Revenge

(based on Brian Daley's novel Han Solo's Revenge. Very long adventure, 3 and 1/2 sessions)

Introduction

After finding the missing OMS Andrew Carnegie (Rescue Mission), the Yellow Submarine returns to Pelorum. They get a cargo and head across the White Sun system to Liann Jiun. Saxon Molyneux contacts them on the way and meets them there. While Captain Sata looks for their next job, some of the crew take advantage of the layover to go shopping. Lennon buys a custom spacesuit designed not only for medical personnel to use, but for someone his height. Jackson buys some Tangle net rounds for his gauss shotgun and looks for some new parts. Lang Ye and Saxon go to look at racing hoverbikes. Saxon talks Lang into buying a high quality bike, then buys the same one, but with a luxury package that doubles the price. Saxon is also looking a traditional, hand made Katana and gets some suggestions.

After a few days, Sata is offered a cargo heading for Beaumonde. Sata and most of the crew are always happier away from the Core Worlds, so he takes it and the ship departs.

A Surprise Broadcast Enroute to Beaumonde

Two days out from Beaumonde, at about 10pm ship time, all of the cortex receivers lock on and a strange videoclip begins to play. A woman is discussing scenes of horror and death and says that its their fault, a drug added to the atmosphere processors caused 30 million colonists to die. Violent noises come in the background and she rushes through a description of a psychopathic affliction that affected a small percentage of the people. She fires a pistol at something offcamera and then tries to shoot herself, but Reavers burst into the view and eat her alive. The clip ends with a timestamp screen, saying it was recorded on Miranda/Blue Sun, approximately ten years ago.

The crew is horrified, some are physically ill. Lang begins to investigate where the signal came from and whether the date/timestamp is authentic. Howard looks up astrographic and planetary data on Miranda. Lennon sees to the crew and then goes quietly to his room and pulls out some old notes from when he was in his residency; he had spent a brief period working on an experimental program in which rats were being weaponized and altered to have psychic abilities. Lennon still doesn't like rats and he is sure that whoever would work on a project like that was doing it as step in adapting the process to humans. And that whoever would do something like that, might be behind this as well…

The Cortex is alive with talk, the social networking sites and channels explode. News services report that it was seen on almost every world and ship in the 'Verse. After a few hours, the news carries the official announcement that it was a hoax, an attack on public sensibilities and an attack on public order. Rebroadcast of the message is a crime and the Alliance moves to begin suppressing it and discussions of the broadcast. Various members of the crew contact relatives to discuss it. Jackson talks to his mother, who is an active duty Alliance officer. She quotes the party line at him, but is shocked and disturbed when he tells her that Reavers are real, he has seen them himself. She ends the call quickly, but he can see she can't dismiss his words. Sata tries to contact Senator von Alksburg, but is unable to get through.

Sata had recognized the woman as a distant cousin, Sarah Caron, whom he lost saw as a teenager. She was a medical rescue specialist, her ship was lost in an accident ten years ago. Sata orders a change of course. Instead of landing on Beaumonde, the ship will dock at Kalevala Skyplex. Howard heads off to make the change. Sata asks Lang to investigate his cousin's history, but all Lang can find is information leading up to her adult career, nothing afterwards.

On Beaumonde

The ship arrives at Kalevala and Sata prepares to go aboard. He tells Lennon to find someone to shuttle their cargo down to the surface to its destination, but Lennon suggests he take the ship down while Sata remains on the station. Sata is taken aback, but agrees. He orders Lennon to take the ship to the surface, unload and wait to hear from him.

The Yellow Submarine undocks from the skyplex with Lennon in temporary command and Howard at the controls while Sata visits family and questions them about Sarah's life and her "accident".

The ship lands and unloads their cargo. Lennon plans to setup some clinic time, since he has a large patient base here from his post war days. Jackson immeditely asks to take the shuttle, he needs to get supplies for the ship. Saxon and Lang take off on their new hoverbikes to do some racing and touring. Wilks tries to slip off, but Lennon collars him, saying he's going to need help at the clinic since he has so many patients on Beaumonde. Howard is left in charge of the empty ship.

