Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:37 pm

ochd wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:15 pm
SPOILER ALERT: while the subject of this thread is 'GMs thread', so good, decent and upstanding players should not be reading this, nevertheless the following question -- and hopefully lots of answers -- contain info for GMs' eyes only.

In Treasure Ship, the vault of Martin II contains mail drums of secure electronic communication, as well as various legal documents relating to Imperial diplomacy and mercantile ventures in the Hierate. I'm trying to think of some adventure hooks I can spin off from information gleaned from these documents, and would welcome any ideas people want to share.

Thanks,

Dan.
The players in my campaign just stole the loot themselves and some of them got pretty excited about that very item. Hopefully if any of them are perusing the forums and they come across this thread, they stop reading immediately. :)

I've been mulling this over as well. I haven't settled on exactly what they might find, but to keep the information pertinent to the campaign and the region in which it occurs, my plan is (should they break the considerably difficult encryption on the drums) to give them adventure hooks in the Void and surrounds only. I'm targeting Imperial client states and base worlds such as Dpres, Kydde, Camoran, Vorito, Tech World, Dostoevsky, and border systems such as Boulder and Chalchiutlicue. There might also be some interesting missives to a certain Admiral residing on Theev.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby ochd » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:31 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:37 pm
There might also be some interesting missives to a certain Admiral residing on Theev.
That was one idea I had, but without it being definitive proof that the admiral was in cahoots with the Imperium. I thought something implicating the Duke of Tobia (there are rumours the duke is illegally invested in the Tobia Commerce Guild) would be cool, but not sure where to go with it yet.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:45 pm

ochd wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:31 pm
That was one idea I had, but without it being definitive proof that the admiral was in cahoots with the Imperium. I thought something implicating the Duke of Tobia (there are rumours the duke is illegally invested in the Tobia Commerce Guild) would be cool, but not sure where to go with it yet.
I'd forgotten that one. I think I'll add that to my list! Thanks, Dan.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:03 pm

So breaking the encryption on the mail drums is one thing, how accessible what they find inside is something else. Depending on how juicy the information is, you may only give a pieces of information, a coded message, etc.

Routine but valuable info that would be found:
- correspondence between commercial partners showing projected trade convoys, their routes and cargoes.
- same as above but including itineraries of important private citizens

Coded or partial information regarding the above planned itineraries:]\
- same as above but including the itineraries of nobles
- someone else's plans to pirate, hijack, sabotage, kidnap etc. for their own gain
- diplomatic messages regarding nefarious plans to pirate, hijack, etc., but for political purposes


Other ideas:
- Mercenary contracts, travel plans, or strategies. Travellers' can assist one side or the other (of just themselves for chaos and profit) by assisting, warning, disrupting, etc. these plans.
- Commercial correspondence regarding new breakthrough technology that just happens to be at some remote but well defended location
- Pirate hunting fleet plans. could be very valuable to pirate organizations, or used to set them up to be captured.
Last edited by Old School on Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:06 pm

One more: communication between the empire and one or more clans regarding some scheme or plan that will benefit those clans to the expense of other(s).
- or -
the same thing, but rather than being a sanctioned Empire plan, its being plotted by lesser nobles without the knowledge of the Duke, i.e. without the Voice of the Emperor.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby ochd » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:15 pm

Thanks for those ideas. Lots of potential. I think the group will need to change the Harrier's callsign to Wikileaks :)
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby ochd » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:59 am

Has anyone run Revolution on Acrid, The Cordan Conflict or Liberty Port?

I love the premise of them all (helping a faction gain control of the planet), as it is exactly the sort of thing the pirates are supposed to be doing, but I confess I am hesitant to use them. The 'quests' they present are wide-ranging in scope -- e.g. foster a revolution -- and likely to last months or years (in game time), and therefore it strikes me that as GM I would need to do a lot of preparation beforehand in anticipation of the many, many ways the players could approach it. Perhaps it would be better to just use them as context for a specific sidequest -- e.g. supply x-tons of arms for the revolutionaries, rather than foster a revolution. Or start with that and see where it goes.

