Episode Six, Session One

Captain Chabra and Chief Mala visit a logistics officer Chabra knows on the Naval Reservation, and ask him to look into attacks on commercial shipping with a couple hops of Yamuna. Four hours later he returns with the info.

If the crew can cross reference this with detailed shipping manifests of what was on the ships that got hit by the Abhva, they might be able to decipher a clue as to the whereabouts of the Abhva collaborators.

Next up, running a heist on the Solar Commerce Union Administration Building. Or running a con on the Quadrant Headquarters of Chandra Sundries.

Convoy Briefing

From Yamuna:

Two Sthala class Light Freighters (Low-Technik)

  • Deva Raya
  • Sadasiva Raya

Four Kampana class Light Freighters (Low-Technik)

  • Bukka Raya
  • Achyuta Raya
  • Krishna Raya
  • Thimna Raya

Two Kipchack class Cargo Freighters (Primitive-Tech)

  • Kochi Kipchack
  • Subedei Kipchack

The two Kipchack class Primitive Freighters are the Yamuna to Sei hop only. They are in the 50,000 to 500,000 m3 displacement scale. The Low-Technik Freighters are in the 5,000 to 50,000 m3 displacement scale, two drop off at each of the next three stops (Garai, Pakhria, Dakatia). One of the Sthala class ships at Garai (stop two), and one at Dakatia (stop four).

The Sthala class ships are newer, and close quarters armed. The Kampana class ships have no weaponry. The Kipchak class ships are the worst of the lot, featuring no weapons at all, and outclassed thrust and scanner operations profiles.

There are another three Kavalu class Low-Technik armed escorts, in the 5,000 to 50,000 m3 displacement scale civilian frigate equivalents. One of these drops off at stop 2, stop 3, and stop 4 (along with the two freighters they’re contracted for). They have medium range turrets, but expect them to stay combat close to their assigned freighters.

Episode Five, Session Three

Scene Four: Sei Capital Cosmodrome, Parindra II.

The Parindra II lands at Sei Capital to follow up on an offer from a contact of Captain Chabra’s, Kumar Molla. Since the last operation Captain Chabra ran with Molla ended poorly, yet spectacularly, zhe has some doubts about the particulars of the contract, and wants to go in to the meeting as fully armed with intelligence as possible.

Chief Niazi and Bosun Kaffir head into the night in search of some street level information on what Kumar Molla might be up to. Arriving at the Outcaste bar “The Blue Oyster”, they hear the criminal dialect spoken by the Outlaw faction in the Belt, and get to work with intrigue, deception and subterfuge. They make a resource of Nisha Mirza, a figure in local organized crime. While a mediocre contact at best, Mirza mentions that Kumar Molla is the Deputy Councillor for Interplanetary Trade…and definitely has a history of “playing ball” with the local organized crime syndicates. In fact, some of the insurance premiums negotiated in trade contracts end up in the coffers of Hanuruha.

The next morning, Niazia, Kaffir, and Chabra meet at the capital Hall of Record, for the kind of academic investigation Captain Chabra is slightly more familiar with. Chief Niaza finds a recent trade deal for transhipment through Sei of goods manufactured by Chandra Sundries. It looks like Sei is able to get an exceptional price for the goods that stay, due to the absence of the usual insurance provisions for goods lost due to events occurring in the theater of war

Scene Five: Sei Capital, Offices of Kumar Molla.

Deputy Councillor Molla remains polite yet hostile throughout the negotiations, despite attempts to sway them with common connections and the recent work the crew has done on behalf of the Solar Navy. Apparently some grudges still run deep, which makes the crew all the more suspicious of accepting the mission. Still, expenses are up, and a success might buy them some positive reputation with the colonies affiliated with the Independent Trade Union (ITU).

It gets worse when the crew discovers that accepting the mission requires paying a bond as surety, even before they’ve been paid for their efforts (“wait… this deal is going to cost us money?!?”). The contract is for mercenary work, protecting the ships of a trade convoy originating at Yamuna and traveling outwards to Dakatia, dropping off transports and cargo at each colony along the way. The primary mission is to protect the transports on the hop from Yamuna to Sei. A bonus will be awarded for the safe transit of every ship in the convoy to their final destinations.

Happily, assistance will be available in the form of lightly armed gunboats on contract from Paladin Security Services.

