Cold rain still spattered on the docks at Eavesdown.  A rugged looking CL-54 Cargo Lifter passed by, heading for its designated landing pad. Seconds later, a Bernard SAR lifted off of Dock 93, sending mud and water flying all directions.  The Dockmaster’s voice echoed in the background, issuing directions to workers. Diesel engines chugged, lifts groaned, and clanking metal from unloading trucks filled the air. LIBERATION‘s turbines whined  as did the engines from a dozen other ships. It was a usual noisy afternoon at Eavesdown Docks.

The Crew hurried up the metal stairways, their rapid footfalls adding to the cacophony. Benjamin started shouting orders to his Crew. [1] Quinn boarded quickly, shouting that she’d have them in the air in five. Edward was on next, heading for the Whoop Chicken. Randa pulled out her Winchester Model 1892 Mare’s Leg. Mack and Abel started to drag their prisoner towards the ship, but Benjamin stopped them. He glared at Mack.

“I got some questions for you,” growled the Captain. “Where exactly have you been?!”

Mack shrugged. “I got bored. Shacked up with a lady friend on The Rim’s Dream. Missed the boat and had to find my own way back.” He smiled slightly as if to apologize.

The Captain’s face was very serious but he smiled. This was an idiosyncrasy. He’d smile when he was angry. Mack imagined it was the way a rattlesnake might smile right before it struck you.

“I’m having a hard time findin’ reasons to trust you-” Clemson took a step closer at Mack, but Randa interrupted him.


Alliance Kill Squad

“We got company, Captain,”” Her voice was calm. She raised her weapon and aimed. “Squad of Alliance Roughnecks comin’ in hard and fast.” Her finger lightly touched the trigger of her Mare’s Leg.

“Those ain’t Roughnecks.” Mack’s voice was matter-of-fact. “Roughnecks are Marines. That’s a Kill Team. Still Alliance, but part of Special Ops.” He narrowed his eyes to gaze closer at the soldiers pouring out of the maze of streets. “And it looks like they have a Heavy Weapons Team with them, too.”

Benjamin called at Badger, who was in the process of slinking away into the catwalks of the Docks. “What’s the deal with this guy?” He thumbed at a man who was standing near Mack, tinkering with a piece of complicated looking equipment.

Badger glanced back. “Oh him?” He smiled widely. “He’s a mechanic, Captain. Well, more of a tinkerer. But he might be useful on your crew. Might even fix something someday.” With that, Badger was gone. He slipped into the darkness of the crisscrossing catwalks.



Edward glanced at Badger, attempting to Read him. Once again, Edward was not able to pierce the confines of Badger’s mind. All he knew for certain was that Badger was telling the truth. [4]

Mack shrugged again. “He’s a mechanic. I thought we might need one.” With that, Mack walked with Abel up the ramp and into the ship, pulling the unconscious Alliance soldier with them. He paused for a moment, glancing out at the approaching squad of Alliance troopers. “Times running out.”


Alliance Soldiers rushing into battle!

Abel nodded to the Captain. “We’ll get the prisoner secured in the Med Bay, like usual.” With that, the two entered the ship with the prisoner in tow.

Randa was still aiming her carbine at the advancing Alliance troopers. “He’s right, Captain. I’d say 75 yards and closing.” She pulled the trigger, and watched as her round impacted on the breastplate of one of them. He didn’t even stop, but she saw the ceramic plating shatter with hair-line fractures. One more shot would put him down. She cocked the Mare’s leg and aimed again. She had four more rounds. [2]

Benjamin negotiated with the mechanic quickly. His name was T’sien Rafferty. He refused to join the Crew until Benjamin “told him a story.” Benjamin did just that, summarizing how the Alliance was going to kill them. Apparently this did the trick because T’sien jogged up into the ship and headed for the Engine Room.

Benjamin glanced at Randa. “Time for the big guns.” He ran up the ramp, rushing for the weapons platform under the cockpit. Randa stepped on to the ramp, lowering her carbine but keeping an eye on the approaching Kill Team. They were maybe sixty yards away now, and causing civilians to scatter from the ground level of the Docks. Luckily with the downpour, most people were inside warm, dry, and alive. When she felt the ramp’s hydraulics kick in, she knew it was time. She ducked into the ship and headed for her bunk. She figured she should gather some weapons in case they got boarded.


T’sien was in the engine room, assisting Quinn with take off as he could. He flipped a few switches here and there adjusting power fluctuations. He plugged in a device and started running diagnostics. He was familiar with Firefly Class Transports. He knew immediately that this ship had served in war. “Tell me a story,” he whispered as he watched the data on his gadget.

