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Previously, on Space Derelict Quest, a salvaging expedition was forced to make the difficult decision to return to their port of call, only one week in of a two-month expedition, because a structural failure in their freighter, the Mammon, resulted in the loss of 1/3 of their fuel reserves. In a last-ditch effort to break even on the expedition, the Owner-Operator of the fleet, our character, decided to take a meandering route out of decivilized space, in the hopes of finding something salvageable. Unbeknownst to anyone else, including the other owners and shareholders of the fleet, this was because to finance and insure the expedition, the Owner-Operator used the fleet’s trawler, the Clean Sweep, as collateral in a under the table loan with a loan shark.

Ultimately, the fleet was able to find “something salvageable”, a massive ghost ship, appropriately painted white, sitting in a deliberate geosynchronous orbit above a habitable, uncharted world. Unfortunately for the men of the Starving Vultures, the ship is at least partially functional, and is has demonstrated its ability to defend itself by sending drones in suicide rushes at the fleet. While none of these drones have managed to do any damage, munitions for the point defense weaponry across the fleet are being stretched thinner and thinner, and there is only a dozen rounds of ammunition for the heavier autocannons on the fleets flagship, the Aethereal Vulture.

Further evidence of the derelict’s ability to defend itself came to light after the “catch” from the trawler was examined. While the tightly packed debris cloud sitting around the wreck was originally thought to be from the ship itself, it appears to be the remains of other ships, presumably that the derelict destroyed, though how (and why) remains unclear.
>>
>>4344401
There are currently only four things known about the fleet whose remains make up the debris cloud:
>With over three hundred bodies recovered already, the fleet was much larger than yours, which left port with a compliment of only 140 men.
>The remains of the fleet have already been picked over to some extent, presumably by the derelict, to produce the drones that it has been sending after you.
>The fleet was lost at least 50 years ago, as evidenced by the presence of an outdated identification serial.
>The fleet operated out of your port of call, Old Scrimshander.

Complicating any further research into this doomed expedition, it seems that your onboard naval database, the Rutter, has been censored by its authors, the Port Authority, to conceal all information that has anything to do with that fleet. The depths of this conspiracy are unclear now, but you have already begun taking precautions, and will continue to do so, when you return to port.

Finally, there are the complications that come with operating old, rebuilt or repurposed equipment in decivilized space. A series of mistakes on board the Clean Sweep lead to the death of a crewman, the maiming of another, and several other serious, though not life threatening, injuries. The disruption caused by a runaway supply barge may have alerted the ship to our location. And an attempt to boost the power of the scanner seems to have impeded the ability of the flagship to communicate.
>>
>>4344405
Despite all these setbacks, the fleet is continuing to push with the salvage operations. Under the command of C2 Warrant Officer Justinian Hexdricks (subject of the current temporary perspective shift), an armed away team is currently in the hangar, attempting to see if anything had been missed on the previous pass through of a Huginn surveillance drone.

>Head further in, towards the door to the Trainyard.
>>
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>>4344415
You are Justinian Hexdricks, a C2 Warrant Officer of the Starving Vultures Salvage fleet, who is commanding a 14 man (counting yourself) away team inside of what is certainly going to be the biggest find of your career. You are with the forward group, comprised of yourself, an engineer and eight crewmen. The equipment that you and your men are carrying are all either rebuilt, obsolete, or rebuilt out of obsolete parts, and there is absolutely no standardization, either with the equipment or the weapons, two recoilless rifles, one chambered in 75mm with nine rounds and one chambered in 73mm with seven rounds (not counting those already in the chamber).

You are not certain that the recoilless rifles will be capable of disabling the drones, considering that multiple bursts of vacflack was needed to bring down most of the smaller drones, and that was 88mm. You feel that the satchel charges with the electromagnets would be better suited than the guns to kill the drones, but the only thing on hand you’d stake your life on here is the integrated laser on the attack shuttle. Which is not with you currently. Still, you and all of the others in the forward group of the away team are armed with two separate satchel charges, and there are the two riflemen. With any luck, you will be able to manage a fighting retreat, if it comes to it. With good luck, you will be able to explore all the available areas without seeing so much as an automated T-Light, let alone a drone.

As you approach the open blast door between the hangar and the trainyard, the engineer in the party calls a halt, as you have given him the authority to do so. He points out the remains of the elevators, and explains that the magnets that were used in the train tracks could also be used in the elevator, and that considering the state of the elevator currently, you could be able to simply pull them off the remains of the structures here. He does not need to mention to any of you that vacgrade magnets command a solid price (1 tiny-industrial vacgrade magnet = 50 double talents at base price).

>You are here to explore, not to salvage. We will make note of it, but we should continue, at least for now. If we find nothing better to do, we can return to the elevators.

>See if it is possible to, as the engineer has said, simply pull them off, using the equipment that we have on hand. After demonstrating that it can be done, move on, and continue exploring, at least for now. If we find nothing better to do, we can return to the elevators.

>Well, this is a salvage operation at the end of the day. Pull off as many of these magnets as you can from this elevator with the equipment on hand. Once we are done, ferry them back to the barge.

>Well, this is a salvage operation at the end of the day. Get the barge and the heavier equipment over here and pull everything off this elevator that we can. Once we are done, ferry them back on the barge to the staging area.
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>>4344422
>Well, this is a salvage operation at the end of the day. Pull off as many of these magnets as you can from this elevator with the equipment on hand. Once we are done, ferry them back to the barge.
>>
>>4344446
Alright, so that will be 3 rolls. I need one roll of 1d20+2 for the crewmen pulling the magnets, one roll of 1d20+1 for the engineer planning the operation and one roll of 1d20+2 for the officer coordinating everything with the advance element, the rest of the away team, and the rest of the fleet.

Again;
>1d20+2
>1d20+1
>1d20+2

>if no one else has rolled after ten minutes, you may roll again.
>>
Rolled 18 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4344473
Ah fuck me. We have to roll to salvage.
>>
Rolled 5 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>4344473
>>
Rolled 4 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4344473
Fuckers
>>
Rolled 7, 9, 2, 2 + 10 = 30 (4d20 + 10)

>>4344500
>>4344512
>>4344515
Well, that is a net perfect roll for the crewmen, and both the roll for the engineer and officers managed to just barely be neutral. Expect a decent haul of magnets.

>4d20+10 tiny industrial magnets are recovered. 1d20 for each group, 1d20 because the crewmen are equiped with some tools, and +10 because the crewmen mangaged to get a "net" perfect roll.

Reminder that each and every magnet has base value of 50 double-talents, or 63 if sold through a fence.
>>
>>4344531
Huh. Oh well, that is still roughly 1500 double-talents worth of magnets. Also note, that there are more there that can be accessed with heavier equipment (on the barge) or with a different party composition.
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>>4344539
I dont know about the restoration of you, but I kind of want to fuck off right now so we can resupply. The higher our crewmens moral, the higher their bonuses ergo success and less fatalities. At least less frequently.
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>>4344473
Thirding we take the booty back to the barge and resupply.
>>
>>4344553
>>4344547
Work continues for the better part of an hour, plucking the magnets out of the remains of one of the four elevators. The crewmen, no doubt edged on by the prospect of more bonuses hit the remains of the elevator like a ton of bricks, and make relatively short work of the ruin. Unfortunately, this elevator is in terrible condition, and many magnets are either irretrievable without heavier equipment or just completely missing; the other three in the hangar will probably be more forthcoming, even more so, if you were to use heavier equipment.

Towards the end, when you had just received a report that the engineers have managed to undo whatever they did to the communications tower on the Aethereal Vulture, and to switch from shortwave to broadband. As work finally winds down, and all of the magnets that can be removed by the equipment on hand, you ask the engineer in the forward group if there is anything stop you or later expeditions from severing the elevators from the hull with Old Ironsides, and then picking at a safe distance.

The engineer drums his fingers on the outside of his visor, and says that bearing the intervention of drones, there is nothing physically stopping us from doing that. The only concern is that, considering the potential treasure trove underneath us, we might want to repair one, to help retrieve it. You thank him for the input, promising to pass it along to the bridge.

You are about to make the final trip back to the barge, then leave the hangar, when you become aware that the particulate clouds of white ceramic mircodebris are no longer just floating around the hangar, some of them are floating past you, from further inside the hull. Alarmed, you look into the trainyard, and are surprised to see enough to somewhat obscure what is going on on the far side of the trainyard. Though you believe you can see movement, and here and there a flash of metal.

There is no doubt, there are drones back there. As to what is the best course of action? There lies the doubt.

>Retreat in good order back to the staging area, make sure your prize, all thirty of the magnets, are secure, and push off. There is a chance however, that you might be attacked.
>It is possible that you are as obscured as the drones are to you. Take advantage of the clouds, and sneak in to the trainyard with the riflemen.
>For the exploration of this hull to continue, these two rooms need to be cleared. Commit the entire party, and call over the attack shuttle to destroying whatever is producing these clouds.
>Same as above, but bring the Aethereal Vulture into range of the far side of the trainyard to provide additional fire support.
>>
>>4344663
>It is possible that you are as obscured as the drones are to you. Take advantage of the clouds, and sneak in to the trainyard with the riflemen.
>>
>>4344672
I'm going to take a break for dinner, so I will leave this vote up while I'm out. Goes without saying, but this is fairly important one, all things considered.
>>
>>4344672
Seconding. We are too underarmed to not reach for any surprise advantage possible.
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>>4344663
>It is possible that you are as obscured as the drones are to you. Take advantage of the clouds, and sneak in to the trainyard with the riflemen.
>>
>>4344663
>It is possible that you are as obscured as the drones are to you. Take advantage of the clouds, and sneak in to the trainyard with the riflemen.
>>
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You redistribute the magnets that you were carrying throughout the non-combatants of the away team, to ensure that all 30 of them made it back to the ships. After a moment of hesitation, you also ordered the barge and the Huginn drone back to the fleet. While it was tempting to simply use the drone to reconnoiter the disruption in the trainyard, unfortunately there was no time to deploy it, and if there was, the immediate exterior of the hangar is completely exposed, and therefore is not a safe spot to deploy the drone piloting module. Additionally, there are concerns about the broadcast from the drone to pilot module being picked up by enemy sensors; obviously something on that ship was "seeing" and "hearing" something, and until it was found and crippled or destroyed, you had serious reservations about deploying a drone inside the ship without the protection of a ship around you and the pilot.

The only support that remained even remotely nearby was the attack shuttle, but its short range weapon and relatively slow operating speed meant that if you needed its help, you would need to get to it, rather than rescue coming to you. Gesturing for the two riflemen to stoop lower into the clouds, the three of you push towards the open blast door between the hangar bay and the trainyard. As you take cover in the door frame, the two riflemen look to you for orders.

>The far side of the trainyard is in range, both of you should stay here and cover my approach.
>The far side of the trainyard is in range, one of you should stay here and cover our approach.
>The far side of the trainyard might be in range, but we all might have a better vantage point on the elevated track-portion of the room.
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>>4344778
>The far side of the trainyard might be in range, but we all might have a better vantage point on the elevated track-portion of the room.

We should keep the group together.
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>>4344778
>The far side of the trainyard might be in range, but we all might have a better vantage point on the elevated track-portion of the room.
>>
>>4344795
>>4344799
Alright, please can I get 1 roll for the officer getting into position with the men and making his observation of the trainyard area?

>1d20+2 please
>>
Rolled 18 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4344809
>>
>>4344812
Well, we seem to be doing much better this thread. I'll get to writing.
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>>4344812
nice
>>
>>4344812
Thank god
>>
It is several harrowing minutes getting from the door frame into position. While the nograv and lowgrav environment means that a single soldier can carry much heavier weapons than their conventional gravity counterparts, there are several new issues that weapons operating in these non conventional environments must overcome. One of these issues is to how one individual can interdependently operate what was intended as a squad weapon. While different outfits have different methods, the ones employed among the Starving Vultures is called the integrated tripod. Anchor points for the legs of the tripod are built into the suit. One one each boot, for the two forward legs, and one on the codpiece, for the sole back leg of the tripod. Once the rifleman has secured himself to the ground, he can fire in relative comfort from a sitting position, with legs forming a secondary frame for the tripod.

You were able to find two good spots for both of your men to set up, secured to the not-magnetic portions of the rails that ran the length of the second level. From this vantage point, you are able to two new types of drones, demonstrating new behavior. These drones appeared to conducting some manner of repair on the wall of the far side of the trainyard, and it takes you a minute to realize that they are cleaning up after the Aethereal Vulture's autocannon barrages. The smaller drones are made of metal, presumably salvage taken from the debris field outside. They are the smallest that you have seen here, the are larger than the Huginn drones, at roughly a yard in diameter, you'd say, though they were hemispherical, as opposed to the spherical Huginn. Evidence of their utility was the power take-off shaft in their underbellies. You saw several with different tools floating about, and several without.

The real attention grabber was the larger drone that they were apparently slaved to. Unlike all of the other drones that you had come across so far, this particular one is made out of the same ceramic (or at least, it looks like it) as the ship itself is made out of. It has a half-dozen sockets built into both of its sides, where tools sit, and as you watch, you can see the slaved drones dropping off tools, and then replacing them with another tool, and returning to the wall to conduct what to you was looked like buffing and sanding the repaired portions of the wall. Almost makes you wished you brought the engineer along, but your suit is recording, they will get this information eventually.
>>
>>4344922

No doubt they would be most interested the source of all of the "dust". The larger drone is carrying a massive tank on its back, and is spraying the contents, which look to be an off-white, sooty slurry out of a front mounted sprayer. The applicator of the sprayer is a massive needle, at least a yard and a half long, covered in heating conduits. The needle, and the piping from the tank to head of the applicator all are glowing red hot, even in the vacuum of space. This heavy utility drone is not armored for either combat or EVA, and considering the lack of reinforcement on that needle, it is not intended for it to use it as a weapon. That said, the thing is a huge lance, and the few times that the big boy has moved, it was quicker than you would have thought. You are fairly certain that lance could kill men in their longerjohn suits, skewer drones out of the vac, or maybe even pierce and depressurize a small vessel, like the slow attack shuttle

Eventually, the cluster of drones move to the left of the door at the far side of the trainyard, on the first level of the room. It is then that you realize that concealed by the clouds of the "dust", that the door was open. The lights were still on in this section. You couldn't see much, but it seemed that the room on the other side of that door was built on a more human sized scale than this hangar and depot. While you don't want to throw yourself into needless danger, by the time a drone is ready, the door may be closed, or the concealing cloud dissipated. Not to mention, people have an easier time sneaking then drones do, and you and your riflemen are armed. You are right here. And the rest of the ship is right there...

>For the second time, use the clouds as cover and attempt to press further into the ship, this time into an unexplored area, after radioing to the fleet.
>Hopefully, there will be another chance. Fall back to the attack shuttle, and rejoin the rest of the fleet.
>>
>>4344928
I realized that I forgot to specific, that the off white, sooty slurry is being sprayed at the wall to repair it. The slaved hemispherical drones are doing finishing work. The "dust" is either bits of ceramic that were sanded or buffed off of the wall, or bits of the slurry that solidified before they hit the wall, and bounced off, instead of sticking and setting as intended.
>>
>>4344928
I'm kind of temples to black the foreman drone. Does our riflemen think their guns can pierce the drone?
>>
>>4344941
Supporting. We have surprise, high ground, and I dont like the idea of sneaking further in when we might get trapped between these drones if they decide to do further repairs back towards the ship.
>>
>>4344941
+1
>>
>>4344941
No one in the fleet has a good grasp of what that ceramic can withstand yet. Between the exposed piping, the unarmored boosters, and the tank that (while ceramic) is presumably under some level of pressure. They'd think that it is squishy enough to try.

>>4344965
>>4344958
>>4344941

Okay, lets do this.

"Foreman" Drone CR 30.

2 Vacuum Grade RR, combined attack attack 2d6
2 out of 5 soft spots are visible, confers +2d6
Being behind and above target, confers +2d6
Stationary target, confers +2d6

So, I need 1 rolls of 8d6 and 2 rolls of 1d20+2 to determine how the first round of combat goes.
>>
Rolled 6, 4, 3, 5, 3, 6, 6, 2 = 35 (8d6)

>>4344995
>>
>>4345001
Alright, so unless both of the rolls for the crewmen and the officer are bad, then that means that the drone is downed, its ultimate state to be determined.
>>
Rolled 7 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4344995
>>
Rolled 3, 3 = 6 (2d6)

>>4344995
>>
Rolled 18 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4344995
>>4345046
Sorry, I'm retarded and cant read.

Correc roll.
>>
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>>4345051
>>
Alright, give me a minute, and I will get to writing.
>>
After several tense minutes of setting up, the only thing left to do was to actually shoot the damn things. The shot you had coordinated between the two was beyond solid. Normally, two rifles would never have been able to knock out something so large, but for once in this outing, you held all of the cards here. Still, there was the question of the smaller slaved drones, and what they'd do. As expected, they surprised you.

The eight or so of the drones that were in the area stopped in their tracks, and for a moment, you thought that downing the "Foreman" had left them in the lurch. Unfortunately, it seemed that they were simply processing the unexpected current condition of their master. Those of the slave drones that had tools ejected them, those that did not went to the larger drone, picked up and then immediate dropped the tools, clearing all of the sockets on the hull. In total there were at least 10 slave drones that came out of the clouds to dock in the now empty sockets. Lifting in unison, they managed to lift the drone, and headed to the open blast door immediately in front of them.

>Our prey is getting away! Try shooting the smaller drones.
>Let 'em go Jake. It's China Town.
>>
>>4345104

>Our prey is getting away! Try shooting the smaller drones.
>Lifting in unison, they managed to lift the drone, and headed to the open blast door immediately in front of them.
The one they came from, or the one we're at?
>>
>>4345116
+1
>>
>>4345116
The one on the far side of the trainyard, presumably the one they came from, definitely not the one we came from.
>>
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>>4345104
>blast them
>>
You went to all the trouble of setting up a beautifully executed ambush, and you weren't going to to just sit idly by, and watch the fruits of your labor just be dragged off. That drone, as it was made of the same ceramic as the hull of the derelict, if retrieved, or if at the very least, examined could potentially provide some additional insight as to how the ship operates.

