Good Help

Summary
8/15/2518

Moving Day
The crew of the Britannia is en route to Persephone with Silas' family and in-laws. They drop their cargo from New Melbourne and pick up a new one bound for Boros in the Georgia system. On Boros, Silas spends money helping his family buy prefab shelters and farming equipment. They then fly to Hera where Silas' Browncoat contacts have some land for his family to settle on. The crew spends several days helping the families assemble their shelters and get things started.

Job Offer
A couple days after arriving, Captain Windsor receives a call from bounty hunter Roy Hwang. He has a big contract and is looking for someone to help provide muscle, contacts and transportation and the crew can give all three. The captain agrees to meet and explains they are on Hera. Roy says he is on Londinium, he will get passage to Boros and meet them there. The crew finishes getting the mudders settled, then fly back to Boros, Roy arrives the next day.

Roy comes aboard with a couple of cases of equipment and mentions to the captain that he sees some new faces in the crew, where's Cid? The captain explains Cid was killed a few months back. Roy apologizes and once the crew is gathered, goes into his spiel. A few months back, the personal yacht of Senator Baron von Alksburg of Persephone was hijacked. The senator and some of his people were rescued on Three Hills, but the yacht and the rest of her crew are still missing. The senator has hired Roy to find his missing people. Roy briefs them on the hijacking and hands out information about the leader of the hijackers, the other dead and captured hijackers and some of their known associates. He also has information on the yacht and the missing crew.
The crew has a lot of contacts in the underworld, Tai and Junior start making calls. One of the suspects has links to organized crime here in Georgia and Ruan considers whether they should call Niska, but decide to leave that on the back burner for now. Naomi is given the task of searching the cortex for any clues. Windsor calls Shen to ask about parts from a yacht and Shen recognizes the reference to von Alksburg's hijacking and promises to look into it.

Running Down Leads
The crew decides to question the only hijacker who was taken alive, he is in prison on Regina. Roy makes some calls, then takes Windsor and Ruan in to question the prisoner. Ruan's empathy allows him to tell the prisoner is telling them the truth and that he knows nothing about the final plans, he was just muscle to hold the senator prisoner on Three Hills.

Next they fly to the Atlanta skyplex where the yacht was last seen. They talk with the portmaster and try to get info from the local pilots' bars, but don't have any luck. The yacht's last stop was Ezra which is where the hijacking is believed to have taken place. Tai gets a cargo bound for Ezra and they head there. But the locals have little information either. Ezra was the senator's last stop on a tour of several rim worlds and the crew was seen here before they boarded the yacht for departure.

Finally, they get a breakthrough from one of Tai's contacts. One of the possible suspects, a pilot and gambler named Manx Bolger has shown up on Santo. He is paying off some debts and flashing a lot of cash. They decide to head there immediately and Windsor plots a course to hard burn all the way. Silas and Lothel keep the ship running smooth. On Santo, Tai's contacts let him know when Bolger shows up in a casino and they crew heads there. Tai puts up money for him and Ruan to get dealt into a game with Bolger. Tai plays well and Ruan Reads Bolger. The yacht was delivered to a chop shop on a skyplex in Kalidasa, the Senator's bodyguard is dead, killed in the attack. The other missing crew were sold as slaves on Beaumonde and the hijacker leader, Horatio Creel, is laying low here on Santo! He is staying in the resort town of New Sierra with two other criminal associates.

Another drink, please
They decide to fly there and Tai reaches out to local contacts to have them try to find Creel. They decide to search some of the local attractions in hopes of finding him (ie, they go drinking and gambling). Ruan goes touristing since they have barely visited Santo before. Naomi asks to borrow Lothel and they take a shuttle to go parts shopping. They drink, they gamble, Windsor and Tai find companionship for the night…
The next day the local tong tells Tai they found the hotel and room that Creel and his men are staying in. Tai seduces the desk clerk into giving him a key to Creel's suite and she gives him another for the room to meet her in later. Leaving Naomi, Junior and Lothel in the lobby as look outs, Windsor, Silas, Ruan, Tai and Roy toss Creel's suite. They decide to ambush them when they return. Searching the rooms they find cash, drugs and guns. Windsor and Silas hide in the bathroom off the entrance, Ruan and Tai are in the living room, Roy is in one of the bedrooms. Tai and Windsor raid the mini bar and Tai starts knocking them back. Hours later, Creel and his men return, without warning from the lobby lookouts. Creel realizes something is wrong and goes for his gun. Silas and Windsor taser the two guards and put them out. Ruan moves in and disarms Creel and he goes hand to hand, first with martial arts, then he pulls a knife. Ruan Reads him, then knocks him out. They secure the villains, one of the thugs is Greg Storth, who was on the list of known associates, the other is Walter Sands. Ruan reels off all the information he learned from Creel while Roy is suspicious and accuses Ruan of having gotten the information elsewhere. The captain tries to explain Ruan's history and gifts as vaguely as possible and Ruan demonstrates some of it. They call the police to come get Creel, since there is a 3,000 credit bounty on him. After the police leave, they go downstairs to find Junior and Naomi in the bar, drinking heavily and a drunk Lothel singing karaoke. They decided to take a break and have a drink, which lead to another, then a few more and they managed to get Lothel hammered as well. With threats of punishement in mind, the captain takes everyone back to the ship.

