On to Hople…
Adventure Log: En Route
Fenris, in his head is doing handstands..not only did he buy it, but he’s giving me the floor!
Fenris, clasps his hand on Agent Tanner’s shoulder and starts: “Agent Tanner, we are merely travellers, but it is our honor..nay, our duty to shoulder the great responsibility you and your enforcers have!!”
To the Bar: “Ladies, Gentlemen..I know..some of you doubt the wisdom of the council, but look around you! your drinks are full, your lights are on, your future bright. Is this not what true progress is? Is this not the future?”
His voice rising, to Karlow: “You there..I don’t blame you..taking one of his appendages in hand, and showing it to Tanner, see? this is a simple problem we had with our help, friend Tanner! This..this poor soul! it looks as if he’s never worked a day in his life! He has not experienced the joy, the bliss of working with one’s hands!”
Jason sits dumbfounded and can´t help waiting for a fat, bald man in rimless glasses walking in. Might be a result of too many vaterland reels in his youth. “Enough, Fen. We can´t possibly afford to purchase slaves at our going expanses!”
He stands up and walks over to the gung ho N.E.W. works member and looks down on the Vargr on the floor. Then he glances at Tanner. “What´s the running rate of hiring such a dilettante and returning him…in a slightly used state?”
Jason stoops and grabs Karlow by the cheek bone and examines his fangs. “Might need to pull those out – to make sure it´s safe enough an enterprise.” He snickers and drops his grip on the Vargr. All the while holding Karlow´s face, Jason taps on Karlow´s chin. Three soft, three hard taps, repeatedly.
He looks Tanner straight on and raises an eyebrow as if asking the price.
Senior Enforcer Agent Tanner stops and raises his hand to have the other guards stop as well as Jason and Fenris approach. He listens to their introduction, compliments and offer to assist, looks them up and down. Suddenly a smile comes across his face and he turns fully to face Jason and Fenris.
Spreading his arms wide and drops a heavy hand on each of their shoulders. Still grinning, he speaks over their heads to the rest of the humans in the bar. “Now here is the attitude that the Ellscry craves from all of the superior race!”
Turning his attention back to Fenris and Jason, he says, “Gentlemen, thank you for seeing that the control over the vargr is a responsibility that we ALL should bear… and not leave it to just Enforcer squads.” He removes his hands from your shoulders and rubs them gleefully together, “tell me, what do you have in mind?”
Just when they’re about to leave the room, Kreios jumps up and quickly walks after them. And though his facial expression seems much more open, his eyes are still hard, and cold, as a chunk of metal in space, and one of his hands disappeared into his pocket, as if to restrain himself from physically assaulting the Enforcer. He manages to speak almost normal, though: “Agent Tanner? There’s something else… You’re saying that that Vargr tried organizing a ‘rebellion’. What if he succeeded? If they attacked you? Do you have equipment more… efficient than stunsticks?” He really seems tense about that ‘Vargr rebelling’ prospect, though maybe for other reasons than the Agent’d suspect. “I’m concerned what could happen if a smuggler ship tried to supply those Vargr with weapons. Even low quality guns can be a big force multiplier.”
Lauren finally relaxes once everyone else has left the bar, trusting that someone will remember to snag her a stunstick. In the meantime, she uses her time wisely, chatting up any vargr that will actually speak to her and politely declining Griff’s invitations to talk, explaining that she’s not here to deal in rum, sadly.
As Jason, Kreios and Fenris talk with Agent Tanner he does backoff a bit on his free tongue (time for some skill checks. Please make a CAROUSE check, DECEPTION check, DIPLOMAT, PERSUADE or STREETWISE. Combined among the three of you, 3 of these 5 need to be passed to get Agent Tanner to talk about rebellions.
Sarah asks around about medical supplies (as she needs to buy some more stimpacks).
Centrax stays with Sarah, as the two are becoming close friends
Agent Tanner sizes listens to your questions and comments about rebellion and weapons and thoughtfully says, “Indeed, if smugglers brought any type of weapons to the vargr who are planning a rebellion that would create a serious issue. The enforcers only have stunsticks as weapons on this planet are strictly forbidden. For years, stunsticks were all we needed to control uppity vargr. Here and there over the years a small group of vargr will cause a stir and refuse to work or go on a hunger strike. There has never been a real rebellion — particularly not with weapons. Karlow has been very vocal over the past weeks, actively recruiting vargr and some humans to support his petition for rights,” he pats his chest where the petition is tucked. “This time we are concerned that he has a significant number of vargr poised to resort to violence.”
Karlow says, “That is a complete lie….!”
But before he can finish his sentence, one of the guards jabs a stunstick into the middle of back drawing a sickening scream from Karlow who falls again to the ground in agony trying to escape the stunstick.
“Silence!” yells Agent Tanner.
Turning back to you he says, “You have you work cut out on this one. I have the names of those he has recruited for the rebellion and we will be rounding them up. If you can get more names out of please do so. It is important to pull this weed up by the full roots.”
At this point you are at the station.
Agent Tanner has you complete some paperwork agreeing to take custody of Karlow and his wife and two children. The bond is 50,000 credits per person or 200,000 credits. If you do not return the prisoners within 2 weeks you will lose your bond. Agent Tanner says, “Here are three stunsticks,” he hands three to Jason. “To you, simply touch flesh and push the button. Usually 2-3 seconds is enough to drop a vargr to their knees. 5-10 seconds will knock them out for 30 seconds. If you apply over 20 seconds it can kill a vargr. Employ your methods to correct his attitude and if you can gain more names that are linked to the rebellion. Any questions before I release his family from the cell?”
“What condition does he need to be in to retrieve our bond? Other than obedient, that is.” smiles Magnus as he looks down at Karlow.
“I won’t break him if I have to buy him after he’s broken.” he laughs.
When the Vargr is hit by the stunstick, Kreios visibly stiffens. Still, he keeps his composure.
When handed the stunsticks, he adds: “I see. Can we get another one of those? A friend of ours stayed behind to watch over our vehicle, and couldn’t come with us.” He tilts his head: “Actually… what are the effects on humans? I wouldn’t want that stunstick if it could kill me in a second or so, you understand?”
“Agent Tanner, an idea before you release….them. might I suggest holding off on the round-up a week? Let me explain, from what I saw in the bar, there are a few soft humans, who have sympathy for these creatures.”
“It would not be a stretch for me to see one or two traitors notify the rebellion, and before you know it, they’ve gone to ground, like a dandelion, not getting all the plant allows it to take root once more.”
“If I may be so bold, if we might have a copy of the list? The rebels may be looking for you, but they’d never expect a freighter crew! We can double check this cur’s information (looking at Karlow) while we complete our tasks here, so when we bring his heeled family back to your benevolent care, then you can quietly sweep up the whole rebellion in one simple sweep!”
“Thing is, they’ll be looking for your activity now. So you go in a different direction..lull the rebels into a false sense of security..then..(pounds his hand into his fist) you drop the net!”
“That is an excellent idea!” exclaims Agent Tanner, who heads to a copy device and makes a copy of the petition. “This will allow you to see if you get any more names out of him that aren’t on this list.”
“yes, yes, here take another stunstick. Is 4 enough?” Agent Tanner says in response to the request for another stunstick.
“The effect of stunsticks have the same effects on humans except that they don’t require quite as much time …. its the fur that actually helps them absorb some of the shock.”
Looking at Magnus Agent Tanner laughs, “I don’t care what condition you bring him back in…. of course Ellscry Council would prefer that he be still able to work, but honestly, I would rather have more information and names then him.”
He continues talking to Magnus and notices Kreios stiffen and says to Jason, “Your friend there have the stomach for this?”
“As you see, we have a whole cabinet of skill sets with us. Why beat up the small fry when you can make the entire populous tremble at what might happen?” Jason smiles at Tanner.
“Don’t care about the entire populace,” rumbles Magnus, smiling at Kreios’ departing figure as he addresses Tanner, Jason, and Fenris, “just the ones I can reach. Speaking of which, I could ‘school’ two at a time. Got two hands after all. Hand me another stunstick, would you?”
(OOC, if I get where we’re going with this as N.E.W., the Vargr will benefit from an extra stick or two…)
“Here,” says Agent Tanner, as he hands you one more stunstick. “I will need you to sign this log here and provide your Universal IDs so I can track this equipment,” he hands you log book and collects your IDs so he can make copies.
After he copies your papers he asks for the bond. [I assume you are paying the 200,000 credit bond].
