Star Trek: Serenity

The Quick and the Dead: The Return

Mootar worried for the Eptai. Saul Baxter was a Terran and a mysterious one at that, and he had the ear of Eptai Soomdak, and thusly the future of the Klingon people. He must contact his old friend Kora and learn what has happened and how Soomdak came to this. But was Kora responsible? Has their secret bargain to kill off those that would challenge the young Soomdak caused the Eptai to go on the offensive? But who was he fighting?

First he would contact Savar, Baxter indicated they knew each other, the Vulcan needed to be warned.

Savar finished with his tea and started towards the door, someone was knocking and the Vulcan had not expected visitors. Over the answering machine he could hear the Klingons warnings, Baxter and he shared a connection in that alien probe, Savar mused, he wondered if that put him in danger. When he opened the door Saul Baxter was on the other side smiling and with whiskey.

He praised Savar for his success, and offered his support for his court case. Baxter got to the point. He represented a group., a cabal, if you will. that was interested in Savars T’kon technology and his shield tech, in return the Vulcan can join the Cabal, and they would make this trial go away. Savar remembered the Shadows, large translucent insects from another dimension determined to conquer this universe, Saul Baxter was quite probably their servant, willing or made to serve with a worm in his head.

Savar politely declined.

Baxter was surprised and upset at the refusal . He left with a vague threat about choices and consequences and took the whiskey with him.

Mootatr enjoyed the evening air as he walked down main street in Zoag City, politely nodding to lady folk as they passed by as such was the custom. The peace of the night was broken by a galloping horse, a horse recognized by the Klingon as belonging to the town sheriff her hind quarters splashed with red blood.

Mootar leaps into action! Running full speed to Zoag Jail. On his approch he can make out two dead deputies laying at the building steps. The Klingon bursts through the doors to see a cloaked man, raise a weapon into the cell where the man who shot the Romulan was being kept. He had been an incoherent mess since the killing, but if he was dead, there was no hope of ever getting anything useful from him.

With a hard wide sweep Mootar knocked the weapon from the assailants hand with his blazing bat’leth. The warrior then followed through with a grapple manouever pining the shooter against cell bars his weapons blade below his throat.

“Who sent you!?” The klingon screamed. “Who are you working for?”

No response came from the attacker who happened to be a Romulan, Mootar locked him in a cell. No sooner had he shut the door when the high whine of a hover cycle going full out began to rise from the outside.

Mootar ran to the door to meet this new foe, as he flung the door open he was met with rifle fire, the incredibly loud crack from the shot indicated extremely high caliber. The priest rolled into a defensive position but the cycle and its two riders, once carrying a rifle sped off into the dark.

Already crouching Mootar lined the shot up with his disruptor rifle. His aim was true that day as the cycle exploded in a white hot ball of destruction, killing the riders.

Satisfaction turned to shock as the Klingon looked at the damage to the front of the jail. One of the bullets went through. When he ran back inside he was relieved to see the accused still alive but despondent at the sight of the shooters corpse. He had one wound through his heart.

Eventually everybody shows up. Senator Slovak said the attackers knew the Romulan who was killed and were seeking revenge. Romuians are a hot blooded people don’t you know. As far as the Romulan Empire was concerned the case regarding these three men was closed. With his sincere condolences.

Shad had his head in his hands, he wanted to come home for rest and relaxation, but instead he got….this! He raised his head high enough so that he could peek through he fingers, he wife and mother and law were consoling Thelma as she balled her eyes out over her lost daughter Annabelle.

Shad wanted to relax but there was too much at stake, his reputation, political leverage, the chance to increase his influence, and finding that damn girl so this screaming woman would leave his house!

“Okay, I’m going to call Mr. Savar and we are going to get this thing all cleared up” Shad got off the couch. He coordinated with Savar and the factory, they shut down the production lines, retooled, and started making drones and mines capible of detecting and transmitting the location of their quickly moving adversary.

Come morning Shad ordered the Peace Keepers to distribute the detectors all over Zoaf City. When the got to the Figg property of course they put up a fuss, and Shad played it up, how the Figgs don’t care about kidnapped children, and recorded the conversation. He was sure to put a few of the drones over he very own house.

Savar hit the switch and they picked up a few pings and the speedsters fled the city. By playing it back in slow Savar could tell which direction they went. North, into the Klingon woods.