Something Fishy
Creel's information is that the missing crew were sold to a slaver, Tuomas Richardson, who operates a factory fishing ship on Beaumonde as a cover. Slaves are used aboard ship as workers, ones that don't sell are kept aboard and any that die are thrown overboard. The ship, the Constellation is homeported in Douzhong. They decide to fly to Beaumonde. Since funds are low, Tai tries to get a good cargo but comes up empty handed, Windsor reaches out to some contacts and gets a small
one. There is still the matter of punishment. Naomi is banned from the bridge for the whole trip, no flight time. Junior is put to work cleaning and doing some of Silas' chores under Silas' watchful eye and mustache. And the three of them will split one share of the bounty, instead of getting a full share each. The captain lifts off for Beaumonde but his course is a little slack and they take an extra day, Naomi notices and teases the captain about it. They drop their small cargo at the main port and move to Douzhong.
They begin investigating the Constellation. She's an old, run down ship and her captain has a bad reputation and his crew has lots of hard cases and ex-cons. The ship left port a week ago and won't be back for as long as six weeks. Tai asks around at the port office and finds out where the ship is, they make a high altitude sensor run with the Britannia. Ruan would like to be close enough to get a feel for the psychic environment of the ship, but the ship is too obvious. Naomi suggests a shuttle, since they glide better than the ship and are light enough to hover on their anti-grav alone. Windsor agrees and takes Ruan on a scouting run while Naomi is returned to flight status. Sneaking past the ship at night, Ruan feels the tone of the ship and confirms it. There are at least 20 crew aboard and maybe 30 something slaves. They return to port to plan and decide (eventually, after much overplanning) to infiltrate the ship, plant surveillance gear and sabotage devices before trying to capture the ship. They fly to a larger city to buy electronics and chemicals for Junior to make explosives.
However, once the crew begins gathering supplies, they realize that planning to sneak onboard the ship to plant surveillance equipment so they could come back and attack it later was redundant, they should just attack it. Naomi will fly shuttle 2 with Tai as a gunner and Captain Windsor with Lothel as engineer will fly the Britannia and Silas, Ruan, Junior and Roy will be the boarding party. They gear up and fly back to the ship. Naomi flies in and Tai fires rockets at the ship's bridge. The first misses, but the second hits the bridge, destroying it, the communications tower and killing the bridge crew. They fire a second rocket with sleep gas at the crew quarters, but that one misses as well. Windsor brings the Britannia into a low hover over the ship's shuttle pad and lowers the cargo ramp. The boarding party jumps off and Windsor pulls up and away to circle. Ship crew on the deck pull guns and the boarding party opens fire. Silas' Auto Lock, Ruan's pistol and Junior's SAW mow down the enemy. Naomi lands shuttle 2 on the pad and she gets out with her sniper rifle while Tai heads forward to help the boarding party. More crew come from hatches to the crew quarters forward to join the battle. Windsor swoops low and tries to scorch them with the Firefly's engine exhaust and blows some overboard. Junior blows a hole in the deck with a breaching charge and he and Hwang jump down to the next deck to look for the slaves. Tai heads down a set of stairs to join them. They engage the guards from the slave quarters and an engineer coming up from below decks. Once the rush of crew stops, Silas and Ruan head below as well. While Junior plants timed demolition charges in the belly of the ship, Tai finds keys to the slave quarters and they start moving people to the shuttle pad. But the missing members of the senator's staff are not here. One of the other slaves says they were sold over a week ago. Ruan senses there are some crew left overhead and Silas, Ruan and Hwang head that way. Hwang calls upon the holdouts to surrender and they do, its the captain and first officer. They are handcuffed and the crew searches their rooms for loot, grabbing cash and booze. Hwang questions them, the missing crew were sold last week to one of Niska's lieutenants, a man named Boldin. They were shipped to Niska's skyplex above Ezra. With the slavers having nothing else to contribute, Ruan kills them both right there. Hwang is shocked and angry and yells at Ruan who shrugs it off. Naomi lifts the shuttle off and docks with the Britannia and Windsor comes in again and the crew hustle the slaves aboard. They check the slaves over for serious injuries, then fly to a nearby town on shore and offload them. Ruan hands out money for them to get some food and clothes while they wait to be sent home, then the ship heads to orbit and they plot a course to Ezra.

