Sunday, 24 Sep 2519
Mid bulk Frieghter Space Otter
En Route to Harvest
Red Sun (Zhue Que) system
Immediately following events in last game …
Oksana manages to convince Allyne Stone not to kill our prisoner. She inspects the dead pirates for transmitters or explosive devices—now that the crew is a mite paranoid—and she actually finds a few things.
- Hollow tooth
- Health monitor chip under ribs on left
Paranoia justified, we scan all the bodies and anything the pirates touched. Verity finds a transmitter on our bridge and we figure it was put there by the inspectors at Greenleaf. Hinked now, Mal calls for Serenity’s shuttle to pick him up so he can get to searching his ship for the damned pingers. We wish him well and as Xiu is still on Serenity with Kaylee, Allyne gives Xiu a picture of the device found on our bridge. After Mal leaves, we continue searching. Another transmitter is found in Engineering and a third is tied to our sensor suite. On Serenity one is found on the bridge and one in engineering.
We decide to remove Serenity’s pingers and put them in a stationary buoy to squeal away while we tow her on silent running. That should get Serenity out from under. We take the Otter’s pingers and shoot them on a different trajectory from the one we will take.
It’s a finicking process to find and remove and decoy them all. We get all that done and also get Serenity’s engines back online.
Meanwhile, Verity questions our prisoner one more time. Oksana dopes him to make him talkative so as to spare him a beating. We find out a little more and it doesn’t look good.
Seems like there are a few enterprising individuals in the Alliance that reached out to the tong gang out of Kaleidoscope in the interest of doing a little piracy. Our prisoner is a member of that tong and they were hired to go out to Greenleaf and pose as inspectors to search ships. You know, just to see what they could find. Maybe take advantage of.
Verity asks him how many people are involved. The prisoner isn’t able to give a good answer. He really doesn’t know. Ditto as to who the actual Alliance personnel are, either. It’s all done with go-betweens and anonymous messages. All he knows is he and his crew were hired out of Kaleidoscope to do this job for the next little while. Oh, and they found out about this bounty on Serenity’s captain, Malcolm Reynolds … and …
Our prisoner spaces out, losing his train of thought. We bring his focus back to the here and now.
Verity asks our prisoner about the ship, Redemption, on which she’d served in her past. What can he tell her about that? The prisoner remembers that yeah, that job was done by Dead Eye Jack, so called on account of his being a dead shot. Nothing he aims for gets away. Nope. He goes on about the job for a moment or two more. Enraged, Verity kicks him in the nuts and ruptures one. Oksana has to do emergency surgery and is unable to salvage the damaged organ.
Verity waves Mal and asks him to come over to talk with her in private, Browncoat to Browncoat.
Mal flies right over and pulls Allyne aside: Watch River while he’s with Verity, would he? She’s a mite hinked about this whole business. Once closeted with Verity, she tells Mal everything the prisoner revealed: Dead Eye Jack, his ship El Dorado, how they were hired by the Alliance to kill her old ship Redemption and its crew. When Mal exits their private conversation, he’s got a scary look in his eyes.
Xiu flew over with Mal, her visit and work over on Serenity done. She goes straight to the engine room and talks to our ship:
“Poor baby. Tell me where they touched you. Show me on the schematic where they touched you.”
Mal finds Allyne and again, there’s some serious talk about spacing our prisoner. Oksana stands against it and she holes up in the recovery ward with the prisoner—who’s out cold, kept sedated to keep him from trouble. Oksana doesn’t trust the Captain not to space him once she sleeps, so she shuts herself up behind the recovery room door and shoves a bed across it. If anyone comes in, they’ll have to climb over her to get to the prisoner.
Allyne asks his circle of contacts as to what they know about Malcolm Reynolds and what trouble might be following him. Their answers come back thus:
A Russian mobster by name of Niska went in on a contract the Alliance put out on Malcolm Reynolds and his shipmates and anyone who might be his accomplices. To the tune of a million credits, Allyne’s contacts tell him. Mind, Niska’s got a nasty rep all his own and word is he’s got a private axe to grind with Mal. Getting the million in bounty would have been icing on the cake for Niska. His main concern was getting Mal. He’d heard of the prisoner’s buddies and their little pirate operation and contacted them to keep an eye out for Serenity and her captain. As for how Niska found out about the pirate operation …
We don’t know how many Alliance are in the pirate/inspector loop and it might be turning the prisoner over to the authorities when we land will tip our hand. After some heated moments of discussion, it’s decided to hang on to the prisoner a little bit longer. We have a contract to honor on Harvest. We will deliver on it and get paid. Afterward, we can decide what to do.
For the balance of the flight to Harvest, we settle into our tween-ports routines. Oksana cares for the passengers and our patient is kept on the hush-hush from them.
Xiu drafts up ideas for a mechanical otter (mascot for our ship), an hourglass with sand in it (aversion therapy vs. her phobia of sand), and works also on the gatling gun and hatch. She also pranks Allyne by putting pink protein pack dye in his jaccuzi tub jets and his showerhead. The next time he bathes, he gets dyed pink from head to toe. He is not pleased at all, no sir.
Verity keeps to herself, staying on the bridge when she can. The interrogation of the prisoner has given her much to think about. And even brood upon.
On approach to Harvest, we again get word via CSA that there will be an inspection of all ships landing on Harvest. Unsure about the integrity of the Alliance authorities, we decide to hide our prisoner in one of our smuggling hidey holes, fully drugged up to be knocked out. Oksana sees to it that he’s made comfortable and has enough meds/nutrients to get him through the inspection.
The inspection is short, thanks to the paperwork we’ve already got on hand, and everything seems on the up and up.
Tuesday, 26 Sep 2519
Harvest, Red Sun (Zhu Que) system
06:30, local time
Verity lands us sweet as you please, with awesome flair, and we kiss dirt on Harvest. We unload that cargo and our passengers—who, thankfully, don’t seem to have really caught on to what’s happened. Once our holds are empty, we look for more cargo to fill them. Prospects for cargo and passengers look good bound for New Melbourne. We find tea is in demand there and that suits us fine.
At the end of the day, we decide on getting a load of tea and passengers bound for New Melbourne. Once there, we will sell the tea at profit, off load our passengers, and turn our unwelcome prisoner over to the Merchant’s Guild there. With luck, the pirate ring will not have spread that far and as the Merchant’s Guild has a vested interest in protecting trade, they will pursue justice instead of sweeping the crime under the rug.