Sun spends two Trait points to eliminate her Prejudice complication. Current events as well as the incident in the Pegasus' med bay have rendered it far less relevant to her. She still considers Sagittarons to be ignorant and superstitious but, really, so what? It's the end of the world!
Having found the civilian fleet left to its own devices and communicated a bit with the various ship captains we decide at last that we're going on to Ragnar and taking what civilians we can. After a little back and forth we finally find we can get most of the civilians onto the few ships that are still FTL capable but can't find a place for a near staggering two hundred. Since Admiral Drake isn't planning on staying at Ragnar any longer than necessary (his goal being to raid the armaments at the anchorage and heading back out to the belt) so we're not overly concerned with Cylons capturing them and gaining intelligence on our whereabouts. Eventually the admiral is forced to wish them luck and order us to depart amidst a flurry of radio protest.
Jumping in near Ragnar, just within DRADIS range, we scramble to coordinate another jump in order to minimize delay should it be needed. We're a little surprised to find no detectable activity in the area at first, considering the Galactica was supposed to have been forming up the fleet here. At the last moment, though, we detect a small craft on the edge of the storm that darts back to cover and disappears before we can identify it.
With the only real space armaments we have being the cannons on the Kapanea, Admiral Drake is finally forced to send her in to recon the storm and the station. After several tense minutes Kapanea returns to report a rather fierce battle taking place around the station between what appears to be two mid-sized civilian fleets. Moreover the station itself seems to have suffered significant damage recently, though the cause can't be accurately determined. The Kapanea, fortunately, did not come under fire but both fleets attempted to open communications with her, each demanding her assistance. There's no sign of the Galactica or any other Colonial Fleet vessel in the area.
After quickly reviewing the recorded communications Admiral Drake decides we're looking at two greedy groups of civilian ships fighting over the scraps of the Rangar Anchorage and he isn't inclined to aid either one. Already on board the Griffon stealth ship he orders the marines still aboard Kapanea to transfer over and begins planning a stealth raid on the station.
Following Admiral Drake's direction we move into action. Nike pilots the Griffon into the storm with Sun manning sensors, Deke watching over operations and Aella taking command of the marines in preparation to board the station. Once we've penetrated the storm enough to get a view of the battle we're surprised at how much damage has been done. From what we can see a large portion of both fleets have been reduced to space debris and we can see the tide has clearly turned in favor of one particular group. The advantage for this group lies in their possession of a huge asteroid, apparently a refurbished mining facility of some kind, armed to the teeth and busily churning out a respectable amount of damage.
Steering clear of the battle, which thankfully hasn't moved to take tactical advantage of the station just yet, Nike is able to pilot in close enough to find a functional airlock on the far side from the battle. With Sun's assurances that we shouldn't have been spotted, we dock and Aella leads the marines through the airlock and into the station. Nike, Sun and Deke soon follow, along with Admiral Drake.
Though it's a bit of a hike from where we're parked we finally arrive at the main depot only to discover the huge double doors to the section have been blown through with armor piercing rounds of some kind recently. The doors have been pushed shut, though, so we leave it to Aella and her marines to haul them up again. Once they've thrown open the doors and have the interior under the gun we find ourselves looking at a small group of refugees, some of whom are sick, huddling amidst a depressingly small remaining amount of stored ammunition and armament crates. Apparently the Galactica not only nearly cleaned out the place, they left some folks behind for someone else to deal with.
Aella immediately orders the marines to secure the civilians (i.e. put boots to their necks) and we're soon assured they're unarmed and relatively harmless. Once she's had them shoved to one side in order to secure and catalogue what remaining stores we can pick through Sun moves forward to deal with the refugees. With nothing better to do with ourselves Deke and Nike pitch in with the marines and we're soon loading carts to carry ammo and various gear back to the Griffon.
Sun, now more or less the only one showing any immediate interest in the civilians, fails an Alertness + Perception check to realize they're lying badly in claiming the Galactica abandoned them here (her Trusting complication making it even more difficult). She's rather discouraged, though, as the civilians from the fleet awaiting us outside the storm have already taken up nearly ever nook and cranny on every ship in the small fleet and finding a place for these folks will be nigh on impossible. After leaving nearly two hundred civilians behind in coming here she's adamant not to repeat that horror by leaving these poor souls behind on the station. During the course of her casual interviews she's surprised to find that the group of castaways are almost all composed of science specialists. Predominantly biologists, chemists, physicians and geneticists. This gives her some encouragement as she feels she'll better be able to sell Admiral Drake on the idea of taking them on.
