After the group’s adventure on [insert name of Lady Romanov’s ship], the group has arrived at [insert name of imperium planet]. There, the team uses Hat’s TAS cards to acquire lodgings. After a brief resting period, the team attempts to pull together a course of action… As the team is discussing recent events, there is a knock at the door of the TAS room the party is using to meet in. Answering the door, the team is approached by Derek Scandalon, a project manager from the Blue Suns corporation. Scandalon offers the team a job crewing a starship. The starship is installed with an experimental jump drive capable of previously unheard-of levels of power and fuel efficiency. The ship’s drive will be tested by a journey into unexplored sectors on the other side of the Maia subsector. Included in the duties of the job is conducting planetary surveys, both ground and space, of planets found in the unexplored areas. Scandalon estimates that the survey will consist of 1-2 dozen planets. The pay offered is 25000 credits/per person/per week, plus 50000 credits per discovered planet, plus 50000 credits per exploitable resource discovered. The crew will consist of our team, plus one Blue Suns tech who is a technical expert on the new jump drive. When asked how Scandalon knew about us, Scandalon replies that he had been referred to us by Cameron Clark, the BIG executive who offered the original members of our group the job on Gath. Clark dropped Scandalon our names shortly before his fatal elevator accident.
The team asks to have time to consider the offer. After Scandalon has left, the group discusses the offer. Quite naturally, several members of team are suspicious of this too-good-to-be-true offer. However, the benefits of having a ship, and having the opportunity to explore the Maia sector area, which is an area reported to have Ancient ruins, seem to outweigh the risks. The team agrees to take the offer, provided that we can conduct a pre-launch examination of the ship, a condition to which Scandalon readily agrees. A quick search of the local datanet reveals an older news article that does refer to Scandalon as a project manager of Blue Suns, providing an initial establishment of his bona-fides.
A few hours before the time scheduled to conduct the ship inspection, Kufo calls the group together to inform it of some information he thinks might be relevant to the current situation. Kufo reveals that he was once a test subject in a secret Blue Suns genetic research project. He was recruited into the project believing it to be an academic program. Kufo escaped from the program, and has been living secretly ever since. Kufo believes that there is a possibility that the ship offer is be an attempt to re-capture him. Armed with this new knowledge, the team takes a more cautious approach to the inspection.
Only Kufo, Rav, and Phineas appear at the inspection. The rest of the team hangs out at the spaceports MudCredits, prepared to step in if any action is taken against the inspection team.
The inspection team meets Derek at the ship. They begin by examining the bridge and the computer core, which both appear to be normal. The inspection team then moves on to engine room. Derek is a little surprised that the jump drive tech is not there working. Kufo takes an in-depth look at the settings on the jump drive, but notes nothing abnormal except that the scaling on the field strength read-outs go up higher than a normal jump drive. At this point, the jump drive tech enters the drive room, takes one look at us, exclaims “Oh fuck!”, and immediately runs out of the room. Rav, Kufo, and Phineas immeidiately give chase, recognizing the drive tech in that once instant. The tech is the same person as the navigator of Weyland-Yutani ship, the one that took the escape ship back to the WY-charted vessel. The three split up, each covering a different direction the drive tech could have gone. Kufo and Phineas move out for a while, but are unable to find the drive tech. Kufo heads back, and has a conversation with Scandalon about the drive tech. The tech came in with a Blue Suns set-up team a few weeks ago, but as he was intended to be part of the ship’s crew, did not leave with the rest of the team. Kufo explains that the individual he saw was part of the crew of the previous ship the group was on, and as such, the timing makes it impossible for the drive tech that just ran out to be the same person as the person who arrived a few weeks ago. Protesting that he is right about the chain of events, Scandalon pulls out the employee record of the drive tech, only to find that the person depicted in the employee record is NOT the person who just ran off the ship. Kufo asks Scandalon to guide him to the drive tech’s quarters, in the hopes of find a clue to the man’s true identity and purpose.
