We started but did not finish Encounter at Kallamattar
Hiram Van Deussen hands over a salvaged Reticulan computer core to Joe, who decodes it. Joe learns that 17 years ago, the Reticulan ship left the tiny ice planet of Brahmagupta and then was badly damaged. There is a meeting with Professor Luke Ghoshal (Quasar), Gyzor Ling (Solana Trading), and Director Powell Quinn (Solana Trading) to set up situation with the Owl Bear. Flashing back 17 years, some Reticulans in a research base are under attack, but die while trying to escape. Back in current day (2260), Pedro does paperwork for Zephyros Consulting to take over the Owl Bear.
The party chooses the “benevolent dictator” model where the captain (Malek) tracks the money and uses it for supplies and then divides profits among all shares. Deciding to set sail for Brahmagupta to pursue the lead of the alien research base, the group’s voyage is interrupted by lab tech Perry Dawdson, who needs a lift to his lab ship before the Holiday Party begins. This sets off the Die Hard in Space adventure, ending in a cliffhanger. The date in-game is now November 10, 2260.
The action continues in Die Hard in Space. Eventually the PCs are victorious. They killed three of the marauding Zhuzzh and captured Engineer Chandra Franco, who was a traitor.
The party resumes the journey to Brahmagupta, and surveys the planet from orbit. The first attempt to approach the base ends with “rough landing” and everyone takes minor radiation damage. The ship is also slightly damaged. After retreating to orbit for field repairs, the group tries again and succeeds in landing near the “garage door” of the base.
The crew of the Owl Bear enters the frozen base, and is attacked by a security bot. After dispatching it, they explore the base, and find signs of a firefight between Ciceks and a warbot. Both sides lost. The group explores the base and collects lots of valuable salvage, then blasts off for Parvati.
The party discovers the Owl Bear has a Secret Smuggling Compartment. Ilse buys Hiram Van Duessen a bottle of whiskey as a thank-you for giving the party the lead to the Secret Alien Base. The group meets Silvertail Stripe, a Cicek living in Parvati City, who agrees to help with captain’s log recovered from the crash site on Brahmagupta.
As the party settles into life on the Owl Bear, they personalize their quarters. Ilse recovers in hte hospital while Malek and Harshit visit Silvertail Stripe, who hands the translation of the Cicek captain’s log over, and buys a Cicek vacc suit the party salvaged from the wreck. The group sells lots of other salvage and is rich - at least temporarily.
Malek is stunned to get a ransom note from some unknown kidnappers who are holding Hiram the belter. They want 50,000 Cr. Shenanigans ensue, and the party gets in a gunfight with some hotel detectives, narrowly escaping to safety in the end. The briefcase of money is delivered.
Hiram has been let go, thanks to the payment of the ransom. As he departs Parvati for the relative safety of deep space, Malek is contacted by Scarlet Minaru, daughter of the Governor of Parvati. Young Scarlet fears an alien life form was accidentally transferred to the mines under the city, and wants the crew to investigate. The party will have to move fast, because they intend to get off world before the authorities realize their involvement in the gunfight at the Marriott hotel. They find a secret way into the abandoned Level 5 of the city.
The action picks up as Harshit and Ilse have been surprised by thugs in the “street” of Level 5. Meanwhile, Malek is trying to hack into the regional computer network. And a retired belter named Aramis has been locked in a room by the same thugs, but works to escape. The group tries to get the thugs to surrender, but one hotheaded low life starts a fight, which goes poorly. The belter Aramis turns out to be a former Parvati Olympic fencing champion, and helps Ilse and Harshit lay the thugs low. Later, the group finds the way to the mine tunnels, and eventually spots an alien blob. They lure it into the airlock leading into the habitable part of Level 5, and then radio back to Scarlet where she can find the creature. They blast off in the Owl Bear, and set course for Rudra.