The next day whilst men working on replacing the window put the new one in place when just then a rock went sailing through it. Of course it had a note tied to it. “Give us what we want, come out to Cockroach Cave!” The name brought a shudder to the Orion pilot, then he realized a window was open, it didnt really bother him at all that this was the cave where that other Klingon died that used to hang with them, what was his name?

Savar contacted the Klingons to get clear passage through their woods, respectful of the Vulcans hunting skills they were eager to help.

Within a few hours they were at the cave. “Dukath!” Shad exclaimed, he finally remembered that Klingon’s name!

Savar placed the box in the cave, he installed a false bottom with a tracking device that the Speedsters were meant to find the real tracker, rare radioactive dust, was how Savar would find them.

Suddenly the sound of buzzing and Shad taking a rock off the head. It had a note tied to it: “Open the Box”

Shad opened it and showed the vials containing blue liquids he had the boys at PharmaZoag cook up for him. WIthin moments the box was gone and the girl, Annabelle appeared.

The Hellraisers immediately headed out to the ’Shadow. WIthin 30 min they were in orbit. Savar was bent over the scanners, its blue light casting soft blue rectangular glow around his eyes.

“I found them.” It only took a few minutes. Savar threw up a ship on the viewscreen, similar in style to the Rouge Scorpion that they blew up on Flitner.

Shad Barrick strode over to the missle launcher and began hitting the button.

“Wait, those missiles have a substantial credit value!” Stahl warned.

“You can bill me” the Orion responded as he shot off every missile they had.

Nothing was left but creators.

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The Sky Darkens

The ship was battle damaged, smashed to junk and stripped of anything valuable, the Shadow had arrived too late to help. They had been in the Zoag system for a few hours when they picked up the ship on long range scans, when they arrived they found nothing but death.

It looked like a pirate attack but especially vicious. Mootar couldn’t help but wonder if this was a failure of the Klingons who were supposed to patrol this area. They were down a ship as Kora was sent on a mission to put down those that would challenge Soomdak for the throne before they became a problem. He hasn’t heard from the Klingon since he left on that mission.

None of the crew could believe their eyes as they circled the space port. A Romulan luxuary transport was docked at port 6, complete with armoured guards, what the hell was going on down there?

They almost walked into their answer as they marched into town. The met Senator Solak along with the rest of Zoag city council including Beg Bottle, Jed Cracker, and Doug Fig.

“Finally will have the pleasure of meeting the Hellraisers!” The Romulan put out his hand, the rest of the Hellraisers looked at it.

The exchange was terse, Solak was there to observe Zoag, as they were housing a Klingon Militia, building surface guns capable of taking out an orbiting ship and the Hellraisers have been running around turning Romulan Operations upside down.

The Hellraisers told him to hit the road, but then strangely enough, Doug Fig jumped to his defense making himself out as the model of tolerance and moving forward.

Later on Savar was contacted at his home by a page for a group of industrialists who wished to speak with the Vulcan, over dinner. Savar accepted.

When he went down to the bar that evening, someone bumped into him screamed “Vulcan get out of my head!”, then pulled a gun and shot a Romulan in the bar. Savar was arrested and finger printed, but the Sheriff refused to put the hero in jail and left him in Stahl’s company. He was ordered not to leave Zoag.

Mootar met with Soomdak who had Saul Baxter bending his ear. Soomdak had sent out the fleet , such as it is., to deal with threats to the Klingons and has left Zoag undefended. It seems like the sons of Krotus have been assasinated one by one, at the attacks have spread to other Klingons as well. Soomdak is making some pre-emptive strikes to maintain peace. Mootar worried if it was doing the opposite.

Shad was settling into home life with his new mother-in-law and the wife. She was not prepared for the suprize return of her husband and had planned a dinner that very evening with some of the girls from the sewing circle. Shad, of course, was welcome to join, and he inclined to do so.

That night tragedy struck, as Thelma and her daughter Annabelle approached the front door, the younger disappeared before their very eyes. A rock came crashing though the front window with a note tied to it. “Give us what we want.” The sound of buzzing appeared close by…for a moment.

Outside the bar, young men of the Figg persuasion started building a gallows.

Inside her stasis chamber, Marta stirred…

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Dustup at Deadman's Gultch!

A new message came over Savar’s tricorder.

“Tell the Hellraiser’s we have them surrounded. Tell them to come out with their hands up.”

Stahl new it was time to show his hand. He walked out into the middle of the street, looking down an old dusty dirt road to the Rouge Scorpion at the edge of town, Plasma guns hot.

