos, but around the ship we’re Thing 1 and 2.”

The smaller Aslan spoke up. “I’m not Thing 1.”

The taller responded, “And I’m not Thing 2. We are however the ships engineers… of a sort.” The smaller sister poked her in the ribs. “The ships engineers, right. That’s us.”

They both started talking to each other quietly with the rest of the room looking on. After a few minutes of silnce, the captain turned towards the rest of the table. “Well, I guess we can introduce our two newest members now.” Turning to Sir he gestures for him to go next.

Sir stands at a uninteresting height of 5’9". His brown hair stands in disarray most of the time when it is not covered by his bowler cap which currently resides in his room. However upon half his skull instead of hair a metal plate runs from the back of his skull down to the brow line. His clothes are of ordinary travelling clothes and leather jacket.
Sir nods to each as they introduce themselves and begins at his cue, “Miss Dilah-… Miss Dilez-… Miss D,” He smiles nervously a bit intimidated “Ace, quite the poet. Attorney Protectorate of Operations, very sharp looking if I do say so. Chel, good to finally be formally introduced and ah… Hylikeasus and Hylikeasos, pleasure to meet you.” He stands up slightly straighter, “My name is Sir, and I will be of paramount use to this ship.” He nods again smiling but saying no more.

The captain looks at him, waiting for anything more, but then shrugs. ‘Why he thought, do we have such people on this ship.’

He turned to the last crew member and asked if she would mind introducing herself.

Eveline smiles awkwardly, a bit taken aback by the large squid creature and its voice, as well as some of the other passengers. Eveline is of average height and build for a human woman, and the only thing truly remarkable about her appearance is her auburn hair. “I’m Eveline, and I’ll be working on the ship, at least for awhile.” Her hawk squawks and flaps a wing up. “Oh…and this is Eustace. He gets a mite touchy at times, but generally stays on my shoulder. Don’t mind him, and he won’t mind you. Hopefully.”

“Eeeeuustice~” The APO practically sings in barely concealed excitement. “Yes. A good name.” The excitement seems to die, replaced with childlike contentment. “It will do.”

“I…er….yes, it is good name, isn’t it?” Eveline finally responds to the squid creature, very unsure of exactly WHAT was transpiring. Its voice was very unsettling.

The captain smiles resignedly. “Well, I guess since I have such a verbose crew I’ll just get down to brass tacks and you can all get to know each other better some other time. We have a job. I mean, besides the one we got hauling the freight to the Capitol. I was contacted about investigating an overdue salvage ship that was due back to port a few weeks ago. We have the coordinates of where it was heading and we’ve been paid a sizeable sum upfront to check it out. It’s a quick Jump 3, so it should only take a week to get there, and we’d still be in Jump distance to the Capitol. The client is on board with two goons. I want you to be on your best behavior around them. I think they’re working for Trexalon, so be careful what you say to them. They’re powerful people, but they pay well.”

“Much of Affinity’s investments in this sector are carried and enforced by the Trexalon conglomerate.” The girl’s voice contained an audible smile. “The plea for good behavior is mutual. Please do not embarrass us.”

“Thank you. These guys can make us wealthy, or cause a lot of problems with our business. With luck it won’t take too long to find the salvage ship, or verify that it’s not there. Either way, it should be some easy pay. If there’s nothing else get some dinner and get some sleep, we leave with the rising sun.”
Dinner was set out buffet style on the counters in the mess, plates and drinks were sitting out as well. Ace vaulted over the table to grab a plate and proceeded to catch the food that missed that which he hurriedly shoved in mouth. Thing 1 and 2 both left the mess without eating and the others made their way more sedately to the food, getting plates and finding seats back at the table.

Instead of heading for the buffet where the food was set out Sir chose to instead head for a seat. Taking off his jacket he placed it upon the back of his chair and sat down. He chose to merely sit and watch as others filled their plates and began eating

Eveline was quite hungry, so she got up and went to get herself a plate of food, careful to avoid bumping into any others. She tried to keep a smile on her face, but was actually sizing everyone up and determining if anyone seemed dangerous. It was really to early to tell.

