We met up with Hoashi of the Social Syndicate and convinced him to take us all to the dig site.
At the gate to the Nuiard no-go zone, Esposito was watching the road, and when he saw Hoashi at the wheel of the first car, he waved him through. He had seem him many times. But the white car following Hoashi raised his suspicion and he didn’t raise the barrier. “I want to see some ID!”
Esposito thought: Again? Are you kidding me? Yesterday he says he wants to show the kids the bomb site, and now he's here again?
Later, when they were driving towards the Aiken estate, they came to Karahashi’s roadblock. There he was, with two of his goons, and he was not amused when he recognized Kana. For a moment, it looked as if there was going to be violence.
Karahashi thought: What the hell is going on? Is somebody trying to move into our turf? I'm going to talk to supervisor Mirza at the Reclamation Fund. This is getting out of hand!
When we drove back, both headlights in Brega’s car were smashed and Hoashi was extremely disappointed in how it all turned out. But while they were talking about what to do next, when Xia suggested contacting old friends at the military, Bo said that they should talk to Sir Aiken directly. After all, the only customers he’d ever find for anything he’d dig up would have to be space-faring customers – like Louis and Lux. So if we could offer him something in return… And Bo knew that Sir Aiken had lost a lot of money and prestige in the war, most of his lands had been devastated by the bomb and the poisoning, he was essentially ruined but was not yet ready to admit it. So perhaps… Perhaps it would be possible to get to some agreement with him?
Brega’s thoughts: Yeah sure, neither Louis Hare nor Lux Santana thought of this before, pfff… WTF? They ACTUALLY had NOT tried Sir Aiken before? … Well alrighty then, I’ll volunteer my superior intellect to the recovery effort and get us the heck off of this hellhole…
And so it was…
The ship at the dig site is a Scout/Courier Type S ship called Patient Librarian. The parts are worth the following for Sir Aiken:
The hull is shot up and damaged beyond repair due to the crash. Fragments can be sold for scrap metal. 5% of 100t hull is worth 100K Cr on a throw of 9+. Add Mechanical skill, +1 for Intelligence 10+, +1 for Dexterity 10+, when operating the cutters and other tools. If you fail the roll, the quality is degraded and a mere 2% of the value can be recovered, worth 40K Cr.
Bo tries to salvage some good pieces off the hull, but finds the metal is too warped or brittle from the force and heat of missile and laser impacts. [Roll: 5]
The maneuver drive is severely damaged (and this damage caused the crash). To get it into working order and recover 30% of the drive value worth 1.2M Cr requires a throw of 10+. Add Engineering skill, +1 for Intelligence 10+, +1 for Education 9+. If you fail the roll, all you get is scrap metal worth 200K Cr.
Xia tries her best to fix the drive but the true cause of the failure must have eluded her and on the first performance test it burns out completly. [Roll: 7]
The power plant is severely damaged by the crash, and dangerous. To get it into working order and recover 25% of the power plant value worth 2M Cr requires a throw of 9+. Add Engineering skill, +1 for Intelligence 10+, +1 for Education 9+. If you fail the roll, all you get is scrap metal worth 400K Cr.
Xia fixes the power plant, making it look like its not the first time she did something like that. [Roll: 10]
The computer is severely damaged by the crash, and all the software is lost. To get it into working order and recover 25% of the computer parts worth 1M Cr requires a throw of 9+. Add Electronic skill, +1 for Intelligence 10+, +1 for Education 9+. If you fail the roll, all you get is electronic parts worth 200K Cr.
Brega fixes up some computer parts with some soldering, rewiring, and jumpers to bypass cracks in PCBs. [Roll: 12]
The air/raft is severely damaged by the crash. To get it into working order and recover 20% of the vehicle’s value worth 120K Cr requires a throw of 9+. Add Engineering skill, +1 for Intelligence 10+, +1 for Education 9+. If you fail the roll, all you get is scrap metal worth 20K Cr.
Xia is fascinated by the antigrav plates that still seem to be in working condition. Once these are installed successfully the rest seems like a breeze. [Roll: 10]
Thus, a value of between 4.42M Cr. and 860K Cr. can be extracted from the wreck in addition to the jump drive. The repaired jump drive itself is worth 3M Cr.
Ultimate Insurances will show up eventually and claim 20% of all salvage gains unless you manage to file all the appropriate complaints and counter-claims on an 8+. Add Admin skill, +1 for Intelligence 10+.
Sir Aiken is willing to share 2% of the entire dig with you, if you make all the rolls. That is, somewhere between 77.2K and 148.4K Cr. The part other than the jump drive could be sold on Stefo for 3.24M Cr, plus the 3M for the drive that Aiken is basically granting Louis a mortgage on, so 2% of all of that is 124.8K Cr, or 31.2K per person.
As the ship is getting ready, agents from Ultimate Insurances show up, with a long list of items to pay tax on. Kana goes to the meeting and comes back exasperated. They had shown her charges for the Rift Valley Reclamation Fund on trespassing, violations of the Rift Valley Landscape Protection Ordinance, the Space Port Authority General Docking Licence Agreement, Salvage Operation Licence Late Application Fee, and on and on. In the end, it’s 24,960 Cr for each person.
Tax inspector and space port liason officer Awanata shakes their head and says, “I am sorry, kid. There’s nothing I can do about all this. All these charges seem legit to me and I’m just passing them along. And think about it, you’re still leaving with a lot of money. It’s only fair that all these collective efforts, all these funds, corporations, and the state get their small share. We just had a war here and reconstruction is far from over, as we all know. I’m so sorry.”
Boss Karahashi is talking to Al-Jazuli, “I can’t believe you were unable to turn up a single starship pilot in all of Stefo! If we can’t pilot the ship, there is no point in hijacking the ship. And with Xia Chang joining the Brodowski gang, things will be harder.” Al-Jazuli says: “We should kill them all and force Louis to pilot the ship.” Karahashi laughs, “That’s only going to work for a week or two. I have a better idea…”
Louis will have to pay off the jump drive sooner or later. As the enormity of the debt becomes clear to him, he comes to you. “Friends,” he says. “I am in trouble. You found a way for us all to get away from Stefo. But what will we do now? Where do we get 3M Cr. to pay Sir Aiken? And no, I don’t think murder is a solution.” He laughs nervously. “We should definitely try and figure out how he plans to set up shop. Perhaps we can pay off the debt by rendering him a service every now and then?”
Brega’s thought: Was he looking at me?
Xia says “What do you mean with ‘We’? A passage off this planet is worth something but not millions. Also remember who made that deal possible…” Louis nods, “I know, I know. I guess what I’m saying is that I really need to make a lot of money, now. If you need a pilot and a ship, for any kind of job, and I really mean it, then the Blue Heron is at your service.”