Secrets Of Miranda

A Very Dangerous Mission

The crew of the Yellow Submarine flies to Londinium and meets with Senator von Alksburg on the Norfolk skyplex. Capt'n Sata explains about their recent conversations with Alliance Interpol agent Fiolla Hart and her revelations about Senator Bishop (Seek the Seeker). The crew asks Senator von Alksburg to investigate Fiolla's superior, the "Mystery Woman".
Senator von Alksburg has a job for them as well. Since they retrieved the datapack with the Miranda Broadwave (Dante Reconnaisance), he has been working within Parliament to expose the coverup. But he feels he needs unimpeachable evidence. He wants them to go to Miranda and get more evidence. He has a military recon sensor pod to take surveillance imagery of the planet and wants to send along two expert witnesses: Lama Kwan Hu, a major buddhist monk, and Dr. Martha Boni, an acclaimed forensic examiner from Ariel. They will meet the ship on Persephone with a mobile casualty recovery truck so they can retrieve some bodies of the colonists who died on Miranda. The senator is also investigating how the datapack got from Miranda to Dante, they are tracing the fingerprints on it.
The senator wants to push this forward now, because the Alliance fleet has been pushing for a punitive raid on the reavers. The senior officers have reviewed the combat recordings from the Battle of Dante and want to stop the reaver threat. The final decision is expected in a few days and the fleet will probably move out within a week. von Alksburg recommends shadowing the fleet and waiting until they engage the reavers. The battleplan is to destroy all reaver ships in orbit and then bombard any ships on the surface. The fleet will probably attract all the reavers attention, allowing the Yellow Submarine to make it to the surface. To further assist them, the senator has a military grade decoy launcher for them to install on the ship, hopefully it will let them elude any pursuers.

Two by Two

While some people, especially Dr. Lennon, are opposed, the crew accepts the mission. They depart for Persephone to pick and install the equipment and wait for their passengers. They also decide to install auxiliary fuel tanks in the cargo bay, since Miranda and Blue Sun are a long way off. A couple days after they arrive, an expensive aircar lands outside the ship, and two men in severe coreworld style suits and blue gloves walk up the ramp and ask for the captain. Jackson is working on the ship's defenses with Sata's assistance and Lennon is looking over supplies in his ambulance, Julia. The two speak to Sata and explain they are advance security for the lama and are here to inspect the ship. Sata asks for identification and one reaches into his pocket, supposedly to get his credentials. Lennon has spotted them and remembers men dressed like that, including the blue gloves, from his residency. He approaches and calls out to them in his military doctor's authority voice and distracts them as one of them produces a small wand like electronic device. Assuming the device is a threat, the crew leaps into action. Lennon dodges behind cover and draws his pistol. Sata quickdraws his laser pistol and shoots the leader in the hand, shattering his hand and the device. Jackson hits his remote to close the cargo bay hatch. The first intruder tries to reach under his coat left handed for a weapon, he is unfazed by the loss of his hand. Sata leaps at him intending to grapple and subdue him, but the intruder trips Sata and throws him to the floor. The second attacker draws a laser pistol and shoots Jackson, dealing him a critical wound. Jackson swings at him with his welding torch and misses. Lennon opens fire fom behind cover.
Upstairs, Saxon Molyneux and Wilks are playing cards, Lang Ye is in his quarters and Howard is on the bridge. They hear Lennon's shout and Sata's laser fire and rush to assist. Saxon charges with his sword and Lang goes hand to hand while Howard and Wilks add their pistol fire to Lennon and Sata's. Saxon's sword stroke is partly blocked by armored fabric under his target's suit, the other blocks Lang's attack and shoots him. Wilks and Lennon fire the last shots to drop the mystery attackers. Lennon rushes to aid Jackson, while Sata and the rest go to examine the bodies. The aircar they arrived in takes off, Howard runs outside and takes a potshot at it. Wilks and Saxon jump on their hoverbikes and go in pursuit, but lose track of it.
While Sata is examining the bodies, they start to swell and hiss, then explode from inside as an dead man's switch incendiary device consumes the bodies. Sata dodges away and grabs one of their dropped laser pistols. A security system in the weapon discharges the capacitor into the grip and slags the weapon, Sata takes a severe electrical burn to his right hand. Lennon gets the three wounded to the medbay and performs surgery to stabilize them. Lang is given the task of setting up secure communications with the senator and decides to hack his cortex unit. Once inside, Lang discovers someone has already hacked it and is tapping the senator's communications. Sata and Lang confer with the senator about the communication leak, and arrange to have their passengers and equipment sent to Long Night skyplex on an Oberlindes ship. They will meet the ship in deep space and make the transfer there in private. They also ask the senator about the blue gloved attackers and Lennon sends a a message to Mr. Blackskull to ask as well. They are told the blue gloved men are only rumors and are believed to be some kind of corporate covert agents.

