Bryson's Bitchin' Safari


Welcome. I'm Lord Bryson Tarn and this is a journal of life aboard my ship, the Etana. The ship hit the stars on 324-03-01 with a fresh crew and we're underway. You can read all about it below. Additionally, details as to the crew (including myself!), ship and any other information I choose to make note of will be linked in the navigation portion of the page as it becomes available. I'm excited to give you a picture into my life and that of my companions on the grand project that is our lives.

324-05-28: Are Things Back to Normal? What is Normal?

Trip back to Jada went fine. During our time in jump, we all met up in the Trophy Lounge to have a good chat about our suspicions regarding the attack we suffered in Eskeval and make some plans about how we'd like to go forward. We provided Jada with the news on events in Eskeval. The system is something of a vacation destination for the Jada well-to-do. Once docked up, the team split. Deacon and I headed to meet with our employer on the Fenner Abyss matter. I seem to recall it was Boze who headed up efforts to track down ownership and other details on the ship that attacked us in Eskeval, and there was also additional shopping. People can't resist spending money in Jada. We have a fancy tent now. Red Teddy has also been taking on... security concerns? She definitely provides a different perspective. I admit, I'm not fully comfortable with everything I'm hearing, but it's informed and active idea generation I'd say. Like, you know if you've ever had employees or been in a leadership position and you ask people for ideas? Some people are shy about it, or they are just there to do their particular job. Sounds like RT has dreams of picking up a ship of their own sooner or later, so I suppose that all fits.

So, Deacon and I meeting with our contact. They are the Interstellar Navigation Society, like to go by "The Lighthouse" for short. Gave us some patches we likely won't be wearing. They didn't have a ton of information or clues to give us regarding the people we met in Eskeval. They mentioned "The Keepers", folks interested in preventing artifacts from the Abyss from causing trouble, Triune Intelligence, the mostly Jada led local intelligence service, and a mention of "The Open Hand". My strong impression coming out of the meeting is that they have money more than they have sense or much in the way of... a local operation or contacts. They also didn't seem to know much about or have too much concern about the death of Pollux, the Etana passenger that originally had their item stolen from them and was part of the Lighthouse himself. Hell, in addition to all of that, we know that originally one of our old passengers, who went by the name of Cadme Gosa and seemed to have been an old NSP enlisted man initially stole the item from Pollux, and this "Cadme" himself was about to be jumped by a gang before we made the jump ourselves first. So... a lot of stuff in play.

Meanwhile, investigation into the ship that had attacked us brought up old purchase records and indications that we had an independent operator with a military experienced crew. It wasn't the registered owner who radio'd us on the way out of Eskeval, so who is to say who the current crew consists of. They were running with ID off in Eskeval, and had more crew than you'd normally have running on a regular commercial operation. If I remember right, owner name came back as Goliath Falls? Whatever it was, surprise, it was a fake name, and maybe I'm to believe his actual name was David Falls? I'd need to double check with Boze to verify on that, but man... some people and their aliases...

After shopping and chatting had been done, we all hooked up to plan next steps again. Given the known capabilities of the ship that had attacked us and considering who could know what, given travel times, we decided that moving earlier was a sensible move and returning to Eskeval would be the less obvious move for us to make. So we decided to go with that, then planning to jump to Dante, which we think should put us ahead of the opposition if we're reading the situation correctly. With that in mind, I floated the idea of putting together a little covoy to get us to Eskeval, see if any other ships were headed that way, so we could have some protection in numbers should we have guessed wrong. Boze got to asking around as I put together passengers, freight and mail.

Jump to Eskeval went just fine. We put together a nice little four ship convoy and three came through fine, while a fourth looks to have had a delay due to mis-jump. We kept one ship on high watch at 100 diameters and we all took our turns setting down at port. Scan of orbit turned up an abandoned ship launch. Eskeval traffic control reported it was stolen by the crew that had attacked the port a couple weeks ago, apparently just to get back to orbit to then get back aboard their vessel. While I dealt with freight and passengers, a good bit of the crew took our own launch up to orbit to help out the locals here in Eskeval. Half of us then were getting the Etana refueled in the ocean while others returned the Eskeval vessel, our own launch redocked... all the rest. Then, as I looked into more passengers and freight as we all got back to port, yet more shopping was occuring. Pretty normal and good stuff overall.

