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Log for "Hell Crew"/"Artemis group"

(This group of PCs will eventually be refered to the as the "Artemis Enterprises group." As opposed to the "Scruffy Traders group," which travels on the Albatross, and whose gaming logs are kept in "personal log" format by Quicksilver Hawke.)

Cast:

jfm@christa.unh.edu: Original GM; Hil-shur (Thral TL3 medic), Geoffry Trask (bewildered doctor).

Milliken@prismnet.com: Prime GM after the split occures; Selene Holmes (full eidetic, albino, computers & sensors), Minerva Holmes (first-in scout, Selene's big sister).

MCA@christa.unh.edu: Frank Whisk (pervert, weapons & drive engineer); Zif (hyperintelligent, hyper naive alien), Randy (mechanic), Braise (mechanic & spy).

knk@christa.unh.edu: Celeste Ryder (pilot, nominal captain).

ddumont@christa.unh.edu: Ishpan ("digger" alien, miner), Nicolas "Nick" Garoway (human diplomat), Damien (Kestralian [1-armed humanoid] miner). Assoc. NPCs: Vasha (Nick's Kestralian spouseoid), Anshat (Damian's Kestralian spouse).

jadao@aol.com: Larana Kestral (Kylaran [humanoid alien] quasi-royalty, security officer)

arcangel@prismnet.com: Moonfur. (Kintaran [cat-centuar], white w/blue eyes, comm officer. Speaks more languages than you can shake a stick at. [Kintarans are 81 points. Language Talent is cheap...]) Assoc. NPC: Embereyes(A) (little sister, albino, engineer & weapons apprentice)/Embereyes(B) (engineer apprentice & pilot)

Log-keeper: Moonfur, in the third person. (W/ possible additions by the AIs, or the AIs' mistress, Selene Holmes. You never know, w/ her.) (Either timeline's version of her.) [& occasional notes from the player, of course. Game mechanics, definitions, that sort of thing.]

#1: Meeting and buying a ship

Moonfur, unjustly ditched on New Garavar, and her little sister Embereyes are waiting in the Jobs line. Booorring. Embereyes wants to go look at a ship nearby (Honest Al's Used Starships lot). There, they encounter Selene Holmes (checking out the sensors of a "Millieum Falcon on steriods" cargo ship, for some obscure reason), Celeste (pilot), and Frank Whisk (engineer and pervert). A "digger" (Bethshemesian), Ishpan, also wound up on board (followed Moonfur from the jobs line?).

Wuido, a Thral member of the local Mafia, approaches Celeste and makes a deal -- he'll get scrap metal prices on the ship (a TL 10 ship, 2-3 TL obsolete), and he'll ride along until we pay it off. He finally makes the deal with Frank, by virtue of Frank's rather awful rep.

We're still not sure why we did this -- we think it was some sort of hypnotic "Buy a ship" ray....

By virtue of needing a job/home (Moonfur, Ishpan, Frank Whisk), wanting a ship (Celeste Ryder), or plain oddness (Selene Holmes, who isn't fond of living on the ... ground.), we decide we're crew. We show Embereyes the gunnery pod and turn off the power.

We don't know what to name the ship.

#2: Lost in Space (and time)

On the way to deliver Thral weapons to Kuzbane, we miss a hyperjump roll and wind up a few weeks in the past on a planet that is *way* off the beaten track. We can't locate the Nav Beacon. Fortunately, Selene knows astronomy and can locate us so we know which way to head. The planet, Portrol, is inhabited by the descendants of a Thral ship that crashed 300 (or so) years back. The planet is a miner's heaven. We get some samples, get an "ambassador" (TL3 medic), and go home. We sell the planet to the Thral government and spend the next few weeks helping ship companies off of Bethshemesh to Portrol (the new planet). Talk about creating a market for one's skills.

The medic, Hil-shur, hangs around with us for some reason.

We still haven't picked a name for the ship.

#3: Kidnapped!

[In a brilliant move,] Embereyes is kidnapped in a "mall" by yellowish humans with TL 3-4 weapons. Moonfur ["Did I mention I have a sprint of 17?"] manages to leap onto the top of the van and hang on while it heads to a ship landing lot. Moonfur calls the local police. They respond with the brillant order, "Hold your position." Moonfur calls the rest of the party, urging them to go to ship lot such&such and *sit* on the enemy ship. Amazingly enough, this happens, and the "Unmentionable" (working ship name) is now part of the other ship and neither is space worthy.