Agent Tanner waves his hand towards one of the other agents, who goes to the holding tank and retrieves his family. A small female Varg, with two very small vargs clinging to either leg, with little faces, peaking out, eyes wide with terror, is escorted out at stunstick point by one of the agents. When the two children varg see Karlow they rush forward, “Daddy! Daddy!” They rush forward trying to hug him, but his arms are restrained behind his back. As the kids crash into him, hitting his stomach, he groans in pain and tries to fight through the pain and says “Caillen and Ferson are you ok? Did they hurt you? I love you!” He tries to nuzzle them with his head as his arms can’t embrace the childern. “Dad, we are fine… we missed you! It is scary here!” They start crying. Satisfied the kids aren’t really hurt, Karlow’s eyes shift to the female varg. “Jillen, are you ok? Did they hurt you?”
Jillen rushes forward and wraps her arms around Karlow’s neck and kisses him, her eyes search him looking for wounds and she cries outloud as she sees the dried blood on his face and his damaged eye. “Oh Karlow…… what have they done to you?”
Agent Tanner nudges Jason, “Don’t be fooled by this crap, they are dangerous.” He turns towards the kids and pulls out a stunstick, flicking the stick on he walks towards the family.
Fenris intercepts Tanner, smiling brightly.
“Friend Tanner! No need! You and your men have so much on your plate..save your energy for a bigger moment..allow me..”
Powering up the stunstick, Fenris walks over to Karlow, kneeling down over the Vargr, Fenris speaks softly, but very forcefully, making sure Karlow understands each word.
“Karlow, is it? I need you to listen very carefully. You, and your family are now working for myself, and our associates. This is very simple. You, and your family do as your told, quickly, respectfully, and efficiently, you’ll have no problem. In return for your obedience, not only will we allow you to bask in the glory of the Superior, we will show you how to be an model example not only for the council, but for all Vargr.”
“Now, I need you to listen to me. See these men? (gesturing to Jason and Magnus), if you..or your family don’t do exactly what we say, when we say it, well…(casually playing with the stunstick) there will be difficulties. And we don’t want difficulties ,do we?”
As Fenris says these last few words, he turns and looks at Karlow’s family with an empty, dead stare.
“Well, you’re all going to have lots of hard, hard work ahead, so we’d better get a look at you all, make sure there’s no unseen damage, so come,come now! Line up! that’s it, Husband, wife next to him..kids right there..good, good..now..we’re going to walk out of here, (gestures to Karlow), when we reach the door, you will open it. we will walk through, you will follow,at a respectable distance. is that understood?”
Turning towards Magnus, “keep an eye on the rear, in case we got ourselves any rabbits.”
“And, we’re off!”
“Love me some Rabbits.” says Magnus with a tight smile, “Run, Rabbit, Run!”
As the group files out, he waits, and with a nod to Tanner, is the last to depart.
Agent Tanner stops his walking as Fenris takes control of the family. A smile comes across his face as he watches the kids, snifling and crying obey Fenris’ commands. Karlow gives his wife a strong firm look but says nothing. The obey Fenris’ commands.
[Please deduct the 200,000 from your balance sheet]
You march them out the door and as Magnus leaves Agent Tanner says “I will comm you tomorrow to see how things are going. Good luck and get me some more names.”
With that, you march the family down the street and away from the station.
It is now 11pm.
Once you are a few blocks away, Karlow says, “I don’t know what your game is, but thank you for stopping Agent Tanner from using the stunstick on my children.”
“Daddy, I’m scarred and tired.” says the older of the children.
“I’m hungry,” says the younger one.
Having learned nothing except that she isn’t going to learn anything further, Lauren steps out into the street just in time to meet Kreios’ return. “So how are our Nenson, Deely, and Triner doing?”
(Before Fenris even speaks, he, Magnus and Jason check both themselves and the wife and children for audio/video bugs, and ask them if the enforcers placed anything on their person. Only once he’s convinced everyone is clean will he speak)
Fenris, always looking around to make sure no one is watching, turns over his shoulder and speaks to Karlow:
“Well, Mr. Karlow, I have many games, one of my favorite is betting on a rousing game of Goekh Engravuenda! [OOC:http://www.freelancetraveller.com/features/culture/games/battlebikes.html for any travellers interested on reading up], but I digress.”
“First of all, my game is to keep you and your family together, along with keeping your brains from being scrambled by the enforcers.”
“The second? my friends and I don’t like Tanner, nor his flying monkeys known as enforcers, so we’re going to help you Vargr overthrow the council’s apple cart.”
“We are here to locate our Starship, and we will need your help to find her, the more eyes looking, the faster we can get her space-worthy.”
“Now, we have some problems, most noticeably, getting you Vargr organized. You’ll need to help us on that, because you all have the numbers, but If my Vargr history is correct, it’s a matter of authority and respect, right? So you”ll have to fill us in on how this situation got started in the first place."
“The pressing time problem, we bought the names on this list (shows Karlow a copy of his petition) maybe one week, depends on how much Tanner trusts us. I wouldn’t bet on the full week.
So we have to warn them, without giving ourselves away.”
“Tanner expects some more names, so we have to give him some to wet his whistle. See, arrogant guys like him believe in themselves a bit too much, and can manipulated by stroking their egos, mostly by believing in their cause.”
“Karlow, Tanner expects you and your family to be model Vargr. If you all are not fully committed to this, then this plan has no hope of success. So we need your help as much as you need ours.”
“But we can figure out the details in the morning. The kids look beat, and I heard something about hungry? plus, you look like hell. Luckily, we have a top notch medic with us to look you over.”
“So we need lodging, and you need to tell us everything about the relationship between humans and Vargr here. We have to pretend out this whole “Master and Servant” spiel, otherwise people will start asking questions."
Jason winks at Karlow and barks, “KNEEL, when spoken to!!” He pushes the Vargr leader down by the shoulders and hisses close to his left ear. “I know well of your pride, Karlow. As with all people, you must have some bad seeds in your folds. Right? We can give them an opportunity to redeem themselves. To stand united, no matter what has happened before is a sign of a true leader. When this uprising is over, you will live alongside the Humanti, with no grudge and no difference in social standing.
We have by entering this endeavor purchased your freedom. But four free Vargr is a poor start. We don´t intend to return you or your family to the enslavement of the council.
As per this document you are as free as any Humanti on this world.
And as a free citizen, you will be perfect as spokesperson for the Vargr community."
He pulls a file from the Empire Rights Treaty and prints a set of documents from his tap board.
“These will be the outline for your papers. I need dual signatures on these documents and then they can be sent on the next x-boat to Regina.” He looks at Fenris, Magnus, Lars and Kreios. “That is, if this is along the lines of my fellow conspirators?”
He signals to Karlow to stand up again and leads the way to The Autumn Gold.
Kreios greets Lauren, then looks puzzled: “Our what? You mean the rest of us? They’re getting the family out, now. 200k bond.” He spends a few minutes getting her up to date, while walking towards the now released family and the group, getting there just after Fenris finished searching them. He listens to both Fenris and Jason, chiming in just after Jason’s question: “I concur. It is a start, at least. But, the question remains: how can we restore something like normal order here?” He pauses, looks around.
“Far as I see, we’ve got two possibilities: First, we can – with your help, Karlow – rally the Vargr on this planet. United, that ’council’’d probably give you what you want. There are nearly 30 Vargr per human, and at least as far as we know, all they have is stun sticks. So even with only ten percent of your people joining, we’d have a shot at a non-peaceful resolution.” He points a ‘two’ with his hand.
“Now, the other one is slightly more complicated. We find the ship we’re searching, travel offworld, get you some… slightly more effective means to pursue your targets, namely firearms, and you can then again negotiate.”
He shakes his head: “Not sure about all of this…we could also find the ship, load our weapons on it, then head out and sneak back. Less weaponry – basically just what we’d each have, but that should be a power multiplier nonetheless. Would allow us some guerilla ops. And, maybe we could also find some weapons on board… if the former crew really were mostly ex-Marines, that might be a possibility indeed.” He stops walking, his head slightly turned “Of course. Paranoia. That’s exactly what we’d need here. Jason, can we fabricate proof for one of the higher-ups to be in league with the Vargr revolution, plus about ten to twenty unidentified ones? Let them fight each oth…” He stops talking, turns towards Karlow, and says: “I’m sorry for talking so much. You must all be hungry and shaken from that experience just now. I’ll stop talking until tomorrow.”
