Adventures on the Edge of the Imperium

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Part One: Aurora Days
Shadows of Yorbund - Introduction

Date: 362-1104

Mustering out seems a long time ago, in reality it was only about three months ago. The adventurers had got talking in the mustering out centre on Regina and after a few (or more) drinks in the Starhaven tavern at the starport, they decided to do a bit of travelling in the Regina subsector and try to find some jobs that might add to their ‘retirement’ funds.

Things were going well until they landed at Yorbund. The inhospitable nature of the planet did not help and added to that the well paid job they had been offered had fallen through, due to their patron getting himself arrested. That was all three weeks ago, since then nothing seemed to be going right, no jobs worth taking, the next merchant vessel was not due for another three weeks, so no way off the rock.

The only thing of interest that had happened in the past week, apart from the seismic activity, was the arrival of a Type S Scout/Courier, the ‘Aurora’, and its pilot Wilhelm Seelow. One night in a bar the group got talking to the ex-scout and found out that even though Wilhelm had been retired for about five years he was still doing some work for the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service (IISS). He had been contracted to perform an ‘internal audit’ on the Spinward Marches, it meant he had to visit every system and make sure that the information the Scout Service held was correct. Wilhelm does not hide the fact that he is being well paid for the job, but that it can also get a little boring being out there alone.

When the group explain their situation to him he is more than happy to offer them a place on the Aurora, and says that he could always do with the company and a little more adventure in his life. He says he could even stretch his funds to offer them paid positions on the Aurora.

The adventurers gladly take Wilhelm up on his offer as it means they get off Yorbund, have access to free transport around the Marches and they are going to get paid to do it. Oliver accepts a position of engineer, Vann will act as a gunner, Bucky will be the ships medic and Tommy says he will be a steward in case they pick up any passengers. Wilhelm tells them that they will be leaving in a couple of days, on 001-1105, after he has finished writing his report on Yorbund.

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Shadows of Yorbund
Session #1

Date: 001 – 1105

On the morning of departure the group gather at the starport and Wilhelm takes them out to the landing pad where the Aurora is sitting waiting for them. After showing them to their staterooms and the group have unpacked their belongings Wilhelm shows them around the ship, the ship looks old but everything seems to be working fine and Wilhelm has equipped it well for most situations. He also says that the destination is Regina, as he has a bit of business to conclude there.

During the countdown to take off a large seismic tremor rocks the ship, though take off proceeds normally, once in orbit Wilhelm requests that everyone checks the ship for damage. No damage is found but through a break in the normally dense clouds the sensors detect an anomaly on the planet surface, about 1,000 Km from the starport. Computer enhancement shows it to be some kind of structure, Wilhelm is intrigued by the structure, which appears to be a pyramid complex, as it did not show up on his survey of the world and none of the planetary officials have mentioned anything in his interviews with them. Wilhelm decides it is certainly worth investigating and tells the others that they will head to Regina shortly, but first he wants to return to the planet for a little field trip to examine the pyramids.

As the Aurora is on final approach to the pyramids an energy blast passes within meters of the hull, Wilhelm quickly puts the ship down behind some sand dunes which mask the ship from further fire, but are about one Km from the complex. A computer analysis of the attack indicates that the energy blast originated from the pyramid complex and that there is an 80% chance of the ship being disabled if the energy blast hits the ship. Wilhelm says that the weapon is going to have to be put out of action before he will risk taking off again. The computer also determines that the corrosive atmosphere of the planet will breach the integrity of a vacc suit in about eight hours, so speed will be essential in finding the weapon.

The crew suit up and set out from the Aurora towards the pyramids, except for Oliver Skyler who is going to stay in the ship and provide radio support to the group. The walk to the pyramids takes about twenty minutes and Tommy and Bucky quickly discover that the alien statue at the top of one of the pyramids can be moved to reveal a deep shaft leading into the heart of the structure. It is at this point that Bucky realises that they have no way to get down the shaft, Wilhelm tells him that there are some fifty meter cables back at the ship. Bucky and Vann trudge back to the ship to fetch a couple of them back, returning about an hour later they hastily tie the cables together and attach it to the statue, which looks strong enough to support the weight of someone descending the cable.

