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!