Moonfur has been busy getting shot at with arrows (Ow!), and hit with nunchuks [14 damage!!!!] and [making HT rolls] while stunning people and nearly running the van into walls. She [fails her HT roll and] falls unconscious right after stunning the last kidnapper and gets tied up when one wakes up before any good guys get to the van. The van starts driving off. Selene riggs the sensor gear and fries the computer systems of the van. ("Door is ... open, door is ... open...") Kidnappers start hauling Embereyes over to another ship in an adjacent hanger. Frank tries to get our new diplomat, Nicolas Garroway [changed for the Digger character] to shoot in front of them, fails, so Frank shoots straight up [skill *default* of 4 or 3] and wings a Patrol ship. ("It was an accident!" "Hold your position.") Tries again and crumbles a hanger wall. Celeste and the diplomat try to catch the kidnappers but are warned off by more bowmen from the new ship. Selene tries to tell the other ship that our ship has an antimatter containment problem, in an effort to make it take off before Embereyes is loaded, but... the kidnappers escape.

Next day, soon as Moonfur is walking, she heads over to the jail (she stunned several people, not to mention grounding a ship full, so there are prisoners). A Thral guard stands by while she interrogates (and terrorizes) a prisoner, learning that they are from the planet (moon) Nippon and that Embereyes was kidnapped by order of Sung to start an alien zoo to give to his emperor. On the way from the jail, Moonfur meets another Nipponese, Taro, who offers the use of a hired ship and help defeating Sung. (Who had disgraced his family, that sort of thing.) Moonfur accepts with an evil grin.

Nippon is quarentiened for no obvious reason (Taro tells that it is to keep their culture pure -- they're voluntary castaways). We get to New Garavar, and there buy a biosuit [skintight spacesuit with DR 15] for Moonfur and rent a mining ship to go to Nippon in (it orbits the same gas giant as NG and Selene's home moon-world, Byte).

We land, openly (Frank's insistance) start heading to where the sensors said Embereyes would be, and run into a local samuri/police officer, who tells us we can do anything we want to Sung. We continue, freak out some ninja in wait for us at Sung's house (Selene can see them through the the walls, so we didn't bother to use the door -- Moonfur just walked through the paper walls after putting her biosuit helmet on), discover that Embereyes is underground (airshafts in the form of "forests" of bamboo poles give a clue, Selene's scans are better), find the trap door (infared traces, spotted by Selene's goggles) and head down. Selene does a scan. ["A dungeon? Let's do a geo-scan."] We head exactly to where Embereyes is. We freak out students, tick off blackbelts, and get to Sung's quarters. Selene (also in her biosuit, helmet on) goes to open the cage with Embereyes in it. Sung appears, and does a flying head kick, knocking Selene across the room into a wall. >CRACK< She gets up and heads for the cage. Sung gets out nunchucks, Moonfur rushes at him. Moonfur gets a mild bruise and Sung ends up being sat on by 400# of cat-centaur. We finally strip him to his skivvies and parade him outside and leave with Embereyes. [They don't want cultural contamination? Fine. Don't steal my -36 point dependant, and we don't contaminate your culture.]

We are calling the ship "Unmentionable," but it's not official.

#4: Saving the universe

Electronic stuff is breaking down. On a trip to Unar (running medical supplies, to the vocal disapproval of Hil-shur), we discover little silicon "bugs." They eat silicon, and have put Watson (Selene's AI) and Selene's goggles out of comission twice each. Life support on the ship had some problems too. The Kylaran Larana, our new gunner (back-up gunner, Embereyes, honest) is wearing a little transponder gizmo as a bracelet, and it's also infected. Frank figures out how to kill them, and rigs up a laser so that it will microwave the bugs. We do this (Moonfur holds our Kylaran down, Selene fires and gritches about the backwash that "sunburns" her), rush Larana to the hospital, and the ship is taken up and cleansed from orbit with everyone outside in space suits.

Moonfur, etc., get back into the "Unmentionable"/"Hell" (leaving the suits in the airlock to be sterilized). We radio Byte to tell what happened, and how we fixed it, and go hide out in orbit around Kylar for a while. (We found it, we landed on Unar, we think they'll think we did it.)

