Mongoose Traveller Tale in the Third Imperium


Gorram 355-1080

The week spent with the corvette was relatively uneventful. Wolfgang, one of the fuel skimmers broke down in orbit around Weisen. He got a lot of ribbing for that but it caused some disquiet. A supply ship has arrived without any of the items or equipment request by us and, when we asked around, not many supplies other people had requested turned up either. This was the cause of the break down with Wolfgang’s ship. We jury-rigged things but it was a temporary solution. As Derisson doesn’t appear to be skimming then there must be another reason why he is withholding legitimate requests. Peter thinks he is trying to make himself look good so he can get promotion. It sounds plausible, but it still isn’t something which Naval Intelligence would be interested in.

Gorram 360-1080

Things had been following their normal routine sufficiently for us to start feeling a little bored. We couldn’t get anything on Derisson other than his tendency to cut corners in the name of station efficiency. Not that he said any such thing. But we could follow the money and we, or our friends, unpacked the supply containers and it all tallied up. A couple of times he sent us on wild-goose chases but nothing came of it.

Until we picked up a weird distress call. A GK came through (Gashimeku Kaalariin, Vilani for “vessel in Distress”), an automated signal which included the ship’s ID (an A-type free trader named Sacaggan). There was more, but it was scrambled and was being relayed via the interdiction buoys, which was unusual to say the least. We didn’t know where it was, what state it was in or even if anyone was alive on her. Lily suggested that the GK was coming from a ship with a Dindy code, something reserved for naval or intelligence assets. Helena set to work trying to make sense of the scrambled data while Peter sent a message to Derisson for advice on how to proceed. It didn’t take Helena long to work out that the GK was coming from a buoy in orbit around the planet of Gorram itself! Peter tried to contact Derisson again but again got no response. We turned towards the planet as Helena continued to work and Peter kept hailing the station. Helena kept teasing out more information. Apparently the ship had lost its manoeuvre drives, some casualties had been sustained and there was a hull breach. We had some distance to go by the time Helena reported that she believed the ship had actually crashed on Gorram!

Peter redoubled his efforts to speak to Derisson. We did not have clearance to land on Gorram and a raft of protocols prevented us from affecting the nascent culture which was the reason for the quarantine in the first place. Eventually, Derisson came on the speaker with no other advice than to proceed with caution. We asked about permission to land or take other action but didn’t get anything clearer out of him. Helena barked that we were ok legally, but didn’t take her attention off the scrambled message longer that it took to say that. Our legal position was unclear until, just as we approached orbit around Gorram, Sar’s voice came through say: “Get on with your jobs! You’re a rescue crew. Get rescuing!” With this we became more focused.

Being free to break the quarantine wasn’t the same as being allowed to do whatever we wanted. We would still have to account for our actions and demonstrate that we did what we could to maintain the indigenous populations ignorance of the Third Imperium. We made sure all external lights were out and took up a geo-stationary orbit above the sunlit side of the planet. We started a scan and Helena kept trying to get the last piece of information from the GK - the actual location. We spotted the ship with scanner before she could finish, much to her professional chagrin. Just on the edge of daybreak the Sacaggan had gone down on or by a little island some distance from the main inhabited continent. We elected to follow a descent out of orbit over the middle of the ocean and come in low towards the crash site. So far so good.

We hadn’t even arrived when things started to go wrong. The readings I was picking up did not suggest an A-type. Rather, this was a bigger ship with a different type of reactor. The sensor suit included life scanning and we got plenty of the usual readings I would expect over a habitable island. Coming into view of the ship the extent of the problem became apparent. A subsidised liner, a ship three times the size of an A-type, was half submerged with its tail sticking out of the water at about 30 degrees. We recognised the Amishi. A faint “Imperial VIP: Priority Rescue” signal was coming from a comm. somewhere. I picked up a life sign from what looked like the wreckage of some sort of sailing ship which had been here for a long time by the looks of things. We had already donned our suits. Peter brought us close to the sailing ship and I was lowered down with my med-kit, holding on to RSDP (Rescue Support Drone, Personal). A man of around 30 years was lying on the deck and had obviously lost a deal of blood. The comm. broadcasting the distress signal identified him as one Sir Paul Ramaeda, an imperial noble. I patched him up as well as I could and unfolded a rescue bubble around him, attached it to the drone and ordered it back to the the GRO. By now Peter had moved the GRO over the Amishi and placed it on auto-pilot with orders to remain stationary above the crashed space ship. I got the casualty into our med-bay. He had lost a lot of blood and I needed to get a drip into him. It was clear that he had been shot. It wasn’t a very serious wound, otherwise he would have been dead when we found him. He had, however, been bleeding for some time and was at risk of death.

