Traveller Chronicles: Episode 1 - Identity Crisis

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Setting The Scene

Thweep, thweep, thweep.....

The man in the low-berth groans and sits up. As he does so his hand falls onto a gun. Strange, he thinks. He looks round. He's not alone. There are signs of movement in the low-berth units across from him. He punches a button and his unit opens and he tries to swing his legs over the side but instead he floats out into the room. No gravity!

The thweep, thweep, thweep seems to be coming from somewhere outside the room. A number of other people are starting to emerge from low-berths, all looking as shaky as he feels. One or two of them are clutching a weapon. He recognizes none of them. All seem to be relatively young and able. He tries to shake the cobwebs from his mind. "Where am I?" he thinks. "How did I get here?"

Then, with growing horror another question creeps into his mind.

"Who am I?" he asks himself!

Awakenings

He reaches up for the accelerator rifle. It feels good in his hands. He is wearing a blue jumpsuit and blue slip on shoes. Reaching for his face there is no stubble.

On opening the low birth there is the smell of stale air. There is no gravity. Using his training from the marines he moves gracefully around. There are four dead bodies and four empty bunks. Two male, two female. The cause of death seems to be old age. All the low births have opened.

Whoosh, whoosh. The door opens automatically. Moving into the corridor there are airlocks to the left. The doors to the right open into a common room area with tables and chairs. The ships seems to be a 200ton Free Trader. There are doors that lead off to crew quarters, captains quarters, engineering and bridge. The captains quarters are sparsely furnished. Bunk, wardrobe chest of drawers. On the inside of the wardrobe door, hastily written in large letters are the words:

"Stop them, they infected us, took our memories, tell some one, make them stop. "

Inside the wardrobe hang a woman's clothes and a a flak jacket tailored to fit a small female.

On the bridge there is dim light. Through the window it seems that the ship is tumbling towards a small gas giant. Looking around a number of the ships controls seem to be dead. The main computer is also down. Pulling out the chips some float of spinning prettily and hitting the far wall and bouncing off.

Moving towards engineering the cargo bay is empty apart from a locker with jumpsuit's . Moving through into engineering the drives seem to be working. Looking at the computer diagnostics shows the following:

  • Jump dives - non functional - last used 4 months ago.
  • Fusion plant - functional
  • Maneuver drive - functional
  • Life support - air stale, life support has been down for 3 months
  • Year 1108 imperial calendar.
  • Gravity - non functional - error report showing

We seem to be in the Orcrist system, one of the Sword Words located in the Spinward Marches sector.

Gravity is restored. Everyone slumps to the floor. Ouch! Which idiot did that!

The black bearded man writes on the walls what has happened so far.

The ship is called the Timberwolf owned by the suSAG Corporation. The name SuSAG sends a shiver down the spine.

The maneuver drives are activated and the ship heads towards to the gas giant. The pilot hurriedly makes adjustments and the ship rights itself and veers away from the gas giant. The jump drive is very badly damaged. Repair is likely to be both expensive and time consuming.

The main computer is finally repaired and although the data banks are damaged the following information is retrieved about the crew of the Timberwolf:

  • Captain - Wilmara Hagan
  • Pilot - Rik Johannsen
  • Engineer - Danny Goldman
  • Assistant Engineer - Jon Shaftesbury
  • Purser/Steward/Medic - Rhona Richardson

Their description/photos do match anyone in our group.

It seems that the ship came to Orcrist from the Caliburn system, which is too far away to be reached in a single jump. It entered the system about 4-months out and has been coasting in ever since.

An analysis of tissue samples indicates that we may have had a viral infection (trust me I'm a doctor!).

SuSAG are an imperial megacorporation with a wide range of pharmaceutical, biomedical, gene therapy and anagathics activities both inside and outside the Imperium

Inside the captains quarters there is a hidden safe. The electronic system is bypassed and the safe is opened. Inside is 75000 credits!


Speculation is that we stole the ship and deliberately mis-jumped by jumping before reaching safe jump limit.

With time to reflect on their circumstances we chose names for ourselves, Jack, Wym, Harry, Simon, Geoffrey, Wesley. We take a tour of the ship trying to figure out our skills by familiarity with the various systems, and also to try and trigger our memories.

What are we going to say to the authorities. Is honesty the best policy? The potential charges against us are all circumstantial we decide to contact space traffic control and play it by ear.

A short while later we detect the Far trader Tesselon (registered to Susag) approaching us from the starport. They ask for Captain Haagen, and then for visual communication . We comply. We are addressed by Captain Jonas Bradley who doesn't recognize our names from the official crew roster. I explain we are a relief crew. He insists that they assist us and board the ship, as they suspect us of piracy. We politely point out that we will be docking at the starport imminently. However space traffic control also request that we dock with the Tesselon, to avoid any risk to the port. Maneuvering to comply we discuss our options. We suit up, five vac suits between six people, and argue interminably.

Later the captain of the Tesselon asks for internal visuals of our ship, so we comply and build up a delay in the system so that there will be 10 minutes delay in the scene by the time they dock. According to the camera feed we are all sitting unarmed in the cargo bay as they cycle the airlock...

Around ten boarders rush in and the anti-hijack system starts to release knock out gas. Six out of ten drop, and the remaining four then get fried by Wesley's jury rigged high voltage grid. Four of our team rushes onto their ship and try to storm their bridge, as their gunner starts to take pot shots at ours. Hastily the remaining 2 bridge crew, one without vac suit, head down to the airlock in case the ship is depressurized.

