[D&D] Mass Effect – Chapter 2: The S-hole

One of the characteristics of our group is that we tend to have lengthy discussions about any important decision. Even if we are presented with just two options, if it is important enough we’ll end up discussing all the pros and cons of both until we can get to an agreement. Usually this isn’t a problem. In this session though it came to bite us in the backside.

In case anyone just stumbled into this post, let me give the usual disclaimer before continuing:

Disclaimer: English is not my native language. Although I can write and read it without issues, hearing and speaking is a different matter. I’d say I am at best 90% skilled at those. Also I have a terrible memory.

What this means is that there may be mistakes here. In case my group corrects anything I will make a note about it here later and in the next post.

The Session

We started this session right from where we finished the last one, with everybody gathering at the medical bay by Sidona’s request. When the other players got there, they found her perched on a stool, juggling the Hades Initiative’s pins with her biotics.

Then Sidona told everything she found out from the colony’s leader, Sudosa: about his smuggling deals, about The Hades Inititiave and so on.

This immediately led to a discussion about what to do about the colony’s leadership. We really didn’t know anybody in the colony so us choosing a new leader was pretty much out of the question.

Letting HQ pick someone else also had its risks as they could just replace Sudosa with someone else just as terrible.

There was also the option of letting Sudosa keep his post until we could figure out a better solution. Kinda of a “better the devil you know” situation.

We eventually came to the conclusion it was best to let HQ deal with the problem. They would at least have files with information on everyone in the colony, making them better suited to pick someone qualified than we were.

The next topic was how to interrogate the smuggler, Jackson Knight. We quickly came with a simple plan: since we were on a geth ship we would pretend that Jackson was captured by the enemy.

Linus being one of the humans in our crew then would pretend to be another prisoner and use the situation to try to pry some information from the smuggler. Meanwhile the rest of the party would go to another room to monitor the entire situation through the ship’s cameras. Linus would even have a discreet earpiece so we could communicate with him.

We also did a medical examination on Jackson just to make sure he didn’t have any nasty surprises. We found a number of implants on him to enhance technical skills but otherwise nothing dangerous.

When we were going out of the room to get the earpiece we discovered the door was locked. Lylid tried to hack it with no success. Labor then decided to contact Bygone, our other geth crew member, through the geth network.

Bygone explained that the civilians had smuggled weapons, took the crew hostage and was keeping them in the bridge. He was afraid to contact us least it was found out.

Labor scolded Bygone, reminding him he could have done it right from the beginning through the geth network. To which Bygone apologized and promised to not make the same mistake in the future.

Personally I am just chalking this incident to one of those where Bygone forgot that we organics can’t connect to their network and hear their conversations.

Anyway, as Labor explained the situation to the party he also found a way to override the door’s lock.

Lt. Ramirez then explained that from what we knew of the colonists, only Sudosa, his assistant, his head of security and about 5 people had some combat training. Everybody else were non-combatants or children.

Kronk decided to immediately head to the bridge to deal with situation. Sidona, Lylid and Lorik decided to follow him. Linus decided to stay back to keep an eye on Jackson Knight and to destroy the smuggler’s clothes just in case. Labor decided to go to the engine room to regain control of the ship but he sent his drone with the rest of the group.

As soon as Kronk got near the bridge a shot was fired at him. Through pure instincts he went immediately for cover.

Before taking cover herself, Sidona noticed that the men had some makeshift rifles. They all seemed tired or a bit groggy, like someone who just woke up. There were only about 5 people there, with one of them being the colony’s Head of Security (I will abbreviate his title as HOS for convenience). There was no sign of Sudosa though.

Sidona shouted into the room that she was going for Sudosa. HOS shouted for his people that we were taking them to the Reapers and they shouldn’t lose heart.

A fight ensued but thankfully we were able to defeat them in a non-lethal way. We were even able to get HOS to surrender once all his friends were down.

Not shown here: us managing to not be murder-hobos for a change.

During the fight Linus also tried to use the communications system to convince Sudosa to surrender but it didn’t work out.

While we were fighting, Labor found another armed colonist in the engine room. But instead of going for a shoot out, Labor decided to go the more practical way and hacked the local life support system to knock out the colonist.

With the colonist out of commission, Labor tied him up then disabled the engines.

Back to the rest of the party, they also tied up all the colonists they fought then asked HOS some questions.

He told the party that Sudosa woke them up from the sedation, telling that our party had been indoctrinated by the Reapers and were taking the colonists to our “Overlords”. In retrospect, it is easy to see why he would believe that. I mean, we are using a geth ship for our job.

HOS also told us that he knew about Sudosa’s smuggling deals and although he didn’t condone it or partook in the drugs, he turned a blind eye to it all. As he put it, life in the galaxy right now is hell, and it was just easier to just do his job of keeping the peace in the colony.

Our party couldn’t really fault the guy for what he did. The galaxy is hell right now and HOS just wanted to have a life as quiet as possible given the circumstances.

Lastly, he told the party that the colonist’s communicator to the Hades Initiative had already been delivered to the new planet, hidden among the cargo. As for the weapons, it was his idea to smuggle them, hidden inside parts of their trucks.

We still had take out Sudosa though, who was presumably locked in the bridge. We figured that going in blind would be a bad idea, what with the hostages and all that. So we asked Labor to hack into the bridge’s cameras to check the situation. He reported back saying Sudosa was there with a gun, pacing around near the hostages who were kneeling on the floor with their hands to the back of their heads. Lutis was also there by the ship’s controls apparently trying to figure out how to activate the engine again.