“Give us the Project, your surrounded!” a voice came over the ships loud speakers. The ship angled slightly and blew up an abandoned building with its forward guns.

Stahl pointed at another building and it burst into flames as Damood took it out from orbit by Stahls command. Things happened very quickly after that.

The Rogue Scorpion began to angle up to return fire on the Shadow, Shad would have none of that. He took his high powerd Romulan laser sniper rifle and took an aimed shot through the window to the pilot.

His brutal accuracy damaged the ship causing it to spin laterally creating a strange pantomime through the cockpit window. First turn, the copilot noticing the pilots head is gone, to his horror, second turn, the co pilot grabbing the wheel and smoke building up in room, third spin more people enter the room with fire extinguishers, and so on…

With each turn, Shad put another shot through the glass.

WIthin moments of Shad’s first shot Stahl was surrounded by Ozen’s men, carrying plasma knives and outfitted in combat armour. All three went for the mechs weapon and all three missed. From out of the saloon a rising low growl could be heard before the the Klingon burst through the swinging door burying his hot plasma blade deep into one of Stahls attackers.

The attackers parted as the Rogue Scorpion, still spinning, took a shot at Stahl in his mech, missing and blowing up another building. Stahl jumped and rolled for cover, “it finally happened” he thought, “they turned ships guns on the Hellraisers!”.

Damood began to hit the Scorpion over and over with his plasma gun, and together with Shads sniper shots the ship was overwhelmed and taken down.

Mootar could see in their eyes the horror of loosing their ship. The enemy was out numbered, and out gunned. “Victory will soon be mine” he thought.

The Speedsters disappeared and did not return.

The Hellraises told the authorities to look out for the men with white hair, and Savar gave them the frequency in which they could be scanned for. It took them a few days to get a load and after that they left for Zoag.

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The Set Up

The days passed quickly on Scalos Zeta as preparations were made for Maze’s new future. Stahl negotiated the trade deal with the city council. They Scalosians will deal exclusively with Zoag and take a cut of the profits to fund detox units for the Lumpas and the other tribes addicted to the Ozen’s steroids.

A few days after Ozen sent his message the response came. Savar had cracked Ozen’s communication network and rerouted all incoming messages to his tricorder.

Savar read the message: “Found lead on Project Zenith :0 Following up lead on Zoag.”

The silence was deafening, no one liked that at all.

“Bander” Shad seethed “He must have told them we had the, what did he call it? Project Zenith.” The grey Orion slammed his fist into his palm to emphasize: “He sold us out!”.

“Now now,”, Stahl countered “we brought this bunk to Bandor’s door, and he’s probably being tortured for information”. Shad was unmoved.

“The must be diverted from Zoag” Savar stated.

“Yeah, we need to bring them someplace where we are not the law” Stahl mused.

Savar sent a response, posing as Ozen he commanded the Red Scorpion to meet on Flitner. The message claimed that Ozen had a lead on Project Zenith that lead him to the farm world.

A few days later they learned that they were unconvinced. “We have a location on PZ! The HR have it on Zoag!”

“They should be there by now” Damood mumbled hunched over the starcharts.

“They know we have Project Zenith.” recited the Klingon. Mootar captured the teams attention for they realized If the Klingon Priest of War said this thing, it was their enemies weakness.

Stahl caught on “Send another message posing as Ozen, tell him the plan to take over the city failed…”

Savar cut in: “We’ll tell him the Hellraisers were on Maze and ruined everything, we should mention the rocket…”

Shad raised his voice louder than the Vulcans: “Tell them Ozen followed the Hellraisers to Flitner and to meet us there. Tell them Project Zenith is on Flitner!”

Savar sent the message and again the waited.

Shad took the Black Shadow into the black and set thrusters to full, Savar laid in a course for Flitner. The game was afoot!

The Hellraisers had a arrived on Flitner in a few days they were able to sell the ore the brought from Maze and pick up a load of Foodstuffs.

The people of Flitner are a really friendly and simple lot that would rather feel the earth beneath their toes than wear any kind of footwear.

The locals took a shine to the Hellraisers and before they new it one of em was yelling to his woman across the halla telling her to set extra places for dinner. The evening was filled with bottle music, line-dancing, and good food.

