Space World

Session 13: Touching the Past

A power struggle begins to brew between the shaman Nadya Kovyal Alexandrovna and Ekaterina Mikhailova Petrova. Nadya controls the inner circle of mystics, though they argue with her almost as much as everyone else. Katya meanwhile hold sway over the hunters.

Max meanwhile has been chatting with Daily about the Carnival’s resources. They need to make some money if they are to survive. Max tells Daily she will talk to the tribe about them their pulling weight.

In the rafters, Katya and Nadya discuss Mikhail Pavelovich Pertrov’s vision of the red world and what their course should be. Some of the tribe want to rescue him while other seek a new vision. As Nadya and Katya argue, the rest of the tribe talk about the spirit on the ship, the ghost of the captain haunting it. Max arrives at this point and talks to Katya about some work the tribe could do. Nadya is intrigued by the gunlugger and uses a translator to try to sound her out. She also opens her mind and has a vision. Max is like a flaming cactus: dangerous but rewarding. After the meeting, Nadya and a young hunter named Stephon go below to look for allies for the council later that night.

In Narnia‘s tent, Pipeline has gather Hiccup, Old Ma and Narnia to discuss their course of action. Pipeline doesn’t trust Max and wants to do seance to contact Switch. Old Ma is dubious about contacting ghosts. Hiccup excuses herself, explaining she isn’t much help. In the end they do the seance but the forces unleashed recoil and their focus, the charred mask of Manfred’s, breaks in two.

Outside the tent, Hiccup runs into Nadya and Stephon. The shaman is curious about this child, a feeling ehoed by Hiccup. In the course of translating, Stephon lets slip some of Nadya’s visions, that spirits are strong around Hiccup. It seems she can quiet spirits around her unconsciously. Nadya convinces her to come to her tent to talk more.

Pipeline runs into Max on her way back to her bunk. The gunlugger tries sounds out the battlebabe if she is up for doing murder gigs. However, Gauge overhears them. He reveals himself, holding Mice as a human shield. He tries to blackmail Max into cutting him in. She grits teeth against threatening him and leaves.

In the rafters, Hiccup and Nadya talk. Nadya thinks she could be a great shaman. Hiccup is unsure and needs proof of her powers. Nadya uses her followers to bring a vision of Blue Moon. They see two miners arguing people locked up in the mines. One man claims they are Reavers while the other one says his wife is in there. Worried Hiccup leaves to find Max.

Hiccup finds Max and Daff on the flight deck. She tells them about the Reavers and that they need a new course. Max isn’t so sure and thinks they might be able to handle it. she also says they don’t have another option. Hiccup goes looking for Daily.

In her bunk, Pipeline tries to contact Switch again using Commander Kriss‘s sword. This time something happens. The mask snaps together and floats. A Whispering voice talks to her, telling Pipline she is Switch’s mother. She tells her she is trying to get to Blue Moon to sow the seeds of the Garden Ship fruit. The fruit isn’t gone, the remains are near Hiccup. Then Narnia comes in and the seance ends. the mask drops. Narnia pretty shaken up but Pipeline is able to get her to help investigate Hiccup.

Hiccup finds Daily and easily convinces him to redirect course.

Later as she and Max rest in Switch’s old room, Narnia and Pipeline come by. they talk cryptically about looking into food stores and ask whether Hiccup has any fruit. Max is suspicious but Narnia pulls her aside. She wants Max not to interfere. Max can tell however she is scared of Hiocup.

That evening the tribe has a council to decide their path. Almost the whole tribe is there as Katya and Nadya contest each other. The shamans propose various courses but ultimately suggest using their powers to hide themselves from the psychic maelstrom. Nadya however decides to use their power to contact Mikhail. She reaches out but something burns her and the minds of her followers. they fall into violence lashing out at each other. As Katya tries to save her brother from being strangled, Nadya draws their attention. Unfortunately they attack her. She wards off most of their attacked but is stabbed badly. The chaos subsides as she collapses. Max comes up, drawn by the noise of combat but everything is done. She tries to patch up the shaman but the wound turns out to be worse than expected. with no other recourse she redirects the ship to Blue Moon to get medical supplies.

The Carnival lands and Max and Hiccup head out. Pipeline stays behind and tries a final time to contact Switch. Miraculously it works and she appears. After yelling and blaming Switch for the mess they are in, she asks her old captain for advice. Switch tells her not to trust Mother and that the fruit is locked in the safe under her bed. Pipeline checks it but it is empty. Concerned she goes looking for Hiccup.

Hiccup and Max meanwhile have found the locals surly and lacking in medical supplies. Max hints that she knows about their Reaver problem and can help. She is directed to Town Hall. But she gets the impression they distrust Spooks. At Town Hall she has to hand over her grenade launcher but is shown to the mayor, Crane. Max offers to kill the Reavers for him but he doesn’t trust her. He wants a hostage. She says she’ll do it without her gun. However again she is suspicious that the “Reavers” are not what is claimed. She is led to the mine and locked in.

Back in town, Hiccup tries to blend in with the locals but Pipeline finds her. The tall Amazon asks her about the safe and it comes out that Mice might be interested in the fruit. Just then they spot Gauge looking for someone. Pipeline confronts him and he admits he is looking for Mice. Pipeline searches for her and Gauge and Hiccup return to the ship.

In the mines, Max soon finds nine spooks gathered around a fire. she reveals herself and most flee. She convinces the others she is here to help. She gets directions to the three Reavers. Two were trapped in an elevator while the third was on the lower level. She finds the elevator missing, the line cut. She descends down the shaft to the darkness below. There she sneaks up on one and kills it. But even as she finishes it off, she hears the others murdering the spooks. She chases after them, finding half of the spooks brutally slain. A fifth is catatonic by the wall. She drags him along looking for the others. Then she is surprised as he and the other two Reavers attack. She kills the survivor but another Reaver lands on her and stabs her in the neck. Hurt but angry she lashes out and tears them apart with her knives.

Pipeline runs around town looking for Mice. She finds the little girl walking along with a bag. She asks what is in it, but mice demands money in return for a peek. Pipeline agrees and Mice shows her a bag of candy and toys she got for selling the seeds. They return to the ship though they hear screams as they approach. Screams from the mines.

Max makes her way to surface and knocks on the door demanding to be let out. The guards seem unsure if they should let her go. As they debate asking Crane, Max grabs one through the slit and forces him to open the door. While the other one fumbles for his gun, she crushes the first one’s throat and slices off the other ones hand. She then kills him. As people are drawn by the screams, she slips off. She guts the guard to Town Hall and makes her way into the bunker. Unfortunately she is surprised by Crane’ gang, who shoot and stab her. Picking herself off the ground she beats them back and carves a path to Crane. Threaten his life she demands her gun and the medical supplies.

Pipeline and Katya head towards the screams. A violent crowd has gathered by the mine entrance. Katya follows Max’s trail to Town Hall. The gang there spots them however and Katya is shot. Pipeline and the savage fight Crane’s men. After several deaths and numerous injuries they break and scatters. Not needing him anymore, Max kills Crane and gathers the medical supplies. The crew return to the Carnival and leave.

Max patches herself and Pipeline up, though will need a week to recover. Unfortunately too much time has passed and Nadya dies. As her last gaps she channels the tribe’s spiritual energy and switches places with Mikhail. The elder shaman awakens.

Later Pipeline invites Hiccup over to her bunk. Switch is still there. Switch tells her “sister” she should be Captain.

And the Carnival continues on.

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Session 12:Falling Angels

As Max is looking for medical supplies, she literally runs into Mech. After a long moment as they both stare at each other, she pulls a knife and pins his hand to a wall with it. With other arm she pulls a second knife and brutally guts him. The goons with him take a moment to react but knock her to the ground with a well placed blow. As they stand over her, she flips over and kicks up. They try to form a defensive knot but she charges directly into them. They fire at her but she only takes a light spray of bullets as she stabs and slices them to death. More men come and open fire at her from long range. She grabs a gun off the ground and strafes them. Only one manages to escape into the crowd. Max slips away to the Carnival.

Katya and her friend Irina meanwhile are looking for a good private space for Katya’s wedding and spirit walk. They ignore the distant gunfire and head to the unused bays. The pass into the section using Roman numerals. They enter Bay XX and begin to start a fire. However just then a few men and Hurt come from somewhere deeper in the bay. He tells her to leave and to put out the fire. He seems to be protecting something but they decide not to push it. They continue on to bay XXXII. Making sure it is safe and unused, they return to the Carnival.

Elsewhere Switch, Daily, and Pipeline are returning from meeting with Bug. Suddenly a strange man, Commander Kriss, appears beside them and convinces them they are in danger. Bug plans to ambush them. He takes them into a secret passage, giving Pipeline a sword to prove his honesty. They are led to the home of the Resistance. Led by an old man named Tack, they are trying to take back the station. Kriss explains he hopes they can help. Switch however realizes the ship is in danger and hurries to the Carnival. Kriss joins them.

Hiccup meanwhile looks out at Megaton. She decides to go shopping but runs into Max first. she is clearly running from something. She forces her older sister to talk. Oddly, Max feels guilty about killing Mech and not just she might disappoint Hiccup. Chic tries to interrupt but Hiccup asks her to butt out. She then leads Max inside to work on a disguise.

Switch and her allies also arrive at the Carnival but find the members of the Freakshow leaving. Switch tries to convince them to stay and talk but Algor says they are setting up their ministry. She can talk to them in Bay 5. She says they will talk later.

Pipeline returns to engine room, while Switch decides to talk to Grigori. just as she begins the feel out this leader among the savages, a gang of Bluejay‘s men led by Hurt busts in. A giant picks up Red shirt and carries him inside. They demand the missing item from the case. Switch however scares them off. They go to leave but warn hre that she has a day to complete the deal one way or the other. Otherwise they will cut the Carnival’s power and vac them.

Kriss comes over to her and says she can’t let them leave. Even as her mother’s ghost whispers the same to her, she asks Manfred’s mask for advice. It urges murder.

Switch advances on the giant and stabs his kneecaps, maiming him. A fight breaks out with Switch’s poorly armed and unarmored carnies on one side and Bluejay thugs on the other. The carnival crew suffers heavy losses. The first to die is Kittens, shot while hiding behind the Ferris wheel. Switch dodges the bullets, slicing the thugs open with her knife.

On the side lines, Hiccup and Max watch. Hiccup points out to Max that the true threat is Kriss. Max tries to get her sister to hide and then advances on him. Above the conflict the tribe watches.

