Traveller SD2018 Session4Plot
Session 4: In which the party faces a trial over compensation for having their ship impounded and smuggling nuclear weapons
Present: Feidlimid, Logan, Steve, Starcrash
On Grenaenuros, the party meet an old acquaintance, Steve Temptation, and hire him as a jump drive engineer. The party debate reneging on their commitment to ferry passengers to Erobquzedoia, since it is an awful backwater, but eventually decide to stick with their original plan. To save time -and hence money- they filled half the hold with additional fuel canisters. Unable to find machine parts, they purchase basic electronics. Steve -on a totally lawless, opulently wealthy, TL14 station crawling with criminals- decides to buy two briefcase nuclear weapons.
Steve signed up to the marines but was immediately bullied out by Alexander Haig (the dice fall where they fall). He joined the navy but soon was for out for causing an accident that killed several fellow crew members. He then served three terms in the scouts, rapidly being promoted. The most notable event was unsuccessfully trying to rescue survivors from another crashed ship, earning him the enmity of their commander.
Steve decided not to take extra time operating the jump drive, and the ship misjumped, arriving 5.5 days from the only inhabited planet. The party flew to the planet, radioed other ships to say they were landing, and then landed. Erobquzedoia is ruled by a TL 3 (flintlock) bureaucracy forcing their subjects to live in a TL 1 (bronze age) society. Starcrash convinced the locals to allow the party to explore a little around the capital city. After a false start, the party found a buyer paying a good price for their locally illegal gameboys and radios, illegally recruited travelers trying to escape to Javgeia, dumped their fuel tanks in the desert, and flew off. By the time the party left, they had the only ship on Erobquzedoia, as no new ships had arrived for 3 days.
Another misjump left the party three days from the starport. While in jump space, they learned that one of the new passengers was, in fact, one of the clones from Jevgeia and intended to smuggle friends out of the system before their mandatory euthanasia at 35; the party indicated their willingness to illegally smuggle people out of the system. The party learned that police cruisers were coming to escort them to the starport. They spoke with the Jevgeian Technarc, Gene Superior who demanded they fly to the starport where their ship would be impounded because of some crisis. Desperately, short on fuel, the party were unable to resist his demand to land on the starport. Jevgeian men wore leather trousers, and the women wore leather leotards; both typically carried cutlasses.
Casually leaving the docking bay with a briefcase nuclear bomb in each hand, Steve triggered an array of sirens. Steve and Starcrash allowed themselves to be arrested by soldiers with assault rifles as well as sabers, and Starcrash convinced the soldiers that he believed the weapons had been brought with the approval of the Jevgian leadership. Feidlimid and Logan were escorted to military barracks, where they spent the night reading the local internet. In addition to the news of the nuclear weapons, they found that no new ships had arrived in the system for almost two weeks. Jevgia has a population of only 43,000 and is largely but not fully self sufficient, so this was primarily a source of intrigue, rather than a crisis. A ship had left for Rekar 11 days earlier but not yet returned. Some thought that Rekar had been destroyed by an extra galactic alien invasion via the Little Rift, where the enormous and otherwise unexplained jump scars indicated historic intergalactic travel. Of these, some thought the aliens intended to destroy all of humanity, whereas others thought that the genetically superior clones of Jevgeia would make natural allies for the aliens, who were clearly clones as well. Others thought that the Imperium had collapsed, perhaps because it was run by inferior nonclones, it had failed to appoint an emperor, or some combination of these factors. Feidlimid and Logan fairly easily managed to get Steve and Starcrash bailed, and the party reunited in the morning.
The party immediately went to the bank to make their first mortgage payment.
While doing so, they politely agreed that an alien invasion had probably destroyed Rekar but would recognise the superiority of and form an alliance with a small station of TL 7 clones. They then went to launch a legal appeal to have their ship returned to them. Steve also requested to have his hideously illegal nuclear bombs returned. The Technarc disparaged bureaucratic evidence-based justice system.
The party found themselves engaged in trial by combat that afternoon. While Steve and Starcrash were skilled with guns, heavy weapons, and explosives, they had no melee combat skills; Feidlimid was not particularly talented either. The Prosecution looked to thoroughly trounce the party, before one of Feidlimid's drones swooped in, causing the Technarc to declare a mistrial.