SEASON THREE:
FORGOTTEN HISTORY

    Season Three was the season where everything fell into place.  The adventures were smooth.  The story line solidified and the characters settles into their respective personalities.  It continued the grand story with an easy pace with several large episodes where everything changed.  It would end with one of the best cliffhangers in RPG history.  Some adventures were original, some were inspired, some were ripped off and I admit these copies.  However, the key was that the Players were oblivious to the idea, experiencing adventures like the first four episodes with a new sense of mystery.  Some of the best game sessions occured here.  The only downpoint of the season was that it was the last where The Petersons would be present.  The two characters played by the same PC would leave at the end of the season.  I tired to create several "clumped" episodes.  These include the starting Moonbase missions and end with the epic storylines on Finnegan's Folly.  This story also started to introduce more regular characters.  And I thought the writing was spot on!!  Music was a more dominant factor as were sound effects...The biggest addition was the inclusion of a theme song.  The first two seasons had a theme song but they never really caught on.  I tried finding scores that the Player's could not identify but still reflected the mood and style of the show.  I have included these effects and important cues on this file.

SIDE:   "THE FIND"

    Periphery System - Furthermost Terran Colony
                    20 000 parsecs from Earth

    An Orange desert...Looks like Mars.  A presurized land rover crawls across the surface.  No roads, the vehicle bumps and hops through the rocky dunes.  It stops at the foot of a rock face.  A spacesuit exits the vehicle.  He approaches the face of the rock, a large pole-shaped device is held in his right hand.  A computer is in the other.
  "I'm at grid refference 61 now."  He pockets the computer and holds the pole in both hands, "Siesmic Charge 14, ready for placement." A long red cylinder is locked at the tip of the pole.  "Placing it now."  He thrusts the pole in the peat...the ground comes loose and the area fall in on itself a few feet.  The man regains his ballance.
    "It looks like we have some surfave instability here."
    A voice from the rover calls over the radio.
    "Don't go poking around you idiot.  The whole area may be loose, just plant the charge and get back in here."  The man examines the hole.
  "Hang on...wait...I think there's something in here."
    "If its you, then you're on your own.  I'm not digging you out..."
    A spacesuit comes back loud, "Good...god!!"
  "What is it?  What have you found?  Bernerd?   Bernerd...Bernerd...Bernerd, get your finger out if your ear, will ya!"  No answer.  Inside the rover, the other man (also in a suit) walks over to the hatch...just as he opens it...the door opens and other guy walks in...
    "Where were you--"
    "Look at this!"
    "What....what have you found?"
    Both men sit down as the other shows a cloth covered object on the table.  He opens it.
  "My God...What is it?" Says the other.
  "That's what I came to Periphery in the first place....fame...fortune...and a first class ticket home."  He lifts the object into view but before we see it, the sun rises, blanketing the vehicle and the planetscape in light...fade to black...

28. "OTHER PEOPLE'S SECRETS."
  One Week Later
    Rio has gotten all but 10% of his money back with the good skill of his stock broker.  Everyone is still feeling the pinch of the Union.  Bjorn picks up a message from an old friend, Captain Alex Krivenko, now the base coordinator on one of the oldest colonies, the Lunar Moonbase Clavius.  It has a minor security force and something big is going transpire (he can't extrapolate).  He needs help...help he can trust.  He will pay 200 000 plus an extra 100 000 for every head that comes down.  The money is being offered by the new currator of the Holdee Museaum, A Dr.  Patrick O'Shainessy.  He expressed interest in the Van as a possible place to turn and Alex has personal reasons as well.    He would like them to come down as soon as possible.  There is an inspector arriving and he would the the Van before his arrival.
    Max immediatly is for the idea since he reveals he was a friend and student to O'Shaunessy years ago.  They arrive at Clavius, looking like 6 large domes which resemble oversized pillows.  There are vehicles and launch pads.  Few people live on Luna now since it has no atmospghere and the surface has long been since stripped mined.  They park in one of the many underground docks.
    Alex Krivenko is nice but straight forward.  Russian upbringing.  He shows the Van crew around the station and to their bunks.  He introduces them to the station  personnel, including the eccentric and brash engineer, Hooper.  The rules are enforced.  No Alchohol is allowed anywhere on the base.  The budget for the colony has dropped recently.  The recent events have caused an uproar.  Something is heading this way from Periphery.  He can't say what it is.  The Holdee Museaum has purchased the object which is currently on its way, avoiding standerd shipping lanes.  All corespondance is done throgh Clavius because of the controlled environment and because normal shipping lanes don't go by Luna.  After being brought here, it will be carried on to Earth...the trip is long...coming from Periphery.
    O'Shaunessy is introduced.  Max and Patrick share memories.   Apparently, Mas was trained is Archeology...this must be before of after he took a turn in terrorism for The Hand.  Bjorn, Rio, and Gabriel work with the ten part time security personnel to latch down the problems with the station.  Life here is like living in a time machine.  Most of the technology is maintained but old...the same machines date back several centuries.
    The inspector arrives, Conrad West, an old, frail man.  70 years of age. Krivenko knows him...so does Gabriel.  West was a young hot shot engineer working on the Raven project during the war.  He must have spent lots of time to cryo to be still alive.

    The most guest apparences from charaters in the Players' past ever.  Most of these were characters the Players made up themselves and I found new way of bringing them in.  The only exception was Krivenko, who I created to get the group to the station.  It is easy to belive considering the history of Bjorn and the military he served.  West was in Gabriel's past as was O'Shaunessy in Max's.  Tthis would not be the first.  These Moonbase missions were great from the vantage poitn that it offered a stable setting to play some good stories.  The stories presented are based on scripts from the seldom seen British Drama, Star Cops.

    Gabriel and Conrad West are talking about the past and discussing what happened decades ago.  The comm comes on but quickly fries.  Not a good thing when West is the base inspector.  Hooper is asked to fix the system...
  "One wrong connection...THREE!  FOUR!!"  Hooper says i nthe crawlspace with his assitant.  A Rather strained redhead.  Her tag reads Patton.  "Didn't they tech you anything this complicated in college!"
    "Honestly, sir, I never touched it."
    "Its your section, you're responsible!  I can't do every bloosy thing!"
    "Really, sir, I'ld be happy to do it myself."
    "Yeah, sure, then something else goes wrong and I get another call from Central and get another rollicking!  Look at these connection, just look at them!!!  Hand me a wire stripper."  She hands him a screwdriver.  "A stripper.  I SAID A WIRE STRIPPER!"
    "Mr. Hooper, I find you very difficult to work with."
    "Well then go on, get lost.  I didn't ask for you!"
    "I'm only trying to help.."
    "Well, I don't need it!  Go on, beat it...You're fired!"
    "You can't fire me!"
    "I can do anything I want...Now get out of here!!"  Upset, Patton, storms out
    Bjorn walks into Krivenko's officer just as he ends a conversation with Patton.
    "...Try it...try it for another week.  If you don't like it.  We will transfer you somewhere else.  I will personally give you a reference."
    She walks out.  Krivenko tells Bjron that Patton's problem is related to whay he called him.  She's the new engineer's mate.  Apparently, her boss is being somewhat of a tyrant.  He adds that a Psychiatrist is coming...A Dr. Angela Parre.  She's doing a book on Space Psychology and wants to come here to run some interviews.  Krivenko thinks its an excellent idea...but peope are very private up here.  If his staff and Bjorn's volunteer, the others might not object.  The findings will, of course, be confidential.
    During a Bridge game that night, West, Gabriel, Krivenko and Bryce talk about the situation of this strange arrival.   West observes that the table has a wobble.  Krivenko brings up the psychiatrist.
  "Is anyone going crazy?"  West asks...then the table fires.
  "Its no normally like this."  Krivenko says.
  "So you keep saying.  The purpose of these inspections is to determaine what is is normally like."
    "Well...everybody has been under a lot of pressure lately."
    "We all have to work hard.  Maybe you should concentrate on discipline and less on ametuer psychiatry.  I'm leaving on Thursday. I advise you get everything sorted by then."
    Later, Hooper is working on a ladder in a crawduct.   "That's what's wrong...hand me a rivit driver."  Patton hands him a screwdriver.  Hooper snaps.  He scales down the ladder, purposefully bumping into Patton."
    "Don't push me!" She says,. "I will not stand for this!"
    "Me neither.  This is a scre driver, this is a rivit driver, for driving bloody rivits!!"  He shoots the rivit driver by her head.
    "You got problems, Hooper...and you're going to have a lot more!!"  She leaves and reports what happened...Bjorn asks Hooper for his side of the story.
    "The girl's half-wit, she shouldn't be out here."
    "She's a registtered engineer?"  Bjorn responds.
    "She's still half wit.  She still shouldn't be out here."
    "Don't worry, she resigned."
    "Ahh...Maybe I'l resign...I'll show you all a thing or two.  I suggest you observe who keeps this place running.  It wasn't until that transmitter blew that anyone knew I exsisted.  Do you know when my last releif left...12 bloody months ago!!  24 hours a day for 12 bloody weeks."
    "We'll get you some help."
    "It would if your lot figured out who was trying to wreck this place."
    "Meaning?"
    "Just what I said."
  Krivenko says that finding a replamcment may take a while.  Bjorn assigns Gears to the duty of working with Hooper.   Krivenko starts to have doubts about bringing in this psychiatrist but its too late.  Bjorn picks her up.  They talk about the situation.  Dr. Angela Parre is not a sublte person.  She seems brash...a person who spent too mcuh time writing books and less time actually dealing with patients.
    "Other people's secrets are my business."  When Bjorn asks her about Hooper, she replies, "He could need anti-depressants, he could need a kick in the pants...or he could just need a pay raise."
  The big surprise comes when Bryce discovers about Parre. His initial reaction is to leave.  When someone asks, he respond, "I need to break it to her gently!"  Some probing from Max revealed that Bryce was married to Parre for three years...his 3rd wife.  Parre starts to conduct interviews in Krivenko's office.  She is really nosy.   She pisses of Rio.  Max really opens up but mentions Bryce's presence on the station and Parre cuts the interview short.  Gears, meanwhile, finds a breaker switch rigged to his voice in a pannel and reports it to Bjorn but the lack of prints means no conviction.
    "Ange?"  Bryce says to Parre in a hallway.  She faces him.
    "Good evening, Will."
    "I, uh, heard you were on Clavius."
    "Nice of you to contact me."
    "You...ah...spot any loonies yet?"
    "No one as damaged as yourself."
    "I'm reformed."
    "That's not what I heards."  She leaves
    Gabriel, West, and Krivenko talk.
    "A drink machine," Krivenko says, "I suppose we should be grateful it wasn't something major."
    "It might have been, Alex.  It might have been.  Too many things are going wrong here.  I've got a bad feeling about this place.   The staff feels very tense tome.  Tense people make mistakes.  Do you sense that Gabriel?
    Gabriel thinks its just stress and with a little time and some reforms, this place should be up to spec.  The two leave to talk.   West and Gabriel talk a Crawler to the edge of a crater and admire the view...West reveals that his wife, Hannah, passed away two months and twelve days ago.
    "It was a good idea coming here, Gabriel.  I'm sorry I have been breather down your neck.  It's the scale of things that makes me so cross.  Card tables and drink dispensors.  I should have reired when Aero-Hulls kicked me out."
    Gabriel asks West about what happened after the war.  With what happened to the Vendetta and the war.  West says that the war ended soon after when the Bloc and  Authority signed a peace treaty and ganged up on the Commonwealth.  The Vendetta was never found.  Nobody was ever found.  A few more ships vanished but nothing major and then it just stopped.  He helped design the Raven but to his knowlede, after he left, the project went on...Maybe when he leaves, he will check up and see what happend to it...He belived it was under the name Viper Project.
    The next day, Gears has lost Hooper.  Somewhere, a figure is walking through the crawlducts.  Parre starts a new interview...it is Bryce.  A figure opens up a panel but accidentaly causes a short.  Rio stumbles on Hooper in the hallway.  He claims his toolbox has been stolen.  We see that West has the box and causes another short, but when he drops the driver on an exposed panel, the short turns into a mild explosion.  It causes an o2 tank to blow.  The pressure blows off a bunch of bulkheads, depresurizing the base.  Max and Krivenko get stuck in the recreation room.  Bjorn and Jessie get stuck in a corridor junction.  Parre and Bryce are stuck in Krivenko's office.  The power goes out...it starts to get cold.
  "I'm scared, Will."  Parre says.
  "We'll cuddle."  he responds...
  "I'm not that scared."
    Heather, Hooper, Rio, and, Gabriel start to work on the station.  No one knows where West is.  The 02 pressure starts to drop.  Patton joins up witth the repair group.  They split up.  The group decides to blled pressure from the service corridors.  Everyone is rescued on group at a time.  Bjron stumbles on Parre and Bryce having sex.  They find Wesy in one of the duct, unconsious and discover he was the cause of the whole incident.  He knows he did it but could not remember why.
    Stewart and West talked later and West tries to explain at least as best he can...
    "You Know, they say lonliness can drive you mad.  But...what really drives you into madness...I'll tell you...boredom.  You forget how much stimulation you get with someone you or with a career you are in.  We used to spend a lot of time in the garden.  Hanna prunes everything...but I liked it wild.  I liked the idea of things getting out of hand."