It is determined that the planet we discovered, Portrol, is the source of the infection.

We're starting to call the ship the "Hell." Selene has plans for a ship she wants to call the "Bat," so we can have the "Bat out of Hell." We're also the Ship from Hell, not to mention the Crew from Hell, and when planets see us coming, they can say, "Oh, _Hell_!" And we tend to have to get the Hell out of places...

#5: Spies R Us (Spies like us?)

Thral government blackmails us (& Frank) into going to spy on the Unar's research base around Hurricane, to find out how the Unars are dealing with making their stuff bug-proof. We go in (under protest) in a Unar ship. Several bugs are found in the ship and a bomb is found in the engine, triggered by remote control. No-one wants to risk disarming it, so Moonfur offers to disarm the triggering device (her specialty is communications, after all). [Critical success! (4)] She presents Frank with the disarmed bomb. "Why, thank you -- this is the nicest thing anyone's ever given me." We arrive. "I'm here to make the boom-boom," says Frank. Pilot Celeste schlufs around, Larana tries to get info about the layout from security (flirting) and is *most* displeased when this turns out to not be necessary. The diplomat and Selene arrange a meeting with the base commander (at 3am -- the "secretary" wasn't helpful, so Selene arranged a meeting herself...), and get concessions. (Selene does a brilliant bit of double-speak to arrange to get a mini-fac thing that will make computer bits -- she wants to see how it will bug-proof parts.) Frank meets with the commander, and, unbeknownst to us, cooks up a deal so that the commander will make a fake double-speak document for us to take back to the Thrals. We spend a day or two pretending to do stuff. We fly out to "test Frank's new weapon prototype." Moonfur re-arms the bomb, and we set it off as we warp out towards Thral. We give the Thral general the docs and collect the reward, Frank reveals the falsity of it to the rest of us when we get back to the ship, and we set off to New Garavar with all due haste to start a ship-yard building Selene's ship. (Before the Thrals cancel our check!)

We're definitly calling the big ship, "Hell."

#6 Aliens! (In hyperspace, you can't ditch the ship...)

[Run by milliken@prismnet.com]

(We find a free-floating freeze-tube with a weak distress signal. We open it, and find Geoffry, a doctor from a lost ship that went out about four-six years ago looking for the humans' Home-world (Earth, Terra, London, whatever). He'd never seen a Kintaran before, and freaked. Since Hil-shur had quit, we decided to let this doctor stay.)

We went to Kintara (w/out a cargo) to pick up a Garoo class shuttle so we didn't have to pay docking fees for the Hell everytime we needed to take on cargo from the ground. We got there, checked it over, oo-ed and ah-ed because it was TL12 and not a lousy TL10 like the Hell, checked it for "silicon bugs," and didn't find any -- but we didn't find any protection against them, either! The banker fellow showed us documentation that the protection was done, but Selene and her goggles didn't see it. Oh, well. We hassled the poor fellow, and finally we bought the thing.

Okay, we're here, now what? Oh, there's this *mongo* cargo -- mostly cryo-stored hexalos, moas and merfahs and frozen foodstuffs -- to be shipped to Thral. It's been sitting there for rather a while, since not many people have cargo ships big enough. And the price is Right.

We're about a day into hyperjump when Watson reports that A) there are strange noises in cargo hold 3, and B) the lights aren't working there. And oh, by the way, the artifical gravity just cut out. Moonfur and Larana go to check, followed by Geoffery the doctor (who keeps asking Larana for ordinace...) and the pilot. Moonfur goes sailing off into the hold while everyone else stays at the door, to make sure nothing comes through. Well, there's a hole in one of the storage units, and warning lights, and hexalos and merfahs are drifting about with varying amounts of accuracy. This is not good. Merfahs *breed*.

Selene gritchs to Moonfur that the camera for the hold has gone out and would Moonfur please go check on it? Camera? What camera? You mean this absence of anything with wires hanging down? Oh, gee, why is there a hole "melted" into the grill for the air-supply...? [cue scary music] [Security has fits about the similarity to movies Alien & Aliens... Acid blood, big ship, air ducts...]