There are, by your count, ten slaved drones in the sockets of the of the "Foreman", and they are quite close to the door already. Your only hope of stopping them before they manage to get to the other side of the second blast door is to take out enough of them that they can no longer move the downed, larger drone. You could have the two riflemen fire at the same drone, to improve the odds that it was shot down, or alternatively, you could have them shoot independently, to attempt to take down as many drones as they can. This is going to be much more difficult; you have up to ten targets this time, instead of one, and the only situational bonus you have now is that you are above the targets (confers +1d6 to attack), the others that you relied on to attack the "Foreman" are no longer in effect.

How do you go about stopping those slaves from carrying off their downed master?
>Coordinate the shots of the riflemen on one target at a time (2 Vacuum Grade RR combined attack is 2d6).
>Coordinate the shots of the riflemen on two targets at a time (1 Vacuum Grade RR attack is 1d6)

>These slaved drones, like the Mad Drones have a CR of 9, which means that a 9 or higher will destroy them, 7 or higher will cripple the drone, potentially rendering it unable to lift the "Foreman", and 4 or higher will damage the drone. If you manage to roll 12 or higher, then you have foundered the drone, which means that it is destroyed but in better shape for potential salvage operations.
>>
Rolled 6, 6 = 12 (2d6)

>>4345785
>Coordinate the shots of the riflemen on one target at a time (2 Vacuum Grade RR combined attack is 2d6).
>>
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>>4345827
Was gonna say the same. If we can knock out one, then they might stop to pick up the other downed drone and buying us time for another shot.
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>>4345827
>Well, that founders one drone, without even using the benefit conferred by the high ground. Great Shooting!

The drone you just coordinated the shot on, mated in the bottom socket on the right side of the downed "Foreman" is billowing sparks from the top of its "head", your two riflemen have clearly managed a fatal blow. Still, in the lowgrav environment, the remaining nine slaves are enough to keep the master moving towards safety, though there is a slight list towards the side with the foundered drone. You and your riflemen are going to have to keep this streak up, if you are to have any hope at all of getting your kill back to the fleet.

>Please roll 1d20+2 for the riflemen and 1d20+2 for Hexdricks. If they both get good (15-20) rolls, they get two extra shots. If one or the other gets good rolls, they get one extra shot. If they both get neutral, then their turn ends. Other outcomes will either result in the end of the turn, or potentially extra actions for the drones.
>>
Rolled 9 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4345877
>>
Rolled 16 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4345877
Lets go!
>>
>>4345883
>>4345899
It wasn't easy, at it certainly wasn't guaranteed, but you managed to squeeze out another another volley before the drone could do much of anything. It was...

>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
>two shots at one drone, rolling 3d6 for the one.

>Remember, you need a 9 or better to kill the drone outright, 7 or better to cripple or slow the drone, 4 or better to do any damage.
>>
Rolled 6, 4, 5 = 15 (3d6)

>>4345911
>two shots at one drone, rolling 3d6 for the one.
>>
>>4345911
Focus on taking out another drone on the listing side.

>two shots at one drone, rolling 3d6 for the one.
>>
>>4345911
>two shots at one drone, rolling 3d6 for the one
I like these rolls
>>
>>4345911
>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
>>
Rolled 4, 4 = 8 (2d6)

>>4345911
>>
Rolled 4, 2 = 6 (2d6)

>>4345926
oh wait a cripple is a 7, that should be easy to get, change vote to
>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
>>
>>4345981
the gods fucking taunt me
>>
>>4345912
>>4345914
>>4345926
>>4345975
>>4345977
>>4345981
Well, the voting here turned into a mess. I should have formally closed it, instead of starting to write for the one shot scenario. My fault. Complicating matters is that we are voting and rolling at the same time, when we should be voting, closing the vote, then rolling. You don't know how things are going to go when you are deciding on them right? Not to mention that means you could retroactively pick the better of the two choices. It kind of wrecks the Quest, doesn't it? Considering that I didn't specify, I will allow it for this roll, but going forward, no rolling for attacks during the voting process. None of our characters are intended to be prescient, after all.

So, you have a choice. Do you want one dead drone (no thrust), or one crippled drone (some erratic thrust) and a damaged but still functional one (full thrust, but easier to kill).
>>
>>4346011
The latter.
>>
>>4346013
+1
>>
>>4346074
>>4346013
Alright, give me a minute.
>>
The slaved drone that the 73mm was targeting cracks like an egg, yet its thrusters still manage to sputter. The 75 managed to score what looked like a clean hit on the drone sitting in the socket right above the crippled one, but it is still functional, somehow, despite being shot through. Must have missed everything that is important. Still, you doubt that it could manage a repeat of that.

Down two drones on its right side, with another firing erratically, the “Foreman” begins listing a bit more. Were this in a conventional gravity environment, the drone would have been grounded by now. In fact, if you were all in conventional gravity, then none of the drones, the slaves or the master would be able to move, with the relative pittance of thrust that they are capable of. Unfortunately, this is a nograv environment*, and they are still managing to accelerate the "Foreman" in an increasingly sloppy arc towards the unknown area. In fact, the biggest issue is momentum. It isn't going to be enough to destroy the slaves before the master is through the door, no, as long as the master is angled towards the door, the momentum provided by the slaves, even in death will be enough to carry the downed "Foreman" to safety. Which means to prevent your prey from escaping, you need to stop if from getting to a position where it is merely pointing at the door, which is a taller order than simply shooting all the drones before it passes outside your range of sight.

You don't know how much longer it will take for the slaves to get to an angle that will let them sail through the door, but you aren't just going to sit around and find out.

>Continue targeting the drones on the right side of the "Foreman", where you have knocked out 2 of 5, and damaged 2 others. Continuing to knock off these drones might mean that there is not enough thrust, and they may fall out of their current trajectory towards escape, and crash into the wall next to the door.

>Start targeting the drones on the left side of the "Foreman", where you haven't knocked out any. Starting to knock off these drones might prevent the drones from making corrections, and they may fall out of their current trajectory towards escape, and crash into the wall next to the door.

>*QM's Notes: "Nograv" in the Quest would be referred to as microgravity in our world, which is synonymous with the less accurate and less scientific terms, "Zero-G", "Zero Gravity" and "Weightlessness".
>>
>>4346127
>Start targeting the drones on the left side of the "Foreman", where you haven't knocked out any.
>>
>>4346127
>Continue targeting the drones on the right side of the "Foreman", where you have knocked out 2 of 5, and damaged 2 others. Continuing to knock off these drones might mean that there is not enough thrust, and they may fall out of their current trajectory towards escape, and crash into the wall next to the door.
>>
>>4346143
Changing vote to first option.
>>
>>4346143
>>4346132
Okay, I'll keep this up until 2pm Eastern Standard Time, if there isn't a tiebreaker, I'll roll for it.
>>
>>4346127
The impact of the fuck huge bullets should knock the drones off course to some degree yeah? Elastic and inelastic collisions? Hit which ever drones is directing the foreman, and leave the erratic one alone.

Target the damaged one on the right side, and an undamaged one on the left.
>>
>>4346160
To a certain degree, yes, though the drones are capable of making corrections collectively. If enough of them were destroyed, then the impacts from the recoilless rifles would be enough to throw the whole group of them off course.
>>
>So, that is two votes for the right side, and one write in for one on both.

You order your riflemen to take...
>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
>two shots at one drone, rolling 3d6 for the one.

>Again, you need a 9 or better to kill the drone outright, 7 or better to cripple or slow the drone, 4 or better to do any damage. Also, if you were to chose two shots at two drones, you'd target the damaged drone and an intact one, unless you specified otherwise.
>>
>>4346186
>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
Did you say the foreman was on par with the obese or mad sized drones?
>>
>>4346186
>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
>>
>>4346186
>2 Vacuum Grade RR, combined attack attack 2d6
>2 out of 5 soft spots are visible, confers +2d6
>Being behind and above target, confers +2d6
>Stationary target, confers +2d6
Do there exist better zero-g carryable weapons? High penetration rounds, higher velocity, smartlinks?
From what we've seen of the Mad and Obese drones, could any weakspots be identified on them?
What's the effective range for these rifles in terms of turns?
How much does the 73 and 75mm guns typically go for on the market?
How exactly do we fence stuff to get better prices?
>>
Rolled 4, 5 = 9 (2d6)

>>4346186
>>two shots at two drones, rolling 2d6 for each.
>>
>>4346220
Too early anon
>>
>>4346239
Oh right, forgot we are doing it in steps now.
>>
>>4346200
>>4346201
Alright, so that will be 2 rolls of 2d6 for the RR. A reminder for next time, that 1d6 of our attack is being conferred from our excellent positioning.

>>4346200
>Did you say the foreman was on par with the obese or mad sized drones?
The Foreman is slightly smaller than a Mad Drone. As it is made out of ceramic, it is significantly tougher. The only reason you were able to kill it with the relatively primitive weapons you have on hand is because the recoilless rifles are precise enough to target soft spots, and you were able to take advantage the situation.
>Do there exist better zero-g carryable weapons? High penetration rounds, higher velocity, smartlinks?
Yes, but they are scarce, and command serious price tags.
>From what we've seen of the Mad and Obese drones, could any weakspots be identified on them?
All of their propulsion is mounted on their aft, and the bulk of their armor is mounted on their fore. If you were able to get behind them, you'd get a bonus to your attack.As an additional note on the shortcomings of their propulsion system, they have a hard time maneuvering. At a low burn, they are capable as any other drone, but at the ramming speeds they get to during their suicide rushes, they have a hard time steering themselves.
>What's the effective range for these rifles in terms of turns?
Well, we are in nograv. If the target is stationary, then the effective range is as far as you can see. If the target is moving, then I'd say three rounds, just like the Vulcan Point defense guns.
>How much does the 73 and 75mm guns typically go for on the market?
There really isn't a "typical" price. While possession and trade of existing weapons is legal, the manufacture of new weapons, for personal use or trade is tightly controlled by the Polity, which is the government that the Port Authority operates under. More on this later.
>How exactly do we fence stuff to get better prices?
By finding and then selling to a fence, we are able to side step the taxes and tariffs of the Port Authority, though there are potential legal concerns, obviously.
>>
Rolled 3, 6 = 9 (2d6)

>>4346248
>>
Rolled 5, 2 = 7 (2d6)

>>4346248
Watch me roll low now that I wasted a good roll.
>>
>>4346248
>The Foreman is slightly smaller than a Mad Drone. As it is made out of ceramic, it is significantly tougher.
Nice. That means we can take out the Mads and Obese due to them having a larger body profile (easier to target) and not covered with the extra hard ceramics. Depending on the velocity these drones can travel and the effective range of these guns, we should definitely consider purchasing more dakka. Me thinks it will save us a pretty penny.

In regards to shooting their aft's, does their exist any technology that would make it difficult for a drone to spot a riflemen? From our dissections of drones do we know what kind of sensors they are equipped with?

The only thing that comes to mind is the purchasing of the electronic warfare package to disrupt drones. We figure out where exactly the drones are coming from, we have some riflemen station around the ship with anchors jammed into the ships so they dont fly off, and they can take pot shots at the existing drones.
>>
>>4346253
>Still enough to cripple, and with >>4346251 destroying their drone, it was a relatively good showing.

With one drone destroyed outright, and another hobbled, flight of the "Foreman" was even more erratic, as the remaining drones attempted to make corrections, to account for the impacts of the rounds, the lost potential acceleration and the erratic firing of the crippled units. While it had seemed like a long shot before, at this rate, you just might be able to claim this thing. Your confidence is soaring, until you make an alarming realization. Somehow, you were duped by a drone. By a bunch of slaved drones!

The path of the drones, given your position, gave clean shots to the right side. Potentially deliberately. And the shots were only getting better, as the drone was banking towards the door and the right side would be facing towards you. But for the left, the untouched left side, their target profile was getting slimmer and slimmer. This might be the last chance that you get to hit those drones! Would the 5 on one side be enough to carry themselves to safety? You'd be damned if you found out!

>Roll 1d20+2 for the riflemen
>Roll 1d20+2 for Hexdricks

>>4346267
They can attempt to, but remember, that the Mad Drones and the Morbidly Obese Drones are operating at full throttle, much faster than these are moving at currently. They'd be subjected to the same penalties as the autocannon, -1 for Morbidly Obese Drone, and -3 for Mad Drone. There are ways to off set this though, when we get to port, we can discuss them.
>>
>>4346278
Wow, I forgot to close the italics. I didn't know it would do that without the "[/i]"
>>
Rolled 20 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4346278
>>
>>4346284
If you are still in the thread you can roll again. Also, in addition to screwing up the italics, I also managed to forget the picture.
>>
Rolled 13 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4346278
Tricksy droneses
>>
Rolled 9 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4346310
Ara ara!
>>
>>4346311
>>4346284
>Well, good. With one neutral roll, and another netting above 20, that means that you get two extra shots. Two complications, the first of which is that there are four rounds left for the 73mm rifle, and six rounds left for the 75mm rifle, counting the one in the chamber. The second complication is that the target is small, and is getting smaller as the drone continues to bank away from you. There will be a -1 modifier on the attack roll to reflect this.

Seemingly by the Grace of some Greater Being, your riflemen have managed to reload faster than you would have thought physically possible. You quickly order them to...

>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please)
>fire two shots at one drone (a roll of 1 3d6-1, don't roll yet please)
>>
>>4346284
>>4346311
>>4346325
Waa that three drones? I hope that was three drones.
>>
>>4346330
Wait! I'm an idiot. That is 2 good rolls, with one above 20, so that would be three shots. >>4346331
Yeah, it could very well be. Though ammo is becoming a concern.
>>
>>4346332
>fire "three?" shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please)
>>
>>4346341
I mean three shots at three drones
>>
>>4346330
>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please)
>>
>>4346332
>>fire "three?" shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please)
>>
>>4346341
>>4346343
>>4346347
Well, that is sort of an option, but you have three extra ROUNDS, not a total of three shots in one round.

Our Round (fire two shots at two targets, we already did this)
Extra Round 1 (choose to fire two shots at target or targets) <you are here
Extra Round 2 (choose to fire two shots at target or targets)
Extra Round 3 (choose to fire two shots at target or targets)
----
Drone moves
>>
>>4346362
Two shots at two drones it is then.
>>
Alright then, can I get 2 2d6-1 please?
>>
Rolled 2, 5 + 1 = 8 (2d6 + 1)

>>4346374
oh shit oh fuck
>>
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>>4346378
1 and a 4 then, since it changed my - to a +.
>>
Rolled 4, 1 - 1 = 4 (2d6 - 1)

>>4346374
K

>>4346378
You uh....
>>
>>4346382
>No, I sum them, then subtract, so that counts as a 6. Damaged, but not crippled.
>>4346383
>And at a 4, again, damaged, but not crippled.

The first volley flies true, though the hits may be wanting, it seems to you that they are less wanting than misses.

Extra round two:
>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
>fire two shots at one drone (a roll of 1 3d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
>hold fire
>>
>>4346395
>>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.

I vote we try to disable the two damaged drones we just hit on the left side, or atleast cripple them.
>>
>>4346410
I don't know about that. You are talking about a miniature artillery shell, it isn't exactly a surgical implement. That said, if you were to deliberately aim so that it hit away from anything presumably vital. I don't know.

How about this. If you are using a precision weapon that fires in individual rounds, like the rifles and the autocannon, as opposed to the flack guns, if you manage to get CR it founders (becomes disabled without being completely destroyed). I might have to change that, I'm still trying to balance everything.
>>
>>4346395
>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
>>
>>4346424
Oh I didn't mean to do any fancy shooting, just that we should fire at the same drones we hit last round and hope we do enough damage to cripple/disable.
>>
>>4346431
Well, if you were to hit them again, even a little, that should be enough to destroy them, so in theory, crippling or damaging an already crippled or damaged drone should just destroy it.
>>
>>4346437
So long as we aim for the ones that aren't eratic
>>
>>4346441
I'll support this.
>>
Alright, that is enough to close it for targeting the ones that aren't discharging erratically. Please, the 2 rolls of 2d6-1.
>>
Rolled 2, 3 - 1 = 4 (2d6 - 1)

>>4346478
>>
Rolled 3, 6 + 1 = 10 (2d6 + 1)

>>4346478
>>
How do I roll with the debuff? I am doing dice+2d6-1, but it is changing the negative to a positive when I post. Does it need a space?
>>
>>4346497
I think that might be it.
>>4346485
>>4346494
Anyway, congratulations, you have taken down two drones on the left side. There is one more action round remaining.

Extra round three:
>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
>fire two shots at one drone (a roll of 1 3d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
>hold fire, considering that you only have 2 shots left with the 73mm
>>
>>4346497
"dice+2d6+-1"

>>4346502
>fire two shots at two drones (rolls of 2 2d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
That was all the ammo we had on the riflemen, of that we had for the entire fleet? Can we grab more 73 and 75mm ammo from the ship?
>>
>>4346522
Supporting this. We have committed fully this far.
>>
>>4346502
>fire two shots at one drone (a roll of 1 3d6-1, don't roll yet please), specify if you are targeting a damaged drone or not.
Aim for an undamaged drone, let's use the rest of our ammo, and radio for an ammo resupply if we can.

+1 to >>4346522 if >>4346522 is a possibility with our ammo constraints
>>
>>4346502
Fire at ones that are undamaged or the ones with infrequent thrusters. The randomness helps destabilize their trajectory.
>>
>>4346522
Yes, but not much more. When you get back to the fleet, you can ask the Quartermaster to redistribute ammo.

>>4346594
As for radioing for resupply or reinforcement, the barge has left, and the fleet has positioned itself far enough away from the hangar, that by the time they got to you the drone could have escaped.

The only practical reinforcement available is the attack shuttle on standby, and all of its weapons are close range. Though it might be helpful in hauling the wreck out, if you did manage to get it.

