Our previous session of Traveller had ended with the successful conclusion of the Deepnight Revelation’s combat simulation. This was something to keep the crew trained, but also meant as a refresher on starship combat for both myself and the players. From a games-rules perspective, the main take-away was that large missile salvos were dangerous, and that the electronic warfare rules didn’t really scale.
The new High Guard update for Mongoose 2e is due out next week, so I’ll see whether there’s any changes to the official rules before having a think abut whether we want to change things.
From an in-game perspective, it was a chance to have a party and celebrate the success of the exercise, which greatly improved morale. They also took the opportunity to make repairs, which involved turning the artificial gravity field off for a day due to some critical components needing replacement. The players turned this an opportunity to give the crew refresher training on zero-g activity.
Unbeknown to them, the training could give them a bonus for something I have planned for the future which we didn’t quite get to in this session.
The players have been making a good effort to ensure that the true is well trained and doing things, so though I’m not strictly tracking morale, it is going to help things in that respect.
The scientists also had time to finish their research of the space whale, and one of their biologists, Dr Derek Gakazi, made some breakthroughs in understanding how a biological creature was able to generate the equivalent of a reactionless drive field.
From the system of Khaeaw 0702, they jumped to 0504, another nameless and unpopulated system. Some of the crew asked about putting aside space for art classes, something Khadashi was greatly in favour of. Room was found in one of the cargo holds, which led to a decision to perform a full inventory of what they had, to ensure things were still in the right place.
Zanobia wanted to run a sociology experiment, and Shiiguma wanted to run a zero-g lob-ball tournament. These are more things that will play into a future event. There was also talk about hosting a production of a play, and continuing the cross-training between divisions. Lots of things to keep the crew occupied.
They reached 0106 without incident, and spent a week performing a detailed scan of the systems ahead, looking for rogue gas giants or previously undetected brown dwarf systems to get them across the 5 parsec gap that separated them from Oikhakh/2808. They had a choice of a couple of rogue gas giants, so the journey continued, taking them into Harea sector.
The rogue gas giant at 2906 was populated with lifeforms in the upper clouds – shoals of metre long cigar-shaped biologicals, jetting around on the air currents on puffs of air and feeding off the remains of other organisms at the edge of storms. Shiiguma managed to capture some (in a small boat, using a net) for the biologists to study.
At Oikhakh, they refuelled and jumped onto Machelison. The biologists wanted to visit the main world here, since it apparently had a Flourine atmosphere and a viable biosphere. According to their records, it also had a B class starport and over half a million people.
The starport was there – but was mostly deserted. The half million people was still true – they lived in underground vaults down on the planet. The world had originally been a prison planet, with industrial chemical plants being staffed by prison labour. The world was nominally controlled from Fortress, which these days could barely manage a single supply ship every seven months (using a long line of fuel depots across the 8 parsec gap). Machelison was really an independent world by this point, and the population of inmate descended colonists were now happy to have visitors, and invited them down for a BBQ.
They may live on a world where everything (including the atmosphere) could kill them, but they had a reasonable life here. Their vaults were spacious, with interior gardens and lighting. They’d managed to build up a TL 8 technology base, which now exceeded that of Fortress – which was apparently suffering under a dictatorship which was running everything into the ground.
After some sharing of knowledge and goods, the Deepnight was on its way again, arriving at Guluta where they spent the new year of 1109. After some celebrations, they headed to Kerrad and finally Chelisor.
Chelisor had been considered the best option out of those available. It had a B class starport, and was within jump range of several options. Their mission briefing had mentioned that the worlds of the Separe Cloud were dangerous, and the information they had gained at Machelison had confirmed that. So they wanted to avoid the route via Evangelo and Caproxia if possible.
From here, it was possibly only half a dozen jumps to their planned rendezvous at Demnan.
Their reception at Chelisor was friendy. Apparently there had been rumours of two Imperium vessels coming through the region about a year ago. That would match up with the advanced scout mission they were due to meet at Demnan, except that had been three ships not two.
By the time they got to Chelisor they had also finished their inventory checking and social experiments. Zanobia had discovered that there were some groups aboard the ship that seemed noticeably happier and more relaxed than others, and the inventory check had discovered that some supplies seemed to be missing. Mostly some of the luxury goods, but also some equipment.
Alfred, their vargr detective (and resident psion, though few knew this), soon tracked things down to Albrinn Moss, who had been caught smuggling back at the start of the mission. It seemed he had been ‘redistributing’ supplies, in return for favours and light duties. He had also been responsible for getting spare parts to his colleagues in engineering, by brokering deals with other teams.
One player was all for spacing the guy, the other thought that maybe his talents needed to be redirected in a more globally useful direction. In either case, that’s a discussion for next session.
And yes, I know that whilst the Carina Nebula is nowhere near this part of space (it’s in a completely opposite direction), the James Webb Space Telescope images do look pretty so I decided to use it anyway.