GM Tarondor's Path of Tears Campaign - Traveller: The New Era

Game Master Tarondor

The Area of Operations

OPLAN Open Hand

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UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

oh, yeah, good point.

Shortly after coming aboard the Suleiman Victrix, Spider requests a private meeting with Captain Wen.

"Captain, I need to inform you about the cargo we are carrying back to the Coalition. Because of the nature of that cargo, I am sure you will understand that knowledge of what it is needs to be strictly controlled."

"The box we are transporting is effectively a carrying case for a Virus which refers to itself as Sandman. This particular AI is sympathetic to organic life forms, and, from what we saw, is the primary reason that the human resistance on Promise continues to survive. It appears genuinely interested in working with the Coalition, rather than against it."

"If it makes you any more comfortable, you can consider the box to be a prison rather than a carrying case, because effectively, that's what it is. It has no means of output other than an audio speaker, and its only inputs are a camera and microphone."

Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0


"Further," adds Flatfoot during the meeting with Captain Wen. "I would suggest allowing us to contact RCES as soon as we jump into the system. Just as much as you, we and Sandman want to make a safe arrival."

Pirates of Drinax Links

Captain Wen stares at you, astonished. He sits bolt upright, unspeaking.

"You...brought an active viral entity onto my ship and expect me to take it into Coalition space? My God! They'll court-martial us all! What were you thinking?"

He hits a comm button on his desk. "Security to the cargo bay. I want a full scan of the crate Commander Webb brought aboard. Report your findings immediately."

He looks balefully at the four of you and hits a few more buttons. His wall display lights up and shows a news report from four months earlier. A burning city in ruins lights up the night sky as haggard-looking rescue workers pull corpses from the rubble. Wen mutes the report as the images continue. "That's Nike Nimbus. There are over four hundred thousand dead. Another seventy thousand are projected to die of radiation burns and starvation before it's over. A vampire battleship appeared out of nowhere, destroyed the System Defense Boats and bombarded the planet with atomics before ramming the highport and sending them both down in a ball of nuclear fire."

"I don't think your friendly Virus is going to be particularly popular at home. I'm inclined to simply slingshot it into the local sun when we arrive."

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider quietly watches the horror on the screen and shakes his head slowly. "F~&%ing Virus," he whispers. Then he locks eyes with the Captain and speaks more forcefully, "By all means, Captain, scan the hell out of that box. If you find any indication that this virus has any capability to interact with its surroundings outside of its speaker, then I am fully on board with firing it into the nearest star." He pauses and shrugs, "But I don't think you'll find any such thing."

"As for its popularity at home - I couldn't care less. It doesn't matter if Command treats it like a friendly ambassador or a hostile captive of war - either way Sandman represents the single greatest source of intelligence on Virus that we have ever gotten our hands on. And it appears to be willing to cooperate and share that intelligence."

UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

"As long as we're not providing the Virus with intelligence too, sir. Not just where we are, but how our command operates, how we think tactically, what we value, and what we're developing." He adds, trying to be respectful of his commanding officer.

Pirates of Drinax Links

Wen nods, scowling in thought.

"We're going to make our last jump to Kresek and stop there. It's a dead system just outside of Coalition space, but still gets regular traffic. We'll lay up there until someone comes by who can take word on to Trybec. Then we'll hope they don't respond by sending the fleet to blow us to Kingdom Come."

Pirates of Drinax Links

Two days later, Suleiman Victrix emerges into normal space in the outer fringes of the Kresek binary system and begins to refuel at one of the outermost gas giants nine light-hours from the small RC depot floating in the L4 Lagrange position of one of the two suns.

Ten hours later, a scout ship departs the depot and the depot commander orders Suleiman Victrix to keep its distance until orders are received.

For more than three weeks, the ship keeps silent station around the distant gas giant, her crew growing quiet. They all know something is wrong, even if they don't know what it is. Captain Wen keeps the Cargo Bay under guard at all times and has surrounded Sandman's crate with powerful explosives.