I'm going to let this sit of a bit while I eat dinner.
>>
>>4346626
At the very least, rearming the riflemen would be helpful on the chance more drones appear. It might be worth taking those tools they released too.

Regarding claiming and the requirement to industrialize the planet to make it useful, could we get some license for manufacturing our own arms and armor?
>>
>>4346640
You've just given me a very good idea for a future plot point. Short answer: yes, that would be something that could be done, though it would the reward at the end of a long process.
>>
So, there is another thunderstorm going on, right on top of me. Apparently, half of my hometown is out of power. As I don't want the Quest to abruptly end in the middle of this fight, we will just continue. I see two votes for shooting at two and one vote for shooting at one, with everyone in favor with contacting the fleet for a resupply.

Alright, moving along...
>>
>>4346709
>That time it was me, and not the auto timer.

Can I get the two rolls of 2d6-1 for the third extra round?
>>
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Rolled 1, 1 - 1 = 1 (2d6 - 1)

>>4346713
I feel it in my dice
>>
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Rolled 3, 1 - 1 = 3 (2d6 - 1)

>>4346713
This is for all the marbles.

>>4346728
>>
>>4346728
Oh, we are all feeling it. Imagine if it was -2, you'd have managed to roll a zero.
>>
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>>4346728
>>4346730
god dammit.

>>4346741
Was that all our shots? Is the -1 from the accuracy penalty to hitting the drones due to poor aim?
>>
>>4346741
>>4346730
>>4346728
>Well, this almost feels like the last thread again!

>>4346747
The -1 was due to the angle that the drone was at as it banked towards the door, as it reduced the target profile of the slave drones. At this point, the left side which has three completely functional drones can no longer be shot at. You have 3 shots of 75mm and one shot of 73mm remaining.

All good things must come to an end. And it stands to reason that not all of those ends are particularly dignified. With two complete misses, the window to hit the left boosters closes. All that you can do is hit the remaining drones on the right side, and hope that the now concealed drones in the left socket are not up to the task of carrying the "Foreman" through the trajectory to the door. Still, you make a point of radioing for a resupply. Even if they don't get hear in time for you to use them against the "Foreman", there might be a retaliatory attack inbound for all you know.

On the right side of the ship's socket bank, there is one completely destroyed drone, one foundered drone, two cripples firing their booster sporadically, and one damaged drone, still operating close enough to full capacity. This is the last round that you can have two rifles target the same drone, after that, it is all on the 75mm.

>Fire one shot at one drone
>Fire two shots at one drone
>Fire two shots at two drones
>>
>>4346771
>Two shots at two drones.

The near full capacity and one of the sporadic drones.
>>
>>4346771
>Fire two shots at two drones
Fire at damaged and crippled drone. They should be easier to destroy or founder.
After this volley, have someone or the 75mm rifleman go back to the hanger bag to quickly grab the ammo for our two riflemen.
>>
>>4346793
The CR of a crippled drone drops to a roll of 5, just like with the Mad Drones. As for the runner, after this round the 73mm Rifle will be out of ammo. Did you mean to have him go, and try to intercept the resupply package?
>>
>>4346811
>after that, it is all on the 75mm.
Sorry, I misread your post. I meant for someone on our team that's not a gunner to immediately go back to get the ammo for the 73mm gunner.

>try to intercept the resupply package?
That too
>>
>>4346820
The team is just the officer and the two gunners. There is the attack shuttle still on standby at the mouth of the hangar. The rest of the men retreated with the barge and the drone, which is why the resupply is going to take as long as it is.
>>
>>4346834
So the engineer and eight crewmen are back in the shuttle?
>>
>>4346850
No, they are back with the fleet. And the magnets, for that matter. The attack shuttle has an short range laser integrated into its hull, and two ball gunners on its wings, but no extra ammunition for the recoilless rifles. You've called in for a resupply, and they are coming, it is just going to be time, time that you probably don't have.
>>
>>4346885
Did we strip the magnets from only 1 of the elevators?
Did we not enter the trainyard in this pic? >>4344663
>>
>>4346997
Yes, only one of the elevators, and only partially, there are more on there that require heavier equipment. And yes, we did enter the trainyard.

However
>>4344778
>You redistribute the magnets that you were carrying throughout the non-combatants of the away team, to ensure that all 30 of them made it back to the ships. After a moment of hesitation, you also ordered the barge and the Huginn drone back to the fleet.
and in >>4344663's vote, we chose
>It is possible that you are as obscured as the drones are to you. Take advantage of the clouds, and sneak in to the trainyard with the riflemen.

We are on our own in here, for now, though there is a shuttle inbound with more ammunition.
>>
Well, regardless, there seems to be consensus on 2 shots at two drones in the right socket, targeting the damaged and the crippled drone. Can I please get:
>Two rolls of 2d6 (no -1 any more)
>Two rolls of 1d20+2 (Hexdricks and Riflemen)
>>
Rolled 4, 5 = 9 (2d6)

>>4347067
>>
Rolled 4, 3 = 7 (2d6)

>>4347067
Wololoooo
>>
>>4347102
>>4347124
Alright, that is two more drones dead, leaving a total of three undamaged drones on the other side. If either of you or anyone else is still in the thread, they can roll for the Hexdricks and the riflemen. They can't get an extra shot, but there is something else they might be able to see, if one of them gets a good roll.
>>
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Rolled 2 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4347067
Riflemen
>>
Rolled 19 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4347138
Hexdricks
>>
>>4347140
>>4347143
At this point, the 73mm has run out of ammo. The rifleman has the admittedly great idea to try to head out to the supply barge, in the hopes of when he intercepts it, the drone will still be in range. It was a good plan, and you gave it your blessing.

Unfortunately, much like good intentions, good plans don't always precede good results. The rifleman attempted to use the boosters on his suit with the rifle still anchored to the suit, to get to the ammunition quicker. It seems that attempting to operate the EVA boosters on the longerjohns* with you legs spread wide, and a miniature artillery piece dangling between them, like some yard and a half long, rifled phallus is not standard operating procedure for a reason. Elevating himself to a height where he could theoretically clear the floor, he misjudged his flightlines, and wound up passing too close to the magnetized portion of one of the rails, and became stuck, as the barrel of the rifle made solid contact with the magnetic wheel. Further attempts to free himself simply left jerking back and forth, potentially damaging the rifle, and disorientating himself. You had to go over to him and pry him off of the damn thing, using the barrel itself as leverage.

As the rifleman without ammo and now without dignity continued on his journey to the barge, with what may be now a non-functioning or damaged rifle, you made your return to the other gunner. And it is during this short journey, that you see nothing. Or rather, out of the corner of your field of view above you, you notice a disturbance in some of the few particles that have made it over here. Nothing is there anymore, but you would swear that something was. Worry sets in, and sets in hard. After making an initial check of the area, your undivided attention was on the drones by the door. Was there another here, above you? Did the ship have its own equivalent of Huginn drones? Still, where could it have gone, there is nowhere to go...
>>
>>4347213
>breaking the gun
wouldn't that be for critical failures?
>>
>>4347213
...nowhere, unless the walls opened up for it. You mean, that can move right, you've seen them move, at the aft, there has been evidence that they reshuffled the entire hangar after the blowout. The idea of every surface inside this hull being a massive blind for an army of hostile drones strikes you as increasingly likely. Is it possible that you are the ones being ambushed? It isn't time for the next shot, you have a radio, you should...

>make a open broadcast, shouting your theory to the entire fleet. If something were to happen to you, like right now, before you got back, then no one would ever know what happened, what to look out for. But with an open broadcast, someone will pick up on it, and it can be done immediately. (Immediately gets the message through, but will drop the morale of the entire fleet by 1)

>attempt to reach the bridge of the Aethereal Vulture only on the shortwave, to explain your theory, even if it might take time to patch you through. You still have time right? Nothing but time, right? (Will take some time, maybe a round, maybe three, before a secure connection is made, only the officers on the bridge will hear the theory, drops the morale of the entire officer core by 1)

>record a message using your suits onboard assistant in case there is an attack and only your suit makes it back to the fleet but otherwise keep silent. No need to worry anyone with what you are sure is ultimately just anxiety. Maybe later, you will pass it on, maybe you will delete it. (he wont delete it) (no morale penalty, if there is an issue, the rest of the fleet will not know about it, unless they recover him or his suit).
>>
>>4347218
critical failure is the gun blowing up in the face of the rifleman, destroying his suit and killing him. Failure is simply damage or a misfire.
>>
>>4347224
>attempt to reach the bridge of the Aethereal Vulture only on the shortwave, to explain your theory, even if it might take time to patch you through. You still have time right? Nothing but time, right? (Will take some time, maybe a round, maybe three, before a secure connection is made, only the officers on the bridge will hear the theory, drops the morale of the entire officer core by 1)
>>
>>4347236
I'll wait another 15 minutes on this vote before closing it.
>>
>>4347224
>record a message using your suits onboard assistant in case there is an attack and only your suit makes it back to the fleet but otherwise keep silent. No need to worry anyone with what you are sure is ultimately just anxiety. Maybe later, you will pass it on, maybe you will delete it. (he wont delete it) (no morale penalty, if there is an issue, the rest of the fleet will not know about it, unless they recover him or his suit).
If they could do that, then we would had been swarmed with drones a long time ago. There's plenty enough holes in the theory and we're down one gun. We're done here, so lets head back and deliver this to the Owner-Operator so he can deliver the message in a way that WON'T LEAD TO A MORALE DETRIMENT! How exactly is this affecting moral negatively?
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4347266 roll of 1
>>4347236 roll of 2

>>4347266
The whole point is that is doesn't make sense, but Hexdricks is certain that there was a drone moving around above head, and that for it to have gotten away, it must have gone somewhere. Hexdricks feels that the walls opened up for it, but there are other possibilities too. He has the idea that drones could be ambushing him and the remaining rifleman stuck in his head. He might be right, but regardless, hearing the man leading the away team shouting about drones in the walls sounds insane and alarming by turns. That is where the morale drop comes from.
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>4347283
You quietly dictate a brief message to the on suit computer about your theory, trying to remain as level headed about everything. There are other explanations, but the fact of the matter remains is that you are certain that something was above you. You don't know why, but you are so ... scared right now.

You force yourself to return your attention to the drone. The arc is becoming increasingly sloppy, the entire thing is dipping closer and closer to the ground. You don't know if the remaining three drones will be enough to carry it through.
>>
>>4347236
Thanks a lot for the moral penalty. Now we're rightly fucked.
>>
>>4347286
And then, just as it was about to make the trajectory to pass through the door; a triple blowout. You don't know if the slaves ran out of propellant, or if there was a mechanical or electronic issue with the sockets, but the result is the same. The slaves aren't going to be able to carry their stricken master to safety. You watch with the rifleman, as the drone arc sloppily widens, no longer being tightly corrected by the remaining drones on the left socket bank are able to adjust its path properly. You are silent, while the rifleman's mantra of "Holy Shit. Holy Shit. Holy Shit." repeats over and over through the comms.

You doubt that you actually managed to prevent its escape, right up until the crash. Piping in the undercarriage was damaged, and dust began pumping out. And still, nothing. The applicator arm and needle, slung off to the left side, passed harmlessly out into the empty space of the still open blast door. There was one final lurch as it came to rest, and then the whole thing went still. Master, Slaves, and even the tools that they were using, all of them were in the bag. You'd won your trophy. Heh, now that would be a good idea for a short story; big game hunting drones. If you made enough to retire from this outing, which is entirely possible, you'd enjoy writing that novella.

You still aren't sure what compelled you to attack that thing with only two rifles, but now that you have seen what was needed, the level of skill required, the amount of luck, you feel that what compelled you must have been some flavor of madness.

Pounding the remaining rifleman, the one who wasn't an idiot, on the back, you congratulate him, while ordering him to keep the wreck in his sights. You radio the barge sending the resupply, and tell them that they'll need to be sticking around instead to help them haul away this prize. Acknowledging the receipt of orders from the barge pilot, as well as his congratulations, you take a minute to look above you, not sure exactly what you are looking for. Even with all of the excitement from catching the drone, you feel calmer than you did not even two minutes ago, when you were ... panicking? Perhaps success washed those feelings away.

>Forward Element of the away team successfully captured remains of "Foreman" and 10 slaved drones, as well as tooling designed for those slaved drone. C2 Warrant Officer Hexdricks was able to return with prizes in good order, promoted to C1 Warrant Officer, given 3 double-talent bonus, riflemen given 1 double-talent bonus, and one is considered for potential advancement to officer as a marksmanship focused leader. Other rifleman is cordially invited to a series of safety seminars on proper suit operation during EVA.
>>
>>4347306
Whoops, I got the order wrong. I thought I linked your post as number 2 and the other post as number one, and wrote it as if the message didn't go out. Anyway, even if I did write the right one, the shortwave didn't connect yet, so no message was heard on the bridge, and the officers were not disheartened.

I think you raise a fair point about what happens on the expedition effecting the whole fleet being too harsh. I think going forward, the expeditions should have a separate pool for morale, so spooky and alarming stuff can happen to them, and hamper their ability to operate, but doesn't carry over to everyone else. Like I said earlier, I'm still trying to figure out what is balanced.
>>
Anyway, it is getting late. I'll start in the morning with engineering looking over the "Foreman" and trying to figure out what the hell they got their hands on.

Good night!
>>
>>4347326
Will the ceramics be examined and tested?

>>4347332
Thank god
>>
>>4347336
Well, they can certainly try, but most of the equipment on board is dedicated to taking things apart and rebuilding them. There will be a roll or two, and there are things that they try and things that they can learn. A specialist or special equipment would be needed to get a more complete picture though.
>>
Shopping list:
>research equipment
>research crew
>88mm ammo
>75 and 73mm ammo
>more guns for riflemen
>facility/equipment to make combat drones plus parts
>emp net + net launcher
>manufacturing licenses
>explosives
>anti radio signal equipment
>maybe crew men for that
>manually controlled rockets
>booze
>>
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>>4347543

+ 1 Show me your warface!
>>
It seems incredible, but there are no two ways about it. With extremely primitive weapons, you were able to bag a drone like this. Was this really the same crew, that hours before wound up losing life and limb to the trawlers pylons, that while this hunt was unfolding managed to do permanent damage, resulting in a compete loss of the communication array in an attempt to overclock the scanner trying to find debris? The shuttle-tug from the Karaboudjan was docked and mated with the Aethereal Vulture, and right now you were using its communication array in place of your own. At least the scanners were not damaged; those were the only electronic system that was in a repairable state from the original build, and simply repairing it was more expensive than you would have thought.

Between what little was netted in the first run of the trawler, the recovered material from the waves of suicide drones, the haul of magnets from the ruined elevator, and finally, the absolute trophy of the Foreman, you had a lot. But here is the question; do you have enough to call it, and return to port? Or are there other things that you just must do before you can head in for a resupply.

(A reminder, you have enough fuel for four, possibly 5 trips back and forth from Old Scrimshander to the Derelict, and nearly two months of food and supplies, considering that you were a week into a two month long expedition before the Mammon burst, so you will not need to spend money of these things for some time. Also, in case it was not clear, you have three days while the fleet is in transit from the wreck to the port to do things.)

>No need to stop gambling while you are on a winning streak. There are still other things that you can have done here. The more you bring back to port, the more equipment you can afford anyway, right?

>Things are coming down to the wire. Just because we got lucky with the trophy drone and the elevator job besides, we are running out of ammo. We should call it and return home.

>Things are coming down to the wire. Just because we got lucky with the trophy drone and the elevator job besides, we are running out of ammo. We should call it, claim the wreck, and return home.

>Things are coming down to the wire. Just because we got lucky with the trophy drone and the elevator job besides, we are running out of ammo. We should call it, claim the wreck and the planet, and return home.
>>
>>4347826
>Things are coming down to the wire. Just because we got lucky with the trophy drone and the elevator job besides, we are running out of ammo. We should call it, claim the wreck, and return home.
>>
>>4347826
>Things are coming down to the wire. Just because we got lucky with the trophy drone and the elevator job besides, we are running out of ammo. We should call it, claim the wreck, and return home.
>>
>>4347826
>>Things are coming down to the wire. Just because we got lucky with the trophy drone and the elevator job besides, we are running out of ammo. We should call it, claim the wreck, and return home.
>>
>>4347826
Forgot to throw in, but can we leave an independent drone that's less liable to be caught by any drones? On the chance that some other space crew comes to look at the stuff?
>>
>>4347853
>>4347839
>>4347834
Alright, closing for departure and claiming the ship, but not the planet.

>>4347879
Yes, though you will have to sacrifice one of the disposable drones to do so. I'll leave that up for a quick vote:

>Break down a Huginn disposable drone into a simple video-recorder, to observe potential comings-and-goings on the wreck. There is a chance that if retrieved, the drone could be rebuilt, but it is not guaranteed.
>>
>>4348001
Whoops, forgot to put the yes/no. Let me redo that:
>Break down a Huginn disposable drone into a simple video-recorder, to observe potential comings-and-goings on the wreck. There is a chance that if retrieved, the drone could be rebuilt, but it is not guaranteed.
>Yes
>No
>>
>>4348001
Wait fuck we have to leave out a beacon to claim the planet too? Let's claim the planet!
>>
>>4348004
>>Yes

Seems reasonable. If nobody comes here after us then we can just take the parts and sell them later instead of now.
>>
>>4348004
>Yes
>>
>>4348004
Why not use the spare parts from the mad or obese drones?
>yes
If anything we can buy the spare parts while in Port.
Also yes to claiming the planet.
>>
>>4348024
Remember, the Mad Drone and the Morbidly Obese Drones are completely blind. There are cameras on the Foreman, but the Engineers aren't ready to start dismantling it, yet. So it is a one of the Huginn or nothing, unless you want to wait for the Foreman to be autopsied and dismantled before leaving.

As for the planet, claiming an entire planet is a much more involved process than claiming a ship. Part of getting the temporary claim to the planet (which is what we would be doing if we deployed a buoy right now) would involve filing our claim with the Port Authority, something that we don't need to do for claiming the Derelict.

