Liner Larceny

(GM's note: A mash up of heist films like Ocean's 11 and space action film The Fifth Element.)


A beautiful, well dressed woman meets with a client, an older Asian man, who asks her to contract the theft of a shipment of jewelry from Earth-that-Was. They have contacts within the company that owns the ship the jewelry is travelling on and provides her details. But they insist that the job be done as quietly as possible and there must be absolutely no injuries or deaths, especially among the passengers. She agrees and takes the information. She returns to her vessel, a luxuriously appointed short range shuttle and accesses her computer system and opens the Companions database. She asks for "trusted shipping contacts" and sorts through profiles until she settles on the entry for a man shown today and as a young Londinium space navy officer. Captain David Windsor, owner of the Firefly class transport Britannia

An offer you can't refuse
On Beaumonde, the Britannia arrives and discharges cargo and her passenger. Captain Windsor decides to have a little shore leave after the long trip to Blue Sun. Ruan didn't get a chance to have a celebration in January of his escape from the Academy, so he takes everyone out for a nice dinner. The next morning, Windsor begins looking for work. He is contacted by a woman named Tia, who appears to be a Companion. She says she is looking for a crew for a difficult job and Captain Windsor is listed as a trustworthy contractor in the Companions' database. She makes arrangements to meet for dinner.
Tia meets the crew for dinner and talks to them as a group, then the group moves to a private room and Tia describes the job. She needs a skilled crew to pose as passengers on a cruise liner and assist her in stealing a strong box from a secure room. The crew asks how much does the job pay and she asks them to set a price. They confer and their last illegal job for Niska was about 2,300 credits, so they ask for 3,000 plus expenses. Tia agrees quickly, but warns that unreasonable expenses will be disallowed. The crew feels they may have sold themselves short, but go ahead.
Tia lays out the details of the liner, its route, deckplans, security guards, etc, etc. She insists that no one be injured, any fatalities among the passengers or crew will result in zero pay. There's some more grumbling, but the crew has given their word and they continue. Tia can provide fake identification and real tickets for the cruise ship which arrives in three days and will lay over on on Beaumonde for two before continuing on to Boros. Her shuttle will be docked aboard the liner for the trip, she can smuggle some small items aboard. If required, she can have other items placed in a container and carried in the ship's cargo bay, but the crew would need to break into the cargo bay to access.
The debate rages late into the night as plans are suggested and discarded. Junior reaches out to some Syndicate contacts about information on breaking the vault. With a tentative plan decided, they break up for the night and begin looking for supplies. Tia pays for the Britannia to be put in storage at Beaumonde and will pay for passenger tickets for everyone to return from Boros. Naomi tutors Ruan on the the sophisticated electronic security kit Ronnie left them. Tia purchases supplies needed, including a large security case big enough to conceal a person in and a small surveillance camera disguised as a nose stud. She takes a mag charge from Junior to smuggle aboard and Naomi packs hacking gear inside a computer. Ruan also approaches Tia and gives her his pistol and envelope to hide on her shuttle.
With their supplies ready, the crew presents themselves as passengers and Tia docks her shuttle to the liner. Windsor knows of the captain second hand, they had a mutual acquaintance but had never met before and Windsor talks his way into a place at the captain's table. Tia delivers the mag charge to Ruan, during the ship's night he sneaks into one of the engine accessways and plants it near an engine. Tia also delivers her security box to the vault and uses her training to charm the guards. She is asked to open it and does so, showing that it contains gem and precious metal inlaid sex toys. She flirts with the guards and explains that her clients have very special needs but the items need to be watched. Unfortunately that means she will need to bring it back and forth to the vault. The camera in her jewelry records the layout and equipment the guards have and a security camera on the wall.
The crew spreads out on the ship, getting used to the routine and establishing themselves. Windsor gets a tour of the ship, Cid and Junior go gambling in the casino, Silas drinks quietly in the bar. Later Cid hits on a woman in the casino and starts a shipboard romance.
Tia delivers the recording to the crew and they update their plans. Naomi hacks into the ship's system and plans to cut off power and air to the vault, but can't touch the camera. And the guards have gas masks that Junior recognizes as having at least ten minutes of independent air supply. They decide that Ruan will go into the vault in the box. Naomi will cut the air and power, turning off the lights as well. When the guards leave, Ruan will climb out of the vault with night vision goggles, cover the camera with tape, break into the vault, steal the jewelry, remove the tape on the camera and get back into the box. Simple. (GM's note: Three hours at least of the finest over planning)

