This session was run on March 30, 2023.
With the Prismatic Ray safely on the ground and camouflaged, Aryanna decided to head to the artists’ commune to monitor the situation with the pirates they had escaped from and to establish radio contact with Arenui and Mar-ven through local channels to avoid giving away their position. Mhan, Hal, and Zarf stayed behind with the ship. Using the Ray’s passive sensors, they could see that the Razer’s Blade, the 100 ton boat launched from Jugisaal’s Razer to intercept them, had finished with Jade’s cargo lighter and was entering Twinsong’s atmosphere.
In Caldera, Arenui and Mar-ven were finishing up negotiations at the life support supply warehouse when the air defense alert sirens started to sound. The warehouse owner told them that they had to leave the building while he took his employees into the strong room. They attempted to convince him to allow them to shelter in the strong room as well, but he refused because they were unknown to him and he could not be sure they were not in league with the pirates. They eventually convinced him to allow them to stay in the warehouse while he went to the shelter.
Back aboard the Prismatic Ray, Mhan, Hal, and Zarf rigged to eliminate as many electromagnetic emissions as possible as the Razer’s Blade began circling the island looking for them. In the artists’ commune, Aryanna managed to get patched through to Arenui and learned that the two were sheltering in a warehouse from a pirate attack on the town.
Two shuttles from the Jugisaal’s Razer descended on Caldera, set down at opposite sides of the business district, and disgorged ten raiders each. They wore mismatched armor and carried a variety of slug thrower weapons. Arenui and Mar-ven moved deeper into the warehouse as the pirates worked their way towards the center of the main street.
After a few minutes, they heard a series of three small explosions and a torrent of gunfire coming from behind the warehouse. Arenui flew up to look out one of the high ventilation windows and saw Cindy Stevens standing in the bed of a tricycle truck firing a bolt action rifle over the roof. An uplifted dolphin in a armature suit was crouched on the ground behind the truck using the suit’s manipulators to throw hand grenades back over his head. Three pirates lay dead on the side street. The pilot was firing at two living pirates hiding in alleys on opposite sides of the ambush site.
Arenui described the situation to Mar-ven and flew out the window to land on the roof. The Droyne took a shot at the pirate across the street and missed. The K’kree slipped out the side door of the warehouse into the alley to ambush the pirate taking cover there. Realizing they were under attack from above as well, the pirates fired at Cindy and Arenui, but missed both. Cindy killed the pirate across the street and Mar-ven surprised and killed the one in the alley alongside the warehouse. They invited the pilot and her dolphin companion in.
In the artists’ commune, Aryanna saw the Razer’s Blade set down outside town. A group of five pirates entered the small village and made their way directly to the small seaplane port. As they made their way past the huts, they demanded to know where the Prismatic Ray had landed. They began roughing up Zek, the sport droyne that ran the seaplane port.
Cindy introduced Polka Tim to Arenui and Mar-ven and explained that they were business partners. Tim was the owner of the seaplane she had flown them on earlier. She explained that she and Tim “had been running together since the Fifth Frontier War,” and they “knew a thing or two about pirates and these kinds of raids.” Tim did not appear to have any kind of automated translator, relying on Cindy to translate his clicks and whistles.
“They are just looking to profit off the raid,” Cindy explained, “They thought they would score big when they hit the Garret’s Fortune in orbit, but that didn’t work out. Then your scout ship managed to get away from them. If they can scrape up something of value here in the city, the raid might not be a loss. We just need to bloody their nose hard. If we make it not worth it, they will go away.”
Arenui laid out a plan where he would fly over to one shuttle and drop a satchel of hand grenades on it. The others would use this distraction to seize the second shuttle. The two shuttles were fast-on/fast-off quick response craft with doors on both sides of the hull. Originally designed for search-and-rescue and emergency response, the pirates had converted them to ground assault craft by mounting a machine gun turret on either side. The turrets could only be used in atmosphere as they were little more than a chair mounted to an arm that retracted during space flight, but in combination with the side doors, they allowed the pirates to quickly deploy for surface raids against lightly defended settlements like Caldera.
Arenui flew unnoticed down the side street running parallel to the main road and cut through an alley bringing him within meters of the shuttle. With the nearest pirate more than a block away, he was able to drop the grenades through an open door and fly away before anyone could respond. The others leveraged the distraction and seized the second shuttle unopposed. Mar-ven flew the shuttle on several strafing runs over the main street while Cindy operated the turret. The remaining pirates, completely unprepared for any real resistance, were quickly killed or captured by the residents of Caldera.
Back at the artists’ commune, Aryanna convinced several bystanders to intercede on Zek’s behalf with her against the pirates. After a tense few minutes, she managed to convince the pirates that no one in town had seen the Prismatic Ray and the raiders, who were also getting disturbing radio communications from Caldera, left in the Razer’s Edge.
Arenui and Mar-ven secured a discount from the residents of Caldera as thanks for their help against the pirates and left with Cindy and Polka Tim in the captured shuttle to bring the needed supplies to the Prismatic Ray. During the flight, Cindy regaled them with stories of her and Tim’s exploits during the Fifth Frontier War. As the trip drug on, it became less and less clear exactly which side they had been on during the conflict. When they reached the artists’ commune, they presented the shuttle to Cindy and Tim as a gift, spent a few days making the necessary repairs to the Ray, and left for Last Exit, where they hoped to get the badly needed refit done.