Alone In The Night

A Favor Owed
While laying over on Boros for shore leave and monthly maintenance, Ruan receives a cortex call from Adelai Niska, who helped Ruan out. Now Niska is calling in his favor. He knows Ruan is working on a transport, he saw some of the bit about the attempted shipjacking. Some of Niska's men are on Persephone, and need a discrete pickup of them and a small amount of cargo, less than a ton. Niska is willing to pay triple rates, 150cr per each of his four men, for them to be brought to his skyplex above Ezra. He says the cargo is nothing illegal, just stolen. Ruan agrees and goes to propose the run to Captain Windsor, leaving out the details of who they are working for. The captain agrees, they will leave in the morning, day after tomorrow, when maintenance is completed.
Ronnie has met with his teacher at his nightclub. Samuel has a message from Baron, it says that old records show that the guild's senior unarmed combat instructor, Quintus, has been making unexplained trips to Londinium for the last seven or eight years. Ronnie wants to head there, but Samuel talks him out of it. After all, Londinium is a big place, he needs to get more information.
The Britannia loads up passengers and cargo and departs for Persephone. Naomi is learning piloting from Cid and Ruan is supposed to be playing communicator tag with Sarah, but is really just hanging out on the bridge to be around Naomi. Sarah figures this out and duct tapes a music player with a recording of her saying "Guess where I am" to her communicator. When Ruan realizes he's been had, he goes to find Sarah, who is eating all the desserts in the galley and sulking because Ruan wasn't playing with her because Ruan just wants to hang out with Naomi.

A piece of someone else's pie
The ship lands on Persephone at the Eavesdown docks. Ruan, Silas and Cid take a taxi to the Persephone Grand Hotel to meet Niska's men. Ronnie and the Captain go on a shopping trip, leaving Naomi to watch the ship.While everyone is out, Badger and his men show up, looking rather the worse for wear with multiple injuries. Badger tells "acting captain" Naomi not to take on any questionable passengers or cargo, especially bound for the Georgia system. His men are watching the port and will be keeping on eye on them. Naomi calls the captain back and they decide to recall the crew and take off for orbit. Then they'll send a shuttle down to another part of the city, Ruan can meet and load them then.
However, while this is going down, Ruan feels a telepathic touch from Locke; he is on Persephone and now knows Ruan is here. Ruan doesn't quite panic, but is now wanting to get the job done and off planet as soon as possible.
Everyone comes back, Cid shows up with a couple of small empty cargo containers on a flatbed from the port and has them loaded on the ship. Badger's men show up and insist on seeing what's in the containers, which are empty of course. The ship lifts off, then Captain Windsor, Ruan and Silas fly back down in a shuttle, pick up Niska's men and their cargo and depart again. The cargo turns out to be six half cubic meter shipping containers of medical supplies. They return safely to the ship. Ruan contacts Niska and is told to dock at his skyplex. Ruan gives the coordinates to the captain and Cid.
Meanwhile, Ronnie has started questioning Windsor and Ruan about life on Londinium, which is less than useful, since the captain hasn't been there for 12 years and Ruan was a child.

The Britannia docks at the skyplex and offloads Niska's men and cargo. One of the station guards takes Ruan and Niska to meet "the boss" and get their pay. They are led to an airtight hatch which is opened by a bodyguard. Captain Windsor and Ruan are invited in for some small talk and Windsor almost panics when he meets Niska. They have some small talk with Niska who pays the captain and gives Ruan some home made meatballs that his wife made for Ruan. The meeting is over and they return to the ship. Windsor orders Cid to undock immediately and get out of there, just go, anywhere! They decide to return to Boros and Windsor takes Ruan to his quarters for a warning about not being honest with him about the kind of job they did. The captain warns Ruan that he is on probation, is there anything else the captain should know? Ruan briefly describes Locke as a government agent trying to recover Ruan for some work he did for the Alliance, but doesn't say he was an assassin. Ruan is dismissed and decides to take it easy, he's following orders, but only just and not giving the 110% he usually does.

