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This session of our pulp SF tabletop RPG campaign actually took place a while ago, before I started taking detailed notes, so it will be a little sketchy.

When we last left Trask Force Alpha, they were finishing up solving the problem of the sabotage at the lunar water-generation stations. Their next assignment was to mingle with and prevent problems among the passengers and crew of the Mars Express, a luxury space liner that happened to be taking a large number of diplomats and corporate representative to a special meeting of the Solar System Congress on Mars. At stake: a "planetary genesis" project that would create self-contained new planetoids capable of sustaining oxy-breathing life ... .

The ship's security detail confiscated just about everyone's weapons when the team boarded. Dotaj was allowed to keep his ceremonial sword, and Kat's collapsed gun and Mick's and BAL-E's built-in weapons escaped notice. Smythe's newly-delivered Tech Knight-built robot, disassembled, ended up in stowage, labelled as props for his stage show.

The first evening aboard, there was a massive formal dinner. The members of the team were scattered among various tables on the basis of their status and notoriety. One or two ended up seated with prominent personages at the Captain's Table (including, ironically, BAL-E, who doesn't even eat), while the rest ate with lowlier types. Somewhat to their surprise, some of the team encountered old associates among the guests: Kat's former schoolmate Alexandra, now a reporter for a video tabloid, and a famous restaurant critic named Kang Bui, who had some mysterious connection with Smythe. Dotaj also discovered, somewhat to his concern, that the chief Martian diplomat was from a rival clan.

For the next couple of days, the team attempted to make contacts and keep an eye on the guests and personnel. Mick and Flint, for example, somehow ended up shepherding a bunch of chatty little old ladies around the ship. Kat spent some time with her old schoolmate, which was awkward because Kat is very shy and Alexandra is very forward and chatty. Alexandra remembered Kat kindly, however, and revealed to her that Alexandra had hidden cameras at various places around the ship. Smythe worked with the entertainment director to arrange a performance of his magic show, and under that assumption, the crate that included his robot was brought up to his cabin. Kat thankfully retreated to assemble it instead of hobnobbing with the guests,

Smythe also accepted an invitation from Kang Bui to eat with the ship's executive crew. Hoshi accompanied him and was at one point offered a special Martian delicacy that Kang assured her was safe. Somewhat to her distress, she could not seem to stop herself from eating all of it. The implications regarding being slipped some sort of drug that way in the future did not escape her. At this point, Smythe's secret - that he and Kang are both part of a mysterious cabal of mutants that are attempting to manipulate politics in the Solar System - came out. Kang is also a psychic, but his skills are different from Smythe's.

The team also found out that a member of the mining company that is in an adversarial relationship with the Belters is among the delegates. He also happens to be the company president's son. Flint was not pleased by this development. This person was trying to arrange private meetings with the captain and with the Executive Officer (Ex-O). And BAL-E, who had met with the Tech Knight delegate, Grand Master Deidre, realized that she (BAL-E) had some blank spots in her memory.

Then the team received truly startling news: the captain had been found dead in his cabin! Flint, with his usual tact and guile, promptly blurted this out to the little old ladies that he was squiring around.

To be continued!


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