Chel sat quietly eating his food slowly as he sized up Sir, sitting without food. “Not hungry?”

APO drifts away from the table towards one of the mess walls, slipping some of its tendrils around an almost glaringly alien gadget mounted on the wall. At the Inyx’s touch bits of the metal exterior begin to recede and open, the APO slipping several of its tentacles slowly through the openings, singing quietly to itself as it does. It’s difficult to overhear over the din of the mess hall, but it seems to refer to an old man and his snoring.

D: As the captain finishes his address, Dilaziepr stands from the table to fetch her own food of plate. She allows the more rambunctious Ace to go first, before filing toward the food to select her own plate of vittles; while she is far from as excitable as the aforementioned whirlwind of eating, she gathers a fairly diverse plate. Returning to the table, she begins to eat her meal slowly and sedately. Sir earns a glance at Chel’s comment, but nothing more. She largely ignores the sapient squid’s antics.

“What? Oh, not exactly.” Sir sits up and turns to Chel, “I haven’t been hungry in quite a while now. However I thought it would be polite to at least stay for the dinner conversation. Also I know food has a limited supply on a ship and do not wish to decrease its supply any faster that necessary. Not hungry, but more so just need not to eat.”

Chel looked about puzzledly. His own plate was piled high with various fruits and vegetables, as he didn’t eat any kind of meat, but not eating anything at all? That was a discipline that he knew nothing about. “How very strange. When was the last time you did eat?”

Eveline watches the conversation develop. She gives her hawk a carrot to chew on. It doesn’t need to eat, per se, but does enjoy chewing.

The APO withdraws from the wall mounted machine, the object closing itself as he does. Floating over to the table, the Inyx bobs, largely motionless, for several minutes, before speaking.

“Ah.” The girl says in an oddly manufactured way to no one in particular. “What a fine meal that has filled us all with delicious horse meat. Now for the ceremonial display of post orifice stuffing contentedness.” Two tendrils reach up to the large, striped tie around the Inyx’s core and, with some difficulty, loosen it slightly before falling back to its sides. “Ah.” The APO repeats.

“I believe it has been a week or so. I can eat food but I simply need not and consider it partially wasted upon myself as I could not taste or smell it anyways. However texture of food I can feel so I eat food more as a… amusement. See I believe it to be an odd side effect of some internal power source—internal to me that is— that powers my bionic hand and leg. I still can enjoy the effects of a good drink though.” Sir winks and casts a grin around the table.

D: “The most delicious of horse meat,” Dilaziepr replies to the squid, slicing a pungent, hard-shelled food in half with a smooth motion of a table knife. She glances toward the chromedome casually. “That looks to be a fairly invasive reconstruction,” she comments. “Shrapnel?” She finally shoots a disapproving glance toward the cybernetic bird crushing a carrot into mush in a fairly violent display of vegetative abuse.

Eveline notices the tall woman glaring at her hawk. “Would you like to feed him?” she asks, hoping to glean some information about the woman based on the response. The way she’s looking at Eustace is unsettling, to say the least. The woman might be watching.

Chel smiles again at Sir’s easy going manner. “Amazing. I wonder if it was intentional or not. Either way, that’s quite incredible.”

Sir answers both questions together, “I do not know. All I do is that it has happened and its how I continue to operate. I prefer not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Might get bit if I’m not careful.”

D: “I would prefer to not waste the food,” the Zhodani responds levelly. “It would be a shame to make a mess.” She lifts the half to her lips, tilting her head back with a slurping noise. “A gift horse?” she asks Sir. “Why would anyone gift a horse?” She pauses briefly. “And amnesia?” She ‘shares’ a glance with the blind Inyx.