Stahl never stopped drinking, never got drunk and was the first one up, (Vulcans don’t count). The booze eased his nerves, the Trill found he never liked knowing about a gun fight that was coming it made him jumpy, or would have, thanks to the rye. He would never let the booze impair his judgement. Never.

“There’s a place called Deadman’s Gultch.” Shad pointed to a map he had just rolled out across the kitchen table. The Orion had been busy. “The place was deserted a few years ago after a long drought. No people, no witnesses.”

“I don’t like it”. Mootar was leaning against a bulk head, arms crossed, head hung low in thought. “No other ships around there is nothing stopping thing from taking our ship out on the ground.”

Stahl kicked back another swig of rye, it helped loosen his silver tounge. “We get dropped off, we set up an ambush and when they arrive….Oh Yeah” Now it had occurred to Stahl that they would be stranded and their enemies would outgun them with their ships firepower, but they could call for the Shadow and it could be there in a few minutes. He couldn’t mentioned that or he wouldn’t get the sale!

The room swam for a moment causing the Trill to steady himself.

No sooner had the Hellraisers agreed to the plan then Savars Tricorder went off again, income Vid call.

“Vidcall? They are in system” spoke the Klingon.

Savar saw no option, he could not respond. After a few tries there came an incoming text demanding an explanation.

“Very close to Hellraisers now, they will hear me. Come to Deadman’s Gultch quickly!”.

“On our way” was the response.

Deadman’s Gultch was a small deserted farming town with two streets that meet in a “T”. The Shadow had left for orbit, Shad took the high ground with the sniper rifle, Stahl and Savar donned their mechs and hid out inside a building with the Mootar and his plasma Bat’leth.

“Which building are they in?” the text came.

“The saloon.” responded the Vulcan.

Shad saw the Rouge Scorpion land, saw the plank door lower open, and saw a tumble weed shoot up 10 meters in the air like something very fast ran past it.

“How are we going to see them?’ Mootar noticed the critical flaw in their ambush plan.

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Escape from Maze!

Ozen’s headless corpse lay at the feet of Shad. The Hellraisers had refused to work with the Lexx, and the Scalosians. They killed their fugative, and were now stuck at the bottom of his Plexus. Did I mention the bombs on the outside of their ship?

Savar ordered the priorities, the first order of business was to escape the Plexus with their lives. Led by the Savar, the Hellraisers were able to avoid all hazards before they came to the exit, and then the trouble started.

One way out had a 15 ft long pool of green slime before the exit. Savar scanned the slime to learn that it was a complex life form. The other way out seemed to be guarded by a O-Men patrol, complete with something that looked like large dogs.

Considering their options the group decided to talk their way past the O-Men. Stahl’s silver tongue lived up to its reputation as he and the team who assisted by embellishing the Trill’s alibi had the O-Men patrol letting them go as they went to check in with their leader Ozen who had since passed, unbeknownst to them.

With the final threat behind them the Hellraisers walked triumphantly out of Ozens Plexus, into the relative safety of the Lumpa territory. They were quickly discovered by the Lumpas who after hearing of Ozen’s demise took the team to meet with their chief to decide what should be done next.

The chief was relieved to hear of Ozen’s death, for too long they had been living under his influence, for too long has his steroids corrupted the youth of his tribe and every other tribe that lived below Maze. Now that time has come to an end.

The chief stood up to address the gathered crowd in the great hall. “Brothers, we have entered the time of Lumpa1” his voice echoed epically throughout the hall, his people hung off every word. “Now we can control our own destiny, we can deal with the Overseer’s and take what is ours!” The tribe exploded in cheers, electrified by the chiefs words. The chief looked to the Hellraisers and gave a quick wink, he has returned to his people, and his people to him.

Just then the old crone raised a gnarled hand, “What of the drugs? Ozen is dead, who will provide them?”

“Hey, that’s right!” the mob agreed.

Panic spread through the crowd like wildfire. The prospect of going “dry” had terrified the tribes miners, and the rage that always lay below the surface erupted. The chief barely dodged a cup that was thrown at his head.

Savar activated the microphone on his Light Saber armour “Hear me Lumpas! The need for drugs has made you weak. Give up these steroids and we will get you a better deal with the overseers, more money for your tribe but the drugs must be left behind. We will send help to help you beat this addiction. Is that not logical?”

The tribe considered his words, and the panic subsided, the idea of a better life was appealing to those gathered here. The chief seemed relieved as control was regained.

The old crone spoke again “When? When will we get this help?”

