Into The Black

Preacher's Got A Ship of Sinners

Soooo, we got put to work hauling a lot of huge and heavy crates. We weren’t hired for menial labor, but it was pointed out that the contents were important equipment of the team and we’d be failing our job we’re getting paid for if something happens to the equipment. It was decided that Preacher would watch the ship while we were out. Missed him. He likely would have been entertaining in the brawl that was to come. Last time he was a’yellin “not the face!” I wondered what funny thing he’d yell this time.

Before we started hauling, I zipped away to the outer belly of their ship and retrieved my tracker. If they Gators win this game and they go on to Londinium, they will likely play musical chairs with the ships again and I’ll have to move this tracker anyway once we find which is which.

It was a tough decision. Brad (the Gator with the nicest butt) wanted to sneak out and meet me somewhere, which I was torn about, I really wanted to land him. I heard he’s a womanizer and that’s the best kind because they don’t try to do that syrupy puppy eye gig. Anyway…do I meet him? Or do I let Capt’n know show she can warn Mr Too Tighty Whities of an impending break-out, which meant doing more to keep my brothers safe.

Brad would be a one night deal, my brothers are forever, so the decision was made. And then what happens? Brad and one of his buddies were still able to sneak out anyway. At least my brothers were left safe behind in Players Prison.

So, Capt’n went with me to meet the boys. I think Brad’s friend really took a shine to Capt’n. We were having a great time at the Pot & Kettle till the brawl broke out. Capt’n was like a Joan of Arc standing there on top of the table shooting off her gun. And of course Trembly, Doc and Wilson made it to the ruckus, our Nightengale Cavalry. I threw a cog at on of the bar patrons participating in what had become an all out bar brawl (one of them persisted in giving Cap’n a hard time.) Chairs were broken, bottles smashed, black-eyes swelled. It was great fun to break up the monotany of space flight.

We took ourselves to a cafe and Trembly gorged on some ice cream. I think Doc may have indulged in it too. I’m pretty sure Capt’n was stalling till Too Tighty Whitie got there. And like the efficient robot he is, he showed up with his goonies, all still wearing their dark glasses even though it was getting on evening. The escaped Gators were brought back to the stadium with their legs between their legs like puppies.

Nice thing out of it though, is since it was dropped on us to keep the team safe, and it was obvious there would be more sneak outs if the boys weren’t allowed to blow off some steam, so TightyWhitie agreed to let us throw the boys a party where they could rowdy up but in a controlled setting.

And it started with a great roar, right here on our Nightengale! The men, the food, the booze! Decorations and loud music and lots a’dancin’. O’course Preacher was having a great time trying to convert some of those he thought lost…until the whores got there. I think Preacher disappeared after that. Doubt he retired with one of the ladies, though his God knows that it would be good for Preacher to loosen up a bit.

And me, I got t’loosen up a lot. Brad was every bit as his reputation promised. Happy sighs!

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Doctor Death to Doctor Who via Doctor Suess

zee ship left zee docks on time, with two weekz of travel I settled into my normal routine with one new wrinkle, weightz in zee morning, late morning brooding has been replaced with reading bookz, lunch and punching zee bag in zee high sun, brooding in the afternoon has been replaced with trying to figure out what machinez in zee corner do, dinner and cardio in the late afternoon, then drinking and brooding has been replaced with drinking and more complicated reading, Alicera has been most helpful and patient helping use zee cortex to get more information not available in zee books I have on readerz, another furious couple of hours on zee bag, then wind down with tending to zee ant farms, slugzs, herb gardensz, and various things I am brewing.

Zee boat seems more and more like home now, as much as it pains me to say it, zee departure of BB has done much to improve my morale, tings were alwaysz tensze and i was always prepared for zee worst, living with unstable powder keg of violence that was armed for war made for many sleepless nights, in many ways he is what I was 2 short years ago without zee gunz.

Over the two weekzs I wasz able to assess the capabilities of machines in corner and learned some of them appear to be useful, I learned I will be ablez to use one of these machines to cook and brew more complex things, my first brew will be to make a type of synthetic adrenaline. Once our job is done on Hera I can gather zee necessary ingredients to try and make a brew during our next long travel.

Upon arrival we were instructed to unload 20 huge boxes and deliver them to zeee stadium, with zee boxes being so large and heavy it took us the evening and early morning to get them all delivered, once we were done, this man opens zee boxes and they were full of cricket players. with this job done we had 2 hours to sleep, then we needed to protect the cricket men while they practice catching crickets, this made for a long long long day.

