Tortuga2500

Wildcat
The Mafdet unsheathes its claws

The crew discovers they will be held liable for at least part of the damages inflicted to Port-Aux-Paix station during last episode’s ambush. The crew go to the downport’s control tower and contact Port-Aux-Paix dockmaster, Plinth, to try to negotiate the costs down. As they converse, a severe particle storm brews up and communication becomes difficult.

Suddenly Plinth puts them on hold to handle an urgent matter. When he reconnects, Plinth tells the crew that a gas freighter is in distress in the upper atmosphere of the Tortuga gas giant, and asks the crew to lift off in the Mafdet to assist as no other vessels are available. In return, Plinth agrees to waive the cost of the damage to Port-Aux-Paix.

The Mafdet has developed a strong electrical charge sitting on the landing field out in the storm. The crew quickly ground the ship out with a conductive cable and anchor system and are then able to safely board the ship and perform an emergency launch.

On reaching the upper atmosphere of the gas giant, the crew detects the freighter, and discovers that a small unknown ship, similar in mass to the Mafdet, has docked with it. Suspecting a pirate raid or trap, the crew approach cautiously. Ranso opens fire with the Mafdet’s sensor array laser, scoring hits on the aft of the smaller docked vessel, but also accidentally clipping the freighter with some of the beam. The smaller vessel seems to take significant damage, however the freighter begins leaking coolant and the crew realize time is of the essence.

The Mafdet quickly docks at the airlock on the opposite side of the freighter from the unknown boarding vessel. Finch, Claudia, and Ranso board the freighter and encounter no opposition as they work their way forward to the bridge. After securing the bridge, Claudia manages to override a lockout on the ship’s controls and starts to accelerate the freighter out of the gas giant’s lower atmosphere.

Meanwhile Finch and Ranso move aft, avoiding the central cargo area, and move on the bridge. They discover that Ranso’s earlier gunnery has damaged the reactor’s coolant and vented the engine room of atmosphere. Finch finds some sealant foam, and Ranso quickly patches the hull breach. FInally the group shuts down the main reactor, reducing the freighter to emergency power and life support.

Realizing time is limited, Ranso and FInch head up towards the freighter’s crew quarters. They find most of the crew of the ship tied up and locked in their own quarters, however no raiders are to be found. The lack of resistance is suspicious to the crew, and they quickly evacuate the captives back to the Mafdet as life support on the freighter will shortly fail.

As the last of the captives is safely evacuated, Rence, back aboard the Mafdet, detects that the unknown vessel docked at the other airlock has undocked and is making a run for it. Claudia sets the freighter’s autopilot to bring the ship up to a stable orbit for later recovery, and the Mafdet and crew undock to pursue.

The Mafdet quickly catches up to the crippled boarding vessel as it attempts to flee. Ranso and Finch do a cautious boarding, but again nobody seems to be aboard the small ship. Then Claudia detects the freighter is deviating from the course she left in the autopilot. Rence suspects that there may have been some raiders still aboard the freighter, and that they launched the damaged boarding craft as a distraction.

The Mafdet alters course and attempts to re-rendezvous with the freighter. Suddenly another large ship comes over the horizon of the gas giant in a head-on pass for the Mafdet. Ranso detects several missiles being launched and frantically shoots them down the the sensor array laser. He then returns fire, managing to inflict some damage on the Mafdet’s assailant. A second larger volley of missiles is launched, and again Ranso engages, but this time one missile slips through. Claudia frantically jinks the ship in a last-moment attempt to dodge, but the missile is closing fast. Finally Finch concentrates the Mafdet’s active sensors onto the missile in an attempt to jam its seeker, diverting the missile just enough to miss.

Ranso takes the opportunity to return fire, and manages to punch a hole in the cargo bay of the attacker just as it whips past and disappears over the horizon again. Given that they have innocent people on board and limited life support, Rence opts to break off the fight and return to Port-Aux-Paix. Before they leave, however, the Mafdet pulls alongside the escaping gas freighter and Ranso manages to tag it with a beacon Gyroc for later identification. The Mafdet then returns to Port-Aux-Paix and delivers the freighter’s crew to safety.

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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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The Fastest Ship in the West
The Mafdet goes for a run.

The crew rest, heal, and resupply for a few days back at the Downport. Finch sells off the salvage and scrap taken from the bandits for a tidy profit to Mada Xuan, a local scrap dealer. He receives a high security ‘hard credit’ chit for $2500 labeled ‘Bank of Madrid’ and the rest in standard credits. She exchanges the large grav sled for a set of military-grade sensor emitters.

Finch and Claudia manage to use the emitters to upgrade the Mafdet’s sensor array to military specifications. This allows the sensor array to perform targeting functions, and provides limited defensive capability via a long-range lidar emitter so powerful it can perform as a close-in-weapon at short range. It turns out to be a good compromise as it gives some weapons capability to the Mafdet without technically being a weapon.