At Lennon's clinic, all of his patients are asking him what he thinks about the broadcast. Some have even come in not because they need his medical care, but to talk to him. Lennon simply replies to one and all that he believes it to be true. Others who remember Wilks from his days as a Browncoat talk with him as well.

Lennon convinces the rest of the crew that with the addition of the new hoverbikes, the ship is oversupplied with vehicles. With the number of private vehicles outnumbering crew members, it increases the ability of the crew to sneak out and keep secrets from the Captain which the Captain specifically asked them not to do. So he sells their old mule, Lucy and the former gun truck. After a couple days, Sata calls the ship and Howard flies the shuttle up to retrieve the captain. Back on the ship, Sata gets to work and locates a cargo heading to Regina in the Georgia system. They also get four passengers, a group of miners heading for the Alliance Prospecting Services facilities there.

Attempted Hijacking Enroute to Regina and the Mystery of Zarb

Departure is uneventful and the crew settles down to a quiet trip. Lang begins investigations into Sata's cousin's history. On the second evening, Sata, Lennon, Saxon and Wilks are sitting in the lounge with one of their passengers. Saxon is drinking wine and eating cheese, slicing it with a scalpel liberated from the medbay that had ended up in the kitchen. Wilks is trying to get up a game of Fish and cleaning his tournament spanners.

Suddenly, Sata stands and quickdraws his laser pistol and fires down the portside companionway. Three of the passengers are sneaking up on the lounge with weapons and Sata wounds one mortally. Another fires and hits Sata with a stunner, but Sata resists and stays on his feet. The one in the lounge reaches into his shirt to pull a weapon. Saxon clocks him in the head with his wine bottle, then rolls over the couch, taking the scalpel with him. Lennon grabs his comm and warns Howard and Jackson on the bridge and goes for his pistol.

Sata spins and shoots the one in the lounge, but only wounds him. The hijacker fires a stunner at Sata, and this time the captain goes down. Lennon draws and fires at him and wounds the hijacker also. Wilks hurls his spanner across the room and strikes him in the head and cracks his skull, finishing him off. Howard seals the bridge, but Jackson wants to help defend his ship. Jackson forces Howard out of the way, opens the hatch and rushes across to Engineering to retrieve his shotgun. Howard reseals the bridge. Lang has heard the fight and comes out of his quarters and stops in Saxon's room to grab Saxon's sword.

The last two hijackers have come into the lounge. Saxon leaps out of cover, grabs one in a choke hold and puts the scalpel to his throat. Saxon pricks him with the blade and forces the hijacker to drop his weapon. Lennon fires at the last hijacker, wounds him and dodges his return fire. Lang arrives with Saxon's sword and uses it as a bludgeon against the last hijacker. With two hijackers dead, two captured and Sata down, Lennon takes Sata to the infirmary while the rest of the crew secures the prisoners and the dead.

There is some discussion about spacing the lot of them, but it is decided to question the survivors. Various members of the crew take turns trying to intimidate the prisoners while Sata watches from his infirmary bed. The first one is a simple thug who knows little beyond the objective of hijacking the ship and capturing the crew. He does know the dead leader's name, Zarb, and that they were ordered specifically to take the doctor alive because he is worth the most in the slave trade. The second one knows that the ship was going to be taken to Nanjing in Blue Sun for sale. Lang does some investigating and finds Zarb has a very bad reputation in the underworld.

Searching Zarb's possessions, they find a security case. Opening it, they find an assassin's poison kit, a jumpdrive with a list of ship registries and a vidcapture with a message from a man saying they will move against Magistrate Higgins as suggested and that they should meet on Sihnon at the Bonadan spaceport lounge for payment. The message includes a date, time and booth number. The crew debates what to do with their prisoners. They don't want to kill them out of hand, but releasing them is out of the question, and turning them over to the authorities means they may be able to get word back to their patrons that the crew escaped. Since the ship is headed for Regina, they contact Ching Fan and ask if he can hold them for a week or so, then turn them over to the authorities. He agrees. The dead hijackers are spaced.

Along the way, there are more news reports about the "Miranda Broadcast". The Alliance news services are still proclaiming it to be a hoax, an act of info-terrorism. Several highly placed Parliament members resign in disgrace over the security failure. Possession of or retransmission of the broadcast is a crime, but there is still a wave of discussion on the Cortex.

