The Dorothy has been hired for a trans-frontier shuttle to Right Angle. The Patron is Jee Fesal, an Imperial Deputy Magistrate, and three retainers. Her Excellency expects a minimum profile will be kept, as her arrival at Right Angle is to be unannounced. She is travelling under the alias "Helen Dakro", and will require four staterooms and 30 dt cargo, including a 20 dt shuttlecraft. Her Excellency wants to find a ship outside of standard Naval and Guild channels, preferably one that has not been in the frontier previously. The Dorothy fits the docket perfectly. Your contact within Yang AG, Houre Despalt, has given Her Excellency a commitment to haste and discretion on your behalf.
Play begins at IZNAD where the Dorothy has jumped in from nearby MURK. You have been given contact information for Helen Dakro's assistant who will make arrangements for onboarding. The charter allows for a week at Iznad to file a flight plan, secure the necessary repatriation papers, and for the charter Captain to find other passengers or cargo. From there, the flight plan specifies the next jump to be outside the Coality border, to either Gradient or Sea of Gold, followed by a prompt arrival at Right Angle. The charter specifies that the ship remain undocked for three days after arrival before proceeding to an alternate location in system for disembarkation, where the charter will conclude. Mentioned but not negotiated, there is a possibility of continuing charter work if the Captain so chooses, the details of which were not discussed.
Under typical Jump-3 travel, the cost for four Mid-passage passengers and 30 dt of cargo would be Cr.176,000. The Patron will pay Cr.300,000.
Mentioned by your contact at Yang AG, you are also given the name of a broker Red Hook Industries who has industrial goods that are not a good fit for a regular merchant hold. Fell off a truck. The information is weeks stale, however.
Roll on table below. For all but "on spec", the buyer is brokered through Red Hook Industries in Right Angle. Bolded are the cargo being taken to Right Angle.
- 2x low passage to Right Angle, +Cr11,000
- 6x low passage to Right Angle, +Cr33,000
- 10 dt TL-7 electronics components, +Cr5,000/+Cr5,000 COD
- 20 dt TL-8 P-suits and spare parts, on spec, -Cr5,000
- 50 dt TL-9 thermal cloth, +Cr10,000/+Cr40,000
- 20 dt TL-9 remaindered medical supplies, on spec, -Cr20,000
- 20 dt TL-10 pharmaceuticals, +Cr25,000 COD
- 40 dt TL-11 electronics components, +Cr10,000/+Cr40,000
- 40 dt TL-11 gravitics parts (coils, compressors), +Cr10,000/+Cr40,000
- 10 dt TL-12 fusion micropower cloth, on spec, -Cr40,000
- 30 dt TL-13 pharmaceuticals, +Cr75,000 COD
- 10 dt TL-13 battle armor components, +Cr85,000 COD
Captain Quinn contacts the Red Hook Industries broker/fence at IZNAD, set up for 50dt mixed cargo to Right Angle. Biscuit runs into some trouble with local stevedores (d6) when he tries to make contact with friends of friends. The Magistrate's assistant is Brenna hault Schoke, who makes arrangements for the passengers: herself, the patron, and two heavies -- a weapons guy and a gadget guy. The patron arrives separately in an unmarked 30dt Shuttlecraft (d8).
All cargo and personnel on board, the GS-42 Dorothy makes a jump to Sea of Gold. Onboard, Quinn and crew work on trust, and is rewarded when her Excellency reveals her target, Colonel Ursu, the notorious leader of Ursu Flight. She provides intel into Ursu, and makes an offer to extend her mission to Deep Adit, where she believes she can pick up his trail.
At Sea of Gold, the Dorothy is shaken down by an Imperial border patrol vessel. With information from the patron, the IN-8862 Blue Strike is bribed to avoid boarding.
Arrival at Right Angle, the patron disembarks to perform some publicity and espionage, triggered by the arrival of a 1000dt J4 Lancer-class Imperial skirmisher IN-722 Fidelity — among the most dangerous assets the Imperium has in this part of the frontier. The crew of the Dorothy watch the news feed as their patron issues a formal challenge from the Emperor to a trial by Duel for his crimes against Imperial honor. Then two days later, after a failed assassination attempt in which several were killed, she repeats her challenge, and now extends it to any member of the Prokoetaal military in the chain of command above Colonel Ursu.
