You are Allen Starwind, a starship captain and veteran of the Great Interstellar War. Your starship is old, yet (mostly) reliable, and you must take on jobs in order to bring in enough cash to keep it flying. Last time, you spoke with an old comrade, arrived on Mars, talked with Allie about upgrading your ship, and went on a walk. Good luck, and fair skies. Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZapQMArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Starcaller
You look up at the memorial again, sighing a little. “Well… I guess I don’t really mind if it seems a little bit pretentious,” you finally say. “Really it’s nice that someone cared enough to honor the memory of everyone who fought…” You shake your head, frowning. “Sometimes it seems like even those of us who were actually there don’t pay our respects enough…” Claudia raises an eyebrow at you, then nods slowly. “I guess that’s true. So many people just wanted to forget about it all when it ended. But that’s no way to live, is it?” You cross your arms, stepping back from the memorial. “Lowe send you to keep tabs on me?” She shakes her head. “Just wanted to see what you were up to, Allen. Can’t a girl catch up with an old friend without it being business-related?” You fight away a sarcastic smirk, feeling like she’s not telling you the whole truth. “I suppose so. Well I’m not going anywhere for a while.” “I heard,” she nods. “Getting upgrades for your ship. Moving up in the world. It seems.” She gestures to a bench opposite of the monument. “Care to sit with me for a while?” >”I’d like to get back to my room early tonight. Can we catch up another day?” >”So what’s the deal with Lowe anyway? I haven’t been harassed by his thugs once since we landed. Has he cooled down?” (roll a 1d100)>”Sure.”>Write-in.
>>1786012> Invite her to come have a drunk with you then, as new friends remembering old ones passed.Go somewhere lively ie loud where we can't be eavesdropped on.Then we can ask her what this is all about.
>>1786012>> Invite her to come have a drunk with you then, as new friends remembering old ones passed.
“How about we go someplace to get a drink, catch up there?” Claudia smiles at you, standing up. “That sounds great. I know a nice place nearby. I used to go there all the time before I moved uptown.” You follow Claudia down a side street and soon find yourselves at the establishment she was looking for. It is an old-fashioned establishment, apparently family-run. Claudia leads you inside and the two of you are ushered to a table near the back. “What do you think?” She grins at you both sit down. “Surprisingly old-school. I didn’t think people here in Olympus Mons went for this sort of thing.” You use the miniature touchscreen on the table to order your drink. “This is the Old City,” she explains. “A lot of people came here from the Frontiers and surrounding colonies when the Federal Navy dialed back their anti-piracy patrols out there.” She pauses to press the touchscreen on her side of the table, ordering something. “The people brought their culture with them.” She leans back in her chair. “So… What have you been up to since the War ended? I never really got an in-depth explanation.” You shrug. “Same as most people for a while, just trying to get by. I spent most of my time drifting from place to place while I waited for my Military Funding Dispensation.” She frowns. “They didn’t start paying you once you were out of the service?” “Nope,” you reply. “The bean counters overlooked something in my file and I didn’t see any money until about eight months ago.” “That’s awful,” Claudia grimaces. “It is what it is,” you say simply. “But anyway, when they finally fixed everything, they gave me the option of receiving all my money in a lump sum. That’s how I got the Bad Habit in the first place.” “That makes sense.” Claudia then greets the server cordially as your drinks arrive. After the server leaves, she returns her attention to you. “I guess you already know most of what I ended up doing after the War…” >”Has Lowe cooled off or something? I would’ve expected him to harass me in some way by now.” (roll 1d100)>”You seem to be in the know about a lot of things… Tell me, have you ever heard the name Maria Sofia?”>”I don’t suppose you know of any work I could do while I wait for my ship to get upgraded, do you?” >Write-in.
>>1786202>>”You seem to be in the know about a lot of things… Tell me, have you ever heard the name Maria Sofia?”
>>1786202>”You seem to be in the know about a lot of things… Tell me, have you ever heard the name Maria Sofia?”Are there things we can say to make the DC for asking about Lowe lower? Like asking what's her name the kid first and using that to lead into it? Come off as concerned about her and not about Lowe coming after us.
>>1786270You can lower the DC by asking the right questions.
>>1786283We can work up to it by asking about the sister, ie "she seemed off, or is she ok" something in the vein like that.
