Lost Family

The Britannia is enroute to Paquin with Locke aboard as a passenger/prisoner. Ruan is concerned he may try something and asks Captain Windsor to have Ruan locked up and his weapons taken away. Windsor replies that Ruan is probably their best defense against Locke. Junior suggests making an exploding ankle bracelet to keep Locke under control. Windsor decides to hold onto Ruan's guns, but they will restrain Locke. Naomi and Junior make the device and give the captain one detonator and Naomi takes the other. Windsor calls Shen and asks about railgun rounds. Shen replies he is out, his biggest customer took all of his stock.
Despite their concerns, the trip is easy and uneventful. On Paquin, Ruan says goodbye to Locke and gives him 200 credits. Locke thanks him and gives 50 credits back and tells Ruan to give it to Windsor for his passage. He leaves with out looking back and disappears into the crowds. Discussing what to do next, Naomi wants to upgrade the ship. Debating a new computer versus a new sensor package, Windsor says to do both. Shopping the cortex, they decide to go to Bernadette. It's close, high tech and the docking fees for the work will be cheaper than on Londinium or Ariel for example. Windsor sends Tai out for work and he gets a 300 ton cargo of grain headed to Bernadette and they load up and depart.
On Bernadette, Windsor is put out that the capital is New Paris, and has a distinctive French air. Ruan suggests a tourist trip to Gonghe where he used to live. Windsor agrees and they take Shuttle 1 over, leaving the refit in the hands of Silas, Naomi and Junior. Windsor finds Ruan makes an excellent wing man on the club scene since his psychic abilities help find the captain a date. Back on Bernadette, installing the new computer goes well, but Silas is having a lot of trouble getting the sensors online. The tourists return after five days and the work is not done. Windsor pitches in to help.

The day before they finish, Windsor is contacted by a woman who identifies herself as Rachel Harris, a private investigator. She is aware of the crew's reputation and wants to hire them to help her with a job on Ezra. They negotiate and settle on 400 credits, plus expenses. After some schedule checking, she decides to catch a commercial transport to Bernadette, she is on Sihnon. She will see them tomorrow. The repairs are finished and the ship fueled and Rachel arrives. She explains she is working a missing persons case. Her client has family who moved out to Ezra to start a farm and make a new life, they were in regular communication, but now it's been over a month since they were heard from. They get Rachel settled in a passenger cabin and Windsor notices she has a gun in a shoulder holster. They lift off for Ezra, and Naomi is plotting courses and standing a bridge watch as part of her continuing pilot training. During the journey, Windsor notices Rachel is particularly wary of Ruan. Finally Windsor confronts her and she says she spoke to bounty hunter Janet Washington, who hired them as prisoner transport. Janet said she believes Ruan to be a psychopath for killing tied up enemies. Windsor defends Ruan, but Rachel is not convinced. At Ezra, they fly over the family's farm and the first view is terrible: the house is completely burned down, the barn partially burned and collapsed and no signs of life. Naomi brings the ship in for a landing and hits hard, Tai is thrown against a bulkhead. Ruan tenders first aid to him, then they gear up and fan out to search. They find the carcasses of two animals in the corral, probably shot. The family's livestock and two tractors are gone, there are no bodies. They grab guns and fan out, Rachel draws her gun, a Newtech pistol favored by core world police. Searching the remains of the house, electronic equipment is gone and Junior says it smells like an accelerant was used, so it was arson, not an accident. They decide to head to the nearest town and asks questions. The town is quiet, it's the middle of winter locally. There's a saloon which has a few people, they talk to the bartender who says he heard the Reavers hit the Gau farm. Next the talk to the sheriff, Kendrick Jackson, who is old and has a considerable beer gut. He also repeats the story that it was Reavers, he didn't actually go out to the farm to check. Rachel is seriously pissed at this lack of professionalism, she admits to Windsor she used to be a cop on Sihnon. They decide to question the locals and fly out to a farm near the Gau's. When the ship lands, everyone on the farm heads to the main house and as the crew approaches, they notice that the family is forted up with rifles pointing out the windows. They approach and call out they are friendly and are investigating the attack on the Gau's. The door opens and an older man in a faded Browncoat with an assault rifle steps out. He introduces himself as Voltaire O'Connor. he talks with them for awhile and says he doubts it was Reavers. They are out on the edge of settled territory, there's a section of badlands nearby that bandits attack from. He suggests the go over to Samano Dixon's farm. Dixon is the closest neighbor, he said he heard shots the night of the attack. The crew thanks O'Connor and heads for the Dixon farm. The Dixons react in a similar manner and Samono comes out to meet them. He's a shorter, Hispanic man with a rifle over his shoulder and a six gun on his hip. He tells them that they heard shots in the night, but just for a few minutes. Then the fire started. He went to investigate in the morning and found tracks from the livestock being driven off and some tire tracks.He's sure it was bandits, not Reavers. He suggests they search the badlands nearby at night, looking for campfires. He and his boys will join them if they need help hunting the bandits. Rachel tells the captain this is much more serious and offers a thousand credit bonus to capture the bandits, preferably alive so they can be interrogated.