The crew then meets the local mechanic, Otika Thoon, wife of the sheriff, who fixes Ranso and Claudia’s damaged armor and space suit. She also works out a process for making the fuel for Claudia’s chemical propellant rifle and gives Claudia a shopping list of chemicals to acquire.

Finch realizes he still has a message chip from the monk, Ojumba, that needs to be put into the interstellar mail system. Ojumba said he needed to contact more of his followers for additional funds and support. The crew boards the Mafdet and fly up to Port-aux-Paix station to inquire about getting the message sent out, and getting the chemicals Claudia needed for her rifle.

On arriving at the station, the crew meets Dockmaster Plinth, who offers to put the chip on the next transport out of the system to be uploaded to the interstellar mail network. He directs Claudia to the Refinery Operator, Hugo, who provides her with the gasses she needs to bring to Otika for the rifle ammunition.

After topping up their fuel tanks, Plinth asks if the Mafdet would be available for a priority cargo run out to a mining station in the asteroids. The crew agrees to take three tons of mining equipment out to one of the asteroid bases owned by the asteroid mining clans. The cargo is loaded and the crew heads out, Claudia plotting an unusual high-efficiency course using Tortuga’s two other moons, Inagua and Ambergris, for a slingshot boost.

As the Mafdet hurdles through space, Ranso notices on the sensors that a ship is tailing them at extreme range. After the gravity boost from Inagua, however, the Mafdet quickly outruns their pursuer. The ship cruises nearly two weeks and arrives at the asteroid station, known as the Pebble.

The crew lands in an internal pressurized bay and are greeted by a single asteroid miner, a woman named Alawn. While Alawn offloads the mining cargo, she asks if the crew would deliver a message to the Tortuga Downport mail system for her. Rence agrees and the two leave the cargo bay to get the message chip from another room.

After nearly an hour, Rence finally returns to the bay, commenting on how difficult it was to find the chip, all the while with a satisfied grin on his face. Muttering something about ‘space herpes’ the rest of the crew suggests the ship should get going and they prepare to head back to Port-aux-Paix.

En route back to Port-aux-Paix, Ranso notices a cluster of contacts ahead of the ship with the tactical sensor array. Claudia performs a hard burn to make sure the ship would not be in danger of a collision. As the Mafdet passes the unknown objects Ranso identifies them as some type of escape or boarding pod. One of the pods begins firing a laser at the Mafdet, but the ship is now traveling so fast relative to the pods that they are unable to score a hit. Claudia pulses the engines to create a plume of smoke behind the Mafdet in the shape of a rude gesture, and the Mafdet streaks away unharmed.

The crew arrives back at Port-aux-Paix with many questions, foremost of which being why they were tailed on the way out, and how the pods were able to try to ambush them on the return orbit. Paranoia mounts as the crew wonders who might have tipped off their would-be attackers as to their travel plans…

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The Monks who Watch
A cult in the hills

The party arrives at the Observatory with the oxygen generator they were hired to deliver. While they offload the cargo a storm hits and the Monks, lead by Ojumba, offer them a meal.

Over dinner the Monks explain their holy mission to observe the Tortuga gas giant and surrounding space for signs of the coming of a ‘divine being’. To that end they use high performance sensors in the tower to measure and map surrounding space and examine the gas giant.

The Monks seem harmless enough, but once the storm ends the PCs discover more bandits have blockaded the tower. A firefight ensues as the bandits attempt to force their way in through the front door.

The Monks, though not warriors, are surprisingly well armed and make a good accounting of themselves. The door is held for a while but finally the remaining bandits try a desperate rush. A brutal close quarters fight rages that sees Finch, the Purser, taking out several bandits at point blank range with his derringer, while Rence cuts down man after man with its laser pistol.

Meanwhile, on the upper level of the tower, Ranso and Claudia are ambushed by a pair of snipers. Ranso is hit by laser fire while attempting to defend the main door from above. Luckily his ablative plate absorbs the hit and he begins to retreat. Claudia is attacked by a second sniper with a rifle who manages to moderately would her.

Ranso grabs Claudia and pulls her through the upper airlock. He treats her wound with fleshfoam, stabilizing her injury. Unfortunately she reacts to the pain killers in the foam and goes completely numb from head to toe.

Seeing Claudia is stabilized, and hearing the furious battle on the lower level, Ranso leaves Claudia to recover and heads down stairs to try to assist Rence and Finch. He arrives just in time to see the last bandit fall, then hears a message from Claudia that the upper airlock is cycling. Cursing, Ranso turns around and begins to run back upstairs.

Meanwhile, with no sensation in her hands and crumpled in a heap next to the airlock, Claudia manages to ready her laser pistol. When the two snipers walk out of the airlock she ambushes them, burning them down at point blank range.

In the aftermath, the party salvages weapons and equipment from the bandits, and even capture two alive. The prisoners talk easily, explaining that their boss, named ‘Scalder’ told them to kill the Monks and destroy the equipment in the tower, without saying why…

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Welcome to Tortuga
A simple delivery run

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.

Loot:

~$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

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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