Episode Seven- Get Your Goat
Jersey Bob contacts Captain Thomas and tells him he knows of a man who would like something discreetly transported. Bob doesn’t have an available person to do it so for 3% off the top of the job payment he will put Thomas in touch with the man. Lachlan agrees and is introduced, at the Turnpike, to Doctor Carter Bookman. Bookman wants 60 goats transported to St. Albans from Persephone. These are special goats- genetically engineered to be tough enough to live on the ever frigid world of St Albans, to live off lichens and mosses and provide a sustainable source of meat and milk for the planetary inhabitants. If this first batch manages to be successful it could change the nature of life on the planet and make a genetic engineer like him rich. But before he sinks too much time and money into the goats he needs to know they can live.
The goats have been approved by authorities on Persephone and by authorities on St Albans. But because they are GMO they have not yet been approved for interplanetary space travel and it might take months to get that permitting from local alliance officials. Bookman wants the Hsigo to burn to Persephone (12 day standard burn) pick up the goats (1 day) hard burn 7 days to Anson’s world and unload. If they presumably return the 4 days back to Paquin it would be a total of a 24 day round trip. Bookman is willing to pay you 2000 credits for doing the job with a 500 credit bonus if every goat arrives alive and healthy. (But Lachlan
A few catches-
1. The goats cannot be tranquilized or frozen. They are too resistant to both. So the crew is going to need to have (or hire) someone who is good at animal handling, preferably a veterinarian.
2. The goats can stay in the cargo area and will be sent with enough food that is appealing enough to the goats that they shouldn’t get into any trouble, but because they are GMO for cold temperatures the cargo hold will need to be kept below 50 degrees at all times. This will mean some jury rigged ductwork and some sweaters for the crew.
3. The goats have to get there alive and in good health. Bookman will give you 500 up front for fuel and expenses but if the goats don’t get there alive you will get nothing more from him. You get paid after the vet on St. Albans clears the goats as healthy.
4. The goats have permits certifying them as legal and healthy. What they lack is certified travel papers. Avoid any alliance ships. They would confiscate every animal immediately.
The pay on this job is pretty darn good and the captain agrees to it quickly enough. His crew needs work, after all, and how hard can moving goats be, although he himself notes that his entire experience with a goat consisted of small parts of one on the end of a fork.
Most of the crew starts making mods on the ship to accommodate goats in the cargo hold. While Santana and Zack accompany the Captain on his quest to hire a veterinarian. Dr. Bolyn Hall comes highly recommended and quickly shows Lachlan that she knows her work and is not afraid, with proper compensation, to do a job that might not sit well with the Alliance authorities. They agree to leave for Persephone the following morning.
Bolyn moves into one of the passenger rooms. The crew has an uneventful 12 day burn to Persephone, then they land at Eavesdown Docks to drop off a little cargo. They pick up six miners who want steerage quarters back to St. Albans and then they jump to the arctic area of Persephone to pick up the goats.
Santana, who grew up on a farm, has to be dragged back to the pilot seat to take off. She wants a pet goat now.
The ship passes through the first three days of the seven day hard burn to St. Albans quietly passing the time shoveling goat shit. In the middle of the sleep shift about ½ way to their destination everyone is wrenched violently awake when the ship begins to lurch as if someone is trying to turn it in hard burn. That is because someone is. When the crew members get to the pilot deck doors they look inside to see one of the miners, Harlan Hobbs, sitting at the controla. Another miner and Santana are knocked out nearby and the door has been wedged shut with a sheet of metal.
Mycroft and Lachlan both go to shut down the ship while Zack and Anders start trying to break open the door. In the meantime Spigel puts on a vac suit.
The ship is shut down and the door is opened and a brawl with a crazed miner ensues. It takes four crew members and a lot of bruising to take Hobbs down but eventually it happens. He is maniacal and feels no pain. Once taken down the spigel and hall both look him over. Spigel realizes pretty quickly that he has a case of Cuan Jan Fe, or space rage, a highly contagious brain affecting virus that most people are immunized for as children.
His presence on the ship means the ship is infected. By lucky chance all of the crew is immunized but some of the other miners are not. Hall and Spigel simulate a watered down version of the immunization for the miners. Plans are discussed about how to disinfect the ship and there is a fear (ends up being unfounded) that perhaps the goats are susceptible.
In the end the crew freezes up the ship for awhile, which is supposed to kill the virus, disinfects the ship and drops the goats off. Then Santana and Mycroft take the ship into space and open her up to insure no more virus. Then they anonymously report the outbreak to alliance authorities.
Mycroft exits the ship upon landing after decontamination and encoutners a woman he does not recognize but who sure recognizes him.
‘Major, Mycroft, my god you are alive! I was sure you must have been killed in that explosion on Gamma Base Six! How are you and what the hell are you doing here?’
The woman, whose name is Doctor Nang Sun Hyi (aka Sunny) claims to be an old associate of Mycrofts from a time he cannot remember anymore. She also claims that a company named Zephyr industries has stolen his plans for a machine that can identify potential telepathic ability and either enhance it or destroy it.
In the meantime, the crew gets paid and afterwards returns to Paquin, with Mycrift rapidly obsessing about the need to get his plans back from Zephyr industries. Lachlan drops a little money in a card game and makes an uncharacteristically wise decision to NOT put his ship up against another ship in a game of five card draw.
Everyone got 2 plot points and two advancement points for this game.