Dan.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:51 pm

I’d like to run them. They require a lot of prep work to be done right, IMO. It irritates me that Mongoose advertises those supplements as “full adventures” when all they do is flesh out the idea.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:45 am

Furthermore "Friends in Dry Places" presents Utea as an Aslan male while Pirates of Drinax, "Ihatei," presents her as a female who runs Kteiroa Downport. Not sure what went wrong there. I like the idea of Utea as a female, but I do also like the premise of "Friends in Dry Places," in which the travellers are hired to acquire the goods to help her update the starport. Never mind the obvious conflict of interests in helping to create an Ihatei-serving starport for a group of Ihatei who will eventually become a problem for the travellers.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby NOLATrav » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:58 pm

ochd wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:59 am
Has anyone run Revolution on Acrid, The Cordan Conflict or Liberty Port?

I love the premise of them all (helping a faction gain control of the planet), as it is exactly the sort of thing the pirates are supposed to be doing, but I confess I am hesitant to use them. The 'quests' they present are wide-ranging in scope -- e.g. foster a revolution -- and likely to last months or years (in game time), and therefore it strikes me that as GM I would need to do a lot of preparation beforehand in anticipation of the many, many ways the players could approach it. Perhaps it would be better to just use them as context for a specific sidequest -- e.g. supply x-tons of arms for the revolutionaries, rather than foster a revolution. Or start with that and see where it goes.

Dan.
I haven’t run the adventures you reference but the few times I’ve presented possible adventures with such a large scope I have always started with them as context, as you mention. Our heroes land on a planet in turmoil, they see what’s happening and have a chance to help/hinder one side or the other. Whether or not they do that is up to them.

Saves me having to prep a world wide adventure all up front - I prep a couple small encounters (terrorist cell, rebel faction, whatever) and see where it goes. If the players bite and get involved more deeply I usually have to time to flesh out things in more detail from there.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby CaladanGuard » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:06 am

I have run Liberty Port. I ran it more as an aside adventure. They came into port in Sperle (After earning a bit of a name for themselves elsewhere over the last few months) and were approached by the Free Sperle Society, they agreed to help with the procurement and setup of the port facilities and flew away. A few months later they came back and spent about a month unloading, building a rudimentary port....and handing over a bunch of weapons to the new smugglers/terrorists. A few months after that, they heard about some trouble on Sperle in a neighbouring system, and arrived as the government was running their crackdown (The maritime standoff) Ended up sitting down with the Government/GeDeCo as "neutral third-parties" and selling out the port and rebels for a trade contract for something they're supplying to Tech World.

All in all, it didn't take that much time out of their regularly scheduled mayhem and villainy. Coming up on Cordan soon...if they stick with what they've been doing. So we'll see how that runs.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby MonkeyX » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:55 am

I’m in the process of running revolution on Acrid. The PCs have met the representative and had some of the companions smuggle in weapons over the last few months. The revolutionaries are now waiting for the PCs before they go ahead but they are concerned about not having enough back up especially if the corporation hire Mercs.

Friends in Dry places was effectively used to resolve the problem in Ihatai. The whole shower situation broke down that the clans couldn’t stay on the same planet without killing each other, helped by the fact that Utea ( I kept her female) also put them onto the weapons shipment adventure book from the back of the book being brought in by the trader clan. The PCs attacked the trade convoy disguised as ships from the current winners of the limited war and stired up even more trouble.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:33 pm

selling out the port and rebels for a trade contract
Man, that's cold. And expensive to, unless they got reimbursed for the port.

What kind of fleets have your pirates built? My group is about 8 months of game time in after 3 sessions of game play (that involved a lot of running around) and have 3 ships: the Harrier, the Mendina - a fat trader from the "ship encounters" supplement, and the Janal Torsk - Ferrick Redthane's former ship.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:59 pm

