Clarke's Third Law

The Waiting

Spacestation2It is 7pm as you step out of your terminal on to the High Port Starports at Tobia.

You stretch your legs and arms, happy to be off of the passenger ship that has brought you here. You are impressed with the newness of the Tobia High Port; tall, twenty foot ceilings, with clean, white metal surfaces, reeking of imperialism, greet you.

You can see down the clean hallways the immigration processing center. There are no individuals in line, which pleases you as immigration processing can be quite time consuming. There are security cameras mounted high on the walls, but you don’t see any guards.

The walls are simply adorned with Imperial messages and instructions: “Customs –RIGHT”, “Restrooms – LEFT” and “IMPERIAL TERRORITYLAW LEVEL 5”.

An older man, dressed in an imperial immigration uniform, greets you, “Welcome to Tobia” he says without emotion and hands you a flyer. Immigration officer1

The high-gloss flyer contains the following on the front:

  • The Imperium welcomes you to Tobia, the capital world of the Tobia Subsector.
  • Tobia is THE trading mecca in the subsector….all manner of goods and products from the farthest corners of the universe are here for your shopping pleasure.
  • Tobia is the home of the Sector Ducal Palace! Tours are available.
  • Tobia is home to many of the subsectors most important corporations. If you are a representative of a corporation, please meet with our Chamber of Commerce office on High Port to learn how Tobia can partner with your operations.
  • High Culture and Arts of all types available for your pleasure and leisure. Be sure to visit our office of Tourism on High Port for the most current listing of shows and events sure to please all!
  • Our Class A Starport offers only the highest level of services and quality.
  • Our Down Port offers various manufacturing, warehousing and shopping districts and is the gateway to your our friendly 20 billion population; each waiting to make your visit special!
  • While on planet-side, our thin atmosphere is breathable by all and our wonderful natural wonders will provide the most restful shore leave.
  • Be sure to visit our travel center for more news about tours, shopping, accommodations, shows, and other leisure activities.

IMPORTANT FACTS

  • Tobia is an Imperial Sector Capital and the local government is run by Sector Duke Thomas Tyrion (Feudal Technocracy)
  • Law Level 5: no concealed weapons, no heavy weapons, no energy weapons, no explosives. Most narcotics and anagathics are considered illegal.
  • Text “HELP ME” to summon law enforcement officers.

On the back of the flyer, you see a number of advertisements:
Yacht1

  • Introducing the all-new, BMWW 750X Luxury Yacht “The Playboy’s First Choice” Preorders now for 65 million credits. Text “High Tastes” for more information. By General Development Company “When Luxury Matters”
  • “Looking to earn some cash while on Tobia? Look no further… we have short-term jobs for all skill types! TOP PAY GUARANTEED!”, contact “TempForce” for our latest listing of short-term and long-term work available NOW! Text “I need credits” for more information.

Crown princess* “See the very best of Tobia….enjoy the ice blue glaciers, abundant wildlife and soaring mountains of Tobia in our Crown Princess (the largest sea vessel on Tobia). Only the Crown Princess offers such a spectular variety of cruises and land and sea vacations, bringing you all the attractions of Tobia you most want to see! From 6,000 credits per-person (double occupancy) for 10-day cruise. Discounts for retired Imperium employees. Text “Escape Completely” for more information. Bookings by Travel for Life, Inc.

Laser rifle1

  • TravTech is proud to offer our patented “TravTech Regeneration Introspection Projector IV” (the TRIP IV)… using a computerized modulation suite attached to the focusing chamber of a bulky laser rifle system, this weapon emits a power multi-wavelength laser that scans, adjusts to and appropriately blasts a target all at once. By automatically configuring, using TravTech’s patented “Death-CHIP IV”, to the substance the laser is striking, say the body armor of your target, nanoseconds after the laser is emitted, the beam adapts to better disassemble the target on a molecular level. As a result, the TRIP IV ignores 1d6 points of the armor of your target and has cumulative effects with consecutive hits on the same target (2d6 on next and 3d6 on third, etc.). PRICE: 19,000. Text “TravTech TRIP IV”. Brought to you by TravTech, a division of the Florian Trade Company

Isu logo* Interviews for long-term assignment with the Imperial Science Union are being held Down Port, at the Imperial Academy of Science and Medicine. All skills and trades needed…. Gain the freedom and power you deserve, join the ISU to help expand the Imperium’s knowledge and power. NOTICE: With great risks come great rewards. Only the brave and bold should apply. Are you willing to venture a little way past them into the impossible?

You review the facts on the planet, obviously prepared by the tourism department and of course failing to mention the, well, under-society and culture that exists in every star port… high port or down port.

Your eyes are drawn to the ISU advertisement on the flyer… this is the exact reason you have traveled to Tobia. The allure and promise of fame or fortune, or both, has drawn you.

Tired of your previous endeavors and employment, you are drawn to the immense funding and the grand history of the ISU. The stories of prior ISU projects and endeavors are well known in star ports throughout the sector. The individuals responsible for those projects and endeavors are household names…. Doctor Steven Roh and the WORT breakthrough….Jessica Schaeffer surviving the “worm hole anomaly” at Camoran…..Dr. Howard Aschwald discovering the lost Vargr civilization in the Borderland subsector.

You hunger for your place in history. You hunger for excitement. You hunger for fortune. You also just plain hunger…. its been awhile since you last ate.

The Imperial customs agent tells the gathering crowd of disembarked travelers that the immigration office won’t open until tomorrow morning so you are restricted to the terminal until 8am tomorrow morning (its 7pm now). Over your moans and protests, he raises both hands to calm the crowd and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do. While you won’t be processed until tomorrow morning there is a lounge, which offers the choicest Tobian foods and beverages within the terminal area, it is called “The Waiting” and is just down this hall.” He points behind you.

“I’m sorry that there are no berths available within the terminal but there are some comfortable…… errr… chairs in the waiting areas next to the gates. Good night and welcome to Tobia!” With that, he turns and leaves, exiting through the immigration stalls, which are closed behind him.

Bar3 The crowd of about 15, begins gathering their luggage and heading off towards The Waiting. Upon arrival you can see that almost all the tables are taken as many other travelers are “enjoying” Tobia. You struggle to push your way through the crowd in the restaurant, which does have a large bar, and find a seat at a half-filled table. After asking politely if you can join them, you find yourself sitting at a table with each other. After the waitress takes your order for drinks and food, which are 3 times more expensive than you expected, you are left alone to make small talk.

Comments

Lyana throws the brochure out, thinking it’s a waste of time – then the ISU ad catches her eye, and she actually moves to catch it before it hits the basket. Anyone near her when the customs agent makes his announcement hears her utter several strange phrases with undisguised venom amid the general outcry.

Once inside the cafe, Lyana orders only water – she can’t even afford the food, though she mentions nothing of the sort. Most definitely looking out-of-place, Lyana has only a slightly threadbare jumpsuit and a travel bag that is falling apart at the seams. She says very little, speaking to the waitress in short words and then waiting for someone else to speak first.

She does not appear very happy.

The Waiting
 

Willem Meneth sized up the patrons at the cafe. Finding no one he knew, he searched for a table. Seeing a half full one nearby, he walked over, glancing at the occupants.

“Mind if I sit?” he asked, and, without waiting, pulled up a chair.

Noticing the young lady across from him had only indulged in water, he said, “Madame, may I purchase you a beverage? All I ask in return is the opportunity to hear your story, as your appearance indicates it might be an interesting one…”

The Waiting
 

Lyana looks at the well-spoken man across from her as if he were an interesting insect she had smashed – but, he can tell she is trying to be polite when she says, “No, thank you.”

The Waiting
 

Willem nods, then signals the waitress over.

“May I have a water, please.”

Looking back to the young lady he says, “Well, now that you’ve treated me to aqua nobilis, let me share my story with you…”

The Waiting
 

Despite herself, Lyana listens.

The Waiting
 

“…and so that’s how I became a friend to the unions at the same time as I assisted corporate management. Both sides won. Everybody wins. That’s my motto. Now I’ve decided it’s time to strike out in a new direction.” Willem laughs, “If you’ll pardon the pun. What about you? Looking for work?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana nods. “Yeah. Gotta pay the bills, you know. Can’t stand working for the bureaucracy anymore.”

The Waiting
 

As you continue to talk and nurse your drinks, you overhear a loud argument at the table next to you between a stout, muscular man in his late-30s, who is wearing a leather vest with thick, muscular arms and short, stalky older man, who sits with his arms crossed, but eyes furious. The man in the vest pounds the table hard with one hand, veins in his neck are throbbing, and with his other hand he points accusatory to the stalky man, “You stole my crystals you bastards!”

The stalky man, suddenly jumps to feet and draws a body pistol. The man in the vest nearly falls out of his chair as he, throws up hands and jumps back. “Hold on now Ven, hold on.”

The Waiting
 

Figuring its not her problem, Lyana continues to sit and stare somewhat morosely into her water.

The Waiting
 

Willem, in a very relaxed state after his fit of verbosity, rather sanguinely takes note of the proceedings, seemingly half asleep.

With a sudden shake he rouses himself, takes a sip of his water and looks over at Lyana.

“Aren’t you going to do anything?” he asks casually.

The Waiting
 

Lyana gives Willem a hard look. “No. I don’t feel like getting shot.”

The Waiting
 

“Very reasonable.” chortles Willem.

Then he pulls out his phone and texts “HELP ME”.

Closing his phone, he looks back at Lyana. “This is rather relaxing.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana shrugs. “I’ll take your word for it.”

The Waiting
 

Two seconds after texting “HELP ME”, William’s communicator vibrates as the following message is displayed:

“SYSTEM MESSAGE: Thank you for contacting TOBIA STARPORT AUTHORITY (TSA). Your message is IMPORTANT to us. This is an automated rely but rest assured that we are processing your request and are using the coordinates from your communicator to locate you and send assistance. Your request number is A-1105-33-222AZ. PLEASE DO NOT RESEND YOUR REQUEST. Thank you.”

The older man with the body pistol drawn, who, based on the stalky man’s comments, you believe is Ven, extends his arm fully straight, aiming the gun at the other man’s head. The muscular stalky man, arms still raised, shuffles to his right, within inches of Lyanna’s chair (William is sitting on the same side as Ven). Suddenly, the man grabs Lyanna by the shoulders and yanks her up, placing her between the gun and himself…as body shield.

[Lyanna please make a STR check with -2 DM and Dex check -2 as well].

The rest of the crowd in The Waiting is now focused on the stand-off. Ven sternly says, gun still aimed at the stalky man as well as Lyanna, “Devan, you son of space goat! I stole from you?!? Space Dust! You STOLE the chips from me! I swear if you don’t hand them over right now I am going to shoot you right now…. I don’t care about that woman, she can die too!”

William receives another vibration on his communicator, the message reads:

“TSA System Message: Status up for REQUEST No. A-1105-33-222AZ. Your position has been identified and Officer Tuttle has been dispatched to your location. Remain in a safe place. Estimated time of arrival: 2 to 7 minutes. Thank you for trusting TSA.”

The Waiting
 

William, as you watch the struggle between Lyanna and Devan, please make an INT check -5 DM. If you have DECEPTION or STREETWISE skill you can use either modifier.

The Waiting
 

Obs Port roller paste:

Roll: 1d6
5
Roll: 1d6
4

less 5 Difficulty DM, plus 2 INT DM, plus 2 STREETWISE DM

= 8, Success

The Waiting
 

William, I will post a secret for you as you made your roll…. what you do with that is up to you.

The Waiting
 

(OOC It’s Willem, lol, not William. Cool on the email. Does Willem have his standard weapons (Dagger, Autopistol) or are those in his luggage?)

The Waiting
 

Str check: (Obsidian Portal dice roller):

Roll: 2d6-2
10 = 6[d6]+6[d6]-2

Dex check:

Roll: 2d6+2-2
4 = 2[d6]2[d6]2-2

[OOC: I’m assuming the strength check is sufficient to break out of his grip. If not, you can skip to the next bold section.]

“Oh, that is IT!” Lyana lapses into Glorious gutter-speak completely as she rips herself free from Devan, spinning to face him. “You little chikata fujaka, I’ll rip your corto fjorka kunte hejinik!” At this point she attempts to drive her knee into his ribcage via his groin.

Roll: 2d6+2-3
8 = 6[d6]3[d6]2-3

Roll: 1d6
3

At which point she shoves him backwards and turns on Ven, walks up to him and slaps the gun out of his hand. She looks him in the eye and says, in a very low and dangerous voice, “Get out.”

[OOC: Or, she might still be stuck in Devan’s grip.]

Lyana lapses into Glorious gutter-speak completely as she tries to rip herself free from Devan. “You little chikata fujaka, I’ll rip your corto fjorka kunte hejinik!”

The Waiting
 

Lyanna tries to rip away from Devan’s grip on her shoulders. Able to break his grip on her right shoulder, Devan quickly moves his left arm from your left shoulder to place you in one-arm headlock. You see Ven with one hand outstretched with the gun still aimed at your and Devan and the other hand shoving the table away. Devan takes a step back, bumping into a man behind him who places both of his hands up into the middle of Devan’s back as if to keep him from falling over. As Devan struggles with Lyanna, his right hand brushes against her waist as he draws his own body pistol from a concealed holster on his left side. He says to Ven, “I don’t have the chips or I would give them to you, why don’t you put the gun down and we can talk about the where the chip might be.”

The crowd in The Waiting is backing away and you hear someone shoot, “Call the TSA already!”

[Lyanna make an INT check -3 DM and you can add any STREETWISE bonus that you might have.]

TURN-ORDER:

1. Ven
2. Devan
3. Lyanna
4. Willem

Lyanna is up next.

The Waiting
 

Int roll 2 +0 Int +0 Streetwise -3 DM = -1.

Lyana has no idea what she failed to realize, or indeed that she failed to realize anything.

In her fit of pique, she also fails to remember that she has a weapon at her side as well.

Instead, she ducks and tries to throw Devan over her shoulder.

Unarmed roll 6 +2 Dex -3 skill = 5 vs. Devan’s roll.

The Waiting
 

Devan muscular arms tighten as he successful keeps you from flipping him. It has been about 45 second since Willem sent his text message to the TSA.

[Willem – your up next]

The Waiting
 

(assuming I have my gear…)

Willem draws his Autopistol and points it at Ven, saying, “Put the gun down. The TSA is on the way, and you’re being recorded.”

He raises his other hand to show his datapad, red recording light blinking.

The Waiting
 

Ven turns his gaze from Devan and Lyanna towards Willem, studying him closely. Suddenly he fires…..a bullet flies toward Devan and Lyanna.

[Lyanna please make a DEX check. If you succeed, please tell me by how much and that will be adjusted in Ven’s “to hit”. There is a chance that he hits either you or Devan if he hits at all.]

[Once the “to hit” roll is resolved, Devan is up next.]

The Waiting
 

Dex roll 2 +2 Dex = 4.

Lyana is caught completely by surprise, evidently having completely forgotten about Ven.

The Waiting
 

Lyanna, still struggling from the headlock that Devan has on her, hears Willem state that he is recording this and that TSA is on the way. Suddenly Ven fires towards Lyanna and Devan and Lyanna tries to dip and duck as best she can from the headlock. The bullet from Ven’s body pistol whizzes by Lyanna’s face and despite Devan’s attempt to duck behind Lyanna, hits Devan in the side of the face. Instantly, there is an explosion of blood from Devan’s face which rains down the back of Lyanna’s head and neck, drenching her top. At the same instant Devan’s headlock on Lyanna goes lax and Devan slumps forward to one knee, groaning (amazingly he is still up).