Magnus nods at Kreios’ words “yes. Let’s get them fed. Then we can figure out the best plan. I know Vargr are good in close combat and I doubt the natives have any firearms training so maybe option one might be best?”
[Assuming that you take Karlow and his family back to your hotel the following happens.]
Your inspection of bugs on the family reveals none. They are wearing poor-quality clothing and have nothing of any value on them. All your scans and visual inspections reveal no bugs of any kind.
Karlow nods and complies with the requests as you continue your “act” on the way to the hotel just in case any of the enforce agents are watching or following.
As you proceed through the streets at this late hour you see no other street traffic. You also do not detect anyone following you.
Karlow’s wife is most appreciate to you all but keeps mumbling to herself “don’t trust…. don’t trust…”
Karlow shushes her and says to you, once you are safely in the hotel and Sarah and Centrix are tending to the children, “Friends, thank you for saving my family and for stepping in to save me. I suspect that absent your intervention, I would be dead right now. Alas, there is no rebellion…yet. There are no names for me to give. I have been trying to organize a peaceful petition.”
“There is much for me to explain, but let me get my family in bed first,” says Karlow. Thanking Sarah and Centrix, Karlow helps his wife get the kids in some make-shift sleeping bags on the floor in the sleeping room ( you are in the sitting room). His wive thanks you all again and goes into the room with the children and lies down.
Satisfied that they are resting, Karlow sits down with you all in the sitting room of the suite at the hotel. “Walston’s has been the home of Vargr for over 25 years after a colony ship with about 600 vargr landed here during the Fourth Frontier War of 1082-1084 (is is 1105 today). At the time, Walston was uninhabited and we learned to farm to survive. Because of the atmosphere we were limited to what we could grow, and found that sugarcane thrived. Now humans can’t eat sugarcane, although you can suck out the sugar, but vargr have stronger jaws and can eat the stalks as well and it is quite nutritious. Being the only inhabitants of the planet, we were a peaceful society, although extremely primitive. We grew to adapt to the thin atmosphere and unlike humans, we do not have to wear the filters….. we can live in the atmosphere fine.”
He takes a drink of water, “About 5 years after we first landed, stranded is a better word, all of the vargr lived in Salbarii, on the western shore of this main island. A group of Imperial scouts landed and were accompanied by imperial colonists. These colonists had technology that far exceeded ours and many while friendly certainly looked down on us. We welcomed them as co-inhabitants, not knowing that their purposes for coming were purely economic. Once they discovered the sugarcane, they quickly drew up plans to convert our farming operations into distilleries to manufacturer and export Walston Rum. The vargr on Walston at that time, and I guess still to some extent today, are a simple people. The imperialists assumed the positions of power and leadership and we submissively agreed to labor for them by harvesting the sugarcane and working in the distilleries. What they gave us was a better life. We lived in extreme poverty and technology level 2 (OOC: Think early America 1500s) and welcomed their wonderful technology of electricity and communications. The humans organized varies expansions colonies on Walston and spread the vargr out to three other communities, primarily to grow and produce more Walston Rum. The Ellscry Council is group of humans, with royal connections to the Sub-sector Duke and live in a large palace in Hople. No vargr are allowed in Hople and my hope was that since Vargr are the original inhabitants of the planet, the main working force and the majority of the population, we should have representation on the ruling council.”
“The humans are not cruel to us, at least most aren’t but they do not respect us and do not value our input or opinions. They view us as inferior because we were so primitive when they found us.”
“Most vargr are content with their lives working with the sugarcane. We have always been farmers so regardless of whether the Imperials asked us to make rum or not, we would still be working the fields. Many vargr view the trade of technology for labor in the distilleries to be a fair trade. There have only been two uprisings, if you will, that lead to violence. Both were small and a number of years ago. I don’t understand Agent Tanner’s witch-hunt mentality. He is also one of the more violent enforcers. In the past, most enforcers never had to use stunsticks… most issues were solved with words and that was what I intend to do. I need to get to Hople and insist that the Ellscry Council add vargr representation. What we want is really very simple.. a voice in how we are governed and property rights. We want to be able to own homes and vehicles. We have no intention of NOT working the fields, like I said, that is wh o the Walston Vargr are…. we are farmers.”
Lauren’s going to speak up. “I like the idea. If the Council isn’t filled with Vargr haters, it might even work.” She pauses, and looks at Karlow. “Is it? Consider your answer carefully, because if we go there and they are, it’s going to be your head and your family’s, not ours.”
“I’m sorry, Karlow, I misinterpreted the Vargr’s situation; mainly from Tanner and someone at the spaceport.” He looks at Karlow: “I agree, from how you’re describing it appealing to the council really seems to be the better alternative. I’d, of course, advise you to insist on basically equal rights.” He takes a sip of his prepared tea, and adds: “The possibilities here… do you know that the Darrian Confederancy resulted from a comparable event? A few settlers with higher technology, and people with lower… Of course,”, he smiles, “There are some differences. And it’s probably the wrong time for a history lesson.”
Karlow says, “I can’t travel to Hople so I can’t take my petition. By the way do you have it?”
[please make an ADVOCATE roll to review the language of the petition. Also please make an INVESTIGATE roll if you read the petition.]
Neither Advocate nor Investigate, so a defaulting to Intelligence for both, I think. So, -3 to both, and +2 for int, resulting in -1 to the dice rolls.
Kreios nods to Karlow. “I see. We’ve got it somewhere here, I think Magnus or Fenris got it. How do you plan on getting to the Council?”
As Magnus finds the petition in his possession, Kreios takes it and reviews it. You read Karlows statements about equal rights, and whatnot at the top of the petition and it doesn’t read very smoothly for you. Perhaps someone with more experience (i.e. ADVOCATE skill) would be able to determine if these demands are well written and persuasive. Your eyes happen to scan the names that signed the petition. You don’t recognize them at all, except, wait… two of those names seem familiar… the scribbled handwriting make it hard to read… but, yes…. you think four of the 30+ signers were ….
Captain Atley Mohrong (Captain of the Maverick)
Darris Blaidon (medic on the Maverick)
Slash Santaro (engineer of the Maverick)
Ford Halycon (pilot of the Maverick)
As you are reading the petition, Karlow says, “I honestly hadn’t figured how I was going to get the petition to the Ellscry Council.” He pauses, looks deeply into his drink and says, “would you be able to take the petition?” Before you can even answer he adds, “I’m sorry… I shouldn’t even have asked that. Please forget my request.”
(OOC Magnus has Admin, otherwise it’s out of his league.)
Magnus claps Karlow on the back, almost knocking him over, “I can only speak for myself, but I’d be willing to go. If the attempt fails though, you might want to consider an alternative.” he says, as he hefts a Stunstick. “In my humble opinion, the proponents of hate, like Tanner, can take control surprisingly quickly under the wrong circumstances, and you need to be ready for such an eventuality; even to the point of pre-empting it.”
[OOC: Back from a mind cleansing spa weekend, reviewing earlier posts]
Fenris checks the petition using his INVESTIGATE skill
+1 for skill for a total of 8
Scanning down and seeing the crew names he pipes up: “Folks, did any one else notice that a good chunk of Maverick’s crew signed this petition?” “Walking over to Karlow, Karlow, do you recall these humans? pointing towards the signatures, they caused a lot of trouble here, but anything you may remember about them would be helpful towards us finding our vessel.”
Looking at Lauren and Kreios, “Hmmm..getting the council’s pulse might be the way to go. like Lauren mentioned, going to the council without knowing what they have to gain or lose from this petition is a fool’s errand.”
“I grew up, in a way, in sector court politics. I’d like to suggest I go along. Finding out who the council staff is, then finding out how each one may vote, and how each one is and may be influenced is a lot safer for Karlow and his family.”
Grinning wickedly to Jason and Magnus: “Wanna go steal a council?” But before they answer, his face brightens and he says: “I’ve got an idea..be right back!!”
And with that he turns and hurries out the hotel room door.
[OOC to Lorennia: btw the way, I got that Nenson, Deely, and Triner reference..lol..so who’s who?]
Karlow thanks Magnus for agreeing to present to the Ellscry Council.
Karlow looks at the petition and says “yes, I remember these humans. They were very interested in what the petition. In fact they were eager to sign the petition. I do remember them as being quite rude to the humans on this planet… they were very upset with the conditions here and were very upset with Vargr not being able to buy property. They tried to sell me a large cache of weapons to “assist”, as they put it, in my revolution. I kept telling them that it was not a revolution but instead a peaceful petition. They got Agent Tanner all worked up. They also visited the Ellscry Council while they were here but would not take my petition. They were very strong willed and were trying to force me to move to violence to accomplish my goals of equal rights.”
