Thordis steps forward, followed by the others, as they lunge in. Strangely, none close with Thordis! Rona kicks one, hard, and he is out cold. Aurora and Thordis turn on their shields. Thordis chops the arm off of one – Rona finishes him off. She then dodges the incoming bullets, as do Nicholas and Thordis, but Saskia gets hit. Taran fires back, hitting one. Thordis, lacking an opponent, charges into the next row and cuts the first one down. Leander follows suit, and spears one neatly. The others rush the second line, but one of the pirates grabs Saskia. Rona kicks him after Leander takes out her opponent, then Saskia downs him. Unfortunately she is already poisoned. With only 3 of the 12 left, one turns tail and runs. Leander charges in to the last man standing, taking him down. Thordis hares after the man, but he is gone. Taran finds the stunners and uses the poison snooper – Saskia has only been stunned, and quickly collapses. Leave her in a safe room and worry – where are the security? Then Thordis goes down – she was also hit. Decide that we should try to make it to the security HQ, after Mavern noticing that there is a second ship in dock!
Taran attaches his suspensor belt to Thordis. Mavern and Rona carry Saskia, and start to progress to the lofts. After an hour, finally make it to the top of the house. The security room is still manned, but unfortunately by disguised pirates – only realise when Aurora doesn’t recognise them. The leader, Kam (?), draws a lasgun. Nicholas fires, but it only hits his armour, so Leander charges in, skewering him. He fires back, missing Leander but hitting Aurora. Rona charges in, kicking him roundly, and he goes down as Aurora wheels back, landing on Thordis. Mavern tries to help her, and manages to stabilise her, as the thugs charge in. Leander dodges 2, but Rona takes a hit. Nicholas kills his 2 and moves on to Rona’s. He takes one down, as she thumps the other. Leander’s drops and rolls, bouncing off down the stairs. Mavern fails to shoot him, twice; so Leander chases him, dashing him off the bottom stairs.
Quickly find the security bodies, as Taran starts checking the system; there is one more group of pirates wandering around, plus more on their ship. Discuss what to do, and watch what is happening. The bands meet up on the dock – there are bodies moving on the decks of both ships, but action seems to be concentrating on the pirate vessel. It sets sail, then starts to leave harbour. Taran lets it get to 2 miles, then fires the missiles. It is destroyed. Taran then goes to turn off the House Shields – Rona is paranoid about the lasgun dream. As he depowers it, and arc of light zaps out from ‘our’ ship, and destroys a large portion of level (?). Nicholas and Rona creep down to check it out. A lasgun was mounted on the dock, and operated by a timer. It has run out of charge. Dismantle it, then check out the ship. The crew are locked in a cabin! Release them, then check the building – also find the servants. All are accounted for, except for the one ‘insider’ who poisoned the security staff.
Check out the shigawire reel: it shows a quartz mine. A sheet of quartz is being removed to reveal a cave entrance. Entering, there is a cubic room, with ~12 glass statuettes around a pit. The room is stripped, then the mining machine moves in.
The second portion is lots of close-ups of a mining machine. The third section is lots of production graphs for a mining camp known as Caesar’s Drift.
Taran has noticed that the mining machines are non-standard, especially around the articulation. Also, the mining information shows that Caesar’s Drift has much less repair and downtime than any other mines, but still produces an average amount of jasmium quartz.