At that same time, Benjamin had raced to the controls of the twin laser cannons, and climbed inside. It was cramped, but that was necessary because it was concealed. He jabbed a button and felt the ball turret start to lower. Someone told him once that it was based on a design used for fighter planes back on Earth-That-Was. Benjamin wasn’t much of a historian, but he was a Hell of a shot.[3]

Meanwhile at Med Bay, Edward delivered a syringe of Sodium Thiopenta to Abel. He explained that Abel should only give the prisoner 20 ml because anything more would “probably result in euthanasia.” When Abel questioned this, Edwards simply replied that he had mixed in some Pancuronium Bromide to increase the effect of the truth serum.

Edward looked at Mack. “So we need to get out stories straight. What exactly have you been up to?”

Mack smiled at Edward. “Let’s talk about it over cocktails.” He clapped the Doctor on the back.

Edward smiled. “Abel, take care of the prisoner. I have business to attend to.” With that the two men walked off towards the Galley.

The ball turret on the underbelly of the cockpit.

The ball turret on the underbelly of the cockpit.

Benjamin took aim at the Alliance Kill Team. They were in formation, a simple “V” and about 40 yards away. They would be on the stairs soon. He felt LIBERATION lift, and could see the landing gears pulling into their panels. He could see the team leader starting to give orders to his men. He took a breath, squeezed the triggers, and shifted slowly to strafe the enemy. He watched as the blasts dropped the Alliance goons like flies. The red hot death of LIBERATION‘s twin lasers took them out at the legs cutting them in two in gruesome effectiveness.


An Alliance soldier takes aim with his Shoulder Fired Rocket Launcher.

LIBERATION continued to rise, turning away from the Docks. Benjamin looked down to see one of the soldiers struggle to his knees, and fire a Stinger at the ship. Benjamin hoped that it was a MK56 and not a MK55. A tactical nuke would bring down LIBERATION without a doubt. He watched the missile for seconds, then lost track of it because of the ship’s movement. All he could see was the smoke trail.


“Everyone hold on to something,” shouted the Captain. “I’m punching it.” Benjamin looked at the Red Button that would kick in the Booster Turbojet Engines. There was a button on each operational panel in the cockpit, and one in the ball turret. Benjamin jammed the button, and immediately heard the turbines power up. And that’s when he felt the missile slam into LIBERATION’s hull.



[1] Benjamin’s player spent a Plot Point to trigger a custom Distinction “Barkin’ Orders” giving everyone in this scene an additional D10 to roll while following orders. Shiny. Why d10? The trigger is equal to his Influence. And the Captain’s got some.

[2] Randa’s player rolled [Physical D8] + [Shoot D8] + [Mare’s Leg Carbine D8] + [Captain’s Orders D10] and managed to beat the Gamemaster’s [Elite Pirate D8] + [Physical D8] + [Move D6] with an exceptional success. So she not only gained a D8 Big Damn Hero dice buy also got to explain what happened to the target with shared storytelling. For hit location, we used a special dice. She rolled “Chest.” She went on to explain that the breastplate of the trooper’s armor was reinforced with ceramics and that the shot shattered the armor leaving a vulnerable spot.

[3] Benjamin’s player rolled [Physical D8] + [Shoot D12] + [Systems D8] against [Elite Pirate D8] + [Physical D8] + [Move D6]. He also paid a Plot Point to put a D6 Asset into play called “Red Hot Death” referring to the blasts from his Laser Cannons.  He also paid a second Plot Point to keep a third dice for his roll. Benjamin set the stakes at 20 and after rolling, I had failed to raise the stakes. Worse, my roll for the Alliance soldiers botched. Things would go badly for the soldiers.

[4] Our ship’s Doctor, Edward is a Reader. But his abilities are not stable. Badger set the stakes at 12 using [Mental] + [Influence] but Edward failed to raise the stakes. Therefore, Edward only gleaned that Badger was telling the truth.

ornbar2limeAs Gamemaster, I rolled a massive amounts of jinxes and botches this session. The 1’s were coming up on every roll.

Some of the Assets put into play this session were:

  • Red Hot Death
  • Down the Rabbit Hole
  • Sharpshooter
  • Truth Serum

Some of the Complications in this session were:

  • Done the Impossible
  • Kill Team



About Big Rich

D&D, WEIRD WAR, STEAMPUNK, FIREFLY, CTHULHU, COMICS, and ZOMBIES ... oh my. Big Rich is just another geek cluttering your internets with senseless nonsense.
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