Blackjack Cache

Shore Leave
After delivering the rescued slaves to Bernadette, Captain Windsor takes the Britannia to Paquin for some shore leave. The crew does monthly maintenance, then gets four days off. They attend circuses and concerts and watch the street performers. One night, all the guys go out and find a back alley barefist boxing tournament. Cid decides to enter and is trounced. Silas joins the matches and intimidates his opponent for an easy victory. Finally, Ronnie steps into the ring and crushes his opponent. Ruan notices that Ronnie fights in the same style of martial arts he was trained in by the Academy. The next morning there is a message for Naomi from her contact, Wraith. He says he still can't get into the encryption on the Folsom's black box, but will keep trying. He has downloaded the data and will continue to work on it, but she can have the data recorder back. Naomi suggests that they go to Ariel and pick up the box. The captain doesn't want to cut the crew's shore leave short but Naomi suggest they could do the last two days on Ariel. The captain agrees and picks up cargo bound for Ariel. Ruan contacts Niska about help hacking the data recorder and has to leave a message.
On Ariel, Naomi makes contact with Wraith and recovers the data recorder. The crew gets in some more relaxing and shopping for high tech gear. Then Shen contacts the captain with an offer of more work. The crew wraps up shore leave and picks up a cargo bound for Beaumonde.

Hit me with your best shot
After the fight night, Cid and the captain ask Ronnie for some fighting lessons and they began working out daily. A couple days in, Ruan approaches Ronnie when he is alone after the lessons. Ruan offers to spar with Ronnie; every blow that Ronnie lands, Ruan will answer a question. If Ruan hits Ronnie, he must answer Ruan's question and Ruan warns him that he will know if Ronnie is lying. Ronnie agrees and they begin to spar. They trade blows and start asking questions, but are initially answering them in the minimum way (Ruan: Where did you get your training? Ronnie: Santo. Where did you get that gun? Ruan: Londinium) but begin to offer more details. Finally, after they have exchanged enough answers, they call it quits. Cid, Silas and Windsor have sneaked back into the cargo bay and have been watching quietly. With the answers he had to give Ruan, Ronnie decides to come clean with the captain. After everyone cleans up, Ronnie brings his secret trunk to the captain and opens it to show all his secret assassin tools. He explains he was an assassin in a secret guild, and did many jobs, but fell in love, married and had a child. He was going to retire, but the guildmaster was murdered and Ronnie framed for it. His wife was killed by the conspirators and Ronnie escaped with his daughter and is in hiding. He wants to find out who framed him and get revenge on them, but in the mean time, travelling is the safest way to hide. And he has come to like the Britannia and her crew. The captain thanks him for opening up.
Ruan hears back from Niska, he might be willing to help for an unnamed favor later, Windsor is very reluctant to agree but feels he might have to. They decide to hold on the decision since they are deep in the black.

Lights out
Seven days out from Ariel, the ship suffers a catastrophic power failure. The main power converter dies and repair is questionable. Silas suggest jury-rigging the power converters from the shuttles, they can reverse course to the Wu skyplex only two days behind them. The captain agrees and Silas and Naomi pull the converters from the shuttles and get the ship moving back to Wu. There they buy new converters for the shuttles and the ship as well as a spare. With the new converter in place, Captain Windsor decides to hard burn to Beaumonde to make up for lost time so they don't have to pay a late penalty. They arrive on Beaumonde, drop their cargo and head across system to Angel and meet with Shen.

History Lesson
Shen meets with the crew and explains that at the end of the war, there were many surviving Independent warships that hadn't been able to rally to the call to relieve Hera and therefore missed the Battle of Sturges. Many of these ships were gunships; converted Fireflies, Ospreys and Jo Lynns or other freighters. The captains of these ships stripped them of weapons and returned to civilian life, hauling cargo and passengers again after the war. But some of those captains cached their weapons and ammunition in case they needed them again some day…
Shen knows someone who needs those weapons and he wants the Britannia to recover some of those caches. Windsor agree, but he would like to be paid in weapons if possible, or maybe some countermeasures equipment. Shen is willing to barter small weapons for Windsor's help and agrees. He gives them a data pack with the rough location of three caches which are in the Georgia system. The crew returns for the ship and heads for Georgia. Their route takes them near the spaceship graveyard left from the Battle of Sturges, which brings memories of the war up for Windsor and Cid. They search a barren moon of one of the system's gas giants and find a cache of crates and cargo containers held down with a cargo net staked to the bare rock. The loot is loaded aboard without incident and they head for the next cache.