Ratna the engineer joins the crew of the Owl Bear on working passage, and the party jumps to Rudra, arriving at Transom Rock to learn there’s a period of intense solar flares. For safety, all travellers are advised to seek refuge under at least 3 meters of rock, so Transom Rock is crowded. A week passes as Malek leads the effort to find top buyers for all the remaining items scavanged from Brahmagupta. He sponsors a high profile public demonstration fencing match between Ratna, former Parvati Olympic champion, and the champion of the Ciceks. It’s a close match, with Ratna just barely losing. But best of all, it’s great public relations and helps get the best prices for the gear being sold. In all, the Owl Bear treasury gains over 1 MCr. Ratna and Aramis go EVA and fix the remaining temporary damage to the sensors of the Owl Bear. The group meets Commodore Ansari, leader of a merchant caravan that will be leaving Rudra for Alula in a couple weeks. That gives enough time for the Owl Bear to jet out to Valcent. More about that next time.
The Owl Bear rockets to the outer Rudra system to visit Valcent Harbor. There, the crew meets a pair of unusual characters - a Terran/Reticulan hybrid called “The Philosopher” and the leader of the community, Executive Valcent. The Philosopher triggers suppressed feelings in Orlan, who reacts with rage. Executive Valcent, on the other hand, has a proposition for the party.
Finishing up immediate business with Executive Valcent, the hardy crew of the Owl Bear met with Valcent’s uncle, Professor Mark Katz. He shared information about a rogue planet passing through the Rudra system, and asked them to go investigate on his behalf. The party sped off, and easily found the planet. After an orbital survey, the group explored three sites of interest - ruins of an alien civilization. It appears the former inhabitants of the rogue planet extinguished themselves in a nuclear war. The group gathered various bits of evidence they picked up for the professor, as well as an unexploded nuclear bomb. Upon return to Valcent Harbor, they turned over the information and artifacts to Professor Katz and were paid the handsome sum of 100,000 Cr for their work.
The crew of the Owl Bear returned to Transom Rock, and met with respectable cyberneticist Dr. Simon Ostrak. He performed extensive surgery on both Aramis and Ratna to implant subdermal armor. During the month-long recovery, Malek established himself as a very successful speculative trader, earning literally millions of credits of profit in the system, and gathering enough goods to complete the supply mission for Executive Valcent. With that box checked, the party received the mythic Static Pulser, and had it installed onto the Owl Bear.
After a brief calibration test of the Static Pulser and hiring Dorman, an ex-Terran Guard, the Owl Bear proceeded across the UTR border into the area of space claimed by the Cicek Confederacy. On arrival, the ship encountered a suspicious Shaka class small military starship (“The Mansa”), and got in a fight with them. Thanks to some good preparation and a defense, the boarders from The Mansa were repelled. And thanks to the new Static Pulser (operated by Engineer Ratna, who was seen drooling a lot) the Owl Bear fought the Mansa to a draw and escaped. It’s now a week later, and the crew has had some time to settle into the very alien - literally - starport center at Alula.
Dormin says goodbye to the crew to continue his quest to get to his brother’s wedding on time. He is very quickly replaced by “Lefty” the Ssesslessian engineer, an outcast from Ssesslessian society who apparently loves everything about Terrans. The crew of the Owl Bear met with Cicek shaman Vera Slo’mock, who proposed a very sensitive but important mission to secretly locate and retrieve the fertilized egg belonging to the leaders of the Blue Star Tribe, Luna Whip Tail and Silver Scar (deceased). The egg was taken by the rival Split Stone Tribe, and is probably held at the Split Stone Creche, on the surface of Alula. Under the auspices of trade negotiations, the party is given a tour of the petrochemical refinery belonging to the Split Stone Tribe, during which Lefty hacks the Split Stone computer network and gains a map of the city surrounding the refinery, including the creche. After returning to Prosperity City, the party meets with Luna Whip Tail, accepts her quest, and receives several Cicek holy warriors to help them on it.