[OOC to Marc: No idea. Honestly I was just hoping someone else had read my favorite book, LOL.]
Lauren nods. “That sounds just like the guys we were warned about. Good thing you didn’t take their ‘help’, or we would have landed in a ghost town.”
“I’m sorry, Karlow,”, Kreios bows slightly, “for nearly falling for the same misconception those people fell, and thank you for pointing it out.” He looks around: “What we first need, is to establish what the council itself wants. Karlow, from what you told us, they seem to be mostly profit-oriented, and not anti-Vargr. So if we can make it clear to them that they’d profit more from free Vargr, we may have already won.”
Once Fenris completes his task, he returns back to the hotel, and gets caught up from Kreios.
Fenris playfully elbows Kreios in the ribs, “I basically just said the same thing before I took off”, he chuckles.
“So, those idiots from Maverick got Tanner so worked up about a potential uprising that he went even further off the deep end and wants to quell a rebellion that doesn’t exist.”
“Okay, we can help with that, but we may have to split up. a few of us should head to Hople to dive into the council and work with them to see the benefit of having a free and equal Vargr society on board. The rum production should be a good reference.”
“Karlow, so the Vargr here are an agrarian society. Got that. are there any other goods the Vargr provide or generate to the humans in exchange besides that most excellent rum? We want to have as many examples as possible to leverage the council with.”
“The rest should work with Karlow and his family to help locate Maverick. In a perfect world we should be able to accomplish both tasks before the end of the week. The we’ll have to deal with Tanner…”
Fenris sighs, a smile still on his face.
“One of these days, I’d love to find a simple, normal planet. Offload cargo..Load cargo..play a few cards, have a drink or two..I mean really? what’s with the ‘planetary villains of the week’ we keep running into?”
Karlow thinks for a moment and begins pacing back and forth, suddenly he excitedly raises a finger in the air, “Yes, there might be something that Ellscry doesn’t know about yet. Something that they might value and haven’t focused on…. diamonds! In the mountains, vargr found, high in the mountains a number of years ago caves that held gems… diamonds. The mountains are full of deep crevices that provided evidence of deep diamond veins. Only the vargr found them as the location is nearly impossible for humans, no offense, to climb to. Vargr are very strong and have agility and flexibility and our ability to function in this thin environment without filters allowed us to find these difficult spots. Is that helpful?”
A long pause…then a small smile begins to crease across Fenris’ face. The smile begins to deepen and curl over his teeth, pulling his mouth upwards.
“Karlow, my good Vargr, You just freed your people.”
“Diamonds as a trade commodity..hmm..” Fenris take a look at his data-comp..“Let’s see..we’re at Walston..10 parsecs to Glisten..that’s a major hub on the mains, they’d move like hotcakes there…4 parsecs back to Flammarion..”
He turn to Jason, “J, what’s the going rate on uncut diamonds, per ton?”
Then Fenris turns back to Karlow, “Karlow, you Vargr have an excellent bargaining chip now. Diamonds have a very high value on both rich and industrial worlds. The rich worlds for the beauty and class status, the industrial worlds for their hardness and use in mining.”
“The Ellscry may want to soften their stance on things, but we’re going to hold that card until we need it. I’d like to think of that knowledge as a reward for changing their wicked ways.”
“But it would be nearly impossible to get the diamonds they are deep in the mountains with no roads. I talked to Captain Mohrong about that and even he said that would be impossible to harvest easily,” says Karlow
Lauren laughs outright. “I’m with Fenris on this one. I’m sure they’ll come up with something. Besides, diamonds aren’t quite common enough to make minor difficulties like the ones you’re describing an obstacle.”
Kreios whistles: “Diamonds, Karlow, Diamonds. I agree with Fenris. They’re an excellent bargaining chip. And quite reachable, I think, as you can probably easily use grav vehicles to transport them. But it is even better that way, because they require, absolutely require, Vargr to mine them. That isn’t a bargaining chip – that’s a whole bargaining planet!” He smiles: “I agree, though, that we should keep it as an ace in our sleeve.”
Jason reads through the document and considers the phrasing and syntax of demands and clauses.
Several times, he says “Huh?” Meaning either that he doesn´t comprehend the meaning or that he totally disagrees with a point of the petition. Listening in on the trading debate, he mutters from memory. “45K pro ton. On average load 12 tons for 540K. That would make it twice as profitable as the rum-runds. We have to factor in that this creates ample job interests for the planet. More people more revenue on tourism and such things. Not only the raw produce but the buzz of diamonds will create ripples.”
He looks at Karlow. “You are truly sitting on a gem, here. Sorry for thinking of it as a rock. But that´s what you see when you get here. And you are surely caught between a rock and a hard place, but that´s your salvation as well. Now, we need to do something about the wording of that petition of yours. Centrax?”
Forgery estimate on how well the document will pass as an official document: 18
Centrax having INT+3, EDU+2 and DIPLOMAT +1 would be best suited to rephrase the document using Jason´s tap-board and printer. Rolling DIPLOMAT: 23
Sarah pipes in, “Gentlemen, do you forget about my experience with Regina Minster of Commerce Quentin Wight. I heard many a speech and petition during my time and I am sure that Centrix and I can re-word this document to offer a more meaningful and opportunistic petition. Centrix and I shall lets get to work.”
Centrix nods, and two head move to a writing table in the hotel suite to rework the petition.
Karlow says, “When are you going to go to Hople? Will you be back in a week? I am worried about what Agent Tanner will if I am not,” he makes quotes in the air with his fur covered hands, which amuses you, “re-educated”.
“We’ll be back in time, don’t worry.” Magnus says reassuringly.
(OOC Magnus is busy as Navigator pouring over maps to determine the fastest route overland. I assume we’re taking the ATV? Is aerial travel to Hople available?)
The next morning, you all awake by 6am, mostly because Karlow’s kids are loud and full of energy.
Karlow asks, “since you have “bought” us for a week, what shall we do with our time? Normally I would be heading to the sugarcane fields and my wife would be home in our apartment with the kids. May we go back to our apartment to get a few things? What shall we do?”
Magnus gives Karlow a warm smile, “As far as I’m concerned, your family can do what they like!” turning to Karlow’s wife,“Just always have an imaginary, but plausible, errand that we would’ve given you ready as an excuse for why you’re out and about if you’re stopped.”
Magnus turns back to Karlow, “Maybe you should come with us to help present the Vargr case though?”
“I agree”, Kreios adds. “However, it might be best to either find a very plausible explanation for you to stay behind, or to come with us once we get on that train. Now… about that train ride, and the city itself. D’you think it’d be best if we separate the team? Part using the ATV to search for the ship, part helping the Vargr case?”
Fenris playfully elbows Kreios in the ribs “Like I didn’t say that last night either, but I agree..it’s a better use of resources, plus we need something to hammer Tanner with before the end of the week, and I’d feel better with the kids under Shadow’s watch (looking at Lars).”
“Karlow, I’d prefer if you and your family stay with us, I would not be surprised if Tanner sent someone to watch you and us, looking for rebels.”
“Why don’t you all figure out a group to go to Hople and a team to search for Maverick? Karlow, you could really help us with our search. You and your friends can help us backtrack as to where they may have left the..shi..”
“Karlow, are we the only one’s you’ve told about the diamond veins in passing?” “I was just wondering as to why the crew would depart via other means of transportation besides Maverick, unless repairs were too costly, or they ended up in the soup and had to leave planet in a hurry.”
“Anyway, while I mull that over, I’l check into train departure times. There should be a couple of trains departing in the morning.”
“Karlow, please bring us up to date on protocol between humans and Vargr. we have to sell the idea that you and your family are beginning to be transformed into docile, well heeled Vargr. As well make sure any patrols buy the idea as well.”
“The ATV will be useful. Maybe take the family to their apartment to grab clothing and toys for the week.”
Kreios commented on the forum post:
Adventure Log: En Route
“Yes, let’s see. I’d say we take Lauren; you, Fenris and myself to search the ship, Magnus, too. We can, at least in theory, evaluate the ship’s status. Jason, you can get the best results in the city, I think, together with Centrax and Sarah.” He looks around: “Other ideas?”
And here is where we are!
“Sounds good to me. I can check the sensors and the astrogation systems. I might also be able to access the cached plots to recreate the ship’s movements after it entered the system.” Says Magnus.