Heading into the Black

The Yellow Submarine departs Persephone with Howard at the controls while Sata recovers. Once Jackson is able to get around, he supervises the crew as they finish the work on the ship. Sata sends a message to his friend Hwan Fei simply saying "Let me know when you see them", hoping Hwan will spot the Alliance fleet as it moves to Miranda. The crew's plan is to approach Miranda early, not wanting to get caught up in the attack. Once their passengers are transferred over, they proceed to Miranda and use the recon pod to try to find a safe passage through the reaver ships in orbit. Coasting into orbit in a wrecklike tumble with their systems powered down, a reaver ship comes towards them. They fire off a decoy, but it is not distracted. As the ship extends boarding clamps, Wilks and Jackson go outside. Wilks fires his railgun sniper rifle at their bridge and shatters a window, depressurizing their bridge. The reaver ship tumbles and accelerates out of control and Sata dodges them on reaction thrusters alone. Two more reaver ships come towards them and Howard fires off four decoys; the two reaver ships pursue the decoys and Sata guides the Osprey into a glider approach into Miranda's atmosphere. They power up and go in search of a good landing spot. Howard detects several cities and Sata orders him to find an atmosphere processor like the one mentioned in the Miranda Broadwave. They head in for a landing at the processor, and Lennon and Howard test the atmosphere, determining it seems to be safe.

On Miranda

The ship lands on a landing platform halfway up the atmosphere processor. Wilks and Saxon are left to guard the ship while the rest of the crew takes their witnesses to explore. Howard and Jackson carry videocameras to document their findings. The plant is almost completely without power, the only things operating are some solar powered warning lights. The entrance hatch is closed, but they find a manual crank and open the door partway to allow access. Sata has Lang rig a remote control to the emergency explosive bolts on the door so they can use it as a boobytrap if they have to run from reavers. Moving inside they find themselves in a large corridor for moving freight, there is a directory map on the wall and a data terminal. Lang powers it up with a portable battery, but the terminal is useless with the network down. Howard pulls down the directory poster and they find their way to the nearest offices down the hall, marked receiving. Here they find their first corpses, personnel wearing station uniforms. One is sitting at a desk like he put his head down for a nap, others are laying or sitting on the floor. Dr. Boni begins examining a body with the assistance of floater camera drones that record the scene. Lang and Jackson power up a terminal, but it has limited data storage. When it does come up, it displays a Blue Sun company operating system. Since this was a receiving office, it has a listing of facilities , but not a visual map. Atmosphere synthesis is listed as being on a floor far down in the facility. The crew carries the body back to the ship to the morgue truck for a thorough examination and the team decides to fly Lovely Rita down the center of the air processor. They land at the bottom of the air processor's shaft and find a maintenance hatch that gives them access to the lower floors. They go through the hatch and down a cramped passageway. Lennon thinks of rats in the confined spaces and begins to worry about what the drug could have done to other animals. Could it produced a reaver effect in other mammals, could there be reaver rats? Lennon gets a grip on his fears and stays calm.
In Atmosphere Synthesis they find more bodies and some clues. Next they go to the bottom level and examine storage tanks for materials for atmosphere processing and reactor fuel. Computer records show that Chlorine and Flourine are being used by the plant, but there is no reason why such gasses would be added to a breathable atmosphere. Apparently, the mystery drug, Pax, was synthesized in the atmosphere processor itself to be released into the atmosphere.
The party returns to the shuttle and flies back to the ship for a dinner break. Dr. Boni has analyzed a mysterious chemical in the bodies, it does contain Chlorine and Flourine. After a brief rest, the party treks back into the structure, heading up to the computer core. More bodies are here, but Lang makes a surprising discovery; one of the dead has killed himself with a gunshot to the head. His body and a few more are transported back to the ship, Dr. Boni goes to work on the suicide.
The crew wants to get the main computers up, but it will take more power than they have on them. They decide to use the powerplant in Julia. Lennon drives the skiff into the station and Jackson runs a jumper line to some of the power conduits. Up an the computer center's floor, Lang finds the energized line and runs power to the system. They are able to boot the system up and Lang gets down to some serious hacking. They pull an employee roster and find the suicide is a senior administrator. Before he died, he wiped several sets of records from the system and overwrote them so they couldn't be recovered. He also sent commands to wipe the same files at the other atmosphere processors. They do find some files about use of certain chemical ingredients, their proportions are in line with production of the mystery chemical in the dead body.
They return to the ship, Dr. Boni has done a tox screen of the suicide, he doesn't have the mystery chemical in his system, but has a different unknown substance instead. Lennon examines the findings and believes it to be an antagonist to the other chemical, possibly an antidote. After a discussion with their expert witnesses, the crew decide to fly to a nearby city for more searching. Sata wants to hide the ship and Howard finds a bridge to conceal the ship under. The crew heads to bed, but Sata is troubled by nightmares and Lennon is still so worked up over reaver rats that he cannot sleep at all.
The next day, they search the town and find bodies everywhere: in cars, in shops, in schools, on the street. Lennon leads them to a hospital and they find more dead, patients and staff. Going through medical charts, he finds listings of patients brought in who are asleep and unresponsive. Over a 12 hour period, the reports increase until finally they just stop. Lang and Sata go to the town hall and manage to get records of the local census, listing the inhabitants and their homeworlds.
About this time the crew (and the players) realize they are on a planet full of salvageable goods. There's a brief frenzy of looting. Lennon gets two skiff loads of medical equipment from the hospital. Jackson finds a luxury aircar. Howard checks the spaceport and finds a pulse drive equipped long range shuttle. All this gear is loaded onto the Yellow Submarine and the shuttle is tethered to the back of the ship.