On Regina in Which a Brief Unification Day Celebration Takes Place

The Yellow Submarine arrives on Regina on October 16th: Unification Day.

After unloading their prisoners and cargo, Howard is left to mind the ship and the rest of the crew look for an Alliance friendly bar. They find a likely establishment and walk in spoiling for trouble. Saxon and Jackson take a booth, Lennon, Lang, Wilks and Sata go to the bar. Lennon gets a tankard of beer and weaves through the crowd, slopping beer on people, then stands up on a table and taunts the Alliance. Someone throws a glass of beer at him and the brawl is on. Lang, Sata and Wilks beat up on four guys at the bar, Saxon and Lennon each take on a pair and Jackson gleefully records it all with a vidcam. Lang, Wilks and Sata finish their bunch at the bar and then Lang and Sata go to help Lennon and Saxon. Wilks decides to take on another couple near the bar and leaps the bar and starts throwing top shelf bottles at his foes. Lang, Lennon, Sata and Saxon are cleaning up when the bartender tases Wilks and he passes out. With Wilks and most of the active opponents down, the crew decides it might be time to leave. The bartender heaves Wilks over the bar and back onto the floor. Sata snatches him up in a fireman's carry and they all beat a hasty retreat.

After such an entertaining evening, they decide to leave Regina and head on to Sihnon. They arrive a day before the scheduled meeting. Saxon goes off to look for an authentically made Katana and is referred to a swordmaker in a japanese enclave. Saxon arrives and explains that he wishes to purchase a special sword. They are willing to sell to him, if he can prove himself worthy. Saxon fights a practice bout with their instructor and wins, 2 touches to 1.

The rest of the crew scope out the meeting location and show up the next day. Jackson and Wilks are playing obvious tourist types in a nearby booth while the rest settle in where they can observe it covertly. The booth is empty with an "Reserved" hologram lit above the table. They watch for a while, then Lennon tries sitting at the table. A waiter shows up and shoos him away, saying the booth is reserved. A little while later, Sata tries with the same results. Finally a young woman shows up, complains to the maitre'd that the booth has been empty for over an hour and she wants it. He relents and she sits down and orders a bottle of wine and several glasses.

While the crew debates what to do, she catches Lennon's eye and pours a second glass of wine and winks at him. Lennon goes and sits down and she is flirty with him, then asks how his flight from Beaumonde was. They chat and she calls Lennon "Zarb", believing him to be her contact. She tells him to meet her in half an hour at an address she passes him on a slip of paper before leaving. After a brief chat with the captain, Lennon goes outside and hails a hovercab to take him to the address. Sata tells Howard, Jackson and Wilks to go back to the ship and get transportation, then Sata and Lang follow in another cab. Jackson calls Saxon, who is still on his sword quest and asks to borrow the Spacalade. Howard borrows some of Saxon's clothes and Jackson grabs some tools before they leave.

Lennon's cab drops him off at a private hangar in an auxiliary section of the port, dedicated to small, private vehicles. Sata and Lang arrive a few minutes later. The woman is not there, but Lang notices a guy hanging out down the street who might be watching them. The woman finally arrives and starts chatting with "Zarb", asking him why he brought some of his people. The guy down the street leaves. Lennon replies that they are dealing with a lot of money.

As they are talking, a gang of seven guys armed with industrial tools (cutters, laser welders) attack the party. Lang drops the leader with a kick to the head and Lennon grabs his weapon. Sata goes for another and the woman draws a pistol and yells "Freeze!" at one of the thugs. He continues to approach and when she pulls the trigger, the weapon fails to fire. She goes hand to hand instead.

Howard, Jackson and Wilks arrive in the middle of the brawl. The crew overcomes the attackers and bind them. Their contact opens the hangar door and they drag their captives inside. Sata and Wilks question the prisoners and find they work for a local gang boss named Patcho. While the crew interrogates the thugs, Lennon talks to their contact and confesses he's not Zarb. She in turn confesses that she's not Zarb's contact, but an undercover Alliance Federal agent, Fiolla Hart, investigating corruption and officials involved in supporting the slave trade.