two of zee crickets took a liking to Aliceria and Prudy and decided to sneak into zee town and blow off some steam, Rocket, Wilson and myself stayed well behind until Rocket received a call that trouble was brewing, so we made our way to zee Pot and Kettle an out of the way hotspot, Wilson and Rocket entered thru the front, I moved down an alley to find a back door into the building, while doing so I see a man smoking a cigar and asked him for one and proceeded to try this fancy thing, gunshots erupt from inside the building, I thank zee man and make my way thru the kitchen and determine that thru the double doors much trouble awaits, much chaos and fighting and screams trickle thru the door and for a moment it gave me pause and filled my mind with fear, gathering myself I kick in zee doors as hard as I possibly can assuming there could be bad people on the other side and a door in the face might give me zee needed time to extract our crew. Upon opening everyone is looking at me, I see Prudy standing on a table with a gun in her hand and a swollen face, the two crickets appear to have been bloodied and Aliceria had just thrown something at another man who promptly crumpled to the floor, thru the mass of people Rocket and Wilson had just cleared a path to where Prudy, zee Crickets and Aliceria. I motioned for zee others that we need to go, as they piled into the kitchen and out to the back alley we noticed Mr Jeffers and his goons just arriving at the scene thru the front door, more mayhem was about to ensue.

We found a nice quiet cafe to lay low and see how bad everyone was hurt, Rocket ordered a fine meal, i waited outside to protect the door from unwanted guests, Prudy made a call to Jeffers so he could collect his drunken crickets, Rocket stalled them long enough for Jeffers to arrive.

Back at the stadium we now have our own windowless office with some cots to act as our base of operations. The team was restricted to the stadium now and morale was low, having heard of the shennanigans the owner decided the team could go out tonight to blow off some steam within in 2 mile radius of the stadium, this would make it impossible for us to protect them all as they would scatter in all directions. We decided we would throw a party on the Nighti ngale ship instead, this way they would be safe and in a semi controlled enviroment, we quickly hatched the best plan we could, which would require lots of booze, Gideons fine food, loud music, team colored decor and lots of whores.

I of course locked up the med bay, the engine room, cockpit and other restricted areas were also sealed. Gideon cooked up an amazing batch of meatballs and other wonderful foods, Rocket was in charge of the bartending, having ordered way more booze then would be required Rocket dispensed the cheapest stuff first and held the fine spirits in reserve just in case. The plan worked beautifully and Jeffers told us to keep what was left which was of course all zee good stuff!

About sunrise the team was all gathered up and bused back to the stadium and we were left with a ship completely trashed

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All in a day's work

Jeffers had a bug up his butt. That’s what happens when you eat puppies for breakfast. He told us there would be three Corazon-class ships departing for Hera—two decoys and one with the Gators. Sneerface instructed us to be ready to depart and that sometime in the next 72 hours, we’d get a 15 minute advance notice.

We were able to get six passengers who paid a premium for transport to Hera. Not knowing if we would depart in the next hour or in three days, I told them we planned to depart in two hours. They were Johnny-on-the-spot ready. Gideon was all happy to take them to their rooms, being polite, giving good service, and of course, talking about God stuff. When I asked Gideon to collect their fare, he hemmed and hawed. Mercy! Does that boy have a problem with earning an honest dollar? Once we had them on board, in their rooms, and took their money, I reckoned they weren’t likely to leave, even if they were impatient with the indefinitely delayed departure.

Alicera tried to call her brothers, but wasn’t getting anywhere with the automaton policing the phone lines. Alice double-downed and unleashed the b-word, and then click the call was over.

If we knew what ship the Gators were on, we’d have an advantage in keeping them safe. Alicera looked up the ships registered at the port, and she found five Corazon-class ships. Rocket drove her, Leonid, and Wilson around to look at each of them. We had no clue which one her brothers would be in. The five ships were spread wide over the port, and keepin’ an eye on them over the next 72 hours was no simple task. Not a problem. Alice and Rocket were able to hack into the ports surveillance cameras, so we could spy on all five at the same time.

Time goes by, and the passengers are gettin’ all fidgety, asking why we haven’t lifted off. I assured them it’d be soon, without sayin’ exactly when. Fortunately, they were easily distracted with food and games. Gideon whipped up a Gator-themed bingo/trivia game, which mollified them for a bit.

Alice placed another call and left a message for her brothers to call. To her surprise and delight, Bobby called her back. He was all anxious, as the call was violatin’ the rules set by security. Bobby gave her a tip about which ship they’d be on.

Rocket and Alice shadowed over to the Gator ship to place a tracking device she devised. Unexpectedly, they discover another tracking device already on the ship. Two Tong members appeared outta nowhere. Alice drops one and she and Rocket share the other one. Wilson and Leonid go out to help them bring the unconscious gangsters back. Wilson slips through unnoticed. Leonid was spotted by some uniforms.

He improvised to create a distraction and buy time for the others. “I am looking for womenz.” He staggered drunkenly. “Where iz brothel? I have moneyz.” More uniforms showed up. Leonid managed to keep the situation non-violent, and kept up the charade long enough for crew to carry the Tong back to Nightingale. Then I went out, convinced the uniforms to let Leonid come back to the ship with me, giving them ₡50 for their troubles.

Back on the ship, Leonid extracts the suicide molar out each of them. One regains consciousness, and starts saying the Tong would找到我们 and 杀了我们and other death threats. Leo cooks up a potion to make the captive more cooperative. Drugged and dazed, he tells us they were assigned to plant the tracking device. We don’t learn much more. Now these two Tong were just a complication for us.

