Mustered Out on Regina

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Shooting Stars

Knowing that there are several more hours to go before the fireworks start, most of the crew decide to get some sleep before the activities of the day begin. Lev has no such luxury, however, as he continues to accelerate for several hours before starting to brake.

At 6.00am, Dev sounds the alarm, telling everyone that it’s time to wake up, get dressed in their vacc suits and get into position.

It’s just after 8.00am when, after hours of poring over the sensor screen, when Duncan finally sees the blips of the Prosperity and a Veng on the edge of his screen. They are both using active sensors and so it should be a while before they are seen.

The Phoenix is travelling at such a high velocity that it is only ten minutes later that they are nearly upon the enemy ships. Dev gives the order to fire before the corsairs hardly know what hit them and Zasa lines up the Veng in his sights before squeezing the trigger on his triple beam lasers.

Duncan calls out in delight as he sees the damage on his screen – by some miracle, Zasa has managed to completely take out the Veng’s computer with the party’s first volley. Dev tells the missile gunners to hold their fire now that their target is taken out already.

The Prosperity fires a couple of beans at the rapidly departing Phoenix, but they both miss by a mile.

Lev decelerates as fast as he can, but the Phoenix is travelling so fast that it takes the best part of three hours before he has brought it to a stop and can turn the ship around to close in on the target.

It’s nearly 4.00pm already by the time he is closing for a second run – a lot slower this time. As the ship gets closer, Duncan sees that another ship is now orbiting the planet, but it’s just a Scout. As soon as the Phoenix is within combat range, Zasa fires again with another deadly burst, which slices off the Scout’s turret and also kills its power plant. The tannoy fills with whoops and hollers from all the Vargr as they congratulate Zasa on his amazing skills.

Dev calls on The Prosperity to surrender after seeing the awesome display of their shooting skills.

“We agree to a ceasefire,” The Prosperity agrees. “We will only shoot back if you shoot on us first.”

This isn’t enough for Dev and he calls on The Prosperity to make a complete surrender, offering to pay each officer and crew member if they agree. There is no response to Dev’s offers though – even after half an hour of making offer after offer, there is still nothing but silence coming from The Prosperity. It becomes obvious to all on the bridge that they are simply waiting to be boarded, which is not what the party members want to do at all.

The party members discuss their options to come up with a plan to try and lure the corsairs away from The Prosperity. Knowing that they have the Model 2 computer from the Lab Ship on board, they decide to offer it back to the corsairs – disarmed, of course, in order that they might use it to depart the system and leave The Prosperity behind. They tell the plan to the corsairs, but again there is only silence. They try and give it a shot anyway.

The squad of spare engineers are called upon to load the spare Model 2 into the pinnace. Once it is loaded, Richard takes the pilot seat, while Splinter, Professor Ron, Azax plus the engineers get onboard. Richard then makes the short hop over from the Phoenix to the corsair’s Veng. After docking, they cautiously get onboard, carefully checking for traps. The ship is like the Marie Celeste, however – obviously vacated in a major hurry, with meals still on the table. The only point that those onboard notice out of the ordinary is that the ship’s locker has been completely emptied. Everyone works together on bringing the Model 2 up from the pinnace and onto the bridge, then removing the destroyed one. Leaving Splinter, Professor Ron and Azax to wire the new computer into the bridge, the squad of engineers then proceeds to take out the Veng’s six beam lasers and empty the ship’s magazine of missiles (which they discover only consists of 15). Just in case they decide to move some over from The Prosperity, they also take out the firing mechanisms of the missile launchers as well, leaving the Veng totally unable to protect itself.

It’s 7.00pm by the time the exercise is complete and all board the pinnace once again in order to return to the Phoenix.

With all weapons still trained on The Prosperity, the crew members sit back and watch what happens. A few minutes after everyone is back onboard the Phoenix, they see the corsair’s pinnace emerge from the hold of The Prosperity heading towards the Veng. The pinnace docks for a moment, to transfer over a pilot, presumably, and then the pinnace returns to the hold of The Prosperity. At the same time, some cargo containers are jettisoned from the hold.

The Veng starts to maneuver towards The Prosperity. As it gets closer though, the party members realize that the Veng is not coming in to the airlock – it’s heading for the hold.

Realizing that the corsairs are simply looking to steal back the Veng and have no intention of leaving on it, Dev gives the order to fire. Zasa unleashes three bolts at the rapidly disappearing Veng, but can only manage a hit on its maneuver drive, which doesn’t stop it from entering into the hold before it is hidden by the bow doors.

The party members are incensed by this and Lev tells Zasa to fire on The Prosperity’s airlock now.