Bucky is ‘volunteered’ to be the first one to descend into the depths, after about twenty meters the shaft opens up into a large dimly illuminated chamber, Bucky though carries on his descent. At just about the end of the first cable he finds a ledge where the shaft seems to have been fractured by seismic activity, on the ledge he finds several small skeletons of a snake like creature. As he is about to swing off the ledge his torch beam catches on a small gold coin, engraved with a flame, which he pockets to examine later. Rather than descending further he decides to climb back up to the chamber he passed earlier. After swinging over to the chamber floor he finds that there is nowhere on the metal floor to attach the cable, so he decided to keep it attached to his belt and begins to walk down the wide faintly illuminated corridor. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he sees something scurrying around a corner into what appears to be a side passage, drawing his revolver he proceeds cautiously to where he saw the movement.

Looking around the corner he sees eight small creatures huddling around some stairs leading up to a metal door. One of the creatures suddenly rushes at him, baring its teeth, Bucky fires at it and it is thrown backwards, dead. The noise seems to frighten the remaining animals causing them to rush past him and into the darkness of another side passage. Bucky climbs the stairs and examines the door, apart from a small slot off to one side, he tries to open the door but fails, so he calls for someone to come and join him. Vann agrees to come down and begins to descend the cable.

Meanwhile, Tommy and Wilhelm have continued to examine the exterior of the pyramids, but they cannot find any sign of the weapon that fired at them and the only other feature is another shaft near the base of the largest pyramid, but they do not have any way to descend it.

Using brute strength Bucky and Vann manage to raise the door, it leads to a small chamber filled with boxes that contain some organic material. Further examination of other side chambers reveals more boxes and also some sort of plants growing in some soil, Bucky carefully picks a sample of the plant for later study. Further down the wide corridor they find another large chamber with a shaft leading down in the center, attached to the ceiling is a cable running down into the shaft . Tommy and Wilhelm are called to come and join the others and to help with the exploration, by the time they arrive it has been discovered that the cable is swinging slightly as if it is attached to something loose further down the shaft.

After taking some careful measurements using the electronic sight on his laser rifle, Wilhelm realises that the cable seems to be located under the apex of the largest pyramid in the complex, though there is no obvious reason for it to be there. Off the chamber there are three other large chambers but they are all empty except for some faint markings on the walls, when Vann and Wilhelm examine the markings using their IR goggles striking murals are revealed. Two of them show the pyramids being used for some sort of social or religious gathering by reptilian aliens, whilst the other one shows the energy beams shooting from the faces of the pyramid to attack some sort of flying creatures. Back in the cable chamber Tommy discovers a panel concealing a doorway, when it is opened four flying creatures burst out and begin to attack the group. Wilhelm manages to down two of them with shots from his laser rifle, while Tommy gets one with a carbine shot and Bucky kills the final one but not before it manages to bite him and make a small tear in his vacc suit. After patching the tear the group decide to head down the passageway where the creatures came from.

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Shadows of Yorbund (Part 2 of 3)

The group decide to explore the long passageway leading down from the pendulum chamber, Wilhelm and Vann lead the way with Bucky bringing up the rear. Whilst they are walking Bucky stops to collect a sample of the animal droppings that litter the floor. At the end of the corridor the group find a room full of machinery, but its complexity defeats them and they cannot find a way to switch it off. Down a side corridor they find a barred exit to the outside, which seems to lead to the shaft Tommy and Wilhelm found earlier at the base of the largest pyramid. Wilhelm suggests that he could cut through the bars, using his laser rifle, in about twenty minutes but the others want to press on as they only have about two and a half hours of oxygen left in the suits. So, they decide to return back the way they came.

