[SWAW] Rutan 5 (7)

edited December 2014 in SWAW
After a blissful day and night on Raxus Secundus with Ahdi Dar on the Woenid Nexus, you both parted ways to return to your respective work. How were those last moments, Ladro? Did you make any arrangements to meet at a future date anywhere, or leave it up to fate?

The Libation picked up a series of jobs that brought you back to the Inner Rim. It's been a month since you drug Squall's spiced-up self off Lianna. Ze's slowly worked zir way back from the brink, but keeps to zirself more now. Ze seems embarrassed of having to have been saved by you and Jojee. How are you handled that?

Leeadra's been taking night shifts and keeping to herself. She's put everyone at arm's length and kept it that way for weeks now. Jojee's worried about her. Jojee's been hanging around in your shuttle lately. Why is that?

Hosk has been pretty happy since Raxus Secundus, the tryst with Jaleena seemed to have given him a new lease on life. He's still grumpy to the crew, but around you, he's cracked a few jokes and been working on a new craft project. Has he told you anything about it?

We pick up with the Libation heading down the Hydian Way for Rutan 5. Your hold is completely filled with water. Seesk rigged up the space as a single water tank for this job. It's quite a feat of engineering, and sure, Squall helped a bit, but this is Seesk's pride and joy.

The only water supply for a small colony of Rutanians on Rutan 5 has become contaminated somehow with a weird sludge that makes anyone who drinks the water sick. Filtering and other decontamination methods that are available don’t seem to help. While the colony has some water reserves, they're currently shipping water in to keep those reserves, well, in reserve.
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Comments

  • edited November 2014
    Ladro Eyes

    The last moments with Ahji Dar were surprisingly sweet, a little sad, and, frankly a lot sore. It was a... vigorous time, interspersed with klava and food and more talking than you would expect. We didn't make a specific plan, but did set up a dead-drop comm address to use if we haven't run across each other in three months.

    Squall's embarrassed, and to my mind that's okay. Ze really should be. I don't let zir be alone too much though, and try to gently correct or tease when ze seems to be giving in to self-pity. I invite zir to watch The Young and the Clanless with Seesk and me, too, and ze seems to be starting to get the byzantine complexities of relationship and plot.

    Leeadra's isolation makes me sad, but I'm not going to push myself in. I'm at least partly responsible for it, and I still have occasional waves of regret for what Jojee and I did. Speaking of Jojee and what we did, it seems our little conspiracy cemented something between us. Whatever tension was between us broke somewhere along the way, and we've been pretty thick ever sense. Besides, between Squally and Leeadra, the atmosphere in the ship hasn't exactly been a barrel of lizard-monkeys.

    I'm secretly quite pleased that I was able to facilitate Hosk's encounter on Secundus. The end result has been quite a bonus for me. The project? He picked up a block of some soft wood before we took off from Secundus, a big one, and he's been working on carving... a karking cobocho. I suppose we're just fortunate he's not carving three hundred and eight of them. They are ugly beasts.
  • You come out of hyperspace right on time. Seesk is hanging out in the lounge, checking on the seals and ignoring the show on the holos. Squall's in Hosk's room. Where are you on the ship?

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    Leeadra comes over the loudspeakers, "We're in Rutan space, and we'll be coming in to the colony in thirty. Seesk, make sure everything's tight because the atmo is going to be a bit rough."
  • Ladro Eyes

    I'm in the lounge with Seesk. "You need any help, Seesk? This is pretty amazing work you've done, if I haven't said that yet. Water's harder than I thought."
  • image
    Seesk chuckles a little, "Aw, thanks, Ladro. I'd read up on liquid storage needs, but this was my first shot. I'm pretty nervous about the entry." She's complimented, but yeah, she's not lying about the entry.
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Can I do anything? You know I'll do anything for a fellow TYatC fan."
  • image
    The big Trandoshan rocks up to stand,"C'mon, Ladro. I'm ssssure I can use you. Plus, we can talk about T'skiss and how poorly written sssshe is. Ssssuch a trollop." She leads you to the hatch leading to the water and takes a few readings on her datapad. After a few taps on the readings, she grunts unhappily. Then, the ship lurches hard, like it hit a rough air current. It's enough to knock you both down.

