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

Port Jefferson

December 1, 2991

Port Jefferson is kind of a lofty name for a mismatched collection of deep space stations and hollowed out asteroids in VanKilla Kiertotahti’s Outer Belt. But then the outer belt has little to recommend it, so to expect a grand port would be silly.

The outer belt is mostly devoid of raw resources, a fact that the scientists are still after a 100 years or more at a loss to explain. The dearth of resources however provides the University of St. Mary of Mars a good test for their state of the art mining equipment. If you can get blood out a turnip then the equipment must be good! The University is the crown jewel of Port Jefferson. Standing apart from the rest of the Port’s habitats it is a cutting edge design both ascetically pleasing and highly functional. You have to give them their due; the schools architects’ and engineers know how to design more than just drilling tools.

Sitting in the passenger lounge Al-Sharref stared at the holo display coming from the orange sized device sitting in his lap. He was going over the dossiers’ on the group he had picked for the Whippet or whatever they ended up calling it. The first one had just arrived. Mika DeKlerke, a space brat raised around scavengers and Tinkers. Not an obvious choice but perfect for Al-Sharref’s purposes. First of all available and without immediate job prospects, second a wandering soul with just the right hint of curiosity and third someone who wouldn’t be missed too much. And she had skills too; you could never have enough people that could fix things on a Starship he thought.

She looked around expectantly, no doubt looking for a coffee colored man in a Keffiyeh. There are all sorts of disguises but surprisingly one of the most effective is simply a name. It is Al-Sharref’s disguise of choice. He would send his robot over shortly once a few more of his handpicked crew arrived. A couple more were due to dock within the hour.

University of st. mary of mars

Well there was no mistaking the next crewman, wait a minute that’s being racist, the next crew sentient. Covered in fur, 7 foot tall and roughly the size of a compact grav car Kimba Bloodfang was unmistakable. The big silverback was an imposing figure.

The humans in the terminal seemed to part before him as he made his way down the gangway from the VanKila Kiertotahti shuttle. His gear was in a large duffle bag and one large floater suitcase. And of course he had a nasty looking gauss rifle strapped to his back.

He was imposing enough to intimidate most humans, even combat veterans and as any good soldier knew that was half the battle. If the other guy was afraid of you, you are well on your way to winning and Kimba was a movable piece of intimidation.

Security was well on its way to being taken care of. The Gorilla had spent a lot of time aboard ship in the Marines, Al-Sharref paged through the dossier. I wonder if he has any other useful skills he thought.

Grav bot

Robots are a ubiquitous part of the 30th century. They are as invisible as the cleaning people of the 20th century were. They’re there, you see them but for the most part you look right through them.

That was no doubt the case for the majority of those in the waiting area as the little UR-14 came floating in. Al-Sharref however immediately recognized it for what it was…the third member of the Whippet’s crew. Anyone who was paying attention would have recognized that this was the physical interface of an AI. The green versus red optics ringing the head sized sphere were the give away. It was amazing though how many people didn’t even notice. An AI by law was required to sport green optics, although an AI wanting a measure of privicy might ignore the law and risk the fine for doing so. In this case the AI known as Neurog followed the law.

Al-Sharref felt lucky to have recruited the digital entity as it came with a very handsome dividend. As a Trinity Research Station Fellow it was a part of a research team testing a new power plant and it’s first trials would be aboard the Whippet. The thing supposedly had two modes, one to increase the energy conversion factor per ton of fuel the other burned through fuel like a son-of-a-bitch but put out an enourmous amount of joules quickly. Theoretically this could superpower a laser or particle beam, increase sensor range or even, and this was a tricky one push a ship through T-Space faster than their TLD rating. His datapad dinged to inform him the experimental drive was being loaded into the Whippets. He pulled up the holo and saw a team of robots not unlike the UR-14 loading the various components of the drive into the ships cargo hold.

He hoped Neurog had some quantum cores it could plug into the ships relatively small Q-3 computer. It was only rated for a 15 processing power, much to small for even a young AI. If Neurog didn’t it was going to have to zip up a whole bunch of skills!

Comments

After a few minutes, and an unfruitful enquiry at the reception desk, the woman Mika shrugs and flops down in the seating area, looking distinctly uncomfortable. She looks around at the ornate surroundings, and frowns slightly. After a few moments she pulls a copy of Eckhammer’s Tool Directory out of her pocket, puts her feet up on a table, and starts to read.

Port Jefferson
 

The big mercenary paused at the bottom of the ramp and slowly and carefully looked around. He seemed to be memorising every detail or the room and its exits.

Finally he moved across the large open room and set down his bag and case behind one of the ornate pillars that stood along the walls. He then picked up one of the decorative stone tables and carried it and a chair to his luggage placing the chair and table partially behind the pillar.

Glancing round the room one more time he noted the passing humans and several mutants, his gaze lingered for a second on the female with her boots on another table across the room reading from a personal comp then seemed to dismiss her as a threat.

Then he un- slung the bulky gauss weapon from across his back and set it on the table. Pulling a small tool kit from one of the many pockets and pouches on the sleeveless dark grey ballistic cloth jacket he wore he proceeded to strip and clean the heavy weapon.

After a few minutes one of the uniformed staff came over to inform him that weapons were not allowed here and should be booked in with security.

The big gorilla looked at the human, seconds passed and the man began to visibly quiver. Then Sergeant Kimba Bloodfang slowly smiled. Fangs that would leave a great tiger or lion feeling inadequate gleamed in the bright light.

The man fled and the mercenary went back to cleaning and checking his already well maintained weapons.

Port Jefferson
 

The robot floats into the room and scans it, taking note of everyone in the room. He wonders why the big gorilla is allowed a weapon in here, according to regulations weapons are not permitted in this area. He floats up to an inconspicuous corner near the ceiling and continues scanning the area.

Port Jefferson
 

Sergeant Bloodfang notes the flicker of movement and watches the drone form the corner of his eye. An AI interface, doesn’t look armoured and no sign of inbuilt weapons though big enough for a short range slug or energy weapon. It doesn’t look like a threat so he goes back to cleaning the primary gauss rails.
Then he notices it drift up and stop by the ceiling in a good spot to scan the room. Maybe it is port security. Or perhaps its is the mysterious Al-Sharref or one of his agents. It is getting towards the time given for the meeting.
The big gorilla pushes his chair round slightly so he can keep an eye on the corner where the drone is more easily.

Port Jefferson
 

The robot notices the scrutiny but dismisses it as unimportant never pausing in the scanning.

Port Jefferson
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