Episode Five, Session Two

Scene Two: Yami Belt Quadrant III, contested space. The Parindra II, amidst the wreckage of two Marauder class vessels.

The boarding party, consisting of Captain Chabra, Chief Mala, Chief Vãhakah, Bosun Kaffir, and five Damage Control Crew head over to the disabled Marauder in the Sulas Tine, the Privateer Corvette that serves as the Ship’s Boat to the Parindra II.

Boarding begins at the larger airlock located on the Engineering / Propulsion Decks. The radioactive fuel the Abhva use is prepped for removal as salvage, as it fetches a pretty penny on the conflict’s grey markets. Once complete, the crew cautiously moves (upwards, relative) to the Gun Decks, where they encounter the remaining dozen or so Pretya defenders. The terrifying psychic attack damages and incapacitates the majority of the boarding crew, but the fearless actions of Bosun Kaffir (and his lethal cutlass work) wins the day.

Once the last resistance is wiped out, what remains of the boarding party make their way to the bridge and extract the hundred of kilograms worth of silicate power cores the Abhva seem to use to direct power within the ship. Boarding action complete, the boarding crew retreats to the Sulas Tine, hard fought booty in tow.

Scene Three: Yami Belt Quadrant III, contested space. The Sulas Tine, amidst wreckage of two Marauder class vessels.

The boarding party presently consists of Captain Chabra, Chief Mala (injured), Bosun Kaffir (recovering), Chief Vãhakah (disabled), and five Damage Control Crew (all but one disabled) currently on a heading to investigate the deteriorating hull of the second Marauder class vessel on the Sulas Tine, the Privateer Corvette that serves as the Ship’s Boat to the Parindra II.

Captain Chabra plays the corvette’s scanners across the second Marauder vessel, and quickly comes to the conclusion that the explosive forces of the scuttling charge are torquing the hull in several directions, and time is running out to salvage any valuables from what remains of the hull. Piloting the Sulas Tine to the biggest existing hull damage in the Engineering Decks; the boarding crew skips the airlock to directly enter the decompressed and dangerously broken hull directly.

Thankfully, there are no remaining crew to defend the spoils of ware. Unfortunately the environment is hostile enough in its current state, with the radioactive fuel spilling about in the microgravity environment. The environmental protection afforded by shipsuit and atmos mask is insufficient to protect the crew from the damage from the toxic chemicals when physical contact is made; Boson Kaffir, who has gone without, takes some especially punishing radiological burns to his skin.

From the Engineering Deck, the race is on to make way through the Gun Deck and Quarters to the Bridge to try to recover the silicate cores the Solar Navy uses to count coup on the Abhva (and not coincidentally, how they award prize money for degrading the Abhva war effort). Some engineering knowledge is useful for extracting the materials from a substantially compromised power distribution node; from here it is extracted directly through the gaping rents in the Bridge hull. where some skilled piloting from Captain Chabra recovers is at the crew as secondary explosions rack what’s left of the hull into a rapidly expanding debris cloud.

Episode Five, Session One

Scene Zero: Yami Belt Quadrant III, contested space. The Parindra II, battle stations

The Parindra II is closing with a pair of Makara Marauder class vessels (it easily out-masses both). Through an extended game of cat and mouse, our heroes disable both of the Marauders… although one has the wherewithal to self destruct, costing the crew of the Parindra II the salvage value of the Abhva radioactives used as fuel. Still, the bounty for both vessels should be secure, once the silicate power cores are recovered (or salvaged, as the case may be).

Scene One: Yami Belt Quadrant III, contested space. The Parindra II, battle stations

The poorly crewed Marauder vessels never stood a chance. Within five minutes of engagement, the first Marauder is disabled and dead in space with crew casualties. Within eight, the second Marauder is disabled, but chooses to scuttle itself rather than leave any survivors (the ship is still superficially intact, although more than 50% of the interior has decompressed and radioactive powerplant leaks are rapidly rendering the interior extremely hostile to life).

The Parindra II was never even subject to a completed firing solution from the enemy in that time. In addition to the bridge crew, there are approximately 10 crew assigned to damage control that are available for boarding actions. Onwards to the wrecks!

Episode Four: Epilogue

The details vary, but the broad outlines are the same across the prisoners. They were taken by the Abhva (Pretya and Makara) in transit between worlds, or on sparsely settled outpost colonies. These prisoners survived being taken (many did not, and many more were consumed in spirit or flesh by the Abhva along the way). They were kept in barely livable conditions but at least they were mostly kept together. Until they were separated, and those who were strong enough to work were sent to Ice Station Zebra.

