On a Wing and a Prayer

Patience

The Dalrymple’s Dream was still a day away from jump translation and Dirk’s nerves were beginning to fray. He had observed as many crew as possible, but understandably, none gave him any clues as to who could be involved in the plot. Dirk saw little of the crewman with whom he had had the conversation which sparked this paranoia, and when he did, the crewman was alone. Consequently Dirk couldn’t gauge his interactions with other potential mutineers.

So Dirk turned his attention to easing his path to Engineering, as and when the time came. He checked out the layout of the airlock, and satisfied himself that a decent vacc suit was available, and learnt the route so he could do it in the dark. He also went back to the ships computer and looked for the access codes that would let him through to the crew compartment. The shortest and safest route to Engineering was through the cargo bay. Dirk thought he’d cracked ot a few times, but the final step never quite fell into place and he couldn’t gain access to the crew areas.

Time for plan B, if he could not go through, he would have to go around. Not ideal, but at least it would mean he approached from an unexpected direction. Now, could he get out of the ship and back in through Engineering’s airlock without assistance ? Ah yes, there they were, the ships maintenance airlock codes, given to crew when doing outside work. This time it really did look like someone was not doing their job, Dirk should not have been able to find these. When this was over, he would have to talk to the captain about updating his computer security.

That was as much as Dirk could plan for, he was back to waiting for the mutineers to make their move, whilst hoping he had got it all wrong !

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Outbound from Karin on the Dalrymple's Dream

Having settled himself into his Cabin, Dirk went off to explore the public spaces of the Dalrymple’s Dream. Despite the overcrowding in the hotels back at the starpport, there were only three other passengers, all of whom were already aboard.

After a brief exploration, Dirk had the measure of the Dalrymple’s Dream layout – bridge at the front, with captains cabin and crew quarters behind, spanning the deck. Behind that were a couple of short corridoors running n the bow to stern axis with passenger cabins off them. On the port side of the passenger cabins and to their rear were the public spaces of lounge, mess deck, together with the galley. Behind this was the cargo deck, with the drives tacked onto the stern of the ship.

As scheduled lift off time approached, Dirk made his way to the lounge to strap in for takeoff. He could have stayed in his cabin, but as a naval officer he was used to a bit of company during a lift. The other passengers evidently felt the same, as all were already seated in the lounge, watching progress and external feeds on the wall vids.

Dirk introduced himself. First off was Bors Ramsey, an importer/exporter travelling to Caladbolg. Bors was taciturn and barely exchanged pleasantries, let alone engaged in small talk. Dirk had known a few businessmen like that, locked in their own heads, calculating trades and profits rather than engaging with the workd around them. Yet, Bors seemed a little odder than most. Then there was father and son, Andrew and Case Halloway. They were returning from visiting family on Penelope, nice enough folks, but there seemed to bit a bit of tension between them. Probably because, even though he was mostly silent, Case gave a good rendition of a surly teenager.

There was only time for a little small talk before the ship started to vibrate as the engines came on-line, and in next to no time, the ship was lifting slowly, but powerfully off the tarmac and heading into space.

Once clear of the atmosphere, they could unbuckle, and the steward came round serving drinks. Everyone stayed in the lounge, talking and watching the ship carefully manouvre away from Karin’s orbit and slowly pick her way through local traffic towards the jump point.

Travel to the jump point settled into the usual regime, communal dinners, sometimes with the captain, and evening entertainment of films, card games, or just conversation. It was during one such quiet evening when Andrew Holloway and Dirk had the passenger lounge to themselves, nursing drinks and chatting amiably. The hour grew late and, perhaps the little worse for drink, Andrew broached the delicate subject of his ‘friend’ whose son had been on an inconsidered trip. Nothing illegal, but if the cctv footage from resort establishment came to light on his homeworld, it could damage the fathers public career. Surely it would be possible, mused Andrew, for someone with military training to discreetly wipe the cctv footage in question. Dirk had to agree that for a person with the right training and background, it should be a relatively simple matter but, not wanting to get involved, added that he did not know of any such person.

The Captain, Connell March, invited Dirk onto the bridge as they neared the jump limit. Dirk sat next to the captain and enjoyed being back in the operational centre of a starship, even if it was not his command. His gaze fell on the traffic plot, and noticed a Fat Trader was on a similar course, aft of the Dalrymple’s Dream. The Captain did not seem overly concerned, but Dirk, out of habit, watched to determine the exact course followed by the merchant. To his surprise, it appeared to be matching the Dalrymple’s Dream, only a few hundred thousand clicks behind. Dirk knew that ships on apparently the same course can end up parsecs apart, but this seemed closer than normal.

Dirk put the incident out of his mind until a few days through jump, when one of the crew struck up a seemingly casual conversation about his naval career and if he had been involved in any anti piracy action. As the conversation progressed, the crewman was discussing the obvious temptations of piracy in terms of quick money making, and seemed sympathetic to such a viewpoint. Back in his cabin, Dirk reflected on this conversation, and realised that the crewman was fishing and that if his responses had been different, the crewman might have tried to recruit Dirk into whatever scheme was afoot. Remembering the fat trader on a matched course, Dirk began to consider what sort of plot it could be. He thought the most likely would be some form of mutiny, with the far trader pulling alongside to take off cargo and conspirators. But how could a far trader carry the cargo of a heavy freighter ? Something didn’t add up, so Dirk started to investigate.

