Echoes in Darkness

Exploration Omnibus

In our last few episodes....

The group experiments a bit with the mysterious supercomputer on the bottom floor of the exploration ship. The experiments come to an abrupt end when a re-cabling activity results in the supercomputer activating the device in the fuel section of the ship, which appears to be a second jump drive. After coming a hair’s breadth from finding out what happens when a jump occurs on a planetary surface, the team decides to table the experiments, for now.

The ship jumps the next leg of the journey, which places the ship on a planet in the Kingdom of Corath. Upon landing, Rav, Phineas, Lady Romanoff, and Challo leave the ship. On his way off the ship himself, Xavier is approached by a Blue Suns rep. The Blue Suns rep requests that he be let onto the ship to take possession of some Blue Suns property. Thanks to Xaviers lack of a pre-entry screening, the Blue Suns rep comes on board to take possession of the property…Kufo and Hat.

Kufo gets captured by the Blue Suns rep and his team. Fortunately. Hat is able to monitor the situation from a distance with his drones, and then sneaks into Engineering to cut the power to all the doors. Even more fortunately, Khuil shows up to terminate the Blue Suns rep and his escorts…with extreme prejudice.

Meanwhile, Lady Romanoff and Challo make the unpleasant discovery that the Lady’s homicidal cousin know where she is, and is sending someone out to “protect” her. The Lady and Challo disengage from this conversation just as a warning comes in from the ship, alerting the advance team to the events occurring on the ship.

After re-gathering on the ship, the group decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and expedite the fueling of their ship, with the bodies of the slain still on board. However, a private security team enters the hanger shooting, and the group is forced to lift off early, with only enough fuel for a single jump.

On the way out of the system, the ship is intercepting by two local police cutters. The cutters wish to board to verify Blue Suns reports of Blue Suns slaves aboard, the Kingdom legally recognizing slavery. Hat and Kufo come to the realization that their employment contracts with the Blue Suns corp for the exploration mission proves that they aren’t slaves. They go over to the police cutters with the contracts, and after an examination, the ship is allowed to reach the system.

The ship makes its one jump into the Maya subsector, once again landing to refuel. While there, the group scopes out the local rumors. One of the rumors they pick up on is that there is apparently a secret resort area for the fabulously rich somewhere within the general vicinity. The group decides to take a little time off from its journey, and does some investigation on station. They find that one of the ships in the spaceport seems to be fielding crewmen with some very high-quality uniforms, and with a little prodding, are able to discover from these crewmen the location of a system within easy jump distance. The ship heads out to the indicated system. Upon entering, the group detects a several uninhabitable planets, as well as a large, metallic object. Upon further inspection, the object is a large ship apparently designed to be a mobile starport. The group decides to go ahead and dock. Since this is supposed to be an area for the rich, Lady Romanoff, Challo, and Phineas are the only ones to initially disembark, as they are the only ones with the wardrobe to pull the required look off. The trio head to the bridge, which is set up as an expanded bar. The starport ship moves off, heading to a large asteroid nearby.

Kufo picks up a disturbing report in the standard news exchange in the area. Kufo, Hat, and Xavier are the subject of a wanted aid, in regards to the Blue Suns “property” incident that occurred back in the Kingdom of Corath. Even worse, it appear that Lady Romanoff’s cousin is the one circulating the notice, with a promise of a substantial reward.

Phineas, Challo, and the Lady disembark onto the asteroid. There they find that the asteroid is devoted to the lifestyles (legal and not) of the rich and famous. They decide that the first stop will be to check out one of the bloodsport arenas. However, the trio finds that they’ve walked into a trap. They spot someone looking like the Lady’s cousin at the arena, and the next arena fight is between a hardened fighter and an acquaintance of Lady Romanoff. The resulting fight is fatal to the acquaintance.

Challo quickly ascertains that the Lady’s cousin is on her way back to the starport ship, which has moved off from the asteroid. There is a shuttle service that connects the asteroid with the starport ship, and the cousin has taken the next flight, leaving the trio on the asteroid. Challo calls in an ambush request to the group still on the starport ship.

Unfortunately, the team back on the ship has it’s own problem. Kufo discovers that the feed for one of the cameras on the lower deck of the Blue Suns exploration ship has been set into a footage loop. Kufo and Rav do a quick sweep of the lower deck, and find that the supercomputer panel has been opened, most of the indicator lights on the computer are red, and there is a nearby floor panel that has been disturbed. Prying open the panel, the duo find a passageway straight to the fuel storage area. Rav takes a quick peek into the storage area, but is unable to see anything out of the ordinary. At this point, most of the main ship systems go offline, the gravity fluctuates, and the lights go to emergency lighting only. The team on the ship then move to start setting up the ambush. Kufo lightly-encrypts the main computer, to make it harder for a saboteur to do much damage.

It is at this point that the shuttle carrying the cousin back to the starport ship explodes! The group on the exploration ship detects an object that moves away from the shuttle before it explodes. Kufo attempts to bring the ship’s main systems online, but instead manages to shut them down the rest of the way, which traps the main group onboard the ship. Rav about brains himself trying to open the doors manually. The trio onboard the asteroid hide in a bordello, hoping to keep themselves hidden long enough for the main team to restart the ship and come out to rescue them.

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kingfrog368 Xith

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