As Devan falls he shoots toward Ven, aiming wildly. His auto pistol fires but instead of hitting Ven, he actually hits Willem’s hand which is holding the datapad. Willem takes only 1 damage but his datapad explodes in sparks.

The crowd is falling over themselves to get away from the gun fire.

[Lyanna is next]

The Waiting
 

Mentally slapping herself for forgetting her weapon, she draws her gauss pistol and spins enough to fire at Devan at point-blank range into his heart. The cough of the silenced round is lost in the general fracas.

Attack roll 12 +1 skill +2 Dex = 15.
Damage roll 12 +7 effect from attack = 19.

She spits on the corpse, then remembers Ven.

The Waiting
 

(Actually, I said Devan…that SOB isn’t about to survive this one.)

The Waiting
 

[OPPS—updated to have the correct NPC slump on the table]

Devan’s body slumps onto the table, which can’t hold his weight. The table flips over, spilling Devan’s dead body to the floor as well as a drinks, datapads, leather bag (which looks capable of holding 3 apples) and a pile of credits.

Van, lowers his weapon calming and begins quickly gathering up the items that fell to the floor, including the leather bag.

[Willem is next]

The Waiting
 

(hmm.)

Willem continues to aim at Van and states calmly, “I said put your weapon down.

(Willem is holding his action. He has not moved, nor changed aim point. Reiterating his demand is a free action. He is therefore capable of interrupting any other player or NPC to take a shot at Van before they can act. This includes Van. He will use this interrupt abilty and shoot at Van (with the benefit of having aimed) if Van initiates any other movement than lowering his pistol gently to the ground and assuming a submissive posture.)

The Waiting
 

Lyana follows Willem’s lead, spending her entire turn (3 minor actions) aiming at Ven. “Actually, I’d rather you didn’t. I’m not having a good day.” She grins. “Might make it a bit better.”

The Waiting
 

Before Ven can respond to Willem’s repeated threat, you hear from behind you (amplified through a PA), “This is the TSA drop all weapons immediately and prepared to be detained!” You hear the distinct sound of the pin from a grenade being pulled.

[willem or Lyanna can interrupt if you like otherwise we will proceed to Ven]

The Waiting
 

(No thanks.)

The Waiting
 

(Unless Ven aims at him, Willem will drop to the ground. If Ven aims at him, Willem will fire. He is dropping to the ground, not dropping his weapon: the gun is still trained on Ven.)

The Waiting
 

Suddenly, from over your head flies a metal cylinder that lands on the floor directly between Ven, Willem and Lyarra (as well as the dead body of Devan)

[NOTE: if someone used a large Stimpack on Devan within 3 rounds there would be a chance that he could be saved. A large stimpack will do 3D6 healing but if a person is “dead” there is a 50% that the pack will have no effect.. but I don’t believe that you have any yet.]

As the cylinder lands you all know that this is a grenade of some type. Willem drops to the ground just as it explodes.

There is an extremely loud BANG followed immediately by a blinding flash of light. Those of you with military training know this to be a flash-bang (non-lethal grenade). All three of you are hit with 11 points of stun damage (except Willem who may reduce that by 1d6 for falling prone).

[Stun damage for a flash bang is 3d6 per page 114 of Supplement 4 Supply Catalog. The determination of whether you are stunned or not comes from p. 101 of the Core Rules…everyone must make an END check with a negative DM equal to the damage of the flash bang, which in this case was 11 reduced by any armor you are wearing (and for Willem another 1d6 for going prone before it exploded). If you fail your END check you are stunned for 5 rounds.]

Ven falls to the ground, rolling in confusion and pain, covering his ears and eyes as best he can… he is clearly stunned.

The Waiting
 

Roll: 1d6
4

Damage reduced to 7 due to dropping to ground, less 5 for TL 10 cloth is 2 damage net

Roll: 1d6
5
Roll: 1d6
5

10 rolled, less 2 damage, plus 1 End Mod is 9

Not stunned.

Willem, without getting up, lowers his pistol and looks around…

The Waiting
 

Lyana doesn’t have any armor on.

End roll 5 +0 End -11 DM = -6.

Lyana instinctively knows what grenade it is, but before she can react, it goes off. She drops to both knees, trying to shut out the noise with her hands over her ears and her eyes screwed shut. Her gun drops by her side onto the floor.

The Waiting
 

(OOC @ Montana, nope, no stimpacks. Willem’s standard equipment is pretty straightforward: Autopistol, dagger, TL 10 subtle cloth armor, handcuffs [don’t ask], a small [compact quadruple cost] set of IRLI goggles, and his trusty datapad [currently destroyed]. And Universal ID, of course.)

The Waiting
 

As Lyana and Ven are stunned and are dazed for 5 rounds. Suddenly officer Tuttle breaks through the crowd with two other TSA officers in tow. The officers are dressed in fresh grey uniforms, with padded, cloth armor (TL10) and black riot helmets. Officer Tuttle, weapon drawn, as his two other officers, surveys the scene, seeing a dead man, two stunned people, both with guns laying next to them and Willem prone with a gun in hand and he screams, “Drop the weapon now and prepared to be detained!”

The crowd has backed away as far it can and a number of people who were close to the flash bang also fell to the floor and are stunned.

[Willem is up next]

The Waiting
 

Willem carefully places his pistol on the ground, puts his hands behind his head, and says, “Thank the moons of Jupiter* you guys are finally here!”

  • he doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase, or where Jupiter is located, but the utterance has been a staple one on the paternal side of his family for as long as he has been alive…)
The Waiting
 

Quickly, the TSA officers swoop in and cuff Lyana, Ven and Willem. TSA Agent Tuttle, says after everyone is cuffed, “On behalf of the TSA assigned to Tobia HighPort you have been detained for processing.” He surveys the scene, lingering his gaze on Devan and adds, “With a dead man here,” he points to Devan “and three men with drawn weapons, you have certainly created a lot of work for me tonight.”

Gesturing one of the guards, he says “gather up the evidence” as he points to the items spilled all over the ground, including your gear.

To the other guard, Office Tuttle says, “take statements from the witnesses here” as he points to the crowd.

By this time more TSA agents arrive and lead you, Ven, Lyanna towards the TSA security station.

500 yards later you arrive at the small TSA security station. The main lobby of the TSA security office contains about 5 chairs across from an information desk that is manned by a female TSA agent who is monitoring a series of display screen. You recognize some of the locations on her screens as places that you saw security cameras when you first arrived on High Port… places such as the immigration processing area, restroom entrances and once with a crowd huddled around some TSA officers… it is the pub you were in.

TSA Office Tuttle asks her to buzz the group into the secured area. She pushes a button under the desk and you hear a deep, loud BUZZZZZZZZ and then click. The secure door slides open and you are all usher into to a smaller area with individual cells. Each of you in placed in a separate 4×6 cell and the door to each cell closes. Your gear is piled on a table outside of your cells. The officers make an attempt to pat you all down and take your Universal IDs. Office Tuttle says to each of you, “I will be by shortly to get your statements on why there was a dead man on my station. First, I am going to run your Universal IDs to see who you all are.”

After the guards leave you, you check your own pockets to see if they missed anything. Lyana, you run your hand over the outside of your pants and feel something very small in your rear right pocket. Surprised you slowly run your hand into your back pocket and your fingers touch a small plastic item. It is the about the thickness and size of a credit but is rectangular and black. It looks like a computer chip or memory card of some kind but one thing for sure is that it isn’t yours.

As you are examining it the guard suddenly comes back and looks in the cell at you. [Make a DEX check please to try to hide the chip].

At the same time this is happening in Lyanna’s cell, Willem you hear the familiar beep of your datapad coming from the table outside your cell. You shift your view and vaguely make out the message that flashes on the cracked screen,

TSA Security Update: Your issue has been resolved. Thank you for contacting TSA.”

The Waiting
 

(LOL!)

The Waiting
 

Dex check roll 9 +2 Dex = 11.

As Lyana slips the card back into her pocket, her stomach rumbles loudly enough for everyone to hear. The grin she’s been wearing ever since she regained consciousness only broadens as she asks the convenient guard, “Is there any chance I could get something to eat?” If he answers in the affirmative, she pushes, “Maybe for my buddy too?” She points to Willem. If he responds with “Don’t push your luck,” she laughs and responds with “Believe me, this isn’t my luck.”

After the guard leaves, she looks over at Willem, the grin still on her face. “You’re my new good luck charm.”

The Waiting
 

“Cool. I’ve been out of my old job for less than a month, and already I’ve got a new position.” Willem laughs. “Never been anybody’s good luck charm before. It’s usually the opposite. Still, let’s wait and see how far this luck thing carries us, eh?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana nods. “Yeah, I’m interested to see how long it lasts.” More to herself, she says, “I’ve never had good luck before.”

The Waiting
 

ABout 40 minutes later Officer Tuttle returns. He is shadowed by one other TSA officer who is holding a tablet and a stylus. Officer Tuttle, who, with his riot helmet now off, appears to be about 45 years old. He has a narrow, hollow face. His thin frame leads you to believe that he might be a long-distance runner or just coming off of a hunger strike. He holds your Universal IDs in one hand and taps them against the open palm of his other hand. He opens you cell and asks you to step out into the main room with the table your gear. Your gear has now been searched and organized into see-through plastic bags.

He beckons you to take seats at the table. He sits on the other side and the other TSA officer remains standing behind him. You see two cameras mounted on either side of the room clearly providing full surveillance of the entire room.

Officer Tuttle looks at Lyanna, Willem and Ven (who also was brought out of his cell and joins you at the table).

Ven gives you both a hateful look as he sits.

Officer Tuttle says, “Normally I would interview each of you separately but I am hoping that we can get to the truth more quickly with all three of you. I suggest that you tell me the truth.” Pausing, he looks at each of you in turn and says, “I’ve run all your universal IDs, so I know who you all are but I would like to hear your stories… who are you and why are you here on my starport?”

The Waiting
 

Willem begins, “Willem Meneth, at your service sir.” he goes on, “I’ve recently left the employ of Talos Mining Corp., on my homeworld, Eshadi. There my work consisted of facilitating relations between the unions and management. ‘Everybody Wins’, that’s my motto. Recently, however, I felt an urge to move on. Not true wanderlust, per se, just a desire to see more of the universe. So here I am, with my modest portfolio and my resume, looking for new employment in your fine system.”

Willem produces a small business card he had withheld during the arrest by hiding it under the insole of his shoe, and, brushing it off, hands it to Msr Tuttle, “Now I’m relatively well known as an honest man in my home system, but I’d completely understand why you’d need that verified. That is the contact information for Elliot Zeiss, Esq., of Eshadi, of the firm Waterman, Waterman, and Zeiss. He’s a very powerful litigator with contacts sector wide. If you mail him a query, I’m sure he’ll vouch for my bonafides.”

Pausing, “As to these two,” he nods at Ven and Lyana, “I just now met the young lady as we were waiting to be processed. I believe she is of good character and she did nothing to instigate the altercation which began all this disruption. In fact, if you’ll review your tapes and logs you’ll discover two pertinent facts. One, the deceased was using the young lady here as a human shield due to threats from our friend here.” he nods at Ven, “And, it was my datapad which called the TSA for assistance in the first place. I’m not sure if the unit is still functional, but you’ll find the number that placed the call was made from an account registered to me.”

The Waiting
 

Officer Tuttle listens to Willem and passes a glance at the TSA officer behind who quickly nods. Turning his gaze to Willem he says, “Your background matches what is registered to your Universal ID. What you didn’t tell me is what you know about the deceased and Ven, here. " He points to Ven,

“What are you hiding about your relationship with them? Why were you having drinks or dinner with them?”

The Waiting
 

“Whatever gave you that idea? We were all just waiting to be processed when they started arguing. Check your tapes if you don’t believe me.”

The Waiting
 

“Oh, I will check the tapes,” says Officer Tuttle who looks back at the other agent, who furiously scribbles something on the tablet.

“Lyana, what is your story?” says officer Tuttle.

Ven grunts. "Oh, we will get to you Ven, or should I say Vinnie the “Hack”? Officer Tuttle snaps at him.

The Waiting
 

Lyana takes a moment to gather her thoughts. “I was released from the Navy medical center just last week, where I was for the previous ten standard months for…” she holds up a finger and recites verbatim, “Extensive bodily reconstruction due to grievous injury sustained during the completion of shipboard duties.” She places her hands in her lap. “Today was the last day of my term, and I’d decided not to reenlist, so they dropped me off here.”

“I was sitting in the restaurant ignoring his,” she points at Ven, “argument with his buddy when he pulled a gun.” She cocks her thumb back at Ven. His buddy decided that I would make a good shield, so he dragged me out of my seat where I was still trying to ignore them both."

“Now, this is where I got pissed off, since I was fully expecting to end up with a companion to this,” she pulls the collar of her shirt down to reveal a bullet wound in her left shoulder, “or this,” she pulls up her sleeve to reveal another bullet wound traversing half of her lower right arm, “or this,” she pulls her hair up on the left side of her head to reveal a grazing scar beginning just above her ear and heading back, “or this,” she props her right foot on the table and draws up her pant leg, pointing to a bullet scar going straight through her calf, “or…well, you get the idea,” she finishes, putting her foot back down and absentmindedly rubbing the scuff away that she just put on the table. “So anyway, I’m trying to get out of the bastard’s headlock and failing miserably.”

“I have to give credit where it’s due – Ven did manage not to shoot me,” she leaves unspoken the obvious fact that this is uncommon for her, “and instead hit his ‘buddy’, who then relaxed enough that I could actually move, and he shot wildly, apparently hitting Willem’s datapad, though I really couldn’t tell at the time.”

“So, with the other guy still holding me hostage and now firing blindly into the restaurant, I did the only thing I could, and finished him off with my own gun.” She reflects for a moment, then adds, “It also probably doesn’t hurt that I was still angry at him for being held hostage again. Once he finally let me go, I joined Willem in demanding that Ven drop his gun. That was when you showed up.”

Lyana is anticipating Tuttle trying to grill her on her “connection” to Ven and Devan, and she laughs when he asks. “You’re kidding, right? I got out of the criminal business a long time ago on a different planet in a different empire. But even if I hadn’t, I would never associate with this kind of rank amateur.” She spits the word with venom and undisguised contempt. “I mean, come on, pulling a gun in a public place with dozens of witnesses and several cameras? It takes a special kind of idiot to do something that stupid.” She considers. “I guess that explains why he’s known as the ‘Hack’, then, huh?” She chuckles, well aware that she just extensively insulted a known violent criminal sitting right behind her. She’s ready to dive out of her chair if she hears Ven’s chair moving.

The Waiting
 

Following Lyana’s statement, Officer Tuttle turns around and looks at the officer behind him, who nods in the affirmative and writes something on his tablet.

He turns to Ven and says, “Well old friend. I know your story but amuse me… tell it again.”
Ven simply stares hard at him and neither shifts in his seat or says a word.
Officer Tuttle lets out a nervous laugh and waits.

Ven says nothing.

Tuttle turns to you both and says, “He must be shy tonight. Perhaps he is trying to keep his identity secret. Ven is one of his alias, his real name is Vinnie “the Hack” Rizzuto. Vinnie is the head of the Genovese crime family and is consider one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the Tobia Sub-Sector. The Genovese family is actually Vinnie and his two brothers, Tony and Sal. The family is well known for brute force, violence, and wealth, aren’t you Vinnie?” Officer Tuttle says.