We're getting close to finishing "Treasure Ship" so we're only two adventures in and so far they have
  • The Harrier (which they call Ghost of Sindal).
  • The Wellspring (the Vulture-class salvage hauler formerly called Mercifuge that they took from Redthane in "Honor Among Thieves").
  • The Callsign Alpha (a subsidized merchant from the "Ship Encounters" book). They destroyed the Alpha's jump drive in the process of taking it but they have designs on returning it to full spaceworthiness and using the ship in some capacity, probably to carry stolen goods.
  • They also have the Voidskipper (from "Last Flight of the Amuar," which they renamed Elis Island (deliberately misspelling the name of the famous American historical landmark since that's how their captain, one of the PCs, spells his name) but they haven't used this ship at all for piratical purposes. I think they intend to use it to help kickstart trade on the Void's most forlorn worlds in an effort to drive them into Drinax's corner.
So four ships so far. I would add the Martin II to that list since they captured it and are currently jumping system to system in it, evading pursuing Imperial ships, (currently at Tinath) along with 25 Imperial naval personnel taken as prisoners. Check that: 24. They executed Grimsbold after they caught her sending a coded message to Komino and Arshad, the two escort ships, which nearly ended in a campaign-ending ship combat. :shock: I think they intend to plant the Martin II in the Void when they're done with it to use it as a deep-space refueling depot.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:25 pm

Nice! How’d they capture the ship and the entire crew?

My travellers are very pro Imperium. Two are ex imperial navy and are role playing a sense of loyalty to the Empire although they are all in on rebuilding Drinax. Two others grew up on Drinax (one a noble) and have a hatred of Aslan for the destuction of their world.

Treasure ship is up next. Will be interesting to see what they do. I think they’ll gladly rob a treasure ship if they can, but actual combat against the Navy is unlikely.

Unless I wanted to flip the script and make it an Aslan treasure ship. . . No, that would be problematic, and would almost certainly end up with the ship and its escorts as charred hulks drifting in space. That’s no fun. Sorry, thinking out loud here.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby JMISBEST » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:35 pm

Here 's the best fleet any group of mine ever had in any 1 campaign where we only used nothing but official rules. But this was in 1st edition and a lot of years back

67 in 62.97 years as the following. Which are worth, by my decree, 94 Fighting Dice and 3 Capital Ships

Zhuekvi' 12 or 5 initial and 7 later 600 ton Corsairs. Thanks to Dai Kinnear manipulating him telepathically

10 100 ton Scoutships and 2 800 Ton Escorts from The Aslan in Adventure 800

4 each of 200 ton, 400 ton and 500 ton Captured Free Traders converted into Pirate Versions of The Q-Ship

4 700 Wyverns made by another GM and 4 more 200 ton Harriers that they paid a total of Cr 5.3 Billion for and got it after selling The Ruby Mine on Paal worth a minimum of Cr 5.4 billion for 4.3 Billion, then add another 1.46 billion profit from A Investment of 730 Million that they knew would either lose them 730 Million or to double their money, both within 4 years, and they rolled The 14+ on 3D6 needed to double
money

4 400 ton Armed and Armoured Free Traders. 2 of which where captured in The Deamons Eye and the other 2 where added in The Vorito Gambit

3 Harriers or The 2 Harriers from The Sindallian Base and the 1 they started with

2 36,400 ton custom build cruisers build with The Insurance Money that The Pcs then multiplied the money by x5.51 via a total of 18 bets amount to All-or-nothing Sporting bet which they won via Dai Kinnear manipulate telepathically the team they bet r against to play very rough and get enough player send off to forfeit the match

2 600 ton, 2 400 ton, 1 800 ton and 1 500 ton Pirate Ships Broke out of Iligans Prison Camp in Adventure 7

2 400 Ton Gazelles, The 1,600 ton Treasure Ship and 1 200 ton Scoutship captured in Adventure

The 50,000 Ton Yarrow mentioned in Rumours of The Reach that they had converted into A Very Heavy Carrier then having Dai Kinnear manipulate telepathically The Delivery Crew into selling in on the sly to get The Pcs The Insurance Money and still keep this super Ship

The 8,000 Ton Escort and The 2,000 Ton Escort Carrier From Adventure 6 again due to Dai Kinnear Telepathically manipulating both ships crews into turning Pirate

Teirlass 1,000 Ton Cruiser Waged in A Duel VS The 3 Noble Pcs combined Portfolio of 974 million Cr that they only won cos I as The GM rolled A 1 and A 3 or A 4 despite only needing A 5+ to win

