So my players finished Lure of the Expanse last weekend without dying. Overall they said they enjoyed the adventure, particularly the weirdness of the some of the people and aliens they encountered and especially the flat-out creepiness of some of the locations (the Processional particulary freaked them out). However, they did also comment that to an extent, the adventure was rather linear, and I would agree with this. For example, the adventure wanted them to let Captain Roth take the Light of Terra out into the void one last time. My players immediately recognized this as a horrible idea, so once they got control of the ship's systems, they marched back up to the bridge and the Rogue Trader himself shot Roth dead. They then called up their Dynasty to send over a yard-ship and some other vessels to provide security. As soon as basic field repairs can be completed the Light of Terra will be limping home as a gift to Battlefleet Calixis.
Anyway, having escaped the Dread Pearl, the players found that all their successful adventuring resulted in a massive increase to their profit factor. They are off to a good start, however they will need to consolidate their holdings, particularly the macrocannon trade with Zayth. They also have a new colony of Sanctarchs on Quppa-Psi-12 to worry about.
However, their ship is a mess. During the course of the adventure they engaged in several battles. Since they knew that the NPC rogue traders were also on the trail of the Dread Pearl they did not put in to a port for repairs and fixed only what they could on the fly. As a result their poor, abused Dauntless light cruiser only has 29/56 hull integrity remaining. About 1/3 of the crew and about half of the Zaythians they recruited as an ad-hoc mercenary regiment are dead. (As a side note, they found the Zaythians to be fierce fighters, but the players feel they are too lightly equipped.) Out of an original 15 small craft they only have 2 gun-cutters and 8 lighters remaining. Their ground transportation has been reduced to exactly 2 working Rhinos.
So again, although they have been successful they have a lot of work to do. Any thoughts on how to proceed? Given that Lure was so linear I'd like to try and wing things for a while.