Our job says to “extract a Guild member”. This feels more like what the Spitfire crew wants to be about: pulling people out of situations they’d rather not be in. But we need more information first, like “who is this?” and “why do they want to be extracted?
The first part is pretty easy. One of the notable NPCs listed for this system is Ed Ursis, a “dedicated, brilliant, overworked” Guild engineer on Shimaya. Why does he want out? We’ll check the Starforged oracles:
Perhaps he’s seen the development of some technology that scares him? Or maybe he’s figured something out he wants to sell? Time for some more oracles.
I chose to interpret this that he’s under a lot of pressure and surveillance but somehow got a makeshift message out to somebody. We’ll use our Scum & Villainy job tables here.
Cult of humans who infect themselves with Way creatures to access the universe in unsettling ways. Named after the pain most endure for their abilities.
This last part probably has more to do with our entanglement, Unquiet Black (where we have to deal with some Way creature). I doubt they care about Ursis.
Of the three guilds mentioned in the book, the Guild of Engineers (rather than the Starsmiths or Counters) seem the most likely. And this can tie back into the favor we still owe to the Janus Syndicate.
Who’s the PC friend most likely to be involved? Cosmo was training to be an engineer and is still close with Nisa, who ran a side hustle with her some time ago. What’s her role here? Again from Starforged, “Artisan”. So Nisa has been working with Ursis on something special and he wants a real cut. A certificate of appreciation and some recognition points to spend in the Guild shop aren’t enough for him.
How do we pull him out?
Currently, Ursis works on an “orbital array and the electrostatic generators it powers”. Is he in space right now, or planetside?
1d => 4, he’s in space but we roll on the Starforged complication table. “Crucial device or equipment fails”. That’s a story complication that sets up a Deception plan: the array is having some sort of (contrived) emergency and he’ll launch an escape pod.
For our engagement roll, we get +1d each from Snatch & Grab, Nisa’s help, and a bold / daring plan. We get -1d each for the Guild’s tier and the Way creature on our ship causing problems.
2d => 5, Risky starting position.
We start with the ship hailing Ed Ursis in his escape pod and telling him to hang tight. Is the array still malfunctioning, so that the Guild is distracted? The Guild is tier 3 which provides a good basis for our fortune roll,
3d => 6, yes it’s online and now everyone’s looking for him.
That indeed explains why it’s Risky right now. We want to pick him up before any Guild rescue tenders arrive. Our engine is rated 2 and they’re tier 3, so we would be at Limited. But our Ace Pilot has extra potency, so that boosts our helm roll to Risky / Standard. Cosmo assists by monitoring our long-range scanners:
3d => 6,6, critical success! We do it with extra effect and gain another gambit. The extra effect means we don’t need to pull him in manually, such as with a grappling hook, because we just match vectors perfectly.
So now Ursis is in the airlock, but we still need to outrun those tenders. Again, we’re at Risky / Limited, but Ace Pilot makes it Standard. We’ll take a Devil’s Bargain for +1 Heat in Brekk, our current solar system, as the Guild gets our drive signature (i.e. The Expanse) no matter what.
This takes our helm to
3d => 5. What’s our complication? “True agenda of a connection or patron is revealed.” Hmm, that’s probably Nisa. What’s her revealed agenda?
Oh, she wants to renegotiate their deal, otherwise she threatens to give us up to the Guild. Ursis is haggling with her on the comms.
While normally we wouldn’t care about the specifics of their deal, we do when the consequences affect us so directly! Cosmo needs to get her away from that idea in their negotiations. They’re old friends, so that’s Consort. Because of that relationship, we’re only at a Risky position; a Sway would probably be Desperate. At the same time, this parallels the old relationship between Cosmo and Nisa, so that will be at Great effect. We’ll spend a gambit for +1d and a 2-stress push for another die:
2d => 4 and we need to think of a complication.
Time for that Way birdie to show up. It feels the tension among the crew through its sensitivity to the Way and starts flapping around in the ship! Cosmo attempts to attune to calm it before it gets into the cockpit. This is Risky, but since we still have the cage from before, we’ll call it Standard effect.
2d => 6, it’s under control for the moment.
Next, we need a way back. We could just pull into the Guild-maintained hyperspace lane, which runs the risk of getting flagged. Or we could use a “dark lane”, but we’d need to flash back to getting information on one in the area. As a third option, we could jump right into the regular lane without using a Guild buoy, which is sort of like driving straight onto a freeway without using the on-ramp.
Yeah, that one! Of course, that is Desperate: we could trip a sensor and get a patrol craft, or have a mishap with another ship. Again, Ace Pilot pushes Snaps’ helm up to Great effect. We’ll spend that extra gambit here as well, plus he won’t mind the extra XP!
3d => 5, we do it with a consequence. That will manifest as +2 Heat in Brekk.
Arriving to Aketi for the handoff, we still need to bluff our way past the local cops since we have a passenger disembarking. Snaps, as captain, handles it with Command by trying to intimidate the officer. We have a potential fugitive on board, but he isn’t technically wanted yet. That makes this just Risky, although if it goes really bad we could end up in a Desperate position or getting some other complication. Cosmo will help (+1 stress) by claiming this man is in a medical emergency and we need to get him to an appropriate facility right away.
2d => 2, the officer is standing on protocol and not stepping aside. The passenger must show ID, and now we’re in Desperate straits.
Snaps will resist the consequence with Resolve, promising (falsely) to bring back paperwork later.
1d => 5 - 6 = 1 stress. This reduces the consequence to 2 Heat.
And we’re thru. Ursis meets up with Nisa in a Janus Syndicate safe house here in Base Camp One.
We take -1 status with the Guild of Engineers, but +1 job with Janus. It’s a standard job paying 6 cred: 1 to upkeep, 1 to the ship itself, and 2 each to the crew members.
Our heat, other than the extras we already marked, is at 1 (smooth & quiet). That takes us right to the very edge of a Wanted level; we’ll need to do something about that in the future. For now, our entanglement is
1d => 2, Unquiet Black again. The Agony definitely want something having to do with the bird next time.
We’re starting to think about moving to another system but first let’s take care of a few things here.
He indulges his parents by visiting with them before leaving Brekk. That conversation seems to be a bit contentious and he only clears 1 stress. Maybe this Guild engineer, or even Nisa, knows something about people associated with the Lost Legion?
0d => 5, 2 ticks on his project clock. That’s better progress and maybe indicates something else about why Ursis left.
Cosmo also needs to indulge her vice. Something is bothering her about this bird.
1d => 2 cleared stress. Can’t wait to see what happens with the Agony! And of course her drone designs need study:
1d => 1, 1 tick, her mind is just not on her work.
The next system over is Iota. Where should we go? Let’s avoid the big Guild-associated locales for the moment. Conclave 01 has a secret base on Indri; maybe that’s a good place and we can bring our ship AI into the narrative.
Job 2-6, extracting a Guild member - again. There’s something happening here. What it is isn’t exactly clear, but we need to figure out how much we want to have to do with it in the future.
No advancements from the XP yet, so I’ll just let this all percolate in my mind a bit.