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! Don’t shoot at The Prosperity!” Eth and Henri cry as one.

Too late. Zasa is on it and Zasa rarely misses. The airlock is instantly burnt away.

The Prosperity’s lasers are set on Return Fire and they send two beams at the Phoenix. One of them hits, but only the fuel tank.

“Blast ’em,” says Dev.

“Blast ’em,” agrees Lev.

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” scream Eth and Henri in unison.

It’s too late though, as Duncan gives the orders to all the missile gunners to unleash a volley of 8 missiles towards the vessel.

The Prosperity shoots back, again managing only a minor hit on the fuel tank. Zasa returns fire with the lasers.

The view screens is filled with pure white light that has everyone shielding their eyes for a split second before the Phoenix is rocked by an almighty wave of force which knocks everyone standing off their feet.

By the time they have got to their feet again, there is nothing on the viewscreen except random bits of space junk disappearing at a rapid velocity.

No one quite knows what to say – everyone is completely stunned.

Sinclair is the first to speak, having come up to the bridge to nosy around:

“Wow,” he says in awe. “That’s not something you see every day – a billion credits gone in a millisecond. I think this calls for a celebration. I’ll fetch the champers.”

From the intercom, the gunners start whooping and hollering again and chanting, “ZASA, ZASA, ZASA!!!”

Realization hits everyone on the bridge now.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuuuuckkkkk " Eth cries. “What the fucking hell am I supposed to tell DeVeldt now?”

“Don’t tell him anything,” Dev replies. “Stay with us – we like having you around.”

“I think I might take you up on that,” Eth says. “That’s my charisma well and truly buggered after this fiasco.”

Henri just stares gaping open-mouthed at the empty screen for a while. He tries to say something, but no words come out. He points to the screen with one hand as he clutches his chest with the other, before he crashes to the floor.

Upon seeing Henri collapse, Splinter rushes to the Med Bay and comes back with (what are they called? those jump leads for hearts?) He spends the best part of ten minutes trying to zap Henri back to life, but it’s just no good. The old man was on his last legs already and the horror of seeing the ship explode before his eyes was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Eth shakes his head sadly as he sees Henri’s body being carried away and put in one of the two remaining free cold berths:

“That’s another reason for us to head for Efate,” he says. “We will need to return his body to his family there.”

Duncan is still in shock at seeing The Prosperity having blown up before his eyes. Eventually he speaks:

“Aren’t we going to be in a lot of trouble from Tukera after this?” he asks.

“Well they aren’t going to be very happy about it, that’s for sure,” Eth replies. “I can tell you now though that my orders were that, in the event that I was unable to secure the return of The Prosperity, I was to ensure its destruction to avoid it falling into the hands of anyone else.”

“I just need to come up with a good excuse as to why this happened. If I tell them that you lost your tempers as a result of the corsairs trying to steal their own Veng back and you accidentally blew up a billion credits worth of ship and goods in a fit of pique, they won’t be very pleased.”

He shakes his head again. “No, providing that I come up with a good story as to how we tried our best to retrieve it, but the odds were just stacked too high against us and so arranging the ship’s destruction was the only option then, although they aren’t going to be very happy, they aren’t going to scour the ‘Verse in order to reap vengeance upon us. I wouldn’t expect too many other job offers from them in future though.”

“My career with them is definitely over after this fiasco. So the only honorable thing for me to do is tell them what happened … well, a modified version of what happened … hand in my resignation and my debit card and then just move on.”

“So I need to stop off at a starport on one of the major trade routes to send the message. Aeggiks is one possibility, or else Inghinfudzolor, Ksorraknue or Uerzthu.”

“Talking of the billion credit explosion,” Richard says, “It might be worth investigating the jettisoned cargo. It was obviously very valuable to be worth transporting across two subsectors. I’ll take God in the pinnace to bring some of the cargo in and he can tell us how much it’s worth while you’re stripping the Scout.”

With the plan agreed, Richard and God set off in the pinnace together with Arpad and two of the engineers to chase after the cargo units which are floating around the vicinity, while Lev heads after the hulk of the Scout ship which is still orbiting the planet.

Once Lev has docked with the Scout ship, Splinter and Professor Ron don their vacc suits and head onto the bridge of the ship to start removing the ship’s Model 2 computer, while the remaining four engineers start to take out the jump and maneuver drives. It takes the engineers quite a while to dismantle the drives because the four of them are starting to squabble among themselves as to which one of them is giving the orders now that Henri is no more. It’s only when Eth realizes what’s going on and gives the four of them an ear-bashing that they get on with the business of finishing the job, maneuvering the drives into position inside the cargo hold.