SIDE. "ACE IN THE HOLE"
    In deep space, a long range transport passes through...In voice over, we hear a conversation of the two pilots...A man and a woman...
    "So that's what an alien looks like."
    "Ugly little bugger, isn't he?  Can you lift it up?"
    "Now you do understand the risk that we're taking?"
    "We seemed to have talked about nothing else since we left Periphery...can we stop wasting time?"
    "Okay...just as you're sure.
    "I'm sure I need money."
    "Yeah, well a picture of that thing will be worth a fortune."
    "Let's get on with it...we're waisting time."

29.   "IN WARM BLOOD"
  The Security force and the base heasquarters start tracking an approaching vessel entering the Earth-Moon system.  It appeared from the Asteroid Belt drifting at sublight.  The IFF code determaines it to be the Pluto 5, a medical supply short hauler.  Crew: 8, Short Range.  Contact was lost with the ship a week ago.  Rio and Gabriel decide to take the Van to rendenvous.  Bryce recomends a biohazard alert. Check the externals of the craft then enter in suits.
    The Van scans the outside.  Since there are not universal docking collars on this ship, Gabriel is forced to EVA.  However, before leaving, a communication comes into the base from the corporation that charted the ship, Hanimed Internation.  A representative wil arrive soon.  Gabriel scans the outside fo the ship, a very old design.  He discovers, with a shock, the decomposed bodies of the crew inside.  The crew looks more or less accounted for, nothing moving.  Meenwhile, somewhere else, someone on a station observes the live feed from the suit cameras.  We see her....totally devastated.  Two days pass.
    Back on planet, Bjorn is pulled away from his station to go to Krivenko's office.  There he meets Anna Shoun, an Asian doctor from Hanimed.  She apologizes for the inconvenience but says that the cargo on Pluto 5 was sensitive and the cheif exec of Hanimed insisted on a representative being there on hand.  Krivenko sends Shoun on shutte to rendezvous with the Van in orbit.  Krivenko asked Bjorn to stay behind.  He has something else for him.   Bjorn is a little miffed...he though he had control of the security in this station.  Krivenko says that even he doesn't have a choice in this matter.  Hanimed didn't want the Van involved at all.  They are treating it as a simple in-fligth accident.  Bjorn knows that is not true.  Usually when an accident occurs, the crew goes to alert.  The Pluto 5 crew were all sitting down...it means whatever happened to them happened all at once, at the same moment.
    Kirvenko has another favor for Bjorn.  He just received word that contact was lost with a dear friend of his, Doctor Christine Yansen.  She missed he daily updates for three days now.  He station is in far Earth orbit and will pass cose by in on hour.  He would like Bjorn to personally invesitigate.
    Back on the Van, the just arrive Shoun insists that she board the ship first.  She says Hanimed's name is on the contract and she must be the first to board.  She will signal back after five minutes.
    Bjorn arrives at station F6 and finds it hot...about 41.2 degrees.  The base is small and the gravity is minor.  Everything is working properly but Yansen is dead, totally stiff.  No sign of a cause.  No ship has arrived in the last week and the comm lines still work.  She blanked her computer also.  Death seemd to have occured only a few hours ago.  Bjorn call Krivenko and gives him the bad news.  Alex is doubtful it was suicide.  She would have never had done that.  Bjorn notices rats in a cage...alive.  Bjorn brings the body back.  Meenwhile, contact is lost with Shoun...Rio immediatly fears the worst and arms himself.  Gabriel sees her waving from the cockpit.  When the two board, Shoun says she didn't call back because she doesn't belive they are alone...an eight crew member is missing.  During the conversation, Shoun reveals herself to not be a forensic scientist...she is just a general physician. During the search, the eight crew member falls on Max's head...the body holds a thermostat...41 degrees...

  Talk about a lot of build-up.  It might not seem it and this whole section only took an hour or so but it was a lot of revealing with very little heavy player action.  They just searched and did their job with little improv.  This adventure had a lot of exposition to get going and it would ultimetly be a very short adventure.  It was yet another attempt to cut down action and increase role playing...there would be another adventure like this coming up.  In Warm Blood would go down in the annals of history of just one of those forgetful episodes like those so many TV episodes that weren't bad but weren't anything special.

    Bjorn does some digging and discovers that Yansenn won the young scientist of the year.  She also worked with a group of scientist working on cell regeneration.  She won the nobel prize for science, a pioneer of the druug Jagadil.  The following year, a contrevery arose when a magazine reported that her drug trials were conducted without the consent of the patients.  A spokesman for Yansen that in light of the drug's remarkable contribution to humanity, there surely can be no cause for concern.  The spokesman for Yansen worked for Hanimed...
    Gears discovers that the Pluto 5 had a cabin overheating problem...they were trying to fix it.  But that kind of heat would not kill someone.  The failsafe would cut off when it hit 41 degress--the human's upper limit tolerance to heat but humans could survive higher temperatures for as much as an hour...enough time for them to zip up their space suits, so that idea is shot to hell.  The Van crew sort through personal effects.  One of the common discoveries are pills....pills?  Phermanol....they all have the,  Shoun tells them that is it a mild iron supplement that regenerates red blood cells which break up after long years in space.  Everything from the spacecraft is put into isolation in glass boxes, labelled a grade 6 biohazard, even though no contagion can be discovered.
    Hanimed seems to be a common link between Yansen and Pluto 5.  They are a medical corporate whic contracts  most of Earth and about 20% of the Authority Space Fleet.  They build hospitals, train doctors, design equipment, and make drugs.  Plus the also feed, clothe and house most of their employees.  Bjorn, snoops in on a conversation between Shoun and her boss, the spokesman he saw earlier...
    "...The evicence seems to point to an unidentified toxin..."  Shoun says.
    "Indeed.  What's your advice?"
    "It is not for me to advise..."
    "All the same, I am interest in your opinion."
    "It is advised that the ship and its contents should be destroyed."
    "Your opinion?"
    "It is my opinion."
    "Then it is my opinion also."
    "Thank you."
    "Goodnight Anna."
    "Goodnight sir."
    Shoun is insulted when she discovers Bjron there.  She admits she has never met er boss before.  She doesn know why she was sent here, but she doesn't question. Bjorn reveals Yansen's death.  Shoun is shocked and even mroe when it is told she died exactly the same way as the Pluto 5 crew.  Yansenn was Hanimed's most brilliant scientist.  Hanimed sponsors and funds her work and her station.  Shoun belives it was an unidentied toxin...a theory that is quickly dispatched when Bjorn smashes the case Pheremol tablets.  She refuses to betray the trust of her company and storms out...
    Later that night, The crew sit in on an autopsy performed by Bryce.  They all watch a series of slides he prepared.
    "...This is through the brain.  It shows sumostis romiatis...next.  This is mid thoraxes section.  It shows huge embolo in poth pulmonary veins...next.  This is through the heart.  It shows total obstruction of all vessels, no infraction...there wasn't any time for the cells to die."
    "So..."  Rio says, "I see where you're pointing at but that means nothing to me."
    "There is no diagnosis.  Its not in the text books.  All the blood in her body clotted."   They talk further on those thoughts.  Bryce adds, "The Human body was created on Earth...when you take its environment away, like stable gravity, the non-recycled air, who knows what happens.  We know the bones thin, we know the bloos thins, we know you get a couple inches taller.  What else happens?  We've been out here so long, we're still finding out things.   Blood clots by injury, plotigladis, plated-activators, some hormones."
    "Heat?"  Bjorn asks.
  "Hmm...severve heat."
    "41 degrees?"
    "No, that wouldn't cause this..."
    "Iron tablets."  Someone asks.
    "No...why...you have a theory?"
    Back on Earth...Shoun enters the office of Hanimed president, Richard Ho.  They talk...she brings up Yansen.
    "She was an old friend and a loyal colleague."  Ho says, "I learned only yesterday of her death.  We are planning to endow a scholarship on in ehr honor."
    "Permit me...I wanted to ask how she died."
    "Oh some technical malfunction.  Space is a dangeroud place.  Anna...the further we pursue knowledge, the more danger we create."
    "Do we know what sort of malfunction?"
    "The further we go, Anna, the more dangers we create.  We shouldonly embark on such projects if we are sure of its objectives.
    "She was researching something hazarddoes."
    "All research in our field is hazardous, that's why we direct the footsteps of our employees very carefully."
    "Did she die as a cause of her research?"
    "I am directing you Anna, not to concern yourseld with matters that cannot be remedied.  Christine is dead...we will mourn her."
    Back on F6, Bjorn feeds the pheremol capsules to the rats and raises the temperature...they die when the temperature reaches 41 degrees.  Rio, Gabriel, Max, Bjron and Heather plan a trip to Earth.  Shoun sneaks into Ho's office at night and taps into the computer site...
    "This is Anna Shoun.  I cannot speak long.  I have information you wanted on Christina Yansen.  She was researching a ritosite membrane stablizer.  Pluto 5 was used as a test group.  I have no time to talk--"  And that is all she gets off before the comm goes dead.    Ritosite is a red blood cell.  Ho discovers Shoun and acuses her as being a traitor...
    "At Hanimed, we are no interested in the beleifs of the daughters of fisherman.  We are only interested in facts.  Fact:  Hanimed Medical Products are used by over 500 million people. Fact:  The best and quickest way to test a new drug is to assign a test group.  If the drug is successful, 500 million people will benefit.   You had a promisiing career...and now...nothing.  I have apealed your qualification.  Your accomodation and personal vehicle have been repossessed.  If youa re lucky, your father might allow you to pack fish in his factory.  Chrisina was like you.  Too weak...too short-sighted.  I made her reputation on Jagadil.  If I wanted to lincense on that.  How many people would have suffered in the interim...2...3 million?  You disgree with my methods?  I have discovered that for the majority to benefit, a few must always suffer....and die..."
    The PCs arrive and enter Hanimed.  In an act of genius on the part of the PCS, they meet with Ho in the Sauna and sneak the Pluto 5 Pheremol in his drink.  They first be nice and get him to drink.  After they reveal their intentions, he tries to leave.  THey prevent him and slowly raise the temperature.  He folds pretty quick.  Ho ordered the experimental drugs to be put in the Pheremol capsules to make sure they took them every week.  It was spacecraft, a sealed environment, with a legit reason for performing medica examinations.  Except it had once defect, it makes the blood clot at 41 degrees.  The crew leaves, letting the Authority lawyers to pick up the peices.  They never found Anna Shoun.
  Ehh....it was an okay ending but I aint much for fancy actin'.  Ho had to be reduced to a snivveling worm and I just couldn't hack it.  I tried.