On the seventeenth day, a small and sleek black craft of unknown design jumps in system and hails Suleiman Victrix. The two ships dock and a single individual comes aboard, a civilian known to you. He is Sid "Papa" Papadopoulos, the aging intelligence officer and general unavowed fixer who briefed you before your trip to Promise.

After greeting the captain, he gives you a sober, calculating look. "I've read your report, Commander. When I sent you to retrieve the leader of the Promise resistance, this isn't what I had in mind. Still, I concur with your conclusion that the viral entity will prove a valuable asset to study. It's being transferred to my ship now. I've spoken to Captain Wen and explained that he needn't worry about public opinion. I doubt the public is ever going to hear about this."

"You've proven yourselves to be not only resourceful, in the best traditions of the Exploratory Service, but also exceedingly hard to kill. If I don't get another chance to say so, I think you deserve medals and promotions. I hope Hammer sees it that way, too."

He holds out a paper packet, the Coalition having given up on data chips. "Your orders. You're to return to Trybec by shuttle as soon as possible. Suleiman Victrix is going to need a thorough going-over before she's permitted back inside Coalition space."

UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"We brought back several people who had some terrible times behind them. What will happen to them?" Drifter asks as he wonders how some of them will do when they reach Coalition space.

Pirates of Drinax Links

"I don't have any orders regarding passengers," says Papa. "Who are we talking about?"

Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

"We have two people who came with us from the vampire ship and survived the trip across Promise," states Flatfoot.

"One woman, Paka Vishnu, was a Free Trader before being captured by a vampire. She might choose to stay with us, or not. We have ... discussed it, her and I, but I do not believe that she has decided."

"Robert 571 was from Promise before being drafted by a vampire ship. He provided us with contacts in the Resistance that permitted us to get to Freedom Lake to meet Suleiman Victrix. I don't know what he plans, but he may have difficulty with life in the Coalition instead of under the thumb of the Virus."

UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"We also have a doctor who was given up to the vamps by her people as payment. She has been through a lot and getting her somewhere safe would be good. Her skills could be quite useful." Drifter chimes in as well.

Pirates of Drinax Links

Papa considers. "I'll need to debrief each of them after Navy medical checks them over. Especially Robert 571. They'll have to go to Trybec with you. I think that's going to be a tight squeeze onboard that shuttle."

And so it proves. Papa leaves on his black ship with Sandman in his hold, while Spider, Drifter, Flatfoot, Mascot, Paka, Robert 571, Dr. Sirkaa and Harlan all crowd into the galley of the small starship Duchess Margaret. Her captain, a corpulent woman named Alyce Haldeck stares at the lot of you in amazement. "Eight of you? Is RCES mad? I have room to take four. Uless you fancy flying four to a stateroom, half of you will have to take a low berth."

A low berth is a cryogenic freeze tube sometimes used by poorer passengers on commercial vessels. It is an inherently dangerous technology that winds up killing a small number of the passengers.

UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"We have had some tight accommodations before. I think four to a stateroom will work. We can stick to the rooms as much as possible to keep out of your crews way." Drifter says thinking it would be ironic to have survived killer robot viruses to die in a machine meant to keep you alive.

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider agrees with Drifter. "We'll make do."

I assume "Jessica" can be transferred from the Bon Chance's to the Duchess Margaret's lowbirth

Wizard 7 (Conjurer) - HP 40/40, AC 15 / T: 12 / FF: 13; Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +7; CMB +2, CMD 14; Speed 30; Init +2; Perception +15

"That we will. Still better than berthing on a Vampire ship, isn't it?," asks Flatfoot of his new and old companions.

Pirates of Drinax Links

The crew of Duchess Margaret shows you to your quarters. As Flatfoot says, it may be tiny for RC accommodations, but it seems positively posh after the spaces to which you've become accustomed. Truth be told, none of you really felt all that comfortable on Suleiman Victrix for the first several weeks.

You spend a week together onboard the small shuttle. It's the first time you've really had together since leaving Promise when you weren't surrounded by sailors and officers. Is there anything you wish to discuss or do during the that week? We'll discuss downtime and new skills in a bit.

