Fury Delivery

(GM's note: My adventure titles are usually descriptive or codes to help me remember what the adventure involved. This adventure was based on a scene from David Weber's Path of the Fury where the main character is undercover to infiltrate a criminal band for information. Her first job is smuggling a cargo to a backwater world, but her receiver's partner shows up early and tries to kill her and steal the cargo. She kills the ambushers (she's an ex-commando) and the real contact shows up to find her waiting among the dead and her reputation as a bad ass smuggler is made)

Speak of the Devil
While looking for work on Persephone, Captain Windsor receives a call from Niska. He has a job for them that needs to be picked up on Ezra and delivered to Constance in Kalidasa. The cargo is small, only four half-sized containers, but it must be delivered without being caught or examined. The captain agrees and Cid gets a cargo of gourmet food headed for Ezra. The trip is uneventful and they land on Ezra and deliver their cargo and wait. At first, they are optimistic they won't see Niska since they are picking up cargo planetside, but when the trucks arrive with the cargo, he and Crow are along. Ruan is still pissed at Crow and the two start their usual hostile dog act. Niska tells them to calm down and gives Ruan some meatballs from his wife. As the cargo is loaded, he explains that when they arrive at Constance, they are to wait in orbit. His contact on Constance, Henry, will transmit a code word and turn on a landing beacon. The location will be someplace out of the way. Niska repeats that they need to deliver the cargo discretely and pays them 500 credits up front. Captain Windsor agrees and Cid works on a flight plan to try to avoid patrols. The cargo is loaded and the ship departs Ezra without issue.

Complications, complications
Eight days out from Ezra, around 9pm ship time, the Britannia shudders and all the power dies. The crew prepares for an emergency and suits up, talking on their helmet radios. Silas, Naomi and Windsor head to engineering and Ruan is sent outside to inspect the hull. At first Silas can't figure out what's wrong, then he finds the primary power coupling overloaded and melted down. The ship has no power except emergency batteries, not enough for life support. While Silas starts pulling power conduit from other locations, primarily the power tap for the improvised railgun, Naomi and Junior run a power line from one of the shuttles to get life support up. Two days of hard work provides a jury rigged solution, but Silas is going to need to baby it. They get under way again and Windsor calls Niska to let him know there will be a two day delay. Niska is very unhappy, he says Windsor has always done good work, but now his reputation is looking "less than solid" and that payment will not be as much as mentioned.
Limping along with a bad ship, they skip Cid's complicated approach and head straight in. Once they are in orbit, they contact Shen for parts and debate going the Angel for repairs before delivering the cargo. But that would add a minimum of two more days to the delay, so after much discussion, Windsor remains aboard to see things through, Cid insists on doing the landing because he is the best pilot and Silas stays to baby the repairs through the landing. Instead, Naomi will fly to Angel in a shuttle with Junior, pick up the parts from Shen and return to Constance, they will make better repairs on the ground and then fly the ship to a real port for permanent repairs. After Naomi and Junior leave, a Longbow class Alliance patrol cruiser arrives and launches boarding shuttles to inspect all the local traffic. The crew begins to panic and tries to decide what to do. They can't flee, or dump the cargo and don't have any papers for it. Ruan secretly calls Niska and insists his secretary put Ruan through. Niska comes to the comm wearing a bloody butcher's apron and holding a bloody combat knife. When Ruan explains they are about to be boarded, Niska facepalms, smearing fresh blood down his face, then shakes the knife at the camera, making blood splatters appear on Ruan's screen. He tells Ruan they will have to deal with the consequences and hangs up.
The boarding party docks and comes aboard, a lieutenant, a sergeant and two troopers. While the troopers search the ship, the officer questions the captain about their cargo and lack of papers. After much back and forth (and some really bad rolls), they decide the inspectors are bribeable and Windsor sends Ruan to get his petty cash box. Ruan Reads the inspector for a suitable bribe amount and hands over 300 credits. The inspector calls back to the cruiser, says the Britannia is cleared and departs.