You lean forward, taking a drink of the beer you ordered. “Claudia, you seem to be in the know about a lot of things…” You pause and almost look over your shoulder. “Does the name Maria Sophia mean anything to you?”Claudia hums to herself quietly. “I’ve heard of her. She and Lowe did some business a while back. Well, to be more accurate, Lowe did some business with her company a while back. He ended up cutting off all communication with her for some reason. Last I’d heard, she got killed. Must’ve run afoul of some shady types.”You take another sip of your beer. “She ran afoul of me, actually.” Claudia raises an eyebrow, stopping mid-sip and sitting her drink down. “You’re a spot more dangerous that you look, then. From what I’d heard, Lowe stopped working with Sofia because he was afraid of her company’s work. I never pried too deep into that whole business though.” “She was doing some shady work alright. You mentioned her company. Did Lowe’s people actually meet any of Sofia’s?” You rest your elbows on the table. This was an interesting revelation. Last you’d heard, Sofia’s company was a shell corporation for moving money. It shouldn’t have any real assets to begin with. “I met three times with the same person…” Claudia grimaces. “A guy named Stephen Riley…” She takes another sip of her drink. “Strange man, one of the strangest I ever met. But I never met anyone else from the company, no. Other than the guards that accompanied Riley, but they could’ve been hired help for all I knew.” “What exactly went on between Lowe and Sofia?” You press on, intrigued. “I never knew the details. Usually I was responsible for delivering packages. Nobody ever told me about their contents though.” >”So Lowe would know? Is there any way you could find out?” >”You wouldn’t happen to know what this Riley guy is up to these days, would you?” >”Well there’s no sue in worrying about it right now. How is Lowe’s sister doing?” (change the subject)>Write-in.
>>1786414>>”You wouldn’t happen to know what this Riley guy is up to these days, would you?”>She was working on person controlling nanites, now I find out Lowe did business with her and now she's "off."
>>1786414>no sue in worrying about it right nowThat's supposed to be "no use in worrying about it right now."
You rub your temples, sighing. “Well, Dr. Sofia was working on mind-control nanites and genetic engineering…” You look up at Claudia. “And now you tell me Lowe worked with her, and when we picked up Lowe’s sister from the facility where secret research was going on, she was acting strange…” “You don’t think there’s a connection, do you?” Claudia’s eyes go wide. “It’d be one hell of a coincidence otherwise,” you reply. “Anyway, do you know what this Riley guy is up to these days?” “Well, I hadn’t been keeping track of him specifically, but I did hear mention of him relocating somewhere within the Vesuvian Expanse.” You grimace upon hearing the location. It is a place on the edges of Frontier Space, within a nebula’s cloud. “Great… So he’s practically untraceable…” “Why’s that?” Claudia raises an eyebrow. “The Vesuvian Expanse lies within the Horse Head nebula,” you begin. “Nebula clouds are tough for starships to navigate. Imagine a foggy, stormy stretch of ocean filled with mines and jagged rocks. You wouldn’t want to take a sailing ship through that, right?” You frown at Claudia as she processes the metaphor. “So he’s on the run.” Claudia leans toward you. “Possibly,” you say. “Question is, on the run from what?” Claudia shakes her head, taking another sip of her drink. “This information about Sofia’s research is especially troubling…” “Did sally keep acting weird on the way back?” Claudia frowns. “No. I went to sleep not long after we made our FTL jump, and when I woke up, she was acting totally normal…” She rubs the back of her neck. “So naturally I thought she was acting strange because she was shaken up from the attack. But if what you’re saying is true, it sounds like I need to keep an eye on her and Lowe.” >”Well if she’s acting normal now, it’s possible she was just shellshocked…” >”This is getting a little too deep for me.” (change the subject)>”Do you have any idea if there was a specific reason for Lowe cutting off contact with Sofia?” >Write-in.
>>1786831>>”Well if she’s acting normal now, it’s possible she was just shellshocked…”>”Do you have any idea if there was a specific reason for Lowe cutting off contact with Sofia?”
>>1786831>”Well if she’s acting normal now, it’s possible she was just shellshocked…”>”Do you have any idea if there was a specific reason for Lowe cutting off contact with Sofia?”
Since I have to get ready for work, we'll pause here for tonight. Next session will be around the same time tomorrow.
>>1786831>”Do you have any idea if there was a specific reason for Lowe cutting off contact with Sofia?” >Write-in.> Would there be any way to passively investigate for it? If we wait until she acts abnormally then it might already be too late.