The tribe once again became agitated. The Hellraisers could feel the tension increasing. They followed up with assurances that help was coming very soon, which seemed to appease the tribe, for the time being…

The chief gathered his fastest messengers. “Go to the other tribes, tell the leaders to come for Cave Moot. There is much to discuss.” With that the runners left for the tunnels to contact the other tribes.

Draven came up with a complex and dangerous plan to remove the bombs which no one wanted to do.

All the leaders but one agreed to the new plan, as long as the Hellraisers came through with help for the addiction. The only hold out stormed off to the tunnels with his own plans.

The Hellraisers made the Lumpas aware of the Gallicite with instructions to sell only to them and to tell no one else. If they Romulans ever found out they would come with an army.

With that, the Hellraisers took their ship to the suspended city of Scalos Zeta to deal the the Scalosian Council. When they landed they were given a meeting right away. There were six members of council and a shadowy Romulan figure who sat in the corner who smoked a death stick but said nothing.

Stahl layed it all out: “Okay, Ozen is dead, he was planning on taking out the city anyways, the Lumpas and the other tribes want a better deal, which we promised them and can be done, as long as we cut out the Romulans. And before I hear a bunch of horse hooey remember you sent us down there! We didn’t want to go!”

The negotiation went back and forth with the Romulan only speaking once to not-so-vaguely threaten everyone but, again, the Hellraisers won out and persuaded five of the six, the only hold-out stormed out of the meeting, followed by the Romulan.

“He should probably be exiled, he’s going to cause trouble.” Stahl commented.

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Rage of Ozen!

The laboratory was filled with fresh corpses, Orions in lab coats and Omen in battle armor, precise kill shots were a tell tail sign of Romulan assassins. Every stage of the change from Blue Orion to O-Men could be seen here. Chemical and physical augmentation were employed. The process must have been quite painful.

Ozen also brewed his super steroids here as well. Large vats of chemicals in metal vats stood waiting for the next batch.

Savar set his AI Amber to gather the data from the PADS laying about the lab, simultaneously every screen began to scroll data. With their pillaging complete, the Hellraisers move onward to Product X.

The tunnel turned downward and corkscrewed deeper into the planet, the ambient heat began to rise quickly as a low rumble grew in intensity as they progressed. The tunnel leveled out and opened into a large subterranean lake of rolling lava, the route turning to a path that was dangerously close to the shore. They were not deterred.

“Look there”, the klingon’s Bat’leth pointed to a massacre. O-Men and Romulan Special Forces dead. The O-Men had been slaughtered by the Romulans but it was unclear what had killed the attackers. The corpses lay strewn about on the path before them, the rolling lava gently moving their shadows about them, as if the battle never ended.

Flashes of light caugt Savar’s eye, lain into the rocky walls opposite the lake, between the many strata , the Vulcan made out a crystalyine layer. He immedialtly recognized it as Gallicite marked by the visible currents of electricity that rolled over its surface.

Savar raised an armoured hand to bring the party to a halt. He tossed his knife towards the Gallicite causing violent electric arcing scorching his blade to a crisp in mid air. It reminded him of games he used to play as a child.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” A low echoy voice rolled from the darkness. It was unclear to what he was referring, the Gallicite or the bodies. From around the corner he came, dressed in large black armour, his head completely bare. His face had the traits of an old man, long grey beard, bald head, but his face was also full of strength and vigor. His eyes shone yellow.

Mootar noticed that Ozens armour seemed to be made of advanced ceramics.

“This is Gallicite, a very rare and valuable metal in warp coil refitting.. Its value is obscene. I wish to use you to help me trade it so that I may take control of this planet, and keep it out of the hands of the Romulans.

Ozen looked off over the tormented sea of Lava, “I hate the Romulans, many years ago they betrayed me and as a result I was forced to live down here, in the dirt…”

If the Romulans learn of the Gallicite here, they will come in force and take over this planet. I must keep it secret, keep it safe. But first I must destroy the council of Scalos Zeta, kill their families to reduce the risk of uprising then take the city. My rocket is ready to go and do just that. When I am done, I will take the bombs off your ship. Take me to the launch pad!"

“I see you have Lexx with you. He was planning on killing me. May I have him?” the Hellraisers shrugged and complied. Without hesitation Ozen swooped down with a clawed metal hand and crushed Lexx’s head and tossed his corpse into the laval lake with a follow up hurl.

