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Book V: A Tale of Two Vessels - Chapter IX: Prison Break

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12.09: In route to Saturn, the crew of the Rakshasa learns by FlashFax that Juuda Vonn has been captured and is likely being held at a secret detention facility run by Count Einar Whitemane.

12.10: Unable to hail any of her contacts on the Flotilla, Vega establishes a meet at the Black Dog Cantina in Changtown on Titan. Using the cloaking array, Ransom is able to avoid the Jovian ships blockading Titan. He uses the grav-flux generator to create enough negative buoyancy to submerge the Rakshasa in 10 meters of water about 100 kilometers from Hyrrokin Rock. Leaving the princess aboard, the command crew makes for Changtown in the SkyCar with the dog soldier in the Talon. Having spotted a nearby Jovian patrol with a light mech, the dog soldier takes up an over-watch positon on a rooftop covering the cantina as the reckoner enters first. Ransom and Vega follow and meet to with a middle-aged corsair named Barnabas who tells them Juuda is being held in an ancient ruined fortress on Arrakis Rock. As they finish, the reckoner marks a corsair watching to closely. On Ransom’s order, as the presumed collaborator leaves the cantina and moves to use his comm, Fenris shoots him down. A swift withdrawal prevents any entanglement with the patrol. Having learned from Barnabas that King Aegis is personally returning in two days aboard the Sword of Damocles to take possession of Juuda, the crew returns to the Rakshasa and makes haste for Arrakis.

12.11: The cloaked Rakshasa makes a high-altitude pass over Arrakis to scan the rock. Ransom collects a highly detailed scan and discovers a sea cave on the western side of the rock. The Rakshasa puts down in the cave undiscovered and the entire crew compliment, sans the handmaiden, infiltrates the fortress from below. The dog soldier murders a pair of technicians as they enter the sublevels and make for the courtyard where the scan showed a makeshift prison camp. Using their rocket belts, VanDrak and the Grimfangs ascend a lift shaft and noisily take control of the ground level control bunker. The rest follow and all hell breaks loose. With the grim fangs in control of the bunker and the dog soldier laying down fire from the roof, the reckoner begins to hack his way through Whitemane’s space dogs as Ransom makes a mad dash for the command tower. Without a second thought, Whitemane ruthlessly orders the fortress rocket pod array to fire its full complement of ordinance into the courtyard. Having already been shot, the dog soldier loses control of his rocket belt as he attempts to escape the roof smashing into a catwalk and then falling through the roof of one of the makeshift habs. Ransom and Horkos just gain entry into the command tower taking cover before the courtyard becomes a maelstrom of destruction. The reckoner reaches the command level first and hacks down one of Whitemane’s corsair bodyguard just before Ransom tosses up a frag grenade. An instant before it explodes, Horkos tackles Juuda, who is being held there, and saves them both with a psychic barrier. Having eliminated the corsairs and technicians with the grenade, Ransom gains the command level just as Whitemane descends from above and takes a shot at the reckoner. Ransom’s ripper gauntlet makes a bloody end of the traitor count. With the consoles unlocked, Ransom takes control of the fortress defense platforms and orders the crew to withdraw with Juuda. He immediately picks up a Jovian guncutter lifting off form a landing platform and engages it with the defense platforms. Badly damaged, the guncutter returns fire with all weapons on the command level. Ransom’s screen saves him as the command deck is leveled. He takes off after Horkos and Juuda only to discover that Vega, Morrigan, and the Grimfangs were all still in the control bunker when it was razed by the rocket attack.

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