After a conference, they decide to join forces. Fiolla will charter the ship to carry her and her assistant to Higgins' Moon to follow up an the clues in Zarb's effects. Lennon and Fiolla go to her hotel to get her assistant. The rest of the crew head to the bar where Patcho is supposed to hang out and Howard walks in and calls out insults to Patcho and his gang so Wilks can get a video of what he looks like. The crew returns to preflight the ship.

Splitting the Party enroute to Liann Jium

Once the crew is back onboard the ship, they get a call from Lennon. Fiolla's hotel rooms have been ransacked and her assistant is missing. She had sent him to follow the crew and investigate their ship, so she is concerned that the Yellow Submarine may be watched. Fiolla and Lennon will take passage on a liner across system to Liann Jiun and meet the crew there.

Sata gets a small cargo for Liann Jiun and they take off. Once they arrive, they have a two day wait for Lennon and Fiolla, so the crew takes tim for some projects. Jackson is involved in a secret project with Howard, upgrading the shuttle's engines. Lang does data searches on Fiolla's history and tries to hack the Alliance files on her, but gets traced and his black box account is broken. Lang is forced to contact a hacker comrade, Mr. Nightwind, for a new back door account.

While on Liann Jiun, the crew sees a news report of a pirate attack on the liner carrying Lennon and Fiolla.

The Party is Reunited Enroute to Higgin's Moon

They are contacted by Lennon later, he and Fiolla stole an escape pod and made it to Santo. Fiolla's missing assistant is a traitor, Lennon says he was spotted among the pirate crew. The crew hops across with a cargo for Santo, pick up Fiolla and Lennon and head for Higgins' Moon. Lennon is aghast at the realization that the ship has now landed on THREE worlds in White Sun without the crew doing a rat check. The rest of the crew is unconcerned, so Lennon drafts Wilks for a search and turns up two rats. Confronted with this evidence, the crew is still apathetic to Lennon's fears and Lennon takes the night watch for the rest of the journey, refusing speaking to anyone. On the journey, Sata speaks with Fiolla about Magistrate Higgins and she is shown all the evidence from Zarb's effects. She says that Magistrate Higgins is reputed to be one of the corrupt Rim world authorities and his treatment of his workers is just above slavery, barely a hair within Alliance law. It seems that Lennon and Fiolla may have had some romantic involvement on their time together, but its over as Lennon isn't talking to her either. Wilks tries to move in on her, gets shot down, and slapped for his efforts.

Lennon contacts Admiral Sharpe privately to discuss the possibility pirates may be operating in the Red Sun system in pursuit of them. On the way to Higgins' Moon, the crew catches a news broadcast about the latest scandal: an Alliance battlegroup on routine maneuvers stumbled upon a pirate base. The Alliance ships were taken by surprise and there was also some friendly fire. Several ships took damage and heavy casualties. The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Hata Chiang, is resigning in disgrace over the incident.

New Discoveries On Higgins' Moon

On arriving at Higgins' Moon, Lennon isn't interested in helping anymore so Sata withdraws 50 credits from the ship fund for Lennon to run his free clinic there. Lennon and Wilks take Julia and depart, while Jackson has the shuttle down for more "maintenance". Since Saxon declines to expose his wardrobe or SUV to the caustic mud here, Sata, Lang, Howard and Fiolla take the two hoverbikes to visit Magistrate Higgins. Arriving at his estate, they speak to the Magistrate's assistant, who conducts them to his office. When they enter, the magistrate is in a high backed chair turned away from the desk. When the chair is turned, they find not Magistrate Higgins, but his son Fess Higgins who explains that his father passed away recently and he has assumed his late father's position as Magistrate. They question him, but he is unable to provide them any information and refuses to open his family's private files for them. The crew returns to the ship for discussion. Fiolla is committed to following up with Magistrate Higgins. With Zarb dead, her assistant unmasked as a traitor, Fiolla says she cannot trust anyone in her chain of command. She does know one highly placed official that she believes is trustworthy, but she doesn't dare call upon them without more proof.

After his free clinic, Lennon visits some of the local doctor's and questions them about local working conditions in the guise of looking for work. He also asks about rumors of Higgins Senior's death. Lennon returns to the ship and explains his findings over dinner, talking to the crew as if nothing had happened.