Stahl: “You just murdered that man!”
Ozen: “I am ruler down here in my Plexus. My word is law. He betrayed me, such would be the fate of all those who dare challenge me.”

Stahl: “Look we’re looking for Bander, your men took him on New New Aberdeen.” Ozen considered this information for a moment. “I do not know why they would take this man. I had sent them there to find a buyer for the gallicite. They must have found something very valuable there to take them off mission.”

Stahl didn’t let go. “Contact your men, find out where they are and we will help you.”
After continued pestering Ozen finally agreed. He activated a communicator imbedded into his armour and sent out a query. “Sub-space is roughly warp three, it may take some time.”

“Lead the way”, Ozen suggested pointing towards the launch bay.

Like a bunch of teenagers the Hellraisers started texting each other on their phones as they walked, trying to decide what to do. It was reasoned that if Ozen could contact the Rouge Scorpion that he must have a subterranean network. Savar set to hacking it and was successful soon after, he was able to see the sky city Scalos Zeta’s com node as well as the Black Shadows.

That wasn’t far enough, Savar then attempted to use this network to hack Ozen’s armour, Ozen was immediately notified and took action. Say what you like about Ozen he is a man of his word.

Ports on Ozen’s armour opened up to reveal hunks of sparking Gallicite, rods snapped out along the armours axis and waves of electricity radiated out from Ozen engulfing the Hellraisers.

Mootar and Shad went down immediately., convulsing and twitching on the floor as the electricity coursed through their bodies. Shielded by their mechs Stahl and Savar pressed the attack with sword and plasma respectively. Ozen was able to dodge unusually fast.

Ozen turned his attention to the Trill gently touching him with a clawed hand, the shock was worse now more than Stahl could withstand, he crumbled.

“Where is the logic in it Vulcan? Resist me and fall like all the rest.” Ozen taunted.

He reached out and Savar dodged his metal claws and electricity, much like he used to do as a child.

“Kill…Him…” Shad pleaded, his skin was splitting from the electricity, the pain in his chest was unbearable.

The Klingon manged to roll into a crouch and with the strength of his ancestors leaped his Bat’leth blazing plasma fire. Ozen barely glimpsed the attack before it was upon him, Mootars blade pierced his armour and sank deeply into Ozen’s flesh.

Stahl was on his feet and returned to the fray. Eventually Ozen was overwelmed moments before his electricity would have cooked Shad for good!

Lying on the ground choking and spitting, Ozen looked up to see Shad standing over him with his rifle. They locked eyes for a moment before the Orion shot him in the head.

“Wait”, Savar yelled. “We need him alive!”

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From the Shadows

The complexity of Ozen’s plexuss laid out before the Helraisers. They would have had to have been very careful not to get lost here, but as luck would have it, around the next corner was Lexx and his crew.

The Hellraisers killed most of them until they surrendered Lexx to the PCs. Lexx did all he could to strike up a new deal, and led them to Ozens command center.

The office was smashed and strewn with many corpses including Ozens large O-Men defenders.

Hacking into the computer net, Savar is able ro recombine the data from the wiped drive.

It revealed to him the map to areas known as Launch, Product X, and Laboratory.

They went to the launch pad and saw a large missle with a digger head pointed up, it was guarded by what appeared to be Romulan Black Ops. Shad killed most of them with his sniper rifle and the Hellraisers took out the one left.

The missile carried suspended O-Men, Savar reasoned it was an invasion force to Scalos Zeta.

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Under the Overseers

Hours after reaching the Zee system the Black Shadow entered the Maze orbit. Even from space the miles of canyons and mountains was a straightforward mirror of her names sake. Somewhere down there was Bander, captured by unknown elements after something they had.

They landed on the suspended city of Scaolos Zeta, 12 space elevators suspended the city over the planet below casting a constant shadow day and night.

After landing the Hellraisers did some inquires. They learned that the Rouge Scorpion is regestered to a man named Ozen who works with a group called the Underminders. Their main trade is the sterioids they sell to other tribes to improve their mining production.

Those same drugs have led to roving Ragers who’s mind have been burned out by chemical abuse. They wander the tunnels in a drug induced violent nirvana hunting those who cross their path. Armed with their freakish steroid strength and mining mech-jackets, few can resist their fury.

As the Hellraisers continued to do their investigation on Scalos Zeta two robed law givers seperatly confronted Shad and Stahl asking them to come with them in flat metal echoy voices. Outnumbered and outgunned they complied.

