The Hadrian Wall

Session 9 - Punching Holes through doors, redux.

Escape from lawless Ensulur

Context

The UNNC Hadrian has ran afoul of armed bands on New Kameria. The local stevedores never came back to finish the job after the last firefight, and the crew is chipping in to unload the cargo. Ominously, their gun deal with a local kingpin is approaching. The Hadrian has expended all of its goodwill with the 507th Imperial Marines and is more of less on its own in the viper’s nest.

Location

Ensulur’s highport is a metaphor for Ensulur’s troubled geopolitics. Ensulur suffers from a chronic energy crisis and the Empire indeed has turned its back on the lawless world. The highport functions at minimal power, air quality is poor, water rare. There are regular brownouts and in absence of law enforcement, a “lord of the flies” environment prevails.

Story

Location: Entertainment sector, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Chief agent Xiao Chen and his team deployed to the entertainment sector ahead of the gun deal. Vilani undercover agent Shurshid poked around to identify enemies of Herberto (the gun dealer) and found out that his worst rival was the local government. Agent Saorce and INTEL analyst Bapke scoured the local net to determine that Herberto indeed had the financial chops for the deal. Xiao himself recruited a mercenary band led by a Vilani name Targu. Xiao made note of a larger group of mercenary called the Imps. These men were rather distinctively completely tattooed red.

Location: Loading bay, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Tatiana tried to get Lt. Drumpf to meet with her in her office. However, Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura denied the meeting, leaving Tatiana in a lurch. Vulnicura needed Drumpf to help cover the bay from maraudeurs. She made the best use of her limited naval staff to secure the area while the unloading was taking place. She was informed that the Kamerian had issued a call to plunder the Hadrian to all denizen of the starport. The Hadrian was effectively clamped down and trapped in the bay. The deal was that the ship would belong to whoever taking over for as long as 1.3MCr was paid to the government to recover the loss of a drone fighter.

Quickly, ne’er-do-wells were aggregating at the gates. Among them, the Imps. Tatiana broke a crate of Gauss rifles and equipped everyone with them. There was an argument with Targu as the crew didn’t wanted them armed and in the bay. Tatiana settle with Targu for a double pay, two hour contract. The mercenary did keep the imps and other bystanders at bay long enough to complete the unloading operations.

Location: Hadrian’s C8 INTEL room, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Xiao and the INTEL analyst joined force to try to compromise the loading bay security systems. While Xiao managed to open and maintain a connection to the starport system, Thane broke into the low-security subsystem operating the ship’s clamps and bay interior doors. The bay door to the outter space remained, however, inaccessible.

As the operations wound down, Thane locked down the bay and released the clamps. The pilot lifted the Hadrian off the tether as the mob found itself cut from access to the ship. Unable to open the exterior gate, Lt. Drumpf powered on the 1GJ UV decimer laser and fired it in the pressurized bay. The laser ionized the air, sending electric discharges everywhere. Targu and his men died in the process (but the Hadrian’s crew didn’t noticed that). When the laser breached the gate, the pilot had to manage the tumultuous airflow. Unfortunately, the laser turret got disabled as the ship scraped its way out into outter space.

Location: Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
The Hadrian began an emergency burn to rendez-vous with the Imperial dropship. Its laser disabled, it was a sitting duck as the starport defense laser took potshots. In the evasive actions, Ameen failed to recognize the launch of a missile coming their way. The Hadrian pleaded with the marines to interdict the missile. They threatened to fire their one and only 40cm missile back at the station (which may have spelled death for the 3000 station inhabitants).

In a last ditch effort, Clavain and another Vilani contractor performed an emergency launch of the ambulance orbital interface ship Ibiscus. They deployed too late to shoot down the incoming missile. This was a moot point as the missile locked onto the marine dropship. The marines deployed their point-defense system. The missile punched a hole into the dropship and the sensors recorded multiple internal explosions. The dropship went silent.

The Hadrian accelerated to a jump point, leaving behind the Ibiscus. It turned out that the Ibiscus had very little delta-V in its tank: the Hadrian would have had to break for it to catch up and exposed itself to the Kamerian navy. They told Clavain to land the Ibiscus in the friendly city-state of Upshal.

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Location: Very Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Clavain husbanded his delta-V as much as he could. At bailout point, he figured out that he didn’t have enough to land on Ensulur. He used the last of his delta-V to avoid to collide with the small, atmosphereless planet. Consequently, he slingshot into a highly elliptical orbit. Clavain cracked open a can of soda. His next perigee pass would be in 72 hours, he was out of fuel and the local navy was out there to kill him. This was, no doubt, a low point on his CV.

Location: Very Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 8, 2170 AD
The Hadrian came out of jump space in the Shasharma system. They tipped the Imperial navy of the loss of the dropship and headed for the starport. The repairs on the laser would cost them 600KCr, but they decided to go for it anyhow. During the week, Dr. Inuuq closely monitored the colonization of Sgt. Bergman’s hand by a mixture of his and Apishlan stem cells. He found evidence that Stavra (the Apishlan PhD. student) and Bergman were somehow sharing genetic information. Bergman’s 3D printed hand template was growing very fast, and his white blood cells were now chimeric with these of Stavra.

Something exciting an odd was going on as Bergman was integrating himself into the Apishlan gaiasphere.

Aspects that are carried over to the next session

  • Bergman is host to Apishlan cells.
  • Stavra Shilku suffers from a mild form of withdrawal/depression.
  • The naval crew is upset about their commander (Vladic’s propaganda).
  • The Kamerian navy accidentally has attacked an Imperial navy ship.
  • Imperial Liaison Evoll is upset at Vulnicura, and cosy with Vladic (Vladic’s effort).
  • Clavain is isolated on Ensulur, with no delta-V.
  • The Hadrian’s laser is disabled.

Characters Cast

  • Chief Agent Xiao Chen: A survivor from the Tibetan plateaux. Tech level 10 is too much for him, but that is not his business.
  • Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq (Cmdr): Terran Head of Science and grandmaster of contingency plans. Keeper of the “Apishlan infection”, as the Vilanis call it.
  • Ambulance Pilot Clavain Malek: Terran contractor, former free-trader and amateur gunslinger. Prefers ambulance outfitted with 10MJ lasers.
  • Dr. Kmee K’tee Mgii (Cmdr): Vegan Chief Medical Officer living in the unnecessarily high strung world of Homo Sapiens.
  • 1Lt. Ameen Sharshud: Fun loving sensor officer, Nusku Vilani, promoted too fast and in debt to his commander’s nemesis.
  • Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic: Diplomat and humanitarian now consumed by the fires of spite. Possibly a good person, but a terrible colleague.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura: The iron lady on the Hadrian. Promoted too fast and the target of a ship-wide conspiracy.

Comments

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