Flight

Sata wants to explore another air processor in case the deleted files are still there, maybe the remote deletion wasn't complete. While they are searching for another processor, a reaver ship pounces on them and hits the ship with a missile. Jackson manages to minimize the damage (Konrad made a roll for the ship and spent his chips on it since the ship has the Loved asset), and the chase is on. Howard opens fire with the railgun and scores some light hits. The reaver is closing in and Sata and Jackson want to eject the long range shuttle so the reaver hits it. Desperate not to lose his shuttle, Howard goes full auto on the railgun and rips the reaver apart with a burst. But two more ships are closing in on them and Sata decides they have to run for it. The Yellow Submarine breaks atmo and Sata calls on his blockade running skills from the war. He goes to pulse drive for a short hop, then drops out, makes a hard course change and goes into pulse drive again in a random direction, then repeats the drop out, course change and pulse drive again. He completely loses the two reaver ships. Jackson comments they were lucky the ship held up to the abuse and Sata replies he knew the ship could take it after his speed run to Red Sun (Rescue on Ita). They decide to hide in the deep Black and repair the ship while planning their next move.

Second Pass

Sata wants to return to Miranda for more information, but decides to use Lovely Rita instead. With Jackson's modifications, the shuttle is as fast as a fighter and almost as maneuverable. Lennon will stay behind to command the Yellow Submarine with Howard as pilot while Jackson works on repairs. Lang and Howard reprogram some of the decoys with the shuttle's signature and Jackson rigs crude launch rails for them. Sata takes Saxon and Wilks as troops and Lang and Dr. Boni to investigate and provide medical assistance. Lennon volunteers to send Julia as well in case they need her. The Yellow Submarine creeps back in to release the shuttle, then returns to hiding.
Sata pilots the shuttle in towards Miranda and tries to find a good gap to sneak through. He does, but a reaver ship seems to be following them a distance. Sata takes the shuttle down to an atmosphere processor and releases a decoy to continue on ahead, then lands the shuttle inside the processor's mouth to hide it. They unload Julia and fly around to one of the processor's landing pads, open a door and take the skiff inside. As before, they jury rig an electrical line from Julia to supply power to the computer center. They don't find any suicides, but they do find an old corpse that had been violently killed and dismembered.
Lang brings up the computer center and hacks in. The first thing he gets is a stored command to delete files waiting for an authorization. Lang cancels it and begins digging in. He finds the information Sata wanted: details on the PAX synthesis equipment built into the processor as part of her design, manufacturing records and personnel files of chemical engineers assigned to the project by the Da Dong Fong pharmaceutical company, who has a reputation for shady deals and illegal research. With the information downloaded, they head back to the shuttle. Lifting from the processor, Lovely Rita is struck by a missile from a reaver ship and Sata crash lands her. They bail out and take up fighting positions as the reavers swoop down on them. The reaver ship hovers and six reavers slide down on ropes. Wilks rakes them with automatic fire and Lang tosses a grenade at the reavers as they hit the ground, killing two of them. The crew cuts them down, taking some serious wounds. The ship lands and two more reavers, then a third charge out. Saxon and Lang go hand to hand with the two and Sata rips off fire from cover, finishing the reavers.
Sata realizes the shuttle won't fly again without major repairs, so he decides to take the reaver ship. He leads Lang and Saxon inside to sarch the ship, but they lag behind, trying to control their revulsion. They finally follow the captain inside. The ship is empty of live reavers, but littered with bones and bits of victims and blood soaked walls and floors. Sata gets a handle on the controls and Wilks and Dr. Boni come aboard. They bring a reaver body for additional evidence. Sata picks up the shuttle in the reaver ship's grapples and heads for space. Flying a reaver ship with a victim in its grapples, they pass through the reaver ships in orbit unmolested and head for the Yellow Submarine's last position.