    After a glance at her datapad, Seesk says urgently, "Ladro! The inner seal is breaking. Sithspit!" She starts working at the hatch that leads down to the hold. "I've gotta get down there and check the bombay doors!" She pops the hatch, and the water spills up and out of the hole an inch or so. She catches your eye. "Get me an oxy tank from the crate I stowed in the lounge! I'll need it in a minute." She's about to dive into that water, Ladro. What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    I head back to the lounge, of course. Grab an oxy tank and bring it back to Seesk.
  • When you get back, Seesk is gone, Ladro. The datapad is lying on the floor. The hatch is still open, and water spills out as the Libation rocks to and fro on entry.

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    I'm in my traveling clothes, nothing heavy since we're not expecting aggression from the Senali right here and right now. I breathe in, hyperoxygenating for a few seconds, then dive in with the tank in my arms. If Seesk needs it to complete this delivery, Seesk shall have it.
  • Let's see you Act Under Fire to get down there and share that tank with Seesk. If you get a 7-9, you can choose whether the seal breaks or Seesk takes some serious Harm.
  • Act Under Fire +1 XP

    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 3. Total: 9)
  • I care too much about this ship, and its crew, to let something bad happen because I didn't push myself far enough. Seesk is alien to me, but she's a friend, and I won't abandon her to atmosphere and turbulence.

    Spending 1-Bond with Seesk to make that a 10, so I don't have to make any hard choices.

  • The track lighting in the hold is murky in the watery depths, but you swim down towards Seesk with the tank. She's quickly working on the door controls as you reach her. The warning lights are flashing red and she continues to enter sequences into the keypad and flip a few toggle switches, trying to find the right mix.

    You hand her the tube and she takes a couple puffs of air, then gets back to work as you also take some oxygen. After another minute of work, the water feels warmer. The possibility of being boiled alive doesn't seem too far off the mark.

    Then, indicator lights wink to a yellow hue. The blinking slows, and the colors shift again to green. Bubbles of air escape Seesk's wide mouth as she chuckles, then pulls on the air tube and huffs some more air.

    You both swim back up and out of the hold, taking huge breaths and lying on your backs, completely sodden and sore from all the tension, now released.

    image
    As her breathing returns to something like normal, she wheezes exasperatedly, "huh huh.... we did it."
  • Ladro Eyes

    "We did! That was kind of like fixing a hot tub from the inside." Once I get my breath back, I'll slowly get to my feet and lean against the wall. "Seesk, you are a kriffing genius."
  • image
    Seesk continues laying there for a bit, still breathing deeply and laughing, "A genius wouldn't have had to become lightly boiled. But thanks. I owe you, Ladro."

    Take +1 Forward with Seesk.
  • Ladro Eyes

    I wait the few minutes until we touch down, uncomfortable in my damp, warm clothes but still preferring to be on the ship and not the shuttle while we're in atmo. "I think I'll go slip into something less moist, Seesk. I'll be back around to help with offloading if you need me."

    I head to the shuttle, change, and knock on Hosk's door to check on his plans and see how progess is coming on the cochobo carving.
  • edited November 2014
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    Hosk answers the door, "Hey Lad." He steps out of the way of the door, assuming you're coming in. On a table is the work-in-progress. It's as ugly as you'd expect, tons of wood splinters around as well as his tools.

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    Squall's sitting on Hosk's bed. Ze's got a pair of datapads, watching both screens and sitting there in a pair of silky shorts and a tank top. Zir eyes look tired, but they don't look dead like before, "Hi, uhm, Ladro." Ze doesn't look up.
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Squally! What brings you and the High Grump Master of the Universe together? Are you a cochobo fan, too?"
  • edited November 2014
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    Squall looks up, meets your eyes, then back down again. Ze shifts uneasily, "Uhm, no. Not really. Not like they'd make good pets, and they're... an acquired taste." Ze looks back to zir datapads, trying to keep out of your gaze.

    image
    Hosk crosses over to pat the little sculpture, "She's almost done. Squall's been my art critic. Ze's got a good eye. Pair of 'em, actually. heh"
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Art critic? I can see that. Squall, what's your assessment of Hosk's work in progress?"