As we finished loading up every movable cart we can find Sun engages Admiral Drake in the debate over what to do with the castaways. Though she presents her case well Drake isn't convinced and she's forced to drop a couple of Plot Points on her attempt at Persuasion. In the end he reluctantly agrees to squeeze them in somewhere, though he takes a moment to drive home to the group that they'd better make themselves worth all the trouble. Aella immediately objects but is forced to settle for glaring at Sun when the Admiral shuts her down.
Having settled matters we move out in a long train of loaded down carts, heavily armed marines and clumsy civilians back down the buckled hallways of the station toward the Griffon. After traveling only a few dozen meters or so Nike's Sixth Sense kicks in and he's suddenly certain that something bad is coming to meet them. While Admiral Drake becomes aware of the odd nature of the civilians he's taken on and is just beginning to question why the Galactica would dump a group of highly trained scientists on the station, Nike's already called out his warning. Calling a halt to the train and insisting on silence we listen intently and soon detect the sounds of a group of people exiting an elevator further on ahead and approaching down the hall. With six large crates filled to overflowing with supplies and almost two dozen people (including the civilians) we're in something of a quandary if we attempt to get out of sight before the unknown party reaches us.
Deke immediately seizes the opportunity to play Glory Hound and volunteers himself to act as a distraction. Over Sun's objections he advises the Admiral to move everyone out while he dashes off to lead the approaching party away. Aella's attempt to use her Split Second Timing asset to grab him fails and before anyone else can stop him he's gone, tromping down the hallway in an effort to draw attention to himself. In moments shouts ring out as various people call out for Deke to halt and surrender, followed by sounds of a frantic chase leading off in the opposite direction.
[Sun earns 1 Plot Point for her Trusting complication, 1 for convincing Admiral Drake to bring the civilians along and another for roleplay. Aella earns 1 Plot Point for roleplay as well, 1 more for earning a bit of animosity from the Admiral for questioning his orders (Prejudice complication). Deke gets 2 Plot Points for his Glory Hound complication.]
When Deke comes within sight of the group down the hall he notes that, though they are armed with some military weaponry here and there, they're clearly civilians and seem to have something of an unsavory air about them as well. Giving them time to spot him and order him to surrender, he dashes off down an intersecting hallway and soon jogs to the side and away from our group. With the armed civilians hot on his heels, thankfully not having open fired just yet, he puts all his effort into keeping out of their reach without actually losing them.
Eventually, however, one of his pursuers takes a wild shot and he receives a warning that if he continues to flee he'll be shot. Taking this as his cue to lose his pursuers he drops a couple of Plot Points on the effort and succeeds in giving them the slip without taking a bullet in the process. Attempting to recall by exactly what route he arrived at his current location and how to retrace his steps back to our group soon confounds him, however. In moments he's faced with the fact that's he's thoroughly lost.
The rest of us, meanwhile, take advantage of the distraction to hustle as best we're able back to the Griffon. The going is hardly swift being burdened as we are, the unorganized civilians being no small part of that. Eventually, however, we make it to the freight elevators and load up on one to ascend to the Griffon's level. Approaching that level, however, we find the elevator suddenly seizes up between floors. Sun attempts to diagnose any technical difficulties but can't figure out what the problem is.
A quick check of the elevator soon reveals a standard escape hatch in the roof but this doesn't lend itself well with getting all our supplies off the thing. In the end we're forced to allow Sun to hunker down and root out the problem, hoping whoever is out there chasing Deke around doesn't stumble upon us in the process. After spending a quarter hour pouring over the elevator schematics and electronics she eventually is forced to toss up her hands and admit defeat, though (despite dropping 3 Plot Points on the attempt). After much cursing all around Admiral Drake finally decides the supply are too valuable to simply be left behind. His overall plan has rather counted on using the armaments to arm some of the civilian ships, defensive capability being a rather glaring weakness in our ragtag fleet so far. We're ordered up through the hatch and back to the Griffon to secure cutting torches and tools to cut them out of the elevator, should that prove our only way of getting them out.