Bargaining with the Devil you know
Knowing Niska has the missing people dramatically raises the stakes. They know Boldin, he was a passenger of their's on a mission for Niska a couple of years ago. En route to Ezra, they try to decide on a plan. But three days out from Beaumonde, the pulse drive fails. the engineering team and Windsor get it online again and they continue on. Junior calls in as many favors as he can to see if anyone has heard about Niska having plans to use the senator's missing people, but everything comes up blank. They decide to have Ruan call Niska and say that he is looking for a second chance, he missed Niska's wife Magda and that the captain is looking for work. They call Niska and his secretary puts Ruan through. Niska is surprised to hear from them, but takes them at face value and gives them an appointment in a couple of days and clears the Britannia to dock. Windsor, Silas, Ruan and Hwang will meet Niska while Junior, Tai and Naomi form a reserve. If the advance team says "crumpet" over the radio, the reserve team should attack the station. They arrive and dock, guards take them to Niska's office, but they notice the guards carrying heavier weapons and wearing better armor. They have heard that someone attacked Niska earlier in the year.
Niska meets them and greets them warmly and they go right to the punch: they are searching for the missing crew from the hijacking of senator von Alksburg's yacht and know Niska bought the senator's missing people from the slave trader on Beaumonde and they want to negotiate for their release or sale. Niska knows nothing about this and they press him, they know Bolin took care of it. Ruan has reached out with his empathy and believes the missing crew are aboard the skyplex. Niska calls in Bolin who arrives with some guards. When Niska questions Bolin, they see him react. Bolin pulls a gun, orders the guards to attack and shoots at Niska. Niska dodges behind his desk and everyone opens fire. They yell "crumpet". Ruan blows Bolin's head off with two shots and they kill the other guards. Windsor goes around Niska's desk and finds him opening an escape hatch in the floor. Windsor considers killing Niska to put an end to his criminal career, but decides escaping will be easier with Niska's cooperation. Niska hits a panic button on his desk and a blast door seals his office, he calls his chief of security for help against Bolin's coup.
Back on the ship, Junior sends Oppenheimer out the hatch to distract the guard at the airlock. Junior tries to drop him with a stun baton, but the guard blocks it and shoots Junior at point blank range with his SMG. Junior's torso plate armor turns most, but not all of the damage. He tries to get the guard again and head butts the guard, the guard continues to hold him off and shoots him again, dropping him to the deck. Tai and Naomi arrive and Naomi kills the guard with a headshot from her sniper rifle. But now the advance team is telling them to stand down and they retreat into the ship and lock the cargo hatch.
Niska's security has turned up and secured the situation. Niska tells them to clean up the bodies and see if they can locate the prisoners Bolin was holding. Niska tells Windsor to return to his ship, the prisoners will be brought to them. Perhaps they can speak again later and Ruan can visit Magda another time. They return to the ship and get Junior patched up. Niska's men deliver the senator's people and also a reward, 4,000 credits in cash. They leave the skyplex and deliver the lost crew to the Senator on Persephone. The are paid 10,000 credits for the rescue and have the senator's thanks. Windsor pays off the loan on the Britannia and gives each of the crew a 1,000 credit bonus.

This is the conclusion of the Lost Sheep campaign. Perhaps we will meet the crew of the Britannia again someday…

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Mike was supposed to play, but couldn't make it. On the first die roll of the night, Michael got a "9"

Lee chooses his dice by color to represent his character's mood. Choosing dice to roll for astrogation:
Lee "Am I angry about anything?"
Emily "Don't astrogate angry"

The crew is moving Silas' family to their new settlement
Jim "We get to have a barn raising in space"
Michael asked if the prefab shelters were made by Ikea and then we had jokes about "flat pack houses" and how many kinds of allen wrenches there were

A discussion that the crew doesn't take passengers because they tend to be hijackers
Kevin "As long as they pay us up front, I don't mind shooting them"