To the new shuttle! Everyone crowds in (Selene first, since there are likely to be *animals* getting into the ship -- merfahs had found the hole when Moonfur looked). Here we debate what to do, what it is, etc. Watson reports failures in other systems. We decide that we'll flood the entire ship with cyro-suspension gas and then drop the temp. Well, the gas goes out, but the temp won't drop. Failure in the life-support controls. The doctor wants to go and check on things personally. Frank suggests something rude, and picks up a wrench to hand to Doc -- the wrench twists out of his hand, lands on the floor, looks like a bioscanner. The "bioscanner" gets stunned (Selene remarks that it was giving her *strange* readings through her goggles), and is shown to be a mouse-thing. Doc gives it a thorough examination, but no, there's no acid-producing glands in the critter, only a strange gland[?] in the brain. This isn't our hole-making culprit.

About now Frank figures out that the hole-maker must be a Hurricanian. [Sentient slime-molds, can eat anything remotely organic, and that includes plastics!] Watson reports that from system failures, there are at least *three* of them: one probably on the galley, one probably in the life-support area (feeding on the waste-sludge), and one en route somewhere in the air-ducts...

Frank is lent a biosuit, Moonfur, Geoffrey, and Larana have their own. Frank and Moonfur head for the galley, Security and Medical head for the reproccessing center. Larana & Geoffry arrive to find that there is a *lot* of stinking mess spilling out onto the floor, and there's no way to find a Hurrie in all that $&!#. Moonfur & rank are more lucky [?], and spot their quarry doing things to the food processor. It looks a bit small, so Moonfur tentitively classes it as pre-sentient size. Frank *takes off his biosuit glove* and picks up the Hurrie and starts to put it in the microwave. Just about at the last minute, he gets to see "all the pretty colors" and drops the Hurrie while he trips out and then snores. The Hurrie makes a detour around the Kintaran, Frank is still breathing, so Moonfur revises her opinion and tries to communicate in morse with pressure (a spoon) or food (food coloring). No dice.

We get a call from Watson -- *something* is messing with the controls of the ship on the bridge! Moonfur drags Frank to one side of the kitchen and dashes for the bridge, with Geoffry & Larana also heading there. There's a Hurrie spreading itself out on the computer keyboard, and as we tentitively approach, we get to see that it's typed "ttttaaaaaakkkkkkeeeee hooooommmmmee!!!!" Uh... Okay. A bit of discussion ensues as to how, why they're on board, etc. It asks for "fooooooddddd?" Moonfur drips some of the food coloring on it, it says "yum," and IN KINTARAN phonetics asks "moooorrrreee?" Moonfur offers to take it to the sludge heap and gingerly picks it up. Once there, it makes contact with the other one there and they start rolling to the galley (we were discussing how to get it there), so Moonfur gives them a ride. After a bit, all *four* (one was still in the ex-freezer with foodstuffs -- soups and meats) are tucked away in the mess. We give the Hurricanians free run of the ship with the request not to eat anything except the sludge and the "space rats" that are psionically able to "look" like harmless inanimate objects.

We repair everything, rope the now re-cyroed hexalos back into their storage containers, and arrive at Thral. We're told to report to Research Sattilite 6, and Moonfur tells RS6 that we're there with most of the cargo. RS6: "Most?" Moonfur: "Well, we had a little problem." Frank: "Can you say Hurricanians?" RS6: "We don't know anything about them! We'll pay you for what you deliver." Moonfur, without bothering to turn off the comm: "Oughta pay extra, since they did a lot of damage before they established communications."

A moment later, we're ordered to stand by for biological decontamination.
Moonfur: "Waitaminute!"
Frank: "You try it and we'll decontaminate *you* people!"

About now, we think that maybe the term "Doth protest too much" applies to these Thrals, so we go looking at the freezers. Yup -- that's *Hurricanian* soup! Freezing them just makes them go dorment. We thaw the kidnapped Hurries out (Kidnapped by humans, given to Unars, somehow wound up with Thrals... they don't know what happened for *that* to happen. Privateers?), replace them with synthesized chicken soup, and scrounge up the last 4 (1 male, 1 preg female) "psionic space rats" and conceal them in the cyro-storage units to wreak havoc on the Thrals. The dozen (!) Hurries are hidden in the sludge.

Moonfur and Larana guard the doors into the ship while we're being unloaded, we get our fee, and then we hyperskip the Hell outa there.

We slip the Hurries back to Hurricane with cautions to be more careful and leave to the sight of waving pseudopods.