I called Ringessen to tell him about the incident. He directed me to Jeffers, so I called him. I told him about the Tong and their tracking device, which was now placed on an adjacent ship. He asked how we knew it was the Gator ship. I told him we were watching all of the Corazon-class ships, and this was the one with the Tong and their tracker. He was persuaded to think that we removed the tracking threat. Hopefully he won’t go looking for Alice’s device.

Rocket calls one of his Tremblay kin to arrange for pick-up of the gang members and keep them out of our hair for a few days. The cleaners were fast and efficient, and fortunately, Gideon was entertaining the antsy passengers in another part of the ship. That could have been an ugly mess.

Finally in the wee hours, we got the call. It was a short conversation. Jeffers said it was time, and at the end of the call he choked out, “Good job.” I hope he didn’t hurt himself forcing those words outta his mouth. Alice fired up Nightingale and Rocket took the helm. Time to go to Hera.

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Toilet trouble

Well, BB’s run off. I think he was worried that enemies from his past would come back and put the crew in danger. Must be rough for Alicera, who finally got her brother back, only to lose him again. At least this time, wherever he is, he’s there on his own volition. (BB, if you’re readin’ this, “volition” means by your own free will.)

At least Alice got to see her brothers Rob and Bob play. Some 响亮的小丑 gave us a hard time for cheering the Gators, so we just cheered louder. It wasn’t too long before Rocket had to take a leak. Him and the preacher boy went off to find the john. A few minutes later, they come back with more beers. Didn’t mention any problems at that point.

Then Rocket saw somethin’ and dashed towards the field. He was stopped by some ape in a fancy security suit. Rocket and Gideon started hollering about the men in the bathroom, about a conspiracy about waters and towels and whatnot. Well, when they told security about the plan, they locked us up like we were the criminals. 公鸡吸盘! Rocket and the preacher helped them catch one of the men from the john. I’m not too pleased at how were treated like thugs. At least, the Sam boys and the rest of the Gators were safe.

And the Gators won!

This all led to us meetin’ the owner of the Gators, Ringessen, who offered us a job protecting the team. Good pay, if we actually ever collect. The minimum is decent pay, not great. Then ₡7000 in bonus money, which has all these strings attached and came with a lawyer and contract that made my head hurt after reading about 30 pages.

Ringessen is a self-made man from Greenleaf. Doesn’t look like he’s from Greenleaf, dressed in high cotton. He has a pit bull named Jeffers, also dressed fancy. At first I thought he had some kinda deformity on his face, but it’s just a sneer. Our job is to keep the team safe, planetside, here on Persephone and again on Hera. Unfortunately, we have to work with sneerface. Not a problem. I’ve worked for worse 蛀虫.

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White Stallion

“Oh my stars!!!!! I got to dance in a beautiful dress! I got to rub elbows with rich folk! I got to eat fancy little snacks from silver trays!”

The trip there, the pirates trying to take their cargo, the shots fired, the hidden diamonds, nothing could compare to Alicera to the excitement of the dance. The grand charity ball completely blocked out the slight getting to that night of a lifetime event for her.

She exhales a dreamy smile as she finishes the Nightingale painting she’s been working on for weeks on the side of her baby’s heart, the Nightingale engine

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With a blue paint smear on her face she walks to the clutter of a workbench and with water hose patch tape she sticks a photo onto the ships inner hull, a photo of an unforgettable night. the highlight of her night of nights.

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You can take the animal out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the animal

We were invited to partyz so we could collect rest of moneyz for trip, we deliver cargoz and move to place to buy fancy clothes, I know not what iz fancy clothes so I smile nod and raise arms so they z can build Leonid a suit to wear, I was ok with suitz until they give me shoez to wear, Leonid no like shoez and i walkz like drunken monkey, we arrive at party and I blend into the background, I am uncomfortable around peoplez and I quickly hide shoes in massive plant in pot, I eat much seafoodz az dis iz something I never eatz before, much foodz, much drink, I no enjoy party, finally time comez to collect second half of payment for delivery, captain prudy seems nervous about getting money and baron invites us to his office to collect money. He says only two can enter office to collectz moneyz, Prudy and Rocket enter office, Alicera and Gideon and myself wait outside office. We hear gunshots and then men climb stairs, two men hit Alicera and Gideon, two men approach Leonid, I raise hands above head and say over and over i do not want to fight, i do not want to fight, I DO NOT WANT TO FIGHT!