We hovered directly above the liner. Liquid hydrogen appeared to be leaking from the port side but there were no visible hull breaches above the water line. Peter, Lily, Helena, Rexacora and myself dropped onto the tail with a view to finding or making a way inside. We had all armed ourselves with our gauss pistols and it was with a somber mood that we approached entry. At least one person had been injured by gun fire and we doubted that out guest was the only one. No least because he had been shot in the back. The RSDP was “slaved” to Peter but we all had telemetry feeding into our DDRs from it. We brought a heavier laser cutter than the one built into our suits and Lily had a trio of rescue keys which are used to force open doors, although they will struggle with security or bulkhead doors. We also hoped to be able to hack systems as we gained access to them. To begin with the security override was active and we couldn’t get any access remotely.
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


Even with a hard connection to the emergency hatch panel it took an uncomfortably long time to hack in and open up the ship. We felt a couple of slight lurches in that time and began to feel additional time pressure. Our entry point was through the ceiling of engineering and it was awkward getting in and climbing down the narrow ladder into the dimly lit space. We had blue prints for a standard M-type and these were helpful in engineering. We found hatches which led from upper to lower engineering easily enough. These had automatically closed and locked but they didn’t have security locks and didn't pose a problem. What power there was came from backup batteries. It provided a fluctuating, dim red light, an emergency alarm which soon became grating, and it powered the security doors but little else. Our link to the GRO was good and we knew that our crew mates would be watching our DDR feeds.

Lower engineering had a lift which ran down into the hold area and a door into a corridor through which we were be able to gain access to the rest of the ship. This door proved more troublesome than the previous ones but we managed to hack it eventually. It was already becoming apparent that the Amishi had been heavily modified. We emerged in a corridor running port-starboard. Another corridor ran from the middle of this corridor towards the bow. The port-starboard corridor ended with iris-valves; a standard door marked the end of the bow-stern corridor. Adhza was giving us updates on life signs in the ship:

‘Life signs spotted 12m bow-wards. No. Yes. Life signs bow-wards, but they are flickering. I think we have more but it’s hard to tell. Yes, two more close to the bow, two more together bow-port, no, three spread out closer to the bow…’

It wasn’t as helpful as it could have been. Adhza wasn’t a trained sensor operator and transpired that she had the life scanner on the wrong settings. However, she was pretty sure that maybe a dozen life signs were scattered throughout the ship. We rushed up the bow-wards corridor and I set to cutting around the lock with my vacc. suit’s wrist mounted laser. The others drew weapons and covered me. It didn’t take long as the doors in the passenger section of the ship are flimsy. We found ourselves in a kitchen area running port-starboard. Another door faced us and we cut through.

A large room, obviously some kind of lounge/bar opened up in front of us. The slowly flashing dim red light illuminated the room sufficiently for us to recognise a look of shock on the face of the woman twisting her body to look in our direction. After a moment’s pause she leapt behind a table, cowering. A couple of bodies littered the floor. As Helena and Peter cautiously walked towards the table the survivor was hiding behind Lily covered them and I scanned the room. Two bodies lay on the floor. I “pinged” the ship and found none of them were alive. I picked up around a dozen other life signs, not counting ourselves, but I wasn’t paying much attention to that.