So when considering claiming the planet, we need to ask ourselves, how deep does the conspiracy run at the Port Authority. Does the entire upper echelons know about this wreck (and its location, in orbit of this planet) or do only a small clique know about it. Filing this temporary claim could bring heat down on us, or it could be a nothingburger.

Considering that I wasn't clear enough, I'll ask again:

>Claim the ship (does not require filing with the Port Authority)
>Claim the ship and planet (claiming the planet requires filing with the Port Authority)
>>
>>4348103
>>Claim the ship (does not require filing with the Port Authority)

Lets keep low and see what info we can discretely ask about back at Port. We cant even fully arm our away teams. Not the best position to start bringing down powerful people on our heads just yet.
>>
>>4348103
>Claim the ship and planet (claiming the planet requires filing with the Port Authority)
God damn do I want that moral boost for having a beach part of BBQ on the planet.

Yes use our own drone's camera thing ser up.
>>
>>4348103
>Claim the ship (does not require filing with the Port Authority)

Im down for getting the planet but latter own once the ship is sorted and we know whats on the planet.
If anything im sure we can sale it for stuipd amount of money.
>>
>>4348103
>Claim the ship and planet (claiming the planet requires filing with the Port Authority)
>>
>>4348119
>>4348150
BUT! If someone comes along to claim the planet when they detect the bouy, that gives them the tight to claim the planet, which puts us right next to someone who should be minding their own buisness.
>>
>>4348162
yeah, this is what I'm thinking, we can't halfway this. y'all know that buoy is gonna get some attention, if we do this we should do it all the way.
>>4348139
a space beach resort (assuming this is both a Terran world and has actually nice atmosphere) would be completely awesome
>>
>>4348162
Well, it looks like you could be the tie breaker. Do you have a preference between claiming the ship or claiming the ship and planet?
>>
>>4348139
>>4348175
The idea of building some manner of resort, as well as shore leaves on the planet are great ideas, the only issue is that they depend on the beaches, and by extension, the planet being safe and secured.

The planet is Earthesque in appearance, and is by all appearances habitable; but just because you can walk on the surface and breathe the air does not make the planet "safe". That is the distinction that I am going for here.
>>
>>4348176
Well he said >>4348024 before you clarified to claim the planet, so could that be counted as a vote to move this along?
>>
>>4348119
I will retract my vote (im on mobile ID) to break the tie.
>>
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>>4348191
If the planet isn't safe, then we'll MAKE IT SAFE!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1CQ7Vwz8Eo
>>
>>4348245
Aaaa yes the great emu war of Australia.
The emu won in the end.
>>
Well, with the vote retracted, that means that claiming the planet has won out. One minute, while I touch up the post I had to reflect this...
>>
>Voted to leave with claiming the wreck, as well as the planet.

If you had more ammunition, you would be much more willing to stay, and perhaps try your hand at pulling magnets from a second elevator. But you have already lost one crewman, ammo is running low, both for your ship mounted weapons and your small arms, not to mention you might be down a recoilless rifle (Engineering said they wanted to look at it before clearing it for EVAs, but currently, all of their attention was on the remains of the Foreman drone. The build of that clattering teapot was esoteric enough that the engineers could not agree on its current condition, so a status report of the salvage condition of the remains would not be immediately forthcoming. In fact, some of the more cautious engineers, including Attenborough, were not even certain that the thing was completely dead.

He insisted on having the remains chained and hobbled, and left in the port secondary cargo bay, so that if anything happened, it could be ejected into space. Perhaps this over abundance of caution was called for, but all engineers examining it were in longerjohns, considering that if someone ejected the drone, they too would be blasted out. The end result is that the examination, the autopsy, if you would call it that, was slowed down a bit by all these precautions.

As for the other, more mundane pieces of salvage, you will get your Quartermaster and the Fleet’s Clerk to give you a proper accounting of the haul later. Right now, it is time to formally claim the Derelict. In a typical operation, you would simply use a shuttle to position the buoys in order. However, your flagship was a minelayer, and you had built buoys that could be shot into position by the rebuilt minethrower in the primary hangar/cargo bay of the ship.

Momentum would carry the buoys into position, and just like the mines that it was built for, when the buoys closed on the desired position, they would switch into teleoperated mode, so a crewman could position them. After they were placed, they would be switched over to autonomous mode, where onboard dampers and microthrusters would be used to maintain the position that they were intended for. You would use this to dump the buoys to claim both the planet and the ship.

Considering your drone problem, it might be a good idea to see if you could find some mines. They would be extremely effective against chokepoints, like the blown-out hangar, but they would probably render any drones next to worthless for salvaging. That is, of course, if you can find any. Mines are single-use munitions, and with the restrictions on weapons manufacturing that has been placed by the Polity, then you might have a hard time of it.
>>
>>4348315
>Can I get 2 1d20+2 for the deployment of the buoys to establish your claims?

Also, you have a temporary claim on a planet now. It is going to need an official name in the documents you’ll need to have drawn up. What would you like to name it after?

>Yourself
>Your Ancestors
>Your Mother
>Your Company
>Something that Sounds Cool

Going to break now for dinner, will be back in an hour or so. Maybe longer.
>>
Rolled 47 + 2 (1d120 + 2)

>>4348318
Something that Sounds Cool
But i donr a have a name yet.
>>
Rolled 16 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4348318
ah fucking shit. take precautions and make sure the systems are up to par and there's no shitty wares. Have officers tell whoever is in charge of the minethrower to double and triple check.

>Planet Name: Atlas
>throw in a pole among all our crew to see what the most popular names are. i want suggestions.
>>
Rolled 13 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4348318
>Derelict
>>
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>>4348334
>>4348336
thank fucking god
>>
Rolled 17 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4348332
Whoops lwft a 1 in there.
>>
>>4348318
Good Quest qm
>>
Things seem to be looking up. After personally overseeing a thorough check of the equipment, you ordered a crewman to deploy the buoys. As an added precaution, you set a delay on the broadcast, so that they wouldn't start transmitting out until you had made the jump. You watched from the observation deck as buoys were lobbed into position, and now that you had the time,you personally brought them to their final position in the brief window of their teleoperated phase, before switching them over to autonomous mode.

The solar "tides" were being really permissive, in fact they had been nothing but generous to you for this operation so far. Jumping from one solar system to another is more involved then simply pointing your ship towards the star that you want to visit and flipping a switch; the celestial and planetary topography of a system plays a significant role in determining where and when it is safe to jump. It isn't well understood, but it is a known fact that when you have just entered and you are just about to exit a hyperspace jump, you become susceptible to being torn apart by even relatively small gravitational forces. The jump drive is able to protect you from the massive gravity of the stars, but can't protect you from the gravity of planets, moons and even large asteroids near the jump point.

The end result of this is that there are windows where it is safe to jump into or out of a system, and then there are times where it would be worth your life to do so, all based on the relative orbit of the celestial bodies in proximity to the jump point. This system had a fairly crowded interior, meaning that there would be little rhyme or reason over the short term as to when it would be safe to leave and when it wouldn't, but for now at least, you had 2 hours before the window of "safe to jump" closed, for what your bridge believed would be 6 hours. You were lucky this time out, but the next time you came here, you'd probably have to consider leaving before you'd otherwise be ready to, or risk being stuck here for some time, until the path cleared up. If you decided to stay, and then got attacked, well, you'd be forced to stay and fight. In the worst case scenario, maybe you could try hiding on the planet...

Which reminds you, you are still going to need a name. The buoys don't have to refer to the planet by name, but the documents you'll need eventually will. Now, lets see; you definitely like the idea of going with something that "sounds cool", but you aren't exactly certain where else to go with it. There are nautical themed names, like Atlas, or Derelict (bit on the nose, honestly). You'd never been one for naming things, all the ships in the fleet still had their original names, except the Aethereal Vulture, which was named for your old mentor, and the founder of the company, Rexekiel "Vulture" Biggs. He'd have no problem naming the planet, was always good with names; he gave you your first nickname "Weld", at the drop of a hat.
>>
>>4348715
Then again, you had an mouthful of an Old Terran name, so getting a nickname when you decided to enter working society was probably inevitable. You know, getting in touch with him about all of this might not be a terrible idea. It would take time for him to come to Old Scrimshander, but if there was ever a job to get the Vulture out of retirement for, it'd be this. And if you were going to reach out to him, you could ask him about a planet name.

Or then again, maybe not. How old is he now? He has to be in his hundred and thirties. Well, you could write to him anyway, and ask vague questions, though that might be enough to get him coming over, whether you wanted it or not. And, it isn't that you don't trust him, at his age, sometimes things slip a bit.

You suppose, if you didn't want him involved and still needed help with the name, you could get a poll going with the crew, take suggestions. Suddenly, you can feel the fleet breaking formation, and begin to move to the jump point. You head over to a station, and bring up a feed of the external cameras. So you can watch the Derelict shrink into the distance. Don't worry, we will be back!

After satisfying yourself with the view, you briskly walk to the bridge, so you can be on hand when they jump.
>>
Everyone is waiting for you on the bridge, embarrassingly enough, but you make a point of not showing any awkwardness. Which now you think about it, was one of the lessons you learned from the Vulture.

It takes several minutes, but eventually, you get yourself into position in the optimal jump spot. Holding on to the brim of your lucky hat with your off hand, so it doesn't fly off, you order the bos'un to engage jump when ready, and instruct all of the commanders of the other ships to jump at will to Kindling, the star around which the giant cyrovolcanic planet, Scrimshaw* orbits. The lights dim, as the drives draw all of the power. There is a final check of the systems, one last warning alarm blasts across the fleet, and your men brace for the initial impact of the jump.

It was a softer one today, merely pressed you into your command chair, instead of throwing you into it. Means the bos'un had the azimuth down really well this time. Well, now that you are on your way back to port, you have other things you can do.

>Visit your men in the infirmary, to see how they are doing after that ordeal with the Clean Sweep.
>Call over to the Mammon, and see if there are any updates on the hull, make sure that the other tanks are alright.
>Call over to the Clean Sweep, and ask someone to go through the human remains that you've recovered, maybe you'll find a full fleet insignia or something.
>Contact the Quartermaster and the Fleet's Clerk and figure out how much you made out with this haul.
>Read C1 Warrant Officer Hexdricks after action report on his drone hunt
>Head to Engineering, and see how the Foreman's autopsy is going on.
>Have dinner with Attenborough, and try to get a proper feel for his state of mind on the wreck.
>Visit the remains of your deceased crewman, to pay your respects.
>Ask around for names for the planet, as well as the opinions and general sentiment of the fleet.
>>
>>4348782
>>Visit your men in the infirmary, to see how they are doing after that ordeal with the Clean Sweep.

The key to keeping crew morale high even in terrible times is if they know we care about them. Lets go visit the infirmary before we do anything else.
>>
>>4348782
Head to Engineering, and see how the Foreman's autopsy is going on.
>>
>>4348782
>Visit the remains of your deceased crewman, to pay your respects.
>>
>>4348782
>Contact the Quartermaster and the Fleet's Clerk and figure out how much you made out with this haul.
>>
>>4348790
>>4348793
>>4348807
>>4348811
Well, I don't want to do a four way roll if I can help it. I'll leave this one open for a little bit longer. If there isn't a deciding vote by 11pm Eastern Standard time, I guess I'll just roll for it.
>>
>>4348790
+1
>>
>>4348983
>>4348790
Alright, I will start writing.
>>
You get up from your chair, just a little too fast, and find that perhaps the jump was not as gentle on you as you'd thought. The bridge spins, just a little bit, and you spread your legs to better balance yourself. Unfortunately, the range of motion is just a hair to much, and you can feel the ankle of your prosthetic leg roll. Well, you can't feel it, per say, but you can clearly see that is now out of alignment. You take a minute to readjust it, by smacking it into the platform under the command chair until it clicks back into place. Still a little off, but you can use it for now without doing any damage to the device, or any discomfort for yourself. You have spares in your quarters, and with enough time, you can repair it.

Reflecting on how much better it is to rely on simpler machines (including prosthesis) you stand, and let your eyes adjust to the new level of light. With nearly all of the power on the ship being funneled into the drive, only the dim emergency lights remain. The viewing screen has been shut off, as the external feeds are all powered down. Besides, there is nothing out there in hyperspace to look at. One unfortunate reality of hyperspace jumping is that you can't move from ship to ship, and all but the most basic of communications are rendered worthless. No video, no voice even. Just bursts of directed static. Which means that communication during a hyperspace jump is similar to the telegraph communications of Old Earth. Dots and dashes, that need to be coded and decoded into language.

Still, there is enough to do on the flagship to keep you busy. The first idea you have is to go see your men in the infirmary; stuff like this might not improve morale like bonuses and shore leave does, but it helps morale from decaying over time, or withering under duress like it otherwise might. The infirmary is a relatively short walk from the bridge, and even with your ankle still bugging you a bit, you are able to make good time. You pass through the flaps and call over an orderly, to ask after the condition of those brought in after the Clean Sweep debacle. Several of them are under different levels of anesthesia, and others aren't in condition to take social calls, but at least two of them are able to see you, and are wheeled over to you in the small receiving area. The crewman is pleased to meet you, and tries to stand to shake your hand, though the orderly with him forces him down into the chair. The other, an engineer, looks much more, well quite honestly, panicky. It is then that you realize that this is the junior engineer of the Clean Sweep, who failed to follow intended procedure. He looks like he is going to say something, or that he wants to at least, but he remains silent. While you put off making decisions or determinations about the debacle in the face of possible attacks by drones, the fact remains that you should consider passing some manner of judgement on what happened.
>>
>>4349171
The only question is, what judgement do you pass here?

>You still only have a basic idea of what happened here. You should try to investigate a bit more before you assign blame or responsibility, even though it may be like opening a can of worms.

>Ultimately, you did sign off on whatever the hell that head engineer cooked up to run the pylons. You could decide to preemptively put an end to all of this, and accept responsibility yourself, though that means that you are going to have to make some restitution to the injured parties, and to the next of kin of the deceased.

>You could just simply ignore it, and move on, though there are some that might see that as you simultaneously high-handing and hand-waving away a potentially serious issue.

>You could release it to arbitration. You have a bonded barrister, who only works for the company, he is the one who will be responsible for filing your claim to the planet, and if it comes to it, suing to protect it, as well as your claim to the ship. In incidences like this, where there is a question of who is at fault, and to what extent, you can defer authority to judge responsibility to him. It would be a good way to duck any unpleasantness during this jump, but it might slow things down once you get back to port.
>>
>>4349185
>You could release it to arbitration. You have a bonded barrister, who only works for the company, he is the one who will be responsible for filing your claim to the planet, and if it comes to it, suing to protect it, as well as your claim to the ship. In incidences like this, where there is a question of who is at fault, and to what extent, you can defer authority to judge responsibility to him. It would be a good way to duck any unpleasantness during this jump, but it might slow things down once you get back to port.

This seems like a very fair option, having a third party decide seems like the best thing
>>
>>4349185
>You still only have a basic idea of what happened here. You should try to investigate a bit more before you assign blame or responsibility, even though it may be like opening a can of worms.
I want to keep our space lawyer free in case we need to do some hard core negotiating.
Can I get an idea of how much their collective medical bill in addition ot reparation for the family will cost in double talents?
>>
>>4349185
>You still only have a basic idea of what happened here. You should try to investigate a bit more before you assign blame or responsibility, even though it may be like opening a can of worms.
>>
>>4349185
>You could release it to arbitration. You have a bonded barrister, who only works for the company, he is the one who will be responsible for filing your claim to the planet, and if it comes to it, suing to protect it, as well as your claim to the ship. In incidences like this, where there is a question of who is at fault, and to what extent, you can defer authority to judge responsibility to him. It would be a good way to duck any unpleasantness during this jump, but it might slow things down once you get back to port.
>>
>>4349185
>You still only have a basic idea of what happened here. You should try to investigate a bit more before you assign blame or responsibility, even though it may be like opening a can of worms.
>>
>>4349440
>>4349366
>>4349335
>>4349258
>>4349193
I'm seeing a 3-2 split for investigation. Closing the vote.

As for the question of the medical bill, stuff like that is covered in the operating costs of the fleet, and in the quest will be covered by the cost to resupply at the end of 2 months. The sticking point of all of this is the contract. When you take on an indentured crewman, part of the contract is an agreement to keep them "if not whole, then functioning". So you are legal bound to cover the medical costs, and at some later point, provide a prosthetic arm to the maimed crewman, which might be an opportunity to improve morale, if you buy a nice model, instead of order an improvised one made.

The issue is the question of negligence. If anyone was harmed by negligence then they need to make the injured parties whole. So you, the junior engineer, the head engineer, or some combination of you three will be required to make a payment. 5 double-talents to each of the injured, 20 double talents to the maimed crewman, and 80 to the deceased. I want to point out, you will not need to shell out 80 double talents every time a crewman dies, rather, only when the crewman dies because of some manner of gross negligence. The junior engineer is panicking because if you were to decide that he was the sole responsible party, he'd have to pay that entire sum, or go into debt to do so.
>>
>>4349728
Boop him
>>
>>4349185
>>You still only have a basic idea of what happened here. You should try to investigate a bit more before you assign blame or responsibility, even though it may be like opening a can of worms.
>>
You take a moment to shake the hands of both the crewman and the engineer. The crewman has the build of a spacer, which in a word would be called "spindly", obviously from being born and growing up in nograv environments. His fingers are long enough that when he enthusiastically shakes your hand, his fingers wrap around yours to such an extent that it is less like getting your hand shook and more like getting is smothered. In comparison, the engineer has a much more typical build, one that would not look out of place on Old Earth. Clearly, he didn't grow up in space.