Lauren sighs. “I would so like to have my gun on me for this. I don’t like the situation one bit.” She shrugs. “Well, anyway, sure I’m up for a bit of digging when it comes to the ship.”
Magnus pats his tool bag. “Well, I still have my prison shotgun, plus the three HEAP shells I hid on the ATV. If trouble starts, I’ll give it to you. It’s pretty short range and needs to be reloaded after each shot, but you’re a better shot than I. Plus, I’m not so bad with a Blade or a Stunstick.”
Prison Shotgun A simple device consisting of two overlapping pieces of pipe with a shotgun shell in the middle and a screw for a firing pin. Range as per a Pistol, inherently inaccurate with a – 2 DM. Reloading requires a Major action. Damage 5d6 + 5, AP, using HEAP 12ga ammunition.
Lauren grins. “Thanks.”
Fenris smacks his head: “I almost forgot! we all need to go to Hople anyway! remember what the Port Supervisor mentioned? the satellite records are in Hople. The easiest way to find her is to backtrack the records and find out where and when Walston control lost contact with Maverick.”
“Tell you what, I’m going to head back to the port and see if I can get any more information out of the port super regarding what office will hold that information. Jason, can you book us tickets on the Train to Hople, Including Karlow and his family? Kreios, can you and Lars run Karlow and their family over to their apartment to get their things, and we’ll all meet up at the train station?”
“I’m still trying to figure out Mavericks crew, and that cache of weapons they mentioned to Karlow, plus why the shuffled off this planet so quickly. But a relaxing train ride might unclog my synapses.”
“I’m not sure, Fenris. While we certainly need someone at Hope, we may find Maverick quicker if some of us stay on this side of the mountains. But,”, he smiles, “I don’t have any experience with this kind of thing. But I can definitely get them to their apartments. Lauren, you coming with me?” He turns around and faces Karlow: “Can you and your wife just tell me what you’ll probably need? Just so I know what big a bag I need.”
Jason logs on to the intraweb of Startown and books sufficient seating on the next train to Hople.
“Done” , he says and pulls up a map over Walston with grids on the tap board. “I don´t mind either way. I guess I´d prefer staying on this side, though. I´d like to check up on some things here. I still think Fesh is hiding something.”
OOC: Scuse the pause, I´m in the middle of moving my Antartica 1983 campaign to a forum at PLAY@YSDC. That and preparing Montana´s other game for launch here. So, bear with me.
[OOC: serious deja vu moment with those last few posts, hand a dream where this happened]
“Okay, two teams then. I’ll go with Centrax and Sarah to the council and locate the sat records. Kreios, Lauren, Jason and Magnus, you all take Karlow’s family and investigate from this end. As soon as I get any updates, I’ll comm, if I have the range.”
“J, I think you should follow your instincts and press Ms. Fesh to see if she is hiding anything.”
“Magnus, you and Lauren are the “Sword and Shield” on Karlow and his family. Keep your eyes open.
Fenris gestures to Sarah and Centrix; “We should head out. the faster we can get this side done, the faster we can find Maverick and give the Vargr’s what they want.”
And to Karlow: “Just so you know, I’m recommending you for one of the spots on the council, so you’d better get ready to put on your big Vargr pants, ‘cause you’re gonna have a lot on your plate!”
Sarah gets her bag with meds and a knife. Centrix moves up to the humans and reflects “This is quite abnormal to you humans, being the minority as here on Walston?” Two of his stalks wriggle back and forth. Fenris and his two traveling companions reach the station at 5:45, a quarter prior to the scheduled departure.
When they enter, Sarah asks, “Where do you think the ship is, Fen?”
Back at the ATV having gotten it out of quarantine holding early this morning, Jason holds the door to the Vargr family and the remaining N.E.W. team. “We have twenty-four hours to spend before we can expect Fen to arrive back as the trip there is ten hours. We should figure out where to search first.”
OOC: I only found a small thumb of the map. Did a reworking of the locales and added the railway.
Hopefully it will suffice for us.
“Right”, Kreios says, “I’d vote for trying to stay here, mostly. Make a sweep around Startown, and not get too far away from here. Ten hour trip, let’s say 12 hours till Fenris comms us with the satellite records. So we make a bit sweep for the next 10 hours, one that’ll allow us to get here for the next train to Hople, or wherever necessary. Depending on what Fenris finds out, of course.”
“Sounds good to me.” Says Magnus as he hands Lars the tool bag. “I’ll drive and navigate if you like?”
(OOC in case I forgot to say it before – Thanks Dave for this!!!!)
(OOC: Seconded! Now, if I remember correctly (which I probably don’t), Corelli was going to help us out with a scan for Maverick as she left. Of course, I could be making this up.)
Lauren holds the tool bag and keeps her stunner within reach as everyone else piles in.
Startown train station-
Upon getting to the station, Fenris, Sarah and Centrix find themselves being the only humans except two guards watching Vargr commuters board a three car train set. The train is of a mono rail mag-variant. Fenris is asked to show his credentials by one of the guards who scans his ID.
It beeps in approval and the three humans are let inside the train car. From the landing the train looks quite crowded. On the station itself there are about twenty Vargr doing maintenance on buildings and making sure everything is in top shape. A group of four Vargr carrying weeders, a kind of flame thrower with purpose to burn weed, work at burning brushery threatening to come to close to the rail.
Karlow enters the ATV after his family has borded. “Isn´t anyone staying here to brief the police?” He looks at the people who presumably is helping him. Jason check his messages on the tap-board. “We have a scan from Correlli.” He reads the message and activates a projector at the top of the board and a flickering image appears on the wall of the ATV. Curved and angled by the interior, but fully discernible. It shows a tabel of data and twelve markers on the world map. “Those areas have a high density of metal comparable to the mass of the Maverick.”
Two of the areas are within the mountain range, dividing the continent in two.
Three of them are in the island area north west of the main land.
The remaining seven are scattered over the ocean in an erratic pattern running all around the globe. “Closest to our location are those three.” He indicates the island areas.
(I need a perception check from everyone around the ATV, thank you.)
At the train station-
Sarah watches all the people crowding the train. “I wonder if there is a stop on the way… Imagine traveling ten hours to work – and back. I guess they work over several shifts.”
(I´d like perception checks from Fenris as well.)
The map is updated with locations.
(My photobucket just died… Uses PLAY as repository for uploads as Obisidian has limited storage.)
At the controls, Magnus feels uplifted at the driver´s seat. Raring to have the ATV for a spin.
For perception, do you mean Recon or something else? Either way my basic roll was a 10 (with Recon that’s a 13).
(Recon works fine, I was thinking of a basic roll. On a 12 or more someone might be aware of something. As the recon was a success we go with that.)
Surveying the busy morning rush, Lars is amazed at the discipline of the Vargr. Rows of workers heading to their places of work. When watching after Fenris, Sarah and Centrix, she sees a group of Vargr hurry after the visitors towards the train. It´s five of them, all dressed in earth colours. They wear tanned caps and walk with intent and purpose, much unlike the other Vargr. When the N.E.W. team enter the train, the Vargr group gets on in the car in front of theirs. They don´t get scanned as the enter.
Closer to the ATV she sees nothing indicating they are being watched.
One of the Vargr kids pull at Kreios arm and tugs at his fingers. Amazed that they are almost without hair. Karlow brushes the kid aside. “Kolja, stop that – that´s no way to treat a friend.” He looks at Kreios. “Friend, we need nothing. We have nothing, except our pride. Whatever that is in our den is not truly ours. It never was…” Suddenly he leans against Kreios and whispers.“Hit me, now – hard!”
Over Kreios´shoulder, Lauren notices Tanner and his entourage walking towards the ATV.
Meanwhile, Magnus finds the ignition and the ATV rises to operational drive.
Startown – Hople
Inside the car, the N.E.W. crew finds a separate cabin for non-Vargr travelers. A yellow line on the floor indicates where Vargr are allowed to stand. A sign on the window shows a silhouetted humanoid crossed with a yellow flash. The cabin is empty Fenris, Sarah and Centrix see through window panels. The two guards move away from the exit doors and an electronic voice says. “Alert, alert, the train is moving.” The two, wearing stunsticks.
When the small Vargr pulls his arm, Kreios smiles and is about to say something to the effect of ‘No Problem’, when he hears Karlows whisper. Nearly instantly, his smile fades, and is replaced by a stony mask, and it looks as if he hits Karlow really hard in the abdomen, and shoves him away from him, shouting: “Don’t you touch me, Vargr!”. He looks around unnoticeable, as he hopes, to see the kids reactions, and blinks to the eldest.