Once they have finished this, Eth then sets them to work on repairing the holes in the fuel tank.

Richard’s voice comes onto the radio:

“God says that the jettisoned cargo has a base price of MCr 0.5 per ton. How much of it are we going to be able to take with us?”

“Just a couple of tons,” Dev replies. “We’re pretty full at the moment.”

It doesn’t take the pinnace crew long to grab another cargo container and then head back to dock with the Phoenix where they store the containers in the vehicle bay.

While the engineers continue to work on fixing the holes in the fuel tank, the party members discuss their revised plans now that there is no more Prosperity to ferry them about at a rapid speed of jump-4. Although the original plan was to head back to Dharrg to pick up the hidden Lab Ship and take it to be sold, no one is keen on adding yet more weeks to their time in Vargr space when they are hardly short of cash as it is – everyone just wants to get back to the Imperium now as quickly as possible.

With the decision having been made, Lev pulls the Phoenix out of orbit and heads back to the gas giant in order to top up the fuel tanks to replace the fuel that was lost through leakage. The engineering crew works on patching up the tanks while the ship heads towards the gas giant. After a couple more hours, they’ve finished the task and head back into the ship in order to join in with the celebrations which are continuing in the Vargr Common Room

Comments

OK, I have updated your Inventory to include all of the stuff that you have looted recently, up to and including the stuff you will take off the Scout ship.

As you will see, you can’t take everything as you will be 1.15 tons over capacity and so something will have to be dumped overboard.

The main question that needs to be answered is: Where do you go next?

The last plan was that you would jump straight to Dharrgg where you would pick up the Lab Ship you have parked and then make two jump-4s to Uerzthu which is likely to be the closest place to get a decent price for the Lab Ship.

This plan is a bit screwed now although it is still possible, but it will just be a lot slower. So profit maximization route would probably be to retrace your steps back to Dharrg the same way you came, selling spare robots at Seth where you would get a good price before heading on down to Uerzthu.

Alternatively, if you can’t be bothered to go all the way back to Dharrg now, Lev needs to stop at Farreach on the way back to the Imperium. So if you wanted to just hurry along asap, then you would probably want to go Koekh Uez > Ingidfudzulor > Uerzthu where you could get a decent prize for all the drives you’re carrying around.

If you have any other plans though – that’s fine by me.

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I vote we get rid of the Janitor Bots, the Waitress Bots, and the Law Enforcer Bot. This’ll save 1.32 tons? Costing us 293 KCr?

Dev/Ian

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(p.s. Sorry Henri!)

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Gosh I see the final 10 mins were quite dramatic…Oh well.

Just a suspicion but Tukera won’t like us much anymore.

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It’s an old trick, but can we put the excess tonnage into the ship’s boat cargo hold?

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(yeah, Lev rolled a critical, it blew the mission but it was AWESOME, lol. agree on the “suspicion” regarding Tukera, :)

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GM? Do we have any “free play” left in Cargo. re: Doc’s suggestion? I hate to send the poor Janitor Bots, Ramon and Manuel, to a cold airless grave, not to mention our waitresses, Trixie, Patty, and Marla….(the “cop” bot, Dick, I’m not so sad about, he shot Rich….)

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Oh, yeah! We’ve got the tonnage left over from our missing APC! We can store the robots on the APC Cutter module (I want a new APC, this time NOT made in Canada, the last one seemed “chintzy” when the turret blew up after just the one hit :)

Also, and more importantly, where do we see ourselves heading next weekend? As Nick has pointed out we can

1. Head straight back to the Imperium, or

2. Return for the Lab Ship.

And we’ve got Lev’s side mission to consider, too. Plus, we can stay here in Vargr space as Pirates, or as whatever we like…What do you guys think?

Your Navigator Dev,
“Please extinguish all smoking materials, legal or otherwise, and turn on your MagBoots…we’re about to jump, baby!”

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1. It was actually Professor Ron who shot Richard. He is very sorry and hopes that Richard doesn’t hold it against him (for everyone’s sake as it’s probably not a good idea to fall out with someone who has two very tough security droids at his command).

2. With regards to additional storage, I’m going by weight rather than volume (otherwise you’d end up with each of the staterooms looking like Radio Shack’s warehouse).

There is/was 16 tons of storage in the G-Carrier hangar. You have the air/raft from the Empress Manuela taking up 4 tons of this. I assumed that you were taking the stolen grav truck with you but, if you want to dump this for additional cargo space, then you can do so. So just let me know what you want to keep in the vehicle hangar and I will assume that you are going to keep all of the robots plus as much of the computer parts as you can carry.

