Flying back to the Cyan Port, there is a light snow covering the tarmacs, and the occasional craft launching or landing in the distance. Boris, Travis and Li part ways with their Marine guards, and go to the Port Hotel where they have a few hours before their dinner with the Countess. Li leaves to get some shopping done, while Travis and the Doctor clean up and do some research on the Countess and try to catch up on local news. Most of the local news is state-sponsored propaganda, but even there is little negative news on the Countess. The Imperial database indicates she has been a career diplomat and has moved up through the ranks consistently over the years, and is now the Imperial representative on Cyan. Her goals, as listed by her bio, are to bring peace and prosperity to Cyan. Knowing how the nobility works, our Travellers are aware that prosperity will also be coming to the Countess.
Li returns with several bags, and asks if she too is invited. As she was, both Boris and Dr Duk-Lyle almost appear affronted that she even made such a suggestion. So quickly pulls out a fairly spectacular semi-formal gown, and returns. Amidst the praise, a slight bump on her thigh is revealed to be a small holster and pistol. With a grin and "it doesn't hurt a girl to try" she quite easily leaves the small body pistol behind.
They are met at the hotel entrance by a port taxi, and are quickly shuttled to the racing yacht. Met at the airlock by an austere butler, they are ushered into the dining area where they are met with delight by Countess Millie. A coffee and introductions are exchanged, and Millie offers a tour of the yacht before dinner. Travis recognizes the coffee from Trane, and finds to his dismay that the Countess imports it at a fair expense. The yacht is a Kitaro class racing yacht, so is not a typical Traveller yacht. Fine yet subdued appointments show a refined taste. They are led to the large kitchen where Chef Waldo and is sous-chef are busy cooking. They are almost ejected from the kitchen by the same chef who is busy cooking some sort of fish. The rest of the tour goes well, from the small pool with the complete holographic wall system, to the larger than expected engineering section. At the rear of the ship is the garage, currently with 2 grav speeders.
At pleasant chime announces that dinner is served. Returning to the dining room, they encounter the Marquis Juliette Sung Ottowald who they last saw on Trane. A very pleasant dinner was served, and making rolls against social, Travis noted that the fish is exceptional and wonders if it is Lord Fish. And indeed it is (note that Lord Fish is from the http://travellerrepublik.blogspot.com/ site - thanks!) The Countess notes that she has an idea she would like to discuss after dinner.
So, after a resplendent meal, after dinner is served causing Travis to grimace at missed opportunity. Her plan is to finance Le Suroit to research keeping the Lord Fish tasty for more than a couple of days after processing. This fish is not only expensive due to its rarity but also that it has to be shipped live - once dead, despite any preparation, the taste and value rapidly declines. She offers a cool Cr250,000, enough to pay for the fuel processor as well as purchase a fish or two at Kryslion, their next port of call. Li continues to elbow both Travis and Dr. Duk-Lyle, so they take an electronic copy of the contract to review it.
They end up hiring an advocate to review the document, and decide to modify it so that they will also get a cut of the profits going forward should they actually manage to find a way to preserve the flesh. The Countess readily agrees to the new contract. So now they have a six month window at Kryslion to see if they can do what has not been done despite more than 50 years of trying.
Now from the GM/Player perspective: this allows the players to finance the Cr180,000 fuel system they needed for the ship, as well as give them some additional incentive to explore Kryslion. They do not have a definitive time to get to Selshor (the original goal of this adventure, to retrieve the Katydid. However, the Scouts would prefer a sooner rather than later). The chances of them succeeding are pretty low but not impossible. It will be a weekly roll that has to be met each time. Success will move forward, near success may lead them to an incorrect research path, and failure may really mess them up. This is a task chain, so I need to read up on that.
Additionally, I had set up some maps to have Purity shot down in Startown. This was an option if they wanted to get some combat in. Combat being possibly fatal in Traveller. Also gives me a chance to bring out a Zombie game that has road and building tiles so we can have a tactical game. Zombies will be the opponents. Just using the pieces...