Dante Reconnaisance


After the Yellow Submarine was damaged at Higgins' Moon (Revenge), the crew flies to New Melbourne for repairs. Unfortunately, Jackson missed some damage to the landing gear, and Capt'n Sata is forced to make a rough landing.

Dirtside on New Melbourne

It's time for the monthly crew payout, monthly maintenance, the ship now needs a serious repair and Jackson is itching to install the railgun he salvaged from the old Londinium shuttle (Parts is Parts). He also wants to do some upgrade work on the ship's shuttle. Sata agrees that they definitely need to do work and being armed would be a good idea so they rent a repair dock and get to work. Sata has an old war comrade who is a mechanic here at the port, she is able to help the crew with some discounts on parts. Lennon goes out to do some clinic days and Saxon Molyneux and Lang decide to go race their hoverbikes on the track set up for the professional race last year (Circuit Racers). Wilks has a pile of credits burning a hole in his pocket, so he buys a bike and joins them. Even Lennon comes along one day and takes Saxon's bike for a ride. Lang is also puzzling over the unknown but familiar female Alliance officer.

Conferences and Communications

Lennon slips away at one point for a secret meeting with Admiral Sharpe and fills him in on their recent pirate related adventures. Sharpe tells Lennon that they have actually been actively hunting pirates and slavers in the Red Sun system and have captured several vessels and destroyed a few more. Piracy is on a downswing here and the sale of captured vessels and salvaged goods has helped them considerably. He is considering moving their area of operations because he thinks Alliance forces may begin hunting him once pirate activity is under control.

A couple days after work has begun and the ship is opened up, Sata is contacted by Senator Von Alksburg. The senator asks if Sata and his crew are up on the most recent news, the Miranda broadcast and the recent naval incident in Blue Sun and explains that he has gotten some information leaked to him that leads the senator to believe that all is not as it is. He asks Sata to come and meet with him in White Sun. Sata is agreeable, but explains that they are the middle of major repairs and will arrive as soon as possible. Lennon decides to call his girlfriend Liz and talk with her, since he hasn't seen her in a while and because he is feeling guilty over his affair with Fiolla (Lennon's Side Trip). The conversation does not end well as Lennon clumsily admits his affair and Liz hangs up on him. She refuses to accept his calls for days. Saxon calls her secretly and tries to smooth things over with Liz on Lennon's behalf. Since charming women is what Saxon does, Liz accepts that Lennon still cares for her, but she's not ready to talk to him or forgive him yet.

Sata, Jackson, Howard and Lang put in some long hours on the ship repairs and upgrades. Howard and Jackson do manage to steal some time and do another upgrade on the shuttle, boosting its maneuverability. However, this time Jackson tells Sata and Howard notifies Lennon before anyone tries to fly it. Saxon commissions Jackson to upgrade his hoverbike and Jackson buys some parts to work on the project. Once the ship is done, the crew departs for White Sun. The senator said to contact him when they are in White Sun, so Sata calls the Senator as they cross the system. Senator Von Alksburg arranges a deepspace meeting off the trade routes near Londinium and meets them in his new yacht.

A Dangerous Proposal

The senator sits down with them and explains that he has obtained information that at least part of the cover story about the Miranda Broadwave is false. The message was sent from an emergency transmitter on the moon Dante in the Blue Sun system, it was not hacked into a relay station. That, combined with the recent fleet incident in Blue Sun, makes him very suspicious. He needs information to try to force some changes and gain influence. His goal is to get a seat on the parliament's security council where he would have some real access to information and more influence. Tha captain agrees and asks for information on patrol routes in the area. The senator has it, but they are over a month old. Captain Sata agrees and the Senator wishes them luck and departs. Afterwards, Jackson is openly skeptical, he believes they are simply tools in a politician's bid for personal power and doesn't think they can trust the senator. Sata orders Howard to set course for the Long Night Skyplex and do a hard burn. Lennon sends a vidmessage to Liz telling her they are going off into danger and that he hopes she will talk to him later. She doesn't accept his call, but does call him back after hearing his message. She's willing to give him another chance, but is still very hurt.

Out in the Black at Long Night

The Yellow Submarine arrives at Long Night, Sata's friend Commander Hwan Fei and his patrol ship the IAV Peregrine are in port. Sata asks him to meet and Hwan chooses a bar catering to company freighter crews, not an Alliance or freelancers' bar. Hwan arrives in casual clothes with a hat pulled low. He is visibly stressed and looks aged. He and Sata talk about the fleet incident, Hwan knows something more serious actually happened than what was reported in the news. He thinks the crew are going to do something risky, something he should stop and arrest them for. Instead he gives Sata some information and wishes him luck. They promise to meet again and share some of the eiswine Sata gave Hwan if they return.