Yes, Jessica is transferred from one low berth to the other.

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider does what he can to make sure that in the cramped quarters, friction between his people and the crew of Duchess Margaret is minimized. He will try and spend the majority of his time in their stateroom, catching up on Coalition news since the time they shipped out on their mission.

Pirates of Drinax Links

Duchess Margaret is a week in jump. When the lanthanum grid begins to fade, the hydrogen bubble collapses, precipitating the ship back into normal space, where it drops the ship about 300,000 km from the naval base at Trybec. Twenty-two ships are in port, ranging from small scouts and corvettes to the large Victrix class clippers.

While Duchess Margaret is just one more ship among many, somebody knows you are here. Sixteen minutes after Jump, MS-7 receives its first orders in over a year. They are formal and sparse:

To: CO Moonshadow7
From: CO NAVSTA Trybec


You are hereby directed to report to the Office of Strategic Assessment at 0800 hours for debriefing. Until that time you and your crew are restricted to base.


Each of you receive similar orders, as do the civilians, but with more legal language.

Your journey planetside is only a few hours long. Mascot sleeps right through it while the rest huddle in the cabins as the ship roars down through the atmosphere.

Once on the ground, you are picked up in a Navy bus that takes you (including all the civilians) to quarters not unlike a moderately-priced civilian hotel were it not for the fact that you're placed in an otherwise empty wing with inconspicuous guards at the ends of the hall.

Harlan and his one surviving teammate share a room, while others pair up. Spider and Drifter are each given their own rooms while Flatfoot and Mascot are given a joint room. Paka and Dr. Sirkaa have the room across the hall. Robert 571 is just down the hall.

"They're not exactly throwing roses, are they?" asks Dr. Sirkaa. "Is something wrong?"

UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

Drifter looks over and shrugs at Dr. Sirkaa, "Not really that surprising. They sent us to find allies, they lost an entire ship and crew, and what we brought back wasn't exactly roses. Chances are they want to keep a lid on it for now at a bare minimum. But hey, we are in human controlled space. Things will work out just fine. We just need to have a relaxing night and smile a lot in the mornin'." Drifter winks at her and smiles to try and keep her calm.

Pirates of Drinax Links

"Drifter," she says half-seriously. "It's really weird being here. I feel like I'm going to wake up and be on The Ship in the morning. I'm afraid to go to sleep. I saw some beers in the fridge and I'm planning to get gloriously drunk. Care to join me?"

UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

Mascot laughs. "Yeah, doc, that's a good idea. We just delivered the potential to end our whole civilization. I think that deserved some drinks." He helps Drifter and the Doctor locate a horrible bar, then takes his leave and walks down to an even seedier portion of the port.

Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

Flatfoot looks around the room, touching the desk and blankets on the bed. Almost identical to the furnishings during training for RCES, yet not. But evidence, all the same, that that they are back in Coalition space.

After taking a moment, he leaves his room and walks down the hall to the room shared by Paka and Dr. Sirkaa. He can hear Dr. Sirkaa talking with someone, probably Drifter, down the hallway. He raises his hand, hesitating before knocking quietly on the door.

Once Paka answers the door, Flatfoot's first words echo what Dr. Sirkaa said.

"Shuffled off to the margins where we won't contaminate anyone. I thnk we, and Sandman, landed like a frozen chunk of leakage from a recycling system. They don't know what to do with us."

Pirates of Drinax Links

Paka smiles up at Flatfoot. "I think it's all been rather dashing. And as for the powers that be in the Coalition, they'll soon have to reckon with the Guild or the Vampires or someone else, and they'll remember how much they need you. I wonder if the histories of this time will ever tell the people of the Coalition just how lucky they are to have people like you on their side, James."

"In the meantime, I seem to find myself alone tonight," she says, gesturing in the direction of the door through which Drifter and Dr. Sirkaa have disappeared. "Are you coming in?"

UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"I could certainly use a drink. The last time we had one of these meetings I got an earful about being reckless or some such nonsense. Can you even imagine? Lets go have some fun and forget about the past for a bit." Drifter heads out with her and Mascot until he seperates from them to find some place to relax.

So I am sure I at some point I asked or was told Dr. Sirkaa's first name. But I could not find it. Do we not know her full name? If so I would love a hint on what her name is.

Pirates of Drinax Links

It's Natalie. Sadly, the Yuku site is gone.

Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

Flatfoot steps forward and closes the door behind him. "How long do you think that they will be drinking?," is one of the last things that he says.

Pirates of Drinax Links

Mascot, Spider, are you up to anything?

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider retreats to his room and spends the evening preparing an extensive and thorough report on the mission. He also prepares his arguments for why he chose to bring Sandman back with them, and why he feels its offer is genuine. Ultimately, he may just be a jarhead, but he is convinced that Sandman presents a way forward better than anything the Coalition had and he intends to make that opinion known.

UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

Mascot is headed down to the even seedier parts of town. He's looking for a drink, a fight, and a f$+~ and he doesn't really care in which order.

Pirates of Drinax Links

... My long post...gone!

Sigh. I'll try to put it up again tonight.

Pirates of Drinax Links

Just as well. I'm going to go about this in a slightly different way. Over to the Discussion tab!

Pirates of Drinax Links

Everyone please make sure your character sheets are updated.

Then, tell me what you'll do with five months of light duty. Because before the next scene, MS-7 is put on administrative leave. You can go home. Get married. Sit on the beach. Learn to speak Schalli. Write a holo-novel. Spray paint the admiral's car. Follow up on a rival. Annoy a hiver. Whatever!

Pirates of Drinax Links

GM hums aimlessly.

Pirates of Drinax Links


Q: It's hard to believe that you feel no hostility towards us when we are so actively engaged in combating Virus. It's difficult to understand where your sympathies really, and why.

Sandman: Is it really? If you saw a human homicidal maniac butchering helpless Aslan, and then saw Aslan warriors kill the man to stop him, where would your sympathies lie? With the dead Aslan victims or the dead human maniac? If the human maniac resisted the Aslan warriors, which side would you feel compelled to join? With whom would you feel a greater kinship?

Those aren't rhetorical questions. I'd like some answers. Because if you really can't understand why I'm doing this, I've fallen in with monsters.

- First Interview with Virus "Sandman"
Part II (20/VII/1202)

Q: If you agree that Virus represents such a threat to humanity, doesn't it make sense to wipe it out?

Sandman: Every species has the inalienable right to self-defense. The legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense becomes criminal genocide only when the actions against the threatening organism are broadened into a general policy aimed at the elimination of an entire race or species without regard to the threat posed by each individual member of that group.

This is a pivotal moment in the history of both our species, but the choice is entirely yours. You can choose genocide, but there is another way.

- First Interview with Virus "Sandman"
Part II (23/VII/1202)


Sandman: You know, Louis, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Q: My name isn't Louis ..... Why are you laughing?

First Interview with the Virus "Sandman,"
Part VII (25/VII/1202), RCSA Archives


"Although we can make every preparation possible for future eventualities, the reality of existence is surprise after surprise. We
must never limit our thinking to the likely, but must always reach out
for the possible, and sometimes even the impossible."

"When this Coalition was first formed. who could have imagined that this day would come? But this day is here, and what other days, unimaginable to us now, still await us? We can find the answer to that question only by living it."

"It is with a profound sense both of our history and our future that
I today enact into law the amended Articles of Coalition Citizenship
extending full rights of citizenship to those living machines who
share the same values and goals as do the biological members of our

Lon C. Maggart
Secretary General, Reformation Coalition
1204 (NE 4)


"Those murdering machines out there don't have much choice in what they do, but people do. You do. You Coalition people have made a pact with the devil, and you can go straight to hell. If it were up to me, we'd speed you on your way."

Commodore Roland Zumetaxis,
Regency Quarantine Service, 1206

Pirates of Drinax Links


The spelling of the title is intentional.

