Arion, 067-3011 to 080-3011

Captain’s Log, 067-3011

At some point during our previous mission, the jump drive must have been damaged or mis-set, as we have misjumped. It remains to be seen where we will emerge. Hopefully there is adequate life-support for the journey, and a suitable starport at the far end where we can renew consumables and refuel.

Captain’s Log, 074-3011

We have now emerged from jumpspace in an unknown location. The Dolphin reverted to standard survey procedures, cruising along orthogonal axes to detect local planets by parallax. I am concerned that there are no gas giants insystem, which limits our refuelling options. Only one planet appears to be in the life zone, and it is here we are most likely to find some sort of civilisation; especially since there are radio transmissions from it in unknown protocols. We are making for this world at a steady 1G of acceleration, despite the temptation to go faster, and expect to arrive in approximately 38 hours. This will give us time to conduct engineering checks in case a rapid departure is advised.

Here I roll 2d6 for a ship encounter on my trusty 1977 starship encounter table; 2 +1 for starport = 3, no encounter.

Captain’s Log, 076-3011

We have now achieved orbit around the planet, and established radio contact with the local Class D starport. The ship’s library was able to translate the local language, which is a descendant of Terrestrial Spanish. The survey package tells me that Betiqu, as the world is known, has a profile of D510645-3. There is a scout base, but this belongs to a local state called the Mageer Swarm, and we are advised not to make contact. This will be difficult as the base is the only obvious source of fuel insystem. Clearly we need to refuel and jump somewhere more hospitable forthwith.

"You’re so much more formal in log entries," Coriander said, reading over Arion’s shoulder.

"Well, I’m writing for posterity here," said Arion. "And the Service has traditions about this sort of thing."

"Posterity?" snorted Dmitri. "Who’s going to read it? Who’s going to care?"

"If we make it back, we’ll have discoveries people are interested in. A new alien race for certain, these imagoe things. New trade routes, maybe. Who knows what else?"

"I’d settle for discovering some fresh water and a new set of air filters," said Dmitri. "It stinks in here."

"Good luck with that. Still, we have to go down. Can’t stay up here forever."

Encounters Day By Day:

Strictly, I should roll these up each day, but it’s more convenient to do them in a batch. I’m ignoring animal encounters because Arion and Company have no reason to leave the starport at the moment. It took us 3 days to find the place and land, and it’ll take one day to leave, so I need to roll for 3 days: 077, 078 and 079.

  • Legal: 2d6 each day, with scores of less than the local law level indicating an encounter with the police. I roll 9, 12, 7 – they just don’t care, do they?
  • Random: 1d6 each day, 5+ indicates a random person encounter. 2, 5, 3 – so we get an encounter on the second day in the starport.
  • Patron: 1d6 each week, 5+ indicates an encounter. A roll of 1 means there is no patron.
  • Rumour: 2d6 each week, 7+ indicates a rumour is found. I roll an 8, so there is an interesting rumour of some sort. I’ll figure that out later.

Payload Bay Security Recording, 077-3011

"You did WHAT?!"

"I sold the air/raft."

"Dmitri, what were you thinking? It’s not ours! It belongs to the Service!"

"Arion, we need the money. I’ve checked; between us, we have about 75 Credits in loose change, in non-negotiable currency. We need at least 8,000 just to refresh the life-support. We need a few hundred for berthing fees, incidentals and so on. And we need a cash float to start trading with. Unless you know of a Service base in this system which somehow we’ve missed so far."

"What are we going to tell them?"

"I’ll worry about that if we ever get back. Grand Theft Air/Raft. Lost in action. Damaged beyond economic repair. Maybe even the truth." Arion struggled to regain his composure.

"How much did you get for it?"

"Nine hundred thousand."

"That’s… more than I would’ve expected." A suspicion crossed Arion’s mind.

"Coriander. Did you have anything to do with this?"

"Well… maybe a little. I went with Dmitri, and I, um, sort of… made sure the buyer knew just how nice our air/raft was?"