"It's a trap!"
Cid plots the course to the next cache, but it is way out on the rim of the Georgia system and there are no charted planets nearby. Windsor keeps an eye on the sensors and finally detects a small asteroid at the coordinates. They come alongside the asteroid and Cid, Silas and Ruan begin moving crates. Halfway through, Ruan is in the cargo bay and Cid and Silas are on the asteroid. There's a bright flash and Cid and Silas' space suits go dead and the Britannia shuts down. An EMP boobytrap has killed the systems. Ruan is sheltered from the blast and tries to make contact, Windsor tries to restart the ship with little success. Then there's an explosion on the asteroid and Cid and Silas' suits are hit by shrapnel and they are flung off the asteroid into space. Cid's suit self seals, but Silas is loosing air. He manages to get his emergency kit and patch the holes, but he has lost most of what little air he has. Ruan tethers himself and goes outside but can't see them. He goes back and moves the mule to the hatch and turns on its lights, but still can't see.
Naomi and Windsor get partial system function, but can't move the ship. Ruan finally concentrates on the lost crew members and reads them. Windsor and Naomi get one of the shuttles started, pick up Ruan and then go to pick up Cid and Silas, both of whom have passed out. They are recovered and Ruan patches them up while the shuttle returns to the ship. They get back to work loading crates, but one has been damaged by the explosion and contains scrap metal. Checking the other crates, they have all been emptied and filled with scrap or rubble to counterfeit being full. They decide to back away from the asteroid while they figure out what to do. Once they are safely away and examining the fake cache, they detect an Alliance patrol boat heading for the asteroid. They realize it was probably an Alliance booby trap so they hard burn away, then stop and hard burn again and head for the nearest planet, Hera. (GM's note: there was a starship scale EMP warhead rigged as a booby trap and a regular warhead on a timer. The timer was started by the fuze on the booby trap and was mechanical so it wouldn't be disrupted by the EMP.)

Feeling like he may have been double crossed, Windsor checks the first set of crates, they do contain weapons as expected. The captain contacts Shen and questions him about the second cache since it contained junk and had a booby trap. Shen seems honestly surprised and expresses concern over the wounds of the crew. He offers to replace the damaged suits as part of the payment. After talking to Shen, Windsor decides to continue to cache three but wants to offload the crates they've already recovered so they don't have them on board if they're stopped. They first consider renting a warehouse space, but Silas says he has an old browncoat buddy on Hera and she has a farm. Silas contacts Fei Yen Ruiz and she agrees to conceal the crates in one of her barns. Ronnie is concerned about the danger if there's another booby trap or a patrol ship finds them, so Ronnie and Sarah stay behind to watch the cargo. The Britannia heads for the third cache, which is also in deep space.