You have never bothered to do any demographics or anything of the sort for your crew, but you'd judge that nearly all crewman are space born and raised, while most of the engineers and nearly all of the officers are "dirty", spacer slang for those who grew up on planets. Generally speaking, there aren't a lot of unskilled or semi-skilled jobs left on planets anymore, with the levels of automation present, so individuals without specialized skills need to frequently move around from planet to planet find work that is for whatever reason not been automated or mechanized. And as a means to control their migrant workers, it is common practice to quarter them in the ships off planet instead of down on the world, where they may cause some manner of disruption.

They might make decent wages, but most of that will go to the fleet that they signed on as, to cover the cost of berthing and feeding and what not during the journey between jobs and during the jobs themselves. It isn't even that exploitative, its seriously expensive running one of those operations, you looked into the numbers once. The fact of the matter is that with the contraction of civilization, as well as the levels of mechanization and automation, there is a massive glut of unskilled and semiskilled human labor, which has resulted in a precipitous race to the bottom. I mean, the company has relatively few employees (officers and head engineers, basically) the rest are all indentured, bought contracts.

Returning to the present, you realize you have yet to let go of the engineers hand, who looks like he is about to have a complete breakdown at this point. Did he think you were trying to intimidate him? Well, maybe you should roll with it.

>Question the junior engineer as to his account of the what happened on the Clean Sweep with the other injured crewman present. Maybe try to play him off of the crewman.
>Question the junior engineer as to his account of what happened on the Clean Sweep without the other injured crewman present. You could get serious with him, get to the bottom of this.
>Same as above, but lead the engineer on for a bit, make him think that you or the head engineer is going to be held liable, see if that gets anything out of him instead.
>>
>>4349778
>Question the junior engineer as to his account of what happened on the Clean Sweep without the other injured crewman present. You could get serious with him, get to the bottom of this.
>>
>>4349778
>Question the junior engineer as to his account of what happened on the Clean Sweep without the other injured crewman present. You could get serious with him, get to the bottom of this.
>>
>>4349801
>>4349789
Alright, closing and writing.
>>
You spend a minute or two in pleasant conversation with the crewman and the engineer. Well, in conversation with the crewman at least, the engineer is not doing much more than nodding along and looking sick to his stomach. The intent was to be polite, but it seems it has had the unintended consequence of letting the man sit and stew in your presence. Additionally, you should consider your aspect, your appearance. One trait of your, shall we say, highly particular hereditary condition, is bizarre scar like birthmarks. Some times they were rather prominent in your family, several of your half-siblings were speckled with these strange white marks, apparently, your father’s chest was so heavily marked that he almost appeared to be brindled, though your had never seen him shirtless, so you were entire certain that this had not been exaggerated a bit. Yours were entirely on your face, unfortunately enough. You had one long one run the length of the right side of your face, from brow to just above the jaw, passing by the eye. On the other side of your face, the birthmark started on your left eye lid and headed towards your ear, though it tapered off before it could reach. Both birthmarks were bone white.

Growing up, you had though them rather unfortunate things, and had when called upon to functions with your family, you had concealed them with makeup. Obviously, when you had set out on your own, into the working classes, the only thing you concealed them with was sweat and grease. It was the Vulture, your old mentor, who thought of them as something worth flaunting. When he needed to find you, he’d send someone to collect you by shouting “Go find Weld! He’s the grim looking fucker with the warpaint!” Since then, you have always though of these marks as “warpaint”, and have played up the 'grim looking fucker' look, to the best of your ability. Someone once said to you that you resemble some character in the Old Earth literary cannon, or at least, a younger version of them, but for the life you, you can’t remember which one, or which story it they were in. Well, hopefully they had a happy ending, whoever they were. (QM’s note: the character died tragically, leading all but one of his men to their deaths in the process)
>>
>>4350055
Aah. Again, you were lost in your own thoughts. Thankfully, the crewman here has been mindlessly yammering away. It seems you were not the only one not paying attention to him either though, the engineer looks like a kettle ready to steam, the way he is trembling. You are wondering how to politely break off this conversation, when one of the orderlies comes to collect the men, both are needed for some manner of blood work. Seizing the opportunity, you ask that the crewman be seen first, so you can get a report from the engineer. Once the orderly has wheeled off the chatty crewman, there is quiet in the receiving area of the infirmary. This room is lit entirely by the dim emergency lights, and bright hues of red from the control panels for pieces of equipment on standby, or ready for mobile deployment around the ship if there is some manner of accident. As the weight of the silence sets in, the atmosphere in the room feels charged, and almost sinister. Well, if you were ever going to intimidate someone, this would be the optimal setting. Electing to keep standing, so you can loom over the engineer in the wheelchair, you begin with a simple statement:

“A man is dead. Another is crippled. And the infirmary is fuller than I ever would care to see it. Tell me, what exactly should be done here, in your estimation?”

The words hit the man hard, and it takes him a few moments before he speaks. “It shouldn’t have happened like that. It was a complete freak accident!” Hmm. You could interpret ‘freak accident’ several ways. The report that was filed by the commander of the Clean Sweep mentioned that there was a genuine bug in the programing, that prevented the diagnostic program from ending, which is what made the pylons move around indefinitely, which required the EVA which in turn lead to the situation at hand . Of course, considering that this was apparently pirated software, you could not hold the company liable, but if you went with it was the software’s fault, then everyone in your fleet would be able to sidestep responsibility nicely. The only downside of course, is that without anyone taking responsibility, then the injured crewmen, and this engineer for that matter, might never receive restitution that they deserve. It is something to consider when passing final judgement.
>>
>>4350068
Still, you recognize this for what it is. A deflection. Things went wrong well before the bug in the software that prevented the diagnostics from ending came into the picture. Setting this point aside for now, you instead focus on the fact that the man has not given you an answer. “But what shall be done, then?” The man is past trembling and is now shaking. You are beginning to get concerned. You understand that you are putting him under stress right now, but he seems to be taking this quite hard. Perhaps he already feels responsible for the death of one of his fellow shipmates. Wouldn't you, in his shoes?

Still, you are going to need to chose a tactful way to proceed here:
>Point out that he dodged your question. May put him on the defensive and get him to clam up but it may also force an answer out of him.
>Go along with his line of reasoning and ask him for his account of what happened. He might continue to avoid your inquiry, but he also might wind up incriminating himself. Or possibly vindicating himself, who knows.
>>
>>4350072
>Point out that he dodged your question. May put him on the defensive and get him to clam up but it may also force an answer out of him.

>5 double-talents to each of the injured, 20 double talents to the maimed crewman, and 80 to the deceased.
I know the engineer is injured, one or two crewmen are maimed, and one guy is dead. Is that all right?
>>4338664
>>4338750
>>4338788
>>
>>4350072

>Go along with his line of reasoning and ask him for his account of what happened. He might continue to avoid your inquiry, but he also might wind up incriminating himself. Or possibly vindicating himself, who knows.

Lets not completely destroy this guy. Dont let him off either, so he should pay part. But we have to think of crew morale so go fair but iron judgement
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>>4350098
+1, might as well end this when we can
>>
>>4350098
There is one crewman and one engineer, the man we are talking to who are injured, and are entitled to the 5 double-talent payout. There was one crewman who lost their arm, and one crewman that died.

This vote is 2 to 1 and is already more than two hours old. Consider it closed. I'll start writing.
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>>4350300
I demand extra homo action
>>
>>4350072
>Go along with his line of reasoning and ask him for his account of what happened.
>>
>Point out he dodged the question

It seems like there is one hundred and one things that you need to be doing right now. And you know that there are one thousand and one things that you would rather be doing right now too. You are not going to let this boy weasel his way out of this. “Do you know what it looks like when you ask someone to give you an answer, and all you get is trembling? It looks bad.” The engineer splutters a bit. Whether it is some form of false bravado or a stalling mechanism, you are not sure. Eventually, he comes back with “I gave you an answer” and attempts to reiterate the point he made about the bug in the system. When you cut him off with “you have given me nothing”, he looks to be almost on the verge of tears. Before he can waste any more time, you continue; “I do not deny the existence of the bug in the software, nor do I seek to diminish the role that it played in the injuries and death that have been visited upon us today. But to blame the bug, or the software for what happened would be akin to blaming the pylons themselves. A child blames the ground when they trip, an adult accepts that their footing was ultimately to blame.”

“Now, I am going to make this very easy for you. Were you the engineer responsible for the pylon console before and during the loss of control? Yes, or no?” While it takes several seconds, he eventually manages a weak nod, barely noticeable with all his shaking. At least you will call it a nod. Finally, you are making headway here. “And when you realized that the second round of diagnostics were still running, while the netting was being used, what was your immediate reaction?” It takes nearly half a minute for him to stammer something out that sounds like “manual”. Alright, so everything checks out so far. With rebuilt and cobbled together equipment, having physical paper manuals explaining how to operate these machines, especially during emergencies is important, especially if the engineer currently operating the machine was not involved in building it.
>>
Well, you can at least resolve this now. You look at the engineer, apparently named Jobbs, and you ask him the question "What did the manual say to do here?", intending to ask the follow up question "And did you do that?". You don't get that far, however. The engineer, Jobbs, looks at you desperately, and replies "It said to terminate the program. It did say. It did say. It did say." He goes on to repeat the last phrase over and over like a mantra, with the same desperate energy as a man clinging to a lifeboat. At this point, you are questioning the man's faculties. There is being caught in a lie, and then there is throwing yourself into a lie. What he is saying doesn't make sense. The manual wouldn't have incorrect instructions, and if it did, it certainly would have come up by now, in the investigation. Then he follows it up with an even more preposterous lie; "I have it. The manual that says the wrong things. I found it again." And he bursts into tears. Alright, now you are certain he is manic, or whatever the hell you call people like this. Manuals important enough that they are kept right next to the machines that they are written for at all times. If a manual is missing, the ship is supposed to stop all non-essential actions and look for it. There is no way that he could have a manual, especially a manual for a piece of equipment that was part of a fatal accident a few hours ago. Someone would be looking for it, and he'd be one of the people to ask This man has lost more than his composure, he has lost all sense of reason.

You have the right to euthanize your indentured men in decivilized space, if they present a demonstrable risk to the rest of the crew and to the fleet. You have never euthanized a crewman because they were insane before, but it is beginning to look like that is going to be the best course of action here. You will convene a meeting, and then you will demonstrate the risk that he poses, and then ask for people to come forward on his behalf, then allow him some time to rant before you put him down. Considering that he killed a crewman, and lost a load of scrap, it might actually improve morale, which is a fairly morbid thought. Finally, things come to a head. The man gets up, and walks, on a broken leg over to his effects, and starts rummaging. He is completely utterly out of it. You are half expecting him to draw a weapon on you, or something crazy like that, so you unholster one of your Third Grade Disintegrators from your belt. New plan, blow off the top of his head, and keep his organs alive for resale, use the double talents to help cover the costs that the negligence of this madman has cost you. But then, before you can act, what he draws from the rucksack with his effects is not some weapon, but a rend vac-sealed binder, the type that nearly all of the equipment in the fleet have. And, insanely enough, it is the manual for the pylon actuators. As you holster your gun, you are at a loss as to how this is possible.
>>
You don't think things can't get any stranger, but then he shows you the passage where it says to terminate the program, additionally going as far as to say to NOT cut power as it may corrupt the program. Ultimately, all you can manage is "What is this?" He is leaning against the wall, breathing heavy with exertion, but he manages to explain that this was the manual that he was following when the second diagnostic program started running again in the middle of trawling operations. After following the instructions, and trying and failing to raise the Head Engineer on the radio, he manually cut the power, but when that didn't work he carded out the entire ship, and once he was certain that the hull and the crew of the Clean Sweep were not in danger, left his post to find the Head Engineer of the Clean Sweep. He did eventually find him when he returned to his post, attempting to connect to the pylons emergency hardware, all the while yelling at him about not following the manual. But when Jobbs insisted that he had followed instructions the head engineer showed him the manual which clearly stated that in this particular case, the only safe way to shut down in the middle of a program is by unplugging. It was at this point that Jobbs became aware that there were two manuals, and that they had been swapped in the short window of time that he had left his post. Alarmingly enough, it was possible that it was done by the Head Engineer himself. And then things would only get more complicated from here.

Not understanding what was going on, Jobbs held his tongue, and ultimately went along on the 2nd EVA, the one that was charged with destroying or disconnecting the backup batteries to the pylons, on the orders of the Head Engineer, not voluntarily as you had been told by the commander, though Jobbs said that if he had been given a choice, he would have went. It was there that he hurt his arm and broke his leg, though apparently, and this was excruciatingly hard for him to get out, it was not exactly an accident. One crewman from the Clean Sweep, the one who died, once the two of them were alone, attempted to grapple him into the path of the pylons. The crewman, named Droustein managed to rip off his radio, before he could alert anyone, but Jobbs was able to get the upper hand, and then push himself away. But in the process, the hostile crewman was shoved straight into the path of the pylon. Jobbs was the first one to reach Droustein, and when reaching into the crewman's rucksack for the adhesive emergency seals to protect against suit fracture, found the manual that had been swapped out. Jobbs fully admits to terminating the program, and to killing Droustein, though he insists that it was self defense, and the the camera on the longerjohn suit would would show that he was attacked first. The camera, as well as the remains of the suit, excluding the integrated rucksack and its contents were in the small medical bay of the Clean Sweep.
>>
All of this explains why he is in the state he is; he thought that someone was going to kill him back on the Clean Sweep, or that they might have accomplices over here do it. Not to mention he is probably is having his own doubt about his sanity, on top of having just killed someone. As glad as you are that you got that cleared up, unfortunately for you, and the case that you apparently are investigating now, you can't physically go to the Clean Sweep, or get video or audio from it. All you can do is send texts over there, and receive them. And due to the nature of hyperspace, these can't be encoded. Anyone who'd be willing to listen could do so, and hypothetically, anyone could pretend to be anyone else aboard the ship. Probably the worst possible conditions to conduct any investigation. If Droustein had any accomplices on the ship, if the Head Engineer was a part of this ... conspiracy, then they might be listening. Not to mention, the Head Engineer has free run of the Clean Sweep, he could have been using this time to destroy evidence. Assuming there is any. The existence of two binders with two sets of instructions gave credibility to what Jobbs was saying here, and if there was video footage showing Droustien attacking him, then you'd have no choice but to consider him innocent, at the very least of the death of Droustein. Still, after all of this nonsense, you aren't going to trust anyone. As a precaution, you will have Jobbs remanded to a secure cell, more for his own protection than anything else. In fact, it would probably be a good idea to do the same for the crewmen in the infirmary as well. You realize that the orderly must have realized you wanted a moment with engineer, and gave the two of you some privacy. Either that, or the blood work he needed to do required all two liters. You call for him, and without going into any details, explain that there is compelling reason to believe that these men might all be in some manner of danger, and that they are going to be protected. You order him to make accommodations for armed guards in the infirmary until further notice.

After that, there are several leads that you can pursue here.

>Check with the Quartermaster, and see who would have access to the equipment to make a counterfeit binder like this one, it would be a good way to start.
>Check with the Fleet's Clerk, and look into what information you have on the background of the late crewman Droustien.
>Order the commander of the Clean Sweep to arrest the Head Engineer, and attempt to conduct an interrogation with the space age equivalent of a telegram.
>Check with the commander of the Clean Sweep, to see if the instruction binder is where it is supposed to be for the pylon articulators.
>Check with the commander of the Clean Sweep, to see what state the footage is from the 2nd EVA; and see if it vindicates Jobbs.
>>
>>4350730
Sorry for the delay, I wound up deleting a portion of this by accident. Then I was also debating on where I wanted this plot thread to go. The intrigue and the action isn't going to let up just because we left the ship!
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>>4350730
>Check with the Quartermaster, and see who would have access to the equipment to make a counterfeit binder like this one, it would be a good way to start.

Not a good idea to tip our hand, I think.
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>>4350738
this

>>4350730
Tell Jobbs that he's done good and that he'll be safe. I feel bad for the lad. No more walking on that busted leg.
>>
>>4350738
I agree. We can either wait until we have more information or until we're out of hyperspace before we check into anything on the Clean Sweep.

On the subject of the Clean Sweep and this evidence, let's take a look at the facts, the supposed facts, and possible implications between these.

>Facts
-Pylons were set into an indefinite loop
-A crewman died
-The engineer responsible was injured
-This false manual exists
-The real manual exists

>Possible Facts
-The Engineer was forced into the EVA, on orders from the Head Engineer
-The Engineer was attacked on the EVA, and killed the crewman
-Evidence of the assault exists and is on the CleanSweep right now

Considering the above, if the Head Engineer is in any way involved in the supposed framing of the junior engineer for the crime then it's pointless to contact the Clean Sweep and/or search it. By the time we could get any information he would've already done away with it. However, the Head Engineer's actions don't necessarily point towards that being the case (it is entirely reasonable for him to bitch out the Junior Engineer for not following the manual and force him into the EVA to correct what appeared to be his own mistake). Theoretically Droustein could've had some reason (possibly related to the Derelict conspiracy or personal grudge [if it was a personal grudge I'm sure there are better ways to get revenge than to endanger the whole ship and fleet]) to enact this scenario, and could've caused everything we know to be a fact on his own. If this is the case, and Droustein does not have any co-conspirators then by the time we're out of hyperspace the footage on the EVA suit will still be in place. If he does have co-conspirators, and they are not the Head Engineer, then there is a chance that the footage will still exist.

So the only way we benefit from contacting the Clean Sweep is if the Head Engineer is not in the conspiracy, as he should be able to prevent anyone from accessing the footage that vindicates Jobbs. However that would tip our hand (as pink ID anon said), and at this point we have no way of knowing whether it would give us any benefit at all since the Head Engineer may be in on all this.

As such I think that right now we should be focused on gathering what information we can without alerting anyone on the Clean Sweep of anything. Particularly we should attempt to focus on any items of information that would allow us to verify or cast to doubt the loyalty of the Head Engineer.
>>
>>4350781
>>4350771
>>4350738
Alright, so I am seeing two explicit votes for contacting the Quartermaster about the materials need to make a counterfeit binder, with a third vote for doing what investigating can be done without contacting the Clean Sweep, so I'll consider this vote closed. Writing!

