Episode #23

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Participants: Billy Eagleclaw, Cookie, Stephanie Fox, Father Gerald Trent, Jordan Fox, Jared Carson

NPC's: Stone Mason (as played by the GM), Sir Percy Brockmaul (agent of Queen Ann of Aurora)

from the GALACTIC NEWS SERVICE: The Verge/Hammers Star: Our reporters in the Verge report that a massive alien fleet of unknown origin has engaged the Concord fleet at Hammers Star totally destroying the defenders. Urgent pleas for help have been issued by President Christopher Hale of Bluefall. It is unknown what the response will be from the various Galactic alliances but word from Jaeger is that a volunteer fleet is being organized to assist.

Prelude: Running from their orbit around Argos and caught in the middle of a triangle of VoidCorp ships Jordan Fox, recently forced to become a student of naval tactics knew the Crusader was outgunned by each point of the triangle and so in deep sh*t. His finger hovered over the StarDrive button for only a second.

A multitude of colors seemed to stream across the hull of the Crusader tending towards green. Old space hands had a thousand superstitions based on the color of the StarFall and he couldn't remember for sure but he seemed to remember green wasn't good.

StarFall within a major gravity well is not always a disaster but the chances of a disaster rise significantly. So it was that although unprepared for the suddenness of the experience no one was really surprised when the Crusader fell out of StarFall with a learching jolt a full 12 hours before their scheduled exit. Equipment and crew flew around the interior of the ship with equal abandon. Fortunately besides Cookie's favorite Oslo Raiders mug no real injuries were sustained. Warning klaxons sounded on the bridge and Stephanie quickly sat down at a work station to shut them down when she saw that the auto sensors had panned to a scene some 14 AU's distant. From the arcs of white light and the occasional brilliant flash it was obvious she was observing a space battle in the distance. Quickly adjusting the controls Step zoomed in on the distant action. The scene resolved into a battle pitting a large battlegroup of Gray's saucers, some bigger than anything the crew of the Crusader had ever seen the Grays using before. They were engaged in combat with several ships exhibiting the same unusual configuration of those they had observed in the inner system of Tol-in-Garhoth. So this was a fight between the robots of the mysterious precursor race of Tol-in-Garhoth and the Grays. What that meant would have to wait for a less pressing moment, not wanting to find themselves in the middle of the altercation, Jordan quickly got the Crusader headed towards a nearby moon. Slinking away to live another day.

Description: The crew of the Crusader found a Gridbox from Jean waiting for them when they dropped out of StarFall in the Helix system. It instructed them to proceed to the restricted Unnight system there to meet a Delta Green friendly commanding a Federal Scout Service ship the FSS Grimshaw by the name of Edward Lewiston.

Arriving in the Unnight system they find that it is overrun with Orion naval assets. Seeking out their contact they learn the following: Delta Green had an agent on planet by the name of Philippa Proctor. Her last report was received 2 1/2 months ago and simply consisted of "Invasion Immanent. Details to follow." That is the last that has been heard from her. Captain Lewiston knew that Philippa had a contact on Unnight by the name of William Kidd. He is a flamboyant pirate captain who has taken on the name of an old earth pirate captain. His last known location was in the city of Jamestown in the island nation of Aurora. The teams assignment was to either find Philippa and discover what her report means or find the facts behind the incomplete report.

The participants listed above were inserted on Unnight several klicks from Jamestown by a Grimshaw shuttle. Cookie stayed behind to guard the landing zone since there was little hope of explaining his presence to the locals, aliens being unknown on Unnight.

Entering Jamestown the crew was proceeding to a local tavern the Cock and Pen at which William Kidd had been known to hang out. On their way into the city they ran into someone from their past. Jared Carson! Someone they hadn't seen in over three years and finding him here was quite a shock. His explanation was he was here because he had received information that the answer to why the aliens were so interested in the Twilight sector could be found on this planet. He would not elaborate on where he came by his information. He was the same paranoid and secretive Jared the team had always known. He said he had been in Jamestown a little over a week and was seeking out a privateer captain by the name of William Kidd who he believed had some knowledge of alien activity on planet. Synchronicity? That remained to be seen.

At any rate Jared lead them to the Cock and Pen where he had been pursuing a meeting with the infamous Captain Kidd. At the Cock and Pen Father Trent picks up a stray psionic transmission that seems to be giving the GPS location of the tavern. Shortly after members of a group the locals called "Wizards" (They are the only Pan-Unnight group on the planet and they comprise the only thing even close to a planetary authority. Although the planet has balkanized this group has a presence in all the planets nations. They are called Wizards as they hold a monopoly on the planets remaining advanced technology and jealously guard it.), show up and attempt to arrest Jared. After the smoke clears, four Wizards lay dead on the tavern floor, Stone has disappeared and one Wizard is a captive of the team. From their captive they learn that William Kidd is a prisoner in the Montague (French) Triste L'Aural prison. At the conclusion of their questioning the prisoner is killed.

The team returns to the landing area and finds Stone with Cookie dazed and incoherent with no seeming memory of his time in Jamestown. They then attempt to get a shuttle to take them on the short hop to the Montague city of Paris where the prison is located. However in contacting the Grimshaw they learn the Orion fleet is under attack from an unknown alien fleet (more on this when I send out an e-mail detailing what has happened to Elsworth and Rusty).

A portion of the team heads back into Jamestown seeking to find alternate transportation to Paris. At the docks they meet a man who introduces himself as Sir Percy Brockmaul an agent of the Queen. He explains Queen Ann has an interest in the whereabouts of her most excellent privateer captain, William Kidd, she believes he has information on an eminent invasion of Aurora. He knows they seek out the captain as well and would like to offer them the help of introducing them to the captain of a fast ship. They accept his offer and in turn are introduced to Captain Thaddeus Turnbaum of the Flying Eel. He is another privateer but his ship is indeed fast and inside of five days the team is in Paris surveying the Triste L'Aural prison. They determine that a frontal assault would be too risky and so trail the prison warden to his home where they waylay him. Through a combination of promises of reward and warnings of the dire consequences of non-cooperation they manage to gain some level of assistance from the Warden and through bold subterfuge break Captain Kidd out of the Triste L'Aural. So ends part one.

GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)

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