You sigh. “Well it’s possible she was really just shellshocked if she’s acting normal now… What about Lowe’s contact with Sofia? Do you know why he broke things off?”Claudia shakes her head. “I never learned the exact reason. If I had to guess, I’d say it was over money. Usually he cancels a deal when he thinks he’s not getting his money’s worth.” “Right,” you nod. “Not all that surprising really. So if anyone has the full story here it’d be Lowe himself…” “What are you getting at, Allen?” Claudia narrows her eyes at you, frowning deeply. “Just thinking out loud,” you reply simply. “This whole situation is pretty disturbing to me. I saw personally what Sofia’s research entailed. To think that Lowe was paying into that… It’s a troubling revelation.” You frown, taking a long drink of your beer. Claudia frowns, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a communicator. After looking at the screen for a couple seconds, she sighs. “Allen, I have to go. It was nice catching up with you…” >”What’s wrong? Anything I can help with?”>”See you around, Claudia.”>Write-in.
>>1790188>>”What’s wrong? Anything I can help with?”
>>1790188>”See you around, Claudia.”
“What’s wrong?” You go to stand up. “Is it anything I can help with?” Claudia shakes her head. “Looks like an informant of mine has some information I could use. I need to go meet them.” She nods at you, smiling. “Again, it was nice to talk with you. Now I need to get going.” She sits money on the table for the drinks, stopping you when you try to offer to pay. “Please, I insist.” With that, both of you make your way to the front door, exiting the building without much trouble. Interestingly enough, there weren’t many people here tonight. As Claudia goes to walk away, you stop her. “You’re sure there’s nothing wrong?” She looks away, crossing her arms. “It’s really nothing you need to worry about. I’ve got it covered.” She looks sympathetically at you before walking away. “And listen, don’t try to get in contact with Lowe about any of this Sofia business. I’ll do some digging on my own and give you a call if I find anything.” You sigh. “Why do I get the feeling you’re not telling the whole truth here?” She grins back at you. “Because I never do. Take care of yourself, Allen Starwind.” And just like that, she walks off down an alleyway. You sigh as you turn and walk back toward the park. It isn’t a long walk back to the spacer hotel, but it isn’t a particularly nice one. You have to cut through a couple rough parts of town again, taking care to avoid being mugged. Soon enough though, you find yourself back at the place where you plan to spend the next couple weeks. Heading back up to your room, you run into Tom. “Captain,” he greets you. “Have a good walk?” “That I did,” you nod. “Looks like we booked lodging in a pretty dodgy area though.” “Yeah,” he replies with a chuckle. “But hey, it was cheaper than the closest alternative by a wide margin. I know how much you like to save money.” “Hell yeah.” You grin, leaning up against the wall. >”How’s the crew doing?” >”Did you ever go over those files we pulled from the research facility?” >”Did I miss anything while I was out?” >”You know any way we could be making money while we wait for the ship to get refitted?” >”I can’t wait to get back into space…” (timeskip to refit completion)>Write-in.
>>1790775>>”How’s the crew doing?” >>”Did you ever go over those files we pulled from the research facility?”
>>1790775>"So, hear or do anything interesting? (aka did I miss anything)? I need to live vicariously through you fella, I'm only an old interstellar starship captain you see." >”How’s the crew doing?”
>>1790775>”How’s the crew doing?” >”Did you ever go over those files we pulled from the research facility?” >"So, hear or do anything interesting? (aka did I miss anything)?
>>1790775>”How’s the crew doing?” >"Maybe we should find a different place to live. Not everyone in the crew can fight off muggers.">”Did you ever go over those files we pulled from the research facility?” >”Did I miss anything while I was out?”
