The party arrives at Tortuga Downport after landing their ship, the Mafdet, at the facility’s dubious landing field. They acquire lodgings from Tannik Muldoon, the owner of the local hostel. To save money, they book at 4-person bunkroom for 1200 credits for two weeks. Claudia is fascinated by Muldoon’s shrine to Hypithoria, which appears to be some sort of geometry-based philosophy or religion based on contemplation of the platonic solids.
After stowing their gear and getting cleaned up, the group settles down at the local watering hole, The Bitter End, run by Tibby Tammins. After a surprising meal of fresh fish and greens Rence and Finch ask Tammins about the local action. Tammins explains that the facility is between shifts at the moment, which is why there were so few people out and about, however at the start of the morning shift people tend to meet at the bar with various jobs.
About an hour later, a grimy crewman bursts into the bar. Realizing that the local barflies are even more incapacitated than usual, the crewman, Hoyan, recruits the PCs for a simple grav-sled delivery to a nearby observatory facility. The Observatory’s oxygen generator needs to be replaced, and the PCs are to escort Hoyan and the generator across the dunes and into the Pointy Mountains where the observatory is located.
The group suits up and goes to hanger one, where they see a battered colonial freighter undergoing emergency repairs. Hoyan, the ship’s purser, is the only crewman not involved in repairing the considerable damage to the ship. Hoyan explains that the ship had a plasma leak to one of the engine pods that caused considerable damage to the ship’s maneuver drives. The engine will need to be repaired before the ship can leave.
The crew boards the grav sled, and Finch notices that the cargo is not well secured and takes a moment to tie it down properly. The sled, with Claudia driving, then heads off across the plains towards the mountains. As they enter the first shallow ravine, Claudia notices a large volley of gyrocs headed straight towards the sled.
Claudia manages to swerve, preventing the gyrocs from peppering the front cab of the grav sled, but a lift pod is hit and the sled becomes unmanageable. Claudia manages to land it without crashing. Ranso picks a sputtering gyroc out of his armor, and there are a few holes in the cabin, but overall nobody is injured.
A large cloud of dust has been kicked up by the grav sled ditching. The PCs use this as cover to move into the nearby rocks. They then hunker down and wait to see what happens. Hoyan takes cover in the wreckage of the sled to protect the oxygen generator.
After a few moments the dust clears and a large grav barge is seen slowly approaching from the other end of the ravine. It is covered in improvised armor consisting of scrap metal and construction foam, with a long but narrow slit at the front for vision. A firefight ensues, with the PCs initially pinned down in the hills. A smoke round fired by Finch blinds the firing slit, and Ranso prepares to charge the vehicle while Rence and Claudia work their way around the opposite side of the ravine.
Ranso is hit by a long-range rifle burst from the hills that dents his armor but does not penetrate. Claudia tries to see the sniper but he has already moved. Finch fires another smoke round, providing further cover to Ranso as he begins running towards the grav barge. Claudia watches the hills for the sniper, ready to point a targeting laser at him while Rence loads a guided gyroc into his launcher.
Ranso continues to close with the vehicle. Claudia sees the sniper poke up in the distant hills and manages to paint him with her targeting laser. Rence fires his gyroc and sees it slam into the sniper, putting him down. Finch begins to charge the vehicle while Rence, Claudia, and Ranso suppress two pirates who have exited either side of the barge.
A stream of laser fire from Rence wards off one, while Ranso manages to put the other down with several blaster bolts. Claudia picks off somebody through the slit and Ranso reaches one of the vehicle’s doors. Ranso yanks it open and is met by a spectacularly inept stream of automatic fire. The would-be door gunner looses control of his weapon and sprays the cabin with bullets, heavily damaging it.
Ranso shoots him and enters the cabin, only to discover another pirate with a giant multi-barreled gyroc weapon of some sort. The pirate panic fires the gyroc as Ranso dives back out the door. The hail of gyrocs miss Ranso, and many of them end up ricocheting around the cabin inflicting further damage. The grav barge’s control systems fail and it sinks to the ground.
The crew quickly search the cabin of the grav barge, and while it will not move, Finch and Claudia manage to scavenge some valuable control computer components. Finch also finds an inertial compass module which he gives to Claudia. Meanwhile Hoyan has scrounged some lift-pod parts from the barge to jury-rig a repair to the grav sled’s repulsor system so they can finish their delivery.
~$1200 credits of computer control parts
Inertial compass of indeterminate value (probably a lot)
Shoulder-mounted 30-barrel gyroc launcher with bipod
Caseless 6mm sub-machine gun with two loaded magazines
Two double-barreled gyrocs
One Gyroc revolver
13 rounds of Gyroc solid (6d pi++)
20 rounds of Gyroc armor-piercing capped (5d-2(2) pi+)
Hulk of a grav barge with numerous large but valuable components
4 medium air tanks