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“Just a though Eth; if we ever get safely back to Imperial Space I’m an ex- Oberlindes employee, and the Old Man will possibly give me his ear as we recently rescued his son Sergei; I’m sure an ex- Vemene officer could find useful employment with Oberlindes-their main competitor in Aramis and Regina.”

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Eth pricks up his ears:

“You were the ones who rescued Sergei? I heard that he is due to take over the command of The Emissary so that he doesn’t get into too much more trouble. This is old news – he’s probably already taken it over.”

“Well that’s certainly an option, especially if you can put in a good word for me. I do have some information that Oberlindes would certainly find very useful.”

“I will just need to get myself to Pandrin where Oberlindes’ Vargr offices are based.”

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Can I get a vague idea as to the direction which you are going to be heading in relatively soon please, guys?

So as not to railroad you, I have nothing concrete prepared for you yet and so I have a fair bit of preparation to do before next Sunday’s session. So if it takes you four days to come up with an answer, the next session is going to end up as a bit of a half-baked fiasco!

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Perhaps we should grill the zombie scout on all this ‘saving the empire’ stuff and the computer backup.

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Speaking of crew, does this look ok to everyone as a current crew list for the Rising?

Officers
Captain Lev Novikov, “CO”
Commander Richard Von Wolffe, “XO”
Lieutenant Commander Devlin Michael, Chief Navigator
Lieutenant Commander Duncan Karswell, Chief Sensor Officer
Lieutenant Commander Mike Harris, Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant Sinclair Chormondley Warner, Personnel and Morale Officer

Non Commissioned Officers
Master Chief “Lucky”, Boatswain
Chief Vllaeithks, Engineering
Chief Gaan, Steward
Chief Zasa, Gunnery
Chief Eth, Security
Chief God, Procurement

Ratings (followed by primary Department assignment)
Azax, Procurement
Arpad, Security
“Dick”, “Tom”, Robot Security
Vaenl, Navigator
Nunggaeas, Gunner
“Dead Eye” (no, seriously, they aren’t alive), Robot Gunner
Nthakuung, Engineer
Tsngalaens, Engineer
“Albert”, (mechanic ’Bot), Robot Engineer
Ksgillonng, Sensors
Ngazil, Medic
“Samantha, RN”, Robot Medic
“Francois”, Robot Steward
“Ramon”, “Manuel”, Robot Janitors

VIP Passenger and would be Assassin
Professor Ronsukti Taghzsuang, Roboticist

If this seems like too few Gunners, Duncan, Lucky, and Vllaeithks all double as Gunners under combat conditions, with primary resposibility going to “Lucky”…
Also, we need to start paying the crew, as well as paying maintenance upkeep and life support. I imagine Eth’s Tukera Credit Card has been cancelled?
This is 21 total personnel, giving us 9 double occupancy staterooms and three single occupancy staterooms. Probably be simplest to give the first three listed officers their own rooms?

Dev

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Oh yeah, there’s important stuff to consider!

Dev votes as follows,

Leave the Lab Ship, it ain’t goin’ nowhere, no how.
Head back to Imperial Space (I wanna see how many Hobo murder pardons the Imperial Warrant is good for…).
On our way back to Regina sector, try to help Lev with the whole “scout” mission.
Get back home and see if we can locate Katja?

Dev

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Let’s assume that the ever-curious Splinter spent a while going through the ISS Buchanan’s hard drive during the last jump to give himself something to do.

The data is unencrypted. Splinter discovers that it is a very detailed survey of all non-Zhodani controlled worlds of Llanic and the coreward part of Cronor subsectors. The data comprises very detailed photo-reconnaissance of all the planets in the 18 systems which were surveyed (imagine a Google Earth of every planet in all 18 systems but in a much higher resolution). The computer had been processing all of the visual data in order to try and estimate the geological composition of each area.

Unusually for an IISS survey, there is no sociological element to the survey and Lev confirms that no attempts were made to speak with any of the natives on the worlds. They only landed in order to take on fresh supplies and recharge the life support systems.

It was a pretty dull assignment simply orbiting over each planet in turn taking photos.

Lev does not have much information as to why the Project Leader ordered him to head for Farreach. Splinter and CARL spend a long time trying to hack into the private files of the Project Leader, Petra Iishkhida, because all her information is very heavily encrypted. Eventually, after CARL spends three days on a brute force hacking attempt, the encryption is broken allowing access to her files.

The only relevant information which they are able to find though is just one entry in her address book:

James Forbes – Farreach – and a commo number.

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Well done, Dev, on coming up with the crew roster. Can’t see any errors there at all.