Getting no reaction from Vinnie, he continues, “Vinnie is the boss of the Genovese crime family, while his brothers control the finances and enforcement. The overall wealth of the brothers has been placed around $200 million credits, but due to the nature of the criminal world, it is impossible to determine the true extent of the A-team’s influence."

Vinnie continues to stare straight ahead while Officer Tuttle continues, “Our records indicate that he is involved in drug trafficking, extortion, security fraud, gambling, as well as the hijacking of gold bullion shipments…I guess that is where he gets the nickname “the hack”. The problem is that while there are many murders linked to the Genovese family, we don’t actually have any evidence on Vinnie. Perhaps after I review the surveillance tapes I will have some evidence tonight.”

“So Vinnie what was your relationship with Devan?” Officer Tuttle asks.

Vinnie doesn’t answer.

“Well I can see that you aren’t going to be cooperative tonight, back in your cells while I review your statements, the video surveillance tapes and the witness statements so I can determine who to charge.”

At this point two additional TSA officers come into the room and escort each of you, including Vinnie, back to your cells.

As officer Tuttle is preparing to leave, he stops and asks “is there anything else that you might want to add before I move forward in my investigation?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana smiles. “If I think of anything, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

The Waiting
 

“Not that I can think of at the moment.” says Willem.

The Waiting
 

Officer Tuttle leaves and you are alone in your cells (Vinnie in a separate cell). The hours tick by and since its near midnight, you try to lay down to sleep. The lights in the detention area dim, to some extent, to usher in a more sleep-friendly atmosphere. There are two bunks in each cell so both of you can lie down.

An hour or so into your “sleep”, you hear Vinnie whisper from within his cell, “You two….pssttt….you two… wake up.”

The Waiting
 

[OOC: Are Lyana and Willem in the same cell? I can’t quite tell.]

Lyana raises her head blearily from the pillow. “What the hell do you want now?” she whispers.

The Waiting
 

Willem listens without overtly responding.

The Waiting
 

Vinnie whispers, “He’s going to let you go. I need you to deliver a message for me.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana whispers back, “And why should I for the guy who didn’t mind shooting me a couple hours ago?”

The Waiting
 

Willem barely suppresses a snicker.

The Waiting
 

“I wasn’t aiming for you… save your jokes about me being a bad aim…he pulled you in front of him, it couldn’t be avoided,” whispers Vinnie.

“If you deliver the message, the Genovese family will owe you favor,” he continues.

The Waiting
 

Willem, having heard of the Genovese family even on Eshadi, chimes in quietly, “Favors come in many different sizes, not all commensurate with the risks involved in currying them…”

The Waiting
 

“What? Listen,” says Vinnie, “if you don’t deliver my message, there is going to be hell to pay.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana remains silent, waiting for Vinnie to keep digging himself deeper.

The Waiting
 

“You there? I’m starting to get pissed…. you won’t like it when I’m upset,” hisses Vinnie.

The Waiting
 

Willem also remains silent, waiting.

The Waiting
 

Eventually Vinnie stops whisper, but does bang his drinking cup around. Officer Tuttle doesn’t come back until morning, so you attempt to sleep/rest as best you can. In the morning, one of the TSA officers brings you each a white plastic plate and cover. “Breakfast,” he says and shoves them through a slot on the floor.

You remove the cover and examine what appears to be scrambled eggs, toast and bacon. The scambled eggs appear to have come from a food replicator and are favorless. THe toast is a bit better but with no bread (or coffee) it is a bit dry. The bacon was significantly overcooked and is rubberized… you have difficulty chewing it.

After breakfast, the TSA officer comes to take the plates back and gives each of you a water bottle. “Office Tuttle will be in shortly,” he says and leaves.

As promised, Officer Tuttle arrives in the holding area, with 2 other TSA officers. “Good morning,” he says, interested. "I have reviewed the witness statements, your statements, and the video logs, and I am here to process you accordingly. Lyana, you are hereby released. However, an Imperial “warning” has been placed on your Universal ID. I suggest that you stay out of trouble. Willem, you are hereby released, and a “High Alert Warning” has been placed on your universal ID. Vinnie, you are hereby charged with attempted murder. You have the right to counsel or you may waive that right. If you can’t afford counsel, you will be represented by an Imperial advocate. You will be moved from this holding cell to Down Port holding facility awaiting your trail. Willem and Lyana, you are hereby subpoenaed for this trial and I suggest that you do not leave Tobia until the trail is over."

The cell door for Willem and Lyana buzzes and slides open. “Your gear is this way,” says Officer Tuttle.

Vinnie watches you leave your cell and if looks could kill, you both would be in need of a major stim pack right now.

The Waiting
 

Willem looks at Lyana and says, “Well, that was fun. What should we do for dessert?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana shrugs. “Well, there’s a quiet bar down by the hospital that has cheap beer and decent food.”

The Waiting
 

“Sounds good. Let’s go. My treat?”

The Waiting
 

She smiles. “I’d like that.”

The Waiting
 

Officer Tuttle escorts you to your gear and says, “You may now pass through immigration and down to the planet. I have sent your contact information to the Imperial Advocacy office and they will contact you when you are summoned for the trial. If it hadn’t been for the video feed that backed-up your story, I would have likely charged you too.” He smiles in a very fake way.

“Good day,” he adds and returns to the TSA office.

You gather your gear and head to the immigration processing center. The same officer that turned you away the night before is back manning the gate.

“Welcome to Tobia, papers please,” he says.

You present your Universal IDs, which he runs through this scanner. As he reads the screen, his left eyebrow raises in puzzlement. “Do you have anything to declare? Are you carrying any package for someone you don’t know? Have you been diagnosed with, or treated for, Crimean Congo Fever within the past 6 months?”

The Waiting
 

“No, no, and no.” says Willem as he accepts his ID back. “Just looking for work.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana smiles her way through the process. “No, no, and no. Just got dropped off at the wrong bay,” she says by way of explanation that her ID shows her as having been on the planet for the past year.

On the way through the immigration office, she snags a new copy of the brochure, her previous one having been completely soaked through by the now-dried blood all over her shirt. She’s wearing a light jacket over her shirt that she had had the foresight to pack so as not to arouse any undue suspicion.

Once through the processing center, she turns to Willem. “I need a shower. I can either meet you at the bar, or I’ll make you some coffee while you wait.”

The Waiting
 

“Coffee sounds good. I didn’t sleep well in the cells. Our roommate was a bit ‘whiney’.” he laughs.

The Waiting
 

Lyana chuckles at that. “To be fair, I probably would be too if I was going to get tried for attempted murder again.”

She leads Willem towards the transient dormitories (or whatever passes for those on Tobia), towards the seediest-looking one. “You’ll have to excuse the neighbors, some of them get a little antsy when they haven’t had their ‘medication.’”

The Waiting
 

Willem nods, “In my younger days, before I struck it rich,” he laughs, “I’ve been known to stay at worse.”

The Waiting
 

[Just to add a bit of detail before you get to Down Port]

The immigration officer, taps your responses into his terminal, no doubt adding your response to your “permanent” record. “Throw your bags on this x-ray machine and pass through the personal scanners. Once you are through, follow the signs to the Down Port Shuttle bay. There are flights that leave every 30 minutes. Each flight takes 23 minutes,” he says in a bored tone. Waiving you towards the scanners, he says “next in line.”

You head to the scanners and x-ray devices, tossing your bags on to the conveyor belt. You are asked to take everything out of your pockets and place them in a clear box which is also placed on the conveyor belt. As you empty your pockets, please let me know Lyana what you do with the plastic chip you found.

The Waiting
 

Lyana leaves the chip in her pocket. If the scanners catch it, then she pulls the “innocent look” and checks all her pockets, finally coming out with the chip, frowning at it as if she has forgotten what it is, then shrugging and tossing it into the box.

Deception roll 10 +0 skill +0 Int = 10.

Once through the scanners, she places it “carelessly” back into her back pocket along with everything else.

The Waiting
 

Willem, behind Lyana in line, watches carefully. As she reaches the scanners he engages the clerk in conversation.

“Say, do you know the best place for an experienced, older man to find work? I could use a local contact and I’d be happy to compensate you for any leads that turned out positive.”

Persuade roll to distract the fellow:

Roll: 1d6
6
Roll: 1d6
3

plus 1 skill, no mods SOC

10 rolled to “Persuade” the scanner tech to focus on him and his “remuneration” offer

The Waiting
 

The scanner operator watches, completely uninterested in Lyana’s “forgetfulness” of an item that needs to be run through the scanner, this is a regular occurance and doesn’t draw his attention.

Your items move through the scanner. As Lyana’s items are scanned, there is a beep and the conveyor belt stops, and then moves backwards a few feet. There is a delay, and you start to wonder if perhaps they have found a banned item. After about 20 seconds, the belt moves forward again and your items are unceremoniously deposited into a collection area in which you can gather them up.

While this process is happening, the clerk listens to Willem, also uninterested, that is until he hears of the possible compensation. He perks up and says, “TempForce is always looking for shiphands who are in port for a few weeks do short-term tasks and jobs. Most of that is loading and unloading and the ocassional medical experiments… there is no shortage of labs looking for volutneers to be injected this that or implanted with that. TempForce would be the best. Of course, if you are more trained or specialized or simply hate moving boxes or being a lab rat, the ISU is holding a recruiting conference this week … they are looking for trained scientists, alienists, techies, pilots, and ex-miltiary, but those are long-term assignments.”

He continues, “but if you are looking for real credits,” he looks around, "and aren’t afraid of bending the law a bit, “there is a loan shark on Down Port, that is looking for off-worlders to collect on some deadbeats if you know what I mean. Here, let me give you the info,” He send yous the contact information to your comm. “If you go, ask for Yuri-san and tell him Marco sent you. I get a kickback for sending helpers his way. Of course, compensation as promised would be nice too, I’m Marco Fennis.”

After thanking him for the information, you gather your gear and head past the various shops and communication stations that advertise “Send messages through our XBoat Network.. only $25 credits per message!” and make your way to the Down Port Shuttle. You just missed the last shuttle and have to pass the time waiting. A few other travelers, mostly what appears to be ship captains, many in uniforms announcing their positions with famous trading companies in the sector, gather to wait for the next ship down. A couple of captains trade jokes and stories, you even overhear of an attempted hijacking in the Attee system (Jump-1 from Tobia). “Two mercaniries killed the captain and chief engineer before crew of the Glennis Macon overpowered them.” Said a tall middle age captain, wearing the Vatta Trading Corporation uniform. “What is most shocking is that the crew spaced them even though the Imperial subsector forces ordered them held for procession! Spaced them! Now that is I expect from a Zhodani crew, not an imperial trading corporation crew!” He added. Looking at the puzzled look on your face causes him to further explain, "Ah, you most not be familiar with the term “spaced”…. its a barbaric practice whereby you place an individual, historical mutineers, in a cargo hold, and depressurize the hold and open the bay doors to cargo space. Its the equivalent of “walking the plank” from the 18th century on Earth. The practice is illegal in Imperial space, except for mutinies, but even then the Imperial authorities order captains not to space mutineers."

During the 23 minute flight, you all swap system news, stories and rumors… after all, without cross system instant communications, meeting other space travellers is the fastest and best way to get the up to the moment information from around the subsector.

You land on Down Port, which is nestled hear the outskirts of a very large and modern city, with sky scrappers reaching to the clouds and all manner of walkways and flying craft weaving in and out of the buildings. The Down Port landing pad is crowded and has over 20 bays for shuttles. You are assaulted with all manner of signs and verbal announcements over the PA.

[Lyanna, take it from here for a bit to describe your city and apartment etc.]

[feel free to stop this story to have an extended dialogue with this captain or anyone else on the station or shuttle otherwise you can fast forward to the Down Port.]

The Waiting
 

[Willem will wait on Lyana’s desires: he is a stranger here]

The Waiting
 

Lyana quickly leads Willem on a mad dash across several busy streets until the two of them are just two more people lost in a crowd. Heading several blocks and then seemingly turning at random, Willem notes that Lyana is often taking the long way around some blocks, but never actually doubles back on herself.

After about an hour of walking, she finally slows in front of a dilapidated seven-story building in what is obviously a very poor part of town. “It’s not much to look at, but it’s been home ever since I found out the landlord won’t kick anyone out,” she says, smiling. “The police won’t even come down here without riot gear and a full squad backing them up.”

She leads Willem past a disheveled middle-aged woman, screaming obscenities at a point just above the gridlocked ground traffic, and into what must once have been the lobby of a rather nice-looking building. A group of seven younger men, all in matching flak jackets and skullcaps, look up and stare at Willem. Lyana smiles and waves at them, and they relax slightly, but don’t take their eyes off of Willem until he loses sight of them. Lyana grins. “It turns out all you need to get those guys off your back is a smile, a couple well-placed bribes, and two or three demonstrations of your ability with a gun. It took me a week to convince them I’m not interested in their gang war, and they’ve pretty much ignored me since. That’s the way I like it.” She leads Willem around the elevators. “We’d better take the back stairs. Those elevators break like three times a week. Plus the people in them are either naked, hyped out on drugs, or both.”

She leads Willem up the stairs, which sag alarmingly in the middle and whose bannisters are poorly repaired on the landings. Just before the fourth floor, she stops and says, “Hold your breath until we pass that window.” She points to a window halfway above the fourth floor with a fan set to exhaust on full blast. “I don’t know what they’re cooking, but it’ll get you high if you breathe it for more than a couple seconds.”

She holds her breath as well, and Lyana ignores the three people huddled on the fifth-floor landing, heading all the way up to the seventh and final floor. “Over here,” she calls back to Willem, leading him into the corridor. Out of the four rooms on this floor, the first on the right has been completely trashed (even down to the furniture lying in splinters around the floor), and from the amount of dust on the floor, it has been so for at least a year. The first room on the left is missing its floor, and is open to the apartment below, where two men can be heard to be arguing over something. The second room on the left has been sealed, and appears to have old biohazard tape running across the doorframe. Lyana signals Willem to wait in the corridor as she unlocks the final door with a key and steps inside quickly. After a moment, she comes back out. “Come on in, no one’s been here.”

The apartment inside is tiny. A small kitchenette and table take up half of the entry room, with a closet and bed taking up the other half. There is only one other door in the room, which leads to a bathroom that obviously has many tiles missing from its walls. Lyana opens the single cupboard above the stove and pulls out some ground coffee, and proceeds to use the coffeemaker positioned on the corner of the counter, tossing the empty can (which clearly once held much more coffee than she has just used) into the trash can at the foot of the bed. “Help yourself when it’s ready, I’ll be in here,” she says, closing the bathroom door behind her. Then she opens the door a bit again. “I know I don’t have to tell you not to bother me, but…” she grins, “I guess I just did, didn’t I?” The door closes again, and the shower starts running. Soon Willem can hear Lyana sigh in contentment, presumably as she enters the shower.

Looking around the sparsely furnished apartment, Willem notices a few things. First, the apartment is far cleaner than the rest of the building, even if it is still on the shabby side. Second, there are no clothes in the closet, just a few extra towels and her bag, which is now nearly empty. Third, the cupboards contain exclusively nonperishable food items, of the extremely cheap variety. Fourth, there are two books tucked behind the coffeemaker – one is The Poor Man’s Cookbook and the other is titled The Ancient Art of Krav Maga, which appears to be some sort of martial art, based on the cover illustration. And fifth, there is an odd paper tacked up on the wall above the bed, a five-by-five grid with red dots in some of the boxes and words like “right shoulder” and “center chest” in the others.