Man approaches me and he slips on banana peel, second man attacks, time slows down as it has in the past, I watch his blows as they hit me, first blow is sloppy and undisciplined but with hands raised it strikes my kidney area, I absorb the blow, my rage builds, his follow up punch is sloppier and grazes my chin, I see Alicera and Gideon valiantly fighting and I realize I must act, my rage is at a boiling point, this is just like I remember when instincts ruled my mind, a knee to the groin brings the head low, an upward elbow to the temple brings the head back high and a right hand collapses his skull, before he hits the ground I know he is dead, before I can think I have spun a backhand at the second man catching him square on the chin, he hits the wall hard and somehow his momentum keeps him on his feet and he runs for his life, hearing gunshots and unsure what is happening across the way I try and calm myself as I hear more gunshots and another man hitting the floor, Alicera and Gideon dispatch their attackers and we enter the next room, I can already feel tears welling up in my eyes, this is not who i am, I have lost control again and another person is dead.

We find Rocket and Prudy have some hostages and another man whom I know Rocket hates intensely wounded in the next room, they want me to help him, he tries to squirm away, I put my foot on his neck and tell him if he wants to live he must stop, I sterilize his wound with Vodka, he squirms and cries like a little baby, then I extract the first bullet with my fingers, he is not appreciating my help, he appears to be in a lot of pain but will survive, police and medical arrive on the scene and all gets sorted out, I find a corner and sit with my head in my hands……..

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A Plot Foiled

Nightingale settled down on the planet of Osiris, at an alternate space port in the looming city of New Brunswick. It is a large city of over three million souls, its skies made dark with industrialization and pollution, rather than the mere lack of sunlight.

As agreed upon during the captain’s short chat with Baron Otello directly, trucks and men had been diverted to the new landing location to pick up the cargo. Amongst these men, a hard fellow named Barge was present, his flat crew-cut sprinkled silver to denote his age and experience, and his attitude left no room for humor.

After a bit of back and forth between Barge and Rocket, the captain finally arrived on the scene to settle nerves and get the unloading started. Barge and Eugene certainly put into place an instant dislike of one another. The ten men Barge brought with him worked efficiently and quickly, and within twenty minutes, Nightingale was unloaded onto three large trucks, and on the way to the museum.

Meanwhile, the crew – not having proper duds for attending such a fancy engagement, immediately headed to the nearest high-profile clothing store in order to secure proper attire for the charity event. Wilson remained behind with the ship to keep an eye on the unconscious BB, who was still recovering from a self-inflicted GSW to the head. The store owner and staff were not only taken aback slightly by the ‘mundane’ people who entered their store, but they were further shocked to learn that they had to work magic within 20 minutes!

20 minutes later, each crewman had suitable dress for the event. The two ladies looked lovely, then men – dashing. Even Leonid, who glared at his new ‘shoes’ closely, looked fitting for such an event. Then, the group loaded back up into the Burrito and off they went.

Arriving at the event, it was already underway. The group entered, handing over their invitations, and found themselves in the main area of the Alliance History Museum. The exhibits must have numbered in the hundreds! Egyptian mummy, Harley Davidson, an Atari 2600 video game system, Lincoln’s Hat, a chunk of the Wall of China, a signed Briant Bosworth jersey along with a bronze statue of Peyon Manning, an actual functioning musket from the revolutionary war, religious icons from hindu and native American peoples… the list went on and on the number of artifacts present and on display with hi-tech displays explaining what they were for.

The gala was already packed, with people wandering to and fro, dressed to the nines. People of all ages – but all of the wealthy or influential, rubbed elbows and spoke in soft murmurs as the crowd continued to grow. Near the back wall, the local Church had set up an area in which to receive live donations, and they even brought with them one of their unfortunate children – Little Franck, who was disfigured, crippled, and unable to speak properly. It was children like him for whom the many donations would seek to aid over the coming year.

Gideon approached the four sisters and spoke at length with them, and then gave a donation of his own. The sisters fawned over such a generous donation from a man of the cloth, and Gideon found himself suddenly with four new admirers… of the most ‘wholesome’ variety, of course.

The rest of the crew mingled and looked for signs of the Baron. But before long, there was a great disturbance at the entrance of the museum, and all conversation went on hold and attention was turned in that direction.

Behold, the night’s greatest celebrity entered. Dallas Hammond, a famous Cortex model, entered with great fanfare. Women screamed, ovaries burst, and some of the ladies even swooned. (His profile can be seen in the character gallery).

Prudy approached and spoke for a bit with Dallas – who offered her a room key for later. He also spoke for awhile with Alicera, but would not give poor Gideon the time of day. Gideon, in his efforts to help Dallas, tore a page from his bible and stealthily stuck it into one of Dallas’s pockets just before Dallas’s entourage monkey-piled the poor preacher. Eugene came to his rescue, but all was settled and calm prevailed before any punches were thrown.

After the celebrity and his ‘troop’ moved along, Dallas turned to one of his handlers. “Ms. Chang-Li is an ‘8’. If we find a 9 or a 10 tonight – switch us to the alternate hotel.” The man had played this game many times before, and was a pro at it apparently.

The Baron finally made his appearance (also can be found in the character gallery). He was accompanied by one of his hired-hands, a man named Reginald. He seemed polite, generous, and quite happy with the event so far. Those who spoke with him were treated respectfully and kindly…. except for the Captain. Prudy approached the Baron – and the Baron’s true-colors came through, treating her like a second-class citizen based on her race and gender. He did so in a quiet, private way that only she heard, but it got the message through to her loud and clear.

