Rescue Mission

(Adapted from the Rescue Mission adventure from the Nyotekundu Sourcebook for Traveller:2300)
Short Summary- The crew of the Yellow Submarine is hired to investigate suspicious deaths and sabotage aboard an asteroid mining station.

Introduction

After the salvage mission for Admiral Sharpe, the crew returns to Boros. News reports and the former Independents community are still talking about the murder of a local shipping company owner who was revealed to be Major Boris "the Butcher" Yegevny (Hunting Trip). Wilks and Saxon are in White Sun, so Capt'n Sata takes care of selling their salvage and fueling up as fast as possible. He gets the first cargo heading anywhere in White Sun, and the ship takes off for Pelorum. They let Wilks know and he gets a cross-system transport to Pelorum.

The ship arrives at Pelorum and Wilks meets them. Lennon decides that he needs to talk to Wilks and the two go out for target practice, since Wilks is most comfortable when he's shooting. Sata begins looking for a cargo, but pickings are very scarce. After their talk, Lennon sets up a clinic day and Wilks cleans out his brewing equipment and goes around to local farmers looking for ingredients.

A Plea for Help

Sata is approached by Pedro Soren, the local manager for Alliance Mineral Exploitation Company. They are a company related to Alliance Prospecting Services, and the Yellow Submarine and crew are flagged as a trustworthy ship after the events on Regina (The Warehouse). AMEC has a mobile mining station, the OMS Andrew Carnegie, in the Halo Asteroid Belt that reported a major find, then a murder and sabotage, then they lost contact with the station. Soren will pay the crew to investigate and render medical assistance.

Sata returns to the ship and calls for take off as soon as possible. He gives Howard the last known coordinates of the station and they head off.

Arriving at the location, there is nothing to be seen. Howard programs in a search pattern and they find the station two days later. It is boosting out of the system on its reaction drive and does not respond to hails. Howard plots its course, it is headed for the center of the galaxy. As they approach, they see that the station's maintenance robots are taking apart sections of the station and making changes. They find a shuttle bay hatch large enough to land the Lovely Rita in, so Lennon takes Howard, Jackson and Lang Ye to try and board the station. Sata and Wilks remain aboard ship. They move in close enough for Jackson to jump across in his spacesuit and he overrides the door controls. They land the shuttle in an empty mining scooter's berth. Passing through the airlock at the back of the hangar, they find the interior is quiet, a little cold, but power and life support are on. They decide to take the elevator to the command deck. There they find three crew members dead of asphyxiation on the bridge. They weren't exposed to vacuum, but died from lack of oxygen. All of the controls are locked out, power and life support are on, but the pulse drive, communications and some sensors are down.

Boarding Party

Lang goes to the computer room and begins to attempt to hack into the system. The rest explore the command tower. Lennon finds the body of the first victim in the sick bay's isolation room, his autopsy shows he was strangled. In the post op ward is the body of another crew member. He was killed in his bed after being treated for multiple fractures. Leaving Lang to continue his work, they go down deck by deck. Then a surprising discovery, Lang reports someone is trying to counter his attempts to hack into the computer, someone is alive! Lennon, Jackson and Howard continue exploring and Howard decides to look for stairs. He doesn't find any, but does find the access crawlway that runs vertically through the center of the command tower and has ladders. He climbs onto the ladder, but its vibrating. Startled, he swings back out of the crawlway, and one of the robots shoots up the ladder; the robot's wheels are designed to grip the ladder and use it as a track. The robot disappears up the crawlway and the search team continues on. At the bottom of the command tower, they find more dead crew in the auxiliary control rooms.

In the computer section, Lang hears something and turns around to find a robot pointing a laser welder at him. He dodges, grabs a fire extinguisher and smashes the robot's optical sensors. It fires blindly and slices his spacesuit with its laser and wounds him slightly. He then smashes the laser arm and the robot flees. Lang patches his suit and calmly returns to hacking. Warned by Lang, Howard is waiting for the robot when it comes down the shaft and he finishes it with his pistol.

Lang now gets far enough into the system that he can see all the controls have been rerouted to a backup control room near main engineering. Lennon leads the rest into the proccesing areas of the ship and they come to a lobby between the elevators serving the command tower and the horizontal shuttle cars running the length of the station. Here are four more dead crew members, killed by lasers and mechanical saws. The team boards the shuttle, but take cover for when the doors open. When the doors do open, they are faced with three robots that open fire on them. The team returns fire, Jackson with his shotgun and Lennon goes full automatic with an assault rifle and hoses down the robots. Howard finishes the last one off with his pistol.

Lang finally breaks into the ships systems. He cuts the backup control room out of the circuit and orders all the robots to shut down. The others get to the control room and find the highly insane chief engineer. Jackson knocks him out with a baton round from his gauss shotgun and after they restrain him, Lennon sedates the engineer.

Clean up

With the station secure, they report to Sata who calls back to AMEC. Soren says an emergency ship with a relief crew is on the way. With the team in control and the threat over, they dig into records to find out what happened. A scout team found a huge mineral deposit, marked by an unknown beacon. Examining the beacon, they believed it to be an old survey beacon placed by the initial exploration teams when the 'Verse was first settled. The chief engineer however, had been on space duty for far too long and and had a psychotic episode, believing the beacon to be a relic from an alien civilization. His personal logs trace his descent into madness and his plans to convert the ship into a Bussard ramjet to fly to the center of the galaxy. When the crew resisted, he killed them.