Dirk found that the cargo manifest was accessible from the ships computer, not obvious, but not password protected or encrypted either. Either someone was not very good at their job, or the cargo manifest was not deemed commercially sensitive. At first glance there was nothing out of the ordinary in the manifest – all cotton shipments of 100-150 tons, for various companies on Iderati. Looking more closely, however, Dirk spotted one labelled Cotton abrasives – mineral. A-ha, thought Dirk, I bet someone is hiding a valuable ore in amongst this cotton – hiding in plain sight. Connell March must be discreetly transpporting high value value cargoes; by hidng them anongst a large cargo, the cost of guards would be lower and hopefully the risk of theft reduced. That must be what the plot is after, to steal this small, high value cargo – the crewmans get rich quick scheme ! But how would they do it, and how many of the crew are involved in the plot ?

Dirk managed to find time with the Captain out of the earshot of others. He probed to find out whether the captain knew, or was even involved in the plot. Dirk satisfied himself that the Captain was unaware of the plot, nor could he be nudged into taking the possibility of such a plot seriously. Dirk was on his own, so he had to come up with a counter-mutiny plan all by himself.

On his way back from seeing the captain, Dirk tried to retrieve hs laser pistol from the ship’s locker, but had to ababdon the attempt when a crewman came along. Back in his cabin Dirk tried to come up with a plan. Going through the ship’s computer, Dirk was able to find the grav plate controls, and managed to slave them to his tablet computer. Now his half-arsed plan could be triggered from wherever he was when the mutineers made their move. All Dirk could come up with was to use his presumably superior zero-g ability to take control of Engineering. The captain was on his own, but if he was lucky, the captain would retain control of the bridge, and Dirk would then control Engineering, between them they could then see what the mutineers had to offer.

The plot would be triggered some time after their arrival in the Iderati system, but how soon after jump-point translation ? Dirk could only wait and fret, hoping he would be ready when the mutineers struck.

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Booking Passage

Dirk wandered down to the commercial district of Karin’s starport. As he strolled along, studying the boards outside each travel agents, he sucked in the hustle and bustle, the sights, sounds, and smells, of the starport and a grin spread across his face – he was back in the environment he enjoyed.

Then a posting caught his eye, Dalrymple’s Dream was leaving in eight hours, bound for Iderati. Ducking inside, Dirk quickly ran through the details with the travel agent. Dalrymple’s Dream was a Heavy Freighter from the Kellogue and Brown Tank Transport line, and was running raw organic fabric from Karin to Iderati. Things looked good to Dirk, so he booked his passage, thumbed over the credits and went in search of lunch before packing up his things and checking out of his hotel.

Back in his hotel room, and changing into a generic shipsuit, Dirk found that he had been the target of a pick pocket and was down 50Cr. As he had a ship to catch, Dirk decided that this was a wake up call about non-Navy life and so he did not pursue the matter with the police.

Dirk settled his hotel bill, and arrived at the lock of Dalrymple’s Dream two hours prior to lift off. The port watch crewman checked his ticket and Id, booked his Laser Pistol and Cutlass into the ship’s locker, and then paged the Purser. The purser ran through the formalities of checking Dirk into the ships systems, explaiing the safety procedures, as well as running through the passenger facilities (dining times, computer access, gym, etc.). The Purser then showed Dirk to his cabin, and then left to go about his duties.

Dirk unpacked and settled into what was to be his home for the next fortnight. He patted his concealed body pistol, grateful that they had not had military grade body scanners. Whilst he was no great shot, he had grown used to the comfort of a side-arm, and as he was no longer routinely carrying his Naval Laser Pistol, the body pistol served that purpose.

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Campaign start - Looking for passage off Karin

Having spent a pleasant six months with his sister on the hydroponics farm they inherited from their parents, Dirk had come to realise that the wanderlust that had caused him to leave Karin and join the Navy was still with him, and besides, he did not make a good hydroponics farmer.

As a result he had sold his share of the farm to his sister at a knockdown price in consideration of her hard work in running the place while he was off travelling the stars in his Navy career. He left half of that sum (50,000 Cr) under the control of the family lawyer to act as a reserve for him and an emergency fund for his sister. The rest he took with him as he started out on a new adventure.

Dirk was not sure where or what he was aiming for, he just hoped he recognised it when it arrived. What he did know was that hydroponics farming was too planet bound for his nature. Similarly, he could not see himself settling down in Adabicci, where he had set up his shuttle company using the two ships craft from his old Destroyer, the Lodestar, with which he had been presented upon his retirement from the Navy.

Having said that, Dirk’s first port of call would be Adabicci in the Lunion Sub-sector, to look in on his shuttle company and make sure his manager was happy with taking over the operation on a more permanent basis, and to deal with any associated admin that may prove necessary.

Therefore, having bid his family goodbye, Dirk arrived at Karin’s starport and proceeded to scour the directories for a modestly priced hotel which would act as a base while he sought passage off-world. Unfortunately, there seemed to be a bit of a run on budget hotels at the moment and Dirk had to seek more up-market accomodation. He had a bit of luck though, and found a hotel which was twice as good as his target, but at only 50% more than he had planned to pay. Consequently he made a reservation for three nights at the McClain hotel and, after depositing his gear in his room, he headed off to see what ships were heading to Iderati, the first leg of his trip to Adabicci.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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