The Scalosians, the builders of the suspended city, questioned the two about some kidnappings that happened before linked to their ship. The tapes show dark figures, violently taking people on the Black Shadow, no doubt one of Sori’s slaving campaigns.

As a result they attached a number of magnetic devices on the Shadow and advised the Hellraisers to stay on Scalos Zeta as they continue their investigation.

They let Shad and Stahl stew for a little before they made their offer. Go to Maze and retrieve the man known as Ozen, a drug supplier to the workers on the surface. If the group could do that for the Scalosians, they had a feeling the investigation would go in their favor.

They advised the group to meet up with Lexx, their man on the inside, he could take them to Ozen. Lexx was Ozen’s middleman, he should have chosen more carefully.

Still wanting to find Bander, whom they believe to be held by Ozen they agreed to the terms and took the mined Black Shadow down one of the large shafts deep into the Maze underground.

Stahls, whom voiced his concerns about going into a deep dark hole filled with roid-raged mech wearing gangs apprehension was soon realized as they were attacked on the landing pad. They dispatched the gang quickly, soon after their contact Lexx arrived with his crew.

Like the other blue skinned Orions down here Lexx and his crew was a large and heavily muscled but different as their traditional Lumpa wear was adorned with gold chains and jewelry.. He apologized for the attack and led the team to Lumpa city. There he would seek an audience with Chief Soda for permission to travel through his tunnels to Ozen’s Plexus.

Lexx took the long way back and made his play. He saw the bombs latched on the Black Shadow and made some quick deductions. He asked the Hellraisers to gain Ozen’s trust so that he would take him to his Lab, there Lexx would learn the secret to his amazing steriods and then take the product to other markets off world. Lexx believes these drugs would have a sector wide appeal if not the quadrant! In return he would cut them in for a piece of the action and take the bombs off their ship, the Hellraisers agreed.

The Lumpas seemed a defeated people, their village, a mass of mud huts in a large cavern, had no joy, many lay about lazily waiting for their next hit. When presented to the chief Stahl instantly recognized symptoms in his demeanor that indicated he was heavily drugged. To be sure he needed to take a scan, preferably unobserved.

The whole thing was a farce beginning to end, Lexx did most the talking, leading Chief Soda on, it was clear to the doctor Soda wasn’t operating with his full faculties, With Lexx’s prompting the Chief asked for a 2000cr offering in order to grant permission to travel the tunnels. Lexx hastily finished the proceedings, as Soda’s advisors watched on, powerless.

Stahl spoke to Shad and he jumped into action the best way he knew how. “What’s a guy gotta do to buy a little girl around here”? Well, that was right up Lexx’s alley as Shad predicted and both of them left Stahl to conduct his scan.

In moments his theories are confirmed and in a few moments more he developed an antidote. Without hesitation the doctor cured his patient.

“I can see. What has happened?” Stahl explained quickly how the chiefs wine was poisoned. The servant was quickly caught and he just as quickly pronounced his allegiance to Ozen and gloated over the future demise of the weak and foolish Lumpas.

By the chiefs order he was run speared to death right there at the foot of the cheifs rock throne.

“Lexx is also working with Ozen and the Overseers and he wants to take you down and take over the tribe!” Shad completely threw Lexx under the bus.

Quickly apprehended and now kneeling in the blood of the guy who was slain moments ago he desperately began to defend himself.

“The Hellraisers are the ones working for the Overseers, they are the ones who can’t be trusted! Look, I only knew them for and hour and they betrayed me!” Lexx shot Shad a look, the temperature dropped 3 degrees.

“Let the Gods decide!” and old blue crone spoke up from the back of the room, her clothes were covered in symbols. “Let the Gods decide” her old high pitched voice cut through the gathered crowd,

“Two men enter, One man leaves”. The tribe chanted over and over, the chorus rising louder as the frenzy grew. The crone was excited now both hands high over her head as she danced around “Let the Gods decide!”

Chief Soda raised his hand and the room fell silent, all eyes on him waiting for his decision. When he spoke it was barely a whisper but everyone heard. “Thunderdome”.

Apparently there was an old tradition where disputes could be decided by trial by combat to the death, of course, and despite Lexx’s vocal attempts to nominate Shad, Mootar naturally assumed the role of champion for the Hellraisers, while Lexx who had no shortage of large thugs to choose from still he chose the largest.

The battle was to take place in a geodesic dome lined with different weapons for two warriors who were basically stripped down to their skivvies.