Possibly relevant details about the big picture:

  • There were occasional sightings of “Administrators”, tall figures in cloaks and masks, whom the Makara deferred to.
  • The Pretya seemed to ignore the Administrators for the most part, but then gain the Pretya seemed to mostly ignore the living, when they weren’t trying to devour them.
  • The Makara definitely have a spoken language.
  • The Pretya listen to the Makara, but don’t speak
  • There weren’t any Kravyad in the group of prisoners, just Janya Artisans and Outcastes.
  • Some of the Janya insist they heard the Kravyad language being spoken during transit, but not once they arrived at the mines.
  • Somebody prepared the mines for the prisoners to work here, and it doesn’t seem like it was the Abhva. And it doesn’t seem like it was all that recent, either,
  • There were less than a dozen Makara, more than a score of Pretya, and an Administrator controlling about twice as many Janya working a uranium mine. Once a week, an Abhva cargo vessel showed up to take the extracted uranium ore from the tunnels.
  • Needless to say, most of the surviving Janya are in pretty poor health.

Episode Four, Session Five

Scene Nine (for real this time): Ice Stations Zebra. Bitterly cold, with occasional blinding snow storms. Daylight.

The Sulas Tine, privateer corvette that serves as ship’s boat to the Parindra II has ferried a small assault team to the surface of the planet, Captain Chabra at the helm. The assault team consists of Captain Chabra, Gunnery Chief Mala, Engineering Chief Vãhakah, the new Bosun of the ship Saiful Kaffir, and a handful of Janya Outcaste brawlers from Mahanadi currently between refinery assignments. A member of the navigation crew from the Parindra II is piloting the corvette, and the captain leaves a series of timed instructions for the pilot.

Captain Chabra insists on accompanying the team, having a particularly vivid vision of the catastrophe that awaits if he doesn’t. Chief Vãhakah is being brought along because of zher engineering background and Savant physique, with the expectation that zhe can help with security systems and pacifying any resistance. Chief Vãhakah and the Bosun have shipsuits and meteor pistols, the brawlers have shipsuits and dazers. Chief Mala has his paired dazers, and a civilian grade hardsuit.

Captain Chabra leads the assault team himself, sneaking their way through the hills surrounding the location identified from orbit most likely to be the prison camp. The team arrives at the area designated “Landing Zones One and Two”. It’s twenty-five meters wide and a few hundred meters long, generally running magnetic northeast to southwest. In the southwest corner (LZ2) are four hardened (open) hangars. Inside each is a Chekhov class orbital interceptor in good condition. They aren’t occupied or spun up, but look as though they could be in fairly short order.

To the west, across an open and clear space, the bunker entrance to the underground building complex designated Bunker B. To the south, across an even further space, Bunker A. Bunker B is closer, so the team moves that way, swiftly and silently. Two industrial sized reinforced doors block access to the complex, but Chief Mala makes short work of the mechanical controls.

The doors retract sideways into the front of the entrance. Inside, a five meter wide hemispherical tunnel that extends downwards at a fifteen degree angle. There are a series of flickering grim  actinic lights illuminating the path downwards. There is an alcove immediately to the side of the entrance, with a rotating amber light indicating the doors are open. There are also monochrome monitors of the external cameras outside the bunkers and the landing zone. Everyone hustles in, Chief Mala operates the controls, the doors close (and the amber flashing light deactivates).

Per the plan left with the corvette, it clears the hills between the landing site and the prison site, and opens up on the vault doors of Bunker A (to the south of the tunnels the assault team is currently occupying). They rush down the inclined tunnel, hoping any resistance will be distracted by the explosions echoing through the complex. Sure enough, by the time they encounter the Makara heavyweights who serves as wardens, the assault team makes a bold attack and renders them unconscious and bleeding.

Further down the tunnels, Pretya overseers are supervising the enslaved Janya mining crews. Used to dealing with the helpless Janya captives, they provide little enough resistance to the determined assault team. Once the Pretya are disabled, forty or more Janya prisoners are liberated for the tunnel complex.

As the Sulas Tine rockets through the atmosphere to dock with the Parindra II, the first of the Solar Navy Third Quadrant Fleet begins to arrive in orbit…