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Traveller: Session 37


This session was run on July 27, 2023.


First half of 1118


As the ships Craig ordered for his covert squadron were being prepared, Admiral Ten was pulling the command crew for The Invisible Hand, the first ship and the test case, together. He chose some of the brightest officers under his command for the mission:


·      CDR van Borkus

·      Hanzo de Groot

·      CDR Yost van der Deen

·      Carstairs

·      Don Gerritson

·      Capt. Tensley Brauer


A few weeks ahead of The Invisible Hand’s shakedown cruise, he started briefing them on their first mission. While he was fairly confident in the validity of their stolen codes, he did not want to risk an entire squadron until he had confirmed them. With that in mind, The Invisible Hand would be doing a few solo missions in Solomani space first.


Daibei intelligence had learned that, due to extended internal supply lines, the Solomani fighting on the border were experiencing a shortage of critical ship’s computer spares. Intelligence had managed to modify parts that fit their need to be operative, but also record data and send it back. Their mission would be to smuggle a load of these compromised parts across the border from Xenon to Fairbair. There they would meet a man named Oliver Harris, a black market broker who had been selling goods smuggled across the border to the Solomani Navy. A Level One success for the mission would be successfully selling this load of compromised computer parts to Oliver Harris in order to get them inserted into the Solomani supply chain.


But Admiral Ten thought they could achieve more than this. He told them that a Level Two success would be convincing Oliver Harris to introduce them to his contact in the Solomani Navy so they could develop a direct relationship. Intelligence believed that Harris was working with a woman named Captain Gauge Smith, an important Solomani Navy logistics officer. A Level Three success would be to capture Captain Smith and bring her back for interrogation. Finally, a Level Four success would be to capture Captain Smith and any vessels she had under her command. It was believed that she was actually travelling with a fairly small complement, perhaps only a bulk freighter and an escort.


The team decided that, given how far out on a ledge they would be, maintaining their cover would be key. To that end, they decided to only take two squads of marines with them. They believed that they could pass a small number like that off as crew and cargo handlers. They also chose the route they wanted to take to Fairbairn:

1.     Xenon

2.     Firine

3.     Chrono

4.     Gawain

5.     Parade

6.     Trikak

7.     Fairbairn


Choosing a route that only required jump-2, despite The Invisible Hand’s ability to make jump-4, would help maintain their cover as a run of the mill merchant and avoid giving away their capabilities. It would also mean that, since they carried enough fuel to make a jump-4 and a jump-2, they would be able to make a jump-4 getaway, if necessary, without refueling.




They jumped away from Xenon heading for Firine without incident.




When they arrived at Firine, they detected an unexpected space station orbiting the gas giant they intended to use for refueling. It was small, able to accommodate perhaps fifty people, and not emitting anything. A deeper scan revealed that there were four lifeforms aboard the station. They began scooping operations and, three hours in, detected a tight scan coming from the station. They decided not to respond, finished refueling, and jumped away without incident.




They arrived at Chrono without incident and were able to refuel at the outer gas giant without interruption and jump away.




They came out of jump in the Gawain system to discover that the Class A highport had been destroyed. A passenger liner, The Alberta, was in orbit around the planet and broadcasting a distress signal. They contacted the ship and talked to Captain Liliana Vargas. She told them that she had been transporting refugees away from the front a jumped here expecting to be able to refuel at the highport. She arrived to find it destroyed and, since the entire population had lived on the space station, no one to help her. The Alberta did not have the ability to refuel itself at the gas giant because it was not equipped with scoops. She asked them if they would be willing to scoop and refine enough fuel for her to jump to safety.


The crew ran some numbers and realized that it would take them twenty one days to scoop and refine enough fuel to let the big liner make even a jump-1. They decided that helping the liner was both their duty as naval officers, and good for establishing their background in the sector. They felt that in order to make their cover seem more real, they needed to charge for the fuel though. They charged The Alberta 20 MCr. for the fuel and spent the next three weeks doing round the clock refueling operations.




They jumped in to Parade without incident but jumped away immediately due to the system’s Amber status. They did not want to get caught up in whatever was going on there and felt confident that they had not been detected in the short time they were in system.




The dropped out of jump in the outer system of Trikak and started refueling operations at the gas giant. They were surprised to see an unexpected safari ship in orbit around the main planet but decided not to investigate further.




They arrived in Fairbairn without incident.




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