    I'm ignoring Squall's discomfort. Trying to bring her back into the fold, kark me for caring.
  • edited November 2014
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    Ze looks up, straight at the cobocho, then glances over at you, "It's pretty good. Not bad for a first time." Ze fidgets, looking back at the datapads, changing the subject, "I really don't know what's going on with Rutan 5's water. How can their filtration fail? I wonder what's up with it. I'm going to check out this sludge or whatever."
  • Ladro Eyes

    "What've you got, Squall? Do you have some plan of attack? We figure this out and solve it, we're heroes."
  • edited November 2014
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    "I'm no... no hero." Squall answers with a mumble. Then ze says quickly, "No way I'll figure it out in the ship. You wanna take a look down there?"
  • Ladro Eyes

    "I'll back you up for sure, Squally. We figure this thing out, I'm pretty sure it's a good payday. What do we need to do?"
  • edited November 2014
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    "I'm sure someone is in charge of their water. We talk to them first. You know, benefit of the doubt that they don't know what's wrong."

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    Hosk chimes in with, "If they were hiding whatever's wrong, I doubt they would be shipping in water."
  • Ladro Eyes

    "We'll talk to the Water czar, sure. I'll be your backup on this, Squall." Squall with a puzzle is far better than Squall without one. "Any ideas who that is? The being in charge of water?"
  • edited November 2014
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    A few taps on zir datapad later and Squall announces, "Their name is Pushaan Atswanna. Looks like Pushaan is a title." Ze hops up off Hosk's bed, moving like ze wants to go get dressed. "Even has an office in their municipal building. I, uhm, doubt they'll just let some strange being walk in and tell them what to do though."

    image
    Leeadra comes over the loudspeakers, "Alright, folks, we're cleared to exit the ship. Seesk, I'll need you to evacuate the hold. We'll be here for two days, and keep an ear out for work. I figure we can shuttle water back and forth to this colony for a few trips, so something to take back with us for trade only doubles our intake."
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Squally, we'll play it by ear. Maybe we can get a sample of the sludge somehow without making any ripples, then talk to Pushaan Atswanna once you know more? We can explore a little first. I'll meet you once you're dressed?"
  • edited November 2014
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    Squall cocks zir head to the side, then looks down at zirself. "What? Is this not enough? It's a warm climate, Ladro." Ze gathers zir datapads and hops up off Hosk's bed, walking past you with a sudden grin.

    image
    Hosk chides, "Heh heh, Ladro's only into girls with fur on them, Squally."

    image
    Squall heads out the door, "Well, Rattataki is an acquired taste."
  • Ladro Eyes

    I shake my head in mock exasperation. "Hosk, you're an instigator." Good to see Squall getting a touch of zir zest back, though. I wonder if Lee ever had that talk with our little engineer.

    "What are your plans for two days on this little slice of paradise, Hosk? Let me know if you come up with a job—we'll keep in touch, okay?"
  • image
    Hosk starts putting away his carving tools and preparing to disembark the ship, too "Will do, Lad. I figure a backwater planet like this has to have folks who need a hired gun for a day or so. Of course, they're too small for a Guild office, but who know? Might find a bounty hiding out here, so I'll check the roster." He makes sure Squall is gone and asks, a bit quieter, "Gonna keep an eye on little baldie?"
  • edited November 2014
    Ladro Eyes

    "I am. Figure if we keep zir involved in whatever mystery she's latched onto, with the water, it's a win-win. I'm sure Jojee will tag-team with me if you find some work, though. She's good for backup, too, if we wind up needing an extra pair of hands."

    I exit the ship and wait for Squally.
  • The climate on Rutan 5 is temperate overall, but a little on the warm side.Squall comes down the ramp with Jojee, the two of them chatting amiably. You ended up standing with Seesk while waiting. Seesk's really excited, in her own way, about pulling off this water delivery. She rambles on a bit about building some custom plating to avoid the leakage issue, and hopes to perfect the process so Lee can take on similar hauls.

    Squall's wearing a silvery, spaghetti-string tank top, similar to what ze had on at Hosk's, but nicer. you've seen this material before, very breathable micro-filament stuff, actually boosts data transfers from what you've read. Ze's also wearing a long broomstick skirt of a similar shade, with flecks of blue. It's not quite as shiny as you'd expcect given the color, which means it might be coated. Ze has a small messenger bag thrown over zir shoulder, looks to have a couple datapads in it. Oddly enough, she also has a gunbelt on, fashionable, matching her clothes, but it has a small blaster, too. Hosk told you this colony had no regs on open carry, but when did you last see Squall carrying?