Deke, lost on another level of the station, soon encounters a hatch separating the next section of the hallway to be locked. Turning back he finds the door two sections back has suddenly locked as well, though he came through it just moment before. A quick check of the three hatches leading off from the hallway shows them all to be locked as well. A quick inspection of the hatches reveals the locks are electronic which leads him to cast around and find, at last, that the security monitors in the hallway, though old and worn, are still functioning and actively tracking him.
Deke wastes no time whipping out his tools and setting about quickly smashing the cameras in view before getting to work on one of the hatches to an adjoining hallway. He soon finds that, though it's possible to simply remove the hatch itself and let it fall, it will take quite a long time to do so. Putting his mechanical expertise to the problem he soon figures a way to disengage the electronic locks themselves and then jimmy the locking mechanism open. Not knowing who was watching him on the monitors and what they're coordinating in response to his destroying the cameras he moves quickly and drops a couple more Plot Points on the effort.
Within minutes he's got the hatch open and darts into the hallway beyond. He quickly spots another camera at the far end of the hall and slips across to a nearby hatch, entering it and finding a very large and very empty store room. There, however, he is lucky enough to discover a maintenance hatch and makes use of it to move parallel to the hallway, hoping to moving out of the area that the unseen watcher is concentrating on.
Back at the freight elevator the rest of us have finally scrambled up through the escape hatch and climbed out into the hallway above. There we find we're suddenly in the same situation as Deke with all the adjoining hatches locked and no where to go. When we attempt to head back into the elevator shaft to ascend the ladder there to another level we find the elevator (with all our supplies in it) suddenly rises to occupy the doorway. Now our appropriated supplies are on hand again but we've nowhere to take them and we find the elevator still refuses to budge any further.
Realizing we've been trapped it doesn't take us long to track to the camera monitors covering us. Aella immediately orders the non-explosive type carts of supplies hauled out to make cover and begins organizing the marines to prepare for an assault. Sun herds the civilians back into the freight elevator in the hopes of avoiding stray bullets and Nike takes up position with the marines.
In moments, however, a speaker further down the hallway squawks and we're informed that resisting any further is pointless as whoever it is now controls all the hatches and elevators in this section of the station. The person on the other end then demands to speak to whomever is leading us. When Admiral Drake steps up to respond and identifies himself over the speaker we can hear the sounds of an excited scuffle take place on the other end before another voice responds, "Holy crap! Flapper, you old bastard, is that really you?!"
It doesn't take long to gather from the surprised response from the Admiral that whoever now occupies the other end of the com is some old Colonial Fleet buddy of his. In moments a nearby hatch springs open suddenly (causing Aella to check her Coolness Under Fire to avoid opening fire due to her Unstable complication). The dubious looking men beyond offer to lead "Flapper" and his crew (the rest of us) up to the security station where "Captain Hanson" awaits us.
Under Admiral Drake's direction we soon arrive there and in due course it becomes apparent that the civilian fleet operating out of the asteroid outside the station has more or less seized the place, punching a hole through the competition to get here. Captain Hanson, it seems, controls this small fleet of heavily armed "independent merchants" and is quite happy to see his old Fleet buddy Admiral Drake (call sign "Flapper" we're amused to discover) again.
Over the course of the next few hours we're on hand to witness Drake and Hanson put their heads together and manage to negotiate a cease fire with the devastated civilians outside, eventually consolidating them all into one ragtag fleet under Drake's command. Hanson, however, stubbornly insists on maintaining control of "The Rock" (the heavily armed asteroid outside), though he seems perfectly willing to cede control of his remaining armed vessels to Drake.
Deke, however, spends that time wandering aimlessly through maintenance shafts and air ducts, vainly searching for some kind of evacuation map or other guide to find his way back to the Griffon, completely avoiding the group of men Hanson now has looking for him. Eventually he manages to stumble in front of a security camera someone is actually paying attention to and Drake is able to order him via speaker to rendezvous at the security station.
[Deke gets 1 Plot Point for his Glory Hound complication and another for excellent roleplay, working very hard to avoid detection. Aella, Nike and sun all get 1 Plot Point for roleplay and another for avoiding gunplay with Hanson's pirates.]