It's not U-day, but…
When the ship returns to port at Boros, Cid is contacted by a fellow Blackjack Middleton Sears. He's heard there's a job on Angel in Kalidasa, they need to contact Shen Esposito. Captain Windsor knows Shen and will look him up. Windsor calls Shen and gets info on the job, it's smuggling equipment to Red Sun. Windsor agrees, they'll lift off tomorrow morning and head for Angel. Sears and his captain, Willard Chapman, invite the crew from the Britannia to go looking for some bar action. Cid talks Ronnie into coming, Ronnie pays Naomi and Ruan to babysit Sarah. Cid, Silas, Ronnie and the captain join Captain Chapman and Sears and end up in an Alliance bar and provoke a bar brawl. It's short, but vicious and they get out and head for a quieter, friendlier bar for some pool and drinks. Ronnie is upset they took him along for a deliberate setup and gets even by cleaning them out at pool.
Back on the ship, Naomi, Ruan and Sarah are playing games. They build an epic blanket fortress in the cargo bay and rig pillow boobytraps. Then they get out Naomi's cosmetics and have a toenail painting session and hair coloring. Sarah's dark hair ends up red, Ruan goes along with the idea and ends up with blond highlights in his black hair which makes him very unhappy. The bar crew returns and the captain trips on a tripwire and lands in a pillow pile while pillows on ropes swing down and hit the rest. Cid draws his sword and cuts a couple pillows. The captain orders Naomi and Ruan to clean everything up; they lift for Angel in the morning.

A job offer
The Britannia departs for Angel with cargo and three passengers; former browncoats now working as bounty hunters. The initial boarding is a little rough, but once they realize most of the crew are former Independents, they lighten up considerably. During the voyage, the grav boot starts to complain; it's going to need to be replaced. Naomi keeps it running until landing. Ronnie approaches the captain with an offer: he will work as a security consultant and business assistant in return for free passage. The captain accepts. Just before arrival on Angel, Ruan also approaches the captain and explains some of his history and why Locke is chasing him, leaving out details about the Academy.
They arrive on Angel and Windsor gives Naomi, Silas and Ruan 200 credits to go looking for a grav boot and whatever else they need. They find a barely used unit for half price and spend the rest of the money on a hologram pool table and fresh food. Windsor, Cid and Ronnie meet with Shen about the job. He admits it's an off the books job, he needs a load of ship parts delivered to a deep space rendezvous in Red Sun. The parts aren't exactly illegal, but are something that might cause problems if they are stopped, so they will need to fly a smuggler's route and evade the patrols. Windsor negotiates and gets a d4 ship's computer and parts for a cry baby instead of pay. They shake on the deal and work on getting the cargo loaded. Most of it is crated parts, but there's a whole thruster assembly that Naomi recognizes as specific for old blockade runners.

The Deep Black
It's a sixteen day trip from Angel to the meeting, a long, boring haul through the Black. Ruan splits watches with the captain and Cid, but Cid sleeps on a cot on the bridge just in case. Coming into Red Sun from above the ecliptic, Ruan thinks he's spotted something on the sensors. He wakes up Cid, but Cid thinks it's a ghost. He wakes up Naomi to run a diagnostic, but she crashes the sensor system and they have to reboot it. When the system comes up, Cid sees it's a derelict alright. They wake the captain and Windsor orders them to approach and match courses, but careful and alert for trouble. Cid pulls them alongside and they see it is a pre-war Londinium Alcatraz class prisoner transport. Intrigued, they move closer to investigate. The ship's shuttle and lifepods are gone, but she still bears the insignia of the Alliance Navy and her original name: the Folsom. Windsor remembers that during the war, she departed Aphrodite in Georgia with a load of POWs and political prisoners from the Independent government. Shortly after departure, she broadcast a mayday signal, saying she was under attack by Independent Space Navy raiders. When Alliance forces arrived, they picked up some of her crew in lifepods, but the ship had been destroyed and most of her crew and all the prisoners lost. The Alliance published it as an atrocity, probably accidental they admitted, but blamed the Independents for the attack. Independent Space Navy representatives denied the charges, claiming no ISN ship carried out the attack and counter-accused the Alliance of some kind of cover up. So what is the ship doing here in Red Sun, with no signs of battle damage?

Nobody Home
Cid takes a shuttle across with Naomi, Silas, Ruan and Ronnie to investigate. They find the ship has been stripped down to the point she is barely flyable on thrusters, most of the pulse drive and navigational computers are gone. Anything that could be unbolted and removed is gone, even kitchen appliances. The prisoner compartment is empty, with only a few bullet marks and some blood splatter. Ruan takes a sample. With no other clues, they remove her flight computer and the black box. Naomi goes outside and cuts the hull plate with the ship's name off as further evidence. They return to the Britannia and plot her course for later recovery, back tracking, it shows she came from the vicinity of Red Sun itself, not one of the worlds. They continue on their way to their cargo rendezvous.