Best laid plans
The team begins to execute the plan. Naomi enters the commands to interfere with the vault. Ruan enters Tia's shuttle as a client and later she delivers him to the vault in the box. The rest of the crew are drinking and gambling and are a little too loud to make sure they are providing something interesting to distract the security guards watching cameras. When the power and air in the vault cut out, the guards call for repair team, then step out into the corridor and close the vault door. Ruan unlocks the box from inside and lifts out the storage shelf above him. He covers the camera with tape and turns his attention to the strongbox. It has a two stage system, it requires a passcard and a combination. Ruan begins to crack it but fails and the lock warns that an invalid code has been entered, please enter correct code. Ruan tries again and doesn't succeed, but doesn't trip the fail safe. On the third try he bypasses the card reader, then attacks the combination system. Again, it takes him two tries, but the box unlocks. Ruan opens the lid and… it's empty. There is nothing inside! Confused and concerned, he reseals the strongbox, removes the tape and gets back into the box and pulls the shelf back into place and closes the box. Repair techs fix the power to the vault and the guards return. Ruan focusses on them and tries to pick up any clues, but the guards don't seem to know anything is wrong. Tia shows up to recover the box and makes jokes with the guards about an unexpected client and back to work for her. She carts the box to her shuttle and opens it to release Ruan. Ruan doesn't know whats going on, but decides to Read her to see if she has been lying to them and has his gun ready to shoot her. He reads Tia's mind and sees that she's been honest with them, but also gets a gestalt of memories of a lot of sex… Ruan manages not to accidentally fire his pistol, but climbs out of the box and staggers back to his bunk. After he takes a shower and cleans up, he calls everyone together in the captain's stateroom and explains to them about the empty box.
Tia calls her patron and tells him the box was empty. He explains that he is actually an agent for the owners; they got word that someone on the transfer crew was going to help steal the jewels, so Tia was hired to steal them first for the owners. They couldn't warn the transfer crew not knowing who the inside man was. So someone in the transfer team must have the jewels.
Tia goes to Windsor's stateroom and joins the crew's discussion and explains what she has heard. The crew begins to plan on how to figure out who has the jewels (GM: roll the overplanning montage, part 2). They decide to have Ruan try to figure out which of the guards is guilty with his empathy. So Ruan hangs around the guards when they are off duty and discovers one of them is guilty. While he is on watch, Naomi and Ruan break into his room and search it, but no jewels. They reconvene and decide it must be the team leader, but he is pretty much living in his VIP suite. After many more plots, they decide on Junior's plan to poison the guilty guard so he goes to sickbay and the team leader has to fill in for him. They watch for the guilty guard in the bar and come in as a group, pretending to be a bachelor party for Ruan as the new groom. While they buy drinks for everyone, Junior uses sleight of hand to dope the guard's drink with some drugs from Ruan's paramedic kit. The guard winds up in sickbay and Naomi and Ruan break into the leader's quarters while Cid watches the hallway. In the team leader's suite they find another security box, but this one has gravity pads holding it to the deck. Naomi tries to break into it, but can't and almost sets off the alarm. They retreat to try again another time. The crew reconvenes and they decide to recover the mag-charge Ruan hid in the engines and use that on the security box if needed, The next day they break in again, but this time Naomi is successful and cracks the lock. They remove the jewelry boxes and deliver them to Tia who hides them in her security box. Now they just need to make it to Boros and it's over.