30.   "THE DRUNKEN HACK"
    Daniel Larwood arrives.  This indipendant reporter is well known throughout the Authority...and to Maz, whom tutored under him many years ago.  All reporters must check in with the security office.  They must be authorized by security.  During the checkout, Bjorn discovers smuggled alchohol, prohibited on the base.  Max reveals that he once tutored under Larwood, many years before.  Larwood considers max somwhat of a disapointment.   Bjorn then finds another flask of Bourbon in his carry on bag.  When he asks Dan why he is here.
    "I was quite put down when I realized you and your friend weren't quite as radical as your reputation suggests."  He says.  he adds that it is strnage that the Moonbase would turn to an outside security force rather than their own.  Max says that Larwood never fishes for stories.  He acts strictly on information received.  He knows something.  O'Shaunessy and Krivenko both agree this is a bad idea.  Right now, a reporter nosing around could do a lot of damage.  O'Shaunessy asks Max not to be harrassed and asks him to deal with this Larwood character.
    Upon finally getting down to talking, Larwood reveals to Max that he knows that O'Shaunessy is the curratir if the richest museam in the Terriroty (even know not the largest, the Mars War Museaum holds that distinction), the Holdee.  Larwood explains that this is all routine info but the fact that he is here is definetly suspincious.  Rio arrives and enters the conversation...whithin minutes, he discovers Larwood recording the conversation.  Daniel admits that he has been poking into the Holdee.  A woman asks for Larwood's autograph during the conversation.  Larwood finally adds that rumor had it something strange was discovered on Periphery...then nothing...

    The whole adventure was just that...talking.  What was the point...well...there was no point.  But this adventure was originally part of the final Luna mission but I decided to pluck it out to make it look inconspicuous, to help build up the tension.

31. "A CASE TO BE OPENED IN A MILLION YEARS."
    During the regular duties of the security force, light shines on the small Authority corportation of Santonia-Teli, a waste disposal group.  During a recent inspection, several people  were refused access.  Searching lockets, Rio discovers drugs under the name of Angelo Pordanoni.  He simply said he had forgotten they were there.  He is promptly sent to Earth for trial.  In an AMAZING twist of coincidence, the same corp has a schedules launch of Nuclear Waste.  The launch aborts and the rocket tumbles off the pad.
    An immediate radiation alert, the whole base locks down.  Everyone ducks into shelters or dons radiation suits.   It is later discovered that the rad scare was just that.  Luckily the containers on the dumper craft didn't crack.  Krivenko and Bjorn both agree that Santonia-Teli should be checked upon.  No time for Rio, though, who gets a call from is family on Earth.  They are more than a little disapointed since they live off the Syndey Spaceport and he hasn't come down.  He is the equivelant of a 5 minute drive away.  Max, Bjorn, and Gabriel check out Santonia Teli.  The tour led by the Cheif-Exec, Mr Santinini is rather short.  Most containers have radiation seals and cannot be opened.  Most of the base is cordoned off.  Max brings up the recent arrest of Pordanoni.  Santinini (God, what was it with these names?!) knows of the situation but doesn't add anything...
    To Rio, he meets a charming girl named Lena on the flight.  Attractive with an a accent, she explains she works at moonbase at Sunzec (a mining corporation)  but is visiting her family on Sydney.  After a lengthty conversation, they plan an assignation on Earth.

  This worked well for a beginning since the Players were taking a lot of control for themselves with very little prodding.  The investigationon the first sentence took about an hour or so but it wasn't boring.  I was more proud of the roleplaying of Rio in his trip to Earth.  The game was played at his location, giving us the opportunity to split the groups up.  This was necessary since I didn't want each side knowing what the other was doing.

    Back on Moonbase, ST-Corp (Santonia-Teli) refuses to allow access to their radioactive samples.  The security team is reaching an impass since no Judge would agree with them.  Meenwhile, ST-Corp is remounting the launch for computer graphic reconstruction and then the PCs can exmaine their findings.
    Back on Earth, Rio arrives in a downpoor, which doesn't end for the entire time he is there.  He doesn't seem to get along well with his familt.  They are nice and all, but its obvious why Rio left early in life...he was bored.  He leaves for his ahem-date but finds he's been stood-up...or rather replaced, as someone else is waiting for him.   Rio alarmed at the replacement, a 6 foot tall man trying the plunge a syringe into his heart.  Rio battles the man and returns the gift.  Dead, the man reveals nothing, except his identity, Angelo Pordanoni.  On Luna, Santinini obserbes the replay of the launch.  He is worried.  He calls up a woman and demands a meeting.
    Rio meenwhile, is not faring to well.  The cop in charge of the investigation, Devas, knows of Rio's past and is suspicious.  He offers little help to Rio.  Back at his hotel, Rio is knocked out and drugs are placed in the quarters.  Devas enters, and finds the drugs.  A photograph is taken.  The set-up is made.  Rio has had his fill of Earth and understands why he left in the first place.  He leaves for the Moon.  Back on the base, Max catches Santinini and the woman ealier talking.  She wears a Sunzec uniform.  Her name is Marla Condarnini (grrrrrr).  Max and her talk and at the end, Marla offers he a job.
    Rio finally arrives, stressed...some vacation.  He exlain his predicament and things Santonia Teli is behind it.  He talks to Gabriel.  Bjorn, Heather, and Krivenko meet with Santinini, who claims to have the cause of the crash.  Santinini shows him a blasting pack from the Sunzec corporation.  It was found in the crash.  The blast damaged the guidance system.
    "Sabotage..."  Says Santinini, "more towards your talents than searching people's lockers.  Find out who would want to damage my company's reputayion for safety...That would justify your exsistence." Santinini explains that only someone at ST-Corp would know where to place the explosive pack.  Santinini, his engineers, and the man sent to Earth, Pordanoni.  Angelo was vindictive, full of rage.
    Marlo Cardarini is the head of Sunzec.  She doesn't belive anyone could plant their explosives on the pad.  They all work at Moonbase.  Why would anyone do that?  Like ST-Corp, Sunzec is equally as secretive, with areas security protected.  Gabriel doesn't buy the story that Angelo was behind everything.  Neother Cordarnini or Santinini have criminal records but Marlo's father was a real crime lord, he was gunned down in a subway tunnel under a commision from crime bosses.  The two are connected through the thread of organized crime...after all this time, the mob resurfaces.
    Krivenko is the bringer of bad news.  The Sydney police are ready to lay charges against Rio for killing Pordanoni and for drug possession.  Rio insists he is being set up.  Max decides to take Marlo's offer and go to Sunzec alone.  They talk for a while but after, Max sips out and searching the compound...and Ureka!!  He stumbles upon a container with core samples.  The samples are of Uranium.  Max is unfortunetly caught.  Rio and Bjorn check out the dumper crash data.  Jessie goes to Sunzec.
    During their investigation, Rio and Bjorn discover that there was a communication blackout about the same time of the crash which causes a lack of data to process.  This could be due to a moon quake which was predicted.  The times were almost identical.    The Moon tremor could cause the the launch to abort.  They checked on the trajectory of the rockets is different than the standerd flight path...the deviation is slight.  The new trajectory takes it past disused space station S-9.

    This is a funny point.  The first time I tried this adventure in a totally different environemtn and group, it failed horribly.  The information was presented and the group was stupified.   The rocket didn't launch but its trajectory was logged in the onboard flight system.  I announced that there was a deviation in the flight trajectory.  The group just didn't care or never though to care or weren't interested or had NO IDEA of checking the flight computer.  Stattion S-9 was vital to the story...the group needed to figure out that these rocket were not going where they were supposed to.  Okay sure, there was only like 5 degree variation but the group didn;t even ask about the variation.  I told them about the anomaly and they just didn't care...It was two hours later when I snapped.  Thank God we got some intelligent folk in this group.

    Bjron and Heather will go to Santonia Teli and check them out.  Gabriel and Rio decide to check out the Station.  Upoin arriving, they set off an explosion and dive through back to the Van as the base incinerates.  Part of the base is still stuck to the Van.  However, before the evidence burned itself up, Rio did discover evidence of Uranium.  Bjorn discovers the same evidence at Santonia Teli.    Jessie rescues Max before he is forced to go out into space without a suit.  Rio and Heather have a bigger problem.  They discover the Uranium ore in the waste contains of the dumper crafts.  Santanini ambushes them.  Bjorn faces him.  The launch had to happen when it didn because of the rendenzvous schedule...an hour later and the ship would miss the station...he had no choice but to launch during the quake, hoping it would make it...which it didn't.
    "You're right..."  Santinini starts, "I shouldn't have launched that day.  When it went wrong, and I had to cover up my little mistake and since I already had orders to discredit you and the crew of the van.  Once of you were marked down to be killed in Sydney.  Drugs found in Rio's room.  He messed all that up by surviving.  Up until now that is.  The bext rokcet that goes up will also carry your bodies.  You will float amongst the stars, undisturbed.  We reomend that our cases remain unoppened for a million years." All of this during a gundfight. Bjorn, of cours, wins.

N "INTELLIGENT LISTENING FOR BEGINNERS"
    This adventure was inserted to extend the stay on Moobase.

    Angelo Chandro asks for a detatchment of security to come down to Outpost Nine, on the fringe of Luna...  Rio has heard of the man, both of them were on Forbes 500 top indipendant business list.  Rio and Max go investigate.  Chandri followed in his Father's footsteps and created a communications and R&D Corporation from the ground up.  He is worth about $55 million.  There are four levels of security upon entering the complex.  Rio reveals what little he knows about the Chandri group.  Rumor was that it was working on digital cryptopgraphy.
    Chandri discloses that he has information that mught be useful.  Recent intelligence has come by his way which is in their field of exptertise.  A group of terrorists are planning to hijack an incomming Intersteller Queen flight.  Fairly soon he thinks...coming from Alpha Centauri.  The group involved is the Black Hand Gang.  Chandri says the information is reliable.  He has nothing more to say.  Rio and Maxc are suspicious of course.  Chandri's Group, part think tank / part R&D, is developing an intelligent listening system that listens to all the noise of space and picks out what it thinks is usefull.  In the millions of frequencies out there, it is a impressive acheivement.  Rio manages to talk this information out of Chandri even though he doesn't confirm or deny it.  Their only official release was a special, space-based hand kaser weapon called a Pulsur.  It has no side-effects with double the range of standerd lasers.  It won't penatrate hulls and it expels no waste.  It can aslo be tuned to only damage certain organic matter like the pigmintation of the skin and it won't touch anything else.  Max and Rio return to inform the rest of thier knowledge.

    A very memorable line occureed here.  Max honestly didn't belive Chandri's story.  He made the connection that the Black Hand Gang was related to The Hand, which he was a member of once.  He thought it was bogus...thus it brought the following conversation...
    "It isn't important."
    "Can we make that decision."
    "Well there is a possibility that flight from Alpha Centaur might get hijacked."
    "ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT?!"

    The Black Hand doesn't exsist on records.  There is a black hand which was a crimincal group formed in 1883 and then supressed by the Spanish Militia.  Rio discovers that Chandri's group is funded by the TMA.  There is a flight coming in from Alpha Centaurie and will arrive soon.  Gabriel and Rio go up with Max in the Van to follow this lead.  Bjorn wants to go back to Chandri's base to talk amore about this possible intelligent listening system.  As it turns out, Chandri's listening system was a failure and Chandri's ego refused to accept it so he staged the terrorist act in ahope to prove to the TMA that his device works.
    Bjorn arrives at the Base to find the staff dead.  Chandri will go the the extent of killing his staff and destroying the base to cover up the mistake...the device may be lost BUT the world will belive he succeeded...the base being a counterstrike by the terrorists.

