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Traveller: Session 40

 


This session was run on September 7, 2023.

 

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They returned to the Last Exit highport with the salvaged Zhodani ship in tow and collect their reward. They decided that they could not wait for the Prismatic Ray to be ready before they turned the Zhodani and the kids over to the Imperial Navy. Zarf has also accepted Nadeemi’s request for refuge under international law and he was bound, as a reservist, to get him to safety as soon as possible. They also realized that even though the sixty kids were in cryo tubes, they could not take them all in the Prismatic Ray and they did not want to risk letting them out of their sight.

 

They put Nawal, the Zhodani prole, Aminaha, the noble, Nadeemi, the alleged terrorist, and the unknown Zhodani girl in cold sleep. They then booked passage aboard a Jump-4 liner, The Twilight Ember, scheduled to leave that day. On the way, M’han read the journal that they had taken from Trow Backett. He learned that Trow’s uncle, Vlen, had been something of an adventurer. He had encountered several Ancients sites during his career. In one of those ruins, he found two statues, one of which they had inadvertently attempted to help Trow sell in Last Exit. Vlen sold the other statue to an unnamed benefactor who came off sounding a little like a gangster. He also developed a theory Ancients sites could be found by looking for unexplained interference on the G-Band.

 

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Three mornings in, after a wild night of partying with the other passengers, Marvin woke up next to Sophia Alford with a bad hangover. He quickly realized that he could not find his clothes and grabbed a towel from the fresher. He then stealthed his way out of the room and headed back towards his cabin.

 

As he reached the section of ship that the travellers were staying in, the hull integrity alarm sounded, and people started sticking their head out into the corridor to see what was going on. He quickly ducked into Arenui’s room and was surprised to see the droyne sitting with his arms around Abigail while she shaped clay on a wheel in the center of the room. He decided not to question what was going on and they all suited up. They met the rest of the group in the hall and started to make their way to the hold to check on the kids and Zhodani.

 

Hal easily hacked the keypad lock on the hold door and let them in. They checked and all the pods seemed to be perfectly operational and there was no sign of damage in the hold. Aryanna ducked out into the corridor and saw a crewman who told her that she needed to get back to her quarters and to stay in her suit until the emergency was over. She ducked back into the cargo hold and the travellers started to discuss what their next move should be.

 

Fifteen minutes later, they heard a loud bang and running coming from aft of the cargo hold. Arenui tapped into the crew radios and could hear a discussion of an expanding hole in the ceiling of the right side of the power plant room. Hal left the hold and walked aft to the engineering area. He saw the captain standing outside the lock to Engineering and asked him what was going on. The captain told him that something was eating away at the roof of the room where the power plant was stored, and that the breach was expanding rapidly. The crew was inside, in vacc suits, and attempting to cut away metal before it could spread, but they were not fast enough to stay ahead of it. Hal suggested that it might be a Hull Eating Virus (HEV). The captain was vaguely familiar with the term, but always though it might be some kind of sea tale.

 

Hal explained that HEVs were real, although not actually viruses, and that he was a xenobiologist. The captain allowed the travellers to go into engineering to see if they could figure anything out. Hal and Marvin went in and examined the damage. Hal determined that it was a HEV and that it was spreading too fast to completely stop it by cutting away the affected sections of the hull. He left Marvin to keep cutting to slow it down and went back out to talk to the captain.

 

Once he was outside, Hal told the captain that the only way to stop this HEV now was to use someone with psionic powers. The captain told him that, as far as he knew, there was no one with those abilities aboard. Hal briefly conferred with the others via radio and let the captain know that one of the passengers they had booked into low passage was a Zhodani and a powerful psionic. The first mate objected to letting a Zhodani loose on the ship, but the captain quickly saw that he had no choice and agreed to thaw out a Zhodani psion.

 

The travellers quickly decided that based on their interactions with the two Zhodani psions so far, Nadeemi was the safest to wake up. Aryanna and M’han brought Nadeemi out of cryo and escorted him aft towards engineering. As soon as he was in sight of the captain, Nadeemi let out some kind of psionic scream that stunned everyone and took off running towards the bridge.

 

Hal and Zarf recovered first and chased after him. Aryanna decided that their best bet to counter Nadeemi was Aminaha and ran to the hold to start thawing her out. By the time Zarf and Hal reached the bridge, Nadeemi had controlled the bridge crew, made all but one of them shoot each other, and had the remaining crewman drop them out of jump.

 

Nadeemi immediately took control of Hal and made him shoot Zarf. Zarf was badly wounded but managed to stay conscious and stab Nadeemi, hoping to break his hold on Hal. It didn’t work and Hal continued to attack Zarf. As Zarf was fending off his crewmate, Marvin rushed in, torch in hand, and burned the Zhodani until he dropped unconscious.

 

Meanwhile, Aryanna took the still groggy Aminaha to engineering where she was able to stop the spread of virus, though she passed out from the pain. They put the helmet they had been using to restrain Aminaha on Nadeemi and put him back in cryo. 

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