A woman cried out “Please don’t kill me. I haven’t done anything, please don’t kill me!” as Helena reached the table. I could hear Helena speaking in a soothing voice as I bent over the first corpse. It was male and dressed in what looked like a stylised security uniform. The sort of thing you would find on a security officer on a luxury liner. He had been shot, it looked like with a laser, several times. I checked for any ID or access cards. No success. He had an empty snub-pistol holster. The other appeared to be a steward from their dress. Again, laser wounds. Again, no ID.

Our surviver looked traumatised. As Helena coaxed her from her hiding place Lily was alerting the ship, specifically Hurgen, to stand by for evacuation.

“OK.” said Helena , looking grim. “It looks like some of the new hires in the crew had other ideas. They tried to take over and a fight broke out. In the chaos Giovanna here hid in a stateroom but moved from her hiding place when she heard voices and she panicked. She doesn’t know what they wanted or how many of them there are. She doesn't know if there are any other survivors. I don’t think she will give us any other information. We should get her on the GRO.” Giovanna had her hands wrapped around her own waist and looked at us with huge eyes. It was obvious that she was spent. We detailed Rexa to take her to the roof of the ship and make sure she was lifted into the GRO safely. She was to remain on the surface of the Amishi to be ready to air lift others. It wasn’t long before Hurgen came through on the comm. to let us know that she was in medical.
Last edited:


Along with the stern-ward entrance to the lounge there was an iris valve to the starboard and doors to the bow and port. We cut through the port door into a corridor running stern-bow. There were cabin doors on the port side and a door at each end of the corridor. We started moving towards the bow, checking cabins as we went. There was another iris valve which probably led into the space the bow door out of the lounge led to. Hurgen told us that they thought that there were life readings from that way so we doubled back and cut through the bow door from the lounge. This port-starboard corridor ended in iris valves and there was a third in front of us. Lily started cutting through as the panel was fried and I still couldn’t get a remote link into any systems. As she worked I “looked” into the room beyond, which turned out to be the bridge. It was chaos in there. A survivor was standing on the opposite side of the room to the valve holding a snub pistol looking terrified and exhausted. There was a a corpse on the floor near the port wall. Damage to chairs and control stations suggested a fire-fight had taken place.

Lily finished cutting and kicked the out the remains of the door. We heard a man cry “Hold it right there, I’m armed and will shoot”. He was agitated and afraid. Giving his name as Captain Laslic he was obviously near collapse. With some conversation he handed over his weapon with an air of resignation. He gave an involuntary start when Pete and I started the remove the data chips from the computer. Lily stepped towards him pretty quick and the story came out. This wasn’t the Amishi’s first visit to Gorram. They had been charging exorbitant fees to give wealthy patrons a taste of the illicit. People paid to be brought to a “Red” world, take some selfies, pick up a few souvenirs from the wrecked sail ship and basically have some bragging rights in an otherwise pampered existence. Derisson got a cut in exchange for Dindy codes and making sure no one looked too closely at the Amishi when she came through the system. Some more ruthless members of the underworld had found out about the scheme and had infiltrated the ship’s crew with a view to taking hostages and probably stealing the Amishi. The bodyguard of one of the passengers became suspicious and barged onto the bridge and accused the captain. During the ensuing argument a kidnapper intervened with a shotgun. The resulting fire-fight killed the pilot, which caused the crash, and the bodyguard fled to find their charge after putting a bullet in the kidnapper. The captain had locked himself in the bridge and the subsequent kidnapper’s attempts to take control of systems had resulted in a shut down. The data chips would contain comms. messages and other incriminating evidence against the crew, Derisson and other out-of-system “investors”. The captain appeared to feel some responsibility for the whole situation and was a broken man.

Laslic said that he has been in contact with the chief engineer for a little while. He thought she would still be in the forward lounge. An unknown number of kidnappers were still on the ship and would pose a threat to anyone who could identify them. Hurgen told us that a steady life signal was coming from an area between the bridge and the forward lounge, where another life sign was present. A few others came and went, according to Hurgen, which I assumed meant they were moving. The captain handed over his multi-pass. He insisted on coming with us to look for survivors as it was “my duty as a captain. At least I can do that!”.