    Now comes the fun part...as in "Best Defense" which was nicknamed, "Bjorn kills lots of Terrorist", this would be known as "Rio kills even more terrorists."  This would start the trend of Rio being the major gun man...Bjorn would start to become redundant (since he is being played by the same PC as Heather).

    The terrorists have already taken over the flight and have locked the passengers in the 3rd class level.  Rio and Gabriel move in and discover the truth.  Rio and Gabriel move in and quickly take out the terrorists on the base levels.  However, there are still several terrorists in the upper 1st class and flight cabin atop the command head.    An amazing fight takes place on the elavator up to the neck where Rio and two terrorists tumble down the ramp edge to the bottom, fighting and shooting.  However, the last terrorist fries the cockpit, killing the pilots.
    As the ship rockets to Sydney Spaceport at Mach 3, Rio and Garbiel succesfully take control of the ship.   Can Rio fly a Spaceliner?  Well...kinda.  After several braking manuevers, the fligth comes down hard on one of the elvated landing pads.  The flight scrapes along the pad, crashing into an upper lobby and crashing out the other side.  It comes to a stop just by the edge.

    The action on the flight took about an hour to play across.  There were about six terrorists.  I ripped off every movie in the book for the action, which still kinda came off as being original.  There were fights among crowded seat cabins with Rio and the Terrorists.  A great fight on the neck was remembered and the crash was choreographed to music from Capricorn One.  It was a good action story surrounded by all these plot-driven episodes.

32. "LITTLE GREEN MEN AND OTHER ALIENS."
    It is an early morning and Rio and Jesse follow a call to the main Cargo load level.  Denison, the head guy in the shipping, tries to act like a spy, coming off not too successfully.  He reveals an open crate.  On the top of the crate is a trange little statue.  When asked, Denison reveals it wasn't on the cargo manifest so it should not have been there...which doesn't explain why he opened the crate in the first place.  He was fishing, looking for something wrong, because if they don't justify their exsistance, he could be the next casualty of the continued cutbanks on the lunar bases.  The crate, however, was not lunar cargo.  It was headed for Periphery.  Underneath the statue are 100 blasting cylinders.  Jesse, boisteroisly twirls one.
  Denison:  "Christ don't do that!"
  Quaice:  "They're perfectly safe, their seismic test charges."
  Denison:  "They're explosives you silly bitch!"
    Quaice:  "Only if they are prime."  She said, slapping a black arming module on the cylinder then tossing that to Denison.
  Denison:  "What the matter with you?"
  Quaice:  "I don't like to be called names."
  Denison:  "Ah, a death before dishonor."
  Quaice:  "I do have degree in Engineering, as it happens, I do know what I'm doing.  These things can't be set off except with a microwave fuse, which I believe are in this box here (as she opens one).  Want to see one?--
  Denison:  "NO...Thank you."
  Rio:  "I wouldn't piss her off...she only has her period when she wants to."
    Back at the HQ, Rio reveals the statue, which Max immedialy recogbizes...Pre-Columbian Sculpture.  He gueses it was Mian, which would make it 3 000 years old.  Obviously, some guy is not willing to pay punitive frreight rates for something that's already cost him an arm and a leg...
Elsewhere...a supply shuttle skims acorss the lunar surface.
    "Supply Shuttle 4, this is Outpost 17.  Supply Shuttle 4, this is Outpost 17, do you copy?"
    Only one woman pilots the shuttle.
    "Outpost 17, this is Supply Shuttle 4, I thought we said out good byes.  I'm rather busy."
    "That take off was abut rocky.  Are you okay?"
    "Taking off in these things is always rocky...that's why you always pay extra to pilots like me.
    " Wasn't expecting it to be quite that bad."
    "Well, when I say it is rocky, that's when you begin to worry."
    "We spent a lot of money into what you';re carrying....Its one the fragile side."
    "Don't worry about it.  If you want it to make it to Main Base by Noon yu better pray I don't fall asleep
   "Not at these prices, I won'r"
    "You're right about that."
    "What was that?"
    "Look can we stop wasting time.  I'm cold, I'm old and I;m too tired for all this."  A red light goes off by the pilot.
    "You're dropping below our radar...should you be doing that."
    "Oh Shit!!"
    The Shuttle breaks up on impact.  The investigastyion begins.  O'Shaunessy and Krivenko cross swords.  This pilot was important.  O'Shaunessy thinks that everythign could be ruined now...but what?  Searching the personal effects, Bjorn comes across two identical IDs and a package of Heroin 46.
    A news broadcast:  "Meantime, rumors persist that something has been discovered on Periphery and is even now on its way to moonbase to be secured for transport to Earth.  No one seems to know what the discovery is only that its something that could change forever the way mankind sees itself.  Is this just another one of those instant myths which is suddenly forgotten or is ther really something being kept from the public."
    Elsewhere on base, Daniel Larwood meets a shadowed man in the darkened areas of the base.  But the man collapses in Larwood's arms.  He speaks in Larwood's ear, then dies of unknown causes.  Larwood is inteligent.  He reports the death, cut claims to not know the man.  The man's pockets were empty and he carried no ID.  There is no record of this man being at Moonbase.  Further searching revealed the man to be a registered pilot.
    Bjorn and Max invesitgate Shuttle Conrol where all the incomming and outgoing transport is coordinated.  Its a mess; people are everywhere.  Ever since the rumors came in, the place went out of control in traffic.  Upon seeing a picture of the dead female pilot from the crash, the coordinator there, Hockard, admits recognizing her but doesn't know anything about her.  She admits hiring her with her pilot's license only.  She didn't show any other ID and Hockard didn't bother doing a check.  Pilot are scarce here.  She did have temporary guest quarters.
    Max and Bjorn check out those quarters and discover them in shambles.  Whatever was being searched wasn't very big since coffee cans were even ripped open.  Odd...dual bunks.  Who was the other occupant.
    Gabriel, Rio, and Max investigate the drug conntection and discover that an old launch bay closed down has been retrofitted to a drug lab.  Its amazing the chemicals that can be designed in low gravity.  The launch bay is isolated from the rest of the base.  Gears modifies a minature vehicle with a camera so they can spy in on eh group.  A handful of scientists with men and guns.  They break in a quickly dispatch the lightly trained drug-runners.

    There was a funny moment where Rio and Gabriel go storming off to the lab with not much more with axes and pipes.  Max goes off back the ship to get their weapons.  By the time Max got back, the battle was over.
"What do you have?"
"Axe, you?"
"Pipe...What do they have?"
"Machine Guns."
"Good.  Let's get 'em."

    The scientists survive and it doesn't take them long to sing.  The dead female pilot had nothing to do with the drugs.  IN fact, she had no idea they were even onboard.  Larwood's man is unfmailiar.  Elsewhere, Susan Clackson arrives to conduct an exlusive interview with O';Shaunessy.  She meets up with Bjorn and tries to prod an interview but with little success.  Her competition, Larwood, however, has an encounter of his own.  Bjorn and Max go to meet him only to find him lawing in the shambles of what was once his room.  He is fine.  Larwood didn't bother reporting the break-in.  Bjorn reminds him that the other people this happened to are dead.  Max decides to talk to him in private.  After threatening to arrest him, he spills the beans.
    The Pilots were connected.  The woman contacted Larwood first.  Apparently, both pilots were peddling a picture of the Alien.  That's why Larwood arrived at the Moon in the first place.  He couldn't pass the chance that it might be a hoax.  That's not all.  The dead man spoke before he died.  Nothing complete just "I du" something.  The Pilots were working together...now both are dead.
    Clackson and O'Shaunessy walk into Krivenko's office to start the interivew.
    "You do appreciate, of course, that I'm not expecting any surprises during this interview, Susan?"  O'Shaunessy says.
    "Is it possible to expect a surprise, Doctor O'Shaunnessy?"
    "Don't chop logic with me."
    "Let's just recapt then.  I shall ask you about the deal which the Holdee made to purchase the Alien."
    "You won't mention any figures."
    "An undisclosed sum.  I will express surprise over the idea.  I mean, can you actually buy an alien....that sort of thing."
    "...And then you will give me the oppurtunity to explain that the museum intends to make it available to the scientific community without condition or delay.
    "--Not quite without condition...I mean no else is allowed to see it, are they?"
    "Once the Authority's research scientists have completed their work, then it will be on display in the Museam."
    "But until then, it remains firmly under wraps.  In fact, the entire deal depends on that....or have I misunderstood?"
    "No, you'ce understood perfectly."
    "Not quite perfectly....Your mesuam--"
    "Its hardly my museum."
    "The museum you work for doesn't exactly have a cash flow problem, does it.  Why are you insisting on the exclusive right to display it.  The Holdee doesn't really need the money that will generate, does it?"
    "Its precisely for that reason that the Holdee is the ideal guardian, we can ensure that the alien is not the subject of tardery exploitation...that it is treated with the proper dignity."
    "I think that would be an approproiate note to end on...any problems with with?"
    "None that I can see."

    As said before, this was a big chance doing an adventure with little action and lots of talking.  PCs had to listen very well to all the words spoken, less they miss a vital clue to the grand story being told.  This was a mystery that would not be planted in their laps.  They needed to figure something out.  Bjorn became the real invesitigator.  Max became too clouded by emotions to suspect the people that should be suspected.

    Hockart from Shuttle control contacts Bjorn with information on the pilot.  The reason why there is no record of them here is because they are still en-route....Huh?  Its a definite cock-up.  According to their records, the two dead people were pilot and co-pilot on a ship that's apparently still en-route.  So they must have been piloting another freighter that left before the one the computer says they were flying...which means there is a lost frieghter somewhere...the ones they were actually piloting.    Bjorn asks whether or not Hockard noticed anyting about the control office...like someone rumaging around or things missing.  Hockard did admit that she thought that someone had beem rumaging around recently.
    Max meenwhile, sits on stakeout, watching the crate the sculpture came from.  He spots someone but they escape before they can be aprehended.  Later, O'Shuannessy asks Bjorn to take a shuttle to meet up with the arriving vessel carrying the alien.  This was what everything was about...the reason why they were here.
Before Bjorn leaves, he hears the last part of the interview with O'Shaunessy and Clackston.
    "Surely, we're not talking about a living creature are we?"
    "That's hardly a question I can answer right now.  But let me offer you this thought.  It is not only the living that will benefit, but all generations that come after us"
    "I can see your point, you, being an expert in ancient cultures.  Doctor O'Shaunessy, thank you for your time.  This is Susan Clackson, from INN News."
  Bjorn's shuttle takes off.  It doesn't make it out of the Lunar perimeter radar net before it explodes.   The whole crew is shaken.  Rio is pissed and wants answers.

  Obviously, you wouldn't think Bjorn would be dead.  What kind of cheeze ass thing would that be.  A GM should not just whack off a PC like that.  HOWEVER, The same player that plays Heather also plays Bjorn and that player had spoken up about removing Bjorn because he had become redundant with the inclusion of the other players.  Of, course, Heather knew the truth but played dumb.