The crew flies off a short distance, then comes back at night and runs an aerial search with the ship's new sensors. They find a large fire and come closer to see a camp with tents, a portable shelter, some vehicles and a portable corral with livestock in a low valley along a creek. They come in a distance off and send Silas, Naomi, Ruan and Tai in to scout. They sneak up a hill and watch the camp. They discuss attacking, but Rachel says they have to take prisoners, they need to find out if the Gau family is still alive, maybe they were sold as slaves. Ruan wants to go in and Read the leader and find out what happened, then they don't have to kill the bandits. But how can they convince Rachel that's he's a psychic, when she already doesn't trust him? Ruan says he will Read the leader and see what he knows. Ruan sneaks up and Reads the bandit leader and finds out the Gaus are dead, buried near their farm. He gives Windsor directions and he flies Rachel back in Shuttle 1 and they search for the grave. They find the grave easily, it wasn't deep and scavengers have been at it. Rachel pulls out a scanning device and images a skull they found. The device uses ultrasonic bone recognition and she identifies the body as one of the sons. All five bodies are here. Rachel says forget taking them alive, kill them all. Windsor gets the men from the O'Connor and Dixon farms and they plan an attack. Silas, Ruan and Tai will sneak across the creek and plant Naomi's mag charge on the bad guys' truck to disable it. Naomi will provide sniper fire from across the way. Windsor will fly the Britannia in with the local posse, Rachel and Junior in the cargo bay.
The attack begins after dark, but Silas slips on a stone crossing the creek. Thinking the animals may be trying to get out of the corral, two come down to investigate. Ruan shoots each one twice with his pistol, Tai karate chops one, then Silas steps up and swings a machete at each. One of the bandits goes down, but the other shoots Silas twice with a shotgun. Silas is hurt, but not badly; his armor stopped most of the pellets. Ruan finishes the other and now chaos breaks out. The Britannia swoops in and Windsor calls on the bandits to surrender, they open fire. The local posse and Junior return fire from the Britannia's cargo bay. The bandits are caught in a three way cross fire and begin to drop. The bandit leader is hiding in the shelter and Ruan runs up to the side, Reads him through the wall and shoots him with Cid's old pistol. With most of the bandits dead and a few wounded, they capture the camp. Once the survivors have been treated and restrained, they decide to turn the loot over to O'Connor and Dixon to see if any of it can be returned, the rest they can keep as a reward. Rachel asks that they fly to the main port get coffins. They return to the Gau farm and recover the bodies and fly Rachel to Boros. From there she will take transport back to Sihnon and return the Gaus to their family.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Jim made some bacon ranch & cheese dip and we were trying to scoop it with Munchos chips which are thin and break easily
Emily <Most Interesting Man in the World voice> "Dip cautiously my friends"

Naomi is still working on her pilot's license and has her learner's permit
Lee "You can only fly in space during the day"

Making an explosive ankle bracelet for Locke, and was it fashionable. Emily suggested Inmate Casual or House Arrest Casual for styles.

Cleaning up the broken snow globes
Emily "I use the space shop vac; the spop vac"
Jim "The vacuum vacuum?"
Emily "The ship has the best central vacuum setup"
Lee "The airlock. Once a week, we just open the airlocks and clean the ship out"

Ruan is talking about leaving
Lee "How am I supposed to do jobs without a psychic assassin?"

Raleigh "About this time, I realized we had a Locke Ness monster aboard"
Jim "<groans> That's terrible. And I'm writing it down…"

How is Ruan going to stay in touch with Locke?
Lee "Space Twitter, Spitter"
Emily "I friend him on Spacebook"
Raleigh "Niska Pokes you"

Looking for cargo or passengers on Paquin and someone suggested hauling a circus troupe
Jim "You've only got room for 4 passengers"
Kevin "Well, I've seen how many people they can fit in a car…"

The ship is hauling grain
Jim "Quadrotriticale"
Emily "Aren't we gluten free?"

Discussing choices for food to order
Lee "I'm easy"
Jim "That's a different conversation"
Emily "He's trustworthy"

Working a missing persons case
Emily "For a man named Locke?"
Lee "Ronnie Fullmer?"
Kevin "Hugh Ass?"

Discussing their reputation, some of the tags suggested were "Prostitute Friendly" and "Trigger Happy" which suggested names for the shuttles
Emily "Shuttle 1 is Trustworthy and Shuttle 2 is Trigger Happy"
Lee "I thought Shuttle 1 was Prostitute Friendly"

Carrying a cargo of 500 tons of tools
Kevin "So a bunch of douchebags"

Rachel meets the crew after a night of drinking
Lee " 'Your ship smells like a distillery' 'Yes, that's the distillery you smell; it's on deck 2' "
Kevin "We have 2 decks?"
Everybody laughs

Rachel is going to brief the crew
Lee "Can I debrief her instead?"
Emily rolls a 26 on 2d12 + 1d4 to Read her
Lee "Maximum damage, you killed her"

Discussing gangs on Paquin, one of them is the Chupacabras
Jim "They don't put a horse head in your bed, they use an exsanguinated goat"
Lots of people flashing vampire teeth gang signs

The family's farm is empty, only two dead livestock in the corral remain
Lee "Were they killed? Like murdered?"
Everyone laughs
Kevin "How are their crops?"
Emily "Were they murdered?"

Harrow's Canyon is a real dump
Lee "This is a crappy town"
Jim "Worst. Town. Ever."

Talking to the neighboring Dixon and O'Connor family farms to see if they know anything
Raleigh "What happened to the Gau farm? Dixon Farms remembers"

Lee rolls a 4 to intimidate the bandits when the Britannia swoops in
Michael "You sound like the teacher on Charlie Brown"