We moved with greater caution knowing armed gangsters with a lot to lose were on the prowl. The nearer life sign turned out to come from a lift which was jammed. It was the ship’s medic. We all felt suspicious at first as she looked too young to be a shipboard medic. She also looked too terrified to be a threat. We took a few minutes to cut through the roof of the lift, hindered by the difference between our level and that we had to cut through. Saress (as she was named) was nearly hysterical by the time she got to us. The ship had lurched a couple of times during the rescue and she became ever more frantic. I checked her over quickly and gave her a mild sedative. She joined out little party and we entered the corridor running the length of the cabins to starboard. Movement caught my eye from farther down the corridor and Lily and I moved to investigate while Peter and Helena kept an eye on our rescued ship’s crew, just in case. The doors of most of the cabins stood ajar. We moved as quietly as we could and paused to listen at the door. Lily went in first with me on her tail. Another young woman, this one dressed as a servant but not in the ships livery, cowered behind the bed. I started to coax her out as Lily undermined me by looking as threatening as possible, as usual. This one turned out to be Yenaffi Outeir, the personal valet of Marin Suwa, one of the paying customers and a kidnapper, if she was to be believed:

“He just shot Pons in the back and turned on me! I couldn’t believe it. And I was...” She dissolved into tears.
Last edited:


We heard movement from the next cabin. Access to the stern cabins was obscured from view by another internal door. We pushed Yenaffi in the direction of our friends and moved toward as quietly as we could in our bulky vacc. suits. Lily kicked it open to reveal two people, a man in what looked like a business suit and another in some kind of body armour. The one in the armour had one arm grasping the man in the suit and a laser carbine shoved under his captives chin.

“Please do as he says. He’ll kill me, I know he will” - the captive

“Just put your weapons down and no one need get hurt” said the figure in armour.

Both Lily and I slowly crouched down to place our weapons on the floor. The kidnapper was only a few metres away but too far to risk a sudden rush. We could probably get to them unscathed but the victim would die. So I reached out with my mind and pushed: “let him go and put your weapon on the floor”. The kidnapper slowly let go of his captive and began to unbuckle the power pack for his weapon from where it was clasped to his armour. The captive looked utterly astonished and asked “What the hell are you doing” before snatching the carbine from the others hands and turning it on us. Lily fired the laser built into her suit, missing both of them. The “captive” fired at us clumsily and then dragged his one-time captor to his left, out of sight. We knew the other had moved to check on the forward lounge and were effectively the other end of the ship.

Lily and I sprinted as fast as our suits allowed. We cautiously glanced around the corner and came face-to-face with another iris valve. Lily fumbled in her pouch for the captain’s multi-pass, opened the door and stared down the empty corridor. This was the one we had first entered when we left the engineering section. Had our assailants gone up to try and get out the way we came in? The iris valve at the far end of this corridor was open as we moved slowly, weapons ready. I had my stunner ready, Lily still had her gauss pistol trained on the exit facing us. Suddenly a shape approved in the entrance, both Lily and I fired as it threw something at us! I hit the ground at the same time as the grenade went off. We had taken our helmets off when we met Giovanna in the bar. For a moment I lost focus and the world spun. A stun grenade! Someone fired on me with a laser, cutting through the vacc. suit and badly burning my right shoulder. The pain was excruciating. I was aware of Lily, who had managed to avoid some of the effects of the grenade by diving into the side corridor which led to the bar, as she returned fire. Lying still I focused my psionic awareness and started repairing my shoulder and lung. I must have blacked out as the next thing I knew Lily was bending over me and pinching my ear painfully.

