The Lost Village

(Based on The Lost Village, from The Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society #24, written by Jeff Groteboer. This session was supposed to be the last adventure of the campaign, but since not everyone could make it, I squeezed in a mini-adventure for the players who did.)

Repairs and Returning Home

After returning to Persephone and speaking to Senator von Alksburg, the crew takes two weeks to repair the shuttles Lovely Rita and Dear Prudence, and upgrade the Yellow Submarine. Her used standard computer (d4 Int) was replaced with a new upgraded model (d6 Int) like the one they had before the ship was hacked (Secrets of Miranda), they also added a backup unit (d2 Int) and the system was given ICE and electric hardening against hacking attacks. They also take some personal time while they are in White Sun. After Dear Prudence is repaired, Lennon and Howard take a trip in the long range shuttle. Lennon drops Howard off on Ariel to visit family and Lennon returns to Londinium for the first time since he left to join the Independents before the War of Unification. They decide to put Lovely Rita in storage on Persephone, and take Dear Prudence with them instead.

The Doctor is In

Deciding to follow up on their information about the HMS Seeker, Sata gets a cargo heading to Red Sun. Lennon contacts Admiral Sharpe about providing a medical clinic tour. Sharpe refers him to a local, Po Keith, and they make plans. During the trip, Howard decides to name the secret pig "Stanley" and labels it with the name written on a piece of tape. Lennon disagrees and renames it "Desmond" with a piece of tape over Howard's. During the voyage, they keep changing it back and forth when the other isn't looking. Eventually, the piggy bank is covered in tape. One day, the pig is spray painted yellow with "FinXpress" written on it in black. The Yellow Submarine lands on New Melbourne to discharge cargo. Sata disappears for a dinner date and leaves Lennon in charge to supervise unloading. When Sata returns very late that night, he is distracted, but very happy. He is up early the next morning and unusually perky. With the ship in need of routine maintenance that wasn't done during the repairs, Sata and Jackson make arrangements to get that done while Lennon takes Dear Prudence to Jiangyin for his clinic visit. Since Sata is concerned for Lennon's safety, Sata, Howard, Wilks and Lang gear up for trouble and accompany him. They hop across system to Jiang Yin and land in the town of Easton. The locals practically have a parade waiting for them, Po has a room in the hotel for Lennon to use for examinations and rooms for the crew reserved so they don't have to sleep aboard ship. During Lennon's day of medical exams, Sata and the crew assist while maintaining security. Sata insists a young, very pregnant woman go to the head of the line. After the day is done, the town's people have a pig roast and while the barbecue sauce is very good, the local hard cider is not…
During dinner, Po asks if they would consider extending their visit, there is a town up in the mountains, Habei, which could definitely use their help as well. The crew agrees and perhaps whoop it up with the local drinks a little too much. Howard decides to cut back after Lennon passes out at the table and Sata and Wilks keep slugging it back.

Reavers? HERE?!

The next morning they take the shuttle into the mountains. When they approach Habei, Howard notices smoke coming from buildings that have burned. Circling the town, they see bodies in the road, otherwise the town is deserted. They land and investigate, finding several dead bodies, all killed by gunfire, but hacked with blades as well, but post mortem. The town has not been ransacked, but everyone else is gone. Searching the town, they find horse and truck tracks leading out of town into the mountains. They decide someone has abducted the townspeople and tried to make it look like a reaver attack. They call Po back in Easton and ask for help. Howard and Wilks take the shuttle ahead to recon, following the truck tracks, while Lennon, Sata and Lang follow in Julia.
Howard and Wilks find a small mountain meadow, with a temporary corral used by ranchers. The townspeople are in the pen, behind barbed wire, guarded by nine men. Deciding they need to attack and rescue the villagers, the party splits. Howard drops Wilks off on an overlooking bluff, while the rest of the crew approach in Julia. Once everyone is in position, Wilks opens fire with his railgun, killing the drivers of the two MULEs. Lennon also fires with his assault rifle while Sata and Lang charge in. The crew exchanges fire with the guards, but while outnumbered, the trained soldiers take out the guards. Wilks is wounded seriously by return fire, and Howard flies in to pick him up and bring him to Julia for treatment by Lennon.

The Townspeople's Story

Sata frees the people in the pen and starts getting them moving. They tell Sata the town was attacked and they were forced at gunpoint into trucks and brought here. Sata and the village elders organize them to flee on the captured horses and MULES and on foot. Howard takes a batch to Easton and is hailed by an Alliance patrol on his way back. They ask what he and the shuttle are doing there and, confused, Howard starts explaining how they left their ship on New Melbourne for repairs and came here in their shuttle for medical visits, and…The officer tells Howard to do better or they might shoot him down. Howard complies and explains and the Alliance ships forces Howard to lead them to the villagers, they have an old Landing Ship troop transport to carry the townspeople away. Everyone is loaded up and transported to the capital for treatment and questioning. The investigation lasts several days, but the witnesses' testimony and the investigation into the employer of the local men turns up a neighboring landowner. One of the wounded kidnappers cuts a deal and reveals that they discovered the village is on a vein of gold. Their boss concocted the scheme to kidnap the villagers, make it look like a reaver attack, then sell the survivors to a slavery ring.
The crew is released with the thanks of the local townspeople and the magistrate. They return to New Melbourne after a much more exciting trip than they had expected.