    Larwood's broadcast comes on, "As of yet, no one knows what really happened.  The freighter exploded, without warning, killing everyone on board."  He then switches to Hockart
"This Operation is over-stretched, undermanned, underfunded, something had to go sooner or later."
"Were corners being cut--"
"And all this alien crap going around hasn't helped."
"But in safety, for example, would you say that corners have been cut?"
"Corners...I'd say whole bloody streets have been eliminated."
    Larwood turns to the camera, away from Hockart
"Among the Dead of the Theodoris was Bjorn Peterson"
    Max goes to Krivenko, whose just heard the bad news.  However, he is even mroe shocked when Max tell him that both Pilots from Periphery are dead.  Then the truth is reveals.  Krivenko takes Rio, Heather, and Max in a land rover to a distant crater.  As it turns out, the Authority has informed the Bloc, but it was agreed that they Authority would get it first.  They have the most secured locations on Earth.  They decided that instead of heading right to Earth, it would fo to the Moon and wait, a cover story would be thrown up saying that ship is en-route while the actually ship lands on the far site.  While everybody's focus stares into space, the actualy ship would slip under to Earth.  No need for heavy protection.
    The freighter has been here since the PCs arrived.  Those two dead people were the pilots.   Krivenko was to act as go-between.  If the rpess knew that it had already arrived, he would never keep them at bay.  He hired the Can as protection and somewhat as show.  He was under orders no to reveal the truth to the PCs.  The Alien still resides in the freighters miles away, which is where they are going right now.
    However, as they approach, the freighter explodes, taking all the evidence with it.
    In the evening, Max catches Larwood in the security office, looking through the personal effects of the dead girl.  He was looking for the picture of the alien.  Bjorn appears in the office.  He never boarded the ship.  He knew something was amiss.  He already grabbed the picture of the Alien.  The dead man's last words was not "I denounce" or "I declare" but simply "I.D."  The alien picture was hidden the woman's second ID.  After all of this...after the explosions and the death, the only peice of ecidence that remains is this holographic chip in Bjorn's hand.  But who did it?  Before Bjorn announces the bad guy, O'Shaunessy appears.  He throws explosives to the ground, fuse in hand.  He wants the picture.  Max attacks him and throws the fuse to the ground.  He struggles to grab the fuse.  He would blow them all to kingdom come.  Jessie disamrs the explosive before the fuse is detonated.
    After O'Shaunessry is handcuffed, Bjorn shows the Alien.  The picture is of a Mian sculpture.  That was the clever part.  There were stories about aliens visiting Earth and influencing us, taking artifacts with them.  Were the ancient gods really astronauts.
    O'Shaunessy took a genuinely old and valuable Earth artifact, had it smuggled to Periphery, and had his accomplice discover it.  World shattering discovery.  Aliens had been to Earth and taken Earth's culture with them.  And they would both clean up on what's now a priceless alien artifact.
    The whole's things a con.  A scheme to swindle the Holdee out of a lot money.  That was the story Larwood was after in the first place.  He heard about the decision to purchase through the musueam trustees.  Then he did a little bacjground check on the curators and found out one of them has apersonal connection with the Periphery Colony.  Bigger scandals had broken with less information.
    O'Shaunessy heard about the picture because the pilot offered it to him to.  So he killed him, then he realized everything was going wrong, so he destroyed all the evidence, and desitroyed innocent lives.  The second sculpture at the beggining was a second attempt at another discovery on Periphery.  All that remains is this picture.
    Larwood breaks the story, revealing everything to the shocked audience.  He returns to Earth victorious.  The relationship between him and Max have actually strengthened.  His future is secured as offers flood in from various sources.
    It is doubtfull Moonbase will close now.  More security is en-route.  An army of reporters are on the way.  The Van crew decides to leave before more attention arrives.
 

33.  "TURNING BACK ON HATE"
    Saphire contacts The PCS and tell them to meet.  Their time is up.  It concerns the universe and its secrets.  He will meet them at the nearby Haag system Orbital base.
    Gabriel receives a letter from Conrad West.  He sent the mout before he was commited.  Most of the letter was blacke dout but the areas that weren't blotted indicate that his fighter, the Raven, is the fifth prototype in a series of six vessels meant to combine several technologies together.  Another letter enlcosed is almost totally black but does have one snipet that indicates that the Raven squadron  with the Vendetta at Chaos was not a training mission.  They were there for a reason.
    The PCs are apprehensive.  Saphire brings up Rio's money problem, the takeover of the Van recently, an attempt recently on Rio Father.  The destruction of Outpost 9.
    He knows the same info the PCs do.  He helped push through West's information but didn't know the contents.  These letters alarm Saphire.  They indicate that the Union is much older than he theorized...much older that the Shop.  The Raven was the fifth prototype in the "Vyper  Project", run by "The Bureau".  The Bureau is a secret alliance between The Authority and The Bloc.  It is exactly the same as the Union.  They are one and the same which makes The Union more than 50 years old compared to five for the Shop.  The Tower treaty was a shame since The Bloc and Authority had an alliance 30 years earlier.  That means the last 20 years of the war was fake.
    The war ended officially because of lack of supplies and money, but the Vyper Project costs so much.  Why spend so much on weapons that would never be used?  Evidence indicates that the war did not end for the reasons officially stated.  The Commonwealth and the Orion group never had a chance.  The war ended simply because the Union decided to the end it.  Imagine the CIA ending World War II.  The Union stopped the the largest military conflict in the history of war.
    The Shop needs the Van because they can do things that the Shop can't.  They should help each other for reasons beyond just money.  Max has seen the face of his parent's killer--the only person alive who has.  The Cleaner does dirty work for the Union.  The Union considers threats to stability to be a major concern.  Of those, the factions that worry them the most are The Scavengers and The Death's Head.
    The Characters all have reason to help the Shop.  The most disturbing question enters Saphire;s mind.  In the Union and The Bloc were allies twenty eyars before the war ended, then many conflicts didn't need to occur.  But they did.  If they were allies for forty years, why was Oberon nuked.
    "We all have our reasons to bring these people to justice and get the these secrets out.  Don't be afraid of them, have them be afraid of you.  You have the means, the drive, and the power.  We have the knowledge and the backing.  That's it...I have nothing more to say.  You won't find out anything without us.  Are you in...or are you out?"
   They're in...
    Saphire adds laster that the satelite that the PCs send to to contact him got a single high powered transmission recently.  The Van crew denies giving out the frequency of the sattelite to anyone.
    The message as follows:  "This is William Stewart.  We request the presence the Vanderov RBX-888 on Finnegan's Folly.  23N, 45E.  The truth is known."
    The shop sent a Bee to Folly and found a Birdnest parked on its surface.  It is unclear what a rare and massive vessel is doing there.  The Van crew don't need much prodding to go there.
    Several weeks later, they arrive above Finnegan's Folly.  The crew is aware of the problems ships have but assure themselves they can land safely.  Then they are attacked.  A strange Red ship fires on them.  Its the Red Vyper...the 1st prototype.  As Gabriel opens the launch hatch, he sees a rocket heading for him.  The Van guts from the inside, loosing most of its preimary systems.  It crashes in the dunes of a sweeping desert.  The sands flows almost like water from the constant vibrations of the planet.  The crew only have a few minutes to escape before the entire Van gets swallowed by the sands.  They manage to don their environment suits and their ratiosn with a few weapons before abandoning ship.
    And with that...the crew is stranded on Finnegans's Folly.

And thus starts the second series of string adventures.  This one would prove more successfulthan even the well made Moonbase missions.  Here, the heavy plots are replaced by ambience as I start to explore trying to create a very visual setting.  I helded off Finnegan's Folly for some time until I had a interesting edge to the setting.  Already known was the planets continures shifting tectonic plates and its subtle vibration that is almost audible.  It would be a challenge since the objective was the create those really weird planets we see in those really neat films but are such a rarity to find since most movies that do this just re-create setting on Earth.  Folly would be almost unrecognizeable because of several trippy diffrerences.  After watching several Anime called "Green Legend Ran", I knew I had my egde...
    There was one cute idea that Gabriel had after the crash.  The ship landed ass first, preventing him from flying out of the Van.  So he had the thought of firing all his weapons and barreling out the top of the Van.  Course, this would destroy the Van as they know it and take out most the crew's supplies.

34. "LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS"
    With that, the crew venture off into the desert.  All their sensor equipment don't work and this planet's weird properties cuts the life of their suits in half.  With lass then three days of water and power, hope seems slim.  The sands roll up and down and sweep across the the horizon like waves of water.  The crew get fatigues quickly but fear not walking in case they get swallowed by the sand.  In fact, Jessie almost falls into a sinkhole but is quickly rescued.
    At night, it gets cold.  Oscilating colors sweep across the sky brighter than the Northern Lights on Earth.  Then a Sand Shark attacks.  Its really hard to to kill something under the sand.  The crew escape to a rock outcropping--and island of stone in a sea of sand.  As they watch the sky, they notice the stars falling, slowly.  They are spores.  From plants thousands of miles away.  Their luminensance somes a from a chemeical reaction.  They are big two...About the size of medicine balls.  The float from the sky and drift slowly onto the sand where they are absorbed.
        They next morning, the crew explore the island they have found.  On the far sidem they discover the shell of an old spacecraft.  A huge one.  Battered and worn over time, they discover it to be a Demeter Class Long Range Transport.  This was the same ship Rio's old girlfriend was on (the first girlfriend)  when it vanished over Finnegan's Folly.  There is no evidence for the crew's fate.  It has broken up into three peices.  The reactor tower is almost totally broken off and sunken into the sand.  They don't find any water but some rations and some old weapons.
    They hear the sound of a craft overhead but by the time they exit the Demeter its gone.  Unseen to them, a Warhawk just buzzed over their heads.  Warhawks are standerd equipment on Birdnests.  It turns around and fires on the Demeter.  The crew jump out in time as the ship crumbles away.  The Warhawk speeds away, leaving the PCs on the small island.
    Another day passes.
 

