The Crossing

Behind a petty offense a darker secret lurks. How will you judge the desperate deeds of others?

Level: 10
Start: Egan, Hotel Rooms, Barnard's Star Jump Gate


You step into the Traveler's Rest and are met by strange racket. Every few units a CO2 alarm emits the usual double-beep and, from somewhere else, each tone is answered by the profanities of somebody having what sounds like a very bad day. A few steps down the corridor bring you to the source: the open door of a guest room, occupied by a stout man in brown overalls, jabbing at a wall panel with a janitor's multi-tool.

He snarls: Why?! Why they ALWAYS gotta break stuff? Huh?

Right on cue, the alarm emits its regular be-boop. The sound seems to hit the man like a gut punch and he slumps, dropping his hands to his side, seemingly teetering on some sort of breakdown.

Egan says: Never break THEIR stuff, do I?! Never broke anything, me…

  • Offer to help Egan.
  • Leave Egan to his troubles.


You step towards Egan, driven by some unspoken impulse to help, before stopping abruptly. On second thoughts, the alarm's incessant pulse is giving you a headache. You backtrack out of the room before Egan even notices you, leaving him to grapple with his faulty alarm and pending emotional breakdown.

You have failed the "The Crossing" mission. You can retake this mission and try again.


You proffer assistance, startling Egan in the process.

He says: Huh, what?! You wanna help… me? With THIS? Ain't got nothin to give ya, friend, so unless you like doing somethin for nothin, you better scram.

He turns back again, rummaging in his tool box for something.

You have accepted the "The Crossing" mission.

  • You don't work for free. Walk away.
  • Offer to help anyway, free of charge.

Walk away:

You try to explain to Egan that nothing in this universe is free, but he's immersed in the contents of his tool box instead. You leave him to it.

You have failed the "The Crossing" mission. You can retake this mission and try again.

Help anyway:

Me: I ask nothing in return. There's more to life than counting credits.

Egan says: Huh? You wanna help me… for NO reason?! Get outta here, weirdo.

Egan is still incredulous about your offer. It seems nothing arouses his suspicions more than an altruistic motive. You explain it several more times before he finally comes round to the idea.

He says sarcastically: OK fine, fine. I get it, there's no catch, people are great and life is wonderful… So here's the thing. Ya hear that freakin noise? That's the CO2 alert tryin to tell us something's wrong… Only, it ain't, cos we're here talking like normal, instead of puking and passin out. I even got a manual sensor, checked every room, CO2 well below 1%… So, I'm thinkin… Broken wall sensor, maybe?

He shrugs and looks at you, before showing you some info on a slate.

He says: You're no expert, huh? Me neither. Here's the diagnostics info… Go run the checklist in the rooms. Get this alarm fixed before I jump outta the nearest airlock!

Explore the Traveler's Rest to fix the CO2 fault.

  • Search for the source of the CO2 alarm fault.

You learn about air control from the info Egan gave you. Apparently, the station's primary system is called the Main Atmospheric Regulator (MAR), which monitors and adjusts air composition. Although every human exhalation adds CO2 to the station's atmosphere, the MAR pulls it back out again, stopping it from reaching poisonous levels. Having not thought about it before, you're suddenly very grateful for the MAR's existence. The motel has various connections to this main system, and all of them seem fine. On your CORETECHS you quickly scan the local station news for any lifeline system alerts, but there's nothing. Everything looks normal so far.

  • Keep searching for the fault.

The alarm's persistent bleeps continue, interspersed with Egan's swearing further down the corridor. You block it out and continue reading the diagnostic manual. The next section covers backup systems, which involve disposable chemical filters pulling CO2 out of the air instead, if the main regulator ever fails.

You begin the next round of diagnostics, cursing the altruistic impulse that got you into this in the first place. Finally, you find something: one of the guest rooms is missing its backup CO2 filters. You call Egan to report your findings.

  • Show Egan what you found.