Returning to the upper level and to the shaft where Bucky made his descent, they explore the two side corridors that Bucky ignored when he was first here. The first just leads to another small chamber, whilst the other one leads along to what seems like a door, Vann and Bucky give it a push and slowly it begins to open, flooding the corridor with light and opening a doorway to the outside. Bucky decides to head back to the Aurora while the others begin to rappel down to the lower level. Everyone makes it down the cable without any mishaps.Quickly they make their way along the main corridor to where the pendulum is. Three large chambers are located off the chamber, in two of them the group find what appear to be sets of controls, in one chamber all the controls seem to be turned off but in the other the controls show that power is going to a number of systems in the pyramids. The third chamber is empty except for a curiously smooth block of stone set in the middle of the chamber. In the active control chamber Tommy examines each of the controls and finds three depressions beneath each one, pressing each depression does not seem to change any of the readings, so Tommy and Vann go back to the pendulum chamber leaving Wilhelm to study the controls. One thing Tommy notices is that the pendulum is swinging in an intricate pattern over three plates on the floor, he and Vann remove the plates and reveal eight small compartments. After opening all the compartments all he finds are twelve small metal clips which can be clipped on to a cable to help in climbing.

When they return to the control room Wilhelm says that he has had a bit of luck in decyphering the controls, he presses two of the depressions simultaneously and the power level for that gauge drops to zero. Rapidly, the three of them each take a bank of controls and turn them all off, plunging them into darkness. Tommy radios Oliver and Bucky and tells them that the beam might be disabled, To test this Bucky goes back to the pyramid and looks for something to test the theory, not finding anything on the ground he delves into his pockets and throws the first thing he finds towards the pyramid. The thrown animal droppings do not trigger the beam, and there is a profound silence from the others when they hear what Bucky has done.

Wilhelm tells Oliver to lift off gently and to bring his ship closer to the pyramid, as the ship comes over the dunes there is no reaction from the pyramid, with a sigh of relief from both Oliver and Wilhelm the Aurora, settles back down beside the pyramid. Tommy, Vann and Wilhelm make there way back to the cable and with the help of the clips Tommy found they quickly climb back up and exit the pyramid through the door they found. Wilhelm goes and retrieves his cable before following the others back to the ship. Gingerly Wilhelm takes off and at a safe distance climbs up and back into orbit.

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Shadows of Yorbund (Part 3 of 3)
Epilogue

Wilhelm tells the group that their destination is Regina, as he has some business with the Scout Administrator and he also wants to report the pyramids as a possible undiscovered Ancient site, with the hope that the scout service will pay them for finding it.

The route back takes the Aurora through Beck’s World, Feri, Roup, Hefry and finally to Regina. By the end of the five week trip the air in the scout ship is smelling pretty bad, a common problem with the Type S Scout/Courier, so Wilhelm says that he will get the scout station mechanics to rip out the old system and replace it with something better, though to perform the task will probably take about three and four weeks to complete once he has bought the parts needed. After that Wilhelm heads off to his appointment with the Administrator.

Meanwhile, Bucky heads off to the University of Regina, where he meets a biology professor who states that his plant and dropping samples are common enough for Yorbund and nothing special. Upon seeing the gold coin however the professor gets a little excited, he says it is a casting coyn used by the Droyne to determine which caste the Droyne belongs to. The professor says that, sadly in his opinion, that individually the coyn has no real value, but a full set of 36 would be worth something to a collector.

When Wilhelm returns he says that the IISS are interested in the site and that he has registered the claim to it, in the names of the crew, in case the Imperium determines that it is an Ancient site. If they do then the crew will be entitled to a substantial reward, but in the meantime the Scout Service have paid a ‘finders fee’ to the group, which Wilhelm happily divides equally between them.

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The Kinunir of Regina
Introduction

Date: 037 – 1105

Whilst out one night celebrating their new found wealth Oliver is approached at the bar by a well dressed gentleman who tries to engage Oliver in conversation. Oliver thinks the guy is a little creepy and so disengages himself from him and goes back to the table the group are sat at and begins to moan about the well dressed weird guy at the bar. A few minutes later the well dressed guy comes over to their table and sits himself down.

He explains he is an executive from Oberlindes Lines and he is looking for a cautious group to perform a discrete job for him. He needs to obtain some data regarding a certain class of military vessel, some of which were produced here on Regina by General Shipyards. The class of ship he is interested in is the Kinunir class battle cruiser. Bucky indicates that he knows of the type of ship but has never served on one, the executive says that serving on one does not matter as the information he needs could be classified more as trade secrets rather than military secrets. Despite repeated attempts he will not divulge why he needs the data or even his name. After a bit of discussion the group decide to accept the job.