Sata plans to approach Dante and drift in on an unpowered coasting course. He wants Lennon to stock up on anti-nausea meds and barf bags because he may send the ship in with a tumble to resemble wreckage. He also wants to buy up as many braking rocket packs as they can find so the ship can use them to slow down. Lennon points out that they know a former Browncoat on Meridian. He wants to go there and gather any local news and intelligence on the battle before they try to sneak past the patrols around Dante. After some discussion, the crew decides to stop on Deadwood and visit Reverend Black on the way.

Deadwood Tales

The Yellow Submarine arrives on Deadwood shortly after sunrise and lands outside of the village of Roanoke. Even on a cursory inspection, the crew sees the people are prospering, the irrigation equipment they shipped in (The Reverend Black and Reavers) has made a difference. The crew is met by an armed group of townspeople, but once the crew are recognized, they are happily welcomed and taken to the church to meet with the reverend. Reverend Black welcomes them and they ask if he knows of any local happenings. He mentions that in the week after the Miranda Broadwave, there was a burst of Reaver attacks across some of the nearby moons. After answering their questions, he asks Lennon to tend to some of the villagers and to give him a check up as well, he's concerned about his heart. Saxon buys a white cowboy hat from a local crafter. After Lennon completes his doctor duties, the crew departs and passes Dante at a distance on their way to Meridian. Howard tries for a sensor scan of the patrols around the planet, but is only able to pick up the patrolling Longbow cruiser and a hint of smaller craft.

Progress on Meridian

Arriving on Meridian, the ship lands at a small landing facility serving a fishing town. Lennon checks for Jerry Heck, a former Browncoat who served in the 42nd Overlanders as a medical corpsman. Jerry's ship is at sea, but is due back in a day or two. Sata sets Jackson and Wilks to work installing their braking rockets and Lang to writing a control program. There is a great deal more discussion, Howard thinks they should try to find a salvaged ship they can use instead of risking the Yellow Submarine, but Sata's view is they are most familiar with their Osprey, which will give them the best chance of success.

The next day Jerry's ship puts in and he invites Wilks and Lennon over for some home cooking. He tells them that he has heard about Reaver attacks and also that the Alliance ships dropped off some casualties for local treatment. The damaged ships showed up about a week after the Miranda Broadwave, but he heard from a former Blackjack acquaintance that the Alliance ships were actually called in before the broadwave.

Lennon has Lang hack into the local hospital records and get a list of wounded that were treated here. The patients' files also include the names of their ships and they are surprised by the number and size of the ships involved. The listing includes the ships Oahu, Alexander, Scimitar, Falchion, Mako, Barracuda, Moray, Onager and Ballista. One of the ships, the Alexander, does not show up on any public listing. Lennon takes that information to the crew and briefs them.

Saxon decides to take a personal involvement and goes to the local office of the Blue Sun Company. Trading on his name, he fast talks his way into a meeting with the local director and spins a tale about the Molyneux Foundation expanding its efforts on the Rim and being interested in helping with the local salvage operations. He is able to convince the local director to contact the Alliance patrol above Dante to allow an inspection tour to allow them to see the scope of the problem.

With a legitimate clearance, the crew flies to Dante and passes through the blockade. The Longbow on patrol station, the Gladius, shows signs of recently repaired battle damage. They observe the patrol patterns and salvage ships hauling away chunks of Reaver ships. Passing through the ion cloud, they emerge into the clear area above Dante. More ships are visible here, retrieving bits of of Alliance and Reaver ships. Sata puts the Yellow Submarine into orbit and they loop around the moon. Howard spots the abandoned observatory on the surface and they head down there.

What Happened Here?

(Now the player characters land where the Serenity crashed at the end of the movie. Obviously, all the players knew what had happened, but we all played it out, me describing what the scene looked like to strangers, and the players responding as their characters see it for the first time.)
Coming in over the observatory, they see gouges and debris from a ship making a crashlanding and sliding into the hangar. There are also scorch marks from other ship landings. They land outside the hangar and gear up, leaving Jackson to watch the ship. Scouting ahead as the party moves inside, Wilks identifies the burn marks as being from a pair of Alliance Assault Landing Ships, the type used at the Battle of Serenity Valley.