 --THEY GET TIRED QUICKLY....TAKE AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO BRING THEM    DOWN.
 --WHEN ALL HOPE SEEMS LOST, SHAPES APPEAR.  PEOPLE COME AND GRAB    THEM. THEY ARE GI0VEN WATER AND LED OVER THE DESERT TO AN    AWAITING RIG.
 --THEY AWAKEN IN BUNK COTS IN A DARK, METAL ROOM.  A PORTHOLE IS    CLOSED.
 --OUTSIDE, THE DUNE SEA PASSES BY.  THE RIG EASES OVER THE SANDS.
 --THE DOOR OPENS AND A WOMEN ENTERS WITH DESERT GARB.  SHE PLACES    FOOD AND WATER AND SAYS THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE      EXPLAINED...BUT LATER.
 --THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED.
 --THE RIG IS OPEN FOR EXPLORATION.  EVERYONE IS NICE AND CONSIDERATE.
 --IF NOTHING, GRAHAM KOEPP ENTERS THE ROOM.  HE IS TALL, ATTRACTIVE    (LIAM NEESEN)
 --HE SAYS THEY SHOULD HAD TAKEN MORE WATER AND LESS GUNS AND     USELESS EQUIPMENT.  THEY LEFT ALL THEIR STUFF IN THE NEXT ROOM.     THE SUITS WERE TOSSED.  THEY HAVE BETTER ONES.
 --KOEPP WILL ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ON THE MOVE TO THE BRIDGE.
 --THEY ARE ON THE RIG "NOVA."  RIGS ARE LARGE VEHICLES THAT MOVE     ACROSS THE DESERT.  THEY ARE HEADING FOR POZNARI, A VILLAGE.
 --HE KNOWS OF THE TRANSMISSION AND KNOWS THAT THE VAN WAS EXPECTED.
 --HE DIDN'T SEND THE TRANSMISSION BUT HE KNOWS WHO DID.  THEY WILL GET    ANSWERS WHEN THEY REACH THE CAPITAL....THAT IS NOT POZNARI.
  POZNARI IS SMALL.
34. "GREEN SANDS"
 --SIDE:  FIVE BLUE UNION  ARMORED CARRIERS WAIT DOCKED.  A HUGE SHADOW    IS OVER THEM.  THE DOCKING ARMS RETRACT AND THE SHIPS MOVE OUT.
 --IT TAKES A DAY AND A HALF TO REACH POZNARI.
 --THE PCS CAN  SHOWN THE ROOM WHICH CONTAINS THE NEW EXPLORATION    SUITS (picture).  THESE OPERATE IN THE FOLLY ENVIRON AS WELL AS    SHIELD FROM THE SUN.  THEY ARE MORE MANEUVERABLE TOO.
 --THEY CAN EXPLORE AROUND AND FIND WATER SUPPLIES, FOOD SUPPLIES, AND    SEVERAL ROOMS FILLED WITH HUGE, LONG BARRELED, 18 MM RIFLES.
 --KOEPP EXPLAINS THAT THE UNION IS EVERYWHERE.  THEY FIGHT THE ODD    ATTACK...THEY WANT TO TAKE WAYFARER COLONIES OVER.  THEY    WANT SOMETHING...AND THE WAYFARERS ARE NOT GIVING IT TO THEM.     KOEPP SAYS ANSWERS WILL BE FORTHWITH.
 --THEY ARRIVE AT POZNARI...THE TOWN IS A FLOATS ON THE DESERT ON LARGE    PONTOONS.
 --THERE ARE NO OTHER RIGS HERE.
 --THE TOWN IS ABOUT A MILE ACROSS.  KOEPP SAYS THEY WILL WAIT HERE AND    REFUEL BEFORE HEADING ONTO THE CAPITAL OF WARSZAWA
 --THEY WILL STAY HERE FOR A COUPLE DAYS.
 --THERE ARE BARTER SHOPS HERE...NO MONEY.  THEY CAN BUY ANYTHING...FEW    WEAPONS...THE ONES THERE ARE UNIQUE.
 --THE GROUND IS METAL.
 --THERE IS A TALL COMM TOWER HERE.
 --THE PEOPLE ARE VERY NICE AND KIND.
 --KOEPP WILL SHOW THEM THE TOUR.
 --HE PASSES THEM BY A TEMPLE...HE SAYS THAT'S THEIR PLACE OF WORSHIP.
 --KOEPP ADDS THAT THE VAN WILL KNOW THE TRUTH SOON.  THE WAYFARERS    KNOW MUCH.  THEY DID CALL THE VAN BECAUSE OF SEVERAL REASON    BUT, THEY WERE SORT OF BANKING ON THE VAN LANDING INTACT.  THEY   THOUGHT THEIR ENCRYPTION WAS GOOD ENOUGH.  HE APOLOGIZES  FOR    THAT.  THEY DID SEND THE MESSAGE, BUT NOT FROM HERE...FROM THE    CAPITAL.  THEIR LEADER WILL EXPLAIN IT ALL.  HE WAS THE ONE WHO    SENT THE MESSAGE.
 --KOEPP HAS ARRANGED FOR IN-TOWN ACCOMMODATIONS.  A SMALL HOME.     THE FAMILY OF THE ROSENBERGS.  FOOD IS SIMPLE, BUT GOOD.   THE    FAMILY PRAYS BEFORE A MEAL IN A LANGUAGE THE PCS DON'T     UNDERSTAND.  HAMMOCKS.
 --THE MORNING IS INTERRUPTED BY SHAKING.  WAY OFF, BY THE DOCKS, LARGE    EXPLOSIONS CAN BE SEEN.
 --HUNDRED OF PEOPLE ARE RUNNING.  THE PCS CAN HARDLY MOVE, LET ALONE    SEE ANYTHING.
 --THE CROWD PASSES, SHOWING FIFTY UNION SOLDIERS, ARMED OT THE TEETH,    MARCHING DOWN.
 --WAY OFF, FIVE OF BLUE ARMORED CARRIER (picture) ARE DOCKED.  THE ARE    DESTROYING THE TOWN.
 --THE NOVA, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOCK, IS TRYING TO FIGHT THEM OFF.     A HOT FROM THE MAIN GUN ON A BOAT, BLOW THROUGH THE SHIP AND    THE AREA FILL UP WITH SMOKE.  THE RIG VANISHES IS SMOKE.
 --FIGHTS ENSUE.
 --THE PCS HAVE TO ESCAPE.
 --GIVE THEM THE CAPABILITY TO GET SOME ENVO-SUITS
   --THEY FIND A HOVER BIKE (picture).  THEY CAN ESCAPE ON THAT.
 --THEY FLY OUT OF THE BURNING CITY AND WATCH IT FALL.
 --THEIR VEHICLE FLIES INTO THE DESERT.
 --SIX HOURS OUT, THE BIKE GOES DEAD...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT.
 --THEY CAN MIGHT GET ANOTHER HOUR OUT OF IT BEFORE IT GOES DEAD    PERMANENTLY.
 --THE VEHICLE WILL SINK INTO THE SAND AND VANISH.
 --THEIR SUITS WILL NOT FALL THROUGH, HOWEVER...UNLESS THEY TRY TO    DREDGE OF THE VEHICLE.
 --THAT NIGHT A WATER TRANSPORT (picture) ARRIVES AND RESCUES THEM.
 --THE CAPTAIN IS A MAN NAMED JOHN LASSETER.  HIS 1ST IS AN ATTRACTIVE    SHORT HARED GIRL NAMED ELINA BRISTOL.  THE ENGINEER IS FRANK    ROSEBERG.  THERE ARE TWO OTHER MEMBERS ON NO IMPORTANCE    (GOLDMAN AND HONESS).
 --BRISTOL DOESN'T RECOGNIZE RIO.  NO CREW MEMBER KNOWS ANYTHING    ABOUT THE VAN...THESE ARE SIMPLE TRADERS.
 --BRISTOL EVENTUALLY REMEMBERS AND THEY CAN REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD   TIMES.  SHE SAYS SHE IS WATER TRADER AND HAS BEEN ONE FOR ABOUT    SIX YEARS.
 --THEY CRASH LANDED AND ABANDONED THE SHIP WHERE THEY WERE RESCUED   BY A PASSING RIG.
 --TIME PASSES...THROUGH ATTACKS AND LIFE IN GENERAL, FOUR MEMBERS OF    THE ORIGINAL SHIP ARE STILL ALIVE.  TWO LIVE IN WARSZAWA, SHE    LIVES ON THIS SHIP (THE ARISTA).  THE OTHER IS GRAHAM KOEPP, THE    COMMAND OF THE NOVA.
 --THE VEHICLE IS SMALL, BUT FAST, CRUISING AT A TOP SPEED OF 100KPH.
 --THEY EXPLAIN THE SITUATION AND SAY POZNARI WAS LEVELED BY UNION    TROOPS.
 --THIS SHIP IS THE ARISTA.  THEY WILL NOT DEFEAT THEIR CURRENT COURSE    BUT THE PCS ARE WELCOME TO STAY IN COTS (WHICH THEY ALL     HAVE) UNTIL THEY CAN DELIVER THE PCS TO A LOCATION SUITABLE--   EITHER A RIG OR ANOTHER COLONY.
 --BRISTOL AND RIO CAN STILL TALK. SHE SAYS THIS IS HER HOME NOW.      WHENEVER SHE LOOKS TO THE HEAVENS AND SEE THE HELL, THE LIES,    MOVING AROUND, STAYING HERE MAKES TOTAL SENSE.
 --SHE HAD TO GO ON EITHER HER LIFE.  SHE IS SINGLE, THOUGH.
 --WHAT SHE DOESN'T SAY WAS THAT SHE WAS ONCE MARRIED TO KOEPP FOR A    COUPLE YEARS AND HAD A CHILD...BUT WE'LL LEAVE THAT FOR A    SURPRISE LATER.
 --A DAY PASSES AND THE VEHICLE SCREAMS ACROSS THE SAND.  THEY     ARE HEADING TO A STANDING ATOLL.  IF THE PCS WANT TO STAY, THEY    HAD BETTER JUSTIFY THEIR EXISTENCE.
 --THEY APPROACH A TOWER OF PIPE AND STEEL...A STANDING ATOLL.  THIS IS    WHERE THE WATER PUMP IS.
 --THEY WALK ACROSS THE GROUND IN SUITS AND ENTER
 --INSIDE IS A GARDEN.  GRASSLANDS AND FLOWERS ARE EVERYWHERE.
 --A FOUNTAIN IS IN THE CENTER.  IT SEEMS TO BE MADE FROM STONE...LIKE A    SCULPTURE.  NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE WATER COMES FROM BUT IT    HAS NEVER RUN DRY.  THEY CAN PLAY AROUND IS THEY WANT.
 --EVENTUALLY, THEY WILL GRAB LARGE TANKS OF WATER.  THIS IS THE     ARISTA'S PUMP...THEY FOUND THE SUPPLY AND TAPPED IT.
 --THEY TRANSPORT LARGE BOTTLES (HUNDREDS OF GALLONS)  ON BOARD.
 --THE PCS ARE TREATED TO A GOOD MEAL...THE ARISTA CRUISES ACROSS ITS    SURFACE.
 --THAT NIGHT, THE ARISTA GETS LAID UP IN H HEAVY DESERT.  THE VEHICLE    WILL HAVE TO GO SLOWLY.
   --AS THEY TRUDGE ALONG SLOWLY, SOMETHING GETS JAMMED IN THE MOTOR.
 --SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO GO DOWN IN THE PRESSURE SUIT.  THE CRANE    ALMOST GOES.
 --THEY CONTINUE ON THE NEXT DAY.
 --THEY RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION FROM A RIG WHICH CAN BE SEEN ON A    DUNE MILES AWAY.  THEY WANT TO BUY SOME WATER.
 --THE VEHICLE COMES ALONG SIDE.
 --WITH SUITS ON, THE ARISTA CREW CAN COME ABOARD.  THE RIG TAKES     SEVERAL LARGE BOTTLES OF WATER.  AN ALARM GOES OFF.