Egan joins you, somewhat insane from the alarm's torment. His eyes widen on seeing the empty filter wall panel. He examines it quickly, before reaching into his toolbox, ripping open a packet of new filters, and slotting them into place. Then, on his slate, he resets the motel's systems. The lights dip briefly, then return, along with the sweet sound of silence - or at least the station's approximation of it.

Egan says: See what I put up with? Vandals and thieves, they are, every last one… Usually they just take the hand sanitizer, I never saw this before… Why would-?! I mean, sure, filters ain't easy to get, but… who needs em?! Station fixes the air, right?

Egan swipes at his slate, scrolling in annoyance, until he finds what he's looking for. He jabs angrily at the screen, presumably noting the likely culprit's details for future reference.

He spits: Here we go, got him! Milo Farkin, crate shifter down in the port… He's the only booking this room's had since I last serviced the filters. On the blacklist you go, thieving Milo… Find somewhere else to sleep next time, buddy!

  • Suggest finding and confronting the thief.
  • Suggest reporting the thief to Security.

Finding and confronting:

Me: Maybe we should… y'know. Find him and, er- teach him a lesson?

Egan chuckles, genuinely amused by your suggestion.

He says: What is it with you and chasing drama, huh? You got nothin else to do?! Look, Milo Farkin ain't my favorite person right now. And if he should get a jump suit rash in an awkward place, well, that'd be fine by me… But I ain't gonna go bash his head in, much as I like the idea… You do what you like, but I already said there's nothin in it for ya… I ain't seen a spare credit in cycles my friend.

  • Suggest reporting the thief to Security.

Me: What about the Security office? Leave it to the professionals…

Egan snorts derisively at your naivety.

Egan scoffs: Security? HA! Anythin less than a dead body, and you can forget about it! My problems ain't their problems, that much I know… See, this kinda stuff here, small and petty… It's below the, er- "justice threshold" y'know? Too minor for the authorities to care. We just gotta live with it, fact of life.

  • Take matters into your own hands. Find Milo Farkin on your own.
  • Report the theft to Security.

On your own:

Me: A crime is a crime, Egan. No matter how small. You shouldn't have to accept this. It's time to make a- …. a stand!

Egan chuckles, charmed by your perspective.

Egan says: I gotta buncha broke stuff needs fixing here… But you do what ya like, I ain't gonna stop ya!

Thanking you for helping him with the alarm, he even manages to wish you luck while only calling you a "weirdo" once as you leave.

Find Milo Farkin. The Port may be a good place to start.

Next step: Port, Barnard's Star Jump Gate

  • Ask around for Milo Farkin.

On the way through the port, you ask around for Milo Farkin and get directed to the Docks. Those you speak to don't give much away, but their faces hardly brighten on hearing Milo's name. It's hard to know from their cursory grunts whether Milo is a dangerous man or not, but you make a mental note to proceed with caution. Even if he is the thief you're looking for, it's unlikely he's going to admit it to a stranger. You wonder how you'd handle it if he did. The closer you get to your suspect, the more complicated this vigilante role starts to seem.

Search for Milo Farkin in the Docks.

Next NPC: Milo Farkin, Docks, Barnard's Star Jump Gate

  • Observe Milo Farkin from afar.

Finally, as you get further from the hubbub of the main port and deeper into the Docks' deserted container yard, you spot a man who matches Milo's description. He carries a small satchel and walks purposefully between the vertical stacks of shipping crates, halting every few paces and staring at nothing in particular while he checks his CORETECHS.

You duck into a tight alley between two containers, eyeing Milo as you weigh your options. All around you, the hiss of hydraulics echoes in duet with the heavy clangs of crates being settled into position. You think of Egan and wonder what he'd say if he could see you now. Maybe "weirdo" wasn't so wide of the mark?

You ponder your move. Would a mild beating be reasonable in the circumstances, just enough to teach Milo an important safety lesson about CO2? Or, maybe, some actual proof of his guilt first? You mull it, watching Milo examine a battered, unmarked container. Suddenly, with a quick sideways glance, he darts around the back of it. You've lost him!

