Indomitable Bastards Session Notes – 19 November 2022
November, 2022
Indomitable Bastards Session Notes – 19 November 2022

You can’t treat highly-skilled operators like mushrooms forever.  You just can’t.  Hell, you can’t treat them that way for even a little while.  It wasn’t about trust, these are some of my closest friends…  But then again, maybe it was.  I’d spent fifteen years keeping this secret and slowly moving to capitalize on it.  All it would’ve taken is one person putting the pieces together and the whole thing would’ve fallen apart.  All the hopes, dreams, and not to mention hundreds of millions of credits.  Gone.

So maybe it was trust.  But let the record show the character flaw was mine.

The Memoirs of “Gentleman” Jack Cartwright

27 April-22 June, WY602 – Whistler, Whistler – Demeter, Whistler

Most of the crew spends the four weeks of shore leave relaxing, though they all have a little paperwork to do as Harvey is filing for business visas on Demeter. Cara (being a former WDF flag officer) and Angelica (being a former Council intelligence officer) have a bit more paperwork to fill out.

When the crew arrives back at Explanations, they find Jack waiting for them with coffee and donuts. The dive capacitor had been removed and replaced with quite a lot of supplies, formal wear in the crew’s sizes, as well as music audio equipment. The following is revealed in conversation:

  • Jack says it’ll be a while before he sees the crew again. After this last run they will all be “fully-informed investors in our enterprise”.
  • Jack has concluded that to operate their new ship profitably, a lot of automation is necessary that “governments and militaries don’t have to bother themselves with”. To this end, he’s determined that the only way to pull it off is to have one of the new crop of artificial general intelligences helping to run the ship. To date, only one company has licked the problem, Allied Advanced Intelligences, based on Demeter. These AGIs are currently a misdemeanor to export from Demeter and a felony to import into Council space, which poses several problems.
  • The crew’s mission is to take the 24-day burn to Demeter and meet with Basil Chen, the CEO of AAI, who is holding a retreat for sales prospects at a luxury resort outside Thermasia on Demeter. Chen has agreed to sell their latest, second-generation AGI, named “Calliope”, to IBI for 130 million credits on the condition that Tomoe provides a concert and/or reading at the dinner and reception. By all accounts, Chen is a legitimate fan of Tomoe and offered preferential buying for IBI based on Tomoe’s affiliation with the company.
  • The crew will arrive via Explanations but will depart on Xiwangmu’s Moist Peach, a fairly well-appointed free trader owned by Dirk. Otto will make it appear the crew and cargo are aboard and do his best to be boarded and searched instead of Peach, which makes regular stops at Demeter every few months and will be far less suspicious.

Jack disembarks and the ship takes off and begins its burn for Demeter. The four week trip passes with little note. During this time, the crew investigates AAI and Chen. By all accounts the man is a very effective entrepreneur and businessman, legendarily charismatic. The AI breakthroughs are primarily the work of Sagan-prize winning scientist Florence Abinde, AAI’s CTO. Chen’s wife Nadine is the CFO of the company. Further digging finds numerous instances of lawsuits and scandals concerning Chen, who is not only legendarily charismatic, but apparently quite promiscuous.

The crew arrives at Demeter and after transmitting their visas to the WDF picket is allowed to land at Thermasia. Explanations is conveniently parked next to Peach, which is already on the ground taking on cargo. Otto says his goodbyes to the crew as they pack up and head into customs. Angelica conceals her stunner in the audio equipment in order to smuggle it through security. While in public, they crew attracts quite a bit of attention. It seems to Myrr video triggered something in the Demeter zeitgeist and they are finding themselves to be quite “YouTube famous”.

The crew is met by a driver who helps them load into a VTOL and takes them into the mountains. He informs them that there is a major storm coming and they’ll likely be socked in at the resort for several days. Demeter has been suffering from fairly extravagant and unpredictable storms for a century that have defied study.

Hotel Artemis is a small, boutique fifty-room lodge nestled in the beautiful and steep mountains outside of Thermasia. The driver lets them off at the door and they’re greeted by Rebecca Sanders, Basil Chen’s assistant, who gets them checked into the hotel and informs them that they’ll be ready for a sound check mid-afternoon the following day, but until then the crew is left to their own devices. That evening, the storm blows in with a vengeance. Most of the crew take advantage of the exceptional food and bar (the kitchen is being operated by Robin Clardy, a fairly famous chef in high-society circles). Julian scouts the building out and Dirk attempts to seduce Rebecca and some of the hotel staff to little effect. In the bar that evening, some of the crew overhear AAI CMO Skylar Albertson on the phone with someone, talking about how “Becca only lasted three weeks”. She ignores the crew.

The next morning after an exceptional breakfast, Dirk is flagged down at the bar by Princeton Feldman, the direct-line descendent of the Leif Eriksson CO and a board member of Inspired Systems, a luxury shipbuilder in Jericho. He chides Dirk for acquiring Calliope, which he was hoping to purchase, saying he may have to wait another six months until “her sister Euterpe is ready”. He’s very curious about what IBI could want with a rare advanced AI. Princeton is also a fan of the Myrr video and discusses that briefly.

While the conversation is going on, Cara receives a call from Otto. He says one of the crew’s standing sensor programs just set off an alert.

“The computer flagged a jump from Feldman orbital traffic control. It’s Dauntless.”


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