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Customs of the Third Imperium

The jumps from 2634 to 2834 to empty space north of 3034, back to 2934 and skimming whilst avoiding the Kask, then empty space and finally into Emape system are uneventful, and the Salamander arrives with the scout cruiser in tow.

As the ship approaches, traffic control apologises, but has to hold us as 3 ships unexpectedly, urgently depart. After a tense waiting period, the ships lift off at intervals too far apart to be attack vectors. They are all in the 200 tonne range, ostensibly cargo, and whilst 2 head off towards Karin and Miriam (registered to the Arch Stargazer), 1 heads towards Andor and Candory - restricted space? We later find out that they had all landed and were “waiting for cargo”, but only stocked up on food and water only before departing.

Despite our permits offering some permissions, Sir Arthur and Armitage both think it best to smooth customs clearance. It costs 6,000 CR to have the inspection team not look at the artefacts, dead specimens or Wiffa’s cabin. Sir Arthur makes a very good friend of the Sergeant with 10k, and a further 5k gets us more info on the departing ships. The one that headed south was a boatload of missionaries, trying to convert people. But they did nothing, just sat there until we showed up. It occurs that they are heading in the direction of Andor, where we smuggled some potential WMD, and the faction of the Red Claw took them. We know the Cult of Djil/The Sisterhood of Jild are interested in WMDs to wipe planets clean and then seed them again…hope we haven’t helped with that.

Once permitted entry to Emape, we refuel. Corto looks into cybernetics, but it looks like it wasn’t just his eye damaged in the crash, but also considerable damage to his arm. To enable to effectively overcome his disadvantages, it would be in the order of 500k to replace the entire arm and eye. Money he doesn’t have. The Marquis, suffering somewhat from the ennui of bug hunts, buys a flame rifle and spare tanks for when you absolutely, positively, got to kill every buglover in the room; accept no substitute. In a similar vein, Armitage buys a grenade launcher and stocks up on various forms of grenade, including the multihead “elephant gun” style. He also invests in some smart infra red trip wires, complete with Friendly identification features.

The crew decide to turn in salvage on a more friendly planet, and to that end, jump, and make contact with the Baron Beren’s network on in Karin system. He is delighted to offer us discrete docking facilities. He directs us to his man George Smythe and a location on a small moon in the Karin system that was previously a mining colony, and he will visit us in 1-2 days after we arrive. We jump via empty space, rather than Miriam where we started a revolution, kidnapped the planetary leader and incited riots last time. We land the ships in the shadow of a crater, docking in secret. Smythe appraises us that there are 47 souls here, comprising cut throats, murderers and thieves, but mostly a good lot. The Marquis’s whisky - the good stuff! - goes down well and we settle in to refuel.

Smythe is quite old but vigorous, dark skinned, close cropped hair. Introduces us to Roy Livingstone, Chief of Security and 2IC. Slightly pudgy, dark skinned, jovial. Toying with knife, welcomes us, offers us security for our stay. Must be tired after our voyage - well maybe not. Takes us through docking area, all carbon steel lined. After a few airlocks, bare rock.

“This is the middle section, 50 souls around here, another 50 scattered around the rock. We’ve mined out most of the introductory stuff, act as conduit. Into our 9th decade, I’ve been here for 40 years, it’s my home. Plant below, O2 generator, backup scrubbers, fusions plant, grav plates (don’t leave too much lying around, bit iffy). Entertainment here, 1 licensed bar, entertainment of sorts - bit grim, but entertainment of sorts. Rough lot, but anyone steps out of line, we’ll sort them out. Compact area upstairs we’ll put you in, even a little garden. 2-300m by 50m rectangle, about to turn a corner when hear a women’s voice ring out “Geroge Smythe I need a word with you”, women with freshly scared right arm walks up and says “This has to stop”

“Yes Mary. We have guests”

“It can’t wait. You’re pushing too hard, you have to tell the bosses, or they’ll be another accident”

“Mary Tomlinson, Director of Engineering. Concerned about employees well being. Sorry about that. Lets go on”

Come to commisary. “ Ah Mr Roland Lomax, please let me introduce you to our guests. Our quartermaster”

Armitage offers steaks…they agree to meet later.

Glass elevator up to topside. Smythe has most of his quarters here, plus part of the control room. 4 guards on duty at all time, 1 outside control at all times. 1 roaming on middle deck, and 1 in the plant room, plus 1 shadow of the boss. 12 guys total, rough crew. They work hard, not a good relationship with alcohol. Mostly good sorts, but occasionally not. Been a while since we’ve had to space anyone. Names and Photos or everyone to circ-ulte.

Garden area. Other chiefs: CTO: She keep plants running Jaffa O’Koye. Chief Medic, Su Yin, bust in surgery.

“Intercoms “111” goes to Smythe’s earpiece. George will be in kitchen for next 4 hours. Middle deck bar if you like. Owner of only bar here. Marianne. Tough nut. No sense of humour”