No Time to Rest

(Based on the Megatraveller adventure from Challenge magazine #50)

The Yellow Submarine is a couple days out from Beaumonde heading for Ariel when Lennon receives an anonymous message on the Cortex. It is simply a contact frequency and when he puts it in, he gets a hold screen and then Admiral Sharpe appears. The Admiral looks much better following his treatments, but is obviously concerned. He asks Lennon where they are and to bring Sata in for a conference. When Sata arrives, Sharpe explains that a pro-reform Senator, Baron von Alksburg of Persephone, has disappeared. His yacht is two days overdue at Londinium and Sharpe fears something may have happened to him. Von Alksburg is the leader of the Opposition in Parliament and supports returning voting rights to ex-Independents, financial support for the Rim worlds and rationalized military spending. Alliance officials have listed his yacht as overdue, but are searching on the assumption it was mechanical failure, since there have been no ransom demands, etc.

Sharpe wants the crew of the Yellow Submarine to investigate the possibility of foul play. None of his ships are close enough, although he is sending some to the area. The senator's yacht was last seen on the Atlanta Skyplex on the return leg of a fact finding tour in the Georgia system. Sata and Lennon agree and Sharpe promises them more information, sends them a data download of information about the senator, his yacht, and crew and signs off.

Sata calls an all hands meeting, but orders Howard to change course to the Atlanta Skyplex and go to hard-burn and for Wilks to confine Finx to his quarters first. When everyone else is gathered, Sata and Lennon lay out their information. The crew discusses some possibilities and starts reaching out to friends for information that may help. Since this search will greatly delay their arrival on Ariel, they will probably lose money due to penalties on their cargo bound for Ariel. Finx is predictably upset by that…

The crew starts to investigate on their flight to the Atlanta Skyplex and puts the word out to their contacts. Lennon contacts Black Skull, Lang Yee talks to Long about who he might know in Georgia. Lang tries to get a hold of Long's Tong contact, Madame Chien, but he's turned down. Saxon has a talk with Marc Oberlindes about political issues and factions surrounding the upcoming vote. Howard points out that the yacht arrived at the skyplex a day later than it should have, they might have stopped somewhere along the way. Lang hacks into the stations records and finds out how much fuel the yacht took on. Using that and the ship's departure and arrival times, Howard calculates that the ship stopped at one of the Border Moons around Athens, probably Three Hills or Kerry. Lennon enlists Finx's aid by pointing out that the sooner they finish, the sooner the cargo they have bound for Ariel will be delivered. Finx talks to some Black Market contacts who point out how valuable the ship is. Sata has Lang look into any sales indicating it might have gone into a chop shop.

Once the Yellow Submarine arrives at the Atlanta skyplex, Saxon checks the Chadakoin Club, an exclusive upper class travelers' resort. The senator stopped in a month ago on his way to Georgia, but not on the way back. Jackson and Lennon go below decks and talk to service crews and find out the ship docked, tanked and departed with a new crew member shadowing the pilot. The crew fuels up as well and heads for the Border Moons, hard burn all the way. Captain Sata talks to Magistrate Hofmeyer about Alliance officials on Three Hills and Kerry. The one on Kerry is reputed to be corrupt, while his counterpart on Three Hills is a straight arrow. The crew heads to Kerry. Saxon bullshits his way into the magistrate's office, spinning some wild story about his family's foundation wanting to sell "surplus" consumer goods on the Rim with Senator Von Alksburg's assistance. Saxon doesn't get any useful reaction from the magistrate. He seems interested in getting a kickback form the crooked deal, doesn't give up any information that suggests he knows about the senator's kidnapping. Lennon receives a message (and a bill) from Black Skull that a group of Londinium mercenaries, led by Horatio Creel, shipped out to Ezra right before the Senator's trip. Creel's description matches the "new crew member" for the yacht and one of the gang is from Three Hills. The crew takes off and makes a short hop to Three Hills. At the landing field, they are met by a local officer and they question him about the Three Hills native. He says the name sounds familiar, but can't place it, and suggests they go talk to the Sheriff.

Some of the crew go to the Sheriff's office and talk with Sheriff Fullerton. At first, he's very suspicious, thinking they're friends of George March. After a review of their papers and a few more questions, he does provide them with two bits of information. First, March used an abandoned mining complex as a hideout one time, and also that a passing ship, the freighter Escobar, saw an unidentified ship drop a shuttle near the mining complex.
With that information, the crew flies the Yellow Submarine to the Southern Continent to look for the abandoned complex, Beta Wu. They spot the complex and see there is only one building with lights on. They land the ship, mount the cannon in the door of the shuttle and fly off, leaving Finx to guard the ship. The shuttle lands quietly nearby and Wilks, Saxon, Lang Ye and Jackson sneak up on the complex. They spot a sentry on the roof of the old pawnshop in the "bawdy town" outside the complex's border fence. Wilks covers him with his new railgun sniper rifle while the rest move into the building and take up a position underneath the sentry. Saxon slices through the roof and a support beam with his monosword and when the sentry falls through, Lang knocks him out. Jackson scrounges some electrical wire to bind the prisoner with.

Wilks moves up to the pawnshop to provide cover again. His thermal scope spots six people in the administration building in three groups of two. Saxon, Lang and Jackson move up and begin to snoop through windows. Two of the rooms with lights on have makeshift bars attached to the outside. Jackson spots some of the yacht's crew while Saxon sees two armed thugs. Wilks loses his patience and decides its time for action and fires his rifle through the wall at the guards' thermal images. The first shot kills a guard, the second shot wounds the next one. His third shot is aimed to rip through the front wall of the building, shattering supports. Saxon kicks in the damaged front door, kills the wounded guard with a single slash of his sword and wings a third guard down the hallway. At the same time, Lang comes in the back door, scoops up the third guard's chair and smashes him with it. The last guard fires his shotgun into Lang, wounding him severely. Saxon finishes off the third guard with a sword thrust through his body from behind.

Sata flies the shuttle in with Howard on the door gun and Lennon ready to provide medical support. Lennon and Sata head in to the building. The prisoners; Senator Von Alksburg, his chief of staff, and the yacht's navigator and steward are rescued. Lennon stabilizes Lang for treatment back on the ship.
Everyone returns to the ship for departure. Sata contacts Sheriff Fullerton to see about having the bodies of the kidnappers put into storage for later investigation. Once they clear atmo, the Yellow Submarine hard-burns for Londinium. Along the way they discuss matters with the Senator and Jackson approaches Sata again about his proposed upgrade to the ship's engines. Saxon is curious and offers to pay for the upgrade.

Once they arrive at Londinium, the Senator contacts the port authorities. The Yellow Submarine is escorted to the luxury docking ring on the Norfolk Skyplex by a pair of Alliance destroyers and they are met by a full honor guard for the Senator. Before he is whisked away, the Senator makes arrangements to pay for the Yellow Submarine's docking, refueling and monthly maintenance. A representative of the skyplex approaches the crew and explains that they have a conference room full of journalists who want to speak to the crew. Sata tries to appoint Saxon as spokesperson, but he exits immediately in an uncharacteristic hurry. Lennon and Wilks are chosen as as team showing the crew's mixed coreworld and rim background. They do a surprisingly good job. Some of the crew hits the local restaurants for authentic Londinium cuisine, but Finx is still concerned for their now extremely overdue cargo. Jackson picks up some parts for his planned upgrade to the ship. After the crew contacts the skyplex and files their departure plan, the senator contacts Sata and thanks him and the crew again. The senator also transfers them 6,000 credits as a reward for his rescue.

(Another long adventure, spanning three full sessions)