[OOC: I just want to point out that it’s only been five days since I started imagining this stuff. I’m rather proud I managed to come up with this much in so little time.]

The Waiting
 

[OOC thank you. that was an impressive post: I’m honored to have been one of the recipients, along with Montana. no jokes this time.]

Willem nods at her admonition, taking neither implied offense nor the prospect of enticement from her words.

As he looks around the tiny apartment, he pulls a novel out of his duffel, settling down to read while he waits for the Coffeemaker to finish it’s mindless task. He softly reads aloud, to the accompanying noise of the shower in the next room: “The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man…”

The Waiting
 

[Feel free to keep the story moving….Marc’s character will be introduced to you somewhere on Tobia…. he and I have been chatting through email waiting for his arrival. He is going watch the moment to enter one of Lyana’ scenes; no he isn’t in the shower with a knife ;) ]

The Waiting
 

The coffeemaker finishes long before Lyana does, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee fills the apartment. If Willem tastes it, he finds that the coffee is of good quality, not even close to as cheap as the rest of the food in the cupboard (If Willem cares to look, there’s another can of coffee grounds in the cupboard, but it is of the extremely cheap variety.)

After another wait, the shower is turned off and eventually Lyana appears, fully dressed in a different standard Navy-issue jumpsuit. She sighs. “I love technology. I’ll be able to wash this out.” She holds up her other jumpsuit, with Devan’s blood all over its back and arms. “Back home I’d have to find new clothes, but here? Ten minute’s work and it’s all gone.”

The Waiting
 

Willem, enjoying his coffee and his book as Lyana enters the room, listens, chuckles, and then asks, “Did any of those rumors the TSA agent mentioned strike you as interesting? We seem to make a pretty decent team, so I thought we could check them out together?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana sips her coffee before answering. “A decade ago I would have jumped at working for the loan shark right away, but now I just don’t think the risk would be worth the money. I was looking at the ISU thing before.” She pulls the new brochure out of her pocket, and reads the relevant bit aloud. “All skills and trades needed…Gain the freedom and power you deserve, join the ISU to help expand the Imperium’s knowledge and power. NOTICE: With great risks come great rewards. Only the brave and bold should apply.” She looks at Willem. “If you’ve got the brave part, I can handle the bold.”

The Waiting
 

[/applause]

The Waiting
 

“Lady, you’ve got yourself a partner in crime. Or not, if we can do this legit.” Willem smiles.

The Waiting
 

The first room on the left is missing its floor, and is open to the apartment below, where two men can be heard to be arguing over something.

As the two of you were walking by, bits and pieces of the conversation are heard to you
“How much for a scrubbed I.D.??”
“You heard me! no less than 50,000 Creds!”
A Pause..
Then the voice lowers, dropping further as the two of you pass by.
“Now look, friend, I was recommended to you by your associate because you offer quality at reasonable prices!”
‘And I do, er…what was your name again?"
“I didn’t, nor do I plan on giving it. You, may simply call me “Doctor.”
“Well, _”Doctor"_ the deal stands. If you’re not interested, we’re done here."
“Unless…”
“Unless, what?”
“Well, my associates are always looking for a….”chemist", if you get my drift."

The Waiting
 

Lyana smiles back, then leans back before sitting bolt upright. “Oh, right!” she exclaims, standing up and fishing in her back pocket, pulling out the mystery chip. Assuming it would fit into her computer, she whips her computer out and plugs it in. “Let’s see what’s on here,” she says. “Devan slipped this into my pocket before he got shot, so it’s got to be interesting.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana smiles back, then leans back before sitting bolt upright. “Oh, right!” she exclaims, standing up and fishing in her back pocket, pulling out the mystery chip. Assuming it would fit into her computer, she whips her computer out and plugs it in. “Let’s see what’s on here,” she says. “Devan slipped this into my pocket before he got shot, so it’s got to be interesting.”

The Waiting
 

“Actually, it might not have been Devan who slipped you the chip. I thought I saw a man come up behind both of you as Devan grabbed you. He disappeared into the crowd though, as the TSA arrived. I think I could ID him.” says Willem, “For that matter he may have been trying to get the chip and didn’t know Devan had already placed it on you.” he pauses, “Well, you’re right, let’s see if we can read it.”

The Waiting
 

[Make a computer skill check to see if you can access the disk please]

The Waiting
 

Computers roll 7 +0 Int -3 skill = 4.

“Here,” Lyana hands the computer over to Willem, “Maybe you can do better than me.”

The Waiting
 

Roll: 1d6
3
Roll: 1d6
5

plus 2 INT, plus 0 Skill

10

“I’ll try.”

The Waiting
 

Downstairs Apartment in Lyana’s Building
“Well, my associates are always looking for a….”chemist", if you get my drift."
“I’m not that kind of Doctor..”
“Then what type are you?”
“Weather.”
“Wha?”
“Atmosphere? you know, clouds?”
“What good is that?”
“People pay good money to be able to generate weather without expensive machines, you know.”
“Yeah, well, we don’t need clouds, so unless you’ve got my 50k, get out!”
“But..but..you walked me up here! past those toughs!”
“Well, I suggest you either learn to fly, or run really fast..’bye now!”
And with that he is hustled out the door.
The slam of the door is enough to alert the toughs below. Prey is coming, unguarded.
He quickly asseses his options: fighting is a losing effort, running the same, they know the terrain better then him. He worse..or best option, run into the building. Perhaps he can find someone to help him out of this situation.

He ducks his head, as to pretend to look for something, while hugging the wall to give the youths no sight line, but as soon as he does so, an alarm goes out, and he hears the clang of boots and shoes on metal.

Moving quickly, but as quiet as possible, he ducks up the stairs to the seventh floor, and into the corridor. Realizing, that his options are few and far between, he begins moving down the hallway. Out of the four rooms on this floor, the first on the right has been completely trashed (even down to the furniture lying in splinters around the floor), and from the amount of dust on the floor, it has been so for at least a year. The first room on the left is missing its floor, and is open to the apartment below, where he can see the apartment where he was. The second room on the left has been sealed, and appears to have old biohazard tape running across the door frame.

Hearing shouts below coming up fast, he takes a deep breath, exhales, and walks towards the last door in the corridor. Keeping an eye on the entrance into the corridor, he knocks three times.

The Waiting
 

Willem takes over the keyboard after Lyana’s attempts result in “ACCESS DENIED.”

After numerous attempts, Willem hands fly across the keyboard, suddently there is a positive beep and the screen flashes “IMPERIAL CLASSIFICATION 5…Backdoor:W32.exe. BOOTING

Thinking that you have cracked the chip, you are both filled with satifisifaction only to have your hopes dashes as the message that flashes on the screen next,

“Enter KeyFOBE Imperial Access Code within 10 seconds.”
“9”
“8”

Suddenly there are three knocks on the door.

[either you try for a code or let the clock run out]

The Waiting
 

Lyana frowns in annoyance, then confusion as her mind flashes through the three most likely suspects – the police never come here, the landlord either shouts through the door or opens it with his key, and the gangs either pick the lock or bust the door down (and they’ve learned not to mess with her).

Exhaling a long sigh, she stands up and walks the three feet to the door, pistol cocked and in her hand. She opens the door as far as the three security chains will allow. “Who the hell are you and what the hell do you want?” The pistol is clearly pointing at the man’s chest.

The Waiting
 

Willem does not enter a code, knowing that entering an incorrect one is usually the fastest way to trigger the security protocols. Instead, he’ll let the clock run out while noting the route he took to get the bootlog running, hoping he can try again when they’ve recovered the correct access code. Or at least have an idea of what would constitute a “good guess”.

Noting Lyana’s response to the knocking, Willem gets up, draws his Autopistol, and takes a position on the opposite side of the door from her, a few steps back.

The Waiting
 

She opens the door as far as the three security chains will allow. “Who the hell are you and what the hell do you want?” The pistol is clearly pointing at the man’s chest.

“Er yes, that..what do I want..well, simply put I’d like to request safe harbor, if only until I figure a way out of this den.”
“I was directed here because my former associate provided a service I needed, but we were unable to agree to terms.”
“The young toughs downstairs have now decided that I am now worth accosting, so I simply ask if you can assist a fellow soul?”
“I am a man of science, not combat, while I know you are fully capable of defending yourself, as you can see (he opens up his jacket and spins for effect), I am not armed.”

The Waiting
 

“As for who I am?”
“Since you may be providing me a square, you may call me Lindell.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana looks over to Willem to see his reaction.

The Waiting
 

[ “…he opens up his jacket and spins for effect…” what an excellent visual— those few words set a fantastic image in my mind of your character— well done!]

The Waiting
 

Willem returns Lyana’s glance, then his former occupation reasserts itself:

“Strip naked. Underwear too. Do it quickly. When you’re done she’ll open the door. Throw your clothes off to the side, behind her, as you enter. Lay down on the floor, face down, hands behind your head, fingers interlocked. Stay there until you are told to move again. We’ll deal with the local talent. Got it?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana adds, “Crawl into the bathroom while you’re at it. We’ll discuss payment later.” While the man strips, she walks over to the cupboard and picks up the heaviest can of food she can find, tossing it up and down to gauge its weight.

The Waiting
 

[keep playing this out for a bit… I am enjoying this!"]

The Waiting
 

( ;)

The Waiting
 

Actually, if Lindell starts to comply, Willem says, “That’s enough, if you were a decoy or a plant you wouldn’t comply. Get in here.”

Then he’d turn to Lyana and add, “Your digs, your turf. What next? Stay here and wait for his pursuers?”

The Waiting
 

Lyana grins. “More or less. Get him in the bathroom and stand away from the door.” She opens the door completely, shoves Lindell in, and closes the door. She gives Willem about seven seconds, then draws her pistol, fires a round through the door, turns the knob, flings the door open again, and shouts, “I’m gonna kill you, you son of a bitch!” She then calmly walks to the middle of the hall and hurls the can through the window of the first room on the right, shattering the glass.

She then walks over towards the stairs. Seeing the gang coming up the stairs, she shouts a curse, and yells, “Where did he go? I’m gonna kill him!”

Deception roll 7 +0 Int +0 skill = 7.

[OOC: I’m assuming he’s going to comply, so if not we’ll backtrack.]

The Waiting
 

[OOC my assumption as well]

The Waiting
 

“Strip naked. Underwear too. Do it quickly."
If Willem pays attention, as he gives that command, Lindell’s eyes go dark with a deep sadness, and he sees him become almost robotic in his actions, moving quickly, as he was ordered, but it’s as if his soul has departed his body.
“Yes Sir.”
Actually, if Lindell starts to comply, Willem says, “That’s enough, if you were a decoy or a plant you wouldn’t comply. Get in here.”
Lindell, still in a bit of the state he was in, hears the door unchain, reaches down, picks up his slacks and shoes, and holding his pants up with one hand and his shoes with the other, pads almost silently into the room.
Just as he hears the door close behind him, he hears the voices of his pursurers down the hallway: “Hey!!”

The Waiting
 

Seeing Lindell’s pursuers in the hallway already, Lyana abandons her plan and instead throws the can in the general direction of the stairwell, hoping to buy a little more time. She opens the door and steps back in, closing it behind her. “Okay, new plan. Everybody out the window. Now.” She pushes the bed in front of the door, sweeps her duffel back up and shoves the bloody jumpsuit into the bag along with her computer. She opens a cabinet slightly to wedge the bed in further. A bullet whizzes by her, causing her to dodge instinctively, even if it is too late already, then she follows the other two out onto the ancient fire escape, quietly closing the window behind her. She sighs. “Hope you like jumping.”

The fire escape is rusted through in several places, having completely fallen away in others. Lyana leads the way, leaping down to the first landing, the stairs missing in their entirety. She beckons for Willem to follow.

The Waiting
 

Willem, still in good shape for a middle aged man, follows…

The Waiting
 

Lyana leaves Willem to catch Lindell while she navigates the treacherous stairs down to the second landing (5th floor). Once Lindell and Willem join her, she holds one hand back to them to keep them back, and takes a running leap down to the next landing (the stairs are missing again).

The landing creaks and starts to tilt, throwing Lyana against the railing, which starts to break away. She grabs on before it gives way completely, and hangs for a second underneath the landing. The landing begins to decline into a 45-degree angle. She climbs hand-over-hand to the wall, still underneath the landing, braces her feet against the bottom of the landing, draws her pistol with her one free hand, and shoots the last support strut. The landing starts to collapse, and she shoves it with her feet away from the building so it doesn’t strike the second-floor landing below.

Athletics (coordination) roll 8 (2+6) +2 Dex +0 skill -2 difficult = 8.
(I’m assuming it’s not a Very Difficult task, or everyone’s in serious trouble.)

Lyana drops into a three-point landing on the second-floor landing, then stands up and bends over, catching her breath.

It is at this point that a gang member sticks his head out her seventh-story window and spots her. “She’s here! She’s here!” Lyana straightens up, aims, and fires a burst at his face.

Attack roll 8 (5+3) 2 Dex +1 skill -0 range +1 aiming (one minor action) +1 laser sight -4 full cover = 9 total.
Damage roll 10 (5
3+2) +1 Effect of attack roll +4 burst fire = 15.

34 rounds left in the magazine (she never reloaded the magazine after the day before).

The thug withdraws, screaming in pain.

Then she notices the gang’s lookout coming into the alley. He unloads a round that strikes near Lyana, and she takes cover from him using the landing itself.

Lyana looks up and sees that Willem and Lindell are both still unnoticed from the window, as they’re directly underneath it.

[Let me know if I’ve gone too far. :) ]

The Waiting
 

[Never, Milady, never! At the expense of stepping on the GMs toes: Carry on!]

The Waiting
 

Willem pushes Lindell down ahead of him, and, peering over the rail of the fire escape, takes aim at the lookout who fired at Lyana below…

The Waiting
 

[keep going— I will take over soon… we also have another character about to hop into this chase… keep the chase going.]

There are 6 guys pursuing. Each has 9-9-9 stats for the purposes of damage. One drops during the exchange of gun fire.

The Waiting
 

A attractive woman in her late twenties, thirty at most, with tattoo markings and wearing black paints, tank top, a half jacket, and combat boots with a autopistol holstered on her right hip walks up the street behind the thug standing outside the building. Shunka looks at the party on the fire escape and the thugs at the windows and on the street and pulls out her comm with a slightly annoyed look on her face.

Call Tommy Goldworth. Hay Tommy what was that description the Genovese Family gave you again.” A few moments pass, “Well so much for a easy job to get my credits you owe me. Killing you and looting your body for anything of value is looking better and better.” Some load sounds coming from the comm, “Well slag you too, your such a gentleman Toomy and that’s what you get for doing under the book accounting work for pirates so get over yourself, scum.”

Shunka puts up the comm and places her hand on the grip of her autopistol before getting the attention of the two remaining thugs on the street, “Hay stop shooting slag it! I need that lass alive and talking. She has business with the Genovese Family so make the smart move and leave.”

The bigger of the two gang members turns to Shunka and points his pistol at her, “S_crew you outsider and those uppity Genovese, this is our block so back off_!”

Shunka’s face gets and weary look as she shakes her head and responds, “Well damn, moms always said I could never play nice no matter how hard I try.”

As Shunka talks she pulls her autopistol out in a fluid motion and opens fire on the gang member she had been talking too. The gun looks like a standard Navy issue autopistol except for the addition of advance sighting and the lipstick mark and the words WALTER written on the left side.