  • Follow him!

You examine the crate from afar but it has no discernible markings. One thing's clear though; it's not from Gaule or Consortium ports. As you adjust your vantage point, a short, sharp hiss indicates a seal being released on the other side of the rugged steel box.

Before you can get a better look, a door is slammed shut and Milo re-emerges into view, now without his satchel but carrying some clutter, which he discards into the gap between two nearby crates. Then, after a quick glance around he trots off down the walkway, his heel taps echoing off the regocrete as he goes.

  • Examine the items discarded by Milo.

Shuffling over to examine the discarded items, you crouch, then gag violently, as a putrid smell invades your nostrils. It's coming from what looks like a pile of used travel bags for human waste!

Me: What the-?!!

Using your sleeve to cover your mouth, you wonder what sort of bizarre trail you've stumbled onto. Suddenly, amid the bags of waste, a familiar object catches your eye. It's a CO2 filter, just like those used in the Traveler's Rest back-up systems! Only this one is heavily discolored, like it's already been used up. What in Catastrophe's name is Milo up to? You wonder if, maybe, he's simply a deranged kleptomaniac.

  • Go and confront Milo about the CO2 filters.
  • Try to open the battered old container.


You get as far as the first door lever before the crate's steel side kisses your forehead with the force of 2G emergency shuttle spin. You bounce, adrenaline-jacked and dizzy, to make out Milo's fuzzy form standing behind you.

Milo snorts: Looking for somethin, punk?! I'll show ya something-

He lunges again, grappling to pull you away from the container door!

  • Escape Milo's grasp.

Milo's elbow clasps around your neck as he tries to pull you away. Somehow you summon the strength to loosen his grip, knocking him off balance, head-first into the adjacent container!

Milo gasps: GA- GARRGH!

He slumps, shaken, trying to regain his composure. You turn back to the container door. What on earth is this strange thief hiding? Now's your chance!

  • Open the container door.

Your breath skids as you flip the door levers and unlock the seal to release the same sharp hiss you heard earlier. From behind you Milo emits a throaty growl, lurching up off the floor. Quickly, with both hands, you turn the crank and swing the door open. You realize that amid your ragged panting and Milo's gruff snorts, there's a third voice audible. Inside the mostly empty crate, there's a quivering youth, head down, palms aloft, sobbing in terror.

She sobs: Please, Ser. Do- Don't take me away…

She wears grimy rags and seems to have only a few small items for company inside the box. You notice Milo's satchel among them, fully packed with disposable CO2 filters and few ration packs. The stench coming from the inside of the container is foul. Behind you Milo stands again, still groggy from the head blow.

Milo shouts: Run, Ilnurra, RUN!

You brace for another attack, but Milo turns and sprints instead, vanishing into the dark vertical slit between two tall crate stacks.

Ilnurra cries: N-no, no security! Don't take me-

She sobs, eyes darting left and right as she looks for an escape route.

Next NPC: Ilnurra, Docks, Barnard's Star Jump Gate

  • Convince her you're not a security agent.

Me: I'm <name>. Look, I was just passing by. I saw Milo and wondered what he was up to… That's it, I'm not with security…

Eventually the words sink in and Ilnurra's panic subsides somewhat. She doesn't trust you yet, but she's less fearful now.

She replies: OK, Ser… I- I'm Ilnurra. Milo is helping me… Brings supplies.

She trails off, hesitant about divulging more.

  • Convince Ilnurra to confide in you.

(Social check)

You repeat that you mean no harm. Ilnurra glares into your eyes as you speak. Finally, she responds.

Ilnurra says: Please- I beg… Don't tell. They send me back-

Her voice is quiet, broken and scared. What could be worse than living in this sealed box?

  • Ask where she's from.
  • Ask how long she's been in there.


Me: Where are you from?

Ilnurra fidgets nervously with her tattered jacket sleeve.