Also, the word has showed up several times, and I never got around to explaining it, so I might as well do it now, while I am thinking about it. Longerjohns are industrial space suits, that are easily modified by the end user to accommodate equipment in various configurations (or in the case of the riflemen, vacproofed recoilless rifles). They have enough armor to shrug off the mircodebris that you get with working EVAs, but don't carry any serious bells and whistles beyond a very simple onboard assistant. The name it self is kind of silly, the company that produces them started out by making thermal underwear, popular on poorly insulated spacecraft. The type of thermal underwear that they made is commonly known as longjohns, so when they came out with the suits, the name longerjohn sort of stuck. They are reasonably priced, and are modular, so portions of the suit that have been damaged can be swapped out. While the company doesn't encourage it for liability reasons, there are refurbishers who are willing to repair these suits, compared to other suits, even those that are above their price point are generally a hard "no" from these same refurbishers when it comes to being repaired.
>>
Jobbs is under a great deal of stress, and possibly the effects of some manner of medication. If even half of what he is saying is true, then he is not a threat to the rest of the fleet or crew. He is just a bit sensitive; not the best fit for the fleet, but they do not need to be perfect, they just need to be yours. For his sake, he is lucky that no one else was on hand to see all of that. Might not have gone over well for him. You decide to summon guards into the infirmary immediately using one of the consoles to communicate your order to the bridge, and as an added precaution, you will wait right here with your Third Grades. You are only wearing two of them instead of the full brace, appendix carry always felt awkward for to you, and you were not just going to lug a disintegrator around loose in your pocket. One of these days, you will get a set of shoulder holsters tailor made for you, from real leather. That way you can carry two under the arms and the third at the waist. Better than two on the waist and the third over the belly, like an accident waiting to happen.

Several minutes pass, and finally, some crewmen enter the infirmary. They seemed shocked that you are hear, and several of them look like they are on the verge of asking questions, which while understandable should probably be avoided. You should probably say something, tell them something, but what?

>Tell them the extent of what you know, if they do not know what danger their charges are in, then they can not be effective guardians, now can they?

>Keep it vague. Give them enough information to this properly and take this seriously, but not enough to become a liability.

>Mislead them. Tell them that you are have reason to believe that the deceased crewman has friends on this ship who might want to see Junior Engineer Jobbs murdered. Tell them that they are to watch the other crewmen here on the pretext of keeping them safe, but just in case they attempt to take things into their own hands.
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>>4350954
>not comforting Jobbs
reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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>>4350954

>Keep it vague.
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>>4350965
He is getting blood work done right now. After this the infirmary is secure, then there will be time for a private word.
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>>4350954
>Keep it vague. Give them enough information to this properly and take this seriously, but not enough to become a liability.
>>
Well, that is two votes for keeping it vague, and one reeeee, so I guess I'll call it.
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>>4350954
>Keep it vague. Give them enough information to this properly and take this seriously, but not enough to become a liability
>>
You explain the situation in vague terms to the new guards. Without going into detail about Droustein, you explain that there has been a credible but anonymous threat made on the life of Junior Engineer Jobbs. Considering that it is possible that the other two crewman might be material witness, even if they don't realize it, you add that the other men might be targets as well, as they were unable to save the late crewman. The basic operating procedure here is that everyone and everything coming into this ward is to be spot checked in the presence of both one of the orderlies and the guards. As guards, they are going to be stationed here, they will take their meals here, they will sleep here too, once you get cots sent in. They can leave, on the condition that it is one at a time, that they check the returning guard like the rest of the incoming visitors to the station, and finally, that they remain tight lipped about their responsibilities here.

Heading further into the infirmary, you find Jobbs and the enthusiastic, injured crewman having a quiet conversation. At first you think they are behaving kind of suspect, then you realize that they are outside of the bed of the maimed crewman. Both of them seem startled by your appearance here, they presumably assumed you had left. You call over an orderly and a doctor, and explain the situation again in the vague terms you used earlier. They seemed concerned, though it seems that it is less about the disruption of their workplace and more about the idea that someone would attempt to harm one of their charges. You don't want to underplay the threat, but you are willing to say that ultimately you are just being cautious. With that out of the way, and the maimed crewman out of the count, there isn't anything else to do here...
>>
>>4351128

...except comfort Jobbs. You've never really been good at this, and with your "grim fucker" look you got going, you have gotten by really well by simply ignoring these kind of touchy-feely affairs. But as tempted as you are to simply bid them all good day, and head out to meet with the Quartermaster about the instruction manuals, you feel oddly obligated to say something this time, to Jobbs. Perhaps it was that while he was having a breakdown in front of you, all you were thinking about was having him put down in a way that left his organs viable for resale, which would be --- well, it wasn't nice, now was it.

Though honestly, the presence of the others is really going to make this awkward. Well no. The fact that it was coming from you was going to make this awkward. They were just going to make worse...

"Junior Engineer Jobbs." Well, that is as good of a start as any. "In light of forthcoming facts, it is readily apparent that you were under significant duress during our conversation." Well, conversation and interrogation are sort of synonyms, right? "While at the time, as this duress appeared to indicate -", guilt is to strong of a word, might set him off, and the idea is to comfort him here. Man alive, this hard. "Culpability, the immediate reaction on my part was to push you hard for answers. I'm not saying that it was inappropriate for me to do so, I am saying that I am not insensitive to any amplifying effect this may have had on your emotional state. In short-", well I can't say I'm sorry if I just said that what I did was appropriate. "In short-", Damn it, I already said that!

"I'm sorry you had to go through that."

That whole fucking spiel sounded like a lovechild of a barrister's closing argument and a get well card. You have no idea what the hell came over you to do this, and you hope that it never darkens your doorstep again. Still Jobbs thanks you. He's not smiling by any stretch of the imagination, but at the very least, he isn't trembling like a leaf.
>>
>>4351130
Jobbs my baby boys!
>>
You say your goodbyes to everyone else, and ask to be informed when the crippled crewman will be ready to take visitors. The last thing you do is take the counterfeit instruction manual with you, still in the sack, and say that if Jobbs asks after it, that he should be told that it is in your possession. The guard is tactful enough to not ask what "it" is, and with your business here concluded for now, you leave the Infirmary. You have already decided that your next step is going to be to contact the Quartermaster, and inquire after the manual process. Now, there are several ways that you could take it, but ultimately, you can only choose one.

>Be open, bring him up to speed with everything, and ask him for input on the debacle. Show him the counterfeit.
>Be vague, only ask questions about the process on his end, and who has access to the equipment. Don't show him the counterfeit.
>Be deceptive, pretend that you are going to reform that manual system after the accident, and you need a list of everyone who is involved in making the manuals to consult with. Definitely do not show him the counterfeit.
>>
>>4351150
>Be deceptive, pretend that you are going to reform that manual system after the accident, and you need a list of everyone who is involved in making the manuals to consult with. Definitely do not show him the counterfeit.
>>
>>4351150
Oh, I forgot to add that I am going to bed now, so I will continue in the morning, as usual.
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>>4351151
+1
>>
>>4351150

>Be deceptive, pretend that you are going to reform that manual system after the accident, and you need a list of everyone who is involved in making the manuals to consult with. Definitely do not show him the counterfeit

Gn Scrapper
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>>4351150
>Be open, bring him up to speed with everything, and ask him for input on the debacle. Show him the counterfeit.
>>
>>4351150
>Be deceptive, pretend that you are going to reform that manual system after the accident, and you need a list of everyone who is involved in making the manuals to consult with. Definitely do not show him the counterfeit
>>
It figures, the time I remember to properly sign off and specify when I will run again is the time that I sleep in.

With 4 votes for being deceptive, and 1 vote for being open, I'll consider this closed, and start writing immediately.
>>
Well, now that your business in the infirmary has concluded itself, it is time to track down your Quartermaster. As you are already close to the Officer’s quarters, you have decided that seeing if he is in his room would probably be the best place to start. When you finally make it to his door, you find it open, though the room itself is unoccupied. Hmm.

There is no rule or regulation requiring the doors to an officer’s quarters be kept closed, but that’s because officers generally keep their quarters private. You trust your Quartermaster, you would not have promoted the man to his position if you had any serious reservations about him, considering that along with the Fleet’s Clerk, he is responsible for buying and spending company money. However, it seems that while he is trustworthy, he is also perhaps a bit too trusting himself. That is not that much of a surprise, both of those traits do frequently go together, though it seems that perhaps he might not be the best one to confide the extent of the … plot? Conspiracy? Whatever this is, whatever you would call it.

As you resolve yourself to perhaps be a bit deceptive in your inquires with him, the man approaches, carrying a tray of food towards his door. Surprised, he comes to a complete stop. “Boss! Are you looking for the appraisal reports from the haul? I have the preliminaries done, but until Engineering is done playing with that big bastard, we won’t have a full report for you yet.” With everything else going on, you had not considered the full appraisal report, the accounting of the haul from the expedition. Strangely enough, this is typical the job of the Fleet’s Clerk and not the Quartermaster, but it seems that they are working together on this one. You do not doubt that he is qualified, but you cannot understand why he has taken this upon himself.

Setting that aside for now, you would like to make headway on your current investigation. “I had figured that it wasn’t done. No, I would actually like to talk to you about something else.” The man looks lost for a few seconds, but comes out of it, agrees to talk, and invites you inside his quarters.

He does not have a table in his room, and the desk and bed seem to be non-standard, and more than a little shabby. While you are glad that he clearly is not abusing his position to needlessly spend money on his own quarters, the level of thrift here seems kind of strange. While you might question the man about this later, you should focus on the pressing questions at hand. You take a seat at his desk, and after a moment of thought on his part, he places his tray on his bed, and remains standing.
>>
>>4351759
“It seems whatever happened with the Clean Sweep may have centered around not understand instructions for using some of the more esoteric equipment on board the trawler. I was considering that it might be a good idea to have a second set of manuals made for some of those kind of systems across the fleet, so the crewman operating them can read them in environments more conductive to internalizing these instructions.” All you get out of your Quartermaster is a ‘yep’. Alright then…

“What exactly is the process for making these manuals?” The man explains that years ago, before you were the Owner-Operator, and before the Quartermaster had even made officer rank, the company bought at auction, approximately eighteen hundred of the red, vac-proofed binders that you use for manuals, and apparently, the quarterly reports on earnings for the company. While most of them were used, there are still a number of them back in one of the warehouses of the Roost, which is what you call the collect group of slips and dock that the company owns on Old Scrimshander. The Quartermaster does not know the number off hand, but he is willing to say that it is around several hundred, just lying around. He also explains how the manuals are printed; while the manuals that are with external equipment, outside in the vacuum or in hangars and bays that open up to the vacuum, are printed, or rather embroidered, on a special kind of vac-proofed fabric by an outside company, for all of the manuals that are inside the ship at all times are printed on standard paper, on the companies printer.

You realize with a start that it is entirely possible that there were external manuals for the backup clusters of hardware for the pylon articulator controls. If this was the case, then a copy of the manual had done rounds outside of the company. So much for narrowing the field of suspects. As for the company printer, while it was supposed to be used only for company business, the fact of the matter is that it is, at least to your knowledge, it was not particularly secured.

>Continue this line of investigation and ask if there is any more information about making manuals.
>Shift over to a new line of investigation and ask who is responsible for writing the manuals.
>Alternatively ask what exactly the deal with the furniture in his room is.
>>
>>4351764
>Shift over to a new line of investigation and ask who is responsible for writing the manual
Does he know the general living conditions of the the crewmen, engineers, officers, security, etc. of the people that live in our fleet? If we're due for some refurbishing (and depending on the cost) it might be a good idea to upgrade some people's quarters to get an extra boost in morale if we can afford it. I want an estimate for how much it might cost.
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>>4351894
Yes, as the Quartermaster, the general living conditions are one of his responsibilities. As for pricing to upgrade it, I'll need to figure that out. It will be an option though. I don't want to toss out a price and then find later that I have locked myself into a price that is unbalanced.
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>>4351764
>Shift over to a new line of investigation and ask who is responsible for writing the manuals.
>>
>>4352081
>>4351894
Alright, with only two votes after three hours, lets close this. I'll get to writing immediately.
>>
>Shift over to new line of investigation
Alright, so you understand the process for physically making the manuals, and have come to the realization that if there were manuals with the external controls of the pylon articulators, then that means that the information exists somewhere outside of your company, which means that the list of people who could have made a counterfeit manual is getting larger not smaller.

“And as for the manuals themselves, they are written by the engineer responsible for building the system, or on the off chance that the system was bought and not made, then it would be the manual that the equipment came with, and some additional notes, correct?” The Quartermaster explains that while this is the case, they are then all submitted to, edited and signed off by the ships’ Head Engineer. The idea is that there should be some level of standardization and quality control among all the manuals for a ship. Additionally, the Head Engineer of a ship was the only one allowed to edit the manuals, though anyone on a ship, including non-engineers could request an edit for any reason.

“If they are making edits, then the engineers must be the ones who are updating the manuals, having them reprinted, in part or in whole, perhaps, and then swapping them out, correct?” There is a pause, and the Quartermaster sound much less certain when he responds. “I mean, yes. That is part of their responsibility, but so long as they signed off on the edits, then they do not need to be the ones doing the printing or the swapping. I don’t know for sure, of course, but I’d imagine that tasks like that get delegated frequently.” You had been thinking the same thing, but still, you had been hoping that there was some requirement or protocol in place against that.

There is one final question; “And then these obsolete, outdated copies, they are recycled or dumped. Nominally by the ships Head Engineer, but it practice by anyone they delegate to?” The Quartermaster nods, almost absentmindedly. If you had to guess, you’d say that he was confused by the direction your line of questioning has taken; still he doesn’t seem willing to ask what any of this has to do with printing second copies of certain manuals. You do not see any reason to bring him up to speed now, but still it feels more than a little odd stringing the man along like this.

You were thinking perhaps of changing subject to why his quarters of all of them are under-furnished, considering that he is responsible for furnishing the ships of the fleet, partially as a deflection, and partially because you are legitimately curious, when you feel your pager buzzing. Someone is trying to contact you from another ship; it is marked as important, but not time sensitive.

>Ask about the furnishings
>Excuse yourself and take call
>Ask another question (write-in)
>>
>>4352140
Ask about furniture and the list of people who've made edits.
>>
>>4352140
>Ask about the furnishings
>>
>>4352179
Made edits; that would be the 5 head engineers on the 4 ships and the shuttle-tug, and the lead engineer (under Attenborough) on the Aethereal Vulture. Requested edits; well, you could probably get a partial list pulled together eventually, but there isn't a running roll call for everyone who has ever requested an edit.

>>4352179
>>4352250
Anyway, with two votes and nearly two hours up, I'll close this one, and get to writing.
>>
Holding of on responding to the page, considering that it was not labeled as time sensitive, you decide to get some answers about the non-standard furnishings in the room. Electing to make a statement instead of asking a question, you tap the desk with your forefinger and mention that "this is not the usual set". Your Quartermaster acknowledges that it isn't, and explains that it is the desk and bed set from his childhood home, which while smaller than an adult would typically want, is decently enough sized for a ship. He explains, with a tinge of embarrassment, that the set has sentimental value to him.

While this doesn't seem serious, this is a sort of infraction, considering that furniture is supposed to be standardized for safety, and ease of replacement and repair. It is doubly troublesome, when you consider that as the Quartermaster, it is his job to enforce this standardization. While you are not a military fleet, with rigid codes and regulations that are all ironclad and without exception, you aren't lawless renegades either, you are professionals operating in an extremely dangerous region of space. Some level of discipline is expected, especially among those who are in charge of enforcing that discipline. On the other hand, officers expect privileges of station, which does include (at least in non-military fleets like yours) some flexibility. How are you going to handle this?

>Overlook this digression (may lead to future issues with discipline)
>Enforce the rules (1/20th chance that Officer morale drops after you citing him becomes public knowledge)
>>
>>4352370
>Enforce the rules
>>
>>4352370
>Overlook this digression (may lead to future issues with discipline)
So long as it doesn't become costly it should be fine, but lets suggest that he at the very least he put the bed in storage so he can get something more comfortable and safer.
>>
>>4352370

>Overlook

I think we can afford some leeway for officiers, but we can ask him on the state of the crew lodgings
>>
You boys suspecting a conspiracy? Maybe its a case of corporate sabotage
>>
>>4352828
>>4352782
>>4352378
Alright, that is a 2 to 1 split for overlook.
>>
>>4352959

I hope nobody dies of some semi unauthorized old bed not fit for space travel hurling through the shipalleyways when something goes wrong during jumpdrive or the like...
>>
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Well, so long as it does not become common knowledge that the Quartermaster is flouting the rules that he is supposed to be impartially implementing, then you suppose in the interest of preserving the privileges of the officer core, you could look the other way. And that regulation is a bit much, honestly. Maybe you can understand standardizing everything so that things are easier to repair, but you never understood how all the officers having the same model of bed was a “safety” issue. You had not implemented that one, it was carried over from when the Vulture was the Owner-Operator. And considering that the man was not exactly the most safety concerned commander, you had to assume that it was but in the regulations by the company’s barristers instead of by him.

Well, it is not like it is a worthless regulation either, but if you are not willing to push for it to be enforced, maybe you should consider eliminating it. Still, there are so many more important things to be concerning yourself with right now. You thank the Quartermaster for his time, and rise to leave, but before you step out to go check for your message, you ask after the state of the lodgings for the crew. His answer? “Depends on the ship, really.”

Your Freighter and Tanker, the Karaboudjan and Mammon respectively, being large ships able to be operated by relatively small compliments of crew, have the best accommodations for ‘John Q Crewman’, namely pod style beds. The Aethereal Vulture, as it was laid up as a military mine layer has navy-standard quarters for its sailors, shelving style, and considering the space constraints in the relatively small hull of the Clean Sweep, it too had shelving. Old Ironsides, and the shuttle-tug that launched out of the Karaboudjan, both due to extreme space constraints, did not have any formal berthing for their crews. They simply were given mats and told to find somewhere out of the way.