Rav sees the drive tech running off and manages to catch up to him. After a brief scuffle, the drive tech breaks free, and runs off again, gaining distance from Rav. Rav calls Khuil out from the MudCredits to help chase down the drive tech. Khuil is able to close the gap and capture the drive tech. Having managed to cause a scene in the middle of a spaceport tenminal, Rav and Khuil high-tail it back to the Blue Suns ship with drive tech in tow. Along the way, Phineas joins them, having run his search pattern to completion. The group deposits the drive tech into the first empty room on the ship, and interrogates him about his intentions. Being unsatisfied with the first few responses, Rav has Khuil apply some…physical persuasion to the tech. The tech repeats that he is doing his “job”, and tells Rav “my quarters, bottom of the desk drawer”.
Kufo is examining the drive tech’s room, which does not yield any immediate clues, but does not appear to have been taken apart or otherwise messed with. Scandalon has stepped out to call the police over the incident. As Kufo is searching, Rav comes in, goes to the desk drawer, and finds some items underneath the bottom of the desk drawer. Rav takes a look at the items, uses his handcomp to take pictures of the items, and immediately runs back to the room the drive tech is being held in. Rav then releases the tech, gives him the items from the desk, and tells him he should be somewhere else. Once the drive tech is away, the entire group re-assembles at the TAS to discuss the situation.
Once re-grouped at the TAS, Rav reveals to the team that the reason why he let the tech go was because the items in the desk drawer were a set of Imperial Intelligence IDs. Figuring that the team wanted no more part of blowing an IMP Intel op than it was already involved with, Rav let the tech go. The team again discusses the prospect of taking on the job. The conclusion is similar to the first round of discussion: the risk is great, but the chance of actually learning something about what’s really going on is too great to pass up. The team decides to feign ignorance about the drive tech’s true identity, and call up Scandalon to set up a new time for an additional inspection. Scandalon agrees to the new time, telling the team that he’s in the process of pulling in a new Blue Suns tech to accompany them.
The next day, Khuil, Rav, Kufo and Phineas return to the ship. They return to the engine room to meet the new tech, one “Derek Gareth”. Rav, Phineas, and Khuil recognize the tech as someone else…the interpreter/squad leader/who-know-what-the-hell-else formally known as “Chuck Finley”. Phineas asks Scandalon to accompany him to the bridge so that Phineas can test the comms. Once Scandalon is out of the room, Khuil pins Chuck to the wall, and the team inquires as to what Chuck is really doing here.
Chuck has not really changed much since our last encounter with him. He explains in his trademark sarcastic manner that he’s here because his mysterious employer has concerns about both the true identity of the drive tech, as well as Blue Suns true intentions regard the trip. Chuck explains that Blue Suns doesn’t have the expertise to create a new jump drive on its own, and that only Dynstar Imperial really has that capability. Unfortunately for Chuck, jump drive tech is not his area of expertise, and Chuck is a little relieved to hear that Kufo has basic jump drive experience. Chuck also notes that as part of his investigation, he has found that Blue Suns has encrypted files on both Kufo and Hat, files that Chuck is in the process of breaking into. After some discussion, an arrangement is made between Chuck and the group. The group agrees to not making any waves about Chuck being aboard, but Chuck is not to interfere in anything the group is doing, and Chuck will need to help out in any situation that threatens the ship, since his own skin will be at stake.
Phineas and Scandalon rejoin the group, and the inspection moves to cargo hold. The hold contains a great deal of equipment, including environmental suits, small ground vehicles, and chemical equipment for assessing planetary environments. Rav notices that all the environmental suits but the one the previous drive tech would have used are missing their filters, which renders the suits useless. Scandalon promises to speak sharply with the Weyland-Yutani rep who provided the suits, and get replacement filters. He also promises to get Khuil a suit, as the current suit selection has nothing that will fit him. No other abnormalities are found on the ship.
At this point, the inspection team gets the paperwork required to be formally brought on to the job from Scandalon. The team also obtains permission to re-enter the ship, though they will have to be escorted until the team sign the NDA that goes with the paperwork. The ship is set to depart in a couple of weeks, and the team begins its final preparations to be ready for departure.