The next day, they return to confront Fess Higgins again. Sata pilots them in the shuttle and is taken off guard by the unexpected power increase. Howard and Lennon both insist on getting to fly the shuttle next like a pair of schoolboys with a new toy. Lennon pulls rank on Howard and claims the privilege. Fess Higgins sees them, but is much more closed this time. Lennon takes the lead and begins questioning the circumstances of his father's death, and offering to review the circumstances, suggesting subtlely that it might not be what it seems. Fess is hiding something and Lennon's questions him more closely and finally teases out of Fess a question; is Lennon speaking of poison?

It turns out that Fess' father died of a poison that simulated a heart attack. Only two other people know that. Lennon and Sata present the evidence from the video message and Zarb's poison kit. Fess prints out his father's secret autopsy report confirming that one of the poisons in the kit is the same as killed his father. With the revelation that his father was betrayed and murdered by his illegal contacts, Fess opens his father's files. The list of ship registration numbers are linked to ships illegally registered through the late Magistrate Higgin's office and connects payments to other Alliance officials. Fess is also able to confirm that his father had dealings with Zarb.

Fiolla finally has the evidence she needs to link corrupt Alliance officials to both slavers and pirates. Now she needs to get the information to people she can trust on Osiris.

Pirate Attack Enroute to Osiris

The crew prepares to leave and Sata decides to take an indirect route which Howard calculates. The ship climbs into orbit and is taken by surprise by the pirate ship. The same Venator that Lennon saw approaching his passenger liner hits them with a railgun round, penetrating the rear deck and opening the cargo bay to space. Lennon is inside the bay restocking Julia. He is shaken by the sudden blast and depressurization, but quickly recovers his wits as he struggles to reach his suit. On the bridge, Sata and Howard regain control of the ship and Sata orders everyone into suits. Lang decides to keep an eye on Fiolla while Wilks grabs his sniper rifle and heads to the aft airlock in case he can do anything. When he gets into his suit in the airlock, he has a panic attack and passes out.

The Venator fires a missile at the Yellow Submarine and Sata takes the ship into a dive, hoping the missile will bounce on reentry, which it does. The pirates order the ship to climb to a stable orbit and be boarded, or the next two missiles won't miss. Meanwhile Lennon has pulled up a section of floor deck plating and hauls it into position over the hole. He begins welding it into place as a temporary fix.

Fiolla calls Sata and asks what's going on, he explains about the pirates. She is quiet on the com, but Lang sees her pull out a cortex communicator and send a messge to someone. She gets a reply and begs Sata to trust her and make a radical course change. Sata decides she is being honest with him, and as the pirates close into dock, he throws the ship into a sudden course change and heads away. The pirates are taken off guard, but come around as well.

From ahead of them, two missiles appear and fly past the Yellow Submarine and strike the pirates with powerful EMP warheads, disabling her completely. A 48,000 ton Orca class Alliance corvette, the IAV Lionfish, appears from stealth in front of them and asks them if they need any assistance. The crew is then ordered to cut power and prepare for a shuttle to come across and dock to pick up agent Hart.

The crew prepares to receive the shuttle, Lennon asks Jackson to improve upon his rudimentary welds sealing the cargo bay hole and to check for additional damage. Wilks is unaccounted for and they begin searching. Saxon and Lang escort Fiolla to the airlock and discover a bruised and unconscious Wilks inside. Wilks is taken to sickbay and the Alliance shuttle locks on. An Alliance commander comes through and hands Fiolla a datapad with an authorization code showing she can trust them. She tells the officer she needs to speak to Sata before she leaves. She meets Lennon in the hallway and tells him she's sorry it didn't work out and kisses him goodbye. Fiolla goes to the bridge and thanks Sata and pays him 1,500 credits for their help. Lennon goes into the sickbay to tend Wilks.

When Fiolla returns to the airlock, there is another Alliance officer waiting for her, a woman wearing no insignia and gloves and a full helmet. Fiolla salutes her, then the three of them board the shuttle to depart. Lang feels he has seen the woman before…

With their pay in their pockets and Fiolla gone, there's no reason to travel to White Sun. Instead the ship heads for New Melbourne for repairs.