As you make to leave, your Quartermaster abruptly asks you if everything is alright.

> (Bring him up to speed) There seems to be some manner of conspiracy on the Clean Sweep…
> (Truth) A man died on the Clean Sweep, and the circumstances around it are complicated. You are just covering your bases and trying to address the problem as best as you possibly can.
> (Deflect) Well, excepting the death of Crewman Droustein, nothing that can’t be fixed has befallen the fleet. That is the important thing to take away here, isn't it.
>(Lie) Considering that we are sitting on a wreck and a habitable planet, everything is much better than alright, isn’t it?
>>
>>4352966
Heh. No, I wouldn't do that. The beds, even the old and semi-unauthorized ones are all bolted down, same as the desks and tables. And when something goes wrong with the jump, loose furniture will be the least of your concerns. You run the risk of crews and ships being atomized.
>>
>>4352986
> (Bring him up to speed) There seems to be some manner of conspiracy on the Clean Sweep…
>>
>>4352986
> (Bring him up to speed) There seems to be some manner of conspiracy on the Clean Sweep…
>>
>>4352986
>> (Bring him up to speed) There seems to be some manner of conspiracy on the Clean Sweep…
>>
>>
>>4353030
>>4353013
>>4353010
Alright, I'll close and write this up.
>>
You had already opened the door, but you make a point of closing it before turning to your increasingly nervous looking Quartermaster. Before you can say anything though, he interjects. “It is just, generally, we’d talk in a conference room, or on the bridge about these things. I do not think you have ever been in here to speak before. To be honest, I thought I had done something wrong, but when none of this was about me –”. The man trails off. While originally, you had withheld further information on whatever the hell was happening on your trawler, the fact of the matter remains that you are probably going to rely on others to resolve this. Not to mention, insisting that it was nothing at this point, might come back to bite you in some way. It seems that the way to the truth is through the truth.

“There seems to be some manner of conspiracy afoot on the Clean Sweep. While I had given serious thought to overhauling the protocols about manuals after this incident, there was another reason to discuss them here.” Neglected through this conversation, you were still carrying the sack with the counterfeit manual. You pull it out, and hand it to him. “This is the manual that Junior Engineer Jobbs says he was following. You will notice that the instructions are the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do if what happened … happened. It even explicitly says to not take what the correct measures are. Besides that, it appears to be identical.”

“A counterfeit manual?” The man holds it as it is was a bomb. “I doubt it needs to be said, but it is enough of a danger that I will risk stating the obvious. This is dangerous … and beyond malicious. Jobbs was following this?” You affirm that he was, and explain that after the disruption happened, Jobbs’ attempted and failed to raise the Head Engineer, and when he realized that this had fully gotten out of hand, followed procedure to card out the entire ship, and then he left his post to look for the engineer. When he returned, the head engineer was present, and the manual that he had been following, this one, had been swapped out with the original, correct manual. You then explain the situation with Droustein, and how after he became incapacitated the counterfeit was found in his effects, by Jobbs.

The Quartermaster frowns. “When Jobbs returned to his post, after failing to find the Head Engineer of the Clean Sweep, only to see him operating his post, did he say that the Head Engineer was alone, or were there others?” Thinking back on the testimony that Jobbs gave, you explain that he did not specify. “Is there anyone else to corroborate Jobbs account? Especially him recovering the manual from the corpse of Droustein?” When you shake your head, the Quartermaster looks really ill at ease.
>>
>>4353181

“I don’t like speaking ill of someone, especially when they are not around to defend themselves, it always struck me as indecent. But in this case … I think you might not have realized something important here, Boss. The existence of the counterfeit manual does exonerate Jobbs of negligence. Obviously, he or anyone else for that matter, could not have prepared a counterfeit manual to cover for a specific mistake in the time from the accident to his deployment on the second EVA.”

“But, it does not exonerate him from sabotage. He could have prepared a counterfeit manual months ahead of time, and been waiting to use it. Considering that he properly carded the ship out, he did not break protocol when he left the post, but doing so provides a nice alibi against him swapping the manuals back, doesn’t it? Anyone on the Clean Sweep could have swapped the manuals out; anyone except him. And then him finding the manual, on the dead man. Really convenient. He was the first one to reach him? After he attacked him, in a way that no one else saw or recognized as an attack?”

“Recovering the counterfeit on an ‘attacker’ is the perfect way to account for why he has the counterfeit manual in his possession currently. He says he tried to save Droustein? He could have bee finishing him off! Why, it seems –” You must be wearing some manner of incredulous expression on your face, as the Quartermaster trails off. He clears his throat, and explains that he reads a lot of detective novellas. You can see that. Right now, you can see a dozen or so paper (paper!) copies on his desk.

Well, his ignoring his hobby, his logic is completely sound. Still, you are not certain on how to proceed from here, especially considering that you do not have any clear idea of a motive. You could try to speak with Jobbs again or have someone else speak to him on your behalf, like the Quartermaster, under the pretense of creating an official accident report. Maybe you will catch him in a lie. Or perhaps you could try talking to the enthusiastic crewman, see if he can corroborate any of Jobbs account. Alternatively, you (or someone else working on your behalf) could speak to the commander of the Clean Sweep and get a full accounting of what happened from them. There was already one difference in the two accounts, the commander said that Jobbs volunteered, while Jobbs said that he had been ordered.
>>
>>4353184
But the Quartermaster has another idea. “You said he was in the infirmary still? He got hurt, and he is being seen by the doctors?” When you answer in the affirmative, he explains an additional tactic that he has in mind. One of the responsibilities of the Quartermaster is supplying the fleet with the consumables and perishables that it needs for day-to-day operation in decivilized space. One of those consumables is medicine, and while all ordering is done by the ship’s doctors, the Quartermaster is involved in the purchasing process. And to be allowed to purchase controlled substances, like painkillers, you need to have gone through some certification as a “substance-trustee” under some hairbrained scheme or other by the Port Authority.

Part of this certification process is knowing what the substance that you are purchasing are capable of doing if they are misused. Apparently, one of the types of painkillers that the Quartermaster has been ordering for the infirmary, Qarcan, a “new model” synthetic opiate, when used in high enough dosages can act as a sort of truth serum. However, there is some immediate danger to using it at these levels, and in the long term, it will almost certainly render Jobbs addicted to opiates, which would be unfortunate if he were innocent. Not to mention how the doctors would react to being told to dope one of their patients.

Well, then, what is the next step.
>Speak with Jobbs again
>Drug Jobbs, then speak again
>Speak to the enthusiastic crewman
>Speak to the Clean Sweep’s commander
>Answer the page

But honestly, do you think that Jobbs is actually the saboteur, or that your Quartermaster simply has an overactive imagination.
>Innocent
>Guilty
>>
>>4353186
Saying no to drugging Jobbs. The helmet cam (or other camera view) is our best bet at proving or disproving Jobbs' innocence.
>Speak to the Clean Sweep's commander
>Innocent until proven guilty
>>
>>4353186

>Speak to the enthusiastic crewman
>Answer the page

>Innocent 60/40
>>
>>4353186
>Speak to the Clean Sweep’s commander
>Answer the page

Not going to judge whether he's innocent or guilty. Never been good at investigative stuff.
>>
>>4353186
>Speak to the Clean Sweep’s commander
>Answer the page
>>
>>4353186
>answer page

how long is it until we jump out of hyperspace? if it is soon, we should deal with it ourselves, else it might be justified to talk to the other ship's commander too.

>65/35 innocent - if he is a junior engineer, it explains it well, most people have a hard time faking it in such a way, and we lack motive.
>>
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You still aren’t willing to condemn Jobbs as hard as the Quartermaster has; despite his insistence that he doesn’t like to speak ill of others, especially those who aren’t in the room, if even half of what he has said about Jobbs is true, then you will probably be expected to execute the man. But right now, you have been paged, and it was marked important (as opposed to being sent with no urgency or being flagged as critical). Oddly enough, whatever it is was not marked as time sensitive. You aren’t as imaginative as the Quartermaster it seems; you can imagine what would be important enough to go directly to you, but not time sensitive.

After ordering the Quartermaster to not speak of this, and certainly not act on anything without your explicit approval, you leave the man’s quarters. In the hallway, standing under the emergency light, you read the brief message; CMDR-M L, rpt dpress fail. Hmm. This was not what you were expecting. The Commander of the Mammon is ready to make a report of the depressurization in the tank, which dumped 1/3 of your reserve fuel, leading to the change of course which ultimately led to you to the derelict.

Well, if he does not think it is that important, neither should you, right?

>Hold off on contacting the Commander of the Clean Sweep.
>Hold off on contacting the Commander of the Mammon.
>>
>>4353502
Sorry, the choices for this one was not particularly clear. If you hold of on contacting one, you contact the other.
>>
>>4353505
we can wait with solving our murder issue: if it's the chief engineer he has done what he can to scrub it clean already. deal with the fuel issue first.
>>
Hmm. I'll let this one sit a bit longer. I know that as the thread is no longer auto bumping, it might take a bit longer to get votes in. I'm going to take a quick nap, and check in again soon.
>>
>>4353524
>Hold off on contacting the Commander of the Clean Sweep.
>>
>>4353665
>>4353524
Alright. I'll close it for contacting the commander of the Mammon first, then contacting the commander of the Clean Sweep.

I need to take care of some other things to get ready for work tomorrow, so this post might be a bit slower coming than the others. While you guys wait, does anyone have any suggestions for the Quartermaster's name? I was originally going to go with Quimbix, but that seems to silly in retrospect.
>Quimbix is fine. Even in the real world, some people have silly names.
>Write-in your suggestion
>>
There is a small walk-in canister in the hallway of the officers quarters with a console capable of transmitting, receiving and decoding the alphanumeric cypher that was sent by the ship to ship hyperspace telegraphs. You lock the door, and after a moment of thought, pressurized its seal, to prevent any eavesdropping. You comprise a brief message, identifying yourself, indicating that you have received the page from the commander, and then you state that you are able to accept their report right now. Within the span of a minute you receive a message:

start consider this receipt of message stop summarizing report, writing stop end

As expected of you, you reply;

start acknowledged stop
>>
>>4354056
It takes several, particularly long minutes, enough for you to begin to wonder what exactly they are going to say. You received the initial damage report, what barely more than 36 hours ago; that is how little time has passed. What you already know is that an external pump was damaged, which lead to depressurization. With the damaged pump and the lost of pressure, the entirety of that primary tank and some of the tertiary tanks attacked to it were completely voided, a third of your reserve fuel supply was just lost. With any luck, and the labor of the Starving Vulture’s company barrister, you are going to be able to collect insurance to cover the necessary repairs, whatever they may be.

start report reads as follows external pump damaged during scanning scouting navigation of decivilized system stop appears to have been debris impact stop engineers have modeled how impact lead to depressurization with high confidence stop photographic evidence taken for insurance purposes stop emergency repairs were completed stop no further loss of fuel stop rest of ship receives clean bill of health stop report concludes stop end

start report received stop

So, it sounds like whatever happened was a freak impact with some manner of debris. If you remember, at the time of the impact, the fleet had found a relatively small gas giant, and were investigating to see if the dust and debris that made up the ring were worth picking though, preliminary remote spectroscopy hinted that there might be metal worth sifting through for, but when it was found, it became apparent that with the equipment on hand, you could not cost effectively extract it. This bad news was followed by the worse news of the damage to the Mammon.

The point that you are getting at is that the entire fleet was orbiting a rocky ring, so the presence of debris and the possibility of debris impact was to be expected. Now, an impact was that enough to damage a pump severely enough to void a third of all your fuel, that wasn’t expected. Still it is good to hear that the engineers have managed to recreate what happened, hopefully, once you get to port you can consider having the pumps looked at, and possibly rebuilt to prevent this from happening. And the photographs for the insurance and the conclusion of the emergency repairs were the proverbial cherry on top. Was there anything you wanted to ask the commander of the Mammon while you have him on the line?

>No (concludes call)
Yes (write-in)
>>
>>4354059
>Implying I forgot how to greentext

Also, if anyone is having trouble reading the report in telegraph format, let me write it out for you, normally.

The report reads; an external pump was damaged during operations in a decivilized system. The damage appears to have been caused by impact with debris. The engineers on the Mammon have figured out how the damage from the impact resulted in the voiding of the tank, so that issue could be fixed later. Documentation for insurance purposes, including photos were taken, then emergency repairs were conducted to restore the tank to a functional condition. The rest of the ship has been looked over and is determined to be sound.
>>
Boy, I really butchered this, huh. Let me try stating the question again.

Do you have any other questions for the commander of the Mammon?
>Yes (write-in)
>No (concludes call)
>>
>>4353870
>Write-in your suggestion
Chad Quintent Skullfucker IV. We got genetic scars b/c our family has a long history of death dealing. Soldiers, murderers, bounty hunters, Rim world cops.

>>4354059
>Yes (write-in)
When we reach Port, send us a copy of the review of the damage plus names of engineers involved in cause we need to ask further questions.
>>
>>4354308

>Quimbix is fine. Very Gallic

>no questions for mammon.

(Qm, are we expected to return to port soon? What was it with the report on potential earnings from scrap?)
Might be wise to finish our business swiftly as were orbiting an alien warship
>>
>>4354309
I meant for the Quartermaster, not our character. We already have a name which gave rise to our first nickname, 'Weld', as well as the later nicknames 'Tungsten' and 'commander of commanders'. More on that, and the scar-like birthmarks later; but if you or anyone else guesses our character's name correctly before I reveal it, I'll give them their choice of three free ship weapons.

As for the Quartermasters name, 'Skullfucker' might be a bit much, especially for a kind of dopey non-combatant character, but I'm not one to get in the way of emergent story telling. I think that it could be funny as a sarcastic and crude nickname, though.

>>4354415
Don't worry, we have already jumped out of the system, are currently in hyperspace, and are heading to port right now. And for the total potential earning for the cargo you'll need to speak to engineeringand decide if you want to part out the Foreman drone, or leave it in one piece to study for them to give you that report.

I'm going to take a shower and eat breakfast and stuff; should be about an hour or so all told. When I get back, I'll close this overnight vote, roll if I need to, and start writing.
>>
>>4354513

Allright scrapper. Lather yourself promisciously with soap for us, ill be here
>>
After thinking for a moment, you send a request over to the commander of the Mammon to have a copy of the damage report prepared for you to review, signed and stamped by all of the engineers responsible. Partially so you can get straight into filing the insurance claim, and partially so have a convenient springboard for further questions. The commander makes formal receipt of this request, indicates that the document will be prepared for you when the fleet leaves hyperspace.

Having concluded your business with this commander, you thank him, and terminate the line. Well, with that done, now it is time to call the commander of the Clean Sweep. Or is it? Due to the nature of the ship to ship hyperspace telegraph, the communications are inherently unsecured. Anyone with at a set right now, could have been listening in on your conversation with the commander of the Mammon right now. And if you were to contact the commander of the Clean Sweep, then they could listen in on that as well. Even worse, there is no way to confirm who the person on the other line is, other then by asking them specific questions, that only they'd know. And then, the minute that they'd answer, those questions couldn't be used for confirmation ever again, because they were being broadcast to potentially the entire fleet. You look at the equipment set in this canister; there are two lines on standby, where someone is waiting for someone else to get on, and speak with then, and another active line, where two or more sets are sending messages back and forth. There is nothing stopping you from simply responding to the standby conversations, or entering onto the active line.

To be clear, you have never had issues with impersonators sending false telegraphs, or crewmen listening in on communications between officers and commanders, at least to your knowledge. But, by the same token, you had never had anyone create a counterfeit instruction manual, with instructions that could (and in this case did) render the piece of equipment that they were written for into a deathtrap. The sticking point here is that during the transmissions there, you identified yourself as the Owner-Operator, which means even if you didn't identify yourself to the commander of the Clean Sweep, or asked the Quartermaster to contact the commander in your place, the short time between the calls may alert any saboteurs that your attention is directed towards the Clean Sweep. Or it might not. You could be over thinking things.

It has been a long, and stressful day. And all you are running on is a third of a plate of spaghetti...

>Call the commander of the Clean Sweep, or alternatively have the Quartermaster contact them in your stead
>Hold off on that call until tomorrow. Have your dinner brought up, maybe have a bath drawn, and then get some sleep.
>>
>>4354616
>Contact them, and just check up on the status - the CE should be very capable of interception should he wish to do it.


one way to do this would be through decoy messages, to guage reaction, but that might be too complex and overblown. I think it's best to wait until we can do it securely.
>>
>>4354616
Go visit our tax dude to see how much the insurance will cover for the ship damage, and if we're lucky enough for it to cover loss of fuel as well. Before we leave let's hit up the quarter later and get an idea of how much it would cost for equipment that can salvage materials through an asteroid belt, like what we tried earlier before losing a third of our fuel supply.
>>
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>>4354884
>>4354767
Okay, so from your posts, we got a vote for contacting the commander of the Clean Sweep immediately, though only to speak about the general situation on the ship, avoiding any direct questions about the investigation. Then we have another vote for contacting our 'tax dude' about a prospective insurance payout. That role could be filled either by the barrister back at the Roost, or the Fleet's Clerk on the flagship, so in the interest of maintaining momentum of the quest, I'll go with the character on hand, and then (after?) that, go have another discussion with the Quartermaster about the equipment needed to cost effectively sift through rings. As this vote doesn't mention contacting the commander of the Clean Sweep, it seems this vote puts this off. So, I'll put this new vote up, and you two, if you are still in the thread may vote again on these, or change your vote as you will. Additionally, if I misinterpreted what you wanted, please let me know, and I'll fix it.

>Call the commander of the Clean Sweep, but keep the conversation away from your investigation.
>Find the Fleet's Clerk, and discuss the insurance situation, see if the fuel could be covered, then find Quimbix the Quartermaster, and discuss the equipment that you'd need to sift through rings and belts. Do not contact the commander of the Clean Sweep today.
>>
>>4354922
>Find the Fleet's Clerk, and discuss the insurance situation, see if the fuel could be covered, then find Quimbix the Quartermaster, and discuss the equipment that you'd need to sift through rings and belts. Do not contact the commander of the Clean Sweep today.
>>
>>4354940
Boy, I don't know if it is the shift away from the wreck, or that we are now on the third page, but there is a real noticeable slowdown here.