With that kind of information we quickly came up with a plan. Kronk would use his infiltrator’s technology to become invisible then we would convince Sudosa to exchange one of the hostages for one of our party members. Once the door was opened, Kronk would enter with the party member then tackle Sudosa to the ground while the rest of us took care of Lutis.

For this plan, Sidona chose to be the one to be exchange for a hostage. Since she intimidated Sudosa on the previous session it was quite likely he held a grudge against her, making it more likely for him to accept the idea.

Sidona shouted through the door, saying that Novus had a condition that required medication at regular intervals. If Sudosa agreed to let Novus go, she was willing to take her place as a hostage.

Sudosa agreed, the door opened and Sidona and Kronk entered the room. Just as the exchange was taking place Novus started to protest, saying she wasn’t going to abandon them. Thankfully Kronk didn’t waste any time and just tackled down Sudosa to the ground, knocking out the colonist.

Lutis, who was by the door, panicked then begged for mercy. They were tied up then were taken to the med bay with the other insurgents for healing and interrogation later.

Lorik checked the computer’s navigation system to see where they planned to take the ship. Apparently they were trying to get the ship to the nearest Mass Relay which happened to be in the Hourglass Nebula.

Linus also checked to see if any communications were sent but thankfully they did not.

Finally Lt. Ramirez reported that all other passengers were where they were supposed to be. Linus also checked them for any signs of booby-traps and found them to be clean.

Back at the med-bay it was time for another round of interrogation! We decide to start with Sudosa to find out what he was planning by hijacking our ship. Sidona was the one responsible for interrogating him again, using intimidation. To summarize here is what we found out:

Sudosa was afraid that he was going to be executed since we found out about his smuggling and giving drugs to the colonists. His hope was to go to the Hermes Station, one of the Hades Initiave bases. Apparently Jack was from there too.

Kronk recalled something about Hermes Station being some kind of former human military base but he had to check his files to be sure and went on to look for them.

He never has been there but still he hoped they could give him refuge then maybe take us as prisoners or whatever they wanted to do with us.

As for the colonists Sudosa he was afraid they would overthrow him since he couldn’t provide them with drugs anymore. He didn’t go into details but I am guessing Sudosa was just going to abandon them with the ship or maybe let the folks at the Hermes Station deal with them too.

He also had been selling information to them about the Resistance. Not all the info he knew, just enough to keep them interested then selling more as it felt advantageous to him.

We also discovered that he was smuggling some drugs during this trip. Novus went to check on his stuff then came back with some drugs. A few of them were to neutralize the sedatives, some were hallucinogenic and there were some other types of narcotics too.

At this point Sidona was understandably very angry at the man. Then she decided to go lock herself in the bathroom for a few minutes least she did something she would regret.

It was also at this point we decided to nickname him S-hole just so we wouldn’t confuse his name with Sidona. I wish we gave him that nickname in the previous session as it would make it a lot easier to type this entire post! XD

Have a picture of the galaxy map again to break the text since I still suck at summarizing these sessions!

Anyway, after that we gagged, put some earplugs on him and pulled over the privacy curtains before we interrogated Jack Knight.

This time it was Lorik and Linus who did the interrogation and they tried a more friendly/neutral approach with the smuggler. Here is what they found out:

Jack Knight claimed that he was being followed by geth for two weeks. When he saw our ship he decided to take the risk to ask for our help.

At first he tried to lie about knowing the colony but we noticed it, confronted him about it then he apologized and admitted knowing about them.

About his ship, Jack claimed it was from a friend that lived in a space station in the Sowilo system. Just one of many stations that these friends of him supposedly have around.

Apparently they could just move the station around as needed which allowed them to avoid the Reapers all this time. They even had someone they called Foreman who could predict where it would be temporarily safe to stay. However Jack claimed to not know how the Foreman did it.

Lorik tried to lie to him about being interested in doing some deals for drugs, directly with his supplier but Jack realized it was all lies. The smuggler did offer to trade for eezo, food or medical supplies though.

That was about all the info we were able to get from Jack at this time. During the interrogation he kept a very friendly, even smooth talking, attitude towards us. The smuggler was also really trying to get us to go to that station in the Sowilo system.

Also, at this point our DM gave us an option. We could either earn a paragon point to get him to help us out or get a renegade point by intimidating him into giving us more information. The catch was that the paragon point would only work if we kept him free as Jack obviously doesn’t want to end in a brig or locked up somewhere.

Since we couldn’t agree on what to do about Jack Knight we decided to postpone that decision for now. S-Hole and Litus however will be delivered as criminals to HQ. With HOS we decided to put him as a temporary leader of the colony since he seemed to be a level-headed guy. If HQ decides to change the colony’s leadership then that will be their prerogative.

There was also still some time to finish the last trip to the colony’s new planet so Labor spent that time decrypting Jack Knight’s files.

What he found was a very detailed list of transactions with the colony. The information S-hole gave to him was there. But only a few of them were marked as sold, most of them about the farming activities of the colony. None of the information specific to the Resistance had been marked the same.

Besides that all the other transactions were about the stuff that Jack traded with the colony, most of which he received was food while most of what he gave was eezo, drugs and miscellaneous electronics.

There was also a tidy log of the smuggler’s cargo. It was items like eezo, toys, random knicknacks, office supplies, electronics and so on.

Kronk also finished checking his notes. Apparently Hermes Station wasn’t just any human military base, it actually belonged to Cerberus back in the days. That was how it was able to move about.

He also found on his notes that the Shadow Broker had a node in the system, in the planet Hagalaz.

And that is where our session ended. There was certainly a lot for us to chew with all this new information. I have an idea of what we could do next but I will wait until next session to discuss it with the rest of the group.

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