Continuing the adventure with Stars Without Number, the crew of the ship “Prospector” still had several jobs to do:
- Neutralise Jebediah Kerm’s advantage in the employ of Captain St.Cloud
- Organise access codes to the ship Dalliance in the employ of Jebediah Kerm
- Meet up with Captain Ivan of the Star of Tomorrow to get a fresh secret mission
- and, should the planet yield some of its riches, go get them and don’t get robbed.
First, the whole crew went to meet Captain Ivan. He was waiting right in front of the worship room, and instead of going inside with us, he directed us to the side to explain during a short walk. It was another investigation deal: The station got supplies delivered off and on, for example, one such supply run was due in 3 days. Captain Ivan suspected that the local warden of the worship room, Chaplain Chastra, had some fishy dealings going on. He said that every fresh shipment did not go where it should, to the general usage, but instead, everything went through the temple first. Something fishy was going on.
The team suspected smuggling, and when he offered a hefty sum of 2000 credits for evidence of Chastra’s wrongdoing, or 1000 for useful info or proof of innocence, they were sure. This had all the makings of illicit gains for arms, drugs, or questionable high tech. They agreed to check it out.
As they came back they saw, as always, the annoying crew of the Dalliance milling around all around their ship. These ruffians were almost always there, never doing anything productive, just bullying people and waiting for their turn at riches from the planet.
They wondered what Jebediah might mean when he said the was missing the access codes of the Dalliance. Did that mean he had all the others? It felt prudent to change the Prospector’s codes, which the crew did, after a diligent security sweep. Then they brainstormed how to install a line shunt to hack the Dalliance and retrieve their access codes. The opposition’s constant vigilance was a bother. They would see anyone doing things to their ship, within the dock as well as outside in space. So Malm decided to distract them by attempting to shoulder his bulky way to a meeting with the captain, while Drakan would quickly put the line shunt on the docking station, where docked ships were connected to the central hub of the station.
Malm made a big dumb oaf out of himself and drew attention, but Katron noticed that the Dalliance was not even connected to the station. Paranoid to the last, they kept isolated. So he broke off the attempt and pulled all crew members back into the Prospector. We promised to come back at a more convenient time.
Moving the Dalliance farther down our To Do list, we tried to hack the system for information, but failed. Katron tried to hire a retainer to find out about the regular shipments, but failed. Malm went to talk to Delton Krees about them, but also failed, as Delton Krees had no interest or knowledge about that whatsoever. He figured that any irregularities in shipments would be a matter for “The Armada”, the Law in these parts, the Sector Authority.
Drakan tried to sniff out dirt in the Chapel. He hung out there until an opportune moment presented itself and snuck into the office of the Chaplain, in order to put a line shunt on her computer. If she was the secret mastermind of a big smuggler ring, she would surely have something about it in her paperwork.
He sees a white rose in a display case — a religious item signifying a great forgiveness.
Messing around in the office, he got suddenly discovered by the Chaplain. In panic, he tried to hide in a cupboard, but his tail hung out.and without a good reason to be here, he spurted a slimy liquid at her to paralyze her so he could escape. But he failed! His slimy liquid just spattered against the wall and in parts on her robes. A most embarrassing moment in the history of the Prospector.
In obvious surprise about this awkward situation, she just stood there, offering no threat. So Drakan explained the squirt away as something his species did when nervous. He managed to pass himself off as a total psychological wreck who had wanted to seek her counsel in private, but then got overwhelmed with shame.
The Chaplain, to her credit, remained calm like a Bodhisattva. She spoke with him in a very understanding manner and invited him to speak freely. He hinted that . She still made clear that her door was open and he could always speak with her in the confession booth if he wanted the greatest privacy; not in the office. He apologized a lot, bowed several times and gave a weird salute, then ducked out.
A saint, this Chaplain! Captain Ivan must be mistaken completely, or wrong on purpose, who knows. But this reaction is not the one of a head of a smuggler ring.
Malm was worried, that, now that we work for Jebediah, it would be very inconvenient if he found our line shunt on his ship. So on the next day he went on a quick and easy space walk to get it back. Sadly, Katron failed at hacking the outside cameras of the station. Malm was not prepared to remove our tracks while on camera, so he extended his space walk somewhat and bent one of the cameras off to the side as if it had been hit by space debris. That gave him one dead angle to get to the line shunt without being recorded. He did so, but all this was much more difficult and took much longer than expected.
With the line shunt removed he crawled back to the airlock, but time was running out… and even before he got there his breathing liquid ran out. He got tired. He got dizzy. Darkness took him and he lost consciousness. He lost 4 HP, which would have killed most of our characters at level 1. Only thanks to being already level 3 did he survive. Thanks to being level 3 and thanks to his friends:
Katron, who had waited for him near the airlock, went out into space to recover the big crewmate and drag him back in, a helpless sack of potatoes.
Instead of a quick spacewalk before breakfast, it took most of the day, and now Malm was going to the sickbay to recover.
Image: Andy Holmes, Unsplash.