JUNE 1-8 , 3049
The Schattenjagers are sent to investigate what happened to a one hundred year old covert mission that met with disaster and is still shrouded in mystery.
The team is sent to recover a long lost and forgotten shipment of a valuable and rare element named Unbihexium or simply Element 126 or E126.
Element 126 was found during the time of the Starleague by a mining company and taken to a metallurgical research facility.
This was on the Draconis Planet of Kaesong. E126 has only been found in a natural state on the Planet Kaesong in one mine along the rim of a large crater impact.
The ore it was found in was a copper-sh green color at room temperature and mildly radioactive. It is stable super heavy element. It will show up on a close range radiation scan and also effect radio waves in close proximity. It is safe to handle without protective gear for short periods of time.
If refined, it can create an infinitely sustainable fusion reaction as the element recombines at high temperatures into other fusible elements. It can also be used to create a horrific WMD whereby it fuses in an uncontrolled reaction with oxygen. It is an s-block element.
s-block elements are highly reactive metals due to the ease with which their outer s-orbital electrons interact to form compounds
“We have a few documents still on the incident, though some of the documents seem to have been lost.”
The team is told about a certain Harold Barton who worked as an agent for Lyran Intelligence during the last war. According to his file, he was known as a jack of all trades type person and that he was known to offer his services and skills when asked to help the Commonwealth. Barton was also known as unorthodox and a bit of an eccentric.
His file shows that he was a skilled negotiator, and a venture business man who dabbled in all sorts of commodities. It also shows that he had smuggler connections inside the Draconis Combine. Lyran authorities mostly turned a blind eye to his actives. He was also a mining expert.
Barton and his men snuck onto Kaesong posing as businessmen. They were able to dig up the ore after locating the old facility underground. According to Barton, half a ton of ore was mined. They were followed by Kurita Agents and engaged in what was essential a running gun battle for three days. They decided to load it on a ship and get it off the planet. All of his men were killed except for a man named Moseby. He radioed with intelligence his intentions to get off planet with the ore, stating that his men were all killed and praising Moseby. Thank goodness for Moesby.
It is believed that they took an indirect route back to Lyran space to throw off the Draconis agents and forces looking for them.
The last known place that Harold Barton was seen was on the Planet Dromini IV. Here records show that he purchased and booked passage on the MV White Swan.
We do not know if the cargo was with him at that point though.
There was a lot of confusion and planets changing hands back in those days.
The team learns that the Jumpship MV White Swan was used to transport the cargo containers. The White Swan was a Monolith Class Jumpship; the largest type of Jumpship ever built at 430,000 tons and 750 meters long, painted in a silver-white. It was owned by the Yuland Line.
In going through the few documents on the incident that Lyran Military Intelligence still has, it is discovered that there is an old man still alive that was a witness named Roy Edwards who was a loading dock cargo master named Roy Edwards. He is listed as still living on Dromini IV.
Records show that there is still one man alive that can help with the White Swan. He was one of the last persons to see the jumpship.
ON DROMINI IV
A few short inquiries on the port lead to a small house with a garden on the edge of the spaceport town.
Roy Edwards is eighty eight years old but still gets around well for his age and still possesses all of his faculties. He will admit though that he is starting to slow down. He is amiable and very polite and comes across as a nice old grandfather type. He speaks very well for a dock worker; somewhat well-spoken for a cargo handler. He wears a nice long coat and hat. Made of fine cloth, but not flashy. He is fond of company and will answer any questions as best he can. He tells the team a little about him and his background.
“God help a man who can’t live by himself. We all end up in a single bed sooner or later.”
“Back in my younger days I was eager to go places and longed to see other planets. I figured the merchant ships were much safer than the Navy you know, so I signed up with the company first as a deck steward. By the time I was 20 I was an Assistant Purser on the White Swan. She was a beautiful ship to see. We were all so very proud of her. We kept her paint bright white on the outside. A bright white color. It was a matter of pride you know.
The last day I saw her I was taken ill at the last few hours. Now I had supervised the cargo loading on the dropships before they departed to dock with the White Swan. Before the last one departed I remember a feeling of becoming ill.
Being that it was a long trip that was planned, I was ordered to not go on the trip and to see the port medical staff, so I stayed behind here. It was some time later that I learned that the ship had crashed. I worked for the company for some 50 years, I still have my old uniform you know.”
When asked he does recall the shipment and Harold Barton though he only remembers his last name at first. He recalls the shipment onto the ship because it was very unusual. “Not likely to forget him he had eyes like a fox. Barton seemed to be in a hurry but also seemed very delighted with himself.
“If I recall, it was cargo hold number 9, port side, which the crates were loaded in. Don’t ask me how I remember. Sometimes memories just stick in your head.”
Harold Barton, yes I remember him. He was quite a strange odd fellow. Now I have never been one to take a bribe, but the cargo handlers and customs officers in those days were always keen to put a few C-Bills in their pockets to look the other way. What struck me was that the crates never went through customs properly. The Officials just approved and waved the cargo through without even a once over. There wasn’t even any paperwork for the cargo manifest. Now I know when to not ask questions.
As they were loading the crates on board, he stopped one of the loaders and inspected the crate. Then he patted the crate as if it was a dog and sent it on to be loaded.
He then boarded the ship. I recall that he insisted on staying with the cargo in the cargo hold. that was quite an odd request.
He reaches in his coat pocket and fumbles around for a moment before he pulls out a small encryption passkey. He looks at it for a moment and then offers it. “I have had this with me for all these years. A reminder.”
I would go with you, you know. If I was a bit younger.
TROUBLE AT THE SPACE PORT
While the team’s dropship is at the port, Lyran Navy Officals come to investigate the Team’s Dropship.