Several unsuccessful attempts are made to access the bridge. Until Wym hacks through both airlock doors, and then casually opens the bridge door too! He immediately is shot a firefight breaks out, before control of the bridge is attained, killing both the bridge crew in the process. We then discover that the whole thing has been broadcast as live video!


Securing our position we realise both our pilots are outside. Then there is a message from Space traffic control ordering us to stand down as an SDB is on its way! So stopping only to administer first aid to one of our dying assailants, we turn and take the fight back to the the enemy.

We run from the bridge dropping two in seconds. The third runs away to engineering and is worryingly accessing the engineering console. Fortunately we get the door open before he does anything he will regret. He refuses to cooperate so he is given a vac suit and pushed out the airlock to delay the oncoming SDB. We also eject the dead crewmen into space and put the wounded first mate in low berth.

Fortunately our engineer gets access to the bridge computer and we are in control. We head out for the jump point as we decide where we are going to jump. Fortunately the SDB decides to stop to pick up the drifting Susag employee, but fires a salvo of missiles at us anyway. Our survival depends on the point defence lasers.

Of the six missiles, one gets through and there is a worrying crunch. Fortunately there doesn't seem to be any serious damage. Choosing the Gas Giant at Excalibur we jump succesfully.

Now we have a quiet week to recuperate, explore the ship, and decide what to do next. Another 25,000 credits are found in the safe bringing our total to 100,000 (plus one starship). Not bad for a days work!

The ships log tells us the ship was on standing orders to stay in system and detain us should we happen to dock there. Aubrey Tollivarn a junior VP of security for Susag issued the orders.

We discuss our options at length. Do we want to take Susag down, or do we care? One of us wants to go to Caliburn to find out who we are, another to the Zhodani consulate to live a long and healthy life, two want to take up a life of piracy, and one wants both!

We move onto more important decisions. Who will get the captains cabin?! After a prolonged heated debate we move back to possible alternative missions. Assasinate the Emperor? Destroy Susag? We don't come to a long term decision. No surprise there.

We exit jump at Excalibur Beta, a tiny gas giant, turn our transponder off and dive in to refuel. Eight hours to get there, three hours to skim the fuel, and then head out to the jump point purifying the fuel as we go. On our way out an X-boat jumps in nearby and pings us. We ignore it and head out to the jump point and jump to Beater.


Who is the idiot navigator that can't read a starchart and sends us to a planet without a gas giant to refuel! So we are going to have to land at a starport to refuel. Are Susag expecting us? How inviting a place with an average temperaure of -38 degrees c.

Where to land -10 startports mainly class B's and one bare piece of land." To B or not to B that is the question". To B it is . Here comes the inspector to inspect our EMPTY cargo bay. He leaves after a cursory inspection. Next question - how do we get out of a star port without any ID?

The noble does a noble and disappears on his own always a good idea. While the rest of us go bar hopping looking for dodgy geasers in the hopes of getting some ID's and our transponder changed. We get a lead to a Maximilian Schreck, who runs an elite club 'The Purple Haze' in the city - but we need to get out of the starport. We think about getting a cleaner to clean the ship, hitting him over the head and nick his ID (maybe staff security checks aren't as stringent as those for travellers)

We mess around for a while getting nowhere. The ship receives a message from a Captain Potter of the Dumbledor - another suSag ship, inviting the now deceased Capt to dinner.


Malachite being clever decides to get the card of the bloke in the low berth. Wym firstly must try and open up the card to potential forgery by Jack using electronics. Wym causes a short cicuit but does not damage the card thankfully and tries again with a shaking hand. He finally suceeds and the card allows data to be changed. Malachites' DNA and picture are transferred to the card by Jack and Wym. Malachite instructions are to find a shady character to sort out some ID cards. Malachite approaches the customs house with noble idnignity and presence. The customs official at the end of his shift logs Malachites entrance and he walks through into the city (at last).

The big city : Malachite the suave sophisticated merchant wanders alone his nobility plain for all to see, people look on admiringly at this confident stranger in their midst. He searches for some form of transport system in this frigid dome. Malachite catches a private cab (the only form of transport for someone of his undoubted nobility) to the 'Purple Haze'. Malcachite arrives at the club and sees a load of youths stood outside the club. Upon speaking to them to enquire about clothing shops they seem drugged up. Malachite changes clothing to a smart suit at a local clothing store.

Upon approaching the bouncers at the club and requesting an audience with Mr Shrek he is knocked back. Using his noble presence Malachite asks in a firmer tone but is again knocked back.

Meanwhile on the ship : Captain Potter knocks on the door. Wym answers the door and states that the previous Captain is not on board and has been injured in combat. The current captain is away off ship in the dome. At this Captain Potter requests to come on board and wile the night away with drink and cards. The crew agree and the Captain comes on board. After loosing oodles of money the crews luck is looking very thin. In the last round Captain Potter cheats the crew cancel all debts (which they had accrued) and throw the Captain off ship.

Malachite finds a five star hotel and checks in and orders a lovely meal of Lobster and a lovely vintage of wine. The crew do nothing interesting unsuprisingly. Night falls.

Malachite wakes up and trys to get an appointment with Mr Shrek, his receptionist provides Malachite with an invitation for the club. Upon receiving the invitation Malachite purchases some new clothes and a delightful new watch encrusted with diamonds.

Next Episode

 

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Page Created: 3 April 2003
Last Updated: 5 May 2003