Organ Trade

Players and Characters
Ryan: Chris Hammond, Doctor
Matt: Roy Nelson, Copilot/Mechanic
Konrad: Jett Winters, Medtech
Emily: Ru, a mystery person
Kevin: Samuel L. Jenkins, Pilot
Raleigh: Naomi Hale, Medtech/Engineering
Mike: Duncan Bidwell, Security Officer

10/20/2520 Alliance Standard Dating

Is there a doctor in the house?
The Apollo has returned to Greenleaf to provide some more disaster relief efforts. Some of the refugee camps have had mini epidemics breakout. Team 3 is aboard the Apollo while Team 4 has the Betty. The worst cases have been sent to the Apollo for care. Captain Harris calls Dr. Hammond to his office and tells him they received an emergency call from a ship in orbit. The ship is a Firefly class, the Memories of Shadow. Captain Harris asks Dr. Hammond to take the call. Dr. Hammond agrees and calls Team 3 to alert status. They grab the ship's Silver Star shuttle, Maggie Mae, and race to orbit to dock with the Memories of Shadow. They are met by the ship's captain, a short brunette named Estelle Stewart, she is a former Browncoat… She explains one of their passengers is ill and the only medical personnel they have is a paramedic. They head to the passenger's room and find the ship's medic trying to revive the patient, he is seizing and going into arrest. Despite heroic efforts, they are unable to save him. Once things calm down, they notice that he looks a little like Dr. Hammond, and he has recent, well healed surgery marks on his torso.
The team questions Captain Stewart, she says his ID is a rim world paper form from Parth in White Sun, she picked him up on Bernadette, his ticket was for Harvest, their next stop. His name was Nathaniel Davis. The only other information is a card for an exclusive medical clinic on Harvest in the city of New Abilene. Dr. Hammond suggests they take the body for an autopsy and to file the death report, Captain Stewart agrees. The team bags the body and takes his belongings and returns to the Apollo. When Dr. Hammond begins the autopsy, they find the victim has had a complete organ transplant and has illegal blastomere organs. Naomi loses her cool, she is a renegade organ smuggler who kept her new organs, rather than deliver them. With the knowledge that the victim was an organ smuggler, the team comes up with a plan to send Dr. Hammond undercover. Captain Harris gets permission from headquarters to go ahead, and as a former Browncoat himself, talks Captain Stewart into taking Dr. Hammond aboard as her lost passenger. Dr. Hammond is given a hidden comlink and departs on the Firefly and the Betty is recalled so Team 3 can head to Harvest.

Hello, do you have an appointment?
Everyone arrives on Harvest and scopes out the clinic location in an office building. The team smuggles some guns into town and rents an aircar to follow Dr. Hammond. Dr. Hammond arrives and checks in with the receptionist, who sends him back to an exam room. He walks in…and passes out.
The rest of the team is outside, Duncan is listening to Dr. Hammond's tap. When it goes silent, the storm in and start asking questions. The receptionist stonewalls them, then Duncan kicks in the back door and starts searching. The receptionist hits the panic button and flees. The team starts searching, but can't find Hammond. They hear police sirens come and continue searching. Naomi and Roy flee with the teams' bigger guns; Duncan, Samuel, Jett and Ru are arrested. The team is jailed for several hours and questioned before company lawyers get them bailed out. Their weapons, inluding Jett's keepsake pistol from his Alliance days, are confiscated and they're fined. They explain to the police they are investigating the death of an organ smuggler, the police say they'll investigate. They return to the Betty and try to figure what happened to Dr. Hammond and wonder if he's even alive.

The doctor will see you now
Dr. Hammond wakes up in a patient's hospital gown, sitting in a folding chair, hands cuffed behind the chair. He is in what appears to be a passenger cabin on a modern ship. Shortly after he awakens, a man enters. He looks like the very model of an upper class, successful core world doctor, except that he has no empathy at all and regards Dr. Hammond as a piece of meat. He calls Dr. Hammond by name and taunts him for getting involved. The stranger tells him that they will still make a profit. Some people can't afford or don't want a blastomere organ, but young, healthy transplants are good enough. The stranger discusses how the fools they hire as mules are gullible enough to believe they will be paid and their own organs will be put back when they deliver the blastomere organs they're smuggling, they don't realize their organs go for sale. The mules are just walking, breathing packaging, disposable packaging… And soon Dr. Hammond will be too.
Dr. Hammond is young, flexible and a black belt martial artist. He leaps to his feet with the chair held against his back and spins to fling it at the stranger. It knocks him down and while he is distracted, Dr. Hammond pulls his handcuffed hands over his feet and around front. He kicks the stranger and smashes him into the wall, and knocks him out. Dr. Hammond takes his multiband and escapes, locking the stranger in the room. He explores the ship and finds an airlock, the ship is sitting on the ground at some country estate. Dr. Hammond finds some tools in the airlock and cuts the handcuffs' chain, mutes the multiband, calls Naomi's number, stashes it in the tool compartment and escapes the ship. He heads into the forest, it is night time. He looks up at the sky and realizes he's not on Harvest…