[OOC: Thirded. Definitely thanks. Anyone knows what happened to Montana?]
OOC: I got an email from Montana where he explained that he had to drop gaming for a while. This resulted in an inactivation of his account, partly a mistake but it was done. Anyway, he´s well and will probably return when RL grants more game-time.
Thanks for the support on trying to wing this.
Well, it´s a half-arsed attempt to keep the game going on a free account… Some functions are missing to say the least. My in-aptitude to get the layout of things to flow nicely doesn´t help. I just got feedback from a mod on my Antarctica files. Got some constructive critique and is tweaking that site.
Hopefully we will be able to make this function as a dual campaign site.
Would you mind if I added both cast lists to the Characters list? I only have to add a suffix as to which campaign they belong to.)
[OOC; wow! lots of activity, well, let me go back here and post as quickly as I can. Also, I will re-roll Fenris today, I believe I kept my notes when I originally created him, so I think I can get close to the original. Now, to catch up with the posts.]
Centrix moves up to the humans and reflects “This is quite abnormal to you humans, being the minority as here on Walston?” Two of his stalks wriggle back and forth.
To Centrix, Fenris replies: "To some it’s unusual, Centrix. We “humans”, as you put it, have been sold on the notion that since we grow like weeks, so we’re the dominant population, but my youth and lessons passed down has long cleared me of that notion."
“Besides, the adventure of life is to see those differences for oneself. Only then can you begin to appreciate. That’s why this Vargr situation is so repellent to me. Every sophant should have the opportunity to make their lives better. For themselves and their hearers.”
Fenris thinks for a moment, then turns to Sarah “If I was a betting man, and I usually am, something keeps telling me that those weasels found out about the diamond veins in the mountains. Maybe they cut a deal with Fesh, but I’m not sold on her being that straight an arrow if the golden ticket was presented.”
“I think Maverick’s in those mountains, somewhere.”
Fenris flashes Sarah a huge smile, “By the way, thank you for saving my life back on 567. Kreios told me what you did back there, and I’m truly greatful.”
(I´d like perception checks from Fenris as well.)
Fenris rolls 6 + 5 + 1 = 11 for his perception check
Didn’t know if you still needed it but Magnus rolled a 4 and a 4 plus 2for skill and stats, total 10 for awareness.
Sarah and Centirax are too busy watching all Vargr on the train to notice anything suspicious. Fenris watches the petite steward as she lifts her chin. “Off course I saved you mr Tay. We´re in the same team.” She turns to watch the last few houses pass by. The train picks up speed and tilts slightly. Fenris notices the cars in front of theirs are really packed. Should be hard to serve anyone anything on this train.
Karlow folds like a pen knife. Magnus pushes a lever forward and the ATV moves forward with a jolt. Easing off on the throttle, he manages to get it on a balanced speed. As the vehicle moves away, the loading door shuts by automation. On the street where Tanner was about to stop the newcomers, he turns his heel and shouts at his followers pointing out orders.
“You animals, what?” Jannis shouts at Kreios and tries to get to Karlow. The kids took care and seated themselves when they saw Magnus fiddle with the controls. They even managed to get belted.
“No alarm, Jen. These are good people.” He flexes himself up and says. “No puny man can hold Karlow down.” Seeing the Vargr making an effort to look intimidating is just that. No doubt the Vargr has the means to deal damage should he need to. The two boys laugh at their father´s display.
There’s a comm network on Walston, right? If so, Lauren will comm the train group as her team pulls out. “You boys take care and don’t make any waves, all right? You five keep your eyes forward, your ears open, and your heads down. Don’t want another Marvin.” She trusts that Fenris will get the gist of the message, even if no one else does.
(OOC: Let me know if you need any help, Syrinx. My schedule for the next week or two will be hectic, but things will settle down afterwards.)
OOC: Any help at all is appreciated. We can do what we can do get things run smoothly.
I won´t have time to add all old content or edit all character sheets. If everyone can tweak their sheets as they like them to be, I´m fine with that.
I will try to keep my focus on the plotlines of the two games. What you decide for your characters to do will affect what happens, of course.
Is there a character template that works for any game? That would suit fine for our characters section. Plain text is not that shiny.
Fenris, Sarah and Centrax get the message through their comms, small ear lobe communicators clipped to the side of the ear. “What? Five…” Sarah says. She cranes her neck and looks for what Lauren might have meant. Centrax pulls down a curtain to cover the cabin from prying looks. “Are we in trouble?” In the cabin, there are two stuffed benches and a maintenance hatch on the starboard side of the car. The port side has a rest room and the rear wall has a table fitted to it and a door leading back to the driver cabin.
Fenris hears the message and watches Centrix pull the curtains shut. Looking to Centrix and Sarah he replies; “Yeah, we’ve got trouble. I didn’t recall any other humans that looked out of place, so it must be Vargr, 5 of them.” Thinking to Lauren’s specific wording, “Hmmm..eyes, up front..eyes..must be in the car ahead of ours.”
“Okay, first thing to do is assess the situation.”
“They have us, 5 to three.”
“However, who are they working for, Tanner? the Council? I’ll go with Tanner, he probably has some Vargr on his payroll to keep the minions in line, and take care of any outsiders, of which we are.”
“We’re stuck on this train for 10 hours, so they have plenty of time to make a play, but we’re smarter than that, you bring the fight to your opponent, keep them on their heels.”
He then rummages inside his backpack, looking for and finding three stuns ticks. Passing one of each to Sarah and Centrix.
“We got one for all the crew, figured I wouldn’t have to use these so soon. 3 to 5 seconds will stun a Vargr, 10+ will render them unconscious,longer will kill.”
“So, we need to find out, one, who sent them? two, what is the end game? and three, how extreme are they willing to go to follow their orders.”
(OOC: Marc, keep in mind all the specific wording of the warning, and the fact that Lauren was very calm as she gave it.)
Thinking about the message, Fenris mulls..“You five keep your eyes forward..you five?..ahh.” Looking back to Centrix and Sarah, “we’re good. Let’s just keep you two focused on the mission at hand, nothing’s going to happen to either one of you on my watch.”
Lauren gets no reply from the train, but guesses it´s to keep the wave chatter down to a limit. Karlow sits by his family on the floor of the ATV and looks his lads in the eyes. “We will get through this. These humans are not like the boots.”
The smaller of the kids gleans at Magnus by the controls. “But they look the same. So they must be the same…?”
Jannis watches Jason, Kreios and Lauren who sit buckled on the other side of the vehicle.
The ATV fly over the landscape which is getting more barren than close to Startown. Less terraforming had been applied here, at the edges of the urban regions. Ahead in the distance, three hours away, the outlines of the islands are visible.
Sarah sighs, “Are we really doing this?” She looks at the stun-stick and holds it in her lap. Catrax´ stalks stand dead still. “We could override the train´s power and make it stop. Then we could get off and see what happens. Before anything happens to us? As you said, Fenris Tay. Why wait for them to do something?”
Through the not entirely covering curtain, Fenris can see movement in the car in front of theirs. Its no telling the Vargr apart from his position.
A speaker booms out a message.“Attention. It is now clear to begin your lunch. Make sure to bring all your waste as you leave when you have reached your destination. Failure to do so will result in a fine. Thank you.”
Kreios smiles at the kid, and answers: “One’s always whatever one makes of himself.” He draws his two daggers out of their scabbards. “See? They both look the same, too, don’t they? But this one is better suited for cutting, this one here for thrusting. Depending on what tool I need at the moment, I use one of them. Like starships. One might look like the other, but what matters is the interior. And the handling.”
Lauren was not actually expecting a reply from the train…she only hopes they got her message in its entirety, and not just the obvious part.
Lauren snorts at Krieos’ explanation. “You want to know the real difference?” She holds up her stunner. “They carry these to hurt you. We carry these to hurt them if they try to hurt you.”
Magnus laughs at Lars’ retort. “Don’t worry kid. What they’re both telling you is that we’re here to help. That’s what N.E.W. does. Anyway, enough chatter, everybody cinch up your belts, we’re hitting a little turbulence…”
Fenris turns to Sarah: “Only to defend yourselves in the event I go down, but it may be more of a curiosity patrol, you know, what, and where are these offworlders off too?”
Looking out the car’s window, “Centrix, what would you need to override the train’s power? If I recall, on a monorail system, we could kill a block of track temporarily,but is there anywhere to de-train?”
