After the adventure in Morocco, Ana again attempts to sell a story, and again gets paid very little, although she does get published with the heading “British save the French from the French”, along with a photo of the characters celebrating with Moroccan guards after rescuing Fabian, with the artefact in the background.
Sir Malcolm has recovered by this point, and Professor Brown also rejoins the group, and they return to London, deciding to take Professor Bottom up on the trip to Mars. They secure the fragment of the case, from the Scroll of Anubis, inside a compartment in Goldie 5000’s body, and board a commercial liner for the 2-1/2 month trip.
As the trip is nearing the end, whilst drinking the last of the brandy aboard, Sir Malcolm relates a tale of how he and his men gallantly stood up to a bunch of marauding Hill Martians. The tale unfortunately ended in tragedy, as whilst soundly telling the Martian raiders off his second in command was killed by the blighters!
On arrival above Mars, the ship is attacked by pirates, who ram the side and attempt to board. Sir Malcolm, Alexander and Ana fight off one group who the pirate captain orders to “get the dispatches”, while Professor Brown tries out his new Light Oscillating by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (L.O.S.E.R.) device on another group. It was tremendously effective, putting the pirates to rout.
Goldie 5000 and Sir Malcolm, along with a brave crewman, take the fight to the pirate ship, which then starts to disengage, potentially trapping them. The enemy pirate captain recognises Goldie 5000 as an enemy of Oceanus, and concentrates his attacks on her; deciding discretion is the better part of valour (and given the pirates are retreating), Sir Malcolm grabs hold of Goldie 5000, who activats her jump pack, using up the remaining fuel to jet back across the gap that has widened between the two ships.
The passenger liner has been severely damaged by the ram, and starts to plummet to the planet. The characters find the other passengers, including the two imperial officers (and the dispatches) have already left in the remaining lifeboats. Facing a terrible crash, Goldie 5000 takes over the helm and manages to do quite well, given the circumstances, and the party survives the crash mostly unharmed.
Of course, that only leaves them in the middle of the Martian desert, with few supplies. Luckily Alexander’s navigational gear survived, and he is able to plot a course towards the nearest canal. Along the way, Ana relates to the group her desire to become a successful journalist, and hope that one day she will get paid decently for a story!
The desert travel is harsh, and Alexander does not have much luck hunting (although he does have some canned rations), so the party arrives at the canal fatigued, only to come upon a caravan being attacked by soldiers.
Sir Malcolm recognises the attackers as Shastapsh cavalry, a city that has recently broken from British control in a bloody revolt, and now threatens to join the Oenotrian Empire, whom the British are in war against. He is not as sure about the other banner, on the caravan, but thinks it is that of Thoth, the next city along the canal, which the British are trying to negotiate a treaty with.
The characters decide to help the caravan, attacking the cavalry from the advantage of the ridge along the top of the canal, who flee once they realise they are outgunned. Inside the caravan is Princess Aramaranda of Thoth, and her advisor/intepreter Kalamir. Kalamir informs the characters that the Princess has a barge at the nearby city of Thoth-en-more (the characters do not reveal that they speak Koline), and, after burying the dead, the group heads off .
About half way back, however, the cavalry return, this time with increased numbers, and have managed to catch the characters at a prime ambush site. Their leader demands the red devils (what Martians call humans) hand over the Princess, and she won’t be harmed. There some confusion over the translations, and the party suspects that Kalamir may be in on the arrangement. At that point the characters reveal that several of them do in fact speak Koline; the Princess is confused, but Stubbornly continues to be Loyal to Kalamir.
Taking a chance, Goldie 5000, attempts to make a break for it, but the cavalry takes aim at the Gashants pulling the wagon; as the shots ring out, Goldie 5000 decides trying to outrun them in a Chase may prove too difficult; two of the beasts are killed, effectively stopping the caravan in its tracks. The attackers obviously want the Princess alive, but the fate of the characters is not so assured.
Meanwhile, in a bold move, Alexander and Sir Malcolm have leaped aboard the caravan; Sir Malcolm draws his pistol and holds it to the Princess’s head, threatening to kill her if they are pursued. He puts on such as convincing show, that the enemy back down, and the party is able to escape with their lives.
This gives Professor Brown an opportunity to use is Mind Delving Device (MDD) and interrogate Kalamir. The party learn that he did indeed know about the attacks, with Shastapsh planning to ‘rescue’ the Princess and blame the attack on the British (which Kalamir had thought even more fortuitious when the party showed up).
Princess Aramaranda is difficult to sway, as Kalamir is her cousin, but is convinced enough to keep Kalamir restrained for the rest of the journey. Once back in Thoth, the Prince welcomes the party and thanks them for saving his daughter. He offers them hospitality until he can arrange for their travel back to British territory.
The characters earned 3 experience points each.