Starship log 201.34pg.56 In a Galaxy far far away....


Haakar the semi arid planet and market world in the Zenot system. It's capital Chalan, the centre of trading.


THE LIFT

Three figures stood in front of some heavy lift doors. The two women shifted nervously as they awaited the lift and the passengers it contained, to descend. The third figure stood motionless. A loud metallic clank signalled the arrival of the lift.


Soon after a whirring sound marked the opening of the lift doors. The three figures standing waiting watched as two figures emerged. One of those walking out of the lift brought a low long whistle from one of the three waiting.


"Since when did Cranium start inviting Priests from the Cult of Cleansing into his yard" said one of the women. She wore pretty well travelled clothes and a brown beaten up duster. A auto rifle was slung over her back. Her name was Jones.


"Ex-Cult" stated the tall man in black who had just exited the lift. He was known as 'Priest'.


'I'm more concerned by the furbag" said the second women - nodding her chin at the Feral that walked out of the lift behind Priest. Blond haired and wiry she considered the humanoid creature suspiciously. The Feral gave a low growl at this one, known as Gabby.


"You must be Klaang" asked Priest addressing the third figure. Klaang, kitted out head to toe in some alien looking body armour, bowed his head slightly towards Priest.


"All come. DR waits" grunted the Feral motioning for everyone to get into the lift. He scratched his ear waiting for the others to move.


"I hope you've had had a shower" said Gabby through gritted teeth as she walked into the lift and waited for the others.


Klaang, Jones and Ji-Aan the Feral joined her. With quick glances left and right Priest walked back into the lift and pressed 8 on the pad.

"You must be deep in it if you are throwing your lot in with us" he said glancing at Jones.

"About that much" said Jones flatly, staring at her boots.


Then the lift jolted and started upwards.


THE MEETING


Fortunately for Gabby she only had to endure Ji-Aan's pungent odour for a few minutes before the lift ground to a halt. Jones looked at the LED display above the door. It glowed '8'.


The doors parted and the five passengers looked out into a large hanger type room. Priest exited and the four others followed.

"What a motley crew you are" a voice said. Gabby searched for the voice's owner in the recesses of the shadows in the far corner of the room.


"Is that you Doc?" quizzed Gabby, shielding her eyes and peering into the corner gloom.


A short pause. Then the sound of metal clanking on metal as a shape emerged from the shadowy gloom.

The five standing figures watched as the shape came into focus. Three metal legs supported a clear liquid tank. Within the tank a human brain sat suspended. Atop the tank was a mechanical hatch lid - lit my red and blue lights. A menacing looking laser gun crested the top of the hatch.


"Gabby good to see you again" it said. "I apologise for my appearance - I am somewhat changed since we last met."

Gabby and Jones looked on astonished. "Pay no heed to my physical appearance" the brain in the jar said "It is essentially I".


"Thank you for escorting our guests to me Victor" . Priest raised his hand in acknowledgement.


Jones and Gabby exchanged glances. Jones shrugs.


Dr Cranium continued, "It seems events or maybe fate have dealt us all similar cards my friends. Each of us seems to have drawn the unwanted attention of the Cult. Alone we stand little chance and over time will surely be picked off by the Cults initiates. Together, we stand better chances and offer a more barbed annoyance to the Cults existence."


" But before I forget my manners, let me first introduce everyone".


THE CREW


Dr Oliver Cranium


Cranium was once a renown medical scientist. He specialised in the treatment and advanced intervention/rebuilding of military combat injury. His fame and ability however also attracted unwanted attention. About ten years ago Cranium vanished. There were rumours that the military had secreted him way into some secret military facility. The truth was worse. The Cult of Cleansing had decided he was a useful asset in keeping their venerable elders alive. Far from cooperating. Cranium resisted their demands - paying the price heavily himself through physical torture until the only organ not broken was his brain. The Cult still in need of his mind built the ultimate cage to house what was left of him. It was 'Priest' who eventually helped Cranium escape the cults clutches. Cranium's sole purpose now is to do what ever he can to avenge the 'physical debt' the Cult owe him.

Parsecs Stats: Reactions 2; Speed 4; Combat 1; Toughness 4; Savvy 3 CLASS: BIO UPGRADE


Victor Khol (The Priest)

Victor and his sister Mia were orphaned at an early age. They were adopted by a local merchant. The merchant got on the wrong side of the Cult of Cleansing. The Cult made sure the merchant's supply lines became strangled and eventually he fell into poverty. Victor agreed to join the cult as an Adept to clear his adopted fathers 'beef' with the Cult. His Sister Mia was also taken by the Cult as added payment and put to work in the kitchens. Victor climbed the ranks of the Cult and soon became a Priest - leading his own team on 'cleansing runs'. His sister was badly injured by a drug addled Chaplain who decided to test out a new flame cleansing weapon on some of the kitchen staff. It was Dr Cranium that managed to save her - putting himself at great risk to treat the girl. The Cult found out about Craniums 'non church funded project' and killed the girl anyway as a 'lesson to abide by the tenants' It was not long after this that Victor's adopted father was also murdered by one of the other cleansing teams after failing to pay his latest 'church offerings'. Victor enraged by the double betrayal 'cleaned out' his own Parish church, killing 7 cultists, including the 'flame obsessed Chaplain", freeing the kitchen and manual adepts and helping Dr Cranium flee his lab based prison.