The APO ‘turns’ to Zhodani. It is not truly towards her or away from her, but he’s learned that bears little relevance on whether or not non-Inyx believed you were paying attention to them.
“Sometimes carefully aimed blows to the head fail to kill a bipedal alien, and only cause convenient memory loss.” The girl says cheerfully.

Eveline raised her eyebrows at the woman’s response, but says nothing in return.

Sir merely looks oddly at Dilazieper and brushes over her comment “Yes quite. Unless of course my memory was erased intentionally.” He taps lightly on the metal plate covering part of his skull, “Although I do not think they would have left such sloppy evidence had it been intentional.” Sir stands up and begins to put on his jacket, “I do believe I shall be heading back to my room. Have some notes I’d like to write down.. You know… before I forget.” He winks at his horrible joke and step lightly towards the door. “Good night!” he calls as he leaves.

There was a knock at the door of the passenger quarters where the young lady had been most of the afternoon.

Gloxria had been in her room for the time being, mostly just a bunch of bunk beds, luckily none of them filled. When she first got there she took off her purple leather boots and let her feet breathe, still not used to wearing shoes a lot, they are so constricting. In an attempt to stay agile she decided to jump from top bunk to top bunk, something that was an inner child need to fill. Being an only child without many neighboring children there was never a need for bunk beds. Afterwards trying to calm her mind from unnecessary wandering Gloxria laid on each bed to figure the most comfortable mattress. She was partway through when there was a knock. “What the noodle?”

The captain knocked again on the door, this time calling quietly. “Hello the room? Just making sure you haven’t died or anything. Hope I’m not waking you up.”

“Of course not.” Still trying to decipher sarcasm… “What can I do for you?”

Opening the door a bit the captain peeks inside. “I brought you some dinner. I’m sorry I forgot to send someone down for you, but I had to have a talk with my crew. I don’t know if I properly introduced myself before, I’m Captain Ern. What’s your name?”

“Gloxria” she replied quickly, unsure why. She took a second to wonder why she was so jumpy and tried to calm down by taking a deep breath.

The captain set the plate of food down at a small table just inside the door. “Well Ms. Gloxria, I’m glad to have you on board. You let me know if there is anything I can do for you.” He pointed to a small com device on the wall next to the door. “Just ask for me here and we can find someone to help you. Tomorrow I’ll take you up to the kitchen and see if you can really cook. Honestly, anything would be better than the auto-chef.”

Gloxria attempting to tap into her charm again which was slim tried to smile at the Captain to show appreciation, which may be pointless but what the heck? She managed a small side smile which probably looked more like a stroke victim than a girlish quality. “I’ll do my best.”

The captain smiled widely back at the young girl before wishing her a good night and stepping out of the room. ‘What a sweet girl’ he thought, as he stepped out of the room. ‘almost like…’ His thoughts drifted off for a moment before he shook his head to clear it. ‘No sense dwelling on the past.’ He headed back up to the Top deck to get some sleep.

As the captain stepped out, Gloxria thought to herself how weird that encounter was. She scanned the door for a lock, but wondered what the point was. She continued her quest of finding the perfect mattress in the room, of which when she found it marked it was a small ‘X’ to signify it was her choice.

Session 1
After the character creation, they met the captain

The majority of the session was getting the characters finalized. We did however spend some time, getting everyone aboard the ship…

Session 1 Log:

Star Key: Session 1

Once they plied the ancient seas
Living each day the best they know
Now through dark space’s infinities
That’s where the Traveller’s will go

The message sent out over the local wave was brief and to the point. “Leaving tomorrow, in need of crew and passengers. Inquire at terminal 3. -The Crimson Raptor” It appeared in writing only, scrolling along the local news flashes and advertisements while more entertaining visuals played behind it. No voice to connect to the message, just a quick written blurb to bring in clients hoping to get off of Collace and out of the light.

So they found their way to the spaceport, the brave or troubled souls. Running, hiding, looking for adventure, it didn’t matter, it was the only ship leaving. Their belongings gathered they would approach the ship. Like a great hunting bird it stood, unwieldy on the solid ground, yearning for the freedom of the skies and the great dark beyond. Once it may have been a gorgeous red, now it was faded, weary, comfortable with itself. The back of the ship lay open, a large cargo bay revealed half-filled with containers strewn about haphazardly.