The executive says that he has a budget of Cr 200,000 available for the full (and he emphasises the word full) completion of the job, which will be to get accurate data on the capacity of the fuel tanks and to get the exact location of the Black Globe Generator. He says that he can provide pictures of the Black Globe Generator mountings to help them find the location. He also says that to fully complete the job he will need two pieces of evidence for each piece of data to confirm the accuracy of the groups findings. With that being said, he hands a card to Oliver with a communicator code and says to contact him when they have the information. He then thanks them for their time and gets up, leaving the group to finish their drinks and to consider their next move.

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The Kinunir of Regina (Part 1 of 4)
Session #1

Once their patron has gone the discussion begins about how they can complete the job. Bucky, Tommy and Vann straight away begin talking about what they will need to interrogate people, and start making a shopping list beginning with handcuffs. Oliver goes off muttering about seeing what his contacts in the local underworld know, and Wilhelm sits there dumbfounded wondering about what sort of people he has got involved with. When Vann begins to ask where they might be able to get hold of some truth drugs, Wilhelm decides to step in and suggests that maybe they should find out what information is available publicly. As Bucky is the most skilled with computers he decides to go and see what he can find out. Tommy, Vann and Wilhelm decide to go check out some of the other bars in the starport to see if they can find someone who might have some information they could use.

Oliver’s contacts come up dry, but say they will put the word out and get back to him. Bucky has more luck and manages to retrieve ship specifications, a list of all the ships in the Kinunir class and the fate of some of the ships that have been lost. When the others return to the Traveller’s Aid Society hostel, where they are staying, they say that they were unsuccessful in finding out anything. Oliver and Bucky sit down and calculate how much fuel would be carried based on the specifications Bucky found, they come up with a figure that actually exceeds the tonnage of the Kinunir class! Later, when the others are asleep, Wilhelm works out his own figures on the fuel requirements and comes up with a total of 1,080 tons, which would only leave 120 tons for drives, weapons and crew accommodation. Wilhelm decides that the public specifications are certainly inaccurate. The next day Oliver and Bucky decide to go and check out General Shipyards to see what they can find there while Tommy, Vann and Wilhelm head back to the starport again.

Bucky and Oliver manage to find a General Shipyards office in the starport and go inside, it is not what they expected though. The only occupant is an attractive woman seated behind a desk typing awat on a computer. Oliver introduces himself but when the woman asks how she can help, he realises that he has no ides what to say and just babbles incoherently. Bucky steps in and tries to pass himself off as a covert naval operative who requires information on a military vessel that had been built by General Shipyards. The stunned secretary says that General does not produce military starships, that all she can do is make appointments for people to go to the shipyard and if he worked for the navy surely they would have the information he was looking for. The logic of these statements throws Bucky into silence, clearly the intelligence of the secretary is superior to Bucky. Oliver gets the ides of actually just making an appointment to see someone at the shipyard, finally faced by someone making sense the secretary makes an appointment for Bucky, Oliver and Wilhelm to see Mr Hansen at the shipyard in five days time. Meanwhile, Tommy and the others manage to find and talk to a retired shipyard worker who had worked on the Kinunir ships produced by General Shipyards. He tells them that from what he remembers the Black Globe Generator was on the drive deck not too far from the pinnace dock. Though, at present, the only Kinunir the group know that is in the Regina subsector is the Gaesh, the prison hulk at Pixie, and that has had all the drives ripped out. The problems with the Gaesh are that getting to Pixie will be time consuming and expensive, and short of getting arrested, breaking into a prison ship will be almost impossible.

Over the next few days the group continue to track down leads and rumours, though the only ones circulating around the starport are in connection with possible Imperial suppression of political opposition. This leads Oliver to think that a civil war is about to break out in the subsector. Bucky decides to make himself useful by trying to hack into the General Shipyards data archive. On the day of the appointment at General Shipyards a car arrives outside the Traveller’s Aid Society to collect them, but only Oliver and Wilhelm decide to go, leaving Bucky to carry on writing his program. The meeting at General Shipyards is short and unproductive, Mr Hansen knows nothing about the building of the Kinunir class and says the previous management team were borderline criminal in their working practices. He then brings the meeting to a close and Oliver and Wilhelm return to the group empty handed. When they get back to their rooms there is a message for Oliver saying that one of his contacts has found a couple of people that might be willing to talk to him, for a price. They are Daniel V Adar and Guy Self, both formerly worked at General Shipyards, Oliver and Tommy decide to pay them a visit in the next couple of days.