Who's calling, please?

Jackson and Lennon are working on hull repairs to the Yellow Submarine and Howard is on the bridge watching the sensors. The Cortex unit lights up with an incoming call, but with the sender's information blank. Howard answers the call and gets a static laden signal with someone asking for Captain Sata. Howard identifies himself and then a red warning lights up the screen as Lang's defensive programs detect an attempt to hack the ship. Temporarily blocked, the hacker jumps to the ship's landlock system and infiltrates the ship's computer. Everything on the ship shuts down, including the power plant. On the hull, Jackson and Lennon see all the ship lights turn off. They talk to Howard over their suit coms and head to the airlock. As they do, they see the ship's emergency distress beacon deploy. Realizing what would happen if the beacon goes on in reaver space, Jackson rushes to the beacon and disables it. They head to the airlock and use the backup mechanical crank to open the doors and get inside. Howard suits up and gets the lama Kwan into a suit. Jackson goes to engineering and gets life support up on battery power. Lennon reveals he had Lang write in a back door from the med bay's medical computer into the main computer. The med bay system is working, so they try to bring up the ship's system, but have no luck. Jackson goes to the computer core and finds it is beyond repair, the hacking attempt caused the system to overload and short out.
They decide to cannibalize parts from the long range shuttle to get the Osprey working again. After a lot of work, they get the Yellow Submarine functional again, sort of.

Reunion

On the way out from Miranda, Sata calls the Yellow Submarine and Lennon explains the situation. Sata maneuvers the reaver ship so he can get the shuttle close to her berth, then they pull her down with tow cables and secure her. After considering booby trapping the reaver ship with its own missiles (Jackson refused to do it and Lang didn't want to either), Sata programs its autopilot to take it into star Burnham as a funeral pyre. Sata takes command of the Yellow Submarine and they limp to Meridian for repairs. Lennon treats the wounded.
Once safely on Meridian, Jackson shops for a replacement computer, but a standard one for the ship will cost 5,000 credits. With Lang's help he picks out a used one and they install it. The new shuttle needs work too, but Lovely Rita will need a dockyard. They purchase spares for the new shuttle, which Lennon names Dear Prudence. They set course for White Sun.

Debriefing

Once back in White Sun, Sata sends Senator Von Alksburg a message, asking him to meet them "in the usual place", at their deep space rendezvous. Von Alksburg tells them to come to Persephone instead. Concerned its a trap, Sata calls the senator directly to confirm he wants them on Persephone and they are concerned because they were attacked there before. The senator confirms he wants them on Persephone, since it is his home world where he has the most influence, and they can't transfer the morgue truck to his yacht in space. Sata warily agrees.
Landing on Persephone is uneventful, the field is guarded by local police. The senator and his aide meet them and they go inside for a long talk about what evidence they have. The senator believes this is exactly what he needs to expose those responsible in the parliament and make major changes. He tells them about Senator Bishop's arrest and that of several military and political figures in a conspiracy to support piracy and slaving. He rewards them with 10,000 credits and gives Lennon a new Londinium passport so Lennon can return home for the first time since he left to join the Independents. He also says the fleet arrived at Miranda and carried out their attack on the reavers, but many ships escaped.
The senator also brings up his inquiries into the mystery woman that agent Fiolla Hart is now working for. He explains that his queries led her to him, but they are working together now. While Von Alksburg's people remove the morgue truck and the sensor pack, Fiolla and her superior arrive in an Alliance Navy shuttle and come to meet with the crew. Fiolla's superior is still wearing the helmet and gloves and speaks through an electronic voice filter. She explains that their evidence allowed her to break Bishop's conspiracy and she and von Alksburg have formed an alliance to root out corruption and those responsible for the crimes committed on Miranda. Von Alksburg irritably asks if the voice filter is really necessary, she shrugs and takes off the helmet to reveal her identity, she is the woman who posed as reporter Margaret Doubet on Liann Jiun to interview the crew (Reporter and Rifle Interlude) after their run in with pirates on Regina (The Warehouse). She has been investigating pirates, slavers and their possible link to someone in the Alliance government when the crew's encounter with the pirates gave her a clue that she needed to further her investigation.
With their mission to Miranda finished, the crew decides to take some down time on Persephone and get the Yellow Submarine's computer replaced with a better unit and take care of the rest of her repairs. They are also going to take some vacation time.