On a Wing and a Prayer

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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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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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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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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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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Arrival in Iderati System

Dirk sat bolt upright in bed. He was in his cabin on the Dalrymple’s Dream, the chrono told him it was the middle of the night, so what had woken him ?

As his mind caught up with his body, he realised what it was – the ship did not sound the same. The background hum and vibration of the drives was missing. It must have been that – and possibly a small lurch as the grav plates compensated for the loss of acceleration – that woke him.

This must be it, thought Dirk, as he grabbed his tablet and body pistol from the bedside drawer, time for action. Dirk eased quietly out of his cabin and headed for the airlock. Nobody was to be seen, this was to be expected as no announcement had been made and the mutineers must be in position to execute the plot. Dirk reached the airlock and hurriedly pulled on the vacc suit and ran quickly through the basic safety checks. With his body pistol in one pocket and his tablet in the other, Dirk cycled the lock. Swiftly and confidently, Dirk moved along the hull, stars glinting in the darkness all around. Reaching the Engineering airlock, Dirk pulled out his tablet and triggered the grav plates. As he punched in the airlock code he imagined the surprise and confusion on the mutineers faces as they suddenly floated free of the deck. The airlock did not move, frantically Dirk cleared the entry pad and tried again, nervous of how much surprise would be lost by this delay. This time the lock cycled and Dirk rushed in, stealing a glance through the viewplate before ducking down out of sight. Fortunately, it looked like his entrance had gone unoticed as an Engineer frantically ‘swam’ around the compartment trying to reassert control over his floating body.

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Mutiny

Dirk steeled himself, and pushed off through the lock as it cycled, training his bodypistol on the muntineer. ‘Surrender or I’ll shoot’ came Dirk’s voice over his suits’ external speakers. The flailing Engineer stammerd his aquiecence – he was here to steal cargo, not fight. Keeping his gun trained on the Engineer, Dirk got him under control and was looking for a means to constrain him. He spotted a bulge in the Engineers coveralls and found a stun pistol. Swapping stunner for bodypistol, Dirk tried to persuade the Engineer to restore power to the ships drives. The Engineer was having none of it, and so Dirk simply stunned him, removing the threat but without causing any permanent damage.

Dirk looked over the engineering consoles but with his limited engineering knowledge, could not figure out what the problem was, let alone fix it. Dirk resolved to head to the bridge and see what help he could offer there.

Dirk retraced his steps to the passenger lounge and found a more chaotic scene. He came across the Steward who, after Dirk had lifted his visor to reveal his features to allow recognition, filled him in on what had happened. Whilst he was on his way to engineering, the mutineers had annouced a drive failure and that they had sent out a mayday distress call. There was no immediate danger, but onward travel was impossible until the drives had been repaired. Fortunately, there was a far trader close at hand, which would come alongside to render what aid it could and take off the passengers for transit to Iderati if necessary. Then the gravity had failed and everyone became rather nervous.

Dirk returned the compliment, informing the Steward of what he had been doing and the true nature of the situation. Together they headed for the crew compartment to discover the position there. Passing into the crew compartment, they carefully checked a few cabins – only to find the Chief Engineer comatose on his bed, obviously stunned. They found the Astrogator, bouncing between the corridor and his cabin, desperately trying to gain control in zero-g. Two other crew were holding onto furniture in their cabins, apparently awaiting specific instructions. Dirk requested the bridge codes from the Astogator, and tasked the Steward with returning to the passengers and preparing them for the return of gravity, whilst he went to the bridge.

Dirk took a few deep breaths and readied himself for the action to come. He punched in the access code and ‘swam’ into the bridge, low down. He could see the Captain holding himself into his chair and trying to raise Engineering on the comm; whilst the Pilot was floating above the flight chair – apparently checking local space; and the Cargo Chief was bobbing around by the comms chair and was in conversation with the fat trader.

All three crew turn towards the bridge hatch, the Pilot and Cargo Chief flailing arms and legs erratically in an attempt to retain control during this manouvre. Dirk pointed his stunner at the Cargo Chief, the least obvious candidate for bridge duty in an emergency, and pressed the trigger. Energy rippled off the wall next to the Cargo Chief – missed.
The Cargo Chief fumbled with a stunner and triggerd it in Dirk’s direction. Dirk manages to evade the main blast, but his left arm is caught in the backwash and floats limply by his side.
As Dirk recovers from this action he tries to line up another shot, the Pilot and Cargo Chief try and ‘swim’ for cover. Unfortunately (for them) they make a pigs’ ear of it, and end up a tangle of limbs in the middle of the bridge. Dirk twists his body round and triggers his stunner, catching both mutineers in the cone of energy released. The mutineers go limp, limbs and bodies gently swirling in a Newtonian dance.