Starbases that my group of characters legally owned

1 Class B at Wildemen, The Class B 1 from Adventure 6 moved to Exe and 1 Class A 1 Build at Number One
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:05 pm

Old School wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:25 pm
Nice! How’d they capture the ship and the entire crew?
I'll try to keep it short as possible so it doesn't become a TLDR post but I'm not sure how successful I'll be. :D

On Arunisiir, several of the players managed to get on board as contractors to repair the Martin II's damaged jump drive. One of the players is an ex-marine war hero so they used his reputation to get Commander Jagad's trust. The players brought their engineering and mechanically savvy crew members aboard as manual labor, leaving their captain on the Harrier. The players had elaborate plans to stealthily smuggle explosives and other goodies on board using a robot that one of the players built. Unfortunately for them, one of the marine guards (correctly) assumed it was a weaponized threat and destroyed it with his PGMP-12. The attack prompted the fast departure of the Martin II, giving the players no chance to gather more gear. So they essentially departed with little more than the clothes on their backs...except for their ace in the hole: one of the players managed to sneak aboard using stealthed battledress. He hid in the lower cargo hold where the security cams were damaged according to the adventure.

The Martin II went into jump and the players' first priority was suborning the marines. It would be virtually impossible to take the ship if they had to contend with battledress-wearing soldiers. The players came up with the rather ingenious idea of setting up early-morning PT with the marines. While it would be highly unorthodox to have all the marines off guard duty at any one time, they convinced them with the rather heavy influence of the war hero PC (whom the marines fairly fawned over) and a little psionic nudging from the players' psion. The psion (the player who snuck aboard in battledress) had trouble using his abilities. In my version of the story, the vault exudes heavy anti-psionic energy to prevent teleporters from entering it. It also inhibited the abilities of the psion whenever he tried to use an ability "through" the vault or anywhere near it actually.

Unbeknownst to the characters on the Martin II, the Harrier ran into some difficulty. Patrol corvette Sincerity, which in the adventure is said to be on a pirate hunting mission, identified the Harrier as a possible pirate. They demanded the captain let them board and inspect the ship and he opted to run, hustling at 5 Gs toward jump point, keeping a G in reserve for evasion. The two ships exchanged shots and damaged each other quite a bit. Sincerity lost track of the Harrier for several rounds after it moved from short to medium range, the ship's stealth hiding it from detection. It looked like the Harrier might just escape when Sincerity reacquired the the ship as a target, won an electronic warfare opposed roll, and Komino temporarily entered the fray, doing heavy damage to the Harrier. The captain surrendered and finally let Sincerity board her. Employing his Advocate skill, he admonished Sincerity's commander and let her know there would be consequences for the Imperium's extra-judicial assault on his "innocent" ship. Luckily for the players, the Harrier was "clean" of any piratical evidence and Sincerity, rather abashed at having fired upon and heavily damaged an innocent ship, left her to her own devices. The captain notified Commander Jagad aboard the Martin II of the event and she offered to pay for the damages for the misunderstanding. So the Harrier got roughed up but managed to get out in one piece.

On the fifth day in jump, the players aboard the treasure ship ran a particularly difficult PT session with all of the marines, exhausting them and lowering their END checks. One of the players, serving as the war hero's NCO, gave the marines drugged water (with sedatives obtained from sick bay), knocking them all out. The PT session was held early in the ship's nominal day, during the "third watch" when the players had observed the least competent crew were on duty. With the marines unconscious, bound and gagged, they rushed up from deck to deck, taking out the gunners who were serving as guards in lieu of the marines, blocked off the armory, and finally breaking into the bridge and taking the ship two days out from Acrid. Long story short: they divided up the crew, confined them to quarters, and interrogated select crew members. Under threat of murdering his crew, they got Captain Torsa to give them the codes to send a change of plans to the close escorts when they would come out of jump. Tactical officer Grimsbold would be the comms officer to convey the change of plans. Instead of landing on Acrid, as the adventure indicates, they intended to have the close escorts refuel the Martin II by giving up the fuel in their drop tanks, after which they would fake a coordinated jump to Exe and instead jump to Blue (the Martin II's damaged jump drives are only capable of Jump-2 at the moment, so they would make one to deep space and a second to Blue where the Harrier would meet them). Great plan. Unfortunately, it didn't work out quite the way they had hoped.