Keying his comm, “This is Fen, the views from here are amazing! Even when the train is moving, those five hills ahead seem to stay in the same place.”
“They are are quite interesting, I’m going to go see if I can get a picture of them, so that if we take a tour, we’ll know what to look for, over.”
Back to Sarah and Centrix, “I’m going to peek into that car and see if I get any reaction, plus I want to see if I can spot just who looks out of place.”
Lars and Kreios as well as the Vargr kids and Jannis sit tight in the belted seats. The kids sit gazing in bewilderment at the the knife display and the speech of insides contra outside made them look at each other and wrinkle their snouts.
Magnus´ warning comes just in time as the ATV drops thirty feet in a series of air bumps. At times, Karlow is levitating and then bouncing back to the floor of the vehicle. He manages to get hold of a support strut and keeps a tight grip while Magnus stabilizes the trajectory, avoiding a near emergency landing.
When the ATV gets closer to the ground level, it´s apparent there is some activity across the sound between the main land and the first island. Heavy machinery at work and a milling of people hurrying back and forth. Evidently they have spotted the incoming vehicle.
OOC: Youngerpliny, a pilot check @7, plz.
Leaving the cabin, Fenris finds himself in direct contact with Vargr cousine, when a multitude of spices and aromas have filled the car. He makes his way through the aisle, watching for any possible curious glares. He finds only the gawking of people not accustomed to visitors of a certain kind and they move from his way as he approaches, almost in awe of his presence.
Arriving at the end of the car, he comes to a closed door. A sign says something in Vargr with black letters. There´s a card reader on the frame of the door. Between the two cars there´s a landing. In the other car, he sees the two guards walking back from their round scuffling past passengers who are sitting in their way. Just another day at the office.
The Vargr occupying the aisle seems not to mind the guards´ un-mild treatment and returns to their place in the isle as the guards have passed.
Soon, the guards will reach the door leading to the landing of the other car. Behind the guards, Fenris sees five Vargr following, wearing tanned uniforms and caps. They walk closely together moving in unison intent on staying in proximity of the two guards – but not too close. The lead Vargr pauses when the guards´ path is obstructed by dining passengers.
At one of those interruptions, the leader looks straight at Fenris.
OOC: @Marc, Fenris have been spotted if he doesn´t make an attempt to hide. Should you want him to be out of the way, roll above 10.
OOC: @ Syrinx: Just want to make sure I have my perspectives correct:
I left our car, and walked into the next car forward of ours. When I reached the end of that car, I saw the door with the card reader and the sign in Varg.
The next car over (2 cars from our location), looking out, there are 2 Vargr guards walking back towards the door I’m looking through with the 5 capped and uniformed Vargr following,and the lead capped Vargr looks straight at me?
OOC: Almost as I envisioned it, Mark. Fenris left the cabin compartment at the end car. Then walked through the same car, to the door. Through the door he sees the two human guards coming towards him with the five capped Vargr behind. So, what you wrote is right enough to RP.
Based on what I read, since Fenris didn’t take the time to disguise himself (deception), he’s using his stealth ability to move out of the sight line of the lead guard.
Fenris rolls 6 + 3 + 1 (skill) for a total of 10.
If successful, he will use his Investigate skill to note as much information as possible, communicating it back to his group and Kreios’ party.
For Investigate, Fenris rolls: 5 + 2 + 1 = 7
He’s watching their actions, if it looks as if they are conducting a sweep of the cars, Fenris will alert Sarah and Centrix to begin moving towards the back of the train, and he will inderdict himself behind the 5 Vargr, stunstick concealed up his sleeve.
Pilot check is
9 for Magnus
Magnus nods at the activity below and looks to Kreios and Lars, “What do you make of all that?”
Lauren tries to shrug at Magnus, but the seat gets in her way, so she says, “Not a clue. Maybe digging for something?”
(OOC: Any check I could make to think of something? Also, I moved so I’ll be posting less regularly for a few weeks until I get internet at my new place.)
“Worst case, they search Maverick, too. Best case? Maybe mining or something like that. Can you get us near, Magnus?”
“I’ll try to do a quick flyover.” says Magnus.
Pilot Roll to casually flyover the construction
is 8, +1 for Dex?
Magnus makes a fly-by and they all catch the scene in. Below, by the shore of the island, two machines with tubes leading down the water are in full gear. Smoke rises from engine exhausts. A small watercraft is letting divers down the deep. It´s a ten feet craft with a small roof on it. More of a barge than a boat.
Three trucks are at stand by in a clearing from where a crude dirt road leads to the shore and also into the forest covering the island.
The people on the beach, eight of them are all Vargr wearing brown uniforms.
Having passed the tree line Magnus lets the ATV continue nort west.
“They seem to have found something in the water, right?” Karlow says. “Maybe your ship…”
He looks at Lauren, “Them tanned Vargr, they are working for the council. They have nothing to do with real Vargr. They have taken the humanti life style, and lost their true spirit.” He clenches his teeth and his grip at the ceiling railing tightens.
Startown – Hople
Making himself disappear behind a Vargr family sharing a meal next to the door, Fenris watches the two guards and the five Vargr walk by his location without spotting him. They don´t appear to toss the passengers around to find someone, merely gazing casually.
Fenris comms to Sarah and Centrix to back up, nevertheless. A double click is returned via the comms. The two guards wait by their post by the exit door and lean against the wall to the VIP-cabin assigned to Fenris, Sarah and Centrix.
The first of the five brown-coats puts his paw at the handle to the cabin, gesturing to the others to wait back.
Closing in on the Vargr, Fenris finds himself fiddling with the stunstick as the leader asks the rest to halt. Mumbling between them they start to turn to watch the passengers while their leader enter the cabin.
OOC: Pardon the post rate from my side. I´m by no means as dedicated a GM as Montana is. Neither do I have the story telling skill he possess. If you can live with not so frequent updates I will be happy to continue. It´s a tough legacy, though.
Joining to play a couple of characters is one thing. Driving the train, a completely new deal.
So, my question is are you happy with how this is running? My main apology is that I have two other games at my other site.
(OOC: No problems as far as I’m concerned, just as long as there’s no Serenity Valley on Walston. ;) )
Lauren nods to Karlow. “Are they going to be a problem, do you think?”
OOC: No problem on the post rate from my end. I look at it as more of being grateful that the campaign is still up and operational.]
Fenris, frowning to himself as he sees the guards position themselves by the exit door, slows himself and attempts to blend into the crowd.
He comms Sarah and Centrix: “Looks like only one the Vargr are coming in, I think he’s the Leader. You two polish up those silver tongues. If things get hairy, double click and I’ll bring him back out to me.”
Karlow looks down at the activity below. “No, shouldn´t be any trouble. I´ll do my draft spiel and you guys go about your business snooping out what they are doing down there in the water.”
Lauren, Magnus and Kreios look at each other as Karlow delivers the plan without any hesitation.
To the left of the trucks, there is a clear area on a sandbank where the ATV can be parked without being too close to the Vargr below.
The cooms are silent as the lead Vargr turns back out. He says something to his followers and they all scuffle back from where they came, passing Fenris in the process, without seeing him.
Lauren looks worried. “Draft spiel? That sounds like something that could come back to bite us. What exactly does that involve?”
Fenris waits until the Brownhats and their handlers are 3 quarters of the way back towards where they came from before opening the door and entering the car where Sarah and Centrix are.
“Well, I saw the lead Vargr come back out, say something to his followers and they just turned back towards the car they came out of.”
He looks at the two of them, grinning; “Anything to report?”
[OOC to Lauren: hope the move went smoothly..or as smoothly as moves can go!]
[OOC: Very, actually, thanks. Still no internet, though…hopefully fix that this week.]
Kreios looks up from his looking out the window, just as worried as Lauren: “You’ve done that before, Karlow?”
Karlow looks at his wife and then at Lars and Kreios. “Eh, no wait. I mean, you humans always stand your ground and decide what´s best for everyone and all that. I…I have my petition. Can´t hurt to get some other names on it Vargr or Human, right. Drafting votes…you know. Instead of working for Tanner, they get the chance to work for their own benefit. Tanner won´t have any trouble recruiting more brown coats, I promise.” Having explained himself, Karlow looks relieved. While Karlow has been setting the record straight, Magnus puts the ATV down some fifty meters away from the shore and the road. Giving them some respite before the brown coats are able to reach them.