Quinn meets his RAFMA contact and hires a First Mate, Jill DeVry. The Red Hook contact does not initially agree to pay the COD and spec cargo, but DeVry helps clear that up and the cargo is offloaded. DeVry contacts an independent broker for shuttling medical supplies to Deep Adit (either Highport or directly to South City), as cover for the next phase of the patron's mission. Quinn orders 100dt, filling his hold. It becomes clear that they have gathered the attention of certain shadowy interests (d10), although this is not pursued by the crew.
Brenna hault Schoke then contracts the Dorothy to Deep Adit. They are looking for a vessel with no history in the region to provide a tempting target to piracy, as a way of calling out Colonel Ursu. The Fidelity will be in system to provide cover.
There is some confusion on the day of departure as the 30dt Shuttlecraft does not fit with the 100dt supplies. In a hasty ofboarding effort, the crew manages to squeeze the shuttlecraft aboard with a loss of 20dt of cargo. The cargo bay doors are damaged (d6).
(Details of the plan, and the role of the crew, are discussed during jump, and left to flashback scenes.)
Act III preview: Misjump! Arrive Early.
Jump alarms go of throughout the ship, indicating their arrival back into normal space-time. However, they are a full day early. Her Excellency and Brenna hault Schoke join Quinn, DeVry, and Biscuit on the bridge as Deep Adit system appears in front of them through the ebbing cloud of burning hydrogen, bleeding off from the Jump Drive.
"Passive scan for vessels..."
"Where's our cover? Where is the Fidelity?"
"We are 25 hours early. Won't be here, unless they misjumped too."
"Do you have to say 'misjump'? We're here aren't we?"
"Yes, we're here, with no angel on our shoulder."
The Dorothy arrives near Gas Giant Alpha, however, sensors show a vessel on intercept course. The vessel is a Prokoetaal patrol cruiser, later revealed to be the Tantalus, command vessel of Ursu Flight. Per agreed upon plan, Dorothy makes a show of running. Tantalus overtakes her, jamming communications and demanding to board. Tantalus pulls alongside and sinks grappling hooks into the ship, claiming all cargo as property of the Prokoetaal, seized under martial law.
In a gutsy plan, Quinn, Jill Dyvii, Biscuit, Jee Fesal (the Deputy Magistrate), and Corwin (the weapons guy) are in makeshift Trojan horse containers when the cargo is loaded aboard the Tantalus. The boarding party takes out two marines and several crew, Jill is shot and stays on the cargo deck, bleeding from a gut wound while the rest of the boarding party seizes Engineering, disabling the ship and threatening to do worse. Tense negotiations between Colonel Ursu and Magistrate Fesal follow, with the boarding party trapped in Engineering with a squad of Prokoetaal Marines at the door. The Magistrate demands a duel, and the Colonel informs them that the Dorothy is taken as prize. Standoff.
After threatening to order his Marines through the bulkhead, Colonel Ursu suddenly becomes accommodating and agrees upon a swap. Unbeknownst to Quinn and the boarding party, Colonel Ursu was in communication with his lieutenant. He is informed by his Lieutenant aboard the Dorothy that the "Gadget Guy" hired muscle Daviau is actually a well-known Prokoetaal military operative code named Beryl, a Captain in the PEF. So while the Magistrate is negotiating for their release and ransom, Beryl suggests to pretend to go along with it, but during the exchange, he can use his betrayal to kill or capture everyone.
The hallways now clear of Marines, the boarding party makes its way to the cargo deck where the Shuttle is coming in with the Prokoetaal Marines, Brenna hault Schoke, Daviau aka Beryl. Then in the cargo bay, a firefight erupts per Beryl's plan, but Beryl has another layer: in the firefight he shoots Ursu's Lieutenant and proceeds to miss every shot he fires against the Dorothy crew. He is a spy within a spy, an agent of the Imperium.
