I let the travel in the Black play out for a while, running some roleplay scenes between the crew to help the players solidify how they were playing their characters and how they related to each other. In no particular order:
- We saw how the pilot, Captain Floris' cousin; Emery, doesn't seem to think much of Floris abilities as a businessman or captain. She seems a lot more "worldly" and Rim-savvy than her cousin and obviously holds a torch for Judah, the Companion & first mate.
- Bean (doped up on the Doctor's tranqs) spent most of the session swinging from the rafters in the cargo bay, teasing the Captain (She could see his "bald patch" from up there) and playing something that became known as "The pickle game" with Leo (repeatedly saying the word pickle which Leo repeated and she would tell him whether he got it wrong or right - the rules seem to be completely indeterminate).
- Judah detected a smell aboard which was intruding into his cabin and accused Turk - it turned out however that it was the captain's dogs.
- Turk/Tuc/Tock was found stealing biscuits at night by Emery. She managed to get a look at the notebook he was scribbling in but it all appeared to be gibberish.
Dr Norris disappeared quickly to get the suits ready, giving Judah's best (& most flamboyant) suit to Turk/Tock. The Companion was not amused and the rivalry between the doctor and first mate was further reinforced.
Floris: "What sort of man would have a spacesuit with lapels?"
Judah: "What sort of man wouldn't?"
So they docked with the Helse Bergen and began to explore. With the power out Floris had to make a number of (PHYSICAL+LABOUR vs DERELICT SHIP d8+Difficulty die) rolls to wrench open doors and clear wreckage to get them through. They found numerous bodies, all torn, cut and savaged. The doctor examined them (MENTAL+KNOWLEDGE+ Medicine Speciality) and was able to determine that although most may have died from decompression they were certainly attacked by one or more vicious blades. Even though the characters don't believe in such spacer tales I think the players were suspecting Reavers.... ;)
It was then that they discovered the only survivor. Hiding away, surviving by replacing his air canisters for those on the unused space suits was a man who introduced himself as Eli Cole. He wore a slick combat spec. space suit and wore a Jian sword on his back. Judah interrogated him and learnt that he was a merc hired by the crew and that one of them had gone crazy aboard the ship, killing and wounding his crew mates and scuttling the ship. Eli could see were things were heading and hid rather than face off against an obvious psychopath. Judah checked him out (SOCIAL+NOTICE+Registered Companion vs Eli's SOCIAL+TRICK+Undercover speciality (more on who Eli is in a future post...)) and discerned he was telling the truth, although it might not have been the whole truth.
With Cole directing them the crew continue to search the ship and find the only modular cargo ay with anything in; a series of sealed freight canisters. Roughly 8 tons of unmarked but undamaged cargo.
At that point Leo, back on the ship, gets hailed. Another ship had snuck up on them (Leo had been failing NOTICE+SYSTEMS rolls, Complicated as he still was. Each time he cleared a Complication he seemed to get another - I ruled it was a reoccurring headache...). The ship was a Scorpio class Salvage vessel and the captain, Blake, alleged that he'd been sent by the Helse Bergen's owner to recover their ship. Leo patches him through to Floris and the salvage ship levels it's guns (mounted on two "Hull crawlers" - little mobile tanks with magnetic tracks that are manoeuvring along it's outer hull) at the Bei Xiang. Floris "agrees" to Blake's demands and the crew leave the Helse Bergen. Well most do...Cole and Floris remain hidden aboard....(Cole spends a Plot Point to create an Explosives d6 Asset)
Judah gets Emery to move the Bei Xiang away from the Helse Bergen as Blake and his crew board the wreck.
The salvagers head straight for the untouched cargo and spot Eli (failed a PHYSICAL+STEALTH roll vs Blake's MENTAL+NOTICE+PIRATE 4D6 for his accompanying crew) who spins them a tale about Floris' crew abandoning him there, while Floris attacks from behind!
Combat ensues. Over two rounds of combat, between Floris and Cole they manage to Take Out three of the salvagers as Blake sacrifices them instead of being Taken Out himself, but both the captain and mercenary are now sporting Complications. Meanwhile Judah has had Emery turn the ship around and is heading to dock with the Scorpio!
We should find out what happens next later this week....