The next morning Bucky announces that he has almost finished working on the hack program and should be able to give it a go in the next 24 hours. Wilhelm and Vann decide to give the starport another go for leads while Tommy and Oliver head out to see Mr Self. Tommy slips a pair of handcuffs into his pocket, in case Mr Self proves to be a little unwilling to provide them with the information.

Guy Self was the former Project Manager (Military Division) at General Shipyards, he was a casualty of the board room battle that took place when General pulled out of the military shipbuilding market and narrowly avoided criminal charges for misappropriation of funds. Since then he has only been able to get junior and low paid work, so he greedily snaps up the Cr 500 that Oliver offers him. He tells them that the publicised range of 200 days was pure rubbish and that the Kinunir only had a range of 28 days fuel for the power plant and manoeuvre drives. He also says that the Black Globe Generator was on the port side of the drive section. As they leave Tommy looks a little disappointed that he did not get to use the handcuffs. Maybe next time, he thinks.

Vann and Wilhelm are also having a bit of luck, they have run into a navy veteran who everyone calls ‘Lucky’ Jim. Jim was an engineer on the Allamu, until its last fatal flight, when he had to stay in port because of a fever. Which technically makes him the last survivor of the Kinunir class battle cruiser, Allamu. He puts his luck down to the old maintenance shaft key that he kept from the ship. However, no amount of convincing from Vann will get him to part with it willingly, so Vann decides to try a little drinking contest with him. Things do not go to plan though and Jim soon discovers that instead of whiskey Vann has been giving himself measures of apple juice. So, Jim decides to buy the next few rounds and pretty soon Vann is slumped unconscious at the table. Between Wilhelm and the very drunk Jim they manage to get Vann back to the hostel and into his bed.

The next morning Vann is feeling rather unwell, so decides to spend the day in his room, but Wilhelm shows him a little present, it is the key that Jim had last night. Wilhelm explains that while they were carrying Vann home Wilhelm was able to lift the key out of Jim’s pocket. Tommy and Oliver say they are going to pay a visit to Mr Adar today. Wilhelm says he is going to go and see a contact he made while Vann was having his contest last night. Bucky says he has a couple of final tweaks to make and then he is going to try the program.

Mr Adar is a former designer at General Shipyard who got dismissed as he was an incompetent architect. He never worked on any military vessels, but he does hint that he has something that could be useful. Oliver offers him Cr 500, but Daniel dismisses the offer. So, Tommy quickly steps in with an offer of Cr 2,000 which is gleefully accepted. Daniel hands over a piece of paper with a code written on it, the code he says will access any data archive at General Shipyards but, it will only work from a terminal within the General Shipyards office. Once they leave Tommy and Oliver have a heated debate about the level of the bribe and about just who is going to be paying it. Wilhelm searches a couple of bars and finally finds the shipyard worker he was talking to last night. The guy seems to think that the Adda Dubsar, the last Kinunir built by General, was not scrapped or broken up, but is sat ready for outfitting on a disused slipway at the General yard.

Bucky finally runs his program which seems to work, until it gets caught in a loop and crashes. Obviously, it needs a bit more work. Though, when the others return another plan comes to mind, to break into the General Shipyards offices to get the data there and to look for the hulk of the Adda Dubsar. Bucky and Vann instantly begin to work on a list for Oliver’s black market contacts while trying to find an ingenious way to use their disguise kits.

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The Kinunir of Regina (Part 2 of 4)
Session #2

The discussions about their next moves are long and detailed, Oliver suggests that the best move would be to hit both the office and the scrapyard at the same time as that will reduce the chances of increased security at either site if one or the other of the break-ins is detected. Wilhelm is impressed by Oliver’s thinking about this plan, but the only drawback is that there are only five of them and splitting the group into two uneven teams could be problematic especially if they are about ten kilometres apart. Ultimately, it is decided that Tommy and Vann will go to the General Shipyard office in the starport to see about the possibility of getting authority to get access to the scrapyard. Meanwhile, Bucky will try to get his hacking program fixed and running properly this time to try and access the General Shipyard data archives, and Wilhelm will go off and kick the daylights out of the contact that gave him false information about the disused slipway.