Later, Gideon approached and spoke to the Baron, who had nothing but delightful things to say about him, about Prudy, about their work to bring his shipment to New Brunswick. Gideon was convinced that Prudy had simply ‘misheard’ what was said.

But that wasn’t the only surprise for our captain. She crossed paths with an old nemesis – Smitty ‘The Snake’ Johnson (seen in the Character gallery as well). The man wore an eye-patch – thanks to Prudy, of course. He seemed so happy and delightful to see her there. His date, a timid looking flower of a beautiful woman, wore thick makeup to hide a bruise on the side of her face. It seemed “The Snake” was still up to his old tricks, the same tricks that got him the eye-patch in the first place.

Eventually, time came for the Baron’s speech, and folks headed up stairs to the second floor in order to gather and listen. The speech was short, sweet, and to the point, and there was much applause for the Baron’s generosity. Immediately after there was a short auction of sorts, a handful of items (including a date with Dallas Hammond) that raised yet more credits for the charity. Even Little Franck was brought up on the small stage so that the people could all witness one of the souls their donations were helping.

After that, the dance began, and several members of the crew set about ‘cutting some carpet’. Gideon was a modern-day Fred Astair, as he danced with each of the Sisters in a polite manner, but helping them along as best he could. Prudy found herself dancing with a friendly stranger, Mr. Livingston, who was a local doctor she had struck up a conversation with earlier. He seemed all too pleased to dance with the lovely captain. And even the lovely Alicera decided to dance, as well – closely watching how other ladies were doing it, how they walked, how they acted, she met a young man who seemed quite taken with her, as well. Unfortunately, Alicera’s dancing skill wasn’t quite up to Gideon’s level (she rolled a botch), and she and her dance partner tumbled to the ground, causing a bit of a scene around her. Gideon came to her aid, finding the young man lying rather suggestively atop Alice – who did little else but smile.

The dance went on, and Gideon traded partners with Mr. Livingston, so that Gideon and Prudy might have a friendly dance as well… at least until Smitty ‘The Snake’ showed up to cut in. Sadly, Prudy felt ill at that time, and declined, saying she needed to move off to the side to relax.

Meanwhile, Eugene was doing a good job keeping the bar in business, and Leonid had finally found a place to ditch his shoes – tossing them behind a large plant display in the corner of the room. Barefoot again, the doc finally felt a bit more at ease.

While relaxing, Prudy was approached by none other than Captain Dublin, the captain of the Firefly ‘Artemis’ that was docked next to Nightingale back on Greenleaf. (Dublin can also be found in the character gallery). The Captain seemed awful interested in the Nightingale’s cargo – as well as diamonds. Prudy was a bit nervous about this, but Dublin seemed rather convincing, and his genuine concern for her seemed convincing as well. He asked her to wear a wire, and when meeting with the Baron, try to get him to talk about the diamonds. Captain Dublin must have been convincing enough, because Prudy agreed to do it.

Alicera sneaked around to where the two Captains were speaking, hoping to catch a glimpse or at least listen in to whatever was going on. But by the time she got there, the two Captains we’re done with their discussion.

Dublin departed, and the crew regathered, and as the night drew closer to a close, they approached the Baron about getting paid. The group along with the Baron and his two men headed upstairs, where the Baron forces most of the group to remain outside, only allowing Prudy and one other person to enter the Baron’s office. Eugene ends up accompanying her inside.

Once inside, the Baron seems completely at ease with the other two, and begins to fetch their money. But Prudy puts it all out on the table, not only demanding the rest of the payment, but an additional 30,000 credits to ‘keep quiet’ about the diamonds. Once she mentions diamonds, the Baron changes – and other men enter the room from two other doors, severely outnumbering the captain and Eugene. The Baron draws his gun, as does Barge who smiles and levels his at Eugene… but just before they could act further, the Baron’s cell phone goes off.

Seems that there are some other unscheduled visitors who just entered the museum, and were on their way upstairs. The crew outside in the foyer watch as a group of Chinese men climb the stairs and head to the door. It is Liu Bei, with his small band of fellow 14K Tong members.

All hell then proceeds to break loose.

In the office, the Baron and his two henchmen make a break for it, heading towards one of the side doors as Prudy produces a pistol from the ‘round’ part of her dress, and Eugene whips out his pistol as well. The guards that came into the room brandish their iron, and outside, Liu Bei and his minions begin to slap around the crewmen Alicera, Gideon, and Leonid. Well… they try to. The room is is filled mostly with the sound of Gideon falling willingly to the floor to avoid getting punched in the head, while one of the Tong members double-slaps Alicera across the face.

Prudy, outnumbered, moves to the door in the office, whips it open and steps behind it, intending to use it as cover. Unknown to her, a 14K Tong member stands behind it, and upon seeing him there, the Baron’s guards unload on him, turning him into a human sprinkler system.

