What’s Mined is Mine (pt 1 & 2) – The game begins
So, the game begins. Our PCs, Hat, Ravanis Junei, and Xavier Pinbury are all either previously acquainted with each other during their service careers before this time, or have heard of at least some of the others – again, through things happening in their service careers. Xavier, not long after mustering out of the Scout Service, was approached by the Benthic Industrial Group (“High Pressure is our High Passion!”) to take on a mission to Gath, a world in the Dominion/Imperium neutral zone where he had some experience, to get Benthic’s mine operational again. Cameron Clark, the BIG representative, explained that the natives had simply gone on strike, refusing to work or to allow anyone else into the mines. Xavier took on the job, and began putting his team together…
Several weeks of advertisement and reference checks ensued, but finally Xavier was happy with his team. Two of his teammates would travel from this port with him, and the third, a paid interpreter and cultural expert, would be picked up en route to Gath. With BIG picking up the tab for a yacht trip to the frontier, and then providing transport from there to Gath, the group’s finances seem workable. At the appointed time, they boarded La Demoiselle Triste and headed into space.
As part of their journey aboard the yacht, they quickly realized that though it’s technically a yacht, actual “luxury” is a touch absent. Passenger services are provided nearly entirely by a small service-bot named Tolstoy, the crew is nearly never seen about in the passenger spaces – even having Tolstoy bring them their meals – and outside a game table and a larger table in the gathering area, there doesn’t seem to be much to do aboard the cramped quarters.
Travelling alongside the team were Sam Worthington and his companion Fiona Labrassa, an apparently well-to-do couple on a multi-year trip seeing the sights of the Imperium, and Jorge Rojas, a communications engineer for a terraforming conglomerate. The ship reached jump point without incident, and made the transition into jumpspace.
Tolstoy rapidly proved to be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, he provided warm food for the duration of the trip – though his endless repetition of his (apparently) one programmed question, “Chicken or fish?”, began to grate as the week went on. He was sufficiently functional, though, and a week later, the ship precipitated out of jumpspace and landed on its first stop, where more supplies, and new passengers, were boarded.
As the ship entered jumpspace a second time, the new arrivals – Samantha Edwards, another apparently rich traveller, Jake Calazim, a structural mining engineer for a rival firm, and Chuck Finley (the group’s cultural expert and translator) joined. At dinner, Samantha took one shuddering look at the “Chicken or fish” options and left for her room, while the remaining passengers got to know each other.
The next morning, the ship awakens to find Samantha making breakfast – no chicken or fish here, but excellent omlettes. Hat refuses to eat the food, operating on the principle that they can’t kill you if you starve to death first, but the remaining passengers enjoy the repast, though no-one is sure where the food came from. An excellent lunch and dinner follow, though there is some tension as Sam spends far more of his time chatting with a very flirty Samantha, rather than his traveling companion. The tension in the room is high, but in the end it is Jake who catches her eye, and the two of them exit before dessert – presumably for their own entertainment.
Less than fifteen minutes later, the ship lurches sharply, and power appears to fail, as lighting and gravity vanish. Restored shortly after, they reveal that the passenger gathering is in chaos. Several small injuries took place, and no-one is quite sure what happened.
Two of our party go to investigate – as they round the last corner in the corridor, they see that the door to one of the staterooms is blown open, with what appears to be part of Jake Calazim in the hallway. Investigation reveals that he was indeed killed in a localized, directional explosion in his room.
No trace of Samantha is ever found onboard after this.
The crew is small, and lacks the ability to investigate, so our party takes it upon themselves to do the task. Finagling their way down to the engineering deck by following Tolstoy, they arrive in Engineering itself to find the engineer buried in a control console, apparently working to fix a problem. Once the team speaks, however, he gets up and confronts them about their presence here.
Until he convulses and drops dead to the floor, electrocuted by Tolstoy, who has pulled a power conduit apart and applied the bare wires to his jumpsuit.
Yelling “Chicken or Fish?!?” Tolstoy advances on our party, only to be brought short by the relatively small lengths of conduit he has. His speed pulls his arms backward, the wires touch, and with a shower of sparks, Tolstoy’s head flies off into the console the engineer just vacated, leaving the sparking ends of the power conduit lying inches from his (now dead) pincers.
The group speaks briefly with the captain, and goes back to the passenger deck, where they perform a more detailed search of the cargo compartments, finding (under a false bottom in a cargo crate) what appears to be the original head of Tolstoy, and three data chips – one blue, one orange, and one red.
Several conversations with the Captain follow, and when the group disembarks on a border world, they take Jake’s luggage and equipment crate with them – and his body, thoughtfully wrapped by the captain for them and placed into the crate.
A short panic ensues – this is a major military planet for the Imperium, after all – but the characters are saved by an unusually savvy concierge at their hotel, Trevor Haebner, who whisks away the “bad food” for a fat tip.
Our group makes contact with the BIG Corporate ship they are taking to their destination, Gath, boards, and gets underway. Hat attempts to strike up conversation with the other passengers, but they are uncommunicative, treating him like an over-eager youngster until he finally retreats to his berth.