After coming out at Acrid, they sent the encrypted message to Komino and Arshad to change the jump plans, but Grimsbold managed to send out an encoded distress signal to the Gazelles. All hell broke loose with Komino coming in close to purportedly attach its fuel line to the Martin II when in actuality they prepared a boarding party who breached the Martin II's rear air lock and boarded the lower cargo hold. Meanwhile Arshad positioned itself behind the Martin II, requested that the pirates stand down, and after being rebuffed, began to take some called shots (see p. 17 of "Pirates of Drinax" Book 1) at the jump drive and power plant. They disabled the jump drive and did some damage to the power plant before the war hero manned one of Martin II's turrets and damaged one of Arshad's two laser turrets. Knowing full well that Imperial naval personnel were on the ship, Arshad refused to use its particle accelerators in the conflict lest they inadvertently kill them with radiation.

The players were neck deep in trouble obviously, and the situation was exacerbated by the fact that only one of the players (the ex-scout engineer) could pilot, astrogate, and/or fix the drives. They needed him to be three places at once. Therefore they couldn't try to run or evade Arshad's shots, plot a course out of the conflict, and fix the jump drives at the same time. Time being of essence, the engineer employed the "Going Faster or Slower" rule (Core Rulebook, p. 60) to very quickly chart a course for the fourth gas giant of Tanith system and then hustled down to engineering to get the jump drives online. So with boarders in the ship, Arshad pecking away at them like it was a shooting gallery, and an ignominious end to the campaign in sight, the players managed to eke their way out of this tight spot. The engineer, again using the fast task check rule, jury rigged the jump drive, fired them up, and they escaped into jump space. Three of the players rushed down to the lower cargo hold and defeated the boarding party and they're now on their merry way to Tanith with a barely functional jump drive, a sputtering power plant, a dearth of spare parts, and a heavy conscience: The psion murdered Grimsbold for her perfidy. :shock:
Last edited by paltrysum on Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby MonkeyX » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:20 pm

My group also captured the Martin II by using tranquilliser gas brought from a scientist on tech worldview running cloning experiments. They had a fairly good relationship with most of the crew haveing found the traitor and avoided the ambush. The officer who took the black box to techworld was confined to quarters by then so they let her go upon finding that the Aslan were threading to kill her daughter. The Treasure Ship is currently in the Drinax planetoid belt being used as a mining platform.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:43 pm

Paltrysum - that's some great roleplaying. Impressive they carried the day despite so many set backs.

The whole getting in a serious firefight with imperial ships and then talking your way out of it after the fact is just a bit suspect, but, hey, the show must go on.


For both of you, what did they do / plan to do with the crew?
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:15 pm

They didn't actually talk their way out of it. They just got the jump drive online and got the hell out of Acrid before the Arshad could completely disable the Martin II with called shots. Then out of spite the psion murdered Grimsbold for sending the distress code. Good thing I run a campaign with complete moral ambiguity and no karma! :twisted: Were I a player, I don't think I would have killed her. I would have decked her, but I would want to remain one of the "good guys." But hey, I'm just the ref. :)

They have the crew confined to groups of three or four in the crew quarters staterooms. They're feeding them every day but they keep them bound pretty tightly. Pretty brutal if they do that for the entire jump to Tanith. I'll have to make a point that the chafing and discomfort is becoming pretty untenable. Not that humans can't endure such things, but it's pretty rough. I know what they're thinking: that their referee will have one of the crew do something crafty the moment they're unbound. But for the purposes of a more realistic story, I have to make an issue of how cruel it is to keep people so tightly bound for long periods of time.

As far as I know they intend to set them free on Tanith. They plan to release the gunners and marines in the two launches, letting them make the long slog at 1G to the mainworld, and then deposit the officers and remaining crew in a different star system. I'm guessing Blue, but we shall see.
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