Speaking to the recruiting officer for the local branch of the House of Nohamapetan, the party commit to working on the Nohamapetan tenner, If Want to Sing Out, Sing Out for the duration of the 9-month journey from End to Hub. Whilst some hesitation was expressed at boarding a Nohamapetan ship, given the party’s previous interaction with Ghreni Nohamapetan, it seemed the ship with the best employment prospects.
As they were preparing to board, Oskar invested in some subtle cloth armour for the party and Marce, the NPC that they were to escort to Hub, received troubling news. His father, Count Jamies Claremont, had been arrested for assassinating the Duke of End. The only witness? Ghreni Nohamapetan, now serving as acting Duke pending the appointment of a permanent duke by the Imperial forces in the area.
With that, the Sing Out slipped gently into the flow. If the Claremonts were right, this would be one of the final ships to traverse this particular route through the flow.
The first few weeks of the trip were uneventful, though the presence of Alphonse had not gone unnoticed by some. Eventually, he was accosted by two men in the mess hall. They had served previously on one of the (many) naval vessels on which he put down a mutiny, and one had lost an eye in the ruckus. The two men attacked Alphonse, who initially took a fair beating, but the fight quickly turned in his favour. He held one of the men in a grapple he could eventually smash the man’s face into the metal table, and held the other other at bay until security forces arrived.
When security arrived, both Alphonse and the remaining attacker were arrested and several people were taken for questioning as witnesses. This included Pom (one of our players) who had elected not to get involved, but began quietly drumming up support for Alphonse among the crew during the course of the fight.
Following questioning, Alphonse’s story was found to match those of the witnesses and he was released to the ship’s doctor to be fixed up. This was something of a reunion with another player, Oskar, who had been employed as a ship’s doctor for the course of the flight.
Time passed and Alphonse’s relatively minor wounds healed up, allowing him to quickly return to work. That meant I could roll for another random event from the table I had written… oh dear.
When stacking canisters of fertiliser, a band in the hoist that Pom and Alphonse were using snapped. Having randomised it, the large canister was going to fall onto Pom, but Alphonse, with his quick reflexes managed to push Pom out of the way, leaving himself even more vulnerable as a result. It was bad.
Medics were summoned and Pom went to inform the foreman. The Foreman never really got a name, so for the purposes of this writeup he shall be called… Norman. Yeah, Norman the Foreman. let’s go with it. Pom informed Norman about the accident and Norman was concerned. Normal was bereft. Norman was worried. Norman was just gutted at losing an expensive strap. Thankfully, they were insured, but it was still an emotional moment. He also reassured Pom that he shouldn’t worry about the situation with Alphonse. Money would not be wasted as his pay would be docked for the duration of his recovery, in line with normal House of Nohamapetan protocols. Pom seemed bemused by this.
Alphonse spent much of the rest of the journey recovering, but was back at work for a couple of weeks before the ship emerged from the flow and arrived in the Hub system. The Sing Out docked at the customs station nearest to the flow and the party emerged from the ship to see black flags draped over imperial iconography within the station. They checked their terminals, now receiving local news, and discovered the a lot had happened when they were in the flow.
First, the Emperox, Attavio VI, had passed away following a long illness. His daughter, Cardenia Wu-Patrick, had now become Emperox Greyland II. In addition, there had been an attack on Greyland’s coronation. End separatists had claimed responsibility for the attack which resulted in the deaths of several officials, including Greyland’s chief advisor, Naffa Dolg.
This news made Marce somewhat nervous. He knew that Attavio had been aware of his father’s research, but what of Greyland? he still had codes to attach to his messages that should grant him an audience, but would Greyland believe him?
The news also explained the increased security at customs and why so many End citizens on the ship were now being taken away for “enhanced security probes”. Thankfully, Marce’s status as a noble ensured that they passed through customs quickly and without trouble.
Once cleared, the party board Oskar’s medical shuttle and Pom flew them to Xi’an, the largest of Hub’s space stations, and the one that housed the sprawling Imperial Palace.
Xi’an is pretty luxurious in comparison to most space stations and orbital habitats. it’s clear that an abundance of money has been spent in setting it up and maintaining it. Unsurprising, given that the wider Xi’an complex exists to house diplomats and guild officials who have dealings with the Emperox, whose palace is also locatied on the station.
The party find a hotel which they really could not afford, but Marce reveals that he has a significant amount of credits in a data crypt and, given that the party were protecting him, covered the cost. The hotel, they discovered, was mostly residential but the upper floors were permanently occupied by offices maintained by several of the mercantile houses.
Once settled into their rooms, the party went their separate ways. Pom went for drinks for some time, before returning to Marce’s room where he was practicing the presentation he would be delivering to the Emperox. Oskar did a bit of research into what Marce was saying, trying to decide whether to believe his theories or not. His main discovery was that another ship, the House Lagos fiver, Yes Sir, That’s My Baby, emerged from the flow an hour after their own vessel, but that no further ships had emerged in the hours since. This was interesting, but not necessarily a confirmation of Marce’s theories, given the turmoil back on End. Several ship has also left Hub for End in this time.
Alphonse decided to go for a walk. The party had felt that they were being watched on the way to the hotel and wanted to investigate further. he spent some time setting up surveillance bugs in his own hotel room before leaving for the nearest park.
Due to some truly tragic dice rolls, Alphonse had a pleasant walk that, whilst enjoyable, was not particularly helpful in his investigation. What was more useful was the work he had done in bugging his own hotel room. On his return, he checked back over his footage and discovered that his hotel room had been visited by a pair of masked operatives who planted a couple of bugs (which Alphonse went on to deal with) before leaving, stating that they had to “get back upstairs”.
Marce arranged his meeting with the Emperox. The party have three days to fill before the meeting. The session ended here. We’re not on next week due to other commitments, but we will return the following week to further the intrigue in the Hub system.