[ 2d6+1Gun Combat(slug pistol)+1Dex-0Short Range = 10, Damage 2d6-3 = 7 ]

The Waiting
 

Lindell, being hurried out onto the fire escape, heara Lyana’s statement: “Hope you like jumping.”
Reverting into flight or fight mode, he quickly buckles his slacks, knots his shoes together into a makeshift hook in the event his targeting is off.
Looking down the rickety fire escape, then watching Lyana drop down to the landing, followed by Willem, Lindell wants to pause..to thik this madness over, but the whizzing of gunfire behind spurs his decision, and with a gulp and a whimper of abject terror, he leaps down.

Lindell sees his life flashing before his eyes..or more likely, the potential of a fractured ankle or foot before landing heavily on the landing, his momentum almmost pitching him over the railing.

Before he even has a chance to say anything, he watches as Lyana leaps to the next landing, then he gets shoved forward by Willem, who, after looking both above and below their current positions, leans over to take a shot at another assialiant.

“So, could we call this an average night for you two?”

The Waiting
 

Another thug pops his head out the window on the seventh floor. Lyana sighs, only able to imagine what they’ve been doing to her room, sights along her pistol, and fires another four-round burst into his head.

Attack roll 10 (4 + 6) + 2 Dex + 1 Gun Combat (slug pistols) – 0 range + 2 aiming (two minor actions) +1 laser sight – 4 full cover = 12 total.
Damage roll 11 (5 + 3 + 3) + 4 Effect of attack roll + 4 burst fire = 19.
30 rounds left in clip.

The thug screams in pain and yanks himself back into her apartment.

(I would assume the others have figured out by now that this may not be the best way to get her, but…maybe not, who knows how dumb these guys are.)

Lyana keeps a careful eye on the developments below.

[OOC: Dragontree, are Shunka’s tattoos standard for the pirates or just her own designs?]

The Waiting
 

The gang member who was just shot by the pink haired woman who had come up the street out of nowhere has a look of surprise on his face but only for a moment before he aims his pistol and fires back at the woman. Shunka quickly steps to the side as pieces of the street are thrown into the air from a near miss. Shunka looks back that the missed shot and then her face takes on at ugly look as her eyes and manner goes from calm and relaxed to something dark and dangerous. Shunka stops and pulls up her pistol as she brings her left hand up for support as she takes up a very military looking firing stance and aims at the gang member who just shot at her.

[Attack 2d6 (3,6) 1Gun Combat(slug pistol)1Dex+1Aim(minor action)1Laser Sight -0Short
-1Dodge = 12, Damage 2d6 (4,6) -3
4Effect = 11 ]

Shunka’s shot hits the large gang member center mass with force and as his left hand goes up to the bloody wound he looks down at his hand and up at Shunka with the first signs of doubt crossing his face. Shunka just smiles at the gang member even as another shot is fired by his companion closer to the building but shot goes wide and does not seem to faze her.

When Shunka speaks her voice is not the easy going soft voice from before but cold and hard, “Now bucko I’ve killed far harder men then you lot and although I may not walk away today, I can promise that you will not. If you be betting on all your bros backing your play down here.” Shunka looking up at the fire escape where yet another gang member is taken out by the woman she was sent here to get a crip from, “Well I just think it’s not going to happen that way.”

[OOC: Shunka’s blue tattoos are a unrecognizable as any kind of pattern and are not any known pirate tattoos, but in truth where used to cover up her old pirate markings in a design of her own making. Note this was done with a Deception 0 skill so there is a good chance that anyone who knows pirates could identify that such markings had been covered up by her tattoos.]

The Waiting
 

Willem, still leaning over the railing above Lindell, sights past Lyana to the remaining scumbag in the alley. Not knowing who the new arrival down below is, her actions indicate that she is an ally, at least for the moment.

Still aiming, unfazed by the whistling stream of bullets whizzing by him as Lyana sights back up to the apartment, Willem squeezes off a single shot. Then, without waiting to see its effect, he follows Lindell down.

“Keep moving!” he says to Lindell.

Hit
Roll: 1d6
5
Roll: 1d6
2

plus 1 skill, plus 1 sight, plus 2 aim

minus 2 partially occluded shot

9 to hit

Damage
Roll: 1d6
2
Roll: 1d6
6
Roll: 1d6
3

minus 3 weapon mod, plus 1 effect

9 Damage

(OOC don’t know if they’re wearing armor or not, got 3 AP if they are. also don’t know if you use the optional “knockout rule” on p 66 Traveller Main. if you do, he’s KO, otherwise just phazed)

The Waiting
 

Alas, one of the remaining gang members has half a brain, and realizes that there is a second window to shoot from. Lyana doesn’t even notice when the window leading into the biohazard-sealed room opens.

Recon roll 4 (1 + 3) + 0 Int + 0 skill = 4.

The man hops out the window and lands on the sixth-floor landing, taking aim over the edge at Lyana.

His attack roll 10 (5 + 5) + 1 Dex + 1 skill = 14.
His damage roll 6 (1 + 2 + 3) – 3 + 6 Effect = 9.

Lyana cries out in pain as she involuntarily drops to one knee, the bullet having gone right through her left thigh. She brings her own pistol up and fires a four-round burst at the thug, missing entirely.

Attack roll 3 (1 + 2) + 2 Dex + 1 skill – 2 cover = 4.
26 rounds left in clip.

The Waiting
 

Willem sees Lyana go down, below him. He turns and fires wildly up the fire escape, urging Lindell, “Move! Let’s move!”

Hit
Roll: 1d6
1
Roll: 1d6
2

plus 1 skill, plus 1 sight,

minus 2 partially occluded shot

3 to hit

(Willem is using the stairs as partial cover, rather than leaning out completely to shoot. this gives him a minus 2 to hit the scumbags, but should provide him with cover from return fire)

The Waiting
 

Willem sees Lyana go down, below him. He turns and fires wildly up the fire escape, urging Lindell, “Move! Let’s move!”

Lindell, seeing Lyana go down, and realizing that 70% of his potential escaping here alive is in mortal danger spurs him to assess the situation. Looking at the landing they are currently on, he sees that it is in the same condition as the one Lyana lept from.

Scrambling down, Lindell reaches a stair that leads into space, this being one of the missing landings. Ducking from bullet ricochets, Lindell looks back up towards the 7th floor, then below him. A large waste container for the building catches his eye, calling out to Willem “We either jump, or I have an breathingly bad idea. Your friend pulled this off, the two of us should be able to..start rocking this thing, let’s see if we can swing ourselves to that container, give your friend some cover.”

The Waiting
 

The thug goes after Lyana again, perhaps thinking she’s easier prey now, but misses terribly, his shot going down into the alley.

Attack roll 5 (2 + 3) + 1 Dex + 1 skill = 7.

Lyana returns fire, and the thug slumps over unconscious, sliding over the railing and hitting the pavement below with a sickeningly wet splat.

Attack roll 6 (2 + 4) + 2 Dex + 1 skill + 2 aiming actions + 1 laser sight – 2 cover = 10.
Damage roll 16 (4 + 5 + 6) + 2 Effect + 4 burst fire = 22.

One thug left, but he’s nowhere to be seen at the moment.

The Waiting
 

As the gang member closes to the building goes down from a shot up in the fire escape, it seems the lass’s companions have now joined the fun, Shunka’s smile grows. The grin on her face does not even miss a beat as the large thug still standing in the street aims and opens fire on her, hitting her solidly in the chest and her flak jacket.

[Gang Attack 2d6 (3,6) + 1Gun Combat + 1Dex + 1Aim – 0 Short = 12, Damage 3d6-3 (3,2,2) + 4Effect – 6Protection = 2]

[Attack 2d6 (4,5) + 1Gun Combat + 1Dex + 1Aim + 1Laser Sights – 0Short = 13, Damage 3d6-3 (3,2,6) + 5Effect = 13, 13 rounds left]

Shunka raises her gun with no hurry and fires a round into the large gangers throat sending him to the ground to join his buddy. Shunka’s steps forward to bend down next to the thug she had just shoot, she says something to him as the hard look on her face fades and is replaced by one of sadness as the life bleeds out of him. “You were cute one, but a brainless one, so you don’t get to live, it’s a shame but that’s life bucko.”

Looking up at the gentleman and woman on the fire escape Shunka call up to them, “H_ay Lass and Gents your exit is clear go lets go, unless you are enjoying yourselves up there_.”

The Waiting
 

Lindell looks to Willem (not knowing his name)
“Er, excuse me, but you just happen to know more than one attractive killing machine? or are we still in trouble, whoops, correction.. are you two still in trouble?”

The Waiting
 

[nicely done! Keep the dialogue going.. I am waiting for a point to bring in the rest of my NPCS and move the story along.. but I like the action sequence…. just a great action movie!]

The Waiting
 

Lyana, hearing Lindell’s comment, calls over sweetly, “Don’t forget who got us into this mess, Mr. Man-Of-Science-Not-Combat. You owe me a good bit of cash now.”

Lyana turns, leans heavily on the railing, and, with her good leg, kicks the ladder hard enough that it falls down into position. She starts climbing down until she’s hanging on the last rung of the ladder, then drops the seven feet further to the ground – and promptly grunts and falls on her left side, her leg collapsing under the shock. She quickly gets back to her feet and leans against the dumpster, pistol drawn and pointed at the ground. “You have somewhere close in mind?” she asks the newcomer.

The Waiting
 

Shunka stand up and walks over to the woman she had been sent her for, she had been told her name was Lyana Narcesti, who the other two gentlemen with her was still up in the air and just another complication to the ‘easy job’ Tommy and sent her on. Also keeping her autopistol still out but down at her side Shunka smiled at the group but shook her head no to Lyana’s question of “You have somewhere close in mind?”

Shunka responds and signals for the group to fallow her, “I don’t have a fall back set up here dirt-side as I just got into port a day ago, but I do know a guy whose office we can use. He is a accountant and he is scum, but he owes me and we can take shelter for a few, at least long enough to talk and I can see to that leg of yours.” Looking back at the building the group had just escaped from, “But let’s take this discussion of where to go on the burn and just move away from here.”

[OOC: Montana we can move this to the office of Tommy’s which can be anywhere in the city or another location that would fit your plot the best.]

The Waiting
 

Lyana shrugs. “We’ve got a moment.” She indicates the two still on the fire escape. “Not that I make it a habit of questioning people who save my life, but if you’ve only been dirtside for a day, and you were sent here to find me and not those two, then your accountant buddy probably sent you here. Probably for the Genovese family.” She notices Shunka’s slight reaction to those words, and smiles. “I haven’t pissed off any other major crime syndicates lately that I know of. Dr. Olivia Medina lives around the block, and she owes me a favor from what that gang,” she indicates the apartment building, “tried to do to her last month. She’ll patch us both up, and we can chat about what you’re here for. And I’ll be able to get there without passing out.” Her tone is light, but Shunka can see the pain she’s keeping out of her voice in the movements of her body.

The Waiting
 

Shunka gives a slight nerves grin to recover from her reaction of surprise, this Lyana was a quick one but seemed reasonable, maybe this talk would go better that the one she had with the gang member. Shunka holstered her autopistol and held out a hand for support if wanted while smiling, “Talks all I ever came here for, I never was one for getting paid for ghosting people. I prefer if this whole business just keep to the reasonable side of things if that flys with you.”

Shunka starts walking with the group and tries not to let it show that she doesn’t like how the gentlemen are to her back and instead keeps talking, but her nervousness clearly bleeds through into her quite voice, “Yeah I was sent to get a memory chip you have for the Genovese Family, it was suppose to be a easy job to earn some credits owed to me by Tommy Goldworth, the accountant I told you about. I only hired on to get the chip and that was with the understanding I was not looking for work was as a gun-hand, those days are behind me if I have a say in it. So think of me as a neutral party just trying to make everyone happy, and what would make you happy enough to hand over the chip and part as friends?”

[OOC: Just a note but Shunka has no skill in Diplomat or Persuade and although she does have Deception she is not interested in using it as she is trying to do this job on the straight and level.]

The Waiting
 

Willem, keeping his Autopistol handy as he scans the rear for anymore scumbags, listens to the newcomer. He turns and watches Lyana’s body language as best he can for clues to her reaction.

As an aside to Lindell he quips, "I’m starting a collection. Only problem is, they’re hard to keep in ‘mint’ condition.

As the group walks he allows the newcomer to assist Lyana, figuring it’ll keep her hands busy…

The Waiting
 

[OOC: Lyana has the same skills, actually. She’d rather do this on the level as well, so this should end fairly well.]

Lyana does take Shunka’s hand, but doesn’t lean on it very much. It’s fairly obvious that she’s no stranger to pain.

Lyana smiles. “Money, actually. Not that much – I mean, it’s not my chip, and I didn’t do anything to earn it. But I’ve certainly earned a courier’s fee for getting it through the jail and down from the HighPort. And for getting shot at by the head of the family.” She leans in close. “Let me give you some friendly advice. Get away from those guys. Their leader is going on trial for attempted murder soon, and the cops will probably try to pin more jobs on him as soon as they think of it. You’re just low enough that they’d try to pick you up and squeeze you for information. And even if not, their leader’s on trial because he pulled a gun on his informant, seller, whatever,” she shrugs, “in the middle of a crowded restaurant, with cameras rolling. You don’t want to get mixed up with that kind of stupid.”

Then she stops. “Wait, did you just say that this Goldworth guy sent you to earn the credits that he already owes you?”

The Waiting
 

As an aside to Lindell he quips, "I’m starting a collection. Only problem is, they’re hard to keep in ‘mint’ condition.

Lindell replies back: “There’s always bound to be wear and tear. but sometimes it’s more about quantity than quality.”

Lindell refrains from commenting back to Lyana’s quips about him owing her. In his mind he figures he’ll just follow this group to their doctors, then slip away back to the city.

Although, the view is more pleasant than he’s seen in months of travel.

Observing the males reaction to what the attractive pink haired woman states, Lindell begins to put some thoughts together:
1. There is potential mob business, that my two “rescuers” are involved in. That spells trouble with a capital g-u-n.
2. Running may not be the best option. After all, any survivors from that gang now have me on their radar, and they’ll want blood.
3. the two gun molls in front of me are even more dangerous than the gang or the mob, plus one is already in his pocket for services rendered (not that I have any money)

The Waiting
 

Willem, seeing the flash of thoughts cross Lindell’s relatively open face, especially the apprehension, says, “Stick with us, pal. It’ll be fun. Besides, you owe my friend.”

The Waiting
 

“And thus, another nail in the coffin that is Chivalry.” Lindell then comes to a dead stop. If Willem turns around, he sees Lindell unknotting and placing his shoes back on.

“Goodness knows what I might pick up if some street debris pierces my foot.”

Looking back to Willem with a mixture of incredulous and concern:
“I’m sorry, but did you say fun?”

The Waiting
 

Willem, completely straightfaced, says, “Yes.”

“Now stop slowing us down. You always seem to be dressing yourself.” he laughs.

The Waiting
 

Lindell finishes putting on his shoes, looking back over his shoulder, he scans around for followers while jogging back to the group muttering to himself:

“I used to be somebody..I was well known, a treat at dinner parties..a staple on the symposium circuit…but you make one miscalculation and create sentient life…granted, that sentient life a few scientists..and now I’m stuck in a bad tri-v version of The Running Man!

The Waiting
 

Shunka slows as the two gentlemen start talking and one stops long enough to put his shoes on, why he had his shoes off and what was the comment about her always seeming to be dressing himself she had no ideas on and was thinking she didn’t want to know. The pause gave her a moment to answer Lyana’s statement.