Kriss sees Max coming and the two warrior blaze away with smg’s. Max avoids the worst of the harm but Kriss seems almost impervious to the gun fire. He reveals himself as a Wolf of the Maelstrom inciting those around him to greater and greater acts of violence. Around their battle, Switch’s family is cut down by Bluejay’s forces. In desperation Switch jumps on Daily, shielding him from the bullets. Hiccup, distraught at the carnage runs out into the midst of the fighting demanding that they stop.

In the ensuing silence, Hurt and the survivors drag their wounded away and leave. For now. Max meanwhile grabs Kriss and puls him to ground. She stabs Kriss over and over until finally he dies in a blazing fire.

The battle over they check the wounded and dying. The results of grim. Only Chic and Daff are still breathing. While Max is busy keeping them alive, Switch tells Daily to get the Carnival off Megaton. She then walks off the ship, passing Mice who is playing with an electronic music player. At the main door, Grigori confronts her. Not willing to stop, she kills him. The tribe members watching up in the rafters hurl spears in retaliation. Switch cuts a rope and flies up there. They set up barricades and back off. Switch leaves the ship but Hiccup follows her out.

Katya meanwhile returns to the bay the Carnival is docked at. A crowd of people has gathered and gossiping about the blood bath that just occurred. The current rumor is that Bluejay’s men have just executed everyone on the Carnival. Katya and her friend follow the blood trails back towards the ship. They runs into an angry Switch, who testily tells her that the tribe is fine. Switch continues and Katya makes it to the ship. She finds Grigori dead and Max patching the wounded. She offers to find some medicine to help. Max accepts the help but realizes Hiccup has left. She and Pipeline go after both her and Switch.

Switch muscles her way to Bug‘s building. She asks the guard to let her in, prepared to murder them if they don’t. Surprisingly they let her in. As she climbs the stairs, Bug calls down if she is here to give up or die. She says she is here for revenge. A grenade bounces down the stairs, she backs off dodging the explosion.

Meanwhile Hiccup arrives at the doors and seduces one of the guards to get inside. She hears fighting in stairwell and pocks her head in as the first explosion reverberates down the structure. As further grenades fall, she hurries to the security station to help Switch. Unfortunately there are guards who handcuff her to a pipe.

Switch meanwhile climbs the central space dodging explosions and reaching Bug and his men. She stabs him in the shoulder, breaking his collar bone among other things. As he coughs up blood, his men turn their shotguns on her. Glowing wings unfurl to protect her. She then kills Bug. A grenade slips free of his grasp and she and the men up there are blow up.

Hiccup watches as her “sister” dies. She sees Switch fall down the stairwell to her death. The guards abandon her to check on Bug. Hiccup tries to escape but can’t quite pull herself free without harming herself.

Pipeline and Max arrive and find the building unguarded. Max frees Hiccup while Pipeline goes to find Switch. She finds her friend and captain broken and dead at the base of the stairwell. Then Switch’s eyes open. She tells Pipeline to take the family to safety. Pipeline freaks out as this aberration of nature. Max and Hiccup meanwhile release the ship from Megaton’s system. Hiccup triggers distress calls throughout the station to confuse people. Max then goes to get Pipeline. The woman is too stunned to move so Max carries her out.

They manage to get back to the Carnival without anymore trouble. As they leave however they see a horde of Reaver ships approaching. Daily turns everything off and lets the ship drift. As one of the giant hulks passes close by Daily faints. Max mans the controls and watches as Megaton is taken.

They drift for a day, during which Max uses the supplies Katya scrounged up to bring Daff and Nestor back from the brink of death. Funerals are arranged for all the fallen a process that takes an entire day. As part of the tribe’s customs, Grigori is burned, though safely in the oven.

Afterwards they discussion which course to take. Max, Hiccup, Daily, a drunken Pipeline, Katya and her brother Ilya take part. Max points out they need a destination. Daily says Blue Moon isn’t too far and he can arrange work. Katya looks into Maelstrom sees there are problems with the mines there. She tells them which freaks out Daily and Pipeline. Max is unfazed. one thing that isn’t decided is who will lead the crew.

Pipeline spends the next week drinking heavily. Daily tries to talk to her but is too nervous to push her. Max offers to help. Their conversation almost leads to blows but seems to snap her out of her depression a bit. Pipeline however thinks Max is a drama-queen.

Also over that time, Max begins looking to take over Switch’s room. Her sister Hiccup objects and Max backs off for now. Katya talks to her brother about a spirit journey to reach her father. He willing to go with her but she tells him someone needs to stay to lead tribe. He agree to hold things together while she goes. The elders help her reach him.

Grace should write this bit

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Session 11: Family Rifts

Two days out from Megaton, tensions are rising on the Carnival. Switch and the growing cult of the Beast with Two Heads learn that Nestor has been stealing ticket money. Katya ahs slowly recovered from a bout of nausea but her father has slipped into a coma. Worse, Grigori and some of the young warriors have broken away from the tribe. worried about her father, Katya looks into the psychic maelstrom. She sees her father trapped in a metal jungle.

Pipeline meanwhile has been hanging out with her fellow engineers Poindexter and Guage, filling their empty hours playing poker. One evening, Gauge places a large wager with the stipulation that the loser has to go and look at the Beast with Two Heads. Poindexter folds but Pipeline sees his bet. Guage reveals a pair of Jacks but is crushed by Pipeline’s pair Aces and 3’s. Pipline takes the money but doesn’t send Guage to the goat.

Switch spends some time teaching Katya to fly a fact that bothers Pipeline. Daily visits for a bit. Their discussion 0-g brings up unpleasant memories. As the stars swirl about from the loops the ship makes, he gets sick and leaves. As the lesson continues, they hear a beeping noise from the radar as it detects metal and organic fragments approaching. A body hits the window causing Switch to squeal. A ship has been destroyed here. Katya looks into the maelstrom again. Several ships came from Megaton chasing another. Using their weapons they destroy it. This was 3 days ago.

Max meanwhile has been helping Hiccup in the kitchen. As she serves the crew, Wayward insults her. It doesn’t seem to affect her. Later however as she practices her martial arts, Wayward harasses her again. He tries to goad her into fighting her. When he fails to get her to throw the first punch, he hurls a rock at her. Even as it smashes her in the face, she is on him, grabbing his hand, crushing his wrist, and dislocating his arm. As he falls to the ground, Belter, Hiccup and others arrive. As Hiccup shouts for her to stop, Belter begins to shove Max back. Max warns him to stop but he continues. Moments later she brutally breaks his arm. He topples off the stage she was exercising on and passes out. As Hiccup sobs, Chainsaw tells her to leave. She goes to her room.

Pipeline arrives right afterwards, spotting Max’s bloodied face. She questions the wounded Wayward about what happened catching him in his lies. However Switch soon appears and directs everyone to go and take care of wounded. Wayward runs off but not before picking up the bloody rock. Pipeline, realizing something of what is up, argues with Switch about this and the Beast with Two Heads.

Katya overhears all of this from her home over the Carnival grounds. As she gets up from listening, Grigori joins her. They banter and she tries to get him to back off. Grigori throws her to the floor and leaves.

Narnia stops by Max’s room. She explains she can’t help the gunlugger. Max thanks her anyway. Switch arrives soon after. Chainsaw and Algor are with her. As they wait outside, Switch asks her if she is a monster. Max looks through the malestrom at Switch. As the fire rage about her, Max sees Switch as the devil she is. Max has no answer for her but asks if she realizes she is a danger as well. Switch reveals this is all a show. Switch then threatens Max with knife.

Chainsaw knocks on the door. He says there is trouble but Switch angrily tells him to deal with it. there are a series of thumps and another knock. A woman named Tanya says she wants to talk to Max. Switch looks outside. Five tribal warriors have knocked out Chainsaw and Algor. She leaves the room, locking Max in. She then threatens them. They decide back off and leave their weapons. Switch heads to the command center to gather the crew.

Katya learns that Grigori and saeveral warriors have moved from the tribes living area, relocating to the Den. Her little brother is with them. Frustrated and depressed, Katya and Irina Kironova Saltanova go to get drunk. They find Pipeline also drinking heavily. The women talk about the Beast, Manfred, and Megaton. Pipeline likens the Beast to a drug, something she hates. She is surprised to hear how much Katya knows about Megaton and space.

Their talk is broken up by an argument going on. Nestor is shouting at Night over his taking Kittens to the Beast. Switch arrives and tells Nestor to join the others at the bridge. Pipeline however sides with Nestor, a fact that irritates Switch more. Switch and Pipeline argue again but Katya breaks it up when Night mentions that he knows why her father is in a coma. She threatens him with a spear until he tells her that he is there in the city protecting the tribe.

Wayward suddenly arrives and tells Switch Nestor was stabbed. Switch hits the communicators and calls everyone to the Carnival center.

Elsewhere, Max hears the announcement and tries to open door. She failed but Chainsaw opens it from the outside. He tells her to come with him. Before they go however he breaks her nose. He drags her along stunned.

The crew and tribefolk gather in the center of the ship, except for Nestor and Redshirt. Switch directs Algor to brings out the Beast with Two Heads. Then while everyone watches she takes Algor’s gun and shoots it in both heads. As everyone’s voice rise up, she shouts over them forcing them to talk out their differences. Chainsaw is violently upset but Algor convinces the freaks to back off. Their task is to spread the word of the Beast.

As Max heads off to patches up Nestor, Katya looks at the Beast. She sees the power still present in the remains. She warns Switch who stops the freaks from taking it. Instead she throws it out the airlock. Max meanwhile finds Redshirt using his shirt to staunch the bleeding. She pulls Nestor back from death with Hiccup’s help. She goes to find Switch and tells her Nestor’s condition. She also tells her that they are both devils. Switch gives her back her weapons but still doesn’t understand her.

As they approach Megaton, Katya talks to her brother. She tries to find out why he wants to join Grigori and tries to convince him to stay. He agrees to stay if she talks to Grigori. She finds Grigori with his warriors, including her “rival” Sophia Evenyova Burundukova. Grigori agrees to stay if she marries him. Katya agrees but only if he proves his new “power” by doing a spirit journey with her.

The Carnival is escorted to Megaton by a ship. Once docked, they are inspected by Bluejay‘s men for people and weapons. Switch’s connections seem not to count here. Switch, Daily and Pipeline go to see Bluejay. They are led into his office but he is not there. Instead Bug is running things in his stead. Bug looks over the green case’s contents while quizzing Switch about the First and a “Child”. He points out the missing music player from the case. Switch denies it was ever there and threatens Bug to let her and the Carnival go. He backs off and they leave. For now.