    Jojee's wearing work clothes, A-shirt and heavy material pants with work boots. She gives you a head nod greeting, then heads to the external ladder of the Libation to do some post-flight checks.

    image
    Squall skips up to you, "Hi Ladro. Ready for the big mystery?" Ze offers a grin, trying to seem upbeat. Seems like ze's faking it till ze makes it.
  • Ladro Eyes

    Seesk knows I'm impressed already, and I feel like repeating that out loud too often might seem insincere, so I don't offer more compliments. I listen to her and nod at the right spots, enjoying the way her mind works until Jojee and Squall appear.

    Squall with a blaster is new. I know ze had one at hand when we were preparing for the boarding action, the first trip to Secundus, but I've never seen one on zir hip. Mine's in plain sight as well.

    As long as ze's willing to fake it, I'll go along. "Certainly! Where do you want to start?"
  • image
    Ze scans the dozen hangar buildings that comprise the "spaceport" of this colony. It is a very rustic place, a few industrial-sized machines obviously donated years ago to kickstart the colony, but little more has developed. The climate isn't bad for agriculture, but there's something affecting that development.

    Squall points towards a large water tower that stands near the center of the colony, "According to the maps I pulled up, the water tower has a matrix of feeder systems. We can get the sample, like you said. It's a good idea." Ze starts walking quickly, in that odd style ze has where ze pushes up when zir weight hits the ball of zir foot and zir head bobs up for a moment. It's an odd gait, but adds a touch of speed.

    After a few minutes of walking into the town, you get a better sense of the place. Housing is mostly adobe, built out of colorful mud. At first, it looks like it might be painted, but as you pass by one rounded dome house with a crumbling entrance, you realize it's the mud itself. The whole place is pretty colorful, with rounded and dome homes ranging in greens and blues. Squall finds a waterline and you follow it up to the Water Tower. A hundred feet from the base of the tower, you see large fences, perhaps eight meters high and affixed beside some of the municipal buildings. No guards, but the place is busy enough that climbing it will be noticed.

    image
    "The water service is turned off, of course. We could follow a pipe to the source, or try and sneak into the tower compound. What do you think, Ladro?"
  • Ladro Eyes

    "I'd rather not sneak in broad daylight. Let's follow a pipe out, like you said." I like the warmth here, and so far, no one on this planet has any reason to arrest me or shoot me. Seems like a good time for a walk. I'll keep an eye out for a street vendor where I can grab a bite to eat while we walk.
  • The Rutanians here are a somber lot, perhaps influenced by their recent water troubles. Regardless, their prices are good, and you're able to pick a spicy local meat on a stick as well as some hunks of an odd fruit that tastes like something from home. Squall grabs some of the fruit as well, seems to enjoy it. Of course, it's a bit dry, but neither of you are complaining.

    After a half hour's walk, you find where the main water pipe leads underground. There's a pump station here, and nobody is guarding it. There's a much smaller, three meter fence here. Are you climbing it with Squall? Ze is.
  • Ladro Eyes

    Ze's not going over by zirself. Besides, I'm actually intrigued by the mystery of it. I climb the fence.
  • Tell you what. Why don't you give me an Act Under fire here? I'll give you a +1 for the situation since you're out of the way and watching for anyone.
  • Act Under Fire +1 XP

    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 4, 2. Total: 9)
  • You hop on the fence and clamber over. Squall, however, ze gets zir leg hung when ze tries to hop off on the other side, ends up getting a nasty gash across the inside of zir thigh, twists, and lands oddly on the hard-packed colorful dirt inside.. Ze lays on the ground for a moment or two, clutching zir leg, which starts bleeding black blood, and curses for a bit.

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    Ze waves at you, "Get me some sludge, Ladro. I'm... I'm alright." Ze's trying to hide zir wound under zir skirt.

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    "This isn't a holodrama, Squall. Let me see it, see what we can do to stop the bleeding."
  • image
    For a moment, it seems like Squall's going to fight you, but ze relents. "I'm not strong, Ladro. But I survived these scars." Ze means the ones across zir scalp, of course, like little rivers on a map. Ze pulls back zir skirt to show you the wound.