Remnants of History
The last cache appears on their sensors, a huge, slowly rotating cargo container from an old terraforming transport. They approach and see one end is gone and the container is empty except for a group of crates and canisters moored to the inside. While the container is large enough to hold a couple of Fireflys, the captain plays it safe and sends Cid with a shuttle. They recover the crates with a slight fender bender to the shuttle and decide to open the crates. These containers are mostly military crates bearing the insignia of the Londinium Space Navy or the Georgian System Patrol. Opening the first one, they find 47 90mm armor piercing railgun rounds of a type that Windsor recognizes as ammunition for the main guns of a Havoc class destroyer or Triumph class cruiser from the prewar LSN. Naomi decides to steal 2 of the rounds. The other crates also contain ordnance and they return to Hera, pick up the other containers and return to Angel to deliver them to Shen.
When they arrive at Angel, Shen directs them to an out of the way secondary pad and they begin offloading. Windsor has Naomi copy the data from the Folsom's flight recorder, then takes it with him to see Shen. He tells the crew to go shopping for any spare parts they need, Naomi wants to build an improvised railgun to fire the rounds she stole. Silas looks for new parts for his still and the rest of the crew starts coming up with ideas as well. Windsor bargains with Shen for payment and accepts a military grade decoy/countermeasure launcher as payment, it will take a couple of days to be installed. The captain questions Shen since he's concerned about whose hands all these weapons are going to end up in. Shen says that he is working for people with ships who are hunting pirates for profit. Instead of turning in the ships for a reward, they are simply keeping the ships and selling them. Shen's associates are also working as mercenaries on the fringes of the rim where the Alliance doesn't really care. Windsor also brings up another point and explains to Shen about the Folsom. Shen is shocked but says he has someone who can help, but he has to contact his superiors and get back to Windsor. Windsor agrees and departs. The next day Shen calls Windsor back to his office and introduces him to another man wearing a black jacket. He is Saul Potter, former chief of staff to Admiral Sharpe. He questions Windsor about the Folsom and asks to see the data recorder. He has a computer unit with him and plugs it into the recorder. He says that the box is still encrypted with old LSN codes, if they've been trying to break it with Alliance wartime codes, it wouldn't work. He keys in the right code and starts a data dump from the box and skims through it. He says there's too much here, he wants to review it on a better display. He asks Windsor to come with him and they go out the back way to a shuttle pad with a high speed civilian shuttle. They take off and break atmo, and head outside the orbital traffic patterns. They are met by a wartime era blockade runner, the Elizabeth Swan. The shuttle docks in one of her bays and Potter takes Windsor to the tactical center. The crew wears old LSN style fatigues with no ship patches, just LSN rank insignia.
Pulling up the data, the record shows the Folsom left Aphrodite and then stopped and met another ship, a Swift Ox freighter. The crew of the freighter boarded the ship and took over, then some of the Folsom's crew ejected in life pods and the Swift Ox was blown up to provide a debris field. One of the security cameras shows a crew member being shot on the prisoner deck; the incident matches the blood stains they found. Then the Folsom was flown to Aesir in the Red Sun system and the prisoners and remaining crew offloaded. The next log entry shows a lone pilot setting a course to crash the ship into Red Sun itself and abandoning ship in a shuttle. But the ship's auto pilot diverted the course when no one responded to its queries and the ship drifted into the outer reaches of the system.
Potter believes someone made a deal with the crew for the prisoners, but it wasn't the Independents. There were some famous soldiers on the ship, if it had been a prisoner rescue, they would have returned to fight and Potter knows they did not. Windsor agrees to continue to investigate. Potter's shuttle returns him to Angel and once the countermeasures are installed, they head to Boros. Cid, Silas and Ruan buy new spacesuits and Windsor finds cargoes of clothes and tools bound for New Melbourne. They decide not to take on passengers; Naomi and Ronnie have some new security gear they want to install and passengers would be in the way. They lift off from Boros and head to Red Sun.

Quotes and smart remarks
After the crew takes turns in the boxing matches
Emily "This is shore leave, not assault leave"

Discussing the music on Paquin
Raleigh "Circus Punk"
Jim "I think a mosh pit full of clowns and bearded ladies would be scary"

Emily "I'm a lover, not a fighter. Unless I'm cornered"

Ruan is talking to Niska about help hacking the Folsom's black box
Emily "How bad do you want to know what's on the data recorder?"
Lee "Okay, I'll sleep with you"

Captain Windsor calls the crew together to make a decision about getting help from Niska
Lee "I don't want to make a decision like this in a vacuum"
Jim "'Cause that's where you'll end up"

Discussing the Bloodsworn assassin's guild
Matt "Kind of like the Nazis, but we passed art school"

Raleigh "You were in that kerfuffle, what was it, the war"

Emily "Niska don't tweet"

Ruan and Ronnie are sparring for the right to ask questions
Raleigh "Neo's fighting Morpheus!!"
Kevin "I'm not sure if it was a good idea to get the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster together"

Kevin "Some psychic you are Miss Cleo!"

Matt "I always hang out with Naomi because Ruan's mind goes to mush around her"
Emily "Stupid penis!"

Michael asked Matt a question
Matt "You're going to have to hit me for the answer"

Jim "The power converter is burnt out"
Kevin "Can we go to Tosche Station to get some more?"

Cid is plotting a course to the hidden weapon caches
Lee "We need a course that's economical and shifty"

Matt "I went to McDonald's and ordered a margarita McFlurry and they wouldn't do it. Of course, I was drunk at the time."

Matt "Normally we're on our way before we realize we've screwed up"

Lee "It's a trap!"

Landing on an asteroid
Kevin "Look out for mynocks!"
Lee "Are there any damp holes in this…I didn't mean it that way"

An EMP burst fries Cid and Silas' suits
Kevin "How well do they work when they're off?"
Emily "They don't recycle your farts at all"

Raleigh starts to write a note about the physics of the situation
Matt "Get out of here with your science!"

Cid and Silas have been blown off the asteroid and Ruan can't see them in darkness of space
Emily "I'm used to space being lit by Hollywood"

Lee "I have my spanoculars"

Ronnie and Sarah are hiding out a Fei's farm with the weapon crates
Emily "He's playing Farmville: The Live Edition"

Trying to hit it off with the farmer, Matt rolls a 4 for Ronnie
Matt "So…you like wool?"
Tries again, gets a 3
Matt "So…you like sheep?"

Ronnie didn't know the crew had been in contact with Niska
Matt "When did we start working with Niska?!"