Elsewhere Max goes looking for work while Katya searches for wedding supplies. Katya takes in Megaton through the lens of the maelstrom. It is a jungle of predators hunting each other.

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Session 10: The Fate of the Dent

After leaving Everette, Switch decides to have lunch with the freaks. They have been acting weirder than normal since leaving Megaton. She cats with them trying to find out what they are doing in the Den. They invite her to their gathering that evening to see “it”.

Switch then goes to check on Katya and her people. They are hard at work, building tree houses in the rafters of the Carnival. Max is also there helping out. As they talk, Switch realizes Max dislikes her and that she really wants her armor back. Katya expresses interest in exploring the ship as does Grigori Pertrovich Pertrov. Switch agrees to take them on a tour.

At the engine room, Katya places her hands on the old steel surface. She feels the psychic residue of its construction and recent feelings of fear and hiding. But she also learns the focal crystal is cracked. She informs Switch who freaking out calls for Pipeline. The tall blond amazon soon arrives. Switch asks why she didn’t know but Pipeline can only tell her that they lack a spare. Pipeline sets the engines to half power to reduce the risk.

Max meanwhile is hoping that the tribe members might give her a club. However as she looks for Irina, she runs into a gang of carnies. Belter, Daily, Wayward, and Shatterglass surround her. They warn her not to cause any trouble. She says she won’t but also promises to not help them when things go south. Afterwards she talks to Irina and asks for help. She agrees to think about it. However Kittens overhears them. Max frightens the kid into silence.

As the tour continues, Switch and the others arrive in the galley. They chat with Manfred and Switch points out that Pipeline has a crush on him. She then leaves them together. Akwardly the other soon leave as well. Chainsaw shows up as they go. He invites Manfred to a gathering in the Den that evening. He also tells him that the Herald has told them about when he put his mask on. This the wrong thing to say and Manfred warns him to leave. Chainsaw backs off with his hands up. He still invites him to come.

Switch finds a quiet spot to consult her Mother. She asks her for advice. The ghost puts her hands on her shoulders and points out the threats to her family: Mikhail, Max, and Manfred. She also urges her to go to the gathering. Katya shakes her out of her trance as the proximity alarm goes off.

Switch heads to the command center. A derelict ship is floating nearby. Katya soon joins her and Switch calls for Manfred. Katya looks into the Maelstrom and sees a teenager putting a mask on.

A team is assembled to check for survivors and see what can be scavenged. In addition to Manfred, Grigori and Katya volunteer. Max is offered a chance to prove her worth by Switch and agrees to help out. Pipeline, Belter, Red Shirt, and Daff also go.

Passing through the airlock they find the ship full of the rotting remains of cattle and people. It is clear this ship was massacred by Reavers. Manfred, Katya, Grigori and Pipeline head to the living quarters. Manfred seems oddly familiar with the ship. Belter and Red Shirt head down the tramway while Max and Daff navigate to living quarters in the other direction.

Katya accidentally steps into a corpse and feels a bit sick. Following Manfred, they arrive at his old bunk. Manfred quickly grabs the spare apron and his old photographs. As he turns to the door a trap triggers. The ax slams into his chest but only knocks the wind out of him. Katya however has a chance to spot a different photo on the wall. A picture of a young Manfred with an old white haired man.

They continue on to the bridge. Manfred barrels through another trap and a pile of boxes crash down on Katya. She dodges and deflects the worst of it. The others help pull the crates off her. They explore the bridge finding the captain, Quin, and the rest of the bridge crew dead bound in barbed wire.

Max meanwhile finds the medbay. She and Daff enter but trigger a pressure plate. She slams Daff back but a barbed spike shoots through her foot. She pulls it out but damaged her foot further in the process. Together Daff and her pillage the area for supplies before continuing on.

In the next area however, they find a gruesome scene where a man was scared to death from the scenes of torture he was forced to see. Daff freaks out and flees. Max unable to catch him with a broken foot limps to the bridge. She makes her way through a zero-g area exposed to vacuum and on to the bridge.

On the bridge, Manfred looks over the log and starts the ship diagnostics. Katya reads the ship’s log and hears the final distress call as well as the Reavers breaking in. As they wait for the ship’s systems they get a call from the intercom. It is Belter. He found the engine room but needs power to open the doors. Suddenly the ship systems are restored. Power is restored and the doors open. Manfred verifies there are no life signs other than their own. But a pulse of coded transmission goes out before they can stop it. Max arrives and hears the details. She suspects Reavers are coming.

They hurry to the engine room to remove the focusing crystal. No one has seen Daff since he fled so Max goes looking for him. Manfred radios to Switch and warns her to get ready the ship for an escape.

Max gets back to the Carnival but find no sign of Daff. Even looking into the Maelstrom gives no clue. She warns Switch Reavers are coming and tells Hiccup to lock herself in her room. On the way back Katya finds Daff trapped in razor sharp wire. She cuts him down and drags him back to the ship where Max patches him up. His arm however may forever be useless.

Switch readies for the escape but without the new crystal she won’t be able to move quickly. A proximity alarm shows a ship inbound. Manfred realizes the danger and returns to bridge of the Dent. Switch tries to cotact him to get him back on board but Manfred is intent on sacrificing himself. As the Carnival flees, the Dent smashes into the lead Reaver ship, giving them enough time to escape.

A couple days later the carnies hold a funeral. the pile up items of Manfred or associated with him in the main chamber. Each member takes an item and they get on the Ferris wheel and ride it around. Switch takes the mask she gave Manfred. The Baikal Tribe sings a creepy dirge while Hiccup and Max say a prayer as they ride the Ferris Wheel.

Max manages to get a club from Irina. Before she can hide it Narnia spots them. Irina drops the club and Narnia picks it up. She then asks Max to talks to her in her tent. Max comes along. They talk about why she feels she needs a weapon. She also asks Max to think about what she will do once she reconciles with Hiccup and makes sure she is safe. Max agrees to consider it. Narnia gives her the club.

Switch is again invited to a gathering by Chainsaw, she agrees to come. Katya meanwhile talks to her father and learns Grigori and a couple other tribe members are also attending. Her father is concerned and she goes looking for him. Before the gathering, Switch asks her Mother’s ghost for advice. It tells her to go to the gathering. She also pulls out Manfred’s mask and asks it for advice. It tells her to investigate the gathering and protect her family. She puts the mask away and goes.

At the Den the Freaks are all there as well as Grigori and two other natives. Chainsaw shows Switch to a chair and she sits down. As the Freaks get ready, she can see someone behind a curtain along with something softly bleating. Katya shows up and tries to bully Chainsaw into letting her talk to Grigori. Chainsaw insists on them talking outside. She manages to get him outside where they begin to argue. Grigori seems convinced there is something special here while Katya advocates the old ways.

In the Den, Algor emerges from the curtain and reveals the Beast with Two Heads, a deformed hairless goat with two heads. As Switch stares into its four blue eyes, she is drawn into them. She sees Max in the burning rubble of Shepherd, threatening someone for information on Hiccup. Then the argument outside gets louder and Katya storms in. She threatens the other members of the tribe with physical punishment if they don’t leave now. As she leaves she opens her mind to the deformed creature. It is empty, filled with an endless void. Switch meanwhile talks to Algor, she wants this to be a new show. The freaks agree and work begins on a sign.

A few days later, Switch talks to Wayward. She learns he is interested in Chic. She agrees to help him get a date in exchange for setting up Max so she is revealed as a danger in front of Hiccup.

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Session 9: Alien World

Early on the trip to Everette, Switch confronts the crew of the Carnival about the theft of the fruit from the Garden Ship. The carnies are surpised. However it soon becomes clear Mice is the culprit. The carnies can here him arguing with his sister, Kittens on top of the Ferris Wheel. He pushes her rather than share the fruit. She falls off the ride and breaks her arm. Switch recovers the remaining fruit and publicly humiliates Mice. The fruit is locked up under her bed.

In the coming weeks several changes occur on board the ship. The freak show workers begin hanging out in Den for some reason. They refuse to talk about it. Meanwhile Midnight Storm’s fans find themselves without distracting drugs and undergo a detoxification. Midnight helps them as best he can and some claim to kick the habit for good.

Manfred grudgingly make friends with Hiccup who helps out with the cooking. Daily has a worse time of it as he discovers he is allergic to cats, specifically Acid.

On Everette, a burning escape pod crashes into the dense jungle. A small band of natives approaches the crash sight and see Max and Barns pull themselves out of the wreckage. As Barns counts his blessings for surviving, Max takes in the ring of spears surrounding them. Luckily, their leader, Ekaterina Mikhailova Petrova, is not interested in plunder or violence. She is following the vision of her father, Mikhail Pavelovich Pertrov. He tells her that the tribe must find a red ship to take them off world. Katya agrees to help Max make her way to Tradepost.

In the following weeks the two bond and Barns is patched up with a treatment of native mud. Max learns about the planet and its psychic dangers and in turns helps defends the tribe from a Kikamora.

As the Carnival lands at Tradepost, Switch has a chat with Hiccup. The leader of the Carnival is conflicted about the killing of Emma. She describes the events leading up to it, including the role her mother played in it. Hiccup advises Switch to avoid opening her mind to the Maelstrom.

The Carnival lands in the wide grassy field next to the tiny settlement of Tradeport. A small armored compound of gleaming white sits a small distance away. After touching down, Manfred begins to serve breakfast. Midnight stops by and tries to engage the giant man in conversation. Hiccup soon joins them after leaving Switch’s room. Lotsa-Teeth comes by with a message for Manfred, Switch want to see him. Midnight excuses himself and heads into town.

Switch asks Manfred to join her on the trip to deliver Bluejay’s package to King. As they leave the ship, they find a fat man called Ham managing things. They ask him directions, he sends a child named Till to guide them to the compound.

Their path takes them through the market and past a knife and machete shop. Manfred stops to buy a new machete. Max and Katya are there looking at the assembled weaponry. Katya selects a machete and asks the old man running the shop to sharpen it. Manfred makes his purchase and also has it sharpened. The old man says it will be ready in 15 minutes.

While this business is going on Switch and Max chat. Max asks about passage off world but Switch remarks that she looks familiar. Max asks if she has been to Shepherd which Switch admits to. But then a child steals one of Max’s knives. The warrior chases him down, throwing a knife into his leg to stop him. She takes her knives back. The display leave the shop owner unhappy with her so she leaves.

Elsewhere Midnight is advertising for his next concert with Foster and Toa. He finds most of fans drinking at the saloon. The bartender, Crank, is unhappy about the ruckus they are causing. Midnight convinces Crank to not harass them and covers their tab. He also talks to the bartender about what songs to sing and where to play.

Their trip to the market done, Manfred and Switch soon reach the compound. A chain link fence surrounds the structure with a single guard post. A guard leads them to King, an ancient man from the Golden Age. Switch gives him the package and the old man offers her and Manfred some fine whisky. He is friendly and asks if Switch would perform for him. Switch however wants to leave soon and before he verifies that whatever Bluejay gave him will work. She convinces him to give her a receipt for a show.

Katya approaches the Carnival ship. She opens her mind to the psychic maelstrom. Instead of learning about the ship, she sees her brother, Ilya, entering the jungle. As her vision ends, Shaza is standing in front of her. The tall border guard harasses Katya. Things almost come to blows, but another hunter arrives. He brings word that her brother is missing. She leaves ignoring Shaza’s taunts to find her father. Her father tells her the jungle has gotten into Ilya’s mind. She takes a small band of hunters into the wilds to save him.

Manfred and Switch take a shortcut through the jungle. Fern-corals grow up the trees while large insects scamper among the branches. The psychic emanations of the wilderness get into their heads. It learns about them and gives them dubious information. Manfred realizes there is a dangerous predator around while Switch is unable to handle the whispers and freaks out. As she runs through the forest, she misses Katya’s hunters. Manfred stops her though and Katya points the way out of the forest.

Max meanwhile is looking for a distraction. She hits the bar but Midnight’s fans bore her. She decides to look at the carnival. The carnies force her to give up her weapons but she hangs onto a small knife. Inside she spots her sister, Hiccup, working at a booth. Her heart in her throat she waits in line until she reaches the front. When Hiccup sees her, she backs off, scared. She and Max talk briefly but clearly the young woman is deeply terrified. Her fellow carnies tell Max to talk to Hiccup later. Max backs off for now. She tries to get information from the freaks but it is clear they don’t trust her.

Switch soon returns to the ship, leaving Manfred to get his machete. The carnival crew tell her about Max. She talks to Hiccup, who tells her that Max was thrown into prison. The leaders of Shepherd, their homes, called her a Reaver. Switch becomes seriously scared. But she decides to set up a meeting with Max. She convinces Hiccup to hide in her closet and stay silent. Switch also makes sure Manfred is present.

At the meeting, Max convinces Switch she means no threat. she also makes it clear she realizes Hiccup is in the closet. Switch arranges for Max to talk to her sister at the Ferris Wheel.

Manfred accompanies Hiccup to the meeting. Watched by the silent giant, Max and Hiccup catch up while avoid much talk of the past. As their conversation peters out, Max and Manfred hear gunshots. They leave to find out the cause.

In the jungle Katya tracks her brother to the coils of a chitinous Sanke. The creature is wound around a branch thirty feet up with her brother wrapped in its coils. While the warriors shoot arrows at it, Katya climbs up to her brother. But it drops him as it dies. She dives and cushions his fall, bruising some ribs. Ilya saved, they return to camp with the sanke’s carcass.

As they roast the sanke, Midnight approaches and tries to talk to them. He is curious about their traditions and music. He samples the Sanke and shares some of his own music. Katya asks about the Carnival and Midnight says he will talk to Switch for them. He invites them to the concert. An old woman gives a bone flute as a present.

As he leaves Midnight runs into Shaza. The border patrolman dislikes the tribe and doesn’t want them in the town. Midnight tries to convince him not to interfere with the concert, but Shaza takes a swing at him. As Midnight subdues him, Shaza reveals he is a Wolf of the Maelstrom. Midnight pins him to ground and threatens to destroy him if he doesn’t leave. Shaza relents but fires shots into the air before vanishing into the jungle.

Midnight defuses tensions with other border guard who come to investigate. Manfred arrives at the same time. Katya offers him Sanke meat, but he declines.

Back at the ship max returns to the carnival. Switch decides to let Max have passage on the ship but only if she gives up her armor. Reluctantly she agrees, revealing his disturbing prosthetic arm.

That night Midnight has his concert and the whole town turns out. Even Katya’s tribe joins in. Switch does a private show at King’s compound. She brings Chic, Belter, Narnia, Night, and Skinsto perform. night and Skins both seem a little off though. King offers Switch more money for a second show but she declines.

Switch returns to the ship. Standing near the entrance, she decides to open her mind to the psychic maelstrom. she calls to her mother for guidance. An insect covered version of her mother point to Katya’s father as person she should seek out. Switch goes to the concert to talk to him and Katya.

Manfred meanwhile wanders around the edge of town. He finds the tracks of a Kikamora and tracks it around town. He hears a noise but realizes it is distraction. The Kikamora is psychically cloaked in front of him. He rushes it and takes a bite on his arm before grappling and killing it. He then drags bull sized carcass to the ship. As numbness spreads over his arm, he hoists it off the ground by a wire and skins it. Switch, Max, and Katya all arrive. Switch asks the tribe to butcher the meat in exchange for passage. She asks Manfred permission and then agrees. Max meanwhile sucks out the poison and binds Manfred’s wounds. She spends the night outside to guard (in her armor) the meat while it smokes.

In the morning, Midnight meets with Katya and Switch and makes sure the tribe gets passage. He then tells Switch he staying on Everette for now. The Carnival blasts off.

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Session 8: All Good Things

Manfred barks out, “Dinner in 30 minutes,” as Brace and Nightingale enter his domain. Brace asks for his help going deep into White Guard territory and extracting White, since he is so good at getting into places. Gale stresses that she really doesn’t want too many people to die, so speed will help greatly. Manfred nods and coolly asks for 5 barter. After blinking blankly at each other, Brace attempts to renegotiate with the offer of spoils, but Manfred is unmoved and suggests they move on until dinner is ready. Farley bursts in and demands to know what is burning. Manfred angrily pushes the interlopers out of his kitchen and throws the flaming food on the metal walls, stomping out the fire with disgust.

Brace and Gale next talk to Landers. The guard sketches a map of the best path in and agrees to create distraction when they are close to White. They plan to wear White Guard uniforms for the infiltration. However, Landers hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in a week, and asks to rest on the Starlight. The two lovers will need to wait until the next day to free themselves from Bluejay’s threat.

Midnight wakes up on The Carnival to find Switchblade snuggled up to him, looking young and vulnerable. He tries to leave without waking her, in search of breakfast. Switch wakes with a stretch and suggests he find Belter. Midnight finds the carnie family moving around the powered down rides, going through their morning routines. They complement him again on his performance last night. Belter gives him a bowl of slop and an extra one for Switch. Midnight finds the door locked and settles for placing the food on the ground before knocking. Switch takes a moment to answer, dressed and ready for the day, taking her food with thanks and digging in with enthusiasm. They chat about Midnight’s plans to scout the Garden Ship, and Switch agrees to join. Both begin to feel something is off, in the small air duct near the door. Switch orders out the kids with authority, and Mice tumbles out. The tiny carnie asks if he can play with the blocks in Switch’s room. She calls on Chainsaw to watch over him, and the two head out.

At the Garden Ship, Midnight convinces Glory to help show them the ship. Midnight explains he setting up for tonight’s concert. Glory shows them the orchard and talks to them about the ship and its captain Emma. Midnight quickly realizes Emma is the main danger here and that the source of the fertilizer for these plants is the crucial secret. Disturbingly he realizes there are no old people on board. Switch meanwhile is very uncomfortable.

Midnight asks to talk with Emma and while Glory is distracted talks to Switch. They agree to talk to the captain and then leave. Emma soon arrives and the older woman welcomes them with a suffocating warm. They are given a breakfast filled with fruit. Midnight tries to be polite by nibbling on some of the bread but is forced to eat some of it. Luckily there are no ill effects. Switch refuses to touch the meal and soon attracts a lot of angry glances. Midnight tries to determine what is really going on here but can’t seem to get a straight answer.

Switch meanwhile is freaking out and asks directions to the bathroom. Six people escort her. She retrieves her knife and asks to leave. On her way out she asks that midnight be told that she left. That message never makes it. Once back on the Carnival, she realizes someone has broke into her safe and stolen the supply of fruit form the Garden Ship.

Midnight however is trapped with Emma, waiting for Switch to return. Emma clearly wants to recruit him and even introduces him to some of the local singers. After an hour Midnight asks Glory to find Switch. At that point he realizes what is going on and leavers. He tells them he will be back later. Glory sticks with him.

Manfred talks with Farley about the food supply. As they talk, Nova comes in with a large silver box. She says she found it in the grow room. Farley guesses it must be Vivek’s and puts it aside for the moment. Nova then brings up the idea of collecting supplies for growing bread, now that they have yeast. She also wants to expand the grow room. Farley is supportive but voices his worries about where some of his crew has gone..

Midnight catches up with Manfred as he is leaving Farley. With some bargaining, the young rock star convinces him to help him with the Garden Ship for 1 barter and a favor. The plan is that he will enter the ship a half hour after Midnight gets on board and make a distraction. This will allow Midnight to slip away from his handlers and find the secret of the fertilizer.

Elsewhere Brace and Gale find the disguises Landers left for them. Use the map and passkeys she left they slip deep in Megaton. Brace is nervous passing the interrogation rooms but Gale comforts him. Once past that things get strange. They pass into clean white hallways where old people, children and seemingly normal people are going about their business.

They soon arrive at a moving walkway that will take them to the door to the inner sanctuary. According to Landers a distractions will be started once they reach it. Along the way they pass Commander Kriss. He seems suspicious of them but they stay cool. Gale snatches his passkey as they pass in the hall. Then the lights start to flicker and one of the walkways speeds up to dangerous levels. Using the passkey they enter the inner sanctum.

Both doors of the room are guarded by 2 White Guard. But there are also four old men and two old women in the room. They ask what they are doing. Brace bluffs his way past them, claiming there is a large danger on the station and White needs to be moved. As the old guardians discuss the preparations for moving White, Gale realizes that he must be sedated. Gale and Brace accompany the old men into White’s room. The leader of Megaton is an elderly albino in a chemically induced coma. Then Brace closes the door and Gale knocks out the sole guard in the room. They force the others into a closet. But even as they surrender, the old men and women warn him that White is a danger. Gale also realizes something strange with his vitals as if he somehow is resisting the medication. The two of them heavily tranquilize him and leave the room.

As the remaining guards confront them, White’s eyes open. Gale uses the last of her drugs on him to keep him under. Frightened they let Brace and Gale take White. On the way out they hear guards approaching but they outrace them to the door. Gale locks it with Kriss’s keycard. They make their way out to the elevator system. Strangely it seems like the White Guard are occupied elsewhere.

Midnight Storm visits Switch to tell her his plans. He doesn’t really want her to come with him but would rather tell Farley and the others what happened to him if he fails. He also comes to realizes she is scared. Switch in turn realizes that he feels responsible for those people and decides to help him out anyway.

On the way over they hear sounds of conflict. Manfred got the timing wrong and has already busted into the ship. He smashes Ganymede’s head into a wall, crushing it and begins to pick the people attempting to grapple him off one by one. Al the time he advances to the team of defenders firing at him. As they retreat Midnight and Switch catch up to him. Midnight Storm leads the charge deeper into the ship.

As they push forward they are separated. Midnight heads to the orchard. As he hides in the underbrush he realizes the bridge must be above him. He climbs a tree and swings up into the rafters. Manfred and Switch meanwhile find some stairs up. At the bridge they run into a barricade. Manfred powers through it. Beyond it he finds them setting up machine guns. He grabs one and turns it on the other team. His armor is ruined however. Switch looks into psychic maelstrom and sees her mother. Her mother peels off her face and reveals Emma underneath. Emma starts forcing fruit into her mouth and she comes out of it. Midnight breaks through the glass floor as the bullets fly overhead. After the gunfire is done he joins the others.

Once regrouped, they realize their target must be down in the grove. They intercept Emma and her gang. While Manfred and Midnight occupy the gang, Switch jumps atop Emma and stabs her to death. As Switch breaks down emotionally, Midnight can see people are hurt, including Ula. Also the White Guard are closing in.

Midnight asks Glory where the escape pods are. Switch however threatens her first. Glory indicates the way with her chin and turns to tend to her fallen leader. They hurry that direction and find the escape pods. The White Guard announce that everyone must leave the ship and surrender themselves in 20 seconds. As soon as Switch and Manfred are on the pod, Midnight closes the door. With Switch banging on the door, he ejects them. He then goes to turn himself in.

Brace and Gale make it to Bluejay’s apartments with White. The area is strangely deserted. Bluejay looks at White and shakes on their agreement. Gale warns him to keep him sedated. He seems to believe her.

The two rush to the Starlight, passing Mech on the way in. He is carrying the silver box. They call Farley and Sun to the Gallery. Sun arrives first and they explain they need to leave now. They try to convince Sun to cut the connection to Megaton. The woman explains she can do it but it will cut the link-flight system. She demands payment in sex. Brace tries to psychically control her but she resists. Then Fraley comes in. He is holding a bag of ice to his eye. He explains he was attacked by a gorilla of a man. Gale realizes that it was the man she saw and that he stole something.

As they try to convince Farley of the importance of leaving soon, Bluejay makes announcement on Megaton’s speakers. He explains he has White and that the White guard are to surrender or die. Farley tells Sun to ready their escape. He tells the others to make sure the crew is all on board.

Switch and Manfred take the escape pod to the Carnival. Switch realizes they need to leave now and radios to Bluejay to let their ship go.

Midnight soon finds himself surrounded by Wolves of the Maelstrom infesting some White Guard. He belts out a tune and sends them into painful spasms. Most collapse but they manage to get Kriss out of the area. They call him the “One”. As they are finished bugs pour out of their mouths and they lose consciousness.

By then Bigs has noticed him. He puts down Ula and punches him. Midnight doesn’t defend himself and makes no excuses. Bigs spits at him and leaves. Midnight slips away in the to the Starlight. Along the way he picks up his fans.

At the Starlight, Midnight gets past Fang and finds Farley. He explains to the captain that he is leaving and thanks him for everything. He also stops by the Medbay and apologizes to Gale. Then he makes his way to the Carnival with his followers.

As the Starlight and Carnival fly from Megaton, Bluejay’s fleet swoops in.

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Session 7: The Ties that Bind Us

Switch and Midnight take Ula to Medbay. Gale seems stressed and chews out Midnight about tricking Ula instead of trying to convince her. Reluctantly she agrees to look at the fruit and a blood sample. when she looks at the fruit however she faints and sees the church through the psychic maelstrom again.

Switch leaves while Midnight puts Ula in her bunk and waits for her to wake up.

After the White Guard leave, Brace tries to talk to Rat. The nurse is scared and wants nothing to do with him. Then some goons show up. Brace scares the lead one off with his psychic powers but as they leave they say the owner of the ship wants to talk to him. He then turns back to rat who has fled the scene. Sun and the repairman for the door arrive. Brace promises Sun sex for watching ship while he is gone.

Switch goes to the Carnival and chats with Daily. The deal broker is worried. Bluejay is on Megaton and wants to see her. He is also upset about something or so the rumors say. Switch mentioend she was at the Garden Ship and Daily mentions they have some of that fruit to resell at the carnival. Switch tells him not to give it to anybody. Then she goes to meet Bluejay.

Brace gets message from an urchin with pigtails. Gale wants to see him. He returns to the Starlight but Rum is guarding the door. Brace forces his way past the kid. Inside he finds Gale is torturing Crypt. She claims she can save both of her and the child but only if she reveals who she works for. Crypt however refuses to give up the information so Gale ruins her arm. she then notices Brace there.

Gale puts Crypt under and talks to the pilot. They deeply question each other. Brace realizes Gale wants to help him and falls in love with her. Gale meanwhile tells him her vision for the future: helping each other and maintaining bonds of family and friendship. Then a message from Sun comes in. The woman is bruised and claims Bluejay took her and the Nevermore. He wants meet Brace at the apartments in Bay 6.

Returns to medbay and tries to get Rum to deliver message to Snail for him. The child however is dedicated to guarding the door. He also claims Midnight didn’t believe him earlier about Shiv. Midnight tries to reconcile with Rum and points out he told Farley about what happened. Then Midnight finds and bribes Shiv with tools to deliver the message to Snail: not to give out the fruit and to come to him if he wants to argue about it.

Switch goes the sweet of apartments Bluejay has rented. She is let into waiting room where a tall woman says Bluejay will see in a moment. As she waits she tries talking to a creepy old bald handed man. He seems afraid of her or the diseases she might be carrying. The robed man named Scar seems more accommodating. Switch quickly realizes he is a cold blooded killer.

The woman return and takes her upstairs to Bluejay’s office. The man is dressed in a tailored leather suit and has a strange creature called a Skirr that he puts in a cage. He warns her it might bite off a finger. Bluejay wants her carnival to deliver a package to King in the planet Everette. He is willing to give her 6-barter for the job. She makes a counter offer, she’ll do it for free in exchange for freedom from their arrangement. He gives her the cash anyway and says if she returns it then they are done. Bluejay sends Jimbo to carry the money (green case) and the package (red case) to the Carnival.

Brace and Gale pass Switch on her way out. The two are led to see Bluejay, who has taken out the Skirr. Bluejay is upset that his pirates have been killed. He claims to have plans for them. He tells Brace however he willing to make a deal. Bluejay tries to have Gale led from the room but she refuses. When a goon, Gus, tries to lead her out, Brace tries to use his psychic powers on him. The effect is reflected back by the Skirr and Brace backs off. Gale eventually is convince to leave along with all of the other goons.

Bluejay and Brace have a private chat. Bluejay wants him to work for him in exchange for the Nevermore. Brace makes counter offer: White for his and Gale’s freedom. Bluejay agrees.

Gale is led to the bar where she finds Sun. She seems okay. Gale tries to get out but the guy at the door won’t let her past. She puts a narcostab to his neck and forces her way out. Sun and her take the elevator down. As the door opens the tall woman and a gang of guys with clubs tries to stop them. Gale takes them out in a flurry of fists, kicks and body throws. Sun flees. The elevator opens again and Brace comes out. They quickly leave.

Ula wakes up. Midnight explains himself, saying how he was doing it for her. He warns her that Bigs might not even remember her. She punches him and walks off. Shiv returns and Midnight takes him to his room and gives him the tools. Midnight returns to Medbay but only finds Rum there. He tries to get a report from Sparky but it tries to heal him. Rum stops the machine and gets him the report. Midnight can’t make sense of it but it seems not poisonous. He begins to doubt himself and walks off to the concert.

Switch and Jimbo arrive at the carnival. after she locks up the cases she tries to seduce Jimbo but he is unwilling to stay. Switch then talks with Daily and Nestor about the new plans. Then she has Shatterglass look at the fruit. He seems to really dislike it, wiping his hand off on Nester’s shift. He agrees to look closer if she gets Midnight Storm poster signed for him. She agrees to get it signed and bring him by later.

Midnight is intercepted on the way to the concert by Wrench and some White Guard. They take him to an interrogation room and left there. As minutes pass into hours, Midnight looks into the maelstrom, which to him is a mess of discordant noise. He starts singing to attract attention. Commander Kriss arrives to question him, but it soon clear he is stalling until the concert is over. Midnight cuts him off and tries to get him to reason with him. Kriss then reveals himself to be a Wolf of the Maelstrom. Then he tries to leave. Midnight fights his way out of the room and locks them in. He takes a bullet in the process however.

Midnight makes his way back to the concert. He talks to Snails as he patches himself up. He tells Snails he will compensate him for the fruit and then does his show. As he plays he can see the White Guard lurking outside, except for Wrench who is enjoying the show. At intermission, he high fives Wrench and mingles. He runs into Switch and signs the poster for Shatterglass. As he is mingling a man named Maddog gives him the gift of his father’s watch.

After the show Midnight leads some of his fans to the Carnival. Commander Kriss confronts him and states there is curfew in effect. Midnight tells his fans they should leave Megaton, that this place is no longer good place to be. He does a walking ballad which drives off the Wolves. At the carnival he does another set and meets Shatterglass.

Switch and Midnight go to her room afterwards. They chat as he looks at her assortment of knickknacks, like an albatross wood carving from her father. Midnight tries to convince Switch to help him with the Garden Ship. She is reluctant until Shatterglass comes in and reveals some of the fruit has been eaten. Determiend to protect her family they do a seance over the fruit. With Midnight’s help, she gets a glimpse of a smothering mother. They plan to investigate the Garden Ship the next day and then stop it during his concert.

Back at the Nevermore Brace and gale ready to face White. He calls him but nothing happens. They are going to have to go after him.

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Session 6: Make Friends and Influence People

Food is running out aboard the Starlight. Ula and Bigs have started working on the Garden Ship to earn some supplies, but they haven’t been seen for a couple days. Trade is slowing down and people are disappearing from the marketplace. Farley hires Manfred as ships cook. The guy wears a stop sign for a mask and carries a massive machete, but he knows his food, having lived on a small garden ship named Dent. Everyone is very happy to have him aboard. Manfred is unimpressed with the galley’s lack of locks and supply of cat food.

Midnight’s followers are somewhat in higher spirits as he puts on another great show at the Raz.

Landers, Gale, and Brace discuss their next steps. Gale wants to make sure she can get brain-scanning equipment up and running before infiltrating the Nexus of the White Guard. Everyone agrees that calling White to them would not end well for the group. Landers says she can get them inside the Nexus, but she seems nervous. Brace asks if they can trust Landers not to tell anyone. She hedges, saying there are people on their side, but ultimately, of course she can be trusted. She came to him, after all. It’s decided that Gale will contact Landers when the machinery is working and that Brace will likely go in with his “borrowed” guard uniform.

After Landers leaves, Gale notices Brace’s awkward movements and asks him to remove his shirt. As she tends to his ripped stitches, she tensely asks what happened to the people who “did this.” Brace is harsher after his rejected advances and demands to know what she means. Gale baldly states that people like that shouldn’t be free just to walk around, and Brace declares that they won’t be. The two are interrupted by Tally and Sun, and Brace slips out of the infirmary.

After months of high stress, Nightingale and Sun go to get drunk. A nice, grizzled guy named Pip starts to chat with Gale, bragging about all the work he’s been doing mending Megaton. Apparently someone managed to get a grenade past security and blew-up one of the guest quarters. Gale is interested in his story but soon declares that she is not looking for nice guy tonight. She leaves Pip and Sun at their table and sits another guys lap. This mean bastard isn’t happy about this, dumping her off. Gale is just as happy to fight as fuck. She begins to size up the situation for a protracted brawl, but notices several pirates from the Nevermore who have been tracking her and are now beginning to move in to take advantage of her position. She smoothly changes tact, incapacitating her opponent with a quick flurry of blows, and then flees room by backdoor (which Sun has already used). Gale times her exit so that the door slams into Cage’s face as the bar slams down to lock it tight. Gale returns to the ship feeling a bit more calm.

Midnight is worried about Vivek and some of the other missing crew. As he is heading out Main Stream catches him in the hanger. She has been researching the nightmares of the White Guard and thinks there could be a connection to the The Legend of the Redoubt. As proof, she offers an old Bible, which has been bleach washed to reuse as a hand-written memoir. The Extraordinary Adventures of Captain Campbell- is marked where the captain claims to have rescued a ship which survived passing through a black hole, only to have the crew tortured by ravenous nightmares. Main Stream suggests that this could be the same Redoubt that many claim as the first Reavers ship. Midnight goes looking for Nightingale, to ask her opinion.

Nightingale manages to track down a merchant who has exactly the brain scanning equipment she needs. However, he sets a firm price that is too much for her purse. She returns to the ship, hoping Brace will make good on his offer of finances.

Brace is chatting with Manfred while he prepares his first dinner for the crew. Brace is looking for help to take over a ship and thinks Manfred is just the man to help. They begin to discuss a price when Midnight enters with the book. He offers it to Brace, but Brace is dismissive, hiding his bad feelings and visions of Reavers beneath a mask of disdain. Midnight shrugs and is reminded to offer Manfred the live yeast culture he was given by Snail. Manfred takes it with a grunt as Rum runs in with a letter for Gale.

Brace quickly claims the letter but does not examine it. He returns to his negotiations with Manfred when Gale enters. Midnight quickly offers to help pay for the brain equipment when he hears of her dilemma, to Gale’s plesant surprise. Gale approaches Manfred and Brace, but only hears discussion of the dinner plans. The men have already struck an agreement and made plans of when to strike. Brace silently offers Gale her letter. Her hands shake when she recognizes a stylized bluejay on its seal. The note on crisp, new paper promises that her brother, Bluejay, is near and will see her soon. She is shocked and asks how it arrived, but Rum can only answer that an old, scarred man gave it to him in the marketplace. Brace slips out of the room. Also missing from the dinner table are Ula, Bigs, and Shiv.

Gale wastes no more time securing the brain gear and arranging its delivery to the ship. She then goes in search of the guy who knew a guy who could get her the extra medical supplies she wants. The Good Trip is gone and no one has seen Lunch since last night. She asks around and learns that his ship was impounded by the White Guard. Searching further for medical supplies, she finds that a guy named Mech has bought up a great deal of them. She is turned away by the people who know him, assured that she doesn’t want to get caught up with that guy. Nightingale returns to the Starlight fuming.

Brace dons the White Guard uniform and meets Manfred at the exit of the ship. They manage to get all of their weapons through the automated security, but they draw the attention of one alert Guard. Brace quickly bluffs, pulling rank over the watcher, claiming to be escorting Manfred to lock-up. He orders the guard to go. The guard apologizes to his “superior” and complains that all the uniforms look the same. The two men continue, without further delay, to the Nevermore. Brace orders the pirate to let him inside for a White Guard inspection. Cage gruffly does so, and then proceeds to take Brace, the White Guard, to his captain. Manfred stays outside of the ship. As they move through the galley, they spot a large man cleaning his nails with a knife, but none of these people seem to be a major threat to Brace.

Waiting outside Cipher‘s room, Brace opens his brain to the incipient battle. He sees Cipher’s head explode, then turns his mind to the injured Cage, frying his brain and watching him collapse in a quiet heap. The door opens revealing Cipher and the smell of cigarette smoke, but no trace of the to whom person she had been talking. Brace throws his mind at Cipher, who manages to slams the door closed and set off the alarms throughout the ship.

Manfred gets his signal and breaks through the front door. He fells the guy at door with a single swing of his machete. Four more men run at him with smgs, and two more fall in a flurry of flying bullets and bloody slices. Their weapons have no effect on the masked man. The rest run in terror of the faceless man who calmly takes up his assigned position at the door.

Brace guns down the crowd forming in galley, though he realizes the big guy with the knife is gone. As he reloads, a grenade lands at his feet, and Bug slams door closed. Brace out runs blast, but is thrown into a firefight with Cipher and last of her crew. He advances on them without mercy, cutting them down and shrugging off the flesh wounds. He reaches Cipher and delivers a bullet to her brain, fulfilling his earlier vision.

Brace returns to the ship’s entrance. Manfred is sent to clear the rest of the ship while Brace attempts to “close” the door. Manfred ignores a dying man’s plea for help, but accepts Rat’s surrender. He rounds a corner and comes under fire from Crypt. Manfred punches through the wall and snaps her arm, tossing the gun away. Recognizing her pregnant condition, he picks her up to bring her back to Gale. As he finishes sweeping the ship, he notes that both escape pods are long gone.

Gale makes the last adjustments to her new brain scanning device, then hooks up Tatters. As she follows the traces of his brain waves, she finds herself drawn deep into the maelstrom, and back to the Ruined City. The church is full of echoes of the tolling bell, empty except for the transparent form of Tatters. He cries when he sees she has returned and admits that the shadow man took his doll. He isn’t complete without it and can not leave. Nightingale tells him not to worry; she will get the doll.

Gale climbs to the top of the church roof. She hears the sound of Reavers in every direction but far off. Shaking her head, she focuses on the city around her, keying in on a likely hiding place. With preternatural skill she begins running, jumping from roof to roof, bouncing off of exposed rebar, sliding down poles. She reaches the room, jumping through a window, rolling to her feet in front of the doll’s small bed. She swings the small blanket in the air, wrapping the doll tight and tying it as a sash around her waist without stopping her movement. As her feet hit the roof outside, she hears the cry of the Reavers, angry, on her scent, closing in. Gale pivots back towards the church, running on ridgepoles, leaving a small scatter of stars where her feet fall. The Reavers fill the square around the church when she returns, but her momentum is too great. She bounces from roof, to pole, to fountain, and finally off a tall Reaver onto the church roof.

She presents the doll to Tatters who glows brightly and vanishes in a flash of starlight. Gale is momentarily blinded and turns to realize she is not alone. Her shadow self stands there, full of grief and hurt. The shadow punches her hard across the jaw, but she expects such abuse and smiles grimly. Gale spits her blood back in its face before she wakes up in the infirmary.

Many of the crew answer Gale’s page, coming into the infirmary to welcome Tatters back. During this confusion, Manfred comes in with Crypt, dropping her carefully by the door as Gale looks on in shock. After quickly stabilizing the unconscious Crypt, Nightingale follows him back to the kitchen and finds him unpacking a large box of new food supplies. The markings on the box mean it could very well have come from the Nevermore. She questions him, but Manfred never did ask the name of the ship. Gale discovers that Brace paid him to help take the ship. She heads out the door.

The White Guard demand those still inside the Nevermore – Rat and Brace – leave or be vac’ed. Rat runs out screaming, while Brace strips off his abused uniform and calmly exits. He bluffs that he owns the ship and mentally threatens Rat into backing him up. Rat does, with tears in his eyes. The White Guard are appeased and enter the ship to confirm that it is safe.

Brace sees Gale in the crowd and slowly makes his way towards her after making certain not to arouse the suspicion of the White Guard. Gale demands to know what happened. Brace asks if she believes in right and wrong. She scoffs that she does, of course. Brace shakes his head and states that he doesn’t. He believes in good and evil, and this ship was Evil. Its crew had done horrible things, and it needed to be stopped. Gale looks shocked, opening her mouth to say more, when Brace cuts in. He takes her hands and, for the sake of their friendship, asks her to drop it, to leave it alone, and not ask him about it again. This is why he didn’t want her to know about it. Before her tears can fall, Gale turns with a nod and a whispered, “you’re just like him.” She does not see Brace’s stricken expression.

Midnight Storm moves through the marketplace, asking for anyone who’s seen Vivek. He tries to get Snail to help, trying to trade on the success of his performances. Snail is offended, thinking they had an understanding already. Why, he even put down lots of cash for these amazing fruit from the Garden Ship, planning on making the jingle back at Midnight’s show tonight. The fruit is very strange, a bit like an apple, but not really. Midnight does not eat it, but he does accept the one offered by Snail as a peace offering. Snail can’t look for Vivek. He has too much to do.

Midnight runs into Switchblade, a perky young lady in pseudo-fetish wear, who takes him to a casino named Gumbo. The two do some gambling at Switch’s urging and manage to win. Midnight leaves the tables for a moment and asks the guards about drug dealers. He is “invited” to talk to Boss. Boss is a fearsome guy in a barren room who claims to know Vivek. He says he was last seen in Bay 30 something a few nights ago. Midnight agrees to do a show at Gumbo for any further information. Switch has left with their winnings, but she left a note at the entrance letting Midnight know how to find her. After he leaves, he notices he is being followed.