    It sits high on zir thigh, not far from zir sex. The cut is deep. Squall's going to have trouble walking. It isn't bleeding too badly, and zir skirt should cover it. Of course, ze doesn't have a med kit. Do you?

    Squall's looking at it with you. Ze holds in the pain and isn't crying, "Well, it's deep, but I'll live, alright? Can you get the sludge now?"
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Okay, Squall. Just try not to bleed too much while I'm gone? I'll help you get back." I take the sample jar from her and enter the pump room, looking around for the gate controls as I do. I don't want to try and carry Squall back over the fence.
  • edited November 2014
    Squall laughs a bit at your request, and starts pulling zirself up, limping towards the fence, but watching you. You head over to the shack, work open one of the pipes a half turn, and collect some of the sludge. It's thick like slop and green, but the color shifts ever so slightly in the light.

    On your way out of the shack, you find the gate control and open it up so Squall can limp out. Ze refuses to be carried, it will be slow going. Heading back to the ship?
  • Ladro Eyes

    Yeah, we head back to the ship. I match Squall's pace, help out a little when ze needs it. Seems like Doc should be able to handle the injury if ze doesn't make it too much worse on the way. I hold out the jar look at it against the sunlight.

    "You know, if you do figure out what's really wrong here, Seesk is going to be a little heartbroken that her carefully planned mods to the hold aren't needed."
  • image
    The sun is a bit warmer now, high overhead. Squall's sweating as ze limps along. Zir face is tight when ze replies, "I'm sure we can find some other cargo for her to play with. It does open us up for more work."
  • Ladro Eyes

    The half-hour out of town is more like an hour on the way back. Finally, we're making our way onto the ship. I'm sure Squall wants to deal with the sludge, but I make zir visit Doc first, get the injury attended to.

    "Anything I can do to get this started, Squall? While Doc's fixing you up."
  • Squall walks you through the steps of checking out the sample. Ze isn't a scientist, but there's enough skillsoft aides and tools to pull off some research. Let's call this a charged situation here.

    When you read a charged situation, roll+sharp. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. Whenever you act on one of the MC’s answers, take +1. On a 10+, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:
    • where’s my best escape route / way in / way past?
    • who/what here is not what they seem?
    • which enemy is most vulnerable to me?
    • what is the biggest threat to me?
    • what should I be on the lookout for?
    • what’s my enemy’s true position?
    • who’s in control here?
    • what happened here recently?
  • Read a Sitch

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 2, 6. Total: 9)
  • What should I be on the lookout for?
  • After some research, you discover that the colony's water supply is teeming with the waste from an animal. A type of animal, not just one. Estimated in the hundreds. The data spools have no exact matches on this animal, but it does pick up that there are pheromones present in the matter that is excreted during mating season.

    A better researcher, or a droid with the right skillsofts, might be able to construct more, but there's definitely something going on with this water.
  • Ladro Eyes

    I might not be a scientist, or a 'better researcher,' but I can ask some basic questions through the holonet.

    • How long has this colony been here?

    • What's the basic shape of the water table that they're tapping into? The farthest outlying points?

    • Any particularly large, slow-developing, or mysterious fauna here?

  • Rutan 5 has been around for four generations. With the Rutanian lifespan, that puts it at nearly a century.

    The water table here is enough to maintain this settlement of three thousand beings and two times larger, if they could ever actually grow. Population has been on the decline for the last two generations due to lack of influx of new immigrants.

    The farthest outlying point is a mile past the five pump stations, which are at star points around the colony itself.

    In fact, there is an extremely rare animal called the eksyx which was discovered here when the colony was formed. The eksyx are extremely elusive and have never been seen in more than pairs, if at all. They're a sleek, fast-moving canine species, considered very intelligent.

    It is likely that due to the amount of pheromones present in the fecal matter, coupled with the number of different samples, that they are in a breeding season. If you could find them, this would be the largest collection of eksyx ever recorded.
  • Ladro Eyes

    I comm Squall. "Squally, you still in the med bay? I have an idea." Wherever ze is, I either go to zir or ze comes to me.

    "So, analysis says that the sludge is waste matter from some animal, probably in their breeding cycle. I'm thinking, since there's no match in the database, it might be this rare creature called an eksyx. They've never been seen in more than pairs, but maybe during breeding season, they get together for a party? I'm thinking you and I take the shuttle out for a spin, see what we can find around the edges of the water supply they're tapping?"
  • edited November 2014
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    "I'm in med bay, yeah." You head to zir and see that ze's got zir skirt off so the med droid can apply a skin glue to pull the wound closed. It was deep, probably would sideline Hosk or Jojee, but Squall seems pretty relaxed.

