Scene 3: Yami Belt Quadrant III, high orbit above Gomal.
Vatya’s Vengeance and the Marru are standoff distance from a disabled Makara WarCruiser, anxiously awaiting the return of their captains and associated boarding parties. Klaxons begin wailing as a new contact in their space begins painting the area with active scanners designed to identify and track weapon targets.
The Vengeance is quickly identified and locked-in, at which point her own scanners likewise flood the area with electromagnetic emissions designed to lock onto the interloper. The Marru maintains radio silence, and evades the electronic clutches of the primitive Kravyad Frigate ship exchanging blows with the Vengeance (a process that is going the worse for the Vengeance, without the cunning of her captain to guide her). All the while the transponder codes of the frigate declare itself to be the Janya Commercial freighter the “Abhasita Sutta”…
Into this maelstrom, the returning privateer shuttles from the WarCruiser leap and dance into the conflict, attempting to get their captains back to their respective homes (and likewise increase the combat effectiveness of each ship by an order of magnitude). Both shuttles returned safely, the privateers choose the better part of valor by fleeing the field of battle. Notably, the frigate does not follow.
Now, to return to Wakal to repair, re-arm, and potentially reinforce.
Scene Two: Setback!
Having successfully, if cautiously, taken out the Makara WarCruiser orbiting high above a minor frozen colony world of the Janya; the two captains and their boarding parties land on the ship to commandeer precious silicate cores, radioactive alchemicals, and possibly captive colonists as well.
However, the interior of the ship is as cold and dark as the space between the worlds, and the Pretya “hungry ghosts” who haunt the ship prove damnably hard to kill. The antifreeze blooded Makara officers who lead the ghosts, equally dangerous in their own way, make good use of their native environs in the battle against our heroes.
Ultimately, the privateers are forced to retreat to their shuttles, having liberated the silicate cores…but not the radioactives, or the twenty captive colonists locked in a warmbox.
High above the minor colony world of Gomal, a Makara WarCruiser lurks in orbit. Awaiting the return of the second of two troop transports, it is slow to react to the stealthy approach of two privateer vessels approaching from the cover of the Yami Belt. In a brief exchange, Captain Chabra disables the WarCruiser, and shuttles from both privateer vessels narrowly maneuver into the hangar bay of the Makara vessel to begin salvage operations.
Are the boarding parties prepared for the darkness that awaits them?
The Privateers completed all their scene and story goals successfully. They have a couple of governors in their pocket, solarship upgrades for free at a naval yard, and a 100% kill rate against the Void Devil forces. Great start to a new storyline.
Captain Kashi trades in his battered corvette for something a bit more his speed, a well armed private yacht, which he dubs the Marru.
Scene 4: Abhva ambush!
Our heroic privateers set up an ambush in a dark matter briar patch for an Abhva assault carrier with high attrition fighter complement, and carried the ambush off with aplomb. The provider’s military surplus corvettes were significantly outmassed, and one (the Marru) took a severe beating due to bad luck and suboptimal tactics. That ship disappeared into the cover of the belt mid-fight for emergency repairs, then rallied at the end to deliver the death blow to the enemy carrier.
Now to convince the Governor-Admiral of Betwa to not just tolerate these antics, but to support them!
Scene Two: the fortress of Akash Dewan (the Warlord of Wakal).
Wakal is a bitterly cold outlaw colony, dedicated to refining raw materials and producing industrial products for the Quadrant that would otherwise be to expensive to import (directly, or through the addition of Mitrakam trade restrictions and tariffs). The Warlord’s Fortress is an abbreviated pyramid, with the bulk of the facility underground due to environmental as well as practical defense reasons.
Smartly dressed Captains Kashi and Chabra charm their way past hostile external patrols, suspicious perimeter security, indifferent administrative functionaries, and dubious executive staff (the Warlord’s assistant, Rafi Sengupta, being the final obstacle) before arranging a face to face with the Warlord at the end of the day. More often than not, it was Chabra’s diplomatic skills that saved the day.
Scene Three: the office of Akash Dewan.
