Ancient Trails - A Spacer's Guild Campaign Played via Virtual Tabletop

Delivering the Cargo (December 3, 2991)

2nd Session

Leaving Buddy Bricker’s Salvage yard the crew of the Whippet are treated to the sight of an old school Grav Ball game being played in the open hold of a large cargo carrier. The game originated with spacers playing it in much the same manner.

As they leave Mika gets to work repairing the mining laser. She does a bang up job and completes the delicate work in 5 hours.

Not long after the work is finished Neurog picks up a double echo from one of the asteroids they are passing by. Examining the anomoly he detects that there is a ship not 15 meters above the asteroids surface. It is a 200 ton Fat Trader.

The crew divert from their course and examine the ship. They are a mere 7,000 Klicks from the ship and asteroid. They don’t detect any hotspots on the ship either in the drive section of the ship or where it’s turrets should be. They ping the ship but get no response. Using the ships telescope they are able to see a couple of guys on a space walk setting up a torpedo launcher of the asteroids surface.

Upon seeing he torpedo launcher Skeet quickly swings the Whippet into the shadow of the asteroid so that the other ship has no visual on them.

At 5k from the asteroid Skeet nudges the Whippet above the visual horizon. They quickly detect a heat bloom in the other ships engineering section, they must be firing up their engines. They get a comm from the other ship, “Unknown ship, identify yourself! If you continue on your present course we will defend ourselves.”

Mika is able to observe that the torpedos look like resupply ones, which makes everyone feel a little better but wonder about what these guys are doing. At this range Mika is able to read the ship name, it’s the Emerald Dawn. Neurog runs a search on it, it is registered out of Dorlass. She is registered to a Rince Manc. Searching him they find he has a couple of smuggling arrests and has a brother doing a long sentence on Van Killa for the same offense.
The space walkers fire up the two torps in their launcher. The Whippet crew decides to send a message alerting the authorities to this very suspecious activity and then moves away from the area.

30 hours after they left the asteroid the Whippet receives a communication:
“Whippet, this is Dr. Miriam Sophie of the Gaen Research Vessel Dianah. We would like to request your assistance in a research project. Would you be willing?”

“We would like to acquire some biological samples from all male members of your crew. Your assistance will be compensated.”

Mika De Klerke: Hey sure no problem the’d love too. Do you supply jars?

Neurog: What is the nature of the research?

Dr. Sophie: “Ah…it’s good to hear a female voice out here…and yes we do supply jars and an assortment of pornography to assist in the process.”

Kimba blurts out over the open Comm: “Hang on isn’t this the women that hate men and live without them?”

Neurog Does a search on the doctor ((checking credentials.))
Results: The Dr. is a highly respected researcher. She investigates testosterone sensitivity in women. There are some women who have developed a mutation where they are simply unable to tolerate testosterone.

Dr. Sophie: "That sounded like a particularly purile male. You may inform him we live appart because of necessity so he should not allow his ego to feel hurt.

After visual communication is opened Dr. Sophie sees for the first time that Kimba is acutally and uplifted Gorilla: “Oh…I see” Suddenly as if a light went on for her, she says, “It might be advangageous to obtain a sample from you Mr…oh whatever.” Turning to someone off camera she says, “do we have any Gorilla pornography” Turning back she says to Kimba “what exactly do you find stimulating?”


Dr. Sophie: Is that supposed to be some sort of threat display? I’m not sure how you would expect to feel threatned by a 5 foot tall human female but if it helps to stimulate you, I’m all for it.

Kimba: Right that does it. People are going to start dying any second now. I like lady gorillas, in season, at home.

Dr. Sophie: Well we don’t see many Gorillas of either gender around here normally. Tell him we would be able to offer him a bonus of say 1,000 credits for a specimen.

Kimba: We gorillas didn’t escape centuries of extermination at human hands to be taking part in your sick litle experiements. I don;’t care how much money.

Dr. Sophie: Shame, it really would have been quite enlightning to see what were the tolerances to Gorilla testosterone were. Are you sure…would 2,000 credits incent you?

Kimba: What part of NO did you not hear human female.

Dr. Sophie: You see it is just that we are so desperate to find a cure…would you not consider it for the sake of those less fortunate?

Kimba: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO………… N………… O………….Nooooooooooo. Get your ears checked you bunch of deaf female wanabe chimpanzees.

Mika De Klerke: I guess he’s too shy.

The three human males (Hiram, Skeet and the Colonel) volunteer to donate and so the Whippet docks with the large (about 1,400 ton) Gaean research vessel, Dianah.

The three men are lead away by Dr. Sophie to seperate rooms where they can provide their “samples”. While they are gone a young girl who looks not more that 15 or 16 comes into the room. After a few seconds she kind of sheepishly saddles up to Mika and whispers “please, can you get me out of here”

They go out into the empty hallway to talk,the girl identifies herself as Melanie: “Ma’am please can you get me off of this ship! I’ve spent my whole life cooped up in the colony. The only men I’ve ever met are the ones who come to give samples and they’re usually gruby miners. They’re not like the ones I see in the Tri-Vids. I want to have a normal life…please help me.”