Now... yeah, it's me writing from jumpspace. We'll see what Dante brings, and maybe if I'm lucky I'll get to drop by Marinox. Home, sweet home. Nice to visit, but also nice to have the Etana, ready to be off to wherever you wanna be.

324-05-02: Too Much is Going On!

In jumpspace again... headed to Jada. "Wasn't your last entry you looking to jump out of Jada?" I hear you ask. Well, yes it was! I guess we can get into it...

So, we kinda ended up with a couple extra crew before we jumped out of Jada. NSP guy with some gunnery experience and "Red Teddy." I'm picking it up in pieces, but it sounds like she's had some kind of... journalism/undercover military/space pirate background I don't know all the ins and outs of yet. Once last minute details were put togther and I'd gotten passenger and freight details squared away we made the jump. The plan was to hit Eskeval then jump to Sierra. Upon dropping out of j-space we contacted Eskeval traffic control as per usual and they were playing it very low key, but the fuel depot at their station had been blown apart and was leaving a smoking plume!

Yeah, bad things happening already. A ship had left a landing party, apparently, that had blown this depot and done some damage to the facilities, and some local people had been shot. We set down and the military crew suited up to secure the landing site for the Etana. Forunately nothing immediate was happening, so I made some local calls to arrange for passenger disembarkment and freight unloading, because that pays the bills. Meanwhile some members of the crew advanced to the traffic control tower to assess the situation in a more tactical manner, where Mae did some triage and questions were asked. After unloading was complete on the Etana and local travel arrangements were made for the passengers, I took a few passengers into town on the Air Raft. Other crew interested in checking local market options, but after we'd learned more about what had happened, it seemed prudent to fuel up the Etana and maybe leave system.

Detail? Well, investigation of the attack and sensor readings gave us the firm impression we were dealing with pirates or mercenaries of some kind, and the ship was a modified free trader, seemed a bit more well armed than the usual. So, before we made any further moves we dropped the Etana on the local ocean and commenced to fueling. Fueling was going well when sensors detected something incoming, fast! Bode and our new NSP man took to the turrets we'd just picked up in Jada, while Margot hit the thrusters to lift us off the surface. It was a small incoming fighter. Teddy had dreams of somehow acquiring this craft (not that I have room for it), but Bode managed to shield us from incoming fire with the sandcaster as the pulse laser landed a perfect shot that pulled the thing out of the sky right into the Eskeval drink.

So... must be these bad guys didn't know we were armed. We pulled hard to orbit and managed to grab a good sensor scan that had them orbiting opposite side of the planet. Our new NSP man was like... "I think it's time to break in the turrets a bit more" and I asked him if he had a few hundred thousand credits to pay for the damage we'd inevitably be taking (not to mention the fact we were outgunned). He did not happen to have the cash on hand, so I called for us to burn out to 100 diameters and plot return course to Jada. Eskeval was only a jump-1 inbound, so Etana still had fuel for another jump-1, refuel interruption or not.

That brings us to now. Sitting in jumpspace, ship undamaged, passengers and freight delivered, but questions remain. Before we made jump, this vessel radio'd, let us know they knew we were headed to the Abyss... Maybe I should have called for a jump to Jacob's Ladder instead, hard to say. Anyways, I've got some questions I'd like answered by our employers in Jada regardless, so that's how it's gonna go.

324-04-21: What the Hell are My Crew Up To?