 --FIVE ARMORED CARRIER SHIPS ARE COMING.
 --THE ARISTA CREW HAD BETTER DO SOMETHING
 --HUNDRED OF 20MM RIFLES POKE OUT OF THE SIDE OF THE RIG.  A PC CAN TRY    TO GET ONE OF THESE WEAPONS.
 --EVENTUALLY, A CARRIER WILL COME ALONGSIDE AND TIE ON...MEN WILL    BOARD.
 --THE ARISTA CAN ESCAPE WITHOUT INJURY.
 --THE PCS CAN TRY TO ESCAPE...IT IS VERY POSSIBLE FOR THE PCS TO TAKE OUT    THE CREW AND SOLDIERS OF THE CARRIER.
 --THE CARRIER CAN BE CAPTURED BUT THEY HAD BETTER NOT DARE ATTACK    THE FOUR OTHER SHIPS.
 --THE ARISTA WILL PULL AWAY...THE CARRIER HAD BETTER ESCAPE.
 --THE FOUR OTHER VEHICLES WILL COME ALONGSIDE AND TOTALLY     ANNIHILATE THE RIG IN ONLY A FEW SHOTS.
 --LASSETER THINK IT WAS PROBABLY A BAD IDEA CAPTURING THAT SHIP, THEY    WILL COME LOOKING FOR THEM.
 --THE ARISTA WILL LEAD THEM TO WARSZAWA.  THIS IS BIG...VERY BIG.
 --IT TAKES TWO (UNEVENTFUL) DAYS TO REACH WARSZAWA.
 --WARSZAWA IS AN ENORMOUS COLONY...ABOUT THE SIZE OF QUESNEL.
 --A QUARTER IS A FLOATING PLATE LIKE POZNARI WITH DOCK.  TWO RIGS ARE    HERE ALREADY DOCKED.
 --THE OTHER SECTION IS ON SOLID LAND...THE SAND SEA STOPS HERE.
35. "THE SECOND SHOA"
 --THE ARISTA STOPS AND DOCKS.  PEOPLE ARE AWAITING THEM.
 --THE LEADER HERE IS WILLIAM STEWART (JOHN RYES DAVIES)...AND YES, HE IS    THE 3RD COUSIN OF GABRIEL.
 --HE IS SOMEWHAT LOUD AND FLAMBOYANT, BUT REALLY IS JUST A BIG TEDDY    BEAR...HE IS A KIND AND GENTLE MAN.
 --HE LEADS THEM THROUGH THE CITY...A GROUP OF PEOPLE FOLLOW.
 --HE DID CALL THEM ONCE THEY FOUND OUT GABRIEL WAS ALIVE FROM A    CRYPTIC COMM FROM THE SHOP AND ONCE THEY BROKE THROUGH THE    GUARD CYRIX CODES ON DIALECTS B
 --HE DID CALL THEM AND THE COORDINATED THEY GAVE WOULD HAVE LED    THEM RIGHT TO WARSZAWA.  HE THROUGH THEY PROTECTED THE COMM   LINES ENOUGH...OBVIOUSLY NOT ENOUGH.
 --HE APOLOGIZES FOR THAT...HE BROUGHT THEM HERE, BANKING ON THAT THEY    WOULD BE ABLE TO LEAVE.  HE DIDN'T WANT THEM TO GET INVOLVED IN   THIS...BUT FIRST, DINNER
 --THERE IS A BUSY LITTLE ECONOMY HERE OF TRADING AND SO FORTH.  BRISTOL   SAYS SHE HAS TO GET TO HER HOME FIRST
 --SHE ASKS RIO TO ACCOMPANY HER.
 --SHE HAS A KID...A SIX YEAR OLD KID NAMED STEVEN.  ELINA SHOULD HAD    TOLD RIO...SHE GOT MARRIES ABOUT SEVEN YEARS AGO...TO KOEPP.     THEY ARE NO LONGER MARRIED...THREE YEARS NOW.
 --A CALL COMES IN WHERE A MAN TELL STEWART THAT A RIG IS ARRIVE FROM    POZNARI.
 --IT IS THE NOVA...A HUGE HOLE IS THROUGH ITS HULL, BUT IT IS INTACT.
 --KOEPP IS ALIVE...CONVERSATIONS CAN ENSUE...ALL THEIR EQUIPMENT IS    BEING REMOVED.  IT IS ALL THERE.  KOEPP IS HAPPY TO SEE THEM...HE    WAS LOOKING ALL AROUND THE DESSERT FOR THEM...HE FOUND A    HOVER BIKE IN THE SANE BUT NO PEOPLE.
 --THAT NIGHT, DINNER.  GABRIEL HAS FIFTEEN RELATIVES OF VARYING DEGREE    HERE.  ONE IS A SMALL KID (PATRICK) ABOUT 12 YEARS OLD WHO IS    TOTALLY GLUED TO GABRIEL BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN IN SPACE.
 --STEWART EXPLAINS FURTHER THAN THE REASON WHY THEY WERE ASKED    HERE WAS TO RETRIEVE SOMETHING BUT THAT IS A MOOT POINT NOW    UNTIL THEY CAN RETRIEVE THE VAN.
 --KOEPP ALSO ADDS WHY THE UNION IS HERE.  THE UNION WANTS WHAT THE    WAYFARERS HAVE...INFORMATION.
  "WE'VE BEEN LIVING HERE FOR HUNDRED OF YEARS, LISTENING.  THEY     WANT US BECAUSE WE KNOW...EVERYTHING."
 --THE WAYFARERS HAVE DEVELOPED HIGHLY SENSITIVE COMMUNICATION    SYSTEM.  THEY CAN LISTEN FROM LOW-GLOSS COMMS TO BRILLIANT    PEBBLES AND FLASH TRAFFIC.  THEY KNOW ABOUT THE TRUTH.  THEY    KNOW THE SECRETS.
 --THEY WOULD HAVE REVEALED THE TRUTH BUT MEMORY BLURS KNOW IT AS    WELL.  MAN IS NOT YET READY TO KNOW WHAT THEY KNOW.  THEY    KNOW OF THE WAR AND THE FACT THAT THE UNION, PREVIOUSLY    KNOWN AS THE VIPER BUREAU STOPPED THE WAR BECAUSE IT WAS NO    LONGER NECESSARY TO USE IT AS A COVER.  THE WAR STARTED     LEGITIMATELY, BUT THE PATH OF THE WAR WAS FIXED.
 --IT WAS BECAUSE DURING THE WAR, SOMETHING WAS FOUND...OR     DISCOVERED...IT WASN'T NECESSARILY ONE THING.  BUT THAT CHANGED    THE COURSE OF HISTORY.  HE COULD TELL THEM, BUT THEN THEY    WOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE; KOEPP IS A RESPECTED RIG    COMMANDER.  ONLY A FEW WAYFARERS KNOW ALL THE MISTRUTHS OF    HISTORY.
 --THE NEXT DAY, PATRICK WAKES UP GABRIEL AND DRAGS HIM TO PLAY.
 --EVERYONE EATS.
 --PATRICK AND GABRIEL FIND A SHARK IN THE FIELD.  IT LOOKS INTACT.
 --RIO AND ELINA SPEAKS...SHE REALIZES HE HAS NO IDEA.
 --SHE TAKES HIM TO THE LIBRARY AND HE READS ABOUT THE ATROCITIES AT    AUSHWITZ, HITLER, BLITZKRIEG, ABOUT THE SS, AND THE DEATH CAMPS.
 --"MY GOD...IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN."
36. "HORIZONS"
 --THE BIRDNEST LOOMS OVER THE NAVY.
 --A MAN WALKS DOWN THE HUGE RAMP TO THE SAND.
 --SOMEONE COMES BEHIND THEM SAYING THE COORDINATES HAVE BEEN FIXED.
 --THE MAN IS SHOWN TO ME MICHAEL BEIHN...HE TELL THEM TO MOVE OUT.  HE    HAS TO MEET WITH ONE...A NEW COMMANDER IS ARRIVING TO OVERSEE    THE FINAL PUSH...HE WILL ARRIVE IN THREE DAYS.
 --LAUNCH
 --TEN NAVY SHIPS AND SIX WARHAWKS FLY OUT.
 --BACK AT WARAZAWA...THE PCS SEE MANY SYMBOLS OF NON VIOLENCE.
 --PATRICK STICKS TO GABRIEL AND IS IN CONSTANT DISBELIEF THAT THE    RAVENS EXISTS.
 --SOMEONE SEES A SHIP CRASH IN THE DISTANCE...ABOUT A 400 MILES INTO THE    BUSH.  A GOOD CHECK WILL REVEAL THE SHIP TO LOOK LIKE A MANTA.
 --IT WILL TAKE A HOVER VEHICLE A DAY TO GO OUT THERE...STRANGE VISUAL    SIGHTS EVERYWHERE.  FLOATING TREES AND TREES THAT MOVE.  THE    PLANTS MOVE ALL IN UNISON AND THERE IS A SINGING WHISTLING    SOUND THROUGHOUT THE FOREST.
 --THE FLY TO THE CLOUD LAYER...CLOUDS, FULLY FORMED, ON THE GROUND.     THEY ARE THINK AND ALMOST CUSHIONY...THEY ARE NOT CLOUDS BUT    STRANGE PLANTS.
 --MOVING MOUNTAINS ARE IN THE DISTANCE...STRANGE SIGHTS THERE TO.
 --THE SHIP IS BEING SWALLOWED UP...THERE CREW IS DEAD.  THE COMPUTER IS    WIPED...INTENTIONAL BY THE CREW...THEIR LAST LOG ENTRIES INDICATE   THEY (DEATH'S HEAD) WERE ASKED BY THE SHOP TO FIND THE VAN.
 --THE SHIP IS A TOTAL LOSS AND WILL VANISH IN UNDER AN HOUR.  THE     COMMUNICATION IS PARTLY WORKING AND THE PCs PICK UP A     TRANSMISSION FROM THE BIRDNEST, INDICATING THE MAIN STRIKE    FORCE IS GOING TO HIT FILLAN AND THEN MOVE TOWARDS WARSZAWA    IN THE NEXT 72 HOURS.  THEY'RE ORDERS ARE TO TAKE OUT THE     POPULACE.
 --THE PCS WARN WARSZAWA, THEN THEY CAN HEAD BACK.
 --WHEN BACK, THE PCs ALSO SEE A HUGE VEHICLE HAS ARRIVED THAT DREDGES    UP RIGS AND TRANSPORTS FROM BENEATH THE SAND.  IT WILL TAKE A    DAY OR SO FOR THE VEHICLE TO REACH, BUT WITH A FULL CREW...IT CAN   ONLY CARRY TWO MORE PEOPLE...WHO'S GOING?
 --THE FORCE WILL BE HERE SOON...THE TOWN CANNOT HOLD UP TO THAT FORCE.
 --THE SALVAGE VEHICLE MOVES TO THE SITE...THEY CAN DIG UP THE     AREA...THE VAN IS INTACT, CRASHED ON A SECTION OF ROCK BENEATH    IT.  THE SKIPRAY AND THE RAVEN IS INTACT.
 --BACK AT WARSZAWA...WAR.  THE NAVY FLEET ARRIVES AFTER THE     WARHAWKS START STRAFING.
 --BUILDINGS GET WASTED EVERYWHERE.
 --THE SKIPRAY AND THE RAVEN COME TO SAVE THE DAY, STEVEN SEES THE    RAVEN AND FREAKS OUT.
 --THE BIRDNEST WILL ARRIVE IN 12 HOURS TO NUKE THE CITY FROM ORBIT.
 --IF THEY OBSERVE THE BIRDNEST, THEY WILL SEE THE FLEET AND MICHAEL    IRONSIDE GETTING OFF THE FALCON…BUT HE IS NOT THE PILOT.
 --BACK AT WARSZAWA, THEY CAN MAKE A PLAN.
 --GRAHAM CAN SEE WHAT FORCE HE CAN GET TOGETHER BUT RIGS ARE NOT    TERRIBLY LOYAL TO EACH OTHER.
 --ELINA WILL GO WITH THE PLAYERS ON THE BLUE NAVY SHIP THEY CAPTURED.
 --THEY CAN FIND SOME ADDITIONAL WEAPONS AND SOME UNIFORMS…FIVE OF    THEM…ONE OF THEM IN A CAPTAIN UNIFORM BUT ONLY MAX WILL FIT    IT.
 --THEY CAN FORM A PLAN BUT IT SHOULD INVOLVE GETTING INTO THE     BIRDNEST AND TAKING OUT IS GRAV DRIVE.
 --WILLIAM WILL WORK ON EVACUATING THE CITY.