Well we can always use some money, that’s how I got pulled into this mess and yes I said money that is owed me. Tommy Goldworth is a accountant that did work for a old crew I ran with and he was holding on to my credits while I was forced into Impartial Navy service. Although nothing ever works as it should and Tommy didn’t have my money but had a line on how I could earn some ‘easy credits’ but I’m starting to think that his job of his has way too many complications worth 8,000cr I’m owned.”

Shunka starts walking again and has a thoughtful look on her face that seems to scrunch her eyebrows together as she nibbled on her bottom lip unconsciously as she speaks up again. “So maybe we should just hand it over to Tommy and I’ll split the credits with ya, or just cut a loss and try and keep clear of Genovese Family, but I’m most likely not the last person they send for the chip. It’s your play and I’ll fallow it not matter what you decide, like I said I’m never going to be anyone’s hired muscle again.”

The Waiting
 

Lindell quips back to Willem:

“You do realize that the young lady with the gunshot wound, running her hither and yon is not doing her many favors, in fact, she should be off that leg. or on a makeshift gurney.”

“I may not be that kind of Doctor, but I’ve been bored by enough to know that.”

“Excuse me, pink haired dangerous goddess? This Genovese Family you’ve mentioned. Just how deep into the underbelly do their tendrils run?”

The Waiting
 

Shunka looks at the once shoeless gentleman who just spoke to her asking, “Excuse me, pink haired dangerous goddess? This Genovese Family you’ve mentioned. Just how deep into the underbelly do their tendrils run?”

[ Skill Roll: 2d6 (2,6) + 0Streewise + 0Intellect + 0Average = 8 ]

Snunka responds in a thoughtful voice, “Well I know they are on the top of the underworld food-chain in the Tobia Sub-Sector as my old captain Trance Parker had to pay them to do his raiding most of the time. The Genovese organization as a whole is known for using brute force, violence, and wealth in a very heavy handed way. As far as I know they have a their little fingers into almost everything illegal that makes money.” Shunka pauses for a moment and adds, “By the way the name is Shunka Wana, but you can continue to calling me goddess if you want, although that name is a first for me. I now Lyana’s name but I wasn’t told anything about you two gents.”

The Waiting
 

As you continue your conversation, suddenly both Willem’s and Lyana’a comm units vibrate and a message pops up.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM IMPERIAL ADVOCACY TOBIA: Pursuant to Imperial Code 544.8A(24), you are hereby subpoenaed as a material witness for the matter of Imperium vs. Rizzuto. Pursuant to Imperial Code you are not to leave Tobia until you are released from your service as a material witness. You are to report to Imperial Court Room 12, located on Justice Plaza, Down Port, Tobia at 0900 on March 27, 1105 [today is March 21, Tuesday]. You are to discuss the matter of Imperium vs. Rizzuto with no one. If you have any questions, contact Advocate Jean Dupuy, Esq. at 776A-77-888.”

The Waiting
 

When Lindell says the word “chivalry”, Lyana’s face takes a blank look – Shunka can clearly see she’s never run across that word before.

Lyana shrugs to Shunka. “I was thinking more like two hundred credits, tops. I didn’t actually do anything really dangerous anyways. I’m more worried about you.”

At this point, everyone reaches a door set into the alley halfway around the block from the firefight. Lyana knocks, and no answer comes. “Olivia, it’s Lyana. I need to call in that favor now.”

Presently the door opens, and a young (late-20s) Mediterranean-looking woman peers out, then says, “Oh, I see.” She pauses and takes in the other three.

Lyana smiles. “They’ll be good, I promise.” She points at Willem, “He’s a friend,” she points at Shunka, “She needs me, and,” she points at Lindell, “I just saved his life.”

Olivia takes a moment to think, then nods. “Okay, you can all come in.” She guides Lyana to a chair, and Lyana, without even thinking twice, drops her pants so the doc can get at the wound. She does, however, quickly note the others’ reactions.

Once seated and with Dr. Medina working, Lyana continues her previous thought as if it hadn’t been interrupted. “I have a feeling this Tommy was expecting you to have to kill me in order to get the disk back, no matter what you said. I’d say there’s a decent chance he won’t be pleased when you show up with the disk and without my head.” She shifts slightly in her seat as Dr. Medina keeps working. “Willem, do me a favor and pull my other pants out of my bag, will you? I don’t think these are going to be good to wear. Somebody get me a pen and paper too, please.” She motions Shunka closer, and whispers in her ear, “If the Genovese traced me to my apartment, there’s a good chance they know where we are now. Mind going out and checking for any tails?”

The Waiting
 

When Lyana motions to drop her pants in order for the Doctor to tend to her wound, Lindell has his back to her before her buckle is even loosened.

Listening to Shunka thoughtfully, Lindell replies: “Shunka..nice name..it fits you. I’m Dr. Lindell Koivu, Planetary Climatologist, Formely of the University of Kurland.”

When Lyana mentions a pen and paper, Lindell reaches into his suit jacket, and pulls out a note pad and a old fashioned pen. Backing up, he passes the two over his shoulder to Lyaana before moving back to his position.

“You know, having a connected mob like that on you..r..excuse me our trail now is problematic. Like the Godde..er Shunka mentioned, everything and one you’ve touched, they will know about it, which means the Doctor here is in trouble.”

“But, there is a silver lining under this cloud. Shunka said the Genovese are a tad ham-handed, correct? What’s the best place to hide out from an organization that uses force as opposed to guile?”

The Waiting
 

Shunka gave the Dr. Olivia her most innocent look when they were greeted at the door but like usual with her it always came out more mischievous than innocent. Lyana’s words did the work though and the Doc let them in and saw to the wounded woman’s leg. Shunka showed no real reaction to Lyana’s lack of modesty as growing up on a asteroid mine left little space for personal modesty and pirate and navy ships were not much better.

Shunka nods in agreement with Lyana’s statement about Tommy and how he had most likely set her up, not that she was surprised about it but now if she had to shoot him she wouldn’t have any lingering feelings of guilt about it. In response she adds, “Your most likely right on target when it come to Tommy, but I would rather deal with any half assed attempt at a double cross from him then walking up to the Genovese Family. If you got a better play in mind I’m all ears.”

When Lyana motions her closer and whispers her concerns of a tail Shunka nods and steps back and looks over to the Dr. Olivia and smiles as she says, “Doc you do good work and I would hate it if we brought any heat down onto you so I’m going to go check our six, be back after a smoke.”

Before she walks out she walks up to Dr. Lindell smiles as she say to his comment, “Well most would think that going to the government police force would be the best play here, but government officials can be paid for, so that is a gamble thou the odds are a little better than just waiting for the Genovese’s to find us. As for a ‘fall back’ I would say hiding in the last place anyone would go looking for you is a good bet or maybe on the other side of known space with a much reach as these guys have.”

With that Shunka leaves the little office the doc has set up and walks out into the alleyway as she pulls out a thin long smoke stick with her left hand and lights it before pulling out her autopistol in her right, but keeps it down and slightly tucked behind her hip. Shunka scans the area as she moves towards the street thinking that being sent out to watch their six could have just been a ploy to get her out of the way but in truth it didn’t matter one way or the other she was starting to think that the 8,000 credits was in the burner and out the wake. It truth the Lyana lass was growing on her and the two gents didn’t seem that bad, which was a lot more for the people that wanted her to do this job and that made them a lot more relevant to whatever course she set from here than Tommy or the Genovese Family.

Shunka’s thoughts are interrupted as hears several load running feet and she ducks into the shadows between two large crates in the alleyway and stomps out the smoke stick as three hard looking toughs with pistols in their hands go running by but move on past the alleyway. Someone was out looking for trouble, if it was trouble from the gang they had tangled with or as Shunka’s paranoia was trying to say trouble from the Genovese, she just didn’t know.

[ Recon roll 2d6 (4,6) + 1Recon + 0Intellect = 11
Stealth roll 2d6 (2,5) + 1Stealth + 1Dexterity = 9 ]

The Waiting
 

Lyana thanks Lindell for the pen and paper, smiles, and sets to writing while the good doctor stitches up her leg wound, occasionally wincing as the doctor pulls the wound closed. Presently she presents a scrap of paper to Lindell. “I think this should about do it. We can discuss terms and bargains whenever you like.”

The paper reads:
17 rounds ammunition: 8 Cr.
Loss of 2 weeks worth of food: 70 Cr.
Loss of coffeemaker (used): 20 10 Cr.
Loss of sundry other items: 150 120 80 70 Cr.
Loss of apartment security deposit: 800 Cr.
Bribes rendered useless (to the gang): 300 250 Cr.
Total: 1,208 Cr.
Call it 1,200 Cr.

As he reads, she says, “Also, you’re buying us all dinner tonight.” She winces as Dr. Medina continues working.

The Waiting
 

Willem stifles a laugh.

The Waiting
 

Shunka ducks down in the alley, completed concealed. The noise of the snoopers continues, obviously amateurs. Shortly, Shunka sees two fairly large men, late 20s, dressed in bad second hand suits. They are searching, half-heartily for something and seem oblivious to their surroundings. Neither has a visible weapon. One of them is holding a datapad in one hand. Every few seconds he looks at the screen, then up, takes a few steps in a direction and looks down at the screen. He then looks up again and takes a few more steps…it appears that he is following a map program of some kind. Slowly the two are headed towards where Willem, Lindell and Lyana are holed up.

The Waiting
 

Lindell looks over his shoulder, takes the piece of paper from Lyana, reads it over. he chuckles to himself when he finishes: “My goodness, this kid has a good heart about her after all!” he muses to himself..

“This is more than fair and equitable. The terms are agreeable to me.” He takes his pen and signs his name across the bottom of the page. he then reaches into his pocket..unwads some old script, counting to himself as he does so..

“25…40..43..76..112..154..188..200..” laying the paper down in a neat pile on the table next to where Lyana is receiving her stitches. “We’ll call that a good faith payment. That’s just about all the Imperium script I have on hand, save food and lodging.”

If Lyana looks perplexed as to the script, Lindell will explain: “Oh, that? well, long story..but it seems I’m not considered a citizen of the Imperium!”

The Waiting
 

Keeping to the shadows Shunka will slip towards the door of Dr. Olivia’s medical office but before making a move towards the door she holster her autopistol and pulls out one of her boot knifes. Looking down at the knife a little reluctantly before throwing in at a down the alley past the two men targeting a metal pipe that she hopes will make the noise needed to distract the two men trailing the group.

[ Deception role 2d6 (5,1) + 0Decepton + 0Intellect = 6 ]

Shunka’s knife goes flying unseen and unheard as it misses the metal pipe and the two men continue down the alleyway as her hope of distracting them long enough to slip into the office were dashed. With no other options Shunka decides that she is going to have to do something really stupid and hope she can see the play through without hers or anyone’s blood on the ground. Shunka pulls out her autopistol again in her right hand and her trusty Blade in her left hand armed now just like the pirate she used to be. She waits until the men are near the door then quietly steps out behind them and places her pistol and blade into the backs of both gentlemen before speaking up in a raised voice so as to alert everyone still inside the office.

Shunka tries to make her quiet shot voice as intimidating as possible, but deep down she knows this never works, “Hay Gents what are you doing in MY ALLEY! State you business and who you are and if I likes ya I’ll let ya gents pay the toll and be on ya way.”

[ Persuasion(Intimidating) 2d6 (6,3) – 3Unskilled + 0Intellect -2Difficult = 4 ]

The Waiting
 

Lindell’s ears perk up at hearing Shunka’s voice.
“Dr. Olivia, terribly sorry to bring this trouble to your doorstep. Do you have a stethoscope, tongue depressor, syringe with a strong sedative available?”
“Oh, and a back room when we can put these two?”
If either Lyana or Willem protest, Lindell will simply say: “You can shoot, but let’s try not to in here, plus you can’t move as nimbly, and the top answer: they have seen the two of you, but they have not seen me.
“But how did they…..oh.”
Lindell turns to Lyana.
“You, my dear, are tagged. Something on you is giving away your location.”

The Waiting
 

With surprise and alarm in his voice one of the large men says “Don’t hurt us… we aren’t causing or looking for any trouble!” says one of the large men.

“We are with the Imperial Scout service,” the other man quickly adds with a shaky voice.

The Waiting
 

Shunka feels a twinge of guilt as the hears alarm in the large man’s voice and a clear understanding that the galaxy had it out for her. Shunka’s voice losses any attitude and goes back to her normal quiet soft voice as she pulls her weapons back from the backs of the men but does not holster them. “Sorry Gents, it’s been a rough day so here is how it going to be, ya are going through that door and speak to some people in a nice and friendly manner. I believe you are looking from them and they will want to know what you want and I promise you safety, ya have my word boyos as long as you keep on you best behavior.”

With that Shunka walks the two gentlemen into the doc’s office where she finally holsters her weapons more to put everyone inside at easy than that she trust the two Imperial Scouts. “Okay mister Imperial Scouts here is the people ya been tracking so let them know why and like I said keep in friendly and I promise you safety.” The last part was added again so the rest of the group knew that Shunka had give such a promise.

The Waiting
 

(OOC: For the record, as my character has joined up yet, but I am bloody enjoying the heck out of reading everything so far. Well done mates, well done! I am loving it :) )

The Waiting
 

Willem, whose pistol never really left his hand, waits on Lyana’s reaction to the strangers escorted into the office by Shunka before holstering it.

Sparing Lindell a brief sideways glance, he quietly says, “Quick thinking that. Might be an asset yet. What was it you said you were doing before you arrived at milady’s doorstep? Nevermind, it can wait, we’ve got official company.”

Willem pauses, then, in a louder voice, “What can we do for his Majesty’s Scouts?”

The Waiting
 

“25…40..43..76..112..154..188..200..” laying the paper down in a neat pile on the table next to where Lyana is receiving her stitches. “We’ll call that a good faith payment. That’s just about all the Imperium script I have on hand, save food and lodging.”

Lyana smiles, taken slightly by surprise, sincerity and warmth in her voice. “Thank you. That’s enough to get me somewhere to sleep tonight, at least.” If Lindell looks confused, she explains, “If I go back, the gang will shoot me on general principle.”

“You, my dear, are tagged. Something on you is giving away your location.”

Lyana nods. “Yeah, I just figured that out myself. That’s how Shunka knew where to find me.”

With that Shunka walks the two gentlemen into the doc’s office where she finally holsters her weapons more to put everyone inside at easy than that she trust the two Imperial Scouts. “Okay mister Imperial Scouts here is the people ya been tracking so let them know why and like I said keep in friendly and I promise you safety.” The last part was added again so the rest of the group knew that Shunka had give such a promise.

Lyana has her gun resting in her lap as Dr. Medina finishes her stitching. She’s quite calm, as it’s clear Shunka has the situation under control, but she doesn’t holster her pistol for two reasons: First, she still doesn’t trust the two new people, and second, she would have to stand up to do so.

Willem pauses, then, in a louder voice, “What can we do for his Majesty’s Scouts?”

Lyana adds, “I have a feeling we know, but…better you tell us.”

The Waiting
 

While Shunka waits for the two Imperial Scouts to speak up she decides it get the ball rolling and let all her cards on the table, although she was pretty sure the group had already guessed at them. Shunka pulls out her handheld computer and speaks up, “Well I for once will start the story tell with the fact I was hired in a round about way by the Genovese Family to track down a memory chip in the possession of one and I quote ‘pretty bad-ass gunhand woman’ and get said chip back to the possession of the Genovese. To do this I was give a code to use my datapad to track the location of the chip and so here I am. That being said mister scouts I’m not bought a paid for by the Genovese and I make my own wakes where I chose so I’m willing to throw my lot in with the right people for the right reasons.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana nods – none of Shunka’s speech is a surprise to her, but she does grip her pistol more tightly when she’s done, fearing the two may not be what they say they are.