I'll call it for this vote.
>>
>>4354922
>Find the Fleet's Clerk, and discuss the insurance situation, see if the fuel could be covered, then find Quimbix the Quartermaster, and discuss the equipment that you'd need to sift through rings and belts. Do not contact the commander of the Clean Sweep today.
>>
Hey guys, so after having internet issues intermittently yesterday, I wake up to find that it is completely not working. Technician is scheduled for Thursday at 4pm, so I'll take this time to prepare and hopefully start a new thread for a new run. I'll keep an eye on the thread here until then, so if anyone has any questions or comments, I'll be here to respond.

Additionally, considering how much use it got, I was thinking that the shuttle-tug deserves a proper name. Any ideas for a name?
>>
>>4356117
Maui, because he made the sun slow down by hooking it and pulling the rope.
>>
>>4356281
+1
>>
>>4356281
This is great, +1
>>
Good name. I'm making headway with figuring out the costs of stuff, like the new equipment for our drones. So my next question is would you guys like to here options for equiping your two captured Mad Drones before we reach port, or hold off on that?
>>
>>4357631
Sure, let er rip, we'll have more idea what to do with it while we're headed to port. Not like we're going to refit them in transit where things could go wrong.
>>
Well, I got my internet back up earlier than expected. I don't want to confuse anyone, so I'll still stick to the idea of starting a new thread on Thursday, maybe around 2pm Eastern Standard Time.

>>4357855
Alright, certainly. It makes sense to a certain extent that our character would know the basic options without needing to consult anyone else. The Lucid Drone, which is a completely rebuilt and slaved Mad Drone, has a CR (critical role) of 8, and two points of health. It has 5 slots to build on to. The first thing that any drone needs is someway to be controlled.

Operation Modality:
Autonomous. When a drone is autonomous, it can operate independent from human instruction, though it still needs some way to communicate, in case an operator needs to take control or issue overriding orders. In terms of both equipment and cost, this is the most expensive option. Requires 2 slots: Drone Brain Package and Vision Package. [b]It is recommended to have either a Transmitter-Receiver Package or Comms Hardline to communicate with the drone. [/b]

Teleoperated. When a drone is teleoperated, it is being controlled remotely by a dedicated human pilot. While autonomous drones are also able to be controlled by a human pilot, the difference between an autonomous drone and a teleoperated drone is that the teleoperated drone cannot operate independently. Requires 2 slots: Vision Package and Transmitter-Receiver Package or Comms Hardline.

Manual. When a drone is manual, it is strictly speaking, no longer a drone, but a small shuttle, operated directly by a human pilot, on an external command console frequently called the ‘hot seat’. With a human pilot sitting at the helm, there is no need for the more expensive control, vision, or communication packages. Of course, with a human on board, either the drone is no longer disposable, or that unfortunate pilot has become disposable. Losses of Manual drones run the risk of incurring morale penalties. Requires 1 slot: External Command Console (‘Hot Seat’)
>>
Rolled 4 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>4358009
And here are the prices and additional descriptions of those packages (The listed prices are base values in double-talents, and are subject to some level of fluctuation)

Build-a-Drone Kits; 50dT. You have 1d20+2 on hand to use. (Rolled for in this post) These kits are used to get several different pieces of equipment into a state where they can be controlled and operated in a deliberate fashion. On its own, it is not enough to run the drone though. (No Slots, Mandatory)

Basic AI Brain Package for drone; 200dT. This package is what allows a drone to think and operate independently from the control of a human pilot. There are higher quality versions of these packages, that provide bonuses to whatever they are installed in, but they are not regularly available. (One Slot)

Basic Vision Package for drones; 200dT. This package is what allows a drone to see and is necessary for any level of remote operation. There are higher quality versions of these packages, that provide bonuses to whatever they are installed in, but they are not regularly available. (One Slot)

Transmitter-Receiver Package for drones; 250dT. This package is what allows a drone to communicate back and forth with your ships. While technically not necessary for an autonomous drone, you will not be able to interact with the drones remotely to get video, diagnostic information, or issue overriding orders if you forgo this (and its alternative, the Comms Hardline). (One Slot)

Comms Hardline for drones, 100dT. Basically, a version of the umbilical cable on the Huginn drones for larger, more complex drones. It is significantly cheaper than a proper Transmitter-Receiver package, but it is restrictive, in the sense that it can only go out to a maximum of one unit of distance. Also, if it was severed, then communication with the drone would be lost. (One Slot)

External Command Console, AKA the ‘Hot Seat’. 250dT. Why have a drone, when you could have a shuttle that is piloted from the outside? A basic set of controls for a single pilot to fly the contraption, as well as bindable controls, so the pilot can operate all the craft’s functions. Ironically enough, the seat is not included. (One Slot)
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>>4358019
How much for a sex bot
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>>4358019
So, if anyone is still here after having all of this just dumped in their lap, I'll walk them through the process of building out a control package for a Lucid Drone.

Manual is the cheapest, both in terms of cost; a baseline of 250dT, and in terms of slots used, just one. You can get a fully functional mini-shuttle really easily with this option. The downside is that it requires constant human attention. You couldn't deploy it and forget about it, the damned thing will need to be babied.

After that, the next option is a hardlined teleoperated drone. Baseline of 300dT using two slots. Cheap and reliable, and disposable in a way a manual 'drone' isn't, the only limiting factor is that it requires a pilot on the other end of the line to move it, or to have it attack. It is capable of holding a position though.

The next cheapest option is an autonomous drone without communication capabilities. Baseline of 400dT, and two slots used. It is basically just an auto-turret, though without any means of communicating with it, the drone might not prioritize what you want it to. Also, you can't see what it sees, or get any diagnostics for it, until it makes it back to a ship, or is interacted with by a crewman on EVA.

After that, the next option is a wireless teleoperated drone. Baseline of 450dT using two slots. This loadout is the closest to modern drones. It has range over the hardlined version of the teleoperated drone, and controlabillity over the previous deaf and dumb autonomous model.

Then there is autonomous versions with communication; either a hardline 500dT or wireless 650dT. Capable, well yeah. These are top of the line components, at least for what you have access to right now. Expensive? Well, relatively, but this isn't that much, compared to the money that you run into when it comes to the weapons loadout.

>>4358038
Well, if you wanted to buy a used sex bot, then that price will probably vary by condition. New sex bots are sold by the half dozen, packaged in what looks like an oversized egg crate. 3000 per set of 6. Will require designating a janitor for each one, as well as an engineer to maintain all of them, and a non-combat 'recreation' officer to determine who has enough GBP (good boy points) to play with them. So long as they are kept in good shape, and access is available across the fleet, you will get a +morale bonus for one class (crewman, engineer or officers). Crewman will fuck anything, but engineers only want to play with modded models, that are delicate enough that they won't let the crewman touch them, so much as look at them. Officers are snooty, and want exclusive access to their own set of sex bots. So, to get the permanent +morale bonus for everyone, that is 9000dT for 18 units. If you had the money, it is a good investment, but right now, that is more than half of a very basic ship right now.
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>>4358066
What is the limit for the Amount of hardlined teleoperated drone that WE can have?
Can we use them for scrap collection?
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>>4358159

Well, I really hadn't thought of a limit, but it makes sense that there should be one. Lets say a maximum of 4 hardlined or 6 wireless Lucid drones to a standard hangar bay. There are two bays on the Aethereal Vulture, and two more on the freighter. So as your fleet stands right now, a maximum of 16 hardlined or 24 wireless drones.

The cost of buying a drone that is equivalent to the two Lucid Drones that we have right now is 2500dT. Controls, weapons and equipment would be extra

As for using drones for scrap collection; yes but they are best used along side crewman and engineers on EVA as opposed to instead of them.
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>>4358066
Would the sex bots provide a one time moral boost, or will it be a moral modify that will improve over time?

How much stuff do we got we can sell?

Are these 250, 500, 450 dT cost examples per drone bundles, or per drone?

Wouldn't Hot Seat mods be dangerous due to the potential impacts of small and relatively large detritus in space? Wouldn't pilots need armored suits? Does anyone in our fleet have experience with Hot Seats and a willingness to use them?
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>>4358182
How much for a more advanced and thorough means of salvaging space debris that can either be recycled, repurposed, or melted into ingots?
I like how you took my suggestion seriously. I was kinda joking, but it's good to know that sexbots have a purpose.
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>>4358727
>Would the sex bots provide a one time moral boost, or will it be a moral modify that will improve over time?
It would be a one time boost, though buying more, or upgrading to better models would logically increase the morale benefit.

>How much stuff do we got we can sell?
Well, you have scrap from the first sweep which still needs to be rolled for, scrap from the first wave, which I need to calculate, and then the second wave, which I did calculate last thread. Then there are the magnets, and possibly whatever the recovered bodies are wearing; though considering those dead men had been done your men no wrong, many may feel uncomfortable 'grave robbing'. While there's no issue with inspecting the dead, picking over their remains carries a small chance to lower morale.

>Are these 250, 500, 450 dT cost examples per drone bundles, or per drone?
Those would be per drone. There are expensive, to be sure, but consider, a drone that is the equivalent of a Lucid Drone would cost 2500dT, and you have two of them, all for the cost of 88mm vacflack, at 1dt for a single turn worth of attacks with one cannon. Remember, you still have some money left in the company accounts. It is also worth noting, that while you are the Owner-Operator, there are other owners, and lesser shareholders as well. They weren't willing to outfit another expedition so soon after your previous one came just a hair over breaking even. You rushed into this expedition, because you were worried that if you weren't bringing in the double-talents, then you'd be voted out of your position as Operator, and they'd bring on a hired officer to replace you. The shareholder's meeting is in 2 and a half months, which is why the expedition was 2 months, and why you were desperate enough to use one of the ships as collateral, even though without the approval of the other owners, it was illegal.

>Wouldn't Hot Seat mods be dangerous due to the potential impacts of small and relatively large detritus in space? Wouldn't pilots need armored suits? Does anyone in our fleet have experience with Hot Seats and a willingness to use them?
Well, it is called the 'Hot Seat' with good reason. They are extremely dangerous. There are heavy space-suits, designed to deal with debris impact, and they will be available for purchase and there are actual cockpits that can be built around the seat, once it is installed. Well, possibly. If everyone decided to go down this route, then I suppose we could roll to see if there were any crewmen capable and willing. It might be a good idea to organize the crewmen better. Currently, the only distinctions are if the crewmen are capable of piloting or if the crewmen have combat experience. Beyond that, job assignment is really informal. A group of crewmen able and willing to work in dangerous situations, hazard-men, might be something to consider, though they'd probably want higher pay and more privileges.
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I know I said I was going to be running today, but I am pushing back the start to Friday, just so I have enough time to get everything ready for when we get to Scrimshander. I don't want to start, and then have to almost immediately take a break to get everything finalized. First post will be up around 4pm Eastern Standard Time, this Friday. Be here or be square.
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>>4359490
No wait, be in the new thread. I am going to be making a new thread. Wanted to be clear about that.
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>>4359166
Jut have the individuals who are fine with sifting through the dead remains do it, with a slight one time bonus of 2dT per person.
Beyond the waves and magnets, what about all the tools the Foreman drone and smaller labor drones released? I think there was one other thing we looted too.

So one 88mm vacflack round costs 1dT? What about more specialized 88mm rounds?

I'd rather roll to see the number of potential Hot Seat pilots we have within our fleet, BEFORE we dedicate to purchasing some. So long as the heavy space suits and covered cockpits are less than 75dT a pop they might be worth getting.

>Currently, the only distinctions are if the crewmen are capable of piloting or if the crewmen have combat experience.
Can we sort out the Crewmen with combat experience and piloting skills? Isn't there someone within the fleet responsible for filing every employee here? Maybe we can compile a sub-category of Crewmen to determine which groups can do what.

Another thought I had, the death of a crewman costs a chance to lose morale if we lose too many of them, and about 80dT for reparations for the family. If a cockpit, heavy space suit, and maybe an ejection system might be worth getting.

Do EMP weapons strong enough to short out or disable to Obese and other drones exist?

Does our various fleets have shuttles for people to travel between ships? Does each ship have it's own staff recreational areas? Virtual pool tables, vintage pinball machines, pirated 23rd Edition D&D books?

How much for more 73mm and 75mm vacguns? How much ammo does 1dT get each of those?

How many medical officers proficient with surgeries and cybernetic prosthetic implications do we have? If we have none, how much to install such a facility and hire a surgeon would cost?
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>>4359607
>Beyond the waves and magnets, what about all the tools the Foreman drone and smaller labor drones released?
No doubt those tools are worth something, the issue is finding a buyer for strange, non-standard utility drone tooling. Presumably, they are all in working order, but you haven't been to Engineering yet to receive that report yet.
>So one 88mm vacflack round costs 1dT? What about more specialized 88mm rounds?
Yes, that is correct. And in case it was not clear, when I say round, I mean enough munitions for a turn's worth of firing, as opposed to a round as a single munition. There are two additional types; the first is cored, which is 3dt per round, does 2d6+1 damage and lowers the CR of any armored opponent by 3. The CR is the critical roll, mean that enough damage was done that the enemy is completely killed. For reference Mad Drones have a CR of 9, though as they are not armored, they would not receive any benefits. The second type is frangible, which does 2d6 to unarmored and 1d6 to armored; its benefit is that the enemy will founder at the CR instead of being destroyed. Foundered enemies are much much more likely to be recoverable and repairable. As a reminder, the cost of a drone roughly equivalent to the ones rebuilt would run about 2500dT. The Mad and Morbidly Obese and Slave Drones are all unarmored. I'm still not sure what I want to call the Foreman though, but considering how exposed all of its internals were, I'd say it would be unarmored as well.
>I'd rather roll to see the number of potential Hot Seat pilots we have within our fleet, BEFORE we dedicate to purchasing some. So long as the heavy space suits and covered cockpits are less than 75dT a pop they might be worth getting.
It is worth noting that when a crewman dies, all we are obligated to do is to make their remains available to their stated next of kin, unless the recovery or transportation of the body is impractical or dangerous. The issue here is that Droustein was apparently killed by negligence (even though we are of the opinion it was an act of sabotage), which would entitle his next of kin to a payout. As for the roll, normally I don't allow rolling to do see how things would go, then acting on them, but in this case, it makes perfect sense to ask around before you settle on a course of action with the drone.
Do EMP weapons strong enough to short out or disable to Obese and other drones exist?
Milspec EMP weapons exist, though they are uncommon. Due to prohibitions on weapons manufacturing, nearly all legal units are either in use, or being held by speculators. Whatever milspec EMP weapons are currently being made, they aren't available on the open market. As for less legal options; yes. Research into shield technology was just getting serious when the Drought hit, whatever experimental units were made were few an far between, and to your characters knowledge, none of them made it into this galaxy.
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>>4360140
I raised the point about the lack of shields because without them, torpedoes and suicide drones are the biggest damage dealers around. Point defense is one way to deal with them, but using and EMP is another. Many outlaw fleets will build really wonky rigs, to provide some defense against these attacks. The issue here is that possession of a pirate made rig is going to raise a lot of red flags, and they are large enough that hiding them isn't feasible, they'd have to be visible for them to do their job. As a final issue, we still don't know how the drones work, so while 'autopsying' them might give us some idea, we will not know for sure until we try on an active unit.

>Does our various fleets have shuttles for people to travel between ships? Does each ship have it's own staff recreational areas? Virtual pool tables, vintage pinball machines, pirated 23rd Edition D&D books?
Yes, each ship has at least one shuttle. Yes, they all have something, but they depend on the ships themselves. Some of them are much better than others.

>How much for more 73mm and 75mm vacguns? How much ammo does 1dT get each of those?
Well, again, production of new weapons is tightly controlled; and those new models aren't being sold to civilians. The weapons that we have are rebuilt from parts, which in of itself is technically illegal, though if all of the parts are serialized, unless someone is out to get you in the Port Authority, you are usually able to get away with. What I am getting at, is that these weapons (an ammo for them) is not in regular supply. You will have to keep an eye out for them. 20dT for 10 shots of any given caliber.

>How many medical officers proficient with surgeries and cybernetic prosthetic implications do we have?
If we have none, how much to install such a facility and hire a surgeon would cost? Well, there are medical stations on each of the ships, but at this point, they are little more than a trained crewman and a first aid box. The Infirmary on the Aethereal vulture has two sawbones (non-licensed and trained through informal apprenticeships)
and four orderlies apprenticed under them; properly trained medical staff is in high demand in the fringes of civilization, a properly schooled and licensed doctor or surgeon would require a hiring bonus that would cost about as much as a ship, not to mention wages, and the equipment that they'd need to even consider coming aboard. As for cybernetics, they exist, but again are uncommon in the fringes. 'Smart' prosthesis are on the other hand, more available. Our characters prosthesis is 'smart', not 'cybernetic'. The distinction (in the quest, I don't know about the real world) is that cybernetic units are integrated into the body, and are much more capable than human parts, smart units are not hooked into the nervous system, and are about as capable as human parts. Installing 'smart' prostheses is a relatively simple process, our sawbones could manage it with the current facilities.
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>>4360231
>20dT for 10 shots of any given caliber.
That's more expensive than the 88mm
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>>4360307
By the same token, .223 is much cheaper than .43 Egyptian.

Yes, this is intentional, as it is not in production on the open market. Whatever you get your hands on will be from a stockpile someone is selling off, or alternatively, an illegal factory somewhere. You have a good supply right now, but eventually, you will need to "bite the bullet".
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>>4360324
How much for vacsealed power armor?
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>>4360369
For an armed away team? Probably about 50dT each. I might revise that price later when I figure out how much I protection I want the suits to offer, so don't hold me to that.

>4361141
The new thread is up!
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>>4361141
Let me try that again. New thread is up.
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>>4361146
cum



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