The Dorothy crew blasts its way off the Tantalus leaving only the Deputy Magistrate and Daviau (aka Beryl) aboard -- exactly the outcome Her Excellency desired. The crew hastily get their ship underway, skirting an obvious booby trap, gunning it toward Highport wiht the Tantalus vaulting after them. The ship is scorched by laser and missile attack but outruns the faster Tantalus due to Biscuit's sabotage. Curtain closes as they begin to pull away, fuel tanks near empty as they race the remaining hours toward Highport.
Dorothy arrives at Highport to a gaggle of reporters. Crew is low-key about the piracy angle, passing it off as an insurance matter, but unable to stop speculation from the media. An overnight hospital stay for Jill Dyvrii gets her on her feet, but it only adds fuel to rumors. Many use it to rail against the Prokoetaal as yet more evidence of their perfidy. Amid the clamor,Tantalus arrives in high orbit above Highport with its own story to tell, dismissing allegations. Predictably, their story tows the line of stopping illegal incursion into civil affairs of Deep Adit as the excuse to interdict. But the revelation of the Imperial assassination attempt that followed trumps piracy as the real story. Colonel Ursu holds up the captive Deputy Magistrate as proof of the true nature and goals of the Empire, with the Prokoetaal as the humble defenders of regional autonomy and interests. "The Third Imperium will use the sword to bring us all to our knees."
Colonel Ursu calls Quinn privately aboard the Dorothy. In it he snottily attempts to provoke the Captain into showing his Imperial colors -- by showing the captive Jee Fesal, collared with a Neural Shunt that makes her a mindless slave. Seeing this tape has a profound effect on Brenna hault Shoke, but the Captain and crew present manage to keep their cover. Biscuit notices a hidden code within the carrier protocol: a set of coordinates and a vector. Someone is using the call to communicate a location.
Brenna hault Schoke reveals Beryl's true identity. Daviau/Beryl is the Magistrate himself, one of only a few thousand, and entrusted by the Emperor personally carry out justice and fight corruption. The Magistrate is now installed in a position of trust within the Prokoetaal Command. Brenna does not know his ultimate objective or means, but thinks it is to "take down Flight Ursu to the last man." Emphasizes that only Quinn, Jill, and Biscuit are to know about this, and that the honor and safety of the Magistrate is at stake.
The Fidelity arrives in Deep Adit, and Brenna makes contact, updating them and arranging to deliver the Memory Box. Brenna and Cochise move into a hotel in Highport. The Dorothy is fueled and the crew is paid, and she heads to South City downport to sell the remaining cargo and to obtain outbound cargo for portage, continuing their cover, and incidentally aiding the South, who are fighting for their lives in the face of the Prokoetaal backing their opponents. Jill overpays (because fuck those guys), but even so, the cargo is not very plausible.
Leaving planetary gravity for a jump to Right Angle for much needed repairs, another message from the Tantalus to return to Highport for inspection or be boarded. Another carrier signal message: the new coordinates are aboard the Tantalus itself. The Tantalus pulls within visual to show them callously offloading cargo, presumably to rub the crew's nose in it. But when an offhand signal from Quinn comes back with a third set of coordinates -- the cargo being dumped -- it is clear that something is in that cargo. The Dorothy heaves to and salvages while the Tantalus cruises on. The crew pick up one of their old Trojan Horse containers. It's Her Excellency Jee Fesal, unconscious but alive. "Beryl" has orchistrated her escape and the crew handled it perfectly.
The Tantalus discovers her missing moments later and turns around and vaults back toward the Dorothy, jamming signals. Dorothy enters Jump. Prokoetaal missiles zip past the waning cloud of flaming hydrogen. Final curtain.
(setup for Mission 02)
Upon retrieving the Deputy Magistrate, the ship's doctor revives her. In the few moments before jump, the Captain and crew of the Dorothy volunteer to continue her mission. She gives them a destination: Yhro, Jump-3 from Deep Adit, a former invasion site where Colonel Ursu became notorious, now annexed into Prokoetaal space.