    You lay out the details on the animal, Squall nods "That's a great idea, Ladro. I'm almost done here." You can't help but notice ze's not covering zirself, and while ze is thin, zir legs are well shaped. Little criss-crosses of scars like zir body is a roadmap of old pain. Squall looks at you, eyes looking, searching for your reaction. You can feel it, the hope for acceptance, perhaps even attraction.
  • Ladro Eyes

    I forget sometimes that Rattataki are so intrinsically tough. Squally makes it easy to forget. I see the scars, map and history both. I note how ze's handling the pain. I do notice the lean muscle of zir legs. I step up to take zir hand, meeting zir eyes. "You're tougher than you think, Squally. That injury would've put me down for a few days at least." I lean down to give zir a kiss on the forehead.
  • edited November 2014
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    Ze slips a hand behind your neck, the other pushing on the table. Ze angles zir head up to press against your lips. Squall looks into your eyes, searching for a moment. But ze doesn't see what ze's looking for, and slowly lets zirself back down, looking at zir bare legs, "Thanks, Ladro."
  • Ladro Eyes

    There isn't anything more I can do. My lizard brain's still tempted, but no way am I giving in. "Do you want to meet me at the shuttle when you're done, or should I stick with you?"
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    Squall swallows, looking up at you furtively. "Stick with me. I'm almost done." Ze pulls zir skirt from the side of the table, slips off it and quickly dresses, no longer trying to move closer, or kiss you.

    Let's skip ahead to the pair of you in the shuttle. Hosk and Jojee aren't here. Lee's in the ship, but if you didn't chat with her, she didn't seek you out.

    What's it like, flying over the surface of Rutan 5?
  • Ladro Eyes

    It seems like there's not much that grows tall, here. We fly over patches of green and dark brown and gold, a savannah of waving grasses and scrub brush. Past a large fenced-in enclosure with some sort of livestock I don't recognize. The general run of animals on Rutan 5 must be small, as there are no free-roaming packs or herds to be seen. Not exactly desolate, but certainly not lush.

    I fly us out a point about a mile out from the pumping station we visited earlier, then start to pilot a slow circle around the perimeter. Squall's on the sensor package while I use my naked eyes through the cockpit.
  • When you search for something out in the scrublands outside Rutan 5, roll+Sharp.
    On a 10+, you find it after some looking, it is in decent shape as described by the MC
    On a 7-9, you find it, but someone/something else has it, or has eyes on it
    On a miss, you find something else entirely, which probably isn't so good.
  • Searching

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 2, 3. Total: 6)
  • Using 1-bond with Squall to make that a 7
  • On your third pass overhead, you spot a few Rutanians near an area with heavy bushes and scrub, something like a thicket. You bring the shuttle in closer, and see four bodies of animals. They've been hit with blasters, and you see other movement in the thicket, but those animals are incredibly hard to see, their skin changes color as they move.

    image
    Squall points at them, asking with alarm. "Those are eksyx, aren't they, Ladro?"

    That's when one of the Rutanians brings up a blaster rifle and takes aim at your shuttle.

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Hold on, Squally!" The shuttle was a civilian transport, can probably take one hit, so it seems like evasive action is the plan of the moment. I pull the shuttle up and left, then curve to the right to take us out of range.
  • Act Under Fire +1 XP

    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 2, 1. Total: 5)
  • You pull the shuttle up and left, but another Rutanian underneath you fires her blaster rifle and scores a couple hits, including your port engine. The repulsors go offline for a full second and your momentum throws you into a spin. Squall's holding onto zir seat, teeth gritted, not crying out, buckled in and along for the ride.

    You've got a couple choices here, Ladro. You can gently lay the shuttle down, minimize further damage, still have a chance to look into this sludge thing. Or you can recover in the air, but it's going to waste most of your fuel, and you'll need to head back to the ship.

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    Big risk for an unknown benefit, but we've got some forward momentum, and I think both of us hate unresolved mysteries. Giving it a shot makes sense on some kriffed-up internal balance sheet.

