(Rob Ellisson – player absent)
Following his visit to New Berlin memorial park, Marcus has disappeared. The others decide that, since it looks like he was having some issues with the visit to the world, they won’t worry about him until the following day. In the meantime, Alumiya and Dex seek out some basic engineering supplies for the ship.
Marcus is drinking himself unconscious in a downport bar. After a while, he becomes convinced he is being watched – but is unable to identify who it is. As he turns to leave, he collapses in a heap…
The following day, Dex gets a message from the New Berlin Peacekeepers: Marcus is sleeping off a lot of alcohol in a cell. The team goes to fetch him, paying a fee for the “accommodation”, before he has a hefty breakfast.
Returning to orbit, they meet the Ramirez family, including their grandmother and servant, and take them to the Beowulf. Leaving for Lando, their first jump brings them out at a completely different place than they were planning. While they are waiting for Roger to recalculate the next jump, they become aware of another ship approaching. It hails them, telling them to prepare to be boarded.
Dex immediately gets on the intercom to the navigator, telling him to get a move on. When this is apparently ignored, he and Marcus go down to his cabin. The door opens immediately: “This is going to be awkward isn’t it?”
Roger, rather surprisingly, is holding a gun…
Following his instructions, they return to the bridge, Marcus making a point of moving slightly faster, so that he can warn Rob to get out of sight as he reaches the galley. Roger locks himself inside the bridge with Dex and Marcus, informing them that they are all going to wait until his friends arrive.
Dex, thinking fast, makes an announcement about the gravity being switched off: Alumiya gets the message and tries to do so, but doubles it instead. This has the desired effect of disorienting Roger, but he recovers surprisingly quickly. Marcus’ attempt to grab his gun results in his being knocked to the floor. The pair of them desist from further action.
Meanwhile, Charles arrives in the galley with his assault rifle, having figured out something is wrong, and is briefed by Rob. The medic has noticed that Roger is behaving completely differently from his normal timid demeanour and, notably, that his body language has changed radically. He’s realised that Roger is the mysterious vaguely familiar person he’d seen in the vicinity of the assassinations on Lando and New Berlin. Charles tries to break through the door to the bridge, but Roger threatens to shoot Dex and Marcus so he gives up.
As the other ship gets closer, Roger informs the crew that they will be left alive if they cause no further trouble.
Alumiya, reasoning that the real problem is the approaching vessel, decides to trigger a short random jump, hopefully taking the ship a few light minutes or light years away. She hits the lower end of the scale (which would make it easier for a non-navigator to recalculate their location for a new jump), but Roger manages to figure it out in a couple of seconds, verbally sending jump calculations to the other ship. The new vessel arrives an hour later, indicating the accuracy of his figures. While they are waiting, Dex manages to get Roger to explain that one of the passengers is a war criminal, and that his job is to track them down and dispose of them.
Alumiya decides it is a good idea to prepare for trouble and gets into her armoured spacesuit, grabbing her axe for use as a weapon.
The other ship turns out to be a sleek vessel of a similar, if younger, class to the Beowulf, painted in dark colours and bearing worrying modifications. It docks at the port hatch and two men in light battlearmour come board. Roger appears and leads one of them upstairs. After some shouting and sobbing, they return with the family’s servant (not the father as they were expecting). As Roger, the prisoner and the boarding party leave, he slips a note to Marcus: reading it as soon as the door closes, he sees a set of jump calculations and the words “trust me”.
The other ship now undocks and begins a wide turn into an attack vector, deploying weapons in direct contravention of Roger’s promise. Alumiya is ready and they jump to the given coordinates before it opens fire, arriving right next to Lando Station.
They decide to check the navigator’s room, finding some explosives and an elegant sniper rifle, along with his charts; they decide that he appears to have been an assassin. Marcus believes he was a programmed genetically engineered life form (GELF), probably deployed by the government.
They deliver their cargo, including their remaining passengers, and decide to invest in some weaponry so that they can fight off future piracy. Ship-mounted weaponry is illegal for civilian vessels, so they sell the rifle to a collector, via his beautiful partner, and buy some armoured space suits and sidearms for those who want them.
They also hire a new navigator (an experienced older man, willing to work his passage to a different part of space) and plan a new high-risk, high profit project: carrying goods across the uninhabited systems between shipping routes. They begn by buying some industrial goods to take to the agricultural colony on Erehwon, where they plan to buy some low-tech shotguns and begin their cross-route career.
The trip to Erehwon is relatively uneventful (with one mild misjump) and they are able to sell their cargo for a reasonable profit and obtain their weapons. Deciding that the last few weeks have a been a bit eventful, they opt to take a few days out to recuperate at the coast.