Dmitri has Persuasion d4, which for trade and speculation purposes I’m calling equivalent to Admin-0. Coriander goes with him and uses Boost Trait; she has Psionics d6 and is a wild card, so she rolls 2d6 and takes the higher score – 4, a success, which increases Dmitri’s Persuasion to an effective d6. Switching back to CT, I roll 2d6 on the Actual Value table, and add +1 for the increased Persuasion, which I now rate as Admin-1 equivalent. I also add +2 for selling an air/raft on a non-industrial world. A score of 8 + 3 = 11, which is 150% of the base value or Cr 900,000.

"Coriander, do you know how many laws you’ve just broken?"

"No," said Coriander, brightly.

She is Clueless, remember.

"In which jurisdiction?" Dmitri wanted to know.

"Don’t go all space lawyer on me."

"One more thing, Arion."

"I’m not going to like this, am I?"

"I don’t know. I took the 900,000 and paid for berthing fees and life support refresh. Then I bought us 40 tons of what passes for fuel here."

D class starports have unrefined fuel available, but given the circumstances I decided they would sell it at the refined price – a 400% markup. Ships have nowhere else to go, and Arion and company are foreigners with no local contacts.

"Where did they get that from? They definitely can’t refine it."

"I didn’t ask, and I recommend you don’t either. I don’t think we’re going to like the answer. It’s contaminated with a bit of chlorine, but I figure the filters can handle it. Anyway. I noticed there was a good deal going on gemstones, they must mine them here or something. I bought two tons of ‘em, they should be delivered in a couple of hours. That leaves us with fifty-five thousand nine hundred Credits. A good day’s work, I say."

Again rolling 2d6, this time on the Trade & Speculation table, I get 4, 1 indicating gemstones, which have a -8 purchase DM on a non-industrial world. I roll 2d6 for purchase price and get a 6, – 8 = 2 (the minimum possible); 40% of base price, or 400,000 per ton. A roll of 1d6 shows there are 4 tons available, so Dmitri has to pay a 1% handling fee for splitting the shipment. 800,000 buys him 2 tons of gems, plus 16,000 handling fee.

Another thought crossed Arion’s mind.

"Dolphin, are you recording this?"

"Yes, Arion."

"Well, don’t."

Captain’s Log, 078-3011

Shortly before noon, a pair of locals in an ATV came over to check us out. At first I thought they were police, but they were simply concerned – and heavily armed – citizens. On establishing that we were not, and I quote, "bugs come to take over more of our planet," they briefed us on the imagoes, or as they call them, "bugs"; these are the life-forms making up the Mageer Swarm. I infer from their comments that imagoes are a chlorine-breathing, insectoid species. This information cost us the better part of the medicinal brandy in the ship’s locker, but that is one thing I am confident we can replenish anywhere in human space.

This is the random person encounter. 4, 4 reveals it is a group of 2d6 – make that two – vigilantes in a vehicle, armed with rifles and carbines, and wearing jack. A roll of 8 on the reaction table shows they are interested in us, but not hostile. This is probably where we get the rumour. It’s convenient if I use this to convey background information, so I’ll say this is where Arion picks up the information you already have from the previous post on the imagoes.

Captain’s Log, 079-3011

Coriander and I went into the traffic control office in search of astrogational data. I was fully prepared to trade for it, but Coriander had opted for a more than adequately slinky red dress as opposed to Service coveralls, and the traffic controller was extremely helpful, even taking some snapshots to remember us by.

Coriander failed to Boost her Persuasion, which I’ve noticed is actually better than Dmitri’s, but then aced her wild die on the Persuasion roll and got a 10, success with a raise. Arion now has a data pack for the subsector, giving him the basic map and world profiles as per the previous post, but no more; he and I must both learn the rest as we go.

Captain’s Log, 080-3011

We lifted off successfully from Betiqu, and are now bound for Erriin, where the traffic controller’s data pack suggests we should get a good price for our cargo.

I get a 5 for encounters leaving the system, which means none. Our Heroes now have Cr 55,900 and two tons of gemstones. If money permits, I think they should tool up the ship at the first opportunity – even a pulse laser would be something to stave off pirates with.

A slow start, perhaps, but it’s been a few years since I ran Traveller so I’m content to ease back in gradually. During 081-3011 to 087-3011, the Dolphin will be in jumpspace with not much happening, so I shall use next week to think about Erriin.

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