A lone figure waits just inside the cargo bay, sitting upon one of the cases. Though the man is large and powerfully built, his voice is surprisingly quiet as he asks, “Can I help you?”

Sir: Walking along a street Sir glances up at a billboard seeing a scrolling marquee along the bottom claiming a need of crew and passengers. Turning to the nearest person passing by, a middle aged man, he asks, “Excuse me where can I find terminal 3?” The man points vaguely in a direction and he sets off at once.

Eveline is sitting on a bench, exhausted from walking all day. She’s been on Collace for a week now, and its time to move on. She can’t stay in one place for too long, it increases the chance that they’ll find her. Her falcon clumsily preens its feathers, causing her to jerk her head to the right. She sees a billboard, displaying a message about a ship that needs a crew. “That could get me off this planet…” she says to herself, quietly. Her falcon cocks it head to side. She gets up wearily, gathers her few possessions, and asks a nearby person where she can find terminal 3.

Sir: “Yes, I will be taking passage upon your ship. I do assume this is your ship? You look very important and authoritative so it would only make sense that you are the captain, are you not?”

The man looks Sir up and down, taking in the prosthetics and weapon at his side. “Not the captain.” He says. “I’ll call for him though, he’ll be down in a minute.” The man then takes out a small communication walkie and talks into it briefly. A response comes through, “Be right there.” The man shrugs at Sir and takes a seat again.

As Eveline approaches the port she sees a strange looking man standing on the ramp. Just inside she sees another man sitting down on a container.

Eveline approaches the man she sees on the ramp. “I’m here to inquire about passage and work on the ship, if anything is still available,” Eveline responds, trying to sound engaged. “I heard the ad….”
D: Standing on a catwalk overlooking the cargo bay, a tall and dark-skinned and dark-haired figure leans against the railing, watching the newcomers attentively. From her height and build, it stands that she is a Zodani, a rare sight outside of the Consultate. She dresses severely in dark blues, with a high collar, black gloves, and a pair of dark boots. A pistol relaxes on her hip. She eyes Sir cautiously upon noting the weaponry. Eveline and her pet earn a brief glance.
The room was stark and utilitarian, none of the intentional artistry of pinups or the unintended grit and character of dirt and garbage. It contained one bed, too small for the room, and table with a matching chair, much too large. A pale, well kept man in an inexplicably fashionable suit sits at the table, reading glasses resting on his long, chiseled face. He pours over papers and contracts, updated legislation and pending amendments. Imperial law was child’s play compared to the Inyx madness he’d had to learn through most of his adult life. He glances up in a momentary pause at his mentor and owner, a master of a system of laws he could barely comprehend.

“Something bothering you, Attorney Protectorate?” He asks, feeling the idle unease emanating from the giant sack of tendrils and flesh floating in the room, casually glancing over his work.

“Passengers.” The singsong voice of a young girl drifted from the Inyx official. “You know what trouble they tend to be.”

“I’m sure we can deal with them.” He hides a grin, returning to his work. “We always have.”
As Captain Ern made his way from the mid deck he spies Dilaziepr looking down upon the scene in the cargo bay. Still wary of the strange woman, Ern nods to her as he passes and makes his way to the stairs. Putting on a grin he prepares to meet his guests.
D: As the Captain makes his way to meet with the passengers, the figure straightens from her position. Giving a final glance to those in the cargo bay, she makes her way from the cargo bay, intending to inform their other passenger of their newest guests. After arriving at the closed door, she knocks on the door lightly, knowing well the predilections of the passenger within.

M: “Enter.” The girl’s voice says, a hardness hidden beneath the childish tone. The APO does not visibly respond to the woman’s entrance, though the well-dressed man looks up from his work to momentarily smile a nervous greeting before returning his rapidly shifting gaze to the papers in front of him.