After a few minutes of pleading Mika seems to have managed to convince the girl that she needs to stay with the colony until she reaches legal majority. As their conversation is ending Mika sees a Gaean researcher and a miner coming down the hall. The miner is being very beligerant towards the Gaean women yelling that the Gaeans stole his mining claim and that no he will not provide them a sample.

Mika walks up to the confrontation between the two and the miner immediately insults her and takes a wild swing at her. Kimba has come running and a fistfight ensues between the miner and another who ran out of the waiting room presumably to help his friend. In the end Kimba and Mika have little trouble with the two miners the first one they feel may have been drunk or drugged up.

Collecting their money the crew makes there way back to their ship where they head towards their final destinatin now only 6 hours or so away. They make it without any further encounters and deliver their cargo and collect payment.


Lets use this area to do between game play.

To start off with upon reaching the Experimental Mining Station the administrator approached you with an offer of a cargo transport job. 12 tons of advanced mining lasers, bound for the Kressler Asteroid belt in the Dorlass system. He offers you double the normal freight cost or 33,600 cr. for door to door delivery. He emphasizes these are very cutting edge lasers and very expensive. He will be responsible for the shipping bond (usually 1% of the value of the items being shipped and usually the responsiblity of the shipper) and the piggyback fee on the Pax Combine Tender Hibiscus(20,000 cr.) which will be leaving from Wytherby Memorial Highport on December 15th.

You have agreed to the contract and are quickly loading your cargo. Lets start here.


After excepting the contract we make sure the cargo is secured properly in the cargo hold so that it doesn’t shift.


Just like the last mining laser was secured?

Anyway lets get a message sent to Van Killa about cargo or low passengers for Dorlass. Its going to take us a week to get there but a message can be there in hours


You get a message back from the official Warden’s Service website that they have released prisoners bound for Dorlass that will be travelling in low berths. Would you care to bid?


How many prisoners need transportation?


That is not listed. This is a bidding process, you list what your capacity and what your bid is to transport the prisoners.

If you want to do the math to get an idea. There are 15 million prisoners on VanKilla Kiertotahti. The average sentence is 30 years (there’s some bad people on this planet!). That works out to about a half million a year who get released. The Warden’s service is obligated by law to return them to their system of origin (where they were convicted) unless they make other arrangements. The Wardens service of course chooses the cheapest transportation method available. That means they put the transportation out to bid and the prisoners usually end up going low passage.


We do have all those low berths we could be putting to use. Of course there’s always the possibility of a malfunction and the cargo could be dangerous…

We should fully check all the low berth equipment before attempting this. What does our security consultant think?


No matter how well we secured the last laser it would have come loose: it was a plot device….


Re the bid. We can check the low berths on the way in. In terms of carrying criminals. The low berth rooms are bulkheads and can be biometrically locked. We can secure the low berth passengers goods outside so we should be fairly secure. The engineers could perhaps set up some extra alarms that will trigger if the low berths open, something not usual and hidden from casual search. Someone with legal/Advocate can check what the legal situation is hauling released criminals, I presume they are released on world and are considered citizens after that but let’s check to be sure.
The Doc can make sure they are in suspension and we can wake them in groups with everyone alert so I think the threat is minor.
For the bid we have 30 low berths. The tender is not a DN, just a large ship so is probably charging normal rates of Cr1200 per person. We can afford to undercut that a fair bit since the mining laser run is paying for the run and any extra cargo is profit on top.
Someone should check what the usual price for these runs is normally and we can undercut that a bit.


Valediction freeport. Nice place, probably meet a few guys I have worked with over the years working there.


The prisoners are considered to still be prisoners when they are put in cold storage (or more precisely for the duration of their trip) and are considered free when they are delivered to their System of Origin.

Now if you’re worried the Warden’s service will provide an armed guard to escort them, but the contracting entity would be required to provide the guard with a stateroon and the cost of their return trip would be considered when reviewing your bid.

FYI, you are relatively confident in the low berths as they were used until pretty recently when the ship was decommissioned and put up for sale (within the last 8 months). In fact her last mission was for the Warden’s service bringing convicts to VanKila.


Lets take care of your bid before the game if we can.


Well as I mentioned the convicts are pure profit since the trip is paid for by the shipping of the lasers.

Find out what the standard rate seems to be, the normal for a low passage for 2 Parsecs is Cr1200 but I suspect the tender charges less. We can happily go 5-10% under the average price as our bid. Also we can add that we have armed security personel and a lockdown option on the low berth chabbers for enhanced security to the bid.

If our computer types can find the price we can radio the bid ahead of time. If its Cr1000 we can go Cr900 and still make a clear profit as its Cr100 per low berth for the month so above that on this trip and its money in the bank.


Average contract price for the last 12 months has been 1,180 cr. a head (including the body ;).


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