Startown – Hople-
Upon entering the cabin, Fenris finds it empty. The door marked “Restricted area” leading to the driver´s compartment swings open slowly. "You better join us over here… " Sarah says from the other side.
Getting through the door, Fenris sees a human train operator slumped over at the controls. Sarah still has her stun stick in hand and shrugs. “He was about to call on security. I cut him short…” Centrax seems oblivious to the current dilemma and reads from charts on the wall facing the cabin they walked in from. An ETA dial shows 8h4m.
“Right, Karlow, thanks for explaining.” He looks around. “Now, for those brown coats… Magnus, maybe you get ready to dust off if necessary, I don’t want to get into any brawls or something. It won’t”, he smiles, “get necessary, though. I hope.”
“Got it, Kreios. Keeping the engines hot.” responds Magnus.
Everyone: please roll 2d6 twice and add in your Intelligence and Education modifiers to each roll (i.e. 2d6+Intelligence modifier, 2d6 + Education modifier)
5 Int roll
8 Edu roll
What’re we rolling for Marc?
[OOC: strange..I thought I posted..anyway, this is a GM hidden roll, Mags. I’ll start letting you all know the results once I have everyone’s rolls.]
Edu: 7+2 = 9
Int: 6+2 = 8
8 and 6
EDU & INT
[GM: Just waiting on Lars roll total]
Int 5 (rolled 3 total)
Edu 6 (rolled 5 total)
“Right, Karlow, thanks for explaining.” He looks around. “Now, for those brown coats… Magnus, maybe you get ready to dust off if necessary, I don’t want to get into any brawls or something. It won’t”, he smiles, “get necessary, though. I hope.”
As Kreios finishes his statement: out of the corner of his eye, he notices something. For an instant, his vision changed. As if the view he looking at and everything around him was suddenly dropped in, and out of focus..like a Tel-vid player too close to a static charge.
Kreios blinks once, then looks again. As all seems to appear normal, he quickly shakes his head, and continues watching the approaching Vargr, though one can see him quickly looking in that direction several times over the next few seconds.
As Kreios shakes his head and watches the approaching Vargr, as one of them passes near a large stone, to his eyes..it looks as if one of the Vargr’s forelegs passes through the stone, the stone shimmers momentarily before regaining it’s integrity.
As Fenris grabs the handle of the Train Operators car, Sarah looks at him, and becomes noticibly agitated.
“What’s the problem, Doc?”
“You didn’t see?”
“Er..never mind..I think all this deception and malice around us has gotten to me. We stopped him before he could get a signal out, but the problem is eventually, someone will come looking for him, and when they do, they’ll stop the train, and we’ll be in trouble.”
“I agree, and this terrain does not make for quick movement, plus we have our browncoated friends to deal with.”
“I think our best option is to hold our ground here. we have the stun sticks, and some element of surprise on our parts.”
“I’ll notify the ATV. They may have to come get us if things go sideways.”
“Let us hope they do not.”
Lauren notices Kreios, if nothing else. “You okay there?”
Kreios, still a little slow to answer, looks at Lauren: “Yeah, think so. I’m just seeing things… maybe I should get a good night’s sleep…”
[GM] Kreios, after acknowledging Lauren, turns back to her: “So, whatever happened to that prototype scout ship of yours? did they ever bring her online?” If Lauren gives him a look, Kreios will respond: “Figured a change of subject would help calm the situation.
When Karlow’s children hear Kreios statement, they perk up and begin peppering Lauren with questions:
“You built a Starship?”
“Is it big?”
“Do you still have it?”
“How long did it take to build?”
“What does it do?”
Centrix examines the controls..“Ruidmentary. I believe I can tap into the controls. Since this is a direct train, it should not be more than just maintaining proper route speed.”
Fenris replies: “I agree. really, we just have to watch for the conductor, but he should be busy trying to keep the passengers in line.”
Sarah chimes in: “So Fen, you think we’ll be able to get away once the train reaches the station?”
Fenris: “Speed is our ally. once the ‘coats detrain, if they haven’t radioed once they get in range, they’ll do so before the train stops. We need to get off and use the crowd to our advantage.”
Sarah: “I’ll take Centrix. We’ll try to traverse along the outside to ground transport and meet you at..”
Lauren grins. “Well, Kreios, you know, that part’s still classified. Odd how that works.”
[GM] Magnus, Kreios, Lauren:
Kreios: you are about to respond to Lauren when what your eyes tell you should not be happening, happens. As you turn, both the ATV and surrounding area begin to shimmer and waver, like the air over hot blastcrete..then the image jumps and shudders before going completely black, to be replaced by, what appears to you to be recessed lighting in a ceiling. You hear:
“ault in pods..two an..”
“otify the commander at onc-”
before your vision clears again, and you are being tapped roughly on the shoulder by one of the browncoated Vargr:
“_State your business here. this area is restricted.”_
Magnus: the same event happens to you, however, you think you heard this:
“Make sure -imulat-n f—lt -es not ha-en again. d—ble check p-ds two and—-r. Delivery o—urs in t-min— thirtee- --.”
Lauren: rather than the ceiling, your eyes clear to see what you think to be a glass wall in front of you, but before this scenes vanishes to be replaced by Kreios being accosted by the Vargr, you catch of glimpse of what you think is Fenris, encased in a cylindrical tube with a white coated individual checking the tube.
Wow! What the hell is going on??
Jason just sees a bright light in front of his face. Warmth and the sensation of lying on his back. Instinctively, he shuts his eyes and falls back to slumber as voices are mixed with red flashes playing across his closed eyelids.
“Reboot” is all he thinks before losing consciousness.
Lauren remains silent for a moment, digesting what she has just seen – or at least what she thought she had seen. It made no sense within the confines of her environment, but that was all the more reason for it to be true.
For the time being, however, she puts those thoughts to the back of her mind and slowly stands up from her seat. “I’m sorry, gentlemen, this is my fault. I wished to go out for a relaxing drive with my servants.” She turns to indicate the vargr and winks at them, out of sight of the browncoat. “Our compass must be malfunctioning, as we weren’t supposed to end up at the shore at all. Is there any chance I can borrow one?”
(someone else please roll for me as I am pressed for time. Should be a +2 if it’s going off of Int.)
Karlow, along with his family seeing Lar’s wink look to each other, then after a moment’s hesitation, assume their subservient roles, acting as if they are Lauren’s servants, gesturing and asking if she,as well as the rest of the party is pleased, and would need anything at the moment.
One of the browncoats, his hat ringed by a solid brown bar at the base of the cap, simply walks up to the ATV, eyes darting and examining the passengers, asks promptly:
“There were more memebers of your party, no?”
“The talkative one, and the alien and female, they are not attneding your little “excursion”?
The inky blackness of unconsciousness is quickly broken by a loud klaxon that jars your eyes open. The blurry vision is quickly replaced by sharpness as the ceiling comes into focus, Along with the sensation of being surrounded in a warm, gel like susbstance.
You flex your body around, and while you have some movement, it feels as if one, if not both of your wrists are shackled to something cold and hard.
Taking a moment you clearly hear a multitude of voices scrambling in the background:
“Are you kidding me? why did we make a deal with them in the first place?”
“Boss’s orders. plus, they guaranteed us a safe platform to work form.”
“So, I’ll give him the update, you put this one back in, he’s their fixer, have his avatar talk their way out of the vargr situation.”
“Think that’ll get her to let her guard down?”
“For her sake it better. you know how D-”
Before the voice finishes, a gruff voice enters from Jason’s left.
“You both know policy, no names.”
“They both are resisting, we’re running different scenarios to speed the extraction process.”
“Good. keep me posted?”
Lauren shakes her head at the question (not the command). “No, they wanted to go to the capital.” As she hands them her papers, she notes the communication on the ‘planet’ is significantly better than she would have assumed.
Back in the real world, Jason lifts his head from the tap board, he eyes the Vargr with the brown bar. “What´s this? Didn´t Tanner inform you?” He moves his right hand to the stun stick at his waist. “Do I need to tell you you´re to help us get the ship up?”
“Status report! How long will it take? To get her up?”
GM: [My apologies for the long delay in posting, between my birthday, my wife’s birthday and the Christmas season, things have been crazy! but thank you for your patience, posts are upcoming!]
Okay..it has been a crazy month..thank you everyone for being patient! I will post tonight (New Years Eve) (California time), and regular posts will begin afterwards.
Cool Marc! Looking forward to it!
Yeah, and a great 2013 on you all!
Slumps back in a cryonical suspended state