D: After being told to enter, Dilaziepr steps through the door. She spares little attention to the fashionable man, speaking instead to the curious lifeform owning the room. “The captain is speaking with our would-be passengers,” she notes toward the squid, standing with her hands behind her back. “It does appear that we won’t be leaving port without company.”

M: “As pessimistically expected.” The Inyx remains motionless, save for the occasional wobble and bob of its antigravity implant. “Do they appear as troublesome as the last group?” The girls voice has lost its edge, as filled with wonder as ever. “I ill wish a repeat of the unfortunate airlock incident.”

D: “I cannot, unfortunately, say.” The Zhodani replies. “Only one appeared to carry a weapon, although the other had some sort of… creature with it.” She shakes her head slightly, before continuing. “You would think that the airlock would have been simpler to clean after that.”

M: “Vargr internal organs have an unappealing, viscous nature. Most unlucky.” The girl’s voice pauses a moment, not as downbeat as her words would imply. “For them, of course. I cannot speak for the airlock. I did not have to clean it.” The APO drifted slightly closer to the door. “The new passengers… I have felt the need for a second slave to perform more demeaning tasks than would befit the IAAPO. Tell me…” Her voice was eager. “Would the creature make a good slave?”

D: “I am unsure if the Captain would appreciate such after securing payment,” the Zhodani responds, voice remaining level and unconcerned. “One of them looks to have been damaged in the past, while the other has the thing with them.”

M:“Everyone has a price.” The APO says, half twisting into a song by the end. “And I have always found it.”
The captain walked down the staircase with the stroll of a man who was more comfortable in the lighter artificial gravity found on board the ship than a planets strong pull. Though only of average build he exuded a self-confident manner one associates with someone used to having their orders followed without question. As he reached the floor of the cargo bay he put on a wide, easy going smile and approached.

Nodding to Chel the captain sticks out his hand to the man and says in a deep commanding voice. “Aww, nice to meet you. I’m Captain Ern, you can call me Ern, until you’re on the ship, then it’s Captain. What a nice looking couple, how can I help you?”

Sir: “Good day Ern, I am here to take passage upon your vessel as I know for certain you will be doomed without me. You may call me Sir.” He extends his hand casting a glance at the figure as she leaves the cargo bay.

“Good to meet you Sir.” says Ern, shaking his hand vigorously. He looks at the woman holding out his hand to her.
Eveline scowls slightly. “I’m hoping to obtain passage on your ship,” she says to the Captain.

Putting his hand away self-consciously the captain nods. “Aww, well, apparently I’d be doomed without the lovely couple. Where might you be heading if I might ask, seeing as we’ll want to go there at some point?”

“Well then, is it passengers you wish to be? Or perhaps you’d like to join up as a crewman? We can always use someone to help out and man a weapon if things get tough. Plus, you’d get to see a fair bit of this part of the galaxy and mayhaps find your destination?” He winks at Sir and looks sternly at the woman. “Sights you’ll see for sure, passenger or crew, but I’d need to know who it was I am taking aboard, either way.”

“Crew would be best, if you have the need. My name is Eveline, by the way.”

Sir: “Yes see sights and perhaps pick up a few manners along the way…” he casts a quick glance at Eveline, “No matter, I am here now so theres no sense in waiting around much longer. Shall we set off, Captain?”

Captain Ern grins even more. “Crew then it is. Fantastic. We’re loading up the rest of the cargo this afternoon and will leave in the morning. Do you have anything you need to get? If not, I’ll be glad to show you to your quarters.” He puts his arm around Sir’s shoulders and almost does the same with Eveline, but stops, eyeing the Hawk. He decides to just lead the way for her. “Come, let’s go, we’ll meet the rest of the crew at dinner.”

Eveline smiles. “Thank you,” she says. She follows the captain.

Sir grins at Eveline, “Very good.”

Next session will begin with dinner and meeting the crew.


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