The Aurora plague Storyline was established in February 2019 at the Game-Start; the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic has not been an influence.
‘His name was Jacob Vertise. He was my father.’
‘Oh, they dealt with it alright. They loaded all of the patients on to the “Marie Hope”, then despatched it to Earth.’
‘I think it’s time we started to make a difference in this total shit universe. We’ve saved Mitsuro Komatsu; we have his ship and we have the skills. We work for him and we have access to the resources of the Kinako Corporation.’
‘I have listened to your proposals; and I accept them. From now on, you are the crew of the “Oberon” and you work for me. In return, you have this ship as a base and what resources and contacts I have.’
+++ Message 1901202226 -1 +++
[USS Alabama [to Aurora Downport – Captain Jane Deladrier]
‘This is Captain Deladrier of the USSC “Alabama” to the officer in charge of Aurora Downport. We are inbound, ETA five hours.
+++ Message ends +++
2226-01.24, in orbit around Aurora
Bellatrix strode on to the bridge of the “Oberon” and looked at the screens, as well as out of the viewport. The USSC “Alabama” hung in matched orbit, about 1000 klicks away. It was the first chance they had really seen the Colonial cruiser up close (as it were.) It was sleek and deadly, bristling with sensor and weapon pods.
‘What’s the reply from Aurora?’
‘A general, neutral reply. ‘USSC Alabama, Captain Deladrier. We welcome your presence; but have no need of your assistance.’’
‘Deladrier responding. I recognise your assurance, however, under USS Mandate laws; I am required to land a squad of Marines for twenty-four hours to work with your local enforcers. Please transmit co-ordinates for a lander to put down. Deladrier out.’
‘That’s interesting. They must think there is something suspicious going on; else she wouldn’t have landed the Marines. Ten gets you five that they go down armed for bear’
‘Aurora Control to USSC Alabama. Please be advised that some areas are restricted access; open to Parkfield employees only.’
‘Are they deliberately trying to provoke her?’
‘Into doing what? Deladrier’s hands are tied; she can only act within Mandate law.’
‘Black Ops.’ Paula joined them on the bridge; watching as a lander exited the launch bay of the warship and headed down to the planet. ‘Deladrier, or probably her XO, will get a Special Operative down there to do some real snooping. If they find something, that’s when the fireworks will kick off.’
Achernar, Paula and Etamin examined the bodies of the hijackers and the recording equipment in the hold to see if there were any more clues. From the overall bone structure and pale skin; they had all spent prolonged time in space.
‘Belters?’ said Achernar; ‘they look the right type. Ah, what’s this?’ All of the bodies had a tattoo on their left shoulder; a circle with an eye above it. Both Paula and Etamin nodded.
‘That’s the Overwatch Union; their goal is to expose exploitation of workers and their families in the Outer Colonies. They are pretty radical’
‘They took out the Director of Boston Harbour when he was visiting Earth; they blew his car up’, said Etamin, in an off-hand way. Paula and Achernar stared at him; Etamin grinned his disarming smile. ‘Okay, I supplied the route the car would take; but really, I didn’t know what they were going to do.’
Paula had a violent reaction to this. ‘You bastard’, she hissed, ‘you’re a fucking terrorist.’ She grabbed the nearest item and threw it at Etamin; he ducked and it missed him.*
‘I spent twenty-four years on the force fighting scum like you.’ Paula went to draw her gun and Achernar stepped in.
‘No guns on a spaceship! Paula, back off a little and let’s hear him out. Etamin doesn’t strike me as being a terrorist and he doesn’t have a tattoo.’ A thought struck him, ‘Etamin; let’s see your left shoulder – okay. Now what happened?’
Etamin slipped a wicked-looking knife back into a sheath in his left boot and leaned back against a bench.
‘I was born a street rat in Buenos Aries; I never knew my parents. You did anything to survive; I was in a street gang and we did what we had to do. We were promised 3 blocks** to get the information on the route the Director’s car would take; I got it for them but they tried to rat us out. We took them down and they had this tattoo. I did some fishing and found out about the Overwatch Union. Next thing; the Directors car gets blown up by an RPG.’
‘So you didn’t actually supply the route – you took them down? So why the frack did you say that you did?’
‘Hell; I was bragging a bit. I didn’t know the Queen Bitch would react like this!’
Paula glared and pointed a finger. ‘Just stay away from me.’ She stormed out of the hold.
Achernar eyed Etamin coldly. ‘You don’t seem too concerned anyway about what happened?’
‘Which part of “you did anything to survive” are you struggling with, Ach?’
2226-01.26, in orbit around Aurora
+++ AURORA CONTROL +++
Brought to you via landline from Parkfield Corporation
– There is a developing region in the southern equatorial belt, a Class Three sunspot. This is being kept under observation.
– Polar magnetometers show fluctuations higher than normal; hourly monitoring is available on the Control channel.
++ ADVISORY: If the warning sounds; or the aurora deepens in intensity, then seek shelter immediately. Get into your assigned shelter or as deep underground as you can. ++
++ ADVISORY: The recent prolonged solar storm severely depleted stockpiles in the shelters. All citizens are advised to bring two weeks supply with them. ++
++ ADVISORY: There are Colonial Marines present; working with our own security forces to ensure our safety. Report any inappropriate questions to your Parkfield Rep. ++
2226-01.26, Lounge of the ‘Oberon’
‘There is no reason to stay here. Rachel, you are not going to get to those ruins; there’s a flare building and a fucking Colonial cruiser in orbit.’ Achernar looked out of the viewport at the “Alabama.” ‘I suggest we head out and come back later; much later.’
‘I concur.’ The voice was weak, from Mitsuro. ‘I must return to Kinako HQ at Earth, to alleviate what damage my abduction has done. Once we return, I will formally transfer ownership of the ‘Oberon’ to you; you will act as my trouble shooters, operating as and when I see fit. In all regards, you will answer to me only.’
‘This is a great honour, Mitsuro-san.’ Rachel fell to her knees and bowed.
Etamin gave his charming smile. ‘I never thought I’d end up working for the big boys. Do you know how much your stuff costs on the streets; the real streets?’
‘Ok, we’d better move before the “Alabama” starts taking an interest in us.’ Achernar turned to face the group. ‘Komatsu, where to?’
‘Mitsuro-san, please, I am your employer. Earth, of course.’
To be continued…
* Reaction roll of Snake Eyes
** Block – slang for 1000 credits
Ok, back after a long break (many reasons, none really relevant.)
I did think I’d painted myself into a corner, but then I realised I was getting too hung up on what I wanted to happen. Sure; I’m interested in the alien ruins, but, really as things stand they are not accessible and it would be stupid to keep pushing that plotline.
Suddenly, a whole (potential) plotline revealed itself and I’m really excited to be going with it for Season 3.
I do still want to set up a separate, parallel Game involving the “Alabamba”; SOLO has the rules for doing this.