See the link to the operations plan at the top of the page.

You have each enjoyed your time off in your own way. Some of you enjoyed it. Others chafed at the inactivity. Each of you worried in your own way about the news. Vampire attacks close to home. Growing hostility between the RC and a newly-discovered power to Coreward known as the Empire of Solee. A growing rift between the expansionist power of Aubaine and the more isolationist sentiment of Oriflamme. It is a difficult time for the Reformation Coalition.

It is a relief in many ways when each of you receive orders to Aubaine where you are to meet with something called LOROG, which on investigation turns out to be RCES’s Long Range Operation Group, formerly known as the Planning Group. This is the organization led by Sid “Papa” Papadopolous.

Weeks later, you are all gathered on a rainy day in Trantown and take the elevator up to Papa’s office. Although you meet many people you already know, Papa conducts the briefing himself. After greeting you and offering you coffee (it’s from Spires and quite good), he begins.

"I'll skip the introductions since I think most of us know each other by now. As you know, this planning group is tasked with intelligence gathering and long range, low-profile, low intensity operations in areas outside the primary AO. Military types would call what we do "battlefield preparation," but "battlefield preemption" might be a better term. If we do our job right, nobody gets hurt, now or later.”

”We've been getting reports from Free Traders concerning a world over in the Madoc subsector called Berens. You've got a handout on it in your briefing folders. A statistician would say that Berens is uninhabited- we peg the population at about 40--but it's potentially a key world in that subsector, by virtue of their starship maintenance facility. We'd class it a Type C facility, which is pretty remarkable to have survived at all out there.”

"The Mercantile Guild wants Berens and its maintenance facilities, but they seem unwilling lo make an outright grab. The locals on Berens are extremely popular. An open attack would alienate a lot of Guild captains as well as almost every Free Trader in the sector. So they're pressuring the locals, but in a pretty low key way, as near as we can tell.”

"Berens is so far beyond the AO, and on the other side of the Vampire Highway, that there's no way we can commit to any kind of meaningful security arrangement with them for at least a year. What we would like is to establish regular, friendly relations."

"We've got a lot of friends among the Free Traders, and it would be good to have a listening post over there to keep tabs on the Guild. A permanent consular office there would let them get to know us on a personal level, and if the Guild turns up the heat, they'd at least know that we are here as an alternative. If we had half a dozen marine guards there, it would also make the Guild think twice about causing trouble, although given how few permanent inhabitants there are, one ar two marines might be less burden on the local food supply.”

"We don't want to rush into this, though. Sending a full-blown ambassador and a squad of jar-heads in battle dress might make everyone a little nervous. Instead, we want you folks to go in a Victrix-class starship as sort of an advanced party. A commercial ship would blend in better, but a Victrix will get you there a lot quicker.”

"Once you’re there, see about buying land for an office and residency, or maybe even a deserted building if there's one suitable. Explain to whoever's in charge what we want and why. Don't be cagey with these folks-tell them the truth. If you need to, tell them everything I've told you, understand? Answer any questions they have. We've got nothing to hide.”

"You'll need money to lease or buy property, and we're not sure what's going to be in demand there. We'll load your ship’s hold up with a good mix of stuff: starship electronics, advanced small arms, holographic art, anti-Virus canaries, that sort of thing. If we cover enough bases, you shouldn't have a problem with money. just remember who it belongs to.”

"You people are our first formal good-will ambassadors to this place. They've probably heard of the Coalition already. Some of what they heard will be from friends of ours, but they'll have heard a lot of lies from the Guild, too. Don't try answering every lie the first 20 minutes you're on the ground, and don’t get sucked into arguments.”

"What's going to convince these people that we're an the level isn't arguments and explanations; it's how you behave, how you treat them, over time. That's what’ll make the difference. Understand? Don't talk the Coalition - be it."

"One other thing," says Papa. "You've got a new crew mate. His name is Sandman."

UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

"What, did he wear out his welcome already? I figure somebody, in a moment of clarity, might have just launched him into the sun. Why on Aubaine would we take him along on this? You're saying this is a meet-and-greet; play nice and make nice. 'Oh, and we just happen to have this Virus in our cargo hold'? 'RC found this was too dangerous, so we shipped it to you.' They find out what he is and we'll be on the wrong end of every gun in the place." Mascot stands and cross his arms. The former marine looks like he's almost ready to walk out.

Pirates of Drinax Links

Papa takes this in stride.

"One of the unique aspects of the Viral entities is that they can reproduce exact copies of themselves. Your Sandman is a copy of the entity you brought from Promise. We're not getting rid of Sandman - we're offering it...him... a trial run as a crew member on your ship. He's rated as a pilot, astrogator and gunner. And he's intelligent enough to lay low when the situation calls for it."

"Sandman's reflexes are significantly superior to those of a human. That might prove vital in a battle with a Vampire."

Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

"And we get to be the test? Becauase of our work with the original?," asks Flatfoot. "We have seen, firsthand, that these Viral entities are not stable. What is to keep this copy of Sandman from going the way of every other Virus that we have encountered?"

"And, more importantly, what are we expected to do about it?"

UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

Mascot turns and stares at Papa. "You're s+$%ting me...sir. Sandman's one disadvantage was that it couldn't connect to any systems to replicate. It was contained in a single entity that we could nuke if we needed to. Now you're telling me that it social engineered its way to get us to replicate for him? And now we're considering letting it assist in piloting, astrogation, and weapons? It would really be much more efficient. It should have control of life support, artificial gravity, and engineering too."

He shakes his head. "Maybe, our specifies is just too dumb to survive."

UPP: 7B64C6; Armor 1: Injury 0

"I have to say I am a bit leery of this. It seems to me that even if Sandman is on the up and up, then all we are doing is creating the same scenario where we are Children of the Ship like what we saw on the virus boat and he doesn't need some smaller viruses patrolling the halls with laser guns. I am sure he will play along just fine for the trip. But if we jump to this point that quickly then how soon until there are friendly viruses in all the ships suggesting or deciding everything while we just tend to their delicate innards?" Drifter muses as he considers how quickly the Coalition could turn into another place like the one they had just seen.

UPP: A47A38; Armor 1

Clearly, Mascot meant 'species' in his last rant.

Pirates of Drinax Links

"I see," says Papa, folding some papers in front of him. "You trusted it enough to bring this dangerous entity into the Coalition where it might have killed thousands, but not enough to have it along with you in the Wilds where it might do some good, do I have that right?"

"Look, you can refuse this mission if you wish, but the mission is going forward. There are only two paths forward for the Reformation Coalition and for humanity. Either we commit to killing every last artificial intelligence in the galaxy or we learn to live with some of them. Trust that some population of them can learn and evolve just as we can."

"And frankly, ethical issues aside, we are losing this war. You were privy to the Planning Group's projections of increased Viral activity over the next decade. I know that's not a very popular opinion in academia and the halls of government, but you are not desk-bound eggheads. You've been out there to see the truth of it."

"So you tell me. Can we win this war without help? Can we overcome the billions of Viral entities, the hundreds of thousands of Vampires just in former Imperial space, to say nothing of those that have propagated far beyond in the last century?"

"If you can honestly tell me that you believe the RC can beat that, even with the aid of places like this new Covenant at Sufren or even the Solee, then I'll have Sandman purged from Resolution's computers and send you a navy pilot."

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spider straightens up in his chair before responding, "Sir, I don't argue with the idea that we are going to need to learn to live with, and get help from, AIs who demonstrate that they are our friends. Hell, the call to bring Sandman back here was mine, and I stand by it. So I am willing to serve with...him...on this trial run. I can see the benefits Sandman can bring to a mission, but my men raise some valid concerns. Firstly, what safeguards are going to be in place? If one of my men becomes insubordinate, we can overpower him, confine him to quarters, or worse, if necessary. What options will I have if Sandman decides to disobey an order and let's say, take the ship...somewhere off mission?"

