As we last left our Travellers, Dr. Duc-Lyle and the Warden, accompanied by Corporal Pagille Ortirez and Warden Brownartz, were heading to the site of the missile explosion. Travis, Purity, Pennity and the Level 1 Warden (whose name escapes me as I never came up with this one!) were also headed there in another grav APC. As were 4 Imperial SDBs. They must have timed it well as they pretty much all arrived at the same time.
The Renegade (Scout ship) was missing it's mechanic/Engineer, who was driving the 4 wheeler with the additional sensors on board to help triangulate the mole vehicle. There was a smoking 30-40 meter crater in the jungle, with trees pushed back along the edges. Some terse communications later, there was a Cyan SDB settled on one side of the crater, an Imperial SDB parked on the other side, close to the Scout ship. The two grav APCspark near the edge as well. Hoovert Brownartz, the chief warden, is in direct communication with both the Countess Barout (recently elevated to a Countess as that's what was needed by T5) and Aphix Irteepini, the xenophobic dictator of Cyan. While the diplomats parlayed, the Scouts were getting frantic about their missing crew mate. Travis, being an ex-Scout, volunteered to help search, as did Dr. Duk-Lyle. The guards were flying the grav vehicles in a spiral search pattern, and finally after half an hour, Travis saw the glint of metal in the jungle. Setting down nearby, they found the overturned 4 wheeler, but no sign of Og (Ognuearz Giokga) nearby. A search finally yields the Vargr Scout, unconscious on the ground. The good doctor stabilizes our furry friend, and using a stretcher from the grav APC they rapidly transport him to the Renegade where there is a med-bay waiting. It was a concussion with a hairline crack, but Og will make a full recovery.
Finally peace is made between Aphix and the Imperials, and the SDBs, except for 1 Cyan SBD, leave. The Cyan SDB is monitoring the Renegade, where a conversation in the common area is being held. The warden thanks the good doctor for uncovering some shady drug losses, and verifying that medical treatment is fair, consistent and meets Imperial standards. There is some evidence of some brutality towards political prisoners, and the data will be further reviewed. Travis' efforts are also praised as he found some hostilities between Cyan and non-Cyan guards that HR should be better aware of. Purity will be returning to the Level 1 facility for a couple more days to finish up her research.
Li Brewster is getting early parole for her good behavior, and has offered her services as an additional engineer for Le Suroit. The parties separate: the Renegade launches for the starport with the SDB following, the grav APC, a bit crowded, takes our party back to the prison to interview Li and do a final farewell for Travis. Li, who resembles Sally Field, and has Persuade-2 along with her winning smile, convinces Dr. Duk-Lyle that she would be a fine addition to the crew.
The prisoners in the mole vehicle, meanwhile, have disappeared. Imperial Marines are searching Brigham and the nearby jungle as they have discovered the abandoned vehicle, with tracks that lead out from a small truck or other personal vehicle. They are hoping to capture them before the Cyan police do.
Our Travellers will be heading back to the starport. Here they will be greeted and feted by the Countess on her yacht, and by her personal chef. She has a Kitaro class yacht.
I'll need to come up with some rumors, possible cargos to buy, and stuff like that. They are also seeing if they can outfit the lab ship with a fuel purifier: they have been lucky in that the Scouts have been getting their refined fuel the last few systems, but that is about to stop. And wanting to avoid a misjump, even with a new Jump engineer on board, they are looking into that. It will cost Cr180,000 and take 35 tons according to Book 5/High Guard. As they don't actually have that amount of cash on hand, and they will have to pay Li's salary at some point (she is happy to get a job and out of prison, so will work for free for the 1st jump, but she will want her salary after that. The Scout engineers (this is a Way Station, so they do have a lot of engineers!) think the purifier is do-able, just figuring it out where to put it. The current plan is to actually add a new spoke to the ship, and mount it there along with some extra tankage to continue to allow the Jump 2. Putting it there makes some sort of sense - it will reinforce that single spoke, as the pinnace often is used as a fuel shuttle there are already fuel lines in the spoke, so they can purify the fuel before it gets to the tanks. Plus it make my mini we've been using for Le Suroit a closer model!