Hey. So, anyways, refurbishment of the Etana is complete! Boze, Fergus, Maulleigh and I have been up to this and that, be it financial and bureacratic arrangements, working with the local shipyard to get some turrets properly installed, configured and integrated with Etana's systems, skill comp training, and even some interior decorating in the form of more mural work on the passenger deck. Margot? I think she's just wrapping up stuff with her apartment, bills, packing up, that kind of thing. The rest of the crew? Man, I don't really know. I heard they went out to Hoops and had some fun playing against some kids and their parents, I think? Reno stopped to check in with me after they'd apparently been up for I dunno how many hours. Wanted to see if I minded if he rolled a couple of of low berth pods aboard. These are non-paying passengers, I'll have you know. In fact... Reno said they were frozen super-soldiers? Mae said she could handle it on the medical front, as I've never shipped low passengers before. Sounded like maybe some NSP thing, so I'll leave it to Reno and Boze to work it out. Probably will want to wire up those pods so their conditions can be monitored I'm guessing?

So, hopefully there is not much interruption with all of that, because I'd like us to hit the stars in pursuit of our 10 MCr payday! Sounds like enough story they'll have stuff to talk about with me while we're stuck in J-Space. You'll know when I know, friends!

324-04-18: Jada and the Case of the Suspicious Guzzle-Chaw

A couple days ago we dropped into Jada and I've gotta say everything is going pretty OK. It all started out pretty normal. Set down at port. Passengers disembarked after their arduous journey from Sierra. One guy in particular, Pollux, gave me some special thanks. Anyways, I got to disburse some funds to the crew so they had some shopping money. Also... Margot! Margot Parsons, someone I'd met a few years back when she was acting in law enforcement of all things... it's a bit of a story, so I'll skip it for now. The part relevent to events today is that she is the #3 shareholder of the Etana. Back in her earlier days I guess she'd always wanted to explore the stars and now her ship had arrived. She was in Jada and now, so were we. I got ahold of her, asked her about the best place to eat around here, and I took the crew for a free meal and we all got together. Jada, being the highest tech area in the whole sector, made for some pretty fancy getting around. The place is really a massive city of somewhere around 10 billion people on a moon orbiting a gas giant. They've got all of the platforms running at 1G, a decent amount of the city above ground, in addition to a sensible amount of it below. The meal made for good introductions, then Bode gave me a call from ship that a passenger had returned to ship with some security complaint. So, I headed back to the Etana to deal with whatever this was, Deacon came along, and Margot took everyone else out for some shopping.

Back at the Etana, it was this same Pollux guy from earlier, a bit frantic about the fact he believed something had been stolen from him. I checked over the security footage and sure enough, another passenger who boarded under the name of Cadme Gosa had snagged this doo-dad from him around the time we dropped out of jump here in Jada. This didn't bring all that much relief to Mr. Pollux, who then wanted to hire me or my crew to maybe re-acquire this doo-dad for him without getting local authorities involved. After some back and forth we settled on a 150,000 Cr. per week fee for our services. Dunno, I probably could've soaked him for more given his desperation. Kinda based the fee off of hauling a ship full of High Passengers, it certainly was a decent enough deal for me, assuming this whole endeavor didn't land us in some complicated kind of trouble. I filled the rest of the crew in on the happenings and a couple folks wrapped up their shopping to come back and play detective, while Boze kept looking into what Jada had to offer us on the technology front.

I could go on about who found what, but our various sluething seemed to indicate this "Cadme Gosa" was maybe an enlisted NSP military man of some sort who'd been hanging out on Sierra for quite a bit waiting for Pollux, or whatever he was carrying, to come through. As for the object itself, it was described to us as a small sphere that could easily fit in the palm of your hand with "a script no one has ever seen" etched into it, supposedly felt cool to the touch regardless of how long it was held. Fergus said it aligned with descriptions people had brought back of illegal artifacts out in the Fenner Abyss. Among the odd clues we found was evidence this NSP fella was maybe hooked on "Chaw", some sort of nasty addictive chew you put in your mouth... then just swallow when you're done? Apparently it's big among NSP enlisted folk, though Deacon claims to have never touched the stuff. I'd never heard of it during my travels, but it was maybe a lead...