The crew moves inside the hangar and they see more damage. The ship that crashed outside slid into the hangar, shedding more debris and even a whole thruster pod, snapped off by a support column. Howard identifies it as a Firefly's engine and records what they see with a handheld camera. At the end of the hangar is a recessed entryway in the floor, heavily damaged by the crashing ship. Some of the crew smell old blood, and burned flesh and metal. Walking down the ramp, the find a pile of charred bones, a funeral pyre lit by an incendiary device. Beyond is a smashed door and a 15 foot hole ripped from the concrete wall. The next chamber is an abattoir marked with puddles of dried blood, spent shell casings, bullet riddled walls and dropped reaver weapons. At one end is a blast door leading to a short corridor and finally an elevator. Only three buttons show any sign of use: Primary Command, this hangar level and the Power Generator. The generator level button is smudged with dried blood.
(We had a fun out of character discussion about how it looks like they were already here, ie, a battle against a crew of adventurers)

They take the elevator to the top and find the remains of Mr. Universe's computer center. All the equipment is smashed, but Sata askes Lang to see if there is anything salvageable. Lang does manage to find a few storage modules intact. There is a blood trail from the console chair to a nearby couch. Lennon investigates and finds the victim was impaled by a bladed weapon in the chair and then crawled to the couch and bled out.

While Lang and Lennon investigate, Saxon, Wilks and Howard take the lift to the power level. They find a huge geothermal generator, which explains why things are still running. They begin searching for a power up switch. Sata, Lennon and Lang come down and join them and they find a power switch. Now that the chamber is lit, they see a control station at the end of a catwalk over the center of the generator. They all walk out and find a retrofitted cortex unit with a datapack loaded. Lang checks the memory files, this is the original copy of the Miranda Broadwave, this is where the message came from. Lennon is keeping an eye on the area, concerened about rats, and spots some movement. Sata takes the datapack and slips it into his shirt and turns to go. Lennon is struck by a crossbow bolt of some kind, there are Reavers here!

Retreat from Reavers

Two reavers charge from the passage leading to the lift and the crew responds. Lennon is dazed, there was poison on the bolt, but he is still with it and opens fire on the reaver sniper with his assault rifle. Saxon draws his pistol and headshots the reaver. As they move towards the lift, more reavers appear in front of them. Saxon and Lang advance to face them. Lang drops one and Saxon shoots the other, then Wilks finishes him with his sniper rifle. As the crew nears the end of the catwalk, more reavers appear in front of them and another sniper appears on the catwalk. One of the reavers charges Saxon with a crude sword, Saxon draws his Katana and goes to meet him. They exchange strokes and Saxon is slashed across the belly, but stays on his feet and cuts down the reaver. Lang kicks his hard, the reaver sprays him with acid. The sniper reaver shoots Wilks with a spike gun in the arm. Lennon rushes forward to help the wounded. Lang knocks his opponent off the catwalk and he falls into the rotating turbines. Sata and Howard engage the sniper and Howard takes a spike in the leg. Sata shoots again and his submachinegun jams, so he whips out his laser pistol and burns down the last reaver.
With a break in the battle, Lennon applies wound sealant to the injured and gives himself a general antidote for his poison. Howard calls Jackson on the ship to make sure everything is okay and they retreat to the lift and head back to the ship.
Once back on the ship, Lennon takes Saxon and Howard to the sickbay to be treated as the most serious injuries, followed by Lang. Wilks decides to work on his wounds and himself. Sata and Jackson take the ship off world and maneuver through debris field and out of the ion cloud safely. After emerging from the ion cloud, the ship is hailed by an Alliance cutter and told to be prepared for an inspection. the boarding party is an officer and four troops, he asks Sata for the ships papers and documents. He asks Sata why they don't have any salvage in their bay, the captain explains that they were on a survey mission to see what was available for salvage. The officer accepts this without any real concern or interest and the ship is cleared to leave. Sata flies to ship to Meridian so they can set down and remove the booster packs.


Sata brings up to the crew the idea of going to Miranda. With the evidence they have already gathered, everything points at Miranda as having more secrets to tell. Sata wants to go there and investigate, and is also driven by death of his cousin, Dr. Caron. Once the crew discusses it at length, only Wilks wholely supports the idea. The rest of the crew is either against the idea or wants to do it later. Jackson is still very strident about his concerns over what the senator is going to do with the information they have provided. Other crew, particularly Howard, are concerned that going to Miranda without more preparation is just asking to become reaver victims. Another point is that if something happens to them, the information they have gathered will be lost. The crew finally decides that a trip to Miranda may be needed, but not now. Another idea raised is asking for help from Admiral Sharpe and the Glory. It would be a lot better to investigate reaver territory in a warship. The crew decides to not go to Miranda now and tables the idea until later.