While Drake's marines and Hanson's "independent merchants" coordinate to strip anything and everything of value from the station, our team is ordered back onto the Griffon. Following orders we load up and depart with all the supplies we can squeeze into Griffon's cargo and vehicle bays (as well as the refugee scientists from the station), flying free of the storm to update our small fleet with current goings on. Once outside the storm, however, we find the Kapanea is gone. According to the various fleet captains a lone Cylon raider jumped in, was damaged by fire from the Kapanea and she then took off in pursuit some time ago. In moments we have the Kapanea's captain on the radio and he reports he's still in pursuit of the damaged raider (it having proven to be surprisingly agile), and that it is still attempting to evade pursuit while currently heading for one of Rangar's moons.
In only moments we hear the captain's triumphant announcement that they've managed at last to destroy the raider followed by the surprised report that there appears to be some measure of activity around the moon. After a brief consultation the captain request the Griffon come over and take a look herself and figure out what they're seeing. After relaying a sitrep to the civilian fleet and advising one of them move into the storm to relay it likewise to Admiral Drake, we move off to rendezvous with the Kapanea and see what's going on.
Once there Sun hunkers over the sensors and eventually announces, to everyone's surprise, that she seems to be seeing fighting between two or more large Cylon groups in the moon's orbit. What's more there's significant fighting on the surface as well, localized around one unidentified structure there. As she relays this we spy a cylon basestar slowly come into view from the far side of the moon, itself both receiving and dishing out copious amounts of damage with something unseen on the surface of the moon's far side.
Taking a moment to be sure there's no sign we've been spotted we order the Kapanea to fall back to the fleet while we continue to observe, doing our very best to look like any other spot of empty vacuum. It's only moments before we're surprised still further to see whatever is firing that deadly stream of missiles from the surface finally breach the basestar's perimeter defense and pound it to pieces before turning it's attention to the cloud of remaining raiders. In moments the few remaining raiders, presumably allied with whoever is firing the missiles, begin streaming back toward the surface, only to come under fire from several smaller streams of missiles from below.
In the end we find it nearly impossible to determine who's on what side or even how many sides there are. Eventually we find the orbit around the moon relatively clear of threat but fighting on the surface seems to have only stepped up all the more. When it becomes clear we can't get any more detailed information from this distance we debate whether to move in closer. Aella and Nike are all for the idea but Sun and Deke are staunchly opposed without further orders, especially with so many civilians on board.
This, in turn, brings our attention to the civilians and the question is soon raised concerning their supposedly being dumped on the station by the Galactica. Direct questions are leveled but the refugees continue to insist their story is true, though it becomes more and more obvious from their anxiety that they're lying. Eventually two of them step forward, both of them the sick members of the group we noted earlier. Though they're obviously quite ill and shaky, they nevertheless calmly demand control of the ship be handed over to them.
A little taken aback at the unexpected demand we're quick to draw weapons anyway, fearing yet another attempting hijacking of the Griffon. Surprisingly, the two leap forward to disarm us and violence immediately breaks out.
[Nike rolled a truly crappy initiative (3) so I used his Lady Luck asset to reroll a decent 7.]
1) The sick civilian woman steps up to Aella and attempts to grab her GMAR. Aella dodges and she fails her grab attempt. Her follow-up strike misses as well. The sickly looking man likewise steps up to Nike and I have him dodge also, causing his grab at Nike's pistol to miss and his punch go wide.
Nike immediately pumps three rounds in the guy's chest but he doesn't drop(!) and just keeps on coming. Aella likewise opens up with two bursts at point blank range and fails to drops the woman attacking her as well.
Deke then fires his Picon 57 with three shots into the guy attacking me and drops him stone dead. Sun likewise follows up and kills Aella's attacker, landing two shots.
After dropping the two sick people (obviously Cylons, we know, but our characters didn't really know that) we herd the remaining civilians back into the cargo bay and leave Aella to watch over them. A moment spent demanding answers produces nothing and we find the civilian who were nervous a minute ago are now clearly frightened but still refuse to even respond or so much as make eye contact. After a bit of consultation we decide Deke should stand watch with Aella while Nike and Sun operate the Griffon. We were naturally a bit nervous after having two sick people practically throw themselves on our weapons, surely knowing they'd be killed.