 --THEY CAN, IF THEY WANT, MEET UP WITH A RIG RENDEZVOUS…FIFTEEN RIGS    ARE THERE.  AS GRAHAM SAID, NOT VERY LOYAL.
 --TIME TO GO…
 --THEY HAVE TO ENTER THE BASE UNNOTICED.
  EVENTS: --THEY GET CAUGHT…ALARMS SOUND.
    --SOMEBODY GETS BLOWN OUTSIDE AND MUST FIGHT THE       SOLDIERS AROUND THE LEGS OF THE BASE.
    --SOMEONE GETS CUT OFF IN THE SHIP BAY.
    --QUAICE GETS SHOT AND NEEDS IMMEDIATE MEDICAL       ATTENTION.
    --THE DOCTOR HAS TO TAKE HER TO THE MEDICAL BAY.
    --FOUR GROUPS NOW…1:  OUTSIDE FIGHTING.
        2:  MEDICAL FIGHTING.
        3:  SHIP FIGHTING
        4:  GRAV FIGHTING.
 --THE BAD GUYS INCLUDING THE CLEANER DISCOVER THE PCS ARE ON BOARD.
  1: --THE PC MIGHT GET INTO ON OF THE NAVY VEHICLES
   --EVENTUAL, THAT VEHICLE WILL BE PUT OUT OF COMMISSION.
   --THEY WILL GET PINNED INSIDE OF IT AND MIGHT HAVE TO      SURRENDER.
  2:   --THE DOCTOR HEALS QUAICE BUT SHE IS STILL OUT OF THE       PICTURE.
   --THE CAT RE-GROUP WITH EVERYONE ELSE AND MUST FIND      THEIR OWN WAY OUT.
   --ONE OF THE NAVY SHIP IN THE BAY ARE AVAILABLE BUT THEN      THEY ARE PINNED BEFORE THEY CAN GET TO IT.
  3: --THE PC HAS TO FIGHT TO A VEHICLE…A SHARK AND HAS TO      PILOT IT…BUT THE DOORS CLOSE AND OTHER SHIPS TAKE      OFF TO PURSUE IT.
   --IT HAS TO FLY AROUND THE FOUR OTHER BAYS, ALL CLOSE AS      WELL…THE PC CAN’T FIND THE FALCON
  4: --THE PCS GET TO THE GRAV DRIVE, A HUGE DISC SPINNING, AND      PLACE EXPLOSIVES.
   --SOLDIERS CORDON OFF THE ROOM WHERE THE GRAV DRIVE IS,      SEALING IN THE PC.
 --OUTSIDE, WITH “1” WHEN A WATER TRANSPORT, THE ARISTA COMES OVER THE    EDGE.
 --ONE NAVY SHIP CHASES IT OVER THE DUNE…SILENCE…THE NAVY SHIP THEN    COMES BACK WITH THE ARISTA PURSUING.
 --THEN 100 RIGS COME OVER THE DUNE.  THEY START FIRING, OFFERING COVER.
 --THE REMAINING NAVY SHIPS ARE ERADICATED…THE ARISTA PICKS UP THE    PCS
 --5 000 20 MM GUNS STARTS POUNDING ON THE BIRDNEST.
 --THE CLEANER DECIDES NOW IS THE TIME TO LEAVE AND HE TELLS A     HELMETED MAN BEHIND HIM THE TIME TO GO HAS COME.
 --THE DIVERSION CAUSED BY THE ATTACK ALLOWS THE OTHER GROUPS TIME TO   MAKE AN ESCAPE.
 --GROUP “2” AND “4” MEET IN THE NAVY SHIP BAY AND CAN ESCAPE THAT WAY.
 --GROUP “3” WILL GET AN OPENING WENT THE FALCON ESCAPED…THEY CAN    THEN BLAST FOR THE DOOR.
 --THE GROUPS ESCAPE.
 --THE GRAV DRIVE EXPLODES.
 --THE CENTER COLLAPSES, THE PLATES RIP AND THE SHIP STARTS TO COLLAPSE.
 --THE TWISTED WRECKAGE FALLS TO THE GROUND.
 --EVERYONE LOOKS ON AS THE BIRDNEST SINKS INTO THE SAND…WITHOUT A    TRACE.
 --THE FALCON ESCAPES.
 --THE RIGS GO IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS.  THE NOVA AND ARISTA RETURN TO    WARSAWA.
 --THE VAN IS PARKED ON THE SIDE…PATCHED…IT IS HEAVILY DAMAGED BUT    WILL FLY.
 --THE HUGE IVORY TUSK IS THEIRS…IT IS WORTH ABOUT 5 MILLION.  IT SHOULD    COVER MOST OF THEIR REPAIR COSTS.
 --GRAHAM LEAVES IN THE NOVA…HE’S GOT A JOB TO DO.
 --WILLIAM GIVES GABRIEL A COMPUTER PAD…DON’T LOOK AT IT UNTIL YOU    TAKE OFF.
 --ELINA WILL STAY HERE…THIS IS HER HOME…THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A PLACE    FOR THEM HERE.
 --THEY TAKE OFF
 --THE VAN MOVES AWAY…WILLIAM AND ELINA WATCH ON
  ELINA:   DO YOU THINK WE’LL EVER SEE THEM AGAIN.
  WILLIAM: NO.
 --GABRIEL LOOKS AT THE FILE
 --HE SEES COMPLETE SCHEMATICS / BLUEPRINTS TO THE RAVEN.
 --THE VAN PASSES OVER THE SAND AND OVER THE NOVA.  GRAHAM IS STANDING   ON THE ROOF, HIS ARMS OUTSTRETCHED.  THE VAN FLIES OVER HIM.
 --IT PULLS UP AND FLIES INTO THE SKY.
37. “DISPOSABLE HEROES”
 --THE PLAYERS ARE ASKED BY DIALECTS B TO MEET SAPHIRE AT BREAKER’S    YARD.
 --THERE, OUT OF THE SHADOWS COMES FACE.  HE SAYS THAT THE PCS     RELATIONSHIP WITH SAPHIRE IS UNHEALTHY AND THAT WORKING FOR    THEM CAN BE GOOD FOR BOTH SIDES.  HE IS ADAMANT.
 --SAPHIRE ARRIVES AND TELLS FACE TO GET OUT…THEY NEVER REFER TO EACH    OTHER BY THEIR CODENAMES OR BY THEIR REAL NAMES.
 --FACE OFFERS THE PLAYERS 10 MILLION A PIECE.  SAPHIRE OFFERS THE     TRUTH…AND DIGNITY.
 --THEY SHOULD MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE…SAPHIRE.
 --FACE LEAVES AFTER SAYING “VERY WELL.”
 --SAPHIRE SAYS THAT A SECRET ALLIANCE HAS JUST BEEN FORMED WITH THE    DEATH’S HEAD…WHEN THAT HAPPENED, THEY GAVE THE SHOP THEIR    INFORMATION AND DATA BANKS.
 --SIX MONTHS AGO, A MANTA TRIED TO PENETRATE THE OBERON BLOCKADE.  IT    DID NOT SUCCEED.  THE SENSOR NET IS TOO INTENSE.  BUT BEFORE, THE    MANTA ESCAPE, IT TOOK A PICTURE OF THE SURFACE.
 --THE PICTURE SHOWS A GRASSLAND AND ONE OF OBERON’S OLD RADAR     OUTPOSTS.  RADIATION STUNTS GRASS GROWTH AND THAT BUILDING    SHOULD NOT BE STANDING IF 65% OF THE PLANET WAS WASTED.  THE    COORDINATES ARE 34 N AND 23 E.
 --SOMETHING IS FISHY THERE.  THE STEALTH CAPABILITY OF THE VAN MAY    ALLOW THE SHIP TO LAND…BUT BE CAREFUL…THE SLIGHTEST     MOVEMENT MAY CAUSE DETECTION.
 --TIME TO GO TO OBERON…BUT THE SHOP IS UNCLEAR WHAT THE VAN WILL    FIND.
 --SOMETIME, DARREN WILL HAVE A DREAM ABOUT THE LAST FEW SECONDS OF    THE VENDETTA AND WILL REMEMBER RG WILLIAMSON (PLAYED BY JOHN   LITHGOW).
 --OBERON IS HIGHLY GUARDED…BUT THE VAN SHOULD BE ABLE TO GO DOWN TO   THE COORDINATES.  THE AIR IS HEAVILY IONIZED.  THE STATION   IS NOT WORKING.
 --THE CITY IS TEN MILES AWAY, OVER THE GRASSLAND.  DO NOT FLY.
 --THE REACH THE OBERON COLONY AND SEE IT STILL STANDING.
 --DOORS ARE OPEN, VEHICLES ARE LOCKED ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.      VEHICLES ARE STILL ON THE INTERSECTIONS.  TWO CARS HAVE HIT EACH   OTHER, THE DOORS ARE LOCKED BUT THE VEHICLES ARE EMPTY.
  THE BUILDINGS ARE EMPTY.  SOME DOORS ARE UNLOCKED, SOME ARE    LOCKED.
 --ANYTHING METAL IS SLIGHTLY CHARGE…HAIR STANDS ON END.
 --ALL EVIDENCE POINTS TO THE FACT THAT THIS PLACE SEEMS MORE     ABANDONED…OR SOMETHING WORSE…LIKE ALL THE PEOPLE     JUST…VANISHED.
 --A SHIP FLIED OVER HEAD AND SEEM TO LAND IN THE STADIUM.
 --BUT, GOING THERE, THE SHIP IS GONE.
 --IF THEY WAIT, THE STADIUM TARMAC WILL OPEN AND SHIP WILL RISE AND    TAKE OFF.
 --THERE IS A BASE DOWN THERE…THEY CAN ATTEMPT TO SNEAK IN.  THEY WILL   DROP INTO A LEVEL THAT HAS ABOUT 300 DIFFERENT BLOC,     COMMONWEALTH AND AUTHORITY SHIPS…THEY ARE ALL BEING     MOTHBALLED, BUT MAINTAINED.
 --THEY ARE DISCOVERED!  THE PCS HAVE TO ESCAPE FROM THE COMPLEX BUT    NEVER REALLY FIGHT ANYBODY.  THEY RACE DOWN THE CITY TO THEIR    SHIP.
 --THE ARE CHASED OUT OF THE SYSTEM.  THE FALCON ARRIVES AND CHASES    THEM…BUT LETS THEM GO.
 --THEY RETURN WITH THEIR INFORMATION TO SAPHIRE.
 --HE SAYS THE SENSOR READINGS INDICATE A BOMB WAS DROPPED ON     OBERON…A DOCTOR CLARK HAS A PAPER ON THE NEUTRON BOMB    WHICH MATCHES THIS…BUT THE PAPER WAS WRITTEN LAST MONTH.
 --NEITHER THE UNION OF THE SHOP OR ANY CORPORATION OR GOVERNMENT    HAS THIS TECHNOLOGY…NOT EVEN IN THE TESTING STAGE.
 --THE OBERON COLONY WAS DESTROYED BUT IT WAS NOT DESTROYED BY ANY    WEAPON MADE BY MAN.
 --CONTINUE ON THE NEXT ADVENTURE IMMEDIATELY.
38.  "TURN OF THE SCREW”
 --BJORN IS INVITED TO REUNION OF HIS OLD SQUADRON…SOME MEMBERS ARE    GETTING TOGETHER AT THE BLUE PARROT CAFÉ.
 --SAPHIRE ASKS TO SEE BRADLEY…HE SAYS THAT A POLICEMAN ON TOWER HAS    BEEN POKING.
 --HE DOES NOT HATE BRADLEY…FAR FROM…HE RESPECTS HIM, HIGHLY.  HE CAN   ASSURE THAT HIS STOCKS GO THE…RIGHT WAY…IT BEING THE BEST    WAY TO OFFER SOME BONUSES TO THE VAN WITHOUT SUSPICION
 --THEY CAN HAVE A NICE CONVERSATION…
 --SOME FEDRICT OFFICER WANT TO TALK TO BRADLEY CONCERNING HIS     CHARGE ON TOWER.
 --SAPHIRE TRIES TO WAYLAY THEM WITH SOME MUMBO-JUMBO BUT IT DOES    WORK.
 --THE OFFICERS ARREST AND SEARCH…THEY FIND THE GUN AND KILL SAPHIRE    WITH IT.
 --BRADLEY IS THEN KNOCKED OUT.
 --BJORN IS WALKING HOME WHEN HE IS GUNNED DOWN IN FRONT OF THE VAN BY   THE CLEANER—TO BE CONTINUED.