Ambulance Chasers
Back on the Betty, the team is trying to figure out what happened. Naomi gets a call from an unknown sender and they trace it…to Silverhold! They take off and head there. Dr. Hammond has decided to go back on the ship and investigate, it takes off shortly after he boards. The Betty races for Silverhold and they notice the sensor echo that had been following the Apollo is now following them. When they begin chasing the small yacht carrying Dr. Hammond, they are hailed by an unknown ship named "Michael". They question the Betty about what is going on. They won't identify themselves, they only say they're a "guardian angel". The team assumes its some secret patrol ship sent to protect the hospital ships. They explain what is going on and the sensor echo closes in and starts threatening the fleeing ship to surrender. When the "sensor echo" passes the Betty, all they can tell is its small, fast and stealthed.
Dr. Hammond has decided to deal with matters. He goes to the ship's bridge and attacks the two pilots. He decks one, but the other draws a pistol and shoots him in the leg. Dr. Hammond knocks him out, and then hides in the bridge. The stranger doctor comes in and Hammond knocks him out again. He picks up the pistol and calls the Betty. The team maneuvers in to dock and Samuel does a brilliant docking approach. Roy, Jett and Duncan storm the ship and start looking for Dr. Hammond. The last two crew come to the bridge, apparently a pair of medtechs. Dr. Hammond takes them prisoner and the ship is captured. The prisoners are secured and Roy flies the ship back to Silverhold, the Michael fades away from detection. The two ships return to Silverhold and land at the port and call in the Feds. Searching the ship, they find a sickbay equipped with the latest medical gear, even more lavishly supplied than the Apollo. They also find a variety of organs in storage waiting for transplants…

Gamemaster's Afterword
The Firefly episode "The Message" is cool because it introduces the scary crime of organlegging to the 'Verse. But it has always bothered me that they would cut open someone on say Bernadette, stick in the blastomere organs, fly his organs somewhere while he takes passage to the same place, then meet him, take out the blastomere organs to put into the buyer, put his original organs back in, pay him a pile of cash and let him go. That's a whole lot of surgery! Why doesn't the buyer just fly to Bernadette, get new organs and go home, much simpler. Or even just send the blastomere organs to the buyer, instead of sending the mule's organs?
However, like the bit in the Serenity movie that the PAX was in the air processors, that's what the show says, so we will follow the show. But, thinking about the complete lack of humanity in the organleggers from Larry Niven's books, I felt they would lie to the mules, take their organs for sale and when they delivered the blastomere organs, they would finish cutting them up for spare parts. No witnesses, no need to pay them, and you get more free parts for sale. So what Tracey says in the episode isn't truth, its the lie the mules are sold to get them to cooperate.
Raleigh's character Naomi is a former mule who put 2 and 2 together on her delivery trip and got "run like Hell". A set of implants costs 18,000 Alliance credits or $450,000. If they ever find her, they will take it out of her hide, literally…
Also, these adventure summaries boil down the game to what happened from the characters' perspective, NOT the players. This session had overplanning, underplanning, no planning, lack of teamwork, lack of communication and a whole lot of chaos. Partway through the players agreed they needed to focus more on the team's chain of command and they were acting like a "bunch of brigands" rather than what their characters were.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Emily remembers the old captain's name on the Serenity's false papers:
Emily "I can't believe I remembered that"
Raleigh "That's almost as nerdy as your license plate" (She has a Firefly themed license plate on her car)

The team boards a Firefly:
Raleigh, as Naomi "Wow, this thing is spaceworthy?"

Matt about the organleggers' clinic "Its like chop shop…for people"

Matt pulls a wad of cash out of his pocket while we were ordering dinner:
Matt "Where did all this money come from?"
Jim "Have you been sleep-stripping again?"

Raleigh "Easter Island native cooking is like…your neighbor"

Ryan's doctor character is trying to revive an NPC:
Chmiel "Did you reboot his heart?"
Ryan "I tried turning his heart off and back on again"

Raleigh "They <the authorities> are working at the speed of police"

Talking about what would happen if Kevin's deaf pilot Samuel was blind, too:
Raleigh "He's the Pinball Wizard of Space"

Kevin "I didn't hear that part"
Ryan "You're deaf"

Ryan's doctor character knocks out the doctor villain, escapes from the ship, sneaks back aboard, knocks out the pilots and the doctor again and takes the last two crew captive single handedly, relying almost entirely on his martial arts skills:
Matt "Your character's new name is Dr. McNinja"