All in the Syndicate

Moving on
After being released from custody, the crew of the Britannia decides to move on from Red Sun. Captain Windsor secures a large cargo heading to Bernadette and they lift off for White Sun. On Bernadette, the captain decides to lay over for shore leave and to do a major overhaul on the Britannia. Just about every replaceable worn part that can be is pulled. After the week long effort, the ship flies like a vessel half its age (the overhaul removed the Seen Better Days (minor) complication). But it's not all work. Cid considers buying a hoverbike and Ruan goes on a tour of the Ark museum. Ronnie also goes on tour, but making contact with the criminal element in the city. The local syndicate is interested, but set him a task to prove himself. Ronnie carries out an art theft from a high class condo in one of the city's residential towers. After a stumble at the beginning, its no problem for his honed assassin's skills.
With the ship refurbished, Windsor gets a cargo headed for Boros in the Georgia system and they depart the glittering Core worlds for the Rim.

Please Hold
Late on the fourth day, Naomi is standing watch when they receive a call for the captain. When the captain accepts the call, the secretary transfers him to a frightening but familiar man, Adelai Niska. Niska makes small talk about the ship and business, then informs Windsor that he would like to charter the ship for passengers. He has one of his men going to a meeting on Paquin soon, he and some bodyguards will need some transport. Once the Britannia drops her cargo on Boros, they need to come to Niska's skyplex to pick up their passengers.
With Niska waiting, they arrive at Boros, drop their cargo and quickly find one bound for Paquin. They fly to Ezra and dock at the skyplex. The station guards tell Windsor they have notified their passengers, they are on the way. Ruan asks if he can visit Niska, permission is given. the guards pat Ruan down and find his concealed pistol. He hands it the captain, but pulls the magazine and takes a round with him. At Niska's office, Ruan is startled by Niska's new bodyguard, a massive tattooed fighter named Crow. Ruan chats with Niska for a few, then asks for a favor. He hands over the ammunition from his pistol and asks if Niska can get him more. Since its high tech Alliance issue, it is hard to find. Niska agrees, but Ruan will owe a favor. On the way out, Ruan decides to challenge Crow. Crow gets the first swing, but comes nowhere near hitting Ruan. Ruan darts in and easily lands a kiss on Crow's cheek, humiliating him. When they shake hands afterwards, Crow crushes Ruan's hand, breaking his pinkie finger. Ruan takes it without making a sound.

Lilac Blight
The trip to Paquin is relatively quiet. Niska's man, Zuo Bolin, and is bodyguards do not bother the crew. But on the fifth day, Zuo comes looking for the captain, asking for their doctor. Windsor sends Ruan down, Zuo's men are all ill with respiratory problems and aches and pains. Ruan diagnoses them with Lilac Blight, a post-terraforming disease first identified on the moon Lilac. Ruan does not have medicine for a cure, but does have a vaccination for the rest of the crew who need it and can make the injured men comfortable until they can receive treatment. With his men ill, Zuo hires the crew to be his replacement bodyguards. It is decided Naomi can take a sniper's overwatch, Windsor will pilot a shuttle to the meet and Cid, Ruan and Ronnie will accompany Zuo. Silas will stay at the ship (Kevin missed the game) and guard the ship and keep an eye on Ronnie's daughter Sarah.

Party Crashers
The meeting is at a restaurant, the Whiskey Garden, in the city of Hanyi. When they arrive, the place is closed for a "private party". A couple of ground cars are in the parking lot, guarded by their drivers. Zuo leads his escorts inside, he takes a seat at a center table with other syndicate officers. Ronnie is recognized by and recognizes one of the guards in the Bernadette contingent. When the last representative from Ariel arrives, the meeting starts. from what the crew can over here, the syndicates are planning to expand their territory into areas held by the Tongs.
During the meeting, word comes in of attackers approaching from one side. They fire a teargas grenade through the window. Ruan and Cid open fire and Ronnie goes out the broken window to attack. He grapples the grenadier and uses him as a human shield against his team mates. Ruan, Cid, Ronnie and the drivers in the parking lot deal with the attackers. But Ruan picks up from them that they are a feint…
Naomi spots another team, this time of a dozen men. The word goes out and they evacuate. Naomi snipes one with her railgun and the attack team takes cover. Cid and Ruan get Zuo to the shuttle, Ruan puts his armored jacket on Zuo until he is safe in the shuttle. The other syndicate men are evacuating their charges and starting to shoot at the other attackers.
With Zuo safe aboard, Windsor takes off in the shuttle and plans to go squash some attackers with it. But when he comes into sight, the shuttle is struck by a grenade. Deciding discretion is the better part of valor, Windsor retreats. The crew rejoins him at the shuttle and they evacuate. Windsor returns the shuttle to the ship, but Cid has to launch the other shuttle and swap bays; the grenade damage means Windsor's shuttle has to use the other berth. With the shuttles and everyone aboard, the Britannia departs for Ezra.
Back aboard the skyplex, Niska meets them and thanks Windsor for the crew's efforts. He will pay them double the agreed fee. He also has a box of ammunition for Ruan. Ruan asks if his favor has been squared by their assistance, Niska says no, but the favor he will ask will be smaller. The Britannia departs for her next job.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Talking about ship upgrades, Raleigh wants to upgrade the ship's computer
Lee "Do we need to?"
Raleigh "We took it from dog to autistic child, I'd like to raise it to normal child"

Jim brought souvenir dice from Dragoncon as gifts, Matt got a die that had a Cthulhu logo in place of the one.
Lee "On that die, Cthulhu is a great old one…"

Discussing the prices of Companions versus prostitutes, or "unlicensed hospitality experts"
Lee "Can you go to a companion school and get serviced by a student for less money like getting free haircuts from beauty school students?"

The players never care about the names of minor NPCs, they just make up nicknames. Emily named Zuo's four bodyguards as "Rooty, Tooty, Fresh and Fruity"

Naomi is thinking about some graffiti
Raleigh "I write: the three things I hate are graffiti, lists and irony"

Listening to the syndicate lieutenants discuss Tong infringement
Matt "We should record this and sell it"
Emily "And spend the money where? In heaven?"

Matt noticed Jim had drawn his initiative chart
Matt "Jim's got out the battle sheet; things are about to happen"