    I set the shuttle down as gently as I can, trying to get us out of plain sight of the Rutanians. First order of business, check on Squall. That was a lot of jostling for an injury like zirs. "Sorry for the turbulence," I joke. "You okay? Seems like we found something interesting."
  • Ze's unbuckling, moving stiffly. You can see right away that it opened zir thigh again, and black blood is oozing out of the cut.

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    "What's a little turbulence between friends?" Squall says as ze takes in a breath and tries to stand. Ze looks over. "I need to cauterize this. If those Rutanians come after us, I'm no good to you sitting here. Give me a minute, I'll take care of it." Squall's already trying to muster up the grit to burn zir own leg.

    You can see those Rutanians aren't in a direct line of sight, but they're probably headed your way.

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Squall, let me." Medkit's right behind us, but we don't have time to do more than grab it, I think. "You trust me to do this?" Half of me wants zir to say no.
  • image
    Zir tone is tinged with pain, and slightly surprised, maybe a tad annoyed, "Of course I trust you, Ladro." Squall hisses. Then, ze meets your eyes, "You don't have to take care of me this time. I can do it."
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Do it." I reach around for the medkit, sling the strap across my shoulder. Exit the shuttle and stand there, right where the Rutanians will see me when they crest the rise, blaster up and hair mussed. Like a kriffing hero from a holovid, again. Relying on presence as well as firepower.
  • You actually hear the sizzle of flesh from outside, followed by the stifled groan of Squall as ze finishes the job.

    It feels to me like you're trying to Threaten the Rutanians as they come your way. Let's see dice.
  • Ladro Eyes

    As they cross the low ridgeline, "Hold your karking position! We don't want to hurt you, but we will!" My blaster's leveled at whoever's in the lead.
  • Threaten +1 XP

    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 1. Total: 8)
  • edited November 2014
    There were three of them coming over the small berm. They check you and drop back, taking cover behind brush, separated to get some flanking. One of them calls out, "Who are you, stranger? You need to clear out! We're taking care of a health hazard for the colonial government!"
  • Ladro Eyes

    I call back."There was no notice of restricted airspace. Is it common procedure to shoot at peaceful craft passing over a 'health hazard'?"
  • "Well, I'm sure you can report us, then!" The male Rutanian yells back.

    There's a moment of hushed conversation. Squall comes limping out of the shuttle, hesitates by the door, watching you, then looking out towards the trio hidden in the scrub above you.

    Finally, a female Rutanian calls down, "Any of you hurt? I've got a med pack! We can come down there, take care of you. As long as you stay away from the area back there. We're on a short timetable. My friend was a little jumpy!"

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    "No need. The shuttle's med pack is fully stocked. We'll be here a bit, to check out the damage you caused and patch up my friend. You can go about your business. And for the record, at least two of your friends were 'a little jumpy' back there."
  • "Sorry about that, friend!" the female Rutanian calls back. "Not sure if you know, but we've got a major crisis with our water. But we found the issue! Some pest decided to set up a breeding area in a cave that feeds our water table. We've just got to clear them out, and then the crisis is over! We've had some trouble with beings, so my friends got a little jumpy! Now, you and yours stay put. I'm going to leave someone to keep an eye on you, in case you need any help. We've got to finish the job. It's a time sensitive issue!"

    image
    Squall hisses over to you, "This is poodoo, Ladro."

    What do you do?
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Stay in the shuttle for now, Squall, and keep an eye and ear out. I'll see about whoever she sends over 'in case we need any help.' I'm guessing there won't be any colonial government ID to show us."

    And I wait, blaster down but still in hand, ready.
  • image
    "I'm not staying in the shuttle, Ladro. I'm going to work on the shuttle, make sure she'll still lift off." Squall says this with a bit of irritation, sliding past you to go check on the rear of the shuttle, out of the line of fire from the rise, but ze's going to get to work on the thrusters and check on the engines.
  • edited November 2014
    Ladro Eyes

    Can't argue with Squall on that. Ze makes a good point. "Okay." I wait for the "Colonial Government Representative" to arrive, then finally realize that "leave someone" meant "leave someone at the top of the rise," not "leave someone at the shuttle with us." Fine. I join Squall at the rear of the shuttle, poking my head out now and then to check our voyeur's position.
  • Squall shimmies under the shuttle and gets to work.

    image
    While ze's working, Squall opens a comm channel to you. Are you in the shuttle or outside watching that Rutanian? "Ladro, they're going to slaughter those animals. Are we going to sit here and do nothing? And we don't even know if it will fix things. What.... what if they're part of the ecosystem and end up kriffing up even more? Are we really staying out of this?"
  • Ladro Eyes

    I'm outside, ready to help Squall, but keeping eyes on our watchdog from time to time. "We can't get into this until we know the shuttle will get us out of it. Did you see anything through the sensors that can give us the start of a plan? I was pretty focused on the blaster rifles."