The job to find the missing yacht crew members is pitched to the crew
Lee "You had me at space yacht"

Emily is trying to decide which pistol to carry from Ruan's many choices
Emily "People keep giving me guns"
Lee "If by giving, you mean taking them after you kill them"

Looking for cargo on the skyplex
Lee "Amazingly enough, we get a cargo of yacht parts"
Kevin "Dubious yacht parts"

Discussing that Ruan rarely drinks and has never been drunk
Lee "Great. Drunken psychic assassin"
Jim, with drunken solemnity "I. Can. Mead. Your. Rind"

Emily just did a 14 hour overnight shift which started slow, so all her techs asked to go home early. Then they got slammed…
Jim "When last we left our crew…"
Lee "The captain had sent everyone home early"

Asked for names of casinos and bars, Jim said "Gimme Chocolate", with waitresses dressed as Asian schoolgirls as a reference to the band Babymetal. Lee said that wasn't Windsor's thing and Jim remembered Windsor's last fling was a tall blonde so he provided "Odin's Table", where the waitresses are tall, busty blondes dressed as valkyries. The Londinium tourist bar was "First Light" from Emily's Londinium national anthem.

Ruan is trying to find a secret assassin's bar, like in John Wick
Mike "Are you wandering around alleys saying 'I'm so thirsty, I could kill someone' "
Jim " 'But I only do that when I'm getting paid' "

Lee has been misnaming his casino all night. After finding out where Creel has been:
Lee "So he's been to the Londinium ex-pat place and Thor's Hairy Nipple"
Jim "Odin's. Fucking. Table."

Emily sometimes thinks Michael is still playing his old character Cid
Emily "I always forget that you're dead"

Mike "I send everyone a cortex text; a cortext"

Mike comes up with a plan that does not meet everyone's approval
Mike "That's Plan B"
Kevin "No, that's much lower"

Kevin "I hope we don't die in this maneuver"
Emily "It's more of a gesture"

Matt discussing a place he went for breakfast
Matt "Crepes are the taco of breakfast"
Emily "Aren't crepes the taco of France?"

Most of the guys were wearing flannel shirts at the game
Emily "All this plaid makes me feel like I'm back in Seattle"

Talking about Ruan's psychic abilities
Emily "Aren't you amazed by my abilities?"
Lee "I will bring it up in your next employee evaluation"

Jim asked Michael about his skills and he read off a list including Stealth and Seduction
Raleigh "We're not questioning your ability to be stealthy"
Lee "Or sexy"

They will attack the slave ship with shuttle 2 and the Britannia
Raleigh "Operation Crab Claw. I'm the little claw" <makes pincer gestures with his hand>

Missiles are fired at the ship
Lee "This is like shooting fish in a barrel with missiles"
Kevin "We're so into violence we didn't even try to talk to them"

Hwang is shot
Mike "I have faith in the skills of our medic"
Emily "Dear God…"

The Britannia swoops down on the ship
Emily "Don't forget there are cranes; you can't just land on them like a fence"

Junior blows a hole in the deck and jumps down to the next level
Mike "I jump in Matt's hole"
Jim "You're going in Matt's hole…"
Matt "My smoking hot hole"
Mike "I'm right behind you"

Moving the slaves aboard ship
Michael "Can I smack them? I like smacking 'em"

Matt begins setting charges
Kevin "Don't blow the ship up with us on it"
A few minutes later
Emily "Don't blow the ship up with us on it"
Kevin "We already discussed it"
Jim "You're three minutes behind on the panic"

Looking over the rescued slaves
Raleigh "Are any in bad shape? Do we need to take them to a hospital?"
Emily "I'm a medic"
Raleigh <looks at Emily> "Can we take them to a hospital?"

Michael wants his character to start a war between the Tongs and Niska, so they attack Niska's base to make it easier for the crew
Emily "Niska engineered a contract killing on a member of your family"
Jim "We'll leave out the part where Ruan did the killing"
Raleigh "We have the receipt"

Ruan calls Niska and his secretary puts Ruan on hold
Lee "This call may be monitored for quality assurance"

Emily rolls five dice for initiative
Lee "How many dice do you roll?!" <scoops up a handful of dice and drops them on the table>

Someone said the captain is boring
Lee "I have sex with valkyries"
Jim "Armored valkyries"
Lee "I almost had a valkyrie threesome"

Windsor has the drop on Niska and is really thinking about killing him
Lee "He's unarmored, defenseless…"
Emily "That's a terrible time to shoot someone"
Lee "Really!?!"
Mike "What was your excuse?"