Cards on the Table

The PCs level with each other on their backgrounds

After returning from their supply run to ‘The Pebble’, the Mafdet docks at Port-Aux-Paix to refuel. While docked, Finch hits up the local job boards for work. Instead of work, he finds an invitation to a secret meeting in the office section of the station. After some discussion, the crew nervously decide to go to the meeting. The station is a secure area and weapons that can damage the station are prohibited. As a result the PCs are mostly unarmed and unarmored, leaving them feeling somewhat exposed.

The meeting takes place in office #21, one of the small rental offices in the station’s business section. The office block is old and in poor repair and the party even notices the old Frontier Mining Corporation logo imprint left on the front door, not quite removed by the current owners. Upon entering office #21 the party is greeted by an obsolete pleasure bot sitting behind a plain metal desk. The bot is obviously being used as a remote proxy by parties unknown, as it is wired in to communications hardware built into the chair upon which it sits.

After greeting each party member by name (and saying ‘alias’ after saying Ranso’s name) it offers an interesting business proposal. The speaker introduces itself as ‘Fed’, and claims to sell information. It also claims to have information regarding the large amount of attention the party seems to be drawing. After the party agrees to pay a substantial fee ($2000), Fed tells them that the local pirates are receiving support from an outsystem party, probably corporate, specifically to go after them. In addition, it warns them that agents are already on Port-Aux-Paix station. Fed tells them to be cautious and says it hopes to deal with them in the future. The bot then shuts down, leaving the PCs to decide what to do next.

As the party returns to the docked Mafdet, they are ambushed by a group of three strangers disguised as mechanics. The ambush occurs in one of the boarding tube sections, so there is little cover other than a cart being pushed by one of the mechanics. The ‘mechanics’ attack with a combination of blades and a Tangler gun, and initially the PCs seem to be in trouble. A lucky Gyroc Stinger hit from Claudia disables the Tangler gunner before everyone can be glommed.

Rence moves up to take the dropped Tangler and head for the cover of the cart. As he comes up to a ‘T’-junction in the tube he is ambushed by a fourth assailant with a Tangler pistol. He dives to the ground, narrowly avoiding the sticky Tangler shot. Renso has been holding back, waiting to see if there was another person, essentially using Rence as bait. When the fourth attacker was occupied shooting at Rence, Ranso moved in and engaged him hand-to-hand.

Two other attackers moved up from behind the group with knives, and Claudia and Finch turned to engage them. Claudia kept them busy while Finch struggled to pull his holdout blaster from its concealed holster. After dodging a thrown knife, Finch finally got his blaster into action and opened up on the attackers. Dodging knives and returning fire with blaster, gyroc, and Tangler, Finch, Claudia, and Rence finally managed to take out the two attackers, eventually with Finch cutting them down with blaster bolts. Unfortunately Finch’s missed shots struck critical components in the wall, causing a small hull breech and also a volatile gas leak at the same time. A race between volatile gas filling, and vacuum clearing the boarding tubeway began.

Meanwhile Ranso was having trouble in hand-to-hand with his opponent. He quickly discovered the attacker was enhanced somehow, possessing high levels of strength. It turned into a grappling contest that Ranso was only able to win due to the contact-deploying piercing shiv in his hand that was able to penetrate the attacker’s light subdermal ballistic armor. Ranso managed to score a hit or two with his shiv before being thrown away by his attacker into Rence and the mechanic’s cart.

While Rence and Ranso kept the last standing attacker busy, Finch and Claudia realized the hazard of the leaking gas and vacuum. They moved to the airlock, only to discover the power was cut due to the blaster damage to the wall. They began to use the manual override to force the airlock open without power.

Ranso recovered from being thrown into the cart and charged his opponent, only to be Judo-thrown. The attacker then rushed Rence, who was trying to use the Tangler on him. The attacker grabbed the Tangler from Rence, and fired a shot at Ranso, who managed to dodge it. Rence then attempted to tackle the attacker, but was badly injured by a high-strength rifle-butt slam to the back. Ranso moved in and managed to score a few more hits with his shiv, but the attacker would still not go down. From the ground, Rence stabbed him in the knee with a vibro knife, crippling him. The attacker then attempted to shoot Rence point-blank with the Tangler, only to discover that it was out of ammo.

Ranso scored another shiv hit, but the attacker, while bleeding profusely, still refused to go down. In a last ditch attempt, Rence made an all-out attack from the ground, stabbing his vibroblade into the attacker’s groin and finally putting him down. The group then rushed to the airlock and forced the door open. They quickly boarded the Mafdet and separated from the station as a fireball erupted from the boarding tube.

Having caused considerable damage to the station, the crew held the Mafdet at a ‘casual’ distance from Port-Aux-Paix, not wanting to appear to be running. Finch and Rence took the call from station control and managed to convince the port managers that somebody had attempted to hijack their ship, blaming the energy weapon damage on the attackers.

Station control ordered the Mafdet down to Downport for safety reasons, where the group gave statements to Sheriff Thoon upon landing. After loading up all their weapons, they then went to see Dr. Zebo to get Rence’s back patched up. Upon entering the Doctor’s clinic, Finch sensed intense surprise and nervousness from the doctor, especially when he saw Claudia. He kept an eye on the doctor as he patched up Rence, and confronted him on his nervousness. Dr. Zebo said he was nervous because the PCs had walked in looking ready to start a war with all their weapons, but Finch could tell he wasn’t telling the whole truth.

Finally, the PCs recouped at Tammin’s bar, and compared notes as to why somebody would be attacking them. To Rence’s horror, he discovered that everyone in his crew had a significant enemy who was after them. Moreover, Finch relayed his suspicion that Dr. Zebo had sold them out to at least one of these enemies as Zebo had Claudia’s biological data from the time she went in to be treated for bullet wounds.

Finch and Rence had quite a shock when they learned both of Claudia’s experimental Mentat nature, and an even bigger one when Ranso explained he was full of nanites. Ranso began to taunt FInch by threatening to poke him with a nanite-laden finger. Finch then suggested that they find out who Dr. Zebo was feeding information to, and the group decided to try to tap the entire Tortuga Groundport’s comm system. The port controller, Ando, had a bit of a reputation for drinking, so it should be relatively easy to incapacitate him. Also, the party had data on the ships that had attempted to catch them earlier that they could use as a pretense to visit the tower.

Claudia offered to install tapping hardware to the comm panel in the tower, but it would take some time and the party needed to ensure that Ando stayed out during the installation. FInch offered the perfect solution when he poked Ranso in retaliation, injecting him with a hypospray concealed in his finger, knocking Ranso unconscious.

After reloading his hypospray, Finch, Rence, and Claudia go to visit Ando in the tower after dropping an unconscious Ranso at their room in the hostel. Rence and Finch get Ando drinking and talking, and finally Finch pats him on the back, injecting sedative through his concealed hypospray. Claudia quickly installs her comm tap and instructs it to relay relevant communications through the Mafdet. The group prop Ando up with some whiskey and head back to the hostel. They catch some sleep, and all wake up in the morning, with Ranso being particularly refreshed from his ‘nap’.



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