    Is he staying put up on the rise? How attentive and professional does the posture seem? How often do I see him checking in? That sort of thing.
  • edited November 2014
    image
    As ze works an exterior panel off that had warped in front of the repulsorlift manifold, Squall says, "Alright. Good. I thought you were sitting this one out." Ze smiles and continues working. "Thre's a cave, and it looked like they were driving them out. Sensors picked up a high frequency pulse, so they're probably flushing them out."

    The Rutanian at top of the rise has a rifle, is a good shot, but looks more like a farmer and an opportunist than a soldier.
  • Read a Sitch

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 1, 6. Total: 8)
  • What should I be on the lookout for?
  • Those pair of Rutanians are working their asses off trying to cull the herd of eksyx while you're fiddling with your shuttle. You've got maybe half an hour before it's all over. If you help Squall out with repairs, you should be able to leapfrog over and get there. Or... you could charge that rise right now. It's only a mile away.
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Squally, it seems to me like we don't have much time. Convince me it's worth shooting a being over some creature that I'll never see again."
  • image
    Squall sets aside zir hydrospanner and looks at you for a moment. Zir face tightens, like ze wants to give a sharp reply. It breaks, Squall huffs a sigh, "It isn't. I can't say for sure what those animals are worth. And I won't argue for it when they aren't trying to kill us."
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Okay, let's get fixed up enough to get back to town. We've got what the sensor package captured, let's analyze that and see what looks like a good plan, after. What can I do to help us get off the ground?"
  • You help Squall fix up the shuttle. For now, you can get out of here and back to the Libation, with some more repairs due to return it to specs.

    Squall's a bit disappointed that you ended up letting them go, but ze argued for that very decision, so ze doesn't blame you.

    When you land, Hosk is standing outside. He looks pissed that somebody messed up your home. What do you tell him about what happened?
  • Ladro Eyes

    "Lead on the root cause of the water problems, Hosk. I figure there might be a pretty big payday if we hand it to the authorities with a bow tied on it." I go on to explain the whole thing. "So, what do you think?"
  • edited November 2014
    image
    Hosk answers with irritation, "I think they shot up our karking SHIP! I THINK I want to go back there and ace them, Ladro. A payday's good, but they hurt our baby!" He stomps around a bit, comes up on board to check out his stuff, which is jostled but in good working order. That helps him calm down.

    image
    Squall suggests, "Thing is, either the municipality knows what's going on and they authorized the slaughter, or those three figured out something and started..." Ze pauses, tapping at zir datapads. "Eksyx pelts just went on sale at market, Ladro."
  • Ladro Eyes

    I remember the shifting colors and my inability to focus on the animals. "Kriff me. Alright, we need payback on those walking piles of poodoo, and we've got footage. What do we have to show the authorities, Squally? Let's see."
  • Squall displays the feeds and sensor data. It's pretty definite what's happened. Poaching, firing on you as well. Hosk looks up the regs and there are no dispensations for citizens to control pests but the blaster fire is probably justifiable if they argue they felt an imminent attack.
  • Ladro Eyes

    "The shuttle has no external weapons, and we weren't making to land. Sure, they'll get the benefit of the doubt because they're local, but I think we've got a good case. The question is, do we go to the authorities, or do something on our own? What do you two think?"
  • image
    Hosk growls, "I say we take it up with them personally, Lad. Those Rutanians looks low rate. You were kriffing courteous. They sold you on some benefit to the colony, then they dipped in for their own bennie."

    image
    Squall holds up a hand, "Whoah, Hosk. I asked Ladro to hold up. They fooled me, and he backed my play, ok? I'll fix your shuttle for parts, free labor, so don't feel like you've gotta take it out of their hides."

    They look at you, hoping you'll throw in to settle the decision.
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