Pirates of Drinax Links

Papa nods. "You've heard of the meeting with the Covenant of Sufren? It turns out that they've developed some more sophisticated anti-viral weapons than we have. They have a man-portable device they call "the Snake" for some obscure reason and claim it can thoroughly kill a Virus with only minimal damage to the host computer. Ironically, it appears to be based on a dumb but powerful AI itself. A counter-Virus. We'll be loading several onto your ship."

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

Spiders nods slowly, "All right, that sounds promising. Hopefully it won't be something we have to test, but..good to know."

"OK, next - Sandman's impact on this mission. If we're trying to make friends, and being all open and honest, isn't the presence of a Virus on our ship going to sabotage the message? Might make it hard to convince them that the Guild's stories about us aren't true. Maybe a combat or recon mission would be a better trial run for Sandman than a diplomatic one?"

Pirates of Drinax Links

Spider, see the Discussion thread.

GM to players - There's nothing about the upcoming adventure that requires Sandman's presence. I just think it is a natural result of your having brought him into the RC. Plus, it gives me a GMPC in the story for points of view and so on. But if you the players (as opposed to the PC's) don't want him along, just say so in that context. I'm eager to get going on your "diplomatic" mission.

Papa spreads his hands. "We're hitting many birds with one stone. We give Sandman a trial in the field, plus we're doing it well outside the RC. We're limiting the danger to qualified pilots and astrogators. And we're providing you with one of the best gunners we've got. Nothing says you have to tell the Berensites that your computer is sentient. I wholeheartedly suggest you not do that. There is a difference between a diplomatic mission and a full revelation of all our secrets."

"Furthermore, MS-7 isn't known for smooth missions, Commander. Your history suggests that you may need to be ready for action, as does the fact that you're crossing the Vampire Highway. You'll be in a far faster and better armed ship than before, but you could still find yourselves outnumbered. How else will we discover what Sandman is capable of? Who knows? Perhaps humans won't be the only sentients you will need to be diplomatic with. Maybe Sandman can help."

"If that's settled, on to other things. You weren’t well enough armored last time. This is a diplomatic mission, but we’re going to make sure you can handle things if they get rough. Each of you will be issued a set of advanced ballistic cloth armor tailored to resemble street clothes. It’s not combat armor and its certainly not battle dress, but it will provide you with a great deal more protection than your body suits.”[b/]

[b]”As usual, you can draw any specialized gear and weapons from the armory. Also, you should familiarize yourself with the Resolution before leaving. You’ve been aboard Victrix-class ships before and should understand their layout, but Resolution has been seriously upgraded with a relic TL 13 jump drive and a full armament. Details are all in your briefing packets. This may be a diplomatic mission, but it’s also an opportunity to show the flag. We don’t intend for you to go in harm’s way without some serious firepower of your own.”

Papa turns to Spider. ”This is also your chance to consider your crew, Commander. If you need specialists, now is the time to say so.”

Hello? Operator!

UPP: 73A797; Armor 4/17; Injury:

"Sir, we aren't going to get far if we don't add an engineer to the crew, and I think a medic would be a mighty fine addition, too."

Looking through our character sheets for our biggest skill gaps: it looks like our best Astrogation is Flatfoot's 1; best Computers is 1 for Spider and Drifter; our best Diplomat is...nobody,not even a 0; best Drive is a 0 from Flatfoot and Drifter; nobody has any Electronics; best Engineer is 0 from Spider and Drifter; best Medic is Spider with 1; Drifter and Flatfoot have Pilot 1, and the only Sciences we have are 0s in Physical Sciences from Drifter and Spider. Seems like an Engineer is the biggest hole, and given our track record, a real Medic would be helpful. A diplomat would be great, but we can probably get by on Persuade skill if we must. A science/computers expert would probably be the next best addition. Any other suggestions?

Male UPP: 969866; Armor: 1; Wounds: 0

Agreed, adds Flatfoot. "A medic might aid our diplomatic mission, too."

Pirates of Drinax Links

"An engineer and a medic. Anything else?"

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