Next step for us was hitting the streets of Jada. Though apparently having never touched the stuff, somehow Deacon was able to dig up a dealer of this unknown drug down in some half-sketchy neighborhood. We weren't all together, but we were close and Deacon stumbled upon this Cadme after he'd finished his, umm, interview/deal with the dealer and caught Cadme coming in. They had a chat where I think Deacon was trying to make him snag-able for us, but eventually Cadme was back on his way. Seeing as this guy had never seen Margot, she decided to use her ex-law enforcement savvy to tail our man of interest. So, Margot was tailing somewhat closely, and I recall Maulleigh was in the area, Deacon of course, me, and Fergus was fairly nearby. As the situation developed, eventually Boze came over to the area, taking a brief break from his shopping. Later I heard this guy was about to step into an ambush when Margot engaged him to chat. That was going oddly when I stepped with some unlikely story trying to convince him to come back to the ship, but he wasn't having it. I was getting the idea that if this Cadme was given any more time he'd eventually make contact with somebody more dangerous or difficult to deal with than we wanted to tangle with so... I figured I'd just tackle him and, you know... be done with it?

Turns out, it's not as easy to tackle an NSP military man as I thought on a whim, but fortunately Deacon stepped up with the cat-like reflexes and snatched the doo-dad off this guy and got to running right away. These ambushers I'd been unaware of then decided it was time to get into the mix and Maulleigh and Margot threw shoulders into a couple of them while Boze stuck our man Cadme with a Stunner. A third guy slipped us and was after Deacon, we lost sight of him in the crowd. The guys Margot and Maulleigh bumped decided to just bail completely. Fortunately Deacon was able to make contact with Fergus to transfer the item, and apparently shook whatever tail he may have had. Seeing as we'd been in a scuffle and I didn't know what to expect, I made sure Fergus knew about the drop-off location while I looked into getting some spare parts ordered for the Etana immediately. I guess I was worried that if the heat got turned up too much due to who-knows-what, I wanted us ready to leave system or whatever if it came to that.

So, Fergus made it to "The Clubhouse" where Pollux was hanging out to hopefully complete our deal. Come to find out, apparently Pollux was working with another party and had mistakenly only acquired half of the item they'd been seeking! This other party then was interested in getting us to go fetch the mystery second half of this item. Fergus patched me in to have a conversation with them about it. Normally this kind of thing is not for me, but... money talks I guess. These folks offered 1 MCr right up front! Beyond that, the offer was for 10 MCr. upon successful return of the object they were looking for. I guess it is a disk or dish that fits with the object. Pollus had even seen it but thought it was insignificant.

That was a very long story, but it's also about coming into a million credits with promise of ten million more! We're still in Jada for now. An interview with Pollux for more details about the location is in the works, and... we're in Jada. There's nowhere else in the sector we're going to find some of the things we're going to find here. So, we're still shopping around, I'm getting some additional work done on the Etana, making sure we're in tip top shape before we pick things back up and head for the Fenner Abyss. Boze has already found some potentially ass-saving gear here we'll all be training on how to use too.

324-04-09: Unfriendly Jacob's Ladder

I don't always think to update this journal as often as I maybe should. The Etana decided it wasn't so excited about visiting Jacob's Ladder, so jump took a whole 5 days longer than expected! Passengers were getting nervous, and I can't blame them. Refugees out of New Beaumond, then rolling the dice with the Etana to get to Jada, then we have a misjump, then there was Jacob's Ladder itself. Once we dropped out of jump, we were pretty quickly contacted by the station (sits among the glittering rings of a beautiful gas giant, the only cool thing about this place), and they delivered instructions about docking, registering visitors and all the rest. I'd have been happy to fuel up at the gas giant and be on my way, but there were a couple complications regarding that...

Boze (or "Captain Harrow" as we sometimes make Bode call him) had to visit an old NSP contact at Jacob's Ladder station to get this NSP Lieutenant off our hands. Before we got to that business, we tried to drop into the gas giant to let the scoops grab us a nice bit of free fuel. Takes 40 hours to refine the stuff anyways, so might as well get it going. Well, it turns out the planet had unusually high winds extending even into the upper atmosphere. The ship got wrenched around and tumbled enough to really jack it up. Our poor passengers got a bit of a spook, the hull was strained and the fuel tanks sprung a leak. Turns out we had to dock at that station whether I wanted to or not.