She says: Hopkins Legacy, Ser. But- I have nothing there, nobody. Life not easy… That's why I- I escape… To go Sol system… There it's better. Better life for me…

She's staring intently now, scanning your features for any sort of reaction. You realize you're probably the only person she knows on this station, apart from Milo. You consider what might have happened if he'd been taken in by security for stealing the motel's air filters. Maybe she'd have been found alive in here, or maybe not. These containers don't open from the inside.

Suddenly you feel a fool. Your well-motivated meddling could have caused something horrible. No wonder Milo didn't didn't want you to discover his secret.

  • Ask how long she's been in there.

Me: How long have you been in there?

She says: Not sure. Long time- I used two tubes already.

She motions at the inside of the squalid box. To one side there's a roll-mat and a small pile of dirty rags. In the opposite corner there's a few gas tanks and an air sensor. It looks like she's been topping up the oxygen manually, using reads from the scanner. The CO2 filters kept her from being poisoned by her own exhalations. It's no wonder the door seal hissed a little on opening with the added pressure inside.

Ilnurra continues: But- can't go out. No permits to be here, and security looking… Transit hopper is deported back, always…

She motions behind as if, somewhere over her shoulder, lay Hopkins Legacy station. Probably, to her at least, that's how it feels.

  • Ask how she plans to reach Sol.

Me: How will you get to Sol?

Ilnurra opens her palms, as if to invite you to reflect on what's just happened. Your presence has clearly jeopardized her plan.

She says: I don't know… Milo arrange, when he can- When there is freight ship. But he say, tomorrow, always tomorrow, tomorrow…

Me: And if- Sorry. When you get there?

Ilnurra says: Milo has friend… On Sol Jump Gate. She help me- I hope. What can I say? I must wait… No more credits. Milo take all I have…

  • "What?! Milo took credits from you?!"
  • "Milo is entitled to something. He's taking a risk as well."


You struggle to contain your anger, somehow shouting and whispering at the same time.
Me: Milo took credits from you?! He's not such a nice guy after all… Exploitative jerk!

Ilnurra nods, resigned to the fact.

She says: Is normal. They take something, nobody help for nothing… But now, you- you find us, scare Milo. He leave- I have nobody now.

  • Offer to help Ilnurra for free.
  • Demand payment to help Ilnurra.


Me: You have me. I'll help you, for free. No problem.

You're not sure what exactly motivates you to help Ilnurra. The post-Cat universe is full of the desperate and the damaged, you're used to it by now. But maybe, at least today, you feel a duty to do something about it. Or, maybe it's the fact you nearly accidentally got her killed in this box, all because you wanted to avenge a petty theft from a low-grade motel room. Ilnurra looks at you hopeful, but puzzled.

She says: Your kindness is… Thank you, Ser. But, I don't know how… Milo say is possible to send container to Sol Jump Gate. But problem is the checks, they look inside, before allow onto freight ship. That is hard part…

You find yourself contemplating a way to bypass shipping container checks, as if it weren't a crime at all. Earlier you wanted to make a stand against petty theft; to mark the line between good and bad, wrong and right. Things were black and white then but now everything, including yourself, seems a strange shade of grey.

  • Help Ilnurra sneak on a freighter to Sol.
  • Walk away from this sorry mess. Leave Ilnurra to her fate.
  • Decline to help. Report the matter to Security instead.


Me: We'll find a way, don't worry. But you need to wait here for now…

Ilnurra says: OK. I wait… You are- kind person. Thank you.

She sits on the grubby mat and takes a small bite from a half-eaten ration. You step back out to the still-empty walkway, flanked on both sides by silent stacks of endless metal boxes, just like this one, but for one key difference. Closing the crate's access hatch, flipping the levers back one-by-one, you wonder where a scared Milo would have gone. You need to find him.

Find Milo. He can't have gotten far from the Docks.

Next NPC: Milo Farkin, Interstellar Shuttles, Barnard's Star Jump Gate

  • Approach Milo.