“Anything interesting happen while I was gone?” Tom lights a cigarette. “Few things. Some kind of journalist stopped by a while ago asking for you. Oh, and you got an invite to some sort of CFP meet-and-greet, I guess they’re trying to reach out to starship captains as a sign of good will or something. Also, apparently there was a referendum passed in the Federation that reactivated a bunch of old units and mothballed starships…” You grimace. “I’m not really surprised, seems Leander’s cronies love to beat war drums lately. Still troubling regardless.” “That’s just the thing,” Tom adds. “The vote was a response to the Empire moving ships into the areas around the edge of the DMZ. They claimed that it was a search and rescue operation, but you don’t send a military task force to look for a lost freighter.” He frowns, taking a drag of his cigarette. “So much for the Empire wanting to avoid war at all costs, huh?” You grimace. “Hopefully nothing comes of it. How’s the crew doing?” Tom raises an eyebrow. “Well I haven’t gotten any complaints from anyone… Samantha seems to be doing a bit better now. Oh, and I think I remember Corrigan wanting to talk to you about something.”“She say what it was?” “No sir. I tried to ask, but she just said it wasn’t a big deal and changed the subject.” He sighs. “That girl’s tough to read, even for an Imperial.” You nod. “Yeah, she can get that way sometimes. Anything else from the crew?” Tom scratches the back of his neck. “Nothing I can think of.” You yawn, rubbing your eyes. “Ah, shit. Seems like I’m always tired these days…” You frown, looking at Tom again. “Were you able to take a look at those files we pulled from the research facility?” He nods. “I took a look at them, but most of it is in code. I’ll need to run the files through a computerized cipher before I can tell you what’s on them.”>”I’m going to see what Corrigan wants.” (end conversation)>”I know I’m going to regret this, but did the journalist leave their contact information?”>”You mentioned some sort of CFP meet-and-greet. Do you think I should go?”>Write-in.
>>1794018>>”You mentioned some sort of CFP meet-and-greet. Do you think I should go?”
>>1794018>>”I know I’m going to regret this, but did the journalist leave their contact information?”>>”You mentioned some sort of CFP meet-and-greet. Do you think I should go?”>>”I’m going to see what Corrigan wants.” (end conversation)All the things
You sigh. “I know I’m going to regret this, but did that journalist leave any contact information?” Tom nods. “Here’s their card.” He hands you a laminated strip of paper with a name and communicator number on it. Chris Robinson? Not any journalist you’ve heard of, still, you may give him a call if you don’t have anything better to do. “And what about the CFP thing? Think I should go?” You pocket the card as you speak. “Might be a good way to make business contacts,” Tom says simply. “Could be more trouble than it’s worth though. It wouldn’t surprise me if most of the people there are scammers and low-ballers.” He writes down the address and time, handing the paper to you. “Still, it’s up to you whether you go.” “Right,” you nod. “Anyway, I’m going to see what Corrigan wants. Later, Tom.” You turn and head toward the room Corrigan and Cynthia are sharing. “Later Captain.” He leans up against the wall, continuing to smoke his cigarette. You walk down the hallway, arriving in front of the door and knocking. Corrigan answers it almost immediately. “Oh, Captain.” She smiles a little bit and steps out into the hallway with you. “Hey Corrigan,” you reply. “Tom said you wanted to talk to me?” She frowns, looking away. “It is really not anything you need to worry about. I was just thinking out loud when Tom heard me.” She sighs. “I received a message from Europa… From my family, this morning. Like I said, it is really nothing you need to worry about, sir.” “Hey, if something’s wrong, I’d like to help.” You cross your arms. Corrigan looks away again. “My family has requested that I attend a state function on Titan in four weeks’ time.”>”I thought your family didn’t want anything to do with you after what happened on Europa.” >”What sort of state function?” >”Non-Imperials are banned on Titan. How would I even get there to drop you off?”>”Alright. We’ll head there. The ship should be fully-functional by then.” >”Sorry, but I don’t plan on heading to Titan any time soon.”>Write-in.
>>1794530>>”I thought your family didn’t want anything to do with you after what happened on Europa.” >>”What sort of state function?” >>”Non-Imperials are banned on Titan. How would I even get there to drop you off?”
>>1794530>>”I thought your family didn’t want anything to do with you after what happened on Europa.”>”What sort of state function?” >”Non-Imperials are banned on Titan. How would I even get there to drop you off?”
“I thought your family didn’t want anything to do with you after what happened on Europa.” Corrigan nods. “They disowned me. I am just as confused as you are when it comes to this. The only reason I could think for them to ask me to come is if they were planning on forgiving me, but I do not see that happening any time soon.” You lean against the wall, rubbing your forehead. “Alright, so they’ve kept their reason for inviting you secret… Do you know what sort of state function it is?” “A meeting of many high-ranking military officials and wealthy families. It is essentially a place where missile clans and shipbuilders try to convince the military to invest more in their assets.” You grimace. “Sounds familiar. Weapons manufacturers do the same sort of schmoozing in the Federation.” Corrigan nods knowingly. “So how would I even be able to drop you off on Titan? Last I heard, non-Imperials were banned from entering.” “You would have to be granted a temporary pass,” she replies. “They occasionally issue passes for people with the right reasons.” She rubs her chin thoughtfully. “Though, I do not know the exact details since I have never personally been to Titan.” >”Would I be expected to accompany you during this function?”>”Alright. I’ll take you there.” >”I’m sorry, but I’m not heading to Titan.” >Write-in.