On station, the crew decided to take a look around while I arranged for repairs. Well, that's not fair. Fergus was delving into our stock of parts and getting the fuel tanks patched up. Being internal work, it was good having him working on it so none of the local station crew needed to come aboard. Thanks for being the man, Fergus! Boze was off to find and talk to his old military contact. Given the vibes, I had a talk with the passengers and told them to keep their heads down and stay in their staterooms, because this place was very unfriendly regarding the refugee situation. Also, I had a foreman and repair crew that'd be around who could decide to get nosey. In fact he asked some pointed questions about our business and possible passengers. Seeing as we came from Marinox-way, I could feign some ignorance as to the local situation and bluff my way through.

While the crew was poking around station enjoying themselves and I was stuck baby-sitting this repair crew (and Fergus was getting dirty wrenching with the fuel tanks), I also made some calls looking to get rid of that cargo we picked up from Beren, but no luck. I could've found a buyer eventually, but we didn't really have the time with these passengers waiting to get to Jada... after a 5 day misjump and everything. Boze made arrangements for us to drop our NSP Lieutenant off at one of the local moons so she could get transferred to wherever she'll be off to. So, that's that. Just waiting the last couple hours for this shitty station fuel to refine so the Etana doesn't have to suffer any more indignities, and we can jump the hell out of here.

324-03-25: Sierra Chill and Trouble in New Beaumond

Jump went fine. We've been in Sierra for a few days now. Back in Beren, when we had that situation with the NSP Lieutenant, well, Boze tried to arrange to get her successfully delivered back to someplace more friendly and familiar to her. To make that happen we needed to head towards, I think, Jacob's Ladder. That whole area, closer to Jada, gets you more plugged in to some networks, not that I know what old NSP business and people are still kicking around the sector. Apparently Boze does. Anyways, Sierra is a real small waystation kind of place and the station staff are the friendliest I've ever seen. Real nice people. Delivery of passengers and everything went off with no hitches. We did notice quite a bit more than usual ship traffic in the area, a lot of small trader ships from New Beaumond. Turns out they have some kind of civil war going on. The place is falling apart, total Red Zone, so people are getting out of there. Refugees were getting turned back at Jacob's Ladder, couldn't get to Jada, so they've been heading down the other way now, at least those that have the means to do so.

On the business side, paid out first month's wages, mortgage, had the ship checked over... Interspersed with that, I'd been spending time in station spreading word around that we were offering passage to Jada for anyone interested. With the J-2 dive we have a bit of flexibility on moving people around. So, we're scheduled to pick up the passengers and a bit of mail bound for Jada later tomorrow. Waiting for the Fuel Processors to work their magic. Oh, and how could I forget? Fergus is doing some... interior decorating. Painting the area by the entry hall and Trophy Lounge. Lets us talk about Iriadis and whatnot to entertain the passengers, and it doesn't hurt to do something to give the ship a bit of character.

324-03-15: An SOS and Weird NSP Business Already!

Well, we're outbound from Beren now, but it was a hell of a week already! It's really taking the crew a while to settle into roles, but some are getting there more smoothly than others. When we dropped into system I checked comms for local traffic, normal kind of thing for somebody to do, right? What came back wasn't just ship transponder codes, it was an SOS from a free trader over Beren IV! It'd been attacked by an armed free trader, lost pressure back in the engine room, some pretty serious hull damage, some number of the crew had died, 2 had sustained injuries. There were lessons to be learned about comms discipline, but everything worked out. Bode and Captain Harrow got us in on the disabled vessel, we kept in contact with Beren IV station, learned what we could on the way in.

So, Reno, Maulleigh, Mae, and Fergus boarded the disabled craft and we got the injured aboard the Etana. I had a full ship of passengers and cargo I wanted off and safe dirt-side, but the captain of the free trader was interested in effecting repairs on his vessel immediately. We ended up leaving our friendly boarding crew with them to work out what they could while the rest of us dropped passengers, the injured, and our cargo at station. As sensors seemed to indicate that the hostile vessel was bound for Beren III, I guess we all felt comfortable enough with the arrangement. Boarding crew had to patch up the hull enough to survive atmospheric re-entry and bring the M-Drive online, which they managed to do, saving the day for this poor captain. I had the crew come down and meet up with us station-side from this patched up boat. After the briefest of reflection... I probably should've met them in space just in case this shot up boat didn't make a landing, but all's well...