Down time on Meridian

Safely back on Meridian, Jackson and Wilks begin removing the boosters from the Yellow Submarine. Saxon receives a wave from his father, Shatner Molyneux. His father has gotten word that Saxon used the name of the family corporation in some salvage scheme and doesn't want Saxon dragging the family's good name down with him. Saxon replies that the company is going to make some good money in the next few years and mentions political support for senator Von Alksburg. Shatner dismisses both ideas and threatens Saxon that if he does this again, he will be cut off from his trust fund and hangs up. Saxon is not terribly put out, and makes a call to his mother.
The next morning, Lennon gets a call from Jerry Heck, there's been a major accident at sea, is Lennon available to help? Lennon tears out of the bay in Julia and heads off to help. Lennon is gone all day and that evening, the rest of the crew decide to take a night out on the town.
The next morning, Lennon is still not back, but the crew is unconcerned and finish pulling the last of the boosters. Sata looks for a Londinium bound cargo and gets some. Now it's afternoon and Lennon still has not returned. The crew begin making inquiries and find Lennon did go help out, then went drinking with some of the local medical crews, but hasn't been seen since. Following up with the ambulance crew leads them to Julia, parked at their facility. But the dispatch office hasn't seen them. He tries calling the crews at home, they don't answer. The ambulance shuttle is flagged as out of service, but isn't in its bay. The dispatch calls it, no answer. When they ping its locator, it is on the planet New Canaan. Sata is now concerned. The Blue Sun system is known for its criminal elements; slavers, pirates and the like. Could the slavers have struck again and kidnapped Lennon? They drive Julia back to the ship and take off for New Canaan.

The charges are…

Coming in over the town of Covington, they find the missing ambulance in an Alliance impound facility. While they are looking for a landing spot, they get a wave from Lennon. He's calling from jail, he needs someone to bring money, because he is about to go before the magistrate. He's very confused because they gave him a forced detox and has a bad hangover, he doesn't know how he got to New Canaan. The crew come in as Lennon is read his charges and is fined 2,000 credits and is banned from the planet for two years for a long list of drunken misdeeds. The crew chips in money as well as Lennon's contribution from his medical fund and he is processed out. But his browncoat is missing. They look around town and visit the bar Lennon was at. Jackson convinces the owner to let them see the security footage, Lennon showed up in a toga made from a stolen Alliance flag, but no coat. It is lost.
Once they are safely back on the ship, they ask Lennon what happened and he replies that since they had had a major medical operation, and it was the anniversary of John Lennon's death, he decided to really go out and party.

Conclusions and Christmas

The Yellow Submarine departs Blue Sun and makes a stop at Long Night Skyplex on the way to Londinium. Sata arranges a meeting with the senator, again, he will meet them in deep space aboard his yacht. The crew has a heated discussion about where do they go from here and what do they want to do with their information. The possibility of another war is brought up, or the crew trying to instigate some kind of new independence movement. The idea of a new war is shot down because the relative strengths of the rim worlds versus the core is worse than it was before the war, the best hope is that people like Von Alksburg can make change from within and maybe they can help with that. They agree the senator has the best resources to make use of the information they have. Maybe they can help in that effort.
They meet the senator and turn over their evidence. He promises to do what he can with the information they have gotten and that an investigation of Miranda at some point is needed. He thanks them for their efforts and pays them 5,000 credits. Lennon talks the the senator as well about the need for medical help on the rim, and can he send in reports about the conditions he has seen? Since improving conditions on the rim is one of the main parts of Von Alksburg's agenda, he agrees and gives Lennon a cortex address to send his information to, for use by the senator's analysts.
The ships separate and the crew continues on to the Norfolk skyplex above Londinium, arriving on Christmas Eve. After the cargo is unloaded, Jackson asks to borrow the shuttle so he can go planetside and visit his family. Howard and Saxon are going to take a commercial tranport to Ariel, Saxon had asked his mother if he could visit for Christmas. Lennon wants a month off to visit Liz, so Sata, Lennon, Wilks and Lang depart for the Kalidasa system. Lennon calls Liz to let her know he is coming, she makes a comment about being glad he is following through with his promises. Lennon is confused, apparently he called Liz in the middle of his drunken bender and professed his true feelings for her, but doesn't remember doing so. Since everything he said was from the heart, he backs it up now tells her he will be there soon. The Yellow Submarine will drop Lennon on Zephyr before heading to the Kalavela skyplex where Sata's family lives. The crew will reunite after the holidays.

(Gamemaster's note: A lot of research went into planning this adventure since the campaign is directly tied into events from the show or movie. So I decided to post a behind the scenes discussion of why I set things up the way I did.)