Dirk quickly updates the Captain on what is going on, and between them they annouce the imminent return of gravity over the ships tannoy and switch the grav plates back on – gently at first, with gravity slowly being increased back to normal.

The mutineers are rounded up and locked in a crew cabin, whilst the Steward attempts to revive the Chief Engineer. The second Engineer makes his way to engineering to see whether the reported drive fault is real or imaginary. Dirk, the Captain, and the Astrogator retire to the bridge to compare notes and consider their next moves. What is to be done about the far trader currently matching vectors with them ?

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Contact !

Dirk, the Captain, and the Astrogator quickly agree to take the fight to the mutineerson, with the aim of allowing the Dalrymple’s Dream to escape from under the guns of the Fat Trader. A hasty plan is agreed. The assumption is that whilst one or more of the Fat Traders crew come across to the Dalrymple’s Dream purporting to try and fix the drives, at least another two would be trying to remove the targeted cargo container(s), with the planned help of the Cargo Chief. Therefore, Dirk could covertly board the Fat Trader, whilst all the crew are occupied, and disable its’ drives until the security forces arrive.

The speaker bursts to life with a squawk of static, followed by a voice ‘Jann, we’re approaching the final stage, our vectors are nearly matched. We will send over our engineer and an assistant to help you with your drives.’

The Captain responds ‘Hello Henry T, this is Connell March, Captain of the Dalrymple’s Dream. Jann, our Cargo Chief has headed aft to make sure that no cargo has worked loose during the engine malfunction, so I will talk you in.’

‘Right O Captain, I’m Will Bison, Captain of the Henry T. We’ll be in position in about 20 minutes.’

The captain continues to keep Will Bison fully engaged in conversation as the ship approaches, completely distracting him from anything else occurring.

The Astrogator, meanwhile was contacting the security forces in Iderati system, requesting assistance.

Dirk consulted with the Engineer to see if any of the freighters’ stores could be used to help him gain access to the engineering section and disable the drives. Dirk finds a laser cutter in a tool kit, and hurries off to get it, retrieve his laser pistol from the ship’s locker, and to change into his assault vacc suit, still tucked away in his luggage.

Dirk moves down to the engineering deck, and leaves the Dalrymple’s Dream through the air lock there. The Henry T has nearly finished manouvering and Dirk checks his vectors and pushes off across the divide. A short while later, and with minimal adjustment from his EVA frames thrusters, Dirk lands gentlry on the hull of the Henry T and makes his way aft, towards the rear cargo doors. As he nears the rear of the ship, Dirk can see a couple of figures emerging from the rear of the Henry T, propelling zero-g cargo handlers before them.

Dirk slips inside the Henry T via the large aft cargo bay, and sheds his EVA frame. He moves swiftly towards the door into engineering, scanning the empty cargo bay for theats. Arriving at the door, he vainly tries to hear or feel movement from the other side. Steeling himself for action, Dirk triggers his laser cutter and quickly slices through the lock. Barging through the door, Dirk trains his laser pistol left and right, searching for any crew. There are none and he makes his way to the engineering console. He calls up the Engineer back on Dalrymple’s Dream, hoping that no one from the Henry T realise where the transmissions originate from. The Engineer talks Dirk through the computer initiation sequence for the complete shutdown and diagnostic routines on the manouvre drives – a process that will shut the drives down for 8 to 12 hours, depending upon other computer routines running.

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Action Aboard

Meanwhile, aboard the Dalrymle’s Dream, two of Henry T’s crew enter via the main airlock. Waiting for them is the Captain.

“Welcome aboard the Dalrymple’s Dream, and I must thank you for coming to our aid. I’m Captain March and I’ll take you down to Engineering now where my Engineering Chief will fill you in on the problem. I haven’t managed to speak to him myself yet, no doubt he’s up to his elbows in grease and oil, as it were. But I’m sure I can extricate him from whatever nook or cranny he’s crawled into while hunting down the problem – at least long enough to explain the situation and see if you can help.”

“Thank you Captain, I’m Elsie Walker, Engineer aboard the Henry T, and this is Mike Kellar. Lead on and we’ll see what we can do.”

“Engineering is through the Mess and beyond the small cargo bay, so if you would go through that door behind you into the Mess, we’ll be on our way.”

Elsie and Mike head through the door into the Mess, they bunch up momentarily as Elsie turns to look back at the Captain, who was half turned away from her, apparently talking to someone who had just approached.

That gave the Astrogator the opening he’d been hoping for and he triggerd his stun gun from his position flat against the bulkhead through which the two pirates had emerged. Elsie and Mike slumped into an ungainly heap in the middle of the Mess. The Captain came into the Mess and between them, he and the Astrogator, tied up the intruders.
‘That was the easy bit" exclaimed the captain "now let’s head to the lower cargo deck to see if we can help round up the other two."