This attack? What was it about? Well, this captain had coordinates of some kind of NSP Naval Intelligence Base on Beren III, which these shady folks knew about and boarded and stole from the disabled free trader. The captain filled us in on the details at station, I guess as a favor and it wasn't like he was in condition to pursue anything himself anyways. Damn near half the Etana crew have some kind of NSP involvement stinking up their past, so they were interested. As for me... well, I had my trepidation. Managed to fuel up, but the processors were still pumping the not-so-clean waters through filters and whatnot. Also, the Etana is in no position to be fired at. Boze and the Colonel were chatting their chat, "Yeah, if we're attacked in space, we'll perform a boarding action", which was, frankly, ridiculous crazy-talk. Eventually they talked me into at least checking out the situation. I guess I hoped I could talk these pirates or whoever out of anything too crazy, it wouldn't open with just... shooting. So, it took us about a day to get out that way, something like 6 hours behind this other ship.

Things got looking better once we hit orbit over Beren III, Boze was able to make contact with the base using some old NSP credentials or something. There was some crazy Lieutenant down there, apparently stranded since the end of the war. She'd wired up the landing pad with explosives or something, wrecked the shit out of this pirate trader, totally no longer space worthy. She was holding off like 5 people all by herself, I mean, she had a lot of preparations she'd made it sure sounded like. Of course, former NSP folk aren't keen to let her get all shot up. So, we sent the military experienced (and Dr. Mae McPherson) down to the base in the launch. This NSP officer took down another guy herself before Reno, Boze, Maulleigh and Mae managed to incapacitate them with a well placed stun grenade! I used the half processed fuel on the Etana to douse the flaming wreck of the pirate free trader and refuelled from local sources while at the facility they scrounged up a bit of this and that.

So, that's pretty much the whole story. There are more details, maybe I'll write 'em up. We left the criminals with Beren IV authorities. We've got a cargo full of various NSP listening post equipment, some salvage from that ship. Took quite a while to part everything out. Hard to sell that NSP equipment in system, given the legal situation around here. Maybe when we hit jump space again the crew and I will have to assess just what it is we've got, and hopefully clear it out of cargo at our next port of call (and bring a nice load of Credits our way in exchange).

324-03-05: From the Depths of Jump Space

A week in jump is indeed a somewhat dull time, perfect for writing up a journal entry. Things are going smooth so far, but I have to say the party wasn't everything it could've been. First time of everyone together, nothing bad, but I wouldn't say I had the greatest time. A little awkward, to be honest. Fortunately, before the party I'd completed arrangements for passengers and cargo. I loaded us up! Even the launch is stuffed to the gills with small cargo lots, a couple high passengers, a dozen regular. Oh, we're currently enroute to Beren, J2 out. It's a pretty industrial planet, thick dirty atmosphere, sounds kind of awful. Why am I going? Well, my 2 high passengers, local Marinox guys, have a business venture out this way. We've chatted some about it in the lounge over the last few days. I wish 'em luck, and maybe repeat business on the flight should they strike it rich and become frequent fliers.

We'll see what Beren brings whenever the Etana drops us out of jump...

324-02-26: Final Preparations

You wouldn't believe how boring the preparations for this project can be. The Etana... I mean, the plan is to have fun out there, but the finances, I really should have an accountant tending to more of this. Mortgage payments, crew salaries, accounts, registrations... The beauracracy of it is killing me, and without a doubt the most important arrangement I've made so far is for the goddamned party I'm throwing for the crew before we hit the stars. No way am I going from all of this common clerk's work straight into... managing a crew, which hopefully doesn't take too much managing. I have a feeling Boze or the Colonel will be willing to handle some element of this. Margot has an ownership interest in the Etana, but I'm not sure exactly how that's gonna play out in her role aboard ship.

Anyways, there's a small journal entry for now. No doubt, things will get more interesting as the big day arrives!

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