>>1794730>>”Would I be expected to accompany you during this function?”>Think this might be a set up?
>>1794730>>”Would I be expected to accompany you during this function?”>Think this might be a set up?>because it feels like a set up
>>1794730>”Would I be expected to accompany you during this function?”
“Would I be expected to accompany you during this function?”Corrigan shrugs stiffly. “I am not sure. It would make sense for you to come along, seeing as you are my captain…” She crosses her arms. “Alright. Sounds like we’d just have to play that by ear.” You grimace. “Do you think this might be a setup? Because it certainly feels like one.” Corrigan nods. “It would seem that way, but I do not think it is. Official gatherings like this are notoriously exclusive, so not many details are exchanged outside of the function itself. Not only that, but much of the Imperial High-Command will likely be there. Plus Titan is the Empire’s capital world. If somebody wanted to engage in foul play, they would be hard-pressed to find a worse place to attempt it.” She raises an eyebrow. “While I may not trust my family’s intentions, it would be political suicide for them to act in a disgraceful way publicly like that.” “So we won’t have to worry too much about your family…” You frown deeply, rubbing your chin. “This still doesn’t sit well with me. It seems very shady.” “Much of the Empire’s politics are like that, sir.” Corrigan appears to fight back a smirk. “I suppose it is just the way those types prefer to conduct themselves. Even official government meetings sometimes feel almost... clandestine.” “I see,” you nod slowly. While it is far different than what you’re used to in the Federation, the Empire has always been far different, especially on their more conservative worlds. “So this isn’t all that abnormal for you.” “Well, getting the letter in the first place was abnormal,” she corrects you. “But yes, it is ordinary for such a letter to be vague.” >”We’ll head there when the time comes. The ship should be flying by then.” >”I don’t think we should go to Titan, I’m sorry.” >Write-in.
>>1794913>>”We’ll head there when the time comes. The ship should be flying by then.”
Also, I'm gonna call the session here for tonight so I can get some shut-eye. I have to be up in about six hours. We'll probably have another session on Tuesday at our regular times, which will hopefully close out the thread. After that, I'm not sure when I'll run next. Since I'm working full-time and going to school full-time now, free time is going to be in very short supply for me. I'll make sure to post via twitter in advance when I plan to run the next thread.
>>1794913>”We’ll head there when the time comes. The ship should be flying by then.”>>1794933Thanks for runnin'.
>>1794913>”I don’t think we should go to Titan, I’m sorry.” Does Corrigan even want to much associate with her family? This whole thing feels less like assassination, more like they intend to pressure Corrigan into something (I have three or four ideas on what they could be but It'd feel too corny and cliche to mention them.). Regardless going into a meeting of some shady imperial brass (tautology!) before the possible escalation of a cold war feels... like most of our less well informed decisions (not that said decisions haven't been awesome to play through or lucrative, just that Allen's had an interesting time of it.). If Corrigan really wants to go we can, but her family reconciling with her seems an impossibility, and the other stuff I just mentioned, etc. Now that that's out of the way, I'm sad I missed most of this, stay classy Zap!
>>1794913>We’ll head there when the time comes. The ship should be flying by thenI think it's a setup, but if we refuse Corrigan might just go there by herself. Better for us to be there with our stealth system and whatnot.
>>1794913>”I don’t think we should go to Titan, I’m sorry.” Yer lets not
>>1794913>>Write-in."If you really want to we can go. We will be pushing it trying to get there on time most likely. I do believe that it is a bad idea though. We seem to just keep getting into trouble constantly and you don't seem to even want to deal with your family."
>>1794913>Write-in.Is there any way she could have more secure communication with her family about it, or does she have any contacts that would be able to check it out for her?
Just got done catching up with archives.Damn OP, for a setting just a while after a destructive war, it seems all too eager to go down the drain again. Almost like some agency was deliberately pushing it over the precipice.>>1794913>Do you want to go? The ship should be flying by then.This is going to be a pain, hopefully someone we don't like is going to be the one feeling most of it though.