A Friend in Need
The Britannia has arrived on Ariel and discharged their meager cargo and passengers. Captain Windsor begins to look for work. Aboard ship, Silas receives a 'wave from an old war buddy, Tiago Flores, who is now a deputy on Regina in the town of New Wichita. He tells Silas that he's having bandit troubles and needs some muscle he can trust. Silas can see Tiago is in some pain, but doesn't press him. The bandit gang has a 2,000 credit reward on them, and also asks if they can bring some additional medical supplies. Silas goes to pitch the job and since the captain is concerned about their diminishing funds, so he agrees. He briefs the crew and Ruan realizes that the crew will need to inoculated against Bowden's Malady. Windor agrees and sends Silas and Ruan to purchase supplies. The captain goes back to the markets and with a destination in mind, he finds a cargo bound for Regina: 280 tons of low grade beer in kegs on pallets.

Arriving on Regina, the ship lands at the main port and offloads the beer, then hops out to the back country, landing at New Wichita. Deputy Flores comes out to meet them, using crutches and with an obvious leg wound. He leads them to the town saloon and gets them a table and some whiskey. He briefs them on the bandits' activity and how they ambushed his ambush and escaped. One of their leaders is a former browncoat Lao O'Riley. The crew decides to survey the area from the shuttles. They make a night mission to search for campfires. Ronnie and Naomi are left to guard the ship, but get drunk instead, then go into town to more booze from the saloon. They each open up about their lives and losses to each other, then pass out. The search is unsuccessful, and when the shuttle teams return, they find Ronnie and Naomi unconscious, the captain is very concerned since they drove the mule to town while intoxicated and left the ship undefended. The next day they decide to try shuttle recon again. Ruan spots a recent campsite and they land and investigate. They find horse, motorcycle and truck tracks. Silas recognizes marks from Independent issue portable shelters. Tracks and other clues indicate the bandits are maintaining military discipline. Bearing that in mind, Windsor tries to analyze their movements and predict where they might strike next. They decide to lay an ambush of their own. Ronnie breaks out some of his intrusion gear which is very interesting to Naomi as examples of high tech. Ruan is very concerned about this evidence of Ronnie's past. He questions Ronnie but is only more suspicious. Ronnie's gear is similar to the equipment used by the Academy's assassins, but is even more advanced.

Windsor's prediction is accurate, the bandits show up to raid for cattle. Four men sneak across the fields while four more wait with their vehicles. Naomi opens the engagement by shooting out the bandits' truck engine with her railgun. Silas calls for the bandits to surrender and intimidates the advance party into throwing down their weapons. Windsor swoops down on the main body and knocks them down with the shuttle's thruster wash. One man in a browncoat maintains his feet and empties his assault rifle at the shuttle's canopy and shatters the windshield and wounds captain Windsor. Silas, Ruan and Cid open fire and all three strike the shooter, wounding him severely and knocking him out. Ruan stabilizes the wounded bandit leader and the crew takes the bandits in for the reward. Flores gets them a 500 credit bonus for taking them all alive.

Quotes and Smart remarks
Jim asked Kevin if he had come up with a name for Silas' old unit raised from indentured workers (mudders) on Higgins' Moon, the other players suggested "The Mustachios", "Tough Mudders" and "Mudder Fuckers"

Michael brought up the possibility of adding a sickbay to the ship, but Emily pointed out her character is only a paramedic and therefore really couldn't use it properly
Lee "So, pool table with a tarp it is"

The cargo is 280 tons of cheap beer in kegs on pallets
Lee "Leave the beer alone"
Raleigh "But it will be lonely"

Lee "We got paid, right?"
Emily "Beer money"

Jim "Pilots make piloting rolls, passengers make…"
Emily "Passenger rolls?"
Raleigh "Drunkards make drunkard rolls"

The two shuttles are searching for the bad guys, Kevin, Lee and Michael all rolled 9s, Emily got an 11
Emily "My roll goes to 11"

Jim had a side discussion about a website dealing with the gangs of the Old West that he used for research
Michael "Back to the Future West"

Naomi was drinking heavily, Jim had Raleigh roll a Resistance check
Jim "You are not asleep in a puddle of your own vomit"
Kevin "It's somebody else's"

Ronnie and Naomi were left to guard the ship, instead they got drunk, locked it up, then went to town to get more booze
Lee "I had something a little more guardy in mind"

Discussing mounting weapons on the ship
Lee "I've got no objections against guns on the ship, I just don't want to pay for it"
Raleigh "Okay, steal weapons, got it"

Ronnie leaves Sarah with the deputy's family during the mission
Lee "She's going to come back all rusticated"