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Traveller: Session 38

 


This session was run on August 10, 2023.

 

208-1118

 

Fairbairn was a desert world with very little air and even fewer people. The seven hundred it did have were all mining corporation employees squatting in small, run-down domes. They began refueling operations at one of the gas giants and hailed Oliver Harris. While waiting for a response, they did a quick scan and saw that they were the only ship currently in space and that there were only ten down on the surface, all in the 100-200 ton range.

 

Harris responded and told them to meet him at a bar called The Monkey’s Paw. They took their cutter down to the surface and had to EVA over to the small dome because it did not have a lock that could interface with the ship.

 

Harris was a middle-aged man with an angry scar across his face. He seemed in no rush to start business and paid for the first round. After making some small talk, they told him that they had 300 tons of computer parts to offer him. He seemed surprised at the amount; he had been expecting a much smaller shipment. They told him that this was nothing and that they could get him much more in future shipments, thousands of tons were available. They explained that with all the crazy moving around the Imperial Navy was doing, and the fighting between the different factions’ fleets, no one was really able to keep track of anything anymore.

 

He was certainly interested in bigger shipments, but he was used to small, high value shipments and did not have the ability to move bulk cargos. Even this shipment would take him several days to unload from their ship and several trips to his customer.

 

This was the opening they were looking for. They floated the idea that they could just ship directly to his customer, and he could collect a broker fee. While Harris did not immediately shoot this down, it was clear that he was concerned that they would cut him out. They offered him a 5% cut and tried to put him at ease by telling him that he was their only contact on this side of the border and they intended to make a lot of money with him.

 

The size of the payoff was too much to pass up, so Harris agreed. They decided not to reveal the capability of their ship and told him that they could only move at jump-2. He admitted that was the limit of his ships as well. He gave them the name, CAPT Smith, and location, Harp highport, of his customer in exchange for their promise to not make any deal without him. They agreed.

 

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Even though they felt certain that Harris had not lied to them about his ship’s capabilities, they decided to stick to the jump-2 route to be safe. They jumped away without issue.

 

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They immediately performed a system scan upon arriving in Harp to determine what ships were present. There was no sign of Harris’s ships and there were eight jump capable ships docked at the highport:

 

·      Trenchant: a Seeker class mining ship

·      Glenwood: a Scout Type S

·      Gondwana: a Far Trader A

·      Abigail: a Far Trader A

·      Scythe: a Subsidized Merchant

·      The Thorn: a Corsair

·      The Hare’s Revenge: a Gazelle close escort

·      The Barlow: a Heavy Freighter

 

They immediately tagged The Hare’s Revenge and The Barlow as Solomani Navy ships from their markings. The Thorn seemed to be the only other ship in-system that presented even a small danger to them. The felt confident that they could take both the Gazelle and the Corsair at once if they had to.

 

The decided to refuel at the gas giant before docking with the highport.

 

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When docking, they declared 300 tons of TL12 computer parts. Even though this was not a lie, they decided to bribe the customs officer who came aboard to be safe. He happily had a couple of beers and then took his cash and left.

 

They asked around and learned that the Lucky Eagle Alehouse was where the Navy crews hung out when they were in port. They made their way there and spotted two Solomani Navy officers sitting at a table together, CDR Su Lin and LTJG Sai Saykao. They sat at the next table over and could hear them griping about the XO’s maintenance schedules.

 

Capt. Brauer went over to the table, and in the guise of a retired Solomani marine, asked them if they were on the crew of The Hare’s Revenge. They confirmed they were, and he told them that he had served on a Gazelle class ship in his youth. They talked a bit about the quirks of the class, and he established that Smith was the CO. He also asked them about The Thorn. They told him that they didn’t know them, and the crew was standoffish. They thought they looked really squared away though, so they were probably mercenaries.

 

When he got back to his table, Brauer opined that the crew of The Thorn could be mercenaries, but they might also be SolSec.

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