“Comi, you there, say something”

“naughty word, ok. Let go. I’m ok, let go”

My shoulder was still stiff but I could move it ok. Lily helped me up and we went to investigate the hatch the hijackers had used. Hurgen told us it led to the cargo hold. I had only been out for a few seconds and my healing had gone well so the stiffness was fading, but I wasn’t going the able to use any more psionics anytime soon. We used the multi-pass and opened the hatch. Helena and Peter were still trying to get the door the forward lounge open, which was apparently blocked in some manner. Lily went first, dropping down to the hold quickly. I followed a little slower. We heard a shout and dived for cover. A chaotic fight broke out as we each moved around crates and storage equipment. We had our helmets on and while that slowed us down a little it did protect us from the other stun grenades thrown at us. Lily took the gamble that that was the only type they had so when the next time a grenade was thrown she used it as an opportunity to rush forward while the enemy cowered from the blast of their own weapon. Lily killed one of the armoured kidnappers and took a hit herself, but it hardly penetrated her suit. By then we had seen one other in armour and the guy in the business suit. I rounded a crate and came on the other armoured kidnapper waiting to ambush Lily. A burst from my guass pistol took that one out. We couldn’t find the other, who we assumed was Suwa. I couldn’t risk trying to search for him psionically and Hurgen wasn’t getting clear readings. I checked on the one I shot and did some very basic first aid while Lily guarded me.

We found Suwa shortly after Helena joined us. She was able to “ping” the area. He was hiding in the launch! He surrendered when he realised we had found him. At this point the captain, Saress, the medic, Penter the engineer, Yenaffi and Giovanna had all been taken to the GRO. Adhza put anyone who didn’t need medical treatment in the brig - keeping Yenaffi in a brig on her own - and was keeping an armed watch on the injured in the medical bay. This included Stev and Alix Gvaegloen, a couple of passengers who had taken refuge in the hold and had been scared witless by the fight down there. We had Gunthorp Jay (the hijacker I injured) in a low berth as was Paul, the noble who we found outside. We decided that getting back to the station was our priority, before Derisson has a chance to skip the sector. Helena put a secure call through to Gabe and let him know what we had found.

“Those are pretty serious allegations, you have strong evidence?”

We did. We had the evidence of the captain and the data chips from the Amishi to prove Derisson’s link to the whole thing. Helena was particularly pleased to have found out why naval intelligence had been so interested in the system that they sent her, an ex-agent, to investigate. We sent enough data to the station via our link with Gabe to enable him to place Derisson under arrest. I needed time in the med-bay when we got back - I wasn’t able to completely heal all of my shoulder wound when it happened and I didn’t want to mysteriously heal the rest after the others saw how much blood was on my clothes.

Gorram 364-1080

Three days found us back at the Amishi doing salvage work. We couldn’t leave her on the planet for the locals to find. Because of security arrangements it was harder and longer work than it could have been but we didn’t mind. It was nice to be planet side for a few days and it was distracting work. It took us the best part of a week to run check and make sure the Amishi wasn’t going to break up during the process, and then pull her into orbit and away to the station. Salvage rights were going to be disputed and we didn’t expect to get anything.

Gorram 011-1081

A message had been sent the day after we picked up Amishi’s distress call and 16 days after the rescue/fight the Arbellatra jumped back into the system to take custody of the survivors. Well, almost all. Helena had kept Paul in a low berth for a couple of days until another liner had jumper into the system and up in to the station. She was apparently able to arrange for records to show that Sir Paul Ramaeda, who we had found on the wrecked sail boat, was a passenger on the Lusitania, and had never been on the Amishi at all. We all objected to this until Helena pointed out that Sir Paul Ramaeda was a distant cousin of the Duchess of Mora and how would we like to be involved in causing her even the slightest embarrassment? And having a friend in Sir Paul wasn’t going to hurt, either. So Paul was woken up and moved the the Lusitania’s medical bay and some money changed hands. Sir Paul was very appreciative. He told us the rest of the story, how his bodyguard has noticed something funny going on, had been injured in the bridge after confronting the captain. How he, Sir Paul, had tried to get all the passengers together and to safety when Suwa, posing as an innocent victim, had revealed his true colours and shot him from behind. He managed to get away and decided to save the family honour by throwing himself into the water. He was washed up on the wreck and he can’t remember anymore.

Captain Wright from the Arbellatra assumed command of the station until a replacement could be found and we worked out the rest of our contract, which technically ended on the 16th of the year but we were kept on until the 27th and left 028-1081 on board the Arbellatra.
Last edited:

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads