Log #6

 

On arrival on Beylix, the crew split into three teams Chan &Williams, Li Ming & Xavier, and March & Cindy.  Willis remained on the ship for security and maintenance reasons, as the others blanketed the landing field to try and find business or info on Blue Sun.  No luck finding either (Li Ming roll 16 Xavier roll 18) Li Ming did discover that “it’s not good for business to do business with you right now” confirming what they were told by Benevidez.  Pressing the contact why got a furtive two word reply “Blue Sun.” 

All three teams did locate via cortex a local advertisement “Wanted: Independent Investigators to uncover mysterious occurrences during the course of business”.  Cindy learned that hunting parties in search of an animal named the chimper.  William was certain this was supposed to chimpanzee the chimpers are captured and sold on core as pets.  Lately, hunting parties have been ambushed, several wounded and a few dead.  Last expedition had two dead and four severely wounded.  Knowing any other business was unlikely; Chan decides to at least talk to Darrin Coorvish.  Chan and William meet with Coorvish and deal is a one week vehicular trip into the heavily forested area to suppress the attacks, trip is by tracked ATVs and crews must bring own weapons and supplies.  Pay would be ten platinum per day per person or 70 platinum total (28 credits).  The expedition has to be on ground as the chimpers are too smart to be spotted from the air and any good evidence will be on the ground. At nearly 200 credits, Chan and William agree.  Only question was if entire crew would go.  Vote was 4 to 3 with Marsh, Li Ming & Xavier being out voted.  Cindy found a source for ballistic mesh and picked up armor for Xavier for the standard price. 

The next morning, fully equipped for the trip, the crew met with Coorvish and his nine man bodyguard.  It was a long dawn to dusk trip into the outback of Beylix, but uneventful.  However two of Coorvish’s men tried to hunt some fresh meat.  An hour later one man limps into camp cut and scratched to say unknown attackers killed his partner.  Already suspicious of his bodyguards, William took Cindy and Li Ming to scout the area of the attack and to recover the body of the dead man.  But only found tracks and signs of a struggle.  Setting a guard the group bedded down for the night. 

In the morning the group located the remains of a missing hunting party, the camp was torn to shred attacked by wild animals or some sort of savages.  Every piece of equipment was destroyed by blunt force and every shelter shredded by claws, signs of a savage fight, but no bodies despite the massive blood splatter.  Marsh and Cindy easily spotted a path with many tracks heading away from the destroyed camp, with Li Ming noticing brown fur in the trees on that path.  Having found the clue, Coorvish orders the crew to proceed on foot to follow up on the lead.  Marsh follows behind in the ATV, while the second ATV with Coorvish and his bodyguard cover the rear. 

Keyed up by discovering the strands of fur in the trees, Li Ming was hypersensitive to her surroundings and a sixth sense epiphany forced the forgotten piece of information dancing at the edge of recollection snap into place – chimpanzees could brachiate!  Her shouted warning (init roll 18 chimpers 7 a critical success) gave the crew a split second chance to react before half a dozen of the creatures pounced from the trees in ambush.  Li Ming fired first with a bone crushing shotgun blast that killed the chimper attacking her instantly.  Cindy realized the animals were only acting instinctively, used a karate move to butt stroke another chimper stunning it.  Willis managed to graze his assailant and Chan struck a hand to hand attack also realizing the chimper’s instinctual behavior.  Chan, Cindy and Xavier took miner bruising from the chimper attacks, while Willis was struck very hard.  William dodged his attacker and managed to wound his attacker.  Li Ming caught out of the corner of her eye that Willis was in trouble and blasted the chimper attacking the mechanic.  Cindy delivered a powerful overhand strike that knocked out another chimper and the reaming three chimpers broke and ran. 

Chan ordered Xavier, Willis, and Cindy to stick with the wounded chimpers as William, Li Ming, her and Marsh with the ATV pursued the fleeing chimpers.  Before the group could split up, Coorvish behind a wall of his bodyguards approached with Coorvish asking how the one chimper Cindy was working on was doing.  Cindy got the battered creature stabilized and Coorvish demanded the creature be loaded on their ATV.  Chan didn’t like the situation, but Coorvish was paying the bill and acquiesced as the chimper was being carried, it awoke.  The two boy guards panicked and drew their weapons.  Chan gave the command to stand down and Coorvish told his men to fire!  The entire crew of the Lattimer’s Ghost were so keyed up that they responded to Coorvish’s command faster than his bodyguard could.  The gambling moved first again, with two lightning fast shots that felled two bodyguards instantly.  The wounded chimper raked one of the guards and made it impossible for the second guard to fire without hitting his friend.  Xavier of all people fired next and winged one bodyguard.  Chan fired on the gunner in Coorvish’s ATV, but missed.  Marsh pivoted the ATV to provide cover for Chan, William and Li Ming.  Cindy wounded two men with an autofire attack.  William fired twice and felled the man facing Xavier and wounding further the guard facing Cindy.  One guard got a burst at Willis but missed wildly. The ATV pulled forward but could not fire due to Coorvish being in the way.  Li Ming finished off the wounded bodyguard with the sub machine gun.  Marsh crushed the four wounded men in order to provide cover to the to crew least prepared to survive.  Xavier and Willis accepted the gift and dived behind the ATV.  Cindy took cover behind the ATV and wounded the one remaining bodyguard able to fight, and William finished him off.  Leaving the gunner on the ATV for Chan, who wounded him.  Having had enough, the wounded gunner dropped into the ATV and the unwounded driver drove off at high speed.  The chimper and the last bodyguard struck each other with full fury and killed each other. 

Chan was cursing a violet streak as she saw Coorvish disappearing on a grav bike at extremely high speed.  With the chimper and all the guards dead, the only real objective left was capturing Coorvish.  Piling into the ATV, the crew began the pursuit.  Li Ming by some nearly mystical means managed to pick up and stay on Coorvish’s trail. 

An hour later, the crew finds Coorvish’s wrecked grav bike and blood everywhere.  Dismounting the crew finds a fresh blood trail and chimper footprints all around.  Figuring justice was already done, the only thing left to do was drive back to the landing field.  On arrival, the crew found the other ATV had reached the field first. 

Chan was brilliant in her defense of her actions and her crew.  The jaded alliance officer weighed her rational account versus the wild claims of the bodyguards, and after a team went out to the location of the fight, completely exonerated Chan and her crew (Chan’s bargaining, int, and 3 plot points rolled 17.  The bodyguards INT + influence rolled 8 and officers INT + mental resistance rolled 11 beating the officer’s roll plus doubling the bodyguards for a critical success)  free to go, but cash poorer, the crew departs Beylix.