Through a long conversation overcoming the Wartlord’s indifference, Captain Kashi managed to establish the letters of marque, trade in radioactives and silicate cores, and associate benefits of eliminating the usual arrival and departure fees for the Cosmodrome. Zher additional aggressive goal of obtaining a discount on fuel and repair is unfortunately, just out of reach.
The following conversation, regarding the strategic layout of this region of the Belt, and military intelligence addressing the movement of the Abhva in the area are likewise mostly successful, with a few promising leads on raiding patterns being shared.
Scene One: Solar trade lanes, 20 thousand kilometers from the colony of Wakal.
Captain Kashi seeks a meeting with Akash Dewan, the Warlord of Wakal, to register his Letter of Marque (and avoid any unpleasantness associated with transiting Dewan’s territory). Unfortunately the captain has insufficient reputation to obtain a face to face meeting with the Warlord. Hence, the following desperate plan: sneak through Wakal’s aerospace, charm the Warlord’s staff, and arrange an surprise meeting with the Warlord. Wakal’s orbital path is strewn with darkspace anomalies that should make the stealth approach easier, assuming more hostile inhabitants haven’t already claimed them.
Thanks to Captain Kashi’s alliance with Captain Chabra of Vatya’s Vengeance, Chabra agrees to act as a “stalking horse” and lead the way with full scanner visibility. Meanwhile Kashi follows with a low power / visibility de-orbital path, taking advantage of as many darkspace blind spots as zhe can manage.
Captain Kashi is mostly successful, putting down in the badlands to the east of the capital, while Captain Chabra lands in the capital’s Cosmodrome (and pays out the necessary bribes to get Kashi into the capital from landborne routes).
Rockets and Mayhem, Series Three cast:
Captain Dharmik Chabra, a Janya privateer of the Cleric Caste. Zher ship is Vatya’s Vengeance.
Captain Kashi, a nobility caste Janya with no family name. Zher ship is the Marru.
Both have signed Letters of Marque authorized by the Solar Navy (and are transmitting the transponder codes to match), and are authorized to claim bounty on Abhva military vessels in the Yami Belt (there are no civilian Abhva vessels).
At the end of the first story arc, they were joined by
Captain Aeilig Goff, Kravyad ban-draoidh, ace gunner and infamous privateer in her own right. Her ship, the Sulas Tine, is a captured Navy Corvette.
The Yami Belt is the solar ring of debris consisting of asteroids and planetoids in orbit between Mitra II (Subahu) and Mitra III (Raka). There are a few dozen inhabited worlds, and potential life on more than a hundred more. A portion of the settlements are provinces of the Solar Kingdoms; the remainder are military reservations, loosely democratic “independent” colonies of the Janya Casteless, and Outlaw worlds run by Warlords of any race (including the Raksasa).
The Freeport of Hanuruha is the home of the Revolutionary Navy of Free Peoples, a pleasant label for a collection of disreputable and scandalous pirates, assassins, and mercenaries. In the 113th War Council of Hanuruha, the Admiral (/Pirate King) is auctioning Letters of Marque and Reprisal issued by the Thearch of the Orthodox Church. The letters, once registered, grant amnesty to the bearer for the duration of the current system war with the Void Devils from Planet X, and an issue of clemency after 10 years of service. There are also standing offers of reward for the silicon based power distribution systems of the Abhva, and expedited processing of the radioactive alchemicals they use for fuel.
Previously on Rockets and Mayhem:
In pursuit of a Black Band Warrant on Khawaja Majumder (Espionage, Larceny, Grand Theft), our heroes had tracked the fugitive to high orbit of an unnamed world in the Yami Belt, and driven the attacking Makara heavy fighters off, at the cost of their own vessel.
After escaping from their own rocket shortly before it was destroyed, our heroes spacewalk over to the damaged yet mostly intact rocket of their bounty, and make their way inside. A running gun brawl battle up and down the lower decks of the ship, from the engineering deck to the cargo bay. Q Proud Mary gets himself in a bit of trouble when the tempestuous Raksasa makes one (unarmed) charge into emplaced enemies too many, and it’s all his teammates can do to pull him back to the safety of the engineering deck.
Our heroes are barricaded within, with access to the life support and navigation systems of the ship, when the remaining band of mercenaries hired to protect Majumder press forward with a final assault courtesy of overwhelming numbers.
Fade to black.