Parsecs Stats: Reactions 2; Speed 4; Combat 0; Toughness 4; Savvy 0 CLASS: HUMAN


Ji-Aan

Ji-Aan is the only son of the trader Garak. Garak had come to Haaker to make his fortune. He was successful. Over many years of hard work he managed to build one of the more profitable trading chains in Chalan. Such success brought unwanted attention. The Cult of Cleansing saw an opportunity to increase its 'church donation funds'. Increasing its demands steadily over the coming years Garak threatened to quit Haaker and redeploy to another system. The Cult did not take kindly to this threat and took Garak's wife and Ji-Aan's mother as a 'church volunteer'. Garak tried to free his wife but was caught in the attempt. Both he and his wife were executed as 'unclean' the morning after. The Cult then installed one of their more generous contributors to take over Garak's trading house. Ji-Aan survived a murder attempt before fleeing into the night and the backstreets of Chalan. He earned a reputation for black market work and it wasn't long before he was noticed and approached by Dr Cranium and The Priest.


Parsecs Stats: Reactions 1; Speed 4; Combat 0; Toughness 4; Savvy 1 CLASS: FERAL


JONES

Jones is a drifter - flitting between systems doing odd jobs to get her by. A hacker by nature she started to make a tidy profit and high demand for good work. She also provided Dr Cranium with some useful mods when he worked for the Military Health Ministry. Unfortunately for her one recent job brought her into direct conflict with the Cult. Inquisitive by nature, she she probed a little deeper than she should have and saw more than was safe for her. The revelation that several high profile Cult members were behind the hacking of some local Government systems placed her immediately on the Cult cleansing list. She has been on the run ever since. Known for her hacking skills and her plight at the hands of the Cult, Cranium sent Priest to find her.


Parsecs Stats: Reactions 1; Speed 4; Combat 0; Toughness 4; Savvy 1 CLASS: DRIFTER


GABBY


Nina Hurn 'negotiates' for the trading houses on Chalan. Doing much of the work that the traders would rather not be associated with or stain their hands with. Victor Cranium had also employed Nina on several occasions to source some useful chemical components for his work. Known to most as 'Gab or Gabby' due to her gift of smooth talking she took jobs from most of the bigger merchant families. Her sweet tongue couldn't talk her out of one situation however. Hired by a family to 'make a problem disappear' she soon found out that the certain problem was a Cult cleansing team. Something the patron had failed to make clear. Cornered and caught off guard she used her reflexes and her gun skills to vacate the vicinity. She left a group of dead Cultists in her wake. A debt the Cult could not afford to not claim back from her. She needed some friends and needed them fast.


Parsecs Stats: Reactions 1; Speed 4; Combat 0; Toughness 4; Savvy 1 CLASS: DRIFTER


KLAANG



Klaang is not of this system. He/she heralds from a distant system now long forgotten. A former member of a exploration ship - he remained on Haakar when several of his crew became ill. Victor Cranium fascinated by the unique bio-forms of Klang and his ship mates offered to help. For many years he sought to seek a cure for this mystery illness. Sadly 4 of Klaang's crew mates died before Cranium could find the cure - leaving Klaang the sole survivor. For the past three years Klaang had disappeared - only to suddenly reappear at Chalan. It did not take long for Priest to find him and pass on the request to meet with Victor Cranium once again.


Parsecs Stats: Reactions 2; Speed 5; Combat 0; Toughness 3; Savvy 0 CLASS: PRECURSER


THE PLAN


"We all have head bounty's on us by the cult. Well, mine is more of a brain bounty in all truth" that comment brought a wry smile from Gabby.


"We can either wait to be cleansed or throw our lot in with one another. In doing so we stand more of a chance of survival and we become a bigger thorn for the Cult's cleansing teams " Dr Cranium added.


'What about metal head" quizzed Jones jabbing a thumb in the direction of Klaang.


Cranium opened his mouth to reply but shut it again as Klaang spoke.


"I continued to exist due the Dr. I repay that inclination. With me the Dr can trust".


"That settles that nicely then my friends" Cranium said affably. "The first thing we need to do is remain safe. To that end we need to even the playing field somewhat. We will add a nice little virus to the Cult's cleansing data books. Jones, we need you to hack into their system and insert the prepared virus. There is a remote but workable terminal beneath the old old cell fuel factory. Ji-Aan knows the way and will take you. Priest, Gabby and Klaang will ride shotgun so to speak. I will come as I have arranged to meet an old contact there."


"Take this" instructed Priest, as he threw a Med-Patch at Ji-Aan. The Feral caught the pack and gave it a good sniff all over.


"Hopefully you won't be needing those today" said Jones, as she watched Gabby check the three grenades attached to her vest.


"Hopefully" replied Priest as he pressed the button the open the lift.