Black Jacks?
The ship arrives at the meet and finds a non-descript large cargo shuttle waiting, broadcasting the right transponder code. They hail the Britannia using only their code number and invite them to dock. Cid makes a perfect dock and the two crews open hatches. The loading team asks if they can get some help with the small stuff while they move the engine assembly. The anti-grav is turned off in the bay and Ruan goes skylarking and bangs his head on the overhead of the cargo bay.
While the crews are working together, they notice a lot of the other ship's team have Londinium accents. Ruan picks up a thought that "The Admiral will be glad to get these parts" but thinks he overheard it. He tells the captain and the captain tries to lead on some of the crew to admit they may be blackjacks, wondering if they are connected to Admiral Sharpe. But they fail to respond to the bait and the two ships part ways. They continue to New Melbourne for a short layover and time to replace the ship's computer. Windsor looks up one of the police officers he dealt with after his fiancee's disappearance and has them run the blood samples, they match Solomon Kelly, one of the security officers lost on the Folsom. After taking care of the upgrade, they take on a small cargo and some passengers bound for Ariel.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
The job will take the crew to Persephone, then on to Ezra
Lee "There is nothing better than Ezra"

Matt didn't know who George Harrison was
Raleigh "John, Paul, George and Ringo. One pope covers 3/4 of them."
Emily "Pope Ringo was the best"

Emily wanted her gun to be called the "Bitchin' Camaro"
Matt "The Camaro line of pistols. Zero to dead in less than three trigger pulls"

Jim "You're carrying a cargo of protective gear"
Lee "Oh, you mean condoms"

Naomi is working on the bridge controls and learning to fly
Kevin "Can you figure out what the three switches do? No one ever has."

Matt "I ask Sillious"
Jim "Silas"
Emily "Why so sillious?"

Lee "I call on the space phone"
Emily "Spone"

Cid brings back empty cargo containers as decoys and Badger's men demand to see that their stolen goods aren't inside
Jim "Cid shows up with a couple containers on a port truck"
Lee "Pork truck?"
Emily "That's what I heard too"
Lee "We open the containers and show them…they are empty, right?"

Ruan is trying to explain why he didn't tell the captain they were working for Niska
Emily "I was afraid if you knew what we were doing, you would have taken the job"
Lee "Are you saying I don't know what I'm doing?"

Captain Windsor comes back from meeting Niska and finding out who he was working for
Raleigh "That's the face of a man who needs waffles"

Matt "How was the tea we bought?"
Lee "Like an angel pissing on my tongue"

Talking about old space heroes
Matt "Who's Flash Gordon?"
Lee facepalms with an audible smack

The former Independents are going out drinking and looking for some Alliance supporters to brawl with
"Going out to paint the town brown…Wait, that doesn't sound good"

They take on the former browncoats turned bounty hunter passengers
Matt "Are they a soldier, fighter and a cop?
Kevin "Now we have some redshirts in case we're attacked"

The ship's grav boot is starting to fail
Raleigh "We're flying a Commodore 64"
Lee "We'll get a german made replacement; Das Grav Boot"
Emily "Can we get grav stilettos, or maybe a grav pump?
Jim "Sorry, grav crocs"
Everyone let out a sad "Ooohhhh…"

Discussing how much money the junkyard team had left after getting the grav boot
Kevin "Oh, did we have a budget?"

Michael botches for Cid playing pool
Raleigh "This guy is a master. I watched him play all night and he never lost a ball down one of those little holes"

Emily bought the Sweet and Cheerful asset for Ruan
Emily "What is Sweet and Cheerful for a guy?
Raleigh "Have you ever met a Mormon?

Trying to get a sensor read on the derelict
Emily "Do you know anything about the ship's controls?"
Raleigh "Sort of"
Emily "Well, there's an amber…(loses track of what she wanted to say) alert"
Matt "Where's my daughter!!??"

A joke was made about looking up the ship on Space Google, or Spoogle

Trying to crank open the manual hatch release on the Folsom, Kevin rolls a 3
Kevin "I can't use my mustache in space" Followed by lots of jokes about the mustache growing down his arms to give extra strength.