Alicera shows her displeasure over being slapped – as she knocks the lights out of the man who had so offended her. It seems this little lady packs a punch – the result of growing up with six bigger brothers who loved to rough-house.

Meanwhile, after getting over his own paralysis (much like Alice had to do), Leonid finally moves into motion, flashbacks filling his head from a dark time long ago. Two punches later, his first attacker lies dead on the ground, broken and crumpled. Another assault sends the second Tong member to the ground, simply unconscious.

Inside the office, Tremblay is not keen on letting the three ‘suits’ escape, and he follows them, into the next room. There, Barge is waiting, and the two engage in a pistol duel a mere fifteen to twenty feet apart. Shots are traded, but Eugene’s trigger-finger is faster, and in the end he puts Barge on his back. But this exchange gave the Baron and Reginald time to escape.

Gideon jumps into the fray, then, seeing that a ‘peaceful solution’ is not possible. He rushes towards Alicera, though, moving the young woman to the side so that he might intercept a blow meant for her. Despite his desire not to be punched in the face again since the bruising from BB’s fist had just recently cleared – he was, nonetheless, punched in the face.

But the tide had turned, and Liu Bei, seeing the crew holding their own AND seeing one of his men cut down by the Baron’s men turns tail and flees along with two of his remaining men. Inside the office, Eugene commands the remaining Baron’s men to drop their arms, as their boss has fled and there was no need for these grunts to lose their lives for nothing. Thankfully for them (and possibly some of the crew), they listened and obeyed, and the fight was over.

Leonid entered the room, finding various people wounded – and none more grievously than Barge. He was near death, but Leonid was able to make him stable – so that he might face justice instead of taking the easy way out through death.

Moments later, the side door opened, and the Baron and Reginald re-entered the room… being pushed by Dublin and two of his men. The situation was swiftly brought under control, actual police arrived as well as paramedics.

Captain Dublin asked Prudy to come down to the local precinct to file her statement and she agreed, while the rest of the crew were thinking about heading back to the ship. I am pretty sure that’s where we stopped for the night.

I definitely want to thank Todd a huge amount for joining us and bringing the Baron, Barge, Reginald, Dallas, and Smitty to life. And even ‘Little Franck’. It was great to have him with us to make these various cameos, and he even brought several props (including his bottle of ‘White Stallion’ cologne for Dallas). Barge and Reginald were actually two of his very own characters that he made for the game, as well, and that was much appreciated!

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Idle Hands

Must keep beezee, on zee boat like dees, time iz a weight I cannot hold, it crushes you like a giant stone, must keep beezee, BB no longer requires constant monitoring, I set up gardens with Aliceria and Gideons help, dey show meez zee papers that comes with garden are important as Leonid was confused, I feelz zo small az I do not understandz zee paperz, but now all iz well and slugs and ants and gardens no needz Leonid now, poultice is made, vodka is brewed, salves have been mixed……now I waitz and waitz and waitz, everyting is wellz except my mind.

I punish my body and mind, I take out my rage, confusion, disappointments and fears on big bagz, i attack it like my life dependz on itz, because in many ways it does.

Dis is zee first timez since I was boy zat I havz had idle time, az a slave my dayz were planned for me, lifting, sparring, fighting, killing, mending, recovering, teaching, screaming, crying….dying. Any downtime was exhausted sleep

After my escape I run, run and run some more, I help my friends to find foodz, cookz zee food, find and build zee shelterz, firez, keep watch for dangers and fight those dangers we couldz not run from, but now they are gone and I am alone, floating away on zee boat that iz my home. but not a home I have ever dreamed of.

I swore to myzelf whenz I was freez I would only use my handz to help and fix zee people and save lives, not take them…….yet I stare at zeez man laying on my bed who wanted to die and I would not allow it, iz dis my right? I just reacted and acted on instinct, without tinking if dis man truly wanted to be saved, this is another fear I will sleep with, like all zee scarz on handz, all zee scarz on back and all zee scars in mind, I am afraidz every night wheen zee sleep comez.

I must learn dis reading, if not I will be dead in 6 months, I readz book of big red dog that talkz and catz that live in hatz, eggz and ham that is green, for the first time since boy I am at peace reading of dis dog, I know it is silly but for once it allows me to take my guard down and see life thru other eyes, happier eyes.

We reach zee place to deliver wine soon, I must wear shoez and fanzy clothes, I know notz how zees will be, but any actionz is better then sitting with me, myzelf andz I.

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Back in the Black

The day began with ensuring BB was comfortable and taken care of. Doctor Leonid and Gideon were instrumental in saving his life, and fixing him up proper. The ‘operation’, with crude tools and equipment on hand, took nearly four hours to complete. But Leonid was used to such a setting, and by noon the bullet had been removed, BB was stable, and those gathered at the Sam residence breathed a collective sigh of relief. The hole in BB’s head had been covered over by a flattened platinum coin, then the doc sewed him up good as new.