On the outskirts of the Georgia system, the liner suddenly drops out of pulse drive. Alarms sound and the captain requests that passengers stay in their quarters while they deal with a minor problem. He apologizes for the "minor inconvenience". Tia powers up her shuttle's systems in case they need to abandon ship and she spots another ship moving to dock with the liner. She tries to get information from the captain, but even her powers of persuasion fail. She calls the crew and captain Windsor tries also, without success. Ruan takes his pistol and goes to watch what happens. The ship docks to the VIP airlock and four men in armored space suits come aboard. Their weapons and suits suggest they are pirates, but Ruan reads them enough to figure out they are just thugs pretending to be fearsome pirates. They go to the team leader's quarters. There are raised voices, an argument, then shots. The "pirates" rush back to their ship and depart, the team leader is dead, the secret security box open and empty…
A few hours later, the liner's crew has repaired her damage and gotten underway again. She is met by an Alliance patrol vessel which escorts them the rest of the way to port. Tia pays off the crew and tells them the next time she has a job, she will be in touch. The crew gets off on Boros with the rest of the passengers and makes plans to return to Beaumonde and recover the Britannia.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Talking about Kimi would be guest playing a Companion, someone said "space hooker"
Jim "Spooker"
Lee "Sprostitute"
Matt "Sparlot?"

Ruan wants to take everyone out to celebrate
Emily "I pick a nice restaurant"
Lee "Taco Bell"

Discussing the arrangements for travelling Companions to berth their personal shuttles on the cruise ship in bays reserved for Companion shuttles
Kimi "There are slots for Companions'…" <facepalm> "I can't believe I just said slots"

Lee suggests using the Reavers to attack the ship as a distraction
Lee "I have Plan C"
Matt "C is for cannibalism"

Discussing smuggling someone aboard in the Companion's shuttle and they would have to hide in there for the whole trip
Michael "I volunteer for tribute!!"

Planning to smuggle someone inside the vault in a box so they can get out, rob the vault and get back in the box
Kevin "We can build a large, wooden badger"

There was a HUGE off color discussion about what valuable items Kimi's Companion would need to put in the vault and go back and forth for. Eventually it was decided on gem and precious metal inlaid sex toys. So there was a big discussion of diamond studded dildos or even dildos made from giant, synthetic diamonds. Which led to a discussion of the most expensive sex toys ever made in reality. Also, the vaults are referred to as "lady holes" from an old British naval term for a small storage compartment. So we're putting the dildos in the lady hole…
Emily "If only we had a podcast; this would be our most family friendly episode ever…"

Discussing gambling
Emily "Games of chance or games of cheating"

Naomi hacks into the ship's status and repair system
Kevin "Can you shut down all the garbage compactors?"

Discussing space venereal disease
Kimi "Spyhilis?"
Lee "Use a spondom"
Matt "Or a sprubber"
Which lead to a discussion of the difference between rubbers and galoshes.

The box is empty…
Kevin "We should have just asked the opera singer"

Kimi "You rolled too low, you have to be looking at my boobs"
Emily "That was going on anyway"
Matt " 'My eyes are up here' 'Too late, my decision has been made' "

Ruan reports to the crew that the jewels were not in the box
Raleigh "What do you mean it was empty?"
Kevin "People keep asking that"

Matt "Should we start a leaflet campaign?"
Jim "I don't think its that serious"
Matt "Then I will start carving a canoe"

Planning the poisoning
Raleigh "Does the ship serve fish?"
Jim "We are not serving salmon mousse"

Silas is drinking in the bar
Kevin "I'm creating billable hours"

The "pirates" meet with the empty handed team leader
Jim "You hear a couple of shots"
Kevin "What, like whiskey shots?"
Everyone, chanting "Shots, shots, shots, shots"

Emily "I believe the best paid person was me"

Kimi "You guys delivered, in more ways than one"