The Waiting
 

“I’m gonna ask you one more time, why you here?”

Gruder looked back at the wiry thug; the kid couldn’t be a day over 20 at best. He shrugged, keeping his arms extended out, close to the kid.

“Well, I was thinking that with the depressed economy in this area, sub-standard building quality, and general lack of interest, this might very well be the place I invest and build a domain or abode of my own.”

The kid’s hand shook as he continued to hold the gun up to Gruder’s face. “Depressed? I ain’t depressed, and I don’t know whata a ‘bode is…listen old man, if you were smart, you would answer me or I am gonna call for my buddies.”

“Old man?” Gruder replied, right eyebrow shooting up. “I prefer to think of it as experience. Like the kind of experience that tells me to never point a gun at someone with the safety on.”

[Roll 2d6: 6 + 4 = 10 + 1(Persuasion) = 11, success]

The kid looks startled and confused, pulling his gun closer to look. “It is?”

There is a spark, and electrical snap and the kid drops to the ground unconscious. Gruder looks at his stunstick and smiles. “That was cool.” He thinks to himself.

[Roll 2d6: 4 + 3 = 7 + 1(Dexterity) = 8, success]

He drags the body further back into the alley, grabs the pistol, slides the safety on, and slips it into his coat pocket. He pauses and looks down at the kid, then leans down and shifts the body, making it a bit more comfortable sitting back against the wall. “He will have a headache as is, no reason to add to his discomfort. If this is the next generation of thug, then perhaps crime will NOT pay?”

Still under cover of the darkened alley, Gruder looks at the display on his computer then across the street, to another alley. In time a pink-haired woman steps out for a smoke. Gruder eyes her critically, “Experienced, professional, packing heat, and attractive, what’s not to love?”

He hears the approach of the two men just as ‘Pinky’ does, as he has decided to call her. He watches as she smoothly crushes out her smoke stick and slips into the shadows, pistols in her hands. The men are clueless. “Oh, she is good. This will be fun.”

Eyebrow shoots up again as he sees a knife fly by the men, completely unnoticed. “Odd.”

[Roll 2d6: 5 + 6 = 11 + 1(Recon) + 1(Intellect) = 13, success]

“Hay Gents what are you doing in MY ALLEY! State your business and who you are and if I likes ya I’ll let ya gents pay the toll and be on ya way.”

“Sorry Gents, it’s been a rough day so here is how it going to be, ya are going through that door and speak to some people in a nice and friendly manner. I believe you are looking for them and they will want to know what you want and I promise you safety, ya have my word boyos as long as you keep on you best behavior.”
With that Shunka walks the two gentlemen into the doc’s office…

After the gentlemen are led inside, Gruder waits, scanning the streets to see if everything clear.

[Roll 2d6: 5 + 4 = 9 + 1(Recon) + 1(Intellect) = 11, success]

As he walks across the street toward the door, he pauses to pick up the knife, slipping it into his other coat pocket. He stops at the door, pausing as he takes out a silver cigarette case, draws out a smoke stick, taps it a few times against the case and lights it. His eyes half close as he draws in deeply that first taste, sliding the case back into his inside pocket. “I know I really should give this up but so few vices left.”

He twists his head right and left, a small cracking sound accompanying the action. “Well, here goes nothing. This should prove rather interesting. Although I think profitable no.”

He knocks on the door. “Excuse me, might I come in? I believe this will be an entertaining conversation at least.”

The Waiting
 

He knocks on the door. “Excuse me, might I come in? I believe this will be an entertaining conversation at least.”

‘This is turning into quite a drama.’ thinks Willem, as he keeps his automatic out, ‘And I still haven’t had dinner.’

Looking at Lyana first, he nods to the Pink Pirate to let the newcomer in, as she is closest to the door. “Might as well let ’em in.”

The Waiting
 

[OOC: Depending on age and nationality you may or may not know who I am talking about. Gruder is a character I have played in many types of incarnations. But my one consistent benchmark is always the same inspiration for the character. Think James Garner in Rockford, Maverick and even a bit of his character from The Great Escape. Always been a fan and this character is my homage.]

The Waiting
 

Lyana shrugs with a sigh in response to Willem’s look. She turns to Olivia, not taking her eyes off the two “Scouts”. “I’m sorry, Olivia, this isn’t how I was expecting today to go at all.”

The Waiting
 

Shunka does not look happy when she hears the voice behind her, had she slipped up and missed someone out there, it was defiantly true, the galaxy had it out for her. Shunka pulls out her autopistol and waves at the two scouts to move to her right side between her and the door and she reaches out with her left hand to pull open the door in a manner that lets it swing mostly open on it own.

Shunka give the older and very experienced looking gentleman stand in the door way looking in at the group her innocent smile, but yet again it comes off as more mischievous than innocence. In a sweat voice that just seems out of place with the way she has her autopistol leveled at the new comer Shunka says, “Good evening Gent, you may come in but keep in mind that is is a white flag meeting, being unforced by your’s truly and I would just rather not blood up the doc’s place more than it already is or best behavoir, okay?”

The Waiting
 

[OOC: sorry missed a u on our in that last line should read our best behavior, not or.]

The Waiting
 

[OOC: The “Rockford Files”..one of my favorite shows growing up..and “Support your local Sheriff” one of those movies I’ll just sit down and watch (I think that’s where Mr. Garner got the inspiration for “Maverick”)]

Sparing Lindell a brief sideways glance, he quietly says, “Quick thinking that. Might be an asset yet. What was it you said you were doing before you arrived at milady’s doorstep? Nevermind, it can wait, we’ve got official company.”

Lindell speaks softly back: “When you’ve been to some of the places I’ve been, you get used to not only being alone, but learning how to improvise.”

Lyana smiles, taken slightly by surprise, sincerity and warmth in her voice. “Thank you. That’s enough to get me somewhere to sleep tonight, at least.” If Lindell looks confused, she explains, “If I go back, the gang will shoot me on general principle.”

Lindell replies: “If any of us go back, we’ll be shot on general principle. But, I think it’ll be better if we all stick together. After all, we orphans have to look out for each other, you know.”

If anyone notices, Lindell slides the syringe up his left sleeve, keeping it in a position to be able to drop down at a moment’s notice.

He knocks on the door. “Excuse me, might I come in? I believe this will be an entertaining conversation at least.”

Lindell quips:

“Better go put some coffee on, looks like this is about to get intriguing.”

The Waiting
 

Lyana recognizes the man immediately. “Actually, Shunka, you can probably trust him. Ambassador Gruder, what in God’s name are you doing here?”

The Waiting
 

…Shunka says, “Good evening Gent, you may come in but keep in mind that it is a white flag meeting, being unforced by yours truly and I would just rather not blood up the doc’s place more than it already is or best behavior, okay?”

Gruder enters and closes the door behind him, he faces the group at all times, simply shutting the door with his foot. He smiles and nods at Shunka. “I am not looking for trouble, well, I don’t think I am.”

Lindell quips: “Better go put some coffee on, looks like this is about to get intriguing.”

“Hmm, coffee would be grand.” He looks about the room, taking in everyone with an experienced eye.

Lyana recognizes the man immediately. “Actually, Shunka, you can probably trust him. Ambassador Gruder, what in God’s name are you doing here?”

Gruder pauses when he hears his name then notices Lyana. A broad smile appears on his face. He steps over to Lyana. “Dear lord, fancy meeting you here. And how many times do I have to tell you, just Gruder…and please nobody say ‘sir’. Besides, I haven’t been a proper Ambassador in years. Hmm, was I ever proper?” he smiles mischievously at Lyana. He reaches out to Lyana, not sure whether to hug her or shake her hand.

“Oh yes,” he glances over to Shunka. “I believe this might be yours?” And tosses her knife over. “I think you missed, but well played none-the-less. Oh yes, I love the hair.” He winks at her and smiles wickedly.

He takes another drag from his smoke stick. “Getting a bit crowded in here. I do apologize. Was bored, looking for some work and here I am. Oh, and assuming the thugs outside and some in here are looking for the same thing, we might think about relocating somewhere else. Also the datachip, it is sending off a homing beacon, that is how I tracked to here. Any ideas how to kill that single without damaging the goods?”

“Oh yes, I have a vehicle nearby. Tucked away. A rental. It had a driver but he ran off as soon as we got to this neighborhood.”

The Waiting
 

Doh, typo, that should read: “Any ideas how to kill that SIGNAL without damaging the goods?”

The Waiting
 

Lindell will again turn to Dr. Oliva: “Doctor, your patience and expertise are greatly appreciated. Can I assume, that the protective umbrella of the neighborhood will shield you from any potential repercussions?”

To Gruder: I think we should locate somewhere less..er..not here. Those gang members are sure to begin to tighten their search, and the longer we tarry, the less chance you’ll have of actually having a rental there to go to."

“I’d drive, but I have no idea of where I am.”

The Waiting
 

“Well, I’m not really much of a driver. If someone with a bit more experience? Perhaps someone used to car chases?” He holds the electronic key out.

“As for where to go, how about a very nice, very expensive hotel with a nice suite, catering, and a big bath. My treat. I have SAM on my computer, good for giving directions.” SAM, short for Samantha, think SIRI but with a customized voice and AI. Sounds like Helen Mirren. “We still have to do something about the signal from that chip. Although maybe on the road?”

The Waiting
 

Shunka smiles at the Ambassador’s comment about her hair just a little to girlishly and her face become more serous when he talks of moving out and she nods in agreement as she responds, “I say we get moving now that Lyana has been seen too and talk while on the move.”

Shunka then turns too the two scouts and smiles at them, “You boyos are with us, if ya what to part ways I’ll see to it once we are in a safer location, but you better off with us. Just remember my word on ya safety as long as you behave, okay.”

With that Shunka walks over toward Dr. Oliva and smiles at Lindell and quips to him while pointing back at the two scouts, “Moms always said I had a soft spot for helpless things, keep trying to feed them rock lice when I was a little bit as I felt bad about how they would get chewed up in the rock sorter and air fans. Thank the Imperial government would let me keep them?”

Then to Dr. Oliva Shunka pulls out her wallet and counts out 500 credit and place them on the table next to the doc while saying, “Thanks for your help doc and I hope this is enough to cover the trouble. It was nice seeing such a professional work, I have battle first aid and some piratical medical knowledge I came by because when ya on a pirate ship and women number one too near ten men you learn to take care of your own needs and the excuse ship doc they had was a grabby old man who made me want to learn how to stitch myself up. Thank again for all you help doc, stay safe and if need here my number in you find yourself in trouble.” With that Shunka adds a piece of pink paper looking like a half torn recite with a number written on it.

The Waiting
 

“Okay, so let’s move out.” Gruder tosses the key to Lindell, “Looks like your driving. Don’t get shot until later.”

He looks back to Shunka. “So Pink, you and me in the lead? We do make a fine couple.” Gruder, pulls out his pistol, checks the action, and grips it loosely, arm down. With his jacket, the sleeve partially covers the gun in his hand. He knows his weapon, and he knows how to handle it, it shows to the trained eye.

“Okay, so out the door, hang a right, straight across the street to the alley. Mind the body and the scat, cut through the ally, another right and there is an old frame building. Looks like it was torched some years back. The vehicle is parked inside. It is one of those big SUV types, all that was available. I know, it is hell on the environment, sorry.”

He grabs Lyana’s hand and squeezes reassuringly, “Everything is going to be fine. I expect we have a lot of catching up.”

“Pink? We ready?”

The Waiting
 

Willem moves over to Lyana to offer an arm and prepares to move out.

With a nod at the Doctor, “Mam.”

The Waiting
 

Shunka nods and and steps up nest to Gruder and says, “Alright boyos here we go keep it close and plaese leave no one behind, as much as I have loved my little visit to this neighborhood I would rather not come back for a few turns.”

With that Shunka will step out with her autopistol out and ready as she leads the way with Gruder.

The Waiting
 

The two scouts, acting very surprised by being ushered in by Shunka and then even more surprised when the see the lot of you, turn to each and share a look. Adjusting the ill-fitting suit, the slightly shorter one says, “Ah, good afternoon, I’m Paul Trofflia and this is Podar Tallman,” he gestures to his cohort who nods.

“I’m not certain who you all are, but we are Imperial Scouts, assigned to the Tobia Sector Science Operations and, pursuant to Imperial Code Section 44-44A, we are to retrieve official Imperial property.”

The taller of the two quickly adds, “So if you please, we will take possession of the top secret files on the location of Ancient Achieves and ……” he quickly stops as the shorter scout elbows and gives him a strong gaze.

The Waiting
 

Gruder is in step with Shunka as they begin their exodus. Looking back toward the chattering Scouts. “Look, question of ownership, what is or isn’t a secret is highly irrelevant at the moment. Men with guns are trying to take it and kill all witnesses. That would include you.”

He beckons everyone to follow quickly.

“So like it or not, right now we are your best chance of getting out of this alive. Come along. We can chat while we drive.”

The Waiting
 

He reaches out to Lyana, not sure whether to hug her or shake her hand.

Lyana goes for the handshake, as a hug would require her to stand up and she is still missing pants. She seems slightly disappointed he misses such a perfect opportunity to rib her, but takes it in stride.

When Gruder mentions catering, Lyana’s stomach growls loudly enough for everyone to hear clearly, and she grins ruefully.

Lyana gratefully takes the pants Willem offers her from her bag, and puts them on quickly, favoring her wounded leg slightly. She gives Olivia a hug goodbye, and is ready to depart with everyone else.

Lyana grudgingly takes up a space in the middle of the column – it really is a column now, with five people following behind Shunka and Gruder. She smiles at Willem, whom she’s leaning on a bit more than she really needs to, and says, “You know, an hour ago it was just you and me.”

Her thought is interrupted when she spots something. “Paul, grab that screen and try to get it out of the frame.”

The Waiting
 

Lindell, moving as quickly and as quietly as he can pads by the two scouts towards the Drivers side entrance..

“Oooh, Ancient Archives, eh? no wonder, everyones so keen on that datachip!”

Then Gruder chimes in: “So like it or not, right now we are your best chance of getting out of this alive. Come along. We can chat while we drive.”

Lindell turns back to the two scouts, grinning: “That seems to be a runnning line around here, you’ll get used to it.”

The Waiting
 

“Listen up, if we need any sort of distractions Pink with flash the big guns and Lyana can drop her pants again…” Gruder looks very serious then breaks into a big grin. “Or we could all drop trou.”

He is alert for any signs of trouble before getting to the vehicle.

[Roll 2d6: 3 + 3 = 6 + 1(Recon) +1(Intellect) = 8, success maybe?]

“Mind you, I would prefer eating first before anymore clothes come off. Lyana, I didn’t realize you had a pet?” He grins again, a joke about the growling stomach. “You know, we have enough here to start a band…anyone play?”

The Waiting
 

[OOC: I like the Obsidian Portal sight but it is frustrating regarding email alerts about posts, etc. Sometimes I get them, sometimes not. Doesn’t seem to be any pattern or a particular campaign. Just odd. Ah well.]