Back in Vinetown, the good Captain departed Nightingale to meet Mr. Norman Sellers (bio and pic available in the Characters section). There was some urgency as the Captain was concerned that the other Firefly in dock next to Nightingale might be a competitor, and might take the shipping job that Mr. Sellers had offered. But the man met the Captain as promised, and the deal was made. He would arrive soon with his shipment, and true to his word he did, along with nearly a dozen men to unload it all from carts and into Nightingale’s cargo hold. He then paid the captain the promised advance, along with tickets for the gala event at the Alliance History Museum.

As the wine was loaded, the Captain caught sight of Captain Dublin standing on the cargo ramp of his ship next door, watching the cargo being loaded onto Nightingale. He gave a friendly tip of his baseball cap to the captain before disappearing inside his ship.

After convincing Alicera’s parents that BB should be taken back to the ship, and then to another planet where he could receive medical aid, Alicera, Gideon, Leonid, Eugene and Wilson headed back to town. Upon arrival, the captain put Alice to work with the other mechanic, Jeb, along with his cousin Cleetus, in order to speed up the repairs on the ship. The captain managed to pick on a single passenger ready to go to Osiris, and they arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Soon, the ship was ready to go, and off she went back into the Black.

The journey at first was uneventful, until about day 11, when the engine suddenly gave out in a great loud fit of anger. Alicera went to work and found the source: a sabotaged hydraulic pipe, along with a note that was addressed to her from her teenage nemesis.

During the downtime while the ship was repaired, Eugene detected a ship that had been following Nightingale, and after awhile, the ship decided to approach. They hailed and the Captain answered, and spoke to a man on the other ship named Liu Bei (also found in the character section).

Liu Bei seemed to know quite a bit about the ship, about the captain, and about the cargo she was carrying. He offered a ‘substantial amount’ of credits in order to purchase a few specific kegs of wine, and all he asked for at first was to dock up and come aboard to negotiate in-person. The Captain didn’t seem to keen on that, and refused. She did a fine job of stalling, giving Alicera the last bit of time she needed to finish repairs before Nightingale launched forward into motion once more – with the other ship hot on their heels. The other ship fired a few warning shots, one of them actually striking the ship’s hull. But Nightingale kicked into a hard burn – and the other ship could not keep up….

Curious, the crew set about investigating the wine barrels, and after some excellent sleuthing, four barrels were found to weigh slightly more than the other 56 barrels. A close examination produced a hidden compartment, from which was pulled a small bag of diamonds. Three more bags were found, one in each of the other overweight barrels.

Also, a thorough cortex search brought up few details on Liu Bei, including his rap sheet, and a few tidbits of info about his membership in the 14K Tong. He is serious business, according to what the cortex had to say about him.

Ten days later, Nightingale has closed in on Osiris, a Core planet. Space traffic is super-busy here, and with safety in mind, the captain decided to contact the Baron Otello (also in the characters section) and arrange for landing at a different location, a bit further from the event. He informed them that they would have just enough time to land, find some clothes, and deliver the goods. The ball, afterall, was a black-tie affair, and both men and women would need to be dressed properly, if you plan to attend…

(If anyone else wants to fill-in details or whatnot, feel free! :P )

Ten days later, Nightingale approached Osiris. There was much planning and discussing about what to do.

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Wherein a Crewman Seeks His End...

Nightingale headed to Greenleaf – limping a little from structural damage, but nothing severe enough to slow our intrepid crew down noticeably.

BB came out of his ‘episode’ and seemed rather apologetic about it, while a somber air hung over the remaining passengers. It was quite a bit more silent with Protheroe gone, but even more so, without the boundless energetic Ms. Bates amongst the crew.

The Captain had words with the ‘baggage’… meaning, Sam Wilson, the young Corporal who your crew decided to strip and drag along with you. He had followed, his instincts telling him to do so – and lucky for him he did or he would have been on the Alliance Cruiser when it imploded, killing all remaining crewman that were still onboard. He was thankful – but rightly worried about his future, especially considering that some of the crew weren’t none-too happy to have him around.

Greenleaf was reached without incident, and Nightingale came to perch upon landing pad 9. That’s 9 out of 10 landing pads, which were twice as many as Alice remembers being there when she was last here some 7 years ago when she was just a young, ripe 17 years old.

Now, the port was larger, and the town surrounding it – Vinetown – was a bit larger, as well, home to about 2,000 souls, the bulk of which were farmers of some kind.

BB knocked people out of the way escaping the ship and heading to the cat-house where he laid down some credits that the Captain had given him not five minutes earlier. Alice walked down the cargo ramp to find her family – most of them, anyway – waiting with open arms and a mini-celebration loud enough to embarrass anyone. There were many hugs distributed faster than BB could punch a preacher.