Now what?
They finally get the call from Niska's contact and a landing beacon and head down to the surface. They have a partial power failure and Cid manages to make a landing. Four large trucks come to the ship and the men get out and approach the ship. But Silas sees one of the trucks has a heavy weapon concealed in the bed pointed at them and Windsor and Cid both feel something is wrong. When they get closer, Ruan Reads the leader; its a trap. He pulls his pistol, opens fire and yells a warning. Now everyone opens up. Silas throws a grenade into the gun truck causing the gunner to bail out. The grenade explodes, setting off the ammunition and lighting the truck on fire. Cid grabs his Auto lock from beside the door and he, Windsor and Silas begin shooting also. The attackers and the crew exchange fire, Silas is hit and wounded lightly, but the crew's superior skill turns the tide in their favor. Cid throws a grenade at the closer bad guys and misjudges, the grenade wipes them out but he and Windsor catch a couple of small fragments. With the enemy down, Silas kills the last wounded attacker. They decide to take the three intact trucks and move the ship a hundred yards from the burning truck. A little while later, Niska's contact Henry finally shows with another group of trucks. They approach cautiously and peacefully and ask what happened. Henry sends one of his men to examine the bodies, he returns and tells Henry they were some of Henry's partners, they must have been trying to double cross Henry and steal the cargo. While the delivery was late, Henry offers to pay them the full price they were originally offered and a bonus on top which makes up for the bribe they had to pay. They take the cargo and depart.
Meanwhile, Naomi and Junior pick up the parts from Shen and head back. Naomi's flying is not so hot and she does a poor job plotting her return flight and takes three and a half days for the round trip. With the new parts, Silas does a better job of making temporary repairs and three days later the ship lifts off and heads to Beaumonde. Niska calls Windsor and congratulates him on completing the job, Henry was very pleased. But Niska is not completely happy with the captain still. After the stressful job, Captain Windsor puts the ship into a drydock, pays for monthly maintenance and repair of the power system and a re-certification inspection of all the work. He also stocks up on extra parts and a spare brand new grav boot, since that is a critical part with a high failure rate. The crew is given a week's shore leave and the captain heads off for a two day drunken bender. Once the captain is gone, Naomi grabs the shuttle she's been tinkering with and moves it to a drydock of its own…

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Junior is going to share a bunk with Ruan
Emily "Ruan's a pretty good room mate, except he wakes up a lot at night"
Lee "Screaming and shooting"

Matt's new character Junior finds out they do jobs for Niska and is a little concerned
Lee "You know your bunk mate? That's our Niska connection. So think about that the next time you're falling asleep"

Jim "Load cargo casually"

Ruan is facing Crow
Raleigh "Don't taunt the dynamite belt"
Emily "I don't want to get back at him, I just want to kill him"

Kevin is questioning the relatively low pay from Niska
Lee "You want to negotiate with Niska, go ahead"

Discussing Junior's hatred of the Alliance for all of its rules and oppression and Naomi supports it for cool technology and medicine
Raleigh "What, I stop at a traffic light and I'm a slave?"
Matt "For 12 years"

Something bad happens to the ship
Raleigh "Asteroids fall, everybody dies"
Kevin "Is there a slot in the engine to put money into?"
Lee "Grind it into a paste"
Emily "Shut up and take my money!"

The accident occurs after 9pm ship time
Lee "So its dark outside…"

Emily offers to have Ruan go out on the hull because he loves using his suit and flight pack
Kevin "You may have to walk home and get help"

Kevin "The engine can't melt down, because there's no down <in space>"
Jim "So it will just melt out"

Naomi and Junior are away on the shuttle when the ship is boarded by the patrol
Matt "We're gonna live!"

Ruan calls Niska on his pocket cortex communicator and didn't realize it was a video link
Jim "It's Facetime"
Lee "Spacetime"

Raleigh "The name of this adventure should be Niska's Rollercoaster"

They have a hard time landing, there's a partial drive failure and Jim gave Michael a three step penalty for his piloting roll
Jim "Its a good thing you've barely got any cargo, if you had a full cargo bay, it would have been a five step penalty"
Raleigh "The cargo would have ripped its way out of the cargo bay"
Lee "And…delivered"
Jim "What are you guys? Fed-Ex?"

Raleigh "Bad men are paid considerably less because their union is crap"

Lee's captain voice is getting a little goofy as the game passes midnight
Emily "You sound like a cross between Russell Brand and Captain Jack Sparrow"