In the busy departure lobby you catch a glimpse of Milo pushing his way to the front of a queue for the ticket terminal. His eyes widen in panic as you approach, but the presence of others in the vicinity keeps him from reacting erratically. You press your palms downwards, slowly, as you walk towards him, imploring calm. Unsure, Milo hesitates, checking left and right, but not spotting the security agents which he clearly expects to see.

  • Convince Milo to help Ilnurra together.

(Social check)

Only when you explain you'll share the risk does Milo start to trust you. He shows you the schedule for Sol-bound freighters.

Milo says: Getting her crate on a shipping manifest for Sol, that's the easy part. Hard bit's the pre-load contents check…

Gesticulating feverishly, Milo explains the layout of the automated contents scanning zone, and the location of those who supervise it from a small office nearby. The tense deliberation continues until you offer an idea he seems to like.

Me: We could trigger an evacuation, clear the staffers out? Get our timings right, and Ilnurra's box slips through before the line shuts down. I know a way to do it, taking a MAR connection offline…

Milo grins, almost admiringly, at your ingenuity. What strange allies this universe sends us!

He says: OK. One shot, that's it. If it don't work, it don't work. I never wanna see you again, either way.

With a quick handshake, the plan is agreed.

Go to the Docks. Wait for Milo's signal to trigger a MAR fault alarm.

Next step: Docks, Barnard's Star Jump Gate

  • Wait for Milo's signal.

You shuffle into position near the largest of the wall vents connecting the Docks to the station's Main Atmospheric Regulator, waiting for Milo's signal on your CORETECHS. Having started out hunting a lifeline systems vandal, you're almost amused now by the idea of becoming one. A few passers-by meander past but you blend into the scene, reading Egan's MAR diagnostics manual on your slate again, this time trying to figure out how to cause a fault.

The Docks are quiet apart from the distant clang of containers being endlessly lifted and replaced. The deep rumble of heavy steel being moved is mesmerizing, such that you almost miss your CORETECHS message alert.

It's from Milo and says simply "Now."

  • Vandalize the Regulator. Trigger the alarm.

With an almighty heave you dislodge the maintenance cover. Inside, there's a series of controls for checking the node's MAR connection. Quickly, you rip at the wires, pulling hard to dislodge them from their holds. Finally, after the fifth one, an alarm sounds!

The corridors echo with a reactive murmur. You turn, expecting your vandalism to have attracted attention and preparing for the worst as a guard trots hastily closer. But reaching you, he runs straight past, and towards the container scanning zone instead!

  • Distract the guard by drawing attention to yourself.
  • Duck for cover. You've taken enough risks.


Again you attack the station's infrastructure with venom, attracting the guard's attention enough for him to switch focus to you. All around you, a mild disorder now rumbles down the corridors as port staffers follow the evacuation procedure, but more from habit than any genuine worry. Dutifully you raise your arms aloft when ordered to do so, hoping you've created enough of a window for Ilnurra to make it out.

Half a segment later, the alarm stops and staffers start filing back in the opposite direction. Hands bound and watched by four port guards, you're marched to the brig. On route, an anonymous message arrives on your CORETECHS stating only: "ALL ABOARD". It's followed by a mysterious credit transfer into your account. Maybe Milo felt a little guilty keeping all of Ilnurra's credits for himself. Or maybe he just wants to make sure you're as culpable as he is.

You have received 300.00 credits.

It's all over now. You exhale, slow and heavy, with the relief of a lifting burden. Receiving your brig term, you picture Ilnurra hiding in a filthy box, on her way to Sol to put her life into the hands of yet another stranger. Whatever happens, you did what you could for her.

Conviction: Vandalism of Station Infrastructure

You were tossed into the Brig, <name>.

You have completed the "The Crossing" mission.


  • Choosing to distract the guard transfers you to the Brig, confined for 4+ segments. Sentence presumably depends on Consortium reputation.
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