We *really* hope that the Thrals think that their privateer tried to cheat them by including only the four Hurries that escaped and chicken soup for the rest.

[The Hurries escaped because the silicon bug damaged the controls for their freezer and allowed them to thaw out and wreak havoc; they'd been sitting in dock at Kintara for a *long* time. Our shuttle is fine -- Selene crit-failed a roll to spot the protective coating.]

#7: Elves in Spaaaaaace!

We get our *new* ship, The Bat (out of Hell), and take it on its first trip, to set up a new Nav. Beacon for New Garavar. On the way, we discover *three* bombs! Two for each of our power plants, set to go off when we got up to a certain energy usage and a third *time bomb* in the Nav Beacon itself. The first two were disarmed, and the last one got tossed out just in time. Frank identifies them as Thralian make.

We decide that we don't like Thrals anymore. At all.

We warp on. What's this? A distress signal? Okay, "Hailing unknown ship!" (It is, too -- we don't know what make it is at all.) Without coming through the comm lines, it replies (all over the ship!) -- it's the _Silvan_, and it's damaged its hyperjump engines from a jump without casting the Navigation spell. (Moonfur is tearing apart her comm stuff to see why it's not working right, but finally realizes that they're not *using* her stuff to hear them. Bleah.)

We trade star maps and lo and behold, theirs look like ours. Huh. Must be an alternate dimension.

About now, a Goblin Empire ship shows up (musta gotten caught in the wormhole). We warn them off attacking (our weapons are *lots* better than theirs, as far as we can see). They keep closing.

A Unar warscout shows up. We pacify it (or try to). "All we need now are Thrals showing up," we say. Bingo. Out of hyperspace appears a Thralian scoutship.

The Goblin Empire ship teams up with the Unars against the Thral ship. We go over near the _Silvan_ and send over Frank, Nick the diplomat, and Moonfur who is dying to know how their comm equipment works. We are met at the door by a centaur-centaur -- standard issue horse body, etc. Also the cutest thing with four legs that Moonfur's laid eyes on for a whole bloody year.

Frank fixes the hyperdrive, the dipolmat talks with the elven captain, and Moonfur (after trying out the comm Telepathy helmet and blasting everyone's "ears") does her bit for interspecies relations in Chester the centaur's quarters. Damn unique, too! Ain't *no* other cat-centaur who's done *this*! So what if they need a stepladder? (Ever consider the effects of purring on such activities? Who needs a vibrator...)

The drive repaired, we give the _Silvan_ coordinates to meet us at and go to deliver the Nav Beacon to its destination. Except Moonfur, who stays on the _Silvan_, that is.

Mission accomplished, we head out for the Godlings, since we figure that they'll be able to figure out how to get our visitors back to their home dimension. Chester is invited to ride in our ship.

We get there six days before the elves' ship. Moonfur discovers that she's got morning sickness. Preggers. She's thrilled. "How unique!" she gushes happily.

Bored, we go to find Moonfur's family and tell the good news; we've also left Frank behind -- we're going to go pirate-hunting in our new ship afterwards. We do, however, get the Godling Zif as a passenger... Probably not the best idea, since we were going to go shoot at another ship if we could find one... [And Godlings are Honest, Truthful, Pacifists, and IQ16+....]

We find a Thral ship that orders us to prepare to be boarded. This is a minor war-ship. It goes into hyperspace as we ignore it, and comes out right in front of us. Fortunately, it's using Selene's hyperjump program, and she just happened to leave a wee back door in it so that we know where they're headed...

We open fire, they open fire. We hit various minor spots & their main bridge; they hit *all* our weapons, our gravity (Gee, don't need the step ladder anymore till this is fixed), and a spot in the crew quarters. We streak away at warp 5 and make our way back to the Godlings' Star. Zif is horrified that people really *do* shoot at each other Out There, and is about to start a committee to Do Something about it. Oops.

The _Silvan_ arrives, they are given the coordinates to get home, Chester and Moonfur part after exchanging pictures, everything gets wound up nicely.

Now all Selene has to do is *stealth* the Bat!

Moonfur has fraturnal twins, male & female. [9mo Kintaran + 2 years centaur = 16.5 mo = 1.375 years = 1 NG year and 3.5 mo.]

[On to the next batch of logs]