The trip to the General Shipyard office is unprofitable for Tommy and Vann, the secretary does not think that the company sells it’s scrap but that she will check. After a quick phone call to the main office it is confirmed that General Shipyard does not sell its scrap to third parties. So, the two adventurers return to the group to discuss plans to break into the scrapyard. That night Oliver, Tommy, Vann and Wilhelm leave Bucky puzzling over what went wrong with his program, and head out to the scrapyard in the air/raft.

Once they get there they spend a few hours familiarising themselves with the layout, the patrol routes of the guards and looking for a suitable entry point for the team. It is decided that Wilhelm, Vann and Tommy will be the ones to break in, whilst Oliver provides radio support and cover in case of trouble, which surprises Wilhelm as he is the only one equipped with effectively a silent weapon with a long range capability, his laser rifle. Oliver just has his short ranged, very loud submachinegun. So, the three intruders set out and with some good support from Oliver calling out the guards positions, they manage to make it to the Kinunir unseen.

They enter the ship through one of the cargo loading ramps and what they find is a totally dark ship, the floor covered with litter and debris. Using their Light Intensifier goggles they see that they only structures that seem to be in place are the bulkheads, work must have been discontinued before all the internal fixtures were put in. After studying the aft portion of the deck they decide that there is no pinnace dock here, so the Black Globe Generator fittings must be on a higher deck. As they make their way up a ladder, Wilhelm stops them and draws their attention to the very large cat-like creature which has suddenly appeared behind them. The creature stares at them and emits a low, menacing, growl, very slowly the group resume their climb to the next deck with Wilhelm keeping one eye on the creature to make sure it is not following them. The search on the next deck also proves fruitless, so they carry on climbing to the next deck. This deck looks more promising as it has a dock on it large enough to hold a pinnace, a quick search soon finds the mountings they have been told to look out for. Measurements are quickly taken to pinpoint the precise location, and as a back up Tommy takes some photographs. Just to be on the safe side they check out the other side of the pinnace dock to make sure there are no mountings on that side. Finding none, the group decide to leave.

As they finish descending the ladder and are about to enter the cargo dock, the creature pounces out from behind some debris and attacks. Wilhelm was first down the ladder this time and is greeted by a swipe from the creatures large claws across his chest, wounding him deeply. Wilhelm and Tommy both draw their cutlass and begin to hack away at the creature. Vann tries to get into a position to get a shot at the cat. The fight loud though fairly short, with Wilhelm suffering another wound but managing to finally kill the large creature. The noise of the fight though has attracted a couple of security guards, who suddenly appear in the doorways across the cargo area with their revolvers drawn, pointing them at the intruders whilst yelling for the group to lower their weapons.

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The Kinunir of Regina (Part 3 of 4)
Session #3

Ignoring the guards order, Wilhelm and Tommy duck behind a bulkhead and prepare their rifles, whilst Vann remains hidden also behind the bulkhead. The guards decide to advance towards the two people they have seen, but as they are crossing the debris strewn floor Wilhelm peeks out, levels his laser rifle and shoots one of them. The guards flak jacket proves to be no defence against the laser and the guard falls to the ground dead. Tommy now takes a shot at the other guard, but his flak jacket is a little more resistant to the discarding sabot round from Tommy’s Advanced Combat Rifle, and the guard is just lightly wounded. The sound of the single shot is amplified in the confined area of the ship and echoes all around.

Outside the scrapyard, Oliver hears the shot as well and sees the three patrolling guards stop and begin to head towards the derelict Kinunir. He radios the others and tells them to expect more company soon, as he says this the sound of an ACR on full automatic echoes across the scrapyard. Oliver sees that one of the guards is on his radio and that lights have now come on in the security office, even more trouble is to come.