The Waiting
 

“I don’t think you understand, we are here to take possession of Imperial property,” says Podar. “We are aware that crimi….errr….. others are also pursuing the location of this chip. In fact, it was stolen from the ISU about three days ago so we are well aware that …. others want it. In fact, I am curious how so many of you seemed to have also tracked it here. Just where did YOU get the tracking information? This is a Level 1 classified document…. the ISU is working with the Imperial Scouts on a very important mission that could, if successful, change the entire universe as we know it and….” He stops abruptly again as he receives another elbow from Paul.

Gruder, not the direct target of the scouts interest is anxious to get moving and heads out the door first, while the scouts are still insisting that Lyana turnover the chip inside the office. Gruder scans the alley as he heads toward the vehicle. His trained eyes are immediately drawn to what appears to be a number of unnatural shadowy masses about 200 yards away. They are moving slowly towards your location in standard crouch and cover military style advance. As you leave the scouts raise their voices, “You there, come back here!”

[Everyone make a RECON Roll]

[Once we finish this chapter and move to the FORUMS (like we are doing for The Approaching Storm Campaign) I am hopeful that the email notifications will work better. I think its the adventure log that is horrible about sending out emails but the forums seemed to be better.]

The Waiting
 

“Dammit…” Gruder mutters under his breath. He stops, without taking his eyes from the shadowy men, he points his gun back at the head of one of the Scouts. “One more loud word out of either of you and I put a bullet through it.” He does not look back, but clearly has one of them in his sights.

“Pink, there ahead, men at 3’o’clock, standard military approach. You Scouts, I have a friend here, and she has apparently made new friends…you are not among them. If you alert those men approaching in anyway, which puts my friend in danger…” As he speaks he draws another pistol from his pocket. The gun from the alley thug. “Lyana, is there another way around? We need to get to the vehicle…preferable without engaging those men.”

“And does anyone know of a way to dampen that damn tracer signal on the chip? I would really hate to destroy it.”

The Waiting
 

Oops, forgot the Recon roll:

[Roll 2d6: 4 + 4 = 8 + 1(Recon) +1(Intellect) = 10, success]

“Lindell, yes? Can you handle a gun? And do you have one?” Gruder holds the second pistol pointing forward and down. “Anyone not a Scout need a gun?”

Gruder’s entire body language has changed from a carefree dilettante to that of a professional soldier, more than meets the eye. He hasn’t looked once to Shunka, trusting her implicitly. He already knows he can count on Lyana.

The Waiting
 

Shunka ignores the comments by the overeager scout Podar who had the habits of the inexperienced, so much so he almost glowed green. Shunka moved with a lethal grace as she moved into the alley way keeping a eye out for trouble as the group move out towards the awaiting vehicle.

[ Recon roll 2d6 (3,5) + 1Skill + 0Intellect = 9 ]

The Waiting
 

Spotting the shadowy figures moving toward them that Gruder had called the location on, Shunka curses to herself and whispers to her self as she put in a new clip into her pistol, “I really with I had my full kit and Bethany here, Walter not bad but man my bitch can truly throw down lead like no ones business.”

The Waiting
 

Shunka also clearly notices the approaching figures. With Gruder and Shunka both warning the others you have 3 rounds before the shadows are within 50 yards.

The scouts peak out the door and notice the shapes only after a few “tips” from Shunka and Gruder. Realizing that staying here is probably not the safest way to take possession of Imperial property, Paul says “Exactly how do you propose that we all escape together?” Podar adds, “Oh, and we are going with Lyana even if the rest of you have to walk, after all she has the Secret location of….,” another shark elbow from Paul. “…errrr… I mean the Imperial Property.” Paul finishes, tossing a quick look to Podar for confirmation.

The Waiting
 

[OOC: Give Lyana a chance to weigh in if there is another route to back out and go around. If not…Looking at situation, can the group get across street to alley without being seen by the lurkers or does that put us right in the line of fire?]

Gruder whispers to back. “Anyone have any grenades? Firecrackers? Giant blow up doll?” Even in dire times, he uses humour to take the edge off.

The Waiting
 

Lindells Recon Roll [12 = 6[d6]6[d6] 2 (Int)= 14-8 = 6 Exception success]

“Lindell, yes? Can you handle a gun? And do you have one?” Gruder holds the second pistol pointing forward and down. “Anyone not a Scout need a gun?”

Lindell looks back: “Never learned how to use one of those things, but what we need right is a decoy, and I have an idea. I need the chip..and I need a wafer chip, or something I can use to spoof the signal.”

“And..something sticky.”

Lindell reaches near the back of his neck, and out appears a thin black cable that he holds while reaching into his jacket, which then appears a thin, flat black rectangle, that he plugs the cable into.

[OOC What Lindell would be looking for is a way to move away from the attackers, and draw them away from the party at the same time]

The Waiting
 

Gruder tosses Lindell a wafer chip and a stick of gum. “Chew fast!”

The Waiting
 

[The attackers are 200 yards away, over 6 “Shapes” .. they are not headed directly for you as it appears to those who have RECON, that they are still searching the other doors and alleys along the way, but they are slowly headed to your location. There is 3 rounds of action you can take, which includes moving away. If you all move I will make a RECON roll for them to determine if they see you but based on what you are seeing you think there is a very good chance that you could slip out of the office and across to the street to either run on foot or enter a vehicle [did one of you arrive in a vehicle}? In this part of town, cabs are not that common but there is an occasion grav vehicle and delivery trucks around. The is about noon now. You all would know that you could use comms to fairly quickly summon a “cab”]

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[OOC: I had Gruder arrive in a rental SUV-type vehicle, and tossed the keys to Lindell to drive. I played it that the ‘driver’ fled as soon as we got to this part of town. Gruder has no drive skill so ‘hired’ the driver with rental.

In my head for layout I pictured something like this:

alley | | | Abandoned Bldg | | | | SUV hidden here |

Street
-———————————————————————————————-
| | alley
| |
| |
-———————————————————————————————-
Street goons/shapes
-———————————————————————————————-
alley | | doctor office
| |
| |

So the idea would be to cross that street into the alley,then make for the SUV and haul ass. So if we cross, try going in pairs. Gruder and Shunka first, if at any point anyone gets spotted, we can provide cover fire from alley as others cross over. As soon as Lindell across, he moves forward to SUV, everyone follows. I gave directions to the vehicle earlier in the doc office, so everyone should have an idea where it it located if they have to make a run for it.

Aside from the shapes, is there any obvious vehicle down that way? Something that might have dropped them off? If not, perhaps they local hires but a step up in professionalism?

Will this layout work okay for what you have in mind?]

The Waiting
 

[OOC: Sigh, that map typed out so well then got all fubared upon posting. Can’t attach a pic dammit.]

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[OOC: Okay, try this map:

The city block

Just threw this together quickly in Illustrator. Easier to read I think.]

The Waiting
 

Lyana’s Recon roll 10 + 0 skill + 0 Int = 10.

Lyana takes the metal mesh window screen from Paul (she asked him to grab it earlier, but she just grabs it instead if he did not), and rips the screen out of the frame. She carefully bends the screen around the chip in a ball to make a jury-rigged Faraday cage. She then tapes it together with some duct tape (every mechanic everywhere has one.)

Physical Sciences (electronics) roll 8 + 0 Int – 3 untrained – 1 reduce time (to 10-60 seconds) = 4 (though I’d argue it’s an Easy task, as I could do it with basic training in electrical physics).

After a short time, Lyana says, “There. That should at least dull the signal. Better check it. Paul? Podar?” Then she remembers Gruder asking her about other ways out of here. “Oh, right. Another way out of here…” She snaps her fingers. “The canal!” She points in the opposite direction to Gruder’s car, and at a 90-degree angle from the approaching shadows. “Next block over. There’s a quarter-meter path between the buildings and the canal. No doors and no windows. Just don’t fall in – I’m not even sure there’s water in that sludge.” She makes as if to lead the way, and does so if no one stops her.

The Waiting
 

Gruder smiles at Lyana. “That’s my girl! I do love a stroll by the water.”

He re-directs the stragglers to follow Lyana. He keeps up the rear, still trusting Shunka at his side.

The Waiting
 

(Willem rolls Recon:

Roll: 1d6
3
Roll: 1d6
5

plus 2 Int, plus 1 skill

11, notices the shadows)

His gun still in his hand, he gives a wave and a smile to Gruder.

He follows Lyana.

The Waiting
 

Lindell asks for the Farraday cage…looks it over..
“Nice..”
“Now, let’s see if I can get this thing to play nice with me.”
Lindell will see if there’s an external jack for the chip..if not he will attempt to use his incursion program on his hand computer to attempt to find the subroutine and jam the signal from the chip.

[Int mod 2, Comms +1, Intrusion program +2, Task: Difficult -2, Time: 3 minutes, Roll: 8 = 3[d6]5[d6] = 11 total -8 = Average Success]

The Waiting
 

[once we move to the forums, we can attach pictures to the posts— I think the adventure log is the worst part of Obsidianportal.com]

Podar checks his datapad following your jury rigging attempts to “muffle” the signal. Nodding his head, he says, “that is suppressing the signal a lot… better than nothing.”

Paul adds, “Just because we leaving with you, don’t get the idea that are endorsing in anyway your retention of Imperial property.”

Based on your map you sketched (which looks great) as well as the successful recon rolls the entire group of you are able to make it to the SUV without any one shooting you, calling out to you or perhaps even seeing you. For the first time since arriving on Tobia, something actually went your way.

[Once you are in the vehicle, Lyana, who lives in this neighborhood has full knowledge of Down Port…. imagine Down Port like NYC only with more technology. Right now you would be in what would be considered the Bronx or Queens [more blue color and rougher than Mid-Town] so please let me know where you would like to go in the vehicle. At this point no one is visibly pursuing you.]

The Waiting
 

It is only once inside the vehicle that Lyana visibly relaxes, letting out a long breath. She says, “All right, you two with me in the back,” pointing to the Scouts. She specifically sits between them on the backseat in order to give them a sense of superiority (she can’t very well get away now) mixed with a bit of unease (nobody ever puts themselves in a flanked position unless they’re not worried about the flankers.) “Now, boys, why don’t you tell me everything you can about this chip, and how the hell I ended up with it.”

Lyana lets Gruder bring the car to wherever his hotel is.

The Waiting
 

Give Lyndell, our new driver, directions to a better part of town (with assist from Lyana) where we can find a rather nice hotel with one those big suites. From there, Gruder will rent the biggest suite where we can all relax in, strategize and figure out what might really be going on. That will include some sort of proper authorization and proof of these ‘Scouts’.

At this hotel, Gruder will play-up his title, Baron, and everything that is expected to go along with that. “The best suite available please, immediate room service, access to the online clothier, and make haste please. It has been a rather ghastly journey! Oh yes, and 2 bottles of champagne, your best!”

[Roll 2d6: 2 + 5 = 7 + 3(Diplomacy) +1(Intellect) = 11, success]

“And oh yes.” He turns back to the concierge. “Complete discretion will be amply rewarded.”

Once in the room, order a standard room service buffet large enough for the group. Quick scan to see if the room free of bugs, or if anyone else IS bugged.

[Roll 2d6: 6 + 3 = 9 +1(Sensors – Wafer Jack) +1(Intellect) +1(Electromagnetic Probe)= 12, success]

Speaks to the assembled group, “Showers back that way, please avail yourself of the amenities while you can. Food should be up shortly.” He motions to a terminal in the room, an online clothier shop opened onscreen. “If you need some new clothes, order something up. And Lyana, at the rate you go through them, new pants at least.” He smiles at her and winks.

He then opens the first bottle, pours three glasses. He hands one to Lyana and takes the other over to Shunka. “Dear Pink, my new comrade in arms. Cheers. Gentlemen, help yourselves. I serve women.” He has another wicked grin on his face when he says the last bit.

[OOC: I think the Adventure Log is great for summaries of events and/or setting up the next stage of the story. Even a few comments aren’t to bad. But otherwise I agree, after seeing you the forums in a few encounters, where you can get very specific and include maps, that is where things should kick over when the “shit hits the fan”. I am going to try that in one of the games I am running. After the encounter(s), I will add a link to the specific forum posts back into the main Adventure Log that the encounter(s) spun out from. See how that works.]

The Waiting
 

Lyana takes the time to order two new sets of clothes before digging in to the food. She only has the one glass of champagne, though.

The Waiting
 

Shunka will take the glass of champagne offered by Gruder with a smile but the looks down at the glass with a mild look of speculation, “Well its not what I normally go for but it will do in a pinch.” With that she downs the contents of the glass in one pull and then heads over to fix a plate of food but does not refill the glass. Instead Shunka grabs a bottle of water before taking a seat by a large window with nice view of the city below. Shunka takes a seat on the floor and leans against the wall instead of the furniture provided nearby for viewing and promptly starts eating like the food is going to disappear.

The Waiting
 

Assuming the Scouts didn’t spill their guts on the ride over, Gruder sips some of his drink as everyone gets comfortable. He walks over to stand in front of the two Scouts.

“Well? Clearly this is a bigger deal than most of thought. Some got involved by accident, apparently and others got hired to locate this chip. I am one of the hired chip-locators. I have nothing to hide so I will start, then you two better talk.”

“I just recently arrived planet-side, and looking for some work because I was bored. I was contracted by TempForce to locate this ‘chip’. They also provided the code which unlocked the signal so I could trace it. Whoever contracted TempForce was anonymous but I could hazard a few guesses. So assuming you two are legit, you have some major leaks somewhere.”

Gruder steps back a few paces, never taking his eyes off the two gentleman. “And please don’t let my softy exterior fool you. I have a dear friend shot and endangered because of something you are involved in. So start talking.” His voice is cold as ice. “If need be, feel free to look me up.”

The Waiting
 

[Next chapter will start tomorrow with the scout story in the FORUMS.]

The Waiting
 

Lindell (who, you will notice drives quite well), takes the group to the directions Gruder gives him. Once upstairs, Lindell will examine the chip inside of the cage, and while the party waits to hear the scouts story…
He will now take the time to attempt to hack the chip.
He’s just that curious, now.

The Waiting
 

Willem pauses a minute, seemingly distressed at the thought of ‘serving’ himself. Then he remembers that he dressed himself, shaved himself, and bathed himself just that very morning, and digs into the food.

After sampling the various dishes, and having no alcohol, he nods to Gruder.

“Nice spread. Last time I ate this well was at Big Micky’s funeral.” he pauses, “You wouldn’t know him, of course, that was on Eshadi Prime, but he was a jovial fellow. Didn’t just enjoy a joke, he could tell one too.”

Willem takes a deep breath, then says, in a stentorian tone,

“There was an Imperial, a Darrian, and a Swordie working on the top of a cliff. The Imperial said, “If I have cheese in my sandwich tomorrow, I’ll jump off this cliff.”
The Darrian said, “If I have jam in my sandwich tomorrow, I’ll jump off the cliff.”
The Swordie said, “If I have ham tomorrow, I’ll jump off the cliff.”
The next day, the Imperial had cheese, the Swordie had ham, and the Darrian had jam. So they all jumped.
At the funerals, the wives of the Darrian and the Imperial said, “Why didn’t they just tell us they didn’t like their sandwiches?”
The Sword Worlds frau said, “I don’t know why my husband jumped off the cliff. He made his own sandwiches.”

With that, Willem chuckles, and adds, “I like to make my own sandwiches too. Thank you for the food though.”

The Waiting
 

Lindell looks up from his computer, thinks about Willem’s “joke”..thinks some more..:

“Oh, I get it. funny.”

Then goes back to his project.

The Waiting
 

Lyana chuckles as well, then says to Gruder, “I wouldn’t worry too much about me getting shot. You remember how my luck runs, don’t you?”

The Waiting
Montana Montana

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