Episode One- A Captain, A Crew, and Half a Ship.
Our story begins on the planet Paquin, known to some as the Gypsy Planet, in the thriving space port city of San Cristobol. Lachlan Thomas, full time drifter and itinerant gambler, has finally managed to buy his way in to a big stakes poker game. When the chips are all spent he finds himself with very little cash but ownership of a modified beetle class mid-sized transport spaceship. This ship is named the Hsigo, which in pidgin Chinese means approximately the Flying Monkey.
Upon closer examination of the signed over bill of sale Lachlan realizes that he is not the SOLE owner of the vehicle. This is a joint ownership title. The owner of the other half of the ship’s title is Roberto Tatagliani, known to his associates and competitors as Jersey Bob. (Picture Badger on a different planet only tall and fat and with a New Jersey accent).
Lachlan is sitting in his small rented room with his cohort Zacharias Duplitsky, trying to decide the next most logical course of action. Zach arrived about six months ago on Paquin, shortly after Thomas did. He came from the core worlds somewhere. Disowned by his very wealthy business family, he arrived here and promptly talked his way out of all his money. He was in a bar talking himself into a good ass whuppin when Lachlan intervened and talked several folks out of handing Zach’s own buttocks to him. On a greasy platter. Since then, Zach has been following Lachlan around with big puppy dog eyes. Zach is a bit naïve and a bit too much into himself, but Lachlan has seen him shoot a rifle and knows the value of a good gun hand when he sees it. Plus, he cuts a damn fine figure. You can do a lot with people as good lookin’ as Zach. Lachlan knows this, because he’s no slouch in the charm department himself.
There is a knock on the door. Zach answers it and is greeted by Richard Salvaton, known to most people in the streets of San Cristobol as ‘Slick Rick’. Slick tells them that Jersey Bob would like to speak to Lachlan about a business proposition. Long and short of it is this; If Lachlan wants the rest of the ship signed over to him all he has to do is show up with a pilot and a mechanic in two days at a local bar called the Turnpike. Bob will then offer them a couple of jobs and if the jobs are successful he will sign the whole Flying Monkey over to Lachlan.
Lachlan agrees to meet Jersey Bob. He has just the pilot in mind; last week he ran into an old colleague of his, a ship pilot named Carmen Santana. He remembered her as a great ships pilot who came highly recommended for her skill and her discretion. As a former junior officer (honorably discharged) of the Alliance navy she also carried a little credibility with her. She and her former shipmate, a mechanic named Mycroft, were both on planet and out of work. Mycroft is a little eccentric and a little unfocused, but according to Santana he is an excellent mechanic. ‘Muy Loco’, she says, ‘But he can fixes things okay’.
(storyline here- Up until 2 months ago Mycroft and Santana were serving aboard an unmodified Beetle Class transport (named the Siren Call) under ship Captain Brad Longshanks. They served as ship’s mechanic and ship’s pilot. Santana had been on the ship for two years, Mycroft for a few months. On their last run their ship was stopped by an alliance patrol cruiser and searched. A great deal of stolen mining equipment was found in crates labeled “men’s underwear”. Longshanks was arrested and the ship was seized by the alliance. The two ships crew members were put down on the nearest planet, Paquin, after questioning.)
Zach and Lachlan and Mycroft and Santana all meet at the turnpike two hours before the meeting with Jersey Bob. They haggle over pay rates and details and swap stories. Lachlan is overjoyed to hear that their last ship was also a beetle class ship (albeit a different modification). It will mean that they will start off already having a fundamental idea of the ship’s form and function.
The whole time they are talking there as a really excellent Saxophone player who is playing background jazz tunes.
Jersey Bob and Slick Rick enter the bar through security doors in the back of the bar. They call the saxophone player over and Jersey introduces himself to everyone, and introduces the Sax player as Doctor Sioux Spigel. He then goes over ‘THE JOB’.
Bob has no desire to own a transport. He has people who transport for him . . .
Bob will provide some limited ship remods, a full fuel tank and one letter of reference (for another full tank of gas).
Bob wants a shipment hauled from Paquin to Newhall ( 432 hour trip/18 days standard burn ). This shipment consists of 120 one ton crates of wine and a small briefcase, delivered to a very specific party. They are to take Doctor Spigel with them and assist him as needed in carrying out a small duty. Then at Newhall the ship would refuel, pick up a shipment (250 tons of scrap mining equipment) and go to Beaumonde (100 hour trip/ 4 days). At Beaumonde they would deliver the shipment in one location, assist Doctor Spigel again with a small duty, fly to another location on that same planet and then pick up his nephew, Rico Tatagliani. Once they return to Paquin ( 480 hour trip/20 days standard burn ) Jersey Bob would seal the deal by signing over the rest of the ship to Lachlan.
The letter of reference he has will get you landing clearance and a full tank of gas on Newhall. Jersey Bob makes it clear that he does not want you to take any passengers with you for extra money- this should be a strictly crew involved mission.
The first shipment (wine and the security briefcase) is to be given directly to a man named Vincent Garibaldi, head of the Garibaldi family and Director of operations at Winged Ice Incorporated. He lives on the island city of New Murano. Bob gives you the coordinates. The scrap metal you are to pick up at Newhall will be supplied to you by a man named Duggan Vreeland, who will find you in New Murano.
Lachlan agrees to the job but asks for a short introductory run of the ship for him and his new crew. After some thought Jersey Bob agrees that the crew can take a small shipment of lumber and other sundries to the nearby planet of Lazarus (2 days burn.) He will not pay them for the job but will provide all provisions and fuel to do the job.
Hands are shaken. Plans are made. As Jersey Bob gets up to leave, a voice booms out ‘Thomas, you and I have business to attend to’. The group turns to the speaker. It is Henry ‘Heavy’ Hanson, former captain of the Flying Monkey. He talks about having proof that Lachlan cheated during their poker game. Lachlan denies this. Arguments open up and a brawl ensues. Jersey Bob and Slick Rick happily take bets on the outcome as the two crews slug it out. It appears to be mostly a game of ‘Bum rush the chinese bitch’ at first. Then it levels out. Lachlan attempts a combat kiss. Zach shows proficiency with thrown metal cups. In the end the mysterious Doctor Spigel delivers an utterly vicious double punch attack to Hanson that leaves him unconscious and with a double handful of chest hair missing. Hanson’s remaining crew flees or agrees to sit down and have drinks with you.
Mycroft and the former ship’s mechanic, Maxxie, spend some time talking craft and specifics about the Flying Monkey.
The crew all agrees to meet the next morning and take off to lazarus for the test run. Jersey Bon informs you he will have the cargo on the ship by 10 am. The episode ends as Lachlan leaves the bar. “Safe Trip, Captain Thomas” says Rusty, the old grizzled Bartender. “Captain Thomas,” says Lachlan quietly to himself, “A man could get used to a title like that.”
Booty- all players get 4 credits because Jersey Bob gave you a share of the bets against you in the bar fight. Zach, you immediately spent 2 of those 4 buying drinks for a pretty girl in the corner. She and her husband, who arrived shortly after the drinks did, thanked you kindly.
Experience- everyone got one character advancement point. If you had more than six plotpoints, the rest go to character advancement points.