When we last left our party, it was traveling the stars aboard Chuck Finley’s troopship, making it’s way to <insert name="true">. The party is traveling to <insert name="true"> to begin its investigation into the disappearance of Lady Romanov’s ships. Hat wanders the corridors of the troopship. With an eerie feeling of deja-vu, he recognizes the corridors from the drawings of Susie, the supposadely prophetic member of Alexander Hamilton’s cult group. Suddenly, Hat is confronted by Alexander himself, armed with a shotgun. After exclaiming “They’re all dead, and it’s YOUR fault”, Alexander fires his shotgun, and Hat’s head explodes in a spray of gore…
And with that terrible image to further scar him, Khuil awakens from his nightmare. It should be noted that the troopship does not actually look like Susie’s drawings. While most of the party members stay to themselves for this leg of the trip, a few members of the team do take on some notable activities. Rav attempts to do a bit of light investigation into Chuck’s operation. He attempts to start a conversation with a member of the mercenary group going by the first name of Jim, but Jim and the rest of his group prove to be quite secretive, and quickly find other things to do. Rav does a little snooping into the gym lockers, and finds some unmarked ID cards. However, he is unable to break the encryption on the cards. Kufo and Khuil head off to engineering to try and scavenge parts for Khuil’s theoretical feeding robot. Unfortunately, the duo find that engineering access has been denied to them, and the entrance remains closed.
The ship lands at a Brotherhood planet for the standard mid-journey refueling. With a couple of days on their hands, most of the party decides to stretch their legs on the planet. Hat decides to head directly to the local TAS hostel for some well-needed solitude, Challo and Lady Romanov decide to have a meal at a properly high-end restaurant, and the rest of the group decides to have a meal at a more reasonably-priced pub. Before the group splits up, Challo hands out his comm code to everyone else…without actually having to exchange codes personally with the party. Yes, Challo indeed has hacking skillz.
While the larger meal group is at their chosen pub, Rav notices that there appears to be a news article on the big screen covering the bombing on Athame. To his shock, pictures of Chuck (with his feet blocking his face in the picture), Khuil (in his custom body armor), and Hat (in his hat) are shown as persons wanted in connection to the bombing. Rav quickly gets his group to head towards Hat in the TAS hostel, picking up a coat for Khuil to wear over his armor along the way. Once safely in Hat’s room, Rav explains the situation. The group at the TAS, as well as Challo and Lady Romanov, receive a message from Chuck telling them that if they want to get off-planet using Chuck’s ship, they had better get on the ship now, as it is leaving NOW! Hat borrows Rav’s hoodie to cover up his most noticeable features on the way back to the ship.
Khuil, untrusting of Chuck’s true motives and actions given this latest development, wants some visible evidence that Chuck is still aboard the ship. Challo offers to hack the troopship’s camera feeds, using Khuil’s handcomp. Challo’s effort are rewarded with a pithy comment from Chuck as he prepares the ship for immediate department. Once the ship has left the planet and is safely away, Hat pulls Chuck aside to compare notes on the wanted terrorist feed. The primary point coming out of the conversation is the speed at which the news had to travel. Even a speedy news courier boat would not have been able to beat the troopship to the refueling world unless it was sent virtually at the time of the bombing. Chuck smells an elaborate set-up, and appears to be quite upset with the current situation.
The group gather together to consider their next plans. After some discussion, the team settles on a multi-tiered plan. The party will continue on to <insert name="true"> to investigate the disappearing ships as planned. The party will use a combination of Lady Romanov’s personal ship shares and on-planet work to acquire a yacht, which will give the group the ability to pursue the investigation off-planet without having to rely on Chuck. At the same time, the group is now aware from the wanted terrorist feed that a powerful and resourceful entity is shadowing it. The group will operate on the assumption that all of it’s activities are being observed. The group plans to set-up counter-intelligence activities against its mysterious opponent, and will start attempting to track the observation back to its source.
The team arrives on <insert name="true">. Once again, the news feed with the wanted message has traveled far too quickly, and is on this planet as well. Challo conducts electronic investigations of the nearby area, and finds that there are extra layers of electronic surveillance set-up within the spaceport. Working together, Phineas and Challo further investigate the surveillance, and find that there are two separate observations networks in place. The first network emanates from the spaceport admin building. The second centers on a small building a short distance away from the ship. Phineas and Challo discover that the second network appears to be incorporating Imperial Marine encryption codes. The party is left to consider what actions to taken, given the difficulty in making it out of the spaceport undetected.