Sinclair wants to change his title to “Entertainment and Hot Chick Liaison Officer”

Eth is bitching about having to share a stateroom with someone because it will make him look less charismatic to the rank and file Vargr. He says that he will also need to be a full Officer because he needs to be above all the other Vargr.

Gaan is bitching about being moved from Engineering to Steward, whining that he left his original employer to get away from being a steward because it’s boring. He says that you don’t really need a stewards anyway because with one robot chef, three waitresses and two janitors, it’s all being taken care of robotically. He wants to stay in engineering.

Eth sighs upon hearing this:

“Do we really need all these bodies onboard? Yes, we need to ensure that we have all of the positions covered and maybe a back up for key departments like engineering. But the more bodies we have, the more expense and trouble they will cause.”

“If we are going back for the Lab Ship, then yes we will need them all. If not though, then I would vote for paying off at least a couple of the least-useful engineers we took on and dropping them off at our next destination. That would free up a stateroom so I don’t need to share with anyone.”

Eth refuses to use the Tukera charge card any more because he says that the mission is over and so it would be dishonorable to do so and might lead to repercussions further down the line for him from Tukera. So all expenses are now the responsibility of the party (not that it is going to put too big a dent in your finances anyway).

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Lev passes the posted crew rosta giving it only a casual glance, but this is enough for him to note his position. His mouth drops open and carps for several seconds before heading straight for the med-bay. Ignoring the fact that a stateroom sharing Splinter is trying to shave and wash his socks in the sick-bay sluices he grabs the medic and shakes him!

“By Budda’s golden tits Doc someone’s asking for a right fonging they’ve only gone and promoted me to Captain! Quick let me at the medical alcohol I’ve got to drink myself back to the ranks fast.”

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Picture Splinter: wearing a fade red dressing gown and a pair of combat boots, one half of his face shaved the other half still foamed, he stops what he’s doing and reaches for a bottle from the fast depleting supply of medicinal Brandy, he pauses in passing this to Lev long enough to turn off the instrument autoclave he’s been using to sterilise his underware in and replys with a half smile “Trust me Lev just cause you Captain now doesn’t mean you will be by morning, infact given the way things usually pan out with this crew you’ll loose the rank before you can give it away!”

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Please can I get an answer to this a.s.a.p.?
_
There is/was 16 tons of storage in the G-Carrier hangar. You have the air/raft from the Empress Manuela taking up 4 tons of this. I assumed that you were taking the stolen grav truck with you but, if you want to dump this for additional cargo space, then you can do so. So just let me know what you want to keep in the vehicle hangar and I will assume that you are going to keep all of the robots plus as much of the computer parts as you can carry._

Also, unless anyone makes a counterproposal pretty quickly, I am going to assume that everyone agrees with Dev’s suggestion of forgetting the Lap Ship and making for the Imperium via Farreach, which would mean that your first stop is going to be Koekh Uez.

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OOC happy to go with Dev suggestion

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OOC yep happy to go with Dev’s plan

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Let’s take the Grav truck if that will leave us enough space for the 1+ tons of Robots we’re over limit and skip the spare computer parts? Does keeping the truck in place of the APC give us enough room to do this? If not, lets unload the robo waitresses, ONE of the janitors, and Dick, the cop ’Bot? That should keep us under the limit?

Dev/Ian

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There are 16 tons of storage in the vehicle bay. If you want to keep both the grav truck and the air/raft plus robots, this would give you:

Grav truck: 8 tons
Air/raft: 4 tons
Robots: 2 tons

So you can get a couple of tons of computer parts in there as is, or six if you dump the air/raft.

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Let’s keep the air/raft and take the couple of tons of Computer parts.

“Trixie, Candy, Mandy, you’re saved! There, there, now, no show of gratitude is needed…though I will take another slice of that damn fine pie and maybe a refill on my coffee…”

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Dev looks fondly at the new Cap he’d had God help him make. It was a sixteen inch tall black stovepipe hat with a narrow upturned brim that would’ve made Captain Ahab proud stalking the streets of any New England town on a day off from racially profiling large seagoing mammals. The broad ring of goldbraid circling the chapeau 5 inches below the crown only added to the air of megalomania its wearer was sure to invoke. Walking up to the door to Lev’s quarters, he peers in and inquires sweetly, “Lev? Have you seen the proposed tentative provisional roster changes? I thought, just in case you’re elected, you might need an appropriate hat…Hey, is that rubbing alcohol? Give an old Commodore a smidge, eh?…”

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“James Forbes – Farreach – and a commo number.”

Better not be disconnected when we get there :)

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NickPendrell

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