Saturday, November 15, 2014

Classic Traveller, Time for a Cruise

The PCs had accepted a new mercenary ticket last session. the ticket involved acting as security on a space going cruise liner, the King Richard.

Between sessions I teased with...
Overheard by a mercenary stationed on the bridge of the King Richard, two days into jump, a conversation between the Captain and his First Officer...

"Sir, the engineer was telling me that he had a wobble in one of the Jump-Field generators."

"Damn. Which one?"


"Again? Three months in dock and it's still not straight! Tell him I want it monitored hourly and report made to the me at the change of  every watch.

"Aye Captain."

 ... and then...

All of the MMM (shorthand for the PCs merc' company) on board the King Richard have been issued with ship comm' units in the form of a small hand held device. It's a piece of crap and there are dead spots on the ship where they don't work well.

The officers of MMM are all simultaneously beeped by the ship comm, and asked to attend the Captain in his cabin at their earliest pleasure.

 ... and then the next day...

The Captain clears his throat.

"We have a delicate and urgent matter to attend to, and although I understand it's not really in your regular line of business, I'm afraid I'll have to ask for your assistance."

... and now, on to the actual session.

The Captain went on to explain that there had been a murder on board and that he wanted the PCs, as the only security on board, to investigate. The First Lieutenant took over the briefing and gave them some additional details. The chief steward had discovered a murdered woman  in one of the cabins. The woman's husband and child had been intercepted and diverted into the stateroom of a crew member, putting them on-hold as it were.

The captain broke in to advise the PCs that they needed to keep the whole incident under wraps, the danger of panic on board amongst the passengers must be avoided at all costs. (Also the super rich passengers wouldn't like their digestion interrupted).

Down to the stateroom containing the body. The Lt used a pass key to let them in. Only one PC went in for a look around while they waited for the ships doctor. The stateroom was split into two areas and the PC could see blood splattered across the table, chair, and carpet, he didn't risk peeking around the corner though. He didn't find anything untoward or upset in this first area, other than the smell.

When the ships doctor turned up he immediately recognised the smell, had a flash back of sorts and had to leave the room. A PC kept him company and offered him a "sniff of his cinnamon apple pouch" to help settle him down. Once the doctor had regained his balance he led the PCs into the bedroom. There they found the murdered woman opened up in a horrific way. Face slashed, limbs hacked open along their length and stomach open with the entrails pulled out.

There was some discussion of possible murder weapons, and the doctor could only say that the weapon was a large hacking blade... and yes the hatchets carried by the PCs merc's could be responsible for such wounds.

The Lt reminded the PCs that word of this atrocity should not reach the passengers, and indeed that as few crew should find out about it as possible, lest they start talking which could lead to panic. But the PCs needed to investigate and ask questions, how could they do that without suspicion?

The discussion circled for a while with possible cover stories being discussed, including the truth, biological infections, accidents, infestations, stroke, heart attacks etc. Should they put the body in stasis? This was poo pooed as the cold sleep capsules had glass port holes meaning anyone could see the state of her. They really needed to keep the truth from everyone including the grieving husband and child.

In the end they decided they needed to get rid of the body. With no evidence of a crime, no one could find out about it and start a panic. But how do they get rid of it and explain the lack of a body? Of course! She went "Space Crazy" and then spaced herself! But that was problematic too. There was one passenger air lock and the crazy woman couldn't have exited there without notice, so that left the  the airlocks that only crew could reach which were coded access only... so someone on board must have forgotten to lock up an airlock, simple really.

Now they needed to get the body to an airlock. The washer-woman's wicker basket was out, as the body was too smelly and a bit drippy. It was down to engineering to get a wheeled bin of some sort. While they were there they learned that there was no video surveillance on board (not surprising considering they were cruising to a forbidden zone, and no-one wants evidence of their presence). They also discovered that the door locks didn't record who opened a door, only the times last ten or so openings and closings.

Later an engineer would visit the door-lock and inform them of the opening and closing of the door. From his description, they assumed she had returned to the room then opened the door to admit someone else a few minutes later.  Only a very few minutes after that the door had been opened again, presumably the killer leaving.

Armed with the plastic bin they bundled the body into it, and sealed the top with plastic and tape. They left the Chief Steward cleaning the room (he'd discovered the victim so already knew about here) and headed down to the shuttle bay.

At this point I checked their skill lists to see what they knew about jump-space tech. I found nothing relevant.

They manhandled the body through the shuttle to it's loading ramp. They cycled the lock and opened themselves to jump space. Pulling the body out and giving it a heave they sent it drifting out into ... into... the stasis field that surrounds a ship in jump, and there it still hangs, and will hang until they drop out of jump. [insert referee's evil grin here]

The investigation kind of petered out here, and the PCs retired for the night, after stepping up the security patrols their mercs were making.

They were soon awakened by a call from Orrkselghu the leader of their Vargr contingent, he needed them to come to him. He couldn't say more as the comm's were open. When they reached him he was standing with a distressed young man held firmly in his paw. It turned out there had been another murder, this young man's lover as it turned out. In the stateroom they found a similar situation, a man's body torn open, blood everywhere. There were differences too. First victim was female, this male. The first murder was in a plush state room, this one on a different deck and a cheaper state room (although all rooms on the ship are hideously expensive).

Some passengers saw the armed Vargr escorting the young man to a crew stateroom where he would be held until things could be cleaned up.

First thoughts of the party: Psycho serial killer on the ship while it's in-jump for a week.

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