Leonid went shopping, and returned in due time with half a store’s worth of goods, making the Captain wonder if Nightingale was going to be able to handle all the extra weight. Later that day, the doc wanted to find some special herbs, but knew he would have to travel north to do so – which he did, with Eugene. The two men decided to make a camping trip of it, pilot and doctor bonding with each other over a tent, fire, shotgun and copious amounts of alcohol. They even went hunting together, and after a brief period of time where Lenoid was not able to capture a deer with his bare hands, they worked together and were able to down a pheasant – and to this day, both men will swear that the pheasant was as big as a deer.

The Captain, bless her soul, remained close to her only child – Nightingale, keeping watch over her as she hired a mechanic to begin repairs. Of course she’d ask Alice to help out, but the Captain was not completely without a heart and wanted to give the mechanic some quality time with her family. Alice hadn’t seen them for 7 years, and once they left… who knew when she’d come around this way again?

Work began on the Nightingale as Mr. Tinny, the Space Port’s main mechanic came to an agreement with the Captain to begin work.

That night, the Captain received a message over the Cortex: a mysterious person wanted to speak to her about a possible job, and asked her to meet with them the next day. She agreed, and went to bed with a smile, the hope of new work dancing through her head.

The next day came – yet another beautiful, sunny day, Mechanic Tinny showed up to work bright and early.

The two campers returned from their trip safely.

The Captain decided to go to the meeting with Eugene, and shortly after arriving and finding a cozy seat to themselves, they were joined by an individual who identified himself as Norman Sellers, the owner of Sellers Vineyards on Greenleaf. He explained the delicate nature of his job offer: needing 60 tons (approximately 240 large barrels) of wine delivered to a gentleman on Osiris, a Core Planet. There was a problem with the previous shipping company, and he was eagerly looking for a replacement because the Baron was expecting the wine for a Charity benefit he was holding in three weeks. Eugene quickly figured up the distance in his head, and if Nightingale was indeed ready to go in two days as was estimated, Eugene determined that they could just make it in time – barring any unforeseen delays.

Mr. Sellers made it clear that this was to be kept quiet – he had at least five other competitors in town, and if they heard about this, they would all eagerly attempt to swipe the contracted with the Baron in Osiris for themselves. To that end, Mr. Sellers also offered the Captain 6,000 credits for the safe delivery of all the wine, half to be paid up front, plus a bonus if the ship could make it early.

Things were looking up, and the crew decided to join Alicera to head out to her family’s house for a big cook-out with fresh home-cooked foods. It was a large spread, with Alice’s family showing up in force (except for the two brothers who weren’t on the planet at the moment), and a good time was had by all, as well as ample filled stomachs.

The only person not to attend was, once again, the Captain. She remained behind, and as she was about to lock-up Nightingale for the evening, she was approached by a rather decent looking man in casual dress and a baseball cap. He announced himself and spoke to the Captain in a friendly way, even though he might very well have been ‘competition’ of a sorts, since he was a Captain himself. Captain Richard Dublin of the ‘Artemis’ – another Firefly class vehicle that had landed during the day.

Seems this other Captain had also been offered a deal by Mr. Sellers… and Captain Dublin wasn’t all too keen on it, feeling that something was off. Being the only other Firefly on the landing strip, Captain Dublin decided to approach Capt Prudy to see if she, too, had been accosted by this wine-salesman, basically seeking to ‘exchange notes’ about the guy. Captain Prudy was friendly and only revealed basic details, for which the other Captain was grateful. As they chatted, he finally asked her if she’d like to have a drink with him, and it didn’t take the Captain using any special ‘reading’ ability to notice that the man had kinda taken a shine to her, but not in a rude manner. She politely declined, though, and he bid her a good night.

Back at the Sam residence, BB was having some issues. This was where he had grown up, but suffering from Amnesia, he couldn’t remember it. Still, he began having flashes, and not really feeling all that comfortable, as if something in his head was struggling to get out. The family did their best not to crowd him and push him, but it was still overwhelming and quite uncomfortable for the poor Independent veteran, so he sought solace in his room, locking the door to keep the others out.

As folks began settling in for the night, Alice went to find BB, and instead found a locked door. Mom arrived with a key, and as they began to fiddle with it – there was the sound of a gun-shot that echoed all throughout the house and farm.

The door was finally flung open, BB lying on his teenage bed with a small pool of blood growing from his temple. Mom freaked out. Dad soon joined in. Alice looked terrified, but the good doctor and preacher, both men with considerable medical talents, sprang into action, no matter what their personal thoughts about BB were.

Four hours later, and a lot of blood, BB’s condition was made stable, and the hole in his skull was sealed with a flattened platinum coin. Leonid knew that right now all they could do was wait and let sleep and time do its work. Leonid informed folks that BB would be better off in the med-bay on the ship, and that BB could be unconscious for anywhere from one day up to a month or more, depending on if he slipped into a coma or not.

Eugene made sure to radio back to the Captain to give her updates, knowing that she might be sleeping and grumpy, but that she might want to know BB’s status.

And that’s where we ended. :)

As always, this is the best as I can remember – if you remember other stuff you want to make sure is accurately recorded, feel free to post here! :)

-Tim

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