Cadmium Blues

Players and Characters
Ryan: Chris Hammond, Doctor
Matt: Roy Nelson, Copilot/Mechanic
Konrad: Jett Winters, Medtech
Emily: A mystery person
Kevin: Samuel L. Jenkins, Pilot
Raleigh: Naomi Hale, Medtech/Engineering
Mike: Duncan Bidwell, Security Officer

09/29/2520 Alliance Standard Dating
In Transit
The team is heading for Triumph, planning a tour of back country villages. Naomi is called to the bridge to help run diagnostics on the Apollo's sensors, they have a sensor ghost or echo on the screens. While the team is making preparations, Dr. Hammond is called to Dr. Singh's office. She explains they've been given an alternate mission and wants to know if his team is up for it. Dr. Lennon received a request for aid through his network of former Browncoats. A small town on Regina is suffering from some kind of plague and need immediate assistance. Dr. Hammond agrees to the mission. Dr.Singh instructs him to load a portable decontamination unit on their shuttle and follow quarantine procedures.
Team 3 is called in for briefing and given the mission. Naomi is happy to be going someplace more advanced than a total back country moon like Triumph. Roy is first to realize they've got an almost 5 day journey at hard burn in the cramped quarters of the Betty to get to Regina. The team loads gear and departs, Ru is still attached to the team as trainee. They hard burn to White Sun and lay over at a skyplex to refueld and continue on. When they arrive at Regina orbit, they can not locate the town on their maps. Samuel pulls up a recent survey and cannot find it, Roy finally manages to locate the town on an old archived survey.
The town is in a very pleasant looking wide and flat river valley. Crops surround the town and small herds of livestock graze near the town of 15 homes. The Betty is landed a safe distance from town and the team dons protective suits. Dr. Hammond takes Jett, Naomi and Ru with him while Roy and Naomi set up the decontam gear and Duncan checks the area. Naomi is very disappointed to be in the middle of nowhere after all.

Dr. Hammond leads his team to town and finds the mayor, Barnabas Murphy. He questions the mayor about visitors, strange events, when did the symptoms start, who was first, etc. Everyone in town is showing signs of some kind of respiratory infection, a few have died since the symptoms started about a month ago with old Al Sherman. Dr. Hammond starts examining people and taking samples, he sends Jett back to the ship with the first half dozen samples for analysis. Duncan and Roy start wandering around and looking at water supplies.
Jett's first analyses turn up no signs of infection. He begins a toxin analysis and after a long run, gets a positive for cadmium. Going back through the samples, every one turns up positive for cadmium poisoning. The field teams start checking around town. The crops and fields, river, wells and livestock have slightly elevated levels of cadmium, but no where near what would be required. When they start soil testing, they find the town is loaded with it; its highest in the village and drops off dramatically away from the houses.
With a conclusive cause of the illness, they realize that the townspeople are beyond their treatment capabilities, they will need to be sent to a hospital or the Apollo may need to come there and she is at least a week away. Dr. Hammond contacts Dr. Singh with a full report and asks for assistance. They need to get the people out of town, but don't have the transportation capability. Dr. Singh promises help. They return to the village and get the townspeople moving away from the town, the team figures they'll figure something out.
And, they know this is not a case of illness, someone had to deliberately dump cadmium dust on the town to poison them. The fact that the town does not show up in the recent survey leads them to believe someone is trying to get the towns people off their land. They begin researching the survey company. Dr. Singh calls back to say help is on the way, Dr. Lennon and Director Molyneux are looking at arranging transport to a hospital on Boros, they will need to charter a transport.