Midnight’s next stop is Snaz. The tough guy is deep into his booze and tears up at the mention of Molly. He sends his friends away and levels with Midnight. He hasn’t seen Molly since day after she met Midnight. He tried being really sweet with her, even bought her some purple flower things from the Garden Ship, and she’d seemed really happy. He left her alone too, and then she was gone. Snaz thinks maybe he got too soft for her, but Midnight assures him that that is probably not the case. Midnight decides to investigate the Garden Ship.

Before he can get back to the Starlight, he finds Toa and his friends antagonizing the White Guard again. He convinces the fan to back down. Toa is upset at how the White Guard are harassing people at Megaton. Midnight tells him he will resolve the problem with them and hint that he knows what might behind their actions. Toa accepts this answer and agrees to back him up if possible. As Midnight leaves he notices that the lead White Guard makes insect noises. It is a wolf of the maelstrom.

Midnight shows the fruit to Manfred but he has no idea what it is. He suggests not eating it. Midnight asks Manfred to come with him to check out the Garden Ship. They run into Switchblade along the way, who is happy for another adventure with Midnight Storm.

They notice a small stall selling fresh fruits and vegetables in front of the Garden Ship. It is doing good trade. Many other people are lined up trying to get into the ship, but the fit young man at the door only lets some people in. The three wait their turn in line and talk briefly to Ganymede. He is very pleasant and very spaced out. He agrees to check and see if Ula and Bigs are on board. When he steps away, he is immediately replaced by a young woman, even fitter and slightly less spacy. Ganymede returns to beam at Midnight Storm. He would be happy to escort them to the missing crew members.

Manfred, Midnight, and Switchblade are led through the halls of the Garden Ship. It is probably the most miraculous ship any of them have ever seen, with bright white corridors, broken by clear doors that look down endless halls of growing green things. Even watermelons hang from the ceilings of some rooms. Deeper inside, a path of running water breaks up the hallway, dotted by floating square pads of peat dotted with green sprouts. Ganymede pauses at a large frosted doorway, completing a detailed security procedure at which Manfred quietly scoffs. The group enters the orchard and are startled to find actual ground with grass and trees growing inside the ship. Switchblade is delighted and turns a few somersaults. The heavy oxygen in the air is a bit dizzying, but doesn’t seem to effect the many people wandering through the trees. Some wear the same soft, home-spun clothes as Ganymede, but others wear garb which indicates they are new on board.

They find Bigs and Ula listening intently to instructions on care for a small sapling. The two are happy to see Midnight, but admit they are thinking they will not return to the Starlight. This ship is too amazing, and they’ve been invited to stay! Midnight spots a flash of red hair and runs after it. Bigs offers one of the fruits to Switch who thanks them, and palms the fruit without eating it. She hides it in Manfred’s pack and shares a dubious glance with Manfred before they move to follow after Midnight.

Molly greets Midnight happily but doesn’t seem to remember Snaz. She tells her new friends about how wonderful Midnight’s music is, and he is quickly surrounded by about six people asking him to do a show. Midnight says that he might, but he needs to talk to Ula. He is able to convince Ula to return to the ship to tell Farley goodbye in person.

As they stand at Farley’s door, about to knock, he hits her hard on the back of the head. Ula turns in wide-eyed shock before she collapses at his feet.

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Session 5: Bad Dreams

The crew of the Starlight, eager to spend some time off ship, disperse into Meganton’s marketplace. Brace and Gale quickly set up a stall, offering medical treatment in exchange for barter supplies. After a short time, the battered, injured crew of a ship called the Nevermore arrives, requesting Gale’s aid. Their captain, the newly promoted Cipher, accounts for the injured crew as having suffered from an “asteroid impact,” although Gale intuits that Cipher is lying. She nevertheless stabilizes one crew member, a woman named Pin, who had severe internal bleeding. Then, after negotiating payment, Gale agrees to visit the Nevermore ship and tend to the others onboard. Brace, observing the exchange, opens his brain to the maelstrom and sees a vision of a carrion bird flying across the cosmos, feasting on dying animals.

Later, Brace, Farley and Ula try to resupply the ship with edible food. Main Stream, another businesswoman, fails to join them in these dealings, disappearing without explanation. Once the food brokering was completed, Brace began a seductive escapade, which turned quite a profit.

On her way to the Nevermore, Gale resupplies her medical stock in the market, but encounters difficulty acquiring narcotics and anesthetics. Somewhat (but not fully) supplied, Gale treks to the Nevermore. At the ship, Gale’s senses that things are slightly off. She is led inside by a man named Cage, who tells her little. Cage brings her to her next patient, and older man named Bug who was paralyzed from a falling brace. Bug is under close watch by a scarred man named Hurt. Gale tells Hurt to get her some water, and with only Cipher present, heals Bug with her mind. As his flesh knits together, Gale receives a sudden vision from Bug’s mind. He was injured leading some sort of attack, shortly before receiving the bulk of a grenade blast. Returning to the present, Gale relays to Cipher that Bug will recover, but will need careful monitoring and care for the next 36 hours.

Amongst market, Midnight Storm witnesses Main Stream being taken away by the White Guard. He approaches the secret panel she was taken through, but is quickly brushed away by a guards standing watch. Not content to let the matter slide, Midnight goes in search of Brace, eventually finding him in the market’s Red Light District. Brace shows little sympathy for Main Stream’s situation, but agrees to help, calling out to Main Stream through the psychic maelstrom. A short while later, Main Stream, disguised as one of the White Guard, comes running through the market with three of the actual guard in close pursuit. Brace turns to Midnight and Main Stream, telling them to run. He then began a hypnotic strip tease that held the guard (and much of the market) stunned. In a nearby tent, Main Stream removes her disguise, and returns with Midnight to the Starlight. Brace, excited by his captivating power, attempts to seduce the three White Guard, offering to take them to a more private location. They agree, and Brace is taken by the guards deeper into Megaton.

Elsewhere, Vivek begins peddling his wares. Upon concluding his business, he notices that he is being watched by someone who runs quickly when spotted. He handedly tracks the figure through the busy market but loses him near Bay 3. Perturbed, he decides to track down his old friend Lunch, a fellow tied up in Vivek’s conflict with Mech and Boss. After a tense reunion, Vivek asks Lunch to return Vivek’s old 9mm, explaining little to his motivation. Lunch agrees to return the gun, in exchange for the fulfillment of a murder contract. Vivek agrees, and is provided with high tech watch, granting him access to the inner sections of Megaton. There is a woman there by the name of Main Stream that the White Guard want killed.

The trail leads to an interrogation room where he finds not Main Stream, but Brace and three of the White Guard. Brace is cuffed to one of the walls of the room, moments from being raped by the guards. One of the guards, a woman, is assumed by Vivek to be his target, and is promptly psychically assaulted by him. Moments later the woman collapses, and Vivek quickly leaves. Brace uses the woman’s sudden death as distraction, and slips free of his bonds. The escape is strained however, and he rips stitches from his fight with Bullet in the process. Unphased, turns on his two assaulters, and shaking with anger, declares that they are both going to die. After a quick and violent battle, Brace is left with one terrified guard who begs Brace to “just go.” Brace, frightened and livid from his violation, captures the man and begins an interrogation.

Upon his return, Vivek is rewarded his old gun, and pulls from it an ancient key. Noticing that he is being watched by Lunch’s men, he packages the key and has it sent to Gale. Later, at a night club, he finds a woman named Dez and decides to spend the night with her.

In the interrogation room, Brace psychically tortures his assailant, trying to learn what is happening within the ranks of the White Guard. He discovers that the entire guard is suffering from maddening psychic dreams, seeming to originate from the White Guard’s leader, White. Upon receiving the information he needs, Brace strangles the man to death, and destroys the surveillance gear capturing the affair. Brace crosses Megaton dressed in White Guard armor, and returns to the Starlight to find mysterious message as well as his violation glove. The note leaves a cryptic message mentioning dreams of madness, and asks him to meet in the early morning at Bay 33, located at the abandoned end of Megaton.

Meanwhile, Midnight Storm readies himself for his first concert since his arrival. Earlier, Midnight arranges a gig that night with a club owner named Snail. He also ran into a fan named Snaz who helped him spread the word for the concert, as well as a White Guard named Wrench who offered to provide security. At the show, Snaz brings his girlfriend Molly who falls in love with Storm’s music. Midnight notices however that Snaz is being rough with the girl, and spends some time after the concert convincing him to lay off.

On the Nevermore, Gale asks for an assistant and is offered the aid of the ship’s nurse, Rat. Rat is apparently a new recruit to the Nevermore, and Gale is able to learn the crew’s secrets from him. She discovers that her employers are in fact pirates, and well armed ones at that. She convinces Rat to watch her while she sleeps and to wake her if Cipher returns. While washing up, Gael notes some shell casings on the bathroom floor. Opening her mind, she reads from the psychic impressions an execution of survivors of a ship boarded by the Nevermore.

That morning, Brace makes his way to the unused section of Megaton, and eventually to bay 33. There, in a dark room, he is met by a White Guard named Landers. Landers asks for Brace’s help in fixing the maddening dreams plaguing the White Guard. As she explains the problem, Vivek emerges from the shadows. He suggests the use of deep ear plugs, a strange brainer device, to stop the dreams from progressing. Before anything is decided a noise is heard down the hall. Landers immediately flees. Brace is not far behind her, but first calls to her through the maelstrom, requesting her return. Vivek decides to investigate the noise, which he quickly finds has come bay 32. Someone in the bay is searching through old crates. Curious, Vivek opens his mind to their contents, and is met with the image of dormant robot brains. He attempts to get closer to the person in the room, but accidentally crashes into someone, whom he quickly recognizes as Mech. Vivek immediately flees, but is not (to his knowledge) pursued.

Upon his return, Brace finds Landers at the Starlight. She explains she can’t be seen talking to him now, but promises to come by later that night in her street attire.

As she sleeps, Gale dreams of a swarm of reavers closing in on her within a ruined city, and quickly flees to a nearby chapel. Within, she observes several dark figures, milling about the chapel, muttering to themselves of their fear and unjust punishment. Among the figures, she finds Tatters, quivering on a nearby pew. After some consoling, Gale convinces Tatters to come with her, and she tries to play the pipe organ located in the end of the room. A shadowy figure interrupts her, pushing past her and grabbing hold of Tatters’s face. In an instant, Gale wakes, to be met by Rat offering her some runny eggs.

A few hours later Gale finishers her work. She accepts her payment from Cipher but not before opening her brain to the woman. Gale sees blood caking along the woman’s arms and speckling her face, and tells the pirate that she know what she is. Cipher makes a vague threat, and the two staring each other down before Cipher looks away. Gale turns and leaves.

The next morning, Vivek lies awake in Dez’s apartment when a sudden disturbance is heard by the door. Moments later it is smashed in and Mech and his men lob a grenade inside. The force kills Dez instantly, hurtling her body through a window. Vivek, reeling from the blast, attempts to escape by scaling the wall blown open by the blast, but is killed as Mech and his men open fire on him.

On the Starlight, Gale returns to her Infirmary to find Brace waiting for her. The two talk for some time. Gale is quick to notice that Brace is upset, and Brace forgoes his usual effort of making himself difficult to read. She asks him what has happened, and he explains the attempted rape. When asked if he is alright, Brace confesses that no, he is not alright, and that he has never come so close to such a violation before.

That night, Midnight has his second performance. Between sets however he finds a fan of his, Toa, in a fight with the gig’s security – the White Guard. Midnight realizes that he has to do something and stops the man, lest the situation escalate to further violence. With a calm tone and a preternatural aura, he calms both sides of the dispute and convinces them to watch an encore performance. During his final song, he glances out the window to see a strange man standing in the street. The man stands awkwardly, and opens his mouth to reveal a mass of howling beetles seething within. As quickly as he had come, the man was then gone, and Midnight turned back to the show. Watching the crowd, he notices that, while Snaz is present, Molly is not.

Back on the Starlight, Brace tells Gale that her skills are needed to help find the cure to the White Guard’s madness. She complains, stating that she only wanted to go out and drink. Brace reveals a bottle of liquor and offers that the two of them share it, but Gale refuses, oblivious to his overture of affection. Shortly thereafter, Landers arrives. After a preliminary diagnostic, Gale realizes that she will need not only brain monitoring equipment, but also access to the dream’s original vector, White of the White Guard.

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Session 4: Taking Care of Business

Brace visits the Infirmary to tell Gale that Bluejay is on his way. He says that it might take a while, but he is confident that Bluejay will come, if he still survives. Nightingale teeters on the edge of hope and doubt, but gives Brace her thanks.

Vivek and Sun looked at ways to seal off access to the landing gear other than the one where his trap is set. Sun shows him there are discrepancies between the schematic and reality. Holes in walls, mostly sealed vents, and a spot filled with rats. Sun hates rats. There is one other way to the landing gear, a hole in the wall of Cargo Bay 2. They head there.

Ula and Midnight Storm chat about the recent troubles. Ula reminds him he is needed to search for the last stowaway, so he heads down to the engine room. He find Shiv down there manning the station by himself. After a conversation with the surly engineer, he hears a noise. He goes to investigate it, tracking it down a corridor and up into a vent.

Gale and Rum are chatting in Medbay. Gale wants to get to know Rum better, so she opens her brain and sees his years of mistreatment and abuse at the hands of Bob and Bob. She sees that this has led to his compulsive eating. Gale introduces him to the Golden Age game of Tetris that Vivek installed on Sparky. Just then Farley bursts in to get her. He takes her to the bathroom they were holding Donna in. It is streaked with blood and there is a bathtub full of the stuff. Donna is missing. Gale thinks that if Donna isn’t dead she is almost so.

Vivek and Sun get to the cargo bay. They find the hole in a wall behind a crate some 20 year old junk. He tells he to get the cargo loader. While he waits for her to return, Bullet comes by. He is holding an emergency axe and asks him some weird questions. He seems pretty off. After he leaves, Sun brings in the loader and they seal off the hole with a crate of scrap metal.

Then someone hits Vivek in the back of the head. He whirls around to see a stranger, a thin bald headed man in the garb of the Family. Vivek does not abandon Sun, and the two run, quickly losing the stranger.

Farley asks Gale to see whose blood this is and what happened here. She goes to the Medbay to get her equipment. On the way back she sees Tia coming out of the communication room. She’s looking for Morrel who has been gone for a few hours. She tells Tia to go back to her room and returns to look at the blood. Then the lights go out.

Midnight crawls around in the ducts for a while eventually finding himself in a cargo bay. He hears a moan and finds Donna barely alive. Her jaw hangs at an odd angle, one eye is a swollen, purple raisin of flesh, and the only sound she can make is a high, wheezing screech. As he sets his shotgun down to help her, he is clipped by a pipe. He turns around to find the bald headed third stowaway there. He tries to grab the intruder’s pipe, but is hit and knocked down. As the man chocks Midnight, he pulls out his zip gun and fires. The intruder’s brains decorate the wall. Midnight picks up Donna who is barely alive and drags her to the Medbay.

Brace heads down to the engine room and the power goes out just as the elevator doors open. He pushes them open but notices that an emergency axe has been taken. He finds Sun and Vivek just arriving who mention their run in with the intruder and a crazy seeming Bullet. Other than them the engine room is empty. The Theron reactor is over pressurized, killing the main power. Only the red emergency lighting is working. A release valve is whistling. The leakage will kill them in an hour. Worse the controls have been locked. Vivek can manually fix it but he needs another person’s help. Brace leaves Sun and him to it and goes looking for Bullet.

Brace finds a hiding place and calls for Bullet through the psychic maelstrom . He sees Shiv briefly but remains hidden. Then Bullet arrives. Brace fails to get a good hold on him but implants a command to confess to Farley. Bullet ignores the command, exploding a blood vessel in his right eye with the force of will but using the rage and pain to fuel his swing at Brace. After a short scuffle, the axe lodges into a wall, and there is an explosion as a spark form an electrical line mixes with a ruptured gas main. Bullet dies, his upper body ripped apart, and Brace is heavily injured.

Vivek and Sun fix the engine and begin a reboot of the ship’s computer when they hear the explosion. Midnight finds Brace at the same time Vivek does. Midnight and Vivek take Donna to Medbay. They don’t see Sun on the way.

They take Donna to the Medbay but she is very near death. Vivek goes back for Brace. Gale tries to save her, but Donna dies. Gale is pulled back into the maelstrom, this time outside the church whose bell tolls forlornly in the distance. She and Donna stand in the streets of The Ruined City, and Gale watches helplessly as a mass of faceless reavers devour Donna and turn towards her. Gale is shaken and quite cold towards Midnight as she heals him. She stabilizes him and moves towards the elevator to help Brace.

Shiv is finally found unconscious. When he comes to he claims he was hit in back of head and knocked off of a platform. He states flatly that he has no clue who cold-cocked him.

Gale meets Brace and Vivek at the lift. He firmly asks for his violation glove back as he watches Vivek pass it to Gale, but she is distressed by the severity of his injuries. She demands to know what happened and is shocked by Bullet’s perfidy as Vivek hashes things out. Brace moves past them and begins stripping in the medbay. As Gale attempts to knit his flesh together, the two share a visions of betrayal: Sun hitting Shiv from behind, Ula poisoning the crew’s food, Shiv talking with Bigs about getting the Spooks, and Farley loading his gun. Brace and Gale come back to themselves, disturbed. Brace asks for his glove, and Gale distractedly pulls it out and asks about it. Brace asks if she would like to use it, and she pauses but ultimately declines.

Farley calls a meeting to demands an explanation for the deaths and sabotage on board. He assigns crew to do a final sweep of the decks and names Ula the new cook in Bullet’s place. She is extremely unhappy about this. Farley calls on Main Stream to earn her keep but is rebuffed calmly but firmly by the paying passenger merchant.

Tally invites Midnight to an intimate dinner in her quarters as a gift for his music (and to escape Ula’s truly awful food). Midnight is too injured to seduce the young mother.

Gale awakes a few mornings later to discover the last stock from her med kit is gone. It was apparently stolen from the locked medbay from her suit as she slept. Angry and disturbed, she seeks out Brace, only to interrupt him fucking Sun in the drive chamber. She stammers an apology and closes the door. She asks for Sun’s help when the tech leaves, to check her door. Sun seems rather obsessed on the concept of property theft. Gale is able to determine that only Vivek, Bigs, and Shiv would have been able to bypass the door from the remaining crew, and Sparky’s hazy passive camera makes the two large men unlikely.

However, Gale is unable to find Vivek in person or on the comms. Brace hears the comm chatter and offers to call Vivek. Vivek drags himself to the drive chamber in great pain, suffering full withdrawal. The two spooks begin a battle of wills that confuses Farley when he hears the commotion, though he orders them to stand down. Gale arrives and quickly diagnoses the issue. She gets back the stock from Vivek and convinces him to let her treat him as he rides out the detox. Brace decides to submit himself to full treatment as well, to more quickly heal.

Midnight talks to Tia and Morrel, who show him a strange device in their spartan cabin. It is picking up a tapping signal, perhaps from the Golden Age! They want to stay aboard the Starlight to find the signal’s source. Midnight agrees to help and tries to convince Captain Farley by being cook, but his dinner is terrible. Instead, he pays for their passage with his own store of wealth.

After two weeks, Starlight arrives in Megaton’s system. The first ping and posting of declared tradables goes as expected, but then they are ordered to stand ready to be boarded. A small craft approaches and three of the White Guard emerge. The ship is quickly searched and assessed by the silent guard while Commander Kriss answers few of the crew’s questions. They share a tense dinner, but even Brace’s lighthearted attempt at seduction of a female guard is met with silence and a swift fork to the thigh as he persists. Curious, he opens his mind to the situation of the White Guard and is shocked to feel connection but see… nothing. Brace and Vivek indirectly reveal themselves to be spooks, while Midnight Storm blithely mentions the recent Krypton Oxide poisoning.

On docking, the crew passes quickly through the weapon’s detection system (all save Vivek who is sent back about seven times until all of his knifes are left), only to be shuttled into a decontamination shower and one of Megaton’s visitor’s quarters. After his shower, Brace discovers his glove has been taken, but it is not to be returned. Midnight Storm activates a communication terminal to learn that the crew will be held for a full day until they are cleared for biological. At least the food is better.

During the night, Brace’s dreams are torn by fierce nightmares, vague but charged with need to eat, rip, consume and taking the form of reavers. He wakes, clawing the air to find Vivek staring at him. Neither of them sleep the rest of the night.

The crew is grumpy and frustrated as they emerge into the Megaton marketplace.

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