The battle was evenly matched, and Mootar only fought to subdue, but the ferocity of his opponent forced his hand and the Klingon put his spear through the Orion’s neck.

No one was more surprised than Stahl who was in his power armour with rifle powered up ready to go to town if the fight went south. He wiggled out of the suit quickly as possible so that he could render medical attention.

There could be no doubt, the chief grabbed the Klingons hand and held it high, Mootar was the champion. And the warrior roared!

During the combat Lexx’s cronies busted him out, but Chief Soda offered his own rangers to take the Hellraisers to the edge of his tunnels to the Plexus.

Moments later Ozen’s Plexus was before them a large maw carved into the rock filled with a black more appropriate to space, and inside, their quarry.

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The Quick and The Dead (are the same people)

He walked with an ease that betrayed his confidence. His silver white hair seemed to glow in the darkness of the warehouse and his light blue body suit similarly was out of place.

“There was a rodinium cage with something in it we want. Bander cut it open so we assumed he took it, but seeing how organized and kick ass you guys look, I’m wondering if you don’t have it.”

The Hellraisers entered Bander’s old warehouse moments ago. Mootar saw someone appear and disappear with Bander. Now this man was here to negotiate his release. He wanted the blue liquid. Mootar hardly knew Bander…

This white haired man seemed very confident, and probably thought he had all the answers, but he was wrong. Shad shot him through the head with a sniper rifle from across the street. Oh Yeah.

Preceeded by a high pitched bussing, the others came out of nowhere, appearing behind the Hellraisers and super speed vibrating their their strange blades through the Hellraisers armour and into their bodies. The Hellraisers cut them down all the same.

They retrieved the Rodinium Cutter, the rodinium they sold to Bander, and Bander’s personal savings (couldn’t just leave it), but no Bander.

After making a few inquires at the space port they learned that the people they fought came in on a ship called the Rouge Scorpion that was registered to the planet Maze.

The Black Shadow laid in a course.

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Bander

The Klingon relaxed as he watched the shipment get loaded onto the Black Shadow. The news had disturbed him, three Orion Syndicate men, killed, mutilated. Someone was sending a message and he was worried the Hellraisers didn’t see it.

Mootar has know war, and defeat. He was well acquainted with savagery. On Dool’Gik he had defended the village of Moordown from the Terrans and their mercenaries waiting for the evac transport. His brothers and he fought well, wave after wave they came and at the end, although lessened, they were no less victorious.

Oh how they sung at night, how the ale poured and how the tales grew larger with the each successive telling. He saw it in the warriors eyes, the Voc’suur, counting one’s victory too early, Kahless even mentioned it from his speech on the pyre, a warning to those gathered and to all future Klingons, but with a situation as dire as this, hope was too seductive to ignore. The next day Mootar was only one of a dozen who survived the onslaught

It was then he saw it, a shadow among the crates, movement where there should have been none. The Klingon did not change his demeanor and waited to make his move.

He circled behind the Terran while the loader covered his movement. This man was dim, slow and weak, Mootar was disappointed in his effort. He grabbed Bander by the collar of his coveralls and slammed him against the Shadow’s bulkhead.

“What are you doing here!” the priest said in full base tone Klingon. To Bander’s credit he didn’t wet himself.

Between the blithering and crying Bander explained he has been in hiding ever since he ran into the bodies of the Syndicate men. He had hoped to escape with the only people he figured could protect him, the Hellraisers.

Seeing as how the Hellraisers were in a way responsible for a lot of pain in Bander’s life, they figured giving him a ride was the least they could do and agreed to give him safe passage.

“Damnit!” Bander exclaimed, his elation immediately turning to dread. “My rodimium cutter!” Mootar understood immediately. Weeks ago he had looked into how to cut rodinium so that they could make some credits on the cage, that was when he learned how expensive they were. Around 12 million credits, and Banders was still at his shop.

Mootar’s war sense kicked in. This was a bad situation , an unknown brutal enemy, one which has marked its territory clearly, and Bander wanted to walk right into it. This was how warriors died.

“No problem Bander, we’ll come with and get that cutter back. No problem.” Stahl replied with Shad nodding his agreement. So it has been set. They would rely on him to meet this strange enemy, and victory was the only option. His hands clenched as they longed to grip Gre’leth. The Hellraisers may not know what they were stepping into but his blood knew.

Battle was coming.

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