Once we've waited a while and Nike and Sun have gathered what little information we can on the battle raging on the surface of the moon we finally receive word from the Kapanea. The captain relays Admiral Drake's orders to move in as closely as safely possible and monitor the situation until further orders are received. The civilian ships, meanwhile, are ordered to move into Ragnar's storm cover and merge with the new fleet.
Assuming that we're about to get shot down (that's certainly the way things seemed to be going) we move the Griffon in as close as we dare to the moon's orbit. Once we reach a distance where we can get a more accurate picture of the fighting going on we can see clearly on the ship's monitors that two groups of cylons are fighting around a stone structure of some sort. By this time it would seem the two groups have managed to whittle themselves down quite a bit and as we watch the final blows are struck and we find the fighting more or less over.
A close examination from orbit doesn't reveal any survivors and thought we spend several minutes searching we can't seem to find who fired the last shot. While it's possible both sides wiped each other out completely we find it unlikely, yet no survivors can be seen. The structure itself, interestingly seems to be a rather new structure. Though it's carved from stone and set within a crater in such a way as to be difficult to find, it's hardly an ancient monument of any kind. Various machinery is in abundant evidence as well as obvious signs the entire structure is a very new construction.
While we take our time cataloguing everything we can record from orbit and searching for clues Aella suddenly notices the civilians have stopped whispering to one another and have inexplicably begun slumping over one after the other. Deke agrees to check them out and finds those who've fallen over have no pulse. Moreover, by the time he reports this the last of the civilians are likewise slumping over lifeless. Deke then heads for the cockpit to fetch Sun while Aella keeps an eye on things.
Meanwhile, in the cockpit, Sun spies a strange symbol reoccurring here and there on various surfaces on the structure below, including stone blocks that haven't yet been placed. After working for a moment she manages to zoom in and orient on one of the symbols to get a clearer picture of it. When she does she is immediately struck with an overwhelming sense of deja vu and suddenly experiences a series of powerful visions.
Overcome by the experience she immediately begins to panic and Nike attempts to calm her down. Failing that he's forced to grab her when she starts to bolt from the cockpit muttering about "Got to get down there...got to get down there now...!" When Nike's first attempt at a grapple fails (Sun dodges) I have him use his Intuitive asset to ask if Sun is in danger and find out she is. I spend 3 Plot Points on another attempt but fail and Sun slips past and out of the cockpit. Flying past Deke, who's coming to report that all the civilians just suddenly dropped dead, sees her running away from Nike hysterical. When she doesn't answer him when he asks what's wrong he jumps after Nike, demanding to know what he's done to Sun.
Aella meanwhile sees Sun fly through the cargo area right in front of her and makes a grab, stopping her in her tracks. When Sun continues to struggle it quickly becomes apparent to Aella that she's trying to get to the airlocks. Back in the cockpit Nike tries to convince Deke that he hasn't done anything inappropriate to Sun and that she in fact just freaked out for no reason, running out of the cockpit. He fails miserably. Deke, fortunately, barely manages to control his anger (making his Willpower check with his Jealous complication by 1 point) and refrains from beating Nike unconscious. He gives Nike a stern warning and trots back to the cargo area where Aella is still wrestling with Sun.
After helping Aella restrain Sun (barely!) they manage to keep hold of her long enough for her to finally break down and collapse. As Nike joins them the session ends with Sun fallen to the floor mumbling, "It's coming. You can't stop it. You can't stop it."
[1 Plot Point to everyone for good roleplay and 1 more for stopping Sun from getting out the airlock, Sun gets 1 Plot Point for going along well with the GM's character override, Deke gets 1 Plot Point for his Jealous complication in play, Aella gets 1 Plot Point for well played Straight Laced complication (you had to be there)]
Nike spends 2 Attribute Points to increase Agility from d8 to d10.
Sun spends 2 Trait Points to decrease her Idealist complication from d4 to d2. (She's beginning to get a little hard-bitten).
Deke spends 2 Trait Points to eliminate his d2 Jealous complication. (After the embarrassing confrontation with Nike, he's had enough.)
Aella spends 2 Attribute Points to increase her Agility from d8 to d10.
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