Back in the ship, the second guard is down on the floor, dead, and Tommy and Vann are making their way over to the ramps where they came in, to ambush the guards heading their way. On the way, Tommy stops and calmly cuts the throat of one of the guards on the floor, just to make sure he is dead. Tommy and Vann don’t manage to make it to the loading ramps before another two guards appear, but before the guards can get a shot off at them a burst of fire from both Tommy and Vann cuts the two guards down.

Oliver informs them that the fifth guard is now under the ship and will soon be coming up the ramp, he also says that a sixth guard has now left the security office and is heading towards the Kinunir. The fifth guard suddenly appears on the ramp and manages to get a shot off at Vann, the revolver bullet though doesn’t get past his cloth armor. Vann fires another burst at the guard and downs him. Before the final guard can appear, the group decide to get out of the scrapyard, they quickly exit the ship and make their way back to the fence and back to Oliver. To get back to the starport they decide to take a wide detour to get home, which proves to be a good choice as in the distance they see a couple of police ground cars and a Grav APC heading to the scrapyard.

The following day the group catch a news report about intruders at a scrapyard belonging to General Shipyards, in which two security guards were killed and three others seriously wounded. It says that the local police are currently waiting to question the surviving guards when they recover consciousness. Over the next couple of days it comes to light that the police have got no useful information from the wounded guards and are beginning to widen their search by questioning other staff at General Shipyards. This worries Wilhelm as at least half the group have given their names to General Shipyards employees in connection with enquiries concerning the Kinunir, and it was unclear if Tommy and Vann gave their names when they enquired about the scrapyard.

Bucky has been hard at work on his hacking program and finally manages to get through all the firewalls on the General Shipyards server without it crashing. He manages to download the information from the data archive that the group needs to complete the job for their patron. The executive is contacted and arranges to meet the group in a bar in three days time. In the meantime Bucky spends sometime destroying all traces of his hacking activities, including breaking and burning the computer he has been working on. Though, Wilhelm feels such actions are a little over the top. Wilhelm also announces that he is going to go and begin the audit of the Rhylanor subsector next, as he is finished in Regina. As it will be a long trip and expensive on fuel he is going to carry some cargo or passengers to offset the costs of the trip. As the Aurora will only be able to carry a couple of tons of cargo, it is going to have to be fairly high value goods and if they are carrying passengers then the crew are going to have to share quarters. He says that he will need some help with selling the goods on the planets they stop at, so he will need some help from Oliver, though naturally he will pay Oliver a brokerage fee for his help, which pleases Oliver greatly.

The meeting with the Oberlindes Lines executive goes well and the executive is very pleased with the work done by the group and happily pays over the Cr 200,000, which Wilhelm shares out to the group.

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The Kinunir of Regina (Part 4 of 4)
Epilogue

Later that night in the bar the group witness an argument between a scout and a navy man about the epic Twilight’s Peak, an argument that swiftly turns from verbal blows to physical ones. After the pair are ejected by the bouncers, Wilhelm asks Bucky if he knows about Twilight’s Peak, Bucky says he only knows vague details about it, Wilhelm smiles and changes the subject of the conversation.

The following day, with the Aurora upgraded and loaded with a cargo of pharmaceuticals the group depart from Regina. The first stop is going to be Yori, where Wilhelm and Oliver will sell the pharmaceuticals and buy a new cargo. During the week in jumpspace Bucky tries his best to get into the book Wilhelm gave him just before they lifted off, it is a copy of Twilight’s Peak, but, like most readers of the epic he soon gives up on the badly written, over-long epic. Deciding to let the ships computer do the hard work for him, Bucky patiently scans in each page and writes a program to produce a summary of the book with all the unnecessary bits taken out. The computer gets to work, and about six hours later is ready to deliver its findings. Bucky is surprised to discover the summary just says;

“We died”.

Feeling that this is a little too summarised, Bucky rewrites the parameters used by the program and sets it running again, in a little over eighteen hours the computer delivers a five page summary of the epic, which is something Bucky feels more comfortable in reading.

After leaving Yori, Wilhelm sets course for Treece in the Lanth subsector as the next port of call. When they arrive Wilhelm announces that he is going to survey the system and do his audit of the world, which is going to take a week, until then the crew can stay groundside and try to sell the cargo, buy some new cargo and maybe Bucky can find out something more about the Twilight’s Peak epic.

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