After they have evacuated town, an Aardvark class freighter comes in for a landing nearby. She is marked as part of Alliance Prospecting Services corporation, her cargo bays open and teams of men with construction equipment and trailers of equipment deploy. One man walks towards the medical team, who are suspicious of the sudden arrival of a mining company. The man is a short, wrinkled old asian, he introduces himself as Ching Fan and says Dr. Lennon sent him to help. His crew of roughnecks have some portable shelters, rations and decontamination gear, they'll be able to get the townspeople under shelter by nightfall. With shelter and immediate food needs taken care of, Dr. Hammond continues trying to alleviate the townspeople's symptoms. Jett and Duncan are detailed to stay and watch, but the rest of the team is going to fly to the town of Olten near the spaceport and investigate the survey team which belongs to Blue Sun Surveys while they pick up more supplies. The team flies there and heads to the company's office. Roy hands Ru his backup pistol and after a moment of confusion, Ru runs it through a quick safety check like a professional. Ru has a memory of standing at a gun range practicing shooting with a group of other young people dressed in white scrubs. They decide to make Ru their spokesman and they talk their way into a meeting with the company director. While he stonewalls them with a good poker face, Ru can feel his concern is rising. The name "Voltaire Culver" pops into his head and he drops the name into the conversation, visibly scaring the director. They leave and on the way to their ship are jumped by three shotgun armed thugs. The team exchanges fire with them, Ru dodges bullets with gymnastic maneuvers and shoots with phenomenal skill. They drop the bad guys, grab their wallets and flee town. They fly back to the temporary shelters with the needed equipment.
Meanwhile, Jett and Duncan spot something moving near the village while on watch. They approach the village and find an antigravity equipped drone hovering silently over the village. Duncan shoots it down and they retrieve it. It is a cropdusting drone, but loaded with cadmium dust instead of pesticides. They conceal it in one of the empty houses. The team confers and Naomi examines the drone, an advanced commercial model. They call Dr. Singh, who is very upset and contacts headquarters directly. She calls back later to say a chartered transport is on its way as well as a fed investigation team. They are to cooperate fully with the investigators. An ASREV with a Federal Marshalls team arrives later and questions the team individually and departs. The town folk are picked up to be taken for treatment on Boros and the team packs up to head back to the Apollo in Red Sun. While they are inflight, the feds' investigations turn up links between Blue Sun Survey and Voltaire Culver, a major land owner. The three thugs in Olten worked for him. The survey was run for the purposes of putting in a new mag-lev train route to ship ore from some of the mines to one of the space ports. Obviously it was a land grab for profit, and since the townspeople were mortally endangered and some died, there is talk of 84 counts of attempted murder and three counts of murder in addition to other charges. The townspeople will be resettled afterwards with a federal grant, and there will be civil fines against the perpetrators and compensation awarded.
Back on the Apollo, Dr. Singh has a meeting with Ru and Jett, and renews and extends her offer of training and basically an internship for Ru until they can figure out his identity. After Ru leaves, Dr. Singh questions Jett about the recent events. She feels that Ru is exhibiting psychic abilities, which Jett scoffs at as fiction. Dr. Singh says it has always been fringe science, but she brings up the cranial scan they did when treating Ru. She is still deeply disturbed and feels there was a reason why all this was done, she suggests they could covertly test him for psychic abilities. Jett convinces her not to, since if he does have these abilities, he will realize what they are doing and no longer trust them. Dr. Singh agrees and says they are still trying to find out who he is. His accent, familiarity with high technology like using the cortex show he is obviously core world educated, how can he have no record, even a birth record then? Dr. Lennon is getting involved in the search as well, and they hope to have some information soon.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Lots of silliness, I know I didn't get it all…

Konrad "I got tiki drink on my character sheet"

Kevin "He's got Chang-nesia"

Raleigh's character was happy to be going to Regina because it had a better port rating than Triumph, but upon seeing the tiny village they land at:
(sadly) "This isn't a class C port…"

Konrad "That's pants-on-head retarded."

Emily "You're going to drink warm beer?"
Mike "I drink warm beer all the time"
Kevin "That's right, he's from Pennsylvania"

The team is doing toxin tests on the soil and water
Matt "Its red, what does that mean?"
Mike "You're pregnant"

Talking about the possibility that nearby mining may have released the cadmium
Kevin "Dwarves always go too deep"
Jim and Konrad "That's what she said!"

Mike's character had an important question for Ryan's doctor character
Mike (urgent tone of voice) "Hey Doctor!"
Emily "Yes?" Emily is a veterinarian and Mike's tone totally triggered her "at work" response. Best laugh all night, even she was laughing harder than anyone else

Kevin's character is deaf and Matt's character does the grumpy old man bit, constantly complaining
Kevin "I don't hear your backtalk"

Mike's character shot down a drone with his rifle
Mike "I reached out and grasped it with bullets"

Emily "He's the Howie Mandel of the Serenity 'Verse"