Down in the lower cargo bay, the cargoman has opened the rear cargo bay doors, in anticipation of the arrival of the pirates. He gestured to them to come aboard and turned his back on them, heading for a cargo container. The two vacc suited figures follow him, keen to secure their prize and get back to the Henry T. So far, it seems, everything is going according to plan – they may even get far away before the crew of the Dalrymple’s Dream realises that some of them were drugged.

The Chief Engineer peers out from behind a container after he feels the vibrations of the pirates passing him by, rippling along the deck plates. He’s in luck, from this angle, he could target the rearmost pirate. He triggers his stunner and his prey drops. Waiting, all senses straining for just such a moment, the cargoman spins round, uncovering his own stunner, drawn surreptitiously while his back was to the pirates. The last pirate has also turned at the commotion, and slumps forward over his comrade, stunned, while a grin of delight and relief spreads across the cargomans face.

The cargo bay doors closed, the pirates were trussed up, and carried up to the crew quarters to join their comrades.

Connell March returned to the bridge, where he finally responded to Will Bison’s increasingly frantic calls for an update on the situation. Will Bison is appraised of the real state of affairs and is advised to sit tight while everyone waits for the security forces to arrive. After checking through his own systems, determining that the manouvre drive was off-line for at least another seven hours, and studying the scanner to confirmn a patrol craft was heading for them, Will knew the game was up. He did not leave the bridge until the security forces arrived, which was just as well because following further judicious use of the laser cutter, Dirk was sat on the floor covering the door to the bridge with both his stunner and laser pistol !

With the pirates and mutineers in custody, and both manouvre drives back on line, the Dalrymple’s Dream and the Henry T are escorted into parking orbits around Iderati III.

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Arrival in Iderati Orbit

On the run in, Captain Marsh contacted the local office of Kellogue and Brown Tank Transport, the Dalrymple’s Dream company. There was a stunned silence when they were informed that the Dalrymple’s Dream was inbound with a prize, there was nothing in company policy about prizes – you don’t expect 1 kton freighters to be involved in combat, let alone be victorious.

Arrangements were made and the company sent a pinnace to collect the Captain and the passengers for transfer planetside. By the time the shuttle arrived, Dirk together with the other passengers and crew had given statements to the security forces and were free to move around Iderati, but not leave the system until at least the preliminaries had been completed.

The security forces thought that the the process would take 2-3 weeks, during which time statements would be taken by the prosecution lawyers, the defence lawyers, and both ships would be forensically investigated.

The pinnace deposited Dirk and the others at the starport, where he and the Captain were unexpectedly met by Francis Braun one of several Kellogue and Brown Tank Transport vice president’s. He had been travelling through Iderati on business when he saw the report on the newscasts and came to meet the now famous Captain. He ushered everyone into a waiting taxi and headed off for one of Charon’s better hotels. “I’ve booked you all into the Serenity Valley hotel at the companies expense” began Francis. “Connell, Dirk, if you would care to join me for dinner in the hotel restuarant after you have had a chance to freshen up, I would love to hear what happened in detail.”

The Captain obviously agreed, you don’t antagonate your boss without a good reason, and Dirk saw it as a good opportunity to learn what, if anything, he could expect in prize money. Over dinner Dirk and the Captain recounted the events from Dirk’s hunch through to the final capitulation of the Henry T’s pilot. As the tale progressed, Dirk was glad to note that Connell was not overstating his contribution, giving Dirk full credit for his actions. Dirk also noted Francis’ increasing look of satisfaction and ready smile.
“What a story you two will have for your grandkids” began Francis, “Once again I would like to thank you both for saving Kellogue and Brown Tank Transport’s reputation, credits, and hassle. Not too mention providing some valuable, positive, publicity – people now have a concrete example of their goods being safe with Kellogue and Brown Tank Transport ! I’ve taken the liberty of checking some of the basic facts, and I’m glad you have made life a little easier for me. Dirk, Kellogue and Brown Tank Transport is a company based around heavy freighters, in fact Dalrymple’s Dream is one of our smaller ships. That means the Henry T does not fit with our shipping profile, consequently, once due process has completed, I would like to present you with her with and our gratitude for your actions here in Iderati. We’ll sort out the minor damage caused to her, and sign over the papers once the authorities release her to us. As for you Connell, you have our thanks as well, and we’ll grant a bonus (cash or shares) to you and your crew in lieu of a share of the Henry T.”

Dirk expressed his thanks and agreed to meet Connell for breakfast, when they could discuss pooling their efforts to recruit crew to replace the mutineers on the Dalrymple’s Dream and hire a new crew for the Henry T.

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